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

December 26, 2013 • FREE Volume 4 • Number 3

‘Kill infill, Bill,’ many are urging de Blasio on NYCHA scheme BY SAM SPOKONY

NYCHA, continued on p. 8

Magical mystery buy: New owner purchases former garden plot BY SARAH FERGUSON


n Saturday, a crowd of supporters gathered at the Children’s Magical Garden at the corner of Stanton and Norfolk Sts. to celebrate the winter solstice. They sang a traditional wassail to the garden’s



he New York City Housing Authority said on Dec. 20 that site designations for its land-lease plan — which would place luxury housing within its public developments — will not go forward before the end of

this year, leaving the door wide open for new Mayor Bill de Blasio to quash the plan, or at least change it, once he takes office in January. While NYCHA’s statement was widely reported in the sense that the landlease — or “infill” — proposal was finally in real

33-year-old apple tree, thanking it for its juicy and bountiful harvest. And gardeners invited people to throw “dream seeds” (actually rye seeds) into the soil of the nowfenced-off lot in the center of the garden, so that their dreams may “take root” in the new year. GARDEN, continued on p. 4

Oh, Christ! Here comes SantaCon! It seems SantaCon is a passion of the Christ, or at least this one. The Savior was spotted on Second Ave. — the epicenter of the East Village’s SantaCon scene on Sat., Dec. 14.

Reining in SantaCon; Snow and police kept a cap on Claus chaos BY HEATHER DUBIN


snowy and slushy Saturday was no deterrent for SantaCon. Thousands of holiday revelers dressed as Santa Claus, scantily clad elves and even gingerbread men, braved the snow and frigid temperatures on Dec. 14 for the all-day drinkathon.

By train, bus or subway, devotees traveled en masse to the event’s 13th annual pub crawl. This year, the hotly contested event — which contributes to charities — kicked off in Tompkins Square Park at 10 a.m. Enthusiastic participants then proceeded to imbibe from bar to bar on the SantaCon route, which ended in Williamsburg.

There was some strong resistance to SantaCon this year. Bars and lounges in Midtown and Hell’s Kitchen were encouraged by a local police lieutenant to boycott the event and turn away Santas. And several bars in the East Village and Lower East Side declared themselves a “SantaCon free zone.” SANTACON, continued on p. 9



Sandy-related rent credits are finally coming to Knickerbocker BY SAM SPOKONY


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esidents of a Lower East Side lowand middle-income housing complex will receive rent credits for their time without heat and electricity as a result of Superstorm Sandy, elected officials announced Dec. 17. The private owner of Knickerbocker Village — a 1,600-unit Mitchell-Lama development on Monroe St. — will provide the residents with nine days’ worth of credits, according to the joint announcement by Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, state Senator Daniel Squadron, Borough President Scott Stringer and Councilmember Margaret Chin. “I have worked tirelessly to help deliver this rent credit to the tenants of Knickerbocker Village and I am enormously pleased that they will now receive it,” Silver said. “Residents of this complex suffered in cold and darkness after Superstorm Sandy and they deserve to be compensated for their hardship.” The credits will come in the form of a 15 percent reduction in residents’ January and February rent bills. Average monthly rents at Knickerbocker Village are around $800 for a one-bedroom

apartment, $1,100 for a two-bedroom apartment and $1,350 for a three-bedroom apartment, according to Bob Wilson, a longtime tenant leader at the complex. Ares Management, the development’s owner, originally promised the rent credits days after Sandy struck, under pressure from Silver and the other electeds. As time went on, however, some were concerned that funding for credits would have had to eventually come out of tenants’ pockets through later rent increases. But that situation has now been avoided, since Ares will pay for the credits with money from an insurance settlement, according to the Dec. 17 announcement. That settlement became possible after Silver brought in the state’s Department of Financial Services to facilitate dicussions between Ares and its insurance company. “This is a huge victory for Knickerbocker Village tenants,” said Wilson, who just two months ago said he was worried the rent credits were potentially unfeasible. In October, the city agreed to provide $1.46 million from its post-Sandy Build it Back program to finance repairs on all Knickerbocker Village’s elevators. The city has also committed to helping fund the replacement of the entire complex’s electrical and heating systems.

served 16 years as district leader and 10 years as Village View board president. In the judicial election, he ran unopposed. His term expires in 2023. The East Village resident has been a fixture in local political circles for nearly two decades. His community activist experience includes organizing groups such as the Save Avenue A Association. The induction ceremony was attended by about 200 people, including Councilmember Rosie Mendez, Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, state Senator Daniel Squadron and Congressmember Carolyn Maloney.


HERE COMES THE JUDGE! Adam Silvera, former president of the co-op board at Village View — the Mitchell-Lama affordable housing complex located between Second and Sixth Sts. and Avenue A and First Ave. — and a former local Democratic district leader, was sworn in Thurs., Dec. 12, as a Civil Court judge in the Second District. The district covers Chinatown, the Lower East Side and East Village. The ceremony was held at 111 Centre St. and presided over by Doris Ling-Cohan, a justice on the New York State Supreme Court, above left with Silvera. Silvera, 40, worked 12 years with the law firm of Paul B. Weitz and Associates, a premier personal injury law firm,

EASY RIDER: As we were pulling our Citi Bike into the bike dock at E. Fifth St. and Avenue C last Friday evening, who was pulling out one of the bikes to go for a ride but Assemblymember Brian Kavanagh. Yes, he’s an annual member. After we spoke with him for some minutes about the possibly false report that state Senator Daniel Squadron might be tapped for Parks Department commissioner under Bill de Blasio, Kavanagh pedaled off, quipping as he went that he would ask us to split the time overcharge with him if his ride took longer than the permitted 45 minutes. Funny, we always used to bump into Kavanagh on the subway, and now we see him riding a Citi Bike… . Hmm, could the murmurings that Kavanagh might be tapped by de Blasio for Department of Transportation commissioner be true? Nope, Anna Pycior, his communications chief, told us, it’s just a rumor. … Meanwhile, former City Councilmember Alan Gerson tells us he’s raring to run for Squadron’s seat should it open up. “I’m seriously considering the state Senate, if Squadron gets the appointment,” he told us this week. “A lot of people from the East Side and the West Side have been urging me to do this.” Is he hearing something about Squadron? “I just know what I read,” Gerson said. “Of course, I start off with Scoopy, it’s at the top of the list. Once in a while I read the Times and Crain’s.” Jenifer Rajkumar also has expressed interest in Squadron’s seat should it become free. ‘DWELLING’ ON IT TOO LONG? What’s going on at Community Board 3? The board still hasn’t produced a resolution on how to deal with the fallout from its temporary “ban” of the LES Dwellers quality-of-life group. Including this past Tuesday’s full-board meeting, it’s been two months now that the board’s special task force on the issue — composed of Executive Committee members, or the board’s core leadership — has failed to produce a resolution for the full board to vote on. We hear that there were some problems with a draft of the resolution, and that the task force is still plugging away at it, but that it’s expected a resolution will be presented at next month’s full-board meeting. At this week’s full board, outspoken C.B. 3 member Ayo Harrington angrily demanded to be put on the task force, accusing the board’s chairperson, Gigi Li, of having created an insular process. Li said it’s O.K., she could be on the task force — now — but that

didn’t change Harrington’s opinion that the board’s decision-making process is too much of a closed ship.

STRIP SINGER (OF THE BUILDING)! Seven years ago, Mayor Bloomberg stunningly landmarked the old P.S. 64 right under Gregg Singer’s nose, foiling the developer’s plans to raze the historic “H”-style building and construct a towering university dorm at the site. Now will new Mayor Bill de Blasio do Bloomberg one better? Community Board 3 is hoping so. At its Dec. 16 full-board meeting, C.B. 3 voted to approve a resolution calling on the new administration to “return the former P.S. 64 school building to the community by legally retrieving and then selling or giving it to a well-established not-for-profit organization(s) with a long history of serving the people of the Lower East Side / East Village, including, but not limited to restoring the not-for-profit organization known as CHARAS / El Bohio to the building located at 605 E. Ninth St.” The resolution notes Singer has failed to properly maintain the building, has stripped off its rooftop dormers and exterior ornaments, and for 14 years has failed to fill it with a community-facility use, as required under the property’s deed restriction. The resolution further charges that Singer’s latest plan, to convert the existing building into a dormitory for The Cooper Union, the Joffrey Ballet School and possibly other schools, does not comply with the Department of Buildings’ “Rule 51-01” for student dormitories, under which a full lease by an accredited academic institution for a minimum of 10 years must be produced. YIKES! YIPPIE H.Q. IN PERIL: We were strolling down Bleecker St. the other night and while passing 9 Bleecker, Yippie headquarters, saw the Corcoran “For Rent” shingle hanging down. It looked like there might have been a faint light on upstairs on the second floor, but otherwise, all was dark, with the Yippie Cafe closed on the ground floor. We later called a name on the sign, broker Amalia Daskalakis at Corcoran, to ask for an update, but she had no comment. So we called Aron Kay, the “Yippie Pie Man,” and he also had no comment — at least, at first. “I’m not at liberty to comment about it,” he said, but then launched into an extended tirade. “It’s depressing what the real estate maggots are doing to a longtime institution of the counterculture,” he said, going on to blame N.Y.U. among others for the area’s gentrification, adding that it all started back with Mayor Ed Koch. “I call it ‘Koch Rot,’ ” the Pie Man fumed. “Thousands of people have gone in there, and organized on issues like anti-nuke, pro-pot, anti-Reagan,” he said of No. 9. “If they trash it, it’ll be like the Nazis putting a road over a Jewish cemetery.” Attorney Noah Potter is representing Yippie leader Dana Beal, who is currently in jail in the Midwest on pot-trafficking charges. (Beal claims most of his haul was medical marijuana.) At issue is payments on the mortgage. Yippie Holdings and the National AIDS Brigade — the latter founded by Jon Parker, a 1980s needle-exchange pioneer — are the building’s co-owners. Potter is trying to prevent all of Beal’s valuables in the building from either being tossed out into the street or auctioned.


