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Thread: Hudson River Park

  1. #151
    Forum Veteran MidtownGuy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    East Midtown


    ^Now if someone could promptly remove this junky eyesore from festering here and build the PAC proposal, ASAP!!

  2. #152

    Default Frying Pan??

    We went to pier 66 today to try and find out what's up with the Frying Pan. It's summer and not open!!!!???? what is going on ? will it open soon?

  3. #153
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    NYC - Downtown


    Frying Pan moves to Pier 66;
    reopening date uncertain

    April 9, 2007

    The Lightship "Frying Pan" this morning moved to Pier 66 from its longtime Pier 63 home on the Hudson River and "hopefully" will reopen this summer.

    A call this afternoon to the Frying Pan elicited the news that there are issues with the utilities and a few other things to take care of before the Frying Pan can start serving drinks again.

    The historic 1929 floating lighthouse sank next to an old oyster cannery in the Chesapeake Bay, but was restored and moved to Manhattan's Pier 63 in 1989.


    The Frying Pan Still Adrift in a Sea of Red Tape

    May 22, 2007

    Photo: Melissa Hom

    It's safe to say the Frying Pan isn't opening on Pier 66 anytime soon.

    Last winter we reported that the Frying Pan had lost its lease and was moving three blocks uptown. The little party boat that could has indeed made the move to Pier 66 at 26th Street, and though at one point it was set to open June 1, a call to Angela Krevy, wife of owner Steve, reveals that lease negotiations with the Hudson River Park Trust are taking longer than expected. “You can't fight City Hall,” Krevy quipped, “And you can’t speed it up, either.” But is this more than simply a matter of red tape?

    When asked which points were holding up the agreement, Mrs. Krevy said, “Everything! It’s a tough lease.” No entertainment can be booked or opening date fixed until the deal is sealed, after which they’ll need to find a way to electrify the pier. So is there a chance the Pan, which is currently gated, will lose its precious party perch? Krevy assured us, “We're not going anywhere. They’re going to have to drag us out of there.” With a tugboat, of course.

  4. #154


    Quote Originally Posted by MidtownGuy View Post
    These buildings are so beautiful !

    Variations on a theme.

    Why can't New York rise to this level more often?

  5. #155


    It looks a little lonely there on 66a. But Pier 66 itself is pleasant.
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  6. #156


    July 9, 2007

    West Side Heliport Must Go, Park Advocacy Group Says

    Dima Gavrysh for The New York Times

    A proposal would move the heliport about two blocks north.


    An influential advocacy group is pressuring city and state officials to banish sightseeing helicopters like the one that crashed into the Hudson River on Saturday from the West Side of Manhattan because, it says, they disrupt the calm of the riverfront park with their constant din and odors.

    “All one has to do is be in the park today to experience the horrendous noise and jet fumes of helicopters coming and going,” said Albert K. Butzel, the president of the Friends of Hudson River Park, which is threatening to sue to force a shutdown of the West 30th Street Heliport.

    The group was formed to support the park’s overseer, the Hudson River Park Trust, and it has never sued the trust. But Mr. Butzel said it would unless the trust put a stop to the sightseeing flights that take off from the heliport.

    Mr. Butzel says that his group believes that the entire operation, the only commercial heliport on the West Side, violates the act that created the Hudson River Park, but that the group would accept a shutdown of the excursions until the trust can move the heliport to another location.

    To head off a decision in court, city and state officials are scrambling to move the heliport from its longtime base at the west end of 30th Street. They have drawn up plans for a new heliport two blocks north at Pier 72 that would accommodate helicopter flights for business and emergency purposes, but not the pleasure trips that account for most of the heliport’s traffic in the summer, according to state documents.

    But that site, like the heliport’s current location, is also inside the boundaries of the park, and therein lies the nub of a dispute that has involved Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and Joseph L. Bruno, the majority leader of the State Senate.

