By SANDRA ALMONTE
Surrounded by the hustle and bustle of fast-walking pedestrians, construction crews drilling on concrete, and the towering buildings of Lower Manhattan lies a retreat devoted to the community’s urge for more public open spaces.
At Albany and Greenwich streets, just one block from the 9/11 Memorial and Museum, Downtown Alliance and Lower Manhattan Development Corporation showcased a new outdoor space on Tuesday that provides the residential and working community, as well as tourists with an outdoor Ping-Pong table, giant Connect Four board game, Mini Golf station, bright orange park furniture, and its most important attraction: a Greenmarket.
The organizers cite many factors spurring the project, including the more than 10,000 New Yorkers living nearby and the growing popularity of the 9/11 Memorial site attracting 9.6 million tourists last year alone, causing heavy foot traffic on narrow streets.
“Lets not forget Lower Manhattan is unique,” said State Senator Daniel Squadron. “We are in the center of one of the most important tourist hubs and memorials to our nations history anywhere,”
With the West-Side Highway connecting the area with all parts of the city, the organizers expect to generate mass appeal and to convert what was a once a private space into a small urban oasis. “This is more than one way for New Yorkers and visitors alike to find a moment to rest and take in the incredible beauty of Lower Manhattan,” said Downtown Alliance President Jessica Lappin.
“As the rebuilding of Lower Manhattan goes on it is important that every opportunity to create open space be taken advantage of,” said LMDC President David Emil.THE GREENING OF LOWER MANHATTANTJE“No farms, no fruit,” said Thin Ley, who has been working for Red Jacket for five years. “We have a lot of fresh fruits here.”