News and events in Lower Manhattan
Volume 6, No. 44, June 22, 2021

"I guess what interests me about houses is that they hold so much information. Houses are vessels. They do hold things and they hold memories."

— Artist Mildred Howard, discussing her work which includes "The House That Will Not Pass for Any Color Than Its Own," now on exhibition in Battery Park City

Letter from the Editor: Vote today!
Bulletin Board: Perks for getting vaccinated; Art on the Avenue seeks submissions
Work by two prominent African-American artists enhances BPC's Belvedere Plaza
Calendar: River to River update

COVID-19 CASES IN NEW YORK CITY: As of June 21, 2021 at 5:21 p.m.
938,436 confirmed cases * 33,378 deaths * 4,551,457 vaccinated in NYC

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

MASTHEAD PHOTO: Signage outside PS 234, a polling place in Tribeca. The primary election, held on June 22, 2021 will determine which candidates for New York City mayor, comptroller, district attorney, public advocate and City Council will be on the ballot in the November election. (Photo: ©Terese Loeb Kreuzer 2021)

There were no lines outside the polling place at PS 234 around 9 a.m. when I arrived to cast my vote in today's primary election, but Wendy Chapman, a Community Board 1 member who was serving as a poll worker, told me that there had been a steady stream of people all morning.

In a primary election, a voter can only vote for candidates running in the party for which he or she is registered.

Since most voters in New York City are registered Democrats, the results of this primary election are likely to determine who will be the city's next mayor, comptroller, district attorney and public advocate. More locally, voters in Lower Manhattan are being asked today to choose their favored candidates for Manhattan Borough President and for City Council, District 1. (Both Gale Brewer, our current Manhattan Borough President and Margaret Chin, the City Councilmember for District 1 could not run for re-election because of term limits.)
Today's election introduced New York City voters to ranked choice voting for the offices of mayor, comptroller, borough president, public advocate and city council member. Voters can choose up to five people for each of those offices and assign them a number expressing their order of preference. If no candidate earns more than 50 percent of first-choice votes, then counting will continue in rounds. Each round, the candidate with the fewest votes will be eliminated. If a voters's top choice candidate has been eliminated, his or her vote will go to that person's next highest ranked candidate. This process continues until there are only two candidates left for each office. The candidate who receives a majority of the votes will win.

That sounds complicated but in practice, it isn't. It would, indeed, be possible to fill out a ballot incorrectly and have it invalidated but there was so much information about ranked choice voting before the election, including the ability to download a sample ballot, that I think that most people would be able to understand what they needed to do.

I know that some people were trying to choose their ranked candidates strategically so as to head off candidates that they didn't like at all by selecting those of these candidates' opponents who seemed most likely (based on polls) to defeat them rather than those who might otherwise have been the voter's first choice. I decided not to go down that path. I just voted for the candidates that I liked.

Outside PS 234, a woman conducting an exit poll for Edison Research was asking people to fill out a form that included questions about rank choice voting and what they thought of it. One question asked whether rank choice voting should be extended throughout the United States. I responded by writing "I don't know yet," next to that question. I said to the woman who was conducting the poll, "Let's see how it works out today!"

The polls are open until 9 p.m. tonight. To find your polling place, click here.

Terese Loeb Kreuzer

Election Hotline: The New York State Attorney General's Office is troubleshooting voting issues on Primary Election Day, June 22. Voters experiencing problems can call (800) 771-7755, submit complaints online or email
On June 22, 2021, Primary Election Day in New York City, Brad Lander's daughter, Rosa, was handing out fliers in support of her father's candidacy for New York City Comptroller. Rosa Lander, 18 years old, said that she had voted that day for the first time and yes, she voted for her father. (Photo: © Terese Loeb Kreuzer 2021)
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.

Downtown Post NYC on Facebook: On its Facebook page, Downtown Post NYC has been providing information about the time of Governor Andrew Cuomo's daily press briefings and how to access them. DPNYC has also been highlighting some of Gov. Cuomo's announcements concerning COVID-19 statistics, reopening of various parts of the state for business and executive orders. Go to Downtown Post NYC's Facebook page by clicking here.

