Volume 22, Number 22 | The Newspaper of Lower Manhattan | October 9 - 15, 2009
Celebrity stalkers wondering what Leonardo DiCarpio reads (or if he reads at all?) could soon have ample opportunities to find out: An opening month has been set for the branch of the New York Public Library in Battery Park City’s Riverhouse condo building, where DiCarpio owns an apartment.
The 10,000-square-foot, $6.6 million library will open in March, George Mihaltses, an N.Y.P.L. vice president, told an elated group of Community Board 1 members Tuesday night. The 92nd branch of the New York Public Library will be the first environmentally friendly one in the system, with a Gold LEED rating. The branch was funded by Goldman Sachs, Councilmember Alan Gerson and others, and has gone through its fair share of delays and budget disputes, but all the necessary pieces now appear to be in place.
While Mihaltses praised Gerson for ensuring that the Council funded the project and for recently earmarking another $300,000 to buy books, Linda Belfer, chairperson of C.B. 1’s B.P.C. Committee, pointed out that Gerson is not going to be councilmember for much longer. Belfer asked Mihaltses if he had reached out to Margaret Chin, who defeated Gerson in the Democratic primary last month, but Mihaltses said it would be a bit premature, because the general election (which Chin is virtually guaranteed to win) has not yet taken place.
“As soon as she’s officially elected, we will reach out,” Mihaltses said.
A low-key tavern is coming to Battery Park City later this year from the owners of SouthWest, the Merchants cafe and Pound & Pence.
The as-yet-unnamed bar will take the former Market Bar space at 250 Vesey St., or Four World Financial Center and will open around Dec. 15. The 1,000-square-foot space does not allow for cooking, so fare will be limited to cold appetizers and sandwiches.
Richard Cohn, vice president of Merchants Hospitality, envisions a warm, inexpensive venue for neighbors and the soon-to-arrive Goldman Sachs workers who want something more intimate than the W.F.C.’s larger, noisier establishments.
Several members of Community Board 1’s B.P.C. Committee, who approved the liquor license Tuesday night, said the predecessor Market Bar, which never reopened after 9/11, was not very popular, and questioned whether the new bar could thrive.
Cohn didn’t sound worried.
“When we open it, it’s going to become popular now,” he said.
Battery Park City gadfly Tom Goodkind, who coined “Patakistan” for the much-derided neighborhood walkway near West St. favored by former Gov. George Pataki, now has a new name for North Battery Park City: “Elephant.” The animal is the rough phonetic pronunciation of L.F.N.T., or the landfill near Tribeca.
Over the past six months, John White has become a familiar face at Assembly Speaker Shelly Silver’s meetings on school overcrowding, as he calmly explains the Dept. of Education’s policies as head of the D.O.E.’s Office of Portfolio Planning.
But White won’t be going to Silver’s meetings anymore, because he was recently promoted to interim acting deputy chancellor for strategy and innovation, a job that does not involve controversial school zoning decisions. White replaces Chris Cerf, who stepped down to help Mayor Mike Bloomberg with his reelection campaign.
Will Havemann, spokesperson for the D.O.E., said White may stop by one last overcrowding meeting to say goodbye. Havemann did not know who would report to Silver’s taskforce in White’s place.
State Sen. Daniel Squadron launched his district’s first Chinese language hotline this week with a live demonstration. The number is 917-254-3138 and the hotline is open Monday to Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Spread the word, bilingual UnderCover readers!