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ollowing the death of Baruch College student Chun Hsien “Michael” Deng in a violent hazing ritual, Councilmember Rosie Mendez is calling for an end to the dangerous and brutal practice. According to reports, Deng, 19, who attended college in Mendez’s Council District 2, died of massive brain injuries from blunt head trauma after participating in an initiation ritual for Phi Delta Psi, an Asian-American frat, called “glass ceiling.” During the ritual, which occurred in Pennsylvania on Sun., Dec. 8, Deng and several other pledges were blindfolded and made to wear backpacks loaded with 20 pounds of sand, while trying to run a gauntlet of fraternity brothers intent on repeatedly shoving them to the ground. According to law enforcement sources, the brothers were “very violent” with Deng. After he fell unconscious, they left him by a fireplace while they researched his condition on the Internet. Some of the frat brothers finally drove him to a local hospital an hour and a half later. He was placed on life support but removed from it on Mon., Dec. 9. Authorities are reportedly in the process of interviewing at least 30 people and are

expected to file criminal charges. Baruch officials said it was an unsanctioned fraternity event and have suspending the frat’s privileges. In a statement, Mendez said, “I extend my deepest condolences to the family and friends of 19-year-old Chun Hsien ‘Michael’ Deng. Michael’s unfortunate death was a result of head trauma endured during a heinous hazing ritual by members of the Phi Delta Psi fraternity. Baruch College incorporates anti-hazing modules as part of their fraternity and sorority orientation and I commend them for taking such proactive measures. Additionally, I commend Baruch College for suspending Phi Delta Psi’s rights and privileges at the Baruch campus. While this does not bring back the life of a young man who strived in academics and wanted to pledge in a ‘cool’ Asian-American cultural fraternity — it sends a clear message that Baruch College has zero tolerance for hazing rituals. “I ask that Phi Delta Psi, along with all fraternities and sororities, put an end to the abuse that is hazing and, to a certain extent, bullying of first-year students,” Mendez said. “I hope that Michael gets justice and that we have no more college students in Michael’s situation.”

Celebrating the winter solstice in the Children’s Magical Garden on Saturday.

That’s no way to hang: Will project overshadow C.M.G.? GARDEN, continued from p. 1

But it may take some potent magic to undo the development schemes underway for this contested ground on the Lower East Side. Last month, The Villager reported that developer Serge Hoyda had filed plans to build a six-story, 70-foot-tall residential building on this small interior parcel, which has been part of the Children’s Magical Garden for more than 30 years. But when the newspaper contacted Hoyda’s development firm —  S&H Equities of Great Neck, Long Island — to inquire further, the office manager responded, “the property has been sold,” though she refused to say when or to whom. The phone number for S&H is still listed on the plans filed with the Department of Buildings. But the contact given for the owner is Brian Hamburger, who is listed as an agent for the “contract vendee.” In an e-mail to The Villager, Hamburger said he works for “the new owner of the property,” but declined to name the person or persons, saying they were “out of town with limited access to communicate” until after New Year’s. But Hamburger’s e-mail address is for the Horizon Group, a Yonkers-based development and investment firm — which also happens to be putting up a glassy 12-story condoplex down the block at 100 Norfolk St. In that project — which has already drawn flak on the Internet — Horizon apparently bought up adjacent air rights to create a cantilevered design that allows the upper condos and terraces to overhang the more-modest properties on the corner of Delancey St. In a Web posting, the project’s designer, Soho-based ODA Architecture, describes the swanky new digs like this: “Peering above its small lot, the 12-story building is combining its mass from the surrounding properties to create a stepping

volume which cantilevers over the adjacent low-rise buildings like an inverted ‘wedding cake’ or ziggurat. The unexpected massing, clad in a glass curtain wall, reflects a paradoxical midblock freestanding building offering striking views and strong interior light exposure for an array of residential spaces — a pendant above the city.” Will Horizon be seeking to build a similar “ziggurat” at 157 Norfolk St. to overhang the two remaining city-owned lots that make up the Children’s Magical Garden? In June, the city agreed to transfer control of these lots to the Parks Department for preservation under the GreenThumb program — so Horizon can’t build on them. But would the city consider selling air rights to these parcels — which bracket the contested lot at 157 Norfolk St. — allowing the proposed new six-story project to overshadow the remaining trees and plantings of C.M.G.? “That would be terrible, that is not happening!” insisted C.M.G. board president Kate Temple-West. Temple-West and the other gardeners are still hoping to meet with the new owners and city officials to work out some kind of “land swap” or deal to restore the lot at 157 Norfolk as green space. “We are still hoping for a benefactor to buy back the lot, or the developer to give back his claim on the lot — because we are still claiming this as our land,” C.M.G. board member Aresh Javadi told the small crowd gathered for the solstice celebration. “That building is not welcome,” Javadi added. “This is where all our children have been growing fruits and vegetables. This is the most productive land because it gets the most sun.” In his e-mail, Hamburger wouldn’t say what his client has in mind, though he did say there would be “no commercial space in the building.” He promised to provide more details after New Year’s. | 212.742.1969

POLICE BLOTTER Stalker goes berserk Police arrested Plinio Guerra, 33, on Dec. 20 after he allegedly stalked a woman, bashed her car and threatened to kill her. The woman, 22, who apparently had some prior relationship with Guerra, told cops he was following her in his car while she drove from her home to a gas station near the corner of W. 13th St. and Eighth Ave., around 1:15 a.m. She further claimed that, prior to that, Guerra had repeatedly called her on the phone even though she had told him to stop contacting her. Once at the gas station that morning, Guerra reportedly started the confrontation by walking up to her car and punching her window. The woman said she then got out and walked over to Guerra’s car, in order to take down his license plate number. But while she did that, Guerra approached her car once again, and ripped both her door handles off and damaged both side mirrors, police said. The woman said Guerra then told her that he was going to wait at her apartment and kill her, after which he returned to his own vehicle, tried to back up and hit her car but missed, and then drove away. Moments later, she flagged down a police car and explained the situation, after which the officers were able to track Guerra down and apprehend him. Guerra was charged with menacing, criminal mischief, harassment and auto stripping.

Playhouse cash grab Kafele Carty, 24, was arrested Dec. 19 after he allegedly snatched money out of a woman’s pocket at a West Village nightclub. The woman, 22, told officers she was having drinks in the Actors Playhouse, at 100 Seventh Ave. South, around 4 a.m., when Carty stuck his hand in her back pocket, grabbed $800 in cash and tried to run away. Club employees were able to detain Carty before he could get out the door, and cops arrived to arrest him minutes later. The woman also claimed that Carty had groped her butt while taking the loot, but he wasn’t charged for any sexual assault. Instead, he was charged with grand larceny and criminal possession of stolen property.

Shifty car rental Police arrested Ashleigh Byrd, 26, on Dec. 21 after, they say, she rented a car and never returned it. Byrd got the 2013 Ford Focus from Thrifty Car Rental, and had been keeping the vehicle for her own personal use ever since it was due back on Aug. 1, police said. After the due

date came and went, Thrifty had reported the car missing, and cops identified it while Byrd was parked at the corner of W. Third St. and Sixth Ave., around 9:30 p.m. on Dec. 21. She was charged with unauthorized use of a vehicle and criminal possession of stolen property.



iPod theft Police arrested Juan Suriel, 21, on Dec. 17 after he allegedly stole an iPod from an employee of a West Village convenience store. Employees of CVS, at 75 Christopher St., told cops they saw Suriel enter an “employees only” room at the store around 3 a.m., then dash out with the iPod in hand. Nearby officers were quickly alerted, and were able to spot the thief, chase him down and apprehend him minutes later. Suriel was charged with burglary.

Bash and run Nathan Rennicke, 34, was arrested on Dec. 20 after he allegedly — and for no apparent reason — busted another man’s car door and window. The car’s owner told cops he was walking back to his vehicle, which was parked on LaGuardia Place between Bleecker and W. Third Sts., around 3:30 a.m., when he spotted Rennicke punching the car. Rennicke then reportedly tried to flee the scene, but he was caught shortly afterward, when the other man reported the incident and police quickly canvassed the area. Rennicke was charged with criminal mischief.

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Rapist thwarted, arrested Police arrested Donnelle Murphy, 29, on Dec. 22, six days after he allegedly broke into a 21-year-old woman’s Kips Bay home and tried to rape her. Around 2 a.m. on Mon., Dec. 16, Murphy forced his way into the woman’s apartment near Lexington Ave., cornered her, held his hand over her mouth and tried to rape her — but she was able to escape his grasp and screamed until he fled the scene, cops said. Police sources later said they believe Murphy learned the victim’s address after finding her wallet inside a McDonald’s at E. 28th St. and Park Ave. South, according to a Daily News report. Murphy, whose address was listed as the E. 30th St. men’s homeless shelter, was charged with attempted rape, burglary, grand larceny, menacing and assault.

Sam Spokony December 26, 2013


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














Like a group of psychedelic Pied Pipers, dozens of musicians, most playing electric guitars, plus percussionists, started out on Ludlow St. on the Lower East Side, above, then marched up Avenue A in the East Village and on to Union Square, with a stop at the Astor Place “Cube” sculpture, as part of “Make Music New York” last Saturday. This particular event was dubbed “Tilted Axes — Music For Mobile Electric Guitars.”




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December 26, 2013

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR Cashing in on crashing To The Editor: Re “How to achieve zero traffic deaths in New York City” (talking point, by Keegan Stephan, Dec. 12): In my humble opinion, I don’t think either the city or state truly believes in safety. They would like the public to think that, but the truth is money trumps safety. There is lots of money to be made in traffic crashes, and the politicians know it. Crashing is a business! It is a multigazillion-dollar industry. There are untold numbers of people whose jobs depend on crashing: lawyers, doctors, nurses, insurance people, car dealers and, yes, florists and funeral directors. The list is actually endless. The transactions that flow from a car crash are taxed in the form of income and sales taxes. So why would the politicians

want to kill that industry and dry up all that revenue? The simple answer is they don’t. That’s why they pass phony laws like the cell phone law that only bans holding the phone. It doesn’t ban the true distraction, which is talking on the phone. It’s all designed to fool the public.

