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News and events in Lower Manhattan

Volume 6, No. 71, June 16, 2023


Tribeca Festival is back in town with films and more

Bits & Bytes: Library leaders decry Mayor Adams' budget cuts; Historic diners

Downtown Post NYC Food: Oculus Greenmarket opens for the season

Bulletin Board: Lower Manhattan gets 'smart' composting bins

Juneteenth in Battery Park City

Calendar: Gay Pride at the Whitney; Gay Pride at the South Street Seaport Museum

For the latest weather info:

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

MASTHEAD PHOTO: Strawberries for sale at the Oculus Greenmarket. June 13, 2023 (Photo: © Terese Loeb Kreuzer)

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.

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The SVA Theatre on West 23rd St. is one of several Lower Manhattan locations where Tribeca Festival films are being screened. (Photo: © Terese Loeb Kreuzer 2023)

Prompted by the destruction of the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2021, for 22 years, the Tribeca Festival has been bringing the world to Lower Manhattan. The festival was founded by Robert De Niro, Jane Rosenthal and Craig Hatkoff in 2001 to help Lower Manhattan get back on its feet culturally and economically in the wake of the 9/11 tragedy.

At first, the festival was about domestically produced and international films. In recent years, they have been joined by programming that revolves around TV, music, audio, games and virtual reality interspersed with talks by creators and stars. Storytelling is the theme. Anything that qualifies as storytelling could turn up here. Somewhere along the way, the Tribeca Film Festival turned into the Tribeca Festival.

Here are reviews of two of the films playing at the Festival this year.

"Stan Lee," directed by David Gelb, can be seen at the Tribeca Festival on Sun., June 18 at the SVA Theatre, 333 West 23rd St. Time: 2:30 p.m. It is also available via Tribeca at Home, which will stream from June 19 to July 2. For more information about Tribeca at Home, click here.

Stan Lee

Stanley Martin Lieber. Do you know that name? Maybe not but you probably know the name "Stan Lee" (derived from "Stanley") and you most certainly know of some of the superheroes that emerged from Marvel Comics during the two decades that Lee was its creative director. They have become embedded in American culture. Spider-Man, Iron Man, the Hulk, Black Panther and many others were his brainchildren.

Using personal film footage, recorded recollections, newsreels and clay models placed in situations that Stan Lee vividly remembered but that were not otherwise recorded, this documentary tells the story of the man who has been called "arguably the most influential comic publisher of all time."

He was born on Dec. 28, 1922 on the Upper West Side of Manhattan in very modest circumstances to Jack and Celia Lieber, Jewish immigrants from Romania. From this humble beginning, he became one of the most powerful and revered creators in a business that has captivated millions of Americans (and others).

Toward the beginning of the documentary, Lee reflects on this. "Comic books have been a big business for 25 years and they're bigger than ever today," he says. "With this in mind, you’ll be interested to know that the Marvel Comics Group is the acknowledged leader in monthly sales of all comics magazines published today. Our superheroes are the kind of people that you or I would be if we had a superpower which sets them apart from all other superheroes published today. That seems to be the reason that they’re actually more popular than any of the others."

Lee was aswirl in ideas. Inspiration could come from unlikely sources. "One day, I was trying to think of a new superhero and I saw a fly crawling on a wall," he says in the documentary, "and I thought, gee, wouldn’t it be something if a hero could stick to walls and move on them like an insect? I decided that I wanted somebody that every one of the readers could identify with. If I had superhuman powers, wouldn't I still have to worry about making a living or having my dates like me?"

Insights into Lee's thinking and creative process are a captivating aspect of this documentary. They seem to have been fueled by the kind of person he was — despite his power and success, never mercurial or abusive but smiling, chatty, friendly and very kind.

"Did you like Stan Lee?" I asked a man who had worked with him. "Did you trust him?"

— "Yes, to both," he replied.

— Terese Loeb Kreuzer

Ariane Castellanos and Marc-André Grondin in "Richelieu"

"Richelieu" (called "Temporaries" at the Tribeca Festival) was written and directed by Pier-Philippe Chevigny. It can be seen at the Tribeca Festival on Fri., June 16 at the AMC Theater at 6 East 9th St. Time: 6:30 p.m.


"Richelieu" is the name of a river and a region in the Quebec Province of Canada and the name of a valley. It was also the French name of a film that had its world première at the Tribeca Festival and was renamed "Temporaries" for the festival's primarily English-speaking audience. Pier-Philippe Chevigny, writer and director of "Richelieu," calls the name "ironic" because the name means "rich place," but actually, the region is "very, very poor," he says. This is where Chevigny grew up and where this film takes place.

