VOlUMe 26, NUMBeR 11
OCTOBeR 23-NOVeMBeR 6, 2013
hAllOweeN dOwNTOwN P. 27
LiFeLine cominG For seaPort mUseUm, Firm saYs BY J O Sh RO g e R S w iT h T e Re Se l O e B K R e U Z e R oward Hughes Corp. announced last week it has a general agreement with the city to take a leading role in running the cash-strapped South Street Seaport Museum. “The mayor and I were just talking and we are both excited to share with you that there is an agreement in principle in place regarding the Seaport Museum,” David Weinreb, the firm’s C.E.O., said at an event
Continued on page 10
BanKsY maKes his marK in triBeca BY wi CKh A M B O Y le he most unyippified street in the currently very ungritty Tribeca, is Staple St. A scant three-block North-South street running between buildings with barely enough room for a massive modern SUV to squeeze through, and demarcated by a covered pedestrian bridge formerly used as a connector between hospital buildings in days gone by. The street has been a sort of erstwhile
Continued on page 19
Downtown Express photo by Terese Loeb Kreuzer
Sandra Tedesco, co-owner of Keg 229, which is not yet fully reopened, suffered about $250,000 in damages after Hurricane Sandy at her two Seaport bars. She’s still waiting for a federal low-interest loan, and made her feelings toward Sandy clear at a neighborhood reopening party last weekend.
Battered but buoyant after Sandy, Seaport Shops reopen 1 year later B Y T e ReSe l OeB KReUZeR wo messages were neatly written on the chalkboards over the bar at Keg 229 on Front St. between Beekman and Peck Slip. One of them said, “Screw You, Sandy.” The other said, “We Are Back. Credit cards aren’t. Cash only.”
Keg 229, a bar specializing in American craft beers, was among the South Street Seaport stores and restaurants flooded by Superstorm Sandy that celebrated their reopening with a party on Oct. 19 organized by a newly formed consortium of merchants called the Old Seaport Alliance.
Sandy roared through the Seaport a year ago on Oct. 29, causing hundreds of millions of dollars in damage. Some stores such as Il Brigante and Jack’s Coffee are still closed but will reopen in the next few months. Some will Continued on page 5
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October 23 - November 6, 2013
notes By tHe seaPort
The main point of Thursday’s event on Pier 17 was to dig up some dirt, so how could UnderCover stay away? Downtown Express was well represented at the Seaport event and our team picked up much grist for the column. Mayor Mike Bloomberg and his administration has been tight with Howard Hughes Corp. and its predecessors for years, but that doesn’t mean there wasn’t a tiny bit of tension between the two as they celebrated the beginning of the redevelopment of the pier. “We are the owner and developer of the South Street Seaport,” David Weinreb, C.E.O. of Hughes, incorrectly said, apparently prompting Bloomberg to raise a figurative eyebrow. “The city is the owner of Pier 17,” the
mayor declared when he took the mic. Hughes is in fact the largest leaseholder at South Street Seaport. If the corporation wanted to assure residents it would be an able steward of the historic district, perhaps hiring leggy hostesses in tight dresses as part of its glitzy presentation were not wise choices. One person with local ties said she thought she was going to a fashion show. When it came time to shovel the dirt piled near, but decidedly away from where the construction will actually occur, we couldn’t help but notice that there were 10 white males in drab business suits. Before the money shots were taken, it seemed like people connected to Hughes noticed as well, and they helped get Councilmember Margaret Chin to the front. “You got to get some women in here,” agreed Chin, whose bright red jacket added literal color to the picture. Chin made sure to be joined by an entirely different Hughes, Catherine McVay Hughes that is, chairperson of Community Board 1, and two of the men drifted away. We’re not sure, but we also heard that Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver purposefully stayed away from the event.
We got a chance to look at the writein candidates for last month’s First District City Council primary and by far, the most interesting name on the
Downtown Express photo by Terese Loeb Kreuzer
Standing to the left of Mayor Bloomberg at last week’s Pier 17 groundbreaking are Councilmember Margaret Chin and Catherine McVay Hughes, chairperson of Community Board 1. To his right, is David Weinreb, C.E.O. of Howard Hughes Corp.
list was the late Sofia Gerson, the former school board president and local Democratic leader. We were certain the vote for Sophie, as everyone called her. had to have been cast by her son, Alan Gerson, the former councilmember who was defeated four years ago, by this year’s winner, Councilmember Margaret Chin.
After all, Gerson refused to take a position in the race between Chin and Jenifer Rajkumar, and the vote for Sophie Gerson was cast in his Assembly district. But after speaking with the loving son, we no longer think he cast the vote. “Officially no comment,” he told us about the tributary vote. Hearing about it did put a smile on his face.
October 23 - November 6, 2013
Tribeca court move not quite an open-shut case BY SA M S P O K O NY Some residents are flat out mad about the possible relocation of a Manhattan Criminal Court facility to 71 Thomas St., at West Broadway. Heated rumors about a potential move from the court’s current location at 346 Broadway came to a head at the Community Board 1 Tribeca Committee meeting on Oct. 9. That evening, a city spokesperson was literally shouted down by angry locals and lectured by committee members, after she said eventually said that the relocation to 71 Thomas St. “is the plan,” implying that it is, for all intents and purposes, a done deal. But last week, a source close to the landlord of 71 Thomas St. said the landlord is not yet satisfied with the city’s proposal, stressing that no agreement has yet been made that would allow the city to secure a lease for the new court space. One thing that’s clear is that the city attempted to push the deal through without fully informing local elected officials and other community stakeholders. The story began in March, when Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced an agreement to sell two city-owned buildings to private developers, as part of his plan to reduce government office space by 1.2 million square feet by 2014. One of those was a landmarked building at 346 Broadway. It was to be sold for $160 million to the Peebles Corporation, which planned — according to the mayor’s press release — to convert it into a mixed-use property with residential, hotel and retail elements. And in an additional deal put forth by local elected officials, the developer pledged to use part of the building as a digital art and community media facility, for public use. The building is currently home to the Summons Arraignment Part of the New York State Unified Court System, which is a Criminal Court facility where people who have been ticketed for minor criminal offenses in Manhattan or Brooklyn are called to answer their summonses, and either to pay or challenge the required fine. Seven months after the announced agreement to sell that building, at the C.B. 1 meeting two weeks ago, Pauline Yu from the mayor’s Community Affairs Office answered a question about that deal by saying that the sale of 346 Broadway had finally been “closed.” But she was speaking too soon, because the city in fact still owns 346 Broadway to this day, according to Department of Finance records. A spokesperson for the Peebles Corporation said on Oct. 15 that the developer had not yet signed the deal, although he explained that a firm agreement remains in place and an official sale date is now planned “for the end of this year.” But contrary to many reports, the city is still struggling to actually agree on a deal with the owner of 71 Thomas St.
Downtown Express photo by Kaitlyn Meade
Outside 71 Thomas St., where the city hopes to move a criminal court.
Seventy-one Thomas — which is technically part of the building at 40 Worth St. — is owned by the Newmark Holdings real estate firm. Before the city can begin any work to construct a court room at the site, it must sign a lease with Newmark to secure the space. Newmark is still conducting an investigation into the plan, and is not yet satisfied with the city’s proposal, according to a source close to the situation. The source, who insisted on anonymity due to his role in the discussions, explained that Newmark will be meeting with the city within the next week to discuss the plans, but that rumors about any supposed agreements between D-CAS and the landlord are inaccurate. “[Newmark] isn’t going to make a deal unless [they are] satisfied with the plan,” the source said, adding that the landlord is “not looking to upset residents.” When asked later whether or not an agreement had actually been reached, contrary to Yu’s statements at the C.B. 1 meeting, Julianne Cho, a spokesperson for the Dept. of Citywide Administrative Services, said that the city is “continuing discussions with the landlord.” In any case, it was alongside the sale announcement in March that the city was tasked with finding a new home for the Criminal Court. Again, seven months after that, at the Oct. 9 C.B. 1 meeting, some residents said they had just recently learned that the city was considering several new locations for the Criminal Court, one of which was 71 Thomas St. And up to that point, the city had also not informed local elected officials about its process for selecting a new location. But it is now clear that, behind closed doors, the city actually made its decision to relocate the Criminal Court to 71 Thomas St. sometime between March and June, and possibly even earlier — months before anyone outside Bloomberg’s administration had been
informed of the plan. Public documents show that the Dept. of Citywide Administrative Services filed an application on June 14 to construct a new “court room” at 71 Thomas St. The Department of Buildings approved that application on Aug. 8. Cho, the D-CAS spokesperson, said on Oct. 15 — four months after the
agency filed the application — that department officials met with local elected officials earlier that day to talk about the city’s plan. But in statements released later that same day, some elected officials stressed that the city had not been properly forthcoming about its proposal for the Criminal Court relocation. “I’m disappointed that the city did not provide adequate notification for our community or engage residents in this process,” said State Senator Daniel Squadron. “It’s critical that there is a real system in place to engage community members and address concerns.” And Councilmember Margaret Chin said, “Moving forward, there must be cooperation between the city, local elected officials and neighborhood stakeholders on this issue to ensure that our concerns are heard and addressed.” Those concerns about community engagement stemmed from backlash by Tribeca residents, especially at the C.B. 1 meeting, who said the presence of a Criminal Court will create a negative and disruptive impact on their residential neighborhood. Specifically, some community stakeholders say they are worried about the Continued on page 6
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October 23 - November 6, 2013
BaBy aBandoned in roBBery
A group of shoplifters left behind a baby in a stroller when they tried to sneak candy from a Soho convenience store, police said. The bizarre bust, first reported by DowntownExpress.com last week, was made when the child’s mother, 23, and two others were caught using the 1-year-old boy’s stroller to stash several hundred dollars worth of gum and breath mints earlier this month, according to police. Police said the trio entered the Duane Reade store at 100 Broadway mid-day on Mon., Oct. 7. An employee of the store, 44, told the N.Y.P.D. that he spotted the trio tucking merchandise into the pram, including $179 worth of Halls mints, $59 worth of Wrigley’s gum, $43 worth of Dentyne gum and $15 of Tic Tac packs. He said that they tried to leave without paying at about 2:30 p.m., so he confronted them. One of the men, 20, hit the employee twice, and causing cuts to his chin and throat, police said. The woman also tried to push the stroller into the employee in an attempt to escape, forcing him outside and down onto the side-
walk, according to the Manhattan District Attorney’s complaint. The employee was holding onto the stroller and refused to let go, the complaint said. The woman then fled with the two men, leaving behind both the stroller and the baby, reportedly named Leon. The three were arrested the next day and charged with robbery in the second degree and acting in a manner harmful to a child. The mother was also charged with abandonment of a child. According to news reports, she was already out on bail, after allegedly trying to smuggle an envelope of cocaine into Rikers Island in June. According to reports, she was back in Rikers Wednesday with a more substantial bail. A spokesperson for the city’s Administration for Children’s Services said that the baby is in protective custody as they investigate the situation.
