The Paper of Record for Greenwich Village, East Village, Lower East Side, Soho, Union Square, Chinatown and Noho, Since 1933
November 27, 2014 • $1.00 Volume 84 • Number 26
Tobi Bergman is elected new C.B. 2 chairperson; Gruber is praised by pols BY LINCOLN ANDERSON
C.B. 2, continued on p. 24
Mendez is not sold on Chin’s 10-cent ‘tax’ on single-use bags BY GERARD FLYNN
o doubt this Thanksgiving week, festive-minded New Yorkers will add significantly to the burden of the estimated 1,700 tons of plastic bags the city’s Department of Sanitation collects weekly. But not everyone is buying into the proposal for a
PHOTO BY DONNA ACETO
n the first competitive chairperson election at Community Board 2 in eight years, Tobi Bergman held off two opponents, Bo Riccobono and Richard Stewart, to win with 57 percent of the vote. Forty-nine C.B. 2 members
voted. Bergman got 28 votes to Riccobono’s 13 and Stewart’s 8. Bergman, who was elected to a one-year term, will take over the leadership of the all-volunteer board on Dec. 1. In the race for first vice chairperson, Terri Cude beat
10-cent fee on disposable plastic and paper bags in convenience stores, supermarkets and delis around the city, proposed recently in the City Council by co-sponsors Margaret Chin and Brad Lander. In fact, the proposal is causing progressive legislators to butt heads. Dennis Phandular, for BAGS, continued on p. 3
Chanting “Hands up! Don’t shoot!” protesters decrying the decision on the Michael Brown shooting marched down Christopher St. Tuesday evening. See pages 14-15 for more photos.
N.Y.U. plan foes appeal to state’s highest court BY LINCOLN ANDERSON
he broad coalition of opponents fighting New York University’s South Village expansion mega-plan have filed an appeal of last month’s stunning decision in favor of the university. The intensely watched case could potentially determine the fate of countless treasured public parks and open spaces throughout New York State, according to the opponents.
In January, State Supreme Court Justice Donna Mills ruled mostly in favor of the plan’s opponents, when she found that three of four openspace strips — Mercer Playground, LaGuardia Park and LaGuardia Corner Gardens — on the university’s two South Village superblocks are “impliedly” parkland and thus de facto parks. Mills’s ruling effectively blocked much of the 2-million-square-foot, four-building project from being constructed.
The plaintiffs argued, and Mills agreed, that under the Public Trust Doctrine, the park strips first needed to be “alienated” — removed as public parkland — by the state Legislature before the parcels could be razed, modified or otherwise used for the construction — such as for staging areas. However, Mills didn’t find that the fourth strip, including the Mercer-Houston Dog Run, is impliedly parkland, N.Y.U. PLAN, continued on p. 13
Cars kill cyclist, homeless man.....................page 9 Chuck truck study: Soho activist...................page 11 RCN rebuffs L.E.S. graffiti legend.................page 16 ‘Rollo Wild Oat’ revived...............page 21
RS of SERVING 50 Y E A THE
in my archive at the Tamiment Library. One of the funniest things that I saw while he was at the Ninth Precinct was when we occupied an old school on E. Fourth St. on New Years Eve. Peter Missing was performing with a bullhorn inside the school, and even though the cops had barricaded the front door, people found a way in to the back door through the projects on E. Fifth St. In a short time no one was on the street in front of the school since everyone was inside. Julian with about 10 cops broke in the front door. But upon seeing how many people were inside by then, they took one look and turned around and left. This was the best New Years party I have been to, and the photos of Julian and the cops inside the front door are in my archive as well.” In his graphic novel about the East Village squatters, “War in the Neighborhood,” Seth Tobocman, Penley’s former roommate, drew Julian as a regal-looking Pontius Pilate, sporting a toga and Roman uniform, in the chapter “The Tragedy of 319 East 8th Street.” “Pilate was the guy who washed his hands and claimed innocence,” Tobocman explained. “That was my feeling about Julian, that he tried very hard to change policy, but he couldn’t. Julian’s role was to kindly and nobly talk us out of the buildings. He was put in after the ’88 riot. He was a good P.R. guy. He could talk to the media, he was good-looking, he was hip. At 319 E. Eighth St., he talked the squatters out and said the building would be up till the court date, but it was demolished.” Although in Tobocman’s view, Bill de Blasio is the best mayor since the cartoonist moved to the East Village in the 1970s, it will take more than Julian to change the Police Department’s culture. “The problem is structural,” he said.
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November 27, 2014
Michael Julian as Pontius Pilate in Seth Tobocman’s “War in the Neighborhood.”
GOOD P.R. FOR POLICE: Police Commissioner Bill Bratton has brought Michael Julian — a former chief who served under him — out of retirement, appointing him the Police Department’s deputy commissioner of training. A former commander of the East Village’s Ninth Precinct, Julian left the force to run security at Madison Square Garden and Rockefeller Center. Activist John Penley recalls Julian well. “After the Tompkins Square Park 1988 riot, Julian was transferred from his job as head of the N.Y.P.D. Police Academy to the Ninth Precinct because he is a smart guy and looks like a GQ model,” Penley said. “On his first day at Tompkins Square he showed up at the park alone while people were attacking the Christodora House. Some squatters who recognized him jumped him and kind of beat him up. The attack led to a permanent knee injury. I was there and photographed it and the photos are
CHARAS INSIDER: CHARAS supporters are putting on a push to persuade the city to take back the old P.S. 64, at 605 E. Ninth St., back from Gregg Singer and restore it as a community center. But if the developer is ever going to consider selling, it probably won’t be cheap. After the big victory rally two months ago after the Department of Buildings slapped a stop-work order on Singer’s dorm project, Councilmember Rosie Mendez told us that Singer has rejected two offers for the building in the past. One was by a for-profit group that included a relative of NBC TV news reporter Lynda Baquero, who grew up in the neighborhood, and another was by a local nonprofit, which Mendez declined to name. The offers ranged from $35 million to $40 million, which, according to Mendez, was the building’s assessed value in 2006 after it was landmarked. However, Singer was asking for $86 million at the time. V.I.D. SHOWDOWN: In shades of the Clintons, Nadine Hoffmann announced she is running to succeed her husband, Tony Hoffmann, as president of the Village Independent Democrats political club. Jim Fouratt promptly announced that he will run against her. Fouratt is calling for a debate before the club’s Dec. 11 election, but it’s not clear it will happen. SCOOPY’S, continued on p. 8 TheVillager.com
Mendez is not sold on Chin’s 10-cent ‘bag tax’ BAGS, continued from p. 1
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one, an East Village building superintendent who was rushing home weighed down with plastic bags full of Thanksgiving fare, thinks the idea is “silly.” He also doubts the bill, Intro 209, will pass. Phandular thinks that reducing that waste need not take a herculean effort by the city. “Plastic bags are a pain in the ass,” he said. “We are told to take bags but don’t need them. They are given to us. If someone behind the counter asked, ‘Do you want a bag?’ we might think twice.” At a City Council hearing on the subject last week, Chin and Lander said that single-use plastic bags are costly, not just to city for having to clean them up and dispose of them, but also to the environment, polluting rivers and creating floating islands of waste in the oceans. A 10-cent surcharge, they said, has been shown elsewhere to dramatically reduce the consumption of plastic bags and their waste, in nations as far off as Ireland, where a fee on plastic bags has reduced their use reportedly by 90 percent. The merchants would keep the 10 cents. The regulation would not apply to food carts, pharmacies, wine and liquor stores, restaurants — due to limited alternatives for takeout and delivery — or for produce, milk and bulk food bags, to protect food from contamination. The issue is dividing the City Council’s normally tight progressive caucus. Councilmember Rosie Mendez’s East Side district borders Chin’s Lower Manhattan district. Mendez opposes the proposal as it stands and in a statement to The Villager explained why: the onerous effect a 10-cent levy might have on the poor, senior citizens who live on a fixed income, dog walkers who need plastic bags to clean up after their canines and religious shoppers who separate food according to custom. Needless to say, the plastic-bag manufacturers of America also oppose the proposed fee, calling it a “regressive tax.” Longtime de Blasio ally and leftist Bertha Lewis, formerly of ACORN, told the City Council at last week’s hearing that she also opposes the proposal. Lewis is the founder of the Black Leadership Action Committee (BLAC), which, it was revealed following the hearing, is funded by the American Progressive Bag Alliance (A.P.B.A.), an industry-funded group that has challenged similar legislation in other parts of the country. Though not available for comment,
Dennis Phandular said a 10-cent fee for plastic and paper bags is “silly,” and that merchants should instead just ask if shoppers want a bag.
her colleague LaMon Bland, a human rights lawyer, told The Villager the bag fee has not been adequately “thought through.” “We are totally against it,” he said. “New Yorkers are already taxed enough.” On top of his populist concern for onerous tax burdens on the citizenry, he said little in the way of community outreach has been done to educate the community on alternatives to the proposal, such as improved recycling programs, a position the environmentally conscious A.P.B.A. also champions, in addition to “correcting misperceptions concerning litter and waste.” Bland wants the city to “consider adding more trash receptacles” and described the bag fee as a proposal that “may be flawed because there is no clear evidence a tax would decrease plastic bag usage.” He shared Mendez’s concern about the proposal’s impact on struggling New Yorkers and said the “regressive tax” will have a “disproportionate impact on those of lower income. “These individuals are more likely to go to the grocer more often than the affluent,” he noted. “They are walking home with bags that are likely to be double-bagged.” And then there is the evidence about such a tax’s environmental impact. “This approach may be flawed,” Bland said, “because there is no clear evidence a tax would decrease plastic bag usage.” In fact, he said, “In some jurisdictions plastic bag usage increased.” When asked to give an example, he balked, then said, “I don’t know offhand the exact location. I believe the city of San Mateo [California].” Speaking earlier this month, Chin
said, “While lobbyists for the plastic bag industry continue to attack our legislation with myths and misrepresentation, we’ve built a strong coalition of community-based environmental justice groups that are ready to help our city take a progressive step forward. Our coalition represents the working families that
make New York great, and that’s why they see the benefits of a bill that will save millions in taxpayer funding and reduce plastic bag litter in our parks and neighborhoods. Let’s not allow the voices of working families — particularly those in our low-income, minority communities — to be silenced by the big money of plastic bag lobbyists.” The legislation is supported by the Natural Resources Defense Council, Citizens Committee for New York City, New York League of Conservation Voters, New York City Environmental Justice Alliance, The Human Impacts Institute, Manhattan Solid Waste Advisory Board and Green Schools Alliance. On Dec. 8, the Citizens Committee will do a bag giveaway in Mendez’s district opposite the C-Town, at E. 12th St. and Avenue C, the go-to supermarket for many Alphabet City seniors on fixed incomes. “We will distribute 200 reusable large cotton tote bags to grocery shoppers,” said spokesperson Saleen Shah. “Councilmember Mendez is still not on board with what we feel is a progressive and reasonable bill that supports the city’s environment and economy. We are still trying to get Rosie to be there to distribute bags.”
Young Artist Series: Anna Dmytrenko Classical Piano Concert Wed, Dec 3, 2014 7:30 p.m.
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Cooper, alum association reach détente Named best weekly newspaper in New York State in 2001, 2004 and 2005 by New York Press Association PUBLISHER JENNIFER GOODSTEIN
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November 27, 2014
BY ZACH WILLIAMS
he costs of implementing tuition at The Cooper Union have included an increasingly chilly relationship between the college administration and the school’s alumni association. But a bit of a thaw began last week between the two sides. A 40-year-old relationship between the Cooper Union Alumni Association and the college will effectively end, following a Nov. 21 agreement under which the association will become an independent nonprofit responsible for its own funding. Despite the split, representatives of the alumni association, the administration and board of trustees expressed optimism after a Nov. 18 meeting that relations among them would improve following the agreement. Much remains up in the air as the larger college community awaits a State Supreme Court decision on a lawsuit challenging the legality of charging tuition at the school. But for now, CUAA can focus once again on its primary mission of engaging alumni, according to Karina Tipton, chairperson of the association’s communications committee. “I won’t say this is a return to normalcy, but it has freed us up to continue to move forward,” she said. In a Nov. 21 joint statement, the representatives said that CUAA could resume using alumni e-mail lists as well as campus meeting space after being denied use of such resources by the administration for months. CUAA and the campus Office of Alumni Affairs will also launch separate Web sites, though they will consider cooperating in the future on a case-by-case basis, according to the statement. Discussions will continue at a meeting scheduled for Dec. 4. Among the topics will be revising a 1974 memorandum of agreement, according to the statement. CUAA is responsible for alumni outreach as the official representative of all formerly matriculated students at the 155-year-old East Village institution, according to the memo.
