VOLUME 5, NUMBER 16
THE WEST SIDE’S COMMUNITY NEWSPAPER
APRIL 17 - 30, 2013
TRIBECA FILM FESTIVAL VENUE GUIDE • REVIEWS INTERVIEWS • ROUNDUPS Pages 11 - 21
5 15 CANAL ST., U N IT 1C • MAN H ATTA N , N Y 10 013 • C OPYRIG HT © 2013 N YC COM M U N ITY M ED IA , LLC
April 17 -30, 2013
CB4 Deploys Debate on Retractable Culture Shed BY EILEEN STUKANE The proposed Culture Shed of Hudson Yards, which would be close to West 30th Street between 10th and 11th Avenues, was the center of attention at the April 3 Full Board Meeting of Community Board 4 (CB4). Conference Room B, on the second floor of Roosevelt Hospital (1000 Tenth Avenue), was packed. After this meeting, CB4 would be responding to an application received from the Department of City Planning (DCP) to amend the Special Hudson Yards District of the NYC Zoning Resolution, for the purpose of developing the Culture Shed. The meeting began at 6:30pm, with Elise Wagner (an attorney with Kramer Levin) and Laurie Beckelman (of Beckelman + Capalino, consultant to the Culture Shed) presenting a slide show created by Culture Shed, Inc. — the city’s nonprofit organization formed in 2012 to manage the planned exhibition and event space. The DCP is the force driving the construction of the Culture Shed, which must be built simultaneously with other Hudson Yards development structures: Tower D, a 70-story residential tower to which it will be connected, and the platform over the West Side rail yards. The project is designed by Diller Scofidio + Renfro, with the Rockwell Group. “There’s nothing like this in the entire world,” said Beckelman, as slides revealed
square feet of plaza adjacent to the High Line). CB4’s letter to the City Planning Commission describes a “Movable Shed” as “a deployable 20,000-square-foot building extension.” Although she said it was not written in the by-laws, Beckelman assured that the Culture Shed wanted to “work closely with the community” in relation to the use of the galleries for community arts. A question to the presenters from Council member Christine Berthet about the illumination of signage in the area received the response that signage would not be illuminated. Later in the evening, after the Public Session, CB4 would spend time reviewing the details of the Culture Shed and its impact on the community. More immediately following the slide presentation, representatives of various cultural groups in the city stepped up to the microphone in the main aisle to offer their opinions of the Culture Shed.
Image courtesy of Diller Scofidio + Renfro in collaboration with Rockwell Group.
The Culture Shed, viewed from the High Line (at 30th St.).
the Culture Shed’s approximately 180,000 gross square feet of space for four floors of galleries for expositions and festivals (for the visual and performing arts, fashion, design, technology and more), an open air
fourth floor café with a retractable roof and a transparent 125-foot shell that would be nested around the building and retracted (but, with the push of a button, could roll out along tracks to cover about 20,000
CULTURAL GROUPS SUPPORT THE CULTURE SHED
Enthusiasm for the possibility of more space for the arts was voiced by four cultural groups. Laura Raicovich, director of global initiatives, Creative Time (a 40-year-old arts
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April 17 -30, 2013
Pier 40, NYCHA, Medical Marijuana on Agenda of Electeds Continued from page 2 organization that commissions and exhibits public art) spoke of Creative Time’s recent large-scale exhibition in Grand Central, and their occasional need for a sizable, flexible venue (which the Culture Shed could offer). She also referred to the annual Creative Time Summit, currently held at NYU’s Skirball Center, which needed more space for classroom workshops. Mark Russell, artistic director of the Public Theater’s Under The Radar Festival, said he was excited about the opportunities the Culture Shed will give the city. “So many national and international events miss New York because of lack of space or proper producing organization for large scale performing and visual arts...My team and I at Under The Radar already dream of ways we could use the space,” he said. Katy Clark, president and executive director of The Orchestra of St. Luke’s, said “We are critically aware of just how important space is to artists in the city... Orchestras don’t take any less space now than when the music was written. We are always in need of bigger spaces.” Peter Mullan, vice president for planning and design of the High Line, said the High Line believed that the Culture Shed would make “an enormously positive contribution to the High Line and to the Hudson Yards and to the neighborhood.... The Culture Shed will become a northern terminus along the High Line that mirrors the new Whitney Museum...It will be an unimpeded connection between the High Line and the public space that connects it to the north.” The architects working on the design of the Culture Shed are the same architects who worked on the design of the High Line. Before closing this portion of the meeting, audience member Jim Fouratt, asked about a sliding scale for ticket prices and whether that was mentioned in the mission statement of the Culture Shed. The response from presenters, who noted the matter was currently being studied, was that they were going to make sure there was a lot of public activity and that there will be a sliding scale.
REPORTS FROM ELECTED OFFICIALS AND REPS
Assemblymember Richard Gottfried announced that a reintroduced medical marijuana bill was going to be on the Assembly’s Health Committee agenda, following the two-week recess. On April 16, in Albany, the bill was reported from committee by 21-4 (including three of the committee's seven Republicans voting in favor). Gottfried also confirmed that the strong community opposition to residential development on Pier 40 of the Hudson River Park had taken that possibility off the table. In addition to retail and other commercial uses, residential development was proposed to give the park, which Gottfried said had “anywhere between
$100 and $200 million in capital maintenance needs,” a firmer financial foundation. The tabling of residential development “will hopefully make it possible to focus on working out the couple of dozen other pieces of legislation that are proposed for the Hudson River Park, and we will be able to get some of those enacted,” said Gottfried. Assemblymember Linda Rosenthal reported that her bill pressing the NYC Department of Education to require the city to remove and replace PCB lighting ballasts in schools within two years is being resisted by the administration. Rosenthal was involved in supporting parents as well as the United Federation of Teachers, regarding the leakage of PCBs at PS87 — when parents were not notified for three months, in spite of the fact that the law requires notification within seven days. She is continuing to press for the legislation. Rosenthal also noted that she is involved in holding the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) accountable for its push to lease public housing on the Upper West Side to private developers. Tenants were not being provided proper information. She has worked to correct this, and has received assurance from Chairman John Rhea that a point person will work with the Citywide Council of Presidents to help with the dispersal of funds to tenant organizations. Rosenthal was successful in passing a bill, Tenant Acts for Radiator Covers, which requires a landlord to install radiator covers within 90 days at which point a tenant can install them and take them off the rent. This bill was motivated by the death of child who fell off a bed onto a hot radiator and died. Council Member Gail Brewer, after four years of advocacy, spoke of how pleased she was to see the NYC Paid Sick Time Act signed into legislation. The bill states that businesses with 20 or more employees must provide five paid sick days starting April 1, 2014. This will extend to businesses with 15 or more employees on October 1, 2015. She also reported on improvements to Recreation Center 59 (on West 59th Street), which is getting new windows and will have an opening in June. More good news followed, as it was announced that $2.5 million was given to Riverside Park for improvements to the West 59th Street lower portion of the park, thanks to Speaker Quinn and Extell Development. Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer representative David Czyzyk said that after reviewing 38 applicants for CB4, “We chose eight people with the help of Speaker Quinn.” The new CB4 Council members are Rev. Keith Fennessy, Tanya Odum, George Santana, Brad Pascarella, Amber Nicosia, Michael Noble, David Solnick and Eric Latzky. Warm applause greeted the names. Czyzyk then spoke of Stringer’s “Growing Gotham: A Survey of New York City’s Minority and Women Business Enterprises and a Roadmap for Economic Growth,” which has led him to recommend appointing a Chief Diversity Officer to report to the Mayor’s Office to monitor M/WBE compliance and
launch a mentoring program. Stringer is also involved in the East River Blue Way Plan to revitalize the East River waterfront. Support for retaining the Old Chelsea Post Office was announced by Cyzyk on behalf of Stringer, by Ellen Louis for State Senator Brad Holyman and by Harriet Sedgwick for City Council Speaker Christine Quinn. The possibility of leasing out space in the post office is being suggested by Stringer. Louis also urged meningitis vaccination for men who have sex with men. According to the Health Department, four new cases of meningitis among men who have sex with men have been reported since January alone, making 17 cases since 2012. Sedgwick announced that Speaker Quinn was thrilled to have passed the sick leave legislation. District Attorney Cyrus Vance’s representative invited everyone to attend the 28th Annual New York Crime Victims Candlelight Vigil on Sunday, April 21, from 2-4pm at West End Collegiate Church (368 West End Avenue). Also noted was the District Attorney’s summer internship program for high school juniors about to enter their senior years. The deadline for applying is April 26. For information, visit manhattanda.org/highschool-internship. Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney representative Christina Perici reported on the legislation coming out of the Congresswoman’s office, such as the Violence Against Women Act and the Firearm Risk Protection Act
(to require liability insurance of gun buyers nationwide). The Congresswoman is also participating in the annual Congressional Arts Competition for high school students in her district. Students should contact their teachers for details. “The winner will have his or her artwork hung in the halls of the Capitol for a year,” she said.
PUBLIC COMMENT SESSION
Representing Working Harbor Committee, John Doswell announced that starting May 21, summer tours of New York Harbor on the motor yacht Zephyr will take place every Tuesday evening, at 6:30pm (leaving from Pier 16 at the South Street Seaport). This year, the focus of the tours is “Beyond Sandy.” Experts, including those from Stevens Institute of Technology, will be on board to discuss sea gates, dunes, oyster beds and more. Jim Fouratt spoke in support of bike lanes on West 15th and 16th Streets, particularly for the safety of seniors. Hell’s Kitchen Roof Garden (410 West 40th Street, on the rooftop of Metro Baptist Church) announced its Spring Kickoff, which occurred on April 13th, and invited participation in the garden. For information, visit hellskitchenfarmprojet.org. Everyone was reminded that the Fashion Institute of Technology’s “Fashion and Technology” exhibit is on view until May 8.
