February 2016 Newsletter
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BPC People

Abraham Merchant
President & CEO of Merchants Hospitality Inc.
14-year BPC Resident
Favorite Battery Park City Spot: Teardrop Park

After emigrating from Pakistan to New York over 32 years ago, Abraham Merchant started his career in the hospitality industry. As time progressed, he quickly moved up the corporate ladder, holding a series of positions with increased responsibility and eventually began managing restaurants. 

In 1986, Abraham founded Merchants Hospitality Inc., a full service hospitality company. One of the company’s first milestones was the opening of Anaconda, a modern Brazilian restaurant in the East Village.  Merchant soon expanded with the opening of another establishment in the Village called Art Bar, which was known for its casual Bohemian vibe. Abraham says he learned just how successful this bar was when he read in the Michelin Guide that you would have to “sell your soul” to get a seat there!

Abraham later decided to open Merchants NY in Chelsea where his goal was to create something unique that introduced a living room concept on the ground floor. This type of arrangement was the first of its kind for a restaurant in New York and it was meant to provide a cozy environment where people would feel comfortable to sit back and take their time.

In 1999, Merchant’s SouthWest NY opened along the waterfront in the World Financial Center. Abraham’s decision to establish a presence in Battery Park City was prompted by one of his business partners, who one day was visiting and experienced firsthand the beauty and promise of the developing neighborhood.

Due to the events of September 11, 2001, Abraham was forced to temporarily close SouthWest NY for several months. Thanks to the high demand & patronage from local workers and residents he was able to re-open in February 2002, making SouthWest NY the first restaurant in Battery Park City to re-open following the attack. Due to his commitment to stay in the area following that tumultuous time, he is credited with helping restore confidence in Downtown. Despite the many challenges and obstacles of that time, Abraham decided then Battery Park City was where he belonged.

SouthWest NY relocated to South End Avenue and Albany Street in 2012 and shortly thereafter was accompanied by another Merchant enterprise – Black Hound Bar & Lounge. Like the original Merchants in Chelsea, the space incorporates a casual and relaxed atmosphere. The next year Abraham decided to expand further in Battery Park City with the opening of Merchant’s River House along the Esplanade.

Aside from business, Abraham enjoys tennis, squash and spending time with his family in Battery Park City, which has been his home for the past 14 years. He and his 10-year old son spend many days at Teardrop Park, riding their bikes on the Esplanade before stopping at the local Le Pain Quotidien for a muffin.

Upcoming Events

Battery Park City Parks

Winter Break Programs!

February 15 – 19

Community Center at Stuyvesant High School
345 Chambers St.

Check out the programs at the Community Center for the Winter Break! For kids who love basketball, we have a Basketball Clinic taught by former pro ball players, Jamel Thomas and Louis Frye. The program is being run for two age groups; ages 10-13 from 4-5 pm & ages 14-17 from 5:15 - 6:45 pm, Monday - Friday. 

We also have a Lifeguard Training Certification class where you can learn a new skill or renew your certifications! This is great job training for teens who will need that certification for a summer job! 

Space is limited. Pre-registration required. Call 212-267-9700 or email, to register, or inquire. 

Winter Talks

Saving the Hudson River: 1960s to the Present
February 16, 1 pm, Free!
6 River Terrace

315 miles long and influenced by Atlantic Ocean tides, the lower Hudson River is one of the world’s great estuaries. Learn about the Clean Water Act of 1972 and other measures that helped reverse the contamination harmful to wildlife and ­people. Presented by Bill Fink. Call 212-267-9700 for more information, or visit

Winter Afterschool Sports & Games

Every Monday, Wednesday & Friday through February 29

BPC Ball Fields

Stay active outdoors and play soccer, flag-football, hockey, and more, organized by BPC staff or play on your own. Equipment provided. For ages 7 and older. For more information, click here.
Battery Park City Library

Crafternoon: Chinese New Year

Thursday, February 11, 4 pm
175 North End Ave

Join us Thursday afternoon as we celebrate the Year of the Monkey with a story and a noisemaker craft! All supplies will be provided by the library. Children of all ages with a grown up helper are welcome to attend. Click here for additional information

Craft Your Own Valentines

Saturday, February 1310:30 am
175 North End Ave

Visit the library for a story and a chance to craft homemade valentines for those you love! All supplies will be provided by the library. Children of all ages with a grown up helper are welcome to attend. Click here for additional information

Build Your Own Dream City!

Thursday, February 25, 4 pm
175 North End Ave

Build your own city with LEGO® bricks! Limited to the first 20 children and their caregivers; first-come first-served. For ages 5-12. Click here for additional information  
Brookfield Place

Lunar New Year: Year of the Monkey Celebration!

