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VOLUmE 25, NUmBER 26

mAY 29-JUNE 11, 2013

the next Zelda? P. 17

two new Preschools For b.P.c. BY KA I T LYN mE A D E ith a shortage of public preschool seats in the area, two new, private preschools are opening up in Battery Park City this fall on South End Ave. A new Montessori school will open in September on the ground floor of the Regatta Building at 21 South End Ave., by the Battery Park City Esplanade. A competing school, from the Preschool of America chain, will also open this fall across the street at 2 South End Ave. Both spaces were previously


Continued on page 19

citi biKes, For me or you? Reporters Notebook

BY LINCOLN ANDERSON ne of the frequently heard fears about the Citi Bike program is that it will just mean thousands of more cyclists zooming around on the streets dangerously out of control. I got a chance to test-ride one of the new bike-share cycles just before the program started, and “zooming” wasn’t exactly the first word that sprang to mind. In fact, these bikes are pretty heavy — 45 pounds — and, well, definitely on


Continued on page 26

Downtown Express photo by Milo Hess

ARTFUL BACKDROP FOR BIRTHDAY BRIDGE The Brooklyn Bridge celebrated its 130th birthday on Friday, May 24, with a public art project created by architect Francesco Alessandra.


JOHN CATSIMATIDIS FOR MAYOR A New Yorker for all New Yorkers



May 29 - June 11, 2013

Your doctor spent 5 minutes? Shelly Stonewalled

Another reason to call.

Assembly Speaker Shelly Silver’s office tells us that the city’s Dept. of Education has not yet responded to his request to find out where the city is thinking of sending waitlisted 5-year-olds to school in September. At a tense meeting three weeks ago in which D.O.E. officials were even chastised by one of their own principals, Silver asked them to come tell him by May 24 whether the city has looked at suggested temporary locations in Lower Manhattan, and what other alternate sites are under consideration. A Silver aide said the speaker is continuing to pursue the matter, and we’re guessing he’ll have some answers by the next meeting, now scheduled for the end of next week.

Seaport Silence

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City Comptroller and mayoral candidate John Liu has seldom been accused of being cautious with his words, but his staff is another matter. Tina Kim, Liu’s deputy comptroller for audits, came before a Community Board 1 committee last week to talk about her audits by the Seaport. She has completed one finding on Seaport Associates, which controls a few neighborhood properties, but the board really wanted to know about any possible shenanigans with the big fish, Howard Hughes Corp., which leases Pier 17 and most of the other city-owned properties nearby. Kim said she and her staff have completed their investigation, but are waiting to hear back from the city and Hughes before completing the final report. C.B. 1’s John Fratta and some of his colleagues were hoping to hear something before the firm demolishes Pier 17 at the end of the summer. “We understand your concerns,” was about as far as the “just the facts Kim” would go. “We want to be fair to them…. We want an accurate report.”

Stormy Plans

We’ve heard Mayor Mike Bloomberg’s plan to protect the city from future storms is likely to be released the first or second week in June. One source confirmed a New York 1 report that installing temporary steel plates around Lower Manhattan prior to heavy storms is possible, but said the idea is not the only option being considered.

Adding wetlands to other parts of the city may also be proposed, but it sounds as if Bloomberg is not likely to suggest them at the beach near the Brooklyn Bridge, as Borough President Scott Stringer has suggested. No surprise that the mayor remains down on storm surge barriers, which drew many other supporters after Hurricane Sandy. In addition to concerns about costs and the effects to parts of the region not protected by the barriers, there is also worry about when and if these barriers would ever get all of the necessary environmental approvals. “It would make Westway look like a cakewalk,” our source said of a different river project that was killed mostly from exhaustion a generation ago.

Corporate Hipster

To keep your eye on the bottom line, take your eye off the bottom line. That was the seemingly paradoxical message from Edward Hogan, national retail director for Brookfield Properties, which has been signing tenants to the new World Financial Center, now known as Brookfield Place. Hogan told Real Estate Weekly that even though he has a “love” for a national chain like Chipotle, he nevertheless signed a deal with a restaurant with a lower credit rating, Dos Toros, because it “talks about New York.” When it comes to clothing stores, he said “there might be a brand that is all across the nation that is a safer bet. But I might pick the hipper, more New York brand.” Hogan’s no communist, though. “If we create this amazing neighborhood, it’s only going to lift the rents upstairs,” he added, “and we have 8 million square feet upstairs.”

Wedding Bells

Probably no one chronicled the long fight to legalize same-sex marriage in New York more closely than Paul Schindler, editor and co-founder of Gay City News, a sister publication of Downtown Express. Almost two years later, Paul and his longtime companion, Bert Vaccari, tied the knot May 24 in a small Lower Manhattan ceremony at the city’s marriage bureau. Congratulations, newlyweds!

May 29 - June 11, 2013



May 29 - June 11, 2013

group attack on man in Bar

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Police arrested a man on Sat. at a Soho karaoke bar and restaurant for what is being called a gang assault, after he and three or four others attacked another bar patron, police said. The victim, a 24-year-old Asian man from Connecticut was inside Biny, a karaoke bar at 8 Thomas St., with a few friends on Sat., May 25, according to police. The victim said that as he attempted to leave the bar at about 1:10 a.m., he was approached by four or five Asian men, who began to punch and kick him in the head and face for no apparent reason. He said that the men were strangers and that he hadn’t had any verbal confrontation with them prior to the attack. The victim sustained lacerations, bruising and swelling to his head and face, police said. The victim’s friends detained one of the men until police arrived. Huan Liang, 27, was arrested and charged with assault, police said.

3 theFtS on 4 train

Transit theft was on the rise in the past week as several people reported having belongings stolen while on the 4 train, according to police. One woman told police that she was pickpocketed by a fellow passenger at the Fulton St. station. The woman, 24, stated that she had boarded a northbound 4 train with her boyfriend on Sun., May 26 at about 3 p.m. At the Fulton St. station, she felt someone bump her on her right side, she said, and when she turned to look, found that her pink and tan Coach wallet was missing from her pocket. The wallet contained her credit cards, Virginia driver’s license, Macy’s work ID, $65 in Macy’s gift cards, a $20 Starbucks gift card, $15 in cash and her health insurance cards. She turned to the woman on her right and asked if the woman had taken her wallet. Police said that the woman became “irate and boisterous” and began to curse at the victim and tell her, “I’m, going to teach you a lesson.” The victim said she felt threatened and got off the train at the next station to report the theft to police. Police are seeking a 55-year-old woman with dreadlocks in connection with the crime. Another woman had her cell phone snatched on the 4 train last week, police said. The victim, 29, stated that she boarded a southbound 4 train at the Fulton St. station on Fri., May 24, in the middle of the train. At about 3:40 p.m., she said the train rolled into the Wall St. stop, and she took a seat and pulled out her iPhone 4. As the doors were about to close, she said that a teenager in a red jacket who

was on the train with her grabbed her phone from her hand and ran out onto the platform. The woman also jumped off the train and chased the young man through the station, to the northbound platform and out of the northbound exit at Broadway and Wall St. He managed to get away, and a police canvass of the area turned up no results. The “Find My Phone” app was not usable because the phone had been turned off. A third theft reported last week actually took place in March but was not reported because the victim said she did not realize anything important was taken. She was mistaken, it turns out, because one of the items stolen was her Barbados passport and an attached letter from the embassy. At the first interview, she told police that the passport was taken from her purse by an unknown thief while she was on the northbound 4 train on Mon., March 4. She was reinterviewed and stated that she was on the 4 at about 9 p.m., when it pulled into the Fulton St. station. A young man, between the ages of 18 and 25, snatched the bag from her lap and got off the train before the doors closed. She said in addition to her passport, she also lost a $50 handbag, $60 in cash and toiletries. She said she reported the theft on May 23 because found out that she needed to file a police report in order to replace her passport.

Bag Stolen From piZZa parlor

A man visiting from Australia had a pricier tab for his New York pizza than he expected after a thief walked off with a bag containing $2,476 in

merchandise. The victim, 32, told police he was visiting the Famous Ben’s Pizza of Soho at 177 Spring St. with his family at about 3:45 p.m. on Sat., May 25. He set the bag down by his chair while they were eating, and when they had finished, at about 4:15 p.m., he noticed that the bag was missing. He said that the restaurant was very crowded and that he did not notice anyone suspicious. According to police, he could not cancel his credit card, or see if there was unauthorized usage on it because it was international. A canvass for the property turned up no results. Along with his credit cards, the man also reported losing a Chloé handbag worth $650; a Nikon D7000 camera and lens worth $1,400; a $76 blouse; a $36 jersey, a pair of $56 trousers; a $108 cardigan; and a $150 wallet.

water taXi collideS with dock, inJureS two

New York Water Taxi is investigating the cause of a hard landing at a Battery Park pier Thursday, May 16 that reportedly caused minor injuries to two passengers. A spokesperson from Water Taxi said in a statement that all passengers walked off the ferry, which left the dock under it’s own power. A father and daughter were hurt when the boat struck Pier A, reported DNAinfo. The father, 47, was treated for a minor scratch on his elbow and his 23-yearold daughter complained of knee pain but had also recently undergone knee surgery, the story said, and both were treated at the scene. The spokesperson said that the captain had alerted crew and passengers about the possibility of a hard docking. The company is working with the Coast Guard to determine the cause.

--Kaitlyn Meade

Free fitness classes The Hudson River Park Trust is bringing back its popular summer fitness program with an expanded range of free activities in Lower Manhattan’s outdoor gymnasium. As part of the program, Tribeca’s Pier 25 at North Moore St. will be getting a free, weekly yoga meetup thanks to women’s sportswear brand Lolë. The Pier 25 yoga series kicks off June 4, from 6:30-7:30 p.m., with Rachel Piskin of Chaise23. Piskin’s workout combines ballet, pilates, aerobics, and strength training to tone and strengthen the core. Thereafter, Pier 25’s Summer of Fitness events will take place every Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. until August 20 (no class July 23). Space is limited to 75 people and participants are asked to bring their own mat. R.S.V.P. at Also at Hudson River Park, Shape Up NYC will be offering free fitness classes Wednesday and Thursday evenings, sponsored by NYC Parks, Equinox gyms, NYC Service and Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield. On Wednesdays at Pier 64 in Chelsea, there will be free classes in Nia, a body-awareness and movement discipline inspired by martial arts, dance, yoga and the Alexander Technique. Pier 46 in the Village will host weekly pilates classes on Thursdays. Both classes are first come, first served, from 6:30-7:30 p.m., through August 22. Attendees are asked to bring their own mats. For more info, visit or call the park’s info line at 212-627-2121.


May 29 - June 11, 2013

Con Ed to invest $80 million Downtown BY T E RE SE LO E B K R E U Z E R In the wake of Hurricane Sandy, Con Edison is investing $80 million into Manhattan south of Canal St. to fortify it against future storms. The money will go for new transformers encased in protective covering, making them impervious to salt water, and for new, remote-controlled switching gear. “We all know something’s going to happen again,” David Gmach, Con Ed’s director of public affairs, told Community Board 1’s Quality of Life Committee May 16. “There are only so many things you can do under those circumstances.” First of all, he said, you can try to block the water while raising electrical equipment out of locations that might be flooded. In addition, you can install equipment that can withstand being in water. You can preemptively turn off the power grid so that equipment doesn’t get damaged, and you can try to minimize the number of people who lose power. Gmach outlined Con Ed’s plans for addressing each of those possibilities. With the exception of Battery Park City, most of which did not lose power, and the Bowling Green and Fulton St. areas, Manhattan south of 39th St. on the East Side and south of 23rd St. on the West Side lost power because of the flooding at Con Ed’s 13th St. substation, he explained.

