The Paper of Record for Greenwich Village, East Village, Lower East Side, Soho, Union Square, Chinatown and Noho, Since 1933
August 13, 2015 • $1.00 Volume 85 • Number 11
N.Y. Post and developers were thrown on the grill at Tompkins campout BY LINCOLN ANDERSON
CAMPOUT continued on p. 6
South St. luxury tower is going up, but exactly how high, no one is saying BY YANNIC RACK
xactly how high will a new apartment tower rise on South St.? That question is currently hard to answer. On July 29, the community room on the second floor of Two Bridges Tower once again filled up with worried residents who demanded
PHOTO BY GODLIS
hile others might roast marshmallows at a campout, at the Campout New York Post in Tompkins Square last weekend, developers — a.k.a. “real estate maggots” — Mayor de Blasio and the police all got a good grilling.
The idea for the event was sparked by the police observation tower that was brought into Tompkins Square Park last month — hot on the heels of articles by the New York Post claiming an uptick of homeless people sleeping and hanging out in the East Village park, plus a
answers about the massive development currently being built next door. The quarterly meeting was a chance for Extell Development to present neighbors with an update on their new residential tower — located right next to the Manhattan Bridge — which, once comSOUTH ST. continued on p. 4
After Jax, a pit bull, viciously attacked Roberta Bayley’s pug Sidney next to the 2 Bros. $1 pizza place on St. Mark’s on Aug. 1, crusty travelers stayed away from the spot awhile. But they were back last Thursday, when this photo was taken, as a neighbor in Bayley’s building was having a shouting match from across the street with this woman and a male companion. Their dogs, wearing packs and clearly leashed, appeared to be mixed breeds.
Crusty pit bulls gone wild; Man bitten protecting dog BY LINCOLN ANDERSON
ust four days after punkrock photographer Roberta Bayley’s pug was viciously attacked by a “crusty” pit bull outside Bayley’s St. Mark’s Place home, another pit belonging to the migrating tribe of young homeless “travelers” went on a rampage: But this time the victim wasn’t a dog but an East Village man who was savagely bitten on his arm. In the first attack, Sidney, Bayley’s pug, 14, was the vic-
tim on Sat., Aug. 1, around 8 a.m. The big brown pit bull, apparently unleashed, lunged off a couch on the sidewalk in front of Bayley’s building — as the man with the dog slept — and went right for Sidney’s throat. The little pug underwent surgery but died at the vet the next day. Then, last Wednesday around 11:30 a.m., Ed Vassilev was taking Misha, his Vizsla — a Hungarian midsize-breed dog — for a walk on Second Ave. between E.
Fourth and Fifth Sts., when a male pit bull down the block — next to two crusties slumped on the sidewalk, possibly nodding out — set its sights on the smaller dog. The black-and-white pit suddenly took off on a dead run down the empty pavement. It didn’t bark or growl — it just came speeding like a missile straight toward them. “It was like from 50 feet away,” Vassilev told The Villager this Monday. “That PIT BULLS continued on p. 10
However...Professor Corey parties at 101......page 3 Dr. Z was Dr. X, says narcotics prosecutor.....page 13 Skenazy crazy about ’20s nightclub queen....page 15 Fringe comes to the fore............page 17
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SENIOR CENTER SAVED! In a Scoopy exclusive, State Senator Brad Hoylman on Tuesday told us the great news that Greenwich House, following months of negotiations, has signed a new three-year lease that will allow the Caring Community Senior Center to continue operating in the basement of Our Lady of Pompeii Church, at Bleecker and Carmine Sts. The lease includes newly negotiated costs for rent, utilities and cleaning. It also allows the basement to be split in half with dividers, so that the church can use the space for additional purposes as it wishes. “The arrangement, finalized on Monday, allows seniors to remain in their current location while ensuring the church is financially solvent,” Hoylman told us, adding, “Councilmember Margaret Chin was instrumental in securing additional funding in the city budget through the Department for the Aging.” Hoylman organized a rally on the church’s steps last November and spearheaded a letter with fellow pols — Congressmmember Jerry Nadler, Borough President Gale Brewer, state Senator Daniel Squadron, Assemblymember Deborah Glick and Councilmembers Corey Johnson and Chin — to Cardinal Timothy Dolan seeking help from the archdiocese. “The archdiocese intervened at our request and helped finalize the deal, for which I’m very grateful,” Hoylman told us this week. “It’s a win-win for the community and the church — and especially our seniors in the community. I hope Lucy Cecere is looking down on us with pride!” Cecere, a senior advocate who died at 87 in 2011, was known as “the heart of the Village.” She was a co-founder of the Caring Community more than 40 years ago. ETAN PATZ RETRIAL: Last Monday, a date to start picking jury members was set for the Etan Patz case retrial, in which Pedro Hernandez will once again stand accused of killing the 6-year-old Soho boy more than 30 years ago. Jury selection is set to start in about six-and-a-half months from now, on Mon., Feb. 22. The lead attorney for Hernandez’s defense will again be Harvey Fishbein. Joel Seidemann will be the lead for the Manhattan district attorney. The lead prosecutor in the previous trial, which ended in May in a hung jury, Joan Illuzzi, is now running for district attorney on Staten Island, and so had to resign from the Manhattan D.A.’s Office. HERO OF THE WEEK: Longtime Ray fan Evan Saez, 21, was standing in line at the Avenue A latenight Belgian fries mecca Sunday evening, when he decided he had to spring into action. Ray, who is recovering from double heart-valve replacement surgery, is already back behind the counter on his overnight shift. “I got a new heart,” Ray told us. “I
Volunteer Evan Saez has been helping Ray on Avenue A.
went back to work two weeks after the operation. I can’t afford any help. I’m taking a lot of pills.” Seeing the line start to grow and Ray hustling back and forth from the kitchen, Saez — who had been waiting to get an egg cream — quickly jumped behind the counter and started taking customers’ orders. He’s been voluntarily helping Ray out on Friday and Saturday nights, trying to help keep the store open 24 hours on those peak days. “I’ve known Ray since I was a teenager,” Saez told us. “My family’s from the Lower East Side. I don’t charge him anything. I’m really concerned about keeping the store running. He’s 82, he needs the help.” Saez said money is not an issue for him and he can afford to volunteer since he has a job as a computer security engineer.
N.Y.U. STRIPS SETBACK: It sounds like this may only be a temporary setback for the N.Y.U. 2031 expansion plan, but last week the city’s Public Design Commission said plans for two public open spaces involved in the project must be modified prior to the university commencing construction on its South Village superblocks. The two spaces include LaGuardia Park and the “open-space strip” along the south side of Bleecker St. between the Morton Williams supermarket and the back of Coles gym. After the decision, Terri Cude, co-chairperson of Community Action Alliance on N.Y.U. 2031, happily tweeted out that the commission had “sent N.Y.U. back to the drawing board” on the two strips. “Thanks to all who came out and testified — I was so proud to be among you!” Cude tweeted. Unruffled, John Beckman, the university’s spokesperson, said, “N.Y.U. looks forward to advancing the designs of the Bleecker St. and LaGuardia open spaces, which have been and are being developed under the guidance and direction of the Parks Department and the Department of Transportation with input from the local community. And we look forward to appearing again before the Public Design Commission and presenting updated designs for approval.” Beckman emphasized that “the project to improve the open spaces along Bleecker St. and La Guardia Place” is being led by Parks and D.O.T. — the latter which is the current owner of the spaces — with input by local community stakeholders. “N.Y.U. is not directing the design,” he said. “N.Y.U.’s role, under the Core Plan agreement approved by the City Council in 2012, is to pay for the improvements, including the design process being led by city agencies. This process has been underway for over two years.” SCOOPY’S continued on p. 5 TheVillager.com
However...like Dalmatians, Prof. Corey hits 101
PHOTOS BY TEQUILA MINSKY
Professor Irwin Corey at his birthday party with his son Richard and grandson Amedeo.
BY TEQUILA MINSKY
appy 101st birthday, Professor Irwin Corey! The evening was sweltering. It was no matter for the friends and family of the “Professor,” a.k.a. “The World’s Foremost Authority.” There was much to celebrate at his son Richard’s Chelsea home on the night of Wed., July 29. Irwin Corey is a comic, actor and activist with a long and lively life history. Last year, as he neared his centenary, The Villager ran a feature article on him (“Closing in on 100, Professor Corey still cracking wise”). Attending the festivities last month were a Holocaust survivor, a palm reader and a judge. (Is that the
setup for a joke?) Comedians, actors, performers of all ilk and friends from the entertainment world mingled. There were plenty of MNN — cable public access — producers on site. Comic and past mayoral candidate Randy Credico and Jim Drougas, the owner of Unoppressive Non-Imperialist Bargain Books on Carmine St., schmoozed around. Corey’s grandson Amedeo posed for a three-generation photo with his dad and granddad. A relative from the clan of the late Village Gate impresario Art D’Lugoff tickled the ivories, playing Gershwin, while the crowd partied on. There were two big and tasty birthday cakes.
Spats wouldn’t have missed the party for anything.
