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Jazz Show 411, p. 15

Volume 3, Number 6 FREE

East and West Village, Lower East Side, Soho, Noho, Little Italy and Chinatown

January 3 - 16, 2013

Squadron: Leaving out gun reg would be ‘mind-boggling’ BY SAM SPOKONY Daniel Squadron, a cosponsor of the state Senate’s bill requiring microstamping — a hotly debated new technology that advocates believe would strongly help solve gun crimes and deter gun violence — said Thursday that it would be “simply mind-boggling” if Governor Cuomo leaves microstamping out of the gun control legislative

Photo by Milo Hess

Their New Year’s was chill! Coney Island Polar Bears Club members dashed into the frigid waters at their annual New Year’s Day swim in Brooklyn.

Sophie Gerson, 88, former school board president, pol Alan’s mom BY ALBERT AMATEAU Sophie Gerson, a beloved Greenwich Village neighbor and Democratic Party activist who served two terms on the local school board after retiring from a teaching career, died Saturday in Beth Israel Hospital at the age of 88. The cause of death was an infection. More than 200 mourners, including city councilmembers, community board members, Democratic district leaders and residents of the LaGuardia Place co-op where she lived with her family since

1967, paid their respects at the Mon., Dec. 31, funeral. Her son, Alan Jay Gerson, former city councilmember, who spent the past year or so helping his mother to get around the neighborhood as her health became fragile, recalled her devotion to her family and to the things she cared about. “She cared about the world. She cared about injustice and she cared about righting wrongs and making things better,” her son said. “When the neighborhood had a prob-

lem a few years ago about motorcycle noise, my mother went right up to the Hell’s Angels’ clubhouse on E. Third St. and spoke to a leader — his name was Bird, and he listened,” her son recalled. She was an early member, with her husband, Herman, of the Village Independent Democrats (V.I.D.) and joined the breakaway Village Reform Democratic Club (V.R.D.C.) to support Mayor Ed Koch when V.I.D. supported Mario Cuomo for

package he is expected to announce as part of his State of the State Address on Jan. 9. “A majority of the members of the state Senate all support this,” Squadron said in an e-mailed statement. “It’s time to let it come to a vote.” He was responding to recent reports that Cuomo

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Peaceful printer left positive mark in East Village BY LINCOLN ANDERSON In a tragic story that sent a shockwave of fear through the city and resonated around the world, Sunando Sen, a 46-year-old immigrant, was killed last week, when he was pushed in front of a subway in Queens by an emotionally disturbed woman. Sen’s death is being felt especially deeply in the East Village, where he worked for years at New York Copy and Printing Co., on E. 11th St.

Continued on page 8


between Second and Third Aves. Early Wednesday morning, a memorial note to Sen along with flowers and yellow ribbon were taped to the wall outside the store’s entrance, while on the shop’s front counter votive candles flickered amid a collection of cards left by friends and customers. Bidyut Sarker, the printing shop’s owner, was opening up

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2 January 3 - 16, 2013

Peaceful printer left positive mark in East Village Continued from page 1 for business. “He worked here for 16 years,” Sarker said, congenially. About three months ago, Sen left the E. 11th St. shop to start his own printing store up by Columbia. According to Sarker, Sen had suffered a mild heart attack and figured he’d be able to work a little less hard if he ran his own business. Plus, Sarker admitted, the printing business is “a bit slow” right now, so it was better that Sen struck out on his own. Ironically, once Sen had his own shop, he found himself working harder than ever, Sarker said. They still stayed in touch. “He helped me all the time,” he said. “I called him just a few days ago. He was the one who kept all the computer files.” Sen, who was from India, and Sarker, from Bangladesh, shared a common language and religion, Hinduism. A friend had pointed Sen in Sarker’s direction when he needed work. He had been studying economics at New York University and knew nothing at all about computers and printing. But he threw himself into the job and became a self-taught expert, Sarker said. “All the networking, Web sites, he set it up for me,” he said. It had been a wrenching week for Sarker and other friends of Sen. The entrepreneur was killed Thurs., Dec. 27, after being pushed by Erika Menendez, 31,

of the Bronx, who was later arrested after being ID’d from surveillance camera footage of her fleeing from the scene. Sen’s funeral was Sunday. Monday, per Hindu custom, his cremation ceremony was held. Finally, on Tuesday, there was a ritual service at which the slain man’s soul was “released,” hopefully clean of sin, hopefully to attain nirvana. “We believe in reincarnation,” Sarker explained. “We are asking for God to release his soul so he doesn’t have to come back.” One hundred fifty to 200 people turned out for the final service. “A lot of customers show up also,” Sarker said. He was very touched by the diverse outpouring of mourners, including from different religions. “A Buddhist monk pray, a Muslim imam,” he said. “A customer who is Jewish — she went there and prayed for him.” Lorcan Otway, the proprietor of Theatre 80 on St. Mark’s Place and a Quaker, also attended the ceremony. He recalled Sen as being like “the Indian Gregory Peck.” “You can see him on Channel 5,” Sarker noted of the news coverage. Otway worked with Sen on aiding Hindus facing oppression in Bangladesh. Also paying his respects was Art Baron, who plays sax with Bruce Springsteen and leads the Duke’s Men, a a group of Duke Ellington band alumni. As the memory of all the friends and cus-

Subway pushing victim Sunando Sen worked for 16 years at the East Village copy shop.

tomers at the service came flooding back, Sarker was for a moment suddenly overcome by emotion. He bowed his head and brushed a hand slowly through his hair. Sebastian Beckwith entered the store and gave Sarker a hug, offering words of support. Working with Sen, he used to do “layouts and photos” for tea labels and such for his company, In Pursuit of Tea. “He was just low-key,” Beckwith recalled of Sen.


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“Very low-key,” the shop’s owner agreed. “He had no fight with anyone. He never meant for harm to nobody.” News reports variously quoted Menendez as saying she shoved Sen to his death because since 9/11 she has hated Muslims, or both Muslims and Hindus. But Sarker said Hinduism is a peaceful faith. And he can’t believe Menendez initially said she hated Hindus, but feels she must have added it to her rant only after she was informed it was Sen’s religion. “Name of Hindu never associated with violence in the world,” Sarker declared. “Hindus are mostly vegetarian — we don’t kill any animals for food. … The implication of Hindu with terrorism is wrong.” Meanwhile, while Sen’s soul hopefully has been cleansed of sin and attained a transcendent state of rest, the same can’t be said for Menendez. “She is probably taking his sin,” Sarker said of his departed friend and his troubled killer. Sen’s was the second fatal subway push last month in New York City. On Dec. 3, Ki Suck Han, 58, was hurled to his death by Naeem Davis, a 30-year-old homeless man. The two had argued moments before Davis heaved Han onto the tracks in front of an oncoming train. The spate of high-profile subway incidents has sparked a debate about whether the city should install platform barriers, such as exist at certain train stations in some other cities, including Paris, London and Tokyo.

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January 3 - 16, 2013


NOTEBOOK WILL GERSON RUN? Although devastated by the loss of his mom, Sophie, former City Councilmember Alan Gerson is deciding whether to dive back into politics. Over the past few years — after being unseated in his bid for a third term by Margaret Chin — Gerson spent time caring for his elderly parents. His dad, Herman, is 100. After Sophie’s funeral on Monday, Marvin Greisman, a friend of the Gersons from the Lower East Side who now splits his time between the city and Florida, said Alan recently told him he’s definitely thinking about a political return. “Alan might be running again,” Greisman told us. “He’s seriously thinking about it. He’s a committed guy and people love him.” When we queried Gerson later, he acknowledged he has absolutely been considering it, but that he’s not exclusively looking at his former District 1 Council seat, but also at other local seats that might open up. He noted that, for example, if state Senator Dan Squadron wins the race for public advocate or possibly Brooklyn borough president, then he might run for Squadron’s former office. But it’s clear that political players are watching whether Gerson will run against Chin. He told us that District Leader Jenifer Rajkumar recently called him, obviously eager to sound him out on his plans, but that he hasn’t returned her call yet. Rajkumar is reportedly seriously looking at running against Chin. As for the state of the district during his absence from office, Gerson sighed and said simply, “Things could have been done differently.” He said that comment applied both to the rezoning for the N.Y.U. 2031 megadevelopment plan for the South Village superblocks and also the demise of St. Vincent’s Hospital. Gerson lives in 505 LaGuardia Place, on the southern N.Y.U. superblock. But he indicated he was even more distressed about what happened with St. Vincent’s Hospital. POLITICAL PASSING: Councilmember Chin was among the many local officials and community leaders paying their respects at Sophie Gerson’s funeral. The overflow crowd filled the Beth Abraham Funeral Home, at 199 Bleecker St., to capacity, and people unable to get into the main room watched the service on two flat-screen TVs. Also attending were City Councilmembers Gale Brewer and Letitia James, new state Senator Brad Hoylman, State Committeeman Arthur Schwartz, Community Board 2 members Anne Hearn, Lois Rakoff and Terri Cude and district manager Bob Gormley, Ray Cline and Connie Masullo of 505 LaGuardia Place, Sam Jacob and Marcus Andrews of Le Souk, Arthur Harris of Village Reform Democratic Club, Maureen Remacle of the Sixth Precinct Community Council, Judith Callet of Bleecker Area Residents’ and Merchants’ Association, District Leader Paul Newell, City Council candidate Yetta Kurland, former Assembly candidate Luke Henry, former Gerson arts liaison Paul Nagle and Friends of Petrosino founder Georgette Fleischer. Also at the service were the Village Independent Democrats’ Katharine Wolpe and Tony Hoffman, the club’s new president. James told us that C. Virginia Fields, the former Manhattan borough president, was unable to make the funeral, but Gerson later told us Fields was planning to sit shiva for Sophie later on Wednesday evening. Among those sitting shiva on Monday evening, the first night, were former N.Y.U. Vice Chancellor Arnold Goren and his wife, Rhoda, parents of Susan, who they said was in Vietnam again. Also there were political strategist Jerry Skurnik, former Gerson chief of staff Tammy To, leading N.Y.U. 2031 critics Paul and Sylvia Rakow and Noho activist Zella Jones. The


