B.P.C. Beat


By Terese Loeb Kreuzer

Covering Battery Park City

TimeBank Tai Chi:

Tai Chi, a form of martial arts that has been practiced in China for more than four hundred years, is now being practiced on Sunday afternoons at the Terrace Club, 380 Rector Place. The classes are under the auspices of TimeBank, a program sponsored and run by the Visiting Nurse Service of New York. The tai chi classes are free — or sort of free. No money changes hands, but members of TimeBank give an hour of service to another member for each hour of service they receive. Services that members exchange with each other might include help with moving, tutoring, home repairs, computer lessons, sewing, pet care and more. For example, the tai chi instructor, Mark Song, a native of China, is coached on his English in exchange for his teaching.

It is not necessary to be a TimeBank member to attend a tai chi class, but Mashi Blech, the director of the TimeBank program, said that attendees would have to join TimeBank if they want to continue. Joining entails completing an application, providing references and participating in an orientation session.

Song, who works with computer systems, has been studying tai chi for more than 38 years and teaching it for 20 years. He said tai chi is good for one’s health in that it reduces stress, improves concentration and restores balance. No special skills, clothing or equipment are needed to take his classes and they’re open to all ages.

In the summer, Song has been teaching in the oval park next to the World Financial Center. However, winter classes were a problem. The class tried to use space on the second level of the Winter Garden, but there were interruptions and distractions. Then Steve Rossi, a vice president with Milford Management and a TimeBank member, helped make the Terrace Club available. Had he not done so, the winter classes would have had to be cancelled, said Blech. “This is the first time a for-profit entity has partnered with us to promote and help TimeBank in such a significant way,” she said.

The next tai chi class will be on Sunday, January 2 at 12:30 p.m. Reservations are necessary. To reserve or for more information about TimeBank and how to join, call 212-609-7811 or e-mail timebank@vnsny.org.

Sailing in the Caribbean:

At the end of January, as Battery Park City wrestles with snow and winter winds, around 150 people, most of them members of North Cove Marina’s Manhattan Sailing Club or graduates of Manhattan Sailing School, will be heading for the Caribbean. This is the 10th anniversary of the Caribbean regatta, said the marina’s commodore, Michael Fortenbaugh — and this year a record number of boats will participate.

The Manhattan Sailing Club has chartered “around 20 boats” according to Fortenbaugh, ranging in size from 40 feet to 51 feet. Each boat can accommodate six to eight people, who will live and eat aboard as they sail among the British Virgin Islands.

“It’s sort of glorified camping,” Fortenbaugh explained. “Everyone pitches in on chores. It’s a team-building experience.”

Most of the skippers teach at the Manhattan Sailing Club. Their crews range from novices who have taken one sailing course to experienced sailors. Some people have sailed together before while others have not.

Around this time of year, what are known as “Christmas winds” begin to blow in the Virgin Islands, Fortenbaugh said, which makes for good sailing. Some days the boats race each other. At the Bitter End Yacht Club on Virgin Gorda, the sailors will rent dinghy sailboats and compete with each other. The winning team receives a bottle of rum.

Other days are more laid back. People can choose to swim, read or go sightseeing ashore.

The fee for the week varies from boat to boat, with the newer and larger boats commanding larger fees. The range for the week is $1,390 to $1,990 per person exclusive of airfare. A few slots are still open for this year. Call 212-786-0400 for more information or go to https://www.myc.org/

SouthWest NY:

A few weeks ago, an inspection from the New York City Department of Health hit SouthWest NY, located at 2 World Financial Center, like a bombshell. After a series of excellent ratings, an inspector declared that the restaurant merited a “70,” which would have made it one of the grimiest eateries in the city. A subsequent inspection on December 15 restored SouthWest NY’s “A” rating but not before several news reports had trumpeted the restaurant’s black eye and some diners had opined that the place should close. Merchants Hospitality, the owner of SouthWest NY and of several other restaurants in and near Battery Park City (Steamers Landing, Merchants Café, Pound & Pence), has appealed the atypical report. A hearing will take place in January.

Meanwhile, Executive Chef Wade Burch is planning sumptuous dinners for Christmas Day and New Year’s Eve. A three-course Christmas Day dinner will feature a choice of entrées (wild turkey enchiladas, prime rib or red snapper) appetizers and desserts for $32.95. Those who opt to eat at SouthWest NY’s community table on Christmas Day, with seating at 4 p.m., will have beverages included in the price of the meal. Call 212-945-0528 for reservations.