Downtown Express photo by Terese Loeb Kreuzer

Kevin Burke, Con Edison’s C.E.O., on Tuesday, visited the 13th Street substation, which was flooded after Hurricane Sandy.

This substation services most of Lower Manhattan. On Tues., May 28, Kevin Burke, Con Ed’s C.E.O., toured the 13th St. facility

P ST ! S T U C E H T

with reporters and said the utility is investing $1.2 billion in the entire region in large part to get ready for this summer’s hurricane season.

Equipment in the substation was flooded on the night of Oct. 29 and ceased to function. However, in the Bowling Green and Fulton St. areas, Con Ed personnel anticipated severe flooding and turned off electrical equipment preemptively. “Gradually we got each of these segments back by Nov. 3,” Gmach said at the C.B. 1 meeting. “But there were still hundreds of buildings that were unable to receive power. So while the grid was reenergized in days, it took literally weeks and months of working with many of the property owners — literally building by building in some cases — to repair our equipment and to get these building owners reenergized as they repaired their equipment.” He said that as a precaution, Con Ed had to turn off power to a larger geographic area than was necessarily flooded. The plan now is to segment the grid with isolation switches so that Con Ed can shut down discrete parts of the network. “When water is coming in, we can preemptively take part of the area off the grid and leave the other area on and then, as the water recedes and we’re sure that the equipment is safe, we can restore power to those areas,” Gmach said. He said that Con Ed will be installing 21 switches in Lower Manhattan at a cost of Continued on page 10

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May 29 - June 11, 2013

New Amsterdam Market will return this summer BY T E RE SE L O E B K R E U Z E R The New Amsterdam Market will be back in the South Street Seaport this summer on a limited basis. The market, which showcases local and regional food producers and small businesses that use their products, will hold monthly markets on South St. between Beekman St. and Peck Slip, starting Sun. June 23 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. The market began in 2007 for special events, and started opening weekly in September 2010. In 2011 and 2012, the Sunday markets started in the spring and continued through December. Though the weekly markets drew large crowds, Robert LaValva, the founder of the New Amsterdam Market, has decided to pull back this year because of uncertainty about the future of the South Street Seaport. The Howard Hughes Corp., which has a 60-year-lease on parts of the Seaport, also has a Letter of Intent in place with the New York City Economic Development Corp. that would give it an option to develop the landmarked Tin Building and the New Market Building, both once part of the Fulton Fish Market. LaValva’s vision had been not just to have a farmers’ market, but to revive the historic Fulton Fish Market district, which the New Amsterdam Market’s mission statement describes as “a priceless public

legacy that is owned by the people of New York and whose two market sheds have remained empty and unused since 2005 [when the Fulton Fish Market moved to Hunts Point in the Bronx]. By bringing residents back to the Seaport, we are reviving the East River Market District — a rare fragment of our city’s first port and oldest commercial neighborhood.” The New Market Building was dedicated for public use by Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia in 1939. The adjacent Tin Building is on the site where the original Fulton Fish Market opened in the early 19th century. According to LaValva, public markets have been held in the Seaport since 1642. On May 23, he received an award from the Historic Districts Council, which cited him for creating the New Amsterdam Market — “an organization with a mission to incubate a new and growing economic sector — small businesses such as butchers, grocers, mongers and other vendors who source, produce, distribute and sell foods made with regional ingredients as well as carefully selected imports and to do so where the city’s market history began, at the foot of Fulton St. on the East River.” The Historic Districts Council also lauded him for “fighting inappropriate development in order to return this rare fragment of our city’s first port and oldest commercial neighborhood into a thriving public destina-

Downtown Express file photo by Terese Loeb Kruezer

The New Amsterdam Market last spring.

tion for all New Yorkers.” On May 22, about 30 people attended a community meeting to discuss the future of the South Street Seaport. It was sponsored by Congressman Jerrold Nadler, Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, State Sen. Daniel Squadron, Borough of Manhattan President Scott Stringer, Councilmember Margaret Chin and Community Board 1. Participants said that their concerns

about the Seaport included the future of the South Street Seaport Museum and its historic ships, the historic preservation of the area, and what is to become of the New Amsterdam Market. LaValva said that he was encouraged that the consensus was that no further development should take place in the Seaport until the community has had a chance to draw up a master plan.


May 29 - June 11, 2013

D.O.T. backpedals, removes Renwick rack in Hudson Sq. BY L I N CO L N A ND E R S O N The squeaky wheel gets the — bikeshare docking station removed. Residents of 49 Renwick St. in Hudson Square were relieved Tu e s d a y, M a y 2 1 , t o s e e w o r k e r s wielding hand trucks dismantling and removing the new bike-share station lining Renwick St. at Spring St. in front of their home. Bike-share critic Sean Sweeney, director of the Soho Alliance, fowarded an e-mail in which the building’s residents happily shared the news among each other. “Mad Men” actor John Slattery was cc’d. Ti t u s L e u n g , t h e p r e s i d e n t o f t h e b u i l d i n g ’s c o - o p b o a r d , s a i d they succeeded in getting the rack removed only because “we spoke out as a group.” Leung said he received a message from the Department of Transportation “commissioner” — apparently referring to Margaret Forgione, the agency’s borough commissioner — confirming that the racks were permanently removed, and also that that they would not be re-sited anywhere in the area. “I guess they decided that we really don’t need these many stations in our little neighborhood,” he said.

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“I don’t want to get into specifics, but let’s just say the decision to reverse location of the racks on our street was probably easy,” Leung said. “It’s a very narrow, one-way street, and there are a number of construction projects just beginning at the south end of the street. So these racks likely would’ve created a significant safety issue, in addition to all the practical issues it would’ve created. Somehow, I believe, these facts were not known — or were ignored — when our location was first identified.” That D.O.T. was willing to backpedal and remove the Renwick rack in response to residents’ concerns was encouraging, Leung said. “From my point of view,” he said, “at the very least, this does show that D.O.T. is ultimately being rational in its deployment of these racks.” Architect Stas Zakrzewski said the building’s courtyard sports a bike rack and that all the residents are avid cyclists, but that the bike-share station just had been sited in a bad spot, “on one of the most narrow streets possible.” “I really think the bike program is awesome,” he said. “I just think that parts of it didn’t seem to be thoughtout in terms of where it was going.”


sUNDAY, JUNe 9, 3pm Trinity Youth Chorus: Spring Pops The Trinity Youth Chorus and Outreach Choirs from P.S. 140, P.S. 315, and Hour Children sing hits about New York. Trinity Church


sUNDAY, JUNe 2, 10am Discovery Class: Heretics Anonymous - The Paradox of a God Who Can Do Anything But Does Nothing A special summer Discovery Class with The Very Reverend Dr. John Shepherd, Dean of Perth St. George’s Cathedral, Perth, WA. 74 Trinity Pl, 2nd Fl, Parish Hall


WeDNesDAY, MAY 29, 6pm Dancing with Marley Love to dance? Come out and let your body move to the sublime reggae beats of Bob Marley. Charlotte’s Place

Photo by Lincoln Anderson

The Citi Bike docking station on Renwick St. at Spring St. was removed Tuesday in response to residents’ complaints. All that was left were painted white lines and flexible bollards, which presumably will be removed sometime soon.

ThURsDAY, MAY 30 & JUNe 6, 5:30-7pm Trinity Yogis Explore the spiritual realm of body movement and form through the practice and art of yoga. 74 Trinity Pl, 20th Fl sATURDAY, JUNe 1 & 8, 10am-1pm Mosaic Art Project: Workshop Help design a large-scale mosaic for Charlotte’s Place. Facilitated by public artist Jackie Chang. Charlotte’s Place TUesDAY, JUNe 4 & 11, 1-3pm Open Hours Origami Learn origami with interfaith minister Lisa Bellan-Boyer. Charlotte’s Place ThURsDAY, JUNe 6, 11am Fellowship Gathering: Job Seekers’ Group Join others who are seeking to improve and effectively market their skills while they search for new employment. 74 Trinity Pl, 3rd Fl, Room 2

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worship sUNDAY, 8am & 10am St. Paul’s Chapel · Holy Eucharist sUNDAY, 8pm St. Paul’s Chapel · Compline – Music & Prayers sUNDAY, 9am & 11:15am Trinity Church · Preaching, music, and Eucharist · Sunday school and child care available MONDAY – FRIDAY, 12:05pm Trinity Church · Holy Eucharist MONDAY – FRIDAY, 5:15pm All Saints’ Chapel, in Trinity Church Evening Prayer, Evensong (Thurs.) Watch online webcast


May 29 - June 11, 2013

‘A special building’: Landmarks O.K.’s Bialystoker Home BY T E RE SE   L O E B K R E U Z E R  The nine-story building that once housed the Bialystoker Center and Home for the Aged at 228 East Broadway will survive. On May 21, after around 15 minutes of discussion, the city’s Landmarks Preservation Commission voted to approve it for designation as a New York City landmark. The Art Deco building was erected during the Depression by immigrant Jews from Bialystok, Poland, who scraped together $40,000 (equivalent to around $600,000 today) to create a place where the elderly and ill could receive the care they needed. It opened with great fanfare on June 11, 1931. It closed on Nov. 1, 2011, beset with debts. “It’s a special building and it has special character and more than meets our criteria and it tells so many stories,” said the commission’s chairperson, Robert Tierney, after hearing from the other commissioners, who also lauded the building. “The form of the building is so sculptural,” said Margery Perlmutter, a commission member. “It’s quite extraordinary in its architecture.”  “I’m always astounded that this building could be constructed on the Lower East Side in 1929,” commissioner Michael Goldblum commented. “It’s just fantastic.” The motion to designate the Bialystoker Home as an official New York City landmark passed unanimously. As Tierney announced the vote, two members of the audience, Joyce Mendelsohn and Mitchell Grubler, applauded and grinned. Along with Linda Jones, they had founded the Friends of the Bialystoker Home to save the building. They had won. Praise and the quick, decisive vote to landmark the Art Deco building came at the end of a year and a half of struggle, during much of which, it seemed that the Bialystoker Home might be sold by its board of directors to a developer who would raze the building in order to build luxury apartments. At the time it closed, the Bialystoker Home was roughly $14 million in debt for wages and pensions owed to its healthcare workers and for taxes. The board of directors claimed that a sale to the highest bidder would be the only way to repay that debt — and also said that landmarking would FINANCIAL

preclude such a sale. Grubler, Mendelsohn and Jones, all of whom have ties to the Lower East Side, were just acquaintances when they heard in August 2011 that the Bialystoker Home was about to close. Quickly, they became determined confederates. “We had our first official meeting [to try to save this building] at the end of September 2011,” Mendelsohn recalled. Shortly thereafter, they went to a strategy session with Simeon Bankoff, the executive director of the Historic Districts Council. “We really felt that this was a very long shot,” Mendelsohn said. “But we felt that we had to stand up for this cause, so we just kept going.” She and Grubler said they never felt discouraged, even though, according to Mendelsohn, “the whole campaign was a roller-coaster, so our adrenaline was always at a high level.” “There were plenty of adversities,” Grubler said. At a meeting of Community Board 3’s Preservation Subcommittee in December 2011, some people argued against landmarking. A representative of Local 1199, SEIU United Healthcare Workers East, spoke about the union’s concerns that its members get the wages and contributions to medical and pension funds that were due to them. Nevertheless, the subcommittee voted to support a resolution in favor of landmark designation. In April 2012, the Friends of the Bialystoker Home met with union representatives and “aired our case,” in Grubler’s words. The union said it would remain neutral and not oppose landmarking. At a subsequent full C.B. 3 meeting that month, the community board passed a landmarking resolution with a vote of 20 in favor, 12 opposed and four abstentions. Three days later, Grubler and Mendelsohn met with City Councilmember Margaret Chin, who represents the Lower East Side. She said that she would support landmarking. “Margaret has said that the union [Local 1199] not being in opposition was the deciding factor in her coming out in favor of it,” Mendelsohn said. Now that the Landmarks Preservation Commission has approved landmarking for

