Events & Activities

Meet a Lower Manhattan Business: Shake Shack

via Downtown Alliance/Lower Manhattan Diary

Shake Shack has opened in Lower Manhattan!

Shake Shack’s reputation was undeniably established following the success of its original Madison Square Park location.  Since then, quite a few locations have sprouted up throughout the city, and Danny Meyer has just opened his latest venture in Battery Park City. READ MORE …

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Battery Park City Turns into Catwalk for ‘Project Runway’

The models with the host Heidi Klum and mentor Tim Gunn


By Tuan Nguyen
DNAinfo Reporter/Producer

To kick off the ninth season of “Project Runway,” the show took the catwalk to the city’s streets for a live taping — the first time fans could watch the filming, according to the program’s website.

More than 100 fashion aficionados flocked to Battery Park City Friday morning for the spectacle of the season premiere, braving the gloomly weather to catch a glimpse of the design world’s hottest new talent.
Models strutted their stuff on stilts while showing off styles from 20 new designers – the largest group in the series history.

“I woke up from 5:30, I couldn’t sleep thinking of the show,” said Mora Lo, 24, who arrived at 7:30 a.m. for the 10 a.m. taping that featured host and supermodel Heidi Klum, mentor Tim Gunn, judges Michael Kors and Nina Garcia and guest judge Kim Kardashian.

The fans, many came as early as 7:00 a.m., stood through the rain to wait for the filming, which started at 10:00 a.m. (Tuan Nguyen/DNAInfo)
Christina Ricci, Zoe Saldana and Malin Akerman will also be guest judges on the show this season.

Read more from DNAinfo.

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Great Hudson River Swim

Four swimmers relaxed at Battery Park City’s North Cove Marina, the finish line of the 1.6-mile Great Hudson River Race on Sat., May 28. (Photos courtesy of Downtown Express & Terese Loeb Kreuzer)

by Downtown Express

Last Saturday, 362 swimmers from as far west as California and Hawaii and from Ireland, England, Australia, Serbia, India, Canada and a few other places on the map jumped into the Hudson River at Christopher Street in Greenwich Village and swam to North Cove Marina in Battery Park City, 1.6 miles away. NYC Swim, which stages 17 races a year in New York harbor, sponsored the May 28 event. The winning time of 00:25:55:00 was posted by Jon Wilkinson, a 39-year-old attorney from Portsmouth, N.H.

The participants ranged in age from 13 to 80. Ken Thompson, 57, an accountant who lives in Greenwich Village, said he had swum in Hudson River races more than 20 times.

“To swim more than a mile when you’re 57 takes a lot of stamina,” he said. He also noted, “In open water, an older swimmer has an opportunity to beat a younger swimmer.” Unlike swimming pools, said Thompson, in open water there are a lot of “surprises.”

The fastest female swimmer in the race was Janet Harris, 45, of New York City with a time of 00:28:39:00. She arrived at the finish line simultaneously with Nathaniel Dean, 34, who trains with the BearCats Masters at Baruch College.

“When I get in the water, I’m a different person,” said Dean. “Everything else about the world absolutely disappears. It’s like Zen.”

Both Harris and Dean will be swimming in the next NYC Swim event, a 28.5-mile race around the island of Manhattan on June 18. The race will start and end at South Cove in Battery Park City. There will be 35 solo swimmers whose credentials include swimming the Catalina and English Channels, the Chesapeake Bay and the Strait of Gibraltar and several two-, four- and six-person relay teams. The participants will come from 10 countries and 13 states.

Read more news from Downtown Express.

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Downtown Reviving: N.Y.C. Launches Global Push

New York City is launching a global campaign to promote Lower Manhattan, an area comprising the financial district, Battery Park City, and the waterfront harbor.

The effort — “Get More NYC: Lower Manhattan,” which begins June 1 — extols the virtues of Lower Manhattan hotels, restaurants, shops, history, museums, and other attractions, including the 9/11 Memorial, which the city says will open on Sept. 12.

In addition to outdoor ads in the five boroughs, a taxicab monitor spot promoting Lower Manhattan, and an initiative to promote Lower Manhattan to meeting planners, the effort includes a media program at JFK International Airport’s Terminal 4 starting this summer. Posters, wall clings and column wraps showing imagery of the City with a particular emphasis on Lower Manhattan will festoon the terminal.