It is the heartbreaking, gut-wrenching story of seasonal, migrant workers from Guatemala, employed at a local corn plant, and of a young, bilingual (French and Spanish) woman who is employed at the plant as an interpreter between the workers and their French-speaking bosses. She needs the job and the money it brings in, as the workers do, even though the work shatters their health and their bosses are abusive.

When Chevigny began to research the film, he thought it would be a documentary but soon discovered that the material he was uncovering was so potentially damaging that he would have to convert it into fiction in order to conceal the identities and explicit circumstances of his informants. "None of them would go on the record," he said of them. "They were dependent on their jobs and they didn't want any trouble."

The characters as they are depicted in the film are a collage of numerous people but the film, though a "narrative," is so true in its conception and execution that it could well be a documentary.

"Richelieu" is Chevigny's first feature-length film. It was preceded by 12 short films that he wrote, shot and edited and by studies in filmmaking at the University of Montreal. All of his films have been concerned with problems of social justice.

The film is perfection in concept, acting, direction, scripting, camera work and pacing.

Ariane Castellanos is brilliant as a young woman with financial troubles of her own who becomes increasingly aware of how terribly the migrant workers are being treated and who finally jeopardizes her own position by confronting the bosses. "Richelieu" was her feature film debut.

When the lights came on at the screening I attended, I had tears in my eyes, as did others in the room.

This is a film worth seeing.

— Terese Loeb Kreuzer

Pier-Philippe Chevigny, the screenwriter and director of "Richelieu."

(Photo © Terese Loeb Kreuzer)

For more information about what's happening at the Festival and when, here are a How to Fest Guide and a detailed Festival Schedule.

'Bounty Box' From Té Company

Elena Liao and Fred Ribeiro recently returned from a sourcing trip to Taiwan and were offering a limited edition set of six of the teas they discovered. The tea quickly sold out but traditional pineapple cakes, included in the bounty box, are still available. To purchase, click here.

The tea room at 163 West 10th St. is open Tuesdays through Fridays from noon to 6 p.m. and Saturdays and Sundays from

11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
For more information about Té Company, e-mail:

For more information and to order, click here.

Bits & Bytes


A truck parked on Broadway near City Hall carried political messages directed at some of New York Mayor Eric Adams' policies. June 13, 2023. (Photo: © Terese Loeb Kreuzer)

"NYC library leaders say budget cuts could still shutter weekend, mobile service,", 5/18/2023. As of May 18, was reporting that "Executives at New York City’s public libraries said on Thursday that a potential 'breaking point' may still be on the horizon — possibly ending Sunday operations and six-day service at several locations — despite a recent about-face from the Adams administration on another round of cuts." The article went on to say that "Libraries across the five boroughs still face a budget shortfall of more than $36 million for the upcoming fiscal year based on Mayor Eric Adams’ budget proposal, which would force the three systems — Brooklyn, Queens and New York Public Libraries — to pull back on filling vacancies for critical positions. Library leaders said this would hamper weekend operations and eliminate Sunday service altogether, as well as threaten other operations, including mobile libraries and services for newly arrived migrants."

Apparently the peril to the hours and services offered by New York City's public libraries still exists. On its Twitter account, the New York Public Library wrote "Today is the Day of Action for Libraries to save weekend service! Proposed budget cuts could end weekend service in branches across the city. New Yorkers are standing up to tell

@NYCMayor & @NYCCouncil: #NoCutsToLibraries!" For a link to the article from, click here.

"The Plan to Save New York From the Next Sandy Will Ruin the Waterfront. It Doesn’t Have To;" New York Times, 6/15/2023. Via an Op-Ed in The New York Times, Robert Yaro and Daniel Gutman show what the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' current plan to combat sea level rise in New York City would do to the waterfront, if implemented. Yaro is a former president of the Regional Plan Association and a board member of Metro Flood Defense. Gutman is an environmental planning consultant and a member of the New York-New Jersey Storm Surge Working Group. They describe the current proposal to protect the greater New York and New Jersey metro area from flooding as "an epic plan that includes dozens of miles of floodwalls, levees and berms along the shoreline and 12 storm surge barriers — arrays of movable gates — across entrances to waterways throughout the region. The plan is estimated to cost a staggering $52.6 billion. It’s by far the most expensive project ever proposed by the Corps," they say. But, they go on, "The trouble is that despite its great ambitions, the Corps’s plan demonstrates the shortcomings of relying on massive shoreline structures for flood protection. If built, this plan could reverse the region’s decades-long effort to open up its waterfront for recreation while, at best, protecting only a small fraction of the region’s most vulnerable areas from devastating storm surge flooding." For the complete article combined with illustrations of what massive walls would look like, click here.