    The trouble started in late May when a disgruntled helicopter operator, Michael Roth, sued the Hudson River Park Trust and the heliport operator. Mr. Roth has had a long-running dispute with the operator, Air Pegasus, and asked a federal court in Manhattan to shut the site down.

    The Friends of Hudson River Park agrees with Mr. Roth that the heliport is not legal, and is preparing its own lawsuit against the trust, Mr. Butzel said. He said his group is not satisfied by the promise to move the heliport, which handles as many as 100 takeoffs and landings a day.

    “You just get one helicopter after another zooming up the West Side,” he said. “We’d be very happy if the heliport went away altogether.”

    Mr. Butzel voiced his complaints before Saturday’s accident, which involved a sightseeing flight run by Liberty Helicopters, the biggest operator of tourist excursions from the heliport. The helicopter plunged into the river, but the pilot and seven passengers were unhurt.

    At the least, Mr. Butzel said, his group wants the heliport moved away from the park, which extends from West 59th Street to Battery Place, and banned from accommodating pleasure trips. Those were two conditions included in the Hudson River Park Act when it was written in 1998, he said.

    Then, the heliport was operating much as it is now, run by a company controlled by Alvin Trenk and his family. The Trenks’ lease expired in 2001, and since then, the trust has renewed it on a month-by-month basis.

    Mr. Butzel and other opponents of the heliport contend that those renewals violated the act, making the heliport an illegal operation for the last six years. But a spokesman for the trust, Christopher Martin, said last week that the existing heliport had been grandfathered under the park act.

    In a letter to Mr. Butzel in late May, Connie Fishman, the president of the trust, wrote that the site of the “new nontourism/nonrecreational heliport” would be where Pier 72 jutted into the river near 32nd Street. The pier would need to be rebuilt or replaced by a floating platform to accommodate a heliport.

    The trust has provided no timetable for the creation of a new heliport, leaving Mr. Butzel doubting that the park will be more peaceful anytime soon without a court order. “It’s apparent that unless we do something, people just sort of hang around and do what they want,” he said.

    Mr. Butzel said he had no doubt that a judge would rule that the current heliport must stop allowing sightseeing flights. He said he was less certain that a judge would order a complete shutdown of the heliport, because Mayor Bloomberg has argued that the city’s corporate executives need it.

    A spokesman for the mayor, John Gallagher, said last week that the city’s Economic Development Corporation was working with the trust to draw up a contract “that would transition the heliport to a location allowed” by the park act. “Until that occurs, the city believes it is important to find a compromise that avoids an interruption in corporate flights at the current location,” Mr. Gallagher said.

    But avoiding a complete shutdown may require legislative intervention in Albany. That’s where Mr. Bruno came in.

    In mid-June, the Senate Rules Committee, led by Mr. Bruno, the state’s most powerful Republican, introduced a bill that would amend the park act to allow the heliport to continue operating. The bill, which did not move out of the committee, would authorize the continued use of the heliport for charters, sightseeing and emergency purposes until a new heliport was built.

    It would also require the trust to put the contract for operating the West 30th Street Heliport up for competitive bids for the first time in more than two decades.

    The proposed legislation was the idea of the operators of Liberty Helicopters, which runs sightseeing tours and charters from the heliport, said Tom Yessman, the company’s chief executive. Mr. Yessman referred to the bill as “our legislation” and said that Mr. Bruno “basically tried to fix the problem” by introducing the bill to amend the park act.

    “The threat that the heliport might actually be shut down by court decree should motivate the Legislature and the governor to act,” said Randy Mastro, a Manhattan lawyer and former deputy mayor who is advising Liberty Helicopters. “If they don’t address this, the courts will, and the courts are being asked to shut down the heliport altogether.”

    The bill was introduced in the Senate Rules Committee just two weeks before Mr. Bruno got caught in a flap over his travels between Albany and Manhattan on state helicopters. Mr. Bruno has denied making improper use of the helicopters, saying that he needed the protection provided by State Police escorts.