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April 17 -30, 2013
At Public Forum, Little New on USPS Plans for Old Chelsea Station BY MAEVE GATELY On the evening of April 11, Jonathan Smith — President of the New York Metro Area Postal Union — stood before dozens of angry Chelsea residents, declaring that the proposal to relocate the Old Chelsea Station (OCS) Post Office was the latest in a series of “lies, lies, and more lies” by the United States Postal Service (USPS). “The plan is about big money,” thundered Smith, who asked when the USPS “will at least give us the decency of truth and respect,” and concluded by assuring Joe Mulevy (the attendant USPS representative) that, “If you win, it will be over my dead body!” He sat down to cheers from the audience. The meeting, which was sponsored by Community Board 4 (CB4) and took place in Fulton Auditorium (119 Ninth Avenue), was the public comment hearing required by law before the USPS announces any official decision regarding the relocation. Of the 19 Chelsea residents, a State Senator, an Assemblymember and various CB4 members who spoke, not a single one argued for the relocation to take place. Possible closure of the architecturally significant facility (at 217 West 18th Street, between Seventh and Eighth Avenues) was a scenario first brought to the community’s attention in January, when an unassuming letter posted in OCS was read by 79-yearold Village resident Barbara Ruether. Since
Photo by Maeve Gately
On April 11, at Fulton Auditorium, Chelsea residents gathered in Fulton Auditorium to voice their opinions; USPS representative Joseph J. Mulvey (foreground, left) listens to the complaints.
then, reaction by preservationists, loyal OCS customers and elected representatives has been as consistent and unyielding as the central argument put forth by the USPS — which maintains it can’t afford to maintain a 43,000-square-foot building, when the
services that take place there require only 19,000 square feet. Selling the building would, the USPS asserts, allow it find a smaller space within the same zip code. In an attempt to halt the relocation process, CB4 sent the Postmaster General
a letter signed by seven local elected officials: U.S. Representatives Jerrold Nadler and Carolyn Maloney, State Senator Brad Holyman, Assemblymembers Richard Gottfried and Deborah Glick, City Council Speaker Christine Quinn and Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer. The letter called for a more transparent decision-making process and a public comment meeting (an obligatory step in the closure process, fulfilled through USPS attendance at the April 11 forum, as well as at a March 14 meeting of the Manhattan Borough Board). In an April 15 email to Chelsea Now, Connie Chirichello, USPS Corporate Communications representative for New York City and Long Island, commented on the decision-making process, noting that, “Postal officials are evaluating all avenues in the facility optimization process. Public comment is an important part of the process.” CB4 Chair Cory Johnson opened the April 11 meeting by thanking the residents in attendance and expressing his desire to combat the USPS’s impending decision. “I know the people here tonight are just a small fraction of people who care very deeply that the post office stays in its current location,” he declared to applause from the attendants, vowing that, “We’re all banding together
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OCS Comments Due by 4/26 Continued from page 4 on this, the Community Board, the elected officials and you!” The letter was sent before the meeting itself, he assured, in order to make sure the federal government halted the process before the sale could occur, and now that public had the chance to gather, “A full room of Chelsea residents sends a strong message that our community wants [the post office] to remain where it is.” Joseph J. Mulvey, Real Estate Specialist for the United States Postal Service, came down from Boston to read an official statement regarding the proposal, and to field any related questions. He emphasized that, if a relocation should in fact occur, it will be to a yet-to-be-determined-location “within the same postal area. I think that’s important,” and proceeded to read certain sections of his statement a second time in order to allow them to sink in. He clearly did not expect the angry and impassioned group of Chelsea residents that awaited him, however, and spent most of the evening sitting in the audience and listening to remarks and outcries — typified by comments such as, “Postal management lies to everybody,” and, “He’s reading a letter and trying to bullshit us.” Johnson had to step in several times, first to prevent residents from shouting at Mulvey, and then to prevent Mulvey from responding to each accusation with a rebuttal. “We all feel really strongly about this,” Johnson shouted at the angry room, reassuring them that “This is his job. Be respectful, don’t catcall.” Mulvey spoke of the necessary re-alignment of infrastructure as a response to the 40 percent drop in net volume of mail in recent years. The USPS has “exhausted its borrowing,” and lost billions of dollars, he maintained, and this sale is merely one in a number of downsizing measures. The Depression-era building, which was construed in 1935, contains two bas relief stone panels by American artist Paul Fiene, and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It is not landmarked by the city, however — a status that might protect it from being sold. Comments from community members ranged from anger and disbelief to practical suggestions for budgeting strategies. All felt that OCS is a central and crucial part of the community, and expressed concern that, were it to move to a less-expensive location along 12th Avenue or further north, elderly residents would lose access to a vital service in their neighborhood. Many residents compared this battle to the one waged over the closed St. Vincent’s Hospital — believing the community is losing its essential infrastructure, bit by bit. Rosa Maria de la Torre, Program Coordinator of the Chelsea Housing Guild, said she sees the proposal as “a direct attack on the working class, on people of color, on seniors.” Many residents agreed with this sentiment, invoking the recent closing of the
Bronx Central Station — whose public hearing also took place at the March 14 meeting of the Manhattan Borough Board (which, with a start time of 8:30am, occurred when the majority of working-class residents were unable to attend). Assemblymember Dick Gottfried voiced his outrage with the way the USPS conducted the notification process, and assured Mulvey that, “If the past is any indication of the future, [this community] is gonna fight pretty damn hard.” A more pragmatic approach was taken by Lesley Doyel of Save Chelsea, who wondered whether the USPS could afford a new space in a neighborhood whose rents are soaring. Dan Zachman, of the American Postal Workers Union, asked Mulvey, “How are you gonna get something cheaper than what you already own?” Dan Milner, a professional geographer, assured Mulvey, “You not only have a suitable location, you have the best one,” and asked whether the USPS has considered selling the air rights to the building in order to increase revenue. When asked about this option in a same-day follow-up to her April 15 email, Chirichello responded, “I can’t answer that. However, all potential avenues to bring the USPS back to financial stability are possible.” In response to a question regarding potential relocation spots for the station, Chirichello commented, “At this time there is no discussion on the table regarding possible relocation sites.” As to whether the USPS has considered leasing part of the space in order to maintain the rest, she added, “If we did move forward, and should possible buyers offer us space to continue retail services in the building, this option would be considered.” Chirichello assured Chelsea Now that, “Should we move forward and relocate customers could expect the same friendly service they have come to expect and deserve from the same postal staff they have come to know on a first name basis.” The new facility, she vowed, would be state-of-theart, “with plenty of space to accommodate postal operations and customers,” and those who had PO boxes at OCS would keep their same box numbers. At the meeting’s conclusion, a heated two hours later, Mulvey stood back up and thanked the residents for their comments. His closing remarks, which were surprisingly diffident and articulate for a man who had just spent the past few hours being attacked, urged the community to put their grievances in writing. “There were some good comments here tonight,” he said, smiling slightly, noting that although helpful, a few of the comments were “a bit off-color.” The 15-day comment period ends on April 26. Comments may be directed in writing to Joseph J. Mulvey, Vice President of Facilities Implementation, U.S. Postal Service, 2 Congress Street, Room 8, Milford, MA, 01757-9998. CB4 notes that you may also send a copy to firstname.lastname@example.org — or snail mail to District Manager, Manhattan CB4, 330 West 42nd Street, 26th floor, New York, NY, 10036.
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April 17 -30, 2013
Quinn Announces Sick Leave Compromise
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BY PAUL SCHINDLER Scarcely a week after City Council Speaker Christine Quinn told an audience of hundreds at an LGBT Democratic mayoral forum that she did not favor moving forward now on pending paid sick leave legislation, she announced a compromise measure to do just that at a March 29 City Hall press conference. The announcement capped days of intense negotiations between Quinn, an out lesbian who represents the West Village, Chelsea and Hell’s Kitchen, and leading advocates for the measure. “Throughout these negotiations I have always said that I was willing to listen and engage all sides,” the speaker said. “Because of deliberate, thoughtful and at times hardnosed negotiations, we now have a piece of legislation that balances the interests of workers, small business owners and local mom and pop proprietors across this city.” The legislation, which will take effect on April 1, 2014, will initially require companies with 20 or more employees to provide five days of paid sick leave. Over an 18-month rollout, that minimum threshold will be reduced to 15 employees. Even companies that are not covered by the legislation must, as of next April, allow their workers sick leave, paid or unpaid, of five days without repercussion on their employment status. The original legislation proposed by West Side City Councilwoman Gale Brewer, on which Quinn had blocked a vote, put paid sick leave requirements on all businesses with five or more employees. Under the compromise announced, employees must have worked for at least four months for their sick leave eligibility to kick in, and seasonal and work-study employees are not covered. Manufacturing businesses will also be exempt from the paid sick leave requirement — “Due to the particular challenges of that sector,” Quinn said — though workers at such companies will still have the right to five unpaid days off. The law will be enforced by the Department of Consumer Affairs. In the Brewer legislation, the health department would have had enforcement responsibility. The change is a concession to concerns from small businesses, especially restaurants, that often complain of overzealous health inspectors. “The DOH, for better or worse,” Quinn said, “is the agency that small businesses complain about most… Consumer Affairs, I think, has a better perspective on small business.” Provisions in the Brewer legislation providing a legal right of civil action to employees against businesses not complying with the law have been eliminated in favor of a complaint process that will go through Consumer Affairs. A fact sheet released by Quinn’s office stated that the change prevents “a system that could allow for exces-
Photo courtesy of Gay City News
SEIU 32BJ’s Hector Figueroa flanked by City Councilwoman Gale Brewer and Speaker Christine Quinn at the March 29 paid sick leave press conference.
sive and unsubstantiated lawsuits against business owners.” Minimum fines have been reduced from $1,000 under the Brewer plan to $500, with the maximum lowered from $5,000 to $2,500. Despite these modifications to the Brewer bill, advocates expect a veto by Mayor Michael Bloomberg, but with more than 40 supporters on the 51-member Council, an override is a foregone conclusion. The speaker had explained her unwillingness to move on paid sick leave by pointing to the softness of the New York economy, and the legislation gives the city one last out on that score prior to implementation. If economic activity in the city is lower on January 1, 2014 than it was on January 1, 2012 — as measured by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s Coincident Index — the bill will not take effect next April. A spokesman for the Working Families Party (WFP), which had pressed Quinn hard on the legislation, said sick leave advocates were confident it would surmount that hurdle. At the end of 2016, the city’s Independent Budget Office will examine the impact of the legislation, and advocates are hopeful that would provide an opportunity to extend the law to include businesses with fewer than 15 employees. Quinn’s office and the WFP agreed that the legislative compromise would cover one million New Yorkers who currently get no paid sick leave. Advocates responded with praise for the compromise legislative package. Hector Figueroa, the president of SEIU 32BJ, a union of building services workers, said, “We… applaud Speaker Quinn for negotiating a bill that will give more than a million workers paid sick days and provide hundreds of thousands more with an assurance that they won’t have to choose between
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April 17 -30, 2013
Rivals Scramble as Quinn Announces Compromise Continued from page 6 taking their child to a doctor and losing their job.” Quinn singled out Figueroa for praise at the press conference. WFP deputy director Bill Lipton termed the compromise bill “strong paid sick leave legislation.” Brewer, who consistently said the speaker continued a dialogue with her over her proposed legislation even while declining to move forward, said, “After three years of non-stop advocacy and coalition building, I am pleased and grateful that we have reached a deal with Speaker Christine C. Quinn on my paid sick leave bill.” Reaction from the business community was mixed, but generally reflected relief that the speaker had sought their input and modified the original proposal. Crain’s New York Business, in a March 28 story, quoted Kathy Wylde, president of the Partnership for New York City and a contributor to Quinn’s campaign, as saying, “We don’t support paid sick leave, period.” In a written statement released at the City Hall press conference, however, she said, “Speaker Quinn made an especially bad bill a lot better after listening to the concerns of the business community.” Wylde cited the elimination of “a system of gotcha fines with a complaint-driven mechanism” and an implementation process that “protect[s] us in case of another economic collapse.” At the press conference, two borough chamber of commerce leaders — Jack Friedman of Queens and Carlo A. Scissura of Brooklyn — offered praise for the compromise that was far less grudging. “This once again shows that Christine Quinn is such an incredible leader,” Friedman said. Quinn had come under increased pressure in recent months to move on paid sick leave, but had remained firm in resisting a Council vote on Brewer’s bill. At last week’s LGBT mayoral forum, she said, “I support the concept of paid sick leave, but not this bill in its current formation. It’s not a question for me of if, it’s a question of when.” Her rivals were aggressive during the forum in taking her on over the issue, with Bill Thompson, the former city comptroller, saying, “Speaker Quinn, you need to stop blocking this bill right now.” Sal Albanese, a former member of the City Council from Brooklyn, noted that with a majority of members in support of the measure, Quinn was using the same tactic that Council leadership had employed in the 1970s and ‘80s to block a vote on the gay rights law. Criticism of Quinn over the sick leave issue sparked spirited applause at the March 20 LGBT forum, but the tableau presented at City Hall on March 29 — with the speaker surrounded by more than a dozen
Council members, major labor leaders, and fired up members of both 32BJ and Make the Road New York, a social justice organization — provided a striking contrast with the week before. Two of Quinn’s three principal rivals for the Democratic mayoral nomination appeared prepared to give her a win on the sick leave issue. City Comptroller John Liu, congratulating advocates and Brewer, released a statement saying, “Many more New Yorkers will soon be able to take care of themselves or a loved one who gets sick without risking their jobs or paychecks.” Thompson, in a tweet, wrote, “While it took political pressure to force her hand, I’m glad Speaker Quinn ended her 3-year, singlehanded obstruction of #paidsick leave.” Bill de Blasio, the city’s public advocate, however, was not mollified. At a City Hall press conference two hours after Quinn’s appearance, he said, “I think if you ask everyday New Yorkers if you want to wait a year or two for paid sick leave, they’ll say no. They can’t afford that. I think if you ask everyday New Yorkers is it okay that 300,000 New Yorkers go left out, they’ll say no.” Nancy Rankin, the vice president for policy, research and advocacy at the Community Service Society, a leading advocate for the legislation, said her group estimates that 350,000 workers will be left out of the bill as a result of increasing the threshold from five to 15 workers. Quinn’s engagement in the negotiations that led to the compromise came as a dozen or so Council members had pledged to support a motion to discharge on Brewer’s legislation, a parliamentary move aimed at sidestepping Quinn’s opposition to allowing a vote. WFP was involved in those efforts and was left out of the negotiations with Quinn over the compromise package. Quinn’s earlier recalcitrance on the issue had sparked criticism in progressive circles. Gloria Steinem, the longtime feminist leader, recently said she would withdraw her endorsement of Quinn if she did not move on paid sick leave. At the City Hall press conference, WFP’s Lipton read a letter from Steinem in which she “thank[ed] Councilmember Brewer and Speaker Quinn for hanging in there with countless women’s groups” and other advocates. Last summer, a number of LGBT leaders — including Dr. Marjorie Hill, CEO of Gay Men’s Health Crisis, Liz Margolies, executive director of the National LGBT Cancer Network, Melissa Goodman, an LGBT and reproductive rights attorney at the New York Civil Liberties Union, and Amber Hollibaugh, the co-director of Queers for Economic Justice — told our sister publication, Gay City News, they were strong backers of paid sick leave. “We are a public health organization and so obviously committed to structures and policies that will promote public health,” Hill said. “And we are a social justice organization committed to equity for all.”
