Strength against bullying, p. 25
Volume 3, Number 14 FREE
East and West Village, Lower East Side, Soho, Noho, Little Italy and Chinatown
April 25 - May 8, 2013
People going postal over 14th St. P.O. closure plan BY JEFFERSON SIEGEL More than 100 people packed a town hall meeting Monday night to voice concern over the proposed relocation of the Peter Stuyvesant Post Office. The current E. 14th St. facility is scheduled to close in February 2014. Joseph Mulvey, facilities implementation specialist for the U.S. Postal Service, did little to quell the anger of locals demanding specifics. His
Renderings of the dorm plan for the old P.S. 64, showing students using the renovated front-entrance terrace on E. Ninth St.
Scaled-down dorm pitched for embattled CHARAS site BY SARAH FERGUSON Ten years ago, developer Gregg Singer stirred up a fury of opposition when he proposed razing the old P.S. 64 school building on E. Ninth St. to put up a 19-story dormitory tower. Now Singer is pitching a downscaled dorm plan to house up to 529 students in the existing turn-of-the century school building, which was landmarked in 2006, after community members mobilized to block him from tearing it down. Last time, the city refused to approve Singer’s dormitory tower because he did not have any actual leases with schools or universities to show proof of an “institutional nexus” for the property, which is
zoned for community facility use. The courts upheld the city’s decision, saying Singer could not build an “onspec” dorm without any schools on board. This time, however, Singer says he’s confident his project “is going forward”— in large part because The Cooper Union has signed a 15-year lease to house up to 196 of its students on two of the building’s five floors. “Cooper Union is our anchor tenant,” Singer said proudly of his revamped “stateof-the-art” dorm, dubbed “University House,” which he’s aiming to open in fall 2014. In an hour-long interview on Tuesday at the offices of The Villager, Singer pre-
sented digital images of the new dorm scheme, showing students lounging in tree-shaded courtyards on the Ninth and 10th St. sides of the H-shaped school building, which for two decades housed the CHARAS/El Bohio community center. “Once completed, the dormitory will feature amenities unavailable in modern apartment buildings,” a press release boasts. The new plans call for 95 suites housing four to seven students, at a cost of $1,550 per bed. Each suite would have its own kitchen, bathroom and dining room area with “large” flat-screen TV,
opening statement, “We are proposing the relocation of the Peter Stuyvesant Post Office,” prompted calls of “Where?” from several in the audience. Mulvey continued to hedge, at one point admitting there was available space within a tenth of a mile in either direction of the current location. It would take more audience demands of “Where?” before he finally
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Lots of new ideas pitched for Astor/ Cooper renovation BY LINCOLN ANDERSON Should a redesigned Astor Place and Cooper Square have more skateboarding, new digital “wayfinding” kiosks and ping-pong tables, plus movies with the audience all listening in via wireless headphones? Or, should most of the above uses be avoided so the revamped area doesn’t become a place where people come to hang out — only inevitably to “freak out”? And what will happen to
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5 15 C A N A L STREET • N YC 10 013 • C OPYRIG HT © 2013 N YC COMMU NITY M ED IA , LLC
the iconic Mudtruck? Will it morph into a mere “shell” of its former self? And could that actually be the best possible outcome? These questions and ideas and more were considered by about 70 people who turned out last Thursday for a “placemaking” workshop for the city’s fast-approaching renovation of Astor Place and Cooper Square. Many were parents of
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EDITORIAL, LETTERS PAGE 10
SPIRIT IN THE WHEELS PAGE 11
April 25 - May 8, 2013
Lots of new ideas pitched for Astor/Cooper renovation Continued from page 1 students at the Grace Church School, which this year opened a new high school division on Cooper Square. The workshop was led by representatives of Project for Public Spaces, who were brought in by the Village Alliance business improvement district. P.P.S. will collect and distill the information from the workshop and present it to the BID as part of the ongoing planning for programming the new spaces. The participants broke up into eight smaller groups, then went out and surveyed specific areas of the landscape, then came back and drew up lists of recommendations. The renovation job will stretch from Eighth St. to Fifth St.
along Cooper Square. The one-block length of Astor Place between Cooper Square and Lafayette St. will be closed to car traffic under the city’s plan, so that “The Alamo” sculpture, i.e. “The Cube,” will no longer be on its own island, but will be attached to the block with the new Gwathmey Siegel-designed, luxury, glass tower. The workshop groups each focused on one of the four major areas of the renovation: the Astor Place subway plaza; “The Alamo” plaza; the “Cooper Triangle,” or Cooper Park; and the “Village Plaza,” a new plaza area to be created south of Cooper Park. Basically, in addition to closing Astor Place and creating the new “Village Plaza,” sidewalks will be widened by about 15 feet around the subway island and on the western side of Cooper Union’s Foundation Building and Cooper Park. The thinking was that the new “Alamo Plaza” would be a
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Elena Madison, vice president of Project for Public Spaces, jotted down ideas from workshop participants in her group, which specifically focused on uses for the new “Village Plaza” area, which will project out from the existing sidewalk near Grace Church School.
place where performances and music events would be held. Participants said the southern end, Fifth St., is crying out for some kind of “anchor,” such as an interactive sculpture. One woman, a Cooper Union student, suggested making the “Village Plaza,” near the Grace Church School, a cool skateboarding park, but — when this was shared later during the recap with all the participants — it was met by loud boos from many in the crowd. Someone else suggested a “mini soccer field.” Joyce Kuh, director of development for Grace Church School, said not to worry — the “Village Plaza” surface will specifically be designed to prevent skateboarding. Grace Church will maintain this new plaza, including four planters that its students will cultivate, and daily will put out and remove seats and tables for the plaza, she said. Grace Church School has already signed a contract with the city for this, she said. According to William Kelley, the Village Alliance’s executive director, the BID will be the “maintenance partner” for the subway island and the “Alamo Plaza.” It remains to be seen if Cooper Union will have a role in maintaining the new plaza area to the west of it. Noho activist Zella Jones warned that the new plazas would be deluged with food carts and food trucks unless regulations are put in place limiting them. However, there was wide support for some kind of public artwork. Another popular idea was for a “night market” that would stay open until 8 p.m. Other recommended uses were WiFi, theater, bike-share docks, moveable lounge chairs on tracks à la the High Line and “the piano guy.” A member of the group Bowery Moms advocated for playground space, noting, “Playgrounds in Union Square and Tompkins Square are so crowded, children are now waiting in line for swings.” However, one Fifth St. resident warned of the new, welcoming plazas, “Do we want to draw more people? We’ll have a really nice space for people to freak out in. You have to be realistic — this will happen. We want a nice space for people who are here.” The operators of the Mudtruck, the popular Astor Place coffee vendor, are concerned, because the expanded subway plaza means they won’t be able to park there. “Hopefully, it would be good if we could have a kiosk, and could even use the shell of the Mudtruck,” said Maria Cocchiara-Klein, the truck’s catering manager. “People look for us at the spot. People going to work, coming from east and west, get their coffee with us before going into the subway. A tourist DVD called the Mudtruck the ‘Gateway to the East Village.’ ” The Department of Transportation is set to start construction on the renovation project very soon, with the work slated to take 18 months.
April 25 - May 8, 2013
how one defines ‘community park,’ and questions about accountability, community input, limiting vendors and special events, among other things.” Aaron said she had gathered that a big part of the pushback against a conservancy a few years ago was the fear that big donors would have undue influence over the park’s renovation project. “I wonder, with that capital project mostly behind us,” Aaron said, “what concerns remain today.” Aaron noted it’s her understanding that the conservancy hasn’t completed selection of its board of directors and that the new organization hasn’t been incorporated yet — nor even signed an agreement with the Parks Department. … Hmm, what’s next, a conservancy for Tompkins Square?!
notebook CONSERVANCY’S COMING: As you can read in this week’s issue, in an exclusive talking point from Bill Castro, the Parks Department Manhattan borough commissioner, plans are moving rapidly ahead to create a conservancy for Washington Square Park. The issue will be on the agenda of the Community Board 2 Parks and Waterfront Committee meeting on Wed., May 1, place and time to be assigned. Rich Caccappolo, the committee’s chairperson, tells us he recently reached out to Steve Simon, Parks chief of staff, for clarification after the issue was broached a bit cryptically at a meeting earlier this month, and Simon informed him the conservancy “is in formation.” Sarah Neilson, who has been tapped to be both the park’s new administrator and the conservancy’s director, will attend the May 1 meeting. Caccappolo told us: “We have asked Sarah to introduce herself and to be prepared to discuss her role (she will explain that similar roles exist in other parks) along with other topics that may come up, such as PEP officers, N.Y.U.’s support, other existing Washington Square Park organizations, the status of the park’s Phase 3 renovations, the recent pillow fight, crusties, etc., and the new “expressive matter” park performer rules — which I anticipate will be a significant discussion itself.” Caccappolo, who was not on C.B. 2 when talk of a conservancy last percolated, about seven years ago, said he’s quickly working to “get up to speed” on the issue and to understand why there was such intense opposition before. “We hope to create a common basis for understanding for all who participate — including Ms. Nielson, so she can be most effective moving forward,” he said. “I don’t expect that we will create a resolution coming out of the meeting; I think we may need iterations of thought and discussion on the topic. This news may seem to have come out of the blue, but it is actually very timely, because the park’s renovations are expected to be completed this summer,” he noted. “If the conservancy is going to help with maintenance, security, beautification and so forth, than it might be helpful to start soon after renovations are complete, or as close to that time as possible, though I am not aware of potential timeframes for its formation. So, I hope all interested members of our community come to the meeting, though the location has not yet been finalized.” Cacappolo quipped: “Tell them to bring sleeping bags and rations because I fear the meeting may go on for a long time...just kidding.” Susanna Aaron, the Parks and Waterfront Committee’s vice chairperson, added, “We will be looking for clarity on terms and conditions: Is there a distinction between the terms ‘con-
RIDE ON! We were walking down E. Ninth St. past the old P.S. 64 Sunday afternoon when J.K. Canepa came zipping along on her bicycle. The East Village environmentalist had just come from Union Square — with a detour at the Tompkins Square rhumba circle — after tabling against T.P.P., a.k.a. the Trans-Pacific Partnership. She explained to us that this trade agreement, between the U.S. and 10 other nations, will give foreign corporations the right to sue our government when the U.S. laws block their environmentally destructive projects and toxic exports — and that the multinationals would even be able to sue for millions of dollars in future profits they claim they’ve been denied. “T.P.P. is a time bomb ticking down to the finish line in October,” Canepa warned. “It would be the last trade agreement that would ever need negotiations. The president is just trying to fast-track this through Congress, which has not been privy to the language.”
Photo by Scoopy
J.K. says “No way!” to T.P.P.
servancy’ and ‘friends group’? I’ve heard that distinction made, but it seems just a point of nomenclature. How will the model of this soon-to-be-formed conservancy differ from longtime community groups active in Washington Square Park, or from other parks, like Central Park or Madison Square? Sarah Neilson will be able to address whether the formation of a conservancy diminishes the money the Parks Department will continue to budget for Washington Square Park,” Aaron noted. “The role of the Washington Square Park Conservancy will be defined by the license agreement it signs with Parks, so I think neighbors will want to know what the terms of that agreement will be. One person mentioned he wants Washington Square Park to continue to be operated by Parks, so as to remain a community park; so there are questions about
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RAY’S LEASE RENEWAL CRISIS: Ray of Ray’s Candy Store, at Avenue A and Seventh St., who just turned 80, tells us his lease is up for renewal July 15, and that it’s likely his rent — now $4,100 — will double. But he can’t afford to pay that without doubling his prices, and is now wondering if, after 40 years, he’ll have to “give up the business.” While some European countries have commercial rent control, he noted, New York never will. Three years ago, the community pulled together to help Ray pay his rent through the winter, until he finally could make it through to his peak summer season, and also finally get his long-delayed Social Security, which had been snagged in bureaucratic red tape. But this lease renewal is a serious new challenge. While Jerry Leshko, the store’s former landlord, had wanted to give Ray a 99-year lease, he died about 15 or 20 years ago before he could follow through on the pledge. … Meanwhile, on the bright side, Ray’s new specialty, fried Oreos, is selling like hotcakes, and they are, mmm-mmm good!!! For a video of Ray talking about his lease, his love (Kathy D., 71 — unfortunately, unrequited, because she feels Ray is too old to marry her) and other issues, visit www.thevillager.com .
