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downtown Voters & the eLectIons: maYor BY dunCan osborne AN D Josh rogers aving achieved a big plurality in the Democratic primary, with a good shot at avoiding a runoff when all the paper ballots have been counted early next week, a triumphant Bill de Blasio vowed to win City Hall on Nov. 5. “What we achieved here tonight won’t just change the views inside City Hall,” de Blasio told supporters at a Sept. 10 celebration in a Brooklyn club not far from his Park Slope home. “It will change the policies that have left so many New


Continued on page 12

Pool photo by Chris Pedota / The Record

12 YEARS LATER Families marked the 12th anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks at the 9/11 Memorial with a ceremonial reading of the 2,983 victims’ names. Steve Antoniou of Queens, brother-in-law of Edward James White III, a NYC firefighter killed on 911, holds his daughter Stella as she and her sister Nikole etch the name of their uncle.

saver,” she said later. There was the one about the group of elderly women standing on a street corner on 9/11 somewhere north of the burning towers. A police officer asked them where they wanted to go. “Atlantic City!” they said. Then there was the one about the dead pigeons causing a health scare in front of Independence Plaza North on Sept. 12, 2001. They ended up in I.P.N.’s management office

BY Josh rogers WI TH Kai tlyn M eade ouncilmember Margaret Chin handily won her reelection primary Tuesday night, beating Jenifer Rajkumar with 58.5 percent of the vote. Chin told a cheering crowd in Chinatown that she looked forward to “building new schools. We’re going to start building more affordable housing starting with the Seward Park Urban Renewal Area.” Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, who stood with her on stage, said: “Thank you for giving me someone I can work with again at City Hall that we can continue to be the dynamic duo that we’ve been.” A few blocks from the Chatham Square Restaurant victory party, Rajkumar conceded defeat.

Continued on page 17

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Hugs, tears & laughs as Downtowners reconnect at 9/11 Memorial BY t e re s e lo e b K r e u z e r didn’t know what I was doing here,” said Diane Lapson, Independence Plaza resident and Community Board 1 member as she stood near the South Pool of the September 11 Memorial. “I was here for an hour, and I didn’t see anyone I knew!” It was Sept. 8, designated as Community Evening at the memorial, when members of the Lower Manhattan community were invited to visit. But scarcely had Lapson bemoaned the absence of friends and neighbors than Susan


Cole, another C.B. 1 member, showed up and greeted Lapson with a big hug. Soon a clump of Lower Manhattan people were standing around her: Battery Park City residents Tom and Jill Goodkind and Bob Schneck and Cora Fung, C.B. 1 chair, Catherine McVay Hughes, her neighbor, Janet Hoffman, City Councilmember Margaret Chin and Chin’s director of budget and legislation, Yume Kitasei and others. Lapson said she was “a little teary eyed,” but then began to tell funny 9/11 stories. “A sense of humor in difficult times can be a life-

cItY coUncIL chIn wIns BIG




September 12 - September 24, 2013 the registered Democrats eleigible to vote. Sadly, that is a high figure for city primaries. And a few, including Margaret Chin herself, suggested that the Chinatown turnout was lower than four years ago when John Liu was on a citywide ballot for the first time, and Chin ran what at the time was her strongest bid for City Council. Chin got the win anyway.

Poll Position

Heavy in spots

Turnout was light for the Sept. 10 primary but as with any rule, there are exceptions. In Chelsea’s Penn South, waits for some election districts were over 40 minutes. The middle class housing complex with many elderly people generally has such a high voter turnout that two of the candidates for borough president — Julie Menin and Jessica Lappin — were at the P.S. 33 polling site before the sun rose at 6:30 a.m. Perhaps the early bird doesn’t get the worm since Gale Brewer won the primary. On the other hand, we believe Chris Quinn voted there later in the day and things didn’t work out too well for her either. Another exception was Chinatown’s Confucius Plaza, but a poll worker estimated that represented only about 20 percent of

Score this mayoral primary polling season for Quinnipiac. The university’s predictions for Bill de Blasio, Chris Quinn and Bill Thompson were eerily accurate. If you read between the lines of some of the stories about polls, there was a healthy amount of disbelief about their numbers from the political press. We admit our eyebrows raised a few times too when they were the first to show de Blasio was near the crucial 40 percent threshold, and the last poll in which they also correctly predicted Thompson’s pull away from Quinn. A Quini-skeptic might say their polls were wrong until primary day when they proved to be right — perhaps de Blasio really wasn’t at 40 until Mayor Bloomberg inexplicably called the campaign “racist,” but regardless, to the victors go the spoils.

Sorry Harvey

We assume Harvey Keitel has been on the “Daily Show” at least once somewhere along the line, but apparently the actor will no longer be able to book his gigs waiting

to vote in Tribeca. We understand that Jon Stewart’s polling place remains at the CWA Local on Hudson St., but that Keitel showed up to vote there Tuesday only to be told his site had moved. Harvey, you’ll be missed at CWA.

Field crowds early

Paul Newell, who first told us about possibly running to replace State. Sen Daniel Squadron last year, said he was not surprised to read that Assemblymember Brian Kavanagh may also be eyeing the seat if Squadron prevails in his Public Advocate runoff race Oct. 1. “Brian moved into the district [a few months ago] and that can’t be an entire coincidence,” Newell told us. He said Kavanagh had to thread a needle to avoid the carpetbagger charge (our word), because although there is some overlap between the two Downtown legislative districts, most of it is public housing and there are only about two blocks where Kavanagh could have realistically moved to be in his current and perhaps future district. But Newell does not sound at all cutthroat about the possible competition reported last week by our good friends at The Villager’s Scoopy’s Notebook. He did not criticize the move and told us Kavanagh would be a “good senator.” He also had a kind word for another possible contender identified by Scoopy, Alan Gerson, the former City Councilmember. Newell said he and Gerson are probably the only two candidates who have a good

sense of the entire senate district, which also includes Downtown Brooklyn. Newell still thinks he’d be a strong candidate regardless of whether the nominee is picked in a Democratic primary, or in the more usual case where the Democratic County Committee for the senate district makes the pick. He said he and his allies on Downtown Independent Democrats have named “the largest block” of members on the selection committee. And to think, you readers were busy thinking about the elections still to come this year.

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He’s Chevy Chase, and you’re not, but that’s why he’ll be performing alongside singer Roberta Flack and David Letterman’s musical director and sidekick Paul Shaffer at the Borough of Manhattan Community College. The three celebs are gathering for a good cause Sept. 25 — to raise the cash to purchase a Steinway Grand piano that has been on the campus as a loan. Additional dough will go toward scholarships to the school. The Steinway Soiree Benefit, hosted by the B.M.C.C. Foundation Board, will welcome the well-heeled of New York for an elegant evening of entertainment at the school’s Fiterman Art Center, with a matching price tag of $250 for general admission tickets. An “88-Key Naming opportunity,” will allow patrons to name the piano keys with a donation of $500 to $5,000. Call 212-220-8020 for more info.



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September 12 - September 24, 2013






September 12 - September 24, 2013

oFFicer assaUlted at GreenHoUse

A police officer was struck by a patron at a notorious Soho club last week. According to police, Michael Sealey, 24, was observed striking a detective inside the Greenhouse bar and nightclub at 150 Varick St. on Wed., Sept. 4 at about 3 a.m. He was arrested shortly after and charged with three counts of assault. Police said that Sealey resisted arrest, refusing to be handcuffed and flailing his arms and body. The club has had a number of violent incidents in the past few years, including an incident in which a bar patron smashed a bottle in the face of a 21-year-old woman who was working there.

BoUncer Hit witH Bottle

A man was arrested early Sunday morning for assaulting a bouncer at a Downtown club, according to the N.Y.P.D. Police arrested Buenaventura Garrido, 29, accusing him of striking a bouncer in the head with a bottle outside the Iron Horse, a bar at the northwest corner of Cliff and Fulton Sts. in the Financial District. The assault took place just after 4 a.m. on Sept. 4. The unfortunate bouncer, 33, told police that Garrido hit him in the head with a glass 12-ounce bottle of beer and then returned to the scene with a knife before he was apprehended. Police stated that the bouncer refused medical attention on the scene even though he complained of pain in

his head. Video footage of Garrido swinging the bottle is available, according to police.

downtown Bikes stolen

A series of bicycle thefts rolled across Lower Manhattan in the past weeks, and one biker was also assaulted. On Fri., Aug. 30, a man was the victim of a hitand-ride crime, as he was riding toward the Staten Island Ferry on his way home on a pink bicycle. The man, 65, told police that he was riding southbound on State St. in the Financial District that Friday at 8:35 p.m. Suddenly, a man struck him in the face with a closed fist, causing him to topple off his bicycle on the corner of Bridge and State Sts. The robber grabbed the fallen bike and rode away on it. He was last seen riding northbound on Broadway. According to the police, the victim did not get a good view of him, so no description is available. Another two bicycles were stolen right off the rack opposite 250 Vesey St., police said. The bikes, a $1,000 blue Specialized road bike and a $2,500 blue Felt road bike, were left unattended and unsecured on the rack from 4:25 to 6:30 p.m. on Sun., Sept. 1, according to the owner, a 39-year-old New Jersey man. Police said there was no video of the incident available. A different bicycle burgling incident was caught on camera Tues., Sept. 3. A 42-year-old man told police that his bike was stolen from the southwest corner of

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Watts and Greenwich Sts. at 6:35 p.m. The bike had been parked on the sidewalk but not chained up when police said a man and woman, both about 30, came by in a red and white box truck, loaded up the bike and took off. The bike was a Babboe City Cargobike valued at $1,500. The duo was caught on multiple surveillance cameras in the area, but had not been apprehended by press time. A brand new bike went missing on Saturday in Battery Park City, police reported. A Jersey City man, 32, told police that he had locked his bike in front of 1 North End Ave. on Sept. 7 at 2:25 p.m. When he returned for it at 2:45 p.m., the bike was gone. He said he had only purchased the white bike with blue trim one month earlier, for $4,500.

pet store pocketBook pUrloined

A pet shop interview went drastically wrong for the employer when the candidate walked out with her interviewer’s wallet instead of a job. The woman, who owns Petropolis at 91 Washington St., said that she had set up an interview with a potential employee on Thurs., Sept. 5. She said she stepped out of her office at 11:35 a.m. for about three minutes, leaving her belongings alone with the interviewee, Kaka Crespo, whom police say walked away with them. Police reported that Crespo, 22, could be seen in the security footage reaching into her no-longerpotential-boss’ pocketbook and pulling out the woman’s wallet, containing credit, debit, insurance and social security cards as well as her New York State driver’s license, registration and $80.

ipHone snatcHers caUGHt

Police arrested two robbers who were nabbed after attempting an iPhone grab in the South Street Seaport. Their victim, a 45-year-old man, told police he was walking down the street while talking on his cell on Wed., Sept. 4 from 2 a.m. to 3:40 a.m. The man said he was accosted on the corner of South and Dover Sts. by two people on bicycles, who hit him with an open hand, causing him to drop his phone. One of them scooped it up and rode away. He contacted the police and a canvass was conducted. Police then arrested Terence Pugh, 21, and a 15-year-old boy for robbery.

