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VOLUME 07, NUMBER 01 NOV. 20, 2014


New Face, Old Frustrations at CB4 BY EILEEN STUKANE Jesse Bodine, an alumnus of the office of Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, was installed as the new Community Board 4 (CB4) district manager at CB4’s full board meeting, held on Nov. 5th at Roosevelt Hospital. The search committee studied the resumes of over 40 applicants. Their criteria included experience in the areas of management, staff supervision, knowledge both of city government and key CB4 issues such as housing, skills in the field of communication and constituent services. “Jesse was the one who had the widest match of skills we were looking for, and the deepest set of skills,” Christine Berthet said at the meeting. “He also had an extensive set of contacts in city offices, and knew a big portion of the neighborhood. With his Peace Corps management in the wilds of Africa, we had a feeling this wild CB4 area with all of its people would be right up his alley,” she added humorously. Bodine, who grew up on W. 60th St., spent the last six years working with Gale Brewer, initially as her director of Continued on page 6

Bowery Gallery Founders, Past and Present

On view through November 29, a decades-spanning collection of work from the artist-run Bowery Gallery co-op demonstrates that the radical notions set in place by its founders have been resonating since 1969. See page 18.

Pier55, Inc./Heatherwick Studio

A design concept for Pier55, showing a view of the southern space looking north from Gansevoort Peninsula.

Diller and DVF’s Gift, Pier55 Park to Rise Above Convention BY LINCOLN ANDERSON In the single largest gift to a public park in New York history — and the second largest in U.S. history — Barry Diller and Diane von Furstenberg have pledged $113 million to build a signature “island” off Win what is being billed as a future “world-class public park and performance space.” The new 2.7-acre Hudson River Park pier — to be called Pier55 — will feature three “peaks,” one of which will rise 71 feet, three performance spaces, including a 750-seat amphitheater overlooking the river, plus two other spots for more-impromptu entertainment. The design also calls for grass lawns and large trees, with hardscape and paths mixed in between the greenery. Under a lease, a nonprofit, Pier55, Inc., or P55, to be chaired by Diller, will fund the new pier’s programming, operations and day-to-day maintenance for 20 years, with an option to extend this another 10 years, bringing Diller and von Furstenberg’s total commitment to hundreds of millions of dollars. They’ve also promised to pay for any project cost

overages that may occur. The funds will come from their Diller-von Furstenberg Family Foundation. The new pier’s performances will be coordinated by an equally high-powered team, including Scott Rudin, producer of “The Social Network,” who will co-chair the nonprofit; George Wolfe, producer of the Public Theater; director Stephen Daldry; and Kate Horton, a top executive at the National Theatre of London and before that at the Royal Court. While the majority — 51 percent — of the pier’s performances will be free or low-cost, the rest will be a higher ticket — how expensive wasn’t immediately clear. All the money generated from the performances will go back into the pier for its maintenance and programming, including commissioning the artists. The pier’s hours will be the same as the rest of the park — 6 a.m. to 1 a.m. The nonprofit, according to a press release,


Continued on page 9

Community Activities


Photo by Dina Paulson

Free and low-cost early childhood education is available at four Hudson Guild locations.




Rubin_Clemente_ChelseaNow_092214.indd 1


Hudson Guild offers free and lowcost open enrollment to all children born in 2010 and 2011, for their Early Learn, Head Start, and Universal Pre-Kindergarten programs. Aligned with New York State Prekindergarten Learning Standards and the Common 11:59 AM Core curriculum, classes are taught by certified teachers and include art, music, dance and yoga activities. A nutritious breakfast, lunch, and snack are available for all participating children. At Hudson Guild’s Elliott Center (441 W. 26 St., btw. 9th & 10th Aves.) and the Children’s Center (459 W. 26th St., btw. 9th & 10th Aves.), Clinton Center (410 W. 40th St.. btw. 9th & Dyer Aves.) and the Amsterdam Houses/ Amsterdam Addition (206 W. 64th St., at Amsterdam Ave.). For info, or to reserve a spot, call 347-952-1055. Also visit

FREE COMPUTER CLASSES Hudson Park Library’s November computer class series began with a Nov. 7 session covering Windows 8 basic. On Nov. 21, they’ll cover “Advanced PowerPoint 2010” — and on Nov. 28, the topic is “Saving and Restoring Your Data.” Free. At 1:30 p.m., Fridays, at Hudson Park Library (66 Leroy St., btw. Seventh Ave. South & Hudson St.). To register, call 212-243-6876. A schedule of December computer classes will be announced soon. For info on all programs and activities, visit nypl. org/locations.hudson-park.


November 20 - December 03, 2014

AFFORDABLE APARTMENT APPLICATIONS Clinton Housing Development Company has rent stabilized studio apartments available on W. 51st & W. 52nd Sts. Applications, available through Nov. 28 at Clinton Housing Development Company (300 W. 46th St., at Eighth Ave.), must be returned to Clinton Housing, postmarked on or before Dec. 12. By early 2015, qualified candidates will be notified, then interviewed. For more info, call 212967-1644.

HOUSING CLINIC On the second Tuesday of every month, Councilmember Corey Johnson’s office will hold a Free Legal Housing Clinic Service. Housing attorneys will be offering legal advice. Individuals will be seen on a first-come, first-serve basis. From 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. at Johnson’s District Office (224 W. 30th St., Suite 1206, btw. 7th & 8th Aves.). For more info, call 212-564-7757.

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, 59th/60th St. on the north, the Hudson River on the west, Sixth Ave. on the east (south of 26th St.) and Eighth Ave. on the east (north of 26th St.). The monthly full board meeting, open to the public, takes place on the first Wednesday of the month. The next meeting is Dec. 3, 6:30 p.m., at Roosevelt Hospital (1000 10th Ave., btw. 58th & 59th Sts.). Call 212-7364536, visit or email them at .com

Postal Workers Processing a Multitude of Concerns BE THE NEW YORKER WHO REALLY DOES KNOW IT ALL.


Jonathan Smith, president of the New York Metro Area Postal Union, rallies the crowd and lead chants such as “We are the 99 percent.”

BY DUSICA SUE MALESEVIC Postal workers gathered in front of the stately James A. Farley Post Office in Chelsea on Nov. 14 to rally against mail delays and the shuttering of mail processing centers. Cold could not deter the unions that joined for what was termed a “National Day of Action” as similar assemblies were happening concurrently across the country. Nov. 14 coincided with the last public meeting of the Board of Governors of the United States Postal Service (USPS). On the steps of the Farley building, between W. 31st and 33rd Sts. on Eighth Ave., the workers, union representatives and supporters wore bright blue shirts that read “Stop Delaying America’s Mail” over their winter jackets. The day did offer a surprise: the Board’s announcement on Friday that Postmaster General and USPS CEO Patrick R. Donahoe will resign in February and that Megan J. Brennan will replace him. Signs featured a picture of Donahoe, with the words “Resigned for crimes against the public and the postal service.” As of Jan. 5, 2015, the USPS plans to eliminate overnight delivery and close 82 processing and delivering centers, said Paul Hogrogian, 62, the president of the local 300 chapter of the National .com

Postal Mail Handlers Union. The closings will delay the deliveries of necessities such as medicines, along with and bills and payments, said Hogrogian, who lives in New Jersey and works at the post office at 111 John St. in the Financial District. “Once they make the service changes, you can’t put humpty dumpty together again,” said John Dirzius, 63, the New York National Officer with the American Postal Workers Union. Dirzius, who lives in Connecticut, likened it to a pizza joint saying it will deliver its pies in three days. The USPS is “imploding from the inside” because of manufactured reasons, he said. The problems began in 2006, he noted, and stemmed from making the USPS prepay for its pension and healthcare costs. “They are good jobs, decent jobs,” that are being lost, said Dirzius. Sharon Suchomel, 53, has worked for the postal service and been a union member for 17 years. The New Jersey resident works at the processing center in Newburgh, New York, one that is slated to close. Suchomel has been through this once before, she said, after a different center she worked at closed. Kevin Walsh, 55, is the director of organization for the New York Metro Area Postal Union and has been a mem-

DECODING ANNIE PARKER: A FILM VIEWING. Decoding Annie Parker follows two women, played by Samantha Morton and Helen Hunt, who are devoted to finding a hereditary link to certain types of breast cancer. After the screening, join a discussion on genetics, screening, and breast cancer with NYU Langone experts. Date: Friday, December 5, 6 :00pm – 8 :00pm. Presenters: Tomas Kirchoff, PhD; Bhavana Pothuri, MD; Julia Smith, MD, PhD.

