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VOLUME 6, NUMBER 16 JUNE 05, 2014


Ninth Ave. Post Office Here, For Now BY SAM SPOKONY The post office on the ground floor of Chelsea’s Google building is apparently safe from the tech giant’s forthcoming construction plans — for now. But spokespeople for the United States Postal Service (USPS) and the building’s management can’t seem to agree on the information they’re releasing about the future of the post office. Some local residents were taken aback recently when they found a USPS notice posted at the ground floor entrance of the 76 Ninth Ave. post office, which stated that the office would “suspend operaContinued on page 3

Women Discover and Share Support Systems at ‘Let’s Talk’ BY EILEEN STUKANE The first of City Councilmember Corey Johnson’s series of themed evenings debuted last week at The New School Student Center on W. 13th St. “Let’s Talk” hopes to generate conversation between leaders in specific fields who usually do not have the opportunity to provide people with answers. The focus of May 29’s inaugural edition — “Women’s Issues, The Empowerment of Women” — brought Continued on page 4


Simply Sudsational!

Photo by Timothy Schenck, courtesy Friends of The High Line

Perched atop its container, this washing machine drum is functional only in the sense that it brings some welcome visual absurdity to the High Line. On view through March 2015, Yngve Holen’s “Sensitive 4 Detergent” is part of “Archeo” — a group exhibition about technology and obsolescence fully aware that it takes place amongst a repurposed elevated railroad. For more info, visit

Domestic Violence Comprises Half of Chelsea Felony Assaults BY WINNIE McCROY At the March 26, 2014 meeting of the 10th Precinct’s Community Council, representatives from the Mayor’s Office to Combat Domestic Violence (OCDV) surprised some attendees when they noted that, year-to-date, upwards of one-third of Chelsea’s felony assaults were attributed to domestic violence. “This is a lower number of assaults as compared to busier precincts; it’s a nicer neighborhood,” said 10th Precinct Sergeant Erin McMorrow, when questioned about the March stats. “All around, crime is a lot less in Chelsea than in other neighborhoods.” Last week, McMorrow told this newspaper that there were 41 year-to-date assaults in the 10th Precinct as of May 30, 2014 — 20 of which can be attributed to domestic violence. Just to give readers an idea of how this compares to

rates of felony assaults in the past, CompStat provides the historical perspective statistics of 301 felony assaults for 1990, and 98 felony assaults for 2013. Those numbers reflect a -67.4 percent reduction in felony crimes — including domestic violence assaults — in Chelsea during that time period. Tracy Weber-Thomas, Asst. Commissioner for the OCDV, confirmed that citywide, 40 percent of all felony assaults were domestic violence-related. In the 10th Precinct, those stats reveal that 30 percent of felony assaults are domestic violence-related. Does that mean that domestic violence isn’t a big problem in Chelsea? No. As Weber-Thomas quipped, “even one felony assault that’s domestic-violence-related is one too many.”

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When the weekend comes and the only thing standing between you and your leisure time is a grocery list, convenience and proximity often trump good nutrition and common sense. But starting on June 7, West Chelsea residents lacking the time, inclination or physical mobility to trek to the Union Square Greenmarket will have a hyperlocal reason to eat right. At the Down to Earth Farmers Market, you’ll have a better chance of finding preserves than preservatives. Among those who’ve signed on for the season: A father and son team based in Carlisle, NY will be brining a wide range of fruits and vegetables from Alex’s Tomato Farm. American Pride Seafood offers fresh seafood caught off the shore of Long Island. Locust Grove Fruit Farm, a seven-generation family orchard on the bank of the Hudson River, has 20+ varieties of apples, pears, peaches, and grapes. A line of gluten-free products is included in the breads and baked goods from Meredith’s Breads. Dickson’s Farmstand Meats will have a selection of the high-quality beef,

Photo courtesy of Down to Earth Farmers Markets

lamb, pork, and poultry you can always find at their Chelsea Market location. The Church of the Holy Apostles Soup Kitchen (which serves over 1,000 lunches a day, Mon.-Fri.) will receive donated produce from the vendors at the close of each market day. June 7 through Nov. 22. Saturdays, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. on the northeast corner of Ninth Ave. & 23rd St. E.B.T. (Electronic Benefit Transfer) will be available for shoppers with SNAP Benefits. For more info (including the most updated list of vendors), visit

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Live Letter Office: USPS Still on Ninth Ave.

Photo by Sam Spokony

The Ninth Ave. side of Google’s massive Chelsea building, which contains the post office on the ground floor. Scaffolding is in already in place for forthcoming construction, although the start date of that work has not been disclosed.

Continued from page 1 tions on May 23” because Google — which bought the massive, 2.9-million-square-foot building in 2010 — would soon be “reclaiming the space” due to planned construction on the ground floor and throughout the 18-story building. They weren’t the only ones who were caught off guard. Strangely enough, the notice apparently also came as news to officials from Taconic Management Company, which still manages the Googleowned building. “We were as surprised as everyone else when they posted this notice saying they were going to be closing on May 23,” said Peter Febo, a Taconic representative who also serves as chief operation officer of the company’s investment division, in a May 22 phone interview. “It was a mistake, based on incorrect information,” he said, adding that, “what [the USPS] posted was not what was actually going on.” By the time this newspaper spoke with Febo on May 22, the USPS had, in fact, publicly acknowledged its error earlier that day and replaced the original notice with a new one, which stated that the office “will NOT suspend services” on May 23. Responding to a question about .com

‘It’s true that the post office is not leaving at this point, but those negotiations are still active, and I’m surprised [Chirichello] is speaking like that before the negotiations are complete,’ said the Taconic rep.



the reason for that change, USPS spokesperson Connie Chirichello told Chelsea Now in a May 22 email that the new notice was released due to an official agreement — following completed negotiations — between Now, men have a state-of-the-art medical facility they can call their own, right here in Now, a state-of-the-artmedical medical facility facility they call their own, rightright herehere in thein the Now, men men havehave a The state-of-the-art theycan can call their own, the post office, Taconic, and Google heart of Manhattan. Preston Robert Tisch Center for Men’s Health provides men w heart of Manhattan. The PrestonRobert RobertTisch Tisch Center for Men’s Health provides men men with with heart of Manhattan. The Preston Center for Men’s Health provides that had apparently saved the post access toaccess NYU Langone specialists in cardiology, medicine, gastroenterology, to NYU Langone specialists in cardiology, internal internal medicine, gastroenterology, urology, urol access to NYU Langone specialists in cardiology, internal medicine, gastroenterology, urology medicine, physical therapy andphysiatry, physiatry, dermatology, ear, nose office from closure throughout orthopedics the /sports/sports orthopedics medicine, physical therapy and dermatology, ear, nose and orthopedics/sports medicine, physical therapy and physiatry, dermatology, ear, nose and throat,health, mental health, plastic surgery, pulmonology, endocrinology, neurology, and radiology. mental plastic surgery, pulmonology, endocrinology, neurology, and radiol forthcoming construction process.throat, throat, mental health, plastic surgery, pulmonology, endocrinology, neurology, and radiology But that was also not entirely Experience what it feels like to have your healthcare tailored specifically for you. To make an Experience what it feels like toto have healthcare tailoredspecifically specifically you. mak Experience what it feels like haveyour your healthcare tailored forfor you. ToTo make an appointment with an NYU Langone doctor, call 646-754-2000. Visit /menshealth. accurate, according to Febo. appointment with an an NYU Langone /menshea appointment with NYU Langonedoctor, doctor,call call646-754-2000. 646-754-2000. Visit /menshealth “It’s true that the post office is not leaving at this point, but those negotiations are still active, and I’m surprised [Chirichello] is


Continued on page 16 June 05, 2014


City Acts, as Women’s Equality Act Stalls in Albany

Photo by Eileen Stukane

At May 29’s inaugural edition of his “Let’s Talk” series, City Councilmember Corey Johnson and seven panelists discuss work being done in the areas of domestic violence, the workplace, healthcare and reproductive rights, social services, and housing for seniors.

Continued from page 1 together a panel of seven accomplished women to discuss work that is being done in the areas of domestic violence, the workplace, healthcare and reproductive rights, social services, and housing for seniors.

The panel included Rosemonde Pierre-Louis, Commissioner of the Mayor’s Office to Combat Domestic Violence; Linda Hoffman, president, New York Foundation for Senior Citizens; Katharine Bodde, attorney with the New York Civil Liberties Union (NYCLU); Sandra Jackson Berger, president, Global Association

of Women for the Arts; Dorothy Johnson Laird, social services coordinator, Hudson Guild Senior Center; Dina Bakst, co-founder/co-president, A Better Balance: The Work & Family Legal Center; and Christina Chang, vice-president of public affairs, Planned Parenthood of New York City.

