VOLUME 27, NUMBER 2
JULY 3-JULY 16, 2014
DOWNTOWN EXPRESS ADDS MORE SISTER NEWSPAPERS
B Y J O SH RO G E R S
ennifer Goodstein, the owner of Downtown Express and NYC Community Media, and her husband Les Goodstein have agreed to buy Community Newspaper Group, which publishes 11 community newspapers in Brooklyn, Queens and the Bronx. “This is an exciting time as we expand to the outer boroughs,” Express publisher Jennifer Goodstein said of the purchase from News Corp. “My priority will remain the papers serving Lower Manhattan and Gay City News. From an editorial standpoint, the papers remain committed to serving the residents of Downtown Manhattan. Our sales and marketing team is eager to offer our advertisers great opportunities to reach new markets through the C.N.G. newspapers, magazines and websites.” In addition to the Express and Gay City News, NYC Community Media also publishes The Villager, Chelsea Now and the East Villager. Les G o o d ste i n c r e ate d Community Newspaper Group as an executive with News Corp. in 2006 and ran it until 2013. “Besides my love of newspapers, it was an honor to complete this transaction with News Corp.,” he said in a statement. “I look forward to the continued success of the Community Newspaper Group. Both my wife and I are members of the community and are pleased to continue serving the readers of Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens and the Bronx. We plan to expand local coverage with local news important to the neighborhoods we serve.” Continued on page 14
Downtown Express photo by Milo Hess
Hopping at the Seaport A shorter River to River festival wrapped things up last weekend after 11 days, but there’s plenty to do Downtown this July 4th weekend (Page 6) and along Water St. this summer (Page 13). Although things were hopping at the Seaport last Saturday, there were some Southbridge Towers residents who complained about the noise from the stage.
Bitcoins by the Big Board B Y Z ACH W IL L IAMS Bitcoins have not made it to Wall St. yet, but the fledgling digital currency has a home a few doors down from the New York Stock Exchange at the Bitcoin Center NYC. Enthusiasts regularly congregate at 40 Broad St. on Monday and Thursday nights for informal currency trading which commences after the ringing of a small brass bell at 7 p.m. The exchange of ideas carries equal intellectual weight for newcomers as well as hardcore software engineers. Lower Manhattan hosts the only Bitcoin center in the United States, said the center’s spokesperson, Alex
Palantzas. A “BTM” remains on display though center visitors cannot use it because of current laws against money laundering. But the imitations on the spread of bitcoins may not last long, Plantzas added. “We expect to consolidate ourselves as the best physical location to learn about digital currencies, present new forms of digital currencies. Once the state issues the ‘Bit’ licenses, we will be involved in more activities and hopefully we can expand into more physical locations in the U.S. and abroad,” he said. The details surrounding the invention of Bitcoin by a Japanese computer programmer named Satoshi remain
5 15 C A N AL ST RE ET • NYC 10 013 • COP Y RIG HT © 2013 N YC COMMU N ITY MED IA , LLC
unclear. Bitcoin references the computer software and network, which create and track the provenance of bitcoins, while the lowercase plural word refers to the digital currency. Commercial transactions occur through the use of a smart phone application which manages the transfer of funds from buyer to seller through the use of a “QR code,” a digital standard which utilizes black and white squares to form internet addresses. All transactions are anonymous, irreversible and utilize encryption to minimize the risk of fraud. One bitcoin currently equals about Continued on page 9
Alley cats lose colony after people fight BY SER G E I KL E B N I KO V “Where have the Broome St. Alley Cats gone?” reads a flier posted by local residents of the Amalgamated Dwellings building complex. The flier calls for help as the last elderly cats of what used to be an established feral cat colony pass away. The “Broome St. Alley” cats, reportedly one of the oldest and most successfully managed such colonies in New York City, has come to an end. A large number of cats used to populate the alley — which runs next to Luther Gulick Playground — spilling over into the Amalgamated Dwellings basement and the neighboring Hillman Housing complex’s grounds. Using a trap-neuter-and-release program, locals had been caring for the cats for decades. However, after adopting out friendly felines, only several elderly ones were left — too old to be moved, and living in a basement of the Amalgamated Dwellings. “There has been a cat colony established here for a long time,” said Janet Jensen, a local resident who took care of the cats. “When I first moved in years ago, there were 40 cats in the alley and park.”
Ellen Renstrom has been tending to However, he added, “We never gave the animals for almost 10 years. She residents permission to use the building pointed out that it was indeed a “registered for them.” colony” for many years, since the feral The board member said that they cats were vaccinated and had microchips “didn’t end any colony,” and were acting implanted in their ears. by order of the rodent control expert However, after the cats’ entrance to the to prevent a looming rat infestation. basement was blocked off due to a poten- Originally, he said, the board and proptially serious rat infestation, the remaining erty manager were against removing the elderly critters had nowhere to go, accord- cats. But after waiting a couple of months, ing to several residents who were taking it was noticed that rats were getting into care of them. This issue had fueled prior the building, and the decision was made disagreements about the animals between to close the vents. a few residents and the development’s The board also cited complaints about board of trustees. the cats that were received by a few shareRequesting anonymity, a member of holders in the buildings. Besides the issue the Amalgamated Dwellings board of of fear of a rat infestation, there were comtrustees explained the board’s decision on plaints about some of the cats carrying closing the basement vents. Last February, diseases. One of the worst cases, the board he said, after a dead cat and several dead member pointed out, is that outdoor cats rats were discovered in the vents, a wild- are “the primary hosts” of taxoplasmosis, life expert was brought in to check the a disease estimated to infect almost 30 building and found that there was a rat percent of humans worldwide, according infestation. With animal laws forbidding to a March 21 New York Times article the extermination of rats with cats inside headlined, “The Evil of the Outdoor Cat.” the basement, he said, the board gave Taxoplasmosis, according to the artiresidents “every opportunity to relocate T:8.75” the cats.” Continued on page 3
Scrappy and other Broome St. Alley cats, who have all died since Amalgamated Dwellings cut off their basement access. Scrappy passed away on June 10.
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NewYork-Presbyterian is now in lower Manhattan. Where over a million people live, work and play. The only hospital below 14th Street brings access to advanced specialties and a 24-hour adult and children’s emergency department. Learn more at nyp.org/lowermanhattan
I N PROU D COLLABORATION WITH
July 3-July 16, 2014
Reports of surveillance drones in Battery Park City BY ZACH WILLIAMS There is not much that local law enforcement can do regarding reports of small flying drones possibly taking peaks into Battery Park City residents’ high-rise windows. Sergeant Phuchon Srisuro of the B.P.C. Parks Enforcement Patrol told Community Board 1 members on July 1 that there were two reports of unmanned drones flying near Rockefeller Park last month. Though his officers did not observe the incidents first-hand, there is currently little they can do except observe and question suspicious operators. “It looks like that technology is more forward than the law now,” he told C.B.1’s Battery Park City Committee. He added that discussions are ongoing with the N.Y.P.D First Precinct, which is examining current laws through its legal department regarding privately-operated unmanned drones. In a telephone interview with Downtown Express on July 2, Srisuro said that the exact size and model
drones involved in the two complaints were unknown to him beyond it being “a flying object.” The N.Y.P.D. First Precinct took reports of the incidents, Srisuro said. Representatives of the First Precinct did not respond for comment by press time. Unmanned drones first gained public notice for military applications including missile strikes. However, more recently they have been sought for use by law enforcement, industry and private citizens. Compared with model aircraft, their technological sophistication permits higher altitudes, longer distances, greater autonomy from the operator and better digital add-ons such as cameras. “Reckless” use of model aircraft and drones within populated areas are on the rise, according to the Federal Aviation Administration [F.A.A.] which announced on June 23 updates to its policy regarding private use of such technology. “The F.A.A is also developing a
Downtown Express file photo by Milo Hess
This drone was a fake that coincidentally flew over Rockefeller Park a year ago as part of a Laurie Anderson performance, but this week, Parks Enforcement Patrol Sergeant Phuchon Srisuro, below, told Community Board 1’s B.P.C. Committee that police are investigating two recent reports of surveillance drones near the park.
plan to work with the law enforcement community to help them understand the F.A.A’s rules for unmanned aircraft systems, as well as the special statutory rules for model aircraft operators, so they can more effectively protect public safety,” reads a June 23 F.A.A.
statement. Public comment on the policies will be heard 30 from their publication in the Federal Register, the statement read. Members of the public can comment by calling 1-866-835-5322, option 4.
Broome St. cats Continued from page 2
cle, produces lifelong parasitic cysts in the brain, and although usually asymptomatic, can be linked to neurological impairments, depression, blindness and birth defects. Brooke Myers, another local resident, started taking care of the cats many years ago after constantly seeing them outside her first-floor window. She said the complaints led to “bad feeling between neighbors” and an “uptight scene.” A petition, “on behalf of Amalgamated Cats,” was even started by several local residents. The Amalgamated Dwellings board received 22 signatures. The board, along with property manager A.M Katz Real Estate, sent out an e-mail to all of the petitioners to explain the reasons behind their decision, mainly citing the cats as a health hazard. At that point, most of the cat advocates “deserted the cause or apologized,” the board member claimed. However, Myers said, “People got screamed at and threatened” for signing the petition. “They could have at least left the shelters,” said Renstrom. She explained DowntownExpress.com
that makeshift cat shelters, provided by Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals, were repeatedly removed by the board. Jensen added that after the vents were boarded up, the elderly cats “had no real shelter anymore.” However, the pro-cat residents agreed that A.M Katz tried to remove the animals “in a humane way,” and pointed out that they were just acting on the board’s orders. The Amalgamated board downplayed the whole affair. The board member reiterated that they had nothing against the cats, and their removal was necessary for the health and safety of the building’s shareholders. Currently, out of the three elderly cats that remained several months ago, two are dead and one is missing, also presumed dead. The local residents who have been taking care of the cats for so many years were sad to see all of them gone. “There probably won’t be cats in the building ever again, and a lot of people are very sad about that,” said Myers. “The colony came to an unfortunate and sad end,” Jensen said. “The cats didn’t need to die this way,” Renstrom said. “It’s a loss for the neighborhood.”
Some of the former Broome St. Alley cats eating food that was left for them. July 3-July 16, 2014
BEATEN IN DAYLIGHT A 24-year-old FiDi man was beaten with a metal bat at the corner of Gold and Ann Sts. last Sunday at 6 p.m. Police say he suffered cuts and bruises to his head, shoulder and arms. The suspect got into a silver BMW with New York plates and sped off with an unknown number of accomplices in the car. Police did not offer an explanation for the crime on June 29, or release a description of the suspects.
SLASH & SLURS A subway rider was cut in the face by a woman who also used racial and homophobic slurs against him, police said. The victim, a 33-year-old black man, was on a Downtown A train Friday night, June 20 at about 11 p.m. when he said a 25-year-old white - Hispanic woman got on at Spring St., sat down next to him and complained that he didn’t slide over to make room. She used the N-word and also called him a “faggot,” then pushed his arm, knocking his watch to the floor, police said. The suspect picked up the watch and threw it at the man’s face,
causing what was described as a large cut between his eyes, police said. The victim was taken to Bellevue Hospital and the woman was arrested and charged with assault. Police did not refer the crime to the bias unit.
DEATH THREAT OVER RED BULL A robber made off with 10 4-packs of Red Bull on a Tuesday evening after threatening to kill the 7-Eleven store clerk who tried to stop him, police said. The clerk saw the thief put one of the 4-packs in his jacket before the employee followed him outside the Tribeca store at 311 Broadway at 6:30 p.m., June 17, police said. It was there that the thief pulled out a knife and told the clerk, “I will slit your throat and [screw] your family,” according to police. The drinks were valued at $100.