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September 12 - September 24, 2013

Trinity backs a new look for Wall St., but C.B. 1 resists B Y Ka i t lyn M e a d e Trinity Church’s soaring steeple was the tallest point in New York City when it was capped in 1846. It lost that title in 1890 and in 2017, it will be surpassed by the church’s newest project, a 30-plus-story glass tower sprouting from its backyard. The plans met with disapproval from Community Board 1’s Financial District Committee on Monday night when Rev. Dr. James Cooper and Jason Pizer, president of Trinity Real Estate, presented the chosen design by Pelli Clarke Pelli. But Trinity agreed to return to the community board with more details as the project progressed, and were commended for their willingness to come before the board even though it is an as-of-right project, meaning that developers have no obligations to do so. Pelli Clarke Pelli won Trinity’s recent contest with a plan that “brought the inside out and the outside in,” and made the building “more visible and more user friendly,” said Pizer of the design at the Sept. 9 meeting. The 300,000-squarefoot structure was designed Early rendering of the tower Trinity Real Estate proposes to build behind the Trinity Church, although officials to replace two 90-year-old said the look may change. buildings that house Trinity operations at 68 and 74 Trinity Place. Trinity will consolidate its the next 5-10 years, including Trinity’s offices to occupy the bottom six or seven 150-175 units, and the worry that city floors, but the remaining 175,000 square infrastructure will not keep up with feet will be residential units. Pizer said development Downtown, especially with that it had not yet been decided how a shortage of public school seats in much of the housing would be condos Lower Manhattan. and how much would be rental housing. The 140-seat preschool currently The FiDi committee was not nearly as located in the building will be moved enthusiastic, especially about the look of to another location “north of the World the glass tower craning above Trinity’s Trade Center site,” but church leaders steeple. were unwilling to disclose the location “I don’t think it looks like Wall St. until a new lease had been signed. They and Downtown,” said Joel Kopel. “I did confirm that the preschool’s size think the building should look more, yes will not change significantly despite the updated, but I think the building should relocation. be more in tune with the neighborhood... Most of the church’s property is in tourists come down here from all over Hudson Square, west of Soho. the world and the last thing they need to Another concern for the neighborsee is another building that looks like it’s hood is a rodent problem that has led the on East 59th St.” community board to ask all new develop“I think this project is unfortunate for ers to include an indoor refrigerated storseveral reasons,” said Megan McHugh, age room for garbage until pickup that the first being an aesthetic clash with would prevent an overwhelming vermin the “majesty” of the iconic view of the problem, which church leadership said church down Wall St. they would consider. Another concern was the number of “We want to be a part of the fabric of residential units that will go on sale in the community,” said Pizer.

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September 12 - September 24, 2013

Judge says no to releasing ‘Soho wild man’


Head { }

B Y heather dubi n Richard Pearson, a k a the “Soho Wild Man,” a mentally ill man accused of terrorizing residents and merchants of Soho and Nolita by verbally and physically harassing them, pleaded not guilty in State Supreme Court on Wed., Sept. 4 for possession of cocaine. Pearson, 48, was charged with second-degree assault, a felony, for allegedly throwing a brick at a person’s head on May 17. However, the charge was dropped after two grand juries failed to indict Pearson for the assault — though they have both indicted him for possession of a narcotic, a misdemeanor. Last week, Alex Grosshtern, Pearson’s attorney, asked Judge Charles Solomon for his client’s release. With a felony charge no longer pending, Grosshtern said the case belongs in Criminal Court not State Supreme Court. The sole charge is now a misdemeanor, and Grosshtern feels Pearson’s time served, four months, has been more than appropriate. “Under ordinary circumstances, it would not warrant time served,” he said. But Assistant District Attorney James Zaleta countered by referring to Pearson’s previous history of six arrests, all in Soho, and various other crimes he has committed over the years. The A.D.A. also argued that Pearson’s

admission that he had drugs when arrested — when Pearson said, “You’re not going to take my drugs away?” — warrants the maximum jail sentence of a year. Zaleta presented Pearson with an option in return for a guilty plea. “Our office is not opposed to alternative incarceration that would benefit the community and Mr. Pearson,” Zaleta said. The judge noted Pearson has substance abuse problems and mental health issues, and he deemed the A.D.A.’s offer of an alternative or treatment reasonable. Pearson refused the deal, and Solomon acknowledged the defendant was the only person who could make that decision. Solomon also said if Pearson entered a guilty plea, he would lessen his sentence, but didn’t immediately say by how much. Pearson became vocal and grew frustrated with the situation. “I don’t want to go back there,” he said. Five court officers surrounded Pearson as he continued to mutter how the situation was “petty,” and that he thought he had done his time by now. Solomon informed Pearson he had already reduced his bail, and asked Grosshtern to explain to his client why the case is going to trial. The case is adjourned to Oct. 7 for a hearing and trial.

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September 12 - September 24, 2013

Seaport developer quietly moves to transform the area By T e re se L o e b K r e u z e r The Howard Hughes Corporation, a developer based in Dallas, Texas, has privately submitted plans to transform the South Street Seaport. An indication of the Hughes vision for the Seaport can presently be seen on Fulton St. between Water and South Sts. and on Front St. between Fulton and Beekman where the company has installed picnic tables and shipping containers that house food stalls and food retailers. Artificial grass covers a swath of Fulton St.’s cobblestones, serving as a staging area for free movies and music performances. The Howard Hughes Corporation submitted its development plans for the Seaport to its landlord, the New York City Economic Development Corporation on Aug. 31, as it was required to do by the terms of a letter of intent signed by both parties in December 2011, an E.D.C. spokesperson said Sept. 4, but she declined to say what was in those plans or when they would be made public. Spokespersons for the Hughes firm have not responded to requests for comment. The letter of intent says that Hughes reserved for itself the option to erect a firstclass hotel, market-rate residential apartments and additional retail space in the Seaport. Matthew Viggiano, land use and planning director for Councilmember Margaret

Chin in whose City Council district the Seaport lies, said that he had contacted the E.D.C. for information about the newly filed plans but had not received a response. “We don’t know anything more at 5:30 on Sept. 3 than we did at 5:30 on Aug. 30th,” he said last week. “If we get these documents, we’ll ask that they be made available to the community board and to the [City] Council office. Once they’re there, those are public documents.” Even the city’s Dept. of Cultural Affairs, which has taken the lead in trying to keep the South Street Seaport Museum afloat, has not seen Hughes’ plans to redevelop the area, Danai Pointer, the agency’s spokesperson, said last week. What is known at the moment is that on June 27, Andrew Schwartz, first deputy commissioner for the New York City Department of Small Business Services (S.B.S.) and Grant Herlitz, president of Hughes Corp. and of its subsidiaries, South Street Seaport Limited Partnership and Seaport Marketplace, signed two documents apparently giving Hughes a stronger hold on additional Seaport properties. These documents came to light because of the efforts of the Save Our Seaport group, an association of South Street Seaport residents, businesses and individuals that is trying to preserve the Seaport from commercial development that they say would destroy its

Downtown Express photo by Terese Loeb Kreuzer

The Howard Hughes Corporation, a developer based in Dallas, Texas, has privately submitted plans to transform the South Street Seaport.

historic character. The Memorandum of Lease signed on June 27 says that The Howard Hughes Corporation has “the right and option to lease all or any part of the first (ground) and second stories of buildings on the Museum

Block and space located on the ground floor of the Schermerhorn Block and known as Nos. 12 and 14 Fulton Street.” Twelve Fulton has been occupied by the Continued on page 24

How can my child develop an inner spiritual life to guide daily decisions? Where can my child find a welcoming and loving community of faith? Where can my family go for progressive social values in a traditional church? There’s a place for your family at Trinity Church Sunday School for children & youth. Sunday School starts September 15, 9:45am, 74 Trinity Place. Come meet the Christian Education staff and register your family. More information at:, by phone 212.602.9627, or email


September 12 - September 24, 2013

Seaport demolition possible as city rejects landmark plea B Y TERESE LOEB K REUZER The New Market Building in the South Street Seaport has a distinctly Art Deco façade and a significant history as the last in a succession of buildings erected to house the Fulton Fish Market, which dates back to the early 19th century. When the New Market Building opened in June 1939, Mayor Fiorello La Guardia considered the occasion important enough to attend and make a speech. However, that history was not enough to sway Mary Beth Betts, director of research for the Landmarks Preservation Commission. In a letter dated Aug. 21, she denied a request from the Historic Districts Council to consider the New Market Building for landmarking. The fate of the New Market Building has been a source of contention in the Seaport for many years. It is located within the South Street Seaport State and National Register Historic Districts, but it is excluded from the city historic district, which means it could be demolished for new development. The New Market Building may have been cut out of the city historic district because it was not yet 50 years old at the time the other buildings were landmarked. Historic preservationists fear that The Howard Hughes Corporation, which holds a long-term lease on parts of the Seaport, may be eyeing the New Market Building site as its predecessor, General Growth Properties did, for a high-rise hotel or apartment building. The preservation community would like

to see the New Market become part of a large, permanent market that would bring locally produced food to the neighborhood, serve as an incubator for small businesses and act as a tourist attraction such as the famed Pike Place Market in Seattle. Community Board 1, which has repeatedly asked that the New Market Building be considered for landmarking, would like the building to be available either for a market or for an unspecified community use. In her letter to Simeon Bankoff, executive director of the Historic Districts Council, Betts said a senior staff committee of the Landmarks Preservation Commission had reviewed the building for consideration as a potential landmark. “At this time, the property does not appear to meet the criteria for designation and will not be recommended to the full Commission for further consideration as a New York City landmark,” Betts wrote. “This is a temporary setback,” said Bankoff. “It was not a firm denial. The letter said, ‘at this time.’ I’ve gotten definitive, absolute end-of-the-road ‘no’ letters. This was not one of them.” Bankoff noted that a new administration will take over in January, which may have a different point of view than its predecessor. The Howard Hughes Corporation has not yet shared its most recent plans for the Seaport. “I do not believe that the Howard Hughes plans bode the building well,” he said. “I

Downtown Express photo by Terese Loeb Kreuzer

The city Landmarks Preservation Commission will not consider landmarking the New Market Building, seen here in the background as customers shopped at the New Amsterdam Market.

would rest much easier if the notion of reusing the building was on the table rather than looking at it as a blank slate as the Howard Hughes Corporation views it.” Albert W. Lewis and John D. Churchill were the architects for the New Market Building. In a 2009 report recommending

the building for landmarking, the Municipal Art Society of New York noted that it was an early example of a prefabricated structure and has “both architectural and cultural significance as the last functioning site of the important commercial and shipping hub at South Street Seaport.”

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September 12 - September 24, 2013

Hudson Square ‘Tower of Garbage’ is getting glassed B Y l i n Co ln a nd e r s o n This building getting “glassed,” isn’t the latest luxury residential high-rise from Jean Nouvel or some other “starchitect,” but the Department of Sanitation’s new Hudson Square mega-garage. For the past couple of weeks, workers have been installing the exterior glass on the massive building’s southern facade, on Spring St. Once completed, the garage, which stretches north from Spring St. for two blocks between Washington and West Sts., will house all the garbage trucks from three city Sanitation districts, those serving Community Boards 1, 2 and 5. Completion of the Spring St. mega-garage is anticipated by next spring. The city will then relocate to it the garbage trucks that are currently based on Gansevoort Peninsula, in the northwest corner of C.B. 2 near W. 13th St. That move will, in turn, allow the Hudson River Park Trust to convert the 8 acres of Gansevoort Peninsula into a park, as part of the 5-mile-long Hudson River Park along the Lower West Side waterfront. Community residents in Hudson Square and Tribeca fought the so-called “Tower of Garbage,” saying it violated fair-share provisions by loading too many municipal services into one neighborhood. They argued that the garage should be downsized and house only two Sanitation districts’ worth of garbage trucks, but, in the end, the city prevailed.

Downtown Express photo by Lincoln Anderson

The exterior glass facade is currently being installed on the Spring St. mega-garage.

