The Paper of Record for East and West Villages, Lower East Side, Soho, Noho, Little Italy and Chinatown
July 24, 2014 • FREE Volume 4 • Number 18
E.V. slow zone, with 20 m.p.h. limit, is fast approaching BY SERGEI KLEBNIKOV
ammy Hagar sang, “I can’t drive 55!” Well, now if the rocker ever drives through the East Village, he won’t even be allowed to drive 30. Under a new “slow zone” initiative, the neighborhood’s speed limit is set to be
shaved down to 20 miles per hour — 10 miles per hour below the city speed limit. Construction for the new Tompkins Square / Alphabet City Slow Zone, approved by the Department of Transportation last October, started this month, and is set to be completed by next SLOW ZONE, continued on p. 4
BY CLARISSA-JAN LIM
eyson and Plasm roam the streets, their sole belongings in backpacks hiked up on their shoulders. They occasionally stop by “bum feeds” or dig through dumpsters for food. They clandestinely drink alco-
hol from brown bags on the street or in parks with fellow “crust punks,” at times in the company of a dog or two. The “crusties” are unmistakable with their patched, black outfits and general unkemptness. Especially in warm weather, they’re a common sight in the Village, CRUSTIES, continued on p. 14
PHOTO BY LINCOLN ANDERSON
From troubled homes to Village’s sidewalks: Crusty life on the street
David Baez, 22, who had a bicycle accident, was the first patient at the Lenox Hill HealthPlex last Thursday morning. A doctor checked Baez’s condition after he received a CAT scan.
Bike accidents to bedbugs, HealthPlex is there to help BY LINCOLN ANDERSON
avid Baez woke up under a staircase in front of the Search & Destroy punk shop on St. Mark’s Place last Thursday morning. The left side of his head was a mess of bloody scrapes. “I had all this crap on my face,” he said. “I don’t remember what happened.” He got on his lime-green track bike — which he somehow had had the presence of mind to lock up nearby be-
fore winding up under the stairs — and pedaled over to the new Lenox Hill HealthPlex freestanding emergency department, at W. 12th St. and Seventh Ave. He was in luck. It was the E.D.’s opening day. “I knew this place was here,” he said. “But I didn’t know if it was open yet.” He knew the HealthPlex would be opening sometime soon, since he works right around the corner as a dispatcher at Juice Press, on Greenwich Ave. (which, he
proudly noted, is even better than Liquiteria, “way more raw, way more organic”). Baez, 22, spoke Thursday around 1 p.m. as he was lying on a bed in one of the HealthPlex’s 26 private rooms for patients. In fact, he was the West Village’s new healthcare facility’s very first patient. The place had opened its doors at 10 a.m, but it took a little while before patients started arriving — and when HEALTHPLEX, continued on p. 20
Menchaca takin’ care of bin’ness.....................page 2 Cash grants mean more composting..............page 6 R.I.P., Florence Otway of Theatre 80.................page 9 ‘Rice Bomber’ redeemed.............page 19 | May 14, 2014
MOVIE STAR AND ALL-STARS: In their first season of existence, though they gave it their all, the Lower East Side Lady Furies were knocked out of the playoffs, ending their hopes of making it to the Little League World Series. Now the age-10-and-under ball players are facing the prospect of a tough, all-out winter clinic when they get into top shape to hit the diamond next season and show the world. But last week, at their final practice for this season, the mood was light as they were joined by a local legend, actor Luis Guzman. FIELDS BIDS ADIEU: Longtime director of the NOHO NY Business Improvement District, Harriet Fields, released a farewell statement to the community this Monday, announcing her retirement from the BID. “It has been a great experience working with you for our area,” she said, in part. “I am truly proud of the work and effort that we did together. I wish you much success in the future and will continue to care for the NOHO NY BID.” TAKING CARE OF BIN’NESS: On Wednesday, City Councilmember Carlos Menchaca, of Brooklyn, announced he is co-sponsoring an “aggressive bill”
that will empower the Department of Sanitation to “immediately remove” the fake clothing donation bins that have proliferated around the East Village and other areas. In a post on his Facebook page, he said that he was proud to announce his co-sponsorship of the legislation aimed at the bogus bins “that have littered our streets.” The bill, he noted, “will impose stiff penalties on companies engaged in this illegal practice.” Menchaca thanked residents and neighborhood organizations, specifically in Sunset Park and Red Hook, for their input and advocacy. “Residents from across [my] district helped shape the final bill by pointing to regulations hindering the city from taking immediate action that we have addressed in the local law we will introduce,” he said. “Community-driven bills like this set an example for the kind of legislative work that you should expect from my office.” Meanwhile residents of the East Village and Lower East Side, where the pink bins have recently mushroomed, will be thanking Menchaca if the bill passes and the receptacles start being removed more rapidly. Visiting in Gowanus, in Brooklyn, we recently noticed one pink bin that had been stickered by Sanitation as illegal was removed, but that another one that has been there for a few weeks, at Dean and Butler Sts., has no stickers, and is collecting a sloppy and growing assortment of clothes on and around it.
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Luis Guzman, center, joined the L.E.S. Lady Furies at Jackson Park on the Lower East Side at the team’s last practice of the season.
July 24, 2014
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July 24, 2014
A map by the Department of Transportation of the Alphabet City / Tompkins Square Park Neighborhood Slow Zone shows where new speed bumps and 20 m.p.h. street markings will go. On the slow zone’s borders, new “gateway marker” signs will alert drivers that they’re entering the zone.
Slow zone, with 20 m.p.h. limit, fast approaching SLOW ZONE, continued from p. 1
month. Last year, D.O.T. renewed its slow zone program, which had been initiated under former Mayor Bloomberg. Mayor de Blasio supports the program, and it’s a component of his “Vision Zero” plan for eliminating street fatalities and injuries. There were about 75 applications for local slow zones in the program’s second competitive application process, in 2013. Of the eight chosen for implementation, the Alphabet City-area slow zone is being rolled out first, said Chad Marlow, a Community Board 3 member who championed the original idea. “It’s incredible that we got to go first,” he said. Marlow completed and filed the application after noticing a statement from D.O.T. that the agency would be renewing the program. The application was submitted by the Tompkins Square Park & Playgrounds Parents’ Association, of which Marlow is a founder, and was subsequently endorsed by C.B. 3. “It was something I absolutely had to do,” said Marlow, who explained how he was also motivated by his own experience. When Marlow was 23 years old,
July 24, 2014
his father was struck and nearly killed by a speeding drunk driver. The accident left his father with severe and lasting injuries, until he passed away 13 years later. Understandably, the topic hits close to home for Marlow. “I’ve always been extremely sensitive to the risk that speeding cars present for pedestrians,” he said. D.O.T. looked at several factors in considering the applications. Nicole Garcia, a D.O.T. spokesperson, provided a presentation outlining the factors that made the East Village slow zone application so worthy of designation. Statistically, the Alphabet City area is simply dangerous because of its traffic level and documented accidents. It’s also a high-risk area: There are many schools, as well as parks, daycare and senior-care centers in the community. Finally, incredible community support for the project helped move it forward, according to D.O.T. The idea of a zone in the East Village won strong backing from local officials, from the City Council to Congress, who represent the area. Marlow firmly believes that the slow zone will help calm car traffic and reduce the number of accidents in the area each year.
“Any community that is eligible for a slow zone should want to have one,” he said. “There’s no downside.” According to D.O.T., in New York City areas where neighborhood slow zones have been implemented, there has been a 10 to 15 percent decrease in speeds, a 14 percent reduction in crashes involving injuries and a 31 percent reduction in injuries caused by vehicles. However, slow zones aren’t intended to slow things down so much that traffic doesn’t move. According to D.O.T., “Slow zones are implemented in areas with low traffic volumes and minimal through traffic, where reducing the speed limit will not cause traffic congestion.” The East Village slow zone will be larger than the average. It’s boundaries will be 14th St. on the north, the F.D.R. Drive on the east, Houston St. on the south and First Ave. on the west. There will be new specialized “gateway” signs posted around the area’s boundaries, notifying drivers entering the zone of the reduced speed limit. The slow zone will also include 20 new “speed humps” that will force drivers to slow down to 20 miles per hour. “Self-enforcing” mechanisms like these make the enforcement
passive, as opposed to active, according to D.O.T. However, the level of active enforcement will be left up to the Police Department to determine, Garcia said. Other additional elements will include high-visibility crosswalks and road markings. Among other areas set to receive slow zones this year are Brownsville-East New York, Clinton Hill, Crown Heights, Jackson Heights and Sunnyside Gardens-Woodside. The eight neighborhoods slated for slow zones in 2015 include the West Village, Brooklyn Heights, Prospect Heights and Astoria. Local parent and school advocates, led by Kelly Shannon, the principal of P.S. 41, are pushing for the West Village Neighborhood Slow Zone to be expanded to include a wider swath of the area, which would take in more schools. Over all, Marlow said he is extremely “proud and pleased” at how the initiative is turning out. He had the idea for an East Village slow zone more than a year ago. That was followed by D.O.T.’s selection of the application, and then, in turn, a thorough planning process for the project. Now Marlow’s vision for a safer neighborhood — a vision eagerly embraced by so many East Villagers — will at last become a reality. EastVillagerNews.com
Stuy Town groper has struck twice, still at large BY LINCOLN ANDERSON
olice are seeking the public’s help in locating and identifying an individual wanted in connection with two early-morning, forcible-touching incidents at Stuyvesant Town. According to police, on Sun., May 18, at about 2:52 a.m., the male suspect grabbed a 24-year-old female victim’s buttocks inside the hallway of her apartment building in the vicinity of E. 14th St., then fled. In the second incident, a month later, on Sun., June 15, at around 2:05 a.m., the same man reportedly touched a 22-year-old female victim’s buttocks inside the hallway in her apartment building located at Stuyvesant Oval, then fled. The suspect is described as age 25 to 35, with a dark beard, around 5 feet 10 inches tall, and weighing 175 to 200 pounds. He was last seen wearing a black sports jacket, black dress pants, and a light-colored dress shirt, with black dress shoes. Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers, at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477). Citizens can also submit tips by logging onto the Crime Stoppers Web site, at www.nypdcrimestoppers.com, or by texting to 274637 (CRIMES) and entering TIP577. All tips are strictly confidential. State Senator Brad Hoylman handed out fliers in Stuyvesant Town last Friday with information on the groping suspect and a surveillance image of the man. “This is a concern,” Hoylman told The Villager afterward. “That two assaults have occurred in two months is worrisome. There’s alarm. This is not a time for overreaction, but people need to take precautions, and also show solidarity with the victims.”
