“From coastal resiliency and sustainable green practices to the preservation of affordable housing, world-class public art, and vibrant, year-round programming in award-winning public spaces, Battery Park City leads the way in many of the measures that makes cities livable."

Raju Mann

President & CEO
  • 05/30
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Tracy K Smith: Poet Laureate of the United States

Favorite BPC Spot: Poets House


The first few pictures came back blurred, and I felt ashamed
For all the cheerful engineers, my father and his tribe. The second time,
The optics jibed. We saw to the edge of all there is

So brutal and alive it seemed to comprehend us back.

Excerpt from “My God, It’s Full of Stars,” by Tracy K. Smith

Tracy K. Smith always loved reading. As a small child she would always read ahead from her school books or those she had at home. She very early found herself turning to poetry; she didn’t always understand what she was reading about, but she loved how the words made her feel. It is Emily Dickinson in particular she recalls:

“I’m Nobody! Who are you?
Are you – Nobody – too?”

That may have been overstating things a bit. Today that small child has grown up to be Poet Laureate of the United States and poetry continues to speak to her. In addition to Dickinson, Smith also finds inspiration in contemporary poets like Linda Gregg, Kevin Young, Morgan Parker and Kiki Petrosino. She finds herself collecting voices, and the ones she returns to deepen as she listens to them longer.

Her connection with Battery Park City comes through Poets House, where she began visiting when she was a graduate student at Columbia University. The poetry community was her only community, and Poets House became “a place just to be and read and write, where I could become an insider in the city and devote more attention to my craft.” She began by attending all the programming it had to offer and matured to become someone who spoke and mentored there.

While Tracy has written a non-fiction book titled “Ordinary Light,” it is always poetry that comes most naturally to her as a meditative and spiritual practice. She loves the puzzle of building a poem: “Poems do a lot of work to guide you to a sense of healing and recognition – a sense of feeling, a sound that rises from emotion from a poem, can guide you to the senses of what’s at stake.”

It’s with similar sentiment that Tracy comments on Raining Poetry in BPC. “It’s a beautiful, beautiful idea,” that someone can walk down the street when it’s raining and be confronted with the “spontaneous offering” of a poem. “It’s nice to know that when the weather is conspiring against us we see poetry precisely because of that,” she reflects.

So, what does the Poet Laureate of the United States do for a hobby? Tracy laughs and responds, “I use to have hobbies, now I have children.” Children, it would seem, are a poetry all their own.

Tracy K. Smith’s poem “My God, It’s Full of Stars” appears as part of BPCA’s Raining Poetry in BPC, a temporary public art project that on rainy days displays excerpts of poetry on the paths, plazas, and sidewalks of Battery Park City. You can find Tracy’s work near the Irish Hunger Memorial and Pier A Plaza

Excerpt copyright© 2011 by Tracy K. Smith, from Life on Mars. Used by permission of the author and Graywolf Press. All rights reserved. www.graywolfpress.org

BPC Golden Jubilee
Thursday, May 31
5:30 PM
Rockefeller Park

Battery Park City turns 50!  On May 31, 1968, Governor Nelson Rockefeller signed Battery Park City into existence.  Bring a picnic dinner and celebrate on the lawns of Rockefeller Park with neighbors and special guests. Enjoy music by Bang on a Can’s Asphalt Orchestra and the funky reggae beats of Brown Rice Family. The first 150 to register will receive a free, commemorative 50th anniversary picnic blanket. To learn more, click here.

FTO Special Edition: DJ Workshop
Friday, May 18 
6:30 – 7 PM
6 River Terrace

Stop by and learn about DJing from a pro with DJ D-Official! Check him out on Instagram.
Games, snacks, and other activities also provided. This FTO Special Edition is not to be missed! Grades 7 thru 12. To learn more, click here.

Saturday, May 19 

10 AM – 2 PM
Wagner Park

Join experienced anglers for catch-and-release fishing and learn about life in the Hudson River. Observe the day’s catch in aerated tanks and discover what you can do to steward the recovery of the Hudson. Use the natural surroundings to create art. To learn more, click here.

Ongoing program highlights
FTO: Get Your Game On 
Fridays, May 4 – June 15
4:00 – 7:00 pm
6 River Terrace

Join us for some friendly Friday night competition featuring board games, Ping-Pong, foosball and more. Need a place to chill? Bring your friends, play dome Wii and nom on some snacks. Grades 7-12. To learn more, click here.

