Seen & Heard: Town Hall Meeting on the Jail Plan

••• Press release from Margaret Chin: “The City agreed to hold a public Town Hall to discuss the plan [to build a 40-story jail on beautiful old 80 Centre]. The meeting will take place on Sept. 12 at 6 p.m. at P.S. 124 in Chinatown. […] This Town Hall meeting is to be the first of several promised by the Administration as the process of moving the detention center from its current location to 80 Centre St. continues.” (There’s also a “community input session” on September 27 at the Municipal Building.) Is there an aural equivalent of lip service? Chin has basically signed off on the plan, satisfied with minor concessions.

••• Related: Jane Freeman taught me a word the other day: “Sir Edmund Beckett, the first Baron Grimthorpe, is the source of the word grimthorpe (‘to remodel an ancient building without proper knowledge or care to retain its original quality and character’), after his attempted restoration of St. Albans cathedral was viewed as subpar” (Merriam-Webster).

••• Tickets for Wigstock at Pier 17 start at $95 (!). Meanwhile, Bushwig tickets start at $35.

••• Apparently the striking dome at Peck Slip is an art installation called,” up through September 3. The instructions say to “come in, lay [sic] down, go to, and look up and listen.” (Artist statement: “I hope that everyone who comes will enjoy the simple pleasure of lying in a field on a warm summer night looking up at the stars, even if it is only a simulatation [sic].”) The weather was too hot so I took a pass. Also: No climbing allowed.

••• A strange item on the agenda for tonight’s Battery Park City Authority board meeting: “Motion to conduct executive session to discuss the negotiations related to the lease of real property, the publicity of which could substantially affect the value of the relevant properties.” In which case, it would probably affect the lives of people who live in Battery Park City, so why hide it?

••• K. noticed a pop-up at 80 Franklin for HBO show “The Shop”: “In collaboration with LeBron James and Maverick Carter’s Uninterrupted, HBO Sports presents unfiltered conversation and debate from the biggest names in sports and entertainment. The Shop gives viewers a one-of-a-kind barbershop experience, which for many provides a sanctuary for free-flowing and spirited discussions. The series will visit barbershops around the country to gather distinguished individuals who can speak honestly on sports, music, pop culture, world events, business and other culturally relevant topics.”

••• As foretold by the “Anita for Mayor” signs in a window on Hudson, the TV show “Ray Donovan” was back in the neighborhood yesterday.



  1. was there a phone number to make an appointment at The Shop.

  2. It sounds like these “community input meetings” are a joke to pacify us. The wording tells all:

    “… first of several promised by the Administration as the process of moving the detention center from its current location to 80 Centre St. continues.”

    So the moving is described as already underway! What’s the point of a public hearing (Town Hall?) if the decision is already made?

    • the whole idea is farcical…the process is simply outrageous. In what world does this new jail make any sense to anyone?

      • It makes sense to the contractors who are in with the City and who will get the big contracts for the work.

        • While no one on this site likely knows for sure what the status of this jail is for downtown, can we work together in some way to mount a defense? We don’t know it’s done deal and if we care we should advocate. I plan to at these sessions and thru other channels.

        • …and to the lawyers who want to reduce their commuting time.

  3. Yes, we should pull together on this. I do recommend that everyone who is interested in this matter attend the meetings.
    The first one is supposed to be on September 12 at 6:00pm at P.S. 124 in Chinatown

  4. A good article arguing why this Rikers closure and move plan is a disaster:

    …and do sign the petition! and spread it around…

  5. ” The Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice did not immediately return a request for comment on whether officials from the mayor’s office will be present to discuss the plan.”

    Are they kidding?

  6. Chin was elected by a slim margin against a neophyte opposition candidate. She has nothing close to a mandate and her constituents basically sent her a message that she is not a favored politician. Despite this, she has gone ahead and opposed her constituents’ wishes by supporting the jail. From Chinatown to Tribeca, there is fierce opposition by residents to the jail. A message must be sent to Chin that she must vote based on the will of the people, and not impose her poor intented will on our citizens.

    What can you do? Join the various protests that are being organized (there will be a large rally in 2-3 weeks at Chin’s office. Sign the petitions. Call Chin’s office and demand that she vote the people’s desire. Chin has done nothing but harm this neighborhood. IT IS TIME TO STAND UP FOR YOUR RIGHTS TRIBECANS AND FORCE CHIN TO STAND DOWN ON THE JAIL.