Volume 16 • Issue 42 | March 19 - 25, 2004

Downtown local

Downtown Express photo by Ramin Talaie

Dance like an office worker

Dancers auditioned for the 7 p.m. March 31st performance of the Boogie Shoes Project, an urban folk dance created by choreographer David Parker and his dance company, The Bang Group. Six non-professional dancers who live or work Downtown will join dance company members at the Winter Garden for the free performance, which was developed from the movements and actions of people observed in the World Financial Center.

Streets around Wall
A March 12 ruling that the New York Stock Exchange cannot enforce roadway security around its headquarters will have no effect on the city’s upcoming plans to remake the area, according to a spokesperson for the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation.

Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Walter Tolub ruled that only the New York Police Department has the authority to block streets around the exchange. While the police department began patrolling the area after Sept. 11, 2001, NYSE later took over security operations, the Associated Press reported. The suit was brought by Wall Street Parking Garage, which said the security measures hindered its business.

Last month, the city Landmarks Preservation Commission approved plans by the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation and city agencies to repave part of Broad St. and install more attractive security barriers at the following intersections: Broadway and Wall St., William St. and Wall St., Broad St. and Beaver St., New St. and Beaver St., Broad St. and Exchange Pl., William St. and Exchange Pl., and Nassau St. and Pine St. All but the last two intersections will be restricted.

Tolub ordered existing security to be removed from these seven intersections within five days, but the stock exchange won an immediate stay in appellate court on March 16, preventing any change until June.

The Lower Manhattan Development Corporation will proceed with the first phase of its project, including the changes at the seven intersections, as planned, according to Joanna Rose, an L.M.D.C. spokesperson. This work is scheduled for completion in April.

Tolub also heard the case on the closing of Park Row, a major artery near N.Y.P.D. headquarters that police closed for security reasons after Sept. 11 over the objections of the community. Last year, Tolub ordered an environmental study of the Park Row closing and a few weeks ago, ordered police cars out of James Madison Plaza behind police headquarters by April 16.

Youth fair
On Thursday, March 25, Community Board 1 will host a free youth fair for parents to learn about the variety of activities and after-school programs available in Lower Manhattan for pre-school to high school age students. More than 30 community organizations are expected to be represented at the 4 p.m. -7 p.m. fair to be held in the community room of the Southbridge Towers building at 90 Beekman St. Information will be available on programs ranging from dance, karate and tumbling to arts and crafts, music and theater.

Mail delay at Southbridge
A recent reshuffling of postal personnel has resulted in later mail delivery for Southbridge Towers, and some residents fear the move has jeopardized the complex’s most vulnerable residents.

“We have lots of folks here who depend on the mail for checks, or prostheses, medicine, or any other life essentials,” said Paul Hovitz, a member of the Southbridge board of directors.

The nine-building, 1,651-unit complex near the South Street Seaport has a large elderly population. In recent days, mail has come as late as 6 or 7 p.m. to parts of the complex, making it impossible for residents to cash checks the day they receive them.

A spokesperson for the U.S. Post Office confirmed that local routes had been recently realigned and new carriers brought in.

“There’s kind of a learning process going on,” said Tom Gaynor, the spokesperson. “We hope within two to four weeks the residents will get mail earlier in the day.”

Some residents don’t want to wait.

“It’s totally unacceptable, the situation,” said Dave Silver, 79, a resident of 90 Gold St. who is largely homebound due to a health condition.

Gaynor said the post office aims to deliver all mail by 5 p.m. citywide. It’s unavoidable that some will get their mail later than others, he said.

“Unfortunately, someone has to be at the beginning of the route and someone has to be at the end,” Gaynor said.

Gaynor said he didn’t know where Southbridge was positioned along the route of its mail carrier. If residents absolutely need their mail by a specific time, they can rent out a post office box, he said.

But some Southbridge residents have difficult even making it to the lobby of their building, much less to an outside post office box.

“A lot of people depend on their pension checks, their medications,” said Bernard Rekort, 84, a Southbridge resident. He said of the late delivery. “I think it’s a sad commentary.”

C.B. 1 meetings
The upcoming week’s schedule of Community Board 1 meetings is as below:

On Tues., March 23, the youth and education committee will meet at 6 p.m. in room 709 of 49-51 Chambers St. to discuss the final preparations for the youth fair, the new K-8 school Downtown, and the creation of a new K-8 school versus a P.S./I.S. model of separate schools sharing a facility.

On Wed., March 24, the Waterfront Committee will meet at 6 p.m. in room 709 of 49-51 Chambers St. The agenda is to be determined.

On Thurs., March 25, Community Board 1 will hold its monthly full board meeting at 6 p.m. at 250 Broadway, 19th floor. The meeting was originally scheduled for March 16 but was postponed because of snow.

On Tues., March 30, the city will hold a public meeting on the 5C (proposed 35-story residential building on Chambers St.) development at 6 p.m. in the auditorium of P.S./I.S. 89 at 201 Warren St. in Battery Park City.

In last week’s article on the co-naming of Beach St. for two Tribeca brothers who died in the World Trade Center collapse, a quote that the name change would represent “a way to keep the memory alive in our community,” was incorrectly attributed to board member Rick Landman. The speaker was board member Tim Lannan.

In our article about proposed traffic changes in Chinatown, we misidentified the name of the plaza that may be relocated. Kimlau Square, not Confucius Plaza, may move to the north to the same block with Confucius Plaza. An article about neighborhood reaction to the plan appears on page 5.


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