The Paper of Record for Greenwich Village, East Village, Lower East Side, Soho, Union Square, Chinatown and Noho, Since 1933
April 23, 2015 • $1.00 Volume 84 • Number 47
Trustees offer Bharucha, hoping to stop A.G. probe BY ZACH WILLIAMS
state investigation into the finances of The Cooper Union may cost college President Jamshed Bharucha his job. The school’s board of trustees voted three weeks ago in favor of declining to renew Bharucha’s contract once it expires next year, conditional on Attorney General Eric Schneidermen ending his
probe into the East Village institution, the Wall Street Journal reported on April 9. Whether such a deal will be reached remains to be seen. But board members told the W.S.J. that the offer could smooth negotiations, as well as possibly assist in resolving the ongoing lawsuit challenging the school’s implementation of tuition last fall. BHARUCHA, continued on p. 3
BY JUDITH MAHONEY PASTERNAK
he legendary Judith Malina, co-founder of the Living Theatre, died April 10 at the Lillian Booth Actors Home in Englewood, New Jersey. She was 88. Diminutive in stature, immense in her influence,
a passionately committed pacifist and anarchist who respected no rules, but cherished everything and everyone human, Malina spent a lifetime smashing convention and breaking new ground on the world’s stage and in her personal — but never private — life. The theater company she MALINA, continued on p. 10
PHOTO BY MILO HESS
Living Theatre’s renowned Judith Malina is dead at 88 One Earth Day under a groove: Dancers of different generations were sinuously in sync amid the Earth Day events at Union Square on Sunday.
The view from my window BY YVONNE COLLERY
hen I look out my window, I see what isn’t there. I see an absence of life, a sobering, empty brown dirt plot that screams with recent memories of lives changed and others that were stamped out in an instant. I heard the sound of the explosion when it happened. It was like the soundtrack from a Hieronymus Bosch painting. I heard screams that came after a bang that
you can’t describe. They came bubbling up from the depths of hell amid the sound of thick plate glass shattering at a decibel level that was impossible to comprehend. I also see the streetscape that was ripped from us seemingly in an instant, or as if time seemed to have stood still like an eternity, take your pick. These moments seemed to loop around; an infinity squeezed inside of a mere instant. I see the people that I al-
ways saw standing in front of the buildings who are not there anymore. There’s the lovely smiling face of Moises Locon, who always exchanged a pleasant word with me, “When will it stop snowing?” “Will winter ever end?” When I see the view out my window, which was the last place Moises Locon ever saw, I think of him and all the others. When I look out my winWINDOW, continued on p. 12
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April 23, 2015
Trustees offer president BHARUCHA, continued from p. 1
A Cooper Union spokesperson did not respond to a request for comment. Bharucha has been a top target of student, alumni, faculty and community advocates for a tuition-free Cooper Union ever since he began pushing for tuition after becoming president in 2011. But some fear his ouster could merely create another power struggle at the college between “Free Cooper Union” supporters and board members who believe tuition is needed for the school’s fiscal stability. Nonetheless, many welcomed the news that Bharucha might leave in the near future. “I’m pleased that Cooper Union’s board of trustees has taken a positive step by offering to seek new leadership,” state Senator Brad Hoylman Jamshed Bharucha. said in an April 13 statement. “Now the trustees should select a president April 1 statement that the time was not whose goal is to return the college right for making such a move. Some critics of the school’s adminto fiscal solvency and Peter Cooper’s original intention of providing a high- istration accused board members of leaking the decision on Bharucha’s er education ‘open and free to all.’ ” Alumni, meanwhile, took to social contract to the press because they opmedia — including the Save Cooper posed the move. An offer by Bharucha Union Facebook page — to discuss the to resign before the end of his term latest development. More leadership could result in a hefty buyout, some changes should be made, but Schnei- said. Initial reports of the vote were made dermen needs to consider how his involvement in the tuition battle will af- to the media anonymously by board fect the school moving forward, Brian members, but Daniel Libeskind soon went on the record. Critics said that Rose posted on the Facebook page. “The only way for this to play out in Libeskind was applying a double stana positive way is if the attorney general dard when it comes to speaking to the steps in, replaces the board, and some- press, since several months ago he one is appointed president who is not criticized alumni representative Kevjust a careerist, but someone of prom- in Slavin for speaking publicly about inence who would be willing to take board deliberations. While his own future remains unthe job on as a public service,” Rose certain, Bharucha defended his record wrote. “We need to support the AG in as college president in an interview what he’s doing, but at the same time with The New York Times. The implemake it clear that the responsibility for mentation of tuition has been a vital fixing this mess starts with him.” In his fifth year at the school, Bha- step in saving the school from fiscal rucha has continued to pursue its re- catastrophe, he said in the April 10 arinvention, which includes expansion ticle. “I have no regrets about taking the of academic programs and the school’s job or about the leadership that I have brand as additional means to reachexercised,” he said. ing a balanced budget by 2019. He struck an optimistic tone in a March report on the school’s current situation. His opponents charged in a rebuttal that the new academic majors were hastily organized and actually dilute academic quality. The board’s vote came just days after the school administration backed away from a planned increase of fees for students I N THE HEART OF G REENW I CH V I LLA GE taking more than 19.5 — Recommended by Gourmet Magazine, Zagat, Crain’s NY, Playbill & The Villager — units per semester. Bill “Gold Medal Chef of the Year”. — Chefs de Cuisine Association Mea, Cooper’s vice presNorthern italian Cuisine • Celebrating Over 36 Years ident for finance and ad- 69 MacDougal St. (Bet. Bleeker & Houston St.) 212-673-0390 • 212-674-0320 ministration, said in an Open Mon. - Sat. 12-11pm • www.villamosconi.com TheVillager.com
FIRST RUN FILM FESTIVAL COMMUNITY SCREENING Wednesday, April 29, 2015 | 6:30 - 8:00 pm NYU Cantor Film Center | 36 East 8th Street NYU invites members of the community to a free screening of the winning entries of this year’s First Run Film Festival. The annual First Run Film Festival showcases innovative works by students at the Kanbar Institute of Film and Television, part of the NYU Tisch School of the Arts. Past winners have included Spike Lee, Ang Lee, and Nancy Savoca. This event is free and open to the public with an RSVP. Doors open at 6:00 pm. Visit nyu. edu/nyu-in-nyc to register, or contact us at email@example.com or 212-9982400. Please be advised, no food or drink is allowed in the Cantor Film Center.
April 23, 2015
Benefit concert for 2nd Ave. fire victims Named best weekly newspaper in New York State in 2001, 2004 and 2005 by New York Press Association Overall Design Excellence, First Place, 2013 Best Column, First Place, 2012 Photographic Excellence, First Place, 2011 Headlines, First Place, 2011 Spot News Coverage, First Place, 2010 Coverage of Environment, First Place, 2009
PUBLISHER EDITOR IN CHIEF LINCOLN ANDERSON
CONTRIBUTORS IRA BLUTREICH SARAH FERGUSON TEQUILA MINSKY CLAYTON PATTERSON JEFFERSON SIEGEL ZACH WILLIAMS
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rom the start, it was clear that the benefit show for the Second Ave. gas explosion was more than just an outpouring of love and dollars for the victims of the horrific disaster: It was also a defiant fist in the air in support of the spirit of the bohemian East Village — a community at risk of being trampled beneath a juggernaut of rising rents and gentrification. As the writer Alan Kaufman, the event’s organizer, put it, while Patti Smith was the night’s headliner, “the real headliner of this show is the East Village itself.” A rally planned before the show, at Theatre 80 St. Mark’s, didn’t quite come off due to low turnout. “It was more of a discussion group,” conceded Aron Kay a.k.a. the Yippie Pie Man, who was hanging out in the theater’s lobby as showtime neared. Saving small businesses had been one of the topics. The place’s 200 seats were packed, with those up front going for $150 and in the back $20. For members of the media lucky enough to get in, it was standing room only. Lorcan Otway, the theater’s proprietor, in his opening remarks, also spoke to the suffering of local small businesses, whether it be from the explosion just two blocks away or, in his own case, skyrocketing property taxes. “A 67 percent tax raise under Mr. Bloomberg — small businesses can’t afford that,” he declared. As for the residential tenants displaced by the disaster, “they have to be allowed back in,” he said to the audience’s applause. Three buildings were totaled in the disaster, in which two men lost their lives, while scores of local families living in neighboring buildings were displaced. Kaufman said he was inspired to put together the benefit after reading an article about a shopkeeper who had lost everything, whose friend was lying in
PHOTOS BY TEQUILA MINSKY
BY LINCOLN ANDERSON
Patti Smith’s performance was empowering.
Dev Hynes sang solo with an electronic keyboard.
the hospital recovering from injuries suffered in the March 26 explosion. “Each day, I found myself walking past the rubble,” Kaufman said. “I asked myself what we can do — and you’re the response,” he told the audience. Within a 10-day span leading up to the show, Sting gave $36,000 toward the cause, while others who contributed included Yoko Ono, Stone Gossard of Pearl Jam and Gertrude Stein of the Boris Lurie
PHOTO BY RONALD ANDREW SCHVARZTMAN
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April 23, 2015
Like his gravity-defying pompadour, Kayvon Zand’s turn onstage was no letdown.
