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News and events in Lower Manhattan

Volume 6, No. 75, July 12, 2023


Letter from the Editor: The General and the Sexton

"B.J." Jones is leaving the Battery Park City Authority to work for New York City

Bits & Bytes: Gateway Tunnel project gets funded

Bulletin Board: Free movies at the Oculus; CB1 seeks new District Manager

Calendar: City of Water Day -- July 15

For the latest weather info:

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

MASTHEAD PHOTO: Fireworks over Jersey City, New Jersey and the Hudson River. July 4, 2023 (Photo: © Terese Loeb Kreuzer)


On July 12, 1804 at two o'clock in the afternoon, Major-General Alexander Hamilton took his last breath. He died at the Greenwich Village house of his friend, William Bayard Jr., where he had been carried after Aaron Burr mortally wounded him during a duel the day before. He died on a Thursday. His funeral took place on Saturday, July 14.

Saturday, July 14, 1804.

I own a leather-bound book published in 1804 entitled “Collection of the Facts and Documents Relative to the Death of Major-General Alexander Hamilton; with comments.”

This fragile book is printed on paper made from rags. It smells musty.

It describes Hamilton's funeral procession to Trinity Church in detail. The mourners were led by a Military Corps followed by the Society of the Cincinnati, Clergy of all denominations, the Corpse, the General's horse, relations of the deceased, physicians, the Judges of the Supreme Court, Mr. Gouverneur Morris in his carriage, gentlemen of the Bar and students at Law, the Governor and Lieutenant Governor of the State, the Mayor and Corporation of the City, Members of Congress and Civil Officers of the United States, the Ministers, Consuls and Residents of Foreign Powers, the Officers of the Army and the Navy of the United States, and so on. Bringing up the rear of this procession were what was described as "Citizens in general" — and they were numerous.

Preceding and accompanying this outpouring of grief were tolling bells.

On page 59 of my book, an item from The New-York Gazette reads as follows:

"Immediately after his decease, the bells announced that he was no more. On the morning of the day of his funeral, all the bells were muffled, and tolled from six to seven o’clock. They began again at ten, and continued until the procession reached the church. The ships in the harbor exhibited the usual tokens of mourning, and minute guns were fired from the forts, and from American and foreign armed vessels. The bells tolled again from seven to eight in the evening.”

Ringing the heavy bells of a church for hours on end is not for the weak or the faint of heart. The bellringer isn't named in my book but I do know something about him.

Here's why: there's a short street in Tribeca where I now live, called "Collister Street." It runs between Beach Street and Laight Street on land that was deeded to Trinity Church in 1705 by Queen Anne of England. Who was Collister Street named after? I wondered. I found out. It was named for Thomas Collister, who was the sexton of Trinity Church from 1790 to 1816. His duties included tolling the bells of the church. So he would have been the one who tolled the bells for Alexander Hamilton's funeral.

A document has been preserved in the New-York Historical Society that shows that the City of New York paid Mr. Collister nine dollars for his work.

I could find out nothing else about him. For this alone and for the short street that’s named after him, he is remembered.

There's a lesson here, and some irony, I think. We're looking at two lives — one of which changed this country, the other of which is all but forgotten. But Thomas Collister knew the General, he honored him by tolling the bells for him. He did his job as thousands of people listened and wept. And sometimes that's all we can ask of ourselves — to be there as best we can. Sometimes that's enough.

— Terese Loeb Kreuzer

Editor, Downtown Post NYC

Collister Street in Tribeca (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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Benjamin "B.J." Jones on Feb. 16, 2018, less than a month after he had become President and COO of the Battery Park City Authority. (Photos: © Terese Loeb Kreuzer)

Battery Park City is about to lose "B.J." Jones. July 28, 2023 will be his last day as President and CEO of the Battery Park City Authority. In his next job, he will be working for New York City. Among other things, he will be helping to find ways to infuse life into the city's beleaguered business districts, improving mass transit options and addressing regulatory and legislative barriers to housing growth. His title will be "Executive Director of "New" New York." In this capacity, he will be one of four senior administration officials appointed by Mayor Eric Adams to work on how to build a strong economic recovery across the five boroughs.

