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VoluMe 25, nuMber 24

May 1-May 14, 2013

lIu cracKs down on seaPort P. 17

Is seaPort museum BeInG told to walK the PlanK? By t e re se l o e b K r e u z e r t Community Board 1’s Seaport Committee meeting on April 16, Jerry Gallagher, general manager of the South Street Seaport Museum, said that the museum only has enough money to carry it through the end of June. He also accused The Howard Hughes Corporation, which has a 60-year lease on much of the South Street Seaport property, of deliberately trying to put the museum out of business. The Museum of the City of New York has been managing the Seaport Museum since 2011. Its 18-month contract expired on


Continued on page 16

FamIlIes leFt waItInG For school sPace By Ka i t lyn M e a d e a n d J o sH r o G e r s hen the school waitlists were tallied in April, 148 kids were left without a seat Downtown — and now parents and community leaders are searching for an alternative to the Department of Education’s knee-jerk reaction to send students to seats outside their neighborhood. At Community Board 1’s full board meeting on April 23, about a dozen families gathered to testify on the waitlist issue and to ask for support from the board. “I felt that there was support from the board,” said Ariana Massouh, who started a

Photo by Jennifer Weisbord

P.S. 150 students chanted “save our school” Saturday at the Tribeca Film Festival’s family fair, which was near their entrance. The Dept. of Education has proposed moving the school to Chelsea.

P.S. 150 parents fight effort to evict school from Tribeca


Continued on page 3

B y JOSH ROGERS pril 7 was a happy day for Bettina Teodoro. It was the Downtown Little League’s opening day, but more importantly, it was the day she read the letter accepting her 5-yearold son to her first choice elementary school, P.S. 150 in Tribeca. “We were so excited we had a six-year plan,” she said. Like many parents, she was attracted to the small community of active parents at P.S. 150. The school has just one class per grade.


Not only did Teodoro think Henry had a secure spot, she knew that her 3-year-old daughter, as the sibling of a P.S. 150 student, would be almost guaranteed a spot in the pre-K program in a year. She made sure to do two things the next day. She enrolled Henry in P.S. 150, and then did something for someone she probably didn’t know: she gave up her spot in P.S. 89 in Battery Park City. “We were told [holding both seats] wasn’t the right thing to do — we thought we’d save some agony for a family waiting for a spot,” she said.


But last week her plans and many others were thrown for a loop. Principal Jenny Bonnet wrote an email to parents about a proposal to move miles away to Chelsea for the 2014-15 school year. Teodoro went back to P.S. 89 and now is 34th on the waiting list. The new school would be on the site of the former Foundling Hospital at 17th St. and Sixth Ave. Continued on page 3


May 1 - May 14, 2013 communication workers, who are fighting to stay in Lower Manhattan. The cheers for her sounded like a union hall meeting. Menin, a former board member of the Lower Manhattan Development Corp., said when the L.M.D.C. “gave the money to Verizon it was to keep the jobs Downtown.” The community board also passed a resolution in support of the workers.


Occupy Return

We thought a few attendees were ready to shout “may day” at last week’s Community Board 1 meeting when two members of Occupy Wall Street said they would be back in Zuccotti Park May 1. Pat Moore, and other residents wanted to make sure there would not be drumming again, and that the 2-hour gathering would really end at 10 p.m. Occupy’s Sumumba Sobobukwe tried to assure them and he also had a message to 100 percent of the audience. He invited the 99 percenters to come and added, “if you make over $300,000 we’re open to donations.”

Menin Hall

There were a couple of other good UnderCover items at the April 23 Community Board 1 meeting. Former chairperson and current candidate for borough president, Julie Menin, returned to the board to support Verizon

It’s been months since C.B. 1 chairperson Catherine McVay Hughes axed the Housing and Waterfront committees, and the storm has seemed to settle. Hughes presented former Housing chairperson Tom Goodkind with a certificate for his hard work on the committee, and Goodkind has agreed to continue his housing focus on the Planning Committee. While many of the other committee issues remain under discussion, the vitriol appears to have passed. At the risk of UnderConver blowing our reputation for reveling in drama, we’d like to say we’re happy to report that.

No Charter Member

The sponsor of three new Chinese language charter schools in Chinatown backed down after reports of controversial practices before the April 15 preliminary proposal deadline. The SUNY preliminary proposal for Confucius Teachings Charter School, was put together by Dr. Lotus King Weiss, formerly Tongwen Wang, a practitioner of the Falun Dafa meditation practice — formerly Falun Gong — who founded the Whole

Elephant Institute which seeks to bolster Chinese culture and community. “It is for all people,” Weiss said about the proposed schools before she backed out of Chinatown. “The study of psychology and life sciences now say that through reincarnation, through inheritance, the Chinese culture belongs to all people.... It is why everyone loves Chinese arts and Chinese food.” The application was reduced to a single elementary school in Flushing. A previous charter school proposal by Weiss was blocked by the state Education Department last year due to an “incomplete application.” This proposal may bear the same fate. The letter of intent had two co-sponsors for community outreach who responded via telephone that they had no idea that they were listed. One of them said he was Weiss’s ex-husband and had not spoken to her for two years.

Holy Landing Gear

A piece of landing gear, apparently from one of the planes that crashed into the Twin Towers on Sept. 11, was found in an alley a few blocks from the World Trade Center near the so-called “Ground Zero Mosque,” which of course is not at “ground zero” (a term we dislike as much as some of our neighbors), nor is it the first mosque near the W.T.C. But we’ll stop digressing. The hunk of metal was found by two surveyors on April 24, who spotted it amid debris in a narrow space between the Park51 mosque and community center and 50 Murray St., police confirmed. The surveyors were taking measurements for Sharif

El-Gamal, the president of Soho Properties. According to a Daily News interview with one of the surveyors, Frank VanBrunt, they continued to take measurements and then alerted the N.Y.P.D. Boeing later confirmed that the part did once belong to a Boeing 767 aircraft. Officials expect to be able to move the landing gear from the site as soon as the surrounding debris has been sifted through, a process that began April 30.

Bergtraum Downsizing

Changes are coming to Murry Bergtraum High School, and not just a shiny new logo and website as part of their “rebranding” process. At a little noticed hearing (save for Gotham Schools) in the school’s auditorium in March, a Department of Education proposal was presented to open a new high school in the 411 Pearl St. location. While Bergtraum will not close, as many other large high schools have during Mayor Bloomberg’s education reform, the struggling school will undergo “enrollment reduction”. The new school would open in September 2013 with a ninth grade of 105-115 students only, but could expand to 460 students over three years. Murry Bergtraum would be gradually downsized at the same time by 400-500 students. The new school will work with the National Parks Service to train students in carpentry, masonry, landscaping and restoration.

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May 1 - May 14, 2013

P.S. 150 fights move to Chelsea Continued from page 1

Parents and students already in the school are also upset. They painted “Save Our School” t-shirts and wore them for the student performance at the Tribeca Film Festival’s Family Festival Saturday. “By moving the school to a big building, you’re changing the foundation of what the school is all about,” said Jennifer Weisbord, a Tribeca mother. “We could’ve gone to P.S. 234, we could’ve gone to P.S. 11.” P.S. 234, the Tribeca school always in high demand, this year has a wait list of 50. Weisbord said she considered P.S, 11 in Chelsea because her daughter was accepted to the gifted and talented program. She said the “small-knit community school” feeling close to her home is what makes the school so attractive. Bonnet wrote that the announcement came after a meeting between Superintendent Mariano Guzman and the School Leadership Team. She said it was “due to overcrowding issues in our downtown schools, questionable economic viability of a small school, concerns about professional development and lack of opportunity for collaboration for our teachers and expanded opportunities for our students…. “The Department of Education realizes that this will be an unexpected inconvenience and shock for many of you.” The agency has pledged to maintain the

kindergarten space in Lower Manhattan if the plan is finalized, but Tricia Joyce and other Downtown school advocates say the proposal has exacerbated the overcrowding problem because many P.S. 150 families are trying to find space in the other Lower Manhattan schools. The school, which has seven classrooms from pre-K – 5th grade, could possibly serve as a pre-K center, which would open up space in P.S. 89, 276, Spruce Street School and Peck Slip School. It could also “incubate” a new school if space were found elsewhere Downtown, but no final plan has been set. Superintendent Guzman has cited two main reasons for the proposed move, said Joyce and Paul Hovitz, respectively the chairperson and co-chairperson of Community Board 1’s Youth and Education committee. One reason is the city’s concern about the high cost of paying a principal’s salary for a school with only about 190 students. The other is worry about the new standardized tests based on a new curriculum, according to Hovitz and Joyce, who have discussed the matter with Guzman. The city plan is to have each teacher in a grade get training in one aspect of the new curriculum, and then share the info with his or her colleagues in the same grade. P.S. 150 does not fit that model. Guzman met with parents Tuesday night at a meeting closed to the press. Buxton Midyette, who organized the t-shirt campaign, said “a lot of the issues he raised we are already dealing with,” citing a

Downtown Express Photo by Milo Hess

recent change in the math curriculum. Midyette said he was hopeful after the meeting because it seemed like Guzman was listening to parent concerns. He said a dramatic moment that may have turned the tide at the beginning was when P.T.A. leader Wendy Chapman asked how many parents planned to transfer to a neighborhood school. “Every hand in the room went up,” said Midyette.

One hand that was not in the room was Adrienne Lytton, a Battery Park City mom, who is now busy house hunting in the suburbs. She said P.S. 150’s smallness would have kept her in the city. Her son got a P.S. 150 kindergarten slot, and she was hoping her daughter would attend as well, but the announcement’s timing is prompting her family to move. “They take something special,” she said, “and they try to destroy it.”