    Mark Hansen, a spokesman for Mr. Bruno, said that Mr. Bruno had “no particular interest” in preserving the West 30th Street Heliport, which he and other officials, including Gov. Eliot Spitzer, use.

    Copyright 2007 The New York Times Company

  7. #157


    With a few hours to kill, which are the best parts of Hudson River Park for a stroll, a coffee and a view?

  8. #158


    North Cove in BPC or the Boat Basin area on the Upper West Side.

  9. #159
    Moderator NYatKNIGHT's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Manhattan - South Village


    ^Neither are in Hudson River Park, though I concur.

    Either piers 45/46 or pier 84 would suit nicely.

    Pier 45 has a small concession stand (not to mention the West Village nearby); you can take your coffee out to the pier for sweeping views and moveable seats. There are ample benches and moveable seats along the walkway too. For a stroll, this area has the longest stretch of landscaped waterfront in the park at this stage of construction. I'd choose this area, if I had to pick.

    Pier 84, adjacent to the Circle Line, has a somewhat larger concession equipped with a bar and adjacent seating. That pier itself has interesting water features and entirely different views. You can make it to pier 66 and its waterwheel from either area if you have a few hours to kill.

  10. #160

    Default Let's Rename the River, Too!

    Hudson River Park: A name that works

    The name Hudson River Park has always been just fine with everybody. It perfectly describes and locates the 5-mile-long Lower West Side waterfront park between Chambers and W. 59th Sts.

    But on Monday The New York Sun reported that Governor Eliot Spitzer in his State of the State address on Wednesday will propose renaming the park after George Pataki, who was governor for the 12 years before Spitzer.

    In 1998 Pataki signed legislation authorizing the creation of the Hudson River Park, along with the Hudson River Park Trust, the state-city authority that is building and operating it. Pataki then held up his end of the deal, funneling millions of state dollars to the project, ensuring that the park has gotten built up to this point.

    Certainly, Pataki was a strong supporter of the Hudson River Park and ended his tenure with some other impressive environmental accomplishments, such as acquiring tracts of Upstate land and protecting endangered forests and lakes.

    But the Sun noted that Democrat Spitzer’s renaming proposal is a total surprise, “an unexpected, gracious gift to a Republican who has begun to fade from the public eye.” The move, the article notes, signals “an awareness by the embattled governor of the urgent need to retool his image.”

    Clearly, Spitzer has endured a horrendous first year as governor, highlighted — or, rather, lowlighted — by the ongoing Troopergate scandal, in which Spitzer cronies tried to bring down Senate Majority Leader Joe Bruno.

    No doubt, renaming Hudson River Park as Pataki Park is Spitzer’s extending an olive branch to Bruno. Yes, the two definitely should patch things up so that Albany functions again and Spitzer can accomplish his agenda.

    Yet none of the Trust’s board or staff or the local elected officials whose districts include the park were notified of the renaming idea, which shows that Spitzer still has to learn about working with people and building consensus.

    Without detracting from Pataki’s impressive contributions to Hudson River Park — should the park, in fact, be renamed? The New York City Parks Department’s own policy for renaming parks for people is to wait at least until after the person is deceased.

    Manhattan’s largest parks are not named after people or politicians: Central Park, Riverside Park, East River Park, Battery Park. Tompkins Square — named after Daniel Tompkins, who was a governor, congressman and vice president — is an exception.

    No one we’ve spoken to feels that whether Hudson River Park is renamed Pataki Park would make one wit’s difference in terms of how much funding it gets from Albany — as if Republicans would begrudge the park money just because it wasn’t named after Pataki. Indeed, calling it Pataki Park might actually decrease its funding.

    More to the point, a formal name change would apparently need a change of the Hudson River Park Act. Assemblymember Deborah Glick says she wouldn’t support such a change, meaning Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver likely would follow suit.