Foundation. Meanwhile, the benefit evening netted $11,000, bringing the total to more than $50,000. All the cash is going to Good Old Lower East Side (GOLES), the local tenant-advocacy group that has been assisting the explosion’s victims. “We asked around about who to give the money to and everyone said GOLES,” Kaufman said. “After Hurricane Sandy, it was GOLES. They’re boots on the ground.” Michael Callahan of GOLES, co-chairperson of LES Ready!, said, “This is not about the rubble — it’s about going forward.” LES Ready! is the area’s long-term recovery group, formed to address the Sandy crisis and future disasters. “We have drafted a disaster plan for the Lower East Side that’s in phase two. This has taken us to phase three,” he said of March 26. Starting the show on a spiritual note, Kaufman noted that his great uncle, Abraham Cahan, was the founder of the Jewish Daily Forward. Through him, Kaufman met the legendary writer Isaac Bashevis Singer, who told him: “ ‘In Jewish tradition, if a funeral procession meets a wedding procession, the wedding procession takes precedence.’ ... This,” Kaufman said of the show, “is the wedding procession.” This wedding procession, though, was headed by a risquée cowboy, namely, Randy Jones, the Village People’s original Cowboy and an East Village resident. A dynamic and powerful singer, Mollie King, another East Villager, was the evening’s opening act. A theme of the changing neighborhood resonated in her lyrics. “This town is no longer familiar,” she belted out in her first song’s refrain. “Still love yah so!” Next up were Patti Smith and guitarist Lenny Kaye. The audience sat riveted as the pair took the stage and a crew member plugged their acoustic guitars into the amps. “As I was getting dressed today, I touched everything I put on,” Smith said, “my T-shirt, my socks. ... I imagined what it would be like to go off to work or to shop and everything was gone — photos of my daughter…perhaps even my beloved cat.” Her first song was “Grateful,” she said, because “we’re grateful to support them.” As they launched into the song, a burst of camera flashes exploded from the audience. Next it was Kaye who shared words. “I live about a block from here,” he said. “If you go up on my fire escape and you look, you see a big hole in the ground.” But there’s also “a big hole in the neighborhood,” he said. “As a resident of the East Village for FIRE BENEFIT, continued on p. 5 TheVillager.com
also benefitted community; More shows planned FIRE BENEFIT, continued from p. 4
half a century, I mourn the loss of so many businesses — the old copy shop where I used to get my envelopes,” he said. “I’d like to thank you for helping keep the spirit of the old East Village alive,” he told the crowd. An animal lover, Smith chimed in again about pets still missing since March 26. “All the animals that were lost — it’s not just a pet, it’s family,” she said. “You mourn. ...” “Activism really begins with just being a good neighbor,” added Kaye. “Really, that’s all it is.” They then got the crowd rocking full tilt with Smith’s populist anthem “People Have the Power,” which embodied the feeling of resistance bursting from inside the room. Smith dispensed with her guitar and left the strumming to Kaye as she boogied and punctuated her lyrics with hand gestures. In a second, she had the willing crowd clapping along in staccato rhythm. “People have the powwwwer — to dream — to rule — to wrestle the world from fools...” she sang, elevating the audience. And, in particular, elevating the Pie Man, who — due to his using a wheelchair — had been seated by Kaufman up on stage with a dozen or so survivors of the disaster. Kay hopped up out of his seat and raised his fist to the crowd, pumping it in time to the music. Up next, Tammy Faye Starlite mixed comic patter with song. “Who knows what they’ll build there?” she said of the gaping hole left at Second Ave. and E. Seventh St. Maybe “a giant monument” to a part of Taylor Swift’s anatomy, she quipped. “Where the f--- is she?” she asked angrily. “Shouldn’t she be here representing?” The audience applauded the diss of New York’s official “tourism welcome ambassador.” “I’m really glad this is happening, and right here in this building,” said the East Village’s Jesse Malin as he took the mic next. “I came to this part of town from Queens at 12 years old because I wanted to come someplace where I could wear bungee pants and creepers and not get beaten up. ... I used to come in here and watch Bogart movies when I was a kid,” he recalled of back when the theater showed films. With a ray of optimism, he said, “We still got St. Mark’s Bookshop and Gem Spa and Tompkins Square Park. I was just at B&H [Dairy].” Malin’s rock set was followed by Chris Riffle’s psychedelic folk music. Bringing some drama, Kayvon Zand — a John Sex-like goth/disco act — said he, too, felt right at home in the East Village. TheVillager.com
Survivors of the Second Ave. disaster were seated onstage along with the Yippie Pie Man, front row right.
“When you’re a Persian redneck in North Carolina, there aren’t too many places you can live,” he noted. “So I came to New York City, and not just anywhere, I wanted to live in the East Village.” Cowboy Jones added that he’s a North Carolina transplant, too. During intermission, the Pie Man started expounding from the stage about the “East Village Diaspora” and the need to take back the ’hood. “This is our neighborhood — not the real estate maggots’,” he declared. “On with the show!” one woman in the crowd called out dismissively. However, Kaufman sprang to Kay’s side and defended his right to speak. “This is the Yippie Pie Man,” he said. “He’s a neighborhood legend. Please, a little respect.” He asked Kay to list some of the people he’s plunked with pies in the past, to which he replied, William F. Buckley, Senator Patrick Moynihan, Watergate burglar Howard Hunt and conservative activist Phyllis Schlafly. “Anyone more current?” someone asked. It was a tough crowd, at least for the Pie Man. The evening also saw the nonprof-
it arts group Slide Luck honor four neighborhood photographers, Q. Sakamaki, Clayton Patterson, Ken Schles and Spencer Tunick. Tunick is known for his public shots of groups of nudes on the city’s streets and bridges, while Schles is renowned for his photo book “Invisible City” (reissued last year), about New York’s 1980s nightlife. Patterson and Sakamaki both covered the Tompkins Square riots of 1988 and the park’s homeless Tent City. “Tonight, it reminds me of one of the great things of the East Village and Lower East Side — it is kindness,” Sakamaki said, recalling how some in the community rallied to defend the homeless from being kicked out of the park. Patterson also helped provide support for the benefit show, though he was in Austria at the time of the event. Penn Badgley of “Gossip Girl” fame performed with his band Mothxr, transporting the audience with their avant-garde jazz/funk sounds. On Ka’a Davis, a member of the East Village’s squatter movement, shredded Afro roots funk on electric guitar. “Straight from the squat,” he said.
David Peel couldn’t have put it any clearer: “Help the Victims To Survive.”
Local favorite David Peel and the Lower East Side belted out the singalong friendly “Help the Victims — Help Them To Survive,” as found-art painter Zito simultaneously created a Lou Reed portrait onstage. Peel then segued into “I Like Marijuana,” and the Pie Man jumped up out of his seat again with a raised fist — though this time he soon had a lit joint in it, and offered a toke to one of Peel’s backup singers. Dev Hynes of Blood Orange and the Bowery Boys also took turns on the stage, while Edgar Oliver read three poems in his inimitable style. There were some groans as cast members of “Grindr: The Opera” did a sexually explicit number — but, hey, you can’t please everyone. The musicians from “The Servant of Two Masters” at Teatro La Tea closed the night — actually, it was already Monday morning, and not many were left in the audience — with a rousing rendition of “Come On Eileen.” Afterward, Kaufman said, while meant to support the disaster’s victims, the benefit also helped the community as a whole. “It was all for them,” he said of the shell-shocked East Villagers seated onstage. “And, it was found out later — we were doing it for each other.” After the show, he said, two people stopped him on the street and both urged him, “You have to do this again.” That inspired him to speak with Otway, and they have now decided, due to the benefit’s success, to hold a regular “East Village Show” at Theatre 80 the last Sunday of each month. “My idea is it would be bands and film, video, onstage interviews — like a live arts magazine onstage,” Kaufman said. “Part of the evening would be brand-new talent, mixed in with better-known people. “One of the things I discovered [in doing the benefit] is that young people are still coming here looking for the East Village that I came looking for — even though the rents are no longer affordable,” he said. “They want to meet the legends — Patti Smith, David Peel, Clayton Patterson, the Yippie Pie Man — and they want to belong to the same thing. And they do. It’s not their fault that greedy developers make it impossible for them to live here.” All of the shows’ proceeds will be split 50/50 between GOLES and a new nonprofit foundation that has been set up to help Theatre 80 and Off and Off Off Broadway theater, in general, the Howard Otway and Florence Otway Opportunity Project (HOFOPRO). So how was the show, the Pie Man was asked after the benefit? “There’s potential,” he said, “as a springboard to reclaim the East Village.” April 23, 2015
Pot parade sees a spark at the end of the tunnel BY PAUL DERIENZO
April 23, 2015
PHOTO BY PAUL DERIENZO
arijuana was on the agenda and in the air on April 21, celebrating a day late because of a heavy downpour on the assigned date of 420, which is the unofficial sacred day of pot smokers everywhere. The exact reason behind 420’s status with potheads is lost in the smoky haze of the past. But an ongoing debate in the pages of the nation’s preeminent pot monthly High Times cites the birth of the custom of lighting up a joint at exactly 4:20 p.m. each afternoon with a group of 1970s high school students who would toke up to celebrate the end of each school day before a practice session of their garage rock band. The bright, sunny Tuesday in Washington Square Park seemed a perfect backdrop for the mix of young activists and gray-haired hippies to sneak a toke as Park Enforcement Patrol officers and, later, police scanned the edges of the small crowd, warning Opening the T-shirt doors of perception at 420 in Washington Square Park. that smoking — anything — is prospoke over a small sound system. He of small amounts of marijuana. Tanhibited in city parks. Still, the acrid whiff of burning began by critiquing Mayor Bill de tongco said the mayor’s move, while weed did waft through as organizer Blasio’s reform policy under which laudable, was not enough, and he deare1 now ticketing instead of manded, to the applause of about 100 Jano Tantongco, self-styled leader 11:40 of police 15.PR.3929_1.qxp_Layout 1 4/21/15 AM Page the Cannabis Legalization Coalition, arresting people found in possession supporters and passersby, that New York follow the lead of the four Western states that have legalized pot for recreational use. New York has for nearly half a century hosted its own marijuana celebration on the first Saturday in May, which has usually consisted of a pa168 W. 4th Street, NYC 212.242.6480 rade of happy smokers culminating in An authentic Spanish and Mexican restaurant a rally and concert. located in New York’s West Village. Since 1970, In its earliest incarnations the rally Tio Pepe has been serving up Spanish cuisine went up Fifth Ave. and the concert at its finest. Their recently revised menu was held in at the Central Park band showcases the simple, traditional food flavors shell. But after a series of battles over of Spanish culture. sound levels and permits with the city that went to the U.S. Supreme Court in the 1980s, the pot parade was left looking for a new home. During the decidedly un-potfriendly administration of Rudy Giuliani, police swept in on the event at Washington Square Park, arrestOur Executive Chef Jose Zamora is a native of ing hundreds and basically drivTarragona, Spain. Beginning his career at a ing the movement underground, family friend’s restaurant, he received two until the election of the first admitculinary degrees, one from Cordon Blue in the ted pot-smoking mayor, Michael U.S. and one from the Institution Culinario de Bloomberg, signaled improved relations with the police. Cambrils in Spain. His cooking is inspired by Under Bloomberg, though, police both Spanish and French cuisine. Jose is ratcheted up their “broken windows” devoted to using the best ingredients and policy of arresting mostly African implementing a simplistic stylist technique American youth for small infractions, with dynamic presentation. His goal is to often finding marijuana in the proprovide a memorable dining experience cess, and driving pot arrests to more through passionately created culinary dishes. than 50,000 a year. Mayor de Blasio, despite easing pot laws, has strongly supported continuing the policy of zero tolerance for small offenses, which Police Commissioner William Bratton believes has A family run business since 1970 — and still running strong!
