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The Paper of Record for Greenwich Village, East Village, Lower East Side, Soho, Union Square, Chinatown and Noho, Since 1933

November 19, 2015 • $1.00 Volume 85 • Number 25

Architect and developer try to build the case for St. John’s project BY LINCOLN ANDERSON


he architect of the sprawling development slated for the St. John’s Center site outlined the ambitious plan that would reshape the Lower West Side at the inaugural meeting of the Community Board 2 Pier 40 Air Rights Transfer Working Group last

Thursday night. In the project’s first public presentation, Rick Cook of COOKFOX Architects showed massing studies of what the developer hopes the buildings would look like, along with renderings of river views from apartments, and a community space for ST. JOHN’S continued on p. 6

Pols put on a push to cap number of tour buses at 225 licenses BY AMY RUSSO


he state Department of Transportation reports that the number of double-decker tour buses in New York City more than tripled, from 57 to 194, from 2003 to 2013. Today, there are at least eight sightseeing bus companies that operate a total of 229

buses — with nine license plates pending. The number of buses was, even higher, 299 in September 2014. Endangerment of pedestrians, pollution, crowded streets and excessive noise are just some of the complaints being raised by Manhattan politicians and locals against TOUR BUSES continued on p. 10


The Washington Square Arch was lit in the colors of the French flag on Saturday evening.

French vigil in Wash. Sq., again, after night of horror BY LINCOLN ANDERSON


undreds of shellshocked French expatriates and French Americans rallied in Washington Square Park Saturday afternoon to mourn and come together after Friday evening’s ISIS-related terrorist attacks in Paris that left more than 130 dead and 350 injured. Shortly after 2 p.m., Mayor Bill de Blasio joined them, making his way through the crowd to leave a bunch

of white roses at a memorial under the arch. The tall mayor’s head towered above the sea of people gathered in the park, as the sun streamed through the arch. Amid the crowd, Tricolor flags fluttered on the brisk and windy day. “Vive la France!” de Blasio said, as the crowd cheered softly. He then joined them as they launched into the “La Marseillaise,” the French national anthem, again, rather softly.

“Contre nous de la tyrannie / L’étendard sanglant est levé...Marchons, marchons!…” (Against us tyranny’s bloody banner is raised...march, march!…) “We can’t change our values,” the mayor told them, adding, “You will persevere.” On signs held aloft and painted on some people’s cheeks was the Eiffel Tower in a circle — in the shape of a peace sign — a symbol of hope in the wake of the bloody rampage. PARIS continued on p. 12

Zoinks! In the name of Purple? 2 Last checkout for storied A& 14 Otis’s wild oats in the old 17 A leggy League of 21

According to L.E.S. blogger Shawn Chittle, the women on the right are staff at the new Mr. Purple bar. The real Adam Purple, at left, wore purple — not black ! Duh!


STILL LOOKING PRETTY SKETCHY: The corruption-and-fraud trial of fallen former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver continued in court this week. The case has been moving quickly. Word has it that closing arguments will be heard Monday. In the illustration above, Silver, third from left, is shown in court this week with his defense team, from left, Steven Molo, Joel Cohen and Justin Shur. In a side note, Vito Lopez, the disgraced former Brooklyn assemblymember, died earlier this month on Nov. 9 at age 74. Silver, of course, went to bat for Lopez, arranging for female staffers who accused Lopez of sexual harassment to be paid hush money on the taxpayers’ dime. After the secret deal, however, Lopez only went on to sexually harass more women on his staff. L.E.S. PSYCHIC TSUNAMI: As bizarre as it

sounds, a new 15th-floor bar inside the justopened luxury Hotel Indigo LES on Ludlow St. has been named after the late Adam Purple. The gardening icon — who shunned the sort




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Corne r of Jane & West 4th St. (at 8th Ave.) 212-2 42-95 02


November 19, 2015

of frills and glitz now seen in his old stomping ground, today’s “glamorous Lower East Side” — died while biking over the Williamsburg Bridge in September at age 84. The Gerber Group, moving extremely fast — faster even than Purple in his hippie heyday zipping around on his bike to collect horse manure in Central Park for his Garden of Eden — decided to appropriate the environmental legend for the bar. Scott Gerber, chief executive officer of the Gerber Group, told Women’s Wear Daily that the bar name indeed comes from Adam Purple, who was known for his preferred shade of clothing. “That’s really what inspired us,” Gerber told the fashion mag. Street artist Lee Quiñones was working on a mural for the hotel, and one of the images he was doing was of Purple, WWD reported. Purple’s image is discreetly painted on the ceiling of the 14th-floor lobby. Were Purple actually alive to process this, we’re sure it would all be quite a “psychic tsunami” for him, to quote one of his trademark sayings. Gerber, conscious of the complaints of the LES Dwellers and other neighborhood residents, about street noise from the horde of bars in Hell Square, explained that’s precisely why the lobby and Mr. Purple have been put on the 14th and 15th floors. “You’re not going to have noise on the streets because people are already up here,” he said. We noticed that the place will have burgers, plus corned beef from the 2nd Ave. Deli, on the menu. Dude, Mr. Purple — a.k.a. Adam Purple — was a vegetarian! Sheesh! Mr. Purple’s cocktails will run around $14 or $15. “So, expect more crowds and limos to carry them,” WWD warned. Oh boy...fantastic! Even the chic style publication offered, “That this rooftop hang is named for Adam Purple, and so soon after his death, does seem a tad sacrilege. Doesn’t seem like he would want that honor.” Perhaps if Mr. Purple’s patrons would have to poop in some sort of rooftop garden, instead of using a restroom — the way the real Purple used to create “night soil” in his garden — that might make it all a bit more fitting. And we say that in all respect to Adam Purple. Meanwhile, Lower East Side blogger Shawn Chittle is beside himself over it all, and he’s calling for action. “A new restaurant on the Lower East Side capitalizing on Adam Purple’s name, complete with giant bottles of champagne — boycott this place!” he declared.

PURPLE PLAQUE: O.K., this sounds a bit more appropriate. We hear from Bill Di Paola, executive director of Time’s Up, that plans are afoot to place a memorial plaque, or possibly plant a tree, for Adam Purple near the legendary green thumb’s former Garden of Eden and home on Forsyth St., south of Stanton St. C.B. 3 LOVE CONNECTION: Community Board 3 back in the 1980s and ’90s was virtually — make that, actually — a war zone, riven by feuds between its factions, with meetings disrupted by squatters, smoke bombs, arrests, you name it. Until well into the late ’90s, police officers were posted at the front of monthly board meetings and out in the hall in front. But those days certainly have faded — hey, have you heard about the new fashionista / yuppie bar, Mr. Purple? And now we hear, from Councilmember Rosie Mendez, a story of C.B. 3 love. Board members Carlina Rivera, who is a local Democratic district leader, and James Rogers, owner of Pushcart Coffee, which has a branch at 83 Third Ave., at E. 12th St., recently tied the knot. Judge Rita Mella, a Stuyvesant Town resident, officiated. The couple honeymooned in Turks and Caicos. Congrats! C.B. 2 MUSICAL CHAIRS: We got a message on Facebook from Carol Feinman, a former C.B. 2 chairperson, that Arty Strickler was actually chairperson of C.B. 2 back when he created the Greenwich Village Children’s Halloween Parade, not district manager, as our article on the parade’s history in last week’s issue might have implied. Also, Maria Passannante Derr, another former C.B. 2 chairperson, resigned from the board midterm about two months ago. We did not hear it directly from Derr herself, but we’re told she was frustrated with the way businesses — namely, bars and restaurants — were being treated by the board, faced with slews of stipulations on operating hours and so forth.

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November 19, 2015


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The statue of Jacinta (indicated by arrow) was stolen from St. Anthony’s Our Lady of Fatima shrine on Nov. 10. The church is hoping for an “apparition” of the statue — as in, its return — along with that of Jacinta and her sisters’ sheep that was stolen, too.


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‘Statutory’ theft at St. Anthony’s; Jacinta, sheep stolen from shrine BY LINCOLN ANDERSON

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November 19, 2015


oly Mary, blessed mother of God! Some downright sinful — or just cruel-hearted or perhaps clueless — robbers stole a statue from St. Anthony of Padua Church, at W. Houston and Sullivan Sts., early on the morning of Tues., Nov. 10, according to the church. Father Joe Lorenzo, the church’s pastor, said two individuals swiped one of the statues from its outdoor shrine to Our Lady of Fatima, located in the historic house of worship’s garden on W. Houston St. The shrine depicts the reported apparition of Mary, the mother of Jesus, to three shepherd children in 1917 in the village of Fatima, Portugal. The scene featured Our Lady of

Fatima, with the three children, Lucia, Jacinta and Francisco, and some lambs. Now, though, there are only two children. The statue stolen was the one of Jacinta, depicted as a veiled girl on her knees. “The shrine is very popular among Catholic devotees, in particular the Portuguese community,” Lorenzo said. A church surveillance camera showed two individuals hanging around on the shrine pedestal, apparently for several hours, at times playing with the statues, he said. “It seems that they eventually left, but came back, possibly with a car,” Lorenzo said. “One of the men jumped over the fence enclosing the garden, grabbed the statue and ran off. It seems he handed the statue off to another person, who possibly put the statue in

a car and left. “The surveillance camera captured the incident from several angles, and the video is being processed,” Lorenzo said. As if it wasn’t enough to yank Jacinta out of the shrine, the “devilish” duo also swiped one of the sheep. St. Anthony’s posted information about the theft on its Facebook page, and received “many comments and words of concern,” according to Lorenzo. The dirty deed was also reported at Sunday Masses at the church. As of this week, the only update was that now the church is not sure if the caper was pulled off by two men or a man and a woman. “Some have indicated that there was a very drunk couple playing with the statues that morning,” Lorenzo said on Tuesday.