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April 25 - May 8, 2013
Police BLOTTER Molester gets 8 years The man convicted of groping a 10-yearold girl near Gramercy Park last May has been sentenced to eight years in prison, Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance announced on April 22. Timothy Gillette, 63, was convicted of first-degree sexual abuse by a New York State Supreme Court jury on March 13. According to court documents, on May 25, 2012, Gillette approached the girl — whose mother was nearby — near the corner of E. 20th St. and Third Ave., and forcibly touched the girl’s genital area before running away. The victim’s mother was able to take a photograph of Gillette on her cell phone before walking to the 13th Precinct to report the incident, the D.A. said, which aided police in identifying the molester. In addition to his prison sentence, Gillette will face 10 years of post-release supervision.
the Meatpacking District. A witness told police he was walking down Little West 12th St. around 4:30 a.m. when he saw a man (later identified as Trent Patterson, 47) approach another man (later identified as Bilal Abdelkrim, 27) and say to him that the front door of the nearby Ted Baker outlet was unlocked, and he should “go inside and get some stuff.” The witness then saw Abdelkrim enter the store, at 34 Little West 12th St., remove an armful of clothing, and come back outside to hand it to Patterson, who was standing watch with the other perpetrators. Abdelkrim reportedly then entered the store one more time, gathering another heap of clothing and handing it this time to Aude Boukli, 25, another suspect standing outside. Minutes after the witness reported the crime, cops swarmed the location and were able to catch Abdelkrim, Patterson and Boukli red-handed, along with two other suspects whose names police did not disclose. All five were charged with burglary.
Meatpack boutique bust
Ate J — but had baggies
Police arrested a group of five suspects early on Fri., April 19, after they allegedly burglarized a trendy clothing boutique in
This guy ate his joint when he saw a cop coming to bust him — but it was a bitter pill to swallow.
The Village Independent Democrats Calendar of Events: April 29, 2013- 7:00 PM- Mayoral Forum- LGBT Center-208 West 13th Street Co-sponsored by VRDC. DID, GLID, MYD, LMD nd
May 2 - 6:30 PM-9:30 PM- VID Awards Dinner, Spring ForwardVeselka Bowery- 9 East 1st Street; Tickets: www.villagedemocrats.org Honorees- Congressman Jerrold Nadler; State Senator Brad Hoylman; Clare Donohue-Sane Energy Project Founder; Roberta Kaplan- Attorney for Edith Windsor in her challenge of DOMA before the US Supreme Court. May 7, 2013- 7:00 PM- Borough President & Public Advocate ForumLGBT Center-208 West 13th Street Co-sponsored by VRDC. DID, GLID, MYD, LMD May 9, 2013- 6:30 PM- VID Endorsement Mtg.- Mayor, BP, PA, Civil Court St. John’s Lutheran Church-83 Christopher St. (between 7th Ave. & Bleecker St.) www.villagedemocrats.org
The officer said he saw Daniel Aviles, 25, smoking the marijuana cigarette near the corner of Bank St. and Greenwich Ave. around 11 a.m. on Thurs., April 18, and then witnessed Aviles swallowing the joint once the two men made eye contact. But Aviles had a lot more to hide than a simple reefer — and that became clear when the officer searched the stoner’s pockets and found three plastic bags stuffed with weed, which all tested positive back at the precinct. Aviles was charged with criminal possession of marijuana and tampering with physical evidence.
Hit her with a 40 Police arrested a man who allegedly stole $100 from a woman in the Village and then smashed a large beer bottle over her head when she tried to take it back. The victim and witnesses told cops that, while she was walking past the corner of Commerce and Bedford Sts. around 10:30 p.m. on Tues., April 16, the perp — later identified as Shaun Handy, 45 — snatched the cash right out of her pants pocket and then turned to run away. The woman said she attempted to rip the money out of the thief’s hands, but he responded by hitting her with a 40-ounce beer bottle, which left a cut on her forehead and a bruise around her left eye, before he fled scene. The victim was later treated at Beth Israel Hospital for minor injuries. But Handy didn’t get far. He was caught less than two hours later during a police canvass of the area. He was charged with robbery.
Camera grabs camera culprit A Village restaurant employee was arrested at work on April 21 after, according to police, he stole the camera of a customer who was busy enjoying a meal. Police said they identified William Threherne, 47, as the likely culprit after viewing surveillance video from inside Grano Trattoria, at 21 Greenwich Ave. Threherne is believed to have swiped a bag containing the digital camera and an extra lens — with a total value exceeding $1,100 — around 5 p.m., while he was on the job. Police arrived at the restaurant several hours later to cuff him. Threherne was charged with grand larceny.
Purse snatcher caught This gal made cops’ jobs easier by skillfully spotting, following and identifying the thug who allegedly stole her purse inside a Meatpacking District bar on Sun., April 21. The woman told police that she left the purse unattended momentarily while getting a drink at the Brass Monkey, at 55 Little West 12th St., around 4 a.m., and soon realized that someone had walked off with it. She said that, immediately after that, she noticed a man — later identified as Nicholas Tuths, 28 — walking quickly away from the bar’s seating area, toward the exit, and followed him until he’d left the premises, when she then called police to report the crime. Aided by her description, police were able to nail the suspect about an hour later during a canvass of the area. Tuths was charged with grand larceny.
Jackman and the razor’s edge Katherine Thurston appeared at her arraignment in Manhattan Criminal Court on Sun., April 14, right, after having been arrested earlier that day for accosting actor Hugh Jackman while he was working out at a West Village gym. She was charged with stalking. She had been waiting outside the place when the Aussie hunk arrived at 8 a.m. She told Jackman, “We’re going to get married, right?” according to police, before following him inside. Once inside she charged “The Wolverine” star and threw an electric razor — reportedly filled with her public hair — at him before his personal trainer intercepted her. On Sat., April 20, she was indicted on felony charges. Thurston, 46, from California, remains in jail. She is being evaluated to determine if she is mentally fit before her next court date sometime this month.
Photo by Jefferson Siegel
April 25 - May 8, 2013
V.I.D. backs Johnson over Kurland; Rajkumar over Chin BY LINCOLN ANDERSON In a very competitive endorsement vote for the upcoming City Council District 3 (Greenwich Village/Chelsea) primary election, the storied Village Independent Democrats club gave their nod to Corey Johnson over Yetta Kurland on April 11. In the first round of voting, Johnson got 26 votes to Kurland’s 22; a third candidate who recently entered the race, Alexander Meadows, got 7 votes, and there were also 3 “no endorsement.” Under the progressive club’s rules, because Johnson didn’t win a simple majority (50 percent plus 1), a runoff was then held. Ultimately, Johnson picked up significantly more voters than Kurland in the runoff — 5 versus 1 — going on to win by 31 to 23, with 1 “no endorsement.” One club member later said the runoff showed that, although Kurland has a very loyal core following, she may not be able to expand her base as well as Johnson can. In somewhat of an upset, in V.I.D.’s Council District 1 (Lower Manhattan) endorsement vote, District Leader Jenifer Rajkumar beat incumbent Councilmember Margaret Chin by 29 to 20, with 6 votes for “no endorsement.” In the endorsement for Council District 2 (East Village), sitting Councilmember Rosie Mendez easily won the club’s support for a third term over opponent Richard Del Rio, by 50 votes to 2, with 3 “no endorsement.” The candidates were each given six minutes to address the club, after which there were six minutes for questions and answers. Kurland was asked about whether she owned a handgun, and said no. Jim Fouratt — a former ally of Kurland’s on the St. Vincent’s Hospital issue who subsequently fell out with her — didn’t feel she had addressed the question sufficiently. “Answer the question!” Fouratt demanded, drawing a sharp rebuke from club president Tony Hoffmann. Kurland is a civil rights attorney who formerly also owned an English language school. She has, in the past, variously said she needed the firearm as a “court officer” and also because she was designated to have it by her Hello World Language Center as part of its post-9/11 security protocol. At the same time, Kurland has led guncontrol vigils — after the Tucson shooting that left Congressmember Gabby Giffords critically injured and also after the more recent Newtown school mass shooting. Meanwhile, two years ago, The New York Times, in an exposé on high-profile New Yorkers with gun permits, had “outed” Kurland as being a gun owner. After the Newtown shooting, The Villager queried Kurland again about her gun, and she told the newspaper that she no longer had the weapon because she had left the school. Kurland basically reiterated this statement to V.I.D., saying that while she had been the “gun custodian” for her language school, she no longer has a gun. Being designated the gun custodian was a responsibility she took “very responsibly,” she noted, though added, “It was not a position that I at all was interested in or took delight in.” However, she added, “The welfare of hun-
Corey Johnson, left, won V.I.D.’s endorsement over Yetta Kurland, right.
dreds of students who came into this country and were under our auspices is something that’s very serious.” “It is unfortunate,” Kurland said, “that this issue has been used to try to undermine my candidacy and my work.” She said the real issues include, among others, banning assault weapons, ensuring there are background checks for gun buyers and making sure weapons are kept out of the hands of the mentally ill. Speaking after the vote, John Geballe, the club’s immediate past president, said Kurland “gave a good answer” on why she had had a gun. “She said, ‘Yes, I had a gun, but I stood with the people that were for gun control.’ ” As for Johnson, Geballe said, “Corey was very solid in saying that there was going to be a sea change in government. There’s going to be a lot of new city councilmembers, a new mayor, a new comptroller. There will be 10 or 11 new councilmembers in Manhattan, plus five others.” Before the vote, Frieda Bradlow, Ellen Peterson-Lewis and Eli Hausknecht spoke from the floor in support of Johnson; and Ron Illardo and Stacy Lentz spoke in support of Kurland. One observer said, in his opinion, it was an “upset” that Johnson had beaten Kurland for the club’s support. “I mean, she’s a woman, a civil rights attorney…,” he said, requesting anonymity. But others said both Kurland and Johnson had come to the endorsement vote fully expecting to win. In their comments before the club, both Chin and Rajkumar started out by referring to their immigrant roots. In Chin’s case, she said she recently marked her 50th anniversary of having landed in New York City without winter boots on a snowy day. She said she had looked up at the City Council Chambers ceiling on that anniversary and, realizing how far she has come, said to herself, “This is what the American Dream is all about.” Rajkumar noted her parents landed here with “$300, a suitcase and dreams.” Chin said she has overseen four ULURP (uniform land-use review procedure) applications in the past year alone, with three of them being for major rezonings and development projects.
Though noting “not everybody was happy with what happened” on the ULURP for the Seward Park Urban Renewal Area, or SPURA, she said she felt the right “delicate balance” had been achieved. “It wasn’t 100 percent affordable housing, but we got 50/50,” she said. “On top of that, we got a school.” She notably didn’t mention the ULURP for New York University’s 2031 expansion plan in the South Village. Tom Connor, a member of the Greenwich
House Senior Center, said, “Margaret has been there” for local seniors, assuring that their programs aren’t cut. Surprisingly, there were no questions for Chin — something Hoffmann later chalked up to it having been late in the meeting, so “people were tired.” In her remarks, Rajkumar, who recently announced her campaign against Chin, said, “I’m here to stand up for my community.” As for why she decided to run, she said, “What I saw was there was a representative not listening to the people.” She said the N.Y.U. 2031 plan approved by Chin and the City Council was a threat to “our homes — to Greenwich Village” that would make the area look like “Midtown Manhattan.” Rajkumar lives in Battery Park City. “And on the Seaport,” Rajkumar added, “the Council hid part of the development.” She said one of her favorite sayings was by a law professor of hers who told her, “Courage is a muscle and needs to be used… . I’m going to be a person who has courage,” she said. “I took a leap of faith,” Rajkumar said, of her decision to run. “And I ask you to take a leap of faith, too,” she told the club members. “Because I know we can do so much better.” Dodge Landesman spoke for Rajkumar, saying she had “risked arrest” when she and scores of other local residents were tossed out of the
Continued on page 25
April 25 - May 8, 2013
41 arrested in Baruch and Campos coke-delivery ring BY JEffERSON SIEGEL A massive drug ring was busted on April 11, when police raided apartments in several area housing projects. Forty-one people were arrested and charged with running a cocaine delivery service. Thirty-three members of the Blocc Boyz gang from the Baruch Houses in the Lower East Side were charged with using car services to deliver cocaine orders. Another eight members of the Money Boyz gang from Campos Plaza in the East Village were charged with trafficking crack cocaine. Charges ranged from conspiracy to criminal sale and possession of a controlled substance. The dealers had posted photos of themselves on social media sites cavorting at a Queens strip club, where one of those arrested, Krista Zuniga, was a dancer. Other online photos depicted them holding wads of cash. At a news conference announcing the busts, prosecutors had printed out pages of photos and video stills from the Web, along with a pile of indictments the size of a small-town phone book. Listed were 165 counts and 161 “overt acts” of sales and conspiracy. Undercover officers made dozens of drug buys in 2011 and 2012 as they monitored the gangs’ activities on wiretaps. One damning e-mail blast the gang sent after Superstorm Sandy reassured their customers that they
Photos by Jefferson Siegel
Alleged drug-delivery ringleader Michael Austin Rodriguez, a.k.a. “Woodstock,” at his arraignment.
were still in business. Friday morning, April 12, the first batch of defendants were brought to court for their arraignments. Security was so tight that, after family and friends had passed through magnetometers to enter the court building, they encountered a second level of court officers screening people as they entered the 11th-
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floor courtroom. One by one the accused appeared before Judge Laura Ward, who listened as public defenders made their cases. Only one young man from the Baruch Houses was released on his own recognizance; the rest had various levels of bail set and were remanded back into custody. Four of the arrestees from the Baruch Houses gang were also charged under a “Drug Kingpin” statute — operating as a major trafficker — a class A-1 felony. Many of those arrested also worked in the area. One young woman was a cashier at an Avenue B pharmacy while another man worked at a copy and fax center on Avenue C.
