In the News: Misuse of Public Space in the Seaport?

••• “Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer and New York City Councilmember Margaret Chin have been observing what’s going on in the South Street Seaport and they don’t like it. On Aug. 19, they wrote a letter to Alicia Glen, the city’s deputy mayor for Housing and Urban Development, to protest The Howard Hughes Corporation’s appropriation of public space in the Seaport and its exclusion of the South Street Seaport Museum from what it has been branding as the Seaport’s ‘Culture District.'” —Downtown Post NYC

••• Big Flavors from a Tiny Kitchen has a lamb burger recipe based on the one at Grazin’ (and there’s also a Q&A with the chef).

••• “Allen Architectural Metals, an Alabama firm that employs 30 workers, won a city contract to manufacture benches for the new Battery Bikeway in lower Manhattan. But despite a federal requirement to buy goods made in the USA, the $362,000 purchase order was cancelled. The city went on to purchase the benches from a Canadian company.” —New York Post

••• “New York City film commissioner Cynthia Lopez will exit her post after less than 18 months on the job,” says Variety (thanks to S. for sending it over). “De Blasio credited Lopez with presiding over a nearly 60% increase in television filming alone during the past year.” And then N. pointed out this from the new York Post: “‘She was unable to form any alliances with the communities and she was also unable to establish relationships with the film industry,’ said one industry insider.”

••• The New York Times interviews Niki Leondakis of Commune Hotels and Resorts, including about its plans for the Tommie hotel opening in Hudson Square (at Renwick and Hudson): “Ms. Leondakis is upfront about the rooms being small—160 to 200 square feet—but said that guests will find a range of activities at the hotels to make up for that. The first hotel is to open early next year in Hudson Square in New York. It will have a restaurant, lobby bar, courtyard, listening library and rooftop lounge.” Leondakis is quoted as saying, “We conceived the brand as a forum of creativity for travelers that will have innovative programming, partnerships and amenities. One example is our communal public areas, which will have activities offered each day, like a crowd-sourced art project or a fitness class from a studio in the neighborhood.” A rendering of the room is below. (The NYT Travel section also had one of the oddest news pegs for a travel story I’ve ever seen: the island of Reunion now that parts of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 have been found washing up there.)