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Volume 3, Number 21 FREE
East and West Village, Lower East Side, Soho, Noho, Little Italy and Chinatown
August 8 - August 21, 2013
’Net guru is watching the watchers: Warns of Facebook, Google By clarissa-Jan liM Recent revelations of the National Security Agency’s surveillance activities have triggered outrage and calls to clamp down on the federal government’s unrestrained Big Brother-type snooping. Although the government maintains it’s all only being done in the name of national security, many are upset at the extent of the government’s surveillance activi-
ties. Following recent revelations by Edward Snowden, Americans are now aware of the PRISM program, which collects communications information from Internet companies in America; the fact that the government collects the metadata of phone conversations; and now, in the latest program to be exposed, XKeyscore, through which a person’s
Continued on page 3
Photo by William Alatriste / NYC Council
Borough President Scott Stringer touted Brooklyn Bridge Beach and the East River Blueway on Aug. 1, joined by Council Speaker Christine Quinn, to the right of him, and Assemblymember Brian Kavanagh, to the left of him, and other elected officials.
Fun plus protection: Pols pitch bridge beach and Blueway plan By heather duBin Get ready to hit the beach — in Manhattan! — with a super-close view of the Brooklyn Bridge. Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer and City Council Speaker
Christine Quinn announced the $7 million beach’s arrival in its future spot as they stood under the Brooklyn Bridge near South St. and Dover St. last Thursday. Part of the East River Blueway
Plan — a scheme to increase waterfront access and storm protection — the creation of the Brooklyn Bridge Beach will receive $3.5 million in
Continued on page 4
Pier 26 shows rocked neighbors’ world — too much; Canceled for ’14 By clarissa-Jan liM Due to the unexpected level of amplifi ed sound from the summer concert series at Pier 26, the event’s organizer, the Hudson River Park Trust, has decided against scheduling the concert series at the Tribeca pier next summer. A recent performance at the pier by the indie-pop band fun. was not fun, but incredibly noisy, local resi-
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dents complained. The Trust arranged for the 2013 summer concert series to take place on Pier 26, at N. Moore St., based on prior experiences producing successful concerts on Piers 54 and 84. However, Madelyn Wils, the Trust’s president, writing in an open letter to the community this week, said, “We did
Continued on page 28
August 8 - 21, 2013
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’Net guru watching the watchers: Warns of FB, Google Continued from page 1 entire Internet history can be accessed by the tap of a computer key. The N.S.A. surveillance programs aren’t new, said the East Village’s Paul Garrin. The Cooper Union grad was first known for his video art, before he moved on to Internet ventures, such as his encrypted e-mail service, lokmail.com, as well as his domain name registry and Web-hosting company Name.Space, which claims ownership of hundreds of top-level domains, such as, notably, .nyc. “The Patriot Act, post-9/11, it’s not new,” Garrin said of this country’s culture of keeping tabs on its populace. Garrin also showed a reporter the winter 1996-97 issue of CovertAction Quarterly, dedicated to the subject of “The New Age of Surveillance.” The publication, now defunct, was founded by former C.I.A. operative-turned C.I.A. critic Philip Agee, and was dedicated to reporting on surveillance activities carried out by governments in different countries. In short, people have always been watched by their governments, at least “passively,” stated Garrin. “And then, at any time — this is what Snowden said that didn’t register with people — they can go back [and search a person’s communications history],” Garrin explained. “So it’s not about what you’re doing now, it’s what you’ve done... . Then, whoever is interested can go in and pull up everything.” Counterterrorism efforts after 9/11 brought about the creation of data fusion centers, with government support, to aggregate data on everybody and everything. A 2007 report by the American Civil Liberties Union, “What’s Wrong With Fusion Centers?”, noted that data fusion is carried out in excessive secrecy and also involves the private sector coughing up information to the feds. “Basically, the business model is to entice people for free [through communications systems] and get them to spill their guts and share everything,” said Garrin. “It’s exploiting people’s data without due process. It’s the quick extrapolation of data — your
friends, your friends’ friends, and so on. That’s a huge scope.” Garrin also noted that the idea that there is “too much data” is naive, because the more information collected, the easier it is to look for “anomalies.” “So, anyone who’s going to Al-Qaeda Web sites or looking at Victoria’s Secret, they’re going to see the difference right away,” he said. Social media Web sites, like Facebook and so on, are what Garrin calls the all-seeing “Digital Panopticon.” The sites profit from not just advertising sales, but by selling users’ information to law enforcement agencies. The use of social media or data-sharing Web sites is a “Faustian deal,” Garrin asserted, because “access to these services is not free. What you’re giving up is your constitutional rights, and your right to privacy. There’s a greater cost to that than paying a reasonable fee to have your data respected and protected. “When you’re signing a contract to have access to their facilities for free, you’re basically giving them your copyright, you’re giving them right to use your content in whatever way they see fit,” he said. Another means of information gathering is through phonecarrier companies that give out their customers’ data. Among Snowden’s many exposés is the collection of metadata — who was called, the duration and time of calls and the location of the parties involved. Cell phone and landline users also run the risk of having
notebook Who’s stopping who? Police Commissioner Ray Kelly has been the most frequent defender of the New York Police Department’s stop-and-frisk policy, but City Council Speaker Christine Quinn told us she holds Mayor Bloomberg responsible for the large number of stops. “As it relates to stop and frisk, Ray Kelly has implemented, I believe, the plan as his boss has told him to do it — that’s not how I would tell him to do it,“ Quinn said July 25 during an interview with the editorial board of The Villager and other NYC Community Media papers. Quinn once again said if she’s elected mayor she’d like to keep Kelly on. She pointed out that the city’s crime rate began to drop without stop and frisk during Kelly’s
their information bought online, with help from Web sites like whitepages.com or tnid.us that allow people who type in a phone number to find out the name and address of the owner by paying a small fee. Membership allows access to background reports on a phone number’s owner, including such categories as “criminal check, bankruptcies, prior residences and work information.” The argument that you shouldn’t worry if you have nothing to hide is one that many people make. But simply the availability of one’s information is dangerous, Garrin said. “It can be used against you and misconstrued and taken out of context in any way that they want,” he explained. Even as remote a connection as having a conversation with somebody five years ago can be considered “guilt by association,” he noted. The lack of privacy and security in information sharing and communication services on the Internet presented Garrin with a business opportunity to create a consumer choice, something he dubbed the “anti-cloud,” as opposed to “cloud” computer servers, like Google Drive. His “anti-cloud” is still currently in the works. “The business problem that needs to be solved in the market is to make online networking and communication services convenient — and ensure your liberty,” Garrin stated. “The Internet is great for a lot of things; I'm not saying these other types of trivial interactions [like social media] are not valuable. The question is who has the right to dictate, restrain or put any kind of scrutiny over conversations?”
first stint as top cop under Mayor David Dinkins. In fact, Kelly was quoted as criticizing the policy in 2000 — a point Quinn did not make.
Two candidates running against Menin, Councilmembers Jessica Lappin and Gale Brewer, are strongly against the plan.
Trash Talk? Speaking of Quinn, she and Julie Menin seemed to be engaging in a little trash talk as they bumped into each other at our offices last week, but it was not at all like the traditional variety. Actually, they were pretty friendly to each other as they may have been chatting about the proposed E. 91st St. marine waste-transfer station. Quinn was a strong supporter of the proposal, and Menin, a candidate for borough president and the former Community Board 1 chairperson, recently penned a Daily News op-ed backing the plan because the alternative would be to send more garbage trucks through lower-income neighborhoods.
Liu Polls: Mayoral candidate John Liu told us the constant polls are a “pain in the neck” because they are so persistent and none even try to calculate the Asian-American vote. “Something’s missing there,” Liu, the city comptroller, said last week. “The Asian-American vote in this year’s primary is going to outpace the overall turnout.” He predicts he’ll get more than 80 percent of AsianAmericans, whom he thinks will turn out in slightly higher percentages than other groups. He said polling firms can’t hire people who speak a dozen-or-so Asian languages or dialects. He thinks he’s really at 20 percent, not the around 7 percent that the polls consistently show.
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Beach plus Blueway will bring fun with protection Continued from page 1 capital funding from Stringer’s office and a $3.5 million match from the City Council, which Quinn announced at the Aug. 1 press conference. The 11,000-square-foot swath of sand will feature water activities — such as fishing and a kayak and canoe launch — tree-lined walkways, terraced seating and concession stands. The beach’s development, along with the addition of new salt marshes and wetlands, will have more than recreational benefits, however. “This will protect this community from the next big storm,” Stringer said. Currently, the future site of the Brooklyn Bridge Beach is littered with trash and construction materials, and workers are still reconfiguring electrical power lines on nearby streets following last October’s Hurricane Sandy. The dream of a revitalized waterfront has been part of an ongoing process that involved the neighborhood and local stakeholders. “We worked with community partners to transform this East River waterfront,” Stringer said. He claimed that the project spoke to community engagement and its needs. As part of the process, Housing Authority residents from the Bernard Baruch and Lillian Wald Houses were asked for their input. So were representatives of the Lower East Side Ecology Center. Community Boards 1, 3 and 6 were asked for their ideas, and helped shape the plan over the past few years. “Business development and access to waterfront — this is significant,” Stringer added. “This is a great protection for New Yorkers against climate change,” Quinn said. She touted the plan’s “innovative design” and asserted it would “help spur economic growth post-Sandy.” The project’s scope is to completely renovate the riverfront from the Brooklyn Bridge to E. 38th Street. But the beach bridge is
Photo by Heather Dubin
Christine Quinn shared a laugh with a hard hat after the press conference when she told him that she was a Jets fan.
certainly a signature feature of the plan. “The redevelopment of Brooklyn Bridge Beach — it’s a premier ‘staycation’ as well as a destination,” Quinn said. “In a dense urban area, we forget we have a great waterfront as a resource,” Assemblymember Brian Kavanagh said in his remarks. He said the full project will be “a connector of different communities along the way,” but that more money and action will be needed to realize the plan’s entire scope. Kavanagh was instrumental in creating a free kayak launch in Stuyvesant Cove in August 2012, which Stringer noted was “a labor of love,” for Kavanagh. Councilmember Daniel Garodnick, whose district doesn’t go below 14th St.,
noted he was “out of his district” at the press conference. But he said he well understood the “plight of the East Side being cut off from the river.” “This Blueway plan is a road map to protect areas most vulnerable to flooding,” he said. Garodnick has allocated $1 million for a kayak and canoe launch in Stuyvesant Cove, on the river between E. 18th and 23rd Sts. “It will open up the river to a new generation of users,” he said of the small-vessel launch spot. “I’m asking Governor Cuomo and Mayor Bloomberg to have the next kayaking race here in the river — and they’re judging,” Stringer said with a smile, to lots of laughs. Daniel Tainow, education director at
the Lower East Side Ecology Center, said, “We’re glad to be a part of the process for the Blueway plan.” He alluded to “swimming as a possibility,” referring to future ideas for wading pools with water captured and filtered from the F.D.R. Drive’s runoff. The planning for the East River Blueway was initiated in 2010, before the devastation of Superstorm Sandy showed how vulnerable waterfront areas on the Lower East Side, East Village and South Street Seaport are to storm surges and flooding. “A lot of what we talked about is relevant,” Stringer noted. “Storm mitigation is very relevant. We have to look at this from a city perspective.” The $7 million in combined funding, which Stringer dubbed a “down payment,” will almost cover the cost of the whole beach. The remainder of the project has not been funded. New York received $15 billion in federal money for post-Sandy recovery and rebuilding. But the elected officials are hoping more government funds can be found to pay for the full East River Blueway. “We are going to the state and federal government,” Stringer said. “We feel aggressive about getting funding for this plan. We were all here [during Sandy].” “We want to get any bit of money we can,” Quinn added. Asked by a reporter about the project’s future in a post-Bloomberg administration, Quinn replied quickly, “We’re good.” She, of course, is running for mayor, and Stringer for city comptroller. She vowed that people would soon be enjoying the beach, and joked that the only thing to worry about would be sunburn, adding that the only requirement would be, “50 S.P.F. sunscreen for all.” Quinn advocated reclaiming the river for economic development, as well as the effective use of open space — and also for, well, fun. “We’re a safer city and a more fun city,” she said. “Nothing says fun like Christine Quinn and Scott Stringer working together.” No completion date for the beach project was given.
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Ludlow’s bar-closing blues In another loss on Ludlow St., Motor City closed on June 30. The bar’s fans held a final blowout — including one guy who blew flames after swigging some alcohol. Then, this week, legendary Ludlow watering hole Max Fish also closed. There went the neighborhood.
