Covering Battery Park City

Man rams stolen car into Irish Hunger Memorial:
On Sun., Aug. 12 around 5 p.m., a man in a stolen car drove at high speed down River Terrace and smashed it into the northwest corner of the Irish Hunger Memorial on Vesey Street. The tire tracks are still on the sidewalk. Part of the exterior stone casing of the memorial has been ripped away, exposing the structure within.

According to eyewitnesses, a teenager on a skateboard managed to maneuver out of the way of the speeding car, narrowly missing being hit. “To me, it’s a miracle that no one was in the way of this missile,” said Community Board 1 member Dennis Gault, who arrived on the scene just before the car was towed away.

The car was “really smashed up,” Gault noted. It appeared to him that the driver was trying to make a left turn but couldn’t because he was going so fast that he went up on the curb instead.

The N.Y.P.D. identified the driver as Antoine Odom, 24, of Coram, N.Y. He has been charged with criminal possession of a stolen vehicle, reckless endangerment, criminal mischief, grand larceny, operating a motor vehicle in an intoxicated condition and leaving the scene of an accident.

The police report describes Odom as “incoherent and in a dazed state at the scene.” Eyewitnesses said that he was shirtless and that after the accident, he got out of the car and started yelling and doing pushups.

According to the police, Odom had walked into a parking lot at 288 Pearl St. as some tourists parked their Chevy Malibu and gave the keys to an attendant. They walked away momentarily and then came back asking for the keys. When they put the keys in the car, Odom jumped in and began yelling at the attendant to move the cars blocking his path. When the attendant refused, he struck a parked Mercedes Benz.

Odom was not apprehended until he crashed into the Irish Hunger Memorial in Battery Park City.

The Battery Park City Authority is working with its insurance carrier to assess the damage. “Many of the details are [still] unknown, but we want to have the repair work begin as soon as possible,” said B.P.C.A. spokesperson Matthew Monahan. The Memorial will remain open to the public during the work, he said, and previously scheduled repairs to the Memorial will be undertaken after the growing season next fall, as planned. “The accident repair project will get underway immediately,” he said.

Atrio restaurant in Battery Park City’s Conrad New York hotel serves breakfast, lunch and dinner from Monday to Friday and brunch and dinner on weekends. Below, crisp pork belly is served with plums, crunchy pistachios and herbs grown on the hotel’s roof. Downtown Express photos by Terese Loeb Kreuzer


Dining deals continue at Conrad New York’s Atrio restaurant:
Though New York City’s Restaurant Week officially ended on Aug. 10, some restaurants are continuing to offer discounted meals through Mon., Sept. 3. Atrio, the fine-dining restaurant in the Conrad New York hotel at 102 North End Ave., is among them, with three-course, prix fixe lunches at $24.07 and three-course dinners for $35 plus beverage, tax and tip. As with Restaurant Week itself, New York City’s tourism arm,, is organizing and running the extended promotion.

Atrio, on the lobby level of the Conrad, has an ambitious menu with artfully presented fare that layers textures and tastes in interesting and unexpected ways. Among the appetizers on the Restaurant Week dinner menu, roasted Berkshire pork belly marries crisp, salty morsels of pork with sweet plums, crunchy pistachios and a refreshing sprinkling of herbs from the hotel’s roof garden.

Restaurant Week dinner entrées include an attractive and tasty dish of Barnegat Light sea scallops that pairs kernels of grilled corn with bits of bacon, charred chilies, avocado mousse and a roasted pepper coulis garnished with upland cress.

A delicious chocolate panna cotta dessert on both the lunch and dinner Restaurant Week menus serves up syrup-imbued Amarena cherries with almonds and a dollop of whipped cream.

The food is prepared in an open kitchen equipped with a wood-burning stove that imparts an excellent flavor to the restaurant’s stone-fired pizzas ($18 to $21) and other dishes.

Atrio’s kitchen is under the direction of Chef Anthony Zamora, who is also in charge of Loopy Doopy, the hotel’s seasonal rooftop bar. He derived some of his signature dishes (caramelized onion pizza, crostinis and meatballs) from his Italian grandmother’s recipes. Before coming to Conrad New York, he was the executive chef at the Four Seasons Hotel.

Atrio is open for breakfast from 6:30 a.m. to 11 a.m.; lunch, from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.; dinner, from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday brunch, from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. For reservations, call (646) 769-4250. For more information on the extended Restaurant Week, visit


Daylilies adorn the “hot garden” in Battery Park City’s Wagner Park, which gets its name from the palette of colors chosen by noted garden designer Lynden B. Miller.


Battery Park City in bloom:
Battery Park City’s gardens are glorious at this time of year, especially in Wagner Park. On the perimeter of the park, plate-sized, pink hibiscus blossoms are putting on their annual show. Intriguingly shaped white spider flowers (Cleome) vie for attention alongside masses of yellow Black-eyed Susans (Rudbeckia “Goldsturm”).

Wagner Park has two special gardens created in 1996-1997 by the noted garden designer Lynden B. Miller, who also designed gardens for The Central Park Zoo, Bryant Park, The New York Botanical Garden and Madison Square Park. Each has its own distinctive color palette. The northernmost of the two gardens is known as the “hot garden” because of its preponderance of red, orange and yellow flowers offset by splashes of white. The southerly garden, with its pinks, lavenders and pale blues, is known as the “cool garden.”

In the “hot garden,” an arrangement of yellow daylilies (Hemerocallis “Autumn Prince”) backed by tall, white stems of Phlox (paniculata “David”) is particularly lovely. Daylilies get their name from two Greek words: hēmera (“day”) and kalos (“beautiful”). Each daylily bloom is ephemeral, lasting only one day, but the stalks contain many buds. As one flower dies, another replaces it. The “hot garden’s” daylilies should be blooming for several more weeks.

Daylilies are native to Asia, including China, Korea and Japan, but there are thousands of hybrids. They’ve been cultivated in China since at least 479 B.C. for use as food and medicine.

Battery Park City’s Hemerocallis “Autumn Prince” was hybridized by Arlow Burdette Stout, a geneticist, plant breeder and educator at the New York Botanical Garden. He was fascinated by daylilies, creating more than a hundred hybrids. He introduced ‘Autumn Prince’ in 1941.

To comment on Battery Park City Beat or to suggest article ideas, e-mail Terese Loeb Kreuzer at

— By Terese Loeb Kreuzer

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One Response to Covering Battery Park City

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