Page 1


OcTOBER 9-OcTOBER 22, 2013


state FIGhts aUthorItY & aUthorItY doesn’t wIn. B.P.c. GroUPs Lose too By T E RE SE L O E B K R E U Z E R he Battery Park City Authority has made it official. There will be no more charitable contributions to support neighborhood organizations such as Poets House, the Skyscraper Museum and the Museum of Jewish Heritage. There will be no “sponsorships” for neighborhood organizations. There will be no funding for the annual River To River Festival or for the block party or for the Battery Park City Neighbors’ Association or for the free arts program that is largely funded by Brookfield Office Properties. The only permissible expenditures will be fees for services such as the $632,000 annually that goes to the Alliance for Downtown New York to pay for the shuttle bus that connects the South Street Seaport with Broadway near City Hall, running through Battery Park City on the way. Carol Willis, founder and director of The Skyscraper Museum said that she had received a letter from the B.P.C.A. saying that they were discontinuing their funding, which had been $10,000 in previous years, and $7,500 last year. “That loss is a definite blow,” she said, “especially since it helps to fund activities that are a benefit to our B.P.C.A. neighbors, such as the Saturday morning Family Programs we offer twice a month, which we run for just $5 per child, parents, free.” Willis also said that the Goldman Sachs Foundation had previously given The Skyscraper Museum $10,000 a year but had eliminated its support two years


Continued on page 6

Downtown Express photo by Kaitlyn Meade

Tourists were denied access to the Statue of Liberty last week. They were still showing up in Battery Park this week to visit Liberty and Ellis Islands, but some chose to exchange their tickets for a boat ride close to the statue.

Government shutdown puts Liberty out of reach B y KAITLYN MEADE he top deck of the Miss Ellis Island was crowded with sight-seers on a sunny Tuesday morning — one week into the government shutdown. But its lower two decks were completely empty of passengers as the ship pulled away from its Battery Park dock. As a “nonessential service,” the National Park Service is currently in limbo, bringing national monument operations to a grinding halt. And with Congress stalled over the budget and debt ceiling, things are looking no better for tourists


hoping to get up close and personal to one of America’s foremost monuments, Lady Liberty — and no better for the tourism industry’s employees whose livelihoods depend on getting them there. Statue Cruises, which runs ferry service out to Liberty and Ellis Islands, is one of the companies that ceased its primary function on Oct. 1, and a week later, is still adrift. The company is offering a one-hour tour of New York Harbor, giving tourists a glance at Liberty, Ellis and Governors Island, but not docking.


“Welcome, welcome. Sixty-minute tours. Sixty-minute tours only,” Marco Bedoya called, standing by one of the hastily-constructed ticket taking booths on Oct. 8, pausing to explain the shutdown in French to a welldressed couple. Things are “working,” according to Bedoya, who said that business has been slower since the shutdown but “we’re still doing the same, trying to make more signs and keep the customers,” Continued on page 10


October 9 - October 22, 2013


MARKET SUNDAY OCTOBER 27, 2013 11am-5pm

Join us for a Gathering of Fisheries III and the arrival of Ceres Vermont Sail Freight Project

NEW AMSTERDAM MARKET South Street between Beekman St & Peck Slip

October 9 - October 22, 2013


Strip club or not, committee says no to cabaret license B y K A IT LY N M E A D E Community Board 1’s FiDi Committee last week voted against a cabaret license for a club after neighbors turned out in force to complain about what they say is really a strip club. It did not help that the committee members felt they were being misled by the owner on several details, including an entrance on Murray St. The club is called Remix, but many area residents remember it as Quest, which recently changed its name. Owner Panagiotis Kotsonis, who was introduced as Peter, and his wife, stopped by C.B. 1’s Financial District Committee meeting on Oct. 2 to petition for a cabaret license, prompting a lengthy heated discussion of its practices. Their attorney Matt Leone started the ball rolling by reminding the committee that the club (described as an “after work type establishment”) was already eligible for a cabaret license but added that they were also there “to address whatever issues there are at this point” — which turned out to be quite a few, despite the fact that the community board has not received many complaints about the location in the past two years. The club’s address is 27 Park Place, and the attorney at least, said he thought the Murray St. door was an emergency exit. The owner said it was only used as an exit for people to smoke and was monitored by security guards. However, neighbors said that the Murray St. door served as the de facto entrance for certain private parties “with invitation,” which guests must show in order to gain entrance. “There are 20 [people] out there. I walk my dogs between midnight and one, and they’re out there. Thursday nights, Friday nights, sometimes Wednesday nights,” said Richard Dorado, who said he has lived in a neighboring building for 11 years. Dorado brought along one of these invitations, which he added can be printed from online and have allowed the club

Downtown Express photo by Kaitlyn Meade

Matt Leone, left, advocates for his client Peter Kotsonis, center, seated between C.B. 1 members Joel Kopel and Elizabeth Lamere.

to skirt the cabaret license in the past. Guests, he said, line up at Murray St. to get in on these nights, where their invites are checked by two bouncers. In fact, the 24 Murray St. address was the one listed on the Myspace page for Saint Venus Theater in July, a rotating amateur erotic dance service reported on in the New York Post when the club was still called Quest. The Post reported in March that Quest hosted the “SVT” parties, in which girls did $20 lap dances for other guests. Neither Leone nor Kotsonis confirmed or denied the allegations. Leone seemed to acknowledge that the club was violating existing rules, saying Kotsonis wanted a cabaret license so that he “could continue the business that he is operating.”

Cabaret licenses are needed for multiple uses including dance clubs and strip clubs. The clientele at Remix have been a problem as well, according to Celina Szado, who moved to Murray St. in January. She said she is not comfortable letting her two teenage daughters walk past the club at night. “There have been several instances where my girls have been cat-called and leered at and everything else,” she told the committee. She went on to say that the neighborhood was becoming more family-oriented, despite the actual strip-club “New York Dolls” a block down Murray, and she echoed objections to Remix’s alleged practices. Ro Sheffe, the committee’s chairperson, had to remind the assembly that the community board “can’t really make any comment one way or another on the desirability of an establishment or on what goes on inside,” but can make recommendations based on noise, litter and other such complaints. In the meantime, the committee unanimously agreed to reject the application in an advisory vote. Many of them felt that Kotsonis had not been honest with them. “For me here tonight, the testimony that the teenage girls are having difficulty going home, testimony of dishonesty toward getting around the cabaret license with invitations... I think off the bat we had a misrepresentation of the role of the two men outside, I don’t think someone should be given the privilege of a cabaret license,” said member Megan McHugh. “Change the entrance, don’t let people line up at Murray St., come back in a couple of months, and let’s hear what these neighbors have to say in a couple of months,” said member Pat Moore. “This committee is very pro-small business,” Sheffe told a brow-beaten Kotsonis. “The last thing we want to do is restrict trade for any small business. So we would love for you to come back, after you’ve fixed the problems.”


October 9 - October 22, 2013

samaritan to roBBer

Talk about hitting someone while they are down; a woman lost over $3,000 in cash and merchandise when her bag was stolen after she had tripped in the subway station, according to police. The Queens woman, 60, told police she entered the station at William and Fulton St. at about 1:15 a.m. on Sat. Oct. 5. The woman was on the mezzanine level when she heard her train approaching the platform, so she said she made a run for it — and tripped. According to police, a man in his 20s came up behind her and offered help. She turned him down but he bent down, grabbed her purse and ran up the stairs to the A/C train platform. She chased the snatcher up the stairs and onto the platform, where police said a third party witness spotted a man running to the Fulton St. exit. Police believe he escaped the subway system for the streets. A police canvass showed that there were no cameras on the mezzanine level, but footage was available on the A/C train platform. The victim lost several designer items, including a $300 Coach bag, a $100 Coach wallet, $500 in cash, $900 white gold and diamond necklace, $500 gold snake necklace, $300 Tiffany necklace and bracelet, $400 white gold earrings, a pair of $120 silver hoop earrings, her debit cards, credit cards, driver’s permit, insurance card and a $199 MetroPCS cell phone. She was also treated for a twisted ankle at the scene, according to police.

triBeCa Bag graB

A woman was not clutching her clutch when a thief managed to make off with the $2,200 accoutre-

ment last week. The Brooklyn woman said she set her Fendi 2Jours purse on the floor of Aroma Espresso Bar in Tribeca and her bag was stolen from the 100 Church St. location sometime between 4:30 and 7 p.m. on Thurs., Oct. 3. She also said the bag was brand new.

wreCKed and roBBed

One reveler could not remember his night let alone his belongings, which he said probably got lost, well... sometime after he got drunk. The 25-year-old man reported to police that his shoulder bag was taken from him while he was heavily intoxicated, on Oct. 1, between about 3 a.m. and 6:30 a.m. At a 7 a.m. interview with the police, he told them he could not remember where he had last seen his belongings. At a more sober interview two days later, he clarified, saying he had been drinking with friends on Tues., Oct. 1. At some point, he said he woke up to discover that he was on a southbound J train at the Fulton St. station, sans property. He says he was later informed by his bank that there had been $35 in unauthorized charges at a CVS, and a failed attempt to purchase an unlimited monthly MetroCard at an M.T.A. machine. The man also reported that his iPhone 4S, iPhone charger, debit cards and New York State I.D. were missing.

reCord time

It was a mad dash for one FiDi “customer” with expensive taste, in particular, a $10,000 wristwatch. An employee of Renaissance Fine Jewelry in the Financial District reported to police that a theft had occurred at the store on Fri., Oct. 4. A man entered the store at 225 Broadway around 11:45 a.m. and proceeded to browse. The employee said that the man asked to try on two other watches. The third watch, however, was particularly to his liking. The employee put it on his wrist and then said he turned away from the customer to close the display case. As soon as his back was turned, the customer fled the store with the $10,000 Breitling watch. The employee ran after the man, and pursued him south on Broadway and west on Vesey before finally losing him in the crowd. The employee promised to get video surveillance to the police at a later date, but had no description of the man.

