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MARCh 20-APRIL 2, 2013

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rare Peeks at the wooLworth BeFore the BuILdInG’s centennIaL By T e Re se L oe B KRe U Z e R n April 24, 1913, U.S. President Woodrow Wilson pushed a button in Washington, D.C. that fired up dynamos in the basement of the newly finished Woolworth building at 233 Broadway in New York City. The lights in the building flashed on all at once as thousands of people in City Hall Park watched. Thousands more stood on the New Jersey side of the Hudson River to see the spectacle. Newspaper accounts said that people out at sea, 100 miles away, witnessed the flash of electric light. At the time, the Woolworth


building at 792 feet was the tallest building in the world. It remained so until 1930, when the Chrysler building surpassed it. As the Woolworth building celebrates its centennial, it is, of course no longer anywhere near the tallest building even in New York City, but many people still consider it to be one of the city’s most beautiful skyscrapers. The exterior, with its delicate tracery of terra cotta ornamentation and its copper-clad roof, is a wellknown feature of the skyline. The interior of the Lower Manhattan building is less well known except to the Continued on page 26

statue oF LIBertY to oPen JuLY 4 By KAITLyN MeADe Lady Liberty will reopen by Independence Day, in time to catch the second half of summertime traffic. In a teleconference on March 19, U.S. Secretary of the Interior Kenneth Salazar said that statue was on track to open by July 4 of this year, bringing back much-needed jobs and tourism to Lower Manhattan. The iconic statue has been closed since Superstorm Sandy roared into the harbor on Oct. 29, 2012. “Hurricane Sandy inflicted major damage on facilities that support the Statue of Liberty — destroying the docks, crippling the ener-

gy infrastructure on Ellis Island and wiping out the security screening system — but we are fully committed to reopening this crown jewel as soon as it’s safe for visitors and not a second later,” said Salazar. Senator Charles Schumer, who was on the press call, was excited about the impact the reopening would have on the city’s economy. “Being open for the summer tourism season isn’t just important symbolically, it’s a boon to the city’s economy and businesses, as the statue attracts millions of tourists from all over the Continued on page 27

Downtown Express photo by scot surbeck

TOWERING RUN About 15,000 runners raced by the Freedom Tower on St. Patrick’s Day for the NYC Half Marathon Sunday. The race finished up at the Seaport.



March 20 - April 2, 2013

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Councilmember Margaret Chin told UnderCover Tuesday that a deal appears to be close to approve Howard Hughes Corp.’s plan to redevelop the South Street Seaport’s Pier 17. She did not rule out a full Council vote as soon as Wed., March 20. “We’re trying to make sure everything is put together,” she said March 19, but said she had not agreed to anything as of yet. She did not disclose the

deal’s terms and did say it was not finalized. She also said the New Market and Tin sites were not part of the negotiations since it was separate from the land use application. Previously, Chin has asked Hughes to allow Pier 17 tenants to stay through the busy summer season before it is demolished. She has also asked for an increase in public access and other design adjustments, along the lines of other opponents. If the deal is approved, it will likely be opposed by at least some in the Seaport who saw little in the Hughes plan they liked. After we spoke to Chin, Community Board 1’s Paul hovitz said at the board’s Seaport Committee meeting that Chin and City Council

Speaker Christine Quinn would be at a City Hall press conference Wed., 10 a.m. to announce a new food market to open at the Tin and New Market buildings. The Hughes firm has an option to develop those two sites also, and the market might be part of the deal to win Council approval. For her part, Quinn has long had her eye on opening a permanent food market at the Seaport.


“Daily Show” host Jon Stewart will be serving something besides his usual satire next month. As honorary chairman of the first 9/11 Memorial Run/Walk and Family Day, Stewart will lend his support to the September 11 Memorial &

Museum. On Sun., April 21, (the four-year anniversary of the date that President obama signed a law designating Sept. 11 as a National Day of Service and Remembrance) participants will run/walk a historic route that begins at on Pier 57 in Hudson River Park to raise funds for the Memorial. “As a resident of Lower Manhattan, I remember how we all came together after the 2001 attacks to recover, rebuild and remember,” Stewart, a memorial board member and Tribeca resident, said in a statement. “Let’s come together again… Get out there and run, walk, serve.” Family Day is free, and will take place from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Vesey St. between Church and Broadway.

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Battery Park City took on a whole new look March 8 with just a few inches of snow. One defiant jogger looked ready for the spring.

March 20 - April 2, 2013


Rajkumar readies to announce challenge to Chin By J o s h R o g e r s Saying Lower Manhattan needs “a stronger, more active voice on the City Council,” Jenifer Rajkumar is about to formally announce her bid to unseat Margaret Chin in this year’s Democratic primary. “When major developers come to the South Street Seaport, or to Greenwich Village, or to the Lower East Side, and we are deciding how the land will be used, I will always represent one thing and one thing only — the people that elected me, not any outside interests,” Rajkumar, a Democratic district leader and Battery Park City resident, said in a statement to Downtown Express. In two short phone interviews March 18, she said she had not decided on an announcement date, but she left little doubt it would be coming soon. She now has a few paid consultants, and according to a campaign press release, a final decision was “days away.” She declined to say much more before her announcement. Rajkumar, 30, is an attorney with Sanford Heisler L.L.P. She surprised, if not shocked, Downtown political observers in 2011 when she defeated the longtime incumbent district leader, Linda Belfer.

Downtown Express file photo by Terese Loeb Kreuzer

Jenifer Rajkumar singing last September for her neighbors at the annual Battery Park City block party.

Since then, Rajkumar has been an active presence Downtown, attending community board meetings and neighborhood events, and she’s a regular at her home political club, Downtown Independent Democrats.

She did not directly criticize Chin but did say she favored “bottom up democracy.” Chin’s opponents have criticized her for not consulting enough with community members on issues like New York

University’s development plans or on the creation of a business improvement district in Soho. It’s a charge Chin and her supporters dismiss as baseless. Before the issue was even raised in a short phone interview Tuesday, Chin, 58, said one of her proudest accomplishments was getting a plan approved for the Seward Park Urban Renewal Area after it was stalled for decades. “The whole community was able to come together to find a solution,” she said, adding that 50 percent of the apartments, 500, would be for low- and middle-income tenants. “I am proud of my record in the City Council and I am very confident the people in the district will vote for me overwhelmingly,” she said. She scoffed at Rajkumar’s veiled criticisms, saying “what have you done?” Both candidates say they have just about raised the $168,000 spending limit they will have this year, when you factor in the expected matching funds. Rajkumar, who has only been raising money for about two months, raised nearly $30,000 in the latest filing (including a karaoke fundraiser), bringing her total to just under $67,000. Chin took in $12,695 in her latest numbers bringing her up to $109,585.


March 20 - April 2, 2013


Police arrested a man wielding a large hammer on Pier 25 in the early morning hours of March 6 after breaking into a ship docked at the pier. Police reported that a man tried to break into a ship, The Nantucket, a privatelyowned charter ship that was tied up at the Tribeca pier near Harrison St. The man, Shlomo Avraham, 25, was charged with burglary, criminal possession of a controlled substance, possession of burglars’ tools, criminal mischief for property damage and possession of drug paraphernalia, according to a police spokesperson. Avraham reportedly climbed onboard and broke the hatch with a hammer at about 5:30 a.m. He was apprehended by police officers after a deckhand called the police. Safety on the pier has been a concern since Hudson River Park lost power on many of its piers during Hurricane Sandy. “The pier being dark at night might have encouraged him, a symptom of power being out in Hudson River Park,” said Mary Habstritt, director of the LILAC Preservation Project, which manages exhibits on the historic Lilac steamship at Pier 25. Habstritt said that they had pulled the gangway up every night as a safety precau-

tion. “He might have looked at us and said, ‘Oh, it’s too hard to get on that boat.’” She also said that it was a reminder for anyone who used the park, to remain cautious because while the park technically closes at dusk, there is no way to prevent people from entering. The Nantucket’s owners could not be reached for comment.


Police arrested two people, Brianna Clavery, 19, and Deandre Gibbs, also 19, whom they say attempted to pickpocket a store employee of the Hastens Store SoHo, a Swedish bed manufacturer, at 75 Grand St. last week. The employee, 29, told police that when the two entered the store at about 3:15 p.m. on Wed., March 13, one of them distracted her co-worker while the other went to the employee’s jacket, which was hanging over the back of a chair, and took $200 in cash, credit cards and IDs from the pockets. In a separate incident at another store, an employee was robbed when she let a customer use the store’s restroom, police said. The phony shopper didn’t get away clean, according to police. The employee, 29, said that a woman had entered the variety store at 383 Canal St.

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where she worked at 1 p.m. on Sat., March 16 and asked to use the bathroom. The employee told police that the customer then stole her wallet from her bag, containing credit cards and $200 in cash, which was in an unattended storeroom near the restroom, before leaving the store. The victim realized soon after and her co-worker confronted the thief outside the store, prompting her to give back the cards and $20 in cash, police said. Meanwhile, the victim flagged down an officer who arrested Tanya Purvis, 39. Purvis reportedly told police, “Yes, I took her wallet.” Police recovered the wallet and remaining cash and cards.


Greenhouse bar and club and the basement event space W.i.P. was again the site of a violent incident after being prevented from operating last year due to disturbances. Police arrested a woman on Sun., March 10 for an incident that occurred in the basement lounge of 150 Varick St. in Soho, which was shut down last year after a bottle-breaking brawl between singer Chris Brown and the entourage of Drake, a rapper. W.i.P reportedly also had their liquor license suspended for a time and only reinstated after they agreed not to serve drinks in glass bottles. Police say Syvonnah Jefferson, 24, got into a verbal argument with another woman at about 4:15 a.m., but with no bottles on hand, she picked up a bucket filled with ice and glasses and used it to hit the woman in the head. The victim, 30, was taken to

Bellevue Hospital with a laceration above her left eye and other scrapes to the face. Jefferson was charged with assault. Earlier that week, police arrested Hocine Ouldhamou, 26, at Greenhouse for Grand Larceny after he was spotted pulling cash from a patron’s pocketbook. The victim, 24, said she had been sitting on one of Greenhouse benches in the club’s V.I.P. area at about 3:45 a.m. on March 6when she noticed Ouldhamou put his hand into her pocketbook which she was wearing on a strap and remove $195 in cash. He was arrested and identified at the scene.


Small cell phone with extra credit was on order at a Downtown Starbucks last week when a woman’s belongings were stolen from the Civic Center location. On Mon., March 11, at 5:37 p.m., the 22-year-old was at a Starbucks on 120 Church St. She told police that she set her wallet and phone on a counter in the coffee shop while she went up to order a drink, but when she returned, both items were missing, including several debit cards, IDs and cash. When she checked with her bank, she found that two unauthorized charges had been made on the cards, which she subsequently cancelled. A police canvas was negative but video is available. On top of her $70 wallet and cards, she also lost her Samsung cell phone, worth $150.

