VOLUME 6, NUMBER 16 MAY 07, 2014
THE WEST SIDE’S COMMUNITY NEWSPAPER SERVING CHELSEA, HUDSON YARDS & HELL'S KITCHEN
De Blasio Outlines Decade-Long Plan for Affordable Housing BY EILEEN STUKANE Mayor Bill de Blasio’s workweek began with the unveiling of an ambitious, long-awaited initiative that won’t be fully realized for another decade. While making stops in Brooklyn and the Bronx on May 5, de Blasio held up his 115-page “Housing New York: A FiveBorough, Ten-Year Plan” to protect and expand affordable housing. He did not hold back: “This is literally the largest and most ambitious afford-
able housing program initiated by any city in this country in the history of the United States of America. It is the largest, fastest affordable housing plan ever attempted at the local level.” Addressing what he views as “an affordability crisis that we’ve never seen the likes of before,” the mayor plans to create or maintain 200,000 affordable units over the next 10 years — by constructing 80,000 new apartments and
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Hoylman’s Bill to Treat HitAnd-Run Cyclists Like Drivers BY SAM SPOKONY After a State Senate staffer was nearly killed last month by an unidentified bicyclist who hit him on West 40th Street and fled the scene, State Senator Brad Hoylman is calling for much stiffer criminal penalties for hit-and-run cyclists. The Senate staffer, John Allen, who lives on the Upper West Side, was walking across West 40th Street at Sixth Avenue on April 7, around 2pm, when he was mowed down by the speeding cyclist, according to police. The crash was so serious that Allen was left with
a fractured skull, and briefly had to be placed in a medically induced coma after being rushed to Bellevue Hospital that day. Allen is also a personal friend of Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer (a former Upper West Side City Councilmember), who initially explained the incident to Hoylman — along with dozens of Chelsea residents — at an April 21 forum at the Hudson Guild community center on West 26th Street. Brewer’s recounting of the hitand-run crash came in response
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TALKING POINT, LETTERS PAGE 8
OPEN STUDIO TOUR PAGE 11
Photo by Zach Williams
Beyond the metal gate and into the Silicon Alley: Chelsea Market is home to Major League Baseball Advanced Media, which develops the sport’s digital presence.
Report Finds Strong Local Presence of Silicon (Alley) BY ZACH WILLIAMS An expanding “digital ecosystem,” large loft spaces and proximity to a wide spectrum of potential clients are catalyzing the increased influence of high-tech in the neighborhood and throughout New York City, according to recent research. An April 28 report from the office of New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli (“NYC’s Growing High-Tech Industry”) states that “Silicon Alley” grew by 33 percent in the last five years. More than 103,000 jobs, three-quarters of which are in Manhattan, were added by 6,970 tech-centric companies — representing the fastest growing sector of the city economy.
Computer system designers and operators constitute more than half of such jobs and have grown by 35 percent following the 2008 economic crisis. As many as 260,000 others engage in similar occupations throughout the city in economic sectors including retail, media, finance and entertainment, according to the report. While high-tech firms now pop up in Lower Manhattan, Downtown Brooklyn and Long Island City, the titans of industry retain a focus on Midtown South — where the biggest deals funded by a record $1.3 billion in investment for 222 firms occurred in 2013, according to a March 26
analysis by consulting firm HR&A Advisors. Eight of the top 20 venture capital deals involved Chelsea-based companies, including AppNexus (28 West 23rd Street) and Bamboom Labs (West 16th Street). Two more were located in Hell’s Kitchen and Times Square (MongoDB and On Deck Capital, respectively). Revived manufacturing infrastructure now serves the needs of a 21-century workforce. Differences among economic sectors blur within the digital economy, according to the comptroller’s report. “These high-tech companies,
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May 07 - 20, 2014
Senior Talent Show Gives Prizes, Gets Proclamation BY LAURA SCHARF Director of Community Development for Visiting Neighbors, Inc. An international array of talent reflecting the diversity of New York City captivated onlookers of all ages, at the Visiting Neighbors 20th Annual Senior Talent Show. Held on the afternoon of April 26, it was the highlight of our Chelsea Day Festival — which saw crowds filling Eighth Avenue, from 14th to 23rd Streets. The competition was fierce, but goodnatured, as seniors (some well into their eighties) competed for prizes. The First Prize winner was Li Yana, for her graceful Chinese fan dance. Second went to a Mongolian folk dance troupe wearing colorful costumes. Carmen Estrada captured third, by singing a Celia Cruz favorite: “Quimbara” — and fourth went to Maria Correa, doing a traditional Mexican dance. Julia Piters, who demonstrated her belly dancing skills, won the Congeniality Prize. The Supremes’ classic “Stop! In the Name of Love,” performed by Maria Correa, Marta Laguerro and Anna Rosaria, inspired many audience members to sing along. People of all ages applauded the performers, with many coming up to the edge of the stage to cheer on their favorite. Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer presented a proclamation to Visiting
Courtesy of Visiting Neighbors
A Mongolian folk dance troupe (in blue) earned second place, in the Senior Talent Show. In pink: First Prize winner Li Yana.
Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer presents a Proclamation honoring Visiting Neighbors and the 20th anniversary of the Senior Talent Show to Dr. Cynthia Maurer, Visiting Neighbors’ Executive Director. Performer Julia Piters (middle) looks on.
Neighbors’ Executive Director Dr. Cynthia Maurer, acknowledging the organization’s vital role in helping seniors stay independent since 1972 and its commitment to promoting a positive image of aging. “This event helps us reach out to the community to inform seniors that our help is available, and that we always need more volunteers,” said Dr. Maurer. “Our professional
30th Street south to the tip of Manhattan. No fees are charged, but contributions are welcome. Services include friendly visiting to relieve isolation and loneliness, help with shopping and errands, escorts to medical appointments, health advocacy and referrals to needed services. For information, or to become a volunteer, call 212-260-6200 or see visitingneighbors.org.
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May 07 - 20, 2014
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Photo by Zach Williams
Major League Baseball Advanced Media has expanded their Chelsea Market presence to three floors.
Continued from page 1 which range in size from small start-ups to large multinational firms, like Google and Facebook, are forming synergies with traditional industries, helping to stimulate job growth,” DiNapoli said in a statement. Such integration takes a physical form on the upper floors of Chelsea Market, where digital-era workers earning an average salary of $118,600 now make their living in a new type of work environment. High-tech firms follow their employees in contrast to more traditional businesses, according to the New York City Economic Development Corporation (EDC). New green spaces such as the High Line, a rising residential population and the cultural scene of Chelsea appeal to the predominately young professionals working within the industry, a December 2013 EDC report states. “[High growth industries] firms prefer to be in live/work/play neighborhoods that have 24-hour access to social amenities such as restaurants, bars and coffee shops. These amenities complement flexible work hours and provide convenient and stimulating places to collaborate, which suits the social and entrepreneurial culture of [these] firms,” states the EDC report.
BASEBALL’S MAJOR MOVE INTO LOCAL ‘MARKET’
Wide-open spaces that were once home to brick and mortar businesses now host digital tenants, as is the case inside the National Biscuit Company’s former location. Now located on three floors inside Chelsea Market, Major League Baseball Advanced Media (MLBAM) is an independent company that functions as a partnership between the major league teams — all of which have a 1/30th stake. MLBAM began like many start-ups, according to
Matthew Gould, vice president of corporate communications. When Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig, who works from League headquarters on Park Avenue, proposed collaboration among league clubs in 2000 aimed at developing the sport’s digital presence, Chelsea was a natural place to locate it, according to Gould. “Essentially, we are baseball’s tech startup,” he said. “We started out as probably a couple dozen people downstairs literally in the market while our initial space was being built.” By 2005, the company entered into the fledgling field of mobile websites, increasing to about 70 employees. Today, “We are more than 700 people,” says Gould. “Two-thirds of our employees are involved in technology.” This corporate child of America’s national pastime now provides digital broadcasting services and technological support for 400 digital devices and a diverse set of clients, which have included ESPN 3, Southwest Airlines and Obama for America. Ongoing growth keeps the company in a constant state of transition, according to Gould. Following the bursting of the dot-com bubble in the late 1990s, a resurgence in high-tech companies utilized dormant industrial spaces in Chelsea and throughout Midtown South, the comptroller’s report noted. “The area was initially popular with technology companies [both high-tech companies and those involved in broader technology-related activities] in part because of the abundance of large loft spaces, which were easily converted into modern work environments,” reads the report. Infrastructure and commercial space were not the only resources fueling the
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May 07 - 20, 2014
Mayor: 80/20 Affordable Housing is a ‘Model of the Past’ ‘This is literally the largest and most ambitious affordable housing program initiated by any city in this country in the history of the United States of America. It is the largest, fastest affordable housing plan ever attempted at the local level.’—Mayor Bill de Blasio
Photo by Ed Reed, for the Office of Mayor Bill de Blasio
At an affordable housing construction site in Fort Greene, Mayor Bill de Blasio announces the bold goals of “Housing New York: A Five-Borough, Ten-Year Plan.”