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
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
Bulletin Board
From July 4 weekend through Labor Day weekend, Governors Island will be open to visitors until 10 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. Ferry service will be expanded to accommodate the later hours. Many of Governors Island’s food vendors will offer evening food and drinks as part of the expanded nighttime hours. Blazing Saddles bike rentals will expand bicycle availability until sunset. Additional late-night vendors, activities and special programs will be announced throughout the season. (Photo: © Terese Loeb Kreuzer)
Art On The Ave NYC to showcase underrepresented artists: Lower Manhattan storefronts will be transformed into a public art gallery this fall with an exhibition that explores resiliency. The project is the latest installation from Art on the Ave NYC, a nonprofit community initiative whose mission is to spotlight underrepresented artists by exhibiting their work in storefronts. The installation will be presented by the Alliance for Downtown New York, Lower Manhattan's nonprofit business improvement district.

Art on the Ave NYC is currently seeking artist submissions through July 2. Submissions should be guided by the concept of “resiliency” meaning the ability to demonstrate adaptability and the capacity to thrive in changing or challenging environments. The work can reflect the artist's personal experiences, the city’s response to Covid, or New Yorkers’ responses to the uncertainties and thrills of urban life. 

For more information and to apply, click here.

Perks for getting vaccinated: Covid-19 vaccination sites run by New York City are offering a variety of gifts and rewards for getting vaccinated. Among them is a chance to win $2,500. Each week during July, there will be 10 winners. For more information on the perks and for a list of City-run vaccination sites, click here.

Little Island opens: Little Island, a new, free public park at 13th Street in Hudson River Park, opened to the public on May 21. It has been created on an undulating structure of 280 piles jutting into the Hudson River, on the site of historic pier 54. Components of the park include a 687-seat amphitheater, a central plaza where food and beverages are served from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily and an intimate stage and lawn space. The park has been landscaped with more than 350 species of flowers, trees and shrubs. Little Island is hosting a season of performances and educational programming, much of which are free. The park is open daily from 6 a.m to 1 a.m., with timed reservations required between noon and 1 a.m. Children aged three and up need a reservation. For more information, click here.

Volunteer on Governors Island: Governors Island is a 172-acre island, 800 yards from Lower Manhattan and around 400 yards from Brooklyn. The National Park Service administers a small part of the northern side of the island as a National Monument. The Trust for Governors Island administers the remaining 150 acres as a public park. This part of Governors Island relies on volunteers for a variety of jobs. They include providing information for visitors, serving as tour guides on in-depth public walking tours, helping the horticultural staff to care for the island's meadows, forest groves, ornamental flower beds and landscaped hillsides and performing seasonal gardening tasks such as planting and pruning. Volunteers must be at least 16 years old. For more information and to apply, click here.

Governors Island ferry access: Access to Governors Island is by ferry, with timed ticket reservations required. Governors Island's Brooklyn ferries serve two locations on weekends: Pier 6 in Brooklyn Bridge Park and the Atlantic Basin in Red Hook. (Enter near the corner of Pioneer and Conover Streets and enjoy PortSide NY's Pandemic Pop-Up Park near the landing.) Ferries run daily from Lower Manhattan. The ferries are always free for kids 12 and under, for seniors 65 and up, for residents of NYCHA housing, for military servicemembers, Governors Island members, and for everyone on weekends before noon. Learn more about Governors Island ferries and book tickets by clicking 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.
Many of the Downtown Post NYC bulletin board listings are now on the Downtown Post NYC website. To see the bulletin board listings, click here.

Greca in Tribeca

Open daily, 8 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.

Indoor and outdoor dining, bakery and Greek market

452 Washington St. in Tribeca
For more information, call (917) 261-4795
One of Martin Puryear's two Pylons on the Battery Park City waterfront near Belvedere Plaza. (Photo: © Terese Loeb Kreuzer)
Juneteenth marking the official end of slavery in the state of Texas and in the Confederate States of the United States, has come and gone from Battery Park City's Belvedere Plaza where it was celebrated by the Federation of Black Cowboys and with music and painting, but the work of two prominent African-American artists remains.

Mildred Howard's "The House That Will Not Pass for Any Color Than Its Own" is one of Howard's many meditations on "home" and what it means. Her ancestors were ripped from their homes in Africa, enslaved and brought to the United States. She came from a large family in Galveston, Texas a place that figures in the Juneteenth observance because it was there on the morning of June 19, 1865 that Major General Gordon Granger took command of more than 2,000 federal troops whose mission was to enforce the emancipation of slaves and to oversee a peaceful transition of power. Granger's men marched through Galveston, reading the news aloud. One year later, on June 19, 1866, freedmen in Texas organized the first celebration of their liberation.

Howard's "House" in Battery Park City does not look like much of a shelter. There are holes in the walls and roof and the structure is elevated above the ground, leaving gaps where creatures or the elements could enter. But the doorway does frame the Statue of Liberty, so there is that promise and that hope.