    Furthermore, opening up the park act for an amendment risks other amendments being inserted at this sensitive time that could harm the park — such as an amendment to allow a marine waste transfer station on Gansevoort Peninsula or one to allow a 50-year lease at Pier 40, which is what Related would love for its Cirque du Soleil proposal.

    A polling of local park activists shows some strongly oppose the renaming, while others would support it, though less than enthusiastically.

    Perhaps part of the park can be renamed — Pataki Promenade, Pataki Pier and Pataki Point all have a nice ring — or some Upstate land the governor saved.

    Parks — and their names — are important to local community members. More so than with most parks, Hudson River Park from its start has been a real community effort, from its initial brainstorming to its design and ongoing critical development concerns, such as Pier 40 and Gansevoort.

    On Tuesday, we heard Spitzer may have pulled the Pataki Park renaming item from his speech, because, it’s said, the former governor would not be in attendance. (Maybe that’s because Spitzer, at his inaugural speech last year, said state government had “slept like Rip Van Winkle” the previous decade.) Yet, that leaves the possibility that Spitzer still intends to propose renaming the park at a later point. We think that would be a mistake. That the Trust itself declined comment and referred our questions to the Governor’s Office was telling about the confusion going on here.

    We’re heartened to see Spitzer take an interest in Hudson River Park. Yet — without any disrespect for Pataki’s efforts on behalf of the park — we think the name Hudson River Park is perfection itself. It defines the park, it says where it is and it refers to a wondrous natural feature that has been here for eons — a river that is the very reason why New York City exists — and is more important than any single one of us, including ex-governors.

    Copyright The Villager Volume 77 / Number 32 Jan. 9 - 15, 2008

  11. #161
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    NYC - Downtown


    NO ^

    I'd sooner it were called Potato Head Park

    Choose a Cove or an Lawn to honor him, but not the whole park.

  12. #162


    Downtown Express file photo by Elisabeth Robert

    A helicopter hovering between New Jersey and Battery Park City in 2005. B.P.C. residents say the excessive air traffic still exists and some have joined a lawsuit to stop tourist uses in Hudson River Park.

    Downtown groups look to chop down helicopters

    By Albert Amateau

    Friends of Hudson River Park and other waterfront advocates went to court on Dec. 11 to close down the W. 30th St. Heliport saying the noisy copter pad is illegal and should have been kicked out of Hudson River Park years ago.

    The State Supreme Court suit, joined by Chelsea, Hell’s Kitchen and Lower Manhattan community groups and individuals, names as defendants the Hudson River Park Trust, the authority building the 5-mile-long riverfront park; Air Pegasus Heliport, Inc., which leases the heliport from the Trust; and Liberty Helicopters, Inc., which operates flights as a subtenant of Pegasus.

    “The noise is frequent and intrusive and often intolerable. It is also the result of the illegal operations of the 30th St. Heliport,” said Albert K. Butzel, outgoing president of the Friends group, in an affidavit filed with the suit. “As flights come and go, particularly the tourist flights, they often move north and south along the park at low levels, making it difficult for those in the park and those living adjacent [to the park] to enjoy the quiet of the out-of-doors or even in their homes,” Butzel said.

    The heliport operates 24 hours a day with as many as 100 daily flights, about 70 percent of them sightseeing, according to the suit. Noise measurements taken on the Hudson River Park bike path adjacent to the heliport ranged between 76 and 98 decibels, with an average of 89 decibels, compared to the 55 decibel level that the federal Environmental Protection Agency identifies as the maximum outdoor level. Readings 150 feet south of the heliport in a Hudson River Park seating area showed a noise level between 60 and 89 decibels, and at Pier 66 at W. 26th St. readings ranged between 61 and 74 decibels.

    The Hudson River Park Act of 1998, which created the Trust, permits a heliport in the park, but only as a non-tourist/non-recreation heliport for commercial and emergency transportation. The act also prohibits any heliport being located east — on the land side — of the Hudson River shoreline bulkhead. The heliport is on the east side of the bulkhead.