BAD CLUB HOOKUP A woman lost a few thousand dollars worth of belongings at Sway Lounge just before midnight Thursday night, June 26, police said. The woman said she put her purse on a hook under the bar and soon discovered it
was taken. She lost $1,400 in phones — an iPhone 5s and a BlackBerry — a $900 Louis Vuitton wallet, a purple $200 Ralph Lauren purse, Bose headphones worth $130, a pair of Tory Burch shoes of unspecified value, earrings, perfume, a MetroCard, makeup and $40 cash.
DOLLARS & POUNDS TAKEN A British insurance executive living temporarily in FiDi had his pocket picked while eating lunch at Zeytuna last week, police said. The victim, 41, told police he felt jostling while he was eating June 25 at about 1:30 p.m., but only later realized his wallet was taken. He lost nearly $550 in U.S. cash and 135 pounds, which are currently valued at about $230. He also lost a $220 wallet.
ROCKY PARK RIPOFF A 23-year-old Battery Park City resident had his wallet and phone stolen while he was playing basketball in Rockefeller Park, Mon., June 23 at 2:45 p.m., police said. The victim was able to recover the phone, which he thought the thief took to Battery Park. The man, who had put his belongings down while he was playing, tracked the phone in the park to the south, but when he got there, he met a city park worker who said the phone was found to the north in Tribeca at Duane Park. Police say his $75 wallet was stolen along with a New York State ID card valued at $80, a $35 weekly MetroCard, and $25 cash.
PORSCHE TROUBLE COMES IN 3’S Twice in a two-week period, three shoplifters stole a $2,000 bag from Soho’s Porsche Design store on W. Broadway. In both cases, the trio consisted of two women and one man, but police have apparently not linked the crimes. In the latest incident on June 22 just after 1 p.m., the man removed one bag near the entrance, and then one of the women took a bag in the window, while the third suspect acted as a lookout. Employees chased the thieves outside and were able to recover one of the bags, but the trio got away with the other one, worth $2,250. The shoplifters sped off in a gray Nissan sedan with Virginia license plates. The car was recorded entering Manhattan from the Brooklyn Bridge before the crime. The first shoplift, as Downtown Express reported previously, was on June 10, when three suspects stole a bag in the window at the 465 W. Broadway store and fled.
MAINLAND CRIME A 20-year-old woman in a hurry to get to the Governors Island ferry on a Sunday morning had her Samsung Galaxy 3 phone picked from her back pocket as she was walking down South St. June 22 at about 10:55 a.m. The crime occurred near 116 South St., police said. The woman was listening to music on her $400 phone when the man grabbed it and ran up South St., turning on Peck Slip. The woman gave chase but could not catch the thief.
EXPENSIVE TREAT GATEWAY PLAZA CAR BREAK-IN A $4,300 accordion was stolen out of a car parked at the Gateway Plaza garage, police said. The victim, 61, said he parked his Nissan Pathfinder in the Battery Park City garage on Sun., June 1 from 5:15 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., and then drove back to his Queens home only to discover his instrument was gone. He did not report the crime for three weeks.
We’ve Got Nothing to Hide
July 3-July 16, 2014
Perhaps it was a harried father trying to keep his child in tow, but whatever the reason, a Brooklyn Heights man left his $3,000 bike unlocked for 15 minutes outside Tribeca Treats last Saturday at 4:30 p.m. He returned to find his bike was gone along with a $300 child seat and a $200 front light, police said.
— JOSH ROGERS
Authentic Thai & Vegetarian
F ery! De l i v 1 0 $ Min. 88 Fulton Street (Corner of 33 Gold St.) New York, NY 10038 212.587.8930 | 212.587.8935 DowntownExpress.com
‘Soho Wild Man’ arrested for stabbing vendor B Y L I N CO L N A ND E R S O N Everyone — from residents to merchants — has always said Richard Pearson would surely kill someone if the menacing, mentally ill man was allowed to keep roaming the streets of Soho and Nolita. Last week on June 23rd, he almost did. According to police, at 11:10 a.m., Pearson, 49, grabbed a pair of scissors off vendor Baare Batchiri’s table on Broadway just south of Houston St., and then plunged the shears into the 60-year-old’s chest. Pearson stands 6 feet 4 inches, weighs 250 pounds and is extremely strong. He had reportedly been arguing with a passerby, then decided to come at Batchiri, who was selling cell-phone accessories. Batchiri, an African immigrant, was taken to Bellevue Hospital, where he was recovering Tuesday, being treated for a punctured lung. After the attack, Pearson fled into a nearby subway. But, as the New York Post reported, the wounded Batchiri followed him to make sure he wouldn’t get away, and police were able to arrest the hulking Pearson. He was charged with attempted murder, assault and criminal weapon possession. Pearson, a.k.a. the “Soho Wild Man,” has a lengthy rap sheet with 21 arrests over more than three decades. He recently did a six-month stint in jail for cocaine possession, though prosecutors were unable to convict him on charges of allegedly attacking someone with a brick last May, which could have kept him behind bars longer. Local residents and merchants had packed the courtroom at Pearson’s first hearing, trying to influence the judge to give him a stiffer sentence. Bernard Thompson, 50, Batchiri’s partner, was off running an errand last week on Monday morning when Pearson was attacked. He arrived 20 minutes after the stabbing. “When I reached the table, I see all this red — I thought it was paint,” Thompson said. A detective and a lieutenant were on the scene talking to Batchiri before he was taken to the hospital, and writing down the charges. “I seen ’em do the paperwork — ‘attempted murder,’ ” Thompson said. DowntownExpress.com
He spoke to a reporter the day after the stabbing as he was helping a jewelry vendor at the other man’s table. Ironically, he said, he and Batchiri would try to help Pearson when they could. If the homeless man was slumped down on the sidewalk outside the Ricky’s store, they’d buy him a coffee, he said. “One day he’d have shoes, one day not,” Thompson said. “One day he’d have dirty clothes, one day not.” He said he’d heard Pearson had knocked a woman out on Broadway once when he was panhandling and she refused him. The homeless terror has also harassed tourists when they were browsing his table, Thompson said. “He should have been off the streets a long time ago,” Thompson said. “I believe when he takes his medication, he’s a normal person. When he doesn’t, he’s a time bomb. But he’s crazy, man. He’s a menace to society. He disrespects all the tourists and families. “Two weeks ago, they arrested him down the block and took him to Bellevue. Out the next day. But now they got him.” Spring St. resident Christina Nenov is among those who have been vociferously warning that Pearson is extremely dangerous and should be off the streets. She said the vendor’s stabbing is similar to the recent tragic incident where another mentally ill man, for no reason, stabbed two young children — one fatally — in an elevator in a Brooklyn housing project. “There’s a big problem, but no one in government wants to touch it with a 10-foot pole,” she said. “But this was bound to happen. I think there needs to be some kind of legislation passed that gets this man — who is very sick — the help he needs. It’s clear that this man is going to relapse over and over and over. “They’ll put him in jail, and when he gets out next time, it’ll be a murder,” she predicted. “This is an escalating problem and it’s a foreseeable problem.” In fact, it’s not the first time Pearson has gone after someone with a knife, she said. “He punched the halal guy, Mohammed, outside the Duane Reade on Spring St.,” she said, “opened his cart, and grabbed an 18-inch, serrated knife, and chased a guy across the street who was sitting outside Gatsby’s who had prosthetic legs.” Almost everyone, it seems, has had a
Downtown Express photo by Lincoln Anderson / Inset: Downtown Express File Photo by Jefferson Siegel
Vendor Bernard Thompson, whose partner was stabbed Monday, said both of them would sometimes buy coffee for the suspect, Richard Pearson (inset). a.k.a the “Soho Wild Man.”
negative interaction with Pearson. “Chipotle — they have countless stories,” Nenov said. “Marc Jacobs has had problems. Pearson was throwing chairs in Starbucks. The shoe store guy was attacked — he has some video of it online — he was pushed and shoved. Balthazar tries to keep him away with the doorman. The guy at the smoke shop at Spring and Lafayette had a restraining order against him — the day it was lifted, he went in there.” It seems no one — and no animal — is immune from the walking quality-of-life nightmare. “There’s a group of little old ladies from Little Italy,” Nenov said. “He would pick up their little dogs and rub his face all over them.” Recently, the suspect’s threatening behavior had reportedly increased and had been raising alarm among locals. “My husband noticed — [Pearson] was off his meds,” she said. Nenov forwarded an e-mail she received last week from the owner of a Spring St. P.R. firm: “I called 911 on Richard so there is documentation on Tuesday, June 17th because he [was] making anti-gay slurs towards my gay male employees that night when we were returning to the office after an event around 9:30 PM. He was also lurching towards them. I instructed my staff to call the police if ever threatens them again.” Another local woman e-mailed Nenov on June 16 to say she had seen Pearson lying on the ground at Prince and Broadway at 7:30 that morning
and loudly screaming the “F” word over and over. “I crossed over to the other side of the street, he is quite menacing,” she wrote. “I am going to call the police now.” Myoung Suk Cho, a cashier at Deli & Cafe Cyber, on Spring St. near Lafayette St., said Pearson’s behavior is erratic. “Sometimes he’s screaming, fighting — bothering us, bothering customers,” she said as she organized a box of candy bars on Tuesday. “Sometimes, he says, ‘Hi, Miss,’ and sometimes, ‘F—— something.’ I don’t understand. “Usually, my husband picks me up in his car after work. One day, I took the subway and [Pearson] followed me. He was shouting at me. I don’t say nothing.” However, knowing Pearson is in custody is giving many Soho denizens peace of mind. The diminutive Nenov, who is disabled, was once cornered in a store by him. “He trapped me in the little jewelry store, with a manager and two employees,” she said. “It was very, very scary. He’s blocking the entrance and he’s threatening to force us to commit sexual acts on him. And I’ll never forget — when the police came, they said, ‘We didn’t see it, so there’s nothing we can do.’ They were just kind of dismissive of the whole incident. That was a bad day.” As she spoke on her cell phone Tuesday evening as she walked down Spring St., she said, “I see him quite often, and I’ll just wait until he leaves, and then I’ll go home. In a weird way, I feel safer tonight walking home.” July 3-July 16, 2014
Fireworks, music & history top July 4 festivities BY JAN E L B L A D O W Downtown explodes this July 4th weekend. Fun, parties, tours and talks fill the streets, waters and sky around Lower Manhattan. The blast begins with a four-day Pier/Party of music and movies in the South Street Seaport. Topping off the holiday weekend festivities is the massive patriotic Macy’s pyrotechnics from the Brooklyn Bridge to Battery Park. “The South Street Seaport’s PIER/ PARTY will have a little something for everyone over the July 4th holiday weekend,” said Phillip St. Pierre, Howard Hughes Corporation’s general manager at the South Street Seaport. “From a diverse lineup of live music, to swing dancing, kids’ activities, and more — not to mention a spectacular view of the fireworks display — visitors can expect an exciting array of non-stop activities for the entire family. We’re excited to bring the Downtown community great outdoor offerings.” While fun is a great part of July 4th celebrations, the true meaning of this all-American holiday is the heart of other activities in Lower Manhattan. James Kaplan, an attorney and historian who has led walking tours Downtown for more than 30 years, believes hot dog eating contests have their place in the revelry, but what our forefathers wanted us to celebrate every year – freedom and liberty — is important to remember between barbeques and fireworks. “For many years people lost the meaning of July 4,” Kaplan said. “Historically and politically Lower Manhattan is forever linked with July 4. By bringing back the city’s biggest celebration — including the evening’s Macy’s Fireworks — people can learn about and be a part of America’s history.” So for the history buffs, patriots, partiers, fireworks fans, superhero lovers, kids and kids at heart, take some time to celebrate Downtown’s role in American history, dance to music and cheer the greatest fireworks show on earth. Here’s your guide to activities for everyone. PIE R/ PA RT Y South Street Seaport hosts three days of entertainment. Activities include live music, family fun, and heroic movies. All events are free and open to the public. Neighborhood bars and restaurants as well as food trucks will have special menu items including their usually tasty treats.
