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The Paper of Record for East and West Villages, Lower East Side, Soho, Noho, Little Italy and Chinatown

October 17, 2013 • FREE Volume 3 • Number 26

D.O.T. green-lights ‘slow zone’ to calm East Village traffic By LiNCOLN aNDERSON

SLOw ZONE, continued on p. 12

A (family) tree grows in Greenwich Village By BOB KRaSNER


very couple has a story, but some of those tales last longer than others. The 70-year marriage of Frank and Natalie Rosenberg is notable not just for its longevity (though, really, there should be a prize for that) but for the legacy that they will leave behind. On Sept. 15, family and friends danced the night



hat was fast! The city’s Department of Transportation has approved the implementation of a “Tompkins Square/ Alphabet City Slow Zone” next year. And, the year after that, the West Village’s streets, as

well, are reportedly set to get the lower speed limits and other traffic-calming measures that create the so-called slow zones. Community Board 3 member Chad Marlow, who originally proposed the idea to D.O.T., broke the news last Fri., Oct. 11.

away at the Manhattan Penthouse, at 80 Fifth Ave., in celebration of a union that was set in motion back in 1920, when Frank was born in Corona, Queens, the youngest of seven. Natalie followed five years later in Brooklyn. They married when she was just 18 and went about creating a family. Two sons, Marty and Hal, and one daughter, Sara. FamiLy TREE, continued on p. 6

Jimmy Carter heading to his black S.u.V. after the press conference.

Carters come back to 6th St., site of historic Habitat project By HEaTHER DuBiN


ormer President Jimmy Carter and his wife, Rosalynn, brought their Southern charm to the East Village last Thursday to commemorate 30 years of Habitat for Humanity service. Housing has been a priority for Jimmy Carter, who has dedicated his post-presidential career to en-

suring this basic right for thousands of families in need. The couple celebrated the 30th Annual Jimmy & Rosalynn Carter Work Project last week with a return visit to a building called Mascot Flats, at 742 E. Sixth St., between Avenues C and D, which was the project’s first site. Before holding a press conference, the Carters met with 12 of the original

tenants who still live in the 19-unit building, in the apartment of Don Kao. In 1984, the Carters embarked on a renovation of the six-story building with local homesteaders and Habitat for Humanity. Built in 1902, the East Village tenement no longer had a roof, and fit in well amid the

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Tuesday was another beautiful day during this summer-like fall. For Jerry Solon, Hudson River Park near Canal St., was the perfect place to hang out —literally — on this sculptural structure. Despite a sign stating “No hanging or climbing,” the graphic designer / coffee company C.E.O. said a lot of people use it for pull-ups and other exercises. He also uses the nearby large granite blocks to do push-ups.

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Fun with fumetti: Celebrating the work of John Holmstrom and the legacy of Punk magazine — plus the recent acquisition of the Punk magazine archive by Yale University — Boo-Hooray is staging a show of the original artwork from Punk’s “Mutant Monster Beach Party.” Known as a fumetti, the comic starred the faces of the CBGB / Max’s Kansas City punk scene in a “cinematic narrative,” with photos shot out at Coney Island. Holmstrom directed the action and drew on the photos — voice bubbles, Debbie Harry “walking on a cloud,” etc. — which were shot by Roberta Bayley. Appearances are also made by Legs McNeil, Joey Ramone, Andy Warhol, Chris Stein, Arturo Vega, Bob Gruen, John Cale, David Johansen and Joan Jett. In the end, it didn’t sell that well, but it was obviously a lot of fun to make. At the opening reception last Friday night at Boo-Hooray, at 265 Canal St., people were talking about the new CBGB movie. “I thought it was fun,” said the photographer Godlis, who documented the punk scene during its heyday. “There’ll be another, better CBGB movie down the line — and this is the one that’s out now. It’s just a movie. I endorse it — even though I’m not in it. Roberta Bayley should have been in it.” Everyone then left the gallery with Holmstrom to go watch “CBGB,” even though it seemed like most people had already seen it a couple of times already.

John Holmstrom in front of “an outtake” of Debbie Harry on the beach at Coney Island.

Rock photographer Bob Gruen, left, and Supla of Brothers of Brazil, from São Paulo, enjoyed the “Mutant Monster Beach Party” show. Supla played at The Box last Sunday night. His music is called punkanova, as in punk mixed with bossa nova.

Penny mecca: Unfortunately, the former Barnes & Noble at the corner of Eighth St. and Sixth Ave. isn’t being replaced by another bookstore. (Hey, there’s always the guys out on the avenue with their tables of fine used literature.) The new tenant will be TD Bank, and if any

One of the doctored photos from the fumetti, featuring Blondie’s Debbie Harry and “surfer dude” Joey Ramone.

bank is going to occupy the spot, TD has a strong point in its favor. Not only are they open seven days a week, but they have penny machines. Yes, you can take your tons of saved-up pennies and pour them into a special machine, after which you get a receipt you take to the teller, who gives you bills. And the machine even lets you guess beforehand how much money it will be. Cheap thrills!

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Carters come back to site of historic Habitat project CARTERS, continued from p. 1

blown-out, abandoned buildings in the neighborhood in the ’80s when it was infested with drugs and crime. The Carters were reflective as the two reminisced about the experience, and the powerful affects of helping people build their own homes. Jimmy Carter, 89, recalled jogging over to look at the site and finding it a “horrible mess.” While he has worked as a Habitat volunteer for 30 years, and been to about 85 different building sites, he dubbed Mascot Flats his most memorable. “You could stand on the second floor, if you could get up there, and you could look up and see the sky,” he recalled. “The garbage was more than knee deep. And there were fires where people were living, and cooking up food and dope.”  He Carter also mentioned that the buildings’ 370 windows were all broken and without frames.   “That’s what we had to start with, and it took us two years to finish it,” he said.  In a follow-up phone interview, Ann Rupel, 60, an original homesteader and president of the co-op board at Mascot Flats, claimed each tenant was required

to devote 1,000 hours of manual labor — half on the building’s construction, and the rest on another project.   “We managed to put 1,000 hours on that building,” she said. “So did a lot of people.” Rosalynn Carter, 86, was introduced by her husband as, “the boss of my work camp…who has been bossing me around now for 67 years.” He noted she was initially reluctant to swing a hammer at the site.   “Before we got here, I told Jimmy that I was not going to do any hammering,” she recalled. “The only thing I’d ever done was put a nail in the wall to hang a picture up.” The former first lady spent her first day at Mascot Flats pulling linoleum up off the floor with some other women. Later that day, a man brought them some flooring with instructions from the former president to nail it in. Her earlier protest was for naught, and with a laugh, she exclaimed, “After 30 years, I’ve become a very accomplished carpenter.” The Carters also spoke of how building homes across the world — Habitat for Humanity is in 75 countries — is a stabilizing force for families.  

80 years of serving Manhattanites. (Not me— The Villager!) Congratulations!

