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Liu would legalize it, p. 13

Volume 3, Number 22 FREE

East and West Village, Lower East Side, Soho, Noho, Little Italy and Chinatown

August 22 - September 4, 2013

guerriero would advocate for unions and working class BY heather dUBin Cathy Guerriero says her run for public advocate is 20 years in the making. Although she has never held public office, Guerriero’s charisma and aggressive campaign style have brought a fresh perspective to the political arena. An educator, she said her fervor is fueled by the desire to represent the working class of New York. In that vein, education, small busi-

Photo by Tequila Minsky

Harry Belafonte spoke at Monday’s rally for Bill de Blasio, left, at the former St. Vincent’s Hospital site, with Susan Sarandon, far right.

Publisher slaps pol as mayoral campaigns spar on St. Vincent’s BY LincoLn anderson A hastily organized rally Monday morning by Christine Quinn supporters to counter another scheduled to occur right after it by her mayoral opponent Bill de Blasio at the former St. Vincent’s Hospital site turned chaotic after the octogenarian publisher of a monthly

Village newspaper suddenly lost it and went on a brief slapping spree. After berating one of the pro-Quinn speakers, former state Senator Tom Duane, as a “fatuous idiot!” George Capsis, 85, then rapped the other speaker, state Senator Brad Hoylman, lightly on the chin and shouted at him,

“And look up!”’ Then, as Capsis was being ushered away from the rally, he clamped his hands on the sides of a young male Quinn intern’s face and abruptly gave him a brusque double slap on the

Continued on page 4

nesses and unions are her top issues. In a recent telephone interview, Guerriero recalled the beginning of her political quest. When she was 21 years old, a professor asked her what she wanted to do when she grew up. Guerriero said she wanted to run the city. Her professor replied, “ ‘Good luck with that, kid, and it would be

Continued on page 7

East Village raises $18,000 for florist hurt by drag racer BY LincoLn anderson In the wake of the horrific incident two months ago when local florist Akkas Ali, 63, was critically injured by a drag-racing driver high on drugs who careened up onto the sidewalk, the community has rallied together to raise funds to help the stricken man’s family. Last week, Chad Marlow, a member of Community Board 3, presented Ali’s son

5 15 C A N A L STREET • N YC 10 013 • C OPYRIG HT © 2013 N YC COMMU NITY M ED IA , LLC

Rukanul Islam, 22, with a check for $18,047.32. The cash was collected through the GiveForward crowdsourcing Web site, under a campaign initiated by Marlow. Two hundred and ninety people contributed amounts ranging from $5 to $500 during the one-month-long effort. Many of those who

Continued on page 6


August 22 - September 4, 2013

He’s armed and ready Photo by Lincoln Anderson

Aminifu Williams, 72, lately from New Jersey, was in Washington Square recently, enjoying the park scene. A jewelery artist, he sported elaborate, self-fashioned arm sleeves of shells, beads and shark teeth, which he called real. “Now that’s what I call style, ” one passerby remarked admiringly. “Peace, brother,” Williams responded, adding, “I get that all the time.” A lifelong activist, Williams said he was formerly a member of a Los Angeles group, Us, doing security for Stokely Carmichael. A sort of Zelig of the civil rights and arts scenes, he recalled nervously dancing with a beautiful, young Angela Davis, enjoying Martin Luther King Jr.’s laid-back humor, meeting a “very polite” Malcolm X, and hanging with jazz musicians Miles Davis, Freddie Hubbard and Jimmy Heath. “I never try to please other people,” he said of his glance-inducing gauntlets. “Just go with your instincts, you know? Conventional people never have a lasting impression on history. It’s the people who step outside the box who push society forward.”

August 22 - September 4, 2013 3


notebook B.P. candidates face off at N.Y.U. — and about N.Y.U.: “Education, jobs, affordable housing” was the mantra that the candidates for Manhattan borough president stuck to at debate earlier this month on New York University’s campus. All four Democratic candidates appeared to be in a place of strength at the Aug. 7 event, settling in for what one of the candidates called their “538th debate” leading up to the Sept. 10 Democratic primary. Limiting development also seemed to be an underlying current throughout much of the debate. Councilmember Gale Brewer added building libraries and parks to the list of necessary amenities that should be included with schools to combat overcrowding. Brewer noted that she has been listed by The New York Times as one of the top five city officials championing parks in New York City. Councilmember Robert Jackson, who co-chairs the City Council’s Black, Latino and Asian Caucus, focused on job creation. As a representative of the upper reaches of Manhattan’s West Side, which has some of the highest unemployment rates in the borough, Jackson said he was committed to ensuring “that Manhattan stays affordable.” “What I would like to do is very simple,” Councilmember Jessica Lappin said, “fight for middle-class and working people in this borough, with a special emphasis on tenants and seniors.” Lappin mentioned using the 197-a rezoning process to employ “bottom-up planning” to look at things 10 to 15 years down the road to build necessary infrastructure to keep up with development. Former Community Board 1 Chairperson Julie Menin repeatedly came back to her idea for a “comprehensive, boroughwide master plan” throughout the debate as a panacea for Manhattan’s troubles, since, it would mandate specific infrastructure and funding contributions for all new development, including schools and affordable housing. (However, the borough president’s land use recommendations are currently advisory only.) “I am running for borough president because I believe we need to completely reform our land use review process,” Menin said in her opening statement, sparking the first spontaneous applause at the session. The most lively audience participation cropped up around the topic of N.Y.U. expansion and the City Council’s 2012 vote to approve it. The subject came up during a question that encompassed the candidates’ views on both N.Y.U. and the city’s fast-tracked proposal to encourage development of new skyscrapers in East Midtown. The debate, organized by Citizens Union, a government watchdog group, and NYC Community Media, the parent company of The Villager, was held at N.Y.U.’s Center for Spiritual Life in Greenwich Village. “We’re sitting in a neighborhood where the City Council and the mayor approved rezoning,” said Citizens Union’s Dick Dadey, who co-chaired the debate with Paul Schindler, the editor of Gay City News, The Villager’s sister paper. The question prompted a round of finger-pointing as the three Councilmembers tried to distance themselves from the final deal. Brewer reminded the audience that everyone on the Council except Charles Barron voted for the N.Y.U. mega-development plan in the end. Brewer then went on to say she did not agree with the terms set, and would behave differently if she became borough president. “And you should know it’s not an open and transparent process because negotiations don’t take place in public, they happen in private,” said Jackson, who then squarely pointed

Photo by Tequila Minsky

At the Aug. 7 borough president’s race debate, co-sponsored by NYC Community Media and Citizens Union, from left, candidates Gale Brewer, Robert Jackson, Jessica Lappin and Julie Menin.

his finger at fellow Councilmember Margaret Chin, who acted as the Council’s chief negotiator for the N.Y.U. proposal, since the university’s superblocks are in her district. Lappin also turned the blame on Chin, saying, “I was not the prime negotiator. I think I would have done a better job; I would’ve handled it differently, I would have worked with the local elected officials, for example. But in the end, I voted as the current borough president [Scott Stringer] suggested, I voted in favor of the plan.” Menin spoke about lobbying N.Y.U. to expand into Tower 5 of the World Trade Center site. She also used the expansion as an example of why the land-use process needs to be reformed with her master plan. Candidates got to ratchet up the pressure another notch when they were given the opportunity to ask one question of a randomly selected opponent. Jackson was asked by Menin about the City Council’s vote to overturn term limits, giving both himself and Mayor Bloomberg eligibility for a third term despite prior voter referendums in support of term limits. But Jackson was quick to point out that in Manhattan, unlike the rest of the city, the tallies showed that more people were in favor of the extension. He also cited the lack of voter turnout saying, “I didn’t cut the deal. The people of New York voted, 1.5 million voted, out of 4 million. Those people that did not vote gave Mayor Bloomberg another

term, not me.” Menin had the tables turned on her when Lappin asked why she “chose to become a Republican during George W. Bush’s term.” Menin, who changed political parties between 2001 and 2003, said that after 9/11, “I would do whatever I could to work for the community and make sure the community had a voice at the table,” adding that at the time, she was working closely with Governor Pataki’s Republican administration. She said she has always been a progressive, however. Jackson was more lenient, perhaps unintentionally, when he asked Brewer about her position on small businesses, a question that she said she “loved” because of legislation she got approved for her Upper West Side Council district that restricts the store-front size of incoming banks in an effort to preserve space for mom-and-pop shops. Brewer passed on the love to Lappin, her seatmate in the City Council and also apparently her gossip buddy, who was simply asked to elaborate on her experience. Lappin used it as an opportunity to talk about 15 years of experience in city government, the first half as a staff member of former Council Speaker Gifford Miller. “I made a decision when I graduated college, that making money was not as important as making a difference” Lappin said.


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August 22 - September 4, 2013

Slaps, verbal attacks at dueling St. Vincent’s rallies; Continued from page 1 cheeks, followed by a push, drawing audible gasps from some in the crowd. The intern looked aghast — and promptly filed a complaint with police who were on hand at the rally. Hoylman did not file a complaint. Detective Jimmy Alberici, a Sixth Precinct community affairs officer, said Capsis was charged with harassment, a violation. Alberici told The Villager no arrest was made, because with a violation, police must actually witness the incident. Capsis was in an emotional state on Monday, grieving for the death of his wife, Maggie, two days earlier. He said, had St. Vincent’s still been there, he could have easily visited her in her final days, instead of having to go all the way up to the Bronx where she was being treated at Calvary Hospital after suffering a bad reaction to chemotherapy. Adding to the scrum-like atmosphere, members of New York City Not For Sale, an anti-Quinn group, holding up their red signs bashing the City Council speaker, had surrounded Duane and Hoylman and other Quinn supporters, including schools advocate Irene Kaufman. Joined by Arthur Schwartz, a candidate for Village Democratic district leader and a de Blasio supporter, and prominent gay activist Allen Roskoff, they intentionally talked over the speakers and

created a ruckus in an effort to keep the Quinn group from getting their message out. Assemblymember Deborah Glick, who has endorsed Quinn for mayor, later blasted the anti-Quinn protesters for engaging in what she called “Tea Party tactics.” Duane criticized actress Susan Sarandon, who was slated to appear at the De Blasio rally, for flip-flopping on the hospital issue, because she had previously criticized the St. Vincent’s E.R. as an unfit place to take her own children. But when Sarandon testified against St. Vincent’s, it was when the hospital was planning to build an oversized tower on its O’Toole site for a new hospital, which was opposed by many neighbors. Duane, Hoylman and Glick also slammed de Blasio as a “Billy Come Lately” who was not noticeably active on the St. Vincent’s issue during crunch time when last-ditch efforts were being made to save the failing hospital. For his part, de Blasio has previously told The Villager that Quinn and Bloomberg “should be seen as one” on the St. Vincent’s issue — as they have been on most issues, he added — and that Quinn did not sufficiently push the free-market, laissez-faire mayor to intervene to keep the historic Catholic hospital from closing. De Blasio vowed that, if elected, he would do more to keep hospitals from closing. “We welcome Bill de Blasio’s help,” Duane said, “but he was not around at St.

