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VOLUME 6, NUMBER 14 APRIL 09, 2014

THE WEST SIDE’S COMMUNITY NEWSPAPER SERVING CHELSEA, HUDSON YARDS & HELL'S KITCHEN

Budget in Tow, Electeds Fill CB4 Meeting BY EILEEN STUKANE On Wednesday, April 2, the packed room at the Community Board 4 (CB4) Full Board Meeting at Roosevelt Hospital (10th Avenue between West 57th and 58th Streets), heard from more than its usual share of elected offi cials. Two days earlier, on March 31, the New York State Executive Budget had been approved and Albany officials brought news of state funds to be spent on health, education, transportation and more.

First to the podium, however, was Midtown South Precinct’s Commanding Officer Edward Winski. He was invited by CB4 to speak about actions the precinct was taking to improve safety in the community, particularly pedestrian safety (Midtown South extends from east of 9th Avenue to Lexington Avenue, from 29th to 45th Streets). He reported that Mayor de Blasio has enlisted the NYPD to strongly pursue

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Town Hall Panel Touts Strategies, New and Ongoing BY ZACH WILLIAMS City Councilmember Corey Johnson hosted local and city officials at a March 25 town hall meeting held at the School of Visual Arts Theatre (333 West 23rd Street). Over 100 residents attended as Johnson moderated a discussion on topics including education, traffic safety and noise mitigation — with a focus on new strategies being employed to improve quality of life. Interagency cooperation is the key to unlocking solutions, officials said in response to audience questions read by Johnson

throughout the meeting. Asked how the increasingly crowded Chelsea and Greenwich Village area can accommodate the demands of universal pre-kindergarten, Department of Education representative Sadye Campoamor said community organizations have submitted an abundance of proposals to provide space for a projected 20,000 area youngsters. The approval that day by the department of a new middle school at 75 Morton Street was an example, said

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TALKING POINT, LETTERS PAGE 8

FESTIVAL GUIDE PAGES 11-20

Photo by Sam Spokony

State Senator Brad Hoylman and other electeds spoke forcefully, at an April 6 rally against the 124 W. 16th St. development.

Neighbors Crusade Against Church Air Rights Sale BY SAM SPOKONY Residents of West 16th Street, now joined by local elected officials, are continuing their fight against the “monstrous” and “out of scale” development currently underway on their block — and they’re also hoping for some divine intervention that could cut the planned building’s size in half. The block residents have been outraged since last December, when Einhorn Development Group revealed they were building an 11-story condo building at 124 West 16th Street (between Sixth and Seventh Avenues), next to and above the 180-year-old French Evangelical Church. Those plans were first laid back in April 2012 when Einhorn bought the former No. 124 building from the

church for $4 million (later demolishing it), and simultaneously bought the air rights over the church itself, at 126 West 16th Street, for an undisclosed sum. As part of the deal, the church not only received more than twice the money necessary for $2 million worth of repairs to its aging facade and interior, but also gained 5,000 square feet of space in Einhorn’s new condo building, some of which it reportedly plans to rent in order to establish an endowment fund. That air rights purchase allowed the developer to bump up the building height from six to 11 stories, while keeping it as-of-right based on city zoning laws — but that hasn’t stopped the residents from railing against both Einhorn and the church.

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“They’re disregarding the needs of the hundreds of people impacted by this development,” said West 16th Street resident Doug Halsey, who was joined by around 30 of his neighbors at a rally outside the development site on April 6. Amid chants of “Shame on you!” he also reminded the crowd that the Einhorns — Hal and Yiannes, the father-and-son leaders of the development group, as well as Hal’s wife Valery — have said they plan to live at 124 West 16th Street once it is built (completion is currently expected by 2016). “It’s cruelly ironic that they plan to live in the building, because they’ll be bathing in the natural sunlight they

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April 9 - 22, 2014

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April 9 - 22, 2014

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Church to Residents: Air Rights Sale Not a Done Deal Continued from page 1 will have literally stolen from the neighbors on their block,” said Halsey, referring to the fact that the rest of block’s buildings — as with most of the surrounding neighborhood — rise no higher than six stories. Also joining the residents at that April 6 rally were State Senator Brad Hoylman, State Assemblymember Dick Gottfried and City Councilmember Corey Johnson, all of whom strongly called on Einhorn and the church to scale back the development in order to make it fit with the context of the rest of the block. “Just because it’s as of right, doesn’t mean it is right,” said Hoylman. “It’s not right for [Einhorn] to block the light and air of so many of their neighbors, it’s not right for them to change the character of this historic neighborhood, and it’s not right that the French Evangelical Church is trying to get the top dollar for a development that’s going to ruin the neighborhood.” Following much of the criticism already heaped upon its stark, stone and glass design, Johnson declared that the new building will “mutilate and scar” the block. “And we are not going to sit by and allow that to happen,” he told the crowd. “The people who have lived here, who have made Chelsea what it is and who have made 16th Street what it is, are more important than glass luxury condos going up on a beautiful residential block.” Einhorn declined to comment in response to the rally. For all their effort, the fact remains that the protesting residents and electeds only wield the authority of a moral argument when it comes to battling against the developer. Since Einhorn’s plans fully comply with zoning laws — and their air rights purchase was approved by the city last December — if they decide not to negotiate, there is only one way in which the developer could legally be forced to scale back those plans. That path would involve a major ruling, not by city officials, but by the Presbytery of New York City — the French Evangelical Church’s governing body — which must approve the sale of any church-owned property. The Presbytery already signed off on the sale of the previous building at 124 West 16th Street, back before it took place in 2012 — but the same approval has not yet been granted for the sale of the air rights over the church, according to publicly available Presbytery records. In fact, Daniel Nicolas, a board trustee for the church, admitted to Chelsea Now in a March 31 phone interview that he and his board “haven’t had a conversation yet with the Presbytery about the air rights.” He then claimed his board was “under the impression” that the Presbytery doesn’t have to approve sales of air rights, and said he is currently seeking “clarification” on that issue. In a later interview, Nicolas declined to comment on the April 6 rally. He also declined to comment on the fact that he provided false and misleading information

Courtesy of David Howell Design

A rendering of 124 W. 16th St., currently expected to be completed by 2016.

about this issue — possibly with the intent of reframing the debate around Presbytery approval of the air rights — to a reporter for another publication. As part of a March 28 article, Nicolas told a Bloomberg News reporter that the air rights sale took place in 2014, and the initial agreement between Einhorn and the church, which led to that sale, also took place within the past several months. (The Bloomberg reporter later confirmed that it was Nicolas who made those claims.) In fact, as this newspaper has previously reported, and as is shown in city records, both the sale of 124 West 16th Street and the sale of the air rights took place in 2012. So it’s unclear why there were apparently no air rights-related conversations between the church and the Presbytery during that two-year period, and it’s equally unclear why Nicolas is now trying to claim that the air rights sale didn’t even take place in 2012. Many 16th Street residents have accused he and his church board of being disingenuous, for that and numerous other reasons, but Nicolas has not shed any further light on the matter. In any case, the Presbytery will likely decide whether or not to approve the air rights sale at its mid-April board meeting, according to the Reverend Robert FoltzMorrison, the group’s executive presbyter. Foltz-Morrison has declined to comment in detail on the issue, saying that he still needs to review both the history of the plans and the current situation, but told Chelsea Now that he may be ready to make a decision after that meeting. He added that a decision may have to be held off until the following month’s meeting, depending on that review process. However, it’s also unclear what would happen, legally speaking, if the Presbytery were to deny the air rights sale, since that sale has already taken place in the eyes of city officials. At the very least, it would likely give the protesting West 16th Street residents at least some legal leverage in a fight to void

that sale. And if the sale were to be voided, Einhorn, lacking those air rights, would have to stick with a six-story condo building, rather than building up to 11 stories. Meanwhile, the residents have no intention of stopping their battle, as they hope to either convince Einhorn to have some mercy or the Presbytery to take a stand

against the deal. “We are not giving up,” said Jen Ollman, a block resident who helped put together the April 6 rally. “We’re trying to set a precedent not only for 16th Street and not only for Chelsea, but for the entire city. We must save our city from this kind of development, because we’re all neighbors here.”


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April 9 - 22, 2014

Gottfried and Hoylman, on Budget and Bills Continued from page 1 his Vision Zero program for ending traffic deaths and injuries on the streets and to that end, the precinct is taking a stand. Auxiliary police have distributed educational materials to cyclists and drivers, and now there will be greater law enforcement on the streets. “Tomorrow we’re going to be out in force on the bike lanes on Eighth and Ninth Avenues enforcing the rules of the road,” he said, and continued, “My analyses of fatalities involving pedestrians show that half of the pedestrians are inside the crosswalk, crossing with the light, and a driver fails to yield to that pedestrian, leading to tragic circumstances. We are going to be aggressively enforcing traffic laws.” He also plans on addressing the gridlock on Ninth Avenue between West 35th and 40th Streets caused by traffic heading to the Lincoln Tunnel, and cracking down on electric bikes, now deemed illegal. Anyone using an electric bike can expect a summons and confiscation of the bike. Officer Winski reported that crime in his precinct is 85 percent property crime, grand larceny and burglary, and that the trend is downward. Crime so far, is six

Photo by Eileen Stukane

Edward Winski, commander of Midtown South Precinct, responds to a question about traffic safety.

percent lower this year. Anyone with an issue can reach out to Midtown South. Officer Winski can be reached at: 212-239-9806, or email edward.winski@nypd.org. Community Affairs Officer, Detective Paul Spano can be reached at: 212-239-9846, or email paul.spano@nypd.org.