been central to New York’s relative reduction in crime over the past 20 years. At a press conference in front of the Manhattan District Attorney’s office last week, another group of pot activists with a different agenda harkening back to the bad old days of high crime New York City, met to demand that D.A. Cy Vance, Jr. promise not to target medical marijuana “dispensaries.” The group wants legal pot shops, now that the state has approved a restrictive law allowing for the medicinal use of grass. Dana Beal — a New York activist fresh out of jail after doing three years in Wisconsin and Nebraska after being caught with several hundred pounds of weed he says was earmarked for New York City medical marijuana patients — was there along a handful of supporters, including subway vigilante Bernhard Goetz. Goetz rose to infamy when in December 1984 when he shot four young African American men on a subway who he claimed had threatened him. All four were seriously wounded. At the time, Goetz justified the shooting as self-defense by saying that New York City was “lawless.” But earlier this month at the D.A.’s office, he said it was time to legalize possession of “less than 25 grams” of pot. In 2013 Goetz, a vegetarian who rescues injured squirrels in city parks, was arrested for allegedly taking $30 from an undercover cop in exchange for some pot outside Union Square Park. The charges were later dropped. Beal said the D.A. was unfairly targeting Goetz because the city had failed to convict him on more than gun-possession charges after the subway shooting 30 years ago. Meanwhile, Beal, who used to live in a three-story walk-up he rented for 40 years at 9 Bleecker St., implied he’d like to regain possession of at least part of the building to open the city’s first legal medical marijuana dispensary. He added that he wants Vance to agree in writing not to prosecute pot patients who would use the facility. In an e-mail, Vance’s office told Beal they would not meet with him to discuss the demands. Beal is undeterred and plans to continue his campaign for medical pot in New York City. Under Governor Cuomo, the state has approved limited — and non-smokable — medical marijuana. For now, plans are only to allow up to 20 dispensaries to open throughout the entire state. The pot parade this year will kick off on Sat., May 2, with an assembly beginning at 11 a.m. on Broadway between 31st and 32nd Sts., then marching down Broadway to Union Square, where a rally from 1 p.m. until 5 p.m. will feature performances, music and speeches by pot advocates. TheVillager.com
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POLICE BLOTTER Caught in the middle
Teens target 80-year-old
A well-intentioned effort to disrupt an argument on a southbound 1 train left a 46-year-old woman with a swollen face on Thurs., April 16. She reportedly did not know either person involved in the dispute, which began at about 6:20 p.m. that day. But police said they know Kurt Lewis, 44, as a transit recidivist. He was arrested for misdemeanor assault after the train pulled into the subway station at W. 14th St. and Sixth Ave. A small bag of marijuana was also found in his backpack, police said.
Two teenagers jumped an 80-year-old woman as she exited the Christopher St. subway station on the morning of Thurs., April 18, according to police. The octogenarian N.Y.U. employee spotted them as they made their approach, police said. But there was little she could do once the two assailants grabbed her purse and pulled her to the ground, resulting in her suffering a knee injury. The robbers then fled on foot westbound on W. Fourth St. The incident was reportedly caught by a surveillance camera. Police located Efrain Navedo, 18, later that day at a Dunkin Donuts near the intersection of Christopher St. and Seventh Ave. South. A 17-yearold suspect was caught the following day in the vicinity of Hudson River Park, police said. They were both charged with felony robbery. The woman’s possessions were not recovered.
Michael Thomas, of 61 Jane St., has been reported missing since Mon., April 20.
Went missing in Midtown Police said that Michael Thomas, a 46-year-old Village man, is reported missing. He was last seen at about 4 p.m. on Mon., April 20, at 401 Seventh Ave., the Pennsylvania Hotel, across from Penn Station. Thomas, of 61 Jane St., Apt. 11F, was last seen wearing a black sweater and brown pants, and was carrying a suitcase. Anyone with information is asked to call the Police Department’s Crime Stoppers Hotline, at 800577-TIPS. Tips can also be submitted by logging onto the Crime Stoppers Web site, www.nypdcrimestoppers.com, or by texting them to 274637(CRIMES) and then entering TIP577.
A taxi driver did not go quietly after his fare punched him at least four times on Sat., April 18. The two men were reportedly arguing for unknown reasons near the southeast corner of W. 14th St. and Sixth Ave. when Ethan Lewis, 25, allegedly unleashed the first blows. Police said that the 35-year-old hack then tried to prevent Lewis from fleeing the scene, resulting in another knuckle sandwich that cut the victim’s face at about 2:30 a.m. Police found Lewis nearby and arrested him for misdemeanor assault. His alleged victim reportedly refused medical attention.
Screwy assault A screwdriver was allegedly the weapon of choice for a 47-year-old man accused of stabbing his adversary during a verbal altercation in front of 333 Sixth Ave. on Wed., April 15. Police said that Ronald Graham used the tool to cause a puncture wound to a 23-year-old man at about 5 a.m. that day. Graham was arrested and charged with felony assault. The reason for the argument was not immediately clear.
Fake bling sting Counterfeit goods were found at a jewelry story at 375 Sixth Ave. on Thurs., April 16, according to police. Officers said they observed Saad Obeid, 52, offering a fake Cartier ring and bracelet for sale at about 3 p.m. that day. A Cartier representative confirmed that the goods were not authentic. Usually, a special New York Police Department unit investigates tips from luxury-goods makers. However, a Sixth Precinct source could not confirm that was the case in the bust of Obeid, who was charged with trademark counterfeiting, a misdemeanor.
Zach Williams and Lincoln Anderson
Word to the mother Two days after the killing of at least 147 students by Islamist militants at a university in eastern Kenya on April 2, demonstrators calling for an end to the violence held an “African Lives Matter” rally in Union Square. PHOTO BY Q. SAKAMAKI
April 23, 2015
E.V. ‘rat reservoir’ seems bottomless, they say BY GERARD FLYNN
PHOTO BY BOB ARIHOOD
he role construction work plays in spreading rat infestations has long been known. Now two East Village women are calling on the city to do more in the wake of their increasing “distress” at the problem’s scale. Jackie O’Quinn lives close to the Ninth Precinct on E. Fifth St. She said construction in recent years at nearby Cooper Park unearthed one of the biggest rats’ nests imaginable — in an abandoned underground comfort station — and that the vermin have relocated closer to her home, with all the nightmarish consequences. “When it rains it pours,” she said. “Oh, my God. You can step on them.” The disease-ridden rodents can often be seen, she said, in the wee hours in the vicinity of Second Ave. and E. Fourth St., picking through pizza scraps and paper cups of soda on the sidewalk, where latenight revelers like to dump their food. O’Quinn questions the logic of Department of Health inspectors who come looking in the daytime when rats are notoriously nocturnal — and, believe it or not –— shy critters, although they have teeth that can bite through concrete and, some say, steel. “You don’t look for rats in the afternoon,” she said. “It’s not a day job,” her friend Anne Mitcheltree agreed. D.O.H. has been out poisoning nearby sewers, which they said are infested, but it isn’t working, the two women say. O’Quinn said the vermin vamoose from the sewers, and then it becomes a game
A rodent in Tompkins Square Park a few years ago during the height of the “Ratpalooza” infestation.
of “hit-and-miss whether you step on one.” O’Quinn has witnessed “sewers full of rats,” prompting her to be among the many who have made complaints to the city, which then comes and baits. But she said, “I didn’t notice a decline.” D.O.H. didn’t respond by press time to questions for this article. But for an article in The Villager last November, an agency spokesperson confirmed that the East Village has a big problem. A number of local factors contribute to the area’s rat population, the spokesperson said, including inadequate management, storage and removal of garbage, the high density of the population and foot traffic, and older infrastructure, which may allow rats to harbor. “Although the number of properties with active rat sites has dropped citywide, some communities, such as Community District 3, have remained stag-
nant,” the spokesperson told The Villager last November. Last year, the agency chose Avenue B as a location for its “Rat Reservoir” pilot program because of the area’s “chronic problems” with the pests. Rat Reservoirs are environments that promote large numbers and fast reproduction of rats. But the “reservoir” isn’t even close to drained, the two women lament. “Whatever they are doing with their pilot program, they need to extend it,” O’Quinn said. D.O.H. confirmed to The Villager last year that “[rat] complaints in the Lower East Side have increased in 2013 and 2014 compared to previous years.” In their efforts to reduce the rat problem, the pair have even handed out garbage pails to the local cops to use to trap the tricky vermin. “We have a hub of rats that live under our police station’s parking lot,” O’Quinn stated. With D.O.H. slow to act, in their view, they have come up with a strategy of their own: Do something about the “crazy” people who feed the pigeons — a.k.a. “flying rats” — and, inadvertently, the rats. For those who feed the pigeons, Mitcheltree has two words, “ova control.” In other words, use contraception to cut down on bird reproduction, which would reduce pigeon feeding, and, thus, the rat population. “When they take a birth-control pill and lay an egg, it won’t be fertilized, and it never hatches,” she said. Eventually, “they kick it off the nest.” At this point, the two rat-weary women say, it’s worth a try.