Moderator: Deborah Axelrod, MD, FACS. Location: The Iris & B. Gerald Cantor Film Center at NYU.

36 East 8th Street, between University Place and Greene Street, New York, NY.

RSVP: To attend, call 212.263.2266 or visit /cancer-rsvp

LUNG CANCER: SMOKING AND SCREENING. Lung cancer is the second most common type of cancer and the leading cause of cancer death in the U.S. However, it’s also one of the most preventable cancers, and the best way to avoid the disease is to quit smoking. This discussion will focus on lung cancer, smoking, and the screening methods available. Date: Wednesday, December 10, 12:00pm – 1: 30pm. Lunch will be provided after the program.

Presenter: Behzad Doratotaj, MD. Location: Woodhull Medical Center. Third Floor. Conference

Room One. 760 Broadway, at the intersection of Broadway and Flushing Avenue, Brooklyn, NY.

RSVP: To reserve your seat, call 718.963.8640. These lectures are free and open to the public, but you must RSVP. Past lectures can be viewed at /nyulmc

Continued on page 11 November 20 - December 03, 2014


Exhibit Charts Luxury Building Workers’ Struggle to Join Union

Courtesy of 32BJ

Photo by Eileen Stukane

William Rosado, porter at 520 W. 23rd St., poses with his photo. At right is the exhibit’s host, Lowell Kern.

32BJ President Hector Figueroa (far right, foreground) with members of his union, at the exhibit’s opening night.

BY EILEEN STUKANE Working for subpar wages and limited benefits in luxury buildings whose units often sell for over $1 million, a group of service workers have spent the past two years engaged in public and behind-the-scenes efforts to join the 32BJ Service Employees International Union (SEIU). Documentation of that ongoing struggle has been preserved in a

photo/video exhibit that’s open to the public, and takes place in the home of a West Chelsea resident at odds with his co-op board. “Beneath The Rails: Working Under the High Line” shows the workers in West Chelsea’s luxury buildings in different facets of their lives — at home with their families, and in the streets fighting for a better standard of living. The pop-up exhibit opened on

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November 20 - December 03, 2014

Tues., Nov. 18 and closed the following night. It took place at the Marais, 520 W. 23rd St., in the apartment of Community Board 4 member Lowell Kern. “The people who work here make this building a great place to live in,” says Kern, “and since this fight started I’ve been here to support them. I’ll do anything I can to help them get the recognition and protections they deserve as members of the union.” State Senator Brad Hoylman, State Assemblymember Richard Gottfried and City Councilmember Corey Johnson attended the exhibit’s opening to show their continued support of the workers. Gottfried and Johnson posed with photos that included their participation in earlier marches for this cause. The 32BJ President Hector Figeuroa attended with about 15 union members who were on hand to offer solidarity to their nonunion compatriots. In many of the luxury buildings that have sprung up in proximity of the High Line, non-union service workers who guard the doors and maintain the building find themselves paid considerably less than the $21 an hour set by 32BJ, sometimes as little as $13 an hour — and they are not offered the comprehensive health insurance and pension of their unionized counterparts. It seems logical for the underpaid workers to join the union, and for the condo/co-op boards to willingly agree to the unionization that would allow a living wage and benefits to those who take care of their daily needs — but this is not occurring without a fight. According to 32BJ President Hector Figueroa, across the city eight out of 10 buildings are unionized, and

for luxury buildings like the Marais, the cost would be less than $100 a unit per month, or no more than $3 a day, but still boards have refused to allow workers to become union members. The fight has been going on for more than two years, as workers are attempting to unionize in eight buildings in West Chelsea. William Rosado, 61, has been a porter/maintenance worker at the Marais for over seven years. Although he now earns $20 an hour, he does not have a pension. The health insurance through his job has high deductibles and a limited choice of doctors. “It’s also hard to get brand name drugs that I need,” he says. “It would be so much better to have the union health insurance, which would let me include family, my wife.”

RESIDENTS APPROVE, BOARD DENIES The majority of residents at 520 W. 23rd St. — 80 out of 107 — signed the petition to allow their service workers to join the union. When the maintenance was raised 15 percent this year, a number of those residents congratulated Rosado on joining the union because they assumed the increase was to cover increased costs for service workers. “I told them that the board had rejected our petition,” he said, “and they were not aware.” The Marais five-member board has not shown a willingness to negotiate with the workers and the union, as it has not responded to communications from union representatives. Word that the board did their own survey of residents is unconfirmed. From that

Continued on page 10 .com


November 20 - December 03, 2014


CB4 Appoints New District Manager Continued from page 1 constituent services and policy when she was a New York City Councilmember, and then as her director of community development (land use division) when Brewer was elected Manhattan Borough President. In his past positions, Bodine said he had “witnessed how effective, organized, and productive CB4 is and how effective the district manager can be,” especially in “solving some of the quality of life issues and working with city agencies” — aspects he is looking forward to undertaking. He was officially handed the key to the CB4 office by his predecessor Robert Benfatto, now executive director of the Hudson Yards/Hell’s Kitchen Business Improvement District.

BRC NEIGHBORS VOICE FEAR AND FRUSTRATION Quality of life took center stage at the meeting’s Public Session when 14 people who either live or work on W. 25th St. (btw. Sixth & Seventh Aves.) voiced ongoing concerns stemming from the Bowery Residents’ Committee (BRC) at 127 W. 25th St.

A 200-bed homeless shelter, 96-bed homeless safe haven, 32-bed inpatient detox, and non-residential outpatient addiction treatment facility, BRC — according to the community members who spoke — houses heroin patients, sex offenders, and those who are mentally challenged. Men and women who spoke out reported that BRC residents openly harass women and children on the street, and spoke about witnessing deal drugs, pot smoking, vomiting, urination, and defecation on the block, during daylight hours. One visibly shaken woman, told the board about being sexually molested at the entrance to her building as she was returning to work after lunch: “His was a known face to me, someone I’d seen a thousand times before. The next day I saw him again outside the BRC.” Recently, Chelsea Now reported that in mid-October the Department of Homeless Services (DHS) was assigned 24 “peace officers” to patrol the block in pairs every four hours from 8 a.m. until midnight to augment BRC security, which had agreed to patrol every two hours during that same timeframe. There was no mention that the peace officers had brought any improvement to the

★★★★ – Time Out New York

– Daily News


NOV. 9 – DEC










November 20 - December 03, 2014

Photo by Eileen Stukane

Jesse Bodine (left) receives the key to the CB4 office from former district manager Robert Benfatto.

block. Brian Conroy, the father of tenmonth-old twin sons, said that the DHS peace officers needed to spend more time walking the block and that in the long-term, the size of the shelter needs to be reduced. He also said that his female babysitter is regularly harassed and catcalled when entering and leaving his building (on the same block as the BRC). A plea for reducing the shelter’s population was repeated by others. Maggie Gallagher, who lives on W. 25th St., formerly volunteered at a homeless shelter and she said that when she heard the BRC would house 400 people, she was aghast (the in-house capacity is 328 beds). “There’s no way that they can serve the needs of this immense and critical population of drug addicts and mentally ill.” She defined the BRC as a “homeless warehouse” and a “megashelter.” Carla Nordstrom, who started the West 25th Street Project to improve and beautify the block, stated that “BRC appears to be more interested in co-opting our efforts than in working with us.” David Vanden-Eynden’s business is across the street from the BRC and he advises his staff members, who are mostly female, not to leave the office singly. David Riehl, owner of The City Quilter, when opening his business one morning, discovered two hypodermic needles in his storefront gate. The City Quilter, a 17-yearold business known worldwide, regularly welcomes visitors from foreign countries. Several months ago, one woman from New Zealand was assaulted and hit in the chest by a BRC resident when she was entering the store. Lee Berthelsen-Leon, general manager of the Four Points Hotel, said that hotel guests are harassed and men and women on staff will no longer walk down the block at night due to the loitering of BRC residents.

