VOLUME 26, NUMBER 4
SHAKESPEARE IN B.P.C., P. 19
JULY 17-JULY 30, 2013
CITY IS KEEPING SEAPORT MUSEUM AFLOAT BY TERESE LOEB KREUZER eports of the South Street Seaport Museum’s demise were premature. The museum has a new board of directors and a new interim president, Jonathan Boulware. “This is an organization that has not been closed but rather one that is alive and open,” Boulware said on July 8, his first official day in his new job. “While our galleries [at 12 Fulton St.] are not in any condition to open because of Sandy-related damage, our collections are quite safe,” he added. “Those parts of the museum that we can operate, we intend to oper-
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TROUBLED CLUB KEEPS DODGING BULLET
Downtown Express photo by Terese Loeb Kreuzer
A bicycle carousel at Fete Paradiso on Governors Island this summer dates from 1897. Back then, bicycles were a novelty and many people were afraid to ride them. Carousels of this type allowed them to get accustomed to this new mode of transportation.
Vintage carousels transform Governors Island park BY T E RE S E LO E B K R E U Z E R nder the tall, old trees of Nolan Park on Governors Island, an enchanted tableau unfolds this summer, transporting visitors back to late 19th-century and early 20th-century Europe. Fete Paradiso, the world’s first festival of vintage carni-
val rides and carousels, has been installed among Nolan Park’s 19th-century houses. A beautifully carved pipe organ dating from 1910 provides the soundtrack for the gaily painted horses, the dragon ride — with its careening metal cars — and the bicycle carousel. The latter dates from 1897 and is
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one of only two still in existence. When it was built, bicycles were a novelty and many people were afraid to ride them. The bicycle carousel allowed them to get comfortable with this new mode of transportation. For $3
BY KAI TLYN M EADE aquel Finley was working as a promoter for Greenhouse, a bar and nightclub at 150 Varick St., and its basement event lounge W.i.P., on June 12, when a stranger struck the 21-yearold in the face with a bottle of Patrón tequila. “Some guy said, ‘You stepped
Continued on page 13
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JOHN CATSIMATIDIS FOR MAYOR A New Yorker for all New Yorkers
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July 17 - July 30, 2013
Project will narrow Broadway down to 1 lane BY KA I T LY N M E A D E A reconstruction project beginning this month will close Downtown sections of Broadway for four years to replace utilities beneath the road. The city will close three of four lanes of the thoroughfare in two block sections between Rector and Ann Sts. The $42 million capital reconstruction project is scheduled to begin in late July and continue for four years, said Thomas Foley, assistant commissioner of Manhattan construction for the city Department of Design and Construction. “Not all of Broadway will be under construction for four years,” Foley reassured Community Board 1’s Financial District Committee July 1. Instead, the project has been divided into eight sections which are each scheduled to take about six months each to complete. “In essence, we’ll be constructing two blocks, two segments, at a time starting from the south and working north. One lane of traffic will be open at all times while we’re working on Broadway,” he explained. The work is expected to begin from Rector St. to Pine St. this month. The construction will work its way north to John St., then double back to Rector St. By that time, 2016, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority is expected to be finished reconstructing the Fulton St. station, clearing the way for the final sections between John and Ann Sts. to be done by the summer of 2017. While four years sounds like a long time, Foley said the original project was far more extensive, and called for a sevenyear schedule. “Ninety-nine percent of the work is from curb line to curb line, so we will not be reconstructing the sidewalks, which is good news because the Alliance installed those, what, eight years ago, ten years ago,” Foley said in reference to the Downtown Alliance’s sidewalk markers commemorating every Canyon of Heroes parade up Broadway. “Also, the existing granite curb will be remaining as well. And what that does is it limits the scope and it also limits the duration,” Foley added. C.B.1 members did have concerns about the project. “One lane on Broadway for four years is a devastating blow to Lower Manhattan. I’m sure you recognize that,” said Ro Sheffe, chairperson of C.B. 1’s committee. “I think extraordinary measures need to be taken to mitigate that. We discussed the possibility of banning tour buses during the entire phase of construction from that section of Broadway. Have you talked to D.O.T. about that?” A Dept. of Transportation representative responded that they were in conversation with tour bus companies. The D.D.C. added that there was not yet a specific plan for bus and other traffic
Graphic courtesy of the NYC Dept. of Design and Construction
The city’s repair project on Broadway will remain mostly on the street itself.
mitigation. They were asked to return to C.B. 1 in September or October to present an update. There will also be traffic agents in the area of construction. The project’s budget allows for 10-12 agents to attempt to keep traffic moving. The goal is to install new water mains under the streets and replace aging infrastructure and private utilities. This is a joint bid project, meaning it incorporates all aspects of underground infrastructure from Con Edison, Time Warner, E.C.S., a Verizon subsidiary, and the city. The contractor, M.F.M. Contracting Corp. is also working on construction of Peck Slip and is licensed to do much of the utility work. Construction will typically take place between 7 a.m. and 3:30 p.m., but the contractor is allowed to work until 10 p.m. at night, said Foley. While service will be maintained throughout the project, water will be turned off in sections overnight. Norberto Acevedo, Design & Construction’s deputy director of community outreach, noted that the contractor usually gives the city a schedule of work a week in advance, allowing them to contact the community about potential water shutdowns. A written or electronic notice of utility shutdowns will go out at least 24 hours in advance. The city is encouraging community members with questions or complaints about the project to contact the project’s community liaison Liz Baptiste of HAKS Engineering at broadwayphase1ccl@ gmail.com or call 311. A field office will be set up by the time the project begins, with a landline that will be active during the contractor’s working hours.
Plans are stepped up to repair old footbridge
Downtown Express photo by Yoon Seo Nam
It’s old and rusting. The concrete steps are worn with use. There is a net attached to its underside to protect cars passing beneath it from falling debris. The Morris St. pedestrian bridge’s long and useful life is drawing to a close. In fall 2014, the bridge’s walkway will be getting an update, the city Department of Design and Construction announced at a meeting of the Financial District Committee of Community Board 1. This little footbridge, which spans the lanes leading to into the Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel, provides a vital link connecting Battery Park City and the Financial District. Lower Manhattan was split in two by the tunnel’s construction from 1940 to 1951, which was interrupted for
a few years during World War II. A 2009 study showed that the pedestrian bridge had a condition rating of 3.44 out of 7, said D.D.C.’s Bharat Parekh. “Unsafe is probably below 3,” he said, but added that it depends on a number of variables. By the time the project begins, the rating is estimated to be at about 3.04. The construction is planned to take about two years to complete. The committee generally approved of design that includes elevating the bridge to deal with flooding concerns, installing a handicap-access ramp on both sides, and allowing space for decorative planters and additional lighting. The current bridge will remain in operation until the new one is completed.
July 17 - July 30, 2013
LIONS AND SUPPORTERS — AND REBNY?
With fighting lion dancers and about 175 of her supporters in attendance, Jenifer Rajkumar officially opened her new campaign office in the heart of Chinatown on Sunday. The location, at 18 Pell St., between Mott St. and Bowery, was formerly the beloved Sun Wah Barbershop. It’s wedged right between the Foot Heaven foot-rub store, on the right, and a hair salon on the left. Nearby just down the street is famed dumpling mecca Joe’s Shanghai, and Confucius Plaza — a key voting bloc — is right across the Bowery. Rajkumar held up a head of lettuce on a pole for the two lion dancers to fight for. “It’s good luck when you feed them,” she told us. “It was tremendous.” Then she led everyone into the space to continue the celebration with speeches.
Jenifer Rajkumar, center, with supporters and lions, at the opening of her new Pell St. campaign office on Sunday.
Local supporters gave her honorary potted plants and flowers, including Danny Cheung and Stephen Low. Jing Fong restaurant workers gave her a wall hanging “blessing” with a flowered border. Also at the kickoff event were Georgette Fleischer, founder of Friends of Petrosino Square; Harold Donahue, former president of the Independence Plaza North Tenants Association; and Jeanne Wilcke, president of Downtown Independent Democrats Club. Paul Lee, a well-known former local small businessman, was emcee. Steve Wong, a
former top operative for Councilmember Margaret Chin’s 2009 campaign who now runs the Chinese Hotel Trades Association, was also at the shindig. “This is going to be our command center,” Rajkumar told us. “It’s centrally located. It’s a short walk from here to the Lower East Side.” Sean Sweeney, former president of D.I.D., who couldn’t make the campaign office confab, said, “I think it’s a brilliant strategy — to go right into the belly of the beast.” He added, “I remember that barbershop — it was like $6 a haircut.” Sweeney
3 felt it might have been better, though, if the office was on Mott St., which has heavier foot traffic. However, a Chin campaign spokesperson downplayed Rajkumar’s Pell St. location as a ploy that won’t work. “It’s too little, too late,” said Austin Finan. “Rajkumar hasn’t lifted a finger for the Chinatown community, and certainly her accomplishments can’t hold a candle to those of Margaret Chin. She chooses to establish a presence in Chinatown when it’s politically convenient for her. … At the end of the day, Chinatown is going to pull the lever for the candidate who has been there for them through thick and thin.” Although Sweeney is excited about Rajkumar’s new campaign office, he’s more worked up about the fact that the Real Estate Board of New York has endorsed Chin for re-election. Crain’s recently reported that a new group, Jobs for New York — including REBNY, building trade unions and others — which plans to spend $10 million on local races, is backing Chin, another Council incumbent and six challengers. Per Crain’s: “The group hopes to elect a bloc of councilmembers that would make it more difficult for the Council to override vetoes by a business-friendly mayor and to serve as a counterweight to candidates aligned with the pro-labor Working Families Party.” Even so, Chin and five other of the group’s initial eight favored candidates have been endorsed by W.F.P. So, does Rajkumar have a chance of winContinued on page 23
July 17 - July 30, 2013
An unchivalrous stranger hit a woman in the face with an umbrella after an argument on a Financial District street, police reported. The victim, 52, told police that she had gotten into a verbal dispute with a man on the corner of Water and Broad Sts. after he accused her of denting his car at about 1 a.m. on Sat., July 13. The woman had broken off the argument and started to walk away when she said the man picked up an umbrella off the street and swung it at her, hitting her in the face and causing a laceration to her left cheek. Meanwhile, the assailant had already called 911 to report that the woman had done “criminal mischief” to his car. Instead of making his case, he ended up having to flee the scene in his tan vehicle before the cops showed up. He did not answer his phone when the police tried to call him back and is now wanted for assault and related charges.