Michael Austin Rodriguez, a.k.a. “Woodstock,” one of the four alleged ringleaders, is a student at Borough of Manhattan Community College. Assistant District Attorney Michelle Warren noted that Rodriguez drove a Mercedes sedan. But his court-appointed lawyer countered that it was a low-end Mercedes “C” model and that Rodriguez had put $3,500 down on eventually buying the car. Rodriguez’s attorney asked for reasonable bail, noting it had been five years since his client’s last encounter with the criminal-justice system. At that, Judge Ward paused, looking closer at Rodriguez before saying, “I remember you.” She then recounted Rodriguez’s arrest on a drug charge five years earlier and how she had sent him to Daytop Village for drug-abuse treatment. As the first of the arraignments were being held in court, just blocks away at Police Headquarters, Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance Jr. and Police Commissioner Ray Kelly announced details of the takedown. “Residents of Manhattan today can get nearly everything delivered to their doorstep, from dinner to dry cleaning and even cocaine,” Vance told a roomful of reporters. “They [the arrestees] made hundreds of thousands of dollars a year from this service at the same time they were living in city-subsidized housing as NYCHA residents.” As the arraignments continued into Monday, Judge Edward McLaughlin paused the proceedings at one point to compliment A.D.A. Warren on the thoroughness of detailing the offenses. “Parenthetically, the list of overt acts at the back of the indictment is particularly helpful,” he told the prosecutor. “It’s something I’ve never seen before.”
Assemblyman Shelly Silver If you need assistance, please contact my office at (212) 312-1420 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Krista Zuniga, fiancée of another of the alleged ringleaders, was a dancer at a Queens strip club. At left is her court-appointed lawyer, Meghan Maurus. Maurus defended many of the activists arrested during Occupy Wall Street.
April 25 - May 8, 2013
Landmarks O.K.’s Meseritz plan, but with some revisions By Rey Mashayekhi The city’s Landmarks Preservation Commission approved a plan last week enabling the redevelopment of a historic East Village synagogue into residential apartments, contingent on the project’s developers meeting a set of modifications meant to preserve the integrity of the building’s 102-year-old facade. The commission unanimously voted 6-0 in favor of the plan, which will transform Congregation Adas Le Israel Anshei Meseritz’s synagogue, at 415 E. Sixth St., into three apartments and construct a penthouse addition on the building’s roof. Upon review, however, the commission requested that the project’s architect, Joseph Pell Lombardi, and its developers, East River Partners, reduce the height of the penthouse addition and build its exterior with darker construction materials, in order to decrease the addition’s public visibility. The changes to the proposal followed recommendations made by representatives of both the Historic Districts Council and the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation, who spoke at the commission’s meeting on April 9. The Historic Districts Council asked that “steps be taken to minimize” the visibility of the project’s rooftop addition, citing how “a darker [construction] material that would blend with the wall of the neighboring building” would better complement the building’s facade, as opposed to the addition’s proposed beige stucco exterior. Andrew Berman, executive director of G.V.S.H.P., told The Villager that the change would ensure that “even from a distance, [the rooftop addition] does not obscure the distinctive historic rooftop details of the synagogue.” The house of worship is located within the East Village/Lower East Side Historic District, which was created by L.P.C. last October. Lombardi, the project’s architect, told The Villager this week that developers have already submitted the proposed revisions to both the color of the rooftop addition, as well as its height, which was contested by several commissioners. Lombardi said he expects the project to receive a certificate of appropriateness from the commission within the next month. According to Landmarks spokesperson Elisabeth de Bourbon, the project will be able to obtain a building permit and commence upon the commission’s approval. The plan for the synagogue’s redevelopment has proven contentious among members of the Meseritz congregation and its surrounding community, since it would gut the shul’s existing sanctuary and move the congregation to the building’s basement floor. However, the project would also preserve and restore the structure’s century-old, neoclassical facade, which many have acknowledged is in need of repair. The proposal passed through Community Board 3 last month, after meetings held by C.B. 3’s Parks, Recreation, Cultural Affairs, Landmarks & Waterfront Committee and the Landmarks Subcommittee, as well as the full community board. Carolyn Ratcliffe, chairperson of the Landmarks Subcommittee, was
in attendance at L.P.C.’s April 9 meeting, and read a statement on behalf of C.B. 3 Chairperson Gigi Li expressing support for the board’s resolution on the project. The statement added, however, that “it is with sorrow that the interior of the synagogue won’t be preserved” by the project. Robert Rand, the congregation’s acting president, also spoke at the commission’s meeting and said that Meseritz congregants “overwhelmingly support the plan.” That has been contested by other congregation members, however, many of whom, during the course of last month’s C.B. 3 meetings, voiced displeasure with the residential conversion and its handling by the congregation’s board of directors. Matt Malina, a lifelong East Village resident who spoke at the commission meeting in opposition to the plan, told The Villager that he took issue with the manner in which the congregation’s board negotiated the redevelopment. “It was done by a few people behind closed doors,” Malina said. “It’s not kosher.”
Bike Share: In Action There/ Launching Here A Film Screening and Discussion on NYC’s Bike Share Program Community Board No. 2, Manhattan, and the New York University Office of Government & Community Affairs present an exploration of New York City’s new bike share system. Join us for a presentation about the bike share, a discussion with leaders from the Department of Transportation, and a screening of several Streetfilms shorts.
Thursday, May 2, 2013 6:00 - 8:00 pm Casa Italiano Zerilli-Marimò 24 West 12th Street
Photo by Tequila Minsky
Now that’s really springing into spring A little girl in Washington Square Park last weekend broke out a pogo stick and boinged around to her heart’s content. Although spring weather isn’t coming fast enough, thanks to her spring-powered stick, the girl was having a lot of fun.
Enjoy opening remarks from New York State Senator Brad Hoylman; a presentation and discussion with Kate Fillin-Yeh, Director, and Stephanie Levinsky, Planner, of the Department of Transportation’s bike share program; a screening of Streetfilms; and a Q&A. Please register online at www.nyu.edu/ogca or by contacting OGCA at 212-998-2400. Space is limited. This event is free and open to the public.
Image courtesy of the New York City Department of Transportation
April 25 - May 8, 2013
Cooper Union won’t be free By Lincoln Anderson Ending its cherished, 150-year-old tradition of free education for all, The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art this week announced it will slash its full-tuition scholarships to 50 percent for all undergraduates, beginning with the class entering fall 2014. Tuesday, at a meeting at the Great Hall, a statement by the school’s board of trustees was presented by Mark Epstein, the board’s chairperson, to the student body, faculty and staff. “After 18 months of intense analysis and vigorous debate about the future of Cooper Union, the time has come for us to set our institution on a path that will enable it to survive and thrive well into the future,” the statement said. “Under the new policy, The Cooper Union will continue to adhere to the vision of Peter Cooper, who founded the institution specifically to provide a quality education to those who might otherwise not be able to afford it. Consequently, we will provide additional scholarship funding for those with need, including full-tuition scholarships to all Pell Grant-eligible students. We intend to keep admissions need-blind.” Current undergraduates, plus those entering in fall 2013, will receive full-tuition scholarships for their entire undergraduate education. “Our priorities have been and will continue to be quality and access,” Epstein continued, reading from the statement, “so that we will remain a true meritocracy of outstanding students from all socio-economic backgrounds. “Being mostly alumni ourselves, we share
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your sense of the loss of this extraordinary tradition,” the trustees said of the school’s trademark, free-tuition tradition. “However, we found no viable solutions that would enable us to maintain the excellence of our programs without an alteration of our scholarship policy.” The trustees noted the school can’t rely on the rent from the Chrysler Building to solve its long-term problems. “Even though our rent income from the Chrysler lease is scheduled to increase dramatically in 2018-19, deficits are forecast to grow forever thereafter,” they said. “The board also considered the possibility of downsizing the institution while maintaining our current scholarship policy. We concluded that there are no viable downsizing options that would not involve closing one or more of our three schools. … Neither can the projected $12 million annual deficit be closed through budget-cutting.” The trustees noted that new programs proposed by the faculty are “innovative,” but will only cut about one-third of the school’s deficit. The board said the highly selective, elite school, despite having to operate more efficiently, won’t cut the quality of its education. The tuition debate has gripped the school for the past two years under its new president, Jamshed Bharucha, and even saw student protesters occupy the Foundation Building’s clock tower at the end of last year. After Tuesday’s announcement, about 200 students and faculty gathered outside the Foundation Building, and then, linking hands, gave it a symbolic hug.
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April 25 - May 8, 2013
Margaret Rock; Polish immigrant lived to age 109 obi t U aR y BY ALBERT AMATEAU Margaret Rock, who came to New York from Poland in 1958, died peacefully on Sat., April 13, in her second-floor walkup on E. Sixth St. She was 109 years old. “She was fiercely independent,” said Irene D’Alessio, a social worker at the Selfreliance Association of AmericanUkrainians who had visited Margaret regularly for the past 14 years. “A few years ago, Margaret had a hip operation and I was able to get her into a nursing home in Queens,” D’Alessio said. She continued, “She got antsy after about a year and wanted to come home. We had kept paying her rent and were able to get her 24-hour home care, so she came back to her apartment.” For the past five years, Margaret’s three city home care attendants took turns being with her round the clock. “They took care of her as if she was part of their own family,” D’Alessio said. “The Department of Social Services was going to stop the home care; I had to go to a department fair hearing last year and they decided to keep it,” D’Alessio added. In recent years, Margaret spoke less and less English and conversed mostly in Polish. But D’Alessio speaks Ukrainian (her maiden name is Repezuk), so the language barrier was not very high. Margaret told friends a few years ago that she was born in St. Petersburg, Russia, on July, 13, 1903, to a family that later returned to their native Poland. She was married in 1923 in Vilno, Poland, to Anton Biesickierski, who died in 1929 leaving her with two daughters. What she and her children endured during World War II is not known at this point. She came to the U.S. alone 30 years later, made a home on E. Sixth St. and became an American citizen in 1964. The day after she was naturalized, she changed her name from Malgorzata
Margaret Rock in a recent photo.
Gratulewicz (her maiden name) to Margaret Rock, possibly as an assessment of her own character. Two years later she brought her two daughters and five of her six grandsons from Poland to New York. One of the grandsons remained in Poland. A seamstress in Poland, Margaret worked as a cook and housekeeper for a wealthy family on Central Park West. Her two daughters and their sons lived in the same E. Sixth St. building that she did. One of her daughters died and the other moved in 1979 with two of her sons to Hyannis, Mass. “I think a secret of her long life was simplicity and strength of character,” D’Alessio said. A memorial service will be held at St. Stanislaus Roman Catholic Church, 106 E. Seventh St., at a date to be announced.