From left, making a point, Irwin Corey with Lionel, of radio and TV fame, and fellow comic and political activist Randy Credico. TheVillager.com
August 13, 2015
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August 13, 2015
How high will South St. luxury tower be? SOUTH ST. continued from p. 1
pleted, will dwarf the rest of the neighborhood. But while the company’s representatives tried to soothe some concerns about the project, they refused to give a final word on the tower’s height. “This is a construction meeting and we are not here to address that tonight,” Raizy Haas, Extell’s senior vice president for project management and development, responded to the crowd. “We’re building two buildings, a fair market and an affordable building,” she added. “With respect to the total number of stories or height, it’s still a work in progress.” That wasn’t good enough for some in the audience. “We have a right to know. Let them answer us,” demanded one woman when Susan Stetzer, district manager of Community Board 3, took the microphone. “I think I’ve got the mic because they’re not willing to answer that,” Stetzer said. The company’s plans for a roughly 800-unit luxury condo tower at 250 South St. was revealed long ago, but the building’s proposed height has repeatedly changed. It has shifted from the original 56 stories to 61, and then rose further to 68, 71, 72 and finally 80 stories, as a recent zoning document filed in the city’s property records shows. The most recent Buildings Department filing puts the height at 72 stories, however, which is the figure Trever Holland, president of the Two Bridges Tower Residents Association, offered to annoyed members of the community. “We’re just gonna leave it at that,” he said. But after the meeting, Holland admitted that he expected the company to raise the final height to 80 stories. “I anticipate that they will change the D.O.B. filing to match within a few months,” he said. “I think the D.O.B. filings are just a game they play to test the market and gauge reaction. If I were to bet, I’d say 80.” Residents also complained about damages to their building, like cracks in the walls and shifting door locks. They said these are caused by the foundation work currently going on at the construction site, which is expected to continue through the first quarter of next year. In addition to the tower, Lend Lease — the construction firm overseeing the project — is also building a smaller, affordable component right next to it. “We are aware that there’s been some cracking, some issues with doors sticking,” said Anthony Abbruzzese, Extell’s senior vice president of construction. “We inspected all the conditions and we’ve committed to repair anything that
A rendering of the planned tower at 250 South St.
was caused by our construction,” he said, adding that engineers regularly inspect the building. To one resident’s question about the possibility of more serious damage to the foundations of Two Bridges Tower, Abbruzzese responded that a network of seismographs is measuring vibration levels around the site, including inside 82 Rutgers Slip. “The intensity of the pile driving, as of this moment, should be much less than it’s been,” he said. “We expect that at the end of this year we’ll start our superstructure, and the rest of the project remains on schedule.” That means both buildings, the tower, plus the smaller, affordable one, would be finished in 2019. Any surface damage to the surrounding area, including on Cherry St. — where both the street and the sidewalk have settled due to the construction — will be dealt with. “There might have been some settlement, which could be expected going forward,” Abbruzzese said. “It will be repaired on an ongoing basis. That street will be restored, and the sidewalk obviously reconstructed.” Some residents also complained about a lack of communication from Two Bridges Neighborhood Council, their building’s co-owner, which they said has not been forwarding them weekly construction updates. They were reminded of a designated phone line and e-mail address that residents can use to contact Extell directly. Lend Lease also e-mails regular updates in English, Spanish and Chinese to those who signed up for a mailing list. But one woman, speaking though a translator, complained that she left a message on the answering machine but never heard back from anyone. When prompted about jobs at the site, Stetzer of C.B. 3 said there were plans to hire locally, both during construction
and after the project is done. “Unions are involved, training is involved,” she said, adding that details would follow soon. After the meeting, most of those attending remained skeptical. “They didn’t acknowledge that any damage was theirs,” said Paul Newell, a Democratic district leader for the 65th Assembly District. “I got the sense that they were trying to check boxes without incurring costs.” Holland, the residents association president, was also careful not to offer too much praise. “I think they were as responsive as they could be, considering that there’s some liability issues,” he said. “I think it calmed a lot of fears that the damage will be taken care of. That’s what people want to hear. “I’m glad that they recommitted, to a certain extent, that they’ll build an affordable supermarket,” he added. He was referring to the Pathmark that, much to the community’s dismay, was closed in December 2012 to make way for the new development. Although Extell’s executives said they could not answer questions about the fate of the old pharmacy and supermarket building adjacent to the construction site, Haas did make some concessions. “Extell has committed to put an affordable supermarket in one of the retail spaces,” she said. Grace Mak, another member of the residents association, said she felt the meeting was more accessible than previous ones but that tenants were still far from optimistic. “Yes they’ve fixed the cracks, but it’s only a band-aid,” she said. “How do we know the band-aid is not going to break again? It’s a little step. But we hope we won’t take a big step back later on.” Extell is scheduled to meet the neighbors again in October. TheVillager.com
Manslaughter charges in Meatpacking collapse BY YANNIC RACK
wo construction managers were charged with manslaughter in the April death of a worker at a Meatpacking District construction site, prosecutors announced last Wednesday. Carlos Moncayo, a 22-year-old Ecuadorean immigrant who lived in Queens, died April 6 when an unsecured trench in which he was working collapsed and crushed him. The project managers — Wilmer Cueva, of Sky Materials, and Alfonso Prestia, of Harco Construction — are accused of ignoring repeated warnings about unsafe work conditions at the site, where a Restoration Hardware home-furnishings store is replacing the former tenant, the restaurant Pastis. “Carlos Moncayo’s death at a construction site was tragic, but it was also foreseeable and avoidable,” Cy Vance Jr., the Manhattan district attorney, said at an Aug. 5 news conference, at which he also announced the creation of a task force to help identify and prosecute corruption and fraud in the construction industry. The two managers, as well as their companies, were charged with second-degree manslaughter, criminally negligent homicide and reckless endangerment. City and state regulations mandate that any excavations deeper than five
SCOOPY’S continued from p. 2 BOOK-BUCKS BUDDIES WANTED: The St. Mark’s Bookshop, now at its
fourth location, at 136 E. Third St. near Avenue A, is having a cash-flow crisis, according to co-owner Terry McCoy. The lack of money to spend on stock, in turn, means less books and magazines to sell — adding to the cash-flow problem, he explained. “It’s kind of a vicious circle,” McCoy said. McCoy and his partner, Bob Contant, sent out an e-mail last week looking for investors for their store, which they have run for 38 years, as first reported by DNAinfo.com. In 1977, they opened their first store at 13 St. Mark’s Place. After 10 years there, they moved to 12 St. Mark’s Place. For 21 years, it was at 31 Third Ave., but they left after their landlord, The Cooper Union, hiked up their rent. They have been at their current spot for more than a year. Over the years, the independent bookstore garnered a reputation for its cultural and critical-theory selections. “That’s certainly something that we have fallen down on,” McCoy allowed. In other words, the cash-strapped store is having to make TheVillager.com
feet be fortified by either shoring them up with barriers or sloping the trench walls outward. But the managers allegedly failed to react to multiple red flags at 9-19 Ninth Ave., where the trenches had lacked these security precautions for months, according to e-mail records from an inspection service cited by prosecutors. On the morning of the accident, a separate inspector noticed a sevenfoot-deep trench that was unprotected and subsequently alerted both Prestia and Cueva that no workers should be allowed inside the pit, according to prosecutors. Around an hour later, the same inspector witnessed four workers inside the unfortified trench, which was now 13 feet deep. According to the statement, he again reported the situation to both managers, but this time Cueva flat-out refused to halt the work. Prestia eventually did tell the workers to leave the trench, according to prosecutors, but they didn’t understand his instructions, given in English. When he allegedly repeated them in Spanish about 20 minutes later, it came too late for Moncayo, who only moments later was buried under a mountain of dirt. The New York Times reported that all the defendants pleaded not guilty in Manhattan State Supreme Court on Aug. 5. some tough choices now on how it stocks its shelves. Last November Contant told Villager reporter Dusica Sue Malesevic, “We’re struggling again because… we’ve moved without being properly capitalized. We’ve had to borrow money. It makes it difficult to do what we would like to do, which is develop a lot more inventory in the store.” Business has been slow, McCoy said, which he blamed on the lack of inventory. “A lot of people make a special trip to come here,” he said. “I feel like if we had the books for them, I think that it wouldn’t take long for the word to get out that we were back in shape again.” People have shown their love for the bookshop, donating money, time and services. Their current store was designed by Clouds Architecture Office, which did the work pro bono. McCoy said there are no plans to close the store and that the call for investors was to avoid that happening. He said there was a lot of interest from potential investors, but that details need to be nailed down, and emphasized this is all in the preliminary stage. “We feel that it’s a viable store if we’re able to provide the customers with the inventory,” McCoy said.
SAVE THE DATE
A BENEFIT FOR WASHINGTON SQUARE PARK
Thursday,September10th 6:00 to 8:00PM Join friends and neighbors as we sample food & wine from over 30 local purveyors all under the Washington Square Arch Tickets available online at TOV2015.eventbrite.com or in person at 8 East 8th Street For more information call (212)777-2173 P RE SE NTE D BY
GreenwichVillageNY August 13, 2015
Music, speak-outs, cheese fries, Adam and Eve
CAMPOUT continued from p. 1
likeminded New York Observer editorial, “Take Back Tompkins Square Park. And New York City.” The surveillance tower was overkill and unwanted, and the reasons behind it dubious, many East Villagers protested. A petition to remove it garnered hundreds of signatures. After less than a week, the “eye in the sky” was removed on July 28. But the campout, which organizers had already started promoting, wasn’t canceled. The campout coincided with the weekend-long punk rock concerts marking the 27th anniversary of the Tompkins Square Park riots. Things kicked off at midnight on Friday evening, with “campers” buying copious amounts of cheese fries at Ray’s Candy Store on Avenue A across the street. They “watched” a cardboard TV while relaxing on cardboard seats and couches, or could listen to speakers standing on a soapbox (a plastic milk crate) talking about issues like gentrification, homelessness and police-community relations. About 100 to 150 people came out Friday night, which was the biggest night of the campout. After the park’s curfew, they continued to hang out on the sidewalk outside the park. “People didn’t go to sleep. They mainly stayed up all night,” said John Penley, one of the organizers. “And people loved that cardboard furniture.” A former longtime East Village activist, Penley came up from North Carolina, where he now lives, for the weekend. “Over the course of the weekend,
August 13, 2015
PHOTOS BY JOHN PENLEY
Chris Flash, publisher of The Shadow — the East Village’s community anarchist newspaper — organized the punk rock bands for the Tompkins Square Park riots anniversary weekend. Like many others at the campout, Amy Sanchez enjoyed watching what was on the cardboard TV. In the background is a mock Page One of the New York Post with the hated SkyWatch tower, which prompted the campout.
There was no violence reported at the weekend campout and punk concerts. There was one mock attack, when a musician pantomimed trying to whack semiclad street performer Matthew Silver over the head with his guitar, but it was all in jest.
between the concert and the campout, I saw every single person that I’ve known in this neighborhood,” he said. There were no incidents with the police, he said. One homeless man not associated with the campout obliviously pissed on a police van one night, but nothing happened. “They didn’t even arrest him,” Penley said.
