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News and events in Lower Manhattan

Volume 6, No. 72, June 26, 2023


Primary election: What's at stake in tomorrow's primary election

Bits & Bytes: Plan to dump radioactive waste in the Hudson River

Bulletin Board: Free summer meals; Summer farm shares at the Fulton Stall Market

Swedish Midsummer Festival in Battery Park City

For the latest weather info:

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

MASTHEAD PHOTO: In conjunction with the Swedish Midsummer Festival, Swedish flags were hung in Rockefeller Park amid some of the park's luxuriant plantings. June 23, 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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Primary Election


In August 2020, quotations from poets, playwrights, politicians and others turned a construction fence surrounding the former Union Square Savings Bank on the east side of Union Square in Manhattan into a giant mural for Black Lives Matter. Shirley Chisholm (Nov. 30, 1924 – Jan. 1, 2005) was the first Black woman to be elected to the United States Congress. She served in Congress for seven terms from 1969 to 1983. In 1972, she became the first Black candidate for a major-party nomination for President of the United States and the first woman to run for the Democratic Party's nomination. (Photo: © Terese Loeb Kreuzer)

It's time to vote again. In the primary election, currently under way, registered Democratic voters in Lower Manhattan can choose among four candidates to run for City Council, Manhattan District 1. The winner of this primary will be on the ballot in the general election, which takes place in November. The ballot in Lower Manhattan will also ask voters to choose between two candidates for the Judge of the Civil Court, 1st Municipal District.

Primary election day is June 27. You have a right to vote in the primary election if you are registered in a party that is holding a primary election in your district and if you are in line at your poll site by closing time. New York City uses Ranked Choice Voting in primary and special elections for City offices. Elections for City Council, on the ballot in this primary, are subject to Ranked Choice Voting.

What is Ranked Choice voting?

Ranked Choice enables voters to rank up to five candidates in order of preference instead of choosing just one. The candidates are listed in one vertical column with the numbers 1 through 5 running across a horizontal column. After filling in the oval next to their first choice, voters can fill in the ovals next to their second through fifth choices, if they wish. OR they can just select their first choice. Only one candidate can be designated for each position in the ranking. The candidate who receives more than 50 percent of first-choice votes wins the election. BUT if no candidate receives more than 50 percent of first-choice votes, then counting continues in rounds. Each round, the candidate with the fewest votes is eliminated. This process continues until there are only two candidates left. The candidate who receives the majority of the votes wins.

City Council

There are 51 members of City Council. Usually they serve four-year terms, but this year because of the 2020 Census, City Council districts were redrawn to adjust for changes in population. City Council members elected this year will serve two-year terms in the redrawn districts.

(City Council Chambers in City Hall. Photo: © Terese Loeb Kreuzer)

City Council is empowered to introduce and vote on bills, negotiate and approve the city's budget, monitor city agencies, make decisions about the growth and development of the city and provide constituent support.

Some Statistics about Manhattan District 1

District 1 includes Battery Park City, Civic Center, Chinatown, the Financial District, Little Italy, the Lower East Side, NoHo, SoHo, the South Street Seaport, the South Village, TriBeCa and Washington Square. It also includes Governors Island, Ellis Island and Liberty Island.

The population is 177,021. The two largest racial/ethnic groups are White (45%) and Asian (32%)

The typical median household income is $104,779 a year compared with $70,663 citywide.

The new District 1 is different than the old District 1. It now includes NYCHA’s Vladeck Houses but no longer includes Washington Square Park. The new District 1 lost about 7,500 voting-age adults to bring its population closer to the citywide average for City Council districts.

District 1 is heavily Democratic. Out of 91,002 registered voters, 67% are Democrats and 8% are Republicans. The remainder are registered with other parties or are unaffiliated.

At a street crossing in Tribeca, signs pointed the way to a nearby polling place on primary Election Day, June 28, 2022. (Photo: © Terese Loeb Kreuzer)

The City Council Candidates on the Primary Election ballot

Christopher Marte is the incumbent. He is in his first term of representing Manhattan District 1 in City Council. Marte is facing three challengers in the Democratic primary election: Susan Lee, a grant writer and nonprofit professional, Ursila Jung, a public policy professional and Pooi Stewart, a public school teacher. Helen Qiu is an engineer running uncontested on the Republican and Conservative Party lines.

Candidates for Civil Court

The New York City Civil Court hears civil cases involving amounts up to $50,000, as well as other civil matters that are referred to it by the Supreme Court. The Civil Court also hears small claims cases involving amounts up to $5,000 and housing-related civil cases. NY County’s Civil Court is located at 111 Centre St.