Downtown Express Photo by Terese Loeb Kreuzer

Mitchell Grubler and Joyce Mendelsohn applauded after the Landmarks Preservation Commission voted to landmark the Bialystoker Home for the Aged at 228 East Broadway. With Linda Jones, they founded the Friends of the Bialystoker Home a year and a half ago to fight to save the building.

the Bialystoker Home, the City Planning Commission must weigh in, and then the designation goes to City Council. Mendelsohn said that City Planning invariably approves the L.P.C.’s decision’s and that, after that, “City Council usually votes according to the wishes of the councilmember of that district. Margaret has been a strong supporter.” City Planning has 60 days to consider the matter and the City Council has 120 days. However, according to Lisi de Bourbon, spokesperson for Landmarks, “Legally the building has been designated, so any work done to the building would require a permit.” Grubler, Mendelsohn and Jones will no longer have to stand vigil over the vacant building, as they did during the months of uncertainty, to make sure that it wasn’t damaged while it was in limbo. They have not yet been permitted to go inside, but are concerned about what they will find when they do. They know that there are historic plaques and that there may be important records in the basement.

“The Bialystoker Landsmanshaften [mutual aid society] is very important to immigrant history, American history, New York City history,” Grubler said, “and any records of this organization deserve to be preserved in a publically accessible archive.” As for the building’s future, Grubler said, “In an ideal world, it would continue to serve the demographic that it has always served — people in need, seniors. Whether that is economically feasible, I cannot say.” Mendelsohn thought it might be suitable for affordable housing. “My grandparents moved to the Lower East Side when they came to the United States,” she said, summing up her feelings about the landmarking vote. “My parents were born there.” When the vote occurred, she said, “I was thinking about my grandparents, and I was thrilled that we were able to save another building that reflects the Jewish heritage of the Lower East Side, since the neighborhood is changing so rapidly. That’s so important that here we have a visible link.”


May 29 - June 11, 2013

transit sam ALTERNATE SIDE PARKING IS IN EFFECT ALL WEEK Come run or walk with Transit Sam at the American Heart Association Wall Street Run and Walk at 6:45 p.m. Thursday! The race will close streets in the Financial District 5:45 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Thursday evening, including Murray, Greenwich, Warren, Church, Liberty, William, Pearl, South William, Broad, John, Water and State Sts., as well as Battery Pl. and Third Pl. and the Battery Park Esplanade. Downtown streets will be affected as early as 4 p.m. and will remain closed until 8:30 or 9 p.m. The Washington Square Outdoor Art Exhibit will cause “padlock” in Greenwich Village as it takes over the sidewalks along University Pl. between E. 13th St. and Bobkin Lane all day Saturday and Sunday. A Weekend Walks event in Chinatown will close Mott St. between Canal St. and Chatham Square 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Sunday. The Procession of St. Anthony will parade around the streets of Little Italy 7 p.m. Saturday, beginning at Mulberry St. between Broome and Spring Sts. The Housing Works Open Air Street

Fair will close Crosby St. between Houston and Prince Sts. 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday. Leonard St. will close between Church St. and West Broadway 7 p.m. to 6 a.m. Wednesday, Thursday, Monday and Tuesday nights. All lanes of the Manhattan-bound Brooklyn Bridge will close 11 p.m. to 6 a.m. Wednesday and Thursday nights. This will drive inbound traffic to the Manhattan Bridge and onto Canal St. On West St./Route 9A, one lane will close in each direction between West Thames and Vesey Sts. 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. Wednesday and Thursday, and 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. Friday and Saturday. All lanes of the inbound Lincoln Tunnel helix (the spiral approach road to the tunnel) will close 10:30 p.m. to 5 a.m. Wednesday and Thursday nights. This means Manhattan-bound traffic will be detoured to the Holland Tunnel and onto Canal St. Cobblestone restoration will close N. Moore St. between Hudson and Greenwich Sts. through mid-July. Duane St. will close between Broadway and Trimble Pl. 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday.

RECREATIONAL FALL SOCCER LEAGUE 2013 BEGINS SEPTEMBER 14/15 Ages 4-17 $200 per Player 10 Week Program Locations: Pier 40, Chelsea Park Training Program Supported by Professional Coaches Register at E-mail for more information.

From the mailbag: Dear Transit Sam, My husband received a parking ticket while he was waiting to pay at the Muni Meter. The Muni Meter was two or three car lengths away from his car, and there was someone else already at the Muni Meter ahead of him. As he was in line to get his receipt, he saw a police officer scan his car to issue a ticket. When he protested, the officer said it was too late, since he’d already scanned the car. The ticket is stamped 2:52 and the receipt is stamped 2:56. There has to be time to get to and from the Muni Meter and the car before a ticket can be issued, right? If so, how long is the official grace period? Pam, Brooklyn


Dear Pam, Yes, time is allowed to pay for a receipt and return to the car. However, there isn’t a fixed time, like five minutes. Statute 4-08 (h)(1) of the NYS Vehicle and Traffic Law states that “this provision [of no person parking a vehicle in a parking space regulated by a meter without properly activating the meter] shall not apply to the act of parking or the time necessary to activate the meter immediately.” Your husband has grounds to dispute the ticket since he paid for the receipt as immediately as possible. Tell him to bring his time-stamped receipt and a copy of this column to his hearing. Transit Sam


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


May 29 - June 11, 2013


GIRLS U7-U11 U7-U8 ACADEMY BORN 8/1/05-7/31/07

U9-U11 ACADEMY BORN 8/1/02-7/31/05

SATURDAY, JUNE 1ST -2:00 - 3:30PM @ PIER 40 ROOFTOP FIELD SATURDAY, JUNE 8TH - 3:30 – 5:00PM @ PIER 40 COURT YARD WEST We are pleased to announce that as part of our commitment to ensuring that girls have extensive opportunities to play soccer, DUSC is launching the DUSC Girls Academy for girls aged 6 to 11. This is the first step in rebuilding our girls program equivalent to our boys program. In time, we will be adding other programs, including a Girls Travel program. The mission of our Academy programs is to develop committed and competitive players from U8-U11 in the technical, tactical, physical and psycho-social components of the game required to be a successful soccer player. Players are trained by professional, licensed youth coaches who understand the individual needs of the players at each phase in their development and create a positive learning environment that encourages players to experiment, play freely and creatively, and nurture a passion for the game. The main emphasis at this phase is not on wins or losses but developing technically proficient soccer players. To read more on our Academy, please go to:

Go to DUSC.NET for more information!

Downtown United Soccer Club (DUSC) is the most comprehensive youth soccer program in New York City, serving thousands of kids a year. DUSC is deeply committed to the interests of our kids as soccer players and young people as they grow and learn, ensuring that everyone regardless of gender, age, race, skill level or income has the opportunity to play and enjoy the game.


Junior & Teen Sailing Camps

Continued from page 5

$21 million. This work will occur between now and 2016. In addition, he said, Con Ed is developing new, submersible transformers of varying sizes. “Before Sandy, there was no manufacturer that designed these to be submersible,” Gmach said. “We worked with a manufacturer to develop a prototype. You’re basically trying to put a box around copper. Water, copper and salt are a very bad mix.” He said that Con Ed would spend $20 million to install 182 of these in Lower Manhattan. For other customers, Con Ed has developed smaller, submersible transformers that will be installed under sidewalks. Though these will now have a protective casing, they have been redesigned to make them no larger than the transformers they are replacing. “The last thing we want to do is to take out the transformers that are currently in the sidewalk and spend time digging up more of the sidewalk to put a bigger hole in the ground so we can put in bigger equipment,” said Gmach. “We have a brand new design for submersible

equipment, all of it done post-Sandy, so that this equipment can go into existing structures.” There will be 158 of these units installed in Lower Manhattan, costing $39 million. Con Ed plans to have most of this work done by the end of 2014. Catherine McVay Hughes, Board 1 ’s c h a i r p e r s o n , s a i d s h e w a s “thrilled” by the utility’s investment Downtown, although other members expressed concerns about the coming construction. “We are fully aware of how much construction is already going on in this neighborhood,” Gmach said. “These are construction projects. We will have to be digging up manholes in the streets in order to install some of these.” He said that for each installation, that process could take several days including breaking up and repairing the sidewalk. “In some cases, we may have to widen an existing structure, which is a bigger job,” he noted. “I don’t want to downplay in any sense that there’s a significant amount of street work that will be going on with this.” He said that Con Ed was not yet ready to actually start doing this work “but we’re letting everyone know what the plan is.”

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

These week-long programs inspire kids and develop self-confidence. Each week includes lots of fresh air, sunshine and healthy activity. Ages 8 to 18 Tuition ranges from $390 to $690 per week Full details & color pictures at or call Manhattan Sailing School At 212-786-0400.

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


May 29 - June 11, 2013

Free ferry service to Red Hook added BY T E RE SE LO E B K R E U Z E R Red Hook, a point of land in Brooklyn that juts into New York City’s Upper Bay, was hard hit by Superstorm Sandy. But now the city has thrown Red Hook a lifeline. On weekends through Labor Day, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., a free New York Water Taxi ferry runs every 25 minutes from Pier 11 at the foot of Wall St. to Van Brunt St. in Red Hook and then on to the IKEA store. In announcing the service, Mayor Michael Bloomberg said that the purpose is to make it “easier than ever for New Yorkers to get to small businesses in the area in order to help the community continue to recover.” The new service, which began May 25, supplements a paid ferry ($5 a ride) that runs during the week from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. and a free service that had been running on weekends every 40 minutes between Pier 11 and IKEA. With a second boat on the route, service will now be more frequent and make an additional stop near the Fairway food market. At Wall St., the Red Hook ferry will connect with the East River Ferry, with free transfers for passengers who want to go to midtown Manhattan. Though IKEA sailed through Sandy with little damage, the neighborhood’s other giant, Fairway, was flooded and had to close for four months. Its mom-and-pop stores and restaurants struggled to survive — and some didn’t make it. The city will pick up the tab for the expanded weekend service with partner sponsorship from

Fairway Market and assistance from IKEA. The Red Hook summer ferry is the result of a partnership between New York Water Taxi; Billybey Ferry Company, which operates the East River Ferry; Fairway Market; IKEA; and the O’Connell Organization, which owns the pier from which the Red Hook ferry will operate. “There’s really nothing like approaching Red Hook from the water,” said St. John Frizell, an award-winning food and drink writer. “You get a feel for the maritime nature of the community, and hands-down best views of the Statue of Liberty.” For centuries, Red Hook’s existence and fortunes revolved around the river and the sea, initially because of tidal mill ponds created by the Dutch who settled there in the early 1600s. After construction of the Erie Canal connected New York City with the grain-rich Midwest, entrepreneurs built the Atlantic and Erie basins in Red Hook to accommodate the cargo. By the 1920s, Red Hook was the busiest freight port in the world. However, the shipping business declined with the advent of containerization in the 1960s. Now, with Cunard’s ocean liner, Queen Mary 2, docking there and numerous artists reclaiming Red Hook’s warehouses, Red Hook’s historic buildings are home to a growing number of boutiques selling (among other things) antiques, jewelry, home furnishings, and restaurants.