    The suit notes that the park’s 1998 environmental impact statement stated that any heliport within the park would have to be west of the bulkhead line — and that no sightseeing helicopter service could be anywhere in the park.

    John Dellaportas of the West Street Coalition said he and his group joined the suit because his Battery Park City neighborhood has been besieged with helicopter noise since 9/11.

    “We believe Battery Park City gets the most traffic because these helicopters tend to congregate to get an extended view of the so-called ‘ground zero’ World Trade Center site,” he said. Dellaportas recalls three hovering choppers waking him up at 6 a.m. last summer.

    In 2004, a kite flyer from Taiwan who was invited Downtown by the World Financial Center was forced to bring his kites down for helicopter safety, an indication of how “upside down and turned around” officials have become, Dellaportas added.

    “This is essentially over park space and they’re treating it as an airport,” he said. He hopes the lawsuit is a “push for the Trust to do the right thing and respect the law.”

    Air Pegasus has been operating the W. 30th St. Heliport under lease for more than 30 years, first under the Port Authority, then the New York State Department of Transportation and after 1998 “grandfathered” under the Trust because Air Pegasus had the lease before the Trust was created. But the grandfathered lease expired in 2001.

    A holdover provision allows automatic month-to-month renewal but only if Air Pegasus has a five-year contract renewal. There has been no new contract, and the suit notes that the Park Act requires the Trust to take steps to eliminate any illegal use, like the heliport, from the park. “Yet the Trust has done nothing to eliminate [the heliport],” the suit charges.

    Butzel’s affidavit implies that James Ortenzio, chairperson of the Hudson River Park Trust from 1999 to 2003, was responsible for the Trust continuing the month-to-month arrangement with Air Pegasus. In November of this past year, the affidavit notes, Ortenzio pleaded guilty to tax evasion related to $80,000 paid to him by Air Pegasus for consulting services to settle a dispute between Pegasus and another helicopter operator in 2004.

    “While these services were rendered after Mr. Ortenzio was chairman of the Trust, we believe that throughout the period that he was chairman he had a close relationship with Alvin Trenk and his family, who own and operate Air Pegasus,” Butzel said. “Moreover, as far as we are aware, the board of the Trust has never taken up, at least in public, the issue of the legality of the Air Pegasus lease.”

    Last May, Butzel, on behalf of the Friends of Hudson River Park, sent a letter to the Trust noting that the continued operation of the W. 30th St. Heliport was illegal and urged the Trust to close down the heliport.

    Connie Fishman, president of the Trust, noted in a reply dated May 23 that the park’s environmental impact statement suggested two legal sites for the heliport, one on Pier 72, which is two blocks north of 30th St., and the other on Pier 76, across from the Javits Convention Center — each one a finger pier that could accommodate a heliport west of the bulkhead line.

    Fishman said at the time that the city’s Economic Development Corporation and the Trust were developing a request for proposals for a new heliport — with no sightseeing flights — on Pier 72. But no request for proposals has been issued yet. Moreover, a State Senate resolution introduced last June would have amended the Hudson River Park Act to allow the heliport to continue with sightseeing and commercial flights until an alternative heliport is operating at Pier 72 or at another location approved by the Trust. But the Albany resolution went nowhere.

    Nevertheless, a spokesperson for Air Pegasus said on Dec. 28 that the “clear intent of the act envisions continuity of the existing [30th St. Heliport] until a suitable alternative is found and operational.” Air Pegasus added that an active heliport is a benefit to New York City and the Hudson River Park.

    Chris Martin, spokesperson for the Trust, said the authority could not comment on pending litigation.

    However, the lawsuit says that eliminating the heliport has become urgent since December 2006, when a stretch of the Hudson River Park between W. 26th and 29th Sts. opened just south of the “noise and poisonous fumes” of the heliport.

