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e Downtown Express photo by Scot Surbeck

The daily crush of World Trade Center commuters on Vesey St.

No relief for Vesey Squeezey BY JOSh rOgerS he long-awaited opening of the 9/11 Museum this month will bring added benefits like opening up some of the World Trade Center to the public, but one vexing problem — the crush of commuters jammed into narrow Vesey St. — is likely to continue for at least another five months. The daily battle where W.T.C. PATH commuters fight for space with subway riders heading to the PATH, Battery Park City or the Financial District, might best be called the “Vesey Squeezy,” although Mariana De Lorenzo had a different description. “It’s a disaster,” De Lorenzo, 42, a reverse commuter, said as she tried to make her way to the PATH during the morning rush hour this week. De Lorenzo, an assistant professor at the State University of New Jersey, said she has been complaining for three years about the problem, which might be getting worse as more things open around the W.T.C. Even though Linda Moore, 58, another reverse commuter, was limping along against the crowds after having worked the graveyard shift at Lennox Hill Hospital, she took the rush in better stride than De Lorenzo as she continued back home to New Jersey. “Is it always jammed, yes, but New York is a beautiful something,” she said with a chuckle that sounded genuine. PATH commuters and Battery Park City residents


walking through the squeeze, still face the pedestrian chains on Church St. needed to keep people from being pushed into traffic. The crush has not escaped the notice of community leaders. At a Community Board 1 meeting last month, Catherine McVay Hughes, the chairperson, pressed Port Continued on page 26


taste oF trIBeca cheFs taLK

eep it simple. That was the message from some of Downtown’s great chefs when we asked them for a seldom-used spice that would help amateur cooks. To our delight, some of this year’s Taste of Tribeca chefs took culinary license by ignoring the parameters of our questions. A few suggested more salt — butter and pepper were other answers. Some did give more exotic suggestions for all of us to try. The Taste event, which benefits Tribeca’s two elementary schools, P.S. 150 and 234, is celebrating

BIZ GroUP moVes aGaInst cLUB’s LandLord BY SAM SPOKONY After initial silence regarding the crime-plagued Greenhouse nightclub, the Hudson Square business improvement district has decided to act against the interests of one of its own board members by opposing a new liquor license for the 150 Varick St. club. In an April 29 letter to the State Liquor Authority, the BID (known as the Hudson Square Connection) called on the State Liquor Authority to deny the club’s application to renew its liquor license, which expired on April 30. “Sadly, Greenhouse has an abysmal record of maintaining a safe, incident-free space and is more known for violent occurrences that mar its reputation,” the letter reads. “Any operation which endangers and severely discomfits our workers, residents and visitors is not acceptable and threatens to compromise all the progress we have made in recent years.” The letter, signed by Jason Pizer and Ellen Baer, respectively the BID’s chairperson and president, was Continued on page 5

Continued on page 20


MAY 8 - MAY 21, 2014

Tribeca foodies

“Whatever happened to that guy,” Tracy Nieporent joked about celebrity chef David Bouley, at a Taste of Tribeca preview cocktail party event last Friday night. Nieporent likes to point out that his brother Drew hired Bouley to be Montrachet’s first chef, but leaves out the part about Bouley forging his own successful path in the neighborhhod. The Nieporents did alright without Bouley anyway, building the Tribeca-based empire, the Myriad Restaurant Group. Tracy and Bouley were two of the night’s honorees because they are among a small handful of neighborhood restaureteurs fortunate enough to stay in business for Taste’s 20 years, and civic-minded enough to help out the event, which benefits the nabe’s elementary schools. Although the party was at Bouley

Botanical, Bouley was out of town. The other restaurants honored were Bubby’s Tribeca, Duane Park Patisserie, Gigino Trattoria, The Odeon and Walker’s, in addition to Drew’s Tribeca Grill, which he opened with Robert de Niro. and Bouley’s Bouley. The mostly Downtown chic crowd (we’re counting everyone except us) sampled some tasty hors d’oeuvres from Bouley’s Botanical. We’ll give best dressed award to Buxton Midyette, whose white cotton tuxedo-looking jacket drew many eyes and compliments. Midyette, a parent leader at Tribeca’s P.S. 150, told us it was the one-year anniversary of when the Dept. of Ed. revealed its scheme to kick the school out of the neighborhood. Midyette and other parents organized to successfully block the plan, and as a result they formed a new Downtown advocacy group, Build Schools Now, which is trying to, well, get more schools built Downtown.

Score 1 for Big Government

Yes Shakespeare, brevity is indeed the soul of wit (notwithstanding our lengthening of the phrase), which is one of the reasons we were impressed when we recently noticed the 3-word Twitter description for the National Park Service’s @ NatlParkService. “America’s Best Idea,” may be the best handle description around for a government agency, and certainly indicates the service is more than a worthy steward for Downtown treasures like Lady Liberty and Federal Hall.


MAY 8 - MAY 21, 2014

Group submits plan to protect Downtown from next Sandy BY SAM SPOKONY Downtown community leaders are calling for nearly $5 million in federal funding to begin studies or construction of flood barriers around Lower Manhattan, as part of their post-Hurricane Sandy resiliency plan that was created for the state’s NY Rising Community Reconstruction Program. The 194-page Lower Manhattan plan which also calls for tens of millions of dollars in funding for other storm resiliency and preparedness measures — was completed at the end of March, following a series of planning committee and public meetings, and was presented to Governor Andrew Cuomo and other state officials on April 23, alongside those from dozens of other communities across the state. It is now also publicly available through the NY Rising website ( The NY Rising program was designed to provide Sandy-affected communities around the state with up to $25 million for projects outlined in their local plans, although the state still has to decide which projects it will fund. And although NY Rising is administered by the state, the funding will come from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development — specifically, the Department’s Community Development Block Grant - Disaster Recovery program. The Lower Manhattan plan targets two specific sites — Battery Park and the southernmost edge of Hudson River Park — for potential barriers, while also proposing flood barrier studies

of both the East and West Sides of Manhattan all the way up to 14th St. Specifically, the plan calls for $2 million to construct a combination of five- to six-foot-high berms (sloping landmasses) and four-foot-high deployable walls through the Battery Lawn and Bosque, spanning a total of around 700 feet in length. Those barriers — which, if funded, would be built by the city’s Parks Department ― would lie next to a smaller series of berms that are already under construction by Parks, and which will be completed within months, according to Hope Cohen, chief administration and finance officer for the Battery Conservancy, which had already been planning these measures well before the NY Rising plan was conceived. The funding sought for those berms and deployable walls would also be just a first step in the Conservancy’s more comprehensive, longterm barrier plan that could eventually stretching across the west side of the park, into Battery Park City, and farther east, to the nearby U.S. Coast Guard facilities and the Whitehall Ferry Terminal. “We’re excited about being at the forefront of this kind of resiliency planning,” said Cohen, who was on the planning committee that created the NY Rising plan for Lower Manhattan. “[Battery Park] was seen worldwide as a waterfront park that was hit really hard by [Hurricane Sandy’s] strom surge, so ever since we’ve really been working hard to prepare for the next one, to make sure that we’re now seen as a park that’s

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really resilient to those surges.” Tying into that overall vision, the NY Rising plan also calls for $750,000 to fund a study of flood barriers near the bottom of Hudson River Park, around Harrison St., which would protect lower West St. — particularly Battery Park City and the area around the World Trade Center —

from storm surges. The study would also focus on the potential for barriers just below West St., along Battery Place (which would even more directly tie into the construction of similar barriers within Battery Park). The plan estimates that Continued on page 12


MAY 8 - MAY 21, 2014

sUbWaY sLeePer snaTcH

A thief claiming to be homeless targeted a sleeping passenger aboard a Downtown subway train on May 2, police said. The victim, 26, told cops he boarded the southbound 1 train at the W. 116th St./Columbia University stop around 2:30 a.m. Friday morning, and then fell asleep minutes later with his backpack sitting on the floor between his legs. According to two female witnesses who boarded the same train at Penn Station, and were sitting within sight of the victim, the thief later entered their section of the train after it had passed the Christopher St. stop. The male suspect was asking the passengers for cash, and told them he was homeless and hadn’t eaten for three days, according to the witnesses’ statements to police. The suspect then reportedly walked up to the sleeping victim and tapped him on the shoulder, asking him, “Are you awake?” When it was clear that he wasn’t, the suspect then snatched the victim’s backpack — which contained a Lenovo laptop computer, an external hard drive, the victim’s checkbook and several articles of clothing — and then fled off the train after it pulled into the Houston St. stop.

The two witnesses, who watched the whole thing take place, then exited along with the victim at the next stop, at Franklin St., to report the incident to police. A canvass was conducted, but the thief wasn’t found, cops said.

PUrses PUrLoined

A woman’s purse was stolen from right under her nose while she was eating at a Financial District pub on May 1, police said. The woman, 27, told cops that she was having a bite inside the Ulysses Folk House, at 95 Pearl St., around 8:30 p.m., and had put the bag down by her table. After a while, when she looked down, she realized that the purse — which contained a debit card and two credit cards, her $200 Michael Kors sunglasses and her house and car keys — was gone. Before the woman could cancel her debit and credit cards, the thief — who was not spotted by the victim or any witnesses — made a total of $290 in unauthorized purchases on the cards, police said. And then on May 2, another unfortunate woman had her purse stolen from a Tribeca restaurant, after she left it sitting unattended on her seat while in the bathroom, police said.

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The woman, 32, told cops she was eating inside Sazon, at 105 Reade St., around 5 p.m., when she got up to use the bathroom. When she returned minutes later, the purse — which contained a debit card and credit card, her driver’s license and $40 in cash — was gone. Fortunately, the woman was able to cancel her cards before any unauthorized purchases were made. But there were no witnesses, and no description of the thief.

an inside Job?

Someone stole $3,700 worth of equipment from a Tribeca construction site on April 25, police said. A manager from On the Level Enterprises, the company currently doing interior renovations on the 34 Laight St. residential building, told cops that, at some point during that day, a toolbox in the building’s basement was unlocked without permission. The equipment stolen from the Laight St. building included a nail gun, two circular saws and a laser range meter, according to police. The construction manager told cops that numerous employees have the key to that box and could’ve accessed it, but he suspects a former employee who he thinks still has one of those keys, according to police. Cops said an

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camera sWiPed

A German tourist was targeted by a slick thief during her photography journey through Soho on April 28, police said. The female tourist, 22, who was at that time staying in Brooklyn, told cops she was walking through the neighborhood all day with her camera, snapping shots and taking in the scenes. She finished the escapade around 5 p.m., and put the camera — a Canon 5D Mark II, which she valued at $1,500 — in her backpack. But when she got to the corner of W. Broadway and Broome St. minutes later, and reached back into her bag to grab her phone, the tourist realized that the backpack was already open, and that her camera was gone. She later told cops that she’d been bumped near that corner, shortly before realizing the theft, but didn’t think twice about it because the street was so crowded.

