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News and Events
in Lower Manhattan
Volume 6, No. 32,  Aug. 17, 2020   

"We have gone through difficult times together but we rise from the ashes and we rise stronger than before."

     -  New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo on the occasion of the recommencement of construction at St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church, whose original building was destroyed on 9/11. The new building, designed by Santiago Calatrava, is rising on Liberty Street at the World Trade Center site 
WEATHER INFORMATION: For current weather information, click here.

COVID-19 CASES IN NEW YORK CITY: As of Aug. 16 at 3:04 p.m.
3,156,407 tested * 230,223 confirmed cases * 23,628 deaths
Go to for breaking news and for updated information on facility closures related to COVID-19  
MASTHEAD PHOTO: A playground in Hudson River Park has water features that allow children to cool off on a hot day. Aug. 8, 2020 (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer) 

editorLETTER FROM THE EDITOR: AUGUST 14, 1945         
Terese Loeb Kreuzer, editor
Seventy-five years have passed since Aug. 14, 1945. A few articles appeared in the national press noting that fact, but in the United States, it was largely overlooked. Not by me, however. As I write this, I'm wearing a ring that belonged to one of my grandmothers. The date 8-14-45 is inscribed inside along with her initials. The ring was given to her for her 50th birthday, which fell on that day.

Aug. 14, 1945 was also what has sometimes been called "V-J Day" or "Victory in Japan Day," when Japan unconditionally surrendered to the United States and World War II ended. Crowds gathered in Lafayette Square across from the White House calling for U.S. President Harry S. Truman. He emerged from the White House to talk to them. "This is the day we've been waiting for," he said, "the day when Fascism finally dies, as we always knew it would."

The jubilant crowd danced on the White House lawn. In New York City, thousands of people jammed Times Square. Servicemen were carried aloft on the shoulders of the crowd. Streets worldwide were thronged with people waving flags and carrying signs that said "Victory! Japan Surrenders!"

The cost had been great. More than 400,000 Americans had been killed, 600,000 had been wounded and 30,000 were missing. Between military and civilian casualties, around three million Japanese had been killed, including 110,000 people who died on Aug. 6 and Aug. 9 when the United States dropped atom bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Around 60 million people had been killed worldwide.

President Trump said nothing about the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II. He acknowledged the occasion by tweeting a short video showing the ceremony that took place on Sept. 2, 1945 aboard the U.S. Navy battleship Missouri when the Allied supreme commander Douglas MacArthur and two Japanese officials signed the document that officially ended the war.

In the U.K., on the other hand, Queen Elizabeth II thanked those "who fought so valiantly." She said, "Those of us who remember the conclusion of the Far East campaign whether on active service overseas, or waiting for news at home, will never forget the jubilant scenes and overwhelming sense of relief." Prince Charles laid a wreath at a war memorial. Prince William gave a speech recalling how his grandfather, King George VI, addressed the nation on Aug. 15, 1945 with the words "the most catastrophic conflict in mankind's history [has come] to an end."

On Aug. 14, 2020, an article on the Smithsonian magazine website noted that "Seventy-five years later, few Americans are alive to describe the revelry that followed Truman's V-J Day announcement." Never mind the revelry. Fewer and fewer people even remember what happened on Aug. 14, 1945.

This has caused me to think about what's happening to us now. So far, there have been 5.41 million confirmed cases of Covid-19 in the United States and 170,000 deaths. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) predicts that at the current rate of infection, there will be around 200,000 deaths by Sept. 5, 2020.

Many people have found staying home to be onerous and have balked at mask-wearing and social distancing. We are living with the consequences.

World War II lasted six years. We're only six months into the hardships and suffering caused by Covid-19. We have a long way to go before this is over.

In 75 years, will anyone remember what we're enduring? If they do remember, it will probably only be as a historical curiosity, much as we remember the flu pandemic of 1918. 

If the day that ended World War II can, for the most part, elude our collective memory, our current travails will most certainly also be largely forgotten except in their most vague and general outlines.

