VOLUME 07, NUMBER 02 DEC. 04, 2014
THE WEST SIDE’S COMMUNITY NEWSPAPER SERVING CHELSEA, HUDSON YARDS & HELL'S KITCHEN
Postal Service Air Rights Outreach a Dead Letter Effort BY DUSICA SUE MALESEVIC After spending much of 2013 involved in ultimately successful efforts to save Old Chelsea Station Post Office (on 18th St., btw. Seventh & Eighth Aves.), community groups and elected officials were unpleasantly surprised to learn, last week, that the United States Postal Service (USPS) is once again considering the sale of air rights as well as portions of the historic building. Save Chelsea first heard about the sale when they received a letter two weeks ago, said Paul Groncki, the organization’s treasurer. Dated Nov. 5, the letter states that Save Chelsea, preservation groups and the Old Chelsea Station manager were notified of the possible sale in an Aug. 14 letter. “We never got that letter,” said Groncki in a phone interview. “So this was really the first time that we’re getting real information about them actually selling the air rights.” Groncki said the distribution lists of both letters were interesting, as it did not include Community Board 4 (CB4) or elected officials. CB4 chairperson Christine Berthet said in an email that the board was not informed. “If you look at the distribution list, we were the only local organization on it and we never even got it,” he said. In the Nov. 5 letter, the USPS states that a letter announcing the sale was placed in the post office lobby. A letter dated Nov. 26 was posted at the Old Chelsea station, which states that the USPS “is considering the sale of portions of its property at 217 West 18th St…together with associated air rights.” Continued on page 7
Photo by Zach Williams
Protesters, mostly high school students, followed a route from Union Square to Times Square, on Dec. 1, passing local high schools (including Professional Performing Arts High School at 328 W. 48th St.).
Demonstrators Demand Justice for Victims of Police Shootings BY ZACH WILLIAMS Organized through social media and galvanized by a shared concern for justice, high school students led a Dec. 1 protest against police brutality. They gathered at Union Square that afternoon, before marching along a meandering path to Times Square — where they sat in silence to honor Michael Brown, an 18-year-old from Ferguson, MO fatally shot on Aug. 9 by police officer Darren Wilson. The Nov. 24 decision by a
grand jury to not indict Wilson catalyzed protests across the country, including New York City. Following the announcement, thousands of New Yorkers took to the streets that day in Midtown and Downtown Brooklyn, blocking East River bridges and traffic. Action continued throughout the week including Black Friday, when demonstrators protested inside Macy’s at Herald Square.
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Carols, Crafts, Cheer: Holiday Community Activities
Photo by Malcolm Ritter
Photo by Frederick Miuzzo
Let there be candlelight: Chelsea Community Church’s annual Carol Service happens Dec. 14 at St. Peter’s (W. 20th St.).
On Dec. 16, join the West 300 Block Association and find out why carols sound better when backed by a brass quartet.
COME CAROL WITH THE 300 WEST BLOCK ASSOCIATION
NEIGHBORHOOD TOY DRIVE
Help make West Chelsea merry and bright — when you stroll, brass quartet in tow, while singing holiday carols. Free. Tues., Dec. 16 at 6 p.m. Meet in the lobby of 360 W. 22nd St. (btw. 8th & 9th Aves.). For more info, email firstname.lastname@example.org. Refreshments follow the caroling!
Friends of the High Line is partnering with Hudson Guild, Fulton Youth of the Future, Chelsea Market, Posman Books and The High Line Hotel to collect gifts for neighborhood youth. Contribute an unwrapped toy or winter gear, through Dec. 12. For drop-off locations and hours, visit thehighline.org and select the “Activities” option, at the top of the page.
CANDLELIGHT CAROL SERVICE With voices raised to the rafters and soothing visuals that evoke the Renaissance, Chelsea Community Church’s 40th Annual Candlelight Carol Service features choral music ranging from the 16th century to the present — including Jacob Handl’s “Omnes de Saba,” Stephen Paulus’ anthem “Angels We Have Heard on High” and excerpts from G.F. Handel’s “Messiah.” Under the direction of Larry J. Long, organist/ composer Christopher Houlihan accompanies the choir, along with a string quartet. In a departure from years past, they’re keeping the identity of this year’s special guest under wraps — but promise a big reveal worth waiting for, during the traditional reading of Clement Clarke Moore’s famous poem, “A Visit from St. Nicholas” (the host venue stands on land that was part of Moore’s estate). Sun., Dec. 14, 6 p.m. at St. Peter’s Church (346 W. 20th St., btw. 8th & 9th Aves.). Free (offerings accepted). Regular services for the non-denominational, lay-led church are held every Sun. at noon, at St. Peter’s. For info: 212-886-5463 or chelseachurch.org.
PENN SOUTH CERAMICS STUIDIO POTTERY SALE Some gifts go right back to the store, and others just gather dust in the closet. So why spin your wheels scouring the major retailers for impersonal, mass-produced presents? The annual Penn South Ceramics Studio Holiday Sale has affordable, one-of-a-kind functional art that some lucky soul on your list will be able to look at, wear or use for years to come. All bowls, platters, vases, mugs, candleholders, sculpture and jewelry are created by Studio instructors and students. When you’re done shopping, pick up info on their classes — and by this time next year, you could be wrapping up work formed by your own hands, and forged in the Penn South kilns. On Fri., Dec. 6 & Sat., Dec. 7, from 11 a.m–5 p.m. At 276 9th Ave. in the Penn South Ceramics Studio (Building 6B, at the northeast corner of 26th St.). For more info, email email@example.com or visit pennsouthceramics.com.
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Shop (but please don’t drop) at the Penn South Ceramics Studio Pottery Sale, Dec. 6 & 7. .com
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Protesters: ‘Black Lives Matter’ Continued from page 1 Wilson resigned from the Ferguson Police Department on Nov. 29. Police officers who shoot people of color face too few consequences, protesters say. Investigations continue in some cases though, including the death of Eric Garner, a Staten Island man killed by an NYPD officer through the use of a chokehold (the grand jury decided not to indict, Dec. 3, as Chelsea Now went to press). “We need justice in America. It’s false advertising what we have here,” said Mia Luna, a student at New York Harbor School on Governors Island who, like many participants, said she learned of the march through social media. Activists said that police mistreatment of minorities should coalesce into a national movement against institutionalized racism — but in order to do that, they asserted, protests must continue. A handful of local teenagers did their part by organizing through the weekend to make sure that New York City would not be left behind. Before they could take the streets on Dec. 1, some students had to overcome the resistance of school administrators reluctant to let them participate in political action at the expense of their studies. The problem was particularly acute at New York Harbor School because the waters stood in their way. According to 17-year-old student-organizer Shana Buckstad, 167 students at the school congregated at the island’s ferry terminal at about noon, but they were given seats on-board only after a half-hour sit-in. “We sat there on the ground with our hands up and said: ‘Hands up! Don’t shoot!’ and then we were ready and we got on (the ferry),” said Buckstad. Students came to the Midtown march in large numbers from four other schools, according to student-organizer 17-yearold Mojique Tyler, who attends Bard High School Early College in the East Village. Representatives of a dozen more schools were also present, he added. Tyler had ambitions for a student-oriented march when he met Buckstad at a demonstration last week, she noted. After Tyler met with the Ferguson Action Team (a coalition of activists organizing protests in 70 cities) on Nov. 28, he created a Facebook group to organize a local event for the coalition’s nationwide #HandsUpWalkout on Dec. 1. “The young people are leading like they
December 04 - 17, 2014
Photos by Zach Williams
High school students led a demonstration against police brutality on Dec. 1, which began at Union Square.
were leading in the Sixties and I came out to support them and say ‘Let’s do it together,” said Geoffrey Davis whose brother, former City Councilmember James Davis, was gunned down in City Hall by a political rival in 2003. The action team and other activist groups provided the signs, which included slogans borrowed from activists in Ferguson, MO. Tyler created a Facebook group from which word spread. Hundreds of students responded — a higher-than anticipated number, he said. Adults would also join the march, by the time it got moving at about 1:15 p.m., comprising an estimated two-fifths of the total turnout. Activists first circled Union Square, moving through a craft market in the process. They then headed east on E. 15th St. before turning north on Third Ave. Over the next two hours, they zigzagged their way towards Times Square while highlighting the disparity between police treatment of white people and communities of color. Annmarie Jackson of Canarsie, Brooklyn said her teenage son is regularly harassed by police, sometimes twice per day. “[They] treat us like we don’t matter and for what it’s worth we do matter,” she said.
