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Facing the solstice, p. 16 Volume 83, Number 5 $1.00 West and East Village, Chelsea, Soho, Noho, Hudson Square, Little Italy, Chinatown and Lower East Side, Since 1933 July 4 - 10, 2013 florist injured by drag racer has come out of coma By LINCOLN ANDERSON Mohammed Akkas Ali, critically injured on Wed., June 19, when a drag-racing driver hopped the curb and roared into his East Village flower stand, reportedly has come out of his coma. East Village activist Bill Weinberg posted on Facebook that he stopped by the store early Monday morning and received some encouraging news. “Just dropped by East Village Farm Grocery and they told me that Akkas Ali has opened his eyes for the first time since the ‘accident,’ ” Weinberg wrote. “[They said] he didn’t talk, but I’ll take what I can get. Thank you, Akkas. We are rooting for you.” Continued on page 4 Photo by Milo Hess Bursting out with Pride The cheers were even louder and more passionate than usual at this year’s Pride March after the Supreme Court earlier in the week approved federal benefits for same-sex married couples. See Page 14 for more photos. durst says nid took a hit, but friends are fighting on By LINCOLN ANDERSON The Friends of Hudson River Park say that reports of the park NID’s death have been greatly exaggerated. However, Douglas Durst, the Friends former chairperson, assured the NID’s definitely not happening — at least not for now. Scott Lawin, the Friends’ vice chair- person, who is also the chairperson of the NID Steering Committee, told The Villager on Tuesday that the effort to create the city’s first park-focused neighborhood improvement district is indeed now taking a step back, but that this had been the plan even before the State Legislature recently passed a bill allowing the Hudson CATS For MAYOR River Park Trust to sell off the park’s unused air rights. “Prior to the legislation being passed, we had already decided we weren’t going to get the NID passed this year,” Lawin said. The initial plan had been to introduce Continued on page 8 Chick-fil-A chief serves up anti-gay marriage tweet By LAEL HINES “It’s almost just funny at this point. I think it’s ironic,” said one N.Y.U. sophomore. The student was referring to the ongoing issue of the Chick-fil-A outlet in the Weinstein Hall food court at New York University. In June 2012, the fried chicken chain’s C.E.O., Dan Cathy, made a series of homophobic statements opposing same-sex marriage. Chick-fil-A’s charitable enterprises have also been linked to political organizations that oppose L.G.B.T. rights. Then, last week, after the Supreme Court struck down Continued on page 4 JOHN CATSIMATIDIS FOR MAYOR A New Yorker for all New Yorkers Paid for by Catsimatidis 2013 5 15 C A N A L STREET • N YC 10 013 • C OPYRIG HT © 2013 N YC COMMU NITY M ED IA , LLC

The Villager, July 4, 2013

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