However you look at it, this a tall order. Aspirations cloaked in eloquent verbiage are one thing. Getting results are something else — and getting the desired and predicted results are something else again.

Jones is eager to try. "I'm grateful to Mayor Adams and his administration for the opportunity to help our city thrive in its latest chapter," he said.

He comes to his new assignment with decades of public sector experience that included working for the New York City government during the first term of the Bloomberg administration.

His work in Battery Park City began in 2014 when he was appointed Vice President of Administration with responsibility for internal operations and for cultural and educational programming in Battery Park City Parks.

As President and CEO of the Battery Park City Authority for the last five years, Jones has spent a lot of his time working on resiliency plans from concept to implementation. Unlike Hudson River Park Trust to the north and The Battery Conservancy to the south, the Battery Park City Authority has been able to forge ahead to protect BPC's 92 acres from sea level rise, flooding and storms precipitated by climate change. Jones has played a crucial role in helping to raise the millions of dollars needed to fund this work via a bond issue of new BPCA debt.

At the same time, he has been concerned with trying to address housing affordability issues in Battery Park City and with expanding BPC's cultural and educational programming, which not only benefits residents but often draws people from all over the city.

This aspect of his work has been close to his heart. He's not just an administrator, a policy maker and a finance wizard. He likes to draw and play the piano. He can also play other instruments. On Jan. 28, 2018, a few days after Jones had been confirmed as president of the Battery Park City Authority, the annual exhibition of work that had been done the previous summer and fall in BPCA-sponsored art classes opened in the BPCA office at 75 Battery Place. Jones showed up for the opening.

Perhaps he came to see the art, or equally likely, to meet members of the Battery Park City community. He has been quoted as saying, "Battery Park City and the Authority are not just about the buildings — it's about the character of the community that has developed over time."

Despite his busy schedule and his many responsibilities, "B.J." Jones has always been accessible, frequently present at community events and always modest.

As for the future, BPCA's acting board chair, Martha Gallo, said, "Over the months ahead, our board will conduct a search for a successor [to "B.J." Jones] befitting our organization's significant and urgent agenda."

Considering what Jones brought to his tenure as President and CEO of the Battery Park City Authority, the board is going to have to look hard to find someone as multi-talented, experienced in administration, finance and public policy and committed as Jones. Meanwhile, the harsh winds and waters of climate change and sea level rise are bearing down on the beautiful and extraordinary community on the lower west side of Manhattan called "Battery Park City."

— Terese Loeb Kreuzer

At a meeting of the Battery Park City Authority Board of Directors on Jan. 24, 2018, Chairman Dennis Mehiel congratulated Benjamin "B.J." Jones on his confirmation as President and Chief Operating Officer of the Battery Park City Authority.

"B.J." Jones at the Battery Park City Authority Board of Directors meeting on Jan. 24, 2018 when it was announced that he was the new President and COO of the Battery Park City Authority.

Newly appointed President and COO

It was a solemn occasion for Benjamin "B.J." Jones on Jan. 24, 2018 when the Battery Park City Authority Board of Directors officially confirmed him as the BPCA's new president and chief operating officer, but neither Jones nor the BPCA's chairman, Dennis Mehiel, could let the moment pass without banter.

First Mehiel made Jones wait for his anointment until the minutes of the previous meeting had been officially approved. Jones grimaced. Then, said Mehiel, "As all of you know, B.J. has been our acting boss for - three months?"

"Three months and seven days," said Jones.

"The reason he knows the number of days is because it's similar to incarceration," Mehiel replied, as Jones again made a face and everyone in the room laughed.

Then Mehiel grew serious. "It's my conviction that we have the right person in the right place at the right time so that we can continue to make substantial progress," he said. After a few more words of praise for Jones, Mehiel continued, "Hearing no opposition, you are now our president and chief operating officer." The room erupted in sustained applause.

(As reported in Downtown Post NYC on Jan. 25, 2018)

Benjamin "B.J." Jones talking about BPCA’s finances at an open community meeting on March 5, 2018. Behind him was Pamela Frederick, the BPCA’s chief financial officer.

