VOLUME 6, NUMBER 19 JULY 17, 2014
THE WEST SIDE’S COMMUNITY NEWSPAPER SERVING CHELSEA, HUDSON YARDS & HELL'S KITCHEN
CB4 Strives to Balance Preservation, Progress BY EILEEN STUKANE Real estate development is transforming New York City with remarkable speed. The paradox created by holding onto the familiar while rapidly adjusting to the new was apparent at the July 7 Chelsea Land Use Committee (CLUC) meeting of Community Board 4 (CB4). The possibility of losing a vintage sign on a landmarked building moved the committee to vote for its restoration. There was also concern over the development of the former Bayview Correctional Facility, and the soonto-be Moynihan Station. The centerpiece of Continued on page 2
Secret Parks of Chelsea BY RAANAN GEBERER Like much of Manhattan, Chelsea has a scarcity of green spaces dedicated to nothing more than the simple acts of rest or play. Clement Clarke Moore Park, the Penn South playground, Chelsea Park, Hudson River Park, and Chelsea Waterside Park comprise a handful of options. As part of their Affordable Housing plan, Community Board 4 (CB4) has begun to seriously consider the longstanding efforts of Friends of 20th Street Park (20thstreetpark. org) to convert a former Department of Sanitation lot (between Sixth and Seventh Aves.) into a micro-park. Any additional public space, no matter how small, would be welContinued on page 4
VAMPIRE COWBOYS ON ICE, PAGE 14
Photo by Tina Buckman
A Hospital Drama With Heart L to R: Cast members Gus Solomons, Sharon Shah, Charles Young and Antonietta Corvinelli, joined by Chelsea-based playwright Michael F. Bruck. Based on his experience as a multiple myeloma patient, Bruck’s “Lottie and Leo” has three upcoming performances, as part of the Midtown International Theatre Festival. See page 15.
Making Some Noise About After Hours Construction BY ZACH WILLIAMS For those who’ve put down roots in West Chelsea, the impact of ongoing residential development is hitting home — early in the morning or late into the night, often at the expense of restful sleep and normal everyday activities. The New York City Department of Buildings (DOB) allows construction to take place outside of the generally allowed time frame — 7 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Friday — by issuing an After Hours Variance (AHV). To obtain that permit, applicants must successfully cite emergency conditions or demonstrate a threat to public safety, such as traffic congestion or worker/ pedestrian danger during normal hours. City construction projects in the public interest, evidencing undue hardship (such as unforeseen conditions and scheduling
commitments), and limiting work to that which creates “minimal noise impact” are also acceptable reasons for obtaining an AHV. Once granted, it’s valid for up to14 consecutive days, and renewable online through the NYC Development Hub. Residents living within earshot of an AHV site say that even the most robust noise mitigation plan — a requirement for all construction projects regardless of the hours they keep — still exacts a toll on peace of mind and quality of life. Three noise complaints made to 311 regarding after hours construction at have been to no avail, according to Cynthia Butos. The backyard of the W. 15th St. building
Continued on page 6
Landmarks Violation Sparks CB4 Preservation Vote Continued from page 1 the meeting, however, was the future — embodied in the slide presentation and continuing refinement of the newly minted “Manhattan Community District 4 Affordable Housing Plan” which will rezone and reshape neighborhoods to create more affordable apartments. The prospect of losing the painted Royal Paper Corporation sign on the south side of the 42-story building at 210 11th Ave. — to a painted advertisement for ABS Partners, Real Estate, LLC, the managing agents of the building — was soundly rejected. Mike Rosani, an associate at Michael Zenreich Architects (who represented ABS at the meeting), reported that Royal owned the building from 1926 until the mid-1980s, and that a Royal family member remained in the group of new owners who approved the sign change. Rosani had already presented to the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission. His presen-
Photo by David Holowka
Photo by Michael Zenreich Architects, for ABS Partners
tation showed images of the building with the vintage Royal sign as he said it currently appeared, and the proposed ABS sign. Trouble was, the purported current photo of the building was bogus. The painted word “Royal” had already been removed from the side of the building (committee member David Holowka showed in a photo he had taken the previous week). CLUC
L to R: A PDF photo, presented by Michael Zenreich Architects for ABS Partners, was said to be current a visual — but was shown to be false by a photo taken by David Holowka.
member Michael Noble noted, “This is one of the last reminders we have of what it used to look like here. Even if it’s a bit of a glimpse that you get when you look up 11th Ave., it’s still something.” Members voted to bring the obliterated sign, a Landmarks violation, to the Commission’s attention, and request a full restoration. Retaining a bit of the history in
a district which is now home to the massive Hudson Yards development project and sky-high residential towers is becoming increasingly difficult. CLUC member Eric Latzky reported on three responses to Requests For Proposal (RFP) issued by New York State’s Empire State Development
Continued on page 7
Here’s to Your HealthPlex!
Photo by Tequila Minsky
BY LINCOLN ANDERSON The new Lenox Hill HealthPlex, at 12th St. and Seventh Ave., located in the renovated former St. Vincent’s Hospital O’Toole Building, was dedicated in a ceremony on the morning of Wed., July 9. The $150 million facility includes the city’s first freestanding emergency department — with no hospital beds on site — which will operate 24/7, 365 days a year. This first part of the HealthPlex is set to open this week, according to a North Shore-
July 17, 2014
LIJ Health System spokesperson. More parts of the HealthPlex will be coming online in the near future. In the photo above, at the ribbon-cutting, from left, were Glennda Testone, executive director of the adjacent LGBT Community Center; state Senator Kemp Hannon, chairperson of the state Senate Health Committee; Borough President Gale Brewer; Assemblymember Deborah Glick; state Senator Brad Hoylman; Dr. Eric Cruzen,
the HealthPlex’s director of emergency medicine; Alex Hellinger, the HealthPlex’s executive director; William and Phyllis Mack, the philanthropists whose names adorn the building; Michael Dowling, president and CEO of North ShoreLIJ Health System; Mark Claster, chairperson of NS-LIJ’s board of trustees; Assemblymember Richard Gottfried, chairperson of the Assembly Health Committee; and City Councilmember Corey Johnson. .com
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THE ARTIST AND COMPUTER RENDERINGS AND EXTERIOR AND INTERIOR DECORATIONS, FINISHES, LAYOUTS, FIXTURES, APPLIANCES, FURNISHINGS, LANDSCAPING AND AMENITIES ARE PROVIDED FOR ILLUSTRATIVE PURPOSES ONLY. ARTIST AND COMPUTER RENDERINGS REFLECT THE PLANNED SCALE AND SPIRIT OF THE BUILDING. SPONSOR RESERVES THE RIGHT TO MAKE SUBSTITUTIONS OF MATERIAL, EQUIPMENT, LAYOUTS, FIXTURES, FINISHES AND APPLIANCES IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE TERMS OF THE OFFERING PLAN. SPONSOR MAKES NO REPRESENTATION OR WARRANTIES EXCEPT AS MAY BE SET FORTH IN THE OFFERING PLAN. SPONSOR MAKES NO REPRESENTATIONS AS TO THE FUTURE OR CONTINUED EXISTENCE OF ANY OF THE NAMED, DESCRIBED OR PORTRAYED ESTABLISHMENTS, STRUCTURES OR FACILITIES. SPONSOR MAKES NO REPRESENTATION THAT FUTURE CONSTRUCTION IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD SURROUNDING THE CONDOMINIUM WILL NOT RESULT IN THE OBSTRUCTION OF THE VIEWS FROM ANY WINDOWS AND/OR TERRACES. FEES AND COSTS MAY BE IMPOSED FOR CERTAIN ACTIVITIES, EVENTS, SERVICES AND PROGRAMS HAPPENING WITHIN THE AMENITIES AND FACILITIES LOCATED AT THE BUILDING. ALL OF THE SERVICES AND FACILITIES DESCRIBED IN THE PLAN MAY NOT BE AVAILABLE UNTIL APPROXIMATELY 12 MONTHS AFTER THE FIRST CLOSING. THE COMPLETE OFFERING TERMS ARE IN THE OFFERING PLAN AVAILABLE FROM THE SPONSOR. FILE #CD13-0282. SPONSOR NAME: 50 WEST DEVELOPMENT LLC, 55 FIFTH AVENUE, NEW YORK, NY 10003. 50 WEST STREET CONDOMINIUM, 50 WEST STREET, NEW YORK, NY 10006.
July 17, 2014
Hop on POPS, for a Tour of Chelsea’s Secret Parks
Photo by Raanan Geberer
Photo by Scott Stiffler
The entrance to the inner courtyard/garden of the General Theological Seminary.
