Volume 20, Number 40 | The Newspaper of Lower Manhattan | February 16 - 23, 2011
Savor the Romance
Food lovers can meet at the front entrance of 120 Broadway between Cedar and Pine Streets this Saturday for the first installment of the Downtown Alliance’s “Lower Manhattan Eats” culinary tours.
The monthly series lets food enthusiasts wander the streets of the oldest neighborhood in Manhattan, visiting restaurants that serve oysters, chocolates, and wine.
“Lower Manhattan is ready to help you celebrate Valentine’s Day, from elegant dinners to world-class chocolate and wine shops to a skating rink with dramatic views,” said Elizabeth H. Berger, President of the Downtown Alliance.
“And, with 12 subway lines, 30 bus routes, six ferry terminals and the PATH train,” she said, “it’s easy for everyone to get to their romantic destinations.”
D.W.C. files appeal against Black
The Deny Waiver Coalition filed an appeal against a waiver granted to New York City Schools Chancellor Cathie Black.
Education Commissioner David Steiner and NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg “colluded to circumvent the law by appointing [Shael Polakow-Suransky as chief academic officer], since Ms. Black has no experience in education,” according to a statement released by the D.W.C.
Parents held a press conference on the steps of Tweed Courthouse on Monday to announce the appeal, which they filed with the NY State appellate court to oppose the lower court’s decision made in late December that favored the Black waiver.
“No one should see the ruling of one Supreme Court judge as dispositive of the dispute,” said Arthur Z. Schwartz, counsel to the new public interest law firm Advocates for Justice, who will be representing the parents’ group in their appeal.
At a recent Downtown education forum, Julie Menin, chair of Community Board 1, reiterated her concerns about Black’s facetious remarks made at a January overcrowding task force meeting organized by NY State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver. Black jokingly suggested to task force members that the solution to overcrowding in Lower Manhattan schools is to use birth control, and that citywide decisions to solving school problems is a “Sophie’s choice” of choices.
“I know they were made in jest,” said Menin, who went on to say "but the comments harped on a larger problem, which is that the D.O.E. lacks a strategy to relieve overcrowding in Downtown schools."
“Commissioner Steiner himself stated that Ms. Black’s resume does not demonstrate extensive knowledge about the educational issues confronting New York City’s public schools,” said Schwartz.
“While others may accept Ms. Black’s appointment as a fait accompli,” said Manhattan petitioner parent Noah Gotbaum, “as parents and educators we will continue to do everything in our power to hold this mayor accountable to appoint a schools’ leader with demonstrated interest in all of our kids and schools, and the required qualifications, experience and vision to lead them.”
Church brings the P.A. to court
St. Nicholas Church and the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America filed a lawsuit in the Manhattan Federal District Court against the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey on Monday.
The church accuses the Port Authority of disavowing to its agreement with the archdiocese to rebuild St. Nicholas at 130 Liberty Street, the site adjacent to its original location at 155 Cedar Street.
“Contrary to working cooperatively with the Archdiocese and the Parish… the Port Authority—without permission, notice, or any legal justification whatsoever—has sent its bulldozers” onto church-owned land at 155 Cedar Street and to church-promised land at 130 Liberty Street, according to a statement issued by the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America.
“The Parish and the Archdiocese would have preferred to rebuild the Church without litigation,” the statement continued. “However, they have been unable to do so since the Port Authority renounced a long-standing agreement with the Church to rebuild at Ground Zero, seized the Church’s land, barred the Church from access to it, and has refused to talk or meet with the Church or the Archdiocese.”
CATS Study comes out
A new Canal Area Transportation study just released will shed light on transportation and safety issues in the area. The report, published by the NY Metropolitan Transportation Council, aims to identify short-term solutions to improve infrastructure and mobility, and relieve congestion, in the study area.
The area under evaluation is bounded by Houston Street to the north; Chambers Street to the south; and the Hudson and East Rivers.
The first CATS study, conducted in 2002, led to the city’s repaving of Canal Street with higher-visibility crosswalks; a renaming of traffic signals and repairing of streetlights along the street; and addressing traffic sign problems at the Holland Tunnel and Manhattan Bridge.
Data compiled for the study include traffic and pedestrian counts, travel time and delay information, parking surveys, and accident data, according to the report.
Per the results of the study, the N.Y.M.T.C. recommends a widening of sidewalks in the area; the continuation of truck restrictions in the Holland Tunnel; and the upholding of Canal Street as a two-way thoroughfare with left-turn restrictions at certain intersections.
The N.Y.M.T.C. also suggested the addition of high-occupancy vehicle lanes on the Manhattan Bridge; real-time signs encouraging the use of alternate routes to Canal Street, such as Route 9A; and a park management plan for the area.
Carmine’s making a comeback?
Carmine’s Italian Seafood might return to the South Street Seaport, according to reports. The famed restaurant closed last summer after being open in the Seaport, at Beekman and Front Streets, for more than a century.
Owner Greg Molini told reporters that he hopes to reopen the restaurant by Peck Slip come April. He wants to keep the eatery reasonably priced, maintain its neighborhood vibe and expand the kitchen, and plans to include many furniture pieces of the former restaurant, including its wooden centerpiece.