STARED DOWN ARMED THUG
A Soho woman was lucky to be alive after challenging an armed mugger’s manhood in Soho on Wed., July 3. Anna Graham, 54, said she was smoking a cigarette in front of her residential building on Grand St. between Wooster and Greene Sts., at about 1:15 a.m. when she was approached by two men. The first man, wearing a black hoodie, pulled out a black firearm with a brown handle and told her to give him her wallet. According to police, she told the robber she didn’t have a wallet and that he “did not have the balls to shoot her.” She said the man then pointed the gun at her chest, while the other man, wearing a black
jacket and white baseball cap, said, “shoot, shoot, shoot.” But the gunman did not fire. The second man went over to two other women, Graham’s friends, who were loading their belongings into a car in preparation for a trip out to Long Island, and he began to take their property out of the vehicle. Police said one of these two women, 49, noticed what was happening and fought with the robber, who kicked her. He then threatened the third woman, 53, and told her to hand over her wallet, police said. She also told them she did not have a wallet and then called 911, causing the muggers to flee north on Greene St. However, the muggers reportedly did make off with an iPad mini, a Samsung Galaxy cell phone and about $600 in cash taken from the car. A woman in a do-rag was seen fleeing with the two robbers, according to police, who believe she may have been a lookout. No injuries were reported. Police Commissioner Ray Kelly, while praising Graham’s bravery, said each person must make his or her own decision in such cases. “It may not have been the smartest thing to do, to say this to someone holding a gun to your head, but you have to admire her gumption and guts,” Kelly said, according to the Daily News. Graham is married to renowned Russian-born sculptor Ernst Neizvestny.
A man was arrested for burglary as he was leaving the premises of a Bath and Body Works office building with
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stolen property in his suitcase. Police apprehended Christian Anderson, 49, when he was seen exiting the closed management offices at 503 Broadway at about 4 a.m. on Sun., July 14. There was a brief chase on foot as Anderson tried to flee, but he was caught and cuffed by police, who said that Anderson resisted arrest by “flailing his arms” and refusing to be handcuffed. Police stated that they found stolen laptops in his possession. The stolen items, five Dell laptops worth a total of $1,281, were in a green suitcase that also belonged to Bath and Body Works. Police said that video surveillance shows him entering and leaving the business after hours.
Two delivery drivers lost their personal property when their trucks were targeted by thieves during deliveries. Last week, a 44-year-old driver reported to police that his property was stolen while making a delivery to a Tribeca McDonald’s. The man said he parked on the southwest corner of Greenwich and Chambers Sts. between 8 p.m. and 9 p.m. on Fri., July 12. He said he left his door unlocked while making his Mickey D delivery to 167 Chambers St. and had set his wallet and phone on the side of the seat. When he got back to his truck, his Apple iPhone 4S was gone, as was his wallet, which contained his New York State driver’s license, Social Security card, and debit and credit cards. His shirt was also missing. The man told police that he later discovered that $120 in charges had been made on the stolen credit cards at various “M.T.A.” locations — perhaps referring to MetroCards or possibly A.T.M. withdrawals. Another delivery truck was robbed a few blocks away in front of 200 Church St. on Mon., July 1. The driver, 56, told police that he was making a beer delivery at about noon that day. When he got back to the vehicle, he saw that the door was open and his red backpack, containing $270 in cash, was missing. He also lost two credit cards, his ID and registration.
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Shoplifters put on a show in a Soho boutique in order to distract from their real goal, a $1,110 handbag. An employee of Mulberry, a trendy clothing shop at 134 Spring St.. reported that three shoplifters came into the store and put on an impromptu concert for five minutes on Sun., July 14 around 4:30 p.m. One of the shoplifters, a woman around age 35, took a Mulberry women’s handbag in flame orange with a chain handle from the shelf and put it into a bag held by a man, also about 35. The employee said that the third member, a woman who appeared to be about 30 years old, continued to distract the floor personnel. All three fled eastbound on foot down Spring St., according to police.
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July 17 - July 30, 2013
A hitch for Trading Post’s cafe — some neighbors opposed
Downtown Express photos by Yoon Seo Nam
Trading Post on John St. hopes to open an outdoor cafe, but at least a few of the building’s condo owners oppose it.
BY CYN T H IA M A G NU S The owners of the newly opened Trading Post restaurant at 170 John St. near the South Street Seaport want to add outdoor dining this summer. Despite a heated exchange with two building residents at the July 1 meeting of Community Board 1’s Financial District Committee, the eatery’s co-owner Sam O’Connor says he is hopeful for an agreement. The dispute erupted when the two residents alleged that the building was not notified of the proposed outdoor cafe. They also said that they are worried about noise. Ro Sheffe, the committee’s chairperson, requested that O’Connor postpone submitting his revised State Liquor Authority application until cooler heads could prevail. O’Connor said that relations with most residents are good and that several use the restaurant. He acknowledged though, that the application “was probably done the wrong way around, we should have gone to the building first.” The protesters refused to allow their names to be published for this story despite their public outcry. Their suggestion that the Trading Post lease space for its outdoor seating on an adjacent parking lot at the corner of South and John Sts. was one O’Connor dismissed, saying it would likely add about $9,000 to his monthly rent. He said Trading Post is the only restaurant in the area without outdoor seating and he hopes to still work something out. “It’s an economic issue for us,” he said. “We’re not established….It’s a problem because we don’t really have lighting on the place,” explaining that installing lights on the exterior of the building is prohibited because it is landmarked. Co-owner Richard Sheridan said last
month’s opening was delayed six months because of post-Sandy rebuilding, which cost about half a million dollars. The basement and main floor were flooded and the electrical and boiler rooms were destroyed. “Still, it could have been much worse,” said Sheridan, explaining that all the interior furniture and fittings had been
use the recessed sidewalk area. “We built something beautiful here,” said Sheridan, “We want the Trading Post to be a weekend brunch place for neighborhood families as well as a tourist destination. He added, “In hindsight, it would have been prudent to go to the building first but we wanted to find out from a legal standpoint what was required
‘We built something beautiful here. We want the Trading Post to be a weekend brunch place for neighborhood families as well as a tourist destination.’ — Richard Sheridan purchased and were about to ship when Sandy was forecast, so they were able to halt delivery. Sheridan said their 15-year lease for $30,000 a month was signed Feb. 1, 2012 with Pat Cooney, the 170 John St. board member who owns the 10,000 square foot, multi-level commercial space, former home to the Yankee Clipper restaurant. The condominium has 14 residential units. One of the occupants who came to protest at the C.B. 1 meeting but does not want her name publicized and is not on the building’s board said the next day, “It’s the entire condominium who owns the space and it would be up to them to decide what is done with it.” Sheridan acknowledges that he and his three partners will likely have to pay additional rent to the building’s board to
[to add outdoor tables].” Sheffe characterized support for independent business operators as the “touchstone” of the C.B. 1 Financial District Committee. “It’s balancing commerce with quality of life — anything we can do to aid small businesses, unless it presents a clear annoyance to the community,” he said. “We heard from two people, and we will definitely take that into consideration… but I’m not sure of how representative their views were of all the residents.” Anyone is welcome to write to the State Liquor Authority and express an opinion of a license applicant, said S.L.A. spokesperson William Crowley. He also explained that operators often do not know what their future needs will be, so it is common for alterations to an
existing S.L.A. license to be presented to the agency as needed. Altered applications are required even for mundane purposes such as utilizing a previously unused room to store alcohol. Because the outdoor dining area would be on the building’s property, the restaurant does not need a sidewalk cafe permit from the city. Sheridan said he would like to operate six four-person tables along the sidewalk outside the restaurant from noon to 9 p.m., and that outdoor tables would be invaluable as advertising even when not in use. “A few attractive tables would go a long way in letting people know we are open for business.” Sheridan said the absence of city lighting on the block is a problem. He said he would also seek permission to possibly wrap sidewalk trees in white lights. A city Dept. of Transportation spokesperson did not respond to emails and phone calls about John St. lighting conditions. Sheridan said the outdoor cafe would not be noisy. A doorman is responsible for outdoor security and to monitor noise and cigarette smoking from 6 p.m. to closing, Sheridan said. Pat Moore, a C.B. 1 Financial District Committee member who attended the July 1 meeting and also chairs C.B. 1’s Quality of Life Committee, said afterward, “We’ve got to be fair to both sides. We’re equally concerned about quality of life for residents, but also about businesses. These are local businesses that we patronize.” The plan now for O’Connor, Sheridan, and two partners is to negotiate along with Cooney for the use of the outdoor area with the rest of the building’s board, and then return to C.B. 1 before its July 30 full board meeting.
July 17 - July 30, 2013
Chinatown blaze causes partial building collapse BY KA I T LY N M E A D E An explosion ripped through the first floor of a Chinatown building Thursday afternoon, sparking a blaze that fire officials said injured at least eight people, three of them critically. The fire broke out at 17 Pike St. near the base of the Manhattan Bridge at 12:42 p.m. on July 11, according to a Fire Department spokesperson. The explosion was caused by “bug-bomb”type, insecticide foggers that had been put out by a commercial tenant to fumigate a ground-floor beauty salon, which were possibly ignited by an oven pilot light. According to news reports, the tenant had put out about 20 foggers one day in one room, and then 20 the next day in another room. Witnesses said they heard a loud noise like an explosion. “There was a big ‘bomm’,” said Denia Aponte, who lives around the corner from the location. “Then I heard banging — I think it was the Fire Department — and smelled smoke.” She arrived shortly afterward to take photos, she said, and saw two people taken away by ambulances. One appeared to be badly injured. “I could see they were lying on the floor,” Aponte said, showing a photo of a man prone on the ground surrounded by paramedics. A fire official said that eight people were taken to area hospitals with burns and smoke-inhalation including three who
Downtown Express photo by Kaitlyn Meade.
A blaze in a Pike St. building on July 11 drew 60 firefighters to the scene, where part of the building’s first floor collapsed.
were taken to to the New York-Presbyterian Weill Cornell Medical Center for serious burns after part of the first floor’s wall and ceiling collapsed in the blaze. The five-story building near the corner of Henry St. is a mix of commercial and residential, with businesses on the ground
floor and apartments on the upper floors. Sixty firefighters responded, in 12 trucks, the first arriving at the scene within minutes. Four firefighters were “green-tagged” for minor injuries but a fire official said that they did not leave the scene for medical treatment. Police officers cordoned off both sides
of the street from West Broadway to Henry St. and diverted traffic around the area. “I’ve never seen so many fire trucks in my life,” said Bill Chin, an employee of YO! Bus who stood at the nearby bus stop. In addition to firefighters, Con Edison personnel were on the scene.
July 17 - July 30, 2013
Deal is near to keep 3 W.T.C. construction going BY JOSH ROGERS Developer Larry Silverstein is no longer stumped at 3 World Trade Center as he just reached an agreement in principle to lease 515,000 square feet of the building to GroupM advertising and media services firm. He would have had to cease construction at the end of the year — leaving an 8-story retail “stump”— had he not been able to sign an anchor tenant, as per the 2010 agreement with the Port Authority, owners of the W.T.C. The GroupM agreement on the major terms of the lease was first reported by the New York Post last week and was confirmed in a statement by Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and another source familiar with the deal. Silver, who helped broker the 2010 agreement, hailed the probable lease as “another unmistakable sign of our great success in rebuilding this community” after 9/11. C a t h e r i n e M c Va y H u g h e s , c h a i r p e r s o n o f Community Board 1, said 3 W.T.C. is a crucial piece to the site’s interconnected puzzle and the deal means “the area of the construction will be shrinking.” The building will connect to the Calatrava train station and 4 W.T.C. retail, which is almost finished, and it’s over the R, 1, and PATH trains and near the 9/11 Memorial and museum, Hughes added. “Then you’re down to one little corner for Tower 2,” she said. Liz Berger, president of the Downtown Alliance business improvement district, called it “a great and timely deal.”