Pan mishandled

A panhandler was arrested after his tactics became aggressive. Police arrested a man for assault on Fri., Oct. 4 at the

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Canal St. (A,C,E) subway station after he hit a woman on the subway with a broom and dustpan. The woman, 47, told the arresting officer that the man has approached her at about 10:30 p.m. on a southbound C train and asked for money. She said when she ignored him, he reacted by striking her left leg with his cleaning supplies, causing pain and swelling. He was apprehended shortly after.

drUnK driver ConviCted

A New Jersey man was convicted of assault and drunk-driving charges stemming from a 2012 car crash on the Lower East Side that permanently injured two people, Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance announced on Sept. 25. A State Supreme Court jury found Joseph Darlington, 43, guilty of aggravated vehicular assault and operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol, along with other felony charges, the D.A. said. According to court documents, Darlington was driving east on Delancey St. during the early morning hours of March 11, 2012, after a night of drinking. He blew through a red light at the intersection of Delancey and Allen Sts., colliding with another car before spinning into the median and hitting the two pedestrians. Darlington is expected to be sentenced on Nov. 15, the D.A. said.

granny foils CrooKs

Five Chinese nationals admitted they tried to steal cash and goods from an elderly Chinatown woman by using a scam involving “evil spirits,” D.A. Vance announced on Oct. 1. Jun Liang, 45; Xiumei He, 40; Yae Chen, 46; Huahuo Chen, 50; and Jingchang Quan, 44, all pleaded guilty to third-degree attempted grand larceny as a hate crime and first-degree scheme to defraud, the D.A. said. According to court documents, the five Chinese citizens approached a 67-year-old woman on the afternoon of June 3, near the corner of Elizabeth and Bayard Sts. in Chinatown, and tried to convince her that they could cleanse her money and possessions of evil spirits. But the woman became suspicious, and immediately reported the incident to police at the Fifth Precinct. Later that day, officers arranged a sting operation in which the elderly woman met the five scammers near Chatham Square and handed over a bag stuffed with fake cash and property. When the con artists tried to work their scheme by distracting the woman and pocketing the goods, police stepped in to arrest them.

— Kaitlyn Meade and Sam Spokony


October 9 - October 22, 2013

Downtown Express photo by Milo Hess

Downtown Express photo by Josh Rogers

A good cross to bear An out of order sign usually isn’t a sign that things are moving back to order, let alone two signs, but such was the case at Vesey and West Sts. last week. The newer sign said the elevator to the pedestrian bridge was closed but it also said the street-level crossing opened Wed. Oct. 2. The crossing near the World Trade Center had been closed most of the last 12 years to keep people safe during 9/11 cleanup and reconstruction. With enough of the work now completed, the Port Authority was able to reopen the crossing, and this week it began dismantling the bridge. A pedestrian safety monitor last week said he had been transferred one block west from Church St. and that more monitors had been hired to cover the new crossing option.

Saturday, October 19, 2013 10 A.M.– Noon | Rain or shine Bowling Green Park The Downtown Alliance is greening Lower Manhattan! You bring family and friends, and we’ll bring the plants and gardening tools. Complimentary refreshments and activities for kids



October 9 - October 22, 2013

Battery Park City groups lose funding

Downtown Express photo by Terese Loeb Kreuzer

Battery Park City’s annual block party will no longer receive funding from the Battery Park City Authority under the new policy.

Continued from page 1

ago, “citing what they called a bad year. Together, the loss of $20,000 is a serious blow indeed.” Nancy Harvey, senior counsel at the B.P.C.A. made the announcement at a board of directors meeting on Sept. 24. She said that the discretionary spending policy would apply both to the authority and to the Battery Park City Parks Conservancy, which is legally a separate entity under the B.P.C.A.’s jurisdiction. It appeared to be a reaction to an audit in 2010 by the New York State Inspector General and to Comptroller John Liu’s recent objection to B.P.C.A. excess revenues going to anything other than affordable housing in New York City. Citing documentation from the New York State Public Authorities Control Board, Harvey said the only permissible expenditures would be funds that further the mission for which an organization was established; funds that primarily benefit the organization and do not confer benefit on any employee or private individual or entity; funds that are not extravagant or unreasonable in amount and funds that are not defined as prohibitive expenditures. She said an audit by the State Inspector General indicated that “it would be best for the B.P.C.A. not to make any contributions

to non-governmental organizations.” She said it would be “difficult to decide which organizations to fund, how much money they should get and what the follow-up procedure would be to figure out if the money is being appropriately spent.” “There will be no charitable contributions. Period. I personally think that’s a good thing,” said Robert Serpico, interim president of the B.P.C.A. Some of his colleagues were not so sure. Board member Fernando Mateo has always been particularly concerned about making sure that the B.P.C.A. hires women and minorities. “Just so I understand,” he said, “if there’s a fair promoting minority businesses and Anthony [Peterson, director of the diversity program] needs to go there, we can’t make a contribution to cover our expenses?” Peterson replied that he would be able to purchase an exhibit at such a fair but that would be all. “I just want to make sure that you have the funds to be able to continue this,” Mateo said. He was also concerned that the B.P.C.A. might no longer be able to attend privately sponsored job fairs. The consensus of the board seemed to be that it would be all right to attend such fairs but not to pay for tickets to galas. In addition to backing away from charitable contributions, Harvey said that the B.P.C.A. would no longer reimburse

employees for tuition expenses or for fees to keep professional licenses current. “The state does not permit these reimbursements to managerial staff,” she said. “They are only permissible under collective bargaining agreements. The

‘It would be best for the B.P.C.A. not to make any contributions to non-governmental organizations.’ B.P.C.A. does not have any employees in that category.” Serpico said that for the past 30 years, the B.P.C.A. had paid fees related to professional licensing in their entirety. “These would be fees such as those that C.P.A.’s and lawyers have to pay to keep up their professional licenses,” he explained. “These are licenses that are directly tied into and required by the job. If any employee for whatever reason doesn’t

want to, or can’t, then they’d have to leave the staff.” Board member Martha Gallo said she didn’t understand the State’s position on this. “Neither do I,” said Dennis Mehiel, the authorty’s chairperson. “But I’m not hearing that we have any discretion in this policy.” Phyllis Taylor, the authority’s chief legal counsel, however, thought there might be some discretion on this matter. Mehiel directed that there be further investigation of this proscription against fee and tuition reimbursement. However, there was no push for a reprieve for the cultural organizations in Battery Park City. In 2012, Poets House received a $9,500 grant from the B.P.C.A., which will not be forthcoming in 2013. “Poets House is grateful for the material gifts that Battery Park City Authority has given to us,” said Poets House’s executive director Lee Briccetti. “Foremost,” she said, was “the opportunity to make a permanent home here on the banks of the Hudson.” However, she went on to say that, “Although B.P.C.A.’s programmatic support was modest, the reality of non-profit organizations, particularly in this climate, is that every gap is felt.”


October 9 - October 22, 2013

Fairway Market coming to Tribeca By KA I T LY N M E A D E With residential development still strong in Tribeca, the neighborhood will be getting a new grocery to match its growth. Fairway will be taking over a two-story space on Greenwich St. — the first Fairway Market in Lower Manhattan and the 16th in the tri-state area. On Sept. 30, Fairway announced that it has signed a long-term lease to open a 2,242-square-foot store in 255 Greenwich St., at Murray St., sometime in the fall of 2014. The location is a 14-story office tower built by Jack Resnick & Sons in 1987. The building is less than a block from the Whole Foods Market, which opened on Greenwich St. in July 2008. The Resnick firm was also the developer across the street from Whole Foods at “Site 5C,” which included a residential building, the Downtown Community Center and a school annex for P.S. 234. Charles Santoro, Fairway’s executive chairperson, said in a statement: “Tribeca is a great and growing family neighborhood and home to great amenities, from restaurants to schools and colleges, and a world-renowned film festival. And because it is in Lower Manhattan, which is also home to Battery Park City, the Freedom Tower, and the Financial District, the location is ideal for those who live and work there.”

let’s do something together at trinity wall street

All Are Welcome All events are free, unless noted. 212.602.0800

tRINItY chURch Broadway at Wall Street 74 tRINItY PlAce is located in the office building behind Trinity Church

st. PAUl’s chAPel Broadway and Fulton Street chARlOtte’s PlAce 107 Greenwich Street btwn Rector & Carlisle Streets The Rev. Dr. James H. Cooper, Rector The Rev. Canon Anne Mallonee, Vicar

an Episcopal parish in the city of New York

Photo courtesy of Fairway Market

The new Fairway Market in Chelsea.

Resnick & Sons, reportedly signed a longterm agreement with Fairway. The first Fairway store opened almost 60 years ago on the Upper West Side as a small, family venture and eventually distinguished


WeDNesDAY, OctObeR 9, 6:30pm The Canon This gathering is for those interested in studying Early Christian texts using traditional and non-traditional interpretive methods. 74 Trinity Pl, 3rd Fl, Room 2 thURsDAY, OctObeR 10, 5:30-7:30pm Spirituality of Play with the Rev. Julia Kristeller Parents and children (ages 4-8) will enjoy this early evening of heart-centered play and a community supper. Preregistration required at: 74 Trinity Pl, 3rd Floor thURsDAY, OctObeR 10, 6pm The 12 Steps of Recovery for Everyone This group will follow the 12 Steps and connect them to corresponding Scriptures that support them. 74 Trinity Pl, 3rd Fl, Room 2l

itself by providing fresh, organic, kosher and gourmet options along with regular groceries. The company is hoping to offer a wide range of daily-delivered produce, a “best of the best” kosher section, a bakery, a classic


thURsDAY, OctObeR 10 & 17, 1pm Concerts at One Oct. 10: Decoda performs works of Britten and Brahms. Oct. 17: Matt Haimovitz, cello, Julian Wachner, piano, perform works of Britten, Schubert, and Tavener. Trinity Church MONDAY, OctObeR 14 & 21, 1pm Bach at One The Choir of Trinity Wall Street and Trinity Baroque Orchestra offer a weekly service featuring the music of Johann Sebastian Bach’s cantatas. St. Paul’s Chapel

New York deli counter and more. The store expanded to Chelsea and the company has also announced that it plans to open nearby in Hudson Yards, most likely in 2015.

worship sUNDAY, 8am & 10am St. Paul’s Chapel · Holy Eucharist 8pm - Compline by Candlelight sUNDAY, 9am & 11:15am Trinity Church · Preaching, music, and Eucharist · Sunday school and child care available MONDAY—FRIDAY, 12:05pm Trinity Church · Holy Eucharist MONDAY—FRIDAY, 5:15pm All Saints’ Chapel, in Trinity Church Evening Prayer Watch online webcast

WeDNesDAY, OctObeR 16 & 23, 1pm Pipes at One Oct. 16: Daniel Brondel, Associate Director of Music, St. Patrick’s Cathedral Oct. 23: Michael Thomas Crisostomo Hey, Assistant Organist, Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church St. Paul’s Chapel


sUNDAY, OctObeR 13 & 20, 10am Discovery Adult Formation Class Oct. 13: Wellness in the City with Susyn Reeve. Oct. 20: Economic Changes in the City with Onleilove Alston. 74 Trinity Pl, 2nd Fl, Parish Hall Leah Reddy


October 9 - October 22, 2013

Genome center becomes part of Downtown’s DNA B Y H E AT H E R D U B IN The bioscience frontier now has a new epicenter in Downtown Manhattan with the official opening of the New York Genome Center last month. The 170,000-square-foot medical research facility will be a hub for collaboration between academia, industry and clinicians, with 16 participating universities and hospitals so far. Located at 101 Sixth Ave., between Watts and Grand Sts., the genome center was created with more than $140 million in funds from New York City, New York State and several foundations and philanthropies, including Mayor Bloomberg. The center occupies seven floors of the 23-story building, which formerly housed the 32BJ union headquarters. The mayor was a keynote speaker at the Sept. 19 ribbon-cutting ceremony. About 300 people attended the event, and learned how the genome center will help alter the field of science in order to better understand and treat human disease. Dr. Robert Darnell, the genome center’s president and scientific director, spoke of a revolution in medicine that is saving people’s lives. “This is causing a second wave of revolution in the way we do science,” he said. “It’s no longer done by small labs, instead by large consortia, and different kinds of people and different kinds of science.”