B.P.c. Man staBBed
Police reported that a homeless man attacked another man with a pair of scissors in a Battery Park City playground early Thursday morning. The 33-year-old victim was walking through a park and playground area near
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Asphalt Green at 212 North End Ave. He said he was on the way back to work at about 3:45 a.m. when he was stopped by a 50-year-old man who then tried to engage him in a verbal argument. During the confrontation, the man pulled out a pair of scissors and stabbed the victim four times on the back, chest and arms, according to police. The man was treated for deep wounds and released that night, reportedly from New York-Presbyterian Lower Manhattan Hospital. Police arrested the attacker, who is charged with assault.
locker rooM tHief caugHt
A regular case of locker room larceny turned around after the victim did some investigation of her own, with an extra dash of luck when the alleged thief returned to the scene of the crime. A 30-year-old woman told police that she was working out at a New York Sports Club at 150 Reade St. on Wed., Oct. 16. She stowed her bag in a locker at the club at about 6 p.m. and was in the gym until 6:50 p.m., she said. When she got back to the locker room, she said she realized that two of her credit cards were missing from her wallet. She quickly called her credit card company to cancel the cards, but was told that they had just been used at an American Apparel store at 140 West Broadway. She then called American Apparel and managed to get a description of the woman who had used her card from one of the store employees. By this point, there were two police officers on the scene to take the victim’s statement. However, while she was making her report, the victim noticed a 25-year-old woman, matching the description of the thief, walk back into the gym. Police said the woman tried to leave when she saw the officers, but was stopped by one of them. He asked her where she had just come from. She told him she had been at American Apparel. She was asked if she bought anything and how she had paid for it. She said she had used a credit card, and upon further questioning admitted that the card was not hers. Police arrested the woman and charged her with grand larceny. The victim’s two cards and merchandise purchased with them from American Apparel were found in her possession.
trouBle in Valley
A trio of shoplifters swiped over $1,000 in designer duds from a Tribeca boutique on Sunday. The three people entered the Valley clothing boutique at 393 Greenwich St. at about 4:48 p.m. on Oct. 20, according to a store employee. The employee said that the two men were in their 20s and the woman was about 32 years old. Police were notified after the three were seen walking out of the store with two items of merchandise that they had not paid for, including a $940 green DOMA jacket and a large gold Lucky Star Necklace, valued at $240. According to the report, video footage was available, and the three were last seen fleeing north on Greenwich St.
two train tHefts
A man had his phone stolen on the 2 train at Fulton St., police said, but would not have found out until much later had not another passenger alerted him. The 36-year-old victim reported to police that he had been on a Downtown express train at 6 p.m. on Wed., Oct 16, when a stranger pulled his iPhone 4S from his right jacket pocket. He said he had no idea that he had been pickpocketed until the thief was long gone with the $950 device. Another person on the train told him that they had seen someone take the phone, but he did not get the witness’s contact for more information. The victim tried to reset his phone remotely and use the “Find My Phone” app, but it was turned off. A woman also reported her phone stolen on a 2 train, this one northbound at the Park Place station. The 49-year-old Brooklyn woman said that she was on an uptown train at 2:55 p.m. on Fri., Oct. 18. When the train pulled up to the Park Place platform and the doors opened, the woman said a young man, about 19, yanked her iPhone from her hands and ran out into the station. She chased after him and saw him exit the station, police said, but was unable to catch him. The woman said she did not have any further description of the man, and could not I.D. him if asked. The phone was valued at $599.
— Kaitlyn Meade
October 23 - November 6, 2013
More Seaport shops reopen after Sandy Continued from page 1
never reopen. Keg 229 opened just for the party. It will close for another week and then the bar will reopen, followed by the kitchen in early November, said Sandra Tedesco, co-owner with Calli Lerner of the bar and another one on Front St., Bin No. 220. Bin had a soft opening around a month ago. Tedesco said that it cost approximately $90,000 to rebuild it and around $150,000 to restore Keg. She and Lerner received a $20,000 grant from the Alliance for Downtown New York and $5,000 from New York City Small Business Services. They are now applying for an S.B.S. loan of $150,000 at 1 percent interest with a matching $60,000 grant but haven’t heard yet whether their application will be approved. Their story and their struggle over the past year is typical of what the merchants of Front St. and Peck Slip have endured since Sandy. “The first week after the storm, we were overwhelmed,” said Tedesco. “Then we thought, ‘we can do this. We can rebuild.’ I live in the neighborhood. I love this block. I’m excited to be here today.” The party on the cobblestoned street featured a band, costumed actors dressed
Downtown Express photo by Terese Loeb Kreuzer
Neighbors came out for the Old Seaport Alliance’s reopening party Oct. 19.
as some of the 19th-century denizens of the area (wealthy merchants in top hats, sailors, whores and beggars) and the presentation by The Howard Hughes Corporation of a check for $50,000 to the Old Seaport Alliance.
In announcing the donation, Chris Curry, Howard Hughes executive vice president, said that though the company was based in Dallas, it was local. “We live here,” he said, attempting to deflect the oft-repeated accusation that developers
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with no roots in the Seaport were trying to remake it into a simulacrum of a suburban shopping mall surrounded by luxury apartments and hotels. Two members of Community Board 1’s Seaport Committee who declined to be named said that while they were glad that Hughes had made a donation, it did not quell their fears about H.H.C.’s undisclosed plans for the Seaport. “This represents one half of one day’s income for [Hughes],” said one of the members. “This was the cheapest P.R. they could buy.” Amanda Byron Zink, owner of The Salty Paw, a dog grooming and pet boutique at 38 Peck Slip and one of the founders of the Old Seaport Alliance, said that the Hughes donation would go to pay for the Oct. 19 party and for subsequent events designed to bring people to Front Street and Peck Slip. Several restaurant owners pulled out all the stops to be open in time for the celebration. Stefano Barbagallo, owner of Barbalu at 225-227 Front St., managed to reopen part of his store, with a limited menu. He plans to expand the restaurant into a neighboring space over the next few months. Suteishi at 24 Peck Slip reopened on Continued on page 8
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October 23 - November 6, 2013
Tribeca court Continued from page 3
large influx of people — all of whom have been accused of engaging in criminal activity — that the court will bring to the block. While speaking to the C.B. 1 meeting, Yu said that the city expects the court to serve around 600 people per day, as they go in and out to pay or challenge their tickets. “The sheer numbers of transient visitors to this area of Tribeca is unacceptable,” Lynn Wagenknecht, owner of The Odeon, the restaurant at the corner of Thomas St. and West Broadway, said during the meeting. “Placing the court at 71 Thomas St. places an unfair burden on an area finally finding its equilibrium after many challenging starts and stops, and this decision will diminish the progress we have made. This is our home, our schools, our places of work. It is not a suitable location for a court of this nature, dealing with thousands of individuals every week.” The city maintains that 71 Thomas St. is the only viable option for the
court, since other locations would not appropriately serve the necessary court operations. And responding to residents’ concerns about the large influx of people paying tickets — concerns which highlighted the fact that people who currently pay tickets at the 346 Broadway court are forced to line up outside on the sidewalk — Yu said that the city is planning to construct an indoor seating area at 71 Thomas St. that will allow “approximately 250 people” to wait inside the building, in order to cut down on outdoor lines. That particular renovation plan was included in the D-CAS June 14 application — later approved by the city Buildings Dept. — for a work permit at the site. Still, the community board remained unconvinced that the plan for a Criminal Court at 71 Thomas St. is a good one. The Tribeca Committee voted unanimously on Oct. 9 to write a resolution calling on the city to delay the move, and to consider other locations that may be more suitable.
Six proposals to amend the State Constitution are on the ballot... 1 Casino gambling upstate 2 Disabled veterans’ civil service credit 3 Exemption to municipal debt limits for sewage treatment bonds 4 & 5 Changes to the Adirondack Forest Preserve 6 Raise the retirement age for judges
Taste of the Seaport returns
Downtown Express ﬁle photo
Taste of the Seaport in 2011.
Instead of binging on that second preHalloween bag of candy corn or caramels, put down the sugar rush and get outside to try both traditional and deliciously twisted dishes at the South Street Seaport this Sunday. The third annual Taste of the Seaport will be on Oct. 27, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., bringing together businesses, foodies and families to celebrate the revitalization of the historic neighborhood. Though still recovering financially from Sandy, many of the small businesses are providing food and beverages to the festival to raise money for the neighborhood’s Spruce Street School. The event’s page promises braised short ribs and rutabaga puree from the Trading Post
among the many tables that will line Front St. There will also be family-oriented activities like face painting and arts-and-crafts for the kids. Downtown Express is one of the sponsors of the Saturday event, which takes place on Historic Front St., near Peck Slip. Tickets are $30 for five tastes in advance. At the event, tickets will be $35 for five tastes. There is also a $100 family package in advance for 20 tastes, which will be $125 on the day of the event. For tickets or more information, visit http://www.brownpapertickets.com/ event/487503.
— Kaitlyn Meade
Fighting to make Lower Manhattan the greatest place to live, work, and raise a family.
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Gale Brewer Democrat for Borough President
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October 23 - November 6, 2013
We parents of the Village, lower Manhattan, and southern Chelsea would like to say:
Thank you Assemblymember Deborah Glick for supporting the city's children and families.
Deborah Glick: Found 75 Morton Street, pushed state to sell & city to purchase it for a school Rooms To Learn Town Hall PS3 2007
Supported & advised grassroots parent effort against overcrowding, resulting in school space at Foundling School, Hudson Square, & NYU, as well as 75 Morton Held Town Hall hearing on renewal of Mayoral Control of schools; voted against Mayoral Control after hearing parent opposition Gave testimony, wrote to state officials, and published editorials opposing charter
co-location; excessive testing; & diversion of funds from class size reduction 75 Morton St. Rally 2008
Arranged parent meetings with prominent city and state officials to protest overcrowding
Opposed NYU expansion and reduction of playgrounds Joined parents protesting proposed teacher layoffs
75 Morton St. Rally redux 2009
Opposed selling off public park land to private residential developers, defending the preservation of our open spaces and Villagers' right to our share of tax-funded park dollars to preserve our public infrastructure.