Families left waiting for kindergarten space Continued from page 1

petition demanding the Dept. of Education find space closer to home that has now garnered almost 500 signatures. Her daughter is last on the waitlist for 276. She said that parents were initially told by the D.O.E. that their kids would most likely be offered seats in Chinatown or the Village — too far away for most of them. “It’s obviously very disconcerting. We’re not comfortable with the supposed plan to bus them to other schools,” said Massouh. A similar solution has been proposed in years past, but was strongly opposed by parents and community leaders. “The D.O.E. is aware of our position that they need to find seats Downtown,” said C.B. 1 Youth and Education Chair Tricia Joyce. “We’ve exhausted all of our band aids. We have no more space.” She said she had called principals in surrounding neighborhoods and determined that those schools were not a good fit to solve the waitlist problem, even if they offered a handful of seats. At a School Overcrowding Task Force meeting with Chancellor Dennis Walcott April 4, the chancellor said he wanted to look at the smaller neighborhood “pockets” with large population growth. D.O.E. officials seemed to back off a bit at a follow-up meeting April 29, but advocates are still hopeful a new Lower Manhattan school will be included in the capital plan due Nov. 1. Prior to Monday’s meeting, Joyce said there’s a pressing need now for this year’s waiting list. “They’ve converted space over the summer before, several times, and they need to do it now,” she said. One option discussed in the past was to incubate extra

Downtown Express photo by Terese Loeb Kreuzer

Some parents on the waitlist for Lower Manhattan schools spoke at least week’s Community Board 1 meeting.

kindergarten sections for the Peck Slip School at the Tweed Courthouse, which is designed to open only two sections per grade, per year. Eric Greenleaf, a Downtowner who has closely tracked the school population numbers, said Tweed should definitely be considered as a partial solution. “Can it be expanded by one room? Yes,” he said. “Two rooms? Probably. More than that? I don’t know, but that’s something that’s really up to the principal.” He said there’s room on the first floor to add a

classroom, but one complication about adding too much more space to the D.O.E. headquarters is having adequate bathroom and outdoor play space for the additional students. Joyce also cautioned that any action should be taken only in cooperation with Peck Slip’s principal Maggie Sienna. “They shouldn’t do it unless they have her oversee it,” she said. Sienna is already taking in a section of Pre-K this year in a “one-shot deal” to alleviate crowding at P.S. 276. Massouh said she had heard that there were many options on the table, including building annexes or finding temporary space, but that parents were told not to expect anything until June, when the D.O.E. usually sends out its alternate offers, “which leaves us very little time to pick up and move, which some of us will be doing if there is no resolution.” At a P.S. 89 meeting on Wednesday evening, parents were advised to accept the offers the D.O.E. sent out on June 12, said Crystalyn Stuart. She found 89’s team to be very transparent and helpful, despite the fact that her daughter was originally number 44 of 44 on the P.S. 89 waitlist. At the meeting she learned that 11 offers had been made to students 89’s waitlist and that 4 had withdrawn their slots, “so the list is moving.” However, even with a moving waitlist, there may be too many kids to farm out to area schools. “The D.O.E. is saying, ‘We’ll find you a place somewhere,’ but that’s not the point. The point is that they’re entitled to a place in their zoned school,” said Greenleaf. “If they absolutely refuse to build schools, people are unquestionably going to move out.”


May 1 - May 14, 2013 words with him. She got off at the same stop, at Nostrand Ave. in Brooklyn, where she said called 911 while he attempted to flee by jumping into a cab. The man was arrested, however, and the woman was checked by an ambulance on the scene.

suspiciOus pacKage scaRe

The heightened security in New York City since the Boston Marathon bombings migrated to Tribeca on April 22 when a bomb squad was called in to investigate an abandoned package, which proved to be harmless. The package in question was left on a city bus April 22 as the bus parked for its last stop on Church and Worth Sts., nine blocks north of the World Trade Center. The package was reported at about 9:10 a.m., presumably by the bus driver as an N.Y.P.D. spokesperson said that the bus was empty of passengers at the time. A Twitter post at 10:11 a.m. reported that the streets were blocked and buildings were asking employees to remain indoors. Another tweet by @phdinweed reported that “They’re diverting all traffic from going down Church Street at Thomas…” The police wrapped up the investigation by about 10:40 a.m., said a police source who added that the contents of the alarm-raising package turned out to be a pair of shoes. The day before, a terminal of John F. Kennedy Airport was reportedly evacu-

ated for over an hour, as a bomb squad investigated a package containing toothpaste, duct tape and wires.

Rug assault

One man’s decorative touch is another man’s weapon, or turned into one when police say he hit a woman with a rug on a subway platform Downtown. Michael Warner, 38, was arrested for assault, police said after the hour-long incident, which started off in the subway system beneath Fulton and Nassau Sts. and ended on the streets of Brooklyn. The victim, 42, stated that she was on the platform of the A/C Train at the Broadway/Nassau Street subway station at about 6:37 p.m. on Thurs., April 25. She said that a man was walking through the platform with no regard for the people around him while carrying a large rug. She exchanged words with him and was literally floored when the man swung the rug at her head, knocking her to the ground and causing her to hurt her back and neck, she stated. Instead of staying down, she told police that she boarded the same southbound A Train as the accused, and again exchanged

atteMpteD RObbeRy FOileD

Police arrested a man who was reportedly trying to take a woman’s purse by force on the street one block from the First Precinct station. At 6:15 p.m. on Sat., April 27, an officer observed a man strike, shove and grab a young woman during a struggle for the woman’s purse on the corner of Ericsson Pl. and Hudson St., police said. The man, Joseph Barlow, 33, was allegedly trying to take the purse by grabbing it and pulling it away, causing the strap to break. The woman, 22, managed to hold on to it, but suffered blows to the chest, arms and shoulders. Police said that assailant resisted arrest, struggling with the officer, and then tried to flee and was pursued by police on foot. He was apprehended and charged with attempted robbery.

caugHt napping

Another man managed to chase down a thief in FiDi who stole his wallet with over $2,000, while he was snoozing. The victim, 37, told police that he entered the subway system at Hewes St. in the Bronx, and boarded a southbound J Train on Fri., April 26. He then fell asleep and awoke around 3:45 a.m. to another man going through his right front pocket. The stranger grabbed his wallet and fled. The victim chased him off the train and out of the subway station to Broad St. and Exchange Pl. where an M.S.A. Security officer detained the thief until the N.Y.P.D. arrived. The accused, Marc Hawkin, 51, was searched at the station house and the victim’s MetroCard and wallet were recovered along with the 22 $100 bills inside it.

stReet FaiR FelOny

A woman working at the Tribeca Family Festival reported to police that her cards, key and ID were stolen when she left them unattended. The woman, 27, said she had left her property on a table while she was working

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on Greenwich and Jay Sts. between 3:30 and 5 p.m. on Sat., April 27. When she returned to look for them, they were missing. She further reported that fraudulent charges had been made on the two credit cards. She later canceled the cards. A police canvass turned up no results.

sHaM tHeFt

Two couples waltzed out of a Soho furnishing store without paying for over $1,000 in bedding. An employee of the flagship store of Dwell Studio at 77 Wooster St., reported that four people entered the store and made off with merchandise between 3:55 and 4:10 p.m. on Sun., April 28. One couple allegedly distracted the employee while the other couple put the merchandise into shopping bags. She described the first man as about 50 years old, white, 5’11” and 180 pounds, wearing a black jacket, blue jeans and a grey baseball cap. His partner was a thin woman, also about 50, with brown hair pulled into a ponytail, wearing a denim jacket and a pair of sandals. The other man was in his late 50s, black, wearing glasses, a blue vest over a plaid shirt and a grey hat. The woman was described as about 46, in an orange T-shirt and capri shorts, and walked with a black cane. They managed to bag two Modern Border Tangerine Duvet Sets, and a Chinoiserie set, each worth $350 and tangerine shams, worth $115.

ipHOne stOlen

A theft from W.i.P., the Soho bar and nightclub at 34 Vandam St. attached to Greenhouse, left one angry patron without her phone or ID. At 5:21 a.m. on Sat., April 20, a 24-year-old woman reported to police that her $400 Apple iPhone 4S and photo ID had been removed from her purse, which she stated was on her when the incident occurred, sometime between midnight and 5 a.m. However, a bouncer at the club said that she had left her bag unattended on a table while she was dancing. Police noted that the woman refused to cooperate further or make a report and left the scene.

— Kaitlyn Meade


May 1 - May 14, 2013

Bike share getting ready to roll Downtown By Ka i t ly n M e a d e Spring showers are giving way to May, but all across Lower Manhattan, it seems that instead of flowers popping up, long metal contraptions have been sprouting overnight. That’s right, Citi Bike, NYC’s bike-share program, is getting rolled out and drilled in throughout May, with 5,500 bikes at about 300 stations across Manhattan and Brooklyn. The bike share program is opening sometime this month, nearly a year later than initially planned, but the locations still came as a surprise to some residents who found them in front of their homes, businesses or where they left their cars. One such resident of Battery Park City, Dorothy Lipsky, said she was coming home when she spotted the station, which must have been installed in the middle of the night on West Thames St., near South End Ave. and expressed surprise that they had chosen that location. This station has 49 docks and is located in a no-parking area of the street, according to the map on Citi Bike’s website. “I’m not opposed to the bikes,” said Lipsky. “I think the mayor has done a wonderful job on it.” But she thought that it was “a very inappropriate location for a very good program... West Thames is a very congested street and a number of buses pass there and kids from the school cross there. If the other [locations] are as bad as this one, I think they’ll run into problems with the community,” she said. In fact, the Department of Transportation has already run into problems over this particular station in July of last year, when members of Community Board 1’s Battery Park City Committee were informed of its location. A few people at the meeting noted that the street was crowded. West Thames is a “real dangerous road between 2 p.m. and 4 p.m.” C.B. 1’s Tammy Meltzer said then. The Battery Park City Authority also asked that the West Thames St. and Vesey St. bike rack locations be reconsidered in a letter to the D.O.T.’s Manhattan Borough Commissioner. The intersection has been a part of an ongoing argument about safety after a car crash in October of 2012. However, slowing down dangerous traffic is an added benefit of these stations, said Stephanie Levinsky, a D.O.T. representative, at a February presentation to C.B. 1’s Planning Committee. The committee was also assured that the D.O.T. would consider shifting a station’s location if it was proven to be unsafe or if they received significant complaints after it was installed. At one Tribeca location, a station was nearly prevented from being installed at all by Jacques Capsuoto, who said the racks would block the service entrance of his French bistro and take parking from the surrounding area. When representatives of the D.O.T. and Citi Bike came to Washington St., Capsuoto sat solidly on the curb where the racks were to be installed in protest. He reportedly backed down hours later when the police arrived, but is still planning on fighting the location. Others have rued their absences from

Downtown Express photo by Kaitlyn Meade

Curious passersby stopped to read signs for bike-share stations appearing in Lower Manhattan.

the curb during station installations, namely because they could have moved their cars. In Greenwich Village, there have been reports of residents and visitors who park their cars by the curb only to return and find their vehicles have been replaced by bike racks. Apparently, there have been paper signs posted at the sites, but those who miss them have to trek to Brooklyn to reclaim their cars from the tow pound. There have been positive reactions as well, said Tribeca resident and cyclist Charles Komanoff over the phone from Greenwich Park. “The kiosk that’s on my block, last week when it was installed, I saw so many people stopping and reading the signs.” When he asked them what they thought, he said, “everyone one of them said this is great.” While Komanoff, an environmentalist who works on traffic planning, said that anytime entitlement, like curbside parking, was taken away, there would be complaints, but “It’s not just about them. It’s about the neighborhood, the community, the city.” The stations will be stocked with bicycles in the coming month. The program, funded through a $41 million grant from Citibank is run and operated by NYC Bike Share, whose parent company, Alta Bicycle Share, runs the systems in Boston and Washington, D.C. An annual membership in Citi Bike costs $95. Seven-day memberships can be purchased for $25 and 24-hour memberships are $9.95. Bikes will be available 24 hours a day throughout the year, unless weather conditions make cycling hazardous, according to the D.O.T. website. For more information, visit