To the public, I say, don’t get your hopes up. The carnage will continue. Al Cinamon Cinamon is an instructor at Rivera’s Driving School E-mail letters, not longer than 250

words in length, to news@thevillager. com or fax to 212-229-2790 or mail to The Villager, Letters to the Editor, 515 Canal St., Suite 1C, NY, NY 10013. 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.


An inconvenient truth: Global temperatures have not increased in the past 15 years.

Marijuana’s noble experiment tries to catch a fire TALKING POINT BY PAUL DERIENZO



tarting on Jan. 1, two states, Colorado and Washington, will begin a “noble experiment” in drug policy by legalizing marijuana for nonmedical, or recreational, use. Currently, 20 states and the District of Columbia have made exceptions to marijuana laws, allowing pot to be used for treating a variety of illnesses from multiple sclerosis to the side effects of cancer treatment. But the two western states, known in stoner circles for their influential grassroots pot organizations, will be the first to allow legal pot shops and growers to feed an aboveground and taxable market of potheads. Prohibition in the 1920s, which President Herbert Hoover dubbed “the Noble Experiment,” was arguably one of the most disastrous domestic political decisions of the last century. However, as the Depression settled in on America, the government grew tired of a hopeless crusade against booze that sapped taxpayers, enriched organized crime and turned millions of Americans into lawbreakers. Marijuana remained banned, though, and became a major focus of law enforcement. The herb’s association with jazz, immigrants and free thinkers relegated it to the fringe. But now all that seems to have changed and marijuana is on the brink of legitimacy. In October, a Gallup Poll showed that for the first time since the poll question was asked in 1969, a clear majority, 58 percent of Americans, support outright legalization of marijuana. Since the victories in Colorado and Washington, proposals for new laws legalizing pot have spread throughout the Americas. Alaskans are filing petition signatures to put a tax-and-regulate referendum on the ballot this August; and California Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom has suggested his state, the first to legalize medical marijuana in 1996, also legalize recreational pot. Washington has plans for licensing legal marijuana shops across the state, but it won’t be running until the summer. Uruguay voted to legalize weed, but the law doesn’t go into effect until April. Which leaves Colorado — the milehigh ski destination made famous by the irreverent cartoon “South Park” with the official motto “Enter a Higher State” — poised to be the first large political entity to sanction a legal market in marijuana in 80 years. Complicating the change is that marijuana is a Schedule I drug under federal law along with heroin and LSD. That means that the feds don’t recognize any medical use for pot, and that possessing, growing and selling it all remain illegal at

the federal level. Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper has advised tokers that “federal law still says marijuana is an illegal drug, so don’t break out the Cheetos or Goldfish too quickly.” Colorado stands to gain from legalization through taxation of the 160 applicants who have filed for licenses to sell marijuana. According to Doug Greene of the New York State branch of the pot advocacy group National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, or NORML, “people are willing to pay the price” for legitimate pot. The tax is steep, 25 percent, including a 15 percent excise tax and a 10-to-15 percent sales tax. NORML says it opposes the pot tax as unfair because it’s double the state’s alcohol tax. In Washington, officials say marijuana taxes may generate nearly $2 billion in additional revenue over five years, and Seattle police have been proactive in reaching out to stoners. This year the 22nd annual Seattle Hemp Fest drew a massive crowd celebrating the victory on Proposition I-502, with 56 percent of voters supporting legalizing possession of up to an ounce of cannabis by adults. Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn, former Senator Mike Gravel and a Seattle Police Department spokesperson addressed the throngs from the main stage while police handed out bags of Doritos with stickers detailing the new rules for pot smokers. Seattle cops have been promoting the change in the law with a poster featuring The Dude, Jeff Bridges in the film “The Big Lebowski,” emblazoned with the character’s catchphrase, “The Dude abides,” the word “abide” in green. The authorities have also been providing would-be growers with information on how to avoid home-invasion robberies, as happened this October in Kennewick, Washington. Crime, and social conditions around dispensaries and marijuana shops, are among the negatives to legal marijuana raised by the conservative Heritage Foundation, which urges citizens to “Just Say No” to legalization. In a research report on its Web site, the Foundation’s senior legal fellow, Charles D. Stimson, praises former President Ronald Reagan’s get-tough approach as “remarkably successful” in reducing drug use in the 1980s. Anti-pot crusaders from the first narcotics czar, Harry J. Anslinger, who encouraged melodramatic propaganda films like “Reefer Madness” — today a campy classic — have argued that weed would lead to depravity and social decay. California’s medical marijuana law signaled a sea change; but despite the growing acceptance, skirmishes with the feds continue. Last year, U.S. Attorney Melinda Haag brought charges against Oakland’s Harborside Health Center, the nation’s largest marijuana dispensary. The government asserts that, by its size, the dispensary


Passersby in Washington Square Park on Fri., Dec. 13, might have wondered whether Colin Huggins, a.k.a. “The Crazy Piano Guy,” was, in fact, crazy to be out there as the mercury hovered around the freezing point. Although he had on his trusty ear-flaps hat, he was playing without even half-gloves on his hands. At least he was working in some faster classical numbers to keep the blood flowing to his tattooed fingers. In between performances, he was offering his CD (seen inside the piano) for sale.

presented a “likelihood” of violating state medical marijuana laws. Attorney General Holder offered an olive branch to the emerging pot industry last August by releasing a “guidance memo” that laid out eight “priorities” for enforcing marijuana laws, including distribution to minors, gangs, diversion of pot from legalizing states to non-legalizing ones, violence, “drugged driving” and possession or growing pot on federal property. Interpretation of the memo would be left to the discretion of U.S. attorneys. One area in question is how federally regulated banks will handle the accounts of marijuana businesses. Attorney General Holder has said he’ll take a “trust but verify” approach to pot banking, adding that the Department of Justice is “actively considering” how to regulate the cash flow. On a more existential level, venues such as bars and concert halls are worried that pot-smoking patrons could still be ar-

rested for toking in public places, which is specifically prohibited under the new law. Police have said they won’t ignore public smoking. But a spokesperson added that “officers use their discretion when there’s the odor of marijuana at a concert venue, and a lot of [the law] isn’t clear right now. We’re starting from scratch.” On New Year’s Eve, hip-hop’s Wu-Tang Clan is playing at a Denver ballroom in a show expected to be an hours-long pot party. “I won’t lie to you and say it doesn’t go on,” said the ballroom’s manager, “but it’s not officially tolerated.” Whether the noble experiment of legal pot will itself be tolerated will play out next year. DeRienzo hosts “Let Them Talk” every Tuesday at 8 p.m. on MNN, Manhattan’s publicaccess TV station December 26, 2013


Will Bill kill infill? New mayor inherits NYCHA towers plan NYCHA, continued from p. 1

danger of being killed, it was, in fact, not the first time that sources at the Housing Authority have admitted that the plan would not have a chance to solidify under the currrent administration. Based on conversations with this newspaper, the authority knew as early as a month ago — shortly after proposals from private developers were received on Nov. 18 — that the infill plan would not move quickly enough to be fully entrenched, in its current form, before the end of the Bloomberg administration. In any case, the decision will soon be up to de Blasio, who has remained somewhat unclear on exactly whether or not he will continue the infill in some altered form. “Mayor-elect de Blasio has been clear in his opposition to the Bloomberg administration’s infill program,” a de Blasio spokesperson told the New York Observer in a recent statement. “As he’s said, for any plan to be considered, it must create affordable housing, create jobs for NYCHA residents, and steer money back into NYCHA to address its backlog of maintenance and repairs.” In its Dec. 20 release, NYCHA also gave an update on responses to the infill plan as

it stands now, saying that developers offered proposals for 11 of the 14 total landlease sites, within six of the eight developments that are targeted in the plan. Those eight developments are the Lower East Side’s LaGuardia Houses, Smith Houses and Baruch Houses; the East Village’s Campos Plaza and Meltzer Tower; and Upper Manhattan’s Douglass Houses, Carver Houses and Washington Houses. The Housing Authority did not disclose any details about which six of the developments garnered proposals, but stated that, taking the highest offer at each land-lease site, rent payments from the developers to NYCHA would average a total of $37 million per year. In its release, NYCHA claimed that that money, “based on financial projections,” would be sufficient to finance the $700 million to $900 million required for full exterior and interior upgrades and restoration of the more than 9,000 NYCHA homes located within the six developments. Since, under the current plan, developers would have to build so-called “80/20” housing on the sites, 2,880 out of around 3,600 new apartments built in those six developments would be permanently affordable. The rest would be available at market rate.

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

Assemblyman Shelly Silver If you need assistance, please contact my office at (212) 312-1420 or email 8

December 26, 2013

A rendering by NYCHA showing how an infill building could be shoehorned in at the Meltzer Tower site on E. First St., where it would replace a current park.

But this may, in fact, be the last that New Yorkers hear of the infill plan in its current form. If de Blasio does not scrap the plan outright, it seems likely that he will at least amend it — especially because opposition against the current plan would probably also continue to come from the new City Council speaker. Councilmember Melissa Mark-Viverito, whose Upper Manhattan district includes three of NYCHA’s proposed land-lease developments, last week claimed victory in the speaker’s race, saying she had secured 30 councilmembers’ votes. However, the outcome of that contest may not be decided until after the Council convenes again in January.

Mark-Viverito has, numerous times, called on the Housing Authority to kill the current plan, and was a co-sponsor of a Council resolution urging the state Legislature to require NYCHA to follow the city’s Uniform Land Use Review Procedure, or ULURP, in any lease or sale of its properties. Councilmember Dan Garodnick is also vying for speaker. Christine Quinn, whose tenure as speaker is about to end, previously brought a lawsuit against the infill program. Although a judge recently dismissed the suit, the decision in that case allows for a new suit to be brought in the coming year, once — or if — NYCHA has a chance actually to finalize its choices for the developers of each infill site.