Assemblymember Richard Gottfried was first to speak about the new state budget’s allocated $300 million for universal pre-kindergarten. He had supported city funding for Pre-K through Mayor de Blasio’s proposed tax on high-income earners. “We got the money, that’s good,” said Gottfried, “I’d rather we would have gotten it the way Mayor de Blasio wanted rather than taking it from what else might have been paid for in the state budget, such as snow removal on state highways, and I think that fight is going to continue.” He invited everyone to watch him speak about taxes on the floor of the Assembly by visiting assembly.state.ny.us, clicking “Assembly Members” and then his name. He reported that with other Assembly Members he fought for the return of the $40 million that was to be pulled from the Metropolitan Transit Authority’s (MTA) budget to help pay its bonds. Of the $40 million, $10 million went back into subway and bus services. Gottfried also has co-sponsored legislation to increase

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the number of traffic enforcement speedsensitive cameras to 160. Right now there are only 20 such cameras installed in school speed zones as part of last year’s pilot program. New York State Senator Brad Hoylman spoke next about what he called “some of the low lights” of the state budget, before getting to more highlights. “We did not get comprehensive finance reform, which we are continuing to work on, but more disturbing is that funding for the Moreland Commission (officially known as the Commission to Investigate Public Corruption) was eviscerated. I was not supportive of that,” said Hoylman. Among the highlights of the budget, there is now a 30 percent cap on rent for low-income residents in housing programs and for people with HIV/AIDS, a victory for activists. Also income eligibility for the Senior Citizens Rent Increase Exemption (SCRIE) was raised from $29,000 to $50,000, net after deductions. There are additional resources for New York City shelters. A new 25 percent live theater tax credit was instituted. The tax credit will be available to producers who open their shows in the city and take them on the road to upstate New York. Hoylman noted with importance that Governor Cuomo has launched The Plan To End AIDS in New York, with the goal of bringing viral loads among HIV positive people down to virtually zero. “With modern medicine this can be done with one pill,” said Hoylman. “It doesn’t work for everyone, but it does for a lot of people. If we do that for one generation of people who are HIV positive you can extinguish the pandemic. This is an amazing approach.” Hoylman wanted the community to know that he voted against a bill that removed the city’s control over the location of charter schools. “We are institutionalizing the battle between charter schools and public schools,” he said. “Charter schools are public schools and we need the city of New York to have control over them.”

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April 9 - 22, 2014

Infrastructure Concerns on W. 59th

Photo by Eileen Stukane

Linda Ashley, president of the W. 44th St. Better Block Association/Friends of Pier 84, speaks against extending the closing time for Bea Restaurant & Bar.

Continued from page 4 In conclusion, Hoylman invited everyone to bring old batteries and drink organic New York State wine, at his Earth Day Open House, Tuesday, April 22, 4-6pm, Office of State Senator Hoylman, 322 8th Avenue (at West 26th Street) Suite 1700. RSVP: 212-633-8052 or hoylman@nysenate.gov. Assemblymember Linda Rosenthal brought more state budget highlights with news that the money for Rape Crisis Centers was raised by $1.8 million. Also the Elderly Pharmaceutical Insurance Program (EPIC) was expanded by $4.1 million to assist seniors who meet certain income limits in paying for expensive prescription drugs. The state Environmental Protection Fund (EPF) received an additional $9 million for a total of $162 million. However, Rosenthal expressed her dismay in the fact that crossbow hunting is now allowed, as opposed to the formerly approved bow-and-arrow. Rosenthal’s latest proposed legislation is a bill to end the restriction of rent regulated tenants from amenities such as rooftop decks, pools, fitness centers in buildings that only allow market-rate tenants the use of those facilities. She proposes that rent-regulated tenants be charged a fee, just as market-rate tenants are, for the use of amenities. A landlord who does not comply would be subject to a $25,000 fine and a forfeit of rent increases until the violation is cured. Rosenthal and other electeds also wrote to NYC Police Commissioner Bratton to request that, for the security of students, schools be closed on primary election days, just as they are on general election days. For Governor Andrew Cuomo, Eric

Botcher took the podium to announce that this spring and summer the Emergency Preparedness Core Training Program will be coming to Manhattan. The Governor’s office in partnership with the National Guard will be presenting two-hour programs about what to do in the event of an emergency and will be distributing equipped “go-bags.” The goal is to train 100,000 for emergency readiness.

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NYC Councilmember Corey Johnson (District 3) noted that the city’s budget of $73 billion would not be adopted until June, and input from local groups was being sought. CB4 had 19 pages of recommendations for the budget to be voted on later in the evening. His welcome news was that 11th Avenue bus service is being expanded from Columbus Circle all the way down to the West Village. Johnson said that his March 25 Town Hall meeting was attended by 200 people and representatives of 14 city agencies who answered questions. More Town Halls will be scheduled. NYC Councilmember Helen Rosenthal (District 6) announced that her first Town Hall meeting will be on Wednesday, April 30, 6-8pm at John Jay College, 524 West 59th Street (between 10th and 11th Avenues). Her major concern expressed at the meeting was related to the TF Cornerstone project, a 1,189 unit apartment building scheduled for 606 West 57th Street, across the street from the planned Durst building, two developments which together will bring about 5,000 new residents to the area. Rosenthal showed deep concern about the lack of planned infrastructure for such

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April 9 - 22, 2014

City Reps Tout Public Safety Initiatives Continued from page 1 Campoamor, of such “community initiative.” Mary Basset, newly appointed commissioner of the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, said early in the event that public servants are seeking a new strategy of community outreach which requires them to “not do to people, do with people.” Consolidated Edison spokesperson Pat Richardi said the company depends on the public in order to prevent leaks, which can lead to explosions — such as that which occurred near the intersection of Park Avenue and East 116th Street on March 12, leading to seven fatalities. “Your noses are our first line of defense," she said. The company is currently exceeding regulatory safety requirements, she said. This year, 65 aging pipes were replaced at the same time as operations expand in order to meet the growing demand. One question read by Johnson elicited ironic chuckles from the crowd: “Why is Con Ed always doing construction on the streets?” Richardi responded by saying the company faces a large volume of requested projects, each with individual challenges, in Chelsea and surrounding neighborhoods. “We are seeing more requests for additional gas, additional electric, additional steam, safety and reliability,” she said. Candles are now the third leading cause of residential fires in the city, according to Kevin Anderson, who represented the FDNY Fire Safety Division on the panel. Some local buildings quarantine flames within individual units, requiring residents to stay inside in the event of a fire in another unit rather than using fire escapes, he added. Accidents were not the only issue raised by the audience on the topic of home security and well-being. Safeguarding house and home against invaders requires the involvement of residents as well as landlords, officials said. Ensuring that doors and windows are always locked could help temper a spike in local burglaries say police — but rats and

Photo by Zach Williams

City Councilmember Corey Johnson (right, at podium) moderated, as a panel of city officials addressed local concern.

mold are more resilient foes, said officials from other departments. A 2013 city law empowers the Department of Housing and Building Preservation to issue orders against landlords who fail to address mold issues discovered through visual inspection, according to Deputy Commissioner Vito Mustaciuolo. A similar authority is in place to address tenant complaints about rats, said Basset, though expectations cannot be too high. “I can’t say we are going to eliminate them,” she said. However, one plan to eradicate a growing scourge of city life is well underway. Stronger enforcement of traffic laws on cyclists led NYPD officials to tout initial progress in Mayor Bill de Blasio’s Vision Zero initiative, which aims to eventually eliminate traffic fatalities in the city. Keeping cyclists in bike lanes and motorists out is part of an “aggressive” local effort, according to NYPD Capt. David Miller, commander of the 10th Precinct. Of 68 biking accidents in Chelsea last year, only eight occurred within designated

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bicycle lanes, he said. More than 600 summonses have been issued recently as part of the effort, he added. Decreasing the speed of all moving within busy local streets is part of an overall plan to mix crime and transportation safety strategies with extended public outreach. More speed barriers are also being considered for accident-prone areas, Miller said. Street intervention teams will also roam the streets reminding violators of the law. “We like to target hot spots,” Miller noted. Extreme circumstances are required to relocate Citi Bike share sites, but residents have opportunities nonetheless to take some control of their streets. Citizens can adopt street meridians, which are normally overseen in partnership between the Parks Department and the Department of Sanitation. It is just one way that residents can increase the prevalence of trees in the local area. Reaching out to city councilmembers may also lead to empty tree pits being filled. Addressing sound pollution evoked the lone catcall of the evening, in response

to a question on the criteria for granting permits for after-hours construction. Byron Muñoz, a representative of the Department of Buildings, said, “We believe in engaging in after hours work for safety.” A heckle followed the remark. Muñoz remained quiet during the interruption, but subsequently added that the volume of complaints made to the department about a particular site can influence the prospects of future applications. Rowdy bars in the Meatpacking District are difficult to tame, said Inspector Elisa Cokkinos (former commander of Chelsea’s 10th Precinct, who now oversees the Village’s Sixth Precinct). A cabaret team targeting violators has issued 10,000 summonses, she said. Still, the department is challenged by the area’s density of bars. “It’s an ongoing struggle,” said Cokkinos. Keeping fares down on public transportation will also be difficult, according to Zachary Campbell, Assistant Director, MTA NYC Transit. He declined to comment on the possibility that subway fares will increase this year, but said technology will have an influence in any case on tickets. The agency is considering the adoption of smart phone technology as a replacement to the currently used magnetic cards. Though such a plan is still years away from implementation, he added that more than money passes to the agency when straphangers swipe through turnstiles. Data garnered from the cards is used by the agency to determine the number and habits of riders. Analysis of resulting statistics influences decisions on service levels, he said. Throughout the night, city officials stressed the utility of 311, in response to audience queries on how to contact them. In one of the evening’s final remarks, Muñoz promoted a new Department of Buildings mobile phone application meant to engage the public. Like speakers before, he concluded by mentioning the opportunities citizens have to engage city departments on a personal basis, such as his department’s planned workshops meant to steer homeowners through the permit process of renovation. “It’s a discovery time before you engage a professional,” he said.