July 3-July 16, 2014
There’s All American music for everyone, celebrating great American styles, including swing, blues, bluegrass and classic marching bands. Kicking off the weekend on Thurs., July 3, at noon, is rocker Mike Verge whose music has been compared to Tom Petty, Train and the Black Crowes. On Friday, July 4, patriotic marching sounds and songs celebrating America’s troops get feet stomping. USO Show Troupe which spans more than 70 years from its beginnings in muddy camp shows entertaining our soldiers of the South Pacific brings top entertainers from Broadway, film and TV to the Fulton St. stage at 1 p.m. Then at 4 p.m., the Hungry March Band, founded in Brooklyn in 1997 for the Coney Island Mermaid Parade, performs its spectacular brass and percussion show. On Saturday, comic book and Superhero fans gather at the Ambrose Beer Garden on Fulton St. at 4 p.m. for a costume contest pre-movie party sponsored by the South Street Seaport and Midtown Comics. Then at 8 p.m., as part of the Front/Row Cinema series, lawn and lounge chairs will be set for a free screening of “The Avengers.” Plenty more events are planned. For a full schedule: visit seechangeny.com or follow on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
LOCAL HISTORY/WALKING TOURS “Down on Broad Street, people came out of bars and taverns to confront the British,” Kaplan explained of Downtown’s impact on the founding of our country. “The red coats backed down. The people of New York prevented them from carrying heavy arms to Boston.” Independence Day celebrations in Lower Manhattan more than 200 years ago gave rise to the American government. One hundred years later, July 4th celebrations were the way thousands of new immigrants to America learned about this country and its history. This year, the July 4th Festival Committee, a broad based coalition of more than ten institutions, groups, and individuals with an interest in Downtown and its history, intends to revive the American spirit by returning to the area’s roots with patriot celebrations. The first event is a 3 to 7 a.m. (yes — early morning) walking tour of Downtown historic hot spots that ends at the Trinity Churchyard graves
Downtown Express file photo by Terese Loeb Kreuzer
Last year’s Independence Day fireworks were over the Hudson, but this year Macy’s is bringing them back to the East River.
of Alexander Hamilton, Marinus Willett and General Horatio Gates, a long-overlooked hero of the American Revolution. This popular tour sold out its 60 spots earlier than ever in the 18-years Kaplan has led them. At the grave, the Daughters of the Revolution will hold a wreath ceremony. This is significant because the grave of General Gates remained unmarked for 207 years until last year. For history buffs, a 51-gun salute by the New York Veteran Corps of Artillery takes place at Castle Clinton in Battery Park at noon. And, Fraunces Tavern Museum will open to the public on July 4 for $1 admission from noon to 5 p.m. Another historical significant happening (3 pm, at the plaza in front of Fraunces Tavern) is the reading of George Washinton’s 1790 letter to the Touro Synagogue in Newport Rhode Island, stating that the United States shall “give to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance,” establishing tolerance for Jews and other minorities of as the law of the land. A complete list of events is available at www.july4thinnewyork.com.
F IREW ORKS Topping off the day is the spectacular Macy’s 38th annual Fourth of July fireworks and celebration of the 200th anniversary of “The Star Spangled Banner” (performed by Idina Menzel). More than 40,000 pyrotechnic shells and effects will burst through the skies over the Brooklyn Bridge to Battery Park. It’s been five years since the display has been on the East River. “This year, we are thrilled to incorporate the magnificent Brooklyn Bridge as
a showcase for never-before-seen effects and as a stunning backdrop to the multi-dimensional, hyperkinetic experience of the nation’s best Independence Day fireworks display,” said Amy Kule, executive producer of Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks. The Brooklyn Bridge will be a fireworks focal point with rapid-fire comet chase along the roadways and towers to a rainbow cascade effect down to the river. Some 5,000 custom-made effects will highlight the bridge. While you can watch the dazzling display on NBC from your couch, you can’t beat being under the flashes and reports from choice viewing spots. The fireworks can be seen from any spot with an unobstructed view of the sky above the East River Downtown. Two miles of roadway, including the elevated F.D.R. Drive, will be closed for public viewing spots. Those who arrive by 7:30 p.m. get to see two special flyovers from United States Navy F-18 jets and a patriotic flight from the N.Y.P.D. Helicopter unit at 7:45 p.m. Plus, F.D.N.Y. returns with its impressive water show beginning at 8 pm. Fireworks explode at 9:20 p.m. and you can listen along on 1010 WINS-AM. Recommended vantage points: Old Slip and South St. and Piers 15 and 16, enter at John and Water Sts. Want to be as close to the action as possible? Hop on a boat. Hornblower Cruises is the official yacht partner with Macy’s and has five yachts on the river for the evening. Tickets start at $185 a person for the hour and a half pre-show sail and prime seats for viewing are still available on the Jubilee. Go to www. hornerblower.com for details. DowntownExpress.com
Fill your summer (without emptying your wallet). With discounted vacation packages to the beach and more, life is good on the Long Island Rail Road. Looking for a summer vacation you don’t have to save all year for? LIRR offers big savings on daytrip travel packages to fun destinations like Jones Beach, Long Beach, Fire Island, Splish Splash, wineries, historic villages and lots more. For all the details, visit “Deals & Getaways” at mta.info/lirr.
2014 Metropolitan Transportation Authority
July 3-July 16, 2014
Chinatown’s Sister honored for 50 years of service Many hundreds came to Chinatown’s Transfiguration Church last Sunday for Mass and to celebrate the “Golden Jubilee” for Sister Joanna Chan, who is retiring after 50 years of service in many different ways. Playwright, educator, arts leader and prisoner counselor are all apt words to describe Chan. Born in Hong Kong 74 years ago, Chan enterred the Maryknoll Sisters’ residence in Quezon City, Philippines, 50 years ago on June 1, 1964, and took her final vows in 1975. In 1970, she co-founded and was artistic director of Four Seas Players out of the basement of Transfiguration on Mott St. It is the first and longest running Chinatown Cantonese language theater on the East Coast. After a brief stint as artis-
tic director of the Hong Kong Repertory, she returned to the New York to co-found the Yangtze Repertory Theatre. One notable alum of Yangtze is Brian Yang, who plays Charlie Fong on “Hawaii Five-O”. Sister Joanna, as she is known, served many roles at Transfiguration from 19691986, including as an English teacher, religious education coordinator,director of youth services and choir conductor. She also directed plays and taught acting at “Sing Sing” maximum security prison in Ossining, N.Y. One of her former students who attended the June 29 ceremony, was Raymond Yu, who went on to volunteer with Chan at the prison program. The ever-humble nun said she was “deeply gratified” by all of the attention.
Downtown Express photos by Corky Lee
Transfiguration Church parishioners checked Sister Joanna Chan’s corsage at a ceremony honoring her 50 years of service to the church and Chinatown community. (top). Sister Joanna thanked Rev. Raymond Nobiletti, Transfiguration’s pastor. (above) Sister Joanna and Raymond Yu, a former Transfiguration student of hers who went also volunteered with the nun at Sing Sing prison. (below)
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July 3-July 16, 2014
Bitcoins take root on Wall Street Continued from page 1
$620. Values were hundreds of dollars more per dollar earlier in the year. Upon its 2009 debut, bitcoins traded for less than $20 each. Obstacles remain in making bitcoins more mainstream including the public’s skepticism about its long-term viability, its classification as property rather than currency by the Internal Revenue Service, the ongoing talk of imminent government regulation, and the fluctuating value of bitcoins. But despite the uncertainty, a future salary in bitcoins motivated about 250 people to attend the first ever New York City Bitcoin career fair, held at the center last Saturday. “Bitcoin is so new that the opportunities in this space are huge. If you got the work ethic and time to commit. It just has great potential and New York is ground zero for Bitcoin industry,” said Eric Dixon, a Chelsea attorney who attended the fair in hopes of securing additional staff members for his financial consulting. Other businesses sought talent there with available positions ranging from
Downtown Express photos by Corky Lee
computer hardware sales and software programming to real estate broker. Williamsburg resident Quintas Murray said curiosity as well as opportunity motivated him to attend the event. “I’m also looking to learn about what kind of skills the companies are looking for to know what skills I need to improve on in order to improve my chances of getting a job,” he said. Lower Manhattan has achieved other firsts in the fledgling digital currency
sector. King’s College, located at the corner of Broadway and Exchange Place, announced on June 13 that it would be the first accredited school in the country to accept the digital currency for tuition payments. Local restaurants, attorneys, real estate companies and a computer repair shop also accept bitcoins. Yelp.com began listing participating businesses in April.
The ease with which buyer and seller alike can transact brings Bitcoin enthusiasts to the weekly Hester Street Fair on the Lower East Side. About a dozen vendors there accept bitcoins as payment for artisan crafts, food and beverages. Proselytizing the ideas behind bitcoins can be as much work at times as serving customers food, according to Patrick Mondesir who works at Thai cuisine vendor Mamak. Like many new things, there is plenty of room for a generation gap with Bitcoin implementation. “The older people, the demographic, they misunderstand the whole point and the whole reason why Bitcoin exists and the youth and the younger folks love it,” said Mondesir. “They love the access the ability to purchase with that service.” While the novelty of accepting bitcoins motivates some businesses to adopt their usage, competition among artisan lemonade vendors at the fair runs strong especially when three of them already accept bitcoins. Megan Griffey, who runs one such stall at the fair, began accepting bitcoins three weeks ago. They now account for
July 3-July 16, 2014
Li, promising change, wins a third term to lead C.B. 3 BY LES L E Y SU SSM A N Community Board 3 Chairperson Gigi Li easily coasted to re-election to a third term at last week’s fullboard meeting, beating challenger Chad Marlow. Li won about twothirds of the board, by a vote of 31 to 15. Marlow has been a frequent and outspoken critic of Li’s leadership of the 50-member volunteer board. Four members were absent for the vote. Marlow is aligned with a faction of board members who recently accused Li of racial insensitivity because of her failure to appoint any AfricanAmerican or Latino members to chair C.B. 3 committees. Li and her supporters have strongly denied the accusations. Marlow also argued that Li had mishandled several other high-profile flare-ups during her two-year tenure. Marlow, a senior policy adviser with the city’s Department of Health, had pledged that, if elected, he would appoint an executive committee and committee chairpersons that “reflect the diversity of the community board and the community it serves.” After the results of the paper-ballot vote were announced June 24 evening, Li told Downtown Express, “I’m excited and thankful that there were enough board members who felt that I should be afforded a third year to make some changes and continue on the projects that I’ve been working on.” The C.B. 3 chairperson added that she was more than willing to work closely with those board members who opposed her re-election. “Everyone plays a really important role on this board,” she said. Li added, “There have been some real issues that have been raised in
July 3-July 16, 2014
this process, and I think a lot of those can be addressed with structural and leadership changes.” In her earlier, two-minute, prevote comments, Li, who is director of the Neighborhood Family Services Coalition, acknowledged it had been a challenging year for her. Addressing an audience of more than 100 local residents, she focused her remarks on her years growing up in an immigrant family on Canal St. “This community is my home,” she said. “The hopes and dreams that my parents had for me are the same hopes and dreams that many of the residents of this community continue to strive for — and those are opportunity, access and equity. These are the same values I bring to you as board chairperson.” Marlow, during his pre-vote remarks, chose not to speak about his personal background, but about the need for change on the community board. “I think, unfortunately, because in large part how this board had been operated, the community has lost a lot of faith in our board,” he said. After the election results were announced, Marlow told this newspaper that he was “not disappointed” with the outcome. “I think the board got to raise some important issues that need to be discussed over the next year,” he said. “I think we’re going to need to move forward and work on them together. “For anyone to challenge the existing power structure is difficult, but what’s most important is that we now all come together,” he added. “I think the board is going to do that, but in order to bring the community in and make them feel better about this vote, it’s going to take some work. I think
we’re all going to have to engage in that work.” Ayo Harrington, an AfricanAmerican C.B. 3 member, helped fuel the revolt against Li with her stinging accusation of racism. Harrington filed a complaint with the Manhattan Borough President’s Office, charging Li with refusing to appoint qualified black and Latino members who wanted to chair committees. Harrington, a strong Marlow ally, said she was “very, very disappointed by the outcome.” “I think for this community board to have facts in front of their faces that are irrefutable, and then not vote for change after Li’s proven two-year record of exclusion of minorities and the inefficiencies of her running of board meetings is inexcusable,” she said. Harrington, however, did offer a conciliatory note. “Regardless of who won,” she said, “all of us are members of a 50-member board and we’re all going to have to work together.” She emphasized, though, that that doesn’t mean she thinks things at C.B. 3 are all kumbaya. “I’m not saying this is a call for unity because I’m not going to pretend that there’s unity on this board,” she said. “We’ll see whether or not changes are going to be made, but I strongly suspect that changes will be made because someone feels forced to make them rather than knowing that it’s the right thing to do. And therein lies the hurt to the community.” Board member Kate Webster, one of Li’s most ardent supporters, said she believed Li was “going to move the board forward.” “The board will get smarter and we’ll unify,” Webster said. “I think the point that was made was an important point and now we need to move forward. That’s what a good board does.” Former C.B. 3 Chairperson Dominic Berg stated he was pleased by the whole process. “Gigi heard about some issues and she’s going to make changes,” he said. “I think a large majority of the board saw that, which is why they voted for her.” Despite the dramatic buildup to the election, with charges and denials of racism flying back and forth, the evening’s proceedings were relatively sedate, without the excitement or divisiveness that many board mem-
Gigi Li, above, held off challenger Chad Marlow in Tuesday’s C.B. 3 chairperson election.
