CB4 provides recommendations and laughs, p. 3
VOLUME 4, NUMBER 51
THE WEST SIDE’S COMMUNITY NEWSPAPER
AUGUST 8 - 21, 2012
City Planning Commission contemplates Chelsea Market BY SCOTT STIFFLER One week after Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer issued his conditional disapproval of a Jamestown Properties Uniform Land Use Review Procedure (ULURP) application to vertically expand Chelsea Market by as much as 340,000 square feet, City Planning Commission (CPC) Chair Amanda Burden presided over the commission’s sole public hearing on the matter. By summer’s end, the CPC
Image courtesy of Friends of the High Line
Catwalks aren’t just for models: When Section Three is completed, pedestrians will strut their stuff on the bridge over which the High Line crosses 11th Ave., moving west on 30th St.
New renderings give a glimpse of High Line Section Three BY SAM SPOKONY Following the city’s acquisition of the third and final section of the High Line, the nonprofit that runs the popular elevated park has released the renderings of its finalized design plans. Section Three will include an elevated catwalk, several new styles of the park’s trademark “peel-up” benches, an interim walkway that will reveal the path’s natural wildflower growth and a rubberized exploration area for children, said Robert Hammond, co-founder of Friends of the High Line (which works alongside the city’s Parks Department to operate the space). “I think people are going to be really excited about this,” Hammond added. The new area will extend the High Line from West 30th Street to West 34th Street, spanning east to west between 10th and 12th Avenues. This
portion also wraps around the West Side Rail Yards. The park’s two current sections run from Gansevoort to 30th Street, mostly along 10th Avenue. Once its final piece is completed, the High Line will connect the Meatpacking District, West Chelsea and Hell’s Kitchen. Developing the third section will cost about $90 million. Construction is expected to begin later this year, according to a Parks Department release. The new area will feature an elevated catwalk on the bridge over which the High Line crosses 11th Avenue, moving east to west on 30th Street. As shown in renderings released by Friends of the High Line, the center of the walkway will rise on a slow incline to about two feet above the rest of the path, giving visitors a better view of the cityscape and the Hudson River.
Just west of the intersection of 30th Street and 11th Avenue, a new staircase will also be constructed over the park’s railing, providing additional panoramic views as people enter and exit between that portion and the street below. The High Line’s “peel-up” benches, which rise directly from the planks of the walkway, have stood out as notably unique elements since their creation — and they will gain a host of new designs within the park’s final section. The new benches will include extralong models, those featuring an “X” shape, picnic table-style seating and a design reminiscent of a seesaw, among others, according to renderings. From the point at which the third section curves northward (at the intersection of 30th Street and 12th
is expected to issue their recommendation — at which point the City Council will have 60 days to either approve or reject the project. With Community Board 4 (CB4) and Stringer having specified a number of preferred alterations to the ULURP application, questions posed by members of the CPC delved further into the nuances and implications of those recommendations.
Continued on page 7
Chelsea Now is sold to information technology executive BY LINCOLN ANDERSON The parent company of Chelsea Now has been sold to a business executive with experience in information technology and e-commerce. “I was looking for something in New York that had quality and integrity behind it,” Jennifer Goodstein said of purchasing Community Media, LLC, effective July 31. The award-winning newspaper chain also includes the Downtown Express, Gay City News, The Villager and the East Villager — and was owned for the
Continued on page 6
515 C A N A L STREET • N YC 10013 • C OPYRIG H T © 2012 COMMU N ITY M ED IA , LLC
past 12 years by John W. Sutter. “John has maintained, over the years, a very strong reputation of having a place where people can find a trusted source of what’s happening,” Goodstein said. “I do feel that, looking at the condition of the papers. I think the hard work is done.” Goodstein was a key e-business executive at MetLife for ten years. Prior to that, she was director of information technology for instruction and curriculum at a Maryland school district.
Continued on page 2
EDITORIAL, LETTERS PAGE 8
SMUIN BALLET: BOLD, SEXY, INNOVATIVE PAGE 23
August 8 - 21, 2012
Jennifer Goodstein to publish Community Media properties Continued from page 1 Commenting that New York City is “anything but vanilla,” Goodstein said that “the diversity” of the neighborhoods and the issues the group’s newspapers cover is a compelling factor in her interest in assuming control of the properties. Goodstein, 47, is married to Les Goodstein, who is a senior vice president at News America Inc. They live in Manhattan and have a collegeage son, Steven. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Sutter’s tenure at Community Media was a dynamic and active one, during which he substantially expanded the community newspaper franchise in Lower Manhattan. He launched three papers: Gay City News in 2002; Chelsea Now in 2006; and the East Villager/Lower East Sider in 2010, all of which are thriving today. The Villager started publishing in April 1933, four years after Wall Street crashed and a few years into the Great Depression. The paper was founded by Walter Gregory Bryan — a newspaperman who started an advertising agency — and his sister, Isabel Bryan, who both moved to the Village from the Midwest to launch the new publication. The rise of political reform, the preservation of the Jefferson Market Courthouse, the dawning of gay and lesbian consciousness, the transformation of the waterfront, the world-changing
Jennifer Goodstein, publisher.
terror of September 11, 2001 — all have been in the pages of The Villager from a neighborhood point of view. In the late 1950s, The Villager — thanks to the influence of staff reporter William Honan
— for the first time became a fighting paper, taking on powerful District Leader Carmine De Sapio, the head of Tammany Hall, helping hasten his downfall. In January 1992, however, amid a tough economic climate, the newspaper was closed. Six months later, Tom Butson, a retired New York Times assistant news editor, and his wife, Elizabeth Margaritis Butson, a former marketing vice president at Philip Morris, bought The Villager and resumed publishing, saving it from demise. Sutter purchased The Villager and Downtown Express from the Butsons in 1999. Sutter took the Downtown Express weekly for the decade after 9/11 because, as he said, “People in a disaster zone desperately need information.” Asked what he was most proud of during his tenure, Sutter, who is 62, said, “Working with a group of committed professionals who believe in community journalism. Covering the best neighborhoods in the entire world. Trying to write fairly, forcefully, and independently about events that have meaning in the lives of our readers, week in and week out.” Among the most memorable, big stories during his ownership of the papers, Sutter said, were “9/11; the recovery and rebuilding of Lower Manhattan after the attack; NYU’s expansion; the building out of Hudson River Park and its trials and tribulations; St. Vincent’s plan to build a new hospital tower and its ultimate bankruptcy and collapse; the legalization
of same-sex marriage in New York State; the school crisis; the dynamic expansion of influence of our local community boards; real estate developments; the rezoning of the East Village and Lower East Side; new faces in politics — Margaret Chin and Daniel Squadron — and familiar faces, too — Christine Quinn, Tom Duane, Jerrold Nadler, Carolyn Maloney, Rosie Mendez, Sheldon Silver and Deborah Glick; the redevelopment of Washington Square and a dozen other parks. The list goes on and on.” Under Sutter, Community Media publications garnered their share of awards, with the papers regularly being acknowledged as among the top five newspaper groups in New York State. Over the past 12 years, Community Media has won more than 200 awards for excellence in the New York Press Association’s Better Newspaper Contest across a wide range of categories, including The Villager’s three times winning the Stuart Dorman Award as the best community weekly in the state. For content produced during 2011, Chelsea Now won first place for Coverage of the Arts (judges praised its “eclectic story selection”) and third place for Coverage of the Environment (a two-part report on toxic turf in area parks showed “good initiative to go out and inform the story, not just report it”). Sutter has agreed to stay on at the newspapers as Publisher Emeritus, although he quipped that sounds “really old.” He will assist the new leadership in the transition.
August 8 - 21, 2012
CB4 recommends replacement bus stop, prepares for water main project BY SAM SPOKONY Community Board 4’s Transportation Committee saw two of its important Chelseabased letters approved at the July 25 full board meeting — one providing a bus stop recommendation at West 34th Street and Ninth Avenue that could resolve longstanding quality of life concerns for residents and businesses, and another with requests designed to decrease the negative effects of an upcoming water main installment on 30th Street and 10th Avenue. CB4 Chair Corey Johnson was not present for the meeting due to family matters. First Vice Chair Christine Berthet led the board in his absence.
PUBLIC SESSION FULL OF LETTERS, LAUGHS During the meeting’s public session, several members of an advisory committee at Manhattan Plaza — a large residential building located at 400 and 484 West 43rd Street — stepped up to the microphone in support of a letter from the CB4 Housing, Health and Human Services (HHHS) Committee to Related Management Company, the building’s owner. The letter signaled the committee’s approval of Related’s recent proposal to transfer 169 units of Section 8 housing from Manhattan Plaza to a new building — which is not yet built — at 529 West 29th Street. Section 8 is an affordable housing program, which provides that no tenants in a certain building pay more than 30 percent of their income in rent. Marisa Redanty, a member of the Manhattan Plaza Management Advisory Committee, added to her own positive remarks by reading a letter from the Manhattan Plaza Tenants Association. “Related has proven to be a responsible and cooperative owner here at Manhattan Plaza,” the letter noted. “They have done much for our residents and have demonstrated a willingness to address our concerns at any time. We fully support this project.” CB4’s full board eventually approved the HHHS letter. In an unexpected turn that drew laughter from most of the room, CB4 member Brett Firfer took the microphone — with an American flag wrapped around his shoulders — to publicly protest Mayor Michael
Photo by Sam Spokony
Marisa Redanty, a member of a Manhattan Plaza committee, read a letter in support of the Plaza owner's proposal for new affordable housing in Chelsea.
Bloomberg’s recent attempt to ban large sodas in the city. “I’m up here because I feel like my rights and civil liberties are in danger,” said Firfer. “It’s an emotional issue for me, so I want to express myself in the public session in a way that’s appropriate. I think it deserves a protest, a real delicious act of defiance.” Immediately after finishing his oration, he chugged an entire bottle of Coke (the standard vending machine size…not the dreaded 32-ounce version).