The front garden of the High Line Hotel is free, and open to the public (food truck charges apply).
Continued from page 1 come. Of Manhattan’s 12 Community Board areas, CB4 ranks dead last for parks within a quarter-mile of residents — and in the bottom quartile when compared against all 59 boards throughout NYC. However, there are other, much
smaller open spaces that are not official parks. Many of them are spaces between two buildings, with some plantings and benches. People who live and work nearby know about them, but most are not widely publicized. Arnold Bob, a retired computer programmer who lives in Penn South, calls them “The Secret Parks of Chelsea.” In 2012, he created a map detailing these
spaces (visit parkchelseanews.blogspot. com to view the map and access more information on Bob’s campaign for more public spaces in Chelsea). “In 2009,” Bob explains, “my mother had open-heart surgery. Six months later she came to visit me. I left her outside so she could call up an Access-ARide. Then I got a call from her saying that she had stood waiting for an hour and the Access-A-Ride people never showed up. I looked into finding places where people can sit down in Chelsea, and did a map of places where people can sit down.” Some of these spaces are Privately Owned Public Spaces (POPS), provided by private developers in exchange for additional floor area. POPS, according to the Department of City Planning, were provided for in a 1961 zoning resolution “to provide light, air, breathing room and green space to ease the predominately hard-scaped character of the
city’s densest areas.” The best-known POPS in the city is Zuccotti Park. “The fact that it is a POPS is a quirk that allowed Occupy Wall Street to be there,” says James Yolles, spokesman for New Yorkers for Parks (visit ny4p. org for more info on the organization). Many of the early POPS were deliberately designed to be only minimally inviting to the public, with little or no signage telling people they were accessible. “Some of the experts,” notes Yolles, “have called these spaces ‘privatization by design.’ ” Revisions passed by the City Council in 2007 and 2009 mandated that POPS be easily seen from the street, be welllit, have comfortable seating areas, and meet a set of established standards for things such as plantings and signage. Apops.mas.org, a website maintained by Advocates for Privately Owned
Continued on page 12
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July 17, 2014
After Hours Construction Booms as Proposed Bill Echoes Complaints
Photos by Zach Williams
Pestered to the point of no pesto: W. 15th St. resident Bill Butos observes the garden impacted by early morning construction on a 12-story resident building adjacent to his backyard.
Continued from page 1 in which she lives with her husband Bill faces a 245 W. 14th St. project, where workers were hammering and sawing on a recent Saturday morning. The noise was so intrusive, they decided to forego the annual spring planting of their basil crop — which, in prior years, supplied a weekly pesto dinner to building residents. Relaxing in the backyard has been impossible due to the ongoing construction work, she noted in an email. “The weekend work affects more than just the eight apartments with garden access, though. About 30 apartments face the construction, so when they are home on Saturdays, they are awoken and live with the noise,” said Butos. Decades-long neighborhood advocate Stanley Bulbach, currently president of the W. 15th St. 100 and 200 Block Association, asserts that the “tsunami of poorly designed and regulated hyperdevelopment” has residential communities throughout West Chelsea “increasingly overwhelmed.” The present atmosphere, notes Bulbach, was created and nurtured during the three terms of mayor Michael Bloomberg — who, said Bulbach in an email, neglected “regulations and guidelines protecting residents, but complicating hyperde-
So far this year, developers within CB4 received 1,206 permits to work early mornings or late at night — including this project, at 245 W. 14th St.
velopment.” One such example: the future 12-story residential building at 245 W. 14th St., whose AHV disruptions prompted Butos to make her 311 calls. When construction commenced several years ago, it produced tremors, recalls Bulbach, who noted that inspectors halted work for “a couple of years.” Construction noise as late as 4 a.m. and as early as 7:30 a.m. has taken its toll elsewhere, according to Jeff Sokolowski, who lives with his wife and daughter on W. 34th St. — near the sprawling Manhattan West project. Heavy machinery, truck engines, and other disturbances impact their sleep and dissuade them from enjoying the balcony (an amenity which, in part, motivated them to move to this location). “There’s been drilling. There’s been jack hammering. There’s been pile driving,” Sokolowski said before adding, “I know it’s kind of a bourgeois complaint, but that’s [the balcony] one of the benefits of our apartment.” Another resident of W. 34th St., Even Steven Levee, said the Manhattan West project has put the damper on his home recording studio, among other inconveniences. “It’s been insane to say the least,” he said. Brookfield representative Melissa Coley declined to answer questions concerning the reasons that the
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project secured an AHV for Manhattan West, but expressed optimism that conflicts stemming from the project would ultimately be resolved, she said in an email. “Since before our Manhattan West project began, we engaged in a cooperative dialogue with the various stakeholders in the community to communicate all facets in our construction program and provide a method to address issues as they arise,” she said in the email. “We will continue to be actively engaged in that dialogue and look forward to completing the project that will include two acres of open space and multiple public amenities that will enhance the neighborhood for everyone.” According to a website devoted to the $4.5 million project, Manhattan West will feature a 60-story residential building with 800 luxury units as well as a five star hotel, retail space and a two-acre park. Construction on a three-acre foundation for the site began in January 2013, Chelsea Now reported on Feb. 26. Representatives of two prominent real estate development companies, Extell Development and Related Companies, did not respond to multiple requests for comment on the necessity of AHVs for their projects throughout New York City, or their reaction to the proposed legislation. Related Companies is currently developing Hudson Yards, property bought last year from Extell for $168 million. According to DOB records, developers within the boundaries of Community Board 4 (CB4) were issued 2,442 AHVs in 2013 — with 1,206 so far this year. “These are literally on a case-by-case basis so [developers] have really got to present a specific reason why they need to operate outside regular construction time,” DOB spokesperson Alex Schnell said. The department conducts spot checks of active AHV sites, and follows up with complaints made via 311 in order to ensure compliance, noted Schnell. But the number of permits, which are actually revoked based on complaints and inspections, “are pretty negligible,” Schnell noted.
Continued on page 20 .com
Landmarks Violation Sparks CB4 Preservation Vote Continued from page 2 Corporation for the repurposing of the former Bayview Correctional Facility (550 W. 20th St.), which has a historic chapel and wall mosaics. Rather than sell the building to a private developer, the state is now offering a 99-year lease for development of the site. Three developers — Dabra Development Corporation, Peebles Corporation, and Adorama — offered plans, all of which left the fate of the chapel and the mosaics in question. As for the historical changing of the James A. Farley Post Office Building at 421 Eighth Ave. into Moynihan Station, that is moving ahead with greater communication between New York State’s newly created Moynihan Station Development Corporation (MSDC), and the community. Due to a misunderstanding earlier in the year about the sale of air rights, which was widely reported but had not taken place, the MSDC has formed an advisory committee of representatives from CBs 4 and 5, as well as city and state elected officials. MSDC will be working with the advisory committee as the sale of air rights for and from the building is undertaken, most likely in the fall.
CB4’S AMBITIOUS AFFORDABLE HOUSING PLAN As he did at the June meeting of CB4’s Housing, Health and Human Services Committee (HHSC) — where he is co-chair — Joe Restuccia presented the impressive “Manhattan Community District 4 Affordable Housing Plan” to the CLUC. CB4’s CLUC and Clinton/ Hell’s Kitchen Land Use Committee, which had its meeting on July 9, both approved (with small changes) the over 70-page plan — which sets the stage for the plan to be adopted by the full board at its July 23 meeting. As envisioned, the plan will assure over 11,000 affordable apartments to Chelsea and Hell’s Kitchen, an astounding number (whose total includes both preserved housing and new construction). Mayor de Blasio has asked the city’s 59 Community Boards for help in identifying sites and suggesting ways to increase affordable housing in their neighborhoods. He has spoken of requiring that the number of permanently affordable units in new developments be set at 30 percent. In response, CB4 has become the city’s first community board to undertake an in-depth analysis and present a plan .com
Photo by Eileen Stukane
Mike Rosani (standing) presents plans for a Royal Paper Corporation sign to the Chelsea Land Use Committee.