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Hudson Square Business District turns on one of its members Continued from page 1

sent five days after Downtown Express published an article on Greenhouse, featuring a lengthy interview with John Maltz, who is both the nightclub’s landlord and a BID board member. In that article, Maltz largely dismissed local residents’ and elected officials’ condemnations of Greenhouse, while also defending the club’s new management, which is apparently planning to renovate and rebrand the club after closing it down on April 21 following a spate of brawls and subsequent

that Greenhouse did, in fact, submit a “timely” renewal application before the previous one expired. However, consideration of that application was initially delayed due to the S.L.A.’s ongoing legal proceedings against the club. The proceedings came to a close on May 6, when the S.L.A. slapped the club with a $10,000 fine for among other things, “failure to conform to [liquor license] application” and “failure to comply [with] health regulations,” according to S.L.A. documents and an emailed statement from Crowley. The club had previously received

Greenhouse club, still closed, was fined $10,000 this week. pressure from police. (No applications for construction permits have yet been filed for the club since the shutdown, according to city records.) The Hudson Square BID had declined to comment for that article, and at that point had not taken any public action against Maltz’s interests in the Varick St. building. Also in that article, Maltz claimed that no commercial tenants within Hudson Square had complained to him about Greenhouse. But at least one large business is clearly not happy with the club. On April 24, one of the district’s most prominent businesses, the Trump Soho hotel, wrote a strongly worded letter to the S.L.A. in which it opposed the club’s application to renew its liquor license. “The safety of the community, including guests of Trump Soho, has been jeopardized by violence at the club,” wrote Andreas Oberoi, the hotel’s general manager. Maltz did not respond to a request for comment for this article. Meanwhile, contrary to reports in various other media outlets, which stated that Greenhouse never applied to renew its liquor license before the April 30 expiration, the club’s management is still attempting to renew the license. William Crowley, a spokesperson for the S.L.A., said in a May 5 email

multiple fines from the S.L.A. in recent years. It was also notably shut down for 10 days last year, on the order of a Manhattan Supreme Court Justice, as the result of numerous violent incidents, including a 2012 brawl between famed rappers Chris Brown and Drake at Greenhouse’s sister club, W.i.P., which is located in the same building. The clubs had also been shut down briefly in 2012, immediately following the rappers’ altercation. Based on Crowley’s comments, it appears that the S.L.A. is now in the process of considering the club’s renewal application. But the S.L.A. did not respond to a request for comment after the $10,0000 penalty was handed down on May 6. Greenhouse’s management could not be reached for comment. And at least for now, residents around Greenhouse are apparently rejoicing while the club remains closed. “People who live here are so much happier now, especially the ones living right next to [Greenhouse] on Vandam St.,” said Richard Blodgett, president of the Charlton St. Block Association, which represents residents who have long railed against the club’s noise, violence and alleged drug dealing outside. “It’s just so much quieter at night,” he added. “We’re still hoping that they never open up again.”

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MAY 8 - MAY 21, 2014

Downtown Express photos by Josh Rogers.

Trees for pier’s reopening Workers were sprucing up the area around Tribeca’s Pier 26 April 29, planting trees and attracting onlookers. The long-awaited reopening of the pier and Downtown Boathouse is supposed to be some time in May, although Hudson River Park Trust officials did not respond to inquiries about the opening date.


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MAY 8 - MAY 21, 2014

Drawing on girls’ power to learn about robots & engineering

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rate their robots while boys like to make their creation fight. “Bring in the art and creativity into the process and it will resonate with the girls,” she said. In a bid to dispel the stereotype that engineering isn’t for girls, Young is organizing what she’s calling the Women in Technology Speaker Series, where “amazing” women in STEM fields — science, technology, engineering and math — fields will talk to children about their work. According to the American Association of University Women, only 20 percent of all bachelor’s degrees in engineering are earned by women. Studies conducted for the group found that cultural issues – including lack of exposure to the profession and a dearth of encouragement from parents and teachers – prevent girls from pursuing engineering. The Foundry’s Brooklyn location runs a “Girls’ Club” where parents build robots together with their daughters, but the percentage of girls in the mixed-gender classes is 35 percent and growing. Nicole Hernden, who enrolled her 7-year-old daughter in the Gowanus workshop, said her child immediately took to robot building. “Neither my husband nor I are engineers, but Brooke is constantly thinking about design,” said Hernden. “I would not be surprised if she becomes an engineer.” Young said she experienced sexism from professors and classmates as an engineering student at Purdue University. “A man would never be told you’re too handsome to be an engineer,” she said. “But a woman

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Work at the Brooklyn Robot Foundry, which recently opened a center in Tribeca.

may hear you’re too pretty to be an engineer.” Anna Yanishevsky, a self-employed software engineer, said the workshops at the Foundry serve a valuable role in exposing girls to the profession. “Not many girls play with robots or cars or even Legos,” said Yanishevsky, 33, who was one of the few women in her engineering classes at Brandeis University. “No one encourages girls to



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take things apart and see how they work, which at the very basic level makes people more attracted to careers in engineering.” Young encourages parents not to underestimate the value of early childhood exposure. “A lady once told me that if she has done this [workshops] as a kid she would have worked in something related to math or science,” she said.

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B Y M A r iN A T e MK iN Growing up, Jenny Young liked playing with dolls. But she preferred working with her hands in her father’s garage workshop, leading her to become an engineer, a field dominated by men. Now, as owner of the Brooklyn Robot Foundry, Young introduces girls to the joys of building and hopes to inspire them to follow her path. After two years in Gowanus, Young recently opened a second location this spring in Tribeca, where she runs robot-making workshops for boys and girls from prekindergarten through eighth grade. “Tribeca is a concentrated location of children,” said Young, 35, who threw a grand opening party for more than 300 people on March 22 at her storefront on 528 Canal St. “It is convenient for people from other parts of Manhattan and New Jersey.” So far the Tribeca location offers weekend classes and party packages. Young will also run summer session courses and intends to start an after-school program in the fall. There is also a partnership with, a dating and date planning site, through which adult couples can experience the fun of robot making. Children’s class size varies, but some workshops are already selling out at capacity of 20. “Kids can make whatever they want,” she said. “We have girls building princesses and fluffy bunnies that move.” Girls play differently than boys, Young said. She’s found that girls prefer to design and deco-


MAY 8 - MAY 21, 2014

Mayor taps Menin for Consumer Affairs BY JOSh rOgerS Mayor Bill de Blasio last month put Downtown’s Julie Menin in charge of one of his signature priorities — providing paid sick leave to small business workers — when he tapped her to be the city’s next Consumer Affairs commissioner. Menin, 46, the former chairperson of Community Board 1 and candidate for borough president, told Downtown Express last week that there will be a massive outreach campaign to workers and owners so they understand the rights and responsibilities of the new law, which covers businesses of more than five employees. Currently the Dept. of Consumer Affairs has info on the law in eight languages, and that will soon expand to Arabic, Bengali and then “many more,” Menin added. Although shop owners and other businesses ultimately will be subject to fines for violating the law, Menin said “we hope to not get to that point…. “The mayor has made it very clear that fines not be punitive. We will be extremely collaborative with small businesses so they understand the regulations to all D.C.A. rules.” In making the announcement April 24, de Blasio repeated his criticism that under Mayor Bloomberg, “some real

Photo by Rob Bennett, for the Office of Mayor Bill de Blasio

Julie Menin, former chairperson of Community Board 1, was named commissioner of Consumer Affairs by Mayor de Blasio on April 24. Photo by Rob Bennett/Courtesy of Mayor de Blasio’s office.

boundaries were overstepped in the name of revenue production. Many small businesses were treated unfairly.” De Blasio, naturally was effusive in his praise for Menin, but it seemed to be more glowing than average for his hiring announcements. He said after 9/11, “there was a des-

group, which held events to drive more foot traffic Downtown and help small businesses. At the time, she owned Vine restaurant in the Financial District —one of the businesses unable to survive the added security measures around the New York Stock Exchange. Menin later joined C.B. 1, where as the mayor pointed out, she received high marks for finding consensus over divisive high-profile neighborhood issues like Occupy Wall Street and the Islamic center near the World Trade Center, a.k.a. “the Ground Zero mosque.” Menin officially started working supervising a staff of 328 on May 5. The sick leave law, which the mayor signed in March, provides the agency with money to hire 17 people to implement. A second priority for Menin is to use the department’s Office of Financial Empowerment to help as many as “835,000 unbanked New Yorkers” get their first bank accounts.

perate need for people to step forward and innovate and come up with solutions. Julie was one of the people who did that — and won tremendous acclaim for her ingenuity, her energy, her sense of optimism…” After the attack, Menin created Wall Street Rising, a non-profit advocacy

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Schools chancellor not fazed by Downtown waitlists B Y SA M S P O K O N Y A year after a similar visit from her predecessor led only to more frustration, Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña came to Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver’s office on April 24 to hear Downtown school advocates’ desperate pleas for action on the district’s overcrowding problem. In attending the monthly meeting of Silver’s Schools Overcrowding Task Force, Fariña clearly hoped to set a different tone than that carried by ex-Chancellor Dennis Walcott and the Bloomberg administration. “We believe in parents and community members being an important part of decision making,” said Fariña, who added that she already “know[s] a lot of the issues” facing School District 2 because she was previously principal of P.S. 6 (which, although it is in District 2, is located on the Upper East Side). The new chancellor started by stressing that her presence at last week’s meeting was really about “listening and taking notes,” and she did not go on to make any commitments or engage in any substantive discussions. “I really want to hear from you about what your priorities are, and how we can help,” she said. And, as always, there was much to hear from Downtown principals, advocates and elected officials. The kindergarten waitlists may not be as massive this year as they were last year, but it’s clear that most local schools are close to bursting at the seams, and they’re taking on additional classroom sections to bear the burden of Downtown’s ever-growing residential population. Lisa Ripperger, principal of Tribeca’s P.S. 234, said she’s expecting to fill an all-time high of 175 kindergarten seats, in seven sections, and added that she’s “really hoping for more cancellations” when it comes to the 210 seat offers her school has already made. Terri Ruyter, principal of Battery Park City’s P.S. 276, followed by stating that her school will be waitlisting 52 zoned families, even while increasing to four kindergarten sections and eliminating pre-K after carrying two sections in 2012 and one section last year. “We just don’t have the real estate,” Ruyter said of cutting out the pre-K. “We’re out of room.” Maggie Siena, principal of the Peck Slip School (which is currently in temporary rooms at the Tweed Courthouse), said she’ll also be losing pre-K due to lack of space, after picking up 25 kindergarten students from the P.S. 276 waitlist while also making 80 seat offers within the school’s zone. “We’ll be all filled up, and we’re going to be sharing rooms,” she added. And although those announcements, among others, seemed to call for a renewed sense of urgency, Fariña did not seem overly worried about the situation. “I think this year in particular, you’re going to see waitlists kind of disappear over time, for any number of reasons…even though I know, this is the time [of year] when you get a little nervous about that,” the chancellor told to the principals. Last year the elementary schools in Community Board 1 initially had 148 kindergarteners on waitlists, but that number dropped

Downtown Express photo by Sam Spokony.

Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña, left shared a laugh with Community Board 1’s Paul Hovitz before last Thursday’s meeting on Lower Manhattan schools, but the Downtown advocates were hoping for some answers from Fariña. Behind them were Catherine McVay Hughes, C.B. 1’s chairperson and Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver.

to zero as some found space in nearby schools, while most others either enrolled in public Gifted & Talented programs, private schools or they moved away. One option which ended up not being needed last year — adding a kindergarten class in Tribeca’s P.S. 150 — presumably could be part of the solution this year, although there was no talk of specific solutions for P.S. 276 waitlisted families at last week’s meeting. Fariña did compare the Downtown situation more generally to school struggles across the city. “What we’re finding is that parents are applying to more than one place, and they’re looking to see what else is going to come down the pike, down here [in Lower Manhattan] in particular, and you also have parents who’ve applied to independent schools, or other schools,” she said. “So I think, for the first time, you’re actually not going to see any kindergarten child not have a space, and we’re seeing that citywide.” But, as they have many times before, task force members pointed out that the kind of city- or borough-wide “averaging” long used by the Department of Education in its school seat projections has continually failed the Downtown community. “The fact is that demand in 2014 is already where we expect supply to be in 2018, and that’s a serious imbalance,” said Eric Greenleaf, a former P.S. 234 parent and local statistics expert who was also recently appointed to Mayor de Blasio’s new school space task force, dealing with the future co-

locations in public schools. Greenleaf explained that according to his projections based on Downtown’s well-documented boom of both new births and residential development by 2018, elementary schools in Community Board 1 will be around 1,350 seats behind demand. And that’s including D.O.E.’s planned new 456-seat school in the district, which has yet to be sited and which all the advocates have already fretted over, after expecting 1,000 new seats below Canal St. in the Department’s five year capital budget, following last year’s visit from ex-Chancellor Walcott. “Whenever we’ve said 1,350, D.O.E. has repeatedly said zero,” said Greenleaf, referring to the Department’s refusals to acknowledge his projections in past years. “There’s a big difference between 1,350 and zero. That’s why the D.O.E.’s forecasts aren’t working, and they need to be fixed. So please, we need more schools. The one school is appreciated, but it’s nowhere near enough.” State Sen. Daniel Squadron, who also attended the April 24 meeting, didn’t hold back in his support of the local stats guru. “What [Greenleaf] says has proven again and again to be true, and we really need the Department to look at projections differently, certainly [Downtown] where you’re seeing all these changes,” Squadron said directly to Fariña. “His numbers, if you take history as any guide, are going to come true,” the state senator added, In his own closing remarks, Silver

reiterated the need for 1,000 new school seats in D.O.E.’s new capital plan along with speedy siting and construction in order to have them online by 2017 or 2018. Aside from stating that she acknowledged the request and “circled” 2017, presumably in her notes, Fariña did not comment on the prospect of getting 1,000 new seats below Canal St. into the capital plan, nor on any planned changes to how D.O.E. will make its projections in the everincreasing residential neighborhoods of C.B. 1. After the meeting, Shino Tanikawa, president of School District 2’s Community Education Council, summed up the chancellor’s visit with extremely guarded optimism if it could even be called that. “Well, it’s a better tone, and this is a new administration that’s a lot friendlier, but I think the chancellor still has to understand that we have a problem here,” said Tanikawa, who reacted to Fariña’s apparent complacency regarding Downtown waitlists by stressing that those waitlists were kept low only because local schools took on extra kindergarten sections and maxed out their available space. “So we might start seeing the loss of art rooms or other rooms, because these kindergarten kids are going to move up, and they’re going to run out of space, and that’s the thing that I don’t think [Fariña] quite gets,” Tanikawa. “It’s not a sustainable model, so you can’t celebrate anything about the waitlists being lower, and you can’t call it a victory. “We still have a long way to go,” she mused.


MAY 8 - MAY 21, 2014

City to make hazardous Canal St. a slow zone next month B Y SA M S P O K O N Y Citing numerous traffic fatalities along its 1.5-mile stretch, the city’s Department of Transportation announced last week that Canal St. will soon become a slow zone. That move will lower the speed limit along all of Canal St. — which runs from E. Broadway to West St. — to 25 miles per hour. The limit is currently 30 miles per hour on the hazardous pedestrian

city streets, they account for 60 percent of traffic fatalities. There have been six fatalities along Canal St. since 2008, according to D.O.T. “Sometimes it seems as if Canal St. is a perpetual slow zone — but slowing down traffic on Canal, which bustles with bicycles, pedestrians and vehicles all day long, is the right thing to do,” State Sen. Daniel Squadron, whose dis-

‘Sometimes it seems as if Canal St. is a perpetual slow zone.’ stretch near entrances to the West Side Highway, the Holland Tunnel and the Manhattan Bridge. D.O.T. said in its announcement that the change is planned for June. This makes Canal St. the first Lower Manhattan street to be included in D.O.T.’s new “arterial slow zone” program, which specifically targets the city’s major streets. The Department has said that while these traffic -heavy, arterial roadways comprise just 15 percent of

trict covers the eastern portion of the street, said in a statement Thursday. “This heavy volume of road use is exactly what makes Canal Street a great candidate for an arterial slow zone.” State Sen. Brad Hoylman, whose district covers the western portion of the street, also applauded the announcement, calling Canal St. one of the “most dangerous roadways in my district.” Thursday’s announcement also included several other planned arterial

Downtown Express photo by Sam Spokony

Looking east on Canal St., from the Sixth Ave. intersection.

slow zones across the city, including an 8.3 mile stretch of Broadway between Columbus Circle and W. 220th St. The first two arterial slow zones were launched earlier this month, in Brooklyn

and the Bronx, and eleven other zones — including Canal St. — have since been announced. D.O.T. has said it plans to introduce 25 arterial slow zones by the end of the year.

Fighting to make Lower Manhattan the greatest place to live, work, and raise a family.

Assemblyman Shelly Silver If you need assistance, please contact my office at (212) 312-1420 or email



MAY 8 - MAY 21, 2014

tranSit Sam THUrs., maY 8 – Wed., maY 14 aLTernaTe side ParKing rULes are in effecT aLL WeeK

Happy Mother’s Day! Mother’s Day causes far more traffic than Father’s Day. Moms cook for dads but dads take moms out to dinner. So if you’re taking mom Downtown to celebrate, take note of the art fairs below. Tough going to drivers headed into Lower Manhattan Thursday night. In the Lincoln Tunnel, the New York-bound tube will close 11 p.m. Thursday to 5 a.m. Friday. Additionally, the inbound helix (the spiral road leading to the tunnel) will close 10 p.m. Thursday to 5 a.m. Friday. Both of these closures will send inbound traffic to the Holland Tunnel, where one inbound lane will close 11 p.m. Thursday to 5 a.m. Friday. Traffic will be slow from New Jersey to Canal St. In the Financial District, the National Alliance for Mental Illness Walk will close several streets 9 a.m. to noon Saturday. Affected streets include Fulton St. between South and Gold Sts., Gold St. between Fulton and Spruce Sts., Spruce St. between Gold St. and Park Row, Park Row between Spruce St. and Frankfort St., Chambers St. between Centre St. and Broadway, Broadway between Chambers and Barclay Sts., Park Row between

Broadway and Spruce St., Spruce St. between Park Row and Gold St., Gold St. between Spruce and Fulton Sts., and Fulton St. between Gold and South Sts. A spate of art fairs hits Soho and Tribeca this weekend. Cabs and private cars will be making the rounds, so expect an uptick in traffic near these fairs: Verge Art Fair on Prince St. between Thompson and Sullivan Sts. Thursday through Sunday, Cutlog on Suffolk St. between Houston and Delancey Sts. Thursday through Sunday, the Toast Annual Art Walk at Tribeca galleries Friday through Monday, the Affordable Photography Fair on White St. between Church St. and West Broadway Friday through Monday, and the New Art Dealers Association Fair at Basketball City (South St. under the F.D.R.) Friday through Saturday. On West St./Route 9A, one lane will close in both direction between West Thames and Vesey Sts. 6 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Saturday. One northbound lane will close between Canal and Clarkson Sts. 10 p.m. Thursday to 6 a.m. Friday, and 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. Monday through Wednesday nights. These weeknight closures will repeat through June 11. The Second Avenue Festival will close Second Ave. between 4th and 14th Sts. noon to 5 p.m. Saturday. Southbound traffic headed for Lower Manhattan will

divert to the Bowery and Broadway.

from THe maiLbag: Dear Transit Sam, If I am making a right turn and there is a bike lane to the right of me who has the right of way? What if the bike rider has a red light when I have a green one? It’s very difficult to see if a bike is coming especially at night. What’s the correct answer? Gary, New York

Dear Gary, If there is no special signal for the bike rider or no signal at all, then the bike rider has the right-of-way. If the bike rider has a red light then you have the right-of-way. That being said, in New York City so few bike riders obey red lights that you shouldn’t assume you can go safely (for the cyclist especially) just because you have the right-of-way. Transit Sam Send your parking and traffic questions to

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MAY 8 - MAY 21, 2014

Post-Sandy plan for Lower Manhattan Continued from page 3

eventual construction of flood barriers at those locations would likely cost around $8.4 million. The third element of the plan’s flood barrierrelated focus calls for $2 million to fund another study of possible barriers throughout both of Lower Manhattan’s coastal areas — from Harrison St. to W. 14th St. on the West Side, and from Montgomery St. to E. 14th St. on the East Side. That study would specifically review and tie into existing proposals, such as the East River Blueway plan that was introduced by then-Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer last year. The 17-member planning committee that created the Lower Manhattan plan — after numerous public meetings attended by residents and other local stakeholders — was co-chaired by Catherine McVay Hughes, chairperson of Community Board 1, and Daniel Ackerman, chief of staff for the Downtown Alliance. The committee also included David Gruber and Gigi Li, who respectively lead Community Boards 2 and 3. Hughes pointed out that overlapping and ongoing efforts Downtown, like those of the Battery Conservancy and the various landscape architects involved with the East River Blueway Plan, played a strong role in shaping the final plan. “One of the important purposes of this process was really to leverage some initial funding

for these larger projects, to start bringing that money in and putting it to work,” she told Downtown Express. The NY Rising plan also calls for up to $7.6 million to create a network of community resource and recovery centers across Lower Manhattan, which in emergency situations would provide residents faster access to food and water — as well as electrical power and cell phone charging stations — and would supplement larger resource centers such as those operated by the city’s Office of Emergency Management. In addition — and among several other proposals — the plan asks for around $2 million to fund an emergency preparedness program that would include hiring a staff of four employees to coordinate disaster preparedness and recovery efforts between community-based organizations and governmental agencies. Now that the plan has been officially submitted, state officials will be considering which projects will actually get funded. Governor Cuomo’s Office of Storm Recovery plans to allocate its federal funding for an initial round of NY Rising by the end of this year, according to spokesperson Barbara Brancaccio, although there haven’t been any announcements about exactly how many statewide projects that initial round will include. Brancaccio added that all funding decisions will be considered on a project-by-project basis, rather than by looking at an entire community’s

Image courtesy of the Battery Conservancy

This Battery Park image details a $2 million funding request to construct flood barriers. The barriers, a mix of raised landmasses and deployable walls, would run along most of the area highlighted by the largest oval, second from the left. (The circular green area at the top left of that oval is a landmass already under construction by the city’s Parks Department.) The far left oval highlights another aspect of the NY Rising plan, which calls for a study of potential barriers along Battery Place.

plan all at once. Hughes also added that there will be a follow-up public meeting, to discuss the poten-

tial for implementing Lower Manhattan’s NY Rising projects, near the end of May, although the meeting has not yet been scheduled.