We are grateful and look forward to many more years of partnership! Irene Kaufman co-founder, Public School Parent Advocacy Committee; BP Stringer School Overcrowding Task Force; former Pier 40 parent: Greenwich Village Little League; Greenwich Village Girls Basketball, Shino Tanikawa president, Community Education Council District 2;
Ann Kjellberg co-founder, Public School Parent Advocacy Committee; former SLT PS 41; BP Stringer School Overcrowding Task Force; BP Community Task Force on N.Y.U.; Pier 40 parent: DUSC, Greenwich Village Little League; Greenwich Village Girls Basketball
former officer, D2 Presidents Council; former PTA PS 3 and Clinton School for Writers and Artists; co-founder, Public School Parent Advocacy Committee; CB2-CEC2 75 Morton Task Force
Tamara Rowe Community Education Council D2; former president, Presidents Council, D2; PTA PS 3 and Clinton School for Writers and Artists; co-founder, Public School Parent Advocacy Committee
Tina Schiller Former PS 234 Overcrowding Committee; PS 234 SLT
Keen Berger CB2 Social Services & Education Committee; former Chair of
Michael D. Markowitz, P.E.CB2-CEC2 75 Morton Task Force;
School Board, D2; Democratic District Leader
former Community Education Council D2; co-founder, Public School Parent Advocacy Committee; BP Stringer School Overcrowding Task Force; Pier 40 parent: DUSC, Greenwich Village Little League
Tricia Joyce Former PS 234 Overcrowding Committee; PS 234 PTA
Rebecca Daniels former president, Community Education Council D2;
PS 3 Parent Action Committee
Brokers Partnership for the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation; Chair, founder Greenwich Village Committee for the Celebration of Children (Bleecker St. Playground Halloween Parade)
NYS Assembly Speaker Silverâ€™s School Overcrowding Task Force
Denise Collins Social Services & Education Committee CB2; Robert Ely Chair, CB2's Environment, Public Health & Public Safety Committee
Joan Hoffman parent, Greenwich Village Girls' Basketball; parent activist
Heather Campbell CB2 SLA Committee; PS 41 Parent Advocacy Committee
Lisa Donlan President, Community Education Council D1
Paul Hovitz, Susan Crowson, Annette Evans, Vicki Arbitrio
Affiliations for identification only
October 23 - November 6, 2013
Sandy stores reopen Continued from page 5
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Oct. 18 after being shuttered since Sandy. “We had six feet of water in the store,” said owner Victor Chan. “It destroyed everything.” He said that it cost around $400,000 to rebuild and that he had managed to reopen “through the grace of God.” He was also helped by a $211,000 loan from the Small Business Administration and a $91,000 loan from his landlord, the Durst Organization, to be repaid over the 10-year term of his lease. He received a $10,000 grant from the New York City Economic Development Corporation and expects to receive a $20,000 grant from the Downtown Alliance, which was contingent on his reopening. In addition, he received $500 from the Manhattan Chamber of Commerce. He expressed special thanks to Jackie Goewey, owner of the neighboring Front Street restaurant, Made Fresh Daily. Goewey, whose building doesn’t have a basement, was able to reopen soon after Sandy and let Chan use her premises to prepare sushi for delivery to Suteishi customers. “She was a blessing to us,” said Chan. He said he was “gratified and relieved” to be back in business. “It’s good to see that we’re loved by our neighbors and patrons,”
he said. The South Street Seaport Museum held a block printing workshop at Bowne Printers, 209 Water St. and a collage workshop at Bowne & Co. Stationers at 211 Water St. The barque Peking was open for guided tours with historian Jack Putnam. Woodcarver Sal Polisi demonstrated his craft aboard the 102-year-old ship. In the museum’s Melville Gallery at 213 Water St., Christina Sun and Naima Rauam displayed and sold their artwork. The Melville Gallery (also known as the Thompson Warehouse), lost its floor to Sandy. It has only recently been replaced. Christie Huus, a member of the museum’s interim board of directors and a director of strategic planning and development for the mayor, read a letter from Mayor Michael Bloomberg in which he said his administration was delighted to support the Old Seaport Alliance’s efforts. Asked about the future of the Seaport Museum, Huus said there was nothing that she could report at the present time. Two days earlier at an event marking the beginning of construction at nearby Pier 17, Bloomberg privately told two attendees that a plan would soon be announced to save the museum, and David Weinreb, Hughes Corp.’s C.E.O., said publicly that he had a tentative agreement with the city to do just that.
October 23 - November 6, 2013
From Long Island to Seaport, Sandy hit Jeremy B y J an e l B l a d o w The storm that nearly wiped out all of the South Street Seaport a year ago, hit Jeremy Holin particularly hard. Superstorm Sandy struck all three of the Holin family restaurants-bars. Talk about a grand slam. A triple whammy. But that didn’t slow down the sixtysomething former school teacher who came to the neighborhood more than four decades ago and began selling beer in big Styrofoam cups from a street cart. Within two weeks, before any other places in the neighborhood, all three of his locations were back, up and running — to a point. Jeremy’s Ale House (215 Front St.), his first and namesake establishment, reopened last year on Nov. 13, two weeks to the day of the storm. The Ale House — a well-known crusty bar-restaurant that has been a draw for tourists, college students, sports fans and neighbors alike for more than 40 years — had been under three feet of water. And it is at least five-feet above street level. The family’s second spot, Meade’s (22 Peck Slip), operated by Jeremy’s son Lee, was a total disaster with water rising, at some places, over the average person’s head. Water leveled off around five feet inside the pub, taking out everything on the ground floor but the bar. The appliances, furniture and all ground-floor machinery needed to be scrubbed, sanitized or swapped.
And their third and newest location, Jeremy’s Ale House East — a waterfront pub and restaurant opened in 2004 on the Nautical Mile in Freeport, Long Island, managed by his son Jason — was also in ruins. All the equipment, supplies and bar were under 6-feet of water. The outdoor deck was off its hinges and had floated up and stuck on a beam. All the equipment and food needed to be replaced. As the waters were receding the day after the storm, Holin hopped in his car and drove into Manhattan from his Queens home. “I came to see how terrible it was,” he said this month. “Water was almost said to the top of the bar, over the tops of the tables. Here, everything is in the basement.” He was shocked by the devastation. In the kitchen, the industrial refrigerator — filled with food and supplies — was tossed over. In the basement, a freezer full of food and weighing 300 pounds was turned on its side. “As I was checking around, everyone started coming in,” he remembered. One by one they drifted in. Jeremy’s staff appeared and started working, sweeping out water and floating bags of spoiled fish, calamari and shrimp. They hauled out black garbage bags by the ten-fold filled with soggy unfrozen fries, soaking packages of napkins. They hosed the floor and scrubbed with bleach and sanitizers. They disinfected the walls and what refrigeration equipment they could save.
Jeremy Holin and his wife Cheryl during happier times at Meade’s on Peck Slip for their son’s wedding.
“We had to scrub and tear stuff down, throw out liquor and beer,” he said. “We had to put in new wiring, new compressor, and new beer system. Salt water got into everything.” Over at Meade’s, Lee Holin was joined by his staff and several neighbors who went through a similar drill. The pub lost all food and supplies kept in the ground floor kitchen. The bar top was so damaged that it was replaced with a four-by-eight. Luckily, most of their paper products, bar supplies and liquor were on the second floor. They
don’t have a basement. In Freeport, staff and patrons pitched in, dragged out debris and lifted the deck off the beam. Meanwhile, Jeremy used his car as a mobile office, shuttling between home, Freeport and the Seaport. He was often pulled to the side of the road, working two phones, calling suppliers and repairmen, especially while all three businesses still didn’t have phone or internet service. “I owe it all to my staff,” he said. “They didn’t have to come in. They came in on their own. That was the beauty. They’re amazing.” At the Ale House, beer bottles were being uncapped. Customers at Meade’s wrote notes and cursed Sandy on the new temporary bar top. Both places did a slow roll-out, adding more items and serving food as more appliances were fixed. Same was happening at the place on Long Island. “Business over the winter and through this summer was not as bad as it would seem,” Holin said. “But business was nothing like it was, but better than I thought it would be.” Holin estimates he sustained well over $250,000 in damages. It could have been worse if it wasn’t for the help of his crew and customers who immediately rolled up their sleeves. “New Yorkers are a strange breed. They hardly say hello to each other but come together in times of stress.”
W H AT DI D W E L E AR N F R O M T H E L AS T S T O RM O F T HE C E N T UR Y T H AT W E C AN AP P LY T O T H E N E XT O NE ? Every time we turn around, there seems to be another Storm of the Century. So we’re spending over $1 billion over the next four years on storm-protection improvements. We’re building higher ﬂood barriers. We’re investing in utility poles that can withstand 110 mph wind gusts. And we’re installing submersible electrical equipment in ﬂood-prone areas. We’re also doing more to keep you informed during severe weather. Check our outage map, report a power problem, get a restoration estimate and ﬁnd storm safety tips at conEd.com and follow us on Facebook or Twitter.
CLIENT: ConEdison JOB#: 05034 PUBLICATION: Composite AD: Alex AE: NM STUDIO#: TMC MACHINE: Freelance 02 PREV OP: PREV MACHINE: Freelance 02 BLEED: -
October 23 - November 6, 2013
Firm says city backs its plan for Seaport Museum Continued from page 1
attended by Mayor Mike Bloomberg Oct.17. “There will be more to come on that in the coming weeks but we’ve got a very, very exciting plan…It’s going to be dynamic and it’s a another great part of the experience that’s going to be created here.” Weinreb made the remarks after the mayor was chided gently by Councilmember Margaret Chin for not mentioning the nearby museum at a symbolic groundbreaking event for the Hughes Corporation’s redevelopment of Pier 17. “I want to talk about the museum a little bit, and I didn’t hear the mayor say anything, but it is an important part of the Seaport, so I am really looking forward to the Howard Hughes Corp. supporting the Seaport Museum,” Chin said. Some minutes later, the mayor leaned in to speak with Chin and Catherine McVay Hughes, chairperson of Community Board 1, and both women said it was to talk about the museum, which suffered extensive damage after Hurricane Sandy. “Good news is coming,” Hughes, who has no connection to the development firm, told Downtown Express. She was hoping to hear the full announcement about the museum at last week’s event, but remained hopeful it was coming soon. Chin, who is also expecting good news,
said she does not know the details but it will include finding a new operator for the museum and more. The Seaport Museum had been run the last two years by the Museum of the City of New York, which received praise for its efforts, but it was unable to continue through this summer when there was still little hope of getting financial compensation soon for Sandy damage. Both Weinreb and Chin said Kate Levin, the city’s commissioner of Cultural Affairs, was working hard to secure the museum’s future. The Hughes Corp. had previously dropped hints that it might be taking more control of the Seaport Museum, but the firm was reluctant to talk about it until now. As for nearby Pier 17, it is expected to reopen in 2016 with many new features including 60,000 square feet of public open space on the roof, a 4,000-seat amphitheater, two outdoor bars and a revamped mall. The project’s designer, Gregg Pasquarelli, a principal SHoP Architects, said the pier will have large glass doors, 32 by 20 feet, that will be opened in warm months to give the ground floor an outdoor feel. He said the roof “will be one of the most magnificent views anywhere in New York of the Brooklyn Bridge.” There had been one holdout tenant in Pier 17, but the attorney for Simply Seafood restaurant, John O’Kelly, said last week that his
Downtown Express photo by Terese Loeb Kreuzer
David Weinreb, C.E.O. of Howard Hughes Corp., said last week he has a deal with the city to take a leading role at the Seaport Museum.
