The Paper of Record for Greenwich Village, East Village, Lower East Side, Soho, Union Square, Chinatown and Noho, Since 1933
June 18, 2015 • $1.00 Volume 85 • Number 3
City Club sues to stop Pier55; Faults enviro review, ‘secret’ process BY ALBERT AMATEAU
PIER55, continued on p. 4
Suspect surrenders to police in vicious Dallas BBQ bashing BY PAUL SCHINDLER
olice announced the arrest of a suspect sought in assaults on two gay men at the Dallas BBQ in Chelsea on May 5. Bayna-Lehkiem El-Amin, 41, of 598 E. 139th St. in the Bronx, turned himself in at the Seventh Precinct on the morning of Tues., June 16. He
PHOTO BY LINCOLN ANDERSON
he City Club of New York went to court last week to sink Pier55, the $130 million project funded by Barry Diller and Diane von Furstenberg and approved earlier this year by the Hudson River Park Trust, the city/state authority that
controls the 4.5-mile-long riverfront park. Filed June 11, the suit by the venerable civic group asks Manhattan State Supreme Court to stop the Trust from proceeding with the project until the authority conducts a new and complete environmental review. The
was charged with two counts each of felony assault and attempted felony assault. El-Amin is charged in assaults — captured on video by a Dallas BBQ customer — that occurred shortly after 11 p.m. on May 5. In the video clip, a large, bald and bearded man who appeared to be BBQ BASH, continued on p. 6
Play that funky music, Doris! As the debate rages over drumming in Washington Square Park, Doris Diether, 86, the doyenne of C.B. 2, enjoyed the show by Tic and Tac and their drummer, L.C., on Sunday. “They’re trying to get the music out of the park again,” she grumbled. “The last time they tried to do that, I managed to kill it.”
Plan to rebuild Beth Israel Hospital one block to north BY LINCOLN ANDERSON
Villager subscriber tipped the newspaper off this week that big changes are afoot at Beth Israel Hospital. Basically, doctors affiliated with the hospital, at E. 16th St. and First Ave., are saying that all kinds of rumors are flying around regarding plans to rebuild the hospital, ideally nearby or, failing that, at the current site. One doctor told the reader that “Mount Sinai Hospital is planning to sell the prop-
erty Beth Israel is on and relocate the hospital.” Providing further details, another doctor informed him that, “At a recent meeting of the Beth Israel medical staff, the C.E.O. told them that the plan is to build a state-of-the-art new hospital one block north of the present hospital. Apple, Google and other high-technology firms are to be involved. The plan is to keep the present hospital open until the new hospital is completed and then sell the
property. If they cannot get the necessary governmental approvals or secure the new land needed, they will renovate the present hospital.” The Villager reader spoke on condition of anonymity and declined to identify the two doctors, saying he feared causing a problem for the doctors and jeopardizing his relationship with them. Asked exactly what the plan is for the venerable HOSPITAL, continued on p. 10
Stonewall National Park? Holy Smokey!.......page 5 X-pogo to pentathlon at H.R.P. Games..........page 12 Lenore lunches with framed ex-con..............page 15 Leroy lobbies for library.............page 24
ponents say. As for when the seven-member judges panel will render their fateful decision, which will forever impact the future of historic, lowscale, world-renowned, irreplaceable Greenwich Village (no pressure, guys!) Miller said it could be as early as next month. However, the court breaks during August, so the decision could come in the fall, he added.
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FINGERS CROSSED: Earlier this month, the Court of Appeals, the state’s highest court, heard the appeal on the community lawsuit against New York University’s South Village expansion megaplan. Among those watching in the courtroom on June 2 were Mark Crispin Miller, the leader of N.Y.U. Faculty Against the Sexton Plan, Terri Cude, Bo Riccobono and Assemblymember Deborah Glick, who is a petitioner on the lawsuit. There weren’t really any new arguments presented, according to Miller. “The court has long since digested all the materials submitted by either side,” he told us. “The question is whether the city had informed the public of the intention for those strips — that was the judges’ questioning. The judges’ question was, ‘Who was the public?’ They were very aggressive in their questioning. They seemed even-handed.” Arguing for the community lawsuit was attorney Caitlin Halligan of Gibson Dunn. “We were very impressed by her performance,” Miller said, noting, “She has argued in that court before.” Meanwhile, making the case for N.Y.U. was Seth Waxman, a former solicitor general under President Bill Clinton. However, an attorney for the city spoke much longer on why the university’s four-building, nearly 2 million-square-foot project should be allowed to proceed. N.Y.U. is called “a necessary party to the lawsuit,” which charges that the city illegally approved the project without the state Legislature ever having voted on whether to formally “alienate” the strips of affected parkland along Mercer St. and LaGuardia Place. The case will surely be precedent setting and have wide ramifications for parks throughout New York State — and, in fact, across the entire country — the N.Y.U. project op-
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RAY’S ‘NEW HEART’: He’s been a virtual iron man, toiling on the overnight shift, while dispensing hot dogs and wry wit, at his Ray’s Candy Store on Avenue A for decades. But earlier this week, Ray Alvarez, 82, went to the hospital with chest pains and labored breathing, and on Tuesday, he had heart-valve replacement surgery at Beth Israel. “He had felt weak for sometime,” said Matt Rosen, who has been a big help to the East Village egg cream maestro in recent years. It was a great relief, he said, to hear that the surgery went O.K. for Ray, real name Asghar Ghahraman. “The procedure was a success,” Rosen said. “His upstairs neighbor saw him in recovery. His doctor was very pleased. Ray should be in the hospital for a few days, and then he faces a several months-long recovery. A number of us are working on getting his apartment outfitted for his recuperation. He was in good spirits all weekend leading up to the surgery. He was excited about his ‘new heart.’ I told him with a new heart, he can stick around another 82 years. He still has a long slog ahead, but this was an important step.” Once he has recuperated, will Ray be back behind the counter and keep pulling those gruelling hours? “Not sure about the night shift for the time being,” Rosen said. “We all thought about it, but it took a backseat to the more pressing issue of the surgery and his immediate recovery. He has some people at the shop taking care
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PHOTO BY ERIK BOTTCHER
PHOTO BY MARILYN ABALOS
Councilmember Rosie Mendez, left, and Congressmember Carolyn Maloney were relishing the moment at Hillary Clinton’s campaign kickoff speech on Roosevelt Island Saturday morning. The island is in Maloney’s district.
Erik Bottcher captioned this shot of his on Facebook: “How far did these people travel to get here? #Hillary2016.”
Dems turn Roosevelt Island into Hillary Island Hillary Clinton rebooted the launch of her presidential campaign with a well-choreographed event and speech on Roosevelt Island Saturday morning. Formerly known as Welfare Island, it was renamed in honor of Franklin Delano Roosevelt in 1971. In her remarks, Clinton lauded both F.D.R. and Eleanor Roosevelt, and cast her campaign in the mold of a new New Deal, saying she would fight for the middle class. In the speech’s most moving moment, she referred to her mother, who was left on her own as a teen and had to work as a maid to survive, and who clearly helped instill determination and drive in her daughter. Although some called Clinton’s speech a “laundry list” of standard Democratic fare, her campaign said that, starting in the weeks to come, she will start rolling out more detailed positions on specific individual issues. In that vein, Mayor Bill de Blasio — who has not endorsed for president yet — did not attend the speech, saying he is still waiting for Clinton to outline her plan to combat income inequality.