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Activists said that police mistreatment of minorities should coalesce into a national movement against institutionalized racism — but in order to do that, they asserted, protests must continue.
Raising both hands in a gesture of surrender refers to the Aug. 9 police shooting of Michael Brown, an unarmed teenager in Ferguson, MO. .com
Four New Groups Address ‘100’ Block Concerns BY DUSICA SUE MALESEVIC Four new block associations have joined the Council of Chelsea Block Associations (CCBA). The new additions are the West 25th Street Project, the 100 West 22nd St. Block Association, the 100 West 17th and 18th St. Block Association, and the 100 West 19/20th St. Block Association — all between Sixth and Seventh Aves. Bill Borock, the president of the CCBA and of one of the new associations, said there is strength in numbers. For example, a new Lowe’s store is slated to come to 19th St. and Sixth Ave. — an area that, Borock notes, is already having issues with loading docks, noise and trash collection. There is a concern that Lowe’s may compound the problem. The CCBA and the new block association of 19th and 20th Sts. has decided to be proactive, by drafting a letter to be sent to the company. Maybe you could ignore one block, he said, but a coalition of 16 associations that covers 26 blocks would give a company pause and might sway them to talk and work with the organization. “Hopefully, there’s more impact when they see that the whole larger group
is involved and is supporting the local group,” Borock said in a phone interview. Each new association is an equal member and has the ability to bring an issue to the larger organization, which can offer support and expertise, he said. The reasons a new block association gets formed vary, said Borock. Sometimes it is one big issue that unifies residents. For instance, on the block where he used to reside, W. 17th St., the issue that electrified them was a woman who — for unclear reasons — fell off a roof and died. This was a time when there was more crime, but people were outraged and banded together. For the West 25th Street Project, one of the main issues is the Bowery Residents’ Committee (BRC) at 127 W. 25th St., which has been on the block since 2011. “Basically, [we] came together because there was a change in our block insofar as quality of life issues were concerned,” said Carla Nordstrom in a phone interview. Nordstrom and her neighbor got together and started to approach people to find out if there was any interest in trying to talk about the issue, she said.
Photo by Scott Stiffler
The West 25th Street Project hopes future Love Your Block funding will help them add more trees between Sixth and Seventh Aves.
They went to City Councilmember Corey Johnson’s office in January to learn about what they could do, and it was suggested that they apply for a Love Your Block grant (which gives resident-led volunteer groups up to $1,000 for community improvements). “We were trying to take a different
kind of approach then just sitting around complaining about the block,” she said. Recently, the Department of Homeless Services has assigned 24 peace officers to the BRC. “We fought pretty hard to have them out patrolling the block,” she said. Nordstrom said that the project is working on making the peace officers permanent, as having their presence on the block has made a difference. They had their first meeting in March and although they didn’t get the Love Your Block grant, they have applied again. The project is also focused on green initiatives and Nordstrom said that they want to do more plantings. She said that they wanted to plant more trees, but due to the sidewalk being vaulted — meaning the space underneath was once used for commercial storage — she thinks it will be difficult to add more trees. If the association does receive the Love Your Block grant, Nordstrom wants to have a clean up and planting day for the block. She has won a tree guard and would like to put it around a tree that is near the shelter. Perhaps, she
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December 04 - 17, 2014
New Block Associations Join CCBA Continued from page 5 said, the people at the shelter could help with maintaining it. “We felt very strongly that if we could make our block a more beautiful place everybody would benefit from that,” she said. She would also like to have the Parks Department conduct a workshop on tree stewardship. “We have so few trees, we really want to make sure we take good care of them,” she said. Nordstrom is very happy to be a part of the CCBA and said Borock is “an incredible resource,” and very helpful in figuring out how to reach out to people, dealing with elected officials and connecting the association with other blocks. “It’s really great for us, especially as a new block association, to have a place to go to get support and expertise,” she said. When Borock hears there is an issue that a particular block is confronting, he invites them to CCBA meetings to learn about funding, the organization’s history and to hear feedback and advice from other block associations on how they have handled situations. “I’ve tried to reach out to other blocks, and when I hear there’s an issue or something, I mention to them, ‘Did you consider having a block association?’ ” Block associations not only start because of an issue, he said, but also can begin because residents want to be neighborly and improve the block. Borock said that associations do wax and wane and that many have been started or reactivated in the last five or six years. The 100 West 17th St. Block Association, which has been around for 30 years, has integrated a new block, the 18th, into its organization, said Craig Slutzkin, its president, in a phone interview. Earlier in the year, Slutzkin spoke with 18th St. residents who were interested in forming a block association but not necessarily starting their own. The two blocks decided to combine efforts. “There’s strength in numbers and a lot of the issues that are facing 17th St. actually will face 18th St. as well,” he said. The two blocks have a lot in common, he said, with buildings that have entrances on both blocks and the fact that they are mixed-use with commercial
December 04 - 17, 2014
Photo by Scott Stiffler
The 100 West 19/20th St. Block Association wants a say in the future of this former Department of Sanitation site (on W. 20th St.).
and residential buildings. “That is a relevant issue for both of us because we have to figure out a way how the businesses and residents can co-exist,” said Slutzkin. There are several quality of life issues, such as insuring proper sanitation on the block, safety concerns and parking — both sides of 18th St. are only for commercial use during weekdays. Also of concern is the sale of the building at 115 Seventh Ave., which was owned by the Rubin Museum of Art. “It is something that will clearly affect us,” he said. The association is trying to learn more about the sale in order to ensure that potential construction, traffic issues or rodent infestation if the street is torn up does not negatively affect current residents, said Slutzkin. Slutzkin said that it is great that more new block associations will be a part of the CCBA. “I think it’s really good for individuals to be able to voice their opinions. Sometimes it’s hard to approach an elected official as an individual. The block associations and the CCBA have excellent relationships with all the elected officials in Chelsea. “I think having these block associations and certainly having them as part of the CCBA will really foster a cooperative spirit between the residents, the block associations, the elected officials and by extension various city agencies,” he said. There are differences of opinion on Chelsea’s boundaries, said Borock, but no one disputes that the neighborhood is
getting more residential. “The block has morphed into a residential community,” said Sally Greenspan, one of the members of 100 West 19/20th St. Block Association. Greenspan has lived on W. 19th St. for over 30 years and said that the block needed to get organized for the residents’ quality of life. “If we speak with one voice it will make life better for all of us,” she said in a phone interview. Another member of the same association, Melissa Stern, also noted how the neighborhood has transformed. “It’s a neighborhood that has undergone tremendous changes — from being mixed use, light manufacturing with very little residential to a neighborhood that is now predominantly residential,” said Stern, who has lived in the neighborhood since 1990. Stern said in a phone interview that there has not been a history of solidarity or a lot of neighborliness. The block association should change that, she said, and was formed “to create more of neighborhood, to create connections between people so that neighbors would know each other as well as having a little bit of a say in things that go on around us.” The neighborhood is “severely lacking in green space,” she said, and the Friends of 20th Street Park have focused on the former sanitation facility on the block to turn into a park. The same site also has been considered for affordable housing. “One of the issues was the entire neighborhood’s great desire to have some say in whatever future development is
going on with the sanitation facility on 20th St.,” she said. Michael Walsh is a member of both the block association and the Friends of 20th Street Park. “A bunch of us on the block have been involved in an effort to create a park on our block,” he said in a phone interview. While discussing the park at meetings, other issues would be brought up, said Walsh and “it sort of dawned on us that we need another entity.” Another issue for the 20th St. block is a late-night garbage collection that happens between 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. and is sometimes noisy, said Walsh. Walsh said that Borock guided the new block association through the whole process. Stern said that there had been a lack of representation from W. 18th to W. 23rd Sts. “There’s been absolutely nothing here in terms of people having a voice and a conduit to our electeds,” she said. “What we’re going to add [to the CCBA] is a whole new part of the population [that] will have at least a voice.” “It’s important to be connected with Chelsea as a whole,” said Walsh. Chelsea and other parts of the city are coming to terms with gentrification, said Borock, and the CCBA has an eye on local mom and pop stores that make up the fabric of a neighborhood. “These mom and pop stores are part of the character of the neighborhood,” he said. “Once they’re gone all you have is the big box stores and the chains stores.” It is important to keep the community integrated, said Borock. Coterminality — the proposal that W. 14th St. to W. 26th St. would be served by the 10th Precinct instead of the 13th — is a still important for the council. “It’s a big priority but the question is what to do at this time. We tried it and the answer was no,” he said. “But people are very concerned about it and feel it really makes sense to be coterminus.” He has heard comments from business owners who have said that sometimes there is a long response time. “It would be great if we could get that changed where those blocks became part of the 10th Precinct,” he said. The CCBA is also focused on tenant and resident protection, building permits and after-hours construction. “That’s an issue we’re concerned about also that all this noise that bothers neighbors [and] people can’t sleep on the weekends,” he said. .com
Possible Air Rights Sale Takes Community By Surprise
Photo by Scott Stiffler
After successful 2013 efforts by the community to save Old Chelsea Station, the historic facility may once again be in danger.
