Downtown local

Downtown Express photo by Ramin Talaie

It may have been after midnight and well past Amanda Hawley’s bedtime, but the nine-year-old came dressed to read “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix,” as she waited on line early Saturday morning, the first day the book went on sale at the new Borders on lower Broadway. About 200 people bought copies of the book just after midnight and the store sold 1,000 copies over the weekend.

Fields ready for soccer
As Little League baseball season draws to a close this weekend, Soccer players rev up for the upcoming fall season. Children ages 6 – 16 have until June 30 to hand in their applications for the Downtown Soccer League registration, for which more than 700 children are expected to apply.

The season, which will run from September 6 through November 23, will kick off at the newly refurbished Battery Park City Fields—a treat many ball players have long anticipated.

“It’s gonna be great,” said Don Schuck, the head of the Downtown Soccer League.

The fields are expected to open this week.

Pier sailing
The Hudson River Park Trust will operate the public mooring field south of Pier 40 this summer, the second season of sailing since the former mooring field south of Pier 25 was closed after Sept. 11, 2001.

The Pier 40 mooring field near Houston St. was operated for the Trust by Surfside Marina, based in the Chelsea Piers complex, for a short season last year. This year, the Trust will manage the operation itself, charging the same fee of $2,000 for each of the 17 mooring places, according to Chris Martin, spokesperson for the Trust.

“We’ve had a lot of applicants and there is a waiting list,” Martin said.

The Trust — the state and city agency building the five-mile riverfront park between Chambers and 59th St. — has just opened the Village park segment which includes a reconstructed Pier 45 and also intends to reconstruct Pier 25 on the Tribeca waterfront for park use. However, the Trust has not decided yet on construction timetable for Pier 25.

Jimmy Gallagher, owner of the history ferry, Yankee, berthed on Pier 25, said the Trust’s counsel, Laurie Silberfeld, recently issued a written notice that current pier occupants have one more season before the reconstruction begins.

Before the World Trade Center attack, the Pier 25 mooring field was operated by Veso Buntic, a subtenant of Manhattan Youth, the not-for-profit recreation organization and the prime Pier 25 permit holder. Buntic charged seasonal mooring fees that varied widely between $500 and $1,500, Gallagher said.

However, Bob Townley, director of Manhattan Youth, said last week that mooring policy rather than the season fee was the most important concern. “The real issue is how to get the most people sailing – using and enjoying the river,” he said. “I think the Trust should make sure that not-for-profit community group have access to the mooring field,” he said.

Michael Fortenbaugh, director of Manhattan Sailing Club, which is running a teen sailing program at the North Cove in Battery Park City, said this week he regrets that the mooring field left Pier 25. “As far as I know, they don’t have funding yet for reconstructing Pier 25,” he said

Theater workshops
TADA! Children’s Theater will be offering two, week-long musical theater workshops at Pace University this summer July 7 -11, and July 14- 18. Children will rehearse and perform music from Broadway selections and original TADA! shows and will be taught by the company’s musical director, Andrew Markus, and director/chorographer Cindy Thole.

“Everything from the choreography to subject matter was written with kids in mind,” said John Madof, TADA’s spokesperson.

Students will also be given the freedom to improvise with the published songs and scripts. Children can register for one or both of the workshops, both of which end with a Friday night showcase at 7 p.m., where the children are able to exhibit their work.

Pace University is offering need-based scholarships for children ages 8 to 14 who wish to enroll in the workshop, and other available summer programs including playwriting, art, and parenting workshops.

To apply for the scholarship or to sign-up for the workshops, call (212) 346-1244.

Hearing jurors
Ex-jurors with horror or happy stories are invited to speak to a state commission on jury service. The new commission, appointed by Chief Justice Judith S. Kaye, aims to increase the public’s awareness about the necessity of jury duty, and to improve the jurors’ experience. The first of the hearings will take place on June 25 from 2 p.m. –7 p.m. at New York County Supreme Court, 60 Centre St. Room 300.


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