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John P. Avlon is a columnist and associate editor of the New York Sun, former chief speechwriter for Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani, and author of Independent Nation: How Centrists Can Change American Politics (Random House, 2004).

Avlon was the youngest and longest-serving speechwriter in the Giuliani Administration as well as Deputy Communications Director. After the attacks of September 11th, he and his team were responsible for writing the eulogies for all New York City Firefighters, New York City Police Officers, Port Authority Police Officers and other emergency workers killed in the destruction of the World Trade Center. Additionally, he served on the staff of the Bilingual Education Reform Task Force, the City Hall Park Restoration Committee, the Y2K Commission, and the 2001 Charter Revision Commission, which established the Office of Emergency Management as a permanent city agency. Before his service at City Hall, Avlon worked on President Clinton’s re-election campaign. He is the founder and managing partner of Prides Crossing Executive Communication and an adjunct lecturer at Hunter College, where he teaches a class on great speeches throughout history. He has lectured at Yale University, NYU, the Citadel, the Kennedy School of Government, and the State Department’s visiting journalist program. He is a board member of the Citizens Union of New York, Bronx Academy of Letters, Theodore Roosevelt Association, and the Rudolph W. Giuliani Center for Urban Leadership.

He has appeared on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, Fox News, PBS, MSNBC, the Dennis Miller Show, and C-Span, and serves as regular panelist on Radio America’s “Battleline.”

Kevin Baker was born in August 1958, in Englewood, New Jersey and grew up in Rockport, Massachusetts, a small town on the North Shore. He graduated from Columbia University in New York City in 1980, and since then has earned his living as a writer and editor.

His first novel, Sometimes You See It Coming, based loosely on the life of Ty Cobb, but set in the modern day, was published in hardcover by Crown in 1993 and in paperback by HarperPaperbacks in the spring of 2003. Dreamland, part of Baker’s New York‚ City of Fire Trilogy was published by HarperCollins in 1999, and in paperback the following year. Paradise Alley was published by HarperCollins in 2002, and the third and final volume of the trilogy, Strivers Row, which was published in February, 2006. Kevin was the chief historical researcher on Harold Evans’ best–selling history, The American Century,published by Knopf in 1999. He currently writes the monthly “In the News” column for American Heritagemagazine, and has been published in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Chicago Tribune, The Los Angeles Times, The Frankfurter Rundschau, Harper’s magazine, Talk, and The Industry Standard, among other publications.

Bruce Beck is the author of “The Official Fulton Fish Market Cookbook” (1989), and the highly acclaimed “Produce: A Fruit and Vegetable Lovers’ Guide”. The Official Fulton Fish Market Cookbook includes a wonderful history of the Fulton Fish Market and an array of things to do with the fish you find there. He now runs a hand rolled chocolate truffle company called Bruce’s Best.

Gary Fagin is the director of the Seaport Community Coalition, a local neighborhood advocacy organization. He is an artist and a musician and has lived in the south street area for 20 years.

Joseph L. Forstadt litigates many significant insurance, real estate and commercial matters, both at trial and on appeal for the law firm Strook, Strook, & Lavan. Before joining Stroock in 1969, he served in city and state governmental posts. These included Staff Counsel to the Reapportionment Commission, 1964; Special Legal Counsel and Law Assistant to the Board of Justices, Supreme Court of New York, First Department, 1965-1967; Deputy Commissioner, New York City Department of Licenses, 1967-1968; Acting Commissioner, New York City Department of Licenses/Department of Consumer Affairs, 1968-1969; and Assistant Administrator, New York City Economic Development Administration, 1969.

From 1970 to 1976, Mr. Forstadt served as special advisor on the Rent Stabilization Law to successive mayors of New York City from 1984 to 1997, as an owners’ representative on the New York City Rent Guidelines Board, and from 2001-2002 as a public member of the New York City Housing Court Advisory Board.

Lee Gruzen is the co-chair of Seaport Speaks, a group advising the city on the development of the South Street area.

Edward Irving Koch was born in the Bronx on December 12, 1924.  He served as the 105 th Mayor of New York City for three terms from 1978 to 1989. Prior to being Mayor, Mr. Koch served for nine years as a Congressman and two years as a member of the New York City Council. He served with the 104 th Infantry Division.  He received two battle stars, Combat Infantry badge, and was honorably discharged with the rank of Sergeant in 1946.  In that year, he also attended the New York University School of Law.

He received his L.L.B. degree in 1948 and began to practice law immediately thereafter.  In 1981, CCNY awarded Mr. Koch a B.A. degree. Mr. Koch is credited with many major achievements as Mayor.  First and foremost, he restored fiscal stability to the City of New York, and he was responsible for placing the City on a GAAP (Generally Accepted Accounting Practices) balanced budget basis.  He created a housing program which, over a ten-year period, provided 150,000 units of affordable housing financed by city funds in the amount of $5.1 billion.

He is currently a partner in the law firm of Bryan Cave LLP and a member of the Board of Directors of the American Heart Association in New York City.  He hosts a Saturday radio program on Bloomberg AM 1130 (WBBR) and is also a commentator on that same station. Mr. Koch is a weekly guest on NY1 television, and each week he writes a political column and publishes movie reviews.  He is a co-columnist with former Senator Al D’Amato for New York Magazine, and he lectures around the country and overseas.

Evita Mendiola has been photographing and documenting the Fulton Fish Market and its history for the past four years. She graduated Columbia University in 2005 and is currently working in the Mayor’s Press Office in New York City. ‘Up at Lou’s Fish’ is based on her graduating thesis.

Barbara G. Mensch is a New York artist who has exhibited in the United States and Europe, at venues including The Friends of Photography of Carmel, California; at The Los Angeles Institute of Contemporary Art; The Municipal Art Society of New York; The Bibliotèque Nationale in Paris; Centro Cultural/Arte Contemporáneo in Mexico City; and Photokina in Cologne, Germany. Her work has been published in Natural History, Inc., Metropolis, and The New York Times, among many other periodicals. Some collections including her work are The Brooklyn Museum of Art; The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; and The Museum of the City of New York.

Her new book ‘South Street’ (Columbia University Press) is slated to come out in February 2007.

Jack Putnam works for the South Street Seaport Museum. He is an authority on waterfront development, maritime studies, and Mellville. His work at the museum has been a major force behind the preservation of waterfront history on South Street.

Naima Rauam is a professional artist working in watercolor and oil, specializing in scenes of the Fulton Fish Market and New York City waterfront. Her other subjects include, airplanes, cars and construction sites. The frequent commissions she receives have led her to paint subjects as varied as florals, landscapes, buildings, yachts, tugboats, Corvettes, motorcycles, aircraft carriers, portraits of people and pets, and murals. She relishes the opportunity to explore new areas, and strives to convey through her art not only the visual aspects of a subject, but the essence and feel of it as well.

Bernard Roy is an assistant professor of philosophy at Ramapo Colledge, in New Jersey. He is also the moderator for a popular weekly discussion group called Café Philo. He owned a restaurant in New York called Entre Nous heralded for it’s fine cuisine. His experiences working in the food business led him to the Fulton Fish Market in New York City, and Les Halles in Paris.

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