Watching the action on Sunday and talking to the likes of LES documentarian Clayton Patterson and others, Deputy Chief James McCarthy, executive officer of Patrol Borough Manhattan South, said things had gone smoothly. “It was nice being out today and seeing a lot of familiar faces,” said McCarthy, a former commander of the East Village’s Ninth Precinct. “People are
enjoying music and enjoying themselves. No issues whatsover.” The weekend’s highlight, Penley said many told him, and he agreed, was the performance by the Living Theatre at the end on Sunday evening. A troupe of young dancers enacted a CAMPOUT continued on p. 7 TheVillager.com
and watching the cardboard TV at Tompkins Sq.
The hardcore band Sewage performed as an artist did celebrity rock portraits onstage.
Members of the Living Theatre held this pose as other dancers circled them telling the history of the Lenape, the Native American tribe that once inhabited Manhattan but were displaced by the European colonizers. CAMPOUT continued from p. 6
piece written by the late Judith Malina, the theater’s legendary co-founder. The work spanned from the Lenape, who were Manhattan’s original inhabitants, back to Adam and Eve — with the dancers portraying the pair stripping down to flesh-colored briefs — then forward again to texting and computer hyper-madness, to an Orwellian police state. The dancers started in a huddle with an increasingly loud, droning chant, then spread out through the park, interacting with and drawing in spectators, who soon found themselves participants. Speakers during the weekend included the likes of Aron Kay (“The Yippie Pie Man”), cartoonist Seth Tobocman, Fran Luck and activist Carl Rosenstein. “Everybody spoke,” Penley said. “It was like old days.” Nevertheless, despite the good tunes TheVillager.com
(especially if you were a crustcore fan) and good vibes, some were calling it “the end of an era.” “This year, I was feeling... the feeling was ‘done,’ ” said Lina Pallotta, who lived in the neighborhood during the tumultuous 1980s. Penley — who crashed for the weekend in a former squat where he has friends — agreed with those sentiments, to an extent. “I don’t know that it’s the complete end,” he said. “It was like a last gasp. All of us are getting older. Every year there are fewer people at the riots anniversary. There will be people who aren’t there next year. People are dying, man.” But the tightknit community feeling that East Village activists, anarchists and squatters had is still strong, and is something that the neighborhood won’t see again, he said. “Unlike the people that live in the community today, they don’t have a community — we do,” Penley said. “We went through a lot together — the
One way to pass the time at the campout — a back-massage train.
Tompkins Square riots, the squatter evictions, the homeless Tent City in the park, many art shows in community centers, squats and community gardens, and the nightlife scene, which a lot of us and the people in the bands were into. The World, especially Save the Robots — it was the most famous after-hours club in the city of New York.” Asked about the police tower, Deputy Chief McCarthy said, “We put SkyWatch in here. Some people didn’t want it, so Inspector Venice” — the current Ninth Precinct commander — “said people didn’t want it. It was Inspector Venice’s decision” to remove it, he said. Asked why the tower was put in the park in the first place, McCarthy said, “We use SkyWatch all the time. This is a busy area over here, especially Avenue A.” Told of that, Chris Flash, publisher of The Shadow, who organized the punk band performances, said, “That’s bull---. They were being baited by the
New York Compost and the New York Observer — and Jared Kushner, the publisher of the Observer. The police were basically being baited by these two right-wing, real estate newspapers. I’m here every day with my kids — nothing. The guy that was hitting people with a hammer in Midtown — did that get a tower? How many people on Hippie Hill” — the small rise in the middle of Tompkins — “are homeless? Ninety-nine percent of them, if not affluent, at least have a home.” Asked his thoughts on the campout, Paul DeRienzo, the event’s co-organizer, said, “It was a success for me the moment that Police Commissioner Bratton announced you can’t arrest your way out of homeless problems. Also the removal of the tower was a great victory. The New York Post will never surrender, but that’s understood.” There are plans for ongoing weekend campouts in Tompkins, but Penley and DeRienzo are not behind them. These are reportedly being “self-organized by homeless crusties and anarchists.” August 13, 2015
Bowery building project will soon be down and out BY ZACH WILLIAMS
PHOTO BY ZACH WILLIAMS
stop-work order remains in effect for a construction site at 210 Bowery where two hard hats were injured on Aug. 4. Plans for the site called for an eight-story building with mixed commercial and residential use. The workers were digging for the concrete placement of an elevator pit that day when a brick wall collapsed, according to the Department of Buildings. They were able to escape but suffered minor injuries, according to a D.O.B. spokesperson, who added that a violation was issued as well as the stop-work order. “After additional assessment, it was determined the structure was no longer structurally sound and would need to be demolished,” the spokesperson said. Demolition work has continued in the past week with workers having removed the fourth story by last Fri., Aug. 7. Workers appeared to be putting the finishing touches on removing the second floor when a reporter observed the scene the following day.
Plans filed with D.O.B. were to have the building rise four stories from its previous four, increasing the structure’s total square footage by about 5,000 square feet from the previous 8,975, according to D.O.B. records. Acadia Realty Trust bought the building in 2013 for $7.5 million, local blog Bowery Boogie reported. A representative for the owner could not be reached for comment by press time. Adjacent buildings, meanwhile, will have to remain vacant until the project site’s safety can be assured, according to D.O.B. The accident’s timing delayed a pre-opening of the Andrew Edlin Gallery next door at 212 Bowery. Filmmaker Brent Green had been scheduled to perform a live rendition of a work inspired by his childhood. But those plans to informally open the new space were dashed as soon as organizers peered outside, Edlin said in an interview. “We were down there setting up for the event and there were fire trucks out on the street,” he said of the moment he noticed the accident next door.
After the accident, the developer, as ordered by the city, has been dismantling the building at 210 Bowery.
SAFETY FIRST MEANS T:5.5”
Nothing is more important than your safety. If you suspect a gas leak, call 911 or 1-800-75-CONED (1-800-752-6633) immediately. Likewise if you see a downed power line or steam from a Manhattan manhole. For more information, visit conEd.com.
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Crusty pit bull chomps on dog walker’s arm; Natas and Jax
PIT BULLS continued from p. 1
dog saw my dog. He wasn’t on a leash. I picked up my dog. When he jumped up and bit me, it was like it was in slow motion. He got a chunk of my arm. It was brutal. It wasn’t a nip — he bit through my arm,” Vassilev said. He was left with two deep bite wounds right above his elbow. “I think two canines got in there,” he said of the deepest part of the gashes. The banking consultant, 42, was treated in the emergency room at Beth Israel Hospital — where his triceps muscle had to be stitched back together — and was released later that night. But when he went to see a plastic surgeon that Friday, it was found that the arm wound was infected, and so he had to spend two days back in the hospital hooked up to antibiotic and morphine IV drips and popping Percocets.
Ed Vassilev at Beth Israel Hospital showing his arm that was attacked by the pit bull as he was defending his dog.
Permanent nerve damage
Dog is ‘under observation’ Police responded to the scene and the dog was taken to Animal Care and Control where it is now “under observation for rabies” for 10 days, according to Vassilev. He has been unable, however, to get further information from A.C.C. about the dog, which he wants to ensure doesn’t get out to attack once more. “We cannot see that dog come out again,” he stressed. “That dog is go-
August 13, 2015
PHOTO BY LINCOLN ANDERSON
Vassilev now only has partial feeling on the top of his arm from his elbow to his wrist, and probably will never regain full feeling again. He said the plastic surgeon — who was “fiddling with” his mangled nerves, pushing them back into place — explained what happened to him. “I can move my arm. I can move my fingers,” Vassilev said. “I don’t have feeling on my arm. The plastic surgeon basically described it as a miracle that I can still move my fingers and my arm. The dog cut through the top layer of nerves, that’s why I can’t feel. There’s a second layer of nerves to move the fingers and the arm. I have really strong, thick arms. The doctor said someone slimmer would have certainly lost an arm.” Vassilev said the plastic surgeon told him that he’ll need treatment on the limb through the end of the year. As for the dog that attacked him, Vassilev said the last image he had of it was seeing its “red mouth” as he was getting into the ambulance.
Kaitlin, left, ensuring that her eyes stayed open for the photo, and Wing the Nut. He admitted the travelers often get dogs that “aren’t in the best condition.”
ing to kill someone. Imagine if it was a little girl or boy that was attacked.” A.C.C. did not respond to a request for comment for this article. Vassilev, who has lived in the East Village since 2008, is shocked that this could even have happened. “This is something new,” he said. “I’ve never been afraid of a homeless person’s dog before. … We live in the best city in the world, paying all our rent. How could this happen in New York — a dog running wild in the street?” As for the two men with the pit bull, Vassilev said they didn’t look like they were exactly sleeping, but — judging by their slumped-over posture — were possibly nodding out on drugs. “These two, they were especially crusty,” he said. “They had long beards, long hair, black clothes.” Vassilev is not anti-pit bull, yet said they are just unpredictable.
“Ninety-nine percent of pit bulls are nice,” he said. “But there is always that one that is violent, because they are bred to fight.”
Not a criminal offense He also was surprised to learn when he reported the incident at the Ninth Precinct that a dog biting a person is not considered a criminal offense. “It’s a civil offense,” he said. “The only thing I can do is press civil charges.” Deputy Chief James McCarthy, the executive officer of Patrol Borough Manhattan South, was on the detail at the Riots Anniversary Concert in Tompkins Square Park this past Sunday. Asked by The Villager about how police treat pit bull attacks, the former Ninth Precinct commander said officers will take action if a dog is “unleashed and causing a problem to the community.”