food was provided by Jack Lebewohl of the 2nd Ave. Deli, a good friend of Sophie’s. FORMER L.E.S. SYNAGOGUE SITE: Among the “three sets of rabbis” at Sophie Gerson’s funeral were two of the three rabbinical Spiegel brothers. Sophie’s background was Romanian, so she sometimes worshiped at the former First Roumanian-American Synagogue on Rivington St., whose roof collapsed in January 2006 and was subsequently demolished. We asked Rabbi Shmuel Spiegel what’s the latest on the vacant lot. “We’re still working on the plan, what to do,” he told us. “I’m not a prophet,” he added. “It fell down in one second. It could go back up in a second — but we don’t want to rush into it.” The key is that they want to do it with “sechel,” he said, which he explained as “the right state of mind.” Overhearing the conversation, Trudy Mason, Democratic state committeewoman from the Upper East Side, chimed in, “Sechel means sense — common sense.” “Sophie not only had sechel, but she was a mensch,” added Mason, who was always Alan Gerson’s “Aunt Trudy.” CONCEDING SOHO BID BATTLE? During a recent conversation, Soho Alliance Director Sean Sweeney told us that opponents and proponents of the proposed Broadway Soho business improvement district have been in talks since the City Council’s Finance Committee hearing on Nov. 20. The next Council hearing on the matter has yet to be scheduled. In the meantime, according to Sweeney, members of the two factions have recently held a few behind-the-scenes meetings to work out some “compromises” on the BID proposal. Why? It seems like he and his crew have come to terms with the notion that, since Councilmember Chin strongly supports the plan, the antis will probably end up on the losing side of this battle. “Chin wants [the BID] to happen, so it’s going to happen,” Sweeney said, although he didn’t seem overly dejected by the admission. When we asked for some specifics on these “compromises,” he directed us to fellow BID opponent Pete Davies, who’s apparently been closer to the front lines of the closed-door discussions. Davies, on the other hand, told us in an e-mail that it’s “too premature” to share any details, since those talks are still in their initial stages. But he added that, now that the holidays are over, both sides are planning to meet again soon. We’ll get back to you about this one. DISTRICT LEADER DOINGS: We hear that Jonathan Geballe, former V.I.D. president, is thinking of running for Democratic district leader. The unsalaried office is currently held by Hoylman, who, after being elected state senator, is expected to shed the lower-level post. State Committeeman Arthur Schwartz had previously told us he’d try to reclaim the district leadership if Hoylman won election to the state Senate, but now it sounds like Schwartz isn’t so sure it’s worth all the effort and might just stick with State Committee. Plus, he’s very busy with his new progressive law office. He still plans to hold a big 60th birthday bash/political fundraiser, though, and told us that if he doesn’t run for district leader, he’ll use the funds to help finance other local races. IS IT O.K. TO DUMP DRIED-OUT CHRISTIMAS TREES ON THE CURB? Absolutely. From Wed., Jan. 2, to Sat., Jan. 12, the Department of Sanitation will be collecting the tired tannenbaums for recycling. The trees should be unbagged, and all tree stands, tinsel, lights and ornaments should be removed before the trees are put out. The brittle boughs will be chipped and made into compost, which will spread on parks, ball fields and community gardens throughout the city. Typically, the city collects more than 140,000 discarded Christmas trees each year for “tree-cycling.”

Photo by Tequila Minsky

Mulch ado about trees… For those who want to take their Christmas tree recycling to the next level, and save the Department of Sanitation the work of curbside pickups, there’s MulchFest 2013. Chipping sites will be in action on Sat. and Sun., Jan 12 and 13, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Tompkins and Washington Square parks, as well as in Stuyvesant Town’s 20th St. oval. People can also drop off their trees on Sunday only at Union Square Park at 17th St. and Park Ave. South, though there won’t be any chipping there.

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Bridge over troubled water: Vigil targets gun violence BY TEQUILA MINSKY Holiday preparations and a chill in the air didn’t stop more than 100 New Yorkers from responding to the Sandy Hook Elementary School tragedy with a “Hands Across the Brooklyn Bridge” vigil on Sunday evening Dec. 23. State Senator Eric Adams and civil rights attorney Norman Siegel led the vigil marchers onto the bridge from the Manhattan side. More than double that number came onto the span from its Brooklyn side. There were many parents with their children holding candles. They all joined together to say, “Enough is enough.” As people gathered on the Manhattan side before the march, Siegel said, “We do not have to accept gun violence. We can and must change the epidemic of gun violence.” He urged the public to contact national and state elected officials and tell them, “We oppose gun violence and we demand action from them now.” Among the public and elected officials who spoke were former city comptroller and mayoral candidate Bill Thompson and Councilmember Ydandis Rodriguez, who represents Washington Heights and Inwood. Brooklyn Congressmember Yvette Clarke emphasized how gun violence affects all of us. Adams told the crowd, “America should not lead the globe in the number of deaths by guns. This is insane.“

Photos by Tequila Minsky

From left, Norman Siegel, state Senator Eric Adams and Bill Thompson led the vigil marchers onto the bridge from the Manhattan side.


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Also on the bridge was Councilmember Jumaane Williams, who represents Flatbush, Midwood and Canarsie, among those who met up from the Brooklyn side. In Occupy Wall Street “mic check” fashion, Adams called out the names — and the marchers then repeated them — of those who died in the recent carnage in Newtown, Connecticut. Suggestions for gun reform include rein-

statement of the assault weapons ban that expired in 2004, the banning of high-capacity bullet clips, improved background checks for people with histories of mental illness, and initiating a national gun registration/ inspection system similar to the motor vehicle registration/inspection system. The bridge was used as a symbol to illustrate that the entire city was coming together in collective grief and action.

January 3 - 16, 2013


L.E.S. Pathmark closes; Meeting with C.E.O. is set BY SAM SPOKONY Lower East Side community leaders are optimistic about the progress of a survey aimed at helping the Two Bridges neighborhood strengthen its local food economy, following the Dec. 22 closing of a Pathmark supermarket that had for nearly three decades been a lifeline for the neighborhood’s elderly and low-income residents. In a Dec. 21 interview, Victor Papa, president of the Two Bridges Neighborhood Council, expressed his confidence about the project — which also aims to produce a local grocery-shopping guide — and said that results of the community food survey will play an important role in his upcoming meeting with A&P C.E.O. Sam Martin, which will take place in Two Bridges on Jan. 7. A&P, which owns Pathmark, sold the supermarket’s 227 Cherry St. lot earlier this year to an unnamed buyer that is widely believed to be Extell Development Company, which is led by Gary Barnett, one of the city’s top luxury residential developers. Barnett continues to decline comment. Since the sale was announced in September, Papa has represented thousands of Two Bridges residents in their call for a Pathmark supermarket and pharmacy to remain on Cherry St., regardless of how the lot is developed. Many of those residents have said that Pathmark was their only local, affordable option for purchasing fresh groceries.

‘The delivery idea might be a little farfetched, but we just want to make sure [Pathmark] stays connected.’ Victor Papa

But now that the supermarket is officially closed — the pharmacy was shuttered in late October — the Two Bridges leader has had to adjust the requests toward more practical and realistic ends. Papa explained that, at this point, he has two primary ideas to introduce at the Jan. 7 meeting, both of which focus on maintaining at least some Pathmark presence in an area that includes several large public housing developments and senior homes. His first recommendation will be for Martin and A&P to place a scaled-down, temporary supermarket in the small, adjacent Cherry St. lot that had been occupied by the pharmacy. Papa had already mentioned that idea several weeks ago, but on Friday he seemed more set on the

Photo by Sam Spokony

The Cherry St. Pathmark closed on Dec. 22.

possibility. Papa’s other idea would call for a central Pathmark drop-off location in Two Bridges, to which the chain’s other local supermarkets — such as those in Harlem or Gowanus — could deliver food to be purchased by residents. This grew out of an earlier idea for bussing Two Bridges residents to those other supermarkets. “The delivery idea might be a little farfetched,” Papa said, “but we just want to make sure [Pathmark] stays connected, no matter how that connection is manifested.” He also said he believes that the results of the Two Bridges Community Food Assessment, a residential survey that ran from late November to Dec. 14, will supply Martin with some “interest” in retaining a Lower East Side presence. James Johnson-Piett, principal and C.E.O. of Urbane Development, the food and local economy consultant group hired to assist on the survey and other postPathmark projects, said that while actual results are still being compiled, he’s pleased with what’s taken place so far. The survey received responses from 326 residents, Johnson-Piett noted, far exceeding the 250 he had originally sought. He added that the responses were a “good mix,” meaning that they came via both paper and electronic surveys, as well as from a variety of demographics. The assessment will likely show that the vast majority of Two Bridges residents — many of whom are elderly or low-income — relied on Pathmark as their primary food source. But it was also designed to highlight smaller local grocery stores, or larger stores located slightly farther away, that may become more frequent options in the absence of Pathmark. Now that the community survey is complete, Urbane staff members, in association with Two Bridges Neighborhood Council, have already begun the initiative’s second phase — surveying those other local stores. Johnson-Piett said that at least 15 area stores had already been surveyed over the

course of a few days. He plans to include data from around 150 additional stores during the first half of January, while also conducting more in-depth interviews with some store owners by month’s end. “So far, I’ve really been surprised and impressed by the business owners’ willingness to get involved in what we’re doing,” Johnson-Piett said. About 70 to 80 percent of the Two Bridges stores have cooperated

in the survey, he explained, compared to an average of around 10 percent in similar past projects he’s completed in other cities. The Urbane C.E.O. also said that the forthcoming Two Bridges neighborhood grocery shopping guide — which will use survey and interview data to provide residents with the best options for various types of affordable food — should be available in print by March. Several weeks ago, Johnson-Piett had estimated that guide would be completed by February, but he said last week that a bigger-than-expected databank and other variables would extend the process. Papa said that even if the guide is not completely ready until March, his council will likely release smaller portions of information as they become available. “I’d like to think that this could also be a way to help promote small businesses,” he added, echoing a sentiment JohnsonPiett has mentioned frequently. Papa, a lifelong area resident who has been on the Two Bridges Neighborhood Council staff since 1996 and has served on its board since the early ’80s, acknowledged that he’s putting plenty of trust in Johnson-Piett’s judgment. “If we were to create some kind of campaign for local small businesses as a result of this, it would be a new concept for me,” Papa said. “But perhaps this is where urban neighborhoods are going.”

