Follow us on Facebook
Join our mailing list
News and events in Lower Manhattan

Volume 6, No. 69, May 20, 2023


Fleet Week New York returns on May 24 with a parade of ships

Dine Around Downtown will be back on June 6

'Harmony' on tap for a Broadway run this fall

Century 21 reopens to an elated crowd of shoppers

Calendar: Landmarks Conservancy 2023 Sacred Sites Open House

For the latest weather info:

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

MASTHEAD PHOTO: Century 21 reopens, May 16, 2023

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


USS Bataan (LHD-5), an amphibious assault ship from Norfolk, Va., moving up the Hudson River in New York harbor for the start of Fleet Week 2022. The USS Bataan was accompanied by tugboats and by NYPD and US Coast Guard vessels. The ship was commissioned on Sept. 20, 1997. Its mission is to enable the Navy and the Marine Corps team to transition between sea and land battles. (Photo: © Terese Loeb Kreuzer 2022)

For most of the last 35 years, (pandemic years excepted) Fleet Week in New York Harbor has been an iconic and much anticipated event in the days preceding Memorial Day weekend. This year's Fleet Week will include ships from the U.S. Navy, the U.S. Coast Guard, the U.S. Naval Academy and the navies of the United Kingdom, Italy and Canada.

Fleet Week New York will begin early on Wednesday, May 24. As usual, there will be a parade of ships steaming majestically up the Hudson River with sailors and other personnel lining the decks. The parade will pass the Statue of Liberty, Fort Hamilton, and One World Trade Center between 7:30 a.m. and 11 a.m. This year's parade of ships will include vessels from the U.S. Navy, the U.S. Coast Guard, the U.S. Naval Academy (USNA), the Italian Navy, the Royal Canadian Navy and the Royal Navy. The flagship will be USS Wasp (LHD 1), an amphibious assault ship from Norfolk, Va.

There will be two local ships in the parade, Fireboat 343, a New York City Fire Department Ranger 4200 class fireboat and Tall Ship Clipper City, a gaff-rigged schooner ship operated by Manhattan By Sail.

Ships can be seen along the Hudson River from Battery Park to just south of the George Washington Bridge. Fort Hamilton is scheduled to conduct an 11-gun salute, called Salute to the Ships of Fleet Week, to the flagship, USS Wasp, as the ship passes by.

Between May 24 and May 30, Fleet Week will offer public ship tours, aviation demonstrations, military band performances and interactive displays throughout the tri-state area. With some exceptions, ship tours are scheduled beginning Thursday, May 25 through Monday, May 29 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at piers 88 and 90 in Manhattan and Staten Island Homeport Pier. (Ship tours will be closed Sunday, May 28, on pier 88 due to cruise ship movement.) Ship tours on the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum, pier 86, will also be conducted from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

All ship tours are free and open to the public. For up-to-date information on all FWNY events, go to the official FWNY website at

The Royal Navy's ice patrol ship, HMS Protector, moving up the Hudson River, past the skyscrapers of Jersey City, New Jersey, at the start of Fleet Week 2022. Protector is the Royal Navy’s only icebreaker. She spends summers in the southern hemisphere in and around the Antarctic peninsula, supporting UK and international scientists’ understanding of the frozen continent, its unique environment and wildlife, as well as updating existing maritime charts of the waters to the latest standards. (Photo: © Terese Loeb Kreuzer 2022)

Ship visitation rules

Visitors should plan to wear comfortable clothing and shoes. All bags and/or camera cases will be searched prior to entering. Ships are considered an industrial environment and guests should avoid open-toed sandals, high heels, necklaces, or other items that can get caught, as well as bags that are too heavy to carry comfortably.

There is no age requirement to tour USN, USNA, USCG, Canadian, Italian, and Royal Navy ships during FWNY, however, adult visitors over the age of 18 are required to show a valid state or federally-issued picture ID. Additionally, tours may not be appropriate for young children or those with certain medical conditions. Strollers or baby carriages are permitted on the pier, but are not allowed on the ships.


Ships are not handicap accessible, however, the pier facilities in Manhattan and Staten Island, including the exhibit area, are handicap accessible.


Photography is permitted onboard ships during tours, but photos of security personnel or procedures are prohibited.