Season’s Greetings

To All of Our Friends in Greenwich Village

Village Independent Democrats Messages: 212-741-2994

26 Perry St. New York, NY 10014

SantaCon recap: Snow and police kept a cap on things SANTACON, continued from p. 1


But some East Village bars around Second Ave. were pleased with the outcome. At Dempsey’s pub, on Second Ave. near E. Fourth St., the staff was prepared. “We take precautions and have New York City-registered security on the door all day and all night,” said Colin Stewart, the bar manager at Dempsey’s and a co-owner of Cooper’s Craft and Kitchen, a gastro pub on Second Ave. at E. Fifth St. Dempsey’s doormen were instructed to turn away anyone visibly inebriated. Stewart bartended on Saturday, and noted he was “in the trenches” with the troops. “We found it to be a lot of fun,” he said. “I’m a fan of it, but I do get the community’s concerns.” And Stewart takes those concerns into consideration. He said he has an understanding that a neighborhood business has a social responsibility to its residential neighbors. “I’m from Ireland, and we’re very community orientated,” he said. “People are sleeping here and working here [in the neighborhood]. It’s all good for business, but residents don’t want a once-a-year pub crawl that doesn’t fit into their normal routines.” Stewart was delighted that SantaCon was without incident at both Dempsey’s pub and Cooper’s. “We didn’t have any damages, and didn’t have a single person puke in the bar, or damage the bar,” he said. “It was a great day for bartenders, servers and good holiday spirit.” According to Stewart, revelers refrained from getting too sloppy this year as well. As for business, Stewart has noticed SantaCon’s growth in recent years, and wanted to ensure his staff was not overwhelmed. “It’s like Saint Patrick’s Day — hope for the best, and prepare for the worst,” he said. “I think the snow contained them on Second Avenue, and it worked to our advantage.” Over at Bait & Hook, on Second Ave. and 14th St., Jeff Foley, the bar/restaurant’s manager, also described a good experience with SantaCon. They opened their doors at 10 a.m., and had about 100 people in the place consistently for eight hours.  “There was a line that stretched maybe 20 feet long down the side of the building, plus we were filled to capacity,” he said. “We had a really good time.” There were no fights, but people leaned on some curtains, and the drapes were pulled down.  At one point their amplifier blew out for the surround sound, and Foley had to exit for a new one. In the interim, SantaCon attendees filled the musical void. “What was great was the customers were compensating, and they were singing all these holiday songs,” he said. Bait & Hook mostly served drinks, as opposed to beer, and featured a Jolly Rancher shot special once every hour. Foley ex-

Professor Thom’s, on Second Ave. between 13th and 14th Sts., had the welcome mat — and balcony — out for SantaCon last Saturday.

pressed gratitude for being a part of SantaCon, and will donate 15 percent of the day’s sales to charity. “It was probably a little more profitable than last year’s SantaCon, and both SantaCons were our busiest nights of the year,” he said. “For one event happening, it hit big for us.”  Santas had another early venue to hit at The 13th Step, on Second Ave. and E. Ninth St. Manager Kevin Momenee worked his first SantaCon in the East Village on Saturday, and the crowd was lined up before doors opened at 9:30 a.m. Having previously worked at Off The Wagon, on MacDougal St. in the West Village, Momenee said, “I’ve seen more of my share of Santas than I’ve ever wanted to for the rest of my life.” Last Saturday, he arrived for work at 4 p.m., and noted it took him 15 minutes to reach the bar through the crowd. “It was one of the busiest days of our entire existence — it was just insane,” he said. It was wall-to-wall people until 10 p.m., without an inch to spare. Momenee said even folks in the SantaCon crowd were complaining about it. “I heard people saying, ‘I told you I didn’t want to come here because it was so busy,’” he said. While he dreaded SantaCon, noting that people dressed like St. Nick feel nothing can go wrong, and so some might get out of line, Momenee was surprised there was only one small problem that day. He attributes this to amazing security, and people who regulated the bathrooms. And as for business, it was phenomenal.

“It was one of the best days we’ve ever had, it was a good day,” Momenee said. “I expected a lot of problems, usually that happens when you get people drinking all day long.” However, Sunday morning brought 30 to 50 phone calls inquiring about lost phones, wallets, shoes and keys. 

‘I suspect the amount spent on police was probably more than the charity.’ Susan Stetzer

As the annual event has grown and drawn more complaints, this year, elected officials — led by state Senator Brad Hoylman — reached out to SantaCon beforehand, asking that the event provide its route, and also generally tone down some of the wild behavior from years past. SantaCon did finally provide its route, the night before the booze-filled bacchanal. In a phone interview on Tuesday, Hoylman gave mixed reviews to SantaCon 2013. “I do think the fact that the volunteer organizers shared their routes with the police precincts and community boards was helpful,” he said. “It allowed the police to set up a presence.”

Santas were reminded by cops to behave in a civilized manner and treat the neighborhood with respect. “At the same time, there were sporadic incidents across the city with really quite boorish behavior,” Holyman noted. “This is all linked, very much, to the binge drinking that’s associated with the event.” About eight Santas were captured on video in a brawl on the corner of 17th St. and Third Ave. Saturday night.  To curtail this behavior for future SantaCons — which Holyman describes as a flash mob that draws people to the city from all over the region thanks to social media — conversations have already begun with the State Liquor Authority. “That is really how we get a handle on the binge drinking,” he said. “It’s the responsibility of bar owners to not serve people who are drunk, which is against the law.” Holyman also feels the volunteer organizers affiliated with SantaCon do not like the way it has evolved. “I’m grateful for the police coming out,” he said. “On the other hand, it’s a shame we had to divert so many resources.” Holyman looks forward to revisiting SantaCon under a new mayoral administration next year. Susan Stetzer, district manager of Community Board 3, applauded both Hoylman’s efforts and the strong police presence. “We had the chief of Manhattan South, commanding officers, and lots and lots of cops,” she said. “That was very appreciated.” Stetzer did wonder how much the city spent to police SantaCon in the East Village. “Everyone says this is for charity,” she said of SantaCon. “I would suspect that the amount spent on the police was probably more than the charity.” Improvements this year were also due to better sidewalk management — many bars had ropes outside for crowd control, and the snow helped reduce the number of Santas. “I have debriefed with a representative of SantaCon, and he agrees on that,” she said of the snow’s impact. Additionally, police visited bars prior to Saturday along with SantaCon organizers.  However, Stetzer’s final take was not positive. “In the end, I will say, it was not a pleasant experience,” she said. “You don’t think about the people who are nice or polite. There were a lot of really drunk and rude people out there.”  Stetzer mentioned a woman who left a bar swearing about the old people inside, and how much she disliked them, with expletive emphasis. Also, the Ninth Precinct, on E. Fifth St., had its annual holiday children’s party on Saturday, the second year in a row with a shared SantaCon date.  “Everybody in the community knows about it — we collected toys in our office for SANTACON, continued on p. 19

December 26, 2013


Activist museum makes some history, marking one year BY LINCOLN ANDERSON



everend Billy helped celebrate the Museum of Reclaimed Urban Space’s first birthday on Fri., Dec. 8, by ceremoniously cutting the huge cake. Museum co-founder Laurie Mittelmann had earlier pointed out that it was her mother who baked the “radical” cake, which had 12 layers — including a vegan layer. Before the cake, there was a full program of presentations by former squatters and activists. Things started off with a radical clown breaking the ice by, well, breaking stuff. Bill DiPaola, MoRUS’s co-founder, gave a slideshow presentation on activism, including bicycle activism. It took years of actions and protests on the part of groups like Time’s Up!, he noted, before the Bloomberg administration finally caught on and upped the amount of bike lanes in the city. Poet Peter Spagnuolo recalled that the squats were a catchall, of the good, as well as the bad. In short, there were very scary characters in some of the buildings. He recalled one friend who stood up to some crack dealers and ended up getting his skull fractured in a brutal beating. Former squatter leader Frank Morales is working on a book on the subject “the supernatural and the squats.” He recounted one story he feels belongs in that category, that of 319 E. Eighth St. One day, scaffolding was suddenly being built around the squat — with Morales and other occupants still inside. One of them, Willie Butler, poured their “piss buckets” off the roof and doused the construction work-

Cake-allelujah! Reverend Billy cut the museum’s first-anniversary birthday cake as MoRUS co-director Laurie Mittelmann looked on.

ers, while other squatters then victoriously yanked down the scaffolding with a rope. But the squat was later demolished. Artist Fly Orr retold tales of squatter defiance, as well as the painful loss of an inspiring artists’ squat, Fetus. Marta Dan did a Q and A with the au-

dience, telling how she, a former nanny from Portugal, would up becoming part of the squatter movement. But she said she didn’t participate in the big Tompkins Square riot of 1989. Noting she came from a country with an authoritarian regime, she stated bluntly, “I

don’t like getting arrested.” MoRUS, at 155 Avenue C, between Ninth and 10th Sts., offers guided tours on weekends. On Saturdays, there are two tours of squatters’ apartments. On Sundays, there is a radical walking tour of the neighborhood by writer Bill Weinberg.