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City Club sues to stop Diller / DvF’s Pier55; Named best weekly newspaper in New York State in 2001, 2004 and 2005 by New York Press Association Editorials, First Place, 2014 Overall Design Excellence, First Place, 2013 Best Column, First Place, 2012 Photographic Excellence, First Place, 2011 Spot News Coverage, First Place, 2010 Coverage of Environment, First Place, 2009
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June 18, 2015
PIER55, continued from p. 1
suit charges that the mostly privately funded project — the city is also chipping in $17 million to help build the new pier’s infrastructure — “alienates” public parkland and therefore must receive approval from the state Legislature. The lawsuit contends that the landscaped, square-shaped Pier55 — more an island than a pier — proposed for the Hudson just north of W. 13th St. was “the result of a secretive process designed to reach a predetermined outcome that lacked the transparency required by law and was not designed to solicit meaningful public scrutiny.” An individual plaintiff on the lawsuit is Tom Fox, a club member and Hudson River Park activist who 30 years ago was president of the Trust’s predecessor organization, the Hudson River Park Conservancy. “We want to stop the project right now,” Fox told The Villager. “The public is being hoodwinked. It’s part of the privatization of the waterfront.” Fox said that the $113 million pledged for Pier55 by the Diller - von Furstenberg Family Foundation, “was not a donation, it was an investment.” The project, Fox added, needs a full environmental-impact study — including, he stressed, an analysis at the project’s traffic impact. Last year, the Trust filed an environmental assessment form, or E.A.F., for the “Replacement for Pier 54,” the official designation of the Pier55 project. Major projects require an E.A.F. to determine if there is a “significant environmental impact.” If a significant impact is indicated, a full-scale environmental impact statement, or E.I.S., which could take a year, would follow. But the Trust’s E.A.F. said the project would have “no significant impact,” so no further study was required. However, the lawsuit questions that finding: “HRPT reached the incredible conclusion that erecting a 2.4-acre island in the Hudson River — and driving 547 concrete pilings deep into the sediment-covered bedrock of an estuarine sanctuary protected for habitat, water access…and home to threatened and endangered species and their critical habitat — was free of potential environmental impacts,” the court filing says. The suit charges that the assessment relied on an environmental review conducted 17 years ago and was not about Pier 55 at all but focused on the historic Pier 54, owned by the White Star Line, where the Carpathian landed with the survivors of the 1912 sinking of the Titanic. The Pier55 project began in 2013 with private meetings between the Trust and Diller focused on options to replace the deteriorated Pier 54, the suit says. The Trust and Diller came up with a new plan for an unconventional pier
A design rendering of Pier55, which would be accessible by pedestrian bridges.
adjacent to Pier 54 that became Pier55. Also in 2013, the Trust sponsored successful state legislation to allow the replacement to be built wider than the existing Pier 54. That same bill also allowed the park to sell its unused development rights. Assemblymember Deborah Glick, who is not a party to the City Club action, said last week that at the time she voted in favor of the legislation, the Trust had made no mention of the Diller plan. She said legislators were told the change to Pier 54 would be minimal. But after she discovered the deception, Glick said she called on the Army Corps of Engineers and the state Department of Environmental Conservation — each of which must still review the project — not to approve Pier55. She added that the project should have a full environmental impact study. “There are significant visual issues and traffic impacts with the neighboring Pier 57 redevelopment and the new Whitney Museum,” Glick said. “The project could set dangerous precedents.” In reply to the City Club suit, the Trust last week issued a statement. “We are confident we have followed the law, including conducting an environmental review in accordance with state law, and going beyond what was required by inviting public comment on that review,” the Trust said. Community Board 2 heard the Pier55 proposal at two meetings, and the Hudson River Park Advisory Council, which includes representatives from the community and local politicians, also received a presentation. The environmental assessment is available on the Trust Web site. The Trust insists that the assessment considered the new Pier55 location and did not rely on old information. The project’s supporters remain steadfast despite the City Club chal-
lenge. Margaret Newman, executive director of the Municipal Art Society, affirmed that the society stands behind Pier55. “M.A.S. was proud to testify in support of Pier55 during its extensive public hearing and environmental review process this winter and we remain strong supporters of the project,” Newman said in a statement. “From Brooklyn Bridge Park to the High Line, public/private partnerships have been an indispensable tool for transforming New York’s untapped public spaces. “The fact is that Pier 54 is crumbling and neither the city nor the state has the resources or the will to safely repair it,” Newman said. “To oppose this project is to favor inertia over action, caution tape over ribbon cuttings. Pier55 was conceived with the spirit of cooperation and it deserves the same treatment, even from its detractors.” While Newman and others argue that private money is essential for parks nowadays, Fox disputed the Trust’s claim that the riverfront park is required by law to be self-supporting. “Nothing could be further from the truth,” he said last week. He cited the 1998 Hudson River Park Act, which empowers the Trust to design, develop, operate and maintain the park. The legislation says that, to the extent feasible, the park’s operation and maintenance should be paid by revenues generated within the park, and that those revenues be used only for park purposes. “The language was included to ensure that park revenues be dedicated to the park and not to the city or state’s general fund — not to require that the park be self-sufficient,” Fox explained. Fox said Pier55 would “alienate” PIER55, continued on p. 5 TheVillager.com
Calls project ‘predetermined’ No geysers or Smokey Bear, PIER55, continued from p. 4
park property because 49 percent of the events on the pier would be ticketed. “They can charge up to $1,000 for these events,” he said. “To our mind, it’s taking away what was public.” The Trust and Diller’s Pier55 Inc. group, which would run the pier’s entertainment, assure many of the tickets would be affordable. Again, in environmental terms, Fox said the project’s environmental review was hasty and simply incomplete. “This is not a rebuild or a reconstruction — it’s a new pier,” he stressed. Another individual plaintiff in the action is Tom Buchanan, a club member who teaches journalism and environmental studies at The New School and is active in the human-powered boating community. The suit also complains that Pier55’s new location is an area where kayakers practice their skills and that the project would thus violate the park’s mandate to encourage boating in the river. Michael Gruen, president of the City Club, said the good-government group, founded in 1892, was revived
in 2013 after being dormant for a few years. “The lawsuit fits in with the ‘City for Sale’ problem that we have been addressing,” he said. “We took on the Midtown East zoning issue — essentially opposing the sale of zoning rights — and were able to make some changes. We also opposed a proposed shopping mall in Flushing Meadows Park.” Marcy Benstock, executive director of the New York Clean Air Campaign, told The Villager that she thought the project, which she dubbed “Dillerville,” was a disaster. “Federal law says you can’t build on the water when you have a viable alternative on land,” she said. “Think of the project with three locations [the pier would have three distinct performance venues] that could attract a total of 5,000 people, and imagine a hurricane like the one we had three years ago, coming again out of nowhere and putting those 5,000 people at risk — and putting at risk the firemen and other emergency workers sent to rescue those people,” she warned. Benstock was instrumental in the 1980s in the successful fight against the Westway landfill project along the Hudson.
but Stonewall could be a park
BY LINCOLN ANDERSON
he Stonewall Inn could soon be a city landmark, and if advocates have their way, it could also become a national park. More specifically, a movement is underway to get Christopher Park, the small triangular park located directly across from the famed gay bar, transferred to the U.S. National Park Service. Unlike Yosemite and Yellowstone, though, this effort isn’t being done to create hiking trails and campsites in the small swath of Greenwich Village greenery, or even entice Smokey Bear to visit the Village. The designation would, however, allow for education and programming opportunities, however. Whether these would happen in the actual park itself wasn’t immediately clear. As Robert Atterbury, special assistant to Congressmember Jerrold Nadler, explained it, the real impetus is to give the location of the 1969 Stonewall Riots due respect on par with that of other famed civil-rights sites, “to give it the national significance it deserves,” as he put it. In his second inaugural speech,
President Obama pointedly said, “We, the people, declare today that the most evident of truths — that all of us are created equal — is the star that guides us still; just as it guided our forebears through Seneca Falls, and Selma, and Stonewall.” Seneca Falls, where the suffragette movement was born, and Selma, a pivotal point in blacks’ struggle for civil rights, are both national parks. Yet, Stonewall is not. To start the ball rolling on the effort, the National Parks Conservation Association will hold a community outreach meeting on Tues., June 23, at the L.G.B.T. Center, at 208 W. 13th St., at which there will be a presentation of the proposal. The idea will then go before Community Board 2 in July. The proposal has the support of the area’s local elected officials, including Nadler, state Senator Brad Hoylman, Assemblymember Deborah Glick, City Councilmember Corey Johnson and Borough President Gale Brewer. Speaking of Tues., June 23, the Stonewall Inn also could become an individual New York City landmark as soon as that date as well, when the Landmarks Preservation Commission meets to consider the designation.