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LPC Likely to Protect Ladies’ Mile Buildings From Demolition BY SAM SPOKONY A developer’s plan to demolish two landmarked 19th-century buildings on West 19th Street was met with stiff resistance by the city’s Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC), following similar opposition by community leaders and preservationists. Although no official vote was taken at the April 1 hearing, the commissioners were nearly unanimous in their belief that Panasia Estate, the owner of 51 and 53 West 19th Street (between Fifth and Sixth Avenues), should focus on restoring the buildings — which lie within the Ladies’ Mile Historic District — rather than replacing them with a proposed 14-story residential building. “These are contributing buildings in a historic district, and it’s the obligation of this commission to protect those buildings,” said LPC Chair Robert Tierney, during comments after a presentation by Panasia’s architect, the firm Smith-Miller and Hawkinson. “And to allow them to be lost would, I believe, diminish the district.” The ornate five-story buildings were both constructed for residential use in 1854, and were converted to commercial and manufacturing use in 1920s, housing the kinds of businesses — such as milliners, embroiderers and furriers — that came to characterize the district. They are mostly vacant at this point, although there is currently a restaurant located on the ground floor of No. 53. Both buildings were included in the Ladies’ Mile Historic District — which spans from West 16th Street to West 24th Street, roughly between Broadway and Sixth Avenue — when it was designated by the LPC in 1989. Henry Smith-Miller, the lead architect who pitched the demolition and replacement plan, had attempted to convince the commission that his sleek and slim 14-story building would simply look better than the current buildings, both of whose facades are relatively dilapidated at this point. “We think this will bring some life and vitality back to the street,” said

Rendering courtesy of Smith-Miller and Hawkinson Architects

Photo by Sam Spokony

A rendering depicts new construction, after Panasia Estate’s proposed demolition of 51 and 53 W. 19 St.

Just leave them alone? The LPC hasn’t seen “anything to show that these buildings are not structurally sound, and that they can’t be repaired and creatively reused.”

Smith-Miller, adding that he believed the replacement would do more for the quality of the district than a “simple restoration.” Tierney, backed by all but one of the nine other commissioners, later responded specifically to that aspect of the pitch by stating that he believed both buildings were still adequately suited for restoration. “I just haven’t seen anything to show that these buildings are not structurally sound, and that they can’t be repaired and creatively reused,” the LPC chair said. The commission’s comments were good news for local preservation advocates who attended the April 1 hearing and, before those comments, gave testimony against the proposed demolition. Layla Law-Gisiko, chair of Community Board 5’s Landmarks Committee, had already passed a March resolution (also approved by the full board) which strongly called on LPC to deny the demolition application. The resolution was so strong on that point, in fact, that it notably did not even include an evaluation of the pro-

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posed replacement building. “We’re urging the applicant to come to his senses and develop a plan to restore, rather than destroy these two buildings,” said Law-Gisiko at the hearing, adding that she “looks forward to working with the applicant on a reasonable restoration plan.”

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April 9 - 22, 2014

Alan’s Alley is a Ninth Avenue Original TALKING POINT BY FRANK MEADE Perhaps the most important part of Alan’s Alley is the “human touch.” I’m a fourth-generation Chelsea resident and a second-generation customer of Alan’s — but I’ve never felt like a “customer” having a “video rental experience” or a “photocopying experience” when I’ve walked into the store. No matter who is working, there is an old-fashioned “hello,” “thank you” and “take it easy” offered. I’ve seen this neighborhood change from a good-but-tough working man’s district to a tough, bad area with drugs, prostitution and general mayhem where one would think twice about going out after dark (even the police were leery of going into certain buildings without at least two additional cars for backup). There were great small, family-owned restaurants and bars: Maison Blanc, Crane Inn, Chelsea Steak and Chop House, Nautilus and Cavanaugh’s, Dowd’s and the old, workingman’s lunch counter at the Empire Diner, the Holland and American bars among others. These were places where locals would have dinner without breaking the bank. The portions were generous, the waiters and owners knew the customers by name, drink and table preference — and diners could enjoy a meal without being pressured to pay the tab and get out. There were also restaurants and lunch counters on Eighth Avenue, and the 1950s and 60s equivalent of fast food at Lamston’s (or maybe it was Woolworth’s), on 23rd and Eighth, under the bowling alley. In the 1950s and 60s, Eighth Avenue was a place where you wouldn’t necessarily want to tarry after dark, but were never really “afraid.” The entire neighborhood, in fact, was a place where one felt safe — in large part because most faces

Photo by Scott Stiffler

A new lease on life? Alan Sklar says he’ll try to relocate, in Chelsea if possible.

were recognized even if the associated names remained fuzzy or even unknown. You knew that you were pretty much safe, simply because everyone in Chelsea looked out for everyone else. Children from London Terrace played on Little League teams at Chelsea Park with no concept of difference from their Elliott-Chelsea teammates, and their parents were guests in each other’s homes. Unfortunately, if you didn’t grow up in a neighborhood with a lot of very different customs, languages and a broad working

class (truck drivers, furriers, longshoremen, secretaries, elevator men, doctors, merchant mariners, firemen, teachers, lawyers, dentists and stockbrokers) — what today would be called multi-ethnic, polyglot and mixed socioeconomic — you won’t understand the depth of those issues which, usually, were overlooked so everyone could get along with everyone else minus the introduction of artificial barriers. A great deal of ink has lately been devoted to the commercial rent increases, which are forcing businesses on Eighth Avenue to move or

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR Gene Feist memorial set for May 5 To The Editor: Re: Roundabout’s Gene Feist, and his Theatre, Had Chelsea Roots” (obit, March 26): Gene Feist was a dear friend of mine and will be truly missed. He was a kind and generous man who loved the theatre with all his heart. There will be a memorial service at The Roundabout Theatre Company (American Airlines Theatre) on May 5th at 6:30pm. An RSVP is required listing the names of all attending: genefeistmemorial@gmail.com. Natasha Marco

Visionary Feist was also a lookout To The Editor: Re: Roundabout’s Gene Feist, and his Theatre, Had Chelsea Roots” (obit, March 26): Gene was also an extremely considerate person. For years every morning he knocked on the door of his neighbor down the hall, Esther Kishorr, to make sure she was okay. He was, therefore, the person who called us when she wasn’t, well into her 90s. He and Kathy were much appreciated by Esther’s brother, Ira Stadlen, aka Allen Swift, me, and the rest of her family. My condolences to Gene’s daughters. Lenore Stadlen

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

permanently close. As much as I support small enterprise, I can’t help recalling that these stores (and their predecessors) were responsible for landlords raising the rents on their Spanish forerunners to unconscionable levels so the “new” Chelsea could move north from the Village, where landlords had forced them to move or die. And now, back to Alan’s. About twenty years ago, I told Alan that I was looking for a PBS series from ten years prior about a World War II British Army unit that dealt with unexploded bombs. I couldn’t remember the name of the series or any of the actors but Alan told me — without missing a beat — that I wanted “Danger UXB.” That’s the difference. Alan is a professional who loves his work. In fact, it isn’t “work,” but an enjoyment that so many people, perhaps most notably the real estate interests, can’t conceive of today. He’s in business not only to make a buck and increase revenue every quarter but — how quaint can you get — to share his enjoyment and deep knowledge of an honored art form that will soon be overshadowed and then eclipsed and destroyed by unrelenting technology. Just for the fun of it, I queried Netflix with the same question I had asked Alan. They didn’t have a clue.

EDITOR’S NOTE: In an April 3 phone conversation, proprietor Alan Sklar told Chelsea Now that after 25 years, Alan’s Alley is “still cookin’, and we still have over 30,000 movies.” Sklar does, however, plan to close as soon as the landlord finds a new tenant. Asked if he’ll relocate, Skalr said, “Hopefully, but it might be difficult to find a place in Chelsea, which is where we’d like to be.” For the time being, you can find Alan’s Alley Video at 207 Ninth Ave., between 22nd and 23rd Streets.


April 9 - 22, 2014

Community Contacts To be listed, email scott@chelseanow.com.

info

to

COMMUNITY BOARD 4 (CB4) CB4 serves Manhattan’s West Side neighborhoods of Chelsea and Clinton/Hell’s Kitchen. Its boundaries are 14th St. on the south, 59/60th St. on the north, the Hudson River on the west, 6th Ave. on the east (south of 26th St.) and 8th Ave. on the east (north of 26th St.). The board meeting, open to the public, is normally the first Wednesday of the month. The next meeting is Wed., May 7, 6:30pm, at Roosevelt Hospital (1000 Tenth Ave.). Call 212736-4536, visit nyc.gov/mcb4 or email them at info@manhattancb4. org. COMMUNITY BOARD 5 (CB5) CB5 represents the central business district of New York City. It includes midtown Manhattan, the Fashion, Flower, Flatiron and Diamond districts, as well as Bryant Park and Union Square Park. The district is at the center of New York’s tourism industry. The Theatre District, Times Square, Carnegie Hall, the Empire State Building and two of the region’s transportation hubs (Grand Central Station and Penn Station) fall within CB5. The board meeting, open to the public, happens on the second Thursday of the month. The next meeting is Thurs., April 10th, 6pm, at Xavier High School (30 W. 16th St., btw. 5th & 6th Aves., 2nd fl.). Call 212465-0907, visit cb5.org or email them at office@cb5.org. THE 300 WEST 23RD, 22ND & 21ST STREETS BLOCK ASSOCIATION Contact them at 300wba@gmail. com. THE WEST 400 BLOCK ASSOCIATION Contact them at w400ba@gmail.com.