POLICE BLOTTER Meatpacking punch Police said that on Sat., Nov. 7, in front of 18 Little W. 12th St., at 3 a.m., a fight broke out between two men, and that one of them drew blood after slugging his rival in the face. Police said the victim, 25, was drunk and uncooperative, but eventually settled down and was taken for medical treatment of swelling and a bloody mouth. Luis Santiago, 35, was arrested a week later for misdemeanor assault.

Down goes club thief Two witnesses thwarted an alleged attempt to steal a purse from inside 244 W. 14th St., the Up&Down nightclub, the former Nell’s, on Fri., Nov. 13. Police said that a man grabbed an unattended purse at about 2 a.m. and attempted to leave the premises. His hoped-for haul included a $1,500 Chanel purse, credit cards, $300 iPhone earbuds and $120 cash. Police arrived and arrested Taquan Martinez, 25, charging him with felony grand larceny.

Pizzeria slice Heated words left a 41-year-old man with a sliced face inside Karavas Pizza ’n’ Pita at 72 Christopher St. on Fri., Nov. 13. The victim was arguing with another man, who whipped out a box cutter and slashed his adversary’s face at about 3:45 a.m., police said. Bertrum Harvey, 34, then reportedly handed the box cutter to Renee Francis, 37, for safekeeping. Police arrested both Harvey and Francis for criminal weapon possession, and also charged Harvey with felony assault.

I woodn’t do that... N.Y.U. security was confronted by a man wielding a big piece of wood on Fri., Nov. 13, around 1:20 p.m. A police report did not state how the incident began or if the wood wielder had any particular motive. But the perpetrator picked up the stick and then threw it in the direction of four security agents at 31 Washington Place, police said. No in-

juries were reported, but the security officers felt threatened by the man. Tucket Mowatt, 30, was arrested by police and charged with criminal possession of a weapon, the piece of wood.

L.E.S. rape arrest Police made an arrest early on the morning of Sat., Nov. 14, in connection with a Lower East Side rape pattern the previous Thursday. Robert Bowie, 20, of 1459 Wythe Place, in the Bronx, was collared by police and slapped with multiple charges, including rape, sex abuse, criminal sex act, coercion, burglary and robbery. According to police, the suspect attempted to rape two women before raping a Baruch Houses resident, all within three hours on the same day. It started before daybreak, at 5:40 a.m. on Nov. 12 with the man following the first victim, a 33-year-old woman, into her apartment building on James St. in Chinatown, police said. He grabbed her, then attempted to both rape and rob her. She was able to fight him off and he fled. At 7:40 a.m., the same suspect allegedly followed a woman, 24, into her building on Broome St. on the Lower East Side, police said. He grabbed her by her shoulders and stole her identification. She screamed and he fled. In both incidents, the women reported no injuries. Next, at 8:45 a.m. the same morning, the man entered the Baruch Houses on the Lower East Side, according to police. A woman, 40, noticed the suspect in the stairway and he started talking to her. While they spoke, he forced her into her apartment and raped her, then fled, according to police. She was taken to a local hospital where she was treated and released. The Baruch building’s front-door lock reportedly had been broken for weeks, and residents had long complained that it kept breaking. After the Nov. 12 incident, New York City Housing Authority workers showed up and spent several hours repairing the lock, according to CBS news.

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November 19, 2015


St. John’s team tries to build case for project ST. JOHN’S continued from p. 1

seniors where they could enjoy activities, while overlooking an elevated public park space created on the High Line’s old tracks. The renderings illustrated where within the 1,500-plus-unit development the nearly 500 planned units of affordable housing, including senior affordable housing, would be located. The current St. John’s Center building stretches from Clarkson to Charlton Sts., between Washington and West Sts., and spans Houston St. Under the plan, the existing St. John’s building, which encloses about 1 million square feet, would be demolished for the new project, which would be 1.7 million square feet. The site’s allowable F.A.R. (floor area ratio) would increase from 5 to 8.7 under the plan — a nearly 75 percent jump. This increase would be due to the developer’s plan to buy 200,000 square feet of unused development rights from Pier 40 in the Hudson River Park, across the West Side Highway from the site, along with the city granting a 500,000-square-foot general “upzoning” for the site. Asked to justify the upzoning, a spokesperson for St. John’s Partners, the developer, said that the project would include 330,000 square feet of permanently affordable housing — which is not something that “makes money” for the developer. Meanwhile, the other 170,000 square feet of the 500,000-square-foot upzoning is needed to make the project sufficiently profitable for them, according to St. John’s Partners. However, at last Thursday’s meeting, Andrew Berman, director of the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation, charged that the project is simply way too big. “The tallest building in this plan is equal to the Trump Soho,” he noted of the developer-turned-presidential candidate’s towering condo-hotel at Varick and Spring Sts. “The overall project is equal to six Trump Sohos.”

The situation is ‘gravy’? G.V.S.H.P. has already crunched the numbers and determined that, between the air-rights transfer and the upzoning, the St. John’s site’s value would increase 189 percent, nearly tripling the property’s current worth. This 70 percent boost in allowable development would translate into $2.23 billion in increased value for the developer, G.V.S.H.P.’s economic analysis contends. In short, the upzoning, Berman said, is “pure gravy” for St. John’s Partners.


November 19, 2015


A rendering showing what uses are planned in the St. John’s project. A rendering of Ian Schrager’s planned waveshaped building, 160 Leroy St., which is not yet under construction, is shown just north of the St. John’s project.

“We still don’t know how many air rights there are at Pier 40 or in the park,” he added. “To proceed with this at this point seems crazy. The developer should “just give the money to the park,” not buy the park’s air rights to stack on their building and make it bigger, he argued.

room, could be seen quietly shaking his head in disagreement.

‘Lots of public benefits’ In a statement in response to Berman’s charges, the developer’s spokesperson later said, “That theory being posited is inaccurate. Of course the project does have to be financially viable for it to work for everyone involved, including the community. It’s important to note that if the project is approved, the significant public benefits —  including  an estimated $100 million payment to save Pier 40, new public open space, and the creation of new permanent affordable housing units — are being fully committed to upfront, regardless of the significant economic risk we face in the future.” Explaining the “economic risk,” the spokesperson said the red-hot Manhattan real estate market conceivably could cool off. The St. John’s project’s tallest point would be at its northern end, where two big towers would rise on the block north of West Houston St., one of them 430 feet tall, as part of a 100 percent market-rate residential building, which Cook described as “an elegant condo project.”

‘The overall project is equal to six Trump Sohos.’ Andrew Berman

Furthermore, Berman said, if the city is going to consider this plan, it should approve G.V.S.H.P.’s proposed rezoning for the South Village and also for the University Place / Broadway corridor, which are threatened by overdevelopment. The Department of City Planning is the co-applicant for the St. John’s zoning change, he noted. As Berman flung around figures and railed against the project, Andy Cohen, principal of Atlas Capital Group, which is part of St. John’s Partners, sitting in a back corner of the

A senior affordable housing building — 110,000 square feet, with 175 units — would be tucked into the east side of this same block. Alhough most of these senior apartments would lack river views, some would offer their occupants glimpses of a new park space that would span West Houston St.

Trader Joe’s...big box? This block would sport, on its second floor, a retail space of up to 40,000 square feet, or possibly two separate 20,000-square-foot spaces. A supermarket potentially could be located here. Cook said Trader Joe’s markets are typically around 20,000 square feet, whereas bigger supermarkets are 40,000 square feet. The spokesperson noted that the goal in picking the project’s retail tenants would be to find ones that would be enjoyed both by the development’s residents and the surrounding community as a whole. However, he said, “The retail mix has not yet been determined.” There is also the potential for a big-box store in a 105,000-square-foot basement space — about half the size of the entire property’s footprint. “We have not made any decisions about the big box,” the spokesperson stated. Asked what else the underground space could be used for, Cook said, “In the base scenario, it’s parking,” adding that, according to the environST. JOHN’S continued on p. 27

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2:32 PM


Bingo by the river and affordable apartment views

The St. John’s Partners project, planned for the current St. John’s Center site, across from Pier 40, would include nearly 500 units of affordable housing, more than 170 of those for seniors. In renderings of the project, clockwise from above, a family in an affordable unit in a planned mixed-income building enjoys a view of the Hudson River; A couple take a selfie as they stand in a new public park space that would be created using the High Line’s old rail bed, while seniors, at right, enjoy a community space in their own building; Seniors hang out on the terrace outside their community space, inside which a game of bingo is going on; The entrance, on Washington St. near Houston St., of the mixed-income building.