    Moreover, Pier 66 Maritime — the popular neighborhood “town dock” on the railroad barge formerly moored at Pier 63 — is scheduled to open as a recreation site moored by the old railroad float bridge off W. 26 St. in the spring of 2008. The deafening helicopter noise would threaten the operation of the Pier 66 Maritime enterprise, the suit says.

    Daniel Alterman, the lawyer for the Friends, said the lawsuit is seeking a temporary injunction compelling the Trust to serve Air Pegasus with an immediate notice terminating the month-to-month lease and barring any lease renewal.

    Alterman was the lawyer for the Friends’ lawsuit regarding the Department of Sanitation’s use of the Gansevoort Peninsula, another Hudson River Park site, between Gansevoort and Little W. 12th Sts. The settlement called for D.O.S. to remove its trucks and salt pile from the peninsula by 2012 or be liable to increased rent payments to the Trust.

    In addition to the Friends, Save West Street and Dellaportas, other plaintiffs in the heliport suit include the Chelsea Waterside Park Association and Robert S. Trentlyon, a founder of the association; Hell’s Kitchen Neighborhood Association, covering the Midtown West waterfront; Pier 66 Maritime and John Krevey, owner and operator of the facility; and Andrew Berman, a W. 47th St. resident and a member of the Hell’s Kitchen group. Berman is perhaps best known as executive director of the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation, but as a plaintiff in this case he is not wearing that hat.

    With reporting by Josh Rogers

  13. #163


    Because the Villiage idiots won't allow it.

    Quote Originally Posted by ablarc View Post
    These buildings are so beautiful !

    Variations on a theme.

    Why can't New York rise to this level more often?

  14. #164
    Moderator NYatKNIGHT's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Manhattan - South Village


    They are in the Village, so that's not correct, just insulting.

  15. #165


    On the Waterfront, Sound, Fury and a Lawsuit

    Dima Gavrysh for The New York Times
    Smelly and hazardous? Or a boon to the city? Fans and foes of a heliport disagree.


    Published: January 20, 2008

    TIME was, the West 30th Street Heliport was of a piece with the industrial Hudson waterfront: a gritty three-block strip of tarmac that emitted a vacuum-cleaner roar at all hours. But since the creation of Hudson River Park in 1998, Chelsea residents have been complaining about the heliport, which sits within the park next to a jogging path and just north of a promenade.

    Critics have called the 52-year-old landing space noisy, smelly and dangerous, singling out the diesel fumes of the helicopter engines and the buffeting wind stirred by the rotors.

    “It’s just such a disruption to enjoyment of the park,” said Andrew Berman, executive director of the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation. “It feels unhealthy and unsafe.”

    On Dec. 13, the advocacy group Friends of Hudson River Park, along with other community groups, filed suit in State Supreme Court in Manhattan asking that the heliport be closed. The defendants are the heliport; a tour operator known as Liberty Helicopter; and the Hudson River Park Trust, which oversees the park and is the heliport’s landlord.

    The lawsuit, which refers to the heliport’s “excruciating noise and poisonous fumes,” argues that the facility is operated illegally in light of the 1998 law that created the park. That law, said Daniel Alterman, a lawyer for Friends of Hudson River Park, prohibits use of the heliport for tourist flights and requires that it be elsewhere in the park.

    A representative of the Park Trust declined to comment on the matter, and the heliport operator did not return two telephone messages. But defenders of the heliport, which provides landing space for executives, tourists and public officials, have long said it is an essential element of the city infrastructure.

    The strip, a narrow space stenciled with a grid of white circles, has been used since 1956, and according to city figures, it accommodates about 100 flights a day. Last year, the city considered, but never acted on, a plan to build a replacement on a pier at West 33rd Street.

    Randy Mastro, a lawyer who represents Liberty Helicopter, said he hoped the lawsuit would prompt the city and state to redouble their efforts to save the heliport.

    “This litigation has the potential to have dire consequences for the future of the heliport,” Mr. Mastro said. “It should motivate those who care about the heliport’s future operations to take action.”

    Copyright 2008 The New York Times Company

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