bers had anticipated. Only Li and Marlow were involved in a contest, while all other candidates for board officer positions — ranging from treasurer to recording secretary — were unanimously re-elected. Herman Hewitt was re-elected first vice chairperson; Ricky Leung, second vice chairperson; Carlina Rivera, secretary; Jamie Rogers, assistant secretary; and Bill LoSasso, treasurer. Voting for Li were David Adams, Dominic Berg, Karen Blatt, Karlin Chan, Jimmy Cheng, MyPhuong Chung, David Crane, Enrique Cruz, Morris Faitelwicz, Flora Ferng, Gloria Goldenberg, Herman Hewitt, Linda Jones, Meghan Joye, Lisa Kaplan, Carol Kostik, Ben Landy, Mae Lee, John Leo, Ricky Leung, Alysha Lewis-Coleman, Li, Bill LoSasso, Alexandra Militano, Chiun Ng, Richard Ropiak, Christopher Santana, Josephine Velez, Kathleen Webster, Justin Yu and Thomas Yu. Voting for Marlow were Lisa Burriss, Justin Carroll, Jan Hanvik, Ayo Harrington, Anne Johnson, Vaylateena Jones, Marlow, Ariel Palitz, Carolyn Ratcliffe, Joyce Ravitz, Carlina Rivera, James Rogers, Susan Scheer, Nancy Sparrow-Bartow and Rodney Washington. Not present were Penina Mezei, Teresa Pedroza, Julie Ulmet and Zulma Zayas. DowntownExpress.com
Market’s proudest product: The American Dream B Y Z A CH WI L L IA MS Dozens of community members had assembled to commemorate his life’s work, but Luis Batista escaped notice beforehand, seeking customers to help as he had for 29 years in the Essex Street Market. June 27, 2014, was Luis Batista Day in Manhattan. So declared Borough President Gale Brewer, who presented him with a framed proclamation at a reception within the aisles of his former grocery store inside the market. She said he exemplifies the “mom-and-pop business model.” “We are standing here today in the type of community which is the backbone of New York City,” Brewer said. Batista retired May 1 due to lingering health problems that now make it difficult to endure the physical toll of operating a grocery business. He started working in the market in 1985 as a recent immigrant from the Dominican Republic, going on to open, his own business, Batista Grocery, a decade later. His kind disposition made him like a neighborhood uncle to his regular customers, according to Councilmember Margaret Chin. “It’s just great to be so neighborly and to have so many people love him,” she said. “I think, among immigrant communities, they want to be entrepreneurs, set up their own businesses; and I think Essex Street Market offers this opportunity to a lot of small businesses at affordable rents.” Batista said he will miss “everything” about running the business, though he plans on occasionally venturing from his Bronx residence to the market in the future. He expressed gratitude to God, the city Economic Development Corporation, customers and fellow market vendors. “I want to say thank you for everything in my life,” he said. He sold the business for about $100,000 to Luis Vargas, who learned
through his cousin of Batista’s wish to sell the roughly 1,400-square-foot spot. For 20 years, Vargas worked in the grocery industry in the city and New Jersey. He came to the States in 1993 from the Dominican Republic, where he grew up in the same city, Santiago, as Batista. Vargas’s first grocery store closed after seven months due to what he said was a poor location. But he expressed confidence that the Essex Street Market would have the customer base and location for his newest venture to succeed. The new owner added that he will reorganize some of the grocery’s space in the market, though the business will mostly stay the same as it was under Batista, including the staff. “We think we have to have more employees, because we expect the sales to increase,” Vargas said. “In this country, you can be success more than any other one.” Another Santiago native, Fillipe Caba, who works for the adjacent meat vendor, said Batista is a bit like his own father. Chit chat about sports, the weather and their native land were common topics when they interacted, he said. “He’s a nice guy,” said Caba. The enclosed market space was created in 1940 by Fiorello La Guardia, specifically for pushcart vendors, to keep them from clogging up the streets. Today, 20 independent vendors fill the space, according to E.D.C. But the historic market will be reborn in a new space in the near future. It will be shifted into the planned 1.65-millionsquare-foot Essex Crossing mixed-use development, which will include residential, commercial and community space. Construction will begin in spring 2015, with the first five buildings projected to open by summer 2018, according to the Web site of Delancey Street Associates, the development partners. Nevertheless, the market’s mission will remain very much the same, according to
Downtown Express Photos by Zach Williams
Luis Batista was joined by local officials and family members as he spoke at his retirement ceremony at the Essex Street Market last Friday. Councilmember Margaret Chin is second from right, and Borough President Gale Brewer is fourth from right.
E.D.C. officials who oversee it on behalf of the city. Vendors such as Batista reflect the ideals of the Essex Street Market and the community it serves, said Lisa Thompson, the market’s manager. “He’s a small business owner and entrepreneur, an immigrant who came
onboard in the market, specifically at a time that it was not in as high demand as it is currently,” Thompson said. “And he built a business from a stall, and his footprint is not necessarily the footprint that he started off with. And it’s truly the American story of the small business owner who worked really hard.”
MANHATTAN SAILING SCHOOL New owner Luis Vargas said the Essex Street Market’s location and customer base are both very good. DowntownExpress.com
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TRANSIT SAM Thurs., July 3 – Wed., July 9 ALTERNATE SIDE PARKING RULES ARE SUSPENDED FRIDAY Happy Independence Day! With July 4th on Friday, the big getaway will be Thursday afternoon. Expect a crunch at every bridge and tunnel out of Lower Manhattan. The F.D.R. and West St. will be jammed with drivers heading to the Holland and Battery
tunnels. On Sunday afternoon, drivers will take the Holland and Battery back into the city, as well as the Brooklyn, Manhattan, and Williamsburg bridges. Fireworks over East River this Fourth! In addition to the entire Brooklyn Bridge, the Macy’s show will close streets in Manhattan and Brooklyn near the river on Friday afternoon into the evening. In Manhattan, the F.D.R. will close between the
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Battery Park Underpass and Houston St. beginning around 4 p.m. Streets in the area bounded by Grand St., the Brooklyn Bridge, the F.D.R. and East Broadway will gradually close, beginning with the streets closest to the river. This means more traffic on the avenues west of First Ave. and on the West Side Highway. The Manhattan Bridge will stay open in both directions during the fireworks, but beware that traffic will be very slow. Not only will all the Brooklyn Bridge traffic divert to the Manhattan, but drivers will slow down to get a view of the fireworks. Avoid driving between Brooklyn and Manhattan during the show. Additionally, the pedestrian and bike paths on the Manhattan Bridge will close. Both meter and alternate side parking rules are suspended on Friday. Signs that say “No parking” or “No
standing” on certain days, in this case Friday, are also suspended. Signs with the word “anytime” are still in effect. On West St. / Route 9A, one lane will close in each direction between West Thames and Vesey Sts. 10 a.m. to noon Thursday. A 4th of July pig roast will close Cliff St. between John and Fulton Sts. noon to 9 p.m. Friday. The McBurney YMCA 6th Avenue Festival will close Sixth Ave. between 14th and 23rd Sts. 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday. Northbound traffic will head to Eighth Ave., and may back up down to the West Village. Have a question about a parking ticket, traffic rules, public transportation, or street cleaning rules? If so, send me an e-mail atTransitSam@ downtownexpress.com or write to Transit Sam, 322 Eighth Avenue, 5th Floor, New York, NY 10001.
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July 3-July 16, 2014
B Y J A N E L BL A D O W Our little neighborhood is the belle of the summer fun in the city this year! Thank you Macy’s for drawing attention downtown!
places are popping up in old locations. Long established spots are back and better. And a historic gem is working hard to make a comeback. Rumor has it The Bridge Café, 279 Water St., is shooting for a reopening at the end of the month or in August. The street level and basement needed to be gutted, floors and all, following water damage from Hurricane Sandy. Seaport Report will keep you posted on its return. Barbalu, a new Italian spot, has opened at 225 Front St., where Barabarini, the trattoria/grocery, once was. While the storm caused extensive damage, it also caused the owners to go their separate ways. But Stefano Barbagallo and Adriana Lugue took up the challenge, reimagined the space, and have earned great reviews for their Italian countryside food and vibe. One lunch diner so raved about their bresaola sandwich (crusty bread, sliced beef, goat cheese, arugula and truffle oil, $9) that his review earned a spot on their webpage. Work continues sporadically on two new spots – Z, at Front and Beekman Sts., where the much-maligned yet cherished Carmine’s was family-run since 1977. But the bar and other fixtures continue to live up to their maritime history in at the Old Stein Inn near Annapolis, MD. Workmen are in and out off and on at the old Meade’s location on Peck Slip and Water St. A Tribeca bar owner plans to open an upscale mixology bar with dazzling cocktails, according to whisperers. No opening date is set. Meanwhile, over at the short-lived Grandma’s on Peck Slip, men with pencils, measuring tapes and clipboards have been taking stock of the finally cleaned out space. No word on plans for the place that had several incarnations in recent years.
HISTORIC ANCHORS UNITE…Two of the neighborhood’s best-loved hot spots celebrated their longevity last DowntownExpress.com
month. The Paris Café, first opened in 1873 at 119 South St., celebrated its after-Sandy reopening a few weeks ago and tied the event to the 131st anniversary of the Brooklyn Bridge. A fitting coupling, for sure. “We plan to build on this tradition and make it an annual event,” café co-owner Peter O’Connell told Seaport Report as we sampled a few of their new tantalizing and refreshing summer cocktails. What better way to enjoy our hood’s maritime flair and bridge connection? O’Connell and business partner Diarmuid Hackett are awaiting news on their sidewalk café license and hope to have outdoor seating for 26 along the building’s Peck Slip and South Street façade. The menu is new and updated, no longer simply Irish pub food, but sumptuous snacks, salads and entrees. Heading the kitchen is chef Scott Hawley, who is as handsome as he is talented. You may remember him from TV’s “Hell’s Kitchen” Season 7, and The Bluebell Café, one of other three restaurants owned by O’Connell and Hackett. “We want to be a destination for dinner as well as a place to grab a burger in the neighborhood,” said O’Connell. “People used to come in for bar food, now we do a proper meal. They can come in to dine. We’re taking it to another level for dinner. The evening menu includes the famous Paris Burger and house favorite Shepherd’s Pie, but now a Slow-braised Lamb Shank and nightly fish specials will kick the taste up a notch. “Our focus is on seafood because of our longtime connection to the Fulton Fish Market,” he said. The café is decorated with the stunning black and white photos by neighborhood photographer Barbara Mench, who documented the fish market for many years. And specialty cocktails designed by staff mixologist Erica Tempchin, take on a Paris-meets-New York City flair. They will change seasonally. Imbibers will have something new to sample with every visit. “The neighborhood is changing. We needed to change with it,” O’Connell added. They have, nicely. Puzzles and parties — through Labor Day, the Downtown Alliance fills the streets and plazas along
lower Water St. with fun. Game On!, a new entertainment concept, has several locations between Whitehall and Wall Sts. with giant Sudoku boards, chalk games and mini golf, to name a few. Whitehall Plaza becomes a designer urban beach complete with lounge chairs and shuffleboard. Anyone can play Monday to Friday, noon to 7 pm. And the Andza Hotel hosts an outdoor beer garden for World Cup watchers. For all the detail: www. gameon.downtownny.com.