Many told of how the street had improved from grittier days in the late 1980s only to be facing a downturn since the BRC was established in 2011. A poignant letter from Eddie Seda, the super at 110 W. 25th St., was read by Amy Salzman. Seda wrote about how the community had changed in the last two decades. “Everyone knew me. People would stop and talk. It was nice. Now people hurry past. The BRC people scare them.” He described how he now has to clean up human feces, cigarette butts, empty beer cans and other trash from the front of the building. “After twenty years I don’t like coming to work anymore since the BRC has opened. It’s disgusting and there’s no respect.” Christine Berthet assured the speakers that CB4 would be looking into the issues presented.

GUESTS AND ELECTEDS BRING NEWS Guest speaker John Cnapich, director of paternity and outreach services, Office of Child Support Enforcement, NYC Human Resources Administration, told of avenues of help for child support that sometimes go unnoticed. For example, his office provides DNA testing in a paternity or support cases for $40 per person, mother, father, child, each being tested. That fee is less than half what most medical facilities charge. Cnapich noted that if there’s any question of paternity, a DNA test should always be undertaken since courts adhere to a deadline. Men come into his office seven or eight years after they had started paying child support and say that they have just learned they are not the biological fathers. The courts will not entertain removing a paternity issue after seven or eight years. For information about DNA testing, call 929-221-5008.

Continued on page 16 .com

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November 20 - December 03, 2014


LETTERS TO THE EDITOR High Line exhibit tops his list

Bike anarchy on the streets

To The Editor: Re “High Above and Just Beyond” (arts article, Nov. 6): My late father, Leon Dolice, was a painter who devoted most of his life to chronicling the neighborhoods, streets and buildings of Manhattan, mainly in the 1930s through the 1950s. The love of New York City had to be something that was passed down to me with his genes, because I couldn’t consider living anywhere else in the world. I’ve known Ellen [Bradshaw] for a number of years, and whenever her paintings are at Pleiades Gallery in Chelsea, I make a point of visiting and seeing them. Her artistic interpretation of Manhattan and many of its architectural subjects convince me that she’s a true kindred spirit whose great talent, and more importantly her deep love of our city, inspire the great paintings she creates. Don’t miss this show. It’s on the top of my list as one of the best in Manhattan this season!

To The Editor: A cultural shift among New Yorkers is needed in order to reduce aggressive driving, jaywalking and other dangerous behavior on the streets, they say. Why is dangerous behavior by bicyclists never mentioned? You cannot walk down a block without seeing a bicyclist going the wrong way, riding on the sidewalk, riding without lights at night, riding with headphones on. The bicycle explosion has been a disaster for the elderly, the visually handicapped, the cognitively challenged, and anyone whose head doesn’t spin around 360 degrees. A cultural shift among cyclists is needed — along with vigorous enforcement of existing laws about what bicyclists can and cannot do.

Joe Dolice

To The Editor: Here’s a short account of two very different encounters that I, an older Chelsea resident, had with young adults regarding climate change. The first disturbed me. The second left me hopeful about the future. During the morning rush of September 18 (at the corner of W. 25th St. & Eighth Ave.), I distributed literature and talked about the Climate Change March with coming/going commuters — including bicyclists who waited at the red light (gasp!) while an NYPD car was parked at the very corner. Many commuters were polite, some supportive…and then there were the young adults who were like walking mannequins, plugged into their apps, avoiding any human contact. Was this a generational posture on the part of those in a rush to arrive at the galleries and start-up computer companies that took feet of water during Sandy (because of inadequate protective infrastructure provided by our government as well as corporations)? I do hope these young workers are capable of becoming informed and protecting their own futures.

Sobering thoughts To The Editor: Two years after Sandy, what is being planned will help. But it won’t solve the long-term problems of climate change and storm surges. And the problem keeps getting worse. Congress refuses to deal with the problem. The National Weather Service is woefully understaffed. The insurance companies are not writing flood insurance policies. The repair work from Sandy is taking much too long, and it is questionable if much of it will ever be completed. Why is Europe so far ahead of us in dealing with its flooding problems? They have 50-year plans for the future that they are dealing with now. They are not playing catch-up like we are. Robert Trentlyon

Ned Sublette

Two takes on climate change


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My second encounter was on the day of, and at, the People’s Climate March. There were so, so, so many involved young adults. No question here — these young adults cared. What a pleasure! Such a source of hope! With the second anniversary of Sandy having recently passed, it is important that we make plans to protect our commercial and residential sites as well as the lives of Chelsea residents and workers — and become informed about what’s being done to improve the infrastructure, while making sure that government, corporations, landlords and co-op boards are working on these issues. Phyllis Shanley

UPDATE Re “Vigil Decries ‘Toxic Environment’ at General Theological Seminary” (news, Nov. 6): Shortly after Chelsea Now’s Nov. 6 issue went to press, the General Theological Seminary released a statement noting that all parties “have today reached an agreement regarding the immediate issues which have led to heated debates within and without the walls of the nation’s oldest Episcopal seminary.” The Board of Trustees, Dean Reverend Kurt H. Dunkle and the faculty are involved in “an ongoing process of reconciliation,” that includes the “reinstatement of all of the returning faculty members on a provisional basis.” The statement reaffirmed the responsibilities of the Board and Rev. Dunkle. A representative of the GTS 8 — the faculty that was “forcibly resigned” — declined to give a comment to Chelsea Now. E-mail letters, not longer than 250 words in length, to or fax to 212229-2790 or mail to Chelsea Now, Letters to the Editor, NYC Community Media, One 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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November 20 - December 03, 2014


Pier55 to Provide Recreation, Entertainment and Three Peaks Continued from page 1 “is committed to providing maximum public access, including during most performances.” Mayor de Blasio and Governor Cuomo have given their blessings to the big-pocket project, for which the city will contribute $13 million. The state, meanwhile, is earmarking $18 million to widen the park esplanade from Gansevoort Peninsula to 14th St. to improve access around the pier. Both top pols effusively praised the plan, as well as Diller and von Furstenberg for their generosity. “New York City’s waterfront provides tremendous opportunities for everything from tourism to outdoor recreation,” Cuomo said. “Pier55 is the perfect example of how we can tap into that resource.” Said de Blasio, “Hudson River Park has become a destination for millions of New Yorkers from across all five boroughs. The revitalization and transformation of this pier into a vibrant arts and community space will bring new energy and new visitors to our waterfront.” Von Furstenberg said the unique project’s moment has arrived. “New York has always reminded me of Venice, so I am happy the time has come to properly honor its waterways,” she said. “What better than a park on the city’s western bank to rest, watch a sunset or a performance?” Diller said the process of conceiving and working on the design and programming with a team has been “exciting.” “From the early stages of the project, I asked Scott Rudin to join me in conceptualizing all aspects of the project,” Diller said. “We decided early on that the programming for the park — and the design of the park itself —should be ambitious in every way. We felt we should primarily commission work from artists of every variety — from world-renowned to local New York City talent.” It’s projected that work on the esplanade widening could start as soon as next spring, while pier construction could commence by 2016, with the pier opening by 2018 or ’19. The project — since it’s in the water — will first need approvals, however, from the state Department of Environmental Conservation and the federal Army Corps of Engineers. In addition, as part of a 60-day public review and comment period, required under the Hudson River Park Act, a public hearing on the pier plan will be held on Wed., Dec. 17, from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m., at the Eisner and Lubin Auditorium, in New York University’s Kimmel Center, 60 Washington Square South, fourth floor. Photo ID is required to enter the building. In accordance with the park act, the legally required documents are posted on the Trust’s Web site, — including an environmental impact statement (EIS) and the Pier55 lease terms. During this two-month period, written comments from the public will also be accepted through Jan. 16, 2015. Comments can be sent by regular mail to William Heinzen, Esq., Hudson River Park Trust, Pier 40, second floor, 353 West St., New York, N.Y. 10014 or by e-mail to . The project will also be presented next month at a .com

Pier55, Inc./Heatherwick Studio

A rendering showing how Pier55 would be situated between the existing Pier 56 pile field to the north and the future Pier 54 pile field to the south.