Vincent’s closing. Christine Quinn, Deborah Glick and I were at all the hearings. I know what Christine did, I was there. I know how hard she fought.” Carrying an 1199 sign, a member of the hospital workers union passing by sniped at Duane, “Haven’t you done enough damage?” Predictably, Capsis’s surprising outburst grabbed the headlines of the daily newspapers and TV news channels, overshadowing the larger debate about the closing of St. Vincent’s and the future of healthcare on the Lower West Side. Seizing on an emotional issue for Villagers — and hitting a vulnerable spot for Quinn — de Blasio, the city’s public advocate, on Sunday evening had e-mailed out his Monday schedule, announcing he was holding a “Hospitals Not Condos” rally near the site of the former St. Vincent’s Hospital. The Greenwich Lane, a new residential development with condos going for $2 million to $20 million, is rising on the former St. Vincent’s site. (Schwartz, last week, had tipped The Villager off about the upcoming de Blasio press conference, and The Villager was the first to report it, in an online article last Friday.) And de Blasio reportedly plans to keep pounding at the St. Vincent’s issue, and thus, pounding at Quinn. At the rally, Jill Furillo, executive director of the New York State Nurses Association, said they will return to the same location, Seventh and Greenwich

Aves., on Thurs., Aug. 29, for an even bigger rally with more 1199 members, again to be led by de Blasio. “We are going to have a massive rally here with 1199, fighting for our hospitals,” she declared, “and Bill de Blasio is going to be leading that charge.” At the scene of the de Blasio rally on Monday, Tony Hoffmann, president of Village Independent Democrats, which has endorsed District Leader Jonathan Geballe for re-election against Schwartz, said, “This is a political rally,” quickly adding, “I’m in favor of a full-service hospital in Greenwich Village — very much in favor.” Following Capsis’s outburst, de Blasio, at the start of his rally — which was far larger than the pro-Quinn group’s rally — urged everyone to be “peaceful” and “respectful.” He was accompanied by three celebrity activists, Harry Belafonte, Sarandon and Cynthia Nixon of “Sex and the City.” “It’s a city of 8.4 million people,” de Blasio told the crowd, “and every one of them needs access to healthcare. Mayor Bloomberg let 12 hospitals close on his watch,” he said, as the crowed booed. Bloomberg, de Blasio said, “did not lift a finger” to try to save St. Vincent’s. “We’re not going to accept the arguments that because it’s a challenging situation, we’re not going to get involved,” he

Continued on page 5


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August 22 - September 4, 2013 5

deBlasio takes on Quinn on healthcare her home turf Continued from page 4 said. “Mayors are supposed to get involved — that’s what we’re here for.” Referring to struggling Brooklyn hospitals, he continued, “Usually, the losers when hospitals close are low-income people, working people, people of color. If we lose L.I.C.H. [Long Island Community Hospital] and Interfaith, a quarter million people have an unacceptably long trip to a hospital. “This is the moment when we need to turn the corner,” de Blasio said. “Do we need more luxury condos?” he asked the crowd, which answered back loudly, “No!” “Do you want healthcare?” he asked, as the crowd roared back, “Yes!” “Brothers and sisters, the people have spoken,” de Blasio said, before introducing Belafonte as the next speaker. Referring to the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington, Belafonte, 85, cited Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech. Parts of the dream are still unfulfilled, one of them being healthcare, he said in his hoarse rasp, the lingering result of a recent stroke. “New York is about neighborhoods,” said Sarandon, who lives in the Village. “Now, in your neighborhood, you have your deli, your school, your church…your synagogue,” and she added, to cheers, “and your hospital. “But seriously, we can bail out Wall St.,” she said, “we can’t find a way to keep a hospital?” The crowd exploded in cheers. Sarandon added that after 9/11, St. Vincent’s, a Level 1 trauma center, was where people lined up to give blood. Nixon recalled how St. Vincent’s took in AIDS patients during the AIDS crisis in the 1980s when no one else would. “This is why it’s important to have a hospital in your community,” she stressed. Referring to the “immense power of the real estate industry,” she added, “We need a mayor who will stand up to that kind of pressure.” Taking the microphone back, de Blasio blasted Bloomberg for recently saying, “ ‘You can’t have a hospital on every corner.’ … Not a single one of us called for a hospital on every corner,” he retorted. “We just want to keep the hospitals we have. “Bottom line, we have a chance to protect healthcare in the city,” de Blasio said, “to provide healthcare for everyone.” Or…there’s the alternative, he said, and pointed over at the site of the Greenwich Lane condo project across the street. “Brothers and sisters, we cannot, and we will not let this happen again,” he vowed, pointing his finger at the construction site. During a Q&A period with reporters, The Villager asked de Blasio if he would go as far as to commit to restoring a full-service hospital on the Lower West Side. De Blasio said that, for right now, he is just committing to making sure that the North Shore-Long Island Jewish Health System’s 24/7 emergency room and care center opens in the former St. Vincent’s O’Toole building, across from

the Rudin condos. Work is underway on the free-standing E.R., and a hard hat could be seen and heard loudly jackhammering — or possibly riveting — on a scaffold on the side of the building during the rally. Terry Lynam, a spokesperson for North Shore-L.I.J., said the stand-alone E.R. is on schedule to open in June 2014. Also, in the crowd was nurse Eileen Dunn, who for 18 years led the nurses union at St. Vincent’s. Before the second rally started, she told The Villager about how Mt. Sinai, in February 2010, seemed to be on the verge of taking over St. Vincent’s, before the deal suddenly, mysteriously, collapsed. “For two weeks, they were in the hospital, with their accountants, their architects, the president” she said, recalling how Mt. Sinai personnel were checking out St. Vincent’s and its infrastructure. “I got a call to meet with the head of nurses of Mt. Sinai. Then, that Monday, I got a call — the whole deal was off. That was a serious two-week negotiation,” she said. “Very serious.” Addressing the crowd, Estela Vasquez, 1199 executive vice president, angrily criticized the mayor, saying, “You tell us to stop smoking, and not to drink sodas. You tell us what to do with our garbage. Dammit! Now we are telling you — don’t close our hospitals!” She then led the crowd in a chant of “No Mas Condominiums! No Mas Condominiums!” Duane, who hung around to keep an eye on the de Blasio rally, said he is committed to continuing to try to get a hospital built on the O’Toole site. “If we can get a hospital on top of it, we’re not giving up the fight to bring back a full-service hospital to this community,” he said. Duane said it was Quinn who secured O’Toole as a “base” for a future hospital to be built on top of. He contrasted the fight to save L.I.C.H., which is run by the State University of New York, to St. Vincent’s, which was run by the Catholic Archdiocese. “It was a private entity,” he said of the latter. “It was not dependent on state funding. It came out of bankruptcy a few years ago, and it still had debt.” To illustrate that he, too, used to use the hospital, Duane held up his thumb, showing a scar, and said, “I went to St. Vincent’s Hospital.” Of de Blasio’s event, he said, “I don’t think he should have had a press conference here.” As for why Quinn wasn’t there, he said, “I said, ‘Don’t come, because you have nothing to prove.’ ” Jim Fouratt was part of the coalition that fought to save St. Vincent’s and then to restore a hospital to the Village. Speaking after the de Blasio rally, Fouratt said he didn’t recall de Blasio having been active on the St. Vincent’s issue when the hospital was facing closure. Yet, Fouratt said, “Despite the fact that Bill de Blasio never showed any public action about St. Vincent’s, with his campaign stump speech here — and he talked about

his private conversations with the mayor [about St. Vincent’s], which we’re not aware of — he clearly today becomes the candidate of choice for those who care about progressive values in a culturally and economically diverse city. He’s taken the lead on the hospital issue — an issue which our neighborhood certainly knows about.” Fouratt, a longtime vehement Quinn foe, previously supported Anthony Weiner and then John Liu for mayor. Glick, for her part, asked of Capsis’s slapping incident, “I mean, how is he not arrested? He slapped a state senator.” Hoylman had his young daughter, Silvia, 2½, with him at the press conference. However, he had moved her out of harm’s way when he sensed the crowd was getting rowdy. “Brad should probably get a restraining order [against Capsis] for the protection of his child,” Glick said. Hoylman said he’s O.K., but he’s just sad that his daughter had to witness the incident. Capsis has a prior slapping incident, in which he struck a Sixth Precinct police officer after the officer’s van cut him off while Capsis rode his bike in the Bleecker St. bike lane. The officer responded by punching Capsis in the eye and breaking his glasses. Capsis is suing the city for $1 million and is being represented by Schwartz. Glick, who wasn’t at the rally but joined Duane and Hoylman to “slam” (as their joint press release said) de Blasio for not having

been active earlier on the St. Vincent’s issue when it really mattered, also took a shot at City Council candidate Yetta Kurland for — in Glick’s words — “fanning the flames” of the hospital issue without a realistic solution in sight. Told of that comment, a Kurland spokesperson responded, “There’s no reason to give up on a hospital. New Yorkers know that where there is a will, there is a way. With the right leadership at City Hall, on the Council and in Albany, the people in Chelsea and the West Village can get the hospital they deserve. … [T]here’s no reason to give up on hospital services for neighborhoods on the West Side.” Quinn issued a press release decrying the “violence” by Capsis. “There is no place in this city — let alone a political campaign — for violence or intimidation of any kind,” she said. However, Schwartz said the hoopla with Capsis — which was what all the media covered — took the focus off the real issue of the de Blasio press conference, namely, restoring healthcare. And he claimed that was precisely what the Quinn supporters wanted. Glick dismissed the de Blasio rally as “total political,” since it’s clear that he held it in Quinn’s district to try to damage her. Hospitals have closed in Queens affecting far more people, she said. “Of course it’s political,” countered Schwartz. “It’s an election!”

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East Village raises $18,000 for florist hurt by drag racer Continued from page 1 gave live on E. Fourth St. and in the East Village and Downtown area. But a couple of people from as far away as Australia also gave — one of the ID’s said, “A Villager reader from Australia,” according to Marlow. Ali worked for 22 years at East Village Farm deli, at Second Ave. and Fourth St., doing everything from making freshsqueezed juices and salads to manning the flower stand. However, his daily work routine — and his life — were shattered early on the morning of June 19. That’s when Shaun Martin, 32, a Queens resident, came speeding and swerving down Second Ave. in a white Nissan, reportedly at around 80 miles per hour, lost control and went flying up onto the sidewalk. Ali was one of three of the deli’s workers to be injured, and was the most seriously hurt. Martin was allegedly high on PCP and methamphetamine, according to Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance. A grand jury indicted Martin last month on charges including aggravated vehicular assault and driving while impaired. Last Friday, Marlow handed over the check to Islam — who lives nearby on E. Fourth St. with his mother — inside the Starbucks on First Ave. at E. Third St. The C.B. 3 member invited The Villager along to cover the story, saying he wanted to give the newspaper the exclusive. Islam’s father is still recovering, and is currently at the Kessler Institute for Rehabilitation in West Orange, N.J. It’s the same top rehab facility where “Superman” actor Christopher Reeve was treated after injuring his spine in a horse-riding accident, and also where Marlow’s own father was treated after he — just like Ali — was critically injured by an intoxicated driver in 1995. Islam, who goes by the nickname “Rinku,” said his father is conscious, and will open his eyes if someone is in the room and talking to him. He can turn his head and point to people with his right arm, and can raise his right leg. But his left leg and ankle are injured, and he’s not moving that leg or his

left arm, either. He is also intubated — periodically put on a ventilator to help him breathe — and because the tube crosses over his vocal chords, he cannot currently talk. In addition, as a result of brain injury suffered from the force of the impact, he has completely lost his memory, and currently doesn’t even recognize his own family members. Describing how doctors explained the brain injury, Islam said, “They gave the example of eggs — when you shake the egg. … He lost his whole memory. They don’t want to give a guarantee. They’re not 100 percent sure if he’ll get his memory back.” Islam is the youngest of five children, four brothers and a sister. However, he said, they recognize that it’s their father’s life partner, their Chad Marlow, rear, mother, who is most last Friday. affected by his situation. “We’re just worrying about my mom,” Islam said. Nevertheless, Islam said of his father, “His condition is getting better.” Marlow encouragingly said that the brain is a funny thing, and that it can suddenly and unexpectedly snap back after a traumatic injury. For example, after his own father suffered brain injury after being struck by a drunk driver, his dad at one point had a brief personality change and began cursing, which he had never done before. But then, just as suddenly, he stopped doing it. However, Marlow’s dad never fully recovered from his injuries, and it was devastating for the entire family. Islam said it’s not known when his dad

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presented a check with the crowdsourcing funds to Akkas Ali’s son Rukanul Islam

will be released from the rehab facility. But Marlow said, again speaking from the experience of having his father go through a similar recovery, that even after Ali comes home, he’ll need to continue rehabbing for some while. Among the many who gave funds to the campaign for Ali was Veselka restaurant, which made one of the biggest contributions at $500. The Lower Eastside Girls Club gave $100. Bob Holman of the Bowery Poetry Club also gave, with the encouraging message posted on the GiveForward site, “Strength.” Activist and journalist Bill Weinberg, who leads tours for the new MoRUS museum on Avenue C, donated. Also giving was State Democratic Committeewoman Rachel Lavine, who lives in the West Village. (Lavine’s partner is attorney Roberta Kaplan, who represented Edie Windsor in the recent historic Supreme Court case overturning the Defense of Marriage Act.) “I was kind of the catalyst for this thing,” Marlow said. “But I was one of 290 who gave. At the end of the day, a bit of the money is from me, just a bit. [Marlow gave $100.] I’m very grateful for having this opportunity to help. It’s been a bit of a healing experience for me. I walked past [the site of the crash], and it was all I could think about. I was really gratified that I could play a role. But it was really the East Village that did this. “There were people of the East Village that have limited ability to pay, that don’t have bank accounts or credit,” Marlow added, “that literally came to my building and gave me $5 and $10 bills.”

