B.P.C. Beat Covering Downtown


BY Terese Loeb Kreuzer

Volume 20, Number 48 | The Newspaper of Lower Manhattan | November 24 – 30, 2010

B.P.C. Beat

Covering Downtown

Hannukah (the Festival of Lights) starts on Dec. 1 and runs for eight days. The shop in the Museum of Jewish Heritage at 36 Battery Place carries menorahs ranging in price from $20 to $350. This Noah’s Ark menorah is $50.

Hudson Produce: The wait is almost over. The space formerly occupied by JJ’s, a 24-hour deli at the corner of South End Avenue and Albany Street, is now home to another 24-hour deli, Hudson Produce, which is scheduled to open on Friday, November 26. JJ’s closed on July 30, 2009. The opening of the new deli was delayed by construction problems, according to the owner, James Kim. The ceiling leaked badly in several places, he said, and there was no heat, no gas and no air conditioning. Mr. Kim said that the structural problems have been addressed and that he will gradually stock the store with fresh fruit and vegetables, flowers, cold cuts and prepared foods and beverages that will include beer as well as soft drinks, juices and water.

“It will take a couple of weeks to put everything in place,” he said.

James Kim, the owner of Hudson Produce at the corner of Albany Street and South End Avenue in Battery Park City, supervised the finishing touches on his store prior to its opening on Nov. 26. Hudson Produce will be open daily, 24 hours a day, and will deliver.

Mr. Kim, who also owns a salad bar and deli in Jersey City, has a 20-year lease on the 4,000-square-foot Battery Park City store. The on-site manager will be Ted Kim (no relation to owner James Kim), but owner Kim said he would be in the store daily “until everyone in Battery Park City has stopped by!” Hudson Produce will deliver. The number to call is (212) 945-0500.

Hannukah Gifts: The Pickman Museum Shop in the Museum of Jewish Heritage on Battery Place is not your usual museum store. Linger for a few minutes and you’re likely to find yourself talking to other customers or to manager Warren Shalewitz about where you grew up, who you know, politics, the economy, games, food, books, World War II, Israel, or who knows what. The background music to these conversations comes from the store’s extensive collection of CD’s. Recently, “Jewish Soul” was playing — and if you stayed in the store long enough, you would have heard everything from Eddie Fisher singing “Oh, My Papa” to Jan Peerce’s rendering of “Kol Nidre.”

The Pickman Museum Shop has a large selection of gifts for Hannukah, which starts on Dec. 1 and continues for eight days, commemorating the rededication of the Second Temple in Jerusalem 2,200 years ago when consecrated oil sufficient for one day miraculously burned for eight. There are a variety of menorahs, of course, ranging from a battery-operated menorah with LED lights ($20) to a silver filigree menorah that can double as a Sabbath candleholder ($350). The store also stocks a large number of dreidels including some made of papier mâché by Muslim women in Kashmir ($10). (Dreidels are tops with Hebrew letters inscribed on each side that are used for a gambling game where the prize money is usually Hannukah gelt — foil-wrapped chocolates shaped like coins.)

The museum’s most popular show this year has been Project Mah Jongg, which runs through January 2, 2011. The shop has a number of gifts for mah jongg aficionados including a Project Mah Jongg set of playing pieces ($129 plus an optional $15 for a case in which to keep them), china dessert plates decorated with pictures of mah jongg tiles ($10) and jewelry crafted by Marlene Weisman Abadi of Brooklyn out of stray tiles from old mah jongg sets combined with colorful beads. Marlene’s Lost and Found line includes necklaces, bracelets, hair barrettes and pins ranging in cost from $27 to $130.

The store has a terrific assortment of books, CD’s and DVD’s. One tantalizing item is called “The Ultimate Goldbergs,” — a six DVD set released this year of 71 episodes of “The Goldbergs” plus 12 radio shows — all starring the incomparable Gertrude Berg as Molly Goldberg ($59.95). The show ran on CBS and NBC between 1949 and 1956, with an estimated 10 million viewers per episode.

Displayed next to the DVD set is a book about Gertrude Berg by Glenn D. Smith, Jr. called “Something on My Own: Gertrude Berg and American Broadcasting, 1929-1956.” (Syracuse University Press, $24.95) “Is it a good book?” a customer asked Mr. Shalewitz. “Oh, yes!” he replied “Gertrude Berg was an interesting woman. She wasn’t just an actress. She was a writer and producer and active in politics.” In 1950, he explained, when Berg’s co-star on “The Goldbergs,” Philip Loeb, was targeted by the U.S. House on Un-American Activities Committee as a Communist and the show’s sponsor, General Foods, demanded that Loeb be fired, Gertrude Berg refused. That took some courage and some clout. Gertrude Berg had both.

