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New CB4 Leadership to Follow Johnson’s Exit

Photo by Eileen Stukane

Hell’s Kitchen Farm Project coordinator Lauren Baccus, on the roof of Metro Baptist Church.

Rooftop Farm Feeds Those Struggling to Stay in Hell’s Kitchen BY EILEEN STUKANE A man was knocking at the front door of Metro Baptist Church on West 40th Street between Ninth and Tenth Avenues, when Chelsea Now arrived to cover the rooftop Hell’s Kitchen Farm Project (HKFP), which has grown enough fresh organic produce to provide Metro’s Food Pantry with 175 pounds of food so far this year. The man was requesting a toiletry kit, which the church provides as part of its social services for the needy.

Around the corner on Ninth Avenue, a small cup of organic coffee cost three dollars. The extremes that exist in a changing Hell’s Kitchen have prompted Chelsea Now to take a closer look at this Community Board 4 neighborhood as it continues its stunning transformation from a gritty working class district of low-rise buildings and tenements, to an area of upscale, skyscraping, commercial and residential towers with amenities for the wealthy. The sparkling

towers belie what’s happening on the ground, as many long-time residents struggle to survive in a community of higher costs, and that’s where the HKFP comes in. The food grown on Metro’s roof offers a lifeline. Now in its third growing season, the HKFP planted its fi rst seeds in 2011, thanks to the efforts of four community groups: Metro Baptist Church, Rauschenbusch

BY SAM SPOKONY In the end, it was probably the respect he’d earned from local tenant leaders and neighborhood organizations — relationships grown strong through his time on Community Board 4 (CB4) — that propelled Corey Johnson to a huge win over Yetta Kurland in the September 10 Democratic primary election for the City Council’s District 3 seat. Johnson, who has chaired CB4 for the past two-and-a-half years, and been a member since 2005, is now preparing to make his exit from the board, as he will run uncontested in the general election in November and officially take office in the Council on January 1. But while he’s ready to take on this new and bigger role — his first as a legislator — Johnson is quick to remind constituents that, even once he becomes a City Councilmember, he won’t be too hard to find around town. “I learned a lot from the community board, but I don’t feel sentimental about ending my time there, because the truth is that I'm not going any-

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5 15 CANAL ST., U N IT 1C • MAN H ATTA N , N Y 10 013 • C OPYRIG HT © 2013 N YC COM M U N ITY M ED IA , LLC

where,” said Johnson, in a September 18 interview with Chelsea Now. “I’m just going to be working with all of these folks in a different capacity, and I’m going to continue to be at community board meetings, tenant association meetings, block association meetings and PTA meetings. And I think this next chapter is really going to be an extension of the work I did with my colleagues in CB4.” Johnson’s formative training and expertise on the local level will, as he states it, continue to benefit his Council district (which includes Hell’s Kitchen, Chelsea, Greenwich Village, the South Village and West SoHo) by keeping him zeroed in on the neighborhood issues that played a such a huge part in his campaign — namely, the oft-repeated, top three priorities of bringing in new affordable housing, improving public schools and restoring a full service hospital to the area. “I think affordable housing is the number one issue that faces all of these neighborhoods on the

Continued on page 6

eDiToRial, leTTeRs PAGE 8


2 September 25 - October 8, 2013

We Could Be more Convenient...

Hell’s Kitchen is Farm Country

Photo by Lauren Baccus

The Hell’s Kitchen Farm Project helps feed those who find it difficult to make ends meet in the increasingly expensive neighborhood.

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Continued from page 1 Metro Ministries (the nonprofit arm of the church), Metropolitan Community Church of New York, and Clinton Housing Development Company (CHDC).

Continued on page 3

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The farm was initially the brainchild of Alan Sherouse, former pastor of Metro Baptist Church, who at the time recognized the dearth of fresh produce in his Hell’s Kitchen community.

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September 25 - October 8, 2013


Rooftop Harvest Feeds Local Need Continued from page 2 “So three years ago, 70 volunteers, five flights of stairs and seven tons of soil made its way up here in a bucket brigade,” says Lauren Baccus, who is in her second season as farm coordinator through Metro’s partnership with CHDC. The five-story Metro rooftop, on a church that was built at the turn of the 20th century, was not structurally able to hold the weight of a 4,000-square-foot field of soil. The solution was found in turning 52 kiddie pools into individual planters set on styrofoam blocks. The next challenge to urban agriculture was the pigeons. “Apparently pigeons eat everything, fries and Swiss chard,” says Baccus. Encircled by wire cages and topped with chicken wire, the 52 planters are now pigeon-protected and the harvest has risen from 60 pounds in the first year to 175 pounds today. On this late summer/early fall day, there continue to be vegetables ready to pick. Says Baccus, “We have tomatoes easing on out, cucumbers from summer finishing up, Swiss chard. We have lettuce coming in, lots of beans, spinach, mustard greens, turnips, radishes, baby carrots. Right now, we’re planting cooler weather crops, more of the greens come up through the fall.”  The farm is active from April through November and welcomes volunteers and community participation.  Mentally challenged adults in a program sponsored by the Association for the Help of Retarded Children (AHRC) arrive for their weekly volunteer visit, to water and harvest crops. Shikha Rozario, the AHRC group supervisor, explains that the adults who come to the farm have the opportunity to communicate with other people in society, and they learn to reference the names of plants with the foods they eat.  “When I first brought people here for orientation, the reaction was, ‘Wow, what a nice feeling,’ ” says Rozario. Another outreach group, Page-Turners, a Rauschenbusch after-school program, brings first and second graders to the farm once a month, and third through fifth graders once a week, for a hands-on experience in learning the relationship between crops and food.  Even on the coldest days of winter, the children continue indoors, studying plants, worms and soil. However, the ability of Metro’s rooftop farm to provide for those who need sustenance — and their numbers are growing — is by far the greatest role the farm plays in Hell’s Kitchen. 


Rev. Tiffany Triplett Henkel, pastor/ executive director, Metro Baptist Church/ Rauschenbusch Metro Ministries, has been at the church since 2005, and she has seen the visitors to Metro’s Food Pantry increase dramatically. “In my tenure we’ve seen more people seeking services, especially emergency food services, pretty drastically,” she says, “Since 2008 we’ve seen even more of a spike, and a lot of those

who are coming are people who have jobs, are working, are trying to make ends meet With rents as high as they are, lots of folks are in shelters, but many are not.” Rev. Henkel explains that when Metro started a food program decades ago, it was for those vulnerable people living on the street or just getting off the street, “but now it’s not. It’s whole families living in tight quarters in Hell’s Kitchen because that’s the only way they can stay here with the shifts in all of the housing. Generations on top of generations are living in small spaces.” According to A.J. Walton, a co-director of the Rauschenbusch Metro Ministries Food Pantry in the church, the Pantry is now providing food for 600 to 800 people a month, serves an ethnically diverse population from one to six people in a household, and is open four Saturday mornings a month (there are enough struggling people to keep about 600 food pantries active citywide). Along with nonperishable canned foods, households are encouraged to take the freshly picked produce from the roof.  As with most of the city’s food programs, Metro strives to provide three full days of food. Based on a “number-inhousehold” point system, people choose from the food groups: protein, grain, fruits and vegetables, dairy. “Initially, the homeless and the elderly made up a good portion of our constituency,” says Walton, “but now we have lots of individuals who work, lots of families with children, and less seniors than previous years...the decrease in our senior population has a lot to do with the fact that many of them are having to leave the neighborhood and relocate.”  Walton notes the ever-rising cost of fresh food is driving more working families to the Pantry. “We don’t expect the farm to feed everybody, but we do have a great model going on here of what can be done,” says Baccus, “and we also have created Community Supported Agriculture, a CSA.”  A CSA is a cooperative program in which people who have the means, pay at the start of a growing season, for shares of the harvest of a farmer chosen by the HKFP. The farmer then delivers organic vegetables and herbs to Metro each week for 22 weeks beginning in June – the fresh food is divided among the shareholders. Some donors have purchased CSA shares of food to donate back to the Pantry, which also receives food from Food Bank of NYC, City Harvest, CHDC (through a grant from United Way of NYC) and Driscoll Foods. An annual fundraiser — this year’s will be on October 30th at the church — also helps to support the HK Farm Project and the Pantry.   Metro Baptist Church is a five-story building, which must make its rooftop farm a diminutive sight from the multiple 40-story glass and steel towers that surround it. Yet through Metro/Rauschenbusch, the HKFP is doing a mighty job in helping to feed hungry New Yorkers. “Other parts of the city that are gentri-