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September 12 - September 24, 2013

City says Tribeca’s P.S. 150 can stay Downtown after all B Y Ka i t ly n M e a d e After months of meetings, protests and worry, parents at P.S. 150 were glad last week to hear city assurances once and for all that their tiny Tribeca school would not be relocated to Chelsea next year. The decision was communicated to parents by District Superintendent Mariano Guzman and the school’s principal Jenny Bonnet. Guzman on Tuesday notified the handful of parents who had been at the last meeting with the Dept. of Education on Aug. 26 in a final attempt to petition them to keep the school Downtown, said P.T.A. president Wendy Chapman. Bonnet then forwarded the statement, confirming the news. Guzman’s Sept. 3rd statement, said simply: “The Department of Education will not be releasing an Educational Impact Statement regarding the relocation of PS150. Please let your parent community know. Thank you and your school community for the time and effort taken to discuss this matter over the last several months.” “We are very thankful and appreciative that Mariano Guzman and the D.O.E. did not issue the move to Chelsea. We are relieved,” said Chapman, speaking for the dedicated core of parents who continually campaigned to keep the school at its 334 Greenwich St. location. She said it was a team effort, with the help of Community Board 1, local elected officials, the Community Education Council and parents.

File Photo by Jennifer Weisbord

P.S. 150 students last April protesting the proposed move to Chelsea.

Chapman said that Councilmember Margaret Chin and representatives from the offices of Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, Senator State Daniel Squadron, Borough President Scott Stringer, and Assemblymember Deborah Glick came to the final August meeting. Chin was “very adamant” about not busing students out of the neighborhood, Chapman said. “I thank the D.O.E. for listening to the many voices that came together to keep the

school in place. In Lower Manhattan, where the population growth outpaces the building of new schools, every school seat counts. We will continue to work together to preserve schools like P.S. 150, and also identify sites for additional much-needed schools,” Chin said in a prepared statement. Officials requested a hold until the 2015 school year, when the opening of the Peck Slip School would offer more seats and therefore options to alleviate school overcrowding, and

free up school’s incubation space in the Tweed Courthouse. Parents and Community Board 1 are also hoping for a November commitment in the capital budget for a brand new elementary Downtown to provide as many as 1,000 school seats. By all accounts, Dept. of Education officials have already acknowledged that Lower Manhattan needs those additional elementary school seats. “My sense is [the D.O.E.] has every intention of relocating the school,” said Hovitz, but hopefully, to a building that is still in the neighborhood, where it can grow out more naturally. Chapman was especially glad that the announcement came before the beginning of the school year, even though the D.O.E. was not scheduled to vote on the proposal or release an educational impact statement until September 19. “It’s nice to know what the decision is and to make things really clear,” Chapman said. However, there will be lots of “fences to rebuild,” she added. Many of the teachers and school staff supported the D.O.E.’s planned relocation on the grounds that they would have more resources and support in a larger school. There are also concerns that the school’s uncertain future impacted kindergarten enrollment, which


Continued on page 11

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The Downtown Little School

The Downtown Little School

15 Dutch Street (2 blocks east of B’way, off Fulton)

15 Dutch Street

Offering: Nursery School & Kindergarten (ages 2-5) (2 blocks east of B’dway, off Fulton) Parent/Caregiver Workshop Series

Downtown Little School is now an elementary school too! NOTICE OF NONDISCRIMINATORY POLICY AS TO STUDENTS The Downtown Little School does not discriminate on the basis of race, creed, color, ethnicity or gender. We actively seek a population that reflects the cultural diversity of our neighborhood.

For tours and info call 212-791-1300 Come hear about our program. or visit Elementary School Open House


September 12 - September 24, 2013

Success Charter applies to open at Bergtraum H.S. B Y KAITLYN M EADE Success Academy is going forward with plans to try and open a 450-to-600-seat elementary charter elementary school inside Murry Bergtraum High School. The Dept. of Education recently released the Educational Impact Statement that lays out the plan to co-locate both the elementary charter and another high school at 411 Pearl St. The proposed charter, first reported by the Downtown Express last month, would open fall 2014 with 150 to 210 students in kindergarten and first grade, then build one grade at a time until it reaches its full capacity with up to 600 students in K-4 in September 2017. Councilmember Margaret Chin, reiterated her opposition to the idea in a public statement saying it “raises serious concerns regarding the appropriateness and feasibility of a plan that could have major impacts on students’ academic performance and overall progress in both Murry Bergtraum High School and Success Charter Academy.” Chin has said that she will continue pushing for another solution, which may be more feasible under a different administration. District 2’s Community Education Council President Shino Tanikawa has said that she would like to see a ban on opening any new charter schools in the district for a few years “until we can figure out how to work with them.” 8/14/2013spokesperson 3:50:55 PM DespiteHalfPageAd_9-13.pdf concerns, Success

Kerri Lyon said that the big kid-little kid worry was a “non-issue” as parents overwhelmingly have demonstrated a desire for school seats, even those co-located with public high schools. For this coming year, Lyon said that 2,560 families applied for about 150 school seats in the elementary charter school located in the Brandeis High School building on the Upper West Side, and over 1,700 applied for about 100 seats in a similarly co-located Cobble Hill school. The academy, which began in Harlem, is planning to open six new schools in the coming year. Critics, including the United Federation of Teachers, have said that they push out low-performing and special ed students from the schools, but Success has said its charters’ attrition rates are lower than those of traditional schools, especially among special needs students. “Success Academy is hopeful we can meet some of the overwhelming demand from local families for more high quality schools in their neighborhoods,” she said. The D.O.E. seems to agree and has said that the move will open much-needed elementary school seats in District 2, whose students will get first priority in applications. “We’ve delivered historic gains across the city over the last decade, and each and every day we’re working to expand high quality options for families,” Devon Puglia, a D.O.E.

spokesperson, wrote in an email. “Parents clamor for more great schools for their kids — and we’re delivering them. As one of the higwhest performing networks in the city, we’re confident a new school will serve this community well.” Co-location will be possible because of the D.O.E.’s plan to reduce enrollment in Murry Bergtraum High School for Business Careers by about 450 students by 2018. The reduction from about 1,500 will take place whether or not the co-locations go forward, the statement said, as it is aimed at helping to improve the school’s current overall score of D, which has

been a constant since 2009. There will also be changes to the Stephen T. Mather School, which opened in Murry’s building this year, in cooperation with the Parks Department. In 2014, it will switch places with the newly opened Urban Assembly School for Emergency Management on West 49th St., because there is no room in Bergtraum’s building for the specialized lab that the Mather School requires. The Bergtraum site is estimated to rocket to a utilization rate of 97 to 101 percent in 201819, once both the Urban Assembly and Success Academy schools have grown to capacity.

P.S. 150 Continued from page 10

could lead to budget cuts. In the spring, principals at the nearby schools reported increased waiting list numbers as a direct result of the original P.S. 150 announcement in the spring. “It’s a shame it went to this extent because many parents have lost the school…” Hovitz said, noting that he knew

of a parent who moved her kindergartenaged child to a private school during the controversy, as did others in the neighborhood. Meanwhile, for the families that did sign up for the school’s single kindergarten class, P.S. 150 will hold its annual first day Watermelon Social in Washington Market Park to welcome them to a school with a new lease on life, for a few years at least.


September 12 - September 24, 2013

Chin wins big Continued from page 1

She told Downtown Express she would “absolutely” support Chin in the general election, which is considered a foregone conclusion in the overwhelmingly Democratic Council district. The returns will not be certified until next week, but the count for Chin now stands at 8,303 compared to Rajkumar’s 5,891. Like her election four years ago, Chin won big in Chinatown, but she also won some of the biggest housing complexes elsewhere. In Southbridge Towers near the Seaport, she won 329-270 according to the initial machine vote tally. “She’s always around and she seems hard working and sincere,” Stacey Shub, a young Southbridge mother, said of Chin. John Scott, an Independence Plaza tenant leader and a strong Chin supporter, said Chin won the Tribeca complex by about 20 votes. Rajkumar appeared to do best in the Village and Soho, where residents were upset with Chin on a number of issues

including her support for New York University expansion and a Business Improvement District. Chin voters tended to cite her experience, while Rajkumar’s support came from people who thought Chin is too close to developers. “Well she’s not associated with the real estate industry like Margaret Chin,” said Nancy Todd, a senior citizen who moved into the neighborhood now known as Tribeca over three decades ago. Chin was helped by funding from a real estate funded PAC, which was one of Rajkumar’s chief criticisms. “We waged a formidable challenge against a multi-million dollar PAC,” Rajkumar said after her concession. Rajkumar said Wednesday she won her reelection bid to continue to be a Democratic district leader in Battery Park City and other parts of Lower Manhattan, beating Robin Forst 1,484 - 883. She had said Tuesday that if she prevailed she wanted to work with Chin. WATCH A VIDEO CLIP OF MARGARET CHIN’S VICTORY SPPECH AT DOWNTOWNEXPRESS.COM

Downtown Express photo by Kaitlyn Meade

Margaret Chin celebrated her victory Sept. 10 with Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver.

Primary overview Continued from page 1

Yorkers outside of City Hall…. “We are bigger, we are stronger, we are better as a city when we make sure that everybody has a shot.” De Blasio, the city’s public advocate, was contending with four major opponents in the primary and the conventional wisdom was that a runoff was a certainty among the Democrats. But unofficial results suggested that he had won the required 40 percent of the vote to avoid the expected Oct. 1 second round. At his campaign night gathering in Midtown, Bill Thompson, the second place finisher, said, “Tonight is for any of you who been counted out and told the world doesn’t have room for you.” With his supporters shouting, “Three more weeks!” Thompson was hoping de Blasio would fall below the 40 percent threshold by the time paper ballots are counted early next week. But pre-primary polls had Thompson losing badly to de Blasio in a runoff match-up. In Lower Manhattan, de Blasio’s main competition was City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, but he appeared to beat her in many of the election districts below Canal St. including at Southbridge Towers, where he won 266 -157, according to unofficial tallies,

and at least one in Tribeca. “I think he’s a good dude,” Bill Rhem, a younger Southbridge voter, said of de Blasio. “I’m a pretty liberal guy — he’s all for raising rates on the top earners.” De Blasio took 41% of the Lower Manhattan vote, Quinn won 34% and Thompson 13%, according to the New York Times. A good number of Downtown voters volunteered they were looking for an alternative to Quinn because she was too close to Mayor Bloomberg, and many of them settled on de Blasio. But in Tribeca, a few said they were disappointed Bloomberg was not on the ballot. “I’m a Bloomberg fan,” said Dana Buchman. “He showed courage, vision and intensity.” But surprisingly, Buchman voted for de Blasio, even though he has received Bloomberg’s sharpest criticisms. If he avoids a runoff, de Blasio could immediately set his sights on Joe Lhota, the former deputy mayor in the Giuliani administration who easily won the Republican nomination for mayor. Lower Manhattan has few registered Republicans, but Lhota might have done better there than the rest of the city. For example, in one Tribeca E.D., he beat John Catsimitidis 25 -1. Annie Sullivan of Battery Park City

Downtown Express photo by Duncan Osborne

Bill de Blasio flanked by his son, Dante, his daughter Chiara, and his wife, Chirlane McCray.

said she voted for Lhota because she was very pleased with the way the city had evolved under Bloomberg. “I never imagined raising children here, but the city has become so lovely,” she said. “It would be a shame for it to change.” Lhota is presenting himself in the mold of Rudy Giuliani and Michael Bloomberg –– fiscally disciplined and liberal on social issues. That has been a potent image in recent elections. Together, Giuliani and Bloomberg have occupied City Hall for the past 20 years. In his remarks, de Blasio amplified his campaign theme –– a “tale of

two cities.” He said a small number of wealthy New Yorkers have benefited from city policies and a far larger group of New Yorkers have been left behind. New York has become a city in which “luxury condos have replaced community hospitals” and “proactive policing has become racial profiling.” The reference to luxury condos was hammered home in the campaign’s final weeks to emphasize the loss of St. Vincent’s Hospital and the redevelopment of the site by Rudin Management in Quinn’s district. Continued on page 19


September 12 - September 24, 2013

Voting machine problem in Battery Park City confusion, which Gerson helped clear up. “They never would have found [the correct paper ballots] but for the fact that Alan was there,” he said. The incorrect county committee ballots confusion could become significant if State Sen. Daniel Squadron wins his runoff for Public Advocate, because the committee will in all likelihood select his successor. For his part, Gerson said it was a relatively minor problem. He thinks voting machines are still far superior to the electronic scanning system the Board of Elections have used in the last few elections. That system was s c r a p p e d t h i s y e a r, b e c a u s e t h e scanners and ballots would not have been ready for the expected Oct. 1 runoff election in the mayor and public advocate races. Some poll workers Downtown confirmed the ease of the older voting machines. “The voting process is so much more orderly and more private than the scanner machines that were used in the last election,” Gerson said.