SUMMER SWING, TANGO, FOXTROT…
Mark your calendars. Our own Knickerbocker Chamber Orchestra appears free on the outdoor stage at Fulton and Front Sts. in the Seaport on Sunday, Aug. 3 at 5 p.m., with a concert of “Sweet Sounds of Summer.” Wear dancing shoes — they plan a program of waltz, tango and foxtrot music and the timeless tunes of Johann Strauss, Irving Berlin and other great song and dance masters.
Downtown Express photos by Joseph M. Calisi
Game On! Water St., the Downtown Alliance’s new promotion with activities all along Water St., including Nok Hockey. July 3-July 16, 2014
Express owners buy newspaper chain PUBLISHER
Jennifer Goodstein EDITOR
Josh Rogers ARTS EDITOR
Scott Stiffler SR. V.P. OF SALES & MARKETING
Francesco Regini RETAIL AD MANAGER
Bill Fink Allison Greaker Mike O’Brien Rebecca Rosenthal Julio Tumbaco
Continued from page 1
The Express and its sister papers will be moving later this month to the Community Newspaper Group’s Downtown Brooklyn office at One MetroTech. It’ll be familiar territory as the papers temporarily relocated there at the end of 2012 because of damage to its Canal St. office caused by Hurricane Sandy. Jennifer Goodstein, who bought the Community Media papers in 2012, said the long-term plan is to set up a satellite office in Manhattan.
C.N.G., which distributes over 235,000 papers a week, publishes Caribbean Life, The Brooklyn Paper, The Bronx Times Reporter, Bay News and Bay Ridge Courier, Bayside Times and the TimesLedger. It also publishes specialty magazines, including the Wedding Guide and Sweet Sixteen Magazine. The terms of the deal were not released. In a statement, Robert Thomson, chief executive of News Corp., said the sale “helps us reshape the News Corp. portfolio as we achieve great-
er globalization and digitization of our businesses….We’re confident that these newspapers and magazines will prosper under the leadership of Les and Jennifer Goodstein.” Phone numbers and email addresses for Downtown Express and N YC Community Media staff are expected to remain the same after the move.
be more willing to share their good fortune with others. Unfortunately, everything comes down to the bottom line. It’s all about money.
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Posted To “SOUTHBRIDGE TOWERS: SHOULD WE PRIVATIZE? YES [BY JESSE MANDEL] OR NO” [BY VICTOR J. PAPA] (POSTED, JUNE 19):
Virginia Betting on the possibility that enough shareholders will sell and provide enough funds via flip-tax is foolish. There are no guarantees this will happen, and then what?...maintenance will certainly increase and drive out those of us who need this type of housing the most. Shareholder·
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Mitchell-Lama was instituted in order to keep Middle Income people in New York City. If Southbridge goes private that will exclude the many people who would like the same opportunity that was afforded the current residents of Southbridge. Because of the affordability of Mitchell Lama housing, many of the current residents are able to live a very comfortable lifestyle. I would have thought that because of this, they would
Mitchell Lama was intended to last 20 years. We paid our dues for 40 years. Time for you bleeding hearts to get real. get real Privatization will be profitable for those who want to sell. Those who stay will eventually have to pay escalated maintenance fees. I live in a nearby cooperative that years ago went private. At first the flip taxes were enough to cover the constantly increasing real estate taxes. Eventually the rate of sales decreased and so did the flip taxes. I voted with the minority against going private because I didn’t want to sell, however with the maintenance constantly increasing it’s likely that soon I’ll be economically forced to sell and move
Voice of Experience Mr. Papa holds a nice idea about remaining affordable. However, Mr. Saft, a financial and legal expert disagrees. Mr. Saft suggests that remaining Mitchell Lama over the years could incur MORE RISK. If SBT were to remain MitchellLama and age, SBT will incur enormous debt over the years. SBT runs the risk of borrowing multiple tens of millions of dollars for repairs, etc., thus increasing maintenance. There is risk either way, however, Saft’s expertise suggests privatizing so as to eliminate the risk of borrowing money. Add in to that REDUCED risk is the benefit of EQUITY, a word whose meaning seems to escape a few folks at SBT. Accountants and lawyers have told me that I’d be foolish to turn away the kind of equity I’d have in my little one bedroom. Robert Gedzelman
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July 3-July 16, 2014
Village pier may have lost its edge, but not its pull B Y CL A RI SSA -J A N L IM Since the Stonewall riots, the Christopher St. Pier has been vital to local L.G.B.T. youth, as a place to find acceptance and a safe refuge — often from their own homes. Once renowned for its bohemian artists and gay culture, the West Village has transformed into a hip, upscale neighborhood peppered with designer thrift stores and restaurants, whose quaint décor masks its clientele’s deep pockets. Like the rest of the neighborhood, the pier itself is no stranger to gentrification. Devon McDowell, a 48-yearold product developer, has been a Christopher St. Pier regular since he first came out. He said the upside of the neighborhood’s upscaling is that the waterfront has greatly improved, at least aesthetically. “It’s nice, it’s beautiful,” he said. “It’s somewhat nostalgic for me because the first time I came here was in 1984. Before, it was all broken down. There was another pier that was ripped out. From 1984 till now, it’s a new face — way improved.” For today’s L.G.B.T. youth, the pier still holds a special place in their hearts. Sabree Miller, 24, goes there when he wants to clear his mind and write music. “It’s a good, quiet place for me to relax,” he said. When he was homeless at 17, the student and musician slept in the bushes by the pier for two years. However, the crowd has also changed quite a bit, said McDowell, who was there with Salvadore Lopez, 42, a piergoer since the ’90s. “It used to be a little more raunchy, a little more dirty, a little more gay,” said Lopez, who hails from Spain. “Now that ‘gay’ is more included in society, I feel there’s no need for a gay place anymore because it’s more everywhere. They can be gay in their own environment now, so this is more like a park.” Brian, a 32-year-old acrobat who withheld his last name for privacy reasons, agreed the place has gotten a lot nicer. Gesturing toward the pier’s real grass lawn, he said, “There’s a crowd of children over there, instead of a throng of gay men having sex, so it’s DowntownExpress.com
Downtown Express photo by Clarissa-Jan Lim
Salvadore Lopez, left, and Devon McDowell, have some perspective on the Christopher St. Pier scene.
changed dramatically.” Yet, McDowell and Lopez see today’s L.G.B.T. pier youth as different from the way they used to be. Branding them somewhat “out of control,” McDowell said the youth are more defiant and mischievous, causing problems for the local residents. “I’ve noticed the kids when you come down here, they’re always arguing,” he said. “I don’t know, sometimes I get a little afraid to come down here because you don’t want to confront them; they’re like little groups of street gangs.” Miguel P., a general assistant at Housing Works, came face to face with the seeming risks the youth pose to the community at large. Just the night before, Miguel, who is involved in outreach efforts at the pier, was robbed by a group of teenagers. “Some of the younger minorities have nowhere to go,” he said. “They have been pushed away from home or they don’t feel comfortable at home, so they come here. But being that they have left home, they don’t know how to act and it makes it a little unsettling. I don’t like the young crowd. I’m just not sure what they’re
into anymore… I didn’t expect to be robbed by a community that I’m constantly trying to help.” The change in young people’s attitude is partly because the concept of “being gay” has also altered over the decades, Lopez offered. “I think gayness before used to be a little bit more political,” he said. “We had more, like, things we’re going to achieve. Now everybody’s gay, but they don’t really know what’s happening, what it means. It’s a little more diluted.” The Village’s increasingly wealthy and family-oriented residential community represents a vast shift from its grittier bohemian roots as the birthplace of the Beat generation. Back then, the Village was populated by artists, musicians, writers and others who lived on the edgier fringe of New York society. Today, the area’s denizens are “boring” and “conservative” by comparison, said McDowell. “It’s just people with money, and they want to be by the water,” he said. Lopez agreed, adding that gentrification and skyrocketing property values were not merely confined to the Village.
“Everything has been taken by people with money; there’s no middle class anymore,” he said. “The whole New York is like that.” The demographic changes have led to some strife between residents and the L.G.B.T. youth who hang out in the area. Residents have complained about the noise level at the pier in the wee morning hours, and in recent years have tried to set an earlier, 10 p.m. curfew. However, the curfew for the whole Hudson River Park remains 1 a.m. On the other hand, gay youth advocates have called for lifting the curfew entirely to create a 24-hour pier. Miller said some residents are less L.G.B.T. friendly than others. “I think they think we are all loud,” he said of the pier youth. “People have complained about the noise here before, but there’s nothing really they can do — it’s a park. I hope that they do keep the park open because a lot of people come here and find comfort here.” Brian said that the tension between residents and L.G.B.T. youth is simply due to the latter being rowdy late at night. “When you have people screaming outside your window, of course, you’re not happy about it,” he said. “Sometimes I think it’s really that simple. It’s not this deep-seated homophobia where they’re coming out and trying to beat young, queer people because they’re out on the street — it’s just really because they’re bothering them.” “I could imagine,” McDowell said, “for all those people who come down here and live down here, they’re spending so much money. They don’t want to deal with that stuff.” Some things will remain the same, though, Lopez and McDowell pointed out. In the summer, Christopher St. pier is like the “gay beach,” they said, because of the flock of sunbathing men who stretch out on the grass. “On a hot summer day,” McDowell said, “you come down here — bodies of men. The guys are pretty much naked.” t Lopez said once the families see that, they turn around, pushing their high-end strollers away to the next pier, their perfectly groomed puppies in tow. July 3-July 16, 2014
EVENTS DOWNTOWN JULY 3-JULY 15 THURSDAY, JULY 3
SATURDAY, JULY 5
NEW YORK PUBLIC LIBRARY BATTERY PARK CITY BRANCH 175 North End Ave, 212-790-3499, nypl. org/locations/battery-park-city Baby Laptime for Pre-Walkers: Enjoy simple stories, lively songs and rhymes, and meet other babies in the neighborhood. Limited to 25 babies and their caregivers; first-come first-served. Ages 0-18 months | Free |11:30 a.m.
BARNES & NOBLE 97 Warren Street, 212-587-5389 Storytime: Free | 11 a.m.