Junior Division: K-3RD GRADE

Downtown Express photo by Terese Loeb Kreuzer

New York Water Taxi heading to Red Hook.

“After Hurricane Sandy, we learned that the East River can bring heartache, devastation and loss of business but if the ferry lands at Van Brunt St. this summer, the East River will also be responsible for bringing profits back to businesses and the assurance of survival and progress within this community,” said Triciann Botta, owner of Botta di Vino on Van Brunt St. Not far from Van Brunt, Red Hook also has a museum — the Waterfront Museum




— housed aboard the 1914 Lehigh Valley barge No. 79. The museum’s president, David Sharps, stayed aboard the wooden barge throughout Sandy, and with the help of two crew members, managed to save it. Visitors get to see the captain’s living quarters, the tools used by longshoremen and stevedores and the gongs and bells of the tug and barge system. The barge is open on Saturday afternoons from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. with admission by donation.


FUN ! years

Senior Division: 4TH-8TH GRADE

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Registration Is Filling Up!

Bus Service Is Available


May 29 - June 11, 2013

Downtown Express photos by Terese Loeb Kreuzer

Parts of the South Street Seaport were crowded Sunday with people visiting new food vendors, but the area near Pier 17 did not see much traffic.

New vendors draw crowds to most of Seaport BY T E RE SE LO E B K R E U Z E R Let’s hope that the weather is not too hot and not too rainy this summer. Judging by what happened at the South Street Seaport over the Memorial Day weekend, when the weather is good, the crowds will come. The Howard Hughes Corporation, which has a long-term lease on parts of the Seaport, hired food vendors to set up on Front St. between Fulton and Beekman Sts. and also placed picnic tables on the stone-cobbled street. Friday, May 24, was opening day, but it was unseasonably chilly

with showers. According to one vendor, who was taking orders at Pizza Moto, the first two days on Front St. were a washout. When the sun came out Sunday, Pizza Moto sold hundreds of pizzas. “We ran out of dough by 7 p.m.!” the man said. Other vendors on the block are selling oysters, lobster and shrimp rolls, alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, burgers, ice cream and Mexican and Japanese food. Marco Pasanella, who owns a nearby shop and is a member of Community Board 1, said, he was “pleasantly sur-

prised” by how the first weekend went. On Fulton St., the Hughes Corp. erected shipping containers in front of the shuttered Fulton Market building and has rented partitioned spaces within them to vendors who are selling such things as sweets, jewelry, inexpensive home furnishings and artwork. However, even in good weather, relatively few people seemed to be venturing down Fulton Street or on to Pier 17. They got to the food on Front Street and stopped right there. Pier 17 had originally been slated to

close at the end of April so that Howard Hughes could begin to demolish the existing mall there and replace it with a new one. Now the merchants on the pier can stay in business until Sept. 9, and they are hoping to recover losses suffered as a result of Hurricane Sandy. It remains to be seen, however, whether the activity on Front St. is going to help them or not. Also, a few restaurants have reopened on Historic Front Street, between Beekman and Peck Slip, and they, too may be hurt by competition from the al fresco food vendors.

May 29 - June 11, 2013


the summer just got cooler in battery park city! Summer Day Camp begins June 27 , 2013 AGES 4–13 • PEE WEE | JUNIOR | SENIOR CAMPS OPEN HOUSES

Thursday, May 30 | 6:00 pm • Saturday, June 8 | 11:00 am

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5/28/13 3:22 PM


May 29 - June 11, 2013

Downtown Express photos by Corky Lee

Chinatown celebration A member of the Crimson Kings, a Chinatown-based children’s marching band, carried a non-working rifle to help open the 34th annual Asian American & Pacific Islander Heritage Festival May 18. The day of festivities at Confucius Plaza and P.S. 124 featured lion dancers and musical performances.

Spring flowers coming to new park at Delury Square By KA I T LY N M E A D E The Friends of Delury Square Park are hosting their first Spring Planting Day on Sat., June 1 to spruce up the small but well-loved — and used — green space on the corner of Fulton and Gold Sts. This is the group’s second big event since its creation last year. “It’s going to be our first kind of planting where everybody has gotten a good look at the park, whereas last year we had just gotten started,” said Patricia Ryan, a member of Friends of Delury Square Park, who has lived in Southbridge Towers for 35 years. “The first event was the fall planting, and we reaped the rewards this spring with tulips that were out of this world.” This year, they will be planting flowering plants provided by the Parks Department as part of their “It’s My Park Day” 2013. The Parks Department is also supplying the equipment and a professional gardener to guide volunteers. The Friends group formed to maintain the park and to educate neighbors on how to take care of the space, said Ryan’s sister, Veronica Ryan-Silverberg, who is the Friends’ coordinator. After a protracted debate over the project, the city bought the bulk of the land for the 8,850-square-foot plaza from Southbridge Towers in 2008 for about $5.5 million. It’s not often that the city pays you to build a park next to your apartment, and many residents looked forward to the opening of

green space along the busy Fulton St. corridor. Developed with money from the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation, it opened to the public in the fall of 2010. The design by landscape architect Alexander Hart manages to create a small oasis by including a small water feature to mitigate noise from surrounding streets, new trees, planting beds and bushes along with benches, a drinking fountain, fences and lighting. Within six months, the public park was nonetheless overwhelmed by traffic from residents, area workers and tourists, said Ryan-Silverberg. “Most of the plants were destroyed… It became too difficult to ignore it so we reached out to the Parks Department.” It’s a small park, a gentle park. It can’t handle a whole lot of stuff — so we thought we could give the Parks Department a hand and looked into how we could start a volunteer group,” said Ryan. A roster of about 15 volunteers does most of the Friends duties, said RyanSilverberg, including a team of “cleaning ladies” all of whom are 60 years and up, who take turns to go out once a day and do their own cleanup of the park with tools donated by the Parks Department. The most recent battle has been over making it a dog-free park, she said, because owners are allowing their pets to use the lawns as a toilet, destroying many of the plants and making it more difficult to keep

the park clean. There are already signs prohibiting dogs on the grass, she said, but “they don’t seem to understand the law. They’re certainly not obeying it.” Ryan-Silverberg said the group is waiting for advice from Community Board 1 before it makes a request to the city to bar canines. In the meantime, the planting day will

replace many of the lost plants with seasonal flowering varieties. All ages are welcome and no R.S.V.P. is necessary to show up. The planting day takes place June 1, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m, with a rain date one week later on June 8. For more information or to volunteer as a regular member, contact

Downtown Express photo by Kaitlyn Meade

Delury Square Park.


May 29 - June 11, 2013

South Street Seaport

Is Back.

Visit and search Support NYC Small Business

Photos by: William Alatriste


May 29 - June 11, 2013

Downtown Express photos by Arnold Rozon

Taste of Tribeca It was a gray day on Sat., May 18, but that didn’t dampen spirits Downtown at Taste of Tribeca. The 19th annual culinary festival, held in support of P.S. 150 and P.S. 234, featured dishes from 75 local restaurants who donated their time, talent and treats to raise money for the schools’ arts and enrichment programs.

Independence Plaza opens gym to low-rent tenants B y K aitlyn Meade Independence Plaza North backed away from plans to deny the use of a new gym in the building to its lower rent tenants. When the small gym facility and playroom on the second floor of the Tribeca complex’s building at 40 Harrison St. opened earlier this month, an email went out announcing the opening to market rate tenants — but not to those who are part of the landlord assistance program (LAP) or Section 8 “sticky” voucher program. When they called to ask about getting access to it, they were told the gym was not going to be available to them. One resident said that when she called the leasing office on May 16, she was told she was not allowed to get an access card because she was a LAP tenant. “Before [the leasing office employee] answered my question, she asked for my building and apartment number. Once she looked me up, she came back on the line and told me, ‘The gym is only for fair market tenants.’ I said, ‘Geez, I’ve lived here

since 1984.’ She was sympathetic and said, ‘I was told to say that we are within our legal rights,’ ” the resident said, under the condition of anonymity. It was especially galling, she said, because statements had been made previously that implied that the gym would be open to all tenants. When she asked if she could pay a fee to use the gym, she was told no. Since then, the operators, landlord Lawrence Gluck’s Stellar Management, have backpedalled to include all tenants, with an unspecified fee. A spokesperson for I.P.N.’s Stellar Management, who did not want to be identified, did not dispute the resident’s account, but issued a statement Tues., May 21 saying the gym would be available to all tenants. “As part of our continued improvements to Independence Plaza, a new gym and children’s playroom have been added to the property’s amenity package,” the statement read. “These amenities are open

to all residents — including market rate tenants, those utilizing Section 8 housing vouchers, and those who participate in the building’s landlord assistance program (LAP) — on an annual fee basis. We encourage all residents to contact our on site management team to learn how they can utilize these new facilities.” When the landlord bought out of the Mitchell-Lama middle income housing program in 2004, a deal was negotiated that allowed many tenants to maintain some form of rent protection, but also allowed him to open market rate housing in the building. Those rent protections include “sticky” vouchers that allow residents to pay a percentage of their income toward housing and have the rest subsidized by federal dollars and city-regulated LAP, which set rents at existing levels and regulates increases over 12 years. Diane Lapson, the head of the tenant’s association, said in an email to Downtown Express, “After contacting the manage-

ment office and hearing [the gym] was for Free Market Tenants use only; I wrote again saying I felt it was discriminatory. I was then told, days later, that management wanted to meet with the tenant association and that there was a miscommunication.” When the resident called the management office back the following week to ask about their change of heart, she said she was told that there will be a fee for non-market rate tenants but that the fee was still under discussion. “I think what they’re saying is that the fee is included in the fair market rate and that the rest of us have to pay a fee,” she said. Now, she said she feels as though the management no longer sees non-market rate residents as tenants. She also wondered why Section 8 tenants would be charged a fee if the landlord is still receiving nearly market rate for the apartments, subsidized by government funding. “It’s just going to cause tension,” she said.


May 29 - June 11, 2013


Pier A update:

The lights are on in Pier A but for the Battery Park City Authority, which has been charged by the city with renovating the historic pier at the southern end of Battery Park City, there does not yet seem to be light at the end of the tunnel. The pier was well on its way to being finished when Superstorm Sandy set things back and added to the expense. Now, the core and shell work on the 1886 pier are almost finished and “we are on track to turn over the building to the Poulakakos Organization in June so they can fit out the space to their business specifications,” said Matthew Monahan, spokesperson for the Authority. But there’s a glitch. At the B.P.C.A. board of directors meeting on May 23, Gwen Dawson, senior vice president of asset management, noted that the board had approved an increase in the Pier A budget to $36.8 million. However, she added in response to a question from B.P.C.A. chairperson Dennis Mehiel, “We are still awaiting ratification for that [from the mayor and city comptroller].” She said that construction work on the Pier A plaza had not begun because the B.P.C.A. had not yet received approval from the City for the money to finance it. “We had entered into a separate contract to allow the pre-construction activity,” Dawson said, “however the scope of that contract will expire in another two and a half to three weeks, at which time we will need to begin construction of the plaza in order to maintain our schedule.” She said the plaza needed to be finished before the cold weather sets in and that the plaza had to be in place so that the tenant — the Poulakakos family — can open the following spring. Dawson added that if the tenants were delayed in opening, the B.P.C.A. would be penalized. “If they cannot open the building

Downtown Express photos by Terese Loeb Kreuzer

This turkey spotted recently in Wagner Park appeared to be a little more plump than the famed Zelda, who has lived for a decade in neighboring Battery Park.

and generate revenue, they would be looking to us for recompense,” she said. “We are in discussions with the city for requisite approvals,” said Monahan.