CHELSEA GARDEN CLUB Chelsea Garden Club cares for the bike lane tree pits in Chelsea. If you want to adopt a tree pit or join the group, please contact them at cgc.nyc@gmail.com or like them on Facebook. Also visit chelseagardenclub.blogspot.com. LOWER CHELSEA ALLIANCE (LoCal) This group is committed to protecting the residential blocks of Chelsea from overscale development. Contact them at LowerChelseaAlliance@gmail.com. THE GREENWICH VILLAGE-CHELSEA CHAMBER OF COMMERCE Call 212-337-5912 or visit villagechelsea.com. THE MEATPACKING DISTRICT INITIATIVE Visit meatpacking-district.com or call 212-633-0185. PENN SOUTH The Penn South Program for Seniors provides recreation, education and social services — and welcomes volunteers. For info, call 212-2433670 or visit pennsouthlive.com. THE BOWERY RESIDENTS’ COMMITTEE: HOMELESS HELPLINE If you know of anyone who is in need of their services, call the Homeless Helpline at 212-533-5151, and the BRC will send someone to make contact. This number is staffed by outreach team leaders 24 hours a day. Callers may remain anonymous. For more info, visit brc.org. THE LESBIAN, GAY, BISEXUAL & TRANSGENDER COMMUNITY CENTER At 208 W. 13th St. (btw. 7th & 8th Aves.). Visit gaycenter.org or call 212620-7310. GAY MEN’S HEALTH CRISIS (GMHC) At 446 W. 33rd St. btw. 9th & 10th Aves. Visit gmhc.org. Call 212-367-1000.

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Member of the National Newspaper Association Chelsea Now is published biweekly by NYC Community Media LLC, 515 Canal St., Unit 1C, New York, NY 10013. (212) 229-1890. Annual subscription by mail in Manhattan and Brooklyn $75. Single copy price at office and newsstands is 50 cents. The entire contents of newspaper, including advertising, are copyrighted and no part may be reproduced without the express permission of the publisher - © 2010 NYC Community Media LLC, Postmaster: Send address changes to Chelsea Now, 145 Sixth Ave., First Fl., New York, N.Y. 10013.

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.

HUDSON GUILD Founded in 1895, Hudson Guild is a multi-service, multi-generational community serving approximately 14,000 people annually with daycare, hot meals for senior citizens, low-cost professional counseling, community arts programs and recreational programming for teens. Visit them at hudsonguild.org. Email them at info@ hudsonguild.org. For the John Lovejoy Elliott Center (441 W. 26th St.), call 212-760-9800. For the Children’s Center (459 W. 26th St.), call 212-7609830. For the Education Center (447 W. 25th St.), call 212-760-9843. For the Fulton Center for Adult Services (119 9th Ave.), call 212-924-6710. THE CARTER BURDEN CENTER FOR THE AGING This organization promotes the wellbeing of individuals 60 and older through direct social services and volunteer programs oriented to individual, family and community needs. Call 212-879-7400 or visit burdencenter.org. FULTON YOUTH OF THE FUTURE Email them at fultonyouth@gmail. com or contact Miguel Acevedo, 646-671-0310. WEST SIDE NEIGHBORHOOD ALLIANCE Visit westsidenyc.org or call 212956-2573. Email them at wsna@ hcc-nyc.org. CHELSEA COALITION ON HOUSING Tenant assistance every Thursday night at 7pm, at Hudson Guild (119 9th Ave.). Email them at chelseacoalition.cch@gmail.com. FRIENDS OF HUDSON RIVER PARK Visit fohrp.org or call 212-757-0981. HUDSON RIVER PARK TRUST Visit hudsonriverpark.org or call 212627-2020. SAVE CHELSEA Contact them at savechelseanyc@ gmail.com.

PUBLISHER Jennifer Goodstein EDITOR Scott Stiffler REPORTERS Lincoln Anderson Sam Spokony EDITORIAL ASSISTANTS

Sean Egan Maeve Gately

PUBLISHER EMERITUS John W. Sutter

SR. V.P. OF SALES AND MARKETING Francesco Regini RETAIL AD MANAGER Colin Gregory ACCOUNT EXECUTIVES Allison Greaker Michael O'Brien Andrew Regier Rebecca Rosenthal Julio Tumbaco

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DISTRICT 3 CITY COUNCILMEMBER COREY JOHNSON Call 212-564-7757 or visit council.nyc. gov/d3/html/members/home.shtml. STATE SENATOR BRAD HOYLMAN Call 212-633-8052 or visit bradhoylman.com. CHELSEA REFORM DEMOCRATIC CLUB The CRDC (the home club of City Council Speaker Christine Quinn and Assemblymember Richard N. Gottfried) meets monthly to exchange political ideas on protecting the rights and improving the lives of those residing in Chelsea. Visit crdcnyc.org or email them at info@crdcnyc.org. THE SAGE CENTER New York City’s first LGBT senior center offers hot meals, counseling and a cyber-center — as well as programs on arts and culture, fitness, nutrition, health and wellness. At 305 Seventh Ave. (15th floor, btw. 27th & 28th Sts.). Call 646-576-8669 or visit sageusa.org/ thesagecenter for menus and a calendar of programs. At 147 W. 24th St. (btw. 6th & 7th Aves.) THE SYLVIA RIVERA LAW PROJECT works to guarantee that all people are free to self-determine their gender identity and expression without facing harassment, discrimination or violence. Visit srlp.org. FIERCE (Fabulous Independent Educated Radicals for Community Empowerment) builds the leadership and power of bisexual, transgender and queer youth of color in NYC. Visit fiercenyc.org. THE AUDRE LORDE PROJECT is a lesbian, gay, bisexual, two spirit, trans and gender non-conforming people of color center for community organizing. Visit alp.org.

ART / PRODUCTION DIRECTOR Troy Masters SENIOR DESIGNER Michael Shirey GRAPHIC DESIGNERS Andrew Goos Chris Ortiz CIRCULATION SALES MNGR. Marvin Rock

CONTRIBUTORS Jim Caruso Martin Denton Heather Dubin Sean Egan Ophira Eisenberg Roger Miller Paul Schindler Trav S.D. Eileen Stukane

DISTRIBUTION & CIRCULATION Cheryl Williamson

VIDEO SEGMENT PRODUCER Don Mathisen


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April 9 - 22, 2014

And The Award Went To… Awards season didn’t end with the Oscars, at least not in this town. Word of some notable wins recently came to our attention — and although their “The envelope, please” moment has gone the way of a rolled up red carpet, the time is right to extend our heartfelt congratulations.

PARKSIDE WRITING CONTEST

Chelsea Waterside Park Association’s March 27 meeting, held at West 22nd Street’s German Evangelical Lutheran Church of St. Paul, had all the earmarks of its annual spring ritual: a reception, opening remarks and the election of officers and board members. The guest speaker, landscape architect Tom Balsley, gave a presentation that put his work for Chelsea Waterside Park within the context of his considerable body of work: 100 parks and plazas throughout the world — including Peggy Rockefeller Plaza and Riverside Park South in NYC as well as major parks in Portland, Denver and Tokyo. This year’s meeting was also distinguished by an awards ceremony honoring the winners of CWPA’s first-ever Parkside Writing Contest — in which students are challenged to submit essays that communicate the essence of a specific park experience. All three winners were students at PS 33. Noting that this local school recently took first and sixth place in the All-Manhattan Spelling Bee, contest judge Donathan Salkaln praised their entries for “creativity and emotion” as well as, of course, flawless spelling. First place went to fourth grader Nathaniel Lok, for “The Muddy Sandstorm & The Sniper Piper”— his account of an ingenious water fight strategy. “I can’t wait to make more memories at the Chelsea Waterside Park, this summer,” he concluded. Recalling a different sort of water splashing game, second place winner Catherine Chung, a fifth grader, noted how her essay’s title (“I’m Going to Get You”) may have sounded like a threat, but “was meant in a fun way.” The other winning entry, by fourth grader Josephine Kinlan, was “Birthday Splash,” a verbal highlight reel of her sister’s birthday party. Congratulations, all — and please keep Chelsea Now in mind when you age into internship eligibility!

Photo by Michael Shirey

The Villager’s redesign earned an Overall Excellence award.

other awards: a third place Division 3 win for Best Editorial Page. Especially gratifying was the first place Division 3 win for Overall Design Excellence, which acknowledged the paper’s bold redesign. Praising the “new look for a paper that has been around for 80 years,” the judge declared The Villager to be “exactly what a weekly community newspaper should look like. Nice ads, photos, use of color, consistent look and not too cluttered.” Senior Designer Michael Shirey, who also performs that duty for Chelsea Now, led the collaborative effort. Downtown Express, helmed by editor Josh Rogers, took home the third place (state-wide) award for Best Obituaries (“Told in a way that lets readers know who the deceased were, almost bringing them back to life.”). A Division 3 Feature Photo honorable mention was awarded to Milo Hess, who was given an honorable mention for an art photo in The Villager. He also won a first place Picture Story award for The Villager (Westminster dog photos). His Downtown Express photo, with its “alignment and composition, with the bonus of monochromatic color,” made “watching someone fly a kite fun.”

Photo by Pamela Wolff

They’re all winners: At Chelsea Waterside Park Association’s annual meeting, students from PS 33 were honored for placing in the Parkside Writing Contest. From left: NY City Councilmember Corey Johnson, third place winner Josephine Kinlan, CWPA president Robert Trentlyon, first place winner Nathaniel Lok and Donathan Salkaln, CWPA Board member and contest judge Donathan Salkaln (not pictured: second place winner Catherine Chung).

NYC COMMUNITY MEDIA WINS MULITPLE NYPA AWARDS

With enormous pride and admiration, Chelsea Now congratulates our sister publications for their impressive showing at this past weekend’s New York Press Association 2013 Better Newspapers Contest awards ceremony. Under the leadership of publisher Jennifer Goodstein, multiple awards went to The Villager, Gay City News and Downtown Express. So many, in fact, that NYC Community Media, LLC placed fifth in overall contest points (in the Group or Chain Newspapers category). Gay City News was recognized for hosting mayoral, borough president, public advocate and city council debates.