Continued from page 1 The USPS also states in the Nov. 5 letter that “the consulting parties and the public were provided with a 30 day period to review and comment” and that neither “provided any comments or views on the undertaking or the finding of the USPS.” Chelsea Now asked a postal service spokesperson if a letter was placed in the lobby before the Nov. 26 missive, but did not receive an answer by press time. It is unclear whether a letter was placed in the lobby of the Old Chelsea Station before the Nov. 5 letter, which states that there has been no public comment. Connie Chirichello, USPS Corporate Communications representative for New York City and Long Island, said in an email that the USPS would consider public comments and that several “government officials were notified with the option for their input as well” on Nov. 26. She declined to specify which government officials. During a Dec. 3 phone call to Chelsea Now, New York State Senator Brad Hoylman said that the lack of notification was “outrageous” and spoke to a larger “disturbing pattern,” as the community also wasn’t told about last year’s possible sale of Old Chelsea Station. “This is a federal agency that seems to have disregard and even contempt, I would suggest, for the local community because they have kept it in the dark about the disposition of this property,” said Hoylman. “The post office is trying to do this without any consultation from .com
the community and we’re, as a result, going to be pushing back hard.” He is very concerned about a possible sale as there are no details available. Groncki said that Save Chelsea would like to have more time to comment on the possible sale. “We didn’t have a chance to comment on the first round,” he said. “More time is definitely needed for the community to respond to this. We didn’t know about it.” Lesley Doyel, co-president of Save Chelsea, said “The lack of transparency is the biggest issue for us. Why should we trust them?” Doyel said in a phone interview that this was the first that anybody in Chelsea had heard about the sale and she didn’t know why her organization didn’t get the Aug. 14 letter. “Their outreach has been scant,” said Doyel. “[The sale] bears a lot more scrutiny. Even if this is the best thing coming down the pike, there needs to be a public hearing.” The lack of notification is not surprising, said Steve Hutkins, a New York University professor who edits a website he started three and a half years ago, savethepostoffice.com. He has been closely studying the sale of publicly owned post offices and he said that the postal service tends to do the minimal when it comes to informing the public. “This typically happens that people get caught by surprise,” said Hutkins in a phone interview. “They find out that there’s very little time to respond
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Agency: Hudson River P ark T rust Office: Design & C onstruction Contact: Lupe Frattini Phone: (917) 6 61-‐8740 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Contract # A4636 PINS: X772.98 & X773.15 Project or Contract T itle: B loomfield to West 14th Street Construction M anagement Services for t he P ier 54 C onnector P roject, in the New Y ork, N Y. Notice is hereby given that the Hudson River Park Trust is seeking to retain a construction management firm to provide construction management services for a series of Federally Funded project(s) located in the New York, NY. The Construction Management Services (A4636) contract will involve pre -‐construction, bidding & award, construction start up, construction, and post construction services as required. The Pier 54 Connector Project will construct a continuous waterfront pedestrian esplanade / walkway and bus stop along the Hudson River in lower M anhattan stretching from B loomfield Street to West 14th Street. Construction Management Services will include but not be limited to: Review of final plans and specifications prepared by others, preparation and submission of Cost Estimates, technical support during construction on questions relating to the design, providing assistance in construction bid proceedings, analysis of bids, review of shop drawings, provision of on-‐site construction inspection and oversight to ensure the quality of construction and conformity with the f inal plans and specifications. Responding firms will be required to disclose any conflict of interest(s) that would preclude selected firm(s) for this contract from participating in the resulting/associated construction contracts. The construction management firm selected will be precluded from participating in an associated c onstruction contracts. The anticipated start date of C onstruction M anagement Services is February 2015 with the letting expected to be held in February 2015 and construction completed by D ecember 2 019. The anticipated c onstruction cost is approximately 1 7 M illion D ollars. The Hudson River P ark T rust w ill select the m ost h ighly qualified firm according to the following criteria, listed in order of d ecreasing importance : Experience with similar kinds of p rojects and/or work 35% Quality of staff f or work to be done 45% Financial r esponsibility 10% Logistics and familiarity with the project area 10% Firms submitting a r esponsive p roposal will h ave those proposals scored b y a n e valuation committee using the stated criteria. Following the initial scoring of p roposals, firms that submitted the top r anked p roposals will b e invited to p articipate in oral presentation before the evaluation committee. Following oral presentations the evaluation committee will derive a final score using the stated criteria to determine the m ost h ighly q ualified f irm. Expression o f Interest (EOI): Inte reste d firms should submit three (3) copie s of the ir Expression-‐of-‐Interest (EOI) to the address below no later than 5:00 p.m. on January 15th, 2 015. An EOI c onsists of t he federal G eneral Services Administration (GSA) standard f orm S F-‐330 http://www.gsa.gov/portal/forms/download/116486 or a similar f ormat p roviding the kinds of information as r equested on the SF-‐330. (The S F-‐330 has r eplaced the n ow-‐obsolete G SA standard f orms 254 and 255.) SF-‐330 can b e u sed both for t he prime C onsultant and all proposed Sub-‐Consultants. Form S F-‐300 special n otes The instructions for completing the SF-‐330 are provided on pages 1 -‐6 of the form. T he SF-‐330 should include r ecent information dated no more than one year before the submission date. Additional pages may be used to provide information requested in the various sections of the Form. In n o case, must the number of additional p ages exceed 10. Each side of a two-‐sided page w ill c ount a s a separate page. If m ore than 10 pages a re included, those b eyond the 1 0th p age will b e r emoved. Additions and Modifications t o F orm S F-‐300 Section E, Resumes of Key Personnel for T his Contract The proposed Project Team should include only those full time employees currently employed as of the date of the EOI. Part-‐time personnel not employed as of the date of the EOI or personnel used on an as-‐needed basis should not be counted here but may be included in subsequent p resentations. Specific project experience must also include the date the experience occurred. Individuals listed who are n ot currently e mployed by the responding firm must be identified as such. T he starting d ate of employment must b e given for individuals employed less than one year with the f irm. Resumes of key individuals should be limited to a single (one-‐sided) page. The resumes of key p ersonnel must include: • Current assignments (projects, locations, duties) • Estimated completion date of current assignments • Client, clie nt contact pe rson a nd telephone number Section