Family dances:

The Battery Park City Parks Conservancy’s family dances are joyful events for dancers and for those who just want to watch and listen. People of all ages dance with each other, with and without partners. The music is always terrific. The first event of this year’s season was a

Bluegrass Family Dance on May 18 with music by James Reams & the Barnstormers. It rained a little, but no one seemed to mind. Part way through the evening, the fireboat John J. Harvey passed by and spouted water, which caused some of the dancers to rush to the balustrade and wave. Then it was back to dancing. The next similar event will be on June 9 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. The B.P.C. Parks Conservancy is collaborating with the National Museum of the American Indian and the Museum of Jewish Heritage to present “Almost Summer” — a family day in Wagner Park. It will feature a concert by Dan Zanes and Elizabeth Mitchell and Native American stories. There will be lawn games, crafts and food for sale. In case of rain, the event (free except for the food) will be held inside the Museum of Jewish Heritage.

Poets House Brooklyn Bridge walk:

Downtown Express photos by Terese Loeb Kreuzer

Young dancer at Battery Park City’s bluegrass event.

For many people, Poets House’s annual Brooklyn Bridge walk is a not-to-be-missed event that ushers in the summer. On June 10, hundreds of poetry and bridge lovers will again meet in the small park outside the Municipal Building at 1 Centre St., and beginning at 6:30 p.m., stroll across the Brooklyn Bridge — 130 years old this year. They will stop along the way to listen to poetry being read aloud, much of it about the bridge itself. Finally, as the sun sets over Manhattan, they will arrive at Fulton Ferry in Brooklyn, where the Pulitzer-Prize-winning poet, Galway Kinnell, will recite Walt Whitman’s “Crossing Brooklyn Ferry.” They will be able to see exactly what Whitman saw

as Kinnell intones, “Flood-tide below me! I watch you face to face; Clouds of the west! sun there half an hour high! I see you also face to face.” Then they will go to a celebratory dinner where more poetry will be read. This year, for the first time, dinner will take place at the Tobacco Warehouse in DUMBO. Actor Bill Murray and U.S. Poet Laureate, Natasha Trethewey will be among the poetry readers. The Brooklyn Bridge walk benefits Poets House at 10 River Terrace in Battery Park City, where many activities are free. Tickets start at $250 ($225 for Poets House members). Reservations are required. For more information or to make a reservation, contact Krista Manrique at 212-431-7920, ext. 2830 or email

Talking turkey:

On May 20, a plump, wild turkey was noshing on the Wagner Park lawn. Could this have been Zelda, the famous wild turkey of Battery Park, who has lived there since 2003? Possibly. There’s so much construction in historic Battery Park right now that Zelda could have decided to retreat to more serene digs. But it didn’t quite look like Zelda. This was one plump bird. And Zelda has been seen frequently in her usual home. So maybe this was a new wild turkey. Perhaps he (or she?) will find Battery Park City attractive and stay awhile. To comment on Battery Park City Beat or to suggest article ideas, email


May 29 - June 11, 2013


After the rollout, the path to bike share begins


Jennifer Goodstein Publisher EMERITUS

John W. Sutter Editor


Terese Loeb Kreuzer Arts Editor

Scott Stiffler Reporters

Lincoln Anderson Editorial ASsistant

Kaitlyn Meade

Sr. V.P. of Sales & Marketing

Francesco Regini Retail ad manager

The app doesn’t work, there are

problems at the racks, the bikes are heavy… etc., etc., etc. We doubt anyone was really expecting a smooth rollout to the city’s ambitious bike share program, which began on Monday. Despite the glitches, it was inspiring to see riders out Memorial Day giving the new, blue bikes a spin. It’ll be at least a few winters and springs before any of us know if the bike share program turns out to be a good idea, but we can say right now with confidence that it is an experiment well-worth making. Mayor Mike Bloomberg and his bike-loving transportation commissioner, Janette SadikKhan, deserve credit for ignoring the risks and making Citi Bike happen. Bike share has the potential to make the city a much more livable place — particularly

for younger New Yorkers crammed into apartments without room for a bicycle, and without a lower-cost way to get to work. Lower Manhattan, with its poor east-west public transportation connections, is also a probable beneficiary. It is hard to continue to grow this city economically without providing a way for more people to get to work. Some of our subway lines are overburdened at rush hour — and that’s before the World Trade Center and Hudson Yards have been built. Ideally, our political leaders would have the will to make the mass transit investments we need — is it really a question of money when subway stations have lasted a century and counting? Costs for subway and other expansions should be spread out over decades. That’s an issue for another time, but in the meanwhile, Citi Bikes expands our transporta-

tion network now. We do sympathize with the complaints about particular bike rack locations. In many cases, they were placed with far too little community consultation. One of the advantages of the racks is that they easily can be moved or made smaller. We are pleased to see a few of these adjustments have already been made. The city Dept. of Transportation needs to continue these conversations with communities to give bike share a better chance to succeed. We will not be surprised to hear about more kinks in the system as Citi Bike expands this weekend from annual members to daily and weekly riders too. But we’re going to try and keep our eyes on the street ahead, understanding we may have to back track once or twice to keep going in the right direction. Real change is not made overnight.

Colin Gregory

Account Executives

Allison Greaker Julius Harrison Gary Lacinski Alex Morris Julio Tumbaco

Posted To: “Seaport firm promises a ‘hip’ summer” (News, May 15):

Art / Production Director

Troy Masters Senior Designer

Michael Shirey

This plan is a combination of Coney Island, 42 Street, The Barclays Center, Las trash! What has happened to our history? Guess we don’t need to know our historic past as a seaport any more. What is here for residents is noise, crowds of tourists, fake everything. Community Board get active in turning down these ideas. Everything now is for money, money, money.

Graphic Designer

Arnold Rozon Contributors

Albert Amateau Jerry Tallmer Photographers

Milo Hess Jefferson Siegel

Diane Wintering

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.

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Photos by Tequila Minsky

March to ‘stop the hate’ follows anti-gay crime A wave of anti-gay violence in recent weeks, escalating with the murder of Marc Carson in Greenwich Village on May 18, prompted a march of 1,500 people from a nearby L.G.B.T. Center Monday, May 20, to the site of the shooting on 8th St. The most recent victim of anti-gay crime was gay rights activist Eugene Lovendusky, who said he was walking hand-in-hand with a male friend when he was assaulted by a teenager, who also used a gay slur.

“Simple ways to start solving the school overcrowding problem” (Editorial, May 15): Here is a great idea on how to solve school overcrowding: stop building massive skyscrapers or bulky monstrosities. Another great idea: if a developer builds a tall or bulky new building, zone that building out of ALL the existing public schools. That will make the developer think twice about freeriding on the public domain. Lynn Ellsworth


May 29 - June 11, 2013

Keep P.S. 150 somewhere Downtown, says C.B.1 BY K A IT LY N M E A D E A ND JOSH ROGERS Community Board 1’s Youth and Education Committee is calling for P.S. 150 to move to a larger school building somewhere in Lower Manhattan rather than go up to Chelsea, as the city proposed last month. While a hypothetical relocation to a larger school raised some eyebrows, the handful of P.S. 150 parents at the May 14 meeting generally approved of the new resolution and stressed the importance of their school being made available to Downtown families and remaining a part of the Tribeca community. Wendy Chapman, head of P.S. 150’s P.T.A., thanked the committee for their hard work and active role in the ongoing drama since the news about the move went out on April 24. She also took a moment to reiterate that the location itself in Tribeca was an important part of the school’s character, saying “People want to emphasize that P.S. 150 is part of our community and that means Manhattan Youth, that means Taste of Tribeca, that means the Tribeca Film Festival, that means Washington Market Park, that means the baseball field, that means Hurricane Sandy, that means the Putt Putt golf across the way. That’s our community, you know…. All of those things are walkable within five minutes of our school.” The resolution heralds a potential compromise with the D.O.E., allowing a move from the small school building and one-class-per-grade model that has characterized it in its 30 years since it started as an early childhood learning center. However, both leaders of the committee warned parents that some compromise was necessary as the D.O.E. was most likely going to move the school one way or another. “What they’ve already said is that there will be no one admitted to the kindergarten of 150 in 2014,” said Tricia Joyce, chairperson of the committee. “What this was was a

Downtown Express photo by Arnold Rozon

A banner hung outside the school at Taste of Tribeca protested the potential closure of its Tribeca location.

phase out of 150, not a relocation.” Paul Hovitz, the Education Committee’s co-chairperson, said, “I think you would be hard-pressed at this point, and the parents should know, that you should accept that this school is going to grow. And our intention — from all of the stuff that Tricia and I have been hearing from other sources too — is that this school is not going to stay as a one-classon-a-grade-school. It is going to grow. Our intention is to make sure we don’t lose you from our community. And that is what we’re going to fight for.” The final decision on P.S. 150 has been pushed to

September. The new school that C.B. 1 and elected officials have been fighting for is a zoned, five-section-per-class school located below Canal St. It is the minimum amount of space needed to solve the area’s ever-growing overcrowding problems, said Joyce. “My thought was to take what they want to do, and do it here,” said Joyce. “In other words, keep your school community together, move them into a larger — which we have been fighting for for some time and are making a full court press — on a five section per class school for Lower Manhattan, and have P.S. 150 do their growing out there.” While Corie Sharples, a member of C.B.1 and P.S. 150 parent, said the idea of a five-section-per-grade school scared her a little, she added that there were also good reasons to consider expanding, especially for the upper grades. “As much as we at P.S. 150 would all just like to be left alone the way we are, we understand that there are two sides, we are not unwilling to consider the idea that maybe the school would grow, but it’s really important to us to stay Downtown but it’s also important that we keep that character. So if there were a situation in which the school were proposed to grow, we want to make sure we keep that consideration of the small school feel…small school and community school,” she said. Joyce, Hovitz and the other members of Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver’s school task force are scheduled to meet June 12 with D.O.E. planners and are hoping the city recognizes the need for a new school in Lower Manhattan. At a task force meeting earlier this month to discuss the 110 children waitlisted for this year’s kindergarten class, different D.O.E. officials were chastised by a principal and parents for not moving plans along more quickly to find places. Hovitz said the officials sent to the meeting were like “cannon fodder.”