Read the full article from MediaPost.

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Audience Directs Battery Park City Actors With Texts

The two actors wear corporate black suits and respond to text messages from the audience.

By Julie Shapiro
DNAinfo Reporter/Producer

“The Attendants,” allows viewers to text instructions to actors and runs Thursday to Saturday in the Winter Garden.

An interactive performance that conveys the frustration of being trapped in a cubicle is opening this week in the World Financial Center
Called “The Attendants,” the installation features two people stuck in an 8-foot, plexiglass cube, acting out their responses to text messages from the audience. The two actors will wear corporate-looking black suits and will respond only physically, not with words.

“It speaks to the way we live now,” said Chance Muehleck, co-founder of The Nerve Tank, which is producing the show. “The way we’re connected, and yet the distance that exists with all the technology.”
From Thursday through Saturday, the clear cube — which has an open top to allow the actors to breathe — will sit in the World Financial Center’s Winter Garden, in the middle of one of the largest office complexes in the city.

“I think people will be intrigued by it,” said Debra Simon, artistic director of Arts World Financial Center. “I think they will be puzzled [at first] and then they will be intrigued.

Muehleck hopes the installation will attract tourists and residents in addition to the thousands of office workers who pass through the Winter Garden each day, because the more people interact with the cube, the more interesting it will be.

Read more from DNAinfo.

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This Weekend’s BPC Events

The coming weekend will be a busy one in B.P.C. On Fri., May 6 from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., the first of the year’s Sunset Singing Circles will take place in Wagner Park. Accompanied by guitars, people sit on the grass and sing folk songs and standards (song sheets provided) as the sun sets over the harbor. The event is free.

On Sat., May 7 from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. will be the first of the season’s family dances on the Esplanade Plaza by North Cove Marina. The theme is “Bluegrass” and the Ebony Hillbillies, a band consisting of fiddle, banjo, mountain dulcimer, guitar and washboard, will provide the music. Don Coy, from Louisville, Ky., will teach square dancing steps and call the dances — no partners or experience needed.

See more from Downtown Express.

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Visionaire-y Design


New York’s First LEED Platinum Condo Celebrates Earth Day

By Matthew Fenton
photos by Robert Simko

The lobby of the Visionaire


Earth Day was celebrated in fitting fashion (and a few days early) last weekend by the Visionaire, the eco-friendliest condominium in America that, in 2009, became New York City’s first residential building to be awarded Platinum status under the LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification system.

The party included rides in an electric vehicle for adults, face-painting for kids, organic food from local vendors (like Battery Market) for everybody, and information kiosks sponsored by environmentally conscious and local businesses like Whole Foods, Origins, Benjamin Moore Paints, Holton Farms, California Wine Merchants, People’s Garden NYC and Ciao Bow Wow.

But the most intriguing item on the agenda was a behind-the-scenes tour of the building’s technology, which cuts electricity and water usage by double-digits percentage points (and accrues a corresponding savings for residents), provides free hot water, heat, and air conditioning, and makes the building refreshingly devoid of many pollutants that we have taken for granted for so long (such as particulate matter, glare, and noise) that we scarcely notice them anymore.

The tour began with a ride to the building’s rooftop in the high-tech elevators, which harvest kinetic energy from the friction created by the elevator’s brakes, in much the way that hybrid automobiles do. Above the penthouse level, visitors were taken behind the solar cells that generate electric current from sunlight. (A meter on the control panels that monitor these photovoltaic cells tracks how many pounds of carbon were not pumped into the atmosphere as a result of creating power this way: Each of these dozen-plus meters gauged more than 10,000 pounds.) Alongside, a natural gas micro-turbine silently spun out more voltage, which goes to power elevators, common areas, and climate control systems.

Jeff Ditaranto explains how the waste water recycling system works


“We’re very proud of this system,” said Jeff Ditaranto, who helps manage the building for its developer, the Albanese Organization. He went on to explain the mechanical redundancy that keeps extracting power out of energy that would otherwise go to waste. “We have a system devoted entirely to pulling heat out of hot-air exhaust,” he said. “That heat becomes more electricity, which creates more hot-air exhaust, from which we pull more heat, and start the process over again.” This combination of systems generates more than 70 kilowatts-hours.

