B.P.C. Beat


By Terese Loeb Kreuzer

Holiday Lights:

Battery Park City’s traditional tree-lighting ceremony takes place on Thursday, December 2 from 5:45 p.m. to 7 p.m. in South Cove. Three Cedars of Lebanon trees will be outfitted with multi-colored lights for the occasion. “They’re a very elegant, gracious tree,” said Abby Ehrlich, director of programming for the Battery Park City Parks Conservancy, which runs the event. “The reflection of the colored lights in the water of South Cove is quite magical.”

Santa Claus is always on hand for the tree lighting, and people bring unwrapped toys, books and clothing that are donated to Stockings With Care, a charity started by Battery Park City resident Rosalie Joseph to provide holiday gifts to children in crisis who would otherwise not have the fun holiday that so many children experience. (See last week’s Battery Park City Beat for more information about Stockings With Care.) “It’s sort of like you’re coming to a party where you bring something with you,” said Ehrlich. “What we’re asking is not something for each other but something for others who need things.”

Hot chocolate, hot cider and cookies will be served, and there will be caroling led by Suzze, Maggie and Terre Roche.

PS/IS 276 Winter Carnival:

The PS/IS 276 Winter Carnival is scheduled for Sat., December 11 from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. at 55 Battery Place. There will be potluck food, carnival games and a holiday tag sale. The school would appreciate donations of new or gently used household items such as toys, books, kitchen items, small furniture and electronic gadgets but adds, “Sorry, no clothes, linens, or plush items at this time!” Place donations in the collection box at the school before December 9. For more information, contact Julie Brown at gaschler.brown@egab.net or Magda at magdakgagli@gmail.com.

2 World Financial Center, 24-hour access: Tom Goodkind, a member of Community Board 1’s Battery Park City Committee, has secured what he calls “a small victory” for neighborhood residents. Brookfield Properties, which owns the World Financial Center, has agreed to keep the walkway in 2 World Financial Center open 24/7. This walkway connects Vesey Street on the north with Liberty Street on the south. “I recall five years ago during a cold winter when my daughter and her friends from Bronx Science went to a late-night Battery Park City movie and then tried to walk from the north to the south,” Goodkind wrote in an e-mail. “The security guards told the girls that the World Financial Center was closed. The same occurred when I tried this winter to walk to my E train to work before 6 a.m. The guard would not let me through.”

At a recent Battery Park City Committee meeting at which Brookfield representatives were present (to talk about the Winter Garden staircase, which Brookfield says needs to be demolished), Goodkind asked about the 2 World Financial Center passageway and the Brookfield reps said the connection was open. However, said Goodkind, they later “e-mailed me to say that it actually is not open; they, of course, have always closed the walkways from midnight until 6 a.m.!” Goodkind said that he “insisted” via e-mails, with support from various Community Board 1 staff members, that the community needed access.” Last week, the request was heeded. “I received a very nice email from Brookfield telling me that due to my efforts, they are now going to keep the walkways open 24/7,” said Goodkind. Just to be sure, he checked with the guards on duty. “’Yes,” they said. ‘You are now allowed in at all times — it’s a new rule we just heard about.’”

To comment on “Battery Park City Beat” or to leave Battery Park City information for possible use in the column, e-mail TereseLoeb@mac.com.