She pointed to several aspects of the agreement beyond what it means for continued W.T.C. construction, including that GroupM represents a “growing diversity” of firms in Lower Manhattan, and that it will be bringing jobs from Midtown. “You see that Lower Manhattan is a growing technology, media and creative hub,” Berger said, adding that Conde Nast will be around the corner at 1 W.T.C. The source who confirmed the agreement in principle said the final lease has not yet been signed but it is very likely to be completed. He said 3 W.T.C. was once thought to be best for a financial firm because of its large column-free floors suitable for trading, but that layout is now also attractive to new media and technology firms looking to set up “old newsrooms,” or bullpens. Mayor Mike Bloomberg’s well-publicized City Hall bullpen office likely has helped popularize this open-floor layout, he added. As it happened, Bloomberg worked closely with Silver three years ago to ensure W.T.C. construction continued. At the time, both were trying to get the Port to provide something close to a full financial backstop to guarantee 3 W.T.C., but the authority resisted saying it was an unwise risk to public money. Silverstein at the time was offering the Port a 30 percent interest in 3 W.TC. in exchange for a full guarantee, but agreed to give the Port roughly a 5 percent interest in exchange for a partial backstop. Silverstein Properties International expects to finish building 3 W.T.C. in 2016.
Downtown Express photo by Yoon Seo Nam
Construction work on 3 World Trade Center, seen here in front of almost-completed 4 W.T.C., is expected to continue now that GroupM has agreed to the major parts of a lease to move into the building.
July 17 - July 30, 2013
Council rival now backing Johnson, and so does Glick BY L I N CO L N A N D E R S O N Citing “personal and family reasons,” Alexander Meadows on Monday dropped out of the City Council District 3 race. He then promptly endorsed Corey Johnson over Yetta Kurland for the seat, which is currently held by City Council Speaker Christine Quinn. The following day, Assemblymember Deborah Glick, New York State’s first openly gay legislator, said that she, too, is throwing her support behind the Community Board 4 chairperson. “I am endorsing Corey,” Glick said. “I think that his experience chairing the community board — which has many diverse personalities, as all community boards do — has been a great training ground. When you work with the community board, you work with a lot of people with different interests and different perspectives, and that is what you have to do in the Council,” she noted. “I think that he has done a good job [on C.B. 4]. “I have faith in his ability to work with people and work in a positive fashion — which may set him apart from his opponent,” Glick added, putting the stress on “positive.” “I’ve made a decision that I’d like somebody who could be effective in government,” Glick added, pausing for emphasis, which highlighted her choice of the word “effective.” “And I think that person is Corey,” she said. Asked if it was a tough choice for her, she said no. “I’ve watched him over the last year or so,” she said. “You don’t pay that much attention” to political races until they really get into full swing, she noted. “Two years ago, people thought it was going to be a very different race — Brad Hoylman, and discussions of Andrew Berman. ‘Will he? Won’t he?’ — Hamlet on the Hudson,” she quipped. Asked directly for her thoughts on Kurland, Glick said, “I’m not sure she could be effective or work in a collaborative fashion. There’s no evidence that leads me to believe she would be a good councilmember.” Asked about Kurland’s signature issue, protesting the closure and then the loss of St. Vincent’s Hospital, Glick charged that the way Kurland hammered elected officials on the issue “borders on demagoguery.” She accused Kurland of blaming local politicians “who worked very hard to turn that around [i.e., tried to save St. Vincent’s],” but ultimately failed. “You’re playing on people’s reasonable concern and fear of not having a hospital, but don’t offer any solution,” Glick charged of Kurland’s M.O. on St. Vincent’s. On Monday, Meadows endorsed Johnson in a statement, saying, “After much thought and consideration, I have decided to end my campaign for City Council in the Third District. While it was a difficult decision, I believe the best way for me to serve the community right now is to continue my work on Community Board 2 and as a local
Alexander Meadows, left, shaking on it with Corey Johnson, says he will be “working hard in the trenches” to get Johnson elected.
Democratic activist — and to help elect Corey Johnson to the Council. “I am endorsing Corey today because, over the course of the campaign, I have seen him really listen to voters and show a deep understanding of the issues,” Meadows said. “He is intensely committed to our community — and I know he’ll deliver real results for us. I will be working hard in the trenches to ensure he is elected to the City Council.” Meadows could not be reached by telephone, but he sent an e-mail response, saying, “I am confirming my quote about ending my campaign and endorsing Corey.” Regarding Meadows backing him, Johnson said in a statement, “I am honored to have the support of former Council candidate Alex Meadows. He has been an advocate for the progressive causes that inspired my campaign, and I look forward to partnering with Alex in our community and on the City Council.” Meadows, a first-generation CubanAmerican and gay rights activist, has lived in District 3 for seven years and been a member of C.B. 2 since 2010. He’s also a member of the Village Independent Democrats, and is an officer of the political club, corresponding secretary. Johnson has chaired Community Board 4, which covers Chelsea and Hell’s Kitchen, for close to two years, and has been on the board since 2005. He has been a resident of Chelsea for the past 10 years. Kurland, now his lone opponent in the race, is an activist and civil rights attorney. Johnson has already racked up an impressive list of political endorsements, including Congressmember Jerrold Nadler, former state Senator Tom Duane, Assemblymembers Richard Gottfried and Linda Rosenthal, state Senator Brad Hoylman and the Working
Families Party. He has also been endorsed by about 10 political clubs, among them, Village Independent Democrats, Chelsea Reform Democratic Club, Lower Manhattan Democrats, Village Reform Democratic Club, Downtown Independent Democrats, Jim Owles Liberal Democratic Club, Gay and Lesbian Independent Democrats and Stonewall Democrats. Johnson has heavy union support, as well, including the United Federation of
‘I’ve made a decision that I’d like somebody who could be effective in government.’ — Deborah Glick Teachers, 1199 SEIU, 32BJ SEIU, the American Federation of Musicians Local 802, Teamsters Joint Council 16, the Retail Wholesale Department Store Workers Union and about half a dozen others. Kurland’s endorsements include a number of New York City ex-politicians, including former Mayor David Dinkins, former Borough President C. Virginia Fields and former Public Advocate Betsy Gotbaum, plus Councilmember Ydanis Rodriguez and state Senator Eric Adams, among others. Former C.B. 3 Chairperson Harvey Epstein has also reportedly endorsed her. Like Johnson, she also has support of unions, including
District Council 37 and Transport Workers Union Local 100. As for political clubs, the McManus Democratic Club and ChelseaMidtown Democratic Club are among the organizations backing her. In February, Meadows, who currently lives in the West Village, entered the field for District 3. The Third Council District covers the West Side from Canal St. up to 63rd St., including Hudson Square, Soho, Greenwich Village, Chelsea, part of the Flatiron District and Hell’s Kitchen. In recent years it’s been known as the Council’s “gay seat” and is currently represented by openly lesbian Council Speaker Quinn, who faces term limits at the end of this year and is running for mayor in a crowded field of Democratic candidates. Speaking this week, Glick said it would be hard to gauge the impact of Meadows leaving the race. “He’s a nice young man,” she said, “but I don’t think he had a strong candidate profile at this point. I didn’t hear of anybody supporting him. So it’s hard to say if he was drawing from one candidate or another.” Kurland’s campaign was asked for comment on Meadows’s endorsement of Johnson, as well as Glick’s remarks about Kurland — namely, that Kurland wouldn’t be positive, effective or collaborative in the Council and that she has been a borderline demagogue on St. Vincent’s. Kurland spokesperson Rodd McLeod responded, first to Johnson’s endorsements, by going on the attack on a different subject: “No matter which politician endorses him, Corey Johnson owes New Yorkers an explanation of why he worked for real estate developer GFI, a shady company Continued on page 10
July 17 - July 30, 2013
First Precinct is trying to close down troubled club Continued from page 1
on my foot’ and bashed her in the face with a bottle,” her mother, Jawan Finely, recalled at the First Precinct police station a week later. At the time of the incident, Jawan — an attorney with a firm in Flushing — was in Georgia with her husband. Their return to New York was delayed because he had gotten into a motorcycle accident. “They took her downstairs, cleaned the blood off her — there was blood all over her dress,” Jawan said. “Security found her friend, they put [Raquel] in a cab and sent her home. They tried to cover it up. Someone was hit with a [bottle of] Magnum Patrón and you don’t call the hospital?” she asked. When her daughter called to tell her what had happened, Jawan was devastated. She told her to go immediately to a hospital, and was outraged that the club had not called an ambulance for her daughter or called the police to make a report. It turned out that Raquel had multiple fractures to her face and a split lip. After receiving initial emergency treatment at Jamaica Hospital, she later had to undergo plastic surgery to correct fractures to her eye socket, her mother said. She said Raquel was so excited to do promotion work for the club, which frequently has high-profile stars like Jamie Foxx. Now, her mother says, she wishes her daughter had made a few phone calls to check out the club’s safety records beforehand. W.i.P. (which stands for “Work in Progress”) has a record for disturbances as high-profile as the stars who patronize it. The nightspot’s most infamous incident was a bottle-throwing brawl between singer Chris Brown and the entourage of the rapper Drake, which injured several clubgoers, including
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N.B.A. player Tony Parker, who suffered a scratched cornea. The fight prompted the State Liquor Authority to suspend the liquor license of the venues, at Varick and Vandam Sts., for several weeks, along with slapping them with a hefty fine. The nightclubs were allowed to reopen and operate conditionally while the S.L.A. conducted its hearings. Last month, just days after the attack on Raquel Finley, an appellate court overturned the liquor license ban for W.i.P., according to a report by the New York Post, ruling that charges of drug dealing and violence could not be backed up by sufficient evidence. The June 18 ruling also stated that the club could not have anticipated the fights, and noted new security measures put in place by club owner Barry Mullineux. Those precau-
ThURsDAY, JUlY 18 & 25, 10:30am12pm Fellowship Gathering: Job Seekers’ Group Join others seeking to improve and effectively market their job skills. 74 Trinity Pl, 3rd Fl, Room 2 ThURsDAY, JUlY 18 & 25, 6:30pm Fellowship Gathering: Summer Dance Aerobics Stay cool and feel great as you dance away the stress of the day in this low-impact dance aerobics class. 74 Trinity Pl, 2nd Fl, Parlor FRIDAY, JUlY 19, 6-7:30pm Family Friday Pizza and Movie Night Relax with your kids and meet other downtown families for free pizza, children’s movies, and community. Charlotte’s Place sATURDAY, JUlY 20 & 27, 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 FRIDAY, JUlY 26, 6pm Family Friday Yoga and Veggie Night Practice with your children in this familyfocused yoga class! Charlotte’s Place
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Downtown Express photo by Kaitlyn Meade
Greenhouse, on the corner of Varick and Vandam Sts.
