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BY TERESE LOEB KREUZER | Pedestrian safety: Most people agree that crossing North and South End Aves. can be dicey at times, with cars, buses and bicycles coming from various directions. Studies conducted by the New York City Department of Transportation did not persuade the D.O.T. that additional traffic lights were necessary, however, Josh Benson, director of bicycle and pedestrian programs for the D.O.T., told Community Board 1’s Battery Park City Committee on Oct. 1 that there were a number of things that could be done to alleviate the problem.
Among other remedies, the D.O.T. is suggesting concrete islands in the middle of South End Ave., where pedestrians can feel safer as the traffic whizzes by them. Also, the D.O.T. is proposing yield crosswalks at Rector Place and at West Thames St.
“We think that will go a long way toward taking away the feeling of insecurity,” said Benson.
He showed a slide indicating that over a five-year period, between 2007 and 2011, there were relatively few crashes on South End Ave., (though the number of “near misses” wasn’t tabulated). Eight pedestrians were injured, two bicyclists, and three motor vehicle occupants. Only one of those injuries was deemed severe.
The committee passed a resolution endorsing most of the D.O.T.’s suggestions. The resolution will go before the full board on Oct. 22. Implementation of the safety measures will likely occur in 2014.
Pride of Baltimore II pays a visit: Some impressive ships show up in North Cove Marina. Some impress by their size and opulence. The “Pride of Baltimore II,” which visited New York City briefly, departing on Oct. 2, impressed by her old-fashioned silhouette and rigging.
Though she looks old, she was actually commissioned in 1988 as an ambassador for the Chesapeake Bay region, replacing another ship called “The Pride of Baltimore” that was lost in a squall off the coast of Puerto Rico in 1986, taking the captain and three crew members down with her.
“The Pride of Baltimore II” replicates an 1812-era topsail schooner privateer, of a type that was built in Baltimore in the early 19th century. These ships were noted for their speed and were instrumental in helping the United States defeat Great Britain during the War of 1812.
Aboard this ship, young people learn traditional practices of seamanship and also enhance their knowledge of American history, science, technology, engineering and math.
In the last 25 years, Pride II has sailed nearly 200,000 miles, and visited over 200 ports in 40 countries in North, South, and Central America, Europe and Asia.
She has touched down in North Cove Marina before. She will probably be back.
Two for tea: Elena Liao and Frederico Ribeiro came from different parts of the globe, but ended up in Battery Park City. Liao, 30, born in Taiwan, emigrated to the United States at the age of 13. Ribeiro, 28, arrived in New York City four years ago from Porto, Portugal.
The couple live in a small apartment in the Visionaire, which is also the headquarters for a tea business called “Té Company” that they launched in December 2012.
“I drank a lot of tea all my life,” said Liao.
Liao graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a major in economics and communications. During a period of unemployment in 2009, she started thinking about tea and whether she could bring her love of tea to people in the United States. She did some research and decided to focus on oolong — a semi-oxidized form of tea, midway between green tea and black tea.
“That’s the tea I grew up drinking,” she said.
Although she soon found another day job, she continued to study tea for a couple of years during which time, Ribeiro entered her life. He works at a top Manhattan restaurant and as Liao said, “egged me on to start a tea business.”
They are now selling five kinds of “everyday” teas, from different regions of Taiwan and teas that they call “rare and reserve.” Among them is a tea from Yilan, Liao’s parents’ hometown.
“It’s surrounded by rice fields, Liao said. “I go there to see my grandfather.”
The teas are beautifully packaged in sealed gold foil to keep them fresh and come with a handsomely printed leaflet that contains not only brewing instructions, but a poem and a brief history of the enterprise.
“Our journey with tea begins in Taiwan,” Liao and Ribeiro say in the leaflet, “Ilha Formosa, ‘beautiful island,’ as Portuguese explorers of yore used to call it.”
Apparently the Portuguese and the Taiwanese have gotten together before.
On Sept. 29, Liao and Ribeiro were selling their tea at South Street Seaport’s New.Amsterdam Market — their first time in a public market — along with some puff pastry cookies delicately flavored with pineapple, made by Ribeiro. They were a perfect accompaniment to the tea that Liao brewed in small, clay pots that absorb the flavor of each tea made in them, and enhance it.
Liao and Ribeiro hope their business will grow, but in the meantime, both have other jobs. “We’re still learning,” they said.
Babysitting at Asphalt Green: Moms and dads who want to work out at the Asphalt Green Battery Park City community center, 212 North End Ave., can leave their tots and toddlers in the capable hands of College Nannies and Tutors while they exercise. The C.P.R.-certified sitters are available daily to mind children from 6 months to 6 years old.
Unlimited babysitting costs $129 a month for the first child and $20 a month for each additional child, with advance reservations necessary. Walk-in, single sessions cost $20 for two hours per child.
For more information on the babysitting services, go to asphaltgreenbpc.org or email email@example.com.
To comment on Battery Park City Beat or to suggest article ideas, email TereseLoeb10@gmail.com.