That duty will now likely change as discussion among CUAA, the administration and trustees continues. By agreeing to the memorandum four decades ago, the college assumed the costs of administrative support for the previously independent CUAA, which would represent the interests of alumni now estimated at about 12,000 people worldwide. But as the years passed, these costs grew, as did disagreements between CUAA and administrators on how to engage alumni amid the school’s financial difficulties, according to Justin Harmon, the college’s spokesperson. “While both sides agree on the primary purpose of their activity — to engage alumni,” Harmon said, “honest disagreements have ensued over the best use of scarce resources, particularly where institutional budgets and the allocation of staff time are concerned.” For CUAA such differences eventually meant losing access to the online resources, as well as an effective ban from campus since the new semester began. According to alumnus Barry Drogin, a prominent critic of the Cooper Union administration, such moves were part of a general campaign by the administration to discourage criticism of its handling of college finances. “The administration has been in violation of the memorandum between CUAA and the college and has launched a war against the alumni that includes censorship, propaganda and denial of services,” Drogin said. The administration has also strengthened its own Office of Alumni Affairs, which has organized its own outreach events in recent months, according to Harmon. While both CUAA and the school administration pledged cooperation moving forward, the campus Office of Alumni Affairs will continue extending its own outreach, according to the joint statement. “Regardless of the role played by CUAA, we will redouble our efforts to develop events and programs that encourage alumni to participate actively in the life of the institution,”
Harmon said. But the battle over the hearts, minds and pocketbooks of alumni has taken its toll, as has the ongoing litigation, the spokesperson acknowledged. “The lawsuit has led to a tremendous amount of misinformation, which in turn has caused some alumni to question their financial commitment to Cooper,” he said. Critics meanwhile allege that something more profound is at stake for students, alumni and the East Village community if Cooper Union continues as a tuition-funded college. “If Cooper Union becomes just another corporate moneymaking education venture, it’s going to lose its role, its agency and its primacy as an actual center for culture and intellectual conversation,” said alumnus Ben Degan. Degan moderated a Nov. 13 panel discussion in Brooklyn accompanying a screening of the documentary “Ivory Tower,” which uses Cooper Union as one example of the purported corporatization of American higher education. This trend has for years fueled the friction between CUAA and the administration, Drogin wrote on Nov. 22 in a 3,000word history of the alumni association that he posted on his blog. Relations deteriorated after the 2011 appointment of Jamshed Bharucha as Cooper’s president, according to Drogin. As anti-tuition sentiment grew within CUAA — including the 2013 write-in election of alumni trustee Kevin Slavin — the rift with the administration widened, he said. Drogin argued that ongoing financial support for the Committee to Save Cooper Union — the plaintiff in the ongoing lawsuit — demonstrates how alumni sentiment remains firmly anti-tuition and, thus, anti-administration, as well. “Despite the ‘embargo’ and temporary loss of direct communications between the CUAA Council and alumni, the Committee to Save Cooper Union raised over $300,000 before the joint statement was issued, most of that from alumni,” Drogin said.
Le big Turkey Day at Le Souk restaurant
nce again BAMRA (Bleecker Area Merchants’ and Residents’ Association) and Le Souk restaurant, at 510 LaGuardia Place, just south of Bleecker St., are inviting neighbors in for “a meal of thanks that brings together our community” on Thanksgiving Day.
The scrumptious traditional Thanksgiving meal with all the fixin’s (plus vegetarian options) is free. But it’s asked that people make a contribution if they can, which will be matched by both BAMRA and Le Souk — tripling the contribution — and given to Visiting Neighbors, a group that provides free services
to the elderly. In something extra this year, Novac Noury, a.k.a. “The Arrow Keyboard Man” of Studio 54 disco-era fame, will be providing musical entertainment. There will be two seatings, at 5:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Reservations are required. Please call 212-777-5454. TheVillager.com
Planned Service Changes
123 Dec 1 – 5, Mon – Fri 10PM to 5AM No 1 2 between 34 St-Penn Station and South Ferry/Atlantic Av-Barclays Ctr. 1 runs between 242 St and 34 St-Penn Station. 2 runs between Dyre Av and 34 St-Penn Station. 3 service is suspended. Travel Alternatives: • Free shuttle buses run to/from 3 stations at 148 St, 145 St, and 135 St. • 4 trains make all 3 stops between Atlantic Av-Barclays Ctr and New Lots Av. • 5 trains make all 2 stops in Brooklyn and the Bronx. • Use the ACE(Q)45 to/from nearby stations. Stay Informed Call 511 and say “Current Service Status,” look for informational posters in stations, or visit mta.info – where you can access the latest Planned Service Changes information, use TripPlanner+, and sign up for free email and text alerts.
2014 Metropolitan Transportation Authority TheVillager.com
November 27, 2014
Doris Diether, second from left, was honored in the City Council on Tuesday by, from left, Rosie Mendez, Corey Johnson, Margaret Chin and Public Advocate Letitia James.
Washington Square Park Tree Delivery MONDAY, DECEMBER 1, 2014, 4:00 am
Washington Square’s annual Christmas Tree, a 45-foot tree from Vermont, will arrive early Monday morning. Holiday Toy Drive THURSDAY, DECEMBER 4, 2014 through THURSDAY, DECEMBER 18, 2014
NYU’s Office of Government and Community Affairs and the NYU Administrative Management Council are collecting new, unwrapped toys to be distributed to over 1,500 children at the 9th Police Precinct Community Holiday Party. Call 212.998.2400 or visit nyu.edu/nyu-in-nyc to make a donation. Washington Square Park Tree Lighting WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 10, 2014, 6:00 pm
Gather by the arch in Washington Square Park for the lighting of the Christmas Tree. The Rob Susman Brass Quartet will perform and there will be a special visit from Santa! The Washington Square Association will provide complimentary songbooks. The tree will be relit from 4:00 pm to 1:00 am daily. Winter Choral Concert FRIDAY, DECEMBER 12, 2014, 7:30 PM FREDERICK LOEWE THEATRE, 35 WEST FOURTH STREET $10 GENERAL ADMISSION; $5 STUDENTS AND SENIORS
Mark your calendar for the annual Winter Choral Concert featuring the NYU Chorale, University Singers, Women’s Choir, Madrigal Singers, Jazz Choir, and Men’s Glee Club. For information and ticket sales, visit nyu.edu/ticketcentral or call 212.352.3101. Christmas Eve Caroling in Washington Square Park WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 24, 2014, 5:00 PM
Meet by the arch in Washington Square Park for caroling on Christmas Eve! The Rob Susman Brass Quartet and song leaders will lead revelers in singing holiday favorites. The Washington Square Association will provide complimentary songbooks.
The Washington Square Association, Inc. founded in 1906, is one of the city’s oldest community organizations. For 90 years, it has sponsored carol singing under the arch. Other activities concern the continued improvement of Washington Square, the Washington Square Music Festival, and the fostering of neighborhood spirit.
November 27, 2014
BY TEQUILA MINSKY
ity councilmembers, community activists and neighbors gathered around Doris Diether in City Hall’s Council chamber on Tuesday as she was recognized for her five decades of volunteer service on Community Board 2. Councilmember Margaret Chin, along with Corey Johnson and Rosie Mendez, led off a tribute to the Village’s longtime activist, who is an original member of C.B. 2. “Doris Diether was appointed to Community Board 2 in 1964 and has served C.B. 2 for 50 years,” Chin began as she presented Diether with a proclamation from the City Council. The three city councilmembers collectively represent all of Lower Manhattan below 14th St., the area where Doris, 85, lives — near Washington Square Park — and where she has employed her great energy and talents. Chin noted how Doris took on bad landlords, rapacious developers, and played a key role in helping defeat Robert Moses’ plan for a cross-town expressway through the Village. “Doris Diether is a true community icon for the Village,” Chin said. Public Advocate Letitia James and Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito were also among those paying homage to the storied community activist. The proclamation notes Diether was appointed chairperson of the tenants committee of Save the Village in 1957. Her involvement in numerous civic advocacy efforts included protecting the poet E.E. Cummings from eviction. Also known affectionately as the “Zoning Maven,” she has authored articles on zoning and taught classes on the subject at the Municipal Art Society, among other places. Her courses are accredited from the American Institute of Architects, and the City Planning Commission acknowledges her expertise and welcomes her editing of
zoning materials. The proclamation also notes that she’s in the Remington Registry of Outstanding Professionals, and that her grandmother emigrated from Finland. The proclamation recalls that she “once walked a pig around the governor’s office to protest greed and corruption.” (Diether previously told The Villager that she gamely took the pig’s leash after no one else wanted to do it.) In short, the proclamation concludes, Diether is “a passionate advocate, public figure, land use expert and an inspiration to community activists and puppeteers alike.” (Of course, Diether is the model for Ricky Syers’s phenomenally popular “Little Doris” marionette, which Syers can often be seen making dance or feed peanuts to squirrels in Washington Square Park.) Chin concluded, “It’s my pleasure to present this proclamation, alongside my colleagues, to Doris Diether for her incredible commitment to her community.” Diether accepted the honor with a short, gracious speech and her trademark chuckle. TheVillager.com
PHOTOS BY TEQUILA MINSKY
HOLIDAY HAPPENINGS Council honors Doris Diether
POLICE BLOTTER E.V. attorney sentenced Radical attorney Stanley Cohen was sentenced to a year and a half in prison on Fri., Nov. 21, on tax obstruction charges. Cohen was sentenced in Federal District Court in Syracuse. In April, he pleaded guilty to the charges. Cohen, who lives on Avenue D, formerly represented the East Village squatters when they fought eviction in the 1980s. Among his more recent high-profile clients, he has represented Sulaiman Abu Ghaith, Osama bin Laden’s son-in-law, and Mousa Abu Marzook, a Hamas leader. Cohen pleaded guilty because of the effort and cost of fighting the years-long case. He charged that the government wants to “silence” him because of who he represents.
Unhealthy incident A visitor did not want to leave the Lenox Hill HealthPlex around 12:01
a.m. on Mon., Nov. 24. Though a police report did not state the reason why, a 26-year-old man working there asked the woman to leave. She then snatched a box cutter from him as he attempted to escort her out of the lobby at 30 Seventh Ave. Police said Wanda Rosado, 35, then began menacing the man with the implement, making him fear for his safety. Police soon arrived and arrested Rosado, who was charged with criminal weapon possession.
Papaya rage Papaya Dog, at 333 Sixth Ave. near Cornelia St., suffered more than $350 in damage after a young man allegedly went berserk there. According to police, at about 12:30 a.m. on Sat., Nov. 22, the man began yelling and throwing store property. Then he picked up a table and attempted to hurl it at other people. Police arrested Faqir Palmer, 26, who was charged with reckless endangerment.
Where there’s smoke... Police executing a search warrant at 2 p.m. on Nov. 19 found untaxed cigarettes and synthetic marijuana for the second time in recent months at a Village shop located at 200 W. 14th St. A raid there on Sept. 12 led to two arrests and the seizure of 28 packs of smokes, documents, real pot and synthetic marijuana, as The Villager reported on Sept. 18. This time around, police arrested Saddam Alsaidi, 24, and charged him with violation of tax law, a misdemeanor.
Bouncer beatdown A 36-year-old man alleges that bouncers at the VIP Room, at 409 W. 13th St., refused him entry and beat him up to boot. Police said that about 1:15 a.m. on Fri., Nov. 21, the man got into a dispute with club security. Three members of the staff were soon upon him, striking him multiple times with their hands and feet, according to a police report. A male witness cor-
roborated the victim’s account of the events, which led to lacerations and bruising to the victim’s head and face. Video of the incident was not readily available due to an uncooperative manager at the business, police said. Felix Arce, 35, Richard Tariuwa, 37, and Pedro Veliz, 25, were all charged with misdemeanor assault after turning themselves in to police on Nov. 22.
Illegal pole dancing Police arrested three men for dancing inside a train that was moving through the W. Fourth St. subway station. At about 5:50 p.m. on Thurs., Nov. 20, police said they observed Kenneth Miley, 29, Luis Candelario, 27, and James Gonzalez, 27, getting down with somersaults on a southbound D train. The trio were charged with reckless endangerment. A police report did not state whether they “flipped on each other” prior to arrest.