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March 20 - April 2, 2013

Gottfried agrees Pier 40 housing ‘should be off the table’ BY L I N CO LN A ND E R SON It’s looking increasingly like Pier 40 won’t become the Lower West Side’s new residential hot spot — at least not anytime soon — as the number of key local politicians opposing, or at least currently uncomfortable with, the idea continues to snowball. Last week, Assemblymember Richard Gottfried, who the only local politician who had been receptive to the possibility of allowing housing at the West Houston St. pier, declared the residential option now should be “off the table” because of “adamant opposition.” In a statement March 12, Gottfried said, “The Hudson River Park needs more open park space and fewer obstructions to views of the river. We need to support completion of the park’s construction and capital maintenance with revenue that comes from projects that have strong community support….” He wants the Hudson River Park Act to be ‘‘opened up” to allow for more uses to be considered on Piers 40 and 76 (at W. 36th St.). “Some advocate highrent offices and stores on those piers. However, allowing housing in that mix, at least at Pier 40, has adamant opposition, so I think it should be off the table. To protect the whole park’s future,” he said. “We all need to focus on achievable

sources of revenue.” Gottfried, whose district includes Chelsea and part of the Village. coauthored the 1998 park act, which expressly prohibits housing in Hudson River Park. But with the park now mired in a cash crisis and Pier 40 needing costly repairs, Gottfried last summer became a convert to the idea of allowing of allowing housing. Two competing design concepts for the pier — one by the Pier 40 Champions youth sports leagues group and the other by developer Douglas Durst — would each require a modification of the park act to be allowed. The Champions plan, with an estimated cost of $691 million, includes two 22-story residential towers that would be built at the foot of the pier, whose existing athletic fields would be doubled in size. Durst’s plan, slated at $384 million, calls for an adaptive reuse of the pier’s existing three-story shed structure, transforming it into commercial office space for high-tech companies and retail space, while the fields would be kept at the current size and raised one level to prevent future flooding by Sandy-like superstorms. Both Champions and Durst say their plan’s costs include fixing up Pier 40, would generate $10 million annually for

the park and would be the least disruptive of use of the pier’s athletic fields. Hudson River Park is supposed to be financially self-supporting, and pressure is ratcheting up on the 15-acre Pier 40 to be even more of a cash cow for the park than it has been already; Pier 40 historically has provided about 35 percent of the park’s annual revenue, but the cost of repairing the pier’s aging infrastructure is now becoming a financial drain on the park. However, ever since the option of residential use in the park was broached by the Hudson River Park Trust last year, Assemblymember Deborah Glick — whose district contains Pier 40 — has vigorously opposed it, making passage of the necessary legislation highly unlikely. She is amenable to office use, however, for the Durst plan. Last week, the news that City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, whose district includes Pier 40, has come out strongly against residential use at the pier sent shockwaves rippling up and down the waterfront. She also said she would work toward expanding field space on the pier. The day after Quinn’s statement, she joined other key housing opponents — Continued on page 8

Palm Sunday

Sunday, March 24 Holy Eucharist 8am • St. Paul’s Chapel 9am • Trinity Church Palm Sunday Liturgy and Procession 10:45am-12:30pm • Begins at St. Paul’s Chapel and processes to Trinity Church Webcast from Trinity begins at approximately 11:15am.


WedneSday, March 27 6pm • Trinity Church (audio webcast only)

Maundy Thursday

ThurSday, March 28 6pm • Trinity Church Friday, March 29 Liturgy of Good Friday and Veneration of the Cross 12-3pm • Trinity Church

Assemblymember Richard Gottfried.

Easter Eve

SaTurday, March 30 The Great Vigil of Easter with Holy Baptism 8pm • St. Paul’s Chapel

Easter Day

Sunday, March 31 Eucharist 8am • St. Paul’s Chapel Service For Families with Children 10am • St. Paul’s Chapel Festive Eucharists 9am and 11:15am

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Good Friday with Children, Youth, and Families 4:30pm • Trinity Church

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March 20 - April 2, 2013

South Ferry subway to reopen in 2 weeks, not 2 years B Y T E RESE LOE B K R E U Z E R The Metropolitan Transportation Authority never had to cope with a storm of the magnitude of Superstorm Sandy before, and the M.T.A. never before returned a subway station to active use that it had decommissioned. But there’s always a first time. On March 8, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced that the M.T.A. will reopen the old South Ferry subway station — the one with the short platform that will only allow passengers in the first five cars to exit. That’s the one with the sharp S curve, where the Number 1 subway trains turn around to go back uptown. Both of these conditions were deemed so inconvenient that a new South Ferry station was built at a cost of $545 million. It opened in 2009. The old station, which had opened in 1905, was one of the first in New York City’s subway system. On Oct. 29, 2012, Superstorm Sandy flooded the new station with 15 million gallons of water, which filled it from the track level to the mezzanine. It will take at least two years to rebuild and cost an estimated $600 million. The governor and others felt that was too long to wait. The South Ferry station linked the Number 1 subway

train with the Staten Island ferry and was used by approximately 10,000 riders a day to go from one to the other. The old South Ferry station was not flooded. However, in order to reopen it, a connection will have to be built between the new station mezzanine and the old station so that riders can transfer between the 1 train and the R train’s Whitehall station. In addition, the moving platform edge extenders will have to be refurbished, replacing pistons and other components. Other work will include installing electrical feeds, closed-circuit television systems to monitor the platform, customer assistance intercoms, security cameras and radio communications in the dispatcher’s office. The fare control area will have to be rehabilitated, lighting will have to be restored in the station, in adjacent tunnels and on the platforms, and the station walls will have to be repaired and repainted. By the first week in April, the M.T.A. expects that this work will be completed. It will cost an estimated $2 million. The M.T.A. is expecting to get money to pay for the repairs from the Federal Transportation Administration, which

Junior Division: K-3RD GRADE

has already disbursed $193.1 million for costs incurred by New York City Transit, Long Island Rail Road, and Metro-North Railroad during preparation for the storm. That funding also included millions of dollars to rebuild M.T.A.’s bridges and tunnels and various other facilities. That disbursement was the first round of funding from the F.T.A. to the M.T.A. to help recover

from Sandy. Thomas Prendergast, president of the M.T.A.’s New York City Transit, said last month at a City Council hearing that the new station could partially reopen in months, but he backed away from the prediction almost immediately. At the time, he was less optimistic about the current plan to reopen the old station.

Light for Spruce School The city Department of Transportation announced plans to place a street light near the Spruce Street School, at the intersection of Beekman and William Sts. after a review of traffic patterns and pressure from local leaders and parents to make area traffic safer. The light is tentatively scheduled for installation by July, 31, the D.O.T. wrote in a letter to State Sen. Daniel Squadron,. He praised the decision in a statement, saying, “As our community grows, our streets must change with it.” Squadron credited Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and Councilmember




Margaret Chin for helping get the change. The intersection at William St. is where many of the students cross towards the school and additional precautions may slow traffic around the building. Pressure for more traffic controls near the school intensified in April of last year when a U.P.S. worker was struck and killed by an SUV that jumped the curb on Beekman St. A school crossing sign was installed on Beekman a few months later in addition to the two lights installed at Beekman and Gold and at Spruce and Gold streets when the school opened.

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March 20 - April 2, 2013

City puts Downtown on its first new street maps B Y Kaitly n M e ade Heads up, Downtown, a new mapping system is on its way. New York City’s Department of Transportation is working on a “wayfinding” initiative to place pedestrian maps across the city, starting with Lower Manhattan. Lower Manhattan is one of four areas in New York City that will receive the new maps, along with Midtown Manhattan, the Prospect Park area and Long Island City. The first of the Downtown maps will roll out next month, say representatives from the D.O.T.’s contracted design group PentaCity, starting with seven signs along Canal St. In the following months, the maps will expand to Chinatown and then to Lower Manhattan. Community Board 1 has had several meetings with the D.O.T. to work on the maps’ content as well as their placement in the area. “This was one of our big asks in our budget,” Catherine McVay Hughes, chairperson of C.B. 1, said at a March 6 meeting to discuss the signs’ content. Downtown has a growing number of residents, employees and tourists who frequent the area. A comprehensive mapping system is intended to improve pedestrian traffic flow and invite more tourists to make a jaunt below Houston St. The maps are on a sliding scale, from small “finger maps” and “path markers”

which point the way to a specific landmark or periodically mark the path from one area to another. There are also medium-sized maps that will show landmarks, public amenities, tourist destinations, parks, subway stations and retail or dining corridors and neighborhood maps that show the whole of the area. Individual businesses will not be shown on the map, however, because the priority is pedestrian navigation and extra clutter would make it too difficult to read. At a C. B. 1 Planning Committee meeting in January, Wendy Feuer, the D.O.T.’s assistant commissioner of urban design and art, explained how to use the maps. Based on European models, the D.O.T. has decided to use what’s called “heads-up” mapping, which is not based on a NorthSouth axis but rather is positioned the way that the map-reader is already looking. For pedestrians standing on Canal St. reading the map, facing southeast, the top of the map would also be southeast, showing the entrance to the Manhattan Bridge. Although it may sound confusing, Feuer said it would be self-evident when reading the maps. In fact, field-testing of the maps showed that 80 percent of people interviewed preferred this type of pedestrian mapping as opposed to the more traditional North-South version, she reported. The system will tie in both the M.T.A.’s

Photo courtesy of NYC Dept. of Transportation

New “wayfinding” maps are coming to four city neighborhoods including Lower Manhattan and Long Island City.

subway map and the upcoming Citi Bike bikeshare program to make transportation citywide more accessible to residents and visitors alike.

While Citi Bike locations will not be shown on the pedestrian maps, the stations will have their own maps with similar branding showing station locations.

Sunday, March 24, 5pm Trinity Church, Broadway at Wall Street On Palm Sunday, the GRAMMY®-nominated Choir of Trinity Wall Street and Trinity Baroque Orchestra will perform Bach’s monumental St. Matthew Passion, under the direction of Julian Wachner. With its multiple layers of mystical and theological symbolism, the St. Matthew is considered one of the most ambitious musical works of the Western tradition.


St. Matthew Passion Johann Sebastian Bach

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March 20 - April 2, 2013

Pols unite against Pier 40 Housing Continued from page 5

Glick, State Senators Brad Hoylman and Daniel Squadron — in firing off a joint letter to Madelyn Wils, the Trust’s executive director, in which they stated they unequivocally oppose housing at the 15-acre West Houston St. pier. “First and most importantly, we must be clear, that under no circumstances will we support any residential development at Pier 40,” Quinn and the three politicians wrote in their letter to Wils. “Continued focus by the Hudson River Park Trust on this issue will not help us move the process forward toward a feasible solution to save the pier and the playing fields it houses…. “As leaders in this community we must work together to find solutions and not foster unnecessary divisions among ourselves.” The four pols, however, also stated, “it is not enough to preserve and protect the active space at Pier 40…. We must also do everything we can do to work together to add more playing fields at Pier 40 and throughout the park. We are committed to working with [the Trust] to find and facilitate

such locations.” Asked to comment on the increasing lack of political support for residential use at Pier 40, Trust President Wils issued a statement that did not rule out the “R” word, and said, in part: “The Trust has diligently worked to protect the ball fields and is eager to provide additional recreation opportunities. However, we can only do so if we generate necessary revenues to support those opportunities. As it stands today, Pier 40 is actually draining money from the rest of the park, despite the intent of the Hudson River Park Act for Pier 40 to help support the entirety of the park. “Though the Trust does not favor one use over another, the community has been clear that it wants to expand the available uses allowed on Pier 40, as indicated by the failure of two previous R.F.P.s. Since that time, infrastructure problems at Pier 40 have gotten far worse, putting the pier in actual peril. “The park act must be changed to allow for additional uses on Pier 40,” Wils stressed. “We will continue to work with the governor, mayor, local elected officials and the community to put the pier — and therefore the park