In the Visionaire’s basement, visitors got to see a waste water recycling system that takes whatever comes out of an apartment’s drains, toilets, and laundry pipes and treats it with chemicals, filters, and ultraviolet light. The result is water so pure that you could safely drink it. “But nobody drinks it!” Mr. Ditaranto adds quickly. Instead, this former “blackwater” (meaning any water contaminated by waste) is now considered “greywater,” which means that it can be cycled back through pipes that lead once more into the building’s toilets (but not its faucets), saving tens of thousands of gallons each day of fresh water that would otherwise be needlessly flushed away. These savings are bolstered by a catch basin on the Visionaire’s roof, which adds to the building’s water supply, while cutting consumption from the City water system.

Architect Heidi Kippenhan and Visionaire's Michael Gubbins

Also on hand for the tour was Heidi Kippenhan, an architect from the firm of Pelli Clarke Pelli, which designed the building. “We did everything we could, large and small, to make this building better for the environment,” she reflected. “This is what the future looks like.”

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2011 River to River Festival in Battery Park City

The line-up for the 10th Annual River To River Festival has been announced, with free events being held at various locations along downtown New York City’s waterfront, including the World Financial Center, The Seaport, Battery Park City’s Rockefeller Park, Castle Clinton National Monument, The Elevated Acre at 55 Water Street, and more. The festival runs June 19-July 16.

On Wednesday June 22 at 7pm, Battery Park City Authority will present Bottom Line – NY On My Mind, starring Rosanne Cash, Marshall Crenshaw, Willie Nile, Martin Rivas, Suzzy Roche and Lucy Wainwright Roche, Loudon Wainwright III, Dar Williams, and more. The event will be hosted by Meg Griffin, and also feature Christine Lavin and Vin Scelsa reading NYC stories.

Rufus Wainwright will join New York City Opera singers, and pianist Kevin Murphy to perform excerpts from his opera Prima Donna, which will premiere at New York City Opera in spring 2012, as well as his favorite arias. The event will be held at the World Financial Center Winter Garden on June 28.

Read more about other dates & River to River Festival events.

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Earth Day Celebration of Sustainable Living on April 16th at The Visionaire

Earth Day Celebration of Sustainable Living on April 16th at The Visionaire

Where: The Visionaire (70 Little West St., Battery Park City, NY).

When: Sat., April 16th, 11 AM to 4 PM.

Bring your friends & family to The Visionaire Condominium, the greenest residential high-rise in the country, to experience and learn more about eco-conscious living with some of the top sustainable personalities and businesses in NYC. Indulge in eco-friendly treats, hands-on activities, take-home gifts and more. Tours of green operating systems (microturbine, air filtration, solar photovoltaic panels, etc.) throughout the building will be offered too!

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World Financial Center Dishes Up Three Lunchtime Food Events

A sandwich from Quality Burger, which reopened Thursday on the World Financial Center plaza.


By Julie Shapiro
DNAinfo Reporter/Producer

The World Financial Center had three separate lunchtime culinary events on Thursday.

From 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., the EAT World Financial Center Restaurant showcased more than a dozen of the building’s eateries in the Winter Garden, each selling tastes of their signature dishes for $5 or less.

The Grill Room offered a shrimp and vegetable stir-fry for $5, SouthWest NY will dish out pulled-pork sliders, two for $5, and Devon & Blakely sold a blackened chicken sandwich for $4. For dessert, Financier Patisserie offered a black and white mousse cake for $3, while Godiva Chocolatier will sell two chocolate-dipped strawberries for $5.

Thursday also marked the return of Ed’s Lobster Bar and Quality Burger, the food kiosks by the North Cove Marina that drew long lines when they debuted last summer.

This year, Ed’s will bring back its $15 lobster roll, $6 grilled shrimp skewers and $2 grilled corn on the cob, while Quality Burger will offer freshly seared cheeseburgers for $5.25 and loaded-up chilidogs for $3.75.

Within the next couple of weeks, a third kiosk will open: Fatty ‘Cue, an outpost of the popular Williamsburg barbecue joint by the same name.

Read more from DNAinfo.

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