Photo by Eileen Stukane

Elvis (the owl) has left the building…and is perched on the roof, to keep the pigeons away.

fied, the Lower East Side, or Harlem, for example, existing buildings are reclaimed and renovated,” says Rev. Henkel. “So if you look at a neighborhood, for the most part there’s the same building that was there 50 years ago, but not in Hell’s Kitchen. Here, there are so many new buildings, they’re requiring people to maneuver to figure out whether they can

be in this part of town. If they are able to find a place they can afford, often there are multiple generations in one home.  We have to be very careful for people not to get lost in the shadows of the buildings that are going up.” For more information, visit

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BY SAM SPOKONY Gay Men's Health Crisis (GMHC), the nation’s oldest non-profit organization dedicated to ending the HIV/AIDS epidemic and supporting those affected by it, announced on September 13 that its CEO for the past seven years, Dr. Marjorie Hill, will step down at the end of this month. Contrary to a press release stating that Hill's departure was a mutual decision between her and GMHC's 25-member board of directors, sources within the organization told this newspaper that Hill was, in fact, fired by the board. "Hill was completely blindsided by the firing, since she believed that she had solid core support on the board," said a source, who asked to remain anonymous due to professional concerns, via email on September 15, adding that the ouster was initially orchestrated about six months ago by board chair Myron Sulzberger Rolfe and his board colleague Manuel Rivera. Rivera is also chair of GMHC's Consumer Advisory Board (CAB), a group that advocates for the organization's clients and is made up of clients, staff, volunteers and community partners. Many of those connected to GMHC have said that Hill's relationships with staff and clients have become extremely contentious. "It's been a rough tenure, especially over the past year, and the clients just feel like

[Hill] hasn't been responsive to their needs, even though she does plenty of fundraising," said Joseph Sellman, another member of the CAB. "A lot of us could tell that this was in the works." Myron Gold, a CAB member and a client for the past 20 years, said that the damaged relationship was most clearly expressed at a July 23 mayoral candidate forum held at GMHC. When candidate Bill Thompson said during the forum that, if elected, he would put Hill on the city's AIDS advisory board, the mention of her name drew loud boos throughout the room. "I'll never forget that, because the candidates were so stunned and it was just such an embarrassment," Gold said. "On top of that, a lot of board members were there, so it really looked bad." Rivera declined to comment on the issue, instead referring the reporter to Rolfe, who acts as spokesperson for the board of directors. Rolfe denied that the board fired Hill during a September 16 phone interview that was closely supervised by a senior manager at GMHC. However, Rolfe did acknowledge that he received a letter earlier this year from a group of GMHC staff members, which declared that the staff had "lost confidence" in the leadership of Hill and chief operating officer Janet Weinberg.


GMHC Ousts Marjorie Hill After Seven Years

Photo by Donna Aceto

Dr. Marjorie Hill marches in the 2013 LGBT Pride Parade in Manhattan.

The reporter learned through a source outside the board that Rolfe, Rivera and the rest of the board had to sign a non-disclosure contract as a result of an agreement that bound them to secrecy about the events of the firing in exchange for Hill's quiet departure. A second GMHC source confirmed every detail provided by the first source. According to the sources, another stipulation of that agreement allowed Weinberg to avoid being fired as well, and she is currently serving as interim CEO until the board decides on a new hire for the leadership position. Hill, who is African American, threatened to sue the board — which is mostly comprised of white males — for racial discrimination once it was clear she would be fired, according to the sources. Hill could not be reached for comment on that, because she is currently out of the country on a sabbatical that began on July 1 and which will continue until the end of her tenure on September 29. Before becoming the CEO of GMHC in 2006, Hill served as the organization's managing director for community health. She also previously served as assistant commissioner for the Bureau of HIV/AIDS at the city's Department of Health and Mental

Hygiene. Hill first became a high profile leader in the LGBT community when she served as Mayor David Dinkins’ gay liaison two decades ago. In October 2012, Hill was appointed chair of the New York State AIDS Advisory Council by Governor Andrew Cuomo. Weinberg lauded Hill's seven years as CEO of GMHC, a span which made her the longest serving leader of an HIV/AIDS service organization. "In the world of HIV/AIDS, she's renowned," Weinberg said. "I think she's raised the issue for black people in this epidemic and really set a precedent for making sure that HIV services were all-inclusive, regardless of race, sexual orientation, mental health, and substance use issues." One of the most significant changes made by Hill during her tenure was the decision, in 2010, to move GMHC from its longtime home at 119 West 24th Street to new offices at 450 West 33rd Street, after the rent was raised significantly. The result of that move was unpopular among some AIDS activists, including GMHC co-founder Larry Kramer, mainly because of restrictions placed on the organization within the new location, such as the inability to provide medical services on-site.

September 25 - October 8, 2013


Park Fence Project Needs ‘Moore’ Help BY SCOTT STIFFLER If Tom Sawyer had just sent out an email appealing to everybody’s sense of citizenship, Aunt Polly’s fence would have been spruced up without the need for such elaborate deception. Sometimes, you get the desired results by just asking politely — a strategy employed to great success by the West 400 Block Association. Their electronic missive, which asked for help making improvements to West 22nd Street & 10th Avenue’s Clement Clarke Moore Park, proved that good neighbors make great painters. The idea started to gel in late August, when association members noticed some FIT student volunteers scraping and painting the 10th Avenue side of the park’s fence. By Labor Day weekend, a group of likeminded locals were busy continuing the work — which inspired a curious Mike Farrah (who takes his kids to the park) to recruit some PS11 parents. That, in turn, motivated almost a dozen people to spend the still summer-like afternoon of September 15 applying broad brush strokes to popular destination’s outer perimeter. Block Association spokesperson Allen Oster noted that it will take two more sessions to finish the project — a task that should be completed before winter sets in. Volunteers are still welcome — and needed. But after they’ve cleared the fence, so to speak, what other hurdles are left? Although there are “no new plans at this time” for additional beautification projects, Oster says, “Folks are free to email me if they have any ideas. I’d like to see the park take on some more community activities that involve the kids in some way.” You can contact Oster with suggestions, or get involved in phases III and IV of the great fence paint project, by emailing him at

Photo by Allen Oster

L to R: Longtime 22nd St. residents Robert Edgar and Lynn Weinstein, along with W. 400 Block Assoc. president Mary Swartz, were among those who answered the call to spruce up Clement Clarke Moore Park’s fence.

Watch it, Sucker — on! We set up our camera on Eighth Avenue, between 22nd & 23rd Streets — then editor Scott Stiffler asked passersby for their thoughts on the race for mayor. Pictured: Tim Rollins. A professor at Chelsea’s School of Visual Arts, Rollins (who lives in the South Bronx) began his life as a NYC resident in 1975 — by spending a year at the Chelsea Hotel. Additional video reporting, now on the web, includes Trav S.D.’s revealing look at the NY Burlesque Festival, and Michael Lydon’s tour of Village and Lower East Side guitar shops. Visit


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Johnson to Seek Local Solutions, Progressive Reform on Council

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Corey Johnson will leave CB4 to become the New York City Council Member for District 3, after he runs for the seat unopposed in the November general election.