F, Example P rojects W hich B est Illustrate P roposed T eam’s Q ualification for this C ontract. This section of the EOI may include p ictures or graphics r elative to the text. The u se o f n on-‐glossy color graphics is permitted. Graphics or p hotos m ust be p rinted on the p age a nd may n ot b e otherwise attached. Pages with text, p ictures or graphics, etc. on both sides of the page count as two p ages. Section H, Additional Information A brief description of a proposed project approach and schedule may be included in this section. Statements which address selection criteria to be used to e valuate the submission but are not covered by the information requested in other sections of the SF-‐330 should also be include d in this section. Special P roject Requirements: The selection and retention of a consultant will be contingent upon the availability of the proposed key staff, unless substitutes are approved by the Hudson River Park Trust during negotiations. The top-‐ranked firms may be requested to prepare and give oral presentations b efore the Hudson River P ark T rust selection committee. The resulting consultant contract may b e subject to the r eview and approval of the New Y ork S tate Comptroller’s office. Disadvantaged Business Enterprises ( DBEs): DBEs are encouraged to submit p roposals in response to this solicitation. O ther p roposers are encouraged to submit DBE subconsultants where appropriate . Subconsultants, Subcontracting, and/or joint v entures a re permitted. ASPIRATIONAL D BE UTILIZATION LEVEL 20% Title VI Compliance In a ccordance w ith Title V I of the C ivil Rights Act of 1 964, Stat. 252, 4 2 U.S.C. 2 000d to 2000d-‐4 and Title 4 9, C ode of F ederal Regulations, U.S. D epartment of T ransportation, Subtitle A, Office of the S ecretary, P art 2 1, Nondiscrimination in federally-‐assisted p rograms of the U .S. Department of Transportation and Title 23 Code of Federal Regulations, Part 200, Title VI Program and Related Statues, as amended, issued pursuant to such Act, the Hudson River Park Trust , hereby notifies all who respond to this solicitation, invitation, request for qualifications or p roposal that it will affirmatively e nsure that in any contract entered into p ursuant to t his advertisement, d isadvantaged business enterprises w ill b e afforded f ull opportunity to submit bids in r esponse to this invitation and will n ot b e discriminated against on the g rounds o f r ace, c olor, n ational origin, sex, age, d isability/handicap and income status in consideration f or an a ward. Proposal Due: January 15, 2015 C ontract Te rm February 2 015 t o D ecember 2019 Location where services are to be p erformed: New Y ork, NY -‐-‐-‐-‐-‐-‐-‐-‐-‐-‐-‐-‐-‐-‐-‐-‐-‐-‐-‐-‐-‐-‐-‐-‐-‐-‐-‐-‐-‐-‐-‐-‐-‐-‐-‐-‐-‐-‐-‐-‐-‐-‐-‐-‐-‐-‐-‐-‐-‐-‐-‐-‐-‐-‐-‐-‐-‐-‐-‐-‐-‐-‐-‐-‐-‐-‐-‐-‐-‐-‐-‐-‐-‐-‐-‐-‐-‐-‐-‐-‐-‐-‐-‐-‐-‐-‐-‐-‐-‐-‐-‐-‐-‐-‐-‐-‐-‐-‐-‐-‐-‐-‐-‐-‐-‐-‐-‐-‐-‐-‐-‐-‐-‐-‐-‐-‐-‐-‐-‐-‐-‐-‐-‐-‐-‐-‐-‐-‐-‐-‐-‐-‐-‐-‐-‐-‐-‐-‐-‐-‐-‐-‐-‐-‐-‐-‐-‐-‐-‐-‐-‐-‐-‐-‐-‐-‐-‐-‐-‐-‐-‐-‐-‐-‐-‐-‐-‐-‐-‐-‐-‐-‐-‐-‐-‐-‐-‐ For m ore information contact: Lupe Frattini -‐ Hudson River P ark T rust 353 We st Street, P ier 40 – 2 nd Floor New Y ork, N Y 1 0014 (917) 6 61-‐8740 – p hone (917) 6 61-‐8787 – fax email@example.com Submit P roposals t o: Hudson River P ark T rust 353 West Street, P ier 4 0 – 2 nd Floor New Y ork, N Y 1 0014 (917) 6 61-‐8740
December 04 - 17, 2014
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR Finer points of Pier55’s fine print To The Editor: Re “Diller and DVF’s Gift, Pier55 Park to Rise Above Convention” (news article, Nov. 20): I am concerned about the “OpenEntry or Free or Low-Cost (OEFLC) Obligation.” Luckily, within the 165-page lease agreement, it is completely described in paragraph 9.03 on page 25. Unfortunately, the term “low-cost” is not defined, and the only requirement is that OEFLC Permitted Events be “reasonably distributed across each Season.” The phrase “reasonably distributed” is also not defined. So it is quite possible to offer no open-entry or free events and only “low-cost” events, and to never offer them on Friday and Saturday nights, or never on weekends, so that the ticketed and fundraising events completely dominate the times when the general (non-student/non-senior) public cannot attend. I am not saying this will happen, I am saying to protect the public interest, this language needs to be improved. And, given the two bridge entry points to the new designed Pier, it is obvious that for reasons of health and safety, during ticketed events, there will be NO access to the rest of the Pier by the general public. Barry Drogin
Noise will be monstrous To The Editor: Re “Diller and DVF’s Gift, Pier55 Park to Rise Above Convention”
(news article, Nov. 20): Diller’s proposed monument to himself is monstrous and nothing that the neighborhood needs. An amphitheater at its center? Do you have any idea how sound reverberates and travels upward? Susan Brownmiller
Pier55 floats her boat To The Editor: Re “Diller and DVF’s Gift, Pier55 Park to Rise Above Convention” (news article, Nov. 20): What a great concept, as well as terrific, crystal-clear writing by Lincoln Anderson. This park would be quite a supplement to the High Line.
Pier is pretty, but practical? To The Editor: Re “Diller and DVF’s Gift, Pier55 Park to Rise Above Convention” (news article, Nov. 20): We are not living in a time when we can decide public parkland policy by the whim of the wealthy or the fond wishes of the rest of us. In this era of extreme climate change, we need innovative, scientifically verifiable land use proposals that will both protect our coasts and make our city resilient and ecologically sustainable. These must be our first priorities. The Pier55 design is pretty, but when the next hurricane comes or
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the next unbearable heat wave, will this have been the very best use of public shoreland, the best use of scant park resources? Even assuming the very best of intentions and even with any real benefits, this plan further encourages the drift toward the privatization of public parkland. “Desperate government is our best customer,” said the chairperson of a major finance company specializing in infrastructure privatization in the midst of the financial crisis in 2008. Donations are wonderful. But funds allocated using the most democratic process available to us? Priceless.
To The Editor: Re “Diller and DVF give huge gift to create park art pier” (news article, Nov. 20): At the very least, there should be an endowment funded by Diller to cover the maintenance of this park in perpetuity, and not just for 20 to 30 years. Leonie Haimson
E-mail letters, not longer than 250 words in length, to Scott@ ChelseaNow.com 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.
To The Editor: Re “Diller and DVF’s Gift, Pier55 Park to Rise Above Convention” (news article, Nov. 20): The notion of this being a “gift” is questionable, if not laughable. Consider the same couples’
Sr. V.P. of Sales and Marketing
Robert Lederman Lederman is president, A.R.T.I.S.T. (Artists’ Response to Illegal State Tactics)
Pier55’s big payoff
huge “gift” to the High Line park. Their real estate holdings (buildings, homes and the Diane von Furstenberg store, all right near the High Line) realized an increase in value far above the sum they donated. In other words, it’s a very savvy investment, not a gift. Their fellow billionaires who owned the nearby private properties likewise made a huge killing from the tax dollars invested in the High Line. How many billions in profit will they realize from this latest real estate trickery posing as philanthropy?
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December 04 - 17, 2014
Community Contacts To be listed, email email@example.com.