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— on sound footing for the future.” Asked about Gottfried’s latest position on housing at Pier 40, Tobi Bergman, the leader of the Pier 40 Champions, responded that cooperation “needs to stay on the table.” “Champions is fighting for a wonderful, open, riverside park for everyone and for more sports fields so every child gets to play,” Bergman said. “Our focus now is to get funds allocated to do critical repairs this year and to respond quickly to the play-space crisis affecting our burgeoning residential neighborhoods. Why? Because the worst place to be is under the gun where we have to sacrifice the extraordinary and irreplaceable opportunities of the site to deal with the structural and financial pressures of the current situation.” So far, though, proposed legislation to change the park act actually has not included allowing housing in the park. According to a well-placed source, “Various versions of bills have allowed office, retail, hotel, some miscellaneous other uses,” but not residential. Last year, Gottfried put together a last-minute bill with changes to the park act. The source said the drafts of the bills have all originated with the Trust. Word is that some language in last year’s bill also came from Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver’s staff, largely in an effort to come up with a proposal including elements that both Glick and Gottfried could accept. There is reportedly “a long list of things” that have been considered and may be in a new bill, including: longer lease terms at Piers 40 and 76; allowing additional uses at Piers 40 and 76; allowing the Trust to bond for infrastructure; redefining the park boundary down by Battery Park City; turning over the city’s share of Pier 76 to the park (currently, the city would get half of the pier’s commercial revenue after its redevelopment — the city tow pound is located there now); get-

ting more revenue from the passenger ship terminal and from the passenger ships; simplifying zoning compliance (meaning removal of some aspects of the city’s ULURP review process in the park); and the proposed neighborhood improvement district or NID (though, according to the source, this actually probably does not require state legislation). As for trying to allow residential use at Pier 76 — which is in the part of Hudson River Park that is in Gottfried’s district — he is reportedly now trying to gauge what the community wants there, and is “not ruling it out yet.” Meanwhile, in response to a query, Cory Johnson, a candidate running to replace Quinn” said he also opposed housing near the pier, but “open public space and recreational fields should be increased on Pier 40 and throughout the entire length of the park from the Battery to 59th St. At a candidates forum last week one of Johnson’s opponents, Yetta Kurland ,reportedly said — unprompted — that, if there is to be housing at Pier 40, then it should include artists housing. The next day, Kurland said in an interview that, “It appears that there will be development on Pier 40 and that it may be residential, which I oppose for a number of reasons that Deborah Glick has eloquently articulated,” Kurland said. “But in the event the plan goes through with residential housing, I will work to create affordable and middle-class housing that will reflect the needs of our community and could include artists housing. Conversely, if Glick’s plan goes through and there is commercial space, I will work to create a communitybased venue for artists to utilize.” Alexander Meadows, another Council District 3 candidate, said, “I will fight tooth and nail to ensure that our precious parklands are not invaded by irresponsible overdevelopment.”

March 20 - April 2, 2013

Three candidates for borough president spar when large-scale development is being approved, we’re not always looking at the nexus to local school seats and the fact that in certain circumstances, that might put 36 kids in a class and they might have no art room and no computer room.” She said that she would like to reform the land-use review process. Among other questions, Louis asked the candidates whether they supported the proposed Hudson River Park Neighborhood Improvement District and whether they thought housing should be built on the upland part of Pier 40 to support Pier 40 and the Hudson River Park Trust. Lappin called the NID “an interesting idea” and Menin said that she thought it had “potential.” “We need to look at all options to create revenue for the park,” Lappin said of the plan to impose a park tax on property near the river. “We need more ball fields and playing fields, and if the pier falls into the river, then it’s too late and we won’t get that space back. We need to compromise.” Menin said that putting housing in a public park would set a bad precedent and that she looked forward to seeing more options to save the crumbling piers. Brewer, whose district includes the upper portion of the Hudson River Park — a section called Clinton Cove — agreed that housing on the pier was a questionable solution to a thorny problem, and was less definite about the NID. “There’s no question that the park needs money,” she said. “But the NID has to be worked out.” She noted that, “The issue of ball fields is number one for many families. There’s not one public school that has enough fields in my district. I would hope that we could do something that doesn’t include high-cost housing on that pier. Is that possible? I think it is.” Menin, who announced her candidacy in December, is the best funded of the four candidates. She has reached the funding limit of $1 million including expected matching funds. She came to the forum, which was sponsored by the Downtown-Lower Manhattan Association, with a pile of fourcolor brochures and a statement of accomplishments headed “Menin for Manhattan.” Brewer supplied her two-page biography from the City Council website. Lappin had no campaign literature to hand out. In the past, some Manhattan borough presidents have used the position as a stepping stone to running for mayor of New York City — with more or less success. David Dinkins, for instance, was Manhattan borough president from 1986 to 1989 and mayor from 1990 to 1993. Ruth Messinger served as Manhattan borough president from 1990 to 1998. She ran for mayor in the last year of her term as Manhattan borough president, but lost to Rudy Giuliani.


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BY T E RESE L OE B K R E U Z E R There were more similarities than differences among the three candidates running in the Democratic primary for the Manhattan borough presidency who faced off at a forum in Lower Manhattan on March 7. Answering questions posed by Errol Louis, anchor of “Road to City Hall” on NY1, they agreed that affordable housing, job creation, school overcrowding and the need for ball fields and parks were top priorities for Manhattan. They also agreed that something needs to be done quickly to address the implications of climate change for New York City. Gale Brewer, Jessica Lappin and Julie Menin participated in the forum. City Councilmember Robert Jackson, who is also running, was in the Dominican Republic that morning “on an annual humanitarian mission dedicated to promoting infant and youth health,” as he wrote in a prepared statement. Three of the candidates are presently on the City Council. They are vying for a position being vacated by Scott Stringer because of term limits. Stringer is running for City Comptroller. Brewer, 61, has represented District 6 — the Upper West Side and northern Clinton — for 12 years. Lappin, 37, took office in January 2006 to represent District 5 — the Upper East Side and Roosevelt Island. Jackson entered City Council in January 2002 to represent parts of Harlem, Washington Heights and Inwood, all in District 7. The fourth candidate, Menin, 45, has never held elected office although she served for seven years as chairperson of Community Board 1 in Lower Manhattan. “Scott Stringer has shown how much power there is in the borough president’s job and to literally shape the borough and have a big say in what gets built where,” Lappin remarked. As part of the Uniform Land Use Review Procedure (ULURP), the borough president reviews all public and private land-use projects in Manhattan and can recommend approval or rejection of those projects. The borough president also makes an appointment to the City Planning Commission, which has a crucial role in shaping development in Manhattan. In addition, the borough president appoints all Manhattan community board members, and administers portions of the city’s capital and expense budget, last year amounting to around $20 million. Oversight of quality of life issues such street repairs, housing code enforcement and parks maintenance are also within the borough president’s purview. Menin said at the forum that she believes land use issues are pivotal to Manhattan’s future. “Why do we have so many overcrowded schools in New York?” she asked. “Because


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March 20 - April 2, 2013


March 20 - April 2, 2013

Love from grandparent caregivers lasts a lifetime By M A J A T. C A s AT IL L o , M D For most of their lives, my grandparents lived in one of those neighborhoods invented in the 1950s — rows of cookie cutter brick bungalows with wide, treelined streets. By the time I was in elementary school, the days when everyone walked to school were long gone. Still, I boarded a bus each morning to that same school my mother had attended. My grandparents’ house was still a mere half block away — providing a source of ideally located childcare for my working parents. After school, I would run down the street and burst into the stillness of my grandparents’ quiet house with my kidjust-out-of-school energy. Even now, I have no idea what they did for most of the day before I arrived. The radio was usually on, set to an AM station that no one ever listened to. My grandmother would be playing solitaire on the bed or reading — my grandfather, napping in a chair or futzing with something in the yard or on the car. For the hours until one of my parents could pick me up, I would do a little homework. But mostly, I would hang out with my grandparents. My grandmother had been a nurse and would tell me stories about working in the emergency room in “the old days,” letting me play with her stethoscope and blood

Photo by Maja T. castillo, MD

“Doc” (aka Joy Klippel) enjoys the benefits of being a great-grandma, with Castillo’s twins Isadora and Gaetano.

pressure cuff (definitely formative experiences for my current career). She also taught me to sew buttons and darn socks.

She taught me names for hundreds of plants and birds on our slow walks around the block, and allowed me to make huge

messes while making angelfood cake or rhubarb pie. My grandfather loved to talk. He had been in World War II, worked the 1939 World’s Fair in New York City and hitchhiked up and down the East Coast in his youth. While my grandmother was surely sick of his stories, I never tired of them. His black and white pictures of Hawaii and bomber planes fascinated me. I remember very little of what I learned about WWII from school, but I will never forget what my grandpa told me about his war experiences. For me, my grandparents had something that my working parents did not: abundant free time with very little to do. As a child, this was exciting — since it meant they had time to answer all my stupid questions without getting distracted or annoyed. They also had time to teach me things that school placed no importance on, like intricate card games or the right way to reattach a loose button. What I gained from my grandparents was more than that, though. I can remember a feeling associated with time at my grandparents’ house — a sensation of slowing down, of calm, and enjoying the moment. As a pediatrician, I am often asked if seniors (both grandparents and non-grandparents) are appropriate caregivers for chilContinued on page 12


March 20 - April 2, 2013

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Photo by Maja T. castillo, MD

Castillo’s daughter Marcella, with her great-grandfather. Continued from page 11

dren. I think there are a number of factors to consider (the physical and mental health of the senior as well as the age of the child, for example). However, I believe there are a number of benefits to having senior citizens as caregivers. The first being the same benefits I experienced with my grandparents — the transmission of experiences and life learning that comes with age. Additionally, I think contact with seniors can promote patience and teach children to appreciate slowing down in this fast-paced world. Children are not the only winners in this type of relationship. There is good evidence that seniors can benefit from contact with children as well. Research in this area is limited mostly to grandparent relationships, but I feel it can be easily extrapolated to committed non-grandparent caregivers as well. After retirement from the workforce and the departure of their own children, many seniors can become more withdrawn and feel a loss of purpose in their lives. Caring for a child can keep them active and give a sense of continuing to contribute to society. A Chilean study of grandparents who were in good health found that those who provided four or more hours of childcare a week had a lower risk of depression and better mental health scores than those who provided less or no childcare. Other studies have found that a grandparent role can be emotionally fulfilling and promote improved self-esteem for the grandparent.

One of the most interesting ideas I came across while researching this article was that the relationship between seniors and children is also good for society as a whole. In a 2010 article published by the International Journal of EvidenceBased Healthcare (“Grandparents and Grandchildren: A Grand Connection”), Judy Lumby RN, PhD wrote: “As we face a future in which violence and individualism appear to be on the increase, along with the costs associated with an ageing society, it is essential that we strengthen our social networks in ways that nurture and engage individuals of all ages and stages of life.” I have to say, I love and believe this quote. Children who grow up valuing and loving their elders will have more empathy and compassion for the elderly, and understand the need to care for them as they age. Seniors who are involved in the lives of children will remain more active, happier and more tolerant of social change as they experience the world through the eyes of the child they love. If we are able to remain connected as a society, from our eldest members to our youngest, the resulting social cohesion will hopefully bring all of us greater understanding and respect. Maja Castillo is a pediatrician who maintains a private practice with Tribeca Pediatrics and also maintains an academic appointment at Columbia University Hospitals. She lives in Manhattan with her partner, five- year-old daughter and twoyear-old twins.