Continued from page 1 West Side, and on top of that I think it’s an incredibly important issue throughout the city,” said Johnson. “For the far West Side, there’s going to be an even more dramatic change in new development over the next four years, as Hudson Yards construction takes place. We need to make sure that process, from start to finish, is conducted in a way that really works for the community.” In terms of public education, Johnson acknowledged that the district enjoys an “embarrassment of riches” with regard to the number of quality schools, but stressed that issues of overcrowding and disputes over recent school rezonings still require hard work and vigilance. Specifically, he explained that, once on the City Council, he will advocate strongly for Community Education Councils (CEC) — all-volunteer groups that coordinate with the Department of Education (DOE) on neighborhood school issues — to gain more influence over the local decision making process (the City Council’s District 3 is largely covered by the CEC District 2). “The big issue here is that CECs need to be given more power at the local level, because they probably know even more about how to tackle their community's problems than do the folks at DOE, or elected officials,” said Johnson. “That’s not a bad judgment of DOE or the electeds, but the fact is that these volunteers on the CEC are parents, they

live this every day, and that really makes them experts on local issues. And I want to make sure I work directly with them to make sure things are done the right way.”


As Johnson continues to plan his agenda for the Council, CB4 is getting ready for a transition to new leadership on the board. At the December full board meeting, members will elect a replacement not only for Johnson, but potentially for all of the other officer positions as well. The elections will include votes on the positions of board chair, first vice chair (currently held by Christine Berthet), second vice chair (currently held by Burt Lazarin) and two secretaries (currently held by Larry Roberts and Delores Rubin). A seven-member nominating committee, which Johnson appointed earlier this month, will begin to interview candidates in October, and will make recommendations on candidates at CB4’s November full board meeting. Rumors abound that Berthet is likely to move up from second-in-command and win the chair position — but when asked to comment, she told Chelsea Now that it’s too “premature” to discuss. For his part, Johnson lauded Berthet for her work so far on the board. “I think Christine has been an exceptional first vice chair, and I’ve worked incredibly well with her,” he said. “She’s

Continued on page 7

September 25 - October 8, 2013

Johnson Sees ‘Sea Change’ in City Government Continued from page 6 one of the foremost transportation policy experts in the city, and I think she’s been a great leader on the board for years.” But in terms of his new leadership role in the Council’s District 3, Johnson pointed out that he won’t just be dealing with CB4. In addition, he’ll be working with CB2, CB5 and, to a lesser degree, CB7 (of which several blocks are included within the district’s boundaries). Johnson stated that he’s planning to further cement his relationships with the other boards even before he takes office. “Within the next month or so, I’m going to be sitting down with the different community board chairs and district managers, to talk about what their needs are and how we can best work together so we hit the ground running in January,” said Johnson.

to teaming up with all these good folks in the Progressive Caucus who want to reform the Council to make it more democratic, to empower individual members, to take favoritism out of the member item process and to make staff allocations and committee assignments more fair.”


There is also a certain sense of optimism felt by Johnson and many of his soon-to-be colleagues on the Council. It stems partly from the fact that this year will mark the end of the Bloomberg era, bringing in a new mayor — Johnson said that he “wholeheartedly” supports Democratic mayoral candidate Bill de Blasio — along with other new officials across city government, such as the public advocate and comptroller. “This is going to be a true sea change in city government, and of course a lot of

“So much of delivering for this district will revolve around being persistent and relentless, and continuing to make the case for why these things should happen, and why our city budget should direct taxpayer monies to pay for them.” PROGRESSIVE REFORMS

Talking about his additional goals as a councilmember within a broader, more citywide perspective, Johnson said he plans on immediately joining the Council’s Progressive Caucus. This might not seem like such big news for one of the three new openly gay councilmembers who will be taking office, but Johnson pointed specifically to the reformation of Council rules as an issue on which it will be important to make a markedly progressive stand. In a September 16 op-ed, the Daily News called on Johnson and eleven other new councilmembers to make good on their past promises to ban “lulu” payments and reform the so-called member items, which have allowed Council Speakers — most recently, Christine Quinn — to effectively buy political support by providing extra funding to friendlier members. Johnson said he welcomed that early scrutiny, since the new Council will have to pick a new speaker upon taking office in January. “This is the first order of business, so people really should be watching over the next few months, as we plan to make some significant reforms in the Council,” he said. “I’m looking forward

us are really excited about the prospect of having a Democratic mayor again, after not having one for the past 20 years,” said Johnson. “So part of this is going to be about working well with these new folks in positions of influence and power, and that doesn’t just mean elected officials. It also means communicating well with new commissioners of city agencies, and particularly whoever will be the new DOE chancellor.” Johnson acknowledged that all those changes, especially involving new appointments at the city agencies, will likely create a somewhat chaotic transitional period at the beginning of the year. But, looking forward with his constituents in mind, he pledged to always keep the lower West Side's top local issues — new affordable housing, improvements to public education and a new full service hospital — close to his heart, and close to the minds of his fellow council members. “So much of delivering for this district will revolve around being persistent and relentless, and continuing to make the case for why these things should happen, and why our city budget should direct taxpayer monies to pay for them,” said Johnson. “I’m ready, willing and excited to make that case.”


8 September 25 - October 8, 2013


Why Quinn Hit The Wall City Council Speaker Christine Quinn began this year as the prohibitive frontrunner in the Democratic mayoral race. Now, Public Advocate Bill de Blasio goes into the general election without needing to first dispatch his runner-up. Quinn finished up on primary night with just 15.5 percent of the vote, having lost her own Village/Chelsea/Hell’s Kitchen Council district, winning the votes of just 16 percent of women voters, and finding herself bested by de Blasio among gay, lesbian and bisexual voters by 47 percent to 34 percent. In primary night comments to Gay City News, Chelsea Now’s sister paper, Assemblymember Deborah Glick and Rachel Lavine, the Village’s Democratic State Committee member, suggested that homophobia and misogyny were at play. Women and LGBT voters, they argued, were inattentive to the importance of having one of their own at the head of the table. Meanwhile, a New York Times poll highlighted reactions to Quinn from some voters that included derogatory terms often aimed at women in power — including “petty,” “mean,” “bossy” and “argumentative.” And surrogates for de Blasio, they said, most prominently the candidate’s wife, Chirlane McCray, were all too happy to play on those attitudes. McCray’s comments about Quinn, in which she suggested the speaker does not understand challenges facing ordinary women in New York, such as “care of children at a young age,” have been hotly debated — in no small measure because the Times’s Maureen Dowd initially misquoted the exchange, stripping it of its full context. McCray’s statement, in Dowd’s corrected version, is less inflammatory than as originally rendered, though it does nevertheless manage to paint Quinn as something of the Other. Ironically, McCray herself previously identified as lesbian. These points, however, obscure far more salient lessons from the collapse of Quinn’s campaign. The most significant is that her close ties to Mayor Bloomberg — and particularly her role in allowing him to seek a third term — proved fatal among Democratic primary voters. On this point, the speaker undoubtedly lulled herself into complacency, if not outright denial due to Bloomberg’s ability to win in 2009 despite the outcry over the term-limits extension, and to his remarkably high approval ratings after 11 years in office. There were warning signs, however. Though he spent more than $100 million in that campaign, the mayor beat then-Comptroller Bill Thompson, who waged a lackluster campaign, by less than 5 percent. Quinn herself, facing a primary challenge that year from two opponents fueled in large measure by the term-limits flap, barely eked out a majority. The escalating controversy over the New York Police Department’s controversial stop-and-frisk policy — which has greatly aggravated tensions between the mayor and progressive Democrats — added to Quinn’s Bloomberg problem. Since the spring of 2012, at least, she has often stood with critics of stop-and-frisk. Yet, Quinn insisted she would be happy to keep on Police Commissioner Ray Kelly. The mixed message on police-community relations speaks to a broader problem the Quinn campaign had in communicating its message and her record. de Blasio repeatedly hammered her on her delay in embracing paid sick leave legislation, largely affecting lower-wage employees, and in watering it down when doing so. Similarly, in all likelihood, Quinn lost the gay vote because many believed that other, larger issues trumped the leadership she could be expected to deliver for the community. Ultimately, the die may have been cast when Quinn OK’d the Council’s extension of term limits in 2008 — that Democratic voters inevitably settled on a candidate they trusted to provide a clear departure from the Bloomberg years. A version of this editorial first appeared in our sister publication, Gay City News.