Fighting to make Lower Manhattan the greatest place to live, work, and raise a family.

Assemblyman Shelly Silver If you need assistance, please contact my office at (212) 312-1420 or email

6 January 3 - 16, 2013

POLICE BLOTTER Jane New Year’s assault Police arrested the man who they believe bashed his girlfriend around inside their room at the Jane Hotel early on Jan. 1. The victim, 22, told cops that her boyfriend, Steven Fortier, 28, had already attacked her on New Year’s Eve by throwing her against a wall, and said that he then entered the fifth-floor room of the landmarked hotel around 2 a.m. and began attacking her once again. Fortier allegedly punched the woman repeatedly in the head and arms, and, when she tried to escape, began choking her and forcing her to the ground. The woman told cops she made one lastditch effort to open the door and crawl away, but Fortier pulled her back in by her legs. However, by that point a 60-year-old bellhop heard the struggle and came to the woman’s aid, according to the police report. Hotel security guards were then able to respond, and they restrained Fortier until officers could arrive. Fortier was charged with assault. His girlfriend didn’t suffer any serious injuries, according to the report.

East Side sex attacker Police are still hunting for the man who tried to sexually assault a 42-year-old woman as she jogged through East River Park at midday on Dec. 27. The suspect targeted the woman around 11:30 a.m., while she was running near Houston St., and snuck up from behind, tossed her to the ground and began pulling off her pants, police said. The woman, however, fought back and escaped. Police later released a sketch of the suspect, pictured above, whom they described as a 17-to-25-year-old man last seen wearing a gray hoodie and green sweatpants.

W. Ninth weapons bust A Greenwich Village couple was busted on Dec. 29 for storing guns and a chemical substance used for making bombs in their apartment, and now stand accused of intending to use the weapons in a future attack. Morgan Gliedman, 27, and Aaron Greene, 31, were arrested after police raided their apartment at 8 W. Ninth St. around 6 p.m., finding seven grams of highly explosive H.M.T.D. powder and two shotguns, according to the police report. Officers also found a stack of papers titled “The Terrorist Encyclopedia,” according the Manhattan Criminal Court complaint. The complaint further alleges that the pair planned to use the bomb materials and firearms against either a person or property. The Daily News reported that neighbors had originally called police in late November after spotting the weapons stash, but cops were not able to make their move until a month later, when they secured a Manhattan Criminal Court search warrant. The events of Gliedman and Greene’s case are eerily similar — but, fortunately, not identical — to those that took place just two blocks away in 1970, when a bomb made by the radical group the Weather Underground accidentally exploded. That weapon was being constructed in the basement of 18 W. 11th St., and its untimely detonation completely destroyed the townhouse and killed three Weather Underground members. Actor Dustin Hoffman and his wife, who lived next door and were at home at the time of the explosion, escaped unharmed.

around 3:30 a.m. near the corner of Bleecker and W. 10th Sts., according to police, after he blew through two red lights while traveling southbound on Bleecker St. Officers said that when they approached his vehicle, Ortiz had a flushed face, watery eyes, slurred speech and smelled of alcohol. A Breathalyzer test immediately after that revealed that his blood alcohol content was .153. The legal limit for driving is .08. Ortiz was charged with D.W.I.

Taxi attack After a cab driver caught him trying to run away from a ride without paying, police arrested Gerson Mendonce, 26, for allegedly attacking the driver early on Jan. 1. The cabbie, 53, told cops that he picked up Mendonce at Allen and Delancey Sts. around 1 a.m., and that he asked to be taken to Times Square. But he then apparently asked to be let out at the corner of Sullivan and W. Houston Sts. — and when the driver obliged, Mendonce started to flee the scene, heedless of his $7 fare. According to a vague line in the police report, however, the driver was, with “great difficulty,” able to force his rider to hand over the cash. But when the hack then turned to walk back to his vehicle, Mendonce blocked his path and punched him in the face multiple times, police said. After officers responded to the action, Mendonce was charged with assault, and the driver was treated for minor cuts but wasn’t hospitalized.

Sam Spokony

Bleecker St. D.W.I. Police booked a drunk driver who was speeding through the West Village early on Dec. 29, saying that his blood alcohol content was nearly twice the legal limit at the time of the arrest. Miguel Ortiz, 36, was pulled over

Occupy Community News!

January 3 - 16, 2013


‘Green wave’ bike plan has Soho leader seeing red BY SAM SPOKONY Community Board 2 is calling on the city’s Department of Transportation to study the possibility of resequencing traffic lights along Soho’s Prince St. bicycle lane, saying that synchronized timing on the red-to-green light progression could create a more consistent traffic flow for both cars and bikes and, in turn, increase safety for cyclists and pedestrians.

‘D.O.T. should do their job by addressing our broken crosswalks before they worry about any kind of green wave.’ Sean Sweeney Photo by Sam Spokony

A cyclist traveled alongside vehicular traffic in the Prince St. bike lane near Sullivan St.

The concept, referred to as a “green wave,” would involve changing the timing of signal progression along Prince St., from Bowery to Sixth Ave., in order to move traffic at a steady pace of roughly 10 to 15 miles per hour — a typical speed range for bikes. Advocates say that the more even, predictable flow would cut down on congested stop-and-go traffic, while discouraging cyclists from slipping through red lights and also discouraging drivers from speeding through yellow lights. If it were to be implemented in the future, the green wave would be the city’s first. The practice has already caught on in several bike-friendly cities, such as San Francisco, where cyclists have celebrated several so-called waves in recent years. A resolution requesting that D.O.T. perform a study on the feasibility of the green wave passed C.B. 2’s Dec. 20 full board meeting, albeit in a somewhat contentious 19-to-16 vote. In fact, the final resolution only asked for a study of the concept — rather than its actual implementation —

because of a last-minute amendment put forth by board member Jo Hamilton. The original resolution, which was passed by a 10-to-0 vote by C.B. 2’s Traffic and Transportation Committee earlier last month, did actually ask D.O.T. to execute the green wave plan. But Hamilton proposed the change after some board members voice concerns with the proposal. “I thought it was a pretty fair way to amend it,” said Shirley Secunda, the C.B. 2 Traffic and Transportation Committee chairperson, who added that her committee had been considering a green wave resolution for several years. It was fitting, then, that the plan was proposed by Ian Dutton, the committee’s former vice chairperson, who has since moved to Brooklyn. Among other things, Dutton’s presentation at the committee’s December meeting pointed out that D.O.T. had expressed potential support for a green wave on Prince St., dating back to 2007

(when the bike lane was created), but has not yet taken any real action on the concept. A D.O.T. spokesperson did not respond to request for comment.

Sean Sweeney, director of the Soho Alliance, spoke out strongly against the green wave idea during C.B. 2’s full board meeting. He said the bike lane never should have been run through Soho on Prince St., but belongs on Houston St., which D.O.T. considers too dangerous for bicycles. In an interview, this Wednesday he said that he believes Soho is unfairly used as a “petri dish” for transportation experiments. “D.O.T. should do their job by addressing our broken crosswalks before they worry about any kind of green wave,” said Sweeney, who has a history of opposing pro-cycling developments in the neighborhood. He went on to claim that he’d recently spoken with a D.O.T. representative who said that the agency isn’t actually interested in pursuing the concept — but Secunda dismissed that notion when asked about it. “I’m not sure where Sean got the idea that D.O.T. doesn’t like it,” she said, “because, even though they’ve been dragging their feet, they’ve always seemed interested to me, and they’ve never said they have any reservations about the idea.” C.B. 2’s resolution includes a request for D.O.T. to bring its report and recommendations regarding a green wave to the board upon completion of the proposed study.

8 January 3 - 16, 2013

Sophie Gerson, 88, former school board president

Photos by Tequila Minsky (of Gerson family photos)

Sophie and Alan Gerson in Washington before Bill Clinton’s inaugural ball in 1992. Sophie had been active in the campaign and so was invited. She brought Alan as her guest.