March 20 - April 2, 2013

In the know: essential activities & services NYU lANgONE MEDICAl CENTER This month, NYU’s Langone Medical Center is reminding people that March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month. NYU Langone is composed of four hospitals: Tisch Hospital, the Hospital for Joint Diseases (one of five hospitals in the nation dedicated to orthopedics and rheumatology), Hassenfeld Pediatric Center, and the Rusk Institute of Rehabilitation Medicine. It is located at 550 First Ave., at 34th St. For more information, visit

Photo courtesy of OATS

Older adults can learn computer basics, at the Senior Planet Exploration Center.

SENIOR plANET EXplORATION CENTER The recently opened Senior Planet Exploration Center (127 W. 25th St., btw. 6th & 7th Aves.) is designed to give seniors over 60 the necessary skills to become proficient with today’s technology. Scheduled workshops, seminars and group sessions can be attended by walk-ins. Spaces are limited for free tech classes, so register ahead of time. The Center also has free Wi-Fi, 23 computers and a video game station. Open Mon.-Fri., 9am-4pm. To register for classes or get event info, visit or call 646-590-0615. MANHATTAN BOROUgH pRESIDENT’S SENIOR lIvINg gUIDE Borough President Scott Stringer’s office recently published “Living Fully: Resources for Aging Well in the City” — a 78-page guide to rights and services for Manhattan seniors and caregivers in both English and Spanish. The guide can be found online at uploads/SeniorsGuideEnglish.pdf or you can get a physical copy at the Borough President’s office (located at 1 Centre St., 19th Floor, at Chambers St.). For more information, call 212-669-8300.

NYC MAYOR’S OFFICE OF vETERAN’S AFFAIRS MOVA works with veterans and their families to ensure they receive the benefits to which they are entitled. MOVA will liaise with federal, state, city and non-profit agencies on a veteran’s behalf. At 346 Broadway (visitor’s entrance at 108 Leonard St.). Call 311 or 212-4424171. Visit home/home.shtml. gERIATRIC MENTAl HEAlTH AllIANCE The Geriatric Mental Health Alliance provides depression screening, advocacy and referrals. At 50 Broadway, 19th Floor (btw. Exchange Pl. & Beaver St.). Call 212-614-5753 or visit HAMIlTON MADISON HOUSE DAY pROgRAM A citywide service to individuals with dementia and memory loss age 55 years and above, it operates 9am-5pm. Hamilton Madison House offers several program and is located at 100 Gold St. Call 212-788-1537 or visit hmhonline. o r g / S o c i a l Ad u l t D ay Fa c t S h e e t . htm. vISIONS VISIONS helps the blind and visually impaired lead active and independent lives. Services include an intergenerational volunteer program, temporary overnight rehabilitation facility, rehabilitation day program, community outreach and training, and helpline services. At 300 Greenwich St., 3rd Fl. (btw. Spring & Canal Sts). Call 888-245Continued on page 14



March 20 - April 2, 2013

The Moody’s Foundation Center For Cardiovascular Health At New York Downtown Hospital

Through the generosity of the Moody’s Foundation, New York Downtown Hospital created a comprehensive, state-of-the-art center that focuses on the prevention, early detection, and treatment of cardiovascular disease through a holistic, integrative approach. Our team of physicians works with you to assess your cardiovascular risk and design individualized treatment plans that allow you to live a healthier, more active life. Our cardiovascular specialists can also perform procedures at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital – Weill Cornell Medical Center, allowing our patients access to innovative treatment options. Our Cardiac Rehabilitation Center has been recognized for its high level of service, and we offer Cardiovascular Wellness Evaluations designed to attain a multi-faceted approach to achieving your best health. We are committed to providing a superior level of care and patient service, and invite you to learn more about the services we offer. Consultations and testing services are easily scheduled with a single phone call, and in most cases can be arranged and performed within 24 to 48 hours. Most major insurance plans are accepted, and convenient appointments are available, including early morning and late afternoon visits.

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170 William Street, New York, NY 10038 Telephone: (646) 588-2526

Activities and services Continued from page 13

8333 ext. 144. Visit visionsvcb. org. VISIONS at Selis Manor is an adapted learning environment and meeting place for blind youth, adults and seniors. Programs include support groups, computer training, adapted activities and volunteer and social work services for people who are blind. At 135 23rd St. (btw. 6th & 7th Aves.). Call 646486-4444 ext. 11 or visit NEW YORK FOUNDATION FOR SENIOR CITIZENS NYFSC coordinates home care, home delivered meals and other services, including assistance with benefits and entitlements for physically and mentally frail residents of Manhattan’s Community Districts 1, 2, 3, 5 and 6. Case Managers meet with individuals to determine their eligibility for services and then arrange and monitor the delivery of services. At 11 Park Place, 11th Fl. (btw. Broadway & Church St.). Call 212-962-7817 or visit

SENIOR CENTERS Low-cost meals are provided at the times listed, with a suggested donation. For more information on a specific meal program, call the listed telephone number. Independence Plaza Senior Center At 310 Greenwich St. (btw. Chambers & Harrison Sts.). Open Mon.-Fri., 9am5pm. Lunch is at 12:30pm. Call 212267-0499. City Hall Senior Center At 100 Gold St., lower level (btw. Spruce & Frankfort Sts.). Open Mon.-Fri., 9am-5pm. Breakfast is 9am, lunch is 11:30am. Call 212-7885580. Senior Center on the Square At 200 Washington Square North (btw. Fifth Ave. & McDougal St.). Open Mon.-Fri., 9am-5pm. Lunch is 12:15pm and 1:15pm. Call 212-7773555. CPC Project Open Door At 168 Grand St. (btw. Centre & Baxter Sts.). Open Mon.-Fri., 9am5pm. Lunch is 11:30am. Call 212-4319026.

Judith C. White Senior Center At 27 Barrow St. (btw. W. 4th St. & Seventh Ave. South). Open Mon.-Fri., 9am-5pm. Breakfast is 9am, lunch is at noon. Call 212-242-41-40, ext. 260. Mott Street Senior Center At 180 Mott St. (btw. Broome & Kenmare Sts.). Open Mon.-Fri., 8am4pm. Breakfast is 8:30am and lunch is at noon. Call 212-966-5460. Our Lady of Pompeii Senior Center At 25 Carmine St. (btw. Bedford & Bleecker Sts.). Open Mon.-Fri., 8am4pm. Lunch is at 12:30pm. Call 212989-3620. BRC Senior Nutrition Program At 30 Delancey St. (btw. Chrystie & Bowery Sts.). Open Mon.-Fri., 8am3:30pm. Lunch is at 12pm. Call 212533-2020. Whittaker Center At 197 East Broadway (btw. Jefferson & Clinton Sts.). Open Mon.-Fri., 9am– 2:30pm. A Kosher lunch is at 11:30am. Call 212-780-2300. Good Companions Senior Center At 334 Madison St. (btw. Gouverneur & Jackson Sts.). Open Mon.-Fri., 9am6pm. Lunch is at noon and dinner is at 4pm. 12:00 pm. Call 212-349-2770. Grand Coalition of Seniors Senior Center At 80 Pitt St. (btw. Rivington & Stanton Sts.). Open Mon.-Fri., 8am4pm. Lunch is at noon. Call 212-6741740. LaGuardia Senior Center At 280 Cherry St. (btw. Rutgers & Jefferson Sts.). Open Mon.-Fri., 8:30am-4:30pm. Breakfast is 8:30am and lunch is at noon. Call 212-7323656. NY Chinatown Senior Center At 70 Mulberry St. (btw. Bayard & Canal Sts.). Open 9am-5pm. Lunch is at 11:30am. Call 212-233-8930. Smith Houses Senior Center At 50 Madison St., at Oliver St. Open Mon.-Fri., 9am-5pm. Lunch is at noon. Call 212-349-3724. University Settlement At 189 Allen St. (btw. Stanton & E. Houston Sts.). Open Mon.–Fri., 8am– 5pm. Breakfast is at 8:30am and lunch is at noon. Call 212-473-8217.


March 20 - April 2, 2013

Spider-Man crew to film & eat Downtown By KA I T Ly N M e A D e “The Amazing Spider-Man 2” will be shooting in the Financial District’s 20 Exchange Place in April, but promises to stay under the radar. Location manager Jason Farrar updated Community Board 1’s Financial District Committee on Wednesday night about filming on April 22, 23, 24 and 29. The 59-floor building at Exchange Place, constructed in 1931 as the City Bank Farmers Trust Building, is being converted into a luxury apartment building but its grand Art Deco interior is its main draw. “Filming is disruptive,” Farrar said, when it is not done right, adding, “We’re going to do everything we can to make this as easy as possible.” Farrar said that the crew will keep large production trucks off narrow streets and be mindful of where they set up generators so the sound does not bounce into residential buildings. He wasn’t sure yet of the exact filming times of the interior shoot, but thought it would start early in the morning and end by about midnight. Farrar promoted the economic benefit to the area as well, saying that “Spider-Man” will be bringing in about 250 crew members who will be fed breakfast, but will be asked to patronize local businesses like those in

the nearby Stone Street Historic District on their lunch break. They are also paying to take down the scaffolding on William St. (though it will go right back up when filming wraps) and will set up cable crossings on that street so that they do not impede pedestrian traffic. Farrar assured the committee that there should be no street closures or bright lights shining into residential windows, since there will be no outside filming. The Spidey sequel will be the largest movie production to be shot in New York, according to a statement from Governor Andrew Cuomo’s office. The production will have the biggest stage footprint ever seen in New York State, with major production in Long Island and Brooklyn as well as Rochester. It will also generate up to 3,500 new jobs and cast 11,000 extras. “This production will also help generate new jobs and economic activity both upstate and downstate which is great news for our local communities and fans of the franchise,” Cuomo said. Cuomo’s office reported that many films, including “The Amazing Spider-Man 2,” have chosen to shoot in New York State because of its film tax credit program. The program has brought in an estimated $12.1 billion since it began in 2004. As a good will offering, Farrar said

image courtesy of columbia Pictures

Columbia Pictures will donate money to Pace University, Manhattan Youth Downtown Community Center and the National Minority Business Council. Committee chairperson Ro Sheffe

praised Farrar and his team on making overtures toward the community board. “You’ve established a precedent that I hope a lot of other production companies follow,” he said.

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March 20 - April 2, 2013

Park group looks for buzzer beater to save hoops B y KAITLyN M eADe The Friends of Washington Market Park are up against the clock this month as they try to raise money to replace the three backboards on the park’s basketball court. The Friends, a non-profit neighborhood organization, is working to raise $6,500 with a “March Madness” campaign to replace the backboards on the Chambers St. court by the end of this month.

Funding drive to repair Washington Market Park court

The Washington Market Park hoops, with dilapidated backboards and no nets, will be replaced with new equipment when park fundraisers hit their goal.

