In the News: Anti–Asphalt Green Rally

••• The Broadsheet says that a group “urging the Authority to reconsider its relationship with Asphalt Green (the nonprofit that was selected in 2010 as the community center’s operator) and formalize its commitment to the community on issues such as affordability, arts programs, and use by populations like seniors, before opening the facility” is rallying on Thursday: “The group […] will meet […] on the ball fields, near Warren and West Street (across the street from the entrance to P.S. 89) at 5:30 pm. Among the speakers will be Mark Costello, a member of Community Board 1 and the former president of Downtown Little League, Tricia Joyce, who chairs CB1’s Youth and Education Committee, and Bill Bialosky, president of the Downtown Soccer League.” Those three speakers are all about kids. I had really been holding out hope that the local political machine wouldn’t force out Asphalt Green and turn it into one more kid-focused amenity. I’m a fool. Related: A commenter named Jonathon had some things to say on the topic.

••• “The Tribeca land where Fishman Holdings had planned to build a luxury hotel has been sold, for $22 million, to Charles Blaichman’s CB Developers, records filed today with the city show. After struggles with Landmarks Preservation Commission approvals, plans for a proposed eight-story hotel with between 85 and 95 rooms have now been finalized and approved by the Department of Buildings, said Fishman Holdings’ executive vice president Yehuda Mor. CB Developers will move ahead with the hotel as Fishman planned it.” I could’ve sworn this shifted from hotel to condos…? I called CB Developers and they said, “We’re still working through that so we don’t know ourselves.” —The Real Deal

••• “Trinity Church has canceled its popular, long-running Halloween festivities, citing “escalating illegal and abusive activity” related to an Occupy Wall Street-affiliated camp set up in front of the place of worship.” —DNAinfo

••• The Billy’s Bakery on Elizabeth Street has closed. —Bowery Boogie

••• 111 John will be a 7-Eleven. —FiDi Fan Page (which I can’t link to but if you search “FiDi Fan Page” on Facebook you’ll find it)

••• “We got some news hot off the press late yesterday from Evan Stein, owner of Shorty’s, Shorty’s On Wheels and Lil’ Shorty’s. Shorty’s just signed a lease for a new bar/restaurant located at 62 Pearl St in the Financial District, a few steps from Broad St.” —New York Street Food (via FiDi Fan Page)



  1. Read the post by Jonathon – excellent.
    This situation with Asphalt green really seems to reek.
    Did someone ship the little brown bags of $$ to the wrong address?

    Why can’t CB1 simply have an open forum on the matter so that the issues can be brought out into the open.
    If I was a parent in Battery park I would be justifiably furious at this point. Maybe some impromptu protests at CB1 meetings are in order till this matter gets a fair hearing.

  2. A great idea. The next CB1 meeting is on 10/23 in the evening. Also the next BPCA Board meeting is on 10/23 at 10:00 AM. Both meetings are open to the public.

    The problem is that CB1 has has been complicit with the Manhattan Youth /DCC/Bob Townley lobby, with regard to this whole situation.

    However, if we can get a lot of people to show up at those meetings (CB1 and BPCA board) to show our outrage then we have a chance of getting people to listen. Otherwise, they keep getting away with it.

  3. I don’t know if anyone caught a glimpse of the “Rally For a Real BPC Community Center” flyer. If there were ever a clandestine BPCA sponsored photo-op event, this would be it. First, the majority of the Speakers do not even live in BPC. The speakers have to be “bussed in”. It looks like they scrambled to actually find some residents to speak – past PTA president (not current), poet??? That’s a good one. Second, the “what we want” section sounds like it came directly from today’s BPCA Spin Doctors. Wow, how fortuitous! BPCA can now say – “These ‘community leaders’ want a new contract. It’s not just us. We have an obligation to bow down to this heavy handed community pressure”. Let me ask everyone here, where was this rally 2 years ago, or 1 year ago, or 6 months ago??? Where were these CB-1 dissenters back then? At least many of us who have followed this debacle feel that BPCA has been almost criminal in its actions by starving out an exemplary non-for-profit organization, and then deceitfully communicating to the public as to the reasons for the delays. Remember the line that it’s, “only permitting issues causing the delay”. That’s who our “leaders” are fighting for. They are promoting the new BPCA spin message. They are protesting against us. Ask these “leaders” if they prefer Manhattan Youth to run the BPC Center in some form. What do you think they will say? Look, do not be fooled as to what the alternative is. If many of these “leaders” are representing the Soccer and Little League parents, and our kids, how come I did not receive this Flyer directly from the Leagues to attend the rally? Maybe I missed it? Maybe they’re afraid of potential backlash from the parents? In any case, the non-BPC rally speakers have decided to lend their titles to protest against something that they have no intention of personally utilizing– in any form. This event is a photo-op for the Broadsheet, The Trib, and Downtown Express, and to drown out the vast underlying community support for Asphalt Green. What is sad is that this “government-sponsored rally” will get much more press coverage than a silent but very substantial group of local residents in BPC and Tribeca who do not have the vanity, the soap box, the connections, or the time to organize a well-publicized protest. Very nice power play “community leaders”! You win. Congratulations to BPCA, and probably Manhattan Youth, on a job well-done with the behind-the-scenes, manipulation of your connections to make this rally happen. My only hope is that our local reporters will dig a little further, and report the event with a critical lens Reporters, if you read this, please ask the non-BPC rally speakers why protest now? Why not 6 months ago? Would you mind if Manhattan Youth replaced Asphalt Green as the operator? Are you considering joining Asphalt Green, or even the community center in any form? Do you participate in the payment of ground rents via rental payments or ownership fees that help to subsidize the Ball Fields and the Community Center? If not, would you care to share in those ground rents with your fellow BPC residents? Boy, the latter would sure be a nice gesture of support. Then – I will be proud to call these non-BPC speakers my leaders!

