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The Paper of Record for Greenwich Village, East Village, Lower East Side, Soho, Union Square, Chinatown and Noho, Since 1933

January 7, 2016 • $1.00 Volume 86 • Number 1

In New Year’s tragedy, aspiring rapper is killed by Grand St. elevator BY YANNIC RACK


Bronx man was crushed to death by a faulty elevator in a building on the Lower East Side moments before the rest of the city joined to ring in the new year. Stephen Hewett-Brown, 25, an aspiring rapper, was reportedly heading to a

New Year’s Eve celebration in the building when he stepped into an elevator at 131 Broome St. shortly before midnight on Dec. 31. When the elevator suddenly got stuck between floors, Hewett-Brown helped one of the tenants in the building, Erudi Sanchez, get out of it ELEVATOR continued on p. 11

Poetry and all that jazz; Soho’s Steve Dalachinsky on a life of feeling the flow BY DUSICA SUE MALESEVIC


on’t tag poet Steve Dalachinsky as a poet. “I don’t even like being called a poet — it’s a big label,” Dalachinsky said. “I don’t think anyone should be pigeonholed.” Dalachinsky, who has been a maker of verse since he was young, has written

books of poetry whose subjects range from free jazz to being a superintendent. A moment later, he reconsidered. “O.K., let’s put it this way, I’m a poet,” he said. “Or let’s put it more succinctly. What I’ve done for the better part of my life — besides DALACHINSKY continued on p. 8


A kiss, confetti and a selfie-stick photo of it all made a New Year’s Eve complete in Times Square.

The fight for fifteen BY AMANDA MORRIS


ozens of silver police barricades lining Centre and Lafayette Sts. barely contained the crowd of hundreds of protesters that gathered in Foley Square on Nov. 10. The boom of activist speakers’ voices reverberated throughout the streets of the Financial District. “How can we thrive if we are unable to survive?” Rahel Teka, a young female activist, thundered over the loudspeaker. “Without us,” she said,

getting louder, “there is no America, so it’s up to America to make sure that we survive!” The crowd roared their approval and hoisted their signs higher into the air. Among them were the tall purple banners of the 1199 SEIU healthcare workers union and the small blue circles of the Hotel Trades Council. The biggest of these signs, however, was a massive yellow lighted sign surrounded by Teamsters 804 UPS union members. Working together, the members hoisted their 5-foot-tall sign into the air and sud-

denly a bright 15 rose above everyone’s heads. This 15 served as an emblem for the continuing Fight for Fifteen movement, which is pushing for a $15 federal minimum wage. The protesters had been standing in the cold, dark, rainy weather since 4 p.m., but three hours later, the party had just begun. A full marching band played upbeat music and walked up Centre St., followed by two dancers decked out in sparkly silver pants, and a slew of minimum-wage workers FIGHT FOR 15 continued on p. 10

Clerics unite against Muslim 4 Coney Polar Bear plunge in 6 The colorful world of Mr. 19


The Villager • Jan. 7, 2016  


The Villager • Jan. 7, 2016