News and events in Lower Manhattan
Volume 6, No. 51, Dec. 23, 2021

Letter from the Editor: Tired, Weary and Mad
Bits & Bytes: Cipriani facing possible foreclosure; Pen Parentis wins NYS grant
Calendar: Becoming Dr. Ruth

For the latest weather info:

COVID-19 CASES IN NEW YORK CITY: As of Dec. 23, 2021 at 4:28 p.m.
1,267,416 confirmed cases * 35,125 deaths * 6,649,031 vaccinated in NYC

Go to for breaking news and for updated information on facility closures related to COVID-19 

MASTHEAD PHOTO: Purple asters and autumn foliage on Pier 26 in Hudson River Park. (Photo: ©Terese Loeb Kreuzer 2021)

Yesterday (Dec. 22, 2021), an article in The New York Times entitled "Omicron Is Just Beginning and Americans Are Already Tired" reported that people are tired and weary. The number of people who are tired and weary wasn't specified, but the implication was that it was lots of people.

"Americans are sick and tired of being sick and tired," the article continued."Of reworking plans to adapt to the latest virus risks. Of searching for at-home tests and not finding them. Of wondering whether, after two years of avoiding Covid-19, or surviving it, or getting vaccinated and maybe even boosted, Omicron is the variant they inevitably catch."

One woman quoted in the article said that she was "mad." She had decided not to see her mother at Christmas. "We've done so much, and still have this," she said. She seemed to be taking the pandemic personally.
I've been looking at the pandemic from a different perspective. Without this being my explicit intention I've been supporting the U.S. Postal Service because I've given small amounts of money to numerous charities. With regularity, each of them comes back to me for more. They have also shared my name with other charities. My mailbox is always full of requests for donations. I read most of the letters and wish I were a billionaire so that I could help. But in the meantime I can report that there are hundreds of thousands of people in the world right now who don't have enough food or a safe place to raise a family. And there are hundreds of thousands who have had to flee their homelands and walk, sometimes a thousand miles or more in search of safety. And there are people — lots of people — who are in need of basic medical care or who are struggling to afford an education. I won't go on. You probably get these letters, too.

I also remember people — some of them my relatives — who had to hide from the Nazis during the Holocaust to avoid being killed. Some of them hid in holes in the ground or crammed themselves into dank cellars or stuffed themselves into small spaces between two walls where they had to remain absolutely still and silent or risk discovery. They had to endure this for months and even years.

As for the pandemic, on the Downtown Post NYC website you will find something that I put there toward the beginning of the Covid pandemic. I called it "Stamina and the Meaning of Courage." This is what I wrote:

On May 23, 2020 New York Governor Andrew Cuomo delivered his daily COVID-19 report from the Governor's Mansion in Albany where three men had formerly lived who went on to become U.S. presidents. Among them was Teddy Roosevelt, born a sickly kid who fought in the Spanish-American War as a Rough Rider — a nickname that was given to a volunteer cavalry that was on the front lines of the combat. Cuomo ...quoted something that Teddy Roosevelt had once said: “Courage is not having the strength to go on. It is going on when you don’t have the strength.” Then Cuomo continued, “Day 84. “‘I can’t do this anymore. I can’t do this anymore.’ We have to do it more. We have to continue to do it. There’s no normal. We’re going to have to do it for a long time.”

Terese Loeb Kreuzer
Editor, Downtown Post NYC
Downtown Post NYC's website ( is updated daily. That's the place to check for urgent messages, breaking news and reminders of interesting events in and around Lower Manhattan. So be sure to look at the website every day, especially if you want to know about breaking news.