April 17 -30, 2013
The news industry is in flux, and has been for the last six or seven years. That’s no secret. Some things, however, remain constant — foremost among them, the demand for solidly reported local news. That’s why, even though daily newspapers are taking serious hits in circulation, community weeklies are continuing to thrive. Two weekends ago, NYC Community Media hauled in an impressive number of awards in the 2012 Better Newspaper Contest. Chelsea Now was recognized for Best Obituaries (of John Doyel and Estelle Katz), as well as winning First Place, in Division 3, for Best Color Ad (created by Senior Designer Michael Shirey). It was gratifying to see Jerry Tallmer win first place for Best Column (writing for our sister publication, The Villager). A founding editor of the Village Voice and later an all-purpose newspaperman for the New York Post, Tallmer, 92, has interviewed just about everyone and anyone of note in the last six or seven decades. His insightful columns artfully interweave history and current events and are always beautifully written. The award could not have been more well-deserved. Tallmer also contributed to the Third Place Division 3 win, for Coverage of the Arts. Awarded to The Villager, Tallmer’s two theater features also appeared in Chelsea Now (the judge said of them, “The description of each play brings them to life.”). At the convention, as has been the case for the last several years, discussions among publishers, editors and reporters largely centered on the print vs. digital issue. Yes, solely online news outlets are now an established part of the mix of how readers get their local news in New York City and elsewhere, and some of them do a good job. And yet, the largest of these outfits in New York has failed to turn a penny of profit three years after its startup. Beyond that, there are some fundamental differences between online news outlets, blogs, etc. and print newspapers. Whereas online reports tend to be shorter, “quick hit”-type pieces, papers like Chelsea Now and our sister publications at NYC Community Media (Downtown Express, Gay City News) tend to have longer, more informative articles that place stories firmly in context. We provide deeper coverage. We’ll look at more of the angles and nuances of an issue, flesh it out. We’ve been around and know our beat. As a matter of fact, we’re proud to report that this month marks The Villager’s 80th anniversary! They’re planning a special anniversary supplement that will appear later in the year. Another of our strengths is that we have unique stories. Chelsea Now strives to bring you local news that you won’t find anywhere else. That’s one way to separate ourselves from the pack in an era of media homogeneity. There’s no doubt, though, that there’s a two-track split in how news is being consumed. Younger readers are more apt to read news on their smartphones or tablets, while many older readers still prefer print. One can ask what this all means, in that online reports do tend to be shorter, less meaty. Is our collective attention span shrinking? Some predict a coming clampdown of pay walls that will change how we think of free content on the Web. Chelsea Now does, of course, have an active online presence, including Facebook and Twitter. Our online content is free and we’re not looking to ask readers to pay anytime soon. Basically, like the title of the Joe Strummer documentary “The Future Is Unwritten,” no one knows exactly what the news industry will look like in five years. All we know is that Chelsea Now is still going strong — covering the best beat and the best neighborhood around — and that we’ll continue to work hard “writing the future,” reporting on whatever the future holds.
letters to the editor Don’t give up by giving OCS to private industry To The Editor: Re “Public to Issue Stamp of Disapproval, on Possible Post Office Sale” (news, April 3): Postal officials, by and large, are NOT bright people. Do they understand their mission? Just as the Asst. D.A. wants to put the accused away “for life,” and the Legal Aid or “18B” attorney wants to have the client “walk,” postal officials should do their best to preserve the institution and not give in and give up to private industry. Are they acting in cahoots? The senior Oregon Congressman last year called upon the Postmaster General to resign for this reason, and suggested that instead of circling the wagons, he should do something constructive to save his agency. The electronic spectrum cannot be blamed for everything. Why are there long lines at most post offices? People use the post office a lot for packages, going and coming and returns. And if postal officials are to be believed, then the small finance stations, such as London Terrace, are not in danger of closing. Small facilities serve the community. Alan Flacks
NID is flawed, abuses law To The Editor: Re “The Hudson River Park must generate more revenue” (Talking Point, by Diana Taylor et al., April 3): The neighborhood improvement district (NID), so blandly referred to here, is a flawed concept and an abuse of the business improvement district law. Contrary to statements made in public meetings, the Hudson River Park maintenance money from the NID will not be passed through to the Hudson River Park Trust as a block grant, and can be held back in a reserve fund if the NID board does not approve of the Trust requests for any or all of the money in any given year. In addition, if the NID builds pedestrian bridges over Route 9A in the park’s northern section (including perhaps to the passenger ship piers), as detailed in the draft NID district plan, the debt service for these projects takes precedence over all other budget items, even the money earmarked for park maintenance. The NID plan also envisions “beautifying” the historically accurate industrial flavor of the western parts of Tribeca, Soho, the West Village and beyond, and could weaken local control of our neighborhoods. Before you decide you support the NID because they tell you it’s an easy, low-impact way to help Hudson River Park, read the plan (hrpnid.com/district-plan) and visit Neighbors Against the NID (nohrpnid.blogspot. com) to learn more.
Hospital or the continued avaricious expansion of New York University at the expense of longstanding Village neighborhoods. Moreover, Quinn’s outrageous support for Bloomberg’s third-term bid as mayor in contravention of the two-term limit is exactly the kind of history-making we Villagers don’t need. Vahe A. Tiryakian
Most park users are residents To The Editor: Re “Critics Poke Holes in NID Plan” (news article, April 3): As a resident who uses the Hudson River Park frequently — and whose property values are higher as a result of this wonderful amenity — I have little doubt that the majority of the park’s visitors are residents. Go there on any morning before work, or in the middle of the day, and you will see parents and caregivers with their children. Maintaining this amenity is critical and I see it as an investment in my front yard and in my property. I also like the fact that the median will be maintained. What an eyesore! It’s an embarrassment for our community and, frankly, our city. Aren’t business improvement districts the mechanism that has supported Union Square Park and medians elsewhere? I believe the Broadway medians are maintained by a BID. What they are suggesting doesn’t quite seem unprecedented to me. It just seems logical that neighbors would work and support such an incredible asset to their community. Griping and complaining will not solve the problem. All these people are complaining about paying a nominal fee — and not suggesting any solution to the real problem. Sandy Yeltser 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.
The New & Improved
Nicole Vianna Vianna is a member of Neighbors Against the NID
History, shmistory; We need support To The Editor: Re “Quinn on the Spot” (editorial, April 3): That, as you point out, Christine Quinn is a potentially history-making figure has nothing to do with whether or not she should be mayor. The last thing we need in our beloved Village is the making of history. We need the making of fair and decent decisions on issues intimately affecting all Villagers, such as the loss of St. Vincent’s
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April 17 -30, 2013
Community Contacts To be listed, email info to firstname.lastname@example.org. 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 the ﬁrst Wednesday of the month. The next meeting is Wed., May 1, 6:30pm, at Fulton Auditorium (119 9th Ave., btw. 17th & 18th Sts.). Call 212-736-4536, visit nyc.gov/mcb4 or email them at email@example.com. 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., May 9, 6pm, at Xavier High School (30 W. 16th St., btw. 5th and 6th Aves., 2nd ﬂ.). Call 212-465-0907, visit cb5.org or email them at ofﬁce@cb5.org. THE 300 WEST 23RD, 22ND & 21ST STREETS BLOCK ASSOCIATION Contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org. THE WEST 400 BLOCK ASSOCIATION Contact them at email@example.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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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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he 2004 federal budget proposed by the Bush administration on February 3 is drawing both praise and criticism from gay and AIDS groups. “Generally, we have a mixed reaction to it,” said Winnie Stachelberg, political director at the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), even as some leading AIDS groups, including the Gay Men’s Health Crisis (GMHC), were more critical. The proposal includes a $100 million increase for the AIDS Drug Assistance Program (ADAP), a $5 million dollar increase in the Housing Opportunities for People With AIDS
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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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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 ASSOCIATE EDITOR / ARTS EDITOR Scott Stiffler REPORTERS Lincoln Anderson EDITORIAL ASSISTANTS
Sean Egan Maeve Gately Kaitlyn Meade
PUBLISHER EMERITUS John W. Sutter
SR. V.P. OF SALES AND MARKETING Francesco Regini RETAIL AD MANAGER Colin Gregory ACCOUNT EXECUTIVES Allison Greaker Julius Harrison Alex Morris Julio Tumbaco
CITY COUNCIL SPEAKER CHRISTINE QUINN 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 email@example.com. 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.