April 25 - May 8, 2013
Scouts’ badge of shame Perhaps after years of digging in their heels amidst mounting P.R. problems, the Boy Scouts of America thought they could garner some favorable press with the announcement last week that gay members would no longer be barred from their ranks. Late next month, the 1,400 members of Scouting’s National Council will vote on a motion put forward by the group’s leadership stating, “No youth may be denied membership in the Boy Scouts of America on the basis of sexual orientation or preference alone.” Some frenzied critics, noting that a sizeable chunk of Scouting groups are sponsored by Catholic and Mormon congregations, warned of a catastrophe awaiting the organization. But whether or not a troop here or there loses its sponsor, it’s doubtful that a large number of Americans are troubled by the idea that gay kids will no longer be ostracized by the Scouts. However, the larger issue regarding gays and the B.S.A. remains unresolved. And the message there may be more damaging to the psyches of gay youth than the policy being swept away. Openly gay men will continue to be barred from leadership positions in the Scouts. The implication couldn’t be clearer or uglier. The B.S.A. is telling the parents of Scouts, “Your sons will be all right if there are gay fellow Scouts among them. But don’t worry, we’ll protect them from gay adults.” And that is exactly what they are saying as well to every gay boy who wants to join the Scouts. B.S.A. officials, in fact, are making little effort to hide that motivation. Deron Smith, the group’s spokesperson, said the question of the role of gays in the Scouts is “among the most complex and challenging issues facing the B.S.A. and society today.” Other Scouting officials around the country, however, pointed to surveys the B.S.A. has conducted showing widespread unease about opening up the leadership ranks to gay men, suggesting the decision to continue the current policy on that question was an easy one. In explaining the “softened” position on gay youth joining the Scouts, the proposed May motion reads: “Youth are still developing, learning about themselves and who they are, developing their sense of right and wrong, and understanding their duty to God to live a moral life.” What’s more disturbing is the lead-up to the motion’s restatement that the B.S.A. bars adult leaders “who are open or avowed homosexuals or who engage in behavior that would become a distraction to the mission of the B.S.A.” A critical role played by Scout leaders, the motion explains, is in “teaching young people to make better choices over their lifetimes.” It’s all there in the motion that supposedly reflects progress in B.S.A. thinking on gays. The “better choice” for youth is heterosexuality. The utter banality of the B.S.A.’s position, however, becomes crystal clear when considering the example of Lucien and Pascal Tessier of Maryland, brothers who are both Scouts and gay. Before the B.S.A. made its announcement last week, Lucien, 20, an Eagle Scout, was fighting to change Scouting’s policy after being told that Pascal, 16, his brother, would not be allowed to become an Eagle Scout if he said publicly that he, too, is gay. “I’m thrilled that under the proposed resolution, after years of service and dedication to the Boy Scouts, my brother would be eligible to earn his Eagle award,” said Lucien, whose initial effort to reform Scouting involved a petition drive on Change. org. “But what I cannot understand is why the Boy Scouts of America believes that I’m not fit to lead my brother’s troop, even though I received the Boy Scouts’ highest honor just a few years ago. If a Scout has what it takes to earn his Eagle award, surely he has what it takes to serve as an adult leader.” A longer version of this editorial first ran in Gay City News, The Villager’s sister paper.
letters to the editor G.O.P. club prez on CHARAS To The Editor: Gregg Singer has gotten approval from Community Board 3 for his plan to convert the old P.S. 64 — a 157,000-square-foot building between Avenues B and C on Ninth St. — into private college dormitories. It is an exceptional building of great architectural significance, 106 years old. It has been vacant for 12 years since Mr. Singer bought it in a city auction for $3.2 million. Gregg later ripped the window treatments off to try to stymie landmarking efforts. The community was blocking his efforts to convert the building into a college dormitory for N.Y.U. and Baruch. The community wanted to extract amenities from the developer, like community space to replace the CHARAS/ El Bohio Cultural and Community Center that he evicted from the building in 1999. I moved onto E. Ninth St. a few years ago and have followed this issue very closely, and have tried to help resolve it. Will the community end up with some semblance of a restoration of this space and these services? Losing them left a big wound that has yet to heal. There are still a lot of angry people. It would be a real shame if our community, spearheaded by our city councilwoman, failed in our effort to rectify the mistake that was made by Giuliani when he allowed this building to be sold to a private interest. The building sat unused for 12 years, with many demonstrations in between. I sincerely hope that we get something for all that effort. It reflects very poorly on our incumbent political leadership if we don’t. Steve Sinclair Sinclair is president, Progress Republican Club
lose, only much to gain. While in custody, they have heat, food and medical care…all on our dime. Then they are back on the street to beg, fight and steal for their heroin. And what, Mr. Marlow, should we do with their dogs? You just can’t take them from their people, for they don’t go peacefully, even though these pit bulls are on the street in 20 degrees, 24/7. That in itself is a law breaker. What do you think happens when these innocent and loyal dogs go to the pound? If a no-kill shelter doesn’t rescue them, many are euthanized, only to be replaced with a new dog by the crusty “owner,” and the merry-go-round starts again. Insidiously, this crusty culture is just another form of misanthropic nihilism. The insouciance of this culture of “voluntary homeless” has even stretched Berkeley, California, to its liberal limits. In last November’s elections, Berkeley tried to pass an amendment making it illegal for people to lie around on its commercial streets between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. Even Berkeley, the bastion of tolerance, has had enough! I would like to commend The Villager and Mr. Marlow for bringing this dilemma to light — for knowledge really is power — and maybe we can take these neighborhoods back for their citizens to enjoy, and not be shamed when tourists think that we ignore our “poor, young and homeless,” and reveal them for the selfish and solipsistic, drugaddled urchins they are. Deborah Spicciatie E-mail letters, not longer than 250 words in length, to email@example.com or fax to 212-229-2790 or mail to The East Villager, Letters to the Editor, 515 Canal St., Suite 1C, NY, NY 10013. Please include phone number for confirmation purposes. The East Villager reserves the right to edit letters for space, grammar, clarity and libel. The East Villager does not publish anonymous letters.
So fed up with crusties To The Editor: Re “A crusty proposal: Crack down on ‘voluntary homeless’” (talking point, by Chad Marlow, March 28): I found Chad Marlow’s talking point about a crusty proposal to be articulate and concise but, unfortunately, a form of magical thinking. Even if we can get the present laws enforced and new ones passed, sadly, the Police Department is already stretched to the limit. The justice system has morphed into an infinite revolving door; the crusties come in and they just go out. They’ve nothing to
SOUND OFF Write a letter to the editor
WE NEWSP April 25 - May 8, 2013
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Photo by Jefferson Siegel
Reverend Winnie Varghese sprinkled holy water on cyclists’ rides at the first Blessing of the Bicycles.
Church service blesses ‘the spirit in the wheels’ By Jefferson Siegel Last Saturday, several dozen cyclists rolled their bikes to the front of St. Mark’s Church in-the-Bowery for its first annual Blessing of the Bicycles. “It’s a riding neighborhood,” Reverend Winnie Varghese, the E. 10th St. church’s pastor, said as the cyclists gathered round with their three- and 10-speeds. “As a church, we value preservation of the environment,” she continued. “It reminds us of the agency we have here, to be part of an alternative economy.” Varghese wasn’t referring to socialism or even bitcoins. “Once you have a bike, it doesn’t take much to maintain it,” she added. “Regular life can
feel out of our control. With a bike, the city is ours.” The informal ceremony started with a gentle call to services; the tinkling of bells attached to handlebars. Varghese then read a passage from the prophet Ezekiel: “When the living creatures moved, the wheels moved beside them. And when the living creatures rose from the earth, the wheels rose. The spirit of the living creatures was in the wheels.” More bikes on the streets may lessen, but not completely remove, the hazards of riding alongside cars. The reverend offered several prayers of safety. “In a world groaning under the excesses of
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he 2004 federal budget proposed by the Bush administration on February 3 is drawing both praise and criticism from gay and AIDS groups. “Generally, we have a mixed reaction to it,” said Winnie Stachelberg, political director at the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), even as some leading AIDS groups, including the Gay Men’s Health Crisis (GMHC), were more critical. The proposal includes a $100 million increase for the AIDS Drug Assistance Program (ADAP), a $5 million dollar increase in the Housing Opportunities for People With AIDS
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consumption, we acknowledge the inherent goodness of non-motorized, human-powered transportation,” she said. With the city’s new bike-share program set to begin as soon as later this month, bike docks have started springing up in many neighborhoods. On the program’s first day of online registration, more than 2,500 people signed up for an annual $95 membership. That entitles members to use a bike for up to 45 minutes at a time. Eventually, the program is expected to offer 10,000 bikes and 600 docking stations around town. As the cyclists bowed their helmeted heads, prayers for victims of road rage and those injured while cycling were offered. Varghese
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asked those who drive buses, cars and trucks to display wisdom and caution in operating their vehicles. The congregation then observed a moment of silence for those who have died while cycling before Varghese conferred the final blessing: “May the road rise to meet you, may all your journeying be joyous.” “It’s a symbolic way to start the bicycling season,” offered East Villager Rob Schoenbohm, an architectural lighting consultant. “Thinking about safety, thinking about the environmental advantages to cycling, thinking about how we can reconsider transportation in our city.” No word yet on if you can chain your bike to the pearly gates.
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April 25 - May 8, 2013
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April 25 - May 8, 2013
BRINGING COMMUNITY BUSINESS DOWNTOWN Tuesday, May 07, 2013, 6 - 8 pm
Earth Day: Fracking go away! In celebration of Earth Day, District Leader Jonathan Geballe — with Celia Wu in photo above — on Saturday led a contingent of Village Independent Democrat club members in a demonstration against the Spectra gas pipeline and hydrofracking. The demonstration, from noon to 2 p.m., was held in front of the Bleecker St. Playground to symbolize that the planet must be saved for today’s children and future generations. Many V.I.D.’ers, community activists, state Senator Brad Hoylman and a number of candidates for local office joined the rally. Signatures were collected for a letter to Governor Cuomo to urge him to ban fracking in New York State.
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Woodstock icon Havens dies at 72 Folk singer Richie Havens died Mon., April 22, of a heart attack at his home in Jersey City. He was 72. A fixture on the Greenwich Village folk circuit in the 1960s, he is best known for his legendary opening performance at the Woodstock festival in August 1969. The photo above is of Havens performing at Madison Square Garden on Aug. 15, 1968, for a crowd of supporters of Eugene McCarthy, the anti-Vietnam-war presidential candidate, two weeks before the infamous Democratic National Convention. Havens, who grew up in Brooklyn, used to have an apartment on Jane St. in the Village.
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April 25 - May 8, 2013
Scaled-down dorm pitched for old P.S. 64 building Continued from page 1 and bedrooms furnished with bunk beds, desks and personal safes for the students to store their valuables. Some of the units show spiral staircases leading up to loft spaces, taking advantage of the 14-foot ceiling height on all floors. Many of the upper floor suites have views of the Empire State Building. The basement — formerly home to a 400seat auditorium where F.D.R. once riled the masses, and where the Fringe Festival was staged — would now house a bike room, fitness center, TV lounge and game rooms outfitted with pool, ping-pong and foosball tables, along with Xbox and PlayStation consoles. “This is the most advanced dorm in Manhattan as far as technology goes,” Singer claimed. In addition to wireless service throughout the dorm, each student would have their own Cat 6 cable to connect them to their school’s computer system, Singer said.
‘These kids are already coming to the East Village.’ Gregg Singer
Singer said the pricing was comparable to what New York University and the New School charge for dorm space. An in-house health center run by Beth Israel and staffed by a full-time physician’s assistant would offer free healthcare to residents. There would also be a cafe, study rooms and soundproof music rooms on four of the five floors — so students can jam on site. “We think we will have some music schools leasing from us,” Singer predicted. While the building would continue to be owned by Singer and his partners in 9th and 10th Street LLC, the dorm would be run by a management company that specializes in student properties across the country. There would also be 24-hour security and “lots of cameras throughout the building, so parents know it’s safe,” Singer assured. A brochure for University Houses notes the building’s “exceptional location next to the wireless Tompkins Square Park, farmers market, music and art festivals, summer film nights, basketball and handball courts, and open grass areas for lounging.” Students, it notes, will be able to take advantage of the M8 bus that stops on 10th St., along with Alphabet City’s “many affordable restaurants, cafes and nightlife venues.” All of which is sure to elicit outrage from area residents who have long feared a dorm would overwhelm the character of the neighborhood. On Tuesday, the East Village Community Coalition, which was founded to stop Singer’s previous dormitory tower, began circulating an online petition demanding that Cooper Union not house its students there.
Renderings of the dorm plan for the old P.S. 64, showing students using the renovated front-entrance terrace on E. Ninth St.
“Respect our community. Respect this community treasure,” the petition says of the old P.S. 64. “Dormitory use does not serve our community.” E.V.C.C. Director Sara Romanowski said that while the new University House plan is smaller than Singer’s previous tower scheme, “It’s still 500 students. It’s a large concentration, and not under the supervision of any one institution, which is even more nerve-wracking.” Singer shrugs off such complaints. “Manhattan has almost 2 million people. These kids are already coming to the East Village,” he said. “They are putting three to four students in studios around here,” he noted. “This is a safe and managed environment. Isn’t that better than cramming them in all these brownstones?” He points to a study he commissioned by Greenwich Realty Advisors that determined that Manhattan faces a shortfall of 57,000 dormitory beds.
While N.Y.U. and the New School have already said they aren’t interested, Singer predicts he will have plenty of interest from small and midsize schools that can’t afford to build their own dorms. That’s certainly the case of the beleaguered Cooper Union, which this week announced it would be forced to charge undergraduate tuition starting in fall 2014 in order to sustain itself. Currently, Cooper has just one dorm on Third Ave., housing 178 of its freshmen, out of a total student body of roughly 1,000. “Some of our students have had to move further and further away to find housing,” said Claire McCarthy, the school’s director of public relations. “Our students tend to work late into the night in their studios, so we were looking to find housing for them closer to our campus,” which is located at Astor Place and Cooper Square. McCarthy seemed unaware of the animosity
that Singer has engendered since he bought the building out from under the old CHARAS community center at auction for a scant $3.15 million. Nor apparently did she or other Cooper officials fully realize the role they might now play in legitimizing Singer’s latest dorm scheme. “It’s not something that really was on our radar,” McCarthy said of the 16-year controversy over this property. “We’ve been focused in the last 10 years on getting our new buildings built, and now dealing with our financial challenges. We only recently looked at this opportunity.” On April 1, the Department of Buildings rejected Singer’s plans for the dorm conversion. But Singer said that was because the plans had yet to receive approval from the Landmarks Preservation Commission, which is required because the building is landmarked. Singer has already met with L.P.C. staff
Continued on page 24
April 25 - May 8, 2013
Photo by Jefferson Siegel
The Peter Stuyvesant post office on E. 14th St. is scheduled to close next February.