“We’ve seen their lives transform,” Jimmy Carter said. Under the program, a house — which is built and purchased by the families — becomes a point of pride, and a vehicle for change. Improvements in education, healthcare and safety are much more obtainable in a better home environment, they said. “It’s almost always emotional when you meet someone who’s never had a home, or who’s never ever dreamed of having a home,” Rosalynn said. “Then you give them a home, and we always cry when we give them the keys.”  She referenced an original tenant named Jessica who was a dishwasher when they first met her at Mascot Flats.  “Next time we came back, she was an apprentice in the carpenters union, she had learned a trade,” Rosalynn said. Habitat for Humanity also fosters new work experiences. For example, in a project in Nicaragua, participants made bricks and tiles for the houses, and then profited from doing the same thing for other villages. The Carters’ international work has included the Philippines with 14,000 volunteers at their largest site yet. They built 293 homes in only five days.  Also, the Carters have been in Haiti, where they constructed 300 homes in what had been the epicenter of the 2010 earthquake.   “The homes are now beautiful,” the former president said. “It’s an oasis in the middle of a still-devastated country.” “It’s been a labor of love for us, as you

can tell. We’re very proud to be here,” he added. Kao, a medical research writer, and Rupel, a musician who is also an original Mascot Flats resident, both addressed the crowd and expressed their gratitude to the Carters. Each raised a child in the building.  Kao, 62, is the director of Project Reach, a youth program, and disclosed he has been living with AIDS for almost 30 years. The building has been instrumental in his life. When he was sick, he needed someone to carry him three flights up to his apartment.  “All of that couldn’t have happened, and I couldn’t have been here today, in part, without that building behind me,” he said. “It allowed me to care of myself, take care of my health and run an organization.”  Meanwhile, Kao added that “prices have skyrocketed” in the neighborhood, and that the property next door “sold for almost $2 million and set the price for all around.” He said he had the Carters to thank for his being able to remain in the neighborhood.  This naturally led to the topic of gentrification when it came time for reporter questions. When asked about it, Jimmy Carter said, “It cuts both ways.” However, he did say gentrification — in the sense that he understood the word — was good. CARTERS, continued on p.5

Photo by Heather Dubin

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October 17, 2012

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Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter at the press conference on E. Sixth St. during which they talked about the Mascot Flats project 30 years ago, which really brought widespread notice to Habitat for Humanity for the first time.

y p p a H


mascot Flats tenants accepted a plaque from Habitat for Humanity commemorating the renovation project 30 years ago. at right in front row is ann Rupel and in the middle row center is Don Kao, both original homesteaders from when the building was renovated by Habitat for Humanity in 1984.

CaRTERS, continued from p. 4

He noted that the second year Habitat for Humanity was at Mascot Flats, people in the neighborhood cleaned up empty lots and planted community gardens there. “Once you build some decent homes that people actually own, it gentrifies every neighborhood,” he said. He noted he has not returned to a former work site where upkeep is an issue. “People are so proud of their own homes that they bought, and worked on for hundreds of hours, and paid for full price to let anybody do any damage to it,” he said. The apartments at Mascot Flats were not given away. As Jimmy Carter stated, Habitat for Humanity only gives away “love and compassion.” He thought the people who first moved in paid $30,000 for an apartment, which they could have turned around and sold for almost six times the price. “We put a restraint on the homes here as they sold, so Habitat would have partial ownership, and could use that money to build more homes,” he said. However, another original tenant, “Doc” Aroyo, recalled that the purchase price for his apartment was $50,000, though the mortgage was interest-free. When asked about the national mortgage crisis, the former president advocated for regulations to control banks. “We do need a very strict law to be passed to prevent that profiting off of innocent borrowers who are given a loan

that the bank knows they can’t repay, just so the bank can make a profit by reselling the mortgages,” he said. According to him, these protections were partially in place through a law passed a few years ago, but Congress is blocking the law from implementation by withholding funds. “The average person making a loan to buy a house doesn’t have any lobbyist in Washington to protect his or her interests,” he said. “But the rich folks that are benefiting from this, they have lobbyists to protect their interests, and I think this changed dramatically in the last 30 years,” he said. Carter said he also feels there has been a lowering of expectations in the States, and a “stalemate” in social mobility. As for Congress, and its current standstill, he had a few words of advice and a recommendation that its members all go work for a day on a Habitat site, where cooperation is key. “We respect authority, and when we have a building superintendent or house leader, everybody that works on the Habitat site pays attention to instructions for the well-being of everybody,” he stated. “And secondly, there’s no distinction whether you’re Christian, Muslim or Jew, Democrat or Republican, man or a woman — you’re all working for the same goal.” The Carter Project was also in Oakland, San Jose and Denver last week. The rest of the sites include Queens, Staten Island and Union Beach, N.J. There were 1,000 volunteers in New York to renovate and repair 15 homes damaged by Hurricane Sandy last year.

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A tree grows in the Village, a very big family tree FAMILY TREE, continued from p. 1


Frank went from being a salesman to owning his own printing business. Meanwhile, Natalie went from being a teacher and then a guidance counselor to her calling as a psychotherapist. The family expanded as the kids got married and found their way. Marty and the Rosenbergs’ son-in-law Ken Abbott (Sara’s husband) joined Frank in the printing business, where they developed one of the first typesetting programs for the Mac computer. Called “Ready Set Go,” it is still being used today. Sara is a social worker. Hal is a  psychotherapist. Marty left the printing business to become a science teacher. Formerly the head of the science department at Edgemont High School, Marty was once voted the best science teacher in New York State. The kids had kids of their own, providing the Rosenbergs with grandchildren. Then grandchildren had kids, and now the infants Kyle and Alice have the distinction of knowing their great-grandparents.  The couple have lived in their two-bedroom apartment in Greenwich Village since

Front row, from left, Rachel Makings, Laura Lynch, Kyle Lynch, Natalie Rosenberg, Frank Rosenberg, Jeanette Rosenberg, Alice Rosenberg, Sara (Rosenberg) Abbott. Back row, from left, Phil Makings, Karen Menzie, Eric Menzie, Nancy Kramer, Hal Rosenberg, Adam Rosenberg, Marty Rosenberg, Ken Abbott.

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October 17, 2012

1968. They’ve watched their neighborhood “change gradually,” they said, and have always loved the Village. They note that the area has become “bigger and denser” and that “the A&P became the Food Emporium and now, a Halloween shop.” The Rosenbergs’ bridge club is still on every Monday, and each day at 5 o’clock, one can find them at home sharing a cocktail with their friends. Another great grandchild is due in December. But age has forced some changes — 93-year-old Frank no longer walks to work. And they’ve transitioned from the nightclub to the health club. Natalie laughingly noted, “We used to go to Reno Sweeney’s, but now we go to aerobics at the 14th Street Y.”

Natalie and Frank Rosenberg in their Greenwich Village apartment. They are willing to share their home generously on special occasions, such as the time they let about 100 guests attend a gay wedding in their living room.

Congrats Villager on 80 years of giving us Outstanding News!!!

POLICE BLOTTER L.E.S. drug ring busted Following a nearly two-year investigation by narcotics officers, including one who was deep undercover, police busted a Lower East Side drug ring that allegedly pushed crack cocaine to public housing residents, Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance announced on Oct. 15. Eleven members of the group were charged with major drug felonies, after the investigation — which was also aided by the D.A.’s Office — revealed the inner workings of the operation. The ring centered on sales of both small and large amounts of crack to people around Jacob Riis Houses, a New York City Housing Authority development between E. Eighth and E. 13th Sts. along Avenue D. The group’s alleged leader, Dwayne Mitchell, 35, stands accused of buying huge, wholesale quantities of crack from a supplier, Sabed Rahman, 29, who was also arrested. The two men reportedly had regular meetings to exchange the drugs and stacks of cash, including some meetings at a Midtown Starbucks, the D.A. said. Mitchell and Rahman are both charged with first-degree criminal sale of a controlled substance, second-degree conspiracy, criminal sale of a controlled substance at or near school grounds and third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance. In addition, Mitchell is charged with second- and third-degree criminal sale of a controlled substance, and third-degree money laundering. The nine other people arrested, ranging in age from 29 to 44, were all charged with second-degree conspiracy, while four were hit with additional drug sale and possession charges. According to court documents, the group did its business through a network of cell phone calls, using code words like “chicken,” “donuts” and “food” to refer to drugs or money. Statements from the alleged crack ring’s members also reportedly show that they spent massive amounts of cash on Mercedes-Benz luxury cars and other pricey status symbols. “Drug dealers have no place in public housing,” said Vance. “For years, these criminals are alleged to have run a large-scale drug operation out of the Jacob Riis Houses on the Lower East Side, a pocket of our city already struggling against crime and violence. Thanks to the heroic work of an undercover officer who managed to infiltrate this organization at its highest level, the drug dealing stops today.”

Dirty dancing Police arrested Jaime Vitagliano, 32, after she allegedly stole a man’s wallet and cell phone while dancing with him at a nightclub

in the Meatpacking District early on Sun., Oct. 13. The man, 23, told cops that he and Vitagliano were getting hot and heavy on the dance floor at Tenjune, a club on Little W. 12th St., around 3:15 a.m., when he felt her put her hands into his pants pockets. And instead of a happy ending, he got a sad surprise when he realized what she was really up to, after which Vitagliano reportedly ran out of the club and jumped into a cab near the entrance. But the man followed in pursuit, flagged down a couple of officers and pointed her out before she could slip away. Vitagliano was charged with robbery, grand larceny and criminal possession of stolen property.