Continued from page 1 preserving 120,000 existing apartments, at a cost of $41 billion. The plan is to be financed by bringing in $30 billion from private investment, $2.9 billion in federal and state funds and $8.2 billion from city funding (which includes $6.7
billion in capital dollars for direct housing subsidies). This is considerably greater in scope than former Mayor Bloomberg’s 165,000 affordable units over 12 years, with 66 percent of them preserved units. To help meet his goal, de Blasio is not simply encouraging developers to offer affordable units in new buildings: he is requiring it. Under Bloomberg, the inclu-
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sion of affordable units by developers was voluntary — but by making that choice, developers gained tax credits and enjoyed other incentives such as the ability to build bigger. Units were usually offered on an 80/20 basis, with 20 percent of them affordable. “The 80/20 model was the model of the past,” de Blasio said at his announcement, adding, “The model we have now is to maximize affordability in each and every situation. Every situation is different. Every site is different.” He spoke in front of a construction site in Fort Greene, where 30 percent of the units were earmarked for middle-income and 20 percent for lower-income affordable housing. In its response to the “Housing New York” plan, the Association for Neighborhood and Housing Development
(ANHD) noted that the mayor’s plan “promises to serve four times as many extremely low-income New Yorkers as have been served in the previous 12 years...the city has acknowledged that because of the way Federal Income Limits are designed, the official ‘low-moderate- and middle-income’ bands are actually much higher than real New York City incomes.” This recognition is an important breakthrough by a New York City administration. De Blasio noted that what’s considered 50 percent of Area Median Income (AMI) is $41,000 for a family of four. “That’s obviously a family that is really struggling to make ends meet here in New
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May 07 - 20, 2014
Developer’s 10th Ave. Site Could Yield Nation’s Tallest Building BY SAM SPOKONY After a $438 million deal that reportedly closed on April 29, the tallest office building on the far West Side (potentially the tallest in the nation) could soon be built not by Related Companies or Brookfield Properties — two of the area’s current biggest stakeholders — but by another major developer who’s decided to get in on the action. Tishman Speyer’s purchase of the two adjacent 10th Avenue lots now gives the developer control of the entire block between West 34th and West 35th Streets. In an April 30 release, Tishman said it also hopes to purchase additional development rights in order to construct a massive 2.85 millionsquare-foot office tower, which it added would likely also include street-level retail. One of those lots, at 435 10th Avenue, was sold to Tishman by the real estate firm Massel Knakal, which had, since January, prominently marketed the undeveloped lot as the future site of “Hudson Spire,” an imagined tower that could rise to 1,800 feet — slightly taller than One World Trade Center, currently the nation’s tallest building. No construction permits for the site have yet been filed, and the developer has not released any further details about the planned height or design of the tower. Tishman’s Co-CEO Rob Speyer told the Wall Street Journal on April 29 that he and his firm will not start construction until they
find a major tenant to anchor the building. Tishman’s tower would sit just north of Related’s 26-acre, $15 billion Hudson Yards megaproject, which, when completed, will cover a swath bounded by West 30th and West 33rd Streets, and 10th and 12th Avenues. Related’s first office tower, the 1.7 million-square-foot 10 Hudson Yards (which will rise to 895 feet), is still on track to open next year. Notably, Tishman was the first developer to make a deal with the Metropolitan Transit Authority on that Hudson Yards site back in 2008, but the deal went south — reportedly affected by the financial crisis that began that year — before Related eventually swooped in to secure the project. This is the first time Tishman has committed to a development site in the area since then. The future 10th Avenue tower would also sit north of Brookfield’s $4.5 billion Manhattan West project, another mixed-use development that, just east of Hudson Yards, will span between West 31st and West 33rd Streets, from Ninth Avenue to 10th Avenue. Brookfield has said it hopes to construct and open a new 60-story office tower within that site by 2016, and is currently undertaking major renovations at the 44-year-old building at 450 West 33rd Street, which are also planned to be completed by 2016. In other news, Brookfield also announced on April 29 that it has received City Council approval for a zoning change that will allow
Photo by Sam Spokony
The corner of 10th Ave. & W. 34th St. could see the construction of America’s tallest office tower, which would sit just north of the Hudson Yards project (whose cranes are visible at left).
the developer to move forward with plans to double the size of the open space within the Manhattan West project. The development’s green space and plazas — which will snake between the project’s two office buildings, hotel and residential tower — can now officially be bumped up to two acres, after the original proposal called for just one acre. Given all of the dense commercial development already underway in the area, the Council apparently had no qualms about boosting the size the of Brookfield’s park
sliver. “These new changes will make this a better project, with more open space and amenities that the entire community can enjoy,” said Councilmember David Greenfield, who chairs the Council’s Committee on Land Use, in an April 29 statement released with Brookfield’s announcement. “This is exactly the kind of economic development that we need in the city. A project that creates jobs, builds a beautiful neighborhood and improves neighboring communities.”
May 07 - 20, 2014
Hit-And-Run Cyclists Could Become Felons
Photo by Sam Spokony
A commercial cyclist (foreground, in vest) speeds the wrong way down the Eighth Avenue bike lane, between W. 25th & W. 26th Sts.
Continued from page 1 to a question from Chelsea seniors — residents of the nearby Penn South housing complex — who frequently raise concerns about cyclists who they say blow through red lights or ride the wrong way in the Eighth and Ninth Avenue bike lanes around their development. Brewer told Chelsea Now on May 6 that Allen has since made positive steps on the road to recovery, and is now back at home, doing outpatient rehabilitation. But, although police have since released a grainy image of him taken from video surveillance footage near the scene of the incident, the cyclist who has yet to be caught or identified. “I have worked with John, his family and police in trying to find the perpetrator,” said Brewer, in an email to this newspaper.
“We’ve looked at every video camera's footage, and police have canvassed every delivery establishment in the area,” she continued, referring to the belief that the perpetrator — who was carrying a plastic bag in the video surveillance images recovered by police — may have been a food deliveryman. “This is a sad case, and we want to make sure it doesn’t happen again.” A police investigation into the matter is still ongoing, according to an NYPD spokesperson. Under current New York State law, if the cyclist who nearly killed Allen is eventually caught and arrested by police, he would be charged with a Class B misdemeanor, which carries a maximum sentence of three months in prison or one year of probation. And if Allen had died from his injuries, the cyclist would still only be charged with that same misdemeanor.
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State Senator Hoylman — whose district includes the Midtown site of Allen’s injury, as well as Chelsea, Hell’s Kitchen the West Village and the East Village — says he believes that shouldn’t be the case. Instead, he thinks that hit-and-run cyclists should face the same criminal penalties as drivers of motor vehicles who hit pedestrians and flee the scene. If the driver of a car is caught after a hitand-run in which the pedestrian suffers only minor injuries, that driver would be charged with a Class A misdemeanor, which carries up to one year in prison and a $1000 fine, according to New York State law. In a case in which the pedestrian suffers serious injuries (such as Allen’s) the driver would be charged with a Class E felony, which carries up to four years in prison and a $5,000 fine. And if the pedestrian is killed, the hit-and-run driver would be charged with a Class D felony, which carries
up to seven years in prison and a $5,000 fine. In a May 5 email to Chelsea Now, Hoylman — who is a frequent Citi Bike rider — said he will soon introduce legislation that would change state law to make hit-and-run cyclists liable for the same criminal penalties as vehicular drivers. “This bill, recognizing that the gravity of the injuries is the same regardless of whether the accident was caused by an automobile or a bicycle, would bring parity to instances where someone flees an accident scene after maiming or killing someone,” the state senator explained. He added that the bill is “largely informed” by the April 7 hit-and-run that left John Allen in a coma. Following that email, Hoylman’s office stated that the bill will be introduced within the next several weeks. In advance of that introduction, Transportation Alternatives, the city’s most prominent cycling advocacy group, is already voicing support for Hoylman’s effort — albeit guardedly. “We support the intent of his initiative, because we support anything that brings justice to injured pedestrians,” said Paul Steely White, executive director of Transportation Alternatives, in a May 6 phone interview. “Regardless of how a pedestrian is injured, and regardless of the type of vehicle, if someone leaves the scene of an accident, they should be held accountable.” But another prominent cycling advocate, Steve Vaccaro, who last year founded the probike political action committee StreetsPAC, wasn’t so quick to throw any measure of support behind the planned bill. “I would want to see some empirical evidence regarding [the reasoning for the legislation] before leapfrogging over education and other measures and going straight to strengthening criminal penalties,” said Vaccaro, who added that he would still need to be convinced about why the existing penalties are perceived as inadequate. Although there appears to be very little concrete data at this point regarding hitand-run cycling incidents, when it comes to statistics on the number of pedestrian fatalities caused by bikes versus cars, the picture is a
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May 07 - 20, 2014
Licensing for Bikes?
Photo courtesy of the NYPD
Police released this image of the cyclist who is wanted for allegedly mowing down State Senate staffer John Allen at the corner of W. 40th St. & Sixth Ave. on April 7.