August 8 - 21, 2013
Crusties not all high on traveling, but can’t leave it By Lael Hines Nomadic homeless youth, often known as “crusties,” have typically congregated in the East Village’s Tompkins Square, particularly in the warmer months. However, due to police sweeps, crusties have in recent years been shunning Tompkins Square, traveling further out to Coney Island or other parts of Brooklyn. Therefore, it was surprising to see a trio of crusties, Ernesto, Mary and Michael, lying on the grass in the center of Tompkins Square on a recent weekday afternoon. As they described their upbringings, each of their stories held a common theme: a difficult home situation that led to a life as a traveling “crusty punk.” “I was born in Fwwresno, California,” said Ernesto, speaking first. “I was born in a sort of Mexican family, but we’re actually south El Salvadorian and native. Mexican culture is pretty dominant there, so I didn’t realize I was El Salvadorian until later. “We later moved to Logan Heights in San Diego; I grew up in the ghetto. I thought I was going to be a gangster because that seemed like the main career track for most people. I would say, ‘Yo! I’m going to be a gangster!’ I was all tough, getting in fights all the time. “Then we moved to Tennessee and that’s when I ran away,” he continued. “I told my mom I didn’t want to live there because the people were terrible to me. I hated it. They were really racist. So then, I kept moving to different family members’ houses in L.A., San Francisco and the Bay Area. They would all kick me out at different points, so I would be on the streets for a while, then I would get back to my mom’s. “I don’t know, it was pretty weird,” Ernesto reflected. “Trains, punk rock, I don’t know how to explain my life to you. My life’s been very chaotic.” Mary also endured an unstable upbringing. “To be honest, I was born in foster care because I had to be, but I didn’t want to be, so I ran away,” she said. Michael felt out of place and restricted in the Southwest where he grew up. “I come from a small town called Morris, Oklahoma,” he said. “It’s one of those places if you blink once, you’ll miss the whole damn town. I guess I wanted something new, living in a small town there was nothing to do. Everyone knew everybody. You could literally sneeze and the whole town in an hour or two would know about it. I wanted something new. I had 400 in the bank from a job. I went and bought myself a pack and I said, ‘Screw it.’ I hopped on the first car out of there I could. I didn’t come to New York first. I went to California, and then New York, mostly big cities like L.A., Manhattan and Denver. Basically, my stepfather would have me arrested if I
Photo by Lael Hines
From left, Michael, Mary and Ernesto in Tompkins Square Park.
stepped anywhere on their property.” The three said the “crusty life” consists of constant traveling and substance experimentation. “I usually stay in a place — tops — a week, because then I start feeling really antsy and weird. Usually less than a week, like a few days is more likely,” Ernesto said. “All your friends leave; you know, you go back to California because you miss your California friends. Then you go to Cali and you realize how much you miss your Chicago friends. Then you go there and you realize it has been eight months since you’ve seen your Southern friends. Then you realize how much you want to see your New England friends. It’s stupid, it’s all just really stupid.” For Mary, traveling is inevitable. “I don’t have anywhere to go or anything else to do,” she said. “I don’t like where I’m from, being from Massachusetts. I’ve been traveling off and on for five years and I haven’t found a place I want to stay just yet. At this point, I’m actually really sick of it, the traveling thing. I just can’t stay anywhere. It’s frustrating to not belong anywhere.” Michael chimed in, “I’ve been traveling for five years. Out of the five, I’ve been freight-hopping for three. Honestly, I prefer freight-hopping to hitchhiking because you can get somewhere a lot faster, it doesn’t take as much time. I hate traveling but I have yet to find a
place I like. I just don’t fit in anywhere.” Substance abuse is also rooted in the traveling culture. “I’m a modern day alchemist,” admitted Michael. “I’ve OD’ed seven times and I’ve died two times out of that seven. But I’m still here for some weird, freaky reason.” “We drink heavily,” Ernesto stated matter of factly. “We do drugs, all kinds of drugs. I drink a lot of alcohol but I take drugs moderately. I do try everything because I want to do everything for the sake of doing it.” However, speaking to the dangers of using drugs, a young man — word has it, he was a crusty — was found dead of an overdose in the park this past week. Despite an unpredictable, rootless life, Ernesto and Mary explained their reluctance to receive help from charities. “So far here in New York, I have come to realize that I have to avoid shelters or drop-ins or places like that,” Ernesto said. “They’re all Christian-based. When they see my tattoos, they immediately say, ‘You need to be saved.’ I’ve come for food or for help, I don’t need you to give me this lecture on who I should be or what I should do.” Mary agreed, saying, “They don’t treat you very nicely. I’ve had charities come up and tell me, ‘You know you’re going to hell.’ When I first started traveling I had someone from a charity come up to me and say, ‘You need to change your life
right now. You will become a slut and you will go to hell.’ ” Ernesto, Michael and Mary clearly have a strong commitment to the “crusty lifestyle” and a reluctance to receiving help. Yet, at the same time, these three crusties are also discontented with their current living situation, further proved as Ernesto and Michael described their ambitions for later life. “I’m a nerd,” Ernesto said. “I really like chess and anthropology, [outer] space and reading. I’m an anarchist in the sense that I’m actually black and red. I actually care about the community, so I try to be really kind to other people. If I could get a house, I would. I have a plan: In a couple years time, I’ll hopefully have a house.” Describing his own goals, Michael said, “I write anime, I do slashing [slash fiction], and I draw anime and things like that. I’ve always planned on settling down in Tokyo because I have family out there, and then starting my own anime thing.” Despite the instability and challenges of living a homeless, nomadic existence, their lives are certainly full of experience. “In my five years of traveling,” said Michael, “I have seen more than the average person will see in their entire life. We get to see the parts of the world and the city that other people don’t get to see.”
August 8 - 21, 2013 7
Housing Authority board hears it from pols, tenants By heather duBin Councilmember Rosie Mendez walked into the New York City Housing Authority’s annual public hearing to loud applause from the crowd of hundreds of people packed into Pace University’s Schimmel Hall to protest a plan for new luxury apartments on NYCHA’s land. Many of the public housing residents at the July 24 hearing expressed outrage at NYCHA’s proposed “infill plan,” which would lease 14 sites at eight Manhattan public housing projects to developers to build high-rise towers for a total of 4,000 new units, with 80 percent at market-rate rent and 20 percent for affordable housing. The anticipated revenue for NYCHA from the plan is $50 million annually. Construction would take place on what are currently parks, playgrounds and parking lots on NYCHA grounds. The majority of the sites are in the East Village and Lower East Side, including Baruch Houses, Campos Plaza, Smith Houses, Meltzer Tower and LaGuardia Houses. About a dozen police officers stood outside the auditorium as people lined the street waiting to get in. Nearby, others held signs with sayings like, “Bloomberg Hands Off Public Housing,” and yelled slogans from across the street. NYCHA Chairperson John Rhea and the other members of the authority’s board were booed when introduced. However, Housing Bureau Police Chief Joanne Jaffe, who was also seated with the board members, received applause. The NYCHA board was not allowed to speak, but were there to listen to the many people who wanted to voice their opinions. Residents, activists and local politicians were each given three minutes to speak; a nearby clock kept track, and the microphone cut off when the time was up. Translators were available in four languages.
“Public housing is in absolute crisis,” said Brooklyn Assemblymember Walter Mosley. He blasted the infill scheme as a classic “tale of two cities,” and said it would undermine public housing. “Luxury housing is the last thing our city needs more of. This is about private developers,” he declared. He was followed by Ruby Kitchen, a resident of the King Towers housing development, who was irate at someone’s having claimed that public housing tenants would be pushed out by the plan in the next five years. She was indignant, saying residents did not have any input into the idea.
Anthony Weiner entered to boos, but after offering his ideas for solving NYCHA’s woes, he left the mic to raucous applause. “You can’t get your money from HUD without tagging us along,” she said, referring to the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development. “We demand respect. We need you to know: We are human beings. Treat us as human beings.” Three councilmembers, Mendez, Margaret Chin and Melissa Mark-Viverito, spoke together against the plan. They pointed out in a written statement that when NYCHA consulted with residents, they said “No” as well.
The trio of councilmembers urged the authority to “recover $100 million in operating revenues — in the form of extraordinary N.Y.P.D. and PILOT payments [payments in lieu of taxes],” and to reinvest these funds “in frontline repairs and critical upgrades at developments all over the city that will positively contribute to the quality of life of residents and preserve hundreds of thousands of affordable public housing units.” NYCHA currently must pay the Police Department tens of millions of dollars annually to patrol its grounds and buildings. “Public housing is a public good!” Mendez shouted as the group departed from the microphone. The day before the hearing, mayoral candidate Anthony Weiner had seen a second major sexting scandal involving him erupt in the media. When Weiner initially took the mic to speak at the Pace public hearing, the audience booed. Weiner spoke of his recent overnight stay at the Lincoln Houses in East Harlem with other candidates for mayor. He slammed the deplorable conditions there, such as scaffolding that had not been removed in more than 20 years, dark black mold all around the edges of the floor in one apartment, and holes behind a stove, from which an odor was wafting. “It’s going on hundred and thousands of times,” Weiner said. “We need to change how we do things.” He listed several ideas to overhaul NYCHA that he would do if elected. After plugging his bid, a noticeable shift had occurred in the audience, and Weiner exited the room to raucous applause. Numerous speakers accused NYCHA of misusing funds. The agency’s budget report projects a deficit of $87.1 million for 2014.
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Police BLOTTER Slashed ex-wife in face A Manhattan man stands accused of trying to brutally murder his ex-wife in the hallway of her Alphabet City apartment building while their children watched in terror, Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance announced July 31. John Woody, 40, has been indicted for first- and second-degree attempted murder, along with 18 other felony charges — including first- and second-degree assault, endangering the welfare of a child and aggravated criminal contempt — and 17 misdemeanor charges stemming from other alleged domestic violence incidents against the woman. Around 6:20 p.m. on July 8, Woody allegedly stalked his ex-wife, who was with their three children, illegally followed them into her apartment building at 170 Avenue D (at E. 12th St.), and then waited in the hallway outside her apartment with a sharp object to use as a weapon, according to court documents. When the woman and children exited the elevator and walked out into the hallway, Woody allegedly slashed her face, back and neck repeatedly as the children stood nearby, the D.A. said. The victim was hospitalized for her injuries and had to receive numerous stitches. Police arrested Woody the day after the attack. Early on July 9, hours after the alleged
attempted murder and just before his arrest, Woody reportedly also sent a threatening text message to his ex-wife’s mother, and left a threatening voicemail on his exwife’s phone. He was also charged in connection with multiple alleged domestic violence incidents in the days before the July 8 incident, including burning his ex-wife with a hot iron, hitting her with a belt and making multiple other phone calls and sending text messages to harass and threaten her, all in violation of a prior restraining order, the D.A. said. Woody is scheduled to appear in court again Oct. 16.
Flagged for roughness Retired N.F.L. offense tackle Luke Petitgout, a former first-round draft pick for the New York Giants, turned himself into police on Tues., Aug. 6, after allegedly beating his wife while they were in the Meatpacking District early on Aug. 2. Petitgout, 37, has been charged with assault after his wife, Jennifer, 36, told police that the 6-foot-6-inch-tall, 310pound ex-Giant pushed her out of his car — which was parked near the corner of Little W. 12th St. and Ninth Ave. — around 5:30 a.m. on Fri., Aug. 2, following a verbal argument, leaving her with cuts and bruises to her body, arms and hands. According
to the police report, Petitgout’s wife also claimed that, after she had fallen to the ground, he picked up her purse and threw it at her, hitting her in the head. Police said Petitgout’s wife took a cab to the Sixth Police Precinct, on W. 10th St., about an hour after the incident took place, where she filed a report, after which she was taken to the hospital for treatment of minor injuries. Luke Petitgout was with his lawyer when he came to the Sixth Precinct around 9 a.m. on Aug. 6 to turn himself in, police said. Luke Petitgout, who lives in Woodcliff, N.J., played for the Giants from 1999 to 2006, before finishing his football career with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and retiring in 2007.
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“bomb” was intended to harm U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, who lives on Bedford St. “We all thought it was meant for her, maybe as some kind of politically based attack,” the source said. Maybe that’s part of the reason why Fishbane’s prop bomb — clearly a very cheap fake, when given a close look — garnered such an immediate and immense police response. Fishbane told the Post he couldn’t fault the N.Y.P.D. for treating the situation so seriously, saying he felt the response was “wholly appropriate.”
Ice-cold robber An employee for the Haagen-Dazs shop at 55 E. Eighth St., near Mercer St., told police that a man — later identified as Gerald Kimbrough, 45 — walked in around 6:30 p.m. on July 29 and quietly demanded all the money in the register, through a written note he passed across the counter. Kimbrough, who held his hand near his waistband throughout, told the employee he had a gun and would shoot if he didn’t get the green, according to police. The ice-cream crook quickly stepped behind the counter, grabbed all $200 from inside the till and fled on foot, said the employee, who called police immediately afterward. Within minutes, the Sixth Precinct began a canvass of the area, and caught Kimbrough on a nearby street around 7:30 p.m., police said. He was Photo by Tequila Minsky charged with robbery.