client was recently denied a restraining order to prevent the beginning of Pier 17 construction, and the owner John Demane, 69, would soon be locked out of the building. The Demane family has been selling fish in the Seaport since 1947 and O’Kelly thinks
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his client is still likely to collect damages from the Hughes Corp. in the rent dispute. The corporation has also exercised its option to submit plans to develop the New Continued on page 12
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October 23 - November 6, 2013
Brewer readies to take over borough president’s shop BY h e AT h e R d U B iN Gale Brewer, the Democratic nominee for borough president, said if elected, her top priority will be to ensure affordable housing is obtainable in Manhattan. Additionally, she wants to focus on preserving mom and pop stores, employment, technology and assisting neighborhood community boards. Brewer, in a telephone interview Tuesday, said that Ruth Messinger, the former Manhattan borough president, and Gloria Steinem, are two of her inspirations. “I don’t have a lot of mentors, but those two people I have a lot of respect for,” she said. A former Community Board 7 member from the Upper West Side, Brewer, now 62, remembered her first City Council Democratic primary on Sept. 11th, 2001. The election was cancelled after two hours. “That was quite a beginning for the City Council,” Brewer said. Once in the Council, Brewer fought for neighborhood shops. “The loss of mom and pop stores in Manhattan, I hear about it everywhere I go,” she said. To combat the 72 banks in her council district, Brewer passed a bill to restrict the storefront size of incoming establishments to maintain space for mom
and pop shops. “It makes a difference about what can come in.” Brewer also passed a bill for food sourcing regarding city contracts. She said New York City is the second largest purchaser of food in the country after the United States Department of Defense.
‘The loss of mom and pop stores in Manhattan, I hear about it everywhere I go.’ Now, city contracts must buy food from New York, unless the item is too difficult to find. “There is one dairy left in Queens with 1,000 employees. They have a contract for the New York City Department of Education, and that saved 200 jobs because they got the contracts,” she said, “I call that local sourcing.” When the Time Warner Center opened
Downtown Express photo by Tequila Minsky
at Columbus Circle, Brewer negotiated that 230 jobs be filled with local workers. “It became the model when Ikea came to Brooklyn, and when Fairway came to Brooklyn. They used it as a prototype,” she said.
Brewer, who is expected to win easily Nov. 5, said she wants to set up shop in a nearby storefront instead of the borough president’s office at the Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. State Office Building in Harlem. Her current office, which she refers to as “One stop shopping,” is located on 87th St. and is easily accessible to people coming in for maps, applications or information about city and state services. Brewer plans to move forward on what she called, “The number one issue in Manhattan and citywide — lack of affordable housing…. “Teachers can’t find an apartment and someone who’s making $13,000 dollars can’t find an apartment, that hasn’t changed,” she said. Brewer thinks the solution is in local planning. “That’s how you do this, work with community boards, work with City Council, the mayor; and every time there’s development, you figure out how to include affordable housing and work with community organizations to preserve what you have,” she said. Brewer also wants to provide community boards with a better framework, and continue Borough President Scott Stringer’s reforms involving the member Continued on page 12
thursday, october 31
Trinity Church (Broadway at Wall Street) Tired of trick-or-treating in an apartment building? Come to Trinity Church for a Halloween experience like none other in New York City.
3-6pm Churchyard Trick-or-Treat Collect candy from historical characters from Trinity’s past and enter to win a prize! For families with children.
6:30-7:30pm Silent Film with Live Organ Accompaniment Watch the black and white silent film Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1920) inside historic Trinity Church with haunting organ improvisation by acclaimed organist Dr. Robert Ridgell.
October 23 - November 6, 2013
Gale Brewer Continued from page 11
selection process. In addition, since she passed the Open Data Law, which makes government data more accessible to the public, and she wants to help community boards learn how to better decipher this information. Brewer returned $72,000 of matching campaign funds back to the city for the general election after the Democratic primary. “We do have a Republican opponent [David Casavis], but I don’t feel he’s a serious opponent. I don’t like
to take the public money unless it’s needed,” she said, “We’re grateful for what we got for the primary. It was a competitive race, and we used it all.” Brewer lives on the Upper West Side with her husband, Cal Snyder. They have raised foster children, many of them during the crack epidemic of the ‘80s, and adopted several of them. Based on her own experience, and what she realizes is happening in the public schools, Brewer would also like to see “culturally appropriate mental health services,” for students in the form of social workers and psychiatrists.
IN PRINT OR ONLINE
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Continued from page 10
Market Building, which is outside the city historic district, and the Tin Building. The firm has begun private discussions with the city’s Economic Development Corp. about its plans for those two buildings. Weinreb said Hughes has not made a final decision to try and build a mix of condos and a hotel as its predecessor once did, but he did sound like both those uses were likely. “They [those uses] haven’t been locked down yet, but those are all things we are considering… Our goal is to create a great district here in Lower Manhattan that truly leads to revitalization after Superstorm Sandy.” Community Board 1 and Chin have been requesting for months that they be consulted before Hughes Corp. submits a formal land use application to develop the Tin and New Market sites, and outrage is growing on the board’s Seaport Committee, which passed a resolution last week asking for a seat at the table. “Howard Hughes is coming here and walking all over a very small, precious community that frankly, if it were on Greenwich and Hudson St. [or other Tribeca streets]… it would be a com-
pletely different ballgame,” said member Jason Friedman, who accused the firm of “shady” dealings. Amanda Byron Zink was one of the only people at the Oct. 15 meeting who came to the firm’s partial defense, saying the company has “extended a small olive branch” to small business owners like her on historic Front St. “Do I still think there’s a dark horse?” Zink added. “Sure. Do I trust them 100 percent? No. Do I feel like they’re making some effort on some level? Yes.” Howard Hughes hopes to create attractions for neighbors and other New Yorkers as well as for tourists. It’s been a goal that has eluded Hughes and its predecessors for three decades. Bloomberg, who last week said that the Pier 17 project “will inject the Seaport with new life and fresh energy,” told Downtown Express back in 2005: “Everybody thought that South Street Seaport would be the same as Faneuil Hall [in Boston] or Harbor Place in Baltimore [now both owned by Hughes Corp.] — it is not and the reason is, New York has throughout all five boroughs all of these stores, all of the excitement, the entertainment and everything. Having one area of just trendy stuff doesn’t sell in New York because there is no need.”
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October 23 - November 6, 2013
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October 23 - November 6, 2013
Downtown Express photo by Lincoln Anderson
It was another beautiful day during this summer-like fall Oct. 15. 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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October 23 - November 6, 2013
Big parades & small cap Downtown Halloween events it will be held in Charlotte’s Place at 107 Greenwich St., between Rector and Carlisle Sts. At 6 p.m., the church will screen the silent 1920 film “Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.” This flickering black and white masterpiece is a classic, starring iconic actor John Barrymore in the title role. It will be screened as it was intended: accompanied by live music, played on the organ by Dr. Robert Ridgell. The movie is recommended for older kids and adults.
B Y KAITLYN MEADE New York City is a great place for Halloween’s ghosts, princesses and pirates — you just have to know where to go! Whether you are a family with toddling pumpkins in search of treats or a more mature audience (in age at least) looking for a frightfully fun time, Downtown has some fantastic free events to celebrate the end of October.
Village Halloween Parade
It looks like the New York City’s biggest Halloween event, the Village Halloween Parade, will be making its merry way down Sixth Ave. on Oct. 31 once again. It’s the 40-year anniversary of this New York City spooky extravaganza, so be prepared for an extra helping of tricks and treats. The theme this year, and rightly so, is Hallelujah Halloween Revival! After Sandy rained (and more) on the parade last year, causing its cancellation, the event was in major trouble. It launched a Kickstarter campaign aiming to raise $50,000 by Oct. 24. As of press time, all indications are the parade will happen as planned. To take part, come in costume, and come early. People begin to line the streets well in advance of the official 6:30 line-up time. The parade line-up stretches from Canal St. to Spring St. At 7 p.m., the parade begins to begins to wind its way from Spring St. up to 16th. As it is most crowded between Bleecker and 14th St., parade organizers recommend coming further Downtown to get a good glimpse of the crazy costumes in display. See www.halloween-nyc.com for details.
Washington Market Park Halloween Parade & Party
The popular Tribeca Halloween party will be taking place again this year on Sunday, Oct. 27. It starts with a familyfriendly costume parade from CitiGroup Plaza to the park. Once there, kids can play traditional Halloween games, do arts and crafts run by the Church Street School of Music and Art, participate in the sandbox Bone Dig and navigate a hay-bale maze. Music will be provided in the gazebo by Princess Katie & Racer Steve, an adorable duo and wacky backup who play fun, kid-friendly rock with bits of just about everything else — from reggae to swing music — thrown in. The parade line-up will start at 12:45 p.m. at the Citigroup Plaza at Greenwich and N. Moore Sts. The Lesbian and Gay Big Apple Corps Marching Band will be in the lead. The event will end at 3 p.m. To find out more, visit washingtonmarketpark.org.
Screamin’ Green Halloween in B.P.C.
Battery Park City’s Screamin’ Green Halloween is taking place at the Winter Garden and Waterfront Plaza this year. This gigantic eco-conscious get-together is a favorite of Downtown families. Enjoy autumnal games like Bobbing for Apples, Pin the Face on the Pumpkin and the Gourd Roll. Grab your gear to get a photo
South Street Seaport Parade
Screamin’ Green Halloween will be back near the Winter Garden this year on Oct. 27.
in front their “ghoulish green screen,” where haunting Halowwen characters will appear over your shoulder. Poets House will also be setting up a tent to host spooky poetry readings inside. As for the traditional sugar rush, families can keep their sweets organic and fair trade, for the afternoon at least. Don’t forget to drag last year’s SpiderMan costume out of the closet to exchange for new duds at the costume swap. Revelers can also make their own costumes from recycled and repurposed materials for the Ghosts and Goblins parade around Battery Park City, beginning at 3 p.m. Screamin’ Green Halloween and the Ghosts and Goblins Parade are free and will take place at 220 Vesey St. near West St., from noon-3 p.m. on Oct. 27. A free bicycle valet service will be run by Transportation Alternatives. Visit brookfieldplaceny.com/ Screamin-Green-Halloween for more info.
B.P.C.’s library will be hosting a Halloween shindig on Oct. 31, from 4-5 p.m. There will be face painting, games, scary story time, crafts and a costume parade. The event is free, open to all ages and handicap accessible at 175 North End Ave. Call 212-790-3499 or visit NYPL.org.