that would increase affordable housing by changing an industrial corridor into a residential one, preventing current affordable housing from falling into market rate, and creating many new units (some of which are already under construction). When Chelsea Now debuted the plan in its July 3 print issue (posted to ChelseaNow.com on June 26), it was divided into six sections (Sites: Under Construction, With Completed Public Review, Under Public Review Process, HPD Development Pipeline, Proposed Development, and Proposed Rezoning & Text Amendments). Now, as the plan has gained specificity, there are two sections devoted to existing affordable housing: 421-A Units Expiring Tax Exemptions & Regulatory Agreements, and Affordable Production & Preservation. In addition, four sections that particularly target the creation of affordable housing through rezoning of industrial areas have been crafted, the Proposed: West Chelsea Special District Expansion; Special Hudson Yards District Text Amendments; HPRT Development Rights Transfer Proposed Receiving Sites; and Special Clinton District Text Amendment. Zoning for the far west side, 11th Ave. areas of Chelsea, Hudson Yards, and Clinton/Hell’s Kitchen, has been industrial. Restuccia spoke of “pari passu,” a side by side equal footing in creating zoning that would accommodate both industrial and residential needs at the same time. Past administrations have frowned upon this approach — but as Restuccia told the committee, “This administration for the first time said that there can be coexistence between certain industrial uses and residential uses. This is evolving. It has got to be a true industrial use (as opposed to a commercial enterprise) to convert space to residential Floor Area Ratio
(FAR).” He went on to explain that throughout the plan, in current industrial areas, “We’re saying retain 2 FAR of industrial use as a way to reconcile industrial and residential.” Restuccia also spoke of creating a special mixeduse zoning district that might be an “overlay” commercial zoning. In light of Hurricane Sandy’s destruction, an audience member asked about consideration of environmental issues when building on the far west side, close to the Hudson River’s shoreline. John Lee Compton, CLUC’s
co-chair responded that “City Planning has embarked on a study and is working with the NYC Department of Buildings to change the building codes to do what is possible against flooding. Anything that will be built will have to conform with the new guidelines.” It was decided that the environmental consideration, along with a number of committee recommendations such as apartment sizes, and recognition of needed public services such as schools and public transportation, be included in an introduction that would be permanently be attached to the plan. Restuccia thanked Housing Conservation Coordinators and Anna Huggins and Alissa Mitrisin of Clinton Housing Development Company for their dedication and help in making the Plan a reality. To see CB4’s affordable housing plan, visit nyc.gov/mcb4. Located in the middle column, about two-thirds of the way down on the page, you’ll see “Presentation of Current and Proposed Affordable Housing Development Sites in Community District 4!” Click on the link directly below.
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Praying for Your Job TALKING POINT BY PAUL SCHINDLER Three years ago, shortly after enactment of New York’s marriage equality law, I had the opportunity for a one-onone interview with Governor Andrew Cuomo about the hands-on role he played in the fateful final days leading up to that measure’s approval by the Republicancontrolled Senate. One critical factor in his negotiations with a small group of GOP senators — four of whom voted yes, providing the margin of victory — was language spelling out the rights of religious congregations to be free of any obligation to marry couples they did not wish to. When I asked the governor about the deliberations over “religious exemptions,” he made a point to tell me, “I will say, gratuitously, that it’s a trap for the gay community. There is no reason for the gay community to alienate the religious community.” Discussions I had at the time with legal advocacy groups, including the New York Civil Liberties Union, persuaded me that the religious exemption provisions that made their way into the marriage law were not in fact problematic. NYCLU’s Donna Lieberman was emphatic in telling me that faith-affiliated groups won no new “exemptions” or privileges to discriminate. In a broader sense, however, I think the governor was wrong. Of course the LGBT community need not alienate friends or potential friends among faith communities. But it would be naïve for us to forget that some religious groups are indeed hostile to our interests. And
that, as the culture wars continue to rage — even if our opponents represent the attitudes of an ever-shrinking share of Americans — they are stepping up their efforts to enshrine in law whatever discrimination against us they can. Ironically, the right wing’s hysteria about “religious freedom” and their demands for “religious exemptions” represent something of a rearguard effort. At one time, by smearing us as sick or as threats to their children or as a group seeking “special rights,” anti-gay forces tried to deny us basic civil protections altogether — in our personal safety, in employment, in marriage. But in 2014, it must be clear even to them they are losing that fight. So now they are the ones seeking special rights — rights, privileges even, that protect them from following the same rules governing the rest of society and that allow them a secure zone where they are free to discriminate against LGBT people. LGBT rights is not the only area where “religious freedom” is raised as a battle cry to curtail the freedoms others enjoy. We need look no further than last week’s unconscionable Supreme Court ruling that found that even private corporations can use religious freedom as a way to evade their responsibilities under law — in this case, to provide their employees access to reproductive healthcare otherwise required by the Affordable Healthcare Act. While it is stunning that the high court so radically expanded the notion that a corporation has rights as “a person,” it is not surprising that the religious right is as hostile to the reproductive autonomy of women as it is to the dignity of LGBT people.
What is unique in the right wing’s use of religious freedom arguments in battling the LGBT community, however, is the assertion that civil rights laws should treat us differently than they do any other group in American society. Under the 1964 Civil Rights Act and provisions of law and policy that followed, religious groups have been granted leeway in making some religious distinctions in their hiring. They have not, however, been allowed discretion in adhering to other civil rights requirements — those, for example, barring racial or sex discrimination. When right-wing religious activists and Republicans argue that the proposed Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) or the president’s pending executive order barring sexual orientation and gender identity discrimination by federal contractors must incorporate exemptions allowing employers to opt out based on their religious objections, that is wholly unprecedented practice in civil rights law. What they are saying, in effect, is that Americans of all stripes deserve civil rights protections, but that the protections enjoyed by LGBT Americans will be different and lesser than those afforded everyone else. That is unacceptable — and it’s un-American. As a long-marginalized community, we too often give in to the instinct to negotiate against ourselves in the hopes of gaining some ground in a very long game. That has been our mistake with ENDA to date, with our leading advocates co-signing a religious exemption that is far too broad. The change in posture staked out this week by the Human Rights Campaign and other leading LGBT groups suggests we have recognized the error of that path
and are willing to alter our strategy. I hope that finding our own backbone can serve as a prelude to our insisting that our progressive friends find theirs. The right wing may be making their religious freedom arguments from a defensive crouch, but they are remarkably effective in influencing the public discourse. Cuomo apparently found it politically shrewd to emphasize his view that gay rights advocacy should be careful not to antagonize religious sentiment. When an upstate town clerk refused to carry out her legal obligation to issue same-sex couples marriage licenses, the county district attorney offered [Chelsea Now’s sister publication] Gay City News something of a shrug — and Attorney General Eric Schneiderman (like Cuomo, a reliable ally) declined comment altogether. Mayor Bill de Blasio, an otherwise outspoken progressive, refuses to acknowledge any problem in allowing church congregations to use public school space for religious services, despite clear evidence the practice is at odds with the principle of — and crying need for — church and state separation. And now we wait on the ally-in-chief, President Barack Obama. Will he hang tough in his federal contractor executive order for the principle that all employers must follow the same rules? Or will contractors who make religious exemption claims be given special privileges to discriminate? It would be a breach of faith with the LGBT community for the president to promise us long awaited executive action, only to force some of us to pray for our jobs.
Reader Comments from ChelseaNow.com
plan. With a new administration in town there is optimism that our newly electeds understand the need for affordable housing as well as everything that supports city living for all, including green space. The opportunity for both exists in Chelsea. Hopefully logic will prevail.
Paul Schindler is the editor of our sister publication, Gay City News.
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR Pipe down, Aunt Chelsea!
To The Editor: Re: “Ask Aunt Chelsea” (advice column, July 3, 2014): Hey “Aunt Chelsea” — are you on crack now? That was the most self-serving, off the mark and, frankly, completely stupid answer I have ever seen in this column, and that is going some. How about a new career or something?
To The Editor: Re: “Ask Aunt Chelsea” (advice column, July 3, 2014): Horrible answer! Fight it by mail and they will probably dismiss it. I used to get parking tickets in the mail (20 years ago, thanks to my brother) and fought each one with a quick, thorough, heart-felt letter saying it couldn’t possibly be me, and while not found not-guilty, each one was dismissed. Never had to set foot anywhere.
July 17, 2014
Re “CB4 Debuts Ambitious Affordable Housing Plan” (news, posted to the web on June 26, 2014 and in print on July 3):
New mayor, new hope New York City real estate is rapidly becoming an investment commodity. The speed with which luxury units are converted and built is astounding creating canyons of high-rise, high-end condos. The search for affordable units should be coupled with a viable neighborhood
Have your park and housing too It would be great to see the building on Seventh Ave. and 22nd St. be torn down and replaced with affordable housing.