public meeting at Community Board 2. “Whenever we add new parkland where none previously existed, it’s a permanent boon for our community,” said David Gruber, the board’s chairperson. “This is now going to go through a public review process so that the community can fully see the whole plan and have input into the project.” For Diller, a business and media mogul, and von Furstenberg, a famed fashion designer, the pier arts park would be yet another signature Lower West Side project that they are driving. They are already the largest donors to the High Line — one of the city’s top tourist attractions. The sail-like headquarters building for Diller’s IAC Internet company, designed by Frank Gehry, at W. 18th St. and 11th Ave., was completed in 2007. In a well-coordinated rollout, the unique pier plan was first announced in major print and TV media on Monday. The new Hudson River hot spot will be situated 186 feet out in the river, accessible from the mainland by a pair of pathways, 27 feet and 28 feet wide, that will gradually rise up about 9 feet to connect to the structure. The site will be sandwiched between the current location of Pier 54 to the south and the pile-field remnant of the former Pier 56 to the north — hence, Pier55. Pier 54’s crumbling concrete deck will be removed, leaving another pile field. The historic Pier 54 was where the Carpathia brought the Titanic’s survivors in 1912. The pier fields, both of which will remain, not only provide an aesthetically pleasing sight but a habitat where fish and other aquatic wildlife feed. As opposed to Pier 54, which was originally supported by nearly 3,500 piles, the new Pier55 will be held up by less than 400 piles, which will sport shoulder-like “pods”

Pier55, Inc./Heatherwick Studio

An aerial schematic of Pier55, showing the 750seat amphitheater on the pier’s left side, the central plaza area and a smaller area on the pier’s southern side at the end of the plaza area.

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November 20 - December 03, 2014


Luxury Building Blocks Service Workers Union

Photo by Sam Spokony

An April 10, 2014 rally on the High Line addressed conditions at nearby buildings (from the Chelsea Now archives, not part of the exhibit).

Continued from page 4 survey, which if it exists has not been shared, the board has decided to refuse unionization. No official reason has been given to the union for the board’s refusal to speak with their representatives. 32BJ President Figueroa also explains that what a board may not fully appreciate is that in a union, “Workers get training benefits that allow them to learn and keep up to date on skills, such as how to interact with the public, what to do in case of fire or any other emergencies or threats, and also they’re trained in servicing air conditioning, plumbing, electricity, in how to handle computerized systems. In the union, their workers will be offering better value and be more productive.”

MORE VOICES OF SOLIDARITY On hand to moderate the exhibit’s opening was Tony Moran, a union member who has been a doorman at

London Terrace for the last decade. He spoke to the gathering about the enjoyable relationships service workers have with store owners, mail people, restaurants and delivery services, relationships that “keep the community moving.” As a union member, Moran says he has been able to “provide my family with quality healthcare, put my two kids through college, and pursue my academic endeavors. Knowing that my brothers and sisters who perform the same line of work are not doing the same as I am pains me.” He added, “This exhibit shows a group of workers who only want what’s right for their families. Resilience, support, solidarity, commitment and love have been captured.” Elected officials responded in kind. Councilmember Corey Johnson noted that with the development that has occurred around the High Line, “The composition of our neighborhood has changed tremendously, but one thing

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Rally Protests USPS Service Cuts, Privatization Continued from page 3 ber for 36 years. Walsh kicked off the rally with chants such as “Whose post office?” with the response “Our post office,” or “The people’s post office.” “They say cutback, we say fight back,” and “Stop delaying America’s mail” were heard on Eighth Ave. as people walked by. Walsh, who resides in Long Island, introduced the various speakers, and had a bit of Matthew McConaughey’s mojo as he said “alright.” “I love the post office. I love serving the American people,” said Jonathan Smith, president of the New York Metro Area Postal Union. “We work hard and the postal service acts like we’re not needed.” Smith led the crowd in a chant of “We are the 99 percent” and got some members to exclaim, “Preach, brother,” while he discussed the USPS problems. “Why ask the customer to pay more and give them less?” Smith said, For J. Renee Bost, 50, the gathering was not only about the postal workers but also about the American people and the mail delays that will be forthcoming. Bost,

who lives in New Jersey and is Smith’s assistant, explained how a letter that is posted in the Bronx to somewhere else in the borough must be routed to Manhattan before it goes back to the Bronx. “That’s crazy,” she said. “We’re just trying to stop it before it gets out of hand.” Bost has been a part of the New York Metro Area Postal Union for 25 years. She said that membership is decreasing and cited the fact that when she began at the post office, one could work parttime and get benefits, but now one must wait to receive them. The union, located at 350 W. 31 St., was against the closure of the Old Chelsea Station at 217 West 18th St., which was kept open due to community activism with elected officials support. At the rally, a speaker touched upon the threatened closure of the Old Chelsea Station last year as an example of what activism can do. But it was not only postal workers that came to the rally. Retired meat packer Michael Baumann, 70, from New Jersey, came to show his solidarity with the postal workers. “I see it as an attack on the union,”

Photo by Dusica Sue Malesevic

Members of other unions, including the Screen Actors Guild, came to show solidarity with the postal workers.

said Baumann, who has been a part of a union for around 40 years. “They are using non-labor to do union work.” Some postal services are available at Staples and may be expanded to Walmart, with many at the rally saying that the post office should not be privatized. Some held signs that said “Boycott Staples.” Lisa Marie Casillas, 38, of Brooklyn, was passing out informational flyers

about the rally to pedestrians. “We need to stick together,” she said. She was there to support the union and her son Ismaelpeter Casillas, 17, who is an actor and a member of the Screen Actors Guild. He said, he was there to back the postal workers’ unions, and to protest the proposed mail delays. “We like getting checks in the mail for our work,” he said.

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A New Island for Manhattan, Pier55 Continued from page 9 at their tops to spread the load. The new pier will be a square, 320 feet by 320 feet. Though, in a twist — literally — the design calls for the square to be rotated to align with the Village’s bordering street grid. Adding another dimension — literally — the pier’s surface won’t be flat, but have varying heights. The elevation of the Hudson River Park’s mainland portion is 6½ feet above sea level. In the post-Sandy era, it was critical to construct the new Pier55 above the floodplain. The design calls for the new pier’s elevation to start at 15 feet at its entry points, including the northeast corner. The height will then slope up to 38 feet at the pier’s southeast corner, 41 feet at the northwest corner and a top elevation of 71 feet at its southwest corner. The pier’s southwest side will thus be lifted up, which, according to the plan, will decrease shading on the water below by 30 percent compared to a regular-style pier of equal size. More sunlight reaching the river is better for the marine ecosystem, including migrating sturgeon and sea turtles, according to the EIS. In 2012, legislation was passed in Albany allowing the Pier 54 footprint to be widened from its current long and narrow shape in order to make it easier and safer for crowds to enter and exit the deck. (This change was part of the same package of legislation that allowed the Hudson River Park Trust to sell the park’s unused development rights up to one block inland from the park.) Pier 54 previously was a major event space for the park. But several years ago, 100 feet at the aging 875-foot-long pier’s western end suddenly collapsed, and more parts of the pier have since been closed off for safety. As a result, rock concerts, summer movies and the Gay Pride Pier Dance, among others, have been shifted to other piers in the park. The Trust says it does not have the money to repair Pier 54 by itself. Hudson River Park is supposed to be financially self-sustaining. But with government funding drying up, and 30 percent of the park still uncompleted, the park’s financial picture had grown bleak in recent years, according to the Trust. Now, with the development-rights legislation and the Dillervon Furstenberg pier project, though, the picture is getting rosier, at least


Pier55, Inc./Heatherwick Studio

A design showing the planned “rolling landscape” of Pier55.