As each woman explained her area of expertise and presented information on the work that is being done by her organization, it became clear that many are striving to prevent women and their families from slipping through the cracks of urban life. Options for support are open to women who know where to look for them, and this evening was designed as a roadmap. There is a 10-point Women’s Equality Act that has twice passed the New York State Assembly, but has not been voted into law by the New York State Senate because certain Senators cannot agree on one point: “Protect A Woman’s Freedom of Choice,” a reproductive rights issue. City and private organizations have therefore stepped in to fight issues of discrimination that are not being addressed as all 10 points remain in limbo. Speaking with Chelsea Now after the debut of “Let’s Talk,” Councilmember Johnson explained, “We had a very successful [District 3] Town Hall meeting in March, and people responded well — but they were craving more

Continued on page 5

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Johnson’s ‘Let’s Talk’ Series Generates Discussion Continued from page 4 information — not just on municipal government, but on services. The wonderful people I work with felt we should create this series and I thought it was a great idea.” A number of panel members mentioned that this was the first time an elected official had created such a forum. Some of them were meeting each other for the first time and networking. Citing a stunning statistic — 280,000 domestic-incident reports filed in NYC during 2013 — Commissioner Pierre-Louis contextualized domestic violence as a thread going through countless lives, and said she wants to cut that thread early by teaching young people how to have a healthy relationship. To that end, peer educators from the NYC Healthy Relationship Training travel to various organizations throughout the city to give relationship training to young people and parents. This program will soon expand to include sexual assault and the issue of consent. The Commissioner offered anyone interested a tour of the recently

There is a 10-point Women’s Equality Act that has twice passed the New York State Assembly but has not been voted into law by the New York State Senate because certain Senators cannot agree on one point: “Protect A Woman’s Freedom of Choice,” a reproductive rights issue. City and private organizations have therefore stepped in to fight issues of discrimination that are not being addressed as all 10 points remain in limbo.

opened NYC Family Justice Center, at 80 Centre St. Co-located with the District Attorney’s Office, it makes both legal and social services available to victims of domestic violence, all under one roof. For info, call 212-6022800 or 1-800-621-4673. Both attorneys, Katharine Bodde for the NYCLU and Dina Bakst of A Better Balance, a legal advocacy group dedicated to promoting fairness in the workplace, welcomed those who have

conflicts at work to contact them. Bodde and Bakst focused on the fact that the United States is the only industrialized country that does not offer paid family leave insurance when a new child comes into a family, or when a family member is sick and needs care. A paid family leave law is their goal. “Without a paid family leave system, I think we’re in the company of Swaziland and Papua New Guinea,” said Bodde. The good news from Bakst

was that on May 30, NYC’s Pregnant Workers Fairness Act was going into effect, and now reasonable accommodations must be made for workers with needs related to pregnancy, childbirth and related medical conditions. “It means that a retail worker who is 16 weeks pregnant and faints on the job because her employer doesn’t let her drink water on the job is now entitled to accommodation, and yes, that is a true story,” said Bakst. If you have workplace issues, the hotline for free legal counseling from A Better Balance is 212-430-5982. Bodde, as well as Christina Chang of Planned Parenthood, alerted the audience to the “Crisis Pregnancy Centers” (CPCs) located very close to Planned Parenthood Centers. Bodde is working to pass a law requiring the CPCs to disclose that they are not medical facilities — although they appear to be so, and often provide inaccurate information that is meant to scare people away from accessing abortion care. The CPCs, according to Chang, “potentially mislead people from having access to a range of options that they

Continued on page 17

SAF E T Y F I RS T ME A N S A C T I N G F AS T . Nothing is more important to Con Edison than your safety. So here are some things you can do to keep yourself and your loved ones a little safer. If you smell gas or suspect a leak, leave the area immediately and call 911, 1-800-75-CONED or your local gas utility. (Remember, you can report leaks anonymously.) If you see a downed power line, keep your distance and, again, call Con Edison. Last but not least, if you see steam from a Manhattan manhole, just let us know and we’ll check it out. For more safety information, visit and follow us on Facebook or Twitter.


June 05, 2014


Domestic Violence Patterns and NYPD Protocol Continued from page 1

CAUSES AND PATTERNS OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE Intimate partner violence isn’t caused by stress, mental illness, drugs or alcohol use. It is a pattern of coercive behavior used by one partner to establish and maintain control over another. It often includes violence, but not always. Some victims of intimate partner abuse might not want to leave their partner. And some might not even realize that they are in an abusive relationship. “Domestic violence is not just a black eye,” said OCDV Commissioner Rose Pierre-Louis. “People are engaging in a pattern of abuse and control that is beyond the physical. Sometimes financial abuse or identity theft is prevalent.” An abusive situation may include threats of violence or intimidation to the victim or their child, extended family member, or pet (the OCDV’s new program will shelter domestic violence victims with pets). An aggressor may threaten to call the police or the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement on an undocumented worker, or force them into prostitution

Photo by Winnie McCroy

L to R: Asst. Commissioner Tracy Weber-Thomas, Commissioner Rose Pierre-Louis, and Executive Director Hannah Pennington of the Manhattan Family Justice Center at the Mayor’s Office to Combat Domestic Violence.

under threat of deportation (trafficking is a big issue in Queens, comprising 60 of the OCDV’s 100 cases). Experts also say that many young people, inexperienced with relationships and desensitized to violence, may not realize that it’s not healthy if they are being intimidated, threatened, putdown, manipulated, or humiliated. “If you experience any of these things, that’s abuse and we can help,”

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said Pierre-Louis. Recent laws are evolving to address these types of abuse; a year and a half ago, the New York State Penal law changed to include strangulation (defined as a criminal obstruction of breathing or blood circulation) as a felony assault. “It’s about understanding the dynamics of domestic violence and ensuring there’s a legal remedy so that when you’re seeing this happen there’s a recourse. Expansion of statute allows it to be more specific, easier for practitioners, police, civil and legal services to have clarity,” said Pierre-Louis. Similar clarifications are in the works for offenses like identity theft, online stalking, harassment, and even the use of technology such as tracking a victims’ location via mobile GPS. Domestic violence assaults continue to be a major problem all across the city, threatening home life. It affects rich and poor, black and white, gay and straight alike. All of these groups live side by side in Chelsea, and all are affected by domestic violence and/or intimate partner abuse. It’s important to remember that while the CompStat figures give us a glimpse into the problem of domestic abuse today, they only paint part of the picture. True, some victims of domestic violence call the NYPD for help — but others don’t. Higher-income people may have the resources to go through legal or civil channels if they want to leave their abusive partner. Undocumented immigrants may be afraid or suspicious of the police, and may instead seek services from groups like the OCDV. “When we’re talking about domestic incident reports, that is an indicator of people who have reached out to law

enforcement for assistance with the violence that’s happening in their home,” said Pierre-Louis. “So when we’re saying that Chelsea has lower numbers of domestic violence, I’d say that interventions by law enforcement officials may not be the first line of response that residents in Chelsea are using.” Pierre-Louis said that last year, New York City had 280,000 incidents of domestic violence reported to the police. But she noted, “That doesn’t count people who went to the emergency room or to counseling or other interventions. It is not even capturing that number, so when we talk about the issue of domestic violence and how big it is, we have to remember that these numbers just reflect the law enforcement side.” Shelby Chestnut, Co-Director of Community Organizing and Public Advocacy at the Anti-Violence Project (AVP), also pointed out that the cycle of violence is condoned in our society, where multiple forms of violence can intersect. The battered women’s movement comes out of the fact that societally and historically, men were legally allowed to beat and rape their wives. But New York City is providing the resources to combat this epidemic. We have the largest network of Family Justice Centers in the U.S. and perhaps the world. The city recently committed $30 million to the OCDV. All NYPD officers are trained on how to deal with domestic disputes, each precinct has two Domestic Violence Police Officers (DVPO) on staff, and the NYPD has a Domestic Abuse Unit, all to help keep people safe from intimate partner violence.

WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU CALL THE POLICE? If your partner is abusing you, should you call the police? The choice is ultimately up to you, but if you do dial 911, this is what will happen: The NYPD will dispatch two patrol officers to your residence. They will do a series of assessments to determine what has happened, and then decide whether any arrests need to be made. Unlike in some cities, New York doesn’t require that all parties be arrested at the scene of a domestic dispute — a situation that Pierre-Louis characterized as “revictimizing the victim.” “To the NYPDs credit, there are assessments they do that trigger when an arrest needs to happen,” said Pierre-Louis. “They might walk into a situation where there

Continued on page 7 .com

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Continued from page 6 are wounds sustained by both parties, but some might be defensive wounds. Police are trained to recognize these.” The patrol officers then share resources with the victim, directing them to call the Domestic Violence Hotline or 311, which will connect them with local resources like the OCDV. If the victim has never before filed a police report, they might explain their home situation to a caseworker. An onsite DVPO will take their statement and engage with that person’s local police precinct to file a report. If, on the other hand, the primary aggressor is a repeat offender, the NYPD has a process in place to handle high-risk cases. For example, if the police department is called to the same place multiple times in a month, the case will be moved to a high-risk status. OCDV will work with DVPOs to form a safety plan and plan of action, so that the victim is “surrounded in terms of services, with all of them moving in the same direction,” as Pierre-Louis describes. “It’s not about telling a victim what they need. But we do know that the police department tells people things like, ‘I’m not sure you realize this but the violence is escalating. We know in situations like this, there is a high likelihood of lethality or serious harm to you or family. Is it okay if someone reaches out to you?’ ” said Pierre-Louis. Police technology reveals the repeat offenders, but local police precincts are often already aware of those within their jurisdiction, with Pierre-Louis saying, “They can rattle off the names of abusers for you; they know who’s in their area.” DVPOs are involved in these highrisk cases, and often have a strong relationship with the victim through regular engagement so that they can help move toward an intervention. The Family Justice Center makes sure that the NYPD gets victims connected with resources that can help. “The benefit of us going to all 77 Precinct Community Council meetings is not only to let community residents know about us, but to let patrol officers and other folks know about these resources,” said Pierre-Louis.