People going postal over 14th St. P.O. closure plan Continued from page 1 divulged, “333 E. 14th St. seems to be available.” That address, a block west of the current post office, is a former Duane Reade drugstore across the street from the Fire Department’s Ladder 5 stationhouse. Mulvey's own question, “Is that an acceptable location to the community?” was met with a resounding “No!” The audience’s mood escalated from agitation to anger as plans for postal services were grudgingly revealed. As Julius Caesar divided Gaul into three parts, the Postal Service proposal would send current services at the Stuyvesant P.O. to three other locations. The storefront at 333 E. 14th St. would offer retail services, such as stamp sales and P.O. boxes. The carriers who sort and deliver mail to homes and businesses would be moved to the Madison Square Station, on E. 23rd Street near Third Ave. Large parcel services would operate out of the F.D.R. Station at 54th St. and Third Ave. Georgina Christ, an East Villager for 42 years, suggested, “Are they going to walk their carts down here [from 23rd St.], because that doesn’t seem to be very cost-effective. That's just ludicrous.” “This is devastating to this community,” City Councilmember Rosie Mendez said, voicing alarm at the proposal. “As it is there are long lines — it’s a well-utilized post office in the area.” Mendez was especially concerned for the neighborhood’s many seniors who get medications in the mail and would have to travel
to pick up packages that don’t fit into their building’s mailboxes. “Either way, you’re talking about having to take a bus,” she said. “Either way it entails traveling.” Councilmember Dan Garodnick, a Peter Cooper Village resident, echoed her concerns. “This post office is providing a vital service to the residents of Stuyvesant Town all the way down to the East Village and Lower East Side,” he said. “If they need to move one door or a couple of doors over, we’re open to that, but the services must continue.” The situation of Eve Cusson, who has lived on Avenue C for 43 years, typifies the problem facing the community. “I have a grandson in the Army in Kuwait and I’m constantly sending him packages,” she said. “Where else am I going to send them from?” Valerie Heinonen, who has lived on Avenue C since 1977, was outraged, saying post offices mirror our society. “Post offices are a sign of a democracy,” she declared, “as are libraries, public housing and public schools, all of which are being sold out from under us.” Joseph Hernandez, who grew up in the area, leaning on his cane, looked at Mulvey and warned, “We always find out the truth on the Lower East Side.” Hernandez was right, although it took almost two hours for Mulvey to finally reveal, in detail, how the current situation evolved. The building’s landlord, whom Mulvey would not identify, told the Postal Service he had other plans for the two-story structure. The current lease, set to expire in February 2013 was extended one year, to February 2014.
The parties could not reach an agreement for the current location. Despite the audience’s demands, Mulvey refused to reveal the current rent. After a 15-day comment period from the public on the proposed relocation, a postal headquarters facility manager in Washington, D.C., will review all the comments. Next comes a window for appeal of any decision. “What month were you going to notify the community of the impact?” demanded Jonathan Smith, president of the New York Metro Postal Union. “Where are you going to find better property than the best you already have?” As he did for most of the town hall, Mulvey sat patiently listening. Gigi Li, chairperson of Community Board 3, who moderated the meeting with Sandro Sherrod, chairperson of C.B. 6, and Councilmember Mendez, said community members have till May 7 to submit their comments to U.S.P.S. In order to deal with its soaring debt, the Postal Service plans post office closings nationwide. In New York City it has proposed closing five branches; one in the Bronx and four in Manhattan, including the Stuyvesant branch and the Old Chelsea branch, on W. 18th St. Built in 1951, the 56,900-square-foot building on E. 14th St., between First Ave. and Avenue A, and the land underneath it have a reported market value of $8.1 million. Comments, which must include the name Peter Stuyvesant Post Office, can be sent to: Joseph J. Mulvey, Facilities Implementation, U.S. Postal Service, 2 Congress St., Room 8, Milford, MA 01757-9998.
April 25 - May 8, 2013
Alphabet City slow zone would rapidly increase safety talkinG point BY ChAD MARLOW It was the story that broke the hearts of all New Yorkers. Just a few short weeks ago, Nathan and Raizy Glauber, both just 21 years old, were in a livery cab riding to the hospital where, perhaps, they would deliver their first child. They never made it. A BMW driving at excessive speed crashed into their car killing both young parents. The baby was born within hours and died the next day. Speed kills. Indeed. Elected and appointed officials from across the city, seeking a constructive way to respond to such a senseless tragedy, rallied behind a proposal to install speed cameras in select locations throughout the city, especially near schools. Unfortunately, because New York City cannot blow its nose without permission from the Legislature in Albany, we lacked authority to enact this safety measure unilaterally. And guess what happened? Our request was denied because certain influential Upstate legislators did not want to risk creating a precedent that could bring speed cameras to their own districts (where they might get caught speeding), and two Brooklyn state Senators cared more about currying favor with the police union than saving lives. Fortunately, notwithstanding Albany’s obstructionism, New York City’s progressive Department of Transportation has implemented numerous programs that do not require
Protecting pedestrians from dangerously operated vehicles is very important and personal for me. Albany’s sign-off to protect pedestrians, cyclists and other motor vehicles from those traveling at excessive speeds. One such program allows for the implementation of “slow zones” in select neighborhoods. The slow zone program, in short, takes a well-defined, relatively compact area, and reduces its speed limit from 30 miles per hour to 20 miles per hour, with further reductions to 15 miles per hour near schools. These newly reduced speed limits are then promoted and enforced through the use of traffic calming measures, such as specialized signage at zone entry points, painted speed limit information on streets and the selective use of speed humps (relatively flat, elongated speed bumps that are designed to be traversed at 15 to 20 miles per hour). It is hard to overstate the value of a slow zone’s speed reduction: A pedestrian who is struck by a car going 30 miles per hour has a 45 percent chance of being seriously injured or killed, but if the car’s speed is 20 miles per hour, the chance of serious injury or death drops to just 5 percent. Additionally, such a speed reduction reduces the risk of child pedestrian/cyclist accidents by 67 percent. It is, therefore, not surprising that similar programs have produced dramatic results. In London, a 9-mile-per-hour reduction in average slow zone traffic speeds resulted in a 46 percent reduction in fatal and severe injury crashes compared to non-slow zones. In the Netherlands, slow zones resulted in a 25 percent average decrease in injuries. In Barcelona, crash rates in newly created slow zones dropped by 27 percent. The success of these programs led other cities to implement similar programs, including Berlin, Zurich, Dublin, Stockholm, Helsinki and New York. Beyond their positive effect on health and safety, slow zones also bring numerous quality-of-life improvements, such as reducing traffic noise, reducing cut-through traffic volume (and its related
Courtesy TSP3A / Transportation Alternatives
An analysis by Transportation Alternatives, culled from New York State Department of Motor Vehicles data.
air pollution) and creating more social streets. Because D.O.T. will not implement a slow zone where its benefits are offset by negative externalities, such as increasing traffic congestion or restricting the flow of emergency services, many areas are not well-suited to receive the gift of a slow zone. Fortunately, one area within the district I represent as a member of Community Board 3 — and in which I have a special interest as founder of the Tompkins Square Park & Playground Parents’ Association (TSP3A) — meets or exceeds all of D.O.T.’s
standards for the implementation of a new slow zone. In fact, if established, it would be the new gold standard for New York City slow zones. To that end, I am pleased to announce TSP3A will soon be submitting an application to D.O.T. for what we are calling the “Tompkins Square/Alphabet City Slow Zone” (TSACSZ). The proposed borders of the zone (which themselves are not part of the zone) are as follows: the western
Continued on page 17
April 25 - May 8, 2013
Continued from page 16 border is First Ave.; the eastern border is the F.D.R. Drive; the northern border is 14th St.; and the southern border — which, following D.O.T. rules, is drawn to avoid having a firehouse in the zone — is Second St. to the west of where it meets Houston Street, and Houston Street to the east of where it meets Second St. TSP3A believes the proposed TSACSZ will benefit our neighborhood’s residents, visitors and businesses. With respect to our residents and visitors, the zone will create a safer, cleaner neighborhood with less traffic noise. The improvements will be of particular benefit to children, senior citizens and certain physically challenged persons for whom speeding traffic presents the greatest danger. Local businesses will benefit in two ways. First, when motor vehicles pass through a neighborhood more slowly, their passengers are more likely to notice and patronize its local businesses. Second, reduced traffic speeds offer increased protection to the patrons of local businesses. Despite what we may think of the noisy, drunken masses that teem out of our local bars late at night, no one wants to see an intoxicated person stumble into a street and get hit by a speeding car. For bars — which can be subject to “dram shop law” civil liability in such cases — the extra safety that slow zones provide should be enthusiastically welcomed. As noted, the TSACSZ abundantly satisfies all of D.O.T.’s major slow zone approval requirements. For example, D.O.T. requires that slow zones have strong borders. The proposed TSACSZ has a major avenue, highway and crosstown thoroughfare as three of its borders, and a major crosstown thoroughfare as part of its fourth. One significant benefit D.O.T. looks for in a slow zone is that it protects school children. The proposed TSACSZ is home to 12 schools located within seven school buildings, so its beneficial impact in this area would be significant. In fact, the highest concentration of schools in an existing zone — the New Brighton/St. George Slow Zone — is five schools. Likewise, D.O.T. favors slow zones that help protect kids in preschools and daycare centers. TSACSZ has 22 combined preschools and daycare centers, which is more than double that of the Corona Slow Zone, the existing zone with the highest preschool/daycare center concentration. The proposed TSACSZ is also home to three senior centers and 38 parks, which attract sizable populations that would greatly benefit from a slow zone’s traffic calming measures. Moreover, TSACSZ avoids virtually all of the negative factors that count against slow zone applications, insofar as it has no firehouses, hospitals, truck routes or major thoroughfares within its borders. Finally, the proposed TSACSZ encompasses 0.38 square miles, just 0.08 square miles more than the Elmhurst Slow Zone, whose size D.O.T. calls “ideal.” Perhaps the strongest factor weighing
in favor of the TSACSZ is that the area is particularly dangerous. According to Transportation Alternatives, from 2005 to 2009 (the five most recent years for which State Department of Motor Vehicles data is available), there were 143 pedestrian injuries and 70 cyclist injuries in the proposed TSACSZ. There were also two pedestrian fatalities. That means the proposed TSACSZ averages 42.6 injuries and 0.4 deaths annually. By way of comparison, only one existing slow zone — Elmhurst, with an average of 44.6 annual injuries — is even in the same ballpark as the proposed TSACSZ. The next highest injury total for an existing slow zone is Boerum Hill, which has 28.2 annually. In fact, one existing slow zone, Dongan Hills, was approved by D.O.T. despite having just 4.6 annual injuries — 89.2 percent less than the proposed TSACSZ. Although, as the above data demonstrate, the proposed TSACSZ is ideally suited for D.O.T. approval, no slow zone application can be successful without demonstrated support from the local community and its elected officials. Although I will personally reach out to key stakeholders in our community to encourage their support, any person, business or organization that wishes to lend a hand to this health and lifesaving effort should contact me by e-mail at TSP3A@yahoo. com. Time is of the essence with respect to this application: The deadline for submissions is May 31, and with a new mayoral administration coming this January, there are no guarantees a slow zone program will exist in 2014. In the interest of full disclosure, I feel it is important to conclude by explaining why protecting pedestrians from dangerously operated vehicles is so important and personal for me. When I was 23 years old, my father was struck and nearly killed by a speeding drunk driver. The accident left him bedridden, with quadriplegia and a severe brain injury, until he passed away 13 years later, just 16 days after my first child was born. The events of that terrible day — December 5, 1995 — completely devastated my family and me, and the relentless physical and emotional suffering and financial struggles that followed took an enormous toll on us for years to follow. Having endured such an agonizing experience, I would do anything to help other families avoid a similar tragedy, but I cannot do it alone. This effort cannot succeed without strong, public support from the residential and business communities of the East Village and Community Board 3. So I am asking the readers of this talking point to please join me and TSP3A in our effort to protect the health and lives of our families, friends and neighbors through the implementation of the Tompkins Square/Alphabet City Slow Zone. Every voice counts. I hope we can count on yours. Marlow is founder of Tompkins Square Park & Playgrounds Parents’ Association and a member of Community Board 3, where he serves on the Transportation and Public Safety Committee
Town & Gown Evenings presents
A Community Screening of the First Run Film Festival’s Winning Films In collaboration with the Kanbar Institute of Film and Television, NYU’s Office of Government & Community Affairs invites you to a special community viewing of the First Run Film Festival’s winning films of 2013.