leTTeRs To THe eDiToR Chelsea Market stance did Quinn in To The Editor: Re “De Blasio First in Democratic Primary, Quinn a Distant Third” (news article, Sept. 12): Chris didn’t even win her own district. Is it possible that her neighbors are still upset about her support for Jamestown in the fight over Chelsea Market? To a lot of people around here that sadly symbolized her total accommodation to the greed of real estate developers. Jim Jasper

Something to sing about To The Editor: Re “See it in September” (arts article, Aug. 28): Big congrats for luring Jim Caruso to Chelsea Now with an arts-recommendation column. One of the nicest and hippest people in show business — he knows everyone. Delighted.

and die for your country — but not consume marijuana. This makes no sense. What consenting adults consume, inhale, perform, read or view in the privacy of their own home or private social club isn’t the concern of government. Individual economic and civil liberties prosper best when government stays out of both the bedroom and marketplace. Let us hope that we have finally learned from the obvious failures of Prohibition. It is time to permit consenting adults to access any so-called illegal products or substances without fear from government harassment. Larry Penner

E-mail letters, not longer than 250 words in length, to or fax to 212-229-2790 or mail to Chelsea Now, Letters to the Editor, 515 Canal St., Suite 1C, NY, NY 10013. Please include phone number for confirmation purposes. Chelsea Now reserves the right to edit letters for space, grammar, clarity and libel. Chelsea Now does not publish anonymous letters.

Cynthia Crane Story

W. SoHo/S. Village also claim Corey Website comment, Re: “Johnson Wins Decisive Victory in District 3 Council Race” (news article, Sept. 12): Well-written and accurate article, but you neglected several key neighborhoods in your description of the council district’s area, namely, West SoHo and the South Village (“In a district that spans the West Village, Chelsea and Hell’s Kitchen”). Can you add a correction to this, please? We who live in the South Village and West SoHo want to claim Mr. Johnson as our representative as well. Thanks, West Sider

Pot proposal makes sense To The Editor: Re “It’s Time to End Pot Prohibition in New York City” (editorial, Sept. 12): This makes sense. Consumption of marijuana for both medical and recreational use is part of mainstream America, transcending generations. Creative entrepreneurs will always provide the citizens’ desire, regardless of government approval. Consumers have voted with their dollars, making marijuana consumption a multibillion-dollar enterprise today. Legalize it and add a sales tax. Revenues will more than cover the costs of any abuse. Our tax dollars will be better used if police and judges spend more time prosecuting those who commit real crimes against individuals or property than going after those who consume or distribute marijuana. Citizens have more to fear from murder, arson, rape, muggings, robberies, auto and identity theft or home break-ins (along with ever-increasing levels of confiscatory taxation and debt by government) than individuals who get high in the privacy of their own home. Law enforcement authorities should be free to pursue those who commit real crimes against citizens and property. At 18, you are old enough to vote, be a parent, pay taxes, own a car, take out a bank loan, serve in the military

The New & Improved




Email Scott at


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September 25 - October 8, 2013

Community Contacts To be listed, email info to COMMUNITY BOARD 4 (CB4) CB4 serves Manhattan’s West Side neighborhoods of Chelsea and Clinton/Hell’s Kitchen. Its boundaries are 14th St. on the south, 59/60th St. on the north, the Hudson River on the west, 6th Ave. on the east (south of 26th St.) and 8th Ave. on the east (north of 26th St.). The board meeting, open to the public, is normally the first Wednesday of the month. The next meeting is Wed., Oct. 3, 6:30pm, at St. Luke’sRoosevelt Hospital (1000 10th Ave., btw 58th & 59th Sts.). Call 212-7364536, visit or email them at COMMUNITY BOARD 5 (CB5) CB5 represents the central business district of New York City. It includes midtown Manhattan, the Fashion, Flower, Flatiron and Diamond districts, as well as Bryant Park and Union Square Park. The district is at the center of New York’s tourism industry. The Theatre District, Times Square, Carnegie Hall, the Empire State Building and two of the region’s transportation hubs (Grand Central Station and Penn Station) fall within CB5. The board meeting, open to the public, happens on the second Thursday of the month. The next meeting is Thurs., Oct. 10, 6pm, at Xavier High School (30 W. 16th St., btw. 5th & 6th Aves., 2nd fl.). Call 212465-0907, visit or email them at THE 300 WEST 23RD, 22ND & 21ST STREETS BLOCK ASSOCIATION Contact them at THE WEST 400 BLOCK ASSOCIATION Contact them at

CHELSEA GARDEN CLUB Chelsea Garden Club cares for the bike lane tree pits in Chelsea. If you want to adopt a tree pit or join the group, please contact them at or like them on Facebook. Also visit LOWER CHELSEA ALLIANCE (LoCal) This group is committed to protecting the residential blocks of Chelsea from overscale development. Contact them at THE GREENWICH VILLAGE-CHELSEA CHAMBER OF COMMERCE Call 212-337-5912 or visit THE MEATPACKING DISTRICT INITIATIVE Visit or call 212-633-0185. PENN SOUTH The Penn South Program for Seniors provides recreation, education and social services — and welcomes volunteers. For info, call 212-2433670 or visit THE BOWERY RESIDENTS’ COMMITTEE: HOMELESS HELPLINE If you know of anyone who is in need of their services, call the Homeless Helpline at 212-533-5151, and the BRC will send someone to make contact. This number is staffed by outreach team leaders 24 hours a day. Callers may remain anonymous. For more info, visit THE LESBIAN, GAY, BISEXUAL & TRANSGENDER COMMUNITY CENTER At 208 W. 13th St. (btw. 7th & 8th Aves.). Visit or call 212620-7310. GAY MEN’S HEALTH CRISIS (GMHC) At 446 W. 33rd St. btw. 9th & 10th Aves. Visit Call 212-367-1000.

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he 2004 federal budget proposed by the Bush administration on February 3 is drawing both praise and criticism from gay and AIDS groups. “Generally, we have a mixed reaction to it,” said Winnie Stachelberg, political director at the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), even as some leading AIDS groups, including the Gay Men’s Health Crisis (GMHC), were more critical. The proposal includes a $100 million increase for the AIDS Drug Assistance Program (ADAP), a $5 million dollar increase in the Housing Opportunities for People With AIDS

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� BOOKSHOP SHUFFLE Oscar Wilde up, Bluestockings down



� SIGNORILE There’s a place for us

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� BOOKS Gay spaghetti western


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Member of the National Newspaper Association Chelsea Now is published biweekly by NYC Community Media LLC, 515 Canal St., Unit 1C, New York, NY 10013. (212) 229-1890. Annual subscription by mail in Manhattan and Brooklyn $75. Single copy price at office and newsstands is 50 cents. The entire contents of newspaper, including advertising, are copyrighted and no part may be reproduced without the express permission of the publisher - © 2010 NYC Community Media LLC, Postmaster: Send address changes to Chelsea Now, 145 Sixth Ave., First Fl., New York, N.Y. 10013.


The Publisher shall not be liable for slight changes or typographical errors that do not lessen the value of an advertisement. The publisher’s liability for other errors or omissions in connection with an advertisement is strictly limited to publication of the advertisement in any subsequent issue.