COMMITTEE AGENDAS INCLUDE BUSES, BUNDLES To begin the business session of the meeting, the Business Licenses and Permits Committee had all 28 of its drafted resolution letters accepted by the full board, most of which were first grouped into a single mass vote. Pounds and Ounces, a new unenclosed sidewalk cafe, received a recommendation
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Gates & Welding Repair Revolving & Automatic Doors Hollow Metal & Kalamein Doors Cement Door Frames Rixon Floor Closers Architectural Hardware Magnetic Locks
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for approval to open for business at 160 Eighth Avenue (between 17th and 18th Streets), under the condition that it provides a clear eight-foot path between the
cafe and any obstructions on the sidewalk. The Hummus & Pita Co., another sidewalk cafe, also received approval under the same condition for its location at 585 Sixth Avenue (between 16th and 17th Streets). Both cafes also gained a CB4 letter of recommendation for approval of a liquor license. The board grouped all six of the letters to come out of the Landmarks Committee, which were all ratified in a single vote. Five of the letters recommended approval of alterations and restorations to historic buildings in Chelsea — including 460 West 22nd Street (which was built in 1854, and remains in original condition except for the windows, cornice and ironwork that will be restored) and the Atlantic Theatre Company building at 336 West 20th Street (which was built in 1870, and whose alteration will include moving a signage pylon from the west side to the east side of the building). The one letter recommending denial of an alteration concerned an application for work on 353 West 20th Street, which proposed to build a backyard extension — and which the committee called “jarringly inappropriate” in its architectural design. A letter from the CB4 Transportation Committee, which could have a significant positive impact on a small group of Chelsea residents, recommended the
Continued on page 11
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August 8 - 21, 2012
Seeking Duane’s state Senate seat, the race is Brad Hoylman’s to lose BY DUNCAN OSBORNE Appearing before the Stonewall Democratic Club of New York City on July 25, Brad Hoylman first rattled off the long list of his friends, political and actual, who were there. Then he saluted Thomas Duane, the openly gay state senator who has represented parts of Manhattan in the state Senate since 1998. “I have big shoes to fill,” said the 46-year-old Hoylman, who is running in the September 13 Democratic primary for Duane’s seat. “Any candidate running for this seat has big shoes to fill…Tom Duane was a lion.” The district includes the white, gay enclaves of Chelsea, Clinton, Hell’s Kitchen, the East and West Villages as well as Stuyvesant Town, Peter Cooper Village and parts of Midtown Manhattan. In 1991, Duane was the first openly gay candidate elected to the City Council in a district that was drawn to be gay-winnable. That City Council district sits within Duane’s Senate district, and its gay population may have grown over the past 10 years. At a July 17 meeting of the commission that will redraw the City Council districts, Joseph J. Salvo, the director of the Population Division in the Department of City Planning, said that the council district had seen a 14.3 percent increase in population due to a “young non-family population being fed heavily by in-migration from the rest of the country.” Christine Quinn, an out lesbian and the City Council speaker, currently represents that district. Hoylman will soon marry filmmaker David Sigal, also 46 and his partner of 20 years. They are raising Silvia, their 18-monthold daughter. When Duane, 57, announced his retirement he said “Brad is one of my closest friends. We talked last night. I would be
Photos courtesy of Gay City News
State Senator Thomas Duane with Brad Hoylman, who is seeking Duane's seat, in New York City's June 24 Pride March.
proud to be represented by Brad Hoylman.” Quinn, Congressman Jerry Nadler, who represents Manhattan’s Upper West Side, Assemblymember Deborah Glick, an out lesbian who represents the West Village, and other elected officials who share voters with Duane’s district have endorsed Hoylman. It certainly appears that all of the stars have aligned to put him into office. “I hope so,” he said during an interview at Think Coffee, a Chelsea coffee shop. “I don’t think our community should take anything for granted. Certainly, I’m not.” He is opposed by Tom Greco, the straight owner of The Ritz Bar and Lounge, a popular gay bar. Greco is an officer in the McManus Midtown Democratic Club and the Jim Owles Liberal Democratic Club, a gay political group. Also running is Tanika Inlaw, a public school teacher. In their July campaign filings with the state Board of Elections, Hoylman had raised nearly $192,000 and had just over $171,000 in cash on hand. Greco had raised $20,600 with $13,600 in cash. Inlaw did not file any reports. Duane may have aided Hoylman with an early hint that he would be retiring. They spoke around May 19, when Quinn married Kim Catullo, her longtime partner, Hoylman said. “He told me he was considering stepping down at the end of the year,” Hoylman said. Duane announced his retirement on June 4. Hoylman filed his campaign committee with the state on June 5 and collected his first donation on June 7. Ballot petitioning began on June 26. All three candidates have qualified. This is Hoylman’s second run for public office. In 2001, he finished second in a field of seven candidates in a Democratic primary for a City Council seat representing Lower Manhattan. Since then, Hoylman has been involved in civic and political groups. He served three terms as chair of Community Board 2 where he grappled with the closing of St. Vincent’s Hospital and Medical Center and the expansion plans of New York University. “I’m very proud of the fact that I led
Tom Greco outside The Ritz Bar and Lounge, a popular gay bar he owns. Greco is vying for the state Senate seat held by Thomas Duane.
Community Board 2’s unanimous opposition to NYU’s plan,” he said at the Stonewall meeting. The Bloomberg administration has championed development, often over the objections of local communities, in a process that is seen as favoring builders. “It’s often building at the expense of neighborhoods,” Hoylman said. “The community needs to be at the table at the beginning stages of discussions.” Hoylman is also concerned with increasing funding for city schools, creating more affordable housing and addressing income inequality. There are a few gay community agenda items that are unfinished in Albany. “As much as Tom achieved in Albany, he left a few things to fight for,” Hoylman said. The Gender Expression NonDiscrimination Act (GENDA), which would add gender identity to the state human rights law, has yet to get a vote in the state Senate. A statewide network of agencies that serves the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community needs more funding, as do services for people with HIV and AIDS. Hoylman would also like to see New York’s ban on surrogacy
overturned. He and his partner had to travel to California to contract with the surrogate who gave birth to Silvia. Hoylman, the youngest of six siblings, was raised in a small town in West Virginia. His performance at West Virginia University won him a Rhodes scholarship that took him to Oxford University in England for a year. He spent a year volunteering on Bill Clinton’s 1992 presidential campaign and then earned a law degree at Harvard. Hoylman, an intellectual property lawyer, worked at two of the city’s tonier law firms and then spent 12 years at the Partnership for New York City, a major business lobby. In interviews and in his campaign material, Hoylman emphasizes his pro bono work and his community service. He betrays some sensitivity to the suggestion that he was simply waiting for an office to open so he could run without challenging an incumbent. “Nobody can accuse me of being an upstart,” he said and added, “All of those endorsements I got in the first 24 hours are, I hope, a testament to the work I’ve been doing in neighborhoods.”
August 8 - 21, 2012
SAGE Center is country’s first, for LGBT elders BY ANDY HUMM A unique senior center that opened its doors in March — on the 15th floor of 305 Seventh Avenue, just above 27th Street — is opening up new ways of looking at being gray and gay. Tom Weber, the longtime director of Community Services for Services & Advocacy for Gay Lesbian Bisexual & Transgender Elders (SAGE), notes that The SAGE Center is “the first municipally-funded senior center for LGBT people anywhere. We’ve been pushing for it for years.” A senior center based on identity rather than geography, its mission is to serve LGBT people age 60 and up — but all are welcome. It came about when the Bloomberg administration decided to move beyond senior centers just placed on a neighborhood allocation, to establish “ten innovative centers” — one of which is The SAGE Center. “It represents New York City’s first formal recognition that the funding stream for older people needs to be LGBT inclusive,” said Michael Adams, executive director of SAGE. “It needs to be recognized by all local departments for the aging that older LGBT people have particular needs that have to be addressed by the whole system of aging services.” While LGBT older people can and do use senior centers in their neighborhoods (including some particularly gayfriendly ones such as Greenwich House in the Village and Chelsea’s Hudson Guild), most say that it is easier to be themselves at The SAGE Center. An array of services and programs are geared to them, from counseling and consultations with a nurse to workshops on dance, art and writing. There’s a library and a lounge for unstructured activities. In what they call The Great Room, there is seating for up to 100 people to dine each weeknight for a nominal cost. Roger Macon, 65, lives in Briarwood, Queens, but takes the train to The SAGE Center almost every day. “It’s like a family here,” he said over a hearty dinner of turkey Salisbury steak and mashed potatoes that is two bucks for those 60 and over and four for youngsters like me . “All my friends always lived in Chelsea and the Village. I have met people here that I thought had died and gone to heaven.” SAGE estimates that 24 percent of those who use the new facilities are from Chelsea. Chelsea denizen Howard, 70 (who worked on the Gayellow Pages for years), is part of a group that puts together movie screenings on Friday afternoons. “I come here for the people, the community. Without this, I’d be home alone with my pets. Here, you can be yourself and be respected for it.” Married two years ago in Connecticut, Barbara Police and Pat Slone have been together for 36 years. Police said the new SAGE Center “is like a second home,” a few blocks from their home at Selis Manor for the visually impaired — which also has one of the city’s new “innovative” senior centers, called Visions. “SAGE is family,” she said. SAGE was founded in 1978 and some people have really grown along with it. Veteran lesbian activist Rosita Libre-de-Marulanda of Brooklyn, who still works in the city’s schools, is turning 67 this month and said that she has “been around SAGE since I was in my 30s. You never had to be a member to attend a workshop.”
© 2012 SAGE & Phil Ansalone
June 12, 2012: the SAGE Pride Social is an annual precursor to the Pride March.
Adams said, “The concept is that The SAGE Center is a place where LGBT older people can get a whole variety of services and opportunities in a place where they can feel at home.” Although SAGE maintains a drop-in space at the Village's LGBT Community Center (and has opened or plans to open satellite programs in Harlem and the other four boroughs), Adams hails Chelsea as “a significant part of where our historic constituency lives or spends a lot of time.” “We own the space and have decided to permanently plant ourselves in Chelsea.” At The SAGE Center, “nutrition programs are very popular,” Adams said, “which includes meals, but also cooking and nutrition classes. We’re also seeing our cybercenter and computer classes as a big draw. There’s a big arts/culture track including classes in action, painting and dance. There’s a health and wellness track.” Many of the programs are run or aided by volunteers. Adams noted that while a nurse is available for consultations, “SAGE isn’t a primary care provider.” There is an audio loop in the Center for the hearing impaired. Weber said that SAGE also has partnerships with the McBurney YMCA, which SAGE members can use “at reduced rates” and that they also partner with the pool at the Tony Dapolito Recreation Center (at 1 Clarkson Street, at Seventh Avenue South).
CONTROVERSY OVER SAGE DROP-IN AT VILLAGE LGBT CENTER In taking the great leap to open The SAGE Center in Chelsea and to expand into the boroughs — not to mention working with affiliated groups for older LGBT people across the country — SAGE was going to close its longtime drop-in center on the first floor of the LGBT Community Center on West 13th Street, encouraging those who used it to trek 14 blocks Uptown. Jerry Hoose, a veteran of the radical Gay Liberation Front that was born after Stonewall, said, “I was outraged. We weren’t going to tolerate it. I was willing to get arrested. The Village space is important because it is an LGBT Community Center and makes SAGE and the rest of us relevant when we go in there. Every time I walk in the building I feel like I’m making a political statement.” Hoose organized the users of the informal, unstructured
Continued on page 14
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August 8 - 21, 2012
High Line’s final section to include new benches, recreation, walkway designs Continued from page 1 Avenue) until the path ends (at 34th Street, between 11th and 12th Avenues), the park will be left unfinished. So for the time being, an interim walkway will fill the space. “The interim walkway will allow people to see the wild High Line,” said Hammond, “and that’s what I think is especially exciting, because it’ll be so different from the rest of the park.” That walkway will feature a simple, fencedoff path running alongside the untouched High Line tracks, which are covered in naturally growing wildflowers and grasses. Hammond said he expects this element of the park to remain for the next five to ten years, until it can be further developed. On the section of the park just west of 11th Avenue, the railway’s concrete deck will be removed, revealing the framework of the High Line’s original beams and girders. After being covered with a thick rubber safety coating, this will become the “Beam Exploration Area,” which Hammond said would be specially designed as a place for children to play. All of the proposed designs have received a nod of approval from Community Board 4, after a positive recommendation letter (from the board’s Waterfront Committee to the city’s Public Design Commission) was passed at the full board meeting on July 25. John Doswell, a co-chair of the
Waterfront Committee, explained that Friends of the High Line received only praise upon presenting their plans to the committee on July 12. “There was really nothing that we didn’t like,” said Doswell. “It was a unanimous feeling among the committee, because the High Line has been such a success so far, and all of the new designs really pick up on that same motif.” The city had acquired the final section of the High Line on July 24, after it was donated by the CSX Corporation, the Florida-based transportation company that had previously transferred ownership of the two sections below 30th Street. In addition to joining the Meatpacking District, West Chelsea and Hell’s Kitchen, the final section will pass through the proposed site of Hudson Yards — a 26-acre, mixed-use neighborhood being developed by Related Properties and Oxford Properties Group — which will eventually include more than 12 million square feet of new office, residential, retail and cultural space, as well as 14 acres of public space. Hudson Yards, which will be built on the site of the current LIRR West Side Yards, is proposed to span from 28th to 43rd Streets, as far west as 12th Avenue and, in its northward areas, as far east as Seventh Avenue. Stephen Ross, the chairman and CEO of Related Companies, has told the Associated Press that he plans to break ground sometime in October.