Islam works at Soho House in the Meatpacking District as a food runner, taking food from the kitchen to the servers. He attended P.S. 19. His family immigrated from Sylhet, Bangladesh’s second largest city, settling in the East Village, where there was a sizable Bangladeshi community. Due to the economy, the size of that community has waned a bit in recent years, he said. The money, he said, will go to help his mother. Meanwhile, his father’s insurance is paying for his medical care. Asked what he’d like to see happen to the driver who so severely harmed his dad, nearly killing him, Islam didn’t express a desire for extreme vengeance. “He’s in jail right now. But...,” he said, and paused, “...I don’t know if I have anything to say. He was drunk and driving. His mind was on drugs.” “I feel the same,” added Marlow, recalling his feelings about the driver who injured his own father. “It’s not going to make things better, whatever happens to the guy. It doesn’t matter. If this guy going to jail for 20 years could have helped my father...,” he said, his voice trailing off. Asked if he had anything to say to the people who funded the crowdsourcing campaign for his dad, Islam said, “I want to tell the people that care about us and are fans of my father, that we are happy. They really care. So we are very happy. I want to say thanks to everybody.” He shook hands with Marlow, then embraced him in a hug. “I’m glad I could help,” said Marlow.

August 22 - September 4, 2013 7

Advocate candidate would advocate for working class Continued from page 1 nice if you actually knew something.’ That stopped me,” Guerriero recalled. Since that conversation, Guerriero, who lives in the Seward Park Co-op on Grand St. on the Lower East Side, has been working to prepare for what she says is the only job she has ever wanted. “I come from a working-class family,” she said. “I was kind of smart, a great ball player, and the homecoming queen. It doesn’t really add up, to know how to serve,” she admitted of her aspiration to becoming public advocate. Along the way to her breakout political moment, Guerriero has worked at nonprofits, earned a Ph.D. in education administration and is currently a consultant for small businesses and nonprofits. One of her jobs was with the Catholic Archdiocese of New York, where she was the director of strategic planning under Cardinal Edward Egan. Guerriero was responsible for organizing Pope Benedict XVI’s visit to Manhattan. “I was able to get hundreds of thousands of Catholics in and out of New York City in 2008,” she boasted. She teaches education and politics at Columbia University’s Teachers College and at New York University’s Steinhardt School of Education. “The expert interests of children should be at the center of every conversation,” she said. Guerriero wants to do away with mayoral control of the schools. She claims the achievement gap for children of color has not narrowed over the past 12 years, and that mayoral control has been a failure for the children of New York. In fact, the outspoken Guerriero is statistically tied for first place in the public advocate race, at least according to her. She has been consistently working hard over the past 15 months in her daily bid for office, and has attended more than 1,000 meetings. Meanwhile, she has also kept up with her university jobs and just finished teaching two classes this summer. “I wanted to keep that part of my brain running,” she said. “I’m teaching this fall — you have got to keep the lights on.” She grew up on Staten Island and in Brooklyn. She and her husband have a 3-year-old daughter, and have lived on the Lower East Side for two years. “This is where I wanted to raise my child,” she said. She previously lived in Chelsea for eight years. In her fight to support small businesses, Guerriero will focus on accountability. She claims city agencies excessively fine, even triple-fining, businesses, and she wants to put a stop to it.  Guerriero has secured more than 40 union endorsements and refers to herself

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as “the unequivocal union candidate.” She hails from three generations of union workers, such as longshoreman and public school teachers, and her six siblings are teachers, firefighters and police officers. “The importance of the unions coming through, not negotiating [with them] in good faith perhaps may be the most important issue of the mayor’s deal with contracts,” she stated. “I need to hold the mayor’s feet to the fire.” Her urgency about the issue is personal. Guerriero’s dad worked as a public school teacher by day, and a longshoreman security guard at night. “My dad worked hard for those pensions. Keep your hand out of my daddy’s pockets,” she declared. Guerriero prides herself on a direct approach and really listening to people and their concerns. She says this is what has helped her gain many endorsements from faith-based leaders to dozens of unions. “I exist in the zeitgeist of the New York City working class who are tired of being told that money and power will give someone else power over them,” she said. Guerriero has run her grassroots campaign with modest means, and refers to it as “a working-class conversation.” If elected, Guerriero would create a 50-person think tank in the public advocate’s office. She envisions a rotating, unpaid research fellowship for a few months at a time where students would conduct “snapshot studies” on various issues that she can rely on. This would also give her a quick turnaround time to present data to the city on an issue. “I don’t want to turn the office into an academic space,” she explained, though adding, “I can use this as the lever of power, in a much-maligned and much-confused job.”

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August 22 - September 8, 2013

opponents go postal over Chin’s real estate PAC mailings BY LincoLn anderson Spurred by a slew of recent mailings by the real estate industry endorsing Margaret Chin for re-election, a local political club has gone postal — as in, firing back with a spoof mailing of its own. Sean Sweeney of the Downtown Independent Democrats recently created the anti-Chin piece while on vacation in Wisconsin, with the help of Penelope Grill, a friend from Soho who has some good computer design software. D.I.D. has endorsed Jenifer Rajkumar, Chin’s opponent. The spoof mailing was sent to 15,000 people in Lower Manhattan’s First Council District, and hit people’s mailboxes this Mon., Aug. 12. The design, printing and mailing of the piece cost $6,500 total, paid for out of D.I.D. funds. But that sum doesn’t come close to the nearly $80,000 that the new Jobs for New York PAC has spent on pro-Chin mailings in the past month and a half. In late June and early July, the new PAC sent out at least eight mailings backing the incumbent councilmember for re-election, according to the city’s Campaign Finance Board. These mass mailings fall under the category of “independent expenditures,” since the money was not contributed directly to Chin’s campaign. The PAC is backing Chin, one another Council incumbent and six challengers for other seats. The Chin mailings have each focused on a different issue, or, as they are described in their entries on the C.F.B. Web site: “Chin Education,” “Chin Jobs & Economy,” “Chin

A spoof mailer created by Sean Sweeney replaces the photos of local politicians endorsing Margaret Chin, like Sheldon Silver and Nydia Velazquez, on a Jobs for New York PAC mailer with photos of developers who are leading members of REBNY, a member of the PAC.

Meet Margaret,” “Chin Tough Negotiator,” “Chin’s Record,” “Chin Affordable Housing.” The PAC’s pro-Chin materials cost about $12,500 per mass mailing to send out. One of the Jobs for New York pieces declares Chin will fight to create affordable housing. Another touts her record on creating new schools and reducing class size. A third proclaims, “Margaret Chin is Rebuilding New

York’s Middle Class.” The mailings highlight that she is endorsed by the likes of Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, Councilmember Rosie Mendez and Congressmember Nydia Velazquez, with small head shots of each. However, many Downtown residents are outraged that Chin has not rejected the support — and prolific mailings — of Jobs for New York, since one of the PAC’s leading members, the Real Estate Board of New York, has consistently fought to weaken rent-regulation protections for middle- and lower-class residents. Chin has refused to publicly reject the PAC’s efforts on her behalf, saying that, well, she can’t really do anything about it since it’s an independent expenditure. Nevertheless, with the upcoming primary election now just a month away, her rival Rajkumar is challenging Chin to rebuff both the real estate group’s support and its mailings on her behalf. The upstart Democratic district leader called on Chin to do so at a recent debate sponsored by the League of Women Voters. But, again, Chin said she couldn’t do anything about it, due to the nature of it being an independent expenditure. In a recent interview with the editorial staff of The Villager and NYC Community Media, Chin reiterated that she really can’t do much about an outside group if it wants to support her and send out mailings in praise of her. “Probably, I have already said that this kind of expenditure is not good,” she told The Villager. “We can send them a stronger message, but it’s an independent expenditure.” She quipped that she wished the mailings had better photos of her. She stressed that people instead should look at her “track record” and her endorsements by elected officials, like Congressmembers Jerry Nadler and Velazquez and the Working Families Party. And she pointed to her efforts to save affordable housing at 505 LaGuardia Place, a Mitchell-Lama co-op on New York University’s southern superblock in the South Village. She noted, “505 LaGuardia was separate from the ULURP,” referring to the public review of N.Y.U.’s 2031 mega-development plan, “but

it was going on in the background — to preserve it for affordable housing. You’re talking about 175 families, and a lot of them are seniors. “We’re going back to our track record,” Chin stated. “Look at my history — for my constituents. I’ve been there for them.” She added that she was disappointed at not being able to get 100 percent affordable housing for the SPURA (Seward Park Urban Renewal Area) project, and had to settle for 50 percent, which nevertheless is still a very high percentage. And whether a school is part of the project still needs to be settled, she added. But she said that she did push for more affordable housing and was able to win 21 Spring St. in Nolita as a site for it. Chin, in turn, lashed back at Rajkumar, taking exception with the district leader’s base of support, telling The Villager, “You should ask my opponent — why are a lot of her constituents from out of state? And what about her contributions from wealthy SouthAsian friends?” Chin said she’s used to being mischaracterized, recalling her early days as an activist. “Back then, they called me a communist,” she said. “You just have to look at where her support is,” Chin charged, referring to Rajkumar again and her backers. “I’ve been here for 50 years. This is the community that I love.” Meanwhile, Rajkumar, in an interview with The Villager and NYC Community Media, pulled no punches when asked about Chin and the Jobs for New York mailings. “This is an attempt to buy the Council seat — just as the Council seat has been up for sale the last four years,” she asserted. “Chin said, ‘I can’t stop them.’ … We need a real leader in the Council who actually stands up for the community. She couldn’t stop N.Y.U., she couldn’t stop the [South St.] Seaport plan, she couldn’t stop the [Jobs for New York] PAC… .” A spokesperson for the PAC explained, in a statement, why they feel that Chin is the right woman for the job. “Jobs for New York and its members believe

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Continued from page 8 strongly that New York City needs to create jobs, strengthen the local housing market and create more affordable housing options in order to make the local economy grow,” he said. “Margaret Chin’s time in public service makes it clear that she shares this view. She’s the kind of leader New York City needs in office right now.” He praised Chin for her “balance.” “She has amassed a very balanced record over the years,” he said, “creating jobs…a happy balance.” He noted that Jobs for New York isn’t just composed of REBNY, but also includes the likes of the mason tenders and carpenters unions. The economic recovery is still pretty tepid,

and the PAC doesn’t want to see things backslide, he added. Plus, due to term limits, there will be a big turnover next year in the Council, with about 20 new members, he said. So, they are targeting a few Council races they feel are “competitive” — with Chin vs. Rajkumar clearly being one of them. The PAC spokesperson argued that it’s incorrect to say that REBNY “takes issue with affordable housing.” Practically the only new affordable housing being created in Manhattan below 96th St. is being built by REBNY members, he noted. These units are part of the 421-a program, or “80/20,” under which 80 percent of a building’s apartments are market rate but the remainder are affordable, in return for which the developer gets a tax break. However, generally, these units are not permanently affordable.

Assemblyman Shelly Silver If you need assistance, please contact my office at (212) 312-1420 or email


August 22 - September 4, 2013

Police BLOTTER Sex-shop spree Three kinky chicks allegedly used a stolen credit card to buy more than $500 worth of goods at West Village sex shops, but their spree came to an unhappy climax when cops slapped the cuffs — not the pink, fuzzy kind — on them. The credit card’s owner, a 28-year-old female immigrant, had previously filed a report with police claiming that Kareen Walcott, 35; Tais Bomani, 22; and Amanda Roman, 19, teamed up to snatch her wallet, which also included her green card and other items. Using descriptions provided by the victim, officers stopped and searched the alleged thieving trio shortly after midnight on Aug. 18, on W. Third St. near Sixth Ave., and arrested them upon finding both the missing wallet and an alleged marijuana joint being passed between two of them. Authorities said that, at the time of their arrest, the vixens had just finished using the stolen credit to make purchases at two nearby sex shops. The trio reportedly spent roughly $150 at Fantasy Party — on Sixth Ave. between W. Third and Fourth Sts. — and about $360 at Tic Tac Toe New York, Inc. — on W. Fourth St. between Cornelia and Jones Sts. All three women were charged with petty larceny, criminal possession of stolen property and identity theft. Walcott and Bomani

were also charged with unlawful possession of marijuana.

Bust burglar in classy crib Police arrested Osman Sannoh, 26, on the evening of Aug. 17 after he reportedly climbed through the open window of a nearly $7 million West Village home and tried to steal property. A witness called police around 6:30 p.m. and claimed that he saw Sannoh hop over a locked fence outside 18 Grove St., and then use the building’s fire escape to climb up and enter a second-floor window. Police responded to the scene minutes after receiving the call, and arrested Sannoh inside the building, charging him with burglary. In hindsight, Sannoh had probably thought he was going to make off with some serious loot when he first made it inside 18 Grove St. that evening. According to the Web site of the Douglas Elliman real estate agency, the classy four-story, 3,700-square-foot townhouse most recently sold for $6.7 million — though that was a steal compared to the original asking price of $7.8 million, reported by the real estate Web site Curbed last December.