Meanwhile, crusty travelers interviewed by The Villager this past weekend maintained they do take good care of their animals. They also shed more light on the attack on Bayley’s beloved pug, Sidney. For starters, they said the dog that attacked Sidney was named Jax and that the crusty traveler who had him goes by Natas (“nay-tass”) — Satan spelled backwards. One man sitting with a group of travelers under the Hare Krishna Tree toward the end of the Riots Anniversary Concerts last Sunday evening, said Natas simply couldn’t handle Jax. “The dog got put down,” Nicholas Morales, 23, said. “He shouldn’t have had the dog. He felt that he could take care of it, and they all told him that he couldn’t. I just know that the dog got put down, and that’s really sad. It was a very aggressive dog.” As for Natas, he said, “He’s really cool to hang out with. Apparently he’s from Philadelphia. There are a lot of stories about him, but he’s a good guy.” Morales, who sports small silver hooked fangs at the corners of his lower lip, assured that his own canine companion, Yardog, a cute, nonthreatening-looking mini-Doberman Pinscher, is well trained. A few hours later that evening, a group of travelers were hunkered down on Second Ave. and E. Seventh St. outside the chain-link fence ringing the vacant site of the March 26 gas explosion. Cole, who also goes by the nickname Friday, from Portland, Oregon, was spanging passersby for money for beer, as Anthony, from San Diego, was playing on his fiddle. They had just gotten into town that day. Cole’s pit bull, Riley, quietly slept among them on a blanket, seemingly oblivious to everything going on around him on the sidewalk and street. It didn’t look like he was leashed, or at least not very tightly.
‘They’re loving animals’ “My dog is very friendly,” Cole said, dropping down to give Riley a kiss as the dog obliged by licking him on his open mouth. “They’re very loving animals.” A bearded and heavily tattooed crusty, who gave his street name as Wing the Nut, added of the attack on Sidney, “Bad dogs aren’t bred, they’re made. Just because one f------ pit bull PIT BULLS continued on p. 11 TheVillager.com
Travelers say they’re retraining rescued dogs
PHOTO BY LINCOLN ANDERSON
PHOTO BY JOHN PENLEY
Crusties don’t just have dogs. A traveler with her pet rat in Tompkins Square Park at the Riot Anniversary concerts this past weekend. PIT BULLS continued from p. 10
did that doesn’t mean they all are like that.” Similarly, he said, the New York Post and others are trying to paint a negative picture of the young homeless nomads. “Most of us are really nice people,” he said. None of them mentioned knowing about the attack on Vassilev.
Free-range dogs They said, in fact, their dogs are better trained than most. “Animals — like dogs — they’re not meant to live in cages,” Wing the Nut declared. “Our animals are with us 24 hours a day. Dogs in apartments don’t get enough attention, exercise or food.” The same goes for people, he claimed. “This is not how we’re supposed to live,” he said, gesturing up at the glowing apartment windows along Second Ave. “We weren’t supposed TheVillager.com
to have four walls and a roof. We are animals.” He said he used to have a pit bull, Carmelita, who was perfectly trained and would walk along beside him on the sidewalk without a leash. “We’d get to the corner and I’d say, ‘Kick it down,’ and she would sit right down and wait,” he said. “My dog was my best friend, my companion and my protection,” he said. His ex-wife has the dog now. Like Morales, Wing the Nut said Natas is a good guy. “I’ve known him for years,” he said. “He’s a good friend of mine. Everybody discredits him because he used to drink too much. “He’s only had this dog for a couple of months. I know the dog’s sister, she’s a sweetheart.”
Tried to rehab Jax He blamed Jax’s behavior problems on the dog’s previous owner. “Natas is trying to calm him down, settle him down,” he explained, “but he’s only had him for a month. My
Cole, left, kissing his pit bull, Riley, with fiddle player Anthony in the background.
friend John’s girlfriend took the dog and gave it to Natas because it was very mistreated. “People have to understand — when we get ’em, they’re not in the best condition,” he said of the pit bulls. “It’s like someone getting out of a mental institution — you have to re-acclimate to society.” Anthony got up and walked toward the chain-link fence and empty lot — apparently considering a pee — then, thinking better of it, turned back toward Wing the Nut and asked, “Where do I piss?” “Go in San Loco and ask to use the bathroom,” he told him firmly, referring to the Mexican restaurant on the other side of Second Ave. (He added that, contrary to the New York Post’s depiction of them — “It’s Pooper Union” — if they do camp out behind The Cooper Union on Taras Shevchenko Place and
have to go, they either use the bathroom at McSorley’s bar, use bottles or bags or just “walk away.”) Continuing on, Wing the Nut said Steve-O, who was sitting crosslegged by the fence, knew more details about Jax. According to Steve-O, Jax was “passed down from the family” in Bushwick, Brooklyn. “The family that had him said they can’t have him anymore,” he said. “The sister can’t have puppies and was no good as a bait dog.” (A bait dog is a passive or less-dominant dog used in pit bull fighting to train the animals to kill. However, apparently some dogs are not considered submissive enough for that purpose.) As for Jax, the family got rid of him because he was aggressive, “very agPIT BULLS continued on p. 27 August 13, 2015
POLICE BLOTTER Citi Bike swipe Police arrested a man on Wed., Aug 5, for allegedly riding around the Village on a stolen Citi Bike. The suspect cyclist was reportedly seen pedaling the blue bike-share cycle along the sidewalk in front of 552 LaGuardia Place when the cops closed in just before 2 a.m. A police report stated the bike came from a docking station at 202 Third Ave. in Brooklyn. Wesley Murphy, 36, was charged with felony criminal possession of stolen property.
Open-and-shut case Around 2 a.m. on Sun., Aug. 9, near the intersection of Bleecker and Sullivan Sts., a man told police that another man had taken a briefcase filled with his belongings. Police subsequently found the purported perpetrator and, searching him, reportedly found in his possession $555 worth of loot, including a briefcase, one pair each of $170 sunglasses and $350 eyeglasses and at least two credit cards.
According to police, on Sat., July 11, around 10:40 p.m., a 19-year-old woman was approached by an unknown male suspect in front of 109 East Broadway and the two argued. Police said the man accused the woman of “talking negatively about him in their language,” then started to spit and punch her in her face. The suspect then walked off along Eldridge St., continuing to look back toward East Broadway after the incident. The victim suffered a fractured jaw and was transported to Beth Israel Hospital in stable hospital. The Hate Crime Unit is investigating. The suspect is described as about 5-feet-8 to 5-feet-10, wearing a dark-colored hat with a Nike symbol, dark-colored pants and shirt and carrying a plastic bag. Anyone with information about this incident is asked to call the New York Police Department’s Crime Stop-
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a.m. on Sat., Aug. 8. He was arrested and charged with felony criminal possession of a weapon.
The property was returned to the victim, and Arthur Smith, 47, was arrested for felony possession of stolen property. A bit of pot was also found in his possession, police noted.
A police sketch of the East Broadway assault suspect.
pers Hotline at 800-577-TIPS. Tips can also be submitted by logging onto the Crime Stoppers Web site, www.nypdcrimestoppers.com, or texting them to 274637(CRIMES) and then entering TIP577. All tips are confidential.
On July 26, at 2:20 p.m., a 37-yearold man was sitting on a bench at Catherine Slip and South St. when a man approached him and snatched his cellphone from his hand and began to flee, police said. The victim attempted to chase after the thief, when an accomplice struck him from behind and pushed him to the ground. Both suspects fled the location on foot. Three days later, police arrested Kenny Feliz, 20, of 26 Madison St., and charged him with second-degree robbery. Two days after that, police reported they had arrested the second suspect, Juan Burgos, 25, of 388 Pearl St., also charging him with robbery.
Underage designer thief Expensive tastes for French cuisine reportedly matched the fashion style of an accused purse thief. A woman, 28, told police that her $200 Marc Jacobs wallet left Beaumarchais restaurant, at 409 W. 13th St., in the possession of a younger woman on Fri., Aug. 7, around 1:30 a.m. Olivia Goldfarb, 18, was arrested for felony grand larceny. The victim meanwhile got her white leather wallet back. In addition, the suspect was found in possession of a forged New York State ID, according to police.
Clothes call Two men were arguing in their Village apartment on Sat., Aug. 8, just before 2 a.m., when things got violent. Police said that Tyler Ward, 32, struck his boyfriend with a metal clothes hanger as the man tried to flee from the confrontation. The alleged attack, at 257 W. 12th St., resulted in a laceration to the victim’s head and leg. Ward was arrested and charged with felony assault.
Pot and punch rings Bud and brass knuckles were allegedly found in the possession of a man known to police in front of 369 Bleecker St. Police stopped Bouggalah Mardi, 32, for unstated reasons at about 2:50
A surveillance camera image of the alleged Mott St. assault suspect.
Struck in the back Police said that on Tues., Aug. 4, at 4:55 a.m., in front of 147 Mott St., a man approached a woman, 55, and struck her on the back with an unknown object, causing a laceration. The suspect fled and the victim was removed to Bellevue Hospital where she was treated and released. The suspect is described about 25 to 30 years old and 6 feet tall, with a medium build. He was wearing a white T-shirt, red sweatpants, redand-white basketball sneakers and had a red-and-white drawstring backpack. Anyone with information about this incident is asked to contact the Crime Stoppers Hotline.