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The Living Theatre’s Judith Malina is dead at 88 OBITUARIES MALINA, continued from p. 1
April 23, 2015
PHOTO BY ROSALIE RIEGLE
founded with her first husband, Julian Beck, was a major force in the growth of the artistically innovative and often politically challenging anti-commercial movement that became Off and Off Off Broadway. Her political activism, on and off stage, landed her in more than one jail. The first of those occasions put her in a cell for 30 days with Catholic Worker co-founder Dorothy Day. She observed Jewish rituals while cheerfully breaking many of the commandments. Her marriage to Beck was non-monogamous, and her pleasures famously included smoking pot. Malina and Beck founded the Living Theatre in 1947. They started with relatively conventional productions of works by Bertolt Brecht and Jean Cocteau. But in 1959, their production of “The Connection,” playwright Jack Gelber’s searing drama of addiction, won “the Living” its first Obie award and its leading place in New York’s avant-garde and experimental theater. By 1963, when it produced Kenneth H. Brown’s anti-militarist “The Brig,” the Living Theatre had dedicated itself to politically committed theater, from which it never retreated. The same year saw its first round of trouble with the federal government, when the Internal Revenue Service padlocked the troupe’s theater at 14th St. and Sixth Ave. The company went on to worldwide fame and ever-increasingly improvisational, participatory, intensely political and occasionally nude productions, from “Paradise Now” in 1968 to its 21st-century cri de coeur against capital punishment, “Not in Our Name.” Beck and Malina were arrested in Brazil — for marijuana possession, which they denied — and the company was expelled from more than one country. Yet before the end of the century, the troupe had become known across the globe as a symbol of resistance and hope. Moving from home to home over the years, buffeted by intermittently acute financial and tax problems, the Living Theatre nevertheless survived. And always, for 68 years, it existed under Malina’s leadership, first shared with Beck, and then, after his untimely death in 1985, Hanon
Judith Malina was a committed antiwar activist.
A young Judith Malina.
Judith Malina with the two main men in her life, her two husbands, Julian Beck, right, and Hanon Reznikov.
Reznikov, who had been her lover during her marriage to the bisexual Beck and who became her second husband in 1988. Reznikov co-managed the Living Theatre with her until he died in 2008. Judith Malina was born in Kiel, Germany, in 1926, the daughter of an actor and a rabbi. She grew up in New York City, where her family arrived when they left Germany in 1929. She studied acting at the New School for Social Re-
search with Erwin Piscator, one of the advocates — along with Bertolt Brecht — of the politically charged drama called “epic theater.” Malina and Beck met in 1943. He was a painter, a year older than she was, but he rapidly came to share her interest in theater, which led them to create the Living Theatre four years after they met. By then, she was a committed pacifist and anarchist. In 1955,
before the young Living Theatre had made headlines, Malina was arrested — for the first time — with members of the pacifist War Resisters League and the Catholic Worker in City Hall Park for refusing to leave the park and go to a bomb shelter during one of the civil-defense drills of the time. She served 30 days for her civil disobedience, sharing a cell with Dorothy Day, now a candidate for canonization by the Catholic Church. Years later, she told an interviewer that Day’s interactions with the prostitutes and drug addicts who comprised most of the jail’s inmates had taught her that “anarchism is holiness,” because it treats all people as holy, without “dividing [them] into good ones and bad ones.” By the mid-Sixties, as the Living Theatre became as much an activist project as an artistic one, the two threads of Malina’s life became one. For the rest of her life, her politics were expressed primarily in the company’s works, many of which she wrote. It was an occupation only occasionally interrupted by her forays into film and television. She played Al Pacino’s mother in “Dog Day Afternoon” (1975) and appeared in “Radio Days” (1987), “The Addams Family” (1991) and “Household Saints” (1993). On TV, she appeared in “The Sopranos,” in 2006. After Reznikov died in 2008, Malina went on to lead the company alone, until their then-current home on Clinton St. closed and she moved into the assisted-living facility in Englewood in 2013. She is survived by her children, Isha Manna and Garrick Maxwell Beck, and by her other child, the Living Theatre, now under Garrick Beck’s direction and still very much alive, if aging — 68 and counting — and perhaps less robust than its glory days in the Sixties and Seventies. But the ink devoted to Malina’s death is ample evidence that she will remain a formidable presence in the Living Theatre as long as it survives — and in theater around the world, as long as it survives. The Jewish Daily Forward wrote that one of Malina’s last public appearances was in December at the Bowery Poetry Club. She was in a wheelchair and breathing with the help of an oxygen tank as she read a poem about Eric Garner, the African-American man from Staten Island who died in a police chokehold last summer. Malina’s reading was followed by chants of “I can’t breathe.” TheVillager.com
SUNDAY AT leSOUK A PARTY TO BENEFIT THE 57TH ANNIVERSARY SEASON of
FREE CONCERTS IN THE PARK
SUNDAY, MAY 3RD
4:00 - 7:00 PM 510 LaGuardia Place south of Bleecker Street
Open bar — French-Moroccan cuisine LUTZ RATH, Music Director
Welcomes our Guests ERIKO SATO, Festival Concertmaster, plays Bach NEW YORK JAZZHARMONIC TRIO
Greet old friends and meet new ones Tickets: $500 (Crystal Circle Party Pass), $200, $150, $75 $55 for supporters under 40
Very religious, Joyce DeChristino carried the cross in Our Lady of Pompeii’s processions, including for the Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary, in October 1995, above.
Joyce DeChristino, Village native who was at least 100 BY ALBERT AMATEAU
oyce DeChristino, born and raised in Greenwich Village where she brought up her family, which now extends to 11 great-grandchildren, died March 21. She was 100 or older. “She always lied about her age, because she wanted to be younger than my father — I don’t think she was,” explained a daughter, Elaine Naimoli. “We have birthdates 1913 and 1914. At Perazzo [funeral home] they had it as 1915,” Naimoli said. “My mother never ever went to the doctor,” Naimoli recalled, adding, “I don’t remember her having even a cold. She never took a pill. She didn’t want to go to the hospital. But my niece — one of her granddaughters — who took care of her on W. Fourth St., noticed she had some trouble breathing and took her anyway. They said something about pneumonia.” Joyce, her two sisters and two brothers, were born to Salvatore and Madaline Bellavere Rotolo. “I don’t know where my mom went to high school but she always talked TheVillager.com
about going to P.S. 3,” Naimoli said. Joyce met Paul DeChristino in Washington Square Park. “He lived on Elizabeth St. on the East Side. She said she liked his curly hair,” recalled Naimoli. “They worked in a pickle factory when they were first married. The factory didn’t allow husbands and wives on the payroll, so she told them they were brother and sister,” Naimoli said. Paul DeChristino died in 1976 at the age of 62. Naimoli and her sister and brother went to Our Lady of Pompeii School. “My mom was very religious,” Naimoli recalled. “She sent us to Our Lady of Pompeii and belonged to the sodality there. On Good Fridays she carried the cross in the procession.” In addition to Naimoli, a son, Philip DeChristino, survives. Her other daughter, Martha Humfrey, died some time ago. Ten grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren also survive. Perazzo Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements. The funeral was March 27 at Our Lady of Pompeii. Burial was in St. John’s Cemetery in Queens.
to order call 917-855-4205 to purchase tickets online visit us at www.washingtonsquaremusicfestival.org
WASHINGTON SQUARE MUSIC FESTIVAL’S 57TH SEASON OF FREE CONCERTS, FESTIVAL CHAMBER ORCHESTRA
TUESDAYS AT 8 PM LUTZ RATH, MUSIC DIRECTOR Main Stage, Washington Square Park Rain space TBA
June 16: Alphorn, Clarinet, Oboe & Orchestra
Mozart, Concerto for Alphorn and chamber orchestra Busoni, Concertino for clarinet & small orchestra SOLOIST, STANLEY DRUCKER, CLARINET Jean Francaix, L’Horloge de Flore / Ravel, Pavane for a Dead Princess
June 23: Harp, Celeste, & Spoken Words
Caplet, Conte Fantastique / Gubaidulina, Five Etudes / Grieg, Peer Gynt
June 30: Winds, Strings, & Voice
Bruch, Septet / Zimlinsky, Maybuds blossomed all around
LAILA SALINS, MEZZO-SOPRANO Beethoven, Septet
New York Jazzharmonic RON WASSERMAN, LEADER
For info: 212-252-3621 or
www.washingtonsquaremusicfestival.org Programs are subject to change April 23, 2015
The view from my window will never be the same WINDOW, continued from p. 1
PHOTO BY YVONNE COLLERY
dow I think of my neighbors who will never see their homes again, those who will never see their photo albums, college diplomas, family treasures, favorite furniture and a life’s worth of well-curated possessions. These are the people who were not able to salvage even a single shoe. I see the people who escaped by a hair’s breath, the neighbors that will always have burn scars and — even worse — scarred memories. When I look out my window and think about the people who were until recently my neighbors, I feel an overwhelming sense of gratitude that my building still stands. Every single one of us caught in this disaster has had a hellish time. Even those of us from the buildings still standing did not know if we would ever get back in. We were all displaced for the minimum of 16 days. We left with only the clothes on our backs. We all had to find places to stay. We all cried an uncountable number of tears. And we all had our moorings knocked out from under us. We felt affliction where before we felt comfort. We are all trying to get back to
as normal a life as we can, a new, changed normal. A small handful of tenants are back in 125 Second Ave. Some are back in 41 E. Seventh St., which was also evacuated. The people from the three lost buildings are coping the best that they can. Change was thrown at them and they are valiantly rising to the occasion, quietly rebuilding their now-ragged lives that were busted open in an instant. My apartment is on the south side of the building and we acted as “the fort” that saved the rest of Second Ave. when the wind changed direction. The Fire Department sprayed water for hours and hours on end on our side of the building, wetting it down and keeping our part safe from the raging fire. We acted as a buffer. Because of this, our side of the tenement suffered serious water damage. I am not back at No. 125 and won’t be for quite a while. Stuart, Kayoko and Hannah Lipsky have the apartment two floors below me. They are one of the only families with children from the whole disaster site. They were eager to move back in when the vacate order was lifted. Stuart came in to clean. “I found the whole thing over-
The writer’s apartment is still off limits due to heavy water damage sustained during the fire. This is what she can now see from one of its windows — an empty space where three residential buildings used to stand.