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May 1 - May 14, 2013

Downtowners feel a Connection, but B.P.C. board debates bus service By T e re se L o e b K r e u z e r “Whatever happened with the bus service that was costing us a fortune?” asked Fernando Mateo, a member of the Battery Park City Authority board of directors at the board’s April meeting. “I didn’t know that was an issue,” replied Dennis Mehiel, the board’s chairperson. “The issue was that we are providing free transportation to all these corporate employees that work here and I felt that we should call the corporate accounts and ask them to contribute so that it’s not all coming out of the Authority’s pocket,” Mateo said. Mateo and Mehiel were talking about the Downtown Connection bus service, which is free and is run by the Downtown Alliance, a business improvement district that takes in much of Lower Manhattan south of Chambers St. It does not include Battery Park City, however, although the bus route goes through Battery Park City on its way between Water St. in the South St. Seaport and Broadway near City Hall. The B.P.C.A. has a contract with the Alliance that expires in August for the shuttle and other services at a cost of $632,000 a year. “The corporate entities that are here take the position that they are not part of the BID, therefore they are not in a position to be tolled for that service,” said B.P.C.A.

president Demetri Boutris. The Connection bus service runs daily between 10 a.m. and 7:30 p.m. except on Thanksgiving, Christmas Day and New Year’s Day. Because of its starting time, not many people would be able to take it to work in the morning, though it is used when it’s time to go home — but not usually by people employed by corporations with offices in Battery Park City. One recent afternoon, for instance, Mike Morrissey checked the Downtown Connection bus app on his iPhone and saw that the next bus would be on his corner at Greenwich and Murray Sts. in four minutes. Closing the computer in his office, he hurried downstairs to catch the bus to his home at the southern end of Battery Park City. “It’s a great service!” he said. “My wife and I use it almost every day — half the time for business and half the time for social reasons like shopping or going out to dinner.” Sitting across from him, Eunice Becker was also taking the bus to go from her office on Broadway to her home in Battery Park City. She said that her son, who is in college now, used to use the bus all the time to come home from athletic practice, especially in winter when it was cold. As Morrissey got off, Sharon Steinbach got on. She takes the Connection bus fre-

Downtown Express photo by Terese Loeb Kreuzer

The Battery Park City Authority board is looking into cutting off financial support for the free Downtown Connection bus service.

quently, she said, to go from the Museum of Jewish Heritage in Battery Park City where she works, to Wall and Water Sts., where she catches a van to take her to the Upper East Side, where she lives. The Connection service debuted in 2003. Ever since then, ridership has steadily increased said Dwayne Jacobs, director of transportation services for the Alliance.

Weekdays, the Alliance runs seven buses on the route. On weekends, there are five buses. The round trip from the South Street Seaport and back again takes around 55 minutes, depending on traffic. Starting around 2:30 in the afternoon, the bus is full of school kids and their caretakers, Continued on page 7

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The meeting is open to the public and all registered members are eligible to vote. 120 Broadway, Suite 3340 New York, NY 10271 (212) 566-6700

May 1 - May 14, 2013

Supermarket promised at old Pathmark site

Downtown Express File Photo

The old Pathmark.

By l i n Co ln a nd e r s o n Local elected officials announced that the developer of the former Pathmark site on the Lower East Side has agreed to build a replacement supermarket as part of the project. Much to the community’s dismay, the Pathmark was closed in December to make way for the new development. On Friday, Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, State Senator Daniel Squadron and Councilmember Margaret Chin issued a joint statement on the agreement: “As part of our ongoing effort to ensure that our Lower East Side neighbors have access to fresh food and other essentials,” they

said, “we met with the developer of the former Pathmark site at 227 Cherry St. and received a commitment that a full-service supermarket will be built as part of the project. “This is an area that is underserved when it comes to the availability of fresh and affordable food. That is why we fought plans to close the Pathmark and have been advocating for another supermarket to replace it. Extell Development Company has assured us that a food market will be built,” the politicians said, “and we look forward to seeing it open. We are also advocating for a temporary market to open while construction is underway.”

B.P.C. bus service Continued from page 6

Jacobs said. Around 3:30 p.m., people begin to leave their offices along Water Street and at the other end of the route, on Broadway, heading for trains, buses and ferries that will take them home. Steve Bezares, a dog walker in Battery Park City, said that he takes the Connection bus around three times a week to go from one end of Battery Park City to the other. “I see lots of children on the bus,” he said, “and lots of seniors.” Miles Greenblatt, 13, said he uses the bus every Monday to go from Battery Park City, where he lives, to Hebrew school in Tribeca. Several people who live in Battery Park City said that they use the bus to shop at

Whole Foods or to take their children to after-school activities in Tribeca. In addition, there are the tourists. “A great number of them use the bus,” said Jacobs. “You can’t imagine how word of mouth travels.” At the Battery Park City Authority board of directors meeting where the issue of whether the authority should support the shuttle was being discussed, Martha Gallo, who heads the B.P.C.A.’s Audit Committee, said, “I think we’ll need a full review of this question.” Mehiel asked the staff to put together the history of the B.P.C.A.’s contribution to the Connection bus, the current situation, the actual costs, the total cost and what portion is being borne by the authority. He said he wanted to “get down to the micro details and see if the policy is one we want to support or one we want to change.”



May 1 - May 14, 2013


Six months since Sandy…

Summer can’t come soon enough for most of us. The construction and clatter continue but we do see some progress. Still, most New Yorkers and outsiders have no idea how difficult it remains for many businesses down here. Dare we say “May Day”?

¡Vamos a celebrarlo!

Cinco de Mayo celebrations begin this week, and the weekend will rock throughout the hood. Look for party action at Cowgirl Sea-Horse, fun times at Meade’s and wild revelry at Jeremy’s Ale House. The Ale House kicks off the festivities Friday at 2 p.m. with an honest to goodness Mariachi band, plus food and drink specials. Whoo who!

Welcome bambinos...

Baby news for Seaport regulars. We have a new sprout at the Ale House/Meade’s family. Jason Holin, son of Jeremy and Cheryl and brother of Lee, and his lovely wife Erin had a baby boy two weeks ago.

Little Sawyer Holin is enjoying all the attention from his doting grandparents, uncle and older brother Caleb. And, over at Acqua, chef Ivan Beacco beams with joy. His new little pink bundle arrived on April 3. Olivia is bouncing and beautiful. Congratulations all!

Mantenere mangiare...

Speaking of Acqua, at 21 Peck Slip, not even Sandy could stop the epicurean regional tour of Italy at the cozy ristorante, which quickly reopened in early December. Through this Sunday, May 5, Acqua is celebrating Abruzzo, the eastern coast of Italy. Their “Flavor of Italy” menu where Chef Beacco creates four delectable dishes from a county of Italy has been a success since it started last fall. In fact, since the Sardinia sampling, about a dozen or more customers have come every two weeks to take part in the gastronomic adventure. Management describes it as a history of Italy through its food. As “the land of the conquered,” Italy has distinct food styles from north to south, from island to island, depending on who ruled and whose recipes stuck. From Austro-Hungarians and Germans in the north to Moors and Egyptians in the south, the distinct ingre-

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Photo by Brook Altman

Assembly Speaker Silver presenting a proclamation to Spruce Street students and P.T.A. president Ashley Duncan.

dients and herbs still flavor the dishes. On the menu through Sunday are mussel, clam and veal tripe dishes spiced with strong complements: tomato, garlic and chili peppers. A chocolate covered almond cake — “Parrozzo di Pescara” — rounds out the menu which is paired with the perfect wine from the region. The next region, Umbria, — the only land-locked area of Italy — from May 27 to June 2, features heartier fare. The menu ranges from chicken liver and black truffle pate to stewed pork shoulder with sweetbreads and cannellini and fava beans and finishes with a cake of apples, pine nuts and raisins.

Rockin’ in the streets…

Gray skies didn’t dampen spirits in the Seaport on the night of Thursday, April 18, as kids, parents, neighbors and friends came out to Front St. to party in support of the South Street Seaport community and businesses hurt by Superstorm Sandy. The Spirit Project, an outdoor concert fundraiser put together by the P.T.A. of Spruce Street School, drew more than 500 people throughout the evening, including Councilwoman Margaret Chin, Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer and various Community Board 1 members. Several food trucks parked along Fulton Street sold a variety of fun foods while the donated beer and wine flowed. Three bands performed during the evening: New York rock musician Jeff Touhey, the five-piece indie rockabilly band The Hollows, and local bluegrass group, The Crusty Gentlemen who regularly play the Cowgirl Sea-Horse. “I was thrilled to see life back in our

neighborhood,” said the Cowgirl Sea-Horse’s Sherry Delamarter. “It’s been six months now. It was great to just relax and have fun.” “By the end of the night, people were saying we should do this once a month, just have time to hang-out together, which is exactly what we wanted to do,” said co-chair of the event Learan Kahanov, father of two Spruce School students. The school’s P.T.A. president Ashley Duncan also co-chaired. They came up with the idea for The Spirit Project while talking about the annual school fundraiser, The Taste of the Seaport. Kahanov told Seaport Report that the community and its businesses have been so supportive during the four annual street fairs. “We wanted to do something to give back to the businesses in the community,” he said. “The businesses need more than we could raise in three hours.” The money raised will go into a fund to promote future events, advertising to increase awareness of the community and its shops through The Seaport Neighborhood Merchants’ Association, a group of local small businesses based north of Fulton Street which organized following the hurricane. The association’s acting director Marco Pasanella of Pasanella & Son said in an email: “All I can really express is how genuinely we were touched by the turnout. So encouraging to see our neighborhood teeming with life again! We are all so looking forward to the day when every day is like last night — except maybe with softer music. “And on behalf of all our Seaport merchants, I really want to express how grateful we are to Learan, Ashley and the Spruce Street School P.T.A. who put this event together.”


May 1 - May 14, 2013

East River pier to open

Beach volleyball This summer, Manhattan Youth will be encouraging kids to come out and play in the sand by hosting Friday Night Youth Volleyball on Pier 25 near N. Moore St. in Tribeca. The program is for grades 6 to 12 and will take place every Friday evening except Memorial Day weekend. The 6th through 8th graders play from 6-7:30 p.m., while 9th through 12th graders will take the court from 7:30-9 p.m. Youth Volleyball begins on May 10, with

registration taking place now. For more info, visit And if you need some extra practice, or simply want to get in on the game, stop by the pier volleyball courts on Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. for an afternoon of equal parts learning and games. While Saturday afternoon’s Community Volleyball is free, a $5 donation is requested to help support the programs. Register through

Pier 42 during the repaving proccess.

