B.P.C. Beat

By Terese Loeb Kreuzer

Covering Battery Park City

Wreath-making Workshop:

On Saturday, Dec. 11 the Battery Park City Parks Conservancy is sponsoring what it calls a “Wreath-Making Workshop” — but it’s really a “wreath-decorating workshop” said the Parks Conservancy’s executive director Tessa Huxley. “We don’t really have enough greens to make our own.” The wreaths will come from the same source that supplies flowers for the Conservancy’s annual Swedish Midsummer Festival, where — as tradition dictates — women weave wreaths of flowers to crown their heads.

On Saturday, the Conservancy will supply dried flowers, seeds, pinecones, ribbons, cinnamon sticks and other objects with which to decorate the wreaths. Some of the materials will have been gathered from Battery Park City’s parks and gardens. “This is to show that people can do things for themselves,” said Huxley. “They don’t have to buy everything pre-made.”

This is the first year for the holiday wreath workshop. “We think this will be a nice activity for families,” said Huxley, “but you don’t have to have a child to participate!”

The workshop, which will be led by personnel from the Parks Conservancy’s programming and horticultural departments, will be held at the Battery Park City Parks Conservancy offices, 75 Battery Place, from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. The cost is $20 for adults and $10 for students and seniors. Space is limited and pre-registration is required. To register, call 212-627-9700, ext. 348 or 366.

Charles Olson at Poets House:

To students of poetry, Charles Olson (1910-1970) was a monumental man not just in stature (he was 6’8” tall) but in his vision. The Beat poets (Allen Ginsberg, Gregory Corso, Amiri Baraka and others), the poets of the San Francisco Renaissance and the poets of the New York School of the ‘50’s and ‘60’s (such as Kenneth Koch and Frank O’Hara), acknowledged his influence. In honor of the centenary of Olson’s birth, through Jan. 29, 2011 visitors to Poets House at 10 River Terrace will have a chance to look at some of his work, which was conceived as visual and auditory rather than being bound by conventions of logic and syntax.

“Olson wrote a seminal essay called ‘Projective Verse,’” said Suzanne Wise, a spokesperson for Poets House. ”He had this idea of writing poetry that was not driven by traditional forms… hcalled it ‘an open field poetics.’”

The Poets House exhibit includes books by and about Olson and broadsides of some pages from Olson’s best-known work, “The Maximus Poems.” The broadsides show how Olson arranged words on a page — with phrases curving around each other and intersecting.

Olson was born in Worcester, Mass., said Wise, and lived in the last years of his life in the seaside town of Gloucester, Mass., about which he wrote in “The Maximus Poems,” published between 1960 and 1975. “The Maximus Poems” are really one long poem with many parts about the history of America,” she said.

A board member of Poets House, André Spears, owns The Maximus Poems broadsides and has loaned them to Poets House for the exhibition.

One of the broadsides has two lines on it. “My shore, my sounds, my earth, my place,” says one of the lines. Intersecting that line are these words: “afterwards, in between, and since” — from which the exhibit about Olson takes its name.

The exhibition is on view during regular Poets House hours: Tuesday through Friday, 11 a.m.-7 p.m. and Saturday, 11 a.m.-6 p.m. For more information about Poets House, go to www.poetshouse.org.

Holiday Party:

You don’t have to be a Battery Park City resident to attend the annual Battery Park City Neighbors Association Holiday Party, which takes place this year on Sunday, December 12 at the Downtown Community Center, 120 Warren St., from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. There will be activities for kids and families with entertainment by the Church Street School of Music and Art and refreshments from Pan Latin Catering. Sandy Kraehling of Pan Latin says that she will be serving hot mulled apple cider, hot chocolate, organic, all-beef hot dogs and an assortment of Pan Latin sweets and savories, including some of her signature bread puddings. Admission to the holiday party is free.

Those who remember Pan Latin Café, formerly at 400 Chambers St. in Battery Park City, will be glad to know that Kraehling now has a catering business and is selling a full line of bread puddings, both sweet and savory. The sweets include guava cream cheese, caramelized apples and plums and chocolate chunk marshmallow. Among the savories are winter roast vegetable and mushroom herb manchego. A loaf, which feeds seven to 10 people, costs $30, including delivery. For more information call Kraehling at 917-710-1279 or go to www.panlatincafe.com.


Battery Park City now has its own celebrity chef — Wade Burch. Burch, executive chef for all of the Merchants Hospitality restaurants, including Southwest NY and Steamers Landing in Battery Park City and Merchants Café just across West Street at 90 Washington St., was on the Food Network’s show, Chopped, where he competed against three other chefs for a $10,000 prize. Each chef was given a basket containing four ingredients from which each had to fashion an appetizer. After that round, one chef was “chopped” while the others went on to make an entrée. In the final round, the two remaining chefs made a dessert. Chef Burch’s appetizer basket contained oysters, red Swiss chard, a pomegranate and gingerbread cookie dough. Burch immediately thought of making a version of Oysters Rockefeller and had 30 minutes in which to concoct this dish and present it to the judges. They were impressed and let him go on to the next round where he was presented with a goose, blue cheese, Irish cream liqueur and maraschino cherries. Again, he passed and went on to the final round where he fashioned a dessert from boniato potatoes, pasilla chiles, sour cream and peppermint patties. Tune in to the Food Network to find out how he did this. The show on which Chef Burch appeared first ran on Nov. 28 but will be repeated throughout December.