This Was the Place to Get a True Taste of Battery Park City

Nearly 1,000 tasters (plus this taster of the future) attended P.S. 89's annual food festival on the Battery Park City esplanade. Photo: Carl Glassman/Tribeca Trib

Apr. 28, 2017

Against the made-to-order backdrop of the Hudson River waterfront and a perfect spring day, nearly 1,000 people got their taste of the Taste of Battery Park City.  It was the second annual fundraising food festival for P.S. 89 on Saturday, April 22, and it featured the fare of 22 of the neighborhood’s restaurants.

From Blue Smoke’s brisket sliders to pork-and-chive dumplings served by Northern Tiger and grilled octopus tostada dished up by El Vez, the local offerings brought many a casual passerby along the North Cove Marina to a culinary halt. In fact, six out of 10 of the ticket sales (five tastes for $35) were purchased by the non-P.S. 89 public, according to the organizers.

“It brings the community together, all of those restaurants and the people in south Battery Park  City and Tribeca and wherever they’re coming from,” said Talene Kelly, who co-chairs the event with Rene Finch.  “So many people walk by there, and a nice day really helps.”

“We’re so thrilled with it and we’re already planning next year,” said Finch, who along with Kelly founded the event in 2015. “The main blueprint we wouldn’t change. We just want to get bigger.”

Along with the 22 participating eateries (three more than last year), there was entertainment by a chorus of P.S. 89 students, led by music teacher Mary Cherney. Tom Goodkind conducted his TriBattery Pops and Manhattan Youth provided entertainment for kids. (See the 360 video below.)

As with the other Downtown “taste” events—Taste of Tribeca (P.S. 234 and P.S. 150) and Taste of the Seaport (the Peck Slip and Spruce Street schools), this one helps to provide its students with a wealth of educational enrichment that they cannot get from city dollars.

“Our budget is all about the nuts and bolts. There’s no extra anything at all. And this really helps tremendously,” said P.S. 89 Principal Ronnie Najjar, after downing a handroll from Blue Ribbon Sushi.  She rattled off a host of programs paid for by the Taste as well as a recent parent-organized auction and talent show. There’s Jazz at Lincoln Center and Alvin Ailey, flamenco dancers and ballroom instruction, the school’s instrumental program and an artist-in-residence.

“These are parents who want to roll up their sleeves and really help their community school,” she added. “That’s just a wonderful thing.”

In 360 video, brief tastes of the Taste of Battery Park City entertainment, with a chorus from P.S. 89 and a performance by the TriBattery Pops.

Click and drag your cursor to see the full 360 degree view of the video.