Terese Loeb Kreuzer
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As the Tropical Storm Isaias began to pass out of the New York area leaving a trail of strong winds, the sun set over the Hudson River and Jersey City. This photograph was taken from Tribeca on Aug. 4, 2020. (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)
Tropical storm? Hurricane? Whatever Isaias was when it came ashore in The Battery at the southern end of Manhattan on Aug. 4, it was packing a lot of wind.  
The storm took out 15 large, mature trees plus six ornamental trees and smaller, newly planted trees. Most of the damaged trees were London Plane trees. One elm tree went down as did three Kentucky Coffee trees and several crab apples.  
One of the shade structures on the terrace behind SeaGlass Carousel was damaged as was a lamppost on the State Street side of the park.
Sean Kiely, Park Manager for The Battery Conservancy, speculated that the destructive force could have been a microburst. "The destruction was in a large diagonal path throughout the park," he said, "whereas other parts had only minimal damage." 
There was no water damage, according to Kiely. "The water didn't even flood the lower promenade," he said. 
What Kiely reported in The Battery was true throughout New York State. There was little, if any, water damage but the wind was fierce. It took down trees and ripped through power lines.
The day after the storm, Gov. Andrew Cuomo declared a state of emergency for 12 New York counties including all five boroughs of New York City. He also directed the New York National Guard to mobilize 50 soldiers with vehicles to help with ice and water distribution, storm response and clean-up in Putnam County.  
Initially, there were 920,000 power outages in the state. The day after Isaias passed through, 703,191 New Yorkers still had no power.  
Cuomo directed the Department of Public Service to launch an investigation into the responses by Verizon, PSEG Long Island, Con Edison, Central Hudson Gas & Electric, Orange and Rockland Utilities and New York State Electric & Gas to determine the cause of their failures.  
If Cuomo was outraged the day after the storm - and he was - he was even more so as day after day passed leaving many New Yorkers with no power.   
He said that among the utility companies, Con Edison and PSEG were doing the worst jobs in terms of recovery. "This is an old story at this point," Cuomo said. "There will be storms and the utility companies know that. I've spoken to them about this numerous times." He said that preparing for a storm and recovering from a storm are "essential services" provided by a utility. "ConEd and PSEG were not prepared," he said.  
Cuomo added that depending on what the Public Service Commission finds when it investigates the outages, there could be fines, penalties and restitution required.
"I want the utilities to know that we do not abide by the concept in New York that anything is too big to fail," he said. "Your franchise can be revoked. I am not bluffing. I don't bluff."
He said that he would await the facts from the PSC investigation but added "This is not our first rodeo....This was entirely unacceptable." 
- Terese Loeb Kreuzer 
Downed trees in The Battery at the southern end of Manhattan. (Photo courtesy of The Battery Conservancy)