Scientists, medical doctors and biotechnology partners will work together across disciplines and multi-institutional projects. “This is not unusual — it’s completely unheard of,” Darnell emphasized. “Genome centers don’t do clinical medicine, they do genomic science — except the New York Genome Center, we’re going to do both.” He described the sharing of clinical information, and the collaborative effort of his associates, as a way to approach problems too complex to solve alone. The regional center is experiencing a tremendous upgrade from its previous 3,000-square-foot space at Rockefeller University on the Upper East Side. To demonstrate the value of genetic research, Darnell revealed a recent triumph from researchers at the center who have been looking for months at a series of cancers from 10 different patients who are all related. Two days earlier, researchers had made a vital breakthrough. “They solved a complete mystery about a kind of cancer: how it comes about, how we can diagnosis it and, most importantly, how we might treat it in the future,” he said. “I believe that we can use genomics to start to make sick people better.” The technology available today has drastically increased the speed to find mutations that can cause disease. “We can sequence a person in a day for

How a child learns to learn will impact his or her life forever. Progressive Education for Two-Year-Olds – 8th Grade

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Please visit for information and application materials. 146 West 13th Street, New York, NY 10011 Tel: 212.242.7802

Downtown Express photo by Heather Dubin

Lab workers at the New York Genome Center work behind glass doors to keep their area pristine.

$3,500,” Darnell said. “That was undreamed of a decade ago.” This is done with an Illumina HiSeq-2500 machine, which is capable of reading a person’s complete DNA at once. Currently, the center has 16 such machines, and plans call for a total of 80. Each one costs $1 million to operate. Within the span of a day, the center is able to generate a trillion base pairs of DNA sequence. Dr. Tom Maniatis, chairperson of the New York Genome Center’s scientific and clinical steering committee, was introduced by Darnell as the driving force behind the center. Preliminary meetings for the facility began three years ago, and Maniatis, who was integral in founding the center, joked it all started because they had a “pretty foolish idea.” This idea morphed into the Sixth Ave. genome center, which now serves as a model for the future of medicine and biotechnology. “The New York Genome Center will not only provide large-scale sequencing using stateof-the-art technology,” Maniatis said, “but will bring together the entire New York community to tackle the problem of making biological and medical sense of large data sets.” Bloomberg was the final speaker, and prefaced his comments with a good health report. “I feel fine, but if I keel over, you should know, all the philanthropy stops,” he joked. “I tried to explain that to Johns Hopkins.” On a more serious note, Bloomberg praised New York City as a place of innovation, for commerce, culture, science and industry. “Innovation seems to be in our DNA,” he said. Bloomberg noted that researchers in Manhattan receive $1.4 billion in funding, and that the city overall gets $64 billion in research funding from the federal National Institute of Health. “Our administration investing in the New York Genome Center is part of our overall strategy called the ‘Innovative Economy in

New York,’ ” he said. Bloomberg said he wants to attract people to the Big Apple with creative jobs and good living conditions. As a parting shot, Bloomberg offered some advice to both Drs. Darnell and Maniatis. “This is the logical place for the New York Genome Center,” he said. “Bob and Tom, let me just say what I say to all my new employees — don’t screw it up.” With a seven-floor, cutting-edge facility and room for growth — there are currently only 51 employees — the center is bound to find talent to fill the seats of its cubicles and labs. “The center is designed to promote collaboration, with glass divides, informal and formal rooms and an outside garden,” explained William Fair, the center’s vice president for strategic operations. The view of the city from the center’s garden matches the genome center’s logo. There are interconnecting staircases, the walls are painted bright orange, and there is plenty of light in the labs and the lab write-up areas. Even the washroom has a spectacular view. The DNA is kept in large freezers before it goes onto the sequencing machines There are several different labs throughout the buildings, an innovation lab, a sample prep room, a production sequencing lab and a Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments-certified lab for 43 states, excluding New York, which they are working on. It is a difficult certification to obtain, and only Columbia University and Mount Sinai are C.L.I.A. certified in Manhattan. The plan is to have 300 people working there by 2014, and 500 by five years after that. “We’re looking for people good with big data who can interpret it quickly, and see patterns emerging,” Fair said. “We need people to take complex data and make it simpler.”


October 9 - October 22, 2013

Chin doesn’t want to gamble on Chinatown casino buses B y SA M S P O K O N Y New permit applications from intercity bus companies continue to flood Chinatown and the Lower East Side after statewide permit legislation took effect in July. Councilmember Margaret Chin is calling on the city’s Department of Transportation to be more stringent in its consideration of new permits, especially for “casino buses” that she said can do more damage than good for the community. So-called casino buses transport riders from Manhattan directly to casino resorts in the Northeast, for the primary purpose of gambling, as opposed to typical intercity buses that provide a more affordable way to travel and visit family members around the country. Last month, Community Board 3 debated two permit applications for new dedicated casino bus stops in Chinatown — at 30 Pike St. and 9 Chatham Square. As part of the new permit legislation, the Department of Transportation is required, among other things, to receive a recommendation from the local community board before approving or denying a request. The two entities, Asian Express Travel and A&W (which are actually part of the same company), sought to provide service to and from Bethlehem, Penn., whose main attraction is the Sands Casino Resort. Chin wrote to C.B. 3 on Sept. 9 — a copy of the letter was also sent to D.O.T. — advising the board to recommend denying the two applications, citing a lack 8/14/2013 of transparency HalfPageAd_10-13.pdf 3:50:05 PM in

the bus company’s proposal and community engagement, as well as the “oversaturation” of bus stops that Chinatown already faces. C.B. 3 agreed, and recommended that D.O.T. deny the permit applications. But under the law, D.O.T. does not require C.B.’s O.K. in order to approve new permits. As of Sept. 24, D.O.T. did in fact approve the permit application for an Asian Express Travel bus stop at 30 Pike St. A department spokesperson said the application for 9 Chatham Square is still under review. In an interview, Chin said that conflicts regarding the new permitting process have compelled her to schedule an Oct. 9 meeting with D.O.T. representatives, to stress the importance of issues like transparency, community engagement and recognizing the negative impacts that can be caused by crowding too many new bus stops into the neighborhood. “We really need to sit down and review the purpose of that legislation,” Chin said, adding that she tried previously to broach the subject during D.O.T.’s public hearing on the permit system in June. Chin also explained that part of her meeting with D.O.T. will be devoted to pointing out the problems of casino buses essentially masquerading as typical intercity buses. “The casino buses don’t respect the community, they don’t help the community, and that’s why we’ve already gotten complaints

Councilmember Chin is chipping in on the effort to restrict casino buses, saying they masquerade as normal city buses but “they don’t respect the community.”

about current casino bus stops [outside Confucius Plaza],” said Chin. “It was not the intent of the legislation to allow these types of buses to get permits.” Even Wellington Chen, executive director of the Chinatown Partnership, who often touts the economic benefits of intercity buses, took a strong stand against casino buses. “Chinatown buses can be a lifeline for the community, but the casino buses take those lifelines away,” said Chen. “All they

do is draw people out to gamble away their money, and it destroys families here.” Four additional new bus permit applications are being debated by C.B. 3. While one of the proposed bus stops is also slated for 30 Pike St., it’s unclear whether any of the applications are for casino buses. A Chin spokesperson pointed out that such uncertainty is part of the ongoing transparency problem the councilmember hopes to tackle when she meets with D.O.T.


October 9 - October 22, 2013

Downtown Express photo by Kaitlyn Meade

Passengers denied entry to Liberty Island on Tuesday because of the government shutdown, hopped on a Harbor Cruise instead.

Lady Liberty shutdown Continued from page 1

he said. “We’ve put three signs outside [near Castle Clinton], and we’re trying to make more.” “The thing is with the harbor cruises, we have other companies doing the same, so we have more competition. It’s hard, even for them, even for us,” Bedoya said. One week earlier, on the second day of the shutdown, Bedoya had said he hoped the shutdown would end soon, even as they strung wires to allow the company to sell and scan tickets in small booths rather than in Castle Clinton, which is also run by the Park Service. The ticket booths are still up, and Castle Clinton remained behind barricades this week, along with the nowunnecessary security screening tent. Statue Cruises employees instead hawked brochures for harbor tours, and explained to tourists that even though the statue was closed, the ferries were still running. “We’re trying to keep as many of our employees working as possible,” said Rafael Abreu, a spokesperson for the company. He said they had four vessels running from Battery Park and two from New Jersey. However, business has declined, with only about 50 percent of the usual passenger count for this time of year. “You can’t really time it, but it couldn’t be worse timing,” Abreu said, referring to the fact that the Statue was closed for eight months for repairs after sustaining damage during Hurricane Sandy a year

ago. It finally reopened on July 4, with a massive Parks Service celebration. At that time, officials and senators crowed over the event, saying it would bring back much-needed tourism revenue to Lower Manhattan. A report released February by the National Park Service showed that in 2011, 3.7 million people visited the monument, bringing in $174 million and providing for over 2,000 jobs. In a teleconference on March 19, U.S. Senator Charles Schumer had said, “Being open for the summer tourism season isn’t just important symbolically, it’s a boon to the city’s economy and businesses, as the statue attracts millions of tourists from all over the world to our shores.” Now, many of the tourists coming to see the statue turn away empty-handed. Statue Cruises is allowing passengers who had purchased Statue of Liberty tickets before the shutdown to redeem them for harbor tours. They will also allow ticket-holders to wait for a later date, but that is not always possible, especially for Crown Access tickets, which are date-specific. “Some people, they are staying for nine or ten days, can try again. But there are other customers who want their money back,” Bedoya explained. “We came from Texas,” said Gilbert Valencia, standing near the docks in Battery Park on Oct. 2 with his mother and sister. “I came [to the Statue of Liberty] last time I was here. I wanted to take them.” Their five-day drip was ending the next day. “Maybe next time,” he said, with a disappointed glance at his mother.