Continued from page 6 lopsided one. Between 2000 and 2013 in New York City, there were 2,291 pedestrians killed as a result of being struck by motor vehicles, according to city Department of Transportation (DOT) statistics. During that same period of time, only eight pedestrians were killed after being struck by a cyclist, according to the same data. Meanwhile, White did stress that he will want to take a “closer look” at Hoylman’s legislation once it’s introduced, to make sure it can actually achieve the aims of “getting justice” for pedestrians. He further stated that, regarding the issue of hit-and-run cyclists, Transportation Alternatives is currently more focused on urging the NYPD to utilize its Collision Investigation Squad to review bike crashes and collect forensic evidence at the sites of those incidents. Currently, the Collision Investigation Squad is only used for motor vehicle crashes. White said that, overall, he believes that strategy will have a “more immediate” impact on this issue than will Hoylman’s bill. However, in his email to Chelsea Now, Hoylman did mention that he also supports urging the NYPD to deploy the Collision Investigation Squad to review bike crashes. The NYPD did not respond to request for comment on that particular issue. With regard to Hoylman’s planned bill for increased criminal penalties for hit-and-run cyclists, the Manhattan District Attorney’s office — which would be implementing those penalties within the borough — declined to comment. “I think the bill is a step in the right direction, because makes it clear that it’s not about us versus them, bikes versus cars,” said Will Rogers, a West 16th Street resident who, along with being an avid Citi Bike rider, is also board
member of CHEKPEDS, which advocates for safer streets throughout Chelsea and Hell’s Kitchen. “It’s important to make the same set of rules for bikes and cars, because it shows that we should all abide by the same laws on the road.” But another Chelsea resident, Eleanor Horowitz, who lives on West 22nd Street and who has been riding her bike “since the '50s,” wasn’t convinced by Hoylman’s plans. “How’s increasing the penalties going to have an effect when you can’t identify the [perpetrators]? We need to have licensing, especially for the commercial cyclists, and they need to be registered, so they can actually be identified,” she said. Currently, DOT requires businesses — generally, restaurants that deliver — to provide their cyclists with a bright vest that displays the business name and a unique three-digit ID number on the back. However, those ID numbers are managed by the individual businesses, and not registered with the city. The DOT enforces the commercial cycling requirements through its Commercial Bike Unit, which currently has a staff of six inspectors covering the entire city, according to a DOT spokesperson. That unit has issued more than 3,300 summonses to rule-breaking businesses over the past year, the spokesperson said. “It’s led to a big improvement in terms of getting them to behave,” said Horowitz, of the rules for commercial cyclists. “But I really think that we still need licensing.” At the aforementioned April 21 forum at Hudson Guild — moments after he’d heard from Borough President Brewer about the incident that nearly killed John Allen — Hoylman also brought up the idea of licensing. “I hope this isn’t headed toward licensing of all cyclists, or other laws that will restrict the rights of cyclists,” he said that day, “but if things don’t get better [in terms of pedestrian safety], then everything should be on the table.”
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May 07 - 20, 2014
The Union Square Pavilion is No Place for a Restaurant TALKING POINT Dear Mayor de Blasio: We, who use Union Square Park in Manhattan ask you: WHY? We, the Council of Chelsea Block Associations — a coalition of block Associations formed more than 50 years ago and now comprised of 15 block associations covering 28 blocks in Chelsea — ask you: WHY? We, the Union Square Community Coalition — established in 1980 to reverse the deterioration of Union Square park, to improve it and to return it to its historic significant role as a great open space for free speech activities — ask you: WHY? WHY did you allow a restaurant [The Pavilion Market Cafe] to open in the Pavilion building in Union Square
Park, when it never had a restaurant in it? WHY didn’t you stop it months ago when the court said you had the authority to cancel the former Bloomberg administration decision to put a restaurant in the Pavilion? WHY didn’t you allow the covered Pavilion building to have programs serving children, youth and seniors all year as it was used for the community in prior years? WHY didn’t you respond to the many letters, petitions and telephone calls from community residents and groups telling you that we needed a community facility and not another restaurant? WHY did you allow a restaurant to open in the Pavilion, when you knew that there are over 150 restaurants and bars within a two-block radius of the Park/ Pavilion? WHY did you allow a restaurant to open in the Pavilion, when you knew that the area has the least
amount of playground space and the highest concentration of restaurants in the city? WHY didn’t you allow the Union Square Park Pavilion to be used in the same way as the Pavilion building in Columbus Park in Chinatown is being used: having programs serving the community? WHY didn’t you know that the existing playground in Union Square Park would be closing for repairs because of overuse due to the lack of adequate facilities in the park/playground-starved area? Mayor de Blasio, WHY didn’t you say NO to the restaurant and YES to a community facility? WHY? Sincerely, Bill Borock President, Council of Chelsea Block Associations Board Member, Union Square Community Coalition
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR Corporations sail on, as residents sink To The Editor: Re: “Number Crunching at the Core of Affordable Housing Squeeze” (news, April 23): The eviction process of the middle-income citizens has been going on for decades. If you build yourself from “poor” to middleincome like I have, and kept an honest income due to old-fashioned hard work, my own city of NY has no protection for me. As corporations take advantage of “downsizing” whether they have to or not, more work is plowed on us for less pay and forces us to “downsize” too. I have to leave my beautiful and spacious apartment for a studio, as I cannot afford the rent anymore. Corporate criminals all get their “breaks” and bonuses as the people who keep the corporations going get nothing. Nothing. I am a Native New Yorker who is not so proud of how the city and country is being run by major corporations whose only motive is greed. Sadly it appears as just a matter of time before we sink. Carlos Leon
Housing Dilemma’s Me Decade roots To The Editor: Re: “Number Crunching at the Core of Affordable Housing Squeeze” (news, April 23): This is an old story. The handwriting has been on the wall since the '80s. Is this city just coming to consciousness? Where has everyone been, as households have been left out of the housing market for many years? Gloria Sukenick
Horses, not cars! To The Editor: Re: “Ban Horse Carriages; Keep Citi Bikes” (editorial, April 23): I’ve been watching from the sidelines, while the conversation about Mayor de Blasio’s wrongheaded push to send New York City’s carriage horses away to certain doom has raged on. I’ve been hoping the mayor would come to his senses and drop this senseless campaign. With ever-more ridiculous measures being sought by the mayor to achieve his unwarranted aim, I’m now writing to add my dissenting voice against his plan. My family has been involved for many years in animal rescue and animal rights activities, including the care and welfare of horses. So I come from a position of concern, not casual comment. I firmly believe that ridding the city of its carriage horses and replacing them with one or another unnecessary gewgaw would not promote the horses’ welfare at all. New York City has a very strong set of regulations guarding carriage horses’ health, safety and welfare. For example, these regulations require sufficiently large, clean, comfortable, temperature- and ventilationcontrolled, vermin-free stalls. Also, there are weather restrictions on operation, required work-hour limits and breaks, required regular veterinarian visits, grooming guidelines and provision of fresh food and water, not to mention frequent government inspections and a requisite five weeks off per year. Drivers are required to undergo training and also are subject to the same strong regulations. They have deep and affectionate bonds with their horses and treat them with care. This is in contrast to an uncertain future the horses would face if banned. At this economically pressing time, when increasing numbers of horses are being abandoned,
equine rescue and retirement facilities have less money and room to accommodate them. Thousands of horses are fending for themselves and starving in the process or being sent to slaughterhouses. No magic bullet has been cited to prevent this for the carriage horses. As for the proposal to replace the horses with electric vintage cars, this totally flies in the face of Mayor de Blasio’s “Vision Zero” initiative to make New York safer for pedestrians. If there’s one thing we don’t need, it’s extra cars in any form to further congest our streets and Central Park and cause more fatal crashes or injuries. All this is now compounded by the news that this thoughtless proposal may well be rooted in a move to facilitate a real estate deal, one that would free the valuable property where the carriage horses reside for more unneeded and high-priced development. One can only hope that Mayor de Blasio will rethink this untenable plan and keep the carriage horses in New York City, perhaps in Central Park. It’s where they belong — where they’re well-loved, well-cared for and fervently wanted. Shirley Secunda Secunda is chairperson, Community Board 2 Traffic and Transportation Committee
Reader Comments from ChelseaNow.com Re: “Number Crunching at the Core of Affordable Housing Squeeze” (news, April 23): We need affordable housing for Visual Artists in NYC! As real estate in the West Village and Chelsea give artists the squeeze, it’d be nice to at least move us to affordable
housing. The creative neighborhood feeling that attracts a more well-heeled crowd is now becoming squashed. There will soon be no THERE, there! Local businesses and the spirit of the community are getting wiped out. Manhattan Plaza has now got a second new building, which is for Performing Arts — a nice start, but why not the same for the visual arts? PKNY Re: “Ban Horse Carriages; Keep Citi Bikes” (editorial, April 23): Anyone who wants to be honest with themselves and everyone else knows that continuing to exploit horses by forcing them to work amid heavy city traffic, and at the same time confining them either to a tiny stall on an upper floor of an old building, or hitched up to a carriage pulling humans around, is just wrong. These horses never get to know the simple pleasure of walking, running and rolling around in grass freely outside in the company of other horses. They never get to be a “horse.” All they are is a beast of burden, and no amount of lies will change that. The only thing that will change that is an outright ban of the carriage industry. Tess E-mail letters, not longer than 250 words in length, to Scott@ChelseaNow. com or fax to 212-229-2790 or mail to Chelsea Now, Letters to the Editor, 515 Canal St., Suite 1C, NY, NY 10013. Please include phone number for confirmation purposes. Chelsea Now reserves the right to edit letters for space, grammar, clarity and libel. Chelsea Now does not publish anonymous letters.