Get those little zombies off the couch and looking alive! The newly opened B.P.C. Asphalt Green will be hosting an All Hallows Eve romp, on Thurs., Oct. 31 from 4-6 p.m. The bash includes games like slow-moving Zombie Freeze Tag and a “Spooktacular” Soccer Shootout. The first 300 kids will receive a goody bag at the door. “Asphalt Scream” will take place at both the Upper East Side and Battery Park City Locations. The B.P.C. center is located at 212 North End Ave. It is free, but you must R.S.V.P. ahead of time at asphaltgreen.org/c2582-p-Asphalt-Screams-RSVP.aspx.
Trinity Wall Street
The Financial District’s Trinity Church will be hosting a “Hometown Halloween” on Oct.
31, with several free events for different ages. Kids are invited to trick-or-treat in the chapel graveyard from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. In addition to treats, apple cider will be on offer and families can have their photos taken. A prize drawing for an iPod Nano will also take place. The trick-or-treating is open to kids of all ages, and costumes are encouraged. Trinity is located at 74 Trinity Place between Rector and Thames Sts. In the event of rain,
The Seaport’s Halloween Trick or Treating celebration is back for its 24th year after getting knocked out by Sandy last year. On Oct. 31, at 6 p.m., trick or treaters begin to gather at FishBridge Park on Water and Dover Sts. for the neighborhood parade, which makes a tour of the shops along Water and Front Sts., from Dover to Beekman Sts. Neighbors and stores hand out sweet treats to the kids, while many of the restaurants and pubs (some of them still just reopened after Sandy) have All Hallows Eve specials for the adults. The FishBridge festivities need volunteers to help put up fliers, arrange for treat givers, decorate the park on Halloween and clean up the park on Nov. 1. Email Gary Fagin at firstname.lastname@example.org..
October 23 - November 6, 2013
BY TERESE LOEB KREUZER
B.P.C.A. commendation and salary questions:
The Battery Park City Authority Board of Directors meeting on Oct. 22 began with applause for Gladys Pearlman and James Miner, Battery Park City Parks Conservancy staff members who had thwarted a wouldbe predator at the neighborhood ball fields with actions that led to his arrest. According to an account of the incident released by the B.P.C.A., the man “seemed to have an inappropriate interest in playing with children. Some of the adults noticed and were uncomfortable with what they saw. They notified James Miner, the Parks Conservancy on-site Ball Fields Coordinator. He observed the activity and when the individual walked toward Rockefeller Park, he alerted Gladys Pearlman, the Park House attendant. She, in turn, was in constant contact with her Conservancy supervisors as this situation unfolded.” The Parks Enforcement Patrol was alerted, followed by the N.Y.P.D., whose officers took the man to the First Precinct for questioning. He was found to have an outstanding arrest warrant and was booked. The awards presented to Pearlman and Miner said the authority and conservancy “recognize with pride your exemplary conduct and professional dedication to ensure the safety of the public during an unusual occurrence on Friday, Sept. 27, 2013.” Pearlman has worked for the authority for around 20 years and is of retirement age, but can’t afford to retire. Battery Park City Authority employees have not had a raise or a cost-of-living increase in five years.
Downtown Express photos by Terese Loeb Kreuzer
Battery Park City Parks Conservancy workers on Oct. 21 removed a tree stump near the Museum of Jewish Heritage from a tree destroyed by Superstorm Sandy.
“We’re estimating actual operating budget expenses [for the B.P.C.A.] as $125,000 less than the prior year,” said the authority’s interim president, Robert Serpico, at the meeting Tuesday. He said it was the 11th year in a row that the budget was lower than the previous year. These savings have been partially accomplished by freezing salaries. Some well-regarded employees have left the Authority because they can no longer afford to work there. Board member Martha Gallo said every New York State authority “was in the same boat,” but, “I would just ask us to ask the chairman [Dennis Mehiel] to approach Albany to say after five years — no cost of living, no salary increases — what are we
Gladys Pearlman and James Miner, staff members of the Battery Park City Parks Conservancy, were commended this week by the Battery Park City Authority for their actions on Sept. 27 that led to the apprehension of a man at the ball fields who was attempting to lure children away from soccer practice.
thinking about our employees? I think we have to be sensitive to that.” Serpico said that there were provisions in the budget for compensation increases if they were authorized by the state. Gallo pointed out that even if that were to happen, there was a cumulative effect of not having given salary increases for years. When the time came for the board to approve the 2014 budget, Gallo was the only one to vote no. “I don’t feel good about this,” she said.
Battery Park City Parks Conservancy personnel had hoped that most of the trees along the esplanade between North Cove Marina and the Museum of Jewish Heritage would rebound after having been flooded with salt water during Superstorm Sandy, but now it appears that around 25 trees didn’t make it. A professional contractor will begin cutting down the dead trees within the next few weeks. In the meantime, Battery Park City Parks Conservancy workers removed a tree stump near the Museum of Jewish Heritage on Oct. 21. This was one of the trees destroyed by Superstorm Sandy. Other Battery Park City trees were further damaged by a heavy storm May 11. Tessa Huxley, executive director of the Conservancy, said that new trees will be planted in the spring after necessary electrical work on the esplanade has been completed. She said that the B.P.C. Parks Conservancy is part of a consortium of all the parks in New York City that were affected by flooding. They are sharing information about what trees and plants proved resilient. “We’re looking at tree replacement and perennials that will be salt tolerant,” she said. “We’ll also be looking for trees that present a little less dense leaf cover so they won’t be so affected by high winds.”
Arts Brookfield at 25:
Arts Brookfield has been presenting free cultural programming for the last 25 years and decided to celebrate this anniversary by launching a global art showcase called “Art Set Free” for established, emerging and amateur artists. All are invited to submit their work for possible inclusion on a website called ArtsBrookfield25.com. It will also be shown at Brookfield’s premier office properties in New York, Los Angeles, Denver, Houston, Toronto, Perth and Sydney. Works should be submitted as a photo, video or audio recording via Facebook, Twitter and/or Instagram with the hashtag #artsetfree. Entries are welcome from any genre, including dance/movement, music/sound, painting, sculpture, photography and street art. Arts Brookfield will review submissions on a rolling basis and select those it deems most innovative and thought provoking. A curatorial team of three people will be based in New York. The artists whose work is selected will not be paid, however, the program will provide an international showcase. Over the past quarter century, Arts Brookfield has presented hundreds of internationally acclaimed artists, including B.B. King, Jesse Norman, Laurie Anderson, Fountains of Wayne, Los Lobos, David Byrne, Nam June Paik, Martha Graham Dance Company and Wynton Marsalis. Some were well known at the time, but many were just getting started. Art Set Free does not have a mechanism for members of the public to contact artists whose work they like but according to a spokesman for the project, “The initiative will run through the end of 2014 so this is definitely something that will be considered.” To comment on Battery Park City Beat or to suggest article ideas, email TereseLoeb10@ gmail.com
October 23 - November 6, 2013
transit saM AlTeRNATe Side PARKiNg iS iN effeCT All weeK Just when you thought the U.N. General Assembly madness was over, President Obama is coming to town Friday to visit a school in Brooklyn and attend two Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee fundraisers in Manhattan. Typically Lower Manhattan is impacted because POTUS frequently uses the Wall St. heliport. Follow me on Twitter @gridlocksam as I get more info. Alleged al Qaeda terrorist Abu Anas al-Libi will stand trial this week at the Federal Courthouse in Foley Square, which means loads of security. Expect traffic on Centre St. to be affected north of Chambers St. Special alert for the Brooklyn Bridge! All Manhattanbound lanes will close for 54 consecutive hours, midnight Friday to 6 a.m. Monday. Expect extra traffic in the Brooklyn-Battery (Hugh L. Carey) Tunnel and on the Manhattan and Williamsburg bridges, and on West, Canal, and Delancey Sts. All Manhattan-bound lanes will also close 11 p.m. to 6 a.m. Wednesday, Thursday, Monday, and Tuesday nights. At the Lincoln Tunnel, all lanes of the inbound helix (the spiral approach road) will close 10:30 p.m. to 5 a.m. Wednesday through Friday nights, sending some drivers down to the Holland Tunnel and onto Canal St. Even more Manhattan-bound drivers will take the Holland Thursday night, when the inbound tube of the Lincoln Tunnel closes 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. The Taste of the Seaport event will close Front St. between Beekman St. and Peck Slip 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday.
Start Here. Here Go Any Anywhere. B O R O U G H O F M A N H AT TA N C O M M U N I T Y C O L L E G E
The Sons of Italy Freedom Block Party will close Liberty St. between Broadway and Trinity Pl. 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday. The Astor Place Festival will close Astor Pl. between Broadway and Lafayette St. 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday. On West St./Route 9A between West Thames and Chambers Sts., two northbound lanes will close 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. weeknights and two northbound lanes will close midnight to 5 a.m. weeknights. Two lanes will close in each direction 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Peck Slip is fully closed between Pearl and Water Sts. as of Monday. Use Dover St. as an alternative route. Only northbound traffic is allowed on Water St. between Beekman St. and Peck Slip. The closures are expected to end in about two months. fROM The MAilBAg: Dear Transit Sam, On the day of the NYC marathon, I have to be at the Tribeca Grill for a birthday dinner on at 5:30. I am traveling from Putnam County. I was planning on going down the West Side Highway. Will this be open and how much additional time should I leave for the traffic? Elaine, Putnam County Dear Elaine, Yes, the West Side Highway will be open Sun., Nov. 3, but that’s where you’ll find lots of other drivers because the East Side (although not the F.D.R.) will have closures on
Transit Sam suspects this construction barrel was placed by a parking scammer saving a spot.
First Ave. and 5th Ave. and many people don’t want to go anywhere near the East Side or F.D.R. (in case there’s a traffic jam — no outlet). I’d leave an extra half-hour to play it safe. In any event I hear the Tribeca Grill is terrific — enjoy! Transit Sam A Transit Sam success story: Last week a reader notified me about a parking scam where a fire hydrant is being covered by an orange construction barrel. He got a ticket for parking next to the hydrant while it was covered. I advised that he see when the hydrant was installed, or at least call the precinct so they get the offender. Turns out he got off using Transit Sam’s advice!