Images courtesy of Friends of the High Line
August 8 - 21, 2012
After CB4 and BP verdicts, Chelsea Market in hands of CPC Continued from page 1 Nearly three dozen supporters and detractors (most of them familiar faces who came with prepared statements articulating equally familiar arguments) arrived before the July 25 meeting’s 10am start time in order to secure a two-minute speaking slot. Until called to testify, many of them joined an overflow crowd relegated to witnessing the proceedings on a video monitor just outside of the main room. During the three-hour Chelsea Market section of the meeting, the commission heard testimony from local residents, Jamestown Properties, community-based organizations, market concourse merchants and representatives of elected officials. Following their comments, the majority of these speakers were quizzed by one or more CPC members — whose inquiries demonstrated a studied grasp of ULURPspecific issues as well as the implications of greenlighting a project which calls into question the purpose and integrity of the Special West Chelsea District (SWCD). Established in 2005 by the City Council (after a thorough vetting by CB4 and the CPC), the SWCD is a zoning classification designed to promote residential and commercial development while protecting light and air integrity along the High Line. Concerns surrounding the project’s impact on the elevated public park — whose High Line Improvement Fund (HLIF) stands to receive a mandatory 19 million dollar donation from Jamestown — were addressed early on. Representing Jamestown, attorney Melanie Meyers was the first to speak. She began with an overview of the proposed zoning map and zoning text amendment relating to the Chelsea Market block, and then presented “some of our thinking about the land use rationales for the proposal.” Citing the 18-building complex as “the only site in Chelsea with a building having a strong physical connection to the High Line,” Meyers said that the market’s location allows it to provide the High Line with “education and event prep space, freight access and support facilities.” Momentarily putting aside the current design’s aesthetic virtues or shortcomings,
Image courtesy of Jamestown Properties and Studios Architecture
A rendering of the proposed Chelsea Market expansion: Subject to change?
Burden let it be known that her take on the project is “less about how it compares to the building across the street” than how it will impact a pedestrian’s experience on the elevated park — which has become a major tourist draw for Chelsea. “I’m coming at this from the perspective of a visitor to the High Line,” she noted. “That light and air, that sky, is really important. How much sky are you going to take away?” Meyers responded by asserting that current debate over the project’s ultimate size, shape and layout was “the beginning of the discussion and not the end.” Elsewhere in her presentation, Meyers noted, “We certainly have heard that further exploration of the envelope is warranted.” But, she added, “We think that it is important that you hear our thoughts and put that discussion into the neighborhood context.” Later in the meeting, Friends of the High Line co-founder Robert Hammond downplayed concern that a towering vertical addition to Chelsea Market would detract from the High Line experience. “People congregate under [current High Line] construction,” he noted, “for shade.” As for concerns
that further construction would add to the swaths of the High Line where open sky is blocked, Hammond referenced existing buildings on either or both sides of the park, stating that, “People love the architectural variations along the High Line.” CPC member Betty Chen implored Meyers to “get more specific on 10th Ave.” — a
loaded reference to a section of Stringer’s July 18 conditional disapproval, in which the borough president proposed “shifting the addition from over 10th Avenue to over 9th Avenue and lowering the addition’s base height to 170 feet and capping its height at 184 feet in total.” Doing so, Stringer reasoned, would respect “the original intent of the Special District to shift density away from the High Line.” After repeating the months-old assurance that Jamestown was amenable to taking the 90,000 square-foot hotel at 9th Avenue and West 16th Street off the table (and replacing it with office space), Meyers concluded by citing two elements “that we haven’t addressed…a proposal to reallocate a portion of the HLIF to the Chelsea Affordable Housing Fund, which raises a larger policy question for the city, and modifications to the Tenth Avenue envelope, which we know we will continue to discuss.” That discussion continued when Michael Phillips (chief operating officer of Jamestown Properties) took the mic. In addition to providing “vital amenities” to the High Line, Phillips cited a 2011 expansion study conducted by Appleseed that estimated the project will create (as paraphrased by Phillips) 1,000 “high-quality jobs in emerging and high-tech businesses” from clients occupying
Continued on page 16
August 8 - 21, 2012
EDITORIAL John Sutter says goodbye Last week, I sold my newspapers. I found someone who believes in community journalism — its challenges and opportunities — who is willing to buy into the business of producing high-quality, original, local news reporting. The new owner is Jennifer Goodstein, and you will be hearing directly from her in coming weeks. It’s been a great 13-year run, but it’s time for me to step down and explore some other interests. It was surely the best job that I ever had. What extraordinary communities to write for! No shortage of debate, dissension, volatility, creativity. Overflowing with big and small stories, colorful characters and sharp local opinion. I relished the mission, which was to try to write honestly, independently, fairly and forcefully, about events that have meaning in the lives of individuals and families in our neighborhoods. I have lots of thanks to pass around. First I thank my family for putting up with more than 2,000 deadlines. They have watched me leave vacations early, or be on the computer during evening time together, or scream for them to quiet down as I tried to concentrate on finishing up a late-night editorial. They supported me, or at least tolerated me, throughout this entire journey. I love them dearly and owe them everything. And what a staff at Community Media! If they were in this for the money they would be elsewhere. They believe in the mission and work their hearts out to produce comprehensive and fair local news, week in and week out. And to our loyal readers, where would we be without you? We were always proud to boast that you were at the top of any scale of political and cultural sophistication, and that you knew good writing. We did our best to provide you every week with local news that you can trust, both in print and online. I have agreed to stay on as Publisher Emeritus. I will have strong moral suasion, but no power. I want to do everything I can to ensure a smooth transition to the new leadership and the success of these newspapers and Web sites. I believe that our communities are enriched when there is a vital local press where stories are covered fairly, where issues can be vetted in some depth and where the paper has a strong editorial voice. I will no longer be leading that editorial voice. I actually look forward to being a reader, and perhaps not even having an opinion on an issue. I would love to be able to say, “It’s six of one, half a dozen of the other,” an approach I never permitted in an editorial. But you can bet I will get worked up by certain stories. After all, I too live in the community, shop here, breathe the air, hear the jackhammering, ride my bike, send my kids to school, visit art galleries, etc. My life is Downtown, embedded in local, deeply local, patterns and rituals. And I look forward, maybe more than ever, to reading my hometown papers in the big city.
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR Best wishes for Al’s free time
Abolish the City Council!
To The Editor: Re “A lifelong newsman looks back” (by Albert Amateau, July 25): Thank you for the write-up on a reporter that I have known for many, many years. I always enjoy seeing Al, though rarely now. I have known Al since the 1980's when I worked on the Chelsea Clinton News. Also saw him when I was on Community Board 4 for almost 20 years. I am delighted that Al will continue to write for Chelsea Now. He is my age, but has been writing about Chelsea for many, many years. Always pleased to see him, but I no longer attend a lot of meetings. My very best wishes for Al's free time.
To The Editor: Community boards should be the most relevant voices in our democratic process. Instead, every revision of the City Charter finds the boards losing more and more say so, as well as funding. We should do away with the City Council, which apparently only votes according to what the speaker desires à la the mayor. Think of all the money we could save. The community does all this research, works, organizes to be heard and then is shut out. Shut down to the point of being removed from the halls of power because of some murmurs in the gallery at the time of the so-called vote of the Council that might bring a sense of shame into the hall. Then, to come out in the sunshine and find that a press release touting the vote outcome had been already printed!
Fondly, Ann Sewell
Amateau is unforgettable To The Editor: Re “A lifelong newsman looks back” (by Albert Amateau, July 25): Al, you are a fine journalist, a fine man and a fine mentor. Consider yourself one of the greatest influences in my life! Traci Kampel
Amateau should rest, then get back to work To The Editor: Re “A lifelong newsman looks back” (by Albert Amateau, July 25): Al! Say it ain’t so! I have been a member of AA (columns) for decades and when out of town, need a fix! Take a rest, but don’t stay away too long. Dianna Maeurer
NYU will assimilate you To The Editor: NYU has been growing and buying up spaces and building new gigantic buildings for years and years. No mayor or City Council has ever stopped the university, nor slowed it down very much. NYU is a constant generator of change and building in the Village. The only way it will stop is if the school itself stops growing. I know people are angry with Quinn and Chin right now. I believe that anger is misplaced. Quinn and Chin did reduce the size of the new construction and won other concessions as well. It is not like they gave NYU carte blanche to do whatever it intended to do in the first place. Politics is the art of the possible. I believe Quinn and Chin achieved what was possible.
– John W. Sutter Sheri Clemons
What a complete charade To The Editor: The City Council’s decision was breathtaking in its violence and disregard for the community’s and faculty’s wishes. What is the point of a democratic charade if Chin and Quinn and her henchmen rode roughshod over the wishes of the community and the faculty — the people who live in this community, and need and use its playgrounds and gardens — and illegally gave over everything to Sexton’s Folly? Vote out the interlocking power elite of Chin-QuinnBloomberg-NYU trustees. The only hope, slim as it is, is legal action. And shame on all of you who knew better and just wanted to appease a colleague, i.e., Margaret Chin and Christine Quinn, who sold their own constituents — the constituents they purportedly represent — down the river. Rhoma Mostel
Email letters, not longer than 300 words in length, to firstname.lastname@example.org or fax to 212-229-2790 or mail to Chelsea Now, Letters to the Editor, 515 Canal Street, Unit 1C, New York City, NY 10013. Please include phone number for confirmation purposes. Chelsea Now reserves the right to edit letters for space, grammar, clarity and libel. Chelsea Now does not publish anonymous letters.
CORRECTION Our July 25 article (“Garden Club, MillionTrees give Eighth Ave. a facelift”) incorrectly identified Phyllis Waisman as a leader of the Chelsea Garden Club. Missy Adams sends along this clarification: “The club was not cofounded by Phyllis and me but rather a group of people, including the two of us, who had been unofficially gardening the pits and came together to get permission from the city to do so legally.” We regret the error.