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BBQ bash suspect surrenders BBQ BASH, continued from p. 1
a light-skinned black, is seen kicking Jonathan Snipes, 32, on two occasions as others in the restaurant pulled the two men apart. After the second confrontation, Ethan York-Adams, 25, Snipes’s boyfriend, steered Snipes away from his attacker. But the attacker broke free from those A still from a surveillance video at the restraining him, picked up a chair, and Dallas BBQ released by police allegedbashed both Snipes and York-Adams ly showing suspect Bayna-Lehkeim over the head, with York-Adams ap- El-Amin entering the restaurant on May pearing to take the worst of it, falling to 5 before the bashing incident. the ground. Snipes sat down, apparentand punched the guy in the face. Then ly dazed by the blow. The day after the incident, Snipes the guy got up and attacked him.” Since the May 5 melee, the New told DNAinfo.com that after he accidentally spilled a drink, “A table near York City Anti-Violence Project and us audibly started making pretty gross state Senator Brad Hoylman and City comments about the two of us like, Councilmember Corey Johnson have said police were investigating it as ‘White faggots, spilling drinks.’” Snipes told the news Web site that a possible hate crime. However, the he confronted the men — one of whom charges do not yet include hate-crime stood about 6-foot-4 — over the slurs. enhancements. El-Amin reportedly has a total of 18 One of the men stood up, and the inciprevious arrests –– on charges from dent quickly escalated. Hours after Gay City News, on the assault and drug possession to credevening of May 6, first published an it-card fraud — in six states, including article online about the incident, Isaam New York. Initially, police suspected Sharef, who had posted the video of he had fled the state. Several online sites have asserted the confrontation, responded to the newspaper’s queries from earlier in the that El-Amin indicated on his Faceday by writing, “Snipes didn’t go to book page that he is gay, but Gay City 15.PR.3929_1.qxp_Layout 1 4/21/15 11:40 AM Page 1 the table to confront him. He went over News has been unable to confirm this.
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June 18, 2015
POLICE BLOTTER Pickpocket’s plaint A pickpocket in the Meatpacking District picked one pocket too many when a female patron caught him just after midnight on Thurs., June 11. Police soon arrived at Cielo nightclub, at 18 Little W. 12th St. But the suspect, Raul Silva Jr., 52, claimed that the matter was a misunderstanding. “I found that s--- on the floor. I gave the lady her phone. She buggin’,” he said of the 43-year-old woman’s possessions. However, four additional patrons soon noticed that they too were missing personal items. Police said they found a Samsung notebook computer, a 14-karat gold crucifix, car keys, two iPhones, a wallet, New York State identification cards and $40 cash in Silva’s front pants pockets. The purported loot was valued at a total of $2,740. Silva was arrested and charged with grand larceny, a felony.
Unclear window smash Police arrested a 35-year-old Manhattan man outside of Employees Only, the late-night restaurant and bar located at 510 Hudson St. Staff accused Blake Campbell of breaking a front window at about 3:30 a.m. on Wed., June 10, with an unknown implement. He was charged with criminal mischief, a misdemeanor. Police did not disclose more information about the incident.
‘Think I’m scared?”
after a 21-year-old mother feared for her family’s safety. The victim reported her boyfriend had been “pushing and shaking” her inside the apartment she shares with the couple’s two young children. Robert O’Conner, 23, reportedly grabbed a kitchen knife, slammed it into the microwave to break off the blade and held it against his neck, asking the woman, “Do you think I’m scared?” The victim stated to police that O’Conner — a resident of Rochelle Park, N.J. — proceeded to throw food from the refrigerator as well as smash photo frames. The woman’s 68-year-old uncle and her children were in the residence at the time. O’Conner, who has a forearm tattoo which reads “Family,” was arrested for menacing, a misdemeanor.
Fast-food attack A Manhattan man, 27, was caught off guard on Sun., June 14, when he was assaulted by two men outside the McDonald’s at 208 Varick St., near Houston St., around 3:30 a.m. The assailants used an unidentified “deadly instrument” to overpower the victim, causing substantial physical harm, police said. Dijon J. Frasier 27, and Tonye Vickers, 31, both of Manhattan were arrested and charged with felony assault. They did not know the victim personally, according to police. Police did not provide more information on the assault’s motive and the victim’s condition.
Police made an arrest at 83 Washington Place on Fri., June 12, around noon
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PHOTOS BY BOB KRASNER
A weekend triple shot The 10th annual New York Bubble Battle in Union Square really blew. The super-soapy event was organized by Newmindspace, which also is behind International Pillow Fight Day. (By the way, state Senator Brad Hoylman has called for the latter to be banned from Washington Square Park, charging that the revelers have damaged its lawns and foliage at past events.) Meanwhile, at the Cooper Square Committee’s Second Ave. Festival a man was smoking up a storm, slow-cooking some savory meat. And down on the Lower East Side, well, it wasn’t your grandfather’s Orchard St., as PWR BTTM, blasted out their brand of glam rock / queer core at the DayLife summer kickoff street party.
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Washington Square Music Festival A PERFECT WAY TO SPEND A SUMMER EVENING Music Director Lutz Rath and Executive Director Peggy Friedman have announced the 57th season of the Washington Square Music Festival, taking place during June and July on the Main Stage in the center of Washington Square Park. All concerts are free.
Beth Israel’s Linsky Pavillion, on First Ave. at E.16th St.
Harp, Celeste, and Spoken Words Tuesday, June 23, 8 PM
Winds, String, and Voice Tuesday, June 30, 8 PM Festival Chamber Ensemble Max Bruch: Septet for winds and strings (1849) Alexander von Zemlinsky: Maiblumen blühten überal/Mayflowers Bloom All Over for mezzosoprano and string sextet (text by Richard Dehmel), Laila Salins, soloist Ludwig van Beethoven: Septet American Jazz Tuesday, July 7, 8 PM New York Jazzharmonic, 17 piece band Ron Wasserman, Artistic Director and Leader JP Jofre, bandoneon, Elvy Yost, vocalist Music of Billy Strayhorn, Woody Herman, Count Basie, Scott Joplin, John Philip Sousa, JP Jofre, Miho Hazama, and a recreation of the 1938 Carnegie Hall version of Benny Goodman’s Sing Sing Sing. Organized by the Washington Square Music Festival. The Festival is under the auspices of the Washington Square Association, Inc. Seating is provided on a first-come, first-served basis. In case of rain, concerts will take place at NYU’s Frederick Loewe Theatre, 35 West 4th Street. For further information please visit: http://www.washingtonsquaremusicfestival.org/ The Washington Square Music Festival is made possible with public funding through Councilmember Margaret Chin and The New York City Department of Cultural Affairs and New York State Council on the Arts, a State Agency. Generous grants from The Earle K. & Katherine F. Moore Foundation, The Horace Goldsmith W. Foundation, Washington Square Association, Music Performance Trust Fund, The Margaret Neubart Foundation Trust, NYU Office of Government and Community Affairs and NYU Community Fund, Salamon-Abrams Family Fund, Three Sheets/Off the Wagon/Down the Hatch, Con Edison, the Washington Square Park Conservancy and The Alec Baldwin Foundation, are deeply appreciated, as is invaluable help from NYC Parks and Recreation.