Coked-up robber Police arrested Matthew Calendar, 31, after they say he tried to rob a 23-year-old

woman at knifepoint early on Aug. 16. The victim told officers that, as she was walking past the corner of Bleecker and Thompson Sts. around 5 a.m., Calendar slashed her arm with the knife and attempted to grab into her pocket. Based on reports, the would-be thief apparently gave up empty-handed after the woman struggled, and instead simply fled the scene on foot. After the woman called police, officers began a canvass of the area and caught Calendar near the scene, where they found he was also carrying a bag of apparent cocaine. Calendar was charged with attempted robbery, criminal possession of a weapon and criminal possession of a controlled substance.

Hack window smash Police arrested Austin Otto, 23, on the evening of Aug. 17 after a cabbie claimed Otto punched out two of his car’s windows. The taxi driver, 30, told officers he picked Otto up around 8 p.m. near the corner of W. 11th St. and Seventh Ave., without incident. But he said that as he drove away, without any provocation, Otto turned around in his seat and shattered both the rear windshield and rear passenger-side window of the cab. The fare then fled out of the car and made off on foot, according to the hack, who called police.

Otto was caught shortly afterward during a police canvass of the area, and was charged with criminal mischief.

Drinks on you! A woman allegedly found someone else’s lost credit card, and celebrated by using it to buy a couple of drinks around the corner — but unfortunately for her, the card’s owner wanted it back. A woman, 22, told police that around 5:45 p.m. on Aug. 17, shortly after leaving Sugar & Plumm, a bakery at the corner of Bleecker and Cornelia Sts., she realized she’d left her wallet in the store. After returning to the shop and not finding the plastic, the woman said she called her bank to cancel it — only to be informed that the card had actually just been used at the Village Tavern, at Bedford and Cornelia Sts. She promptly called the Village Tavern, where an employee told her the suspect — later identified as Ella Glaser, 26 — was still sitting in the place. After the bar employee called police to report the situation, officers showed up to arrest Glaser and recover the stolen wallet. Glaser was charged with grand larceny, identity theft and criminal possession of stolen property.

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August 22 - September 4, 2013 11

Bike store owners put their spin on new bike-share BY cLarissa-Jan LiM New Yorkers, albeit many of them grudgingly, are gradually getting used to more pedaling passengers on those blazing blue Citi Bikes. But what about local bike shops? Is Citi Bike rolling up riders at their expense? At Gotham Bikes in Tribeca, a manager who gave his name as “Ben W.” said the shop has seen an increase in its overall sales due to the bike-share program. “It’s getting more people on the road, more people learning about the sport and getting involved,” he said. An employee at Danny’s Cycles in Gramercy said Citi Bike is a good option for people to ease into biking in a city famed for its vehicular congestion and aggressive drivers. “They can try out a bike without committing to buying one,” James Ryan said. “It makes a more comfortable biking environment in the city because there are a lot more bikes, too.” Business at Danny’s Cycles has increased as well since the advent of bikeshare. “A lot of people come in for bike gear, and we’ve sold a lot of helmets,” he noted. Rentals are not a big part of the business at either Gotham Bikes or Danny’s

Cycles. But for Frank’s Bike Shop, a small business that has been at its current Lower East Side location on Grand St. since 1976, the bike-share program has been bad news. Owner Frank Arroyo said that his rental business has decreased by 90 percent since the Citi Bikes were rolled out last month. Arroyo’s main rental customers are European tourists, a demographic that has since been drawn away by Citi Bikes. Initially, a bike-share station was sited a few doors away from Frank’s Bike Shop on the corner of Grand and Henry Sts. But a petition on moveon. org to relocate the bike station gathered more than 1,000 signatures. The Citi Bike dock was eventually removed — but only temporarily, according to the Citi Bike Twitter account, for utility construction in the street. “I was grateful, and it was quite an honor to see how many people responded on my behalf,” Arroyo said of the petition effort. “It was really nice to see that people care. But they have flooded the place with them,” he said of the Department of Transportation, which installs the bike racks. Removing one station does little since the are is overloaded with Citi Bike stations, said Arroyo. “If you put it in front of a hotel, customers are going to walk of the hotel and

use it,” he said. However, Ben said the bike-share is good for bike sales at his shop. “People have used the bike-share and realized how great it is to bike in the city, then decide that they want something nicer for themselves,” he noted. Christian Farrell of Waterfront Bicycle Shop, on West St. just north of Christopher St., said initially he was concerned about bike-share, though, he admitted, “I was happy to see people on bikes.” Consisting of equal parts tourists and locals, his customers get a better rental deal at his shop because, despite charging only $10 for a daily rental, the bike-share program requires cyclists to check their bikes in at a bike station every half hour. His store, on the other hand, charges $10 for the first hour, $5 for the second, and $2.50 per hour after that. “Six hours with Waterfront Bicycle Shop will cost a customer $25,” he said. “With Citi Bike, a six-hour rental will cost $126 [if the rider doesn’t re-dock his or her bike at a station every half hour]. Our rentals always include a helmet, a basket and a lock.” Several dozen rental bikes were lined up on Weehawken St. last Sunday behind the store. Benny, who was watching over

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them, said another advantage over the Citi Bikes is that Waterfront’s bikes are all in good working order. Farrell’s early concerns were echoed by Andrew Crooks, owner of NYC Velo, at 64 Second Ave. “It seemed like a great idea, but one that would be difficult to implement,” Crooks said of Citi Bike. He said he worried about inexperienced riders’ lack of awareness of biking rules and backlash from noncyclists. However, he said, it’s still too early to tell if his business has been impacted. The actual Citi Bikes themselves have been criticized as “heavy,” “clunky,” even “ugly.” In comparison, Crooks said NYC Velo has bikes that are “lighter, faster and tend to be more comfortable.” Farrell of Waterfront also said his bikes are of “better quality” than the bike-share two-wheelers. While it’s possible bike-share will cause a drop in business in the long run, Crooks allowed that the idea, as a whole, is good for the city. “I believe that the program is a positive step forward for New York City,” he said, “and will prove to benefit New York City cycling conditions — in terms of greater acceptance, safety and accessibility.”


August 22 - September 4, 2013

letteRS to the editoR REBNY’s disconnect with reality To The Editor: Re “Don’t buy REBNY hype: Landmarking helps affordability” (Andrew Berman, talking point, Aug. 8): One of the statements in REBNY’s recent report was that the Landmarks Preservation Commission bars modifications in historic districts. A remarkable comment. The fellow who wrote that should get out more. If he did, he would see scaffolding, permit signs and construction all over the place. Within 150 feet of my apartment on E. 10th St. in Greenwich Village, for instance, there are five townhouses undergoing modifications, all of them major jobs and all of them approved after review by L.P.C. Somebody should let that fellow at REBNY out of his cage. Penelope Bareau

A bad combo for landmarks

Man ’n’ hands Scene

To The Editor: Re “Don’t buy REBNY hype: Landmarking helps affordability” (Andrew Berman, talking point, Aug. 8): Community Boards 1, 2 and 3 have among the greatest number of historic districts in the city, and the Real Estate Board of New York is funneling a small fortune into Margaret Chin’s re-election campaign. Chin already made a mockery of the landmarks law, when she pushed through legislation at the City Council to help demolish 135 Bowery, an 1817 Federal gem, at the behest of an international bank that has contributed an additional $6,000 to her Council campaign. Were she to be elected, preservation would grind to a halt in Lower Manhattan. Sean Sweeney

Life imitated art — or at least advertising — on Park Row in front of the old J&R electronics shop, above. Meanwhile, some gloves left perched atop an open sidewalk vault in Soho seemed strangely lifelike, below.

In defense of Tania grossinger To The Editor: I very much resent your continuous presentation of letters regarding Jerry Tallmer’s “Peeling the Layers of Tania Grossinger’s cocoon” (V Lit, July 25). You were aware the day after publication that among many of his other mistakes, I had been totally misquoted regarding what I never said about Avital D’Lugoff during his interview with me. Never once did I describe her as

“troubled” or “in a world of her own” and you knew that. I e-mailed my reservations about his article to you. Yet you repaid me by embarrassing me in more than one issue of The Villager. Tania Grossinger

Another labor of love To The Editor: Re “The birth of new Morton St. school is long overdue” (talking point, by Keen Berger, Aug. 8): Judson Memorial Church is so proud of our member Keen Berger, who gives birth over and over again, this time to a school that will make our whole community proud! Congratulations, Keen. You’ve done it again. Fertility is your middle name. Donna Schaper

‘unbearably’ good article! To The Editor: Re “Poet riffs on life’s ironies in his ‘Divine Comedy’” (V Lit, July 25): Lael Hines has done an excellent job in capturing Ron Kolm’s stream-of-consciousness style of thinking and speaking, and provides some useful context for appreciation of “Divine Comedy” — which is, indeed, quite possibly a unique piece of prosody. Well done! Mike Lindgren

Slices of life cut like gems To The Editor: Re “Poet riffs on life’s ironies in his ‘Divine Comedy’” (V Lit, July 25): Great piece. Ron’s a witty, amicable guy that anyone would love to hang out with. He’s also genuinely selfless and super-generous. His poems are dazzling — cut like gems out of the ordinary surreality that surrounds us. Bravo, Villager, for spotlighting one of our underground literary lions. Jeff Wright

Continued on page 16

iRA blUtReich

Photo by Tequila Minsky

SOUND OFF! Write a letter tO tHe eDitOr Will the N.Y.P.D. adapt to the new court regulations?

August 22 - September 4, 2013 13

It’s time to end Pot Prohibition in New York City TALKING POINT By John C. Liu It’s time to recognize that New York City’s misguided war on marijuana has failed. Instead of spending millions on lowlevel drug prosecutions that disproportionately affect minorities, why not instead legalize, regulate and tax the city’s $1.65 billion marijuana market? A comprehensive report released by my office this month, “Regulating and Taxing Marijuana: The Fiscal Impact on NYC,” shows that legalizing, regulating and taxing marijuana could generate more than $400 million annually for the city, money that could be used to cut CUNY tuition in half for New York City residents. Instead of sending kids to the courthouse, let’s send them to college. The social arguments for legalizing marijuana are compelling. Minority communities disproportionately bear the consequences of marijuana arrests in New York City, which are directly related to the New York Police Department’s rampant use of stop and frisk. Combined, blacks and Hispanics make up 45 percent of marijuana users in New York City, but they account for 86 percent of misdemeanor possession arrests. By contrast, whites and Asians constitute 55 percent of users but only 14 percent of arrests. That’s just not fair. An arrest for the possession of even a small amount of pot can have serious consequences. More than half

of marijuana possession arrests in New York City are of people age 25 and under — a group for whom the negative effects of an arrest or criminal record is especially acute. Convictions can affect people’s eligibility for federal student loans and ability to live in an apartment with the New York City Housing Authority, and a history of arrest can bar them from many jobs. Low-level marijuana arrests have skyrocketed during Mayor Bloomberg’s administration and are directly related to the N.Y.P.D.’s stop-and-frisk strategy. Since Mayor Bloomberg took office in 2002, there have been almost 460,000 misdemeanor marijuana arrests. The number of these arrests is on track to reach 37,000 in 2013 alone. Bottom line: The city’s war on marijuana has been misguided and has damaged far too many lives, especially in minority communities. Like Prohibition, it has been a complete failure. Regulating marijuana would keep thousands of New Yorkers out of the criminal justice system, offer relief to those suffering from a wide range of painful medical conditions, and make our streets safer by sapping the dangerous underground market that targets our children. As if that weren’t enough, it would also boost the city’s bottom line. Under my proposal, adults age 21 and over could possess up to one ounce of marijuana, which would be grown, processed and sold by government-licensed businesses for recreational or medicinal purposes. This change won’t happen overnight. We should create an interagency task force to work with the New York

Misdemeanor marijuana arrests have skyrocketed under the Giuliani and Bloomberg administrations compared to under previous mayors.

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State Senate and Assembly in order to pass the legislation needed to implement the plan. New York needs to legalize marijuana and put an end to modern-day Prohibition. Liu is the New York City comptroller and a Democratic candidate for mayor

According to Comptroller John Liu, taxing legal pot sales in New York City could generate $400 million in annual taxes to be shared by the state, city and Metropolitan Transportation Authority.