tions included bag checks and switching from glasses and bottles to plastic cups. The safety precautions, however, have not prevented violence in recent months. In March, police arrested a woman who hit another bar patron over the head with an ice-filled bucket during a verbal argument. The victim sustained lacerations to her head and face. In another incident, a 27-year-old man was brutally beaten on the street outside of the club as he left at closing time last month, and woke up in the hospital with the side of his skull crushed. In addition, the Downtown Express has reported five incidents of grand larceny at W.i.P. and Greenhouse in the last four months: on March 6, April 13, April 20, May 11 and June 15. The New York Police Department has frequently had to reprimand the club, said George Liropoulos, First Precinct community affairs officer. “We’re trying to close them down, I guess. That’s the only one who’s been a big problem for us,” he said. “They’re the only club we’ve got down here.” “It was a trouble spot. They shouldn’t be in business,” said Bob Gormley, Community Board 2 district manager, in a phone interview with Downtown Express. The clubs have come before C.B. 2 multiple times. The last time they came before the board was in October 2011, addressing community concerns over Greenhouse. Representatives of the club agreed to a number of stipulations, including a database of banned customers and hiring extra security. “We want them to adhere to the stipulations and be good neighbors,” said Gormley during a follow-up call. “It’s not helpful to have a club that the First Precinct has to visit with some regularity.” Representatives of W.i.P. declined to comment on the record for this story.
July 17 - July 30, 2013
Glick, Meadows go for Corey Johnson Continued from page 8
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whose principal executives have close ties to [Assemblymember] Dov Hikind and other anti-L.G.B.T. politicians,” McLeod said. “GFI was sued for housing discrimination by the U.S. Department of Justice. West Siders deserve an honest explanation from Johnson, and they’re still waiting.” As for Glick’s criticisms of Kurland’s character and her position on St. Vincent’s, McLeod countered, “Yetta is a coalition builder who had the courage to stand up for the community when St. Vincent’s Hospital was closed.” However, Glick characterized the recent focus on Johnson’s having worked for GFI as “an odd act of desperation.” Johnson’s position with the company, as Glick understood it, was as an “intergovernmental representative.” “It’s like blaming someone who is working at N.Y.U. as a department administrator or student affairs coordinator for the policy of the university,” she said. “It’s ridiculous.” In response to Kurland’s comments about Johnson, RJ Jordan, his campaign manager, called them “a hollow smear attempt.”
“Voters in the Third District know well Corey’s history as a role model and tireless activist for L.G.B.T. rights,” Jordan said, “as well as his record of accomplishment as a progressive community leader, and they won’t be fooled by absurd suggestions to the contrary. He has a strong record of standing up to overzealous developers — whether in opposing the N.Y.U. land grab or the Chelsea Market expansion or the Rudin plan at St. Vincent’s — as Community Board 4 chairperson. These are among the reasons why Corey has been endorsed by leaders who symbolize the values of the West Side, like Jerry Nadler, Deborah Glick, Tom Duane and now Alex Meadows. “This is a hollow smear attempt, with no basis in truth, by a desperate candidate, and frankly, West Siders deserve better,” Jordan said of Kurland’s accusations. “Corey’s opponent has given bizarre reasons for owning a handgun — saying that [her school was licensed] by the Department of Homeland Security [and that she had] to protect students at [that] English as a Second Language school, and also because she’s an attorney. Come on — we’ll put Corey’s record of results up against Yetta’s rhetoric any day of the week.”
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July 17 - July 30, 2013
Downtown Express photos by Michael Shirey
An early slice of Bastille Day Cercle Rouge, the French bistro at 241 West Broadway, got into the swing of celebrating Bastille Day a few days early on July 11 with a pétanque tournament, cancan dancing, music and much merriment. The party continued on Sunday at Bar Tabac in Brooklyn.
Rock on Class of 2013! You have many reasons to celebrate. • 5 of you were prestigious National Merit Scholarship Semifinalists. • 6 of you won National Achievement Scholarships. • 1 of you won a NYC Science & Engineering Fair prize. • 1 of you won a Gershwin Award for best NYC high school musical performer. • 1 of you already co-authored an article in a professional medical journal. • Next fall, many of you will attend top universities including: Amherst, Brown, Cornell, Dartmouth, MIT, Penn, Princeton, Stanford, Williams, and Yale.
We salute the “next diverse generation of leaders and global citizens!”
July 17 - July 30, 2013
City steps in to keep Seaport Museum afloat Continued from page 1
ate to our fullest abilities.” He said that Bowne & Co. Stationers and Bowne Printers on Water Street and the schooner Pioneer are open and accessible to the public. “We are using the active parts of our collection to vigorously represent what this museum is and can be.” Boulware was formerly waterfront director for the museum, a job that he assumed in November 2011. After the Museum of the City of New York, which had been managing the South Street Seaport Museum since October 2011, announced that it would no longer do so, the museum’s board of trustees met on June 28. Six of those trustees resigned from the board, leaving three transitional trustees. They selected Boulware as interim president. The transitional board members are Tracey Knuckles, general counsel of the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs; Christie Huus, director of strategic planning and development in the Mayor’s Office of Citywide Event Coordination; and David Sheehan, managing director and director of fiscal operations for the Mayor’s Office. “The Department of Cultural Affairs has taken the lead in stabilizing the Museum’s governance structure through its involvement on the board of trustees,” said Danai Pointer, a spokesperson for the Department of Cultural Affairs. She said that the hope is to find a “successor steward” for the museum in the next few months. The museum’s headquarters on Fulton Street suffered an estimated $22 million in damage from Superstorm Sandy. Pointer said that, “Strategies for undertaking the repairs are still being evaluated.” In the meantime, Cultural Affairs, in partnership with the City Council and the Manhattan borough president, has provided capital funding for repairs to the museum’s historic ships and upland facilities. D.C.A. also provides funding for programs such as educational sailing aboard the Pioneer, said Pointer. She explained that as interim president, Boulware would be responsible for the museum’s day-to-day operations and will report to the board of trustees. “As property manager for the larger Seaport district, E.D.C. [the New York City Economic Development Corporation] will continue to be involved in issues relating to the museum’s upland properties and waterfront throughout the transition period,” she said. “I believe that the Department of Cultural Affairs is in earnest when they say that they are aiming to save the South Street Seaport Museum,” Boulware said. “I believe they are working toward that end and it is my confidence in their effort that has enticed me to stay into this next chapter.” He said that he remains committed to the South Street Seaport Museum’s presence in Lower Manhattan. “It’s relevant and even necessary to the story that needs to be told here,” he said, “and the museum and the ships and the piers are a critical part of the
Downtown Express photos by Terese Loeb Kreuzer
Historic ships belonging to the South Street Seaport Museum are moored at Pier 16.
waterfront district.” As waterfront director for the museum, Boulware inherited a fleet of 11 historic ships, all of which needed maintenance. He supervised the first dry-docking in more than 20 years of the 1907 lightship Ambrose. He got the 1885 schooner Pioneer back on the water. He initiated project planning for the $6.75 million stabilization and restoration of the 1885 ship Wavertree. With Superstorm Sandy looming, he worked for hundreds of hours with staff and volunteers to get the historic fleet ready to ride out the blow. The work paid off. None of the ships were damaged by the storm. For this, he received an award from the Metropolitan Waterfront Alliance as a “hero of the harbor.” He is certified as a U.S. Coast Guard “master,” or captain, and has 20 years experience in maritime operations and nonprofit leadership. “Jonathan Boulware has been known to wade into trouble. He did it literally with Sandy,” said David Sheldon, spokesperson for Save Our Seaport (S.O.S.), a group of Seaport Museum volunteers and advocates for the preservation of the historic Seaport. The water side of the museum’s operations and the land side are “inextricably linked,” he said. “It’s not just about the boats. It’s about the museum as well.” Sheldon said that S.O.S. has been working vigorously for more than a year to bolster the museum and protect the historic Seaport. The group garnered 10,000 signatures on a petition to the mayor, mustered more than 150 people to speak at the City Council’s uniform land use review procedure (ULURP) hearing on Pier 17 and sent 1,000 postcards to the mayor. “S.O.S. can help to voice what residents, New Yorkers and people around the world
Jonathan Boulware in December 2011, shortly after he was hired as waterfront director for the South Street Seaport Museum.
want to see in the district,” he said. “They want a historic district that reflects the mission of the museum and they want a waterfront that has the vessels that embody that history and a market in the middle that has been there in one form or another for hundreds of years.” Yet, he said, the development of the Seaport seems “to transpire over our heads without our having a hand in [it]. People don’t know what’s going on. People do know that it’s out of their control. We are encouraged that the Department of Cultural Affairs is taking more of a hand [in the outcome].” “It was very clear from our meeting last Wednesday with the commissioner of Cultural Affairs that she is working very
hard with everyone on a difficult situation,” said Catherine McVay Hughes, chairperson of Community Board 1. “The costly damage from Superstorm Sandy comes on top of the reorganization two years ago in the wake of the Seaport Museum’s financial difficulties.” But, Hughes continued, “It is in everyone’s interests that the Seaport Museum and its historic vessels continue their dual mission of highlighting our city’s history and animating the waterfront. New York City needs to keep its connection to its founding and its role as the greatest port on the Atlantic Ocean. The long-run viability of the Seaport Historic District requires an appropriate combination of historic assets with vibrant retail.”
July 17 - July 30, 2013
Vintage carousels transform Governors Island park Continued from page 1
a ride, Governors Island visitors can have the same experience. A children’s carousel is particularly charming. It has carved figurines of old-fashioned cars and airplanes (the latest thing when it was built), cartoon characters and animals. The oldest carousel in the Governors Island installation dates from 1850 and has 28 jumping horses. The phantasmagoria of Fete Paradiso belongs to Francis Staub and Regis Masclet, both passionate collectors of vintage carnival rides and carousels. In the middle of Nolan Park, restaurateur Robert Arbor of Le Gamin is serving classic French bistro food in a bumper-car pavilion from 1900. The menu includes croque-monsieur, grilled vegetables, salads, mussels, hamburgers, sausage, steak and chicken, all priced from $5 to $15. Wine by the glass is $6 to $10. Fete Paradiso, which opened Sat., July 13, will be open every weekend from 10:30 a.m. until 6:30 p.m. through Sept. 29. Admission is free. On July 13, there was a Parisian ball with live bands. Free ferries to Governors Island leave from the Battery Maritime Building on South Street in Manhattan and from Brooklyn Bridge Park’s Pier 6 at the foot of Atlantic Avenue.