June 18, 2015
PHOTO BY BEYOND MY KEN
Festival Chamber Orchestra André Caplet: Conte Fantastique for harp, string quartet, and speaker--from Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Mask of Red Death” Sofia Gubaidulina: Five Etudes for harp, double bass, and percussion Edvard Grieg: Peer Gynt suite for chamber orchestra and harp
Beth Israel rebuild plan HOSPITAL, continued from p. 1
Gramercy healthcare hub, a Mount Sinai spokesperson told The Villager, in a statement, “Mount Sinai is committed to serving the community and offering the highest level of patient care. Our vision is to create a state-ofthe-art hospital at Mount Sinai Beth Israel with exceptional inpatient and outpatient care, as well as essential emergency facilities. Leadership is currently discussing various options to accomplish these goals. No decisions have been made.” Asked if he could speak on the telephone in greater detail about the possible scenarios being considered, the spokesperson declined, saying, “We’re going to let our statement stand for now.” How soon the rebuilding effort would begin wasn’t immediately clear. Mount Sinai merged with Continuum Health Partners nearly two years ago. The group — which is New York City’s largest hospital network — also includes Roosevelt Hospital in Hell’s Kitchen, St. Luke’s Hospital in Morningside Heights and the New York Eye and Ear Infirmary in the East Village. Today located between Stuyvesant Town and Stuyvesant Square, Beth Israel was initially incorporated in 1890 by a group of Orthodox Jews on the Lower East Side to serve the city’s Jewish immigrants. In 1929, Beth Israel moved to a 13-story building at Stuyvesant Square, and in 1964 it
bought the neighboring Manhattan General Hospital on First Ave. After the merger with Mount Sinai in 2013, it officially became known as Mount Sinai Beth Israel. Aron Kay, the “Yippie Pie Man,” 65, has been going to Beth Israel every couple of weeks for the past four of five years to have his chronic leg wounds cleaned out. It’s a medical condition linked to circulation problems, he said. Told by The Villager about the rumored rebuilding plan, he said it was the first he had heard of it. Asked his thoughts on Beth Israel, he said they are “mixed.” “I’ve had some good experiences and some bad experiences,” he said. “At least they let me keep my legs. The treatment is good. The bad part of it is when you’re in a hospital room with three people. Sardine healthcare doesn’t cut it with me. There’s a lack of privacy and people are contagious and who knows what you could come down with?” Kay said he hoped that if the hospital rebuilds, the rooms will be designed to hold fewer patients. Asked if he was aware of the Mount Sinai Beth Israel plan, a spokesperson for North Shore-Long Island Jewish Health System, which runs the HealthPlex at the former St. Vincent’s Hospital site in the West Village, said he had not. The HealthPlex, which opened last year, has a 24-hour emergency department, though is not a full-service hospital. TheVillager.com
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PHOTOS BY MILO HESS
Going all out for fun and for fundraising
June 18, 2015
From extreme pogo to a pentathlon, Saturday’s inaugural Hudson River Park Games filled the Lower West Side waterfront park’s piers, waters and even its airspace, with a day of feel-good competition and games. Goldman Sachs won the coveted Hudson River Park Cup, taking first place among 20 New York companies and community groups. Presented by Friends of Hudson River Park, the Games were not only healthy competition, but a fundraiser (the Games were pay-to-play) for the 5-mile-long park, which receives no government cash for its operations. The Olympic-style pentathlon was the day’s highlight, with teams clashing in back-to-back gruelling games of beach volleyball, flag football and dodgeball, plus kayak races and a daunting obstacle course. Goldman Sachs ultimately prevailed by winning a tug-of-war contest, besting the likes of Circle Line Cruises, PwC, CitiGroup and the all-female squad from 24/7 Staffing. The delivery.com Games Village, at Pier 26 in Tribeca, was the event’s home base, and saw appearances by former Knicks greats John Starks and John Wallace and New York Liberty standout Sue Wicks, who pumped up the energetic crowds for the festivities. There was also a 5K “fun run/walk” for kids and adults, sports clinics, stand-up paddleboard yoga, XPOGO pogostick classes, cardio kickboxing and more. Pier 26 also sported live music and a beer garden (and drinking games) where the pentathletes et al. drank beverages afterward, hopefully noncompetitively.
June 18, 2015
Jean Ritchie, 92, the Village’s ‘Mother of Folk’ OBITUARY BY PAUL DERIENZO
ean Ritchie, an original Village folkie and Appalachian songstress known as the “Mother of Folk,” died on June 1 at the age of 92. Together with her late husband, George Pickow, she turned the dulcimer, a string instrument played on the lap, from a folk music oddity into an international phenomenon, producing them in a workshop under the Williamsburg Bridge. But her albums, films, books and recordings also introduced traditional American folk music to a legion of aspiring young musicians, including a young Bob Dylan — who credited Ritchie as one of his influences, along with Woody Guthrie, Big Bill Broonzy and Lead Belly. The tall, red-haired Richie was born in 1922 in Viper, Kentucky. She was the youngest of 14 children from an old American family of “ballad-singers.” She began her career singing at dances and county fairs in the coal-mining country of eastern Kentucky. The Ritchie family, big and boisterous, descendants of American revolutionaries and confederates alike, believed strongly in education, and she attended Cumberland College, graduating as a teacher. After World War II, Ritchie moved to New York City where she met her future husband while a social worker at the Henry Street Settlement. Famed American folklorist Alan Lomax introduced her to
Jean Ritchie with Oscar Brand on the cover of their 1957 album “Riddle Me This,” a collection of traditional courtship and riddle songs.
Pickow, a photographer and documentary filmmaker, at a square dance held at the settlement. Lomax recorded and interviewed thousands of folk musicians in the United States and abroad, recording Ritchie extensively for the Library of Congress American folk music collection. Many of the recordings occurred at jam sessions in Lomax’s West Village apartment. Ritchie met folksinger and WNYC radio host OsT:8.75” car Brand in 1949 through Lomax as well. Brand im-
mediately put her on his weekly radio show, which he still hosts every Sunday on WNYC. Ritchie, Pickow and Brand became fast friends, traveling through Europe together in search of new songs. Ritchie appeared more than any other guest on Brand’s show, “Folksong Festival.” They lived near each other in Port Washington, Long Island, for years. Ritchie was renowned for her parties where celebrities and the not-so-famous could mingle, listen to music and have fun. At these informal get-togethers, she often sang with Pete Seeger, Odetta and Doc Watson. Her goddaughter, Jeannie Brand DeRienzo, also this writer’s sister-in-law, remembers Ritchie’s “sharp wit and high, trilling laugh” and her “love of company.” “I see folk music as a river that never stopped flowing,” she told The New York Times in 1980. “Sometimes a few people go to it and sometimes a lot of people do. But it’s always there.” Jean Ritchie was also an activist on behalf of coal miners living under scandalously poor conditions in the Cumberland Mountains. She sang in a haunting soprano voice about death in the coal mines and the environmental and economic devastation wrought by mining companies. Her song “West Virginia Mine Disaster” told about how a negligent coal company caused the death by drowning of four young married coal miners in 1968. Her song “Blackwater” told about the devastation of mountaintop-removal coal mining. George Pickow died in 2010 and Jean Ritchie retired to Berea, Kentucky. She is survived by two sons. A tribute is planned for New York later this year.
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Wrongly convicted, he’s making up for lost time RHYMES WITH CRAZY BY LENORE SKENAZY
effrey Deskovic is curious about everyone and everything. He goes to lectures and reaches out to people, including me. When I met the 41-year-old Throggs Neck activist for breakfast at City Coffee in Jackson Heights last week, he asked the weary waitress where she was from. “Peru,” she replied, and she perked up when talk turned to her country’s purple corn drink — chicha morada. “It is very delicious but you must drink it ice-cold.” “Bring me one of those!” said Jeff. Jeff is making up for lost time: The 16 years he spent behind bars for a rape and murder he didn’t commit. Jeff was exonerated in 2006. A new DNA test matched a convict doing time for another rape and murder. Since getting out, Jeff has been bringing attention to wrongful convictions and false confessions — like the one he made, at age 16.