Continued on page 21 .com
Community Contacts To be listed, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
COMMUNITY BOARD 4 (CB4) CB4 serves Manhattan’s West Side neighborhoods of Chelsea and Clinton/Hell’s Kitchen. Its boundaries are 14th St. on the south, 59/60th St. on the north, the Hudson River on the west, 6th Ave. on the east (south of 26th St.) and 8th Ave. on the east (north of 26th St.). The monthly full board meeting, open to the public, normally takes place on the last Wed. of the month. The next meeting is Wed., July 23, 6:30 p.m., at the Hotel Trades Council (305 W. 44th St., btw. 8th & 9th Aves). There is no Aug. meeting. Call 212-7364536, visit nyc.gov/mcb4 or email them at email@example.com. COMMUNITY BOARD 5 (CB5) CB5 represents the central business district of New York City. It includes midtown Manhattan, the Fashion, Flower, Flatiron and Diamond districts, as well as Bryant Park and Union Square Park. The district is at the center of New York’s tourism industry. The Theatre District, Times Square, Carnegie Hall, the Empire State Building and two of the region’s transportation hubs (Grand Central Station and Penn Station) fall within CB5. The board meeting, open to the public, happens on the second Thursday of the month. The next meeting is Thurs., Sept. 11, 6 p.m., at Xavier High School (30 W. 16th St., btw. 5th & 6th Aves., 2nd fl.). Call 212465-0907, visit cb5.org or email them at firstname.lastname@example.org. THE 300 WEST 23RD, 22ND & 21ST STREETS BLOCK ASSOCIATION Contact them at email@example.com. THE WEST 400 BLOCK ASSOCIATION Contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
CHELSEA GARDEN CLUB Chelsea Garden Club cares for the bike lane tree pits in Chelsea. If you want to adopt a tree pit or join the group, please contact them at email@example.com or like them on Facebook. Also visit chelseagardenclub.blogspot.com. LOWER CHELSEA ALLIANCE (LoCal) This group is committed to protecting the residential blocks of Chelsea from overscale development. Contact them at LowerChelseaAlliance@gmail.com. THE GREENWICH VILLAGE-CHELSEA CHAMBER OF COMMERCE Call 212-337-5912 or visit villagechelsea.com. THE MEATPACKING DISTRICT INITIATIVE Visit meatpacking-district.com or call 212-633-0185. PENN SOUTH The Penn South Program for Seniors provides recreation, education and social services — and welcomes volunteers. For info, call 212-243-3670 or visit pennsouthlive.org. THE BOWERY RESIDENTS’ COMMITTEE: HOMELESS HELPLINE If you know of anyone who is in need of their services, call the Homeless Helpline at 212-533-5151, and the BRC will send someone to make contact. This number is staffed by outreach team leaders 24 hours a day. Callers may remain anonymous. For more info, visit brc.org. THE LESBIAN, GAY, BISEXUAL & TRANSGENDER COMMUNITY CENTER At 208 W. 13th St. (btw. 7th & 8th Aves.). Visit gaycenter.org or call 212620-7310. GAY MEN’S HEALTH CRISIS (GMHC) At 446 W. 33rd St. btw. 9th & 10th Aves. Visit gmhc.org. Call 212-367-1000.
THE WEST SIDE’S COMMUNITY NEWSPAPER
Published by NYC Community Media, LLC One Metrotech North, 10th Floor, Brooklyn, NY 11201 Phone: (212) 229-1890 • Fax: (212) 229-2790 On-line: www.chelseanow.com | E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org © 2014 NYC Community Media, LLC Member of the New York Press Association
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HUDSON GUILD Founded in 1895, Hudson Guild is a multi-service, multi-generational community serving approximately 14,000 people annually with daycare, hot meals for senior citizens, low-cost professional counseling, community arts programs and recreational programming for teens. Visit them at hudsonguild.org. Email them at info@ hudsonguild.org. For the John Lovejoy Elliott Center (441 W. 26th St.), call 212-760-9800. For the Children’s Center (459 W. 26th St.), call 212-7609830. For the Education Center (447 W. 25th St.), call 212-760-9843. For the Fulton Center for Adult Services (119 9th Ave.), call 212-924-6710.
DISTRICT 3 CITY COUNCILMEMBER COREY JOHNSON Call 212-564-7757 or visit council.nyc. gov/d3/html/members/home.shtml.
THE CARTER BURDEN CENTER FOR THE AGING This organization promotes the well-being of individuals 60 and older through direct social services and volunteer programs oriented to individual, family and community needs. Call 212-879-7400 or visit burdencenter.org.
THE SAGE CENTER New York City’s first LGBT senior center offers hot meals, counseling and a cyber-center — as well as programs on arts and culture, fitness, nutrition, health and wellness. At 305 Seventh Ave. (15th floor, btw. 27th & 28th Sts.). Call 646-576-8669 or visit sageusa.org/ thesagecenter for menus and a calendar of programs.
FULTON YOUTH OF THE FUTURE Email them at fultonyouth@gmail. com or contact Miguel Acevedo, 646-671-0310. WEST SIDE NEIGHBORHOOD ALLIANCE Visit westsidenyc.org or call 212-9562573. Email them at email@example.com. CHELSEA COALITION ON HOUSING Tenant assistance every Thursday night at 7pm, at Hudson Guild (119 9th Ave.). Email them at firstname.lastname@example.org. FRIENDS OF HUDSON RIVER PARK Visit fohrp.org or call 212-757-0981. HUDSON RIVER PARK TRUST Visit hudsonriverpark.org or call 212627-2020. SAVE CHELSEA Contact them at savechelseanyc@ gmail.com.
Sr. V.P. of Sales and Marketing
Retail Ad Manager
Account Executives Bill Fink
John W. Sutter
STATE SENATOR BRAD HOYLMAN Call 212-633-8052 or visit bradhoylman.com. CHELSEA REFORM DEMOCRATIC CLUB The CRDC (the home club of City Council Speaker Christine Quinn and Assemblymember Richard N. Gottfried) meets monthly to exchange political ideas on protecting the rights and improving the lives of those residing in Chelsea. Visit crdcnyc.org or email them at email@example.com.
AT 147 W. 24TH ST. (BTW. 6TH & 7TH AVES.) THE SYLVIA RIVERA LAW PROJECT works to guarantee that all people are free to self-determine their gender identity and expression without facing harassment, discrimination or violence. Visit srlp.org. FIERCE (Fabulous Independent Educated Radicals for Community Empowerment) builds the leadership and power of bisexual, transgender and queer youth of color in NYC. Visit fiercenyc.org. THE AUDRE LORDE PROJECT is a lesbian, gay, bisexual, two spirit, trans and gender non-conforming people of color center for community organizing. Visit alp.org.
Art / Production Director Troy Masters Senior Designer Michael Shirey Graphic Designers Andrew Goos Chris Ortiz Circulation Sales Mngr. Marvin Rock
Contributors Lincoln Anderson Jim Caruso Sean Egan Ophira Eisenberg Winnie McCroy Paul Schindler Trav S.D. Eileen Stukane Zach Williams
Distribution & Circulation Cheryl Williamson
Video Segment Producer Don Mathisen
Chelsea Now is published biweekly by NYC Community Media LLC, One Metrotech North, 10th Floor, Brooklyn, NY 11201. (212) 229-1890. Annual subscription by mail in Manhattan and Brooklyn $75. The entire contents of newspaper, including advertising, are copyrighted and no part may be reproduced without the express permission of the publisher - © 2014 NYC Community Media LLC, Postmaster: Send address changes to Chelsea Now, One Metrotech North, 10th Floor, Brooklyn, NY 11201.
PUBLISHER’S LIABILITY FOR ERROR: The Publisher shall not be liable for slight changes or typographical errors that do not lessen the value of an advertisement. The publisher’s liability for other errors or omissions in connection with an advertisement is strictly limited to publication of the advertisement in any subsequent issue.
July 17, 2014
POLICE BLOTTER Robbery: Strong-armed while soused While walking eastbound on the W. 400 block of 18th St. just before 4 a.m. on Fri., July 4, a young man was approached by two strangers who attacked him, then made off with his wallet and an iPhone valued at $270. The wallet was found nearby — with all of the credit cards, but none of the $90 in cash reported to police by the admittedly “highly intoxicated” victim — who was not seriously injured, but did sustain several small cuts and bruises to the face and neck.
Grand Larceny: Carelessness gets a real workout He had a lock on the moves for a productive exercise routine — but when an ill-prepared musclehead didn’t bring his “A” game to Locker Room Safety 101, it ended up costing him $1,600. That was the price of an Apple laptop placed in a backpack and stored in a locker — sans the lock strongly recommended by
management — when a light brained heavy lifter stashed it for safe keeping, during his 90-minute workout at the 215 W. 23rd St. location of Crunch Gym, in the early evening of Sun., July 6.