Downtown Express file photo by Tequila Minsky

One of the voting machines used in the Sept. 10th primary.


BY Josh rogers A v o t i n g m a c h i n e a t P. S . 8 9 i n B a t t e r y P a r k C i t y d i d n o t w o r k Tu e s d a y m o r n i n g , a n d s o m e voters were given incorrect paper ballots. “ I t w a s c h a o s , ” s a i d J e f f G a l l o w a y, a d e s ignated poll watcher for one of the campaigns a n d t h e c h a i r p e r s o n o f C o m m u n i t y B o a r d 1 ’s B . P. C . C o m m i t t e e . Both he and Alan Gerson, the former City C o u n c i l m e m b e r, s a i d t h e p r o b l e m , c o n f i r m e d by others as well, was corrected at about 8 a.m. The pair said in addition to the voting machine breakdown, the paper ballot did not h a v e t h e d i s t r i c t l e a d e r’s r a c e b e t w e e n i n c u m bent Jenifer Rajkumar and Robin Forst, or a county committee race. Rajkumar was also running for City Council and lost to incumbent Margaret Chin. Poll workers were incorrectly giving voters affidavit ballots instead of the emergency paper ballots, which are supposed to be counted as soon as the polls close. Gerson said he was told by poll workers that those early morning affidavit ballots for that machine were going to be counted primary night instead of waiting a week or so. Galloway said the broken machine was for Gateway Plaza voters like him who live in Election District 16, which is the only district i n A s s e m b l y D i s t r i c t 6 5 t h a t v o t e s a t P. S . 8 9 . Galloway said that having only “one renegade” district from the A.D. led to much of the


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September 12 - September 24, 2013


Behind the vote:

On the afternoon and early evening of primary day, Sept. 10, an informal exit poll at the Regatta on West Thames St., one of three polling places in Battery Park City, revealed an electorate whose votes were largely determined by who they were voting against rather than who they were voting for. “I went with the non-Spitzer,” said one man of the comptroller’s race. He also voted for Christine Quinn for mayor and Gale Brewer for Manhattan borough president, and like many voters, he declined to have his name published. “I don’t usually vote in the primaries,” he said, “but I voted today because there were some people I didn’t want.” One woman said that she was “not pleased with Bill Thompson’s performance” as chairperson of the Battery Park City Authority. Neither did she like Bill de Blasio because he had run an “us and them campaign.” In fact, she said, she didn’t really like any of the mayoral candidates. She decried the District 1 City Council race as being “really negative and distasteful.” However, she ended up voting for the incumbent, Margaret Chin, over the challenger, Jenifer Rajkumar, because “Chin has more experience.” She was confounded by whom to vote for in the borough president race. “There are a lot of strong candidates,” she said, but voted for Julie Menin because she would be “a strong advocate for Lower Manhattan.” However, she said, she also liked Gale Brewer and Jessica Lappin. “I was in the voting booth a long time,” she said. “I struggled over this vote and I don’t know if I made the right decision.” One woman, on her way to vote, said she didn’t know what she was going to do when she got to her polling place at P.S. 276. “I’m out to do my civic duty,” she said, “but I’m so disappointed in the candidates for mayor and City Council.” The only candidate that she said she could endorse enthusiastically was Julie Menin. Nevertheless, even though Battery Park City is part of the Community Board 1 district that Menin chaired for seven years, Brewer also had a lot of support. Some people who voted for her knew her, or had friends who knew her and thought well of her. Others were swayed by The New York Times endorsement. Out of those interviewed as they left the polling place, only one man said that he had voted for Eliot Spitzer. “When he had the power to oversee Wall Street, he did a good job,” he said. Others were not so complimentary. “Scott Stringer has been a solid borough president,” said one woman who voted for him. “At the last minute, Spitzer comes along. He doesn’t care about the comptroller’s office. He just wants to get back into politics.” “He prosecuted others and then broke the law himself,” one woman said. “He’s a hypocrite.”

Downtown Express photo by Terese Loeb Kreuzer

Leland Estes, the beer sommelier at Clinton Hall, 90 Washington St., which opened in early August serving small-batch, craft beers and complementary food.

Recycle electronics in B.P.C.:

Get rid of that years-old monitor that’s cluttering your small apartment and the computer that died months ago, that you’ve been meaning to get fixed. Also, maybe you have printers, scanners, keyboards, mice, cables, televisions, DVD players, phones, audio/visual equipment, cellphones and PDAs that aren’t doing it for you anymore? Send them on their way. On Saturday, Sept. 28, you can recycle electronics of all kinds by bringing them to the cul-de-sac at South End Ave. and Liberty St. between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. All personal information on these devices will be destroyed. The Battery Park City Authority and the Battery Park City Parks Conservancy are sponsoring with the Lower East Side Ecology Center. Participants are eligible for a free raffle to win a MacAir computer and will receive a redeemable coupon to the Tekserve’ store at 119 W. 23rd St. For additional information and a complete list of acceptable materials call 212-477-4022 or email

B.P.C. Block Party:

Sept. 28 will be a busy day in Battery Park City. The 12th annual B.P.C. Block Party takes place on Esplanade Plaza, just south of North Cove Marina between 11:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. There will be wine tasting on the Shearwater and an afternoon sail on the Ventura (both, $10 per person with tickets available at the Welcome table). Little Toot will be giving rides (stop at the Welcome table for reservations and times). The TriBattery Pops will be performing.

Manhattan Youth will run the children’s area, with Asphalt Green providing additional entertainment and games. Old favorites such as the Pet Parade, the Seniors Chorus, the Church Street School mural painting, a New American Youth Ballet performance and a bubblegum-blowing contest will be back. The Liberty Science Center and local businesses will bring merchandise and exhibits, and there will be food from local restaurants. Community Service honors go to Anthony Notaro, who is co-chairperson of this year’s block party along with Bob Townley of Manhattan Youth.

Food and drink:

Brookfield Office Properties continues to fill its dance card with restaurants. An Italian-American restaurant called “Parm” will open at 250 Vesey St., with frontage on both Vesey St. and North End Ave. The unpretentious but well-regarded restaurant’s original location was on Mulberry St. (The meatball parmigiana hero “is prepared by cooks wearing white paper hats and is set before you in a red plastic basket,” said New York Times restaurant critic, Pete Wells, in his review. “Like most things at Parm, it is completely faithful to your memories while being much, much better than you remembered.”) Parm belongs to Major Food Group, a New York-based restaurant group owned by chefs Mario Carbone and Rich Torrisi and restaurateur Jeff Zalaznick. In addition to Parm, Major Food Group owns and operates Carbone, ZZ’s Clam Bar, Torrisi Italian Specialties and a Parm outpost at Yankee Stadium. Battery Park City’s own restaurateur, Abraham Merchant, who has lived in B.P.C.

with his family for years, said he welcomes Brookfield Place’s new restaurants because “critical mass is being built and more people will come to the district to eat. Collectively, we all benefit.” In B.P.C., Merchants Hospitality Group owns Merchants River House and SouthWest NY and from spring to fall, operates food kiosks on the plaza overlooking North Cove Marina. On the far side of West Street at 90 Washington St., Merchants Hospitality opened a new restaurant in early August, Clinton Hall, that specializes in small-batch, craft beers and complementary food. The restaurant is on the site of the former Merchants Café, which was wiped out by Superstorm Sandy. “Restoration was not an option,” said Merchant. Clinton Hall carries approximately 20 beers at a time under the stewardship of beer sommelier, Leland Estes. “If you know the beer, we probably don’t have it,” said Merchant. “Some of the beers that we carry take two to three years to produce.” Recently, Clinton Hall had a remarkable pumpkin ale flavored with cloves, cinnamon and nutmeg ($8 for 10 ounces) and a delicious crème brulé stout made with vanilla beans ($10 for 10 ounces), both from a small brewery in Lakewood, N.Y. But with only small quantities available, they may not be on tap much longer. Clinton Hall pairs beers with modestly priced food such as bratwursts, burgers, potatoes and salads. The restaurant is open Sundays to Wednesdays from 11:30 a.m. to midnight, and until 2 a.m. on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. To comment on Battery Park City Beat or to suggest article ideas, email TereseLoeb10@

September 12 - September 24, 2013

Towering shots of ‘Freedom’ win contest B Y Ka i t ly n M e a d e Towering against the horizon, emblazoned with American flags, reflecting the sky — One World Trade Center was the subject of nearly 1,000 photographs submitted to the Port Authority’s photo contest, and three were announced as the winners just days before the anniversary of 9/11. Over 75,000 votes were cast by fans of the Port Authority’s Facebook page, the agency that owns the site announced Friday. The photos came from visitors from across the country and around the world during the contest from July 29 to Aug. 25. The three images chosen were iconic representations of the 1,776-foot skyscraper, a k a the “Freedom Tower.” The man who received the most votes, Vlasios Rafailidis, took his photograph while vacationing from Greece. His black and white image — except for the red stripes on the star-spangled banners in the foreground — received 13,785 votes. William Duffy of Queens, New York received 12,221 votes for his iPhone pic with a flag flying across the tower, which is still under construction. Duffy told the Port Authority that he has been taking pictures of the site since 2001. Filip Michalowski of Stamford, Conn. was third with 11,203 votes. The three winners, with two friends each, will receive an exclusive tour of the tower by Dec. 31, 2013.

The top 3 most popular photos of One World Trade Center that were posted to the Port Authority’s Facebook page. The top vote getter, left, is by Vlasios Rafailidis, a Greek tourist. At center and coming in second was a shot by New York’s William Duffy, who has been photographing the site since 9/11. Filip Michalowski of Stamford, Conn. took the third most popular photo.



September 12 - September 24, 2013

We Could Be more Convenient... Downtown Express photo by Terese Loeb Kreuzer

As he has done for the last 12 years, retired N.Y.P.D. Lieutenant Paul Putkowski led a service between midnight and 1 a.m. on Sept. 11 at the Police Memorial in Battery Park City, this year darkened by Superstorm Sandy. Most of those who attend are, or were, affiliated with the N.Y.P.D.’s 61st precinct in Sheepshead Bay.