October 9 - October 22, 2013

Plan to raise Seaport bike lane raises some ire B Y T E RE SE L O E B K R E U Z E R The city is looking to upgrade part of the East River bicycle lane by raising it six inches above grade. The city Economic Development Corporation’s proposal to raise the lane on South St. between the Brooklyn Bridge and Pier 11, at the foot of Wall St. was not warmly received by Community Board 1’s Planning Committee last month. The idea is to separate the bike lane more from vehicular traffic. Committee member Joel Kopel said that he jogs along South St. and that it is already narrow and clogged with parked cars and moving vehicles. He said the existing bicycle lane is used by people pushing strollers or ambling along and that he did not see that a six-inch elevation would improve matters. This area of South St. is often dense with tourists as well as residents. The proposal was also criticized for not making clear provision for crossing South St., particularly at Fulton St. , which is heavily used by people

accessing Piers 16 and 17. The E.D.C. presentation was for information purposes o n l y. T h e c o m m i t t e e ’s c o m ments are not likely to have any impact on the bike lane as built. The project should be finished early in 2014 and is part of E.D.C.’s larger effort to rebuild the East River waterfront. C o n c u r r e n t l y, the city has issued a Request for Proposals for firms to study the feasibility of what Mayor Michael Bloomberg has called “Seaport City” — a development along the East River in Lower Manhattan to protect the area from sea level rise and to be financed by high-rise buildings along the newly reinforced waterfront. “We have no idea how this reconstruction would fit into the proposal for Seaport City,” said Michael Levine, land use and planning consultant to Community Board 1, when he described the upgraded bicycle route to C.B. 1’s full board on Sept. 24.

The South Street bike lane earlier this summer.

No shutdown for 9/11 health Although most of the federal government has not been running since Oct. 1, two programs that are not affected by the shutdown are the World Trade Center Health Program and the 9/11 Victim’s Compensation Fund. Both programs have separate funding streams and are not subject to the whims of Congress, according to the office of U.S. Rep. Jerrold Nadler, a co-sponsor of the bills to set up both funds.

The health fund provides care to rescue workers, residents and others suffering from cancer and other ailments believed to have been caused from the environmental fallout of the destruction of the Twin Towers 12 years ago. The other fund compensates families of those killed as well as health victims of the attack.

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October 9 - October 22, 2013

By J anel B lado w It’s beginning to feel like autumn even though August felt more like fall than summer but I digress…just happy the ‘hood is shaping up and shaking off the hurricane horror of last year. So much is happening this month…

Rally around the lighthouse…

A number of politicians, community leaders and historians joined neighbors, fans and friends of our historic neighborhood for a Save Our Seaport rally on Saturday, Oct. 2. Some 200 supporters gathered at the Titanic Memorial Lighthouse on Fulton St. to hear speakers including the Democratic nominee for Manhattan borough president, Councilmember Gale Brewer, Peter Stanford, founding president of the South Street Seaport Museum, and Roland Lewis, president and C.E.O. Metropolitan Waterfront Alliance. The S.O.S. group believes the Seaport is a “priceless public asset” and that “its buildings, streets, piers, and market sheds must be preserved and rehabilitated.” Organizers want to keep the unique character of the areas public spaces while developing the area economically with small businesses and local jobs. “The vibe was positive,” New Amsterdam Market president Robert LaValva told

Seaport Report. “It should be recognized as an area of huge potential.” He said what is needed is a real plan for the future, with community involvement. “What we want is an area, not frozen in amber” but asset for the future.” Author Paul Greenberg pointed out that the waterways are cleaner and fishable while LaValva added that we should embrace the building we have and create a viable, sustainable marketplace.

Gaiety galore and more… Many

local merchants have finally returned as the Durst Corporation building on Front St. finally got repaired and shops could get ship-shape. Others are also closing in on the finish line of picking up the pieces. To celebrate the merchant group, Old Seaport Alliance, founded after Hurricane Sandy, will close Front St. and Peck Slip to vehicles for a big block party on Saturday, Oct. 19, 4 – 9 p.m. Look for some familiar names long missing: Il Brigante, Nelson Blue, Suteishi, and the always loved Paris Café to be back in biz. The comeback celebrations feature oldfashioned carnival games, sea shanties singalongs and at least a half-dozen bands and DJs, including DJ Cloak Dagger and The High & Mighty Brass Band.

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Gale Brewer, the Democratic nominee for Manhattan borough president, spoke at the Save Our Seaport rally on Saturday.

Family, fare and fun… And then, The Taste of The Seaport returns with its annual outdoor fall festival of food, beverages, music and family-friendly activities. With support of local merchants and restaurants — including Acqua, Fresh Salt and Mark Joseph Steakhouse to name a few — little plates with tasty samples will be available all along Front Street between Beekman and Peck Slip. The fest is Sun., Oct. 27, 11 a.m. — 4 p.m. Tickets are $35 for five tastes or a family pack of 20 tastes for $120. Advance tickets at a reduced price are available at All proceeds benefit enrichment programs for Spruce Street School (P.S. 397). Sticking it to Sandy…. Head over to Meade’s (Peck Slip and Water St.) to celebrate (?) commiserate the one-year anniversary of the Superstorm with their “Nice Try Sandy” party, Oct. 29. “We’re going back to basics,” says Kathleen Joyce from behind the bar. “We’ll show her!” That night the pub is going to recreate the days following the flood — no lights, no electricity, free snacks, grilling outdoors, limited bar, beer, no music, cash only. “No power.” Just as it was, she laughs. Joyce remembers the camaraderie after the storm and the staff hopes to recapture that friendly, fun spirit for the night. “It’s a moment for us to remember. We want to make it a fun experience, no lights, no TV.” The theme: “What doesn’t kill you makes your drink stronger.”


Our favorite neighborhood party is back. The neighborhood Halloween Trick or Treating evening promises to be spooky and kooky, as always. That big blowhard Sandy blew into town and surged on our fun last year. No way we’re going to let a little hurricane huff and puff and rain on our parade! Our historic Seaport Neighborhood tradition of decorating FishBridge Park (Water & Dover Sts.) for the children to gather in on all spook’s night celebrates its 24th year of

fun, Thurs., Oct. 31. Everyone (or thing?) from astronauts to zombies — with toddler firefighters and baby ballerinas in between — will meet up at the park at 6 p.m. to begin the traditional costume parade through the neighborhood. The group winds around buildings and shops along Water and Front Sts. between Dover and Beekman Sts. It’s a great way to see neighbors, meet new friends and share a community spirit…with spirits, ghosts, ghouls and goblins. Little ones pick up treats while adults in the crowd can take pit stops at favorite watering holes for a sip of some spirited witches brew. Before and after the fun, your help is needed. To pitch in with distributing and posting fliers, contacting treat givers, decorating the park on Halloween day and cleaning up the park the day after, send an email to Master Halloween Trickster Gary Fagin at garyfagin@earthlink. net. You’ll have a ghoulishly good time!

Big dreams, high waters… It was

announced this week that a Dutch company is heading up the Seaport City project for Hizzonor. The Amsterdam-based engineering firm is looking into the feasibility of a steel and glass city of skyscrapers built on levees in the East River from Brooklyn Bridge south to the Battery. Riverkeeper’s Hudson River Director Phillip Musegaas told the Daily News, “This seems like a development wolf in a sheep’s storm boots.” Hee….


Well at least some people can get service at Pier 17! Recently a supersecret, exclusive, members-only dining club, Dinner Lab, hosted one of their very private last minute pricey dinners in the former food court (funny, when it was open to the public, it could barely attract people). Now those-in-know (or think they are) flooded the joint. The underground supper club offers members who pay $175 a year a fete with up-and-coming chefs for $75 a head. Diners at the pier ate at folding tables while sitting on folding chairs with paper plate service.

October 9 - October 22, 2013


Preservation talk in the air as Seaport market bustles B y T E RE SE LO E B K R E U Z E R The New Amsterdam Market proved that though it had been gone for months, it had not been forgotten. On a sunny Sunday at the end of last month, about 6,000 people made their way to the parking lot under the F.D.R. Drive between Beekman St. and Peck Slip, where they stocked up on food from regional farmers. Robert LaValva, founder of the New Amsterdam Market, had organized weekly markets on South Street since 2010, but this year, he had a three-month hiatus. There were also lots of familiar faces among the vendors, who responded with broad smiles to customers’ oft-repeated remark, “I’m so glad to see you!” LaValva’s decision to cancel the summer markets stemmed from what happened in March when the City Council approved the Howard Hughes Corporation’s Uniform Land Use Review Procedure application to replace the existing mall on Pier 17. Following the vote, Council Speaker Christine Quinn and City Councilmember Margaret Chin announced at a press conference that as part of the deal, before Oct. 1, 2014, Hughes would open a 10,000-squarefoot food market in the Link Building on Pier 17. The deal specified that there would be another food market in the Tin Building occupying at least 10,000 square feet of floor space showcasing locally and regionally sourced foods. LaValva pointed out at the time that the New Amsterdam Market occupied 15,000 square feet of space in its transient location in the parking lot, and that renowned farmers’ markets in other cities, where they attracted tourists as well as locals, were many times larger than that.