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Is there a school for my child? Education options BY NADINE HOFFMANN
SCOOPY’S, continued from p. 2 PAVILION WAITING GAME: Still no word from the Parks Department on whether the Union Square pavilion will see a return of the swanky Chef Driven Market cafe, or whether the eatery will be relegated to the pavement outside the historic structure. As The Villager first reported last month, state Senator Liz Krueger and Assemblymember Richard Gottfried each independently reported in their community newsletters that they’d been assured by the de Blasio administration that, after its first season in the pavilion, the restau-
PHOTO BY ZELLA JONES
ublic schools, charter schools and parent/community-influenced schools all got lots of attention at the Village Independent Democrats’ Education Forum on Nov. 13. A panel of four experts, all steeped in the ins and outs of school choice, presented sometimes-conflicting views on issues, such as funding levels, student selection, moral imperatives and inequality in the world of education. All agreed, however, that Greenwich Village, with its two excellent public schools — P.S. 3 and P.S. 41 — is not where charter schools are needed. Erik Joerss, deputy for governmental affairs for the New York City Charter School Center, the umbrella organization for all 197 charter schools citywide, gave an overview of the various types of charters already in existence. Most in the audience did not realize that there are several networks and individual schools all bunched under the “charter” banner. Success Academy, the most wellknown network, is just one of many. Joerss pointed out that most charter schools are located in underserved,
At the V.I.D. Education Forum, from left, Erik Joerss, of the N.Y.C. Charter School Center; Leonie Haimson, of Class Size Matters; Principal Barbara McKeon, of Broome Street Academy Charter School; and Tamara Rowe, of C.E.C. District 2.
underfunded school districts. Leonie Haimson, executive director of Class Size Matters and a vocal opponent of most charters, questioned the schools’ lack of accountability, their lower numbers of enrolled English Language Learners and Special Education students, high suspension and expulsion rates and the inequality of funding sources. She voiced concerns about how students feel when a more-favorably funded charter school, with its many extras, moves into an existing public school that lacks such amenities. Dr. Barbara McKeon, the principal
of Broome Street Academy Charter High School, painted a picture of a successful charter meeting specific needs. Fifty percent of the students enrolled at B.S.A. are homeless or in foster care. Her school actually pays rent (most charters do not) and must fundraise from a generally much less affluent community. Most of the panel agreed that this school is what a charter should be. Tamara Rowe, a member of Community Education Council District 2, briefly explained the background of the parent movement and how it has influenced positive changes in the
rant would be getting booted outside. But Parks is reportedly still studying the issue as to whether the eatery’s first season was a success or a failure, which could determine what happens next. “The assessment has not yet been completed,” a department spokesperson told us. (Hey, c’mon, at this rate, the new turtle roof will be built on Tammany Hall before a decision is made!)
and writer died Sun., Nov. 9, at age 93. Among them were Frances Monica Tallmer, his widow; her niece, Julie Monica, and her husband, Tommy Gannon; Jonathan Slaff, the theatrical press agent who was so helpful to Tallmer toward the end while Tallmer was at the Dewitt nursing facility; former Villager publishers Elizabeth Butson and John W. Sutter; Villager Editor in Chief Lincoln Anderson; John Martello, former executive director of the Players Club; and — in a theatrically apropos “six degrees of separation” — Amy Gross, an attorney representing Tallmer who is married to Mark Hasselberger, The Villager’s former graphic artist. Slaff read aloud Tallmer’s “A Bright Shiny Pin,” about G.G., the spirited maid who raised him and meant so much to him. (Read it on Page 12 of this week’s issue.) Sutter recalled Tallmer’s great column in The Villager about how he reported on the day that J.F.K. died — how a familiar newsvendor had solemnly told Tallmer, “It’s like a great tree that’s been cut down.” Butson, a jazz aficionado, recounted the story of how Billie Holiday was supposed to perform at the Village Vanguard one night but was a no-show. Art D’Lugoff, the Vanguard’s legendary owner, and Tallmer decided Tallmer would drive down to Philly and search for the singer, who he eventually found
J.T. CREW: A small group of family, close friends, Schwab House neighbors and colleagues gathered for an informal memorial for Jerry Tallmer at ’Cesca restaurant, on W. 75th St., on Fri., Nov. 14. The great newspaperman
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November 27, 2014
Department of Education. She also emphasized the difference between schools in Greenwich Village and in low-income, usually minority communities throughout the city. Citywide parent networks should be expanded to help all districts influence their schools, she said. Discussions about public funding, parent/community involvement and D.O.E. bureaucracy (usually a detriment to quick action and cheaper materials) were enlightening. One of the most contentious issues was the inequality between charter and public schools, as far as additional funding and extra resources. Many in the room also argued that co-locating charter schools in the same building as existing district schools often leads to reduced space for noncharters and a sense of unfairness to students. The evening’s uplifting conclusion was that the problems are not insurmountable. Education leaders have begun to work together, sharing what works and improving what is failing. It takes a huge leap of faith on all fronts, but the future of our students depends on it. Hoffmann is a member of Village Independent Democrats after searching high and low in all the bars. Tallmer drove the soused chanteuse back to the Big Apple and made sure to give her plenty of coffee so she was ready to go on when they got to the Vanguard. Anderson read the obituary he wrote about Tallmer — got a bit choked up at one point, downed a glass of wine and kept reading — and got a round of applause. Julie Monica and Tommy Gannon remembered their first impressions of Tallmer. “The pocket protector,” Monica said. “But he had a leather jacket, and the long hair. He was a cool nerd.” Gannon recalled being impressed. “He’s seen everyone,” he said. “Nobody can bulls--this guy.” Tallmer was cremated. “I’m happy to have his ashes in my home,” Frances said. As for a larger memorial, Slaff said something may be in the works at Theater for the New City. It would be free and organized by Martello, but no date has been set.
CORRECTION: The public meeting by the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation on potential landmarking and rezoning proposals for the University Place and Broadway corridors will be held Thurs., Dec. 4, from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the Baha’i Center, 53 E. 11th St., east of University Place. The talking point on this subject in last week’s issue incorrectly gave the date as Tues., Dec. 2. TheVillager.com
Bloody Monday: Cyclist and ped Swift as N.Y.C. ambassador killed by cars within 3-hour span BY LINCOLN ANDERSON
n the short period of just a few hours Monday evening, a bicyclist and a homeless pedestrian were both fatally struck by cars on the Lower East Side. One of the drivers — who was reportedly going more than 60 miles per hour — was charged with criminally negligent homicide. Around 10 p.m. on Nov. 24, Shan Zheng, 61, of Ossining, N.Y., was riding a bicycle northbound on Pitt St. when he was hit by a livery cab going eastbound on East Houston St. Zheng suffered severe head trauma. E.M.S. medics responded and transported him to Bellevue Hospital, where he went into cardiac arrest and was pronounced dead. “He was not wearing a helmet,” a police spokesperson said. The cab’s operator, a 50-year-old male, remained at the scene. The police spokesperson said that, according to witnesses, the cab “had a steady green light and right of way.” The driver was given a breathalyzer test, which came up negative. Just before 7 p.m. on the same evening, a 57-year-old man crossing Bowery on foot between Rivington and
homicide. “He has a very bad license,” the police spokesperson said. “He has 17 prior suspensions.” Police did not immediately describe the nature of the license suspensions. Lin passed a drug-and-alcohol test. The investigation is ongoing. Representatives of the Bowery Mission told The Villager that the victim was Robert Perry, and that he was a “community member” there. He had never been in the facility’s residential recovery program, but took advantage of its services, including meals, chapel services and, recently, a photography program. He had been a regular at the Bowery Mission for at least three years. “We were in the process of having supper at the time” of the accident, a man who answered the phone Tuesday evening at the Bowery Mission said. “Everyone went outside. It was very shocking for us.” The Bowery Mission released a statement that said, in part: “The news may report that a ‘homeless man’ was killed in a hit-and-run accident. It is true that Robert struggled with homelessness most of life, from the age of 12. Because he spent many days and nights at the Bowery Mission, we got to know Robert as a gifted man with a difficult story. Robert was a faithful participant in the Bowery Mission’s chapel services and activities. Most recently, Robert was a charter member of the Bowery Mission’s photography club, producing haunting photographs taken from his life’s perspective. In his artist’s statement, Robert reminded us, ‘I want people to hear my story, hear my cry… We are looked at like dirt, but we are somebody.’ ” Some examples of Perry’s photography work can be seen at www.oneglimpse.org. Captions on the photos describe how his mother left him at age 2, and how he would often get a night’s sleep on the A train while riding back and forth three times to Far Rockaway. The Bowery Mission is attempting to contact Perry’s family in New Jersey, and is planning a memorial for him after Thanksgiving. In addition, around 5 p.m. on Monday, a 76-year-old male was crossing West Houston St. when he was hit by a vehicle that had the right of way, police said. The injured senior was transported to the Lenox Hill HealthPlex where he was reported in stable condition. The driver remained at the scene and was not charged, according to police.
‘He has a very bad license — 17 prior suspensions.’
Prince Sts. was struck by a speeding 2001 BMW sedan going northbound on Bowery. According to police, the car was traveling 62 miles per hour. The man went up onto the car’s windshield and was “thrown more than 150 feet” before landing on the street, the spokesperson said. After hitting the pedestrian, the driver, Danny Lin, 24, of Coney Island Ave., continued traveling north on Bowery for another block until striking a fire hydrant at Stanton St. where his vehicle came to a stop. E.M.S. medics responded and transported the victim to New York Downtown Hospital where he was pronounced dead on arrival. Lin, the driver, was not injured and was taken into custody at the scene. He was charged with criminally negligent TheVillager.com
is not welcome on the L.E.S. TALKING POINT BY CLAYTON PATTERSON
he conflict now is not democracy versus fascism or communism. It is democracy versus corporate capitalism. A stunning example of corporate capitalism dominating our democracy and freedom is the appointment of Taylor Swift — with her song “Welcome to New York” — as New York City’s cultural ambassador. Sure, she is hot right now, top of the pop charts, cute and yes, good for tourism. But is that enough to be our N.Y.C. cultural ambassador? A face of tourism, O.K. But what is her connection to the city? Is tourism more important than history, opportunity, the right of a New Yorker to make it here? The old “If you can make it there, you’ll make it anywhere” is now what? Our history is being erased, the high rents have made it difficult to stay in the community, the small businesses are being pushed out. It is important to realize, using Ludlow St. from Delaney to Houston, as an example, that many of the small family- and privately owned businesses were successful. A partial list of business that have been forced out because of escalating rent includes the Pink Pony, Max Fish, Motor City, El Sombrero, Earth Matters and Spitzers — all closed. Our area has become an entertainment zone oversaturated with bars, student dorms and tourism, and filled every weekend with spring break fever. Change is inevitable, and, no, we don’t want the drugs and crime back. But there has to be a happy medium between middle- and low-income people being allowed to live, work and own small businesses, and the takeover by people with full pockets. It was affordable rent and the chance to live an inexpensive lifestyle that created the chance for genius to develop. The history of the Lower East Side is filled with people who came to the city with little and went on to make a serious contributions to the culture of America: Madonna, Charlie Parker, Steve Cannon, Philip Glass, Rabbi Moshe Feinstein, Weegee, Allen Ginsburg, Alan Kaufman, Ellen Stewart, Emma Goldman, Dorthy Day, Leon Klinghoffer, who invented the Roto-Broiler,
a metal oven that consisted of a rotisserie, and was killed aboard the Achille Lauro. The list is long. The next generation of “Making It in N.Y.C.” is now imported talent like Taylor Swift. We have exported the jobs and imported the talent. I cannot blame Taylor Swift for accepting this opportunity. The push to get her replaced by a N.Y.C. talent is not about her as a talent or a person. It is not about an older generation lamenting the loss of our past. I am working with a young up-and-coming band called DAMEHT, who I hope will become recognized and be able to survive as musicians. I too am in a position where the chances of my staying in N.Y.C. are slim. To save my photo archive and life’s work, I am working on moving to Austria. The L.E.S. is a part of my being, of who I became. But what chance do any of us struggling artists have if the city is importing talent? There is no question we have an overabundance of local pop and music talent that tourists would recognize as representing the city, as well, as New York songs written by local talent. I have documented many of the changes caused by gentrification on the L.E.S. But this next form of gentrification, importing creative talent, is a form I could never have imagined. I was sitting around discussing this problem with Rivington, DAMEHT’s singer and songwriter, and his editor, Jeff Hammer. We decided the best source for material that we had quick access to was my biopic, “Captured,” directed by Ben Solomon and Dan Levin and edited by Jenner Furst. Since most of the material in this movie belonged to Elsa Rensaa and myself, we thought, “Rip it, use the material.” Jeff did an all-nighter and came up with the video in this link: youtube.com/ watch?v=ukxGWe18GOs It is not that we are saying GG Allin is the best example of an alternative to Taylor Swift, but he definitely represents a style of the ’80s and ’90s. So far, our youtube video has had more than 25,000 views: proof that people are disenchanted with being sold out. It is time for a change. We need more than the Housewives and the Kardashians to aspire to. I hope we can use this video to help make a change — to get the politicians to wake up and use a local talent as the face of tourism. Wake up, N.Y.C.! November 27, 2014
Painful protest Activist medics tended to demonstrators who were pepper-sprayed while protesting the Ferguson decision in Times Square on Tuesday night.
PHOTO BY MILO HESS
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR Noise will be monstrous
Pier55 floats her boat
Pier is pretty, but practical?
To The Editor: Re “Diller and DVF give huge gift to create park art pier” (news article, Nov. 20): Diller’s proposed monument to himself is monstrous and nothing that the neighborhood needs. An amphitheater at its center? Do you have any idea how sound reverberates and travels upward?