Ring around the waterfront, a section of the East River Park at Pier 42 will open to the public on May 4, and will eventually form a continuous “green ribbon” around Lower Manhattan. “Very soon families will be able to enjoy a picnic on the pier or a walk along the waterfront.,” State Sen. Daniel Squadron said in a statement. “This interim recreational use on Pier 42 is a big step forward as we build the real, world-class waterfront park for which we’ve long fought and complete a Harbor Park — a central park for the center of our city.” The redevelopment has been a long time coming since Squadron and Senator Charles Schumer applied for funding with the Lower HalfPageAd_5-13.pdf 2/20/2013 9:34:49 AM Manhattan Development Corporation in

November of 2010. They secured the funds a year later and began planning with the city Parks Dept. and landscape architects Mathews Nielsen. Where a hulking shell of a warehouse sat amid an empty parking lot at the end of Montgomery St., the pier will be repaved and reopened as a community green space with picnic tables. There will also be a connection to the East River Park at the north end of the space, and the opening day will feature “Paths to Pier 42,” a series of art, design and educational installations along the pier and up into the East River Park. Visitors are invited to attend the pier’s reopening day, with a kickoff at 11:30 am and festivities beginning at noon.

Image courtesy of Manhattan Youth


May 1 - May 14, 2013

One middle school better than 2, parent group says By l i n Co l n a nd e r s o n Downtown is getting a building to convert into a school at 75 Morton St. This much is known. But, first, the big questions that need to be answered are: What grade levels and how many schools should the building include? A group of local school parents has hired its own facilitator and held three meetings to consider what would be the best fit for the building, and for Community School District 2, as a whole. At a meeting of the 75 Morton Task Force April 22, this group presented their findings thus far in a report on their “envisioning process.” Many in the group think the best use for 75 Morton St. would be as one middle school with 900 students, from grades 6 to 8. Of this number, about 90 would be special-education students. However, School Construction Authority officials previously stated the city felt two, smaller middle schools would be the best use. “We need middle school seats — that was the envisioning group’s consensus,” said Heather Campbell, a member of Community Board 2 who is also part of the envisioning group. Campbell said P.S. 41, for example, is one large school, with 800 students, and

functions very well. On the other hand, when a school building is divided up into two schools, she said, “You get the ‘A’ level and the ‘B’ level — it just happens.” Co-locating schools in the same building poses challenges, she added, noting, “Sharing’s hard.” Heather Lortie, another member of the group, said School District 2 is desperate for more space for students in the sixth to eighth grades. “We’re already at capacity with the middle school seats we have,” she said, adding that, in particular, “The West Side needs a middle school.” What educational slant a 75 Morton school might have isn’t yet known, and is a “next steps” issue to address a bit farther in the future. But representatives of the Whitney Museum and the Children’s Museum of the Arts spoke at last week’s meeting, emphasizing the importance of arts education. Another local parent who is also a science teacher said not to forget about science, either. Next, the two branches of the 75 Morton Task Force — Community Board 2 and the District 2 Community Education Council — will make their recommendations on what grade levels and how many schools the building should have. S.C.A. needs to know this information before it starts construction on 75 Morton in June.


Heather Campbell, left, and Heather Lortie, members of the 75 Morton St. envisioning group.

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May 1 - May 14, 2013

transit sam ALTERNATE SIDE PARKING IS SUSPENDED THURSDAY A new May Day tradition means reassembling Occupy Wall St. for at least one day and that means travel headaches for Downtowners. O.W.S. will hold protests all day Wednesday. In Lower Manhattan, there will be a rally at the Federal Hall National Memorial on Wall St. at Nassau St. from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. and an assembly in Zuccotti Park from 7:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Also, a march will close Broadway between Union Square and Whitehall St. around 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. So, if driving, avoid the Brooklyn Bridge area, including Chambers St. and Park Row. West St. to the Battery Tunnel and vice versa will be the better route. This Sunday marks Cinco de Mayo, which many New Yorkers will celebrate by participating in the Five Boro Bike Tour. The tour will start bright and early Sunday morning, bringing 20,000 cyclists to the staging area around Battery Park, Rector St., and Park Pl. Street closures will begin at 6 a.m. and continue through the morning. The following streets will be affected: Whitehall St. between South and Water Sts., State St. between Whitehall St. and Battery Pl., Battery Pl. between State and Greenwich Sts., Greenwich St. between

Battery Park and Trinity Pl., Trinity Pl. between Greenwich and Cedar Sts., Church St. between Cedar and Walker Sts., White St. between Sixth Ave. and Franklin St., and Sixth Ave. from Franklin St. northward. A barrage of bikes will return on the Staten Island Ferry in the afternoon and disperse at Battery Park. For more information on the bike tour closures, follow me on Twitter @gridlocksam. All Manhattan-bound lanes of the Brooklyn Bridge will close 11 p.m. to 6 a.m. Wednesday and Thursday, 12:01 a.m. to 7 a.m. Saturday, 12:01 a.m. to 9 a.m. Sunday, and 11 p.m. to 6 a.m. Monday and Tuesday. This will drive westbound traffic to the Manhattan Bridge and onto Canal St. The Washington Market School Street Fair will close Duane St. between Church St. and West Broadway 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday. An art project will close a curb lane on Forsyth St. between Canal and Division Sts. 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. Thursday through Saturday. On West St./Route 9A, one lane will be closed in both directions between West Thames and Vesey Sts. 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. Friday and Saturday. At the Battery Park Underpass, all northbound lanes of the service road between The Battery and Morris St. will be closed 24/7 through May 20.

Junior Division: K-3RD GRADE

F rom the mai lbag:

Dear Wayne,

Dear Transit Sam, What are the rules for car service vehicles parking on a city street overnight? My area used to have plenty of parking until a car service company opened and started to park their cars on the local streets. Overnight my block could be filled with cars only from that car service company. I thought taxis and commercial vehicles have to park in a lot overnight. Wayne, New York

You are correct that commercial vehicles cannot park on the street overnight. However, car service vehicles are not, as far as NYC parking rules, commercial vehicles. They are “service vehicles,” as are taxis and black cabs, both of which are allowed to park on the street overnight. Transit Sam Lower Manhattanites: Got a question about traffic or parking? Email me at







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May 1 - May 14, 2013

Brookfield Office Properties, the owner of the four buildings formerly known as Battery Park City’s World Financial Center, announced that it has signed a new 16-year lease with GFK US Holdings for 75,000 square feet at 200 Liberty St. and another new 16-year-lease with Regus for 55,000 square feet at 200 Vesey St. Regus offers part-time and flexible office space to businesses and individuals, who can rent fully equipped office space for a day or even an hour. Two retailers have signed up so far to open stores in what was formerly 2 World Financial Center (now part of Brookfield Place), now under construction. In 2014, look for Michael Kors and Burberry.

dents). B.P.C. families will pay either $125 a month or $195 a month, depending on family size. In May, the initiation fee will be $99 for all memberships, going up to $199 for singles and $259 or $299 for families after June 1. No special discounts have been announced for B.P.C. seniors. “I don’t know of any of the single seniors or older seniors who would be likely to join now at those prices,” said Ruth Ohman, who heads the Battery Park City seniors group. “We are so lucky that Bob Townley’s Manhattan Youth [in the Downtown Community Center at 120 Warren St.] has a wonderful free swim program for seniors.” Memberships in Asphalt Green include use of a 25-yard, six lane swimming pool, a warm water teaching and exercise pool, a completely equipped fitness center, a gymnasium for sports such as basketball, soccer and volleyball, and six multipurpose studios in which up to 84 group exercise classes will be offered. The membership office is at 212 North End Ave. The phone number is 212-298-2980.

aspHalt gReen MeMbeRsHip Dues:

MeRcHants HOspitality On tHe plaza:

B y terese loeb Kreuzer

bROOKFielD place leasing:

The Asphalt Green Battery Park City community center, slated to open on June 15, has been offering reduced initiation fees. Battery Park City residents also get an extra discount. The monthly fee for a single membership will be $105 (compared with $119 for non-Battery Park City resi-

There will be three kiosks this year on the Brookfield Place plaza overlooking North Cove marina, all run by Merchants Hospitality. Quality Burger and Oaxaca Express have already opened. The third kiosk, American Rotisserie, is scheduled to open in early May. The menu will feature rotisserie chicken priced from $5.75

Battery Park City

FUN FOR ALL! May through October

Daily & Weekly Programs

Preschool Play, Preschool Art, School-age Art+Games, Afternoon Basketball, Soccer, and Drop-in Chess, Tai Chi, Volleyball After Work, Sunset Singing Circle, Sunset Jams Drumming Circle, Art for Adults


May 11, Go Fish! Catch-and-release fishing, live music, and see live birds of prey May 18, Stories for All Ages, Fairy Day! May 18, Bluegrass Family Dance May 19 & June 2, Walks & Talks: River as Muse, Terra Nova For more information, please visit, or call 212-267-9700

Downtown Express photo by Terese Loeb Kreuzer

Primroses and other flowers are in bloom in Battery Park City’s South Cove.

for a quarter of a chicken to $15.95 for a whole one. Side orders ($3.75 each) will include mac and cheese, cornbread and biscuits, mashed sweet potatoes and kale salad with apples and toasted walnuts. The kiosks will be open from 11 a.m. to around 9 p.m.

citatiOn FOR linDa belFeR:

At its monthly full board meeting in April, Community Board 1 awarded a citation to long-time member and community leader Linda Belfer. The award mentioned her three decades of service “as an advocate for quality of life” in Battery Park City and in Lower Manhattan. In March 2012, Belfer moved from Battery Park City, where she lived at Gateway Plaza, to a nursing home in the Bronx. As one of the first Battery Park City residents, Belfer was a member of Community Board 1 for 30 years, serving as treasurer, chair of the nominating committee, and chairperson of the Battery Park City Committee, among other posts. She was also president of the Gateway Plaza Tenants Association where, the citation said, “she worked tirelessly to defend rent protections and improve conditions for her neighbors.” “Linda devoted years of her life to the cause of helping the Gateway Plaza residents,” said Glenn Plaskin, the current president of the tenants association. “Were it not for her, we might not have the rent stabilization agreement that we signed in June 2009.” The C.B. 1 citation also mentioned Belfer’s work in the aftermath of 9/11, when she “provided a strong voice for residents who remained in lower Manhattan and rebuilt their community.”

batteRy paRK city in blOOM:

Battery Park City Authority and Battery Park City Parks Conservancy

In spring, South Cove’s wooded glade shelters a constantly changing symphony of flowers, from the first snowdrops and hellebores to daffodils to the brilliantly colored primroses that now adorn the ground under the honey locust trees and shadbushes.

