UnderCover March 26 – April 8, 2015: Chin, Seaport & Jon Stewart

Seaport Watch

City Councilmember Margaret Chin sounded like she took a particularly tough line this month against the proposed 500-foot tower at the South Street Seaport, but it wasn’t nearly as forceful as we’re pretty sure many of the other opponents of the project hope.

“It’s not going to happen under my watch,” Chin told Crain’s March 1.

UnderCover has been wondering what the “it” refers to, and Chin has been reluctant to clarify her remark. Now we can understand why.

She remains opposed to a tower at the New Market Building, but her line in the sand apparently only refers to the current proposal by Howard Hughes Corp., which if it proceeds, will certainly be altered anyway, given that the city landmarks review has not begun, and there would undoubtedly be negotiations afterward if it reached the City Council for a vote.

When we spoke last week, Chin did not say she was guaranteeing the New Market will be restored and preserved as she and other opponents hope, or even that the project will be within the 350-foot zoning limit, which she backed two years ago.

“Can’t answer that right now,” she said, “we’ll have to see.”

As of now, the project is in limbo, so Chin’s reluctance to take a tougher line is probably either caution on her part or her  belief that a not-so-different version of the plan might start moving again.


Beachhead Maintained

Since we’re talking Seaport, the idea of converting the small sandy area at the base of the Brooklyn Bridge into a public beach had been championed by two of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s least favorite Democrats — his former campaign opponent Christine Quinn and City Comptroller Scott Stringer, who has gotten under de Blasio’s skin at least once or twice.

It might make us wonder if the idea, which has $7 million set aside, had any prayer of happening. Actually, it was Catherine McVay Hughes, chairperson of Community Board 1, who mentioned it to us, although we’re pretty sure she didn’t have the same crass political thoughts we did.

Hughes said she heard the money is still there and it could be used. We checked with a city official, who confirmed this.


Stewart & 9/11

Jon Stewart, who regardless of whether he still lives in Tribeca, will always be a favorite son to us, may sadly be running away from “The Daily Show,” but he once again will be helping the 9/11 Memorial in its annual fundraising walk and run.

He’ll serve as “honorary chairman” for the third annual 9/11 Memorial 5K Run/Walk and Family Day on Sun., April 26.

A good friend thinks the internet lost its mind recently when Stewart announced his departure from “The Daily Show,” but we disagree.

Stewart, who serves on the 9/11 Memorial’s board, perhaps played a key role in getting the Zadroga 9/11 health bill over the last Congressional hurdle a few years ago.

After the attack he said on his show: “The view from my apartment was the World Trade Center. Now it’s gone. They attacked it. This symbol of American ingenuity and strength and labor and imagination and commerce and it is gone. But you know what the view is now? The Statue of Liberty. The view from the south of Manhattan is now the Statue of Liberty. You can’t beat that.”

The 5K Run/Walk will kick off at Pier 26 and run along Battery Park City, with views of One World Trade Center. Family Day will take place after the run on Greenwich St. between Cortlandt and Albany Sts.

Proceeds from the run will support the 9/11 Memorial and Museum.

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One Response to UnderCover March 26 – April 8, 2015: Chin, Seaport & Jon Stewart

  1. Betty Rafferty

    Good for you, pointing out Chin's ambivalent language! This is how she spoke regarding the NYU boondoggle, before selling the community down the river. Expect the same here.

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