Last Friday in Stuyvesant Town, state Senator Brad Hoylman, above, handed out informational fliers with an image of the groping suspect, inset. In both incidents, the suspect forcibly grabbed a twentyT:8.75” something woman’s buttocks between the hours of 2 a.m. and 3 a.m.
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I N PROU D COLLABORATION WITH
July 24, 2014
Breaking it down: How to grow composting efforts BY ZACH WILLIAMS
July 24, 2014
PHOTO BY ZACH WILLIAMS
our grants to community gardens will expand public composting stations available to East Village residents. Hopes are high among gardeners, activists and local elected officials that the $2,900 in funding — specifically earmarked for composting — will promote environmental sustainability and education. The Citizens Committee For New York City awarded the grants in partnership with the borough president’s Solid Waste Advisory Board. La Plaza Cultural de Armando Perez, at E. Ninth St. and Avenue C, received $650. The funds will be used to rat-proof the garden’s recycling bins, as well as replace worn equipment. Borough President Gale Brewer said it’s important to note how cutting waste has ancillary benefits. “My feeling with composting — to get the general public — is you explain that these recycling bins are rat-proof, and that really makes a difference,” she said on Sat., July 12, at an event at La Plaza announcing the grants. Three other sites receiving grant money are East Side Community High School, at 420 E. 12th St.; Green Oa-
Borough President Gale Brewer, in La Plaza Cultural, spoke at the announcement of the composting grants. To the right of her, from left to right, were Brendan Sexton, Peter Kostmayer, Assemblymember Brian Kavanagh and state Senator Brad Hoylman.
sis Community Garden, at 374-388 E. Eighth St.; and Peach Tree Garden, at 236 E. Second St. The first two will use the funding to expand current composting efforts. Peach Tree will rebuild a
three-bin composting system damaged by Hurricane Sandy, as well as do outreach to the surrounding community. Eight additional composting projects received Citizen Committee grants this year in other areas of Manhattan. In total, 50 groups citywide received about $32,000 in composting grants. La Plaza and Peach Tree were also recipients this year of Citizens Committee neighborhood grants. La Plaza will use these funds to host an educational nature walk for local students. Peach Tree Garden will use this grant to increase neighbors’ access to fresh produce and nutritional information. State Senator Brad Hoylman, Assemblymember Brian Kavanagh and Brendan Sexton, chairperson of the Solid Waste Advisory Board, also spoke at the event. Sexton was also the commissioner of the city’s Department of Sanitation from 1985 to 1990. Increasing local residents’ proximity to composting sites is critical in getting them to see a greater cause at work, said Sexton. “Trash doesn’t immediately call up fun and games to people,” Sexton said. “It’s not what they want to do on the weekend. But there are things about recycling and energy management and trash management and the rest of it that can actually be fun. It’s good to focus on that and remember that we’re here to have a good time in this life and this is part of it.” Organic waste currently makes up 31 percent of New York City’s garbage, according to the Department of Sanitation Bureau of Waste Prevention, Reuse and Recycling Web site. Meanwhile, only about 20 percent of city gardens
currently have composting programs, according to Peter Kostmayer, C.E.O. of Citizens Committee. A city composting program now being tested in the outer boroughs aims eventually to cut food waste by 75 percent, Kostmayer noted. But community gardens provide both a forum and a convenient location for a bottom-up approach, inviting personal investment, he said. “You need a willingness on the part of the people to do the work that needs to be done,” Kostmayer explained. Lenore Odbor noted that, not only adults, but some children, too, approach gardening with apprehension, which disappears soon after they get their hands dirty. She brings East Village Community School students from 3 to 10 years old there to tend kale and other crops. The children love to do the planting, but quickly must learn that a successful crop involves much more effort, Odbor said. Community gardens and composting are also an important element in outreach to the East Village’s Latino and African-American communities, said Rivera Santos. A local resident of nearly 60 years, Santos has been involved with several other community gardens. As he explained it, in a previous era, community gardens helped people regain control of their neighborhoods when arson and crime were everyday dangers; similarly, composting can now empower people, on a personal level, to confront the scourge of pollution. “You have to reach into the communities and bring everybody onto the same page,” he said. EastVillagerNews.com
POLICE BLOTTER Took a strange PATH Last Saturday, at 2:39 a.m., police received reports of a person walking on the train tracks from the Christopher St. PATH station toward the W. Ninth St. station. Roland Syria, 57, was arrested at 2:55 a.m. when he arrived at W. Ninth St. He was charged with criminal trespassing. There are “numerous and conspicuous signs posted prohibiting anyone to trespass on the tracks,” the police report noted. Syria told arresting officers that he had left his iPhone at the other station, and he was just walking to go get it.
Police net McEnroe son Kevin McEnroe, the son of tennis legend John McEnroe, was stopped by police on the corner of E. Fourth St. and Avenue A about 11:24 p.m. Tues., July 15, after making an apparent drug deal, police said. His alleged dealer, 22-year-old Niro Meneses, of
the Upper West Side, was also arrested and charged. McEnroe reportedly bought cocaine and a quantity of prescription pills, the Daily News reported. Specifically, he reportedly was carrying six glassine envelopes of cocaine, 20 oxycodone pills, 10 morphine pills and one anxiety pill, prosecutors said. McEnroe, who is a bartender and lives in Gowanus, Brooklyn, was charged with possession of a controlled substance with intent to sell. “Given the amount of drugs on him...we believe we have a strong intent to sell case,” prosecutor Mary Ostberg reportedly said at McEnroe’s Manhattan Criminal Court arraignment, according to the News. His famous father was not seated in the audience. McEnroe was charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance. He was ordered released on his own recognizance. He tends bar at Keith McNally’s Schiller’s Liquor Bar, at Rivington and Norfolk Sts.
When police arrested Meneses, he was reportedly carrying 13 glassine envelopes of cocaine and three vials of the drug, according to the News.
Citi Bike robbery On Sun., July 20, police arrested a man and a woman for stealing a Citi Bike from its docking station on W. 14th St. Tailee Caines, 28, was observed at 2:19 a.m. attempting to dislodge multiple bikes from the location, while Cristal Rodriguez, 19, acted as a lookout, according to the police report. Caines eventually dislodged one of the bikes, and rode away with Rodriguez, according to police. They were stopped by police, and allegedly could not produce a receipt for the bike, which was valued at $1,400. They were both charged with grand larceny, a felony.
Well, that sucks While on patrol at 2:45 a.m. on Sunday, police observed one man
allegedly performing oral sex on another “on the sidewalk in public view,” at the corner of Washington and W. 12th Sts. Police arrested Kim Charles, 39, who was allegedly performing oral sex, and Umar Khan, 23, who was allegedly receiving it. They were both charged with public lewdness, a misdemeanor.
App catches him Also on Sunday, at 5:45 a.m., police arrested a man for stealing an iPhone near Washington Square Village. A male victim, 41, reported leaving his iPhone 5s inside his car, before noticing that it was missing when he returned. A canvass was conducted by police using the “Find My iPhone” app, and Hassau Powell, 49, was found to be in possession of the stolen phone, valued at $650. The phone was recovered, and Powell was charged with a misdemeanor for petit larceny.
Your Food Scrap ScrapS at Greenmarket
Drop off household fruit and vegetable scraps at
Tompkins Square Greenmarket Sundays, 8am–1pm, E 7th St & Ave A
St. Mark’s church Greenmarket Tuesdays, 8am–2pm, E 10th St & 2nd Ave
www.GrowNYC.org/compost | 212.788.7964
GrowNYC and DSNY Food Scrap Compost Program
A program partnership between the City of New York, the NYC Department of Sanitation, GrowNYC, and community partners. EastVillagerNews.com
July 24, 2014
Tenants battle Kushner to save homes and garden BY ZACH WILLIAMS
July 24, 2014
PHOTO BY ZACH WILLIAMS
backyard garden on E. Second St. between Avenues A and B doesn’t look like a place that would be the center of conflict, but it was there that a landlord-tenant dispute quickly escalated in April. A new building manager announced on April 8 that repairs to a retaining wall required the demolition of the garden, which is where residents of 170-174 E. Second St. go to unwind and also hold their tenant association meetings. Ever since Jared Kushner — sonin-law of Donald Trump and owner of about 15,000 residential units nationwide — purchased the E. Second St. buildings at the beginning of this year, the tenants had been on edge. Kushner representatives quickly offered six-figure buyout offers, followed by a pattern of harassment defined by long periods of silence from building management interrupted by sudden and intimidating developments, tenants say. “This is where the turning point was,” said Cypress Dubin, a 10-year resident of the building, during an interview held July 14 in the garden. Dubin constructed the garden five years ago with the help of other tenants. They fought back by asserting to the New York State Homes and Community Renewal agency that the garden was a protected building amenity, and that the dilapidated retaining wall cited as a Class C building violation was located elsewhere. Management stepped back from touching the garden. But, within days, they also served Dubin with legal notice, claiming she was illegally occupying her studio apartment and owed the company thousands of dollars in back rent, plus attorney fees. Legal actions by tenants and the landlord followed during subsequent months, with three tenants still considered illegal occupants by building management and 64 building violations issued by the city Department of Housing Preservation and Development — 40 of them since March 1. Conflicting claims focused on the rent-stabilization status of apartments and whether the ownership / management company, Village K2, had adequately addressed building repairs and complaints about ongoing renovation work. The renovations, they said, were exposing the remaining in-place tenants to construction dust, in addition to causing noise, damage to walls, utility shutdowns and other inconveniences. Meanwhile, following months of wrangling — and as the construc-
The backyard garden, created by tenants, at 170-174 E. Second St. At left is Mary Ann Siwek and at right is fellow tenant Mark Fritsche. The buildings’ new owner previously tried to demolish the garden, and plans are on file to expand the buildings into the open space.