Primroses (Primula vulgaris) originated in western and southern Europe. They grow wild as far north as the Faroe Islands in the North Atlantic and as far south as Portugal and Algeria in northern Africa. They can also be found wild in Turkey and Iran, but quintessentially, they are associated with English gardens. Their name comes from old French, “primerose,” which means “first rose,” though they are not roses at all. With a long history of cultivation, parts of the primrose plant have been used in herbal medicine to induce vomiting and to treat wounds and nervous disorders. Primroses have also been used as food and to make tea. South Cove’s primroses flourish next to yellow flowers on slender stalks that resemble Chinese pagodas — appropriately called “Erythronium ‘Pagoda.’” The pagoda flower was hybridized from two wildflowers native to North America. They are members of the lily family and grow from bulbs. Scattered around them are sweet flowers, commonly called “pansies”or “violas.” They, too, turn up in herbals and on dinner plates. The flowers, leaves and roots contain vitamins A and C.

lil bub & FRienDz:

“Lil Bub & Friends,” a film about a cat with an unusually sweet face that premiered on April 20 at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival Drive-In in Battery Park City, won the Best Feature Film award at the 2013 Tribeca Online Festival. Votes from online viewers gave the film its victory. The feature documentary, directed by Andy Capper and Juliette Eisner, described how Lil Bub captivated fans on the Internet and then enchanted them in person at the first-ever Internet Cat Video Film Festival. At the Tribeca Film Festival, Lil Bub got to walk the red carpet, where she showed off her large green eyes. For those who missed her star turn, she has her own channel on YouTube. To comment on Battery Park City Beat or to suggest article ideas, email TereseLoeb10@


May 1 - May 14, 2013

Carousel’s on track as Battery Park recovers from Sandy By t e re se lo e b K r e u z e r The SeaGlass carousel in historic Battery Park at the southern end of Manhattan isn’t scheduled to open until the fall, but after what Superstorm Sandy did to Lower Manhattan, a celebration seemed in order on April 18 for the topping off of the structure’s shell. “We need every step of the way to celebrate Downtown,” said Warrie Price, president of The Battery Conservancy, an organization that she founded in 1994 to help rehabilitate the 25-acre Battery Park. The conservancy raised $16 million to design, build and landscape the carousel, which will feature 30 fiberglass fish, each more than nine feet tall, and a programmable sound and light show. The carousel’s foundation “was bone dry during Sandy,” Price said, but much of the park experienced the full force of Superstorm Sandy. The storm destroyed the wiring for the intricately programmed Bosque fountain and leveled five mature trees, including the park’s last remaining American elm — which took the playground equipment down with it. The New Amsterdam pavilion in Peter Minuit Plaza has not yet reopened. In addition, the storm flooded the conservancy’s office at 1 New York Plaza. The office has since relocated to 1 Whitehall St. The park’s gardens were submerged

under salt water for hours. In the aftermath, the conservancy consulted the New Orleans Botanical Garden, which experienced similar problems after Hurricane Katrina. “We followed their advice to flush out the gardens and to add nutrient-rich soil,” said Hope Cohen, the conservancy’s chief administration and finance officer. “When Sandy struck, we had recently turned off the irrigation system for the season. We turned it back on so we could flush the gardens and we cut back all the damaged plant material. We’re now watching, fingers crossed. Our horticulturists are encouraged but we won’t really know that for a couple more weeks.” Amidst this swath of destruction, the carousel stands like a beacon. The spiralshaped pavilion of glass and steel, designed by WXY Architecture, looks a chambered nautilus. The walls will change color from transparent to cobalt blue, simulating a descent into the sea. Riders will sit on iridescent fish designed by the George Tsypin Opera Factory and built by in Montreal by Show Canada, whose clients include Cirque du Soleil. They will be arriving in Battery Park over the course of the summer. “We use the word ‘carousel’ because it is in a park and you ride figures in a circle and they go up and down,” said Cohen, “but beyond that, it’s not like any carousel that any of us has ever experienced. It will be like

Downtown Express photo by Terese Loeb Kreuzer

Battery Park’s high-tech SeaGlass carousel, which is opening in the fall, was topped off April 18.

going to the planetarium, except that you get to ride. It will be like going to another world.” The carousel is being built with a combination of public and private funds. The City Council contributed $1 million; the mayor, $3 million; the Lower Manhattan

Development Corporation, $2.7 million; and $750,000 came from Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer’s office. The conservancy also used some of its reserve. Each fish costs $100,000 to sponsor, and Continued on page 27


May 1 - May 14, 2013

Downtown Express photos by Milo Hess

Tribeca Family Festival Whether you love the silver screen or the blue sky, the Tribeca Family Festival street fair was the place to be on Saturday, April 27 as kids filled Greenwich St. for a day of free family-friendly activities. New elements like the Tribeca Food Feast and Back Lot brought even more diversity to the annual event. Thousands came to see sneak previews, learn about filmmaking or simply eat ice cream in the sun.


May 1 - May 14, 2013

Your doctor retired to where?

Downtown Express photos by Milo Hess

9/11 run brings city together Thousands joined the inaugural 9/11 Memorial 5K Run/Walk on Sunday, despite increased police security. The route started out at Pier 57 and wound around Lower Manhattan. From dedicated athletes to families with kids in tow, participants turned out to honor the victims and the first responders that poured into the area after the attacks. April 21 is the anniversary of the date that President Obama signed the law officially decreeing Sept. 11 to be a day of service and remembrance. Runners also paid tribute to Boston, wearing “I Run For Boston” t-shirts and pinning messages or black ribbons to their shirts. Security was tightened around the race following the April 15 bombing of the Boston Marathon. Following the race, visitors were invited to Family Day on Vesey St. between Church St. and Broadway to celebrate a sense of unity and the new generation of New Yorkers that will inherit it.

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May 1 - May 14, 2013

Seaport Museum says it’s getting pushed out Continued from page 1

April 5 but was renewed for three months in order to provide one last chance to salvage the museum. John Fratta, chairperson of Community Board 1’s Seaport Committee, said last week that he hoped the lease would be extended an additional six months so the museum could find a way to stay permanently. He pointed out that 30 years ago, the idea was for Hughes’ predecessor to provide a steady source of income to support the Seaport Museum. The museum was on the road to curatorial and financial stability when Superstorm Sandy struck, severely damaging the electrical systems in the museum’s Fulton St. premises. The heating and cooling systems and the elevator and escalators would cost an estimated $22 million to repair. On April 7, the museum closed its 12 Fulton St. galleries, with the intention of focusing on its properties on Water St. where Bowne Printers and Bowne & Co. Stationers are located. “From our perspective, Howard Hughes’ actions to date signify that the museum will not likely survive and that The Howard Hughes Corporation doesn’t seem to have an interest in our survival,” Gallagher said. He cited specific roadblocks that the corporation had erected to keeping the museum’s historic ships at Pier 16. He said that the museum had asked Howard Hughes to help support the ships, which, he said, “give authenticity to Pier 17” where the firm is about to demolish the existing mall and build another one. However, Gallagher said David Weinreb, the Hughes C.E.O., responded that he would pay $150,000 annually for 10 years to the ships if the museum would give up its leasehold interests along Water St. “We obviously were not asking for a trade that would benefit The Howard Hughes Corporation at the expense of the Seaport Museum,” Gallagher said. He said in a subsequent meeting with City Councilmemeber Margaret Chin and Chris Curry, senior executive vice president of Howard Hughes, Curry “was kind enough to say that he would reverse David Weinreb’s decision,” suggesting the $1.5 million offer would come without strings, “but nothing has happened with regard to that request.” Gallagher also cited problems created for the museum by a lease dating from 1981 that was originally between the New York City Economic Development Corporation (E.D.C.) and the Rouse Company. That lease then was transferred to General Growth Properties and to its successor, Howard Hughes. “Howard Hughes has no reason to help secure the museum’s existence because they would get the [museum’s] square footage as a matter of right under the 1981 lease after six months of vacancy,” Gallagher said. “So if the museum doesn’t utilize its spaces for six months, then by default it gets turned over to the Howard Hughes Corporation. They would acquire all of the spaces within the museum at 12 Fulton St. and also the spaces along Water Street.”

Downtown Express file photo by Milo Hess

The South Street Seaport Museum’s Ambrose was the backdrop for Tartan Day festivities in March.

‘The issues with the South Street Seaport Museum are much too large for the Howard Hughes Corporation to solve.’ This would amount to over 80,000 square feet of space. “Howard Hughes Corporation has twice asked my permission to walk through the spaces with one of their architects,” Gallagher told the Seaport Committee. “We’re doing everything in our power to make this work, but in fact we have close to no winning cards in our hands. It’s a very dire situation that we’re faced with.” Curry responded that Gallagher was telling only part of the story. “I think it’s important to note that this is primarily a negotiation between E.D.C. and the Seaport Museum,” he said. “We were brought into this because they’re our neigh-

bor and they were asking for certain things that would impact our leasehold interests and we were clear that we wouldn’t give up our leasehold interests but we would work with them.” Curry said that Howard Hughes had given the museum “many opportunities to work with us to figure out how to become much more visible within our program.” He went on to say that, “The issues with the South Street Seaport Museum are much too large for the Howard Hughes Corporation to solve. But we’re ready, willing and able to help in any way we can.” Matt Viggiano, land use director for City Councilmember Chin in whose district the South Street Seaport lies, said that Chin is “dedicated to making sure that the museum remains a community asset.” He said, “We’re working very closely with E.D.C. as well as with the Department of Cultural Affairs to make that happen.” Although no one from the E.D.C. was present at the Seaport Committee meeting, a spokesperson said in response that E.D.C. is in daily contact with the museum to address their needs. The spokesperson, Nick Kelly, also said that as the landlord, the E.D.C. is responsible for fixing building systems that are not exclusive to just one building — such

as electrical systems that provide electricity for a number of tenants. Kelly said E.D.C. had fixed the electrical system and relocated it to a higher floor and had repaired the museum’s cooling and heating systems, though not obligated to do so. In an email April 18, Susan Henshaw Jones, president of the museum, said E.D.C. had fixed the switchgear that provides electricity to the collections, which are in a building that faces John St. “Thus, we were able to turn on the chillers,” she said. “It was done this week, in fact, so the collections are fine. E.D.C. should be commended for getting the collection areas fixed up in advance of the heat and humidity. Our temporary heaters warmed them, and now the chillers will cool and de-humidify them.” Fratta, the Seaport Committee chairperson, suggested setting up a meeting with the Hughes Corporation, the Seaport Museum and E.D.C. “so we can really get the story. We’re hearing it from you, we’re hearing it from them, and we’re hearing it from E.D.C. and nothing is making sense,” he said. “We can’t afford to lose the museum. We’ve made that very clear from day one.” Gallagher and Curry agreed to such a meeting. The E.D.C. has said that it is always happy to talk with the community board.