May 07 - 20, 2014
Community Contacts To be listed, email email@example.com.
COMMUNITY BOARD 4 (CB4) CB4 serves Manhattan’s West Side neighborhoods of Chelsea and Clinton/Hell’s Kitchen. Its boundaries are 14th St. on the south, 59/60th St. on the north, the Hudson River on the west, 6th Ave. on the east (south of 26th St.) and 8th Ave. on the east (north of 26th St.). The board meeting, open to the public, is normally the first Wednesday of the month. The next meeting is Wed., May 7, 6:30pm, at Roosevelt Hospital (1000 Tenth Ave.). Call 212736-4536, visit nyc.gov/mcb4 or email them at info@manhattancb4. org. COMMUNITY BOARD 5 (CB5) CB5 represents the central business district of New York City. It includes midtown Manhattan, the Fashion, Flower, Flatiron and Diamond districts, as well as Bryant Park and Union Square Park. The district is at the center of New York’s tourism industry. The Theatre District, Times Square, Carnegie Hall, the Empire State Building and two of the region’s transportation hubs (Grand Central Station and Penn Station) fall within CB5. The board meeting, open to the public, happens on the second Thursday of the month. The next meeting is Thurs., May 8, 6pm, at Xavier High School (30 W. 16th St., btw. 5th & 6th Aves., 2nd fl.). Call 212-4650907, visit cb5.org or email them at firstname.lastname@example.org. THE 300 WEST 23RD, 22ND & 21ST STREETS BLOCK ASSOCIATION Contact them at 300wba@gmail. com. THE WEST 400 BLOCK ASSOCIATION Contact them at email@example.com.
CHELSEA GARDEN CLUB Chelsea Garden Club cares for the bike lane tree pits in Chelsea. If you want to adopt a tree pit or join the group, please contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org or like them on Facebook. Also visit chelseagardenclub.blogspot.com. LOWER CHELSEA ALLIANCE (LoCal) This group is committed to protecting the residential blocks of Chelsea from overscale development. Contact them at LowerChelseaAlliance@gmail.com. THE GREENWICH VILLAGE-CHELSEA CHAMBER OF COMMERCE Call 212-337-5912 or visit villagechelsea.com. THE MEATPACKING DISTRICT INITIATIVE Visit meatpacking-district.com or call 212-633-0185. PENN SOUTH The Penn South Program for Seniors provides recreation, education and social services — and welcomes volunteers. For info, call 212-2433670 or visit pennsouthlive.com. THE BOWERY RESIDENTS’ COMMITTEE: HOMELESS HELPLINE If you know of anyone who is in need of their services, call the Homeless Helpline at 212-533-5151, and the BRC will send someone to make contact. This number is staffed by outreach team leaders 24 hours a day. Callers may remain anonymous. For more info, visit brc.org. THE LESBIAN, GAY, BISEXUAL & TRANSGENDER COMMUNITY CENTER At 208 W. 13th St. (btw. 7th & 8th Aves.). Visit gaycenter.org or call 212620-7310. GAY MEN’S HEALTH CRISIS (GMHC) At 446 W. 33rd St. btw. 9th & 10th Aves. Visit gmhc.org. Call 212-367-1000.
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THE WEST SIDE’S COMMUNITY NEWSPAPER
Published by NYC COMMUNITY MEDIA, LLC WWW.GAYCITYNEWS.COM
14–20 FEB 2003
YOUR FREE � MARRIAGE PUSH WEEKLY NY advocates step NEWSPAPER up pressure P.4
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BY DUNCAN OSBORNE
BY PAUL SCHINDLER
he 2004 federal budget proposed by the Bush administration on February 3 is drawing both praise and criticism from gay and AIDS groups. “Generally, we have a mixed reaction to it,” said Winnie Stachelberg, political director at the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), even as some leading AIDS groups, including the Gay Men’s Health Crisis (GMHC), were more critical. The proposal includes a $100 million increase for the AIDS Drug Assistance Program (ADAP), a $5 million dollar increase in the Housing Opportunities for People With AIDS
� BOOKSHOP SHUFFLE Oscar Wilde up, Bluestockings down
� SIGNORILE There’s a place for us
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HUDSON GUILD Founded in 1895, Hudson Guild is a multi-service, multi-generational community serving approximately 14,000 people annually with daycare, hot meals for senior citizens, low-cost professional counseling, community arts programs and recreational programming for teens. Visit them at hudsonguild.org. Email them at info@ hudsonguild.org. For the John Lovejoy Elliott Center (441 W. 26th St.), call 212-760-9800. For the Children’s Center (459 W. 26th St.), call 212-7609830. For the Education Center (447 W. 25th St.), call 212-760-9843. For the Fulton Center for Adult Services (119 9th Ave.), call 212-924-6710. THE CARTER BURDEN CENTER FOR THE AGING This organization promotes the wellbeing of individuals 60 and older through direct social services and volunteer programs oriented to individual, family and community needs. Call 212-879-7400 or visit burdencenter.org. FULTON YOUTH OF THE FUTURE Email them at fultonyouth@gmail. com or contact Miguel Acevedo, 646-671-0310. WEST SIDE NEIGHBORHOOD ALLIANCE Visit westsidenyc.org or call 212956-2573. Email them at wsna@ hcc-nyc.org. CHELSEA COALITION ON HOUSING Tenant assistance every Thursday night at 7pm, at Hudson Guild (119 9th Ave.). Email them at firstname.lastname@example.org. FRIENDS OF HUDSON RIVER PARK Visit fohrp.org or call 212-757-0981. HUDSON RIVER PARK TRUST Visit hudsonriverpark.org or call 212627-2020. SAVE CHELSEA Contact them at savechelseanyc@ gmail.com.
PUBLISHER Jennifer Goodstein EDITOR Scott Stiffler REPORTERS Lincoln Anderson Sam Spokony EDITORIAL ASSISTANTS
Sean Egan Maeve Gately
PUBLISHER EMERITUS John W. Sutter
SR. V.P. OF SALES AND MARKETING Francesco Regini RETAIL AD MANAGER Colin Gregory ACCOUNT EXECUTIVES Allison Greaker Michael O'Brien Rebecca Rosenthal Julio Tumbaco
DISTRICT 3 CITY COUNCILMEMBER COREY JOHNSON Call 212-564-7757 or visit council.nyc. gov/d3/html/members/home.shtml. STATE SENATOR BRAD HOYLMAN Call 212-633-8052 or visit bradhoylman.com. CHELSEA REFORM DEMOCRATIC CLUB The CRDC (the home club of City Council Speaker Christine Quinn and Assemblymember Richard N. Gottfried) meets monthly to exchange political ideas on protecting the rights and improving the lives of those residing in Chelsea. Visit crdcnyc.org or email them at email@example.com. THE SAGE CENTER New York City’s first LGBT senior center offers hot meals, counseling and a cyber-center — as well as programs on arts and culture, fitness, nutrition, health and wellness. At 305 Seventh Ave. (15th floor, btw. 27th & 28th Sts.). Call 646-576-8669 or visit sageusa.org/ thesagecenter for menus and a calendar of programs. At 147 W. 24th St. (btw. 6th & 7th Aves.) THE SYLVIA RIVERA LAW PROJECT works to guarantee that all people are free to self-determine their gender identity and expression without facing harassment, discrimination or violence. Visit srlp.org. FIERCE (Fabulous Independent Educated Radicals for Community Empowerment) builds the leadership and power of bisexual, transgender and queer youth of color in NYC. Visit fiercenyc.org. THE AUDRE LORDE PROJECT is a lesbian, gay, bisexual, two spirit, trans and gender non-conforming people of color center for community organizing. Visit alp.org.