EVERY THURSDAY AT 11:30
Celebrating Shakespeare’s 450th Birthday and their 15th Anniversary Season New York Classical Theatre is performing As You Like It at various locations through out the city this summer. All ages | Free | 7:00pm - 9:00pm
Bilingual storytime: Children | Free | 3:30 p.m. Tween book club: Ages 5-12 | Free | 5:30 p.m. BATTERY PARK CITY PARKS CONSERVANCY 212-267-9700, bpcparks.org Preschool Art: Come learn art with paper, clay, wood, and paint. Ages 4 and under | Free, drop in | Nelson A. Rockefeller Park | 10:30 a.m. – 12 p.m. THURSDAYS UNTIL 10/30
Art & Games: Age 5+ | Free, drop in | Nelson A. Rockefeller Park| 3:30-5:30 p.m. CMA HUDSON RIVER ART OUTPOST Pier 25, cmany.org Teaching artists from Children’s Museum of the Arts will facilitate hands-on art-making activities including an individual mixed media project and a larger-scale collaborative project, inspired by the unique waterfront environment. All ages | Free | 1-4 p.m. NEW YORK CLASSICAL THEATRE: AS YOU LIKE IT In Battery Park in front of Castle Clinton, http://newyorkclassical.org/whats-playing Celebrating Shakespeare’s 450th Birthday and their 15th Anniversary Season New York Classical Theatre is performing As You Like It at various locations through out the city this summer. All ages | Free | 7:00pm - 9:00pm
July 3-July 16, 2014
EVERY SATURDAY AT 11:00
NEW YORK CLASSICAL THEATRE: AS YOU LIKE IT In Battery Park in front of Castle Clinton, http://newyorkclassical.org/whats-playing
SUNDAY, JULY 6 POP UP MAKER SPACE Pier 25, hudsonriverpark.org/events/ series/pop-up-maker-space Guided maker workshops challenge participants to design and construct projects inspired by both innovative technologies and traditional crafts. Participants will learn from and collaborate with each other while working together to find solutions to real-world challenges. Projects will range in difficulty from low tech to high tech. Investigate WHY and HOW things work. All ages | Free | 10:00am - 12:00pm BIG CITY FISHING Pier 25, hudsonriverpark.org/events/ series/big-city-fishing The rods, reels, bait and instruction will be provided. Beyond teaching fishing, the program also provides participants with a first-hand opportunity to learn about river ecology and the many fish species that can be found in the river. 5+ | Free | 1:00pm - 5:00pm EVERY SUNDAY THROUGH 9/28
KIDAROUND SERIES: Tim Kubart and the Space Cadets South Street Seaport, http://www.southstreetseaport.com/events/ KidAround! at the South Street Seaport is a free family event series featuring live music, story-time and more. Happening this Summer at See/Change. Brooklyn-
based Tim and the Space Cadets play songs about the important things in life: pizza parties, snow days, and summer vacations. All ages | Free | 2:00pm 4:00pm
first-hand opportunity to learn about river ecology and the many fish species that can be found in the river. 5+ | Free | 5:00pm-7:30pm
MONDAY, JULY 7
TUESDAY, JULY 8
NEW YORK PUBLIC LIBRARY BATTERY PARK CITY BRANCH 175 North End Ave, 212-790-3499, nypl. org/locations/battery-park-city Baby Laptime for Pre-Walkers: Enjoy simple stories, lively songs and rhymes, and meet other babies in the neighborhood. Limited to 25 babies and their caregivers; first-come first-served. Ages 0-18 months | Free |9:30 a.m.
NEW YORK PUBLIC LIBRARY BATTERY PARK CITY BRANCH 175 North End Ave, 212-790-3499, nypl. org/locations/battery-park-city Baby Laptime for Pre-Walkers: Enjoy simple stories, lively songs and rhymes, and meet other babies in the neighborhood. Limited to 25 babies and their caregivers; first-come first-served. Ages 0-18 months | Free |11:30 a.m.
EVERY MONDAY AT 9:30 A.M.
EVERY TUESDAY AT 11:30 A.M.
Toddler Story Time: A librarian will share lively picture books, finger plays, and action songs with toddlers and their caregivers. Ages 18-36 months | Free | 4 p.m. EVERY MONDAY AT 4:00 P.M.
BATTERY PARK CITY PARKS CONSERVANCY 212-267-9700, bpcparks.org Preschool Play: Interactive play on the lawn. Toys, books, and play equipment provided. Ages 4 and under | Free | Drop in | Wagner Park | 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. EVERY MONDAY
Children’s Basketball: Adjustable height hoops and fun drills to improve skills. Close-toed shoes required. Ages 5 – 6 | Free | Drop in | Rockefeller Park |3:30 to 4:30 PM, 5-6 year olds, 4:30 to 5:30 PM, 7 & older
EVERY MONDAY THROUGH 8/25
Picture Book Time: A librarian will read classic stories and new picture books. All ages. | Free | 4 p.m. EVERY TUESDAY AT 4P.M.
BATTERY PARK CITY PARKS CONSERVANCY 212-267-9700, bpcparks.org Preschool Play: Interactive play on the lawn. Toys, books, and play equipment provided. Ages 4 and under | Free | Drop in | Wagner Park | 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. Soccer for Preschoolers and Elementary Schoolers: Have fun passing, shooting & dribbling! Parks programming leaders facilitate the fun. Everybody plays! Closedtoe shoes required. Free | Drop in | Nelson A. Rockefeller Park 2:30 – 3:15 PM, 3-4 year olds 3:30 – 4:15 PM, 5 to 7 year olds 4:30 – 5:30 PM, 8 to 11 year olds EVERY TUESDAY, THROUGH 10/28
EVERY MONDAY UNTIL 10/27
RIVER RANGERS Pier 25 at North Moore, hudsonriverpark. org/events/river-rangers-2014 Hudson River Park offers budding scientists an opportunity to learn more about the great outdoors. Hudson River Park’s environmental educators bring the opportunity to observe and explore through discovery-based science experiments and nature-inspired crafts. Hands-on learning and play activities for kids will vary from week to week and will include touch tanks, puzzles, science experiments and much more! Ages 3 – 9 | Free | 2-3:30 PM BIG CITY FISHING Pier 25, hudsonriverpark.org/events/ series/big-city-fishing The rods, reels, bait and instruction will be provided. Beyond teaching fishing, the program also provides participants with a
CMA HUDSON RIVER ART OUTPOST Pier 25, cmany.org Teaching artists from Children’s Museum of the Arts will facilitate hands-on art-making activities including an individual mixed media project and a larger-scale collaborative project, inspired by the unique waterfront environment. All ages | Free | 1-4 p.m. BIG CITY FISHING Pier 25, hudsonriverpark.org/events/ series/big-city-fishing The rods, reels, bait and instruction will be provided. Beyond teaching fishing, the program also provides participants with a first-hand opportunity to learn about river ecology and the many fish species that can be found in the river. 5+ | Free | 1:00pm - 4:00pm EVERY TUESDAY THROUGH 8/26 DowntownExpress.com
WEDNESDAY, JULY 9 NEW YORK PUBLIC LIBRARY BATTERY PARK CITY BRANCH 175 North End Ave, 212-790-3499, nypl. org/locations/battery-park-city Toddler Story Time: A librarian will share lively picture books, finger plays, and action songs with toddlers and their caregivers. Ages 18-36 months | Free | 10:30 a.m.
SEE CHANGE/NY FAMILY FILM SCREENINGS South Street Seaport, http://www.southstreetseaport.com/events/ Outdoor movie screenings at the Seaport all summer long. | July 9: Wreck-it | Free | 8:00pm EVERY WEDNESDAY THROUGH 8/27
THURSDAY, JULY 10
EVERY WEDNESDAY AT 10:30
Crafternoon! Skeleton Art Project: Bring your imagination and get creative. We will be reading Skeleton Hiccups by Margery Cuyler and creating a very creepy skeleton project. All ages | Free | 4:00 p.m. SEE CHANGE Front/Row Stage, southstreetseaport. com/events/# Wednesdays with Bilingual Birdies: Every Wednesday this summer, join Bilingual Birdies at the Seaport. Bilingual Birdies is a foreign language program for kids that will teach Spanish (June), French (July), and Mandarin (August) through live music, movement, dance, puppetry, and theatre-based games. Free | 1:30pm and 2:30pm BATTERY PARK CITY PARKS CONSERVANCY Wagner Park, 212-267-9700, bpcparks. org Preschool Play: Interactive play on the lawn. Toys, books, and play equipment provided. Ages 4 and under | Free | Drop in | Wagner Park | 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. Wednesdays at Teardrop: Come enjoy lawn games and art projects. Art supplies provided. Ages 5 and up. | Free | Drop in | Teardrop Park | 3:30 – 5:30 p.m. EVERY WEDNESDAY UNTIL 10/29
Drop-in Chess: Play chess and get pointers from an expert. Ages 5 – 15 | Free | Drop in | Rockefeller Park | 3:30 – 5 p.m. EVERY WEDNESDAY UNTIL 10/24
SUMMER FILM SERIES FEATURING THE WORK OF STEVEN SPIELBERG Museum of Jewish Heritage, 36 Battery Place , mjhnyc.org/spielberg/ Downtown at the Museum of Jewish Heritage see collection of iconic films directed by Steven Spielberg. Tickets will be available at the box office on a firstcome, first-served basis starting at 4 P.M. on the day of each screening. July 9: Jurassic Park | Free suggested donation | 6:30pm EVERY WEDNESDAY UNTIL 8/18 DowntownExpress.com
BATTERY PARK CITY PARKS CONSERVANCY Preschool Art and Art & Games: See July 3 for more info NEW YORK PUBLIC LIBRARY BATTERY PARK CITY BRANCH Baby Laptime for Pre-Walkers and Bilingual storytime: See July 3 Magic Tricks and the History of Deceptions: Experience a jaw-dropping magic show and then learn how it’s done. You’ll be amazed not only at the magic, but also the science behind it. Ages 13-18 years | Free | 4:00 p.m. BATTERY PARK CITY PARKS CONSERVANCY Preschool Art: See July 3
Photo courtesy of the Hudson River Park Trust
Big City Fishing returns this year to Tribeca’s Pier 25 on July 8.
FRIDAY, JULY 11 BATTERY PARK CITY PARKS CONSERVANCY 212-267-9700, bpcparks.org Sunset Jam On The Hudson All ages | Free | 6:30-8:00 p.m. | Wagner Park
7/12: Mo Willems | All ages | Free | 3:003:45 p.m.
SUNDAY, JULY 13
BATTERY PARK CITY PARKS CONSERVANCY Preschool Play and Soccer for Preschoolers and Elementary Schoolers: See July 8 for more info
BIG CITY FISHING See July 6 for more info
WEDNESDAY, JULY 16 SATURDAY, JULY 12 BARNES & NOBLE 97 Warren Street, 212-587-5389 Storytime: Free | 11 a.m. EVERY SATURDAY AT 11:00
NEW YORK PUBLIC LIBRARY BATTERY PARK CITY BRANCH 175 North End Ave, 212-790-3499, nypl. org/locations/battery-park-city Toddler Story Time: A librarian will share lively picture books, finger plays, and action songs with toddlers and their caregivers. Ages 18-36 months | Free | 10:30 a.m. Saturday Family Drive-In Movies: Every Saturday in July the library is screening a classic children’s film on the second floor. Kids can use library bins to decorate their very own “cars” and then drive in for the movie. For families and kids of all ages. Runtime of each film is 30-45 minutes.