August 8 - 21, 2012
Community Contacts To be listed, email info to email@example.com. COMMUNITY BOARD 4 (CB4) CB4 serves Manhattan’s West Side neighborhoods of Chelsea and Clinton/Hell’s Kitchen. Its boundaries are 14th St. on the south, 59/60th St. on the north, the Hudson River on the west, 6th Ave. on the east (south of 26th St.) and 8th Ave. on the east (north of 26th St.). The board meeting, open to the public, normally happens on the first Wednesday of the month. In August, the board is on hiatus. The next meeting is Wed., Sept. 5, 6:30pm at Roosevelt Hospital (1000 Tenth Ave., btw. 58th & 59th Sts.). Call 212-736-4536, visit nyc. gov/mcb4 or email them at info@ manhattanCB4.org. COMMUNITY BOARD 5 (CB5) CB5 represents the central business district of New York City. It includes midtown Manhattan, the Fashion, Flower, Flatiron and Diamond districts, as well as Bryant Park and Union Square Park. The district is at the center of New York’s tourism industry. The Theatre District, Times Square, Carnegie Hall, the Empire State Building and two of the region’s transportation hubs (Grand Central Station and Penn Station) fall within CB5. CB5’s board meeting, open to the public, normally happens on the second Thursday of the month. In August, the board is on hiatus — the next meeting will be at 6pm on Thurs., Sept. 13 at Xavier High School (30 W. 16th St., btw. 5th and 6th Aves., 2nd fl.). Call 212-465-0907, visit cb5.org or email them at firstname.lastname@example.org. THE 300 WEST 23RD, 22ND & 21ST STREETS BLOCK ASSOCIATION Contact them at email@example.com. THE WEST 400 BLOCK ASSOCIATION Contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
CHELSEA GARDEN CLUB Chelsea Garden Club cares for the bike lane tree pits in Chelsea. If you want to adopt a tree pit or join the group, please contact them at cgc.nyc@gmail. com or like them on Facebook. Also visit chelseagardenclub.blogspot.com. LOWER CHELSEA ALLIANCE (LoCal) This group is committed to protecting the residential blocks of Chelsea from overscale development. Contact them at LowerChelseaAlliance@gmail.com. THE GREENWICH VILLAGE-CHELSEA CHAMBER OF COMMERCE Call 212-337-5912 or visit villagechelsea.com. THE MEATPACKING DISTRICT INITIATIVE Visit meatpacking-district.com or call 212-633-0185. THE BOWERY RESIDENTS’ COMMITTEE: HOMELESS HELPLINE If you know of anyone who is in need of their services, call the Homeless Helpline at 212-533-5151, and the BRC will send someone to make contact. This number is staffed by outreach team leaders 24 hours a day. Callers may remain anonymous. For more info, visit brc.org. THE LESBIAN, GAY, BISEXUAL & TRANSGENDER COMMUNITY CENTER At 208 W. 13th St. (btw. 7th & 8th Aves.). Visit gaycenter.org or call 212-620-7310. THE ALI FORNEY CENTER Their mission is to help homeless LGBT youth be safe and become independent as they move from adolescence to adulthood. Main headquarters: 224 W. 35th St., Suite 1102. Call 212-222-3427. The Ali Forney Day Center is located at 527 W. 22nd St., 1st floor. Call 212-206-0574 or visit aliforneycenter.org. GAY MEN’S HEALTH CRISIS (GMHC) At 446 W. 33rd St. btw. 9th & 10th Aves. Visit gmhc.org. Call 212-367-1000. Member of the New York Press Association
THE WEST SIDE’S COMMUNITY NEWSPAPER
Published by NYC COMMUNITY MEDIA, LLC
515 Canal St., Unit 1C, NY, NY 10013 Phone: (212) 229-1890 • Fax: (212) 229-2790 On-line: www.chelseanow.com E-mail: email@example.com © 2012 NYC Community Media, LLC
Member of the National Newspaper Association Chelsea Now is published biweekly by NYC Community Media LLC, 515 Canal Street, Unit 1C, New York, N.Y. 10013 (212) 229-1890. Annual subscription by mail in Manhattan and Brooklyn $75. Single copy price at office and newsstands is 50 cents. The entire contents of newspaper, including advertising, are copyrighted and no part may be reproduced without the express permission of the publisher - © 2010 NYC Community Media LLC, Postmaster: Send address changes to Chelsea Now, 145 Sixth Ave., First Fl., New York, N.Y. 10013.
PUBLISHER’S LIABILITY FOR ERROR
The Publisher shall not be liable for slight changes or typographical errors that do not lessen the value of an advertisement. The publisher’s liability for other errors or omissions in connection with an advertisement is strictly limited to publication of the advertisement in any subsequent issue.
HUDSON GUILD Founded in 1895, Hudson Guild is a multi-service, multi-generational community serving approximately 14,000 people annually with daycare, hot meals for senior citizens, low-cost professional counseling, community arts programs and recreational programming for teens. Visit them at hudsonguild.org. Email them at firstname.lastname@example.org. For the John Lovejoy Elliott Center (441 W. 26th St.), call 212-7609800. For the Children’s Center (459 W. 26th St.), call 212-760-9830. For the Education Center (447 W. 25th St.), call 212-760-9843. For the Fulton Center for Adult Services (119 9th Ave.), call 212-924-6710. THE CARTER BURDEN CENTER FOR THE AGING This organization promotes the well-being of individuals 60 and older through direct social services and volunteer programs oriented to individual, family and community needs. Call 212-879-7400 or visit burdencenter.org. PENN SOUTH The Penn South Program for Seniors provides recreation, education and social services — and welcomes volunteers. For info, call 212-243-3670 or visit pennsouth.com. FULTON YOUTH OF THE FUTURE Email them at fultonyouth@gmail. com or contact Miguel Acevedo, 646-671-0310. WEST SIDE NEIGHBORHOOD ALLIANCE Visit westsidenyc.org or call 212956-2573. Email them at wsna@ hcc-nyc.org. CHELSEA COALITION ON HOUSING Tenant assistance every Thursday night at 7pm, at Hudson Guild (119 9th Ave.). Email them at email@example.com. FRIENDS OF HUDSON RIVER PARK Visit fohrp.org or call 212-757-0981. HUDSON RIVER PARK TRUST Visit hudsonriverpark.org or call 212627-2020.
PUBLISHER Jennifer Goodstein PUBLISHER EMERITUS John W. Sutter ASSOCIATE EDITOR / ARTS EDITOR Scott Stiffler REPORTERS Lincoln Anderson Albert Amateau Aline Reynolds EDITORIAL ASSISTANTS
Kaitlyn Meade Bonnie Rosenstock
Vera Musa SR. V.P. OF SALES AND MARKETING Francesco Regini RETAIL AD MANAGER Colin Gregory ACCOUNT EXECUTIVES Russell Chen Allison Greaker Julius Harrison Gary Lacinski Alex Morris Julio Tumbaco
SAVE CHELSEA Contact them at savechelseanyc@ gmail.com. MANHATTAN BOROUGH PRESIDENT SCOTT STRINGER Call 212-669-8300 or visit mbpo.org. CITY COUNCIL SPEAKER CHRISTINE QUINN Call 212-564-7757 or visit council.nyc. gov/d3/html/members/home.shtml. STATE SENATOR TOM DUANE Call 212-633-8052 or visit tomduane.com. ASSEMBLYMEMBER RICHARD GOTTFRIED Call 212-807-7900 or email GottfriedR@ assembly.state.ny.us. CHELSEA REFORM DEMOCRATIC CLUB The CRDC (the home club of City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, State Senator Tom Duane and Assemblymember Richard Gottfried) meets monthly to exchange political ideas on protecting the rights and improving the lives of those residing in Chelsea. Visit crdcnyc.org or email them at firstname.lastname@example.org. At 147 W. 24th Street (btw. 6th & 7th Aves.) THE SYLVIA RIVERA LAW PROJECT works to guarantee that all people are free to self-determine their gender identity and expression without facing harassment, discrimination or violence. Visit srlp.org.
FIERCE (Fabulous Independent Educated Radicals for Community Empowerment) builds the leadership and power of bisexual, transgender and queer youth of color in NYC. Visit fiercenyc.org.
QUEERS FOR ECONOMIC JUSTICE is a progressive organization committed to promoting economic justice in a context of sexual and gender liberation. Visit q4ej.org. THE AUDRE LORDE PROJECT is a lesbian, gay, bisexual, two spirit, trans and gender non-conforming people of color center for community organizing. Visit alp.org.
ART / PRODUCTION DIRECTOR Troy Masters SENIOR DESIGNER Michael Shirey GRAPHIC DESIGNER Arnold Rozon CIRCULATION SALES MNGR. Marvin Rock DISTRIBUTION & CIRCULATION Cheryl Williamson
CONTRIBUTORS Albert Amateau Martin Denton Duncan Osborne Sam Spokony Jerry Tallmer Paul Schindler Trav S. D. Stephen Wolf PHOTOGRAPHERS Milo Hess J. B. Nicholas Jefferson Siegel
August 8 - 21, 2012
POLICE BLOTTER GRAND LARCENY: Apple thief flees down Tenth
GRAND LARCENY: Bag recovered, wallet still MIA
A 21-year-old female was standing outside of the Avenue bar/nightclub (116 10th Ave.) at 3:10am on Thurs., July 26 — when, police reported, an unknown male “came behind her and took her phone out of her hand and fled down 10th Ave.” At the time the incident was reported, police said it was possible there may be video footage of the crime. The stolen item was an Apple iPhone 4S.
While at Highland Park (W. 18th St. & 10th Ave.), on the afternoon of Thurs., July 26, a female resident of Brooklyn discovered her bag missing. Park police recovered her bag, but the wallet (valued at $35) was missing. Among the items in the wallet: a New York State driver’s license and $45 in cash.
GRAND LARCENY: Flee first, fraud later A 41-year-old male resident of Eighth Ave. near 23rd St. reported to police that as he was heading home (at around 4am on Sun., July 29), a female approached him, asking for sex. He declined and the woman followed him into the lobby of his building — where the man complied with her request for money. When the victim reached for some cash, he realized his wallet was missing — at which point the woman handed the victim his missing wallet and ran out of the building. A Chase debit card had been taken, and fraudulent charges were later made on it.
PETTY LARCENY: Shutterbug’s Bianchi bike unchained At approximately 7:30pm on Wed., July 25, a 34-year-old male who had been taking pictures of the Chelsea area returned to 349 W. 22nd St. — where he found his bike (a Bianchi Pista valued at $800) was nowhere to be found. The bike, which he moored to a nearby fence, had been cut loose from its chain — and, the police report noted, “removed without permission or authority by an unknown perpetrator.”
Fabulous Furniture! Unique, Decorative and Unusual
PETTY LARCENY: Uncool cucumber thief At approximately 6:20pm on Thurs., July 26, police arrested a 19-year-old male who had attempted to exit CVS (at 272 Eighth Ave.) with a $4 cucumber face mask. Prior to the arrest, CVS employees observed the thief putting the reasonably priced facial product in his bag, and then walking past two open registers without paying.
PETTY LARCENY: Bad loan Ignoring maternal advice not to talk to strangers — or give them expensive objects upon request — proved to be a costly choice for one area man who was out welcoming the dawn. At approximately 5:45am on Sun., July 29, a 37-year-old male was approached by another male, who asked to use his cell phone (an Apple 4S iPhone valued at $200). The victim complied, and the perpetrator immediately ran off with the item in hand. The crime occurred on the northeast corner of Eighth Ave. & W. 22nd St.