ART / PRODUCTION DIRECTOR Troy Masters SENIOR DESIGNER Michael Shirey GRAPHIC DESIGNERS Andrew Goos Chris Ortiz CIRCULATION SALES MNGR. Marvin Rock
CONTRIBUTORS Jim Caruso Martin Denton Sean Egan Ophira Eisenberg Roger Miller Paul Schindler Trav S.D. Eileen Stukane
DISTRIBUTION & CIRCULATION Cheryl Williamson
VIDEO SEGMENT PRODUCER Don Mathisen
May 07 - 20, 2014
State Comptroller’s Report Cites Local Tech Growth Continued from page 3 growth of MLBAM, according to Gould. “When Major League Baseball formed this independent technology company, it knew it had to be in a tech center which was in its infancy,” he said. “What we have here is a culture which breeds ideas.” Brick walls, high ceilings and open floor plans easily accommodate the vast array of corporate images now “non-verbally” conveyed by high-tech firms to prospective clients, notes the EDC. Additions to office space including the integration of floors, installation of broadcast facilities and glass-enclosed workspaces are juxtaposed with pre-war ventilation piping, brick corridors and other remnants of the former cookie factory within MLBAM’s facility — which now encompasses the third, sixth and fifth floors. The space allowed the company to expand as needed, according to Gould. “This is the beauty of Chelsea Market,” he said during a tour of the company’s offices. As Internet giants such as Google — which bought the former Port Authority Building on Eleventh Avenue for $1.9 billion in 2010 — moved into the neighborhood, commercial rent prices have risen while available space dwindles. The cheap real estate, which paved the way for Silicon Alley to emerge as one of three largest cen-
Recently approved funds from the state budget will put tens of millions of dollars into technological development. ters of high technology in the country, along with the Bay Area and Boston, may fill up in Chelsea by 2025, according to the EDC.
THE ABC’s OF GROWTH
With 65 million square feet of commercial real estate, Midtown South contains the third-highest volume of business space in the city. However, demand for spaces able to accommodate start-ups who foresee needing more space in the future is quickly approaching supply — while higher rents have caused many aspirant entrepreneurs to look towards Downtown and the outer boroughs. New companies tend to favor cheaper real estate known as Class B and Class C properties, according to the EDC. As they grow more established, many migrate to Class A spaces. Within the most expensive real estate market in the country, vacancy rates hover around seven percent in Midtown, with prices square foot by early 2013 rising to $67, $54 and $44 dollars per square foot for Class A, B and C,
respectively. “Rents have historically been lower than Midtown, though this relationship has been changing in recent years,” states the EDC study. Though new development will expand residential offerings and add new office space to the area, researchers from the Comptroller’s Office noted that other old industrial areas have their own attractions. “As average asking rents have risen in [Midtown South], firms have begun to locate in other parts of the city where space is more affordable,” states the report — which also noted that government investment and collaboration with private organizations has helped thousands of start-ups rise throughout the city. A collaboration between the city and Cornell University, creating Cornell NYC Tech on Roosevelt Island, will cost about $2 billion and open in 2017. Further investments in public education and the creation of “technology incubators, co-working spaces, public transportation” and communica-
tions from public and private sources alike also spur activity within the industry and throughout the city economy, the report adds. Emerging tech clusters in other parts of the city do not diminish the economic prospects of Chelsea, noted State Senator Brad Hoylman in a May 2 interview with this paper. “Manhattan offers amenities you can’t get anywhere else, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t room enough for everybody,” said Hoylman. “There is a lot of synergy in Manhattan and potential with so many different industries converging,” he said before adding: “These places are buzzing with entrepreneurs at various stages of start-up development.” Recently approved funds from the state budget will put tens of millions of dollars into technological development within Hoylman’s district. Though work remains to be done to ensure access across socio-economic barriers, a statewide health information network and programs to teach young and old alike how to utilize digital tools recognize “the need for knowledge-based economic growth” through the state budget process, Hoylman noted. “That’s what makes cities grow and thrive, having infrastructure in place which attracts talent — and that has been the story for Chelsea for the last 100 years,” said Hoylman.
CB4 Affordable Housing Inventory Underway York City,” he said. However, de Blasio’s plan for more affordable housing would create higher, denser neighborhoods through rezoning and mandatory inclusionary zoning, and building would take place on “underused” city land. The question arises of how these changes will affect quality of life
in existing neighborhoods where open space is scarce. “The key is just getting the right deal for the community,” says Moses Gates, program director at ANHD. “Public subsidies in city land should all be going to the local not-for-profit developers, not given away to forprofit developers,” he asserted. “If you’re going to build neighborhoods, you have to partner with those alreadyexisting neighborhoods, make sure that neighborhood community groups are part of the entire plan all the way
Hungry for more news?
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FLEA MARKET Every Saturday & Sunday 10a.m.- 6p.m. East Side Community HS East 12 Street Between Ave A & First Ave CALL (718)332-0026 FOR MORE INFORMATION
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through, from early planning through construction and ownership.” Community Board 4 (CB4), which aggressively pursues affordable housing through its own negotiation process with developers, has already digested the “Housing New York” plan and is making adjustments accordingly. Joe Restuccia, co-chair of CB4’s Housing, Health and Human Services Committee, and executive director of Clinton Housing Development Company, reports that the committee has created a 47-slide PowerPoint presentation — while Christine Berthet, chair of CB4, has developed a digital map of the CB4 community. A comprehensive site-by-site inventory and analyses of locations that have been historically committed for use, or are already under construction, or require specific actions, is fully under way. A community forum will be held in June and the final adoption of CB4’s work will take place in July. Recommendations will then be sent to the Mayor. “We’re trying to join our work with the Mayor’s work on a citywide level,” said Restuccia, “The goals are out there. Now it’s a question of how are we going to get to those goals.” To access “Housing New York: A Five-Borough, TenYear Plan,” visit nyc.gov/html/housing/assets/downloads/pdf/housing_plan.pdf. Date and venue information for the June CB4 forum will be announced, on their website: nyc.gov/mcb4.
May 07 - 20, 2014
Open Studio Tour Has a Hands-On Spin Workshops a new feautre of annual art walk
Photo courtesy of the artist
Paint what you please, in the studio of Veronique San Leandro — then see the work posted on her website.
BY SCOTT STIFFLER Blue skies, warm air, windows open, veil lifted: If this is the second weekend in May and you’re strolling West Chelsea with a map in hand, chances are you’re not lost — just deciding which of the seven buildings are next on your self-guided tour of over 30 private artists’ studios. This year’s edition of the annual West Chelsea Artists Open Studio event continues its tradition of welcoming the public into creative spaces generally accessible by appointment only. There, you’ll meet the artists and learn about their chosen mediums and unique creative processes. If you like what you see, make a purchase directly from studio inventory. In partnership with the concurrent Vulture Festival and the Contemporary Art Fair NYC, several Open Studio artists are giving tour participants the chance to immerse themselves in the creative process. At the studio of Scotto Mycklebust, create a print on a small studio press and then take it home. Veronique San Leandro will provide several collective canvases, paint and other materials for visitors to use freely. The finished works will be posted on veroniquesanleandro.com. Ejay Weiss demonstrates how runnels of paint produce unique effects — then lets you try that technique. It’s your pick of markers or crayons, when you add color to a large black and white print of Adrienne Leban’s BioGeo drawings. She’ll also lead a paper sculpture-making exercise.
Photo courtesy of the artist
Create a print, after some etching press instruction from Scotto Mycklebust.
COMING THIS SUMMER - THE ALL NEW
CHELSEA CINEMA 260 WEST 23rd STREET - 212-691-5519
The New Chelsea Cinema Will Feature:
Reserved Seating • Interior Box Office Upgraded Gourmet Treats Luxury Rocking Chairs • A Redesigned Décor
EVERY THURSDAY at 7:00PM
Photo courtesy of the artist
Ejay Weiss offers you the chance to defy gravity while obeying the laws of physics. Above, work from his “Aquaria” series.
Free. Sat. & Sun., May 10-11, from 12-6pm. Start your self-guided tour by picking up a tour map and artist info, in the lobbies of the West Chelsea Arts building (508 & 516 W. 26th St.) and Westbeth Artists Housing (55 Bethune St.), or at DaVinci Artist Supply (132 W. 21st St.). For more info, visit westchelseaartists.com. Also visit vulturefestival.com and contemporaryartfairnyc.com.
HOSTED BY HEDDA LETTUCE SATURDAY MAY 10TH 10:00 PM ADM. $10 interactive! with
MAY 15TH For current movies and times, please visit BowTieCinemas.com BowTieCinemas.com
May 07 - 20, 2014
Transforming Affordable From a Slogan into a Residence
Images Courtesy of Gotham Organization
Interior and exterior views of Gotham West on West 45th Street.
