Volume 22, Number 28 | The Newspaper of Lower Manhattan | November 20 - 26, 2009
B.P.C. on Ice
Rather than sliding through mud on the Battery Park City ballfields, neighborhood residents and visitors will soon be able to glide over some ice.
The new 17,000-square foot ice rink on the ballfields is scheduled to open Nov. 27, the day after Thanksgiving, B.P.C. Authority President Jim Cavanaugh told UnderCover this week. As soon as the Downtown Soccer League finishes its last game of the season this Sunday, the rink’s builders will begin working round the clock to get it ready, Cavanaugh said — though he added that no noisy work would take place at night, while residents are trying to sleep.
The rink will be more than twice the size of the one at South Street Seaport last year and will include a skating path that winds around the ballfields.
Speaking of the Seaport, there’s a lot going on right now — and a lot not going on. For one thing, the ice rink is not coming back this year (it was too expensive). For another, the exhibit showing owner General Growth Properties’ now-defunct grand plans for the Seaport is open only by appointment and may not last past the end of the year.
Also on hold is the Seaport Semester program that debuted earlier this year, offering a slew of classes for all ages in vacant retail space owned by G.G.P. Lincoln Palsgrove IV, the Seaport’s marketing manager, tells us the program was successful and nearly all the classes saw high enrollment (except for a meditation workshop for adults). But Palsgrove said G.G.P. rented all of the vacant spaces it had been holding for Seaport Semester, so there’s no room for classes. G.G.P. is likely under extra pressure to raise revenue after declaring bankruptcy in April, and the classes were seen as a community giveback for the major development plan that’s no longer happening.
“It’s a bit of wait and see,” Palsgrove said of Seaport Semester. Popular classes like Downtown Babies could return in the spring or summer, he said.
Meanwhile, a regular visitor to G.G.P.’s @Seaport space, Dog Run Repertory Theater Company, has signed a full-time deal for a space on the second floor of the Pier 17 mall, Palsgrove said. The theater company, founded by Jeff Cohen, has not announced its first show, but will likely put on standup comedy nights along with full-length productions.
On Monday night, The Players Foundation will honor the life’s work of our prolific and passionate arts writer, Jerry Tallmer, who also was a founder of the Village Voice and created the Obie Awards. Jerry Stiller, Anne Meara, Edward Albee, Jules Feiffer and Austin Pendleton are among the luminaries planning to attend (No word on Stiller & Meara’s son, Ben). Call 212- 475-6116 for more info.
Penny-pinching on copper
The three-story addition the Down Town Association wants to put atop its private club at 60 Pine St. inched closer to approval last week with the advisory support of Community Board 1’s Landmarks Committee.
The board’s only real complaint was that the association of about 700 wealthy businesspeople wouldn’t spring for real copper on some pieces of the addition’s facade. Instead, the association plans to use a painted metal called Terne II, which would be a solid green color to approximate copper’s patina.
Corie Sharples, a C.B. 1 member and an architect, said the material would look “flat and unnatural.”
“It’s not that I don’t like copper,” replied club president Mark Altherr. “It’s the expense. Copper is enormously expensive.”
If approved by the city, the penthouse addition with two squash courts and 41 bedrooms could open in 2012.
Getting the boot
Among the eye-catching signs on Church St. begging for customers, the banner filling the window of Paradise Fashions shoe store stands out: “Landlord Has No Mercy,” the sign reads, “Not For Sep 11 Nor For Recession.” It then advertises a closeout 50-percent-off sale in bright red letters.
Owner David Solemon said by phone that he’s been at 185 Church St. since 1991, and his business is down by half since 9/11 while his rent has gone up. He’s still in negotiations with his landlord for a rent reduction (so maybe the banner isn’t the most diplomatic move) but he isn’t optimistic that the store will be able to stay open.
If the store closes, Solemon will still have an outpost on 125th St. and his Web business, he said.