To The Editor: Re “Diller and DVF give huge gift to create park art pier” (news article, Nov. 20): What a great concept, as well as terrific, crystal-clear writing by Lincoln Anderson. This park would be quite a supplement to the High Line.
To The Editor: Re “Diller and DVF give huge gift to create park art pier” (news article, Nov. 20): We are not living in a time when we can decide public parkland policy by the whim of the wealthy or the fond wishes of the rest of us. In this era of extreme climate change, we need innovative, scientifically verifiable land use proposals that will both protect our coasts and make our city resilient and ecologically sustainable. These must be our first priorities. The Pier55 design is pretty, but when the next hurricane comes or the next unbearable heat wave, will this have been the very best use of public shoreland, the best use of scant park resources? Even assuming the very best of intentions and even with any real benefits, this plan further encourages the drift toward the privatization of public parkland. “Desperate government is our best customer,” said the chairperson of a major finance company specializing in infrastructure privatization in the midst of the financial crisis in 2008. Donations are wonderful. But funds allocated using the most democratic process available to us? Priceless.
De Blasio puts a chill on ICE deportations. 10
November 27, 2014
LETTERS, continued on p. 25 TheVillager.com
The truth about trucks; We don’t need any study TALKING POINT BY CARL ROSENSTEIN
etter late than never. It’s taken Councilmember Margaret Chin five years to address Downtown’s worst environmental issue, Canal St. On top of the tragedy of three elderly Chinese residents having lost their lives on Canal St. in those years, real opportunities for change have been squandered. In the 1990s my neighbors and I worked with the Soho Alliance and Councilmember Kathryn Freed to make illegal trucking across Downtown a visible issue. Our vigilance and diligence provided tangible results — reduced trucking — but we were also lucky. The elephant in the room, as reported by The Villager, has always been the one-way Verrazano Bridge toll. As I have written in this paper on many occasions, the fault lies with elected Democrats who have blatantly failed their constituents in favor of Republican Staten Islanders. It began in 1986 when Governor Mario Cuomo changed the bridge toll in a “study.” A year later the toll was codified into federal highway legislation, and to this day remains the only local bridge toll in the U.S.A. to be under the jurisdiction of the federal government. It will take an act of Congress to reverse the toll back to two-way. Reversing the toll would remove the incentive for New Jersey-bound drivers to use the free East River bridges and free outbound tunnel, by which they avoid the current $15 one-way toll and $80 or more for tractor-trailers. These crushing tolls are scheduled to rise early next year. Somewhere between 10,000 to 20,000 extra vehicular trips are made daily across Canal St. to avoid these exorbitant tolls. There is also a huge revenue loss to the M.T.A. — well into several hundred million dollars over the years. And every time the toll goes up, more drivers avoid the Verrazano, opting for free passage across Downtown. The state or city comptroller should do an audit. There was a golden moment of opportunity in 2009-2010 when the Democrats controlled both houses of Congress. As I wrote in this paper two years ago, Congressmember Jerry Nadler swore to Downtowners for a dozen years that, when the Dems controlled Congress, he would reverse the toll. We all know now what Nadler’s word is worth. Senator Schumer also blatantly lied to his constituents. At a 1998 Downtown Independent Democrats endorsement meeting, seeking the club’s support when he ran against Pothole TheVillager.com
A sign at the corner of Broome and Lafayette Sts., installed under former D.O.T. Commissioner Iris Weinshall after pressure by Soho activists. According to D.O.T.’s New York City truck route map, Canal St. is a through truck route while Broome St. is only a local truck route.
D’Amato, Schumer swore to the 100 people present that his first priority would be to reverse the Verrazano Bridge toll. However, a mere one week after being elected, Schumer reneged, screwed his Manhattan base, and claimed that restoring the two-way toll would somehow be unfair to Staten Islanders. At a Community Board 2 hearing in 2010, shortly after Chin assumed power, the Soho Alliance urged her to pressure Nadler to work on the toll while Democrats controlled the House. Our pleas fell on deaf ears and this great window of opportunity slammed shut and will likely remain that way for several more election cycles. Instead, Councilmember Chin has now called for a safety study on trucks. Study what? The three recent pedestrian deaths were not caused by trucks. Trucking is now a minor issue on Canal St. It is nothing like the 1990s when more than 1,000 tractor-trailers were traversing Canal St. daily. The Soho Alliance’s concerted efforts during this period led to thousands of summonses and a significant reduction in truck traffic. However, the lucky breakthrough was after 9/11 when, for security rea-
sons, the Holland Tunnel was completely closed to tractor-trailers, greatly reducing their presence on Canal St. These huge trucks can still be seen coming off the Manhattan and Williamsburg bridges — but their numbers have been slashed enormously. Tractor-trailers (trucks with four or more axles) still can no longer use the Holland Tunnel. A study is not needed. The notion that the Department of Transportation will remove Canal St. from its Thru-Truck Route system is pure fantasy. It will never happen, and calling for a study is simply political grandstanding and will accomplish nothing. Legal trucks belong on Canal St.; it is the natural commercial east-west corridor. Unless Robert Moses resurrects himself and his Lower Manhattan Expressway, there is no alternative, certainly not Broome St. What is needed is just some conviction by Chin and our other elected officials to demand dedicated truck enforcement like we once had. With current technology, scanners and scales can be placed at the bridge plazas. This would keep out the most dangerous trucks, such as the overweight and out-of-control dump
truck that slammed into a bus on Canal St. in Chinatown, killing one and injuring 20, shortly before Chin’s first inauguration. The same applies to the illegal over-length tractor-trailer that killed Jessica Dworkin two summers ago at the corner of Houston St. and Sixth Ave. in Greenwich Village. With Mayor de Blasio putting Vision Zero high on his agenda, now is the time for state Senators Squadron and Hoylman, Assemblymember Glick and Speaker Silver, and Councilmembers Johnson and Chin to demand zero tolerance for illegal trucks entering Lower Manhattan, or citywide for that matter. As for box trucks and legally sized tractor-trailers, Canal St. is where they belong, or on any of the other Thru-Truck Routes in the intelligently designed system throughout the five boroughs. As also reported in The Villager, the intersection of West Broadway and Canal St. was second only to Bowery and Canal in accidents. This is a result of boneheaded D.O.T. traffic engineering. In the 1990s Soho residents pointed out the idiocy of prohibiting Uptown traffic exiting the Holland Tunnel from making the natural Uptown left turn at Canal St. onto Sixth Ave. Instead, drivers are forced into the narrower intersection at West Broadway, resulting in so many accidents. This pattern sends thousands of thru vehicles up West Broadway daily that all want to be on Sixth Ave. Changing this traffic pattern would immediately reduce the hazards at the West Broadway intersection and reduce traffic in already-congested Soho. This could be easily realized. It will take political will but, since it would benefit Soho, I doubt Chin will utilize any of her political capital for our neighborhood, which she seems to despise. Lastly, overlooked is the controversial plan to toll the East River Bridges in what has otherwise been called “Sam’s Plan.” Leveling out tolls across the region is an interesting suggestion that merits consideration. It certainly would eliminate some of the incentive to travel across Canal St.; but at the same time, it would officially turn Manhattan into a gated community for the privileged. The notion of tolling people to move freely about their own city is truly an onerous idea. Clearly, the easiest solutions are dedicated truck-enforcement and the re-engineering of the intersection at Sixth Ave. and Canal St. Longer crossing times for pedestrians, especially in Chinatown, could be easily done too. Anything else is just posturing. Of course the reversal of the one-way Verrazano Bridge toll would greatly reduce traffic Downtown, but the ice caps will melt before that happens. November 27, 2014
A bright and shiny pin; Grateful memories of G.G. NOTEBOOK This piece of Jerry Tallmer’s, written this past July, was read aloud by theatrical press agent Jonathan Slaff at an informal memorial on Nov. 14 attended by Tallmer’s family and friends. Tallmer died Nov. 9 at age 93. BY JERRY TALLMER
ars Ben, she called me from when I was quite small. Let’s see. I was born 1920. “The Birth of a Nation” had blossomed upon us in 1915. It wasn’t until I was old enough to explore the films of Griffith one by one that I fully realized how surreal, how grotesque it was for a brainy colored woman in New York City of the 1920s to nickname a white boy she loved after a black-inflected “Master Ben,” the Little Colonel of the racist Griffith saga. I called her G.G., or Gee-Gee, and most other people did too. I don’t know where that came from. She had been born in North Carolina, her proper married name was Blanche Avalony, her husband of many years being John Avalony, a little ineffectual Italian guy (i.e., Italian-American) who was an elevator operator when he worked, but whose principal visible job was to walk their dog, a tiny uptight yappity Boston bull, twice a day. Whenever my brother and I came to visit her in Harlem, she insisted the dog accompany us for protection on the way back to the subway — that tiny, noisy creature! G.G. also had a boyfriend, a redheaded Irish guy named George Dunn, drummer in a number of 1920s jazz bands. I never once met him in his or my life, but G.G. made him a tangible, visible presence with constant sagas about her and George Dunn’s surreptitious get-togethers. She had come to work for us when I was one month old — my mother being helpless with a new baby — and stayed for nearly 30 years, until the death of my father in 1949, and even beyond that. My mother was the only person I knew who called her Blanche. Well, maybe I’m fabricating that. But I’m not fabricating the moment in which, with G.G. behind me, I pushed open the lace-curtained French doors to the living room, stuck my head in, and, to a roomful
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of my parents and their guests, brashly proclaimed: “Mother likes Peter better than she likes Daddy.” Peter was the elegant Peter Müller Munk, the Berlin-bred artist and silver craftsman and — later, after she and Peter were married and moved to Pittsburgh — industrial designer of worldwide standing at PMM Associates and Carnegie Tech. Some 40 years later, when Dorothy Schiff had had the bright idea of sending a number of her staffers back to the places of their youth — in my case, 955 Park Avenue at 82nd Street, 12th (top) floor — I stood before those very same lace-curtained French doors, and pushed them open. But this time there was no G.G. behind me, urging me on. I can remember something else. Another day, another room, probably another apartment. In one corner, my enraged mother. “Albert, do something. Punish the boy!” In another corner,
Yes, in those years — looming Hitler years — some overseas voyagers still brought their personal maids with them to Europe.