THE MANHATTAN FAMILY JUSTICE CENTER In March, the OCDV celebrated their grand opening of the Manhattan Family Justice Center, (FJC), complete .com



Photo by Winnie McCroy

A worker from the Mayor’s Office to Combat Domestic Violence watches clients’ kids as they access services.

with a facelift. The Center is located at 80 Centre St., and positioned strategically across the hall from District Attorney Cyrus Vance and his Special Victims Unit. Commissioner Rose Pierre-Louis notes that the OCDV was actually established in 2002, and operates four FJCs in Manhattan, Queens, the Bronx, and Brooklyn, and will open a Staten Island branch by the end of 2015. They are designed to help coordinate domestic violence services, work with other agencies, do community outreach and advocate on legislative issues. As part of their new office design, the FJC is now a one-stop shop, with one-on-one counseling and resources, and a therapeutic environment for kids to play in while the parents are getting support, so that the child won’t have to relive the traumatic event. “We don’t tell victims what they need to do; we inform them about what their rights are, what resources are available and what means they have to secure public benefits or housing,” said Pierre-Louis. Pierre-Louis has a crack team at work, but spends most of her time out of the office, spreading the news about the resources the OCDV offers to elected officials, police officers and the community. “I have been going to all 59 Community Board Council meetings, most precinct Community Council meetings, and meeting with most elected officials in New York City, because I think it’s important for them to understand what’s happening in terms of domestic violence,” she said. Many people, picturing the archetype

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Libraries Must Expand Their Mission and Outreach TALKING POINT BY RAANAN GEBERER Books, DVDs, and CDs aren’t the only things being offered in my neighborhood library (the Muhlenberg, on 23rd St., btw. Seventh & Eighth Aves.). The branch hosts a writers’ group, a poets’ group, movies for seniors, an afternoon teen lounge, a theater group, and a book discussion group, as well as occasional performances. The only problem is that, unless you’re a frequent visitor to the library, actively seek out the library system’s website or happen to look at a community calendar feature of a local newspa-

per such as this one, you’re not likely to know about any of these events. Because of computerization and the information age, one hears about the downsizing of public libraries everywhere. It was only a public outcry that was able to defeat the New York Public Library’s plan to sell the flagship Mid-Manhattan Branch and move 1.5 million research books to storage in New Jersey. When library branches are demolished, as happened with the Donnell Library, their planned replacements are almost always smaller than the original library. Not everyone wants to use a Kindle. But even for diehard readers of physical books like me, it’s comparatively easy

to get an inexpensive used copy of a paperback on sites like — and you don’t have to wait weeks like you do if you reserve a book through the library system. As for the research collection, much of the information that I used to get from volumes like the Reader’s Guide to Periodical Literature or Current Biography can now be found online. True, libraries are thriving as a place for students to do their homework, often on laptops. But in order to attract a broader spectrum of people, libraries must put greater emphasis on their role as a community meeting place. And to do this, the library system must put greater effort into publicizing the types

of events mentioned above. Merely posting signs in the library itself won’t do. The library system put up signs at bus stops, establish cross-promotions on neighborhood merchants’ websites, put up notices at all neighborhood stores with bulletin boards, make sure literature is displayed out at elected officials’ offices and at youth and senior centers, publicize these events at local colleges, take out ads in community newspapers and more. If the libraries do this, more and more people will visit these events, and the library branches will get a higher profile. And while they’re at it, many of these visitors will start taking out books, CDs, and DVDs again.

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR Surrounded by gas, fed up with hot air To The Editor: Re: “Concerns Linger Over Radon Levels in Spectra Pipeline Gas” (news, May 21, 2014): I manage a small brownstone in the Chelsea neighborhood. It isn’t just cooking gas that concerns me. My building has five gas heating boilers and five gas hot water heaters in its basement. In each of its five apartments it has a gas counter range, a gas wall oven, and a gas clothes dryer. I am in the process of installing a gas generator. I have been planning to install gas service to each of the ten fireplaces. Why on earth should I accept the pathetic excuses put forward by the utility (Con Edison) for not monitoring every cubic inch of their product every hour of the day, and reporting results continuously? Pamela Wolff

Reader Comments from Re: “Concerns Linger Over Radon Levels in Spectra Pipeline Gas” (news, May 21, 2014): If gas production is so lucrative, what is the problem of the utility spending a few cents (proportionately) to do the testing to assure safety of the public? Why should the State defer to the Feds? Aren’t there at-home kits for the public to check in the kitchens from Sane Nuclear?

be desirable in air in the home, and these are clearly two different measurements. Second it seems impractical to suggest turning off gas at the delivery point (a city gate station/meter station) as a form of mitigation. Would Ms. Rosenthal’s solution then be that we build more pipelines and city gate stations into NYC and NY state in case we need to shut some of them off in winter? Many of the activists at that hearing represent groups that have spread enormous amounts of misinformation on other projects like the Rockaway pipeline and the currently proposed LNG import project offshore, Port Ambrose. They appear to feel entitled to misrepresent facts because they have a cause that they are passionate about. Karen Orlando Re: “Ban Horse Carriages; Keep Citi Bikes” (editorial, April 23, 2014): Until we as a City declare that we are an animal-safe city, we cannot protect the animals that are within our designated area. We need to get legislation that commits our city as one that does not abuse animals, children and the elderly. We should build up a pride in that we have been generous enough to move past the old habits of profiting on child labor and ignoring the needs of the elderly and hopefully also address the useless carriage rides in such a dangerous city and move onto humane tourist attractions. Let the tourists pay to take an electric car to a designated area of the Park to feed the retired carriage horses a carrot. Dot Bronx

Barbara385 This is a flawed bill, which appears entirely impractical as written. It seems like the desired levels or measurements that are cited in the bill and in this article for the pipeline are actually the measurements that would


June 05, 2014

UPDATE Re: “A.G. Keeps After Airbnb To Turn Over Rental Records” (news, May 21, 2014): Representatives of the Attorney General’s Office and Airbnb released a joint statement on the morning of

May 21, announcing that Airbnb has agreed to comply with the A.G.’s May 14 subpoena. According to the terms of that agreement, Airbnb will first provide the A.G. with an anonymized list of those who have rented apartments through the website (with personal information such as names, email addresses telephone numbers redacted). From that list, the A.G. will then be able to notify Airbnb which users are “subjects of an investigation or potential [legal] enforcement action,” and will subsequently be able to compel Airbnb to quickly hand over personal information about those specific users. As part of the new agreement, Airbnb also said that it will add a feature to its website that will clearly display New York State apartment rental laws to any new site users who are listing an apartment within the state. “Airbnb and the Office of the Attorney General have worked tirelessly over the past six months to come to an agreement that appropriately balances Attorney General [Eric] Schneiderman’s commitment to protecting New York’s residents and tourists from illegal hotels with Airbnb’s concerns about the privacy of thousands of other hosts,” said the May 21 joint statement, by Janet Sabel, First Deputy Attorney General of Affirmative Litigation for the Attorney General, and Darren Weingard, Deputy General Counsel of Airbnb. “The arrangement we have reached today for compliance with the Office of the Attorney General subpoena strikes this balance.”

E-mail letters, not longer than 250 words in length, to or fax to 212-229-2790 or mail to Chelsea Now, Letters to the Editor, 515 Canal St., Suite 1C, NY, NY 10013. Please include phone number for confirmation purposes. Chelsea Now reserves the right to edit letters for space, grammar, clarity and libel. Chelsea Now does not publish anonymous letters. .com

Community Contacts To be listed, email



COMMUNITY BOARD 4 (CB4) CB4 serves Manhattan’s West Side neighborhoods of Chelsea and Clinton/Hell’s Kitchen. Its boundaries are 14th St. on the south, 59/60th St. on the north, the Hudson River on the west, 6th Ave. on the east (south of 26th St.) and 8th Ave. on the east (north of 26th St.). The monthly full board meeting, open to the public, normally takes place on the last Wed. of the month. The next meeting is Wed., July 30, 6:30 p.m., at the Hotel Trades Council (305 W. 44th St., btw. 8th & 9th Aves). There is no Aug. meeting. COMMUNITY BOARD 5 (CB5) CB5 represents the central business district of New York City. It includes midtown Manhattan, the Fashion, Flower, Flatiron and Diamond districts, as well as Bryant Park and Union Square Park. The district is at the center of New York’s tourism industry. The Theatre District, Times Square, Carnegie Hall, the Empire State Building and two of the region’s transportation hubs (Grand Central Station and Penn Station) fall within CB5. The board meeting, open to the public, happens on the second Thursday of the month. The next meeting is Thurs., June 12, 6 p.m., at Xavier High School (30 W. 16th St., btw. 5th & 6th Aves., 2nd fl.). Call 212-465-0907, visit or email them at THE 300 WEST 23RD, 22ND & 21ST STREETS BLOCK ASSOCIATION Contact them at THE WEST 400 BLOCK ASSOCIATION Contact them at

CHELSEA GARDEN CLUB Chelsea Garden Club cares for the bike lane tree pits in Chelsea. If you want to adopt a tree pit or join the group, please contact them at or like them on Facebook. Also visit LOWER CHELSEA ALLIANCE (LoCal) This group is committed to protecting the residential blocks of Chelsea from overscale development. Contact them at THE GREENWICH VILLAGE-CHELSEA CHAMBER OF COMMERCE Call 212-337-5912 or visit THE MEATPACKING DISTRICT INITIATIVE Visit or call 212-633-0185. PENN SOUTH The Penn South Program for Seniors provides recreation, education and social services — and welcomes volunteers. For info, call 212-243-3670 or visit THE BOWERY RESIDENTS’ COMMITTEE: HOMELESS HELPLINE If you know of anyone who is in need of their services, call the Homeless Helpline at 212-533-5151, and the BRC will send someone to make contact. This number is staffed by outreach team leaders 24 hours a day. Callers may remain anonymous. For more info, visit THE LESBIAN, GAY, BISEXUAL & TRANSGENDER COMMUNITY CENTER At 208 W. 13th St. (btw. 7th & 8th Aves.). Visit or call 212620-7310. GAY MEN’S HEALTH CRISIS (GMHC) At 446 W. 33rd St. btw. 9th & 10th Aves. Visit Call 212-367-1000.