A police officer removed the prop bomb, which was concealed in boxes.
A playwright caused a stir last week by accidentally leaving a fake bomb — used as prop in his play about suicide bombers — in the trash outside his West Village apartment on Wed., July 31, while he was moving out. Ethan Fishbane, 23, who wasn’t arrested, reportedly told police he “didn’t think twice” about tossing the prop — which simulated a bomb, using a workout belt, a calculator, two blocks of clay and some wiring — outside his pad at 14 Bedford St., leading to a swarm of New York Police Department Bomb Squad and Emergency Service Unit officers converging on the location along with other local officers in what was quickly determined to be a false alarm. But a Sixth Precinct source, who was one of the first officers to respond to the bogus bomb scare, told this newspaper that the threat seemed very real — partly because he and many other officers believed that the
A senior citizen woke up from an afternoon nap in his ground-floor West Village apartment on Thurs., Aug. 1, to find an unknown man attempting to break in, police said. The 72-year-old, who lives at 227 Waverly Place, told police he was startled awake around 4:30 p.m. by noise in his living room. When he went to check it out, the resident said, he spotted a stranger — whom he could only describe as a bald black man — trying to enter the apartment through a window. Apparently, the would-be burglar was just as surprised by the septuagenarian resident’s sudden appearance, and jumped back out of the window, fleeing in such a hurry that he left one of his sneakers behind, police said.
August 8 - 21, 2013 9
Looking back at the atomic bomb Canoe convoy making quite a row TALKING POINT By JERRY TALLMER This is the time of year when I suddenly remember what time of year it is. Usually, I guiltily remember it too late, a week or two after August 6 and August 9 are come and gone. But this year, for some unknown reason — maybe the fog that’s assaulting my laptop — I am once again in that B-24 that I’ve written about at scattered times over the years. I’m staring back at the mushroom cloud that’s climbing higher than our own 10,000 feet through the beautiful 9/11-like cloudless blue sky over what is left of Nagasaki, 135 miles to our south. We fly on and drop our own bombs, further up the coast of Japan. Nagasaki: 60,000 to 80,000 dead — the fortunate ones… Hiroshima: 90,000 to 160,000 dead... . When I climb down out of the B-24, back on Okinawa, I feel as if I’ve just swallowed a bucket of nails. Nobody on our crew says anything to anybody. Nobody looks anybody in the eye. Since that day, those two days, 68 years ago, only God knows how many multiples of Hiroshima plus Nagasaki have been slaughtered on this planet. Anywhere from several billion, I should guess, down to more than 2,600 at the World Trade Center, down to one — a 17-year-old carrying candy and iced
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THURSDAY, AUGUST 8 & 15, 10:30am-12pm Fellowship Gathering: Job Seekers’ Group Join others seeking to improve and effectively market their job skills. 74 Trinity Pl, 3rd Fl, Room 2 THURSDAY, AUGUST 8 & 15, 6:30pm Fellowship Gathering: Summer Dance Aerobics Stay cool and feel great as you dance away the stress of the day in this low-impact dance aerobics class. 74 Trinity Pl, 2nd Fl, Parlor SUNDAY, AUGUST 11, 1-3pm The Writer’s Place: Playwriting Workshop I Led by Deloss Brown, NYU Playwriting professor. All writing levels welcome. 74 Trinity Pl, 21st Fl, Library TUESDAY, AUGUST 13 & 20, 1-3pm Open Hours Origami Led by interfaith minister Lisa Bellan-Boyer. No prior experience necessary. Charlotte’s Place FRIDAY, AUGUST 16, 6-7:30pm Family Friday Pizza and Movie Night Relax with your kids and meet other downtown families for free pizza, children’s movies, and community. Charlotte’s Place
By Lael Hines At 10 a.m. on Fri. Aug. 9, hundreds of canoers and kayakers, both Native American and non-Native American, arrayed in two parallel rows, will pull into Pier 96 at W. 57th St. They will then march across Manhattan to the United Nations, where they will receive a welcome from the U.N. Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, at First Ave. and 47th St. The next day, a festival will be held from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at 200 Vesey St., west of the World Trade Center. Performers will include the likes of comedian Charlie Hill, the Akwesasne Women Singers, Sherri Waterman and the Haudenosaunee Singers and Dancers and Josephine Tarrant. It’s all part of the Two Row Wampum Renewal Campaign, a partnership between all six Native American Haudenosaunee nations (Mohawk, Oneida, Onondaga, Cayuga, Seneca and Tuscarora) and the Neighbors of the Onondaga nation (NOON), based out of Syracuse, N.Y. On July 28, a group of hundreds set off on the 140-mile paddle down the Hudson River to New York City. Their goal is to spread peace, friendship and togetherness, as well as to re-establish the importance of an oral treaty made between the Haudenosaunee and the Dutch colonists exactly 400 years ago. The Wampum rowers also stress
A couple of members of the Two Row Wampum Renewal Campaign on Day 2 of their journey, near Coxsackie, N.Y.
respect for the environment, encouraging sustainability and opposing hydrofracking. Emily Bishop, an organizer of the campaign, said, “Our initiative is to honor Native American treaties and renew a respect toward the earth. To survive on this earth, we have to be peaceful and sustainable. We over all just want to educate people, and spread our message on what it means to be sustainable. “The campaign is pretty epic,” Bishop added. “Any message that must be conveyed has to be done in a big way — and we have 500 people paddling down the Hudson River. It’s kind of a big deal.”
SUNDAY, AUGUST 11 & 18, 10am The Gospel, Times, Journal, and You A discussion group that reads the editorial pages of The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and the assigned gospel for the day. 74 Trinity Pl, 2nd Fl
SUNDAY, AUGUST 11 & 18, 10am Community Bible Study Whether you’re a Bible scholar, opening the book for the first time, or anywhere in between, your voice is welcome. 74 Trinity Pl, 2nd Fl
MONDAY—FRIDAY, 12:05pm Trinity Church · Holy Eucharist
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SUNDAY, AUGUST 11 & 18, 10am Summer Sunday School: A Garden Project An interactive, Scripture-based instructional program where children and youth make sustainable gardens inside and outside while learning skills to be good stewards of God’s creation. Trinity Churchyard, North side
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tea, in the rain, at night, in Sanford, Florida. Yes, yes, I know — and Harry Truman knew only too well — a great many more young Americans might have died if it were not for Hiroshima and Nagasaki. That doesn’t make it better, or right. I mean they could have — we could have — dropped a demonstration Little Boy or a Nagasaki-type Fat Man — Fat Man! — on Mount Fuji or somewhere, just to show what it could do. We could have, but we didn’t… . Does it make you sleep better at night to think about a Richard Nixon, say, with one hand on the Red Telephone? Or a Michele Bachmann or a Rand Paul or a Ted Cruz or a Mitch McConnell or even a John McCain on one of his bad days? I know this is scare talk, but it’s not the baby in the flower garden of the good old L.B.J. vs. Barry Goldwater days, If anybody remembers those days. Americans are not strong on memory, which is why this August 6 and this August 9 will flow past without very much comment or thought anywhere. Except, maybe, in Japan. As I noted at the head of this dispatch, I’m not very good at remembering, either. Usually, for me, it’s better late than never. But this time, as it happens, I’m on time, back once again in that B-24, looking out over the tailfins at a mushroom cloud out of Hieronymus Bosch’s garden of death without delight.
August 8 - 21, 2013
Educational Alliance’s new center will have it all By heather duBin The old and new are coming together at the Educational Alliance, as the former Lower East Side settlement house is moving toward completion of a $59 million renovation of its historic flagship building. The project by the community-based nonprofit organization preserves the facade of its 197 East Broadway building, which — once the two-yearlong gut rehab is finished — will house the Manny Cantor Center. The center will include a reception space for community events, a fitness floor, expanded senior and teen centers, an art school with light-filled studios, and ample room for early childhood education. The new community center is slated to open early this winter. Joanna Samuels, executive director of the Manny Cantor Center, spoke about the endeavor and its origins in a recent phone interview. The center is named for Manny Cantor, who is the late father of Richard Cantor, an Educational Alliance board of trustees member. “Manny Cantor came in 1921 at the age of 16 to New York,” Samuels said. “Like stories of immigration, he came here with nothing, started a business, became successful, and his son did too.” The younger Cantor, she said, wanted to “honor the courage of his father of coming here and making a life.” In tribute to the memory of his father, who died in 1952 at the young age 47, Richard Cantor has been “an early and very robust, generous supporter of the project,” Samuels said. She added that the project has also been fortunate to receive “a wonderful combination” of funds from the government, foundations and private philanthropy. “It’s an amazing building,” Samuels said. “Part of it is 123 years old, and part of it is 90 years old. The two buildings have been put together.” While the East Broadway building and the other one, which backs onto Henry St. — where the Educational Alliance’s early childhood program is located — have always belonged to the organization, now they will be connected internally by hallways. “As you can imagine,” Samuel said, “at that age, lots of things in the buildings are not working as you would want them to be working.” But the facade will remain intact. “It’s magnificent,” she said. “It fits beautifully into the neighborhood, with incredible windows. Inside, however, it will be a modern and “very state-ofthe-art building,” she noted. “It will be much more amenable to the work we’re doing.” Samuels started at the Educational Alliance a year ago while construction was already underway. “I feel blessed to have walked into this,” she said. The center’s top floor will feature a glassed-in space with open terraces for community gatherings and rentals. “You can see the entire neighborhood and bridges. It’s beautiful,” Samuel said of the renovated rooftop space. There will also be a catering kitchen with amenities. A 12,000-square-foot fitness floor will have two group exercise rooms, equipment and indoor cycling. Presale for fitness center memberships has already begun.
The Manny Cantor Center’s new rooftop space, offering sweeping views, will be available for community events and rentals.
A floor will be devoted to the senior center, which Samuels described as “a vital piece of work we do in the community for older adults.” Two floors will house early childhood education, including a private preschool and Head Start. There will be babysitting on another floor for those at the fitness center, and a centralized art school, which will attract teaching artists. The basement will be for the teen center, with college preparation courses, after-school activities, and recreation for teenagers in the neighborhood. There is also a College Access and Success program, with 222 people currently enrolled, where parents of children in Head Start can go to college on site in the center while the kids are in class all day. “It’s a dual-generation model,” Samuels explained. “Participants can take English classes, get their General Educational Development [G.E.D.], and then enroll in
classes on site with partnership Borough of Manhattan Community College.” A large industrial kitchen will produce 300 to 400 kosher and vegetarian meals daily for the children and seniors, with a seating capacity of about 200 in a 3,500-square-foot dining space. In the tradition and vision of the settlement house, Samuels wants the center to continue to serve and uplift its surrounding neighborhood in all its diversity — to help more “Manny Cantors” achieve their own American Dream. “In a way, it’s how unremarkable his story is that makes it so worthy,” Richard Cantor said of his father. “It is not a story of great academic or professional accomplishment, but rather a lesson of how much can be achieved in a short period of time by setting a clear example of how life is to be lived, and passing it on from generation to generation.”
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August 8 - 21, 2013 11
Montague Tubes Closed
No trains running between Court St, Brooklyn and Whitehall St, Manhattan beginning 11:30 PM Friday, August 2, 2013 until October 2014 Weekday Service Monday-Friday, 6 AM to 11:30 PM R service operates in two sections: 1. In Brooklyn only between Bay Ridge-95 St and Court St 2. In Queens and Manhattan only between Forest Hills-71 Av and Whitehall St R customers and B D F N Q customers who transfer to/from the R should consider alternate service on the 2 3 4 5 A and C. Weekend Service Saturday-Sunday, 6 AM to 11:30 PM Operates between Forest Hills-71 Av and Bay Ridge-95 St via the Manhattan Bridge. Six R stations bypassed: City Hall Cortlandt St Rector St Whitehall St-South Ferry Court St Jay St-MetroTech Late Night Service Every Day, 11:30 PM to 6 AM Normal R shuttle between Bay Ridge-95 St and 36 St in Brooklyn. Connect with D N at 36 St. N service rerouted via the Manhattan Bridge with six stations bypassed: City Hall Cortlandt St Rector St Whitehall St-South Ferry Court St Jay St-Metro Tech Stay informed Visit mta.info for planned service change information or to use TripPlanner+. Sign up for free email or text alerts. Look for posters and brochures in stations, or call 511. Follow us:
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August 8 - 21, 2013
letters to the editor I’m an Anthony Mayer Weiner… Not! To The Editor: Re “Sext and the City” (Scoopy’s Notebook, July 25): Oh I’m glad that I’m not Anthony D. Weiner That is quite a raunchy thing to be Exposing parts could rate a misdemeanor But sexting might just bring mayoralty Sal Hirsch
V Lit is a hit! To The Editor: Re “Peeling the layers of Tania Grossinger’s cocoon” (V Lit, July 25): I am honored to be included in the first issue of V Lit! Congratulations on a marvelous addition to The Villager! Tania Grossinger
Art adored Avital
Photo by Tequila Minsky
Pure park style Seen at Tuesday night’s concert in Washington Square Park, above, and sitting in the Hudson River Park, below, were a couple of people who know how to dress with pizazz and style.