Preschools opening in Battery Park City Continued from page 1

occupied by the Battery Park City Parks Conservancy. Both preschool sites were suggested by Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and Downtown school advocates as possible public school locations to relieve elementary school overcrowding, but at a May 10 meeting to discuss the kindergarten waiting lists, Dept. of Education officials gave no indication they ever pursued either lead. The need for preschool seats in the area is also apparent as P.S. 276 lost half of their pre-K program for fall, and Peck Slip School opened two half-day classes in an attempt to make-up the difference. However, Peck Slip’s principal Maggie Sienna has said that the solution is only possible for one year as the school grows out in the Tweed Courthouse. P.S. 234 lost its Pre-K program several years ago for the same reason. As a result, parents who can afford it have looked for private options. The Battery Park Montessori preschool is the first of a series planned by school

development expert and Battery Park City parent Jennifer Jones, who, on her “Green Ivy” schools webpage, cites the “acute shortage of public and private schools, an international demographic, a baby boom, growing affluence and corporate expansion through the rebuilding of the World Trade Center,” as motivating forces behind her idea for community-based private schools in Lower Manhattan. “A few years ago, I was the mother of a 1-year-old boy, a mother for the first time, pushing a stroller through Battery Park City and thinking about where my son would go to school. I didn’t see many options in Battery Park City, and I knew that some of my choices would require me to commute across the highway, essentially splitting our lives into halves,” Jones said in an email to Downtown Express. Her plan revolves around three components: small class sizes, a dedicated staff, and a community-based curriculum that will connect school life with the outside world. Students are 2 – 5 years old and tuition will range from $9,000 for two days per week to $27,000 for full day programs (9

a.m. – 3 p.m.) for older children. The Battery Park City location has filled its morning sessions, and has almost filled the afternoon and full day programs, according to spokesperson Elizabeth Fosnight. She said these slots are filling up fast as new families move into the neighborhood. A pre-K through eighth grade site, called the Pine Street School, is also planned to open in the Financial District the following year. Preschool of America, formerly called Red Apple Child Development Center, will open in the Cove Club building at 2 South End Ave. sometime in the fall. The opening date has been delayed due to construction issues that they inherited when they took over the space, said Preschool of America spokesperson Jill Howard, who oversees all of the sites. Howard said they plan to open as many as 15 classrooms. The company already has 16 locations throughout the city, including two in Lower Manhattan on Eldridge and Market Sts. Part daycare and part preschool, the B.P.C. location will provide care for children from three months to six years old.

“There was definitely a need in that area,” said Howard. “There are preschools but not many places that serve infants.” She also said that it was a program geared toward working parents. Year-round options run Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. with late pick-up available until 6:30 p.m. Admission to Preschool of America is based on a rolling system, but enrollment will not begin until they can start showing the building, hopefully in late summer. The fees have not yet been determined. One of the programs that Preschool of America is known for is their Chinese language program, which is implemented at many of their schools for the older kids, either as weekly classes or, in some cases, a half-day immersion program. “I want to get a sense from parents first,” before starting an immersion program, said Howard. However, she believes there will be a demand in the area, despite the opening of the Montessori school across the way. “It’s a completely different model than our model,” she said. “But I know there’s a lot of interest based on parents calling me saying they don’t have a lot of options.”


ThE SChOLASTIC STORE H e l d e v e r y S a t u r d a y a t 3 p m , S c h o l a s t i c ’s i n - s t o r e a c t i v i t i e s a r e d e s i g n e d to get kids reading, thinking, talking, creating and moving. At 11am every Tues., Wed. and Thurs., the Scholastic Storyteller brings tales to life at Daily Storytime. At 557 Broadway (btw. Prince & Spring Sts.). Store hours: Mon.-Sat., 10am-7pm and Sun., 11am-6pm. For info, call 212-343-6166 or visit ThE ChILDREN’S ROOm AT POETS hOUSE is a bright and vibrant space that encourages literacy and creativity. In addition to housing many poetry books by classic and contemporary authors, the Children’s Room is designed to stimulate the imaginations of young ones and drive them to create poems and art of their own. From Thurs.-Sat., children are free to draw inspiration from the room’s card catalogue full of quirky objects and type up their own masterpieces on vintage typewriters. Every Thurs. at 10am, “Tiny Poet Time” offers poetry readings and music for toddlers. At 10 River Terrace (at Murray St.). Hours: Children’s Room open Thurs.-Sat., 11am-5pm. Admission: Free. For info, call 212-431-7920 or visit

May 29 - June 11, 2013

SATURDAY FAmILY PROGRAmS AT ThE SKYSCRAPER mUSEUm E x p l o r e t a l l b u i l d i n g s a s o b j e c t s o f design, products of technology, sites of construction and places of work and residence at The Skyscraper Museum. Their spring “Saturday Family Program” series (taking place from 10:30-11:45am) features workshops designed to introduce children and their families to the principles of architecture and engineering through hands-on activities. On June 8, the all-ages “Sidewalk Art” event takes p l a c e i n f r o n t o f t h e m u s e u m — w h e r e c o l o rful chalk will be used to draw buildings based on blueprint sketches of buildings they know. And on June 10, the “Archikids” workshop, lead by archit e c t Yv e s R o g e r, g i v e s k i d s a g e s 9 - 1 3 t h e c h a n c e to make their own soaring structures (inspired by images, vintage film and models of actual skyscrapers of the past and present) All workshops ($5 per family) take place at 10:30am. Registration is required. Call 212-945-6324 or At 39 Battery Place (btw. First Place & Little West St.). Regular museum hours are Wed.-Sun., 12-6pm. Admission is $5 ($2.50 for students/seniors).

Photo courtesy of The New York City Police Museum

VINTaGE POlICE CaR SHOw You provide the loud siren noise, and they’ll provide the vehicles. The New York City Police Museum may still be closed for post-Sandy repairs, but its annual Vintage Police Car Show will go on. Join them for a fun-filled day, as you view a spectacular collection of classic patrol vehicles — and keep checking their website ( for updates on special events and exhibitions, sponsored in partnership with cultural institutions around the city. The Car Show is a free event. Sat., June 8, from 10am-4pm. On Front St., btw. Maiden Lane and John St.

Photo courtesy of Dan Zanes and Elizabeth Mitchell

alMOST SUMMER CElEBRaTION Anticipate the joyous arrival of summer, at a multicultural outdoor event featuring musicians Elizabeth Mitchell and Grammy Award-winner Dan Zanes, Native American storybook readings and art and nature activities for children and families. Co-presented by The Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian and the Battery Park City Authority and Parks Conservancy, this free event happens Sun., June 9, 11am-2pm, in Wagner Park (adjacent to the Museum of Jewish Heritage, 36 Battery Place). The arts activities (and story time) take place throughout the event, with the concert beginning at noon. Picnicking is encouraged! In case of rain, the event will be held in the Museum’s Edmond J. Safra Hall. For more info, call 646-437-4202 or visit


May 29 - June 11, 2013

Downtown heats up with the diversity of jazz and indie Avant-garde, acoustic, other sounds make the coming months rock and swing BY SAM SPOKONY Whenever the seasons change, it’s like I’m seeing everything for the first time… again. Yes, maybe I could chalk that up to some rapid diminishment of long-term memory — a possible result of all those things I may or may not have done during high school and college — but I’d rather try to see something a little more uplifting there. Maybe it’s nice to have that feeling of a little rebirth of the consciousness every few months. It can remind us of the importance of spontaneous discovery and rediscovery. Anyway, we’re here to talk about music. Yes! This year, spring and summer (along with those long-awaited rays, warm breezes, etc.) bring great improvisers and musical performers to that wonderful portion of Manhattan below 14th Street, with something for everyone and, I would think, someone for everything. The question is, what do you want to explore? And what sounds do you feel like revisiting? It’s moments like these when I think, you know, maybe it’s not so bad to live amid the perpetual drone of city life and all its politicized, corporatized mayhem — because even when the absurdity seems too much to bear, when you can’t seem to find any semblance of understanding, you can just head Downtown and find all the right vibes. And you know you’re in the right place…again.


I’d like to begin with an exciting Thursday night series that began in April at Drom (85 Avenue A, btw. Fifth & Sixth Sts.), and which includes one show every month through August. It’s the intriguingly titled “Music and Architecture Series,” curated by the equally intriguing Cuban-born pianist Aruán Ortiz — who has already done enough solid work composing and performing with his own quartet to make this a must-see for all our experimentally inclined listeners. According to Revive Music, the forward-thinking jazz collective that’s sponsoring the series, these concerts “intend to narrate different concepts and ritualism behind ancient architectures, deconstructing their forms, shapes and textures.” Sounds good enough for me. Each gig has its own distinct subtitle — so check out “Reflections as a Reality” on June 20, “A Piece Within a Piece” on July 18 and “The Alchemist and His Sacred Family” on August 29. All concerts start at 9:45pm. Tickets cost $10 in advance, and $15 at the door. To purchase, visit Few cats indeed have been able to

Nilsson and bassist Shayna Dulberger, and there’s no cost to enter.


Photo courtesy of the artist

Challenge your perceptions of sound and design at the Music and Architecture Series, curated by Aruán Ortiz, at Drom.

match saxophonist Joe Lovano’s ability to channel the roots of swing and bop while also helping to drive the free-thinking expression of 21st-century performance. Dig Mr. Lovano at the Village Vanguard (178 Seventh Ave. South, just below W. 11th St.), where he’ll be joined by his nonet from May 28 to June 2. This incarnation will be comprised of almost exactly the same personnel featured on his brilliant 2006 album “Streams of Expression” (including baritone saxophonist Gary Smulyan and pianist James Weidman) and, happily, Lovano and company will be rehashing tunes from that record throughout their six-night stand. You’ll have a choice between two sets each night, at 8:30 and 10:30pm, and tickets cost $25. To purchase, visit For those of you who’d rather take your avant-garde jazz with a healthy spoonful of soulfully foot-stomping church music, I would of course recommend clarinetist/saxophonist Don Byron and his New Gospel Quintet. The group’s first album, “Love, Peace and Soul,” which came out a little over a year ago, was rightly praised for its depth of exploration into the gospel idiom, along with Byron’s typically vibrant playing. Catch the quintet at 92YTribeca (200 Hudson St., just below Canal St.) on

Wed., June 12, where they’ll be the featured act for a live presentation of WBGO 88.3 FM’s award-winning radio show, “The Checkout.” The show, which also includes opening act The Bridge Trio, begins at 8pm, and tickets cost $12. To purchase, visit On an unfortunate side note, this will be one of the final events staged at the 92Y’s Tribeca location, as it’ll be closing later in June. From that point on, all 92Y events will take place at the organization’s Upper East Side headquarters, at 1395 Lexington Ave. Aside from the fact that I’ve always found him to be a generally insightful guy, saxophonist/flutist Ras Moshe represents an important element of the New York music scene — that which, in essence, refuses to compromise, remaining true to a very spiritually introspective core of freely improvised music. The ghosts of people like Albert Ayler and Pharoah Sanders truly do live on, and you’ll usually find them floating through the air at a Ras Moshe gig (the sound of which, while certainly not for squares, can send one on some incredibly powerful aural journeys). Moshe plays at the Downtown Music Gallery (13 Monroe St., btw. Catherine & Market Sts.) at 6pm on July 7, alongside vocalist Kyoko Kitamura, guitarist Anders