"B.J." Jones at a community meeting, attempting to explain the BPCA's finances

Among of the first things that Jones did after becoming the Battery Park City Authority's President was to schedule a meeting, open to everyone in the Battery Park City community, to explain the sources of the BPCA's revenue, the constraints on how it is spent, and the known demands that would be placed on this income in the foreseeable future.

One of the hallmarks of Jones' tenure as President has been his effort to be accessible and responsive to the concerns of members of the Battery Park City community.

Congressman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) stood outside the Battery Park City public library for two hours on Aug. 9, 2018 to meet and talk with constituents. Among them was "B.J." Jones, the president and CEO of the Battery Park City Authority.

"B.J." Jones and Jerry Nadler

By the time "B.J." Jones and Jerry Nadler shook hands on North End Avenue in front of the Battery Park City library on Aug. 9, 2018, Jones had been promoted from President and Chief Operating Officer to President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Battery Park City Authority. Jones' promotion took place in June 2018.

For many years, Nadler represented New York District 10 in Congress. This district includes Battery Park City. In the wake of the most recent federal census, district lines were redrawn. Nadler is still in Congress but now represents District 12 on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. Dan Goldman now represents District 10.

Battery Park City Authority President and CEO "B.J." Jones helped to bag fresh produce in Battery Park City to mark the expansion of the Fresh Food for Seniors program to Lower Manhattan. The program enables older New Yorkers to buy regionally grown fruits and vegetables for $8 a bag. Oct. 8, 2019

"B.J." bagging fresh produce for distribution to seniors

"B.J." grew up in Gettysburg, Pa. and received an undergraduate degree with a major in Management from Gettysburg College. In March 2019 he was named to the "Manhattan Power 50," a list representing "the 50 people in Manhattan who are key players in the world of of New York politics and government," prompting his alma mater to publish a congratulatory article about him. When asked about this award, "B.J." modestly replied, "I was pleasantly surprised....I'm just trying to do a good job. If there's anything that I consciously try to do, it's be an example of a good public servant and take the public trust seriously."

The Greek at Greca 

452 Washington St. in Tribeca

Breakfast and lunch are served daily and dinner is served from Thursday to Sunday. The hours are 8 a.m., Mondays to Fridays and 9 a.m. on Saturdays and Sundays. The kitchen closes at 10 p.m.

For the menu and local delivery information, click here


Phone: (917) 261-4795

Bits & Bytes


At a ceremony on July 11, 2023 at the Museum Of Jewish Heritage in Battery Park City, New York State Gov. Kathy Hochul announced the allocation of more than $51 million to improve the safety and security of organizations at risk of hate crimes — the most ever awarded by the State for this purpose. At the ceremonial bill signing, Hochul said that a hate crime take places about every 33 hours in New York State.

(Photo: Darren McGee/ Office of Governor Kathy Hochul)

"Hudson Tunnel Project to Get $6.9 Billion in Largest U.S. Transit Grant," New York Times, 7/6/2023. The New York Times is reporting that "The federal government is on track to give $6.88 billion, the most ever awarded to a mass-transit project, for the construction of a second rail tunnel under the Hudson River to New York City, Senator Chuck Schumer said Wednesday. Mr. Schumer, the Democratic majority leader from Brooklyn, said he intended to announce the grant in the city on Thursday. A White House aide confirmed that the Department of Transportation planned to notify the tunnel project’s sponsor, the Gateway Development Commission, of the decision this week. The two-tube tunnel is part of Gateway, a massive infrastructure project that is widely considered the most important in the country. The new tunnel would supplement a troublesome pair of single-track tunnels that opened in 1910 and have been steadily deteriorating since Hurricane Sandy flooded them with salt water in 2012. The federal pledge will allow Gateway’s planners to start seeking companies to construct a tunnel parallel to the deteriorating ones, a project that is expected to cost more than $16 billion before it is completed in 2035. Gateway’s planners still hope to receive more funding from other federal programs to raise Washington’s share of the total cost to at least half." For the complete article, click here.

