J.P. Morgan SMid Cap Conference This Week

Today and tomorrow, the J.P. Morgan SMid Cap Conference will take place at the J.P. Morgan Conference Center at 383 Madison Avenue in New York City. Signature Bank, a New York-based full-service commercial bank, recently announced that it will present its corporate story at the conference.

J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. offers this impressive conference for New York business people. The firm is a leader in investment banking, private equity, financial services and others.

Today, Signature Bank’s President and Chief Executive Officer Joseph J. DePaolo and the Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Eric R. Howell plan to present.

The conference will feature approximately 70 small to mid-cap companies across all sectors. Each of the companies that will present will have a 40 minute presentation. This will include a company overview and a question and answer session. Firms who will be present include those in the small business and commercial banking industries, financial transaction processing, private equity and others.

Lower Manhattan’s Entertainment Landscape Clearing after Sandy Passes Through

New York is getting back to normal entertainment-wise as most of the electricity has been restored to lower Manhattan almost exactly one week from the time Hurricane Sandy made landfall along the east coast. Having the power back means that downtown’s off-Broadway theaters, independent movie houses, Lower East Side concert halls and Chelsea art galleries can open again for business and the pleasure of its customers.

It was for the first time that the Office of Film, Theater and Broadcasting was forced to issue permits on an as-needed basis for film shoots at exterior sites. This means that the business of movie and TV filming can begin to get back to normal for the twenty-four TV series and the over one dozen films now in production which use the streets of New York as their backdrop. Filming in New York’s A zone, the areas hardest hit by Sandy’s relentless winds, rain and ocean surges, is still not permitted. This includes parts of Brooklyn and all of Staten Island.

Katherine Oliver- NYC’s Commissioner of The New York City Mayor’s Office of Film, Theater and Broadcasting

“We’re getting back on track and back into business,” said Katherine Oliver, commissioner of the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment. “There was minimal damage to stages last week — a little bit of water damage here and there. But they were able to get back on stages at the end of last week and, as of today and going forward; they will be on exterior locations as well.”

Historic St. Mark’s Making History Now

Winnie Varghese

New York’s oldest site of continuous Christian worship, the Episcopal Saint Mark’s Church-in-the Bowery, is installing its first rector in 23 years, and its first female rector in its long, over 350 year history.

The installation of Reverend Winnie Varghese will take place this Saturday, October 20, at a special service beginning at 11am.

Preaching at the service will be The Rt. Rev. Barbara C. Harris, the first woman ever ordained in the world-wide Anglican Communion. Bishop Coadjutor of New York, the Rt. Rev. Andrew M.L. Dietsche will preside.

“I’m honored to be installed as the Rector of this historic, welcoming, progressive, diverse and high-energy church,” Varghese said. “I look forward to continuing to grow with St. Mark’s by embracing its tradition of supporting diversity, arts and social justice and by providing members a welcoming environment to grow spiritually.”

Enjoy Thanksgiving and Beyond in New York During Recovery from the Wrath of Sandy

Tribeca’s Cosmopolitan Hotel

As New Yorkers continue the work needed to recover from the devastating effects of Hurricane Sandy, businesses are pushing forward fast and furious to get life back to normal as quickly as possible. Sandy’s wrath disappointed thousands by forcing the cancellation of one of New York’s crowning jewels for tourism, the NYC Marathon. Thousands of out-of-towners were turned away, and millions in revenue were lost when Mayor Bloomberg made the difficult, but necessary decision to cancel the highly popular race.

Now that the storm is long gone and recovery is in full speed ahead mode, it is time to once again welcome visitors from all over the country, and the world, as the holiday season approaches.  One of New York’s pre-eminent pillars in the tourist trade is the fine collection of Shimmie Horn’s Triumph Hotels. Located in some of New York’s most popular neighborhoods, these hotels offer guests luxury, convenience and style.

One such hotel, located in the Tribeca section of Lower Manhattan, is the Cosmopolitan. Only minutes away from the Bowery, one of Manhattan’s most talked-about places; and smack in between avant-garde SoHo and posh Tribeca, Shimmie Horn’s Cosmopolitan Hotel is the perfect combination of comfort, convenience and calming luxury. With only 130 rooms the Cosmopolitan boasts a private, quiet atmosphere hard to match in any other well-placed hotel.

As New York’s recovery continues a-pace, there is no better time to visit New York and enjoy with the residents there the excitement of the holidays, the beauty of the season, and the joy of overcoming adversity with the spirit of thanksgiving.

Eater Eve at The Bowery Hotel

On November 12, 2012 The Bowery Hotel will host a competition to choose among the best chefs, restaurants and food industry talent in the country. Organizing the third annual “Eater Awards” is Eater, which will showcase a list of 10 of the best chefs from the most exclusive restaurants all over the nation. Among the chefs will be Justin Yu, owner and chef of Oxheart in Houston, Texas.

The public is invited to come and taste of the finest delicacies these top-notch chefs can prepare, some for the very first time in New York City, at Eater Eve, which will take place on Sunday night, November 11th, at 6 to 9pm. In addition to the fabulous specialties concocted by these world class chefs will be an open bar and a great, unforgettable evening of gastronomic fun.

The cost per person is $95. Among the ten chefs will be Stuart Brioza and Nicole Krasinski of Statebird Provisions in San Francisco; Tim Cushman of O Ya in Boston; and Mike Doyle, Maurepas Foods in New Orleans.


“Come Closer” Tells the Tale of Artists on the Bowery

 Curt Hoppe

“Bettie and The Ramones,” oil on canvas by Curt Hoppe

Opening on Wednesday and running through January is an exhibit at the New Museum examining the life of artists who chose to make their home along the infamous Manhattan boulevard known as the Bowery.