On Aug. 3, 2020 His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophorus of America was joined by New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Port Authority leadership to announce that construction of St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church and National Shrine on Liberty Street at the World Trade Center site was about to recommence after a hiatus of two-and-a-half years.
The rebuilding of St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church and National Shrine at the World Trade Center site in Lower Manhattan is again under way. Some might deem this a minor miracle considering the long and torturous path to get to this point. 
On Sept. 11, 2001, the small, historic structure housing St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church at 155 Cedar St. was destroyed when the South Tower of the World Trade Center fell on top of it. The building dated from 1832 and had once been a private home and then a tavern before the church bought it in 1919 and installed holy relics inside. The bones of St. Nicholas, St. Catherine and St. Sava, gifts to the church from Nicholas II, the last tzar of Russia, were destroyed along with the building. 
After 9/11, the congregation of around 70 families remained homeless for several years while the church collected funds to rebuild. At the same time, the Greek Orthodox Archidiocese of America was negotiating with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey as to exactly where on the World Trade Center site the new edifice would be constructed. After much dithering and with some help from New York's Governor at the time, George Pataki, an agreement was reached in October 2011 that the new church would be erected at the intersection of Liberty and Greenwich Streets, less than 50 yards away from the church's original site.
The renowned Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava who had designed the nearby Oculus,
The partially finished church as it looked after Skanska, the construction company on the project, departed over unpaid bills. (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer) 
was awarded the contract to draw up the plans. Inspired by the magnificent Hagia Sophia and the Church of the Holy Savior in Chora, both in Istanbul, Calatrava envisioned a domed structure clad in a thin, white skin that would glow from within at night.
Groundbreaking took place on Oct. 18, 2014. The estimated cost of the project was $38 million. It was expected that it would take two years to complete. Topping out occurred on Nov. 29, 2016, when a temporary cross was placed at the summit of the building. Already behind schedule, the church was also over budget. Not having been paid, in December 2017, Skanska USA, the construction company on the project, packed up its tools and went home. 
For two-and-a-half years, the shell of what was supposed to be the St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church and National Shrine stood on a prominent spot at the World Trade Center site as mute testimony to cost overruns, mismanaged funds, an embezzlement scheme involving church executives and the dispute between Skanska and the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo came to the rescue. In January 2020, he created a 13-member, nonprofit board, the Friends of St. Nicholas. It is composed of millionaires and billionaires charged with finding a way to finish the project. The board is headed by Denis Mehiel, the former chairman of the Battery Park City Authority. Among the members is John Catsimatidis, the billionaire owner of Gristedes and a one-time candidate for Mayor of New York. In less than three months, the Friends of St. Nicholas raised $45 million.
There is little doubt now that St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church and National Shrine will be finished and there is every expectation that it will be superb in form and function. It will serve as a place of prayer and silent reflection and also house a nondenominational bereavement center for anyone seeking solace. The target date for reopening is Sept. 11, 2021.   
On Aug. 3, 2020, with Gov. Cuomo standing next to him, His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros of America blessed the structure.  
"This St. Nicholas is going to be more splendid and more inviting than the St. Nicholas that was here before," Cuomo said. "We have gone through difficult times together but we rise from the ashes and we rise stronger than before. That's what this St. Nicholas will stand for. It is a powerful message to all New Yorkers and all Americans."
- Terese Loeb Kreuzer 
Work is again under way on St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church and National Shrine at the World Trade Center site. (Photo: Office of Gov. Andrew Cuomo) 

Bits & Bytes

It was off again, on again as to whether Sept. 11, 2020 would be observed with the Tribute in Light whose searchlights soaring into the night sky mimic the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center that were destroyed on Sept. 11, 2001. An announcement by the National September 11 Memorial & Museum that there would be no Tribute in Light this year was met with such dismay that former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, New York State Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the Lower Manhattan Development Corp. came up with the money and resources to save Tribute, whose searchlights are so powerful that they are visible for 60 miles out to sea. (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer) 
"Condé Nast may face fight in bid to leave WTC offices," New York Post, 8/5/2020. "Glossy magazine empire Condé Nast is looking to move its headquarters out of the World Trade Center - a surprise shift that insiders say could spur a knockdown, drag-out battle with its landlords," according to the New York Post. "The publisher of Vogue, Vanity Fair and The New Yorker - which only finished moving into digs that span 21 floors at One World Trade Center in 2014 - is scouting out Midtown for a potential new home, sources told The Post. Late Tuesday, Condé Nast's parent company Advance Publications confirmed to The Post that it is 'in discussions about bringing the lease at One World Trade Center into line with current market conditions and its ongoing needs at this location.' Accordingly, the publisher said it 'is considering alternative solutions to address these requirements.' The problem: The lease at One World Trade Center, signed in 2011 with rent payments starting in 2014, runs until 2039. The Port Authority, which owns 90 percent of the 1,776-foot-tall spire, has been stung by coronavirus-related revenue losses and can't afford to give away the store." For the complete article, click here.

"Sports power couple Laura and Josh Rutledge selling NYC condo,"
New York Post, 8/5/2020. "As the NFL gears up for what looks like an impossible situation - to play a full season, with playoffs, during the pandemic - a celebrity sports couple is listing a downtown condo for $1.75 million," says the New York Post. "Sportscaster Laura Rutledge, host of ESPN's 'NFL Live,' and her husband, Josh Rutledge, a former infielder for the Colorado Rockies and the Boston Red Sox between 2012 and 2017, have listed their home at 15 William St. in the Financial District. The two-bedroom, two-bathroom condo is 1,300 square feet." For the complete article, click here.