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, takes place on the first Wed. of the month. The next meeting is Jan. 7, 6:30 p.m. at Fulton Auditorium (119 Ninth Ave., btw. 17th & 18th Sts.). Call 212-736-4536, visit nyc. gov/mcb4 or email them at info@ manhattancb4.org. 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 Dec. 11, 6 p.m., at Xavier High School (30 W. 16th St., btw. 5th & 6th Aves., 2nd fl.). Call 212-465-0907, visit cb5.org or email them at Hoffice@cb5.org. THE 300 WEST 23RD, 22ND & 21ST STREETS BLOCK ASSOCIATION Contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org. THE WEST 400 BLOCK ASSOCIATION Contact them at email@example.com.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or like them on Facebook. Also visit chelseagardenclub.blogspot.com. DISTRICT 3 CITY COUNCILMEMBER COREY JOHNSON Call 212-564-7757 or visit council.nyc. gov/d3/html/members/home.shtml. STATE SENATOR BRAD HOYLMAN Call 212-633-8052 or visit bradhoylman.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 212-620-7310. GAY MEN’S HEALTH CRISIS (GMHC) At 446 W. 33rd St. btw. 9th & 10th Aves. Visit gmhc.org. Call 212-367-1000. 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 email@example.com. For the John Lovejoy Elliott Center (441 W. 26th St.), call 212-760-9800. For the Children’s Center (459 W. 26th St.), call 212-7609830. For the Education Center (447 W. 25th St.), call 212-760-9843. For the Fulton Center for Adult Services (119 9th Ave.), call 212-924-6710. THE CARTER BURDEN CENTER FOR THE AGING This organization promotes the well-being of individuals 60 and older through direct social services and volunteer programs oriented to individual, family and community needs. Call212879-7400 or visit burdencenter.org. FULTON YOUTH OF THE FUTURE Email them at firstname.lastname@example.org 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 212-627-2020. SAVE CHELSEA Email email@example.com and visit savechelsea.net. CHELSEA REFORM DEMOCRATIC CLUB The CRDC (the home club of 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 firstname.lastname@example.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. NYPD: THE 10th PRECINCT The 10th Precinct Station House is 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: 212-7418210. Detective Squad: 212-7418245. The Community Council meets on the last Wed. of the month, 7 p.m., at the 10th Precinct or other locations to be announced (call their Community Affairs for information). Because of the holidays, the next meeting will take place on Dec. 17.
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December 04 - 17, 2014
December 04 - 17, 2014
Community Activities: Special Holiday Edition Continued from page 2
be entered to win prizes from Flatiron businesses. Nonperishable food items will be accepted at the North Public Plaza, then donated to the Food Bank For New York City. At Broadway & 23rd St. For the “23 Days” events calendar, visit FlatironDistrict.nyc. Facebook: FlatironDistrict.nyc/facebook. Twitter & Instagram: @FlatironNY. Email: email@example.com.
NORTH CHELSEA HOLIDAY TOUR
Photo by Cameron Blaylock, courtesy of Van Alen Institute
It’s 23 Days of Flatiron Cheer, when the public plazas are filled with free events and entertainment.
23 DAYS OF FLATIRON CHEER Courtesy of The 23rd Street Partnership, this annual three-week event fills the Flatiron Building’s public plazas with food, contests and family-friendly activities — most of it free, and all of it featuring good stuff from local merchants. Highlights include performances by the Peoples Improv Theater, 90-minute, holiday-themed walking tours (Sundays, 11 a.m.), balloon and candy cane giveaways, and complimentary gift-wrapping to anyone showing $25 or more in receipts from a Flatiron establishment. Spin the Flatiron Wheel and you might win a prize from area shops and restaurants. Post images on public Instagram and Twitter accounts of your encounter with the art installation (using the hashtag #NewYorkLight), and you’ll
Brush up on your history, or discover it for the first time — during this Municipal Art Society walking tour that makes the case for North Chelsea’s status as “America’s original Christmas Village.” Once home to abolitionists, theatrical luminaries, painters of the Ash Can School and vibrant French and Greek communities, the area boasts fine examples of 19th century townhouses, cast iron, terra cotta, modernist, industrial and academic architecture. In the previous century, it was a district for toy/gift wholesalers and home to New York’s flower industry. Now, development and rezoning puts the historic resources and architecture at risk. Guide Laurence Frommer ponders the implications, while celebrating treasures such as the General Theological Seminary (built on land donated by Clement Clark Moore, author of the classic poem “A Visit from St. Nicholas”). The tour ends with its own iconic visit, to the Chelsea Historic District’s oldest dwelling (1829), where you’ll view a vast collection of objects related to Christmas and Santa Claus. This event is co-presented by SAVE Chelsea, who invites you to join them for the annual Chelsea Reform Democratic Club Holiday Gathering
“We Handle Immigration and Citizenship Law”
Photo by Frederick Miuzzo
Hudson Guild’s Holiday Bazaar has locally crafted items and a food court full of homemade ethnic specialties.
(at Hudson Guild) after the tour. Rain or shine on Sun., Dec. 7, at 1 p.m. For tickets ($20), visit the “Calendar” page of mas.org or call 212-935-2075, Mon.–Fri., 9 a.m–5 p.m. For more info on the event’s co-sponsor, visit savechelsea.net.
A VINTAGE CHRISTMAS IN CHELSEA Sing along to classic Christmas carols, mingle, and enjoy complimentary treats, hot chocolate and warm cider — at the High Line Hotel’s holiday celebration. Guests and neighbors alike are welcome. Free. Caroling takes place from 5–7 p.m. on Thurs., Dec. 11 & 18 at the High Line Hotel (180 10th Ave., at 20th St.).
NEIGHBORHOOD CAROL SING Members of St. Columba and Guardian Angel Churches will be singing Christmas carols throughout the Chelsea neighborhood. All residents are welcome to participate. Free. Sun., Dec 14. Meet at 3 p.m. at St. Columba’s Church (343 W. 25th
St., btw. 8th & 9th Aves.).
HUDSON GUILD ADULT SERVICES HOLIDAY BAZAAR Hudson Guild offers year-round activities and services for the “55 & Better” community in Chelsea at its Senior Center — and at this annual event, you’ll find hundreds of items created by participants, as well as from local vendors. In addition to the crafts, jewelry, household goods, small appliances, and toys, the Food Court features homemade ethnic specialties. A raffle will be held, with donated prizes. Proceeds from the Bazaar will support programs and services for older residents of Chelsea and elsewhere. Sat., Dec. 13, 11 a.m.–3 p.m. in the Hudson Guild’s Fulton Auditorium (119 9th Ave., btw. W. 17th & 18th Sts.). To participate as a vendor, or for info on Hudson Guild’s Adult Services program, call 212-924-6710. Also follow them on Facebook and Twitter. All programs at the Senior Center are free and open to the public.
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December 04 - 17, 2014
A Late Arrival, Yes, But Moynihan
Photos by Scott Stiffler
Several mesh signs on Eighth Ave. announce the completion date of Phase 1, and allow passersby a view of the construction.
BY RAANAN GEBERER Take a walk past the James A. Farley Post Office on Eighth Ave., between 31st and 33rd Sts., and you’ll see evidence that — after years of planning — the Moynihan Station project is finally under way, and poised to give Penn Station a grand new entrance. The northern half of the front steps have been cordoned off. Two cranes are positioned near the 33rd St. side. On the building’s northeastern side, a small staircase leading to the street has been removed. On several recent visits, cement was being poured for a street-level walkway that will lead to one of the new entrances and construction workers were operating jackhammers, Caterpillar vehicles and cranes. Along Eighth Ave., the mesh barriers display renderings showing what the building will look like when the project is finished (Phase 1 Opening 2016 | esd. ny.gov/moynihan), and white mesh barriers along the length of the steps announce that the work is being done by the huge construction firm, Skanska USA. “We’re installing a new skeleton [below street level],” one worker told this reporter. “All new steel!” After the venerable Penn Station building was razed in the 1960s and replaced with the current, humdrum
December 04 - 17, 2014
underground terminal, preservationists periodically called for a more fitting station that would echo the grandeur of the original structure. In the early 1990s, then-U.S. Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan (D-N.Y.), who certainly remembered the fabled Penn Station of yesteryear, called for using part of the Farley Building, much of which is now empty, as a portal to the rail tracks. The Farley Building was designed by McKim, Mead and White, the same famous architectural firm that designed the original Penn Station across the street. “The Farley Building is the twin of [the original] Penn Station, built a year after Penn Station by the same firm,” says Peg Breen, president of the New York Landmarks Conservancy, which has been involved in the project since it was first announced. The plan is to use the huge, unused mail sorting room, behind the counters that postal customers see every day, into a new “train hall” with street-level entrances. Amtrak — one of three entities that uses Penn Station (the others are NJTransit and the Long Island Rail Road) — will move its ticket counters, offices, baggage handling and waiting room there, along with direct access to platforms and retail amenities. “This will take about 30 per-
Left photo: A sign links the Moynihan Station project t
Left photo: A barrier erected by Skanska USA encloses the northern end of the cons
cent of the traffic out of [the current] Penn Station, and leave room to make improvements there,” says Breen. “Right now, Penn Station is so packed that you can’t do anything there.” And that’s not all. “Moynihan Station is the future home of Amtrak’s operations,” says Craig Schulz, a spokesman for Amtrak. It fits, since, as Schultz says, Penn Station is “the
busiest train station in the nation.” The work that is going on now is part of Phase I of the project. According to Schulz and a spokesperson for the Empire State Development Corp. (ESDC), this includes: •E xpanding the terminal’s West End Concourse, which currently serves the Long Island Rail Road’s plat.com
n Station Construction Is On Track
to economic stimulus funds. Right photo: A view from the opposite side.
struction site. Right photo: A view from inside.
forms (Platforms 7 to 11), to also connect to Platforms 3 to 10. It will “serve all Amtrak trains after 2016.”
and 33rd St. corners of the Farley Building, as well as improvement of subway entrances to accommodate increased pedestrian traffic.