To The Editor: Re “Peeling the layers of Tania Grossinger’s cocoon” (V Lit, July 25): She certainly did not know Avital, who was adored by Art more than life itself. She may have had a relationship with him but she wasn’t the only one — yes, there were others. Calling my mother, myself and my sisters “troubled” indeed shows cowardice. Sad you didn’t get to know her, you would then have seen why he never left her. Sharon D’Lugoff
In defense of the D’Lugoffs To The Editor: Re “Peeling the layers of Tania Grossinger’s cocoon” (V Lit, July 25): My mother was Art D’Lugoff’s cousin. More importantly, the D’Lugoffs were our neighbors and close friends both in the city and in Ocean Beach on Fire
Island, and I consider Art, Avital and their children my immediate family. I take great exception to the description of Avital as “troubled” and “in a world of her own.” Avital was a loving and creative person with an artist’s temperament. She and Art had a marriage that lasted 52 years, and any marriage between complex individuals that has lasted that long is, to say the least, extraordinary. And honestly, what husband does not describe his wife as “troubled” when speaking to his mistress? As to my cousins, the “troubled” daughters: All three are strong, loving women who have struggled with challenges and disappointment. Perhaps it is tempting to defend them by referring to the pressures of growing up in the ’60s and ’70s as the children of bohemian parents, or raise Freudian questions about fathers who have mistresses. But my love for Art, with whom I spent family holidays and who I considered my “uncle,” makes it very complicated for me to discuss those issues at any length for fear that to do so might be misconstrued as blame. At the end of the day, the story of the D’Lugoffs is the story of a family that faced many challenges and storms and managed to stay connected and loving. Abigail Simon
Comes as no surprise To The Editor: Re “The billionaires back Margaret Chin for City Council” (talking point, by Sean Sweeney, July 25): The Real Estate Board of New York’s backing should come as no surprise looking at Chin’s disgraceful record supporting N.Y.U., the Soho Business Improvement District and the Chinatown BID (opposed by a majority of Chinatown merchants and property owners), and destroying the landmarked 135 Bowery for a mainland Chinese bank. Carl Rosenstein E-mail letters, not longer than 250 words in length, to firstname.lastname@example.org or fax to 212-229-2790 or mail to The Villager, Letters to the Editor, 515 Canal St., Suite 1C, NY, NY 10013. Please include phone number for confirmation purposes. The Villager reserves the right to edit letters for space, grammar, clarity and libel. The Villager does not publish anonymous letters.
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August 8 - 21, 2013 13
Chin is a champion of the working and middle class TALKING POINT By Aixa Torres, Nancy Ortiz, Jessica Thomas and Henry Chan Since her election to the City Council in 2009, Margaret Chin has been one of New York City’s most courageous progressive leaders. A member of the Council’s Progressive Caucus, Councilmember Chin deserves our praise and thanks for her numerous accomplishments on behalf of those most in need of a helping hand. From passing landmark paid sick-leave legislation, to preventing cuts to Lower Manhattan’s after-school and daycare programs, to authoring and passing legislation to increase transparency in government, Margaret Chin has been a champion for working and middle-class families. It’s reasons like these that explain why countless labor unions, Democratic clubs and elected officials have lined up in support of Councilmember Chin’s re-election, including the Working Families Party, Central Labor Council, Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, Congressmembers Nydia Velazquez, Carolyn Maloney, Jerry Nadler and Grace Meng, Councilmembers Rosie Mendez and Mark Weprin, state Senator Dan Squadron (a candidate for New York City public advocate), former state Senator Tom Duane, former Community Board 1 Chairperson Julie Menin (candidate for borough president), United Federation of Teachers, 1199 SEIU, Hotel & Motel Trades Council, 32BJ, DC 37, Council of School Supervisors and Administrators, CWA District 1, CWA 1180, International Union of Operating Engineers Local 94, Teamster Local 237, Uniformed Fire Officers Association, United Sanitationmen’s Association Local 831, Stonewall Democratic Club, Lower Manhattan Democrats, United Democratic Organization, Lower East Side Democratic Club, Harry S. Truman Democratic Club, Gay and Lesbian Independent Democrats, NARAL Pro-Choice NY, National Organization for Women (NOW), New Yorkers for Clean Livable And Safe Streets (NYCLASS), Street Vendor Power, StreetsPAC and many more. Of course, the reality of Councilmember Chin’s strong, progressive record seems to be lost on a select few, including Mr. Sean Sweeney, who last week in a talking point in The Villager entitled, “The billionaires back Margaret Chin for City Council,” perpetuated the same lies, spin and propaganda that have been spread in vain for some time now. Amazingly, these are some of the same people who tried to spread rumors that Margaret was a “communist” when she first ran for office! The hollow and desperate attacks levied against Councilmember Chin reek of petty, personal vendettas against a stellar public servant with a long and undeniable track record of delivering real, tangible results for the people who elected her to represent them at City Hall. The current attacks are so transparent, so baseless and such a stretch of the truth, that it’s clear there are ulterior motives at work here — far from genuine concern about Councilmember Chin’s embodiment of progressive values and commitment to the working and middle-class
men and women she proudly represents. In point of fact, Margaret Chin has fought vigorously on behalf of tenants’ rights. She has fought to empower tenants (not landlords and real estate moguls) against evictions, called for greater transparency and monitoring of affordable housing programs, urged for affordable housing development to keep pace with its losses and successfully negotiated the construction of 500 new, permanently affordable housing units for low- to middle-income families in the district while creating thousands of new jobs. Time and again, Margaret Chin has publicly expressed her disapproval of outside funds being spent in the race. While this has not stopped outside interests from spending, she certainly has never accepted donations from these groups and has already said in the media that she believes independent spending has no place in politics. Unfortunately, the recent Citizens United decision has made it impossible for candidates to prevent groups from independently spending money or coordinating in their
The reality of Councilmember Chin’s strong, progressive record seems to be lost on a select few, including Mr. Sean Sweeney.
name — even when the literature put out is misspelled or inaccurate. But this reality should not take away from Margaret’s accomplishments or those of other public servants who have worked tirelessly to give a voice to the voiceless. To quote Councilmember Chin in a recent news article, “I’m not sure what the Jobs for New York PAC thinks they’re buying by spending money on my campaign, but they won’t get it. I am only beholden to my constituents, whom I have been a progressive voice for in the City Council over the past four years.” So, while others wish to skirt the issues and turn the race for the First City Council District into a distracting conversation that ducks and dodges the real issues facing Downtowners, Margaret Chin remains more dedicated than ever to serving and standing up for her constituents. At the end of the day, voters understand that the negative and slanderous campaign tactics employed by Jenifer Rajkumar and her supporters are a pathetic attempt to divert attention from the fact that she lacks the integrity (not to mention the experience) to hold higher elected office. No doubt, Ms. Rajkumar would prefer voters forget that she shamelessly touted a false résumé, including boasting of a phony, shell nonprofit that by her own admission has never accomplished a darn thing. This is not to mention her claiming experience as a lawyer before she had even passed the bar. Member of the New York Press Association
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Instead of owning up to her deceptions, Ms. Rajkumar did a little housecleaning on her Web site, erased the embarrassing falsehoods and carried on with her campaign by aimlessly hurling half-truths in the direction of Margaret Chin. Among other things, Ms. Rajkumar has chosen to publicly attack the deal reached on the Seward Park Urban Renewal Area development plan — a plan forged through years of numerous public community meetings — despite never having attended a single meeting herself. Sure, Ms. Rajkumar claims to be a champion of tenants’ rights, but when has she ever reached out to local tenant leaders? Unlike her opponent, Margaret Chin’s commitment to Lower Manhattan is not fleeting. Long before Ms. Rajkumar chose to grace us with her presence, Margaret was an outspoken advocate in the fight for fairness and equality. She has lived and worked in the community for more than 50 years, including as a leader in affordable housing and an advocate for broader voter access and civil rights. She is also the first Chinese-American to represent Chinatown, an area where her ability to speak multiple dialects of Chinese has enabled non-English-speaking citizens access to their own elected representative in a way they have never had before. Downtowners, and New Yorkers in general, deserve better than neophytes who parachute into their city and run for office because they sense a political opportunity, regardless of how familiar they actually are with the community. What is telling is an early quote Rajkumar gave in a January 23, 2013, Broadsheet Daily article: She said that, whereas in Battery Park City she knew residents were concerned about hurricane preparedness and school overcrowding, she believed the top issues on the Lower East Side were “gun violence, teenage pregnancy and drugs.” Small wonder the lion’s share of her donations appear to be large donations from outside the city. Truth be told, there is only one candidate in the race for the First Council District who has a record of standing up for working and middle-class people. That candidate is Margaret Chin. To suggest otherwise is laughable and insulting to the intelligence of the electorate. Margaret Chin's support runs the gamut and that is why she will be re-elected to the City Council after winning the primary in September. Our elected officials are not just as good as their word, but as good as their fulfillment of the duties they took on when they accepted their roles as public servants. Since her first day in office, Margaret Chin has kept her promise to the people of Council District 1. Her committee attendance is one of the highest in the Council, and she is known for staying through the entirety of hearings when others have left, just to hear what the public has to say. She has open office hours and takes meetings with all community groups who request it. She is, in fact, one of the most accessible members in the Council. At a time when corruption, lies, deceit and letdown run rampant, Margaret Chin is a breath of fresh air. Here’s to four more years of progress! Torres is president, Smith Houses Tenant Association; Ortiz is president, Vladeck Houses Tenant Association; Thomas is president, LaGuardia Houses Tenant Association; Chan is a resident, Knickerbocker Village
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August 8 - 21, 2013
Veggie Van rolls with fresh produce post-Pathmark By heather duBin Seasonal produce from local farms is now more accessible to seniors living in affordable housing on the Lower East Side, thanks to the Veggie Van. Two Bridges Neigh-borhood Council, a community organization, which runs the 307 senior apartments at 80 and 82 Rutgers Slip, has joined forces with the Office of Borough President Scott Stringer and the nonprofit GrowNYC to bring fresh vegetables and fruit to residents. Kerri Culhane, Two Bridges associate director of planning, noted that a Pathmark grocery store, which she called “food advocacy on site,” where people had shopped for the past 30 years, closed last December, leaving a veggie vacuum. “They announced in September they were going to close, and it limped along from November to December after Hurricane Sandy,” she said. Culhane claimed Pathmark’s departure “wasn’t motivated by Sandy, but it wasn’t feeling profitable there.” The Pathmark’s closing has left the neighborhood without a supermarket, and many seniors are unable to walk to the Lower East Side Youthmarket on Grand St. for healthy food choices. GrowNYC — the parent organization of Greenmarket — has an existing Fresh Food Box Program in place,
where underserved communities can buy 10 to 12 pounds of regional produce weekly for $10 from July until the week before Thanksgiving. To better service those in need, Borough President Scott Stringer’s Office purchased a 15-footlong-by-8-foot-high refrigerated truck, dubbed the “Veggie Van,” for $87,000, to help GrowNYC distribute the produce. For its inaugural year, the Doris Duke Foundation has donated funds to foot the gas bill. The Veggie Van’s official launch was July 11 at Two Bridges, where more than 70 seniors signed up for a food box the first week. Culhane said the purchase of the Veggie Van “made it possible” for GrowNYC to make deliveries in the Two Bridges area. Greenmarket, which started in 1976, operates more than 50 farmers’ markets around the city, and started a Greenmarket Co. two years ago to sell food wholesale from warehouses in Long Island City. “The idea was to move a larger quantity to institutional buyers, and increase food access around the city for people who don’t live near a market,” said Jeanne Hodesh, a Greenmarket spokesperson. About 18 farms supply produce to the GrowNYC Fresh Food Box Program,
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The Veggie Van is distributing Greenmarket produce to the Two Bridges community on the Lower East Side.
which includes 10 drop-off sites in Manhattan, the Bronx, Brooklyn and Queens, as well as restaurants, retailers and institutions. The Veggie Van will transport about 10,000 pounds of produce per week — enabling farmers to rely on a steady income. “They move a lot [of produce] at the markets, but they have to pack trucks, and get set up at the market,” Hodesh said of the farmers’ sales. “This is additional revenue for them, but we’re moving the product, which is less work for them.” The Veggie Van is projected to deliver 300,000 pounds of fresh produce in its first year. “The key piece of infrastructure missing was the van,” Hodesh said. “Now we’re on the road, and the program will only grow from here — hopefully, with more neighborhood partners.” The participation in the pilot program at Two Bridges has fluctuated with each drop-off the past three weeks. Seniors put in an order one week in advance with program associate Michael Tsang, who is running the van operation. After the Veggie
Van makes its drop, Tsang and Shakirah Ibrahim, an intern, package each individual box for the recipients. Last week’s bounty included peaches, romaine lettuce, sweet corn, garlic, celery, carrots and cucumbers. “We’re starting to get booked up,” said Tsang. Unlike a Community Supported Agriculture, a.k.a. C.S.A., share, the box program does not require participants to pay for an entire season’s food upfront, instead allowing them to pay as they go. “It’s not a binding contract,” Tsang said. “If you want a bag, come to me and pay cash, credit card or E.B.T. [food stamps].” “We’re doing this because it’s important,” Culhane said. “But we don’t have outside funds to allow us to make it a huge production. We have Michael, who is a staff person, and it’s wonderful, and has been delightful.” Two Bridges’ Culhane would like to see multiple van drop sites on the Lower East Side, and perhaps yearround deliveries, if GrowNYC determines it has the capacity.