tion work still continued — Mary Ann Siwek finally received a new lease on the apartment she has occupied for three decades. “There was so much powder and dust,” she said. “I was coughing. I had itching. I suffer from depression also. I increased my medication. I was losing it, just losing it. It was insane… . There was nobody to ask.” Kushner representatives told The Villager that the cold winter, the previous landlord and the Department of Buildings permit process all created problems in addressing many tenant concerns. Ever since Kushner bought the buildings, they said, efforts have been underway to perform “electric system upgrades, new heating and hot water systems, plumbing repair and replacement, roof work, pointing, sidewalk repairs, refurbishing common areas, hallways and lighting systems, and new intercoms and mailboxes.” However, the “illegal” tenants will not let management enter their apartments. A repairman, though, eventually did manage to visit Fred Kaplan, a resident of 174 E. Second St. who also is seeking a new rent-regulated lease, on July 14 to fulfill a long-requested floor repair. “We have a very strong track record of being responsive landlords in our other residential properties across the city,” Matthew Gorton, a Village K2 spokesperson, said in a statement. “And we will provide the same high level of engagement and communication to address our residents needs in these buildings, despite attempts by a handful of illegal tenants to sabotage our efforts for their own personal gain.” These tenants are holding out in hopes of receiving larger monetary settlements before vacating their apartments, Gorton added.
Some of the ambiguity on the apartments’ rent-stabilization status results from the previous owner’s casually shifting tenants around within the buildings, while also maintaining inaccurate rental histories, tenants said. Building residents point to the experience of Mark Fritsche, the tenant association president, as an example of how the shoddy rental records were fraudulently used to make the case for deregulation. Ultimately, Fritsche received a rent-stabilized lease after he proved the records had inaccurately recorded an apartment vacancy in 2007 — even though he resided there then. Dubin admitted that, in previous years, she didn’t fully understand the legal requirements for deregulation — namely, that a unit can be deregulated following a vacancy, if the rent is exceeds $2,500 — which is far above the $1,425 she had been paying. “I didn’t know what to look for,” she said. “I had a good relationship with them. The rent increases were reasonable.” In mid-April, the tenants association began seeking allies in their ongoing battle, including the Cooper Square Committee, Councilmembers Rosie Mendez and Margaret Chin and Community Board 3. By then, about two-thirds of the tenants in the two buildings had left. For months, the tenants tried to get their grievances on the agenda of the C.B. 3 Land Use Committee. Finally, the committee heard the tenants at its July 9 meeting, and, in the end, voted to write a letter in support of their cause. “There are dozens of other cases like this going on in the Lower East Side each year,” said Brendan Kielbasa, lead organizer for the Cooper
Square Committee. “With the most aggressive, speculative landlords, we see a pattern of acquisition, renovation, management — or lack thereof… . We’ve seen that 170-174 E. Second St. fits that pattern.” Whether the city’s Housing Court ultimately rules that the tenants should receive new rent-stabilized leases won’t be decided for weeks, at the earliest. Any type of cash settlement would have to be large enough to secure new housing of a comparable quality and cost, said Dubin, who has spent thousands of dollars of her own to retain an attorney. She added that, even with a six-figure buyout, finding an apartment with a garden — where residents could gather for any occasion, and in which she could hold her private yoga classes — would be a tall order. Building management, meanwhile, has yet to say what will happen with the garden at 170-174 E. Second St. “A final decision has not yet been made with respect to the backyard,” Gorton said, “but access may be interrupted during reconstruction of the retaining wall.” Plans on file, however, call for the building eventually to be expanded into the backyard. Gorton did not respond by press time as to whether that will, in fact, occur. For her part, Dubin warned that anyone considering settling with a landlord to vacate a rent-regulated apartment in the expensive East Village should first consider the overall costs of such a decision. Sure, the sum of cash initially appears a bit dazzling, but the rent at the next place will no doubt be higher. “When you really break down how much more a month you have to pay,” she said, “there’s really no way for people to move and survive.” EastVillagerNews.com
Florence Otway, shoe designer, Theatre 80 co-founder BY ALBERT AMATEAU
lorence Otway, a preeminent designer of women’s shoes who, with her husband, Howard, founded Theatre 80 St. Mark’s, died June 15 at the age of 94. At her July 15 memorial at Theatre 80, her son Lorcan screened a documentary film that he made three years ago about her. It was a life that spanned the Prohibition era, the Great Depression, World War II and the teeming years of the past half-century. “She died of complications of Alzheimer’s, but she never forgot the important things,” said Lorcan, the owner and director of Theatre 80. “She remained with her family in the apartment above the theater and recognized us until the very end.” Born the daughter of Romanian and Russian immigrants who had moved from E. 11th St. in Manhattan to the Grand Concourse in the Bronx, Florence Kirschen was admitted to The Cooper Union as an art student in 1936 when she was 18. The daughter of a politically conservative family, Florence’s bent was to the left. “She helped organize a ‘welcome home’ rally for the Abraham Lincoln Brigade at the end of the Spanish Civil War,” Lorcan said. He added that it began a lifetime of involvement in progressive causes. After Florence graduated in 1940, she landed a job at I. Miller, a maker of women’s shoes, as an artist, and soon advanced to designer, an unusual promotion for a woman in those days. When the United States entered World War II, I. Miller began manufacturing parachutes for the government. “My mother noticed that an elderly woman on the production line had a piece of tape on one hand and ran it along a seam of the parachute she was working on,” Lorcan recalled. “She told the foreman and together they discovered a razor in the tape and exposed the woman as a saboteur. My mother won an award for that.” During the war, Florence volunteered at the U.S.O. (a social and entertainment agency for members of the armed services), Lorcan said. Through that connection, she became friends with a producer who invited her out to Hollywood for a visit. There, she met and fell in love with Howard Otway, an actor, writer and playwright. They married and moved in 1947 to Greenwich Village, where they lived in a Jane St. apartment and kept open house for sundry friends and colleagues. “My father had a job with Doubleday, the publisher, at the time and EastVillagerNews.com
became acquainted with a fellow employee, a Belgian by the name of Paul de Man [who later achieved fame as a distinguished literary theorist],” Lorcan continued. “In fact, de Man lived with my parents until he had a falling out with my father.” De Man, who died in 1985, was exposed after his death as a Nazi collaborator in Belgium during the war. Around 1950, Howard Otway bought a rural retreat in Westchester County and moved his family and entourage there. “My father wrote in a small studio on the property, and he and my mother played host to a series of international visitors,” Lorcan said. “My mother learned to cook Pakistani food from the wife of a visiting diplomat and Chinese food from a Chinese visitor.” Around the same time, Florence’s reputation as a shoe designer made her a byword in the industry. “Florence was a preeminent designer, widely regarded as one of the best in an era of great American footwear design,” Nancy Shapiro, a former editor of Footwear News, said in an obituary in that trade publication. Maggi Mercado, a prominent shoe designer, said, “She was one of very few women in the industry and a mentor to younger people and other women. In 1950, Florence joined Palizzio, a New York firm, as a designer and catalogue illustrator. Two years later, she began working as a freelance illustrator for Bernardo and Bally of Switzerland. Other high-profile firms for whom she designed included Genesco, David Evins, Garolini, Calvin Klein and Adrienne Vittadini. In the mid-1970s, while working for the shoe firm Golo, Florence had the idea of making waterproof boots out of a new fabric, Gore-Tex. “She set out to convince Arthur Samuel, owner of Golo, on the idea,
and he finally agreed,” said Lorcan. “The boot became a big success. My mother loved to tell about the huge blizzard that winter, and everywhere you walked you could see ‘Golo’ imprinted in the snow. It was wonderful.” Meanwhile, in 1963, Howard Otway wrote a play, “This Here Nice Place,” and decided to produce it himself. He bought a Prohibition-era speakeasy at 80 St. Mark’s Place, near First Ave., and proceeded to convert it
into a 199-seat Off Broadway theater, with living quarters for his family upstairs. Theatre 80 became a cultural nursery for plays and dance, a temporary home to Robert Ossorio’s Manhattan Ballet, the venue of the hit mini-musical “You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown,” and the place where actors like Robert De Niro, Sally Kirkland and Billy Crystal got their start. Florence, in the midst of raising two children and juggling a career that involved travel to shoe manufacturing sites in Europe and Latin America, added the role of theatrical assistant. It wasn’t such a big leap. “After all, her first cousin was Edward G. Robinson,” Lorcan noted. In 1990, Florence retired as a shoe designer and became a full-time associate of Theatre 80. Her husband died in 1994 and Lorcan took over as director of the theater. Lorcan said his mother had survived a bout of cancer in the 1980s. “She made me promise never to lie to her about her health or mental condition. She wanted to be in control as much as possible,” he said. In addition to Lorcan, another son, Thomas Otway, and two grandchildren also survive.
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July 24, 2014
Named best weekly newspaper in New York State in 2001, 2004 and 2005 by New York Press Association PUBLISHER JENNIFER GOODSTEIN
EDITOR IN CHIEF LINCOLN ANDERSON
CONTRIBUTORS IRA BLUTREICH TEQUILA MINSKY JEFFERSON SIEGEL JERRY TALLMER
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Dancers struck a pose in Sara D. Roosevelt Park on Saturday afternoon during the New Museum’s block party.