Downtown Express photos by Terese Loeb Kreuzer
Lunch in the bumper car pavilion at Fete Paradiso on Governors Island. On opening day, it rained for a while but no one seemed to mind. Food for the fete comes from Le Gamin.
Boat swings at Fete Paradiso on Governors Island.
A dragon ride dating from just after World War II is part of Fete Paradiso on Governors Island through Sept. 29.
July 17 - July 30, 2013
BY TERESE LOEB KREUZER
B.P.C.A. BOWS OUT OF RIVER TO RIVER FESTIVAL:
At the conclusion of the Leon Russell concert in Rockefeller Park on July 10, Danny Kapilian, the music producer who had been hired by the Battery Park City Authority to book the acts for the eight-concert series that began on June 17, made an announcement. The B.P.C.A., which, for years, had sponsored the concerts for the River To River Festival, would no longer be doing so. Kapilian asked the audience to write to the B.P.C.A. and ask it to reconsider. Kapilian’s announcement was news to Sam Miller, the president of the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, curator and organizer of the annual River To River Festival — a cultural cornucopia of 150 free performances, readings and other events during June and July. As of Friday, July 12, River To River management had still not been officially informed. However, Matthew Monahan, a spokesperson for the B.P.C.A., confirmed that what Kapilian said was true. “Following a broad review of B.P.C.A. budgetary policy and fiscal oversight, we, as a governmental entity, no longer will be providing financial support from B.P.C.A.’s discretionary funds,” said Monahan. He went on to say that River To River is “always welcome to stage events here.” In 2013, the B.P.C.A. spent roughly $250,000 on the Rockefeller Park concerts. This money paid for the talent, sound system, stage, chairs and equipment. This is a significant portion of River To River’s total budget, which, in 2012, was around $2 million. The 2013
figures are not yet available. Asked for a response to the B.P.C.A. withdrawal, Miller put as good a face on it as possible. He noted that, “B.P.C.A. has been one of a number of founding program partners providing content for the River To River Festival since its inception in 2002. As lead producers of the festival since 2011, L.M.C.C. looks forward to continuing to work with B.P.C.A. as well as with our many other site partners, program partners and sponsors to bring arts activities of all kinds to Lower Manhattan audiences in 2014.” “The hope is that River To River will still be able to produce concerts in Rockefeller Park,” said Chris Schimpf, a spokesperson for the festival. “River To River was looking to the Battery Park City Authority as a partner for producing those events, but River To River is not dependent on that. River To River has many partners and produces events in many venues. If this goes away, that’s really unfortunate, but it’s not going to hinder River To River going forward. Sam Miller’s goal is that concerts will continue in that park.” Monahan, the B.P.C.A. spokesperson, emphasized that the Authority’s withdrawal as a River To River sponsor “in no way diminishes B.P.C.A.’s support of the arts. The Authority enthusiastically underwrites its Parks Conservancy’s robust array of diverse programming geared to specific age groups and general audiences, including the Swedish Midsummer Festival, the drumming circle series called ‘Sunset Jams on the Hudson,’ the Brazilian Family Dance and the four-part series of live blues music dubbed ‘River and Blues.’ ”
RIVER AND BLUES:
Battery Park City’s stellar “River and Blues” concerts have been brightening the month of July for more than 15
Downtown Express photos by Terese Loeb Kreuzer
Christina Sun on the lighthouse tender Lilac at Pier 25. Once a month, she stages crafts parties with music and a cash bar aboard the historic vessel.
years. This year, the fabulous, Grammy Award-winning John Hammond leads off the series on Thurs., July 18, followed on Thurs., July 25, by the Christian Scott Quintet. Bill Sims, Jr. is next up, on Thurs., Aug. 1. The Wiyos conclude the series on Thurs., Aug. 8. The free concerts take place from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. in Wagner Park.
BLOWOUTS AT VINCE SMITH:
For many people, heat and humidity generate not just bad hair days but horrendous hair days. The Vince Smith Hair Experience at 300 Rector Place has come to the rescue with a summer blowout sale. On Tuesdays and Wednesdays through the end of August, Vince Smith is offering a shampoo, conditioning and blowout for $35 (unless you have extra-long or extra-thick hair, or want your hair ironed — that would be $10 additional). The whole process takes 45 minutes to an hour. “It’s nice to see how you can transform people!” Smith says. They arrive with frizz and come out sleek and shiny. The salon is open from noon to 9 p.m. Walk-ins are welcome but appointments are preferable. For an appointment, call 212945-1590.
B.P.C. RESIDENT’S CRAFTS MARKET ON THE LILAC:
The annual “River and Blues” Festival in Wagner Park, curated by the Battery Park City Parks Conservancy, starts on July 18 with a concert featuring John Hammond, Jr. The free concerts take place on Thursday evenings through Aug. 8.
Battery Park City resident Christina Sun is an artist and a lover of historic ships. She meshes those interests in her monthly parties and crafts fairs aboard the Lilac, a lighthouse tender dating from 1933 that is moored at Pier 25 in Hudson River Park. In addition to her own prints
and drawings — most of them of ships — Sun sells crafts from local vendors at her parties, plus there’s music and a cash bar. As her flier says, “Shop on a ship with the only beer at the pier!” The Lilac is America’s last remaining steam-powered lighthouse tender. In the years before lighthouses were automated, Lilac carried supplies to them in fair weather and foul, and maintained buoys for the U.S. Lighthouse Service and the U.S. Coast Guard. One of her most hazardous voyages occurred during the winter of 1935-36, when thick ice marooned the keepers of offshore lighthouses in lower Delaware Bay and Lilac was sent to rescue them. She succeeded in her mission but sustained propeller damage that required dry-docking and replacement. Decommissioned in 1972, she is now a museum ship owned by the nonprofit Lilac Preservation Project. The valiant vessel is on the National Register of Historic Places. Sun said that she loves talking to people about the ship, the Coast Guard, the Lighthouse Service and the other historic harbor boats. The Lilac is open Thursdays from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturdays and Sundays from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. The next crafts party is on Sunday, July 21. For more information about the Lilac, go to lilacpreservationproject.org. For information about the crafts parties, go to bowsprite.wordpress.com/2013/06/13/ radio-lilac. To comment on Battery Park City Beat or to suggest article ideas, e-mail TereseLoeb10@gmail.com.
July 17 - July 30, 2013
TRANSIT SAM ALTERNATE SIDE PARKING RULES ARE IN EFFECT ALL WEEK Protest gridlock from the Zimmerman acquittal is likely to continue through the week. The Brooklyn Bridge, City Hall and the Federal Building at Foley Square could become foci, so check for updates. Get ready for a weekend-long closure of all Manhattan-bound lanes on the Brooklyn Bridge, extending from 12:01 a.m. Saturday to 6 a.m. Monday. Detoured drivers will take the Manhattan Bridge and Battery Tunnel, sending traffic onto Canal St. and West St., respectively. Brooklyn-bound traffic will access the bridge from Pearl or Centre Sts., and additional access will be set up via the Park Row ramp from Frankfort St. during daytime hours. A business expo will close West Broadway between Barclay and Chambers Sts. from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday. The Fulton Street Fair will close Fulton St. between Gold and Water Sts. from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday. The Mulberry Street Pedestrian Mall will close Mulberry St. between Canal and Broome Sts., and Hester St. between Mott and Baxter Sts. from 5:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays through September.
Due to cobblestone restoration, N. Moore St. is closed to through traffic around the clock between Hudson and Greenwich Sts. as of Monday, July 15. Work will also be performed on Hudson St. between Thomas and N. Moore Sts., keeping two lanes of traffic open. The New Museum Block Party will take over Sara D. Roosevelt Park from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, likely spilling out onto Chrystie St. between Stanton and Rivington Sts. In the Battery Park Underpass, one lane in each direction (between the F.D.R. and West St./Route 9A) will close 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Wednesday. All lanes of the Manhattan-bound Lincoln Tunnel ‘helix’ (the spiral approach road to the tunnel) will close from 10:30 p.m. Tuesday to 5 a.m. Wednesday. This means a lot of the inbound traffic will be diverted to the Holland Tunnel, and onto Varick, West and Canal Sts. For more street closures, follow @gridlocksam on Twitter.
a ticket. My husband took pictures of the block as well as the clearly marked spot where the future meter was to go. He saw a police officer giving out more tickets and said, “There’s no Muni Meter on this block. What are people supposed to do?” The officer responded, “Go across the street,” meaning cross several lanes of Manhattan traffic to the other side where there was a functioning meter. I know the law says that if the meter on the block is missing, you may park there for the normal metered time without paying. My understanding of “on the block” is on that side of the block, without needing to cross any streets. What if I had a small child with me? I intend
to fight this ticket, but I was wondering what you think my chances are. Shoshanna, New York Dear Shoshanna, Fight it! If I were still traffic commissioner I’d say no meter, no pay. But, I’m not and when I checked with the city, they didn’t think it was much of a burden to cross the street. I don’t agree. Feel free to use my response in your defense. Transit Sam Send me your traffic and parking questions: email@example.com.
FROM THE MAILBAG: Dear Transit Sam, I parked on a street with one-hour parking signs but no Muni Meter and I received
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July 17 - July 30, 2013
The Trayvon verdict
Jennifer Goodstein PUBLISHER EMERITUS
John W. Sutter EDITOR
Josh Rogers NYC RECONNECTS ASSOCIATE EDITOR
Terese Loeb Kreuzer ARTS EDITOR
Scott Stiffler REPORTERS
Lincoln Anderson EDITORIAL ASSISTANT
SR. V.P. OF SALES & MARKETING
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Allison Greaker Julius Harrison Gary Lacinski Alex Morris Julio Tumbaco ART / PRODUCTION DIRECTOR
AMID THE ONGOING CONCERN ABOUT
racial profiling in America, last Saturday evening’s verdict in the Trayvon Martin killing came as stunning news. Protests erupted across the country, with the one Sunday in Times Square reportedly having been the largest of all. At Middle Collegiate Church in the East Village, worshipers this past Sunday, once again — as they did after Martin’s killing in February 2012 — donned hoodies during their service. The gesture is intended as a protest against racial profiling and also in the hope that we, as a society, will be able to transcend the racial injustice that still plagues our country. It is also a call for justice for Trayvon Martin. Mayor Bloomberg, probably the country’s most high-profile advocate for gun control, put it correctly when he said this case makes it “crystal clear” why the so-called Stand Your Ground laws, like Florida’s, must be rolled back. In a statement, Bloomberg said, “Sadly, all the facts in this tragic case will probably never be known. But one fact has long been crystal clear: ‘Shoot first’ laws like those in Florida can inspire dangerous vigilantism and protect those who act recklessly with guns. Such laws — drafted by gun lobby extremists in Washington — encourage deadly confrontations by enabling people to shoot first and argue ‘justifiable homicide’ later.”