OBITUARY Continued from page 1 governor over Koch. Herman, who is 100 years old and survives her, remained with V.I.D. and served as its president. “It was a mixed marriage for our family,” Alan said. “My father was in one Democratic club and my mother was in the other Democratic club.” A stalwart labor union member, Sophie was active with the United Federation of Teachers and supported the union in its 1968 strike over community control of school boards. “She had a falling out with Koch later over an argument about the U.F.T. but she was still very fond of him,” Alan said. Sophie was also a friend and supporter of Mayor David Dinkins. “I was told that Bill Passannante [the late state assemblymember representing the Village] used to say that my mother put his bumper sticker on my baby carriage,” Alan said. A girls’ physical education teacher through-

out her 36-year career with the New York City public school system, Sophie pioneered as an advocate for equal sports opportunities for girls. “She cared about her students and she cared about teaching,” Alan said. “She enjoyed politics like it was a sports contest,” he added. “But she didn’t like the nasty backstabbing and the fact there were no umpires or referees — so she always tried to act as an umpire at political meetings.” Sophie ran as a Democratic Convention delegate for Albert Gore in 1988; she attended the convention in Atlanta but, since Gore lost the state nomination to Michael Dukakis, she wasn’t a delegate. Sophie Greenberg was raised in the Bronx by struggling immigrants from Romania. Her mother was often ill and her father lost his business in the Depression. Sophie was great at street sports, like ringolevio and box ball. In high school she won the admiration of classmates for reaching the top of the rope-climb ahead of all the girls and some of the boys. She graduated in 1941 from Walton High where she said in her yearbook entry that she wanted to be a girls’ gym teacher. She graduated from Hunter College four years later and earned

Sophie Gerson with presidential candidate Al Gore in 1988 on the grounds of N.Y.U.’s Silver Towers complex, at Houston St. and LaGuardia Place. “They wanted an outdoor setting for a commercial for the campaign,” said her son, Alan. “They were trying to gather a group of retirees. The Secret Service came and everything.” Sophie Gerson ran as a delegate for Gore, but Michael Dukakis won the nomination.

a master’s degree from Teachers College at Columbia in 1947. She retired in 1988 and won election to the local school board where she served from 1991 to 1999. “She edited the best and the shortest political speeches I every made. She was organized, always on time, everything in its place… . Some traits skip a generation,” said Alan, who is known for long speeches and for often running late for appointments, eliciting some light laughter from those gathered. “She loved life and made my friends a part of our extended family. She loved country music. Her favorite song was Willie Nelson’s ‘On the Road.’ When she retired I took her to Nashville and we sang ‘You Are My Sunshine’ on the stage of the Grand Ole Opry. “Mom, you’ll always be my sunshine, every day, every moment,” Alan said, overcome for a moment by emotion. In addition to her son and her husband of 56 years, a daughter, Rikki, and two grandchildren, Lance and Dillon, survive. Beth Abraham Funeral Home, 199 Bleecker St., was in charge of arrangements. Burial was in Old Montefiore Cemetery in Queens.

It takes a Villager and an East Villager Your local news source

A young Sophie Gerson.

January 3 - 16, 2013


Squadron pushes for Cuomo to back gun microstamping instead, negatively impact law-abiding gun owners and manufacturers with new costs. The Democrat-led Assembly has passed the microstamping legislation four times since 2008, but the bill has died in the Republican-led Senate each time. Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver said on Wednesday that he remains committed to passing that microstamping bill yet again in his own house, with the hope that it won’t again fail in the Senate. Senate Republican Leader Dean Skelos — who, as a result of a deal made after the 2012 elections, will now share authority over the chamber with Democratic Senate Leader Jeffery Klein — did not respond to request for comment.

Continued from page 1 — who in fact supports microstamping — is now unlikely to include it in the package, based on the governor’s belief that he won’t be able to reach a deal with the Senate’s Republican leadership in time for the start of the next legislative session, which also begins on Jan. 9. “I think it’s highly improbable at this point that you would get agreement on it,” Cuomo was quoted as saying at a cabinet meeting on Wednesday. Microstamping technology ensures that a unique code — identifying the make, model and serial number of a gun — is “stamped” onto shell casings whenever the gun is fired. In theory, it would allow law enforcement to easily track any gun used in a crime by using the shell casings left at the crime scene. In addition to the hope of catching more criminals, advocates of the technology believe that it will help combat illegal gun trafficking and reduce overall gun violence. Squadron’s bill — which he is co-sponsoring with Senator Jose Peralta — would require all semiautomatic handguns made or sold in the state to be capable of microstamping ammunition. “The system we use now only gives us about a 2 percent chance of identifying the gun for a given shell casing, and

Photo by Sam Spokony

State Senator Daniel Squadron speaking at a recent event in the East Village.

microstamping would make that process at least 25 times more effective,” said Jackie Hilly, executive director of New Yorkers Against Gun Violence, in an interview with this newspaper last October. She was citing a study published last spring by Iowa State University’s

Ames Laboratory, which showed that microstamping could be up to 97 percent effective in some cases. Opponents of the concept have countered by saying it simply hasn’t been proven to work in real-life settings, and many gun rights proponents claim that it will,

Community News

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Immerse Yourself in Early Music

trinity wall street | Julian Wachner, Director of Music and the Arts

Twelfth Night Festival December 26, 2012 – January 6, 2013 Friday, January 4, 1pm

Sunday, January 6, 4pm

Bach’s Christmas Oratorio, Cantatas 5-6 St. Paul’s Chapel

Lessons and Carols Trinity Church A Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols, sung by the Choirs of Trinity Wall Street, followed by a procession to St. Paul’s Chapel for a reception.

Saturday, January 5, 1pm Goldberg Variations/Variations St. Paul’s Chapel Jazz pianist and composer Dan Tepfer performs. Watch online at

Events are free will offerings, unless noted. More information at Trinity Church | Broadway at Wall Street St. Paul’s Chapel | Broadway and Fulton Street 212.602.0800

Sunday, January 6, 8pm Compline by Candlelight St. Paul’s Chapel The Choir of Trinity Wall Street

an Episcopal parish in the city of New York


January 3 - 16, 2013



Sandy relief betrayal

Disarm the Board of Elections

Condemnation was swift for the House Republicans’ heartless abandonment of people devastated by Hurricane Sandy. No one put it better than Representative Peter King of Long Island. He said anybody from New York or New Jersey who donates money to help his fellow Republicans get re-elected is crazy. We hope Wall Street heard King clearly the first time, and ignores his subsequent backpedal, which was presumably done for political survival. The “Boehner Betrayal,” as Senator Chuck Schumer calls House Speaker John Boehner’s broken promise to bring a $60 billion hurricane relief package to the floor, will likely have real and devastating consequences in Downtown Manhattan and other areas that were hit even harder by Sandy. Many businesses close to home have still not reopened and are desperately waiting for relief to rebuild their livelihoods. Others are looking with horror at their repair bills and their loss of customers. In other parts of the city and state and in New Jersey, there are many without homes — people who can’t even recognize where they lived or worked because the storm just washed it all away. Boehner’s plan is to take up the bill in piecemeal manner this month with the first vote expected Friday. Boehner may have clinched his leadership re-election by waiting for the new session of Congress, but the delay means the Senate — a body that the Founding Fathers designed to act slowly — must pass a new bill all over again. This during a time when divisive debates continue in Washington on unrelated topics. It was an outrage that Boehner waited more than two months to consider Sandy relief in order to focus his attention on bad-faith, pointless negotiations with the White House on the “fiscal cliff.” Our man in Congress, Jerrold Nadler, said extending the hardship was “a total collapse of leadership” on Boehner’s part. He may have been too kind to use the “L” word in the same sentence with the speaker.

To The Editor: Re “Kurland announces her run, and says she gave up her gun” (news article, Dec. 20): Eric Tradd Schneiderman, in fact, was a deputy sheriff. I thought it was Upstate, but you are probably right. When he was running for Democratic district leader or state Senate, he explained in front of his home club (Community Free Democrats) about that job, and I seem to recollect that he really wasn’t a sheriff on patrol, but he said that he did some sort of “paperwork,” like crime analysis or devising programs. Further, on the issue of guns, the New York City Board of Elections has employed for the past few years an armed guard at its headquarters, at 32-42 Broadway. Why? Thinking of Ron Kuby’s remarks in your article — why is someone with a gun needed? To safeguard records? To prevent fisticuffs at petition validity hearings before the commissioners? The board never had an armed guard before — ever. Although during petition review and inspection periods, there is an New York Police Department cop — usually falling asleep — to stop someone from making off with an opponent’s designating petition, say. So why the permanent Allied Barton company’s armed goon? Well, a few years ago, the board’s administrative manager, state Senator Bill Perkin’s wife, Pamela Green, received serious death threats. A proper N.Y.P.D. investigation found that the threats were indeed real, and came from an employee whom she disciplined on a minor issue. (There were recordings of telephone calls to her). The employee was arrested, tried and convicted — and fired. At the time, the board hired the private armed guard to protect Pamela — and has kept the guard on since then. It’s a waste of taxpayers’ money. I objected to no avail at commissioners’ meetings. And I couldn’t get a copy of the contract from the city department which handles such matters. There is no need for an armed guard now. Alan Flacks

Stupid Santas! Bah, humbug! To The Editor: Re “Ban SantaCon! Inebriated St. Nicks out of control” (talking point, by Sarah Ferguson, Dec. 20): Sarah, great piece. I’m so glad someone wrote about this obnoxious event. I was out last Saturday going to BETTY’s


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holiday show at Joe’s Pub. I walked from the far West Village to Lafayette St. in the East Village. I ran into stupid, drunken Santas all over the place, to the left of me and to the right of me. It was not a pleasant walk, and when I left the club, it was impossible to get a cab. The only people who benefit from this event are bar owners. It is not a cool cultural event like the Village Halloween Parade; it is just an excuse to get drunk, act out. At least BETTY’s show was great and Kate Clinton was hilarious when she came onstage and ad-libbed about Christmas trees. She was killing time while we waited for Gloria Steinem (who could not get a cab) to arrive and read her top 10 list. She did finally get Downtown. Kate Walter

‘Mommy, why is Santa drunk?’ To The Editor: Re “Ban SantaCon! Inebriated St. Nicks out of control” (talking point, by Sarah Ferguson, Dec. 20): Thank you to Sarah Ferguson for voicing what many of us have thought and felt for the past few years. Every year as I walk down the streets at this time and see the groups of inebriated young people in front of bars, puffing on cigarettes and carrying on loudly, I think of what a disillusionment this must be to young children who have pictures in their minds of Santa Claus. As her young son asked, “Why is Santa drunk?” I have wondered that same thing. Yes, it is definitely time to rethink this silly tradition and do away with it. Linda Lusskin

E-mail letters, not longer than 250 words in length, to or fax to 212-229-2790 or mail to the East Villager, Letters to the Editor, 515 Canal St., Suite 1C, NY, NY 10013. Please include phone number for confirmation purposes. The East Villager reserves the right to edit letters for space, grammar, clarity and libel. The East Villager does not publish anonymous letters.