ID wasn’t ‘standard’ Police arrested Ashley Bete, 37, when she was caught carrying a fake identification cards after a disgruntled exchange at a bar in the Standard Hotel early on Sat., Oct. 12. Employees called police around 2 a.m., after Bete apparently refused to pay her $169 bill at the Standard Biergarten, which sits below the Highline on Washington St., between Little W. 12th and W. 13th Sts. questioned, Bete allegedly gave the officers both a fake driver’s license and a fake Social Security card. She was charged with two counts of criminal possession of a forged instrument.

All the wrong stuff Police arrested Jimmy Hall, 50, in a West Village subway station for alleged weapon and drug-related offenses on the morning of Oct. 9. Officers said they found Hall around 6 a.m., as he was lying on the floor of a southbound E train at the W. Fourth St. subway stop, obstructing the path of commuters trying to enter and exit the train. When he was approached and questioned, Hall reportedly refused to provide his name of identification and tried to walk away, so he was stopped and searched. Officers said they found Hall was carrying a razor blade, two alleged crack cocaine rocks, a glass pipe with alleged crack residue and two forged MetroCards. Hall was also said to have resisted arrest by flailing his body and arms while cops were trying to handcuff him, as he reportedly said, “Oh no, I’m not gettin’ arrested.” Hall was charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance, criminal possession of a weapon, criminal possession of a forged instrument and resisting arrest.

Sam Spokony October 17, 2013


The front page of The Villager’s inaugural issue featured lots of stories but no reporters’ bylines. Check out our 80th anniversary special section this week, online at Vintage photos of Tompkins Square Park potato races, Tent City, Adam Purple’s Garden of Eden and more… .


October 17, 2012

Superheroes and — Pow! Bang! — super costumes Fantasy and comic lovers had their costumes going on — The Joker, Green Lantern…and, umm, the Chicken Chicks? — at Comic Con at the Javits Center last week.

We Wish The Villager a very happy 80th Anniversary and thank the publishers and staff for all your dedicated work on always reporting the news fairly to the community. We look forward to reading you every week and keeping up on all the community events and breaking news.

Thanks Villager for 80 years of the best Community News Ever!!!

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October 17, 2013


Named best weekly newspaper in New York State in 2001, 2004 and 2005 by New York Press Association PUBLISHER JENNIFER GOODSTEIN








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Give us Liberty; End the shutdown EDITORIAL 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, our nation’s capital, 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. Senator 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.










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The Villager (USPS 578930) ISSN 0042-6202 is published every week by NYC Community Media LLC, 515 Canal Street, Unit 1C, New York, N.Y. 10013 (212) 229-1890. Periodicals Postage paid at New York, N.Y. Annual subscription by mail in Manhattan and Brooklyn $29 ($35 elsewhere). Single copy price at office and newsstands is $1. The entire contents of newspaper, including advertising, are copyrighted and no part may be reproduced without the express permission of the publisher - © 2011 NYC Community Media LLC.

Fighting ‘Citi-fication’ — for real To The Editor: Re “First, Citi Bike; Next...Citi Arch?” (news brief, Oct. 3): Spoofing aside, thanks to Save Our Village. org for raising awareness of corporate takeovers and corporate branding of our public amenities, whether parks or transportation modes. Friends of Petrosino Square would like to extend an invitation to all to our day in court that will determine whether the Department of Transportation can alienate our public parkland and art-installation space with a Citi Bike kiosk that could easily be relocated a few feet away into roadbed where transportation modes belong. We will be joined by co-petitioners Lieutenant Joseph Petrosino Lodge of the Sons of Italy in America, Spring Studio Life Drawing, the Soho Alliance, the Noho Neighborhood Association, the Chinatown Civic Association and former District 1 City Councilmember Alan J. Gerson on Tues., Oct. 15, beginning at 9:30 a.m. in front of Supreme Court Justice Cynthia Kern at 60 Centre St., Room 432. Oral argument by our pro bono attorneys at Gibson Dunn promises to result in a precedentsetting decision for the future of the public trust.

Miles Budde seems to be committed to helping the people of New York have a better life. And I appreciate that he seems hardworking and intelligent. Given the moral quality of some of New York City’s politicians, it is refreshing to know that there are people like Miles in the race.

many more 23-year-old folk running for office as Green Party candidates. Solar jobs, rail jobs, geothermal jobs — the Green New Deal is eco for the economy we need. Carey Campbell

Barbara Pochan

Dressing up a poem Green with appreciation To The Editor: Re “Green candidate’s seed of an idea: Wall St. ‘fair tax’” (news article, Oct. 3): Thank you for the Green Party article. I admire this Green Party candidate. We need

To The Editor: Re “Word up! Artists reopen gallery in ‘novel’ fashion” (news article, Oct. 3): The dress with the script on it is “Oceanic Slip” by Desiree Alvarez, and was one of my absolute favorite pieces in the show. Not only LETTERS, continued on p.12


Georgette Fleischer Fleischer is founder, Friends of Petrosino Square


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

Candidate seems committed

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October 17, 2012

To The Editor: Re “Green candidate’s seed of an idea: Wall St. ‘fair tax’” (news article, Oct. 3):

Have they killed the American Dream?!

Secret vote on the Soho BID was some tricky business TALKING POINT BY Sean Sweeney


ith no public announcement or fanfare, after three years of delays and hunkersliding on the issue, this past week City Councilmember Margaret Chin suddenly and unexpectedly persuaded her Council colleagues to approve a controversial business improvement district on Broadway in Soho — less than a month after her re-election in a hard-fought Council race. The speed and secrecy Chin employed to get the long-delayed Broadway Soho BID approved so immediately after her primary election represents, to many, a low point in political cynicism and vindictiveness, even by New York City standards. The contentious BID proposal was delayed for three years due to vigorous opposition from residents and small businesses, who asserted that a BID was unnecessary, as well as an additional tax they could ill afford.   After all, retail business and rents are booming in Soho, especially along the Broadway corridor, which commands some of the highest retail rents in the city. Why is an added tax needed to “improve” it? Moreover, the tax to fund the BID’s effort at cleaning the litter left behind by the throngs who shop at the groundfloor retail chains will substantially be paid for by rent increases levied on the independent, small, creative businesses on the upper floors — hardly fair. Assemblymember Deborah Glick and state Senator Daniel Squadron, agreeing with a unanimous community board vote and several newspaper editorial boards, did not support the BID, while Chin remained its biggest booster. Yet, paradoxically, Chin and the BID steering committee, led by real estate giant and prominent Chin campaign contributor Newmark & Co., have not publicized passage of the BID that they have been championing since 2010, keeping the public in the dark. In another odd — and undisclosed — development, on Sept. 3, just one week before her primary election, Chin drew up an unsigned memorandum of understanding between herself, the BID committee and a few undisclosed residents. The document partially in-

corporated many of the demands Soho activists had pushed for — presumably to be used later as Chin’s defense that the Soho community wants and accepts her BID. For the record, nothing has changed: Many Soho residents and businesses continue to oppose this real estate-driven scheme.   Furthermore, since Chin was trounced in Soho in the primary election, some believe the speed with which she requested the BID vote after years of delay was retribution for her defeat at the polls there. In short, it appears that Chin couldn’t wait to pass her pet project soon enough after her election, so she took precious time off her campaign to ensure that the BID would be approved immediately after her primary victory, despite dawdling on it for three years. Clearly, she wanted passage of the BID but cynically sat on it until after she was re-elected, fearing the BID’s passage would hurt her at the polls. Seeing how Soho voters rejected her at the polls, this was her swift vengeance. Many of the points that Soho activists fought for were incorporated into the memorandum of understanding, and this, they believe, is a victory and vindication of their hard-fought efforts, despite their belief that the BID is still not needed. For example, the Broadway Soho BID will have a 50 / 50 representation of residents and business owners on the BID board of directors — the first for a BID in New York City. Generally, only one resident is permitted on a BID board.