Two candidates for Civil Court are on the ballot in the primary election: Lauren Esposito and David Alan Fraiden.

Lauren Esposito currently works as a Senior Appellate Court Attorney at the Appellate Division, Second Department, the busiest appellate court in the state. Of the two candidates for Civil Court, she has been rated "most highly qualified" by the New York County Independent Screening Panel. Among the people who have endorsed her are Congressmember Jerry Nadler, Congressmember Dan Goldman, Manhattan Borough President Mark Levine, Assemblymember Deborah Glick and State Senator Brad Hoylman-Sigal.

This is a detail of an installation from the Whitney Biennial of 2017 by Raúl de Nieves. It covered the entire glass wall of one of the museum’s galleries. The windows referenced peace, love, truth, justice, harmony and hope, which are beset by violence, decay and death.

(Photo: ©Terese Loeb Kreuzer)

Candidate Snapshots

The four candidates for the Democratic nomination for City Council District 1 have listed their priorities in response to questions from the New York City Campaign Finance Board. This is what they had to say about their "top three issues."

Christopher Marte (the incumbent)

  1. Stop the displacement crisis
  2. End sweatshop conditions in NYC
  3. Enforce responsible environmental resiliency plans

Ursila Jung

  1. Public safety and government accountability
  2. Parents deserve high quality schools
  3. Neighborhood stores make NYC great

Susan Lee

  1. Protect communities from rising crime
  2. Improve quality of public schools
  3. Ensure economic opportunities for all

Pooi Stewart

  1. Improve public safety
  2. Create better schools
  3. Bring jobs back to NYC

Comment from the editor:

I'm all in favor of public safety and transparency on the part of government. I also think that schools should be wonderful places where teaching is creative and learning is fun. And yes, I want everyone to be able to earn a living that can cover their basic needs and then some. I also want to see lots of Mom and Pop stores and no "big box" stores. But...these are complicated topics. I'm willing to guess that no one reading this is NOT in favor of "public safety" or does favor having people get booted out of their homes. As for "parents deserving high quality schools" — I would put that a little differently. Kids deserve high quality schools — and in fact, in District 1 we have some schools that are ranked among the best. "Sweatshop conditions?" Is that something that's on the minds of most of the voters in District 1? If they live in Chinatown or in a Lower East Side tenement, that might well be the case. But District 1 also encompasses some of the priciest real estate in Manhattan and there, obviously, the issues are different.

All of the candidates for District 1 City Council have touted either their immigrant origins or their formative experiences living in Chinatown and/or the Lower East Side. They are familiar with the problems created by substandard living arrangements, low wages and in some cases, prejudice. But District 1 is bigger than that. Some of the problems that a City Council member will have to address include shepherding real estate deals through City Council (or blocking them, as the case may be). They include protecting Lower Manhattan's history and historic structures from being torn down or irreparably altered. They include improving local transportation in terms of frequency and handicapped accessibility. They include addressing the housing, supportive care and nutritional needs of the elderly. And so on.

Those of us who have lived in Lower Manhattan for a while have seen how much difference a City Council member can make, not only in addressing immediate issues but long term. Real estate decisions in particular have long-term repercussions. We witnessed that in the South Street Seaport.

We have an important decision to make at the polls tomorrow (June 27). The polls are open from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. If you haven't voted already, be sure to show up.

— Terese Loeb Kreuzer

Photo from a rally in front of 250 Broadway protesting decisions by the Landmarks Preservation Commission favoring a developer at the expense of the historic fabric of a neighborhood and the health and safety of children attending nearby schools. Christopher Marte, who currently represents District 1, was present at that rally. (Photo: © Terese Loeb Kreuzer)

The polling site at PS 234 in Tribeca. (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)

Bits & Bytes


The Indian Point nuclear power plant is around 35 miles north of Manhattan, near an earthquake fault line. The plant stopped operating in April 2021. The plant’s owner — Holtec International — announced in February 2023 that the site would dump more than 1 million gallons of radioactive water into the Hudson River, starting as early as this summer."

(Photo: © Terese Loeb Kreuzer 2008)

"NY passes ban on dumping radioactive waste in Hudson River,", 6/21/2023. "The 'Save the Hudson' bill — a New York measure that prohibits the dumping of radioactive waste into the Hudson River — is one step closer to becoming a law after passing a special session of the state Assembly Tuesday evening,"says "The 100 to 44 vote for passage came after an avalanche of community momentum and unanimous passage through the State Senate last week. But even if Gov. Kathy Hochul signs the measure into law, implementation could prove challenging because nuclear facilities and their waste management usually fall under federal law. The measure is written to prohibit the dumping of any radiological substances in connection with the decommissioning of a nuclear facility into the Hudson River. Only one such facility exists along this waterway: Indian Point Energy Center in Buchanan, which ceased operations in April 2021. The plant’s owner — Holtec International — announced in February that the site would dump more than 1 million gallons of radioactive water into the Hudson River, starting as early as this summer." For the complete article, click here.