The effort was started by Friends treasurer Jonathan Stinnett, whose two children are involved in the local sports leagues and are “avid basketball players.” He got the idea after talking to friends and neighbors, and seeing the court “underused” by residents. “I think it’s very hard for recreation space to

keep up with the population explosion Downtown,” said Stinnett. “The hope is that the Chambers St. court can become more of a gathering place for the community.” Stinnett said that Friends has been working with the city Parks Dept. to get an estimate from TrueBounce, which supplies equipment to the Parks Dept. The money would replace all three backboards, rims and a stock of netting. While “March Madness” might continue on into April, co-president of Friends Erica Martini hoped that it would be possible to reach their goal this month. “It’s a matter of getting word out,” she said. As of March 14, Stinnett said they had raised $2,135, a week and a half into the campaign. The basketball court is located on Chambers St., between West St. and the entrance to Borough of Manhattan Community College. It’s open from 8 a.m. until dusk. For more info or to donate online, visit Donations by mail can be made to The Friends of Washington Market Park at P.O. Box 3275, New York, NY 10008.

2 fires at one Fulton St. building B y KAITLyN MeADe The New York Fire Department is investigating the second fire to break out in two days at a Fulton St. building. Firefighters reportedly evacuated midway through fighting a threealarm blaze Monday morning after the roof partially collapsed, perhaps due to combined damage from Sunday’s four-alarm blaze. Fire officials confirmed that the second fire broke out in the upper floors of the five-story building at about 1:55 a.m. on March 18, at 140 Fulton St., which officials say is an entirely commercial building and was unoccupied at the time of the fire. Thirty-three units with a total of 138 members responded. At about 2:30 a.m., the roof partially collapsed and firefighters were ordered out of the building to conduct exterior operations, which involved two units pumping 1,000 gallons of

For more on THiS anD oTHer STorieS ViSiT:

water per minute through the roof and three handlines from the rear and sides of the building. The blaze was finally brought under control by 5:19 a.m. One firefighter was reported to have sustained minor injuries and was moved to an area hospital. The causes of both fires are still under investigation. A Fire Department spokesperson said that the Sunday morning blaze, which began at about 7 a.m. and was under control by 9:38 a.m., was heavy on the second floor and eventually spread throughout the building, while the second fire raged throughout building but started on the upper floors. Fire department personnel were on the scene for a long period of time Sunday assessing the damage to the building’s structure after the first fire, which had 168 F.D.N.Y. members respond.



March 20 - April 2, 2013

Hudson Square rezoning O.K.’d BY L I N CO L N A N D E R SON The City Council in committee has voted to approve the Hudson Square residential rezoning plan, coupled with the Landmarks Preservation Commission’s agreement to vote on designating about half of the unprotected area of the proposed South Village Historic District within the year. The full Council is expected to approve the rezoning later this month. The Council secured a commitment from L.P.C. to calendar and vote on the next remaining section of the proposed South Village Historic District (the area north of Houston St.) and complete a survey of the proposed district’s final section (the area south of Houston St.) by the end of the year. Council Speaker Christine Quinn, speaking before Wednesday morning’s Council votes, said, “Currently, there are no height restrictions in the district, which could lead to unwanted skyscrapers. Additionally, the outdated prohibition of residential development has led to little foot traffic on nights or weekends hurting the neighborhood’s small businesses.” The votes by the Council’s Subcommittee on Zoning and Franchises and Committee on Land Use, she said, would “help to preserve much of the neighborhood’s beloved character and commercial foundation while also bringing a desired vitality and more open space to attract new residents and businesses.” Trinity Real Estate, the area’s major prop-

erty owner, was the applicant for the rezoning. The Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation, Community Board 2 and Assemblymember Deborah Glick, among others, had lobbied the Council to vote “no” on the rezoning unless the city moved ahead on South Village landmarking. “This is incredibly important progress

are very concerned about the lack of commitment on landmarking the southern half of this neighborhood and we will continue to fight to preserve this vitally important area.” In addition, $5.6 million in “mitigation funds” from Trinity, designated for open-space improvements, has now been split between the Dapolito Recreation Center, at Clarkson St. and

‘This is incredibly important progress because clearly the Landmarks Preservation Commission was not moving forward with any more of the South Village Historic District’ —Andrew Berman because clearly the Landmarks Preservation Commission was not moving forward with any more of the South Village Historic District,” said Andrew Berman, G.V.S.H.P. executive director. “The commitment to hear and vote upon more than half of the remaining proposed South Village Historic District before the end of the year will help protect this endangered neighborhood from the increased development pressure it faces from this and other rezonings. However,” he added, “we

join us on


COMMUNITY CHURCH 10 Desbrosses St. Sunday, March 31st 10:30am

Seventh Ave. South, and Pier 40. Separate payments of $2.8 million each will go toward the rec center — allowing it to operate its indoor and outdoor pools at the same time — and toward the pier, to help fix its crumbling roof. Also, the plan O.K.’d by the Council’s Land Use Committee will allow creation of about 130 more affordable housing units in the rezoning district, for a potential total of more than 600. Trinity additionally has agreed to construct new recreation spaces for commu-

nity use at the site of a 444-seat elementary school it plans to build at Duarte Square, in the base of a new residential tower. According to David Gruber, chairperson of C.B. 2, these new spaces will include a 7,500-square-foot, N.C.A.A. standard-size, double-height gym for basketball and other sports and a 2,100-square-foot “flex area.” These facilities will be open to the community during non-school hours, weekends and holidays. Gruber said the hope is for the spaces to be programmed by a third-party operator, similar to, for example, Manhattan Youth. The rezoning, as previously O.K.’d by City Planning, includes a prohibition of new hotels of more than 100 rooms without a special permit. Said Gruber, “We truly thank Speaker Quinn and the Council for forging a true win/win compromise on the rezoning.” Said Glick, “I am pleased that a contribution to Pier 40 can be used toward repair of its roof, which is necessary to preserve the only major playing fields in the park.” Jason Pizer, Trinity Real Estate’s president, said, “Today’s positive action significantly advances the process launched more than five years ago, and we look forward to the rezoning’s final consideration by the full Council.” Ellen Baer, president of the Hudson Square Connection business improvement district, said, “The Hudson Square rezoning will transform our thriving business neighborhood into a 24/7 community.”


March 20 - April 2, 2013

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Milo Hess Jefferson Siegel Published by NYC Community Media, LLC 515 Canal ST, UNIT 1C New york, NY 10013 Phone: (212) 229-1890 Fax: (212) 229-2790 Downtown Express is published every week by Community Media LLC, 515 Canal St., Unit 1C, New York, N.Y. 10013 (212) 229-1890. The entire contents of the newspaper, including advertising, are copyrighted and no part may be reproduced without the express permission of the publisher - © 2012 Community Media LLC. PUBLISHER’S LIABILITY FOR ERROR The Publisher shall not be liable for slight changes or typographical errors that do not lessen the value of an advertisement. The publisher’s liability for other errors or omissions in connection with an advertisement is strictly limited to publication of the advertisement in any subsequent issue.

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High noon at high court on same sex marriage The U.S. Supreme Court next week

will be concluding oral arguments on two major marriage equality cases On March 26, the federal lawsuit challenging the Defense of Marriage Act filed by Downtown resident Edie Windsor — assessed more than $360,000 in federal estate taxes after her spouse Thea Spyer died in 2009 — will be heard. Windsor’s attorneys at the American Civil Liberties Union will be opposed by Paul Clement, a private attorney representing the socalled Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group of the House of the Representatives, which is controlled by Republican Speaker John Boehner. BLAG stepped into the DOMA litigation in 2011 after the Justice Department determined the 1996 law is unconstitutional. It was, in fact, the Obama administration that asked the high court to take up the case to settle the question of DOMA’s constitutionality. The Justice Department filed a brief in the case, arguing that laws treating gay and lesbian people differently should be subjected to the most searching form of judicial scrutiny — one that requires a showing of a compelling public purpose served, in narrowly tailored fashion, by the distinction.

Viewed in that light, DOMA cannot possibly survive, the Justice Dept. argues. The counter argument that the purpose of marriage is to promote responsible procreation by heterosexuals does not even meet minimal judicial standards of being rational. Would opponents allow a state to require fertility tests before granting marriage licenses? But nevertheless, arguments against DOMA are likely to find a receptive ear among some of the court’s conservatives. The law was the federal government’s first significant legislative incursion in history into regulating marriage, something traditionally reserved for the states — so long as minimal federal constitutional guarantees are protected. Should the high court, or a few conservatives on it, conclude the federal government overreached in enacting DOMA, the victory should go to Windsor. Liberals on the court are likely to agree with the A.C.L.U.’s assertion that even the most lenient scrutiny of the 1996 law would find no constitutionally valid reason for its enactment. The issue of what level of scrutiny federal courts apply to sexual-orientation discrimination claims may have greater impact on the resolution of the other marriage equality case — the

American Foundation for Equal Rights challenge to California’s Proposition 8. At the district court, the foundation won a sweeping victory that found that same-sex couples have a federal constitutional right to marry. The Supreme Court could conceivably uphold that finding even while applying the most lenient form of review. In 1996, it struck down a Colorado voter initiative that denied gay and lesbian couples the right to enact nondiscrimination laws. Such a victory, would restore marriage equality to California without confronting the bigger questions of a federal constitutional right to marriage. Advocates, including us, are hoping the court will move to end discrimination by concluding that any state that gives couples all the rights and benefits of marriage, but denies them access to marriage itself is acting unconstitutionally. The arguments will be over on March 27, but the suspense could last through the end of June. Come what may, this is certainly among the profound moments in the history of civil rights in America. The bulk of this editorial is reprinted from Gay City News, a sister publication of Downtown Express.

Letters to the Editor Need a NID park fund To The Editor: I am resident of Tribeca within the boundaries of the proposed Hudson River Park Neighborhood Improvement District and I am writing to express my support of the H.R.P. NID (news article, March 6, “What’s next Hudson River Pak? Tribeca rises against park tax”). The Hudson River Park is the realization of the last frontier to be conquered in Tribeca, and quickly becoming one of our most valuable neighborhood amenities. As such, the H.R.P. NID would create a stable source of funding for the park — sorely needed to maintain what has been created. For me and other bicycle riders and joggers, it’s become a thoroughfare to commute, exercise and recreate. For children and older residents, it’s an oasis for fresh air, space to run, sit, picnic and more. This park benefits all, including the thousands of visitors Downtown. It also benefits businesses and other commercial tenants in ways they may not fully understand now.

As past director of retail and commercial development of the MetroTech BID in Downtown Brooklyn for seven years, I witnessed the important role the organization played on keeping the area safe, clean, and inclusive for residents, business and visitors. Having this type of group assured the area’s stabilization and growth. Let’s not be fearful of the magnitude of the project. We can do this. As they say, the devil is in the details, so listen to the devil with courage and don’t let any confusion take hold. Let’s let this be our legacy. We can do this. Years from now our residents, children, businesses and visitors will thank us for the actions of today. Manuel Cabrero

C.B.1 COMMITTEES To The Editor: Re “Restore focus on housing & parks, some on C.B. 1 say” (news article, March 6 – 19): Community Board 1 in Manhattan is the second smallest of the city’s 59 community boards.