Zach Williams and Lincoln Anderson TheVillager.com
Dr. Z was Dr. X, says narc pros. 60 years ago, stage was BY YANNIC RACK
Chinatown-area doctor is accused of illegally selling Xanax prescriptions worth millions, according to authorities. Bridget Brennan, the city’s special narcotics prosecutor, announced on July 28 that Dr. Mengjia Zhao dispensed up to $4.6 million worth of the addictive anti-anxiety medication onto the black market. Zhao, who kept a practice at 109 Lafayette St., was charged with illegally selling 28 prescriptions for alprazolam, known by brand name Xanax, as well as selling the pills themselves on five occasions. The internist was busted at J.F.K. late on July 27, according to the prosecutor’s office. The arrest followed a lengthy investigation launched in 2011 after police found prescriptions written by Zhao on several drug dealers peddling the pills in Union Square, a statement by Brennan’s office said. Zhao subsequently allegedly sold prescriptions for alprazolam to undercover New York Police Department officers who visited his office more than two dozen times. According to authorities, Zhao failed to conduct medical examinations be-
yond checking the officers’ blood pressure, and sold the pills in exchange for payments disguised as medical fees. He allegedly charged a $100 cash fee for the first visit by each of the undercovers and $70 for subsequent visits, which was raised to $80 by 2014. During a search last month of Zhao’s Woodbury, Long Island, home, police seized jewelry and financial documents. In a court-authorized search of Zhao’s Lafayette St. office, police seized medical and bank records, blank prescription pads, stamps with the doctor’s name and pill bottles. According to Brennan, an analysis of Zhao’s prescribing history showed that 48 percent of the prescriptions he wrote from 2009 to 2015 were for alprazolam — a high rate, given that Zhao is an internist not a psychiatrist. Based on his fees, Zhao stood to collect about $800,000 for these prescriptions, Brennan said. The sting also allegedly revealed that Zhao ignored signs that patients were addicted to the drug, which carries a street value of $5 per pill. Authorities said he continued prescribing alprazolam after the undercovers told him they were also obtaining it on the street. DR. X continued on p. 16
set for N.Y.U. 2031 project
FLASHBACK BY YANNIC RACK
t the end of June, opponents of the N.Y.U. 2031 mega-development plan were dealt a crushing blow, as the state’s high court ruled in favor of the university’s expansion project. The project calls for adding four new buildings onto N.Y.U.’s two South Village superblocks, between W. Houston and W. Third Sts. and LaGuardia Place and Mercer St. There was an equal amount of outrage directed against the sale of those same blocks more than half a century ago. As The Villager reported on Aug. 11, 1955, the nine square blocks south of Washington Square Park were sold at a city auction as three separate superblocks. This area had been designated for redevelopment by the Mayor’s Commission on Slum Clearance two years earlier. “The land will be cleared by the City to make way for two developments as
part of the over-all Washington Square Southeast Project,” The Villager article stated. “It is reported that the ‘educational’ tract went to N.Y.U. for about $1,200,000. The larger ‘housing’ tract went to Washington Square Village Corp. for about $5,246,000. These two were the only bidders.” The university’s northern superblock eventually became the site of several buildings, including Bobst Library and Stern School of Business. The two southern parcels were slated for housing projects. But after the new buildings’ apartments sold poorly, the university acquired them from developers Tishman & Wolfe in 1960 and 1964. Locals were outraged. Among officials speaking out against the takeover were the local congressman, assemblyman and presidents of both the Greenwich Village Association and the Village Independent Democrats. Under the current N.Y.U. plan, the central block — home to Washington Square Village — is earmarked to get two new buildings. FLASHBACK continued on p. 16
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August 13, 2015
PHOTOS BY MILO HESS
Seeing faces in some strange places...
Ever feel like someone, or something, was watching you? The photographer did this past week as he passed a box on Harrison St. in Tribeca and a barrier on Broadway in Soho.
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR It’s not the breed To The Editor: Re “Famed punk photog’s dog dies after attack by big ‘crusty’ pit bull” (news article, Aug. 6): If there were no pit bulls, these homeless people would have German shepherds, Dobermans, Rotweilers or other large mixed breeds that can be just as aggressive. The problem isn’t the breed of dog; it’s the fact that dogs are sometimes off leash or their owners are asleep and fail to control them. Fortunately, most of the homeless dogs seem to be relatively numb to their surroundings. It’s
rare that I’ve encountered homeless people with aggressive dogs. Still, it’s something I fear each time I have to pass them when they’re camped outside my apartment building. Obviously, more needs to be done to address the increased homeless population and better accommodate those with pets. People shouldn’t be permitted to sleep on the sidewalk if it threatens the well-being of residents and passersby. Maybe some people choose to live this way but the dogs deserve better. Stacy Walsh Rosenstock
This needs to stop To The Editor: Re “Famed punk photog’s dog dies after attack by big ‘crusty’ pit bull” (news article, Aug. 6): Roberta, I love your photos and am so sorry for your loss. Sidney is adorable in that photo. I hope that by speaking out, you will help save another beloved pet’s life. Too many of our pets are being killed gruesomely by pit bulls — many on the streets of New York City. There are several videos of pit bulls attacking small dogs that are horrific. It needs to stop. Lucy Muir
Better safe than sorry To The Editor: Re “Famed punk photog’s dog dies after attack by big ‘crusty’ pit bull” (news article, Aug. 6): I am so sorry for Ms. Bayley’s loss. So please let me say this: Dogs are wolves. We throw them together without understanding their language and expect them to mimic us, to be an extension of our personality. Over the course of two and a half years, my pit bull was attacked in the dog run by a Husky, a hound and his pack, bitten by a German shepLETTERS, continued on p. 16
August 13, 2015
New York’s nightclub queen was as big as Texas RHYMES WITH CRAZY BY LENORE SKENAZY
ello, sucker! That’s not an insult to you, dear reader. That’s how Texas Guinan, New York’s “Queen of the Nightclubs,” used to greet her patrons, friends and protégés — among them Mae West, Barbara Stanwyck, Legs Diamond, Lucky Lindbergh, Rudolph Valentino — the cream of the Jazz Age crop. And I don’t know about you, but I’d never heard of her. I happened to read about a talk coming up at the Jefferson Market Library in Greenwich Village by LindaAnn Loschiavo, a historian, journalist and playwright. The blurb said Loschiavo usually gives an annual presentation on Mae West, but this year she’s reaching a little further back in history to the woman who makes Lady Gaga look like Laura Ingalls Wilder. The woman who made a salary second only to William Randolph Hearst in the 1920s. The woman who went to jail dripping in diamonds and slyly thanked the police for giving her one night when she didn’t have to worry about them being stolen. The wom-
an who actually invented the word “nightclub.” I learned all that and more when I called Loschiavo up for a preview. “She didn’t break the mold, she created it!” Loschiavo whooped the minute I mentioned Texas, which, as you might guess, was not Texas’s real name. Born Mary Louise Cecilia in Waco, Texas, 1884, she moved to New York in 1907 to Washington Square South and paid $2 a week for room and breakfast. Her other meals? “Milk and rye bread,” said Loschiavo. That humble diet didn’t last long. Very soon, Loschiavo said, Texas was telling rapt reporters tales of her life back home on a ranch, where she’d starred in Wild West shows, and attended an elite boarding school. All lies. All believed. The press loved her brassiness. Broadway producers loved her sass.
“And she was a very attractive woman,” said Loschiavo, “so she picked up all these older men who brought her things.” Before long Texas was living in an antiques-filled duplex at 17 W. Eighth St. She was even making enough to move her family up from Waco, where, for the record, her dad had been a grocer. By 1917, Texas was out in Hollywood starring in silent-movie Westerns and getting really rich. By 1922 she moved back to the city she loved and finally figured out her true calling. Queen. New York was roaring, and liquor was pouring — illegally, in speakeasies, thanks to Prohibition. Rip-roaring Texas was hired to keep the crowds singing, dancing and overspending at ever-swankier clubs, and eventually she opened her own. She even coined the term “whoopee.” With a string of scantily clad chorus girls to liven things up, she made sure everyone was happy — politicians, musicians, gangsters (they were key), college boys, bankers, gossip columnists (also key)...and police on the take. Nonetheless, her clubs would get raided periodically. And just as periodically she would get off. Each raid only added to her fame. At least some of Texas’s trials were held in the Greenwich Village building that was a courthouse then, and is the Jefferson Market Library today — and Loschiavo’s inspiration. After 1927, the courthouse was ex-
clusively used for women’s trials. “I live down the block from the library and there’s tons of women’s history there,” she said. “But every time you walk by the building you see a little plaque with men’s names”— the architects. “This used to boil my blood — so many important things happened in this building!” She started writing about those things — including the obscenity trial that made Mae West famous. And guess who covered that trial for the Journal-American? Mae’s friend, mentor and role model, Texas Guinan. Like so many high rollers, Texas did not weather the stock market crash particularly well, and had to take her act on the road. She was in Vancouver when she died, at 49, of ulcerated colitis — but not before declaring, “I would rather have a square inch of New York than the rest of the world.” Twelve thousand New Yorkers turned out to pay their respects — and in a way, we still do. To this day, what we think of as that innate New York brash is really a bit of Texas. You can hear LindaAnn Loschiavo’s talk “Onstage Outlaws: Mae West and Texas Guinan during the Lawless Prohibition Era,” Mon., Aug. 17, at 6:30 p.m., at the Jefferson Market Library, 425 Sixth Ave. Free. For more information, call 212-243-4334. Skenazy is a keynote speaker and founder of the book and blog “Free-Range Kids”
Back to busking: Now I’m singing a different tune NOTEBOOK BY DAVID SOBEL
ast month I wrote about my experience busking in Washington Square for The Villager so as to provide an insider’s perspective on the park’s current “noisy music” debate. I was surprised by how pleasant the experience was. I played my tenor saxophone with a folk guitarist, Park Enforcement Patrol officers left us alone, and Tic and Tac were powerful, yet controlled. Woody Allen couldn’t have imagined a more idyllic scene. That’s why I was in such a good mood when I returned to the park with my saxophone on a hot weekday at the end of July. I walked toward the fountain with my horn in its case over my shoulder. Still unemployed, my daytime interactions were confined to therapist visits and TheVillager.com
e-mail correspondences with clueless recruiters. This seemed like the perfect break. Then the pounding started. It was an onslaught of snare shots and cymbal crashes that echoed throughout the park. Brash, metallic honks punctuated the hits. I saw the culprits, a drummer and saxophonist, both with dreadlocks, near the park’s northern entrance. Microphones were attached to their instruments and the volume was loud enough to fill an auditorium. Few people were sitting on the benches or lying on the lawn near them. I’d expected the harmonious bluegrass, jazz and folk bands from my previous visit. Instead I got two schmendricks blasting heavy-metal hard bop. “The kids who play here are too loud,” a man had told me the first time I came to busk. “You play music without driving away people.” The duo stopped. “Thanks for listening,” the sax player announced. He picked up a buck-