He decided to spend the summer concentrating on his fight for what he and other preservationists call the “East River Market District.” At the September New Amsterdam Market, the Historic Districts Council collected signatures for a petition urging the Landmarks Preservation Commission to consider the New Market Building for landmarking. That afternoon, 740 people signed the petition. The building, which opened in 1939, was the last public building to be constructed specifically for the Fulton Fish Market. Without city landmark status, it could be torn down. Simeon Bankoff, president of the Historic Districts Council, said he hoped the Landmarks Preservation Commission, which has rebuffed previous efforts, would change its mind after the next mayor takes over in January. While the New Amsterdam Market bustled with shoppers and polemicists on Sept. 29, a competing market on South Street — the Fulton Stall Market — was empty and silent. Backed by The Howard Hughes Corporation, it opened for the 2013 season on both Saturdays and Sundays. Then, because there wasn’t enough business, it was open just on Sundays from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Finally, in September, it closed completely. At the Community Board 1 Seaport Committee meeting on Sept. 17, Phillip St. Pierre, the general manager of the Seaport for The Howard Hughes Corporation, mentioned that the stalls, which housed fishmongers from 1950 to 2005, when the Fulton Fish Market moved to the Bronx, will be demolished when The Howard Hughes plan for the Seaport uplands goes into effect.

Downtown Express photos by Terese Loeb Kreuzer

Maggie Nesciur, the owner of Flying Fox, brought her hand-picked fruit to New Amsterdam Market on Sept. 29.

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While foodies shopped, others collected signatures to save the New Market Building in the background. The building is outside the Seaport Historic District and could be demolished for new development.

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October 9 - October 22, 2013

Park work resumes as Governors Isle closes for season B y kaitlyn meade A gorgeous getaway to rival Central Park will be rearing up just south of Manhattan. Governors Island celebrated its final weekend open to the public on September 29, and will reopen in May. But that does not mean the 172 acre island will be hibernating through the winter. Work is underway to create 30 acres of new parkland this coming year, with even more to open by 2015. Leslie Koch, president of the Governors Island Trust, brought a breath of fresh air to Community Board 1 with a presentation on the progress and vision for a refurbished Governors Island, a haven away from the bustle of Manhattan. “We’re making incredible progress,” said Koch, on both infrastructure and the parkland, while inviting visitors for a wide array of programs over its 38-day season. The attractions covered everything from art exhibits to the popular Fete Paradiso festival of vintage carousels which Koch called “truly magical” to Councilmember Margaret Chin’s “Constituent Day.” The final weekend welcomed more than 5,000 visitors to the park site, Koch said. “It’s really looking like a park, there’s trees and flowers... We are on track to complete construction in November, which means we will open in the spring,” Koch added. The winter months will give the plants an opportunity to establish themselves before they are inundated with visitors. Because half of the island was closed this year, Koch mentioned that they

Image courtesy of Governor’s Island Trust

Governors Island, which is now closed to the public, will be expanding its park areas over the next year and a half.

wanted to keep the community involved, which led to the “hard-hat tours,” for Community Board 1. It also led to the massive demolition of Building 877 on June 9. The building, which according to the Trust is the largest “non-historical” building in the park, was imploded to yield those 30 extra acres of parkland. The event was announced and visitors were invited to watch it go down from a viewing platform. “We timed this with the Staten Island Ferry so people could see it,” Koch said,

showing a video of the demolition set to triumphant music, that ends with the Statue of Liberty in the background as the dust clears. “This is, my husband actually took this in a tree.” “Leslie, how long did it take to set charges for that?” committee co-chairperson Ro Sheffe asked. “They brought the dynamite over on Thursday so it was probably about 72 hours worth of work. It was about two years worth of planning. It was quite extraordinary. So yes, it is on Youtube,”

she said with a laugh. Another vision for the park is “The Hills,” which will use debris of all the building demolished on the island to build a large hill overlooking Lower Manhattan. The largest will rise 80 feet above the harbor. “So back in 2007 when we interviewed the architects, they said you really need to sort of make this a landmark destination and came up with the idea of hills,” Koch said. The area will feature a fully-accessible five-minute walking path, a grill area, play area and picnic tables, among other things and will open to the public in 2015. “We are not going to show you what it means to do horizontal-vertical drilling under the harbor,” Koch joked, as the infrastructure was as necessary but not as sexy. The Trust is also looking at tenants at the moment to fill its many vacant buildings, but did not want to talk about any specifics. Sheffe asked about the status of N.Y.U., which had at one point done a rendering of a satellite site on the island in its 2031 plan. Koch, however, said that they have long since moved on, and are no longer interested. They are however, confident that there will be educational facilities and a school on the island, and Koch has said that several have expressed interest but she was not able to elaborate. The Trust is also considering spas, art galleries and eventually, they hope, a luxury hotel.

Tunnel to Towers Run pays tribute to first responders

Downtown Express photo by Tequila Minsky

Tens of thousands of people streamed through the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel on Sept. 29 for the 12th annual Tunnel toTowers 5K Run and Walk in honor of those who died on 9/11. The run began as a way to commemorate Stephen Siller, a firefighter who ditched his truck in Red Hook, Brooklyn so that he could get across the East River to the World Trade Center in Lower Manhattan on 9/11. He made the trek wearing 75 pounds of protective gear. Siller died when the second tower collapsed that morning, but his memory and those of other firefighters and first responders are honored as every year as runners follow in his footsteps.


October 9 - October 22, 2013

God’s Love gets a facelift as Rivers, Kors pitch in B y L in coln A nderson Joan Rivers emceed and Michael Kors spoke at Wednesday’s groundbreaking event in Soho for the expansion and renovation of the God’s Love We Deliver building, at the corner of Spring St. and Sixth Ave. The comic and the fashion designer are both longtime supporters of the nonprofit, which cooks and delivers meals to people living with severe illnesses in the metropolitan area. The G.L.W.D. project will more than double both the organization’s space — from 18,000 square feet to more than 44,000 square feet — and its capacity to prepare meals — from 1 million to 2 million meals a year. “Today marks the beginning of a project of great significance to not only all of us at God’s Love, but to a growing number of people across the metropolitan area who rely on our services,” said Karen Pearl, president and C.E.O. of God’s Love We Deliver.   The God’s Love expansion project was made possible, in part, by a city grant and private gifts, including $5 million from Kors, who was named to the group’s board of directors earlier this year. In recognition of Kors’s contribution to the expansion project, the new facility, designed by Gerner Kronick and Valcarcel, will be named in his honor. The project also benefited from G.L.W.D.’s sale of several million dollars’ worth of air rights to the adjacent One Vandam luxury residential highrise project.

‘Today’s expansion is the beginning step toward fulfilling a dream for all of us...’ — Joan Rivers Signifying construction’s start at the God’s Love Sixth Ave. facility, guests of the ceremony used giant knives to cut an equally giant cake with an image of the future building. “I’ve loved and worked for God’s Love We Deliver for many years, and I know how important their nutritious, individually tailored meals are for our neighbors who are too sick to shop or cook for themselves,” said Rivers. “Today’s expansion is the beginning step toward fulfilling a dream for all of us associated with this wonderful charity.” “I am so excited to be here today to break ground on the Michael Kors Building for God’s Love We Deliver,” Kors said. “I’ve been working with God’s Love for over 20 years now, and I’ve always been amazed by the work that they do. With this expansion, I know that we can help feed even more

Downtown Express photo by Jessica Frankl

At the groundbreaking for the God’s Love We Deliver headquarters vertical expansion and renovation, from left, Karen Pearl, God’s Love We Deliver president and C.E.O.; Michael Kors, fashion designer and G.L.W.D. board member; Blaine Trump, G.L.W.D. board vice chairperson; comic Joan Rivers, a G.L.W.D. board member; Scott Bruckner, G.L.W.D. board chairperson; and Mike Moran, a member of the G.L.W.D. Chairman’s Council.

people and continue to reach all of those in need.” The God’s Love expansion, which is expected to be completed in late 2014 or early 2015, comes as demand for the organization’s services is up by more than 60 percent in five years, according to G.L.W.D. Without a significant increase in space in the immediate future, God’s Love would — for the first time in the organization’s 28 years — be forced to have a waiting list for clients. During the renovation, God’s Love has temporarily relocated to South Williamsburg in Brooklyn, so that the organization’s services can continue uninterrupted. Begun as an H.I.V./AIDS service organization, today God’s Love provides for people living with more than 200 individual diagnoses. Meals are individually tailored for each client by one of the organization’s registered dietitians, and all clients have access to unlimited nutrition counseling. All of the agency’s services are provided free of charge. Soho neighbors are suing over the city’s approval of the air-rights transfer from the G.L.W.D. site to the One Vandam project, charging that a deed restriction on the former prohibits it.

A rendering of how the G.L.W.D. building will look when the project is completed.


October 9 - October 22, 2013

Preschoolers and Ph.D.’s pitch in on an urban farm By T e q uila Minsky Just inside the fence on the north side of Houston St. between Wooster and Greene, behind one of the Silver Towers, a swath of land was lush with vegetables this summer. Last Thursday, the eggplants, bell and hot peppers, melons, tomatoes still on the vine and herbs in abundance were harvested. New York University’s Urban Farm completed its first harvest season. Students, faculty and volunteers involved with the N.Y.U. Food Studies Program helped themselves to the fresh produce. Children from University Plaza Nursery School who had worked two 25-foot beds this summer walked through the rows, taking a last look at the summer crops, and left with dozens of fresh tomatoes. Only half of the 125-foot-by-25-foot plot was in cultivation this year. “We got started late,” said Associate Professor Jennifer Berg, director of the N.Y.U. Steinhardt Graduate Food Studies Program. Berg and Amy Bentley, associate professor of Nutrition, Food Studies and Public Health at N.Y.U. Steinhardt, developed the project. “This is a landmark site and we had to wait for permits before we began planting in late June,” Berg said. Green Grants, from

N.Y.U.’s Office of Sustainability, sponsored the N.Y.U. Urban Farm. “We want to create an urban farm lab that serves as an outdoor farm classroom to allow for and promote research in urban agriculture and food systems on the undergraduate, graduate and doctoral levels,” Berg explained. Volunteers and students worked the plot this season, and one bed was allocated for residents of Silver Towers. A new, recently finished three-bin compost system, built with the collaboration of the Lower East Side Ecology Center, is ready to begin composting organic matter. Graduate and undergraduate students in the program will maintain the year-round farm. The day after the harvest, the pickedclean plant stems were pulled up or plowed under to make room for cold-weather crops, like kale, broccoli and kohlrabi — which have a two-month growing season — to be harvested in November. New York City gardening has come a long way since Liz Christy and the Green Guerillas founded the first activist urban garden in 1973, just blocks away at Houston St. and the Bowery. As for N.Y.U., the university’s Master’s in Food Studies was formalized in 1996. Downtown Express photos by Tequila Minsky

N.Y.U. Associate Professor Jennifer Berg spoke about the N.Y.U. Food Studies Program and the value of the Urban Farm while her colleague Amy Bentley looked on, above. Meanwhile, Zubin, 4½ (with container of tomatoes), lower left, and fellow preschoolers harvested crops from their rows in the garden. N.Y.U. student Alex Wolf, below, showed that the garden’s composter is ready for action.