•E xpanding an existing underground corridor between the Farley Building and the existing Penn Station.
•A dding elevators to the concourse to make it ADA-compliant.
•B uilding new entrances into the West End Concourse through the 31st
• Installation of an emergency ventilation system.
Several estimates of the cost for Phase 1 have been given — $300 million, $375 million — but it is clear that the majority of funding is from federal grants. “Contributions from the MTA and PA [Port Authority] capital plans comprise the balance of funding,” says the ESDC spokesperson. While the project is being developed by the ESDC, its subsidiary, the Moynihan Station Development Corporation, and the Port Authority, other concerned organizations have contributed input. Among them are the Friends of Moynihan Station, the Municipal Art Society and the aforementioned Landmarks Conservancy. As for day-to-day post office customer services, “half of the steps will be out of service for a period of two years — this is the only impact to USPS operations,” says the ESDC spokesperson. Phase 2 will consist of the conversion of the old sorting room into the train hall, and is estimated to cost at least $1 billion. For the time being, according for the ESDC website, the room and another unused space, the postal dock, are available for events, filming, theater productions and the like. Over the years, the Moynihan Station plan has gone through several twists and turns, including an effort to move Madison Square Garden (MSG)
into more of the Farley Building’s unused space. “We opposed it when Madison Square Garden wanted to go in there years ago,” says Breen of the Landmarks Conservancy. “It would have overwhelmed the station.” That doesn’t mean that MSG will be in its current space forever. The Landmarks Conservancy and the Municipal Art Society have launched a public campaign, called the “New Penn Station Alliance,” partially to “reconsider the location of Madison Square Garden atop our busiest and most vital transportation hub.” The effort received a shot in the arm when, in July 2013, the City Council extended MSG’s special operating permit at its current site for a mere 10 years, not in perpetuity as the Garden had requested. To many people, especially in the preservationist community, Moynihan Station is just the first step in restoring the glory that was once Penn Station. As Margaret Newman, executive director of the Municipal Art Society, told Chelsea Now, “MAS has long supported the Moynihan Station project, but it’s not the answer to our prayers as far as the transit emergency looming in Midtown West. It’s an important first step that will benefit Amtrak passengers, but it needs to be part of a larger package — namely, a new Penn Station.” December 04 - 17, 2014
‘Hands Up Walk Out’ Marchers Demand Accountability Continued from page 4 Confrontation between law enforcement and activists was minimal on Dec. 1, but the former kept a tight watch over the marches, threatening arrest for those who ventured into the street from the sidewalk. At certain points along the march, activists attempted to swarm streets only to retreat as police shepherded them back onto pedestrian paths with scooters and stern warnings. About a half-dozen protesters were arrested overall, said an attorney for the National Lawyers Guild. In at least one circumstance, a cyclist arrested at the intersection of Eighth Ave. and W. 48 St., it was not readily apparent whether the detained person was actively participating in the march. Upon arrival in front of the NYPD station in Times Square, activists gathered for four-and-a-half minutes of silence in recognition of the hours that Brown’s body remained on-scene following the Aug. 9 shooting. But they were not done following the die-in. The group took off once again at about 3:30 p.m. heading further into Hell’s Kitchen.
Tourists in the Times Square public plaza looked on, some taking photos, as marchers arrive from a Dec. 1 protest originating in Union Square.
Photos by Zach Williams
Demonstrators were hard to miss, as they took to the streets of Midtown for one of many demonstrations against police brutality nationwide.
They tried once more to escape the police detail, briefly taking over Eighth Ave. near its intersection with W. 45 St. Police quickly regained their position as the march turned towards the Hudson River at W. 48th St. By then, there were whispers among organizers at the front on how to shake law enforcement once again. A half-dozen students at Professional
Performing Arts High School cheered them on as they passed. After traveling south on Ninth Ave., marchers surprised police by abruptly turning East against traffic on W. 43rd St. Yet, the police once again quickly caught up. By 4 p.m. they were back at Times Square — though their numbers had decreased by then to about 300. Some
passerby paid little attention to the demonstration, but others expressed delight. Mike Simmons, who works in the tourism industry, said fear of the NYPD discouraged him from civic action after police officers entered his home in October for what Simmons said was no reason. Police treatment of minorities requires personal experience to fully comprehend, but people need to unite against it nonetheless, according to Simmons. “You understand it, but when it happens to you, it’s mind-boggling,” he said.
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December 04 - 17, 2014
It’s Already a Wonderland
Photos by Jenny Rubin
Yes, there’s no snow on the ground…and no, winter doesn’t actually start until December 21 — but photographer and comedian-about-town Jenny Rubin still found plenty of seasonal charm. Clockwise: the Union Square Holiday Market, The High Line Hotel tree and skaters at The Standard Ice Rink (below the High Line at W. 13th St.).
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December 04 - 17, 2014
ARTS&ENTERTAINMENT You Simply Must See Lypsinka Epperson’s trilogy is deft, defiant and disarming THEATER LYPSINKA! THE BOXED SET THE PASSION OF THE CRAWFORD
and JOHN EPPERSON: SHOW TRASH In rotating repertory through Jan. 3 At the Connelly Theater 220 E. Fourth St. (btw. Aves. A & B) General Admission: $45 for one show, $80 for two, $105 for all three Premium Admission (reserved seating, plus beverage): $60 for one show, $100 for two $125 for all three Purchase tickets at 866-811-4111 or lypsinka.com
BY SCOTT STIFFLER After an absence of nine long years, a masterful melting pot of gender illusion, golden age Hollywood glam, highly skilled lip-synching and diva deification has returned to New York. From Pyramid Club to Tompkins Square Park to Club 57, the East Village incubators that hatched Lypsinka in the early 1980s are either gone forever or tamed beyond recognition — and yet, the ravages of time have had no such luck chipping away at The Lyp’s alabaster skin or flawlessly executed acts of defiance in the face of adversity. Although technically mute, this lady is no sphinx. She’s not even a lady, technically — but by moving her lips in perfect synchronicity to a skillfully woven soundtrack of films, musicals and concert recordings, the “supreme archivist of irony” towers above lesser drag acts, for whom the likes of Joan Crawford, Judy Garland and Bette Davis are little more than camp punchlines. Throughout the furiously paced .com
Photo by Austin Young
The old East Village spirit lives, in the ageless Lypsinka.
“Boxed Set,” the performer embodies dozens of nightclub entertainers and screen stars who hit their career highs long before Lypsinka was born. Sharing a love for these women will certainly elevate your own experience, although a surprising amount of the show’s humor is anchored in broad physical comedy, economic arches of the eyebrow and deeply expressive flourishes of the wrist — flawlessly executed, fleeting moments whose appeal exists independently of their source material. “The Passion of the Crawford” works a lone persona and, for the most part, sticks to the sequential
transcripts of two well-documented Joan Crawford interviews. Whether she’s riffing on a three-second sound bite or in it for the long haul, Lypsinka excels at contemplating the high cost of submission, defiance and perseverance — not by peeling back the onion, but by adding layer upon layer upon layer. As much fun as Lypsinka is to be around, the trilogy’s greatest pleasure comes from the one who really wears the pants in the relationship between performer and persona (or does he?). “Show Trash” is John Epperson’s amiable, soft-spoken take on that old cabaret
formula: one man on stage, tinkling the ivories, reviewing his life from birth to present. The former American Ballet Theatre rehearsal pianist consistently amuses with insights set to cleverly reworded show tunes, yet the standout moments come from modest and revelatory anecdotes related to his upbringing in Hazlehurst, Mississippi. Fans expecting Lypsinka’s origin story won’t leave the theater disappointed, though, as “Show Trash” has plenty to say about the glorious excesses that made the old New York so conducive to his demanding alter ego. December 04 - 17, 2014
Ho, Ho, Ho and Ha, Ha, Ha Holiday shows with the gift of humor A MURRAY LITTLE CHRISTMAS
Photo by Orlanda Marra
“A Murray Little Christmas” has the middle-aged showbiz schmoozer hosting a highball-friendly evening of bawdy entertainment. Dec. 13.