Food guide is here; Cherry St. tower height unclear BY SAM SPOKONY


ontinuing more than a year of work that began when the Lower East Side’s vital Pathmark supermarket announced its closure last September, the Two Bridges Neighborhood Council on Dec. 19 released a guidebook aimed at connecting residents to local, affordable food sources. The NeighborFood Grocery Guide — published in English, Spanish and Chinese versions — maps out nearly 80 small grocers, supermarkets, butchers and seafood markets within the Two Bridges community. Along with showing the types of food carried by each store, the guide provides further shopping details, such as which establishments accept food stamps or offer organic choices. Many elderly and low-income residents of the neighborhood have struggled to find access to affordable groceries ever since


December 26, 2013

the 227 Cherry St. Pathmark closed — and the new guide will remain an important resource now that it seems unlikely Pathmark will return to the site in the future. Extell, the developer that purchased the Cherry St. site last year — and which recently filed plans to demolish the now-vacant Pathmark — has said it will include a supermarket at the base of its planned luxury residential tower there. But whatever that new supermarket is, it will almost certainly not be an affordable option to lowor middle-income residents, according to Victor Papa, president of the Two Bridges Neighborhood Council, who has had numerous conversations over the past year with both Extell and Pathmark. The new grocery guide, as Papa put it at the Dec. 19 press conference, will help residents “declare their independence” from large supermarkets, by helping them to explore many independently owned shops throughout the neighborhood. “For our building, Pathmark truly was the place to shop, and most of the residents

never even went further than that to get their food,” said Trevor Holland, a tenant leader at 82 Rutgers Slip, which houses Section 8 and other low-income tenants, along with a sizable elderly population. “So the guide is beneficial not just because it brings residents the relief of showing those affordable food sources, but also because it’s going to introduce people to a lot of stores that they would never have gone to before,” Holland said. That additional effort to spread more money throughout the local economy is also playing a part in future plans to digitize the NeighborFood Guide — as the Two Bridges Neighborhood Council plans to release a mobile app version of the guide sometime next year. Meanwhile, rumors about the planned height of Extell’s new luxury tower at 227 Cherry St. spun somewhat out of control following the Dec. 19 press conference, after Papa mentioned that he was anticipating a “very large structure” to be built there after the Pathmark is demolished.

It’s been generally believed that Extell plans to build to around 55 stories, although the developer has been typically tight-lipped about the whole process. Last week, several blogs inflated that number when they reported that Papa said — presumably at or following the press conference — that he was told by the developer that the tower could actually rise to more than 70 stories. But in a Dec. 23 phone interview, Papa said that he never actually said anything about Extell sharing plans for a 70-plusstory tower, and that any rumors to that effect are unsubstantiated. “Extell never told me that it was going to be above 70 stories, so I don’t know where people are getting that from,” Papa said. He further explained that the last he met with the developer, about six weeks ago, they “didn’t even have any plans drawn up yet.” So it remains unclear what the height of the planned Cherry St. tower will actually be.





The Alternative New Year ’s Day Spoken Work and Performance Extravaganza sure does get around. In years past, the annual multi-media showcase for culturally diverse poets, musicians, performers and artists has taken place at the Knitting Factory (now in Brooklyn), Bowery Poetry Club (swallowed up by Duane Park) and Dixon Place (still thriving on Chrystie St.), But no matter how much times change, the dependable January 1 event refuses to fade away — or budge. “Twenty years and we are still burning,” say the organizers, who made this year ’s theme (Estrellas En El Fuego, or Stars in the Fire) a nod to their unyielding presence in the neighborhood. “We are still burning,” they note, “burning words, sounds, noise — bringing our spirits to the stage. We are all stars. We will not be incinerated nor eclipsed.” This year, in addition to the 150+ performers, a slideshow will feature hundreds of visual artists whose work can be seen at the Sideshow Nation — the annual group show held at Sideshow Gallery in Williamsburg. Attendees are encouraged to show up after purging their bookshelves of paperbacks (which will be donated to Books Through Bars, which distributes them to incarcerated people). Already booked for stage time: Miguel Algarin, Jennifer Blowdryer, Hattie Gossett, Diane Hernandez, Samuel Jablon, Richard Kostelanetz, Jane Lecroy, Nancy Merdcado, Myrna Nieves, Esoteric Structure, Robert Gibbons will join many other accom-

The poet and musician Ngoma, performing at 2013’s Alternative New Year’s Spoken Word/Performance Extravaganza, will the opening master of ceremonies for this year’s edition (Jan. 1, 2014).

plished writers and artists — including, perhaps, you (through signing up for the Open Mic). Free. Wed., Jan. 1, from 2pm to Midnight. At the Nuyorican Poets Café (236 E. Third St., btw. Aves. B & C). For info, call 212-780-9386 or visit


Just under decade after he co-founded Pilobolus Dance Theater in 1971, Moses Pendleton formed MOMIX — and struck gold a second time, when his own company rapidly secured an international reputation for conceptually dynamic, often illusionistic choreography. Three decades later, big daddy Pendleton is still mining gems from the same mother lode of invention that inspired him to transform dancers into desert flora and fauna, magically float them surreal extraterrestrial terrains, strap them into

I’m defying gravity: MOMIX presents its most striking images from the past 30 years. Through Jan. 5, at the Joyce Theater.

snow skis for a downhill pas de deux and hurl them through the air like baseballs. This current show at the Joyce — dubbed “reMIX,” is a mixed program of the most popular, surreal and gravitydefying pieces in the company’s vast repertoire (including “Orbit,” “Lunar Sea,” “Opus Cactus” and “Botanica”). Through Jan. 5: Tues. & Wed. at 7:30pm, Thurs./Fri. at 8pm, Sat. at 2pm & 8pm, Sun. at 2pm & 7:30pm. At the Joyce Theater (175 Eighth Ave., at 19th St.). For tickets ($10-59), call 212-242-0800 or visit joyce. org. For info, visit


Held on the first Friday of the new year since 2008, this year’s Charles Bukowski Memorial Reading will feature performances of Bukowski poems and tales. Monologist/actor Mike Daisey, playwrights Richard Vetere and Michael Puzzo as well as poets Angelo Verga

and Puma Perl and Three Rooms Press co-directors Peter Carlaftes and Kat Georges will explore Bukowski’s works with respect to their place in contemporary culture. What would he think of ObamaCare, iPhones and Smart drugs? “So much seems to have changed since his time,” say the organizers from Three Rooms Press — who note that the body of work produced by this “champion of the outsider” still resonates, “revealing the core of what it is to be human — sans electronics — counting on nothing, but ready to win, be it with horses, women or writing.” Rare videos of Bukowski, plus giveaways of Buk books, CDs, DVDs and other prizes will highlight the event. Fri., Jan. 3, at 6pm (doors open at 5:45pm). At the Cornelia St. Café (29 Cornelia St., btw. W. Fourth & Bleecker Sts.). Admission is $12, which includes one free drink. For info, call 212-989-9313 or visit Also visit JUST DO ART, continued on p.12

December 26, 2013


Just Do Art JUST DO ART, continued from p. 11



Mike Daisy will perform at Jan. 3’s Charles Bukowski Memorial Reading.

L to R: East Village Dance Project students Franky Kramer-John, Lydia Antoinette Aiall, Safouane Chestnut and Piper Morrison are featured in “Shell-Shocked Nut.”



When Superstorm Sandy hit, the East Village Dance Project’s Avenue C Studio (btw. Fourth & Fifth Sts.) was not flooded — but the organization’s home base facility lost heat and electricity, and the neighborhood was in chaos. Inspired by requests from some of the young dancers to learn material from the “Nutcracker,” Artistic Director Martha Tornay conceived “The ShellShocked Nut.” This production reworks the familiar story, music and choreography from the “Nutcracker,” for a uniquely Avenue C-style creation. Built on the theme of stress and recovery, the two main characters — a war vet and an elementary school student — take the audience through familiar streets and locations near Tompkins Square Park. Music by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky, Clare Farris, Duke Ellington, Steve Wonder, Da-

In Amore Opera’s production of “Pagliacci” (double-billed with “The Circus Princess”), Ki-Taek Song, as Arlecchino, is surrounded by the members of the troupe as he sings a love song to Colombina (Michelle Pretto).

vid Lowery and The Ramones is danced to by 25 professionals and an equal amount of East Village Dance Project youth performers as well as guest artists (including Ellen Maddow, Brian Glover and Alice Klugherz). The choreographers include Tornay and Victoria Roberts-Wierzbowski (from the Dance Project), Dante Brown (Dante Brown|Warehouse Dance), Hilary McDaniel-Douglas (Project in Motion) and Naomi Goldberg-Haas (Dances For A Variable Population). Fri., Jan. 3, at 7pm and Sat./Sun., Jan. 4/5 at 3pm. At La MaMa’s Ellen Stewart Theatre (66 E. 4th St., btw. Second Ave. & Bowery). For tickets ($20, $15 for students, seniors and children 12 and under), call 212-475-7710 or visit


Amore Opera’s holiday season double bill that has more sights, sounds and action than a three-ring…well, you know. Come for “Pagliacci,” Leoncavallo’s famous tale of jealousy, deception and revenge — and stay for “The Circus Princess,” Kálmán’s rarely produced musical romp. Gregory Ortega conducts. Nathan Hull directs. The New Year ’s Eve Dinner & Gala performance promises a memorable night on the town for couples, while the Dec. 27, 28 & Jan. 4 production of Humperdink’s “Hansel and Gretel” is custom-made for families. Coming up in 2014, the Amore Opera Company presents “Madama Butterfly,” and their Opera Academy presents “The Mikado.” The double bill of “Pagliacci” and “The Circus Princess” plays through Jan. 5, at the Connelly Theatre (220 E. Fourth St., btw. Aves. A & B). The theatre is wheelchair accessible, and special areas can be reserved for wheelchair viewing. Email for more info. To order tickets ($40) and see the performance schedule, visit or call 866811-4111.