"25 Water Street Readies For 1,300-Unit Residential Conversion In Financial District, Manhattan," New York YIMBY, 7/11/2023. "Preparation work has begun for the residential conversion of 25 Water Street, a 22-story former office building in Manhattan’s Financial District," says New York YIMBY. "Designed by CetraRuddy and developed by GFP Real Estate, Metro Loft Management, and Rockwood Capital, the project involves the construction of ten new stories above the parapet of the existing structure, the replacement of its brick façade with a modern fenestration with more expansive windows, and the gut renovation of its 1.1 million square feet of interiors into 1,300 rental units. When complete, the conversion will be the largest ever in the United States by unit count, surpassing the recent redevelopment of One Wall Street with its 566 condominiums." For the complete article with photographs, click here.

"Hochul dedicates $51 million to non-profits to combat hate crimes,", 7/11/2023. "Hochul made the announcement today that the state would be doling out the funds across the Empire State, which has seen a jump in the number of bias attacks," according to “This is a historic investment in the communities that need our help the most, and with these funds, New York’s most at-risk organizations will be able to invest in the security measures they need to stay safe," Hochul said in a statement. "The new funds will not be directed toward any one specific group, or to prevent a distinct type of hate crime. The grants will instead be available to any organization potentially in danger due to their ideology, beliefs or mission.....Hochul officially signed the legislation at a ceremony at the Museum of Jewish Heritage in New York City. “I’ve spoken to many Holocaust survivors, and they see the same winds starting to swirl around that their parents and grandparents, and they saw as children, were happening at that time,” Hochul said at the event. “So, the lessons are there in the past, but the warning signs are here in the present. We must heed those warning signs.” For the complete article, click here.

To reserve tickets to "The Democracy Project," click here.

Bulletin Board


From spring through fall, NYC Audubon occupies Nolan Park House #17, one of Governors Island’s historic houses. Visitors can sit on the porch of the house and talk about birds, make bird art, check out NYC Audubon's exhibitions and go on birding walks. Migrating birds and permanent residents make Governors Island a birding hotspot, with over 220 species listed on eBird. NYC Audubon's house is open Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays through Oct. 29 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Free guided bird outings take place every Saturday from 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m., with binoculars available to borrow.

(Photo: Common terns on Governors Island © Terese Loeb Kreuzer)

Manhattan Community Board 1 seeks District Manager: Manhattan Community Board #1 is a NYC government agency covering the Financial District, Battery Park City, Civic Center/South Street Seaport and Tribeca neighborhoods. The Community Board has 50 volunteer members and interacts with members of the community and government agencies to represent the community interests regarding land use, service delivery, quality of life, budget and other matters taking place in this Lower Manhattan

community. The Community Board is seeking a District Manager to supervise the small paid staff of the Board and carry out the policies of the Board. The District Manager reports to the Board Chair and has considerable interaction with Board members, community residents and businesses, government agencies and local elected officials. The District Manager also oversees the drafting of letters, resolutions and other correspondence and oversees the day-to-day operation of the district office. The work entails 35 hours a week with some evening and weekend hours required. The annual salary is $80,000 to $93,000. For more information about the job and how to apply, click here.

Free movies at the Oculus: Beginning July 15, the World Trade Center is hosting free movies on the big screen at North Oculus Plaza (185 Greenwich St.). This is the lineup:

   •   Saturday, July 15 at 2 p.m.: “Up”

   •   Saturday, July 15 at 7 p.m.: “Coming to America”

   •   Saturday, July 29 at 2 p.m.: “Luca”

   •   Saturday, July 29 at 7 p.m.: “My Big Fat Greek Wedding”

   •   Saturday, August 12 at 2 p.m.: “Soul”

   •   Saturday, August 12 at 7 p.m.: “Ghostbusters” (2016)

   •   Saturday, August 26 at 2 p.m.: “The Incredibles”

   •   Saturday, August 26 at 7 p.m.: “Clueless”

Limited seating is provided on a first-come, first serve basis. Otherwise, BYO blankets or portable chairs and enjoy! Also, walkups are welcome, but an RSVP is recommended. To RSVP, click here. For directions to North Oculus Plaza, click here.

