News and events in Lower Manhattan
Volume 6, No. 61, Dec. 2, 2022

Letter from the Editor: Affordable Housing; In Memoriam: Robert Simko
CB1 concerned about the future of free Hudson River kayaking
Stockings With Care brings holiday happiness to kids in need
Downtown Post NYC Food: Empanadas on 14th St.; Dine Around Downtown videos
Bits & Bytes: 9/11 Fund low on money; A million new trees for New York City
Bulletin Board: Native Art Market at the National Museum of the American Indian
Calendar: December music at Trinity Wall Street

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

MASTHEAD PHOTO: Peter Sykes playing the Noack organ in St. Paul’s Chapel. (Feb. 19, 2018) (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)

A little more than six years ago, I moved from a rental apartment in Battery Park City to an "affordable" rental in a luxury building in Tribeca. My current apartment is significantly smaller than the one I previously occupied, but I'm lucky to have it. Had I not "won" this prize in the city's housing lottery, I would have had to move out of Manhattan altogether. In fact, I would probably have had to leave the city where I have now lived for more than two-thirds of my life.

My affordable apartment exists because the developer of the building where I live obtained a 421-A tax abatement from the City in exchange for which he had to create 22 affordable apartments in a building where the largest of the 84 market-rate apartments can command as much as $38,000 a month.

it is from this perspective that I write that I oppose the idea that 5 World Trade Center, an 80 story building that will be constructed at 130 Liberty St., should be 100 percent devoted to affordable housing as many of my former neighbors passionately believe.
A rendering of 5 World Trade Center as designed by
 Kohn Pedersen Fox.
The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey Board of Commissioners and the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation Board (LMDC) unanimously awarded the development 5 World Trade Center to Silverstein Properties, Brookfield Properties, Omni New York, and Dabar Development.
In a statement issued in 2019, the newly appointed developers wrote, "The 900-ft building, designed by Kohn Pederson Fox, is slated to have 190,000 square feet of office space, a 12,000-square-foot community facility space, 55,000 square feet of public amenity space, 7,000 square feet of retail space, and 1.2 million square feet of residential space divided into 1,325 apartments. Of these, 330, or 25 percent of the total inventory, will be devoted to affordable housing."

Larry A. Silverstein, Chairman of Silverstein Properties said, "We look forward to developing a sustainable, energy efficient, healthy building with community facilities, sorely needed affordable housing, great architecture and first-class retail, office and rental housing that fits into the World Trade Center campus and the broader Downtown neighborhood."

The opponents of this scenario have been vigorously protesting ever since. They want the entire building to consist of affordable housing.

There is no doubt that there is a desperate and urgent need for more affordable housing in Lower Manhattan but based on my housing experience of the past six years, to pack more than one thousand affordable apartments into one building would be a big mistake. The owners of a building need sufficient income from it to build it, maintain it and staff it at a high standard. If that income isn't there, the building will predictably deteriorate.

My experience living in a mixed-income building has persuaded me that this model is a better answer. The wealthier tenants are paying for amenities that I can use too and that I couldn't otherwise afford. I don't feel like a second-class citizen here. The staff is as nice and helpful to me as they could be even though they know that I'm not in a position to give them a big tip at the holiday season. And because the owner of the building wants to make sure that his wealthy tenants are happy, the building is beautifully maintained.

If we need any proof of what can happen to housing that doesn't have an adequate financial footing we need only look at the conditions prevalent in buildings under the jurisdiction of the New York City Housing Authority. No heat and hot water. Leaking roofs. Broken locks on front doors...the list goes on and on.

There's a good case to be made that more than 25 percent of the apartments at 5 World Trade Center should be affordable, but not 100 percent of the apartments. No way.

Terese Loeb Kreuzer
Editor, Downtown Post NYC
In Memoriam: Robert Simko

I don't have a photograph of Robert Simko, publisher of The Broadsheet, who died on Nov. 10, 2022 at the age of 68, but I have many memories of his photographs. Most particularly I remember some that he took of Battery Park City covered in ash as it looked on September 11, 2001 and in the days that followed. Among many other things, he was a journalist, and journalists like cops and fire fighters, run toward the scene of a tragedy when most people are fleeing. Robert died of cancer caused by environmental toxins.

