Seen & Heard: Creperie Opens Tomorrow

new amsterdam market2 52012••• New Amsterdam Market reopens on May 31.

By Suzette••• By Suzette, the adorable creperie on Chambers (just west of Broadway), soft-opens tomorrow (11 a.m. to 9 p.m.) with free crepes. I’ll do the whole NKOTB thing soon, but you will want to know that the restaurant is the sister to a creperie in Brittany.

••• Mulberry & Vine chef Justin Schwartz is now available for private events—”cocktail parties, sit-down dinners, buffet-style dinners, brunches, or even meals prepared and left in your fridge.” Clients have included actors Jason Statham, Liv Tyler, and Rosie Huntington-Whiteley. He can be reached at justins333@gmail.com.

••• Up next month (May 13) at the Pen Parentis literary salon: “three acclaimed novelists: Miranda Beverly-Whittemore, author of The Effects of Light and Bittersweet; Andre Dubus III, author of the bestsellers House of Sand and Fog and The Garden of Lost Days, and, most recently, Dirty Love; and Alexi Zentner, author of Touch and the forthcoming The Lobster Kings.

••• Walking by Korin, you might notice the demo going on. The store is being renovated, and it should reopen by the weekend.

••• Thanks to Nicole Vianna for taking these notes at the Hudson River Park Trust’s recent board meeting! (And she also sent in this photo of spring finally happening there.)

The beginning part of the meeting was a discussion and vote on the 2014-15 budget, which goes into effect April 1, parallel with the NYS budget year. It was a bit hard to follow along as the projected slides were not designed for an audience to be able to read, only Board members were provided hard copies and the CFO, Dan Kurtz, was speaking a mile a minute. I may have transcribed some numbers incorrectly, but as the Trust has not yet posted the budget on their web site and the posted video of the meeting starts after the budget discussion I’m unable to check for errors.

Budget
• 2014-15 Operating Budget totals $19M; total budget includes an additional $8M of capital expenses. The previous budget was $17.4 for Operating and $6.5M capital (without Irene and Sandy costs).
• The breakdown for the operating budget is roughly Operations 27%, Security 24%, Sanitation, Education and other Park Services 22%, and 27%  for Administration.
• Funding for Parks Grounds and Facilities is up 17% and Park Cleaning is up 32%. In addition, the staff will be increased from 62 to 67 FTE (4 of which will be in-the-park staff for horticulture and facilities repair, the 5th is for a dedicated Director of Operations, a role that hasn’t existed before). The need for these increases was attributed to increased park patronage and acreage (opening of the Tribeca section).
• The biggest categories in the capital budget are Pier 40 $3.2M, Upland $2.3M, Marine $450K.
• Revenues are projected to be $19M, with about 1/2 from lease and occupancy payments (Pier 40 parking provides about 1/3 of that amount), 8% from Friends of Hudson River Park (FoHRP), and the rest from fees, sponsorships and other sources.

Pier 40: There was a lot of discussion of Pier 40, both as part of the budget and also in the later section of the meeting.
• The ball fields’ turf is near the end of its 10-year life. The Trust is hiring an architect/design firm to prepare the documents needed for future renovation work, which is estimated to cost around $5 – 5.5M. FoHRP is expected to start a dedicated fundraising drive in the winter of 2015 or 2016 to cover these costs. Madelyn said the fields have 240K users annually and it seemed that the general consensus of the Board members was that the ball fields repair costs should be paid by the users of the ball fields.
• Patch repairs to the damage caused by the Direct TV Superbowl event on the fields will be made this week.
• Pier 40 roof deck work continues. The Board approved hiring a contractor to commence with the 3rd phase which affects the entrance ramp to the roof parking area. This work is funded by a City Council grant.
• The pile repair that Pier 40 needs is estimated in the $90-100M range. It is not budgeted to commence this year. Madelyn Wils made a comment about “unlocking the real estate value” as a way to pay for it, which I took to be code for selling air rights.
• One member, who I think is Lawrence Goldberg, stated that he’s against spending any more on Pier 40 work until the Trust has a master plan to permanently fix it and knows how that work will be funded.

Pier 26
• The new Pier 26 building is essentially complete. The restaurant consultant has recommended $15K of plumbing improvements, which will be completed.
• The Trust is working to get a CO so the boathouse can open.
• Negotiations continue with the unnamed prospective restaurant operator on lease terms.
• The work for the lay by continues; the bikeway should be back to normal in a few weeks.
• Security: The Board extended the contract for city PEP officers through May (only a short extension) while they continue to explore a different security model.
• The summer event calendar will be released on May 1.
• Bob Townley’s term as the chair of the HRP Advisory Board has ended. As per the charter for the group, the chair has passed to another Community Board, namely CB4, with Delores Ruben filling the role.
• Rollout of New Branding: new permanent park signage, way finding and website are coming (timetable unclear).

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