THE WEST SIDE’S COMMUNITY NEWSPAPER SERVING CHELSEA, HUDSON YARDS & HELL'S KITCHEN
USPS More Forthcoming, but Post Office’s Future Still Up in the Air BY DUSICA SUE MALESEVIC In an about-face, the United States Postal Service (USPS) sent a representative to Community Board 4’s full board meeting on Wed., Jan. 7, to explain aspects of the air rights sale of Old Chelsea Station. The community was dismayed to learn of the sale late last year, after fighting in 2013 to keep the post office at 217 W. 18th St. open. Elected officials had pushed for a longer public comment period, which lasted fifteen days after a Nov. 26 notice was posted in the lobby. They also made repeated request for a USPS presence at CB4 Land Use committee and full board meetings. It had seemed as if the USPS would not budge on either request. But in another twist, their representative said that he would give the public more time. “I have no problem extending that public comment period,” said Gregory C. Lackey, USPS’ realty asset manager for the Northeast. “The postal service is a part of your community and we want your comments. We will evaluate your comments. They will not be ignored.” The deadline for elected officials and CB4 to comment is Jan. 26. Continued on page 5
Parsons Dance touches down at The Joyce, Jan. 21–Feb. 1. The theater’s spring/summer season begins Feb. 10. See page 16 for information on the visiting artists, and news about the venue’s bid to solidify its presence in Chelsea.
Photo by Zach Williams
Hundreds gathered at Washington Square Park on Jan. 10 in solidarity with victims of the Paris massacre.
Grief, Solidarity and Resolve as French Expats Gather BY ZACH WILLIAMS Chelsea resident Lawrence Walmsley began the morning of January 7 perusing the news on his iPad, when he came across something that he could not initially believe: a mass shooting in Paris. In another part of the neighborhood, Ingrid Jean-Baptiste received a phone call informing her that two masked gunmen had just stormed the offices of satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo. They were shocked by the coordinated nature of the attack, which left 12 people dead that day, they said. As incidents of violence and murder continued in the subsequent days, the underlying motivations behind the carnage emerged as the world learned that the alleged attackers were two French Muslims inspired by religious zealotry. In the pages of Charlie Hebdo, brothers Saïd and Chérif Kouachi did not see humor in cartoon lampoons of the Prophet Muhammad. They saw a target. Visual representations of the prophet are forbidden in
© CHELSEA NOW 2015 | NYC COMMUNITY MEDIA, LLC, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
Islam, but the cartoonists at Charlie Hebdo did not care. Staff at the magazine have long delighted in printing caricatures of the powerful. A predecessor publication was banned by French authorities in 1970 for making fun of the death of Charles de Gaulle. A 2011 bomb outside the Charlie Hebdo office followed the publication of an issue guest-edited in jest by Muhammad with a cover reading: “100 lashes if you don’t die of laughter.” Their sometimes crude brand of humor had a niche following among French people, but did not appeal to others. On Jan. 7, the magazine’s style of free expression assumed a significance unimaginable the day before. “It [Charlie Hebdo] was provocative so I was not a big fan,” said Jean-Baptiste. “However I respected the work of the cartoonists. After all, they are artists and I appreciate everyone’s art whether I like it or not.”
Continued on page 3 VOLUME 07, ISSUE 04 | JANUARY 15 - 28, 2015
Courtesy of Hudson Guild Theatre Company
A scene from 2001’s “The Sleeping Beauty.” See excerpts from past Hudson Guild Theatre Company productions, at their 20th anniversary performances (Jan 23–Feb. 1).
Photo by Robert J. Saferstein
Soprano Victoria Tralongo and baritone Peter Kendall Clark, from the 2013 Chelsea Opera production of “A Distant Love: Songs of John and Abigail Adams.” The company’s Jan. 24 gala will raise funds to match their NEA grant and send the production on tour this summer.
BY SCOTT SITFFLER (to submit an event, email firstname.lastname@example.org)
HUDSON GUILD THEATRE COMPANY PRESENTS “A VALENTINE TO THE THEATRE” It’s a little too early for Valentine’s Day — but just the right time to
show Hudson Guild Theatre Company some love. The venerable community center’s premiere mode of cultural outreach, HGTC productions are often cast with local talent and always speak to the neighborhood’s diverse ethnicities and religions. Over the past 20 years, they’ve presented works by Shakespeare, Ibsen, August Wilson, James Baldwin, Tennessee
Williams, Eugene O’Neill and others (including an adaptation of Mary Shelley’s “Frankenstein” and a 90-minute version of Wagner’s “Ring of the Nibelung”). Now, their 55th production, “A Valentine to the Theatre,” is a lighthearted revue of scenes and songs about life in the theatre — starring present members of the company and faces from distinguished productions of the past. Jan. 23, 30, 31 & Feb. 1 at 8 p.m. At 2 p.m. on Jan. 24, 31 & Feb. 1. At Hudson Guild Theatre (441 W. 26th St. | btw. 9th &10th Aves.). Admission: Pay what you wish. Reservations 212760-9817. Visit hudsonguild.org.
INFORMATION SESSION FOR TEENS WHO WANT TO JOIN COMMUNITY BOARD 4
r Boxing fos itnes FONLY $145/MONTH W/ PERSONAL TRAINER
Community Board 4 (CB4) has 50 members who meet monthly to help decide local issues (including schools, parks and housing). This year, for the first time, 16- and 17-year-olds can apply to join the board. An information session will be held for prospective candidates, on Fri., Jan. 23, from 4:306:30 p.m. at the Municipal Building Mezzanine (1 Centre St., north entrance). Registration is required, at teenboards.eventbritre.com. For more info on CB4, call 212-736-4536 or visit nyc.gov/mcb4 or email them at info@ manhattancb4.org.