Published by NYC Community Media, LLC 515 Canal St., Unit 1C, New York, NY 10013 Phone: (212) 229-1890 • Fax: (212) 229-2790 On-line: | E-mail: © 2014 NYC Community Media, LLC Member of the New York Press Association

Member of the National Newspaper Association

Editor Scott Stiffler

HUDSON GUILD Founded in 1895, Hudson Guild is a multi-service, multi-generational community serving approximately 14,000 people annually with daycare, hot meals for senior citizens, low-cost professional counseling, community arts programs and recreational programming for teens. Visit them at Email them at info@ For the John Lovejoy Elliott Center (441 W. 26th St.), call 212-760-9800. For the Children’s Center (459 W. 26th St.), call 212-7609830. For the Education Center (447 W. 25th St.), call 212-760-9843. For the Fulton Center for Adult Services (119 9th Ave.), call 212-924-6710. THE CARTER BURDEN CENTER FOR THE AGING This organization promotes the well-being of individuals 60 and older through direct social services and volunteer programs oriented to individual, family and community needs. Call 212-879-7400 or visit FULTON YOUTH OF THE FUTURE Email them at fultonyouth@gmail. com or contact Miguel Acevedo, 646-671-0310. WEST SIDE NEIGHBORHOOD ALLIANCE Visit or call 212-9562573. Email them at CHELSEA COALITION ON HOUSING Tenant assistance every Thursday night at 7pm, at Hudson Guild (119 9th Ave.). Email them at FRIENDS OF HUDSON RIVER PARK Visit or call 212-757-0981. HUDSON RIVER PARK TRUST Visit or call 212627-2020. SAVE CHELSEA Contact them at savechelseanyc@

Sr. V.P. of Sales and Marketing Francesco Regini Retail Ad Manager Colin Gregory

Editorial Assistants

Account Executives Bill Fink

Sean Egan

Allison Greaker

Maeve Gately

Michael O'Brien

Publisher Emeritus

Rebecca Rosenthal

John W. Sutter

Julio Tumbaco

DISTRICT 3 CITY COUNCILMEMBER COREY JOHNSON Call 212-564-7757 or visit gov/d3/html/members/home.shtml. STATE SENATOR BRAD HOYLMAN Call 212-633-8052 or visit CHELSEA REFORM DEMOCRATIC CLUB The CRDC (the home club of City Council Speaker Christine Quinn and Assemblymember Richard N. Gottfried) meets monthly to exchange political ideas on protecting the rights and improving the lives of those residing in Chelsea. Visit or email them at THE SAGE CENTER New York City’s first LGBT senior center offers hot meals, counseling and a cyber-center — as well as programs on arts and culture, fitness, nutrition, health and wellness. At 305 Seventh Ave. (15th floor, btw. 27th & 28th Sts.). Call 646-576-8669 or visit thesagecenter for menus and a calendar of programs. AT 147 W. 24TH ST. (BTW. 6TH & 7TH AVES.) THE SYLVIA RIVERA LAW PROJECT works to guarantee that all people are free to self-determine their gender identity and expression without facing harassment, discrimination or violence. Visit FIERCE (Fabulous Independent Educated Radicals for Community Empowerment) builds the leadership and power of bisexual, transgender and queer youth of color in NYC. Visit THE AUDRE LORDE PROJECT is a lesbian, gay, bisexual, two spirit, trans and gender non-conforming people of color center for community organizing. Visit

Art / Production Director Troy Masters Senior Designer Michael Shirey Graphic Designers Andrew Goos Chris Ortiz Circulation Sales Mngr. Marvin Rock

Contributors Lincoln Anderson Jim Caruso Sean Egan Ophira Eisenberg Winnie McCroy Paul Schindler Trav S.D. Eileen Stukane Zach Williams

Distribution & Circulation Cheryl Williamson

Video Segment Producer Don Mathisen

Chelsea Now is published biweekly by NYC Community Media LLC, 515 Canal St., Unit 1C, New York, NY 10013. (212) 229-1890. Annual subscription by mail in Manhattan and Brooklyn $75. The entire contents of newspaper, including advertising, are copyrighted and no part may be reproduced without the express permission of the publisher - © 2014 NYC Community Media LLC, Postmaster: Send address changes to Chelsea Now, 145 Sixth Ave., First Fl., New York, N.Y. 10013.

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


June 05, 2014


POLICE BLOTTER Terrorism: Bomb threat At around 10:45 a.m. on Thurs, May 22, an employee of the CVS at 272 Eighth Ave. (corner of 24th St.) answered the phone, and heard

a man’s voice: “Don’t tell anybody,” the caller demanded. “Keep calm. I put a bomb inside the store.” The employee was then instructed to get 10 MoneyPak Cards, worth $500

COP OF THE MONTH: OFFICER JOSEPH SPECTOR Before calling April’s Cop of the Month to the podium, Capt. David Miller (10th Precinct Commander) scanned the room to make sure there were no children present at May 28’s Community Council Meeting. Warning those assembled that the impending narrative would be significantly more Photo by Scott Stiffler gruesome than usual, Miller went on to describe an incident that took place out- L to R: Community Council President Larry O’Neill, Capt. David Miller side of Gym Bar (167 Eighth Ave., btw. (Precinct Commander) and Officer 18th & 19th Sts.). On April 8, Officer Joseph Spector. Joseph Spector responded to the scene, where he encountered an individual bleeding profusely from the left side of his face. Witnesses said that the perp, currently on the loose, became enraged when he was rebuffed by the victim (fighting with him at first, then biting the victim on the check so severely that flesh was removed down to the jawbone). Based on witness descriptions, Officer Spector was able to quickly track the perp, then arrest him.

each, and give him the access information over the phone. At this point, the caller stated that any employee who came out of the store before the completion of this transaction would be shot. Once the NYPD was notified, officers canvassed the area — but there was no sign of suspicious activity, such as a man who might be conducting surveillance of the store.

Grand Larceny: ‘Blink’ and you’ll miss it Putting a lock on a locker? Don’t be absurd. This is New York, where fitness and honesty go hand in hand — or so she thought. A young woman is out $86 in cash, and will have to replace her drivers license, her $10 MetroCard and several credit cards — after the too-trusting soul left her belongings in a locker, sans security apparatus, at Blink Fitness (308 Eighth Ave., btw. 25th & 26th Aves.) on the morning of Thurs, May 22. Upon returning 45 minutes later, the abovementioned items were gone. The victim cancelled her credit cards, one of which already had unauthorized charges on it by that point.

Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance: Tagger was trippin’ Police arrested a teenager with just over a half hour left on the May 22 clock, when they observed him “making graffiti on a building” in the 200 block of Tenth Ave. (using, as his calling card, the tag “Tripel Tribe”).

CASH FOR GUNS $100 cash will be given (no questions asked) for each handgun, assault weapon or sawed-off shotgun, up to a maximum payment of $300. Guns are accepted at any Police Precinct, PSA or Transit District.

CRIME STOPPERS If you have info regarding a crime committed or a wanted person, call Crime Stoppers at 800-577TIPS, text “TIP577” (plus your message) to “CRIMES” (274637) or submit a tip online at


June 05, 2014

Upon investigation, they recovered three bags of hallucinogens from his person, and discovered that the “city wide vandal” had an active warrant.

Vehicle Traffic Law: Biker Busted On summer break through August, the 10th Precinct Community Council has been meeting (last Wed. of the month, 7 p.m.) since September 2013. Tension between bicyclists and pedestrians has been, and remains, the most significant area of concern voiced by locals (coming in a close second: truck and bus traffic on side streets). On the matter of Chelsea’s bike lanes, residents have consistently pressed the NYPD, Community Board 4 and elected officials for more aggressive enforcement efforts. One such effort recently led to the arrest of a bicyclist who, just after 8 a.m. on Fri., May 23, was observed going northbound on Eighth Ave. Riding outside of the bike lane, he flew through two red lights (at W. 19th & 20th Sts.), then was stopped by uniformed officers at W. 22nd St. He then fled eastbound on 22nd St., opposite the traffic, and was apprehended on the corner of Seventh Ave. He was charged with causing public alarm and posing a hazardous condition to motor vehicles.

—Scott Stiffler

THE 10th PRECINCT Located at 230 W. 20th St. (btw. 7th & 8th Aves.). Commander: Captain David S. Miller. Main number: 212-741-8211. Community Affairs: 212-741-8226. Crime Prevention: 212-741-8226. Domestic Violence: 212-741-8216. Youth Officer: 212741-8211. Auxiliary Coordinator: 212-741-8210. Detective Squad: 212-741-8245.