QUEERS FOR ECONOMIC JUSTICE is a progressive organization committed to promoting economic justice in a context of sexual and gender liberation. Visit q4ej.org. THE AUDRE LORDE PROJECT is a les-
bian, 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 DESIGNER Arnold Rozon CIRCULATION SALES MNGR. Marvin Rock DISTRIBUTION & CIRCULATION Cheryl Williamson
CONTRIBUTORS Lincoln Anderson Ryan Buxton Martin Denton Maeve Gately Terese Loeb Kreuzer Kaitlyn Meade Paul Schindler PHOTOGRAPHERS Milo Hess J. B. Nicholas Jefferson Siegel
April 17 -30, 2013
Police BLOTTER Upon exiting a cab at around 2:30am on Sun., April 7, a resident of West Chelsea realized she left her phone (a Verizon model valued at $300) behind. A short time later, her friend was contacted by the driver (using the victim’s phone). They were told that if they wanted the item returned, “It will cost you money.” A price of $100 was given. Acting on instructions from the police, the victim (now at the 10th Precinct, having filed a complaint) set the stage for a clever ruse of her own. She contacted the driver and agreed to his terms. He asked, “You got the money?” and was assured that $100 would be waiting for him, if he agreed to meet in her apartment building lobby. A short time later, when the exchange was going down, officers arrested the driver — when the victim positively identified him (and her phone, which she was reunited with).
Lost Property: Bad ‘Apple’ gives victim a black ‘i’ In a stunning convergence of brandthemed irony, a woman’s 2012 iPad with retina display (a popular Apple product) went missing while its owner was in the Apple store, presumably shopping for other Apple products. At around 11:30am on Sat., April 6, a 27-year-old resident of Brooklyn was inside Chelsea’s 401 W. 14th St. branch of the Apple store — when she put her iPad on a table and forgot to retrieve it. A short time after leaving, she called the store (by way of iPhone, one presumes). The staff searched for her iPad, but did not find it on the table — and noted that the item had not been turned in.
Criminal Trespass: His Stunner was no ‘Fashion’ hit A man, approximately 20 years old, attempted to enter the High School of Fashion Industries (225 W. 24 St.) at 11:45am on Mon., April 8. When confronted by school safety officers, he fled the scene, leaving behind a black bag. It contained a black hat, a black jacket, 40 Lotto tickets, a box containing 28 9mm blank centerfire cartridges and one gray Blitz captive bolt stunner (which had a blank 9mm cartridge in its chamber). Also known as a “cattle gun, a “stunbolt gun” or a “stunner,” the device (which can resemble a thin rod or a pistol) is used to dispatch animals during the slaughtering process.
Grand Larceny: Familiar phone grab scenario While walking on the West 300 block of 16th St. at around 4:30am on Mon., April 8, a 26-year-old woman (from out of state, temporarily residing in Manhattan) was approached by a man who reached his hand into her purse (which was on her shoulder), removed her iPhone 5 (valued at $800) and ran away. Immediately after, another male approached the victim, saying he was going to help retrieve the phone — but instead, he reached into the victim’s purse and removed her wallet and keys (which she took back from the “helpful” thief). The complaint, filed at the 10th Precinct, notes that video obtained from nearby shows that as this incident took place, two other men had surrounded the
victim. Sans the hovering accomplices, this scenario (one man steals a phone and flees, another appears to help) is similar to an incident reported in the April 3 issue of Chelsea Now — in which the second man offered to get a woman’s iPhone back if she gave him money. That man was apprehended, but the phone thief got away.
Leaving the Scene, Property Damage: Dyer Ave. #1 In town for the Auto Show, a 79-yearold man from Englewood, NJ parked his vehicle on the southwest corner of Dyer Ave. & W. 35 St., at around 3pm on Sun., April 7. He returned two hours later, to discover a note on his car. Its author claimed to be a bystander who witnessed another car (with NJ plates) hit the victim’s vehicle, then flee the scene.
CASH FOR GUNS $100 cash will be given (no questions asked) for each handgun, assault weapon or sawed-off shotgun, up to a maximum payment of $300. Guns are accepted at any Police Precinct, PSA or Transit District.
CRIME STOPPERS If you have info regarding a crime committed or a wanted person, call Crime Stoppers at 800-577-TIPS, text “TIP577” (plus your message) to “CRIMES” (274637) or submit a tip online at nypdcrimestoppers.com.
Leaving the Scene, Property Damage: Dyer Ave. #2 A 29-year-old Queens man told police that at 4:30pm on Sun., April 7, he was traveling southbound on Dyer Ave., in his black 2010 BMW 4-door sedan — when a silver Mercedes Benz ML, attempting to enter the tunnel at W. 36 St., swiped his vehicle, causing damage to its drive’s side. The driver of the Mercedes fled the scene, without exchanging insurance info.
THE 10th PRECINCT Located at 230 W. 20th St. (btw. 7th & 8th Aves.). Deputy Inspector: Elisa Cokkinos. Main number: 212741-8211. Community Affairs: 212-741-8226. Crime Prevention: 212-741-8226. Domestic Violence: 212-741-8216. Youth Officer: 212741-8211. Auxiliary Coordinator: 212-741-8210. Detective Squad: 212-741-8245. The Community Council meeting, open to the public, takes place at 7pm on the last Wed. of the month.
THE 13th PRECINCT Located at 230 E. 21st St. (btw. 2nd & 3rd Aves.). Deputy Inspector: Ted Bernsted. Call 212-477-7411. Community Affairs: 212-477-7427. Crime Prevention: 212-477-7427. Domestic Violence: 212-477-3863. Youth Officer: 212-477-7411. Auxiliary Coordinator: 212-4774380. Detective Squad: 212-4777444. The Community Council meeting takes place at 6:30pm on the third Tues. of the month.
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April 17 -30, 2013
TRIBECA FILM FESTIVAL Tribeca Docs Long on Good Sports, Big Stars Athletes, entertainers, dancers and directors get the reality treatment
Photo Courtesy of Visit Films
Brooklyn’s Jonathan “Jay Donn” George, from “Flex is Kings.”
BY TRAV S.D. As it has from its inception, the 2013 edition of New York’s hometown Downtown film festival will showcase an impressive slate of documentaries. This year, 61 films from over a dozen countries will grace Tribeca Film Festival screens, with an unsurprising preponderance of them originating from the U.S. In the past, the festival has been accused of not having a theme or a focus. This year’s documentary division does not suffer from that drawback, although the theme that has emerged can’t be said to be a particularly serious one. Given the festival’s close association with Robert DeNiro, it may not shock you to learn of a curatorial preoccupation with the subject of celebrity. Nearly half the films are about the famous, the near famous, the once-famous, the briefly famous or those aspiring to be famous. The most extreme example is perhaps Andy Capper and Juliette Eisner’s “Lil Bub & Friendz” — about Internet “cat-lebrity” and meme of the moment, Lil Bub. Mercifully, the heroes of the other films are human for the most part. Several are about famous actors. There’s “Richard Pryor: Omit the Logic” by Marina Zenovich, a profile of the late controversial comedian, who passed away in 2005. Not to be outdone, Whoopi Goldberg chimes in with “I Got Something to Tell You” — a documentary about her hero, the pioneering African-American female comic Moms Mabley. “Elaine Stritch: Shoot Me” is a
Photo by Nick Romanenko, ©2008 Rutgers/Nick Romanenko
“Coach” Vivian Stringer, celebrating her 800th win at Rutgers University.
Photo by Dave Carroll
Strongman Chris Schoeck (of “Bending Steel”), on the Coney Island boardwalk.
portrait of the Tony- and Emmy-winning actress, legendary for being a hot pistol. Directed by Chiemi Karasawa, it features interviews with Tina Fey, Nathan Lane, Hal Prince and others. “The Battle of amfAR” (by documentarians Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman, of “The Celluloid Closet”) tells the story of how Elizabeth Taylor came to found the first AIDS research foundation.
Famous literary figures are at the center of several docs. Director Barbra Kopple (of the Oscar-winning 1976 coal miners’ strike documentary “Harlan County U.S.A.”) gives us “Running from Crazy” — an up close and personal view of the Hemingway family’s history of suicide and mental illness. “Gore Vidal: The United States of Amnesia,” directed by Nicholas Wrathall, paints a
picture of the recently deceased novelist, essayist and screenwriter — with commentary by David Mamet, Christopher Hitchens, Mikhail Gorbachev and others. “Big Joy: The Adventures of James Broughton” (codirected by Stephen Silha, Eric Slade and Dawn Logsdon) tells the story of an influential beatnik poet and filmmaker, who was a friend and colleague of Pauline Kael, Stan Brakhage and Alan Watts. There are also a couple of rockumentaries in the festival. Steven Kochoches’ “Who Shot Rock and Roll: The Film” gives us not only every famous rock and roll star, but the photographers who have captured them on film — including Linda McCartney, Edward Colver, Edward Diltz, Jill Furmanovsky, Lynn Goldsmith, Bob Fruen, Norman Seeff, Mark Seliger and Guy Webster. “Mistaken for Strangers” tells the story of an up and coming rock group called The National as they embark on “their biggest tour to date.” The twist is that the film was made by Tom Bernger (the band’s roadie and the lead singer’s brother). The visual arts are also well-represented. “Michael H. Profession: Director” is a portrait of Austrian film director Michael Haneke (“Amour” and “Funny Games”) made by French filmmaker Yves Montmayeur. Then there’s “The Director” — which is not about a movie director, but the current creative director of the House
Continued on page 21
For tickets, SCHEDULE & VENUE INFO, visit TRIBECAFILM.COM/FILMGUIDE or CALL 646-502-5296
April 17 -30, 2013
From sunrise to sunset to a ‘Midnight’ rendezvous Third collaboration offers more ‘naturally eloquent conversation’ FILM BEFORE MIDNIGHT
Directed by Richard Linklater Runtime: 108 minutes 4/22, 6pm, at BMCC Tribecca PAC 4/24, 6:45pm, at Clearview Cinemas Chelsea
BY RANIA RICHARSON Set among the Cypress groves of the southern Peloponnese, the third installment of this indie romance continues the story of Jesse, a writer, and Celine, an activist, who are now the domesticated parents of twin girls. Like director Richard Linklater’s predecessors, “Before Sunrise” (1995) and “Before Sunset” (2004), “Before Midnight” was written with its two lead actors, Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy. This collaboration has created a naturally eloquent conversation that flows organically on matters both philosophical and quotidian, and fills in the details of the couple that met and fell in love
Photo by Despina Spyrou
Third time’s charming: Jesse (Ethan Hawke) and Celine (Julie Delpy) reunite, among the Cypress groves of the southern Peloponnese.
on a train trip almost 20 years ago. The film opens at the Kalamata Airport, as Jesse tearfully sends his adolescent son home to his mother in Chicago, after a summer in Greece. Jesse and Celine spend their last vacation day musing over the meaning of life and love and the future of a relation-
ship that has been rocky ever since Jesse left his wife for Celine, in events that followed the middle film of the trilogy. (In “Before Sunset,” Jesse sees Celine again after many years, and they realize their initial meeting in “Before Sunrise” was more than a fluke — they are soul mates.)
The pair is staying at the guesthouse of a British writer who admires Jesse’s work. Other guests, young and old, include Athina Rachel Tsangari (director of last year’s avantgarde film “Attenberg,” and a co-producer of this film). Around the lunch table, the house guests discuss the differences between men and women and debate friendship versus passion. Celine does a hilarious imitation of a Marilyn Monroe-like bimbo to prove that men fall for doting females. The couple leave for a walk through narrow winding paths amidst stone houses and roaming goats, enjoying light banter — but when they end up at their destination, a luxury hotel, their conversation devolves into bickering, accusations of infidelity and fear for the future. Jesse worries that he will not spend enough time with his son, and Celine is concerned that she is being turned into a submissive housewife. She thinks that he is happy to leave all household chores to her “and take a two hour contemplative walk in the olive trees with Socrates.” She has forgotten that Jesse was so committed that he moved to Paris to be with her. He asks that she stop trying to change him. What was supposed to be a romantic final evening in Greece becomes a nasty fight. Can a midnight rendezvous at an outdoor café turn things around? We've been rooting for this appealing, articulate couple for quite some time, and they do not disappoint.