ASSAULT: Please don’t shoot the merchandise You can look, you can buy and they might even let you try it on…but don’t even think about taking pictures. That baffling sales policy got a 35-year-old male in trouble when he attempted to snap some photos of the wares being hawked at a jewelry show being held at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center (655 W. 34th St.) on Sun., July 29. Uniformed officers arrested two male vendors (ages 41 and 43) for grabbing and pushing the victim when he took out his phone and began taking pictures of the merchandise. The defendants
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were booked on assault charges — and the victim walked away with only a minor laceration to his right thumb. In an ironic twist, the police report noted that evidence of the crime was provided via the very medium the jumpy jewelers were trying to suppress (“Photos of the injury were taken,” noted the report).
ASSAULT: Three against one At 5:25pm on Thurs., July 26, uniformed officers arrested three men (ages 60, 26 and 56) for assaulting a 45-year-old male area resident. At Eighth Ave. and W. 28th St., the three defendants all took turns punching, kicking and stomping the victim on the head and body.
CASH FOR GUNS $100 cash will be given (no questions asked) for each handgun, assault weapon or sawed-off shotgun, up to a maximum payment of $300. Guns are accepted at any Police Precinct, PSA or Transit District.
CRIME STOPPERS If you have info regarding a crime committed or a wanted person, call Crime Stoppers at 800-577-TIPS, text “TIP577” (plus your message) to “CRIMES” (274637) or submit a tip online at nypdcrimestoppers.com.
THE 10th PRECINCT Located at 230 W. 20th St. (btw. 7th & 8th Aves.). Deputy Inspector: Elisa Cokkinos. Main number: 212741-8211. Community Affairs: 212-741-8226. Crime Prevention: 212-741-8226. Domestic Violence: 212-741-8216. Youth Officer: 212741-8211. Auxiliary Coordinator: 212-741-8210. Detective Squad: 212-741-8245. The Community Council Meeting normally takes place at 7pm on the last Wed. of the month — but the Council is on summer break until September 26.
THE 13th PRECINCT Located at 230 E. 21st St. (btw. 2nd & 3rd Aves.). Deputy Inspector: Ted Bernsted. Call 212-477-7411. Community Affairs: 212-477-7427. Crime Prevention: 212-477-7427. Domestic Violence: 212-477-3863. Youth Officer: 212-477-7411. Auxiliary Coordinator: 212-4774380. Detective Squad: 212-4777444. The Community Council Meeting normally takes place at 6:30pm on the third Tues. of the month — but the Council is on summer break through September 18.
August 8 - 21, 2012
CB4 committees reach out to DOT, DDC Continued from page 3 placement of a new bus stop on West 34th Street and Ninth Avenue. Writing to Margaret Forgione, the Manhattan Borough Commissioner of the city’s Department of Transportation (DOT), the committee argued that, after extensive community consultation, it had become clear that a bus stop on West 34th Street that is currently east of Ninth Avenue should be replaced by one that would be west of Ninth Avenue, on the same street. Reasons for the proposed move included advocacy on behalf of both the block’s businesses and elderly or physically impaired residents, who would no longer have to cross Ninth Avenue if the stop were to be relocated. “This would yield necessary loading space on West 34th Street west of Dyer Avenue while keeping the bus stop within a comfortable distance of 400 feet for all residents of the block,” the letter read. “It would also allow the consolidation of two bus stops (and thus likely reduce bus travel times) and return this area to the usual spacing of stops.” In a phone interview several days after the meeting, Berthet (who is also co-chair of the Transportation Committee) said that the committee had truly democratized the process of choosing the location for the
proposed replacement, by basing their recommendation purely on local opinions supplied by a group of five active residents. “They presented a survey in which they’d asked everyone in the surrounding buildings where they would like to see the bus stop placed, and how much the choice meant to them,” explained Berthet. “The vast majority of residents chose that location over the others. The committee had been looking at the tradeoffs between different options, so we just went with what the community clearly wanted.” DOT spokesperson Nicole Garcia said that her agency, in conjunction with the Port Authority, NYPD and other stakeholders, “are open to working with CB4 to explore this proposal,” although she did not address any specifics or elaborate any further. The letter was approved unanimously. Another Transportation Committee letter with a potential impact on Chelsea life — also approved unanimously by the full board — focused on a major upcoming water main installation project by the city’s Department of Design and Construction (DDC) on West 30th Street and 10th Avenue. The project, which is scheduled to take place from fall 2012 to spring 2015, will tear up the road on West 30th Street (between 10th Avenue and 12th Avenues) and 10th Avenue (between 30th and 31st Streets). Along with replacing public water mains, the work will improve other aging
Photo by Sam Spokony
CB4 member Brett Firfer, rousing some laughs from the board as he dons an American flag to protest Mayor Bloomberg's proposed soda ban.
infrastructure elements including private underground utility lines and curbs or sidewalks in need of reconstruction, according to DDC documents. In its letter to the DDC, the CB4 committee made eight requests of the construction agency in an attempt to preemptively mitigate potential traffic problems. This included a specific request for the DDC to reroute a West 30th Street bicycle lane to West 26th Street, as well as a request for the agency to work with the DOT to warn drivers of lane reductions on West 30th Street by posting signs farther north on Eleventh Avenue, as well as north and south of the project site on Route 9A. Berthet noted that, while the requests are important, the water main installation will likely be relatively easy on the surrounding community — because while there are many businesses in the area, very few people actually live on the stretch of West 30th Street that will be dug up. “I think it’s going to be difficult for traffic, but overall it should be simpler than other recent installation projects, especially those in Hell’s Kitchen, because there are so few residents there,” said Berthet. “Although they can be frustrating, these projects are necessary, so we don’t have much of an option there. And, in a sense, we are thankful that this really massive undertaking is coming to fruition.” The DDC declined to comment.
August 8 - 21, 2012
PS 11 students go green...and market it BY KAITLYN MEADE Most kids don’t look forward to getting up early for school — especially over the summer. But Wednesday morning at 8am, on the steps of PS 11 elementary school, three beaming faces greeted me from behind a table piled high with fresh, organic produce. Every year, PS 11 partners with Stoneledge Farm — a 200-acre organic farm in the Northern Catskills — to bring seasonal produce to the community. The market runs until the week before Thanksgiving, then picks back up in the early spring. During the year, the school’s garden and green market is incorporated into the curriculum. Over the summer, it becomes a part of PS 11’s summer camp program. “I got up really early,” said Lyndsay, as she bopped back and forth behind the table, “so I could be here at eight.” Immediately upon arrival in the mornings, the kids are put to work — doing a little bit of everything (from helping set up the stall to learning about the food they sell to making change for customers). “My son has a good time. It has heightened his awareness of buying organic,” said Catherine Booth of her son Nathaniel. “He also really likes math. I think it’s a good way to show him the practical application of it.” Booth usually makes a couple of purchases when she drops her son off in the morning. Originally, the main customer base was
Photos by Kaitlyn Meade
To find organic products, like these tomatoes from Lani’s Farm, visit grownyc.org.
and founder of the program at PS 11. “I come here every Wednesday,” remarked nearby resident, Melissa Beyer. “I usually race here before the eggs are all gone.” Sadly, there were no eggs that day — an accident with the truck meant they never made it into the city. However, Beyer bought beets, Wakefield cabbage,
nectarines and Swiss chard. “We should call [the cabbage] something else…what did you call it?” Lyndsay asked. “Dunce cabbage,” replied one volunteer, and put the conical vegetable on top of his head like a hat — sending the
Victor and Jayden wake up and smell the roses (actually, the basil).
made up almost entirely of parents. In the five years since the program began, however, that has changed dramatically. “The community has been very supportive. Our neighbors have said that this was the first time they really got to know the kids who lived in their neighborhoods,” said Debbie Osborne, afterschool director
Continued on page 13
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August 8 - 21, 2012
Students partner with farmers Continued from page 12 children into fits of giggles. Osborne asked the trio of students why the produce didn’t look perfect. Almost in unison, they recited, “It’s local, seasonal, and it has bugs because they don’t use any chemicals.” And while the produce does not look perfect, the students asserted that it’s much tastier than the wilting, out-of-season supermarket fare. It all started thanks to Osborne and her contact with another Deborah — Deborah Kavakos of Stoneledge Farm. “We started to talk about ways to make our community healthier. The farmers market fit right into that.” They got involved with the Chelsea CSA (Community Supported Agriculture), which allows them to buy a share for the growing season. The price of the share helps farms to cover yearly costs and entitles the member to a portion of the harvest, grown (and delivered) by a farmer they know and trust. “Chelsea CSA was really supportive,” Osborne said. “And this is perfect for the kids. We wanted something hands-on.” The student entrepreneurs of PS 11 are not only learning life skills but are also encouraged to try the healthy products they sell. So far this summer, they’ve sampled beets, Swiss chard and (most enthusiastically) “veggie chips!” — made from summer squash and zucchini.
Your doctor spent 5 minutes? Photo by Kaitlyn Meade
Easy to cultivate in window boxes, herbs add fresh flavor to everyday dishes.
If you are ever in the mood for a juicy nectarine, a jar of pasta sauce or a head of “Dunce cabbage,” stop by PS 11 (320 West 21st Street, between Eighth & Ninth Avenues) on Wednesday from 8-10am (through November). For more information on Stoneledge, visit stoneledgefarmny. com, or to find about getting a CSA share, visit chelseacsa.org. To receive regular updates on the greenmarket, email email@example.com.
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August 8 - 21, 2012
SAGE Center honors, serves ‘a diverse and resilient community’ Continued from page 5
HONORING A GENERATION THAT SURVIVED AIDS
drop-in center where “it’s a social situation, people can get coffee, laugh like crazy sometimes, sometimes fight and leave as friends.” A series of meetings with SAGE staff — including Adams — followed. “Michael was nice to us. He had not been aware how important the space was to us.” The drop-in will have to move upstairs while first-floor rooms are renovated for another use, but “we are guaranteed another year there and that fundraising will be done to keep us there,” said Hoose — fundraising that he will help with. Hoose has no problem with the new SAGE Center, calling it a “great breakthrough.” Of the controversy, Adams said, “It was an educational experience for me and the organizations. I learned why the space was so important to a number of people. Many of our folks are anti-war LGBT and feminist activists, and they did an amazing job.” Libre-de-Marulanda is concerned that there will be less mixing of the generations with the drop-in upstairs at the LGBT Center, but it is a work in progress with another meeting on August 14 to work out details. Longtime lesbian feminist activist Cheryl Adams, 65 (no relation to Michael), still works as a professor at York College in Queens and lives in Midwood, Brooklyn. For the past three years, she’s been a member of the SAGE Singers — through which she has made new
Jay Kallio, turning 57 this month, is a member of SAGE’s Advisory Board and his LGBT activism stretches back to the early 1970s with Lesbian Feminist Liberation and now as a person of transgender experience. He said that The SAGE Center “is in the birthing stage. It’s going to be what people want it to be. What goes on at SAGE has to be open to diversity including transgender and all races and classes. I hope people will shape SAGE in a constructive fashion. I don’t want people limited to what staff can think of.” As a member of the Advisory Council, Kallio is open to suggestions and noted that the council itself is soon going to evolve from an appointed body to include people elected from SAGE Centers around the city. Kallio said, “It is an honor to serve the generation that survived AIDS, who never expected to see 60, lost so much in the 1980s and still suffer from chronic illness with the vicissitudes of age in a world where many are dependent on homophobic and HIV-stigmatizing elder services. For me, one of the most important things SAGE can do is to provide a safe and welcoming place for those who rightfully fear the future. I think SAGE should go international, there is such a need.” One of the criticisms of SAGE, Kallio said, “is that well-to-do people don’t frequent it. I'd like to see an intermingling of donors to SAGE and those who use its services. It could be an enriching experience of what each other's lives are all about. People could be surprised." I saw a good mix on the night I was there, including people who are still employed and others I know to have solid pensions. Michael Adams said that he and his spouse, Fred Davie, “are going to have dinner at the SAGE Center with a group of friends 60 and over. Those folks will come back.” Shep Wahnon, a veteran gay and AIDS activist and longtime survivor of AIDS, said, “I just turned 60 in January so I am one of the youngest clients here. But there are quite a few people I know from around the community. I come here frequently because my computer died and they have a wonderful computer center all courtesy of David Bohnett, of course. The food is okay or good. There is always a vegetarian option.” Wahnon is one those people in our community who is indefatigable in attending all kinds of LGBT forums and demonstrations, so SAGE is just one part of his new life as a senior. “They provide all kinds of classes and programs, none of which I’ve taken advantage of yet. SAGE also provides comp tickets to events around town, which I have taken advantage of.” “We all know people who say, ‘I’ll never go to a senior center,’” Michael Adams said. “If people go once, they’ll come back.”
