Volume 23, Number 6 | The Newspaper of Lower Manhattan | June 18 - 24, 2010
By Janel Bladow
Summer’s on and Water Taxi Beach is already the place locals avoid on weekends…but there’s still plenty of fun around S3!
Bridge buzz… Things are humming on the rooftop at the Bridge Café. Since April 25, 20,000 honey bees have set up housekeeping in each of six hives on top of the oldest drinking establishment in Manhattan. The city approved beekeeping in the five boroughs earlier in the month and the café immediately reached out to New York City Beekeepers Association President Andrew Coté who oversaw the hive building and arrival of the queen and her minions from North Carolina.
On a recent afternoon, café owner and bee enthusiast Adam Weprin sat at one of the cloth-covered tables outside and told SR about his love of the tiny fuzzy hummers. “They’re already making honey,” he boldly boasted as one of his “girls” flew down and circled the table. “Go up. Up. It’s time to go home,” he cajoled, gently waving her to the roof.
“Honey bees are very friendly. They don’t sting unless in distress. It’s instant death.” Adam has become extremely knowledgeable about bees and keeping their hives. “They need a radius of about three-miles to collect pollen. That means they can go to Brooklyn, City Hall Park, Battery Park, even Governor’s Island from here. This is a great place for honey bees. A lot of flowers are around here for them.”
And now he hopes to have his own brand of honey. “The chef is already coming up with recipes. Honey Roasted Duck. And we’ll jar it up for gifts!”
Foodie frenzy… Last week nearly 300 people lined up and snaked through the stacks just to get their books signed, take a quick snap and say a word or two to chef/author/TV star/renegade Anthony Bourdain at Borders Bookstore on lower Broadway. His latest tome about adventures with food, Medium Raw, was just released and his TV show, No Reservations, on The Travel Channel returns next month. So the man is busy, busy.
“He is so irreverent. A cigarette smoker, such a New Yorker,” Debbie Willet of Long Island and Ann Wilson of Carroll Gardens told SR virtually in unison though they only met moments earlier. “He’s a good soul underneath it all.”
Dan Trojan who works around the corner and lives in Jersey City came with a co-worker. “This will probably take more than our lunch hour but we’re fans,” he said. “I’d tell him to be sure to go to the White Horse on Bridge Street. A real dive bar with $3 beers.”
Bourdain gamely smiled and signed as tourists from Australia and Japan queue along with Wall Street workers and a range of New Yorkers. On the table in front of him were five black Sharpies, three bottles of cold water and one beer. He was most interested in the beer.
The chef’s handlers said to SR, the only reporter present, “he’ll be doing no interviews.” So we had Debbie and Ann ask him his favorite downtown haunt. “Les Halles, of course!” he gleefully responded as he leaned forward for a quick photo. Did we really expect any other answer?
This one’s for you, Johnny… One of the best bartender’s in the ‘hood is also a talented actor and musician so we want to support our buddy Jonathan Holtzman of Lei on Peck Slip whenever we can. We get the opportunity to see his talent on stage starting Thursday, June 17 when he and the cast of “Recovery” kick off six performances of the one-hour play about finding love and battling the Big C at the Gene Frankel Theatre, 24 Bond St. The play runs through June ($18): www.planetconncetionsfestivity.com/shows/recovery.
Really fresh food… The New Amsterdam Market returns for the summer season on Sunday, June 27, 11 am to 4 pm, on South Street just north of Pier 17. Check out local farmers and vendors selling fresh produce, meats and cheeses and just about everything in between. Special feature this month: a bread pavilion. Yum!
Island Beats… We’ve taken the liberty to annex Governor’s Island to S3 and FiDi. It’s our own isle in the sea so to speak. But come Sunday, June 21, the longest day of the year, it joins other parts of the city in a wall of sound and a land of groove. Part of Make Music New York (www.makemusicny.org), a one-day festival of bands, blasts and party throughout the city, the little green land at the tip of Manhattan becomes Punk Island, with more than 120 punk bands pounding in frenzy.