et. Passersby dropped in some bills. He and his partner seemed completely unfazed by the lack of applause. I watched, hoping they’d call it a day. They resumed their assault. I was mad and jealous. All I wanted was to blow bossas, recapture my deluded youth from my music school days, and make a little cash. It was too loud for any of that. What was a broke, 44-year-old unemployed marketing coordinator to do? I walked over to the arch so I could set up someplace else, but a jazz quartet was there. Besides, they were being drowned out by the other guys. I decided to make a final effort and headed to the east side of the park. The cacophony still echoed off the buildings, but it was time stop kvetching. I sat on a bench and popped open the hinges on my saxophone case. That’s when I heard the strumming. I let out a groan and turned around. On a bench in the next row was a gangly guy hunched over an electric bass guitar. Fuzzy, distorted bass lines thudded from a large speaker on the
ground in front of him. No doubt it was turned up to 11. “You can’t do that here!” a woman yelled. A pair of teenage skateboarders rolled by with a PEP officer in tow. She passed the bassist as if he wasn’t there. I’d written off the ongoing noise issue here as another effort by pampered elites to transform Manhattan into a bedroom community with penthouses. Now I imagined I was living in one of these tony residences surrounding the park, attempting to share a quiet meal with my family while the “Spinal Tap” disciples brought on the pain. I saw myself demanding action at community board meetings. Even Tic and Tac became targets of my wrath. It didn’t matter that they were talented, considerate guys trying to make a living. I just wanted peace. I stood up to leave and threw my saxophone case over my shoulder. Maybe I’d try busking another time. Better yet, I’d get a day gig. August 13, 2015
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR LETTERS continued from p. 14
herd, and outside the park attacked by another pit bull. It took me a full year working with an animal communicator to calm her and myself down. I almost re-homed her. I learned the hard way, when out with our dogs, to allow them space and keep them at a distance from each other unless they have met and agreed to be friends. This applies even if your dog is friendly. This will keep us all safe. Most people will say: Well, if your dog is vicious you should not have it on the street. This is the point: You don’t know the history of the dog you are approaching. After being attacked, my dog turned like a crazy girl snarling at a dog that got too close and sniffed her. (She’s never bitten another dog. If she had, I would not have kept her. But she’s been bitten.) I’ve started screaming at people who get too close — so they wake up and learn. Linda Justice
Condolences To The Editor: Re “Famed punk photog’s dog dies after attack by big ‘crusty’ pit bull” (news article, Aug. 6): Condolences to Roberta. I hate pit bulls. This is an all-to-common tragedy. Legs McNeil
The show must go on! To The Editor: Re “Trying to keep the show going on St. Mark’s Place” (news article, Aug. 6): I once saw Dave Brubeck there, and my wife and I saw many great movies there. We gotta keep it going! Michael Lydon
It’s time to give back To The Editor: Re “Trying to keep the show going on St. Mark’s Place” (news XANAX continued from p. 13
Fatal drug overdoses in the city increased 41 percent between 2010 and 2013, according to the most recent data available from the city’s Department of Health. In 2013, benzodiazepines, including Xanax — which are depressants that can slow the heart and breathing — were found in 60
August 13, 2015
article, Aug. 6): Lorcan and Genie are the true spirit of the LES and must be supported just as they and Theatre 80 support our community! We need to come together to make sure this grand community institution continues! Penny Arcade
A must-save resource To The Editor: Re “Trying to keep the show going on St. Mark’s Place” (news article, Aug. 6): Loran and Genie and Theatre 80 are a must-save Lower East Side community resource. They work extremely hard and make a large contribution to the community. From providing free space for social-service meetings, such as 10-step programs, to opening their doors to Alan Kaufman and his successful benefit to provide money to GOLES to help the Second Ave. explosion victims, to holding public events, like the introduction of the real Henry Hill — made infamous in “Goodfellas” — to hosting the New York City Acker Awards, to putting on so many great performances and theatrical events, Theatre 80, Lorcan and Genie have contributed in so many ways. The place’s employees range from local characters to movers and achievers. Theatre 80 is overflowing with decades worth of must-save LES and New York City history. It is a crime against future generations to completely strip bare and erase all this history, its details and stories.
browsing that I did not know existed. Both the computer setup (T1, please) and the video library are about as good as you will find in the city. And the community room rocks (so to speak, in a library). I recently saw local novelist Lisa E. Davis do an evening with her book “Under the Mink” the centerpiece of a fabulous discussion about the bar life in the ’30s and ’40s when the mob made us safe in their bars as we watched the floor show of girls become boys become girls. (The kids today think they invented gender illusion. Ha!) And the crimes that lurked around the corners of the Village and under the elevated —El yes! The talk was enlightening, the author chock- full of stories and very funny. I Iearned things I did not know. And yes, I bought the book, too. Jim Fouratt
We didn’t want asphalt! To The Editor: Re “Good letter, by George!” (letter, by Shirley Secunda, July 23): Community Board 2 screws the neighborhood again. Why didn’t you demand that the Department of Transportation restore the cobblestones, not asphalt-over the potholes? Now that D.O.T. has done that, as far as they’re concerned, problem solved. D.O.T. removed all the cobblestones; we’ll never see them again. Will Shirley Secunda and Terri
Cude be as diligent in following up with D.O.T. to get done what we’ve really wanted, for years — to replace and restore the cobblestones? Noreen Shipman
G.L.W.D. rode roughshod To The Editor: Re “Showing up and speaking up, even against the odds” (talking point, by Micki McGee, Aug. 6): This is an excellent summary of a community’s attempt to preserve the character of its low-rise neighborhood against the giant forces of development, which rode roughshod over the South Village, and destroyed part of its character, history and life. It is still shocking to me that a charity, In God’s Lack of Love We Deliver — with the help of local politicians sentimental about its long-gone role in the AIDS crisis — was allowed to ride roughshod over residents’ actively voiced wishes in its zeal to promote its own real-estate agenda. Rhoma Mostel 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, 1 Metrotech North, 10th floor, Brooklyn, NY, NY 11201. Please include phone number for confirmation purposes. The Villager reserves the right to edit letters for space, grammar, clarity and libel. Anonymous letters will not be published.
We love our library To The Editor: Re “Extra! Library digitizing Villager ’s entire archives” (news article, July 23): We love our library and the library staff. Their hospitality has made Jefferson Market a second home for me on hot days, and many a book have I found there by just percent of fatal OD’s involving opioid painkillers, 36 percent of deaths involving heroin, and 58 percent involving methadone. Zhao reportedly pleaded not guilty to 33 counts of criminal sale of a prescription and criminal sale of a controlled substance, and his bail was set at $500,000.
SOUND OFF! Write a letter to the editor
email@example.com N.Y.U. continued from p. 13
On the southern block, which includes Silver Towers and 505 LaGuardia Place, another two additions are planned, including the massive “Zipper Building.” The project’s foes have been trying to save the open-space strips along LaGuardia Place and Mercer St., so far in vain. Back in ’55, the remaining residents
of the old tenements on those blocks, as well as around 1,100 small businesses, would be displaced by the project. “Sympathy is all that a House subcommittee could offer the residents and small business proprietors yesterday as the Washington Square Southeast Project was finally adjudged valid,” was the lede of a front-page article in The Villager on Aug. 4, 1955, a week before the auction. TheVillager.com
FringeNYC from A to Zeitgeist Sure things, and shots in the dark worth taking
ter, Kill!” — in which a determined nun struggles to do the Lord’s work in that infamous ground zero of deake a hike, TKTS. Put a brick pravity: 1970s New York City. When in it, Ticketmaster. Keep our good sister’s reunion with her esyour pablum, “Phantom.” tranged biological sister is interruptFor less than what it costs ed by a shocking act of violence, the to stand at the back of a meek woman of God adopts a new habit: revenge. Oh, and Broadway house, you can sit it’s a musical (specifically, a in the air-conditioned comfort “Psychotronic Hell-trip of of a Downtown theater while Song, Sleaze and Revenge!”). watching a FringeNYC perfor“The Great Forgotten” is a mance — and have a decent multi-media drama which set chance of eyeing someone who in another of Gotham’s infamous will one day grace a prohibbygone eras: the roaring twenitively expensive Midtown ties. Flappers, bathtub gin and stage, or charm their way jazz are among the period-aponto your smartphone screen propriate elements of culture (fans of Bradley Cooper, shock that greet two graduates from Bellevue nursing school, Melissa Rauch and Morgan just back from witnessing the Spurlock can attest to that). horrors of World War I. But this 16-day marathon Broadly built, ballsy by naof dance, comedy, drama ture and sitting on a vault of and uncategorizable stories that make the most lunacy is more than just gritty “Law & Order” episode a breeding ground for seem utterly vanilla, native New things to come. Yorker Mark DeMayo made a Year in and year out, smooth transition from NYPD the festival plays canary Serious Theater Collective’s “The Magic Jukebox” takes you on a mirthful mystery tour of the troupe’s cop to NYC comedian. Since reto popular culture’s tiring after 20 years on the force satirical targets. coal mine. With that in (seven as a police officer, the rest mind, our totally subas a detective), he’s brought his night on weekends. Single tickets are OLD, NEW & TRUE jective roundup corrals mouthy, Type A flair for true storytellthis year’s zeitgeist into a few notable $18. $85 for a Fiver Pass, $150 for a 10ing to stand-up and theatrical venues categories. It’s by no means complete show Flex Pass and $500 for an unlim- TALES OF NEW YORK (including Gotham Comedy Club ited Lunatic Pass. For the full schedBygone Theatre raised funds for (at 200 shows, how could it be?), but it and Peoples Improv Theater). “The does represent intriguing work from ule of shows and to purchase tickets, their Fringe show by, of all things, Broccoli Murder, DiCaprio Dance known quantities and risk-worthy visit FringeNYC.org. Also purchase putting on a show in their hometown and Other Stories from my 20 years prospects. One thing’s for sure: at $18 at FringeCentral, inside the City Lore of Toronto, Canada. The adults-on- as a NYC Cop” blends the best of per show, a shot in the dark at Fring- cultural heritage center (56 E. First St. ly “Retro Radio Hour: Sin and Sen- DeMayo’s dangerous and disturbing eNYC beats the buyer’s remorse of an btw. First & Second Aves.), daily from sation” staged vintage radio plays, tales from his days in blue with can2–8 p.m. Order on your smartphone along with period-appropriate music expensive Broadway misfire. did observations about adjusting to FringeNYC shows run Aug. 14–30, 2 up to 30 minutes prior to performance, and amazing feats of prestidigitation. at FringeOnTheFly.com. The fully funded result is “Kill Sisp.m.–midnight weekdays, noon–midBY SCOTT STIFFLER
PHOTO BY MORGAN SHORTELL
FRINGENYC, continued on p.18
August 13, 2015
Could be must-sees at FringeNYC
PHOTO BY ANNIE LESSER
PHOTO BY BEN FOLSTEIN
Romance is on the menu, in Brooklyn band Level II’s “Love is Like Mud.”