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MAY 8 - MAY 21, 2014

Apartments, low rent. Gym, not so much, & C.B. 2 objects B Y SA M S P O K O N Y Community Board 2 isn’t sold on a developer’s scheme to include affordable housing in a planned residential building at 261 Hudson St., believing that low-rent tenants will be “rudely” priced out of being able to use the building’s gym and computer lounge. After demolishing a one-story warehouse that sat on the Hudson St. lot, between Canal and Spring Sts., Related Companies filed plans for construction of the 12-story rental building last July. The city’s Department of Buildings approved those plans on April 15, according to online records. In February, Related also submitted an application for 261 Hudson St. to enter the city’s inclusionary housing program, which provides a development bonus in exchange for making 20 percent of a building’s units permanently affordable. The developer’s current plans call for 201 total units: 160 market rate and 41 affordable. The affordable units will be available to households making less than 60 percent of the area median income (A.M.I.) — or less than $51,540 for a family of four, less than $46,440 for a three-person family, less than $41,280 for two people and less than $36,120 for an individual. Initial monthly rents in the affordable units will be $1,017 for a two-bedroom, $838 for a one-bedroom and $781 for a studio, according to Related’s April presentation to C.B. 2’s Land Use Committee. (One committee member, Doris Diether, later declined to support the committee’s resolution on the project because she believed those rent levels are not low enough to be considered affordable.) If Related gains city approval for inclusionary housing, the developer would gain a floor-area bonus of about 30,000 square feet — equal to the total area of its 41 planned affordable units, or 23,772 square feet, multiplied by 1.25, according to the inclusionary program. However, since 261 Hudson St. is in a zoning district that does not allow for use of that inclusionary bonus, the developer would instead be able to transfer the additional square footage — or sell it — toward the creation of a potentially massive luxury building within the neighboring Hudson Square Special District, which does allow for use of the bonus under its recent rezoning. In any case, those details were all kosher in the eyes of C.B. 2, which has vocally supported the use of the inclusionary housing program around Hudson Square as a prime way to bring affordable housing to the neighborhood. The problem, according to the board, is that Related is at this point unwilling to provide low-rent tenants with affordable access to certain amenities planned for 261 Hudson St. Although the building’s rooftop terrace and library will be available free of charge, other amenities — including a gym, locker room and computer lounge — will be available at the same price for all residents, rather than at a discounted rate for low-rent tenants, according to Related spokesperson Jessica

Scaperotti. She added that the exact flat-fee rate hasn’t been decided yet. The C.B. 2 Land Use Committee called on Related to commit to providing discounted rates for low-rent tenants. Tobi Bergman, the committee’s chairperson, said that, during Related’s April presentation, company reps told him they believe the fee for the Hudson St. building’s priced amenities will be around $500 per person per year — a cost likely unaffordable for low-rent tenants. “It creates an unpleasant feeling among neighbors if parts of the building are for market-rate tenants only, as these amenities effectively will be,” Bergman said. “Everyone living in affordable housing knows they are not money rich, and people can live with that happily and proudly. But excluding them from parts of their own building seems an unnecessary strike at something that runs deeper. “Plus, it is rude,” he added. Bergman’s committee passed a resolution — later approved by C.B. 2 at its April 24 full board meeting — calling on the city to deny Related’s application for inclusionary housing unless the developer changes course on the amenities pricing. The resolution states that the committee would “prefer” free access for affordable tenants, but would support prices of no more than a total of $40 per month for all occupants of a two-bedroom unit, and no more than $30 per month for all occupants of a one-bedroom or studio. Councilmember Corey Johnson has also weighed in, saying he believes Related’s plan, if approved, would set a bad precedent for future inclusionary housing proposals in the area. “Inclusionary housing should give equitable access to all tenants,” said Johnson, “and those who live there as a part of the 80/20 program [80 percent market-rate and 20 percent affordable housing] should not be required to pay the full cost for use of facilities which may be financially out of reach for them.” However, asked whether the councilmember supports Related’s overall plan, Johnson’s office said he does in fact support it, since it would create new affordable housing. Meanwhile, Related counters that the inclusionary program has no requirements regarding building amenities or their cost. A spokesperson for the city’s Department of Housing Preservation and Development — which administers the inclusionary program — said the developer is indeed currently following all the program’s requirements. The spokesperson added that H.P.D. is aware of C.B. 2’s concerns, and is still reviewing Related’s application. Related spokesperson Scaperotti also stressed that the developer is actually exceeding certain requirements of the inclusionary program, namely regarding apartment appliances. According to the developer’s current plans, low-rent tenants at 261 Hudson St. will get the same array of appliances as their market-rate counterparts, including individual washers and dryers.



MAY 8 - MAY 21, 2014

Downtown Express photo by Milo Hess.

It’s a Family Fair Thousands came out April 26 for the Tribeca Family Festival Street Fair, the Tribeca Film Festival’s annual event. It was sunny most of the day although rain cut things short by the late afternoon.

Join us & make Elizabeth H. Berger Plaza

SATURDAY, MAY 17, 2014 Noon - 2 P.M. (Rain or shine) Elizabeth H. Berger Plaza (at Edgar Street and Trinity Place)


The Downtown Alliance invites you to join us and your neighbors as we plant new flowers and spruce up Elizabeth H. Berger Plaza. In addition to gardening for all, there will be kid-friendly activities, like face-painting and balloon-making. We’ll provide the plantings, the tools and the top soil — you bring some elbow grease. Together, we’ll make Elizabeth H. Berger Plaza bloom, and the kids will have a blast too. Light refreshments will be available.

To learn more about how you can volunteer, visit


MAY 8 - MAY 21, 2014

B y J an e l B l a d o w Our little village within the Big City is bursting … with news … much like blooming May flowers!

Seaport S.O.S.…

Save Our Seaport, a community watchdog organization, held a couple of great informational Town Hall Meetings last week. The goal of these meet-ups at the Titanic Memorial Park (Water and Fulton Sts.) is to come up with a viable plan for economic development that also preserves and celebrates the importance of our neighborhood to New York City’s history. On Saturday, about 50 people gathered to hear from Peter Stanford, long-time champion of the area and founder of the South Street Seaport Museum. Joining him were Robert Rustchak, a merchant marine captain, and Bridget Schuy, a neighbor and Downtown realtor with Bond New York Properties. “That Peter is still coming out for the Seaport is remarkable,” Schuy told us. “He’s still fighting for something he believes in and fighting the same fight going on 40 years.” Schuy thinks the city’s Economic Development Corp. is “violating a public trust that they should be protecting by giving Howard Hughes Corp. an unspecified amount of square footage for less than $3.50/sq. ft. At that price, H.H.C. could realize an obscene profit at the expense of the people of New York City.” She said without the firm’s proposed 60-story tower, there’s still an unprecedented amount of development taking place in Lower Manhattan. Between 2011 and 2014, six buildings were built with more than 2,000 housing units. Next year alone, on Fulton St., Beekman and Park Place four more buildings – two of them 59 and 75 stories high – will rise with more than a 1,000 housing units and nearly 300 hotel rooms. “The market is flooded with condos and rental apartments. This proposed tower [by Hughes] will dwarf the Brooklyn Bridge at the expense of the public.” Not to overlook things like, she says, the already overcrowded schools. “Government cannot build enough schools fast enough to accommodate the growth.” Then on Monday, two more speakers with a vested interest in the historical significance of our community held a second Town Hall meeting – Brian McAllister, captain and owner of McAllister Towing, and Robert LaValva, founder and president of New Amsterdam Market. They both – along with previous speakers – stressed the vibrancy of the Seaport District and what its past means to our future. To give you some perspective on the area and these issues, there are two new books out worth reading (or at least looking at the great photos). “Preserving South Street Seaport: The Dream and Reality of a New York Urban Renewal District” by James M. Lindgren (NYU Press) looks at the area from 1960s through today as one of the last neighborhoods not destroyed by urban development. “A Dream of Tall Ships: How New Yorkers Came Together to Save the City’s Sailing-Ship Waterfront” by Peter and Norma Stanford (Sea History Press) chronicles the couple’s dream of saving Manhattan’s old waterfront and creating a

museum that celebrates its history. Meanwhile, the Hughes Corp. plans for the Fulton Market building went before the Landmarks Preservation Commission recently. H.H.C. removed the fish market stalls inside and plans an eight-screen, eat-in multiplex movie theater with retail stores ringing the outside of the building. Apparently, the powers that be weren’t thrilled. Check out the story, “Fulton Market’s ‘All-American Mall’ Makeover Fails To Impress” on

Fill your basket…

The New Amsterdam Market returns to the Old Fulton Fish Market on South Street (between Beekman & Peck Slip), Saturday, May 31, 11 am – 5 pm. The monthly greenmarket features foods, beverages and crafts by local and tri-state small vendors.

Supporting our first responders…

Our great Seaport merchants came out in force and their generosity is greatly appreciated. Local businesses donated gift certificates and/ or gift baskets that were auctioned off in April at the “Jimmy O.” Benefit in Queens. James O’Shaughnessy, a World Trade Center first responder and N.Y.P.D. officer, was paralyzed from the neck down in a horrible freak accident last summer, and can only move his right arm and left hand today. The auction raised funds for his medical expenses, handicapped van and motorized wheelchair. Local donors included Jeremy’s Ale House, Cowgirl Seahorse, Salty Paw, Nelson Blue, Paris Cafe, Ryan McGuire’s, Starbucks, Pasanella & Son Vintners, Prime Meats and Key Food//55 Market. Big thanks to you all!