October 9 - October 22, 2013

tRansit sam ALTERNATE SIDE PARKINg IS SUSPENDED MONDAY AND TUESDAY fOR cOLUMBUS DAY AND IDUL-ADHA A confusing few days for parkers next week, starting on Monday with Columbus Day. Alternate side and school parking rules by public schools and many private schools are suspended Monday. All other rules, including meters, remain in effect. Next Tuesday through Thursday A.S.P. is suspended for Idul-Adha, but all rules, including school rules (unless it’s an Islamic school) remain in effect. Traffic will be lighter than usual Monday except in Midtown where the parade is being held. Special alert for the Brooklyn Bridge! All Manhattan-bound lanes will close for 54 consecutive hours, 12:01 a.m. Saturday through 6 a.m. Monday. That will send drivers over the Manhattan Bridge and onto Delancey St., as well as down to the Hugh L. Carey (Brooklyn Battery) Tunnel and onto West St. The usual overnight closures of all inbound lanes will occur 11 p.m. to 6 a.m. Wednesday, Thursday, Monday and Tuesday nights. The Hudson River crossings will get hit too, with the Jets taking on the Steelers at 1 p.m. Sunday at MetLife Stadium. Drivers avoiding the Lincoln Tunnel will jet down

Seventh Ave. onto Varick, and into the Holland Tunnel. The Bowling Green Association Street Fair will close Broadway between Cedar St. and Battery Pl. as well as between Morris and Stone Sts., and Whitehall St. between Stone and Water Sts. 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday. In the Battery Park Underpass, one of two westbound lanes will close from the F.D.R. to West St./Route 9A 7 a.m. to 3 p.m., and one of two eastbound lanes will close from West St./Route 9A to the F.D.R. 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., both closures Wednesday through Friday. Busy Saturday in Greenwich Village: A festival will close West 4th St. between Sixth Ave. and University Pl. and Greenwich Ave. between Sixth and Seventh Aves. 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Lots of closures in Tribeca this week: Washington St. will close between Laight and Hubert Sts. 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily through mid-November. Leonard St. will close between Hudson and Varick Sts. 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. The around-the-clock closure of Franklin St. between Hudson and Varick Sts. will continue through the end of October. Rector St. will close intermittently between


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Dear Transit Sam, Is there a N.Y. State law about driving with pets in the front seat of a vehicle? I almost got hit head-on by a woman driving with a Chihuahua on her lap. Sandi, New York

Article 33, Section 1213 of the Vehicle and Traffic Law states: “No person shall drive a motor vehicle when it is so loaded as to obstruct the view of the driver to the front or sides of the vehicle or as to interfere with the driver’s control over the driving mechanism of the vehicle.” Driving with pooch on lap may fit interfering with driving mechanism. But, I doubt if such a ticket is ever written except maybe in the case of a crash. Transit Sam

Dear Sandi, There is no law explicitly barring pets from the front seat, but there is one that can be construed to fit with a little stretching.

Lower Manhattanites, send me your parking and traffic questions at transitsam@ Be sure to follow me on Twitter too @gridlocksam.


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October 9 - October 22, 2013

Battery Park City block party celebration By T E RE SE L O E B K R E U Z E R Anthony Notaro, co-chairperson of the 12th annual Battery Park City block party, looked at the crowd milling around Esplanade Plaza on Saturday, Sept. 28. “I think this is the most people we’ve ever had!” he said to Rosalie Joseph with satisfaction. “I don’t know,” she said, though she agreed there were a lot of people there. She and Notaro should know whether these were record numbers or not. They spearheaded the first Battery Park City block party in 2002, in an effort to heal the community, fractured and heartbroken after 9/11, and they have been the force behind the block party ever since. This year, Joseph had officially retired as cochairperson but was omnipresent at the block party with her clipboard in hand, making sure that everything ran smoothly. Notaro shared the official leadership with Bob Townley, executive director of Manhattan Youth. The weather could not have been more beautiful — not too hot or too cold, not too windy. Fleecy clouds provided a backdrop to the stage, where the show consisted largely of a parade of Battery Park City inhabitants, including pets. The Seniors’ Chorus performed “Somewhere Over the Rainbow.” The girls from the New American Youth Ballet gracefully waved their arms and later in the show, reappeared in pretty, white costumes with fluffy skirts. The boys showed off their break-

dancing skills. The TriBattery Pops conducted by Tom Goodkind, played “The Star-Spangled Banner,” while stiltwalkers dressed as Uncle Sam and the Statue of Liberty brandished American flags. Shake Shack provided free blueberry lemonade, which kept the crowd hydrated. Blue Smoke sold pulled pork sandwiches on housemade buns. St. Joseph’s Chapel had a supply of cupcakes from Inatteso Café Casano and several cans of icing, which kids laid on thick and topped with sprinkles. Representatives of Asphalt Green’s culinary arts program showed up with bags of tasty beet chips. There were games and dancing, a bubble gum blowing contest, a capoeira demonstration, boat rides and flea market tables. Undoubtedly weary from the recent primary election, there were no politicians (Yume Kitasei, director of budget and legislation for City Councilmember Margaret Chin, said Chin was sick and couldn’t be there) but several people from the Battery Park City Parks Conservancy attended, including executive director Tessa Huxley, horticulture director T Fleisher and Vince McGowan, who retired from the Conservancy in February. The Battery Park City Authority was represented by Matthew Monahan, spokesperson for the B.P.C.A., Anne Fenton, deputy chief operating officer, and Martha Gallo, who serves on the board and who lives in Battery Park City.

The B.P.C.A. contributed the stage and sound system to the block party, but this year did not contribute any additional funds. Without the stage and sound system and other infrastructure, “the street fair would possibly not take place,” said Bob Townley.

The block party traditionally ends with everyone singing “Downtown” and “New York, New York.” There was no music to accompany these renditions. Nevertheless, the crowd made a spirited attempt, even though no one could quite remember the words. No matter. It was a lovely day.

Downtown Express photos by Terese Loeb Kreuzer.

Top, the New American Youth Ballet at the B.P.C. Block Party Sept. 28, the Seniors’ Chorus, and a pair of stiltwalkers.


October 9 - October 22, 2013


Pedestrian safety:

Most people agree that crossing North and South End Aves. can be dicey at times, with cars, buses and bicycles coming from various directions. Studies conducted by the New York City Department of Transportation did not persuade the D.O.T. that additional traffic lights were necessary, however, Josh Benson, director of bicycle and pedestrian programs for the D.O.T., told Community Board 1’s Battery Park City Committee on Oct. 1 that there were a number of things that could be done to alleviate the problem. Among other remedies, the D.O.T. is suggesting concrete islands in the middle of South End Ave., where pedestrians can feel safer as the traffic whizzes by them. Also, the D.O.T. is proposing yield crosswalks at Rector Place and at West Thames St. “We think that will go a long way toward taking away the feeling of insecurity,” said Benson. He showed a slide indicating that over a five-year period, between 2007 and 2011, there were relatively few crashes on South End Ave., (though the number of “near misses” wasn’t tabulated). Eight pedestrians were injured, two bicyclists, and three motor vehicle occupants. Only one of those injuries was deemed severe. The committee passed a resolution endorsing most of the D.O.T.’s suggestions. The resolution will go before the full board on Oct. 22. Implementation of the safety measures will likely occur in 2014.

Pride of Baltimore II pays a visit:

Some impressive ships show up in North Cove Marina. Some impress by their size and opulence. The “Pride of Baltimore II,” which visited New York City briefly, departing on Oct. 2, impressed by her old-fashioned silhouette and rigging.

Downtown Express photos by Terese Loeb Kreuzer

The Pride of Baltimore II, a reproduction of an 1812-era topsail schooner privateer, was in North Cove Marina earlier this month.

Though she looks old, she was actually commissioned in 1988 as an ambassador for the Chesapeake Bay region, replacing another ship called “The Pride of Baltimore” that was lost in a squall off the coast of Puerto Rico in 1986, taking the captain and three crew members down with her. “The Pride of Baltimore II” replicates an 1812-era topsail schooner privateer, of a type that was built in Baltimore in the early 19th century. These ships were noted for their speed and were instrumental in helping the United States defeat Great Britain during the War of 1812. Aboard this ship, young people learn traditional practices of seamanship and also enhance their knowledge of American history, science, technology, engineering and math.

Battery Park City residents Elena Liao and Frederico Ribeiro, who launched Té Company last year, went crosstown to sell their tea last month at the New Amsterdam Market at the Seaport — their first experience selling in a public market.

In the last 25 years, Pride II has sailed nearly 200,000 miles, and visited over 200 ports in 40 countries in North, South, and Central America, Europe and Asia. She has touched down in North Cove Marina before. She will probably be back.

Two for tea:

Elena Liao and Frederico Ribeiro came from different parts of the globe, but ended up in Battery Park City. Liao, 30, born in Taiwan, emigrated to the United States at the age of 13. Ribeiro, 28, arrived in New York City four years ago from Porto, Portugal. The couple live in a small apartment in the Visionaire, which is also the headquarters for a tea business called “Té Company” that they launched in December 2012. “I drank a lot of tea all my life,” said Liao. Liao graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a major in economics and communications. During a period of unemployment in 2009, she started thinking about tea and whether she could bring her love of tea to people in the United States. She did some research and decided to focus on oolong — a semi-oxidized form of tea, midway between green tea and black tea. “That’s the tea I grew up drinking,” she said. Although she soon found another day job, she continued to study tea for a couple of years during which time, Ribeiro entered her life. He works at a top Manhattan restaurant and as Liao said, “egged me on to start a tea business.” They are now selling five kinds of “everyday” teas, from different regions of Taiwan and teas that they call “rare and reserve.” Among them is a tea from Yilan, Liao’s parents’ hometown. “It’s surrounded by rice fields, Liao said. “I go there to see my grandfather.” The teas are beautifully packaged in sealed gold foil to keep them fresh and

come with a handsomely printed leaflet that contains not only brewing instructions, but a poem and a brief history of the enterprise. “Our journey with tea begins in Taiwan,” Liao and Ribeiro say in the leaflet, “Ilha Formosa, ‘beautiful island,’ as Portuguese explorers of yore used to call it.” Apparently the Portuguese and the Taiwanese have gotten together before. On Sept. 29, Liao and Ribeiro were selling their tea at South Street Seaport’s New.Amsterdam Market — their first time in a public market — along with some puff pastry cookies delicately flavored with pineapple, made by Ribeiro. They were a perfect accompaniment to the tea that Liao brewed in small, clay pots that absorb the flavor of each tea made in them, and enhance it. Liao and Ribeiro hope their business will grow, but in the meantime, both have other jobs. “We’re still learning,” they said.

