In the News: Lobster Rolls

Ed's lobster roll

••• Ed’s Lobster Bar, on Lafayette, is opening a lobster-roll cart outside the World Financial Center this weekend. (Grub Street)

••• “The emotional battle over the mosque near Ground Zero has up to now mostly been fought online, with dueling websites and press releases. But on Tuesday night, the two sides will face off for the first time at a Community Board 1 meeting just a few blocks from the World Trade Center site.” (DNAinfo)

••• Bret Stephens has an opinion piece in the Wall Street Journal on the mosque that’s um, interesting. (You have to be a subscriber to see more than a preview.) Here’s an excerpt: “As a confidence-building measure for those of us who live in the neighborhood, it would help if the pair voluntarily answered some questions about the nature of their beliefs. A sampler: Who perpetrated the attacks of 9/11, and what was their religion? Are suicide attacks or other forms of violent jihad acceptable under any circumstances, including against American soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan? Does Israel have a right to exist as a Jewish state? Do they agree with the State Department’s designation of Hamas and Hezbollah as terrorist organizations? What aspects of Shariah law, if any, do they repudiate? Will their center invite the input and participation of Muslim gay and lesbian groups? Do they consider the Muslim Brotherhood to be extreme? What influence will any foreign funding of Cordoba House have on its programs or on the literature it distributes?” In other words, you can move here if we agree with you? Wow.

••• “The dreaded Chambers Street water main project won’t begin for at least another month [….] The city Department of Design and Construction is still waiting for Comptroller John Liu to sign off on the contracts, which could take up to three months, said Craig Chin, DDC spokesman. Chin said jackhammers could hit the busy east-west thoroughfare as soon as the end of June or as late as August.” (DNAinfo)

••• The Wall Street Journal recommends Blaue Gans for people on jury duty.

••• Guest of a Guest documents the Painting Resurrected party.

••• Someone snapped photos of Mary-Kate Olsen at Whole Foods Tribeca. Which reminds me of an amusing video that might be NSFW, but it’s not like you should be watching any kind of video at work, really. Reading this is OK, though.


1 Comment

  1. There was a really relevant article in the Broadstreet about a sermon delivered by Father Madigan, pastor at St. Peters, this past weekend about the Mosque issue that made me think twice: Probably too long for a comment:

    Father Kevin Madigan, pastor of St. Peter’s Church on Barclay Street and leader of its satellite facility in Battery Park City, St. Joseph’s Chapel, used Sunday’s sermon to offer some historical context about plans to build an Islamic community center on Park Place.

    Father Madigan said that he had received a call on Friday afternoon asking that he appear at the monthly meeting of Community Board 1 tomorrow evening, and speak in defense of the Cordoba Initiative, which envisions building an Islamic center at the site of the old Burlington Coat Factory. He also acknowledged the rancorous opposition that this plan has inspired.

    “Remember where you come from,” Father Madigan urged the congregation at St. Joseph’s Chapel, as he recalled a time in 18th-century New York when Catholics were widely presumed to be terrorists conspiring to set fire to a city then mostly comprised of wooden buildings. In this era, Father Madigan recalled, the only house of worship available to local Catholics was a room above a Lower Manhattan blacksmith shop. Congregants were compelled to hold mass in near-secrecy for fear of their lives. “Today, Catholics are part of the mainstream,” he noted. “We are accepted and we have influence. But this was not always the case.”

    Indeed, in the closing decades of British rule in America, Catholics were often perceived as agents of a hostile foreign power – in this case, Spain. These tensions came to a head in 1741, when a 16-year-old girl seeking reward money to buy her way out of indentured servitude was lured into testifying that she knew of a conspiracy among unruly slaves and lower-class white Catholics to burn the entire city. When a spate of fires broke out near present-day Battery Park and the current site of the Staten Island Ferry Terminal (not uncommon occurrences in a city comprised almost entirely of wooden buildings that were illuminated and heated by fire), public hysteria reached a fever pitch.

    Almost 200 people were arrested for colluding in this alleged plot. Thirty-five were executed, near Chambers Street and Broadway. Underscoring the parallels to the Salem Witch trials that had taken place 50 years earlier, more than a dozen of the condemned were burned at the stake. The rest were hanged. One of those put to death was John Ury, a teacher suspected of secretly being a Catholic priest.

    Father Madigan went on to reflect that religious labels can become so broad as to lose their meaning. “I am a Christian,” he said. “But there are many Christianities. Members of the Aryan Nation and the Ku Klux Klan also call themselves Christians,” he said, underscoring that one set of beliefs has almost nothing in common with the other. Father Madigan then noted the parallels to Islam, which encompasses a similarly broad spectrum of beliefs, from moderation to militancy. “There are many Islams,” Father Madigan said.

    – Matthew Fenton