HUDSON GUILD Founded in 1895, Hudson Guild is a multi-service, multi-generational community serving approximately 14,000 people annually with daycare, hot meals for senior citizens, low-cost professional counseling, community arts programs and recreational programming for teens. Visit them at Email them at info@ For the John Lovejoy Elliott Center (441 W. 26th St.), call 212-760-9800. For the Children’s Center (459 W. 26th St.), call 212-7609830. For the Education Center (447 W. 25th St.), call 212-760-9843. For the Fulton Center for Adult Services (119 9th Ave.), call 212-924-6710. THE CARTER BURDEN CENTER FOR THE AGING This organization promotes the wellbeing of individuals 60 and older through direct social services and volunteer programs oriented to individual, family and community needs. Call 212-879-7400 or visit FULTON YOUTH OF THE FUTURE Email them at fultonyouth@gmail. com or contact Miguel Acevedo, 646-671-0310. WEST SIDE NEIGHBORHOOD ALLIANCE Visit or call 212956-2573. Email them at wsna@ CHELSEA COALITION ON HOUSING Tenant assistance every Thursday night at 7pm, at Hudson Guild (119 9th Ave.). Email them at FRIENDS OF HUDSON RIVER PARK Visit or call 212-757-0981. HUDSON RIVER PARK TRUST Visit or call 212627-2020. SAVE CHELSEA Contact them at savechelseanyc@

PUBLISHER Jennifer Goodstein


EDITOR Scott Stiffler


REPORTERS Lincoln Anderson



Allison Greaker

Sean Egan Maeve Gately

Andrew Regier


Rebecca Rosenthal Julio Tumbaco


CITY COUNCIL SPEAKER CHRISTINE QUINN Call 212-564-7757 or visit gov/d3/html/members/home.shtml. STATE SENATOR BRAD HOYLMAN Call 212-633-8052 or visit CHELSEA REFORM DEMOCRATIC CLUB The CRDC (the home club of City Council Speaker Christine Quinn and Assemblymember Richard N. Gottfried) meets monthly to exchange political ideas on protecting the rights and improving the lives of those residing in Chelsea. Visit or email them at THE SAGE CENTER New York City’s first LGBT senior center offers hot meals, counseling and a cyber-center — as well as programs on arts and culture, fitness, nutrition, health and wellness. At 305 Seventh Ave. (15th floor, btw. 27th & 28th Sts.). Call 646-576-8669 or visit thesagecenter for menus and a calendar of programs. At 147 W. 24th St. (btw. 6th & 7th Aves.) THE SYLVIA RIVERA LAW PROJECT

works to guarantee that all people are free to self-determine their gender identity and expression without facing harassment, discrimination or violence. Visit

FIERCE (Fabulous Independent Educated

Radicals for Community Empowerment) builds the leadership and power of bisexual, transgender and queer youth of color in NYC. Visit

QUEERS FOR ECONOMIC JUSTICE is a progressive organization committed to promoting economic justice in a context of sexual and gender liberation. Visit THE AUDRE LORDE PROJECT is a les-

bian, gay, bisexual, two spirit, trans and gender non-conforming people of color center for community organizing. Visit


CONTRIBUTORS Jim Caruso Martin Denton Sean Egan Ophira Eisenberg Kaitlyn Meade Duncan Osborne Paul Schindler Sam Spokony



1 0 September 25 - October 8, 2013

Police BLOTTER Grand Larceny: I wear your sunglasses at night A brazen thief snatched a $900 pair of Cartier sunglasses, as they dangled on the shirt of a 33-year-old male who was leaving the Meatpacking District’s SL Lounge (409 W. 14 St.) at 3:30am on Sun., Sept. 15. The pricey peepers were last seen in possession of the perp, a bald male who fled eastbound towards Ninth Ave.

Grand Larceny: They put her stuff in ‘choke’ hold Perhaps it was the late hour, or the focused mission to line her stomach after a night of drinking — but something lead a 22-year-old Staten Island woman to put neglect on the menu, when she stopped in for a quick slice at Artichoke Basille's Pizza (10th Ave., at 17th St.) at 3am on Sat., Sept. 14. When the woman left her purse unattended on a bench, two thieves (one male, one female, both 22 years of age) went to work. The man scooped up the purse and handed it off to his partner. Officers of the 10th Precinct soon arrived to cuff the couple, and found the female defendant to be in possession of the victim’s purse (whose contents included credit cards, a NY state driver’s license and $120 in cash). The arresting officers, who made the collar based on eyewitness accounts, noted that the restaurant’s surveillance video showed the two defendants and the victim in the same area (but did not capture the incident).

Petty Larceny: Glove compartment A 2011 black Honda four-door sedan was broken into sometime between 3:30pm on Fri., Sept. 13 and just after

midnight on Sat., Sept. 14 — according to the owner, who parked the car in the rear of 85 10th Ave. (at 15th St.), and returned to find a side window broken. A black GPS Garmin navigation unit, valued at $200, was taken from the glove compartment. Frequent readers of this blotter page will recognize West Chelsea GPS theft as an occurrence almost as common as the use of a car’s glove compartment as the go-to “hiding place.”

Criminal Impersonation: Mouthy motorist masquerades as cop A 39-year-old Staten Island man told police (the actual police) that a man who claimed to be a cop pointed “what appeared to be a firearm,” then forcefully instructed him to get back into his car. The incident took place when the two men got into a heated verbal dispute after exiting their vehicles, on W. 24th St. (btw. 10th & 11th Ave.), at around 10:30pm on Sat., Sept. 14. The perp was driving a gray Hyundai Santa Fe with New York Plates (which was not found during a canvass of the area).

Lost Property: Boozer’s hazy bid for belongings Time spent sobering up in the drunk tank didn’t do enough to jog the memory of a 44-year-old New Jersey man, who filed a complaint at (and against) Chelsea’s own 10th Police Precinct (230 W. 20 St., btw 7th & 8th Aves.). At 6:30am on Mon., Sept. 16, the man stated that he did not receive his cellphone (an iPhone 4S valued at $500) or his house keys, upon the return of his vouchered property — which was being returned to him upon his release. At the time of his

arrest, the man must have been coming off a stretch of time spent around bars of a different type, as officers noted he “was highly intoxicated, slurring words” and had “a strong smell of alcohol on his breath.” In his complaint, the victim admitted that he was “not sure” where he lost the items in question.

Grand Larceny: Booth buddy busts back pocket move He was cruising for love — but trouble was the only thing a 39-year-old Brooklyn man picked up when he met a new pal in a booth (at one of Chelsea’s fine adultonly stores, in which videos can be viewed in short bursts). While in the booth, the 28-year-old perp removed the victim’s iPhone from his back pants pocket — and demanded that $100 be withdrawn from a nearby Citibank ATM (118 Eighth Ave., at 16 St.), in order for the phone to be returned. A uniformed officer, on patrol in the area, arrested the sleazy scam artist — and the phone was recovered, while the perp was transported to the 10th Precinct for booking.

THE 10th PRECINCT Located at 230 W. 20th St. (btw. 7th & 8th Aves.). Commander: Captain David S. Miller. Main number: 212-741-8211. Community Affairs: 212-741-8226. Crime Prevention: 212-741-8226. Domestic Violence: 212-741-8216. Youth Officer: 212-741-8211. Auxiliary Coordinator: 212-741-8210. Detective Squad: 212741-8245. The Community Council meeting, open to the public, takes place at 7pm on the last Wed. of the month.

THE 13th PRECINCT Located at 230 E. 21st St. (btw. 2nd & 3rd Aves.). Deputy Inspector: Ted Bernsted. Call 212-477-7411. Community Affairs: 212-477-7427. Crime Prevention: 212-477-7427. Domestic Violence: 212477-3863. Youth Officer: 212-477-7411. Auxiliary Coordinator: 212-477-4380. Detective Squad: 212-477-7444. The Community Council meeting takes place at 6:30pm on the third Tues. of the month.

—Scott Stiffler

Keep on top of local crime, every week in the

Police Blotter

CASH FOR GUNS $100 cash will be given (no questions asked) for each handgun, assault weapon or sawed-off shotgun, up to a maximum payment of $300. Guns are accepted at any Police Precinct, PSA or Transit District.