The speed and secrecy with which the longdelayed BID was approved represents, to many, a low point in political cynicism and vindictiveness. Another point residents fought for was equalizing the BID tax that co-op and condo residents would pay. Originally, condo owners were to be charged $1 a year, but co-op residents would be assessed hundreds of dollars. Also, initial incentives for attracting

Local residents who oppose the Broadway Soho BID hope it doesn’t do anything further to “put Soho on the map” for tourists.

yet more tourists to Soho were dropped from the BID’s mission. Instead, the BID’s services will now basically be restricted to sanitation and security. In addition, the overall tax assessment on businesses was reduced from $750,000 to $550,000. Pete Davies of the Broadway Residents Coalition said, “Our goal has always been to solve the problems that big retail brought to Broadway in Soho. Many in the neighborhood have worked long and hard to make the Soho BID proposal a more fair plan. When the government grants a BID the authority to tax, that action carries great responsibility. Those behind the BID have made many promises for Broadway and now they have their work cut out for them.” After delaying a vote for years, the Council’s Finance Committee, last Wednesday morning, suddenly voted on the BID — apparently with no notification whatsoever to any landlord or stakeholder. From there, the bill immediately went right to the City Council that very same afternoon, where it was approved. After the city’s glacial pace on the BID the last three years, why was this done

in such secrecy, with no transparency and, basically, behind closed doors, with the public kept in the dark? A Council holding a public meeting where the public is not invited nor informed is in sharp contrast to the numerous meetings on the BID over the past three to four years. In August, at a debate between Chin and Jenifer Rajkumar hosted by The Villager and Downtown Express, Chin was asked during the “lightning round” — “Broadway Soho BID, yes or no?” After several seconds of delay, Chin responded, “It’s passing.” Also, the recent M.O.U. was involved in was devoid of the names of residents who Chin claims support the proposal and who will serve on the BID’s board of directors. It appears the Council was given a tabula rasa, a blank document, to approve. In other words: Pass the bill based on a blank M.O.U., the signatories of which we shall provide later. Last week, we asked Chin’s Office to supply the names of the residents whom she claims will serve on the board of directors, but got no response as of this week. It doesn’t bode well for Soho’s acceptance of the plan. Sweeney is director, Soho Alliance October 17, 2013


LETTERS TO THE EDITOR LETTERS, continued from p. 10

was the poem one she wrote herself, but — even though it was too loud to catch it all — it sounded wonderful. Sarah Stengle

Oh God, deliver us… To The Editor: Re “God’s Love gets a facelift as Rivers, Kors pitch in” (news article, Oct. 3): As a decades-long neighbor of God’s Love We Deliver, I am wondering if groundbreaking comedienne Joan Rivers is breaking ground for another “facelift”... or some other kind of cover-up.

The proposed building, as pictured in your article, is quite different than the rendering previously presented to the Community Board 2 Land Use Committee, and which appears on the G.L.W.D. Web site. Furthermore, the Department of Buildings plan examination (which has been mysteriously rejected numerous times, including this past week) calls for a 107-foot-tall structure (as compared with the existing 24-foot building), which, by my reckoning, is more like 10 stories, rather than the six stories that G.L.W.D. has filed with D.O.B. The rendering also conveniently excludes the 14-story One Vandam condo, now under construction alongside G.L.W.D., which has already resulted in the evacuation of neighboring buildings. This angular cacophony of glass and aluminum, replete with what appears to be a gigantic diving board atop One Vandam, and roof gardens for the wealthy condo owners astride G.L.W.D., will be a vi-

sual abomination stating to all that our historic South VIllage is now ripe for ruination. Much like the bandito in “The Treasure of The Sierra Madre,” the fashionable celebrities in your groundbreaking photo might as well be saying, “Covenant? We don’t need no stinkin’ covenant!” The fact that G.L.W.D. has “grown by more than 60 percent in five years” is another reason why this out-of-scale, out-of-character land grab does not belong on the congested residential corner of Spring St. and Avenue of the Americas. G.L.W.D. had already outgrown this site as of several years ago, causing enormous traffic and pedestrian congestion. Now they will be transgressing upon numerous longtime residents of modest means, many of whom are elderly and ill. If G.L.W.D. is indeed growing this fast, why don’t they set up shop in an industrial zone, such as their new location in Brook-

lyn, and truly involve themselves in serving a growing population of people in need? It’s painful to oppose an organization with “God’s Love” in its name. But I am reminded by the current realities of Downtown real estate valuation that there are, indeed, many gods in this world. Harry Pincus E-mail letters, not longer than 250 words in length, to or fax to 212229-2790 or mail to The East Villager, Letters to the Editor, 515 Canal St., Suite 1C, NY, NY 10013. Please include phone number for confirmation purposes. The East Villager reserves the right to edit letters for space, grammar, clarity and libel. The East Villager does not publish anonymous letters.

D.O.T. green-lights a ‘slow zone’ for East Village SLOW ZONE, continued from p. 1


October 17, 2012


That morning, Margaret Forgione, the agency’s Manhattan borough commissioner, wrote to Marlow announcing that D.O.T. has greenlighted the idea and that it would be put into effect by next year. “For each slow zone application,” Forgione wrote, “D.O.T. considers a myriad of factors, including, but not limited to: crash rate (relative to the rest of the borough), size of the zone, zone boundaries, transit density, community support, and institutions of priority within the zone (schools, daycare, senior centers, etc.). Upon reviewing your application, we are happy to report your zone was selected for implementation.” Marlow is also the founder of the Tompkins Square Park & Playgrounds Parents’ Association. The Villager broke the story about Marlow’s slow-zone proposal a little over half a year ago, back in April, when the newspaper printed a talking point by him about it. Per Marlow’s talking point: “The slow zone program, in short, takes a well-defined, relatively compact area, and reduces its speed limit from 30 miles per hour to 20 miles per hour, with further reductions to 15 miles per hour near schools. These newly reduced speed limits are then promoted and enforced through the use of traffic-calming measures, such as specialized signage at zone entry points, painted speed limit information on streets and the selective use of speed humps (relatively flat, elongated speed bumps that are designed to be traversed at 15 to 20 miles per hour).” Shortly after receiving Forgione’s letter last Friday, Marlow told The Villager, “I am beyond grateful to the Department of Transportation for approving the Tompkins Square / Alphabet

City Slow Zone. I am equally filled with gratitude for all of the community groups, elected officials and members of Community Board 3 whose support for the proposal was instrumental in making it a reality. Most of all, I find myself thinking of my father, Richard Marlow, and how something positive has finally come out of the years of terrible pain and suffering he endured after being hit by a speeding, drunk driver in 1995. I dedicate this effort to his memory.” According to StreetsBlog, there were 74 applications for slow zones. Fifteen were selected, to be rolled out over the course of the next three years.  “In what is an especially high honor,” Marlow said, “the Tompkins Square / Alphabet City Slow Zone is in the highest priority group, and is set for being rolled out in 2014.” According to StreetsBlog, also set for 2014 rollout are slow zones in Norwood in the Bronx, Clinton Hill / Bedford Stuyvesant and Brownsville in Brooklyn, and Jackson Heights, Queens Neighborhoods earmarked for slow zones in 2015 include Sunnyside Gardens / Woodside and Sunnyside in Queens; Crown Heights, Brooklyn; Parkchester in the Bronx; and the West Village. In addition, traffic-calming measures are scheduled the year after that for Midland Beach in Staten Island; Brooklyn Heights and Prospect Heights in Brooklyn; Westchester Square in the Bronx; and Hudson Heights in Manhattan. As for whether slow zones will be fast-tracked or parked in a new administration, it’s likely the former, since the predictive next mayor Bill de Blasio is a fan. “De Blasio loves slow zones,” Marlow said. “He called for tripling the number of them during the campaign.”

An analysis of car accidents involving bicycle and pedestrians from 2005 to 2009 by Transportation Alternatives, culled from New York State Department of Motor Vehicles data.