Robert and Alison Simko founded what was then called The Battery Park City Broadsheet in 1997. I moved to Battery Park City on Jan. 1, 2004. Not long after that I had occasion to go to the US Post Office, which was then housed in the former Cunard Building at 25 Broadway. I loved that building with its maritime-themed frescoes and its wrought iron grillwork. Giant maps were painted on the walls. A marble compass was embedded in the floor. I loved standing in line at that Post Office — the longer the line, the better — because there was so much to see. I thought that a story about the Cunard Building might be of interest to The Broadsheet so I wrote to Robert to ask him about that. He said, "Sure." And that's how I became a journalist in Lower Manhattan.

I continued writing for The Broadsheet for several years, and when Robert decided to start an online publication called The Broadsheet Daily, I was its first editor.

I owe Robert a lot and Lower Manhattan owes him a lot. Through his newspaper and his photographs, he produced the first draft of an important period in its history. I am deeply sorry for the price he paid. I am among the many people who will miss him.

—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.

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
The Downtown Boathouse on Pier 26 in Hudson River Park is run by volunteers and is open from May through October, (Photos: © Terese Loeb Kreuzer)
In 1994, the Downtown Boathouse opened on Pier 26 in Hudson River Park and has been offering free kayaking ever since. As of the 2022 summer season, the Downtown Boathouse has enabled around half a million kayaking excursions, mostly on the river and also on Governors Island, where the Boathouse maintains an outpost. The Downtown Boathouse is staffed entirely by volunteers and operates as a non-profit organization. Donations are welcome but not mandatory. The Boathouse declares that its mission is "to encourage safe public use of the harbor waters of New York City and thereby provide residents of this space-constrained city with increased recreational opportunities."

Now, all of this may be coming to an end. The Hudson River Park Trust (HRPT), the Downtown Boathouse's landlord, issued an RFP on Oct. 18, 2022 for boathouse operators to take over four locations within the park, including Pier 26, where the Downtown Boathouse is located. Community Board 1 was blindsided by this. It was neither informed nor consulted about this development. In addition, HRPT apparently has no plans to involve Community Board 1 in the selection process.

In response, Community Board 1's Waterfront, Parks and Cultural Committee has drafted a resolution expressing dismay and disappointment. This resolution was discussed and voted on by CB1's full board at its meeting on Nov. 22, 2022. The resolution was approved. It notes that the committee had heard "only very positive feedback and comments regarding the current operators of the Downtown Boathouse and how responsive they were and how they worked very well with families and others with limited kayaking experience."

The resolution "strongly urges the HRPT to share the responses it receives from this RFP and to provide the Community Board with an opportunity to offer our comments regarding the applicants and their boathouse plans."

Of course, the Hudson River Park Trust is under no obligation to do so.

— Terese Loeb Kreuzer
People lined up at the Downtown Boathouse on Pier 26 in Hudson River Park to participate in the Downtown Boathouse's free kayaking program on the Hudson River.
At the annual tree lighting in Battery Park City, Santa's sled is filled with gifts that have been donated to Stockings With Care, a charity co-founded by Battery Park City resident Rosalie Joseph to fulfill holiday gift wishes for some of New York City's many children who live in shelters or in other difficult circumstances. (Photo: © Terese Loeb Kreuzer)

Projects With Care was founded 31 years ago by Rosalie Joseph, a Battery Park City resident, and by Tom Fontana. It was originally named Stockings With Care and was dedicated to ensuring that families in need could create Christmas morning magic for their children. To date, more than 50,000 children in the New York City area have received Christmas gifts via this charity. After 28 years of partnering with the best social service agencies in New York City, Stockings With Care extended its commitment to helping families with more initiatives and became PROJECTS WITH CARE. PROJECTS WITH CARE's annual initiatives include Project First Day and Project Stockings With Care.

This year, Stockings With Care has committed to providing gifts for 1,700 children, many of whom are living in the City’s shelters. Each child makes three holiday wishes and their sponsor “Santa” buys and wraps each of these gifts for the child. All the gifts are delivered to parents and caregivers who then give them personally to their children on Christmas Day. Unlike other holiday gift drives, the parents are the heroes for older children, while the magic of Santa remains alive for the little ones.

Being a Stockings With Care Santa entails purchasing and wrapping a child’s desired gifts and dropping them off on Monday, Dec. 5 or in the weeks prior. It's too late to be a Santa this year but it's not too late to make a donation to Stockings With Care. To donate, go to If mailing a check, make it out to Projects With Care and send it to Projects With Care, 430 West 24th St., Suite 1E, New York, NY 10011. For more information about Projects With Care, email or call (212) 600-1485. — Terese Loeb Kreuzer

Mooncakes and Pumpkin Linzer
at Té Company

This year, the Mid-Autumn Festival fell on Sept. 10.
It featured mooncakes, which are round pastries, gifted to friends and family during the festival. If you missed the festival, you can usually buy mooncakes from Té Company at other times of the year.
For more information, click here.
Pumpkin Linzer are available at Té Company until Christmas. This delicious spiced shortbread has a pumpkin filling that Té Company describes as "a personal pumpkin pie in cookie form."
Cost: 6 linzer for $20.
For more information, click here.