During the 60s, 70s and 80s the Bowery was a well-known haven for the homeless and those otherwise seeking the cheapest possible places to live. Flophouses and tumbledown apartment hotels housed the penniless of every stripe, including starving artists.

The exhibit will have on view 40 pieces from 20 Bowery artists who lived in the midst of those impoverished conditions; a reality that is fast fading into the annals of history as the Bowery remakes itself into a hip, high-rent and low tolerance for poverty, district.

“The Bowery was spoken about as a no-man’s-land, a thoroughfare of how people got to the Manhattan Bridge or to the Williamsburg Bridge,” said the show’s curator, Ethan Swan. Swan is also in charge of educational development at the New Museum, which is located at 235 Bowery.

“It was not a place that people thought of staying in much,” he added.

One exception was the artists, who were willing to overlook what others avoided and rented out loft space for dirt-cheap. At first the artists left their surroundings out of their works. That began to change beginning in 1969.

“That is when the artists started to really invite the Bowery into their studios,” Swan explained.

Curt Hoppe is one of the artists who began to fall in love with the Bowery. His work as a painter and photographer is included in the “Come Closer” show.

“If you have to run from the subway to your apartment, that is when you know you are in a good neighborhood,” said Hoppe, who still lives and works in his studio at 98 Bowery, a building that housed many of the era’s well-known artists.

“It has been just a very cool building… there is something special about this building, but I don’t know what it is,” added Hoppe.

Oldest Bowery Building Demolished, Land Now for Sale

Councilwoman Margaret Chin

After losing a battle for historic building status and a turnaround by a city councilwoman, the oldest building on The Bowery was demolished earlier this year, and the land it was built on is now up for sale.

Originally Councilwoman Margaret Chin had supported landmark status for the Federal-style; three-story building at 135 Bowery, built in 1817, making it the oldest building on the boulevard, and landmark status was granted. Later, however Chin changed her mind when First American International Bank assured her and the City Council that they would create affordable office space in the new seven-floor building, and its landmark status was revoked.

The revocation was exactly one year ago, when the Council voted 49-1 to remove its protection from the wrecking ball. That led the way, fast and furious, to the destruction of the building, upsetting neighbors, local preservationists, and historians.

And now add insult to injury. First American International Bank, which owned the building and property since 2007, is selling out to the tune of $8.5 million. The sale is being handled by Massey Knakal. Here is the ad. In case you were wondering which side of the street 135 Bowery was on, its not what it says below. The now sadly empty lot is on the east side of The Bowery.

135 Bowery is a prime development site located on the west side of Bowery between Grand and Broome Streets. The property was recently demolished and the foundation for the new development has recently been installed. There are DOB approved plans and permits issued for a 20,427SF building (including cellar), consisting of an 8 story commercial loft building with retail on the ground floor.

The Bowery was recently added to the State Register of Historic Places, an important step towards being added to the National Register of Historic Places. Both lists indicate the likelihood of the Bowery’s future landmarking and potentially being designated a historic district, which will have no effect on the current development but will limit the development of the surrounding buildings.

ICAP tax benefits have been applied for and the New York City Department of Finance has verified that the application is approved. The property will receive an annual abatement of approximately $72,000 over a 10-year period starting in mid-2013. The development of this property would be ideal for a commercial user, non-profit institution or investor.


Legend Quitting the Bowery and Heading Uptown to Nolita

Brewster Carriage House

The New York Post is reporting that musician John Legend had recently purchased a one-bedroom condominium in North Little Italy (Nolita) immediately after selling is two-bedroom condo on the Bowery. The new residence is at 374 Broome Street; a 2.5 bathroom, one bedroom, 1,969-square-foot apartment in the Brewster Carriage House. It is reported that Legend was able to chisel off $50,000 from the asking price of $2.55 million. Legends pad on the Bowery reportedly went for $2.795 million, also lower than the asking price of $2.95 million. Although he lost a bedroom in Brewster, he gained up 600-square-feet.

The building on Broome Street used to be the home of the famous carriage manufacturer Brewster & Co. In 2005 developer Ross Morgan purchased the property and divided it into 9 living units with a complete renovation of the interior.

Running For NYC and Baltimore

Marathons seem to be the new running rage in the last few years.  This fall there is a slew of marathons to choose from.  Of course here in New York City there is the world famous marathon, but other places like Baltimore seem to be happening events as well.

We asked two runners from NYC what they though of adding Baltimore to their race schedule.

We first asked Frank Storch from Cobble Hill, Brooklyn. “Normally I would be training only for the NYC Marathon, but I decided to go for the Baltimore Marathon in October at a slower clip to get ready for the NYC Marathon,” Frank Storch said.

Another runner, Shlawnda Stevens echoed Storch’s view, at least as an ideal. “Yeah I think that maybe an interesting approach, but my only question would be the rebound time after Baltimore.”

Thankfully there is still plenty of time to sign up and decide either between the two or to do both.

Audrey Laurent Named Sales Director of the Bowery Hotel

Audrey Laurent

Last week Sean MacPherson and Richard Born, the owners of the Bowery Hotel, announced the appointment of Audrey Laurent as the new Director of Sales. Laurent comes on board with over 18 years of experience in the hospitality industry, including operating several Manhattan boutique hotels.

For the past ten years Laurent was the Operations director for the Mercer Hotel, and before that she managed daily operations at the Ace and Paramount Hotels.

“We are delighted to welcome Audrey to our team. She has a remarkable, comprehensive hospitality background and is dedicated to the hotel’s design, concept and culture.” said General Manager Kirk Wilson.