BY LAUREN PRICE “Our city’s biggest challenge is the growing disparity between affordable and marketrate housing,” according to Jonathan Miller, the president and CEO of Miller Samuel Inc., a New York-based real estate appraisal and consulting firm. “Producing affordable housing helps us provide a greater diversity for labor skills needed in New York. And in the long run, affordable housing stands as an essential component for the city to continue as a thriving community.” This is the week when Mayor Bill de Blasio, whose 2013 campaign focused considerable attention on expanding affordable housing opportunities, announced the specifics of “Housing New York: A Five Borough, TenYear Plan.” A report released on April 23 by City Comptroller Scott Stringer (comptroller. nyc.gov/reports/budget-reports) made clear
the scope of the housing affordability challenge facing the city after 12 years in which median apartment rents grew by 75 percent, compared to an average increase nationwide of 44 percent. De Blasio’s goal of building or preserving 200,000 units of affordable housing over the next decade represents a significant step up from the 165,000-unit record from the 12 years of the Bloomberg administration. The new mayor comes to his mission with considerable housing qualifications. During the Clinton administration, he served as the regional director for the US Department of Housing and Urban Development under then-Secretary Andrew Cuomo. As a member of the City Council prior to his election as public advocate in 2009, de Blasio wrote the law that stopped landlords from discriminating against tenants based on their source of
income. Currently, developers of rental properties can receive low-cost financing through the city’s Housing Finance Agency (HFA) when at least 20 percent of the units are designated as affordable housing. Drawing on funds raised through the sale of tax-exempt bonds, the HFA requires that qualifying apartments must be affordable and rented to households with incomes at or below 50 percent of the neighborhood Area Median Income (AMI), adjusted for family size. An alternative way for developers to qualify is to set aside 25 percent or more of a project’s units for households whose income is 60 percent or less than the local AMI, adjusted for family size. Affordability is defined as a monthly rent no greater than 30 percent of gross household income. A list of projects financed by HFA cur-
rently holding lotteries or accepting applications can be found at nyshcr.org/topics/ home/renters/opportunitiestoapplyforaffordablerentalunits.htm. New York has a high-density housing market short on land, but more than a few of New York’s major development companies are big players in 80/20 affordable housing programs — which Mayor de Blasio, on May 5, called “the model of the past,” to be replaced by one that “will maximize affordability in each and every situation.” Related Companies, one of the nation’s largest developers, has a significant commitment to developing, acquiring and preserving housing in the affordable sector. In fact, according to the company’s website, more than 60 percent of its 50,000-plus apart-
income guidelines, who to contact, where to mail your request for an application and where to mail your completed application. Deadlines for applications will also be noted in the ad. One week after the application deadline, the applications are retrieved and then randomly selected. Based on the relevant information from the application, a list of qualified applicants will be created — often a list totaling 20 times the number of available apartments. Interviews with applicants will be scheduled after the drawing. All applicants must meet the individual program requirements to be eligible and receive the community preference. No application fee or broker fee is required. If an applicant passes the interview, the developer may require a fee to conduct a credit check. (nyc.gov/html/housinginfo/ html/faqs/faq.shtml)
Owners maintain the waiting list for a particular development so that there is a ready list of potential tenants. If an apartment becomes available or the apartments are not all rented initially, the developer will offer the apartment to applicants on a waiting list. Owners have the discretion to close a waiting list. If you are on a waiting list, the developer may require you to renew your status as an interested applicant by contacting their office every six to 12 months. Your eligibility to rent one of these apartments is determined by your income at the time you are offered the apartment. If your income has increased above the allowable maximum income since you originally applied for the apartment, you are no longer eligible to receive the apartment. (nyc.gov/html/housinginfo/html/faqs/ faq.shtml)
Continued on page 21
The 411 on Affordability BY LAUREN PRICE New York City’s affordable housing programs come in a variety of permutations. In general terms, eligibility is based on household income falling between a particular development’s upper and lower limits, a household’s members meeting program guidelines, credit history that meets the developer’s standards and absence of housing, legal or criminal obstacles. Different affordable housing developments have different income requirements. Carefully read the income guidelines for each advertised apartment. You may fall into different categories for different developments, depending on your income and household size. You may get preference for a particular development if you have mobility, hearing, or vision impairments, currently live in
the same Community Board District as the development or currently live in New York City or work for the City of New York. For current listings, visit NYC Housing Connect at nyc.gov/housingconnect or call 311 and ask for the Affordable Housing Hotline. The NYC Affordable Housing Resource Center is currently accepting applications. Future tenants will be selected by a lottery among all the applicants who meet the eligibility criteria for a specific development. Additional information can be found at nyc.gov/html/housinginfo/html/apartments/ apartment_hunting_tips.shtml. To participate in a lottery, you must complete an application form and mail it to the developer within the specified application period. Newspaper advertisements should provide you with information on
May 07 - 20, 2014
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NOW LEASING STUDIO TO 3 BEDROOM HOMES IN HELL’S KITCHEN
LEASING OFFICE OPEN DAILY BROKERS WELCOME AND PROTECTED 212.496.2100 | LEASING@GOTHAMWESTNYC.COM WWW.GOTHAMWESTNYC.COM /GOTHAMWESTNYC
May 07 - 20, 2014
CHELSEA: ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT RE/Mixed Redux
A festival evolves, faster than the speed of 5G “Back in 2010,” recalls Tenney, “we were focused primarily on copyright issues — and that still does loom over everything. But not everybody who participates is necessarily a copyright activist, and that’s okay. Remix is coming to mean different things to different people. That’s good, because it’s not just a response to corporate and copyright control. It’s a tool to express yourself, using appropriative techniques.”
BY SCOTT STIFFLER In 1967’s “Trout Fishing in America,” the genre-splicing counterculture author Richard Brautigan based “The Kool-Aid Wino” — one of the book’s many self-contained entries — on a destitute childhood friend who stretched his lone nickel package of the powdery substance far beyond its suggested two-quart yield, transforming it (sans essential ingredient sugar) into a gallon’s worth of day-long drinking. “He created his own Kool-Aid reality,” the story goes, “and was able to illuminate himself by it.” Although driven by economic necessity rather than artistic vision, the character’s knack for repurposing his source material kept coming back to me throughout April 26 & 27’s RE/Mixed Media Festival — whose concerts, installations, workshops, exhibits and lectures (held at The New School and La MaMa’s Culturehub) addressed “remix culture” on a multitude of theoretical and practical levels.
BEEN THERE, USED THAT
WHO OWNS THE BEAT THAT’S BEEN TURNED AROUND?
When DJs of the 1970s began to craft longer, dance-friendly club versions of disco songs by adding material not in the original recording, remixing was born. While the term is relatively new, the practice is as ancient as the second iteration of the first expression of the human condition. Whether you call it remix, mashup, hybrid, crosspollination or adaptation, the act of creative appropriation, festival organizers note, “has been the de-facto methodology of art making for centuries.” But if we’re all copycats, does the debt to our predecessors include a royalty payment? To what extent can anything shaped from the collective unconscious be claimed as a fresh take worthy of “intellectual property” protection? Those are questions the festival’s been asking since its 2010 debut — with the answer becoming more nuanced and elusive as 20th century copyright law is left in the dust by rapidly advancing (and increasingly accessible) technology. Festival Director Tom Tenney, in a conversation with this paper two days after RE/ Mixed IV closed, noted a shift in tone from past editions. With 48 hours of hindsight, Tenney’s already making adjustments based on the realization that remix culture “is a misnomer. It should be ‘remix cultures.’ ” With an increasing amount of international guest presenters and audiences comes a desire to broaden the conversation beyond remixing’s strictly domestic implications.
Photo by JH Sounds
No, Mr. Bond, I expect you to pose! Kriolta Welt’s bone dry observations accompanied her “Pictorial Anatomy of 007.”
Photo by Christopher Gorski
The iconic DJ Spooky traced the app icon’s rectangular frame back to the record cover sleeve.
“Remix owes a debt to people from postcolonial societies,” asserted Patrick Rosal, who had no problem acknowledging the shoulders he stood on. In fact, that’s largely what he came for. Immediately following the festival’s keynote address, “Breakbeat Poetics & the Digital Realm” had the Rutgers-based poet, essayist, DJ and academic paying tribute to DJ Kool Herc. The Jamaican-born innovator, Rosal noted, laid the groundwork for everything from rapping to the DJ’s cut (multiple copies of a record, aligned to the same section, for use as a sort of callback chorus). Rosal likened cutting to “a boxer’s jab” — the base line connector to all other techniques. For a chronicle of how Kool Herc’s Bronx beat-juggling begat everything from turntabling to rapping and sampling, Rosal cited Jeff Chang’s 2005 tome “Can’t Stop Won’t Stop: A History of the Hip-Hop Generation” as required reading that will given you an education without feeling like an assignment. Peppering the lecture with his own poetic raps, Rosal also spoke of the human body as “the first machine of the remix.” For a vivid illustration, he time tripped us back to the Jersey City Boys Club, circa 1986. Locked in combat with a rival crew, one of his b-boys went beyond the obligatory display of poppers and windmills, to score a decisive win by executing “the slickest version of that back-crackin’ move [The Suicide] that I’d ever seen.” Later, the dancer confessed that his game-over display of brilliance was the product of improvisation, not intent (his shoe flew off, and he worked it into the act). It was lesson learned for Rosal, who to this day keeps a sharp eye out for how “the art of the accident” can be used an instrument to play “the truth told slanted.” Excerpts from a work in progress illustrated that. In response to a politically motivated massacre that took place while on a 2009 Fulbright Fellowship to the
Continued on page 15
May 07 - 20, 2014
They Created Their Own Kool-Aid Reality Continued from page 14 Philippines, Rosal printed out a list of the victims. As heard from the other room, he was “seized by the sounds of the printer, printing out the names of the dead.” He recorded the printer, chopping its raw audio into single wave forms that served as percussive and bass sounds over which Filipino artists recited numbers that both individualized the victims and called attention to the shocking scope of the event. Another project in the works will layer a recording of bees from the Cloisters and scanner sounds over young men of color interviewing victims of police violence. Although DJ Herc was a frequent touchstone, Rosal traced his own remix aesthetic all the way back to dear old mom and dad. “My mother constantly used things in a way they weren’t intended to be used,” he noted, recalling how she produced a handful of cooked rice when he ran out of glue, which allowed his Arizona flag classroom project to get back on track. Just as successful, but the stuff of more painful memories, was his father’s discovery that a bright orange Matchbox track could be used to “beat us in the behind.” Giving due respect to this artful use of a found object, Rosal admitted that, b-boy dance floor injuries notwithstanding, it was his best example of how “remix can be painful.”