The following items are not permitted: electronic smoking devices; bottles, water bottles, cans or glass containers of any type; banners, posters or signs of any type; mace, pepper spray, or other defensive sprays or chemicals; knives, firearms, fireworks or any explosive; illegal drugs or paraphernalia; flammable liquids or aerosol spray cans; club weapons; and animals. All electronic devices are subject to examination for functionality. Military services reserve the right to prohibit other items not listed above.

Celebrate with Tea and Snacks

from Té Company

For more information and to order, click here.

The tea room at 163 West 10th St. is currently 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:


In 2022, after a two-year hiatus because of the Covid-19 pandemic, Dine Around Downtown returned to Fosun Plaza (formerly known as Chase Manhattan Plaza), with vendors from 35 restaurants in Lower Manhattan. This year there will be 42 restaurants at the food festival. (Photo: © Terese Loeb Kreuzer)

Dine Around Downtown, the ne plus ultra of Lower Manhattan food festivals, will be back in Fosun Plaza on Tuesday, June 6 with 42 restaurants. Foodies will probably be counting the days until then. This is an opportunity to check out the spectrum of Lower Manhattan restaurants from the luxe to the cozy, down-home neighborhood eateries where regulars can always get a table and the servers know their name.

Admission to Dine Around Downtown is free, with restaurants offering signature menu items ranging in price from $5 to $9. Beverages are available for purchase as well.

Place: Fosun Plaza at 28 Liberty Street. Time: 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

For a list of the participating restaurants, click here.

A cook from Malibu Farm prepared coconut-curry vegetable skewers at last year's Dine Around Downtown. Malibu Farm New York will be back at Dine Around Downtown this year. (Photo: © Terese Loeb Kreuzer 2022)

Award-winning chef, author and downtown resident, Rocco DiSpirito served as the host at last year's Dine Around Downtown Festival. He urged everyone to "Eat! Eat! Eat!" He will be back for this year's Dine Around Downtown. (Photo: © Terese Loeb Kreuzer 2022)

In 2019, Temple Court, a restaurant in the Beekman Hotel, offered three dishes at Dine Around Downtown: tuna salad with wasabi, arugula and heirloom radishes; porchetta sandwiches and Gâteau Basque with strawberries. Temple Court will be back at Dine Around Downtown this year. (Photo: © Terese Loeb Kreuzer 2019)

In 2017, when this picture of Dine Around Downtown was taken, there were 32 restaurants represented. This year there will be 42 Lower Manhattan restaurants with many newcomers to the food festival. (Photo: © Terese Loeb Kreuzer 2017)


Blake Roman, Steven Telsey, Zal Owen, Danny Kornfeld, Eric Peters and Sean Bell will reprise their roles in the production of "Harmony" that played to sold-out audiences at the Museum of Jewish Heritage in 2022. (Photo: Julieta Cervantes)

"Harmony," a musical with a score by Barry Manilow and a book and lyrics by Bruce Sussman, is a story about youth, talent, friendship, hope and love smashed by Germany's authoritarian, anti-Semitic, Nazi régime. It's also a story about memory.

In the 1920's and 1930's a troupe of six men, three of them Jewish and three of them Gentiles, known as the Comedian Harmonists entranced audiences in their native Germany and in New York City with their singing, dancing and antics. They could have stayed in the United States where they would have been safe, but they couldn't believe the stories about what was happening in Germany, so they went back. It didn't take long for comedy to turn into tragedy.

One way or another, Manilow and Sussman have been working on "Harmony" for more than 25 years. They first produced a version of the show in 1997 at the La Jolla Playhouse in California. That was followed by a second version at the Ahmanson Theater in Los Angeles in 2014. In 2022, "Harmony" played to great acclaim at the Museum of Jewish Heritage in Battery Park City.

The review of that production in Downtown Post NYC (May 16, 2022) stated that in a pivotal role, "Chip Zien, called 'Rabbi' in the show because that was his training and profession before he became a Comedian Harmonist, gave a passionate and heart-rending performance." He was nominated for an Outer Critics Circle Award as the 'Outstanding Actor in a Musical,' one of eight nominations that "Harmony" received from this 71-year-old organization of theater critics who are based outside of New York City.