Awarding editor (and moderator) Paul Schindler a third place Division 3 win for Community Leadership, the judge wrote, “Getting these candidates to participate in a debate outside of the traditional venues that host such discussions was historic and shows the paper’s pull in the community.” Gay City News was also recognized for Coverage of Religion (multiple stories by four writers, on the new pope). Lincoln Anderson, editor of The Villager, was once again recognized for his ability to convey the meaning of a story with economy and, often, humor. In the notes acknowledging his second place win for Headline Writing (a state-wide category), the judge said, “Great plays on words. None of them made me groan.” Among The Villager’s

—Scott Stiffler

HOLY WEEK AT CHELSEA COMMUNITY CHURCH Palm Sunday, aPril 13, noon

Speaker, Rev. Emily Brown, recipient of two prestigious preaching awards; Broadway tenor Arbender Robinson (currently in Les Miserables))

EaStEr, aPril 20, noon

Speaker, Rev. John Magisano; soprano Deborah Karpel; trumpeter Jake Henry; CCC music director/organist Jeff Cubeta {

Chelsea Community Church

A diverse, nondenominational, lay-led church welcoming people of all faiths and of uncertain faith Sundays at 12:00 noon in historic St. Peter’s Church 346 West 20th Street 212-886-5463 { info@chelseachurch.org { www.chelseachurch.org


April 9 - 22, 2014

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TRIBECA FILM FESTIVAL Thirty Two Short Film Descriptions About TFF Selections Full house potentials, at the Tribeca Film Festival

in the code of the streets, while deciding whether his vow to become a better father and husband trumps all that gang culture has to offer.

BY SCOTT STIFFLER Choosing what you’re going to see at the Tribeca Film Festival on its opening date, April 16, is like waiting the day before to file your taxes. It’s possible, but not practical — and a very good way to end up waiting in line. Filled with world premieres, famous actors and post-screening talks, booking a last-minute seat to the films in this increasingly well-curated festival often results in becoming intimately familiar with the standby line. So here’s a 32-item roundup of likely candidates for a full house, broken down into handy stylistic categories. See page 15 of this publication for a venue guide and info on single, rush, same day and discount tickets.

REEL STORIES: DOCUMENTARIES

NEW YORK STORIES

Before arriving on Broadway, John Carney’s Dublin busker tale “Once” clicked with moviegoers, and scored the 2007 Best Original Song Oscar for “Falling Slowly.” The Irish writer/director is back, this time using the soundtrack of a NYC summer to connect the dots between damaged souls and music as a bonding agent. “Begin Again” has romantically involved songwriters Gretta (Keira Knightley) and Dave (Adam Levine) moving to the big city after the latter scores a major label deal. When rising star Dave’s infidelity forces Gretta to become a personal and professional solo act, her raw performance on an East Village stage catches the attention of a disgraced record exec (Mark Ruffalo) who’s also in need of reinvention. This film closes the festival, with an April 26 screening at BMCC Tribeca PAC. Based on the Tony Award-winning play, writer/director Stephen Belber’s “Match” lands a Seattle couple (played by Matthew Lillard and Carla Gugino) in New York to conduct research for a dissertation on the 1960s dance scene. Their subject is Toby (Patrick Stewart), a former hoofer-turnedhermetic-ballet-instructor, who regales them with colorful anecdotes — but drops the social niceties when their line of questioning becomes uncomfortably personal. In “Ballet 422,” cinematographer and documentarian Jody Lee Lipes takes a quiet but unflinching fly-on-the-wall look at 25-year-old choreographer Justin Peck, as he pools the collective resources of New York City Ballet’s musicians, designers and dancers in order to create the company’s 422nd original piece. TV writer Amy Berg (“Person of Interest”

Photo by Jeong Park

Alfred Molina, left, and John Lithgow star as a Manhattan couple whose union comes with a price. See “Love is Strange” (part of the LGBT roundup).

Photo by Joe Anderson

Harry Dean Stanton narrates an unsentimental account of Montana cowboy life, in “Fishtail.”

and “Leverage”), whose Catholic priest sex abuse documentary “Deliver Us From Evil” was nominated for a 2006 Academy Award, makes her fiction feature debut. “Every Secret Thing,” an adaptation of Laura Lippman’s novel, takes place in a New York suburb. Seven years after a baby goes missing from her front porch, a pair of young girls blamed for the crime are released from prison — and face the scrutiny of two detectives called into town when another child disappears. Diane Lane and Dakota Fanning are among the cast members.

Brooklyn writer-director Onur Tukel stars in “Summer of Blood,” his dark comedy about relationships, attraction and commitment. After rejecting his successful girlfriend’s proposal, misanthropic Eric (stuck in a dead end job) has an alleyway encounter with a vampire that leaves him with newfound confidence, an insatiable liquid diet and an ironic perspective on what it means to be human. Brooklyn blood of a more serious nature is front and center in Director Keith Miller’s “Five Star.” Taking place over several hot summer weeks, a longtime member of the Bloods (both in the film and in reality) tutors a young boy

Director Lloyd Handwerker brings an insider’s edge to “Famous Nathan’s,” his documentary about the humble origins and lasting legacy of Nathan’s Famous Frankfurters. Packed in a casing of home movies and rare archival footage, Handwerker uses interviews with colorful family members and Coney Island characters to show how his immigrant grandfather’s American dream became a culinary reality — and a cultural touchstone. Tribeca Film Festival alum Jeff Reichart — whose 2010 documentary “Gerrymandering” scrutinized the redistricting process — teams up with Farihah Zaman for “This Time Next Year.” Together, they document the efforts of Long Beach Island, New Jersey residents to recover from Superstorm Sandy in time for the make-or-break summer season. Set in the American West, “Fishtail” has another group battling the elements and changing times, in a bid to maintain their way of life. Narrator Harry Dean Stanton’s voice gives gravitas (and gravel) to this unsentimental portrait of Montana’s Fishtail Basin Ranch cowboys, as they navigate another calving season. Cultural preservation is the goal of “Tomorrow We Disappear.” When high-rise developers purchase the land occupied by New Delhi’s Kathputli colony of puppeteers, performers and magicians, an already vanishing form of Indian folk art is threatened with extinction. “We are the flying birds,” they tell the filmmakers, “here today and gone tomorrow.” “The Overnighters” finds a small conservative North Dakota town overwhelmed by the influx of desperate men in search of employment, when hydraulic fracturing uncovers a rich oil field. The compassion shown to them by a local pastor soon puts him at odds with those who don’t embrace the church’s far-reaching “love thy neighbor” policy. James “The Amazing” Randi gets some long-overdue love, in “An Honest Liar.” For the better part of his 50-year career, Randi has been exposing con artists who use the professional magician’s bag of tricks to hoodwink and swindle the gullible masses. Hated by faith healers, fortune-tellers and gurus (including self-professed spoon-bender Uri Geller), Randi’s masterful debunking of these

Continued on page 12

FOR TICKETS, SCHEDULE & VENUE INFO, VISIT TRIBECAFILM.COM/FILMGUIDE OR CALL 646-502-5296


April 9 - 22, 2014 LaPlacaCohen Publication: Reservation #: Insertion date: Size:

BODIES IN BALANCE: THE ART OF TIBETAN MEDICINE

I Dream of Genre: Tribeca Festival Films

THROUGH SEPT 8

212-675-4106 CHELSEA NOW

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Detail of Interconnecting Blood Vessels and Channels; painting 12 of a set of medical paintings; Tibet; ca. 17th century; pigments on cloth; Pritzker Collection

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Copyright: Paradox / Philip Øgaard

Norway’s winter white is about to get a good coating of blood. See “In Order of Disappearance.”

Continued from page 11 phonies has earned the admiration of Penn Jillette, Bill “The Science Guy” Nye and “Mythbuster” Adam Savage — all of whom appear in the film to back up the assertion that every one of us is vulnerable to deception (even Randi, as it turns out). Music documentaries, always a strong presence in the festival, don’t disappoint with this year’s crop. “Super Duper Alice Cooper” delves beyond the chicken-slaughtering and dead-baby-eating theatrics of the man born Vincent Furnier, while showing requisite respect to the “School’s Out” singer’s outrageous (and outrage-inducing) stage antics. Using a stylistic blend of performance footage, animation and candid interviews meant to evoke the frenzied Alice Cooper persona, this sprawling “Doc Opera” is from the team whose 2010 Rush documentary (“Beyond the Lighted Stage”) won the Tribeca Film Festival’s Audience Award. Multimedia artist One9 snagged the festival’s opening night honor, with “Time is Illmatic” — which follows the creative trajectory of Nas’ 1994 opus, “Illmatic.” Then a young street poet from Queensbridge, this debut album helped to define hip hop and immediately cemented his reputation as a visionary MC. Nas will perform, after the film’s April 16 screening at the Beacon Theatre. For tickets, visit tribecafilm.com/openingnight. Those of us old enough to remember the punkish pixie who fronted The Sugarcubes can appreciate the decades-long creative arc of Björk, a seriously avant-garde performer and video artist to whom the current pop vanguard owes an enormous (conscious or otherwise) debt. “Biophilia Live” blends concert footage of songs from her eighth studio album with animation as well as science and nature footage.