MONDAY, JULY 14 NEW YORK PUBLIC LIBRARY BATTERY PARK CITY BRANCH Baby Laptime for Pre-Walkers and Toddler Story Time: See July 7 BATTERY PARK CITY PARKS CONSERVANCY Preschool Play and Children’s Basketball: See July 7 for info BIG CITY FISHING See July 7 for info
TUESDAY, JULY 15 NEW YORK PUBLIC LIBRARY BATTERY PARK CITY BRANCH Baby Laptime for Pre-Walkers and Picture Book Time: See July 8
NEW YORK PUBLIC LIBRARY BATTERY PARK CITY BRANCH Toddler Story Time: See July 9 for more info SEE CHANGE Wednesdays with Bilingual Birdies: See July 9 for more info BATTERY PARK CITY PARKS CONSERVANCY Preschool Play and Wednesdays at Teardrop and Drop-in Chess: See July 9 for more info SUMMER FILM SERIES FEATURING THE WORK OF STEVEN SPIELBERG See July 9 for more info, July 16: Amistad SEE CHANGE/NY FAMILY FILM SCREENINGS See July 9 for more info. July 16: “Fantastic Mr. Fox” July 3-July 16, 2014
Thinking of a new Tribeca home? BY LA U RE N PRI CE Running from Canal St. south to Barclay St. and from Broadway to the Hudson River, Tribeca is a neighborhood of some 16,000 residents that has grown up amidst cavernous cast-iron warehouses set on historic cobblestone streets. Home seekers can find lightfilled, loft-like layouts that typically fetch sky-high prices, or they can look to the new luxury buildings, some with units for sale, others with rentals. When artists in the 1970s began searching out less expensive studios and homes, the residential transformation of the neighborhood that only then came to be called Tribeca began. It is now well known as one of Manhattan’s most sought-after neighborhoods. Smart shops, art galleries, performance spaces and prime eateries, like Kutsher’s, Bouley and Nobu, are now the public face of the neighborhood. And when Lower Manhattan was staggered by the 9/11 attacks, Robert de Niro and other Hollywood bigs rallied spirits by launching the Tribeca Film Festival –– though its success in recent years has led it to seek larger venues Uptown. Considered a quieter alternative to its equally expensive neighbor Soho, Tribeca is chockablock with tony shops, such as the boutique retailers Steven Allen, Patron of the New, Nili Lotan and By Joy Gryson; specialty cutlery shop Korin; and the bicyclist’s haven Adeline Adeline. Whole Foods, the Amish Market, the All Good Things artisanal market and Grandaisy Bakery offer the very best alternatives for residents who take their cooking seriously. The neighborhood is well served by subways, with ready access to the 1, 2, 3, A, C and E, and another half dozen or so lines available nearby at City Hall. With Stuyvesant High School close by and P.S. 150 and 234 in the neighborhood, the public schools are a draw, as well. According MNS’s May 2014 report, Tribeca’s median per-square-foot purchase price for a one-bedroom residence is $1,131. For two-bedroom units, the median price is $1,392. The same report indicates that average rents for studios in doorman buildings run at $3,400, with one-bedrooms coming in at about $4,736. Marketed by Corcoran Sunshine Group Marketing, the landmarked Cast Iron House, at 67 Franklin St. at Broadway, is a conversion developed by Knightsbridge Properties. The building
July 3-July 16, 2014
Photo courtesy of World-Wide Group
A rental at 50 Murray, a converted 1964 office building.
Photo Courtesy of Urban Compass
The interior of a duplex co-op at 74 Reade St.
has 13 duplexes, including two penthouses on newly constructed levels atop the original structure. All sport soaring ceilings (from 17 to 25 feet), vaulted windows, washer / dryers and quarter-sawn white oak floors. Ranging from threeto five-bedrooms, some with outdoor space, in the original portion, square footage is from about 2,850 to 4,890. The four-bedroom penthouse is about 3,800 square feet, with 1,530 square feet of outdoor space. The five-bedroom unit at the top is about 4,560 square feet, with 1,430 square feet of outdoor space. Appliances by Gaggenau and custom
lacquer cabinets topped with Corian grace open kitchens. Marble-slab master bathrooms boast white mosaic glass-tile walls and radiant-heat floors. Communal extras include doorman / concierge services, a courtyard garden, an exercise room, a hydrotherapy spa and treatment room, a dance studio, a water room, a playroom, a game room and private storage. Prices begin at about $4.97 million. (castironhouse.com) About 3,000 square feet with keylock elevator access, a duplex co-op at 74 Reade St. just off Church St. is now for sale through Urban Compass. In a con-
verted office building originally erected in 1964, this flexible live/work space’s current configuration has two bedrooms. The space features double-height windows, hardwood floors, a skylight, exposed brick walls and piping and 15-foot pressed tin ceilings. The open kitchen with a large pantry is dressed in sleek wood cabinetry and high-end stainless-steel appliances. Residential extras include a roof deck and video intercom. Priced at $3.1 million. (urbancompass.com) The World-Wide Group made the decision to convert 50 Murray, a 1964 office building between Church St. and West Broadway, just before 9/11. By 2002, they were renting loft-like studios to three-bedroom units, ranging from about 500 to 2,000 square feet, some with outdoor space. You’ll find 11-foot beamed ceilings, kitchens with stainless-steel appliances, sleek white cabinetry, black granite countertops and two-tone penny-tile mosaic bathroom floors. Residential extras include a laundry room on every floor, a bi-level roof deck, an outdoor basketball court, a lounge and screening room, a game room, playrooms, a parking garage and doormen / concierge services. Both Equinox gym and the Amish Market are on site, as well. Currently, no-fee monthly rentals start at $2,900. (50murray.com) DowntownExpress.com
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July 3-July 16, 2014
Real Estate Hell’s Kitchen’s amenities have moved up in the world BY L A U RE N PRI CE Hell’s Kitchen has always been a closely knit neighborhood rich in cultural opportunities and old New York history. But while the West Side area bounded by W. 37th and 57th Sts. was once dotted with warehouses, parking lots and walk-ups, for more than a decade developers have been eyeing the possibilities of building luxury rentals. Residential revitalization –– coupled with expanded dining, shopping and nightlife options –– is now the order of the day. And as of two months ago, sale prices and rents here now surpass the averages for Manhattan as a whole. “There is no doubt that Hell’s Kitchen is undergoing an exciting transformation,” said Stephen McArdle, senior managing director of Halstead Property Development Marketing. “Savvy homesteaders who now choose to live and invest in New York City not only see the potential of this particular neighborhood, but also want to be at the forefront of its revitalization.” It might seem as though Hell’s Kitchen has become a labyrinth of glass-
wall residential towers and luxury loft conversions. But there remain plenty of mid-rise apartment buildings and walkups — especially closer to Ninth Ave. — preserved in good measure due to specific zoning laws that have long been in place. Developed by the Gotham Organization, Gotham West, at 550 W. 45th St., leases studios to three-bedroom homes, replete with condo-like finishes and amenities, such as quarter-sawn oak floors, washer/dryers, floor-to-ceiling windows and kitchens outfitted with the likes of KitchenAid appliances and honed Absolute Black granite worktops. Some units offer walk-in closets, separate kitchen pantries and Hudson River views. Gotham West’s communal amenities list is long and includes a lounge, which serves daily breakfasts, a business center, a screening room, a demo kitchen used by invited professional chefs, and a game room. The fitness center has a motion studio and yoga / spinning classes. The building also includes three outdoor spaces. Amenities also include
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July 3-July 16, 2014
Photo Courtesy of Silverstein Properties
An aerial shot of Hell’s Kitchen and beyond shows the Silver Towers at 42nd St and 11th Ave.
playgrounds, a bike porter for last-minute tune-ups and free weekday shuttles to and from 42nd St. and Sixth Ave. No-fee monthly rentals currently begin at $2,900. (gothamwestnyc.com) From Silverstein Properties, Silver Towers is an enormous complex with million-dollar views of the Hudson River and Manhattan skyline. Located at 42nd St. and 11th Ave., two glass towers offer studios to two-bedrooms, including lofts and penthouses. Some have private outdoor space. All feature high, floor-to-ceiling windows, Afromosia wood floors and washer/ dryers. Floors two through seven in the North Tower are outfitted with furnished units for corporate residents. The Entertaining Terrace has cabanas, chaises, daybeds and misting showers, a BBQ grill and a wet bar. The fitness center offers spa and nail services and a yoga room. There’s a 75-foot indoor pool and sundeck, too. Complimentary weekday shuttles connect residents to and from multiple locations during morning and evening commutes. A quarter-acre public park designed by Thomas Balsley showcases pavilions, a kids’ area, an enclosed dog run, a mist fountain and an area for lounging and picnicking. The Spot Experience dog daycare will soon be a part of Silver Towers. No-fee monthly rentals currently begin at $3,190. (silvertowers.com) The real estate development team of JDS Development Group and Property Markets Group, in partnership with Starwood Capital Group, is bringing the latest Ralph Walker conversion to Hell’s Kitchen –– Stella Tower, at 425 W. 50th St. Originally designed by Walker
in 1927 for the New York Telephone Company, the condominium has one- to three-bedroom residences ranging from 1,000 to 2,200 square feet, though penthouses boast as much as 3,600 square feet. Units feature oversized tilt-and-turn windows and soaring ceiling heights, and select residences have fireplaces and private outdoor space. Stella Tower will have a 24-hour attended lobby, a fitness center, a lounge with a pantry and bar and a garden lounge. Sold through Douglas Elliman, prices are from $1.8 million. (stellatower.com) The Piano Factory, the conversion of an 1870s building at 454 W. 46th St. where Wessell Nickel & Gross built pianos, has 48 loft-like units. An enclavelike complex, it features a European-style interior courtyard where plants cascade down from restored iron catwalks that connect two buildings. Town Residential is now offering a four-bedroom penthouse duplex with an enormous terrace. Light-filled with wonderful skyline views, this home has hardwood floors and high ceilings –– including a vaulted ceiling in the living room –– pocket doors and a laundry room with a Bosch washer/dryer. The very large eat-in kitchen, which opens onto a second terrace, is outfitted with cherry wood cabinets, granite countertops and a radiant heat floor. Appliances are by Jenn-Air, Dacor and Bosch. The master suite has a dressing area, two full closets and an en-suite bathroom. The owner will have roof rights, so with board approval, a third deck can be added. Priced at $4 million. DowntownExpress.com
July 3-July 16, 2014
An unfolding awareness of psychic abilities Linda Lauren brings mediumship into the mainstream BOOKS MEDIUM RARE: THE MEMOIR OF A FOURTH GENERATION PSYCHIC By Linda Lauren E-Book: $7.99 Paperback: $14.99 272 pages Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch & Mac Available in paperback, at lindalauren.com
BY CATHY TOWLE Linda Lauren’s “Medium Rare: The Memoir of a Fourth Generation Psychic Medium” is another fine addition to the growing list of Spirit Medium literature. Chronicling her life from childhood to the present, Lauren tells the story through the lens of an unfolding awareness of her psychic abilities. “Medium Rare” is entertaining story about how one deals with, and grows into, a gift that just doesn’t go away. Although I appreciate the men in the field, I am very happy to see a woman who is intent on bringing mediumship into the mainstream. After all, the woman’s suffrage movement was closely associated with the Spiritualist movement in the late 1800s. Some of the finest mediums were fe- male, and it was an early opportunity for women to speak publicly and have their own businesses, and thus, financial freedom. Writing a book about a situation that’s hard to prove and not accepted in many circles is a daunting task. Lauren does an admiral job of portraying mediumship to an audience of both believers and skeptics, as well as those wanting to learn more about their own unfolding gift. I appreciated her IN PRINT OR ONLINE
humor and grit when facing down the paranormal. It isn’t easy to stand your ground when confronted with an apparition! All of us in the paranormal field have had those moments when we wish we were somewhere else, but our curiosity keeps us plugging on. Lauren takes us with her into those moments with a laugh and a reassuring tug. Evidence in the world of mediumship is all in the eye of the beholder. What might seem sen- timental and convoluted to some might be con-
crete and real to another, all based on context. When speaking about others’ evidential experi- ences, the book is totally on track and believable. When it comes to her own experiences, although funny and acerbic, it lacked the oomph and deep thought that I was expecting from the author. I wanted to see more of the struggle to believe in one’s ability, and the cognitive dissonance that one has to reconcile with in that situation. I think a lot of beginning intuitives need that insight, and for
Hard News Beyond the Hard Copy
me it was sorely missing. Don’t get me wrong, I did like this book — but it did touch on one of my pet peeves: self-advertisement. Granted, it is very hard to have the detachment of storytelling without an editor (Lauren’s book is self published). But a chapter about an app for your services...really? A couple of chapters came off sounding more like a business brochure than storyline, which took it out of the memoir genre for a moment. While it is interesting to know how the business evolved, I wanted to hear more about the issues that come up in our work — like handling over- load and burnout, keeping boundaries with cli- ents, and how to handle the negative aspects of the work — things that starting mediums really need to know. Lauren’s quick wit and humor tucks you right into a story that you want to keep reading. No matter where she goes, the spirits come with her, and are there to meet her with great stories. I was especially delighted to read that she had a book signing at the East Village’s Merchant’s House Museum — a wonderfully spirit-filled place that I have had the honor of investigating with the Sturges Paranormal team. All in all, “Medium Rare” is an engaging tale, which will add to your understanding of the field of mediumship. Cathy Towle is a Psychic Medium, Shaman, and Life Coach living in Brooklyn. She is one of the few Mediums Certified by the Forever Family Foundation, and works with scientists to further the understanding of the afterlife. She teaches and works privately with clients as well as paranormal investigation with Sturges Paranormal (sturgesparanormal.com). Also an interfaith minister, she is on the executive council of the NGO Committee for Spirituality, Values and Global Concerns - NY with the UN. For more info, visit cathytowle.com. IN PRINT OR ONLINE
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Buhmann on Art
Courtesy of the artist & Mike Weiss Gallery
Jerry Kearns: “AGGGKK!” | 2013-14, Acrylic on canvas, 84 x 108 in. (213.4 x 274.3 cm).