Criminal Possession: Pot busts stem from public displays Even anything-goes, mile-high Denver says it’s a crime to smoke recreational marijuana in the great outdoors. In Chelsea, though, the simple act of carrying Mary Jane is enough to put you under a cloud of suspicion — and get you arrested. Such is the lesson learned in the early evening of Tues., July 8, by a young man who was observed to be in possession of a lit marijuana cigarette. After being taken into custody by officers of the 10th Precinct, it was learned that he had an outstanding warrant. It was the final wave of open air reefer madness incidents. On Sat., July 5, at 1:15 and 2:00 a.m. respectively, two men were arrested in West Chelsea for lighting
up a cigar and a cigarette packed with tobacco of the decidedly wacky variety. The cigar smoker attempted to bust a deft move by vigorously chucking the offending item, hoping that officers would not be able to locate it — and, as a consequence, would not be able to make the charge of “possession” stick. His mellow was harshed on both counts.
location where he was hit, complicating the NYPD’s ability to canvass the area for the vehicle or track down available surveillance video of the incident. The victim suffered a broken foot and lacerations to the face.
Vehicle Leaving the Scene:
Struck by car, helped by cab After a night of revelry (and heavy alcohol consumption) at Industry bar (355 W. 52nd St., btw. Eighth & Ninth Aves.), a man who recently graduated to legal drinking age was heading for a friend’s apartment, to sleep it off. Shortly after departing the club (at around 3:30 a.m. on Sat., July 5), he was struck by a vehicle, which then fled the scene. An unknown person, or persons, assisted the victim into a taxi, which then dropped him off in the 600 block of W. 42nd St. Later, the victim (citing his state of extreme intoxication) was unable to pinpoint the exact
CASH FOR GUNS $100 cash will be given (no questions asked) for each handgun, assault weapon or sawed-off shotgun, up to a maximum payment of $300. Guns are accepted at any Police Precinct, PSA or Transit District.
CRIME STOPPERS If you have info regarding a crime committed or a wanted person, call Crime Stoppers at 800-577TIPS, text “TIP577” (plus your message) to “CRIMES” (274637) or submit a tip online at nypdcrimestoppers.com.
THE 10th PRECINCT Located at 230 W. 20th St. (btw. 7th & 8th Aves.). Commander: Deputy Inspector Michele Irizarry. Main number: 212-741-8211. Community Affairs: 212-741-8226. Crime Prevention: 212-741-8226. Domestic Violence: 212-7418216. Youth Officer: 212-741-8211. Auxiliary Coordinator: 212-741-8210. Detective Squad: 212-741-8245.
THE 13th PRECINCT Located at 230 E. 21st St. (btw. 2nd & 3rd Aves.). Deputy Inspector: Ted Bernsted. Call 212-477-7411. Community Affairs: 212-477-7427. Crime Prevention: 212477-7427. Domestic Violence: 212-477-3863. Youth Officer: 212-477-7411. Auxiliary Coordinator: 212-477-4380. Detective Squad: 212-477-7444.
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July 17, 2014
Alice’s Garden, on W. 34th St., is jointly managed by managed by the Hell’s Kitchen Neighborhood Association and the Clinton Housing Development Corp.
One Penn Plaza Park (south side of 34th St., off of Eighth Ave.) is a model POPS. Its c off for renovation work.
Little-Known Green Plac Continued from page 4 Public Space and the Municipal Art Society, details these spaces throughout the city. CB4 District Manager Robert Benfatto says, “The community doesn’t have a lot of open green space. Anything we can get is welcome.” There are few problems, he says — and if there are any, the board reaches out to the spaces’ owners. Bob would like signs pointing to these “secret parks” three blocks away, placed on sidewalks. He also would like to see signs telling area residents what they can do in these spaces, to accompany the existing required signage that spells out what they can’t do (usually bike riding, loud radio-playing, skateboarding, etc.). Here are some local “secret parks,” both POPS and others:
THE GENERAL THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY COURTYARD The spacious interior courtyard and garden (at 440 W. 21st St., btw. Ninth & 10th Aves.) is not a POPS, but has long been open to the public. Visitors are requested to sign their name and present ID. Chad Rancourt, director of communications for the seminary, explains that the institution is also a “residential community” for seminary students and needs to protect students’ privacy (hence the no-picture-taking policy). Rancourt
July 17, 2014
adds that earlier this year, the seminar held a community gathering in the garden for 100 people. Visit gts.edu for more info.
THE HIGH LINE HOTEL’S FRONT GARDEN Located at 180 10th Ave. (btw. 20th & 21st Sts.), there is a seating area with tables where many people congregate, a coffee and tea truck, and a small sign saying “Please enjoy our garden.” According to CB4, the hotel agreed to put up the sign to show it is “making an effort towards becoming a good neighbor,” after it had applied for a loading zone in front.
THE FRYNG PAN This decommissioned lightship off Pier 66 is not, strictly speaking, a park — but it’s one of the area’s most unique destinations for scenic vistas and serenity. Angela Krevey, whose husband, John Krevey, founded the institution, says, “My husband, John Krevey, was a big public access proponent. It was his vision to get people down to the waterfront.” The Frying Pan is open Friday through Sunday for self-guided tours — and while much of the adjacent barge is occupied by a restaurant, “people can just come down and watch the sunset,” she says. Visit fryingpan.com
resident Alice Parsekian, who died in 2010. Since then, it has been managed by the Hell’s Kitchen Neighborhood Association and the Clinton Housing Development Corp., which lease the land from the Port Authority for $1 a year. Members of the public can obtain a key, for $2, by visiting CB4’s 330 W. 42nd St. office (call 212-736-4536 for more info). That key also allows you to access Teresa’s Park (39th St., west of Ninth Ave.), Bob’s Park (35th St., btw. Dyer & 10th Aves.), and Juan Alonso Park & Community Garden (51st St. & 11 Ave.).
ONE PENN PLAZA PARK This model POPS (located from 33rd to 34th Sts., right off of Eighth Ave.) has large circular benches, plantings, and conventional tables and seats. On a recent visit, a crowd of office workers was gathered there, cheering on the USA in a World Cup soccer match on a nearby screen at Lucy’s Cantina Royale.
This wall mounting (at Big Screen Plaza’s 3 Planning’s tree logo, signifies a POPS (private
ONE PENN PLAZA PARK EAST This somewhat narrower park also spans the length of 33rd to 34th Sts., but is closer to Seventh Ave. Most of the park is currently fenced off, to accommodate renovation work.
THE FASHION INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY PLAZA
A “Key Park” located on 34th St. (btw. Dyer & 10th Aves.), the garden was established by neighborhood
Taking up the entire span of W. 27th St., btw. Seventh & Eighth Aves., this inviting plaza has tall trees, planters,
Innovative wall design, plantings and seating, Chelsea (26th St., just off of Sixth Ave.).
Photos by Scott Stiffler
companion site, One Penn Plaza Park East (closer to Seventh Ave.) is currently fenced
Big Screen Plaza has benches, plantings, a reflecting pool and, of course, the big screen.
ces and Resting Spaces and benches. Cheri Fein, spokeswoman for FIT, says, “We are a public institution. We did landscaping with nice benches, primarily for the students and staff but also as a place where the public can come to.” School security officers patrol the area.
BIG SCREEN PLAZA
30th St. end), with the Department of City ely owned public space).
Located between 29th and 30th Sts. (off the west side of Sixth Ave.) is another “by the book” POPS — it has an official sign with the tree logo, seating areas, a reflecting pool, and, of course, a big screen. Dave Scala, digital director of the plaza, says the site hosts viewing for the Oscars, Emmys, World Cup and more. Most of the events are hosted inside the nearby Eventi Hotel’s restaurant, says Scala, but “people are free to watch the screen from the plaza.” However, he says, “We don’t amplify sound out there.” Visit bigscreenplaza.com for more info.
774 SIXTH AVENUE
, in a breezy area adjacent to The Capital at
Actually located on the north side of 26th St., this is a good example of a POPS site whose owners, The Capitol at Chelsea (a luxury building), have done everything “by the book.” A sign with the Department of City Planning’s requisite POPS tree logo spells out the site’s amenities, its hours of operation, the fact that it’s disabled-accessible, and even a number to call for complaints. There are several seating areas, a futuristic wall design and attractive plantings.
Comfortable seats, soothing greenery and shade can be found in front of various Fashion Institute of Technology halls (W. 27 St., btw. Seventh & Eighth Aves.).
July 17, 2014
ARTS&ENTERTAINMENT It’s Melting! It’s Melting!