CRIME STOPPERS If you have info regarding a crime committed or a wanted person, call Crime Stoppers at 800-577-TIPS, text “TIP577” (plus your message) to “CRIMES” (274637) or submit a tip online at

September 25 - October 8, 2013


Seaport’s Towering Peking Reopens for Select Saturdays BY TERESE LOEB KREUZER The masts and rigging of the South Street Seaport Museum’s clipper ship, Peking, tower over Pier 16. No visitor to the Seaport could miss seeing this titan that stretches almost the full length of the pier. But it has been years since members of the public have been able to climb aboard. On Saturdays through October 19, the Peking is open to visitors from noon to 4pm. “We are excited to have her open to the public again,” said Jonathan Boulware, interim president of the South Street Seaport Museum. “She is a magnificent ship. She’s not the only one [of this type] in the world, but she’s the only one in the United States.” Peking was built in Hamburg, Germany 102 years ago to transport nitrate from the west coast of South America to Europe. Even at that time, sailing ships had mostly been replaced by steamships except for long trips with heavy cargo, where the cost of fuel would have been prohibitive. She was built for F. Laeisz, a German company that still exists. She and her sister ships, whose names all began with the letter “P” were known as the “Flying P-Liners.” The Peking’s sister ship, Passat, laid down in the same year, carried 34 sails and could go up to 18 knots an hour under sail. Even so, Passat’s maiden voyage from Hamburg to Valparaiso, Chile, took 80 days. The Peking’s capabilities would have

been very similar. She was both fast and massive. Standing on the Peking’s after-well deck, Boulware pointed out the Peking’s rig. “It’s magnificent,” he said, “and amazing to think that these are the same masts that sailors climbed in hurricanes and freezing conditions off of Cape Horn to get bird guano back to Europe in the 1920s. It’s hard to imagine as we sit here in the comparatively placid East River that this ship was actually rolled from side to side. The space where we’re standing now —you wouldn’t be able to stand. Her decks would be awash with water above our heads. This would be a washing machine of foaming water.” Photo by Terese Loeb Kreuzer Plywood covers what The South Street Seaport Museum’s Peking is open on Saturdays through Oct. 19. would have been the original deck or one installed soon thereafter. Under that is steel, and you might as well stay at home,’” Boulware would have taken them away for years at a below that are Peking’s vast holds that remarked. “That’s the story of this ship. She time. Sometimes the captains brought their would have been filled with cargo. wouldn’t exist if it weren’t for the fact that families with them. The captain’s quarters “In the famous movie made by Irving she carried around 3,100 tons of cargo.” on the ship were partially restored after the Johnson about Peking, he said, ‘Cargo is The captain and crew would have gone South Street Seaport Museum acquired the king. If you don’t arrive with a dry cargo, on successive voyages aboard Peking that ship in 1975.

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1 2 September 25 - October 8, 2013

chelsea: arts & ENTERTAINMENT Buhmann on Art Surreal Bronx, Staten Island nostalgia, street culture & unfamiliar states

Image courtesy of Sperone Westwater, New York

Alexis Rockman's "Bronx Zoo" (2012-2013, oil on wood). 84 x 168 inches (213,4 x 427 cm) overall. On view at Sperone Westwater, through Nov. 2.




For almost three decades, Rockman has depicted a darkly surreal vision of the collision between civilization and nature. His new paintings and watercolors continue to draw on apocalyptic scenarios while remaining rich in meticulous scientific detail. The exhibition features two epic paintings thematically focused on New York City, where the artist was born in 1962 and has lived ever since. One of these works depicts an anarchistic scene amid the imagined ruins of the Bronx Zoo, which was founded in 1899. Through Nov. 2, at Sperone Westwater (257 Bowery, btw. Stanton & Houston Sts.). Hours: Tues.-Sat., 10am-6pm. Call 212-999-7337 or visit

Christine Osinski’s “Two Girls with Matching Outfits” (1983-1984), on view at Sasha Wolf Gallery through Oct. 27.

Mostly taken during the 1980s, Osinski’s black and white photographs offer an unusually nostalgic view of the borough. Scenes range from a woman cutting grass on Naughton A venue to men fixing a house near the Staten Island Mall. These kind of themes might be mundane — but captured by Osinski’s lense, they become surprisingly intriguing. Domestic outdoor gatherings of children in the street, or of grown ups in a local amusement park describe a life that in its simplicity promises to be soothing and desirable. Through Oct. 27, at Sasha Wolf Gallery (70 Orchard St., btw. Broome & Grand Sts.). Hours: Wed.-Sun., 12-6pm. Call 212-925-0025 or visit


Born in 1966, McGee was raised in San Francisco, where he studied painting and printmaking. His distinctly graphic works fuse a variety of influences, such as graffiti and American folk art. Evocative of urban street culture, they celebrate the diversity of neighborhood communities and critique consumerist culture, as well as commercialism. Rejecting billboard advertisements and the concept of chain stores, McGee finds inspiration in the seeming randomness of Internet pictures. Part anarchy and part collaboration, his installations become immersive environments that draw the audience's attention through a whirlwind of images. Through Oct. 26, at Cheim & Read (547 W. 25th St., btw. 10th & 11th Sts.). Hours: Tues.-Sat., 10am-6pm. Call 212242-7727 or visit

Continued on page 13

September 25 - October 8, 2013


Buhmann on Art

Image courtesy of the artist and Tracy Williams, Ltd., New York

An installation shot from Nicole Cherubini’s “in and out of weeks” — on view at Tracy Williams, Ltd. through Oct. 6.

Continued from page 12


Cherubini’s first solo exhibition with the gallery (“in and out of weeks”) attempts to Barry McGee: Untitled, 2005-13 (400 elements: ink, graphite, acrylic, screenprint, collapse the boundaries between movement, space, process and time. By juxtaphotographs on paper, found objects and frames; 16 feet x 22 feet 6 inches x 55 B:9.75” inches, 192 x 270 x 55 inches; 487.7 x 685.8 x 139.7 centimeters). On view at posing rigid, geometric forms with texturally voluptuous shapes, her floor-based Cheim & Read through Oct. 26. Image courtesy of Cheim & Read, New York.

and wall-mounted sculptures explore the balance and dissonance between surface and ornament, object and support. Overall they challenge our notions of time and place, attempting to establish an unfamiliar state. Through Oct. 26, at Tracy Williams, Ltd. (521 W. 23rd St., btw. 10th & 11th Aves.). Hours: Tues.-Sat., 11am-6pm. Call 212-2292757 or visit


Empty. Recycle. Repeat. Recycle everything. Call 311 or visit to learn more

1 4 September 25 - October 8, 2013



When they’re not adding wax to that 2 million-plus library of recordings, the ARChive of Contemporary Music is cooking up new ways to collect records. The Downtown non-profit can already lay claim to having the world’s largest collection of popular music — and on Oct. 6, ARC hopes to secure a place in the Guinness Book by drawing upwards of 10,000 revelers to the World’s Largest Bhangra Dance. DJ Rekha spins, and so do you — to the beat of traditional drum-heavy Punjabi dance music infused with Western elements, such as hip-hop and house. The potentially record-setting party is part of India Music Week — an idea that’s been percolating since ARC Director B. George spent a year in India during the 1970s, then returned in 2012 to collect recordings. The event, which puts an additional six-day spin on ARC’s 2011 World Music Day and last year’s Brazilian Music Day, is meant to be the first in an annual October happening (in the coming years, Scandinavia, Cuba, Louisiana and China are scheduled for their seven days in the sun). First things, first, though: India Music Week, happening from Oct. 6-13, will celebrate the genres, facets and evolving forms of Indian music — via videos, seminars, concerts, lectures, sound files, broadcasts, narrowcasts, album cover gallery exhibits, photos and blogs. Dig into it all, with a visit to the evolving website and the blog indiamu-

Photo by Brad Hodges

Photo by Cheryl King

DJ Rekha spins records, and hopes to help set one — when India Music Week throws the “World’s Largest Bhangra Dance” (Oct. 6, at South Street Seaport).

Writer/performer Erica Herd’s “Alzheimer’s Blues” is playing now, as part of the Women at Work Festival.

the Girl Effect (which helps adolescent girls around the world raise themselves, and their villages, out of poverty). This year, matters of legacy, destiny and identity taking center stage, so to speak, at Stage Left’s sixth floor space. Artistic Director Cheryl King has packed the festival bill with the work of 11 authors, whose takes on sexual politics, family matters and love seem intriguingly complex. King’s own trio of

“Ten-Minute Plays” look at different aspects of the new at-home HIV test. Writer/performer Monica Bauer’s “The Year I Was Gifted” takes a working-class girl into a prestigious school for the arts. In “Drama at the Point and “Alzheimer’s Blues, two other writer/performers (Karen Sklaire and Erica Herd) plunge an For info on ARC (whose holiday record/CD sale begins Dec. 7), visit The Bhangra Dance, a free event, happens at 5pm, Oct. 6, at South Street Seaport (part of the 26th annual Diwali Festival).