THE 13th PRECINCT Located at 230 E. 21st St. (btw. 2nd & 3rd Aves.). Deputy Inspector: Ted Bernsted. Call 212-477-7411. Community Affairs: 212-477-7427. Crime Prevention: 212-477-7427. Domestic Violence: 212-477-3863. Youth Officer: 212-477-7411. Auxiliary Coordinator: 212-4774380. Detective Squad: 212-4777444.



June 05, 2014


What’s Up in Uptown? BY LAUREN PRICE If the hum of street life, ample parks, and an eclectic array of artistic offerings, restaurants, and small shops make for a compelling urban neighborhood, Harlem certainly fits the bill. With ever-evolving notions of chic and dramatic visuals in its century-old blocks, the neighborhood north of 110th St. from river to river (though the boundaries often have some elasticity depending on whom you speak to) has always been about renaissance — and buyers and renters today have plenty to draw them to Greater Harlem. The housing stock is chock-a-block with upgraded mid-rise buildings, spiffed-up tenements, restored brownstones with ornate Victorian details and backyards, converted family-sized pre-wars, and plenty of new developments. In the popular imagination, of course, historic enclaves still reign supreme — particularly Sugar Hill, Strivers’ Row, and Astor Row’s collection of 28 houses with front porches and gardens. Halstead Property has a listing for a 20-foot wide, 3,900-square-foot townhouse with a private garage along Strivers’ Row at 221 W. 138th St. Known as the Will Marion Cook House — named for the famous AfricanAmerican composer, violinist, and Broadway impresario who lived there — it was built in 1891. Its interiors have been handsomely preserved, including the four rare stained glass windows designed by Frank J. Dillon, the large oak stairwell that rises a few steps up to a platform under a Palladian-style window, chevron-detailed oak floors, overhanging cornices, and six wood-burning fireplaces with carved mantels. Zoned for multiple uses, this National Historic Landmark is perfect for a single-family residence, a multiunit, income-producing investment, or perhaps an art gallery. Other features include a 2,000-square-foot gated garden. Delivered empty, it’s priced at $2.445 million. ( manhattan/harlem/221-west-138thstreet/townhouse/9947775) For buyers seeking something a bit more modern along the same stretch, why not consider One Strivers’ Row? Located at 2605 Frederick Douglas Blvd. at 139th St., this condominium was first built as a five-story building in 1894, and then redeveloped in 2007, now with seven floors. Finishes and


June 05, 2014

Courtesy of Stribling

A triplex condo at 380 Lenox Avenue offered by Stribling.

fixtures include wide-plank American white oak stain floors, 10-foot-high ceilings, large windows, imported Italian faucets, recessed lighting, a walk-in closet, and a Miele washer and dryer. The open kitchen offers appliances by SubZero and Bosch, and the American walnut cabinetry has CaeserStone countertops. Bathrooms are outfitted with Kohler and Toto fixtures. There’s a wonderful rooftop deck for residents and a state-of-the-art cyber doorman system. Douglas Elliman is selling this 700-square-foot, one-bedroom unit for just $450,000, with low monthly common charges and taxes, and a 25-year 421a tax abatement. ( Only blocks from Astor Row, a three-bedroom triplex penthouse condominium is for sale at 380 Lenox Avenue at W.129th St. Coming in at about 2,100 square feet, with spectacular city views from nearly every room, the home offers a large rooftop terrace. The triplex features 11-foot-high ceilings, a washer and dryer, custom closets, a gas-igniting wood-burning fireplace, and an open kitchen with solid cherry cabinets and granite countertops and floors. Communal amenities include a rooftop deck, a 24/ 7 gym, on-site parking, and full-time doormen services. It’s priced at $1.7

million, with a 25-year 421a tax abatement, low common charges, and no sponsor closing cost. ( properties/3350823#details) A garden-level, two-bedroom duplex facing the park at 32 Mount Morris Park West at 123rd St. is for rent. Newly renovated, this 1,100-squarefoot unit has a private entrance and its original details include high ceilings, exposed brick, hardwood floors, moldings, and a marble-mantled ethanol-burning fireplace. The wellequipped kitchen opens onto the living room and the master bedroom has an en suite marble bathroom with teak cabinetry, a whirlpool tub, and a separate shower stall. The second bedroom can easily convert to a media room, and there is an equipped laundry room. Other features include a lighting system, keyless entry, and a video intercom. The monthly rent is $3,600. ( display/3241841) Not quite new — developed eight years ago — the Walden at 69 E. 139th St. has a south-facing, four-room apartment (currently, the second bedroom is being used as a den) on the market. Offering about 850 square feet, it has maple floors and oversized windows — and the kitchen is outfitted with walnut cabinetry, granite countertops, and appliances by Frigidaire. Common extras include a lounge with a kitchen, a no-cost laundry room, a spa,

basement-level storage closets — as well as part-time doormen and a video intercom system. Priced at $487,500, with a 421a tax abatement through 2031. ( condo/9960582) “Until now, East Harlem housing has been viewed as a rental market, but as this neighborhood enjoys a new evolution of well-known retail establishments, property values will rise, but in most cases, remain below the values seen in Central Harlem, south of 125th Street,” said Jeff Krantz, a managing director at Halstead Property Development Marketing. “Buyers will now begin seeing at least a dozen new developments come to market, but they will be more boutique-style projects with an average of 20 units each.” The 83-unit Adeline at 23 W. 116th St. is now 70 percent sold, but units are still available in all categories, which range from one- to four-bedrooms (1,046 to 1,912 square feet). Completion is set for late fall. Units feature wide-plank oak floors with hand-laid herringbone tiles, large windows, and washers and dryers. Kitchens come with custom matte lacquer cabinetry, CaesarStone countertops, and appliances by KitchenAid and Bosch. Master baths sport smoked walnut vanities (some have dual sinks)

Continued on page 14 .com



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Greater Harlem Offers Ever-Expanding Choices Continued from page 12 and custom soaking tubs with Grohe showerheads and hand-held shower wands. Topping the list of common amenities is a fitness room, a playroom, a lounge with a workspace, a screening room and kitchenette, a courtyard garden, a roof deck, and round-the-clock doormen. Units are priced from $1.125 million, with a 25-year 421a tax abatement. ( Across from Riverside Park, 710 Riverside Drive at W. 148th St. is selling renovated apartments that run from one- to three-bedrooms (687 to 1,319 square feet) with washers and dryers. Luxury finishes include solid oak flooring and high ceilings with intricate crown moldings. Kitchens are outfitted with white thermofoil cabinetry, white celador countertops, and appliances by LG. Bathrooms feature d’oriente palmira tile, Carrera marble, and Kohler soaking tubs. Exclusively marketed by Warburg Marketing Group, prices start at $425,940. ( 2280 Eighth Ave. is a rental development between 122nd and 123rd Street, and a two-bedroom apartment is available for rent there. It boasts wide-plank oak floors, floor-to-ceiling windows, full-sized Miele washers and dryers, and a living room balcony. The open kitchen is fitted with Aster Cucine cabinetry, CaesarStone worktops, and appliances from the Electrolux Icon

AMY RUTH’S: SOUL FOOD 113 West 116th Street; 212-280-8779

THE CECIL: AFRO/ ASIAN/ AMERICAN BRASSERIE 210 West 118th Street; 212-866-1262

CHEZ LUCIENNE: FRENCH 308 Lenox Avenue at 125th Street; 212-289-5555 Corcoran Group Real Estate

A garden-level, two-bedroom duplex at 32 Mount Morris Park West offered by Corcoran.

series. The custom-tiled master bathroom has a Neptune Air Jet soaking tub and a multi-spray, thermostatically controlled rain shower stall. Common amenities include a roof deck with an outdoor fireplace and round-theclock doorman/concierge services. The monthly rent is $4,000. (corcoran. com/nyc/listings/display/3181536) One Morningside Park at 321 W. 110th St. is selling one- to three-bedroom condominiums, including a penthouse (1,265 to 1,410 square feet). All feature brushed oak hardwood floors and extra large windows, and most have outdoor space. Open kitchens come with custom cabinetry, natural stone countertops, and appliances by Sub-Zero, KitchenAid, and/or Miele. Most bathrooms are windowed and feature floorto-ceiling porcelain tiles of varying tex-

tures, soaking tubs, and marble-topped vanities. Amenities include a rooftop terrace with an outdoor kitchen, a fitness center, and round-the-clock doormen. Marketed by Brown Harris Stevens Select, prices start from $2.125 million, with a 20-year 421a tax abatement. ( Uptown 58 at 58 W. 129th St. is selling mostly one- and two-bedroom condominiums, though a few studios are available. The 19-unit building will feature a roof deck, a fitness center, and a state-of-the-art virtual doorman system. Coming to market this summer, occupancy is expected during the first quarter of 2015. Marketed by Halstead Property Development Marketing, prices for one-bedroom apartments will start at $500,000, with a 15-year 421a tax abatement. (

Commerce In Gotham, Harlem Style BY LAUREN PRICE

BUYERS & SELLERS The face of retail uptown changed forever when Harlem USA came to 125th St. in 2000. Today, Marshall’s, Old Navy, Modell’s, Nine West, the New York Sports Club, Hue-Man Bookstore & Café — the largest African-American-owned bookstore in the nation — and the Magic Johnson movie theaters can all be found there. Designer Shoe Warehouse, Equinox’s lower-priced Blink Brand, Joe’s Crab Shack, and Party City are now part of a new retail development at 125th St. off Frederick Douglass Blvd. And, believe it or not, it’s been more than 15 years since Fairway set up a mega-market at 131st Street right off the Henry Hudson Parkway. On the East Side, shoppers can head over to the East River Plaza at 117th St. off the FDR Dr., a complex that includes New York’s first Target store, as well as Costco, Marshalls, PetSmart, Bob’s Discount Furniture, Old Navy,


June 05, 2014

For Resolute Food Hounds

and Best Buy. Whole Foods has recently confirmed a 2015 opening of an enormous outpost at 125th St. and Lenox Ave., and a new Burlington Coat Factory will occupy the building’s top three floors.