Learn a little something at the museum store and buy a little something. Museum members get 20 percent off from now to Dec. 15, plus through Dec. 15, the Pickman Museum Shop is offering free ground shipping for online and phone orders. Phone: (646) 437-4213. www.pickmanmuseumshop.com The museum is open Sunday-Tuesday and Thursday 10 a.m.-5:45 p.m.; Wednesday 10 a.m.- 8 p.m.; Friday 10 a.m.-3 p.m. (Eastern Standard Time) and the eve of Jewish holidays. Closed Saturdays, Jewish holidays, and Thanksgiving Day. The Museum of Jewish Heritage — A Living Memorial to the Holocaust is at 36 Battery Place.

Rosalie Joseph’s Stockings With Care:

Battery Park City resident Rosalie Joseph is known in this community and elsewhere for helping people in need and not just with money. Her charitable work is infused with compassion and empathy. At this time of year, she devotes herself to Stockings With Care, a charity that she co-founded 19 years ago to “grant the gift wishes of children in crisis while preserving the dignity of the family and honoring the individuality of the child.” As Joseph explained, “I used to volunteer at Coalition for the Homeless holiday parties. Children would grab a gift from a pile. It was impersonal. It had nothing to do with who the child was and the parent’s dignity was compromised.” Stockings With Care, on the other hand, gets children’s wish lists from five social service agencies and pairs the children with “secret Santas,” who buy what the child desires. The gifts are wrapped by Joseph and volunteers and given to the child’s parent to present on Christmas morning.

“All the kids know that somehow Santa found them,” Joseph said, “or that their parent managed to get them something special for the holiday.”

Though it costs between $50 and $100 to be a Santa, some people who want to do this sign on with friends and share the expense. Stockings With Care gets wish lists from around 2,000 children each year, but not all of them have Santas.

“We always run a few hundred short,” said Joseph, so donations of money to Stockings With Care are also welcome, enabling Joseph’s volunteers to go shopping for these children. Stockings With Care wraps and presents between 4,500 and 5,000 gifts each holiday season.

“This does as much for the donors as it does for the kids,” Ms Joseph commented. “They tell us that it fills them with joy. They wake up on Christmas morning thinking about their child opening their gifts.”

The kids, who range in age from infants to teens, ask for all the usual: toys, games, music, stuffed animals — and practical things like clothes. One year, a child asked for dog food so that the family wouldn’t have to give away its dog. Stockings With Care provided a year’s supply of dog food.

For more information on how to become a Santa, or to donate or volunteer for Stockings With Care, go to https://www.stockingswithcare.org/.


As noted in previous Battery Park City Beat columns, Steamers Landing and SouthWest NY in Battery Park City will be open on Thanksgiving Day from noon to 9 p.m. as will Merchants Café just across West Street at 90 Washington St. And as also previously noted, SouthWest NY will have a community table, with seating at 4 p.m. so that people who might otherwise be dining alone on Thanksgiving Day can enjoy a meal with neighbors. (Call 212-945-0528 for more information or reservations. The price at the community table for a three-course dinner is $25.95 plus tax and tip, and it includes tea, coffee, soda and a glass of house wine.) Here are some other Thanksgiving dining options near Battery Park City: Battery Gardens (inside Battery Park, opposite 17 State St.). Three-course Thanksgiving menu includes deserts. Reservations required. $60. (212) 809-5508. SHO Shaun Hergatt, 40 Broad St. (inside the Setai). Three-course meal with seating from 1:30 p.m.-7 p.m. Reservations required. $79 (adults); $39.50 for children (12 and under). (212) 809-3993. Harry’s Cafe & Steak, One Hanover Square. Four-course Thanksgiving menu served from 1 p.m. to 8 p.m. Reservations recommended. $58 (adults); $25 (children). (212) 785-9200. Wall & Water, 75 Wall St. (in the Andaz Wall Street Hotel). Four courses served from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. including a Raw Bar. Reservations required. $65. (212) 699-1700. Cosmopolitan Café, 125 Chambers St. Three-course meal served from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. with a choice of appetizers and desserts and a main course including traditional roast turkey dinner. Reservations. (212) 766-3787. $30. Around the corner at 95 West Broadway, the Cosmo Café will be open for breakfast, lunch, desserts and coffee starting at 7 a.m. and will serve a Thanksgiving dinner in a crepe for $9.50 along with the usual menu. By the way, the Downtown Alliance’s Connection bus service that links the South Street Seaport with Broadway at City Hall will not run on Thanksgiving.