"Big New York Legacy Opens Tiny Tribeca Restaurant,", 6/20/2023. reports, "Through his restaurants, Eiji Ichimura, the 70 year-old sushi chef, has helped educate New Yorkers on what to expect from an edomae omakase experience when he opened his first namesake under-the-radar restaurant on Second Avenue in Midtown that closed in 2008. It was followed by David Bouley’s acclaimed Brushstroke, and later, two-Michelin-starred Ichimura at Uchū, among others. Now, with the help of Rahul Saito and Kuma Hospitality Group behind Tribeca’s one-Michelin-starred modern French l’Abeille, the swankiest of Ichimura’s restaurants opens Tuesday, June 20. Sushi Ichimura, a 10-seat Tribeca slip at 412 Greenwich Street, near Laight Street, displays an East-meets-West aesthetic shaped by Ichimura and Brazilian designer, Marta Carvalho. ...The sushi master who helped fine-tune the Stateside practice of aging fish for modern diners has crafted a menu that includes fish from Hokkaido and elsewhere around Japan, along with wares from suppliers at the Toyosu Market, with many items unavailable in the United States." For the complete article, click here.

"What NYC needs to know about proposed MTA bus, subway, paratransit fare hikes," Daily News, 6/21/2023. "What you pay to ride New York City’s subways, buses and paratransit services is expected to rise this summer for the first time in seven years," says the New York Daily News. "Commuter train fares and bridge and tunnel tolls are also expected to increase. But before the MTA gives the hikes final approval, it’s gathering public opinions about its plans at public hearings you can attend in-person or online. You can also submit opinions in writing. The public hearings are being held in person at MTA Headquarters, 2 Broadway, 20th Floor – William J. Ronan Board Room. The last of the public hearings is scheduled for June 26 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. To register to comment at this meeting, click here. To watch a live stream of this meeting, click here. Click here for what you need to know about the MTA’s plans — and how you can make your voice heard. For the complete article, click here.

"Inaugural Season Announced For Perelman Performing Arts Center In Financial District, Manhattan," New York YIMBY, 6/23/2023. "Finishing touches are underway on the Perelman Performing Arts Center, a 138-foot-tall cubic structure in the 16-acre 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 The Perelman, the property will feature three performance spaces: the 450-seat John E. Zuccotti Theater, the 250-seat Mike Nichols Theater, and the 99-seat Doris Duke Foundation Theater. The halls can also be combined into a single 950-seat auditorium. The property is bound by Vesey Street to the north, Fulton Street to the south, Greenwich Street to the east, and Skidmore Owings & Merrill‘s One World Trade Center to the west....Most of the dark-gray stone sidewalk tiles are now in place surrounding the building, and much of the construction fencing has been dismantled and replaced with smaller barricades. Some light fixtures, trees, and minor below-grade infrastructure work beneath Vesey Street remain to be completed, but should wrap up this summer." For the complete article with photographs, click here.

The fare to ride New York City’s subways, buses and paratransit services is expected to rise this summer for the first time in seven years. Public hearings are now under way.

(Photo: ©Terese Loeb Kreuzer)

Raspberry Linzer From Té Company

Raspberries, now seasonally available, are the classic filling for linzer. To go with them, Té Company is bringing back a traditional Chinese Medicine tea for its summer edition. In addition to its classic green tea known for its cooling properties, Té Company has created an oolong tea blend with shiso, an Asian plant of the mint family.

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.

Bulletin Board


The Fulton Stall Market at 91 South St. in the South Street Seaport is a non-profit public marketplace for local food, connecting farmers and producers with the Lower Manhattan community. During the summer, the Fulton Stall Market offers shares in Community Supported Agriculture, enabling consumers to support local farmers and producers and to receive high quality food at a good price. (Photo: © Terese Loeb Kreuzer)

Free Summer Meals: Breakfast and lunch will continue to be available in some public schools beyond the instructional school year. The Summer Meals Program is open to anyone age 18 years old and under. Designated public schools, community pool centers, parks, and food trucks will be open for service. No registration, documentation, or ID is necessary to receive a free breakfast or lunch meal. The free Summer Meals Program runs from June 28 to Sept. 1, 2023. Select locations will open on June 28. All locations will be open as of June 29. Among the local schools participating in the program are P.S. 89 at 201 Warren St. and the Spruce Street School at 12 Spruce St. Both of them will be serving breakfast from 8 a.m. to 9:15 a.m. starting June 29 and lunch from 11 a.m. to 1:15 p.m. For more information about the program and about the food menus, click here.

