Volume 21, Number 6 | THE NEWSPAPER OF LOWER MANHATTAN | June 20 - 26, 2008
By Janel Bladow
Summer sizzle ramps up the heat Downtown. So heres all the hot stuff happening around the South Street Seaport and Financial District this month!
A fire broke out in the kitchen of the Bridge Café on June 3, which put the historic restaurant out of biz for two days. Quick thinking by manager Lisa Kunst got early morning staff out safely and prevented a major catastrophe. The cause of the blaze was a gas leak in the kitchen. Apparently one of the two gas lines into the two-story wooden building had a hole in it the size of a golf ball, says owner Adam Weprin. A pot of stock was simmering overnight on a low flame fed by the other gas line. Only the ghosts who are known to linger in the longest continually operating pub, which has been in the brew biz since 1794, know why the place didnt blow. Or maybe it was the luck of the Irish, since the café was operated by the McCormack family for years before its 1979 renovation. Luckily, no one was hurt and the pipes were easily repaired. The neighborhood hot spot was back to serving those delish soft-shelled crabs faster than you could say Please pass the Tabasco.
HOT WHEELS The New York City Police Museum rolls out its eclectic collection of crime-fighting cruisers for the eighth year this weekend. Its our biggest event of the year, says executive director Julie Bose, whose enthusiasm is contagious. Its really cool. We have about 50 cars, including the original Batmobile. The black and orange Gotham City crime-stopper from the 1966 show, Batman starring Adam West, replicates the 1965 Ford Futura concept car. Other classic TV patrol cars on exhibit include a replica from Adam 12 and the black-and-white from Car 54 Where Are You? Also check out real N.Y.P.D. vehicles such as two from 1971 a Harley-Davidson motorcycle and the green and white Plymouth Fury. And dont miss the 1939 Ford Highway Patrol car and a bullet-proof Caddy used by President John F. Kennedy in the 60s. NYC Police Museums 8th Annual Vintage Car Show, Saturday and Sunday, June 21 - 22, 10 a.m. 4 p.m., 100 Old Slip, between Water and South Sts., admission is free.
HOT WATER So if they can raise $15 million to put up four waterfalls that will only operate four months to attract an estimated 55 million in tourist dollars, why cant they do something about the eyesore on the south side of the west ramp of the Brooklyn Bridge? Like duh! Hundreds of tourists pass through the South Street Seaport every month, walk along Dover St. and ask residents for directions to bridge walkway. They stop and take photos. And what do they see? Ugly peeling brown paint, massive amounts of graffiti, and a mishmash of blue sheathing, plywood and metal barricades, and decrepit, falling-down chain-link fencing! Come on Mayor Mike, youve made all the parks and medians pretty, and have the million tree initiative, cant you get a couple bucks to spruce up one of the citys most outstanding landmarks? (Especially if hordes of people will be tramping down here for the Fourth!!!)
HOT GREENS & OTHER THINGS The New Amsterdam Market returns on Sunday, June 29, 10 a.m. 4 p.m., at the plaza in front of the New Market Building on South St., just north of Fulton St. The first two events were so successful, most of the vendors are returning for a third time along with many newcomers. Director Robert LaValva says that unlike greenmarkets around the city, NAM will not only have farmers and foragers but also distributors and purveyors who can bring in more and more diverse products from farmers and craftspeople who cant make the trek themselves. Look for wild chervil and ginger from Virginia foragers, breads from bakers around the area, and grass-fed meats from nearby farmers. Well have at least 50 vendors, says LaValva, some goods from as far away as Quebec as well as top area chefs. Chefs providing regional and seasonal samples include Darren Pettigrew of Stella Maris and Willis Loughhead of Country. Sunday is a good day because most chefs are off that day and the rest of us need to stock up for the week, adds LaValva. The New Market Building, for history buffs, was built in 1939 by Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia and is the last riverfront market hall built by city, following a tradition of nearly four centuries of commerce and sustenance at the Seaport a public market district since 1642.
HOT BUTTONS Several neighbors asked how 254 Front Street L.L.C. got permission to install a permanent chain-link fence on the sidewalks of Dover and Front Sts. The fencing appropriated half the width of the existing sidewalk and came extremely close to the fire hydrant on the corner. Seaport Report took up the case and contacted the city Department of Transportation, who came out and looked at the fencing on Monday. D.O.T. got back to us and an official noted that they found the Front St. side to be in compliance with the sidewalk law. D.O.T. did, however, issue a summons because the fence on the Dover St. side did not allow five feet of walkway. The builder has until the end of the week to remedy this. By Tuesday afternoon, the fence was moved.
COOL CANINE Remy needs a home. Hes the cutest little Yorkie who just craves attention. A bit undernourished but his foster folks have been doing a great job since they took him in two weeks ago. The little guy has been romping with the big dogs in Fish Bridge Dog Run and enjoying his three pug foster siblings. If you are interested in adopting Remy, shoot Seaport Report an e-mail. Well forward.