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

For more information about Té Company, e-mail:

Downtown Post NYC Food
The Gold Star Coffee Restaurant at 200 West 14th Street. (Photos: © Terese Loeb Kreuzer)
Roy Pimiento, owner of the Gold Star Coffee Restaurant. (Photos: © Terese Loeb Kreuzer)
Sandwiched between a pawn shop and a juice bar on the south side of West 14th Street near Seventh Avenue, the Gold Star Coffee Restaurant looked inviting. Signs outside and in the window advertised “real Argentinian empanadas,” soup, salads, tea and coffee. The prices were reasonable. The door was open.
Inside, the shop was painted white, decorated with charming paintings of a “caffe” — somewhere but not here — where red-and-white umbrellas shielded tables and chairs awaiting customers and a cat slept peacefully next to a whitewashed wall.

The shop’s proprietor, Roy Pimiento, was behind the counter. He had opened his store in October 2021, he said. He was from Colombia, not Argentina, but he knew how to make empanadas. He and his helper, Jessenia Ochaa, made them fresh every day. Also on the menu were a large variety of coffee preparations, hot and iced, corn poblano soup and pastries.

The shop was furnished with three small tables and folding chairs. However, before long all the tables were occupied and a conversation had started between Mr. Pimiento and one of his customers. They were talking about politics. The shop was too small for this not to turn into a communal conversation.

It was neighborly. It was like the old days on Ninth Avenue in “Hell’s Kitchen” when people used to hang out in local food stores, sit down on top of an empty barrel or whatever else was available, and talk. And talk.

After his other customers had departed, Mr. Pimiento (who is now 43 years old), said that he had come to New York City at the age of 18, had studied English literature at Hunter College and had been a professional dancer. Owning a restaurant was a new venture for him.

A second visit to the Gold Star Coffee Restaurant a few weeks later confirmed first impressions. Music was playing in the Gold Star. It was restful, peaceful music.

A woman came in with a small, leashed dog whose vest identified it as a “service animal.” She and Mr. Pimiento chatted. After she left, he said that she comes in almost every morning.

As usual, the door to the Gold Star was open. A man in a wheelchair rolled up to the door, as close as he could get, and signaled to Mr. Pimiento that he would like a coffee. Mr. Pimiento asked him whether he wanted milk and sugar before giving the man the coffee that he had requested. It would have cost $2.99 if he had paid for it, but he didn’t. Mr. Pimiento shrugged. It wasn’t much. He could do that.

That particular corner of West 14th Street attracts a lot of people who are down on their luck. Mr. Pimiento could have numerous opportunities a day to be charitable, which is apparently his instinct. Fortunately, he also has paying customers who value not only his food but him and the peaceful place that he’s created.

Next time you’re in the neighborhood, stop by. The door will be open.

—   Terese Loeb Kreuzer

The Gold Star Coffee Restaurant is at 200 W. 14th St., Front 2. The phone number is (917) 557-1962. Hours: Mondays to Thursdays, 7:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.; Fridays, 6:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Closed Saturdays and Sundays
Dine Around Downtown: Cooking at Home Edition — Videos

After more than two years of live-streaming from the kitchens of Lower Manhattan where local chefs have shared their recipes and culinary secrets, Dine Around Downtown: Cooking at Home Edition has accumulated an impressive YouTube video collection. Host, Rocco DiSpirito, himself a celebrated chef, has presided over each episode, asking a friendly question here and there, elaborating on a point that the at-home audience may have missed and crowning all efforts with the word "delicious!" delivered with an appreciative, beatific smile.