VENUES & TICkETING INFo BMCC Tribeca PAC (BMCC) 199 Chambers St., btw. Greenwich & West Sts.
92YTribeca 200 Hudson St., south of Canal St.
Tribeca Cinemas (TV) 54 Varick St., at Laight St.
The Bombay Sapphire House of Imagination 121 Varick St., entrance on Dominick St.
Apple Store, SoHo 103 Prince St., btw. Greene & Mercer Sts. Chanel Art Awards Gallery at NYAA 111 Franklin St., btw. W. Broadway & Church St. Clearview Cinemas Chelsea (CCC) 260 W. 23rd St., btw. 7th & 8th Aves. AMC Loews Village 7 (AV7) 66 Third Ave., at 11th St. SVA Theatre (SVA) 333 W. 23rd St., btw. 8th & 9th Aves.
Tribeca Film Center (TFC) 375 Greenwich St., 2nd floor, btw. N. Moore & Franklin Sts.
SINGLE TICKETS Evening/Weekend screenings are $16 (after 6pm, Mon.-Fri. & Sat./Sun., prior to 11pm). Matinee/Late Night screenings (prior to 6pm, Mon.-Fri. or after 11pm daily) are $8. Tribeca Talks are $25.
Tribeca Drive-In Brookfield Place/World Financial Center Plaza; West St., btw. Vesesy & Liberty Sts.
RUSH TICKETS Screenings and events that have no more advance tickets available will be listed as Rush Tickets.
Barnes & Noble Union Square 33 E. 17th St., btw. Broadway & Park Ave.
Lines will form approximately 45 minutes prior to scheduled event times at the venue. Admission will begin approximately 15 minutes prior to the scheduled event times, based on availability (limit, one Rush Ticket per person). Tickets are priced as single tickets (as noted above), except at the BMCC Tribeca PAC Theater, where Rush Tickets for screenings will be $8 and Rush Tickets for Tribeca Talks will be $15. Admission is not guaranteed. SAME DAY TICKETS Tickets are available at venue box offices during the festival, about one hour before the venue’s first screening/event of the day. DISCOUNTS Discounts are available at Ticket Outlets for students (with valid ID), seniors (age 62+) and select Downtown Manhattan residents (with proof of residency). Service charges and fulfillment fees may apply.
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April 17 -30, 2013
‘Powerless’ of Particular Relevance, Post-Sandy ‘Robin Hood of electrical wiring’ sheds light on the rich/poor divide FILM POWERLESS (KATIYABAAZ)
Documentary Directed by Fahad Mustafa & Deepti Kakkar Runtime: 80 minutes 4/21, 5:30pm, 4/22, 7:30pm & 4/27, 3:30pm, at Clearview Cinemas Chelsea
BY SAM SPOKONY Those extended power outages that followed Hurricane Sandy gave us a small taste of the struggle faced every day by millions of people in developing countries. With that shock still fresh in our minds, “Powerless” will give English speakers everywhere an extraordinarily intense, yet well-balanced look at how an insufficient supply of electricity continues
to devastate the impoverished Indian city of Kanpur — and it should force us in the West to acknowledge our own position of material privilege, while also confronting our preconceived notions about when it is or isn’t right to stop following the law. With around three million people living within its borders, Kanpur is about twice as populous as Manhattan — but well over 10 percent of its residents live without regular electricity. The film thus begins by following Loha Singh, a diminutive, crafty and mostly penniless character who’s known throughout the city as a kind of Robin Hood of electrical wiring. Whether it’s a household that needs to power a water pump for a family’s survival or a local factory that will be doomed if the machinery fails, Singh and others like him use katiyas (illegal, makeshift power lines that tap into the government supply grid) to divert the flow of electricity to those who either can’t afford to pay for it, or simply can’t access it. But, for all its benefits, we later learn that not everyone in town is proud of Singh or his line of work. To capture the other half of the issue, the directors shift their focus to Ritu Maheshwari, the new managing director of KESCO (Kanpur’s equivalent of ConEd), as she attempts to crack
Photo by Egon Johann Vencour
Power to the people: Loha Singh risks life and limb to supply the have-nots with electricity.
down harder than ever on “katiyabaaz” like Singh. In board meetings, press conferences and extensive interviews, Maheshwari tries to explain that her perceived lack of mercy for the hundreds of thousands of “powerless” residents of Kanpur is part of her wish to create better
conditions for everyone. If KESCO cuts off the thieves, it can actually make money via bill-paying consumers — and if it makes money, it can build new power generators to more effectively serve the city’s population. But, to use a power pun, there’s just no stable connection between KESCO and the poor everyman of Kanpur. The two factions, who sit on opposite sides of socioeconomic privilege, can’t overcome the deep-seated resentment and the sheer lack of understanding that pervades this entire issue. The only sparks here are those that lead to explosions of anger — protests, insults and riots. Finally, we get glimpses of the politicians who say they’re going to make an impact on behalf of Kanpur’s struggling residents, as well as many others throughout India who live without electricity. But their words seem just as hollow as those we often hear in New York, when elected officials tell us they’re going to save us from the evils of the establishment. This is a beautifully executed documentary that captures the tension of a thought-provoking issue without creating one-dimensional heroes or villains. The story of power in Kanpur, told in its honest entirety, will provide a truly valuable learning experience to Western audiences.
Visually Enticing Vampire Tale Needs Sharper Bite Schmaltz dilutes a potentially bloody good time FILM BYZANTIUM
Directed by Neil Jordan Runtime: 118 minutes 4/25, 9:30pm, at BMCC Tribeca PAC 4/26, 4pm, at AMC Loews Village 7 4/27, 8:30pm, at SVA Theatre Photo by Christopher Raphael, courtesy of IFC Films
Clara, holed up in a seaside hotel, has certain standards when it comes to acquiring food.
BY STEPHANIE BUHMANN The British-Irish fantasy thriller “Byzantium” tells the story of Eleanor (Saoirse Ronan) — who, with her mother Clara (Gemma Arterton), forms a tight-knit vampire duo. They are both two centuries old, yet look not a day older than 16 and 35 (Clara had Eleanor young while working as a prostitute). Both survive on human blood, but each has their own almost endearing
code of ethics for how to acquire food. Whereas Eleanor feeds only on the elderly, who express that they are ready to die anyway, Clara mainly kills the mean male abusers of this world (one scene shows her feasting on a street pimp). However, as we have learned in many a vampire movie before, eternal life is no pony farm. In fact, it is a tormenting existence for the
sensitive — and so we meet kind Eleanor, as she is getting eager to share the truth of her identity and her complete story with someone special. The latter appears in the form of Frank, in a little run-down coastal resort where the women have taken temporary refuge. Frank is a sensitive redhaired boy who, while developing a quick crush on Eleanor, is also battling terminal cancer. The
secret he discovers through her is one the audience learns about in bits and pieces throughout the film — involving kidnapping, forced prostitution, an orphanage and prosecution (as well as a mysterious shrine on a deserted island which holds the secret of eternal life). Directed by Neil Jordan (of “Interview with the Vampire” and “The Crying Game” fame), “Byzantium” makes for a visually enticing adventure. However, the film falls short, unable to overcome the many injections of schmaltz in its storyline. The biggest problem is its indecisive tone. Moments of serious emotions become overshadowed, and at times are even made ridiculous, by aesthetic kitsch (Frank has an accident and a hand wound turns into a gushing fountain of what looks like strawberry syrup). Some of it is straight up camp (Clara, a passionate seductress, could easily have table-danced in “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” or “From Dusk Till Dawn”). Singularly, none of these directions would make for a weak movie — but scrambled together, one finds “Byzantium” to be neither here nor there. Soon enough we face Eleanor, a fair and often melodramatically wide-eyed loner, with exasperation rather than compassion. At the crux of the film, it is hard to still care who will or will not live for eternity.
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April 17 -30, 2013
Regardless of Preference, They’ve Got Your Type Films that defy categorization, categorized for your convenience!
ing his lab and generally going bonkers. Things go downhill from there, when McCarthy continues his obsessive work (underground and off the books).
BY SCOTT STIFFLER Like a thumbprint or a snowflake or a beautifully crafted excuse to miss work on a warm spring day, each film in this year’s festival is a unique creation. That said, even the most unconventional effort can, for marketing and viewer choice purposes, be lumped into a handful of descriptive categories. There’s a name for that, and it’s not “laziness” or “convenience.” It’s…genre.
Nearly two decades after he cut his teeth on “Interview with the Vampire,” Neil Jordan’s “Byzantium” tells another story of two centuries-old, nomadic bloodsuckers — this time, in the form of “sisters” Eleanor and Clara, who take up residence in a small seaside town, at the titular hotel. Eleanor and Clara have about as much luck escaping their nature as a group of World War II-era Russian soldiers have of escaping a factory full of reanimated prototype supersoldiers, in “Frankenstein’s Army.” This “darkly comedic, wild steampunk, Nazi foundfootage-style Zombie mad scientist film” marks the genre-splicing, blood-spattering feature film debut of Richard Raaphorst (one of the
Photo by Lukas Zentel, MPI/Dark Sky Films
Viktor and a Machete Worker zombot pick off Russian soldiers, in “Frankenstein’s Army.”
Netherlands’ top directors of commercials). Not to be outdone in the “trapped in a spooky place” premise, “V/H/S/2” (a sequel to the 2012 outing) puts two investigators in an abandoned house, as they attempt to solve
the disappearance of a student. Their decision to view a series of VHS cassette tapes containing paranormal, apocalyptic and alien invader scenarios proves very unwise (and potentially fatal). This film works its found footage premise to maximum effect by having the work of seven directors represented by the various tapes on view. In the process, it pays a massive debt to “The Blair Witch Project” (“Blair” creators Gregg Hale and Eduardo Sanchez contribute a segment that puts their own spin on gut-hungry zombie flicks). Found footage isn’t the only horror trope on the tasty brains of the Tribeca Film Festival programmers. Those who hunger for more Frankenstein-meets-military weapon fare have another Midnight film choice, in U.K., writer/ director Caradog James’ “The Machine.” Set during a second Cold War, Britain’s Ministry of Defense sees potential in the work of programmer Vincent McCarthy — whose human cyborg prototype avoids the draft by decimat-
The robust list of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender-themed films starts off with a bang — or, more accurately, a pair of B’s: “BIG JOY: The Adventures of James Broughton,” is a documentary (or, as its creators describe it, a “celebratory portrait”) of the post-World War II, San Francisco-based poet and filmmaker. Home movies, historic photographs and interviews with contemporary admirers (as well as quotations from Broughton’s writings and clips from his movies) are used to put all of his artistic endeavors into context, with special concentration on his creative writing and filmmaking. Linda Bloodworth-Thomason (who long ago secured her gay cult appeal cred by creating “Designing Women”) brings the world premiere of her documentary to the festival. “Bridegroom” looks at the ongoing debate over the legal rights of same-sex couples by zeroing in on one of them — Shane and Tom (who, six years into their relationship, experience a tragic accident that leaves one of them fighting “to be recognized as his soulmate’s legitimate counterpart”). Fifteen years after “Heathers” and nine years after “Mean Girls,” clique culture remains every bit as cutthroat as it was when Winona Ryder and Lindsay Lohan roamed the high school hallways (and they turned out just fine, didn’t they?). “G.B.F.” has three popular girls fighting for supremacy by becoming the first Gay Best Friend of Tanner, their school’s first openly gay student. Close friendship has darker, more erotic consequences in “Floating Skyscrapers.” Polish writer
Continued on page 16
Photo by Kate Romero
Tanner (Michael J. Willett) has a bonding moment with Fawcett (Sasha Pieterse), in “G.B.F.”