my hapless father. And in a third corner, huddled together as protectively as in some ancient Greek or Roman statuary, G.G. with her arms around me. “Mr. Tallmer,” she is saying coldly to my father, “if you lay a hand on this boy, I will kill you.” Nobody moves and the memory ends. Only to resume one world war later, when I overhear G.G. saying to my father — this was at 25 West 68th Street, when I was scouring the Village for a spot in which to live — “He just wants a place of his own. A place where he can bring women.” But it was my father whom G.G. really loved. When he went, she went. It would require a D.W. Griffith — or a Charlie Chaplin — to do justice to the next scene. It is a flashback to around the years 1931-32. My mother, my kid brother Johnny, and I are debarking a German-American ocean liner at Hamburg, Germany, where my mother’s first cousin, Annie J., is waiting for us with her children at the dock. Also with us, believe it or not, all dolled up in the finest of her transatlantic best, is none other than our own maid of all work, Mrs. Blanche (G.G.) Avalony, of 50 West 112th Street, Harlem, U.S.A. Yes, kiddies, in those years — looming Hitler years — some overseas voyagers still brought their personal maids with them to Europe. You know how with arriving or departing (or sinking!) ocean liners, everybody rushes to
one side or the other of the vessel in question? That was happening as hundreds of passengers from the U.S. flocked to the shore side of this vessel, G.G. in furry elegance among them. She stopped pressing forward only long enough to bend down and sweep up something glittery at her feet. A pin of some sort. Hooking it to the fabric at her neck, she swept ashore — despite glares of naked hatred from every German at the scene… . Fear and hatred. Blanche Avalony, American Negro. What gives? “Let me see that pin,” says no-nonsense Annie J…once we’re ashore. “Thought so. That’s a swastika. A very strange decoration for someone of her color.” Cousin Annie tossed the offending pin into the fireplace. Some dozen years later I had the pleasure of being present at the dropping of a couple of 500-pound bombs on the Shanghai to which refugees Annie J. and her more-Nazi-than-theNazis children had taken refuge. It was G.G. (or “Geege”) who brought Christmas trees and Easter eggs into our house, and more important than that, gave body and shape to the gods and goddesses of Moviedom — Georgie Jessel, Eddie Cantor, Al Jolson, John Barrymore, Lionel Barrymore, Ethel Barrymore, Rudolph Valentino, Lilian Gish, Norma Shearer. I remember her telling me over and over, acting it out — how a cockeyed, fur-coated John Barrymore, high as a kite, fell into her arms, sobbing like a baby, as she came to let him in at the front door of his wife’s domicile. One of his wives... . As in Tony Kushner’s “Caroline, or Change” of another, later, time and place, I more or less lived in the kitchen — G.G.’s kitchen, small as it was — in all the years before I went away to college and then the war. I do not think either of us ever mentioned the incident of the swastika pin, but no matter. G.G. has added something during the war, a new layer of personal expression — a flaming orange hairdo. Jump cut 20 years, to London 1964. I pick up a paperback copy of “The Night Hamburg Died,” by Martin Caidin. Hamburg, Germany, had died under British firebombs 20 years earlier. All those people who had looked upon Blanche Avalony with such naked hatred — dead, all dead. I open the paperback. Page 1. Sir Arthur Harris, the R.A.F.’s “Bomber Harris,” is standing on a rooftop in burning London. “They have sown the wind,” he is saying grimly. “Now let them reap the whirlwind.” Mars Ben, that goes for you too. Guilt, guilt… . My brother’s wife, Dr. Margot Tallmer, calls to say that G.G. is in Bellevue Hospital. Looks serious. I grab a shirt, head for Bellevue. A place I hate; everybody hates. I find Blanche Avalony, alone on a bed in an empty ward. She looks out of it. I take her hand. Kiss it. She stirs. I reach in my pocket and find some pitiful paper money. “Please, sir,” she says, as I fish out the largest bill I have on me, a $10. “Please, sir, do you know a writer named Jerry Tallmer?” Heartbeat. I press the $10 bill into her hand and walk out of Bellevue, slow and then fast, guilt bursting from every inch, every step, every pore. TheVillager.com
N.Y.U. plan foes appeal to state’s highest court N.Y.U. PLAN, continued from p. 1
meaning N.Y.U. could proceed with demolishing its Coles gym to construct its planned “Zipper Building,” which would sit on part of the dog run strip. But then a month ago, in a stunning reversal, the Appellate Division overturned the lower court’s decision, ruling that none of the four strips are parkland, meaning not only the “Zipper” could proceed, but the entire massive project, as well. In their last hope, the plaintiffs are now appealing to the state’s highest court, the Court of Appeals, to overturn the Appellate Division’s ruling. The plaintiffs include Assemblymember Deborah Glick, N.Y.U. Faculty Against the Sexton Plan, Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation, Historic Districts Council, Washington Square Village Tenants Association, East Village Community Coalition, LaGuardia Corner Gardens, Soho Alliance, Lower Manhattan Neighbors’ Organization (LMNO(P)), Bowery Alliance of Neighbors, Noho Neighborhood Association and the Washington Place Block Association, plus 10 local residents, among others. Former Parks Commissioner Henry Stern and actor Mark Ruffalo — who has a home in the West Village — issued statements of support for the plaintiffs’ appeal, which was filed Nov. 14. Stern, who supplied an affidavit in support of the petitioners during the State Supreme Court phase, decried the Appellate Divsion’s decision and interpretation of the law. “This makes it open season on small neighborhood parks,” Stern said. “It outlaws common-law parks by saying they aren’t legally protected, when in fact these parks have been enjoyed for generations by New Yorkers. Even Central Park is not formally mapped! It’s like the bank foreclosing on a mortgage that people didn’t even know they had. This is an anti-neighborhood, anti-park decision, and we need to appeal it immediately.” The superblock strips — along LaGuardia Place and Mercer St. between W. Third and Houston Sts. — were left over from a street-widening project for Robert Moses’ Lower Manhattan Expressway, or LOMEX, project, which was aborted in 1969. Although the strips are technically under city Department of Transportation ownership, they have never actually been used as streets, but rather have been used as community parkland for decades. TheVillager.com
A rendering showing the full “N.Y.U. 2031” plan, featuring two infill “Boomerang Buildings” (“A” and “B”) on the northern superblock and the new “Zipper Building” (“C”) and potential public school (“D”) on the southern superblock. The university’s two South Village superblocks are located between W. Houston and W. Third Sts. and Mercer St. and LaGuardia Place.
In his affidavit, Stern stated that N.Y.U., in fact, blocked efforts to have the strips formally transferred from D.O.T. to Parks. Meanwhile, the city has funded, labeled and maintained the strips as parks, the plaintiffs assert. Mills agreed, but said the dog run lacks Parks signage, plus charges a membership fee, so is not public. But the plaintiffs argue that by paying the fee anyone can join the dog run, though there is a waiting list. N.Y.U. and the city counter-argued that the strips aren’t really parks, since they were never technically “mapped” as parks, and are nominally overseen by D.O.T. Ruffalo, who has an Upstate home, as well, is also a prominent anti-fracking activist. “As a longtime advocate of our green spaces,” Ruffalo said, “I find it alarming that these public parks, which Villagers have been enjoying for decades, can just be handed over to a private corporation for its own financial gain. That decision must be overturned, not just because of its effect on that one neighborhood, but because of its disastrous implications for our precious commons all throughout the state.” Asked for comment on the opponents’ appeal, N.Y.U. spokesperson John Beckman said the October ruling speaks for itself. “It would be difficult for us to say it better than the Appellate Division’s unanimous, forceful ruling rejecting the claims against N.Y.U.,” he said. “We have said from the outset that the facts of this case are clear, and the university will continue to defend its ability to move forward with the cre-
ation of new academic facilities that it needs.” The petitioners are being represented pro bono by Gibson Dunn & Crutcher. The two main issues they are asking the Court of Appeals to consider is that the Appellate Division’s decision conflicts with prior precedent-setting decisions by both the Appellate Division and Court of Appeals, and that, if the Appellate Division’s October ruling is left intact, it will have the effect of abolishing “implied dedication” — not just in New York City, but throughout the state. A press release announcing the appeal explained, “The [Appellate Division] First Department’s decision flies in the face of the Public Trust Doctrine and of its own decisions, and will imperil all kinds of public and green spaces throughout the state; it will leave ordinary New Yorkers with no protection against the removal and abuse of open spaces and parks for development.” Added Andrew Berman, executive director of G.V.S.H.P., “We cannot allow the courts to take away our public green spaces to give to a private entity. What will be left for the public to enjoy? It will change the nature of our Village neighborhood and will potentially turn it into a concrete jungle.” Enid Braun, a founding member of LMNO(P), said, “Mercer Playground was created through the nine-year effort of LMNO(P), a community group founded in 1992, in partnership with Community Board 2, elected officials and city agencies. The destruction of this much-needed public space would send a message
to all New Yorkers collaborating with government to improve their communities that the city doesn’t always keep its word, and deep pockets always win.” Added Mark Crispin Miller, a leading member of N.Y.U. FASP: “N.Y.U. continues to ignore the will of its own faculty, along with the entire community, while seeking to invalidate the crucial laws protecting public property. As they will not stop pushing that mad project — a giant threat to N.Y.U. itself as well as our historic neighborhood — we have no choice but to fight on.” Glick emphasized that this case will set a precedent for all public space in New York State. “This case is about the protection of public space from private greed or administrative neglect,” she said. “All public space is at risk in this case.” Along with Glick, most of the area’s politicians support the opponents’ struggle, including Congressmember Jerrold Nadler, state Senators Brad Hoylman and Daniel Squadron, City Councilmember Corey Johnson, Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer and Public Advocate Letitia James. On the other hand, Councilmember Margaret Chin, whose district includes the superblocks, supports the N.Y.U. 2031 plan. Chin notes that, after the 20-yearlong project is over, what remains of the strips will be mapped as public parkland. Rosie Mendez, a close ally of Chin’s in the Council, has offered only partial support of the opponents’ argument that all the open-space strips are public parkland. As for whether the Court of Appeals will deign to hear the appeal, Miller admitted it’s not guaranteed. When there are two dissenting opinions on the Appellate Division panel, the Court of Appeals is obligated to hear an appeal. But in this case, the October decision was unanimous. “However, when a case concerns a legal question involving significant public interest, they’re inclined to take the case,” Miller said. “There’s a lot at stake here. We’re asking that they settle the question of whether the doctrine of implied dedication will still have any influence — or whether it’s been nullified.” The opponents are asking for an expedited decision, since N.Y.U. is raring to start building the “Zipper.” “They want to tear Coles down in June,” Miller said. “We’re hoping that the court decides quickly and that they decide to take the case.” November 27, 2014
PHOTO BY MILO HESS
Outrage on the streets after Ferguson decision After a grand jury declined to indict Police Officer Darren Wilson in the fatal August shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, demonstrators filled the streets in New York City Tuesday night, chanting, Hands up! Donâ€™t shoot!â€? Clayton Patterson photographed protesters blocking traffic on East Houston St., before they went on to block the F.D.R., and Milo Hess photographed them in Times Square. Donna Aceto photographed demonstrators in the West Village, where they headed up Seventh Ave. into traffic, turned onto Christopher St., then marched down to the West Side Highway, where they headed south, again in the middle of traffic.
PHOTO BY DONNA ACETO
November 27, 2014
PHOTO BY DONNA ACETO
PHOTO BY CLAYTON PATTERSON
PHOTO BY DONNA ACETO
November 27, 2014
Chico loses Loisaida wall to New Jersey upstart BY SARAH FERGUSON
November 27, 2014
PHOTO BY SARAH FERGUSON
s RCN whitewashing Loisaida culture and history? Celebrated street artist Antonio “Chico” Garcia and the community group Loisaida Inc. are crying foul after the company nixed their plan to create a mural celebrating L.E.S. “heroes” on the RCN cable building on Avenue C. Chico says he’s been painting that particular wall for the last 25 years. But he ran afoul of the fiber-optic service provider (which leases the property) back in 2008, when he threw up an unauthorized subtle endorsement of Barack Obama for president, with the phrase “America Make the Right Choice.” Obama was on the right in the mural, while his opponent, John McCain, was on the left, next to an exploding oil well. After Obama won, Chico made the endorsement perfectly clear, changing it to read “America Made the Right Choice.” Although it garnered plenty of news coverage, RCN execs didn’t appreciate the mural’s partisan sentiment and had the Obama mural painted over in 2010. The blank wall quickly became an eyesore — covered in graffiti tags and grimy fliers. So last June, Chico came up with the idea for a new mural to memorialize 15 “pioneers” of art and activism on the Lower East Side. “I wanted to paint the heroes that made Loisaida what it is today — the people who fought for this community,” Chico told The Villager. Among the “heroes” to be featured were Nuyorican poets Bimbo Rivas and Pedro Pietri, Armando Perez of CHARAS, housing activists Mary Spink and Ernesto Martinez, and community organizer Doña Petra Santiago, who was known as the “first woman mayor of the Lower East Side” back in the 1960s. “The concept was to make it a project with middle schoolers and other neighborhood youth, to help them learn about these people and their role in building our community,” explained Elizabeth Colon, a founder of Loisaida Inc., which sponsors the annual Loisaida Festival on Avenue C, and which honored Chico this year. “On the Sixth St. side of the building, we were going to have the young people paint their visions and hopes for the future,” Colon added. Community Board 3, the Ninth Precinct and other community leaders pledged support. After the Obama mural fiasco, RCN had said it wanted nothing more to do with Chico. (The company went so far as to try to have cops arrest Chico for removing billboards from the wall in 2008.) But Councilmember Rosie Mendez went to bat for the
Greg Edgell of the arts group Green Villain standing in front of the new “Alphabet City” mural that he and collaborators The Yok and Sheryo are creating on the RCN building at Avenue C and E. Sixth St. RCN chose their mural over one pitched by Loisaida street artist Chico.