HOW TO SUPPORT DOWNTOWN POST NYC: I made Downtown Post NYC free to subscribers so that no one who was interested in reading it would be excluded because of cost. Downtown Post NYC is largely supported by advertising revenue. In addition, some people have made contributions, which are much appreciated. For more information about how to contribute or advertise, email
Bits & Bytes
Pen Parentis receives $50,000 grant: Pen Parentis, a Lower Manhattan nonprofit that helps writers stay on creative track after they have children, has received a $50,000 grant from the New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA). The grant is part of a program to support the recovery of the nonprofit arts and culture sector. Milda M. De Voe, who founded Pen Parentis in 2014 and who is its executive director, was thrilled to receive news of the award. Pen Parentis will use the award to expand public access to its three major programs: an annual Writing Fellowship for New Parents, weekly online accountability groups for writers who struggle to complete projects because of domestic responsibilities, and a series of inspiring monthly literary salons that bring eminent writer-parents to a public setting to discuss craft, literary ideas, and to trade productivity tips. Pen Parentis Literary Salons are interactive and open to the general public. Events are on the second Tuesday of each month and bring small, curated groups of authors together for short readings followed by conversations with the audience. The RSVP link is posted monthly at along with author names and bios. Attendance is free although a $10 minimum donation is welcomed. (Photo: Milda M. De Voe in Battery Park City. April 2014. © Terese Loeb Kreuzer)
"Silverstein Properties Reveals New Outdoor Sculpture At 7 World Trade Center In Financial District, Manhattan," New York YIMBY, 11/27/2021. "An abstract sculpture from artist Frank Stella is now on display at 7 World Trade Center in the Financial District," New York YIMBY reports. "Titled 'Jasper’s Split Star,' the sculpture is located within the Silverstein Family Park between West Broadway and Greenwich Street, a location that was previously occupied by Jeff Koons’ signature 'Balloon Flower (Red).' For decades, Silverstein Properties has endorsed the installation of public artworks at their commercial properties in New York City. This latest installation, a metal-clad starburst sculpture, was inspired by 'Jasper’s Dilemma,' a painting Stella completed in 1962 as a tribute to fellow artist Jasper Johns. Six of the star’s sides are solid aluminum, and six remain open to reveal shades of blue, purple, and gray." For the complete article, click here.

"Last call? Cipriani facing possible foreclosure after mortgage default,", 12/07/2021. "Last call could be coming to two Cipriani locations in New York City as the hospitality company faces foreclosure in the wake of defaulting on its mortgage debt," The Real Deal reported, citing information from The Wall Street Journal. "The Wall Street Journal reported that Cipriani has been in default on $53 million in mortgage debt since May 2020, per real-estate data firm Trepp. The loan is backed by the Cipriani locations at 110 East 42nd Street and 55 Wall Street. Cipriani is being spared by a moratorium on commercial evictions and foreclosures, but time is ticking, as that moratorium is set to expire next month. According to the Journal, the debt was transferred to a special servicer last year and draft foreclosure documents have already been prepared." For the complete article, click here.

"11 Million New Oysters in New York Harbor (but None for You to Eat)," New York Times, 12/10/2021. The New York Times reported that "The restoration of New York Harbor has reached a new milestone as 2021 draws to a close: 11.2 million juvenile oysters have been added in the past six months to a section of the Hudson River off the coast of Lower Manhattan, where they are helping to filter the water and creating habitats for other marine life. The bivalves will not be headed to a serving platter: The waters are still too polluted to eat from freely, after absorbing centuries’ worth of trash, sewage and industrial waste. But the water quality in the area is steadily improving, and oysters — which were once so prevalent in the waters that they served as a staple in New Yorkers’ diets — are playing a key role in the shift. ....Now, in addition to the ones being introduced, wild ones are being found on the bottoms of piers off the West Side of Manhattan and in the Bronx. The newly deployed oysters are attached to more than 200 subtidal habitats, including metal orbs, cages and mesh wraps, in the water between Piers 26 and 34, off TriBeCa." For the complete article, click here.

Connection bus service halted until Jan. 15, 2022: The Connection bus service run by the Downtown Alliance has been halted until Jan. 15, 2022. The bus, which has been serving the Lower Manhattan and Battery Park City communities for 15 years, has a route with 36 stops connecting the South Street Seaport with Broadway adjacent to City Hall Park.

The reason that the service was temporarily discontinued has to do with safety. It resulted from "a dispute with the operator of the buses over their safe operation," said Andrew Breslau, the Downtown Alliance's Senior Vice President of Communications and Marketing.

The Downtown Connection is New York City’s only free bus service traveling a daily, circular path. When it is operating normally, the Connection bus service starts at 10 a.m. and ends with a final run at 7:30 p.m.

To accommodate Covid safety protocols, updated air-filtration systems and plastic partitions between seats had been installed in the buses. Seats were reconfigured to be forward facing for additional passenger protection.