Special drinks and Yummy Treats!! NEW YEARS PARTY

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Champagne Cocktails, Screws, Mimosa’s, Bloodies, $3 Our Famous “Recover Shots” $1 281 W 12th St @ 4th St. NYC 212-243-9041


December 26, 2013

Comic Relief Graphic novel tackles the ups and downs of being transgender BOOKS WHAT’S NORMAL ANYWAY? By Morgan Boecher $15 145 pages Visit




ho am I? A man? A woman? Gay? Straight? Am I normal? These are questions every transgender person likely asks themselves. Trans man Morgan Boecher attempts to answer these and more in his semi-autobiographical graphic novel, “What’s Normal Anyway?” Boecher, who — read from the novel at Bluestockings Bookstore on Nov. 30 — began his female-to-male transition during his senior year of college. Believing that the transgender story was essentially unrepresented in mainstream media, he felt he had a story to tell. A self-described “charging rhino,” Boecher began drawing comics, a medium that allowed him more freedom than a traditional memoir would. “What’s Normal Anyway?” was originally released in weekly installments on Boecher’s blog, WhatsNormalAnyway. net, over the course of three years before

Morgan Boecher brings a light but vivid touch to a story of gender transition.

being published through a successfully funded Kickstarter campaign. As the name suggests, the graphic novel tackles transgender acceptance and defining one’s own sense of normal. Boecher draws in a loose minimalist style, letting his words do the story’s heavy lifting. This is not to say that the drawings are not good. On the contrary, he illustrates the character’s expansive range of emotions in vivid fashion that helps drive home his message. In a time when memoirs and personal essays are a dime a dozen, Boecher’s work stands out as a fun, quirky, heart-felt story. The story starts with Mel in the early

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stages of his transition, documenting them in a video-blog. He is immediately overwhelmed by a comical trial and error physical marathon — struggling with packers for his pants and binders for his torso to achieve a flat-chested appearance. Mel dabbles with different facial hair combinations, along with a slew of other hairy situations. Next come the testosterone shots, which lead to humorous bouts of T-rage. All this in preparation for top surgery. Mel’s biggest struggle, however, is an emotional one. In addition to learning to accept himself, Mel faces constant obstacles on the outside — from

unsupportive parents to everyday encounters with people who mistake him for a girl. Mel stresses over being outed in a men’s locker room, spewing endless evasions until a cisgender character suggests he be upfront and simply state he is trans. Mel does not go the journey alone, though. His amped-up — if more than a little bit naïve — personality is balanced by his voice-of-reason roommate Leena, who while making no attempt to understand the hurdles Mel must jump nonetheless remains supportive. Their friend Beef, a meat-headed straight man, is that guy who says all the wrong things — from “Dude you gotta watch sporting events and drink beer!” to “You know, you’ve got a pretty hot bod” — not out of malice but simply out of ignorance. Leena and Beef aren’t the perfect sidekicks, but their shortcomings fairly represent the larger society’s deficit in understanding trans issues. On the other hand, Diego, a fellow trans man, manages to steer a lost Mel on the right path — getting him in touch with the correct doctors and support groups, all the while being a role model who understands everything he is going through. A charming story, “What’s Normal Anyway?”’s greatest strength is its humor, lightening up what could be very heavy subject matter and even presenting it as slapstick. In the process, Mel’s journey comes full circle. By the end, the hero has had successful top surgery and, more importantly, come to accept and love himself. The other characters’ plot lines tie up rather quickly at the end — a little too conveniently, but there’s no particular surprise there. Boecher is now at work on a prequel comic, offering readers a glimpse of Mel’s earlier days as Melissa. Installments are available for viewing at

Theater for the New City • 155 1st Avenue at E. 10th St. Reservations & Info (212) 254-1109 For more info, please visit


Written by ANDREA J. FULTON Directed by LESLIE DOCKERY Thu-Sun, December 19 January 12 Thu-Sat 8pm, Sun 3pm All Seats $18 Studt’s & Srs $15



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TNC’s Programs are funded in part by the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs and the New York State Council on the Arts

December 26, 2013


Roots of the Deuce Movers and shakers in the Vaudeville’s Uptown migration BY TRAV S.D



Antonio “Tony” Pastor, often regarded as the “Father of Vaudeville,” was born in New York City in 1832. He began as a child singer and minstrel in dime museums and similar venues, and worked for a time as a circus ringmaster, before securing a regular engagement at a music hall located at 444 Broadway (between Grand & Howard Sts.), just after the Civil War broke out in 1861. The bar offered variety entertainment, with Pastor doubling as master of ceremonies and a popular singer, presenting his own patriotic songs in support of the war, as well as sentimental and humorous tunes about labor, a subject near and dear to the hearts of his working class clientele. Pastor claimed to have a repertoire of 1500 songs. The lyrics to these tunes were published in little songsters and distributed to the audience, who sang along music hall style and walked away with a little souvenir. Reportedly, Pastor had a terrible voice, but audiences loved him anyway, another tribute to his ability as a showman. In 1865, he took over the Volks Garden at 201 Bowery and renamed it “Tony Pastor’s Opera House.” Though his establishment was no less a bar, Pastor set about making a number of improvements that would set it apart


December 26, 2013


s they do every year at this time, holiday crowds are mobbing the theaters of Times Square and Broadway to take in this season’s hits — a source of New York pride! But let’s not forget that the roots of New York’s theater district are Downtown. It began in the area around the lower Bowery in the early 19th century and gradually worked its way north as the decades rolled on, only stopping in the vicinity of “the Deuce” when several large theatres were built around the new subway hub at Time Square in the first couple of decades of the 20th century. Here’s a look at some key movers and shakers in that Uptown migration.

from most other concert saloons. Rowdy patrons were expelled from the premises. Advertisements indicated in no uncertain terms the direction in which he was moving, claiming his show was “unalloyed by any indelicate act or expression…fun without vulgarity.” Part of the impulse to initiate the policy change may have been a genuine conviction on Pastor’s part, he being a man of his times and all. A devout Catholic, he would eventually have a prayer room built in his theatre, and a poor box installed in the lobby. His strongest curse was said to have been “jiminetty.” But the times themselves must have played a role. A businessman with any instinct seeking to stay afloat in those years of high Victorianism must have been constantly mulling over the tirades of clergymen, temperance advocates, reformist politicians and journalists railing against saloon culture. Above all, there hovered the lure of a vastly increased market. The concert saloon clientele consisted of a mere percentage of men. If Pastor could include all the men, plus their wives and children as his potential audience, think of the increased revenue. In 1875 Pastor moved “up” again, out of the ever-degenerating Bowery to 585 Broadway, near the present-day site of NYU. Liquor was still served, but he was in a respectable neighborhood, in close proximity to the most popular theatre in the city, the Theatre Comique, where the Irish comedy team of Harrigan and Hart starred and were soon to be proprietors. This stretch of Broadway had become one of New York’s first official theatre districts, due to the proliferation of nearby minstrel halls in the 1850s. Pastor’s establishment was also now an easy distance from the city’s main shopping district, known as the Ladies Mile, and the emerging theatrical strip on 14th Street, known as the Rialto. He made the leap to the Rialto itself in 1881, to a theatre literally located in Tammany Hall, right on Union Square. At first, he tried producing full-length musical theatre parodies of Gilbert and Sullivan shows. But it didn’t click. Within a few months, Pastor settled down to concentrate

Antonio “Tony” Pastor (1832-1908).

on his great contribution to American popular culture: straight, clean variety shows. He was to flourish at this one location with one of New York’s most beloved institutions until he passed away in 1908.


The two biggest Irish comedians to come out of the variety scene, becoming the most popular stars of the American theatre of the 1870s and 80s, was the team of Edward “Ned” Harrigan and Tony Hart. A New York native, Harrigan made his debut in San Francisco in 1867, singing and dancing at some of the principal stages of the so-called Barbary Coast. He worked his way up to comedy sketches, playing an impressive range of character roles: blackface parts, a SwedVAUDEVILLE, continued on p. 15

Broadway stars began Downtown VAUDEVILLE, continued from p. 14


ish servant girl, Chinese laundrymen, Irish landlords, and so-called Dutch (or German) characters. Teaming up with a succession of partners, he toured his way across the country, gradually making his way back to New York. When Harrigan was 26 he hooked up with Tony Hart, only 16 years old and then calling himself “Master Antonio.” Born Anthony Cannon, in Worcester, Massachusetts in 1855, he was placed in reform school at age nine for announcing that he wanted to go into the theatre. He escaped and ran away to New York, singing, dancing and doing odd jobs at circuses, saloons and minstrel shows. By the time he and Harrigan joined their fortunes, Cannon had become famous for one particular number, a tearjerker called “Put Me in My Little Bed,” which he sang dressed as a young girl. Audiences were crazy about Hart. Nat C. Goodwin said: “Hart caused more joy and sunshine by his delightful gifts than any artist of his time. To refer to him as talented was an insult. Genius was the only word that could be applied. He sung like a nightingale, danced like a fairy, and acted like a master comedian.” When Harrigan hired Cannon as his new partner, the latter changed his name to Hart, deciding that sounded better with “Harrigan.” A regular gig at New York’s Theatre Comique allowed the team to demonstrate their many talents. The variety show was 3 ½ hours long, followed by an afterpiece of 40 minutes. Harrigan and Hart might do several different turns in this course of such a show: blackface routines, brief sketches interspersed with dancing, juggling and singing. By 1876, when they assumed joint ownership of the Theatre Comique, the afterpieces became so popular that they became the focal point of the entire performance, and variety was dropped. Harrigan and Hart ran the Theatre Comique from 1876 through 1885, where they started out by presenting variety shows with an afterpiece (comedy sketch). One of these “The Mulligan Guards” (which actually debuted in 1873) became a huge phenomenon, spawning a series of sketches...which then blossomed into full length musical shows, all penned by Harrigan. In essence, for about a decade the two men ran New York’s favorite theatre company...where they wrote, directed and starred in all the shows. Eventually scheming family members drove the team apart. The day word got around that Harrigan and Hart broke up was a day of mourning in New York City, akin in significance to the Beatles’ break-up in 1970. Tony Hart was to die of syphilis in 1891. Harrigan continued to enjoy many more stage successes as playwright and performer. In 1897, he returned to the vaudeville stage where he was a popular favorite for over ten

R to L: Joe Weber and Lew Fields, in performance.

more years (he was a favorite of George M. Cohan, who named a song after him). He passed away in 1911.