"LPC Approves Three-Story Addition At 56 North Moore Street In Tribeca,"
New York YIMBY, 8/8/2020. "The Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) recently approved the construction of a three-story infill and addition at 56 North Moore Street in the Tribeca West Historic District," New York YIMBY reports. "The building will eventually debut as a modern office space with multiple outdoor terraces set above the historic masonry façade. Renderings from ODA's New York design studio offer a first look of the redeveloped property and how the team will refurbish and expand the aging structure, which dates back to the early 1900s. To complete the effort, the architects worked with preservation consultants Higgins Quasebarth & Partners. Along North Moore Street, scope of work calls for the removal and replacement of all doors, windows, and associated support structures with dark aluminum-cased glass throughout. At the ground floor, the project calls for new concrete sidewalk with stone curbs, a cantilevered storefront marquee, an updated lighting system, and security cameras." For the complete article, click here.

"Chinatown Is Springing Back to Life,", 8/6/2020. "In the middle of April, one month after the restaurant shutdown in the wake of the pandemic, Chinatown had reached its lowest ebb," says "Some customers had earlier abandoned this important shopping and dining district, based on an irrational fear that the virus would be arriving from China, when, as it turned out, it came here from Europe. Of the 300 or so restaurants in greater Chinatown, which incorporates parts of Two Bridges and the Lower East Side, only a handful remained open. Most retail shops and seafood, meat, and vegetable markets were closed as well. The neighborhood's future seemed bleak. But a month later, things began looking up. Restaurants gradually reopened for carryout and delivery, starting with those that peddled lap mei fan, ducks and other preserved meats over rice, and long lines began forming in front of places like Green Garden Village and Wah Fung No. 1. Now in early August, with outdoor dining in various neighborhoods across the city a resounding hit, Chinatown has joined in." The article states that "classic restaurants" have "reopened recently in the most historic parts of the neighborhood, including Mott, Bayard, Doyers, Pell, Elizabeth, Mosco, and Mulberry streets." For the complete article, click here.

"The Daily News plans to close its NYC newsroom for good," New York Post, 8/12/2020. The Daily News will continue to publish but it is closing down its newsroom at 4 New York Plaza, the New York Post reports. "Tribune Publishing, which has owned the 101-year-old tabloid since 2017, confirmed on Wednesday that it will shutter the paper's newsroom in downtown Manhattan permanently later this year and has no plans to return. But the company insisted it will keep a print edition of the paper alive, noting that its reporters and editors have been working remotely since the pandemic started in March. They will be given until Oct. 30 to collect their belongings from the office." For the complete article, click here.

Disaster Loans & Grants 
Unemployment Assistance - available for W2 and Schedule C clients
Mandated additional sick pay and associated tax credit
Paycheck Protection Program;  Extended tax loss carry-backs

A map of the Business Improvement District (BID) managed by the Downtown Alliance. The Alliance provides services that include supplemental security and sanitation, free transportation in Lower Manhattan, streetscape and design services, economic development advocacy, comprehensive research about Lower Manhattan, marketing and communication and special event programming.

Applications are currently being accepted to help small businesses better cope with the changes the COVID-19 pandemic has imposed on them. The Downtown Alliance is providing up to 25 small businesses with the opportunity for one-on-one technical assistance consultations with Streetsense, a retail and urban design consultant. The goal of these consultations is to assess operations and surface opportunities to better prepare businesses for the on-going crisis.

Streetsense has decades of first-hand operations experience with expertise across a variety of disciplines and industries, including Research + Analysis, Hospitality/ Eat+Drink, Branding + Marketing, and Interior Architecture.

The owners of retail or restaurant businesses that are selected for this program will be able to consult for 45 minutes to an hour with two members of the Streetsense Pandemic Response Team. Streetsense will prepare a strategic guide for each business, delivered to the business owners and to the Downtown Alliance. After the end of each session, each business will receive links to Pandemic Signage Templates. Restaurants and bars only will also get links to a Capital Planning Tool.

To be eligible, businesses must have five or fewer locations in New York City. They must have gross annual revenues of less than $3 million and employ fewer than 30 FTE (full-time equivalent) employees as of March 1, 2020. They must occupy a ground-level storefront in the Lower Manhattan Business Improvement District and plan to be open at that location by Oct. 1, 2020. They must have a lease at their current location through Dec. 31, 2020.

For additional program guidelines, click here.