You may remember the case. It was up in Peekskill, N.Y., where Jeff was born and raised by his mom and grandma. The victim was a 15-yearold girl at his high school. Jeffrey caught the attention of police for a bizarre reason: He seemed too deeply upset. The cops spent the next six weeks focusing on Jeff. “Half the time, they talked to me as if I was a suspect,” he said. “The other time they would pretend they needed my help to solve the crime. They’d say, ‘Kids won’t talk freely around us. They will around you.’ They were asking my opinions and
congratulating me on my insights.” For a shy young man who’d dreamed of becoming a police officer, these were heady, confusing times. One day the cops said they had new, special information to give him, but it was so sensitive that first he would have to take a lie detector test. He skipped school for this incredible privilege and three cops drove him out of town. There, for the next six hours, they kept him in a small room, giving him endless cups of coffee — as if he wasn’t shaky enough — but no food. “After 40 minutes, the polygrapher started giving me the third degree,” he recalled. “He raised his voice and kept asking me the same questions over and over. As each hour goes by, my fear escalates, and toward the end he said, ‘What do you mean you didn’t do it! You just told me through the test results that you did! We just want you to verbally confirm it!’ That shot my fear through the roof. “It was then that the cop who pretended to be my friend told me the other cops were going to harm me — he said he’d been holding them back but couldn’t indefinitely. And he added if I did as they wanted, they would stop and I could go home afterwards.”
Jeffrey fell to the floor and curled into fetal position, sobbing. But he gave them their confession. The false one that sent him to prison. There was no other evidence against him. His semen did not match that found on the victim, but the prosecutor said it didn’t matter because the girl was promiscuous — even though police interviewed 19 friends who confirmed that she had never had a boyfriend, much less sex. But those interviews were kept from Jeff’s Legal Aid lawyer, who, for his part, never bothered to interview Jeff’s alibi — the boy he’d been playing Wiffle ball with at the time of the murder. After 15 years behind bars, Jeff finally came up for parole. He still said he was innocent. To the board, this meant he was not taking responsibility for his actions. Parole denied. He was freed only after the Innocence Project took his case and did the new DNA test. Jeff sued the prosecutors who kept the evidence from his lawyer, and his lawyer who didn’t interview his alibi, and the polygrapher who said the test SKENAZY, continued on p. 18
We went to the library to get our IDNYC. We were in and out in no time and it was free! Next stop—exploring the City’s gardens and zoos with free memberships!
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June 18, 2015
PHOTO BY HONEY MILLMAN
A homeless person slept on the sidewalk recently next to the East Village explosion site at Second Ave. and E. Seventh St. It wasn’t known if the small house at right was his or not.
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR Bring in the noise! To The Editor: Re “Drumbeat builds for reining in noisy music in Wash. Sq.” (news article, June 11): I can no longer visit Washington Square Park like I did for the last 35 years because the gentry ran me out of New York City. I have plenty of “peace and quiet” now living in North Carolina, and I long for the noise and life that has been the Washington Square way for as long as anyone alive can remember. I think it is really interesting that someone who identifies with the Stonewall Riots now wants
quiet rights in the park. Ha! For some reason, people seem to have been able to live around the park, with all the noise, for years and years, but now they are unable to live there anymore because of the noise. If that applies to you, I suggest that you move somewhere else. I had no choice since I am disabled and cannot afford New York City anymore. Move, a--holes! I have no sympathy for you and your “noise problems” whatsoever. “Eat the Rich” is a slogan I heard from Yippies in Washington Square for years, and perhaps I should have listened to that more closely, since they are eating York City neighborhoods and parks bit by bit every day.
P.S.: I just called Jerry The Peddler and Aron Kay, the “Yippie Pie Man,” and suggested they revive the July 4 pot smoke-in in Washington Square Park this summer. John Penley
Clayton keeping it real To The Editor: Re “Reform of 7th Community Council is long overdue” (talking point, by Clayton Patterson, June 4): It’s a shame the L.E.S. has devolved into some manner of roving frat party. Great work by Clayton showing that the new New York is not always the “Sex in the City” wonderland that it is made out to be. Simon John Heath
Backroom dealers To The Editor: Re “It’s a race!” (Scoopy’s Notebook, June 4): I’m always dismayed, and amused, when so-called progressive activists work behind the scenes to try and influence others not to run for elected office. Whether they are worthwhile candidates or not, or your candidate of choice or not, it is patently undemocratic. It’s a gross and hypocritical LETTERS, continued on p. 18
June 18, 2015
The justifications for raising heights fall flat TALKING POINT BY ANDREW BERMAN
rent. In fact, I am aware of none who have cited height limits as the sole reason for their not opting in. So what makes the city think that just lifting the height caps would result in more affordable housing? The more likely outcome is that there would be no greater production of affordable housing than with the existing rules — yet buildings that are, nevertheless, up to 31 percent taller. And giving developers a large height boost for new development by simply including a small percentage of units for “senior affordable housing” seems that it would be, at best, a tool used by some developers to increase the height of their luxury developments, with little public benefit. Among the situation’s ironies is that there are two proposals by the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation, broadly supported by the community and elected officials, to rezone the South Village and University Place/Broadway, which actually would have the effect the city claims its own plan would have: namely, improving the quality of new buildings designs and increasing the production of housing, especially affordable housing. But the city has thus far refused to act upon the society’s two rezoning proposals. In the South Village, we are seeking to eliminate zoning that allows 300-foot-tall dorms and other university facilities. Our proposal is
Luxury developers simply want taller ceilings to ‘max out’ on their allowable square footage — and their profits.
Right now, in a few areas — including a swath of the East Village — developers can opt into a program where they get to build bulkier buildings, with more square feet, in exchange for reserving 20 percent of units as “affordable.” Some builders choose to do this — they actually get to create more luxury units this way than they otherwise would have — but some don’t. The city contends if we lift the height limits in these areas, developers will build more affordable units. Even if one accepts the city’s premise that it’s worthwhile to allow developers to build additional luxury housing in exchange for also building a small amount of affordable housing, the assertion that increasing height limits will get more developers to do the latter is not supported by the evidence. Some developers opt into the program with the height limits exactly as they are. Those that don’t frequently cite issues like “economy of scale” and complicated bureaucracies attached to the program as reasons for not opting in, which this plan would not change. Few developers, if any, cite existing height limits as a deter-
to replace that with contextual zoning, which would limit new development to no more than an appropriate seven or eight stories, and encourage residential rather than university development. The city has refused to consider it. Around University Place and Broadway, we are also seeking to replace outdated zoning that allows more than 300-foot-tall towers, like the one planned for the Bowlmor site at E. 12th St. Our proposal calls for new contextual zoning that would limit new development to no more than between seven and 12 stories, with the above-mentioned affordable housing opt-in. Right now, there is no affordable housing component whatsoever to the zoning for this area. Thus, the tower planned for the Bowlmor site will be exclusively luxury condos. Under our zoning proposal, it would be no more than 12 stories, and might include 20 percent affordable units. But the city has refused to act upon this proposal, as well. If the city’s zoning plan passes, the height caps we are seeking for these two areas would also be lifted, though they would still be vastly better than the 300 or more feet allowed there currently. Rather than focusing on its dubious rezoning plan — which offers few, if any, benefits to anyone other than developers — the city should move ahead with the rezoning proposals for the South Village and University Place/ Broadway, which clearly would benefit not only our neighborhood, but the city as a whole. Berman is executive director, Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation
PHOTO BY BOB KRASNER
ast month, some changes were announced to a controversial citywide rezoning plan — known as Zoning for Quality and Affordability — which would raise height limits for residential construction across the five boroughs. The good news: The changes are a step in the right direction, eliminating or reducing some of the proposed increases in allowable height. The bad news: Most of the proposed increases are still in the plan, which thus will raise the height of new developments in our neighborhoods, but likely do little or nothing to increase the quality or affordability of new housing in New York. And the plan is moving toward the formal public hearing, review and approval process, with its ultimate fate to be decided by our community boards, borough presidents, the City Planning Commission and the City Council. The plan would lift the height limits for new residential construction in “contextual zoning” districts — districts with explicit, required height limits intended to ensure that new development matches the context of its surroundings. In addition, the zoning scheme would also lift the optional height limits that developers are encouraged (through zoning incentives) but not required to follow in all other districts. The height limits, when raised, would go up modestly for market-rate developments, and more substantially — as much as 31 percent — for projects that set aside a fraction of units for affordable housing or affordable senior housing. The changes would not only affect existing rules governing neighborhoods, including our own and others — rules that, in some cases, we fought long and compromised considerably for in order to secure. In fact, the changes would affect rules for future districts, as well, such as the contextual zoning districts we are seeking in the South Village and along the University Place/Broadway corridors, where developments 300 feet tall or higher are currently allowed. The city’s premise is that raising height limits and loosening other requirements for new developments will make for “better quality” housing, with more attractive designs. But the evidence does not back this up. If you look at areas of the city with less-restrictive zoning, you tend to ac-
tually get less-attractive designs, not more. So what’s the real reason for this proposed change? In some cases, developers cannot ” on their allowable square footage while abiding by the required height limits and including the high ceiling heights they like to charge exorbitant prices for. But do we really need to lift height restrictions in residential neighborhoods to accommodate that? The city’s argument for the more dramatic increase in allowable height for developments with a small affordable or senior affordable component are equally flawed. These rules would apply only in a small percentage of the zoning districts throughout the city, so the premise that this plan is about creating more senior housing and more affordable housing seems woefully overstated, at best.