Babysitting at Asphalt Green:

Moms and dads who want to work out at the Asphalt Green Battery Park City community center, 212 North End Ave., can leave their tots and toddlers in the capable hands of College Nannies and Tutors while they exercise. The C.P.R.-certified sitters are available daily to mind children from 6 months to 6 years old. Unlimited babysitting costs $129 a month for the first child and $20 a month for each additional child, with advance reservations necessary. Walk-in, single sessions cost $20 for two hours per child. For more information on the babysitting services, go to or email To comment on Battery Park City Beat or to suggest article ideas, email TereseLoeb10@


October 9 - October 22, 2013


Give us Liberty & end the G.O.P. shutdown


Jennifer Goodstein Publisher EMERITUS

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In Lower Manhattan the mobs of

tourists are no longer coming to spend their money before and after seeing the Statue of Liberty. The African Burial Ground is closed. So is Federal Hall where George Washington was sworn into office, and his namesake city has reached unprecedented levels of dysfunction. The closed monuments caused by the government shutdown have damaged our economy, but the far greater damage is being done to our nation’s poor, particularly children, who rely on things like food stamps — an undeniable economic simulant — and Head Start. The blame falls entirely on the Republican members of Congress, some of whom campaigned on promises to shut the government down. Democrats have agreed to continue “sequester level” budget cuts, the same ones that

Republicans also described as terrible not too long ago. The Republican-controlled House has passed measure after measure that members know will not pass the Democratically-controlled Senate. The Senate’s bill, on the other hand, would open the government entirely and by all appearances, would pass the House if only Speaker Boehner would allow a vote. Boehner says the Senate bill would not pass, but it is a claim without credibility since he can’t explain why he won’t bring the bill to the floor. Some Republicans, including Boehner, sound ready to not raise the debt limit before the deadline. Economists can’t predict how calamitous the consequences would be if the debt limit is not raised next week, but the overwhelming consensus is it would be devastating. The latest Washington mess comes from

the G.O.P.’s obsessive desire to roll back the Affordable Care Act. Sen. Ted Cruz, one of the leaders in this effort, has admitted that when Obamacare is fully implemented in two months, Americans will like it so much that it will be impossible to be undone. He compared the law to people’s love of sugar. Mitt Romney made the same admission after he lost last year’s presidential election saying the plan was such a “gift” to so many people that it made it hard to defeat President Obama. Republicans once cared about helping the economy but those days are getting harder to remember. It is long overdue for Republican members of Congress to start caring about the American people a little bit more than they hate Barack Obama.

All of which raises the question whether runoffs for citywide offices should be abolished in favor of so-instant runoffs, where voters rank the candidates. Currently, if no citywide candidate garners 40 percent of the vote in a primary, there is a runoff between the top two finishers. The instant runoff is the better option, since it would undoubtedly insure more participation, and it would save the city from having to hold

these extremely low-turnout contests, while — importantly — saving millions of dollars. Under this alternative, voters would rank their top choices and if no candidate secured 40 percent, the bottom candidates would be knocked out and their votes allotted to the other candidates based on the rankings. The candidate who appeals to the most voters would win, which is not always the case under the current system.

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Get rid of runoffs Two qualified candidates for

public advocate faced off in a runoff last week, with Councilmember Letitia James defeating State Senator Daniel Squadron. The turnout was extremely low — only 187,000 of the party’s 3 million registered Democrats went to the polls. Meanwhile, the cost of the city’s running the runoff, $13 million, far exceeds the small budget of the Public Advocate’s Office, $2.3 million.


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Looking to the future Lower East Side musician David Peel, left, and activist John Penley enjoyed meeting up down at Zuccotti Park for the second anniversary of Occupy Wall Street on Tues., Sept. 17.

Downtown Express photo by Sharon Woolums


October 9 - October 22, 2013

Downtown Notebook

Lack of cash putting a scare into Halloween parade By E lissa S tein The city has been buzzing with the news that the Village Halloween Parade, a Downtown tradition for 39 years, is not definite for 2013. If the parade producers don’t raise $50,000 by Oct. 21, the annual event won’t take place this year. Sixty thousand participants won’t be showing off their costumes. Two million viewers who pack Downtown streets will have to find alternative festivities. And the city won’t reap the millions of dollars it has in the past. Jeanne Fleming, the parade’s producer for the past 33 years, maintains the October extravaganza takes care of the city’s spirits, that New York City’s largest annual free gathering is a cultural event about creativity and imagination. It was the first major event to take place in the city after 9/11. And after Hurricane Katrina in 2005, organizers hired two New Orleans bands to come up and participate in the parade. From its humble start with revelers winding through Village streets, to the worldwide phenomenon it is now, the parade has become an institution much larger than the neighborhood it takes place in. Last year, 12 hours before start time, the parade was canceled. In Superstorm Sandy’s aftermath, the Village was still blacked out.

Surrounded by such devastation, organizers knew it wasn’t an appropriate time for largescale celebrating. But the cancelation created this year’s financial challenges. Along with disappointment from participants, not hosting the parade will affect the Village as well.

‘One child of mine is devastated the parade might not happen. The other hates the noise and congestion.’

make it happen this year. One longtime resident said that while he wasn’t a fan of the parade, not having it would strip the Village of part of its cultural history. Some fondly remember the event’s earlier years, when police barricades weren’t necessary and one could easily move through the neighborhood in spite of the revelry. Some bemoan the music-filled floats passing by late into the evening and sidewalks packed too tight to walk on and streets that can’t be crossed. Meanwhile, others feel it’s a fun annual celebration starting with early trick-or-treaters and ending with late-night

costume gazing. My own home is split. One child is devastated the parade might not happen — it’s a dream of hers to walk in it when she’s older. The other hates the noise and congestion that prevent us from going outside. This year the parade’s theme is “Revival! Hallelujah Halloween!” embracing how New York City comes back no matter what it’s challenged with. Promoters are hoping that everyone will chip in to keep the event on the calendar. They’ve launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise the necessary funds. Should they be successful, Jefferson Market Library’s giant spider will be back.

“It’s a huge day for our local businesses…I think it’s a shame,” said William Kelley, executive director of the Village Alliance business improvement district, when asked about the potential of no parade. Tom Gray, executive director of the Greenwich Village-Chelsea Chamber of Commerce, concurred, saying the event brings people to the neighborhood, and that hopefully people will pull together and help

“I of the Beholder” was the theme of the 2011 Greenwich Village Halloween Parade, inspired by French surrealist painter Odilon Redon’s “Eye Balloon” —— hence the eyeball balloons. The 2012 parade was canceled in the wake of Superstorm Sandy. A marcher in the 2010 Greenwich Village Halloween Parade, right, portrayed Gede, the Haitian Vodou goddess, who is a protector of graves in cemeteries.



October 9 - October 22, 2013 Downtown Express photo by Milo Hess

Jiggle joint’s finishing touches Although it’s part of a future development site for a new luxury residential building, the former adult book and video store at the corner of Clarkson and West Sts. is being renovated to reopen as a high-end topless “gentlemen’s club.” How long it will remain there until the block is eventually redeveloped is anyone’s guess. Last week, a worker could be seen rolling on fresh gray paint above the doorway of the place, which formerly had a white facade. Back in June, Thomas Wolfe, the club’s operator, told The Villager it would be called Mystique, and would open in a few months from then. “We pretty much have our liquor license as long as we comply with certain things they asked for,” Wolfe said, referring to stipulations requested by Community Board 2 and the community. He had wanted to open at lunchtime, but has agreed his operating hours will be 5 p.m. to 4 a.m., though will close at 2 a.m. on Sundays. Asked if he still felt, as he had stated earlier, that the jiggle joint’s beefy bouncers and new exterior lighting would make Clarkson St. safer for young Greenwich Village Little Leaguers going to and from the ball field at Pier 40, he said, “Of course, yes.”

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October 9 - October 22, 2013

All Fall In, With Downtown Theater The Busy Season, on Off-Off Boards BY TRAV S.D. ( Much like schools, Downtown theaters seem to start their annual “year” in the autumn — often presenting their best and most interesting work in the crucial fall months when it’s no longer so warm that most people are recreating outdoors, and not yet so cold that some won’t venture out of doors to see shows. This fall, there’s so much exciting stuff in the works at Downtown theaters you could get shin splints trying to see it all. First, we treat you to some of the shows that are already open (so act fast!): Through October 26, you can see The Bats (the resident acting company of The Flea Theater) present their production of “Sarah Floor in Salem Mass,” a movement-based “radical retelling” of the events leading up to the Salem Witch Trials. It’s written by Adriano Shaplin and directed by Rebecca Wright. Tickets can be purchased by calling 212-352-3101 or online at Through November 2, if you have sufficient courage, you can check out the 10th anniversary edition of Nightmare Haunted House, entitled “Killers2” — a sequel to last year’s serial killer themed production, which promises to take us up and close and personal to such cuddly figures as Charles Manson, Harrison Graham and Aileen Wournos. As always, Nightmare will take place at the atmospheric, castle-like Clemente Soto Velez Cultural Center. More info to be found at At the Kraine Theater through November 10, Radiotheater will present their adaptation of Orson Welles’ radio version of Bram Stoker’s “Dracula.” This interesting company does something quite different from old time radio show recreations — much of the effort goes into original soundscapes of music and effects that undergird the work of the actors — definitely worth checking out. Tickets are available at From October 5 through October 27, you’re downright crazy if you don’t go see Varla Jean Merman and the Gold Dust Orphans in “Mildred Fierce,” their cross-dressing musical send-up up of the classic 1945 Joan Crawford vehicle. The show will be ensconced at Theater 80 St. Marks, and promises

Photo by Cosmin Chivu

Here comes trouble: Penny Arcade (L) and Mink Stole, in Tennessee Williams’ “The Mutilated” — Nov. 1-24, at the New Ohio Theatre.

to be “sprinkled with splashy songs, tap dancing pies, bawdy waitress lingo and more surprises than you can shake a rolling pin at.” Also in the cast are Ryan Landry, Penny Champayne, Olive Another, Liza Lott and Delta Miles. For tickets and info, go to  One of my favorite Downtown companies, the Irish Repertory Theater, has

two promising shows on deck this season. From October 9 through December 8, they will be presenting a revival of Sean O’Casey’s 1924 masterpiece “Juno and the Paycock.” Concurrently, they are mounting a triple-header of avantgarde one acts by Samuel Beckett (“Act Without Words,” “Play” and “Breath”), directed by Bob Flanagan. It runs from

October 16 through December 1. The skinny on these two shows can be found at October 9 through November 17, Soho Rep, in association with American Repertory Theater and Yale Repertory Theater, is presenting the New York

Continued on page 25


October 9 - October 22, 2013

Downtown Theater Continued from page 24

Photo courtesy of the artists

Two junk peddlers evoke the life of a cabaret troupe, in “The Orphan Circus” — part of La MaMa’s Puppet Series (Nov. 7-24).