FRINGENYC, continued from p. 17
civilian life without pepper spray and a gun strapped to his hips. Especially funny is a bit alluded to in the title, in which he meets Leonardo DiCaprio in a trendy club. Pressed into service as a dance floor bodyguard, he keeps Molly-trippin’ fans at bay while marveling at the surreal notion of playing Kevin Costner to Leo’s Whitney Houston. Loopy performer and SOLOCOM fest founder Peter Michael Marino, back from taking his own show to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, directs. “Hank Leaves Home” is Erik Heger’s solo show developed in collaboration with director Leslie Felbain. The notion of a socially awkward, homeless harp-playing tramp stuck in neutral as he works the NYC subway system has been percolating since 2002, when the team first met at the American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco (he as a grad student, she as a faculty member). Categorized by FringeNYC as a “Clown/Mask” show (aka highly physical), this concert/theater performance showcases skills from Heger’s eclectic resume: actor (John Proctor in “The Crucible”), clown (in Speigelworld’s “Vegas Nocturne” at the Cosmopolitan Hotel in Las Vegas), and harpist (opening for Roberta Flack and Lou Reed at the Apollo). Jell-O shots, slave labor, butterfly tattoos, Krishna and Afghanistan are the thematic hooks in “Hearts Afire” — an intimate evening of harrowing, inspirational true tales told by five NYC community college students. “Liminal” takes a fresh-out-of-college poet, transplants her to NYC, and tasks her finding her voice. She’s not alone, though — overtures from a potential love interest and taunts from a Greek chorus of blue collar work-
August 13, 2015
ers will prompt this “foot soldier of gentrification” to define her place in the world. Producing entity Bedlam Ensemble was responsible for 2014’s “Tennessee Williams Project,” which reimagined the playwright’s seldom-performed one-acts. Three musical productions make NYC central to their story, or at least vital to its flavor. A contemporary pop score for “Love in the Middle Ages” charts the ups and downs of six men and women of a certain age, who meet at a Manhattan singles mixer. Eric Kornfeld, who wrote the book and lyrics, teaches Cabaret at Primary Stages and has a mountain of credits that bode well for this project — including the writing of Bette Midler’s HBO special and Vegas extravaganza, “The Showgirl Must Go On.” Matters of the heart also figure into the title (and the marrow) of “Love is Like Mud,” which leavens the implications of its ominous title with hefty doses of sex, humor and music. Brooklyn band Level II plays the music, and all of the parts, in this visually kinetic operetta chronicling the coupling of lonely Jon and Annie, twentysomethings with cramped apartments and oversized libidos. A clever stick puppet video on loveislikemud.com previews the show’s wry courtship song, “Excellent Choice” — which turns the wine and entrée negotiations of a dinner date into an à la carte assessment of their partnership potential. Serious Theater Collective’s “The Magic Jukebox: New York City World Tour” features 12 musical vignettes from the comedy troupe that gleefully eviscerates everything from dolphin language, to false gods, to flash mobs. A live band backs the sketch players, as they bounce from R&B, to hair metal, to gospel and beyond.
“Tiananmen Annie” has Ann Starbuck looking back at her time in Beijing, during the Tiananmen Square Uprising.
SCIENCE & FANTASTIC FICTION
Long-winded but undeniably compelling, You Said Your Damn Ninja Would Take Care of Robocop Productions is, we get the feeling, just a wordy front for a pop shop owned and operated by Queens-based writer, performer, YouTube darling and Shaolin kung fu disciple Shyaporn Theerakulstit. His geek-think solo show — “The Absolutely True Science of Nerds” — plows through its 90 minutes by delivering “completely scientific” lectures on the real-world implications of becoming Batman, and the relative merits of the “Star Wars” and “Star Trek” universes. Assuming you haven’t passed out at that point from a techie tizzy, the show’s closer is a rumination on the behavioral patterns and biological origins of Japan’s “Hyper-evolved Theropod Kaiju” (better known to his frenemies as Godzilla). Not enough spectacle, you say? Theerakulstit also promises music, burlesque and special guests — plus what will almost certainly be a very argumentative Q&A session. With visual motifs inspired by video games, kabuki, horror movies and Pixar shorts, “Dungeon” uses puppetry and multi-media to take its young hero on a rescue mission/ quest. Part of the FringeHIGH series of programming appropriate for teens, “EverScape” finds four gamers escaping their bleak, everyday lives by immersing themselves in an online fantasy world of epic battles. Things get real (or do they?) when their expertise presents them with the opportunity to explore the W-2 world of gainful employment, as game developers. The show’s press info is deliberately unclear about their fate, but at least one festival entry indicates that
obsessives can come out of their shells — as in, where one man has not gone before — thanks to the fictional world they prefer to inhabit. “The Universe of Matt Jennings” is a tale of gay awakening told from a Trekkie’s point of view, with our man Jennings in classic “Star Trek” attire, confidently seated at Kirk’s NCC-1701 command chair, as he recalls his (five-year?) mission to boldly explore black, white, Christian, queer and artistic identity. Make it so, Matt! Quasimondo Milwaukee Physical Theatre brings its Adult Content Warning-worthy blend of manga and anime to Clinton Street’s Celebration of Whimsy stage, when the sizable ensemble unleashes “Kamikaze Cutesauce Cosplay Club” upon the good citizens of Gotham. Director and co-choreographer Brian Rott founded the troupe along with likeminded MFA candidates at Italy’s Accademia Dell’Ar, then claimed Laverne & Shirley’s home turf after touring Turin, Milan, Arezzo, Cortona and Berlin. The result is a physically intense stage show whose dizzy, hybrid sensibility uses movement, puppetry and martial arts to “explore contemporary costume play and the threads that form gender, identity, and culture.”
A HIGH L, G, B, T or Q QUOTIENT
Set in the 1960s in one of Fidel Castro’s brutal UMAP (Military Units to Aid Production) prison work camps that warehoused gays, alongside political and religious dissenters, “Julian & Romero” is written by Alex Perez, whose grandfather was killed while protesting Castro’s revolution. “It’s not just a Cuban story, but a human FRINGENYC, continued on p.19 TheVillager.com
FringeNYC: 16 days, what do you get?
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MADONNA COURTESY OF
PHOTO BY ANDY WALSH
Quasimondo Milwaukee Physical Theatre wants you to join their “Kamikaze Cutesauce Cosplay Club.”
FRINGENYC, continued from p. 18
rights issue that connects on many levels, even today,” he says. The title characters are childhood friends, now with different perspectives on sexuality, faith and culture. The play, which incorporates music and dance of the period, was nurtured during a 2013 run in Theater for the New City’s Dream Up Festival (happening this year Aug. 30–Sept. 20). Storyteller Matthew Dicken, an out-since-13 American, mashes his own sensibilities with those of “The Seven Men I Came Out to in India,” as he travels the subcontinent during a quest to “relearn to see queer” and “claim his mythic ancestors.” Self-examination of sexuality isn’t a choice for the characters in “Endless Air, Endless Water,” which finds two astronauts in a space capsule with nowhere to hide, let alone run, when their workplace fling is exposed on national TV. Andrea Alton, whose Molly “Equality” Dykeman persona was a featured act in Dixon Place’s recent HOT! Festival of LGBTQ theater, adds 12 more to her stable of characTheVillager.com
ters, with “Possum Creek.” Set in the titular Ohio town during the Civil War era, it begins by focusing on a naive bride, then spans three decades during which she contends with “lost husbands, babies of uncertain parentage, man-on-man carnality, plagues, and a beloved pig.”
DEAD WRITERS, REAL PEOPLE AND ACTUAL EVENTS
A skull with a clown nose serves as the promotional graphic for playwright Anthony P. Pennino’s “I, Horatio.” Accompanied by a diagonal dagger in each black eye socket, the festive red schnoz is a fitting image for this comedy/drama. Pennino’s interpretation of Horatio from “Hamlet” implies more than just platonic loyalty and admiration at play, when the grieving confidant goes on a mission to grant his prince’s dying request to “draw thy breath in pain to tell my story.” Shakespearean verse gets a contempoFRINGENYC, continued on p. 20
MADONNA SEPTEMBER 17th at Madison Square Garden For your chance to win, visit
gaycitynews.nyc/win August 13, 2015
These are the days of our FringeNYC lives FRINGENYC, continued from p. 19
August 13, 2015
PHOTO BY RACHEL BIRNBAUM
“Hamlet The Hip-Hopera” trades the Bard’s iambic pentameter for its own brand of deft wordplay.
Playwright and director Delaney Yeager pays tribute to Samuel Beckett, by stranding her all-female cast in the middle of nowhere as a means to explore friendship and empowerment in the face of the unknown, in “Waiting for AAA.” Years before British writer Roald Dahl created worlds of wonder and menace (“Matilda” and “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory”), his real life
played out like an Ian Fleming novel. “Yesterday Was Beautiful” fleshes out the period in World War II when Dahl — a spy on her Royal Majesty’s dole — visited Washington on cloak and dagger business, and in the process bedded (the married and older) Congresswoman Clare Booth Luce. Scandal somehow eluded the prolifically priomiscuous Dahl, but it was bread and butter for Glenn Milstead — whose drag persona Divine committed some of the most memorable atrocities in cinematic history. “Divine/Intervention” finds the star of John Waters’ still-stunning early-car e e r
PHOTO BY JULIAN VOLOJ
rary reboot, when Queensbased Feast Productions unleashes “Hamlet the Hip-Hopera.” The core plot remains, but iambic pentameter is replaced with the strikingly similar cadences of hip-hop — making maximum use of the genre’s knack for advancing narrative and invoking metaphors in the same breath. Rap battles, dueling verses, slam poetry and soaring ballads bring new energy and lyricism to familiar characters under siege and descending into madness. Taking place in Tompkins Square Taking place in Tompkins Square Park, “The Merchant of Venice (or how not to live in a multi-cultural world”) is one of four FringeAL FRESCO shows. Bigotry, a fractured legal system and the nature of justice figure heavily into Hip to Hip Theatre Company’s take on what they call “Shakespeare’s darkest comedy.” This free outdoor production is appropriate, given the Company’s mission to perform no-cost and family-friendly classics in their home borough of Queens. Ann Starbuck’s solo show “Tiananmen Annie” is based on events she experienced in 1980s Beijing — first as a student, then working for CNN during the Tiananmen Square Uprising. A FringeHIGH entry, the spoken word/poetry piece “The Broken Record” addresses violence between black youth and the police, expressing the “fury, helplessness, and grief we feel watching these stories play on repeat” while contemplating how to prevent this familiar, often fatal pattern. Set on a hot Los Angeles night in 1992, writer and director Tess R. Ornstein’s “Cherubim” finds parallels between the reaction of a multi-racial family following the disappearance of five-year-old Kea Charmichael and the Rodney King riots.