On the dark side
A mysterious figure at April’s Easter Parade on Fifth Ave. June 18, 2015
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR LETTERS, continued from p. 16
display of the very political backroom dealing being criticized. Then, to talk about it openly, is the height of political vanity. Talk about the downside of being entrenched. Patrick Shields
Let’s spread the word
civic religion is in New York City.” How many councilmembers have received campaign funds from the Real Estate Board of New York’s PAC? You might be surprised. But then you might not be surprised that they are satisfied with the status quo. Again, I can’t understand why this isn’t more widely known. Robin Morris
Enough with ‘same old’ To The Editor: Re “Hope or hype? Battle of the small business bills” (talking point, To The Editor: Re “Hope or hype? Battle of the by Sharon Woolums, June 4): small business bills” (talking point, I can’t understand how this is not being discussed more. We are in a by Sharon Woolums, June 4): The bottom line is we as a city are state of crisis. Every month 1,000 to 1,200 small businesses are forced to in a crisis! Either we solve this urgent close due to rent hikes. It’s called the matter costing us jobs at more than Small Business Jobs Survival Act for a 8,000 per month, and destroying the reason. How many jobs are lost each fabric of every community in New York City on all of our main streets, iNTek provides: time a small business loses its lease? Pick-up / Drop-off and On-site Computer Repair I went to a forum for the S.B.J.S.A. in all five boroughs, or we do nothing like Brewer’s 30-year-old “landwith Tom Tech Angotti, the Remote author of — Online Support and Computer Support lord bill.” “New York For Sale.” “Right now,” Online Service Requests — http://intek.nyc/help Or we can save small businesses he said, “there are banners up all over before at the West 44th Street Garage June 6they become extinct in New theVisit cityusthat say, ‘New York City: real Sale, from 10 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and enter for your chance to win York City by actually putting some estate capital of the world,’ and that a $50.00 gift card from BEA | Restaurant & Bar. fairness and rights on the tenant’s pretty much sums up what the basic
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side for once and make the lease-renewal process work justly for all parties. This would end the illegal extortion of tenants, and give a good-standing tenant a right to a renewal for a new ten-year lease at a rational rate instead of 200, 300 or 1,000 percent increases! The time for the same old political delays, like the Brewer bill, are over, and the time for real leadership to pass this important, long-overdue legislation to save small businesses has come! The Small Business Jobs Survival Act — the S.B.J.S.A. — is the solution, and will end this crisis, saving many tens of thousands of jobs each year! Let’s put people, jobs and community first for a change with basic rights and fairness. Get involved NYC! For more information, go to www.saveNYCjobs.org . Steven Barrison
Puma packed a punch To The Editor: Re “The ‘Kiss Punch’ poetry collider” (arts article, June 11): What a great concept. Half the poets are half-comedians anyway. Thanks for the coverage of this unique scene, Puma. And Taylor Mali is great! You were in good company there, for sure. Jeff Wright
Hating rent regulation To The Editor: Re “Pols arrested in Albany as rent war ratchets up” (news article, June 4): Corey Johnson is the ever-consummate bleeding-heart liberal Chelsea/Village politician fighting for his right to hold office. What
easier way to curry favor than to keep these arcane inequitable random laws on the books? Of course, I will vote for any politician that fights for my number one concern: Keep my rent on my apartment low. What do I care if my neighbor who makes the same salary as I do pays three times more? Donnie Moder
Who’s feeding rats?! To The Editor: Re “E.V. rat reservoir seems bottomless, they say” (news article, April 23): Gerard Flynn’s survey of the East Village rat population was graphic and chilling. My dog frequently comes across diurnal Tompkins Park rodents even mid-afternoon. However, Mr. Flynn is decidedly wrong in quoting Department of Health accusations of “crazies…who feed the pigeons.” Sorry, those few who throw bits of bread are rewarded by avian consumption of their largesse immediately. Rodent reality comes from the well-meaning missionary trucks that distribute food. Their recipients leave plates, cups and boxes of food on the sidewalk, under and on the benches, on the grass itself. Everywhere except in the garbage cans. Harry Rolnick E-mail letters, not longer than 250 words in length, to news@thevillager. com or fax to 212-229-2790 or mail to The Villager, Letters to the Editor, 1 Metrotech North, 10th floor, Brooklyn, NY, NY 11201. Please include phone number for confirmation purposes. The Villager reserves the right to edit letters for space, grammar, clarity and libel. Anonymous letters will not be published.
Wrongly convicted of rape SKENAZY, continued from p. 15
had “proven” his guilt — and won. With that money, he set up a foundation to help the unjustly imprisoned. Now a lawyer, investigator and paralegal work on exonerating people behind bars for no reason — and helping them once they get out. But most of all, they’re working to prevent wrongful convictions in the first place. There’s a bipartisan bill in Albany that would create a commission on
prosecutor conduct, Jeff says. The commission would punish prosecutors who railroad defendants. And with that he finished his story and his chicha morada. He smiled at the waitress, and headed out into a beautiful June day. He has lots to do. For more information, visit www. deskovic.org or write to email@example.com. Skenazy speaks at conferences, companies and schools about her book and blog “Free-Range Kids” TheVillager.com
June 18, 2015
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Leroy talking himself blue in the face for funds! BY ZACH WILLIAMS
June 18, 2015
Leroy entertained young children at the Hudson Library Branch with the help of children’s librarian Kristy Raffensberger.
school programs, even author talks.” Staff at the Hudson Park Library conceived him as part of the 45th anniversary celebrations of “Sesame Street” last fall. A crowdsourced fundraising effort financed his production by toy company FAO Schwarz. Dozens of local children voted on his features, which include an orange, puff-ball nose and debonair robe with bow-tie. Leroy took on a pedagogical role following his debut at an exhibit in honor of the famed children’s TV program. He’s become a prominent attraction for local toddlers and babies as they expand their intellectual horizons through the traditional media of sing-alongs and storybook time at the South Village-area library branch, located at 66 Leroy St. At a May 29 event held there for infants, library staffer Chris Ruiz played the guitar while children’s librarian Kristy Raffensberger helped Maestro Leroy conduct. It was fun and games, but with plenty of mental stimulation for several dozen young minds. The branch’s infant and toddler patrons responded with glee to the enthusiastic renditions of childhood singalongs.