The clock is ticking on New Ohio’s Ice Factory Festival THE NEW OHIO THEATRE’S ICE FACTORY FESTIVAL Through August 2 Wed. – Sat. at 7 p.m. At the New Ohio Theatre 154 Christopher St. Btw. Greenwich & Washington Sts. Tickets: $18, $15 for students, seniors Call 888-596-1027 or visit NewOhioTheatre.org Facebook.com/IceFactoryFestival Twitter: @NewOhioTheatre.org
BY SCOTT STIFFLER Like the noonday sun bearing down on a treat from the Mister Softee truck, time has been melting away the New Ohio Theatre’s Ice Factory Festival — its annual summertime showcase, where emerging and established companies develop their work. Of the six featured Ice Factory productions, three remain. Through July 19, Live Source, a group of theatre and film artists, brings their highly stylized performance method to “The Incredible Fox Sisters.” Based on a true story that remains clouded by fantastic claims and multiple recantations, the controversy begins in Hydesville, NY, circa 1888 — when two sisters convince their older sibling (then the town, then the nation) that they can commune with the dead. “There is quite a market for strangeness these days,” says a doctor (and budding tour manager) who’s more P.T. Barnum than altruistic M.D. The two younger sisters became the darlings of America’s budding spiritualism movement — and perhaps the first casualties of reality star culture. Eventually revealed as hoaxters, they both died soon after
July 17, 2014
Courtesy of Vampire Cowboys
From 2013: Bonnie Sherman, Carlo Alban and Sheldon Best as Edgar the Bear, in Vampire Cowboys’ “Alice in Slasherland.” Their latest (untitled) work closes the festival, July 30 – Aug. 2.
(one from alcoholism). Like the sisters’ alleged parlor tricks, the script (by Jaclyn Backhaus) takes liberties with the truth — and in doing so, adds an effective layer of complexity to the uneasy sibling dynamic and the enduring question of whether paranormal forces were at work alongside good old-fashioned greed. No matter the nature of their power, Live Source’s version of the Fox sisters are effective mediums for examining the ease with which we permit ourselves to believe when there’s money, power, or peace of mind to be gained. Visit Live-Source.org for more info. From July 23 – 26, the Asian American theater company Second Generation Productions (2g.org) presents “Galois” — and although they’ve only made a synopsis available to the press, the stamp of Sung Rno on this production gives it a sight-unseen vote of confidence. Rno, after all, was the man behind “Yi
Sang Counts to Thirteen” — the 2001 FringeNYC Excellence for Overall Production award-winner that took a self-described “mathematical-theoretical” approach to the waking world love triangle and the inner life of Korean surrealist writer Yi Sang. In his latest project, Rno once again contemplates the intersection of doomed relationships, art, and politics — as lived by a brilliant-but-unappreciated man who died young (Yi Sang succumbed to tuberculosis at 27, while in a Tokyo jail cell, and the title character of this new work met his doom at 21). Expanding upon the life of mathematician Evariste Galois (1811-1832), Rno elevates the “genius of abstraction” to rock star status, by melding the music of Aaron Jones with his own book and lyrics. The result is a “rock & roll expression” of “contradictory passions.” Locked in conflict with teachers unable to understand and unwilling to nurture his exceptional
talents, Galois meets Stephanie at a gathering of Parisian student radicals (“they both like explosions and singing,” the synopsis declares). A botched entrance exam to the premiere science school in France, participation in street riots, and a stint in jail are followed by a duel insisted upon by Galois (to avenge a perceived insult to Stephanie’s honor). Just before that fateful exchange of gunfire in a field outside of 1830s Paris, the mad/brilliant young man secures his legacy by putting down on paper the theory of Galois groups — alternately baffling and fascinating algebra students for years to come. Untimely death is played for kicks — and often done with karate chops — in the Ice Factory Festival’s final entry (July 30 – Aug. 2). It’s a currently untitled offering from writer Qui Nguyen and director Robert Ross Parker, the prolific brains behind Vampire Cowboys. The once-scrappy, now-iconic troupe has earned their cult following by bringing comic book, grindhouse, sci-fi, and horror sensibilities to their pulpy tales of everyday people thrust into supernatural quests. It’s hardcore nerdcore, yes — but you don’t necessarily have to drool over vampires, werewolves, zombies, high-stakes stage combat, and profane puppetry to enjoy the ride. Camp with consequence is what they do best. The deaths (often accompanied by dismemberment and gore) earn a laugh from the audience, yet still manage to take a lasting, emotional toll on the surviving characters. There’ll be no time for tears for the chosen one from this new project. Set in a utopian future, Vampire Cowboys’ “sacrilegious action-adventure play” compels a young lady in possession of extraordinary powers to murder those who would usher in hell on earth. Yikes! Visit vampirecowboys.org, where you won’t find any further details on their latest bloody slugfest — but you will get a very good primer on what to expect, based on past productions. .com
Just Do Art BY SCOTT STIFFLER
HELL’S KITCHEN KIDS PERFORM MINI-MUSICALS Some kids go to summer camp to sit around the fire and toast marshmallows — and that’s fine, if that sort of thing entertains you. But by the time 10 Hell’s Kitchen kids return from their week in the country, the stories they have to tell will be well-written, thoroughly rehearsed, and performed for an out-of-town tryout audience. The 52nd Street Project’s annual Block Island One-on-One series (“What’s My Line?, The Professional Plays”) pairs kids with a playwright, who creates a mini-musical specifically for that child. The shows are rehearsed over the course of the week, performed informally for the community in the retreat setting, then whisked off to OffBroadway. This year’s crop of unknowns (with marquee name potential) are Adam Alkindi, Duaa Alkindi, Allyssia Feliciano,
Kiara Figueroa, Joshua Gomez, David Ortiz, Kayla Ortiz, Karen Tineo, Milen Tokarev, and Kaylee Zambrano. July 18–20, Fri./Sat. at 7:30 p.m. & Sun at 3 p.m. At Five Angels Theater (789 10th Ave., 2nd Floor; btw. 52nd & 53rd Sts.). Free, but reservations required. Call 212-642-5052. For more info on the 52nd Street Project, visit 52project.org. Like them on Facebook or follow @52ndStProject on Twitter.
“LOTTIE AND LEO” AT THE MIDTOWN INTERNATIONAL THEATRE FESTIVAL As a follow-up to last year’s entry — the comedy “Fancy” — decades-long Chelsea resident Michael F. Bruck returns to the Midtown International Theatre Festival with “Lottie and Leo.” Based on his own experience with multiple myeloma, this sober,
Image courtesy of the 52nd St. Project
Ten Hell’s Kitchen kids perform mini-musicals, mere steps from the Browadway big time.
Continued on page 16
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July 17, 2014
Just Do Art Continued from page 15 sweet, and ultimately uplifting waiting room drama — about a young patient whose chance encounter with an elderly couple blossoms into a fast friendship — is a brief but emotionally intense discourse on everything from caretaker relationships to government assistance to generational differences to demonstrating grace in the face of unwelcome events. Mon., July 28 at 6 p.m., Sat., Aug. 2 at 6:30 p.m. & Sun., Aug. 3 at 1 p.m. At the Dorothy Strelsin Theater (312 W. 36th St., Sixth floor, btw. Eighth & Ninth Aves.). For tickets ($18), 866-811-4111 or midtownfestival.org.
“DISCO BALL” AND THE CHELSEA ART WALK It’s a sight that can only be fully appreciated by those of us who loved the nightlife — and had to boogie — during that too-brief period in the 1970s. Occasional theme nights notwithstanding, we’ll never again see a
time when flecks of light from a swirling, mirrored ball land on the shiny polyester and slick vinyl threads worn by hundreds of sweaty, twirling revelers. From the late '70s through the early '80s, photographers Flo Fox and Len Speier captured the dance moves, immaculately shellacked hair, and decadent revelry of the NYC disco scene. Nine works each — from their time spent prowling long gone clubs such as Xenon, Area, Roseland, Starlight, and Studio 54 — comprise “Disco Ball.” It’s one of three exhibits currently at Carter Burden Gallery. The nonprofit space gives voice to New York City’s re-emerging older artists — who, this exhibit reminds us, were in their prime during the reigning days of Donna Summer, Gloria Gaynor, The Village People, The Bee Gees, and The Weather Girls. You won’t find any of those artists in this exhibit, though, nor will you see the garish colors of 1970s fabrics or the ultra violet lights that flooded the dance floor. By presenting the disco era in black and white, Fox and Speier allow the viewer to focus on the intense displays of self-expres-
Photo by Tina Buckman
Sharon Shah and Gus Solomons, as the title characters in Michael F. Bruck’s “Lottie and Leo,” a featured work in the Midtown International Theatre Festival.
sion, rather than the bright and shiny surroundings. Also on view through July 24, Bill Richards’ bold “Streamed Space Paintings” are filled with luminous streams of color that, curator Marlena Vaccaro notes, appear to “converge and diverge simultaneously, forming a kind of fluid Gordian knot that seems to unravel as it is tied.” In the installation “On the Wall,” Marilyn Sontag uses cut and torn shapes of paper to create a light, ethereal environment that gives the illusion of movement.