For tickets, SCHEDULE & VENUE INFO, visit TRIBECAFILM.COM/FILMGUIDE or CALL 646-502-5296
April 17 -30, 2013
Beyond the Brick and Mortar, TFI Shows Some Initiative Year-round programs nurture next gen ﬁlmmakers BY RANIA RICHARDSON “Our main struggle is that we are always considered to be just a festival,” said Beth Janson, Executive Director of the Tribeca Film Institute (TFI). “The Institute is a 501(c)(3) and the Tribeca Film Festival, owned by Tribeca Enterprises, is not.” The confusion is understandable as Robert De Niro, Jane Rosenthal and Craig Hatkoff founded both entities. Tribeca Enterprises is a global media company that operates the Tribeca Film Festival, Tribeca Cinemas and Tribeca Film. TFI is a nonprofit that is fully active year-round. Designed to support filmmakers through grants and professional development, it also provides educational programs in media literacy for youth. Last year, across initiatives, TFI awarded more than $1.2 million in grant money. To help the next generation of audiences and mediamakers navigate the current state of the art, TFI’s educational arm takes several approaches. During the academic year, Tribeca Teaches pairs artists with teachers, who provide students with the skills to write and produce their own stories. Free and open to city students, the Tribeca Youth series has programming year-round — and during this year’s festival, it will give classroom groups the opportunity to attend guided screenings of “Teenage” and “Inside Out: The People’s Art Project.” Additionally, to keep educators up to date, Moving Image Blueprint (in conjunction with the NYC Department of Education and the Mayor’s Office of Media & Entertainment) hosts workshops on topics such as stop-motion animation and writing film proposals. This year, six films that were supported by TFI will screen at the Tribeca Film Festival. Having that support, however, does not grant automatic acceptance into the festival. TFI filmmakers must submit their work to festivals in the same manner other filmmakers do, and their films are free to premiere
or screen anywhere (including Sundance or SXSW). Tribeca Film Festival programmers judge the films as they do every other submission — but ideally, for TFI, the films would premiere at Tribeca. “A Birder’s Guide to Everything,” Rob Meyer's directorial debut, is the only narrative film from TFI in this year’s festival. The story follows a group of teenagers in search of a rare duck, and stars Ben Kingsley and James LeGros. The film was funded by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, which provides money for fiction films (at any stage of development) offering fresh perspective on scientific, mathematic or technological themes. Meyer received his grant in 2011 and benefited from a reading as part of the “Works in Progress” program. He said, “The actors brought such humor and warmth to the performance and, at 10am in a packed theater in Manhattan, it got real laughs. Trying to get your film financed for years can be a lonely process, and ultimately it was the encouragement of a room full of strangers that energized me for that sprint to the finish line.” According to Janson, “There’s lots of support for documentaries on social issues. Sundance, Cinereach and ITVS are all funding the same films. It’s incredible, and these films can be very powerful. But there is a whole genre being left out in the cold. In this day and age, a film like ‘Salesman’ [a seminal work by the Maysles brothers on door-todoor Bible salesmen] would not get funding. So we created the TFI Documentary Fund to support character driven work that does not necessarily deal with social causes. These films can be artistic, comedic or personal.” Three documentaries nurtured by the TFI Documentary Fund will screen at the Festival. “Cutie and the Boxer,” by Zachary
Photo courtesy of the Tribeca Film Festival
TFI’s Filmmaker & Industry meetings are one-on-one dialogues between ﬁlmmakers and industry attendees aimed at helping the ﬁlmmakers ﬁnd funding, jobs and better relationships with ﬁlm industry executives.
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April 17 -30, 2013
I Dream of Genre
Ho r osc o p e s
f o r Mo v ie B u f f s
Aries Stop clicking those ruby slippers. They won’t work until you’ve conquered your fears. Lucky road construction material, color: Brick, Yellow. Taurus Your bullheaded refusal to accept an offer will alienate you from potentially helpful Godfather figures. Lucky time for an apocalypse: Now. Gemini Like a sleigh named Rosebud, a stranger’s cryptic comment sheds only partial light on your vexing problem. Lucky newspaper, besides this one: New York Inquirer. Cancer You will find your superhero friend’s origin
story predictable and tedious, compared to their current fantastic adventure. Lucky strength source: Bionics.
Leo During a life-changing road trip with an
eccentric pal, you will help a pair of mismatched cops solve a crime. Lucky Corvette size, color: Little, Red.
Virgo These aren’t the droids you’re looking for. Let
those you’ve been pestering go about their business. Lucky space port: Mos Eisley.
Libra Your cornfield commute home will be livened up by the unexpected appearance of a murderous crop duster. Lucky direction: Northwest. Scorpio You will be pelted by pennies from heaven while caught carelessly singing in the rain. Lucky umbrella position: Upside down.
Sagittarius A dangerous liaison leads to an affair to remember which will turn into a fatal attraction. Lucky breakfast location: At Tiffany’s.
Capricorn Don’t book an overnight stay at that rundown hotel run by a creepy loner. The shower you’re craving isn’t worth the hassle. Lucky almanac: Old Farmer’s. Aquarius Pack a light lunch for your trip to the amusement park. Running from dinosaurs on a full stomach will slow you down. Lucky battery: D. Pisces While summering in the Catskills, you will enjoy many suggestive dances with an instructor who demands you not be put in the corner. Lucky laundry state: Dirty.
Photo by Thibault Grabherr. Copyright: 2013 The Weinstein Company. All Rights Reserved
A cook plucked from obscurity is called upon to serve her country’s president, in “Haute Cuisine.”
Continued from page 14 and director Tomasz Wasilewski’s second feature takes off when Kuba (at an art opening with his girlfriend of two years) bumps into Mikal. Sparks fly, and Kuba soon finds himself losing interest in girls…and sports! Soon, he’s spending less time in the swimming pool, and more time “drowning in the destruction of his desires.”
NEW YORK STORIES
Well aware that we’re living in the world’s biggest, best, open-air backlot, the festival has always had a soft spot for films set amongst the streets, bridges and iconic landmarks of the five boroughs. In “Almost Christmas,” two iconic Pauls play French Canadian ne’er-do-wells determined to make a quick fortune selling Christmas trees in NYC. Sally Hawkins co-stars as the wife of misanthropic ex-con Dennis (Paul Giamatti). She’s being romanced by the charming Rene (Paul Rudd). Phil Morrison (“Junebug”), equally adept at quirky charm and genuine emotion (often in the same scene), directs. She recently announced her intentions to leave our city — so it’s a good thing documentary filmmaker Chiemi Karasawa’s “Elaine Stritch: Shoot Me” captured the then-87-year-old Broadway legend in all her Gotham glory. Testimonials from the likes of Tina Fey and Hal Prince, as well as brutally honest insights from the lady herself, promise to “reach beyond Stritch’s brassy exterior, revealing a multi-dimensional portrait of a complex woman.” If the film manages to deliver, its 80 minutes will be worth more than a month’s worth of James Lipton interviews. Based on a true story, “Stand Clear of the Closing Doors” is set in Far Rockaway, in the days leading up to Hurricane Sandy. Its parallel story follows two people making connections and finding community — as the mother of autistic teen Ricky combs the streets, while her son rides the subway. Four short films also make good use of the city. In “Ice,” unlucky-in-love enforcer Ronnie (between jobs for his Brooklyn crime boss) hides out in the backroom of a bar, sculpting ice and exploring the roots of his ambivalence. Five minutes is all it takes to tell the story of “Two Islands” — a pair of enormous waste dumps that put the city’s rejected surplus into perspective. In “Zzzzzz,” sleepwalkers Henry and Lucy take the audience along on a tour of nocturnal sights and sounds. Saved from the trash heap and taken to a repair shop in the Flatiron building, a seemingly obsolescent “Royal American” typewriter is used to write letters (answered by, among others, President Clinton).
Photo by Niko Tavernise
Rene (Paul Rudd) and Dennis (Paul Giamatti) try to make a quick buck selling trees, in “Almost Christmas.”
If past years are any indication (and they almost always are), foreign language films will account for the festival’s strongest entries in virtually every category — acting, cinematography, art direction and, of course, subtitles. The 2013 roster includes entries from Australia (“Red Obsession”), Belgium (“Broken Circle Breakdown”), Brazil (“Reaching for the Moon,” Canada (“Whitewash ), Denmark (“Northwest”), India (the documentary “Powerless,” favorably reviewed by our Sam Spokony), Iran (“Taboor”), Israel (“Big Bad Wolves”), Italy (“Ali Blue Eyes”), Japan (“Odayaka”), New Zealand (“Fresh Meat”), Saudi Arabia/Germany (“Wajdja”) and Turkey (“Jin”). A trusted friend’s recent, unexpectedly persuasive case as to why the French hold Jerry Lewis films in such high regard inspired my curiosity about two efforts from that heretofore impenetrable country. In “Cycling with Moliere,” once-great actor Serge Tanneur finds himself twisting in the wind, cycling through France’s Île de Ré — when an old friend temps him to return to the stage, in Molière’s “The Misanthrope.” A chef toiling in obscurity is chosen to whip up classic French dishes for her nation’s president, in “Haute Cuisine.” It’s based on the real-life story of the personal chef to former French president François Mitterrand.
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April 17 -30, 2013
10AM - 6PM
SATURDAY FAMILY FESTIVAL STREET FAIR Presented by American Express®
Greenwich St. (north of Chambers St.)
The Tribeca Family Festival is the biggest party of the year! Come downtown and spend the day in our neighborhood with live Broadway performances, arts and crafts, games and activities, local restaurants and merchants, storytelling, free film screenings and so much more. Families can also create their own movie pitch, step in front of a green screen and learn cooking secrets from an expert New York City chef. It’s all here, all fun and FREE to enjoy!
11:00AM THE SMURFS
There will be a film screening and special program for audiences of all ages at the Tribeca Performing Arts Center (199 Chambers St). Admission is FREE and ticketed and is available on a first-come, first-served basis.
Tribeca Performing Arts Center (199 Chambers St)
With an exciting sneak-preview program of the upcoming summer comedy, The Smurfs 2 and special guest appearance by Christina Ricci. Hosted by TIME OUT KIDS.
TRIBECA/ESPN SPORTS DAY N. Moore St.
We’re taking sports to the street at the FREE Tribeca/ESPN Sports Day! Fans of all ages can participate in sports, games and challenges and meet their favorite New York athletes and mascots. Families will also enjoy an exciting “On Location” Sports stage experience with athlete interviews and demos and can walk a Sports Film Festival red carpet.
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April 17 -30, 2013
Kids Access Correspondents are Red Carpet Ready Reporters from 10 to 14 to cover 20 events BY KAITLYN MEADE Every year, the Tribeca Film Festival rolls out brand new family programming to bring even the littlest filmmaker into its fold. The tried-and-true favorites of ESPN Sports Day and the Family Festival are back this year with new activities and guests. The Drive-In will be back too, showing three films — two old favorites and a premier from the festival — in one weekend. Throughout the festival, check out exclusive family screenings and a budding partnership with MoMa PS1. TFF is also bringing back its Kids Access program with expert guides in the area of kid-friendly programming.