financially speaking. The Trust is hoping that more “public-private partnerships” like this one will help it complete the park. While Diller and von Furstenberg’s foundation will fund the maintenance of the Pier55 park, the Trust will pay for the maintenance of the new pier’s superstructure. By giving such a large gift, the couple clearly had naming rights for the pier, but waived them — only axing the space between “Pier” and “55,” to create Pier55. Madelyn Wils, the president of the Trust, the 5-mile-long waterfront park’s governing body, presented the Pier55 plan to Chelsea Now on Monday morning. “I think we really felt the pier had to be widened if we wanted to have nice events,” she explained. As for the new pier’s height, she noted, to put things in perspective, by comparison, the shed of nearby Pier 57, at W. 17th St., is 50 feet tall, and another large structure, the new Whitney Museum, is being completed a couple of blocks to the south on Gansevoort St. Regarding the planned uses for Pier55, Wils noted that under the Hudson River Park Act of 1998, the park’s founding legislation, part of the park’s mission is cultural and educational, as well as recreational. The process leading up to the plan’s unveiling started two and a half years ago, when Diana Taylor, the Trust’s board chairperson, reportedly approached Diller about upgrading Pier 54. As Wils explained it, at first, Diller and von Furstenberg thought they could build Pier55 for $35 million, but the price tag ballooned. It was determined that a simple square pier would work the best for flexible open space. An earlier idea for an “amoe-

November 20 - December 03, 2014

ba”-like shape was scrapped, Wils said. A competition between four competing firms resulted in England’s award-winning Thomas Heatherwick, of Beijing Olympics cauldron fame, being selected for the design. Along with Heatherwick, the Trust, Diller and von Furstenberg continued to work on the design as “a collective,” Wils noted. The pier “undulates,” she explained of its height changes, noting, “Barry wanted it to be very sweeping.” Comparing the new plan to the current Pier 54, Wils said, “I think we have taken a very ordinary design that would not have been used very well, and we are creating a beautiful public park that will be used by a lot of people.” Plus, she added, “If we were to rebuild the pier as it is, it would be below the floodplain.” Asked if the new pier, with its quirky-looking “pod” piles and its rolling hills and ramps — somehow a bit reminiscent of an album cover by Roger Dean for the ’70s prog-rock band Yes — will mesh with the more traditionally rectilinear park, Wils said, “If it did not fit into the gestalt or the mission of the park, we wouldn’t do it.” The pier’s northern entrance will give onto a large public plaza that could at times have tables and chairs or a farmers market and accommodate performances, she noted. Events on the new pier won’t be as large as the ones formerly on Pier 54 — which could hold crowds of up to 8,000 — since the usable space will be a bit smaller, Wils said. About 1,000 people will be able to fit on Pier55’s hardscape plaza, while roughly 2,500 will be able to sit on the lawns, and 700 in the amphitheater. Wils added that the Trust received a federal grant that will allow creation of

A design concept for Pier55 — viewed looking

An aerial view of the planned Pier55.

a new crosswalk across the West Side Highway at W. 13th St., which will improve access to the new pier. Asked if she anticipated any negative critiques of rotating the pier to align with the street grid, Wils simply called it “a better urban design.” As for the fairly large-looking trees in the design, she noted that Pier 64, at W. 24th St., also is “heavily treed.” However, she stressed, “This is just a concept plan so far.” The intent is for the pier to have “four season” plantings resembling those in the park’s Tribeca section, which notably .com

5 Promises Bold Arts Programming

Pier55, Inc./Heatherwick Studio

An aerial night view of the amphitheater, currently planned to seat 750.

Pier55, Inc./Heatherwick Studio

g toward the west — which will be located off of W. 13th St.

Pier55, Inc./Heatherwick Studio

includes tall grasses. Mathews Nielsen is the plan’s landscape architect. Since Lower Manhattan has no hills to speak of, it begs the question: Will kids go sledding on the pier’s slopes in the winter? No, Wils said, there will definitely be too many trees to allow sledding or skiing. Regarding the approval process, Wils said that Monday, in fact, marked the start of the 60-day “public process” that is legally required for any “significant action” affecting the park. They have already met with local politicians and community board leaders, she .com

noted, calling the reaction they got “very positive.” “I believe most of the elected officials thought it was a great plan,” she said. In late January, the Trust’s board of directors will vote on whether to grant a 20-year lease to the Pier55 nonprofit to operate the performances and run the pier. Asked if the Trust board will vote on the Pier55 design plan itself, however, Wils said it won’t, since the Trust inherently has the right to build the park pier. “The ‘significant action’ is on the lease, the funding,” Wils explained. “There’s no vote on building a public park.” As for the performances, Wils and Horton noted that the rest of the pier will be able to be used recreationally while shows are going on in the amphitheater. This wasn’t the case on the long and narrow Pier 54. “We’re very keen to work with local artists and to work with local talent,” Horton said. Pier55, she said. That 51 percent of the performances must be free or low cost is an agreement Diller and von Furstenberg made with the Trust. The Trust may also do some of its own programming on the pier, Wils noted. The amphitheater will be used yearround, Horton said, noting it could, for example, host ice-carving art in the winter.

“It should be very beautiful, very inspiring,” Horton said. “The views back to the city will be spectacular.” Some, including Assemblymember Deborah Glick, however, said — while not wanting to look a gift horse of this magnitude in the mouth — there has been very little transparency about the plan so far. “We did see some presentation a couple of months ago at the Borough President’s office,” she noted. But, Glick said, while the Trust got legislation passed last year to change the current pier’s shape — and this does seem to make sense in terms of improving access to the pier — it was never expressly stated back then that this was being sought in connection with the large donation. That said, Glick added, “The good thing is the park hasn’t had this kind of donor. It’s a very difficult thing not to be happy about. It’s generous. But that doesn’t wipe away clear and full disclosure to the public. While we are glad for the contribution, we want it to be public space. The devils are in the details.” She noted, though, that “it’s not uncommon” when there is a large donation of this sort — such as to a college or institution — that the donor controls the design process. “If someone is building a hospital wing, and they say they want gray marble versus white marble, the hospital is happy to do that,” she said. “But this is public space, and that’s different. This was a public pier. They were not particularly open about why they needed to change the pier’s shape. They did not mention the height. “A large group of people in the Village will say it’s great,” Glick acknowledged of the Pier55 plan. “Others will say it blocks views. When people are making major donations, they don’t want to deal with

the messy public process.” Councilmember Corey Johnson, whose district, like Glick’s, contains the pier site, said, “I think that the Pier55 announcement is incredibly exciting.” But he added, “I’m concerned about there not having been a public process and this has not been presented at community board meetings or other meetings where the public could comment on it. I hope that will happen. I think Pier55 will be incredibly popular and well-received — but process matters.” However, according the Trust, there a significant differences between the process for Pier55 (the former Pier 54) and, say, Pier 40 and Pier 57. The former, under the Hudson River Park Act, is designated as a park pier while the two latter are designated to include commercial uses as revenue generators for the park. As a result, according to the park act, project plans for the commercial piers must go through the city’s seventh-month-long ULURP (Uniform Land Use Review Procedure), whereas designs for the park piers don’t have to. Also, in the past, when the Trust has sought developers’ proposals for Pier 40, there were competitions involving multiple plans submitted. In the case of Pier55, there was no competition, just one large donor. Even though two previous such competitions for Pier 40 didn’t actually ever reach the ULURP stage, there was extensive public review of the proposals, by Community Board 2 and the Hudson River Park Advisory Council, among others, before the processes collapsed. But, again, according to a Trust source, Pier55 is not the same as Pier 40 and those efforts. “The starting point is different,” the source said.