October 23 - November 6, 2013
Bill de Blasio for mayor
Jennifer Goodstein Publisher EMERITUS
John W. Sutter Editor
Josh Rogers NYC RECONNECTS ASSOCIATE EDITOR
Terese Loeb Kreuzer Arts Editor
Scott Stiffler Reporters
Lincoln Anderson Editorial ASsistant
Sr. V.P. of Sales & Marketing
Francesco Regini Retail ad manager
Allison Greaker Julius Harrison Alex Morris Rebecca Rosenthal Julio Tumbaco
Many Downtown voters could still
smell the 9/11 fires 12 years ago — the last time New Yorkers were certain they would be getting a new mayor. Today, the odor is a distant memory to some, a vivid one to others. But many who will be voting for the city’s next leader Nov. 5 were too young or too far away from New York to remember. It underscores the point that the city is in a far different place than it was when Mike Bloomberg took over in 2002. We think Bill de Blasio is the best candidate to succeed Bloomberg. We like his plan for the city and his approach. He plans to use some of our city pension funds to help finance 200,000 units of new affordable housing over the next 10 years. The plan will not only combat the housing shortage, one of the city’s most vexing problems, it will also spur economic activity, creating jobs. De Blasio has made education the centerpiece of his campaign — committing to expanding full-day pre-K and afterschool programs. He would be the first mayor to have a child in the
public school system, which as we said previously, would send a powerful message to parents, particularly those who have felt they have had no voice in their children’s education. He seeks a miniscule tax rate hike on the city’s wealthiest residents to pay for his education expansion. Critics say the tax plan will be dead on arrival in Albany but that overlooks the fact that the idea has caught fire with voters, giving it political momentum. De Blasio’s ties to Gov. Andrew Cuomo go back two decades and his plan has a realistic chance of passing. De Blasio, the city’s public advocate, knows full well the daunting economic challenges he will face as he will have to negotiate long overdue contracts with the municipal unions. His pro-labor outlook should give him a much better chance to get the unions to accept less than all of the retroactive raises as well as the health and pension benefits that they are expecting. His main opponent, Republican Joe Lhota, the former deputy mayor under Rudy Giuliani, has run a misguided, lackluster campaign, which calls into question his credentials as an administrator.
Art / Production Director
Letters to the Editor
Liberal social police
To The Editor:
Arnold Rozon Chris Ortiz Contributors
Albert Amateau Jerry Tallmer Photographers
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After a long, hard day at work, Al Bundy — like many hardworking New Yorkers — should be able to enjoy a brew along with an adult dancer. He would be disappointed in “Strip clubs or not, committee says no to cabaret license” (news article, Oct. 9 - 22), but would be happy with “Jiggle joint’s finishing touches” (news article, Oct. 9 – 22). Adult entertainment, including lap dances, pole dancers and topless bars, has been part of many men’s right of passage transcending generations. If anyone ever conducted an anonymous survey,
We’ve heard irrelevant talk from Lhota about the Sandinistas, and suggestions that de Blasio somehow wants to take us back to the dark, crime-riddled days of the ‘70s and ‘80s. The reality is that de Blasio has made it clear that one of his top contenders to become police commissioner is Bill Bratton, who was the best commissioner under Giuliani. It was actually Bratton’s successors who helped feed Giuliani’s well-deserved reputation for being the most divisive mayor in recent history. Lhota would likely be somewhat of a departure from Giuliani, but not enough for our comfort. At last week’s debate, he said one of the most valuable lessons he learned from Giuliani was developing a “message of the day” that applied to the entire administration. The practical effect of this policy was that city agencies feared disclosing the most rudimentary information to the public or press, lest they incur the wrath of City Hall. Downtown Express endorses Bill de Blasio for mayor Nov. 5.
results would reveal members of Community Board 1 along with public officials and their employees have in their younger days frequented an adult entertainment establishment. Can any males say with a straight face that they never attended any fraternity, family or friend’s bachelor party where adult entertainment was present? Ditto for females. Despite the best efforts of both government and the moral majority social police to outlaw adult entertainment establishments and services, (like alcohol prohibition in the 1920s) it has been a total failure. Those who opposed these businesses from obtaining a license from the State Liquor Authority
need to loosen up, hoist a pint and get a lap dance or two at a local neighborhood adult club. The owners of any adult entertainment establishment provide gainful employment to cooks, bartenders, waitresses, dancers and security personnel. How disappointing to see progressive liberals throwing their lot in with the so-called moral majority social police and politically extreme reactionary conservatives. Individual economic and civil liberties prosper best when government stays out of both the bedroom and marketplace.
It is true that there are other ships similar to Peking that were built for F. Laeisz around the same time. However, Peking is an important part of the South Street Seaport waterfront. Her towering masts and vast size help to suggest what South Street looked like when it was lined with sailing ships. Guest
Councilperson Chin look at the plans for the Museum’s spaces, the landmarked Tin Building and the old Fulton Fish Market (New Market) building. jfcatowner
Posted To Hughes Corp. & city agree on plan for Seaport Museum (Posted, Oct. 17): For the sake of the seaport museum, the Peking Ship, 2nd largest sail boat in the world, was obtained as a war prize from Germany after WWII. What about if Bloomberg donates five million dollars to reserve that glorious ship! I didn’t mentioned Trump ‘cause I don’t want to see his name on the ship . ozzy Bardissy Here in Rotterdam the head of this maritime museum told me Peking has three sister ships. not very unique.... But i do hope the ships dont get lost in this rearanging-refurbishment of the real estate at our seaport Carter craft
I don’t trust the CEO of Howard Hughes when he says “we’ve got a very, very exciting plan...” adding “It’s going to be dynamic....” It probably means his corporation will take over the museum’s upper floors for luxury condos and leave one floor for exhibition space…. We in the community want to know why they are not letting Community Board 1 and
“Banksy’s Twin Towers tribute draws crowds to Tribeca alley” (Posted, Oct. 18): Interesting that a commemorative work of art of 9/11 and the twin towers that acknowledges the attacks and thus our actual memories of the event should strike such a cord amongst downtowners and visitors. This honest, simple design carries a truth that the grandiose, billion dollar extravaganza at WTC sadly lacks. Michael Burke
October 23 - November 6, 2013
When Banksy came to a gritty, Tribeca alley Continued from page 1
graffiti gallery attracting figurative drawing, bubble words and colorful murals, which morph graciously or are covered angrily. As of Monday night, Oct. 14, the super star of street art, Banksy, had installed an homage to Sept. 11th. At the midpoint on Staple St., on the north wall just below Jay St., there was a small painting of the Twin Towers in scratchy black adorned with a fall toned actual chrysanthemum. By Tuesday morning the street and the art installation had become a sort of mecca and the crowds swelled and swished throughout the night and back into daylight. For those who don’t follow the trends in street art, Banksy is the pseudonym for an England-based graffiti artist, painter, writer and film director, (“Exit Through The Gift Shop” and “The Antics Roadshow”). His satirical street art and subversive epigrams combine dark humor with graffiti done in a distinctive stenciling and spray paint technique. Banksy’s works are often annotated, readorned by other artists, or defaced and ripped down for their high resale value. For instance, the work on Staple St. was quickly marked in hot pink with the words “It’s an Inside Job.” Banksy has managed to add to his considerable cachet by never being photographed or identified other than by his artistic moniker. Banksy is giving New Yorkers an al fresco serial art show that he is calling Better Out Than In and it features works in the Lower East Side, Red Hook, Brooklyn, drawings sold in Central Park and sites still to be revealed. According to Bucky Turco, the founder of a blog site called Animal New York, “The aftermath to this graffiti is as interesting as the drawing itself. I’m here to cover what happens after the image goes up.” And it seems as if there were many Downtowners doing exactly that, snapping pictures and sharing a public art event. Ozzie Ramos, who lives nearby was showing the work to his daughter, Nicky, 9 and son, Andy, 7. Andy thought it was “cool the way he used so much black paint and then put a flower where the bomb burst.” Nicky said “this kind of art makes people notice and pay attention to things that so many people don’t see.” It was heartening to this reporter to see that for a younger crowd, public street art holds a power that is perhaps ignored in museums, thus bolstering the argument for its importance in the lexicon. The crowd on a Tuesday evening, assisted by balmy temperatures and crepuscular light, seemed buoyant and excited. Tim Birnbaum, a young sartorially exacting lawyer who stopped by on his way home from work, said, “I may not know much about art, but I know Banksy and I like him.” Other folks brought dogs, artsy friends from Uptown and older visitors to gawk and gossip.
Downtown Express photos by Wickham Boyle
Crowds flocked to Staple St. to see graffiti artist Banksy’s Twin Towers tribute.
In the end, most viewers agree that the value of public art is that is provides something beyond its intrinsic value. According to Joe Carini, of Carini Lang Carpets, a store around the corner from the site, “For me the real art was in how it affected people. There were hundreds of people that had a sense of community and reverence and maybe it is the subject matter that turned this small piece of art into a poignant little haiku.” Carini is curating a show in April called Back Against The Wall, a collection of 20 different street artists’ work envisioned in carpets, hand-woven in Nepal. “Street art is important because it provokes you, it makes you think, it’s in your face and multitudes of people can experience it. Banksy is a poetic, political and whimsical master at the medium. He is a sign of the individual against the system.” Unfortunately, the piece was spray-painted over last Thursday night — such is the ephemeral nature of street art. Already the magenta INSIDE JOB has been covered over and long time artist and denizen of Downtown Robert Janz’ “Bull Men” may not last long. This is a work that is changing and evolving right before our very eyes, like the neighborhood, our children, ourselves.
October 23 - November 6, 2013
80 years of history at The Villager B Y A l B e R T A MAT e A U The Villager began 80 years ago on April 13, 1933, four years after Wall St. crashed and a few years into the Great Depression. Through the lean years and the New Deal, through the years of World War II, the weekly newspaper chronicled the struggle to save The Village and Washington Square Park. The rise of political reform, the preservation of the Jefferson Market Courthouse, the dawning of gay and lesbian consciousness, the transformation of the waterfront, the epoch-changing terror of Sept, 11, 2001, the harrowing paralysis of Superstrom Sandy — all have been in the pages of The Villager from a neighborhood point of view. The Villager changed along with the times, often a step ahead and occasionally a step behind. The first front page had a drawing from 1916 “Bruno’s Garret — Which is no More,” a two-story rooming house on a West Village corner. Nostalgia was a given for The Villager’s founders, Walter Gregory Bryan and his sister, Isabel Bryan. Walter Bryan, who started his newspaper career in 1883 as a carrier boy for the Fulton, Missouri Sun, went on to work as a reporter for the Kansas City Times, served as business manager of the St. Louis Star and then promotion director of the Chicago Tribune. He organized The Bryan Organization, a newspaper marketing firm in 1912 and at the same time joined the Hearst Organization as publisher of the Atlanta Georgian and then the New York American. Walter was a joiner and an organizer — a Mason, a Shriner, a member of the Sons of the American Revolution, the American Order of Pioneers and an organizer and associate director of the New York State Boone Family Association — who traced their ancestry to Daniel Boone. His sister, Isabel, was a publicity and advertising manager for several companies. After a stint as head of the English department at William Woods College in Fulton, Missouri, she eventually became the office manager for the Bryan Organization. She was known as one of the best woman copy editors of her day. The lead article on the paper’s first front page was about the annual meeting of the Washington Square Association in the Fifth Ave. Hotel. Two items noted the legalization of 3.2 beer, the first crack in Prohibition: Peter Gilmore celebrated the opening of his play in the Cherry Lane Theater with a beer party during intermission; and “Hoppy News” was a headline on The Villager’s editorial page. Another item said the night court session of the Jefferson Market Courthouse disappointed spectators who expected to be entertained by a parade of beer drunks: “For the first time in months only six cases were taken to hospitals for over-indulgence and these were found to be suffering from ‘smoke’ or third-rail whiskey” — whatever that is. Also in the debut edition, a short circuit under the seats damaged a southbound streetcar on Sixth Ave. at Waverly Place but the 30 passengers boarded the next car without delay. A street car on the Eighth St. crosstown line collided with a cab at Christopher and West Sts. but no injuries were mentioned. Two New York University undergraduate magazines suspended publication “because of recent financial difficulties.” A year later, Walter wrote that the paper was intended to catch the voice and the spirit of the Village. He implied that the paper was responsible for people recognizing the Village as “a community of both color and conservatism … of substance and charm, happy home life … high educational, artistic and musical standards … of alert business development, in short, an unusually desirable section in which to study, play, live and make a living.”