FUNNY THINGS HAPPENED IN THE FORUM
Electronic beats gave way to comedic ones, when Rosal’s 11am lecture was followed by a rare daylight “Carousel” display. Curated and hosted by R. Sikoryak, the monthly traveling slide show features a revolving cast of cartoonists and artists reading from their work. This particular edition was downright loopy, while drawing a straight line between the featured authors and the festival theme. Neither the voice nor the steady hand of Sikoryak trembled with guilt, as the “Masterpiece Comics” writer/illustrator did his best uncredited Jack Mercer impression — a necessary conceit, to invoke a certain sailor man whose iconic look and voice were shamelessly cribbed to tell the story of “Popysseus” (Homer’s “Odyssey” cast with characters from “Popeye”). “I miss me sweet Penelope,” he says in the first panel, leaving the isle of Calypso to reunite with a wife who looks very much (okay, exactly) like Olive Oyl. The long-suffering Miss Oyl was voiced by the next presenter, Kriolta Welt, whose bone dry delivery accompanied illustrations from her “Pictorial Anatomy of 007” — in which familiar scenes from James Bond films were dissected, literally, to reveal the fleshy mechanics allowing the composed British superspy to make strained eye contact with a poisonous spider on his shoulder or extend his handcuffed arm (in a manner, Welt noted, eerily similar to a 19th century anatomical illustration). Elsewhere in the festival, Tammy Faye Starlite (aka Tammy Lang) performed a
truncated version of her acclaimed concert, “Nico/Chelsea Mädchen.” The gifted satirist, a longtime presence on the Downtown comedy scene (mostly in her country/gospel persona), sang a “cavalcade of nonhits” from the catalog of the late Teutonic chanteuse Nico. Supported by the deeply credible musicianship of two guitarists, Starlite’s interpretation of songs including “All Tomorrow’s Parties” and “Femme Fatale” was played largely straight. Laughs, and there were plenty of them, came from glory day tales of functioning as dysfunctional muse for the likes of Andy Warhol, Bob Dylan, David Bowie and Lou Reed. “He took this from me and reflected it upon himself,” she said of Reed, while making a weak but confident case for her intellectual ownership of “I’ll Be Your Mirror.” Starlite as Nico was similarly dour and clueless, when attempting some ill-advised bonding. “That was a very communal experience,” she said, longing for the umbilical comfort of the stage after one number spent prowling the room while speculating on the sexual kinks of audience members. “It’s very difficult to both sing and walk at the same time,” she observed, specifying that Mick Jagger’s technique didn’t count because it was “more of a jog.” With that, she gave the audience their leave: “Only two more songs,” she said, “and you’re free to go — as free as you can be in this predetermined world.” The joke was on her. We would have stayed for more.
Photo by Livia Santos
The joke’s on her, and sometimes you: Tammy Faye Starlite, as Nico, sings like angel and gives the devil his due during between-song patter.
ers essays and articles by writers, artists and theoreticians — and features a group of satirical (often ridiculous) apps. Among the apps featured in the book’s exhibit form: The impossible achieve-
ment promised by “Weather Changer” is self-explanatory, while “Queerify” lets you give anything a gay upgrade, simply
Continued on page 17
WHEN THE IMAGINARY (APP) BECOMES REAL
The festival’s second day began with a presentation from composer, multimedia artist, editor and author Paul D. Miller. Known internationally as DJ Spooky, he at one point mentioned that his tag line moniker, That Subliminal Kid, was taken from the William S. Burroughs novel, “Nova Express.” It wasn’t the only time a RE/ Mixed participant made reference to — and expressed reverence for — a literary figure who advanced the form with cutting and stream of consciousness techniques familiar to the DJ. Patrick Rosal, for example, gave props to Keats and Dickinson, noting, “A poet is one who ‘breaks’ into language.” For his part, Miller traced the sci-fi-tinged work of Burroughs (who called language “a virus from outer space”) to William Gibson (whose cyberspace vision of the 1980s came to fruition before century’s end). Pointing to “The Imaginary App” exhibit that surrounded him, Miller traced the imagery used to communicate the function of an app back to the work of Alex Steinweiss — who, upon adding pictorial content to the record cover sleeve, created a visual shorthand that found its perfect fit inside the rectangle. “People reduce a song to an image,” Miller said, noting how this “frame of experience” finds similar expression in a museum painting, the record album or the familiar shape housing everything from social media logos to app icons. Set for release in August, the book version of “The Imaginary App” gath-
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RE/Mixed Media Festival Moves Beyond Copyright Concerns
NEW YORK MAY 18, 2014 Presented by
Photo by JH Sounds
DJ Spooky’s anthology of scholarship on mobile computing (seen here in exhibition form) features non-existent apps — some of which entered the real world before their fictional counterparts were made public.
Continued from page 15 by tapping the screen. That’s assuming you’ve not used “Assault on Battery” — which grants some off-grid downtime to the user by “turning on the most wastetastic combination of components on your phone,” thus providing “an excuse for ignoring friends, family, co-workers that no one can blame you for.” The imaginary app allowing one to erase a building from the skyline of a photo, Miller said, is one of several no-longer-imaginary apps. Either through self-fulfilling prophecy on the part of the contributor or sheer coincidence springing from the zeitgeist, the line between brave new idea and globally available product dissolved before the "App" project wrapped up — causing this reporter to wonder if there was an app for synergy, which would alert you when somebody with the same idea obtained legal rights and took it to market before you did. That inquiry took its final form just after the Q&A ses-
sion had concluded, but no matter: Miller referred any follow-up questions to his @ djspooky Twitter account. That minds think alike is not particularly surprising. But Miller, noting that billions from China, Africa, Brazil and elsewhere will soon be adding their online voices to the mix, wondered what the face of immersive media would look like when we’re all surfing the same 5G wave. When network systems move with a speed comparable to the imagination, the DJ “will be all about the mobile,” Miller said. That confident assertion recalled something brought up by Lev Manovich — who, in the festival’s keynote address, boiled the remix down to our biological urge to interface. Referencing a slide of social media communications in NYC before, during and after Superstorm Sandy, he called attention to the amount of dots representing activity during the blackout. “People still take pictures,” he said. “They don’t give up.”
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and more than 40 other tri-state area AIDS service organizations.
Mystico is back e t a r u c c a y il r e e is h h it w horoscopes! Page 23
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Special thanks to GAY CITY NEWS Created and produced by MZA Events. AIDS Walk Founder/Senior Organizer: Craig R. Miller. © MZA Events, 2014
May 07 - 20, 2014
Bodies in Motion, Driven to Extremes
‘Boxers + Ballerinas’ deftly juxtaposes life in the ring and on the stage PHOTOGRAPHY JOHN GOODMAN: BOXERS + BALLERINAS Through May 31 At Rick Wester Fine Art 526 W. 26th St. | Suite 417 (btw. 10th & 11th Aves.) Hours: Tues.-Fri. 10am-6pm Sat. 11am-6pm Call 212-255-5560 Visit rickwesterfineart.com
BY NORMAN BORDEN The thought of boxers and ballerinas coexisting in one photography gallery might sound like an odd coupling, but that’s not the case in John Goodman’s first New York
solo exhibition. He sees both as bodies in motion, driven to extremes by sweat and sheer determination. Drawn from two acclaimed bodies of work chronicling the Times Square Gym and the Boston Ballet, “Boxers + Ballerinas” is a deft juxtaposition of people seeking recognition in the ring or on a stage. Goodman says, “I explore the contest between light and dark, power and grace, grit and tenderness.” After viewing the 25 images here, it seems clear that he has scored either a knockout or a bravura performance — it just depends on what corner you’re in. In 1993, Goodman began documenting the last 18 months of the Times Square Gym, a legendary New York institution where boxers of every stripe — the famous, the faded and the unknown — had trained since it opened in 1976. When Goodman, who lives in Boston, spotted a sign for the gym while walking through Times Square, he persuaded the manager to let him take a few photographs that day. He came back a few weeks later with prints. The manager liked what he saw and said, “Take as many pictures as you want.” When the monograph of 60 images was published in 1996, Pete Hamill wrote in his
© John Goodman
Rock solid and determined: “Elysia Fridkin, Swan Lake” (2004).
introduction, “The Times Square Gym…represents that rarest of artistic achievements, a monumental homage to the lower working class. Its poignancy owes to its unflinching lack of sentimentality.” Goodman’s magnificent seleniumtoned silver gelatin photographs reveal the grittiness and decay of the gym and its visitors. There are no fight scenes here, no victory celebrations — just men caught in a moment of reverie, warriors wrapping their fists as if preparing for battle or ethereal figures captured in doorways or windows. There is beauty, though, perhaps most evident in “Terrorize,” one of my favorite images in the show. We see a boxer’s head protected by a helmet, bathed in shadow and framed by a window. The “terrorize” that’s reflected on part of his head adds another element of mystery and danger, and sends a frightening but appropriate message. Another intriguing image is “Tuxedo Couple.” Goodman uses the shadowgraph technique so they seem to be mystical, ethereal figures — but they’re just two people he captured in the gym’s doorway. Who are these people? What are they doing? We’ll never know. I also liked “Headless + Bag,” in which a boxer on the gym floor is taking jabs at a punching bag, his head obscured by a ray of sunlight. In “Ring,” all that’s visible is the back of a heavily muscled broad-shouldered boxer who is punching an imaginary opponent. The slight blurriness that Goodman uses to convey motion seems to take an edge off the boxer’s strength. So does the earring that he’s wearing — it helps to humanize him. Of course, he’d never wear it in the ring. The ballerinas shown here are part of Goodman’s 2004 photo essay about the
© John Goodman
“Terrorize” (1991) sends a frightening but appropriate message.
