Last night the park was filled with patriotic and scantily clad runners… and The Naked Cowboy. Hundreds of men and women wearing only underwear (and in many cases crazy wigs, capes, body paint and American Flags) gathered to kick off the New York City Marathon by running 1.7 miles. Here’s what you missed:
The new Tavern on the Green will not resemble the former storied Warner LeRoy restaurant at all. It’s best to get that out of the way right off the bat. Yes, it’s sad, but the great thing about New York is that legends are born all the time. More on that if you take our tour.
It’s been two and a half months since the deadline for proposals to run the new incarnation of the restaurant were due and we’ve heard precious little about who will take over the iconic location. In February of this year, the city invited approximately one hundred restaurateurs to take a tour of the restaurant and learn about their plans for the site, “a casual restaurant, outdoor café, and bar that will honor the original design intent of the Olmsted and Vaux park plan and exist in harmony with its naturalistic park setting.” A ten million dollar renovation will soon restore the building to its original design as a sheepfold. After restoration, it will be approximately 30,000 square feet, nearly half its recent size. The new restaurant will not be allowed to hang lights, play loud music after ten, shut down for private events, or be open after 1am (when the park closes).
This did not sit well with many of the attendees, notably Donald Trump. It is just too small a deal now,” Trump told the New York Times. “Nobody is going to go there.” Trump had planned to rebuild the the Crystal Room. The New York Times wrote a rather detailed article with quotes from many who decided not to submit proposals for the restaurant. The article was quoted by bloggers the internet over claiming that “nobody good will bid on Tavern on the Green” or “only two restaurant groups are interested in running the property.” This may be the case, but it may not.
As we mentioned, about one hundred restaurateurs were invited to take the tour and the Times article mentions nine of these groups, seven of which weren’t interested and two of which were. This means there are a number of groups out there who may have put in bids. Until we’ve heard who is awarded the location, we’re going to compile a list of those who are interested, not interested, and otherwise.
Legends Hospitality:Legends runs the concessions and food and beverage departments for Yankee Stadium, and while they are responsible for some delicious garlic fries, it’s hard to imagine what sort of restaurant they would bring to the table.
Beau Monde: This Philly based restaurant group is responsible for a successful French creperie. However, one has to wonder if they would be able to thrive in New York City, particularly when they might have to work with the Hotel and Motel Trades Council, the union that formerly represented staff at Tavern on the Green and currently represents workers at The Boathouse.
City Winery: The Gotham branch of this Chicago and New York wine bar operates in SoHo and makes its own wine.
B&B Hospitality: Mario Batali, Lidia Bastianich, and Joe Bastianich’s restaurant group.
Dave Arnold: of the French Culinary Institute and Booker & Dax bar at Momofuku Ssam Bar
Michael O’Neal: Owner of the Boat Basin
Drew Nieporent: Of Corton and Nobu fame.
Orient-Express Hotels: Owner of the “21” Club;
The Glazier Group: Owns Michael Jordans, Bridgewaters at the South Street Seaport.
Bill Telepan: chef at Telepan
Lawry’s: The steakhouse chain
Mario Carbone and Jeff Zalaznick: of Torrisi Italian Specialties
Dean Poll: Operator of the Boathouse
Donald J. Trump
The New York City Fire Department put out a fire in the Brentmore apartments yesterday. The 12 story apartment is across the street from Central Park and home to several celebrities including actor Robert Deniro, Lorne Michael of Saturday Night Live legend, and actress Celeste Holm.
In typical New York fashion, the New York Daily News called the fire a “blaze” making it sound like the residents were lucky to be alive while the New York Times called it, a “small fire.” Their interview with Celeste Holm’s husband was particularly amusing. He said of his older wife, “She’s sharp, she’s active. This didn’t get us down at all,” he said. “We’re going to go see ‘Once’ on Broadway.”
In their documentary The Central Park Five, David Mac Mahon, Sarah Burns and Ken Burns examine the case of the Central Park rape. In the late 1980s, the story triggered strong emotions in New-Yorkers and a sensational media storm across the US. It turned out to be a tale of racial injustice.
The 80s was a time of great renewal for Central Park. At the beginning of the decade, The Central Park Conservancy was newly established to revitalize what had become a vandalized, neglected, and dangerous 843 acre park. Rapes and murders commonly occurred in the park in the 70s and the Conservancy was determined to reclaim the area. However in 1989, despite all of the progress made in the park, a heinous rape and assault of a woman named Tricia Meili occured. Five black and Latino teenagers were arrested and convinced even though there were was poor evidence and no eye witnesses. Years later, a serial rapist named Matias Reyes confessed to the crime and the Central Park Five, no longer teenagers, were released from prison.