November 19, 2015

November 19, 2015


Pols put on a push to cap number of tour buses TOUR BUSES continued from p. 1

sightseeing tour buses throughout the city. Repeated cases of tour buses injuring and even killing pedestrians have moved politicians to action. These included one accident last July when a bus struck a man at the intersection of West Fourth St. and Sixth Ave., pinning him under the vehicle and dragging him down the street for some distance. In October, legislation was announced by Councilmember Margaret Chin and Borough President Gale Brewer to cap the number of tour bus licenses issued at 225. There are currently no laws regulating the number of tour bus licenses in Manhattan. “Multiple tour buses piled up at curbs and near-empty tour buses cruising the streets have made it clear — we need to set ground rules for this industry,” Brewer said. If it becomes law, the bill would prevent the city’s Department of Consumer Affairs from issuing new license plates to sightseeing buses unless the number of active plates is under 225. The bill would not prohibit existing licenses from being renewed or replaced. Any vehicle capable of seating at least eight passengers that hires and sells trips to


In July, a tour bus turning onto Sixth Ave. at W. Fourth St. struck a man, pinning him underneath it and dragging him for a distance.

tourist destinations is required to have a sightseeing bus license. The proposal comes a few months after a bill was introduced last May, under the prime sponsorship of Councilmember Corey Johnson, mandating that tour bus operators submit their operating plans to D.C.A. when applying for a bus license, facilitating D.C.A.’s monitoring of tour bus traffic at any given time. Johnson also supports the cap on tour buses. “This bill will improve the quality of life for so many New Yorkers who are affected every day by the con-

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stant flow of tour buses through our streets,” Johnson said. “When we have too many of these buses in operation, residents are faced with excessive noise, air pollution, traffic congestion and serious pedestrian safety issues.” Paul Leonard, a spokesperson for Chin, said, “We feel that there is a momentum behind this effort to propose a very reasonable cap. We are very confident this will become law.” The bill is currently in the Council’s Committee on Consumer Affairs. Meanwhile, local residents and politicians claim that the buses are often partially or completely empty,

functioning more as mobile advertisements than tourist transportation. “Often nearly empty of tourists, these tour buses serve as rolling billboards for a captive audience of New Yorkers who are negatively affected by the noise, negative air quality and congestion the buses create,” said Chin. “Our legislation seeks to institute a better balance between accommodating tourism and ensuring the safety and well-being of residents in neighborhoods throughout our city.” Opponents also claim the vehicles’ noise levels are not being effectively regulated. “These buses not only cause traffic problems, but many of them fail to comply with the law requiring them to have sound-limiting devices,” said Leigh Behnke of the Broadway Residents Coalition. Leonard echoed the same concerns, stating, “Despite legislation that was actually signed into law limiting use of loudspeakers…we are still getting complaints about noise coming from sightseeing tour buses.” Regarding the instances of pedestrians being injured or worse by the lumbering buses, Leonard said, “Unfortunately, these tragedies occur and it just makes us more resolute in our efforts.” 

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Mayor tells French at vigil: ‘Stay strong’; PARIS continued from p. 1

During a press conference, de Blasio — with Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito by his side — urged France not to waiver from its ideals. “Stay strong and send a message to the terrorists that they cannot win,” he urged. Since 9/11, the mayor said, the New York Police Department has diligently combated terrorism here, and will continue to do so. “Fourteen years in this city, we have been able to stop numerous terrorist attacks,” he said. John Miller, the deputy commissioner of intelligence and counter-terrorism, said the N.Y.P.D. has a unit of 400 officers whose sole full-time duty is counter-terrorism. “We know that in this country we’re the number one terrorist target,” de Blasio said. The mayor added that 9/11 disrupted a primary election day — including a mayoral primary — but that the election was held soon afterward, just two weeks later. “We wanted to show that we could recover, and recover quickly,” he said. “My advice to Paris is to be resolute and to return it to the great city it is.” Trailed by news photographers, the mayor then visited police posted in the nearby N/R subway station, a photo-op to illustrate the city’s readiness. Later in the evening, de Blasio returned to Washington Square to light the arch in the colors of the French flag. Earlier a small Tricolor flag had been hung from the top of the arch. In a statement, police said, “There is no known indication that the attack has any nexus to New York City.” But police said they would adjust their deployments and post heavily armed Hercules units at key locations as a visible deterrent. Those gathered in the park for the vigil were mainly the young — for this time it was they who were targeted in the worst outbreak of violence in France since World War II. Sadly, it was the second time this year that the French had gathered in Washington Square to mourn. In early January, Muslim gunmen killed 11 people at the Paris office of the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo. One of the terrorists reportedly had yelled that they had “avenged the Prophet Mohammed.” Two days later, in a related incident, a gunman killed four Jewish hostages at a Paris kosher supermarket. Friends Laura-Jane Gautier, 26 and Delphine Turoy, 25, were in New York visiting from Paris. “It’s terrible,” said Gautier, a journalist. “There are no words — so much hate and so much pain.” Turoy, an artist, said, “Closed borders. The media is saying, ‘It’s the war.’ But we don’t know what is the war.” Turoy lives on Rue de Charonne, where the gunmen strafed the sidewalk cafe of La Belle Équipe cafe, killing 19 and wounding nine. A friend of Gautier’s was in Le Bataclan, the famed music venue, where several heavily armed men burst in during a show by the American band Eagles of Death Metal and slew at least 89 people. “I have a friend who was in the concert hall,” Gautier said. “But he managed to escape somehow. He was covered with blood. To escape, he walked on people.” That friend was receiving psychological counselling in a “crisis room” set up to help the traumatized victims recover, she said. In a feeling akin to what New Yorkers experienced in the immediate aftermath of 9/11 — name-


November 19, 2015


The memorial under the Washington Square Arch, listing the names of the nightspots where the victims were killed, such as Casa Nostra, a popular pizzeria, and Le Bataclan concert hall.


“It’s our heart being murdered,” read a woman’s sign at the vigil.

ly, the fear of more terrorist attacks — Gautier admitted she was feeling jittery about returning. But they planned to go back. “Strangely, I want to be there,” she said. Carla Beye, 28, recently arrived in New York for a two-year stint with Lacoste as a Web project manager. Her apartment in Paris is on Rue Richard-Lenoir, right near Le Bataclan. “So, I imagine it was me, my family, my friends,” she said of the attack’s victims. She said she read on Facebook that a cousin’s

friend was fatally shot by one of the terrorists as she sat in her car. “And I don’t want to come back to France right now,” Beye said. She added she would like to see a voter referendum on whether France should be bombing the Islamic State. Asked if she thought France ought to get out of Syria, she said, “Maybe, yes.” However, as of Monday, it was reported that her PARIS continued on p. 13

Area hit by terrorists is ‘like East Village’


Mayor Bill de Blasio arriving at Saturday’s vigil with a bouquet of white roses and lilies, which he left on a memorial under the arch.


The Tricolor, the French flag, proudly flew by the arch.

PARIS continued from p. 12

homeland had already massively retaliated with increased bombing strikes against the militant group. Nearby, next to the arch’s eastern leg, a woman was wracked with sobs as she held a cell phone to her ear. Managing to compose herself, Anais Bambili, 24, said, “A boyfriend of my best friend was eating on Rue de Charonne. He was wounded. He went to the hospital. I just got a call — he just died.” Bambili, who is studying English and living in Brooklyn, was being consoled by her friend Sophie Gousset. Also in her twenties, Gousset said two of her friends were shot during the night of terror. “It’s like the only place we hang out — and Place Voltaire,” Bambili explained of the area where the terrorists wreaked their carnage. “There are a lot of cafes — it’s not very expensive — and bars, concerts.” Marion Merigot, a theater producer living in New York with her family, said the 11th arrondissement, on the Right Bank, which was ground zero for the coordinated attacks, is like the East Village. “It’s families, young people, bobos [bourgeois bohemians], hipsters, everybody,” she said. Asked if she knew anyone who was injured, she said, “Not personally, but a friend of a friend was killed.” “I hope they respond firmly,” she added. Her precocious daughter, Sasha, 12, who attends the Lycée Français, was similarly resolute. “I think it’s the biggest one yet,” she reflected seriously of the attack. “And it’s not that far after the Charlie Hebdo attack, and it’s meant to scare us. But we’re not afraid.”


Anais Bambili, left, who had just learned her best friend’s boyfriend died in the Paris attacks, was consoled by her friend Sophie Gousset at Saturday’s vigil in Washington Square.

Meanwhile, Merigot’s smiling son, Noe, 8, sat nearby on her husband Nicholas’s shoulders holding up a redwhite-and-blue “Paris” sign. Two Lycée Français grads, French Americans Hannah Overlaw and Pauline Balsamo, both 27, said the attack had brought “a sense of solidarity” to New York’s French community. When 9/11 happened, they were “pretty young,” Balsamo admitted. This time, though, this is affecting her more deeply. As for the vigil’s crowd estimate,

she said 1,000 people had posted on Facebook that they would be attending. While the terrorists hoped to strike fear into the hearts of young people, especially, it won’t work, they predicted. “You have to go out,” Balsamo stated matter of factly. Standing holding a French flag on the south side of the Washington Square fountain, Matilde Brault, 23, and Pierre, 21, who only gave his first name, both agreed that the attack was

over the coalition’s bombing of the Islamic State. The attackers had said so, survivors reported. Asked if they felt there would now be a backlash against French Muslims, Pierre, who is studying at Columbia, didn’t think so. “Charlie Hebdo was perceived as a Muslim issue,” he said. “This was seen as an ISIL issue — and I feel good about that.” Yet, some peace activists worried that there would, in fact, be a negative PARIS continued on p. 29 November 19, 2015