Walter Bryan, founder of The Villager, a Downtown Express sister publication which this year is celebrating its 80th anniversary.
The first issue of The Villager.
Governor Herbert Lehman, former Governor Alfred E. Smith and Greenwich House founder and Director Mary K. Simkhovitch were among those who sent anniversary greetings. Walter died in 1941 and Isabel carried on until her death in 1957. Her sister, Merle Bryan Williamson, took over at the age of 83. William Honan, a former New York Times reporter
and New Yorker writer, was on The Villager staff from 1957 until 1960. In an interview a few years ago, Honan recalled Merle Williamson as a gallant woman who knew nothing about newspapers. “She ran a Holiday Inn in Missouri and became The Villager publisher on sheer courage,” he said. Up to that time, The Villager took the political path of least resistance and supported the powers that were — namely the Tamawa Democratic Club and its leader Carmine DeSapio, said Honan. But in 1959, Honan convinced Jim Bledsoe, the assistant publisher, to back the reformers, including Mayor Robert Wagner, ex-Governor Lehman and ex-Governor W. Averill Harriman, and oppose DeSapio, Tammany Hall’s reigning chief and the Village’s Democratic district leader. “We went to Merle and told her what we wanted to do,” Honan said. “She was 85 years old but she was from Missouri where the Prendergast machine ran Kansas City. She said, ‘Well boys, you better do it right. If you don’t, you’ll be stretched out in a church and people will be saying how natural you look.’ If her sister were still running the paper, it would never have happened,” Honan said. After Merle died in 1961, her son, Bill Williamson, took over and Jim Bledsoe remained assistant publisher for several years. In the 1970s, the finances of The Villager were uncertain, and various investors — “angels” is a better word to describe them — helped the paper survive. Bill Bowser, a West Village activist who died in 2001, wrote for the paper about Village history and neighborhood news under three bylines: William Bowser, William Patton and David Linder. Royce Rowe, who worked for ABC News, took the helm of a foundering ship in 1973, according to Miriam Bockman, a former Village resident and Greenwich Village Democratic district leader. “I came to help Royce out a couple days a week, but there were so few of us and so much to do that it became full time,” Bockman said in an interview five years ago. “We were on University Place in the Albert Hotel building. It was picturesque but the place was terrible. The roach problem was significant. If Scoopy the cat were still around then he would have had a field day eating insects.” Rowe’s partner in The Villager was Martin Shaer, who owned real estate on Grove and Hudson Sts., according to Robert S. Trentlyon, the publisher at that time of the Chelsea Clinton News and The Westsider. Trentlyon acquired The Villager and ran it for a year or two. Michael Armstrong, publisher of the Brooklyn Phoenix, came into the picture next. “I bought it in 1977 from Royce Rowe,” said Armstrong. “It had about five owners in the 1970s before I came in,” he said. Under Armstrong’s tenure, The Villager editorial office moved several times before settling in the East Village. In those days, the Villager gave Off Off Broadway theater awards, arts coverage was The Villager hallmark and the East Village was the cultural center of the readership. “We moved from 13th St. just off Fifth Ave. to Seventh Ave. South above Sweet Basil’s, which had been the old Tamawa Democratic Club,” Armstrong recalled. “Then we moved to E. Fourth St. near LaMaMa’s theater.” But in January 1992, the economic climate was too tough and Armstrong closed the paper. Nevertheless, six months later, Tom Butson, a retired New York Times assistant news editor, and his wife, Elizabeth Margaritis Butson, a former marketing vice president at Philip Morris, bought the paper and resumed publishing, saving it from vanishing from existence. In the next seven years, the Butsons transformed a moribund paper into a thriving community weekly, Tom Continued on page 27
October 23 - November 6, 2013
Go Ape, with Karloff, Lugosi and Lon Chaney, Jr. The good, the bad, the downright hairy: 1932-1954 BY TRAV S.D. (travsd.wordpress.com)
f you’re at all like me, this Halloween season you’ll be asking the question: What are the best ape-related classic studio era horror films for me to watch, not including “King Kong” or its sequels “Son of Kong” and “Mighty Joe Young” — which are GIANT ape movies, a different species of horror film altogether? Not to worry! I got your answer right here!
MURDERS IN THE RUE MORGUE (1932) Yes, It’s “based on the Poe story” but, on the other hand, no, not really. The only thing the film shares in common with the original story is the event of a body being stuffed up a chimney by an ape. The movie version concerns Bela Lugosi as one “Dr. Mirakle,” who appalls the people of Paris by exhibiting a “gorilla” — which is alternately portrayed by an actual chimpanzee and a guy in a gorilla suit, often in different angles during the same scene. Even worse, Dr. Mirakle preaches the heinous doctrine of evolution! And did you notice how he happens to resemble an ape? Worse than all of this, he is performing an evil experiment, kidnapping maidens and injecting them with ape blood, which kills them. Then he very shockingly dumps them into the river. The crimes are eventually solved by a medical student with a microscope. The next victim, in an amazing coincidence, was to have been his girlfriend. The movie is as beautiful to look at as the other Universal horror films of the time, if you can forgive the absolutely daffy element of how the ape itself is represented.
THE APE (1940) A low-grade cheapie — one of the very few times that Boris Karloff sank as low as Lugosi was capable of falling. In this one, Karloff plays a doctor who disguises himself as an ape — the better to kill people and take their spinal fluid in order to create a cure for “paralysis.” Oh, there is a set-up. He has been working on this cure for 25 years, after failing to cure his own wife. Now he lives next door to a young girl he would like to cure. And an ape has conveniently escaped from a nearby circus. Karloff kills him and apparently makes a costume of its dead body. Anything for science! Just generally tedious and bad.
THE APE MAN (1943)
Directed by the wonderful William Beaudine, this is merely the penultimate level of badness — Ed Wood being the gold standard. We begin in medias res: a sister (who happens to be a ghost hunter) finds her long missing brother (Bela Lugosi), whose research has caused him to become an ape creature. He is now searching for the antidote. We next proceed to watch the half-man/half-ape Lugosi, who, with the aid of a supernaturally wellbehaved full ape assistant, must steal the “spinal fluid” from still living victims for his antidote — a process fatal to the victim. The other characters are the requisite policemen and reporters, Lugosi’s colleague and his wife. The movie is surprisingly dull for such a delicious set-up. And, truth to tell, what would be so bad about being a half-man/half-ape, anyway? So bad you’d kill for the antidote? Why not THE GORILLA (1939) just come out in the open, gaining fame for your discovery in the process, and This one is more of a comedy/horror get the entire scientific community to film/murder mystery. Seems largely a work on the antidote while you accept parody of the old dark house mystery, lucrative banana endorsements? Ah, “The Bat.” The all-star cast features the but this is the world of fantasy. There Ritz Brothers (as detectives), Bela Lu- is also a funny coda. This mysterious gosi, Patsy Kelly (as a perpetually fret- man who periodically pops up through ting maid) and the omnipresent Lionel the story tells us in the end, that he is Atwill. And a guy in a gorilla suit. the screenwriter!
Image Courtesy Of 20Th Century Fox
Comedy, mystery and an all-star cast jazz up this 1939 dark house parody.
RETURN OF THE APE MAN (1944) Was the first one such a smash hit they needed a sequel? This movie
has nothing to do with the original, however. Bela Lugosi and John Carradine are scientists working on the problem of suspended animation. Continued on page 22
October 23 - November 6, 2013
The Golden Age of Ape-Related Horror Films Continued from page 21
They get it to work on a homeless man they have frozen. Realizing that it works, they launch an arctic expedition to find intact frozen cavemen — and, astoundingly, they find one! They bring the caveman back to the lab and thaw him out. But the caveman can’t talk to relay what he knows. Lugosi decides to transplant part of a modern brain into his head. Carradine refuses to participate — it will be murder to do so. Lugosi tricks him (with an electric floor plate that paralyzes him but somehow allows him to talk) and takes his brain. The caveman runs amok in the city and commits some murders. Authorities chase him back to lab. Caveman kills Lugosi, but then dies in fire. He should have stayed in bed!
BRIDE OF THE GORILLA (1952) Despite the unprepossessing title, which we used to make fun of when we were kids, this is, I have to say, objectively the BEST of all the ape
horror movies. It was written and directed by Curt Siodmak, who wrote the classic “The Wolf Man” and numerous other major horror titles. It’s a pretty solid story; only the title is unfortunate. Siodmak’s original title was “The Face in the Water” — which is unmemorable, but at least doesn’t cheapen the story. The same sexual themes at the back of most horror films (nearly all of them, now that I think of it) are foregrounded in this film. Raymond Burr is a fairly brutish plantation overseer in South America. He bemoans the fact that he doesn’t have slaves to do his work. He is indifferent to the death of one of his workers. He knocks up a native girl and ignores the situation. Then he kills the boss so he can take his wife. The mother of the pregnant girl puts a spell on him to turn him into a creature, the titular gorilla. Much like Jekyll & Hyde or The Wolfman, he begins to transform, and he keeps hearing “the call of the wild.” By the end of the film, he is ready to abandon his bride and take to the jungle completely. But the misguided girl follows him. In the end, the local sheriff (Lon Chaney, Jr.) and a doctor shoot Burr as he is carrying the
Image Courtesy Of Monogram Pictures Corp.
This 1940 low-grade cheapie is Boris Karloff’s low-water mark.
bride through the treetops. The film is marred by its low budget. The gorilla outfit is just yet another Halloween party grade costume. But the spine of
this story is quite good. I’m waiting for the re-make starring Benecio Del Toro! Continued on page 23
October 23 - November 6, 2013
The Golden Age of Ape-Related Horror Films Continued from page 22
BELA LUGOSI MEETS A BROOKLYN GORILLA (1952) Dare I say, William Beaudine’s masterpiece? I’m guessing the inspiration was the runaway smash hit, “Bride of the Gorilla.” Jerry Lewis impersonator Sammy Petrillo and his partner Duke Mitchell are stranded on a desert island with a bunch of natives and Bela Lugosi, who plans to turn them into gorillas. At one point, Mitchell does transform. Petrillo is able to recognize him when he manages to sing his signature song (“Indeed I Do.”). Anyway, it’s all okay. It turns out to have all been a dream. When last we leave the boys (a comedy team that never made another film), they are doing their act in a jungle-themed nightclub.