© 2012 SAGE & Robert Downing
SAGE activities come with a spectacular view of the city, from the 15th floor of 305 Seventh Ave.
friends. Adams thinks the new SAGE Center is “great,” but was part of the group that fought to keep a SAGE presence at the LGBT Center on 13th Street. Of The SAGE Center, she said, “There is nothing on this building or lobby” to proclaim that a big LGBT space awaits people on the 15th floor. “It’s a kind of closetedness.” But she said it is up to SAGE members such
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as herself to speak up. “Instead of complaining about what they have or don’t, people have to give input on what they want.”
INTERGENERATIONAL PROGRAMS While the city reserves some services at The SAGE Center to those 60-plus such as the $2 dinner, many are open to all ages. Amethyst Nemzoff, 66, who runs the Moonfire Empowerment and Spirituality Network, providing workshops on “empowerment, metaphysics and healing,” said of SAGE, “The only things I partake of here are the intergenerational activities. I have to temper being around older people with young people.” Nemzoff, who ran the Lesbian Switchboard for three years back in the 1970s, said, “I discovered in my 60s that I like performing arts,” so she participates in “activities around performing and writing.” She works with the Mind the Gap writing workshop, sponsored by the renowned New York Theatre Workshop, where people in their 60s from SAGE write with teens from Youth Enrichment Services at the LGBT Community Center. The evening I visited The SAGE Center, students from the Masters program in Applied Theatre from CUNY’s School of Professional Studies were there to perform a piece that they put together a few days after interviewing participants in The SAGE Center and Penn South’s senior center. Both groups of older people got to see the combined finished product separately, reflecting reminiscences about long ago hard times and issues of race, aging and sexuality. “We’re activist theatre makers,” said Carli Gaughf of the group, “who work with different populations.” In the presentation, one of the female performers channeled a SAGE member: “The first time I was with another woman I said, ‘Do to me what you want me to do to you.’ ” That seems to be the spirit of The SAGE Center, where members are encouraged to suggest and run new workshops and programs rather than have options just presented to them.
August 8 - 21, 2012
Block Association wants you to stop the bugging BY SCOTT STIFFLER They can breed in something as small as a bottle cap, and their progeny have a way of bugging you from the spring through the fall. No, itâ€™s not that fertile couple costing you a small fortune in baby shower gifts. A warmer than normal winter, combined with recent rainfall, has allowed the local mosquito population to thrive. â€œStopping the breeding,â€? says Albert Taylor of the 300 West 20th Street Block Association, â€œis key to a safe, comfortable summer and fall.â€? Apart from spraying efforts by the city, the elimination of standing water by motivated citizens is the best way to combat these pests â€” whose detrimental effects range from bothersome (the discomfort of bites) to life threatening. Citing an only slightly alarmist anecdote, Taylor ominously reminds us that last year, West Nile was traced to an untreated construction site at Washington Square. â€œThey can be stopped without poisons,â€? notes Taylor. â€œAt any place where water will continue to stand â€” bird baths, pools or the catchment areas of an outdoor drain [below the grate] â€” we can put the bacterial larvicide product â€˜Mosquito Dunks.â€™ Itâ€™s available at hardware stores or on the Internet.â€? Although the city will inspect (then issue violations) for standing water on private property, the 300 West 20th Street Association doesnâ€™t want neighborhood vigilance to begin and end with a call to 311. â€œThe first thing,â€? says Taylor, â€œis to patrol the open areas around your building, front, back, roof, even window sills. Empty and remove any water catchments, plant saucers, bottles, caps, plastic bagsâ€Śanything holding water. And unplug drains. I found my neighborâ€™s roof holding a two-
Photo courtesy of Gabor Bibor/stock.xchng
There will be blood...unless you help.
inch deep lake, easily cleared by removing leaves.â€? For more tips on reducing the mosquito population, visit nyc.gov. â€œAnd for the really interested,â€? offers Taylor, â€œyou can find the cityâ€™s 40-page Mosquito Control Plan for 2012â€? on the same site, at nyc.gov/html/doh/ downloads/pdf/wnv/wnvplan2012.pdf. Remember: If youâ€™re keeping them at bay with a fly swatter, itâ€™s already too late.
Photo by Scott Stiffler
Everybody out of the pool: Mosquitoes can â€” and will â€” breed in discarded bottle caps and plastic bags.
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August 8 - 21, 2012
City Planning Commission debates Chelsea Market Continued from page 7 the newly created office space. The positive ripple effect of newly created jobs was cited by Jennifer Hensley, executive director of the Association for a Better New York. “We have thoroughly reviewed the project,” said Hensley. “We also evaluated the project’s economic impact as it relates to job creation and increased tax revenue for the city, and Chelsea Market’s role as an important hub for growing technology businesses…This project is critical for New York City’s economic growth.” Nearly a dozen current Chelsea Market concourse business owners as well as representatives from the Real Estate Board of New York and the 32BJ Service Employees International Union spoke in favor of the project as an economic engine — but detractors questioned why CPC and CB4 hearings have not been attended by a single current Jamestown tech tenant citing their pressing need for more office space. The CPC’s Richard Eaddy and Irwin Cantor both quizzed Phillips on the Stringer recommendation to shift massing from over the 10th Avenue side. While not rejecting the notion outright, Phillips did cite a number of obstacles — including the presence of lower-density construction materials in the center of the concourse, prohibitive alterations to the cost of constructing an alternate
platform design and the loss of light to the concourse if massing were to be moved east. He also noted that current upstairs tenants (such as the Food Network) would be negatively impacted. Bob Benfatto, Betty Mackintosh, Lee Compton, Brett Firfer and Joe Restuccia were among the CB4 members on hand to assess the project and provide some background as to how the full board arrived at their June 6 vote. That 26-14 “No, Unless” recommendation called for, among other things, scrapping plans for the hotel, lowering the height and creating an Affordable Housing fund. Referencing the extent to which CB4 was divided on its conditional approval of the project, CPC member Maria M. Del Toro observed “Fourteen people. That’s a large number to vote against.” Restuccia responded in the positive when Cantor asked him to confirm, “My takeaway is that you [CB4] want reduced bulk on 10th Avenue, and you want affordable housing built in the community.” Despite the notion of affordable housing as a palatable community “get” should some type of construction occur (an increasingly likely scenario), the project’s opponents urged the CPC to send the City Council a message by issuing an uncompromising denial of expansion in any form. David Holowka, a 12-year Chelsea and a licensed architect who has long blogged against the designs put forth by Jamestown,
suggested that “The Special West Chelsea District might as well be called the ‘Special District to Ensure That Light, Air and Views Are Preserved along the High Line Open Space,’ for the number of times these words are repeated in its zoning text; as often as twice a page.” A representative from the office of Assemblymember Richard N. Gottfried read a prepared statement which criticized the proposal as “simply too large for the neighborhood. Even after some changes, this is still a massive development being added to a development corridor in the neighborhood that is already overburdened by expansions.” Gottfried also cited the “devastating effect” that any construction would have on the building. “The Landmarks Preservation Commission,” he noted, “should have landmarked the Chelsea Market long ago, and it is distressing that it has not. But even in the absence of landmark protection, the Commission can and should protect the building.” Representatives from the offices of other electeds read similarly damning statements — with Assemblymember Deborah Glick noting that construction on 10th Avenue would “damage the High Line experience in perpetuity,” and State Senator Tom Duane concluding, “I cannot support this project unless CB4’s conditions for approval have been met.” Several Chelsea Market merchants (including the owners of Posman Books and The
Lobster Place) praised Jamestown as a quiet but effective advocate for local business — crediting them for everything from favorable leases to robust consumer demand and the subsequent hiring of additional employees. Others questioned if these tenants would regard Jamestown as a benevolent landlord in years to come. Today, 85 percent of Chelsea Market’s ground floor is occupied by food-oriented businesses. Jamestown’s current plan asks for a reduction of that amount to 50 percent, with CB4 pushing for closer to 65 percent. All parties reached a rare consensus in their praise of The Lobster Place’s lobster rolls, agreeing that the loss of this particular asset would be devastating to the community. But Andrew Berman, noting that he was there in his capacity as executive director of the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation, was unmoved. “There is no good reason to upzone Chelsea Market, and many good reasons not to,” said Berman, who implored the CPC “not to approve this application, not to amend it, not to move the proposed bulk from one side to another or from the avenues to the middle. We urge you to simply reject it. ” For the complete excerpt of Berman’s July 25 CPC testimony, and the unedited transcripts of many others, please visit the Chelsea Now website. Go to chelseanow. com and, while on the home page, click on “CPC Public Comments.”
August 8 - 21, 2012
August 8 - 21, 2012
An eco-friendly spin on the dirty business of laundry BY SCOTT STIFFLER Launched in Buenos Aires two years ago, The Eco Laundry Company (ELC) has taken its first step towards the ultimate goal of becoming a global franchise â€” with the recent establishment of an eco-friendly dry cleaners and drop off wash & fold. Yearning for a clean slate after many years spent in the employment of a Wall Street investment firm, freshly minted entrepreneur Jean Calleja partnered with friend and ELC founder Phillipe Christodoulou to bring environmentally sustainable cleaning to the heart of Chelsea. â€œBeyond using biodegradable products and energy efficient machines,â€? says Calleja â€” who notes that in addition to offering industry standards such as biodegradable products and energy efficient machines, â€œour customers are reacting incredibly positively to what we do differently.â€? Although every use of a washing machine requires the conspicuous consumption of water, ELC offsets the use of that precious resource with environmental initiatives designed to reduce each customerâ€™s carbon footprint. â€œTo date,â€? notes Calleja, â€œwe have planted over 300 treesâ€Śand weâ€™re just getting started!â€? Each new customer is given laundry bags made from recycled cotton â€” and the free delivery service doesnâ€™t even burn bicycle tire rubber. â€œWe come to your door by foot,â€? says Calleja, who is willing to personally trek outside of their normal service area (14th to
Photos by LujĂĄn Agusti
The Eco Laundry Companyâ€™s low-temperature machines will reduce your own carbon footprint.