150 WEST 17TH STREET NYC RUBINMUSEUM.ORG

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COOL FOREIGN FILMS

With its April 16-27 run, the Tribeca Film Festival occupies that sweet spot where sightings of spring jackets finally trump those of the de Blasio family shoveling snow. But a trio of foreign films never got the memo. Lingering shots of Northern China’s wintry industrial landscape give atmospheric depth to director Diao Yinan’s “Black Coal, Thin Ice.” The Golden Bear winner for Best Film at this year’s Berlin International Film Festival injects social realism into its familiar cop redemption plot. Five years after being suspended from the force, the only work Zhang Zili can find is as a security guard at a coal factory. When new crimes fit the pattern of his old botched serial murder case, Zhang follows a trail leading to an enigmatic laundromat proprietor, whose possible connection to the deaths gives their dynamic a noirish edge. Opening on a classic dark and (snow) stormy night in northern Italy, “Human Capital” is director Paolo Virzi’s adaptation of Stephen Amidon’s best-selling novel — about how two loosely linked families become intertwined by conflicting perspectives on love, class and ambition. Revenge is a dish best served in the cold, and with a pitch black sense of humor — at least according to director Hans Petter Moland’s “In Order of Disappearance.” The stylish action-thriller takes place in the dead of a frozen Norwegian winter, as Nils (recent winner of his community’s “Citizen of the Year” award) comes undone after his son’s heroin overdose. Upon discovering a connection to Serbian drug dealers and a local criminal mastermind, the grieving father goes from a one-note vigilante to the centerpiece of an escalating gang war.

Continued on page 14

VISIT TRIBECAFILM.COM/FILMGUIDE 3/26/14 10:41 AM


April 9 - 22, 2014

Of Gods and Men and Women ‘Vara’ is a feast of holy and worldly passions

Photo by Pawo Choyning Dorji

Shahana Goswami as Vara.

FILM REVIEW VARA: A BLESSING Directed by Khyentse Norbu Runtime: 96 minutes 4/21, 6:45pm | 4/22, 7:30pm 4/25, 4pm | 4/26, 9:45pm At Bow Tie Cinemas Chelsea 260 W. 23rd St., btw. 7th & 8th Aves.

BY RANIA RICHARSON Spiritual devotion ripens into carnal passion for a young temple dancer in “Vara: A Blessing.” The modern-day tale is a glimpse into the practices of an intriguing Hindu subculture of devadasis. As a practitioner, Lila (Shahana Goswami) spends her days worshiping Krishna and studying the classical dance form, Bharatanatyam, in her mother’s school. When a low caste laborer, Shyam (Devesh Ranjan), invites her to pose for a statue of the goddess Saraswati, Lila’s motiva-

tion is spiritual at first. Soon she finds that in her dreams, the glowing blue image of Krishna seems to resemble Shyam, and she is his female counterpart. At one time, devadasis enjoyed the patronage of kings and held a high social status as religious devotees and performers. During the British rule of the Indian subcontinent, the patrons lost their power and some devadasis turned to prostitution. Lila’s reputation is called into question and Shyam is victimized in their traditional village that is run by provincial mores. The story of forbidden love is complicated by a well-positioned secret admirer who is entranced by Lila as she blooms into adulthood. The sight of sexualized Bollywood dancing on his television screen is a counterpoint to the sacred nature of her movement style. An expert in Bharatanatyam, Geeta Chandran was the choreographer for the film and plays Lila’s mother. The third feature for filmmaker and Buddhist monk Khyentse Norbu (“The Cup,” “Travelers and Magicians”) is his first in the English language, and is adapted from Sunil Gangopadhyay’s Bengali short story, “Blood and Tears.” Shot in a verdant palette by Bradford Young (cinematographer for “Pariah”), Sri Lankan locations stand in for rural India. A nexus of holy and worldly passions, the film is a sensual feast of luscious colors, religious imagery and the aural artistry of crystalline sound effects and music both traditional and new.

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April 9 - 22, 2014

They’ve Got Style: Tribeca Film Festival Genre Roundup Continued from page 12

LGBT

Photo by Erik Lang

The rainbow connection: best friends Sasha and Paige show their pride and explore their options, in “Life Partners.”

Everyone who’s ever pined for something, or someone, that they’re just not meant to have will appreciate the burgeoning dilemma at the core of “Life Partners.” This world premiere, the feature directorial debut of co-writer Susanna Fogel, has its main characters staring down the barrel of thirty and wondering if their friendship is more than the sum of its codependent milieu. After breezing through the last ten years largely on the strength of their complimentary temperaments, straight Paige and lesbian Sasha have an intense friendship that seems more like a happy marriage. Their seemingly unbreakable bond begins to shift, though, when Paige meets Tim. A sea change in the lifestyle of one partner also threatens the couple at the center of “Something Must Break.” Set in the back streets and forgotten parks of Stockholm, Andreas has an intoxicating connection to Sebastian that owes more to their rooftop tangos than the beer they stole from that 7-Eleven — but soon, Sebastian’s androgynous fluidity becomes as much of a threat to their deepening romance as the questions straight-identifying Andreas is forced to face.

Ira Sachs’ follow-up to his acclaimed “Keep the Lights On” is a different kind of emotionally intense look at long-term gay relationships being tested by outside forces. “Love is Strange” benefits from the star power and dramatic chops of Alfred Molina and John Lithgow as a Manhattan couple who face unexpected discrimination after making their union official. Set in the housing projects of Caracas, Venezuelan screenwriter Mariana Rondon directs newcomer Samuel Lange, in “Bad Hair.” When nine-year-old Junior decides he’ll be sporting straight hair instead of tight curls for an upcoming yearbook photo, the change in identity earns a fit of homophobic panic from his overtaxed mother. Dan Sickles and Antonio Santini celebrate the transgender community of Puerto Rico, in the documentary “Mala Mala.” The highs and lows of fighting for acceptance — personal and communal — are captured through candycolored cinematography as well as interviews with LGBTQ advocates, activists, business owners, sex workers and entertainers (specifically, a drag troupe who call themselves “The Doll House”). The directors, along with subjects Ivana Fred, Denise Rivera, Alberic Prados, April Carrión, Queen Bee Ho, Sophia

Continued on page 19

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April 9 - 22, 2014

15

The Friendliest Kidnappers You’ll Ever Meet ‘Captivity narrative’ tells the (real?) story of author’s disappearance

FILM REVIEW THE KIDNAPPING OF MICHEL HOUELLEBECQ Directed by Guillaume Nicloux Runtime: 97 minutes 4/18, 5:30pm | 4/19, 9:45pm 4/21, 3:30pm | 4/25, 10:30pm At Bow Tie Cinemas Chelsea 260 W. 23rd St., btw. 7th & 8th Aves.

BY SAM SPOKONY Stories about abductions which purposely blur the lines of fact and fiction are certainly nothing new — and in fact it was 16th-century tales of Englishmen falling into the hands of Barbary pirates, and then 17th-century recounting of New England colonists taken by Native Americans, that laid the ground for the wildly popular “captivity narratives” of those days. Now, “The Kidnapping of Michel Houellebecq” rebrands the captivity narrative with a humorously postmodern stamp,

© LES Films Du Worso

French novelist Michel Houellebecq gets a home-cooked meal, from the mother of his bumbling captors.

purporting to tell the “real” account of the (actually real) disappearance of the (actually real) French novelist Houellebecq — starring the author as himself. As that true story goes, Houellebecq (whose writing has offended many people, notably including those of the Muslim faith) mysteriously vanished for several days during a promotional book tour through Europe in 2011, leading fans and journalists to speculate on a range of possibilities that included his being taken hostage by Al-Qaeda. The mystery was later compounded by the fact that the author, upon reappearing, refused to explain the circumstances behind whatever took place. And this new film, directed by fellow

countryman Guillaume Nicloux, would have us believe that, yes, Houellebecq was held captive — by a bumblingly comic group of criminal middlemen whose underlying intentions or employers are never quite made clear. So, after a brief introduction to the wryly philosophical and perpetually cigarettesmoking writer, we find him inexplicably kidnapped by three brothers — the obese head honcho Luc, bodybuilder/martial artist Maxime and emotionally introspective Mathieu. And where, of all places, do they keep their hostage? Why of course, it's the quaint little country house of the brothers’ charming elderly parents, who later introduce themselves to the placid-yet-confused

Houellebecq over a home-cooked meal. Throughout the increasingly strange ordeal, Houellebecq is kept entertained by his captors with a copious amount of booze and smokes, along with discussions leading to absurd arguments and other forms of incidental bonding that include Maxime teaching the middle-aged novelist how to put Luc in various wrestling choke holds. And the whole array of events — including the hiring of a local prostitute for the protagonist’s enjoyment — definitely hits its comedic goals, drawing laughs with zinger after zinger, even as we continue struggling to understand just what the hell is going on here. It’s no spoiler to say that Houellebecq eventually makes it out alive — he is, after all, playing himself in a movie about himself — but the question is, what do he and his captors learn about each other, and themselves? How do they go about making the best of a bad situation, and where does it leave them when it’s all said and done? Keeping to the film’s theme of overall mystery, some of those are of course left unanswered, but some, on the other hand, give engagingly deep insight into the very real mind of one of Europe’s great living authors. And in the end, whether or not one has actually read Houellebecq, we’re left thinking that there’s something remarkably keen about this guy’s uniquely self-deprecating wit, not to mention the feeling that the old captivity narrative — in its most ironically authentic, quasi-fictional form — isn’t dead yet.

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The world’s ‘Stag’ is our ‘Weekend’ From Ireland, a gentler entry in the bachelor party genre

FILM REVIEW THE BACHELOR WEEKEND Directed by John Butler Runtime: 94 minutes 4/22, 8:30pm | 4/23, 7pm at Bow Tie Cinemas Chelsea (260 W. 23rd St., btw. 7th & 8th Aves.) 4/24, 1pm | 4/27, 9pm at AMC Loews Village 7 (66 Third Ave., at 11th St.) Available On Demand beginning April 15 Coming Soon to Select Theaters

Courtesy of Tribeca Film

A conflicted groom-to-be finds himself by going off the beaten path, in director John Butler’s first-time feature.