PHOTO BY JONATHAN BLANC/THE NEW YORK PUBLIC LIBRARY
PHOTOS BY ZACH WILLIAMS
dvocates want to restore $65 million in cuts to public libraries made since 2008 as city councilmembers negotiate the city’s budget this summer. They have enlisted residents to write reams of support letters. But where the written word reaches its limits, they have another tool in their lobbying arsenal: a toddler-sized puppet who goes by the name Leroy Hudson. The fuzzy-haired hand puppet appeared at Seward Park Library on June 1, just one of nine scheduled sites across the city where library supporters rallied for increased city funding. He also appeared in a recent video made by staff members at his Hudson Park Library home, at Hudson and Leroy Sts. Local libraries received $300 million in Mayor de Blasio’s proposed 10-year capital plan, but library representatives say $1.4 billion would more comprehensively address many branches’ aging infrastructure. “Some libraries are crumbling,” the blue-headed Leroy says in a video. “Some libraries need elevators. Some libraries have leaky roofs. With your support we can give you even more of what you want: more books, more programming, more classes, more bubbles, more music.” Leroy’s video further urges library supporters to contact city councilmembers, attend rallies and join their letter-writing campaign, which has neared 70,000 participants, according to a New York Public Library spokesperson. Despite the novel fuzz-covered advocate, library staff were quick to emphasize that Leroy is by no means a full-time “political puppet.” His true role lies in assisting educational programs for young children and babies. Nonetheless, he added a curious element to the rally at Seward Park Library, according to Lakisha Brown, the library’s manager. She said that the colorful Leroy is a good example of how libraries can accommodate neighborhood needs and present educational resources to children. Yet, only three percent of city library branches are open seven days a week, she noted. And her branch needs window and elevator repairs, she added. “Libraries are, and have always been, a place where anyone can go to get free access to information,” she said. “And today, that information can be books, or Internet access, or ESOL classes, early-literacy programs, computer training, after-
Supporters rallied on June 1 at the Seward Park Library on the Lower East Side to call for greater funding for the city’s public libraries. TheVillager.com
Daisy: You won’t regret giving her an extra pet NYCritters BY FACEBOY
PHOTO BY FACEBOY
illagers may remember the tale of “Operation Molly,” which was coordinated by Animal Care and Control of New York to rescue a cat that had been trapped for nearly two weeks inside a wall at Myers of Keswick — a traditional British grocery store for bangers, meat pies and other imported items — on Hudson St. in Greenwich Village. How Molly survived is still a mystery, but the story received widespread attention, including an April 2006 article in The Villager by Albert Amateau. There’s little doubt about it, we New Yorkers love our shop cats! Unfortunately, the New York City health code prohibits animals in places where human food is sold. Pictured above is Daisy. She resides in the Pet Bar, an independently owned shop at 132 Thompson St. A recent interview with the owner, Jimmy Elmemeh, illuminated many interesting facts about both Daisy and his store. According to the vets at the shelter
Daisy is the princess at Soho’s Pet Bar.
where Daisy, now 13, was adopted, she was about two years old when found abandoned in a bag left in a garage. “She’s in great health and a wonderful cat,” Elmemeh said. “She’s actually the princess — the boss of the store. She is the boss!” Asked how Daisy can refrain from playing with the myriad catnip toys surrounding her, he said, “I think she’s kind of like an old, wise lady. I mean, she’s very wise and she’s been
around all of these toys forever. We have some nights where we come in and find some toys opened, ruined or completely destroyed by Daisy. She gets parties every once in a while, you know? But she’s a very good girl.” Having patronized the Pet Bar for many years, yours truly can attest to Daisy’s extremely friendly demeanor. Sometimes she’ll gently use her paw to guide my hand under her chin for an extra pet before I depart.
The Pet Bar first gained attention in 1991 when it started offering psychic pet readings as an annual Halloween tradition. This continued for 10 years but was dropped due to the profusion of copycats. The shop was also among the first to offer high-quality, gourmet pet foods and many other specialty items. Rising rents, competition from corporate giants and Internet sales have all contributed to a decline in Elmemeh’s and many independent retailers’ businesses. There is a perception that online purchasing is a bargain hunters’ paradise. But Elmemeh has stated, “We guarantee our prices to be the lowest. If it’s not, we’ll match it.” Getting back to Molly, readers may wonder what has become of her. Jenny Myers, Myers of Keswick’s current proprietor, assures that Molly is doing well. “She’s still going strong,” Myers said. “She now resides in our home, but sometimes on trips to the vet, she’ll drop by the store.” You can visit Daisy and get all of your pet’s food and toys weekdays from 10:30 a.m. to 9 p.m., Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Perhaps your hand too will be guided to that extra pet that no cat lover will ever regret.
June 18, 2015
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June 18, 2015
To Advertise Call: 646-452-2490 LegalAds@TheVillager.com Deadline â€“ 12 noon Wednesday
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June 18, 2015
It’s all on the line for O’s and Royals in Game 3 SPORTS BY JAYSON CAMACHO
The Orioles’ Jack Teitelbaum fired in up at bat in Game 1.
hit and one walk. The Royals just couldn’t get it going on offense in the first game. They weren’t aggressive at the plate and watched many strikes for a called strike three. Their pitching wasn’t on par either. Nathan Steinfeld had a very rough start to the game, allowing five runs in the first inning — two of those runs coming from a two-run homer by Elijah Meltzer. Steinfeld struggled to find the strike zone and walked six batters. He allowed five runs, including two earned runs. He
PHOTO BY JAYSON CAMACHO
he first two games of the Greenwich Village Little League’s Majors American Division Championship series packed James J. Walker Field with family members and fans on Sunday. The best-of-three series featured the No. 1 seed Orioles versus the No. 3 seed Royals. The format featured a doubleheader on Sunday, followed by a third game on Thursday, if needed. The Majors A Championship has always been a great event for G.V.L.L. It draws tons of attention from many families in the league, making it hard to find a seat in the crowd of baseball fans. This year’s series brought forth many concerns over pitching and catching rules. The Orioles took the field first in the first game with Jack Teitelbaum on the mound. Teitelbaum has beenclutch for the team this season and been reliable in all of his outings. He came up big again on Sunday, throwing a complete-game shutout, striking out 11 batters, giving up only one
Dylan Hart pitched the final two outs of the fifth inning. In the bottom of the fifth, only needing a run to clinch the “mercy” rule, Leo Rahn came up with the bases loaded and two outs and — “Lord, have mercy!” — hit a single up the middle to end it. Speaking after the game, the team’s manager, John Economou, spoke about the team’s success. “We’ve stuck with the same game plan all year and played errorless baseball,” he said. “Allow very few walks and wait for your pitch at the plate to drive a hit. We’ve been fortunate enough to have good pitching and a pitch as the Royals’ Dylan Hart was good hitting at the right times. Let’s see if our luck continues in Game 2.” Asked what the Royals were going only lasted an inning before being to do for Game 2, Larry Roberts, their replaced by Paolo Riley-Bell. manager, said, “Well we didn’t bring Riley-Bell was also unable to stop our ‘A’ game, but we are looking at the strong-swinging O’s. He threw 74 this as something to learn from. Next pitches in his three-and-one-third in- game, we need to play better defense nings of relief. The O’s were a hitting and we need to score runs early. If we machine and made a strong push to score some runs early, it’ll be easier to “mercy” their opponent — by scoring control the game.” enough runs to end the game early. The Royals arrived for the afterWith a “mercy,” the Birds wouldn’t noon game with focus etched on their have to worry about pitching chang- faces, eager to get revenge for the es and could save their arms for the “mercy” earlier in the day. The pitchsecond game. Riley-Bell allowed five ing matchup featured Caden Roberts, runs (four earned) and five walks. the Royals’ ace, versus Caleb Tobocman. The Royals took the field To Advertise Call first. From the game’s first pitch, LegalAds@T Deadline – 12 no it was clear that the momentum had shifted to the Royals. Roberts shut out the O’s for the first three innings before allowing two runs in the fourth. He pitched five innings before handing the ball over to Finn Kaplan-Moore. Roberts gave up six hits, two runs (one earned) and notched 11 strikeouts. He did his job and shut down the O’s. On offense, the rest of the Royals made sure to do their part. They hit Tobocman well and were leading 5-0 by the end of the third inning. Not helping himself, Tobocman’s control was off, and he walked five SAVE MONEY batters (only 57 percent of his pitches were strikes). The O’s BY SHOPPING IN OUR two errors were both very costCLASSIFIEDS ly and resulted in Royals’ runs. Nothing was going well for the Birds. After pitching three innings and giving up four hits and five runs (three earned), Tobocman was replaced by Michael McCusker. McCusker shut down the Royals, holding SAVE them hitless, but the Orioles’ MONEY offense couldn’t generate any more runs. The Royals won the game 5-2, BY SHOPPING IN OUR forcing a Game 3, which will be Search CLASSIFIEDS played on Thurs., June 18.