The costs of a marijuana arrest include police time taking arrestees to the police station, submitting seized marijuana into evidence, fingerprinting and photographing, performing criminal background checks and filling out paperwork. Judicial costs may include the time of prosecutors, public defenders and bailiffs and other administrative work. According to Comptroller John Liu the total cost savings would be $31 million.

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August 22 - September 4, 2013

Amid Village’s changes, their love has been a constant By Bob Krasner There are people who will tell you, no matter where you are, that the neighborhood ain’t what it used to be. Of course, they are probably right. And if they have been around long enough to remember what the neighborhood used to be like, chances are they are not what they used to be, either. But you won’t hear any complaints from 90-year-old Mel London or his wife, Sheryl, who have been married for 67 years and have lived in the same East Village apartment since 1958. Sheryl was a 17-year-old Cooper Union art student in pigtails when they first met in 1944. She was from Brooklyn and he came from the Bronx. “A mixed marriage,” Mel quipped. They spent the first two years of marriage in Salzburg and Berlin, where Mel was an officer in command of “black troops in a segregated army — a marvelous, remarkable experience,” he said. On their return to the States in 1948, they lived with family for nine years on the Upper East Side. “Hated it — it was deadly,” they agreed. They found their permanent residence in the East Village, close to where Sheryl had previously lived on St. Mark’s Place. “It was a Jewish and Italian neighborhood — still part of the Lower East Side,” she recalled. The Yiddish theaters were going strong on Second Ave. and the local beat cop, who knew everyone, used to bring sandwiches to the musicians who played outside St. Mark’s Church and took kids to see the ballet. The stores were all of the “mom and pop” variety, and on the Fourth of July the rooftops were full of families watching the fireworks because no one had a second home to run off to. Mel had transitioned from his gigs as a radio sportscaster, a writer for Skitch Henderson and “The Morning Show” on NBC and a production assistant to a new position directing live television for PBS, where Sheryl joined him as an art

director. The Fifties gave way to the Sixties and the flower children began to show up. “But they didn’t live here,” said Mel. “They lived in Queens and Brooklyn,” Sheryl chimed in. “They came here and changed their clothes to walk down St. Mark’s Place.” If one is going to be jealous of something other than the couples’ beautiful, enduring relationship, then it would be their front-row seat on the incredible show put on by the counterculture. The original production of “Hair” at the Public Theatre and Jimi Hendrix and the Jefferson Airplane down the street at the now-defunct Fillmore East were just a few of the shows they attended. And then there was the never-ending performance in the streets: antiwar riots, hippies, art and music everywhere. Sheryl remembers a young woman at the laundromat across the street, chanting Hare Krishna as she took off her orange robe and underwear. She continued chanting as she sat there in the nude, waiting for the clothes to wash.  The Seventies came along and eventually punk rock replaced flower power. A severe crack epidemic settled in and low-rent hookers began to populate to the neighborhood, but the Londons never considered leaving. Film work took them all over the world, shooting documentaries and corporate promotional films, but they never tired of coming home to Second Ave., where they began to produce a popular series of cookbooks. According to Mel, the diversity of “ethnicity, professions and lifestyles” and the energy of the streets has had a profound effect on them. The pair can be seen almost daily walking the streets, arm in arm. Through the changes of the Eighties, Nineties and the recent years, they still feel the same about their home. “What a remarkable city!” Mel said passionately. “When I walk through

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Sheryl and Mel London in their East Village apartment.

the streets, however slowly, it keeps me alive.” While one listens to the Londons, it is not the facts and figures and memories that one walks away with. You can add it all up: 67 years of marriage, 55 years in the same apartment, jobs in 60 countries, 43 documentaries, an Academy Award nomination, 18 cookbooks, a James Beard Award and a 1966

Cadillac that they bought when it was new and only recently let go. No, what really sticks with you is the fact that there they are: laughing together, tweaking each others’ noses, helping each other to remember what might have been forgotten. There is no reason to pine for the good old days. They are still living them.

Catsdtwn8-21_Layout 1 8/20/13 4:11 PM Page 1

August 22 - September 4, 2013 15


WHOM DO YOU TRUST TO KEEP YOU SAFE? The Professional Politicians on the City Council, or the Law Enforcement Professionals of the NYPD?


We Must Hold Speaker Quinn And Council Members Accountable For The Rise In Crime That Could Result John Catsimatidis

We Must NOT Let New York Become Another Chicago!

SUPPORT JOHN CATSIMATIDIS IN THE FIGHT TO KEEP NEW YORK SAFE • OPPOSE the Community “Safety” Act • Keep Commissioner Ray Kelly in place • Add more police in all five boroughs

• Support the Stop-And-Frisk Program • Provide resources the NYPD Needs • Stop terrorists in their tracks

John Catsimatidis Has Been Endorsed By The

NYPD’s Sergeants Benevolent Association “John Catsimatidis has the courage to stand-up to the City Council on issues like Stop and Frisk and the so-called Community Safety Act.” - Ed Mullins, President

SBA President Ed Mullins with John Catsimatidis

Vote For John Catsimatidis In The September 10th Republican Primary! @ JohnCats2013 @ JCats2013 Paid for by the CATS2013 Committee


August 22 - September 4, 2013

letters to the editor Continued from page 12

They panned Michael Moore, too To The Editor: Re “ ‘Zipper’ stops short at exposing the whole story” (arts article, Aug. 8): What would I do without The Villager appearing every week in my mailbox? I read it cover to cover soaking in the news and events of the neighborhood and environs. It's rare these days to find news and opinion so perfectly aligned with doing “what’s right” for New York and New Yorkers like me. However, I couldn’t disagree more with the review of "Zipper," the Coney Island documentary now playing to wide acclaim at IFC Center in the West Village. The reviewer was seeking a “fair and balanced” documentary, and clearly missed the point of the film. While I don’t personally know Amy Nicholson, the producer and director of “Zipper,” I do know that a similar type of review plagued a filmmaker I do know well — Michael Moore. He made a film about my hometown of Flint, Michigan. Yes, “Roger & Me.” Harlan Jacobson, then editor of Film Comment here in the city, wrote a negative

review of “Roger & Me” and, even more, a personal attack on Michael Moore himself. Harlan clearly missed the point, seeking a “fair and balanced” film about the plight of the working class. The documentary genre up to that point was rather staid and boring. “Roger & Me” was an op-ed piece. It was meant to inspire and motivate and make you mad as hell. Some people — like Harlan — just didn’t get it. But Vincent Canby of The New York Times did get it: “Mr. Moore makes no attempt to be fair. Playing fair is for college football. In social criticism anything goes.” “Zipper” probably doesn’t play fair. And it shouldn’t. It has something to say. It is no less a document of fact, but it presents those facts with entertainment and attitude, which is why it’s playing in theaters and not on PBS. If you’re reading this, you’ll probably get “Zipper.” Go see it. A fantastic film. Shawn G. Chittle E-mail letters, not longer than 250 words in length, to or fax to 212-229-2790 or mail to The Villager, Letters to the Editor, 515 Canal St., Suite 1C, NY, NY 10013. Please include phone number for confirmation purposes. The Villager reserves the right to edit letters for space, grammar, clarity and libel. The Villager does not publish anonymous letters.

August 22 - September 4, 2013 17

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August 22 - September 4, 2013


operator would turn greenhouse into Haus, new Euro-techno club

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BY teQUiLa MinsKY A plan is afoot to replace the violenceplagued nightspot Greenhouse in Hudson Square with a new Euro-style, techo- and electronic-music dance club. Paul Horowitz, who said he has no background in the club business, presented his plan to Community Board 2’s State Liquor Authority Committee meeting on Thurs., Aug. 15. He said his club would be called Haus. He described himself as a businessman, and noted several times, “My parents live in Soho,” adding, “I’m with the community.” He said W.i.P., the troubled underground spot connected to Greenhouse, would be closed and turned into a storage area. Committee members grilled him on issues including security and operating hours, and said they supported closing W.i.P. However, Richard Blodgett of Charlton St. gave the committee copies of e-mails he received from signers of a petition in support of Haus, who usaid they felt duped. The petition had simply asked, “Do you want to see Greenhouse closed?” Horowitz said he wants to “raise the caliber” of the patrons at the location. The question was raised whether the club T:9.75”would be grandfathered in under Hudson

Photo by Tequila Minsky

Paul Horowitz’s club would drop the “Green” and the trouble, and replace it with Haus and electronic music.

Square’s recent rezoning, but no one knew for sure. Horowitz agreed to accept various stipulations even before getting a liquor license. Committee member Tobi Bergman remarked that has never been done before at C.B. 2. Horowitz and the committee will work on the stipulations, and the liquor license application will come back to the committee again next month.


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August 22 - September 4, 2013 19

Paternity-testing RV rolls out results in one week By Heather Dubin Questions of paternity are often whispered about behind closed doors. But when “Who’s Your Daddy?” is emblazoned on the side of a nearly 30-foot-long, bright-blue recreational vehicle, the conversation gets a little louder. The roving mobile unit is the brainchild of Jared Rosenthal, owner and operator of Health Street, a Bronx-based DNA- and drug-testing company. They have two vans that go all over Manhattan, from the Village to the Upper East Side, as well as the Bronx, Brooklyn and Queens. Parked on Avenue A near Seventh St. on Monday, Rosenthal spoke about the tests he conducts in the van, and the real-life stories that come with the job. Numerous passersby interrupted as they burst into laughter, asked questions, and took photos of the RV, which was repainted by graffiti artist Tats Cru last year.  A woman walking by with two young children inquired about paternity testing for a man she knows. “We do it right on board,” Rosenthal explained. “The cost is $350. You need the two people you’re testing, along with a photo ID from the dad, and an Rx from a doctor,” he added. During the five-minute process, a cheek swab is taken, which is then sent to a DNA diagnostic center with an accredited lab. The results are returned within a week.  “I know who my ‘daddy’ is” (as in “baby daddy”), the woman said, declining to give her name. But she said she was trying to convince someone else to see if he was the father of a young baby. “Every day you miss out,” Rosenthal told her. “Now is the time.” Once she was out of earshot, Rosenthal explained that some people stop by with questions for “friends” only to come back later to take the test themselves. Rosenthal’s RV has had a makeover since its original incarnation a few years ago as a drug-testing entity. It used to have a large urine cup painted on the side, during which he referred to it as “The Piss Mobile.” They still do accident drug and alcohol testing around the clock. “We do work with the M.T.A. and can be called to do a Breathalyzer test in the middle of the night,” he said. He has also pulled the van up to an office building and had about 30 employees file in, one at a time, to use the on-site bathroom for drug testing. An immigration DNA test is also offered in the RV, at a cost of $425 for two people, plus $100 for each additional person. This test is administered to immigrants from specific countries sponsoring family members to come to the States, who must prove they are related. Rosenthal ships the kit to the United States consulate in that particular country, and after the family members there take the test, it is processed with Immigration Services. “A lot of people don’t know where to go to do this,” he noted. “We go out into differ-