August 8 - 21, 2013 15
NEWLY CONSTRUCTED APARTMENTS FOR SALE Jupiter Sponsor LLC is pleased to announce that applications are now being accepted for 4 affordable housing cooperative apartments now under construction at 21 East 1st Street in the East Village section of Manhattan. This building is being constructed through the Inclusionary Housing Program (IHP) of the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development, NYS Affordable Housing Corporation (AHC), and The Housing Partnership. All of the apartments will feature washer/dryers, air conditioning, and dishwashers. The size and targeted income distribution for the 4 apartments are as follows: # Apts. Available
Estimated Sale Price
Minimum Annual Income
Maximum Annual Income**
AHC Maximum Assets
Studio (540 sf)
1 Bdrm (725 sf)
* Subject to occupancy criteria ** Income guidelines subject to change
Photo by Tequila Minsky
New brass where Beats raised a glass Monday, preservationist Andrew Berman, left, and Phil Hartman, of the Two Boots Foundation, led the unveiling of a brass plaque commemorating the former San Remo, at Bleecker and MacDougal Sts., the famed Beat hangout. At right is Joan Schechter, a niece of the Santinis, the San Remo’s owners. Hartman read from “In Dreams Begin Responsibilities,” a short story by Delmore Schwartz.
Eligible buyers should have at least 10% of the purchase price available for a down payment, qualify for mortgage financing, qualify for the Affordable Housing Corporation purchase grant and be able to afford all purchaser closing costs. Applicants must meet income guidelines based on household size and other selection criteria to qualify. Total assets (not including 401k and other retirement accounts) of household cannot exceed the amounts listed in the chart above. Purchasers who desire cooperative loan financing must qualify for same. Please note that the quoted sales prices and minimum and maximum required household incomes are estimates and subject to change in accordance with the applicable program. Minimum income restrictions may vary. Larger down payments can lower the eligible minimum income. INFORMATIONAL SESSION WILL BE HELD ON: August 7, 2013 at UHAB, 120 Wall St, 20th Fl. New York, NY 10005, from 7 PM - 8 PM. Seminar attendance is not mandatory (Photo ID and RSVP to 212-479-3381 required by building policy to enter 120 Wall St.) To request an application • By mail, write to: JUPITER at UHAB, 120 Wall St, 20th Floor, NYC, NY 10005 Include a self-addressed $0.88 stamped envelope • Online: www.jupiter21coops.com Qualified Applicants will be required to meet income guidelines and additional selection criteria. Completed applications must be returned by regular mail only (no priority, certified, registered, express, oversized, or overnight mail will be accepted) to a post office box number that will be listed on the application, and must be postmarked by August 30, 2013. BUYERS MUST OCCUPY THE UNIT AS THEIR PRIMARY RESIDENCE. Applications postmarked after August 30, 2013 will be set aside for possible future consideration. Applications will be selected by lottery; applicants who submit more than one application will be disqualified. Disqualified applications will not be accepted. A general preference will be given to New York City residents. Eligible households that include persons with mobility impairments will receive preference for 5% of the units; eligible households that include persons with visual and/or hearing impairments will receive preference for 2% of the units. Current and eligible residents of Manhattan Community Board 3 will receive preference for 50% of the units; and eligible City of New York Municipal employees will receive a 5% preference. Prospective applicants who currently own, or have in the last five years owned, a residence developed under a governmentally sponsored program are ineligible.
No Broker’s Fee. No Application Fee. Owner Occupancy Required. MICHAEL R. BLOOMBERG, Mayor The New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development MATHEW M. WAMBUA, Commissioner www.nyc.gov/housing This is not an offering. No offering can be made until an offering plan is filed with the Attorney General through the Department of Law of the State of New York. This advertisement is made pursuant to the Cooperative Policy Statement No. 1 issued by the New York state Attorney General File No. CP12-0068 and CD13-0070. Sponsor: Jupiter Sponsor LLC.
August 8 - 21, 2013
A racing school dropout, Lancer loves his new life By Heather Dubin Thanks to an injury to his front paw during training, Lancer — formerly known as TNJ Lancer, his racing name — escaped life on the track, and found love instead with his owners, Felicity Conrad and Jules Bouckaert, in the East Village. The greyhound, 5½, was bred in Texas, and briefly went to a racing school in Alabama. Luckily, Lancer never made it to racer status. He came to the city via Greyhound Friends of New Jersey, Inc., a nonprofit that rescues “racers,” or greyhounds, in need, and places them in a foster home while they acclimate to life outside a kennel. “They don’t know how to do stairs, and glass or mirrors are a big thing,” explained Conrad, who adopted Lancer when he was 2. Adjusting to people took some time for Lancer, but now that he’s made the transition, he goes to the Tompkins Square Park dog run to interact with humans, not dogs. “When we first got him, he’d stay in his bed,” Bouckaert said. “As racers, they don’t have a relationship with a human, and over the past three years he’s developed a personality. He didn’t know how to love,” he added. Lancer has come a long way with his owners and others. Bouckaert, a global brand manager for Ralph Lauren fragrances, spoke about a favorite game of his — to hide from Lancer when they’re in the dog park. “I’ll sneak toward the exit, and Lancer
will be across the dog park,” he said. “He’ll give up pretty easily and find a new person.” “No, he won’t!” disagreed Conrad, who took the New York State Bar Examination last week and will start practicing law at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom in September. Bouckaert assured her that once Lancer sees him, “He panics and sprints right over.” “It’s the only way to get him to run,” Conrad joked. “Lancer is a very loyal dog,” she declared. “Yes,” quipped Bouckaert, “I’ve seen him go with a couple of other people.” Lancer knows some tricks for food, and even plays up his real limp when he wants something. He has an affinity for ice cubes and is a “pro” at eating watermelon. “It’s a delicate art for him,” said Conrad, “He nibbles it so it’s even.” “Like corn on the cob,” Bouckaert added. “He carefully eats it back and forth.” Lancer recently discovered the pool in Photo by Claire Flack the dog run and “it’s been love at first sight,” said Conrad. When he runs around Lancer comes to the Tompkins Square Dog Run for the people. One of his tricks is in a circle really fast, it’s called a “zoomie.” to flaunt his paw injury as a ploy to get food. When he does that in the pool, it’s a “water zoomie.” He also does the “apartment Then he lays down panting, and goes to run up to 45 miles per hour. But when zoomie.” sleep — as if he’s run a marathon.” Lancer runs with Conrad, “He’ll go for 100 “That’s when you notice his size when he’s One of Lancer’s sisters wins a lot of races meters, and that’s it for the week.” leaping around the apartment,” Bouckaert at the track. But he just likes to sleep a lot “He’s the laziest dog,” she said. “He said. “If you start clapping, he gets more — up to 18 hours a day. cuddles, and he’s the best apartment dog. excited, and does that for about 45 seconds.T:9.75” According to Bouckaert, greyhounds can He’s lazier than we are.”
There’s still a great future in plastics. Recycle everything. Call 311 or visit nyc.gov to learn more
August 8 - 21, 2013 17
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August 8 - 21, 2013
RECREATIONAL FALL SOCCER LEAGUE 2013 BEGINS SEPTEMBER 14/15
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August 8 - 21, 2013 19
Your 2013 guide to resources in d owntown M anhattan
Gateway to Downtown Guide to community, educational, health and recreational resources also featuring interviews with over 20 Comedians from New York City. Distributed in all NYC Community Media indoor locations below 34th Street in Manhattan, as well as select community resource locations.
Directory will be available on all NYC Community Media websites ChelseaNow.com, GayCityNews.com, DowntownExpress.com, TheVillager.com, & EastVillagerNews.com
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Photo by The Villager
Bathroom humor in the park Ricky Syers, who was profiled in a photo story in The Villager last week, along with his beer-guzzling, cigarette-puffing marionette and his washtub drum set — appeared under the Washington Square Arch this past weekend in this giggle-inducing “Johnny on the spot.” The feet seen below the privy are actually part of the piece, and belong to a “man” behind it, who appears to be holding up the structure. To his credit, Syers chose only the finest reading material — The Villager from last week, featuring his photo spread.
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August 8 - 21, 2013
David Devine, 84; Artist and captain of his own ship OBITUARY By Adele Gotlib David Dusoul Devine, a resident of the Lower East Side on and off for nearly 70 years, died of cancer on May 28. He was 84. He was born in Los Angeles on April 7, 1929, to David and Courtney Hooper Devine, and raised primarily by his mother in and around Los Angeles and San Francisco. David first came to the Lower East Side as a teenager in the 1940s, living alternately with his father, whom he feared and hated, and on the street. He dropped out of high school and went instead to the Metropolitan Museum, where he spent many days studying and falling in love with art. In 1946, at age 17, David enlisted in the Army so that he could have three meals a day and a roof over his head. Some highlights of his military career: Having read the rules and regulations, he refused a direct order from a general (for personal service); told his sergeant that he had to give passes to the Mexicans too; and turned down the opportunity to be promoted to battalion sergeant major. He volunteered for several straight months of KP duty in order to avoid the wrath of his commanding officer. He continued his art education while stationed in Occupied Italy, spending his free time wandering the deserted galleries of the Uffizi Gallery and the Pitti Palace in war-ravaged Florence. After being honorably discharged from the Army, David went to art school in California and, fueled by coffee and cigarettes, began painting passionately and compulsively, sometimes creating three finished works in a single day. He gave away many of his paintings and sold a few; the rest were lost or stolen or left behind as he moved from place to place. In the 1950s and ’60s, he hung out in the bars of North Beach in San Francisco as part of the group of artists and writers who became known as the Beats; his best friend was the poet Bernie Uronovitz, and his buddy Maloney later went on to build remarkable trash heaps of boats under the name Poppa Neutrino. David painted because he wanted and needed to; he did it for himself alone, and many of his friendships ended because he had no tolerance or respect for artists whose motivation was the desire for fame or the prospect of success. From the 1950s to the mid-’70s David moved often between California and the Lower East Side of Manhattan. Apartments were cheap and easy to come by. He also lived in Las Vegas and New Orleans, and spent some winters in Oaxaca, Mexico. He drove across the United States several times and once motorcycled on mostly unpaved highway from Vancouver to Alaska. He shipped out on a Danish cargo ship, the Alice Torm. He was married three times; to Elsie Hansen, with whom he had a daughter; to Sheila Plant; and to Susie Molin (an artist in her own right, now known as Susan Severson). None of the marriages lasted more than a few years. David was a genius of a mechanic who could make or repair almost anything. He loved using his talents to help people, but if offered a steady job, he would generally say, no thanks. He hated having to go to work and seldom held a job for more than six months. He never accepted a promotion. He would earn only as much money as he needed to rent a cheap apartment or buy a cheap car. He did all his own carpentry, plumbing, electrical and every other kind of work, and found most everything he needed on the street. He rebuilt a piano and repaired other musical instruments. Some of his jobs: forest fire lookout / fireman in Shasta National Forest (his employer, the U.S. government, let him go when they discovered he was a Communist), Las Vegas casino talker, lumber mill
worker, caddy, stock boy, bicycle messenger, cab driver, bookstore clerk (where the owner instructed him to report the “best sellers” to the newspapers in reverse order of sales), New Orleans street portrait artist, dishwasher (many times), tax auditor for California State, silkscreen printer, mail sorter, coding clerk, moviehouse usher, doorman at One Fifth Ave., jeweler, watch repairman, moving man (for Student Movers on E. Ninth St., none of whose employees were students), adding machine mechanic, and ice-skating rink guard. Besides art, David’s other great passion was reading. He taught himself to read at an early age, and books were his escape and his education. His favorite subject was history, but he also loved science and science fiction, and crime, both true and fictional. There were few subjects on which he could not speak knowledgeably and intelligently. His “everyone should read these” books ranged from “Alice in Wonderland” to “Nightmare Alley,” from “The Cat in the Hat” to “Down and Out in Paris and London.” In 1975 and then again in 1976-77, David owned a second-hand bookstore at 344 E. Sixth St. called Harmony Shop. The space had previously been occupied by a head shop and David never got around to changing the name. He would buy books at the various Salvation Army stores around Manhattan; most often he went to the one at First Ave. and 11th St., where he’d hang out with Bertha, the manager, and Gertie, a wonderful older woman who often visited, and buy quantities of books at 5 or 10 cents apiece. He bought from his customers too and paid better than the Strand. He’d sell most of his books for a quarter or 50 cents; something really special might go for a couple of dollars. Textbooks, on a table outside, cost a nickel. His store was inviting, with pictures on the walls, classical music on the radio, interesting objects and pretty dishes, an old upright piano (later owned by a street musician), and customers who were fun to talk to. When he reopened the store in 1976, he stocked it with the contents of 25 boxes of books that he’d bought for $5 at Odyssey
A page from a “Michy Mouse” Valentine’s card from David Devine to his girlfriend.