The mother of all vaudeville comedy teams, Weber and Fields are the direct progenitors of the Marx Brothers, the Three Stooges, and Smith and Dale, among countless others. The fact that their influence can be traced to so many (and such diverse) acts gives a strong indication of the complexity of their appeal. Moses Schoenfeld (Lew Fields) and Morris (“Joe”) Weber were both Polish-Jewish immigrants to the U.S., born within six months of each other in 1867. They grew up in the Lower East Side and met at age eight. The pair hit it off and immediately began practicing the skills that would later help make them famous: tumbling, joking-telling, clog dancing. They put padding under the clothing and practiced smacking each other around for hours on end. Within a year or two they had an act. Three acts really, a blackface, an Irish, and a “Dutch” (or German), in descending order of their original popularity with audiences. As Weber and Fields, they begin working some of the ubiquitous dime museums in the Bowery and environs. The winning formula was Lew Field’s brainstorm: an Irish type knockabout act but with a German accent, instead of an Irish one. To cement the illusion, the two glued on two phony little beards and smeared their faces with whiteface. The fractured dialect was easy — they’d spent their entire lives listening to it amongst the Lower East Side’s teeming German population. Part of the act’s appeal in these early years certainly has to have been the fact that the

boys were so ridiculously young. The sight of these mismatched boys (Lew was 5’11”, Joe was 5’4”) in heavy padding beating the tar out of each other with machine like rhythm must have been delightful. In 1885, the Adah Richmond Burlesque Company specifically requested a Dutch act, and the boys cooked up a new one, consisting of converted minstrel jokes padded out with knockabout business. This new routine slayed the audience. With all the vigor and enthusiasm of youth, they made every element more extreme than was customary – more and crazier malapropisms and more slapstick mayhem. From here on in Weber and Fields would be “Mike” and “Meyer”, two perpetually arguing German immigrants in loud checked suits and derby hats, whose spats generally arose from their misunderstandings of the peculiarities of the English language, and quickly devolved into punching, kicking slapping, and eye gouging. Their salaries and their prestige continued to rise throughout the 1880s as they toured their “Teutonic Eccentricities” throughout the nation. In 1889, they made a leap that truly cements their place in vaudeville history: they themselves began to produce their own touring vaudeville shows. Entire variety bills were built around themselves as headliners; such companies crisscrossed the country until the team broke up in 1904. From 1892-95, they worked up many of what would become their most enduring comedy routines. In these routines, Fields would typically present himself as an expert at some faddish American recreation and attempt to teach it to Weber. Along the way, he would mangle the game’s already-confusing termi-

nology, compounding Weber’s confusion, which in turn compounded Fields’ frustration. The situation would escalate like a cyclone until the two were hitting each other in the stomach, braining each other with canes, and otherwise expressing themselves through violence. Part of the charm was that – as in Laurel and Hardy – Fields “the expert” really knew no more than Weber did to begin with. In 1893, the boys made their Broadway debut at the Park Theatre thus helping to further legitimize a performance style that had evolved in the smoky dives of the Bowery. In 1896, they made a huge hit at Hammerstein’s Victoria with a medley of their best routines, and a parody of one of the other acts on the bill, the quick-change artist Fregoli. These successes, and the money made from their touring vaudeville shows, permitted them to open their own Broadway theatre, Weber and Fields Music Hall, in 1896. Though Weber and Fields continued to present vaudeville bills at the Music Hall (and their touring companies), the real attraction were book shows written as parodies of contemporary Broadway hits. It was the “Forbidden Broadway” of its day, only with full casts, elaborate expensive scenery and full-length books and scores. For eight years, Weber and Fields Music Hall was a beloved Broadway institution. In 1904, creative and business differences drove the men apart, although on numerous occasions throughout the years they briefly teamed up as producers and performers. Both continued to produce on their own. Weber kept the Music Hall, but Fields was the more successful producer, becoming by 1911 “The King of Broadway.” They made some of the first comedy albums together, mostly in the mid-teens. They had their own radio show in the late 1920s, which obviously didn’t allow for slapstick, but was tailor made for their malapropisms. When the Palace held its historic last two-a-day in May 1932, Weber and Fields, whose long career stretched back to the 1870s, was on the bill. Like Mr. Bernstein in “Citizen Kane,” Weber and Fields were there before the beginning and after the end. As late as 1939, Lew Fields portrayed himself in the Astaire and Rogers film “The Story of Vernon and Irene Castle.” A team offstage as well as on, they died (as they were born) within a few months of each other — Fields in 1941, Weber in 1942. Trav S.D. has been producing the American Vaudeville Theatre since 1995, and periodically trots it out in new incarnations. Stay in the loop at, and also catch up with him at Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, et al. His books include “No Applause, Just Throw Money: The Book That Made Vaudeville Famous” and “Chain of Fools: Silent Comedy and its Legacies from Nickelodeons to YouTube.” December 26, 2013


Staying planted at Tompkins Greenmarket in the winter BY HEATHER DUBIN



Squash and apples, and many other types of produce and wholesome foods, will be available at the Tompkins Square Greenmarket right through the winter.

duration. “Sometimes it’s not worth it to come out in winter, but sometimes you have a good week,” he added. “If it’s nice weather or a holiday, business is good.” Farmer Jim Stannard, who owns Stannard Farm in South Cambridge, N.Y., with his wife, Melissa, have “decent” enough customer traffic in the winter to justify their drive into the city. They also frequent a market near Columbia University twice a week. The Stannards started their farm in 1995. They began selling their produce at Tompkins Square Park the next year, and have been doing so ever since. They raise animals naturally on their farm, and do not use antibiotics or hormones. Large coolers filled with chicken, beef and pork will be available at the Tompkins market year-round. “Right now, it’s all our storage crop because we’re under snow Upstate,” Stannard said. Throughout the winter they will offer root vegetables, eggs, honey and apples, which are stored in a huge refrigerator. “We try to be done with apples by May. We’ll grind the rest up for cider when it gets warm,” he said. “Melissa makes cider donuts and they have been a big hit and success.” This past summer, the Stannards delivered on customer requests for a Community Supported Agriculture, or C.S.A., where individuals can buy a weekly vegetable and fruit share from the farm, which is brought down to the Greenmarket.

“Unlike other C.S.A.’s, we give people choices of what they pick,” he said. “They bring their own bag, and choose from a list on the dry-erase board. That worked really well.” The couple just began their winter C.S.A., which runs from Dec. 15 to March 13, with vegetables from their 180acre farm and eight greenhouses. The cost to become a member is $190 for 16 weeks, with an option to add eggs for an additional $114. There are 50 people signed up for winter with room for more. Other year-round stands include Meredith’s Breads, Dipaola Turkey and Ronnybrook Farm, which sells bottled milk, yogurt, butter and ice cream. Mark Breckenridge, a self-described “farmer / everything except for the owner” of Norwich Meadows Farm in Norwich, N.Y., will not be at the park until next spring. Last Sunday was his last day at Tompkins, but loyal customers can still find the farm’s stand at the Union Square Greenmarket after New Year’s. “This time of year slows down, especially down here,” Breckenridge said. “It’s sad, but that’s what happens.” East Village residents who make the short walk over to Union Square will find root vegetables, celeriac (also known as “knob celery”) and greens from Norwich Meadows Farm’s 43 greenhouses. B & Y Farms from Spencer, N.Y., will also not return to the park until April. Aficionados of certified organic-fed pork, lamb and chicken, as well as fine yarn, will have to shop elsewhere for the next several months.




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emperatures may have reached 70 degrees this past weekend, but, just as it is on the calendar, it is officially winter at the farmers market at Tompkins Square Park. Several vendors were out on Sunday at the Greenmarket along Avenue A, and six of them plan to be there year-round — in snow and whatever else comes our way this season. David Jose, a volunteer, was working the stand for Pura-Vida Fisheries, Inc., based in Hampton Bays. Although he lives in Brooklyn, Jose is learning about the fishing industry, and how to fish, as well. He was collecting information on what kind of profit they need to generate versus the amount of income from sales. “We need to calculate that into our expenses,” he said. “You spend a lot of money to earn money. The cost of diesel fuel to fill a boat for a week is $8,000.” Pura-Vida Fisheries, Inc. covers a 70-mile range from Hampton Bays to Montauk, and uses sustainable fishing methods, including hand-operated drag nets and drag lines. From bay scallops at $31.99 per pound, to tuna at $23.99 per pound and black sea bass at $25.99, the local catches looked fresh on ice. “Prices are hiked up because fishing has been scarce lately, which is weather-related,” Jose said. “The prices are usually $2 less.” While the fish available may fluctuate throughout the winter, Pura-Vida Fisheries, Inc. will be at the Tompkins Square market year-round, as well as at the Union Square Greenmarket. Red Jacket, from Geneva, N.Y., will also be at both Greenmarkets year-round. Lobsang Norbu, a salesperson, said they would have apples and all-natural, fresh juices, pressed by hand, with no sugar. The juices will remain in stock, but toward the end of February, there will only be eight or nine kinds of apples left. “In February, the apples still look fresh, and are better than in a supermarket,” Norbu said. Crispin, Empire and Red Delicious apples will most likely make it for the

N 6TH & 7TH A

M.E.’s finding: L.E.S. Jewels died of head injuries BY LINCOLN ANDERSON



he city’s Office of Chief Medical Examiner has completed its investigation into the death of Joel Pakela, a.k.a. L.E.S. Jewels — and, despite Jewels’s well-known abuse of alcohol and drugs, neither was the cause of his death. A charismatic and exhibitionistic, but sometimes violent, homeless punk who hung around Tompkins Square Park and Avenue A, Jewels, 43, died Sept. 14 at Beth Israel Medical Center. Police had found him the previous night, reportedly “smelling of alcohol,” on the sidewalk on Avenue A across from the park. According to Julie Bolcer, an M.E. spokesperson, the finding of the autopsy and toxicology investigation was that Pakela’s cause of death was “blunt injuries of head.” However, she said, “The manner of death is undetermined.” Asked for more details — such as how many and what kind of head injuries Pakela had, and whether he got them from being assaulted or, say, falling down on the sidewalk — Bolcer said she would check. However, she subsequently called back to say she had no further information. Asked if alcohol or drugs contributed in any way to his death, Bolcer simply repeated the M.E.’s conclusion, that the cause of death was “blunt injuries of head.” In September, in an interview in The Villager with reporter Gerard Flynn, Amy Sanchez, Jew-

els’s former wife, said she believed someone had inflicted a fatal head injury on Jewels. “I feel he had a concussion from being beaten or kicked...,” Sanchez, a former School of Visual Arts student, said then. “There are sightings of him being hit and beaten — just too coincidental that it was a natural death.” Sanchez said Jewels told her that he had been kicked in the head by a fellow “crusty” punk and left bloodied on the Wednesday before he died. Around 6:30 a.m. the next morning, an ambulance was called to Andrews House on the Bowery, a transitional supportive-housing facility for the homeless, she said. Jewels had been renting a room there for more than three years for a small weekly fee. Staff at the former flophouse wouldn’t let him go to his room because he was in such bad shape, with blood and bruising, according to Sanchez. “They cleaned him up, and he left against medical advice. He often waived medical advice,” she said. “He didn’t know he had a concussion.” But Sanchez said she saw him with symptoms pointing to a concussion. She reported this to the police, she said, adding that the assailant bragged to her face about the attack. Because Jewels often drank himself into a stupor, several friends thought nothing of it when they saw him passed out on the sidewalk the night before he died. In September, Sanchez said that after the medical examiner’s findings were released, Jewels would be cremated, with a ceremony to follow.