Western (33 Peck Slip & Front St.) is getting hipped up. The Greenwich Village Prohibitionthemed Jade Hotel is growing its boutique brand with three new locations – taking over the Seaport Best Western, one near Bryant Park and a third in Miami. The Seaport conversion is by Atelier & Co., working with MLG Architects. The revamped 72-room inn will open mid-2015.

Toot your horn… There was a big launch

party Wednesday at Pier 15 to celebrate its opening and the relocation of Hornblower Cruises. Actress Margo Bingham of “Boardwalk Empire” fame kicked off the ceremony singing the National Anthem followed by a Color Guard presentation. Hornblower New York’s Tom D’Amato made the opening remarks and welcomed guests and speakers including politicians, neighbors and seafaring friends. After closing remarks by Hornblower C.E.O. Terry MacRae, and the christening of Pier 15, some celebrants partied with drinks and snacks on board the Hybrid while others stayed on the pier and continued the big blow out. A blast for everyone! The event was co-sponsored by the city Economic Development Corporation, Hu Business International Group and NYC & Co. which showcased its new Official NYC Information Center South Street Seaport. The digital touch screen kiosks, concierge terminals and oversized information screens pro-

Downtown Express photo by Janel Bladow

Monica Phromsavanh of ModaBox, with her chic Chihuahua Reina, will be hosting a sample sale at the Seaport May 8

vide the latest info on events, attractions, dining and nightlife around the city. Send your thoughts on Seaport developments and happenings to Seaportreport@

Champagne and cute clothes….

One of our newest spots in the Seaport, ModaBox by ModaListas is holding a Happy Hour Designer Sample Sale Thursday night, May 8, 5 – 8 p.m. Some of the fantastic fashions at this cute pop-up boutique (193 Front St.) are up to 90-percent off! Twentypercent discount on new arrivals by featured designer d.brandUS. Established in Stockholm in 2006, d.brand started as an alternative to overpriced designer jeans. It has grown into a denim-driven line for in-style women and men who want casual cool looks. Mention to ModaLista C.E.O. and founder Monica Phromsavanh that you saw the party in Seaport Report. And, don’t forget to say hey to her shop mascot and sidekick, the fashionably fabulous Reina (her chic Chihuahua)!

Plant and purchase…

Support DeLury Square Park (Fulton and Gold) during the city Parks Department’s “It’s Your Park” day for their annual spring clean. Volunteers can come out and get grubby by planting some spring flowers. Not your thing? Then check out the arts and crafts fair (all proceeds go to the park fund). The fair runs Friday and Saturday, May 16 and 17, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., and planting is Saturday only, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. Rain date for both is Sunday, May 18.

Chic boutique hotel…

The Best


THURSDAY, MAY 15 - SUNDAY, MAY 18, 2014 Join us at the 9/11 Memorial and visit the 24-hour Pop-Up Community on G reenwich Street and Cortlandt Street

To learn more, visit


MAY 8 - MAY 21, 2014

Downing man who killed girlfriend had been troubled B y T e q uila Minsky a n d L i n co ln A n d e r son Thursday evening around 6:20 p.m., police responded to a 911 call of a female stabbed inside 38 Downing St. Upon arrival, they found Alice Birnbaum, 59, with multiple stab wounds to the chest. According to reports, she also had first been hit on the head with an ax. She was pronounced dead on arrival at the scene. Her boyfriend, Dennis Guglielmo, 69, was arrested and charged with seconddegree murder and criminal possession of a weapon. Like the rest of Downing St., the block, between Bedford and Varick Sts., is quiet and peaceful. Outside the second floor of 38 Downing St., an American flag hangs from the fire escape. Guglielmo, a former owner of Carmine Street Guitars, was described by neighbors as a “character.” David Gruber, chairperson of Community Board 2, who lives a few blocks away, said he knew Guglielmo from the neighborhood, and that the man was extremely strong. He said when Guglielmo would shake his hand, he would basically crush it. The New York Times reported that Guglielmo had lost his rights to the guitar store after unsuccessfully suing his business partner.

Downtown Express photo by Lincoln Anderson

Dennis Guglielmo is charged with murdering his girlfriend inside 38 Downing St.

According to DNA info, Guglielmo had told neighbors he checked himself into Bellevue Hospital a week before the killing, but left days later because he may have had a bad reaction to medications he was prescribed. Apart from Gruber, local residents and merchants spoke to The Villager about Guglielmo and Birnbaum only on condition of anonymity. One local man described Guglielmo as “a guy who wanted to be somebody and could have a menacing facade.” He called Birnbaum’s killing a brutal act of madness on an intimate block — but said nobody had felt Guglielmo was really capable of such a thing. He said Guglielmo had been married at least once and had at least four children, one of whom, Cachagua a.k.a. “Cush,” died at age 22. Guglielmo and Birnbaum were a familiar sight hanging out together at Carmine St. restaurants Numero 28 Pizza and Greenwich Village Bistro. Another neighbor told The Villager that Guglielmo recently told him he was feeling anxious and that he was checking himself into the hospital. He said Guglielmo’s brother, Peter, who also lives in the building, saw Guglielmo sitting on the stairs inside and asked him what was going on. Guglielmo reportedly answered, “I just killed Alice.” As the neighbor tells it, the brother said he went to the apartment, saw the scene and called the police. Guglielmo is said to have known a lot of musicians from decades ago. As for Birnbaum, the neighbor said she was a designer of women’s eveningwear, selling it on the Internet. She had an apartment she got from her father, a retired doctor, in the E. 50s on Madison Ave. She was “sweet, very sweet,” the source said. “I asked Alice once, ‘Why is a nice girl like you with him?’” the neighbor recalled. “She said, ‘He has a heart of gold.’” A local merchant said Birnbaum had been very concerned during Guglielmo’s hospital stay, and that she had been monitoring his health. Guglielmo had admitted himself into the hospital because he had been unable to sleep for the two weeks prior. In the hospital, they put him on medications, but his condition was deteriorating and got worse, the storeowner said. Birnbaum was concerned and worked hard to get him out, the merchant said, adding that she kept in touch with the merchant, calling him daily. In a telephone interview, a friend of Birnbaum’s said they were part of a clique of women, friends from the music and fashion scene in the ’70s, who would get together regularly for lunch. She told The Villager that Birnbaum was “the most laid-back person” and wouldn’t have done anything to push Guglielmo’s buttons.

A January 2012 photo of Alice Birnbaum from her Facebook page.

Downtown Express photo by Jefferson Siegel

Dennis Guglielmo at his arraignment in Manhattan Criminal Court on Fri., M a y 2 . H e i s ch a r g e d w i t h m u r d e r a n d c r i m i n a l w e a p o n p o s s e s s i o n .


MAY 8 - MAY 21, 2014

Occupy activist found guilty of assaulting a police officer

Downtown Express photo by Betsy Kim

Cecily McMillan on Mon., May 5 — outside court as the jury was deliberating — the day her verdict was announced.

B Y B e T S Y K iM In an Occupy Wall Street case that has received heavy coverage, a Manhattan jury on Tuesday convicted Cecily McMillan, a 25-year-old New School graduate student, of felony assault of a police officer. On St. Patrick’s Day 2012, at the sixmonth anniversary of the Occupy Wall Street protests, police cleared activists from Zuccotti Park. McMillan’s defense is that while she was exiting, Officer Grantley Bovell grabbed her breast from behind, and she reacted by jerking her elbow into his face, not realizing he was a cop. On Tuesday, Judge Ronald Zweibel remanded McMillan into custody at Riker’s Island without bail, pending sentencing on May 19. She could be sentenced to up to seven years in prison. Her attorney, Martin Stolar, is filing a bail application. Stolar will request that, if granted, McMillan’s release on bail continue while her appeal is processed. After three hours, the jury returned its verdict. Some McMillan supporters cried out in grief and shed tears. Several repeatedly chanted, “Shame!” A man angrily shouted, “Bull[crap]” several times. McMillan’s supporters and reporters had filled the courtroom to its maximum capacity. About 30 court officers hastily cleared the courtroom and hallways. Near the courthouse steps, protesters erected a 10-foot-tall puppet — a defaced, blind figure of Justice with an upside-down pink hand on its breast. Lucy Parks, read a statement written by McMillan and her supporters. “We are devastated by the jury’s verdict

today,” it said, in part. “It has been clear from day one that Cecily has not received a fair and open trial. The job of a judge during a jury trial isn’t to guide the verdict to fit his opinion. Judge Zweibel, who consistently suppressed evidence, has demonstrated his clear bias by consistently siding with the prosecution. …” Midway through the trial, the judge issued a gag order on talking to the press. Stolar noted one basis for an appeal will be the exclusion of the information of two witnesses. They claim that on the night of McMillan’s arrest, Bovell banged one of their heads on the steps of of a bus, according to Stolar. The judge ruled such evidence inadmissible as mere allegations. But the attorney asserts the information could have shed light on the officer’s conduct that night. McMillan says she got jerked up and back by someone grabbing her right breast from behind, then her head slammed into the ground. Stolar says police used excessive force in arresting McMillan, and that she suffered memory loss, seizure-like conditions and post-traumatic stress disorder. Bovell testified that while escorting McMillan from the park, she said, “Are you filming this? Are you filming this?” and that McMillan then crouched down, and jumped up, throwing her elbow into his eye. The officer said McMillan then ran off, and, in trying to stop her, he fell on top of her, while she had her hand above her breast. Assistant District Attorney Erin Choi accused McMillan of wanting to be “the face of the Continued on page 27

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MAY 8 - MAY 21, 2014

Editor’s Letter

A vision for a safe Canal St. B y Josh Rogers


Jennifer Goodstein Editor

Josh Rogers Arts Editor

Scott Stiffler Reporter

Sam Spokony Sr. V.P. of Sales & Marketing

Francesco Regini Retail ad manager

Colin Gregory

Account Executives

Allison Greaker Alex Morris Mike O’Brien Andrew Regier Rebecca Rosenthal Julio Tumbaco Art / Production Director

Troy Masters Senior Designer

Michael Shirey Graphic Designer

Andrew Gooss Photographers

Milo Hess Jefferson Siegel Publisher EMERITUS

John W. Sutter

Published by NYC Community Media, LLC 515 Canal ST, UNIT 1C New york, NY 10013 Phone: (212) 229-1890 Fax: (212) 229-2790 Downtown Express is published every week by Community Media LLC, 515 Canal St., Unit 1C, New York, N.Y. 10013 (212) 229-1890. The entire contents of the newspaper, including advertising, are copyrighted and no part may be reproduced without the express permission of the publisher - © 2012 Community Media LLC. PUBLISHER’S LIABILITY FOR ERROR The Publisher shall not be liable for slight changes or typographical errors that do not lessen the value of an advertisement. The publisher’s liability for other errors or omissions in connection with an advertisement is strictly limited to publication of the advertisement in any subsequent issue.