"Diners We Adore in NYC,", 6/12/2023. "Diners, how do we love thee? Let us count the ways," this article from begins. The authors then begin to enumerate the reasons for their affection: well-seared burgers, pancakes with a side of bacon, pita sandwiches, lime-green Jell-O, tuna salad sandwiches and so on. And then there are the cakes and pies such as coconut cream pie and apple pie with a scoop of ice cream. This combined with historic interiors and prices that have "crept up only a little," make diners beloved and irresistable.

Two of the diners on's list are in Lower Manhattan. The Square in Tribeca "is probably the city’s oldest diner," says, lauding it for retaining "its railroad dining car elements." Address: 33 Leonard St.; Phone: 212-925-7188; Hours: Mon. and Tues., 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Wed., 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Thurs. and Fri., 8 a.m. to 9 p.m., Sat., 8 a.m. to 7 p.m., Sun., 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. In the Financial District, the Pearl Diner "has famously avoided urban renewal and now stands dwarfed by skyscrapers in its Wall Street neighborhood. The welcome Greek pneumatos [in Greek, that means "spirit"] of the place results in dishes like shrimp Aegean, souvlaki platters, and pork gyro pitas, but all the standards are ably represented." Address: 212 Pearl St.; Phone: (212) 344-6620; Hours: Mon. to Fri., 7 a.m. to 9 p.m., Sat. and Sun., 8 a.m. to 2:45 p.m. For the complete article, click here.

The Square Diner at 33 Leonard St. in Tribeca has been at the corner of Varick and Leonard Streets for more than a hundred years. It's currently housed in a structure made to resemble a railroad dining car. (Photo: Robert Sietsema/Eater NY)

Downtown Post NYC Food


The Greenmarket at the Oculus opened for the season on June 6. It will be open on Tuesdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. through Nov. 21. (Photos: © Terese Loeb Kreuzer)

Vegetables and fruit at the Oculus Greenmarket are supplied by Jersey Farm Produce of Milford, New Jersey. The 46-acre farm belongs to Hector Perez, a native of Mexico, who proudly raises all of the produce that he sells without the use of pesticides. In Mexico, Perez had worked in construction but was enabled to start his farm through Grow NYC's New Farmer Development Project (NFDP). For more about Perez and his farm, click here.

Local strawberries are available in June and July. They are now on sale at the Greenmarkets sponsored by Grow NYC. For a list of the vegetables and fruit that can be purchased at the Greenmarkets, including when they go in and out of season, click here.

By the end of the summer, zucchini are so plentiful in farmers' markets that they are often taken for granted but in the beginning of the season, they are a welcome harbringer of the abundance of fresh, locally grown vegetables and fruit ahead. Locally grown zucchini are available from May through October. At the Jersey Farm stand in the Oculus market, they are selling for $2.75 a pound.

GrowNYC's 50 Greenmarkets give small family farms the opportunity to sell directly to consumers. More than 240 farmers participate in the Greenmarkets, which are located in all five boroughs. In addition to selling food, most of the Greenmarkets are collection sites for textiles and food scraps.

In addition to pesticide-free food, Jersey Farm Produce, a vendor at the Oculus Greenmarket, sells flowers. Peonies are in season in May and June.

Bulletin Board


The Downtown Alliance's composting bins will be phased out as of June 28. People wishing to compost organic waste will have to use bins installed by the NYC Department of Sanitation. There are currently 11 of these bins in Lower Manhattan.

Air Quality Parameters Explained: Governor Hochul and the Departments of Environmental Conservation and Health continue to closely monitor air quality for impacts from Canadian wildfires, as well as ozone and other pollutants. 

The statewide forecast for June 16 shows smoke from Canadian wildfires is expected to be visible high in the atmosphere with moderate levels of fine particulate pollution at ground level. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Air Quality Index (AQI), the forecasted moderate levels are far below the levels experienced by New Yorkers last week and below the threshold for issuing an Air Quality Health Advisory. 

Moderate levels are when the Air Quality Index is between 51-100, which means air quality is acceptable, with potential moderate health concerns for a very small number of people who are unusually sensitive to air pollution. Air Quality Health Advisories are issued when meteorologists forecast levels of pollution, most commonly ozone and particulate matter, to exceed an AQI value of 100. If the AQI exceeds 100, we recommend reviewing the precautions here as necessary.