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Before dawn every Sept. 11, some police quietly remember B Y TERESE LOEB KREUZER At 10 minutes after midnight on Sept. 11, 2013, two men stood on South End Avenue at Liberty Street in Battery Park City near the path leading to the Police Memorial. Retired Lieutenant Paul Putkowski of the 61st Precinct in Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn and retired Detective Kevin Fitzgerald of Bay Ridge were there, as they had been every year around that time since Sept. 11, 2002. Joined by Police Officer Brendan O’Hara, formerly with the 61st Precinct and now with the Mounted Unit, they have come faithfully during the early hours of Sept. 11 to honor the 23 police officers who died on 9/11. They chose this time because they had to be at work the next morning and this was a personal and private act of homage. Over the years, a varied group of people came with them. This year, more than a dozen motorcycles lined the curb by the path to the Police Memorial. Active and former members of the N.Y.P.D. motorcycle units and of motorcycle-riding armed forces veterans also came to pay their respects. Because Superstorm Sandy had demolished the electrical system, the memorial was dark. The flags of the United States, New York City and the N.Y.P.D. were at half mast, as the group faced them, and placed their hands over their hearts to pledge their allegiance. With solemnity, uniformed members of the N.Y.P.D. placed a large wreath next to the granite wall incised with the names of police

officers who had died in the line of duty. Putkowski had a flashlight, enabling him to read the brief speech that he gives every year about the valor of those who had served. As in previous years, he quoted Theodore Roosevelt, who praised a man who “spends himself in a worthy cause.” Then he held his flashlight aloft so that Fitzgerald could read the names of those who had died. After a minute of silent prayer, the ceremony was over. The bikers walked back up the path and got on their motorcycles. Most of them were headed for Staten Island or Long Island. As they sped off one by one, Putkowski, Fitzgerald and O’Hara lingered for another few minutes on South End Avenue. Nearby, the World Trade Center site was bustling and brilliantly lit as arrangements proceeded for the ceremonies of the morning. On the wreath that the Sheepshead Bay group had left behind was a note. It was addressed to “Our 23 friends and associates and loved ones.” It said, “Your selfless devotion on that September day continues to humble us. You showed us what true beauty is — humility to your fellow man. We seek to emulate your goodness. Thoughts of you we cherish and hold dear, deep within our hearts. As life goes on and the years pass, we will never forget you. We, the remnants of that fateful day, consider all of you our personal heroes.” It was signed, “Active, retired and former members of the 61st Precinct.”


September 12 - September 24, 2013

Community reconnects at 9/11 Memorial Continued on page 17

freezer, waiting for the Department of Health to pick them up for study, only to be discovered six months later when someone was looking for a birthday cake. And the one about the senior women who escaped from Battery Park City in their pajamas and slippers and managed to buy themselves a complete set of clothes and have their hair and nails done during their walk up to 34th Street. The Downtowners laughed, talked politics and grew reflective. Battery Park City resident Mashi Blech said that she hadn’t visited the memorial since the Community Evening a year ago. “It’s a way to reconnect,” she said. She said that after 9/11, she was “conflicted” about returning to Battery Park City, but her sons, then aged 10 and 12, were adamant that the family must return. She recalled them saying, “This is our home. We were born here. We will watch them rebuild.” Hughes, Board 1’s leader, said “Hopefully, next year, there won’t be a Community Evening because the fences will be down” so that people can visit the memorial whenever they want without needing a ticket. “We made it through another year,” she said. “We’re lucky.”

Downtown Express photo by Terese Loeb Kreuzer

Lower Manhattan residents Susan Cole, left, and Diane Lapson embraced at the 9/11 Memorial Sunday night, Sept. 8 at the memorial’s Community Evening.

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Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey, and Governor Andrew Cuomo of New York attended the ceremony for family members at the 9/11 Memorial and Museum, which included a reading of the victims’ names and six moments of silence, beginning at 8:46 a.m., to mark the times of the attacks on the Twin Towers and Pentagon, when each tower collapsed, and when Flight 93 crashed in Pennsylvania.

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September 12 - September 24, 2013

Spirit of 9/11 keeps flying with massive Mott flag By Heather Dubin The unfurling of a humongous American flag down the side of a six-story building in Chinatown tends to bring traffic to a halt. This happens annually on the corner of Hester and Mott. Sts. when John Casalinuovo, who volunteered at Ground Zero for nine months at the Salvation Army tent, leads a tradit i o n h e b e g a n o n S e p t . 9 , 2 0 0 2 .  T h i s y e a r’s c o m m e m o r a t i o n o n Sept. 6 drew a large crowd of famil y, f r i e n d s a n d f e l l o w f o r m e r Wo r l d Tr a d e C e n t e r v o l u n t e e r w o r k e r s t o C a s a l i n u o v o ’s b u i l d i n g .   T h e g r o u p was there to reconnect and watch the lowering of the 60-foot-by-30f o o t , 9 4 - p o u n d A m e r i c a n f l a g .  In an interview afterward, Casalinuovo spoke about the event, and his 9/11 experience. “I was there an hour after the first plane hit, and Denise [his wife] was on the pile by 6:30 the next morning,” Casalinuovo said. On Sept. 12, he was there at 4:30 a.m., and worked on the pile for the first three days of the recovery effort. After the situation became more organized, Casalinuovo and his wife, Denise Lutey-Casalinuovo, worked at the Salvation Army tent until the site c l o s e d o n M a y 3 1 , 2 0 0 2 .   “ We w e r e t o g e t h e r e v e r y d a y. We were the lucky ones,” Casalinuovo s a i d , “ We w e r e a b l e t o g o h o m e a n d t a l k t o g e t h e r. ”  The bond between Ground Zero volunteers stems from a unique shared experience. Casalinuovo explained that volunteers focused their energies at the perimeter of the site, understood each other and got things done. For the first year anniversary of the attack, the couple decided to have a gathering at their home. They considered their new good friends to be lifelong, and wanted to bring everyone together on a day they knew people would s t i l l h a v e r a w e m o t i o n s .  “It was nine months that changed thousands of p e o p l e ’s lives,” C a s a l i n u o v o s a i d .  For three months, beginning on Sept. 22, 2001, the original flag of t h i s e v e n t f l e w o v e r t h e W. T. C .   T h e couple incorporated that flag into their celebration, but it has since been retired. According to Casalinuovo, the cotton was starti n g t o w e a r. H o w e v e r, t h e p o l y e s t e r replacement holds better and folds like cotton. Casalinuovo and about 16 men carefully hang the flag from the roof around the same time every y e a r, t h e   T h u r s d a y   b e f o r e L a b o r D a y, a n d t a k e i t d o w n t h e f o l l o w -

ing Thursday after Sept. 11. The couple also hosts an open house on Sept. 11 for first responde r s ,   f a m i l y a n d a c t i v e m i l i t a r y. The first time they took the flag d o w n i n 2 0 0 2 , n o o n e s h o w e d u p .  “Now it’s a party when it comes down,” Casalinuovo said. “The cops are wonderful, the Fifth Precinct. Our firehouse lost five guys, they help me. It’s a really tight community.”  T h i s y e a r, t h e f l a g w i l l c o m e down on Sept. 22 at sunset. In previous years, as many as 300 people, have helped participate in folding it. “ I t ’s t h e c o o l e s t t h i n g t o w a t c h i t g e t f o l d e d , ” C a s a l i n u o v o s a i d .   “ Yo u have all these different people — a waiter next to a cop, next to a s t r e e t g u y, n e x t t o a Vi e t n a m v e t — all smiling, and they all have a piece of it.” The emotional power of the flag touches him, and he thinks it pulls p e o p l e t o g e t h e r. “ W i t h o u t t h e d i s a s t e r, t h e r e would have been no one here the o t h e r d a y, ” h e s a i d w i t h a l a u g h . “ S o m e g o o d c a m e o u t o f h e r e . ”  The flag makes appearances at Ve t e r a n s D a y P a r a d e s i n M a n h a t t a n and the Bronx, baseball games and art displays. Casalinuovo and his wife do charity work and hold fundraisers through their volunteer organization,

The flag after being slowly unfurled from the building’s rooftop.

Downtown Express photos by Heather Dubin

John Casalinuovo put on a harness to prepare to drop the 1,800-square-foot flag over the building’s side.


September 12 - September 24, 2013

Downtown voters on the candidates Continued from page 12

Exit polls show de Blasio bested Quinn, who is a lesbian, in the L.G.B.T. community. In her own geographic base, de Blasio beat Quinn by a 42-39 percent margin in Chelsea and a 50-34 margin in the West Village. “We all care deeply about this city,” the speaker said of the Democratic primary field. “We share the goal of greater opportunity for every New Yorker in every neighborhood.” Noting the historic significance that a victory would have had, she talked about “a young girl out there” who could say, “I can do that,” and the lifeline it would have sent to “a young L.G.B.T. teen out there who’s doubting themself for who they are.” Quinn’s result was stunning. Quinn had worked very hard, seemingly successfully, for several years to boost her profile citywide. Six months before the primary she was seen as the inevitable nominee, though even Quinn conceded that a runoff was unavoidable. She finished with just 15 percent of the vote. While recent polls suggested that de Blasio had a significant lead heading into the Democratic primary, those same polls had repeatedly shifted in the months leading up to September 10. An exit poll

Downtown Express Photo by Donna Aceto

Quinn waves to supporters as she concedes defeat in the mayoral race.

“I’m a pretty liberal guy — [de Blasio’s] all for raising rates on the top earners.’

by Edison Research Services indicated he had cobbled together an impressive coalition to win the primary. Forty-one percent of women voted for de Blasio as did 42 percent of African-American voters. The greatest surprise in the exit poll was that 47 percent of lesbian, gay and bisexual voters backed de Blasio while only 34 percent supported Quinn, who has represented Chelsea and the West Village for 14 years. The turnout in the primary was moderate, with between 600,000 and 700,000 New Yorkers voting, and de Blasio snagged the votes of roughly 260,000. Thompson, the former city comptroller, who had 26 percent of the vote, emphasized that every vote needs to be counted. Other contenders, such as John Liu, the current comptroller, and

Anthony Weiner, the former congressman, were in the single digits. Democrat Anthony Weiner, whose poll numbers plummeted after reports that his sexting behavior persisted after he presented himself as a changed man, did not lose all of his support. Keith Mackie, 24, of the East Village, said he and a few of his friends voted for Weiner. “I don’t think he’ll win,” he said, “and I thought it would be funny.”


Two candidates with strong Downtown ties were on the ballot and they both appeared to win Lower Manhattan overwhelmingly. That support helped propel State Sen. Daniel Squadron into a probable runoff with Councilmember Letitia James in the public advocate’s race, but it was

Downtown Express photo by Andy Humm

Thompson did not concede as the results are still being tallied for his mayoral run.

not enough to help Julie Menin, former Community Board 1 chairperson, win the borough president’s race. Menin finished fourth, losing to Councilmember Gale Brewer from the Upper West Side. Brewer appeared to come in second place Downtown.

Borough President Scott Stringer beat Eliot Spitzer in the Democratic primary for city comptroller. With reporting by Kaitlyn Meade, Paul Schindler, Tequila Minsky, Andy Humm, Heather Dubin and Terese Loeb Kreuzer


September 12 - September 24, 2013

traNsit sam a lt e r n at e s i d e Pa r K i n g i s s u s P e n d e d s at u r d ay for yoM KiPPur A protest against military action in Syria will gather at 4 p.m. Thursday outside the New York Stock Exchange at Wall and Broad Sts. Hang tight for more protests as the U.N. General Assembly gears up on Tuesday. The big guys won’t be in town until Sept. 24, though, so stay tuned for updates about how they’ll slow things down in Lower Manhattan.