BY STEPHANIE BUHMANN (stephaniebuhmann.com)
JERRY KEARNS: RRRGGHH!!! Kearns’ first show in New York since 2006 will feature eight new paintings on canvas, as well as five wall murals. All of these works source inspiration from animation, as well as the comic novel, both stylistically and in regard to structuring DowntownExpress.com
content. The drama-laden conflict of good versus evil, as it is being played out between hero and villain, is at the core here. In Kearns’ hands, however, this duality is far from simple. Instead, it finds manifestation in complex, layered compositions that have a common thread: a hero’s journey captured in various scenes. Each hero embodies at least one
of the more influential archetypes in culture, such as Jesus (see a work entitled “BAM BAM”) or a hybrid of The Joker and the American Cowboy (see “AGGGKK!”). But Kearns is not interested in romanticizing culture. In fact, as someone who came to prominence in the 1980s with politically minded Psychological Pop Art Paintings, he understands his works as a sign of warning, pointing
out that in our time, nature has been virtually replaced by mediated information — and that we risk becoming corporate avatars. Through August 23, at Mike Weiss Gallery (520 W. 24th St., btw. 10th & 11th Aves.). Hours: Tues. – Sat., 10a.m. – 6 p.m. Call 212-6916899 or visit mikeweissgallery.com. Continued on page 24
July 3-July 16, 2014
Buhmann on Art
Courtesy of the artist & apexart
Guido van der Werve: “Nummer zeven (the clouds are more beautiful from above)” | 2006, video projection, 8:48 min. (video still).
Continued from page 23
THE HIDDEN PASSENGERS Organized by Avi Lubin, this exhibition features works by several well-known names, among them Mark Dion, Pierre Huyghe, and Roxy Paine. In the past, scientists often employed artists to illustrate
let’s do something together at TRINITY WALL STREET
All Are Welcome All events are free, unless noted. 212.602.0800
TRINITY CHURCH Broadway at Wall Street 74 TRINITY PLACE is located in the office building behind Trinity Church
ST. PAUL’S CHAPEL Broadway and Fulton Street CHARLOTTE’S PLACE 107 Greenwich Street btwn Rector & Carlisle Streets The Rev. Dr. James H. Cooper, Rector The Rev. Canon Anne Mallonee, Vicar
the results of their research and sometimes, scientists were artists in their own right (think of Ernst Haeckel and his famous “Art forms of Nature”). Today, film, photography, and digital animation no longer make art and science co-dependent. As a twist, this exhibition picks works that use science as a source of
community THURSDAY, JULY 3 & 10, 10:15am-12pm Job Seekers’ Group Join with other people who are seeking to improve and effectively market their skills while they undergo the search for new employment. 74 Trinity Pl, 3rd Fl, Room 2 WEDNESDAY, JULY 9 & 16, 12pm Public Art: Summer Ribbon Project During the 10th Anniversary of 9/11, hundreds of people tied white “Remember to Love” Ribbons to the fence at St. Paul’s with personal messages of remembrance and love. Trinity donated these ribbons to Muriel Stockdale (the artist behind the Charlotte’s Place flag collection) and she will be sharing the creation of this project all summer. Charlotte’s Place FRIDAY, JULY 18, 6pm Family Friday Pizza and Movie Night Relax with your kids and meet other downtown families for free pizza, children’s movies, and community. All families with young children are welcome. Charlotte’s Place
Tomer Sapir: “Research for the Full Crypto-Taxidermical Index” | 2010-14, Cement, salt, wax, fibers of Ceiba insignis, latex, plastic, pigment, vitrine, dimensions variable (detail).
inspiration, albeit without getting lost in truisms. Whereas science aspires to systematically accumulate knowledge and understand the universe from an outside perspective, artists often attempt the opposite. Working from within, they do not assume to understand the world (nor do they long to explain it). Instead, they aim for
FRIDAY, JULY 25, 6pm Family Friday Yoga and Veggie Night Practice with your children in this familyfocused yoga class! As kids discover the foundations of yoga, adults can stretch away their stresses from the week. Charlotte’s Place
education SUNDAY, JULY 6 & 13, 10am Community Bible Study An open, weekly Bible study during the summer, while regular Discovery classes are on break. Whether you’re a Bible scholar, just opening the book for the first time, or anywhere in between, your voice is welcome and encouraged. Led by the Community Bible Study team. 74 Trinity Pl, 2nd Fl, Parlor SUNDAY, JULY 6 & 13, 10am The Gospel, Times, Journal, and You A discussion group that reads the editorial pages of The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and the assigned Gospel for the day. Led by the Rev. Mark Bozzuti-Jones. 74 Trinity Pl, 2nd Fl, Seminar Room
sparking our imagination and — not unlike Pierre Huyghe’s “A Journey That Wasn’t” — succeed in blending the possible with the impossible. Through July 26, at apexart (291 Church St., btw. Walker & White Sts.). Hours: Tues.-Sat., 11 a.m. – 6 p.m. Call 212-431-5270 or visit apexart.org.
worship SUNDAY, 8am & 10am St. Paul’s Chapel · Holy Eucharist 8pm · Compline by Candlelight SUNDAY, 9am & 11:15am Trinity Church · Preaching, music, and Eucharist · Child care available MONDAY—FRIDAY, 12:05pm Trinity Church · Holy Eucharist MONDAY—FRIDAY, 5:15pm All Saints’ Chapel, in Trinity Church Evening Prayer Watch online webcast
Courtesy of the artist & apexart
an Episcopal parish in the city of New York
July 3-July 16, 2014
Just Do Art
Photo by Cameron Blaylock
Book it to Poets House, for their annual exhibition of all the poetry books published in the last year (through Aug. 16).
BY SCOTT STIFFLER
BRAZIL SOUNDS DOWNTOWN CELEBRATES THE WORLD CUP The clock’s running out on your chance to visit the World Cup’s host country — but if sampling the music of Brazil is your goal, Arts Brookfield has game. Through July 22, their “Brazil Sounds Downtown” series pays tribute to that country’s melodies and rhythms. You’ll hear work that blends traditional Brazilian genres (samba, bossa nova, and forró) with distinctly American styles (jazz, soul, and country). On July 8, “Brasil Love Acoustic” showcases the Brasil Live collective of professional Brazilian musicians and performers — led by Rio de Janeiro native guitarist and musical director Marcos Vigio. On July 15, Benji Kaplan (guitar/ vocal, flute) performs his rhythmically creative works, which have earned accolades from the likes of iconic Brazilian composer Guinga. The series concludes on July 22, when accordion player Rob Curto performs. The skilled forró artist combines that style with his love of North American swing music, bebop piano, funk, rock, and blues. He’s joined by 6- and 7-string guitarist Cesar Garabini. Free. July 8, 15 & 22, from 12:30– 1:30 p.m. in Zucotti Park (Broadway & Liberty St.). For more info, visit artsbrookfield.com/events. DowntownExpress.com
Baruch Performing Arts Center & TGW Acting Studio present
Photo courtesy of the artist
Rob Curto performs in Zucotti Park, on July 22 (the final installment of Arts Brookfields’ “Brazil Sounds Downtown” series).
THE POETS HOUSE 22ND ANNUAL SHOWCASE It’s harvest season at Poets House — when the innovative Downtown library and event space adds to its 60,000-volume collection with an exhibition comprised of all the poetry books published in this country during the last year. “There is nothing like it anywhere else,” says Poets House Executive Director Lee Briccetti, who justifiably calls the Showcase “a demonstration Continued on page 26
Taming of The Shrew a Play by william Shakespeare Directed by Thomas g. waites
July 10-August 3 / $35 Tickets: 212-352-3101 or online at www.baruch.cuny.edu/bpac
25th St between Lexington & Third Avenues Use Code “Downtown” for $8 discount! July 3-July 16, 2014
Just Do Art Continued from page 25
of the poetic impulse and practice of our country.” This year’s exhibition — on view through Aug. 16 — features upwards of 3,000 volumes from over 700 micro-presses and publishers. But it’s not all about the up-close, looky-loo experience. The Showcase Reading Series gives voice to the words, by presenting authors who have works on display. Brett Fletcher Lauer (“A Hotel in Belgium,” Four Way Books) and Wendy S. Walters (“Troy, Michigan,” Futurepoem Books) are among those at the July 23 reading. On July 30, featured authors include Jeffrey Harrison (“Into Daylight,” Tupelo Press) and Lenelle Moïse (“Haiti Glass,” City Lights). On Aug. 6, the guests are Cathy Linh Che (“Split,” Alice James Books), Harmony Holiday (“Go Find Your Father/A Famous Blues,” Ricochet Editions), Yusef Komunyakaa (“Testimony, A Tribute to Charlie Parker,” Wesleyan
University Press), and Mark Wunderlich (“The Earth Avails,” Graywolf Press). Free. The Showcase is on view through Aug. 16, at Poets House (10 River Terrace, at Murray St.). Hours: Tues.–Fri., 11 a.m.– 7 p.m. & Sat., 11 a.m.–6 p.m. All readings are free, and start at 7 p.m. on Wed., July 23, 30 & Aug. 6. For info, call 212-4317920 or visit poetshouse.org.
THE WEST VILLAGE CHORALE SUMMER SINGS SERIES The weather outside might be frightful — but in no way, shape or form is it beginning to look a lot like Christmas. You wouldn’t know that, though, if you happened to stroll by historic (and air conditioned) Judson Memorial Church on the early evening of July 14. That’s when Young New Yorkers’ Chorus conductor Michael Kerschner will preside over the rehearsal — and the performance — of a composition by Handel that’s usually associated with low temperatures and the calendar year’s waning days. It makes perfect
summer Starting June 23rd n
Photo by Wayne Valzania
All of the Christmas tradition, with none of the snow: The West Village Chorale’s “Summer Sings” series turns its attention to Handel’s “Messiah” (July 14).
sense, though, for The West Village Chorale’s superior contribution to all that “Christmas in July” hype (retail sales themes, Hallmark movie marathons). Fast becoming a tradition in its own right, this repeat performance of the Chorale’s traditional December “Messiah Sing” is just one of the installments in its ongoing “Summer Sings” series. Every Monday through Aug. 18, a different guest conductor will guide participants through a brief rehearsal of a classic work, followed by a performance (which you can participate in, or just sit back and enjoy). Other upcoming
“Sings” events include the Mozart “Mass in C Minor,” led by Cynthia Powell of the Stonewall Chorale (and the Melodia Women’s Choir (July 21), the Brahms “Requiem,” led by John Maclay of the Choral Society of Grace Church (Aug. 4), and the Mozart “Requiem,” led by Patrick Gardner of Riverside Choral Society (Aug. 18). Musical scores, piano accompaniment, and intermission refreshments are provided. Mondays, through Aug. 18, at 7:30 p.m. At Judson Memorial Church (55 Washington Square South, at Thompson St.). For more info, visit westvillagechorale.org 212-517-1776.
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