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
JOHN W. SUTTER
Plaque is poetic justice
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July 24, 2014
To The Editor: Re “Where poet Frank O’Hara was prolific, a new plaque” (news article, July 10): This is great. Frank O’Hara busted it open and made poetry fun. The East Village is right to claim him as somewhat of a native son. Tony Towle is widely considered to be O’Hara’s protégé, to have inherited the mantle. And it’s well deserved. Few are more urbane, witty or entertaining than Mr. Towle, who often ends his poems with an uplifting soul-searching. Towle’s roommate of the time was also a great poet. But his name was Frank Lima, not Joe. Frank passed on last year. His poems brought duende to the New York School. What a heritage we have here in the East Village! Ted Berrigan! Alice Notley! And the super Berrigan boys,
Eddie, Anselm and David. Kudos to Phil Hartman and Andrew Berman. Jeffrey Cyphers Wright
Adding to O’Hara’s story To The Editor: Re “Where poet Frank O’Hara was prolific, a new plaque” (news article, July 10): Thanks for Heather Dubin’s article on Frank O’Hara. I’ve known about O’Hara and his collaborators, but didn’t know that he lived in the apartment at 441 E. Ninth St. Even more interesting is to learn that he chose subjects for his poems from our neighborhood. With the plaque dedication on June 10, O’Hara is being honored. Also, as a tribute to him, a poetry festival took place in Fire Island Pines on July 12 to celebrate his life and
work. There were readings by a group of noted poets of their own poems and O’Hara’s. One of the poets who read is a friend of mine, Kirby Congdon, who told me about the event. Congratulations to Andrew Berman, of G.V.S.H.P., for his dedication to the preservation of our local history. June Hildebrand Abrams
Some taxing questions… To The Editor: First of all, let me say that except for a small sales tax to help for the infrastructure and educational systems, I am opposed to taxation of property and income. I feel that all citizens are born with sovereign rights, and as sovereign citizens, we have the right LETTERS, continued on p. 12
To take or not to take pills, that is the question NOTEBOOK BY MARIANNE GOLDSCHEDIER
PHOTO BY TEQUILA MINSKY
y mother was a pill hound. In wartime Prague, during the Second World War, while I was growing up — a very painful time — she always had codeine at hand, presumably to handle menstrual pain. She had no idea that one of the side effects of codeine is constipation. She complained about this condition bitterly. How she found access to this codeine I have no idea. I now, for years later, have detailed information about how she got access to the pills she used to kill herself. A German friend supplied them. Her suicide was an act of revenge on me, her only child, a daughter, who had left for America as soon as she could, fleeing a Germany that had meant only horror to me. She did not leave a suicide note. She left a suicide novel, elaborating on what a monster I had been to abandon her. After my departure, She mounted a successful literary career. (She had received a doctorate in history from the University of Vienna.). At the time of her suicide in Vienna where she lived, my 21-year-old son had been staying with her, her beloved grandson. She had no idea of the pain she inflicted on him, his brother, who at the time was in Africa, and me. I rushed from New York City, where I still live, to the scene of the tragedy. Human beings have cycles and rhythms. I know that over the years my moods have been up and down, but mostly up. My friends think of me as lively, fun, Marianne. I was not conscious of any mood swings. The summer after my mother’s death — 1983 — for the first time I became deeply despondent. In my wartime childhood there had been no time for expressions of grief. My mother used to admonish me: “Children aren’t sad. They are to be happy.” In the early 1940s, my mother’s parents were scheduled to be sent to Auschwitz, near to the village in which they lived. Stoking up their coal-burning stove and sealing the windows, they died of carbon monoxide poisoning in bed, in each other’s arms. My guilt-ridden mother, their only child, from that moment began talking of taking her own life, telling me tearfully when I left the house to play in
Perhaps having drifted up on a “sea of love,” a piano was beached in the sand under the Brooklyn Bridge’s Manhattan side.
the streets, “You may not find me alive when you get home.” We had a gas stove providing easy access to such an act. I had already been declared a monster by her because I didn’t cry when my grandparents died, I shrugged my shoulders. I was 14. But when my mother died in 1982, I tried shrugging my shoulders. However, I no longer could. My
‘Everybody is taking antidepressants. Do the decent thing.’
wonderful sons had left — as the Beatles song goes — the home that never was a home. In my mind, I was giving them a lot of freedom. But now, they tell me, they saw it as neglect. I had reached “the
Hillary is “talking the talk” of a 99%-er. EastVillagerNews.com
change of life.” My “career” of teaching German at Columbia University as an adjunct (I had passed my Ph.D. qualifying exams) was in a shambles. The 1968 shutdown of the university caused great upheaval and changes. Foreign languages were no longer obligatory. Many departments closed. The German department limped on without me. I had met a Spanish artist named Paco — the proverbial starving artist — and together we were painting apartments to support ourselves. At first, I loved the novelty of it. Later it began to pale. (Some years later, although he was 10 years older than I, he declared me old and undesirable and moved alone to his house in East Hampton, desirable in the summer, in the winter poorly heated, with pipes freezing.) In the summer of 1983 we were visiting friends in New Hampshire, a young artist, named Steve, and his wife, Joyce Maynard, already a successful writer. From an early age I had been writing, but to this day have not found my way to getting my major works published. Joyce had just published her first novel about an 18-year-old looking back on her life. J.D. Salinger, with whom she had lived for a while, had helped her. With the royalties she bought a beautiful farm and 18th-century house, not far from where Salinger lived. She built a studio for her artist husband. On the bus ride returning to New York City, Paco turned to me and asked: “Why can’t you be like Joyce? Look how loving she is and what she is doing for Steve.” My mood sank to a lower bottom than it had ever sunk before. I fervently hoped the bus would crash and end my life. Speechless, I returned with Paco to the house we had bought in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, for $32,000 with money my mother had left from a restitution claim. She had been in Theresienstadt, a camp of some renown. Shortly before her death, at last, she received some money, leaving it in a handwritten will to my sons. They gave me money for the $10,000 down payment. The owner of the house, at Bedford Ave. and North Ninth St., was a displaced person like me, and had committed suicide. His one son had died of a drug overdose. The other was in the army, in PILLS, continued on p.12 July 24, 2014
To take or not to take pills PILLS, continued from p. 11
Virginia. The divorced father had run a bar in the building’s ground floor. That neighborhood in 1983 was a wild scene of gangs and murders. Paco wanted to get out and return to a peaceful life in East Hampton. After four years, we sold the house, quintupling the price for which we had bought it. A Polish clan bought it and
established a successful restaurant in the old bar. Today the restaurant is flourishing. Upon our return from New Hampshire, I sank into a red plush sofa in the old bar, and fell into a deep silence. A longtime friend, a Polish woman, now a nurse, opened her nurse’s manual and declared: “You are a classic bipolar case.” Her earlier diagnosis of a melanoma on my leg she had handled profes-
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR Continued from p. 10
to determine the distribution of the sweat of our labor, and that government is only entitled to those drops we say they are entitled to and not one drop more. However, with the extortive threats of seizure of property and imprisonment, we have no choice but to let this creepy system creep on. If, however, we insist on electing and re-electing the same greedy old extortionists and pirates that we call Democrats and Republicans, shouldn’t we be just as insistent
that access to adequate food, clothing, shelter and healthcare be the foremost and absolute rights of the taxed? Jerry The Peddler E-mail letters, not longer than 250 words in length, to news@thevillager. com or fax to 212-229-2790 or mail to The Villager, Letters to the Editor, 515 Canal St., Suite 1C, NY, NY 10013. Please include phone number for confirmation purposes. The Villager reserves the right to edit letters for space, grammar, clarity and libel. The Villager does not publish anonymous letters.
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sionally: “See a doctor.” By the time I saw a doctor — I lived for 25 years without any health insurance — it was declared cancer stage four. I’m here to tell the tale. Now she said: “Everybody is taking antidepressants. Sitting there in silence you are depressing everyone around you. This is not decent. I take pills to lower my blood pressure — your disease is just another disease. Do the decent thing.” I am not a Christian Scientist but had sworn off pills. Another friend, suffering from deep depressions, said, “Most depressions are self-limiting.” It turned out to be true for me. A psychiatrist friend in Prague said: “You don’t know what real depression is.” That is what I wanted to hear. A New York psychiatrist friend said: “If you don’t seek help, you’ll kill yourself.” Many years later, he said: “You are the most resilient woman I’ve seen.” It has not been easy. Few people want to understand. They enjoy me in my down states, tell me how relaxed I look, how wonderful that I am quiet, and say, “You always could be like that, if only you took pills.” When my mood rises again, I feel like my younger self, yet I’m told my behavior is inappropriate for an old woman. They stay away from me, and tell me they only mean well when they
suggest I take pills. I’ve resisted taking pills, and I’m proud. Over the years, I’ve gotten countless advice. The son of a psychiatrist, given to strong changing moods himself, gave me the advice his father gave him: Stay away from pills; they only mask what ails you. If you don’t have to go to a job — his father gave him enough money not to have to — then I could get by without a job. Just relax when you feel low, he said. Read, stay in bed as long as you like — and ignore all those lay diagnosticians. When your mood rises, be careful. Many do foolish things in that state. Rest when you don’t feel like resting; curb any exuberance. Talk as little as possible. So was the advice from his father, who had given it to his son. This Dr. Harvey Wasserman, whom I have never met, disappeared with a young woman, owing the I.R.S. a lot of money and having lost his medical license. No one knows where he is. He gave me the best advice I have ever gotten. Thank you, Doctor, wherever you are. And I wish your son — who followed your example of disappearing — appears again. I miss him. This essay is dedicated to all who can deal with life without supporting the trillion-dollar pharmaceutical industry.