More information about New York State Air Quality forecast is available here.

NYPD First Precinct Community Council Meetings: Monthly meetings of Manhattan's NYPD First Precinct Community Council take place starting at 6 p.m. at 16 Ericsson Place. The next meeting will be on June 22. The Community Council welcomes residents and businesses interested in police and security issues. Crime statistics and crime prevention tips are presented and quality of life issues are discussed. For more information, contact the First Precinct Community Affairs Officer, Nicolaos Iordanou at (212) 334-0640 (office) or (929) 294-6952 (cellphone). Email:

Composting in Lower Manhattan: The Downtown Alliance's Downtown Public Compost Program will end on June 27 after a successful 18-month pilot. Beginning on June 28, composters will need to drop off their organic waste at the NYC Department of Sanitation's Smart Composting Bins. DSNY has already installed 11 of their new bins in Lower Manhattan. The sites for these bins include Bowling Green, 1 New York Plaza, Rector and Washington Streets and more. Users can find and open the bins with the NYC Compost app at the links below. A QR code to download the app also appears on each bin.



In addition, compost can be dropped off at the following locations and times:

   75 Battery Place: 24/7

   Battery Park City Authority Rockefeller Park: 24/7

   Tribeca Greenmarket: Saturdays, 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Accepted materials in the Smart Composting Bins include ALL food scraps, plant waste, and food-soiled paper. This includes meat, bones, dairy, prepared foods and greasy uncoated paper plates and pizza boxes. Community composting drop-off sites will accept most food scraps including fruits and vegetables, eggshells, coffee grounds and tea bags, nuts, bread, rice, and pasta. Plant waste, including leaf and yard waste and houseplants but no meat, bones or dairy.

For more information on the locations, operating hours and accepted materials for the sites above, as well as to find other drop-off locations throughout the city, click here.

Some of the Downtown Post NYC bulletin board listings are now on the Downtown Post NYC website. To see the bulletin board listings, click here.

Juneteenth in Battery Park City

Juneteenth, or Emancipation Day, is a federal holiday commemorating the emancipation of enslaved African Americans. It celebrates the anniversary of an order, issued by Major General Gordon Granger on June 19, 1865, proclaiming freedom for slaves in Texas. Juneteenth was first celebrated in 1865 in Galveston, Texas. On June 17, Battery Park City’s 7th annual Juneteenth Celebration, the Federation of Black Cowboys will share history, horsemanship and riding. (Must be 3 years old or older for pony ride). Other activities: paint a Juneteenth flag, make a bandana with bright West African print fabric, meet Glori B, a Brooklyn watercolorist who captures the African-American West in her art. Place: Rockefeller Park lawn. Time: 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.

(Photos: © Terese Loeb Kreuzer 2022)

To see the events and activities on the Battery Park City Authority's summer calendar, click here. Most events are free. For some, reservations are required.


Spotlight: 'Gay Pride' at the Whitney Museum of American Art

Part of the Meatpacking District and West Street as seen from the Whitney Museum of American Art at 99 Gansevoort St. (Photo: © Terese Loeb Kreuzer)

Whitney Museum Gay Pride Observances

The Whitney Museum of American Art at 99 Gansevoort St. is located in New York City's former Meatpacking District on the West Side of Lower Manhattan. In the 1970s, the area began to be known not just for meatpacking and other industries but for night clubs catering to a gay clientele and for prostitution involving transsexuals. Beginning in the late 1990's, high-end boutiques opened in the area, and by 2004, the Meatpacking District had become fashionable, abetted in June 2009 by the opening of the first segment of the High Line.

The Whitney opened on May 1, 2015 near the southernmost entrance of the High Line. This is a museum noteworthy for its embrace of artists of varied backgrounds and for often mounting shows with politicized messages. So it's no wonder that the Whitney is celebrating Gay Pride Month with a multitude of events that acknowledge the years when the streets around the museum were a hub of gay activity. The museum states that "Whitney Pride is part of the Museum’s ongoing commitment to support LGBTQ+ artists and communities and offer an inclusive space for all to gather and enjoy American art. Registration is required for most programs, which are for adults 21+" This a partial schedule of what the Whitney plans for the month of June:

June 5: On the occasion of the New York premiere of HBO Documentary Film "The Stroll" (2023), the Whitney celebrated the history of the Meatpacking District and honored the transgender women who helped shape it with a free after-hours event featuring music, dancing, and refreshments in the Museum’s Griffin Hall. "The Stroll" (2023) is a documentary film that explores the history of New York City's Meatpacking District through the eyes of the transgender women of color who lived and worked there. The film is titled after the block of 14th street between Ninth Avenue and the Hudson River where trans women, shunned from the workforce, turned to sex work as a means of survival. Their perspectives and insights contribute to an essential archive documenting how heavy policing, discrimination, violence, and gentrification created Manhattan’s built environment today. Though this screening has passed, "The Stroll" will be available as of June 21 at 9:00 p.m. ET on HBO and will be available to stream on Max coinciding with LGBTQ Pride Month.