"Ronald O. Perelman Performing Arts Center’s Marble Cladding More Than Halfway Installed In Financial District, Manhattan," New York YIMBY, 11/26/2021. "Façade installation is continuing to progress on the Ronald O. Perelman Performing Arts Center, a 138-foot-tall performance venue in the World Trade Center site in the Financial District," says New York YIMBY. "Designed by REX with Davis Brody Bond Architects as the executive architect and developed by non-profit company The Perelman, the structure is located between Skidmore Owings & Merrill‘s One World Trade Center to the west, Vesey Street to the north, Fulton Street to the south, and Greenwich Street to the east. The marble cladding installation has proceeded rapidly since ... October, when the first panels had just begun to go up. Less than two months later, more than half of the facility is now enclosed. Photos from along Vesey Street show the reflected sunlight bouncing off the glass facade of Seven World Trade Center and shining on the marble skin, while both Three and Four World Trade Center tower above the flat roof parapet." For the complete article, with photographs, click here.

"Why New York Is Unearthing a Brook It Buried a Century Ago," New York Times, 12/06/2021. Lower Manhattan has many underground springs so an article from The New York Times about a spring in the Bronx that is now being brought to the surface again after having been buried more than a century ago might be of interest here.

"New York is a city surrounded by water, from the open ocean to bays to rivers. But there is also an enormous trove of water hidden below its streets and high-rise buildings — hundreds of subterranean streams, creeks and springs that were buried long ago and all but forgotten as the city grew," say The Times article. "Tibbetts Brook is one of them. Its final stretch was diverted into a drain in the Bronx around 1912 and sent down to the sewer pipes below to make way for development of the marshland where it used to run. For decades, environmentalists and local activists campaigned to resurface the long-buried stream. Now, a changing climate is making what they struggled to achieve necessary. The city plans to unearth the brook — an engineering feat known as “daylighting” — at a cost of more than $130 million, because burying it in the sewer system has worsened the city’s flooding problems as a warming planet experiences more frequent and intense storms." For the complete article, click here.

Holiday Gifts from Té Company
tea, cookies, tea pots and tea brewing sets

The tea room is open for takeout from Friday to Sunday, noon to 6 p.m.
163 West 10th St.

To order from Té Company by mail, click here.
For more information about Té Company, e-mail:

To see the events and activities on the Battery Park City Authority's falllendar, click here. Most events are free. For some, reservations are required.
Spotlight: Becoming Dr. Ruth

After the Dec. 15, 2021 performance of "Becoming Dr. Ruth" with Tovah Feldshuh, Dr. Ruth Westheimer herself sat down onstage with Feldshuh to talk about the one-woman play and about Dr. Ruth's life. The play is running at the Museum of Jewish Heritage in Battery Park City through Jan. 2, 2022. (Photo: © Terese Loeb Kreuzer 2021)
Dr. Ruth K. Westheimer's distinctive voice is so familiar to many people that the story is told that she once spoke to a blind man as she put some money into his outstretched hat. He responded, "Thank you, Dr. Ruth!"

Her voice may be familiar but the story of her life probably is not. She was born on June 4, 1928 in Germany to an Orthodox Jewish family. When she was 10 years old, her father, Julius, was rounded up by the Nazi Gestapo and sent to the Dachau concentration camp. Karola remembered standing in a window looking at him as he was being led away. He looked up at her, she remembered, and smiled because he didn't want her to see him sad. She never saw him again but that smile stayed with her for the rest of her life.

Not long after that, Karola's mother and grandmother decided that Germany wasn't safe for Karola and put her on a Kindertransport train for Switzerland. She never saw either of them again, either.

All of this and more is embodied by the award-winning actress Tovah Feldshuh in the one-woman play, "Becoming Dr. Ruth," now on stage at the Museum of Jewish Heritage in Battery Park City. The play is a tour de force. Feldshuh has an uncanny ability to recreate Dr. Ruth's mannerisms and attitude. In fact, the two have been friends for a long time, giving Feldshuh many opportunities to study Dr. Ruth. She even has Dr. Ruth's distinctive laugh down pat.

The play runs through Jan. 2, 2022. Tickets start at $59. For more information and to buy tickets, click here.
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Editor: Terese Loeb Kreuzer

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