In their new documentary, David Mac Mahon, Sarah Burns and Ken Burns tell the story of the proceeding, the failure of the media and officials, and the racial tension that ultimately put five innocent men behind bars. If you happen to be in France tonight, you can pop by the Salle du Soixantième at 7:45pm for the screening. But, if you’re with us in the city, you’ll have to wait until PBS releases the film in 2013. Luckily, there are some great clips of the film on the Cannes website:
After a mild winter and a rainy spring, Central Park Sunset Tours is gearing up for their first tours of the summer season. Tours will soon be opening up for June 14th, 15th, 16th, and 17th. Check back soon and you can be one of the first to book your spot.
Central Park Sunset Tours has been very happy to share the time that they have with those who took our tour this year. We’ll be back in just a few months when spring returns to New York. Until then, we are still providing chartered tours. Please email us at email@example.com if you wish to arrange a private tour.
Wollman Rink, Central Park’s most popular skating rink, located in the Southern part of the park, will be opening for the 2011-12 skating season on Monday, October 24th. A skate & equipment sale will be held on Saturday October, 22 from 9am to 3pm. To access the rink, enter through the Artist’s Gate at 6th Avenue and 59th Street. The park’s sister, Lasker Rink, in the Northern part of the park, is scheduled to open on Oct 29th. For more information visit http://www.wollmanskatingrink.com.
Wollman Public Skating Hours:
Monday & Tuesday 10:00am – 2:30pm
Wednesday & Thursday 10:00am – 10:00pm
Friday & Saturday 10:00am – 11:00pm
Sunday 10:00am – 9:00pm
Central Park Conservancy, the private organization that raises 85% of Central Park’s budget, has set their eyes on restoring the park’s woodlands. The restoration will include Hallett Nature Sanctuary, the North Woods and The Ramble, a feature on the Central Park Sunset Tour. Doug Blonsky, president of the conservancy, explain in this video how erosion, and weeds now threaten the parks beautiful secluded areas and talks about the plan to renew these areas:
Check out this “CBS exclusive” on what they are calling “horse bleep.”
The following is a press release released by NYCLASS regarding the new vehicle they’ve designed to compete with the horse-drawn carriages in Central Park. NYCLASS, PETA, and the ASPCA have been advocating to end the carriage rides for sometime.
At the end of last week, New Yorkers for Clean, Livable and Safe Streets (NYCLASS) joined together with the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) to reveal a scale model of a fully electric vintage-replica car.
Following the legislation Intro. 86, calling for a phase-out of horse carriages in New York City and replacing them with the 21st Century “Horseless Carriage”, NYCLASS has been working with car maker Jason Wenig of The Creative Workshop to design and develop an ideal model to compliment the charm of Central Park. The proposed program for these cars will provide New York City with the ability to expand the tourist attraction in a humane capacity, as well as draw in new revenue. Authentically styled and constructed to replicate turn of the century cars, the design inspiration is fashioned from a 1909 style. The cars will be made to propel solely by electric power with lithium-ion batteries, providing cutting edge, clean energy with up to 8 hours of drive time per charge.
Car maker and designer Jason Wenig explained that, “Likened to The Magnificent Ambersons and the transition from horses to ‘motorized cars’, my goal is to inspire both New Yorkers and visitors alike with the elegance and nostalgia of yesteryear by delivering incredible cars so that this inevitable change occurs enthusiastically for my hometown.”
“The ASPCA has long supported the end of the carriage horse industry in New York City, and is thrilled to have a viable solution to removing the horses from NYC’s streets, where they spend their days inhaling fumes and their nights in stalls in tenement buildings with no opportunity to graze in pasture,” said ASPCA President and CEO Ed Sayres. “This new eco-friendly electric car will ensure that the horses are removed from danger and suffering as well as provide residents safe, clean streets,” he added.
Unlike horse-drawn carriages, the electric vehicles will comply with government safety regulations and will be registered with the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles.
The eco-friendly cars will carry liability insurance comparable to the insurance carried by taxis, black cars, and pedicabs. Today, horse-drawn carriages are only required to carry $20,000 per carriage in insurance, compared to the $2 million for each pedicab company and the $200,000 for each pedicab. Horse-drawn carriages are also not required to carry worker’s compensation for drivers who are independent contractors.
Steve Nislick, co-founder of NYCLASS, stated, “New York City has long awaited this change. By incorporating 21st century technology and 19th century nostalgia, this eco-friendly car will create vast improvements in the industry. Together with the Department of Consumer Affairs, this business can be regulated, similar to the yellow cab industry, and prevent these systemic abuses.”
New Yorkers for Clean, Livable and Safe Streets is a 501(c)4 non-profit animal welfare and advocacy organization committed to improving the quality of life for residents and animals of the City of New York.