Covering Battery Park, Sept. 5, 2012


To the left, a hummingbird in Battery Park City’s Wagner Park. Under the auspices of the B.P.C. Parks Conservancy, naturalists will lead bird-watching walks in September and October. Many migrating birds pass through the area in the fall. Downtown Express photos by Terese Loeb Kreuzer

BY TERESE LOEB KREUZER  | M.T.A. taps B.P.C. resident for subway photo exhibit:
 A newly installed wall of photographs at the 4/5 Bowling Green subway stop causes some subway riders to stop in their tracks for a closer look. The photos, taken by Battery Park City resident Jay Fine, depict Lower Manhattan scenes such as the sunset over the Hudson River, the Staten Island ferry and a marching band at the South Street Seaport. There are seven photos in all — each of them 66 inches wide by 45 inches tall — displayed as transparencies.

The exhibit, entitled “Edge of Manhattan,” is part of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s Arts for Transit and Urban Design program in subway and commuter rail stations. The M.T.A. commissions both well-established and emerging artists to create art that complements the architectural history and design of individual stations. Materials the artists use include mosaic, ceramic, tile, bronze, steel and faceted glass.

There are currently 230 permanent art installations throughout the M.T.A. system plus four photography light box installations that include the one at Bowling Green. The others are at Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn, the 42nd Street Bryant Park subway station and the Grand Central Terminal dining concourse.

“The overarching goal of these programs is to enhance the transit experience for our riders,” said Lester Burg, manager of the Arts for Transit and Urban Design program. Burg said he selected Fine because he had been looking for photography that dealt with the role of the river in Lower Manhattan and how it shapes the way spaces are used in Downtown. “I sought strong images that would work in a very busy station adorned with bright tile,” he said, “and Jay’s work as a chronicler of Lower Manhattan fit the bill.”

Fine has lived in B.P.C. for around 10 years. His photos have previously appeared in National Geographic, Popular Photography, The Daily News, The Daily Telegraph and on NBC Nightly News. He exhibits at the Kim Foster Gallery at 529 W. 20th St. Kim Foster and her husband, painter Antonio (Tony) Petracca, who exhibits at the gallery, are also B.P.C. residents.

“I couldn’t have been more pleasantly surprised when they contacted me,” Fine said of his subway exhibit for which he was paid an honorarium. Duggal Visual Solutions contributed the printing, and Kodak supplied the Duratrans — Kodak’s brand name for a heavy transparency material designed for use in large, backlit displays — on which the photos are printed.

B.P.C. resident Jay Fine is exhibiting his photos of Lower Manhattan in the 4/5 Bowling Green subway station. The photos will be on display for at least a year as part of the M.T.A.’s Arts for Transit and Urban Design program, established to beautify the public transit system.

The exhibit will be up for at least a year.

9/11 commemorations at the Memorial:
 The anniversary of 9/11 will never be just another day in Battery Park City. This Sept. 11 at the World Trade Center site, family members will read the names of the victims, but there will be no speeches from politicians. At St. Paul’s Chapel, which was remarkably unscathed by the destruction of the W.T.C., the Rev. Canon Anne Mallonee, vicar of Trinity Wall Street, will ring the Bell of Hope at 8:45 a.m. in remembrance of the 9/11 victims. The bell was a gift to Trinity Church from the Lord Mayor of London and was cast at the same foundry that cast the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia. At 3 p.m. that day, the United States Military Academy Band from West Point will present a free, hour-long program of patriotic music at Trinity Church, located at the intersection of Broadway and Wall Street.

Lower Manhattan residents can bypass the crowds by visiting the National Sept. 11 Memorial Plaza on Sun., Sept. 9, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Residents are entitled to up to four passes each, which they can retrieve from the Community Board 1 office (49-51 Chambers St., Suite 715) between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m., Monday through Friday. The board can also be reached by e-mail, [email protected] on or before Friday, Sept. 7, to request passes.

B.P.C. Block Party plans:
 Plans are being finalized for Battery Park City’s annual block party, which is scheduled for Sat., Sept. 22 from 11:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Esplanade Plaza, just south of North Cove Marina.

The first B.P.C. block party, a celebration of survival and continuity, took place in September 2002 to bring the community back together following 9/11. Since then, some block party events have become eagerly awaited rituals that would probably provoke howls of disappointment if they were changed. The block party always opens with a communal sing and ends with lusty renditions of “Downtown” and “New York, New York.”

This year, as usual, there will be rides and games for the kids, arts and crafts, a flea market organized by the B.P.C. Seniors and food from several neighborhood restaurants. The TriBattery Pops will perform, and there will be dancing and karaoke singing. The B.P.C. Parks Conservancy will bring potted plants, compost and a display about their horticultural practices. Local businesses will display their wares and services, and the block party committee will host a wine tasting on one of the boats in North Cove Marina.

Other festivities are still being ironed out. There will probably be a cupcake-baking contest, a tank full of Hudson River fish and an exhibit put on by the Liberty Science Center in Jersey City.

It’s not too late to be part of the action. To volunteer, e-mail [email protected] B.P.C. residents wishing to promote their businesses should e-mail [email protected] by signing up for a free table.

Bird watching in Wagner Park
With the approach of fall, large numbers of migrating birds are traveling through Battery Park City on their way south. They use the Hudson River to navigate, following its course until it connects with the Atlantic Ocean. As some of these birds stop in B.P.C. to feed and rest, the B.P.C. Parks Conservancy has scheduled naturalist-led bird walks in Wagner Park for Sat., Sept. 15 and Sat., Oct. 20 from 11 a.m. to noon. On Fri., Sept. 28 and Fri., Oct. 12 from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m., twilight nature walks in Wagner Park are likely to bring sightings of hummingbirds fattening themselves up on nectar for their lengthy journey to Mexico and Central America where they will spend the winter. Binoculars are provided for these bird-watching walks. Both novice and ardent bird watchers are welcome.

To comment on the Battery Park City Beat or to suggest article ideas, e-mail Terese Loeb Kreuzer at [email protected]

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