Among the videos currently available are Michele Iuliano of Gnoccheria (now Ampia) hand-rolling fresh gnocchi; Crown Shy’s James Kent unveiling the strategy for making his Signature Crown Bird Dinner and Casa Taqueria’s Elizabeth Saldana whipping up some tacos al pastor. The most recent episode presented Chef Ben Conniff of Luke's Lobster making lobster rolls, poppy seed slaw and blueberry crisp. What was especially interesting about that episode is that Chef Conniff not only talked about how to prepare these iconic foods from Maine but also about the Maine lobster fisheries and the routines and perils of being a lobsterman. For more information, click here.
Bits & Bytes
Among several other benefits, New York City's borough presidents want to temper New York City's "urban heat island effect" by having the city once again plant a million trees as it did under Mayor Michael Bloomberg. (Photo of South Cove in Battery Park City: © Terese Loeb Kreuzer)
A million trees weren't enough: New York City's five borough presidents (four of them Democrats and one a Republican) have agreed on at least one thing: The one million trees that were proposed for the city during Mayor Michael Bloomberg's administration and that were planted by him and by his successor, Bill de Blasio, were a great idea worthy of an encore. In February 2022, the borough presidents asked Mayor Eric Adams to plant a million new trees by 2030. Although about 22 percent of the city is covered by a tree canopy, the borough presidents said that this wasn't nearly enough. In the fight against the effects of climate change, trees can be a significant ally. They absorb storm water and carbon dioxide and have a measurable effect on air temperatures. Around 350 people a year currently die in New York City from heat-related causes, a statistic that will likely increase as the planet grows warmer. Trees could actually save lives. At its full board meeting on Nov. 22, 2022, Community Board 1 considered and approved a resolution endorsing a second round of tree planting. The resolution stated, "CB1 joins the Manhattan Borough President in his call for a new Million Trees Initiative to be focused on street trees and their maintenance so that the next generation of New Yorkers might inherit a verdant, tree-filled city on every block." — Terese Loeb Kreuzer

"Gilly warns of 9/11 fund woe; Calls for action to plug $3B hole in health plan," New York Daily News, 12/1/22. The New York Daily News reports that "Congress must act in any way it can over the waning days of Democratic control and pass a bill to plug a $3 billion funding deficit in the 9/11 health program, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand declared Wednesday. Gillibrand said she is writing to her colleagues in leadership in hopes of getting them to attach the 9/11 money to any major bill that must move before the end of the year, such as the government funding bill." The article states that "There are about 120,000 9/11 responders and survivors in the World Trade Center Health Program. When Congress voted in 2015 to fund it through the year 2090, it underestimated how much it would cost." For the complete article, click here.

"Chef helped on 9/11, now he desperately needs med aid,” New York Daily News, 11/17/22. "One-time Manhattan chef John Moogan never wanted any attention for his volunteer efforts at Ground Zero — until now, when it might be too late," says the New York Daily News. "For three days after the twin towers collapsed, as Ground Zero became blanketed with toxic dust and airborne poisons after the 9/11 attacks, Moogan prepared and delivered trays of food, along with boxes of socks, gloves and face masks, to first responders working in the rubble downtown.
The 57-year-old, after battling various illnesses since 2011, was officially declared a 9/11 responder by the World Trade Center Health Program earlier this month, but still needs his benefits approved in short order as the clock keeps ticking on his fight for survival... His body continues to fail and his future depends on medical treatment sooner than later." For the complete article, click here.

"Tribeca doctor among nine cuffed in New York City drug selling scheme,", 12/1/2022. AM New York reports that "A New York City doctor is among nine people who are charged for allegedly conspiring to distribute tens of thousands of prescription pills, including opioids and other controlled substances, in Manhattan and Staten Island, prosecutors announced Wednesday. Dr. Noel Smith was charged with 30 counts of criminal sale of a prescription for a controlled substance by a practitioner. Smith, a Tribeca-based family practitioner, allegedly wrote prescriptions for Adderall, Klonopin and Suboxone" to the other eight people charged in the scheme. Dr. Smith is described on a site that enables online searches of medical practitioners as "a Board Certified Primary Care Doctor with a Medical Degree from Emory Medical School. Dr. Smith completed his Residency at SUNY Stony Brook and is a member of The American College of Surgeons and The Medical Society of the State of New York." For the complete article in, click here.

Bulletin Board
The annual Native Art Market at the Museum of the American Indian brings outstanding indigenous artists to Lower Manhattan. (Photo: © Terese Loeb Kreuzer)
Native Art Market Returns for Holiday Shopping: On Dec. 3 and Dec. 4 the National Museum of the American Indian at 1 Bowling Green in Lower Manhattan is presenting more than 30 award-winning and innovative indigenous artists from the Western Hemisphere in its annual Native Art Market. Items for sale include traditional and contemporary beadwork, jewelry, paintings, photography, pottery, and sculpture. The event not only offers visitors an opportunity to buy handcrafted artwork but to meet Native artists and learn about traditional Native arts and culture. Free to attend. For a list of the artists and their wares, click here. The hours for the Native Art Market are Dec. 3 and Dec. 4 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
NYPD First Precinct Community Council Meetings: The monthly meetings of Manhattan's NYPD First Precinct Community Council are usually held on the last Thursday of each month starting at 6 p.m. at 16 Ericsson Place. Due to conflicting schedules and multiple tree lightings, the First Precinct will be postponing its council meeting scheduled to be held Thursday Dec. 8th at 6 p.m. 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 or