“heroes” project and Colon said RCN officials initially seemed receptive. Chico and Colon submitted sketches and bios of the proposed “pioneers” and lined up sponsors to pay for the project, which they planned to document online. At one point, she said RCN even discussed paying for the mural. But officials at RCN also voiced concerns that the work might be too “political.” Hoping to ease those concerns, in August, Mendez wrote to RCN Vice President Bruce Abbott requesting a meeting to discuss the “relevance of the mural” and its “importance to the community.” She never heard back. Instead, on Tuesday her office got word that a new group of artists was already painting the wall. “We were shocked,” said Colon. “We have been waiting for a response from RCN for months. Why wouldn’t they even have the respect to communicate with the councilmember and all the people who worked on it.” The new mural — a cartoonish alphabet design that plays on the area’s nickname, Alphabet City — is currently being painted by a pair of young Brooklyn artists known as The Yok and Sheryo, under the aegis of the Jersey City-based arts group Green Villain. Founder Greg Edgell terms Green Villain a “creative marketing and design platform.” “We seek out graffiti-ridden properties and then approach owners to create free public art on them,” he explained. In return, the artists get free exposure for their work (and the
prospect of private commissions, for which Green Villain takes a cut.) Property owners seem to like that deal. In just six months, Green Villain has completed 17 projects in New Jersey and Manhattan — including a vast Charlie Brown-themed mural by Jerkface overlooking a schoolyard on E. 12th St., and several other works gracing pulldown gates and walls on the L.E.S. and in Soho. For the Avenue C site, Edgell said he approached RCN several months ago after seeing the tagged-up wall — “the worst we’ve ever worked on” — and got the go-ahead at the end of September. Although he’d been unaware of Chico’s proposal, Edgell said he had no qualms about edging out the iconic Lower East Side artist from his turf. “I know the relevance and history of Chico,” Edgell said, pointing to a small Chico work on the side of a deli across the street from the RCN building. “I personally think this mural has a lot more energy and relevance for the younger generation.” He gestured to one of the whimsical letters: “It’s like SpongeBob,” he said. “We had some kids from P.S. 64 come by after school and they loved it!” Passersby who stopped to watch the artists working seemed pleased. “It makes me smile and laugh,” remarked Robert Gower, who lives on E. Sixth St. “At least something is being done to clean it up,” added Gower, who was particularly grateful they’d painted over the “Kill Whitey” tags that had cropped up
there recently. A cyclist who stopped to take photos agreed: “It’s different than what Chico does. It makes a nice contrast.” But Chico and other L.E.S. veterans say having the wall painted by a group of “strangers” feels like a slap in the face. “Is that what they think the community is, ‘A, B, C, D’?” demanded Colon. “When we were talking about representing 50 or 60 years of Lower East Side history?” RCN’s handling of the commission seems clumsy at best — particularly since the company backtracked at the last minute on a previous mural scheme pitched by the Lower East Side Girls Club to celebrate “Women Who Change the World.” (The Girls Club ended up painting that at the First St. Garden.) Joseph Gonzalez, director of human relations for RCN, refused to discuss anything to do with the Chico proposal. “Our entire plan was to help beautify the area and to make sure we had something that sets the right tone for the neighborhood,” he said. “RCN is about helping build and create community,” Gonzalez added. “So this is a way of giving back to the community.” But Chico said it feels more like taking. “That wall belongs to the community,” he said. “He’s disrespecting us and also the community. If he didn’t like our design, he should have said give me something else. Don’t say yes, yes, yes and then go get someone else.” TheVillager.com
Re-imagining Tarot, from 0 to XXI Victoria Goldman’s moody photos further its mystery PHOTOGRAPHY VICTORIA GOLDMAN: MYTHICOS DIVINARE Through December 14 Wed.–Sun, 12–7 p.m. At Robin Rice Gallery 325 W. 11th St. Btw. Washington & Greenwich Sts. Call 212-366-6660 or visit robinricegallery.com
COURTESY OF THE ARTIST & ROBIN RICE GALLERY
BY NORMAN BORDEN
ven if you’ve never seen a Tarot deck, visited a psychic to discover “what’s in the cards” or believed in the supernatural, the 24 photographs in Victoria Goldman’s latest exhibition will open your eyes to the imagery and mythology behind Tarot. Goldman’s misty, soft-focus interpretations may also help you understand why many people around the world use these cards for personal guidance. Still, if you want to better appreciate her work, it helps to know a little about the subject. Tarot as a means of divination is said to have originated in fourteenth century Italy, but many diverse cultures claim some connection to it. Tarot is a deck of 78 cards, divided into the major and minor Arcana. The major Arcana consists of 22 cards that
use the imagery of archetypes like the Devil, the Fool and the World to represent the forces that influence our lives and the lessons that life teaches us. The minor Arcana is more like a deck of traditional playing cards, with four different suits: wands, cups, swords and pentacles (representing the elements fire, water, air and earth). These deal with the concerns of our
daily lives, while the archetypes in the major Arcana deal with the larger issues of life — from love to death. These 22 archetypes, which are traditionally numbered from 0 to XXI, are the basis of Goldman’s exhibition. The artist says, “The idea of the show is that these archetypes are in each one of us. My hope is that they will call to us to be more regal in our
lives and each aspect of life — birth, death, love, tragedy and humor — is to be honored.” Goldman became fascinated with Tarot about 20 years ago after she received a deck as a gift and began using the cards while traveling and photographing in Asia. She says, “It was kind of a spontaneous journey so I would poll the cards and let them tell me what my next move and next best destination should be. I use the cards to help me focus on what’s most important to me.” Although there are a number of ways to read them, Goldman usually just pulls one card from the deck or else uses what’s called a ten-card spread. The idea for re-interpreting the Tarot came to the artist back in 1999, but it took her more than a decade to conceive and create all 22 images. In fact, many were created just a few months ago. Using a Polaroid SX-70 camera and film as well as a vintage twin-lens Rolleiflex, her soft focus interpretations of these mythical figures are reminiscent of the work of Francesca Woodman and Julia Margaret Cameron, which Goldman considers to be important influences. While there are undoubtedly countless interpretations of the archetypes, the ones that Goldman has created for her exhibition take them to another level. A good example is the Fool, who is thought to be a young, naive person on the road of life, gaining new experiences and seeing new possibilities along the way, finally reaching the World or the end of the journey. ExTAROT, continued on p.18 November 27, 2014
COURTESY OF THE ARTIST & ROBIN RICE GALLERY
COURTESY OF THE ARTIST & ROBIN RICE GALLERY
“Wheel of Fortune.”
Goldman’s eye sees imagery, mythology behind Tarot TAROT, continued from p. 17
plaining her interpretation, Goldman says, “The entire story of the Arcana is called ‘The Fool’s Journey.’ It’s all about trust. There’s this openness and willingness as shown by the trapeze and an openheartedness. It’s certainly an image open to interpretation, for all we can see is a figure on a trapeze against a black background. In many of the photographs, Goldman uses a female model to represent a specific archetype. For example, in “The Wheel of Fortune,” she photographs the woman in a glamorous dress that shimmers from the reflected
light. Her back faces us as she spins the archetypical wheel of fortune that is hidden by the darkness. It represents the cyclical nature of life — where the wheel will stop, no one knows. I found it to be one of the more engaging photographs in the show, but its actual size also adds impact: the 30 x 40 inch Giclee print on the back wall of the gallery is the largest in the exhibition. While some Tarot decks show the Devil as a satyr — half-man, half goat with wings of a vampire bat — in Goldman’s view, the “Devil” is not evil, but Capricornian. The model’s hair is tufted to resemble a goat’s horns and a real snake is wrapped
118thAnnual Annual 117th OpenExhibition Exhibition Open October 1 - October 25, 2013
December 2nd - 19th, 2014 Benefit Reception Friday,October December 12th, 5:30-8:00pm 111 TH ANNUAL Benefit ReceptionEXHIBITION Friday, 11th 5:30-8:00pm October 2–27, 2007 National Arts Club, Gramercy Park South, NYC AtAt thethe National Arts Club, 1515 Gramercy Park South, NYC
Monday through Friday 3-6 p.m., Sat &Metropolitan Sun 1-6 p.m. Benefits The Museum of Art • Donation $25.00 Benefits The Metropolitan Museum of Art • Donation $25.00 SCULPTURE GALLERY Gallery Hours: Daily 1-6 p.m.Mon. - Fri., 12:00 - 6:00 pm Gallery Hours: Mon. Gallery - Fri., 12:00-6:00 pmpm Sat. & Sun. 1-6 pm • Sculpture open daily 1-6
Sat. & Sun. 1-6 pm PREVIEW RECEPTION
Sculpture Gallery open daily 1-6 pm
November 27, 2014
around the model’s shoulders to symbolize this Devil’s earthiness. The soft focus makes the image feel dream-like and mysterious. The end of the Fool’s Journey is “The World,” and here too, the artist offers her unique interpretation. The same model appears again, except here she lies half-naked on a blanket surrounded by roses and other flowers, embracing a globe. Goldman explains that this symbolizes the responsibility we have to protect the world. This is an exhibition that demands your attention and your time. Look at “Judgment,” “The Empress,” “Justice” and the other major Archetypes, and
maybe you can see what’s in the cards. Norman Borden is a New York-based writer and photographer. The author of more than 100 reviews for NYPhotoReview.com and a member of Soho Photo Gallery and ASMP, his image “Williamsburg” was chosen by juror Jennifer Blessing, Curator of Photography at the Guggenheim, for inclusion in the upcoming 2014 competition issue of “The Photo Review.” Seventy of his contemporary photographs are in “Synagogues of New York’s Lower East Side,” which Fordham University Press just reissued as a trade paperback. Visit normanbordenphoto.com.
Theater for the New City • 155 1st Avenue at E. 10th St. Reservations & Info (212) 254-1109 For more info, please visit www.theaterforthenewcity.net
Two by Tavel A Tribute to the Power behind the Throne: Harvey Tavel
Written By: Ricardo Sarmiento Gaffurri Directed By: Ramiro Sandoval
Bread & Puppet: Captain Boycott
The Life of Juanita Castro & Kitchenette
Thursdays - Saturdays: 8 PM Sundays: 3 PM
[Recommended for ages 13 & up]
Written By: Ronald Tavel
Written By: Claude Solnik Directed By: Daniel Higgins
The Nothing is Not Ready Circus
Directed By: Norman Glick Thursdays - Saturdays: 8 PM Sundays: 3 PM
With: Christina Germaine, Paul Wallace, Scott McIntyre, Tom Ashton
Thursdays - Saturdays: 8 PM Sundays: 3 PM
& [Recommended for all ages]
Thursdays - Saturdays: 8 PM Sundays: 3 PM TheVillager.com
Round three for Shadow Box film fest Curated with care for action beyond the bell THE SHADOW BOX FILM FESTIVAL Day and evening sessions on Dec. 5 & 6 At the SVA Theatre 333 W. 23rd St. (btw. 8th & 9th Aves) COURTESY OF NATASHA VERMA PRODUCTIONS
Tickets: $15 for day sessions, $18 for evening, $40 for festival pass Reservations: 1-800-838-3006 or brownpapertickets.com Visit shadowboxfilmfestival.com Twitter: @boxingfestival Instagram: @shadowboxfilmfestival Facebook.com/ShadowBoxFilmFestival
Heather Hardy, left, and filmmaker Natasha Verma will be part of the panel on women’s boxing, Dec. 5, as part of The Shadow Box Film Festival. Following the panel, the documentary “Hardy” screens.
BY SCOTTT STIFFLER
hether it’s a primal act of brutality, a virtuoso display of artistry or both is a matter of personal taste — but that hasn’t kept skeptics and hardcore fans alike from cheering during the training montage of “Rocky,” wincing during “Raging Bull” slugfests or shedding tears during that deathbed plea in “The Champ.” Although Hollywood has made a killing by playing the sport’s victory/defeat dynamic for maximum effect, the narrative of those who devote their lives to boxing is rarely as clear-cut as what happens when two opponents touch gloves and come out fighting. Now in its third year, The Shad-
ow Box Film festival is heavy on fight game action, but even more intensely committed to filling the screen with bruising accounts of what it takes to win. Documentaries are the backbone of this two-day festival, whose afternoon and evening screenings contain both shorts and feature-length work. Alan Swyer ’s “El Boxeo” is a broad study of the Latino experience in boxing, while Brin-Jonathan Butler ’s “Split Decision: The Story of Guillermo Rigondeaux” follows one boxer ’s journey from Cuba to the U.S. Set in the 1930s, “Babyface Goes to Hollywood: The Jimmy McLarnin Story” looks at the welterweight’s
world championships, then traces his post-boxing foray into acting. This is a return for Irish director Andrew Gallimore, whose documentary on “Gentleman” Jim Corbett won Best Foreign Film at last year ’s festival. Screening on both days as part of the shorts collection, director Chris Cassidy’s “Sunnyside” takes a 1947-1977 look at the Sunnyside Garden fight club, where hundreds of careers were launched. Bobby Cassidy, U.S. Congressman Peter King, Harold Lederman, Lenny Mangiapane, Henny Wallitsch, Bob Duffy, Ron Ross, Gene Moore and many others from the fight game provide first-hand accounts and historical perspec-
tives. “Watching this movie,” says Shadow Box executive director David Schuster, “you can almost smell the cigar smoke and taste the water-downed beer.” Many fighters and trainers with a direct connection to Sunnyside will attend a special 1 p.m. screening on Sat., Dec. 6, to participate in a Q&A session directly following the 30-minute film. Demonstrating a respect and enthusiasm that still eludes many promoters and fans, the festival’s lone panel event (7:30 p.m. on Dec. 5) is devoted to women’s boxing — bookended by screenings of “Last Woman Standing” and “Hardy” (directors and subjects from both films will take part in the discussion, with audience input welcome). Directed by Juliet Lammers and Lorraine Price, “Standing” is an entry from Canada that follows two friends as they compete for a single slot to represent their country in the 2012 Olympics (the first time women’s boxing was included as an official sport). Closer to home, Natasha Verma’s “Hardy” champions the fight for gender equality, in and beyond the ring. Drawn to boxing as a means of empowerment after a traumatic event, Heather Hardy trains at Brooklyn’s legendary Gleason’s Gym while raising her daughter and negotiating a uniquely layered — but typically intense — relationship with her trainer. In a manner that lives up to the best drama Hollywood fiction can offer, Hardy achieves a series of stunning victories while remaining both grounded and hungry for more.