A vintage black-and-white portrait of L.E.S. Jewels by the late Bob Arihood, who extensively chronicled the homeless punk’s antics on his Neither More Nor Less blog.

Let Your Voice Be Heard! Trinity Youth Chorus Auditions

Trinity Youth Chorus auditions are coming up for all young people ages 8-18.* This premiere vocal ensemble is led by experienced, dedicated professional musicians who teach vocal technique, sight singing, music theory, and history. Children meet after school for rehearsals once a week and perform in two annual concerts.

Schedule an Audition Today! Auditions are January 7-10, 2014, by appointment. Auditions are one-on-one, low-pressure, and no preparation is required. Contact Melissa Attebury at or 212-602-0798. *The Trinity Youth Chorus is free and you do not have to be a Trinity Church member to join. This is not a religious program; youth are welcomed from any or no faith tradition.

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Loyalty, long walks and...liver! PET SET BY HEATHER DUBIN



ookie is no stranger to the Tompkins Square Park dog run. David Joffe, who has lived in the same apartment in the East Village for 37 years, takes Cookie, a 10-year-old collie-German shepherd mix, outside for two-hour stretches, three times a day. On a recent weeknight, Joffe was amongst a handful of dog owners chatting and bundled up against the cold while their pooches played in the park. “I’m known to spend time here at the dog run,” he said. Joffe is a flea market vendor and has worked at street fairs. His wares are seasondependent, from gloves and hats to costume jewelry and T-shirts. “I like to sell funny items, like a peeing boy,” he said. “You fill him with water and he pees. I can’t find them anymore.” Cookie benefits from Joffe’s flexible schedule, which allows him freedom during the week to bring her to the park for long jaunts. “I like to keep her out for two hours because, otherwise, I feel guilty,” he said. Cookie, who is Joffe’s third dog, is a rescue dog from the North Shore Animal League America. The organization has mobile units for offsite adoption that circulate in Manhattan and the tri-state area, with about 45 animals onboard. “I love Cookie,” Joffe said. “She’s very friendly to everybody, and she’s easygoing in the house.” Uninhibited, Cookie approaches random people regularly to be pet by them. Joffe admits that he has met a lot of women through

Cookie just crumbles when she gets some chopped liver on top of her dog food.

Cookie, but none of these encounters have yielded a relationship. One of Cookie’s favorite foods is chopped liver. “Oy, she likes chopped liver,” Joffe said. He puts it on top of her dog food. When she was younger, Cookie was much more active, but these days she is pretty sedate — unless it comes to protecting Joffe. At a street fair a few years ago, Cookie allegedly bit a police dog accompanying a police officer inspecting vendors. The cop looked underneath Joffe’s table, where Cookie was resting, and she reacted to the police dog. According to Joffe, he does not know if Cookie did bite the dog, but the officer claimed she did. “If you harm a police dog, it’s the same thing as harming a cop,” Joffe said. “I thought I might be arrested, and get into trouble.” Instead, he was told to wait until the officer reported the incident. Finally, at the end of the fair, Joffe was allowed to leave without penalty, but not before posing with Cookie for a “mugshot” on the spot.

No East Village SantaCon in ’14? SANTACON, continued from p. 9

them,” the district manager said. “All these drunk Santas are running around acting like idiots, and all these kids are going to get their toys from Santa.” Stetzer noted she also saw a video online of some sexually explicit behavior recorded outside the Duane Reade on Third Ave. and 14th St. SantaCon organizers, in fact, have assured Stetzer that the event will not be in the East Village next year. Responding to questions from The Villager, a SantaCon representative reflected on the day positively in an e-mail response

signed “Santa.” He said he thought the route was “full of creativity, Absurdist Theater, street art and holiday cheer!” He said no one had informed “Santa” about any badly behaved partiers, but that he could not ignore the visible evidence. “We have all seen the unfortunate fight video that took place outside of the suggested route and hours after the event had ended,” said “Santa.” “Santa” was unable to reveal how much money was raised for charity, since many bars have not reported earnings. As for the future of SantaCon, “Santa” claimed, it is “to be determined.”

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Home for the Holidays! Chips and Salsa Platter

Party Platters

Cocktail Sandwich or Wrap Platter

An elegant selection of bite size gourmet sandwich or wraps, freshly prepared with an array of cold cuts and assorted cheese from around the world on a bed of lettuce and tomatoes. (served with mayonnaise, mustard and honey mustard on the side)

Sm $50.00 (35 pcs) Md $65.00 (45 pcs) Lg $80.00 (65 pcs)

Large Shrimp Cocktail Platter

The perfect platter for any occasion. Choose one of the following homemade fresh salsas: mild, medium or hot, plus complimentary guacamole.

Sm $30.00 (6-8p) Md $45.00 (10-12p) Lg $55.00 (15-18p)

Crudité Platter

A wide variety of crispy fresh vegetables. Complimentary with the platter is a choice of two dips.


Finger Food

20 pcs rolls- California Rolls

(Chicken or beef) $8.99 p/p

California Roll Platter $35.00

Amish Sushi Platter

70 pcs rolls- Tuna, salmon, ebi, eel, yellowtail, avocado and cucumber


Sushi Delight Platter

Poached large shrimp beautifully arranged and garnished with lemon wedges and cocktail sauce.

Sm $50.00 (8-10p) Md $65.00 (12-14p) Lg $85.00 (16-18p)

35 pcs rolls- Tuna, salmon, eel, avocado, cucumber. 10 pcs nigiri- Tuna, salmon yellowtail, shrimp, octopus, squid.

Sm $70.00 (6-8p) Md $90.00 (10-12p) Lg $130.00 (15-20p)

Heroes By Foot


Fresh Mozzarella Platter

The perfect appetizer: homemade mozzarella cheese, sliced Holland stem tomato, sun dried tomato, fresh basil with olive oil and balsamic vinegar elegantly designed in a floral display.

Pick from these delicious options; Amish Style, American, Vegetarian and Italian (served with mayonnaise, mustard and honey mustard on the side). Chicken Cutlets, grilled or fried (served with roasted vegetables and fresh mozzarella).

Sm $45.00 (8-10p) Md $55.00 (10-12p) Lg $70.00 (14-18p)

2 foot $45.00 (6-8p) 4 foot $90.00 (12-14p) 6 foot $130.00 (18-20p)

Assorted Cheese Platter

Royal Sandwich or Wrap Platter

A unique selection of imported and domestic cheeses garnished with fresh fruits or a gourmet selection of olives with assorted crackers or sliced bread on the side.

X-Sm $40.00 (4-6p) Sm $60.00 (8-10p) Md $80.00 (12-14p) Lg $100.00 (16-18p)

Oven Baked Hors D’oeuvres

A delightful selection of bite size, handmade hors d’oeuvres, including potato puffs, spinach turnover, mini meatballs, mushroom crowns and pigs in a blanket.

Md $55.00 (50 pcs, 8-10p) Lg $110.00 (100 pcs, 16-20p)

An endless array of fresh cold cuts and wraps, all made with assorted cheeses served on a variety of artisan breads and wraps with lettuce and tomato. (served with mayonnaise, mustard and honey mustard on the side)

$8.49 (p/p)

Dessert Platter

A delicious assortment of brownies, cookies, and chocolate garnished with fresh berries.

Salmon Platter

Served chilled or poached with dill sauce, or grilled with teriyaki glaze.

Sm $60 (6-8p) Lg $100 (10-15p)

Meat Entrees

Mini Kebab

Chicken fingers

with special house sauce $8.99 p/p

Mini shrimp kebab $11.99 p/p Stuffed chicken breast

with spinach and feta cheese $8.99 p/p

Mini meatballs $8.99 p/p Buffalo chicken wings with celery sticks and blue cheese dressing $7.99 p/p

Eggplant rollatini $7.99 p/p

Hot Pasta Trays

Marinara, Ala Vodka, Alfredo Siciliana, Milanese Suggested with penne

Baked Ziti

Ziti Baked with Ricotta, Mozzarella, Romano Cheese, Spices with Red Sauce

Half Tray $40.00 (8-10p) Full Tray $80.00 (20-30p)

Stuffed Turkey or Chicken Breast with Spinach and Feta Cheese

Chicken Parmigiana Chicken Franchese in Lemon Sauce Chicken Marsala Swedish Meatballs Italian Meatballs

For all meat entrees please choose one side dish: mashed potatoes, roasted potatoes, white or yellow rice.

Half Tray $55.00 (8-10p) Full Tray $100.00 (18-20p)

Meat Lasagna

Half Tray $50.00 (8-12p) Full Tray $100.00 (18-25p)


Arugula Salad

Mushroom, Cherry Tomato, Parmesan Cheese

Mediterranean Salad

Romaine, Onion, Olives, Cucumber, Tomato, Feta

X-Sm $35.00 (4-6p) Sm $50.00 (8-10p) Md $65.00 (12-14p) Lg $85.00 (16-18p)

Fancy Mesclun Salad Cucumber, Tomato, Mixed Bell Peppers.

Md $40.00 (10-12p) Lg $50.00 (15-18p)

Please check out our full Holiday Menu at Amish Market Tribeca 53 Park Place, New York, NY 10007 T: (212) 608-3863 • F: (212) 608-3864 •


December 26, 2013