November 20 - December 03, 2014


Jerry Tallmer, 93, Wrote With Heart About The Soul OBITUARY BY SCOTT SITFFLER When a theater critic passes away, those in his workplace orbit don’t normally rush to pen glowing testimonials. Most of them simply aren’t moved to do so, while the rest are too busy jockeying for position on the graveyard backhoe. The reaction to Jerry Tallmer’s death was, like his work, beyond the scope of standard protocol. New York City native, Dartmouth graduate, World War II veteran and influential arts writer Tallmer was just weeks shy of his 94th birthday when he died on November 9, taking with him an unyielding drive — and an exceedingly rare ability — to communicate the essence of an author’s message, an actor’s method, or a person’s life. While lesser human beings (and therefore, lesser writers) are miserly with generating content that doesn’t bolster their opinion or assert their authority, the arts and entertainment features Tallmer wrote for this publication regularly surrendered long stretches of his available word count to excerpts from the script. This was done in the service of calling attention not only to the playwright’s craftsmanship, but also to the heart and soul of the work. Combine that with Tallmer’s ability to place contemporary productions within the context of versions seen decades ago, and the scope of his loss begins to take shape. Not exactly given to hyperbole or fits of unearned praise, show business historian (and Chelsea Now’s Downtown theater columnist) Trav S.D. recalls that upon meeting Tallmer a decade ago, “He gave me a look, the sort of expression only a New Yorker could love, not

of bewilderment, but of fatigue, a look that said, ‘What’s that? Some kind of a joke name? I got no time or energy or patience for even trying to understand what you’re telling me.’ But I sure knew who he was. Small in physical stature, he was a giant (or ought to have been) in Off-Broadway. After all, he was the man who named it. He was the guy who reviewed all of those legendary experimental productions for The Village Voice in the late fifties and early sixties, and founded the Obie Awards. He encouraged thousands of artists to be brave. In essence, he was midwife to the very culture that inspired me to adapt a pseudonym in the first place. Theater in the sixties operated according to the premise that this is a world of infinite possibility. We need the likes of Jerry Tallmer right now more than ever.” The ripple effects will never abate from that decisive moment when Tallmer (then with The Village Voice) committed to frequent ventures below 14th Street, in the interest of spotlighting a new form of theater. His method of covering Downtown paralleled that loosely defined world of shoestring budgets and a black box sets, resulting in an equally unique and personal style of criticism. Those familiar with his many years of feature/review hybrid work for this newspaper will recall, hopefully with fondness, how Tallmer frequently went off-topic. Childhood memories and pop culture references from the first half of the 20th century were momentary diversions, though, and lovingly (if not always firmly) anchored to the matter at hand. Readers only saw in passing the physical effort it took to cover a story. Half of any job, after all, is showing up — and Tallmer, at every stage of his life, did it with gusto. Actor and theatrical press agent Jonathan Slaff recalls

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November 20 - December 03, 2014

Photo by Jonathan Slaff

Jerry Tallmer, at his 2012 induction into the Players Club Hall of Fame.

a lasting impression, while Tallmer was working for the New York Post: “I was amazed at how many small theaters he would cover for a big paper. Like the time in the very early 1990s when he came to review a version of ‘Hamlet’ set in 1930s Bulgaria at the House of Candles Theater on Stanton Street. It was maybe the second show after that new space opened. There was torrential rain that night. Transit was broken and cabs were scarce. He was already elderly and seemed frail. I wondered how he would get to the theater. He did. He came splashing to the theater on time. The audience, what there was of it, sat there dripping wet. He began his review, ‘This swimmer…’ He came to the work of new artists with an eye for discovery. He was not only a discerning critic, he was also a great reporter. That was the difference between him and many other people who write about the arts.” Rolling Stone co-founder Michael Lydon, a musician on the current Village performance scene, only knew Tallmer through his work. As a writer who recently handed in, early, an assignment to this publication’s arts section, Lydon had no reason to reach

out to us other than to note, “I always felt he was on the artist’s side. He knew and sympathized with the struggles to do original work, meaningful work, and also, the struggles to get gigs, recognition, bodies in seats. New York is a tough town. Jerry Tallmer understood the whole battle and did his best to cheer us on.” When I became Chelsea Now’s arts editor several years ago, Jerry left the polite greetings in the dust and got down to the real work of forcefully advocating for his favorite artists and producing entities (he was a soft touch, rightfully so, for anything from the Mint Theater Company). We often clashed on what to cover — but agreed that bad reviews, even at two words (“Don’t go!”) were not the best use of finite newsprint space. So began the process of having messengers deliver scripts to Jerry’s apartment, where he’d put aside the best and consign the also-rans to his dustbin. When it came time to whittle that list down even further, he never played the Obie card or reminded me of the fact that his legacy as a writer and editor predated my birth. He didn’t have to. Jerry got the gig like he covered the show: on merit. .com

Despite Support From Residents, Co-Op Board Denies Union

Courtesy of 32BJ

Courtesy of 32BJ

This photo of Cesar Coronel (a doorman at 231 10th Ave.) and his family was part of the exhibit.

City Councilmember Corey Johnson (left) and Assemblymember Richard Gottfried view photos at the pop-up gallery.

Continued from page 10 is certain: everyone must be valued for the work they do and who they are in our neighborhood. If you put in 40 hours a week, there should be a basic premise and promise that is met. You should be able to make a living wage, support your family, have free or affordable health insurance, a pen-

sion, be able to retire with dignity and you should not have to worry about making ends meet.” Assemblymember Richard Gottfried said that his West Side residence has been a 32BJ building for decades and “I know that it is a better place to work and a better place to live because the union contract assures the workers in our building that they are treated with respect and fairness.”

State Senator Brad Hoylman spoke about the “stark inequality” that exists as a result of “the luxury buildings cropping up along the High Line and the struggling service workers who are employed by these buildings. We need as a city, as public officials, and as a community to make sure that those people who live at the very top of the income stratosphere are helping to provide for those at the very bottom.”

Figueroa expressed to this newspaper that Chelsea is a welcoming community that defines what New York City is all about. He added, “We also would like Chelsea to be a place where good jobs are preserved and sustained, and where people who work hard to make the residents of Chelsea safe and secure could have a chance to do the same for their families.”

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Gyms, Bars Under CB4’s Scrutiny Continued from page 6 Among a number of helpful programs described by Cnapich was Legal Information for Families Today (LIFT) which provides attorneys and legal interns for legal counseling and help with paperwork. In Manhattan, LIFT is located in the Family Courthouse, 60 Lafayette St., 1st floor. Call 212-343-1122 or visit U.S. Congressman Jerrold Nadler’s liaison, Jackie Blank, reported that the Congressman, along with Senator Charles Schumer, State Senator Brad Hoylman, Assemblymember Deborah Glick and City Councilmember Corey Johnson, wrote a letter to Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Julian Castro, to request the development of rules to allow reverse mortgages for people over age 62 who own co-ops. The law allowing reverse mortgages in co-ops was passed in 2008, but so far has not been given a structure in which it can be implemented. Representing Public Advocate Letitia James, Ed Sullivan spoke of her interest in combatting sexual abuse on college campuses. James has introduced the NYC Campus Safety Act to increase resources, provide more information on support services and create a mobile app to report incidents of assault to law enforcement. Reports from electeds can be found on the CB4 website ( Scroll down on the home page to “November Elected Official Newsletters.”

AGENDA ITEMS CB4 chair Christine Berthet spoke in honor of deceased board member Kemraj Singh. “We have all been very shocked with the sudden death of our board member Kemraj Singh. This month has brought us his horrible death. I want you all to think about him and say goodbye,” said Berthet. This was a somber moment. At some point in the future, the board will propose a new board member to Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer. Berthet moderated as the board voted on the 28 agenda items. The necessity of CB4’s involvement in approving gyms, called “physical culture establishments” on agendas, led board member J.D. Noland to remark that the board had become involved “because of the bad old days of massage parlors.” However, he also said that male and female spas on Ninth and 10th Aves. were proliferating, that sex

Photo by Eileen Stukane

A W. 25th St. resident speaks about living near the Bowery Residents’ Committee facility.

trafficking may be occurring in these settings, and perhaps CB4 should be involved in reviewing these establishments rather than gym franchises. It was decided that the matter should be explored between the Board of Standards and Appeals and the CB4 Land Use Committee. Berthet noted that in the two days prior to the meeting, when the board’s letter to the Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) was made public with its described violations of the High Line Hotel’s approved plans, changes had been made. The hotel had removed the bar that was less than six feet in front of the historic building façade, two six-foot by 13-foot wooden booths and five eight-foot long banquettes. The letter expressed concern, however, that these items would be reintroduced during warmer weather. In a separate letter, however, the board commended the hotel for working with the Quality of Life Committee in reducing sound from rental activities in their venue “The Refectory.” Among real estate/housing issues, the board approved Clinton Housing Development Company’s (CHDC) application to the NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) for the renovation of the Terminal Hotel, 565 W. 23rd St., a four-story Single Room Occupancy (SRO) building with documented tenant harassment from 2004 to 2008. The building is proposed as a five-story with 24 permanently affordable one-bedroom and studio apartments, as well as SRO suites. During the public session, David