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July 24, 2014
SPURA park will offer art, nature and relaxation BY LAUREN VESPOLI
n July 10, representatives from West 8 Design and Landscape Architecture presented the current plans for the proposed park at Essex Crossing at a meeting of the Community Board 3 Parks Subcommittee. The new park will be built as part of the $1.1 billion Essex Crossing development project for the Seward Park Urban Renewal Area. Jamie Maslin Larson and Claire Agre of West 8 presented renderings of the park, and explained the rationale behind the current design, then addressed residents’ concerns. At slightly less than one-third of an acre, the 15,000-square-foot park will stretch from Suffolk St. to Clinton St. with its entrance on Broome St. The idea behind the space is to provide a “relaxing, green oasis in the city,” Larson said. The most recent design incorporated community feedback from the last town hall meeting regarding the park, held in late May. During that discussion, neighborhood residents expressed desire for the incorporation of artist-created visual, flexible programming that could be adjusted seasonally. They also said they wanted the park to be a place for quiet
A rendering of people enjoying the future park at Essex Crossing.
relaxation, with ample green space, that would echo the history of the Lower East Side as the birthplace of the community garden movement. Under the current design, the park will be 35 percent planted, with a linear central plaza surrounded by “woodland garden concept” planting, Agre said. The plaza’s flexibility will come from its “pockets,” or spaces set back into the greenery from the main thoroughfare, which could be used for 10-to-20-person individual events. There will also be a play area for children ages 2 to 5 adjacent to the site where it’s hoped that an elementary
school will be developed; a sculpture / community-message board hybrid that will serve as the park’s “curated cultural piece,” according to Agre; and a large, communal table that will seat from six to 10 people. Other planned seating includes both backed and non-backed benches that will line the planting’s perimeters, in addition to movable tables and chairs. The park would not have any fence surrounding it. “Fence not permitted,” states a presentation brochure for the project. Residents, along with members of the Parks Subcommittee, then
asked questions about the park’s current design. A primary concern was whether the developers would commit to the park’s ongoing maintenance. Isaac Henderson of L+M, one of the development partners in Delancey Street Associates, said the park will have its own maintenance staff responsible for its upkeep. Locals also requested that there be a community advisory group to serve as a forum for ongoing discussion on the park’s use and maintenance after its completion, to which Henderson agreed. Another concern was whether cyclists and skateboarders would be able to disrupt the space’s intended serenity. Agre said there will be bike racks at the entrance and signage throughout the park, plus “skateboard-proofed” benches. The park designers were also asked what will be done to keep rats from enjoying the space, too. Agre assured that, with trashcans at every entrance, plus a planting tapestry intended to eliminate “rodent corridors,” rats should not be an issue. Construction on the park is set to begin in March 2015 and expected to finish by 2017. C.B. 3 is hoping to vote on an advisory resolution on the design by this September.
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July 24, 2014
Crusties summer on Village sidewalks and in parks CRUSTIES, continued from p. 1
usually in or around Tompkins Square or Union Square, or hunkered down by Abe Lebewohl Park in front of St. Mark’s Church. Modern-day nomads, they travel from city to city across the country, some aimlessly, some looking to do odd jobs for money. Peyson — Peso to friends — and Plasm, both 22, have been traveling together since they met in the winter. They have been in New York for a month so far, having made a pit stop here to visit Plasm’s mother in Staten Island. “We don’t get along, but I try to see her once in a while,” Plasm said. She stays there intermittently when she visits, but it has become more complicated of late. “She hates me,” interjected Peyson, sipping from a can peeking out of a paper bag. “She thinks I ruined [Plasm’s] life.” Peyson has been homeless since he was 16, but was vague about the circumstances surrounding it. “Just bad luck,” he said. “Not even bad luck — I just happened to hit the streets at some point.” He grew up in Phoenix, and left at 18. “At first I loitered in Phoenix, tried to get a job, but I didn’t know how to be on the streets,” he said. “I didn’t know basic survival needs, so I was really depressed and angry and alone. I was always alone. “The next thing I know, travelers came into town one day and said, ‘Hey dude. You should check out San Diego. I mean, f-- it – you’re already on the streets, might as well be by the beach, out on the desert,’ ” he recalled. He went to San Diego and has been traveling
ever since. In the past year, Peyson said he has also been to jail in six different states: Wyoming, California, Illinois, New York, North Carolina and three times in Utah. Peyson and Plasm sleep wherever they can, usually on the sidewalk, to the general detached disdain of New Yorkers. Sometimes, Plasm stays with her father, who also lives in Staten Island, but she said that relationship is also tense. She’s uncomfortable staying with her mother because of her stepfather.
‘We’re not all bad. People end up on the street for different reasons.’ Plasm
“We come from a long history of domestic violence in that house,” she said. “I don’t want to put her up with this choice between her daughter and the guy who helps her pay her rent, so I try not to really go there.” Her parents know she is out on the streets, but
Plasm said she has few alternatives at the moment. “We really have serious issues living together, and I don’t have the money right now to do anything else, so I’m kind of cornered into doing this.” Known for their penchant for using heavy drugs like heroin, many crusties overdose. In the past year, Plasm has known 13 people who “dropped” because of substance abuse. So, although she smokes pot on occasion and drinks, she avoids doing dope or “anything hard.” Peyson also claimed not to do any drugs, but then remembered that he had blacked out on Klonopin, a prescription anxiety medication, and a lot of liquor the day before. “I was kind of feeling like s--- all day,” he said. “But I generally don’t do drugs. I really don’t.” A blond-haired crusty who goes by “Matty Ice,” originally from Jamaica Plain, Boston, said he and his girlfriend used to “dabble” — drink and smoke at parties, do dope on the weekends. “Then I decided that I really love the girl and we shouldn’t be messing each other’s lives up like that,” he said. “So we’ve been clean for the most part since.” He added that he did smoke pot that day because he wasn’t feeling well. He, too, had a difficult childhood. His parents died when he was young. His adoptive parents, he said, “used to beat the s--- out of me and tried to kill me a few times.” Matty recalled his adoptive mother trying to feed him ADHD medication four times the prescribed dosage one morning. He was 12. The next day, he packed his bags and left. CRUSTIES, continued on p.23
PHOTOS BY CLARISSA-JAN LIM
“Matty Ice,” in Union Square Park, said of his adoptive parents, “They tried to kill me a few times.”
July 24, 2014
Plasm said there was a lot of domestic violence in her family on Staten Island.
Peyson a.k.a. Peso has been homeless for six years, since he was 16. EastVillagerNews.com
Tales of global, local and internal struggle Fest delivers deeply personal Asian independent films
FILM THE 37th ASIAN AMERICAN INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL Produced by Asian CineVision July 24 – Aug. 3 At Asia Society (725 Park Ave.) City Cinemas Village East (189 Second Ave.) COURTESY OF THE FILMMAKERS AND AAIFF
Made in NY Media Center by IFP (30 John St.) The Museum of Chinese in America (215 Centre St.) Tickets: $13 ($11 for students/seniors/disabled) Visit aaiff.org/2014/schedule
B Y SCOT T ST IFFL E R Themes of social justice and stories of personal growth dominate the narrative and documentary selections in this year’s Asian American International Film Festival (AAIFF) — which, in its 37th year, can claim the distinction of being one of the nation’s longest-running showcases for independent film and video. Nearly every one of the 18 features are having their east coast or world premieres, with many directors in attendance for post-screening Q&A sessions. The work of artists from over 21 countries and regions are represented — including China, the U.S., Japan, Iran, Nepal, India, the Philippines and Taiwan. Films made in response to urbanization and globalization, as well as labor and displacement issues, comprise the social justice element of the festival — among them, the opening night’s screening of “Sold.” Executive-produced by Emma Thompson, it’s an adaptation of Patricia McCormick’s fictional account of human trafficking in India. From the Philippines, “Transit” has foreign workers in Israel resisting the deportation of their children. The documentary “Bringing Home Tibet” follows artist Tenzing Rigdol, as he attempts to smuggle 20 tons of Tibetan EastVillagerNews.com
Thoroughly grounded: Tenzing Rigdol and the 20 tons of native soil he smuggled. “Bringing Home Tibet” screens on July 31.
soil across three countries that border the Himalayas, so that exiles in Dharamsala, India can set foot on their native land. NYU Tisch Professor Christine Choy’s “Ghina” investigates Chinese construction in Africa, by speaking with migrant workers and investors about their experiences. A farmer’s imaginative reaction to Taiwan’s membership in the World Trade Organization is the basis for “The Rice Bomber.” See Sean Egan’s review of the film, elsewhere in this issue. Also reviewed by this publication, the personal growth sagas “Chu and Blossom” and “Pretty Rosebud” concern, respectively, a Korean exchange student’s artistic awakening and a young woman’s determination to leave an unhappy marriage. Two entries from Taiwan also have lead characters coming to realizations under forced circumstances. In “100 Days,” a callous telecom exec returns to the Matsu Islands for a burial, and is given the titular deadline to find a bride in order for his mother’s spirit to depart
peacefully. In “A Time in Quchi,” a young boy tethered to his electronic gadgets is forced to log off and slow down — after being sent to the countryside, for a summer with his grandfather. For the tenth consecutive year, filmmaking teams from around the world will take the challenge posed by AAIFF’s “72-Hour Shootout” — the length of time during which they have to write, shoot and edit a film. This year’s mandatory theme: “The Color of My Hair!” The top 10 films will screen at 1 p.m. on Sun., July 27, at City Cinemas Village East. If those efforts inspire you to make your own film, AAIFF has an outlet — with patience and attention to detail the only requirements (well, besides pre-registration). From July 25-29, Taiwanese stop motion artist Hui-ching Tseng will lead two workshops: one for young people (ages 10-15), and another for the general public. To participate, contact@mandarinink. org and email@example.com for, respectively, the youth and general public workshops. July 24, 2014
Bold course corrections from a pretty mess Husband and wife team bring nuance to tale of personal growth
FILM PRETTY ROSEBUD At The Asian American International PHOTO COURTESY OF THE FILMMAKERS & AAIFF
Film Festival Written by Chuti Tiu Directed by Oscar Torre 2014 Runtime: 81 minutes Sat., July 26, at 1 p.m. At City Cinemas Village East Second Ave. & 12th St. Tickets: $13 $11 for students/seniors/disabled Visit aaiff.org/2014/schedule Post-screening Q&A with the director & star
BY SCOTT STIFFLER
ently awoken by parental cooing, Cissy needs little prompting to join her mother in the singing of a favorite nursery rhyme about a blossoming youth, for whom the future holds limitless promise. The only flaw in that plan? The person being coaxed to emerge from the covers is a grown woman in her mid-20s, who’s returned to the security of her childhood bedroom as a means of temporary retreat from a career in danger and a marriage on the rocks. At this pace, it’s going to be a long time before she clears all of the hurdles set by her Chinese Dad
Screenwriter and star Chuti Tiu, as Cissy, is equally admirable in her faults and strengths.