Member of the New York Press Association

Member of the National Newspaper Association

© 2012 Community Media, LLC

It almost seems as if there’s been a

Canal St. traffic study for every car on the street. The roadway has long been a source of government-funded efforts — some with catchy acronyms like CATS, the Canal Area Transportation Study — so it was not surprising Canal is one of the 13 streets the city is trying to make safer with an “arterial slow zone.” Of the targeted areas, Canal is the deadliest per mile, according to the statistics the city Dept. of Transportation released with last week’s announcement about the zones. While other city streets like Queens Boulevard and Atlantic Ave. in the Bronx have seen many more deaths since 2008 (23 and 25) than Canal’s six, they’re about a death per mile lower than the 4 to 1 ratio on Canal’s shorter, one-and-a-half mile stretch. And although there were six deaths too many on the street, that was actually a vast improvement over some years ago when there were 14 deaths over the six years ending in 2001, as Downtown Express reported previously. The slow zone will have a modest drop in speed limit from 30 to 25 miles per hour, but even more importantly, there will be speed limit signs, more enforcement and focus. The last one is probably the most important, because the reality is speeding is not the big problem on Canal. I’m sure many frustrated drivers turning off the West Side Highway waiting to get into the Holland Tunnel, or stuck as they wait to cross the Manhattan Bridge, would be willing to pay the price of a speeding ticket if that would get them moving faster. I’ve spent most of the last 13 years working on or near Canal, so I’ve crossed and walked the street thousands of times. I occasionally bike there and have driven there a few times. I bike Downtown all of the time, but Canal, despite its convenient location, is a street I try to avoid because there’s little room between the trucks and cars. The street is a clear physical barrier that also literally divides Community Boards 1 and 2. That is one of the reasons that Lower Manhattan school advo-

Letters SEAPORT DEVELOPMENT To The Editor: The following is an open letter to Councilmember Margaret Chin: I write this letter to express my grave concern regarding the development of the New Fish Market Building in the South Street Seaport. For three years the Howard Hughes Corp. has been publicly stating that it had no plans whatsoever for developing that area. I recall that when H.H.C. representative came to a meeting of Southbridge Towers’ board of directors with sincere smiles on their faces, they categorically stated that there were no plans as yet for any further development in the area. Yet but a few months later they had a fully-developed plan to place a high rise on the footprint of the Fish Market building, completely out of keeping with the historical nature of the area. The H.H.C. lawyers were evidently fishing for a loophole to appropriate this platform, which

Downtown Express photo by Josh Rogers

A Metropolitan Transportation Authority vehicle crosses Canal against the light when would-be pedestrians still had time to pass.

cates don’t see a proposed school just near Canal as a solution to school overcrowding problems because it would mean students as young as 4 would be crossing the thoroughfare. Vehicles so dominate the area they overwhelm pedestrians trying to cross the five to seven lanes of two-way traffic, or the long intersection at Hudson St. which sandwiches the tunnel entrance. I was at Hudson for only a few minutes this week before I saw an M.T.A. van cross Canal against the light, but fortunately there were no pedestrians nearby. There have been minor tweaks to the street over the years, which probably has helped reduce the death rate, but in all the years of walking the area at many different hours, I can’t recall an instance of witnessing a near disaster, let alone an actual accident. What I do see almost daily is many people who are obviously in fear because they walk so cautiously. What’s needed is larger, more prominent crosswalks to send the unmistakable Ratso Rizzo message to drivers: “I’m walkin’ here.” (Dustin Hoffman’s most famous line from “Midnight Cowboy” was sits squarely in the historic district, and exploit it in a way that destroys the continuity of the iconic bridge and the landmark historic buildings. Hoping to gain yet another gift from the taxpayers of N.Y.C., Howard Hughes Corporation hopes to enhance their brand against the backdrop of the Brooklyn Bridge. This opportunity alone should carry a price tag of hundreds of millions of dollars. But more to the point, it should never happen. In a letter to their shareholders, the firm wrote that they expect to generate a stabilized 10 percent yield from all of their other investments, but they excluded the South Street Seaport because “We expect to generate a significantly higher yield on cost than 10 percent.” On whose backs will this significantly higher yield fall but on the residents of this community? The proposal that the Seaport now host a multistory high-rise is unjustified, and counter to the historic charm that was to be the cornerstone of the development of this area. I call upon you as our councilperson to oppose such a insult to the area. Jared Brown

adlibbed when an impatient New York cabbie almost ran him over during filming.) Northern Boulevard, the site of D.O.T.’s slow zone announcement, will also be getting safer crosswalks at an intersection near a school. It is almost undoubtedly needed there, although it is notable that the boulevard’s zone is almost three times the length of Canal but has had one fewer death since 2008, five. As of now, there are no plans for additional safety measures in Lower Manhattan. The focus and stepped up enforcement on Canal will undoubtedly help. It’s all part of Mayor de Blasio’s worthy Vision Zero goal of eliminating all traffic deaths. In a practical sense, adding signs will make the speed limit drop infinite since many city drivers are unaware of a specific limit because they rarely see a sign. The street is likely to get safer, but if the city wants to make it safe, officials might want to dust off a study or two and find a few more ideas.

Posted To City confirms: Tribeca is a rat race (Posted, April 24): another hot spot is washington market park. there are tons of burrows in the bushes. josh

Mayor puts Lower Manhattan’s Menin in charge of Consumer Affairs (Posted, April 30): Hopefully she stops the harassment of small shop owners by DCA agents. Especially in ethnic neighborhoods where English is a second language where agents take advantage of the merchant’s vulnerability by entrapment Karlin Chan (Posted to the Downtown Express Facebook page)

MAY 8 - MAY 21, 2014


BARNES & NOBLE 97 Warren St. 212-587-5389 Mother’s Day Storytime: Featuring the book “Oh The Things My Mom Will Do” and cardmaking. Free. May 10, 11 a.m. Children’s Storytime: All ages. A reading of Dr. Seuss’ “Oh, The Places You’ll Go!’ Free. May 17, 11 a.m.

BATTERY PARK CITY PARKS CONSERVANCY 75 Battery Place 212-267-9700 Preschool Art: Come learn art with paper, clay, wood, and paint. Ages 4 and under. Free. Drop in. Nelson A. Rockefeller Park. Thursdays until Oct. 30, 10:30 a.m. – 12 p.m. Art + Games: After school art activities and games. Ages 5 and up. Free. Drop in. Rockefeller Park, Thursdays until Oct. 30, 3:30 – 5:30 p.m. Sunset Singing Circle: Sing folk songs together. Led by folksinger Terre Roche. All ages. Free. Drop in. Wagner Park. Wednesdays until June 27, 7 – 8:30 p.m. Preschool Play: Interactive play on the lawn. Toys, books, and play equipment provided. Ages 4 and under. Free. Drop in. Wagner Park, Mon, Tues, Wed. until Oct. 29, 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. Children’s Basketball: Adjustable height hoops and fun drills to improve skills. Closetoed shoes required. Ages 5 – 6. Free. Drop in. Rockefeller Park, Mon. until Oct. 27, 3:30 – 4:30 p.m. Soccer: Learn the basics of soccer. Close-toed shoes required. Free. Drop in. Rockefeller Park. Tues. until Oct. 28, Ages 3 – 4, 2:30 – 3:15 p.m., Ages 5 – 7, 3:30 – 4:15, Ages 8 – 11, 4:30 – 5:30 p.m. Drop-in Chess: Play chess and get pointers from an expert. Ages 5 – 15. Free. Drop in. Rockefeller Park. Wed. until Oct. 24, 3:30 – 5 p.m. Wednesdays at Teardrop: Come enjoy lawn games and art projects. Art supplies provided. Ages 5 and up. Free. Drop in. Teardrop Park. Wed. until Oct. 29, 3:30 – 5:30 p.m. CHILDREN’S MUSEUM OF THE ARTS 103 Charlton St., Admission - $11 (seniors and 0-12 months free, from 4-6 p.m.) 212274-0986 Experimenting With Photography & Collage: Learn to alter photos and create digital collages with Photoshop. Ages 5 and up. Thurs. until August 31, 2 6 p.m. Collection Boxes: Build and decorate special boxes Ages 6 and up. May 9, 3 – 6 p.m. Experimenting With Painting & Printmaking: Experiment with unusual techniques using different types of paint and print media. Ages 5 and up. Fridays until

Aug. 31, 3 – 6 p.m. Patchwork Day at CMA: Full day of workshops and events inspired by children’s book, led by the illustrator Jacqueline Schmidt. May 10, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. The Coin Collector’s Tale of Magic: Make props and perform a magic trick based on the coin and the cup illusion. Ages 5 and up. May 10, 11, 12 – 5 p.m. Rainbow Spider Webs: Create a spider web and spider using card stock and a pipe cleaner. Ages 5 and up. May 12, 3 – 5 p.m. Finger Puppet Collections: Use rubber gloves to create a collection of finger puppets. Ages 5 and up. May 14, 16, 3 – 5 p.m. Super Power Animal Trading Cards: Create thematic trading cards and trade with other kids. Ages 5 and up. May 17 -18, 12 – 5 p.m. NEW YORK PUBLIC LIBRARY:

BATTERY PARK CITY BRANCH 175 North End Ave (at Murray Street) 212-790-3499 Baby Laptime for Pre-Walkers: Enjoy simple stories, lively songs and rhymes, and meet other babies in the neighborhood. Limited to 25 babies and their caregivers; first-come first-served. Ages 0-18 months. Free. May 8, 13, 15, 20, 11:30 a.m., May 12, 19, 9:30 a.m. CRAFTERNOON! Arts and Crafts: Listen to a story and create a hands-on project. Child should know how to use scissors. Free. May 8, 4 p.m. Mother’s Day Tea Party: Bring your mom for tea, juice, crafts, and a story. Free. May 10, 11:30 a.m. Toddler Story Time: A librarian will share lively picture books, finger plays, and action songs with toddlers and their caregivers. Ages 18-36 months. Free. May 12, 19, 20, 4 p.m., May 14, 21, 10:30 a.m. Picture Book Time: Children of all ages. Free. May 13, 20, 4 p.m. Modern Masters: Rene Magritte: Explore the mediums, messages, and techniques of modern and contemporary artists. Presented by the Children’s Museum of Manhattan. Ages 6 and up. Free. May 14, 4 p.m. Slumber Party: Special bedtime story and show-and-tell. All ages welcome. Free. May 15, 6 p.m. Modern Masters: Louise Nevelson: Explore the mediums, messages, and techniques of modern and contemporary artists. Presented by the Children’s Museum of Manhattan. Ages 6 and up. Free. May 21, 4 p.m. CHATHAM SQUARE BRANCH 33 East Broadway 212-964-6598 Fun Time: Enjoy stories, toy musical instruments, finger plays, and coloring. Infants to

age 5. Free. 10:30 a.m. – May 8, 15, 3 p.m. – May 15. Get Your Game Face On! YuGiOh and Magic at Chatham Square: Ages 13 – 18. Free. May 8, 15, 3 – 5 p.m. Board Games & Chess For Children: Basic instruction provided. For families and kids ages 5 – 11. Free. Thursdays, 3 – 5 p.m. Call Karen Ginman at 212-964-6598 for more information. Reading Aloud Ages 5 – 12. May 10, 17, 11 – 11:30 a.m. Tween Book Club reads The One and Only Ivan: Discussion of the 2013 Newberry Medal Book. Ages 10 – 12. Free. May 12, 4 p.m. Game On: Challenge your friends to a game on the Wii or PS3. Ages 13 – 18. Free. May 12, 6 p.m. Arts and Crafts: Celebrate Spring by creating fun projects. Ages 5 – 12. Free. May 14, 21, 3:30 – 4:30. Manga Drawing Workshops with Misako Rocks: Join comic artist Misako Rocks and learn how to draw characters, plot, story, and more. Ages 12 – 18. Free. May 14, 21, 5 p.m. NEW AMSTERDAM BRANCH 9 Murray St. (between Broadway and Church St.) 212-732-8186 Story Time: Stories, action songs, and fingerplays. Ages 18 – 36 months. Free. First come, first served. May 8,13,15, 20, 10:30, 11:30 a.m. Scene it @ the Library: Family Movie