Food Emporium sold as A&P heads to final checkout BY MARY REINHOLZ


nown for its store-made heatand-eat entrees, sushi bar and gourmet delicacies, the Food Emporium supermarket at 10 Union Square East changed hands Nov. 9. The transfer occurred a few weeks after its new owner, Key Food Co-Operative, Inc., acquired the store in a court-supervised bankruptcy sale from the market’s former corporate parent, The Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Company, otherwise known as A&P. A guard shooed away customers during the one-day transition. On Tues., Nov. 10, with no formal notice of different management outside its doors, Food Emporium reopened with diminished stock but maintained its deli, hot foods and large bakery, featuring artisanal breads and elaborately decorated cakes. All the checkout scanning machines had been temporarily shut down. Signs noted that purchases via food stamps (E.B.T.) were not yet available. Cashiers could not provide “cash backs” on electronic buys for sometime. But the upscale Union Square store kept the Food Emporium banner, signage and e-business after Key Food purchased that brand’s intellectu-


A vintage photo of the A&P chain’s founders and staff hangs on the wall at the E. 15th St. Food Emporium supermarket, now under Key Food ownership. A&P started out on Vesey St. in Lower Manhattan.

al property rights for about $1.75 million in a separate deal overseen by the White Plains U.S. bankruptcy court in the Southern District of New York. However, fliers soon appeared

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November 19, 2015

listing sale items from Marketplace Emporium, a possible new name for the store. A manager for the bustling Key Food chain, founded in Brooklyn in 1937 and now headquartered in Staten Island, said five days later, that none of the employees from the A&P regime had lost their jobs but some were “transferred” to other stores in New York and New Jersey. A&P, the onetime king of American grocers, is attempting to unload 120 of its 296 Northeastern stores for $600 million after the company’s second filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in five years, sources say. Brian Shiver, a spokesperson, declined to comment. But a Manhattan retail executive familiar with the hush-hush proceedings said that A&P is on the brink of dissolving. “A&P is selling off or closing specific stores. Key Food bought intellectual property rights to the Food Emporium brand, but that doesn’t mean for all the Food Emporium locations,” he said. He referred to three other Manhattan Food Emporiums that Key Food purchased, bringing the chain’s total acquisition of A&P stores to 23. (These include three Pathmarks and 10 Waldbaums.) Describing the situation as “fluid and complex,” the source noted that technically “any Key Food store can be turned into a Food Emporium” under terms of the A&P sale of its property rights, which includes ownership of A&P’s discount brand America’s Choice. A&P bought the Food Emporium grocery chain of 16 stores in 1986 from its former parent, Shopwell, Inc.

Even though the Union Square Food Emporium’s stock had been dwindling for weeks, some customers said they “didn’t know” about the store’s new ownership and the apparent impending demise of the venerable 156-year-old A&P. The store started out on Vesey St. in Lower Manhattan as a tea and spice business founded by merchants George Huntington Hartford and George Gilman. Vintage pictures of the old A&P stores still line the walls at Food Emporium’s E. 15th St. entrance between Park Ave. South and Irving Place, including an immense photo of the Vesey St. “headquarters” in 1890. But other seasoned regulars were well aware that a new day had arrived. “Is it going to be called Key Food now or the same?” inquired Waheed Salam, an airline pilot and resident at Zeckendorf Towers, as he checked store hours around 8:30 a.m. on the first day of the changeover. Salam, who has patronized Food Emporium for 20 years, said he had asked a manager about the store’s future. Food Emporium managers declined to answer questions from The Villager, one noting she had been told by Key Food “not to speak to the press.” Local 342 of the United Food and Commercial Workers in Long Island did not return calls by press time. But Sophie Henderson, 60, a parttime night manager who worked at the Union Square Food Emporium for 17 years, said over the weekend of Nov. 7 that she was resigning without “any severance” and would receive her late husband’s Social Security benefits. “I’ve seen so many things over the years,” she mused with a smile as she sat on a Food Emporium newsstand, which still carries copies of The Villager. She noted that Key Food would be “sending trucks in” to replenish merch on the first day of the takeover. On that day, one Key Food staffer, standing by cans of cat food selling for 69 cents each, said the store’s pricing for products will remain basically the same, “with a little fluctuation.” (A flier for sales for Nov. 11-19 listed four “large” Hass avocadoes for $5; imported Norwegian Jarlsberg cheese for $6.99 a pound; boneless chicken breasts for $1.99 a pound; and store-made strawberry shortcake “fresh daily” at $19.99.) Key Food’s corporate office did not disclose its price for purchasing the Union Square store and 22 others from A&P. The sales are expected to be completed this month. A spokesperson for Dean Janeway, C.E.O. of Key Foods, said he could MARKET continued on p. 26


Fran Lebowitz, left, talking with Trevor Baldwin, right, James Baldwin’s nephew.

Write on! Plaque for James Baldwin


ast month, the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation and the Two Boots Foundation dedicated an honorary plaque to the great American writer James Baldwin (1924-1987) at 81 Horatio St. The author resided at the location for three years, starting in the late 1950s. Speakers included Andrew Berman, executive director of G.V.S.H.P.; Phil Hartman of the Two Boots Foundation; poet Gregory Pardlo; writer Fran Lebowitz; Trevor Baldwin, a nephew of James Baldwin; and Max Rudin, publisher of the Library of America. In addition to his nephew, other Baldwin relatives attended the ceremony.

17 8th Avenue (between 12th and Jane) instagram @leftbankbooksny


November 19, 2015


Lost and found 2.0: All’s well ends well for cell RHYMES WITH CRAZY BY LENORE SKENAZY


emember that old expression “Finders keepers, losers weepers?” Does it even exist any-

more? Last week I lost my phone on the Q58 bus, but before I even realized it was missing, I sat down at my computer and found e-mails from my family, “Call a lady named Grace. She has your phone.” She did indeed. She’d found it on the seat next to her, taken it with her to work, and reached the “favorites” on my contact list. Soon I was in a Mexicana Car Service car heading to her at her workplace in Maspeth, Queens: United Basket. This turned out to be a cool 100-year-old factory filled with every possible basket (big surprise) and an even cooler young woman, Grace Chen, who cheerfully handed over the Android, adamantly refused a reward, and hurried back to her job.

A couple of months ago someone stole my wallet on the subway and another wonderful young woman — a waitress in a Colombian restaurant — found it on the street, bereft of cash but otherwise intact. She contacted me and also refused a reward. Could it be that this is the way of the world — or at least New York? Finders aren’t keepers? I started asking around. “I got a message that said, ‘I found your phone. Please call me,’ ” recalled Natalie Yates, co-founder of the digital agency Blue Iceberg Interactive. “I did. It was a taxi driver — in Westchester. He’d just gotten off his shift, found the phone, and he said that once his wife got home, she could take care of the kids and he could drive back into Manhattan with his truck to bring me my phone.” Drive it in? After his shift?  “I can survive without my phone for a night!” Natalie told him. To which he replied with a laugh, “A lot of people can’t.’ ”  Instead, they arranged for him to drop it off the next day, whereupon he told Natalie that he always returns things, including, one time, $10,000 that had been left in his cab. For that good deed, he got a $20 tip. Natalie gave him $30.

For her return efforts, performer Laurie Gamache got some lovely wine. “I used to live in a little basement studio on W. 96th St.,” said Laurie, who now teaches theater arts at the School of the Blessed Sacrament, as well as running the Theatre West 97th program at the Franciscan Community Center on the Upper West Side. “I was getting ready to go on the road with ‘A Chorus Line,’ and so I was cleaning out the place.” In a crack in the plaster of her fireplace, she found a class ring. The year on the ring was 1980something, and this was still in the ’80s. There was a name engraved, too. Laurie put it in a box in her desk drawer, intending to try to find the owner. But then it slipped her mind. For decades. “By the time I got back — years later — I forgot all about it,” she explained. But when she was preparing for a move, she cleaned out her desk and opened a little box she found. Oh yes! The ring! How to find its owner?  Well, in the intervening years, a device had been invented to do just that: the Internet. So instead of thumbing through phone books, Laurie instantly found the owner online — an Upstate judge — and sent it back to her. The judge’s husband runs a winery, so

the exchange concluded with a drinkable reward, nicely aged. Just like the ring.  Dana Rubin, the chief executive officer at rubin&co, an executive communications and content creation company, came home one day to a ransacked apartment.  What pained her most was the loss of a bag of jewelry, including sentimental pieces given to her by her parents. “I was devastated,” she recalled. About a year later, she called an organization to come pick up some furniture she was donating. As the workers lifted up her mattress, there was the jewelry bag. She had put it there for safekeeping — which, apparently, worked.  “I’d been sleeping on it all year,” she said. In a world of good people and eureka moments, there seems to be only one surefire way to find a lost and precious item, at least according to my sister-in-law: Go online and shop for a replacement. Press “Purchase.” Look up. There it is.  Skenazy is a keynote speaker and founder of the book and blog “Free-Range Kids”

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR Curious about burial vaults To The Editor: Re “City uncovers ancient tombs in Wash. Sq. — again” (news article, Nov. 12): My grandmother was Rebecca Smellie. Since 1996 when I discovered ancestors in Jamaica, Ghana, Scotland, England and New York, I have been searching New York’s colonial records and church cemeteries for one of our ancestors, Thomas Smellie. He was not poor but he died in New York


of what the records and newspapers say was “the fever” in 1801. On Dec. 15, 1801, an obituary in the colonial newspapers said: “December 1. DIED, Yesterday morning, Thomas Smellie, Esquire, a native of Hamilton in Scotland. He lately came to this city for the recovery of his health. His death is lamented by those few who had the pleasure of his acquaintance.”  He was buried in the cemetery of a Presbyterian church in the Wall St. area, then reinterred when the remains in that cemetery were relocated

because of development in the Wall St. area. I have been searching the other colonial cemeteries. I look forward to seeing the results and the names that the archaeologists and anthropologists discover in these two burial vaults. There are the poor AfricanAmerican cousins he brought with him to New York. Pearl Duncan