The Department of Justice is being called on to continue its investigation into whether the shooter, George Zimmerman, violated Martin’s civil rights. That investigation had been suspended with the start of the Florida court case. Many legal experts, however, think it highly unlikely that Justice will find against Zimmerman at this point, after the Florida court cleared him of murder, as well as manslaughter. Clearly, Zimmerman — a wannabe cop who was merely a so-called neighborhood watch patrolman — never should be allowed to carry a firearm again. He has already taken one innocent life, and that is too many. In fact, he never even should have been permitted to carry a gun while patrolling as a volunteer watchman. All he needed was a cell phone or a walkie-talkie — and, in fact, that’s all any volunteer patroller needs. Having a guy like this armed and out looking for teens — or “punks,” as Zimmerman sneeringly described Martin — was an accident waiting to happen, and, tragically, it did. Zimmerman never would have been as quick to get out of his car and tail Martin — expressly violating police orders — had he not been packing a handgun. Without the gun, after initiating a scuffle with Martin, Zimmerman maybe just would have gotten beaten up — maybe even badly beaten — and maybe he would have then given more thought in the future to confronting
teens merely committing the “offense” of W.W.B., Walking While Black. Furthermore, Zimmerman definitely should have been wearing a bright-colored windbreaker — like the Guardian Angels — or security-type vest that was clearly marked “Neighborhood Watch,” or something to that effect. This would have at least let Martin know what he was dealing with, and might well have kept the situation from escalating. Even with a concealed handgun, wearing this kind of identifying garment lets people know that this person is presenting himself as some sort of pseudo-authority. Regardless of whether or not the person in the vest is a nutcase, at least the other party can grasp the situation, and has more information to help decide how to respond. Local police — such as in Sanford, Florida — surely know who the neighborhood watch people are in their jurisdictions, and they certainly know if these individuals are armed. There should be greater oversight and training of them by police, and this could at least start with making them wear mandatory identifying garments or patches, badges, etc. Zimmerman should never be allowed to carry a firearm again — though, legally, he will get his gun back. But the issues of Stand Your Ground laws and armed vigilante watchmen who profile our youth must be addressed. Reforms are needed, or more innocent youths will lose their lives.
The principle for designing the entire site was not “Listen to the People”, but listen to George Pataki…[who] made all the decisions at the WTC site, get it? There couldn’t have been a less qualified person but the NY Times and Daily News and Bloomberg were gung-ho for it all. The plans are a product of hot air, incompetence, and corruption and now NY and NJ are stuck with it. A lot of people don’t care as much any more, besides people from NJ are paying for most of it right now anyway. Plenty of tourists will pay $20 to see the hole in the ground museum and will be puzzled by the bizarre, meaningless waterfalls, and few will come a second time, but who cares, there are plenty more to take their place…. BTW, Pataki and the LMDC didn’t listen to anybody including the victims families.
opinion of those who make the facts fit their agendas. The worst part isn’t just money, that is no object at the Memorial, but — as the 1776foot tombstone, the banished Koenig Sphere, the confiscation of the precious remains, the generic waterfalls, the extravagant transit hub, and the rest of the disappointing site attest — it is the will of the people that is no object at the WTC.
Michael Shirey GRAPHIC DESIGNER
Arnold Rozon CONTRIBUTORS
Albert Amateau Jerry Tallmer PHOTOGRAPHERS
Milo Hess Jefferson Siegel
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Posted To “Money’s no object at the 9/11 Memorial” (Talking Point by David Stanke, posted July 3): The Memorial Museum belongs to NYC, not the nation…. For many years the only families who were ever included in discussions were those who benefited financially from 9/11. Many of the families attended meetings in the beginning, but we listened. Our input was never considered. Putting the unidentified human remains 70 feet below a site that is already below sea level is ludicrous. Who does that?… Who can afford to go with a family? I guess the Museum folks believe that everyone earns over 100K a year. Maureen The 9/11 Memorial and Museum staff rake in high six-figure salaries, have huge buyouts like Wall St. fatcats and a completely overbloated $60 million annual budget in times when over 20 million Americans suffer through unemployment or underemployment. This museum will charge a $20 mandatory entry fee and with 5 million visitors projected annually, they have a $100 million dollar revenue generating tourist attraction… This Memorial was to be a tribute to our loved ones who were murdered by terrorists. Everyone should be allowed to pay their respects at WTC, not just the rich. Costs are out of control and the 9/11 families simply want a respectful Memorial. D.C. Jim Riches, FDNY
Bernie Goetz The redeeming part of this opinion is the conclusion — the rest is a jumble of misconceptions that adds to the pervasive confusion. The one question that we should all indeed be asking is, “How did this ever get so out of control?” The answer is written in and between the lines of all the comments above: Defile and defeat the democratic process, while professing to honor it; misappropriate billions of public dollars while refusing to give an accounting; use a lazy, gullible media to misdirect attention away from the truly despicable culprits; rely on the “expert”
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July 17 - July 30, 2013
Citi Bike has me on a roll, and it’s not very pretty BY BILL WEINBERG As a long-suffering New York City bicyclist, I really want to take heart in Mayor Bloomberg’s controversial measures to accommodate human-powered transport. But since the very start, it has all smelled suspicious. Five years ago, the “congestion pricing” plan to charge motorists to enter Manhattan seemed a prescription for accelerating the transformation of the island into a sort of Manhattanland tourist theme park. The closing of large sections of Times Square to cars has coincided with administration of this “public” space being turned over nearly completely to the Times Square Alliance business improvement district; adding pedestrian plazas to the west side of the East Village’s Cooper Square is similarly concomitant with delivering the historic plaza over to Cooper Union college and the new Grace Church High School as a virtually privatized space. And now, the new bicycle-sharing program vindicates my worst fears… Let’s start with the name — which is not merely an aesthetic issue, but one that hits the core theme of private and corporate colonization of the public sphere. By now we all know that these blue bicycles that New Yorkers are riding around on are dubbed “Citi Bikes,” with each one sporting the goddamned Citibank logo. Isn’t there something fundamentally perverse about Citibank cashing in on the opportunity for a little greenwashing, courtesy of City Hall? Are we supposed to forget that Citibank was the most intransigent opponent to sanctions on South Africa in the 1980s — the last U.S. bank still functioning in the apartheid state before it finally succumbed to a worldwide activist campaign and pulled out in 1987? It was only activist pressure that dissuaded the company from opening a branch in totalitarian Burma 10 years later. Even now, Citibank defies a campaign demanding that it condemn the “Kill the Gays” bill in Uganda, another unseemly regime with which it happily does business. And the banking giant recently reached a deal to take over “Peru’s Chernobyl” — the metal smelting complex at La Oroya, one of the world’s most polluted sites, which local peasants are demanding be shut down. And while the pricing scheme for the Citi Bikes has been modified to make it more affordable, there continues to be a $9.95 base price for single-day use. This allows unlimited half-hour rides, but with an additional $4 for the second half hour of any ride. And the price goes up to $9 and then $12 for subsequent half hours. So a one-time, hour-long ride will cost… 14 bucks? By my math, a four-hour ride would cost $49! Operating the payment system and also kicking in a few million dollars for the program is MasterCard — a company now facing a European Union antitrust probe over its inflated transaction fees.
Downtown Express photo by Milo Hess
On July 4, Uncle Sam was spotted, not on a Citi Bike, but on the E train on his way up to view the fireworks at W. 23rd St.
So, a double insult! Having some sinister corporation get to splash its logo all over the bikes would be bad enough. And having the program be ludicrously overpriced (for those who don’t want to buy a $95 annual membership) would be bad enough! But… both?! The bicycle-sharing programs in many European cities are free or moderately priced. (The baseline for daily use in Paris is under 2 euros.) How many contemporary Citi Bike users know that the first bike-sharing program was pioneered in Amsterdam in the ’60s by a radical counterculture group, the Provos? Before the city government got on board later, the Provos’ “White Bicycle” initiative was an “underground” program launched in spite of the authorities, and celebrated in the 1968 acid-rock anthem “My White Bicycle.” Now, two generations later, it has come to… this? Like all of Bloomberg’s supposed pro-bicycle measures, this represents elite, corporate appropriation of progressive, revolutionary ideas. I’m increasingly convinced that these measures are doing more harm than good. Even as they spark a backlash from reactionary motorheads, they may actually be restricting the freedom and safety of cyclists. I’ve already heard stories of cyclists being ticketed for not being in the bike lane. Motorists, meanwhile, seem to think they are not obliged to respect any cyclist’s right to the road on streets that don’t have bike lanes, which is the over-
whelming majority of the city’s streets. A few months back, I was riding on one of those streets, Brooklyn’s Myrtle Ave., when (yet again!) a bus driver cut me off and came within inches and micro-seconds of killing me. When I caught up with him at the next bus stop and got in his face, I didn’t just get the usual arrogant and dismissive ’tude — he had the nerve to say, “There’s no bike lane on this street!” As if any cyclist on a street with no bike lane is nothing but roadkill waiting to happen. You’d think it would have occurred to Bloomberg to instruct his notoriously probicycle Transportation commish, Janette Sadik-Khan, to have a little talk with the M.T.A. chairperson (until recently, the nowmayoral candidate Joseph Lhota) and tell him to make sure bus drivers know that bicyclists have a right to the road! Instead, the M.T.A. seems to be instructing their drivers that cyclists have no rights. This very tendency was acknowledged by Sadik-Khan in her move to eliminate those futile “DON’T HONK” signs from around the city: She argued that motorists may have been assuming it was O.K. to honk on streets where there was no sign. This of course raises the question of whether the city will take other, more effective measures to crack down on the incessant, maddening, aggressive horn-leaning. But more to my particular point: Will Sadik-Khan understand that the same logic applies to bike lanes — motorists