The Thermals are a real throwback for me, if you’ll allow a 23-year-old to use that expression. Their haphazardly titled 2004 album “Fuckin A” was an integral part of my high school playlist. Now, a decade later, the post-punk trio is still going strong. Just last month, they released “Desperate Ground,” an album which is a self-described “brash and irresponsible ode to human violence.” You’ll probably hear plenty of those new tunes, full of punchy beats and urgent lyrics, during their back-to-back dates at the Bowery Ballroom (6 Delancey St., btw. Bowery & Chrystie St.) on May 29. The show, which also features Screaming Females as the opening act, starts at 9pm. Tickets cost $16 in advance and $18 at the door. To purchase, visit Some bands these days need all the production technology money can buy in order to sound bigger and more affecting — but the duo of Death From Above 1979 have made a career out of turning bass, drums and a well-placed synth into a colossal wall of sound. Whether you want to call them alt-rock, noise rock, electro-dance-punk or whatever else comes to mind, Jesse Keeler and Sebastien Grainger probably represent the best thing to come out of Canada since ice hockey. When this band broke up in 2006, I remember being heartbroken — not least of all because I’d just that week bought a super sweet band tee-shirt — but when they decided to reunite a couple of years ago, all was quickly forgiven. Check them out at Irving Plaza (17 Irving Pl., at E. 15th St.) on Fri., June 7, at 11pm. Tickets cost $32. To purchase, I always like to include a little something for those acoustic singer/songwriter fans out there. With that in mind, I’ll introduce you to Maya Isacowitz, whose voice is very much the equal to her radiant beauty — which is to say that they both rank quite highly in my (rather self-professedly) esteemed opinion. Ms. Isacowitz first made a name for herself while performing throughout Israel, the country in which she was raised, and is now rightfully spreading her sphere of influence overseas, with sensitive guitar work, wonderfully penned tunes and a very balanced, low-key vibe. You can catch her at SubCulture (45 Bleecker St., btw. Mott & Mulberry Sts.) on Wed., Continued on page 22


May 29 - June 11, 2013

Smooth sounds and dance grooves Continued from page 21

June 26. The show starts at 7:30pm, and tickets cost $12. To purchase, Now, if you’re looking for a real throwback — and this one actually goes way back, far beyond that happy accident that was my birth — I would suggest donning your best rude boy outfit and heading down to see those living legends of ska and rocksteady, those inimitable Brits, The Specials. Yes, it’s been a while, and the current lineup certainly doesn’t include all of the group’s original personnel. But that doesn’t mean it’s not worth giving a nod to one of the hippest socio-politically minded bands to ever hit the stage. The performance I’ll now direct your attention to represents a particularly special chance to see these guys live, because it’ll be an outdoor gig at Pier 26 in Hudson River Park (located off of West St., btw. Hubert & N. Moore Sts.). The Wed., July 17 show starts at 6pm, and tickets cost $35 in advance and $40 on the day of the show. To purchase, visit Happy listening, and enjoy the weather! If you have any suggestions or hidden secrets about sweet shows on and under the Downtown radar, drop me a line at

Photo courtesy 92nd Street Y

June 12: Catch Don Byron and his New Gospel Quartet, at 92YTribeca.

Different Planet ‘Connections’ kicks off summer theater fest season THEATER PLANET CONNECTiONS THEATRE FESTIVITY

May 29-June 23 At the Robert Moss Theatre (440 Lafayette St., near Astor Place) And the Gene Frankel Theatre (24 Bond St., corner of Lafayette St.) For tickets ($18), call 866-811-4111 or visit

BY MARTIN DENTON (of and New York City’s busy summer theater festival season kicks off on May 29 with

Planet Connections, a four-week celebration of independent theater and social consciousness that is now in its fifth year. Its official moniker is “Planet Connections Theatre Festivity” — and that last word is just one thing that sets this event apart from the many other theatrical marathons that dot (dominate!) our landscape here in the Big Apple from June through August. So what’s different about Planet Connections? This: All of the shows presented, in addition to being interesting new works spanning many genres and styles of the indie theater landscape, also champion specific causes. Each show is a benefactor of a nonprofit organization — and these entities will be represented in talkbacks, promotions, information sessions and fundraising throughout the Festivity. Among the recipients of Planet Connections shows’ largesse this year are my own (The New York Theatre Experience, Inc.) along with many others — ranging from The LIT Fund to The Ali Forney Center to The Blue Green Alliance to the ASCPA. You should definitely check out the information about these charitable groups on Planet Connections’ website ( But of course, artistically, the Festivity is well worth your time! I’ve been a regular

Photo by Ashley Marinaccio

Breani Michele, in Girl Be Heard’s production of “9mm.”

attendee at all the previous editions, and I’ve met some truly exceptional playwrights, directors, actors and other theater artists along the way. Works by a diverse and tal-

ented roster of playwrights, ranging from Yvette Heyliger and Duncan Pflaster, to Jason S. Grossman and Kimberly Pau have been seen at Planet Connections, and many of the best scripts from past years are assembled at Indie Theater Now ( Collection/Index/planet-connections). This year’s Festivity runs from May 29 through June 23 at two East Village venues — the Robert Moss Theater and the Gene Frankel Theater. This is a fun, vibrant neighborhood with many shops, bars and restaurants where you can fill the time before, after and inbetween the shows you catch at the festival. There are 30 mainstage productions in Planet Connections 2013, along with a variety of special events and readings (including a special gala event on June 16th featuring readings of short plays by Neil LaBute, John Patrick Shanley and Winter Miller, at the Signature Center at Pershing Square). Because this is a relatively compact event, in terms of geography and size (but not in terms of timeframe), it is very possible for an audience member to see virtually everything the Festivity has to offer. Here are a few of the works in this year’s Festivity that I know enough about to Continued on page 23


May 29 - June 11, 2013

Fifth year of ‘Festivity’ set to connect with audiences Continued from page 22

comment on, based on experience with the artists and companies involved. Don’t limit yourself to what I talk about here, though. Check out the variety and range of work and find subjects, styles and worthy causes that appeal to your sensibilities. “9mm America” — This devised theater piece from Girl Be Heard, about violence in America, was created by 10 young women of high-school age. Director Ashley Marinaccio, a passionate and dedicated activist/artist, is a Planet Connections veteran. Expect thoughtprovoking, raw, documentary-style theater. “Artaud…mon momo” — Roi “Bubi” Escudero is a one-of-a-kind artist, with a deep knowledge of the avant-garde, a limitless imagination and a penchant for never repeating herself. This is her second look at the ethos of “Theater of Cruelty” inventor Antonin Artaud. There won’t be anything in the festival remotely like it. “Dragon” — Articulate Theatre Company is launching with this new play by Jenny Connell Davis that looks to blend realism and mythology within the framework of a timeless love story. Director and company founder Cat Parker has been responsible for some excellent productions over the years, including the NYC premiere of “Sister Cities” back in 2007. “Fix Number Six” — If’s

annual Person of the Year recognition means anything to you, then this is a show to see. This new play by Jerry Polner is about a travel agent who longs to be a spy. It’s directed by Michael Criscuolo, and its cast includes Arthur Aulisi and Alyssa Simon. All three of these luminaries have been People of the Year, which means that we think they’re top-notch artists. “Straight Faced Lies” — This is the fourth year in a row that Mark Jason Williams will have a new script in Planet Connections (each of the other three was nominated for a playwriting award, with 2011’s “The Other Day” winning that honor). Mark is a smart, sensitive, courageous writer — and I expect this new piece, set at a family Thanksgiving dinner, to be one of this year’s highlights. “Subject 62” — Rhode Island-based Lenny Schwartz is another four-time Festivity contributor. His latest play, which he calls his most personal, follows last year’s somewhat sensational “Accidental Incest,” 2011’s “Fidelity” and 2010’s “The Six Month Cure.” Expect an earnest treatment of a serious topic — how the onset of illness affects one family’s life. “The Greatest Pirate Story (N)ever Told!” — On a lighter note we find this new musical by Christopher Leidenfrost, whose contributions to Planet Connections over the years include his award-winning starring roles as Whizzer in last year’s revival of “Falsettos” and appearing in drag in the gay marriage

Photo by Samir Abady Photography

Moira Stone and Mateo Moreno, in Jerry Polner’s “Fix Number Six.”

drama “The Declaration.” This new show ought to be just as it sounds — a fun, musical romp with plenty of audience interaction. “What Do You Mean” — This entry from Ego Actus marks my first time seeing a play written by Bruce A! Kraemer. He is usually a designer and producer, so I’m excited to see him stretch in this meta tale of a person who is writing a play for a festival but doesn’t know what to write about. His longtime partner, Joan Kane, directs. As I said, these represent just a sam-

pling of what’s on offer at the Festivity. Browse their websites, check out previews and reviews on and elsewhere and keep your eyes and ears open as you shuttle between the festival venues for audience buzz. Planet Connections is a fun event that’s much less intense than FringeNYC, yet still packed with entertainment value. I’m hoping to do one or more talkbacks and am looking forward to taking in as much as I can during the festival’s four weeks. Enjoy!

Click, Clack, Moo

Saturday, June 1, at 1:30PM Tickets: $25; 10Club Members: $15 A hilariously “moo-ving” new musical about compromise, based on the award-winning book by Doreen Cronin and Betsy Lewin. “Udderly fabulous! Given Theatreworks USA’s track record of turning classic kids’ lit into magical musicals, CLICK, CLACK, MOO just reaffirms their reputation,” ravesTime Out New York Kids.

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Visit the Box Office located on the campus of the BMCC 199 Chambers St., NYC. Order single tickets online: • Follow us on Facebook & Twitter •


May 29 - June 11, 2013

ARC’s CD, LP sale is summer’s number one hit From now through Labor Day, you could spend countless hours scouring every last stoop, garage and yard sale you come across — and you still won’t come even remotely close to the quality pickings you’ll find at the ARChive of Contemporary Music’s Summer Record & CD Sale. Twice a year (now, and then during the holidays), the not-for-profit archive, music library and research center opens its doors to the public with a dizzying, up-for-grabs collection of new and donated items from record companies and collectors. Last week, the staff was sorting through 40,000 new arrivals — including 500 sound effects records, early hip-hop recordings, rap twelve-inch singles and punk rarities. In addition to the CDs and LPs (most of them priced from $1-$5), they’ll also be hanging figurative “For Sale” signs on turntables and audio equipment, Fillmore East programs, music magazines and original 60s psychedelic posters (from Detroit’s Grande Ballroom). For the “dis-en-vinyled,” there’s also an Astroturf Yard Sale, featuring a generous selection of vintage kitchen wares and clothing. As always, becoming a member of ARC will score you an invite to their Summer Party (“great food, nice people and first crack at all the recordings”). Let the pickin’ and the grinnin’ begin!

Free admission. Sat., June 8 through Sun., June 16, from 11am-6pm daily. At the ARChive of Contemporary Music (54 White St., three blocks south of Canal St., btw. Broadway & Church Sts.). Call 212-226-6967 or visit

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Basement storage with elevator street access. Space can be divided to accommodate requirement. Secure space beneath neighorhood bar. Send email to schedule visit.

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ARTIST'S ATELIER 2000 SQ FT CENTRAL SOHO LOFT Professional Artist only. No living Sun Drenched, High Ceiling 5 fl walk up // $5000 per mo. Call 212-343-2881

PROFESSIONAL OFFICE SPACE SPECTACULAR MEDICAL OFFICE TO SHARE Beautful Architectual Space in the heart of TriBeca. 2 or 3 examination rooms available most days. Call 917-213-7494

Avail. August 1, $2195 per mo. MR M 718-426-2800 BTW 10 AM-4PM


West Village Commercial Space Avail. Considering Non Food Business at present. Approx.550 sq FT w Bsmt. Call Owner 718-344-6468

SOHO MANUFACTURING SPACE Ground Floor aprox 1,550 sqft $120k per Anum. Call 212-226-3100

EMPLOYMENT ACCOUNTANT 12 mos. Experience. BA, Cockpit USA, 15 W 39th St., NYC 10018

The Carlyle Group seeks F/T Research Analyst to prfrm fundmntl, prmry research to dvlp an informtnl & analytical edge to better eval invstmnt opps. Analyze financl info, proprietary cash flow models, credit & asset quality invstmnt reprts, mrkt exposure & covenant protctn. Dvlp invstmnt models thru cmplex invstmnt, reward & risk analysis, & prvd tradng assistance based on outcomes of research. REQ: Bach or forgn equiv in Bus, Econ, Stat Econ or rel + 4 yrs progrssvly resp exp in the invstmnt mgmt bus, incl:exp analyzing cmplex invstmnt concepts & dvlpng invstmnt theories; & exp w/ quantitative analysis & stat methods. EOE. Resume to:


Backyard,Walk to Subways, Shopping, Etc.


