Volume 22, Number 35 | The Newspaper of Lower Manhattan | January 8 - 14, 2010
Nothing to be proud of
As 2010 approached last week, the end-of-year awards just kept on coming — and Lower Manhattan often figured prominently. But we’re guessing that some of these winners won’t be posting announcements on their fridge.
One is Leslie Koch, president of the Governors Island Preservation and Education Corp., who won a “Knucklehead of 2009” honor from the Daily News. GIPEC spent nearly $1 million on a 60-year-old ferryboat, hoping to use it to bring visitors to Governors Island, but ultimately unloaded the boat on eBay for $23,600 after finding it in dire need of costly repairs.
Another less-than-desirable award went to the neighborhood of Tribeca. The real estate blog Curbed.com handed Tribeca the “Not In My Backyard Award for Outstanding NIMBYism” this year, citing two actions that the local community board considered hard-won victories. One was preventing the city from parking commuter buses in Tribeca along the West Side Highway (they went to Chelsea instead), and another was Community Board 1’s vote for smaller buildings with less affordable housing in North Tribeca rather than larger buildings with more affordable housing.
At 6 feet, 5 inches tall, Public Advocate Bill de Blasio towers over just about everyone, a fact that was noted over and over again during his campaign last fall. And, to de Blasio’s joking chagrin, the focus on his height does not appear to be dying down now that he has taken office.
At a press conference de Blasio held this week (where his height made a particular contrast to Councilmember Margaret Chin’s 4 feet, 11 inches), another new Councilmember noted how much everyone had to look up to de Blasio.
In response, de Blasio joked, “I hoped we were going to get through one session without a height reference.”
The Manhattan Bridge officially turned 100 years old on Dec. 31 — not that many people noticed. The bridge’s formal celebration was earlier this year, during October’s warmer weather, and it generally gets much less attention than the Brooklyn Bridge, its older neighbor just to the south.
Unhappy with the lack of recognition for the Manhattan Bridge, Robert Reid, U.S. travel editor for Lonely Planet, held an informal birthday party on the Brooklyn side of the bridge last Thursday.
“It opened on Dec. 31, so the birthday celebrations should be on Dec. 31,” Reid said in a statement. “What if your friends decided to hold your birthday two months in advance because that worked better for them? We need to give the Manhattan Bridge the respect and birthday party it deserves!”
When Spider-Man foe Sandman is looking for a place in New York City to hide out, where should he go? To Governors Island, of course.
The island is depicted as the Sandman’s refuge in two new issues of Marvel Comics’ “Amazing Spider-Man,” the Governors Island blog reported recently. “You can tell it’s Governors Island by the distinctive brick building and assortment of green portable toilets,” the blog noted.
Current Spider-Man writer Fred Van Lente and artist Javier Pulido visited the island as research and were drawn to the crumbling buildings and the sense of an abandoned city within a city, according to the Comic Book Resources Web site.
The Governors Island blog has a few questions: “How did Spider-Man and the Sandman get here? Did they take the ferry, or make like deer and swim over? How did that giant sand guy get past security at the [Battery Maritime Building]? Wouldn’t we need to issue a request for proposals to develop a sand lair like this?”
This is apparently the first animated mention of Governors Island since the Simpsons referenced it in the first episode of the ninth season, when the family made a trip to New York City.
Although the Magna Carta left the Fraunces Tavern Museum in the middle of December and returned to its home in England, the museum is extending its liberty-themed exhibit until April 1. A replica of the Magna Carta is on display in place of the renowned 1215 document.
Roger Byrom, the British chairperson of Community Board 1’s Landmarks Committee, recently urged board members to see the exhibit if they haven’t already.
“It’s in such a dark corner that whether it’s the Magna Carta or a facsimile does not make much difference,” Byrom told the board recently.
Josh Rogers, associate editor of Downtown Express, and his wife, Sarah Wolff, an assignment editor at Fox News, had a baby boy Tuesday morning. Named Isaac Nathan, he weighed in at 7 pounds, 8 ounces. The delivery was at 8:56 a.m. at N.Y.U. Medical Center, at 32nd St. and First Ave. Above is a photo of the breaking-news baby at just 10 minutes old. Mazel tov!