Public schools started back up Monday, which means lots of double and triple-parkers on school blocks and children darting in between cars and out onto the street. Make sure to drive slowly and keep your foot close to the brake in and around school zones. Also, the 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. “No Parking” signs are back in effect. All Manhattan-bound lanes of the Brooklyn Bridge will close 11 p.m. on Thursday to 6 a.m. Friday, 12:01 a.m. to 7


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a.m. on Saturday, 12:01 a.m. to 9 a.m. on Sunday, and 11 p.m. on Monday to 6 a.m. Tuesday. The 86th Annual Feast of San Gennaro will close Mulberry St. between Canal and E. Houston Sts. and Grand and Hester Sts. between Mott and Centre Sts. from 11:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. Thursday, Monday and Tuesday; and 11:30 a.m. to 11:59 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. The Giants play their first regular season home game against the Broncos at 4:30 p.m. on Sunday. That means fan traffic leaving MetLife Stadium will intercept weekenders in the Lincoln Tunnel heading back into the city after the last real weekend of summer, sending more drivers down to the Holland Tunnel and onto Canal St. On West St./Route 9A, two lanes will close in both directions between West Thames and Chambers Sts. from 12:01 a.m. to 5 a.m. Thursday and Friday, and 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. In the Battery Park Underpass, one of two eastbound lanes (from West St. to the F.D.R.) will close 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. weekdays through the end of the month. Chambers St. will fully close between Broadway and Church St. from 9 p.m. Thursday to 5 a.m. Friday. Franklin St. is fully closed between Hudson and Varick Sts. until Tuesday, October 1. Mott St. will close between Houston and Bleecker Sts. from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday.

froM the Mailbag: Dear Transit Sam, I got a parking ticket recently on a residential street where there was a “No Parking 7 a.m.–6 p.m. sign.” I have 2 questions: 1.) There was only one sign, hidden behind a tree, not so visible, and no second sign where the restriction should end. Is this a valid defense? 2.) The ticket was signed only with two letters, like initials, not even one full name. Is this ticket valid? Hershy, New York Dear Hershy, The first point might be a supportable defense, but keep this in mind: only one sign is needed to cover an entire block, and that sign is in effect until the next posted sign or the corner of the block. That means there doesn’t need to be a second sign to show the restriction has ended. To try the ‘one posted sign, not visible’ defense: submit photos of the entire block, corner to corner, including the address where you parked, as well as photos of all signs on the street (front and back) and the signs showing the street name. As for signing with initials, everyone signs their name differently! You won’t be able to argue the signature successfully. Transit Sam

Junior & Teen Sailing Camps These week-long programs inspire kids and develop self-confidence. Each week includes lots of fresh air, sunshine and healthy activity. Ages 8 to 18 Tuition ranges from $390 to $690 per week

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

Full details & color pictures at or call Manhattan Sailing School At 212-786-0400.


September 12 - September 24, 2013

The little tug that could — Seaport’s Decker sparkles in race

Figli di San Gennaro, Inc. Welcomes

Former NY Governor Mario Cuomo & Matilda Cuomo

As this year’s Grand Marshals of the Feast of San Gennaro’s Grand Procession Saturday, September 14, 2013, at 2pm Figli di San Gennaro, Inc. Presents


SAN GENNARO September 12-22, 2013 Mulberry Street, Little Italy, N.Y.C.

Photo courtesy of Therese Loeb Kreuzer

The South Street Seaport Museum’s W.O. Decker in a tugboat race Sept. 1.

BY t e re se lo e b K r e u z e r There were bigger, more powerful tugboats than the South Street Seaport Museum’s W.O. Decker in the 21st annual Great North River Tugboat Race on the Hudson River Sept. 1, but none whose presence in the Labor Day weekend race meant more. The diminutive, yellow tugboat sparkled as she joined the line of 15 tugs and a few other boats for a parade up the river from W. 44th St. to the starting line of the race at W. 79th. Last year, she missed the race. This year, her jaunty exterior stated loud and clear that the South Street Seaport Museum may be on the ropes seeking a new manager and financial backer after the Museum of the City of New York pulled out, but is not down for the count. The Great North River Tugboat Race & Competition uses the historic name for the Hudson River, conferred by the 17thcentury Dutch settlers, whose territory extended to what they called the “South River,” now called the Delaware. And though the race is great fun, with loopy events such as a spinach-eating contest for adults and kids and “best mascot,” this year won by the tug, Debora Miller, which had a donkey on board, the intent is also serious — to honor and celebrate the tugboats and their skilled crew who are an essential part of commerce in New York City’s harbor. Built in 1930 for service on Newtown Creek, W.O. Decker was the oldest boat in this year’s race. Another old boat, the Resolute, built in 1975 in Oyster

Bay, L.I., for the Providence Steamship Company, won the race in the record time of five minutes, covering the course of one nautical mile. Capt. Charles Restivo was at the helm of the Resolute, which now belongs to the McAllister Towing Co., founded in 1864 by Capt. James McAllister, the great-grandfather of Brian A. McAllister, the current president. The Resolute has a rope beard in front and on the sides that protects it from banging into other boats and docks. “Rope fendering is a lost art,” said Restivo. “It’s labor intensive and expensive.” Capt. Aaron Singh steered the W.O. Decker up and down the river. Afterward, he showed off his six-weekold son, Theodore, and the tug’s two trophies. The Decker was honored with the “Little Toot” award and came in second in its class of boats of 1,000 horsepower or less. It was one of the last boats to be built in New York harbor with a steampowered engine. She was subsequently fitted out with a diesel engine, and like some other old-timers in the race, is still at work. The Seaport Museum uses her as a yard tug. At one time, she also carried passengers for trips around the harbor, but is not U.S. Coast Guard-certified to do that at the moment. The hope is that she will be in the future, joining the museum’s 1885 schooner, Pioneer, as a regular presence in the harbor and a prominent element of its living history.

Free Entertainment Nightly

For a complete entertainment and activity schedule, visit our website at

Grand Street Stage at Mott Street Performances at 7 PM Thursday, September 12 MIKE SERGIO or call 212-768-9320

Friday, September 13 VITO PICONE & THE ELEGANTS

Saturday, September 14

Sunday, September 15 GIANNI RUSSO AND BAND


Monday, September 16 THE ORIGINALS

on WCBS FM Hosted by JOE CAUSI 7-10 PM

Tuesday, September 17 JIMMY AVELLA • 7 - 8 PM TRE BELLA • 8 - 9:30 PM Wednesday, September 18 ENRICO CARUSO OPERA NIGHT • 6:30 PM

Saturday, September 21

Thursday, September 19 TEO • 6 - 7:30 PM


Friday, September 20 JUST FRIENDS

on Sirius Satellite Radio Hosted by COUSIN BRUCIE 7-10 PM

Sunday, September 22 JENNA ESPOSITO AND BAND • 6 PM Sound provided by SOUND ON THE RUN (

“The Feast of All Feasts” Celebrating The Patron Saint of Naples Special Attractions: Thursday, September 12 12th Annual Cannoli Eating Contest at 2 PM Sponsored by:

Blessing of the Stands at 6 PM Saturday, September 14 at 2 PM THE GRAND PROCESSION, Floats, Marching Bands, Special guest Bruno Sammartino and the STATUE OF SAN GENNARO Wednesday, September 18 at 2 PM Annual Pizza Eating Contest

Thursday, September 19 at 6 PM Solemn High Mass Celebrating the Patron Saint of Naples Most Precious Blood Church (113 Baxter Street) Religious Procession with the Statue of San Gennaro Sunday, September 22 11:30AM - 6:30PM The Annual Feast of San Gennaro Blood Drive with the Red Cross at 268 Mulberry Street (between Prince & Houston)

Sponsored by:

Any visual or audio reproduction of this Festival other than the News Media is strictly forbidden without written permission of Figli di San Gennaro, Inc.

With grateful appreciation to: The Society of St. Anthony of Giovanazzo, Inc.;

Columbia Association

; NYC Fire Department


September 12 - September 24, 2013

Editorial Publisher

Jennifer Goodstein Publisher EMERITUS

John W. Sutter Editor


Terese Loeb Kreuzer Arts Editor

Scott Stiffler Reporters

Lincoln Anderson Editorial ASsistant

Kaitlyn Meade

Sr. V.P. of Sales & Marketing

Francesco Regini Retail ad manager

Colin Gregory

New York elections are broken. Fix‘em. Democracy, as the saying goes,

is the worst form of government except for all of the others. Along those lines, New York’s creaky voting machine system is the worst except for the “modern” electronic vote scanners the state picked a few years ago. That one’s technology is so cutting edge that it was impossible to get ballots set up in three week’s time for the Oct. 1 primary. That’s why we were back to the voting relics this week. There were real problems yesterday with the aging machines. A few did break down and as we report, in at least one case in Battery Park City, voters were given incorrect paper ballots. That problem turned out to be low-scale and it didn’t factor in the most important offices on the ballot, but just because the broken machines and mistakes may not have affected the election, that’s no reason to shrug off the problem. The electronic machines also led to confusion

and longer waits and as former Councilmember Alan Gerson points out, they provide less privacy. That’s why we completely understand why Gerson, a few poll workers, and voters told us that they’d like to stay with the machines rather than go back to the scanners. They’re right. The scanners are worse. But it’s more than a little discouraging that those in the know have been so beaten down by New York’s broken electoral system that they can’t imagine anyone in power coming up with a good option when faced with one of two bad choices. When was the last time you remember seeing someone old or young, English-speaking or not, be confused at an ATM? We can’t. It shouldn’t be hard to design machines that perform private and important transactions that almost everybody can use without confusion. An ATM-like screen could end the unfair

advantages of ballot name placement. Rotating the candidates so each one has an equal number of times in the most and least prominent positions on the ballot makes sense. A screen could allow hard copy printouts which gives voters visual confirmation and could also be used in recounts. That may not be the best system but it is certainly one that would be a huge improvement. Safeguards and protections the public can trust are of course requirements for any system. New York’s advantage of being behind in voting technology is it can look to other places to find the best way to vote. With today’s technology, it is inexcusable that we have to wait days or weeks for accurate vote counts, or months to get a ballot ready for an election. Pointing fingers at the culprits is far less important than fixing a problem that shakes the fundamentals of our democracy.

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Allison Greaker Julius Harrison Alex Morris Rebecca Rosenthal Julio Tumbaco Art / Production Director

Deadline nears for 9/11 health victims

Troy Masters Senior Designer

Michael Shirey Graphic Designers

Arnold Rozon Chris Ortiz Contributors

Albert Amateau Jerry Tallmer Photographers

Milo Hess Jefferson Siegel

Published by NYC Community Media, LLC 515 Canal ST, UNIT 1C New york, NY 10013 Phone: (212) 229-1890 Fax: (212) 229-2790 Downtown Express is published every week by Community Media LLC, 515 Canal St., Unit 1C, New York, N.Y. 10013 (212) 229-1890. The entire contents of the newspaper, including advertising, are copyrighted and no part may be reproduced without the express permission of the publisher - © 2012 Community Media LLC. PUBLISHER’S LIABILITY FOR ERROR The Publisher shall not be liable for slight changes or typographical errors that do not lessen the value of an advertisement. The publisher’s liability for other errors or omissions in connection with an advertisement is strictly limited to publication of the advertisement in any subsequent issue.

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B y Kaitlyn Meade The deadline to register with the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund is only a few weeks away. Oct 3 is the last day for most people to register to receive compensation for a 9/11-related health issue, as established by the James Zadroga Health and Compensations Act. U.S. Reps. Jerry Nadler and Carolyn M a l o n e y, along with the Vi c t i m Compensation Fund (V.C.F. Special Master Shiela Birnbaum gathered Downtown at Silverstein Family Park in front of 7 World Trade Center, on Mon., Sept. 9 to publicize the coming deadline. “I urge all survivors and responders who may be eligible for the V.C.F. to register by the Oct. 3rd deadline, so that they may get the compensation they deserve,” Nadler said in a prepared statement. “We can never forget those who we lost on 9/11 and we can never stop fighting for those who became ill or continue to suffer since those first fateful days.” The fund is open to many people Downtown, even those whose health was not significantly impacted at the time — from first responders to area workers, residents and students who lived in Lower Manhattan from Sept. 11, 2001 to May 30, 2002. For anyone whose health problems surfaced before Oct. 3, 2011, the deadline is almost here. The exception are those with types of cancer that were added to the list of 9/11-related illnesses last year — these patients have an additional year to register with the fund.