ent immigrant communities to educate people and help them with what they need to know.” Many people unload their emotional baggage when they get into the RV. “We get involved in transitional moments in people’s lives,” Rosenthal said. “It’s crazy. Inside, it’s more intimate, and they tell us a whole story.” However, what would seem to have all the makings of a Maury Povich television talk show is “really a lot more common than you think,” he said. “Daytime talk shows have created this stereotype, and the reality is very different than that,” Rosenthal said of DNA testing. Photo by Heather Dubin He admits to rooting for the guy, and recalled a The Health Street van can answer the question “Who’s Your Daddy?” be it one’s actual father or the man who came in with a father of one’s children, i.e. “baby daddy.” one-week old baby. When the man found out he was ries we hear are just nuts.” Rosenthal said. not the father, he did not want anyone to Another story involves a 24-year-old The women now visit each other, but the know, since he had already bonded with the woman with three daughters and pregnant birth order has been usurped. Rosenthal said child, and wanted to be the dad.  with a fourth, who thought her father was in that the former eldest in Brooklyn joked that According to Rosenthal, “Ninety-eight prison for killing her mother when she was the new sibling, who is the oldest, is really percent of the time the dad is hoping he’s the just 3 years old. Recently, someone told her the youngest because they did not know father, and is involved with the kid’s life.”  that man is not her father, but that a differ- about her. He teaches his staff of 10 to take these ent man in the neighborhood is. “The most important thing we do is bring situations seriously, and “give the people the “She was raised by her grandmother, and closure to stuff,” he said. “It’s amazing how dignity they need.” the kids could have a grandfather down the long people have had these unanswered Rosenthal has been trained to New York block,” Rosenthal said. questions.”   State standards in testing technique, which As opposed to amniocentesis, a prenatal Rosenthal stays in touch with some of his “is not a complicated process,” he noted, and blood test, costing $2,000, also can now clients. While he was elusive in his answer, he, in turn, schools his staff. reveal paternity, but the blood must be taken he said there has “been interest” from TV in A “heritage study,” a percentage break- in a lab. a show on his van. down of a person’s ancestry for $500, is A woman who is married and nine weeks A woman walking by with two girls and a also advertised on the RV. Yet it seems a bit pregnant called about her test, saying she man inquired Rosenthal about paternity testing. pointless, since it’s not allowed by the New had, in fact, slept with two men. The men “He doesn’t think my son is his. He’s York State Department of Health. were different ethnicities, and that made her blond,” she said of the boy. Rosenthal “Their rationale is it has to be through a particularly nervous, Rosenthal said. patiently answered her questions, and handdoctor,” Rosenthal said. The second man was a no-show for the appoint- ed the man a paper with information. About 10 tests a week are done on the ment. When it was rescheduled, the woman then He doesn’t get annoyed with people, and is RV — “usually paternity or sibling studies,” said she wanted to test a third candidate. O.K. with their questions 99 percent of the time. he noted. Rosenthal shared some sobering “The came out of nowhere,” Rosenthal People are always snapping shots of the RV. and positive tales of those who have come said.  “It never stops making me laugh when for answers to, what he called an “an in-the- “People say they know who the dad is, but people take pictures,” he said. “We’re surcloset type of the thing.”  it’s far from perfect,” he said.  rounded by cameras.”  For a paternity test, the cost increases by Rosenthal noted that men base their Rosenthal has been pulled over three $100 per person. assumptions on the children’s looks, while times this year by police officers to take a “The most we’ve had for paternity testing women think they know the paternity based picture of the RV. Firefighters on a fire truck was three,” he said. “And in that instance, on whom they were with. did the same thing one day when they all all three [children, ages 1, 3, and 5] came up A favorite story of his is about four sisters jumped out to take a photo.  negative for the man who thought he was the in Brooklyn who found out they had a fifth As the interview was concluding, a group dad.”’ in Atlanta. That sister had previously lived of Argentinean tourists walked by, then In terms of siblings, some people find in New Jersey, and when her father died, doubled back to ask incredulously, “This is long-lost ones in their 30s or 40s. There is a her grandmother handed her an envelope. It real?” recent case involving a woman who believes turns out her real father had abandoned her “It’s the only one in the world,” Rosenthal she was kidnaped when she was a baby. and raised her four sisters without her. proudly boasted.  “Now we’re testing them, and I’ve been Although they don’t look alike, “They For more information about Health Street talking to them,” Rosenthal said. “The sto- were like sisters, talking over each other,” and the RV visit


August 22 - September 4, 2013

Photo by Tequila Minsky

Enjoying pool jumps while the jumping’s still good! Kids enjoyed taking some running jumps (no diving allowed!) into the Hamilton Fish Recreation Center pool, at Pitt and E. Houston Sts., over the weekend. Believe it or not, the Parks Department brief, two-month-long, summer outdoor pool season will be coming to an end soon, on Mon., Sept. 2. So get your swims in while you can!

August 22 - September 4, 2013 21

eastvillagerarts&entertainment PEOPs portrait project by Fly -

The Adventures of an Underemployed Urban Elf Free cable at Bellevue, $5 Mini Golf at Pier 25, movies and more! sex what government cheese is to dairy goodness.” At the Downtown Health Center (150 Essex St., btw. Rivington & Stanton), they even have free brandname condoms sitting right on the front desk. Apparently this is public knowledge because I recently watched a man walk in with a brown paper bag and quickly fill it to the brim like he was on “Supermarket Sweep.”

BY REV. JEN ( As many of us know, unemployment is only awesome if you are a rich person who has chosen it as a “lifestyle.” Mostly, it sucks. You find yourself at “open calls” for CVS cashier positions that pay $7.60 an hour, wondering where it all went wrong — or more precisely, why you chose to obtain an art school education. Unemployment is even worse when you are unable to collect unemployment or win the “Genius Grant” you’ve expected for over a decade. Going out to eat, going to the movies or even doing laundry all become rare, exotic experiences. This situation oft times creates a form of existential despair that can only be overcome by finding unusual, cheap entertainment, which (believe it or not) is still available Downtown. Hence, this edition of “The Adventures of an Underemployed Urban Elf” is loaded with activities one can enjoy using only a few bills you might happen to find under your filthy couch cushions. So turn that frown upside down and get ready to par-tay!

Third Stop: Mini Golf at Pier 25

Photos by George Courtney

Flask loaded and ready for fun: Jurgen Munster, Cheyenne Picardo, George Courtney and Rev. Jen (clockwise).

First Stop: Visit the Waiting Room at Bellevue!

If your TV is broken (as mine is), don’t despair, there is great news: Bellevue, which was closed for several months due to Sandy, has reopened — and the TV in the waiting room has cable! After accompanying a sick friend there this week, I managed to watch three episodes of “Dateline” on Oprah’s OWN alongside a loquacious, burly security guard. And if you happen to be a patient there, they sometimes give you tranquilizers to shut you up. When you get the bill, simply write, “Return to Sender” on the envelope and pop it in a handy mailbox. An added fashion bonus: If you are admitted as a patient they give you a charming, personalized bracelet.

Second Stop: Stay in Bed and Have Sex!

If you are unemployed, why leave your bed? Just spend all day “doing it,” which you can safely do thanks to free condoms! While NYC is lagging behind other cities in the public toilet department, they do have free condoms. To quote my latest book, “BDSM 101” — “In this recession, free condoms are to

An awesome afternoon at Pier 25: Jurgen Munster, Rev. Jen and Cheyenne Picardo.

Mini Golf is completely underrated. It’s actually way more fun than “real” golf because you don’t need a caddy or a lot of money to do it and there’s not a lot of walking involved. Also, you can talk on a Mini Golf course (nothing annoys me more than activities that require silence). So you can imagine my joy upon learning that Tribeca’s Pier 25 (at N. Moore & West Sts.) offers Mini Golf for only five dollars. I put the word out that this needed to happen immediately and my friends — Cheyenne Picardo (director of the film “Remedy”), Jurgen Munster (lead singer of The Slut Junkies) and George Courtney (brilliant photographer whose photos can be seen herein) — all eagerly agreed to join me. Our first attempt was rained out, but the following day was perhaps the most beautiful in the history of the world — 75 degrees and sunny with no humidity. Good thing, because I wanted to wear a ridiculous golfing outfit. Sadly, I could not afford pants with little whales on them, so I had to settle on a psychedelic poly pantsuit given to me by the Lunachicks over a decade ago. We gathered early at my place, drank wine and watched “Caddyshack” clips for inspiration, all of us longing for a madras blazer similar to Rodney Dangerfield’s. After much procrastination, we embarked on our journey west. At the Pier’s snack bar, we each paid five dollars and procured colorful balls and clubs. An extra dollar procured bananas and chips, which along with our flask of whiskey would provide nourishment. Before we began, Jurgen donned a Skeletor mask — his interpretation of what a wacky golf outfit should be. Cheyenne’s attire consisted of smart slacks and a summer hat akin to some-

Continued on page 25


August 22 - September 4, 2013

See it in September Broadway, brunch, a bunhead and Barbra Over the next few weeks, the A&E section will welcome back some familiar contributors (Martin Denton on theater, Stephanie Buhmann on art) and debut a few new well-traveled experts in their fields (Ophira Eisenberg on storytelling). This week, we’re proud to introduce a column by Jim Caruso — who made his Broadway debut alongside Liza Minnelli in 2009’s Tony Awardwinning “Liza’s At The Palace!” and was called “a top drawer first-rate singer” by Jazz Times (for his studio CD, “The Swing Set”). As host of the long-running “Cast Party” open mic night, he’s welcomed thousands of famous and upcoming musical performers to the Birdland Jazz Club stage. Talented and versatile in his own right, Caruso devotes a good deal of time and effort to singing the praises of others — which is why he makes such a great addition to our roster of contributors. Here’s what Jim recommends you see in September. —Scott Stiffler, Arts Editor

Photo by Bill Westmoreland


ANNIE ROSS Tuesdays at 9:30pm At the Metropolitan Room 34 W. 22nd St. (btw. 5th & 6th Aves.) $25-$115, plus two-beverage minimum Reservations: 212-206-0440 or Visit

One of the most impressive jazz singers in town: Gabrielle Stravelli sings, while you enjoy brunch (at Le Pescadeux).

If there’s a Goddess of Hip, it’s Annie Ross. She was cool before it was cool — and after 50-plus years on the jazz scene, her comfort in the world of bebop and swing is palpable. Her life has been fullto-the-brim, what with Broadway, movies, nightclubs, famous highs and dangerous lows. Now a glamorous 83, she puts her experience and rhythmic stamp on some of the greatest songs ever written. From “Lush Life” to “I Wonder What Became of Me,” each song becoming a polished pool she dives into like a shark.

Portrait of a complex woman: Steven Brinberg is “Simply Barbra” (Sept. 9 at Birdland Jazz Club).

GABRIELLE STRAVELLI: JAZZ BRUNCH Sun., Sept. 8, 15, 22 & 29 11am-4pm At Le Pescadeux 90 Thompson St. (btw. Prince & Spring Sts.) No cover, no minimum Reservations strongly suggested Call 212-966-0021 Visit

For my money, Gabrielle Stravelli is one of the most impressive jazz singers in town. With perfect pitch and clarity, she tears through the Great American Songbook with an understanding far beyond her years. A background in the theater doesn’t hurt, either. While other jazz birds swing, scat and snap, eyes scrunched in a self-absorbed frenzy, Stravelli knows whereof she sings — charming her audience with intelligence and musicality. At her weekly brunch gig at Le Pescadeux, she is joined by Pat O’Leary on bass and some of NYC’s finest musicians (including Gene Bertoncini, Ed Cherry, Paul Meyers and Michael Kanan).

Continued on page 24


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August 22 - September 4, 2013 23

Tune in, Turn up, Drop Beats Crisp, classic house & Dirtybird’s sleaze-hop BY VONYX (

Cherokee, Kartell, & Air Zaire at Glasslands Gallery

Cherokee is a crisp French house duo with a sound lauding early disco and funk. Their productions are clean and modern yet retain the character of vinyl disco records of old. Fat, funky basslines and airy summer winds are their sound. Kartell is a French producer who is new to the game. His productions are well within the 90s sampling bubble of nu-disco. It’s slow-moving, cuttime dance music that would serve as a perfect candlelit makeout soundtrack. Air Zaire is a recent Brooklyn transplant, having moved his tropical Gulf Stream nudisco from Florida to New York. When you listen to his tropical, Balearic beats, it’s hard to believe he’s not making music alongside DJs in Ibiza. He’s rising quickly, making a name for himself in the Brooklyn club scene. Thurs., Aug. 29, at Glasslands Gallery, (289 Kent Ave., btw. S. First & Second Sts., Brooklyn). 21+. Tickets: $10. Doors at 11:30pm. Info: theglasslands. com.

Dennis Ferrer at Marquee

Dennis Ferrer makes house, straight up. Bongoladen, sample rich and soulful. He is the king of finding sexy vocals to fit over his techy beats. Back in the day, he used to work with classic house outfit, Masters at Work. His biggest hit, “Hey Hey” was featured on one

of Avicii’s compilations, “Strictly Miami” a few years back. Ferrer is a New Yorker, born and bred. It will be a schooling in what defines house music. Fri., Aug. 30, at Marquee (289 10th Ave., btw. W. 26th & 27th Sts.) 21+. Tickets: $20-30. Doors at 11pm. Info:

Claude Von Stroke, Eats Everything & Justin Martin at Output

The guys at San Francisco’s Dirtybird Records are known for being the rowdy, silly ones in the game. They take music seriously, but that’s about it. Claude Von Stroke is Dirtybird’s label head. Born in Detroit “Broke City,” he was first drawn to the techno beats of local hiphop. He made his way as a rapper and later discovered his love for house music. Combining grit and groove, he founded Dirtybird in 2006 and instantly took off. Eats Everything hails from Bristol, UK. Growing up a raunchy troublemaker, he slowly came to fall in love with Britain’s rave scene, where he began to DJ. After winning residency at a few clubs in the UK, he started producing records that were unique and edgy — a perfect addition to the Dirtybird sound. Justin Martin posts Vines of himself making middle school girl fish faces in helicopters. Martin is like an embarrassing older brother who can’t get enough selfies on his phone. Yet by night, he spins his own brand of dirty, fatty, sleazy house that’s just as much fun as his Instagram. Sat., Aug. 31, at Output (74 Wythe Ave., btw. N. 11th & 12th Sts., Brooklyn). Tickets are $30. Doors at 10pm. Info:

Photo courtesy of the artist

Dennis Ferrer’s Aug. 30 gig at Marquee will be a schooling in what defines house music.