Glasser, a tenant in the building, spoke out against relocation, and the separate entrance for affordable tenants. Board member Barbara Davis explained that a condominium development next door allows funding for the Terminal Hotel renovation. Two separate buildings are being constructed. There is not a “poor door” but a separate building with its own entrance. Davis also reported on progress securing amenities at 401 W. 31st St., the Brookfield Project — a 62-story 844-unit building, with 169 affordable apartments for families earning no more than 60 percent of the Area Median Income (AMI). In the board’s letter to the HPD, Davis reported that negotiations with the developer had gained certain amenities: lounges, a children’s playroom, library, game room, “crash pad,” and laundry would be available to affordable tenants at no charge. The large outdoor rooftop deck, however, is not. The board will press for this inclusion. Following the CB4 meeting, the board issued an important six-page “MCB4 Policy Regarding Concentration and Location of Alcohol-Serving Establishments,” developed as a result of the many quality of life concerns heard from community residents. The board makes its position known with this policy, which addresses the 500-Foot Rule, proposes the limitation of alcohol-serving establishments on narrow side streets, and more. Available online through 2014/14%20Balanced%20Business%20Policy.pdf.

UPCOMING EVENTS At the Ryan Chelsea-Clinton Community Health Center, 645 10th Ave. (at W. 46th St.) a number of events are occurring: Nov. 20th, stop-smoking resources available for the National Great American Smokeout; Dec. 1, 12 noon to 5 p.m., World AIDS Day Health Fair, free HIV testing and other health screenings. For more information; call 212-265-4500 x 4819 or visit On the second Tuesday of every month, Councilmember Corey Johnson’s office will hold a Free Legal Housing Clinic Service. Housing attorneys will be offering free legal advice. District Office, 224 West 30th St., Suite 1206, 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. For more information; call 212-564-7757. Board member Delores Rubin introduced Trees New York, which offers a City Pruner course to certify any New Yorker to legally prune and protect city trees. Visit treesny. org or call 212-227-1887.

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November 20 - December 03, 2014



Bowery Gallery’s Radical Notions Persist Exhibit features work from artist-run co-op’s founders

Courtesy of the artist

Nancy Beal: “Melo Mel Red Tub” or “Cat on the Porch” (1977, oil/canvas, 28 x 21 in.).

BY DUSICA SUE MALESEVIC Fresh out of Cooper Union, the School of Visual Arts, Pratt and the New York Studio School, a network of young artists banded together to start a co-operative. Nearly 45 years later, their legacy is being highlighted in an exhibition that showcases work from the late sixties to the present. The 23 young artists who founded Bowery Gallery first met through their professors, neighborhoods and various drawing classes. There was also a gathering called the Alliance of Figurative Artists, which took place for every Friday night on East Broadway, recalled original Bowery Gallery member Anthony


Santuoso. The Jewish organization that owned the building, which was called the Educational Alliance, let the artists use the space for free. There would be dialogues, discussions, panels and critique of work, which would sometimes get very savage, he said. “It was like an Italian opera. If they don’t like it, they would throw rotten tomatoes at you,” said Santuoso, who paints, in a phone interview. The Bowery Gallery was an outgrowth of those meetings, and several members said that Lawrence Faden was the catalyst, the connector who got the group together to found Bowery Gallery in 1969.

November 20 - December 03, 2014

Courtesy of the artist

Lawrence Faden: “Wild Bird” (1971, oil/linen, 40 x 30 in.).

“He basically gathered people together and made it seem like it was possible,” said Santuoso, who grew up in New Jersey. It was an idea whose time had come, Faden told Chelsea Now in a phone interview. Faden, who grew up in Brooklyn, was working at the docks with another founding member, Howard Kalish. Another member, the late Tony Siani, once told him that there was a wealthy benefactor who would back a new gallery for the artists. But Faden, who paints, grew tired of waiting. “One day I got disgusted and I just said ‘I’m starting a gallery,’ “ he said. “I

invited other people to participate.” For young, still-evolving artists, said Faden, it was hard to get the art world interested. “We wanted to have this place to examine our work in public,” said Faden. “We got a place in the Bowery that was a total wreck.” The space had no floor. The artists had to patch up and paint the walls, put in lights and install a floor. Several of them were working in construction while they pursued art. Faden said Richard Uhlich, who was a painter and watercolorist, also had carpentry skills.

Continued on page 19 .com

Bowery Gallery, 1969 to Present


Courtesy of the artist

Anthony Santuoso: “Friending Death” (2014, oil/canvas, 56 x 64 in.).

Continued from page 18 “We had to build the place ourselves,” said Santuoso. Nancy Beal says she remembers taking a wire brush to scrape the walls of the gallery. Beal, who was from Pittsburgh, knew Sam Thurston, who invited her to join. “I was onboard right at the beginning,” she said in a phone interview. “It was a very exciting time, 1969. When we did get together, we became fast friends so quickly.” Beal, who was a grade school teacher, said she remembers hauling the garbage that had been inside and the group sitting on the heap of junk to take their first photo. “We pulled it together somehow,” said Beal. Beal says that she paints outdoors, which is also her subject: “What I paint is what I see.” The co-op gallery was opened October 31, 1969. Out of the Bowery Gallery, two more were started: Prince Street Gallery (at 530 W. 25th St.) and First Street Gallery (at 526 W. 26th St.). A co-op gallery is one where the members pay a monthly fee and are then guaranteed to have their work shown, explained Lynda Caspe, who paints and sculpts. To become a member, the others vote an artist into the gallery. In 1969, it cost $10 a month to be part of the Bowery Gallery, Caspe told Chelsea .com

Now during an interview in her Tribeca apartment. “It turned out to be the best investment I ever made in my life,” said Caspe about her apartment, which she brought in 1973 in a neighborhood that has now transformed. Caspe grew up on the Upper West Side, but attended university in the Midwest and traveled through Europe before returning to New York City. She lived in an apartment on Delancey St. for $25 a month and lived around the corner from Faden. Both had attended the New York Studio School. Many art schools were focused on teaching figurative art, such as Cezanne, said Caspe, but figurative art was not in vogue. “Students came out steeped in figurative art and the art world was not into that kind of thing,” she said. Caspe said that at first the group showed together and then there were individual shows. The gallery moved from the Bowery to Greene St., and is now at 530 W. 25th St. She stayed with the Bowery Gallery until 1976. Caspe came back to the Bowery Gallery in 2001 and stayed for the next decade. During that time, she was the director and had thought about a show that would feature the work of founding members. Caspe, along with Santuoso, both credit Eugene Maiese as the driving force behind this current exhibition at the

Westbeth Gallery. The venue is connected to the Westbeth Artists Housing, which provides space for artists, and has been showing its resident artists, international artists and other artists for the past 40 years. Maiese wanted to draw attention to the group, said Santuoso, and what happened in that time period. In his essay that begins the Bowery Gallery catalog, Maiese writes that the artists “dared to challenge the conventions of the day” and “believed in the radical idea that artists could represent themselves, that they didn’t need to be presented in fancy galleries, or represented by agents or supported by big money.” The Bowery Gallery, at its current location, said Caspe, would not be big enough for this exhibition, which features 19 of the 23 original founding members. “This Bowery Group had a certain connection,” said Beal, who was recently at the gallery to help put up her work. “I was thrilled to see the new paintings. I am so impressed how good people got over time.”

Free Through November 29 Wed.–Sun. 1–6 p.m. At Westbeth Gallery 55 Bethune St. (corner of Washington & Bank Sts.) Visit and

Beal said this exhibition was an opportunity for those who hadn’t been able to show their work recently. Some of the founding members have died, some have moved on from art, but several still create art as well as teach, such as Santuoso, who now teaches at the Fashion Institute of Technology. “You would think that, lots of the time, [galleries] evolve for a period of time and then they dissipate and disappear,” said Faden. “These galleries have become a consistent thing on the scene. How many things have lasted 45 years?”

November 20 - December 03, 2014


Buhmann on Art

Image courtesy of Kathryn Markel Fine Arts

Image courtesy of Kathryn Markel Fine Arts

Lisa Breslow: “First Snow” (2014, Oil and pencil on panel, 24 x 24 in.).