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WE NEWSP January 3 - 16, 2013


After a momentous year, what’s next for Pier 40? TALKING POINT By MADELYN WILS The change of the calendar always serves as an appropriate time to reflect and learn from the past, and by doing so, best prepare for the future. There is little doubt that 2012 was a momentous year for the Hudson River Park, and what made 2012 truly different was the enormity of both the achievements and challenges that occurred throughout the 12-month cycle. We saw record attendance throughout our 5-mile expanse. New programs attracted a slew of new visitors. Hudson River Park continued to serve as the model for other multiuse parks. Our formalized partnership with Friends of the Hudson River Park drove fundraising to neverbefore-seen levels. Even in a tough financial climate, construction began on the next park section in Tribeca. At the same time, Superstorm Sandy caused significant damage up and down the park. (The electricity is still off in many sections.) Earlier in the year, a majority of Pier 54 — the spot where Titanic survivors returned to shore — had to be closed down due to pile conditions. And the continuing, rapid deterioration of Pier 40 resulted in closed stairwells, restrooms and public spaces. To be simplistic, the Hudson River Park Trust’s job is to be a steward on behalf of the park — to help ensure the park is operating in the best possible manner while staying true to the intent and vision of the original Hudson River Park Act that launched the park. It is with that rather elementary notion in mind that we have been working alongside our elected officials, neighborhood leaders and the community as part of a Hudson River Park Task Force to amend the act. In conjunction with community boards and our task force (which includes elected officials, community boards, environmental organizations and other leaders), we achieved much in the last calendar year, including: • Broad support for advancing a Neighborhood Improvement District; • Agreement to include Pier 76 as a revenuegenerating pier with broader commercial uses and longer lease terms; • Agreement on ideas that would reduce park maintenance costs;

• Openness to consider fees from certain passenger ships, and; • Willingness to consider some new uses at Pier 40, such as offices. We have reached agreement on a great many steps that will help to meet challenges that the framers of the park act could have never foreseen. But now — with a goal of pushing legislation forward sometime during Albany’s spring session — is when we must take on the biggest challenge of all, one that will determine the entire park’s long-term viability. Namely, what should we do about Pier 40? From the beginning, and contrary to the rumor that we are solely focused on a scenario involving residential development, the Trust has been clear that it is interested in hearing any and all ideas for Pier 40 that accomplish three separate goals: •Generate enough revenue to fix Pier 40 and help maintain a significant portion of the park. (The revenue from Pier 40 has historically provided maintenance for roughly 40 percent of the entire park.) • Maintain, or preferably expand, the existing amount of open space and play areas at Pier 40

On the second point, with the increasing number of children moving into the Lower West Side, we now find Pier 40’s ball fields to be booked solid during the spring, summer and fall. Perhaps it is time to realize that the status quo is no longer good enough and increase our park space. And let’s be plain about what is happening at Pier 40 and why time is of the essence. Many of the issues with Pier 40 are obvious: the severely dilapidated roof, the aged utilities that have complicated restoring Pier 40 postSandy, and numerous shuttered amenities, such as public bathrooms. And while all of these visible issues cost dollars that the park doesn’t have, what can’t be seen is even more threatening and costly than what can. Underneath Pier 40, the thousands of piles on which the pier literally stands continue to erode. While these piles do not all need to be repaired immediately, we can neither responsibly ignore them, nor hope for a solution that ignores how their

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officials and community leaders. We will also recap some of the ideas from the previous two failed request for proposals (R.F.P.’s) on Pier 40 for context. We are hopeful that discussion about these and other ideas that may come forward will help build consensus about what uses could work best on the pier while meeting the three criteria laid our above. We also know that Community Board 2 is planning something similar for the public. We look forward to participating in that discussion, since it is only through the most transparent process through which the best of ideas can be presented and studied, and hopefully form the foundation of the R.F.P. process. With our push for legislation now moved to the spring, we have but a couple of short months to hammer out the remaining items that will result in changes to the park that will ensure its viability in the future. We are hopeful and confident that our upcoming discussion will help set in motion a plan to transform Pier 40 from a dilapidated, crumbling structure to a strong anchor of the park that ensures the entire park’s continued success in the decades to come. Wils is C.E.O and president, Hudson River Park Trust

• Occur in a timely fashion in order to save Pier 40.

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repair costs will affect any future proposal for Pier 40. The Trust stands firmly behind the estimates we have presented previously — which are based on actual costs for similar pile repair of this type — and looks forward to presenting them again in the coming months if there are still questions. In the months ahead, we also want to hear ideas about how we can best utilize Pier 40 to accomplish the three goals listed above. The Trust is not a developer, and we are therefore thankful that there is no dearth of good ideas from those who have Pier 40’s — and the park’s — best interest at heart. There is of course one major caveat in the post-Sandy world. Now when we talk about what kind of development is appropriate on Pier 40 or anywhere else in the park, there is a new normal that we must adhere to. We must make sure that whatever is built, structures are hardened against the kind of damage that storms like Sandy can produce. We must also take a careful look at uses proposed for the ground-floor levels along the waterfront. At the upcoming task force meeting this month, we’ve asked those who have presented ideas in other forums and venues to make official presentations to our group of elected

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Photo by Erik MacGregor

Tryin’ to see Mayan signs amid the shopocalypse On the night of Dec. 21, Reverend Billy and his Church of Stop Shopping brethren swarmed Times Square to search for signs of the Mayan apocalypse. Gazing skyward, they tried to “look past a thousand corporate logos” to find a strip of sky heralding the end of, hopefully not the world, but at least consumerism. The world continues…and so does consumerism.

January 3 - 16, 2013



"HOW TO MAXIMIZE YOUR ONLINE PRESENCE" From left, Fran Luck and Carl Rosenstein picketed outside the Tarrytown real estate office of Ronald Friedman on Monday.

Vegan mecca’s supporters ride rails to protest baker’s eviction BY PETE DOLACK Neighborhood activists picketed the Tarrytown offices of the landlord whose high rents have forced the Whole Earth Bakery to shut its doors after two decades on St. Mark’s Place. The Dec. 28 action came a day before the popular vegan bakery’s final day, and amidst a steady stream of fans and patrons who consoled proprietor Peter Silvestri upon hearing the news in midDecember. The bakery was remembered by patrons as a friendly community space where regulars were greeted with a hug by Silvestri, who often donated his vegan goodies to help community events. The bakery’s closing was seen as not only a blow to the East Village — where mom-and-pop businesses integrated into the neighborhood are steadily being forced out of business by rapidly rising rents — but as symbolic of gentrification. The group of seven activists, organized by Fran Luck, who traveled to Tarrytown in Westchester County were backed by many others who could not travel. Among them were artists Seth Tobocman and Jenny Gonzalez-Blitz, who made signs that the picketers carried, and an anonymous donor who underwrote the MetroNorth fare for those who could not have otherwise participated.

Equating landlord Ronald Friedman with the Dickens character Ebenezer Scrooge, the activists walked a picket line in front of Friedman’s suburban office and spoke to passing office workers for close to two hours. They held a speakout — which was videotaped for future YouTube presentation — in which they demanded commercial rent control and an end to tax write-offs for properties left vacant because of gentrifying rents. After picketing, the activists went inside in an attempt to speak to the landlord. His office was closed for the holiday, however, and they left a copy of their flier, titled “Merry Christmas Mr. Scrooge,” under his office door. “We went up to Tarrytown because landlords who pull the strings on our community from afar, and without any consequence, should know that we will come to their communities to respond,” Luck said. Whole Earth Bakery’s rent rose from $1,100 a month in 1991 to $5,300, an increase about three times faster than the rate of inflation. Proprietor Silvestri worked seven days a week at his bakery, only to have all his revenue go to the landlord, who could thus afford to take off for the holiday, the protestors said during the action.

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Friends (left to right) Doe, 21; Kay, 22; Jay, 21 Live: Baruch Houses (Lower East Side) Spotted: Outside Baruch Houses, on Pitt St. near Delancey St. Defining moment of 2012: After being incarcerated, Kay regained his freedom this year. New Year’s resolution: To get jobs, and to change our lifestyles. We want to move forward, not backward.

Moshena Ross, 16 (with sister Monae Ross, 6) Live: The Bronx Spotted: Pitt and Stanton Sts. Defining moment of 2012: Our aunt lives in Baruch Houses, and during Hurricane Sandy we were here to help her through the blackout and loss of water. New Year’s resolution: To keep my extended family in touch with each other. Last year we didn’t see each other or talk very much.

Doris Riegelnegg, 27 Works: Teacher Lives: Austria Spotted: Tompkins Square Park Defining moment of 2012: The birth of my cousin’s daughter, who’s my godchild. My cousin and I have a very special relationship, and as kids we promised that we be the godparents of each other’s children. New Year’s resolution: To learn salsa dancing, and to visit Sweden.

Carlos Jaimez, 10 (with mother, Paula Jaimez, 39) Live: East Village Spotted: Avenue C, between Fifth and Sixth Sts. Defining moment of 2012: It’s hard for us to pay our rent, so my dad had to work harder, during the day and at night, so we could afford it. New Year’s resolution: To help my mom take care of my brother [2 years old] and my sister [6 months old].

What was your defining moment of 2012? Interviews and photos by Sam Spokony


The Villager took to the streets on the afternoon of Mon., Dec. 31, to ask locals and visitors alike about their most memorable moment of last year, and their resolution for the new year. Some responses highlighted key events in the city or the nation, and others were more personal, reminding us of the humanity and society we all share.

Joe Pintauti, 28 Works: For a nonprofit Lives: Tucson, Arizona Spotted: Washington Square Park Defining moment of 2012: When I was working at Whole Foods, and I realized that I just wasn’t happy with my life. New Year’s resolution: I’m going to Mexico City soon, and I want to follow that by seeing South America.

Raul Zamudio, 53 Works: Curator, art critic, professor Lives: West Village Spotted: Washington Square Park Defining moment of 2012: I was able to overcome what could have been a fatal disease, and it helped me realize that my family is more important than my profession. New Year’s resolution: Ironically, I plan to work even more diligently on my projects this year, because I was often distracted from them last year.