GREEN IS GOOD Wondering what the deal is with those neon-green taxis picking up and dropping off passengers in Harlem? The Taxi & Limousine Commission introduced a fleet of metered and credit card-equipped green taxis as a way to standardize easier street hails in Upper Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx, and Staten Island. Dubbed Boro Taxis, they can pick up passengers north of W. 110th St. and E. 96th St. Currently, with the exception of the airports, the greens can take you anywhere a standard yellow cab would, but they cannot pick up fares in Lower Manhattan as they make their way back uptown or to the boroughs.

EL PASO TAQUERIA: MEXICAN 237 East 116th Street 212-860-4875

HUDSON RIVER CAFÉ: SEAFOOD, STEAK WITH LATIN FLAIR 697 West 133rd Street; 212-491-9111

JIMMY’S UPTOWN: FRENCH, LATIN & SOUL FOOD 2207 Adam Clayton Powell Boulevard at 130th Street 212-491-4000

JOE’S CRAB SHACK 301 West 125th Street; 212-222-0445

KITCHENETTE UPTOWN: SOUTHERN HOME-STYLE 1272 Amsterdam Avenue at 123rd Street 212-531-7600

RAO’S: ITALIAN 455 East 114th Street r a o s . c o m / h i s t o r y. a s p x # . U 2 _ UyGRdXye; 212-722-6709

RED ROOSTER: AMERICAN COMFORT FOOD 310 Lenox Avenue at 126th Street,; 212-792-9001

RICARDO STEAK HOUSE 2145 Second Avenue at 110th Street; 212-289-5895

ZOMA: ETHIOPIAN 2084 Frederick Douglass Boulevard at 113th Street; 212-662-0620 .com













home on the high Line | 646.346.6551


June 05, 2014


Google Building Post Office Going Nowhere, For Now Continued from page 3 speaking like that before the negotiations are complete,” said the Taconic rep. Regarding the planned construction for the 76 Ninth Ave. building — which covers a full block on all sides, and which is also known as 111 Eighth Ave. — Febo declined to say when the work would begin, and also declined to provide any specific details. He stated only that Google has plans to “reconfigure the ground floor” and “reshape” other parts of the structure, as part of the company’s efforts to further cement the building as its East Coast headquarters. Google did not respond to multiple requests for comment. One of the architects on the series of forthcoming construction projects, HLW International, told this newspaper that Google had compelled the firm to sign a non-disclosure agreement that barred any public statements regarding the

Photo by Sam Spokony

A notice posted inside the 76 Ninth Ave. post office stated that, contrary to prior information, the office would not be closing on May 23.

construction plans. Meanwhile, the factual disagreements between the USPS and

Taconic continued after May 22 into the following week. Around 5 p.m. on May 27, Chirichello sent an official press release to this newspaper, which once again stated that, “an agreement was made between the building owner and the postal service which resulted in the preservation of the space currently occupied by the [76 Ninth Ave.] station as the continued quarters of the station.” The release also stated that the whole situation came about because, earlier this year, the USPS was asked to vacate the premises after Google officials told the post office that they wanted to reclaim the space. But less than 24 hours later,

apparently after conferring with Taconic, Chirichello admitted that the release “may contain conflicting information” and asked that it none of its statements be used in this article. “I am officially retracting the information,” she wrote to Chelsea Now in an email around 10 a.m. on May 28. When this newspaper called Chirichello that day for further clarification of the retracted USPS statements, specifically regarding both the aforementioned “agreement” and the claims that Google directly asked the post office to vacate its space, she seemed uncertain. “Well, this all makes me want to go back and double check things,” she said in the phone interview. Chirichello ended that conversation by giving what she claimed was the most definitive statement she could make at that point — a statement which still left unanswered questions. “The post office will continue to serve the community from its present location,” she said, although she added that the long-term future of the post office “all depends on [Google’s] construction, and what construction needs they’ll have, which is out of our control.” And it should be noted that, although he acknowledged — in his aforementioned correspondence with this newspaper — that there are currently no plans for the post office to vacate its space, Febo never definitively stated that he believes the post office will remain on the ground floor of 76 Ninth Ave.

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‘Talk’ Panel Promises Action Continued from page 5 might be looking for.” She announced that Planned Parenthood’s new tagline, which appears under their logo, is “Care No Matter What,” which sums up the organization’s philosophy. “We provide care regardless of your immigration status, gender identity, and ability to pay. Our doors are open and our care is private and nonjudgmental,” she said. Options for older women were presented by Linda Hoffman of the New York Foundation for Senior Citizens and Dorothy Johnson Laird of the Hudson Guild Senior Center in Chelsea. Hoffman’s not-for-profit organization encompasses 30 social service programs and 10 buildings for senior housing. It is also overseeing an innovative program called “Home Sharing,” which matches people over age 60 as either a guest or a host (if one has an unused bedroom and bath) to share living space and a certain amount of rent with another person. “We have a professional staff who carefully, comprehensively, and closely screen for potential hosts and guests

using a computer program called Quick Match, and then the social worker comes in to assess personalities,” says Hoffman, who sees Home Sharing as another way of looking at affordable housing. A Home Sharing pilot program to match families with children and seniors is under way under the auspices of Deputy Mayor Lilliam BarriosPaoli. In conjunction with the NYC Dept. of the Aging, Hoffman also spoke of the Community Arranged Resident Transportation (CART) Project, which provides free van transportation services (with wheelchair facility) for elderly travel through Community Boards 1 through 8. Johnson Laird announced that, along with the many services Hudson Guild Center already offers, it now has free financial coaching available every Tuesday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. She said that the Center is seeing more “younger older people” — those under 70 years old, who have lost jobs, may be harassed by landlords, or are recently bereaved. “Our task is to try to help these women back on their feet emotionally and physically,” she said. The Center does an intake screening

for financial concerns, depression, anxiety, and works to connect people to entitlements and resources, lawyers, healthcare specialists, therapists, and now, financial coaches. She told the story of a 66-year-old woman who had been laid off work and needed financial and resume counseling, and computer training to help her move forward. The Center helped her with all of that but she was reluctant to go on job interviews, since she felt she needed dental work to improve her appearance, and could not afford it. Johnson Laird was able to acquire a one-time funding grant for her from the Federation of Protestant Welfare Agencies, and her dental work was accomplished. Johnson Laird can be contacted in the Social Services Unit of Hudson Guild Center: 212-924-6710. The availability of support for women, making it more broadly known, was a goal of “Let’s Talk” — and its success became clear during the Q&A session. A woman in the audience rose to say that she had an Ivy League education, a great career as a photographer, had photographed all over Africa, but was now living in

poverty, on social security and food stamps. She is an artist and designer, but she lacked certain computer skills and could not get a job. “Young interviewers look at me and think ‘Mom,’ ” she said. She had a grant from Parsons to teach in the Dominican Republic, but the airfare was unaffordable. Immediately, Johnson Laird said she had avenues for computer training and arranged to speak with her privately. Sandra Jackson Berger, who had spoken about women all over the globe empowering themselves through their art, offered to connect her with a photojournalist in California. “I was very moved by the woman who stood up and shared her current personal struggles to survive in New York City as an artist,” said Councilmember Johnson. “Then to have people there who can link her up with help, that was a special moment.” Possibilities for future “Let’s Talk” topics are Affordable Housing as well as issues impacting LGBTQs and immigrants. To reach Councilmember Johnson’s office, call 212-564-7757 or visit

Asserting Your Right to a Violence-Free Home Continued from page 7 of the “battered wife,” and not reconciling that with themselves, may have a difficult time viewing their relationship as abusive — especially if the abuser is of the same gender.