All Fall Downtown Puppets, Pie and Penny Populate the Off-Off Boards BY TRAV S.D. (



uch 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 production, which promises to take us up 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 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.

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

The show will be ensconced at Theater 80 St. Marks, and promises 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. 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 avant-garde one acts by Samuel Beckett (“Act Without Words,” “Play” and “Breath”), directed by Bob Flanagan. It runs through December

1. The skinny on these two shows can be found at Through November 17, Soho Rep, in association with American Repertory Theater and Yale Repertory Theater, is presenting the New York 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, through October 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 ChapFALL DOWNTOWN, p.14

October 17, 2013


Downtown Theater FALL DOWNTOWN, p.13

October 17, 2012

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




man’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 Through October 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 remarkablesounding 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 at In previews now, 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: Through October 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” —

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

surroundings in which we feel the rara ava Mr. Darkly will feel right at home. Tickets at 917-972-9394. 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 co-starring in the long-neglected Tennessee Williams play, “The Mutilated” (1966). True to form, filth and degradation are their portion in this transitional outing, written when Williams was just beginning 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 go 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 puppet-lust, stick around. The Czechoslovak-American 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. 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-in-the-making magnum opus,” “La Divina Caricatura Part One, The Shaggy Dog.” That will be on the boards until December 22.

Window, Shop: Artist Paints a Vanishing Village Baumann’s storefronts are lovingly rendered time capsules

ART RICHARD BAUMANN: SHOP FRONT PAINTINGS Through October 31 In the window of 14th Street Framing Gallery 225 W. 14th St., btw. Seventh & Eighth Aves. Visit

“Mulberry Street” (14x16 inches) — on view through Oct. 31, at The 14th St. Framing Gallery.



omeone once said,” observes artist Richard Baumann, “that landscape painting is all about loss and memory.” A project that began in 1993, it took only two decades for many of the West Village and Lower Manhattan shops depicted in Baumann’s oil paintings to go from neighborhood anchors to relics of a bygone era. These days, visiting Joe’s Candy Store can only be accomplished by peering into the front window of the 14th Street Framing Gallery. That’s where Baumann’s work is on display, through October 31. Be warned, though. The artist’s moody, time capsule take on his subject matter is awash in longing for a New York that lies just beyond our grasp — and the fact that the exhibit’s shelf life will soon expire puts an additional coat of melancholy on the experience. This is just one of the sad ironies resonating throughout Baumann’s thoughtprovoking collection of establishments

“Vesuvio Bakery” (18x20 inches).

that — were it not for unmistakable cues like urban stoops — might be found on the main drag of any small town in the early decades of the previous century. What’s more, the framed paintings of storefronts you’re mulling over happen to be hanging in the front window of…a store that specializes in framing things. Some works on display were created on the very same block as the host venue, in a room with floor-to-ceiling windows that served as a painters’ studio since the 1950s.

Baumann occupied it for 25 years, until “the lease went very high and I moved to a studio in Long Island City.” Most of the six stores featured in his current exhibit aren’t around anymore — casualties of changing tastes, migrating populations and the same skyrocketing rents that chased Baumann out of Manhattan. It’s not as if he didn’t see it coming. “When I had my first solo show in SoHo,” he recalls, “an art critic said that I was painting just ahead of the wrecking ball.”

Like Harry Chong Laundry (which opened for business on Charles Street and Waverly Place in 1945 and closed in 2006), Joe’s Candy Store only exists in the memories of its customers, the vapor trails of a Google search and, thankfully, in a Baumann painting. Prince Street’s Vesuvio Bakery (whose iconic storefront is still there) closed in 2009, a mere decade short of its century mark. It’s hard to imagine anyone mounting a similar exhibit 20 years from now, in which lovingly rendered Citibank branches and 7-Eleven franchises evoke the same affectionate sense of belonging that Baumann brings to paintings like “Lower East Side Printshop.” But for 2013 toddlers who have little else to look up to, the corporate kudzu of today could very well become tomorrow’s nostalgia. Of course, they’d have to go away in order to be missed — but if a Duane Reade were replaced by a mom and pop shop, one hopes Baumann would be there, brush in hand, to document it.

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 31 Come see and be seen and Celebrate the Night of Nights! Costume Parade & Live Bands Miracles & Monsters HOT FOOD AND HOT ENTERTAINMENT

Bandstage on E. 10th St at 4:00pm


Theater for the New City 155 1st Ave. at East 10th St. for Info call (212) 254-1109 Tickets available online at Also at

October 17, 2013



Group show chronicles five decades of black performance art


the historical path of black performance in the second half of the 20th century, is on view through Dec. 7 (at Grey Art Gallery). Part II, which includes an array of videos and performance-based photography and documentation, takes place Nov. 14-March 9, 2014 (at The Studio Museum in Harlem, 144 W. 125th St.).

Through December 7 At NYU’s Grey Art Gallery

Lorraine O’Grady: Untitled (Mlle. Bourgeoise Noire and her Master of Ceremonies enter the New Museum). 1980-83, printed 2009. Gelatin silver print. 7 1/4 x 9 1/4 in.

100 Washington Square East (btw. Waverly & Washington Places)


Tuesday, Thursday, Friday: 11am-6pm Wednesday: 11am-8pm Saturday: 11am-5pm Call 212-998-6780 or visit Also visit and




his group show chronicles the emergence and development of black performance art over three generations. To fully shed light on the rich and complex history of this subject, it surveys the scene from the 1960s to the present. Benjamin Patterson, David Hammons, Senga Nengudi and Coco Fusco are among the artists featured. In addition, a series of performances by participating artists accompanies the exhibition (some of them co-organized with Performa 13, New York’s Nov. 1-24 performance art biennial). Part I of “Radical Presence,” which traces

Satch Hoyt: “Say It Loud” (2004, books, metal staircase, microphone, speakers and sound. Dimensions: variable).

Trenton Doyle Hancock performing “Devotion” at the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston — to be performed at Grey Art Gallery on Nov. 7.


“Best of NYC” - Time Out, 2012 281 W 12th St @ 4th St. NYC 212-243-9041


October 17, 2012

Just Do Art

Your Friendly Neighborhood Marketplace Produce • Groceries • Cheese • Bakery • Deli • Fish • Meat Sandwiches • Catering • Hot Food • Salad & Olive Bar • Gift Baskets


Love, after a very long spell: Kate Middleton and Brett Bolton, in Ground UP Productions’ “Bell, Book & Candle.”



CHARLES BUSCH: RIDIN’ HIGH 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

Union Square 7 East 14th Street 212 255-4200

Chelsea 162 W 23rd Street Btwn 6th & 7th Avenue 212-675-6300

Upper West Side 2780 Broadway, btwn 107th & 108th Street 212-222-7300

T       G  E   ’    ... Brooklyn Heights 180 Montague Street By Borough Hall 718-222-1515

Hoboken 226 Washington Street 201-659-0355

July 25th thru August 31st


Old rivalries, new crushes and crossed wires all come to a boil — when a nice, single witch finds her cauldron (and love life) bubbling with trouble. Bond Street’s Gene Frankel Theatre is a fitting location for “Bell, Book & Candle” — the 1950s romantic comedy set in Greenwich Village. Kate Middleton and Brett Bolton star in this Ground UP Productions revival, which finds mostly good-intentioned witch Gillian thrown for a loop when her publisher neighbor gets serious with (of all people!) her college nemesis. Casting a spell will make Shep fall in love with her — although doing so means she’ll lose her powers. True love triumphs, of course, but only after a series of misunderstandings, betrayals and revelations (involving, among other things, an agitated cat and Gillian’s scheming brother). Through Oct. 26, at the Gene Frankel Theatre (24 Bond St., btw. Lafayette & Bowery). Performances are Wed.-Sat. at 7pm, Mon. at 7pm and Sat./Sun. at 2pm. For tickets ($25, $18 for students/seniors), call 800-838-3006 or visit

All of us at the Garden wish THE VILLAGER a Happy 80th Anniversary!!!