Despite registration of over 27,000 people, the response has not been as robust as could be expected compared to the estimated number of people exposed after 9/11, according to Kimberly Flynn of the World Trade Center Health Program’s steering committee and the director of the 9/11 Environmental Action group. Flynn said the lack of participation might be due to confusion about the application process. She said some people were unaware of the difference between the V.C.F. and two other 9/11-related health systems — the World Trade Center Health Registry and the World Trade Center Health Program. The W.T.C. Health Registry was established by the city to track health problems in Lower Manhattan caused by the attacks, and is not a treatment or compensation program. The W.T.C. Health Program, on the other hand, provides healthcare for 9/11-related health problems, both physical and mental. The Health Program was also established by the 2010 Zadroga Act, but enrolling in it is not the same as registering with the Victim Compensation Fund, said Flynn. “What we are looking at is three separate programs with three different enrollment processes,” she said. Additionally, the V.C.F. will not compensate for mental injury, only physical afflictions. It pays for treatment, medical expenses and even time lost from work due to a physical injury or illness. Those who have a lost loved one to a 9/11 related injury or illness can also register and make a claim on that person’s behalf.

Flynn said registering for the V.C.F. “simply holds a place for you, should you choose to file a claim in the future.” There are two ways to register: online or by mail. The online registration can be completed at the V.C.F. website Applicants can also call 1-855-885-1555 to have the form mailed. The completed form must be returned with a postmark no later than Oct. 3, 2013. “We worked very hard to get both care and compensation for everyone whose health was harmed by the W.T.C. Disaster,” said Catherine McVay Hughes, chairperson of Community Board 1 at the gathering in Silverstein Park. “If you are sick due to 9/11, it’s time for you to register. Be a good friend and help a friend make the call.”

Letters Policy Downtown Express welcomes letters to The Editor. They must include the writer’s first and last name, a phone number for confirmation purposes only, and any affiliation that relates directly to the letter’s subject matter. Letters should be less than 300 words. Downtown Express reserves the right to edit letters for space, clarity, civility or libel reasons. Letters should be emailed to or can be mailed to: 515 Canal St., New York, NY, 10013.


September 12 - September 24, 2013

Downtown Express photo by Milo Hess

Looking to the future The week before Sept. 11, one of the artistic walking figures in the Downtown Alliance’s Re:Construction art project seemed to be looking ahead as 4 World Trade Center nears completion.

By J a n e l B l a d o w As I write this Monday, Pier 17 is being emptied — shops closing, doors locking. Hundreds of people put out of work while small businesses that have been struggling are now gone. Many of the small shops and restaurants beyond the Howard Hughes Corporation’s grasp are still struggling or closed. Meanwhile, Fulton St. is alive with Astroturf and shipping container-contained businesses. The Seaport Museum is defunct. The tall ships are being shipped out; some can’t even be given away! It seems as if our seaport/seafaring history doesn’t matter. Does it get any more surreal? My colleague Terese Loeb Kreuzer had a good article in last week’s online edition of Downtown Express (and on P.7 of this edition) on the H.H.C.’s “secret” plans to transform the Seaport In it, she details the museum areas H.H.C. is now able to purchase or lease, including Pier 16 where the ships are docked. If you haven’t read the piece, check it out

Restaurant recovery roundup…

Meanwhile, back on the ranch, or this case, the cobbled/uncobbled/or being cobbled, hobbled and decobbled then recobbled again streets of South Street Seaport area outside of Howard Hughes Corp. clutches, construction continues.

On and on and on… Here’s a quick

look at the status of some of the restaurants: Bridge Café (Water & Dover Sts.): Construction is underway. The basement was completely flooded while kitchen and dining room were under four-feet of water during Hurricane Sandy, effectively destroying the centuries-old infrastructure. Now the historic wooden treasure is in the process of rebuilding. “We’re doing what we can,” owner Adam Weprin told Seaport Report. “We’re dealing with a 1794 building so we have a lot of work to do.” Both levels are being repaired together. “We ripped out the main floor to work

on the basement, and then we’ll work to the roof of the dining room,” he added. “June opening became July, August was pushed to October. We’re now looking at November, December. I’m not even putting a date on it.” Paris Café (South St. & Peck Slip): They’ve redone the basement, electric and floors and moved the 1873 bar. Owner Peter O’Connell has said it was a major restoration. He’s hoping for a reopening before the Sandy one-year anniversary next month. Nelson Blue (Front St. & Peck Slip): The bar/eatery’s resident Kiwi Pauli Morgan has posted on their website that “we are planning a bigger, badder, bolder and just as beautiful comeback to N.Y.C.’s #1 Kiwi bar/restaurant.” Seaport Report will try to get a “bite” from the jolly man from Down Under ASAP with more juicy details. SUteiShi (Front St. & Peck Slip): Work has been underway for more than a month to rebuild this lovely space with its garage door sidewalk seating.

Their Facebook posting announces a late September relaunch. Meantime, get your sushi fix from them to go. But until the doors of these fav places reopen, several of the neighborhood spots have banded together for a block party celebration on October 19. Look for more tasty details in the next Seaport Report.

Last blast of summer…

Haven’t had enough summertime fun? Then join the gang from Cigar Landing (150 Beekman St.) for the last booze cruise of the summer, Thursday (Sept. 12). The 3-hour tour ($120 per person) includes unlimited beer and wine and an open bar on return at Fish Market Restaurant (111 South St.) and three cigars. The ship sails from the Seaport piers at 7 pm for a sunset cruise. About 30 people shipped out on the last adventure with no one overboard and all reporting they had a terrific time. Email Andy Oh at to reserve a spot and tell him how many are in your party.


September 12 - September 24, 2013

Howard Hughes’ plans for the Seaport Continued from page 7

South Street Seaport Museum, which used it for exhibitions until it was forced to close those galleries on April 7, because essential climate control and other systems had been badly damaged by Superstorm Sandy with insufficient money forthcoming for repairs. The museum maintained that E.D.C., as its landlord, should have fixed these base building systems, which also included escalators and elevators. Had E.D.C. done so, FEMA would have reimbursed the outlay — but E.D.C. said it wasn’t responsible. The museum shop was formerly located at 14 Fulton St. in a space that is still under the museum’s control. The memorandum goes on to say that Howard Hughes has the right to space located above the second story of buildings on the Museum Block, the landmarked Tin Building on South Street and all portions of the Schermerhorn Block except existing public circulation areas within 12 Fulton St. In addition, this document gives Hughes the right of first offer to purchase or lease a lot located on the southeast corner of John St. and South St. When the museum’s electrical system was damaged, one proposal to restore the museum to viability was to use

that John St. lot to erect a small building in which the electrical system could be housed, safely above the possibility of future flood damage. In its cover pages listing the properties subsumed by the Memorandum of Lease, Pier 16 is mentioned. This pier is currently under the jurisdiction of the museum and is used to berth its historic ships. Kate Blumm, an E.D.C. spokesperson, said that these options and allocations to Howard Hughes are nothing new. According to Blumm, 12 and 14 Fulton St. are mentioned in a lease signed with the Rouse Company on Dec. 15, 1981 and in an amended lease signed this year with its successor, The Howard Hughes Corporation on June 27. “The John St. lot is also included in the original lease,” said Blumm. “The right of first offer on the John St. lot was acquired through a separate agreement executed under different circumstances.” The second document signed on June 27 is entitled “Improvement Agreement Termination.” The Improvement Agreement Termination seems to confirm in writing what had been true as a matter of practice since the Giuliani administration, namely that the holder of the Seaport marketplace leases (now Howard Hughes) had no financial obligation to the

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museum. Hughes and its subsidiary Seaport Marketplace, L.L.C., were successors to General Growth Properties, which went bankrupt. General Growth was, in turn, the successor to the Rouse Company, which originally held the leases pertinent to the South Street Seaport. One provision of those original leases called for Rouse to funnel money from its commercial activities in the Seaport to the South Street Seaport Museum to help support it. That funding never happened, and the museum has consequently struggled financially for most of the time since it was founded in 1967. Community Board 1’s Seaport Committee had been hopeful, even adamant, that Howard Hughes help to finance the Seaport Museum in exchange for its opportunity to earn significant revenue in the Seaport. Hughes had been paying its landlord, the E.D.C., $3.50 a square foot for the space it rents on Pier 17, for instance. When the new shopping mall is finished in a few years, that space should be rentable for several hundred dollars per square foot. Under a new leasing agreement with the City, Howard Hughes will be paying a flat rent of $1.2 million a year, not based on square footage. But Blumm said that new lease makes

Hughes solely responsible for maintaining Pier 17 and its substructure and the portions of the East River esplanade that run through Hughes’ leasehold. In addition, Hughes will contribute $210,000 a year for use on the East River esplanade wherever that money is needed. Blumm claims that this arrangement will save the city millions of dollars over the life of its lease, which could, at Hughes’ option, extend through Dec. 30, 2072. The Howard Hughes Corporation has engaged RKF, a realty company, to help it lease its South Street Seaport properties. A glossy brochure prepared to abet that process entitled “See/Change historic South Street Seaport” shows the museum’s properties as being among those available for lease by Howard Hughes. This is “an earlier marketing plan presented by the Howard Hughes Corporation which inadvertently included buildings that are not a part of the leasing plans. It has since been corrected,” said E.D.C. spokesperson Patrick Muncie in an email on Aug. 27. Based on information that has surfaced since then, the “See/Change” document may not have been totally incorrect, just somewhat premature. Blumm said she would provide a corrected version of that leasing document, but did not do so.


September 12 - September 24, 2013

BY sCott stiffler the sCholastiC store At 11am every Tues., Wed. and Thurs., the Scholastic Storyteller brings tales to life. At 3pm on the second Thurs. of the month, the sing-along event celebrates music and movement — and every Saturday at 3pm, Scholastic’s interactive author readings, character visits and special events will get kids reading, thinking, creating and moving. Three upcoming Saturday events are all designed with kids ages three and up in mind. On Sept. 14, “Rawr!” follows the adventures of a very b i g , v e r y g r e e n a n d v e r y s i l l y Ty r a n n o s a u r u s R e x . After the reading, create your very own foam dino pal. On Sept. 21, celebrate the arrival of “The Birthday Queen.” This new book, by the authors of “The Napping House,” looks at the busy life of a lady who lives

in a palace and spends her days perfecting all the elements of a great birthday party. That means testing toys, baking cakes and wrapping presents. Stay after the reading to make your own birthday-themed crafts, play games and parade around the store! On Sept. 28, crowns and tiaras will be crafted, inspired by the whimsical tale of “Cinderelephant!” — in which a pachyderm prince searches for the beautif u l e l e p h a n t h e d a n c e d w i t h a t l a s t n i g h t ’s b a l l ! All events are free and open to the public. At 557 Broadway (btw. Prince & Spring Sts.). Store hours: Mon.-Sat., 10am-7pm and Sun., 11am-6pm. For info, call 212-343-6166 or visit


Artwork by Tamar Mogendorff

Opening on Sept. 26, “Tweet” uses handheld tech to explores how birds communicate (hint: it’s not through 140-character messages).