David Devine at 83.
House up the street. In 1977 David bought a 22-foot sloop and sailed with his girlfriend down the Intracoastal Waterway from Stamford, Connecticut, to Daytona Beach, Florida. During 27 years in Florida, David built and lived on a succession of boats, worked as a church sexton, sign painter, draftsman, art teacher and flea marketer, and continued to paint, draw, read and tinker. He created a cartoon character, Michy Mouse, a street-smart, wise-cracking, eternally optimistic creature who claimed to be the unreconstructed predecessor of “Wally Dizzy’s” Mickey Mouse. Michy (pronounced MITCH-ee) made appearances on birthday and Valentine’s cards, as well as letters, phone messages, doctored New Yorker cartoons and the occasional book that needed improving. In 2004, after Hurricane Frances destroyed his houseboat on Lake Okeechobee, David returned to New York, to live in the same apartment on E. Sixth St. that he’d first rented in 1975. He did odd jobs and repairs in the building, bicycled to Tompkins Square Park when the weather was good, and continued to enjoy a cigarette, a cup of coffee, and something to read until the last weeks of his life. David had a sister, Deirdre Devine Jefferies, who died in 1996, and a half-sister, Nola. He is survived by his daughter, Elizabeth Devine, who was seldom far from his thoughts; his grandson, Duncan Seven Stars Devine; one nephew; and his very close friend, Adele Gotlib. Throughout his life, David was uncompromising in his commitment to be true to himself and to be free. His sympathies lay with the downtrodden and he hated bullies. He despised and defied authority and had no gods. He liked to tell the story of his sergeant in the Army, Sergeant Silacci, who once said to him, “Devine, you’re a wild young colt, but I’m gonna break you.” In the end, Silacci didn’t break him, and neither did anyone else.
August 8 - 21, 2013 21
Eric Adorno, 50, water meter worker and much-loved fix-it man of E. 13th
PEOPs portrait project by Fly - www.peops.org
OBITUARY By Lael Hines On Sun., July 21, a funeral service was held for Eric Adorno at the Ortiz Funeral Home, at 22 First Ave. Adorno, of Puerto Rican descent, passed away at age 50 on July 12 due to lung cancer. He was a general worker for the City Water Meter Repair Company, at 526 E. 13th St. He fixed meters and also generally worked as a repairman around the area of E. 13th St. Those who knew him said he played a crucial role in the community. Constantly eager to help, he frequently repaired tires or fixed air conditioners. Marilyn Hernandez, the water meter company’s vice president, said, “He was a worker here for 15 years. He was not only a worker, but a friend, a very close family friend.” Adorno’s role in the neighborhood was greatly appreciated, and he will be sorely missed. His funeral drew a large crowd, including Hollywood actress Rosario Dawson, who was raised on the block, between Avenues A and B, and knew Adorno well.
Photo by Lincoln Anderson
A photo of Eric Adorno posted outside City Water Meter on E. 13th St. after his death.
After his death, City Water Meter put up a sign in honor of Adorno on the outside of the company’s building, stating, “He was loved by so many and he will be truly missed. We love you brother.”
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August 8 - 21, 2013
The birth of new Morton St. school is long overdue TALKING POINT By Keen Berger Starting a school is like having a baby — great joy but a lot more trouble than anyone, including me, ever anticipates. Children mean years of sleepless nights, new worries, moments of pride. Schools are like that, but the birth takes even longer. Martin and I wanted children. So the first several months after our wedding, we each privately thought it was our own fault that we were infertile. But soon I became pregnant. We bought a house and a puppy, borrowed a bassinet and waited as the fetus grew. My pregnancy book said there was one chance in 16 that our baby would come three weeks early, so I packed my bag. The due date came and went. More than two weeks later, I woke up crying because there was only one chance in 35 that I would give birth that late. Soon there was no chance at all that my baby would be born. The odds kept receding. Finally, 22 days late, Bethany was born. That was 1968. If it was now, I would have been induced. Similarly, the birth of 75 Morton St. has been scarily overdue. The entire community knew we wanted “rooms to learn.” But then-Schools Chancellor Klein said the Department of Education could not build us a school because there was no real estate available. That was 2007. Our private sorrow did not last long, because Irene Kaufman scoured our neighborhood and photographed 10 possible sites. One was 75 Morton, a state-owned building that Assemblymember Deborah Glick had spotted on a long list Albany published of state real estate for sale. That was 2008. But it took five and a half years, not nine and a half months, to close the deal. The then-chairperson of Community Board 2 (Brad Hoylman), the then-chairperson of C.B. 2’s Social Services Committee (me) and the then-parent leaders of Political Action at P.S. 41 and P.S. 3 (Irene Kaufman, Ann Kjelberg and Tamara Rowe — their children now graduated) met to strategize. We decided to have a large hearing (hundreds came), to choose one site, to have another rally, and then still another rally, with balloons, cookies, a man on stilts,
babies and more. Hundreds became thousands. All our political leaders took notice. The disabilities community and the churches and political clubs became involved. Many times we might have awakened in tears. We were told that the city did not bid on 75 Morton, that it was no longer for sale. The city said the problem lay with the state (three different governors). The state said the problem was in D.O.E. (three different chancellors). And from the announcement last spring, when the city agreed to buy the building, until now, the problems have been city and state lawyers in a room, who also discovered that Verizon and Time Warner had copper wires in the building that no one in the city or state knew were there. But we could not give up, because every day the need keeps growing. Stroller gridlock, playground crowding, waitlists for kindergarten; gay couples having children (hooray), women in their 30s and 40s having twins (hooray), Village couples no longer moving to New Jersey when children are born (hooray). When Bethany went to P.S. 3 there were 200 students, some from other neighborhoods; now there are 800, all from this community. Every grade — for all the schools in Lower Manhattan, as well as in Chelsea and the Village — has more children than the previous year. Every classroom is overcrowded. Special-education children are tutored in the halls or bused way Uptown. The only middle school in C.B. 2 left in June 2011. More and more people chanted, “Just Imagine,” which became the mantra for 75 Morton. Political leaders — Quinn, Stringer, Glick, Duane, Chin — caught the message and repeated it. The press picked it up, not only The Villager year after year, but also TV news and radio. The torch was passed to new community board chairpersons (Hamilton, Gruber) who repeatedly made it C.B. 2’s top priority. In the sad chaos surrounding St. Vincent’s closure, the city asked if we still wanted 75 Morton. Yes, we said. Prove it, they said. The Live and Learn Coalition was born, with political clubs (Village Independent Democrats and Jonathan Geballe), with churches (Mark Erson of St. John’s and Donna Schaper from Judson) and numerous block associations all demanding affordable housing, lower buildings, more
parks, and…75 Morton. Finally it happened, in spring 2012 — a birth. No, not quite. A handshake, an agreement, but no signed papers. A task force was created by C.B. 2 Chairperson David Gruber, including Shino Tanikawa, a P.S. 3 parent who in 2007 prepared a slide show about the area’s need for new schools, and in 2011 became chairperson of the Community Education Council for all of District 2. A new parent group emerged, the Envisioning Group, led by current P.S. 3 and a P.S. 41 parents (Heather Lortie and Risa Fisher) with a facilitator found by Nick Gottlieb (head parent at P.S. 3). They brought together parents from six public schools to decide what to tell C.B. 2, C.E.C. 2, the School Construction Authority and D.O.E. Unanimous resolutions followed from C.B. 2 and C.E.C. 2. And the S.C.A. and D.O.E. listened. Finally, we have a birth certificate, on July 22, a signed purchase agreement, with a down payment. No more puzzling odds, doubts or delays: The school is real. None of this would have happened without our political leaders. Speaker Chris Quinn got the city to agree, Assemblymember Glick and state Senator Hoylman got the state to act. Nor would it have happened without hundreds of others, too many to name. It took a Village, and it took six years. There is much to celebrate. We have assurances for: • One public middle school, not a charter or private school; • A small school within the same building for children with severe learning problems; • Large windows for natural light; • A full-service gym, with a high ceiling; • A smaller half gym, for dance and fitness; • Technology throughout the building; • Science labs, language labs, art studios (not sure how many); • A full-service library, with wireless computers; • A cafeteria that seats 300; • A play yard, not a parking lot. It’s all cause for celebration. We drank champagne when Bethany was finally born. But we did not then realize that birth was
only the beginning. The same for 75 Morton. The parents, the community, and the task force want the school to be a shining star, to show the city, the nation and the world what a public middle school can be when we all work for it. We do not yet have that. • We want 600 students in the middle school, with 60 students in the specialeducation school. That’s quality education. D.O.E. and S.C.A. say capacity should be 900 and 100. • We want a 2015 opening date, because current third graders will need a local middle school. The city says 2016, because state employees cannot move out of the building until October, and their designers cannot assess the walls and floors until the building is empty. • We want an auditorium big enough for the whole school and also for the community at night. They say the auditorium will seat only 300. • We want a wellness clinic, so children who need nutritional advice, special medication, sex education or drug counseling have a trusted place to go. The city says this is unnecessary, since most of our children have private doctors. • We want a swimming pool. They say that is too expensive, and that maintenance is also expensive. We say we might find a private sponsor. • We want a separate entrance for the special-needs school, so those students are not overwhelmed by hundreds of middle schoolers. They say, no. The 75 Morton Street Task Force will hold a hearing Thurs., Aug. 15, at 6:30 p.m., in the C.B. 2 Conference Room, at 3 Washington Square Village (Bleecker St. between LaGuardia Place and Mercer St.) to hear community priorities, which could be from the lists above or could be quite different. C.B. 2 will discuss this at its Executive Committee meeting on Aug. 19. D.O.E. will collect comments. A resolution will be submitted to the City Council, which will vote in October 2013. More work, more time — but don’t give up. Just imagine. Bethany is now a law professor. Berger is chairperson, C.B. 2 / C.E.C. 2 75 Morton Task Force
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August 8 - 21, 2013 23
eastvillagerarts&entertainment Of Snow and Shakespeare Common threads, among FringeNYC’s 185 shows THEATeR FringeNYC: THE NEW YORK INTERNATIONAL FRINGE FESTIVAL August 9-25 185 shows, at 20 Downtown venues Tickets: $15 in advance $18 at the door Call 866-468-7619 or visit fringenyc.org
BY SCOTT STIFFLER Here’s an early review of the 17th Annual New York International Fringe Festival that you can take to the bank and cash before the first curtain goes up. Of the 185 dramatic, dance, musical, solo and cross-disciplinary shows that will be performed multiple times from August 9-25, many of them will be fantastic. Some of them will be horrendous. All but a few will be worthy of everything the “Fringe” name implies, offering charismatic performances and thought-provoking ideas. The presentation may be a little frayed at the edges — but that’s to be expected when you buy fringe, or buy into Fringe. Also true to form, a quick scan of this year’s roster reveals certain themes. Here are two of them, each sponsored by the letter “S.”