Applications are being reviewed and consultations granted on a first-come, first-served basis.  The application period will close when the available consultations have been exhausted. Consultations will take place between August and October 2020.

In addition to these consultations, Streetsense has prepared Pandemic Survival Toolkits that can be accessed by any business in need of this information. For the one specifically designed for restaurants and bars, click here. For the Pandemic Survival Toolkit for retailers, consumer goods and personal care services, click here.

In connection with these toolkits, Streetsense is hosting two webinars to help Lower Manhattan businesses navigate these toolkits and for businesses to ask questions of the Streetsense team. These webinars are open to all businesses in Lower Manhattan. The Restaurant/Bar Webinar will take place on Thursday, Aug. 20, at 10 a.m. To RSVP, click here.

The Retail Webinar will be held on Friday, Aug. 21, at 10 a.m. To RSVP, click here.

For more information, email

Downtown bulletin board

The Downtown Boathouse on Pier 26 in Hudson River Park offers free kayaking to the public but has been closed this season because of Covid-19.  (Photo: ©Terese Loeb Kreuzer)

Downtown Boathouse: The Downtown Boathouse on Pier 26 in Hudson River Park offers free kayaking to the public and is staffed by volunteers. Covid-19 derailed this season's activities, however the Boathouse board of directors says that "We continue to work toward a safe and responsible restart of our programming this season and are looking for volunteers both old and new to get out on the water."

Anyone who has volunteered with the Boathouse in the past or who wishes to become a volunteer can register for an orientation session. These sessions will be held weekly on Thursday evenings from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. and on Sundays from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.  The agenda during these sessions will be to review COVID-19 safety protocols and procedures and to go through elementary training on self launch and rescue. 

People volunteering for the first time will be required to complete two additional Sunday afternoon sessions from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., which will be split between boathouse maintenance tasks and paddling.  New volunteers also have the option of fulfilling the work requirement on Thursday evening from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., without a paddling component.  After completing the work requirement volunteers will be eligible to sign up for general embayment paddling and training sessions.

Returning volunteers will only need to complete the orientation session. 
To register for an orientation session, email   
Eviction moratorium: New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has extended the residential eviction moratorium through Oct. 1. If an eviction warrant had been issued before the shutdown began on March 17, judges will re-review those cases before deciding if eviction warrants may be executed. Tenants are advised to contact Legal Aid if they were in eviction proceedings before March 17 and don't already have an attorney. (For information about the Legal Aid Society, click here.) Otherwise, no new residential evictions may take place before Oct. 1, 2020. The City's new NYC Tenant Resource Portal provides a unified directory of all tenant resources. To access it, click here. Those without internet access can call 311 and ask for the Tenant Helpline. 
Fraunces Tavern Restaurant reopens: On Saturday, Aug. 1 the Fraunces Tavern Restaurant at 54 Pearl St. reopened to the public for outdoor dining. The restaurant is serving popular items from its lunch, brunch and dinner menus between noon and 11 p.m. daily, with tables socially distanced on the Pearl Street side of the building. Over 400 whiskeys, signature cocktails and 130 craft beers and ciders are available. For more information, call (212) 768-1776.   
Open Streets: Restaurants in FiDi: The Alliance for Downtown New York, the nonprofit business improvement district for Lower Manhattan, is participating in the Department of Transportation's Open Streets: Restaurants program, in partnership with several area restaurants.
Pine Street from Pearl Street to William Street and Pearl Street from Broad Street to Hanover Square have been closed to traffic to accommodate in-street outdoor dining. The closures run from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. on Fridays and from noon to 11 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays. The program will continue through Sept. 7.
Crown Shy and Black Fox have operations on Pine Street, and, on Pearl Street, the Fraunces Tavern Restaurant as well as the Porterhouse Brew Co are open. In the coming days more restaurants on these streets may take advantage of the program.
The Downtown Alliance is responsible for placing and removing barricades to close the street to traffic each day. The restaurants are responsible for setting up and breaking down seating and serving areas as well as for maintaining cleanliness and appropriate social distancing.   
New York City museums can reopen: Starting Monday, Aug. 24, New York City museums and other low-risk cultural institutions can reopen subject to New York State guidelines. The institutions include museums, aquariums and other low-risk cultural arts venues. All institutions must obey strict safety protocols, including a 25 percent maximum occupancy limit. Timed ticketing will be required with pre-set, staggered entry and there will be strict enforcement of face coverings and social distancing. Traffic flow will be controlled to avoid crowding. Enhanced cleaning and disinfection protocols will be in place.
Metropolitan Museum of Art will reopen on Aug. 29: The Met Fifth Avenue will open to the public on Aug. 29 preceded by preview days for members on Aug. 27 and Aug. 28. The Met Cloisters is scheduled to reopen on Saturday, Sept. 12. The Met Fifth Avenue's building will be open five days a week, Thursdays through Mondays. On Saturdays, Sundays and Mondays, the hours will be 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. On Thursdays and Fridays, the museum will be open from noon to 7 p.m. Timed entrance registration will be required. For more information, click here.  
NYS Bowling Alleys can reopen: As of Monday, Aug. 24, New York State bowling alleys can reopen at 50 percent maximum capacity. Face coverings and social distancing will be required at all times. Every other lane will be closed and patrons will be required to stay with their party at their assigned lane. Thorough cleaning and disinfection of shared or rented equipment between each use will be required.  
Alternate side parking: Alternate side parking regulations resumed from Aug. 3 to Aug. 14. They have been suspended for Aug. 15 and Aug. 16, and will resume from Aug. 17 to Sept. 5.  Under the summer rules, if a side of a street has an ASP sign showing multiple days, street cleaning regulations will be in effect on that side of the street only on the latest day of the week posted on the sign.
9/11 Memorial: The 9/11 is now open from 1 p.m. to 8 p.m. daily with Virtual 9/11 Memorial tours daily. The Museum remains closed. For more information, click here.