and Filipino-Spanish mom — chief among them, the making of babies (a topic which has an increasingly oppressive way of factoring into conversation with relatives and friends). Every family meal Cissy and her brother are summoned to comes with a mandatory status report on success according to mom and dad. At least they have something to talk about. When dining with her chronically unemployed husband, their stilted conversation takes place as they sit on either side of a giant framed wedding photo that mocks the unfulfilled promise of that happy day. A skilled and nuanced take on the great expectations of family, religion, work, status and sexual desire, the unhappy marriage at the center of “Pretty Rosebud” is
the product of director Oscar Torre and screenwriter/star Chuti Tiu — who, off screen, are husband and wife. Hopefully, they’re both in possession of vivid imaginations. Otherwise, they’ve almost certainly chosen the long hours of the movie business as a way to avoid strife at the dinner table. That’s where some of the film’s most telling moments happen, thanks to Tiu’s remarkable capacity to write in a conversational style that’s mundane on the surface, but packed with subtle clues and savvy misdirection about a particular character’s true nature. Nobody in this film is the saint or sinner we reasonably judge them to be — which eventually pays off in a manner that’s remarkably civil and emotionally genuine, given the multitude of slights and betrayals
(both real and perceived) visited upon the cast. Forced by circumstances into the position of sole breadwinner, Cissy finds herself upending other gender conventions by cheating on her husband, initiating a trial separation and defying the wishes of a candidate whose congressional campaign she’s been tasked with invigorating. “I don’t get what I need from just one person,” Cissy says while seeking council from her family priest. Ostensibly talking about adultery, she might as well be describing her strategy for finding emotional support when she adds, “I go to different people.” As much an act of rebellion as the necessary expression of a healthy libido unsatisfied by her mate or her vibrator, Cissy’s willingness to stray from the marital vow of fidelity earns our empathy, but not necessarily our sympathy. After another dinner table session with her husband (during which they negotiate the terms of separation in a manner resembling corporate dissolution), a confrontation with her parents sheds new light on an old family squabble — revealing the depth of commitment demanded by marriage. Another scene, of mother/ daughter retail therapy, is one of the film’s best. Bel Hernandez, as Lettie Lam, has great chemistry with Tiu and enough comedic chops to merit far more screen time than she’s given. Emboldened by some new realizations, the stage is set for a symbolism-filled sprint to the ocean’s cleansing waves. It’s a clumsy metaphor, and one of the film’s rare missteps — but when Cissy emerges from the water, newly baptized with the strength to cross or burn bridges as the situation requires, she does so with admirable speed and relative ease.
Theater for the New City • 155 1st Avenue at E. 10th St. Reservations & Info (212) 254-1109 For more info, please visit www.theaterforthenewcity.net THEATER FOR THE NEW CITY seeks Stage Manager for its Summer Street Theater, a Socially Conscious Operetta for the Street, “EMERGENCY.” Some Pay. This is a full-scale musical production which will tour all five boroughs of New York City in August and September. Entails managing Crew workers. Computer Literacy a must. Tech background a must. Works very closely with Director. Evening and Weekend hours a Must. Rehearsals July 15th through August 1st, 2014 6-10PM Weeknights, 1-6PM Weekends Performances: Weekends Only, 2pm, August 2nd - September 14th, except for 6:30pm performance Friday, August 15th . 13 Performances. No Performances Labor Day Weekend (AUG 30-31). Includes Friday Night Warmups each weekend before performances. (Thurs warmup 8/14). e-mail Resume and a brief cover letter to Crystal Field at firstname.lastname@example.org NO CALLS PLEASE!!!!
TNC’s Programs are funded in part by the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs and the New York State Council on the Arts
July 24, 2014
Buhmann on Art Pondering how the collection, the database, and the aggregate serve as complementary models for the organization of information and objects in flux, artists Heather Hart, Steffani Jemison and Jina Valentine have invited over 60 members of the Drawing Center’s substantial Viewing Program — which has offered emerging artists the opportunity to include their work in a curated Artist Registry since 1977 — to submit artworks specifically responding to a word or phrase from Whitehead’s novel. In addition, each item in the exhibition is hung according to the sequence determined by Whitehead’s text. Meanwhile, the Lab gallery features collaboration by Hart, Jemison and Valentine, inspired by a paragraph from the novel, using its words and letters to form an interpretive drawing.
THE INTUITIONISTS Through Aug. 24 At The Drawing Center 35 Wooster St. Btw. Broome & Grand Sts. Wed., Fri., Sat., Sun., 12–6 p.m. Thurs. 12–8 p.m. Adults, $5, Students & Seniors, $3, Kids under 12, Free COURTESY OF THE ARTIST
Free every Thurs, 6–8 p.m. Call 212-219-2166 Visit drawingcenter.org The Drawing Center is wheelchair accessible
Cui Fei: “Leaves” | 2014 | Mixed media | 8 1/2 x 4 1/4 x 1 1/2 inches (21.6 x 10.8 x 3.8 cm).
BY STEPHANIE BUHMANN (stephaniebuhmann.com)
This collaborative artist project was inspired by Colson Whitehead’s 1999 fiction novel of the same name, which explores the relationships between progress, technology and difference.
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Baruch Performing Arts Center & TGW Acting Studio present
Taming of The Shrew a Play by william Shakespeare Directed by Thomas g. waites
COURTESY OF AUCOCISCO GALLERY
Kenny Cole: “MDNJPN” | 2014 | Gouache on paper | 8 1/2 x 7 inches (21.6 x 17.8 cm). EastVillagerNews.com
July 10-August 3 / $35 Tickets: 212-352-3101 or online at www.baruch.cuny.edu/bpac
25th St between Lexington & Third Avenues Use Code EVLES for $8 discount! July 24, 2014
Clever love letter, flawed film ‘Awesome’ is so-so, but has some kick to it BY SEAN EGAN
AWESOME ASIAN BAD GUYS At The Asian American International Film Festival Written by Milton Liu Directed by Patrick Epino and Stephen Dypiangco 2014 Runtime: 54 minutes Fri., July 25, at 6 p.m. at City Cinemas Village East (Second Ave. & 12th St.) Sat., July 26, at 2 p.m. at Made in NY Media Center (30 John St., Brooklyn) Tickets: $13 $11 for students/seniors/disabled Visit aaiff.org/2014/schedule A director/producer/writer Q&A follows each screening
his feature from the National Film Society boasts a clever, meta premise and a game cast, but never quite capitalizes on those assets. It tells the tale of two eager Asian-American filmmakers who round up some of their favorite Asian actors famous for their villainous roles in action movies, in order to take down a dangerous crime syndicate. The story never really develops beyond this clever hook though, and the whole thing seems stretched thin even over the meager running time. Indeed, the project is, in actuality, a season of a web series edited together — and its clear that the nonsensical plot was not designed to be scrutinized in the way one unbroken sitting compels you to do. And like a lot of web series looking for viral success, the humor is too often broad and sophomoric
PHOTO COURTESY OF THE FILMMAKERS & AAIFF
Webisodes in search of a through line: “Awesome” works best when riffing on its absurd premise.
in a way that doesn’t really land. When the series stops trying so hard with its telegraphed laughs, and simply lets the goofy absurdity of its premise and cast be, it works way better. The cast of Asian badasses has an infectious energy when bouncing off of one another and riffing on their onscreen personas (Randall Park, in particu-
lar, has crack comedic timing). Also infectious is the earnest sense of excitement the filmmakers bring to working with these actors. Their un-ironic love of these mostly forgotten bit-players touches on important ideas about representation in media, and makes the whole thing a tribute way more affecting than it has any right to be. As a comedy, and as a
film, “Awesome Asian Bad Guys” frequently misses the mark and feels underdeveloped — but as a love letter, it works just fine. This film is preceded by Robbie Ikegami’s 16-minute “Pull Over To Kill” — about two Japanese Yakuza hitmen who, while driving through the California desert, learn they’ve been double crossed.