Photo by Moema Umanns

Greg Carere as the Tour Guide, takes you on a virtual bus ride through a future Manhattan — in 3LD’s “The Downtown Loop.”

premiere of David Adjmi’s “Marie Antoinette.” The production is billed as “raw, fantastical and funny” — but frankly, the main reason I hope to attend is that they promise that popular Downtown actor/playwright David Greenspan will be playing a sheep. To get yours, go to At UNDER St. Marks, from October 10 through 26, you can catch the latest edition of writer and raconteur Clay McCloud Chapman’s “Pumpkin Pie Show” — featuring himself, Hanna Cheek and Ana Anensio enacting Chapman’s funny, gross and scary monologues. This year the pieces are about such craziness as a case of postpartum depression that descends into madness and an episode of masturbation in the middle of a matinee performance of “Phantom of the Opera.” To get in on the action, go to October 10 through 30, the Axis Theater has booked a show they call “Concert of the Mind: Exceeding Human Limits” — a show by Israeli magician Asi Wind which will consist of mentalism and memorization. In this remarkable-sounding show, he promises to simultaneously solve two Rubik’s cubes (one in each hand) without looking, instantaneously remember the order of a completely shuffled deck of cards, perfectly recall a photo he has seen only for a few seconds and memorize the names of the entire audience. Shall we all go and try to stump him? I can’t even remember the names of the people in my OWN family photos! More info here: Previews begin October 15 for a new show at 3LD called “The Downtown Loop,” which purports to offer a virtual bus ride through a future Manhattan showing what was or what might have been. Knowing this company and their penchant for bells and whistles, you can expect to be dazzled — or at least tickled. Official opening is October 23, and it runs through November 16. Info is at Here’s a brief blip but well worth knowing about: October 16-19, the so-very-aptly-named gothic queer storyteller Dandy Darkly will be presenting “Gory Hole” (his recent hit of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival) at the C.O.W. Theater (in the Living Theater’s old Clinton Street headquarters). “C.O.W.” stands for “Celebration of Whimsy” — surroundings in which we feel the rara ava Mr. Darkly will feel right at home. Tickets at 917-9729394. Also visit And this is one I don’t think I’m going to be able to pass up: Underground legends Mink Stole and Penny Arcade costarring in the long-neglected Tennessee Williams play, “The Mutilated” (1966). True to form, filth and degradation are their portion in this transitional outing,

written just when Williams was begin to stretch the envelope of sordidness to even lower depths. It remains to be seen whether these two Downtown superstars will play it straight or for camp, but this is a drink I’ll be glad to take either way. It’s going to be at the New Ohio Theatre, November 1-24. For more info, go to November 7 through the 24, La MaMa’s Puppet Series, curated by Denise Greber, kicks into high gear — offering nine pieces of cool sounding puppet theater (call ‘em “puppet shows” and get your ass kicked!). On the menu will be “The Orphan Circus” by Los Sages Fous (Nov. 7-10), “Are They Edible?” by Jeanette Yew (Nov. 7-10), “Echo in Camera” a co-production of Dead Puppet, the Schauspielhaus Wien and the Grand Theater de Luxembourg (Nov. 7-17), “The God Projekt” by Lone Wolf Tribe (Nov. 14-24), “Dorme” by Laura Bartolomei (Nov. 21-24), a Puppet Slam on Nov. 15 and several kid’s shows — “Goldilocks and the Three Bears” (Nov. 16), “The Three Little Pigs” (Nov. 17) and “Squirrel Stole My Underpants Nov. 16-17). If that’s not enough to sate your wanton puppetlust, stick around. The CzechoslovakAmerican Marionette Theatre will be presenting their marionette adaptation of Plato’s “Republic” from November 29 through December 15 and STOP RIGHT THERE. Before you reject it out of hand, I must tip you off that this company’s scripts are always way funnier and smarter than they have any right to be. I would gladly see anything this company does — and that includes this show, Socratic Dialogues and all. Info and tickets available at From November 19 through January 5, something a little different at New York Theater Workshop — 25-year-old Kyle Riabko of the casts of “Spring Awakening” and the recent “Hair” revival will perform a concert of the songs of Burt Bacharach featuring, from the look of the publicity photo, a lot of electric guitar. Go to for more details. Or just “Say a Little Prayer.” November 29 through January 6, my favorite dance troupe, the neo-baroque Company XIV, will be presenting their decadent holiday classic “Nutcracker Rouge” at the Minetta Lane Theatre. Companyxiv. com for information and tickets. Lastly, two more cool-sounding shows at La MaMa, both opening December 6. “The Third Policeman” is the Nomad Theatrical Company’s adaptation of Flann O’Brien’s absurdist novel, playing through December 15. At the same time, they will be running the world premiere of Mabou Mines co-founder Lee Breuer’s “40 year-inthe-making magnum opus,” “La Divina Caricatura Part One, The Shaggy Dog.” That will be on the boards until December 22. 


October 9 - October 22, 2013



The Lady in Question has declared her upcoming run at 54 Below to be a boa-free zone. Otherwise, anything goes — including we’re assured, “laughter, music, tears and sequins.” That, filtered through the sassy lips and ample pipes of Tony-nominated playwright and drag legend Charles Busch, makes “Ridin’ High” a mustsee for lovers of tall tales, tough gals and tunes from the American Songbook. Armed with more zingers than a chorus boy can shake his stick at, Busch will dish on certain actresses he’s known and tell anecdotes about his long career. He’ll also be doing a parody of 1940s film noirs and a new monologue for Miriam Passman — the inspiration for his Broadway play, “The Tale of the Allergist’s Wife.” Songs from the camp icon, whose approach is far more affectionate than ironic, include an Irving Berlin number, a Sinatra classic and a few choices likely inspired by recent time spent taking his act on the road (“Route 66,” “Kansas City”). Accompanist Tom Judson, who toured with Busch, tickles the ivories. Always sweet and only bitter when it serves the punchline, Busch is, nonetheless, more than a little salty — so leave the kids at home for this one… but parents of budding little divas with a sense of the absurd would do well to scoop up tickets for the Oct. 27, 1:30pm Tribeca Performing Arts Center's presentation of “Bunnicula.” Co-written by Busch, it’s a musical stage adaptation of the best-selling children’s book series, about a family who adopts an orphaned rabbit with vampire-like leanings. For info: “Ridin’ High” happens Thurs., Oct. 17, 24 & Nov. 7, 14. At 54 Below (254 W. 54th St., btw. Broadway & Eighth

Ave.). Doors open at 8:45pm, show at 9:30pm. Cover Charge: $35-45. Food/ Beverage minimum: $25. Tickets on the day of performance, after 4pm, available only by calling 646-4763551. For reservations, visit 54below. com. Also visit


Hudon Guild’s recent series of events celebrating the achievements of women in the arts continues, with this exhibit featuring work by eight women — Kitt Barnes, Elena Brady, Denise Corley, Chris Costan, Theresa Ellerbrok, Eve Le Ber, Elke Solomon and Veronica Tyson-Strait — whose careers continue to have the kind of forward-moving momentum which results from drive and commitment to ongoing experimentation and productivity. Free. On display through Nov. 5, at the Hudson Guild Gallery (441 W. 26th St., btw. 9th & 10th Aves.). Viewing Hours: Tues.-Fri., 10am-7pm & Sat., 1-4pm. For more info, visit


The Public Theater’s 15th anniversary celebration of Joe’s Pub brings a sprawling dance program to the venue’s intimate stage — via a cabaretstyle showcase of NYC’s most exciting and innovative dance makers. An adventurous short-takes format, and a high-stakes audience scoring system, puts some spring in the steps of DANCENOW — an annual fall festival whose 2013 installment showcases the work of 40 choreographers, over the evenings of Oct. 9-12. This season, participants will take the DANCENOW Challenge — which asks artists to create a clear and complete artistic statement, in five minutes or less, for the specifics of the Joe’s Pub stage. Each evening, audience members will vote for the work

Image courtesy of the artist and Hudson Guild Gallery

Eve Le Ber ‘s “The Art Train” is on view through Nov. 5, as part of Hudson Guild’s “8 Women, 8 Singular Voices” exhibit.

that best meets the challenge. Four winners will receive a weeklong creative residency at DANCENOW Silo on Kirkland Farm in Bucks County, PA — and the festival’s top 10 works will be presented at an Oct. 19 encore performance. Among those vying for the residency (and the encore gig): The Good to Go Girls and Jamal Jackson Dance Company (Oct. 9); TAKE Dance and Tze Chun Dance Company (Oct. 10); Steeldace and 277DanceProject (Oct. 11); and The Bang Group and Mettin Movement (Oct. 12). Oct. 9-12. All shows at 7pm, at Joe’s Pub at The Public Theater (425 Lafayette St., btw. E. Fourth St. & Astor Place). Tickets: $15 in advance, 20 at the door. Purchased by calling 212-967-7555, at and in person at The Public Theater box office, 1-6pm. For a complete schedule of participants, visit

Photo by Tom Caravaglia

Ellis Wood and Marni Wood (Oct. 12, at DANCENOW).


October 9 - October 22, 2013

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October 9 - October 22, 2013

Downtown Express, Oct. 9, 2013  

Downtown Express photo by Milo Hess

Downtown Express, Oct. 9, 2013  

Downtown Express photo by Milo Hess