Research Analyst New York, NY

COMPUTER SOFTWARE ENGINEER BA + 3 mos experience. Global Works Group LLC, A. George, 220 5thAve. NYC 10001

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


May 29 - June 11, 2013

Reviewing the bike share bicycles Continued from page 1

the slow side. I was among a group of reporters who got to take the bikes for a spin at the Brooklyn Navy Yard last Friday. First, Dani Simons, director of marketing and external affairs for NYC Bike Share, the operator of Citi Bike, explained the basics about the bikes. Clearly printed on the top of each bike’s handlebar stem, she noted, are the instructions — ones that many Downtowners say bicyclists disobey — “Yield to pedestrians”; “Stay off the sidewalk”; “Obey traffic lights”; “Ride with traffic.” “I call these the four cardinal rules of biking in New York City,” Simons noted. If you purchased a $95 annual membership, you should have received a key — a small, blue, plastic stick — that you can insert into any docking station to release a bike. Annual members can ride for 45 minutes, after which they have to park it at another dock, or face additional charges. So-called “casual members,” people who purchase a daily ($9.95) or weekly ($25) bike-share pass, won’t get a key, but will swipe a credit card on a bike-share kiosk. They’ll receive a five-digit code that they’ll use to unlock a bike, which they can ride for a shorter period — 30 minutes — before re-docking it, and can then take additional 30-minute rides. People with yearly memberships started riding May 27, and the daily and weekly program will kick off June 2. If cyclists don’t return the bikes within the allotted time, charges kick in: $2.50 for the first half hour, $6.50 for the second half hour and $9 for each additional half hour. If you ride to a bike dock and all its slots are full, you can get a 15-minute extension. I assumed people would just use the extra time to wait for a slot to open up, but the

energetic Simons said she’d use it to bike to another nearby station. Once the key or the code is put in, there’s a beep and a small green light displays on the dock, indicating the bike can be pulled out. A reporter for one of the city’s daily tabloids who recently test-rode one of the bikes moaned about how difficult it was to remove the bike from the dock, saying she literally had to get on her knees and yank it out with all her strength. But there’s a right way and a wrong way to pull out a Citi Bike. As Simons explained, the wrong way is to try to pull it out by the handlebars, which doesn’t work — the bike barely budges. The right way is simply to grab hold under the seat’s back with one hand and lift the bike up a couple of inches, which is quite easy to do — “and I don’t have biceps like Michelle Obama,” Simons quipped — and then step backward. The bike slides out of the dock effortlessly. Next, check that the tires have air and that the brakes are working properly. If there’s a problem, put the bike back and take another. Then, adjust the seat to waist height, if it isn’t already, Simons said. Though the seat can be lowered all the way down for a very small person, Citi Bikes aren’t for kids. You must be 16 or older. Finally, it was time to take a spin around the Navy Yard. The bike glided along, coasting surprisingly well, if not particularly fast. The seat was wide and comfortable. The tires were fairly fat and cushy, making for smooth rolling. One of the charges made by 99 Bank St. residents in their lawsuit against the bike-share station in front of their building is that Citi Bike riders will use their sidewalk, since Bank St. is cobblestoned. But the historic Brooklyn Navy Yard has an uneven, patchwork surface — from cobble-

Downtown Express photos by Jefferson Siegel

Tourists near City Hall gave the bike seats a try.

Downtown Express photos by Jefferson Siegel

Citi Bike riders on the first day, May 27.

stones to old railroad tracks half-buried in asphalt pavement — and, from the feel of the ride, I was confident that my Citi Bike could roll over these rough surfaces without problem. On the other hand, my 10-speed bike with narrow tires that I had ridden over to the Navy Yard could never handle these conditions. Citi Bikes have three gears, with a twistgrip handlebar shifter. In first gear, in the flat Navy Yard, I found my feet spinning cartoonishly fast — I actually imagined the kooky bongos from when Fred Flintstone starts running — plus the bike didn’t really move very much. I ruled out ever using first gear again, except possibly for going up Mount Everest. Third gear I honestly found a bit hard to pedal in; I don’t know if this was because I had just earlier zipped over the Manhattan Bridge to get to the Navy Yard — maybe blowing out my legs a bit? — but third gear felt “heavy,” and again, the bike didn’t really go very fast. It was tricky to get into second gear with the twist shifter, requiring a very delicate touch. But once I did, I found second was still slightly too easy for me. I was pedaling a little too fast, and wanted a bit more resistance; meanwhile the bike was not making incredible forward progress. I felt, well… frustrated. Another gear between second and third — a 2½ — was where I wanted to be. As I continued to pedal around, however, the greater realization dawned on me — in a bit of a letdown — that this bike, no matter what gear it was in, simply would never go any faster. I returned to the docking station, where Simons demonstrated how to park it. Grabbing the bicycle by both handlebars, she lined up a small metal triangular prow on its front with the dock, and — explaining, “Use a little force” — pushed it firmly into the slot. A green light displayed, showing the bike had locked into place.

Carlos Rivera, a Citi Bike mechanic, said the cycles are built to handle city conditions. “Great bikes, durable,” he said. “It’s New York City — they’ve got to be tough.” As he slowly rode off on one of the Citi Bikes — they were disassembling this Navy Yard bike station, in preparation for deploying all the bikes to the street — I noticed he was “standing” on the pedals, as in not sitting in the seat. This is what cyclists do when climbing a hill, when it’s tough to pedal. I later realized: Rivera must have been in third gear. So maybe it’s not only me who thinks Citi Bike’s third gear is a bit hard to pedal. I later asked Simons about the bike’s gears, wondering if maybe mine had been off. “These are the standard gear settings,” she replied. Oh well, even if my gears did need a tuneup, probably the answer is simple: The bikes are configured to keep anyone from being able to ride fast — which may make some readers happy. Anaïs Digonnet, a reporter with a French Web TV station who also took a Citi Bike for a spin last week, said these ones are actually lighter than the bike-share cycles they had in Lyon a few years ago. She said it’s fine if the bikes are slow. “Anyway, in New York you don’t want to ride too crazy,” she said. “The streets are really not made for bicycle.” On the other hand, her native town is quite bike friendly, she said, noting, “In Lyon we have special areas for the bikes. There is a line. If the driver crosses it, there is a fine, like 90 euros.” As for myself, I was a little underwhelmed by Citi Bike. I don’t exactly need to be in “The Fast & Furious 6” (even if Vin Diesel did grow up in Westbeth), but these wheels were a bit too slow. In the meantime, I think I’ll stick with my 10-speed 1980s road bike.


May 29 - June 11, 2013

Fulton Fish Market artist returns to the Seaport BY T E RE SE LO E B K R E U Z E R Naima Rauam has been painting the South Street Seaport for decades. This summer, she has a 3,000-square foot gallery on the second floor of Pier 17, where she is exhibiting and selling her drawings and paintings. The gallery, on the far eastern side of the pier, has stunning views of the Brooklyn Bridge and the East River — among the subjects that appear in Rauam’s artwork. She also depicts the old Fulton Fish Market, which she first visited as an art student in 1965. Captivated, she eventually moved to the Seaport. In 2005, right before the fish vendors left for Hunts Point in the Bronx, Rauam had a show in the Tin Building that she called “The Last Hurrah.” After that, near the anniversary of the Fish Market’s departure, she mounted a show of her work every year at 210 Front St. What was to have been her seventh annual show never took place because of Superstorm Sandy. Her Pier 17 gallery is beginning to make up for what didn’t happen as planned.

On Sunday, May 19, next to Rauam’s evocative drawings of the old hotel on Fulton St.’s Schermerhorn Row where sailors and salesmen once found cheap lodgings, Jack Putnam read from Joseph Mitchell’s book, “Up in the Old Hotel,” as he has every year since Rauam started her annual exhibits. She said that despite cool, rainy weather, more than 50 people attended the reading. “It was standing room only!” she said. Prices for Rauam’s work range from $350 for a print to $4,500 for a painting. The gallery is open daily, noon to 7 p.m. through May 31 and then open Thursdays and Sundays, noon to 7 p.m. and by appointment. Call 212-964-8465 for more information, go to or email artpm@ Rauam said that the far eastern end of Pier 17 is becoming an art hub. B&M Fine Art Studios will be opening on May 31 in space two doors down from her gallery and the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council will occupy some space on the floor below later in the summer.

Downtown Express photo by Terese Loeb Kreuzer

Naima Rauam’s gallery on Pier 17 showcases her Seaport art.

Another ballet school floats into B.P.C. By KA I T LY N M E A D E A new ballet school opened last week in Battery Park City, focused on making ballet accessible to young children, as parents enroll their kids in dance lessons at younger and younger ages. Children’s Warehouse, a ballet studio for children ages three months to six years, opened its doors at The Club At Gateway, on 375 South End Ave., with free introductory classes. The school’s founder and artistic director, Beth Vages, owned and operated Cape Cod Ballet in New England before moving down to N.Y.C. Vages said an increasing number of parents are looking for ways to enroll their kids in ballet at young ages. She has opened locations in B.P.C. and Brooklyn, and hopes to find spaces in Tribeca, the Village, as well as the Upper East and West Sides. Children’s Warehouse may be the newest addition to Lower Manhattan dance classes, but it is by no means the only option for aspiring ballerinas. The New American Youth Ballet, founded in 1997 in Battery Park City by Elizabeth Flores, has been a way to introduce children of all ages, incomes and levels to classical ballet. The studio often provides scholarships to students who cannot afford tuition. “What sets us apart from other community groups is that we offer performing opportunities in classical ballets with a full orchestra… which is pretty rare,” said Flores. The upcoming studio-wide performance of Copelia will take place on June 15, she said, and the summer dance program begins July 1.

Image courtesy of Children’s Warehouse

Children’s Warehouse ballet school just opened for young dancers in Battery Park City.

When asked if she felt there was a need for another studio in Battery Park City, Vages said, “I know there’s a lot of dance studios in New York. When I looked into it, when they did run ballet classes, it was more of a creative movement program.” She said that her teaching style is “more formalized,” familiarizing students with classical music and the traditional stories and fairytales. But perhaps the main difference is the age of the students. Flores teaches teens as well

as students children as young as 2, whereas Vages starts with infants and goes up to age 6. “I believe once they are six years old, they are ready for more serious training,” said Vages, and that New York City provides many such opportunities for her students, Children’s Warehouse classes are split into six levels: Baby Ballet for 3-11 months old, Tot Ballet for 12-23 months old, Toddler Ballet for 2 and 3-year-olds, Fairytale Ballet

for 4-year-olds are once a week on Tuesday or Wednesday and are $450 per semester. Princess Ballet for 5 and 6-year-olds and Knight Ballet for 4 to 6-year-old boys are $550 per semester. The school will also offer 3-hour programs over the summer. For more information on Children’s Warehouse, email childrenswarehouse@ To find out more about New American Youth Ballet, visit


May 29 - June 11, 2013


May 30, 2013 Downtown Express  

May 30, 2013 Downtown Express