August 22 - September 4, 2013

Caruso, on September essentials Continued from page 22

STEVEN BRINBERG IS SIMPLY BARBRA, IN “MOSTLY MARVIN” Mon., Sept. 9 at 7pm (doors open at 5pm) At Birdland Jazz Club 315 W. 44th St. (btw. 8th & 9th Aves.) $30 cover, two-item minimum Reservations: 212-581-3080 or Visit Barbra Streisand is a bit of an anomaly. Arguably one of the best singers in the history of pop music, her icy perfectionism has a habit of rubbing some folks the wrong way. One topic the lovers and haters should agree upon is Steven Brinberg. His “Simply Barbra” character is the funny girl haters long for and the singer fans adore. It’ll be “Hello, gorgeous” for one night only, as the faux-diva storms the Birdland stage with a sweet tribute to Brinberg’s pal Marvin Hamlisch — with whom he appeared on many occasions. Expect the expected (“The Way We Were”) as well as seldom-heard gems like the alternate “The Way We Weren’t” and a song Hamlisch wrote for the revised version of “Ballroom.”

SUTTON FOSTER, WITH MICHAEL RAFTER Sept. 10-28 Tues.-Fri. at 8:45pm Sat. at 8:45pm & 10:45pm At Café Carlyle 35 E. 76th St. (at Madison Ave.) Call 212-744-1600 or visit Visit

Sebastian Arcelus stars in the Broadway adaptation of John Grisham’s “A Time to Kill.”

I fell in love with Sutton Foster, along with everyone else, during her 2002 Tony Award-winning performance in “Thoroughly Modern Millie.” She went on to give charismatic turns in “Little Women,” “The Drowsy Chaperone,” “Young Frankenstein” and “Shrek the Musical” before winning another Tony for her dazzling Reno Sweeney in “Anything Goes.” Foster then stormed the West Coast, amassing a loyal fan base of balletomanes with her starring role in the ABC Family drama “Bunheads.” So, if you wish to see this radiant, fresh-faced triple threat in one of her infrequent Carlyle engagements, you’d better order your tickets now. Expect packed houses, total musicality, loads of charm and a sly sense of humor.

A TIME TO KILL A new Broadway play based on John Grisham’s courtroom drama, written by Tony Award-winner Rupert Holmes Previews begin Sept. 28 Opens Oct. 20 At the John Golden Theatre 252 W. 45th St. (btw. 7th & 8th Aves.) Visit Previewing in September, John Grisham’s novel “A Time to Kill” becomes the first in his iconic collection of legal dramas to be adapted for the Broadway stage. Set in Ford County, Mississippi, “A Time to Kill” tells the

story of a young, idealistic lawyer (played by Sebastian Arcelus) who defends a black man for taking the law into his own hands when an unspeakable crime is committed against his young daughter. You might recognize Arcelus from his role as Lucas Goodwin on the Netflix drama “House of Cards.” After playing Fiyero in “Wicked” (opposite actress/wife Stephanie J. Block) and Buddy in “Elf: The Musical,” this new role will solidify his status as one of the most versatile actors on the Broadway scene. Jim Caruso’s “Cast Party” happens every Monday night at Birdland Jazz Club (315 W. 44th St., btw. 8th & 9th Aves.). Doors open at 9pm, show at 9:30pm. $20 cover, $10 food/drink minimum. For info, call 212-581-3080 or visit and

August 22 - September 4, 2013 25

Finding cheap fun, in a freight elevator Continued from page 21 thing Frank Sinatra might wear, while George chose to dress like a normal person. From the first hole on, I remembered something: I am terrible at mini golf. But given I once played hockey, I simply “dribble” the ball into the hole (which I am told is “cheating”). The rest of the crew wasn’t quite as bad as I was, though we were much slower than the children behind us who whined about our slow candyass nature. However, George did get a hole in one and I was the only one who saw it. Trying to explain this rare phenomenon made me feel like Big Bird attempting to explain a Snuffleupagus sighting, as no one believed me. Meanwhile, Jurgen and Cheyenne managed to put it in a few times and Jurgen celebrated each “score” by thrusting his club in the air and making strange animal noises — which, combined with his skeleton mask, disturbed the entire “golf course.” Sadly, at one point, Cheyenne’s purple ball got lost in the “mini-lake” and we had to thrust our hands deep into the water to retrieve it (thus further infuriating the children behind us). Soon after, we missed our opportunity to mischievously sip from our flask whilst in the “cave” section because we were so caught up in the game. Finally, at the 15th hole, Jurgen’s blue ball got lost in the bushes and we couldn’t find it. Eventually we let the golfers behind us skip ahead and aborted our blue ball search and rescue mission. For the next three holes, Jurgen borrowed my pink ball. Because we weren’t keeping score, by the 18th hole, we were all winners (though I really do suck at mini golf.) When we returned to the snack bar and explained that we’d lost a blue ball in the bushes, the proprietor simply said, “That’s fine. We’ll find it.” Apparently, he’s used to mini golf madness. For what it’s worth, Mini Golf at Pier 25 is awesome. Sure it’s not a “theme” Mini Golf course with animatronic pirates. Yet at five bucks, it’s less than half the price of a movie. You might lose a ball or two, maybe even a blue ball in the bushes — but it’s a great way to play on a sunny afternoon.

Fourth Stop: Make a Movie!

This isn’t so much a “stop” as it is an activity, but making movies sure does stave off ennui. A lot of people will tell you that you need a budget to make a movie. Not true! All you need is vision. A year ago, ASS (Art Star Scene) Studios, the most underfunded motion picture studio in history (which I founded with my partner Courtney Fathom Sell), decided to make a feature length film even though we had a combined savings of approximately 80 cents. I then sat down to write a horror

film, with the end result being the weirdest movie ever made. Filmed entirely in Drunk-O-Vision, “Satan, Hold My Hand” is a combination of a Bollywood Musical, a Dadaist performance, “Trilogy of Terror” and a kindergarten play (without a kindergarten’s budget.) The plot centers around two Catholic schoolgirls (played by Scooter Pie and Reina Terror) who are kidnapped by a Satanic Cult that is going to sacrifice them to Satan in exchange for musical careers. Featuring Robert Prichard (of “Toxic Avenger” fame), Faceboy, Janeane Garofalo and others, you don’t wanna miss this theatrical delight — which premieres Friday, August 30, midnight, at Anthology Film Archives (32 Second Ave., at Second St.) Admission is only six dollars. We’re going to roll out the carpet (really, any carpet we can find).

Fifth Stop: Museum!

What museum, you ask? It’s simply called “Museum” and it’s located in a Tribeca freight elevator (Cortlandt Alley, btw. Franklin & White). Given it’s in an elevator, it is likely the world’s smallest museum (even smaller than the Troll Museum, where I live.) The capacity is generally three people and on weekends, when it’s open, lines form down the block. Alex, my guide, explained that Museum specializes in personal collections — “everyday objects that visitors can connect to.” But the items on display were far from everyday. For starters, Museum boasts the world’s largest collection of fake vomit, items from Al Goldstein’s storage unit (including his sizeable collection of gold lamé Air Jordan’s, a portable DVD player and a DVD entitled “For Crack Addicts”), an assortment of mutilated bills and counterfeit money, objects made for and by prisoners, Disney-themed bulletproof backpacks for children, a collection of toothpaste from around the world, silicone body parts parlors use to display piercings and much more. Finally Museum, like other museums, has a gift shop. It’s two shelves and it features pins, pencils, totes, catalogs and the aforementioned fake vomit. For more information on Museum, check out

Photos by George Courtney

A rare production still from “Satan, Hold My Hand” (premiering Aug. 30 at Anthology Film Archives).

Sixth Stop: Thorazine Unicorn’s CD Release Party

Aside from having the best band name ever, Thorazine Unicorn knows how to rock while simultaneously interpreting the temperament of a medicated magical, horned being. On Saturday, August 24 at Dixon Place (161 Chrystie St., btw. Rivington & Delancey), the trio will release their first album “Metamortify,” which combines poppy electronics, haunting harmonies and lyric poetry. The only side effect will be fun — and the price is right, at a suggested donation of three to five dollars.

Elf meets fairy: Rev. Jen admires bulletproof backpacks, at “Museum” (Cortlandt Alley, btw. Franklin & White Sts.).


August 22 - September 4, 2013

Don’t take a short-term view of a long-term problem CLAYTON

By Clayton Patterson “The latest from LES Dwellers (@ LESdwellers). Our mission is to restore community with focus on livability, sustainability, balanced economic development… . “[Recently], a high-profile Soho House supporter, LES documentarian Clayton Patterson, softened his endorsement of the club somewhat. In his column in The Villager [“Soho House has my support, but won’t get Acker Awards,” May 16], Patterson wrote that Soho House is the ‘lesser of what could be so much worse.’ By this, he means that the building could become a boisterous nightclub or restaurant masquerading as nightclub, like so many other Lower East Side nightlife venues.” If LES Dwellers is going to speak on my behalf, they should talk to me. I am a neighbor. No, I have not softened my opinion on SoHo House. I still believe it is the lesser of what it could be. And to be clear, I have no connection to Soho House. I am not, nor have I ever been a member, nor am I interested in being a member. In my opinion, the building, as it stands, is not all that functional as a commercial piece of property. I can see it working for a Soho House private club. Soho House is different from the other developers in the ’hood. They are after only one piece of property. The other developers — including some international corporations — are taking over blocks, rows of tenements, doing land grabs. And that is another of my fears if Soho House sold its Ludlow St. building to a developer. Normally, the first floor is for a commercial business. But this building is not set up for that. It was a funeral parlor. To open up the first floor for a storefront would mean destroying the facade. If lucky, maybe a bluechip gallery would buy the space. I have gotten the ear of a group called Friends of the Lower East Side. F.L.S. is intent on saving Lower East Side architecture by working with leaders like Andrew Berman of the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation, and groups like the East Village Community Coalition, to save notable buildings by securing landmark status. F.L.S. has been in negotiations with Soho House about the feasibility of the building being given landmark status. It seems they are leaning toward doing this. If the building becomes a landmark, it will be, as far as I know, the only landmarked building on the L.E.S. between Houston and Delancey Sts. If we want to save the ’hood, then saving a little architecture is important. The economic balance is gone. Gentrification is moving forward at an accelerated rate. Low-income people are being forced out. Soon, within two blocks of 137 Ludlow St., the Soho House building, there will be two more zoning-busting luxury hotels, on top of the already-existing two expensive hotels, the high-rent Ludlow apartments, and the newly renovated market-rate tenements sharing the same block.