Courtesy of the artist
A touch of Mink: Baltimore’s Stole brings her own brand of holiday spirit to NYC, Dec. 11–14.
It’s not quite the same as being eternally young, but classy impresario Murray Hill has been living up to his “hardest working middle-aged man in show business” moniker for two decades now, even going back before the iconic drag king’s 1996 mayoral bid. What a different town this would be had he won! Fortunately, there’s no need to indulge in “It’s a Wonderful Life”-type speculation. For one show only, the naughty times are back — and even Santa must think that’s nice, considering the fact that he’s been booked for the gig. Full of more burlesque royalty than you can shake a tassel at, “A Murray Little Christmas” finds the affable Mr. Hill hosting a recreation of his infamous bachelor pad holiday cocktail parties — where the only thing blue about Christmas is the humor. So kick back, down a highball and enjoy Murray’s road tested roster of seasonal skits, cheesy songs and the kind of dazzling production numbers that come from another era (back when people actually rehearsed for these things!). Guests include burlesque sensations Trixie Little, Perle Noire and Mr. Gorgeous, carnal chanteuse Bridget Everett and Carmine Covelli (a.k.a Sebastian The Elf) — plus swinging backup from The Craig’s List Quartet. Rudolph and the aforementioned Mr. Claus will appear, but they’ll have a hard time upstaging Murray’s traditional (and potentially traumatizing) appearance as The Little Drummer Boy. This non-returnable gift of unfettered jubilation is not for young eyes or prudish ears. As Murray says, “All denominations, orientations and sexual proclivities will be celebrated!” Sat., Dec. 17 at 7:30 p.m. At (Le) Poisson Rouge (158 Bleecker St. btw. Sullivan & Thompson Sts.). Tickets: $20 standing, $25 seated. Reserved front VIP seating, $55. Reservations at lespoissonrouge.com. Info: 212-505-3474. Visit Murray at mistershowbiz. com. Twitter & Instagram: @Murray_Hill.
MINK STOLE: OMG! IT’S CHRISTMAS! Few in this town can honestly claim to have been good all year long — so it’s best not to question why Santa has gifted us with shows starring Mink Stole two years in a row. After turning in a wonderfully vulnerable and understated performance in the New Ohio Theatre’s 2013 revival of Tennessee Williams’ “The Mutilated,” the Baltimore native and John Waters muse is returning to NYC, this time with a show of her own creation. Filled with celebratory music and revelatory anecdotes from Christmases long, long ago, “OMG!”
promises to expose fans to hidden dimensions of the underground legend’s range, (vocal and otherwise). Accompanied by a trio of longtime collaborators dubbed Her Wonderful Band, songs include “Stay a Little Longer Santa,” a French version of “The Little Drummer Boy” and a sing-along to “The Twelve Days of Christmas.” Next year, look for her back on the screen, in “Sweet Charlotte.” Directed by Billy Clift, it’s a drag parody of the Bette Davis thriller from 1964 — two years before Stole would begin her own stellar career of cinematic atrocities, with an appearance in John Waters’ “Roman Candles.” Thurs.–Sun., Dec. 11–14 at 8:30 p.m. At The Laurie Beechman Theatre (407 W. 42nd St., at Ninth Ave). Tickets: $25 ($40 VIP gets you preferred seating and backstage meet and greet). Reservations: 212-352-3101 or SpinCycleNYC.com. Visit minkstole.com.
NOT THE MESSIAH (He’s a Very Naughty Boy) He co-founded Monty Python, he created “The Rutles” and he blogged as recently as last week — but all of this creative output was just mere practice, practice, practice for Eric Idle’s Dec. 15 & 16 gigs at Carnegie Hall. There, the man who wrote the book and lyrics for the long-running Broadway hit “Spamalot” will shepherd another Monty Python film to the stage — with assistance from Victoria Clark, Marc Kudisch, Lauren Worsham, William Ferguson, conductor/director Ted Sperling, the Collegiate Chorale and the Orchestra of St. Luke’s. Created in 2007 with longtime musical collaborator John Du Prez, this comic oratorio is based on the 1979 film, “Life of Brian” — Monty Python’s exceedingly sharp satire of mistaken identity and deification. “Not The Messiah (He’s a Very Naughty Boy)” incorporates elements of pop, country, Broadway, doo-wop, hip-hop, and Greek chorus. It also includes an audience participation version of “Always Look on the Bright Side of Life.” Sung during the crucifixion scene toward the end of “Life of Brian,” the Idle-penned tune was recently cited as Britain’s most popular funeral hymn. Mon. & Tues., Dec. 15 & 16 at 8 p.m. At Carnegie Hall (Seventh Ave. at 57th St.). For tickets ($30), call 212-247-7800 or visit carnegiehall.org. For more info on the artists: EricIdle.com, collegiatechorale.org and OSLmusic.org.
Courtesy of the artists
He may not be the Messiah, but Eric Idle excels at adapting very naughty Monty Python films for the stage. His “Life of Brian”-based oratorio plays Carnegie Hall on Dec. 15 & 16.
December 04 - 17, 2014
Winter / Edit
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December 04 - 17, 2014
Ho Ho, Let’s Go Your holiday arts guide BY SCOTT STIFFLER
WASHINGTON SQUARE PARK CAROLING There are, of course, other trees in town this time of year — but our favorite is the 45-footer artfully framed by the Washington Square Park Arch. Tastefully (never overly) decorated, you’ll find no pricey skating rink standing between you and the photo op that’s served as more than one true New Yorker’s holiday greeting card. It’s enough to make even the most grizzled Grinch break out into song — and The Washington Square Association will help make that happen, by handing out complimentary songbooks and providing accompaniment from the Rob Susman Brass Quartet. The tree’s lights will be turned on for the first time this season on Dec. 6, when the very busy Santa Claus appears to lead the traditional illumination countdown. Then, Yuletide carols will be sung by an informally convened choir — dressed up like Eskimos if weather permits. The festivities repeat on Dec. 24. Free. Wed., Dec. 10 at 6 p.m. and Wed., Dec. 24 at 5 p.m. At the Washington Square Park Arch (at the foot of Fifth Ave., one block south of Eighth St.). The tree is lit from 4 p.m.–1 a.m. daily, through the season. For info, call 212-252-3621 or visit washingtonsquarenyc.org.
Photo by Ken Howard
The Rob Susman Brass Quartet, and free songbooks, will make the season merry and bright (Dec. 10 & 24 at the Washington Square Park Arch).
MENORAH MADNESS AND JOSHUA NELSON AT THE MUSEUM OF JEWISH HERITAGE Kiddie rockers Joanie Leeds and the Nightlights are the marquee entertainment, when the Museum of Jewish Heritage hosts “Menorah Madness.” Geared toward children ages 3 to 10, the afternoon offers crafts and a minitour of the galleries (free with your concert ticket). After years on the NYC alt music scene (with gigs at The Bitter End, The Living Room, Arlene’s Grocery and CBGB’s), singer/songwriter Leeds shifted her focus to children’s music — and the little ones gobbled up CDs such as “Challah, Challah” and “City Kid.” Even parents have been known to request repeat listens! Hearing is believing, though, so catch Leeds and her Nightlights perform songs from their new release, “Good Egg.” On Dec. 25, Joshua Nelson brings his Kosher Gospel Choir to the
December 04 - 17, 2014
Courtesy of DZB Productions
Courtesy of the ARChive of Contemporary Music
“Prince of Kosher Gospel Music” Joshua Nelson performs at the Museum of Jewish Heritage on Dec. 25.
Cheaper than downloading: ARChive of Contemporary Music’s Holiday Record + CD Sale happens Dec. 13-21.