whelming, disgusting,” he said. “I didn’t know where to start, there is so much dirt and grit everywhere.” He found a place for Kayoko and Hannah to stay while he cleans and scrubs and readies his nest, while coughing and feeling sick most of the time from the massive gas fire’s fallout. Kayoko is working very hard, often until 8:30 p.m. She often comes back exhausted to wherever they may be staying. Hannah is a lively and bright 12-year-old who is a topnotch student. She goes to the NEST+m School on E. Houston St. She is still going to karate, practicing her flute and preparing for her Bat Mitzvah in June. Hannah is still missing her cat Ryce and is struggling with this. “I know that there is something to learn in everything, but this is a very difficult lesson,” she said very philosophically. As for the view out their home’s window, Stuart simply said, “It is haunting.” When you walk past No. 125 at night you only see a few lights lit, as most of the residents don’t feel comfortable enough to stay there. Some of us go in for brief periods during
April 23, 2015
the day. Every time I go, I see more things thrown out: piles of stuff or large black garbage bags waiting to be picked up. The building is working double-time to fix everything, and they are doing a good job, but it is a long and arduous process. Jamil Shafi is one of only a handful of tenants who have already moved back into No. 125. He is spending a lot of his time cleaning, and then cleaning again. He also threw out lots of his clothes, his bedframe and some upholstered furniture. “I am happy to be back in my home,” he said. “I am slowly getting back to normal and I will be really happy to see all my neighbors return, as this is family.” Jamil said he is so very thankful to all of the people who have made his return possible, including the F.D.N.Y., Police and Red Cross, as well as Igor, Alex, Mikhail and Roman, our crew at No. 125! Jamil looked ruefully at the dull, empty brown dirt plot and said, “As a designer, I could help our mayor turn this into a memorial park for us until this land gets developed. It would be great if artists could come and paint pictures of what used to be here.” TheVillager.com
Prayers, plus infrared scanners in cat search BY YVONNE COLLERY
am sorry to report that there is still no good news concerning the four missing cats, Sago, Sylvie, Leather Face and Ryce. The ASPCA had been concentrating on finding Ryce, from 125 Second Ave., toward the end of their search. They did put catchand-release cat traps in different apartments starting around April 1. However, they pulled them all out on Fri., April 9, without giving
any explanation to Ryce’s family, the Lipskys. Despite our constant requests, the interior of the block was never searched. Three team members from RED PAW RESCUE, of Philadelphia, drove up to New York on Sun., April 1, at their own expense to help look for any cats that might be in No. 125. RED PAW is a nonprofit organization that works with the Red Cross. They are specifically geared to look for animals in fires, gas explosions, hurricanes and other disasters. In
Philly, they come at the beginning of a disaster with the Red Cross and they quickly and actively start to search for missing pets. They use some equipment that our New York groups don’t have, such as handheld infrared heat-scanning devices. (The N.Y.P.D. uses these to find people in fires.) RED PAW spent the entire day looking for the missing cats. However, the building was so cluttered with dense debris by that point that they could not get good readings from the infrared scanner.
Stuart Lipsky now goes into the back of our building shaking Ryce’s favorite cat toys, calling to her. The Lipskys believe that Ryce is somewhere close by. RED PAW says that statistically cats are mostly found within 250 feet of where they were lost. As his wife, Kayoko, says, “They are good little hiders.” Hannah Lipsky says her prayers every night. After she thanks God for the many good things that are in her life, she asks, “Please God, can you protect my cat Ryce and bring her back to us if she is still alive?”
PHOTO BY BOB KRASNER
CALL TO SUBSCRIBE 646-452-2475
Hannah Lipsky is still holding out hope that her family’s cat Ryce will be found. TheVillager.com
April 23, 2015
‘I’m open to new tech,’ Paul tells Bitcoin bigs BY ZACH WILLIAMS
PHOTO BY ZACH WILLIAMS
.S. Senator Rand Paul was in town Sunday to raise support and money for his fledgling bid for the Republican presidential nomination at a fundraiser sponsored by local Bitcoin enthusiasts. The free-market-friendly candidate from Kentucky expressed support for wider adoption of the digital currency during his remarks at the Union League Club on E. 37th St. His presidential campaign is the first to accept Bitcoin, which allows users to exchange funds anonymously outside traditional government oversight. “We’re trying to get you to empty your Bitcoin wallet,” Paul quipped at the outset, before adding: “I’m not an expert on Bitcoin. I’m open to new technologies. I’m excited by the possibility and the concept.” Federal Election Commission rules currently say little about the role of Bitcoin in presidential campaign fundraising, according to a spokesperson. A 2014 advisory opinion, though, recommends that political committees not affiliated with a cam-
Rand Paul speaking in East Midtown last Sunday.
paign limit themselves to accepting donations equivalent to $100. Committees can also purchase Bitcoin on the open market as an investment. Several dozen local users of the digital currency attended the April 19 fundraiser, which included a pri-
vate meeting with high-rolling donors. Austin Alexander — a founding member of the Bitcoin Center NYC, on Broad St. — urged others at the event to get their smartphones out so that campaign members could collect contributions as they walked around the
room. “Get your cameras ready to scan Senator Paul’s QR code,” he said. “And remember, the max donation is only $2,700.” A Paul representative did not provide fundraising totals from the event, Bitcoin or otherwise. The current exchange rate is about $225 to one Bitcoin, a notable decline from the digital currency’s all-time high value of about $1,250 in 2010. Local users can now pay for almost anything with the currency in Downtown Manhattan, including groceries, real estate and even college tuition. But greater integration into the economy has been limited due to concerns that Bitcoin enables nefarious activities through its privacy protections. Supporters remain optimistic that they will overcome setbacks, especially if Paul gets elected president in 2016. “Bitcoin is still in the embryonic stages,” said Robert Morgan, a backer of the virtual currency. “The Bitcoin community is going to want to stop the government from regulating it, and Rand Paul is the guy who wants to stop it.”
PHOTO BY TEQUILA MINSKY
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April 23, 2015
Pipeline protests heat up before Whitney’s opening
PHOTO BY VICKI DASILVA
As part of a late-night protest last week over the Spectra pipeline having been built into the foundation of the new Whitney Museum, light painter Vicki DaSilva drew this accusatory message in the air with a fluorescent lamp, above the location of what anti-pipeline activists call the “now-hidden Spectra/ConEd vault.” This time-lapse photo shows the path of her hand. The activists also beamed provocative projections onto the side of the new Renzo Piano-designed building, which is set to open to the public on Fri., May 1. The activists have released a video on YouTube about the pipeline’s path beneath the Whitney at https://www. youtube.com/watch?v=7Hk1n2Tt9Q .
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR Nursing-home nightmare To The Editor: Re “The trials of collage artist Kasoundra Kasoundra” (news article, April 16): What a Dickensian nightmare! The system is hell-bent on making laws but really short on accountability. This report of a woman whose rights are being violated by the very system that purports to be helping her deserves major media exposure. Surely there’s some punishment to be
meted out to guardians that abuse their position. Justice has a blind eye yet again. Talia Shafir
Kasoundra’s Kafkaesque story To The Editor: Re “The trials of collage artist Kasoundra Kasoundra” (news article, April 16): Bravo for making this explicit and con-
cise account of what has befallen Kasoundra Kasoundra. I speak with her regularly on the phone and feel the frustration of her circumstances. I hope that this account can be copied and sent to all social-service agencies and she can recover her life and continue to create her artwork. She never goes out of the nursing home, even in good weather. No one deserves such Kafkaesque treatment. The so-called guardians should be removed from their positions and a good friend should be given that position and Kasoundra should be put in his or her care. Free K.K.! Free K.K. now! Phyllis Segura
Demand accountability To The Editor: Re “The trials of collage artist Kasoundra Kasoundra” (news article, April 16): To make this personally frightening for everyone reading: Very few of us have as strong a community network as she does, so it’s unlikely we would ever get even the failed oversight she has gotten. LETTERS, continued on p. 18
April 23, 2015
I was a slide-show victim RHYMES WITH CRAZY BY LENORE SKENAZY
they just had. “So if you ask somebody, ‘Show me the picture from the prom!’ there it is” — un-blurry and, with any luck, including the whole head. After that? Time to put the device away and resume conversing. Queens-based new-media maven Dawn Siff talks about attending her Dallas high school reunion recently. “You would look around the room at any given point, and half the people were looking down at the phones, frantically scrolling through pictures to find the exact photo they wanted to show people,” she says. “So they’re seeing this person they haven’t seen in years — and immediately ignoring them to cue up the perfect picture.” It made Dawn pine for an earlier era, when people would extract a photo or two from their wallets and apologize because the front-tooth-missing tot in the picture was actually now engaged to be married. Susan Avery, a college counselor at Harvest Collegiate High School in Manhattan, was the only gal I could find who both defended showing an album’s worth of photos to friends, and insisted she liked seeing just as many. “I’m the first one looking at those pictures,” she says. She relishes them for the same reason she relished her first profession, journalism: “I love people’s backstories.” That’s certainly a nice way to frame what we are seeing when folks start scrolling through: Oh, here’s a pair of shoes I was thinking of buying. Here’s our vacation — well, the hotel room, anyway. It was in Antigua. No — Alabama. And here’s a cool bird from my bird feeder. Its wings are flapping so you can’t really see it. And here’s my daughter. And my daughter. And my daughter again, but two seconds later — they change so fast at that age! As do many of us viewers: From complimentary to comatose. Knowing this, you have your choice of what to edit: Your photos, or your friends. Choose wisely. Skenazy is a public speaker and founder of the book and blog “Free-Range Kids”
PHOTO BY BOB KRASNER
high school friend I hadn’t seen in years was passing through New York. We had just a few precious hours to catch up, so we wandered around Central Park, exulting in its blossom overdrive, then sat on a sun-warmed rock to chat. Of course I wanted to see a picture of her kids. Or two pictures. Max? Three. But thanks to that bottomless photo album that also sends texts and makes calls, I saw them all: the kids in their play, the kids at the holidays, the kids with their friends, the kids, the kids, the blurry-but-still-apparentlyworth-a-look kids! And then the husband! And the great uncle! And the husband’s brother’s wife’s mother who is sick. Or fine. Or something — really, I barely know the husband, now I’m high up out on a limb of the family tree and I can hear it cracking under the weight of my not-caring. Helllllp! Free fall! Can I really be the only person struggling to utter another, “Oh! Nice!” while plunging into photo-induced catatonia? That is the question I asked everyone I could — that is, everyone not so absorbed in their cellphones that they could actually look up to answer me. “Technology has made it impossible to run away from slide shows,” is how Laura Srebnik, a Brooklyn-based education consultant, summed it up. “Back in the day, when someone invited you, you could say no. Or if you went, they had snacks.” Now? Neither. “It’s not that the pictures are boring,” she adds. “I kind of like looking at them. It’s when it’s like stop-motion animation: ‘Here we are, picking up a shell. Here we are, picking up another shell.’ You see 20 of practically the same image and you’re wondering, ‘Couldn’t you skip that one?’ and they’re saying, ‘I’m just getting to the good one!’” The key is the word “one,” says Marla Muni, a market researcher in Rockland County. “Some of the pictures don’t come out well, and they’re never organized and people start flipping through… .” Meantime, you’re politely waiting or muttering some kind of pleasantry as the photos fly past. That’s why Muni’s idea of good smartphone etiquette is to have handy one single, clear photo of your children at whatever big event
The art of the climb at Rubin Museum of Art The Rubin Museum of Art in Chelsea recently celebrated the end of Asia Week with a preview of a new show, “Becoming Another: The Power of Masks.” About 500 supporters were treated to cocktails, hors d’oeuvres and a piece entitled “Rope of Light,” performed by aerialists from Shore Circus. The acrobatic artists utilized the space in the middle of the sixstory spiral staircase, which was designed by Andree Putman for the building’s previous incarnation as Barneys New York. The show was preceded by remarks from the museum’s executive director, Patrick Sears; co-founder, Shelley Rubin; and Tom Finkelpearl, the new commissioner of the city’s Department of Cultural Affairs. April 23, 2015
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR LETTERS, continued from p. 16
freedom and Kasoundra is set free.