Scuttle park biergarten To The Editor: I am dismayed at the Hudson River Park Trust’s continued effort to locate a biergarten directly next to the Chelsea children’s carousel on Pier 62, at W. 22nd St. The Trust’s claims that Pier 62 is “underused” should not be grounds to install a bar on parkland, especially next to a children’s area. There are already many commercial operations that liberally serve alcohol near the carousel. Between Piers 61 and 59 are located a bowling alley, at least six party cruise boats and three very large catering halls that lock up all the best views of that portion of the river — the Lighthouse; Pier Sixty (a 2,000-seat venue); and the new Current, which took the space of the city’s largest microbrewery (the failed Chelsea Brewing Company). Also, just north of the children’s carousel is LETTERS continued on p. 18


November 19, 2015

Life’s fun, and real, without ‘company manners’ NOTEBOOK BY OTIS KIDWELL BURGER


hen I was young, I was considered fair game, a wild girl ready for anything, because I lived in Greenwich Village. Even years later, a visiting cousin from California became quite insistent that I take him to the “hot spots.” My husband and I owned a townhouse, our daughters went to St. Luke’s and Dalton and the only “hot spots” we knew were Nick’s, Eddie Condon’s and Chumley’s. And we once attended a performance by Lenny Bruce. Bohemia was long, long gone, hippies were fading along with transvestites, homosexuals and other costumed identities. Bleecker St. had shed pushcarts, antique shops, ethnic stores and restaurants, and donned namebrand expensive clothing stores. So what, I asked a real estate broker recently, still brings people to the Village now, when so much of its interesting eccentricities have been buried by company manners? “The billionaires are pushing out the millionaires,” he said somewhat obscurely. Well. Yes. The cold-water flats, the rooming houses, like ours was once, the old mom-and-pop stores have been replaced by supermarkets and condos. Our children and grandchildren move to Brooklyn, but even there rents are rising. What attracts people to the Village? Money and a colorful past. The words from passing smartphones are mostly about money. Corporate speak? When I was five or six, I realized that even if you knew only one lan-

The writer, who is now in her early 90s, as a young artist.

guage, you spoke it in many different ways. The nursery squabblings and games were pruned and polished around the family dining table. “Get to the point, Allyn,” my mother would admonish my long-winded little brother, until we all learned the proper give-and-take of conversation. And when we met our parents’ friends or relatives, our mother would nudge, “Company manners!” i.e. become enviable offspring, a credit to our elders. And I think most people learn to display company manners to most of the world, most of the time, with vari-

ations; one brand of company manners to helpers, another to our pharmacist or doctors, who know more of our secrets, a rather garbled mouthful one to our dentists. Different types of company manners for the office, the school, new schoolmates, old buddies, longtime friends who know a lot about us, and even less-guarded versions for our children and lovers. Do any of us ever really let down our guards? Even to our therapists? I think it is unlikely that the Village will recapture the “first fine careless rapture” of its youth. However, company manners make it much easier to

deal with a growing population and tourists more smoothly. Yet, many individuals and, of course, some companies use company manners to manipulate and conceal that, which in private may be quite startling. For example, in 1946, I was in a Boston hospital with a gut infection, saved by the first penicillin to be released to civilians. Shots in the butt. Very painful. I was lying in bed, groggy, when an older woman was wheeled into the ward and tucked into a bed just across the aisle from the foot of mine. Oh, she was so absolutely a Southern belle! An accent thick as honey, full of magnolias and mint juleps. Everyone was “darlin’ ”, nurses were “so sweet to poor little me.” She clung, she dripped sweetness and well-rounded syllables. Everything was Georgia peachy. Then she was wheeled away. And returned a few hours later. I don’t know what they had taken out, but her Southern charm had gone with it. She was shrill, nasty and accusatory. And foul. The nurses were sleeping with the doctors, she ranted. Sinful happenings were everywhere in this stinking hospital. Eventually, she was calmed down, quieted and tucked in. The lights went out, the ward became dark and quiet. And then, beyond the foot of my bed, arose a small, triumphant voice. “And I can pee 10 feet!” she said. (I calculated groggily if I was within range.) Well, that was more fun than Southern charm. The Village was once more fun, too, with wilder voices beneath the company manners. Let’s hope the billionaires at least keep safe what we have left of it.

A stitch in time on W. 10th St.


alter Dikarev, at Walter’s Antique Clock & Watch Repair, at 240 W. 10th St., at Hudson St., is the West Village’s fixer of vintage timepieces. Ironically, though, you never know exactly what time he is going to open up for business each day. Seated at his workbench, he has been a neighborhood staple at the location for 17 years. If you stop by, you might find him speaking to a visitor in Russian. He doesn’t take credit cards. Originally from Moscow, Dikarev, 67, works six days a week. “My business is good,” he said. “I’m not complaining. It’s a very

tough business. I’m a survivor. My policy is very simple: high quality, less prices and not cheating the customer. Absolutely.” This week, his projects included fixing five pocket watches from around 1900 and a few clocks from the mid-1800s. Westbeth photographer Toni Dalton is a big fan. “If I don’t have the cash, he tells me come when I have it,” she said. “Isn’t he adorable? I love to watch him use all the tools of his trade. A man came in the other day to pick up four very, very old, expensive clocks, antique gold clocks, and wrapped them in bubble wrap to bring them somewhere to a foreign land.”

Walter Dikarev keeps things ticking.


November 19, 2015


LETTERS TO THE EDITOR LETTERS continued from p. 16

the Frying Pan, a popular drinking establishment that is rich in maritime history. If the Trust is so desperate to reinvent this end of Pier 62, it should explore ideas that would be in harmony with the existing children’s carousel. For example, how about a Hudson River wildlife museum, in keeping with the carousal’s wildlife-themed educational mission? Or a tugboat museum, with an interactive control room showing tugs docking big ships on a screen (maybe called the John Doswell Museum). The museum could be housed inside

a dry-docked gutted small tugboat. Donathan Salkaln Salkaln is communications chairperson, Chelsea Reform Democratic Club; and secretary, Chelsea Waterside Park Association E-mail letters, not longer than 250 words in length, to news@thevillager. com or fax to 212-229-2790 or mail to The Villager, Letters to the Editor, 1 Metrotech North, 10th floor, Brooklyn, NY, NY 11201. Please include phone number for confirmation purposes. The Villager reserves the right to edit letters for space, grammar, clarity and libel. Anonymous letters will not be published.

SOUND OFF! Write a letter to the editor

Jacob a. Riis revealing new york’s other half

“heart-rending retrospective” – The New York Times

Inequality remains a fact of life in America. A century later, this New York master’s photos still explode with outrage.


November 19, 2015 1220 FiFth ave at 103rd st

Painting for the experience

Frank Stella at the Whitney Museum of American Art BY STEPHANIE BUHMANN


ewer than three weeks into its run at the Whitney Museum of American Art, Frank Stella’s retrospective has already been widely reviewed by the media. With over 60 works — some of them massive — filling its entire fifth floor, it is the perfect project to highlight the museum’s new lofty premises. Although often too closely installed, the many paintings, wall reliefs, maquettes, free standing sculptures and a few drawings provide insight into Stella’s versatile, nearly six decade-spanning oeuvre. As one of the most influential American artists working today, he certainly deserves such attention. And yet, what is interesting about the extensive coverage that this exhibition heralds is its common tenor: it is still Stella’s early work that remains the most universally revered and better understood. Even Stella himself has noted in the recent past that his so-called “striped” paintings might be the best he has ever painted. In fact, it was his Black Paintings that put him on the map. Works such as “Die Fahne hoch!” (1959) are straightforward compositions, which assemble even stripes of house paint into parallel geometric movements. They are often described as emotionally detached, and considered a historic bridge between the romantically charged Abstract Expressionist works of Jackson Pollock and Franz Kline and the Minimalism of Donald Judd or Carl Andre. “What you see is what you see,” Stella once remarked about these works — but that is too simple a description. It is true that they focus on the surface and do not veil a hidden


Installation view, with “The Blanket (IRS-8, 1.875X)” at far left and “The Whiteness of the Whale (IRS-8, 1.875X)” at far right.


