Seen & Heard: Look What They’ve Done to the Municipal Building

••• If you’re near Vestry and Greenwich, check out the model of 70 Vestry in its new sales office. It’s the best illustration yet of what’s getting built.

••• The poor Municipal Building! Its lighting has been haphazard for years—sometimes one side gets lit, sometimes none of it does—and last night, the round colonnade at the top was lit blue. I’m not sure how to say this nicely…. With very few exceptions, COLORED LIGHTS ARE TACKY. Can’t someone—perhaps Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, whose office is in the building—persuade the Department of Citywide Administrative Services to light the building consistently and elegantly?

••• The Best Market gumball machine has arrived. Proceeds go to the Food Bank for NYC.

Best Market gumball machine courtesy Best Market••• Anne Baxter’s comment about the Collect Pond Park hawk:

Please look at what was lost to our community this week—click through all 3 pages of the link to see the full story of what a gift this this pair of highly effective rat hunting birds was to our community and how wasteful and unnecessary the death of the female was :

So far only three complaints have been made to Margaret Chin’s office about the poisoned hawk—and none of them from New York City residents. Myself included—I’ve been grieving but not calling—feeling sad about it doesn’t help the hawks. I’m going to contact her office today. And call 311.

As has been pointed out—as long as there are more complaints about rats than there are about poisoned hawks— the Health Department will keep putting out more poison. Nightmarishly, they put even more poison out on Friday—the day after the female died. The male is still hunting in the area—what are his chances?

••• A gas leak in the building has closed Tribeca’s Kitchen…. Let’s hope the issue gets resolved soon.

Tribecas Kitchen gas leak••• There have been lots of complaints in recent weeks about nighttime construction on Church near Warren and Murray. Has anyone out there investigated what it’s about (and when it might end)?

drilling tweet



  1. And the exterior lighting on the Tweed Courthouse has deteriorated over the years. For a while after the renovation it looked quite nice. Now, not so much.

  2. The Municipal Building is among my favorite buildings in the world and it is one of the most beautiful buildings that few people ever think about. I agree that the lighting needs to be consistent , but I respectfully disagree about colored lights. I love them and I also love the classic white. I would love to see The Municipal Building explore more colored lighting from time to time. I haven’t yet seen the blue light and will look for it tonight.

    • Hi, Luis,

      I think my problem with the colored lights on the Municipal Building – though I like them on Empire State Building — is that they are too modern for a 1914 McKim Meade White – designed building and turn the sculpture “Civic Fame” at the top into a bit of a chorus girl.

      • I agree with Anne. It looks so elegant when they just use plain white light (and get all the bulbs working at once). And I’d love to see the tweed courthouse lights turned on again but they’ve out for nearly a decade now….

  3. Thanks for reposting the Red-Tailed Hawk info, Eric and linking — as I should have — to info on how best to complain about the rat poison and how to contact Margaret Chin’s office.

    NYC Audubon posted about the incident and there’s quite a debate going on in the comments section – for those who are interested:

  4. the loss of the hawk is tragic. isn’t it obvious that if we are serious about reducing the rat population, we need to go after their food supply. i work at night and when i come home the rats are feasting on all the garbage bags left out for collection. that’s the real problem. the pile on thomas next to the mcdonalds is just an insane rat party every night. can’t the sanitation department come up with a better solution for putting out the garbage?

    • I was in Barcelona recently and was very impressed by the garbage collection system–large plastic bins every few blocks. The bins are a single piece of molded plastic with an attached lid that opens during the pick up process. Of course, that would mean giving up parking spaces and we all know that’s not going to happen.