Dishonorable Mention: GORILLA AT LARGE (1954) Featuring what is undoubtedly the most prestigious cast ever assembled for a gorilla movie, “Gorilla At Large” boasts Lee J. Cobb, Ann Bancroft, Cameron Mitchell,
Raymond Burr and Lee Marvin. It’s also the first, last and only one in 3-D. But don’t expect a lot of thrills and chills. This is one of those movies that makes you sit through seeming hours of boring melodrama about a love triangle (and an equally dull murder mystery) before giving you the good stuff. Only at the film’s climax are we finally rewarded with the spectacle of Goliath the Gorilla climbing to the top of the roller coaster with the screaming Ann Bancroft slung over his shoulder. When Goliath falls to his death, so too apparently does this minor subgenre. The next time we get a whiff of scary apes in the movies, about 15 years later, they will vastly outnumber the humans — and the costumes will be considerably better. Trav S.D. has been producing the American Vaudeville Theatre since 1995, and periodically trots it out in new incarnations. Stay in the loop at travsd.wordpress.com, and also catch up with him at Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, et al. His books include “No Applause, Just Throw Money: The Book That Made Vaudeville Famous” and “Chain of Fools: Silent Comedy and its Legacies from Nickelodeons to YouTube.”
Image Courtesy Of Realart Pictures, Inc.
Image Courtesy Of Monogram Pictures Corp.
This 1952 stinker put the brakes on the celluloid presence of comedy team Mitchell & Petrillo (NOT to be confused with Martin & Lewis).
Despite its convoluted plot, this 1943 ﬁlm spawned a sequel the following year: “Return of the Ape Man.”
PERFORMING ARTS CENTER
2013/14 Season Family Series
Sun., Oct 27, 2013 at 1:30 PM, $25 Lock up your lettuce! Protect your parsley! Rescue your rutabaga! A floppy-eared bunny with mysterious habits is staking out its place in Theatreworks USA’s spine-tingling new musical co-written by Tony-nominated playwright Charles Busch and based on the best-selling books by James & Deborah Howe. Ages 5 & Up 199 Chambers St. NYC 10007 | Phone: 212.220.1460
October 23 - November 6, 2013
Painting Lower Manhattan, ‘just ahead of the wrecking ball’ 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 rbaumannstudio.com
BY SCOTT STIFFLER
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 thought-provoking collection of establishments 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, mi-
Images Courtesy Of The Artist
“Vesuvio Bakery” (18x20 inches).
grating 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.
“Mulberry Street” (14x16 inches) — on view through Oct. 31, at The 14th St. Framing Gallery.
October 23 - November 6, 2013 FINANCIAL
Radical Presence: Black performance in contemporary art This 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 exhibiIMAGE COURTESY OF THE ARTIST AND ALEXANDER GRAY ASSOCIATES, NY tion (some of them co- Lorraine O’Grady: Untitled (Mlle. Bourgeoise Noire and her organized with Performa Master of Ceremonies enter the New Museum). 1980-83, 13, New York’s Nov. printed 2009. Gelatin silver print. 7 1/4 x 9 1/4 in. 1-24 performance art biennial). Part I, which traces the his- raphy and documentation, takes place torical path of black performance in the Nov. 14-March 9, 2014, at The Studio second half of the 20th century, is on Museum in Harlem (144 W. 125th view through Dec. 7, at NUY’s Grey Art St.). For gallery hours and more info, Gallery (100 Washington Square East visit nyu.edu/greyart, radicalpresenceny. (btw. Waverly & Washington Places). org and studiomuseum.org. Part II, which includes an array of videos and performance-based photog— Stephanie Buhmann
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Queer arts festival challenges the constraints of queer B Y B RI A N Mc C O R MI C K Since 2003, the Queer Zagreb Festival has advocated and promoted queer life and culture in that Croatian city with audacity. It has become a major art festival in Europe, all the while challenging and expanding the parameters of queer artistry. “Queer art is not taken seriously often by curators,” founder Zvonimir Dobrovic said. “It took us some years in Zagreb to get on the map, to get people to notice programming we are doing can be on par with international centers.” Ten years on, he has proven to be more than equal, having presented more than 300 artists. “I have relationships with artists a lot of people in the curating world will know in some years, once these artists reach Berlin or Paris,” he said, “but often they have been to Zagreb first.” In 2012, Dobrovic launched the Queer New York International Arts Festival (QNYIA). This year’s festival is dedicated to festival co-director André von Ah. Dobrovic and von Ah married in August and in early September von Ah died suddenly. (Just days earlier, he had published a piece in the Huffington Post about Kennedy Center director Michael Kaiser’s wedding, which was officiated by Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.) Initially, Dobrovic wanted to cancel the festival. “The idea of facing New York, where André and I had a lot of memories, was just too difficult to imagine,” he said. “But then I thought that out of my own comfort it would be unfair to André and all the work he put into it.” In addition to performances, this year’s festival includes a Queer Art New Music Series, a film screening and talkback, a series of discussions, and other public programs. “He was very keen on putting more context into the festival based on experiences last year,” Dobrovic said of his late husband. Last year’s festival was met with dissent from some critics and artists around notions of queer identities and aesthetics. A major newspaper had to run a correction for an “erroneous description” about a panel discussion. For Dobrovic, this all misses the point. “When someone hears ‘queer,’ they immediately think it has to tick all the boxes,” he said. “A festival cannot do that — otherwise you have a salad, with a politically correct dressing of course, but it does not need to do that.” “We know what queer art is,” Dobrovic elaborated, “but no one thinks how it can be also moving beyond gender, it can go beyond being purely iconic, it can talk about positions of power, center and margin, beauty, ideas, race, ethnicity. Queer is a powerful term to address these. But it is so smeared with homophobia that people cannot get over.” He added, “Working in Croatia, I learned to recognize homophobia in different masks and layers. It is not always a punch in the face.” Addressing specific performers on tap, Dobrovic said, “Room 100 from Croatia and Antonia Baehr [Germany] are artists that will define what Queer New York tries to do, as they both in their ways question queerness beyond purely gender, sexuality, or other usual prisms that stem from feminist thought.”
Among the 16 acts from 10 countries in this year’s QNYIA festival are New Yorkers Shane Shane and Heather Litteer, Dan Fishback, and Max Steele. “We both were very committed to working with New York and US-based artists,” Dobrovic explained. “The role of a festival, any festival, always has to be communication and dialogue with its own geography. So, this year we really wanted to work with local artists much more and to put their work shoulder to shoulder to the international programming.” For Dobrovic, the definition of queer is dependent on geography. But his hypothesis places queer art on alternative terrain, independent of queer activism. “Activism is linear,” he offered. “There is a timeline, a goal. With art, all these lines are erased. For example, you can be in Croatia and say, yes, they are 10 years behind Brazil in terms of LGBT rights, or 20 years behind the Netherlands. But, the beauty and the difference is you cannot come to Croatia, Brazil, Philippines, or any other country and say, in terms of queer art, they are 10 years behind.” The imprint of von Ah on the festival is indelible. “He was always excited about Brazilian arts,” Dobrovic said. Von Ah got performance and visual artist Gabriela Mureb and choreographer Angelo Madureira to present at the festival this year. “He insisted that Raimund Hoghe be in the festival as well,” Dobrovic explained, “and now in this twist of fate, Raimund will have a special one-off performance [October 25] as a tribute to André.” Hoghe will also be presenting “An Evening With Judy,” his new solo project, as part of the festival. Even before this year’s festival has started, Dobrovic is thinking about the next. “I want even more the partnerships,” he avowed. “I want BAM, Baryshnikov Arts Center, New York Live Arts, and the work there to be called queer and make a difference to the festival and help the artists in that sense be empowered. But just to note, it is impossible that Raimund Hoghe, after being in New York quite a few times, only now comes with an umbrella of queer. You have to be blind not to see queerness in each of his works, in the energy he gives, in the visuals.” We know queer when we queer see it. QNYIA 2013 is presented in partnership with the Abrons Arts Center (466 Grand St. btwn. Pitt & Willett Sts.), with events at Grace Exhibition Space & Gallery (840 Broadway, btwn. Park & Ellery Sts., Bushwick), The Invisible Dog Art Center (51 Bergen St., btwn. Boerum Pl. & Smith St., Boerum Hill), Joe’s Pub at the Public Theater (425 Lafayette St., btwn. E. Fourth St. & Astor Pl.), La MaMa, ETC. (74 E. Fourth St., btwn. Bowery & Second Ave.), Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art (26 Wooster St., btwn. Grand & Canal Sts.), the New School (66 W. 12th St.), and Participant INC. (253 E. Houston St., btwn. Aves. A & B). For a complete schedule visit queerny.org
M Lamar presents “Surveillance: Punishment and the Black Psyche” as part of the Queer Art New Music Series at La MaMa on October 26.
The Villager Continued from page 20
Butson as editor and Elizabeth Butson as publisher. At age 19, Tom Butson had left his native New Zealand, where he was working as a reporter for The Truth, a weekly paper he later described as “a political scandal sheet.” He looked for newspaper work in London but learned that the Thompson papers in Canada were hiring, so there he went to work for the Thompson paper in Guelph, Ontario. By the time he was 28 he was assistant managing editor of the Toronto Star. He ran photos by Elizabeth Margaritis — who at the time was working as a photojournalist — in the paper, and they married in 1967. He joined the Times in 1968, working on the Week in Review section of the Sunday paper and as assistant news editor of the daily main news section. Three years after purchasing The Villager, the Butsons acquired a second local paper, Downtown Express, covering Tribeca and Lower Manhattan.
Tom Butson’s declining health prompted the sale in 1999 of The Villager and Downtown Express, the latter at the time a bimonthly, to John W. Sutter, who had recently sold a chain of Long Island newspapers he had been running for 10 years. In 1995 Sutter had moved to Tribeca. The Villager’s Sept. 11, 2001, issue was a few days late, but its coverage of the World Trade Center attack and the impact on the community was complete. In 2002, The Villager won 13 editorial awards for 2001 from the New York Press Association, including seven first-place prizes, as well as the Stuart Dorman Award for Editorial Excellence, the association’s top prize honoring the state’s best community weekly paper. The Villager also won the Dorman Award in 2004 and 2005. In August 2012, Jennifer Goodstein acquired Community Media from Sutter, renaming it NYC Community Media. Goodstein previously worked at MetLife where she led e-business strategy and IT investments online service. Under Goodstein — who has brought her computer savvy, marketing skills and business expertise to the company — NYC Community Media continues going strong.
October 23 - November 6, 2013
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