The Children’s Museum of the Arts, which recently celebrated its quarter century of promoting self-expression and esteem, is gearing up for a busy fall. Their permanent collection includes work created by children from around the world — and visitors to the museum, who write haiku and hang it from the PoeTree. On Sept. 26, CMA will unveil a new exhibition (which runs through Jan. 26, 2014). “Tweet” takes you back to a time before 2006 — when tweeting was pretty much exclusively used to describe the chirp of a bird (not the 140-character message it’s become synonymous with). Through viewing artwork and using your own handheld technology, “Tweet” asks us to look around, enjoy nature and see the birds. In partnership with NYC Audubon, CMA will host a series of Bird Call

Workshops — the first of which takes place on Sat., Sept. 28, from 12-3pm. CMA’s after school program offers semester-long classes in a range of mediums for young artists ages 5-12. Taught by professional teaching artists, these classes are designed to teach and build upon age-appropriate art-making skills while encouraging creative and imaginative expression. Registration for the fall session (Sept. 23-Jan. 14, 2014) is now open. The fee is $500 ($450 for CMA members). For more info or to sign up, contact Valerie at CMA is located at 103 Charlton St. (btw. Greenwich & Hudson Sts.). Hours: Mon. & Wed., 12-5pm; Thurs. & Fri., 12-6pm; Sat. & Sun., 10am5pm. Admission: $11 (Seniors and 0-12 months, free from 4-6pm). Thursdays are pay-as-you-wish. For info, call 212-2740986 or visit Follow them at



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September 12 - September 24, 2013

Meaty, satisfying and deceptively simple Storytelling offers instant intimacy and an alternate to standup

Photo by Dan Dion

BY OPHIRA EISENBERG Although the comedy scene in New York has never been better, I still get jealous when I hear an older comic reminisce about standup in the 80s. They get this faraway, blissful look in their eyes as they describe the packed houses, the electricity and anticipation in the air. It was a time when everything was new — no joke premise was overdone, and no impression considered hack. It’s like they’re remembering a time before disappointment. Clearly I’ll never be able to go back to those days. But I was lucky enough to explore and perform on some quirky shows that would later become staples of the storytelling scene. When I moved here in 2001, it was popular for comedians to put up a one-hour, one-person show about your life — but people were also experimenting with shorter narrative pieces in backs and basements of downtown restaurants and bars, part of what we now consider the alternative scene. I even produced a mini-festival called “Leave Me Alone” with my friend, Erin Keating (now Director of Development for AMC), where a couple dozen performers and writers (including Jonathan Ames) teased the audience with 10-minute excerpts from their current or upcoming solo shows. This was a couple of years before I witnessed my first Moth Slam. It was at the Nuyorican Poets Café in the Lower East Side, and I lined up for an hour just to get in (now considered the standard). The bar was jam-packed beyond fire code and noisy with that intoxicating feeling that something exciting was about to happen — and the greatest thing about that was we didn’t even know whom we’d be seeing. This was a Slam — a glorified open mic, where the host picked 10 names out of a hat and one by one, people would take the stage and tell a five-minute true story. Some were writers, some performers, some just…people. And we hung on their every word. Then judges scored the stories and one winner emerged: The Moth Slampion. All I wanted to do was go to the next one, eventually working up the nerve to throw my own name in the hat. Now The Moth didn’t invent the art of storytelling, but I do believe they defined the 5-10 minute crisp and wellstructured narrative that has propelled the scene forward here in New York. Their shows provided a breeding ground to a community of storytellers who produce some of the finest shows you can find around today. And let’s talk about today. Storytelling in New York is certainly experiencing a heyday, perhaps even comparable to standup in the 80s — just without the fistfuls of cash and the mountains of cocaine. But maybe that’s coming. Fingers crossed. People even refer to themselves as “storytellers” because it actually means something now. Why are we suddenly so addicted to this autobiographical form that requires both an attention span and vulnerability? Is it because we’re alienated from each other behind our computers? Is it because social media has made us even more narcissistic? Is it because truth is an antiquated commodity? My personal theory is that it’s just good entertainment. It’s meaty, it’s satisfying and it’s deceptively simple. But most importantly, it’s people talking about what matters to them. But don’t take my word for it — check out a show. They are affordable, very welcoming and attract such an eclectic demographic, you’ll

never feel like you stand out. No one is making more than pocket change at these shows, something I hope changes (as everyone should be paid for their art), but I also wonder if that’s what keeps the scene so pure — the people on stage are doing it because they truly love it. Fortunately, you can count on finding a great storytelling show with a top-notch lineup virtually every night of the week. Here’s what’s coming up:  


If you like that feeling of hanging out in the living room of a charming woman who has interesting friends and a cash bar — and who doesn’t? — stop by the bar 2A for “The Jenny Rubin Show.” A born-and-bred New Yorker, Jenny is one of those people who you only have to meet once to look forward to seeing her again. From years in biz, she knows all of the best storytellers, writers and comedians who populate the lineup of this down-to-earth comedic storytelling show. Each performance is followed by a brief interview conducted by Jenny herself, where she draws out another funny anecdote, dives deeper into a moment she connected with or inquires about your mental state — consider it the DVD extras to a compelling story. Biweekly, Thursdays at 8pm (next show, Sept. 19). At the bar 2A (25 Ave. A, corner of Second St.& Ave. A). No cover, one-drink minimum.


If you’ve ever wondered how much of these incredible personal stories are actually true, then let me introduce you to Andy Christie’s monthly “Liar Show.” Andy casts four top tellers, who regale the audience with short, personal tales that will make you laugh AND think — because only three of them are true. The fourth teller is making the whole thing up. All four performers return to the stage to defend their stories while the crowd subjects them to a no-holds-barred interrogation that is so fun and spirited, it’s worth the price of admission alone. The audience then casts their ballots and Andy plays a slick video he’s created that reveals The Liar. It’s a great jump-start to your Saturday night, and the perfect way to impress a date. Plus if you’re one the geniuses who guess correctly, you walk away with a highly coveted “I Can Tell A Lie” T-shirt, so you’ll have something to wear home Sunday morning. On the first Saturday of the month, at 6pm. At the Cornelia Street Cafe (29 Cornelia St., btw. Sixth & Seventh Aves., just off Fourth St.). $15 admission includes one drink. Reservations: 212-989-9319. Visit  


Most of these storytelling shows take place in venues that attract more of a literary crowd than a standup one — but looking to fill that gap is Dustin Chafin’s new weekly storytelling show on Sunday nights at the Greenwich Village Comedy Club. The goal here is to give top comedians the chance to come out from behind their pithy one-liners, and channel comedy storytelling greats like Bill Cosby or Richard Pryor. This is a brand new show with only a month under its belt, and Chafin’s experiment is bringing out some terrific stories that run the gamut from a comic talking about his days of being a NYC Detective, to what it was like to be a Mormon Missionary in South America, to a ridiculous one night stand relived. From a standup’s point of view, it’s a challenge and a

Photo by Jason Burke

It’s reigning stories: Jenny Rubin’s biweekly show at the 2A bar has a living room vibe — and an inquisitive host.

breath of fresh air. From the audience’s point of view, it’s an unexpected pleasure at a comedy club — and there is no risk of hearing the same material twice. Weekly, Sundays at 8pm. At the Greenwich Village Comedy Club (99 MacDougal St., off Bleeker St.). Call 212777-5233. Visit


If you haven’t heard the name Adam Wade, you haven’t been listening. Adam is arguably one of the most beloved storytellers on the scene. Not only an expert at weaving tales around his own successes and failures as the archetypical nerd, he’s prolific and produces a number of storytelling shows each month, all of them worth checking out. His demeanor is sweet and almost apologetic, but make no mistake, this guy knows exactly what he’s doing on stage and has the chops of a seasoned veteran. On the second Monday of each month you can see him in fine form in “The Adam Wade from NH Show.” The show opens with one of a rotating pool of favorite storytellers, and then Adam takes the stage with sagas from his adolescent years, further illustrated with videos and rare home movie footage. Each show is different, so you can come back every month, as many people do. On the second Monday of the month, at 7pm. At UNDER St. Marks (94 St. Marks Place, btw. First Ave. & Ave. A). Admission is $5. For more info, visit

Continued on page 27


September 12 - September 24, 2013

New York’s storytelling circuit in its creative heyday Continued from page 26 And while you’re comfortable at UNDER St. Marks, why not stay for the 10pm musical storytelling show, BTK Band? What does BTK stand for? Bring The Kids, of course. Actually that’s exactly what you should NOT do — and I mean that in the best way. Hosted by frequent Moth host and storyteller extraordinaire Peter Aguero, The BTK Band is self-described as “the hardestdrinking improvised storytelling rock band around.” Storytellers are flanked by a fivepiece band and two burlesque dances. As they tell their tale, music and lyrics are improvised around them, morphing their story into a song. The result is pure entertainment magic. As the PBR flows it gets a little raunchy, a little sexy, yet still remains somewhat highbrow.

MORTIFIED (and more)

And this is just the beginning of what’s out there. I hope to highlight more in the coming months. If you felt like this list was a little Manhattan-centric, fear not, and get yourself to Littlefield (622 Degraw St., btw. Third & Fourth Aves., in the Gowanus). That’s where, on Thurs., Sept. 26 at 8pm, you can see the return of “Mortified” — the storytelling show based on embarrassing school work, diaries, homework and artifacts

Photo by Spencer Ritenour

Andy Christie’s “The Liar Show” challenges the audience to ferreting out who’s telling a tall tale — and rewards them with a T-shirt.

Archetypical nerd Adam Wade welcomes a guest storyteller, then regales you with tales from his adolescence in the Granite State.

from your young adult life. Tickets are $10 in advance, $15 at the door. To order, visit Also at Littlefield, on Tues., Oct 8, Ben Lillie and Erin Barker’s “Story Collider” show proves that everyone has a story how science made a difference, affected them or changed them on a personal and emotional level. Tickets to this 21+ show are

show, “Ask Me Another.” Live tapings take place at The Bell House ( She is also the author of “Screw Everyone: Sleeping My Way to Monogamy” (Seal Press) — and you can see her tell from it as part of the Brooklyn Book Festival on Sun., Sept. 22, 8pm at Union Hall ( for details). For more info, visit

Photo by Matt Bresler

$10. Visit for details. Take a tour of the beautiful Brooklyn Brewery in Williamsburg (#1 Brewers Row, 79 N. 11th St.) and stick around to guffaw with comedian Tom Shillue at his “Funny Story” show. Visit for details. Ophira Eisenberg is a standup, storyteller and host of NPR and WNYC’s trivia comedy

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September 12 - September 24, 2013

Buhmann on Art Hundley’s moments & Ortega’s connections bY StePHanie buHMann (


Hundley’s exhibition was largely inspired by Virginia Woolf’s novel “The Waves,” which is comprised of a series of soliloquies spoken by six different characters. In the construction of this exhibition, Hundley used a strategy similar to Woolf’s. Each work was conceived in dialogue with the others. Manifesting as a complex constellation of references to books Hundley has read, images he has collected and music he has listened to, the hand-printed canvases and works on paper directly correspond to significant moments in his life. Through Oct. 20, at team (gallery, inc.). At 47 Wooster St., btw. Grand & Broome Sts. Hours: Wed.-Sat., 10am-6pm & Sun., 12-6pm). Call 212-279-9219 or visit

Image courtesy of the artist and Team Gallery, New York

Marc Hundley’s “Living for right now” (part of “The Waves”) is on view, at team (gallery, inc.), through Oct. 20. Copyright Damián Ortega, courtesy Gladstone Gallery, New York and Brussels


As a former political cartoonist, Ortega has taken a longstanding interest in social and political narratives. He deconstructs familiar objects and creates new arrangements in which each component can

Damián Ortega’s “Tool Bones 1” (2013, Bronze, 27 1/8 x 50 x 21 5/8 inches; 69 x 127 x 55 cm) — on view at Gladstone Gallery through Oct. 26.

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September 12 - September 24, 2013

Downtown Express photo by Milo Hess

Fashion Week and L.E.S. style connect at Opening Night Thousands of art and fashion fans deluged the Lower East Side on Sunday from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. for the second annual Lower East Side Opening Night: Art + Fashion. As part of the event, more than 40 L.E.S. galleries held their opening fall receptions. Orchard St. between Broome and Grand Sts. was closed off for a block party featuring a “Looks of the L.E.S.” fashion show, complete with runway models, with the styles selected by Amy Odell of . Musical entertainment featured DJ beats by Anton Bass and Onda Skillet, as well as punk bands Threats and Nancy. Natalie Raben, marketing and communications manager for the Lower East Side Business Improvement District, said the turnout surpassed last year’s inaugural event, which coincided with the since-canceled Fashion’s Night Out. “It was shoulder to shoulder,” she said. “I’m going to say there were 1,000 people on that one block; and there were people clustered outside of the galleries in other spots. Fashion Week is very exclusive and a little bit snooty; and the way this was organized really reflected the laid-back nature of the neighborhood: ‘We’re doin’ it for free. C’mon out. Enjoy B:9.75” it, and be part of the action.’ ”


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