Unless we push politically for true accountability measures — and how about the legal recognition of longstanding friends as an alternative to blood family and unconnected “guardians”? — we are each of us just a few years away from living her story.
Kasoundra reparations To The Editor: Re “The trials of collage artist Kasoundra Kasoundra” (news article, April 16): Thank you for bringing this horrible situation to our attention with such a detailed and thorough piece of reportage. Not only must this woman be returned to her home, she should be given reparations for the time she spent unjustly imprisoned, deprived of her work, possessions and friends. Social work is at its worst when it meddles rather than helps. Justice will be done when the guardians lose their
Won’t get fooled again To The Editor: Re “Planning chief downplays upzoning’s impact; Critics are still all hitting the roof” (news article, April 9): Given that New York University was handed our parklands and our area was rezoned from residential to commercial by both de Blasio’s and Bloomberg’s administrations, when I learn of this new real estate maneuver, I cringe. Always before turning an area into luxury housing, developers rush to “create senior housing that’s affordable.” And if that housing succeeds in ridding the area of the “undesirables,” new luxury housing starts to fill the area. And that’s assuming the affordable senior housing is really built, not just promised. Why, of course they won’t deceive us, they proclaim. But mark Andrew Berman’s words: They are after our
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neighborhoods. Hungry for more, in years to come they will build what will be totally unaffordable for our neighbors. Let’s all say no to this scheme to help developers. Enough of these false promises. Sylvia Rackow Rackow is chairperson, Committee to Preserve Our Neighborhood
Our bus black hole To The Editor: Re “M.T.A. walks the walk to tour bus-deprived nabe” (news article, March 26): Thank you for your update on our continuing efforts to reinstate the sorely needed bus service formerly provided by the pre-2010 M1, M3, M5 and M6 bus routes in our community. The hole in service these cuts and reshufflings has left has deprived not only the elderly and disabled, who fully depend on bus transit to get around. All bus users in our district — parents and children, people on their way to work and school, those traveling for healthcare appointments, shoppers and myriad others — have been deprived of comfortable and convenient access to the public buses they rely upon. Besides the numerous efforts that the article cites that have focused on rectifying this serious problem, Community Board 2 is officially on record requesting the return of these vital bus routes in three separate resolutions. Hardly a day goes by when someone doesn’t voice his or her distress at this dearth of service. Shirley Secunda Secunda is chairperson, Community Board 2 Traffic and Transportation Committee
negotiations. Meanwhile, 600 corporate lawyers are advising the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative. No one can reasonably expect a fair trade agreement to emerge from this undemocratic process. Given the current struggles of working families in New York, members of Congress should not be pursuing a fast-track trade deal that widens the gap between the rich and the poor, threatens food safety, and gives working-class families even less of a chance to find personal and professional success. If members of Congress truly care about America’s working and middle classes, they will oppose fast-tracking this terrible trade agreement. Tony Speelman Speelman is secretary-treasurer, UFCW Local 1500 in Westbury, N.Y., New York’s largest grocery workers union
Westbeth Spring Sale!
Slow down on T.P.P.
To The Editor: In the July 12, 2012, issue of The Villager, Michelle Herman, in her article about Ernest Borgnine and Tortilla Flats, referred to the “Westbeth basement sale as part of the regular rhythms of Far West Village life.” In that spirit, we are now initiating a second sale. So many times, visitors asked if we had this sale every month, or every week, and we always had to say, “Sorry, only once a year.” This year, however, we are having the Westbeth Fleamarket’s First Ever Spring Sale. We will be in the same space as last fall (55 Bethune St. and 137 Bank St.) for four days over two weekends in May: May 9, 10 and 16, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., and May 17, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Keep looking in these pages for more details later on. Gina Shamus Shamus is a member, Westbeth Beautification Committee
To The Editor: The fact that the Trans-Pacific Partnership is being negotiated in secret should concern every American worker. The entire progressive community, including UFCW Local 1500, environmental groups, civil rights organizations and consumer advocates, has been shut out of T.P.P.
E-mail letters, not longer than 250 words in length, to email@example.com or fax to 212-229-2790 or mail to The Villager, Letters to the Editor, 1 Metrotech North, 10th floor, Brooklyn, NY, NY 11201. Please include phone number for confirmation purposes. The Villager reserves the right to edit letters for space, grammar, clarity and libel. Anonymous letters will not be published. TheVillager.com
Exit Stage Left Studio
Theater will close soon after Left Out Fest BY DUSICA SUE MALESEVIC
PHOTO BY PIOTR REDLINSKI
ld enough to assert itself but young enough to learn new tricks, the 14th edition of the Tribeca Film Festival is back where it started. New Mexico, the late ’70s: Cheryl King is having problems with her livein boyfriend — he wants her out of the apartment. King knows she needs a job, but waiting tables is unappealing. She passes a topless club with a sign reading “Dancers Wanted.” Okay, she thinks, that might work. She walks in and wants to immediately walk out, but a man who works there gets her a loaner nightie. “I put it on and I’m dancing barefoot on this dirty parquet floor,” she recalled. While the first time was not necessarily stellar, King does become a topless dancer, makes enough money to get away from her boyfriend and something else happens — something big that puts King on a trajectory that lands her squarely in the New York City theater world. “It turned out that I was kind of good at it,” King told Chelsea Now by phone. “And I liked being funny. It turned out I was funny. The tits thing didn’t bother me, really.” King’s discovery that she liked being funny propelled her to the nicest strip club in town, then to audition for a visiting theater company and snag a part. The show included a mime, and King was smitten. “I fell in love with mime,” she said. “I had never even seen mime [before].” When the show closed, she decided to leave Albuquerque and move to Atlanta. There, it just so happened that mime, “for the only time in the history
Cheryl King, in the lobby of Stage Left Studio.
of man was actually popular.” “The Shields and Yarnell Show” was playing on CBS and King starting studying the art, leading to paid work as a mime and an eventual tour of the country. The practice has served her to this day at her theater in Chelsea, Stage Left Studio. (Chelsea Now’s sister publication, Gay City News, is a corporate sponsor of Stage Left.)
Stage Left, on the sixth floor of 214 W. 30th St. (btw. Seventh & Eighth Aves.), is a fairly small theater, she explained, “so you can’t have giant sets…so I use mime a lot and I teach mime. It’s a great skill. It’s magic, you know, because it is both there and not there.” After working as a mime, King transitioned to stand-up comedy. She al-
ready had mime bits that were humorous and auditioned at a comedy club at Atlanta. “I learned my craft as a stand-up working on the road,” she said. For 13 years, she made a living as a comic, moving from the opening act to the headliner. But by 1989, tired of STAGE LEFT, continued on p. 20 April 23, 2015
Theater owner Cheryl King plots her next act STAGE LEFT, continued from p. 19
the lonely lifestyle, she moved to New York City with the idea that she wanted to do something different. She knew she wanted to write a solo show and the city seemed an ideal place to work the comedy circuit, take classes and develop a sense of theater. An outgrowth of this was her show “not a nice girl.” She then realized that being a stand-up is different than being an actor. “As a stand-up, you kind of develop your persona and that’s what you sell, but as an actor, you actually need to be able to inhabit the character — and that’s a different set of skills,” she explained. “So I realized I needed to become an actor if I wanted to do the show that I wrote any justice.” She began studying acting with actor, director, teacher and performance coach Carol Fox Prescott. “So then I discovered theater, and went, oh, this is where I’ve been headed my whole life,” she said. She started working as Prescott’s assistant. One of her duties was to find people to rent her teacher’s Manhattan space. Prescott taught classes there, but needed to subsidize it when she wasn’t using it. While searching for black box theaters where she could perform her solo show — and finding spaces that were bad, expensive, poorly maintained or all of the above, King began to consider having a space of her own. “I thought I could better than that,” she recalled. “I definitely could do better than that.” After Prescott lost her space, King figured she if she got her own space, she would have one client, at least. In 2005, she opened her theater on W. 37th St. (btw. Ninth & Tenth Aves.). “And then I realized, oh God, I’m going to have to be a theater manager,” she said with a laugh. Stage Left made it’s home there for five years until the building was sold.
Christopher Eaves’ solo show plays the Left Out Festival on April 28.