24th Streets, from 5th to 11th Avenues) if thatâ€™s what it takes to make you go green. Early reviews (this one found on yelp. com) seem to embrace that pioneer spirit and concern for both customers and the planet they live on. â€œWe use this laundry service for our business,â€? noted one reviewer, who happened upon the business
New customers are given laundry bags made from recycled cotton.
shortly after it opened in June. â€œWhen we found these guys,â€? the ELC convert recalls, â€œwe were so happy. Not only do they pick up and drop off when they tell us they will, they are super friendly and accommodating. And, our laundry smells naturally clean (not chemical-ly). Great overall experience. Oh yeah and our first load of laundry came
back in a great bag. Nice perk!â€? The Eco Laundry Company (249 West 18th Street, between Seventh & Eighth Avenues) is open Monday-Friday from 7am7pm, and Saturday from 9am-5pm. For info, call 646-649-3806. Visit ecolaundrycompany.com. Friend and like them at facebook. com/ecolaundry.
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August 8 - 21, 2012
CHELSEA: ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT FringeNYC: likely propects and sure things The deeper you dig, the more treasure you'll find BY MARTIN DENTON Okay, so the New York International Fringe Festival (August 10-26) is upon us — and if you’re one of the 75,000 or so people who plan to take in the city’s most mammoth theater event, you’re probably starting to get itchy. What shows should I see? Which of the 187 offerings is this year’s sleeper hit? Who’s getting the most interesting buzz? Fret not: I am here to help. I’ve been covering FringeNYC ever since it started back in 1997. The website I founded and edit (nytheatre.com) has been the only media outlet to review every single show in every festival since 2002. We’re doing it again this year, and we’ve asked the artists participating in FringeNYC to tell us about themselves and their shows — so please check out our extensive FringeNYC Previews section, which will be online throughout the festival. And if you’re interested in hearing one reasonably well-informed guy’s opinion about what looks exciting this year, read on.
SOME SURE(-ISH) THINGS Most of the shows in FringeNYC are brand new, but some have had earlier incarnations. “Quest for the West: Adventures on the Oregon Trail!” was seen at FRIGID New York in 2011 and subsequently at the Capital Fringe and Kentucky Repertory Theatre; this interactive musical comedy from No.11 Productions takes a light-hearted look at the pioneers who ventured west in the early 19th century against amazing odds to settle the American Northwest. Annie Worden’s solo show “Misadventures in the Art of Movie Making,” seen for one night only at United Solo last year, is an extremely funny piece about indie filmmaking at its most off-kilter and eccentric. Another onewoman play, D'yan Forest’s “I Married a Nun,” also played the FRIGID festival; nytheatre.com’s Ed Malin said the autobiographical comedy from the life-embracing 78-year-old (the oldest FringeNYC participant, we hear) was like “a cabaret evening with Betty White.” “Finding Elizabeth Taylor” has had a few engagements in NYC. I didn’t see it, but I met its star/author, who really is named Elizabeth Taylor and who conjures quite uncannily the more famous woman of the same name; I’m feeling very high on her solo, in which she explores why her parents gave her that name. I’m also expecting good things from “We Crazy, Right?” — Jeff Seabaugh’s autobiographical account of his life as gay dad to three diverse children, which was featured in an earlier show that I loved (“How to Make an American Family”).
Two plays that I’ve read but not yet seen are getting NYC debut productions in the festival: “American Midget” by Jonathan Yukich, which is a timely, powerful satire on contemporary American values, and “Ticket to Eternity” by Matthew Ethan Davis, whose delightful premise is that a successful young actor wants to pursue the job he really loves — as a waiter.
NEW WORKS BY OLD FAVORITES And when I say “old,” I really mean FringeNYC veterans — folks who have done the festival before, know their way around the theater and whose work I always look forward to. Maggie Cino, who has been part of FringeNYC since it began, is presenting her first full-length play as a writer, “Decompression,” with a cast headed by the always expert Michael Criscuolo; Cino is a writer of astonishing versatility and imagination, and I can’t wait to see this. Pamela Sabaugh’s solo play “Immaculate Degeneration” chronicles some of her own experiences as a person whose disability (she’s legally blind) is invisible to most people. She’s a splendid writer and actor (and her show’s director, Fred Backus, is a FringeNYC veteran himself, having acted in several shows over the years). Expect this to be entertaining and insightful. Depending on your personal taste, you’ll want to sample works by these outstanding playwrights whose work has graced previous FringeNYCs: Alex DeFazio, author of “Alice & The Bunny Hole” and Mariah MacCarthy, who wrote “Magic Trick,” are both young, adventurous authors who tend to explore issues of sexuality and gender in works that are often surreal and non-traditional. Amy E. Witting’s “FALLING” and Nat Cassidy’s “Songs of Love: A Theatrical Mixtape” tackle love and relationships in very distinctive styles. Gary Morgenstein, meanwhile, takes on contemporary American politics in his new satirical play “Right on Target.” And the excellent actor Matthew Trumbull offers an autobiographical story about his father — specifically his final request to have his body donated to science — in “The Zebra Shirt of Lonely Children.” Finally, let me mention “The Apocalypse of John,” a play from The Serious Theatre Collective that played Uptown briefly earlier this year. It’s about an ordinary guy charged with saving the world from all manner of menaces, and the actor who plays that ordinary guy is Michael Mraz. You may have seen him in indie shows all around NYC lately (he’s pretty prolific), or you may recognize him as one of nytheatre.com’s reviewers; he’s seen dozens of FringeNYC shows for us over the years, and he definitely knows the territory!
Photo by Gary Weingarten
That “other” Elizabeth Taylor stars in “Finding Elizabeth Taylor.”
THESE SOUND INTERESTING Of course, you don’t want to limit your FringeNYC experience to artists and works you know. I mean, the whole point of FringeNYC is venturing out of your comfort zone, taking in theater that you wouldn’t get a chance to sample or may not have ever heard of. Dozens of artists who have done preview Q&A articles on nytheatre.com have really whetted my appetite to see their work. For example, Terry Joan Baum and Carolyn Myers, who are bringing “A Coupla Crackpot Crones” from San Francisco to NYC this month, come across as a pair of very smart, very insightful and very funny ladies and I’d be more than willing to spend 90 minutes in their company. The author of “Chain Reaction,” Jonathan Alexandratos, seems like a very witty guy from my interactions with him. His play is a comedy/drama about the building of the atomic bomb. I’m getting a good vibe about “WOULD,” by David Marx, about a teenager serving a life sentence in prison who invents an alternate life via correspondence with a pen pal — and Emma Dean and Jake Diefenbach have made me intrigued to see “An End to Dreaming” — the show they’re bringing to FringeNYC from Brisbane, Australia, that they describe “as a modern-day Hansel and
Gretel tale.” Plus: Did you realize that Lee Meriwether (who was Miss America and then co-starred with Buddy Ebsen on “Barnaby Jones” years ago) is starring in a FringeNYC show this year? (“The Women of Spoon River: Their Voices from the Hill”). Or that D’Jamin Bartlett, who introduced “The Miller’s Son” in the original Broadway production of “A Little Night Music,” is doing the festival thing with her new musical “MisSpelled”? Or that scholar/author John Feffer, whose day job is being the co-director of Foreign Policy in Focus at the Institute for Policy Studies in Washington, D.C., is bringing his show “The Pundit” to FringeNYC? You know, the deeper you dig into this year’s festival program, the more exciting it gets. I’ve only just scratched the surface in this article. I encourage you to keep your ears, eyes and hearts open as you stroll through the East and West Villages over the next few weeks in search of theater that will enlighten, enlarge and entertain you. If you do, you’re sure to find just what you’re looking for! Check nytheatre.com for reviews and previews, updated daily throughout the New York International Fringe Festival. Also visit fringenyc.org.
August 8 - 21, 2012
Music for all and free PBR for 25 Dixon Place to make LES Music Fest an annual happening MUSIC
DIXON PLACE PRESENTS THE FIRST ANNUAL LOWER EAST SIDE MUSIC FESTIVAL
August 9-26, Thurs.-Sun. At Dixon Place 161A Chrystie Street (btw. Rivington & Delancey Sts.) For reservations ($15), dixonplace.org At the door, tickets are $18 ($15 for students/seniors) For a full schedule of performances, visit lesmusicfest.tumblr.com (podcasts available for download) Photo courtesy of Dixon Place
Acoustic indie folk band More Than Skies takes the genre into a dynamic new direction (August 17).
BY SCOTT STIFFLER You know how it is. All day long, the August sun broils and bakes the steamy concrete of the Lower East Side — and by the time you arrive at that sweaty dive bar, you barely possess enough energy to navigate the punk rock moshing frenzy that precedes the contemplative acoustic act you showed up for. Cover charges, short sets that leave you wanting more, drink minimums and bills full of musicians with wildly contrasting styles: It’s not so bad if you’re feeling adventurous, pleasantly buzzed or on a mission to support a friend’s band. But imagine how much better your summertime music experience would be in an air-conditioned concert setting with comfortable seats, great acoustics, likeminded performers and the promise of free booze for early birds (the first 25 to show up get a free Pabst Blue Ribbon). This isn’t a theoretical scenario. It’s happening from August 9-26, when Dixon Place hosts the First Annual Lower East Side Music Festival. Having long functioned as a Downtown theater and dance incubator, Dixon Place’s 2009 move from the Bowery to its current Chrystie Street incarnation occurred at the tail end of a decade-long seismic shift that rocked the Lower East Side performance circuit. As the formerly dicey area became highly desirable, skyrocketing rents caused many longtime venues to shutter or move to Brooklyn (as did The Knitting Factory). With Dixon Place’s new digs came a larger space and better equipment — which inspired more music programming. Curator of the Dixon Place series “Writer’s Bloc,” which pairs songwriters up and tasks them with finishing each other’s uncompleted works, Jonny B. Goodman has brought that same flair for unconventional thinking to his role as Director of the Lower East Side Music Festival. “The Lower East Side,” notes Goodman, “has a very high concentration of music venues: Pianos, the Living Room, Arlene’s Grocery.” The economic necessity of packing in as many customers as possible on any given night almost always translates into a long list of acts performing a short list of songs. “You might play for a
handful of friends and fans,” says Goodman. “You’ll be an indie folk band that goes on at 9pm. Then you have a death metal band at 10, and none of your friends stick around for that.” Good news for the folk act…but for the death metal band, having a full house exit the room as their set begins is a demoralizing experience (and bad business; bands who can’t draw aren’t likely to be asked back).
