Covering Battery Park City

Toronto-based artist Katharine Harvey is re-creating a chandelier made from recycled plastic containers in the Winter Garden of the World Financial Center that she first made for Brookfield Place in Toronto. The chandelier will be 21 feet long and 15 feet wide and will hang from the ceiling of the Winter Garden from April 15 to May 11. Downtown Express photo by Terese Loeb Kreuzer.

BY TERESE LOEB KREUZER | World Financial Center chandelier:
Surrounded by thousands of recycled plastic water bottles, sandwich trays, muffin tins, salad boxes, egg cartons, and more, Toronto-based artist Katharine Harvey and several assistants are busy this week using these objects to construct a 21-foot-tall chandelier for the Winter Garden of the World Financial Center. This is a reprise of a chandelier that Harvey built in 2009 for Brookfield Place in Toronto.

Harvey said that she has been using cast-off plastic materials for over a decade because “they’re free and cheap.” Her first large sculpture of plastic refuse was a 74-foot-wide waterfall that she created in 2008 for Toronto’s “Nuit Blanche,” (White Night) when the city is transformed by hundreds of artists. Harvey’s waterfall required 6,000 pounds of recycled water bottles, hockey arena netting and aircraft cable. The 2009 chandelier project for Brookfield was in celebration of Earth Week. It incorporated recycled plastic collected from the office tenants at Brookfield Place.

Brookfield is continuing to collect plastic for Harvey, and invites anyone with a cache of clear plastic containers to donate to the chandelier. Harvey and her crew will be working in the Winter Garden through April 13 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. On Friday, three large hoops will be suspended from the Winter Garden ceiling and the chandelier will be hung from them. It will be ready for its debut on Sunday, April 15.

The chandelier will be on display through May 11.

No Greenmarket at W.F.C. this year:
There will be no Greenmarket at the World Financial Center this year because of construction at 2 World Financial Center. “We are working to relocate the Greenmarket somewhere nearby, but nothing yet has been decided or approved,” said Melissa Coley, spokesperson for Brookfield Office Properties, owner of the World Financial Center.

However, food vendors on the World Financial Center plaza will be back. In fact, one of them, Quality Burger, opened last week for its third year. “Ed’s Lobster will be returning as early as next week,” said Coley. “Others are soon to be announced. We think the more food the better at the World Financial Center! With these vendors plus the food trucks, people will have many choices along the W.F.C. waterfront during the months of nice weather.”

Quality Burger, selling burgers, hot dogs, milk shakes, beer, water and soda, is open daily from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. through April 30 and will be open until 9 p.m. thereafter.

Helene Zucker Seeman memorial lecture:
Friends of Helene Zucker Seeman, a Battery Park City resident and community activist who was killed by a drunk driver on June 27, 2010 at the age of 60, created a memorial fund in her honor to support emerging women artists with exhibits at the Brooklyn Museum’s Sackler Center for Feminist Art. The fund is also paying for a lecture series.

Lesley Dill, a sculptor, printmaker, photographer and performance artist who Seeman admired, will give the first lecture on April 28 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Dill’s work is in the collections of many museums including the Albright Knox Art Gallery in Buffalo, the Brooklyn Museum, the Cleveland Museum of Art, the High Museum in Atlanta, Ga., the Kemper Museum in Kansas City, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, MoMA, the Whitney Museum of American Art and Yale University Art Gallery, among many others.

Dill will discuss the role of language in her work. She plans to screen a clip from her 2008 opera “Divide Light,” present a multi-tiered project, “Tongues on Fire: Visions & Ecstasy,” in collaboration with the Emmanuel Baptist Church Spiritual Choir in Winston-Salem, N.C. and show images from her fall 2010 installation “Hell Hell Hell Heaven Heaven Heaven: Sister Gertrude Morgan and Revelation” and from her spring 2012 installation, “Faith and the Devil.”

The Brooklyn Museum is at 200 Eastern Parkway. No R.S.V.P. is required to attend the lecture, which is free with museum admission.

 ‘The Ocean at Your Door:’
Bill Fink, the Battery Park City Parks Conservancy’s marine education coordinator who has introduced thousands of kids to catch-and-release fishing over the last 20 years, will give a free lecture called “The Ocean at Your Door” on Thursday, April 19. Fink will talk about the Hudson River and its astonishing marine ecosystem.

The entire Hudson is subject to tides. Rising tides in the Atlantic Ocean push saltwater upriver, sometimes as far as the Tappan Zee Bridge. Consequently, the 315-mile-long river supports both freshwater and saltwater fish.

There are more than 200 species of fish in the river. Some, like shad, which used to be common in the river, live in the ocean and swim up the river to spawn. Sturgeon, catfish, flounder, bluefish and eels are among the fish that live in the Hudson.

Fink, a former New York City public school teacher and environmentalist, will give his lecture at 6 River Terrace (across from the Irish Hunger Memorial) at 3 p.m.

Battery Park City in bloom:
A tapestry of hundreds of vividly colored tulips is currently in bloom just south of 2 World Financial Center. We can thank the Turks of the Ottoman Empire for this stunning display. They were the first to cultivate tulips commercially, introducing them to the Netherlands in the 16th century. (The botanical name for tulips comes from a Turkish word, “tulbend,” or turban.) By the early 17th century, the cultivation of tulips in Holland had become a mania. A single tulip bulb was sometimes worth more than a house.

Less showy than the array of tulips, a shrub with clusters of waxy, white flowers is blooming in South Cove. It would be possible to walk right by it except for one thing. Koreanspice Viburnum (Viburnum carlesii) is among the most fragrant plants in Battery Park City’s gardens. As its name implies, it grows wild in Korea. You don’t have to know exactly what it looks like to recognize it. You will know it by its smell.

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

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3 Responses to Covering Battery Park City

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