February 6, 1:30 pm - 3:15 pm
Lion Parade begins at 1:30 pm. Performance begins at 2 pm
230 Vesey Street

Ring in the Lunar New Year with a family friendly performance presented in partnership with the New York Chinese Cultural Center. This performance will feature a burst of energy and color with traditional Chinese dance and music, a martial arts demonstration, theatrical players in full traditional make-up and regalia, and the Monkey King himself! Join us prior to the performance for a dynamic Lion Parade led by lion dances throughout the space. Click here for additional information
Museum of Jewish Heritage

Theater: All Aboard!

February 7, 10:30 am
36 Battery Place

Pick up your passport and get your tickets at this hands-on workshop. Board the boat and watch a new original play based on the PJ Library story, When Jessie Came Across the Sea. For ages 3-7.
$8, Free for children and grandchildren of MJH Members. Tickets sold at the door. Click here for additional information  

International Tour Celebrating the “500th Anniversary of the Venice Ghetto” 

Songs from Shylock's Venice with Ensemble Lucidarium
Wednesday February 10, 7 pm - 9 pm
36 Battery Place

Experience the sounds and sights of Shylock's world as one of Italy's premiere Early Music ensembles brings to life 16th-century Venice through this lively multimedia concert. $25 General Admission & $20 Members and Students. Click here for additional information

Bitten: A Food Conversation

Friday, February 12,  9 am – 5 pm
36 Battery Place

Bitten is a one day conference that explores food through the filters of innovation, disruption, creativity, technology and trends. We all eat, but recently our relationship with food has become more complicated than ever before — often for the better, sometimes for the worse. In addition to all the questions we have about what is good for us and our planet and concerns in our ability to feed the growing population, we should remember that food is also tremendously fun. It's a form of art and a space that's innovating faster, and with more impact, than any other. That's where bitten comes in...
Regular Ticket: $317.49
Group Ticket: $254.19
Click here for additional information 
Poets House

Curator Tour and Conversation- Metamorphosis: The Collaboration of Poet Barbara Guest & Artist Fay Lansner

February 20, 3 pm – 4 pm
10 River Terrace

A tour of the exhibition Metamorphosis: The Collaboration of Poet Barbara Guest & Artist Fay Lansner followed by a conversation with Erica Lansner, Gabrielle Lansner, and exhibition curator Raphael Rubinstein. Click here for additional information 

Opening Reception for Metamorphosis: The Collaboration of Poet, Barbara Guest, & Artist, Fay Lansner

February 20, 4 pm – 6 pm
10 River Terrace

Beginning in the 1960s and continuing through the 1990s, this exhibition charts the creative collaboration and friendship between the New York School Poet Barbara Guest (1920-2006) and painter Fay Lansner (1921-2010). Included in the exhibit are drawings, paintings, collages and portraits of Guest that depict the progressive transformation of the creative process. This is the first time that these works have been brought together in an exhibition. Click here for additional information

Make a Sudden Leap

North End Grill, 104 N End Ave
February 29, 6 pm – 9 pm
North End Grill, 104 North End Ave. and Poets House, 10 River Terrace

Join us for a celebration of the sumptuous art of fine dining and timeless poetry. We’ll start our evening at Poets House with effervescent toasts, then walk to Danny Meyer’s North End Grill for a three-course meal designed by Chef Eric Korsh. Wine pairings by renowned importer Neal Rosenthal complete the sensory stimulus to this literary and culinary extravaganza.
6 – 7 pm: Champagne Toasts at Poets House
7 – 9 pm: Dinner with Fine Wine Pairings & Poetry at North End Grill with poets Eliza Griswold, Daniel Halpern, Mary Karr and Vijay Seshadri.

$750 ($500 tax-deductible): Space is limited. Click here for additional information 
Skyscraper Museum

Building Arches

February 6, 10:30 – 11:45 am
39 Battery Place

Young engineers will learn about different kinds of arches and buttresses. Kids will first work individually to make a model of an arch using Popsicle sticks, then work together to create one large arch using cardboard boxes and tape. The strength of the project will rely on the design of the arch and teamwork. Ages 8+. Click here for additional information  

Bob Bowen on Creating a 4D Video Sculpture

The Lower Manhattan Shoreline through Time, Extracted from Still & Moving Archival Footage 
Tuesday, February 9, 6:30-8 pm
39 Battery Place

A screening by artist Robert Bowen and a conversation with historian Carol Willis. Photographer and video artist Robert Bowen has long been fascinated by New York’s skyscrapers. His interest in the city’s architecture and in early moving images come together in this project in which 3-D hyper-stereoscopic depth is digitally extracted from archival 2D film footage. RSPV is FREE! Click here for additional information  
Copyright © 2016 Battery Park City Authority, All rights reserved.

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