BY SEAN EGAN American audiences are conditioned to expect maximum levels of raucous debauch-

ery from their bachelor party flicks — but “The Bachelor Weekend” provides viewers with a slightly different, more gentle spin on

the genre. Released as “The Stag” overseas, this Irish import to the Tribeca Film Festival is a breezy, genial film that doesn’t take itself too seriously. While it may seem like damning with faint praise, the amiable nature and heart of the movie is what sets it apart from the other films in its sub-genre. The story centers around a persnickety groom-to-be Fionnan (Hugh O’Conor), who, at the urging of his fiancé and best man, Davin (Andrew Scott), is sent off on a “stag weekend” with his friend Simon, and “The Kevins” — his gay younger brother and his partner, who are both named Kevin. The lads plan to camp in the countryside to get in touch with their rougher sides, but things go awry when the bride’s brother (co-writer Peter McDonald) tags along — a force of nature who goes by the amusingly unwieldy moniker “The Machine.” As the group gets further off the beaten track in the wilderness, The Machine helps coach the group into being more confident and “manly” in his own unconventional way, while they help to soften his edges. If the plot sounds a little cliché, or old-

Continued on page 21

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April 9 - 22, 2014

Aries Help an elderly neighbor who needs a ride to Mos Eisley, and earn a free lesson on the ways of the force. P.S. — that hologram is your twin sister! Taurus You will join The Preacher’s Wife and The Farmer’s Daughter, in pursuit of The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit.

Gemini Next Tuesday will culminate in a breathtaking chase scene atop Mount Rushmore, allowing you to finally conquer that pesky vertigo.

Cancer Your ability to express joy through movement will lift the spirits of a small town where dancing has been outlawed. Everybody cut footloose!

Leo Don’t turn your nose up at retro tech. Without pay phones, we’d never be able to escape The Matrix. Virgo There are better ways to channel your aggression than by punching chilly slabs of hanging meat. Real fighters run the Museum of Art stairs!

Libra Friends and family will delight in your novel use of a catch phrase made popular by a pair of mismatched cops who somehow make an effective team.

Scorpio Stop resenting happy little bluebirds for their ability to fly beyond the rainbow. The bliss you seek is right where your slippers stand. Sagittarius Make sure your umbrella isn’t upside down. Those pennies from heaven are actually the toxic byproduct of Purple Rain!

Capricorn The advent of talkies will render moot much of your silent film appeal. Adapt to the new style, or fade into oblivion.

Aquarius You’re no one-hit wonder — but don’t bow to pressure for a sequel until you have something new and better to say.

Pisces Upon being mistaken for a spy in possession of coveted microchips, you will go on the lam in search of the twin you never knew you had. This begins at 2pm next Monday.

VISIT TRIBECAFILM.COM/FILMGUIDE


Bartender’s

April 9 - 22, 2014

Boxing, Basketball, Soccer at TFF

19

COCKTAILS ANYONE???

N DER’S E T R A B CORNER Y

HOSTED B © From The Lens of George Kalinsky

L to R: Jerry Lucas, Walt Frazier, Willis Reed, Phil Jackson & Bill Bradley, after winning the 1973 NBA Title in five games against the Los Angeles Lakers. From “When the Garden Was Eden.”

Continued from page 14 Voines and Paxx Moll will be on hand to take questions from the audience, after the April 19 screening (at Bow Tie Cinemas Chelsea). Our country’s first openly gay Congressman gets quizzed by Alec Baldwin, following the April 27 SVA Theater screening of “Compared to What: The Improbable Journey of Barney Frank.” The documentary, which promises insights as unvarnished as its subject’s last name, questions how Frank’s homosexuality impacted his various campaigns for social justice during 40 years in office.

SPORTS

Actor, New Yorker and unwavering Knicks fanatic Michael Rapaport makes his feature directorial debut, with “When the Garden Was Eden.” Based on Harvey Araton’s popular 2012 tome, this documentary begins in the 1960s and proceeds to chart the unlikely transformation of a group of players from the point of no respect to their position as one of the NBA’s most dynamic squads. Walt “Clyde” Frazier, Earl Monroe, Willis Reed and others from the Knicks’ championship years reflect on a volatile era in New York’s cultural and sports history. Plenty of fighters have also had careerdefining moments at Madison Square Garden. Some of them are featured in “Champs,” director Bert Marcus’ look at how boxing promises a way out of poverty and, ironically, delivery from violence. Mike Tyson, Evander Holyfield and Bernard Hopkins reflect on their personal histories, giving candid accounts of life inside and out of the ring. After the April 19 screening at Chelsea’s SVA Theatre, Tyson and Holyfield will participate in a Tribeca Talks panel discussion, alongside NYC boxing promoter Lou DiBella. In “Maravilla,” Sergio Martinez’s rise from the poverty of rural Argentina to a career

marked by adulation, disdain, injury and conflict with the World Boxing Council is the basis for director Juan Cadaveira’s all-access documentary — which traces the boxer’s quest to reclaim the Middleweight title. Zen priest Noah Buschel’s fifth feature film also draws on the sport’s common themes of struggle and redemption. “Glass Chin” stars Corey Stoll as Bud “The Saint” Gordon. After one well-placed jab to the chin robs him of success, fame and their accompanying trappings, Bud pins his hope for a comeback on the promising boxer he trains and the deal he makes with a crooked restaurateur (Billy Crudup). Known to the rest of the world knows as “football” and still, for some reason, unable to establish a toehold in this country, soccer at least gets some respect on Tribeca festival screens. “Maradona '86” examines the story behind Diego Armando Maradona’s 1986 World Cup triumph, to reveal a complex and contradictory man who was an equally determined and gifted athlete. A Tribeca Drive-In selection, the family-friendly documentary “Next Goal Wins” begins as the American Samoan national soccer team has suffered a 31-0 defeat. Having spent over a decade trying to win an official match, an eccentric new Dutch coach helps the team train for the next World Cup — and the elusive chance to redefine their unofficial title as “the worst team in the world.” Also of interest to sports fans, and helping us secure our 32-film roundup Gooooaaaallll!: “Slaying the Badger” is a documentary about Greg LeMond, the only American who won the Tour de France the old-fashioned way (he earned it). Another doc, “The Battered Bastards of Baseball,” looks at the 1973 creation of independent team the Portland Mavericks — by, no kidding, an actor (Bing Russell) who left his steady gig on “Bonanza” to pursue that dream. Game over!

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April 9 - 22, 2014

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CB4 Identifies Potential Affordable Housing Sites Continued from page 5 a rapid rise of population. According to TF Cornerstone’s Environmental Impact Statement, the project would not adversely affect public schools. Rosenthal begs to differ, saying that she has not heard anything from city agencies or the developer about consideration of the subway station at West 59th Street, schools, libraries, all of which are currently overcrowded. She is also weighing the fact that the affordable housing availability will be for people at 60 percent or below the Area Median Income (AMI) and has asked TF Cornerstone to provide more options for middle-income households.

REPORTS FROM THE BOARD

CB4 district manager Bob Benfatto announced NYPD’s 2014 Community Career Day on Saturday, May 3, from 11am to 4pm, at Lafayette High School (2630 Benson Avenue, Brooklyn). It’s an opportunity to meet police officers and

learn about jobs in specialized units. For more information, call 212-RECRUIT, or visit nypdrecruit.com. Benfatto also reminded that the deadline for NYC children born in 2010 to apply for September 2014 Pre-K is April 23. Parents can call 718-935-2009. Applications can be made at Enrollment Offices, or at nyc. gov/schools/prek. CB4 chair Christine Berthet has been busy testifying at the NYC Department of City Planning in relation to the TF Cornerstone West 57th Street development as well as other projects in CB4. At the request of the Manhattan Borough President’s office, CB4 submitted a list of potential affordable housing sites in Chelsea and Hell’s Kitchen. These suggestions are ultimately going to the Commissioner of Economic Development and Housing for integration into an overall plan. Berthet also announced that a major Town Hall meeting is going to be held for Vision Zero. Maps will be available for the public to cite dangerous intersections. Pedestrian and traffic safety are priori-

ties for CB4, and in addition to the visit from Midtown South Precinct, there will be visits at future meetings from the 10th Precinct and Midtown North. Coinciding with CB4’s interest in traffic safety, the evening’s agenda included a ratification of a letter to the executive director of Port Authority of NY and NJ, supporting the Port Authority’s plan to build the Galvin Plaza Bus Annex on the north side of West 39th Street between 10th and 11th Avenues to relieve the pressure on the existing terminal and create a connection allowing buses to bypass city streets entirely. The board voted on 23 agenda items covering transportation, land use, physical culture, business licenses and permits. One agenda item was a 19-page response to Mayor de Blasio’s $73 billion preliminary budget for NYC. No questions were asked in the meeting’s public session and although one board member read a list of comments, thorny issues were ironed out prior to the evening’s meeting by CB4’s Budget and Jobs Task Force. The vote

to approve the 19 pages went smoothly. Most discussion centered around the composition of letters to Empire State Development (ESD). The letters outlined the need for a comprehensive plan that includes CB4’s input, in ESD’s request for proposal (RFP) for the sale of air rights over the Farley Post Office for Phase 2 of its conversion into Moynihan Station. CB4 and elected officials had been blindsided when learning of this RFP last month. There was also discussion about the request by Zonea Food & Beverage Inc., owners of Bea Restaurant & Bar, 430 West 43rd Street, to extend closing hours to 3am from presently closing at 12:30/1am. Zonea’s attorney had spoken in support of Bea while Linda Ashley, president of West 44th Street Better Block Association/ Friends of Pier 84, had spoken in opposition. CB4’s letter to the NY State Liquor Authority (SLA) strongly recommended denial of additional hours. Other letters to the SLA were for approval or denial with certain stipulations. The meeting adjourned shortly after 9pm.

