Volume 22, Number 31 | The Newspaper of Lower Manhattan | December 11 - 17, 2009
Mayor Mike Bloomberg and Manhattan D.A. Robert Morgenthau took a break from vilifying each other at a Hanukkah celebration Tuesday night.
The party was held at the Museum of Jewish Heritage in Battery Park City, where Morgenthau, chairperson of the board, had the unenviable task of introducing the mayor. Last week Bloomberg accused the D.A. of keeping separate funds to hide money from the city, setting off a hostile battle of words in the press. The two apparently haven’t gotten along since Morgenthau considered charging the city in the fatal 2007 Deutsche Bank fire.
(By the way, Morgenthau’s spokesperson said Bovis Lend Lease and the city did not have to pony up any money when they admitted Deutsche misdeeds and signed an agreement with the D.A. )
The Daily News reports that Morgenthau and Bloomberg were friendly at Tuesday’s Hanukkah party, smiling, shaking hands and chatting. Bloomberg joked that Morgenthau, 90, is young compared to Bloomberg’s 100-year-old mother. Morgenthau reportedly replied that he was glad to hear Bloomberg’s mother is still going strong at 100. “There’s hope for me,” Morgenthau said.
Also in the crowd, we spotted another unlikely duo enjoying each other’s company. Dr. Ruth Westheimer, the famed sex therapist, shared a handshake with Police Commissioner Ray Kelly, who towered over her. Maybe Kelly was looking for some advice?
The ‘Chin era’
With just three weeks left in his term, Councilmember Alan Gerson is not quite winding down. He’s still holding Council hearings and speaking at length at public meetings, including this week’s Chinatown forum on the location of the 9/11 terrorist trials.
“I admire the fact that he’s still here, helping and making a contribution,” Borough President Scott Stringer said after listening to Gerson speak Monday night. But, Stringer added, referring to Gerson’s replacement, “I’m also very excited now about the Margaret Chin era.”
Incidentally, if Chin or Gerson said anything to each other it had to have been done very quickly.
Stanton Eckstut, the architect behind Battery Park City’s master plan, is at work transforming another waterfront into a green, mixed-use neighborhood.
Contrary to the hopes of landfill aficionado Charles Urstadt, this new development is not being plunked down into the Hudson River, but is being built in Cleveland, to replace some industrial shipping yards. At 100 acres, it will be a little bigger than Battery Park City, and it will be half park space compared to B.P.C.’s one-third, The Plain Dealer reported.
Like Battery Park City, the Cleveland plan will have a continuous waterfront esplanade, but one difference is that the street grid will be put at a diagonal to the Lake Erie, to shelter pedestrians from the wind. A windy waterfront certainly sounds familiar — perhaps the diagonal street grid is a lesson Eckstut learned from walking the windswept streets of Battery Park City.
Green side of Silver
Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, who refused to go to bat on congestion pricing last year, has now been named legislator of the year by the Environmental Advocates.
Some environmental groups knocked Silver last year for not pushing for congestion pricing, which would have reduced car traffic in Manhattan by imposing a fee that would fund mass transit.
But this week Robert Moore, executive director of the nonprofit Environmental Advocates, a New York group, called Silver a “green hero” in a release Silver’s office circulated. In the release, Moore cited Silver’s support of the Green Jobs/Green New York legislation, which will make the state more energy efficient and retrofit 1 million homes.
If you ever wondered what Theseus Roche would look like as a “giant French woman” you can check him out performing at Theater for the New City this weekend. Roche — who over the years has led Manhattan Youth in some of the most creative productions you’ll ever see done by middle schoolers — will take to the stage in two pieces by Patti Bradshaw (theaterforthenewcity.net) in a puppet festival. (We’re betting “La Mome Bijoux” is the one with Roche in French drag.)