May 1 - May 14, 2013

Liu and city say Seaport operator owes $1.3 million By t e re se l o e b K r e u z e r City Comptroller John Liu issued an audit report April 30 criticizing the New York City Economic Development Corporation for its handling of some of the leases under its jurisdiction in the South Street Seaport. The report states that the city (as successor-in-interest to the South Street Seaport Corporation) and South Street Seaport Associates (Seaport Associates), a limited partnership, are parties to two leases for spaces within the South Street Seaport. It also states that Seaport Associates improperly calculated rent payments and did not report all subtenant rental income or other income and therefore owes the city at least $1.3 million for unpaid rent and accrued interest. It goes on to say that, “These issues occurred, in part, because E.D.C. did not adequately monitor Seaport Associates to ensure its compliance with lease terms. As the agency responsible for administering the leases, E.D.C. should have ensured that Seaport Associates complied with significant lease terms. E.D.C. also improperly adjusted Seaport Associates’ interest and rent charges totaling $27,032.” In addition, the comptroller’s audit notes that an unnamed E.D.C. board mem-

Downtown Express photo by Terese Loeb Kreuzer

City Comptroller John Liu.

ber who is a former Seaport Associates principal and lease signatory, utilized Seaport Associates’ office space rent free in violation of E.D.C.’s conflict of interest code. This board member chairs E.D.C.’s Real Estate and Finance Committee.


An Evening of Commedia & Classicism Harlequinade

A one-act ballet based on the Commedia Dell’arte


Two acts of the timeless classic

Friday and Saturday, May 17th and 18th, 2013 • 7:30 pm Michael Schimmel Center for the Arts, 3 Spruce Street, NYC Tickets: $15 - $55, at Senior and student discounts available.

Sleeping Beauty






Seaport Associates responded to the audit by saying that it rejected the report’s findings and recommendations, calling them “politically motivated and the result of political infighting between the Comptroller’s

Office and E.D.C.” E.D.C., part of the Bloomberg administration, denied that characterization, even though mayoral candidate Liu is one of the harshest critics of Mayor Bloomberg In its response, E.D.C. officials substantially agreed with all of the report’s findings and recommendations and detailed steps it had taken or will take to implement the comptroller’s recommendations. E.D.C. issued a statement to say that it “is currently in litigation with Seaport Associates, seeking to secure unpaid rent and interest. We appreciate the comptroller’s verification of the findings and the steps that we have taken.” The comptroller’s office discussed the fi ndings in its audit with E.D.C. and Seaport Associates officials. Both received a draft report on March 22, 2013 with a request for comments. According to the E.D.C., when it was apprised of the comptroller’s audit and concerns, it immediately took steps to recover the money due the city. E.D.C. also asserts that the board member who leased a suite in a Seaport Associates building for several years paying nearly $3,000 a month subsequently only used it as a mailing address and is no longer doing so.


May 1 - May 14, 2013


Scouts earn badge of shame Publisher

Jennifer Goodstein Publisher EMERITUS

John W. Sutter Editor


Terese Loeb Kreuzer Arts Editor

Scott Stiffler Reporters

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Sr. V.P. of Sales & Marketing

Francesco Regini Retail ad manager

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Allison Greaker Julius Harrison Gary Lacinski Alex Morris Julio Tumbaco Art / Production Director

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Arnold Rozon

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 recent announcement that gay members would no longer be barred from their ranks. In late May, 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 Boy Scouts 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

Albert Amateau Jerry Tallmer Photographers

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es 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, 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 “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, Downtown Express’ sister paper.

Letters to the Editor Parks before bikes To The Editor:


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. 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 choic-

This photograph is of newly installed bicycle parking equipment in Duarte Park, a public park. This use of public park space sets a very concerning precedent. I am concerned that a public park is being used to store bicycles. Will cars be next? If we want to encourage bicycle use in the city, and there are many benefits for doing just that, we should not be doing that at the expense of our parks and open spac-

es. Bicycles are vehicles and belong on the road together with all of the other vehicles. Cars and motorcycles by regulation are parked in the street. In most cases the city charges for this street parking. Bicycles should also be parked off of the sidewalk, particularly if the city provides space. Also, in this particular case, bicyclists will no doubt be riding right up to and from the stands. This, just like bicycle riding on sidewalks, will be yet an additional source of disquiet in an area that is set aside for relaxation: our parks. Roland Gebhardt

Posted to... “BREAKING: Plan floated to push P.S. 150 out of Tribeca” (News, April 25): P.S. 150 started as “The Early Childhood Center”. It was a model of collaboration at all levels — with the children benefitting…. The student body was very diverse. The parents were also the founders of “Taste of Tribeca” which has been a terrific engine of sup-

port and change for the arts in education. The E.C.C. parent body shared the “Taste” event with the parent body of P.S. 234, and so it has continued as a model of public/private neighborhood collaboration. Where will the funding for Arts programs at P.S. 150 come from if the school is moved to Chelsea? As one of the founders of this event, and a past E.C.C. parent, I am deeply saddened. Debrah Pearson Feinn

The Foundling Hospital sited school was supposed to provide MORE seats for the community not shuffle kids around. A. Salo Let’s try not try to rabble-rouse and create more angst & anxiety for ourselves or children; stick to the facts as we learn more and, above all, be civil about all of this…. The only constant in life is change itself and perhaps some [is] needed

to ensure our children receive the education they deserve. We should be happy that the D.O.E. isn’t closing the school altogether…. The school is MOVING, not CLOSING (to Chelsea — from the current site, only 9 minutes by taxi, 15-20 minutes by bus or subway)…. It seems the entire school is to be moved to a brand new facility, with greater resources…. Let’s not also forget we have an arsenal of choices at our Continued on page 19


May 1 - May 14, 2013

Downtown Notebook

A visit to the Thames River barrier

Bob Trentlyon, left, with Martin Earlam (chief engineer on the Thames River Barrier), in the control house for one of the 10 barriers.

When raised by the yellow cranes, 10 steel gates protect 125 square kilometers of central London from flooding caused by tidal surges.

BY BOB TRENTLYON I was fortunate to visit the Thames River Barrier last month. My family and I were the visiting party and Martin Earlam, Chief Engineer of the Thames River Barrier, was our guide for a two-hour tour. The Barrier was created in response to a natural disaster. In 1953, there was a severe flooding in the Thames Estuary, resulting in the drowning deaths of over 300 people. Twenty years later, after the study of multiple possibilities, the Thames River

Barrier at Woolwich Reach, east of Central London, commenced. It took eight years to build the 10 barriers across the river. During that same period, the banks of the river were raised substantially. The cost of building the barriers was shared. The national government paid 75 percent, and Greater London paid 25 percent. I asked Earlam what the cost benefit/ risk factor was. He said that it was $1 billion cost benefit, with a risk factor of $164 billion. When I asked him whether there

were other barriers of a similar nature, he said that both South Korea and Germany have used the same design (a “Rising Sector Gate”) for water control. Parliament has also passed a law providing sea walls can be raised whenever there is the need. There is now a 100-year plan. Calculations have been made to estimate how high the water level will rise in a set period. The British engineers will build to the needed height, which is expected to be needed around 2050. As for the Thames Barriers currently in place, every fortnight a different barrier is examined to make

sure it is working properly. Quick simultaneous examination of all 10 barriers is done monthly, with a thorough test done annually. London got its storm surge barriers in 1983. New York City is now 30 years behind London, and our problem is infinitely greater and our population is much more in harm’s way. We have to act now!

a small school”. MY TWO CENTS: …Given that the school has flourished for close to 40 years it is difficult to accept this as fact…. The D.O.E. should provide more details. The school benefits from a very active P.T.A. and has done a terrific job of coming up with fundraisers… Is this really about money? (3) “Concerns about professional development and lack of opportunity for collaboration for our teachers.” MY TWO CENTS: …I love our teachers and think this “issue” should be addressed away from the discussion of moving the school. (4) “Expanded opportunities for our students” …This statement is offensive – I would take the love and sense of community that P.S. 150 possesses over a gymnasium any day. I love P.S. 150… I think Jenny is great… and I would like to think (while she can’t say this) she wants P.S. 150 to stay where it is.

“W.T.C. security plan gets

I visited the Seaport Museum during my 2012 trip to New York, and I would be greatly dismayed to think it is going to disappear from the waterfront area where it clearly makes sense to locate it. The same can be said for the few remaining ships that are berthed at Pier 17. This area was one of my favorite places to hang out after a long day out and about in the city, and on all of my three visits to New York, I frequently found myself sitting at the end of the Pier 17 Mall watching as the evening sun cast golden rays on the buildings in Brooklyn. By all means rebuild the mall, but for the city’s sake, keep the Seaport Museum, the ships, and the stunning views.

Bob Trentlyon, a former publisher of Downtown Express, is a waterfront advocate and longtime proponent of storm surge barriers.

Posted to... (cont.) Continued from page 18

disposal… I count our family lucky to be part of this unique, tight knit community which we’ve all helped create over the years and, together, we shouldn’t lose sight of that by… prematurely ringing the alarm bells. ConcerndM The PROPOSAL stems from D.O.E. concerns…. Let’s break this down: (1) “Overcrowding issues in our downtown schools”. MY TWO CENTS: It is my belief that by moving P.S. 150 out of the neighborhood, they will simply be creating more of an issue for the remaining neighborhood schools as parents will enroll their children in the other TriBeCA, FiDi and B.P.C. schools. (2) “Questionable economic viability of


hearing April 23” (News, April 22): There are no contingencies for flood, emergency evacuation, traffic congestion and commercial and residential stakeholders. Do we really need 650 new police officers? Why is the N.Y.P.D. rushing this plan through? Been living and working in Tribeca for 40 years and this is really something to consider, not run through the process. After all, it is not to be completed by 2019. What is the rush? Dan Alterman Tribeca

“S.O.S., Seaport Museum says it’s getting pushed out” (News, April 18):