now think it is O.K. to terrorize bicyclists on streets that don’t have them? Another illustration of how bicycle lanes are counterproductive: I recently had to swerve out of the bike lane and into the traffic stream because there was a parked car blocking the bike lane. (This happens all the time.) The motorist behind me (in a big Mack truck, no less) actually sped up to intentionally menace me, while yelling, “Get into the bike lane!” And then (of course), the light at the intersection was red anyway, so he was just hurrying up to sit waiting a few extra seconds for the light to change. He gambled with my life completely gratuitously. Obviously, this is inherently irrational behavior, yet it is practically universal. Systems theory tells us that the function of a system is what it does. We may think that the function of the automotive transport system is to move people around, but endless gridlock tells us that it is actually a very poor way of doing that. In its actual function, this system serves to A.) take carbon from the bowels of the earth and put it in the atmosphere, thereby destabilizing the planet’s climate; B.) displace greenery and communities with seas of choking asphalt; and C.) turn people into insensitive jerks. The kind of people who will kill to wait at a traffic light. The Transportation Department has put up signs at certain dangerous intersections with an image of a bicycle and the words “SHARE THE ROAD.” Some do-gooders have left white-painted “ghost bikes” at places around the city where cyclists have been killed. It is all an exercise in futility that makes no impact on the mentality of motorists. I even had a motorist cut me off while indicating the sign and shouting at me: “SHARE THE ROAD!” — as if the sign were admonishing bicyclists to share the road with motorists! The bicycle-sharing program was held up last year when Comptroller John Liu warned that it could be both a safety and financial liability for the city. In a report to the Transportation Department, he noted that in 2010, there were 368 bicycle-related crashes in the city, 19 of which resulted in a fatality. From 2004 to 2009, the city had the highest fatality rate for bicyclists in North America. I can’t go along with Liu’s call for mandatory helmets for Citi Bike users, because this could set a precedent for applying this to cyclists generally, and there are already enough restrictions on cyclists’ liberty, thank you. But I thank him for bringing these statistics to the public’s attention. The automotive transport system is inherently irrational and life-destroying. We must dare to dream of its abolition. The counterproductive compromise measures ultimately only forestall the inevitable solution: banning cars from New York City. And, eventually, the world. Weinberg blogs at WorldWar4Report.com
July 17 - July 30, 2013
BY MAEVE GATELY & SCOTT STIFFLER TRINITY CHURCH PRESENTS FAMILY FRIDAY PIZZA & MOVIE NIGHT Trinity Wall Street hosts this third-Friday-ofthe-month event for kids who are hungry (for food and entertainment) and adults who are too pooped to cook (or even order delivery!). On July 19, there’s no need to hoof it to Broadway if you want to see “Matilda.” You won’t find any singing or dancing in this version, but the Danny DeVito-directed 1996 film does offer an appropriately dark (but safe for kids) take on the Roald Dahl book. The series rounds out its summer calendar on August 16, with “The Secret of Kells.” Free. From 6-7:30pm, at Charlotte’s Place (107 Greenwich St., rear of 74 Trinity Place, btw. Rector & Carlisle Sts.). For info, call 212602-0800 or visit trinitywallstreet.org/calendar. THE CHILDREN’S ROOM AT POETS HOUSE This bright and vibrant space encourages literacy and creativity. In addition to housing many poetry books by classic and contemporary authors, the Children’s Room is designed to stimulate the imaginations of young ones and drive them to create poems and art of their own. From Thurs.-Sat., children are free to draw inspiration from the room’s card catalogue full of quirky objects and type up their own masterpieces on vintage typewriters. Every Thurs. at 10am, “Tiny Poet Time” offers poetry readings and music for toddlers. At 10 River Terrace (at Murray St.). Hours: Children’s Room
open Thurs.-Sat., 11am-5pm. Admission: Free. For info, call 212431-7920 or visit poetshouse.org. LAWN TIME FOR LITTLE ONES, ON THE HIGH LINE Babies and toddlers will love this morning of sing-alongs and readings, full of bubbles and the wonder of storytelling. Come to the 23rd St. lawn (weather permitting) and enjoy an hour and a half of storytelling, blocks and sing-alongs with neighborhood performers. You might even find yourself singing “The Wheels on the Bus,” while your little one basks contentedly in the summer air! Open to all ages. Thursdays 10-11:30am. Rain location: Chelsea Market 14th St. passage. When the 23rd St. lawn is closed for restoration, Lawn Time will take place on the 10th Ave. Square at 17th St . For more info, or to find out the location that day, call 212-206-9922 or check @Highlinenyc on Twitter on Thursdays by 8am. THE SCHOLASTIC STORE Held every Saturday at 3pm, Scholastic’s in-store activities are designed to get kids reading, thinking, talking, creating and moving. At 11am every Tues., Wed. and Thurs., the Scholastic Storyteller brings tales to life at Daily Storytime. At 557 Broadway (btw. Prince & Spring Sts.). Store hours: Mon.-Sat., 10am-7pm and Sun., 11am-6pm. For info, call 212-343-6166 or visit scholastic.com/sohostore.
Photo by Rowa Lee, courtesy of Friends of the High Line
Wild Wednesdays introduces your little ones to plants, animals and the joys of wearing a tool belt!
Bring your little wild ones down to the High Line to meet some critters of their own! Wild Wednesdays are themed, interactive opportunities for kids to engage with nature, learn about plants and animals and get in touch with their inner botanist. This month, it’s all about the life cycle of plants, with consecutive Wednesdays focusing on roots, stems, leaves and flowers. Follow the bloom of High Line plants, and watch your five-year-old peer at the vein structure of a leaf. If this is not enough to sprout your interest, the last Wednesday of the month (July 31) coincides with High Line Honey Day. So go “Wild,” then taste your way through NYC’s honey offerings (and meet beekeepers from all five boroughs). Throughout the month, kids will have the opportunity to play with the High Line Children’s Workyard Kit. Inspired by the High Line’s industrial past, its finished wood planks and oversize bolts fit together with knobs, cranks and various odds and ends to make for a unique building experience that is as informative as it is fun! Open to kids aged 4 and up, accompanied by their caretakers. Wednesdays, 4 -6pm, Chelsea Market 14th St. passage.
STARGAZING ON THE HIGH LINE
Chelsea’s elevated park has more to offer than cool breezes and lazy strolls. Long before the sky darkens, members of the Amateur Astronomers Association gather on the High Line — and invite you to watch the sunset through their telescopes. The real show begins when the planets and red giants begin to emerge. On a recent Tuesday night, tourists, families and locals alike peered through the lens at a dim, red spot we soon learned was Mercury. The smallest of the planets, Saturn, was also visible (as were its orange rings). When Venus rose over the Hudson, we gasped in wonder as a huge white spot flew by. Too big to be a plane and too fast to be a star, it was the International Space Station — and we all looked up in awe, at humanity in the heavens. Free. Tuesdays, 6:30-9:30pm, on the High Line. Location and times vary, depending on conditions. For updated info, visit thehighline.org or call 212-206-9922.
July 17 - July 30, 2013
Prospero, on our island NY Classical Theatre brings the Bard to Battery Park THEATER SHAKESPEARE’S THE TEMPEST A NEW YORK CLASSICAL THEATRE PRODUCTION
Directed by Sean Hagerty Production Design by Mike Floyd Free At Battery Park (meet in front of Castle Clinton) Through Aug. 4 Tues.-Sun., at 7pm Family Workshops: July 20, 21, 27 & 28 at 5pm For info: 212-252-4531 or newyorkclassical.org Photos by Miranda Arden
Before Sandy stormed Castle Clinton: New York Classical Theatre’s 2010 Battery Park production of “Much Ado About Nothing.”
BY SCOTT STIFFLER Making dramatic use of Battery Park’s most spectacular set pieces (Castle Clinton, the Statue of Liberty and the sun setting behind the harbor), New York Classical Theatre’s tip-of-the-island production of “The Tempest” brings both thematic relevance and geographic resonance to Shakespeare’s tale of an exiled magician, his daughter and a very uneasy family reunion — courtesy of a shipwreck manufactured by the revengeminded Prospero. “Half surrounded by water and steeped in history, Battery Park is the perfect setting for Shakespeare’s most magical, otherworldly play,” declares New York Classical Theatre founder and artistic director Stephen Burdman of the company’s bold, roving production — the first Off-Broadway endeavor to take place at (and around) Castle
Clinton since the historic site’s reopening following Superstorm Sandy. Will the castaways of Prospero’s island be so lucky when it comes to reinvention and redemption? New York Classical Theatre isn’t saying, but the troupe of roving players does note that their interpretation sets the action in the Victorian era, “when the onset of the Industrial Revolution inspired a countervailing renaissance in spiritualism and a penchant for all things occult.” For younger audience members who may be new to the play, free educational workshops before selected performances will guide children ages 7-11 and their families through games and exercises designed to help them better understand the action as it unfolds on a stage — which, in this case, is all the world (of Lower Manhattan).
Crowds surround the cast, at the 2010 Central Park production of “Richard III.”
July 17 - July 30, 2013
Elephant Run parks Brecht in ‘Central’ location Director Todoroff, on fusing physical and political theater THEATER BRECHT IN THE PARK: THREE ONE-ACTS BY BERTOLT BRECHT
An Elephant Run District production Directed by Aimee Todoroff Translation by Eric Bentley Mask & Additional Design by Joe Osheroff Every Sat. & and Sun. at 4pm Through July 28 Great Hill in Central Park (West Side, from 103rd to 107th Sts.), near the southeast corner Additional performance at the Brecht Forum (corner of West & Bank Sts. on Tues., July 23 at 7:30 pm Free (donations accepted) For info, visit elephantrundistrict.org
BY MARTIN DENTON (of nytheatre.com) To shake up the usual outdoor theater fare offered in NYC, Elephant Run District is presenting three rarely performed short plays by Bertolt Brecht — two of which required the creation of a special contract from the publishing company Samuel French, because they had never been performed in New York FINANCIAL
City. This production will feature masks and puppets created by Joe Osheroff, winner of three New York Innovative Theatre Awards in 2012 for his choreography and movement, mask design and direction of “Homunculus: Reloaded.” Our Downtown theater columnist, Martin Denton, recently spoke with director Aimee Todoroff about the challenges of producing work in New York, and bringing Brecht to the great outdoors. What is your job on this show? Director. What is your show about? “Brecht in the Park” will present three rarely performed one-act plays: “The Elephant Calf” (1926), “In Search of Justice” (1938) and “The Exception and the Rule” (1929) — fusing physical and political theater, and bringing these early 20th century works into the contemporary world of the Occupy Movement, Citizens United, Stop and Frisk actions and Stand Your Ground laws. Where were you born? Where were you raised? Where did you go to school? I was born in Dayton, Ohio, a little city famous for many things including the Wright Brothers, Paul Laurence Dunbar and being featured in the opening lines of Kurt Vonnegut’s “Slaughterhouse-Five” in a not-so-flattering comparison to Post-War Dresden. It was there that I discovered theater. I saw my first play in high school, and didn’t see another until I auditioned for my first play at the age of 20. It was a Polish pantomime play, and there were no lines. I got the part. After Dayton, I spent a few years in Philadelphia, always considering it my “transition” city, and then I moved up to New York. In between directing, running ERD and my day job, I’m also pursuing my MFA at Southampton Arts and (with fingers crossed) will graduate in 2014. Are audiences in New York City different from audiences in other cities/countries where you’ve performed? If so, how? A while back, I took a road trip to see a show at a nearby regional theatre. The set was meticulously detailed and realistic, but I found it stifling — it didn’t reveal anything about the play’s inner tension or
Photos by Chris Harcum
Jenny Tibbels-Jordan and Ron Dizon in “The Elephant Calf” (mask by Joe Osheroff).