Preschool Play
Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays
May 1 – Oct 31
10:00 am – 12:00 pm

Wagner Park

Play is the cornerstone of early childhood development. Meet other toddlers, parents and caregivers for interactive play on a grassy lawn. Sing, dance, shake and hear stories too! Carefully selected play equipment and toys are provided – plus water play! To learn more, click here.

Preschool Art
Thursdays, May 3 – Oct 25
10:30 am – 12:30 pm

Rockefeller Park House

Very young artists are introduced to paper, clay, paint and everyday recyclable materials, transforming them into masterpieces of creativity and delight. Age-appropriate projects planned by an art educator/artist. Materials provided. Dress for a mess! To learn more, click here.

Wednesdays at Teardrop
Wednesdays, May 2 – Oct 31
3:30 – 5:30 pm

Teardrop Park

Explore unique Teardrop Park while enjoying energetic lawn games and creating dynamic art. Artist/educators lead individual and group creative projects using clay, collage, paint and more. Materials provided. Dress for a mess! For Ages 5+. To learn more, click here.

Ball Field Hours Spring 2018

Monday, Wednesday and Friday: 9:00 AM – 9:00 PM
Tuesday and Thursday: 8:00 AM – 9:00 PM
Saturday & Sunday: 8:00 AM – 9:00 PM

Carlos Rolón
May 7 – May 23
Brookfield Place Mall

Arts Brookfield and artist Carlos Rolón will put a spotlight on the worldwide trend of bicycle riding as a serious and sustainable means of transportation that is re-shaping cities.

The exhibition will feature four bikes: Boriqua Sound System, The Majestics (For Louise) which was initially created for La Fabrique Sonore, Expérience Pommery #9, and two new bikes commissioned by Arts Brookfield, SUNNY & LEE.

For more information click here.

New York Guitar Festival
Friday – Saturday, May 18 – May 19
Brookfield Place Mall – Winter Garden

This spring, the New York Guitar Festival and Arts Brookfield will present two days of performances devoted entirely to the classical and flamenco guitar music of Spain at Brookfield Place.

Marija Temo: Friday, May 18 at 12:30 PM
Triple threat Marija Temo does it all: she sings, dances, and fiercely plays flamenco guitar. Praised for her formidable chops, Temo plays a guitar specifically tailored to the nuances of both classical and flamenco; she co-designed this unique instrument with luthier Tom Rodriguez.

Pepe Romero: Friday, May 18 at 7:30 PM
Classical guitar legend and Festival friend Pepe Romero returns to the NYGF for the first time since 2014. On that occasion, Romero gave an all-Bach recital. This time, the maestro will pay tribute to his father, Celedonio Romero, and the music of Spain, particularly that of his native Málaga. Romero will focus on flamenco guitar bringing with him a to-be-announced roster of special guests, singers, and dancers.

Adam Del Monte: Saturday, May 19 at 12:30 PM
Known for the introspective lyricism of his classical guitar style as well as the exuberant spontaneity of his flamenco repertoire, Adam del Monte delights and moves audiences with his mastery of both art forms. In addition to performing iconic works by Albéniz and Tárrega, del Monte has composed two concertos for flamenco guitar and orchestra.

Sharon Lsbin: Saturday, May 19 at 7:30 PM
New York Guitar Festival proudly welcomes back Sharon Isbin, whose performance last year was a major highlight of the 2017 Festival. This time, Isbin’s program will feature a combination of solos and duos with her guest, the Brazilian jazz guitarist Romero Lubambo.

Free to attend For more information click here.

Millennium: Lower Manhattan in the 1990s
Thursday – Sunday through June 24
12 pm – 6 pm
39 Battery Place

Multimedia exhibition, running from November 8, 2017 through April 2018, vividly recaptures this strange and formative time in the history of New York’s historic commercial hub, through a striking combination of architectural drawings and models, archival and contemporary photographs, original posters, maps, sketches, renderings, and other documents of the era. MILLENNIUM revisits this recent history of lower Manhattan in the years just before Downtown’s identity was cataclysmically recast as Ground Zero, and a new era truly began.

$5 for ages 12 and up
$2.50 for students and seniors
Free for children under 12
For more information click here.

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