In the News: Dispute Over the Roc Space

The site has been “a little thin” lately—in one reader’s phrase—because I was in South Africa and Namibia for two weeks. I was able to keep up the rhythm of posting during the first week, but for the second week, we had no phone or Internet access. A long way of saying why there hasn’t been an In the News post in a week, and why this one is so long.

••• “The abrupt closing of Tribeca’s long-established Roc restaurant early this month has left a bitter, three-way conflict in its wake. Restaurateur Fatmir Caushi had plans to move his own Italian eatery into the Roc location, at [190] Duane St. He said he had purchased the remaining seven years on the lease of the space—or so he thought—from Roc owner Rocco Cadolini and hoped to open on March 20. But it is a lease that the building’s owner, Suyeon Kim, said Cadolini had no right to sell.” It’s a brave man who opens a restaurant directly under the building owner’s apartment. —Tribeca Trib

••• A lot of people would like the “Fearless” Girl statue that was installed in front of the Wall Street Bull to remain there permanently. —DNAinfo

••• But the artist who created the bull, Arturo di Modica, thinks the girl is an “advertising trick” and should go. Have to say I agree with him. The girl changes the meaning of the bull, turning it into a negative symbol—as a quick stunt, fine, but forever? —MarketWatch

••• Meanwhile, here’s the view from the mothering bubble: “From the moment that ‘Fearless Girl,’ a bronze statue of a small child, landed in Lower Manhattan to face off against the 7,000-pound sculpture of a charging bull, installed in 1989 as a symbol of Wall Street resilience, there were reasons, it seemed, to feel queasy. Where, for instance, was her nanny? While others saw a narrative of female defiance—the girl’s torso thrusts forward as if she has a chance—I imagined a poorly paid caregiver fired for leaving her charge unattended, and ultimately trampled to death.”  —New York Times

••• A teenager in Battery Park City was allegedly robbed at knifepoint by two other teens, who took his $1,200 sneakers and $600 in cash. And other thefts in the Tribeca Trib police blotter.

••• “Staffers at a world-renowned architecture firm [Despont Studios] routinely treated a former Filipino office cleaner as an animal—calling her a ‘monkey’ and describing her breasts as ‘puppies’—along with forcible fondling, a lawsuit filed Friday in Manhattan Federal Court alleges.” Puppies! —New York Daily News

••• A profile of the Fountain Pen Hospital. —New York Times

••• “The owners of 70 Pine St. are in heavy talks with former NoMad chef James Kent to head up a restaurant and lounge at the Art Deco tower [….] Kent, who just left The Nomad for an unstated ‘solo venture,’ would run a ground-floor eatery, plus a lounge complex on the landmark skyscraper’s 62-64th and 66th floors and outdoor terraces.” —New York Post

••• “The Battery Park City Committee of Community Board 1 has passed a resolution giving a qualified endorsement to a law proposed by State Senator Daniel Squadron, which (if enacted) would require that Lower Manhattan residents be appointed to the board of the Battery Park City Authority, while also rigorously questioning the Senator’s representative about whether the measure goes far enough. [….] A provision within Senator Squadron’s proposed bill […] mandates a majority of the BPCA board reside in Lower Manhattan, rather than in Battery Park City itself.” —Broadsheet

••• “Students at [the Peck Slip School] began reciting the Pledge of Allegiance for the first time last week, sparking tensions among families over an oath that—while required by state law—has quietly fallen out of favor at many schools across the city. [The school] had never made the oath part of its daily routine, according to parents at the school. But the lack of the pledge, along with no American flags in the classrooms, had been an issue with some parents at the school for several years. Earlier this year, they began pushing the DOE to enforce the rule at the school.” —DNAinfo

••• “A fed up landlord is seeking to boot a former vodka exec from its Tribeca building [Truffles, which you could probably guess], saying the party girl doesn’t deserve another shot. [Too much loud partying. She] decked out her 600-square-foot terrace with palm trees and other decor, including what a neighbor said was a ‘giant Belvedere bottle.'” Klassy. —New York Post