Toddler/Adult Preschool Afterschool Arts Academy Rock the House Foundations of Fine Art 72 Teen Program Private & Group Instrumental Senior Chorus Birthday Parties Spring semester begins Feb. 4th. Register Today! FREE Open house Feb. 9th

19 Matinee: Come see a fun family movie every Saturday on the big screen! For all ages. Free, May 10, 17, 2 – 4 p.m. Monday Madness: Enjoy either a fun craft, short movie, or surprise activity. Ages 3 – 12. Free. May 12, 19, 3:30 – 5 p.m. Leggo My Legos – Cars and Blocks: Play with piles of blocks and bring a toy car to drive around the tiny town on the floor. Ages 18 – 36 months. Free, May 14, 21, 11 a.m. – 12 p.m. Johnny Appleseed: Play presented by Traveling Lantern Theatre Company. Ages 5 – 12. Free. May 19, 3:30 p.m. SMITHSONIAN’S NATIONAL MUSEUM OF THE AMERICAN INDIAN 1 Bowling Green 1st Floor 212-514-3700 Daily Screenings: Especially For Kids: Family friendly screenings of live action shorts. Free. Every day, 10:30 – 11:30, 11:45 – 12:45 TRINITY CHURCH 74 Trinity Place 212-602-0800 Family Friday Movie and Pizza Night: Relax with your kids and enjoy free pizza and children’s movies on the third Friday of every month. All families with young children are welcome. Free. Donations are welcome. (107 Greenwich St., rear of 74 Trinity Place, between Rector and Carlisle Sts.) May 16, 6 – 7:30 p.m. For more information contact Lisa Bridge at


MAY 8 - MAY 21, 2014

Taste of Tribeca chefs dish on cooking Continued from page 1

its 20th year. It will be Sat., May 17 from 11:30 a.m. – 3 p.m. on Duane St. between Hudson and Greenwich Sts. Tasting cards allowing six samples from some of the neighborhood’s most expensive restaurants are $50 the day of the event and $45 online ( As part of this preview, we once again asked the chefs to answer a few of our questions. We’ve printed a sampling of the chefs’ answers. To read all of the chef’s responses visit downtownexpress. com

A diner comes in and says, “surprise me with your best dish,” what do you prepare? Brioche French Toast with fresh berries and N.Y. maple syrup. Chef – Chase Elder

Dish served? We are serving a yuzu gazpacho soup shot and a chicken pestolada submarine. The Chicken Pestolada has herb roasted zucchini, pickled red onion, lemon, extra virgin olive oil, all natural chicken and an almond pestoda gremolada. The submarine is pared with bread from Tribeca’s own Grand Daisy Bakery.

Chef – Vincent Nargi

Macao Trading Company 311 Church Street NYC, NY 10013 212-431-8642 Dish served? I will be preparing a house cured pastrami sandwich on mini “flauta” bread with kimchee and pickled jalapeno relish. I like taking a classic dish like the pastrami sandwich and putting a fun new twist on it. I am also obsessed with kimchee and put it on any and everything.

What dish are you serving at taste of Tribeca and why? Odeon House Made All Natural Ice Cream — the people love it! If you could speak with any chef living or dead, who would it be and what would you ask? Chef Patrick Clark. What was it like to open The Odeon in 1980? What seldom-used spice or condiment would improve most amateur chefs’ cooking? Salt and pepper are surprisingly underutilized spices in the home kitchen. If your doctor said you had to stop eating a particular food, what would be the hardest to give up? Steak.

Chefs : Shawn Reilly and James Mather (answers submitted by Reilly) My Belly’s Playlist 57 Murray Street, 2nd Floor 917-388-6846

— Josh Rogers

The Odeon 145 W Broadway 212-233-0507

something wholesome, and comforting like a perfectly seared striped bass over a warm salad of Israeli cous cous with tons of fresh herbs, delicious tomatoes, and yogurt.

Chef to speak with? I would love to have met M.F.K Fisher. Her writing and appreciation of food runs so deep. When she talks about eating it takes me back to a time that I never experienced, but surely would have wanted to be a part of. She is brilliant. I’d ask her what it was like to travel the world by boat, and eat and drink in those times.

Chef to speak with? Alan Ducasse. I want to know when he sleeps. Recommended spice? I would suggest they use more salt, vinegar and or lemon juice. Start playing around with all three, they complement all foods very well. Hardest food to give up? Eggs. They are so dynamic, they would leave a massive hole in my belly. Best dish? Its spring, so I have to highlight one of our new salads on the menu. It’s called Peas and Thank You. Fresh English peas, edamame, avocado, arugula with a parmesan aioli. its so good. Chef – Michael White

Chef to speak with? I’d love to talk to Julia Child for a while. She was so animated and so passionate about food. I think it’d just feel good and quite inspiring to be in her presence for just a few minutes. Recommended spice? Salt — never under-season and never over-season. Seasoning needs to be balanced. But all food needs seasoning. Hardest food to give up? I really love a great burger preferably grilled on my rooftop at home — but realistically, if I had to stop eating Asian food (i.e. anything with M.S.G.), I’d be pretty devastated. Best dish? At Butterfly, the patty melt has become a staple. It is a dry aged burger patty on toasted rye with caramelized onions and gruyere cheese, served with thousand island dressing on the side and triple fried fries. Oh and our pressure fried Fried Chicken with honey glazed biscuits is also a crowd favorite. Chef - Lee Scheffler Sarabeth’s Tribeca 339 Greenwich St. 212-966-0421 Dish served? We are serving mini crab cakes. They are simple, yet elegant — like a little black dress. I usually wear a little black dress while serving them. Chef to speak with? Grant Achatz. Who and what inspires him? Recommended spice? When I am served something that was obviously prepared by an amateur, I usually request some mustard.

Recommended spice? Cardamom. I love how powerful and subtle it is. It’s great for baking, but offers the most amazing accent when added to savory dishes.

Hardest food to give up? It is uncomfortable for me to imagine even a single day without gluten.

Hardest food to give up? Rice. Meat, no problem. Cheese, OK. Sugar, I’d thank them, but rice would be a problem. Best dish? I actually really dislike questions like thatLike what’s your specialty? Only because I want to hear from the diner what it is that they want, and then decide from that info. I want to cook food that I know will make them feel good after they’ve eaten it. I would want to offer

Dish served? We are serving deviled eggs & ice cream sandwiches this year because we wanted to give a taste of both a sweet and savory dish that we do at the restaurant.

The Butterfly 255 W Broadway 646-692-4943

Best dish? The short ribs we are doing on the menu right now. We braise them on the bone, then trim them well after cooking. We serve them with an unusual combination of kasha, roasted salsify and a Filipino-style adobo sauce enriched with coconut milk and the meat’s braising liquid.


MAY 8 - MAY 21, 2014

Previewing the samples Chef - Gayle Aschenbrenner

Recommended spice? Madagascar vanilla, which is produced in Madagascar and neighboring islands in the southwestern Indian Ocean. It is more expensive than imitation vanilla. But what a difference in the smell and taste. Hardest food to give up? Cupcakes! Best dish? A two bite mini vanilla cupcake. Made with Madagascar Vanilla. Chef – Yusuke Nose

Mrs. Cupcake 646-580-9696 Dish served? Two bite mini chocolate and vanilla cupcakes with buttercream frosting. Keep it simple. Keep it appealing to kids and adults. Chef to speak with? My paternal grandmother. Nora Eileen Tew.

Ninja New York 25 Hudson St. 212-274-8500 Dish served? Roast beef sushi, spicy tuna roll and California roll. We give an accent on each dish we offer. Chef to speak with? Chef T homas Keller, and my question would be how do you come up with different dishes everyday?

Recommended spice? I think it will be “shio-kombu”. you can add it to salad or pasta dish and it will gives “umami” to the dish. Hardest food to give up? I like all kinds of meat dishes. It would be devastating if a doctor told me to stop eating any meat. Best dish? Since I am in N Y, I tried various restaurants representing different countries. So I would make something French based with unique ingredients. Chef – Wayne Dovan

Billy’s Bakery 75 Franklin St. 212-647-9958 Dish served? We’re serving mini cupcakes, fudge brownies and hello dolly bars. We like to keep it simple, sweet and classic at Billy’s. These three desserts meet that criteria. Chef to speak with? Anthony Bourdain. When are you, me and Josh Homme of Queens of the Stone Age rockin’ out at Johnny’s on Greenwich St.? (Johnny’s is my favorite N.Y.C. bar, Josh my favorite rock and roll front-man, Anthony my favorite food chef/celebrity) Recommended spice? Butter, butter, and more butter. Hardest food to give up? Skippy’s Chunky Peanut Butter...right out of the jar. Sorry, I can’t resist. Best dish? Billy’s Banana Cake — you can’t wrong.

Hungry for more?



MAY 8 - MAY 21, 2014

The three dates of Mother’s Day Because she deserves more than just May 11 B Y S C O T T S T IFFLER “M” is for the many things she gave you — and what have you done for her lately? If the cards and flowers are already in cue for May 11, that’s a very good start. But containing the celebration to one mere day seems rather unambitious, considering the fact that you came into this world with nine month’s worth of debt. This year, make your birth the gift that keeps on giving, when you extend mom’s special day all the way into June!