Lower Manhattan Greenmarkets: There are Lower Manhattan Greenmarkets in Tribeca (at Chambers and Greenwich Streets) and at Bowling Green, City Hall, the Oculus and the Staten Island ferry. GrowNYC asks that shoppers wear a face covering inside the market space and maintain a six-foot distance between themselves, Greenmarket staff, farm stand employees and other customers. Dogs and bicycles should be left at home.

Click here for a list of the fruits and vegetables now in season.

How to report police abuse: If you witness police abuse in person or see footage on social media, you can file a complaint with the City's Civilian Complaint Review Board at or (800) 341-CCRB.

New York State Attorney General James, who is conducting an investigation of the George Floyd protests, asks that any information, including visuals, be shared with her office as they proceed with that investigation. Email:

United States Census 2020 is hiring: The 2020 U.S. Census will require a massive effort to document everyone in the country. The U.S. government is hiring census workers with a promise of "great pay, flexible hours, weekly pay and paid training." The jobs include census taker, recruiting assistant, office clerk, and supervisory staff. Applications can be made online at For more information, call 855-JOB-2020.  
Register to vote: If you are not yet registered to vote, you can get registered so that you can vote in the general election, which will take place on Tuesday, Nov. 3.

Because of the Covid-19 pandemic, absentee ballots were made available for people to vote in the June 23 primary election. It is not yet known whether absentee ballots will be widely available for the Nov. 3 election. If they are available, it will be necessary to reapply, even if you did receive an absentee ballot to vote in the primary.

For answers to frequently asked questions about voting, click here.  
For the certified results of the June 23 primary election, click here.  
Most of the Downtown Post NYC bulletin board listings are now on the Downtown Post NYC website. To see the bulletin board listings, click here.

Spotlight: Battery Dance Festival - the 2020 edition 

Douglas Dunn + Dancers performed "Aidos" at the Battery Dance Festival. Aug. 13, 2018 (Photo: © Terese Loeb Kreuzer 2018)