Lyssette Horne, 28 Works: Homeless rights activist/mentor Lives: Harlem Spotted: Astor Place Defining moment of 2012: When Mitt Romney said he would cut funding to PBS, and the public outcry in response to that. New Year’s resolution: To continue working in a field that gives back to the communities of which I’m a part.

Anne Lewison, “over 45” Works: Architect Lives: Lower East Side Spotted: Essex and Delancey Sts. Defining moment of 2012: The experience of Hurricane Sandy. It was remarkable to watch the neighborhood make such a huge adjustment, and the storm was an enormous equalizer, since everyone around here lost power, regardless of their living situation. New Year’s resolution: After Sandy, we need to be more aware of how to handle the environmental changes we’ve wrought.

January 3 - 16, 2013


EASTVILLAGERARTS&ENTERTAINMENT An array of musical moods from improvisers, songwriters Winter season brings musical diversity to Downtown BY SAM SPOKONY If you’re like me, the idea of actually following through on a typical New Year’s resolution has become a meaningless myth. Quit smoking? Meh. Stop eating McDonald’s or go back to the gym? Maybe next year. Make more money? No thanks. I’m good with my ramen and shared two-bedroom in Bed-Stuy. On the other hand, with both the supposed apocalypse and several genuine disasters behind us, I do think that the end of 2012 has brought with it an excitingly unpredictable future for all of us. What better way to celebrate than by opening your ears and embracing new (or old) colors dashed amid an endless aural palette? Downtown’s winter season is packed with improvisers and songwriters who represent an array of musical moods — but what’s especially great is the diversity of ethnicities and nationalities that’s about to hit the scene. We’ve got African roots, a group of Scandinavian electro-rockers and, as always, a few domestic mainstays. As if that weren’t enough, some of these gigs feature album releases from young performers on the cutting edge — and everyone knows it’s cooler to be one of the first to hear those new tunes live. So, as I curse the arrival of sub-freezing temperatures, here are my picks through

Photo by Michael Weintrob

Vocalist Andrea Wolper celebrates her birthday alongside her trio, at the West Village’s Bar Next Door, on Jan. 14.

March. Keep an open mind this year! And remember, people…music is always there to share the golden secrets that hide within our culture of fear and lies!

JAZZ Andrea Wolper is, I think, one of the best vocalists you’re going to hear these days — and it’s because her creativity and musicianship consistently stretch beyond generic limitations. I’m an especially big fan of her work with pianist Connie Crothers — a disciple of free jazz pioneer Lennie Tristano — as part of TranceFormation; and on Jan. 14, Wolper will perform at the Bar Next Door, 129 MacDougal St. (btw. W. Third & Fourth Sts.) in a trio with TranceFormation bassist Ken Filiano and guitarist Michael Howell, another one of her regular sidemen. They’ll play two 75-minute sets, one at 8:30pm and another at 10:30pm, and the $12 cover must be paid at the door. And on a side note, Wolper will be celebrating her birthday that night (even though it’s not really until Jan. 16). Ever the gentleman, I decided not to ask her age. When strong musical traditions merge across continental boundaries, beautiful things happen. A perfect example is Afrobeat — which blends African rhythms, jazz harmonies and funk attitude to create a soulful, high-energy atmosphere. And it’s not hard to argue that multi-instrumentalist Femi Kuti and The Positive Force remain the top suppliers of those particular jams. The son of activist and Afrobeat pioneer Fela Kuti, Femi will lead his ensemble at Webster Hall, 125 E. 11th St. (btw. Third & Fourth Aves.) on Jan. 26, for an 8pm set. Tickets cost $30, and can be purchased in advance by visiting and searching for the artist or venue. Only a handful of mid-century jazz icons are still going strong in the 21st century, and Ron Carter is certainly one of them. The 75-year-old bassist has become a veritable institution, gaining fame with Miles Davis’ second “great quintet” in the early 60s and subsequently appearing on thousands of albums, including dozens as a leader. What does this mean, you ask? It means that when the guy’s playing Downtown, you take out your wallet and get your ass there! Fortunately for us, Carter and his quartet — featuring pianist Renee Rosnes, drummer Payton Crossley and percussionist Rolando Morales-Matos — are playing every night from Feb. 5-10 at the Blue Note, 131 W. Third St. (btw. MacDougal St. & Sixth Ave.). They’ll perform two sets each night, one at 8pm and another at 10:30pm. Bar

Photo by Takehiko Tokiwa

Bassist Ron Carter will join his quartet for six nights at the Blue Note, starting on Feb. 5.

seating is $20 per person, while each table seat costs $35 — but remember, only table seats can be purchased in advance! For tickets, visit I always like to include at least one player whose musical experience spans the oft-crossed gap between jazz and classical. This winter, Argentinean pianist Fernando Otero is a great choice in that regard — not just because of his worthy skills, but because his March 2 concert at 92Y Tribeca celebrates the release of his new album, “Romance,” which features 11 tunes written by Otero and performed by a nine-piece group that includes strings and vocals. The pianist’s rich compositions are characterized by a sense of tonal exploration that shifts between tender, flowing melodies and dense counterpoint. The gig will be played at 92Y Tribeca’s Mainstage, at 200 Hudson St. (btw. Vestry & Desbrosses Sts.) at 9pm, and tickets cost $12. To purchase in advance, visit

INDIE We find another record release taking place over in West Village, this one for lo-fi rockers Ducktails, whose new

album “The Flower Lane” will be performed in its entirety. Led by singer/ guitarist Matt Mondanile, Ducktails has morphed over the years from a solo project into a more adventurous, full band effort. That should be especially apparent on the new album, which features more diverse instrumentation, like synths and saxes, along with laid back tunes that are less hipster and more head nod. You can catch the release show at Le Poisson Rouge, 158 Bleecker St. (btw. Sullivan & Thompson Sts.) on Jan. 23, starting at 8:30pm. Tickets cost $12 in advance and $15 at the door, and can be purchased online at Scandinavian people are just nicer than Americans! I learned this firsthand in 2011, when, while working for a different rag, I went to Oslo, Norway to interview a jazzturned-electro-pop trio named Pelbo. And now, you can have the treat of seeing Urban Cone, a group of forward-thinking Swedes — vocalist Rasmus Flyckt, keyboardist Jacob Sjöberg, guitarist Tim Formgren, bassist Emil Gustafsson and drummer Magnus Folkö (they

Continued on page 19

1 6 January 3 - 16, 2013

Deconstruction Ahead COIL Fest springs, as PS122 stretches its muscles THEATER PERFORMANCE SPACE 122’S 2013 COIL FESTIVAL

January 3-19 At various venues in multiple boroughs Single ticket prices vary, ticket packages available For tickets, or Call 212-352-3101

BY SCOTT STIFFLER Cast out of necessity in the role of a nomad determined to use his tribe’s time in exile to refine their mission and expand their territory, Performance Space 122 Artistic Director Vallejo Gantner’s vision for the future would be fully funded if potent metaphors had cash value. Consider this one a down payment: Tightly wound with thematically kindred works of dance and theater, PS122’s multi-borough COIL Festival is set to spring. That, and opportunities presented by displacement, were the topics of our recent phone conversation with Gantner — whose signal remained strong as his cab entered a tunnel midway through the story of how 18 months spent rejuvenating the 150 First Ave. facade was a mere prelude to 24 more months of “meat and potatoes” work (beginning in February 2013) which will revitalize the venerable not-for-profit arts center’s interior. Meantime, the once and future home of PS122 isn’t entirely dormant. Its second floor space has gone from a functioning theater to a site-specific COIL venue. “There’s no seating,” explains Gantner, “so the audience is standing, and the performance happens amidst them. Hence the title.” The second installment of Czech-born, New York-based choreographer Pavel Zuštiak’s four-hour “The Painted Bird” trilogy, “Amidst” recalls the boundaryshattering experience of Part I (“Bastard”) — where dancers planted throughout the audience unexpectedly swarmed the stage. Furthering that notion of observer as participant, “Amidst” uses PS122’s gutted theater to encourage audience members to “move freely amidst a sensory immersive installation at the intersection of dance performance, visual art and live music” that (metaphor alert!) “focuses on nostalgia as a place of entrapment on a journey home.”

Photo by Paula Court

“Inflatable Frankenstein!” mashes the monster’s fictional creator and Mary Shelley.

With the return to First Ave. at least two years away, Gantner is firmly entrenched in the task of cultivating a more evolved aesthetic that should be in full effect when the staff, crew and artists return to their East Village home. “We’ve been planning on being out of the building for a long time,” says Gantner, “so we created seasons that really thought about what it meant to not have a historical home. We realized this was a huge opportunity to find new audiences in other boroughs and in other parts of the world. So we’re creating a touring program internationally and reconceiving how we operate as a presenter of live performance. What does it mean to be a commissioner? What does it mean to present and produce? We need to be asking bigger questions, to really be engaged with audiences in different and innovative ways.” And with that, Gantner lets go with his closer — which, if achieved across the board and with season-to-season consistency, will go a long way in addressing the fatal flaw that keeps so many Downtown endeavors from making the great leap from brilliant premise to skilled execution. “It can’t be half-baked,” he says of both production values and general preparedness. “We see this in a lot of work. It doesn’t have the time and capacity to finish itself. You can’t have a job and rehearse at night and on the weekend. Audiences aren’t served by that, because they’re not getting work that’s fully realized.” Artists, Gantner asserts, “need to be given economic and production tools. They need to be focused and obsessively making the work. They do not need to spend six hours a day hunting down free studio space. The whole Downtown experimental avant-garde; that sector is predicated on artists who work for free, who do not earn a living from their work. But the performing arts are valuable. They’re important and critical to the economy of New York. And at a certain point, we need to engage that, to make it sustainable.” To facilitate that, he notes, “We decided to pay people properly, everybody in the room who’s engaged in the show. So we’re putting a lot more money than we used to into projects.” Three times, more, estimates Gantner, who says they’ve hired two creative producers “dedicated to making sure that every piece is realized to the fullest possible extent. That means finding co-producers and grants. That means making sure the way marketing talks about a show is actually what the show is.” As it applies to COIL, at least, PS122 seems to have nailed that last one. Asked if he set out to stack the festival with a

Photo by Megan Green

Theater in the ruins: “Amidst” takes place inside PS122’s gutted second floor theater space.