Two, at 54 Below: Charles Busch (R) and Tom Judson are “Ridin’ High.”

play wright and drag legend Charles Busch, makes “Ridin’ High” a must-see 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. “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 646-476-3551. For reservations, visit 54below. com. Also visit

We’ve been serving good food to the village for 50 years, while you have been serving the good news for 80 years. Let’s both of us keep up the good work! Best wishes, Sergio Bitici


48 Gansevoort Street New York, NY 10014 212-741-2555

October 17, 2013


Ruth maleczech, 74, a founder of avant-garde troupe OBITuARY By aLBERT amaTEau


uth Maleczech, a co-founder of Mabou Mines, the renowned experimental theater group based in the P.S. 122 arts complex in the East Village, and a leading performer in the company, died peacefully in her sleep on Sept. 30. She was 74. She had stage-four breast cancer and had moved a few weeks ago from her longtime home on Bank St. in the West Village to a ground-floor apartment in Brooklyn to be near her son, Lute Breuer, according to her daughter, Clove Galilee. “Ruth was our mentor and our mother,” Galilee said. “She was an uncompromising artist who devoted over 50 years of her life to the theater as a performer, director and mentor.” Together with her partner, Lee Breuer, the director Joanne Akalaitis, the composer Philip Glass and the actor David Warrilow, Maleczech was a founding

member in 1970 of the avant-garde theater troupe that took its name from a site in Nova Scotia that Glass was thinking of buying. The name appealed to the founders because “it sounded like a band.” Maleczech, who at the time of her death was working with her daughter on “Imagining the Imaginary Invalid,” a new version of Moliere’s “Imaginary Invalid,” directed more than a dozen Mabou Mines productions, including “Imagination Dead Imagine” by Samuel Beckett in 1984 and “A Song for New York” in 2007, a response to the World Trade Center attack. Mabou Mines productions are mounted on various Off and Off Off Broadway stages, but the company’s home base since the early 1980s has been in the cityowned P.S. 122 complex on First Ave. at E. Ninth St. The city is currently renovating the former school building. The company’s first permanent stage was at La MaMa E.T.C. on E. Fourth St. after Ellen Stewart, La MaMa’s artistic director, saw Mabou Mines’ four-hourlong “The Red Horse Animation.” Later, Joe Papp invited the company to play at the New York Shakespeare Festival.

New York University and Community Board 2 Present the 23rd Annual

Children’s Halloween Parade Thursday, October 31, 3:00 - 6:00 pm

Parents and Children (ages 3-12) gather by the Washington Square Arch at 3:00pm. Free trick-or-treat bags, games, and rides await the children on LaGuardia Place at Washington Square South after the parade. Sponsored by


October 17, 2012

Bedford Barrow Commerce Block Association • Bob and Elaine Schneider • Con Edison • Greenwich Village Chelsea Chamber of Commerce • Kaufman Children’s Dental Office • Kmart • Lucille Lortel Theatre • McBurney YMCA • NoHo NY BID • NYU Administrative Management Council • NYU Bookstores • NYU Parenting Club/Office of Alumni Relations • Sky Management Corporation • Village Alliance

Ruth maleczech in a photo posted on the mabou mines Facebook page.

Maleczech performed in more than 20 Mabou Mines productions between 1970 and 2009, many directed by her partner and co-founder Lee Breuer. In 2007 she played Lucia Joyce, James Joyce’s daughter, in a play directed by Sharon Fogarty, artistic co-director of Mabou Mines. Maleczech also created roles in many other Off Broadway and regional theaters. Fogarty, who was artistic director of the Daedelus Theater Company in residence at the Clemente Soto Velez Cultural Center on Suffolk St. on the Lower East Side, also worked on Mabou Mines productions in the 1990s. “At one point, Ruth said, ‘You know business, right?’ The next thing I knew, I was company manager,” Fogarty recalled. “That’s the kind of company it was. You could find yourself doing things you didn’t think you could.” However, Fogarty found that managing the Mabou Mines company and directing the Daedelus Company at the same time became unsustainable, and Maleczech and Breuer invited her to direct all her projects at Mabou Mines. “Ruth turned to me and said, ‘So what do you want to make?’ It was an intimidating question, but I’d just read a biography of Nora Joyce, James Joyce’s wife, so I suggested a piece about Lucia, their daughter. They went for it because of the Beckett connection. Lucia was in love with Beckett,” Forgarty recalled. Since the mid-1980s, Beckett has been a Mabou Mines favorite. Shakespeare is another challenge that the company and Maleczech have taken on. “Lear,” a female version of “King Lear,” was developed in the late 1980s with the men’s roles played by women

and the women’s roles played by men. Maleczech played a matriarchal Lear in mid-20th-century American South. The finished production in 1990 received unfavorable notices by mainstream media. But the late Ross Wetzsteon, the Village Voice theater critic, hailed the production, and Maleczech’s performance in particular, as a cultural landmark. Maleczech remained faithful to the avant-garde vision and took bad notices with pride. She preferred to consider herself a performer and theater-maker rather than an actor. She joined Actors’ Equity in 1989 only in order to play in Jean Genet’s “The Screens” at the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis. In a written tribute, her daughter and son said, “Despite her success and renown in the world of experimental theater, Ruth remained an approachable artist who deeply appreciated the work of others. She made herself accessible, encouraging, mentoring and guiding countless theater artists in the ways of Downtown theater, helping them navigate and carve out a place in the New York scene.” Her daughter, a director and choreographer, recalled growing up on Avenue A and later on St. Mark’s Place where the family lived before moving to Bank St. Ruth Sophia Reinprecht was born in Cleveland, the daughter of Yugoslav immigrants, and was raised in Phoenix, Ariz., where her father, a steelworker, had moved the family because of his health. Ruth changed her name in 1969 to a variant of her mother’s maiden name. Ruth took her first steps on stage in a school play at the age of eight. When she was 16 she went to Los Angeles where she enrolled in the theater department at U.C.L.A. She then went to San Francisco, an important new theater center, where she studied with Herbert Blau at the Actor’s Workshop, and then with Ronnie Davis at what became the renowned San Francisco Mime Troupe. There she met the troupe’s founding director, Lee Breuer, and became his partner. The couple went to Paris where for about six years they earned a living dubbing films. More importantly for Maleczech, they met Jerzy Grotowsky, the Polish director and theorist whose ideas greatly influenced her. Maleczech also went to East Berlin to observe rehearsals and attend performances of Berthold Brecht’s Berliner Ensemble. Mabou Mines hopes next year to mount “Imagining the Imaginary Invalid,” which Maleczech and her daughter had been developing. A memorial for Ruth Maleczech is planned for a date to be announced.

A vintage motorcycle shop stays true to its roots By Heather Dubin ugh Mackie thinks everything is fixable. This is exactly what you would want to hear from the seasoned owner of Sixth Street Specials, a motorcycle repair shop in the East Village.  During a recent interview — while the shop, located on E. Sixth St. near Avenue C, was buzzing with activity — Mackie, 54, his son Keith, 24, and Fumi Matsueda, 34, a mechanic from Ashikaga, Japan, spoke about Sixth Street Specials and what vintage bikes mean to them.  Mackie, originally from Garvin, Ayrshire, a little harbor town on the southwest coast of Scotland, bolted to Paris the day he graduated from the Glasgow School of Art. He lived there for a year and worked on a film building sets. When his American girlfriend, a runway fashion model, who later became his first wife, had to return to the States, Mackie decided to join her.  They initially moved to Second Ave. between Fourth and Fifth Sts. in 1981, and he worked in construction. “Second Avenue was much more of a divide line for the East Village,” he recalled. “Come over to First [Avenue] it’d get a little rough, and you couldn’t go east of [Avenue] A.” Mackie worked on buildings in the neighborhood, as he put it, “starting the gentrification of it.” He earned about $1,000 a week and remarked how that was a sizeable income then. “I don’t know if I’ve ever managed to re-create that,” he said. After the couple split, Mackie stayed in their apartment on Avenue B between 10th and 11th Sts., where they had been robbed, and all their wedding gifts were taken. “It was a bombed-out shell, it was absolutely horrendous down here,” he said. “People coming to the area to buy and sell drugs. I was in my early 20s and enjoying all of that.” He was also privy to the emerging art and party scenes, and rode around on motorcycles with his friends.  Mackie became friends with Dimitri Turin, stepson of the writer and Nobel Prize winner Alexander Solzhenitsyn, and the two opened up a construction company together. Tinkering with old British motorcycles was a pastime for Mackie, and the two friends partnered again in 1986 to establish Sixth Street Specials, in the basement of a former nightclub called Neither Nor.  “When we moved in here, we were a real live presence on the block,” Mackie said. “People felt safe down here walking up and down the block. Now I’m the eye-