For years, a highlight of the summer has been the week-long Battery Dance Festival, held in Battery Park City's Wagner Park. With New York harbor and the Statue of Liberty as a backdrop, dance companies from all over the world have appeared at the festival, whose purpose is not only to present dance as an art form but as a means of uniting the world through the shared love and practice of dance. Battery Dance Festival, now in its 39th year, is New York City's longest free public dance festival. Jonathan Hollander founded the festival and is its artistic director. 
This year, because of Covid-19, the Festival is online, giving free virtual performances nightly from Aug. 14 to Aug. 22. They can be seen on YouTube from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. Each night of the festival, programming will go live at this link:  
The programming consists of 52 filmed performances including 28 premieres from 19 countries. Themed evenings include World and U.S. film Premieres from the Middle East, Africa, Europe, Japan and North America. The centennial of the ratification of the 19th Amendment, which recognized the woman's right to vote, serves as a focus for a program by women choreographers. Works that focus on Black voices in dance, the resiliency of New York City and the Festival itself and a special program celebrating India's Independence Day round out the Festival.
This year's featured artists include a curated selection of local dance companies as well as video dance makers from Belgium, Canada, Curaçao, France, Greece, Hungary, India, Iran, Japan, Lebanon, Mexico, Netherlands, Palestinian Territories, Romania, South Africa, Switzerland, Uganda, United Kingdom, United States and Zimbabwe.   
Films will remain online for 10 days after their premiere. For more information, click here.   
The programming for the next few days is as follows:
Aug. 17: From Europe & Japan Ana Maria Lucaciu & Razvan Stoian (Romania/U.S.), Emiko Agatsuma (Japan), Emma Evelein, (Netherlands), Ludivine Large-Bessette (France), Odos Productions (Greece), TranzDanz/cie. Gerzson Péter Kovács (Hungary)

Future Temple by Japanese choreographer Emiko Agatsuma imagines the changing perception of the soul from past to future. Commissioned by the Romanian Cultural Institute, Ana Maria Lucaciu and Razvan Stoian present Almost, a story of two echoing universes that aim to align; the air between two bodies resonate with what could have been. Sisters, an award-winning dance film choreographed by Emma Evelein, portrays three sisters growing up in a broken family, revealing their inner world and unbreakable relationship. In the U.S. premiere Trans-tánc Budapest by TranzDanz / cie. Gerzson Péter Kovács, young dancers repeat a sequence inspired by Hungarian folk dances as they traverse the emblematic sites of Budapest. Strikingly filmed on sand dunes in Greece, the U.S. premiere of Anasa is contributed by Odos Productions, the work of Swiss choreographer Maja Zimmerlin and French filmmaker Thomas Delord. Ludivine Large-Bessette's Drop Out Bodies questions the fatality of the human body and our individual and collective responsibilities in this complex time.

Aug. 18: Celebrating the Centennial of U.S. Women's Right to Vote
Annalee Traylor (Alabama/NYC), Ashley Menestrina (NYC), Doris Humphrey danced by Meggi Sweeney Smith (NYC), Futorian Dance Theatre (NYC), Jean Erdman (in memoriam) through Nancy Allison (NYC), Kathryn Posin Dance Company (NYC), Lori Belilove dancing Isadora Duncan (NYC), RGWW (Los Angeles, California)

Battery Dance Festival honors female choreographers in a program co-curated by Catherine Tharin. Combative Echoes by Ashley Menestrina investigates the role of memory and transient energy in the human experience. Annalee Traylor's
the nearness of you metaphorically depicts four vignettes universally connected through aspects of relationships. Inspired by the Persian tale of Shahrzad, Rosanna Gamson's Layla Means Night reveals our insatiable desire to be entertained. Set to Steve Reich's Pulitzer-winning Double Sextet, Kathryn Posin adds a third sextet of dancers to the polyrhythmic interlocking musical network. Futorian Dance Theatre presents a world premiere suite with the theme of compassion, nurturance, and dedication. In Hamadryad with choreography by Jean Erdman, a dancer rehearses alone in a studio enchanting herself back into the forest as a wood nymph, while Isadora Duncan's Revolutionary, as danced by Lori Belilove, and Doris Humphrey's Quasi Waltz as danced by Meggi Sweeney Smith round out Tharin's legacy suite.  
For the remainder of the Festival programming, click here. 

For more calendar listings, go to the Downtown Post NYC website. Click here.
A dancer from the Isadora Duncan Dance Company directed by Lori Belilove performed dances choreographed by Isadora Duncan and by Belilove at the 33rd Annual Downtown Dance Festival. Aug. 18, 2014 (Photo: © Terese Loeb Kreuzer 2014)


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Editor: Terese Loeb Kreuzer

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