Lights On…In Lower Manhattan

By Kelly Rush

The wait’s been long, but well worth it—Battery Park City finally has its new recreation center. A versatile facility with something to offer for everyone. We also have a few new restaurants, a gelato shop and a bar and lounge (which soon will be joined by an ice cream shop) on the popular Pier 15 deck.

Asphalt Green – 212 North End Avenue
(212) 298-2980 | www.asphaltgreenbpc.org

The flooring in Asphalt Green’s gym had to be ripped up and replaced before even one shoe had set foot on it because of flooding from Sandy. Despite various delays and setbacks, the recreation center is opening its doors June 15, and it offers everything from pilates classes to cooking to music instruction.

The 52,000-square-foot facility has classroom and fitness rooms, a full-size gym, and two pools, one of which has a floor that raises and lowers to accommodate physical therapy patients or those with mobility issues. The exercise equipment faces rows of floor-to-ceiling windows so treadmill users have a more enjoyable view than a white-painted wall.  More information on rates and class schedules may be found on their website.

Guac Star – 66 Pearl Street
(212) 425-3127

Zigolinis recently re-opened after suffering extensive damage from Hurricane Sandy, and they’ve added a new restaurant, Guac Star, within their restaurant. Guac Star lies in between Zigolinis sit-down space and their grab-and-go deli. The Mexican eatery offers staples such as burritos and a variety of tacos. So come by and support a restaurant that not only re-opened following Sandy, but diversified.

Shorty’s Cheesesteaks – 62 Pearl Street
(212) 480-3900 | www.shortysnyc.com

Shorty’s will tell you not to be afraid of cheese whiz. I’m afraid of cheese whiz, but one of these days, I’ll get up the courage to try an authentic cheesesteak. In the meantime, Shorty’s offers sandwiches filled with broccoli rabe, provolone, roast pork, chicken and a veggie option. Cheese whiz optional.

Watermark Bar & Lounge – Pier 15
(212) 742-8200 | www.watermarkny.com

This bar on Pier 15 has opened at just the right time—the very beginning of summer.  We have the whole season to enjoy outdoor seating with a stellar view of the East River, and the right kind of beverages to relax the afternoon or evening away. Watermark is a floor-to-ceiling glass structure so nothing gets in the way of a patron’s view. If you get hungry while sipping on a beer or cocktail, a variety of classic snacks are available, including burgers, hot dogs and salads.

Gelato Ti Amo – 12 John Street
(212) 321-1200 | www.gelatotiamo.it

The only shop serving gelato south of Chambers Street is winning some raves from the community for its treats. Gelato Ti Amo opened a store in Rome in March; its next stop was John Street. They import their gelato from their factory in Italy and serve it up in a variety of flavors. John Street has seen a lot of activity lately with two new Asian restaurants. Now customers have a great place to visit nearby for dessert.

Closings:

Metro PCS – 78 Chambers Street
Taj Tribeca – 18 Murray Street
HSBC – 265 Broadway
Dumpling House – 8 Liberty Place
Berkeley College – 130 William Street
Radio Shack – 114 Fulton Street

For more information on retailers in Lower Manhattan, visit the Alliance for Downtown New York at www.DowntownNY.com – where you can check out an interactive map with details on hours, locations and services and search the events calendar. Or, stay connected through the Downtown Alliance mobile app, available for download here.

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