Stage Left Studio is the driving force behind this annual festival, whose proceeds benefit


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September 25 - October 8, 2013

Just Do Art!

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).

Continued from page 14 idealistic teacher into the troubled NYC school system and force a daughter to confront her already difficult mother’s grim diagnosis. For a plot synopsis of all shows, and more info, visit There, you can also purchase advance ($22) tickets. General admission is $25 at the door. Student/senior discounts available in person or online (ID required at the door). Women at Work runs through Oct. 5 (one or two shows on weeknights, matinee and evening shows on the weekends). At Stage Left Studio (214 W. 30th St., 6th floor, btw. 7th & 8th Aves.).


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 haikus and hang them 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 is located at 103 Charlton St. (btw. Greenwich & Hudson Sts.). Hours: Mon. & Wed., 12-5pm; Thurs. & Fri., 12-6pm; Sat. & Sun., 10am-5pm. Admission: $11 (Seniors and 0-12 months, free from 4-6pm). Thursdays are pay-as-you-wish. For info, call 212-274-0986 or visit Follow them at


Two one-acts, performed twice by a cast of four, add up to a bill of double digit dis-

Photo by Lynne Hayden-Findlay

We’ve only just begun: Doomed sweethearts Mag (Samantha Britt, soprano) as Joe (Chad Kranak, tenor), in Chelsea Opera’s “Ballymore.”

tinction — as Chelsea Opera opens its 10th season with the New York premiere of Richard Wargo’s “Ballymore, Part One — Winners” and Seymour Barb’s “La Pizza con Funghi.” Steven Crawford guest conducts the Chelsea Opera Chamber Orchestra and Lynne HaydenFindlay provides the stage direction. Soprano Samantha Britt, mezzo soprano Darcy Dunn, Chad Kranak and Robert Balonek play all of the roles in both operas, whose plots mine the genre’s grand tradition of epic tragedy and broad comedy. In “Ballymore,” young lovers Mag and Joe (in the family way and about to graduate high school) are shadowed by a mysterious pair who allows the audience to eavesdrop, with the knowledge that a tragic accident will soon cut short the exuberant couple’s plans. In “La Pizza,” the classic arc of a 19th century Italian opera is played for laughs — as the soprano’s plan to poison her older baritone husband (so she can shack up with that dreamy tenor) is complicated by a looselipped mezzo maid. Although every character has drawn their last breath by the final curtain, Chelsea Opera assures us they’ve got far more than 10 lives — and seasons — left in them. Fri., Oct. 11 at 7:30pm & Sat., Oct. 12 at 4pm. At St. Peter’s Church (346 W. 20th St., btw. 8th & 9th Aves.). Advance tickets are $35 preferred, $30 general, $20 students/ seniors ($45, $40 & $25 at the door). To order, visit or call 866-8114111. For more info, visit


1 6 September 25 - October 8, 2013



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September 25 - October 8, 2013


At Metropolitan Playhouse, a season of justice Revival puts a woman’s stamp on ‘A Man’s World’ THEATER


Written by Rachel Crothers Directed by Michael Hardart Through Oct. 13 Thurs.-Sat. at 7:30pm Wed. & Sun. at 3pm At Metropolitan Playhouse 220 E. Fourth St., btw. Aves. A & B Tickets: $25 general, $20 for students/ seniors, $10 for children Visit Call 800-838-3006

BY SCOTT STIFFLER Innovative, indefatigable and edging ever-closer to its own quarter century mark, the forward-looking, history-obsessed Metropolitan Playhouse is about to launch another season of exploring our country’s theatrical heritage while documenting the culturally dynamic neighborhood it calls home. “Justice” is the theme uniting this season’s program of rarely produced early American plays and new plays drawn from American culture and history. In 2014, their annual “East Village Chronicles” and “Alphabet City” series will return, along with a “Gilded Age Festival” celebrating the creative output of writers working from 1875-1901. First up on the Season 22 boards: an early work by Rachel Crothers. The longneglected Crothers (1878-1958) has been given renewed visibility over the past few years, thanks to several well-received regional productions — including “He and She” (1920) at East Lynne Theatre Company in 2011 and “Susan and God” (1937) as well as “A Little Journey” (1918) at The Mint, in 2006 and 2011 respectively. “A Man’s World” will be the first Mainstage presentation of Metropolitan’s

2013-2014 season. During its 1910 debut, the Times called the play “remarkably fine,” praising its sophisticated, nuanced and truthful handling of important themes. Others weren’t so kind in their assessment, perhaps because Crothers (a woman!) dared to call out a multitude of injustices and double standards — and the play’s sassy name was just the tip of the iceberg. Living on her own terms in 1910 Greenwich Village, main character Frank Ware is a rising novelist documenting New York’s underclass. The well-loved center of a vibrant crew of starving artists (and the foster mother to an orphaned boy), Ware’s multitude of unconventional lifestyle choices is met with gossip from rivals and skepticism from her true love. Meeting the challenges (and making the compromises) that come with living ahead of one’s time was a familiar theme for Crothers, both on the stage and behind the scenes. The daughter of two Illinois physicians, she graduated high school at the age of 13, studied dramatic arts in Boston and returned to Illinois to help her mother following the death of her father. By age 19, she was living in New York and soon gave up a promising acting career when her plays

Photo by Jacob J. Goldberg Photography

L to R: Holding a photo of her (biological?) son, Frank Ware (Kathleen Dobbs) is confronted by Lione Brune (Regina Gibson).

began to be produced with frequency. She went on to write a total of 23 comedies and dramas that, Metropolitan Playhouse notes, always cast “an inquisitive to critical eye on the mores of her age.” Works such as 1921’s “Nice People” and 1931’s “As Husbands Go” earned Crothers as much judgmental ire as critical praise — making the respect afforded to her by this 2013 revival of “A Man’s World” a dose of justice that’s as sweet as it is overdue.

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COMMUNITY ACTIVITIES Congressman Jerry Nadler, the Sane Energy Project and Environmental Advocates of New York). Thurs., Oct. 3, from 6-8pm. At the SVA Theatre (333 W. 23rd St., btw. 8th & 9th Aves.). This event is free and open to the public. For more info or to RSVP (reservations recommended, but not required), call Senator Hoylman’s office at 212-6338052 or email



Now that kids are back in school, it’s time for adults to hit the books — as part of the volunteer force that keeps The Fulton Youth Reading Circle’s pages turning. Founded in 2011 by the nondenominational Chelsea Community Church, with support from Chelsea children’s book publisher Kathleen Doherty and Miguel Acevedo, the Reading Circle meets Tuesdays, from 6-7pm, at Fulton Houses. Volunteers are needed to help expand this reading program, currently focused on ages 6-10. To participate, email



So, you drill deep into the ground using pressurized liquid to fracture the rock and extract natural gas. What can possibly go wrong? New York State Senator Brad Hoylman, no fan of the process, invites you to “get expert facts on why hydrofracking isn’t a silver bullet for the New York State economy” — when you attend a presentation whose title tells you exactly what side of the fence the speaker and host are on. Deborah Rogers, founder of the Energy Policy Forum, will present “Frackonomics: Debunking the Financial Myths of Fracking.” Over a dozen elected officials and advocacy organizations are co-sponsoring the event (including State Assemblymember Dick Gottfried,

Photo by Lynn Ramsey

Tony, Elizabeth and Sky (with Alice), during the Fulton Youth Reading Circle’s recent trip to “The ABC of It: Why Children’s Books Matter” (an exhibit on display at the 42nd St. New York Public Library, through March 23, 2014).

