In the News: Ritz-Carlton Hotel Will No Longer Be a Ritz-Carlton

••• “It is long believed that a woodsman from the Catskills by the name of Mark Carr was the first to sell Christmas trees in New York—in 1851. A couple of weeks before Christmas Day that year, Mr. Carr loaded two ox sleds with ‘thrifty young firs and spruces’ and headed for the city, according to an 1878 New York Daily Tribune article. He paid a silver dollar for the right to sell his lot of trees on a strip of sidewalk at Vesey and Greenwich Streets in Tribeca. His evergreens quickly sold out. He returned the next year and other peddlers followed his lead, establishing the prosperous holiday sidewalk tree industry. By 1880, more than 200,000 trees were being shipped to New York each year.” —New York Times (photo of a Manhattan tree market in 1903 from the Library of Congress)

••• “The company that owns the hotel portion of the Ritz-Carlton building in southern Battery Park City has apparently decided to strip the luxury brand name from its hostelry, as part of its ongoing campaign to shut down the lodging facility and convert it to condominium apartments.” Westbrook Partners is saying that it’s not interested in amending the lease to allow for condo conversion, but BPCA documents indicate this may not be true. —Broadsheet

••• “The Department of Homeland Security will install experimental sensors designed to detect chemical weapon attacks inside the Oculus transportation hub as part of a year-long project to test the effectiveness of the new gas-sniffing gadgets.” —Downtown Express

••• “Mayor de Blasio’s new ferry fleet can barely stay afloat, with at least five new boats pulled out of service to fix potentially disastrous leaks—three of them still sitting in dry dock, The Post has learned. The Coast Guard ordered repairs following inspections that uncovered ‘heavy pitting’ in the aluminum hulls of the three idled vessels, USCG Warrant Officer Allyson Conroy said.”