October 22nd - October 28th, 2004
Court Orders Study of Park Row Closure
Saturday, October 23: A Manhattan judge ruled that the City of New York will have to complete an environmental impact study of the closure of Chinatown's Park Row -- an area that has been closed to traffic by the New York Police Department (NYPD) since the attacks of September 11, 2001, the Daily News reported.
The October 15 court order was issued in response to several complaints from civic leaders seeking to reopen the area, arguing that its closure and the resulting rerouting of traffic have caused major disruptions and obstructed the flow of city services, such as ambulances, to the area, the News said.
According to the paper, the city plans to appeal the court ruling.
New York Waterway Struggles to Stay Afloat
Saturday, October 23: Ferry operator New York Waterway is working with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey to develop a plan that would keep the financially struggling ferry company in business. According to New York Waterway officials, the company is having "cash flow problems" and is considering cutting service on some routes -- including those that service Lower Manhattan, the New York Times reported.
The country's largest privately-owned ferry service, New York Waterway, increased ferry service to replace the PATH train to Lower Manhattan, which was closed after the 9/11 attacks. Since the reopening of the World Trade Center PATH station last December, the ferry operator has witnessed a dramatic drop in ridership. According to statistics from the mayor's management report, overall ridership sank 22 percent from its peak of 64,063 passengers a day in 2003, the Times said.
In addition to the decrease in passengers, New York Waterway has also cited factors such as swelling fuel costs and a struggling economy for its financial state. According to the Times, Port Authority officials are determined to keep the company afloat, and some officials have stated that the Port Authority is considering taking over the operation.
Staten Islanders Name New Ferry Spirit of America
Sunday, October 24: Mayor Michael Bloomberg and New York City Department of Transportation (NYC DOT) Commissioner Iris Weinshall announced the selection of "Spirit of America" as the name of one of the city's three new Staten Island ferries scheduled to begin service in 2005, Newsday and the Daily News reported.
The name, selected through a survey conducted by the Staten Island Advance, is intended to honor Staten Islanders who perished during the 9/11 attacks, as well as those who joined the rescue and cleanup efforts at Ground Zero.
"The people of Staten Island have chosen a fitting name for their new ferry," Bloomberg said in a statement. "Our goal in naming the vessel was to recognize the sacrifice and service of the people of Staten Island on September 11, 2001. The Spirit of America will serve as a reminder of their heroism," the mayor added. The name replaces Mayor Bloomberg's original suggestion of the "September 11th," which was rejected by a poll of ferry riders.
The Spirit of America is the last of three new ferries being added to the fleet by the NYC DOT. The Guy V. Molinari is expected to begin traversing Manhattan waters over the next few months while the second ferry, the Senator John J. Marchi is set to arrive in December.
Historic Downtown Firehouse Gets Wired by DCTV
Monday, October 25: The Downtown Community TV Center, better known as DCTV, celebrated the renovation of its 17,000-square-foot home in Lafayette Street's former "Engine 31" Firehouse with an open house to showcase the historic structure's new, expanded editing studio, screening room, green room, classrooms, and production suites. For complete coverage, please click here.
Tribeca Theater Festival Showcases Downtown Talent
Monday, October 25: The Tribeca Theater Festival, which debuted last week and will last through the end of the month, is calling much deserved attention to the vibrant and varied Lower Manhattan theater community by bringing together a series of plays, playwrights, films, readings, and works-in-progress featuring downtown theater companies. For complete coverage, please click here.
New York City Celebrates Subway Centennial
Wednesday, October 27: Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Metropolitan Transportation Authority Chairman Peter Kalikow, Lt. Governor Mary Donohue, and others joined the celebration of the 100th anniversary of New York City's subway by simulating the system's first ride, which set off from the now-closed original City Hall station at 2:35 p.m. on October 27, 1904. The celebration was a culmination of MTA- and city-organized events that have built momentum for the centennial all year long. For complete coverage, please click here.
Public Art Exhibit Opens in City Hall Park
Thursday, October 28: Mayor Michael Bloomberg and the Public Art Fund announced the launch of the public art exhibit "Julian Opie: Animals, Buildings, Cars and People" at City Hall Park. The one-year exhibit includes a collection of sculptures created by contemporary British artist Julian Opie that have been placed throughout the park's lawns and sidewalks, as well as on the steps of Tweed Courthouse and in City Hall. For complete coverage, please click here.