This five-week workshop gives participants the opportunity to create one-of-akind candelabras, hanging wall pieces or incense burners. By coiling and galvanizing wire (and using press molds of animals, flowers, leaves and figures), students will create their own symbolic Mexican folk art in clay — based on the Tree of Life designs closely associated with Biblical stories, but also used to depict images associated with harvest and Day of the Dead celebrations. From 10am-1pm, Sundays: Sept. 29, Oct. 6, 13, 20 & 27. At the Penn South Ceramics Studio (276 9th Ave., at W. 26th St.). Cost: $130 for Studio members, $140 for Penn South non-resident members, $150 for non-Penn South residents. For more info, visit or email

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BY TEQUILA MINSKY A few weeks back, legendary Village activist Doris Diether approached marionette manipulator Ricky Syers in Washington Square Park. “I have something for you,” she told him. She then handed him a manila envelope with two August issues of The Villager that published photos of Syers with his Mr. Stix marionette, plus Syers in his “Johnny-on-the-spot” routine, in which he sits in an outhouse with the door open. The ice was broken between the two, and Syers took a shine to the longtime Community Board 2 member. Back in his New Jersey workshop, he created a marionette of her. It took 40 hours over three days, but just $8, to create the Diether mini-me. He molded the figure’s face into a remarkable likeness, and outfitted it with

her trademark flowered blouse and cane. Last week, Syers brought Diether’s marionette to Washington Square, complete with a mini-bench to sit on. Seated next to her was Mr. Stix, a down-and-out drunk who is sweet and loves to dance. Stix seems to like Diether, but she was a little hesitant sitting there with her cane. Syers has made a couple of YouTube videos of Diether (the smaller version), one showing her strolling tranquilly in a garden and sniffing the flowers and petting a (life-size) cat, the other showing her getting freaky and dancing gangnam style. See and

With reporting by Sharon Woolums

September 25 - October 8, 2013

Hoylman Handcuffed at U.N. in a Protest for Anti-AIDS Tax


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Brad Hoylman being led off in handcuffs at the U.N. on Sept. 18.

BY LINCOLN ANDERSON State Senator Brad Hoylman was arrested Wednesday, September 18, along with AIDS activists in a protest action at the United Nations. On the opening day of a U.N. General Assembly meeting focusing on poverty and public health, Hoylman joined Charles King of Housing Works and other advocates in an act of civil disobedience to draw attention to the millions who lack access to lifesaving antiretroviral treatment because wealthy countries are cutting back on funding. They brought traffic in front of the U.N. to a halt and demanded that President Obama and other world leaders back a financial transaction tax, also known as a “Robin Hood Tax,” to generate revenue that could fund universal access to HIV treatment, care and prevention, as well as other urgent priorities, such as climate change, healthcare, higher education and public transit needs. “There is so much good this small financial transaction tax could achieve, and particularly in the fight against HIV/AIDS,” said Hoylman,

whose district has one of the state’s highest concentrations of people living with HIV. “Just here in New York State, a modest increase in funding could help eliminate new infections by increasing access to treatment, expanding targeted prevention efforts, ensuring stable housing for vulnerable people with HIV and making pre-exposure and postexposure prophylaxis available to those who need it. “We need the U.N. and world leaders to commit to the Robin Hood Tax,” Hoylman urged, “so we can get to zero new infections in New York and around the world.” Every day in New York State, roughly 11 people are newly diagnosed with HIV and five people die from the disease. Globally, access to HIV/AIDS treatment has fallen short of the U.N.’s Millennium Development Goal: 10 million people are receiving the treatment today while about 26 million people could benefit from the treatment. Advocates agree that a lack of financial resources is the biggest obstacle to achieving the goal of zero new HIV infections.

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with an empathy chip. So as nice as they may be, there’s little hope those scatterbrains will overcome their forgetful ways in the service of making your life easier — and your local engine house will soon tire of getting calls every time you expect them to put out a fire that has to do with water. So let’s turn our attention to motivating that less-than-spectacular super to bump you up on his list of priorities. Just as sure as the drug store next to the Halloween pop up shop is selling Christmas paraphernalia, the solution to your problem is on the shelf and available for purchase. I’m talking about a savvy little wheel-greaser that never fails to save old Aunt Chelsea’s rent stabilized bacon. My tip? Tip your super, come late December. Waylay him with the triple whammy of cash, a gift card and a scrumptious homemade baked item. I guarantee that overscheduled Scrooge will soon morph into Mister Softee — a skilled, proactive plumber who’ll have a stern word for the people upstairs, a tarp for your warped ceiling and a bendable ear for all of your renter’s woes. Yes, I know this is tantamount to bribery…but I also know it’s what needs to be done to get the job done. Welcome to New York, honey — where cash money does the job of good fences, when it comes to getting along with your (upstairs) neighbors.

Dear Aunt Chelsea:

I just moved to New York a few months ago, and I’ve never lived in an apartment building. Now this country girl, who’s used to wide open spaces, finds herself in a studio apartment that’s underneath a bunch of forgetful 20-somethings who are eventually going to destroy her little patch of happiness. The other day, I heard water running — which was odd, because I was the only one home. When I went to look at the bathroom, water was flooding from the vent, from under the doorframe and slowly gathering beneath my ceiling wallpaper. I ran upstairs and knocked on the door. A nice young man opened it, and I politely asked, “Did you leave your water running?” The answer, of course, was yes — and this is the second time they’ve flooded my apartment! Last month, I had to call the fire department because they left the shower running while they were gone (I was afraid that someone had died in their bathtub!). My building super has not fixed the water damage because it’s not his “first priority.” Is there anything I can do to prevent future floods? Yours, Rained Out

Dear Rained:

For the next three months, I’m afraid you’re simply going to have to live with the threat of a little water on the brain…and in the tub, and all over your bathroom rug. Sadly, that new Apple iPhone doesn’t come

Dear Aunt Chelsea:

I recently left for college and am settling into my new university lifestyle. Living on a small campus, I expected a warm community — yet this doesn’t seem to be the case. Every time I meet somebody in class or at a party, I am always afraid they will forget me. I have exchanged numbers with said people and found that on the way to class, they will pass me by in the hallways without even a wave or a nod — and I’m too shy to keep bugging them. What do I do? Lonely Freshman

Dear Lonely:

Hallways are notoriously poor barometers with which to gauge how much interest a casual acquaintance has in becoming your friend. Chances are, they’re too preoccupied with their own problems to notice you’re being slighted by their lack of eye contact. If you want to make lasting connections, sign up for a club. On week one of my freshman year, I joined the college Forensics team — and in no time at all, an inarticulate wallflower discovered her gift of gab and her knack for dispensing impromptu advice. What’s more, the new friends I made became lifelong chums. I’ll just bet there’s an activity on campus that’ll garner you a slew of likeminded pals. Good luck, hon…and if becoming a joiner doesn’t do the trick, there’s always hospital volunteer work and the prison pen pal circuit!


Ho r osc o p e s

Aries Don’t waste time dissecting the meaning of that sharp pain between main course and dessert. Not all mealtime discomfort heralds digestive challenges. Taurus Heed a bashful Sagittarian’s whispered words of advice and profit from the perspective of a person you mistakenly regard as outside of the loop! Gemini Like late summer colds coming from jacketless morning excursions, your cavalier attitude regarding the excessive use of paprika will prove to be something to sneeze at. Cancer You are not the type to revel in the misfortunes of others — but Neptune’s cosmic position this month will require particular vigilance. Look and learn…but don’t make fun! Leo Mischievous Pluto will wreak havoc on next Wednesday’s travel plans. Adjust your schedule accordingly, when a restless Taurus tempts you to stay inside and play Scrabble.

Virgo Hidden dangers greet you on this weekend’s planned apple picking excursion. Reschedule for early October, and claim your sweet reward.

Libra Your motherly advice is suffocating. Couch it as sisterly dish, and an otherwise skeptical recipient will be surprisingly receptive!

Scorpio A circle of friends, who see you as square, will inspire

some out-of-the-box thinking. An unconventional wardrobe choice propels you back into the loop.

Sagittarius Saturn’s pull, and your reputation for wise counsel,

brings troubled souls into your orbit this week. Do them a solid, and cash in your Karma come November.

Capricorn Uneasy dreams awaken a long-dormant predilection for country goose-themed kitchenware. A skeptical roommate needs convincing. Aquarius Lucky numbers, culled from bus stop ads, will have

practical applications unrelated to the purchase of lottery tickets. Use them to reset your smart phone access code!

Pisces A seemingly sophisticated peer confesses an affinity for

fall hayrides. Keep their secret, and a powerful new alliance will be formed.

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September 25, 2013 Chelsea Now  

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