Downtown local


Dog days of summer

A few dogs went for the shade recently at the Hudson River Park’s dog run near Houston St. When it cools off, the canines will soon have more room to frolic as plans are on to expand the play area by removing a bench.

Hospital site ideas

Pace University has asked Downtown residents for a wish list of amenities they would like to see included in the 55-story mixed-use tower that developer Bruce Ratner plans to build on the N.Y.U. Downtown Hospital parking lot site.

Pace will occupy 330,000 square feet, or about one-third of the one million square foot tower, to be designed by renowned architect Frank Gehry on the lot bordered by Spruce, Beekman, Nassau and Gold Sts. In its portion of the building, Pace will house dormitories, a business school and offices, an art gallery and community space for the public. The rest of the building will be devoted to a 25,000- square-foot outpatient facility for N.Y.U. Downtown Hospital, and rental and condo apartments.

The university has not yet decided how much space it might devote to community use, said Daniel Slippen, Pace’s director of government and community relations, at a July 13 meeting of Community Board 1. Gym space, E.S.L. courses, a library and a basketball court were among the suggestions offered by the community.

Many nearby residents are concerned that the scale of the building will overwhelm the neighborhood, and for some, the prospect of such amenities was not enough to warm some to the project.

“I’m not interested in these bribes from Pace,” said Annette Choudhury, who has lived at nearby Southbridge Towers for 33 years.

Residents say the project — which is as-of-right and does not require any special permission to build — should be evaluated in the context of the other large-scale construction scheduled for the area, including Fulton St. transit hub and the Freedom Tower.

Tough loss

Despite a stellar defensive performance, the Downtown minor division suffered a season-ending loss during the Little League tournament last Friday night as they fell to Kingsbridge in a 2-1 final.

Following their opening round loss to an East Harlem team, the Downtowners were poised to advance before the Bronx team narrowly claimed the contest.

“The kids really played hard and either team could have won,” said Downtown coach Ernie Shore about last week’s contest at Inwood Park. “Both teams were hitting the ball, but there were just some great defensive plays.”

The Kingsbridge team gained the advantage early in the contest, stealing home to set the tally at 1-0 at the end of the first inning. Two frames later, the Downtown team tied the game in the top of third with a series of walks and an infield ground out.

With Gabe Kleiman and Devin Kelb manning the mound, the Downtowners kept up with Knightsbridge squad. Their superb defensive efforts culminated in a double play at first and home as third baseman Josh Colon fielded the hit, throwing out the runner at first. First baseman Alex Weinger turned and rifled a throw to catcher Eamon Gallagher, who blocked the plate, tagging out the Kingsbridge runner on third. Kingsbridge would collect one more run later in the contest to grab the win.

“We would have loved to seen the kids win or tie,” said Shore about his team’s performance. “But they just really gave a great effort.”

Fresh crabs

Visitors to The River Project’s program on underwater nightlife at 8 p.m. Sat. July 17 at Pier 26 on the Tribeca waterfront will be able to see and hear reports transmitted on video by submerged urban divers as they explore the bottom of the river. The event is free and a cash bar and hors d’oeuvres will be available.

The River Project’s annual Crab Crunch takes place on Pier 26 from 2-4 p.m. Sat. Aug. 7 with free samples of fresh-caught steamed blue crabs and demonstrations by Christopher Letts and Tom Lake, naturalists with the Hudson River Foundations, about blue crabs and how to steam them and crack them open for eating. A cash bar with beverages and side dishes will also be available.

C.B. 1 meetings

The upcoming week’s schedule of Community Board 1 committee meetings is as follows. Unless otherwise noted, meetings will be held in room 709 of 49-51 Chambers St.

On Tuesday, July 20, the youth and education committee will meet at 6 p.m. to discuss a possible P.S. 234 annex at Site 5C, the East Side K-8 school, reading scores, the meeting with the principal of Millennium High School and the fall youth fair.

On Wednesday, July 21, the World Trade Center Redevelopment Committee and Arts & Entertainment Task Force will hold a combined meeting at 6 p.m. at 250 Broadway, 19th floor. The committees will discuss an overview of the W.T.C. selected cultural facilities, and the deconstruction of 130 Liberty St.

On Thursday, July 22, the Landmarks Committee will meet at 6 p.m. to discuss a bracket sign at 30 Water St., new signage and an awning at 253 Broadway, with the rest of the agenda to be determined.