THE YOUTH VOTE
Reporters from the festival’s Kids Access program will be on the scene, asking the tough questions and giving you the kid-friendly scoop. These young correspondents, between the ages of 10 and 14, come from local schools Downtown and cover over 20 events, from interviewing stars on the red carpet (like Emily Blunt and Jason Segel last year) to attending screenings, panels with filmmakers and community activities. On Monday, April 15, the kids toured some filming locations in Tribeca and brought along camera crews to shoot a neighborhood report. They started off in front of Tribeca Cinemas on Laight Street and then scattered throughout the surrounding streets to do individual takes of each reporter. “I’ve never tried to be a press before. I’m having fun, so I might want to be a press when I grow up,” said Fanta, a fifth grader at P.S. 1 and the youngest of the student reporters, who says her favorite movie is “Dreamgirls.” She said she has learned about interviewing people and is looking forward to talking to the celebrities. “On the red carpet, they’re gonna be busy with older person stuff, so we have to get their attention. We have to stand out but not be rude.” “On the red carpet, we’ve found they are a secret weapon,” said Peter Downing, creative director and producer of the Tribeca Family Festival, in a phone interview. Celebrities are inundated by reporters, he said, so when they see two very bright-eyed and interested young people ready to ask questions, they tend to gravitate to the Kids Access corner. “It’s a fun gig. Every year, I tell them how jealous I am of them, in a good way,” said Downing. But, he added, “This is a job. It’s fun, but it’s a lot of work. When they go to an event, they’re given a list of people who are expected to attend and then they have to research them.” The kids have had two training sessions so far that include everything from tongue twisters to interview questions. Alice, a fifth grader at P.S. 150 and
Photo by Kaitlyn Meade
The “Kids Access” correspondents will be reporting on all aspects of the festival.
Harris, a fifth grader at P.S. 234 said they practiced mic techniques, “like hold the mic in the hand that is closest to the person. But not too close.” said Alice. “So that they’re eating the mic!” Harris chimed in. The program is celebrating its tenth anniversary this year after beginning in 2003 in partnership with Scholastic, which was already running a kids press core program. About five years ago, the Kids Access program took shape. The Art Institute of New York City provides their student filmmakers as crew as well as editing equipment and facilities. There will also be a strong writing component as the kids will be expected to contribute to a blog. “This year, we wanted to put a particular emphasis on the writing,” said Downing, who said it was incorporated into the selection process. “They took six people from our school to interview, and you had to read things and talk about yourself,” said Mia, a seventh grader at Lower Manhattan Middle School. This was no problem for the outgoing seventh-grader, who wants to be either a singer or a writer. “I just heard it from my teacher,” said Nortee, a seventh grader at P.S. 289, who said he had never done anything like this before. “You don’t really get to do this a lot in your life. Even just trying something out is a good experience.” For more information on Kids Access, visit tribecafilm.com/tka.
BIRDS, FELINES AND “BEETLEJUICE” AT THE DRIVE-IN
The Tribeca Drive-In movie series at Brookfield Place (formerly World Financial Center Plaza) will be back this year with two beloved classics and one new film on offer at the Festival. The
free screenings are open to the stars (and to the public), from April 18-20. Seating is available on a first-come, first-served basis beginning at 6pm. The programs will also begin at 6pm, with screenings starting at dusk, approximately 8:15pm. The series will take flight on Thursday, April 18 with a screening of Alfred Hitchcock’s “The Birds,” about a San Francisco socialite whose sojourn to a small town in California in pursuit of a boy takes a dive when it becomes the setting for unexplained bird attacks. The classic thriller is celebrating its fiftieth anniversary this year. Tim Burton’s hilariously creepy “Beetlejuice” is the next film on the docket (on Friday, April 19). The ghostly couple Adam and Barbara have hired Beetlejuice to perform a reverse exorcism to scare away the humans that have moved into their house. A ghoulish costume contest will take place before the film, so break out last year’s Halloween costumes — or cut eyeholes in Mom’s best sheets. A new film, “Lil Bub & Friendz,” will be inspiring “awwwws” on Saturday, April 20. Featuring “the Internet’s cutest cat” and her friends of viral video fame, Lil Bub is making her debut at TFF this year. The film is directed and produced by Andy Capper and Juliette Eisner and features a stellar soundtrack including Vernon Elliott and Mort Garson.
FAMILY FESTIVAL KEEPS IT FRESH
Every year, this free annual street fair attracts families from all over the city to its wide array of programs. This year, there are several exciting additions for young filmmakers and movie lovers. The fair takes place Saturday, April 27, 10am to 6pm, on Greenwich Street between Chambers and Hubert Streets, and at
venues throughout Tribeca. “This year we are introducing special subject areas, like the Tribeca Back Lot and the Food Feast,” said Downing, as well as bringing back popular elements from previous years. The Tribeca Studios Backlot will bring elements of a real movie set to one Downtown street. Families will learn how to pitch an original movie, use a green screen, animate their stories and take workshops on stunts, make-up and editing. Demonstrations of high-tech filming and special effects will be given by Chicago’s Tribeca Flashpoint Academy and the Tribeca Film Institute will be holding movie hacking sessions where you can flip the script and take the lead role in a familiar movie. Also new this year, the Tribeca Food Feast will be a delectable section of the fair featuring city chefs who will provide entertainment, culinary secrets and, of course, tastings from food vendors from select local restaurants and food trucks from around NYC. Hands-on activities will be cake-icing, meatball-baking and taste-testing. Broadway will also be jazz-stepping its way Downtown this year with performances from the casts of “Annie,” “Wicked,” “Cinderella,” “Kinky Boots,” “Motown: The Musical” and “Hands On A Hardbody.” An exclusive sneak preview of “The Smurfs 2” (along with a free screening of “The Smurfs”) will be taking place at 11am at Borough of Manhattan Community College’s Tribeca Performing Arts Center, at 199 Chambers Street (between Greenwich and West Streets). There may also be a special appearance by cast member Christina Ricci. Hosted by Time Out Kids, admission is free on a first-come, first-served basis. The line will form thirty minutes prior to showtime. A number of booths offer unique arts and crafts for kids of all ages. Kids can make a “VIP Pass” which will then be stamped at each area of the festival they visit, with prizes awarded for filling up a pass completely. Learn about recycling by creating creatures from recycled materials at the ScrapKins booth, along with chalk art and face painting. Masters of the art of kiting will be at The Kite Place to teach kids how to make and fly their own kite designs. The Gazillion Bubble Garden, similarly, is a haven for bubbles (with wands of all shapes and sizes). Puppet shows and workshops will be offered by Puppetworks, Inc. and Noel MacNeal, whose book “10 Minute Puppets” teaches parents and kids how to make to make entertaining puppet partners anywhere, in ten minutes or less, using everyday materials.
Continued on page 19
April 17 -30, 2013
Puppets, Bubbles, Smurfs & Sports: Family Fest has it All (and more!) Island Yankees mascot Scooter the Holy Cow will be around and most likely invite you to try your luck on the Baby Bombers skeeball inflatable. The up-and-coming Tribeca Sailing NYC, soon to launch from Pier 25, will have sailing games, knot-tying and prizes. There also will be demonstrations of everything from cricket, newly reintroduced to TFF, and the award winning Myachi Original Hand Sack.
Continued from page 18 Other participants include CHESS NYC, the Young Storytellers Foundation, Victorian Gardens at Wollman Rink in Central Park and the New York Philharmonic’s Credit Suisse Very Young Composers.
OUT OF THE CINEMA, IN THE BALL GAME
Also on April 27, from 10am to 6pm, the Tribeca/ESPN Sports Day will return to Tribeca for its seventh year. The beloved Downtown event has brought in sports heroes from across the city and encouraged kids and parents alike to get up, get out and play ball. This year, it will take place on North Moore Street, between Greenwich and West Streets. ESPN will give fans the chance to take home memorabilia and get their picture taken behind the ESPN New York desk. The NFL’s PLAY 60 campaign, designed 4 10 GFiat April Sell-Off 4C GCN 4/5/13 12:50 PM Page 1 to encourage kids to lead an active lifestyle, will be running football agility drills and doing periodic giveaways. Lifesize cutouts of well-known professional athletes will be walking (well, standing) on the Tribeca/ESPN Sports Film Festival red carpet for fans to pose with. Highlights include contests, interac-
SHORT FILMS ON LARGE SILVER SCREENS
Image courtesy of the Tribeca Film Festival
The Family Festival is back again this year, with some fresh new activities.
tive games and giveaways by the New York Rangers and New York Mets. It’s also an invaluable opportunity for kids to try out new activities. There is something for everyone, from inflatable lacrosse or Ultimate Frisbee to skateboarding or
Double Dutch jump roping. Activities will be provided by the Downtown Giants Youth Football and New York Women’s Baseball. Olympians and elite athletes will teach kids the basics of safe fencing at the Fencing Club. The Staten
The TFF program “Downtown Youth Behind The Camera” is putting filmmaking tools in the hands of elementary and middle school students for its tenth consecutive year. These young Downtown filmmakers produce their very own short films, which will be shown at a special screening at noon on Sunday, April 21 at the SVA Theatre (333 West 23rd Street, between Eighth and Ninth Avenues). The Film Fellows with Tribeca Film Institute is also screening a series of short films created by Downtown student filmmakers (ages 16-18). The program, recommended for those ages 12 and up, plays Saturday, April 27 at 11am at the Tribeca Film Center (375 Greenwich Street, at Franklin Street).
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This Year’s Documentaries Long on Star Power Continued from page 11 of Gucci (Frida Giannini), as she strives to make her mark at the 82-year-old fashion and clothing firm. “The Director” is coproduced by James Franco and directed by Christina Voros. “Herblock: The Black and the White,” directed by Michael Stevens, tells the story of The Washington Post’s longtime political cartoonist Herbert Block. And there are two films about dance. Hilla Medalia’s “Dancing in Jaffa” chronicles the doings of renowned ballroom dance instructor Pierre Dulaine as he teaches both Israeli and Palestinian young people to find positive ways to express themselves. Closer to home, “Flex is Kings,” directed by Deidre Schoo and Michael Beach Nichols, focuses on three Brooklyn flex dancers — a “savvy promoter,” a “local legend” and an “innovator with the talent to take him far from home.” At least ten of the films in the festival are about athletes and sports figures. Bill Siegel’s “The Trials of Muhammad Ali” talks about the controversial boxer’s troubles with the U.S. government for refusing to serve in the Vietnam War. “The Motivation,” by Adam Bhala Lough, introduces us to “eight of the world’s greatest professional skateboarders.” “McConkey” profiles Shane McConkey, described by some as “the most
Photo by Carin Besser
Matt Berninger and Tom Berninger.
influential skier ever,” and was directed by no less than five sports documentarians: Steve Winter, Murray Wais, Scott Gaffney, David Zieff and Rob Bruce. “The Diplomat,” directed by Jennifer Arnold and Senain Kheshgi, examines the life of Katerina Witt — described as “one of East Germany’s most famous athletes, winner of six European titles, four world championships and back-to-back Olympic gold.”
“No Limits,” directed by Allison Ellwood, tells the story of Audrey Mestre — who overcame scoliosis to become a world-class free diver. “Bending Steel” is a sensitive study by director Dace Carroll about the efforts of Brooklynite Chris Schoeck to become a professional strong man. “Rider and the Storm,” a short executive produced by actress Olivia Wilde, concerns a surfer who lost his home to Hurricane Sandy.