Rapid At-Home COVID-19 Test Kit Pickup: Free, Covid-19 rapid-testing kits can be picked up in Lower Manhattan at the following locations:

Battery Park City Library
,175 North End Ave.; Chatham Square Library, 33 East Broadway. Monday to Friday, 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. Tests can be used on people 2 years old and older. One kit is recommended per person

At-home Testing: At-home testing for COVID-19 is now available to all immunocompromised New Yorkers and those ages 65 and older. To schedule an in-home appointment, call (929) 298-9400 between 9 a.m. and 7 p.m. (7 days a week).

For more information, click here.

Governors Island ferry access: Access to Governors Island is by ferry, with timed ticket reservations required. Ferries run daily from the Battery Maritime Building at 10 South St. in 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. Starting later this year, NYC Ferry will serve Governors Island daily via the South Brooklyn route. A launch date for this expanded service will be announced soon. NYC Ferry's shuttle from Wall Street/Pier 11 to Yankee Pier on Governors Island will continue on weekends until the launch of 7-day/week service along the South Brooklyn route. NYC Ferry riders on any line that makes stops at Wall Street/Pier 11 may transfer to a shuttle service to Governors Island on Saturdays and Sundays. Governors Island weekend ferry service from Brooklyn (Pier 6 in Brooklyn Bridge Park and Atlantic Basin in Red Hook) is currently not in service and will return in Spring, 2022. The first ferry to Governors Island from 10 South St. leaves at 7 a.m. The last ferry from Governors Island leaves at 6 p.m. 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.
To see the events and activities on the Battery Park City Authority's fall calendar, click here. Most events are free. For some, reservations are required.
Spotlight: December Music at Trinity Wall Street

St. Paul's Chapel at Broadway and Fulton Streets is the venue for much of Trinity Wall Street's musical programming. (Photo: © Terese Loeb Kreuzer)
Trinity Wall Street is renowned for its music programming. The highlight during December is undoubtedly Handel's "Messiah," which can be heard in person at Trinity Church (Broadway at Wall Street) and which will be also streamed online. Here are the details of that and some of Trinity's other music offerings in December.

Dec. 4: Special Compline by Candlelight: Lessons and Carols at St. Paul's Chapel. A cherished holiday tradition, the service of Lessons and Carols tells the Christmas story through readings and musical illuminations and will be conducted by Stephen Sands, Thomas McCargar, and Melissa Attebury and performed by Downtown Voices, St. Paul’s Chapel Choir and the Trinity Youth Chorus. Free. Reservations are not required. Place: St. Paul's Chapel at Broadway and Fulton Streets. Time: 8 p.m.

Dec. 9 and Dec. 10: Handel's "Messiah." In a season full of Messiah concerts, Trinity’s is unique in that it is performed in a sacred space and on period instruments. Trinity and Messiah have a long history: Trinity presented one of the first performances in North America in 1770, and Trinity’s ensembles are widely regarded as some of the greatest interpreters of the work. In fact, Trinity's Messiah has been called “the best Messiah in New York” (The New York Times). "Messiah" will be performed by the Choir of Trinity Wall Street and Trinity Baroque Orchestra under the direction of conductor Andrew Megill. Place: Trinity Church (Broadway at Wall Street). Time: 7 p.m. To purchase tickets, click here. On Dec. 10, Messiah will be streamed online in addition to a live performance.

Dec. 18: Special Compline by Candlelight: Ceremony of Carols
 at St. Paul's Chapel. Chorister Compline at Christmas has become a beloved annual tradition. Under the direction of Melissa Attebury and featuring harpist Caroline Cole, the Trinity Youth Chorus will present Benjamin Britten’s "A Ceremony of Carols." This masterpiece juxtaposes ancient and modern sounds as Renaissance texts and plainchant intersect with Britten’s sonorous and colorful writing in a stunning choral work for treble voices. Free. No reservations are required. Place: St. Paul's Chapel at Broadway and Fulton Streets. Time: 8 p.m.
Melissa Attebury, conductor of the Trinity Youth Chorus, leading the singers down the aisle of Trinity Church during a performance of Benajamin Britten's "A Ceremony of Carols."
(Photo: © Terese Loeb Kreuzer)
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Editor: Terese Loeb Kreuzer

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