Lisa Breslow: “Bow Bridge Reflections” (2014, Oil and pencil on panel, 48 x 48 in.).


street or in Central Park, when they are devoid of crowds. In fact, it is the early morning or evening light that the artist is most drawn to and knows how to capture especially well. In this particular body of work, Breslow pushes the notion of tranquility further by adding a selection of exquisite still lifes. Frozen in time without much reference to the characteristics of their immediate environment, the loosely arranged flowers take on an almost iconographic and

LISA BRESLOW: PAINTINGS AND PRINTS The paintings and works on paper by New York-based Lisa Breslow reflect the artist’s ambition to discover contemplative places in her everyday urban home environment. In this exhibition of strictly new work, Breslow continues to explore New York in its calmest state, during off-hours on the

otherworldly quality. A street scene captured after a rainstorm and a bouquet studied on a windowsill might seem rather traditional at first glance, but it is Breslow’s fine focus on form and atmosphere that gives her subject a notable twist. Compared to previous work, Breslow has now begun to embrace scale. Her new paintings are larger and her compositions appear bolder; details are more

crisply delineated and rendered in an increasingly heightened palette. In some ways, Breslow has started to insert a faint sense of drama into the calm. Through Dec. 20, at Kathryn Markel Fine Arts (529 W. 20th St., btw. 10th & 11th Aves.). Hours: Tues.–Fri., 10 a.m.–6 p.m., Sat. 11 a.m.–6 p.m. Call 212-366-5368 or visit

Image courtesy of Kathryn Markel Fine Arts

Lisa Breslow: “Window Meditation” (2014, Oil and pencil on panel, 32 x 16 in.).


November 20 - December 03, 2014


Tributes ‘Mark’ Twain’s Birth The man who was Sam would have been 179

Wikipedia image scan by Gwillhickers

Like this 1940 licker, Mark Twain gets the stamp of approval with a Nov. 30 walking tour and a cafe tribute.

BY SCOTT STIFFLER He wasn’t the first person to pilot a Mississippi riverboat, go west, travel abroad, lose fortunes, give lectures or loathe Congress — but under the pen name of Mark Twain, Samuel Langhorne Clemens wrote about all of that, and more, in a manner that’s been greatly admired, widely copied and rarely if ever equaled. Two upcoming events will mark, so to speak, what would have been Twain’s 179th birthday. On that very date, Nov. 30, writer and tireless Twain enthusiast Peter Salwen will lead a 90-minute walking tour. “People don’t generally associate Mark Twain with New York,” notes Salwen, “but in his day he was just about the biggest celebrity in town. And at the same time, New York itself played a major role in advancing and shaping Twain’s personal and family life as well as his career and ideas.” Among the two dozen stops: Twain’s Greenwich Village homes, the hotel where he met his future wife and the publishing house that secured a place in literary infamy by taking a pass on his first book. You’ll also hear about how another NYC publishing entity launched Twain onto the national stage by running his comedic narrative about a gambler’s jumping frog. Also on Nov. 30, Twain’s distinctive prose style gets feted by Cornelia Street Cafe. Their long-running series celebrating the birthdays of great American poets .com

will take a detour from its normal form of choice to honor the great American cynic (or righteously angry crusader, depending on how you interpret him). Readings by Michael Lydon, Dee Nelson, Frank Ridley and Kim Sykes will be interspersed with period music played by Ellen Mandel. The Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn masterpieces are of course represented, as well as excerpts from memoirs, essays, diatribes, tall tales and aphorisms. “Every sentence of Twain’s prose bursts with quirky, intelligent energy,” says Lydon, who notes that although “his writing is as alive today as the day he penned it,” controversy still follows the author for his “liberal use of the ‘N-word,’ his atheism, and his radical critique of American imperialism.” The “Mark Twain’s New York” walking tour begins at 1 p.m. on Sun., Nov. 30 (rain date, same time on Sun., Dec. 7). Meet at 500 Broadway, btw. Broome & Spring Sts. $20. Info & Reservations: 917-620-5371. For more info, visit “A Celebration of Mark Twain’s 179th Birthday” happens at 6 p.m. on Sun., Nov. 30 at the Cornelia Street Cafe (29 Cornelia St., west of Sixth Ave., off Bleecker). $15 admission includes one drink. Reservations: call 212-989-9319 or visit

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November 20 - December 03, 2014



November 20 - December 03, 2014


“Color Stories” at The Art Quilt Gallery

Aquarius Making the turkey dance during dinner prep is fun, but forcing it to twerk will forever warp your notion of an acceptable Thanksgiving tradition. Pisces Like cranberry sauce and Macy’s Parade clowns, certain things you have long disdained deserve a rethink. Aries A second slice of delicious pie is denied by your proud refusal to unbutton in public. Elastic band pants allow you to indulge. Taurus Dreams during a post-dinner snooze reveal the perfect gift for your office Secret Santa pick. Gemini It is better to take a long journey on the worst travel day of the year than to sit at home watching “Planes, Trains and Automobiles.” Cancer The progress of pilgrim’s progeny pales in comparison to your accomplishments next Thursday — so aim high. Leo Slurred words during a drunken guest’s boozy toast, rearranged in a random manner, provide the answer to a close friend’s problem. Virgo A Black Friday shopper who catches your eye leads to a lost weekend rife with romance and bereft of regrets. Libra Spending Nov. 27 badmouthing open-for-business retailers is as distasteful as the practice you so gleefully condemn. Go back to your giblets! Scorpio Three double down bets, four six packs and one crazy hunch all play a role in your enjoyment of Thanksgiving football. Sagittarius Reach out to a favorite relative whose advice you used to rely upon. Their no-nonsense insight proves critical to emerging unscathed from a sudden crisis. Capricorn A cornucopia of good luck will compensate for the bitter harvest of jealously sown seeds planted by unseen forces. .com

Courtesy of the artist and The Art Quilt Gallery

Erin Wilson: “Color Story: Roofline” (2014, 34” X 28”).

A product of steady hands and a keen eye for the built environment’s capacity to both amaze and overwhelm, Erin Wilson’s “Color Stories” has a backstory familiar to anyone whose residency is tied to their destiny. “It wasn’t my specific goal to live in and make quilts about the city,” says the Brooklyn-based artist, “but here I am, and here they are.” Using both realistic and abstract imagery, the 12 quilts in this exhibit contain hundreds of square-shaped portraits that, the curators note, “create a miniature universe, one characterized by a striking use of color and light, and amazing precision in her fabric piecing.”

On display at NYC’s only gallery devoted to contemporary art quilts, a trip to see “Color Stories” also offers the opportunity to visit the space it shares, seamlessly, with The City Quilter — where inspired art patrons can purchase New York-related fabrics, patterns and kits. Through Dec. 13 at The Art Quilt Gallery (133 W. 25th St., btw. Sixth & Seventh Aves.) Hours: Tues.-Sat., 11 a.m.-6 p.m. and Sun./Mon. by appointment. Call 212-807-9451 or visit For more info on the artist, visit Also visit

Win Tickets to Must-See LYPSINKA! New York certainly isn’t all The winner of our it used to be — but what (or GIVEAWAY will receive two who) is these days? Lypsinka tickets for the Dec. 8, 7 p.m. comes to mind. After an performance of “Boxed Set.” absence of nine long years, To enter, send an email to John Epperson’s masterful LypsinkaTix@ChelseaNow. melting pot of gender illusion, com, along with your phone golden age Hollywood glam, number (only enter once, highly skilled lip-synching and please). A winner will be Photo by Peter Palladino selected at random, and condiva deification is back on the East Village boards. In repertotacted by phone on Dec. 6. ry through early January are three shows The show takes place at the Connelly whose high quality have all been personalTheater, 220 E. Fourth St. (btw. Aves. A & ly verified by this publication: “The Passion B). But why leave it to chance? Purchase of the Crawford,” “John Epperson: Show tickets to any show (or all three) by calling Trash” and “Lypsinka! The Boxed Set.” 866-811-4111 or visiting

November 20 - December 03, 2014


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NOV. 20, 2014 CHELSEA NOW  


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