CALL TO SUBSCRIBE 646-452-2475
November 27, 2014
You simply must see Lypsinka
Epperson’s trilogy is deft, defiant and disarming THEATER LYPSINKA! THE BOXED SET THE PASSION OF THE CRAWFORD and JOHN EPPERSON: SHOW TRASH In rotating repertory through Jan. 3, 2015 At the Connelly Theater General Admission: $45 for one show, $80 for two, $105 for all three Premium Admission (reserved seating, plus beverage): $60 for one show, $100 for two $125 for all three Purchase tickets at 866-811-4111 or lypsinka.com
BY SCOTTT STIFFLER
See Lypsinka for Free! You have a chance to win two tickets for the Dec. 8, 7 p.m. performance of “Boxed Set.” To enter, send an email to LypsinkaTix@TheVillager.com, along with your phone number (only enter once, please). A winner will be selected at
November 27, 2014
random, and contacted by phone on Dec. 6. The show takes place at the Connelly Theater, 220 E. Fourth St. (btw. Aves. A & B). But why leave it to chance? Purchase tickets to any show (or all three) by calling 866-811-4111 or visiting lypsinka.com.
The old East Village spirit lives, in the ageless Lypsinka.
‘Butterfly’ charts military to civilian transition
COURTESY OF THE TEXTILE CO.
fter an absence of nine long years, a masterful melting pot of gender illusion, golden age Hollywood glam, highly skilled lip-synching and diva deification has returned to New York. From Pyramid Club to Tompkins Square Park to Club 57, the East Village incubators that hatched Lypsinka in the early 1980s are either gone forever or tamed beyond recognition — and yet, the ravages of time have had no such luck chipping away at The Lyp’s alabaster skin or flawlessly executed acts of defiance in the face of adversity. Although technically mute, this lady is no sphinx. She’s not even a lady, tech-
PHOTO BY AUSTIN YOUNG
220 E. Fourth St. (btw. Aves. A & B)
nically — but by moving her lips in perfect synchronicity to a skillfully woven soundtrack of films, musicals and concert recordings, the “supreme archivist of irony” towers above lesser drag acts, for whom the likes of Joan Crawford, Judy Garland and Bette Davis are little more than camp punchlines. Throughout the furiously paced “Boxed Set,” the performer embodies dozens of nightclub entertainers and screen stars who hit their career highs long before Lypsinka was born. Sharing a love for these women will certainly elevate your own experience, although a surprising amount of the show’s humor is anchored in broad physical comedy, economic arches of the eyebrow and deeply expressive flourishes of the wrist — flawlessly executed, fleeting moments whose appeal exists independently of their source material. “The Passion of the Crawford” works a lone persona and, for the most part, sticks to the sequential transcripts of two well-documented Joan Crawford interviews. Whether she’s riffing on a three-second sound bite or in it for the long haul, Lypsinka excels at contemplating the high cost of submission, defiance and perseverance — not by peeling back the onion, but by adding layer upon layer upon layer. As much fun as Lypsinka is to be around, the trilogy’s greatest pleasure comes from the one who really wears the pants in the relationship between performer and persona (or does he?). “Show Trash” is John Epperson’s amiable, soft-spoken take on that old cabaret formula: one man on stage, tinkling the ivories, reviewing his life from birth to present. The former American Ballet Theatre rehearsal pianist consistently amuses with insights set to cleverly reworded show tunes, yet the standout moments come from modest and revelatory anecdotes related to his upbringing in Hazlehurst, Mississippi. Fans expecting Lypsinka’s origin story won’t leave the theater disappointed, though, as “Show Trash” has plenty to say about the glorious excesses that made the old New York so conducive to his demanding alter ego.
L to R: Paul Wallace as Oats, Scott McIntyre as Rick and Tom Ashton as Matt go plane spotting in “Butterfly Hour.” Returning home to Florida from tours of duty in Iraq, three soldiers find themselves in a very different land of sun and sand that has little use for their skills. With big ambitions and no money, Matt, Rick and Oats get together for an “operation” that will either solve their financial problems or destroy their lives. With a focus on the complexities of rebuilding relationships strained by the transition from military to civilian life, “Butterfly Hour”
is the inaugural production from The Textile Co., named as a tribute to the small textile business founder (and “Butterfly” playwright) Claude Solnik’s father once ran in Brooklyn. Dec. 4–6 & 11–13 at 8 p.m. Dec. 7 &14 at 3 p.m. At Theater for the New City (155 First Ave., btw. E. 9th & 10th Sts.). For tickets ($15 general admission, $10 for students & seniors), call 212-254-1109 or visit theaterforthenewcity.net.
Scrambled plans and a screwball solution
Playhouse season progresses, after an unexpected setback
PHOTO BY STEPHEN LEONG
ast the talent, not the type, goes an old showbiz axiom — and so it went at Metropolitan Playhouse, when the East Village theatrical heritage hawks found themselves scrambling for a replacement production to match their already-hired ensemble. Specializing in early American (almost always public domain) works, Metropolitan was set to revive George M. Cohan’s virtually unknown “Broadway Jones” — until artistic director Alex Roe discovered “that the darned play was re-published, with some edits, in the pivotal year of 1923. Anything published then, if the renewals were properly applied for, gets protection for 95 years. That would be 2018.” After a crash course in copyright law via numerous emails between himself and the Samuel French licensing agency, plans for “Broadway Jones” had to be scrapped — putting the literal brakes on Metropolitan’s 23rd season theme: Progress.
“Hamlet” gets murdered by desperate thespians, in “Rollo’s Wild Oat.”
Happenstance had other plans, helped along by a sympathetic nod from Actors Equity that allowed most of the rehearsal-ready cast to begin
memorizing “Rollo’s Wild Oat” — a progress-themed comedy that, Roe happily notes, “had parts that were just right for nearly every member of
the waiting cast.” First produced in 1920 at the Punch and Judy Theatre on West 49th Street, Clare Beecher Kummer’s sparkling, screwball tale of economic entitlement and artistic pretense concerns a rudderless young man’s decision to sink his inheritance into an extremely ill-advised production of “Hamlet.” Like the story of how it got onto the Metropolitan Playhouse stage, “Oat” has a narrative arc that’s both unexpected and satisfying (if a little hard to believe). Through Dec. 20. Thurs.–Sat. at 7:30 p.m. & Sun. at 3 p.m. No performance on Nov. 27. Additional performances: Dec. 3, 10, 13, 17 & 20 at 3 p.m. At Metropolitan Playhouse (220 E. Fourth St., btw. Aves. A & B). Tickets are $25 general admission, $20 for students/seniors, $10 for those under 18. To order, call 800-838-3006 or visit metropolitanplayhouse.org. —Scott Stiffler
These plays are totally ridiculous ‘Two by Tavel’ is theater beyond the absurd
PHOTO BY NORMAN GLICK
n 1965, Ronald Tavel went from pitchman to playwright to papa of a new theatrical genre — when Andy Warhol took a look at the 22 scenarios he drafted for 16mm film adaptation by The Factory and suggested they be presented on the stage instead. Tavel recruited his younger brother Harvey to direct, then penned this brief, brilliant, self-prophesizing manifesto: “We have passed beyond the Absurd, our position is totally Ridiculous!” Just under a half-century later, two works from the Theatre of the Ridiculous (“Two by Tavel”) are being directed by Norman Glick. A founding member whose collaboration with the Brooklyn-born Tavels predates that pivotal Warhol moment, Glick was involved in most of the brothers’ productions (he acted, stage managed and house managed for the movement and, even more notably, built its Theatre of the Lost Continent in the Jane West Hotel). “It is a great honor for me to dedicate these two one-act gems to the memory of the wonderful Harvey Tavel [1937-2013]. He was my husband for four years, my family for decades,” says Glick, to whom Harvey Fierstein wrote, “Without Harvey [Tavel], there would have been no Ronald Tavel [1936-2009], no Harvey Fierstein, no Theatre of the Ridiculous and The Lost Continent and so much more.” The cast for “Life of Juanita Castro” includes Agosto Machado and Ruby Lynn Reyner — two
From 1970, the second production of “Kitchenette.” L to R: Mary Woronov, Fred Savage, Harvey Fierstein and Mary McCormick.
vets of the movement who play, respectively, Juanita and Fidel Castro. “Life” finds that brother and sister, along with Che Guevara (Jorge Acosta) and
Raul Castro (Kika Child), posing for a portrait as a director (fittingly played by Glick) feeds them lines from the script, which they butcher to comedic effect. Glick breaks with the original production by having Che Guevara played as a flamboyant gay man. Otherwise, it’s true to the Ridiculous movement’s traditional cross-gender casting. In other casting news, actors Jorge Acosta, Kika Child, Richard Craven and Eva Dorrepaal are new to the Tavel canon. Together, they revive “Kitchenette” — in which Mikie frets over a litter basket while Jo applies her makeup. When they’re joined by a similarly named street hustler and blond bombshell, psychosexual ridiculousness ensues — occasionally at the instruction of a filmmaker who inserts himself into the kitchen sink drama. Confused? Intrigued? Show up prepared (and only slightly less perplexed) by visiting ronaldtavel. com. Maintained by Glick, it has Tavel’s body of work in PDF form. “Two by Tavel” is performed Nov. 28–Dec. 14. Thurs.– Sat. at 8 p.m. & Sun. at 3 p.m. At Theater for the New City (155 First Ave., btw. E. 9th & 10th Sts.). Tickets: $10. Call 212-254-1109 or visit theaterforthenewcity.net. Also visit jsnyc.com/season/glick.htm. —Scott Stiffler
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Tobi Bergman is elected new C.B. 2 chairperson C.B. 2, continued from p. 1
November 27, 2014
Tobi Bergman spoke before C.B. 2 voted for chairperson while another candidate, Bo Riccobono, waited his turn at the mic.
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Jonathan Geballe 37-12. In a tight race, Susan Kent, Katy Bordonaro and Maury Schott vied for second vice chairperson, with Kent ultimately defeating Bordonaro in a runoff. Riccobono, Geballe and Bordonaro ran together on a slate. Bergman has been on the community board for 17 years, and is best known for his activism around parks and youth sports. He is a former president of Greenwich Village Little League and the Pier Park & Playground Association (P3). On the community board, he formerly chaired the Parks Committee and more recently has been chairing the Land Use and Business Development Committee. He lives in Hudson Square. All the candidates gave brief remarks before the vote, which was done by written ballot. Of course, the candidates had already all been vigorously lobbying the board members for their support in the weeks leading up to the election. Bergman, in his turn at the mic, listed “five points” important to him regarding the community board and how to lead it. “Ideas are like seeds that need to be planted and nurtured, and I like working on other people’s ideas more than my own,” he told the board members. “We are public servants and we have a responsibility to work hard to be effective. We need to be committed to offering a good experience to our members, who are volunteers. “Our most important work happens at public meetings, and how we conduct our meetings shapes how people view us,” he added. “Our office is a public office of a city agency and it needs to be clean and welcoming,” he said, referring to the C.B. 2 H.Q. in Washington Square Village, which is manned by several paid staff members. “We also need to look under the hood to make sure our staff priorities are the right ones and that their jobs are engaging and important. “I feel my long experience on the board will be valuable to me as chairperson,” Bergman added, “but I understand board chairperson is different and I have a lot to learn. “Participating in the election was very helpful for me. It gave me a chance to have long talks with many board members and prepared me for the job. “All the candidates should be committed to coming together as a team after the election,” he concluded. Afterward, asked by The Villager to lay out his thoughts about the upcoming year, he said he wants to wait
State Senator Brad Hoylman, a former C.B. 2 chairperson, right, presented David Gruber with a proclamation in honor of his leadership of the community board.
until after he takes office. However, he did say, “Over all, as I said, I want to work to help make other people’s ideas succeed.” Riccobono, in his remarks before the vote, touched on the development juggernaut gripping the Village. Referring to a “55-story building at the St. John’s Center site, a 23-story building at Bowlmor…N.Y.U…the gas station maybe,” he said, “we’re surrounded. We’ve got to be proactive.”