LGBTS AND DOMESTIC VIOLENCE According to the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs, intimate partner abuse happens at the same rate in the LGBT community as it does in the heterosexual community. Chelsea has a history of being a haven for gay men, but the NYPD doesn’t keep tabs on whether local victims of abuse are LGBT or not. “We don’t know whether it’s samesex assaults or not; that’s not something we track,” said the 10th Precinct’s Sgt. McMorrow. And while some LGBT victims of domestic abuse might call 911 on their abuser, many choose instead to seek help at a gay-oriented resource like the New York City AVP. Chestnut says that rates of abuse in Chelsea seem large in proportion to the number of felony .com

assaults there, but that overall, domestic violence is not quite as big of a problem in Chelsea as in other parts of the city. “Chelsea is historically known as gay men’s neighborhood, and although we know this violence exists in all communities, you have to factor in the real difference between an upper middle-class white man calling the police for assistance as opposed to a transgender, homeless youth of color in the West Village calling for help,” said Chestnut. “LGBTs don’t historically have great interactions with the police, but some have better interactions than others, and this is a community that might feel safer reporting it.” The NYC AVP notes that from the time period between January 1 and April 30, 2014, they served 283 clients who reported experiencing intimate partner violence. Some LGBT aggressors may dissuade their partner from reporting this violence by threatening to “out” them as gay or trans to their employer, or to withhold hormones from a transgender partner as a way to maintain control. “You must factor in the many ways that hate violence and homophobia is

key in these situations,” said Chestnut. “The power and control issues can look different from mainstream violence but still have an impact.” In addition, when domestic violence happens between partners of the same gender, police may not recognize who is the primary aggressor. Chestnut said that when two female partners are involved in a domestic assault, police often arrest the “butch” or masculine-identified partner. Chestnut also noted that those LGBTs most impacted by partner violence — transgender people, people of color, and young gay men — are those who are least able to access resources. “The domestic violence movement is seen as a women’s issue,” said Chestnut. “Here in New York, we have four beds set aside for LGBT victims of domestic violence, and it is quite a challenge to get people placed. Ninety percent of these shelters are women-only, so if you’re a gay man calling to get into a shelter, you’re not going to think you’re welcome. You’re just not able to access services at the same rate.” On average, the NYPD responds to

770 domestic violence calls every day citywide, and had 280,000 domestic incident reports filed last year. Although these statistics represent only a part of the problem, the OCDV and other groups are committed to addressing the spectrum of violence in the city, be it domestic abuse, hate crimes, rape or other gender justice issues. Everyone has the right to live in a home that is free of violence. “We want people to seek help,” said Pierre-Louis. “When I see that 280,000 people reached out to the NYPD last year, I don’t see that as an awful indication of the high rates of domestic violence. I see that as a great thing, because people are finally reaching out for help.” For more information, visit For help from the Family Justice Center near you or to support the Family Justice Center Initiative, visit nyc. gov or call 311. Victims of domestic violence are encouraged to call the Manhattan District Attorney’s Domestic Violence Hotline, at 212335-4308. June 05, 2014


ARTS&ENTERTAINMENT A Smooth Operator with Horns to Balance that Halo Doris Payne keeps us guessing what’s real and what’s an enticing lie FILM THE LIFE AND CRIMES OF DORIS PAYNE Produced & Directed by Matthew Pond & Kirk Marcolina Through June 10 At Film Forum 209 West Houston St. (West of Sixth Ave.) Screenings daily at 12:45, 2:40, 4:30, 6:20, 8:10 & 10:00 p.m. Visit

Courtesy of Films Transit International

Filmmakers Matthew Pond (left) and Kirk Marcolina, with Doris Payne.

BY SEAN EGAN Even Doris Payne’s closest friends understand that she is nowhere near the charming, innocent old woman she appears to be on the surface. “Doris is no saint,” says her lifelong friend, Jean. “Her horns are holding her halo up. But she’s 80 years old — come on, give her a break!” Jean says this as she’s waiting in court to hear a jury’s verdict on whether or not Doris goes to jail. You see, Doris Payne is not only a charismatic, elderly mother of two — she’s also a notorious international jewel thief. Payne is a woman of contradictions, equal parts legend and liar, hero and criminal. In the new documentary “The Life and Crimes of Doris Payne,” directors Matthew Pond and Kirk Marcolina find tension in their attempts to pin down exactly who Doris Payne is, and what she stands for. It’s something of a Sisyphean task — an exercise in scrutinizing the inscrutable. As the film begins, Doris is facing some serious jail time for allegedly stealing an expensive ring from a Macy’s. She claims that she never stole anything from the store, despite the fact that the description of the thief’s


June 05, 2014

methods fit her M.O., and the fact that the store possesses (admittedly blurry) footage of the thief who may or may not be Doris. By centering the film around the trial, the filmmakers present an engaging “Did she or didn’t she?” narrative, which also is able to highlight the differences between the Doris of her heyday, and present-day Doris — who struggles to outwit modern technology and the law. The movie spends a lot of time recounting the decades Doris spent building a name for herself amongst jewel thieves. Using her considerable charms and beauty, and adopting an air of upper class sophistication that belied her roots as a poor southern child from a home with an abusive father, Doris was able to lull jewelry store owners into a false sense of security — which allowed her to rob them blind, repeatedly, and still (according to her) never get caught by authorities walking out of the stores. When all was said and done, she’d stolen over $2 million, hopped across continents and outsmarted all her accomplices and law enforcement agents along the way.

Periodically a host of interviewees crop up to play armchair psychologist, theorizing what motivated Doris to steal, by taking into consideration all of her life story. While she was ruthless in order to get ahead, she also had to deal with growing up in the segregated south as a woman of color. Doris herself said she saw her stealing as some kind of revenge for the prejudice that she faced as a black woman in the 1950s-70s. She also used her ill-gotten gains to support her children, and help her mother escape an abusive relationship. On the other hand, the money funded her expensive tastes and trips abroad (to steal more). There’s also the undeniable rush she felt when stealing that indicates something more selfish at play underneath her claims of righteous criminality. The film is at its most intellectually interesting during these sections — but it fails to dig deeper into the psychology of its subject, to see what makes her tick. Spending more time with Doris’ family would certainly be more enlightening. And the film could definitely have had

more cutting insight, by conducting a thorough examination of how racial inequality and sexism shaped the young Doris, as well as the larger effects these factors had on society as a whole. But then one can’t complain too much, as Payne herself is a fascinating and lively subject. The doc comes to life whenever she’s on screen. She’s everything her critics and admirers say she is: sweet, whip smart, classy, funny — and never to be completely trusted. She is, after all, a criminal who spent years fooling people into believing she something she’s not. This makes Doris tremendous fun to watch, because you’re constantly trying to figure out whether she’s being candid, fudging the truth or telling outright lies in order to build up her legacy or get out of trouble. While most of these present-day interviews and day-to-day footage are shot in a manner similar to a standard History Channel program, the film nonetheless is able to inject a distinct sense of style into the proceedings. Doris’ anecdotes about past capers are augmented by re-enactments which are all soft-focus and supersaturated color — reminiscent of glamorous Technicolor films of yore, like 1955’s “To Catch a Thief” (amusingly, one of Payne’s favorite films and an inspiration for a particularly daring theft/escape). Combined with the playful, jazzy score that accompanies most of these tales, “The Life and Crimes of Doris Payne” capture a vibrant, nostalgic atmosphere that stands in stark contrast to the more clinical filmmaking. Overall, this is an entertaining, if slight, documentary about a largerthan-life figure. At its best, the documentary asks audiences to consider what circumstances shaped Doris into the unique individual she is, and challenges them to discern what is real and what’s an enticing lie. That Doris Payne is such a fun, memorable subject is just the cherry on top. .com


JOE FLEMING: “SUCKERPUNCH” Fleming’s first New York solo show features a selection of paintings that employ an array of recycled materials. Enamel and spray foam are among the favored ingredients here and aid in generating an overall raw energy. The better-known Anselm Reyle comes to mind, but Fleming keeps his shapes more distinctly graphic. He embraces geometry in his forms, which are contrasted with brushy gestural backgrounds. Many of Fleming’s paintings are built up and heavily textured, suggesting that Fleming has a keen interest in sculptural qualities. By focusing on vivid variety, “Suckerpunch” translates as a dynamic and enthusiastic indulgence of color, form, and gesture. Through June 14, at Mike Weiss Gallery (520 W. 24th St., btw. 10th & 11th Aves.). Hours: Tues. - Sat., 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. Call 212-691-6899 or visit

LARRY CLARK: “they thought i were but i aren’t anymore…” Known primarily for his significant photographic and filmic works, Clark has recently expanded his creative production to the mediums of sculpture and painting. This exhibition serves

© Larry Clark; Courtesy of the artist and Luhring Augustine, New York.

Larry Clark’s “Knoxville (homage to Brad Renfro).” (2011 | Color photographs on board | 42 X 86 inches; 106.68 X 218.44 cm).

as a significant survey of his oeuvre, featuring works from 1961 to the present. His earliest portrait of his friend Johnny Bridges, made with a Rolleiflex camera borrowed from his mother, is as much part of this tour de force as later paintings. As a fervent collector, Clark sources inspiration from a large collection of snapshots and printed material. His main interest has been, and remains, kids on the brink of becoming men and

women, capturing some of the beautiful, painful, productive and destructive aspects involved in this transition. June 7 - Aug. 1, at Luhring Augustine (531 W. 24th St., btw. 10th

& 11th Aves.). Hours: Tues. - Sat., 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. After July 4: Mon. - Fri., 10 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. For more info, call 212-206-9100 or visit

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Joe Fleming’s “The Flood #2” (2014 | Enamel, spray-foam, streetsign, metal, wood | 45x42x10in). On view at Mike Weiss Gallery, through June 14. .com

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CHELSEA MUSIC FESTIVAL Artfully designed to stimulate the senses while stirring the soul, the Chelsea Music Festival’s fifth annual edition will celebrate Germany and Brazil with evening and daytime concerts, free outdoor performances, family events, talks and panels, tastings and gallery viewings. Among the over 100 artists gathering from around the corner and throughout the globe: The Amaryllis Quartett (Germany), Rogerio Boccato (Brazil), chefs Lance Nitahara and Sonar Saikia, jazz pianists Adam Birnbaum and Helen Sung, scent sculpturist Christophe Laudamiel, experimental Brazilian band Choro Dragão, and WQXR Q2 Music’s Conor Hanick. The June 6 Opening Night Gala (“Air on a New York Skyline”) happens at W. 26th St.’s Canoe Studios. The festival wraps up on June 14, with a jazz program: “Alma Brasileira: Beyond the Clouds of Corcovado” (at St. Paul’s German Lutheran Church, on W. 22nd St.). June 6–14, at venues including Dillon Gallery, the General Theological Seminary Chapel, Herald Square Park, Manhattan School of Music, The New School Auditorium and Clement Clarke Moore Park. Tickets range from $8-$68. At the door, with ID: $10 per ticket discount for students and seniors. For reservations and a full schedule, including info on free “CMF@Noon” outdoor concerts, visit Twitter: @ cmf_nyc. Also see

Photo courtesy of Hudson Guild Theatre Company

Wherefore art thou? Gierre Godley (Romeo to June Lee’s Juliet) is at the Hudson Guild Theatre, through June 15.