A total of eight percent of the documentaries in the film festival are about basketball. “Wilt Chamberlain: Borscht Belt Bellhop” is a short by Ian Rosenberg about Wilt the Stilt’s time as a teenager working and playing at Kutsher’s Country Club in the Catskills. “Coach,” directed by Bess Kargman, introduces us to C. Vivian Stringer — coach of the Rutgers University Scarlet Knights women’s basketball team at the time of the Don Imus “nappy headed hoes” scandal. “Pat XO” is a portrait of Pat Summitt (the NCAA’s winningest basketball coach), who was forced to retired due to Alzheimer ’s disease. The film was directed by Lisa Lax and Nancy Stern Winters. “Lenny Cooke,” directed by Bennie and Joshua Safdie, is about a promising high school athlete and his failure to get drafted by the NBA. Even some of the films that are not about sports are about...sports: “Cutie and the Boxer” (directed by Zachary Heinzerling) is about the painter Ushio Shinohara, who creates art by dipping boxing gloves in pigment and punching a canvas. And though, as mentioned, half the documentary films are not about people with high public profiles or those seeking to achieve them, celebrity still has a way of creeping in. “Out of Print,” about the dying industry of book publishing, is narrated by Meryl Streep and has interviews with Scott Turow, Ray Bradbury and Jeff Bezos.
TFI Works Behind the Scenes, Before it Screens Continued from page 15 Heinzerling, is the portrait of two artists who met in New York in 1969 and have weathered many ups and downs during 40 years of marriage. “Teenage,” by Matt Wolf, follows the history of teenagers, from the 1950s (when the term gained widespread recognition), and includes Jena Malone and Ben Whishaw as narrators. “The Genius of Marian,” by Banker White and Anna Fitch, concerns the life of White’s mother, Pam, whose early onset Alzheimer’s threatens to erase the memory of her own mother, Marian, a celebrated painter who died from the disease. The Gucci Tribeca Documentary Fund provided finishing funds for two documentaries in the Festival that “highlight and humanize issues of social importance from around the world.” Alex Meillier’s “Alias Ruby Blade: A Story of Love and Revolution” follows an Australian activist who became a spy for the Timorese resistance, then fell in love with an imprisoned guerilla leader — and “Big Men,” by Rachel Boynton, investigates the damage caused by American corporations searching for oil in Africa. There are no films in this year’s festival from Tribeca All Access (which provides
Photo by Rob Meyer
The TFI-nurtured “A Birder’s Guide to Everything” (Rob Meyer’s directorial debut) screens on April 21, 22, 24 & 26.
grants to filmmakers from underrepresented communities) or from the TFI Latin America Media Arts Fund program (created to that support cutting edge stories from south of our border). Films from these programs, however, are screened at other venues. The pool of filmmakers who are selected
for TFI grants “become part of a family, and we help them in any way we can,” said Janson. “Help can be obtaining a good deal on a post-production facility, providing notes on rough cuts, finding a screening room or press team, or helping with the premiere, no matter where it is.”
Every year, the group of about 30 filmmakers convenes at the festival for two days of intense one-on-one meetings with film industry executives, foundations and investors. They receive a pass for the festival and invitations to networking events with their peers. About 65 percent of the filmmakers are New York-based, but many applicants come from around the world. Participatory storytelling is the future of filmmaking — and TFI’s Digital Initiatives, helmed by Ingrid Kopp, supports stories with an interactive component, as well as narratives that extend across multimedia platforms. Social issue projects that aim to create change in the world (which may include video games, mobile apps, social networks or interactive websites) are realized through the support of TFI New Media Fund and TFI Sandbox. Technology specialists and content creators explore ideas in intensive workshops across the country in Tribeca Hacks. During the festival, experts on film, journalism, gaming and technology will demonstrate and debate the latest innovations in this field at TFI Interactive, an all-day forum with panel discussions that include “Are Adventure Games the New Television?” and “Storyscapes: Creating Immersive Story Experiences.”
April 17 -30, 2013
Culture Shed Defined, Debated by CB4
Image courtesy of Diller Scofidio + Renfro in collaboration with Rockwell Group.
The Culture Shed, nestled and deployed.
Continued from page 3 This exhibition investigates the impact of technology on fashion design over the past 250 years. For information on this and other free activities at FIT, visit fitnyc.edu. Raoul Larios spoke of the CB4 Job Opportunities page (nyc.gov/mcb4/jobs), which will be listing more jobs due to a luxury hotel coming to Chelsea. “Friends of the High Line was first to sign on,” he said, and now Clinton Housing Development Company has also signed up to offer jobs through the site. Eva LeClair, mother of three children at Holy Cross School (at 342 West 43rd Street), spoke of the fight to save the school — and the devastating word from the archdiocese that, in spite of the successful efforts of the school and neighborhood communities to raise money, the school is scheduled to be closed this June. LeClair thanked CB4 for all that it has done in the past to insure the safety of the school children crossing West 45th Street to a playground. She spoke of the fact that the school has been a vital part of the community since 1886, adding, “Before there were community boards and group organizations, there were places like Holy Cross fighting for quality of life in the city.” Originally the school was not slated to be closed. But in January 2011, it was told that it was going to merge with a school that had been closed. With help from CB4, Holy Cross representatives were able to meet with the Superintendent of Catholic Schools, Dr. Timothy McNiff, who told them that they would be allowed to remain open, pending progress with enhancement of programming, fundraising to make up for the budgetary deficit and a marketing program that increased enrollment by 25 percent, all of which they accomplished. “We raised $280,000 in pledges, and last week a store owner offered the principal $50,000 but none of this can be
used for the school,” says LeClair. The archdiocese still says the school must be closed, and according to LeClair, no specific reason is given. On the evening’s agenda is a letter to the Archdiocese of New York describing the timeline of events and requesting a meeting to find a way for the school remain a presence in the community. Elka Hofmann, standing with her client Alex Raij (owner of the restaurant El Quinto Pino, at 401 West 24th Street), expressed surprise that the neighborhood was expressing opposition to the expansion of the restaurant. The owner had only recently learned of the opposition. CB4 Chair Corey Johnson said that he had received an email from the president of the London Terrace Tenants Association saying that they had received no outreach about the expansion. It was determined that there was confusion over the fact that there is a London Terrace Coop and a London Terrace Tenants Association. The owner wants to reach out to everyone, and was at this meeting to rectify her situation. Board members were willing to listen and understand what had happened. The public session was brought to a close by Christine Berthet. Johnson then opened with a vote to approve the meeting’s agenda, and approve the adoption of the March minutes. A district manager’s report was given by Robert Benfatto. He informed members that Hudson Yards had proposed a Business Improvement District, and two public hearings on this matter were taking place this month: April 23, 6:30-8:30pm, at Orion Condominium (31st floor, 350 West 42nd Street) — and also on April 25, 8:3010:30am, at Covenant House (460 West 41st Street, Lounge A).
CLARIFYNG CB4’S CULTURE SHED LETTER
CB4 member Betty Mackintosh, as part of the committee who drafted the CB4
response to the DCP, went through the revised 10-page letter. Important issues that the letter addresses brought about lively discussion. Here, a rundown of the most significant of these issues, with their voted upon recommendations: CB4 will recommend denial of the proposed text amendments “unless the City of New York provides 20,000 square feet of unencumbered publicly-accessible park space in another location in Manhattan Community District 4” to compensate for the loss of unencumbered, publicly accessible open space on the Eastern Rail Yards (ERY) that was agreed upon as part of the 2005 Hudson Yards rezoning. The Culture Shed can deploy its canopy to block the sky and take over 20,000 square feet of plaza. CB4 members agreed that the city’s agreement to give CB4 20,000 unencumbered square feet of park space had to be in place before anything else in the letter could be considered between CB4 and the DCP. The CB4 letter also requests that the city revise its proposal to ensure that the Culture Shed uses “do not encroach on the ERY public plaza and new streets to the north of the Culture Shed and Culture Facility Plaza.” CB4 also addressed the function of the Culture Shed — which was described in its text amendment as a facility that would be used for “changing, non-permanent exhibits, events, expositions, presentations, festivals and fairs” related to, among others, the various arts, broadcasting, technology, fashion and design “or any similar activity.” That four-word phrase was a red flag to CB4, making it seem as if the Culture Shed could be another Javits Center, presenting boat and car shows. The CB4 resolution letter recommends that the catchall “or any similar activity” be deleted from the definition. The longest discussion of the evening centered on the number of days the Culture
Shed Plaza would be closed to the public. The city had asked for a total of 40 days when private events, such as Fashion Week, would take over for two 14-day periods. The Culture Shed Plaza could also be closed up to 12 days each year for its own events. CB4 felt that closing the public space for 40 days out of the year was excessive. CB4 recommends no more than 34 days of closure, primarily in the winter and spread out over time. Another important issue was that CB4 be given a seat and a vote on any decisionmaking board(s) for Culture Shed programming. Lights on signs would be turned off at 1am. CB4 recommended that a minimum of 80 percent of events be open to the public for free or at nominal cost. The Culture Shed discussion was brought to a close. Comments would eventually be incorporated into a final 10-page letter to Amanda Burden, Chair of the City Planning Commission, dated April 5, 2013, with 17 recommendations from CB4. Analyzing the Culture Shed of Hudson Yards is complicated, and Chair Johnson thanked the fourperson committee which had met a number of times to create and revise the letter of recommendations. Items from the Transportation Planning Committee, Business License and Permits Committee, New Business Committee were easily voted upon. It was suggested, somewhat tongue-in-cheek, from the floor that the Quality of Life Committee letter to the Archdiocese of New York regarding the closure of Holy Cross School be sent to the Vatican. That letter suggests that the Archdiocese, parents and local elected officials enter into serious discussion with CB4 to find a way for Holy Cross to maintain its presence on West 43rd Street for another 150 years. The meeting was called to a close at 10pm.
April 17 -30, 2013
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April 17 -30, 2013
Take part in the dialogue on timely & critical issues that shape our lives.
CONFERENCES may 7 • noon
april 30 • 6 pm
Jewish Arts and Identity in the Contemporary World Jews on stage, in music and the visual arts, featuring comedian Lenny Wolpe. Keynote by Dr. Carol Zemel on “New Jews/New Diasporas: Re-forming Identity in the Visual Arts”
Debating High Frequency Trading Hear from experts and decide for yourself about the use of sophisticated algorithms and powerful computer systems to process securities transactions. may 2 • 1 pm Photo: University of Tokyo
Can You Commit Suicide with Tofu? Translating American Fiction into Japanese Motoyuki Shibata, University of Tokyo, founder of the literary magazine Monkey Business and winner of the 27th Suntory Prize for Social Sciences and Humanities.
Photo: Jay Hanson, PCAOB
For a compleTe calendar oF THe BarucH conFerences go To
Business Ethics: Moving from Theory to the Real World Harman A. Grossman, Assistant General Counsel for Johnson & Johnson on the ethical dilemmas faced in the global marketplace, and strategies to address them. may 31 • 8 am
may 2 • 8:15 am
12th Annual Financial Reporting Conference Policy setters from the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board, U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and Financial Accounting Standards Board.
may 9 • noon
Bernard L. Schwartz Communication Institute’s 13th Annual Symposium Leaders in business and education explore tools to grow effective, confident speakers and writers within this year’s two themes—literacies and storytelling.