Demolition or ‘Creative Reuse’ for Ladies’ Mile Buildings Continued from page 7 would set a “dangerous” precedent for similarly aging buildings in other historic districts around the city. Susan Finley, a director of the Flatiron Alliance, agreed, although she worded her concerns a bit more explicitly. “If you allow this to happen,” Finley told the LPC, “you are signaling to developers that money trumps history. And the next thing we know, developers are going to be looking for ways to take apart this

historic district. So please, on behalf of all of us who live and work there, don’t allow it to happen.” She also directed some of the more scathing elements of her testimony towards Smith-Miller and his architectural team. “19th Street doesn’t need you to bring them back to life,” said Finley. “19th Street is alive and well, as is the entire neighborhood, and that’s thanks to the integrity of the Ladies’ Mile Historic District.” Another powerful community voice

during the hearing was that of Jack Taylor, a longtime preservationist whose advocacy group, the Drive to Protect the Ladies’ Mile District, was instrumental in securing the district’s designation. Quoting a statement made by the celebrated structural engineer Robert Silman when he was honored by the Historic Districts Council in 2006, Taylor told the commission, “ ‘Almost no building today is beyond salvaging. There are ways of working around any damage, of reusing any building that seems hopeless, as there’s sufficient will and community support.’ ”

‘Weekend’ a Trip Worth Taking Continued from page 17 fashioned, it’s because it is. Everything clicks along just as one would expect — no setup goes without a payoff, nor is any narrative thread left unresolved. Even the commentary on gender roles and what “manliness” means isn’t exactly fresh or progressive (though it’s heart is in the right place). But it’s a familiar tale told well, with more than enough solid laughs and gags to justify its reliance on well-worn story structures, and has plenty of great character work to boot. McDonald and director John Butler’s script strikes a delicate balance between good-natured banter and dry humor, and bigger, physical comedy set pieces to ensure the film never feels

too broad or too small-scale. It also takes the time to develop each of the characters enough to make them wholly endearing to the audience. It also helps that the cast is exceptionally likable. As The Machine, McDonald has the comedic side of the film on lock, quick with one-liners and possessing a knack for physical comedy (a hysterical bit involving his character and an electric fence proves to be a highlight). Scott, as the put-upon best man, Davin, is fantastic. He kills with deadpan wit, but is even better at bringing depth to the inner conflict and pain his character feels — as in a particularly disarming sequence where he sings a heartbreaking tune a capella by the fire. Many of the film’s strengths and weaknesses are best exemplified in an eleventh

hour fight between Fionnan and Davin, which begins with emotional revelations and ends with a couple of semi-nude men brawling in the dirt. Is the fight predictable? Yes. But it doesn’t take anything away from how well-acted the sequence is, and how adept the film is at switching from effective character beats to broader comedy. Butler, a first-time feature helmer (and cowriter) provides solid, and sometimes playful direction — a promising debut. The cinematography’s also quite pretty, and does a good job capturing the unique beauty of the damp, grey Irish countryside and forests. All these little things add up to allow “The Bachelor Weekend” to rise above its somewhat strict adherence to formula, and become a comedy worth seeking out.

Referring to 51 and 53 West 19th Street, Taylor added a closing thought of his own to that quote. “The community support is here, commissioners,” he said. “The will is up to you and the applicant.” At this point, it’s unclear whether Panasia will now tell their architect to reverse course and make plans to restore the two buildings, given the extreme likelihood of the LPC eventually voting to deny the demolition application. Panasia did not respond to a request for comment.

Keep checking online for

Ongoing Review Coverage of the

Tribeca Film Festival www. .com


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April 9 - 22, 2014

Just Do Art THE QUESTION:

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Who is the new voice in morning radio that everyone is talking about?

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JOE PISCOPO! • He’s Funny • He’s Smart • He’s Informative – and a great way to start your day!

Photo by Beowulf Sheehan

The Downtown Literary Festival has more books than you can shake a Noon at.

At 4pm, at HWBC, what will become a perennial festival event — “NYC Through the Decades” — launches with a focus on the 1950s. The panelists are David Gilbert (on Hitchcock’s “Rear Window”), Amor Towles (on Robert Franks’ “The Americans” photographs) and David Goodwillie (on Delmore Schwartz). Beginning at 10:30am, McNally Jackson Books will host four events custom-made for the juice box set. First up: “Baby and Kids Storytime and Singalong” (ages 0–4) has Amy Virginia Buchanan and Jo Firestone bringing a distinctly Downtown flair to their Storytime event (see amyvirginia.com updates on their weekly Wednesday gig, 10:30am, at HWBC). At 11am, “The Joshua Show” features Joshua Holden and his cast of puppet friends. Kids ages 4-8 will get a fast-paced primer on the genres of urban funk, blues, honky tonk and calypso genres — when Amelia Robinson plays interactive songs from the Mil’s Trills debut album “Everyone Together Now.” Village resident Greg Foley (the author/illustrator of “Willoughby & the Lion” and “Willoughby & the Moon”) is the guest for “Storytime With Rafael Jefferson” (at noon, perfect for ages 5-8). Also throughout the day at McNally Jackson, adults can get literary advice from Charles Bock, Fiona Maazel, Katie Roiphe and Adam Wilson — while Rosie Schapp pairs your reading list with thematically appropriate drinks. Then, rebel against the brave new age of the selfie, by popping into the Photo Booth to pose with your favorite book. Sun., April 13, from 10am-5pm at three venues: Bowery Poetry Club (308 Bowery, btw. Bleecker & Houston Sts.), Housing Works Bookstore Cafe (126 Crosby St., btw. Prince & Houston Sts.) and McNally Jackson Books (52 Prince St., btw. Lafayette & Mulberry Sts.). The after party (5pm) happens at Von Bar (3 Bleecker St., btw. Bowery & Elizabeth Sts.). For event info, visit downtownliteraryfestival. org. Also visit mcnallyjackson.com and housingworks.org/events.

PHOTO BY DANNY SANCHEZ

After last year’s well-attended and wordy (in a good way) inaugural event, McNally Jackson Books and Housing Works Bookstore Cafe are once again collaborating on the Downtown Literary Festival — a daylong celebration showcasing the literature and writers of New York City (with a focus on Downtown diversity and creativity). This year, the festival has expanded to three locations and has added children’s programming. The opening party (6-8pm) happens on Fri., April 10, at Housing Works Bookstore Cafe (HWBC). Ryan Chapman and Jason Diamond will DJ, and there will be free drinks (while they last). On Sunday, festival events at Bowery Poetry Club (BPC) and HWBC begin on the hour and last 45 minutes — allowing attendees just enough time to book it to the next nearby venue. At 11am, at BPC, “Natives and Newcomers: How Open Is New York City?” brings together Teju Cole, Hari Kunzru and Katie Kitamura for a discussion about the extent to which nonnative New Yorkers can ever truly call the city their home. At noon, HWBC is the setting for “The Greatest 3-Minute Bad Apartment Stories” — a rapid-fire collection of horrible experiences with bad roommates, bed bugs, broker fees and slumlords. Maggie Serota, Sari Botton, Bob Powers, Jen Doll and Tyler Coates are among the intense and concise storytellers. Volume 1 Brooklyn’s Tobias Carroll hosts. Other events include visual presentations from Gabrielle Bell, MK Reed and Julia Wertz on the role NY’s cityscape has played in graphic stories (“Graphically New York: The City as Character,” 1pm at HWBC. At 2pm’s “Slaughterhouse 90210: Downtown Movies Edition” (also at HWBC), Maris Kreizman — creator of the blog and bookto-be “Slaughterhouse 90210” — talks about the intersection of New York City movies and literature. She’s joined by storytellers including Katie Heaney and Teddy Wayne. At BPC, at 2pm, the festival follows up 2013’s Frank O’Hara-themed installment of “The City Drifting” by focusing on the work of Alice Notley — this year’s choice for a featured poet who epitomizes Downtown literary culture. Timothy Donnelly, Lynne Melnick, John Godfrey, Stacy Szymaszek, Erika Caufmanmand Patricia Spears Jones are among those who will read a cherished poem by Notley. At 3pm, HWBC hosts “Closing Time: Stories of Shuttered New York City Venues.” Writers and musicians including Stacey D’Erasmo, Nelson George, Porochista Khakpour and Marc Spitz will revisit some of our ever-changing town’s fondly remembered DIY spaces, concert halls and arenas. Concurrent with that event, BPC takes a different approach to assessing the human cost of progress. “The Tale of Two Cities: Richard Price and Francine Prose in Conversation” has these born-and-bred New Yorkers assessing the collateral damage of turning dirty and dangerous old Downtown into a zone that “no longer resembles the affordable, inclusive and diverse enclave it used to be.”

MORNINGS: 6-9AM

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April 9 - 22, 2014

HOLY WEEK Services & Confessions Palm Sunday Saturday, April 12, 2014 – 5:00 pm Sunday, April 13, 2014 – 9:00 am, 10:30 am (Spanish) & 12:00 noon

Good Friday April 18, 2014 Celebration of the Lord’s Passion 3:00 pm (English), 6:00 pm (Spanish)

Monday April 14, 2014 – 3:00 pm, 9:00 pm Confessions - in the church

Holy Saturday April 19, 2014 Easter Vigil Mass – 8:00 pm (Bilingual)

Holy Thursday April 17, 2014 Mass of the Lord’s Supper 7:30 pm (Bilingual)

Easter Sunday April 20, 2014 Masses: 9:00 am, 10:30 am (Spanish), 12 noon, and 2:00 pm (Spanish)

St. Columba Church

343 West 25th Street, Between 8th & 9th Avenues New York, New York 10001 www.SaintColumbachelsea.org

APRIL 9, 2014, CHELSEA NOW  

APRIL 9, 2014, CHELSEA NOW

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