Hugh Mackie and his personal racing bike, a 1957 BSA factory race bike, one of 200 made. This year, he won the American Motorcycle Association Vintage National Dirt Track Championship Series with it.

sore, and everybody complains about me — time is marching on.” Mackie, who closes shop at 6 p.m., speculated that noise from the bikes scares the senior citizens in the housing complex next door. Also, he noted, Harley-Davidson motorcycle riders frequently gun their engines when they pass the shop and see vintage Triumph, Norton and Birmingham Small Arms Company (BSA) bikes parked outside. Over the years, the shop took off through word of mouth and the partners’ handiwork. “We were buying old bikes in the countryside. The whole thing was growing

as a hobby and a scene,” he said. The friends rode in the East Village on vintage bikes and were renowned for it. Mackie and Turin tired of construction in 1992, and went full time with the shop to focus more on learning how to fix the bikes and ride them. By this point, Mackie had remarried in 1988 to Pat Mackie, and they had Keith the next year, followed by their daughter, Tiger, in 1994. Sadly, that same year, Turin, his partner and close friend, died. The eastern part of the East Village was no longer the wild frontier it once was, and in 1996, the Mackies moved in near the shop, where they currently live.

Keith, who has worked summers at the shop since he was 13, has been there full time the past two years after finishing college, where he studied drawing and painting. “It’s weird, I did all that and now I’m back here fixing bikes,” he said, “which is kind of what I thought I’d always be doing.” Keith respects that his dad created the shop, and wants to continue its legacy. While he still paints and draws on the side, and would rather do that, he said working with his dad is a “close second.” People have suggested Keith fuse the two by painting bikes, but he prefers black-and-white ink drawings and animation. Sixth Street Specials does not advertise, except for T-shirts and stickers, which are designed by Keith.  He mostly does bike pickups and is a shop hand. Earlier that day, Keith had cleaned up and started a 1971 Triumph Rickman that was having trouble.  He explained that his dad was fixing a 1970 Triumph Bonneville, belonging to Mike Kramer, who lives nearby and was helping out. The bike had its original paint and parts, which increases its value. Some people create choppers (motorcycles with the frames cut up) with older classic bikes, but Hugh does not like to do that. “We’re trying to just restore the original way and keep the scene alive — as my dad would say,” Keith said.  The shop is as much about the scene as it is about repairs. Many motorcycle aficionados hang out to talk and observe Hugh at work. “There are rumors that some people admire Hugh so much they get tattoos about Sixth Street,” Kramer said. Seconds later, he revealed an elaborate tattoo on his whole lower right leg with the words “Sixth Street Hooligan” above it. There is a racing element to the shop, too, and Keith, who races for fun on trails Upstate with his dad, gave the lowdown. “These guys do American-style bike racing, from the ’70s called ‘flat track,’” Keith explained. “It’s a dirt oval, as opposed to the new races you see over huge jumps or along paved roads.” They race vintage Triumphs and Yamahas, and Hugh, who began the sport at 43, rides a BSA. Keith is content to leave the track to his dad. “I like racing with these guys when there’s no pressure,” he said. “I don’t like it when it’s about a trophy.” Even though the guys tell him it has nothing to do with winning, he knows better. Aware that nepotism serves him well, Keith readily admits he is not the best emMOTORCYCLE, p.20

October 17, 2013


Fighting to make Lower Manhattan the greatest place to live, work, and raise a family. PHOTO BY CLAIRE FLACK

The basement of the Sixth Street Specials shop, which extends back 100 feet, was flooded last year during Hurricane Sandy. mackie lost six bikes, as well as large electrical tools and all the motorcycle parts he had amassed over 27 years.

Bike shop is true to its roots Assemblyman Shelly Silver If you need assistance, please contact my office at (212) 312-1420 or email


October 17, 2012

mOTORCyCLE, continued from p. 19

ployee. His desire has shifted to art these days, and he thinks his dad spots him daydreaming at work. “I get away with everything,” he said with a grin. “If I was someone else, I would’ve been fired a long time ago.” Matsueda, the unrelated helper in the shop, has been in the mix for six years. He worked as a mechanic on Yamahas in Japan, but was unfamiliar with British bikes. After a climb at Sixth Street Specials over the years from floor sweeper to welder to mechanic, Matsueda was diligently rebuilding the motor of a 1963 Triumph Bonneville that day. Making the switch to British bikes was not easy. “It takes a while,” he said. “I’m still learning. It’s a very interesting world with so much history.” Four years ago, Hugh invited Matsueda to a flat-track race, and the former novice has been hooked ever since. At that race, he slid off the bike a few times, and came in last in his heat. However, due to a technicality — another guy’s bike broke down — Matsueda was bumped up to third place. He fondly recalled the plastic “tiny stupid third-place trophy” they gave him, which spurred him on to become a better racer. “It feels good to win,” Hugh interjected. “He’s really well-known.” Matsueda competes nationally now, and claims flat-track racing and the shop are why he remains in the States. In addition to his quest for victory, Matsueda aspires to stand on the winners’ podium to also represent the shop. When asked whether Keith receives special treatment, Matsueda declined to comment on the family business. Matsueda has a good working relationship with

Hugh, and they share a mutual respect for each other’s ideas. “He’s the reason actually that I’m still here,” he said. “He gave me all his friends, opportunities and introduced me. He gave me everything he has; otherwise, it would’ve been very difficult for me to make my way in this world.” Hugh’s generosity extends to his family, friends and customers. While Keith was making a bike pickup, Hugh admitted that working with a family member has pros and cons. “I can’t beat him up since we’re related,” he joked. Hugh thinks he’s a good kid and a talented painter. “He’s a much better artist than he is this,” he said. “His mom would tell you he’s a genius. As far as we’re concerned, he’s better than [JeanMichel] Basquiat in that vein.” Working at the shop long term may not be for Keith, but the more immediate concern is Sixth Street Special’s survival. “The whole neighborhood has been built to death, overpopulated and overpriced,” Hugh said. “We’re very lucky to still be here.” He rents the space, and prospective buyers of the building were a regular occurrence before the recession. Since then, his rent has increased annually, and Hugh, who struggles to pay it, only recently raised his hourly rate from $75 to $90. He used to sell bikes also until, he said, it became “too much of a headache.” His new customers these days are wealthier Manhattanites who buy costly modern bikes made to look old. Hugh’s loyal client base includes celebrities and regular folk with vintage bikes, from a 300-mile radius, and they keep him going just with repairs. For now, Hugh plans to stay put until Tiger is done with college. As for the future, he said, he will endure, “as long as it lasts.”

Can you dig it? ‘Day of the Dirt’ restores La Plaza By LiNCOLN aNDERSON


o preserve their garden, members of La Plaza Cultural decided it was time to get down and dirty on Saturday. Dozens in the garden, at E. Ninth St. and Avenue C, were scooping and hauling new soil, or related tasks, as part of the aptly named “Day of the Dirt.” In all, 50 cubic yards — equal to 50 tons — of fresh dirt had been dumped in the garden in a huge mound the previous day, and they then spread it all around on Saturday. Bill LoSasso, a Community Board 3 member and the garden’s executive director, said the community garden had been losing soil, and Superstorm Sandy only added to the problem. In short, there were concerns that the storm’s surge waters might have contaminated the soil. Marga Snyder noted there had been “a lot of talk in the street” about the garden’s soil, so they “had to set the record straight.” But testing by GreenThumb subsequently found very low levels of toxins, on par with what would be expected in any Manhattan plot, including low amounts of led and aluminum and very low PCB’s. Nevertheless, LoSasso said, children play in the garden and they wanted to ensure its safety. Hence, the “Day of the Dirt.” Gardeners also installed semipermeable liners under their plots. Everyone was working diligently, then around 1 p.m. paused briefly to dig into something else — pizza — before returning to scooping, toting and spreading the new soil. “The larger thing was preserving the garden after Sandy,” LoSasso said. “We lost like 25 trees — so there is this physical and psychological reset. They fought in the ’90s to keep these spaces. We’re really the stewards of this neighborhood now. It’s really our responsibility to restore it, to preserve it — now and into the future.”

