Covering Battery Park City

[media-credit name="Photo by Terese Loeb Kreuzer " align="aligncenter" width="600"][/media-credit]

A game of Mah Jongg, in progress at the Museum of Jewish Heritage in Battery Park City. The museum is staging its second annual Mah Jongg Marathon on Sunday, March 11 as a fundraiser.

BY TERESE LOEB KREUZER | Second annual Mah Jongg Marathon at the Museum of Jewish Heritage:Last year’s hugely successful mah jongg exhibit and mah jongg fundraising marathon at the Museum of Jewish Heritage, 36 Battery Place, called for an encore. On Sunday, March 11, from noon to 5 p.m. the museum will host the second annual Mah Jongg Marathon, with all proceeds going to support the museum.

Players of all levels are welcome. In fact, for those who would like to participate but who don’t know how to play, the museum will offer a free mah jongg lesson on Wednesday, Feb. 29 at 6 p.m.

It costs $36 to register in advance or $54 at the door. Like a walk-a-thon, participants are encouraged to get sponsors to support their efforts. Those who register online through FirstGiving.com (http://www.firstgiving.com/mjh/mah-jongg-marathon-2012) can set up a personal fundraising page. Phone registrations are also accepted. Players can choose to enroll in the marathon as a team or as singles. Single players will be matched with other players of their own level. Participants can play for as little or as long a time as they wish. Snacks will be included and lunch will be for sale at the museum’s café. For extra fun, this year’s mah jongg marathon will include a raffle with prizes.

Mah jongg originated in 19th century China and became popular in the United States in the 1920s. Almost from the beginning, it was used as entertainment at charitable events and as a way to raise money.

For more information on the marathon, email mahjongg@mjhnyc.org or call (646) 437-4224.

Fire on Chambers Street: At 7:27 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 20, a fire was reported on a 19th-floor roof deck at 400 Chambers St. According to a fire department spokesman, 20 units from 20 different companies and 78 firefighters responded. The fire took around an hour to bring under control. Seven firefighters with minor injuries were taken to New York Downtown Hospital. The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

The 28-story building in which the fire occurred, Tribeca Park, was developed by and is managed by the Related Companies. It has 395 rental units.

[media-credit name="Terese Loeb Kreuzer" align="aligncenter" width="600"][/media-credit]Art update: West Thames Street light sculpture: A light sculpture in the West Thames Street cul-de-sac designed by Audrey Matlock Architects and installed in December 2010 was broken by snowplows in March 2011. At the Battery Park City Authority Town Hall meeting on Nov. 17, 2011, some B.P.C. residents whose apartments overlook the cul-de-sac said they would be glad if the L.E.D. lights were not replaced. They said they didn’t want to have flashing lights right outside their windows.

“The Battery Park City Authority filed a ‘claim with the comptroller’ regarding some financial recovery from the damages,” said Matthew Monahan, a spokesman for the Authority. “Round caps or disks are going in the original spots.” The sculpture still has not been repaired. Matlock’s firm renovated the cul-de-sac for a fee of approximately $400,000, which included the light sculpture.

Florian exhibit at Poets House: Douglas Florian, whose poems and artwork are favorites in the children’s room at Poets House, 10 River Terrace, will be honored with an exhibit of his work opening on Feb. 26 and running through April 21 during regular library hours. “I’ve been sharing his poems and artwork with classes here at Poets House since I started working here in 2004 and he was one of the first poets I found that all classes generally agreed upon as being great,” said Mike Romanos, the children’s room director.

Romanos said that Florian’s poetry is educational – usually about science and nature – but not didactic and that his illustrations are “otherworldly.”
Florian has written and illustrated more than 30 books of poetry including the national bestseller “insectlopedia,” “lizards, frogs, and polliwogs,” “zoo’s who” and “beast feast,” winner of the Lee Bennett Hopkins Poetry Award.

“To research my subject I might go to the American Museum of Natural History, not far from my studio in New York City,” Florian said. “I also borrow a great number of reference books from libraries in addition to purchasing relevant titles. Field guides are an especially valuable source of information and are usually up to date. Naturally I prefer primary sources recently written by scientists who specialize in the field I’m studying.”

He said that he uses a wide variety of materials to create his illustrations — not just artist’s supplies. For “zoo’s who,” for instance, he used watercolor, gouache, colored pencils, inks, tin foil, candy wrappers, shredded papers, stencils, rubber stamps, and collages on primed paper bags.

Florian will be present for an opening reception and book signing on Sunday, Feb. 26 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. He will read from his books at 11 a.m.

The Constance Laibe Hays Children’s Room at Poets House is open Thurs.-Sun., 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursdays at 10 a.m. are set aside for toddlers. For more information, contact Mike Romanos at (212) 431-7920, ext. 2825 or mike@poetshouse.org.

To comment on Battery Park City Beat or to suggest article ideas, email TereseLoeb@mac.com

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