Archive for 09/27/2016

Lower Manhattan Continues to Thrive

9-11Lower Manhattan has encountered substantial changes during the decade-and-a-half following the 9/11 terrorist attacks, which saw the loss of 2, 753 lives.  According to a recent State Attorney General Report released by Thomas P. DiNapoli (New York State Comptroller) what happened after the attacks that resulted in an “unspeakable tragedy, ” was that partnerships emerged “between the local community, government, and the private and not-for-profit sectors — that made Lower Manhattan’s renaissance possible.”  Today the area has earned itself a reputation for having “a diversified employment base and strong annual job growth.”  He added that “Lower Manhattan is doing more than rebuilding, it is transforming and moving forward with resilience and hope.”

In commemoration of the day, a memorial procession was led by the NYPD Emerald Society Pipes & Drums.  Participants included Mayor de Blasio and Bill Bratton (who is leaving his post as Police Commissioner).  They marched from Cedar Street to the NYC Police Memorial in Battery Park City, down Broadway. They were joined by police bands nationwide.

And then there is the Irish Pub O’Haras.  Owned by Mike Keane, this has become a kind of shrine to the tragedy.  At the time of the event, co-owner of the pub Mike Keane watched the first tower fall from the bar’s roof.  He managed to get to safety but the bar was badly damaged and at its reopening seven months thereafter, it was transformed into “a haven for locals and Ground Zero workers.” The next year, a gathering was held at the pub in which Big John (a construction worker) ripped off a patch from a fireman’s uniform, stapling it to the wall which thereafter became a tradition.  Today there are over a thousand patches from various ambulance services, fire departments and more around the world, at the pub.  Indeed one day they even received a framed frag flown over from the Pentagon in the mail.  Another owner of the Irish Pub, Paul Mackin explained ““We get locals in their p.j.s, sometimes, because they can’t sleep.”  He himself was “changed” following 9/11 and now each weekend meets people “who come in here from all over the world. They enter as strangers and leave as friends.”

Yes, a lot has changed in downtown Manhattan over the last decade-and-a-half with some incredible developments and transformations in the region.  But 9/11 will never be forgotten and no matter how different the city may look, for those people who had a direct connection to it, things will always stay the same.

Helping the Students of Manhattan

rowboatThere are many ways to help students with different needs and this article looks at two things happening right now in Manhattan.  Both are more than just the basic money giving to help those students with different in needs.

First there is Rocking the Boat in which nine teams participated in the 30-mile row around Manhattan to raise monies for the organization.  As part of the Rocking Manhattan Fundraiser and to aid and empower South Bronx students, $300,000 is needed.  This enables the students, notes Adam Green, founder and executive director of the non-profit Rocking the Boat to select either the “boat building track, environmental science track or sailing track [where] they learn very intensive technical skills in each of those tracks which give them all sorts of future opportunities.”

Participants have gained a lot from the program, as they were inspired for the future and able to move ahead with skills they picked up.  From boat building one student noted, they learned to become more open with others as they had to get themselves “out there and overall becom[e] more friendly and more involved.”

Second, as a way of dealing with the expansion of public schools in Manhattan in a positive way, school officials chose to “embrace” the fact that the educational institution was turning into a construction site “teeming with workers, tools and building materials.”  In other words they took what could have been negative and disruptive and transformed it into “an educational supplement for students.”

Furthermore, Karen Hedglin, representative for the project from McKinstry Construction, this expansion could be a really good STEM opportunity for Manhattan over the next couple of years.  It could indeed be used as a way of exposing students to “a unique side of the increasingly popular science, technology, engineering and mathematics fields.”

For students interested in technology or those who experience challenges with Math, this project could really make the subjects “come alive” for them and help them thrive.

The Theater District: The World’s Stage

theaterShimmie Horn’s Washington Jefferson – set in a relaxed ambience within a tree-lined block but close enough to Broadway’s bright lights – has something for everyone. Whether for business or leisure, travelers visiting Manhattan can take in a show at the nearby Theater District, or just enjoy the other features Manhattan has to offer.
It has been said that even though Shakespeare was the brains behind “all the world’s a stage,” it is actually New York – and specifically The Theater District in Manhattan – that is the world’s stage. With 40 Broadway theaters and many more Off- and Off-Off Broadway locations, NYC has dramas, comedies, musicals and theatrical events in their thousands!
From The Humans, The Front Page, Hamilton and the New Isaac Berlin Musical – Holiday Inn, there really is something for everyone.
So when you’re lounging at The Washington Jefferson and are seeking a real taste of one of the things that makes New York famous, check out more of the available shows  here.

East Village Food Tour

Lawrence Weibman is the host of NYC Food Tour. In this video, he takes viewers around the East Village delighting them to a “truly memorable meal, ” highlighting three cuisines the average Joe has probably not tried but will undoubtedly love.