She found Stage Left’s current location in Chelsea and built it out, investing a tremendous amount of money and effort, she said. Unfortunately, the theater’s run is coming to an end. King said that she is moving out at the end of July because rent has become too expensive. Artists are fleeing the city as prices and rents rise and they comprise a large part of my business, said King. As for audiences, many work two jobs to pay bills and thus have less disposable income for tickets. “So income is going down and expenses are going up,” she lamented. King has also grown weary of being a theater manager whose time is spent on marketing, communicating, scheduling, drawing up contracts and cleaning the theater. She said she can’t afford to hire someone to do it. Instead, she will be dividing her time between focusing on her own art and helping
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others shape their work. But there are still many great performances to see before the theater closes in mid-July. Beginning next week, the seventh edition of her Left Out Festival will be presented. It grew out of King’s desire to advocate for queer culture. In 2008, she said, transgender and queer culture was struggling even more so than today and she wanted to help the Bailey House, an organization that for over 30 years has offered housing and support services for those living with HIV/AIDS. “Then I folded it all into one thing: I’m doing something I want to do, I’ve got a beneficiary who deserves the thing [and] it’s a public forum to talk about these issues,” she said. The festival took off and was a huge success, said King. The Left Out Festival includes selected shorts, solo shows and full-length plays. It is running through May 5. As part of Left Out, King will be performing in playwright Topher Cusumano’s “Getting Away With Mother.” It concerns Avery (Thomas Dane), a writer with one book under his belt (“Ass Backwards”). In the middle of the night, his estranged mother, Matilda, played by King, shows up at his door. He wants her to go away, but she does not relent. A deed will be revealed
that changes their relationship as Avery struggles with his sophomore book effort. Already having spent his book advance money, Avery’s agent comes a-knocking as well — wanting a manuscript that isn’t even close to complete. It’s very funny, said King, who is excited to be a part of the play (which has one performance, April 24 at 7:30 p.m.). The best thing about running a theater, she said, has been the development of a network of artists that have created a sense of community and camaraderie. She has made too many deep friendships to count — and that, she emphasized, is the biggest and most beautiful thing that she has gotten from this experience. As for the one-time mime and stand-up, King is off on a new adventure. She will travel the country, and possibly abroad, working, acting, directing and creating art. Already the writer of the “Page to Stage” blog, she is considering a new one: “Cheryl King Art Tinker,” because that is what she does, she said. She tinkers with people’s art. For more information on the Left Out Festival and other upcoming productions, visit stageleftstudio.net.
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April 23, 2015
‘Jack’ Flawed But Worth Knowing
Tale of hemmed in lives manages to let in some sun TRIBECA FILM FESTIVAL REVIEW
KING JACK Written & Directed by Felix Thompson Runtime: 81 minutes Fri., 4/24, 7:30pm at Regal Cinemas Battery Park (102 North End Ave. at Vesey St.) PHOTO BY CRISTIAN CARRETERO
Sun., 4/26, 2:30pm at Bow Tie Cinemas Chelsea (260 W. 23rd St. btw. 7th & 8th Aves.) $18 ($3.50 phone & web reservation fee) Visit tribecafilm.com/festival or call 646-502-5296
BY PUMA PERL
ing Jack,” the debut of writer and director Felix Thompson, takes place in the sort of depressed, rural town that nobody escapes. Everybody drinks, everybody smokes, few families are intact, and there is nothing to do. People barge into one another’s houses and lives. Violence is prevalent, even expected. The lives are as hemmed in as the town, surrounded by mountains and shot in ways that keep both external and internal scenes in shadow. A lone railroad train runs through the town without so much as a railway station in sight. Kitchens have wall phones equipped with answering machines, and clothing and hairstyles could be from one of many eras. The main
Jack (Charlie Plummer) and Ben (Cory Nichols).
device that takes us into the present is the type of cell phones that are in constant use and serve to advance the story. When the movie opens, we see Jack, the 15-year-old protagonist, getting revenge against the bullies who torment him the only way he knows how — spray painting an obscenity on a garage door. Naturally, he will get caught. He always gets caught, even before he has done anything. In his own home, his tired, single mother tells him to empty his pockets when he enters. “Check his shoes,” his older brother, who has also bullied him remorselessly throughout his life, chimes in. Jack is beaten and abused so regularly that it is part of his looks, a stray dog expecting to be kicked. In one scene, his mother notices that he has black paint on his face, but does not ques-
tion the fresh bruises on his lips and eyes. Early in the film, another character is introduced — Jack’s 13-year-old cousin, Ben, who will spend a few days there because his mother has had one of her habitual breakdowns. Ben is the heart of the movie, stoic and self-contained, and the only familial character who consistently displays a sense of values and selfworth. It is Jack’s job to take care of him, regardless of the unsafe environment that he must negotiate daily. The lead bully, Shane, is a classic villain shown to be relentless to the point of psychopathology. On the other hand, Ben is just a little too amazing a 13-year-old, although this is not the fault of the actor, Cory Nichols, who is very endearing. It would have resonated more if Shane
were seen a bit more humanely — terrible, but damaged, not unlike the brother, Tom, who despite his violence is a more layered character. It is also hard for an actor to pull off a one-note character such as this. In general, I did like the acting, and one can’t help but root for Jack and his family, who are shown with all of their flaws and just enough background information to understand why they are where they are. Charlie Plummer’s Jack pisses us off, while at the same time we want to save him, and Christian Madsen’s Tom presents brute strength tempered with vulnerability. The female characters are more minor, but are realistically drawn. The unnamed town, though, remains the most powerful co-star — sad and claustrophobic despite the wide landscape, dark, with just a little bit of sun.
April 23, 2015
Live from New York, it’s Opening Night!
PHOTOS BY JENNY RUBIN
Under the watchful eye of festival co-founder Robert De Niro, comedy and music icons walked the Beacon Theatre’s red carpet prior to the world premiere of the Saturday Night Live documentary “Live From New York!” Tickets to April 15’s Tribeca Film Festival 2015 Opening Night Gala were in short supply. Comped, we presume, were these SNL cast members as well as rapper/actor Chris “Ludacris” Bridges, who performed a concert following the screening. Also pictured: the massive Spring Studios event facility and a crowd outside of Chelsea’s SVA Theater.
April 23, 2015
Just Do Art midable ensemble. Troy Ogilvie and Nick Bruder reprise their bloody good roles as the power couple in the “Macbeth”-based immersive theater experience, “Sleep No More.” They interact with Brooklyn dancer/rapper AJ “The Animal” Jonez and electro-cellist Chris Lancaster, to depict Noworol’s alternately tense and playful exploration of competing ideas, power structures, intimacy and violence. April 30–May 1 at 7:30 p.m., May 2 at 2 p.m. & 7:30 p.m. At New York Live Arts (19 W. 19th St. btw. Seventh & Eighth Aves.). For tickets ($20-$30), call 212-924-0077 or visit newyorklivearts.org. Artist info at pndance.com.
BY SCOTT STIFFLER
TALES OF STAGE 4 CANCER
Equally adept at satire and survival — and no strangers to battling hostile forces from within and without — Chicago-based performers Judy Fabjance and Kelly Beeman make their NYC debut with “Tales of a Stage 4 Cancer.” Sketches, songs and monologues offer a defiantly unsentimental take on the grim realities and goofy pleasures of their life as newlyweds facing the ongoing struggle of breast cancer. “So many people feel like they are trapped in this depressing, scary story,” says Beeman, “but we want to help them find the humor, find the lighter side, find the release.” That means frank revelations on everything from restrictive diets to their sex life to questionable aspects of the “Big Pink” cancer support industry — and some jaunty tunes as well! Keeping things light but grounded in a respect for reality is Second City faculty member Angie McMahon, who directs. Award-winning composer Amanda Murphy does musical direction duties, and shares Second City roots with Fabiance, who has been an instructor at the famed comedy hub since 1999. Beeman can’t claim such cred, but does have a gig writing and performing training sketches for the likes of Lambda Legal and Motorola. Somewhere along the line, these folks found room in their busy lives to make light of a devastating cancer diagnosis! Mon., May 4, 8:30 p.m. at Magnet Theater (254 W. 29th St. at Eighth Ave.). For tickets ($7), call 212244-8824 or visit magnettheater.com. Artist info at beefabproductions.com.
1917 silent feature, “The Immigrant.” Free. Mon., April 27, 7 p.m. at the John L. Tishman Auditorium at the University Center (65 Fifth Ave., at 14th St.).
PATRICIA NOWOROL DANCE THEATER: “REPLACEMENT PLACE” Choreographer Patricia Noworol puts her dance theater troupe through some all-new paces, in a world-premiere work that blends “ferocious, fiery athleticism” with equally deft wordplay and a score that draws upon the deep-seated fears and dreams of its genre-hopping, definition-defying ensemble. And it’s a for-
MATTHEW BRODERICK HOSTS (UN)SILENT FILM NIGHT
What does a Broadway actor do on his one night off? If you’re Matthew Broderick — currently starring in “It’s Only a Play” as the lone voice of reason among a crew of loopy thespians — you head below 42nd Street for a tribute to kindred spirits Chaplin and Keaton. Broderick does the hosting duties, when The College of Performing Arts at The New School presents (Un)Silent Film Night. This first annual edition also marks the debut of the Mannes Theatre Orchestra. Charles Neidich conducts a new score by Craig Marks that sounds out the 1924 silent comedy “Sherlock, Jr.” Perennial underdog Buster Keaton delivers elegant slapstick, as a lovelorn projectionist whose dream world adventures gave birth to countless film-within-a-film imitators. Also on the program: Barcelona-born Brooklynite Alexis Cuadrado leads the School of Jazz Improvisation Ensemble, in the premiere of his original score to Charlie Chaplin’s TheVillager.com
April 23, 2015
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April 23, 2015
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April 23, 2015
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April 23, 2015
NOTICE OF NAMES OF PERSONS APPEARING AS OWNERS OF CERTAIN UNCLAIMED PROPERTY
Held by Excellus Health Plan, Inc., d.b.a. Excellus BlueCross BlueShield, 165 Court St., Rochester, NY 14647 The following persons appear from our records to be entitled to unclaimed property consisting of cash amounts of fifty dollars or more.
New York County, New York BETTY J MINTZ MD BOX 1139 5 EAST 98TH ST NEW YORK, NY 10029
GOODHART , JONAH 15 W 18TH ST APT 3 NEW YORK, NY 10011
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A report of unclaimed amounts of money has been made to Thomas P. DiNapoli, Comptroller of the State of New York. A list of the names contained in such a notice is on file and open to public inspection at the principal office of the insurance company, located at 165 Court Street, Rochester, New York 14647 where such abandoned property is payable. Such held amounts of money will be paid or delivered to proven entitled parties by the insurance company listed above through August 31, 2015. On or before September 10, any remaining unclaimed monies will be paid or delivered to the State Comptroller.