While other others use “boardwide subject matter committees,” such as housing, parks, zoning and licensing committees, etc., C.B. 1 uses a NIMBY, non-comprehensive, parochial approach to planning. You wrote, “C.B. 1 includes more neighborhoods than most boards in the city,” which is totally untrue; most boards have way more than four neighborhoods. C.B. 1 created geographical committees for historical and political reasons, when huge areas of our board were vastly unpopulated. Remember, our area was predominately commercial, manufacturing or landfill in the 1960’s. Board-wide subject matter committees (with members from all over C.B. 1), chaired by people with subject-matter expertise (and a desire for follow-up), would work better than the four geographical committees. Eliminating all geographical committees and expanding subject matter committees such as housing and parks, have been suggested for years. See for this discussion in 2008. The exclusion of any “inclusionContinued on page 19

Corrections In our article about Community Board 1 committees in our last issue (news article, March 6 – 19, “Restore focus on housing & parks, some on C.B. 1 say”), we incorrectly attributed remarks to Diane Lapson. The comment about the committee structure changes being decided without discussion, was in fact made by Diane Stein, a public member of the former Housing Committee, not by Lapson. In our article about the proposed Neighborhood Improvement District for Hudson River Park (news article, March 6 – 19, “What’s next Hudson River Park? Tribeca rises against park tax”), we incorrectly stated the proposed assessment rate on property. It would be 7.5 cents per square foot. The estimate cited in the article — roughly $100 per year for a 1,000 square foot condo in a building with additional common areas — is correct. In our article about Pier 40 (news article, March 6 – 19, “Crowds cheer and jeer plans for Pier 40”) we incorrectly stated the cost estimate for the concept submitted by the Durst Organization. The correct figure is $384 million.


March 20 - April 2, 2013

Talking Point

Saving the Pier 40 fields is not enough By B ill Martin o and B ill B ial o s k y We have been asked what compelled the Downtown leagues to get behind the Pier 40 Champions initiative given our limited use of the pier. The answer is really very simple; our leagues have sizeable waitlists and we need room to grow to protect the future of organized activities for our children. Pier 40 is the only nearby space for new fields. Consider the data; according to a recent New York Times article, the nine-andyounger population across Battery Park City and Lower Manhattan has grown 129 percent over the past decade. There are upwards of 250 fifth graders in public schools in Tribeca and the Financial District, and approximately 450 in kindergarten. This math does not work since we cannot take in new five-year-olds if we won’t have space for them when they are eight. In just two years, we will be turning families away in alarming numbers and pitting friends and neighbors against one another in a race to secure coveted spots in the leagues.

This problem is analogous to the overcrowding at our local schools. Through the efforts of the School Overcrowding Task Force, under the supervision of Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, our community has successfully secured more classrooms and seats over the past several years. We need similar focus and results at Pier 40, which is why

Pier 40 can help us if we can help save it. There’s plenty of space there to build new fields, and with the much-needed assistance of the city and state, we can have new fields in two years. The Hudson River Park Trust is trying hard to keep the park open and they came through in an inspirational way to get the fields repaired quickly after Hurricane Sandy. But they

Soon we will be turning families away in alarming numbers, pitting friends and neighbors against one another in a race to secure coveted spots in the leagues. our Downtown leagues joined Pier 40 Champions, an alliance of youth sports programs and schools advocating for new fields and actively engaged with key local elected officials to make this a core priority.

just don’t have the funds to do the critical repairs. That’s why Pier 40 Champions has made a big pitch for the city and state to act now to keep the pier open. Just as we have grown our schools, we need to do the same for our parks so our

children can grow strong, agile minds and bodies, and learn about teamwork while we parents volunteer, or simply watch with pride from the stands. Bill Martino and Bill Bialosky are respectively presidents of the Downtown Little League and Downtown Soccer League, which both play primarily on the fields in Battery Park City.

Letters Policy

Downtown Express welcomes letters to The Editor. They must include the writer’s first and last name, a phone number for confirmation purposes only, and any affiliation that relates directly to the letter’s subject matter. Letters should be less than 300 words. Downtown Express reserves the right to edit letters for space, clarity, civility or libel reasons. Letters should be emailed to letters@ or can be mailed to 515 Canal St., New York, NY, 10013.

transit sam A LT E RN AT E S ID E PA R K ING IS S U S PE N D E D T U ES D AY FOR T HE F I RS T D AY OF PA SSOV E R Traffic in lower Manhattan has been a bear the last couple of weeks. I am attributing at least some of it to the toll increase at the Battery Tunnel and, to a lesser extent, at the Midtown Tunnel. Since the round-trip tolls went to $10.66 for E-ZPass and $15 in cash, Canal, Varick, Broome and other Downtown streets have seen more traffic as drivers divert to the free bridges to avoid the toll. The diversion is most pronounced on weekends. All Manhattan-bound lanes of the Brooklyn Bridge will close overnight 11 p.m. to 6 a.m. Wednesday and Thursday. With nightly 7 p.m. circus performances at Barclays lasting two hours, there shouldn’t be too many stragglers holding up traffic on the Manhattan Bridge. At the Lincoln Tunnel, all lanes of the Manhattan-bound helix (the spiral approach road to the tunnel) will close overnight 11:59 p.m. to 4:30 a.m. on Wednesday and Thursday. Drivers will take the Holland Tunnel instead. Due to FASTRACK repairs, there will be no E service in Manhattan overnight 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. on Wednesday and Thursday. Take the A or the C instead. M service from Manhattan toward 71st Ave. and Metropolitan Ave. ends at 8:40 p.m. on Wednesday and Thursday and R service from Manhattan toward 71st Ave. and 95th St. ends at 9:40 p.m.

On West St./Route 9A, one lane in each direction will close between West Thames and Vesey Sts. from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. on Wednesday and Thursday, and 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. on Friday and Saturday. Harrison St. will close between Greenwich and Hudson Sts. 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday. In the Battery Park Underpass, the south tube (from West St. to the F.D.R.) will completely close 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. Monday to Friday and 1 a.m. to 8 a.m. on Saturday through late June. For more street closure updates, follow me on Twitter @gridlocksam. Passover-Easter parking break!  Get a good parking spot on Monday, March 25 and you won’t have to move your car for A.S.P. until Wednesday, April 3rd!  The only exception is where ASP is in effect on Saturday.  In addition, New York City public schools go on spring break beginning Monday. That means no school buses, a respite for parents and commuters and yes, parking allowed adjacent to public schools.

Fr om the mailbag: Dear Transit Sam, For the past few weekends around 4:30 p.m., I have travelled north on West St. For many blocks south of Canal St., the traffic backed up to a crawl. The southbound traffic on West St. turning east onto Canal St.

blocked the intersection, making the backup worse. There were no traffic enforcement officers on duty directing traffic. Please help. Mark, Brooklyn   Dear Mark, I called the N.Y.P.D. to make sure that intersection is covered on weekends. You should now see someone there from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m.  Let me know if otherwise.

Letters to the Editor (cont.) Continued from page 18

ary zoning” in Northwest Tribeca, and the illusionary inclusionary zoning in the Holland Tunnel rotary, was due to the pressure from a small NIMBY group in the Tribeca Committee. Inclusionary zoning would have helped the affordable housing situation, but that is not what the immediate neighbors really wanted. I should know. I chaired the meetings while pushing for a board-wide zoning committee at the time. C.B. 1 should modify the committee structure by eliminating the four geographical ones like the other 58

However, traffic will continue to be worse since drivers heading south on West St. will turn at Canal to head to the Manhattan Bridge to avoid the toll hike at the Battery Tunnel. Weekend drivers are more ‘price-sensitive’ than daily commuters, so I’m seeing a lot of new patterns on Saturdays and Sundays. Until we end “bridge shopping” through rational tolls, these patterns will continue. Transit Sam

boards and add a Housing or Parks & Recreation Committee. Rick Landman Rick Landman is a former member of Community Board 1 who was chairperson of the board’s Planning & Infrastructure, Landmarks and Tribeca Committees. Editor’s note: With respect to the neighborhood count comparison of community boards, the writer cites the mayor’s community board listings, which defines neighborhoods differently than many New Yorkers. Boundaries are not at all exact, but for example, the city lists the Lower East Side in Boards 2 and 3, while we would say it’s entirely or almost entirely in C.B. 3.


March 20 - April 2, 2013 ing, talking, creating and moving. At 11am every Tues., Wed. and Thurs., the Scholastic Storyteller brings tales to life at Daily Storytime. At 557 Broadway (btw. Prince & Spring Sts.). Store hours: Mon.-Sat., 10am-7pm and Sun., 11am-6pm. For info, call 212-343-6166 or visit

The ChILDReN’s RooM AT PoeTs hoUse The Children’s Room at Poets House in BPC is a bright and vibrant space that encourages literacy and creativity. In addition to housing many poetry books by classic and contemporary authors, the Children’s Room is designed to stimulate the imaginations of young ones and drive them to create poems and art of their own. From Thurs.-Sat., children are free to draw inspiration from the room’s card catalogue full of quirky objects, and type up their own masterpieces on the vintage typewriters provided. Every Thurs. at 10am, “Tiny Poet Time” offers poetry readings and music for toddlers. On April 6 at 11am, the Children’s Room will host a performance of “Blown Away by Poetry” — a puppet show that teaches kids about poetic devices like simile and alliteration. On April 18 at 4pm, Poets House will present an all-ages Poem in Your Pocket Day celebration, featuring poetry readings from local school children and music by the Knickerbocker Chamber. At 10 River Terrace (at Murray Street). Hours: Children’s Room open Thurs.-Sat., 11am-5pm. Admission: Free. For info, call 212-431-7920 or visit sATURDAy fAMILy PRogRAMs AT The sKysCRAPeR MUseUM Explore tall buildings as objects of design, products of technology, sites of construction and places of work and residence

at The Skyscraper Museum. Their winter/spring “Saturday Family Program” series (taking place from 10:30-11:45am) features workshops designed to introduce children and their families to the principles of architecture and engineering through hands-on activities. On April 6, also designed for ages 7-14, “Cathedral of Commerce” explores how the Woolworth tower used the architectural vocabulary of medieval cathedrals. On April 27, “Woolworth’s Gargoyles” takes kids ages 3-10 on a quick tour of the exhibition “Woolworth Building @ 100,” then reveals why its design includes sculptures carved to resemble a monkey, dragon or lion (hint: it has something to do with rain water and the roof!). After the tour, participants will design skyscrapers with visual stories of their own. On May 11, kids of all ages are invited to a Mother’s Day Card Workshop to construct architecturally-themed cards for mom. All workshops ($5 per family) take place at 10:30am. Registration is required. Call 212-945-6324 or email At 39 Battery Place (btw. First Place & Little West St.). Regular museum hours are Wed.-Sun., 12-6pm. Admission is $5 ($2.50 for students/seniors). The sChoLAsTIC sToRe Held every Saturday at 3pm, Scholastic’s in-store activities are designed to get kids reading, think-

fACe To fACe: AN exhIBIT AT The ChILDReN’s MUseUM of The ARTs The Museum celebrates its quarter century of promoting self-expression and esteem — by presenting a new exhibit that offers a fascinating exploration of self-identity through still, moving and living portraits, as portrayed by children using traditional methods of painting and drawing as well as technology. “Face to Face” features 40 portraits selected from CMA’s Permanent Collection of children’s art from over 50 countries, dating back to the 1930s. “When viewed together,” says CMA Deputy Director Lucy Ofiesh, “the exhibit represents the diversity of self-expression and identity across the world and through the years.” To incorporate CMA’s philosophy of handson-art-making, the exhibit will be accompanied by a variety of interactive installations that examine the texture, shape and sound of portraits. Hands-on stations will encourage visitors to become part of the exhibit, including reimagined versions of a typical self-portrait station. At the CMA Media Lab, visitors can take photos that will be projected on the wall. These photos will stream into a montage that will be accessioned into the collection and will also serve as a fascinating time-lapse of the exhibit as a whole. “Face to Face” also offers aspiring young artists the opportunity to submit their own works for a chance to become part of the museum’s Permanent Collection. CMA will accept 25 original works, in honor of 25 years of operation, to be selected by the museum’s curatorial team (with one chosen by an online viewer’s choice campaign). At the Children’s Museum of the Arts, in the CMA Gallery (103 Charlton St.). Hours: Mon. & Wed., 12-5pm; Thurs. & Fri., 12-6pm; Sat. & Sun., 10am-5pm. Admission: $11 (Seniors and 0-12 months, free, from 4-6pm). Thursdays are pay-as-you-wish. For info, call 212-274-0986 or visit For Twitter:

TRINITy ChURCh PReseNTs fAMILy fRIDAy PIZZA & MoVIe NIghT Every so often, every family should get together for pizza and a movie. To help make that noble goal a regular thing, Trinity Wall Street hosts this third-Friday-of-the-month event for kids who are hungry (for food and entertainment) and adults who are too tired to cook (or even dial for delivery!). The April edition of “Family Friday Pizza & Movie Night” features “Kung Fu Panda.” Then, in May, it’s Dr. Seuss’ “The Lorax.” “Kung Fu Panda” screens Fri., April 19, 6-7:30pm. At Charlotte’s Place (107 Greenwich St., rear of 74 Trinity Place, btw. Rector & Carlisle Sts.). For more info, call 212-602-0800 or visit For Twitter: @CharlottesPlc. For Facebook, Charlotte’s Place is a free space. Open to everyone, it is supported and operated by Trinity Wall Street, an Episcopal parish in the city of New York. AVNeR The eCCeNTRIC, IN “exCePTIoNs To gRAVITy” Canal Park Playhouse welcomes to its previously warped boards a thoroughly warped performer who bends the rules of gravity, and logic, to his will (for your viewing pleasure). Known on the stage as Avner the Eccentric, Avner Eisenberg has toured the world performing everything from Shakespeare to Brecht — and in this latest incarnation, (“Exceptions to Gravity”), the recent inductee into the International Clown Hall of Fame returns to the classics, so to speak, in the form of timeless physical comedy. On weekends, brunch at the theater’s Waffle Iron Café is available before and after the show. The menu includes hot-off-the-waffle-iron frittatas, French toast, traditional Belgian Waffles and two famous house specialties: The Playhouse Pink Waffle (a pink waffle with strawberries and whipped cream) and the Decadent Dark Chocolate Waffle. Don’t have a sweet tooth? Really? Well, then, entree salads are also available! “Avner” appears through March 25, at Canal Park Playhouse (508 Canal St., btw. Greenwich & West Sts.). Fri. at 7pm, Sat. at 1pm/7pm, Sun. at 1pm/4pm. For tickets ($20), call 866-8114111 or visit


March 20 - April 2, 2013

For Village Folkies of the 60s, Turning 70 is a Good Gig Times change, but the song remembers when

Photo by Michael Lydon

The entrance to the shuttered Gaslight, on MacDougal Street.

BY M I CH A E L LY D O N “I was so much older then, I’m younger than that now,” Bob Dylan sang in 1964. Back then, the 23-year-old was a two-year veteran of the rough-and-tumble folk music scene that flourished in dozens of little clubs dotted along Bleecker, MacDougal and Fourth Streets in Greenwich Village. Almost 50 years later, Dylan is a vigorous senior. The scene that nurtured and sharpened his talent has changed and aged — but, more important, it has survived along with him. Most of the old clubs, however, haven’t survived. The Kettle of Fish on MacDougal, where Tim Hardin and Richie Havens hung out between sets at other clubs, is now a Vietnamese restaurant. Next door, The Gaslight, a basement bistro that once booked Doc Watson and Jose Feliciano, is shut tight. Above the steps, a faded sign boasts of the day “when poets and other arty types were known as bohemians not beatniks.” Across the street, the Players Theatre — where The Fugs chanted their X-rated ditties — is still there. But Speakeasy, the top folk club of the early 80s, has vanished without a trace. MacDougal Street has changed so much that when the Coen brothers recently shot exteriors for a movie about the Village folk scene, they set dressed a block of East Ninth Street rather than trying to reconstruct the original. Gerde’s Folk City, at Mercer and West Fourth in Dylan’s day, moved in the late 60s to the former Tony Pastore’s restaurant

Photo courtesy of Erik Frandsen

Left to Right: Erk Frandsen, David Massingiull and Dave Van Ronk in a Village bar, in the 1980s.

explain why Europe is going to hell.” Frandsen also acted, sang and played guitar in long runs of “Pump Boys and Dinettes” and, with banjoist Charlie Chin (another MacDougal Street veteran), put together a Hawaiian swing band whose

Photo by Michael Lydon

Erik Frandsen in his MacDougal Street apartment.

on West Third near Sixth Avenue. Run for years by the legendary Mike Porco, Folk City hung on as a music club until 1987. Bleecker Street’s The Bitter End became The Other End and then, again, The Bitter End — and now features more rock than folk performers (Lady Gaga is the latest star to win a first following at the 52-yearold venue). “But what are you going to do?” asks Erik Frandsen, a fine finger-picking guitarist and Folk City regular through the 70s,

“Give up because a club closes? Never!” Frandsen, who still lives above the old Gaslight in a tiny apartment crammed with songbooks, CDs and old VHS tapes, often drops into Caffé Vivaldi on Jones Street to play a few late-night tunes. Living through lean times by selling guitars at Matt Umanov’s on Bleecker, he slowly built an acting career. “By now I’ve done dozens of ‘Law and Order’ episodes, and on ‘The Colbert Report’ I play Heinz Beinholtz, the stern German ambassador who comes on to

‘But what are you going to do?’ asks Erik Frandsen, a fine finger-picking guitarist and Folk City regular through the 70s, ‘Give up because a club closes? Never!’ syrupy repertoire grew into “The Song of Singapore” — a musical that ran for a year and a half at the Irving Plaza. “Now I’m 66, on Social Security, so you could say I’m semi-retired. But hell, with a few pals, I’m trying to launch a new musical comedy about the CIA, ‘John Goldfarb, Continued on page 22


March 20 - April 2, 2013

For folkies, 70 is a good gig

Photo by Michael Lydon

The site of the old Folk City (now the Village Underground).

Continued from page 21

Please Come Home.’ To any senior who wonders, can I still play music, I say, sure, dust off the old songs you used to play. You never know what might happen, and you gotta be in it to win it!” Rod McDonald, a mellow-voiced singersongwriter, had to give up his Folk City and Cornelia Street Café gigs in the mid-1990s to move to Florida and care for his elderly parents. “I thought my career was over,’ McDonald recently recalled. “But I looked around, and found that a lot of little clubs in

Dany Kalb, circa 2013, in his Park Slope apartment.

of times a year, and last summer he packed The Gaslight, briefly re-opened for a folk revival concert series produced by Bob Porco (Mike Porco’s grandson). “I first met Bob Dylan in 1960,” remembers guitarist-songwriter Danny Kalb. “I was a student at the University of Wisconsin, and Dylan crashed with me for a few weeks in Madison on his way from Hibbing, Minnesota to New York. We had so much fun, I dropped out and followed him. The Village scene then? Wonderful! Dave Van Ronk became my teacher. I heard great artists like Fred Neal and Tim Hardin. Soon I was gigging, had a record out. But us folkies

‘Now I’m 70, but seniors aren’t pushed to the side today. We can join the public debate, give back what we’ve learned from experience. When we were young, we were too dogmatic. But fanaticism, I’ve learned, is the enemy. Now I enjoy life, the bad and the good.’ —Danny Kalb Florida had open mikes. So I started dropping in, and the bookers began asking me, ‘Hey, could you play Wednesday night, maybe Thursday?’ Soon I was doing as well down there as I’d been doing in New York City.” Florida is still home for McDonald, his wife and kids — but he books tours through the Northeast folk circuit a couple

were about more than music. We were out to change the world. I went on a Freedom Ride, spent three days in a Baltimore jail.” A long run leading the hit group, the Blues Project, took Kalb on coast-tocoast tours, headlining top venues like the Fillmore East and West. But after the first wave of success ebbed away, he

faced the challenge of keeping his career going through leaner times. “What saved me? I always loved music,” Kalb said, sipping coffee as a Thelonious Monk CD played softly in his Park Slope apartment, crammed like Frandsen’s with guitars and musical gear. “Music kept me going, through a nervous breakdown, through a heart attack, through a stroke that, luckily, left my hands intact for playing.” A beatific smile crossing Kalb’s Buddhalike face. “You see, I’m happy! I still feel my music is growing, evolving. I love my new CD, ‘Moving in Blue.’ Now I’m 70, but seniors aren’t pushed to the side today. We can join the public debate, give back what we’ve learned from experience. When we were young, we were too dogmatic. But fanaticism, I’ve learned, is the enemy. Now I enjoy life, the bad and the good.” Jonathan Kalb, Danny’s younger brother, started out at 19 playing bass with the Fugs at the Players Theatre. “Jimi Hendrix was playing at the Cafe Wha? next door, and he’d call me in, saying, ‘Hey, Johnny, you gotta hear my latest song!’ Then he went to England and came back a star.” Jonathan hasn’t become as well-known as his older brother, but he’s steadily made his living as an all-around musician — playing guitar, bass, keyboards and even drums. “I spent years touring Germany, France, England and Scandinavia,” Jonathan recalls. “I’ve opened for B.B. King, played in soul bands, funk bands, you name it. For me, the secret is: keep playing, no matter what! I’m not sure how much I have to do with it — the music inside me keeps itself going!” Not every 60s and 70s folkie, of course, has survived. Most famously, Phil Ochs

Photo by David Gahr, courtesy of Danny Kalb

Blues guitarist Danny Kalb, in the 1970s.

committed suicide in 1976 and, most recently, Frank Christian died this past December. But Sefan Grossman, David Massingill, Cliff Eberhardt, Tom Pacheco and other lesser-known performers are still banging out old and new songs of love, peace and protest. On May 21, many of them will be take the stage at the Village Underground (130 West Third Street) — site of the second Folk City — for “The Freewheelin’ 50th Anniversary All-Star Jam,” a concert Bob Porco is producing to celebrate classic songs, including “Blowing in the Wind” and “Masters of War,” from Dylan’s second album (“The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan”). As MacDougal Street hipsters used to say, be there or be square.


March 20 - April 2, 2013



Like a good idea that refuses to die, Mary Shelley’s classic horror story has been reimagined countless times since her novel was first published in 1818. Now, Hudson Guild Theatre Company puts its stamp on “Frankenstein” with a new stage adaptation that draws on the wildly imaginative (and unexpectedly witty) 1931 film version directed by James Whale (starring Boris Karloff as the lumbering, mute and misunderstood reanimated creation). Over 75 tight and tense minutes, a cast of 18 will perform the play on a set (designed by Sheryl Liu) which incorporates modern industrial materials to create a cold world of ruthless experimentation and unbridled scientific research. Larry Littman, a senior in his eighties who’s been teaching a writing class at Hudson Guild for many years, plays The Blind Hermit. “Larry is a wonderful enhancement to any production he’s in,” says director Jim Furlong. “He’s a real character actor. Since his retirement over 15 years ago, he’s been a devoted and productive member of our community in many different ways.” Appropriate for ages six and up. Fri., March 22 & 29 at 8pm; Sat., March 23 & 30 at 2pm & 8pm; Sun., March 24 at 3pm. At the Hudson Guild Theatre (441 W. 26th St., btw. Ninth & Tenth Aves.) Admission: Pay what you wish. For reservations, call 212760-9817. Visit


The Who were just a bunch of cocky pups when they sang “I hope I die before I get old.” Well, they’re still singing — and we’re still talkin’ about their generation. But even though the children of the 60s (who warned us not to trust anyone over 30) are redefining what it means to be active and aware contributors, they’re not immune to ageism (both internalized and cultural).