FringeNYC THEME #1: BOLD TAKES ON SHAKESPEARE
Who cares if he actually wrote everything that’s been attributed to him over
the years? For theater companies and hungry actors looking to make their mark, the complete works of Shakespeare are an endless source of inspiration…and a challenge, when it comes to innovative presentation. These five productions benefit from wildly imaginative takes on oft-told tales. Let’s hope the execution matches the level of ambition. DOUBLE HEART (THE COURTSHIP OF BEATRICE AND BENEDICK) David Hansen’s new romantic comedy verse play is an imagined prequel to “Much Ado About Nothing” that charts the early courtship of Beatrice and Benedick. Sparks (and barbs) fly, as the sharp-tongued youngsters navigate the teenage rituals of parties, pranks and first love. At the Connelly Theater (220 E. Fourth St., btw. Aves. A & B). Sat., 8/10 at 5pm, Sun., 8/11 at 2:30pm, Wed., 8/14 at 8:30pm, Thurs., 8/15 at 7pm & Sat., 8/17 at noon. THE ACCIDENTAL HAMLET The mounting problems of everyone’s favorite skull-cradling, ghost-conversating, uncle-hating melancholy Dane are played for laughs, in a “honey-glazed, cheese-drenched” production that “puts the ham” in “Hamlet.” Danny Ashkenasi and Bob Homeyer star as two selfproclaimed thespians who bite off more than they can chew when they set out to play every part. Longtime Downtown director Lissa Moira helms the U.S. premiere of this vaudeville, slideshow, magic and burlesque-infused riff on the much-interpreted tale that makes your own family seem impressively functional by comparison. At the Connelly Theater (220 E. Fourth St., btw. Aves. A & B). Tues., 8/13 at 2pm, Thurs., 8/15 at 8:45pm, Wed., 8/21 at 7:15pm, Fri., 8/23 at 5pm & Sat., 8/24 at 2:15pm.
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"Double Heart" does the romcom thing, Shakespeare style.
August 8 - 21, 2013
‘Zipper’ stops short at exposing the whole story Doc serves a selective slice of Coney Island history FILM ZIPPER: CONEY ISLAND’S LAST WILD RIDE
Documentary Directed by Amy Nicholson Opens August 9 At IFC Center 323 Sixth Ave., at W. Third St. Info: 212-924-7771 Tickets: ifccenter.com Visit zipperfilm.com
BY TRAV S.D. In 2011, the Coney Island amusement district boasted its highest attendance figures since 1964, the year that Steeplechase Park closed — and the numbers have been climbing ever since. But you’d never know that, or the fact that Coney Island is in the best shape that it’s been in five decades, by watching “Zipper: Coney Island’s Last Wild Ride,” a new documentary. Director Amy Nicholson uses the story of the eviction of Eddie Miranda, one of Coney Island’s independent ride operators, to paint a grossly distorted picture of doom and gloom about the present and future of the historic neighborhood — not so much implying as allowing people to falsely state outright that the amusement park is over and done with. The film seeks to achieve this with a seemingly endless string of slanted assertions and deceptive omissions. For example, Nicholson presents attendance figures on a roller coaster graph, that happens to stop on a steep downward slope in 2009, at a time when the shabby, 40-year-old Astro Land had been torn down to make way for the gleaming, state-of-the-art Luna Park which stands there today, entertaining hundreds of thousands of visitors. The only mention of Luna Park happens when some graphics inform us that the land where Astroland stood has now been “leased by a multinational corporation.” The film neglects to mention the small detail that it was a multinational amusement corporation, i.e. an amusement park. Another important omitted fact: While the amusement district has been rezoned and shrunk in size from 60 acres down to nine — which sounds calamitous — almost all of that acreage has not contained any amusements since the mid20th century, and much of it well before. And there have been no concrete plans by anyone to spend the millions of dollars to build any in
Photos by Amy Nicholson
Megaphone in hand, Rev. Billy lends his voice to the protest.
future. In practical terms, aside from a handful of tangential independent operators like Miranda (offering games and rides you can find at any state fair), there has been no effective reduction of the Coney Island amusement park whatsoever. In fact, every year since 2010 has seen further additions and enhancements to the park, and the city has just announced the construction of yet another new roller coaster. The film disingenuously makes it seem like it’s not just the Zipper ride, but all of Coney Island that is forever gone. When not skewing reality by leaving out facts, Nicholson sabotages those aspects of reality that don’t serve her thesis, as when she plays “the Blue Danube Waltz” underneath a series of talking heads (community, political and business leaders) as they discuss possible plans for the area, undermining their rational discussion with a sophomoric and downright rude irony more appropriate for a junior high school cafeteria. Then to belabor it, she leaves the camera rolling on one speaker well after he’s done talking, to allow the audience to hoot and laugh at him in the dead space when he doesn’t know he’s still being filmed. What is this, summer camp? If you can get past the highly skewed, selective nature of the story-telling, you will find some excellent rare old clips of Coney in bygone days in the film, as well as some valuable documentation of the dismantling of some
The Zipper, during its dismantling.
of the older attractions in recent years and good interviews with most of the major players — including real estate developer Joe Sitt (the villain of the piece), whom has seldom gone
before the media to make his case, such as it is. Hopefully one day, this story of transition and renewal will receive a balanced telling. You won’t find that in this film, however.
August 8 - 21, 2013 25
A flurry of activity, at FringeNYC Continued from page 23 TWO GENTLEMEN OF VERONA: A SWASHBUCKING COMEDY Queens-based director and choreographer Michael Hagins took the text from one of Shakespeare’s earliest plays, filled in some missing plot holes and then added swordfights, crazy chase scenes and random violence — while, he says, managing to keep the integrity of the language and the theme of love having the power to conquer all. “Two Gentlemen” is part of the FringeHIGH program, which means it’s highly recommended for teens. After the August 24 performance, there will be a Talk-Back at which you can discuss the show with members of the cast and/or creative team. At CSV Flamboyan (107 Suffolk St., btw. Rivington & Delancey Sts.). Sun., 8/11 at 5:30pm, Mon., 8/12 at 2pm, Thurs., 8/22 at 7pm & Sat., 8/24 at 2:15pm. ANTONY & CLEOPATRA: INFINITE LIVES First seen at the 2001 FringeNYC with their beautifully titled collection of one-acts (“Burt Reynolds Amazing Napalm Powered Oven”), the film and theater company known as The Porch Room returns with co-founder John Dowgin directing this politically charged adaptation — in which an Egyptian expat’s loyalties are divided between her activist fiancée (an American director working on a commissioned Shakespeare production) and her brother (an Egyptian nationalist recently arrived in America, having fled the violence of Tahrir Square). At The Lynn Redgrave Theater (45 Bleecker St., btw. Bleecker & Lafayette Sts.). Sat., 8/10 at noon, Sun., 8/11 at 2pm, Fri., 8/16 at 9:30pm, Sun., 8/18 at 4:45pm & Sun., 8/25 at noon. THE NIGHTMARE ‘DREAM’ Rest assured, there will be blood. “No ruffled neck is safe,” the producers promise, in this hemoglobin-heavy, slash-and-suck mashup of “Dracula” and “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” that plays Bram Stoker’s melodrama for laughs and puts a slasher film spin on Shakespeare’s puckish tale of the wrong people falling in love. Despite the assured carnage and “sexy vampires galore,” the Bloody Shakespeare creative team asserts their production will do very little long-term moral or psychological damage to theatergoers 13 and up. As for the 12 and under set… stay home or wear garlic (and earplugs)! At The Theater at the 14th Street Y (344 E. 14th St., at First Ave.). Sun., 8/11 at 6pm, Mon., 8/12 at 9:30pm, Thurs., 8/15 at 9:30pm, Fri., 8/16 at 3:45pm & Sun., 8/18 at 4:15pm.
Photo by Edward Elder
Slings, bards and arrows: Danny Ashkenasi and Bob Homeyer play all the parts, in “The Accidental Hamlet.”
FringeNYC THEME #2: GO, PLAYS IN THE SNOW
Bring a sweater or dress in layers — because in addition to each Fringe venue’s promise of air conditioning, these three plays will chill you to the bone. Each offers a different spin on how cabin fever forces us to confront our true selves BLIZZARD '67 Four carpooling businessmen lost in the horrific 1967 Chicago blizzard happen upon a stranded car, and then must choose between assisting a stranger or saving themselves. That plot reads like an ill-advised, high-concept Hollywood pitch (“You’re gonna love it, Cecil — It’s “Mad Men” meets “Glengarry Glen Ross” meets “Survivor!”). Not to worry. Rave reviews from the windy city production of “Blizzard '67” indicate that playwright Jon Steinhagen has brought exceptional depth to this study of morality and alpha male dynamics. As it starts to really come down out there, ruthlessly competitive rivals Lanfield, Henkin, Emery and Bell head to the burbs instead of riding out the storm in a companysponsored hotel room. They should have stayed put. Soon stranded by whiteout conditions, the close quarters — plus simmering
tension from a revelation that shakes up the pecking order — sets in motion a series of character-defining actions whose effects will linger long after the spring thaw. At Robert Moss Theater at 440 Studios (440 Lafayette St., third floor, btw. Astor Place & E. Fourth St.). Tues., 8/13 at 2pm, Thurs., 8/15 at 8:30pm, Sat., 8/17 at 2:30pm, Tues., 8/20 at 8:45pm & Sat., 8/24 at 4:15pm.
TRACK TWELVE Brooklyn’s own Emily Comisar, who edits the New York Burger Club blog and co-created the alternately droll and outrageous therapy parody web series “Group,” came up with the idea for her latest play while waiting out the 2009 blizzard inside Washington D.C.’s Union
Continued from page 23
August 8 - 21, 2013
17 days, 18 venues, 185 shows
All around Downtown FringeNYC venues Venue #1 Teatro SEA (107 Suffolk St., btw. Rivington & Delancey) Venue #2 CSV Flamboyan (107 Suffolk St., btw. Rivington & Delancey Sts) Venue #3 CSV Kabayitos (107 Suffolk St., btw. Rivington & Delancey Sts) Venue #4 Teatro LATEA (107 Suffolk St., btw. Rivington & Delancey Sts)
Photo by Ben Johnson
Mad men in survivor mode: Andrew David Rabensteine, Graham Halstead, John Pieza and William Franke navigate Chicago’s “Blizzard '67.”
Continued from page 25 Station. It was either stare at the walls or write something — and by the time she returned to New York, the basics of “Track Twelve” were in the percolator. Stranded in Penn Station during a storm that has shut down the railways, the holding pattern both stresses and liberates four travelers. Old relationships fold, new ones blossom and “emotional chaos ensues.” Above all, Comisar says, the play “is about not being able to connect when connection is what we need the most.” At Teatro Circulo (64 E. Fourth St., btw. Bowery & Second Ave.). Sat., 8/10 at 1:45pm, Thurs., 8/15 at 8:45pm, Sun., 8/18 at 8:45pm, Wed., 8/21 at 5pm & Fri., 8/21 at 2pm. THE DRIFTS LIVE: THE NOVEL ONSTAGE Since 1996, Thom Vernon has made his home in Toronto, Canada. He won’t come in from the cold until his country of origin (the good old USA) allows him to sponsor his same-sex partner for immigration. Although
federal policy continues to freeze him out, the Chicago-trained actor and “queer refugee” does make occasional forays across the border. This stage adaptation of his 2010 debut novel comes to NYC after a run in the 2012 Hollywood Fringe. The one-hour solo show takes place in a small town and, says Vernon, “tackles the consequences of gender and the meanings applied to bodies.” Outside, the snow begins to pile up — and inside, 46-year-old Julie finds herself with child and without the support of husband Charlie, whose affair with best friend Wilson is on the wane (because Wilson’s fallen for trans dad Dol). All these characters, and a calf, “fight their sex in a mean Arkansas blizzard.” It’s all the pulp you want from Southern Gothic, without the constant page turning. At The White Box at 440 Studios (440 Lafayette St., 3rd Floor, btw. Astor Place & E. Fourth St.). Sat., 8/10 at 2pm, Sun., 8/11 at 3:30pm, Thurs., 8/15 at 8:30pm, Sat., 8/17 at 7:15pm, Wed., 8/21 at 7pm & Thurs., 8/22 at 5pm.