Bill LoSasso and Carolyn Ratcliffe scooped fresh soil into a wheelbarrow so it could be spread out around La Plaza Cultural on Saturday.

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FREE WILL ASTROLOGY Week of October 17 - 23

By Rob Brezsny

ARIES (March 21-April 19): I was out walking when I spied an older woman standing over her aged Yorkshire Terrier. “He’s having trouble getting his business done,” she confided. “He’s been struggling for 10 minutes.” Feeling sympathy, with a flourish of my hand, I said, “More power to you, little one. May you purge your burden.” The dog instantly defecated. “It’s like you waved a magic wand!” the woman exclaimed. Now I am invoking my wizardry in your behalf, Aries, though less literally: More power to you. May you purge your psychological burden. TAURUS (April 20-May 20): “You won’t do it at the right time,” warns writer Kate Moller. “You’ll change your mind. You’ll change your heart. It’s not going to turn out the way you thought it would.” And yet, Moller concludes, “It will be better.” Fate may be comical in the way it plays with your expectations and plans, Taurus, but I predict you will ultimately be glad about the outcome. GEMINI (May 21-June 20): In the coming weeks, you Geminis could be skillful and even spectacular liars. You will have the potential to deceive more people, bend more truths, and even fool yourself better than anyone else. Yet you could also tell imaginative stories that rouse people from their ruts. You might explore the positive aspects of Kurt Vonnegut’s theory that we tend to become what we pretend to be. Or you could simply be so creative and playful and improvisational in everything you do that you catalyze a lot of inspirational fun. Which way will you go? CANCER (June 21-July 22): I’m all in favor of you indulging your instinct for self-protection. As a Cancerian myself, I understand that one of the ways you take good care of yourself is by making sure that you feel reasonably safe. Yet, your mental and emotional health also requires you to leave your comfort zone regularly. If you make yourself ready and eager for changes, the changes that are coming will kick your ass in mostly educational and pleasurable ways. LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): Who exactly do you want to be when you grow up, and what is the single most important experience you need in order to make that happen? What riches do you want to possess when you are finally wise enough to make enlightened use of them? Which one of your glorious dreams is not quite ripe enough for you to fulfill it, but is primed to be dramatically ripened soon? Leo, I would meditate on these questions. Answers will be forthcoming. VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): At an elementary school festival some years ago, I was the Mad Hatter from “Alice in Wonderland.” I asked kids to make a wish, whereupon I sprinkled their heads with magic fairy dust. Some kids were skeptical. They questioned that the fairy dust would make their wishes come true. A few walked away without making a wish or accepting the fairy dust. Yet every single one of those kids returned later saying they had

changed their minds, and each asked for more than the usual amount of fairy dust. Virgo, you should return to the scene of your doubts and demand extra fairy dust. LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): “The door to the invisible must be visible,” wrote surrealist spiritual author Rene Daumal. The opportunity is still invisible simply because it has no precedents in your life; you can’t imagine what it is. But just recently a door to that unknown realm has become visible to you. I suggest you open it, though you have almost no idea what’s behind it. SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): In Tim Burton’s film “Alice in Wonderland,” Alice asks the White Rabbit, “How long is forever?” He replies, “Sometimes, just one second.” That’s an important piece of information for you, Scorpio. “Forever” might actually turn out to be one second or 90 minutes or a month or a year or who knows? A situation you assumed was permanent could ultimately change — perhaps much faster than you imagined — as if by magic. SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): “I need a little language such as lovers use,” wrote Virginia Woolf in her novel “The Waves.” “I need no words. Nothing neat... I need a howl; a cry.” Sagittarius, Woolf is speaking for you right now. You should be willing to get guttural and primal... to trust the teachings of silence and the crazy wisdom of your body... to bask in the dumfounding brilliance of the Eternal Wow. Are you brave enough to love what can’t be put into words? CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): “I get bored with the idea of becoming a better listener,” writes business blogger Penelope Trunk. “Why would I do that when interrupting people is so much faster?” If you want to impose your will on people and do things as quickly as possible, Capricorn, follow Trunk’s advice this week. If you have other goals — like building consensus, learning important information you don’t know, and winning help from people who feel affection for you — I suggest you find out how to have maximum fun by being an excellent listener. AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): The last time meteorologists officially added a new type of cloud formation to the International Cloud Atlas was 1951. They’re considering another one. It’s called “asperatus” — from the Latin undulatus asperatus, meaning “turbulent undulation.” According to the Cloud Appreciation Society, it resembles “the surface of a choppy sea from below.” But although it looks rough and agitated, it almost never brings a storm. I suspect you, too, will soon discover something new. It may at first look turbulent, but I bet it will mostly just be interesting. PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): Should you try private experiments that might generate intimate miracles? Yes! Should you dream up extravagant proposals and schedule midnight rendezvous! By all means! Should you pick up where your fantasies left off the last time you got too timid to explore further? Naturally! Should you find out what “as raw as the law allows” actually means? I encourage you! Should you tap into the open secret at the core of your wild beauty! Of course!


a Black team runner turns the corner and heads upfield behind strong blocking by his teammates.

in the end, Neon outshines Black in Sol Lain opener SPORTS By DaNiEL JEaN-LOuBiN


s the Sol Lain flag football league opened another season, Lower East Side athletes gathered on Sat., Oct. 5, at Edward Garcia Field for a defensive slugfest of a game between the Black team and the Neon team. The Sol Lain Flag Football League was created by community leader Edward Garcia as a way to help at-risk local youth. “Eddie tried to offer a positive influence to the lives of the kids in the neighborhood,” said Marilu Garcia, his sister. Today, the co-ed league fields four teams, with about 50 kids total, ages 10 to 15. The first half of the game began with the Black team marching down the field and scoring on their opening drive with a touchdown pass to one of their shifty wide receivers to make it 6-0. The ensuing kickoff to Neon, however, did not produce the same result, as they failed to gain any kind of yardage and were forced to punt after three downs. With the ball back in the Black team’s hands, and with great field position, Black looked primed to tally another score, thanks in part to a big gain by their speedy running back. At the goal line, though, Neon made two key stops on a pair of pass plays, and on third down, a seeming touchdown was called back by the referee due to an offensive

holding penalty. The Black team could not convert and gave up possession. On Neon’s next possession, an underthrown pass was intercepted by Black’s quarterback, who also plays cornerback on defense. But on the game’s very next play, Black’s Q.B., under pressure, threw a floater up into double coverage that was picked off and run back for the game-tying touchdown to end the half knotted at 6-6. After a deep touchdown pass for the Black team opened up the second half to make it 12-6, both sides’ offensive struggles continued for most of the rest of the game. With about seven minutes remaining, Neon called a timeout and huddled up on third down with about two yards to go. Once the play was set up by their coach, Brian Gonzalez, both teams settled into position. The timeout proved to be a wise one since Neon was not only able to get the first down but also score on a well-designed run play. The score was now 12-12. It remained that way till the end of regulation. Then, in sudden-victory overtime, a bad snap by Black resulted in a punt to Neon. On the punt return, the Neon team was able make it to about midfield before being stopped. Two quick midrange passes drove Neon into the red zone, and they scored on a designed quarterback run to win the game 18-12. Not only was it a terrific game, but Marilu Garcia was equally impressed by the co-ed league’s great turnout that afternoon. “It’s unbelievable,” she said. “Through sports they learn discipline and commitment to teamwork.”


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East Villager News, Oct. 17, 2013  

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East Villager News, Oct. 17, 2013  

Redesigned East Villager