‘At Dixon Place, what they’re trying to do is create a setting where people pay attention to your music. They’re doing their best to market this as an intimate space where people will see the band they came for, and also stick around.’ —Jonny B. Goodman
“At Dixon Place,” says Goodman, “what they’re trying to do is create a setting where people pay attention to your music. They’re doing their best to market this as an intimate space where people will see the band they came for, and also stick around.” To retain audiences, the festival evenings are programmed with stylistic consistency in mind. So whether you gravitate towards jazz, folk, pop/rock, R&B/soul, indie or alternative classical, that’s exactly what you’re going to get. Although scheduled by genre, says Goodman, “Within that, we’re trying to represent a true spectrum. On the folk night [August 17],
we’ve got Sarah Banleigh who has, over the last few years, sung modern original arrangements of ancient British Isles folk music. This will be her debut as a songwriter. She’s followed by Stacy Rock, whose influences include Tom Waits and Tori Amos. But there’s a very folk narrative to her lyric writing. Personally, as a musician, I’m very motivated by strong lyric writing. So some of the curation of these lesser-known performers is based on my taste, my opinion that they are really stellar songwriters.” Asked what accounts for so many under the radar performers in a festival whose talent comes from the city’s most music-friendly neighborhood, Goodman says that “some of it is their work ethic. They’re so perfectionist about their craft that they’ve not gotten out [to play live] much, because they’ve been at home honing their craft, sometimes for years.” Noise & Rhythm (August 18), Mary Westlake (August 10) and A.C. Lincoln (August 16) all fit that profile. “He’s very craft-driven,” says Goodman of Lincoln. “And Danny Chait [August 23], too. He’s recently been honing the same catalog for years and all of a sudden he’s starting to get noticed.” Firmly established festival acts that have a solid following include Corn Mo (August 24) and The Nat Osborn Band (August 25). “And some of the alternative classical acts,” notes Goodman, “have already had their Carnegie Hall debuts.” Although they’ve got bills of their own to pay, Dixon Place isn’t as interested in their bottom line as they are in expanding their creative boundaries. “We want to have folks who can bring their own draw,” admits Goodman, “but we don’t want to be 100 percent business about that.” In a further nod to altruism, Goodman didn’t require much prodding to rhapsodize about other LES venues worth patronizing. “The one that I most frequently cite as an example of a place that’s really committed to quality programming,” says Goodman, “is Rockwood Music Hall. They’ve set themselves up in a great way by working with artists regularly and giving them residencies. You can go there any night and be pretty sure you’re going to see a great show.”
August 8 - 21, 2012
More than a mere keeper of the flame Hallie Foote takes her dad's legacy, makes it contemporary THEATER
HARRISON, TX: THREE PLAYS BY HORTON FOOTE
Directed by Pam MacKinnon Presented by Hallie Foote & Jayne Houdyshell Through September 15 At Primary Stages (59 E. 59th St., btw. Park & Madison Aves.) For tickets ($70), call 212-279-4200 or visit primarystages.org
BY JERRY TALLMER Some people get up in the morning and go to Wall Street. Or to their job in a department store. Or a supermarket. Or a newspaper office. Or to fly an airplane. Horton Foote gets up in the morning and writes plays. But what plays! The above is what I once wrote about the pro of pros — who had learned his craft writing short and tight for good people like Fred Coe (in television of the 1950s). One of those small screen one-act plays — and I think I caught it with my own two eyes and ears — was “The Midnight Caller,” about a pathetic alcoholic in his 30s who pierces the Texas night with his cries to the lovely girl who once loved him but, out of exhaustion, does so no more. It was first staged in the 1950s, as a matter of fact, at The Neighborhood Playhouse — the esteemed acting school on East 54th Street — in a production directed by the equally esteemed Sanford Meisner (with an unknown named Robert Duvall as the pitiable drunk). “My mother and father saw that production,” says Hallie Foote, actress daughter of Lillian and Horton Foote, “and that's how Robert Duvall got into ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’” — the movie that won Horton Foote an Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay. “My father always loved the one-act form,” says Hallie — for its discipline, compression, synthesis, vivacity — “and I always loved ‘The Midnight Caller.’ ” Hallie Foote and her husband Devon Abner are, along with actress Jayne Houdyshell, the prime movers of “Harrison, TX” — the triple bill of short, biting one-act plays by Horton Foote, at Primary Stages through September 15. The three plays are “Blind Date,” a farce of sorts about the most disagreeable young woman you ever came across in your
Evan Jonigkeit and Hallie Foote.
life; “The Midnight Caller,” which replaces farce with pathos; and “The One-Armed Man,” a slow but sure little shocker that seems all the more terrifying in the light of recent events in Aurora, Colorado. All three plays are set in Harrison, Texas (the pseudonym for Horton Foote's real-life hometown of Wharton, Texas), in the oil and cotton territory of the lonesome worked-out lands around Houston and Galveston and the Gulf. The director of all three is Pam MacKinnon, who is having a busy season, with “Harrison, TX” coming immediately on the heels of “Clybourne Park.” “Blind Date” is set in a boarding house for unmarried ladies — a sort of Horton Foote specialty. Hallie Foote is one of
Photo © 2012 James Leynse
those ladies. The plum role of super-bored young Sarah Nancy — who hates everything, including music and dance and men who just want to take her to the movies — goes to Andrea Lynn Green. Abner is one of Sarah Nancy's unfortunate wouldbe suitors. “So,” says Ms. Foote, “one of these
plays is very funny, and one is very dark” — “The One-Armed Man,” set in the cotton mill that has destroyed a workman's arm — “and one (‘Midnight Caller’) is… how to put it?…sad but lyrical.” She lets it dangle there, then adds, “I never know how to describe that play.” She stops, thinks, thinks some more…lets it go. So would her father, if he were here. The three principals in the current “Midnight Caller” are Jenny Dare Paulin as the emotionally exhausted Helen, Alexander Cendese as the pitiable lush who calls and calls her name in the night and Jeremy Bobb as the fellow who catches her on the rebound. Hallie plays the worried landlady. Cendese and Bobb are the soft-soaping boss and the enraged, physically wrecked employee who confront one another in “The One-Armed Man.” Well, the insulted and injured mill worker confronts. The gladhanding mill owner tries to fluff him off. Hallie Foote lost her mother 20 years ago and her father 40 months ago. The Foote children — Horton Jr., Hallie and playwright Daisy — are children no longer, but they do not forget their heritage. When she met Casey Childs, founder and executive producer of Primary Stages, Hallie told her “that I had the desire to do some of the plays of my father and a play called ‘Him’ by my sister Daisy. It's all about the land where she grew up, in southern New Hampshire” — where Horton Foote had taken himself and his family out of the New York/Hollywood rat race for some 15 lost yet unlost years. That's next at Primary Stages — Daisy Foote's “Him.” Daisy's play is, says her sister, “You know, like my dad's stuff. It's all a combination” of names, places, people, events, emotions. “The One-Armed Man” and “Blind Date” were done long years ago at the Ensemble Studio Theatre and the H.B. [Uta Hagen/Herbert Berghof] Studio on Bank Street, but, says the playwright's oldest daughter, never in New York since then. Until now. The thing about Hallie Foote is that she not only keeps her father alive, she kept him alive when he was alive and working (“Dividing the Estate,” “The Orphans' Home Cycle”) and reaping late-life honors like the Pulitzer Prize. You could write a one-act play about it.
August 8 - 21, 2012
Just Do Art! BY SCOTT STIFFLER
HEDDA LETTUCE: “THE CARPETS MATCH THE DRAPES!”
SMUIN BALLET AT THE JOYCE THEATER Bold, sexy and innovative: That’s how Smuin Ballet describes itself…and if the buff promo pictures for their upcoming gig are any indication, they’re not bluffing. So if you’ve had your fill of ogling London-based Olympic bods on the TV screen, treat yourself to a live experience at the Joyce Theater — where the entertainment value goes beyond eye candy and into the realm of food for thought. The program includes founder Michael Smuin's powerfully hypnotic “Medea” as well as the New York premieres of Trey McIntyre’s “Oh, Inverted World” (set to music by indie-rock band The Shins) and “Soon These Two Worlds” — a ballet by Choreographer in Residence Amy Seiwert, set to music from the Grammy Awardwinning Kronos Quartet. Aug. 13-18. Mon.-Wed. at 7:30pm; Thurs.-Sat. at 8pm and 2pm matinees on Wed. & Sat. At The Joyce Theater (175 Eighth Ave., at 19th St.). For tickets ($10$49) call 212-242-0800. The $10 tickets can only be purchased by phone. All other tickets can also be purchased at the box office or at joyce.org. Also visit smuinballet.org.
THE NEW YORK INTERNATIONAL LATINO FILM FESTIVAL
Photo courtesy of wilsonmodels
Go green: “Chelsea Classics” host Hedda Lettuce holds court at XL, hump days in August.
Two decades in the business, and the quick quips and cutting remarks dispensed by drag queen Hedda Lettuce are as fresh and crisp as a farmer’s market version of her leafy surname. Fans of film (classic, camp or sometimes both) know this, of course, from attending the Hedda-hosted “Chelsea Classics” screening series — Thursday nights at the Clearview Cinema on 23rd Street. Wednesdays in August, however, Lettuce is branching out, so to speak, with “The Carpets Match The Drapes.” See Hedda in all her glammed-up glory, as she takes to the XL Nightclub stage for an evening of cabaret fabulousness peppered with risqué audience interaction and profane original songs (among them, “You Only Text Me When You’re Drunk” and “You Can Touch Me Anywhere But Don’t Touch My Hair”). The inimitable Paul Leschen band backs up our delightfully offensive Miss Lettuce. At 8pm on Wed., Aug. 8, 15, 22 & 29. At XL Nightclub, Cabaret & Lounge (512 W. 42nd St., btw. 10th & 11th Aves.). For tickets ($20), visit xlcabaret.com.
Short films, special events and star power distinguish the 2012 edition of the New York International Latino Film Festival. Launched in 1999, NYILFF showcases emerging filmmakers in the U.S. and Latin America who are producing works which celebrate the diversity and spirit of the Latino community. Sundance sensation Gina Rodriguez walks the red carpet on opening night, prior to the screening of “Filly Brown.” Set in Los Angeles, it’s the story of a street poet and aspiring rap artist striving to be a good sister while trying to get her mother out of jail. Wilmer Valderrama also logs some red carpet time, when “The Girl is in
Photo by John Castillo
Gina Rodriguez stars as “Filly Brown” — The NY International Latino Film Festival’s opening night event.
Trouble” has its world premiere on August 18. Executive produced by Spike Lee, it’s about a Lower East Side bartender who gets involved in a murder mystery. Elsewhere on the schedule, “Elliot Loves” (winner of the Miami Gay & Lesbian Film Festival Audience Award for Best Picture) headlines Dominican Night on August 16. The closing night film, “Lemon,” is a documentary depicting Lemon Anderson’s efforts to raise his family from poverty
while exposing his own secrets on the New York stage. Mon., Aug. 13 through Sun., Aug. 19. At Chelsea Clearview Cinemas (260 W. 23rd St., btw. 7th & 8th Aves.). The Aug. 13 free screening of “Selina” will be at Cinema Under The Stars (St. Nicholas Park, at St. Nicholas Ave. & 135th St.). For tickets and more info on documentaries, features, panel discussions and shorts, visit nylatinofilm.com.
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Erin Yarbrough Stewart, Matthew Linzer and company perform “Oh, Inverted World.” See “Smuin Ballet.”
August 8 - 21, 2012
CLENCH. GRAB. HOLD. RELEASE. Oh yes, Chelsea. We’re coming!
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