Covering Battery Park City

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Downtown Express photos by Terese Loeb Kreuzer Margaret Kittredge, a designer at Bloom, the high-end flower and lifestyle store that opened on March 19 in the passageway between Goldman Sachs headquarters and the Conrad hotel.

BY TERESE LOEB KREUZER  |  Bloom opens in Goldman Sachs alley: A high-end flower store called Bloom opened on March 19 in the passageway between Goldman Sachs headquarters at 200 West St. and the Conrad Hotel at 102 North End Ave. Owner Kimberly Perrone describes it as “a strong lifestyle brand with flowers at its core.” Not yet fully stocked, she said the merchandise will include “exotic terrariums and plants, candles, custom furnishings for the home and garden, unique jewelry, books from boutique publishers and, of course, amazing flower designs. There will also be beautiful hand-tie bouquets ready to go every day. Services will include event planning, corporate services, interior and landscape design.”

Perrone was a fashion executive for luxury women’s apparel when she purchased Bloom from its original owner in 2003. She said that Bloom started in Chelsea in the early ’90s and then moved to 541 Lexington Ave.

“We were looking downtown for a second location for about six months when we were approached by Goldman Sachs,” she said.

According to Margaret Kittredge, one of the store’s head designers, most of the flowers come from Holland. “Bloom buys directly from growers,” said Perrone, “so within 24 to 48 hours the flowers arrive from their farms to our door. Not only are the flowers fresh but since there is no distributor or middleman, they have been handled minimally, which adds to their longevity.”

Flowers start at $50 for a hand-tied bouquet.

In its first week in Battery Park City, Perrone said that Bloom has had “an interesting mix of clients. Many were from Battery Park City or Tribeca, both residential and corporate, but we had a wide range of tourists as well, which I believe will continue with the completion of the Conrad Hotel, the World Trade Center, and the continuing evolution of this interesting neighborhood.”

Bloom is open seven days a week, Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 6 p.m. The address is 255 Murray St. The phone number is (646) 414-6269. Flowers can be ordered online at www.bloomflowers.com.

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The cherry trees that ring the oval lawn in Battery Park City bloomed early this year. Partly for that reason and partly because of the lawn’s resodding, which needs time to knit, the lawn remains closed. It should open by mid-April.

Cherry trees: This year, by the third week in March, the Yoshino cherry trees (Prunus yedoensis), ringing Battery Park City’s oval lawn just south of 2 World Financial Center had already begun to bloom, at least two weeks ahead of their normal schedule. In other years, people have basked under the cherry trees in the first warm light of spring, photographed the blossoms, picnicked and played games among them. This year, their admiration will have to be at arm’s length. The oval lawn is still closed. “The typical opening date for the oval lawn is April 1,” said Melissa Coley, spokesperson for Brookfield Office Properties, which maintains that lawn and the shaded grove next to it. “We ripped up the entire lawn in November, leveled the soil, installed new drains and placed all new sod. We may delay the opening by a week or two this year to make sure the new sod is strong.”

Battery Park City is not alone in its early cherry bloom season. Washington, D.C.’s cherry blossoms came into peak bloom on March 20 — two weeks earlier than usual. But the National Cherry Blossom Festival in D.C. continues through April 27, with or without blooming trees. The first trees around the capital’s Tidal Basin, a gift to the United States from Japan, were planted in 1912. Battery Park City’s cherry trees are only 25 to 27 years old.

Asphalt Green Battery Park City update: The long-awaited Asphalt Green community center in Battery Park City is still a work in progress. It was supposed to debut in November, then in early January, then on Feb. 1. After that, no further opening dates were announced. As of March 27, Christina Klapper, a spokesperson for Asphalt Green, said, “We have not received an opening date.”

“Construction progress continues as we head to completion this spring,” according to Matthew Monahan, spokesperson for the Battery Park City Authority, which is responsible for building the facility. “Some concrete grinding was done to level a few bumps and dips. A good deal of the furniture and equipment that is arriving is being held aside. Some wood millwork is being done and there is some flooring to do. Several days ago, all of the scaffolding that was in the empty pool was taken down as the painting and cleaning of the ceiling was done and the last lighting items were completed. Then there are the usual close-out and punch list items that get done after construction is completed.”

If the B.P.C.A. anticipates finishing the work “this spring” as Monahan stated, that gives the Authority until June 20, 2012 at 7:08 p.m. (EDT). Summer officially begins at 7:09 p.m. that day. Asphalt Green Battery Park City’s summer camps for ages 4 to 13 are supposed to open on June 28. The brochure for the camp extols Asphalt Green’s facilities, which (will) include a 25-yard lap pool, a full-court gymnasium, a 156-seat theater, six classrooms and a culinary center. Asphalt Green Battery Park City also will use the B.P.C. ball fields five days a week for a total of 35 hours. Fees for eight weeks of camp range from $4,875 to $5,375 depending on the age group but campers can come for shorter amounts of time. For more information, call (212) 298-2980, ext. 2978 or email campsagbpc@asphaltgreen.org.

Sale at Lilibeth in W.F.C.: Lilibeth, specialists in “beautiful brows and eyes” with a shop in 3 World Financial Center (next to the Winter Garden), is offering 20 percent off all products and services through April 7.  For more information go to http://lilibethbeautifulbrows.com/

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

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