Covering Battery Park City


BY Terese Loeb Kreuzer

New market:

The staff of Battery Place Market in the Visionaire condo at Third Street and Battery Place was still stocking shelves and putting finishing touches on the interior on October 14 when eager customers flocked through the doors to see what was going on. They were greeted with free coffee from Stumptown Coffee Roasters and free Mitchel London cupcakes. Upscale and gourmet, Battery Place Market carries bread from Sullivan St. Bakery, Orwashers and Eli’s; bagels from H&H; cheese from artisan producers such as Narragansett Creamery in Rhode Island, Capriole in Indiana and Cypress Grove Chevre in California and produce — much of it organic — from local suppliers whenever possible. The independent store is owned by Edmund Choi, formerly of Marché Madison, and Sung Kim, whose family owns U.S. Meats in the Bronx, one of the biggest meat purveyors in the northeast.

Cases of prepared foods take up one part of the 4,000-square-foot market, with changing menus depending on what produce is available. Among the first week’s offerings were Indonesian noodles ($16/pound), chopped eggplant with garlic and herbs ($8/pound), rotisserie chicken with garlic and herbs ($11 a chicken) and sweet and sour meatballs ($10/pound). Mitchel London developed the menu with modifications and additions by Battery Place Market’s executive chef, Robert Sckalor, who has been cooking for the last 37 years in places such as the Waldorf Astoria and the Four Seasons.

Starting this week, a hot breakfast will be available with breakfast sandwiches, frittatas and Spanish tortillas. The back of the store has a bar with stools for those who want to linger and maybe have a second cup of that great Stumptown coffee. Battery Place Market is open Monday to Friday, 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. and on Saturdays and Sundays from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Phone: 212-786-0077; e-mail: BatteryPlaceMarket@gmail.com. Delivery service will soon be available.

Police Memorial:

It’s a sad, annual October ritual in Battery Park City — a police band, an honor guard, a phalanx of solemn, uniformed officers saluting, the mayor, the police commissioner and other dignitaries and the families of NYPD officers who died in the line of duty since the last time names were inscribed on the granite wall of the Police Memorial. Most poignant are the elderly who have lost their children and grandchildren and the widows, some with small children clutching their hands.

After the speeches, the officials and the families assemble before the wall as the names are unveiled. This year, there were 11 names to add: Detective Omar J. Edwards, who died on May 28, 2009 of gunshot wounds, and 10 people who succumbed to illness as a result of their work at Ground Zero. “All New Yorkers owe a debt of gratitude to these men and women who answered the call during our city’s greatest hour of need,” said Mayor Michael Bloomberg, “and we owe them a solemn commitment to honor their memories and to take care of everyone affected by the attacks. And that means continuing to learn about and address the health impacts of 9/11. Together with our Congressional delegation, we’ve made the creation of a dedicated funding stream for the research and treatment of 9/11-related health conditions a priority.” The mayor mentioned that the Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act had just passed the U.S. House of Representatives. “Now we’re working with Senators Schumer and Gillibrand to get the same version of the bill passed in the Senate,” he said. “God willing we will succeed and the federal government will take responsibility for what was most certainly an attack on our entire nation.”

A lucky strike:

A lighting bolt sent Jay Fine’s name around the world and won him millions of fans. Fine, 58, an avid photographer, moved to Battery Park City seven years ago and started taking pictures from his apartment window and when out walking his dog. On Sept. 22, knowing there was a thunderstorm coming, he set his tripod by the window, attached a remote shutter release to his camera to minimize vibrations, and started clicking as the storm passed over New York harbor. “I took 150 exposures,” he recalls. “I just sat there clicking the shutter.” When he looked at the pictures, he says that he found six shots that were “keepers,” — but it was shot number 82 that proved to be the winner. It showed a bolt of lightning appearing to strike the Statue of Liberty.

Fine posted the picture on his Flickr.com account, thinking that people might like it “and say a few words.” Around an hour and a half later, he got a message from someone he didn’t know that said, “I think you’re about to go viral dude!” Then, said Fine, “I got hundreds of thousands of hits.” “Short List,” a London men’s lifestyle magazine, licensed the picture followed by Caters, a British news agency. The photo appeared in many British tabloids, on the BBC website, in several Italian papers, on MSNBC, NBC Nightly News and elsewhere.

“The Statue of Liberty being struck by lightning,” trumpeted a British paper, The Guardian, in its caption to Fine’s photo. “The photographer spent the night in the city’s Battery Park to capture the image.” Another British paper, The Daily Record, described Fine as spending the night “braving the storm” to get the picture.

“You know the British papers tend to embellish their stories a bit,” Fine said wryly when asked about the captions. “I guess the idea of some idiot out in the middle of an electrical storm with his camera is a little more exciting than me snapping away high and dry in my living room.”

Weeks later, Fine is still getting thousands of hits and requests to be a contact and friend. Is he surprised? “Yes,” he says. “Absolutely. I thought a few newspapers might run the photo. For some reason, it captured peoples’ imaginations.”

Fine’s advice about photography is succinct and typically modest. “I think the most important thing is to make sure you have a memory card in your camera and that your battery’s charged. The rest is a lot of luck and a little bit of talent.”

To see Fine’s famous Statue of Liberty photo, go to https://www.flickr.com/photos/jayfine/5016566976/in/photostream/