PHOTO COURTESY OF THE FILMMAKERS & AAIFF
An oddball conduit to self-discovery Familiar dramedy has excellent cast, unexpected laughs
FILM CHU AND BLOSSOM At The Asian American International Film Festival Written by Charles Chu and Ryan O’Nan Directed by Charles Chu and Gavin Kelly 2014 Runtime: 104 minutes English, Korean Sun., July 29 at 8:30 p.m. At City Cinemas Village East Second Ave. & 12th St. Tickets: $13 $11 for students/seniors/disabled Visit aaiff.org/2014/schedule
July 24, 2014
BY SEAN EGAN
fter years of being a genre of choice for low-budget auteurs and mini-majors alike, it’s safe to say that, at this point, the “indie-coming-of-age dramedy” has certain tropes and narrative beats firmly entrenched in its DNA. The filmmakers behind “Chu and Blossom” know and use just about every trick in the playbook. Fortunately, for the viewer, they have enough of a unique perspective to twist the genre into something that feels fresh. Opening as Joon Chu (co-writer and co-director Charles Chu), a Korean exchange student with a strict upbringing, arrives in America, the film follows the tried-and-true narrative of self-discovery. The conduit for this is the unlikely friendship Joon strikes up with Butch Blossom
(co-writer Ryan O’Nan) — an oddball performance artist who lives to rebel against small-town life. Along the way he meets the requisite love interest, Cherry Swade, and begins to embrace an artistic side that puts him in conflict with the path his parents wish him to take. There are times when “Chu and Blossom” threatens to become a tad too predictable and obvious — the romance, fights and triumphs all come at their expected junctures. The ignorant denizens of the town are a little too cartoonish with their casual racism, and some of the conflicts feel forced. The characters are also a little archetypal (especially Cherry, who veers dangerously close to being a generic manic-pixie dream girl). But it’s easy to overlook these faults when it gets so much else right. Chu and co-director Gavin Kelly favor steady, Wes Anderson-esque shots
Caitlin Stasey, Charles Chu and Ryan O’Nan.
which, when combined with the slightly saturated photography, create a distinctly light and whimsical feel. The cast is also uniformly excellent. Alan Cumming steals scenes in a bit role as Blossom’s flamboyantly gay uncle — all southern drawl and sass. There are a number of genuinely unexpected laughs derived from O’Nan’s wonky, energetic performance. And as Joon, Chu anchors the film, wringing both laughs and pathos out of his character’s language barrier and expressive face. Together, they make for an entertaining and effective odd couple whose chemistry and offbeat rhythms elevate the film. The end result is a charming, indie-dramedy that sets itself apart, even when playing by the rules. EastVillagerNews.com
Bad things happened here Raya Martin’s horror story goes from simmer to boil BY SCOTT STIFFLER
HOW TO DISAPPEAR COMPLETELY At The Asian American International Film Festival Written & Directed by Raya Martin 2013 Runtime: 79 minutes Filipino, Tagalog with English subtitles Fri., Aug. 1, at 10 p.m. At City Cinemas Village East Second Ave. & 12th St. Tickets: $13 $11 for students/seniors/disabled Visit aaiff.org/2014/schedule
FILM THE RICE BOMBER International Film Festival Written by: Cho Li, Zin Do-Lan, Hung Hung Directed by Cho Li 2014 Runtime: 117 minutes Mandarin, Taiwanese with English subtitles Sat., July 26, at 7:30 p.m. at City Cinemas Village East (Second Ave. & 12th St.) Sun., July 27, at 2 p.m. at Made in NY Media Center (30 John St., Brooklyn) Following the screenings, a Q&A with the director Tickets: $13 $11 for students/seniors/disabled Visit aaiff.org/2014/schedule
Dread, at the dinner table and in the forest: Raya Martin’s “How to Disappear Completely” is a potent horror story without a boogeyman.
structure American audiences crave, along with the horror genre’s compulsory acts of violence — here, effectively delivered by way of a disturbing family reunion and, later, a hypnotic, synth-infused rampage during which rebellious teens assume the powers, privileges and curses of the adult world they seek to desecrate.
The revolution will be heavy-handed ‘Rice Bomber’ redeemed by its potent political message BY SEAN EGAN
his drama highlights the problems facing farmers in Taiwan by telling a particularly interesting true-life story. The film follows Yang Rumen (Ru for short), as he observes the downfall of the Taiwanese farming industry in his community, at the hands of a disinterested, uncaring government. His righteous anger builds as he spends time with a politically radical young woman and experiences multiple personal blows due to the general mistreatment of farmers and the poor. Becoming a reluctant revolutionary, Ru sets off 17 explosives made from local crops, in order to draw governmental and media attention to the farmers’ plight — and gains the titular nickname in the process. A story as unique as Ru’s should make for thrilling cinema with an activist bent. But the screenplay’s melodramatic elements and heavy-handed political message prevent this from
happening. The characters often speak as if they’re reciting talking points from a simplistic political manifesto rather than having conversations, making it difficult to become emotionally invested in the film. Ru’s internal struggle is visualized, “Parent Trap”style, via an on-screen “evil twin” of sorts that challenges his ideals Set it off: Peaceful revolutionary Ru uses explosives — subtle, this is not. made from local crops, to make his point. Making matters worse, the piano-driven score frame, and composes some striking overbears, with its melancholy plunk- shots. She also uses well-chosen news ing being mildly distracting at best, and clips to contextualize the story, showcomically invasive at worst. ing its significance to society at large. But the film isn’t without merit. The So while the movie does get its importexceptional cinematography, by Cho ant message across effectively, it plays Yongkyu, uses vivid colors, shadows out more like an aesthetically pleasing and light to bring the Taiwanese coun- history lesson or op-ed piece — rather tryside to life. Director Cho Li consis- than the exciting, flesh and blood dratently finds interesting ways to fill the ma promised by the source material.
PHOTO COURTESY OF THE FILMMAKERS & AAIFF
At The Asian American
et largely in a world of murky dusk that’s about to be overtaken by pitch black night, experimental Filipino filmmaker Raya Martin’s self-proclaimed “homage to American Independent Horror” conjures all of the dread, much of the pounding soundtrack and a few potent whiffs of the boogeyman histrionics found in 1978’s “Halloween” (which, in a flpno.com interview, he cited as a conscious influence). Opening his film with a claustrophobic scene that implies merciless bloodshed, Martin then notes that what we’re about to see took place a year ago. In doing so, he imposes a tone of tragic destiny upon the uneasy (and vaguely sexual) dynamics of a religious mother, a drunken father and an autistic daughter. We’re already aware that no good can possibly come from their widening emotional gulf — just as there’s no escaping the sad fate experienced by characters from ghost stories and cautionary tales meant to keep the daughter from stepping out of line or wandering too
PHOTO COURTESY OF THE FILMMAKERS & AAIFF
far into the surrounding forest. “How to Disappear Completely” is confident in its economy of emotional and narrative momentum, letting talk of changing weather or the chirps of insects cast a suffocating pall over scenes of familial discord. A less assured storyteller would pepper these moments with rolling eye reaction shots or put-upon sighs from the sullen teen in the room — but when screenwriter and director Martin shows only the girl’s nearly motionless back during a long dinner table scene during which mom and dad are in full, animated view, it’s all we need to know about the short path from detatchment to defiance. With only stingy hints of a supernatural force at work, threat number one becomes the adolescent urge to escape from a deeply flawed adult world. Having ventured into the night to attend a school play, the parents don’t know what they’re getting into when their normally silent daughter joins a chorus of children to recite, in foreboding unison, “A warning to all people who do atrocious things: We are going to hunt you down.” That sets the stage for a third act that finally delivers on the narrative
July 24, 2014
HealthPlex is open in the Village, featuring
PHOTO BY TEQUILA MINSKY
Dr. Alex Hellinger, the executive director of the new Lenox Hill HealthPlex, stood proudly outside of the facility’s Seventh Ave. entrance on its first day open, last Thursday. HEALTHPLEX, continued from p. 1
they did, it was in a surge, 10 patients in the space of an hour and a half. That’s typically how it happens, noted Dr. Eric Cruzen, the HealthPlex’s emergency medical director. Eight of the patients were still at the HealthPlex when The Villager arrived, two having been treated and released. Baez said the last thing he remembered from the previous night was unlocking his bike outside 3 Sheets Saloon, on W. Third St., where he had been drinking, and saying goodbye to his cousin. He was planning to bike home to Sunset Park, Brooklyn — his usual commute. “I honestly don’t know how I ended up on St. Mark’s Place,” he said. “I was very drunk,” he admitted. “I didn’t realize how drunk I was.” Asked what he thought about the treatment he was receiving at the HealthPlex, Baez good-naturedly said, without missing a beat, “Excellent. Honestly, they’re very nice people. Very sociable. Very easy to speak to if you have an issue. Very nonjudgmental.” He was being kept for observation for a while. The HealthPlex would
July 24, 2014
also make sure he’d have follow-up care, which is very important in the case of such an injury, especially where it wasn’t known exactly how hard he may have hit his head. Local critics, distraught over the loss of St. Vincent’s, which was a full-service hospital, have blasted the 24/7 stand-alone E.D. — which doesn’t have inpatient hospital beds as part of the facility — as an “urgent-care center on steroids.” Yet, it offers a higher level of emergency care than an urgent-care center. For example, Baez was given a CAT scan to check for skull fractures or any bleeding in his brain — a capability that urgent-cares don’t have. All of the walk-in patients on Thursday up to that point had had zero wait time to be seen. Other patients had come in for migraines, abdominal pains and high blood pressure, among other things. A Jane St. resident, 47, had glass, or possibly some other object, lodged under his toe that he got while playing soccer on the beach in Brazil. A Village restaurant worker who lives in the Bronx, 18, had cut the tip off the top of his thumb while chopping asparagus. He came, got three
stitches, and was released. A firecracker of upbeat energy, nurse Amy Smith is the HealthPlex’s project manager. She said she really liked the HealthPlex’s layout, since it allows her to keep an eye on multiple patients in various rooms at once. She noted she could, at that moment, eas-
Plex’s first patient brought in by ambulance — by an ambulance from North Shore-LIJ Health System, the HealthPlex’s umbrella health group. Speaking in very limited English, Melvin Morales, 23, explained that he works in a market — apparently in Midtown — and was in Grand Central Station when he fainted. He was hooked up to a heart monitor, and they were doing blood work on him. “He looks good,” said Smith, who then asked him if he had eaten anything for breakfast. He had not. That could very well have been a factor, she noted, but they would continue the testing. As for why the ambulance brought Morales to the HealthPlex in the Village, Cruzen explained that it’s an algorithm of the emergency responders’ decision, plus a computer that tells
‘They have thought this through from the patients’ point of view.’ Deborah Glick
ily see a patient about 40 feet away who was resting in a room, who had fainted and fallen and didn’t know where he was. “That’s serious,” she said. In fact, that man was the Health-
HEALTHPLEX, continued on p. 21 EastVillagerNews.com
state-of-the-art 24/7 emergency department HEALTHPLEX, continued from p. 20
PHOTO BY LINCOLN ANDERSON
them where the best available treatment option is. No patients had yet been transported by ambulance to local hospitals for higher-level care, such as would be done for acute heart attacks or strokes or major trauma, like a serious gunshot wound. Also resting in a bed after getting treatment was Cathy Casrielgyory, from Horatio St., who had been suffering a severe migraine and vertigo as a result of a debilitating bout of Meniere’s disease. She had been getting herself psyched up to take a taxi ride through crosstown traffic over to N.Y.U. Langone Medical Center in the E. 30s on First Ave., but then — even though she wasn’t sure if it was open yet — she decided to walk over to the HealthPlex. They gave her intravenous valium, for which she was grateful. “I feel better, not 100 percent, so they’re sending me home with some valium,” she said, wearing sunglasses to block out the light and help calm her symptoms, as her daughter sat nearby, having accompanied her over to the HealthPlex. Another thing the HealthPlex can do that an urgent-care center can’t, is dispense a wide variety of medications to its patients. A nurse came in and checked her blood pressure. “One hundred fifty-four over 76,” she said, “a little high for your baseline, but not high for the E.R.” Casrielgyory’s assessment of the care she had received? “Great,” she said. “Very prompt. The place is full of spirit today. And as a resident of the neighborhood,” she said of the healthcare facility, “I’m glad to have it back. If I have an attack like this, I will come back.” As The Villager was leaving the HealthPlex — the patients in good hands with the medical staff — Kelly Gates, 24, was entering , being greeted by the front-desk staff, and preparing to get treated by a staff member for what Gates believed to be bedbug bites. She expressed incredulity that she lives in the West Village, yet could possibly have bedbugs. A week earlier, officials with North Shore-L.I.J. and the HealthPlex, and even the neighboring L.G.B.T. Community Center, had formally dedicated the facility at an opening ceremony. Afterward, Assemblymember Deborah Glick gave the new HealthPlex her seal of approval, and said she especially liked that it has a special section — with a separate entrance — for sexual-assault victims. The area is set up to provide the greatest privacy to the victims, and also to set them at ease.