Museum for two concerts. Known for his fusion of Hebrew tunes and gospel style, the African-American “Prince of Gospel Music” will perform “Lecha Dodi,” “Adon Olam,” “Mi Chamocha,” “Ein Keloheinu” and “Eli, Eli,” among others. “Menorah Madness” takes place on Sun., Dec. 14, 1-4:30 p.m. (crafts 1-4, tour at 1:30, concert at 2). Tickets: $10, $7 for children 10 and under. Museum members: $7 and bring up to 3 children for free ($5 for each additional child). Joshua Nelson
tion of CDs, LPs, books, videos, DVDs, music magazines, audio equipment and vintage psychedelic posters. There, you’ll find the perfect gift for every jazz, folk, funk, punk, pop, classical, world music and rock fanatic on your list (without having to decimate your piggy bank). This annual sale benefits the non-profit archive, library and research center’s mission to collect, preserve and provide information on popular music from 1950 to the present. Most of the items are donated by record companies and private collectors, and all are skip,
performs at 1 & 3:30 p.m. on Thurs., Dec. 25. Tickets are $35 for adults, $25 for students and seniors, and $20 for members. At The Museum of Jewish Heritage (Edmond J. Safra Plaza, 36 Battery Place). To order, call 646-437-4202 or visit mjhnyc.org.
ARC’S HOLIDAY RECORD + CD SALE When the wrapping paper comes off, the beat goes on — but first, you need to scope out the ARChive of Contemporary Music’s 30,000+ collec-
Yule Be Swell! Yule Be Great!
Photo by Ryan Muir
The 10-story light installation “Metamorphosis” shines over the Hudson River, and provides a backdrop for many of the holiday events at Brookfield Place.
Continued from page 20 scratch and warp-free. With hundreds of CDs at $1 and new items starting at $5, you can walk away with a tactile gesture of holiday cheer that’s cheaper than downloading. Need a gift for somebody who doesn’t like music? You’re still in the right place! Peruse the Astroturf Yard Sale for vintage kitchenwares and clothing. Join ARC as a member, and you’ll get an invite to their Dec. 11 cocktail party (with food, booze, schmoozing and first dibs on everything up for grabs when the sale starts two days later). The sale happens from Dec. 13-21, daily. Hours: 11 a.m.–6 p.m. At the ARChive of Contemporary Music (54 White St., 3 blocks south of Canal St., btw. Broadway & Church Sts.). Call 212-226-6967 or visit arcmusic.org.
HOLIDAY EVENTS AT BROOKFIELD PLACE Winter Garden’s 10-story barrel-vaulted glass roof sparkles and .com
shines with an intensity that increases throughout December, as the mirrored and jeweled discs embedded in veteran theater designer Anne Militello’s “Metamorphosis” light instillation provides a dramatic backdrop to a series of free holiday events at Brookfield Place. Santa’s Winter Garden returns on the weekend of Dec. 5-7, offering photo ops with the jolly old fellow (for kids, of course, but adults are welcome to snap a selfie). Free 12:30 p.m. concerts on Dec. 11 & 14 feature jazz and blues vocalist Catherine Russell and the National Yiddish Theatre, respectively. The Grammy Awardwinning Russell will put a swing spin on classics from the American songbook, while the Yiddish Theatre’s “Songs of Chanukah” will celebrate the Festival of Lights with traditional holiday melodies and hot Klezmer music. Free. Through Dec. 31, at Winter Garden and Waterfront Plaza at Brookfield Place (220 Vesey St., at West St.). For info: brookfieldplaceny.com/arts-events. December 04 - 17, 2014
December 04 - 17, 2014
These Plays Are Totally Ridiculous ‘Two by Tavel’ is theater beyond the absurd In 1965, Ronald Tavel went from pitchman to playwright to papa of a new theatrical genre — when Andy Warhol took a look at the 22 scenarios he drafted for 16mm film adaptation by The Factory and suggested they be presented on the stage instead. Tavel recruited his younger brother Harvey to direct, then penned this brief, brilliant, self-prophesizing manifesto: “We have passed beyond the Absurd, our position is totally Ridiculous!” Just under a half-century later, two works from the Theatre of the Ridiculous (“Two by Tavel”) are being directed by Norman Glick. A founding member whose collaboration with the Brooklyn-born Tavels predates that pivotal Warhol moment, Glick was involved in most of the brothers’ productions (he acted, stage managed and house managed for the movement and, even more notably, built its Theatre of the Lost Continent in the Jane West Hotel). “It is a great honor for me to dedicate these two one-act gems to the memory of the wonderful Harvey Tavel [1937-2013]. He was my husband for four years, my family for decades,” says Glick, to whom Harvey Fierstein wrote, “Without Harvey [Tavel], there would have been no Ronald Tavel [1936-2009], no Harvey Fierstein, no Theatre of the Ridiculous and The Lost
Continent and so much more.” The cast for “Life of Juanita Castro” includes Agosto Machado and Ruby Lynn Reyner — two vets of the movement who play, respectively, Juanita and Fidel Castro. “Life” finds that brother and sister, along with Che Guevara (Jorge Acosta) and Raul Castro (Kika Child), posing for a portrait as a director (fittingly played by Glick) feeds them lines from the script, which they butcher to comedic effect. Glick breaks with the original production by having Che Guevara played as a flamboyant gay man. Otherwise, it’s true to the Ridiculous movement’s traditional cross-gender casting. In other casting news, actors Jorge Acosta, Kika Child, Richard Craven and Eva Dorrepaal are new to the Tavel canon. Together, they revive “Kitchenette” — in which Mikie frets over a litter basket while Jo applies her makeup. When they’re joined by a similarly named street hustler and blond bombshell, psychosexual ridiculousness ensues — occasionally at the instruction of a filmmaker who inserts himself into the kitchen sink drama. Confused? Intrigued? Show up prepared (and only slightly less perplexed) by visiting ronaldtavel.com. Maintained by Glick, it has Tavel’s body of work in PDF form. “Two by Tavel” is performed Through Dec. 14.
Photo by Norman Glick
From 1970, the second production of “Kitchenette.” L to R: Mary Woronov, Fred Savage, Harvey Fierstein and Mary McCormick.
Thurs.–Sat. at 8 p.m. & Sun. at 3 p.m. At Theater for the New City (155 First Ave., btw. E. 9th & 10th Sts.). Tickets: $10. Call 212-254-1109 or visit theaterforthenewcity.net. Also visit jsnyc.com/season/glick.htm.
Gottfried Blasts ‘Arrogant Treatment of the Community’ Continued from page 7 [and] the avenues of comment are often limited.” Councilmember Corey Johnson said in an email that he first learned of the sale when residents started contacting his office last week. “I understand the USPS is operating under hard financial times, but it is absolutely imperative that any sale of the air rights is done in a transparent way that includes public participation at the onset of this process,” he said. “Unfortunately, that doesn’t seem to be the case here,
which is concerning.” He said moving forward there should be full disclosure from the USPS about the possible air rights sale to CB4, Chelsea residents, other elected officials and his office. “The Old Chelsea Post Office is an asset to the community, and we want to make sure that postal services are not relocated from this facility,” he said. When the USPS was considering the sale of the Old Chelsea Station, several members of the community, including CB4, elected officials and organizations such as Save Chelsea suggested selling the air rights instead.
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The selling of the air rights is preferable to selling the station, said Doyel, and many supported the idea. “On the face of it, it looks like a good idea,” she said. “It is a little more sinister than it appears at face value.” The clock is now running, she said, and Doyel hopes that elected officials can insist on a public meeting. The post office should make a presentation to the community about the proposed sale. Assemblymember Richard Gottfried in an email that “The US Postal Service has repeated its arrogant treatment of the community and its elected officials in not notifying us of this the possible proposal.
I am opposed to the sale of the air rights without community input, review, and support for the size and use of the new development. In addition, postal services should remain on the ground floor.” Chirichello said that at this time, there is not a potential buyer and that the sale is only in the consideration phase. “This is deja vu all over again,” said Doyel. “This is what happened the last time.” People wishing to comment on the possible sale have until Dec. 11. Letters should be sent to: Joseph J. Mulvey | U. S. Postal Service | 2 Congress Street, Room 8 | Milford, MA 01757.
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CHELSEA NOW DEC. 4 2104