Monday, April 29, 2013 6:30-8:00 PM. Doors open at 6:00. Cantor Film Center, 36 East 8th Street The annual First Run Film Festival showcases innovative works by students at the Kanbar Institute of Film & Television. Winners are selected from over 120 submissions. Past winners have included Spike Lee, Ang Lee, and Nancy Savoca. Register at www.nyu.edu/ogca, or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org / 212-998-2400. This event is free and open to the public with RSVP. Please be advised, no food or drink is allowed in the Cantor Film Center. All images copyright NYU Tisch School of the Arts
April 25 - May 8, 2013
Original punk shop rocks on, but in a retro cool way BY BOB kRASNER In the fashion world the next thing is always the best thing, unless it’s so retro that it’s cool. Mariann Marlowe, proprietor of the East Village clothing shop Enz’s, has been at both ends of the spectrum. She started out selling Vivienne Westwood’s punk designs in the West Village when that was the cutting edge in 1974. Today, she is currently selling a mix of her own rockabilly- and burlesque-inspired fashions, as well as others, in her Second Ave. location, having made stops in between on St. Mark’s Place, the Hamptons and a brief detour into the world of body piercing. Her original shop, at 49 Grove St., was “the first punk rock store in New York City,” she said in a recent interview. Shopping trips to London kept the store stocked with the
Photo by Bob Krasner
Mariann Marlowe in Enz’s, her boutique at 125 Second Ave.
325 W. 14th St. New York, NY 10014 (212) 242-1456
www.reddenfuneralhome.net NY State law mandates that funeral trust funds for Medicaid recipients pay for funeral and burial only. The contracts are irrevocable.
let’s do something together at trinity wall street
All Are Welcome All events are free, unless noted. 212.602.0800
TRINITY ChURCh Broadway at Wall Street 74 TRINITY plACe is located in the office building behind Trinity Church
sT. pAUl’s ChApel Broadway and Fulton Street ChARlOTTe’s plACe 107 Greenwich Street btwn Rector & Carlisle Streets The Rev. Dr. James H. Cooper, Rector The Rev. Canon Anne Mallonee, Vicar
an Episcopal parish in the city of New York
threads that New York punk rockers couldn’t get anywhere else. Those were the days when Debbie Harry, Lou Reed, Joey Ramone and Andy Warhol would drop by. The Internet didn’t exist, so there was no way to do a Google search for “punk rock clothing.” Sid and Nancy were alive (if not exactly well) and the East Village looked like a war zone. Marlowe survived, where many did not, in part because she kept her focus. “I was a wild child,” she said, “but I was responsible. And
A festival celebrating the complete sacred works of Igor Stravinsky (1882-1971). Days 1 and 3 are free. Day 2 tickets are $50 general admission and $20 students/ seniors. Complete schedule and tickets at stravinskyfestival.com. Trinity Church
ThURsDAY, ApRIl 25 & MAY 2, 1pM Concerts at One April 25: American Pianists Association Finalists; May 2: Ensemble ACJW. Trinity Church MONDAY, ApRIl 29 & MAY 6, 1pM Bach at One April 11: Minetti Quartett April 18: Flûte Alors Trinity Church WeDNesDAY, MAY 1 & 8, 1pM Pipes at One May 1: Gwendolyn Toth, Music Director, Immanuel Lutheran Church, NYC. May 8: Julian Wachner, Director of Music and the Arts, Trinity Wall Street St. Paul’s Chapel
I didn’t do drugs.” The city has since changed and just being a survivor of the ’70s is a badge of honor; the fact that Marlowe still has a store is a minor miracle. It was a “mom and pop” store back then, but the husband that Marlowe started the business with is an ex and N.Y.U. has done its best to populate the neighborhood with squeaky-clean college kids. The racks that once sported ripped up T-shirts held together by safety pins now hold ’50s-inspired cocktail dresses, polka-dot swimsuits and leopard skin gloves. Helen Mirren and Norah Jones have stepped in as the celebrity clientele, and the chaotic soundtrack of punk — The Clash, the Ramones, the New York Dolls — has been replaced by the upbeat rockabilly of Big Sandy and His Fly-Rite Boys. But Marlowe is one of the reasons that the East Village still has character. She runs the store from her heart — corporate entities like the nearby Bettie Page store just don’t have the soul that fills her tiny shop. She continues to look to the future, with an eye on possibly opening a new store in Williamsburg. Inspiration continues as well: A vision of cherries and skulls that came to her in her kitchen is on its way to becoming an original outfit that’s been made by hand in America, rather than the outsourced norm. If you’re looking for copies of Marlowe’s style you might just see them around: People regularly sneak photos in the shop (not allowed, of course) in an effort to duplicate her template. While the imitators may manage to replicate a design or two, there’s one thing that can’t be copied. “People always ask me what my formula is,” Marlowe said. “I have no formula. My life is my formula.” Enz’s is located at 125 Second Ave., between St. Mark’s Place and E. Seventh St., and online at http://www.enzsnyc.com/ .
sUNDAY, ApRIl 28 & MAY 5, 10AM Discovery: Instruments of Grace Explore the history and practice of the sacraments. April 28: Holy Orders (Ordination); May 5: Holy Matrimony. 74 Trinity Pl, 2nd Fl, Parish Hall TUesDAY, ApRIl 30, 6pM Discovery: Lord, You Have Searched Me Out The Rev. Fletcher Harper, Executive Director, GreenFaith. 74 Trinity Pl, 2nd Fl, Parish Hall
sATURDAY, ApRIl 27 & MAY 4, 10AM-1pM Mosaic Art Project: Workshop Help design a large-scale mosaic for Charlotte’s Place. Facilitated by public artist Jackie Chang. Charlotte’s Place
worship sUNDAY, 8am & 10am St. Paul’s Chapel · Holy Eucharist sUNDAY, 8pm St. Paul’s Chapel · Compline – Music & Prayers sUNDAY, 9am & 11:15am Trinity Church · Preaching, music, and Eucharist · Sunday school and child care available MONDAY – FRIDAY, 12:05pm Trinity Church · Holy Eucharist MONDAY – FRIDAY, 5:15pm All Saints’ Chapel, in Trinity Church Evening Prayer, Evensong (Thurs.) Watch online webcast
sUNDAY, ApRIl 28, 5pM The Family Table Connect with your neighbors, dine on locally-sourced food, and touch on the spiritual at the Family Table dinner event. $25 minimum suggested donation per family. Reservations by email at email@example.com. 74 Trinity Pl, 2nd Fl, Parish Hall
April 25 - May 8, 2013
EASTvillagerarts&entertainment Buhmann on Art Spring gallery offerings speak to Space Race, celebrity, machinery, weaponry BY STEPHANIE BUHMANN
Organized by Greg Allen, this exhibition features multiple images and objects from the Palomar Observatory Sky Survey and Project Echo. Both were prominent projects from the early days of the Space Race. Including one object and two seemingly unrelated series of photographs, the show reveals the sudden transition in mankind’s perception of outer space. As the launch of Sputnik heightened the Cold War’s contentious dynamic, the U.S.’s aggressive and highly visual response transformed space into a site of military, political and cultural activity. Through May 8, at apexart (291 Church St., btw. Walker & White Sts.). Hours: Tues.Sat., 11am-6pm. Call 212-431-5270 or visit apexart.org.
DAVID J. MERRITT
For his first solo exhibition with the gallery, Merritt presents new work from
his “Templates for a Machine Made From Earth” series. In addition to the featured gypsum cement tablets and objects made of wax, aluminum and magnesium, Merritt also works with sound and video. One of his site-specific projects involved the collaboration with a city utility locator. Demarcating various lines of flow throughout the gallery space, the work reflects the Brooklyn-based artist’s thesis that, “We are abstractions swimming through a concrete haze; constantly excavating, constantly sifting.” Through May 12, at KANSAS (59 Franklin St., btw. Lafayette & Broadway). Hours: Tues.-Sat., 11am-6pm. Call 646559-1423 or visit kansasgallery.com.
Since the mid-1990s, when Peyton reached critical acclaim, she has been one of the most influential figurative painters of our time. Her subjects range from close friends and boyfriends to European monarchy and celebrities. Many of her stylized portraits of rock stars such as David Bowie and Kurt Cobain have become well-known and frequently publicized images in the media landscape. Small-scale, these works are usually executed in oil paint, applied with washy glazes, watercolor, pencil, and etching. This show features new works by the artist, who splits her time between Long Island and Berlin. Through May 13, at Gavin Brown’s enterprise (620 Greenwich St., at Morton St.). Hours: Tues.-Sat., 10am-6pm. Call 212-6275258 or visit gavinbrown.biz.
Image courtesy of the artist and apexart
Beacon satellites on display in the US Pavilion at Expo67, Montreal. See “Exhibition Space.”
ENGINES OF WAR
Image courtesy of KANSAS, New York
David J. Merritt’s “Instrument” (2013, single-channel video generated by a custom software algorithm, sound of artist breathing digitally and floor monitor speaker; an eight-hour timed sequence that auto-plays).
In this exhibition, curators Charles Dee Mitchell and Cynthia Mulcahy explore how the United States of America conducts war in the 21st century. Though images of drones and other material military equipment make up much of the content, Mitchell and Mulcahy’s show stresses that it is still the men and women who serve in the armed forces that remain the primary, highly trained yet fragile weapons of the United States military. Contributing artists to the exhibition employ a wide range of approaches. Through May 4, at Klemens Gasser & Tanja Grunert, Inc. (524 W. 19th St., btw. 10th & 11th Aves.). Hours: Tues.-Sat., 10am-6pm. Call 646-944-6197 or visit gassergrunert.net.
Nahas’ new paintings employ thick layers of acrylic paint and pumice to create colorful, spatially complex paint-
Image courtesy of artist and Gasser Grunert Gallery
From “Engines of War,” Benjamin Lowy’s “Iraq | Perspectives I” (taken from 20032008; Digital C-Print; 20 x 24 in., edition of 10 + 2 AP).
ings with a distinctive tactile quality. Gestural motifs rendered in saturated colors and geometric shapes cover these three-dimensional surfaces. Nahas’ highly textured lines and curves seem to extend beyond the edges of the canvas, drawing a metaphor to the contrast between macrocosms and microcosms. However,
according to the artist, his main concerns are the notions of process and perception as well as materiality in painting. Through May 4, at Sperone Westwater (257 Bowery, btw. Houston & Stanton Sts). Hours: Tues.-Sat., 10am-6pm. Call 212-999-7337 or visit speronewestwater.com.
April 25 - May 8, 2013
Family Festival keeps it fresh Short films, sports, Smurfs, bubbles and more BY KAITLYN MEADE Every year, the Tribeca Film Festival's free annual street fair attracts families from all over the city to its wide array of programs. This year, there are several exciting additions for young filmmakers and movie lovers. The fair takes place Saturday, April 27, 10am to 6pm, on Greenwich Street between Chambers and Hubert Streets, and at venues throughout Tribeca. “This year we are introducing special subject areas, like the Tribeca Back Lot and the Food Feast,” said Downing, as well as bringing back popular elements from previous years. The Tribeca Studios Backlot will bring elements of a real movie set to one Downtown street. Families will learn how to pitch an original movie, use a green screen, animate their stories and take workshops on stunts, makeup and editing. Demonstrations of high-tech filming and special effects will be given by Chicago’s Tribeca Flashpoint Academy and the Tribeca Film Institute will be holding movie hacking sessions where you can flip the script and take the lead role in a familiar movie. Also new this year, the Tribeca Food Feast will be a delectable section of the fair featuring city chefs who will provide entertainment, culinary secrets and, of course, tastings from food vendors from select local restaurants and food trucks from around NYC. Hands-on activities will be cake-icing, meatball-baking and tastetesting. Broadway will also be jazz-stepping its way Downtown this year with performances from the casts of “Annie,” “Wicked,” “Cinderella,” “Kinky Boots,” “Motown: The Musical” and “Hands On A Hardbody.” An exclusive sneak preview of “The Smurfs 2” (along with a free screening of “The Smurfs”) will be taking place at 11am at Borough of Manhattan Community College’s Tribeca Performing Arts Center, at 199 Chambers Street (between Greenwich and West Streets). There may also be a special appearance by cast member Christina Ricci. Hosted by Time Out Kids, admission is free on a first-come, firstserved basis. The line will form thirty minutes prior to showtime.
A number of booths offer unique arts and crafts for kids of all ages. Kids can make a “VIP Pass” which will then be stamped at each area of the festival they visit, with prizes awarded for filling up a pass completely. Learn about recycling by creating creatures from recycled materials at the ScrapKins booth, along with chalk art and face painting. Masters of the art of kiting will be at The Kite Place to teach kids how to make and fly their own kite designs. The Gazillion Bubble Garden, similarly, is a haven for bubbles (with wands of all shapes and sizes). Puppet shows and workshops will be offered by Puppetworks, Inc. and Noel MacNeal, whose book “10 Minute Puppets” teaches parents and kids how to make to make entertaining puppet partners anywhere, in ten minutes or less, using everyday materials. Other participants include CHESS NYC, the Young Storytellers Foundation, Victorian Gardens at Wollman Rink in Central Park and the New York Philharmonic’s Credit Suisse Very Young Composers.