Marsden Hartley created “Painting, Number 5,” one of a series of War Motifs, during an extended stay in Berlin. Hartley was fascinated by the military pageantry of pre-war imperial Germany, and fragments of flags, banners, medals, and insignia crowd the surface of his canvases. The outbreak of World War I deeply troubled him, however, and he was devastated by the death of Karl von Freyburg, a young German lieutenant with whom he had fallen in love. This work is a symbolic portrait of Hartley’s fallen friend: included are an Iron Cross medal, epaulets, and brass buttons from his uniform, a chessboard that refers to his favorite game, and the number eight, a symbol of transcendence. Date 1914–1915.

Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; gift of an anonymous donor

June 9: Queering the Collection. This tour revolved around gender, sexuality, and LGBTQ+ perspectives in Selections from the Whitney’s Collection, 1900–1965. From Florine Stettheimer’s fabulous New York gay salons of the 1910s to Andy Warhol’s self-identity struggles in the 1960s, the tour explored the many ways in which queerness has shaped American modern art.

June 18-June 23: Queer History Walks. A walking tour explores the queer history of the Whitney Museum’s neighborhood. This walk will bring visitors to historical sites that once provided a place to find and create queer community. From the Hudson River piers to the clubs, visitors are invited to consider their connection to the changing landscape of the neighborhood that the Whitney now occupies, as well as the city’s history. June 18 at 3 p.m. and June 23 at 6 p.m. Tours will meet outside the entrance of the Museum. The meeting place will be marked with signage. Free with registration.

June 17: The Matthew Westerby Company and Hudson Guild Theatre Company Present The Piers Project, inspired by the history and documentation of the world that existed on Manhattan's west side piers in the 1970s and '80s. In the post-Stonewall era, the area became a space of sexual freedom and creative expression among the crumbling relics of the piers. Through photographs and first-hand written accounts capturing the scene, dancers imagine the moments and movements that occurred there, creating a dance work that evokes the freedom, exuberance, anonymity, and dangers of the piers during this time. The program will feature the premiere of Life/Space, a dance work performed by the seven women of MWC inspired by Gestalt psychological theory, which places an emphasis on perception and how we use our senses to understand the world around us. The piece explores a humanistic approach to the study of the individual and how the forces of attraction and repulsion affect our paths through space and time. Place: Susan and John Hess Family Gallery and Theater on Floor 3 in the Whitney Museum. Times: 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. This event is free with registration. To register, click here.

For more events at the Whitney during June Pride Month, click here.

Gay Pride at the South Street Seaport Museum


June 24: Cap the Seaport Museum’s Pride Month festivities by getting out on the water to join the LGBTQ+ sailing club Knickerbocker Sailing Association’s (KSA) 21st-annual floating parade. Two of the Museum’s National Register-listed historic vessels will join over 30 vessels for the sail, which means you can join part of the parade on the 1885 schooner Pioneer or on the 1930 tugboat W.O. Decker. The fleet of 30+ vessels will feature sails designed by Gilbert Baker who created the first pride flag and was a member of KSA.


For each Pioneer and Decker ticket purchased, the Seaport Museum will donate a sailing ticket to Ali Forney Center, which is dedicated to protecting LGBTQ+ young people from the harms of homelessness and empowers them with the tools needed to live independently.


Time: 1 p.m. Place: Leaving from Pier 16 Cost: $15–$30 for W.O. Decker and $20 to $50 for Pioneer.


Click here to get your ticket to join the procession aboard Pioneer or W.O. Decker. Advance registration is required. Capacity is limited.


Want to enjoy the parade from shore? The procession of vessels is expected to sail past the Seaport Museum between 3 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. and anyone can come to Pier 16 to watch the boats and cheer them on. While on the Pier, you are invited to browse and support the Hester Street Fair, which will feature all queer-owned or -operated businesses.


Classic Harbor Line’s schooner, Adirondack, cruising up the Hudson River in celebration of Gay Pride Day. June 28, 2020 (Photo: © Terese Loeb Kreuzer)

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