HUDSON GUILD THEATRE COMPANY’S CONTEMPORARY DANCE ADAPTATION OF “ROMEO AND JULIET” Hudson Guild Theatre Company adds to its recent string of imaginatively staged adaptations (including a hip hop version of “The Misanthrope”), with this contemporary dance version of “Romeo and Juliet.” Set to excerpts from Sergei Prokofiev’s score for the ballet, the 30-member cast features children and seniors from Guild programs performing alongside young professional dancers from the Matthew Westerby Company. This is the latest collaboration between UK-born choreographer Westerby and Hudson Guild’s Director of Arts, Jim Furlong — the team responsible for HGTC’s acclaimed 2012 production of “The Sleeping Beauty.” Rounding out the reunion: “Beauty” alum Megan Peti serves as lighting designer, while Amy Pedigo-Otto takes her sixth turn as the theatre company’s costume designer. The title roles are danced by Westerby Company members Gierre Godley and Jun Lee. Fri., June 6 & 13 at 8 p.m. Sat., June 7 & 14 at 2 p.m. Sun., June 8 & 15 at 3 p.m. At Hudson Guild Theatre (441 W. 26th St., btw. 9th & 10th Aves.). Admission is “Pay What You Wish.” For reservations & info, call 212-760-9817. Visit and .com

Needles, Knives, Past and Present Lives ‘Retrograde’ is a true rush

Photo by Len DeLessio (

‘Retrograde’ author Puma Perl hosts her quarterly “Pandemonium” event on June 27, at The Bowery Electric’s Map Room.

BY SCOTT STIFFLER Clean and sharply focused when it really should be scratched and cloudy, considering everything it’s been through, Puma Perl’s mirror has two equally unforgiving settings: rear view, and front and center. “20 years since I shot my last speedball & I’m still losing teeth,” she says, in the first line of “& I’m Still Losing.” That wry observation comes early and hits hard, in “Retrograde.” Released last week, it’s the first single author poetry release from great weather for MEDIA. Perl’s 76-item collection of poetry and short prose finds her no longer using heroin, but still in firm possession of a temperament that makes the take-no-crap author an extremely light touch, nonetheless, for the temptation to get lost in contemplating old haunts, habits and patterns. That sort of sobriety’s not an easy road to travel — but it makes for an extremely authentic and unsentimental look at the gritty and dangerous New York that has since been glamourized, mourned and burnt beyond recognition into the realm of cultural mythology. Brooklyn native and longtime Lower East Side resident Puma Perl was there, though — apparently keeping at least one eye open for keen observation, even when nodding off. “Retrograde” takes you on past and present trips to Brooklyn, Coney Island and all points below Delancey. Both deeply connected and uncomfortably detached, it’s a world of nicotine patches, faked orgasms, thwarted hook-up text messages, comparative lists of arrests and addictions, creature comforts stolen from rehab stints, and the knowledge that Perl’s ill-advised lean out the window to get that .com

perfect photo would surely be mistaken for a suicide attempt if she were to fall. No matter. The chance to greet each new day with an “Oh shit” is, in its own way, a victory of sorts — even if each turn of the corner comes with a reminder of the hellish lows and high times of an addict’s life. “Every step is a memory, imprinted, unseen,” she writes in “Imprinted,” unable to stop thinking about the woman who exits a Seventh St. boutique and performs what may or may not be a flirtatious maneuver for her waiting husband. As she “dances in my space, in my sidewalk square,” Perl notes how her old self might have “danced back, flirted with her man just cause I could. Today smoky spirits surround me, invisible to tap dancing women wearing newsboy caps.” Hear some of the author’s own words, in her actual voice, when you attend the June 27 edition of “Puma Perl’s Pandemonium.” This quarterly music and spoken word event will feature work from “Retrograde” as well as performances from Tony Brown and the Duende Project, Rew Starr, Joff Wilson, Jeff Sztabnik, Jeff Ward, and others. “Over the last few years,” says Perl, “performing with musicians has shaped my work, providing new rhythms and keeping it fresh each time. Many of the poems in this book are a result of these collaborations.” “Puma Perl’s Pandemonium” happens at 7 p.m. on Fri., June 27, at The Bowery Electric’s Map Room (327 Bowery, btw. Second & Third Sts.). Free. Drink specials, 21+. “Retrograde” was released on June 1, by great weather for MEDIA. Visit and

Aquarius The final ingredient of a difficult dish will come to you — in the form of a song lyric overheard while waiting in line. Pisces Temper your appetite for more, when a game of chance keeps going your way. Aries Friends give you the star treatment, upon observing how events in your life parallel the plot of a recent box office smash. Taurus Your mood, this week, is like a vegetarian at a backyard barbeque: Defensive at first, but agreeably sociable when plied with strong beverages. Gemini Accept the offer, adaptable Gemini, when the post office mistakenly delivers a letter of invite to teach anthropology at a small rural college. Cancer The exotic new flavor of a popular beverage prompts you to uncharacteristic acts of binge consumption. Don’t become obsessed! Leo Your near miss encounter with a meteorite will imbue you with awesome super powers. Use them wisely! Virgo Tame your stubborn nature by swallowing a bitter pill called “pride,” whose aftertaste will be sugary sweet when Karma comes knocking. Libra A breeze, the trees, friends and fate occupy the tip of an iceberg that floats in a sea of things you lack the power to control or create. Scorpio Your ability to see a troubled co-worker’s problems from all angles mushrooms into a lucrative break room counseling business. Sagittarius Carpets, pigs and penguins have as much chance of successfully taking flight as that FroYo franchise you keep dreaming about. The trend has peaked! Capricorn Stop carrying a sweater around, and accept the fact that spring has sprung. June fashion hawks squawk their loud approval for white, not wool!

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Yoga Poses in the Park BY TEAM HEAT (Devon Cormack & Heather Hardy) With spring in full force and summer on the horizon, it’s time to once again enjoy all the beautiful landscapes that our city has to offer. Instead of taking a run on the treadmill or doing 30 minutes on the elliptical, head outdoors for some yoga in the park! Yoga has numerous benefits for your mental and physical health. In addition to enhancing flexibility, it greatly improves circulation, muscle tone, and balance. These five poses strengthen your core and improve flexibility, making for a killer workout — but this routine is also a great way to top off an outdoor run or a bike ride. You might want to bring a mat or a towel to lie down on, and pick an area on the grass that is as flat as possible in order to go easy on your back, and be

comfortable under your feet. The photos from this yoga workout were taken at Hudson River Park’s Pier 66, near W. 26th St. — on one of those perfect Chelsea spring afternoons! Devon Cormack and Heather “The Heat” Hardy work at Gleason’s Gym (77 Front St., Brooklyn) as personal trainers, while prepping for fights. Currently holding a professional record of 9 wins and 0 losses, Heather “The Heat” Hardy will enter into the history books on June 14, as a participant in the first female fight at Barclays Center. Chelsea resident Devon Cormack is a BOAT POSE three-time World Kickboxing Champion Begin seated, with your back erect and your toes pointing to the sky. Lean back who coordinates fight scenes for film & on your forearms for stability, and raise your legs until they make a 45-degree angle. TV. If you have a fitness or nutrition Engage your core and stretch your arms out until they are parallel with your legs. question for Heather or Devon, send Your body should look like a V from the side. an email to askteamheat@chelseanow. com. For more info, visit and follow her Also visit

DOWNWARD DOG Start on your hands and knees, with your hands under your shoulders and fingertips spread. On a deep exhale, push your hips up to the sky, allowing your heels to easily drop to the grass, and keeping your head aligned with the insides of your upper arms. Breathe deeply in and out, engaging and tightening your core, and allowing your heels to sink deeper into the ground with every exhale out. The rest position is back down on your hands and knees.

CAMEL POSE Begin on your knees, with your back erect. Reach your arms around and grab your heels, drop your head between your shoulders and press your hips as far forward as they will go.

Photos by Devon Cormack


Begin standing up, with your spine aligned and your arms raised straight up COBRA POSE in the air. Your inner arms should be lined up with your ears. Move your left foot Begin lying on your stomach, with your head resting in your arms. Draw your backwards, and tilt your arms simultaneously so that your back and neck forms a arms around your body and place them next to your ribs, fingertips forward. Lift straight line. Straighten your right knee. Continue slowly inching this motion until your head and look towards the sky while pressing up with your arms, engaging your arms, your raised leg, and your back are parallel with the floor. your core. .com

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