  4. Yes, can someone please ask them why they didn’t have a rally 2 years ago. They all had the chance to speak up then, but there was no rally. Why rally now? As for the BPCA–WTF??? Words escape me.

  5. Jonathan, some of the speakers are not from BPC, but represent leagues that use the fields. Those leagues consist of kids from BPC and the surrounding neighborhoods. Interestingly the BPC families that built the fields and the community center with their absurdly high ground rents, do not get a break in the community center membership or the league fees. I am not sure why the BPCA would continue to screw its own residents, and source of income.

  6. What the downtown community needs is an alternative to Manhattan Youth, rather than the monopoly of mediocre programs that they offer to us. I would like to see Asphalt Green get the opportunity, and we will all benefit. Great points from Jonathan.

  7. I completely agree that the residents of BPC as a community should be involved in the operation and running of their community center. As far as the ball fields are concerned, the families who use and have saved that field over the years are families from all over Lower Manhattan and as long as the leagues who represent Lower Manhattan can still enjoy the same access to the fields as we have over the years and the existing programs are not going to be shut out of their access to the fields then why should Manhattan Youth, DLL or DSL have any problem with how the BPC Community Center is run? Unless I am missing something and control over the use of the fields is part of the agreement with whoever is going to run the new community center.

  8. The use of the BPC fields for Downtown Soccer League and Downtown Baseball League has never been an issue; even going back to he original contract in 2010.

    However, DSL and DBL are friendly with and supporters of Bob Townley. They also rely on Pier 25 – under Townley’s control – for their baseball and soccer practices.

    Therefore, they are supporting Townley and trying to generate resident support for the “Memorandum of Understanding” that would create non-compete clause that states “AG can not engage in any activity that competes with DCC/Manhattan Youth.”

    Fortunately, the residents aren’t interested in expanding Townley’s monopoly. Now DSL, DBL and Townley are just trying to slow down the process to get the residents angry with AG by telling people through the Broad Sheet that the children will lose their leagues, which has been untrue from the start.

    I urge everyone to attend the cb1 meeting on Tuesday 10/23 at 6:00 PM because at the beginning of the meeting the residents are allowed to speak about their concerns (1-2 minutes each) and later in the meeting CB1 is voting on a resolution for the AG Community Center.

  9. This guy Bill Bialosky just bought himself a lot of trouble as far as I’m concerend. I’m a parent of a child in the soccer league, and I’m outrgaed that the resources we put in to fund her and her team have been abused by this guy — sending out a mail on Dowtown Soccer League email and letterhead. It’s time to start asking a lot of questions and and seeking informaiton on his funding status, non-profit staus, a look at his budget etc. Let’s start pulling the filings and everything else that available. If he wants to play this game, let’s have some fun. Ready Bill?

  10. Appreciate the explanation. I happen to be very supportive of Manhattan Youth and have enjoyed many of the services offered . I think the residents of BPC should be afforded the same opportunity to cultivate a community center that fits their needs.

  11. The only people suffering are the children!! Just kidding, I love that line. Asphalt Green should be forever shuttered. Its glistening pool should stand as a memorial to the inaction and incompetence of local government bodies that force people to waste their limited days on this Earth trying to decide which rally to attend.