Image courtesy of the Tribeca Film Festival
Play ball — on April 27, at ESPN Sports Day.
OUT OF THE CINEMA, IN THE BALL GAME
Also on April 27, from 10am to 6pm, the Tribeca/ESPN Sports Day will return to Tribeca for its seventh year. The beloved Downtown event has brought in sports heroes from across the city and encouraged kids and parents alike to get up, get out and play ball. This year, it will take place on North Moore Street, between Greenwich and West Streets. ESPN will give fans the chance to take home memorabilia and get their picture taken behind the ESPN New York desk. The NFL’s PLAY 60 campaign, designed to encourage kids to lead an active lifestyle, will be running football agility drills and doing periodic giveaways. Life-size cutouts of well-known professional athletes will be walking (well, standing) on the Tribeca/ESPN Sports Film Festival red carpet for fans to pose with. Highlights include contests, interactive games and giveaways by the New York Rangers and New York Mets. It’s also an
Image courtesy of the Tribeca Film Festival
The Family Festival is back again this year, with some fresh new activities.
invaluable opportunity for kids to try out new activities. There is something for everyone, from inflatable lacrosse or Ultimate Frisbee to skateboarding or Double Dutch jump roping. Activities will be provided by the Downtown Giants Youth Football and New York Women’s Baseball. Olympians and elite athletes will teach kids the basics of safe fencing at the Fencing Club. The Staten Island Yankees mascot Scooter the Holy Cow will be around and most likely invite you to try your luck on the Baby Bombers skeeball inflatable. The up-and-coming Tribeca Sailing NYC, soon to launch from Pier 25, will have sailing games, knot-tying and prizes. There also will be demonstrations of cricket, newly reintroduced to TFF, and the award-winning Myachi Original Hand Sack.
SHORT FILMS ON LARGE SILVER SCREENS
The TFF program “Downtown Youth Behind The Camera” is putting filmmaking tools in the hands of elementary and middle school students for its tenth consecutive year. These young Downtown filmmakers produce their very own short films, which will be shown at a special screening at noon on Sunday, April 21 at the SVA Theatre (333 West 23rd Street, between Eighth and Ninth Avenues). The Film Fellows with Tribeca Film Institute is also screening a series of short films created by Downtown student filmmakers (ages 16-18). The program, recommended for those ages 12 and up, plays Saturday, April 27 at 11am at the Tribeca Film Center (375 Greenwich Street, at Franklin Street).
April 25 - May 8, 2013
Silent tale ‘demonstrates the humanizing power of ﬁlm’ Charles Lane’s low-budget ’80s comedy deserves to be rediscovered FILM SIDEWALK STORIES
Written & Directed by Charles Lane Runtime: 97 minutes Screening at the Tribeca Film Festival Sat., April 27, 2:30pm At SVA Theatre 333 W. 23rd St., btw. 8th & 9th Aves. For tickets & info, call 646-502-5296 or visit tribecaﬁlm.com/ﬁlmguide Also visit carlottaﬁlms.com
Photos by Bill Dill
BY TRAV S.D. One of the highlights of this year’s Tribeca Film Festival will have to be the long-awaited re-release of Charles Lane’s 1989 “Sidewalk Stories.” Lane’s film, a silent black and white comedy with an African-American cast, won the Prix du Publique award at Cannes that year. Unfortunately, it has gone long unseen and has never been released on DVD. The film was recently restored by Carlotta Films and will be shown for the first time in many years on April 27. “Sidewalk Stories” is strongly influenced by Charlie Chaplin’s films “The Kid,” “A Dog’s Life” and “The Vagabond.” It stars Lane himself as a sidewalk caricature artist who lives in a squat and is forced to care for a two-year-old girl, after he sees her father murdered in a back alley mugging. Unable to go to police (his prints are on the knife), he is forced to play father to the little girl until he can locate the mother. Along the
Charles Lane, as the artist and Nicole Lane as the child.
way he meets and falls in love with a nice lady of some means, who helps him out. The film is full of the grittiness of its time, when the homeless filled New York City streets in record numbers, and the clean-up that began in the mid-90s had not yet begun. Much is filmed around Waverly Place, although it is re-envisioned as a Shangri La for busking performers. The cast of unknowns is terrific, especially the diminutive, Chaplinesque Lane (who proves a gifted mime) and the child, who is played by Lane’s actual daughter. Beautifully shot and edited and frequently quite funny, its memorable set pieces include a scene where Lane must pursue a couple of low-lifes who’ve snatched the girl. In order to do, he swipes a horse-drawn carriage while the driver takes a leak. The couple in the back seat never stop making out throughout the entire chase.
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Photos by Bill Dill
Charles Lane and Sandye Wilson.
Above all, Lane demonstrates the humanizing power of film, awakening our compassion for the sorts of people who are routinely demonized in the mainstream
press. One hopes that a DVD release will soon follow the restoration of this inspirational film — a work that should never be out of circulation.
April 25 - May 8, 2013
‘Bending Steel’ an unexpectedly moving documentary Would-be strongman dreams of Coney Island glory FILM BENDING STEEL
Directed by Dave Carroll Runtime: 93 minutes Documentary Screening at the Tribeca Film Festival 4/27 at 10:30pm, at Clearview Cinemas Chelsea (260 W. 23rd St., btw. 7th & 8th Aves.) For tickets & info, call 646-502-5296 or visit tribecaﬁlm.com/ﬁlmguide BY TRAV S.D. “Bending Steel” is an unexpectedly moving documentary by director Dave Carroll about a guy with the quixotic dream of becoming an old-time circus strong man.
Chris Schoeck, the film’s subject, is a 43-year-old physical therapist and self-professed loner who literally spends all of his spare time in a storage room straining to bend pieces of metal. To be more precise, he actually accomplishes this seemingly impossible feat routinely. Before the camera, we watch him twist horseshoes straight like taffy, bend a pipe wrench over double and transform a thick steel bar into a “U” shape. When he says “That’s a good kind of nail to work on,” he’s not talking about carpentry — it’s either for bending in half or driving into a board using only his fist. And when he gets tired of metal, Schoeck tears phone books and decks of playing cards in half with his bare hands. Schoeck, by the way, only weighs about 150 pounds. It turns out that accomplishing such feats of strength is not only a matter of brute force, but of willpower. To help him realize his dream, Schoeck hires a Pennsylvania-based consultant, Chris “Haircules” Rider — so named because of his long, flowing mane, and the fact that he is able to pick up heavy weights that have been tied to it using his mighty scalpstrength. It’s Rider’s job to help Schoeck build his confidence by teaching him about performance, inspiring him and psyching him up. The film follows the two as they make a
Photo by Despina Spyrou
Third time’s charming: Jesse (Ethan Hawke) and Celine (Julie Delpy) reunite, among the Cypress groves of the southern Peloponnese.
pilgrimage to the home of a legend in their field, Slim the Hammer Man (whose specialty is lifting sledgehammers). Slim’s garage, in turn, is a shrine to the memory of sideshow
star The Mighty Atom (Joseph L. Greenstein). At a gathering of a club called the Steel Nuts, Schoeck is encouraged by one of the members to attempt to bend a quarter on his teeth — and he does, chipping one in the process. This is a group of friends founded on machismo, yet Schoeck is able to find more sensitivity, acceptance and understanding with them than he does from his own parents (whom ironically, are the only thing holding him back). Dismissive, truly horrible people, they can’t be bothered to support him or even pretend to take an interest in what he does, gazing unimpressed when he bends a steel bar an inch and a half thick in front of them in their back yard. (The father suggests that it might be a trick bar, and then points out that the son is out of breath). The climax of the film is Schoeck’s debut at the Coney Island Olde Time Strongman Spectacular, where he hopes to surprise everyone by bending a steel bar that is two inches thick. Even the experts tell him he won’t be able to pull it off. In the front row are two empty seats reserved for his parents. You won’t get any spoilers here but I will reveal that the outcome affected me greatly on an emotional level. Far from a silly topic, this is one man’s existential journey, and it packs a punch — right to the solar plexus.
‘Just a Sigh’ is romance done right Subtitled French flick equal parts joy and folly
BY SAM SPOkONY Now this is romance. The knowing glances, the swells and falls, the awkward moments, the utter silence. It’s always nice to experience a piece of fiction in which the depth of emotion is really shown rather than told, and “Just a Sigh” follows that old mantra of narrative in all the right ways. Jérôme Bonnell puts it all out there, displaying — with supreme confidence — an invigorating ability to navigate the folds of both tense social interaction and quiet introspection, while never losing his sense of humor and sheer imaginative spark. During a break from a theatre performance in Calais, 43-year-old French actress Alix (played by Emmanuelle Devos) is on her way back to her home in Paris to relax and spend some time with her boyfriend. But while riding the train into the city, a somewhat older British man (Gabriel Byrne) sitting in a nearby seat catches her eye. She catches his eye. It’s cute. And so
on. They speak briefly, but there’s an interruption, and the connection is lost…for the moment. From this point, it could have devolved into pure cheese, but it didn’t. Instead, it’s where (all innuendo aside) Bonnell really gets it in. It turns out that this handsome, nameless man is on his way to a church. But when Alix suddenly has an impulse to follow him, she soon realizes that Mr. Mysterious isn’t there for fun. He’s there for the funeral of a dear colleague (he’s a literature professor), and one for whom he had strong (yet unconsummated) romantic feelings. This is where it gets interesting. As Alix realizes that her own boyfriend is nowhere to be found (and, better yet, that she might even be subconsciously avoiding the guy, for reasons we find out later), these two characters just sink into each other — heaping upon each other the unbridled passion they’ve apparently both been bottling up. And it’s gripping stuff. As the film goes on, it’s one joy and folly after another, as Alix sorts out her demons — familial, professional, and otherwise — on the streets of Paris, while never losing the thought of this one strangely awesome guy who’s been thrust into her life. Meanwhile, Bonnell sprinkles the whole thing with generous helpings of vibrant color, classical music, absurdly funny coincidences and mistakes (and a strong narrative line that never lets us forget why we walked in the door). Devos and
FILM JUST A SIGH
Directed by Jérôme Bonnell Runtime: 104 minutes English, French with subtitles Screening at the Tribeca Film Festival 4/28, 2:30pm, at AMC Loews Village 7 (66 Third Ave., at 11th St.) For tickets & info, call 646-502-5296 or visit tribecaﬁlm.com/ﬁlmguide
Byrne are both wonderful. They’re constantly outdoing one another with moments of intensity, longing and loss — but at the same time, they’re a perfect complement. If you’re looking to get hit right in the feelings, folks, then check this one out. In the end, it really is just a sigh, nothing more — but that’s why it’s good.
