September 2007
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Archive for September, 2007

Jane Jacobs and the Future of New York Opens

jane jacobs future new yorkOn September 25, the Municipal Art Society’s exciting new exhibition Jane Jacobs and the Future of New York opened in Urban Center Galleries. Sponsored by the Rockefeller Foundation, this innovative show reevaluates the legacy and values of renowned New York activist Jane Jacobs through the lens of the city of today and tomorrow using images, text and multimedia. It is the centerpiece of a major MAS campaign aiming to energize a new generation of New Yorkers to observe and recognize the best of their city and become citizen activists advocating for positive change. Continue Reading>>

Foye, ESDC Downstate Chairman, Favors ‘Sprinkling’ Moynihan Station Air Rights to Neighborhood

According to an article [Moynihan Air Rights Rain Down] by Matthew Schuerman in the New York Observer, the Empire State Development Corporation favors “sprinkling” the 4.5 million square feet of development rights around the Madison Square Garden superblock to neighboring properties, many of which are controlled by Vornado Realty Trust, a partner in the station development.
“It will mean less disruption to commuters, fewer financial risks, and it will tie the development around Moynihan Station to the demands of the market,” Patrick Foye, ESDC’s downstate chairman, said at a luncheon today before the New York Building Congress.
Foye said that both the dispersed version and a concentrated one with two office towers on the MSG block, would be put forth in planning documents that will be released by the end of this year. This is the third date shared in the last three months. Earlier the New York Times cited a July date and the New York Observer cited Foye expecting a September or October date. Though the ESDC and the developers, Vornado Realty Trust and The Related Companies, seem interested in the plan to transfer rights to neighboring properties, Schuerman notes it is not clear whether the city approves and will assist in the necessary revision of the area’s zoning. Additional Coverage: The New York Post covers the story in an article [Tower Play at Farley Station] by Tom Topousis. It closes with an interesting historical addition to the current events:
A $900 million plan to convert the post-office building into a new rail station, hotel and retail complex was blocked late last year when Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver would not use his vote on the Public Authorities Control Board to give it final approval.

A Civic Activist Boot Camp: Working Within and Without the System – SOLD OUT

jane jacobs future new yorkTuesday, October 16, 7:00 p.m., at the Municipal Art Society, 457 Madison Ave. Jane Jacobs was not beholden to any strategy for making change happen. And today, the complexity of the city and its needs are such that activists also employ a diversity of approaches. While some embrace the protest and resistance models that Jacobs used to oppose the Lower Manhattan Expressway, others focus on effecting social, cultural and political change while working within existing structures. Continue Reading>>

Stanton Street Synagogue, A Place that Matters

One of the few remaining tenement synagogues in the Lower East Side, the compact Stanton Street shul (Yiddish for synagogue), at 180 Stanton Street, was built in 1913 by a hometown society in Brzezan in southeast Galicia, in modern-day Ukraine. It was almost closed in 2000 but the sale of the building and the demise of the shul was stopped by members of the congregation. Now, a homegrown effort is underway to restore the building and renew the congregation, and an open welcome is extended to all to visit the synagogue. Continue Reading>>

Garden Cafeteria, A Place That Matters

The former Garden Cafeteria, at 165 East Broadway (corner of Rutgers), now Wing Shoon Restaurant. The Garden Cafeteria, one of the storied places on the Lower East Side, earned some of its flair from proximity to The Forvertz/ (Jewish Daily) Forward newspaper. The Forward’s writers and poets — Isaac Bashevis Singer for one — regularly held court at the Garden. But it was also the eatery of choice for many circles aside from the Jewish intelligentsia. Continue Reading>>