Continued on page 17

January 3 - 16, 2013


Far from home, PSš22 refines its mission

Photo by Alex Reeves

Peggy Shaw ponders post-stroke identity, in “Ruff.�

Continued from page 16 specific point of view, Gantner maintains that any similarities to be found within the six dance and five theater works were happy accidents — but when pressed, he does cop to certain intriguing themes that emerge through even the most cursory glance at COIL’s press release. “It’s just the vibe at the moment,� observes Gantner of works that use iconic characters as a means to contemplate notions of self. “Maybe there’s something about the way we have virtual lives,� he offers. It seems like a reasonable (if only partial) explanation for why Brian Rogers’

Photo by Michael De Angelis

The cast of Half Straddle’s “Seagull (Thinking of you)� compliments, and contrasts, their Chekhovian counterparts.

drunken live performance of “Hot Box� invokes the physical trials actors underwent in making “Apocalypse Now,� or how Radiohole’s “Inflatable Frankenstein!� mashes the monster’s fictional creator and author Mary Shelley — whose imagination conjured both the mad scientist and his reanimated Id. And then there’s Kristen Kosmas’ “There There� — in which an ill-prepared female proofreader subs for an injured Christopher Walken after his mysterious fall from a ladder while touring Russia in a solo show inspired by sociopath Vassily Vasilyevich Solyony from Chekhov’s “Three Sisters.� The abundance of doppelgangers in COIL, says Gantner, could be a reflec-

tion of how “we’re kind of self-creating,� by invoking identities forged remotely through social media. “We’re branding ourselves. We see that in Tina Satter’s piece.� In “Seagull (Thinking of you),� writer and director Satter uses various translations of Chekhov’s 1895 work “The Seagull� as well as the playwright’s own letters to ponder what makes us human. Adding another layer of complexity, Satter has cast her “Seagull� with performers who are “oddly resonant counterpoints and matches� to the Chekhov characters. On the other end of the spectrum, says Gantner, 68-year-old actor, producer and playwright Peggy Shaw’s “Ruff� addresses

the aftermath of her 2011 stroke by confronting, “the absences that are created by the loss of self, and having to reinvent one’s self and re-find one’s memories, friends and history.� Shaw’s fractured narrative quest to retrieve the eccentric personas that have lived inside her for decades while filling that post-stroke “blank space with new insights� fits nicely with the Gantner’s commitment to art that asks questions for the sake of evolution rather than endgame answers. “These works,� Gantner says, “exist in a space that’s idea-driven. I think they are accessible and meaningful, but they don’t need to be literal. It gives the power of creation back to the audience.�


DON’T TELL MOTHER Written by PETER WELCH Directed by CLARK KEE Thursday - Sunday January 3 - 13 Thu-Sat 8pm, Sun 3pm All Seats $10/tdf


With Support from Marie-JosĂŠ Malis Compagnie La Llevantina, France

Thursday - Sunday January 3-13 Thu-Sat 8pm, Sun 3pm All Seats $15/tdf



Thursday - Sunday January 10 - 27 Thurs - Sat at 8pm Sunday at 3pm All Seats $15 Studt’s & Seniors $10

TNC’s Programs are funded in part by the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs and the New York State Council on the Arts

1 8 January 3 - 16, 2013


BARBARA RUDIN’S “CHRISTMAS ON EARTH” Boo-Hooray Gallery extends the holiday season through the middle of the month, with an exhibit comprised of images and ephemera from 1963’s “Christmas on Earth.” Filmed at 56 Ludlow St. (which at the time was occupied by John Cale and Tony Conrad, and later home to Lou Reed and Sterling Morrison), “Christmas on Earth” was among the first sexually explicit films of America’s post-war avant-garde. All about “fantasies that freely expressed our sexual needs and dreaming beliefs” painted on the nude bodies of both gays and straights, filmmaker Barbara Rudin spent three months “chopping the hours of film up into a basket” until its contents were ultimately separated onto two different reels, with one reel projected at half size inside the other reel’s full-screen image. In 1966, the film was projected onto the performing Velvet Underground as a part of Andy Warhol Up-Tight (an early incarnation of his Exploding Plastic Inevitable multimedia events). Rudin, who introduced Bob Dylan to Allen Ginsberg (and, according to John Cale, Edie Sedgwick to Andy Warhol), died in 1980 (in childbirth, in France) at the age of 35. In conjunction with the exhibition,

Photo by Alex Colby

Come Jan. 18, Velocity Chyaldd and her scantily clad cronies celebrate nine years of !BadAss! Burlesque.

be screened at Anthology Film Archives at 7:30pm on Wed., Jan. 9. Boo-Hooray is also publishing a limited edition book of still images from the film, which comes with an extended biographical essay and bibliography by art historian Daniel Belasco, alongside rare ephemera and correspondence. Free. Through Tues., Jan. 15. At BooHooray Gallery (265 Canal St., 6th Fl., btw. Broadway & Lafayette). For more info, visit

is bound and determined to get you off by any means necessary. This upcoming probe of humanity’s dark psyche (among other hidden recesses) uses its post-apocalyptic theme to mine the erotic potential of zombies, cannibals, werewolves, cult leaders, aliens, mutants, Mayans, pagans, Shiva, Jesus and Satan himself. World Famous *BOB* and Michael FORMIKA Jones host, welcoming toxic hotties and atomic insurgents including Reverend Mother Flash, Rosabelle Salavey, Velocity Chyaldd, Delysia LaChatte, Magdalena Fox, Julie Atlas Muz, Misty Meaner, Legs Malone, Fem Appeal, Danger Doll, Anna Evans, Mocha Lite, Mat Fraser, Jo Boobs, Ammo and Tigger. Stage Masters Faceboy and SuperMorgan are also on the bill, and Stage Kitten Amanda Whip will transform the simple task of cleaning up between acts into a compelling act of slinky provocation. Fri., Jan. 18, 1am-4am, at The Kraine Theater (85 E. Fourth St., btw. Bowery & Second Ave.). Admission is $15. For reservations and info, call 212-460-0982. For more info: or BadAssBurlesque.

Through Sun., Jan. 20. At the Barrow Street Theatre (27 Barrow St., at Seventh Ave. South). For tickets ($79.50), call 212-868-4444, visit or purchase in person at the box office, open at 1pm daily. Performance schedule: Tues.Fri. at 7:30pm and Sat./Sun. at 2:30pm & 7:30pm. For more info: and


See Armitage Gone! Dance, Jan. 12, on the Dance Gotham bill.



Image courtesy of Boo-Hooray Gallery

Still from “Christmas on Earth” (doubleprojected 16mm film, 1963).

“Christmas on Earth” and “To Barbara Rubin With Love” (by Jonas Mekas) will

Velocity Chyaldd’s long-running burlesque revue ought to come with a warning for prudes, squares and minors — just like her show’s website does. Both take that standard disclaimer (“contains sexually explicit material”) and wear it, along with little else besides a thin leather strap, like a badge of honor. An unapologetic skin show as interested in mental stimulation as physical thrills, “!BadAss! Burlesque”

Photo by Julieta Cervantes

Photo by Gregory Costanzo

“Tribes,” at the Barrow Street Theatre, closes Jan. 20.

The most nominated new play of the 2012 season is set to close in early 2013, after almost 400 regular performances at the Barrow Street Theatre. Directed by David Cromer (whose outstanding production of “Our Town” also had a similarly long, acclaimed run at Barrow Street) and written by Nina Raine, “Tribes” concerns the emotional awakening of Billy — who, born deaf into a hearing family, ventures beyond his parents’ politically incorrect and idiosyncratic cocoon when he meets a young woman on the brink of deafness.

Presented as part of Gotham Arts Exchange’s FOCUS 2013 event, Dance Gotham’s annual performance series at the Skirball Center expands to three nights, with an expanded roster of companies whose aesthetic ranges from post-modern athleticism to seasoned theatricality. Among the offerings: Keigwin + Company’s “12 Chairs,” Parsons Dance’s “A Stray’s Lullaby,” Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo’s “Patterns in Space,” Armitage Gone! Dance’s “Quantum” (an excerpt from “Three Theories”), Aspen Santa Fe Ballet’s “Square None” and Lucky Plush Productions’ “Cinderbox 2.0.” FOCUS 2013 events are also taking place at New York City Center and Chelsea’s The Joyce Theater (where Parsons Dance will have a stand-alone run Jan. 15-27). Dance Gotham is presented (with varying performers on each night’s bill) Fri., Jan. 11 & Sat., Jan. 12 at 8pm and Sun., Jan. 13 at 7pm. At NYU’s Skirball Center for the Performing Arts (566 LaGuardia Place, at Washington Square South). For tickets ($18), call 212-352-3101 or visit For info on other FOCUS 2013 events, visit