In October, the show is coming to Broadway with Chip Zien again appearing as the Rabbi and with the original cast of Comedian Harmonists about whom the Downtown Post NYC review commented, "The men playing the Comedian Harmonists were all terrific both individually and as an ensemble. All have numerous skills as actors, singers, dancers, acrobats, comedians and tragedians. Much was required of them in this production, and they delivered."

Previews will begin at Broadway's Ethel Barrymore Theatre on Oct. 18. The show will open on Nov. 13.

Tickets are now on sale for the Broadway production. For more information, click here.

Chip Zien, who played the Rabbi in the production of "Harmony" mounted by the National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene at the Museum of Jewish Heritage, will reprise his role when the show goes to Broadway in the fall. (Photo: Julieta Cervantes)


The ribbon-cutting for Century 21's new store at 22 Cortlandt St. took place on the morning of May 16, 2023. The store is slimmed down from its previous size but with a similar array of luxury merchandise at discounted prices

“Century 21 is back!” a shopper rejoiced. On May 16, 2023, the beloved department store finally reopened after having been closed for three years.

Century 21 was not just a store. It was a talisman for local shoppers in search of luxury goods at discounted prices, a tourist attraction, and a fixture in Lower Manhattan for decades.

It was founded in 1961 in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, eventually expanding to include 13 stores from New York to Florida. The flagship store was in Lower Manhattan, close enough to the World Trade Center site that it was significantly damaged during the attack on Sept. 11, 2001. Nevertheless, after a few months, it rebounded. However, it didn’t rebound from the Covid-19 pandemic. In 2020, the Gindi family, the owners of Century 21, filed for bankruptcy.

Although on May 16 the store at 22 Cortlandt Street wasn’t scheduled to open until noon, some shoppers were waiting in line as early as 6:30 a.m. After a few hours, the line stretched around the block.

Purses can be purchased on the main floor of Century 21's new store.

Following remarks from New York City Mayor Eric Adams who said, among other things, that he has a huge, wonderful tie collection thanks to Century 21, and a ribbon cutting in which members of the Gindi family participated, the doors opened and shoppers streamed inside. On the main floor they found designer sunglasses, purses, scarves and a trimmed back cosmetic and perfume department. Brands such as Prada, Kate Spade, Moschino and Calvin Klein were well represented.

In the basement shelves and racks display a vast array of shoes for both men and women including everything from four-inch-high heels to hip athletic shoes by Sorel, Lucky Brand, Jessica Simpson, Camper and more. A well-stocked luggage department and children’s clothing department also share the space on the store’s lower level. On the second floor, ladies clothing takes over, ranging from high-end designers such as Victoria Beckham, Save the Queen and Moschino to athletic clothing. Mens’ wear occupies the upper floor.

The store employs around 350 people, 150 of whom are former employees. One shopper remarked, “All of them look so happy!” She said that she recognized some faces from the store years ago. “The store staff was very helpful,” she said.

Although Century 21 now occupies only four floors instead of six as it did before the pandemic, the quality of the merchandise and the discounts of at least 50 percent off haven’t changed.

The store no longer carries ladies’ lingerie, shoes for children or home furnishings and bedding but there are still more than enough items to make a visit worthwhile. “So many things catch your eye!” said one woman. “It’s like a feast for the fashionable."

Women's clothing on the second floor ranges from high-end designers such as Victoria Beckham, Save the Queen and Moschino to athletic clothing.

Seaport Coalition Spring Salon on May 23

The Seaport Coalition is holding a Spring Salon on May 23 to raise money to pay the legal fees for the ongoing battle with The Howard Hughes Corporation to prevent the construction of a 324 foot-tall tower spanning a full city block in the South Street Seaport Historic District. There will be a poetry reading by Pulitzer Prize winning poet, Paul Muldoon, a talk by Seaport historian Stephen Dima and a display of early Seaport photographs by Barbara Mensch. Place: 276 Water St. Time: 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Free to attend. Donations appreciated.