“Harran II” (1967. Polymer and fluorescent polymer paint on canvas. 120 x 240 in. / 304.8 x 609.6 cm).

mystique, but they are also elegant contemplations of rhythm. In that, the austere aestheticism of their vo-

cabulary pulses with life within. In the early 1960s, Stella applied the concept of the Black Paintings

to compositions based on aluminum radiator paint, which Pollock before him had used to strong effect as well. In works like “Union Pacific” (1960), the reflective silver surface makes for subtle plays with light. Depending on the viewer’s position, it either shimmers or appears somewhat muted. The paint handling enhances this effect: Stella changed the angle of his brush as he turned corners, allowing the light to reflect differently and to animate the surface. Both the Black Paintings and the Aluminum Paintings keep the viewer at a distance, encouraging them to be studied from afar. They manifest as statements rather than transformative experiences and this quality is characteristic for all of Stella’s work. The paintings and sculptures STELLA continued on p.20 November 19, 2015


Frank Stella rejects echoes of past decades STELLA continued from p. 19

are created and meant for their own sake, and especially for the experience of making them. They are not intended to become catalysts for something emotional or spiritual. Born in 1936 to first-generation Sicilian immigrants, Stella grew up in a suburb of Boston. In 1954, he entered Princeton University, where he studied with the painter Stephen Greene, among others, and created gestural works with a muted palette that, above all, celebrated the spirit of Abstract Expressionism. After graduating in 1958, Stella settled on the Lower East Side of New York, where he soon acquainted himself with some of the major artists of the scene. At this point he became especially taken by Jasper Johns’ flag paintings. In this context, Stella managed to rise quickly. In 1959, he joined Leo Castelli Gallery, which also represented Johns, and exhibited in “Sixteen Americans” at the Museum of Modern Art (1959-1960). He became a bona fide shooting star to the extent that the Museum of Modern Art organized a survey of his work in 1970 when he was not even 35 years old. Despite this early success, he managed to stay clear of wanting to please and meet others’ expectations. In fact, his work has so continuously and drastically changed over the decades, that he was sure to lose many of his early admirers along the way. In the mid-1960s, the striped paintings led to the Irregular Polygon series, which broke away from the strict organization of his previous work. In “Conway I” (1966), for example, thick stretcher bars push the composition off the wall. Both its vibrant palette and physicality provoke a sense of confrontation. Stella made 11 Polygons, as well as identical canvases for each, employing different color combinations every time. In these works, a thin line of raw canvas delineates each color field, albeit without mechanical precision. Bleeding color makes for irregular edges when viewed up close. Despite their overt graphic quality, the Irregular Polygons convey a sense of playfulness that foreshadows Stella’s sculptural works of the 1990s and 2000s. The Protractor series came next, inspired by and named after the drafting tool used to draw and measure curves. When viewing works like “Harran II” (1967), Stella’s minimal palette of the Black and Aluminum Paintings seem a faint memory, even a foreign concept. Now, radiant and fluorescent fields of color dominate and establish a strong dynamism. They are organized in eight-inch bands that form rhythmic sequences of echoing arcs. Arranged sideby-side within square borders, they find unison in full and half circles. Though Stella’s Polish Village series of 1970 — in which he collaged paper, felt and wood onto canvas — marked a turning point toward the more three-dimensional, his first truly sculptural works appeared in 1982. Stella has often remarked how his sculptures remain rooted in painting, but that the complicated forms he pursued demanded an independent physicality. They were, so Stella built paintings that he could then color and decorate. When viewed frontally, “The Blanket (IRS-8, 1.875X)” (1988), might evoke the shape of a vertebra. It is the particular colorization of different sections that defines them, but also visually flattens the protruding three-dimensional form when viewed from afar. In fact, it is a hybrid, a painting with sculptur-


November 19, 2015


Installation view, L to R: “Marrakech,” “Palmito Ranch,” “Avicenna” and “Jasper’s Dilemma.”


Installation view. L to R: “Creede I” and “Creede II,” “Plant City” and “Empress of India.”

al tendencies. Though one cannot study it in the round, which makes it less sculpture than painting, its carefully painted sides in fluorescent rainbow stripes leave no doubt that this work is not solely to be considered from the front. As much as Stella has changed over the decades, one aspect remains the same: he has both openly admired other artists’ work and channeled it into his own. Pollock, Kline, Johns and John Chamberlain are perhaps the most evident. In recent years, Stella has openly dedicated whole bodies of work to literary and musical sources of inspiration. While the sonatas of Domenico Scarlatti and the writings of the American 20th-century harpsichord virtuoso Ralph Kirkpatrick, who made them widely known, inspired his Scarlatti K series, his most extensive series — Moby-Dick — ponders Herman Melville in depth. Then there are the tributes to a singular artist, like Kazimir Malevich in “Circus of Pure Feeling for Malevich” (2009), or to specific works of art, like Théodore Gericault’s masterpiece of (almost) the same title, in “Raft of the Medusa (Part I)” (1990). At the Whitney, the chronological organization

becomes looser as the exhibition unfolds, mixing works from different eras in close proximity. This unfortunately feels like a forced reunion, as if to remind us that despite all their drastic changes and differences, these works belong and can hum together. However, a strictly chronological curation might have been more effective, because the beauty of Stella’s oeuvre is its dissonance. Each body of work might have emerged organically from the previous, but it quickly strove for independence. The fact that Stella has not spent his life echoing his most successful work from many decades ago, makes him inspiring. It will also ensure him credibility going forward, as his work will continue to impact subsequent generations of artists for entirely different reasons. “Frank Stella: A Retrospective” is on view through Feb. 7, 2016 at the Whitney Museum of American Art (99 Gansevoort St., btw. 10th Ave. & Washington St.). Hours: 10:30 a.m.–6 p.m. on Mon., Wed., Thurs. & Sun ad 10:30 a.m.–10 p.m. Fri. & Sat. Admission: $22 ($18 for students/seniors, free for members and those under 18). Visit

Gaming gets its day, and due

‘Legends’ is in its own league BY CHARLES BATTERSBY


ribeca Enterprises is known for the Tribeca Film Festival, but they recently launched a new project that examines another art form: video games. On Nov. 13, “Tribeca Games Presents The Craft and Creative of League of Legends” dedicated an entire day to a single massively popular game. The developers of “League of Legends” came to New York to show fans how they use art, music, and narrative to create their game. “League of Legends,” or just “League” as its fans call it, is an online game where teams of players battle for control of strategic points on a map. Each player chooses a “Champion” that they control, and “League” is known for its huge roster of colorful characters. Playable Champions include gaming archetypes like warriors, wizards and robots, and the increasingly outlandish 128-strong stable includes demonic cookie bakers, anthropomorphic bear policemen and nightclub DJs who fight with music. The quirky characters, and strategic, team-based gameplay, have caused “League” to surge in popularity since its 2009 launch. Patty Newburger, Executive Vice President of Event Strategy and Operations at Tribeca Enterprises, explained how “League” was chosen as the focus of this inaugural event . “Tribeca Games grew out of an inspiration from Jane Rosenthal, who is our founder, but also a well-known film producer. When you do a film,


Cosplayers dressed as characters from the 128-strong “League of Legends” stable, at Tribeca Games’ daylong exploration of the massively popular game.

there are costumes, there’s a script, and there is music. When you look at the game ‘League of Legends,’ they are also telling a story.” Newburger pointed out how the game uses the same sort of musical composition, costume design and character development that one would expect from a movie and that “Jane believed that there was a real synergy. So we created Tribeca Games to continue storytelling...We are delvLEGENDS continued on p. 23


“League” Design Director Greg Street (seen here at the Nov. 13 event), makes the case for video game as communal experience.

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The soft glow of her Lower Manhattan Bradshaw’s work is eye candy at Farm Candy BY DUSICA SUE MALESEVIC


ainter Ellen Bradshaw has done what some may consider an impossible feat: make the FDR look beautiful and appealing. In “South Street Snowstorm, Under the Viaduct,” the FDR actually has a soft glow, reflecting the warm yellows, oranges and hints of red used to depict the snow and lights. The near-empty scene, with only a few cars and one visible person, spurs Robert Frost-like images to swirl in one’s head. Bradshaw, a Southbridge resident for 27 years, has used her talented eye to create scenes of the South Street Seaport, the West Village, the High Line and other parts of Lower Manhattan. Her oil paintings show Downtown’s past and chronicle its present. For her current exhibition, “Visions from the South Street Seaport” (on view through Dec. 31 at artisanal food and craft store Farm Candy), Bradshaw features oil paintings of the Seaport that span 20 years. “I wanted to show kind of the history of the old Seaport and also the old fish market, which has been gone for years now,” Bradshaw said in a phone interview. “I did a whole show of the fish market, so some of those paintings will be in there.” Indeed, before the Fulton Fish Market shuttered in 2005, Bradshaw was up early to capture the fishmongers and their surroundings. “The last year that the fish market itself was open,” she recalled, “I went down at probably three in the morning with my husband, who knew some of the fish guys, because they didn’t really like their photographs taken.” Out of that exploration came “A Farewell Tribute to the Fulton Fish Market,” shown at Pleiades Gallery in


“South Street Snowstorm, Under the Viaduct” (2007 / 22x28”).

“Fulton Market Morning” (1998 / 14x18”).

2006. Bradshaw has been a member of Pleiades Gallery (530 W. 25th St.) since 1999, and has been its president since 2000. In “Fulton Market Morning,” the myriad shades of blue suggest day before the sun has broken through, while men move boxes or stand around. Again, the scene is sparsely populated, but evokes a real sense of the market. Also to be shown as part of the exhibition are paintings that document bygone and current restaurants in the Seaport. Bradshaw said she depicted haunts like Sloppy Louie’s, no longer part of the neighborhood, and The Paris Café, open continuously since 1873 (except for 51 weeks after Hurricane Sandy).