Cathy Casrielgyory received treatment for a debilitating bout of Meniere’s disease.
“Women in the community need to know that there’s a separate, private entrance for victims of sexual assault,” she said, adding, “That is just an indication of the way they have thought this through from the patients’ point of view.” TPIA, a clot buster given to stroke victims, is available at the facility, Glick added. Over all, she was very bullish on the HealthPlex. “Very much so,” she said, “and I think the community will look forward to the imaging services and specialty care” that will be added in the near future in the building’s upper floors. N.S.-LIJ poured $150 million into the facility — the former St. Vincent’s O’Toole Building — which will be offering more medical services in the near future beyond just the E.D., the latter, admittedly, which was the main aspect of St. Vincent’s that the community feared losing when the historic hospital closed. There hadn’t been any protest action recently by diehard advocates of a full-service hospital who had savaged the freestanding E.D., which ultimately wasn’t surprising, she said. “You’re going to come here and say how this is terrible for the community?” Glick said. “You’re going to have access to up-to-date emergency healthcare.”
Theater for the New City • 155 1st Avenue at E. 10th St. Reservations & Info (212) 254-1109 For more info, please visit www.theaterforthenewcity.net
Coming August 2nd...
TNC’S AWARD-WINNING STREET THEATER COMPANY in EMERGENCY!!!
THE WORLD TAKES A “SELFIE” A New Musical for the Street Written, Directed and Lyrics by CRYSTAL FIELD Music Composed by JOSEPH VERNON BANKS August 2 - September 14 Saturday & Sunday, 2pm The First Four Shows are: Sat, August 2nd, 2pm- TNC at E. 10th St. & 1st Avenue, Manhattan Sun, August 3rd, 2pm- St. Mary’s Park at 147th St. & St. Ann’s Ave., Bronx Sat, August 9th, 2pm- Tompkins Square Park at E. 7th St. & Ave. A, Manhattan Sun, August 10th, 2pm- Herbert Von King Park at Marcy & Tompkins, Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn TNC’s Programs are funded in part by the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs and the New York State Council on the Arts
July 24, 2014
July 24, 2014
Crusties’ Village summer idyll CRUSTIES, continued from p. 14
PHOTO BY DAMIEN ACEVEDO
He stays with friends in Brooklyn when possible. “On the weekend, I’m like, ‘Hey, can I throw you 50 bucks and you can let my old lady shower there and crash? We can come over and hang out.’ Sometimes, I smoke them out,” he quipped. Many Downtowners are accustomed to seeing the crusties flock here every summer. But the travelers say the city, as a whole, isn’t always welcoming. Despite having grown up on Staten Island, Plasm said it’s always a culture shock when she comes back to New York City. She has spent time in the South. While it was less acceptable to sleep on the sidewalk there, she felt Southerners were friendlier toward her compared to what she’s experiencing now in the city. She noted she recently had a bad interaction at Best Buy in Union Square, when, at 2 a.m. one morning, she went in to use the bathroom and fill up her water bottle, and was told to get out. “The moment you walk into a place like that and you look this certain way, you get treated like s---,” she said. “You’re less of a human being.” Matty also said that New Yorkers are less sympathetic to the homeless. “I have a good relationship with a lot of the stores,” he said. “I don’t do drugs, I don’t die in the bathrooms. I always try to buy something if I go to a restaurant. But I’ve been having a really hard time this year with a lot of the establishments because they see a backpack, they’re like, ‘Oh, one of them.’ ” Luckily for the young homeless, there are places here where they can find assistance. A notable one is The Space at Tompkins, an organization aimed at “providing unconditional aid and support to the transient homeless.” It’s one of only a few groups in the city that targets its services specifically toward the crust punk community. The Space at Tompkins distributes “survival items,” such as socks, razors and soap, and gives out peanut butter-and-jelly sandwiches at free dinners. They also provide over-
dose-prevention kits and syringe-exchange services, among other things. Even so, Plasm said, it’s still difficult to break out of the homelessness cycle, particularly in a city as expensive as this one. “I think already there’s a lot of resources, but they’re not so useful,” she said. “There has to be something done as far as housing goes, and the shelters are not cutting it. When you have all the lower-income housing being torn down to build luxury buildings for whoever’s yuppie daughter, that’s taking away from the people who are actually New Yorkers that need help from New York, and not the kid that came here just to go to N.Y.U.” Last year, in a hot-button talking point in The Villager, Chad Marlow proposed cracking down on crusties who camp out on the sidewalks, citing their involvement in violent incidents and unlawful activity. Marlow argued that many crusties were “voluntary homeless tourists” who “compete for pocket-change donations with legitimately homeless persons.” Marlow recently ran unsuccessfully for Community Board 3 chairperson. Prior to Marlow’s talking point, City Councilmember Rosie Mendez had stated publicly that she hoped to explore some legal ways to keep the crusties from sleeping on the sidewalks. Two summers ago, there had been several incidents in the East and West Village where crusties’ behavior drew complaints, which is what Mendez was responding to. But she never followed through on her intention, partly because the legal protections permitting sleeping on the sidewalk are strong. For his part, after seeing Mendez broach the idea of addressing the “crusty problem,” Marlow tried to offer his own solution. At any rate, over all, the stigma against the crusties is simply unfair, Plasm said. “Most is negative most places you go,” she said of public opinion about the young homeless travelers. “But it’s not true — we’re not all bad people. There’s people that end up on the street for different reasons. There are people that have mental issues and severe drug abuse issues — that doesn’t mean they should be shunned.”
The L.E.S. Lady Furies jelled as a team in their first season.
Lady Furies leave it all on the field in playoffs SPORTS
he L.E.S. Lady Furies’ Cinderella season ended Monday as they were knocked out of the running for the Little League World Series by the Rockville Center All-Stars. On Saturday, the age-10-and-under softball team lost badly to the Staten Island All-Stars. But they rebounded against Floral Park on Sunday, winning, 14-10, keeping hope alive, albeit briefly, until they lost Monday on the ball field at 16th St. at Avenue C. In Saturday’s victory, Kayla Acevedo and Aurelia Rodriguez got the game balls, both having turned
double plays to save the Furies in the fifth and sixth innings. Joey Ortiz started the game and pitched well. Jade Gonzalez took over in the fifth, holding Floral Park to just two runs over two innings. Madison Lorenzi caught the entire game, and only gave up four steals, including none at home plate. Right fielder Maya Khan had an unfortunate injury in the third inning. But Jaylin Gonzalez came on and played great in the outfield and backing up first base. The Furies will be back — and better than ever — Coach Damien Acevedo said. “I can tell you, winter clinic this year will be 26 weeks of intense training,” he assured.
Woman is crushed by subway after dropping iPad at Union Sq. BY SERGEI KLEBNIKOV
woman was killed by an oncoming subway car last Saturday, after losing her balance while fumbling with her iPad. Aracelis Ayuso, 21, an East Harlem resident, was waiting at the Union Square station for the Brooklyn-bound No. 4 train, around 3:30 p.m. According to officials, she reportedly lost her grip on the iPad, and leaned across the yellow line to save it. When she tried to catch the device, she lost her footing, causing
her to fall off the platform and onto the tracks. She fell in front of the oncoming train. The conductor reportedly spotted her on the rails and put on the brakes, but was unable to stop the speeding train as it pulled into the station. The New York Post reported that police originally suspected Ayuso might have been drunk when she fell, but that on Sunday, the Police Department said that there were no signs of obvious signs of intoxication. A pending toxicology report will be reviewed. July 24, 2014
GRISTEDES SUMMER SPECIAL!
July 24, 2014