Jim Adelaide, Australia


May 1 - May 14, 2013

By Ma eVe G ately & sCott s tiFFler tHe WasHinGton MarKet sCHool bloCK Party Enjoy a day of fun on Sat., May 4, from 11am-3pm. This fundraising event will include classroom and parent-led games and crafts, face painting and balloon-making and exciting performances by the Mariachi Citialli Band, Grammy-award winner musician Oran Etkin, popular children’s magician Amazing Max and the Tone Academy. Since The Washington Market School is a neighborhood pre-school, the activities are geared towards children 2-6. The suggested donation for those outside of the WMS school-community is $5 per person at the door, and additional tickets can be purchased for children to participate in various activities (including spin art, beaded necklace making, a recycled arts and crafts project with Playgarden and more). The block party will be held on Duane St. (btw. West Broadway & Church Sts.). tHe CHildren’s rooM at Poets House is a bright and vibrant space that encourages literacy and creativity. In addition to housing many poetry books by classic and contemporary authors, the Children’s Room is designed to stimulate the imaginations of young ones and drive them to create poems and art of their own. From Thurs.-Sat., children are free to draw inspiration

from the room’s card catalogue full of quirky objects and type up their own masterpieces on vintage typewriters. Every Thurs. at 10am, “Tiny Poet Time” offers poetry readings and music for toddlers. At 10 River Terrace (at Murray St.). Hours: Children’s Room open Thurs.-Sat., 11am-5pm. Admission: Free. For info, call 212431-7920 or visit saturday FaMily ProGraMs at tHe sKysCraPer MuseuM Explore tall buildings as objects of design, products of technology, sites of construction and places of work and residence at The Skyscraper Museum. Their spring “Saturday Family Program” series (taking place from 10:30-11:45am) features workshops designed to introduce children and their families to the principles of architecture and engineering through hands-on activities. On May 11, kids of all ages are invited to a Mother’s Day Card Workshop to construct architecturallythemed cards for mom. On May 25, “Body Buildings: Woolworth” gives kids ages 3-9 the chance to turn their silhouettes into buildings, working together to make a unique New York City skyline. On June 8, the all-ages “Sidewalk Art” event takes place in front of the museum — where colorful chalk will be used to draw buildings based on blueprint sketches

Photo by Michael Hickey

THE GREAT STRUGGLE FOR CHEAP MEAT “The Great Struggle for Cheap Meat” is Downtown Arts’ passionate, funny, 29-song, 10-block tribute to the Kosher Meat Boycott. Organized by Jewish housewives to protest the high price of meat, that 1902 action was one of the earliest community organizing efforts — and a seminal event that would soon inspire women to take leadership roles in the labor movement. A cast of teen girls, many of whom live in the neighborhood, take you back in time to a world of picket lines in front of local butcher shops, tenement-to-tenement recruitment, food fights in the streets, invasions of the male sections of the synagogues and front page headlines. “The Great Struggle for Cheap Meat’ is almost entirely set to music, which draws upon elements of Jewish folk music, 70s rock and 1920s jazz. Sat., May 4, 11 & 18, at 1pm & 4pm. The 65-minute performance takes place throughout a 10-block area on the Lower East Side. For tickets ($12 general, $10 for students/seniors), call 212-868-4444 or visit

of buildings they know. And on June 10, the “Archikids” workshop, lead by architect Yves Roger, gives kids ages 9-13 the chance to make their own soaring structures (inspired by images, vintage film and models of actual skyscrapers of the past and present) All workshops ($5 per family) take place at 10:30am. Registration is required. Call 212-945-6324 or At 39 Battery Place (btw. First Place & Little West St.). Regular museum hours are Wed.-Sun., 12-6pm. Admission is $5 ($2.50 for students/seniors). trinity CHurCH Presents FaMily Friday Pizza & MoVie niGHt Every so often, every family should get together for pizza and a movie. To help make that noble goal a regular thing, Trinity Wall Street hosts this third-Friday-of-the-month event for kids who are hungry (for food and entertainment) and adults who are too tired to cook (or even dial for delivery!). On May 17, it’s Dr. Seuss’ “The Lorax.” On June 21, it’s the Steven Spielberg classic “E.T.” Free. From 6-7:30pm, at Charlotte’s Place (107 Greenwich St., rear of 74 Trinity Place, btw. Rector & Carlisle Sts.). For more info, call 212-602-0800 or visit Twitter: @CharlottesPlc. Facebook,: la MaMa Kids Shadow puppets, dance, music, storytelling and mask-making for youngsters and their families all figure into the schedule of events that are part of “La MaMa Kids.” This new series of creative workshops, La MaMa’s first such regular series of programming for family audiences, is sure to inspire a love of theater — and likely help launch a whole new generation of theatrical performers! The next installment in the series (which runs through June) is “Mask Making,” a workshop led by Federico Restrepo, where children will build animal masks and create their own dances. It takes place on Sat., May 11, at La MaMa Galleria (6 E. 1st St., btw. Bowery & Second Ave.) On Sat., June 8, Perry Yung will lead a “Mindful Music” workshop, in which families will learn to use traditional Japanese instruments, craft their own and tell a story (at

La MaMa’s Ellen Stewart Theatre, 66 E. 4th St., 2nd floor, btw. Bowery & Second Ave.). All workshops take place at 11am. Admission is $10 per family. For a full schedule of events and more info, call 212-475-7710 or visit tHe sCHolastiC store Held every Saturday at 3pm, Scholastic’s in-store activities are designed to get kids reading, thinking, talking, creating and moving. At 11am every Tues., Wed. and Thurs., the Scholastic Storyteller brings tales to life at Daily Storytime. At 557 Broadway (btw. Prince & Spring Sts.). Store hours: Mon.-Sat., 10am-7pm and Sun., 11am-6pm. For info, call 212-343-6166 or visit scholastic. com/sohostore. tHe CHildren’s MuseuM oF tHe arts The Museum celebrates its quarter century of promoting self-expression and esteem — by presenting a new exhibit that offers a fascinating exploration of self-identity through still, moving and living portraits, as portrayed by children using traditional methods of painting and drawing, as well as technology. On view through June 9, “Face to Face” features 40 portraits selected from CMA’s Permanent Collection of children’s art from over 50 countries, dating back to the 1930s. To incorporate CMA’s philosophy of hands-on art-making, the exhibit will be accompanied by a variety of interactive installations that examine the texture, shape and sound of portraits. Hands-on stations encourage visitors to become part of the exhibit, including reimagined versions of a typical self-portrait station. At the CMA Media Lab, visitors can take photos that will be projected on the wall. These photos will stream into a montage that will be accessioned into the collection and will also serve as a fascinating time-lapse of the exhibit as a whole. At 103 Charlton St. Hours: Mon. & Wed., 12-5pm; Thurs. & Fri., 12-6pm; Sat. & Sun., 10am-5pm. Admission: $11 (Seniors and 0-12 months, free from 4-6pm). Thursdays are pay-as-you-wish. For info, call 212-274-0986 or visit


May 1 - May 14, 2013

Cumming’s ‘Macbeth’ not quite worth going to This Scottish play is a bunny on the run

And why does our Macbeth now have mimed sexual intercourse with his hospital bed? The last person I saw doing that was Lenny Bruce, a somewhat different cup of tea. Adding it all up, when Macbeth informs his lady: “I have done the deed,” you could fool me. Let him go play with his voices, and his dog-trots and the doll that is his son in its oldfashioned, full-length nightgown. Not murder a monarch. What is lost, or buried, or subsumed is the greatness and the fierceness and the immortality of the language, from “Who would have thought the old man had so much blood in him” to “She should have died hereafter” to:


Written by William Shakespeare Directed by John Tiffany & Andrew Goldberg Through June 30 At the Ethel Barrymore Theatre 243 West 47th St. (btw. Broadway & Eighth Ave.) Mon., Tues., Thurs. at 7pm Fri. & Sat. at 8 pm Sun. at 3pm For tickets ($69.50-135, $199 for VIP), call 212-239-6200 or visit Photo by Jeremy Daniel

Have apple, will emote: Alan Cumming’s “Macbeth’ is totally mental.

BY JERRY TALLMER Is this a dagger I see before me? Oh no, it is an apple. The apple that Alan Cumming tosses from hand to hand, nervously, ritualistically, throughout much of his one-man “Macbeth,” is like Cagney or Bogart or George Raft flipflopping a silver dollar against tedium and the fates in something less auspicious than Shakespeare. One also thinks of Nina in Chekhov’s “The Seagull” — the young runaway would-be actress who never knew what to do on stage with her hands. Here, Nina, here’s an apple to occupy your hands. “One-man” means that at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre — in a “Macbeth” that has been chopped down to a longish two hours running time — the Scottish born-and-bred 48-year-old all-purpose actor plays all the roles, male and female (i.e., Lady Macbeth) with the nominal support of one actual living male (Brendan Titley) and one actual female (Jenny Sterlin) who speak only a few lines each, but are otherwise omnipresent as a doctor and his lab assistant in some unidentified Dunsinane of a nuthouse — where the only patient seems to be our hallucinating friend, Mr. Macbeth. The whole drama is set in one large clinical room of that mental institution — a metallic hospital bed to our left, a locked door at the head of a metal flight of stairs to our right, a large observation window for the doc and his

assistant to peer through at dead center and three pretty useless television screens above all that. Also, upstage, beneath the observation window, an old-fashioned free-standing bathtub. Keep your eyes on that bathtub. The sound and lighting effects are to suit — loud, intermittent, illogical, scary alarums of varying shock effect. As the patient strips down, the lab assistant draws blood from his arm, the doctor takes a few notes and the drama (as reconceived by directors John Tiffany and Andrew Goldberg) begins with Macbeth/ Cumming speaking the lines of the three witches — “When shall we three meet again?” — as he runs around in little puppy-dog circles to indicate changes of time and place. Watching this, I had a flashback to a happier “Macbeth” experience, way back in the 1950s in Central Park, when Joe Papp's youthful New York Shakespeare Festival company, long before there was any such thing as a Delacorte Amphitheater, dared defy the elements by opening its everything-on-a-truck production of the Scottish play in the teeth of a gathering thunderstorm. Precisely on the line “So foul and fair a day I have not seen,” the heavens opened wide, the lightning struck, the thunder cannonaded upon us and the rain flooded down as a laughing Lady Macbeth — lovely Colleen Dewhurst — led everybody else in a frantic footrace back to the shelter of the truck.

Would that anything as exciting as that was happening these nights and matinees on West 47th Street. There is a lot of dressing and undressing in this production, sometimes to indicate changes in gender, sometimes not, but it also comes permeated with what I should think is a very un-Scottish petulance. And by the way, I cannot believe that Stratford Will hurled forth this most virile thunderbolt of the English language with a knotty Scots intonation in mind. I mean, we know he could do that when he wanted to (“Henry V”). Speaking in an exaggerated manner that reminds me of my mother playing “Funny English Lady,” it was difficult, at least for me, to tell whom this versatile actor was playing at any given moment. Who is he now?  And now?  And now? Ah yes, now he’s in the bathtub saying: “Take my milk for gall” and “I have given suck and know how tender it is to love the babe that milks me” — that has to be Lady Macbeth, yes — who now is commanding her husband to screw his courage to the sticking place and murder their effeminate guest, the king? Why effeminate? Your speculation is as good as mine. The last time I ever saw a bathtub on stage was at director Ivo van Hove’s assault on “A Streetcar Named Desire,” for East Fourth Street’s New York Theatre Workshop. Blanche Dubois took a lot of baths, so why shouldn’t Elizabeth Marvel take one right there on stage?

Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow Creeps in this petty pace from day to day To the last syllable of recorded time, And all our yesterdays have lighted fools The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle! Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player That struts and frets his hour upon the stage And then is heard no more: it is a tale Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, Signifying nothing. If that was good enough for William Faulkner (“The Sound and the Fury”), it’s good enough for me. But you have to hunt for it at the Barrymore. Alan Cumming has been everywhere in British films and television for some 20 years. He did good work on stage, mostly through silences, as the master of ceremonies — the Joel Grey role — in the 1998 “Cabaret” revival that starred Natasha Richardson. One cannot say the same for Joe Mantello’s overobvious “Design for Living” of 2001, in which Cumming had to soul-kiss his male counterpart for emphasis. And now we have this “Macbeth.” The audience the night I attended the show gave it a double standing ovation at final curtain, so mine is a minority vote. Mr. Cumming’s tragic hero of many voices puts me in mind of nothing so much as the Energizer Bunny darting frenziedly here, there, everywhere. I am reminded of the injunction of Dr. Samuel Johnson (1709-1784): “Sir, a woman’s preaching is like a dog’s walking on his hind legs. It is not done well, but you are surprised to find it done at all.” Just so.


May 1 - May 14, 2013

Buhmann on Art Spring gallery offerings addrress military, celebrity, domestic concerns 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  

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  



Image courtesy of artist and Gasser Grunert Gallery Image courtesy of the artist and apexart

Beacon satellites on display in the US Pavilion at Expo67, Montreal. See “Exhibition Space.”

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).

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, pencilz 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  

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).

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

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 serving in the armed forces who 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

Image courtesy Robert Mann Gallery, New York

Margaret Watkins’ “Pan Lids” (1919).


In the 1920s, Margaret Watkins (18841969) was an instructor at the Clarence H. White School of Photography — the most prominent American pedagogical institution for pictorialism at the time. Her photographs are characterized by the nuanced interplay of light and shade. Inspired by Cubism, their overall aesthetic is distinctly modernist, while their subject matter is usually rooted

in the domestic environment. Born in Canada, Watkins’ professional success in New York in the 1920s was cut short when she moved to Scotland in 1929 to care for elderly relatives. Stranded by circumstance and then the arrival of war, she never returned to North America. Through May 11 at Robert Mann Gallery (525 W. 26th St., btw. 10th & 11th Aves.). Hours: Tues.-Fri., 10am6pm and Sat., 11am-6pm. Call 212-9897600 or visit


May 1 - May 14, 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 May 2-18

SANS MERCI Written by Johnna Adams Directed by Heather Cohn Through 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

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 desperation 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 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 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

Photo by Isaiah Tanenbaum

In “Sans Merci,” Kelly mourns the death of her college girlfriend.

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.


May 1 - May 14, 2013


Rustle up your questions and mosey on down to the Museum of Jewish Heritage — because Ann Kirschner, author of “Lady at the O.K. Corral: The True Story of Josephine Marcus Earp,” will be appearing in conversation with MJH’s Manager of Institutional Projects. That’s Caroline Earp, pilgrim, and she’s a descendant of Wyatt Earp — which makes her the perfect moderator for this evening in which Kirschner will discuss her new biography of Wyatt’s fourth and final wife. A New York-born daughter of Prussian Jews (and an aspiring actress), Josephine became a frontierswoman. Although she lived with the legendary gunslinger for nearly 50 years, she’s been all but erased from Western lore. Kirschner aims to change that, and we’re pretty sure she’s going to hit her target. Wed., May 8, at 7pm. At the Museum of Jewish Heritage — A Living Memorial to the Holocaust (Edmond J. Safra Plaza, 36 Battery Place). Free with suggested donation. Tickets will be available at the box office on a first come, first served basis starting at 4pm on the day of the program. For info, call 646-4374337/4202 or visit

Photo courtesy of Rachel Eliza Griffiths, for the Dark Room Collective

Get to know the Dark Room Collective: May 11, at Poets House.


Founded in Boston in 1988 by a group of African American poets led by Thomas Sayers Ellis and Sharan Strange, The Dark Room Collective (based in Cambridge, Massachusetts) was a forum to promote,

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exchange and foster community between emerging and established writers of color. Originally conceived as a reading series, the Collective became a small community of poets. This Poets House event features a panel moderated by Rochelle Spencer, then a reading with Tisa Bryant, Major Jackson, John Keene and Sharan Strange. After that, a musical



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May 1 - May 14, 2013


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NOTICE TO PERSONS WHO MAY HAVE SUFFERED FROM INADEQUATE ACCESSIBILITY AT 2 GOLD STREET On April 24, 2013, the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York entered a consent order resolving a lawsuit brought by the United States Department of Justice against certain owners, builders, and/or developers alleging that they failed to include certain accessible features for persons with disabilities required by the Fair Housing Act, 42 U.S.C. § 3604(f)(3)(c), in the design and construction of 2 Gold Street (the “Property”). 2 Gold Street denied the allegations and agreed to the consent order to settle the matter without litigation. Under this consent order, a person may be entitled to receive monetary relief if he or she:  WAS DISCOURAGED FROM LIVING AT THIS PROPERTY BECAUSE OF THE LACK OF ACCESSIBLE FEATURES;  HAS BEEN HURT IN ANY WAY BY THE LACK OF ACCESSIBLE FEATURES AT THIS PROPERTY;  PAID TO HAVE AN APARTMENT AT THIS PROPERTY MADE MORE ACCESSIBLE TO PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES; OR  WAS OTHERWISE DISCRIMINATED AGAINST ON THE BASIS OF DISABILITY AS A RESULT OF THE DESIGN AND CONSTRUCTION OF THIS PROPERTY. If you wish to make a claim for discrimination on the basis of disability, or if you have any information about persons who may have such a claim, please contact the United States Attorney’s Office, Southern District of New York at 212-637-2800. You may also fax us at 212-637-2702 or write to: United States Attorney’s Office, Southern District of New York Attn: Civil Rights Unit 86 Chambers Street New York, New York 10007 NOTE: You must call or write no later than October 23, 2015. DE: 05/01, 05/29 & 06/19/2013


May 1 - May 14, 2013


Church service blesses ‘the spirit in the wheels’


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Reverend Winnie Varghese sprinkled holy water on cyclists’ rides at the first blessing of the Bicycles.

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B y JeF F erson si eGel 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 consumption, we acknowledge the inherent goodness of nonmotorized, human-powered transporta-

tion,” 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 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.


May 1 - May 14, 2013

Phoning back to Downtown, circa 1993 By KAITLYN MEADE Remember those metal shells on every street corner; the ones mostly used now to shield cigarettes from the wind? Well those relics of 20 years ago are getting a new use thanks to the Bowery’s New Museum and independent advertising network Droga5. Dialing 1-855-FOR-1993 from any of 5,000 Manhattan payphones will connect listeners to the stories of their neighborhood two decades earlier. The project, called “Recalling 1993,” features 57 storytellers, with new recordings rolling out throughout its run, from club kids and artists to tour guides and business owners. Most of the payphones will connect you to a person who lived or worked in that neighborhood in 1993. But occasionally a pay phone will connect you to a story specific to the street corner it is located on, about an event or nearby landmark. From a phone at 200 Hudson St., outside 92YTribeca, one can hear the voice of DB Burkeman, a k a “DJ DB” — who rode the Acid house music wave from London to New York City. In 1993, he says Tribeca was a “ghost town” at night but also fertile ground for infamous raves at The Shelter, where “a thousand kids lined up down Varick St. after midnight was quite a sight.” “I personally think it was the last really good year for nightlife in N.Y.C.,” says Chip Duckett from a payphone down the street. Duckett recalls starting his Friday-night “1984” parties at the now-defunct Crowbar, which was

closed by former Mayor Rudy Giuliani a year later. Though the event continued at the Pyramid for over 17 years, he says 1993 was the start of a crackdown on club culture. “Recalling 1993” will be running through the phone lines until May 26 and goes hand in hand with the New Museum’s exhibit “NYC 1993: Experimental Jet Set, Trash and No Star” at 235 Bowery (at Prince St). The exhibition, which takes its title from a 1993 Sonic Youth album, explores a cultural cross-section of art, both underground and mainstream, at a social and economic turning point in New York. It is curated by associate director Massimiliano Gioni, Gary Carrion-Murayari, Jenny Moore and Margot Norton. It was not an easy project to set up, as it involved not only making extensive recordings but also collecting the numbers of all Manhattan pay phones through a mixture of publicly available data and manual scouting. The database of recordings was programmed with a caller ID system that could recognize pay phone numbers. Calling from a regular land line or cell phone, however, gives you a message from Speed Levitch, an avantgarde tour guide who started his career in 1993, who directs you to “find a street corner and pick up the first payphone you lay eyes on and dial this number again… To find the closest phone, open your eyes, or go to to see a map of where they are.”

Downtown Express Photo by Kaitlyn Meade

At 80 Varick, Seth Kamil, historian and founder of the Big Onion Tours, lectures via pay phone about the introduction of Metrocards at the Whitehall St. station

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Battery Park Carousel Continued from page 13

20 of the 30 fish so far have sponsors. Renowned Dutch landscape architect Piet Oudolf has designed plantings for the acre surrounding the carousel, funded by a donation of $1 million from the Tiffany & Co. Foundation. Fees to ride the carousel have not been set but they will go toward its maintenance. The carousel is only one of several construction projects currently under way in the park. The Parks Department is building a bikeway on the perimeter. This means that the hugely popular and successful Urban Farm will have to be moved, but it will definitely continue. Students from 11 schools raised crops there in 2012. The Sphere, which once stood on the plaza of the World Trade Center, will also have to be moved from its current location on Battery Park’s Town Green. The eternal flame has already been moved to a location near the Korean War monument on the park’s northwestern flank.

The Battery Conservancy has spent the winter and nearly $100,000 of its own money to repair the wiring and controls of the Bosque fountain. Valves have been installed on all of its pipes so that it can be quickly shut down in an emergency. A form-fitting umbrella has been created to shelter the vault where the controls are housed. “We expect to be able to turn the fountain on this spring,” said Cohen. She is optimistic that these preparations will be sufficient protection against future storms. “Sandy was a unique convergence of meteorological events,” she said. “We should not see a surge like that again any time soon. We will have storms, we do have climate change, we will see sea level rise — but the particular circumstances of Sandy were a convergence of something like four different events that multiplied the effect, and that convergence is pretty rare. We think that Sandy is as bad as we’re going to see in our lifetimes in this spot.”

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May 1 - May 14, 2013

We’re Back. Sirloins Have Been Saved Mark Joseph Steakhouse, located off of Peck Slip in the South Street Seaport, lost equipment and inventory to flooding caused by Hurricane Sandy. With the support of loyal customers and staff that helped to repair damage to the popular steakhouse, MarkJoseph’s is back serving up their signature dry aged beef.

MarkJoseph Steakhouse, South Street Seaport Show your support for businesses that have reopened after Hurricane Sandy by patronizing their establishments. Find them by visiting and searching “Support NYC Small Business.”

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Photo by: William Alatriste

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