In the 19th century, the home was regarded as “the throne of woman,” where mothers exerted their influence on society by molding the character of its future citizens. Eliza Tredwell, who by all accounts excelled in the role of loving parent and moral compass, raised eight children in an elegant East Fourth Street row house which stands today as the only local home of its era that’s been preserved intact. This Mother’s Day tour of the Merchant’s House Museum puts the Tredwell matriarch’s role in perspective, by discussing the realities of domestic life from 1835-1865. See the family’s original furnishings and personal possessions — including Eliza Tredwell’s 1820 empire-style embroidered cotton wedding dress (part of an exhibit on display through June 30, called “Tredwell Brides: Changing Wedding Traditions in the 19th century”). The “Mother’s Day Tribute to Eliza Tredwell” tour takes place at 12:30, 2 and 3:30pm on Sun., May 11, and is included with regular admission. Mothers, if accompanied by their child, visit free. The Merchant’s House Museum is located at 29 E. Fourth St. (btw. Lafayette & Bowery). For info: Regular hours : Thurs.-Mon., 12-5pm ($10 admission, $5 for students/seniors).


Enjoy a slightly late Mother’s Day (and celebrate Father’s Day a bit early) by participating in a unique take on the written word as treasured child — when Pen Parentis, the nonprofit literary organization that provides resources to authors who are also parents, closes its Literary Salon for the season. This cocktail and conversation-infused event features Miranda Beverly-W hittemore

Photo by Kai Beverly-Whittemore

The Pen Parentis Literary Salon season-closer features young mom Miranda BeverlyWhittemore, reading from her novel “Bittersweet.”

THE ZEN OF MIDLIFE MOTHERING Courtesy of Merchant’s House Museum

A museum quality tour: learn about 19th century motherhood, at The Merchant’s House Museum.

(whose “Bittersweet” publishes the day of the Salon), Andre Dubus III (of the bestseller “House of Sand and Fog”), Alexi Zentner (of the forthcoming “The Lobster Kings”) and award-winning memoirist, essayist, novelist and scholar, Andre Aciman. After reading from their work, they’ll discuss balancing a literary life with an active young family — at an informal roundtable hosted by curator Brian Gresko (editor of the literary fatherhood anthology “Until I Held You”) and fiction writer/longtime Downtown resident, M. M. De Voe. Free and open to the public (21+). At 7pm on Tues., May 13, at ANDAZ Wall Street (75 Wall St., enter on Water or Pearl Sts.). Visit Season twelve kicks off on Sept. 9, with David Gilbert, Julia Fierro and Mira Jacob.

You’ll find a lecture, author reading, film screening, open mic or community activity most nights of the week at Bluestockings Bookstore — and even though this June 7 event puts quite a bit of calendric distance between itself and the standard Mother’s Day outing, the timing is a perfect match for the theme. Cyma Shapiro, founder of Mothering in the Middle (“the blog for new midlife mothers”), reads from her own work — then welcomes five others whose essays from that popular blog have been published in “The Zen of Midlife Mothering.” Among those who chose motherhood after age 40: Janice Eidus (author of “Urban Bliss”), New York Post columnist Tina Traster, Randi Hoffman (a past contributor to our sister publication, The Villager), Barbara Herel (founder of the Improv Mom blog) and Joanie Siegel (who adopted a teenager from the foster care system). From 7-9pm on Sat., June 7, at Bluestockings Bookstore (172 Allen St., btw. Stanton & Rivington). Free (suggested donation, $5). For info, call 212777-6028 or visit Also visit

Courtesy of Cyma Shapiro

Cyma Shapiro and five contributors from her “The Zen of Midlife Mothering” anthology read from their work, at Bluestockings Bookstore.


MAY 8 - MAY 21, 2014

Just do art!


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!

Photo by Bob Leonard

Bob Leonard’s “Woodstock 1” is on display, and up for grabs, at Soho Photo Gallery’s Affordable Photography Fair (May 9-12).

BY ScOTT STiffler


Continued on page 24


Established in 1971 by a group of newspaper photographers, the collaborative spirit is still going strong at Soho Photo — where the artists who run this fine art photography gallery participate in workshops and discussion groups, while challenging each other to develop a clear vision. “Visit us. Talk with us,” they say, noting, “We’re always

looking for talent and support.” You can walk away with a piece of that talent, when Soho Photo Gallery presents its first-ever Affordable Photography Fair. Dozens of fine art photographs from gallery artists will be on display, with all prints priced at $100. “It’s a great way to start building a collection,” says Gallery member and Fair coordinator, Bob Leonard. The event runs in

MORNINGS: 6-9AM Image courtesy of the artist

Hallie Cohen’s “hy·drog·ra·phy II” (2013; 11x14; Ink on YUPO paper) is part of the “Retrogarde” exhibit, on display through May 18 at Westbeth Gallery.


MAY 8 - MAY 21, 2014

Just do art! Continued from page 23

conjunction with TOAST (TriBeCa Open Artist Studio Tour), a self-guided tour of neighborhood workspaces. May 9-12. From 1-8pm on Fri., then 1-6pm on Sat., Sun. & Mon. Opening reception: 6-8pm, May 9. At Soho Photo Gallery (15 White St., btw. W. Broadway & Sixth Ave.). For more info, visit or call 212-226-8571. For TOAST info, visit


Once a month for the past 25 years, a group of professional artists have been meeting in each other’s studios to share ideas, discuss methods and find new ways to expand the mission of Retrogarde: “using the idea of the past (retro) to go forward (as in avant garde).” The participating artists in this current exhibit are Barbara Bachner, Hallie Cohen, Tony DeBlasi, Millie Falcaro, Lindsay, Hilda O’Connell, Jean Promutico, Beth Shipley and John Whittaker. Free. Through May 18, at Westbeth Gallery (55 Bethune St., at Washington St.). Hours: Wed.-Sun., 1-6pm. For info, visit or call 212-989-4650.


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 fi nished works will be posted on 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

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Paint what you please, in the studio of Veronique San Leandro — then see the work posted on her website.

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MAY 8 - MAY 21, 2014

No word yet on Vesey Squeezy’s end Continued from page 1

Authority officials to budge the Vesey St. construction fence literally an inch. “We’ve had the frozen zone for almost 13 years so every inch we can get, that we can reclaim, is significant,” she said. On the other side of the fence is a relatively clear area, that Hughes says the Port needs to “tidy up” to make more room — perhaps as much as 20 feet for pedestrians. The Port’s Glenn Guzi said last month that “We want to [move the Vesey fence] as soon as possible because that enables us to do a lot of work.” He said he hoped it could be done by the early fall, but he later pointed out the difficult hurdles that need to be cleared to make it happen. The current PATH entrance is classified as temporary, and part of that will have to be taken apart soon to allow Greenwich St. to run through the site and into the squeezed area. In addition, underground work for the Performing Arts Center near Vesey will also have to be done. Port officials did not respond to requests for comment this week on Vesey.

Yes, Vesey rhymes with squeezy

Pedestrians who made it through the Vesey Squeezy then wait to cross Church St.

Center Security Plan EIS Board 1 passed a resolution lastWorld weekTrade W.T.C. sinceCampus 9/11, and the community board requesting the fence be moved as much as is now asking for it to return to the ticketing possible. area. Hughes said this week she hasn’t heard The museum opening will also allow peoabout any progress on that front, but things ple to walk through the south end of the site, appear to be moving fast on a different C.B. 1 adding another connection between Battery request — a return of the W.T.C. Greenmarket, Vesey which Hughes hopes could be as soon as June. Park When the 9/11 Museum opens to the pub7 WTC lic May 21, it will allow some of the W.T.C. fences to come down, and eliminate the need for tickets to the free 9/11 Memorial. The Greenmarket has had sporadic spots near the

Figure ES-2 Park City and FiDi, as Downtown Express reported two weeks ago. Conceptual Plan for the Proposed Project A police officer securing the area said this week the southern walkway is supposed to open May 15, the same day the museum opens for invited guest previews. Wes

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Downtown Express photo by Scot Surbeck

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MAY 8 - MAY 21, 2014

Photo by Steven Brener

Garden lovers spring into Lower East Side pageant On April 26, about 100 Lower East Side gardeners and supporters took part in a new pageant intended to celebrate the neighborhood’s abundant green spaces, while calling attention to the need to make all community gardens permanent. Called Spring Awakening, the event harkened back to the Earth Celebrations pageant of old, with homemade costumes, music, a “poetry romp” and street revelry. Four different parade groups set off from different locations and meandered through the neighborhood visiting various green havens, then converged on El Jardin del Paradiso, on E. Fourth St., which is home to a massive tree fort. Above, everyone gathered for a group photo in All People’s Garden, on E. Third St. Herman Hewitt, Community Board 3 first vice chairperson, is at left in first row, in green sweatshirt.

Occupy woman found guilty Continued from page 17

O.W.S. movement,” purposefully striking Bovell, exaggerating injuries, faking seizures and lying. During deliberations, the jury requested to view the video and medical records again. The prosecution introduced into evidence a short, dark and grainy video clip that showed McMillan swinging her elbow into Bovell and running a few steps before police descend upon her. The clip did not show what happened before she elbowed Bovell. Choi also introduced McMillan’s medical records, showing no concussion, no broken bones and a doctor’s diagnosis that McMillan’s conditions were most likely caused by hyperventilating and anxiety. The defense introduced into evidence photos of McMillan’s bruised and scraped body. A picture shows a hand-shaped bruise above her right breast. Stolar called the photo, “the smoking gun in the case.” O.W.S. protesters charge police used excessive force to discourage voices of dissent on issues like advocating for income equality and decreasing corporate political power. Choi repeatedly tried to separate the elements of the charges — striking an officer, intending to interfere with his official duties — from any larger social movement. “This is a very simple assault case,” Choi said in closing arguments. “This is not about rich or poor or anything related to

Occupy Wall Street. Our founding fathers did not create a right to free assembly so people could commit crimes and hide behind their right to protest. This is a sacred right that should be preserved and protected.” David Graeber, an anthropology professor at the London School of Economics, is often called an Occupy Wall Street founder. He is credited with coining the movement’s slogan, “We are the 99%.” He disagreed with Choi, saying the McMillan case sent a chilling message: “You do not have the right to freedom of assembly. Do not show up at a protest unless you are willing to face the possibility of torture, physical injury and years in jail.” The evening of the verdict, demonstrators gathered in Zuccotti Park to show support for McMillan. The Justice4Cecily support team sent out invitations for a Friday night potluck, so that people could socialize, discuss future actions and raise bail money. A Justice4Cecily core team member, Stan Williams, reflected on the heavily watched case. “Cecily went through the system, this meat grinder, like thousands of people do every day,” he said. “She went through this process and was spit out. The difference was that she had a support team and the media there, covering her case every day. I hope this helped shed a light on what happens in the criminal justice system.”


MAY 8 - MAY 21, 2014

Profile for Schneps Media