November 19, 2015

Bradshaw had frequented Farm Candy and met the owner, Pamela Stone. “I just wandered in there and struck up a conversation,” she said. “Her food is wonderful. I’ve bought several of her items. I told her what I did, and she had the wall space to do a show.” Bradshaw’s ties to the Seaport began in the ’80s. Originally from Penfield, a small suburb of Rochester in upstate New York, Bradshaw said, “Ever since I was little, I always knew I wanted to live here.” After attending Syracuse University for two years because her parents didn’t want her to move to New York City, she transferred to the Pratt Institute and studied fine arts and illustration. She graduated from Pratt in 1984, and immediately became associated with the Seaport. “My first job was down here after school. I got a job managing a hand-painted clothing store in the Seaport,” she recalled. “It was called Foofaraw.” This is also how she met her husband, Joe Bradshaw. He often went to the bar across from the store called McDuffee’s (both are no longer part of the neighborhood). “It was just a great place,” she recalled. “The stores down there and the restaurants — everything was so original and really quaint back in those days before the mall-type shops took over.” They met in 1986 and were married two years later. Joe grew up in the Smith Houses in the Lower East Side and then moved to Southbridge Towers. Bradshaw has seen the neighborhood go through many changes. “When I first came down here, it was a little bit more deserted feeling,” she said. “There was hardly a really good place to buy food, like a supermarket. So it is totally transformed into much more of a residential feel.” Hurricane Sandy has also played a huge role in how the neighborhood is now. “Sandy hit and the whole place was demolished,” Bradshaw said. “Three years after Sandy, it’s starting to really revive.” When Bradshaw starts a new series of paintings, she picks a theme and then dives in for a year. She takes her camera with her wherever she goes, taking several photographs. She brings GLOW continued on p. 23

Bradshaw’s oil paintings chronicle Seaport’s past and present

Tribeca Games brings ‘League of Legends’ to New York

“Night, Peck Slip” (2007 / 20x30”).


“League of Legends” can be downloaded and played for free on Windows and Macintosh computers. LEGENDS continued from p. 21


“Lou’s Fish Market” (2005 / 12x24”).

GLOW continued from p. 22

those back to her studio in the West Village. “I take some ideas from one photo, some from another photo, and create my own vision of what the feeling would look like,” she explained. “I take pieces from different photographs and put them together to make a painting.” Her last show centered on the High Line. “What I loved about it was the wild nature up there and then you look over the rails and there is city below,” she said. “I just loved the High Line — I didn’t expect to, but I did.” Her next gallery show will be “Up on the Roof,” which is slated for April 2016 at Pleiades. It is a change of pace for Bradshaw, who usually paints street level. This series will focus on views of the city from rooftops and balconies in Lower Manhattan and Midtown. Bradshaw enjoys painting scenes in or about Lower Manhattan and the West Village.

“I like the more intimate everydayness of the city,” she said. “Usually, if I put people in my paintings, it’s just either lone figures or people walking the streets maybe battling the elements. I don’t usually do crowd scenes or the more popular areas of the city.” Meanwhile, Bradshaw says she misses the Fulton Fish Market — but not the smells. “It was such a really cool part of this neighborhood,” she said. “It was fascinating. When I went down there and saw what went on, it was like being on a movie set. It was almost choreographed the way they went about their work. They did this every night, and then in the morning they would just sweep it all up and clean it all up. It was a real integral part of this neighborhood.” “Visions from the South Street Seaport” is on view through Dec. 31 at Farm Candy (21 Fulton St., btw. Water & South Sts.). Hours: Mon.–Sat., 11 a.m.–7 p.m. & Sun., 12–6 p.m. Artist info at

ing into the game, and how they tell their story.” Panels were held throughout the day, where members of “League” developer, Riot Games, spoke about the process of designing the game. Riot Games has cultivated a global fanbase, and the fans had the chance to meet the developers at Tribeca Games, which was held at Spring Studios. It was a relatively quiet setting compared to video game conventions like the Penny Arcade Expo, which can have over 100,000 attendees. “One of the great things about today is that the fans and players have a time to interact with the creators,” said Newburger. “Normally they’re going to a tournament where they’re playing the game, or watching the game be played. Here is a time to really talk to the people that put the game together.” “League” Design Director Greg Street said. “We really enjoy these smaller venues that can be more intimate, and you can have a one-on-one interaction with attendees, instead of a stadium situation where you’re speaking down like you’re a rock star or something.” And the team at Riot Games are rock stars in the gaming business, with up to 67 million players logging into “League” each month. “League” has such a huge following that tens of millions of viewers will watch other people play championship matches, and these competitions can fill venues like Madison Square Garden. Although fans could

simply watch from home, Street points out that “Much of ‘League’ is about the community. That it is infectious, in a good way, to be sitting in a crowded amphitheater, cheering for your team with all your friends, when a big play happens.” Even though Riot Games has grown into an influential force in gaming, they had humble roots as an independent game developer. They shared their experience with the next generation of would-be game developers at Tribeca Games. “A lot of the panels have been a behind the scenes look at how the artists create the characters in the game, or how game designers think about the rules of the game,” said Street. “We have a lot of students here that are interested in getting into that field, who want to know what it’s really like.” “It’s a weird industry to get into,” according to Street. “It’s not like you go to medical school, you get your medical license, you become a doctor...You don’t necessarily need a degree from a game design school to make games.” Aside from the panels, fans could mingle with each other in a lounge that featured curated exhibits of artwork made by fellow fans of the game, along with a display of “cosplay” — fans dressed in homemade recreations of the outfits worn by ingame characters. Tribeca Games ( will have more gaming content when the Tribeca Film Festival returns in 2016. “League of Legends” can be downloaded and played for free on Windows and Macintosh computers. Visit November 19, 2015


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November 19, 2015

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Sophie Henderson, a part-time night manager at the Union Square Food Emporium for 17 years, resigned without severance pay after the store was sold. Above, she sat on the store’s news rack — where The Villager can be found — the weekend before the store’s sale.

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Food Emporium is sold MARKET continued from p. 14

“not accommodate” an interview. But in a prepared statement dated Oct. 22, the company said its acquisition of the 23 A&P supermarkets will bring the number of the chain’s stores to 212 and add $400 million in annual retail sales, for a projected yearly total of $2.3 billion. The statement also claimed the company’s buys will “preserve” 1,800 jobs of A&P employees. Neil Saunders, managing director of Columino, a retail research and consulting agency, said in an e-mail that A&P was divesting its stores “because it needs to pay down its debt as part of the bankruptcy proceedings. This debt, as well as the weak financials, means the business is not viable as a going concern, which is why it is now being carved up.” A&P, which claims it introduced the first U.S. supermarket in 1936, reported owning 16,000 stores by the 1940s. When the company sought federal bankruptcy protection for the second time since 2010, it cited about $2.3 billion in debts and $1.6 billion in assets. Saunders said a few of the A&P stores are in “suboptimal locations” and have not been purchased, but others are in

good positions and have been “snapped up” by competitors. “Union Square is a case in point, which is why Key Food bought it along with the 68th St., 50th St. and 42nd St. locations,” he said. “The logic for Key Food is obvious: It gives the company an opportunity to grow its presence in the heart of Manhattan.” Although unions have offered concessions to A&P in recent years, some critics blame the cost of union benefits for the company’s financial problems. Others, while saying the union’s policies may have contributed to A&P’s downfall, also note that the grocery behemoth — born in horseand-buggy days — failed to catch up with the times. The chain, these observers say, struggled to compete with newcomers, like Whole Foods Market and Trader Joe’s, both of which have stores in Union Square. Chuck Lanyard, president of the Goldstein Group, which specializes in retail brokerage and consulting, said A&P had become “slow” and “its competitors have done a better job.” He believes the company will soon vacate its “huge” corporate headquarters in Montvale, N.J. “An icon is disappearing, but that’s the nature of things,” he said. “There’s always a new kid on the block.”

St. John’s presenters peppered with questions ST. JOHN’S continued from p. 6

mental impact statement for the plan, it could accommodate 886 parking spaces. However, Cook said, in his view, “It would be terrific to have a sports focus supporting Pier 40 in there, like Eastern Mountain Sports — sporting goods right by the pier.”

Mixed income, equal views On the south side of Houston St., the project’s “center site” would sport a mixed-income residential rental building along Washington St. This would be 49 percent market rate and 51 percent affordable. The affordable units would be evenly distributed throughout the building. Along West St. on this site would be another fully market-rate residential building. But much of it would be lower than the Washington St. mixed-income building, so that residents in the more easterly building would have river views, too — although there would be a tall tower at the market-rate building’s southern end. This design sporting slim towers and lower buildings with staggered heights, Cook explained, was also done to keep the project from being “a slab on the waterfront.” In between these two buildings in this middle section would be a large viewing garden that would be inaccessible, even to building residents. “We’re planning on it being purely a viewing garden,” Fox said, adding, “It’s one step further than Gramercy Park.”

A new mews Near King St., a new “mews” would be opened up between Washington and West Sts. where the current St. John’s Building long ago walled-off the street. This would be a drop-off spot for cars servicing both the two residential buildings here, as well as the hotel or commercial building on the “south site.” If it is built as a hotel, it would have 350 rooms. As part of the project, architect Cook has studied the area’s history extensively, all the way back to when Canal St. was a squiggly, meandering stream. “They straightened it out and made it a canal and that’s how we got Canal St.,” he noted. As Cook explained it, the St. John’s Center was a “connector” building. Built in 1934, it was the terminus of the then-new High Line, and linked the elevated freight railway to the Lower West Side docks. Trucks also ferried goods in and out of the massive building’s loading docks. A


A rendering of the second floor of the St. John’s project. The 40,000-square-foot retail space at the building’s north end could potentially be home to one or two food markets, an amenity the Hudson Square neighborhood currently sorely lacks.

fourth floor was added to the building in the 1960s by Eugene M. Grant, its longtime former owner. In the new project, Cook’s design preserves an iconic piece of the build-

West Houston St. For the plan to proceed, the site’s current manufacturing zoning would need to be changed to a commercial zoning for the project’s northern two-thirds, while the manufacturing zoning would be retained for its southern one-third. Cook said, in general, the look of the project’s design was inspired by famed architect / artist Hugh Ferriss’s book “The Metropolis of Tomorrow,” as well as the former printing buildings in Hudson Square — such as 345 Hudson St., which features Art Deco bas reliefs. The buildings’ designs are also inspired by natural forms, like the sides of rock formations, he said, adding that COOKFOX strongly believes in this aesthetic. Before the meeting, David Gruber, the chairperson of the new C.B. 2 working group that will be reviewing the project, explained that he wanted the public to ask a lot of questions. About 90 people filled the meeting room. Also joining Cook at the presentation was Greg Holisko of AKRF, which is doing the environmental impact statement, or E.I.S., for the plan.