Venue #5 The Celebration Of Whimsy (21 Clinton St., btw. Houston & Stanton Sts) Venue #6 Connelly Theater (220 E. Fourth St., btw. Aves. A & B) Venue #7 Theatre 80 (80 St. Marks Place, btw. First & Second Aves) Venue #8 The Theater at the 14th Street Y (344 E. 14th St., at First Ave) Venue #9 Jimmy’s No. 43 (43 E. Seventh St., btw. Second & Third Aves) Venue #10 The Kraine Theater (85 E. Fourth St., btw. Second Ave. & Bowery) Venue #11 Teatro Circulo (64 E. Fourth St., btw. Bowery & Second Ave) Venue #12 The Ellen Stewart Theatre at La MaMa (66-68
E. Fourth St., btw. Bowery & Second Ave) Venue #13 SubCulture (45 Bleecker St., downstairs, btw. Bleecker & Lafayette Sts) Venue #14 The Lynn Redgrave Theater (45 Bleecker St., btw. Bleecker & Lafayette Sts) Venue #15 The White Box at 440 Studios (440 Lafayette St, 3rd Floor, btw. Astor Place & E. Fourth St) Venue #16 Robert Moss Theater at 440 Studios (440 Lafayette St., 3rd floor, btw. Astor Place & E. Fourth St.) Venue #17 The Players Theatre (115 MacDougal St., btw. W. Third & Bleecker Sts.) Venue #18 The Steve & Marie Sgouros Theatre (115 MacDougal St., 3rd floor, btw. W. Third & Bleecker Sts.) FringeAl FRESCO (First St. Green Cultural Park, at 33 E. First St., corner of Houston St. & Second Ave.) FringeCENTRAL (27 Second Ave., btw. 1st & 2nd Sts.), open 12-8pm daily TICKETS: $15 in advance, $18 at the door. Call 866468-7619
August 8 - 21, 2013 27
Heavyweights of the groove Personalities that shine through the turntables BY VONYX (soundcloud.com/mikawvawn) Sadly, I used to be addicted to watching wrestling matches. In my prepubescent days, I would bring a boombox to my backyard trampoline and spring around to my favorite wrestler’s theme song. Every good wrestler, or superstar as they’re called, had theme music that marked their gimmick — and they all had a gimmick. There was The Undertaker’s cryptic bell toll intro, Kurt Angle’s patriotic anthem and my favorite, Rey Mysterio, Jr., with his faux-mariachi jingle and luchador mask. Wrestlers were demigods and characters, each with their own conference room crafted flavor. DJs are adult “superstars” in their own right. They each have a sound, a look and a catchphrase. One might have a darker, more mysterious sound and a tribal mask to go along with the mood. Another might have chic, glitzy choruses and slicked back blonde hair to fit the bill. Sure, their gimmicks might not be as readily available as Hulk Hogan, but they brand themselves just as certainly as speedo-clad bodyslammers do. In honor of my nine-year-old, capeclutching self, here are a few parties featuring personalities that shine through the turntables.
Photo courtesy of the artist
A wise DJ duo's website once said, "Free your mind and your ass will follow." Soul Clap owes George Clinton.
Photo by Julie Patterson
You can’t not dance after you hear Mr. Toubin whip around his 45s.
SOUL CLAP & DANCE-OFF (WITH DJ JONATHAN TOUBIN)
Jonathan Toubin drinks his whiskey straight up and dances his hair messy. He’s not a rock star — he’s a rock-androller. Toubin has been spinning his collection of poppin’ Soul and R&B 45 rpms for six years, starting originally in the L.E.S. and ending up at festivals and clubs across the globe. Soul Clap is one of Toubin’s babies. It’s a party straight
out of yesteryear, where the DJ is the spiffy emcee and the dance floor a hot mess of scuff marks and smiles. There is no booming bass, only throwback tunes and swinging hips. Toubin has redefined the modern dance party. Here, people groove with each other rather than submit to the glass enclosed DJ above. Yet at the height of each party, Toubin takes control over the crowd as he howls over the mic to start the famed dance contest. Participants jump onto the hardwood and twist for their peer judges. For the best hoofer in the house, a $100 cash prize and an IV of nostalgia. Toubin will be hosting Soul Clap & Dance-Off on Aug. 17 at Brooklyn Bowl (61 Wythe Ave., Brooklyn, btw. N. 11th & 12th Sts.). Tickets are $7. Doors at 11:30. Show at midnight, DanceOff at 1am. Info: newyorknighttrain. com. If you miss it, Toubin also hosts Shakin’ All Over Under Sideways Down! Friday nights at Home Sweet Home (131 Chrystie St.).
SOUL CLAP (WOLF & LAMB)
Not at all related to the above Soul Clap with Jonathan Toubin is Soul Clap, a DJ duo of two Bostonians who bask in disco/funk records in an electronic context. With a education deeply rooted in crate digging and Dance Music 101, Soul Clap has risen through the DJ
ranks with a few disco edits, remixes and killer six-hour long live sets. In fact, their music education is so lush that they have actually taught a college course on house music at Tufts. Recently, they signed to Brooklyn’s Wolf & Lamb records, known for being at the forefront of the avant-garde sound, and they aim to continue pushing the boundaries of modern-retro-disco-electronicfunkified-jaunts. They are currently collaborating with funk legend George Clinton, who has not only inspired their sound but their 12-piece outfits. Soul Clap is eclectic, funky and down to push the envelope of the dance music world. Get hype and go see ‘em. Soul Clap will be playing on Aug. 16 at Output (74 Wythe Ave., btw. 11th & 12th Sts.). Tickets are $20. Doors at 10pm. Info: outputclub.com.
Verboten gets its name from the Giuliani era crackdowns on New York’s dance music scene. Stricter regulations made dance music go underground, where it separated from gag-reflex mainstream EDM and created its own, darker sound. Verboten is just that — one of the club nights i n Ma n h a tt a n t ha t p r es e r v es a n underground house and techno vibe without selling out. They book deep
Photo courtesy of the artists
Fur Coat will terrorize CDJs at Verboten's Sullivan Room party.
house DJs from Europe as well as respected producers making cutting edge music. They cultivate their own sound. Don’t expect a no-frills party, though. Verboten is very much into the obligatory club life: bottle service, guest lists, networking for admission, etc. However, the DJs they book are great and the venues usually are too. Verboten is mixing an underground sound with a club atmosphere. Their next event is on Aug. 17 at Sullivan Room (218 Sullivan St., btw. Bleecker & W. Third Sts.). Doors at 10pm. Tickets are $20. Info: verbotennewyork.com.
August 8 - 21, 2013
fun. wasn’t fun for all in Tribeca; Trust cans Bowery shows for ’14 Continued from page 1 not realize that sound from Pier 26 with this speaker configuration would reverberate in surrounding buildings to the degree that has been reported by many of our neighbors.” The concert series at Pier 26 was a pilot program undertaken by the Trust in a oneseason partnership with The Bowery Presents. While some Tribeca residents enjoyed the amplified music, many were mortified by it. “We are unhappy that the community is so divided, therefore the series will not return to this location,” Wils wrote. A location for next year’s concerts has yet to be determined. The contract signed with The Bowery Presents extends for the rest of the season, and tickets have been sold for the remaining concerts. Another three performances will take place at Pier 26, on Aug. 10 (featuring One Republic, plus Mayer Hawthorne and Serena Ryder), and Sept. 6 (Empire of the Sun) and 7 (Passion Pit), before the concert series ends for this summer. The artists who performed at the series’s two previous dates this summer at Pier 26 include U.K. “2-tone ska” legends The Specials, in addition to fun., which won two Grammy awards this year for what critics call their overenthusiastically produced brand of indie-pop. The Trust has hired an acoustic consultant to “propose and develop mitigation” for the remaining performances, and sound levels have been significantly reduced.
The band fun. certainly dresses spiffily but that didn’t matter to some local Tribeca residents who found the decibel level of the group’s recent show at Pier 26 very “unfun.”
Silver jumps onboard Grand St. ferry stop idea; Writes to E.D.C. By Clarissa-Jan Lim In a letter forwarded to The Villager, Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver expressed his support for a new ferry stop at the east of Grand St. to Kyle Kimball, executive director of the city’s Economic Development Corporation. E.D.C. is currently considering expanding the East River ferry service. A ferry stop at Grand St., Silver wrote, would serve as a “faster and more accessible commute to the Financial District and Midtown,” as well as bringing in people to Lower East Side from other parts of the city. He also wrote that it would provide a link to Williamsburg and “other parts of Brooklyn that are home to their own burgeoning neighborhoods.” Joseph Hanania, an advocate for the new ferry stop who collected signatures petitioning E.D.C. to put a ferry stop at the existing dock on Grand St., said it would help bring in new passenger traffic from Brooklyn and Queens and help revive the street, and “relieve congestion near the renewed East River Park athletic fields, and for heavily attended concerts/ events at the East River bandshell.” The petition now has close to 600 signatures. The renovation of the East River esplanade and bikeway also could benefit from a Grand St. ferry stop, Silver said in his letter. The influx of new residents along Grand St. — which runs from Soho through Chinatown, Little Italy and the Lower East Side, to the East River — as well as new commercial and retail
development in recent years, means many would benefit from a Grand St. ferry stop, he added. On Wednesday, Hanania told The Villager, “I am thrilled that the Assembly speaker is backing the proposed ferry stop at Grand St. His backing may well be the decisive turning point in bringing this about. “I also hope that the new proposed stop, coupled with a possible cafe at the ferry stop, which would be the only one yet in East River Park, will help feed a revival of the far Lower East Side by bringing in additional foot and bicycle traffic. I also hope that the additional passengers coming here will feed the existing bus lines — the 14th St. crosstown, the Houston St. crosstown and the No. 22 to Battery Park City, helping us get more frequent bus service. “Most importantly,” Hanania said, “we still need a subway stop that is closer to our area. Right now, it is about a 12-minute walk from Grand St. and the F.D.R. to the nearest subway station. I discussed several weeks ago with one of Mr. Silver's assistants the desirability of a stop on the M line at either Pitt St. or at Clinton St. and Delancey. “Other areas of the city are getting entirely new lines,” Hanania noted, “including the Second A ve. subway and the subway line going into the Hudson Yards. We are asking only for an additional needed stop on an existing line. I hope the additional activity generated by the ferry stop will help bring all this about.”
Hipsters and young people going back and forth from Brooklyn to the Lower East Side is just one demographic the ferry service would serve.
August 8 - 21, 2013 29
Photo by Clayton Patterson
Punk music and poetry at park riot reunion concert At the 25th Anniversary Riot Reunion Show at Tompkins Square Park last Sunday, Reagan Youth’s lead singer got down in the mosh pit and tore it up with the crusties, left, while longtime L.E.S. poet Pitts, right, laid down some verse as Reagan Youth were still onstage.
Photos by Patrick O’Reilly
Hell, yeah! Bands lay the crusty faithful to waste At the Tompkins Square riot reunion show on Sunday, Urban Waste, left, rocked the crusty crowd. Tibbie X, Reagan Youth’s bass player, right, blasted the punks with a hellishly heavy beat. After all, she is an avowed Satanist.
August 8 - 21, 2013
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Steady Buckets is going steady even in the dog days of summer SpoRtS By daniel Jean-luBin It’s the middle of the July and in a small room in Milwaukee, Wisc., Macky Bergman is about to address a roster of some of his best high school basketball players before a talent showcase and skills camp for some of the top talent in the country hosted by Under Armour. For most high school-age students, this time of the month is reserved vacationing and relaxing. But for Bergman and his troupe from Steady Buckets, basketball is a full-time job. Steady Buckets began as a simple Amateur Athletic Union (A.A.U.) travel team program spawned from the minds of Executive Director Barry Weiss and Head Coach / Program Director Bergman. Weiss wanted to develop a basketball program to organize and develop young talent in the area. When he approached Bergman with the idea back in 2010, Bergman, who was already running a basketball program at the Chinatown YMCA, joined on without hesitation. Putting it all on the line: Steady Buckets teaches “I knew I wanted to focus the fundamentals, from foul shooting and ball hanmy energy on bringing a betdling to defense. ter brand of basketball to Downtown Manhattan, the neighborhood in which I was raised,” the fundamentals, including ball hanBergman said. dling. I also give the older players a A former standout hoops player at chance to work on their leadership Bronx High School Science, Bergman was skills, giving our young players a group a top player at Division III University of to look up to.” Rochester. In addition to serving Downtown Today, Steady Buckets has great- youth, Steady Buckets has continued to ly expanded to provide tournament expand to where players now travel from games, skills development, weight every borough to be part of one of New training, study hall sessions and a life- York’s premier basketball programs. lessons curriculum for practically the “There is no doubt that Steady entire year. Buckets has changed the Downtown “We pretty much run 24/7/365 with basketball scene,” Bergman stated. very few days off,” Bergman said. “It’s “Players are learning high-level skills, important to me that my players can prac- and since we offer programs seven tice every day, and I make myself available days per week, players who want to to them as much as possible.” improve know where to find us. With With most new participants hear- players coming from all over the city, ing about the program through word the level of competition has risen and of mouth, Steady Buckets continues to provides Downtown players with a provide kids age 4 to 17with a chance to more complete New York City basketdevelop their basketball ability, plus their ball experience.” love for the game. Today, the downtown basketball “Over the last three years, we have scene has grown leaps and bounds changed our vision while keeping true a n d c o n t i n u e s t o g a i n p o p u l a r i t y to our mission of providing high-level in no small part thanks to a yearly coaching and mentorship through bas- effort from the great folks over at ketball,” Bergman said. “We focus on Steady Buckets.
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