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June 18, 2015
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June 18, 2015
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of things, but his health is obviously the most important thing.” Needless to say, it would be more than hard for Ray to give up working at his beloved Belgian fries and beignets mecca, where he famously churned out “Obama fries” after Barack Obama’s first election. “The store is his world, yes, so we’ll see,” Rosen said. “One day at a time for now.”
LIKE KISS WITHOUT MAKEUP: As many readers know by now, the man behind the popular East Village blog EV Grieve recently revealed his identity — right before a reporter for Bedford + Bowery was about to out the staunchly anonymous blogger. His name is John Elsasser. An Ohio native, 49, he edited both his high school and Ohio State University newspapers, then did a stint working as a local reporter. Elsasser has lived in the East Village since 1994 when he moved to New York. He launched Grieve in 2007 as blogging was starting to blow up. His day job since ’94, the B + B writer, Elizabeth Flock, reported is as editor in chief of The Strategist, a magazine of the Public Relations Society of America. In a letter from the editor that Elsasser posted on Sunday, a day before Flock’s piece went live, he said he works for “a nonprofit,” which, in fact, the P.R.S.A. is. In his letter, Elsasser said he had been thinking of revealing his name for the past several years, but dragged his feet. In his defense, he said, Grieve isn’t a personal blog but a neighborhood blog. At any rate — as clearly can be seen from the myriad angry posts on her article — many of his followers are furious at Flock’s
forcing his hand and making him reveal who he is — and possibly “flocking up” the blog’s future. What’s next for Grieve remains to be seen. “I’ve always loved this neighborhood, for better or worse, and I probably always will,” Elsasser wrote in his letter. “That sounds corny, but it’s true. That drives me more than anything. I’m not sure really what’s next for the site. We’ll see how this goes.” He later added, “[Updated: I’m not planning on shutting down the site right this moment ... I’ll keep posting for the time being...].” (Makes us think of another Midwesterner who also became a legendary East Village blogger: the late Bob Arihood of Neither More Nor Less.)
SIXTH AVE. SITUATION: By getting police to crack down on enforcing the byzantine rules on sidewalk vending, the Village Alliance business improvement district finally managed to move the book vendors off of Sixth Ave. south of Eighth St. “Four years ago when we started,” William Kelley, the BID’s executive director told us, “the vendors had taken over the east side of Sixth Ave. for two solid blocks. They were selling not only books, but both legal and illegal merchandise, and were also not following city vending laws. We had complaints from local merchants as well as residents that they did not feel safe walking along this stretch of Sixth Ave., and that it was impacting the local retail economy. Since that time we have worked with the Sixth Precinct to enforce existing laws consistently.” The arcane regs include one table per vendor, legal merchandise only, no vending in tree pits, no vending from the ground, no vending against buildings, no vending within 20 feet of business or residential doorways and no vending at bus stops. When
we walked by the other night, a guy sitting in a lawnchair set up by the curb was trying to sell a man a bunch of flowers. “Just giving me a dollar for it!” he haggled with the buyer. It’s not clear if “vending flowers from a lawn chair” is covered in the regulations, but with all those other rules, he was probably violating at least one of them. “It was never our intention to eliminate all vending, but simply to have vendors follow the law and operate in an orderly manner,” Kelley explained. “Book vendors do still operate on occasion near the old Barnes & Noble, one of the only spots where it is legal to vend. Neighbors feel much safer in the immediate environs around the subway station entrance, and merchants have also been happy with the way things are now.” The reason they can vend outside the former B & N is because it has a long stretch without doors, Kelley said. But what is currently really getting his goat is the broken glass in two doors, namely the ones of that same former B & N, whose space was taken over by a bank. “TD Bank has let fester those two shattered front doors since December 2014,” Kelley said. “They refuse to fix them, despite repeated requests. Not to mention they have had a lease for almost two years and done nothing to move forward on tenanting the property. It just adds to the general sense of decline in the area, even though so much has changed for the better on Eighth St.” When we passed by the other night, those doors were indeed even more cracked up than the last time we looked at them. At what point, you have to wonder, will the glass start to fall out of the doors and really injure someone badly? C’mon, TD Bank, fix those doors! And, while you’re at it, do something with that property!
Clayton Patterson at Howl Happening gallery
owl Happening is presenting “Outside IN,” an exhibition of Lower East Side documentarian Clayton Patterson’s photography and art. The opening reception is Fri., June 19, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., at the gallery, at 6 E. First St., between the Bowery and Second Ave. The exhibition runs through Aug. 14. Also in the show will be paintings by Elsa Rensaa. The opening will be streamed live, free at @ howlarts.org . “The exhibition goes beyond Patterson’s work as a documentarian to examine the full range of his artistic practice, including sculpture, photographs, fashion and books, as well as paintings by his wife and lifelong collaborator, Elsa Rensaa,” a press release for the show notes. Patterson has been documenting Downtown since he and Rensaa moved from Canada to New York in 1979. They briefly lived in Soho, whose art scene Patterson found to be pretentious, before moving to the then-gritty Lower East Side. “Like the works of Jacob Riis and Weegee before him, his photos cap-
June 18, 2015
Clayton Patterson making a statement in the 1980s.
ture moments of real life as they’re happening, unglamorized and unromanticized,” the gallery notes. “The ‘Front Door’ photo-portraits on view
at the gallery present a kind of mosaic of the neighborhood as it was, one face at a time: tenement kids and homeless people, poets and politicians, drug
dealers and drag queens, rabbis and santeros, beat cops, graffiti writers, hookers, junkies, punks, anarchists, squatters, mystics and crackpots.” Patterson refers to this project — in which he took photos of people in front of his Essex St. home’s front door — as “the people’s photography.” Also in the show are sculptural cabinets crafted from artifacts Patterson found on the street, ranging from toys, teeth and bullets to scraps of posters and postcards. “As an artist, you have to use what life offers you,” Patterson said. “It’s about remaining creative and following that path.” Also on view are the distinctive Clayton Caps he and Rensaa manufactured. More recently, Patterson has organized and edited several massive books on the storied neighborhood’s history as explained by people who lived it and shaped it: “Captured,” on the L.E.S. as an incubator for underground film and avant-garde video; “Resistance,” on its radical political and social history; and “Jews: A People’s History of the Lower East Side.” TheVillager.com
June 18, 2015
SUMMER IN THE CITY JOIN US FOR SAILS, SOUNDS AND SALES!
On the Hudson Waterfront | 230 Vesey St.
Celebrate Fatherâ€™s Day Weekend at Brookfield Place Special offerings from Vilebrequin, Paul Smith & more! Details at brookfieldplaceny.com
Saturday, June 20 Summer Sail-stice One-hour Sailboat Rides, $35 Per Person Offshore Sailing Lobster Rolls and Ice Cream on the Waterfront, brought to you by Little Muenster
Sunday, June 21 Bang on a Can Marathon (Winter Garden at Brookfield Place) Street Studio presented by Found Sound Nation, a mobile recording studio equipped for passersby and Marathon musicians alike to spontaneously create and record original music!
brookfieldplaceny.com | 32
June 18, 2015