Boston Ballet. Photographing them backstage while they were getting ready to perform, he used shadowgraphs — the same technique he used for the boxer images — to show movement. It’s an approach that reflects the influence of Goodman’s mentor. “Minor White taught me the difference between seeing and looking,” says Goodman. Simply put, White believed the experience of looking at a specific image was of more importance than the object or forms being photographed.
Continued on page 19
May 07 - 20, 2014
Exhibit Finds Kinship in the World of Punches and Pirouettes
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© John Goodman
Light and shadow create something magical, in 2005’s “Enter La Sylphide.”
Continued from page 18 Goodman shows us bodies in motion that satisfy our need to witness something beyond reality. His use of blurring, shadows and darkness provide a sense of mystery and greatness. We like the experience of viewing these images. It’s almost as if we’re voyeurs, peering into a world we can’t possibly know. In many ways, these images are similar to some of the boxers. Their bodies in motion hint at greatness. You wonder about their struggles to succeed, but you sense some of the isolation that the boxers experience. There’s something magical about the image “Enter La Sylphide.” Goodman’s use of light and shadow puts the focus on the ballerina and makes this image very painterly, even more so here than in some of his other work. In “Odette/ Swan Lake,” the ballerina is silhouetted and isolated. Her face is hidden. She has no identity, and we can only imagine her beauty. In some of the other pictures, we see ballerinas practicing alone, their grace and fortitude shining through. That seems clearly evident in the image, “Elysia Fridkin, Swan Lake” — her hand on her hip seems to make her rock solid and determined. These are mesmerizing, thoughtprovoking photographs. Whether you think boxing is just a blood sport or ballet is too ethereal, the pictures will ground you.
© John Goodman
A broad-shouldered view from the back: 1993’s “Ring” humanizes its subject with blurry motion (and an earlobe accessory).
Norman Borden (normanbordenphoto. com.) is a New York-based writer and photographer. The author of more than 100 reviews for NYPhotoReview.com and a member of Soho Photo Gallery and ASMP, he currently has an image in the juried show, “Juxtapose,” at the Darkroom Gallery, Essex Junction, Vt.
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May 07 - 20, 2014
What New Yorkers on a Budget Should Know
Images Courtesy of Perkins Eastman
The exterior of the Harlem 117, a development of 111 units of affordable housing in Central Harlem.
Continued from page 12 ments under management are part of one or more affordable housing programs (related. com/our-company/businesses/9/affordablehousing). L+M Development Partners is a builder of affordable, mixed-income, and market rate housing. From conception to completion, this developer is responsible for more than $2.5 billion in housing development, investment and construction, having created more than 15,000 units in the tri-state area. In a partnership with Dunn Development, L+M is currently developing the mixeduse, multi-building Navy Green complex on Clermont and Vanderbilt Avenues in Fort Greene near the Brooklyn Navy Yard. Offering about 460 units when completed, the development represents a combination of rentals and condos, with more than 20 percent of the total designated as affordable, as well as nearly 100 units of supportive housing. (lmdevpartners.com) TF Cornerstone focuses on acquisition, development, construction, and management of residential, commercial, and retail properties. With an aggressive acquisition strategy and a construction division, the company’s property portfolio includes a collection of luxury residential buildings such as 4610 Center Boulevard in Long Island City and 505 West 37th Street in Manhattan. Partnering with Selfhelp, a senior citizen non-profit organization, the company is now at work on Phase 11 at Hunters Point South, which is a massive housing complex along the Long Island City riverfront. Made up of two high-rise towers with nearly 1,200 units, the development is setting aside 60 percent for affordable housing — with some 100 units reserved for seniors. The development will feature a fitness center, a rock-climbing wall, a rooftop deck, a pre-K school and a dedicated senior recreational center with fitness classes, nutritional education and blood pressure testing, among other services. (tfcornerstone.com/new-york-city-life/tag/affordable-
housing) Gotham West, located in a series of buildings on West 45th Street, is a mixed-use, 1,238-unit development from the Gotham Organization. There are 250 units that fall into the 80/20 program, and the development has created another 432 units for middleincome housing. “Gotham West is currently accepting applications for the middle-income category,” said Melissa Pianko, the Gotham Organization’s executive vice president of development. “We also have another 80/20 project under construction at 600 Fulton Street in Brooklyn, but marketing efforts have yet to begin.” (gothamorganization.com) Back-to-back sites in Manhattan developed by L+M, one fronting 116th Street and the other fronting 117th Street, feature a pair of residential buildings with a total of 194 homes. The Adeline, on 116th Street in Central Harlem, is an 83-unit, marketrate condominium. The other, Harlem 117, houses 111 affordable rental units. Designed as a non-smoking building, it will feature a resident-only lounge, a landscaped courtyard and rentable on-site parking. The expected completion date is mid-2014. For application information, visit 117thstreetrental.com. Another new affordable project taking shape in Harlem is a two-tower 80/ 20 development by Continuum Company at 1800 Park Avenue. When completed in about two years, these towers will be Harlem’s tallest buildings. Opposite the Metro North Station between East 124th and 125th Streets, the project will include about 120 affordable units and roughly 380 market-rate apartments. (continuumcompany.com) Glenwood Management is one of New York City’s largest owners and builders of luxury rental apartments, and over five decades has built a reputation as a leading full-service organization in property development and management. Glenwood has opened a waiting list for affordable rentals at the eight-story Hampton Court at 333 East 102nd Street (download an application from glenwoodnyc.com/assistedhousing).
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May 07 - 20, 2014
Who is the new voice in morning radio that everyone is talking about?
JOE PISCOPO! • He’s Funny • He’s Smart • He’s Informative – and a great way to start your day!
Aquarius Replace the strict rules and unsolicited advice of others with trick moves and blanket statements of your own — or suffer a horrible fate. Pisces Storm clouds gather when a high-pressure event charges your particles, pushes your buttons and raises your hackles. Let a smile be your metaphorical umbrella. Aries The shape of a cloud, seen from the High Line, helps to reveal the location of a long-lost object. Taurus Your luck is like Aunt Chelsea’s advice column: gone for the longest time, but coming back strong (and soon)! Gemini Eye contact is flirting. Looking back is cruising. Waking up with your wallet gone is a shameful rookie mistake — but hardly an excuse to recuse yourself from the game.
Leo Failure to adequately proofread a love letter will result in the reverse desired effect. Double-check your work before pressing “send.” Virgo Unless you’ve recently been bitten by a radioactive spider, that tingling sensation probably indicates a serious medical condition. Get it checked!
PHOTO BY DANNY SANCHEZ
Cancer This May, you must nip that short spring fling with old habits in its darling bud — or suffer the consequences all summer long.
Libra A former adversary seeks your help, as chief strategist in a dangerous game played to save a mutual friend from certain doom. Forgive, and collaborate! Scorpio A conversation overheard while waiting in an unusually long line inspires you to pair a nearby image with an original poem. Post it, and claim brief viral fame as your reward. Sagittarius The approval of others is like a Kentucky Derby hat: fun to wear, but soon forgotten. The only sure bet comes from running your own race. Capricorn Your stubborn refusal to be truthful when sharing the results of those Buzzfeed quizzes says more about you than a whimsical poll ever will.
May 07 - 20, 2014
also... Over 70 of Tribecaâ€™s best restaurants!
Tickets: $45 online or $50 day of Premium Seating: ($350, $680, $950 for tables of two, four and six), includes personal food runners, reserved seating, designer t-shirts and a gift bag from the Taste of Tribeca sponsors.
501(c)3 benefit for local schools PS 234 and PS 150
Taste of Tribeca Kick-Off Party at Bouley Botanical
Please join us for the 2014 Taste of Tribeca Kick-Off Cocktail Party honoring our 20-year Golden Participants on Friday, May 2 from 6:00 to 9:00 PM at Bouley Botanical, 281 Church Street. Price per person is $90 which includes one Taste of Tribeca ticket. Specialty cocktails and hors dâ€™oeuvres will be served.