Abby Ehrlich, director of Community Partnership and Public Art at the Battery Park City Authority said of Howard, "Her participation in the Civil Rights and Black Power movements strengthened her determination to become an artist. Her art is frequently inspired by personal histories, expressed with everyday materials."

Howard's house is on loan to the Battery Park City Authority and will be in place through the spring of 2022. Martin Puryear's Pylons, a few yards away, are permanent installations that date from 1995. One of them is a made of stainless steel, the other of steel mesh.

Puryear, now 80 years old, was born in racially segregated Washington, D.C. where his mother taught elementary school and his father worked for the U.S. Postal Service. They made sure that their son's education included frequent visits to the capital's art and natural history museums. After graduating from college, where he majored in art, he joined the Peace Corps and was sent to Sierra Leone in Africa. There he studied with local potters, weavers and woodcarvers.

When he embarked on his own career as a sculptor, these influences and others permeated his work. He was interested in creating his sculptures from natural materials that he could craft himself. This was obviously not true of his Battery Park City Pylons but these soaring sculptures are affiliated with Puryear's other work in at least one important way. An article about him in The New York Times by Holland Cotter ("Martin Puryear, Citizen-Sculptor," 5/3/2019) observed that "Words in the form of titles, have always been dynamic elements in his art, a way to bring complex narrative content to it."

And what, exactly, is a "Pylon?" It's a Greek term for the monumental gate of an Egyptian temple. It suggests a place of majesty and spiritual power. And what do these Pylons frame? Looking through them from the land, they frame the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. From a boat on the Hudson River, they would be a landmark and a beacon. Lighted at night, they frame the glass-vaulted Winter Garden of Brookfield Place, and from some angles, the safe harbor of North Cove Marina.

Like Mildred Howard's "House," Puryear's Pylons seem to be a meditation on home, immigration, liberty and a connection with ancestral Africa.

— Terese Loeb Kreuzer

An installation by Mildred Howard on Belvedere Plaza in Battery Park City is entitled "The House That Will Not Pass For Any Color Than Its Own." Howard, an African-American mixed-media artist who lives in California, has frequently made house-shaped constructions of various materials that cause viewers to think about the nature and experience of "home" and the human need for shelter. The house is sited so that the view through the doorway frames the Statue of Liberty in the distance. This work will be in Battery Park City through the spring of 2022. (Photo: © Terese Loeb Kreuzer)
Iced Tea from Té Company

After countless experiments Té Company has concluded that Iron Goddess and Royal Courtesan make the most superb iced tea. Both are refreshing, gently (naturally) sweet, and incredibly flavorful. Té Company's tearoom at 163 West 10th St. is open on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays for grab-and-go from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. In addition you can order tea and cookies and other tea items online. For more information, click here.
Spotlight: River to River update
On June 13 in Battery Park City's Teardrop Park, Miguel Gutierrez, who is a choreographer among many other accomplishments, introduced a group of people to the history of the area beginning with the Leni Lenape nation from whom he said the land was stolen. He also spoke of the enslaved African-Americans who once lived in Lower Manhattan and who are buried near what is now Chambers Street. Then he taught a series of simple arm and hand movements and led the group in a procession through the park where they were accompanied by the sound of drums. The effect was incantatory in a profound way that seemed to invoke the spirits of those who had been in this place long ago. (Photo: © Terese Loeb Kreuzer)
River to River Festival reservations: The 20th edition of the River To River Festival runs through June 27. The festival is free, but many events require a reservation. The festival includes music, film, dance, walking tours, participatory events and more. The events take place in Lower Manhattan and at The Arts Center at Governors Island. In addition to in-person events, some films in the Festival’s program are being streamed exclusively on LMCC’s website. For the full schedule, click here.

Among the highlights of the annual festival are this year's three outdoor processionals in Battery Park City. The third of the three, on June 25, choreographed by The Illustrious Blacks, will be at Belvedere Plaza starting at 7 p.m.

In addition, look for the Black Gotham Experience's "As Above So Below," a tour of the African Burial Ground National Monument on June 24 and June 26 from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. The tour begins at the intersection of African Burial Ground Way (formerly Elk Street) and Duane Street. The leaders of the tour, Kamau Ware and Rodney Leon, use interactive, multidisciplinary experiences to "engage, inspire and educate the public about the impact of the African Diaspora on the establishment and development of New York City."
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Editor: Terese Loeb Kreuzer

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