Downtown Voices seeks new members: Trinity Wall Street’s semi-professional choir, Downtown Voices, is welcoming new members. High-level volunteer singers can request an audition to join this acclaimed ensemble. Members of Downtown Voices learn from an experienced choral conductor, rehearse weekly alongside professionals from The Choir of Trinity Wall Street, perform with Trinity’s professional orchestras, sing at major venues, and work on recording projects. For more information about Downtown Voices, contact the Chorus Manager at Auditions will be held on Aug. 27. To sign up for an audition, click here.

Fulton Stall Market farm shares: The Fulton Stall Market at 91 South St. in the South Street Seaport is offering fresh, local food sourced directly from farmers and local producers. This program of CSA shares (Community Supported Agriculture) helps farmers by giving them a guaranteed market for their work and it helps consumers by delivering high quality food at a reasonable price. The program runs from June 22 to Sept. 14 but it's possible to join at any time on a prorated basis. The products included in each food delivery may consist of summer vegetables, summer fruit, sprouts, eggs, mushrooms, farmstead cheese, charcuterie, bread, fresh pasta, seafood, chicken, beef and pork and more. When they sign up for the program, customers choose which products they want to purchase. Customers must come to the Fulton Stall Market to pick up their food. For information on the suppliers and on the cost of their products, click here. For answers to questions about the program contact the CSA manager, Zigi Lowenberg, who can be reached at

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.

Swedish Midsummer Festival in Battery Park City

The weather was unpredictable. Though the sky was overcast and mist shrouded the tops of the Jersey City skyscrapers, it didn't rain. Thousands of people were grateful. The Swedish Midsummer Festival in Battery Park City proceeded as usual.

With Wagner Park in Battery Park City under construction, the venue for this year's Swedish Midsummer Festival was moved to Rockefeller Park, also in Battery Park City. But that was the only thing that differed from previous years of a happy, giddy, delightful, sometimes raucous celebration of the summer solstice based on pagan fertility rites with an overlay of Christianity. The midsummer celebration, observed throughout Scandinavia and in neighboring countries, takes place on June 23 when possible, the eve of St. John's Day, which marks the birthday of St. John the Baptist.

Accompanied by traditional music (mostly played on violins), the dancers wearing wreaths of flowers join hands and circle a midsummer pole, also decked with flowers. The celebration is more pagan than Christian. A Swedish midsummer pole has two large loops at the top. Why? Some say it's a symbol of fertility, while others believe it stems from Norse mythology and represents a link between the underworld, earth and the heavens.

The dancing requires some agility from time to time but no special expertise. One of the favorite dances is the "frog dance" during which the dancers hop around, imitating frogs. Other dances are along the same lines — with dancers forming large circles while holding hands.

In northern Europe, this is a time of 24-hour daylight. The midsummer festival goes on and on, fueled by ample food and drink. For various reasons, the Battery Park City version doesn't go on that long. Just before eight o'clock, the musicians from Minnesota played their last tunes for the night and a DJ took over. However, gradually, the park cleared out. Eventually, everyone went home...until next year.

(Photos: © Terese Loeb Kreuzer 2023)


Paul Dahlin began playing the fiddle at the age of nine, learning from his maternal grandfather Edwin, who came to the United States from Dalarna, Sweden, and from his mother Nancy and his uncle Bruce. They formed a group known as the American Swedish Spelmans Trio. After his grandfather’s death in 1985, Paul formed the American Swedish Institute Spelmanslag, which continues to play traditional Swedish folk music. In 1996, Paul was recognized as a National Heritage Fellow by the National Endowment for the Arts because of his work with traditional Swedish music.

Paul Dahlin and fiddlers from the American Swedish Institute in Minneapolis played traditional music. The dances were led by Ross Sutter, a Scandinavian folklorist.

Food and drink

Food and drink are an important part of the Swedish Midsummer Festival.

Cardamom buns are a Swedish specialty. Though cardamom is native to India, its use in Swedish cooking purportedly dates to the time of the Vikings who first encountered the spice in what is now Turkey. Istanbul, then called "Constantinople" was the bridge between Asia and Europe, and a hub of trading activity.

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.
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Editor: Terese Loeb Kreuzer

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