Free. On view through July 24. A closing reception will be held that day, from 5–8 p.m. — as part of the Chelsea Art Walk. For info on other galleries and studio artists participating in the Art Walk, visit artwalkchelsea.com. Carter Burden Gallery is located at 548 W. 28th St. (btw. 10th & 11th Aves. Suite #534). Hours: Tues.–Fri., 11 a.m–5 p.m. & Sat., 11 a.m.–6 p.m. For info, call 212-564-84505 or visit carterburdengallery.com.
Continued on page 17
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Courtesy of the artist & Carter Burden Gallery
Courtesy of the artist & Carter Burden Gallery
Flo Fox’s “Disco Line-Up” (16” x 20” framed, 1978) is on view at the Carter Burden Gallery through July 24 (the same date as the Chelsea Art Walk).
Bill Richards’ “Crossover” (72” x 120” [Dyptych], acrylic on canvas, 20122013) is one of the “Streamed Space Paintings” on view at the Carter Burden Gallery through July 24.
Continued from page 16
SHAKESPEARE IN THE PARKING LOT PRESENTS “TWELFTH NIGHT” Shakespeare on the roof? In an alley? On a moving flatbed truck, perhaps? The Drilling Company is weighing its options, determined to ensure that the show will go on. After the current (20th!) season of Shakespeare in the Parking Lot, the much-loved “Bard-under-the-stars and among-the-cars” open air must-see will
be kicked to the curb. This is no midsummer night’s dream. Plans have been cemented to pave over the parking lot at the corner of Ludlow and Broome, to accommodate the Essex Crossing project. Fittingly, The Drilling Company notes that the first of two swan songs in this particular location — “Twelfth Night” — is “one of the last and most bitter-sweet of Shakespeare’s comedies.” This adaptation casts shipwrecked twins Sebastian and Viola as lost visitors swept into the Municipal Parking Lot — where they must navigate mistak-
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en identity and unrequited love, after encountering characters reimagined as contemporary Lower East Side denizens (Sir Toby is an affectionate nod to the drunks who’ve injected their own drama to past productions; Olivia resides in one of the area’s new upscale towers; Feste is a drag queen, and the servants are longtime neighborhood residents employed by monied newcomers). “Like the Lower East side itself,” notes director Hamilton Clancy, “the Parking Lot is a melting pot. Shakespeare speaks to human diversity and performing it in
the Parking Lot has always seemed the perfect frame for us. This production aims to celebrate that.” The celebration doesn’t end with the last night of “Twelfth.” One final stab at immortality remains, when The Drilling Company presents “Othello” (July 31–Aug. 16). “Twelfth Night” plays through July 26. Thurs.–Sat., 8 p.m. at the Municipal Parking Lot (corner of Ludlow & Broome Sts.). Free (donations gratefully accepted). Running time: 2 hours, 30 minutes. For info, call 212-873-9050 or visit shakespeareintheparkinglot.com.
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July 17, 2014
An Intimate Epic About Growing Up
Linklater’s 12-year experiment is an emotionally satisfying masterpiece FILM BOYHOOD Written & Directed by Richard Linklater 165 minutes At the IFC Center 323 Ave. of the Americas Btw. W. Third & Fourth Sts. Info: 212-924-7771 or ifccenter.com
BY SEAN EGAN There is, quite literally, nothing like writer/director Richard Linklater’s latest feature. The conceit is simple — the film follows the life of Mason Jr., a young boy from a broken home, as he grows into a young man in Texas. Within this framework, though, lies a quiet tour de force of innovative production and storytelling techniques — an intimate epic that muses on what it means to mature and discover who you are. It’s impossible to discuss “Boyhood” without first considering its unprecedented production. In order to show the development of its main character, Linklater shot the movie over a period of 12 years, allowing him to grow up on screen. Texas native Ellar Coltrane played Mason from age six onward, filming scenes that trace his journey from elementary school student to college freshman. Growth and development permeates all other aspects of the movie, as the world slowly shifts from landlines to iPhones. Right from the outset, the film whisks viewers back to the not-too-distant past by using period-appropriate pop songs (the strains of Coldplay’s “Yellow” are put to particularly good use in the opening moments), while characters reference current politics and fads (the War on Terror and Britney Spears, to name a couple). Though it’s a kick to get glimpses of politics and pop culture from the past decade, Linklater avoids nostalgia just for the sake of it — instead, allowing the film’s in-the-moment reflections on the cultural climate to invoke realism and universality. The success of “Boyhood,” however, is not contingent on the novelty of its production, but on the story Linklater and company chose to tell. Since his iconic 1991 feature, “Slacker,” Linklater
July 17, 2014
Courtesy of Matt Lankes & IFC Films
Back when a tablet was something made of paper: Mason (Ellar Coltrane), at age 7.
has consistently subverted traditional narratives in order to tinker with more challenging, experimental structures. “Boyhood” may be his greatest use of this method to date. While it fits snugly in the “coming of age” genre, it is anything but ordinary. Eschewing clichéd milestones of youth, Linklater focuses on the dayto-day minutiae of growing up and small snapshots of highly particular moments in time. These vignettes never give the film much narrative thrust, but they all inform one another, creating a larger mosaic of Mason’s young life, showing how his experiences shaped him into the intelligent young man he becomes. The cumulative effect is akin to having an introspective browse through a family photo album, reminiscing on formative influences and experiences to better understand oneself. The film vividly captures the confusion and motivations of childhood, while tempering it with the benefit of adult hindsight and understanding. The principle cast is excellent at grounding the movie. Every character is fully realized, and each actor digs into their increasingly nuanced relationships and internal lives as the movie marches on. Patricia Arquette brings depth and a deft touch to the role of Olivia, Mason’s divorced mother. Her character’s efforts to improve her family’s lives provides the film with some of the most emotionally vulnerable and affecting moments.
Ethan Hawke, a Linklater regular, plays Mason Sr. as a flawed yet loving father, and gives the movie a lot of heart and energy. Lorelei Linklater (the filmmaker’s daughter) as Sam, Mason’s older sister, is an effective female counterpoint to Mason (far more talkative than her brother, her rapier wit the yields some big laughs). Collectively, they are totally believable as a family, and help to expand the scope of the film — allowing it to examine parent/child dynamics, sibling relationships, the effects of divorce, and more. Yet the show ultimately belongs to Coltrane’s Mason. Through serendipity, the young boy of the opening reel grows into a highly capable actor, and his transformation from wide-eyed child to an intelligent young man with a burgeoning interest in art is amazing to watch. Coltrane’s low-key charm and charisma help make Mason an engaging character to follow, and his performance is one of the most emotionally complex depictions of a teenager on screen — all grand ideas, yet frustratingly inarticulate. And though “Boyhood” is ambitious in concept and execution, it plays like classic Linklater through and through. His dialogue, as always, feels real and naturalistic — even when the characters begin to wax philosophic, it retains its well-observed, colloquial Texan flavor. His direction is unobtrusive, but elegant. High and low angle shots are repeatedly used to place the audience in the
mind of both parent and child, and show how their relationships shift with time. Elsewhere, Linklater’s signature walkand-talk tracking shots, a mainstay of his “Before” trilogy, find a welcome home. Throughout it all, Linklater and cinematographers Lee Daniel (a longtime collaborator) and Shane F. Kelly find the beauty in the film’s lived-in locations, suburban idyl, and sprawling Texas landscapes. The care put into every aspect of the production gives the film a genuine sense of warmth and compassion, drawing you into its world and allowing the audience to appreciate every moment (the sizable running time breezes by). It is, in short, something of a culmination of Linklater’s work to date — a capstone of sorts for one of America’s best, most overlooked directors. It’s a masterpiece, sure, but it never announces itself as such. On paper and in theory, the film is a truly monumental achievement, but its greatest feat is how personal and small-scale the film feels. While it has the swollen running time and heady themes more familiar to biblical and historical epics, it never becomes overblown or pretentious — in fact, the film is as unassuming and charming as Mason becomes through the years. This accessibility is key to the movie’s greatness. Whether one’s childhood and teenage years are in the distant past, or fresh in the mind, “Boyhood” is a relatable, beautiful, and emotionally satisfying whole. .com
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July 17, 2014
Council Bill Would Further Limit After Hours Construction
Photo by Zach Williams
Noise from the Manhattan West project ended home recording work for musician Even Steven Levee.
