Volume 17 • Issue 7 / July 9 - 15, 2004

Downtown local

Liberty pedestal to open Aug. 3
The National Park Service will open the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty to the public on Tues., Aug. 3, according to an announcement this week by Secretary of the Interior Gale A. Norton.

Visitors will be able look into the internal structure, designed by Gustave Eiffel, the engineer who designed the Eiffel Tower in Paris, through a glass ceiling at the top of the pedestal.

The statue itself has been closed to the public since Sept. 11, 2001 for security reasons and the Park Service has no plans to reopen it.

Park rangers will be on hand to guide visitors on two tours, one of the observation deck at the top pf the pedestal and the other of the promenade on the Fort Wood elevation where the Stature stands. Both tours will include the Statue of Liberty Museum where the original torch is on display.

The tours will be offered by reservation, which can be made in advance or prior to boarding the ferry. Phone reservations will be available beginning July 22. Internet reservations will begin in September.

Congressmember Carolyn Maloney has criticized the delay in funding for the statue after other national parks and monuments were reopened. “The federal government should have opened up the Statue of Liberty long ago,” she said in a statement.

More than 4.5 million people have visited Liberty Island since it was reopened Dec. 20, 2001 after the World Trade Center attack. For more information, visit www.nps.gov.

L.M.D.C. Trust
Gov. George Pataki has named Robert Balachandran, former president of the Hudson River Park Trust, to the board of directors of the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation.

Balachandran is a managing director in the public finance department at Bear Sterns, which he joined in February 2004 after leaving the Trust.

Before the Trust, Balachandran served as a senior assistant counsel to the governor. He is a Cum Laude graduate of SUNY Albany with a B.A. in political science and holds a law degree from Albany Law School.

Balachandran was nominated to the seat formerly held by Christy Ferer, the widow of Neil D. Levin, the executive director of the Port Authority who was killed in the World Trade Center attack. In late May, Ferer was named by Pataki to the Port Authority’s board of commissioners.

Pier swing
Pier 25 will host seven Sunday’s of live music and dancing beginning this weekend. Located at N. Moore St. in the Hudson River Park, the pier’s “MoonDance” series is free. Each evening will begin with free dance lessons at 6:30, given by instructors from Dance Manhattan, a studio in Chelsea that specializes in swing, Latin, ballroom and tango. Live bands go on at 7.

MoonDance will feature dance lessons. The bands featured include Hector Del Curto’s Eternal Tango, Mo’Guajiro and Ron Sunshine Band. MoonDance begins July 11 at 6:30 with a swing lesson. At 7, David Berger and the Sultans of Swing will take the stage and play Big Band standards. Berger, who leads the 17-piece group, has collaborated with Wynton Marsalis through Lincoln Center’s Jazz Project. The series will then run through the last Sunday in August, with the final performance given by George Gee’s Jump, Jive & Wailers. For more information visit www.hudsonriverpark.org

Hamilton service
The final resting place of Alexander Hamilton will hold a service celebrating his life on July 12, the 200th anniversary of his death. Hamilton was buried in the graveyard of Trinity Church in 1804 after being fatally wounded in a duel fought in Weehawken with Aaron Burr, Thomas Jefferson’s vice president.

Monday’s ceremony at Broadway and Wall St. will begin at 10 a.m. with a service that will include remarks made by two of Hamilton’s decedents, Douglas Hamilton and David Hamilton Rhinelander. The other speakers will be Ron Chernow and Richard Brookhiser, who have written books about Hamilton, the provost of Columbia University, Dr. Alan Brinkley and the C.E.O. of The Bank of New York, Thomas Renyi. Hamilton founded the bank and was one of Columbia’s original trustees.

Born in the Caribbean, Hamilton was an orphan by his mid-teens and came to the city soon after, making his reputation as a brilliant lawyer and financial mind. During the Revolutionary War, he was one of George Washington’s closest advisors and went on to become Washington’s secretary of the Treasury. In between, he attended the Constitutional Convention and co-authored “The Federalist Papers” with James Madison.

Moore spotting in B.P.C.
Michael Moore paid an impromptu visit to the UA Battery Park Cineplex on Monday night, the Daily News reported. Moore’s Bush-bashing “Fahrenheit 9/11” has been losing ground to “Spider Man 2,” and this slippage was underscored when the pudgy director brushed up against fans exiting “Spider Man 2.”

Before the movie let out, Moore had been signing ticket stubs and posing for pictures, the News reported. When the Spider Man fans streamed out of the theater, Moore continued to promote his Web site even as he got swallowed up in the crowd.

One person finally yelled, “Not everyone thinks you’re God, Moore!” and Moore slunk away gloomily, the News reported.

C.B. 1 meetings
The upcoming week’s schedule of Community Board 1 committee meetings is below. Both meetings will be held in room 709 of 49-51 Chambers St.

On Tuesday, July 13, the Seaport/Civic Center Committee will meet at 5:30 p.m. to discuss the impact of relocated bus stops on Frankfort (M22) and Pearl (M15) Sts., and plans for the N.Y.U. Downtown Hospital site.

On Wednesday, July 14, the Executive Committee will meet at 6 p.m. The agenda is to be determined.

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