Summer Thursdays at the Museum of Jewish Heritage: From July 13 to Aug. 24, Thursdays will be enlivened at the Museum of Jewish Heritage, 36 Battery Place, with musicians, storytellers and refreshments from the Lox café, which will serve Jewish and Russian food and drinks before and during the events. The Museum is free and open to all on Thursdays from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. The programming begins at 7 p.m. The first of the Summer Thursdays, on July 13, is "Cult Classic" with Sloane Crosley, who has written two New York Times bestsellers and who is a contributing editor at Vanity Fair. "Cult Classic" is described as "a wry, literary fantasy that is equal parts page-turner and poignant portrayal of alienation." Crosley will read from and discuss her book. To register for this event, click here. For information on upcoming "Summer Thursdays," 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.
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: City of Water Day — July 15

City Of Water Day used to include a raucous cardboard kayak race. This picture was taken in 2018. (Photo: David Gonsier)

Now in its 16th year, City of Water Day — taking place this year on Saturday, July 15 — is a region-wide day organized by the Waterfront Alliance and by the New York–New Jersey Harbor & Estuary Program (HEP), to champion a climate-resilient New York and New Jersey harbor.

Dozens of communities in all five boroughs, in Westchester and Rockland counties and in New Jersey will host events on and near the water that celebrate the importance of a resilient and equitably shared waterfront. From free kayaking to rowing to hands-on workshops, these events offer community members opportunities for fun, education, and access to their local waterfront.

Here are some of the events taking place in and near Lower Manhattan:

The Battery Park City Authority presents a Family Workshop Celebrating City of Water Day: Join us in this setting overlooking the Hudson River to celebrate and learn about environmental stewardship and take part in an art project. Time: 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Location: Rector Gate, Rector Place and the BPC Esplanade. For more information, click here.

South Street Seaport Museum: Seaport Museum's City of Water Day offerings include a Resilience Street Fair on Pier 16 from 12 noon to 5 p.m. Free. Check out kid-friendly booths offering activities and resources for the public on a variety of issues related to climate resilience and our shared waterfront. At the Museum's tent, listen to informal discussions about how printers select sustainable paper for their work, make your own paper notecard, and participate in an embossing activity using stamps based on 19th century engravings. No registration needed for this free family-friendly opportunity to learn about the waterfront and the many ways you can support environmental action in your neighborhood, city and region. The Fair takes place outdoors at Pier 16 and walk-ups are welcome.

Printing Demonstrations: Head to Bowne & Co. at 211 Water St. to enjoy a free printing demonstration using the Museum's working collection of historical printing equipment. No registration is required and walk-ups are welcome. Time: 1:30 p.m. and 2:20 p.m.

Sail New York Harbor: Join the Seaport Museum for a thrilling 2-hour daytime sail through New York Harbor aboard the 1885 schooner Pioneer. An experienced crew unfurls the sails enabling Pioneer to glide across the sparkling water. If you're feeling adventurous you can lend a hand and help raise the sails yourself! Advanced registration is encouraged. Times: 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. Cost: $20 to $50.

Celebrate New York's waterways on a one-of-a-kind adventure on the last surviving New York-built wooden tugboat W.O. Decker, named "Tugboat of the Year" by the prestigious Steamship Historical Society of America! Get your tickets today for a 75-minute ride that promises to be an unforgettable experience that takes you through New York Harbor with its stunning views of the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, the Battery, and Governors Island. Advanced registration is requested. Times: 1 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. Cost: $15 to $30.

For more information about what the South Street Seaport Museum is offering on City of Water Day, click here.

Cumbe Fam on Governors Island: Cumbe Fam's classes are perfect for anyone looking to learn new skills or improve existing ones. The classes include QiChong, Orisha Dance, Hawaiian Dance and Haitian Folklore. Time: 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Place: House 405 on Colonel's Row. Free.

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Editor: Terese Loeb Kreuzer

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