Photo by Tommy Mintz

Larry Littman, in HGTC’s production of “Genius (by Chopin).” Littman does Blind Hermit duties in “Frankenstein.”

This talk by blogger Ashton Applewhite takes a look at stereotyping and discrimination on the basis of age — and why it’s so damaging. Prep for the Q&A by reading some of Applewhite’s blog work, on This Chair Rocks and Yo, Is this Ageist? — or go all old school and thumb through her book (“Cutting Loose: Why Women Who End Their Marriages Do So Well”). Free admission. Mon., April 8, 6:30pm. At The Cooper Union’s Rose Auditorium (41 Cooper Square, E. 7th St. & 3rd Ave.). For info,, call 212-353-4195 or find The Cooper Union at on page 24







March 20 - April 2, 2013

Just Do Art! Continued from page 24

runion and at


Formerly known as Gallery 307, one of Chelsea’s most unique art spaces has changed its name to The Carter Burden Gallery — but its purpose (to give a voice to NYC’s re-emerging older professional artist) remains unchanged. The current group show contains paintings, assemblage pieces, photographs and sculpture from a core group whose work has been featured since the gallery’s 2009 debut. From the colorful strata of Hedy O’Beil’s gestural abstraction to the organic architecture of David Cerulli’s large scale painting to Jonathan Bauch’s delicate steel sculpture and Leslie Shaw Zadoian’s assemblage piece reflecting the weight and wisdom of her found objects, “18 Artists” is a collection of diverse voices uniquely relevant to contemporary artistic discourse. The next exhibit is Barbara Coleman’s “Letting the Light In” (opening reception Thurs., April 11, then on view through May 16). Free admission. “18 Artists” is on view through March 28, at the Carter Burden Gallery (548 W. 28th St., #534,

Image courtesy of the artist and Carter Burden Gallery

Carol Massa’s “Eye of the Creator” (oil, 36" x 48"), on display through March 28, is part of Carter Burden Gallery’s “18 Artists” group show.

btw. 10th & 11th Aves.). Gallery Hours: Tues.-Fri., 11am-5pm & Sat., 11am6pm. Call 212-564-8405 or visit For info about the Carter Burden Center and its programs, visit

Photo courtesy of Ashton Applewhite

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March 20 - April 2, 2013

Skyscraper Museum celebrates Woolworth’s 100th birthday Continued on page 27

people who work there. Since the nearby World Trade Center was attacked on Sept. 11, 2001, the lobby has been closed to visitors with occasional exceptions. This year, however, in honor of the centennial, the Skyscraper Museum in Battery Park City has organized an exhibit about the Woolworth building and has also arranged a few tours for museum members. What they see when they enter the lobby is as awe-inspiring as it was a hundred years ago when Frank W. Woolworth, the owner of hundreds of five-and-ten cent stores in the United States, Canada and England, first unveiled it. A vaulted ceiling soars above their heads, inlaid with glass tiles infused with gold leaf. The intricate mosaics depict exotic birds and floral designs interspersed among geometric forms. In front of them is a dramatic marble staircase surmounted by a stainedglass skylight. The lobby walls are made of a warm-colored marble imported from Greece. Sculptures, paintings and bronze fixtures complete the effect of grandeur and opulence. “Woolworth wanted people to come into the lobby and see it,” said Gail Fenske, an architectural historian and co-curator of the museum’s exhibit. “He was a big fan of the Eiffel Tower that drew many visitors. Woolworth expected people to visit the lobby and the observatory. Thousands of people did — paying 50 cents a ticket. Throughout the ’20s it was the most popular observatory in New York.” The observatory has been closed since 1945.

The Woolworth Building.

Woolworth, who was born on April 13, 1852 to a poor farming family in Upstate New York, came up with the idea of having stores that would sell everything at a

Downtown Express photos by Terese Loeb Kreuzer

The lobby of the Woolworth building at 233 Broadway. The stairs once led to the Irving Bank, which occupied several floors of the building when it opened in April 1913. Corbels in the lobby of the Woolworth building depict the men who played a role in creating it. Architect Cass Gilbert is shown holding a model of the building, near right, and Frank Woolworth, who hired him.

fixed price — initially a nickel, and then a dime. He opened his first successful store in Lancaster, Penn. in 1879 — a date that is memorialized in the lobby skylight. The skylight is also inscribed with the date 1913 when Woolworth’s building proclaimed to the world that he had become one of its richest men. “I think there is a spirit to the Woolworth building that has everything to do with the idea of the American success story,” said Fenske. “At the opening, journalists called Woolworth the true Horatio Alger, rags to riches. There’s a sense of aspiration about the building. You look at that building and you think, these are people who aspired to something, and not just Frank Woolworth, who was staggeringly successful from a financial standpoint, but also the architect Cass Gilbert.” Gilbert, who designed the U.S. Custom House at Bowling Green and 90 West St. before Woolworth hired him, was, like his client, a self-made man. His father died when he was very young, leaving his mother with three young children. She moved the family to Minnesota, where Gilbert began

working in an architectural office at the age of 17. No one who enters the Woolworth building can forget about the men who made it. Sculpted caricatures of Woolworth and Gilbert and others who gave birth to the building look down on visitors from the lintels they support. Woolworth is depicted counting his money. Gilbert holds a model of the building itself. Gunvald Aus, the building’s engineer, has his arms wrapped around a steel truss. Although steel structures enrobed in terra cotta had previously been built, none were as tall as this building, which presented engineering challenges for Aus to solve. The building rests on concrete and steel caissons, most of them 14 feet in diameter, that had to be driven down through around 100 feet of muck to Manhattan bedrock. It also had to be reinforced so that it would not sway in the wind. Louis Horowitz, president of ThompsonStarrett, the building’s construction com-

pany, is depicted making a telephone call. Telephones, like electricity, were just decades old at that time, and not everyone had them. The Woolworth building was a proud amalgam of the latest technology with the most sumptuous materials and craftsmanship. Edward Hogan, the building’s real estate agent, is shown counting on his fingers. Woolworth created an ornate office for himself on the 24th floor and utilized part of the 23rd floor as well for his company, but the rest of the building was rented to others. He wanted to make a profit on it — and he did. Irving National Exchange Bank was one of the principal tenants. In the lobby sculptures, Lewis Pierson, president of the bank, has been equipped with a ticker tape machine. There are other figures, too, who have not been identified. “Woolworth was very proud of the building,” said Fenske, who curated the exhibit with Carol Willis, the museum’s director. “He spoke of travelContinued on page 27


March 20 - April 2, 2013

Lady Liberty to reopen by Independence Day Continued on page 27

world to our shores,” he said. A report released last month by the National Park Service showed that in 2011, 3.7 million people visited the park, bringing in $174 million and providing over 2,000 jobs. “I heard from all over New York that this was hurting our tourist industry,” said Schumer, not to mention the “400 people whose lives were somewhat in limbo.” Liz Berger, president of the Downtown Alliance, said in a statement: “One of Lower Manhattan’s premiere tourist destinations, the reopening of Lady Liberty this summer is terrific news for the local tourism and hospitality industry and for the millions of annual tourists visiting from near and far.” Salazar said that crews have been working around the clock to push for an aggressive comeback, and that the rebuilding process was making the island not only able to reopen but better prepared to weather future storms — good news since the grim press conference at the end of February, when the sequester was weighing heavily on the Parks Department and no timeline could be established. Asked if it was possible to open sooner, he said it was a possibility but that the number one priority was making sure visitors were safe and secure, a concern stemming from damage to the security screening tent in Battery Park. An announcement on the topic will be made next week by the National Parks Service. The tent has never been popular Downtown and the National Park Service proposed moving security screening to Ellis Island, but the N.Y.P.D. contended that screening should take place prior to boarding the ferry. Salazar said that the discus-

Woolworth Continued on page 27

ing in Europe and seeing a poster in which the Woolworth building was featured as a building that represented New York. He was proud that he created a landmark to New York City and that people understood New York through his project.” Those who are unable to get into the lobby of the Woolworth building can still learn about it at the Skyscraper Museum exhibit. It includes original drawings of the structure from the archives of the New York Historical Society and from Gilbert’s office. Items related to Woolworth and his stores are also on display. The building’s handsome terra cotta cladding is documented with mural-sized photographs accompanied by photo-

sions with the N.Y.P.D. were both “positive and productive.” Along with security screening, there is still damage to the utilities and infrastructure that need repair. The statue, 154 feet off the ground, was mostly unscathed by the storm. Ellis Island, on the other hand, sustained heavy damage and its reopening date is uncertain. Over one-million artifacts were moved to the National Park Service Museum Resources Center in Maryland for preservation in January. In the meantime, Liberty Island is being updated to withstand future storms, said Dennis Reidenbach, the National Park Service’s Northeast Regional Director, including a permanent, storm-resistant dock with $59 million allocated for both islands’ repairs. Lady Liberty’s reinstatement will be a crown jewel indeed, as the statue will be open all the way to the crown. The announcement seemed like a special moment for Salazar, who is about to step down as secretary. In 2009, three days after he took over the department, he announced that the crown would reopen that July 4th — the first time since the 9/11 attack.


.com Downtown Express File Photo by Terese Loeb Kreuzer

The Statue of Liberty.

graphs of Atlantic Terra Cotta’s works at Perth Amboy, N.J. and Tottenville, P.A., where the terra cotta was made. The Woolworth building is contemporary with Grand Central Terminal, which also celebrates its 100th anniversary this year, and with the Municipal Building at 1 Centre St., which was completed in 1912. Fenske speculated as to why so much major construction was happening at that time. “I think you can point to prosperity,” she said. “New York was a prosperous port. It was at the height of its power economically. There were people who believed in the city and wanted to invest in it. And what I am really struck by is the commitment to really improving the city with these beautiful buildings that stay with us today.”

exhibit & tour info Skyscraper Museum, 39 Battery Place, New York, NY 10280 Phone: (212) 968-1961; Open 12 p.m. to 6 p.m., Wednesday-Sunday. Admission, $5 (adults); $2.50 (students and seniors). Woolworth@100 exhibition runs through July 14, 2013. Curator's Tours: March 20; April 17 and 24, at 3 p.m. Free with museum admission. Building Manager's tours of the Woolworth building: April 8, 16 and 30, at 6 p.m. Reservations required. The tours are free to members of the Skyscraper Museum. Woolworth Week: April 22: Curator Gail Fenske lecture at AIA NY; April 23: Centennial Reception at The Skyscraper Museum; April 24: Woolworth Building Centennial. For more information, go to


March 20 - April 2, 2013


Downtown Express, March 20, 2013  

Downtown Express is Lower Manhattan's Community Newspaper

Downtown Express, March 20, 2013  

Downtown Express is Lower Manhattan's Community Newspaper