‘I want to make sure the community gets its fair share.’ Dan Miller ing, in the form of the original rail beds that span West Houston St. “There are 800 feet of track in that building,” Cook noted.

Elevated park space Along with the existing building’s second, third and fourth floors that span the street, the platforms between the rail beds would also be removed. What would be left would be a sort of “double-barreled High Line park” effect, with an open space between the two rail beds, which would be developed as public park space, a signature feature of the new project. These park spaces would be publicly accessible from entry points on the north side of

Flooding, floor heights... One woman in the audience asked if the project — which would have ex-

tensive flood protection — would, in turn, cause increased flooding for its neighbors. Cook acknowledged that the St. John’s site was flooded during Superstorm Sandy. In fact, the storm surge came right up to the original shoreline, which the building sits on top of. How about ceiling heights in the apartments? another woman asked. “The standard for ceiling heights now in residential is higher, 11 feet floor to floor,” he answered, “and 10 feet in mixed residential,” the architect said, apparently referring to the mixed-income building.

School, hospital...sewers? The E.I.S. will look at, among other things, current local school capacity and growth estimates and whether this project would likely have an impact on school overcrowding. Holisko said they will, specifically, be looking at the city’s school projections in Subdistrict Manhattan 2, which covers the area west of Broadway and south of W. 14th St. In response to Gruber’s question on whether the developer would put a “core and shell” for a new school in the project, Holisko responded that no space is currently being allotted for that. What about the potential big-box space, someone asked, “Could we put a school there?” An underground school is not a very good idea, Holisko said. What about a hospital? someone ST. JOHN’S continued on p. 30 November 19, 2015



November 19, 2015


French patriotism was on display, and on cheeks, too, at the vigil.

Activists fear backlash PARIS continued from p. 13

backlash — against civil liberties, in general. Reverend Billy, the local performance-artist anti-consumerist preacher, for one, expressed his concern in a Facebook post shortly after the attacks. “I have a riot of confusion in my soul,” he wrote. “Ours is a cultural attack on a culture of

consumption; has always been an effort to expose France-style colonialism, how it manifests in the sweatshops of big retail, and... the military defense of profiteers. How American! And now when it is met with this cruelty, all the nationalist fears are unleashed… This is a time of horror and sorrow for some, for whom we pray. There is also a foreboding feeling for all of us… . ”


The Merigot family stood united against terrorism in Washington Square on Saturday.

November 19, 2015


G.V.L.L.: Developer, Blaz must come in in relief ST. JOHN’S continued from p. 27

asked: “If they get sick, how do they get to a hospital?” “We’re not studying medical infrastructure as part of the project,” Holisko answered. Are they looking at sewer capacity? “Yes, we have a water analysis that will be part of the E.I.S.,” he assured. However, potential impacts on police, fire and sanitation department services will not be studied.

Development all over Sandy Russo, a C.B. 2 member, wanted to know if the E.I.S. is looking at all the other local development goings-on, in terms of the cumulative impact. “I just want to make sure that the Ian Schrager project, the LaFrieda building that’s going up, are in it,” she said. Yes, Holisko said, adding that current and anticipated development projects in Hudson Square, as well, which was recently residentially rezoned, are also being factored into the analysis. How about a pedestrian bridge connecting to Pier 40? Gruber asked. “And not a ‘Raiders of the Lost Ark’ bridge,” he quipped. Atlas’s Cohen stood up and explained that a bridge is not currently part of the plan, but that the project

would include a “landing point” for one, “in case the city or state looks to put in a bridge.” “We do know it’s a 275-foot span, so it’s not a small bridge,” he added. C.B. 2 will formally weigh in on the project at the start of its ULURP (Uniform Land Use Review Procedure), a seven-month public review that begins after the application is certified, possibly in January or February. Cook said the developer would like to break ground within six months of the end of ULURP, and that the first section of the three-phase project would take two to three years to build.

Listen?... Or march! After the meeting, Tobi Bergman, C.B. 2 chairperson, said it was “a good first meeting — quiet.” However, Kriti Siderakis, a former architect, bowled over by the St. John’s scheme’s scale, said she was ready to make some noise. “We should be marching in the streets,” she declared. “This thing is massive, massive. This is a giveaway to the developer by the city. We should be demonstrating against the city. We should not be sitting here quietly listening.” With disgust, she held out a “Revitalize Gansevoort Street” flier she had just been given near the Meatpacking District, urging people to tell the Landmarks Preservation Commis-

sion they support the upzoning of the iconic landmarked street. Her husband, Joel Rutten, an architect, added, “There’s no place for small stores” in the St. John’s plan.

Little League’s pitch A group of about 10 Greenwich Village Little League parents attended the presentation. They were happy that the $100 million from the sale of Pier 40 air rights to the St. John’s project would be funneled back into the crumbling West Houston St. pier’s repair. But they said that’s not the end of the story for the pier, which will need even more financial help to ensure that it remains a youth sports mecca into the future. “I want to make sure the community gets its fair share,” said Dan Miller, a past G.V.L.L. president. “We need a long-term plan, which we just don’t have.” Specifically, they said, while the St. John’s money would be used to repair the pier’s corroded steel support piles, the part of the pier above water is in bad shape, too, and also needs fixing. “We need an endowment,” pitched in Steve White, the league’s girls softball director. The sports parents stressed that Mayor de Blasio’s administration really needs to appreciate — even more than it currently does — the pier’s im-

portance to the community. In a statement, Carin Ehrenberg, the league’s president, said, “Pier 40 is a real community space, where countless kids get the opportunity to play sports, build confidence and make friends. Parents also make friends as volunteers and on the sidelines. It’s part of what makes our city a small town. It is critical to ensure its future and keep it vibrant.  “So while the structural integrity and safety of Pier 40 is paramount, it’s important that we don’t lose sight of what the pier really is all about — building community and providing a safe place for our children and members of the larger community to play and enjoy the park.”

‘Continue the dialogue’ After the meeting, the developer’s spokesperson, in a statement, said St. John’s Partners is ready “to step up to the plate” for Pier 40 and local seniors and families. “We are thankful for the opportunity to publicly continue the dialogue with the community about this project,” he said. “We are committed to helping get Pier 40 rebuilt quickly and providing much-needed affordable housing for seniors and families. As we go through this public and transparent review process, we look forward to working with the community and local elected officials.”




November 19, 2015





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Whenever anyone calls on Arthur to do something good, he’s there and he doesn’t ask what’s in it for him and he doesn’t ask how much money there is and he doesn’t ask anything. He just does it. And you know, when you think about it, he is the kind of person who – we use the word with acalls lot on of Arthur cliché and overused–good, but he is Whenever anyone to doit’ssomething he’struly there aand great know theand founding fathers the he American. doesn’t askYou what’s in itwhen for him he doesn’t ask set howup much country if you readhe the Federalist’s Papers, He what their greatest money –there is and doesn’t ask anything. justwas does it. And you doubt? Well, they had a lot of doubts. There was dealing with know, when you think about it, he is the kind of person who – this we use little the word a lot of cliché and overused– but thing he truly is new beastwith called democracy in a it’s republic. But the they a great about American. know when the founding fathersforward set up and the worried most You is whether the citizenry would come country youplate. read the Federalist’s Papers, what was their greatest stand up –toifthe doubt? Well, they had a lot of doubts. There was dealing with this newknow, little beast called democracy in a republic. the thing You for a thousand years people had let But someone elsethey run worried about most is whether the citizenry would come forward and things and they were really worried that the only people who would stand up to the plate. get involved in their government, whether it be running for office or, more importantly, just working to see that the government worked, You people know, for a of thousand years And people had let run were only self-interest. of course wesomeone have a lotelse of that. things and theyofwere really worried thatcare. the only would We have a ton apathy, people don’t Andpeople then it who seems like get involved in their government, whether be running for office or, all too many people who get involved are itdoing it because they’re more importantly, just working tonumero see thatuno. the government saying there’s something in it for But there areworked, lots of were people onlyinofitself-interest. of course a lot to of that. people who are for the rightAnd reasons. Andweif have you had pick We have a ton of apathy, people don’t care. And then it seems somebody who sort of –this room if filled with them, that’s onelike of all too getand involved are doing because they’re the nicemany thingspeople about who Arthur his friends– but ifit you had to pick saying there’s it for numero ButSchwartz. there are lots of somebody whosomething symbolizesinthat, it would beuno. Arthur people who are in it for the right reasons. And if you had to pick somebody who sort of –this room if filled with them, that’s one of the nice things about Arthur and his friends– but if you had to pick somebody who symbolizes that, it would be Arthur Schwartz. schwartz_Full_ny.indd 1


November 19, 2015

11/16/2015 5:53:57 PM


The Villager • Nov. 19, 2015  


The Villager • Nov. 19, 2015