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Battery Park City’s restaurant row:
Battery Park City may soon be known as one of Manhattan’s hot culinary destinations as one restaurant after another opens in the Goldman Sachs complex surrounding the Conrad Hotel, with more to come elsewhere in Battery Park City. Jan. 2, 2012 was opening night at Blue Smoke, Danny Meyer’s take on Southern cooking and barbecue at 255 Vesey St. For the first week, the restaurant is serving a limited menu between 5 p.m. and 10 p.m., but beginning Jan. 9, the full dinner menu will be available, with lunch to follow later in the month.
Battery Park City resident Cecilia Gault, 13, and her parents Dennis and Yachi, were among the first customers. Cecilia, a Blue Smoke aficionado from way back, asked for some cookie dough to decorate — a Blue Smoke tradition for kids. Out came some sprinkles and dough shaped like a pig. Then the decorated pig went into the oven to bake, reappearing at the end of the meal — the first Battery Park City Blue Smoke kid cookie. Cecilia said that her favorite dish on opening night were the ribs. Others praised the barbecue potato chips with blue cheese sauce and the grilled oysters with spinach and bread crumbs.
Blue Smoke is open daily and will have a bake shop where pies such as key lime and bourbon pecan as well as cookies and cakes will be for sale.
Around the corner, in Goldman Sachs alley, Beans & Greens has opened for dinner only at the present time serving salads, soups and baked goods (the official address is 220 Murray St. and the phone number is 212-786-4760) next to Wei West, an Asian fusion restaurant that debuted on Jan. 2, also for dinner only. Beginning Jan. 9, Wei West will serve lunch and dinner and make deliveries. The phone number is 212-786-1300.
Danny Meyer’s high-end, sit-down restaurant, North End Grill, is on the way this month with Harry’s Italian bringing up the rear of the Battery Park City restaurant parade.
World Financial Center murals:
Jan. 2 may have been a holiday for some, but not for the billboard hangers who spent the day and evening putting up elephantine murals on the Winter Garden mezzanine. The renderings show what 2 World Trade Center will look like inside and outside when construction is finished in 2013.
Journey Communications Inc. designed the murals and Britten Services is doing the installation. All of the renderings are on the World Financial Center website at http://www.worldfinancialcenter.com/wfc-2013-vision.
During construction, Arts Brookfield programming will continue in the World Financial Center along with new events in partnership with community groups, with details to be announced. Next up is the New York Guitar Festival on Jan. 6 at 8 p.m. with music and a film that pay tribute to the NASA moon landings followed by a concert by the Knickerbocker Chamber Orchestra on Jan. 14 at 7 p.m. Both events are free.
Battery Park City Authority report card:
At Community Board 1’s Battery Park City Committee meeting on Jan. 3, B.P.C.A. president Gayle Horwitz gave a long presentation on what the Authority had accomplished in 2011 and what it plans to do in the future. Horwitz broke her list of accomplishments down into four categories; infrastructure, financial, internal controls and neighborhood.
The infrastructure list started with “installed state-of-the-art green ball fields on budget” and “restored the South Cove quay on time and under budget.” The financial list was headed by the $12 million in excess revenues that the Authority was able to turn over to the City and a reduction in agency spending by 12 percent. Internal control accomplishments included hiring an outside firm to provide internal audit services and instituting agency-wide ethics training. The list of “neighborhood” accomplishments mentioned helping respond to emergencies created by the earthquake, the hurricane and a blizzard and establishing monthly building managers’ meetings.
Horwitz said that the Authority is no longer in the business of real estate development and must now “open a new chapter as real estate owner and manager.”
Among “next steps” she talked about revenue-enhancement possibilities for the Authority, including “monetizing the parks system by allowing vendors in the parks, selling advertising and licensing.” This was met with some head-shaking on the part of the committee, but Horwitz said that if such a thing were to occur, it would be tasteful and discussed beforehand.
Battery Park City Seniors:
The Battery Park City Seniors group is planning an excursion on Monday, Jan. 9 to see an exhibit at the Onassis Cultural Center, 645 Fifth Ave., on the art of late antiquity.
“This acclaimed exhibit is a wonderful complement to Silvia Espinosa’s art history lectures we have been attending,” said Ruth Ohman, who heads the Seniors group. The plan is to meet at the Onassis Center at 2 p.m. For information about the exhibit go to www.onassisusa.org.
The monthly “Seniors’ Night Out” at Izzy & Nat’s is on Tuesday, Jan. 10, from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., with everything on the menu half price for seniors. Izzy’s is at 311 South End Ave. Those who wish to attend can reserve by calling Izzy & Nat’s at 212-619-5100.
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