April 25 - May 8, 2013
Flux ensemble examines friendship, loss Two plays, in rep, give voice to grief FLUX THEATRE ENSEMBLE PRESENTS TWO PLAYS IN REP HONEY FIST Written by August Schulenburg Directed by Kelly O’Donnell In previews April 30 & May 1, then May 2-18
SANS MERCI Written by Johnna Adams Directed by Heather Cohn In previews April 26 & 27, then April 28-May 17 At the 4th Street Theatre (83 East 4th St. btw. 2nd Ave. & Bowery) Tickets: $15 for all preview performances, then $18 ($15 for Students) For schedule & reservations, call 866811-4111 or visit fluxtheatre.org BY MAEVE GATELY An ensemble-driven company dedicated to the belief that “long-term collaboration and rigorous creative development can unite artists and audiences,” Flux Theatre Ensemble has presented 14 productions since its 2006 debut. During that time, it has received recognition from the NYC Fringe Festival and the NY Innovative Theater Awards, and was a 2011 Caffé Cino Fellowship Award winner, for "consistently producing outstanding work." This spring, Flux is presenting two plays in rep: August Schulenburg’s “Honey Fist” and Johnna Adams’ “Sans Merci.” Absurdity, dark comedy and a quiet des-
peration pervade these two works, each of which deal with friendship, loss and the redemptive power of remembrance in their own unique ways. “Honey Fist” follows a group of high school friends who gather once a year to drink, smoke weed and reminisce about Justin — a former member of the group who died in an incident no one cares to recall. When old high school rival turned Hollywood producer Joe shows up with his movie star girlfriend, what begins as a drunken commemoration evolves into an ill-conceived kidnapping that unearths a decades-old secret. In “Sans Merci,” social activist Kelly receives a visit from the mother of her college sweetheart, Tracy, several years after her death. As the two debate and dance around the story of Tracy and Kelly’s romance (Elizabeth, Tracy’s conservative mother, is hesitant to believe her daughter was gay), flashbacks to Kelly’s college days show the two falling in love and deciding to go to Colombia on an advocacy mission. The final revelation of what that mission became, and the circumstances surrounding Tracy’s terrible end, brings the Kelly and Elizabeth together in their shared grief — forcing the audience to question how, in the face of such horror, we carry on. In describing how the ensemble chose these two works, “Honey Fist” playwright and Flux creative director August Schulenburg emphasized that, “The process by which we make the work is almost as important as the work itself. And this voting process is really the heart of it.” Before agreeing to produce a play, the ensemble meets over several months in an intense, collaborative process during which members present the plays and debate which ones should be selected. This process takes into account whether the plays fit into Flux’s aesthetic, if there are roles that fit the members of the core ensemble and whether Flux has previously produced the playwright’s work. Schulenburg’s plays have been produced by the group before, but putting on a work of Johnna Adams has, he says, always been a dream of his. Both have written roles for one another, and Schulenburg cites her influence in a great deal of his work (though not “Honey Fist”). He recalled how the ensemble was “outraged” that “Sans Merci” had not been produced in New York before, noting that, despite the limitations of this particular play (there are not enough women
Photo by Isaiah Tanenbaum
In “Sans Merci,” Kelly mourns the death of her college girlfriend.
in the core ensemble to play the roles in this female-only work), Flux eventually chose to put it on. Speaking about the content of the plays themselves, Schulenberg observed how they have a very different sound to them. “Honey Fist” is “a very rowdy play. There is a lot of singing and fighting and drinking and potsmoking,” whereas “Sans Merci,” by contrast, “operates on a very tight bandwidth, almost a hush.” One ends on a more cathartic note, while the other lacks that sentimental sense of closure. “Sans Merci” has a “circular, almost claustrophobic feel,” while “Honey Fist” has an expansive, breaking-out feel.” Audiences will notice a very female flavor to “Sans Merci,” which does not have a single male actor on stage, and, by contrast, a very “stereotypically male”
charge to “Honey Fist.” Schulenburg asserts that the two plays are about “who owns the stories of the dead,” and admitted that “Honey Fist” was partly inspired by his own experiences. He had a friend named Justin who died in high school, and part of the writing of this play was an effort to give words to an experience for which there were none — to voice, as Schulenburg described it, “what I would have been able to say to Justin if I had been able to say something.” Instead, Schulenburg used his vision, and his own experiences, to “write a play reaching towards something I don’t understand, [something] I don’t have words for.” And that sense of wordless fulfillment is ultimately what the audience will walk away with as well.
April 25 - May 8, 2013
Councilmember Mendez vows to battle new dorm plan Continued from page 14 to go over proposed exterior alterations, such as adding bulkheads to the rooftop, reducing the 10th St. raised plaza area to create an airy ground-floor courtyard, and replacing the big wheelchair ramp on the Ninth St. side with two smaller ramps that go directly into the basement. On May 7, Landmarks is holding a public hearing, where people can testify for or against the project. L.P.C. must indeed issue a permit for the exterior alterations before any work can commence. However, L.P.C. spokesperson Elisabeth DeBourbon explained, “We have no jurisdiction over how the building is used, or over any interior alterations that don’t affect the exterior.” But the big question remains, is the lease that Cooper signed enough of a commitment to meet the standard for a legal dorm? In 2008, to stop developers from taking advantage of the so-called “community facility use bonus” to bulk up residential projects, the Buildings Department passed Rule 51-01, which requires developers to show proof of an “institutional nexus” in order to build a dorm. To meet the criteria, a developer must either show a long-term lease (minimum 10 years) with an accredited school for all or “part” of the building, or the establishment of a nonprofit entity to run the dorm, whose board members are all representatives of participating schools. In addition, there must be a “restrictive declaration” ensuring all of the property is used as a dorm. In this case, it’s unclear whether the “first priority lease” that Cooper signed meets that standard. According to Singer, Cooper agreed to lease two floors for 15 years. “Cooper is paying the lease, and the students pay the school,” he explained. “If their students don’t want to take the beds, then [Cooper] has the option to sublease those spaces to another school. It’s no different from the kind of leases used by most big institutions,” Singer added. But Cooper plays it differently. “We have reserved the right for students to have an option to rent there,” explained McCarthy. “We have a lease to reserve approximately 196 beds and have first rights for our students. It’s up to the students to decide if they want to rent there or elsewhere.” McCarthy said she believed Cooper students would pay rent directly to Singer or his management firm. “We have nothing to do with running the building or the rates charged, which would be determined by the owner,” McCarthy explained. Both Cooper Union and Singer declined to provide The Villager with a copy of the lease, citing a confidentiality clause that Singer inserted. At press time, the Buildings Department did not respond to repeated queries as to whether the leasing agreement with Cooper Union would qualify this project as a legal dorm. “We’re still looking into it,” said D.O.B. spokesperson Gloria Chin. But Councilmember Rosie Mendez says she’s not buying it. “I’ve already placed a call to the Buildings
Renderings of the dorm plan for the old P.S. 64, showing new dorm rooms.
Department, because it seems to me they don’t have a viable lease under the rules dictated by D.O.B.,” Mendez said. “I will be filing a complaint based on what I’ve been told,” Mendez added. “Either someone here is not telling the truth, or these two parties have very different ideas of what they have contracted — all of which is problematic to me.” Beyond that, Mendez said, “having a lease for 200 out of 500 beds is not a majority share, so I don’t know how you can be the anchor tenant with less than 50 percent of the property. “Show us the lease, let’s see what Cooper actually signed on for,” Mendez challenged, adding, “I truly believe that [Cooper Union] President Jamshed Bharucha was not given a complete history of the building when he signed on to this. Cooper is now in an untenable situation with the community, because they were not given all the facts.” So far, L.P.C. has issued permits to replace the broken and cracked wooden windows with aluminum-frame windows, and is in the process of issuing a permit for Singer to perform necessary repointing and patching work. Singer said he also plans to replace terracotta facade work that he previously hacked off the building with new fiberglass versions. For his part, Singer insists the new dorm scheme will ultimately be welcomed by the community. “What I am giving them is a renovated building that adds vitality and life to the community,” he noted of the dorm plan, which is projected to cost $40 million. He pointed to his own petition, circulated in 2008, showing support for a “student dormitory” from some 700 local business “owners,” including longtime East Village institutions like Guerra Paint & Pigment on E. 13th St. and Bella Tile. “Unused as an elementary school since 1977, the century-old structure sat empty for the past 11 years,” reads an April 18 press release on the University House dorm. “The building occupies much of the city block, where its vacancy has inhibited local development and the growth of small businesses in the neighborhood.” Conspicuously left out is any mention of CHARAS and the lingering resentment over the community space that was lost. Asked whether he could provide any space in the building for a community center, Singer said he has to be realistic and that he won’t get any loans approved unless it’s a financially viable project. Neighborhood agitator John Penley said both Singer and Cooper Union should brace for more protest. While he firmly disassociates himself from whoever torched three cars outside the school on Sat., April 6, following an aborted sidewalk campout to protest the new dorm plan, Penley said Cooper should consider that a warning. “It’s just a magnet for trouble,” he said. Mendez said she met with Cooper President Bharucha to voice her displeasure. “I told him I’m not happy with this dorm plan, the community is not happy,” she said. “There will be protests, and I will be joining in when that happens.”
April 25 - May 8, 2013
Sensei sends a message — ‘Stop!’ — about bullying By Maeve Gately Sensei John Mirrione, founder of the Harmony Power Foundation, recently addressed 450 middle school students gathered in the auditorium of NEST+m, speaking on how to empower themselves and bring an end to bullying in and outside the classroom. NEST+m, which stands for New Explorations Into Science, Technology and Math, is a public K-to-12 school for Gifted and Talented students. The school hosted Mirrione as part of his national “Stop Bullying Campaign,” a trip he began after Tyler Cliementi’s suicide in 2010, and one Mirrione calls his “personal crusade.” The sensei, who grew up in Brooklyn and was bullied as a boy, uses martial arts and meditation principles to empower students to protect themselves from bullies, and end the vicious cycle of abuse rooted in students’ lack of self-esteem. Mirrione began the assembly by telling his own story. Starting at age 8, when a fellow student slammed his head into a curb, he was bullied for being short, and turned to martial arts as a solution. “You gotta survive,” he joked to the assembled teenagers, “it’s Brooklyn!” The students laughed. Today, he continued, youth go on the Internet to hurt one another, but the sentiments remain the same. He cited Alicia Gingerella, a 12-yearold from Providence, who tried to end her life after supposed friends of hers beat her and then posted the video of their attacks on the Internet. Once you commit such an action, be it via video, text, or in person, the sensei warned, “once you write that message, you can’t take it back.” The primary reason for youth and adolescent bullying is students not believing in themselves, he declared, and then asked two students to come on stage and demonstrate his “Stop” maneuver. One student pretended to shove the other, while the victim raised her hand and shouted, “Stop!” at him, a move intended to halt her aggressor and “awaken” onlookers to the violence. Simple actions like this, the sensei
Photo by Sam Spokony
Sensei John Mirrione at NEST+m performing a one-armed, one-legged pushup using a piece of stone.
explained, prevent the aggression from continuing. “When you use your words,” he said, “you don’t have to use your hands.” One student came up on stage and explained what he thought the sensei’s message was. “When you bully someone, they start hurting themselves…because they start feeling bad about themselves.” Mirrione agreed, calling cyber-bullying a “failed situation,” and warning that “violence is a dead end.”
On Stage Tonight Political Rally
V.I.D. backs Johnson , Rajkumar Continued from page 5 City Council by Speaker Christine Quinn before last year’s vote on N.Y.U. 2031. Afterward, asked about the club’s endorsement of the upstart Rajkumar over Chin, V.I.D. President Hoffmann simply commented, “It was N.Y.U.” During her Q&A with club members, Mendez, when asked about the New York City Housing Authority’s infill development plan, said, “Personally, I don’t like the idea. There is a federal process that has to be put in place, and NYCHA is just steamrolling this along.” Queried by Fouratt about what can be done to keep the Village from losing its supermarkets, Mendez said that Councilmember Robert Jackson has a bill pending that would implement some form of commercial rent
control, but that it has “sat in the City Council for the past year.” Speaking in support of endorsing Mendez were Assemblymember Deborah Glick and state Senator Brad Hoylman. Glick said Mendez is a politician who has never lost “the connection” to her community. Said Hoylman, “Rosie is an elected official who leads from the heart — and that is so valuable in this job.” Del Rio is pastor of Abounding Grace Ministries, which has held worship services in P.S. / M.S. 34 on the Lower East Side for the past four years. Although the Department of Education wanted to put an end last year to religious groups using its school spaces for worship services, a district judge’s injunction is allowing the churches to continue the practice. V.I.D. also endorsed Scott Stringer for comptroller and Cy Vance for re-election as Manhattan district attorney.
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April 25 - May 8, 2013
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April 25 - May 8, 2013
Photo by Jefferson Siegel
Annie Wilson with Lovi Dovi and her regular output of two eggs.
She just loves her Lovi Dovi pet Set BY LINCOLN ANDERSON Annie Wilson, a longtime East Villager, just loves her pigeon, Lovi Dovi. She inherited the bird from a good friend in her building who passed away. She lets Lovi Dovi (pronounced “lovey dovey”) fly freely all around the apartment. The pigeon is actually very clean, she said, not doing any “aerial bombings.” Wilson also has two large potted trees in her place that are “Lovi Dovi’s trees.” Lovi Dovi has a routine: Every couple of weeks she lays two eggs, and then sits on them in her nest. But since the eggs are never fertilized, Wilson just lets the bird have them for a while, and then takes them away and puts them in her refrigerator freezer. Lovi Dovi seems O.K. with this, Wilson said — and just goes right ahead and lays more eggs. Wilson also leaves her windows open for Lovi Dovi, in case she wants to really stretch her wings a bit. Usually, she takes a spin
around the neighborhood, and then flies right back home. But one time, she didn’t. Wilson plastered the hood with missing posters. Eleven days after Lovi Dovi flew the coop, an East Village woman who works at Bellevue Hospital saw one of the posters while walking down E. Ninth St. She then later recognized Lovi Dovi hanging out at the fountain on the Bellevue grounds. Wilson raced right up and found her — hanging out with a bunch of winos! Apparently, Lovi Dovi was having quite the party. She threw down some bird seed and scooped her right up. “She had wine stains all over her beak and on her body!” Wilson recalled. “I don’t know what she was doing up there!” When she’s not boozing it up at Bellevue, Lovi Dovi is into fitness. Wilson has created a little silk harness for her feathered friend and takes her for walks with it. If you have a pet that you want to be profiled in the Pet Set, send a photo and a description to firstname.lastname@example.org .
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April 25 - May 8, 2013