Meanwhile, Stewart said, if elected, he’d work to find joint solutions. “Consensus is important,” he stressed. Afterward, Keen Berger, said she felt it had been a good race that thankfully didn’t sink into bitterness and attacks. “I’m glad that we had such an interesting election,” she said. “We have great members. We’ll support our new chairperson. “I was glad that the people I didn’t
vote for got support,” she added. Susanna Aaron, a C.B. 2 member and Hudson River Park activist, said of the night’s vote, “I was pleased at the outcome.” For C.B. 2 member Robert Ely, there was no question in his mind that he would support Bergman for chairperson. “He has done so much,” Ely stressed, “and that’s why he has succeeded. He got those ball fields on Pier 40 — that was his doing. It was his thinking. To think that that courtyard full of buses could be turned into ball fields.” However, some on the board had felt Bergman’s relationship to Pier 40 was too close, especially now with the pier’s unused development rights likely to be in play in the near future in an expected sale to the owners of the St. John’s Center across the highway from the pier. Last month, when the three chairperson candidates did a Q&A with the board members, Bergman alone had to answer a special series of questions about his relationship to Pier 40. Two years ago, for example, Bergman was the point person on a concept plan designed by Pier 40 Champions — a coalition of Downtown youth sports leagues — to build two high-rise luxury residential towers at the foot of Pier 40, whose revenue would have been used to repair the decaying pier. That plan failed for lack of political support. Legislation passed last year, however, now allows the park’s unused development rights to be sold across the highway. Any sale proceeds from Pier 40’s air rights are required to be funneled directly back into the massive West Houston St. pier’s repair. During the October Q&A, Bergman was asked if he has an opinion on the possible transfer of development rights from Pier 40 to the St. John’s Center site. “I don’t know what my position would be yet,” he said, though adding, “I do think our elected officials provided a very good way to fund the park.” C.B. 2 provided the results of the chairperson vote, which is public record. Voting for Bergman were Susanna Aaron, Daniel Ballen, Keen Berger, Tobi Bergman, Carter Booth, Rich Caccappolo, Heather Campbell, Ritu Chattree, Denise Collins, Tom Connor, Terri Cude, Coral Dawson, Robert Ely, Joshua Frost, Robin Goldberg, Anne Hearn, Jeanine Kiely, Ed Ma, Alexander Meadows, Daniel Miller, Lois Rakoff, Robin Rothstein, Maury Schott, Arthur Schwartz, Shirley Secunda, Frederica Sigel, Robert Woodworth and Elaine Young. C.B. 2, continued on p. 27 TheVillager.com
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR Continued from p. 10
Diller must do more To The Editor: Re “Diller and DVF give huge gift to create park art pier” (news article, Nov. 20): At the very least, there should be an endowment funded by Diller to cover the maintenance of this park in perpetuity, and not just for 20 to 30 years. Leonie Haimson
Pier55’s big payoff To The Editor: Re “Diller and DVF give huge gift to create park art pier” (news article, Nov. 20): The notion of this being a “gift” is questionable, if not laughable. Consider the same couples’ huge “gift” to the High Line park. Their real estate holdings (buildings, homes and the Diane von Furstenberg store, all right near the High Line) realized an increase in value far above the sum they donated. In other words, it’s a very savvy investment, not a gift. Their fellow billionaires who owned the nearby private properties likewise made a huge killing from the tax dollars invested in the High Line. How many billions in profit will they realize from this latest real estate trickery posing as philanthropy? Robert Lederman Lederman is president, A.R.T.I.S.T. (Artists’ Response to Illegal State Tactics)
Lease is too vague To The Editor: Re “Diller and DVF give huge gift to create park art pier” (news article, Nov. 20): I am concerned about the “OpenEntry or Free or Low-Cost (OEFLC) Obligation” for Pier55. Luckily, within the 165-page lease agreement, it is completely described in paragraph 9.03 on page 25. Unfortunately, the term “low-cost” is not defined, and the only requirement is that OEFLC permitted events be “reasonably disTheVillager.com
tributed across each Season.” The phrase “reasonably distributed” is also not defined. So it is quite possible to offer no open-entry or free events and only “low-cost” events, and never to offer them on Friday and Saturday nights, or never on weekends, so that the ticketed and fundraising events completely dominate the times when the general (non-student/non-senior) public cannot attend. I am not saying this will happen. I am saying that, to protect the public interest, this language needs to be improved. And, given the two bridge entry points in the Pier55 design, it is obvious that — no matter what the Hudson River Park Trust may be saying now — for reasons of health and safety, during ticketed events, there will be no access to the rest of the pier by the general public. Barry Drogin
Loved and stood by him To The Editor: Re “Daniel Meltzer, 74, writer who saved the Beacon” (obituary, Nov. 20): Dan and I were engaged in 2003 when he first became diagnosed with liver cancer. He had three-quarters of his liver removed and he recovered and was cancer-free for almost five years. Then he became diagnosed with prostate cancer. I have loved him and stood by him throughout many years. He is actually survived by more than eight cousins, who I am sure will be celebrating him from San Francisco, to Tel Aviv, to Los Angeles, and to Minneapolis and to Florida and Arizona. He died holding my hand and I loved him always. Mary Foster
Give tofurky a try To The Editor: This week, President Obama will pardon two turkeys to promote the turkey industry. Every one of us can exercise that same pardon power by choosing a nonviolent Thanksgiving observance. It’s a most fitting way to give thanks for our own life, health and happiness. The 240 million turkeys killed
in the U.S. this year have nothing to give thanks for. They are raised in crowded sheds filled with toxic fumes. Their beaks and toes are severed. At the slaughterhouse, workers cut their throats and dump them into boiling water, sometimes while still alive. Consumers too pay a heavy price. Turkey flesh is laced with cholesterol and saturated fats that elevate the risk of chronic killer diseases. Labels warn of food poisoning potential. This Thanksgiving, I won’t be calling the government’s Poultry Hotline, wondering how that turkey lived and died, or dozing through the football game. Our Thanksgiving dinner may include a “tofurky” (soy-based roast), mashed potatoes, stuffed squash, chestnut soup, candied yams, cranberry sauce, pumpkin pie, and carrot cake. An Internet search on “vegan Thanksgiving” and a visit to my local supermarket will provide me more recipes and delicious turkey alternatives than I can possibly use. Nico Young
The sky’s the limit! To The Editor: Re “University Place and Broadway in the crosshairs” (talking point, by Andrew Berman, Nov. 23): Andrew Berman writes that a 23-story building planned for the site of the Bowlmor Lanes at University Place and 12th St. “will be one of the tallest, if not the tallest, structures ever erected in this historically lowrise neighborhood.” There are already tall buildings on University Place. The Brevoort East, at Ninth St. and University, is 26 stories tall. One University Place, near Washington Square, is 22 stories tall. Way back in 1904, the middle building of the Hotel Albert, at 67 University Place, was completed. It is 12 stories tall, and was probably the tallest building on University Place at that time. It is a beautiful building
and is landmarked. What is the ugliest building on University Place? It is probably the old Bowlmor site. George Jochnowitz
Cops of the world To The Editor: Everything that is happening in Iraq now is happening because the United States, without provocation and based entirely on assumption, decided to play cops of the world and invade a foreign country with a stable government. I agree that Saddam Hussein was a vainglorious and cruel dictator. He did not, however, have an army of zealots marching through the countryside. There were not untold numbers of refugees, orphans and widows. Almost one-quarter of a million people did not lose their lives to the ravages of war, and there were no beheadings of Americans. Jerry The Peddler
Fall ball is really grand To The Editor: Re “Why playing fall ball is cool in so many ways” (sports article, Nov. 6): Seeing my grandson and his friends play fall ball makes it all worthwhile. It keeps the enjoyment of the sport going until it begins again next spring. Arlyn Saracino E-mail letters, not longer than 250 words in length, to email@example.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. The Villager does not publish anonymous letters.
Write a letter to the editor firstname.lastname@example.org November 27, 2014
November 27, 2014
Deep N.Y.U. team looks to vie for league title SPORTS BY ROBERT ELKIN
ew York University’s basketball team, the Violets, dates back to the early 1900s. The team eventually went into Division I of the NCAA, but then dropped down to Division III in 1983, where they are now competing. However, over their tremendous years when they made headlines in New York, they turned out some great players. One who is still very
much involved is Cal Ramsey, who is an assistant coach at N.Y.U. and who is also a director of special events and community relations representative with the New York Knicks. Competing in Division III, the Violets have to recruit high school players who may not be future all-Americans, and whose dream is not to play in the NBA. Yet, some of the players do make names for themselves in Division III. Last winter, led by double-figure scorers in Evan Kupferberg, Ryan Tana and Costis Gontikas, the rebounding of Kupferberg, and guard play of Max Ralby, the Violets won only one of six games toward the end
Tobi Bergman is elected new C.B. 2 chairperson C.B. 2, continued from p. 24
Supporting Riccobono were Katy Bordonaro, Anita Brandt, Lisa Cannistraci, Cristy Dwyer, Jonathan Geballe, Sasha Greene, David Gruber, Arthur Kriemelman, Bo Riccobono, Sandy Russo, Sean Sweeney, Shannon Tyree and Susan Wittenberg. Backing Stewart were William Bray, Maria Passannante Derr, Doris Diether, Susan Kent, Rocio Sanz, Shirley Smith, Chenault Spence and Richard Stewart. After two one-year terms in a row helming C.B. 2, Gruber stepped down, per the board’s term limits policy. He received a warm sendoff and a succession of proclamations from Councilmember Corey Johnson, state Senator Brad Hoylman — himself a former C.B. 2 chairperson — and Borough President Gale Brewer. Councilmember Rosie Mendez also thanked Gruber for his service. Above all, Hoylman said, Gruber “gets things done.” Brewer praised Gruber’s “droll wit” and “good conversation,” which helped keep meetings interesting and running smoothly. The borough president also lauded his getting the board members to switch from using paper handouts to computer tablets for their resolutions at monthly fullboard meetings. “You’re saving the planet at the same time you’re making wonderful decisions,” she said. “I’m starting to feel like Derek Jeter, but that’s O.K.,” Gruber quipped of all the politicians’ accolades. “We’ve done a lot of good things over the past two years,” he said, reflecting on his tenure. “Some of it TheVillager.com
started on my watch, some of it landed on my watch.” Rattling off a list of accomplishments, he mentioned getting a new middle school at 75 Morton St., to open in 2017 — although he admitted that process had started before his term — plus elementary schools planned at Duarte Square and, hopefully, at Bleecker St. and LaGuardia Place on one of the N.Y.U. superblocks. There was also the approval of the Hudson Square rezoning, he added, as part of which C.B. 2 successfully lobbied Trinity Real Estate to include a gym — that will be open to the community — in its planned residential tower at Duarte Square, which will also include the new school in its base. “We established the Washington Square Park Conservancy...and they have been very successful raising money and helping the park,” he continued. In addition, Gruber noted, the board approved a Meatpacking District Business Improvement District that will include a first-of-its-kind “impact zone” extending from its borders to make sure residential neighbors’ concerns are being addressed. In addition, he previously chaired the board’s N.Y.U. Working Group, which put together a comprehensive resolution on the N.Y.U. 2031 plan, which recommended an “absolute no” on the nearly 2-million-squarefoot project slated for the university’s two South Village superblocks. Last but not least, Gruber added that, in no small feat, he also located the comfortable new space for C.B. 2’s monthly full-board meetings, the Scholastic auditorium, on Broadway near Prince St.
of the season and wound up with a 16-10 overall record, including 6-8 in the University Athletic Association. Kupferberg, a first-team AllLeague selection last year, and Gontikas, head the returnees to a very promising team, coached by Joe Nesci, in his 27th season at N.Y.U. A good portion of the team is back. The Violets have a good mix of a lot of 10 juniors and seniors and some talented freshmen. The way they played the first game of their tipoff four-team tournament at home against John Jay College, showed that they could be very successful both in the league and over all this season. N.Y.U.’s Joe Timmes’s 15 points led a well-balanced scoring attack, and Alec Papesch’s 11 rebounds paced the way to an easy 80-51 decision in a semifinal game on Saturday. Nesci tried to evaluate all of his players, and so gave them playing time in their season opener. However, in Sunday’s final game, the Violets blew a 56-46 lead with about eight minutes left. They lost to Union of Upstate New York, 64-62, despite Kupferberg’s 22 points and 12 rebounds, including nine off the defensive boards. They Violets can’t continue to turn the ball over so many times if they want to win. Ross Udine and Timmes committed five and six turnovers each, respectively. “Udine, a pure point guard, sees the whole court, and is tight with the ball,” Nesci said. “And he’s a defender, too. He can also hit the open shots.” Union’s William Hython broke a 62-62 tie with a field goal as time was running out. “We have four players who could really put the ball in the basket in Gontikas, Kupferberg, Kevin Kabore and Alec Pasech,” said Timmes, who plays the wing position. The N.Y.U. players felt optimistic after how they competed in the tourney’s first game and in the first half of the final game. But the season is still long and time will tell. Depth is still a definite strength
Evan Kupferberg, who made the AllLeague first team last year, is among the Violets’ returning players.
for this team. Other strong points include their ability to keep the ball down low, getting the ball to the post players, their height advantage down low, rebounding, half-court defense and inside play. However, the defense must step up and they have to protect the ball better, as seen in the championship game, when the Violets were called for 21 turnovers, including 13 steals. “We have to work on consistency, playing at a high level,” said Nesci. “And we are capable of playing at a high level.” Competing in a very tough conference, N.Y.U. is picked to finish in second place in a preseason poll. “Before we get into playing in our league,” Nesci said, “we have to get better and better, so that when the time comes to play good teams we’re prepared.”
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