Continued from page 6 DOB records show that such action was taken 22 times in 2013 and twice this year, within CB4. Citywide, the numbers are 246 in 2013 and 39 in 2014. Proposed legislation before the City Council seeks to curtail the issu-
ance of the permits, though no date has been set yet for discussion by the council’s Committee on Housing and Buildings. Changes to the city administration code would limit AHVs to between 7 a.m. and 8 p.m., Monday through Friday, and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on
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July 17, 2014
Saturdays. If the proposed legislation passed, AHVs could not be issued for Sundays. Developers would also have to post the hours of construction under the variance at the site itself. The DOB and the developer would have to publicly release a written decision explaining a rationale both in approving and applying for an AHV, respectively. Email notifications would alert residents of variances approved for sites within their community board districts, according to the bill proposed by Rosie Mendez, whose district includes the Lower East Side. Comment on the legislation, including when the bill would be scheduled for a committee hearing, from her office was not available by press time despite multiple requests for comment made via telephone and email. The DOB has no position on the proposed legislation at present, Schnell said. The proposed legislation follows discussion last year on the impact of AHVs on the quality of life in CB4. “The current process is very one-sided,” said CB4 chair Christine Berthet in an email to Chelsea Now. “It only takes into account the needs of construction6/24/14 comActos_NY_Press_2014_W&L panies and disregards residents’ needs.”
Redevelopment and “massive rezoning,” she noted, exasperate ongoing noise issues in an area that’s already replete with rowdy bar crowds and traffic. Chelsea’s District 3 representative, City Councilmember Corey Johnson, one of 11 co-sponsors, says the bill is about “having some accountability for how the DOB is allowed to grant these [AHVs]. We hear from constituents all the time about it.” The involvement of council members throughout Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, and The Bronx in furthering the bill underscores the scope of the problem as well as the potential for a political solution in upcoming months, said Johnson. Another co-sponsor, Councilmember Margaret Chin, asserted that ultimate passage would ensure that “common sense measures” are in place to protect vulnerable constituents such as children and the elderly. “We must remember that the impact of development projects isn’t just a future impact, in terms of creating new homes or offices,” Chin said in a statement. “These projects can also have seriously negative effects on the neighboring residents who have to live 3:17 PM Page 1 through the construction work.”
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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR is an essential public good for all people who live — or work — in the area.
It has been a negative eyesore for too many years, as well as unsafe. And what a perfect location for housing, nested with other housing. And a park on 20th mid-block would be an oasis of quiet for the neighborhood to use. Both are a great plan for our neighborhood, where I have lived for 37 years. Cynthia
Park is best use for a rare open space Great to read about so many new affordable housing options for CB4, from increasing to 30 the required percent of affordable units in new construction, to converting disused properties like Seventh Ave. and 22nd St. As the report by Hunter College School of Social Work and Picture the Homeless showed, there are countless such properties all over the city. Development of these options should eliminate the pressure to build on the rare open spaces like that on 20th St. In the 35 years I’ve lived in Chelsea, huge numbers of low-rise buildings and empty lots have been replaced by big buildings, making it more and more claustrophobic. Open park space
Area needs an oasis The history of the 22nd St. sight is a disgrace for the City of New York. It has been left unattended for far too long. Many of the voices that cry for the 20th St. Park site to be built as “affordable housing” have done nothing to make good use of these empty buildings on 22nd St. Housing is a great need, as is open space. There are no parks from 40th St. to Washington Sq. between Fifth and Eighth Aves. The 20th St. Park would be the only green oasis in the entire area. It is a must! Michael Walsh E-mail letters, not longer than 250 words in length, to Scott@ChelseaNow. com or fax to 212-229-2790 or mail to Chelsea Now, Letters to the Editor, NYC Community Media, Once Metrotech North, 10th Floor, Brooklyn, NY 11201. Please include phone number for confirmation purposes. Chelsea Now reserves the right to edit letters for space, grammar, clarity and libel. Chelsea Now does not publish anonymous letters.
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Dear Aunt Chelsea: My parents will be celebrating their 50th Anniversary in a few weeks. I’ve been told (several times) that they don’t want any surprises: parties, presents, vacation cruises…nothing. As an only child, isn’t it my obligation to do something? They’re the only couple in my entire family who is still together (and alive!), and I think that deserves some recognition. Party Planner Wannabe
Dear Party P: Some time back, I advised a dutiful husband — whose modest wife insisted that she didn’t want a party for her 40th birthday — to throw a festive shindig anyway, so she could see how many people cared about her. It was a huge hit. But in this case, my pre-
scription for a happy family involves the polar opposite approach. As we age, milestones become millstones — and the grand gestures that accompany them become less and less appealing. Now I know it’s a cliché, but those of us lucky enough to get to a certain stage in life take tremendous pleasure in two things: being left alone, and doing as we please. “Have it your way, at Burger King,” the old jingle used to go. That might as well be the motto for anyone with an AARP card. Believe me, Party P, anyone whose marriage has made it to the half century mark isn’t being coy when they tell you to not to make a fuss. Honestly, I suspect that this need to do something — when they’ve explicitly given you the all clear — has more to do with your need for validation than your wish to recognize their achievement. In this case, dear, I do believe that Ten Commandments handily trump Only Child Syndrome. So honor thy mother and father, by doing precisely as they wish: leave them alone on their big day. Having said that, there’s not law that says you can’t take the time and effort you would have spent on an anniversary tribute and parcel it out in the form of small, stealthy acts of occasional kindness. Why not make this the Year of Mom and Dad? Call and visit more often, take them to dinner with their friends, and be the one who’s there to meet a need (or a wish or a whim).You’ll be paying tribute to their marriage with each one of these gestures — and in the process, they’ll wrack up more pleasant memories than what would have come from one mere party.
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Aquarius A battle between blind trust and gut instinct brews, when a friend asks you to play a small but crucial supporting role in their daffy moneymaking scheme. Pisces Cultivate fuse box maintenance skills, or the dairy in the fridge will spoil before your outer borough super can make it into town. Aries Horizontal stripes, midnight snacks, whimsical backpacks and sweet words for a bitter relative: These things suit you well, through next Thursday. Taurus The cooing of a pigeon perched precariously on a thin, swaying branch inspires you to do two things well at once, at work, twice tomorrow. Gemini You will receive a sudden windfall — and suffer a horrible fate, should you use it for anything other than personal gain. Return to your charitable ways when the money’s gone. Cancer The fine print, that place between the lines, and the uncouth behavior of a fast friend: These are things you must read this week — with skill and without haste. Leo When your top shelf hopes bottom out, cheap thrills will do the trick. Rubber bands and popsicle sticks have their part to play. Virgo The ill-advised unloading of emotional baggage in a hastily crafted e-mail leads to a series of misunderstandings culminating in the cyberspace equivalent of a silent film pie fight. Libra A sample sale tempts the conscious uncoupling of cash from your pocket. Fortune favors the thrift! Scorpio Food you normally forbid yourself cannot fill an emotional void — but it sure tastes good. An occasional indulgence is allowed. Sagittarius The universe reverberates with cool Karmic fallout from a seemingly insignificant act of kindness you alone have the power to perform. Capricorn Instruct your eyes to follow a sloppily flung Frisbee, whose rouge arc points you in the right direction. July 17, 2014
Planned Service Changes
July 21-25 10PM to 5AM, Monday to Friday No E trains between Roosevelt Av and World Trade Center. No F trains between Roosevelt Av and 21 St-Queensbridge. M and ) services end early each night. Travel Alternatives: • Take the 7 between Manhattan and 74 St/Roosevelt Av or Queensboro Plaza. • Take the ( between Manhattan and Queensboro Plaza. • In Manhattan, transfer at 5 Av/42 St-Bryant Pk 7F, Times Sq-42 St/42 St-Port Authority 7A, and 34 St-Herald Sq F(. • In Manhattan along 8 Avenue, take the A Local instead of the E. • Free shuttle buses run LOCAL between Queensboro Plaza and 74 St/Roosevelt Av making station stops at Queens Plaza, 36 St, Steinway St, 46 St, Northern Blvd, and 65 St. • In Queens, transfer between shuttle buses and trains at 74 St/Roosevelt Av 7EF or Queensboro Plaza 7(.
Stay Informed Call 511 and say “Current Service Status,” look for informational posters in stations, or visit mta.info – where you can access the latest Planned Service Changes information, use TripPlanner+, and sign up for free email and text alerts.
2014 Metropolitan Transportation Authority
July 17, 2014