Where is the economic balance? What about all the drunks? the opponents ask. In my quest to find out what Soho House is about, after visiting and spending time in the Soho House in the Meatpacking District, I see the Soho House drunks as closer to Stanton Social Club, Sons of Essex, Beauty and Essex. Most of the drunks are older, and a little more mature. Drunk, yes. Stupid, not so much. And it is a private club, so will not have the lines waiting to get in, or people hanging on the street. At least that was not the case around the Meatpacking Soho House. Another reason I am supportive of Soho House is I have a bit more of a long-term view, which is different from LES Dwellers. My prediction is, with the continual influx of massive amounts of development money into this part of the L.E.S., the noisy, youthoriented bars — the ones that are responsible for the name Hell Square — will be

The Soho House drunks are closer to Stanton Social Club, Sons of Essex, Beauty and Essex — older, a little more mature. Drunk, yes. Stupid, not so much. priced out. Just take, for example, the recent closings of Max Fish, Motor City, St. Jerome, White Rabbit, and rumor has it that Lolita on Broome St. will close. And all of the quality-of-life violations LES Dwellers speak of, with the police’s help, will be quashed with the higher standard of living in the ’hood. This follows the pattern of other gentrified communities — Greenwich Village, Soho, Tribecca, the Bowery, and the after-dark streetlife in the northern end of the West Village. Let’s not forget, in order to turn our area into an Entertainment Zone, it did not take long for the cops to end the drug trade that used to be so prevalent on every block of the ’hood. Like a miracle, with all the new money flowing into the ’hood, the decadesold street drug trade ended in a few months. The State Liquor Authority will take a couple of months to decide if Soho House will be granted a liquor license. Last week, LES Dwellers staged a protest at the S.L.A., demanding that it not approve the license. However, instead of just fighting with Soho House, in the interim, I would suggest making some defensive moves. I’m not saying drop the protest — if that is in your heart, then do it — but be prepared. Find a pro bono lawyer, develop a list of demands, then see what you can negotiate. By engaging in negotiations with them, you learn more about

Photo by Clayton Patterson

Closing night at Max Fish on Ludlow St. at the end of last month.

who they are, and you can help set rules. Make a list of demands: no roof usage, soundproofing the walls, some community usage, landmark status and so on. Then write up an agreement. The negotiations have to be with Nicholas Jones, Soho House’s owner, and not Rachel White or Pierre Antoine Dourneau, the underlings. Go to the top. Period. Instead of depending on the politicians who have sold you out, be a player at the table, as well as on the street. You have time to develop a more meaningful role, and to get deeper into the struggle. If the negotiations turn out to be pointless, then you still have the protest going on. In the bad old days when drugs controlled the streets, an individual had a way of protecting oneself. If you were local and known in the ’hood, since it was a neighborhood business, the dealers seldom bothered you. It was possible to secure your apartment from robbers. Gates on the windows, triple locks on doors and so on. The drug sales were illegal. People in the trade went to jail. I see this tsunami of new money gentrifying the neighborhood as much more destructive to the community, and more deadly to our culture and local businesses than drugs ever were. The big-money people can go around the rules, break the laws and do whatever they want. Our billionaire mayor overturned the will of the people and bought a third term. At 47 E. Third St., the Economakis family legally cleared out all 15 long-term tenants in the doublewide, five-story tenement, so they could have a single-family mansion. On the same block, a developer with total disregard for the zoning laws, put up a building that was taller than the surrounding buildings and out of context with surrounding buildings. Instead of having to take down the illegal extra height, the company was able to fish until they got a dorm tenant and conformed with the law. Dorms can build higher.

What happened to 88-year-old Taylor Mead was, if not criminal, then certainly cruel and inhuman treatment of a legal tenant. He died soon after he was moved out. How were the developers able to clear the tenants out of so many apartments on Ludlow St.? Makes one wonder where the politicians are. Again, my advice is be proactive: Do not just depend on the politicians. Just take Ludlow, between Houston and Delancey Sts., from the 1990s till today, as an example of the purging of businesses in this area. Yavarkovski paper business, which opened in 1898, closed in 2007. Dickers party supplies, Spitzers Corner, Barrittos flooring, Bunny’s, Zito, Amy Downs Hats, Mary Adams The Dress, 555 Soul, the Pink Pony, Motor City, Earth Matters, Los Venus, Dare Devil Tattoo, the fortune teller, the laundromat, the church, Torch, Le Pere Pinard, Collective:Unconscious, Lost Shoe, the original Pianos, Piano’s Theater, Todo Con Nada and so on. All gone. How could this happen? Yes, my neighbors, it is not that I want to see Soho House come here. I wish none of it was here. I prefer the old ’hood. With today’s cost of living, I could never come to New York City and do what I did again. Very few of us could. My world is gone. But I am still here and I do not intend to be pushed out. If I leave, it will be on my terms. Again, if I was fighting Soho House, I would expand my defense. And if Soho House sells its Ludlow building, then I would prepare for what comes after. The struggle never ends. It’s the money that keeps pouring in that is making all of us unsafe. The rules and laws favor the money and trump tenants’ rights. LES Dwellers, I am not your enemy; I am not pleased at how much of our community has been destroyed by gentrification. To suggest that somehow I am a supporter of the Entertainment Zone is lunacy.

August 22 - September 4, 2013 27

Your 2013 guide to resources in d owntown M anhattan

Gateway to Downtown Guide to community, educational, health and recreational resources also featuring interviews with over 20 Comedians from New York City. Distributed in all NYC Community Media indoor locations below 34th Street in Manhattan, as well as select community resource locations. Photo by Tequila Minsky

Rings and reunions and the final ring-ups at bodega Axel the jewelry artist, left, and Tommy Turner, the writer / director of the film “Where Evil Dwells,” recently caught up at the opening of legendary street artist Peter Missing’s show at the Art on A Gallery, at 24 Avenue A. It was a real “oldschool gathering,” according to the photographer. At right, Miguel, now in his 30s, has worked at the J.A.E. bodega on Stanton St. since he was 15. One of the last real bodegas in the Lower East Side, it will be closing soon — notice the lightly stocked cigarette shelves and mostly bare panel behind the register — possibly in a week, due to high rent. There are reportedly no plans to open elsewhere in the neighborhood because it’s prohibitively expensive.

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August 22 - September 4, 2013

Filmmaker has impressive body of work — about bodies BY LaeL hines “When I was young I went to a women’s party. It’s a gay party; all the women who worked in the factory got together and had a party. You have to visualize a place like Pennsylvania. It’s working class. Once a man came in and beat up a woman and tore the hair out of her head. Then she disappeared. She just vanished. I asked my mom where she went; my mother said, ‘Don’t ask questions.’ All these things haunted me, so when we made “Darling International” I put sounds inspired from that memory in there. That experience, it’s cathartic and concise to the speaker, you just keep hearing, ‘She vanished, she vanished.’ You hear this missionary saying, ‘These are unnatural acts,’ and he’s talking about homosexuality. The film is about being a lesbian.” Filmmaker MM Serra was describing how she uses turbulent childhood experiences to inspire captivating, controversial and wonderfully creative films. “I use the past to create my own identity,” she explained. Serra, a longtime Lower East Side resident, is currently the executive director of the New American Cinema Group / The Film-makers’ Cooperative. It’s the largest distributor of independent and avant-garde films in the world. Formerly based at Anthology Film Archives, at Second Ave. and Second St., the co-op recently relocated to 475 Park Ave. South. A group of influential New York City artists, including Jonas Mekas, Jack Smith, Robert Frank, Alfred Lesley and Andy Warhol, founded the co-op in 1961. It was created as an artistic element of the counterculture movement, spearheading opposition against censored, mainstream media. Serra’s films align with the ideology of the Film-makers’ Co-op. Uncensored and raw, her pieces enter sexual and emotional realms rarely broached by Hollywood. Her vision and bravery stem from her identity and upbringing. “My name is MM Serra,” she said. “MM stands for Mary Magdalene. That was my given name. I grew up in a puritan society, working-class Pennsylvania. With the name Mary Magdalene, I was shy, I was embarrassed or ashamed of the name. I always knew Mary Magdalene was not the happy housewife. She was the flesh, she was the other, and she was outside of the hetero-normative. I didn’t have the language, but I had the will to know the difference. What does it mean? “And in the name developed my curiosity, my desire to intellectually develop an identity that would be unique,” she said. “Unique in the way that I would have the courage to go out and explore these issues that are feared and censored within our culture — in my culture, in my home, things that were not spoken or articulated. I wanted to develop this visual language. I make work because of my name Mary Magdalene,” she said. “My work is about the

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and say, ‘Why? What is this about? What does this mean?’ And in my art, in the portraits, I want to examine these long questions I’ve had since childhood.” Serra also explores physical transformation in her film “Chop Off,” which showed at Sundance and at the Museum of Modern Art. “ ‘Chop Off’ is about a man who cuts his body,” she said. “He does performance art of amputation. It took me three years because no one would work with me; they would be nauseated by it. But I thought he was the most fascinating and articulate artist. I mean, why not? What you see might upset you, but it’s a true part of human nature.” Serra’s bold, uncensored films express her unique creative vision, which perfectly aligns with the Film-makers’ Co-op’s mission.

‘My name is MM Serra. MM stands for Mary Magdalene. … She was the flesh, she was the other, and she was outside of the hetero-normative.’ MM Serra

Photo by Lael Hines

MM Serra at the Film-makers’ Co-op.

body, this idea of the abject body, body that is flesh, the body that bleeds, the body that vomits, the body that is scatological, the body that’s out of control. Not the symbolic body.” Serra’s work uniquely focuses on the harsh, physical effects of self-inflicted pain and distortion on the body. She described her distinctive creative process for creating “Bitch Beauty,” an experimental documentary profiling the life of Anne Hanavan, a former heroin addict on the Lower East Side. “I work and collaborate with artists like Anne Hanavan,” Serra related. “She said, ‘I will resurrect, I will change my life, I will create meaning, I will not deny who I was.’ I know this from my own childhood, my own background. I came from a very working-class background, so I saw everything, addiction, alcoholism, and I would stand back

“For me, The Film-Makers’ Cooperative represents the hub of personal vision,” she said. “It is the opportunity for everyone to have a community for their work. My films are explicit and represent the range of emotional experiences that are censored in our culture — the abject body, not the erotic body for marketing or material gain. A term I coined for my creative process is ‘art (core),’ the exploration of the body as the site of spectacle. The Film-makers’ Co-op has an open-door policy — non-contractual, non-exclusive — open to all regardless of age, gender and class. It is the counterculture — then and now!” Due to the generous donations of Charles S. Cohen, the Film-Maker’s Co-op is now comfortably headquartered at Park Ave. South and 32nd St. The location provides a screening room and adequate space to store their creative projects. The Film-makers’ Co-op steers away from the formulaic, often-generic product of Hollywood. It embraces the unique, realistic and perhaps difficult — making New York City its perfect home. “New York does this; it takes you and it hardens you,” Serra said. “How I see New York is like a vampire woman. Dark, mysterious. It can wipe you out, it can suck your blood, it can destroy you. You’re walking down the street, you think you’re having a good day, and someone shoots a gun. Living in New York, everyone’s there, people are there. It’s real.” Speaking of vampires, Serra is also an assistant professor at The New School, where she teaches a class on horror films called “The Skin Off Your Face: The Anatomy of Horror.” Her students tell her it’s their favorite class.

August 22 - September 4, 2013 29

NOTICE OF NAMES OF PERSONS APPEARING AS OWNERS OF CERTAIN UNCLAIMED FUNDS HELD BY BNY MELLON The persons whose names and last known addresses are set forth below appear from the records of the above named company to be entitled to abandoned property in amounts of fifty dollars or more.





GRACE E GOULD 333 W 86TH ST 608A NEW YORK, NY 10024-3145







JOHN KAYE 319 E 78TH ST NEW YORK, NY 10075-1369




ROSE ROSBERG 880 W 181ST STREET #4-I NEW YORK, NY 10033-4414















A report of Unclaimed Property has been made to Thomas P. DiNapoli, Comptroller of the State of New York, pursuant to Section 301 of the Abandoned Property Law. A list of the names contained in such notice is on file and open to public inspection at the office of BNY Mellon, located at 111 Sanders Creek Parkway, East Syracuse, NY 13057 where such abandoned property is payable.

Telephone number 1-800-433-8191

Such abandoned property will be paid on or before October 31 next to persons establishing to its satisfaction their right to receive the same. In the succeeding November, and on or before the tenth day thereof, such unclaimed property will be paid to Thomas P. DiNapoli, Comptroller of the State of New York, and shall thereupon cease to be liable therefore.


August 22 - September 4, 2013


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August 22 - September 4, 2013 31

Photo by Lincoln Anderson

As seen in this photo taken this week, the three formerly missing signs for Jodie Lane Place, E. 11th St. and First Ave. have all been restored to this lamppost at the intersection’s northwest corner.

Jodie lane sign is restored BY JerrY taLLMer In early July, The Villager alerted the city’s Department of Transportation that the Jodie Lane Place street co-naming sign at E. 11th St. and First Ave. was missing. The honorary sign was put up in May 2005 in a ceremony with then-Councilmember Margarita Lopez and Lane’s financé and family members. “The name of Jodie Lane is going to be there forever,” Lopez proclaimed, “for Con Ed to remember what they did — that they didn’t care about the residents of New York City — and for it not to happen again.” Lane, 30, who lived a block away on E.

12th St., died Jan. 16, 2004, near the spot when she was electrocuted by stray voltage surging through a slush-covered Con Ed junction box on the street while walking her two dogs. It’s not clear why or when the honorary Jodie Lane sign was hacksawed off. A D.O.T. spokesperson denied it was because of the addition of highway-style, cantilever signs at First Ave. and E. 11th St. The spokesperson, Scott Gastel, assured The Villager the sign would be restored, however — and so it has been.

Lincoln anderson

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August 22 - September 4, 2013

Profile for Schneps Media

East Villager News, Aug. 22, 2013  

East Villager News, Aug. 22, 2013

East Villager News, Aug. 22, 2013  

East Villager News, Aug. 22, 2013