Volume 20, Number 35 | The Newspaper of Lower Manhattan | January 12 - 18, 2010
Covering Battery Park City
Downtown Express photo by Terese Loeb Kreuzer
Snowdrops (“Galanthus nivalis”) blooming in Battery Park City on January 10, in between snowstorms.
BY Terese Loeb Kreuzer
Snowdrops in the snow:
As snowstorm after snowstorm wracks the city, something strange and a little hard to believe is happening in Battery Park City’s South Cove. Snowdrops are blooming! They come up in clumps in the sheltered glade, and with a little bit of sun to help them, unfurl their small, white flowers. When the snow covers them, they merely rest. As soon as possible they pop up again and go about their business of reassuring anyone who sees them that spring will return soon enough
How do they do it? Maybe it’s in their genes. They originated in alpine regions of southern Europe and Asia Minor.
There are 19 species of snowdrops — all in the amaryllis family. The most common snowdrop is “Galanthus nivalis.” The name “galanthus” has Greek roots — “gala” means “milk,” and “anthus” means “flower.” All snowdrops are known by this name.
In the Middle Ages, snowdrops were cultivated as a remedy for arthritis, digestive problems and other ailments. Knowing their medicinal properties, monks and midwives spread them from their native habitats to the British Isles and elsewhere.
They offered solace for soul as well as body. In folk legends, they became symbolic of hope.
One legend said that Eve wept after being expelled from the Garden of Eden. Flowers no longer bloomed. There was only snow. An angel saw Eve’s distress and pitied her. The angel caught a snowflake and blew on it. A flower bloomed and Hope was born.
Preschool Play and Prenatal Yoga:
The Battery Park City Parks Conservancy has a remedy for toddlers and women — pregnant or with infants — with winter cabin fever. On Thursdays from January 20 to March 24, 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m., the Conservancy is offering an Afternoon Preschool Play program. It meets at the Verdesian, 211 North End Avenue (between Warren and Murray Streets). Prerequisite for the kids: being able to walk. The fee is $175 for 10 weeks with a discount for siblings.
Prenatal Yoga, also held at the Verdesian, teaches postures and exercises specifically suited to pregnant women. The techniques enhance strength and flexibility during pregnancy and help in the birthing process. All levels of yoga and all stages of pregnancy are welcome. Classes meet for nine sessions, either Mondays, January 31 through April 4 (with no class on February 21, Presidents’ Day) from 1:30 p.m. to 2:45 p.m. or Tuesdays, February 1 to March 29 from 9:30 a.m. to 10:45 a.m
Also on Mondays and Tuesdays at the Verdesian, parents and babies, newborn through crawling, can take yoga classes. These classes meet on the same days as prenatal yoga. Monday classes run from 3 p.m. to 4:15 p.m. and on Tuesday classes from 11 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. The fee is $180 for nine sessions.
The Monday instructor is Mary Barnes, creator of Yoga for Two. She has been teaching since 1990, and offers her program at Pure Yoga East and West and the Jewish Community Center in Manhattan. Mia Borgatta teaches on Tuesdays. She is the founder and director of Ma Yoga at Lila Yoga and Wellness. She is a registered nurse, and has been teaching yoga since 1990. Pre-registration is required. For information or to register for any of the Battery Park City Parks Conservancy programs, call (212) 267-9700, ext. 366 or 348.
For those who want to see the three Cunard ships arrive in New York harbor on the morning of January 13 and depart later that evening, the latest information on the timing is as follows: Queen Elizabeth and Queen Victoria will arrive from a trans-Atlantic crossing around 7:30 a.m. and will proceed up the Hudson River to the Midtown Manhattan cruise ship terminal. Queen Mary 2 will have arrived several hours before and will go to her dock in Red Hook, Brooklyn. On the evening of January 13, the ships will assemble near the Statue of Liberty at 6 p.m. and fireworks will begin at 6:45 p.m. If you’re not on a ship watching the proceedings (and several local lines are offering harbor cruises that evening, including New York Water Taxi, Statue Cruises and Spirit Cruises), the best viewing points will be the southern part of the Battery Park City esplanade and the Jersey City promenade.
For comments on Battery Park City Beat or for leads on Battery Park City stories, e-mail TereseLoeb@mac.com