Hip to Hip Theatre Company’s take on “The Merchant of Venice” takes place in Tompkins Square Park, and won’t cost you a dime.
cult films (including “Multiple Maniacs” and “Polyester”) alone on the night of his death, wrestling with the demons that lurk just beyond the mascara. Bobby Goodrich stars, with a script by E. Dale Smith based on an original concept by the show’s director, Braden Chapman (aka Mimi Imfurst, a longtime and formidable presence on the drag and cult theater circuit). Writer and performer Jay Malsky takes liberties with the star of “At Liberty,” when he brings one of Broadway’s most brassy, belated broads back for one final tour. “Elaine Stritch: Still Here” looks every bit the safe bet, as evidenced by fundraising clips on the show’s Facebook page. Hunkered down at the piano, Stritch sings for her supper by granting a donor’s request to hear the “Charles in Charge” sitcom theme. “I don’t like things that aren’t about me,” she says, barely making it past the first verse, “so sometimes I make them about me even if they’re not.” What follows is a good example of what you’ll get at FringeNYC, and reason enough to go. TheVillager.com
Long afternoon’s journey into ‘Kapow-i GoGo’ Marathon adventure brings ’90s anime to the stage
COURTESY OF KAPOW-I GOGO PHOTO BY CRISTINA PITTER
Madeleine Bundy (left), as Kapow-i GoGo, ﬁghts one of the show’s many villains.
BY CHARLES BATTERSBY
edicated theatergoers will boast that they sat through epic plays like “Long Day’s Journey Into Night,” the unedited “Hamlet” or “Angels in America” — but there is a show running Off-Off Broadway that tasks audiences with a four and a half hour adventure performed in a single afternoon. What’s most remarkable is that it isn’t longtime theater enthusiasts in the audience — it’s fans of cartoons and video games who join the character of Kapow-i GoGo on her afternoon-long adventure. The stage show of the same name, “Kapow-i GoGo,” is a loving homage to video games and cartoons, especially Japanese ones from the ’90s. The title character is a pastiche of heroines and heroes from anime shows and
the Nintendo franchise — equal parts “Pokemon,” “Dragon Ball Z,” “Legend of Zelda,” “Final Fantasy” and a heaping dose of “Sailor Moon.” There is a generation of young theater fans who grew up with these characters, watching Sailor Moon defend the Moon Kingdom before school, seeing Goku battle Vegeta every weekday afternoon, and staying up all night trying to reach the final disk of “Final Fantasy VII.” Those kids are adults now, and they crave not only nostalgia from their childhood, but also deconstruction of these classics. We spoke with playwright Matt Cox, co-director Kristin McCarthy Parker and star Madeleine Bundy about their show. Matt Cox describes it as “An amalgamation of everything I loved as a fourteen-year-old. It’s this big epic journey and adventure that you get to take an audience on for four
Playwright Matt Cox (front right) performs as “Mr. Snuggles.”
and a half hours.” Bundy describes her character, Kapow-i, as “Every protagonist you see in video games and cartoons. She represents not just these female heroes, but just heroes. Whatever you grew up with, whether it was something from ‘‘Star Trek,’’ ‘‘Star Wars,’’ anime, or ‘‘X-Men,’’ you can project your ideal hero onto her.” The show began in a weekly serialized format, performed with one short episode per week. In its current format, all of those episodes have been combined together, along with new material. “There is a novelty that we have,” says Bundy about the episodic format, similar to “binge watching
on Netflix. People love sitting at home on their couch and watching an entire season in an afternoon.” The most recent marathon performance occurred on a Saturday afternoon, McCarthy Parker explains. “We settled on treating it like Saturday morning cartoons, so that we could be in the afternoon and not take up a person’s entire Saturday or Sunday evening.” To enhance that “Saturday Morning” feeling, the lobby of the theater has a cereal bar, and attendees can munch on sugary cereals during inKAPOW-i, continued on p. 22
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August 13, 2015
‘Kapow-i’ delivers nostalgia with a side of deconstruction
COURTESY OF KAPOW-I GOGO
Puppeteers provide special effects.
KAPOW-i, continued from p. 21
August 13, 2015
“Kapow-i GoGo” will return to the Peoples Improv Theater (123 E. 24th St, btw. Park & Lexington Aves.) on Sat., Aug. 29 for another marathon matinee, beginning at 1 p.m. Visit kapowigogo.com for info and tickets ($30).
PHOTO BY ANYA GIBIAN
termission between episodes. The producers even created collectible trading cards featuring their characters; the sort of item that would be included with toy action figures. “All of this is to create an atmosphere of nostalgia,” says McCarthy Parker. Despite the nostalgic sweetness, the show takes some very dark turns in its later parts. The story sends Kapow-i and her friends on a series of heroic journeys over the course of 30 years. At first, the gang lives in a colorful, child-like world. As the third hour approaches, the themes become darker, reflecting the more mature anime that became popular in America as the ’90s stretched on. In the final story arc, Kapow-i’s whimsical world transforms into a dark dystopia, and she becomes an antihero who is part Sarah Connor, part Ellen Ripley, and part “Future Trunks” from “Dragon Ball Z.” McCarthy Parker points out that Kapow-i’s audience is made of people who are more likely to go to Comic Con than a Broadway show. “People go to the theater with the expectation that they’re going to sit in their seat
and be respectful, and we’re trying to break that a little bit. We’re able to do that because we’re at a comedy theater, with a bar in the lobby. That’s fun and refreshing for people who don’t have the most experience with theater, or the most positive relationship with theater.” The entire team laughed as Matt Cox recalled how, at one performance, the audience made liberal use of the bar during the show’s many short intermissions. “The first time we did the show as a marathon, we did it at night. We started at seven or eight, and went until one. At that show, the audience was particularly intoxicated, and they had a GREAT time.” Bundy noted that audiences at afternoon shows are more “respectfully tipsy.” However, drinking is a not a requirement to enjoy Kapowi-’s adventure. All it takes is an enduring love of classic anime and video games.i
L to R: Mike Axelrod, Madeleine Bundy (as Kapow-i GoGo) and Hank Lin share a tense moment. TheVillager.com
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August 13, 2015
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PHOTO BY LINCOLN ANDERSON
Nicholas Morales said Yardog — who, he pointed out, was on a leash — is very well trained.
Despite attacks, crusties say they can train dogs PIT BULLS continued from p. 11
gressive,” Steve-O stressed. As he spoke, his white cat sat nearby him on a leash. They didn’t say Jax had been euthanized, though. “He’s in ‘puppy jail’ is the best I can say it,” another man nicknamed Mumbles, from New England, interjected, adding, “We’ll all pitch in for him and get him back.” Wing the Nut reiterated that Natas “was working on it,” trying to reform Jax — and had been acting responsibly with the dog. “Natas would tell people, ‘Can you please move your dog? My dog is animal-aggressive,’ ” he said.
Trainer on crusty dogs Garrett Rosso, a dog trainer and manager of the Tompkins Square dog run, in fact, agreed with the travelers that their dogs, on the whole, are well trained. But if the crusties are zonked out on substances or sleeping and the dogs are unattended, then it can be another story, he said. “Generally, the homeless have some of the best-behaved
dogs,” Rosso said. “All that time spent outdoors and walking is great exercise and therapy for the animal. However, all that changes if the owner is passed out, asleep or otherwise incapacitated on the sidewalk. Then their dog may adopt territorial or guarding behavior, feeling they must protect their owner from any person or other dog entering their space.” Hanging out with the crusty crew on Second Ave. last Sunday evening, Kaitlin, originally from Nashville, said she has been traveling for a few years. Asked if she knew Natas and Jax, she said maybe she does by sight but not by name. “A guy with a pit bull,” she shrugged and smiled, as if to say there are a lot of crusties like that around. Asked if they’d be camping out there that night on Second Ave., she again just chuckled and said, maybe, who knows? The travelers’ lives are unscripted, and their dogs are often unleashed. But with two recent reported serious pit bull attacks — one that nearly cost a man the use of his arm, the other that led to a dog’s death — their lifestyle, and their animals, are coming under serious new scrutiny.
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August 13, 2015
Can Mount Sinai be serious? The answer is a resounding yes. In fact, we couldn’t be more serious. Mount Sinai’s number one mission is to keep people out of the hospital. We’re focused on population health management, as opposed to the traditional fee-for-service medicine. So instead of receiving care that’s isolated and intermittent, patients receive care that’s continuous and coordinated, much of it outside of the traditional hospital setting. Thus the tremendous emphasis on wellness programs designed to help people stop smoking, lose weight and battle obesity, lower their blood pressure and reduce the risk of a heart attack. By being as proactive as possible, patients can better maintain their health and avoid disease. Our Mobile Acute Care Team will treat patients at home who would otherwise require a hospital admission for certain conditions. The core team involves physicians, nurse
practitioners, registered nurses, social workers, community paramedics, care coaches, physical therapists, occupational therapists, speech therapists, and home health aides. Meanwhile, Mount Sinai’s Preventable Admissions Care Team provides transitional care services to patients at high risk for readmission. After a comprehensive bedside assessment, social workers partner with patients, family caregivers and healthcare providers to identify known risks such as problems with medication management and provide continuing support after discharge. It’s a sweeping change in the way that health care is delivered. And with the new system comes a new way to measure success. The number of empty beds.
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IF OUR BEDS ARE FILLED, IT MEANS WE’VE FAILED.
August 13, 2015
AUG. 13, 2015 THE VILLAGER