••• “Developers of a planned 50-story, 581-foot-high residential building on William and Fulton streets are trying to add nine more stories to their residential tower. But they have some convincing to do. To get those extra floors—31,209 more square feet, to be exact—the Lightstone Group needs to provide a plaza, which they are proposing for the 130 William Street side of a building. (The tower will front onto Fulton Street and wrap around a corner building at William and Fulton.) But that ‘plaza bonus,’ as it is called, could prove elusive because of a zoning regulation that now prohibits it, as well as the question of just how sunny and inviting that plaza would be.” —Tribeca Trib

••• “The South Street Seaport’s new Pier 17—crown jewel of Howard Hughes Corp.’s $1.7 billion Seaport redevelopment—is on track to open in summer 2018 despite buzz that it’s farther behind schedule, according to [a] Hughes executive vice president [….] It will take a bit longer to move and reconstruct the landmarked Tin Building, which stands between the FDR Drive and Pier 17.” —New York Post

••• There was a fire inside the Tribeca Film Center offices. —New York Post

••• The contractor at 396 Broadway (southeast corner of Walker), which is being converted to a hotel, is suing the developer, which said it was planning to sue right back. Nonetheless, “the four-star hotel is expected to be completed in early 2018.” Still no word on the branding. —Real Deal

••• “The Department of Transportation wants to rejigger bike lanes, pedestrian crossings, and some parking in Lower Manhattan to improve safety for cyclists, representatives told Community Board 1’s Planning Committee. The bulk of the proposed changes concern the intersection of Centre Street, Park Row, and Spruce Street, near where the Brooklyn Bridge lets off scores of pedestrians and bikers, many of them out-of-towners unfamiliar with the often-hectic scene there. The DOT said more than 1,600 cyclists bike there on a typical day, and 28 percent of them bike against traffic, while nine percent illegally ride on the sidewalk.” Now they really need to discourage cyclists from riding west on the path that cuts through City Hall Park. My heart warms a little every time I hear another resident yell at a cyclist; I’m not alone. —Downtown Express

••• “The city must remove 11 names revered by Muslims that are etched on downtown sidewalks—because it’s an insult that people are trampling on them, critics are demanding. ‘It is a hate crime and must be prosecuted,’ Alina Nisar wrote on an online petition calling for the removal of the name Mohammad from the 200 names in black granite along Broadway from Battery Park to City Hall, installed in 2003 to honor every ticker tape parade to travel down the corridor. […] The engraving—located on Broadway between Rector Street and Exchange Place—isn’t for the prophet at all, it’s for Mohammad Reza Pahlevi, the former Shah of Iran who was a close ally to Uncle Sam. Pahlevi’s name was installed to commemorate a City Hall reception and parade for the ruler on Nov. 21, 1949, as part of the Big Apple’s ‘Canyon of Heroes.'” —New York Post

••• “The Cipriani family, owners of the famed eponymous restaurant, plans to open its first New York City hotel at the South Street Seaport later this year, ending speculation over the fate of the property at 33 Peck Slip. The 66-key hotel, dubbed Mr. C Seaport, is being developed by Bob Ghassemieh and Alex Ghassemieh—the same duo behind the Mr. C Beverly Hills, which debuted the Mr. C Hotels brand in 2011.” Have they tried saying “Mr. C Seaport” out loud? —Real Deal



  1. Welcome back! I missed you!

  2. She sells, sea shells by the C seaport? :)
    Welcome back Erik… missed your updates!

  3. Amazing to see how dangerous Battery Park is becoming, especially for the young people. Is there any police protection around here? Every other day some teen is getting mugged. When will this community start protecting its own?

  4. So you find a sexual predator referring to breasts as “puppies” weird Eric? I don’t give a F what he called them. He is a creep and hopefully will be punished. You? I’m disappointed.

    • I think some people just enjoy the feeling of being outraged and offended. Because…Eric didn’t do anything worthy of outrage or offense. Your comment is just…random.

    • Sometimes I’m disappointed with myself, too, but it usually passes.

    • It’s EriK, with a muthaflippin’ “K.” Not Eric. ERIK!
      BTW, it’s NATIONAL BREAST DAY! Sorry, I meant it’s NATIONAL PUPPY DAY!!!

  5. $1200 sneakers? $600 in cash? A teenager?????