April 23, 2015
‘Kimistry’ is a culmination of a creative life BY ZACH WILLIAMS
PHOTO BY ZACH WILLIAMS
ocal musician Kim Kalesti never suffers writer’s block, an important element in “Kimistry: The Living Museum” her autobiographical composition heard at St. Mark’s Church-on-the-Bowery on March 15. Her half-hour performance that day reflected the fortune, if not fame, she has enjoyed more than 30 years after moving to Little Italy. In that time, she got married, divorced, raised two children and watched the neighborhood, jazz music and her own musical talents evolve. She speaks rhythmically in conversation with an eager smile, extolling a desire for harmony. “When I’m singing, everything that was inside of me for the last 57 years and everything that I believe and every emotion that I am feeling in my heart and my philosophy of life and my compassion toward people and the planet are all going to come out in one note,” she said in an interview. Ambitiously long high notes ended “Garden Forgiveness” as piano chord digressions began “Take My Time.” Kalesti described the show as heavy with “messages about forgiveness, love and transition between resentment and forgiveness.” Emily King, Kalesti’s daughter, is a singer-songwriter who was a Grammy nominee in 2007 for Best Contemporary R&B Album. “It’s all based on spirituality, and she’s lived through so much, that the music conveys all of her authenticity,” King said of her mom. Methodical preparation defined the 15-year effort to develop Kimistry, which utilized the autodidactic skills she began developing when she first took the stage at age five during a family picnic in her native Pueblo, Colorado. She quickly found that she could guide the emotions of a crowd as a torch singer, the heroine of
Kim Kalesti performing “Kimistry,” at St. Mark’s Church last month.
many a jazz song of unrequited dreams. Adults responded with tears, Kalesti said. Her family was like many others enjoying the American Dream of the 1950s: a house, car and plenty of relatives living nearby. But there was also a family legacy to continue. Her maternal grandfather played the accordion and encouraged Kalesti’s mother, Maggie Davis, to learn the violin. But Kalesti’s mother always wanted to be a singer. By the time that Kalesti was beginning to seriously contemplate a career as a vocalist, her mother was ready to step in as manager, costume maker, choreographer and agent, according to Kalesti. As a teenager, Kalesti performed with her sisters in a singing and dancing trio. She then attended a performing-arts high school in Houston, Texas, before being spotted by an agent at age 19. In an age of telegrams and exorbitant long-distance telephone charges, she embarked on a six-month performing stint in Sweden. The fervor and joy of the Swedish lifestyle inspired her to reconsider the nature of show business just as she was learning to live inde-
pendently, she said. “It was really nice to learn that entertaining is more than just being on stage,” she said. “It is your personality and who you are and your spirit and the ability to listen to others and to have this ability to have a conversation, that’s what I began to understand about it,” she said of that first experience abroad. She moved to New York City in 1981 and took up residence with her new husband, Marion Cowings — a fellow jazz musician — in Little Italy in 1983 after they heard from a friend about an abandoned apartment there. In those days, all you had to do was pick a lock and call the landlord, who would be grateful that someone would want to rent an apartment, according to Kalesti. “Nobody even wanted to visit us because they were so afraid of the neighborhood,” she said. The local jazz scene then was vibrant and fertile, said Kalesti. Furthering her understanding of melody, lyrics, harmonies, form and interludes often arose from listening to Charlie Parker saxophone solos or rubbing elbows with other jazz notables at places such as Bradley’s on University Place, which closed in 1996. She and Cowings would regularly perform as a duet from 1983 until 1997, with a decade-long engagement with Lincoln Center from 1991 to 1996. Life as musicians also prepared them for the challenges of parenting, according to Kalesti. When King began talking about pursuing a musical career at age 16, a family meeting ensued, as it would when her son launched his tap-dancing career, said Kalesti. “It’s serious being an artist,” she said. “You have to be self-disciplined. You have to understand the seriousness of being an artist. It’s not a vocation. It’s a lifestyle. It’s a philosophy of living, and it’s a responsibility you should take very seriously because people are listening to every word you say.”
Stuyvesant is being bowled over by cricket fever SPORTS BY ROBERT ELKIN
n recent years, more and more schools are adding new sports. One of these is cricket, and the Public Schools Athletic League is certainly helping it along. Stuyvesant High School, competing in the P.S.A.L. Manhattan-Bronx division, has a chance to contend for the playoffs in cricket. They lost their first two matches of the season, to High School of Construction and Clinton High School. But they bounced back to narrowly defeat Lehman of the Bronx, 90-89, at Kissena Park in Flushing, Queens, where they also hold practices during the weekend and sometimes on Saturdays. Due to the work of Athletic Director Chris Galano and his staff, the Stuyvesant athletic program has been growing. Galano has been very helpful in
April 23, 2015
A Stuyvesant player watches out for the sticky wicket.
bringing cricket to the school. Cricket is the second most popular sport in the world after soccer. And both are still growing. Mohamed Khan is the head coach of the Peglegs’ cricket squad, and works very hard with the players.
Right now, they have time off until their next match, in May. Sporting 11 players on a side, cricket is somewhat similar to baseball. Where there are pitchers in baseball, there are bowlers in cricket. But the bat is flat instead of round. And the batters run to
one base and then return to the batter’s position. “A lot of students playing this sport here at Stuyvesant are new to the sport,” said Jaydeep Baidyo, the team’s captain. “It’s very popular. Basically, we have to teach them the game. And we are basically starting to get more schools in Manhattan involved in cricket. The players are hard workers.” Coach Khan said there has been a surge of interest in cricket. “We have a lot of kids for the first time playing this sport,” he said. “They have to develop a sense of what the sport is all about. We don’t have a home field by the school, so we have to travel, even out to Queens, where we are now,” he said before the Lehman match. The Stuyvesant team’s goal is to get into the playoffs. “We have to win five or six matches to do so,” Khan noted. “It takes a lot of effort and perseverance to make it there. We have to play very hard and the kids are trying to do it.” TheVillager.com
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April 23, 2015
G.V.L.L. Opening Day is a home run for community SPORTS BY JAYSON CAMACHO
PHOTO BY HOWARD BARASH PHOTOGRAPHY
his past weekend the Greenwich Village Little League kicked off its 31st season. G.V.L.L. is well known for its strong commitment to community and its Opening Day festivities displayed nothing less. The day began with teams from all divisions marching into Pier 40, at W. Houston St., and taking a spot on the turf field. There were tons of smiles everywhere, as players eagerly awaited the start to their season. After all the teams were settled in their right places, G.V.L.L. President Carin Ehrenberg took the podium. “For over 30 years, we have provided thousands of children an opportunity to play team baseball and softball, learning skills and life lessons of all sorts,” she said. “We have also built a ‘small town’ in our G.V.L.L. community. G.V.L.L. is where kids can play baseball and softball with their old friends, make new friends and where all of us players, parents and coaches make lifelong friendships!” Andrew Ehrenberg — Carin’s son — and Ryan Magelin, two former players in the league, were on hand for the festivities. Ryan, who now attends LaGuardia High School, played “Take Me Out to the Ball Game” on electric guitar, with Andrew singing backup, and then broke out into a psychedelic Jimi Hendrix version of the song. Asked by this reporter “What has G.V.L.L. taught you?” they both answered that they’ve learned that sports are a great way to make friends. “G.V.L.L. has taught me, you don’t have to be good at playing sports to love sports,” Ryan said. “It has taught me that through sports you can make lifelong friends.” Similarly, Andrew — who now pitches for Poly Prep — said, “Well, a lot of my former teammates are some of my closest friends, and I’ve kept in touch with them for several years. G.V.L.L. taught me how to have fun while playing baseball.” G.V.L.L. has always taken many steps to teach their players what community is really about. This is one of the things that makes the league what it is. Winning isn’t everything at G.V.L.L. I spoke with my former G.V.L.L. coach, Mike Schneider, about some of the philosophy that he brings to the table. “It’s fun, it’s educational and it’s safety,” he said. “Within that, we try to win. In order to do that, we try and get the parents as involved as they can.” Getting the parents involved defi-
From left, Sandy the Seagull, the Brooklyn Cyclones mascot; Henry Guiden, G.V.L.L. head umpire; Carlo Saldana, Majors Division coach; Carin Ehrenberg, G.V.L.L. president; Art Henkel, Upper Division coordinator; Mike De Rosa, Minors Division head umpire; and Scooter the Cow, the Staten Island Yankees mascot. Kneeling in front is the new, still-nameless Pier 40 baseball mascot.
nitely seems to be part of the league’s winning formula. During the Opening Day ceremonies, G.V.L.L. honored four individuals who have been with the league the longest: Mike De Rosa, Carlo Saldana, Art Henkel and Henry Guiden. De Rosa joined the league along with his stepson in 1985, and has been umping games for G.V.L.L. ever since. He also likes to teach the players as he umps. Saldana joined the league with his son in 1990. He is a G.V.L.L. board member, as well as a year-round coach in the league’s Majors Division and its developing travel programs. On the board, Saldana specializes in field and equipment management, and is a key liaison with Little League of America. Henkel joined the league when his son, Austin, became part of the league as a pitching coach in 1991. He’s an elder statesman on the G.V.L.L. board and manages the Upper Division (1316 years old). Guiden joined G.V.L.L. in 1996 as an umpire and has been the program’s head umpire ever since. He also teaches past and present players how to ump — which allows them to give back to their league and have fun while doing it. Also in attendance at Opening Day were local politicians and community leaders who have supported the league. Among them were state Senator Brad Hoylman, City Comptroller Scott Stringer and Tobi Bergman, the recently elected chairperson of Community Board 2. Bergman is a former G.V.L.L. president and also the founder of P3 (Pier, Park & Playground Association),
which he started almost 15 years ago. In what has become a tradition, it was another fantastic Opening Day on Pier 40. Everyone had a good time and was excited to start another season of
baseball. It was clear how many people really love the league and everything that it does. So now, all that’s left to do is — play ball!
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