To RSVP, email To donate, 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: Landmarks Conservancy 2023 Sacred Sites Open House

The Eldridge Street Synagogue is one of the sites on The New York Landmarks Conservancy's Annual Sacred Sites Open House, “Congregations and Communities: 50 Years of Sacred Sites.” (Photo: © Terese Loeb Kreuzer)

Landmarks Conservancy 2023 Sacred Sites Open House

May 20 and May 21: The New York Landmarks Conservancy is hosting its Annual Sacred Sites Open House, “Congregations and Communities: 50 Years of Sacred Sites,” welcoming visitors to explore the extraordinary architecture, art and history of world-class houses of worship. Participating congregations will showcase their buildings, histories, cultural and community programs through lectures, musical performances, and special guided tours. Sacred Sites Open House is a free, state-wide event giving visitors an opportunity to discover New York’s remarkable and diverse religious institutions and view their artistic and historical treasures.

Lower Manhattan congregations participating in Sacred Sites Open House include:

·      Church of St. Francis Xavier, 46 West 16th Street, Open Sunday, May 21, 8:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

·      St. John’s in the Village, 218 West 11th Street, Open Sunday, May 21, 11:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. During the Open House there will be two events that the public can attend: Eucharist and lunch at 11 a.m. and a concert by David Oei and Colleagues at 3 p.m. Free. Pre-registration is required. To register, click here.

·      Church of the Ascension, 36-38 5th Avenue, Open Sunday, May 21, 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m..

·      St. Mary Byzantine Catholic Church, 246 East 15th Street, Open Saturday, May 20, 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. and Sunday, May 21, 12:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

·      First Ukrainian Assembly of God, 59 Cooper Square, Sunday, May 21, 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. The weekend of May 19 – May 21, the Annual Ukrainian Festival on East 7th Street will take place. Visitors to this Open House should consider attending as it’s the biggest Ukrainian cultural event in the Tristate area.

·      Kehila Kedosha Janina Synagogue and Museum, 280 Broome St., Sunday, May 21, 12:00 p.m. to 6:00p.m. Kehila Kedosha Janina Synagogue will host the annual Greek Jewish Festival from 12:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m., which will feature four different live musical performances and two traditional dance performances highlighting the rich musical heritage of Greece and the Eastern Mediterranean. There will be a different live performance every hour.

·      Bialystoker Synagogue, 7-11 Bialystoker Place, Open Sunday, May 21, 4:30 p.m to 5:30 p.m. The Lower East Side Jewish Conservancy is conducting an Open House hour at Bialystoker Synagogue. Visitors can hear about the largest Jewish congregation on the Lower East Side and learn about the site’s rich history as a former Methodist Church, believed to be a site on the Underground Railroad.

·      Museum at Eldridge Street, 12 Eldridge St., Open Sunday, May 21, 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. This was the first grand house of worship in the United States built by Jews from Eastern Europe. Museum at Eldridge Street will be conducting guided tours at 11 a.m., 1 p.m., 2 p.m., 3 p.m. Visitors interested in hearing more about the synagogue’s unique history and architecture should plan their schedules accordingly.

·      Trinity Church Wall Street, 89 Broadway, Open Saturday, May 20, 9:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. An exclusive tour of Trinity Church Wall Street will be led by Zach Poole, Senior Associate of MBB Architects. Trinity Church Wall Street, a neo-Gothic 1846 Richard Upjohn masterpiece, is in the final stages of an almost six-year rejuvenation project, which tour guests can expect to hear about. Free. Pre-registration is required. For tickets, click here. (The tour may be sold out but there is a waiting list.)

For more information about New York Landmarks Conservancy Sacred Sites Open House, click here.

Trinity Church Wall Street installed a new stained-glass window in 2022, created by the renowned British stained-glass artist Thomas Denny. The window, which illustrates both “The Parable of the Talents” and “The Judgment of the Nations” from the gospel according to Matthew, faces east from the main entrance of the church on Broadway. This is the first new stained-glass window installed in Trinity in more than a century.

(Photo: © Terese Loeb Kreuzer)

Downtown Post NYC is emailed to subscribers once a week.
To subscribe to Downtown Post NYC, click here

Editor: Terese Loeb Kreuzer

We welcome comments, questions and letters to the editor. Send them to

To advertise, email

Previous issues of Downtown Post NYC are archived at

All articles and photographs in Downtown Post NYC are copyrighted and
may not be reprinted or republished without written permission.

© 2023