Battery Park City, Sept. 12, 2013

Downtown Express photo by Terese Loeb Kreuzer Leland Estes, the beer sommelier at Clinton Hall, 90 Washington St., which opened in early August serving small-batch, craft beers and complementary food.
Downtown Express photo by Terese Loeb Kreuzer
Leland Estes, the beer sommelier at Clinton Hall, 90 Washington St., which opened in early August serving small-batch, craft beers and complementary food.

Behind the vote:
On the afternoon and early evening of primary day, Sept. 10, an informal exit poll at the Regatta on West Thames St., one of three polling places in Battery Park City, revealed an electorate whose votes were largely determined by who they were voting against rather than who they were voting for.

“I went with the non-Spitzer,” said one man of the comptroller’s race. He also voted for Christine Quinn for mayor and Gale Brewer for Manhattan borough president, and like many voters, he declined to have his name published.

“I don’t usually vote in the primaries,” he said, “but I voted today because there were some people I didn’t want.”

One woman said that she was “not pleased with Bill Thompson’s performance” as chairperson of the Battery Park City Authority. Neither did she like Bill de Blasio because he had run an “us and them campaign.” In fact, she said, she didn’t really like any of the mayoral candidates.

She decried the District 1 City Council race as being “really negative and distasteful.” However, she ended up voting for the incumbent, Margaret Chin, over the challenger, Jenifer Rajkumar, because “Chin has more experience.”

She was confounded by whom to vote for in the borough president race. “There are a lot of strong candidates,” she said, but voted for Julie Menin because she would be “a strong advocate for Lower Manhattan.” However, she said, she also liked Gale Brewer and Jessica Lappin.

“I was in the voting booth a long time,” she said. “I struggled over this vote and I don’t know if I made the right decision.”

One woman, on her way to vote, said she didn’t know what she was going to do when she got to her polling place at P.S. 276. “I’m out to do my civic duty,” she said, “but I’m so disappointed in the candidates for mayor and City Council.” The only candidate that she said she could endorse enthusiastically was Julie Menin.

Nevertheless, even though Battery Park City is part of the Community Board 1 district that Menin chaired for seven years, Brewer also had a lot of support. Some people who voted for her knew her, or had friends who knew her and thought well of her. Others were swayed by The New York Times endorsement.

Out of those interviewed as they left the polling place, only one man said that he had voted for Eliot Spitzer. “When he had the power to oversee Wall Street, he did a good job,” he said.

Others were not so complimentary.

“Scott Stringer has been a solid borough president,” said one woman who voted for him. “At the last minute, Spitzer comes along. He doesn’t care about the comptroller’s office. He just wants to get back into politics.”

“He prosecuted others and then broke the law himself,” one woman said. “He’s a hypocrite.”

Recycle electronics in B.P.C.:
Get rid of that years-old monitor that’s cluttering your small apartment and the computer that died months ago, that you’ve been meaning to get fixed. Also, maybe you have printers, scanners, keyboards, mice, cables, televisions, DVD players, phones, audio/visual equipment, cellphones and PDAs that aren’t doing it for you anymore? Send them on their way.

On Saturday, Sept. 28, you can recycle electronics of all kinds by bringing them to the cul-de-sac at South End Ave. and Liberty St.  between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.

All personal information on these devices will be destroyed.

The Battery Park City Authority and the Battery Park City Parks Conservancy are sponsoring the event with the Lower East Side Ecology Center.

Participants are eligible for a free raffle to win a MacAir computer and will receive a redeemable coupon to the Tekserve store at 119 W. 23rd St.

For additional information and a complete list of acceptable materials call 212-477-4022 or email info@lesecologycenter.org

B.P.C. Block Party:
Sept. 28 will be a busy day in Battery Park City. The 12th annual B.P.C. Block Party takes place on Esplanade Plaza, just south of North Cove Marina between 11:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. There will be wine tasting on the Shearwater and an afternoon sail on the Ventura (both, $10 per person with tickets available at the Welcome table). Little Toot will be giving rides (stop at the Welcome table for reservations and times). The TriBattery Pops will be performing. Manhattan Youth will run the children’s area, with Asphalt Green providing additional entertainment and games. Old favorites such as the Pet Parade, the Seniors Chorus, the Church Street School mural painting, a New American Youth Ballet performance and a bubblegum-blowing contest will be back. The Liberty Science Center and local businesses will bring merchandise and exhibits, and there will be food from local restaurants. Community Service honors go to Anthony Notaro, who is co-chairperson of this year’s block party along with Bob Townley of Manhattan Youth.

Food and drink:
Brookfield Office Properties continues to fill its dance card with restaurants. An Italian-American restaurant called “Parm” will open at 250 Vesey St., with frontage on both Vesey St. and North End Ave. The unpretentious but well-regarded restaurant’s original location was on Mulberry St. (The meatball parmigiana hero “is prepared by cooks wearing white paper hats and is set before you in a red plastic basket,” said New York Times restaurant critic, Pete Wells, in his review. “Like most things at Parm, it is completely faithful to your memories while being much, much better than you remembered.”)

Parm belongs to Major Food Group, a New York-based restaurant group owned by chefs Mario Carbone and Rich Torrisi and restaurateur Jeff Zalaznick. In addition to Parm, Major Food Group owns and operates Carbone, ZZ’s Clam Bar, Torrisi Italian Specialties and a Parm outpost at Yankee Stadium.

Battery Park City’s own restaurateur, Abraham Merchant, who has lived in B.P.C. with his family for years, said he welcomes Brookfield Place’s new restaurants because “critical mass is being built and more people will come to the district to eat. Collectively, we all benefit.”

In B.P.C., Merchants Hospitality Group owns Merchants River House and SouthWest NY and from spring to fall, operates food kiosks on the plaza overlooking North Cove Marina.

On the far side of West Street at 90 Washington St., Merchants Hospitality opened a new restaurant in early August, Clinton Hall, that specializes in small-batch, craft beers and complementary food. The restaurant is on the site of the former Merchants NY Café, which was wiped out by Superstorm Sandy. “Restoration was not an option,” said Merchant.

Clinton Hall carries approximately 20 beers at a time under the stewardship of beer sommelier, Leland Estes.

“If you know the beer, we probably don’t have it,” said Merchant. “Some of the beers that we carry take two to three years to produce.”

Recently, Clinton Hall had a remarkable pumpkin ale flavored with cloves, cinnamon and nutmeg ($8 for 10 ounces) and a delicious crème brulé stout made with vanilla beans ($10 for 10 ounces), both from a small brewery in Lakewood, N.Y. But with only small quantities available, they may not be on tap much longer.

Clinton Hall pairs beers with modestly priced food such as bratwursts, burgers, potatoes and salads.

The restaurant is open Sundays to Wednesdays from 11:30 a.m. to midnight, and until 2 a.m. on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays.

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