January 3 - 16, 2013


A blizzard of jazz, indie and record release gigs Continued from page 15 have better names, too) — when they hit up The Mercury Lounge, 217 E. Houston St. (btw. Ludlow & Essex Sts.) on Jan. 24. The five-piece has a tight, electronic sound that packs an aggressive punch without ever getting cheesy, with steady rock beats holding it all together. After Ski Lodge opens the show at 6:30pm, Urban Cone will take the stage at 7:30pm. Tickets cost $12, and can be purchased in advance at Although you’ll generally find me in the jazz bars these days, my time as a suburban youth was mainly spent listening to the kind of post-punk/alt-rock/whatever that all the kids were digging around the turn of the millennium — and that’s the kind of throwback feeling I get while hearing Balance and Composure. So if you’re up for some distortion, edgy vocals and moody songwriting, check those guys out on Feb. 24 for their set at Bowery Ballroom, 6 Delancey St. (btw. Bowery & Chrystie St.). The show starts at 8pm, and also features opening acts The Jealous Sound and Daylight. Tickets cost $13 in advance and $15 at the door, and can be purchased online at The Canadian five-piece Stars have certainly earned their continued presence on the indie scene over the past dozen years, with a sound that ranges from up-tempo, synth-laden jams to reserved chamber pop. They also released a new album of their own, “The North,” in September — so go check out how those new tunes sound live! Stars will perform with opener Milo Greene on both Mar. 8 and 9 at the Music Hall of Williamsburg, 66 N. Sixth St., Brooklyn (btw. Kent & Wythe Aves.). The show starts at 9pm, and tickets cost $25. To purchase online, visit That’s that! And on a more serious note — since I haven’t been around the arts section in a while — I think it’s worth mentioning that, even though they may not have all sustained physical damage, the vast majority of Downtown arts venues did take a serious financial hit as a result of Hurricane Sandy. The storm took place over two months ago, and those in Manhattan — unlike, sadly, some other affected areas — are by this point finishing the recovery process and moving on with their lives. Let’s not forget that, as true music fans, this is a time at which we should be really, really, really focused on supporting our local sources of live entertainment. As they reemerge, we need to be there. So whether it’s the venues I’ve listed above, or your own favorite hole in the wall, go check out a show soon. Buy a few drinks. Tip the bartender — and imagine how awful it would be if the world’s hippest scene didn’t exist right outside your door. In the meantime, happy listening! Stay warm! If you have any questions, suggestions or hidden secrets about sweet shows on and under the Downtown radar, drop me a line at

Photo by Danielle Parsons

Balance and Composure, a five-piece from Doylestown, PA, will rock out at the Bowery Ballroom on Feb. 24.

Photo courtesy of the artist

Femi Kuti and The Positive Force will bring good vibes to Webster Hall on Jan. 26.

Photo courtesy of the artists

Hailing from Stockholm, Sweden, the five members of Urban Cone will make a stop at the Mercury Lounge on Jan. 24.

2 0 January 3 - 16, 2013

Photo by Tequila Minsky

Opponents of hydrofracking and the Spectra pipeline project held a protest at Gansevoort Peninsula in early December.

Spectra pipeline case fuels a big day for attorneys BY EILEEN STUKANE Lawyers were out in force on Tues., Dec. 18, when State Supreme Court Justice Eileen A. Rakower heard the petition presented by Sane Energy Project — in association with five other environmental groups and several individuals — against the Hudson River Park Trust for granting an easement for Spectra Energy’s high-pressure gas pipeline. Sane Energy is bringing suit against the Trust on the grounds that the authority failed to comply with New York State’s Environmental Quality Review Act, or SEQRA, when it allowed Spectra to lease the Gansevoort Peninsula for its natural gas pipeline. In addition to the environmental issue, Sane’s legal filing also states that the Trust has violated the Hudson River Park Act by granting a 30-year lease to Spectra for nonpark use. The presence of the newly constructed Spectra natural gas pipeline, which crosses under the Hudson River from New Jersey to a terminal vault by the Gansevoort Peninsula, is raising concern among Greenwich Village residents in regard to possible health risks from the radioactive radon inherent in natural gas, and safety risks from possible explosions. These issues were referenced by lawyers at the Dec. 18 hearing, but they were not the focus of the court case. With space at a premium in the hearing room, seven lawyers from Spectra Energy, the parent company to Texas

Eastern Transmission and Algonquin Transmission, were seated as spectators along a wall in an area normally reserved for a jury. Seated before the judge were five lawyers representing various interests: Shira Rosenblatt for Con Edison; Jeffrey Loop for Texas Eastern; Elizabeth Knauer for the Trust; and Jeff Zimmerman and Jonathan Geballe for Sane Energy. Sane was the “petitioner” but it would be a while before the Sane lawyer was heard. Knauer, the lawyer representing the Trust, was first to speak. She requested that the case be dismissed. Knauer argued that the Con Edison 1,500-foot extension of the Spectra pipeline from the West Side Highway to Con Ed’s distribution terminal at W. 15th St. was outside the Trust’s jurisdiction. She also cited the Natural Gas Act, previous legal cases and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s environmental impact statement, or E.I.S., as pre-empting any need for the Trust to conduct further environmental studies. As far as the issue of radon and the risk of explosion of the pipeline, she said, “FERC’s E.I.S. takes care of that.” For those representing environmental groups, that was equivalent to hearing that the fox was guarding the henhouse. Rakower questioned whether the Trust could have refused to give Spectra Energy the 30-year lease to traverse Gansevoort Peninsula with its pipeline. “Two million dollars seems a little bit for 30 years,” she added. The Trust received just under $2.8

million from Spectra Energy at the lease’s signing. The lease states that this is “payment in lieu of taxes for the 30-year term.” Knauer responded that if the Trust had refused to allow an easement and not negotiated, Spectra would have taken over the land it wanted to use through eminent domain. During the hearing, a Spectra lawyer from the jury box stood to explain that Spectra usually does not negotiate or offer money since it has the right to eminent domain, and that Spectra wanted to work with the Trust in regard to the digging area for pipeline construction, plantings, protections. What wasn’t mentioned in court is that, according to the lease, Spectra still retains the right to eminent domain and can call upon it at any time. Getting back to environmental concerns, Con Edison’s Rosenblatt said that the utility isn’t required to do an environmental study in order to construct a pipeline from the highway (where the Spectra pipeline ends) along 10th Ave. to W. 15th St. Department of Transportation permits for digging up the streets are all that is needed for the 30-inch pipeline to be installed, and there are thousands of feet of such 30-inch transport pipelines already in place throughout the city, she noted. Jeffrey Loop, a lawyer for Texas Eastern, reiterated that FERC had conducted an E.I.S. and that the petitioners were seeking to halt the pipeline and nothing else. He also added that since Spectra’s was a federally approved pipeline, any legal

action should take place in a federal court. Finally, Zimmerman, one of Sane’s lawyers, stated that the FERC E.I.S. was for an interstate pipeline, and that FERC’s interstate authority ends at the city’s borders. According to the Hudson River Park Act of 1998, the Trust “shall be subject to article 8 of the environmental conservation law,” which is now absorbed into SEQRA. Sane’s argument is that the Trust ignored its legal responsibility to address the environmental concerns of the park in its care. “There were measures that could have been applied but the Trust gave them away with the lease for the easement,” said Zimmerman. He also argued that, according to the park act, once the city’s Department of Sanitation facilities are removed from Gansevoort Peninsula, the park is to be used solely for park use. Land used for the Spectra pipeline would not be “park use,” he declared. The arguments ended. No ruling was made. Rakower allowed all the parties to present their views and the hearing was over. The question now is whether she will dismiss the case or allow the environmental groups’ lawsuit to proceed. It could be weeks or months until the lawyers are notified of her decision. Since permits still have to be secured, Con Ed doesn’t plan to begin constructing its northward extension of the pipeline until this coming April. The new Spectra pipeline is in place on Gansevoort but not in service.

January 3 - 16, 2013


Photo by Clayton Patterson

Cro-Mags crank it up Hardcore stalwarts the Cro-Mags are back playing in New York City. Their packed show at the Highline Ballroom on Sun., Dec. 30, filled with ferocious music and stage-diving fans, was “off the hook,” according to Lower East Side photographer Clayton Patterson. The band’s John Joseph, singing above, recently completed his latest Iron Man triathlon.

Photo by Sam Spokony

Chickens join children in an L.E.S. Magical Garden The Children’s Magical Garden has some new occupants — and those guests are already clucking their approval. The 18 chickens are being kept in a pen at the community garden, at the corner of Stanton and Norfolk Sts., until March, according to C.M.G. Director Kate Temple-West. The fowls are officially under the care of Earth Matter, an environmental education group, and are normally kept in the organization’s learning center on Governors Island. Temple-West said Earth Matter had reached out because they needed a place to keep the chickens for the winter, and the garden was happy to oblige. She added that area residents are welcome to sign up to help care for the chickens for a day — with the added incentive that volunteers will be rewarded with some free eggs at the end of their shifts.

2 2 January 3 - 16, 2013




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street access. Space can be divided to accommodate requirement. Secure space beneath neighorhood bar. Send email to schedule visit.

Sound off! Write a letter to The Editor

January 3 - 16, 2013


Photo by Sarah Ferguson

Passersby posed in front of Nicolina’s Portal 1 on Avenue C. It wasn’t known if they later disappeared through the portal only to re-emerge in ancient Yucatan.

Prepare to be transported! Street artist Nicolina strikes again with a series of Mayan-esque “portals” created with Brazilian artist Pérola Bonfanti. This is Portal 1, on the corner of a former bank on Seventh St. and Avenue C, which cleverly assimilates the building’s Masonic architecture for awesome effect. The trypitch — replete with jeweled scarab, Horus (the Egyptian falcon god) and scary Mayan face — has a QR code that you scan to receive instructions for how to “pass through” the portal by cracking its

“code.” Another portal (Portal 0) is up on the corner of Third St. and Second Ave. According to the Web site “Once all 13 portals have been completed, the shroud of mystery behind the works will be lifted, and the 13 portals’ esoteric secrets will be revealed.”

Sarah Ferguson

Volunteers Needed for a Gum Disease Study! The New York University College of Dentistry Bluestone Center for Clinical Research is seeking volunteers with and without gum disease to take part in a clinical research study. The purpose of this research study is to find out which germs make gum disease worse.

The study requires you to come visit our clinic for up to 14 visits. To qualify, you must: • Be at least 25 years old • Have at least 20 natural teeth • Have not used tobacco products for at least a year

Compensation provided for time and transportation At the end of the study participants will receive a full dental cleaning.

Contact Information:

212-998-9310 Principal Investigator, Patricia Corby, DDS, MS

2 4 January 3 - 16, 2013



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