hit any deeper levels. When I said I wished it could have been articulated in a more abstract way, my companion said, “Well, this isn’t New York theatre, that wouldn’t work here.” That took me back, but it occurred to me that because New York has almost an embarrassment of riches when it comes to the variety of theatre available, the audiences here are more willing to take a chance on alternate modes of expression. However, New York audiences (in my experience) tend to try to quantify performances in a very polarizing way. A show is either good or bad. They tend to love a show, or they hate it — rarely is the discussion about what was interesting or successful within a particular play. When visiting the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in Scotland last year (in preparation for taking “American Gun Show” this year) I kept hearing the phrase “It’s worth seeing.” Never did I hear a play dismissed outright, nor blindly praised. This simple phrasing seemed to open up the subject to discussion, and I hope this is a trend that New York audiences can adopt. Why did you want to write/direct/produce/act in/work on this show? I’ve always wanted to direct Brecht in a way that is accessible to as wide an audience as possible. It’s something that has been simmering in me for over a decade, and I’ve often talked about doing it in a park. When Chris found a gorgeous clearing in Central Park — a little bit off the main path but still easy to get to, wide enough for a large audience but with good sight-lines, almost completely enclosed — he took me there and showed the space to me like he was giving me a present. It was the perfect spot for Brecht. In choosing the three one-acts to present for our first production, I specifically wanted pieces that were lesser known. The themes that are recurring in these three plays are so
current, it felt like they had to be done now. The parallels to Stop and Frisk, Citizens United and Stand Your Ground Laws were so active within these plays, yet we knew we could stage them in a way that was funny, entertaining and accessible to an audience of all ages. Which character from a Shakespeare play would like your show the best: King Lear, Puck, Rosalind or Lady Macbeth — and why? Rosalind, absolutely. These plays have a sense of humor about them, but would appeal to her intellect and sense of fairness. Also, I think she’d dig the park setting. It would remind her of Arden. How important is diversity to you in the theater you see/make? The more types of theatre an artist can see, the stronger their own work will become. Every time I go to the theatre, I walk away with new ideas about what is possible or a new appreciation for a well-placed nuance. Many times, I have forced myself to go see a play that I wasn’t particularly interested in or drawn to — maybe the subject matter or style didn’t really appeal to me or I just wasn’t in the mood — and it is those shows that always surprise me the most, catch me off guard and blow me away. This is part of why I love reviewing and think it is such an important tool for artists who are starting out and might not have the extra cash to see a show. I get to go see a play I might not have otherwise known about, much less seen, and then get to further the discussion around it. There is so much excellent work happening in our community right now, and I’m extremely grateful for every moment I have had the good fortune to experience. Note: This Q&A originally appeared on Martin Denton’s website, nytheatre.com.
July 17 - July 30, 2013
Just Do Art! BY SCOTT STIFFLER
“This is a typical case of hoarding,” says social worker and reality TV talking head Jenny Bragg Marcus, MSW — speaking to us from a pristine white room after the camera has panned the floor-to-ceiling belongings of a defensive southern matriarch. “But all typical cases are atypically sad,” the condescending Bragg notes, as she squints her eyes to deliver a hushed final verdict: “It’s so sad.” Sad, yes, but not true…at least not in this case. Playing now on indiegogo. com, the clip is sneak peek at “Hoard Wars” — a new program on the nonexistent A&B network, whose fake-butplausible programming mantra is “Real Strife. Trauma.” Bragg and her crew have descended upon the home of prolific pack rat Anna Capable, who regards the fire hazard as a “collection” of meaningful and necessary things. Not so, says daughter Jessy — who enlists the TV show to remove her mother’s mess. Is it a hoard or a collection? Like the search for walls or carpeting, finding the answer will require diving into the mess and peeling back multiple layers — and even then, what you see isn’t necessarily what you’re expecting to get. That seems to be the case with the
world premiere of Jay Stull’s play “The Capables.” Although the fake TV show clip delivers on the promise of “hoards and collections,” nowhere is there any indication of what the actual theatrical production means when it promises to explore “the dirty business of radical inclusion.” Elsewhere on that indiegogo page, the playwright’s own assessment of “The Capables” seems to indicate that the work is less concerned with the act of obsessive accumulation and more focused on exploring the void it serves to fill. “It’s also about a family that is missing a son who has, as they used to say, lighted out for the territories,” says Stull. “Ultimately this play is about two worlds in which I feel equally rooted — the cosmopolitan city and the rural but developing Southern town. At a time when the positions of these two worlds seem primed to be invariably at odds, I wanted to explore how they hang together — or don’t — how they exploit each other, and how they are symbiotically and inextricably related.”
THE ART OF DRINKING
Photography has been around for a mere fraction of the 10,000 years that alcohol has been with us — but what a team they make. Whether it’s quiet contemplation, boisterous revelry or morningafter regrets, booze as muse never seems to disappoint. “The Art of Drinking” pays homage to the passion and skill we bring to drinking — and documenting the process of imbibing. “This exhibition,” the
© Elliot Erwitt courtesy of Edwynn Houk
History through beer goggles? Get lightly lit, head over to Sasha Wolf Gallery and see Marilyn Monroe, watching the rushes of “The Misfits” (Elliot Erwitt’s “New, Nevada” (1960) — on view through Aug. 16 (part of “The Art of Drinking”).
curators note, “is intended to offer a glimpse of the role that drinking has played in the making of photographs, both as subject and inspiration. Beyond the stereotypes of the drunk artist (apt as they sometimes are!) these pictures playfully, sometimes seriously, depict the relationship between drinkers and the drink, each other and the world around them.” As seen on the walls of Sasha Wolf Gallery, that world includes watering holes that
are swanky (NYC’s Top of the Standard), sparse (Western Nebraska) and foreboding (Marilyn Monroe, with glass in hand, watching “The Misfits” rushes). Far from encouraging sober contemplation, the curators strongly recommend viewing this selection “with a bit of a buzz on.” Free. Through Aug. 16. Hours: Wed.Sun., 12-6pm. At Sasha Wolf Gallery (70 Orchard St., Broome & Grand). For info: 212-925-0025 or sashawolf.com.
July 17 - July 30, 2013
sea Chelnow www.chelseanow.com
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July 17 - July 30, 2013
Two Downtown preschools now have even more to offer BY KA I T LY N M E A D E Two private preschools are expanding in Lower Manhattan, bringing more pre-K seats to Downtown parents. This fall, The Learning Experience will open a new level of its first Manhattan preschool in Battery Park City, which is part of its recovery effort from Superstorm Sandy. Meanwhile, the Educational Alliance’s preschool will be growing into a new community center on the Lower East Side. The Learning Experience opened its doors at 20 West St. in April 2012 and thrived there until October 29, when Sandy flooded the lower level of the space. While they reopened in January, the school had to seal off the basement floor. “We were very lucky that the first floor was not damaged,” said business manager Michael Taylor. They are just now finishing repairs on the lower level, and hope to bring in new families to fill out their reopened classrooms, all of which are dedicated to preschoolaged kids. The facility has a state-of-the-art security system, including digital sign-in with pin numbers and security cameras in all the classrooms. “I know it’s a lot, but nowadays parents want to make sure their kids are safe,” Taylor said. The Learning Experience also prides itself on its curriculum, called LEAP, which is instituted across its 115 facilities nationwide. The program statistics speak for themselves: Eighty-eight percent of children read at some level before entering kindergarten. LEAP also teaches sign language at an early age, helping children improve nonverbal communication. Programs include basic academic subjects, as well as lessons in etiquette and enrichment programs like yoga and dance at no extra cost. “We strongly believe that what is good for one child is good for all of them,” said Taylor, about offering enrichment programs as part of the curriculum. To the east, the Educational Alliance’s preschool is flourishing under a different mantra — diversity within a community. The Lower East Side preschool program will move this December into the Manny Cantor Center, at 197 East Broadway, expanding its highly soughtafter early childhood classrooms in the coming years. Founded in 1889 in what was then a thriving center of Jewish culture, the Educational Alliance served Jewish immigrants in the area. Today, it still recognizes its roots. The preschool is a private program nestled into a larger social service that serves about 50,000 New Yorkers a year, said the school’s director Dr. Michelle Sarna. As such, it has a unique relationship to the surrounding community. “We are a program that is very diverse
and we are thoughtful of that diversity,” she said. “But we are also inspired by Jewish values.” The school’s curriculum focuses on a different value each month, culminating in a school-wide celebration where each class shares how they explored that value. “Part of the core of our program is building community, and one way we have been able to do that is by being part of the community center programs,” said Sarna. “Our children decorated tablecloths which we used in Project Ore, for Thanksgiving dinner for the homeless. We also ran a canned-food drive for it.” The Educational Alliance offers halfday, full-day and extended-day options, as well as a five- or three-days-per-week schedule. This fall, there are four classrooms dedicated to preschool, plus a “Turning Two” program and the Seeds and Sprouts program. The roster for the 2013-14 school year is full, but Sarna said that they are, of course, always taking inquiries. For more information, call 646-395-4250 or visit edalliance.org. For more information on The Learning Experience, call 212-797-1110 or visit manhattan.tlechildcare.com. An open house featuring fun, food and activities will take place on Saturday, August 10, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Image courtesy of Educational Alliance
At the Educational Alliance, preschoolers enjoy enrichment programs like yoga and dance — at no extra cost.
Continued from page 3
ning, we asked Sweeney? “She’s doing much better than I thought,” he said, “and Chin is imploding with her now taking Real Estate Board of New York money.” Countered Finan, “From elected officials, to Democratic clubs, to labor unions, to the business community, Margaret Chin’s support runs the gamut. She has support in every corner of the district and from all walks of people.”
— Lincoln Anderson TUNNEL-APPROACH ART:
Sculptor Gina Miccinilli, right, finished her latest work, “Lemniscatus,” on Mon., July 15, on Varick Street between Broome and Watts, where she transformed a triad of 3-ton granite traffic barriers into representations of movement and metamorphosis. The project was completed in partnership with Marc Fields of the Compleat Sculptor on Vandam Street, the Hudson Square Connection business improvement district, and the Department of Transportation, and creates a pedestrian plaza near the entrance to the Holland
Tunnel. Fields would like to continue with similar site-specific projects in the city where traffic barriers could be transformed into urban art. Suzy Changar, director of marketing at the Hudson Square Connection, said there would be no formal unveiling of the project, to allow pedestrians the opportunity to self-discover it. Local employee Paris Osgerchian, who works as a photo retoucher in a nearby studio, said the neighborhood needs places for locals to sit outdoors. That the sculpted stones sit hard by the tunnel’s
traffic flow doesn’t matter to him. “Being a New Yorker, noise and traffic don’t really bother me,” he said. Miccinilli, A New Jersey native who also teaches on the art faculty at William Paterson University, said of the granite hunks, “I love the idea that it’s reclaimed.” The city repurposes the blocks of stone from material from the dismantled Willis Avenue Bridge. “It’s got such power to it,” she added, “and it challenges our notion of what’s valuable.”
— Cynthia Magnus
July 17 - July 30, 2013
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JULY 17, 2013 DOWNTOWN EXPRESS