CHELSEA OPERA PRESENTS “QUINNTESSENTIALLY YOURS II”
1 WEST 28TH STREET (5th Ave & Broadway) 2nd Floor
January 15 - 28, 2014
We’re not alone in singing the praises of that local treasure, Chelsea Opera. Last year, word came that it had received an Art Works Grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. That grant will allow the professional opera company (now in its eleventh season) to restage their 2013 production of “A Distant Love: Songs of John and Abigail Adams” in Quincy, MA, on June 21. Nicely timed
to coincide with (Founding) Father’s Day, the performance will take place in the carriage house of the Adams ancestral home — but only if they’re able to fully realize the $25,000 fundraising goal. Uncle Sam has ponied up half as a vote of confidence in Chelsea Opera, and now it’s our turn. On Jan. 24, funds raised from a special gala concert and reception will benefit the touring version of “A Distant Love.” The event features the written works of “Distant Love” librettist Terry Quinn set to music by six composers. Sat., Jan. 24 at 7 p.m. (with post-concert Champagne Reception). At Christ & St. Stephen’s Church (120 W. 69th St., btw. Broadway & Columbus). Tickets: Preferred seating: $75 in advance, $85 at the door. General Admission: $50 advance, $60 door. Seniors & Students: $30 advance, $35 door. For more info, visitchelseaopera.org.
WINTER CLASSES AT PENN SOUTH CERAMICS STUDIO Classes are about to begin! “Intermediate Handbuilding” happens 6–9 p.m., Mondays, Jan. 19–March 23. Prerequisite: “Beginning Ceramics” or prior Handbuilding experience. The “Beginning Ceramics” class meets Jan. 20-March 24, Tuesdays, 6–9 p.m. and involves building clay skills (no experience necessary). You’ll need to have taken that class, or have prior wheel experience, if you want to take the Intermediate/Advanced Wheel class. It happens every Wednesday, 6–9 p.m., from Jan. 21–March 25. The Ceramics Studio is located in the Penn South Co-ops. at the corner of 26th St. & 9th Ave. Applications can be found in the Ceramics Studio or at the Management Office (321 8th Ave.). Email your questions to pennsouthceramics@ gmail.com, and visit pennsouthceramics.com for more info on all of their programs. .com
After Paris Massacre, Expats Contemplate ‘A New French Identity’
Photos by Zach Williams
Hundreds of people, mostly French expatriates and their families, congregated at Washington Square Park on the afternoon of Jan. 10.
Continued from page 1 Within hours of the Jan. 7 attack, Je Suis Charlie (I am Charlie) emerged from Twitter as the rallying slogan to which millions of people across France would respond. By the evening hours, hundreds would gather in Union
Square to express their solidarity with the victims as well as their shared belief that curtailing free speech was the ultimate aim of the attackers. As people across the world expressed similar sentiments, the Kouachi brothers remained at large. They were spotted north of Paris on Jan. 8. But it was in a southern suburb
Sen. Charles Schumer, at podium, expressed support for France and Israel at a Jan. 11 memorial. Front row, L to R: Public Advocate Letitia James, Comptroller Scott Stringer, Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer and City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito.
of the city where another man, Amedy Coulibaly, fatally shot a police officer and injured another person that day. The killing would continue. “It was very overwhelming. It just kept going and going,” said JeanBaptiste, who is co-founder of the Chelsea Film Festival. She would not learn until Jan. 11
that the father of a friend, FrancoisMichel Saada, was among those gunned down by Coulibaly the day before at a kosher market in an eastern neighborhood of Paris. French authorities say there was a link among the three gunmen who all died on Jan. 9
Continued on page 4
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French Expats Rally For Paris Continued from page 3 following firefights with French law enforcement. Searches continue for remaining suspects in connection to the attacks. Seventeen people were dead — excluding the three gunmen — by the time the attacks subsided on Jan. 9, with 21 others injured, making it the deadliest terrorist attack on French soil since 1961. Thousands of miles from her homeland, Albane de Izaguirre could not find adequate comfort among her American friends. She would find solace by standing with her compatriots at a Jan. 10 rally in Washington Square Park. Several hundred people congregated there, as millions prepared to march in France over the weekend. They would express their solidarity mostly through silence with pens and pencils held up high. Occasionally, they would repeat Je Suis Charlie in unison as they held up signs. Some would battle tears as the crowd sang the French national anthem. “It’s really hard when you’re not in France,” said Raphael Bord, a resident of Williamsburg. “You see what’s going on but you cannot really participate.” Though predominately French expatriates and their families, the crowd at the event also included Hell’s Kitchen resident Teresa Cebrian. She said she grew up in Spain amidst the fall out from the 2004 Madrid bombing of a commuter train by an Al Qaedainspired group. Prior to that attack, she had thought that terrorism arising from Islamic extremism was a phenomenon relegated to other countries, she said. Even ten years later, she said she does
Photos by Zach Williams
Chelsea Film Festival co-founder Ingrid Jean Baptiste (right foreground) joined a prayer outside after a memorial reached full occupancy on Jan. 11.
not feel safe from the dangers of radical Muslim militants “It’s an attack on the freedom of expression in democratic societies and we’ve got to fight against that,” she said of Paris shootings. The slaughter evoked memories of the Sept. 11 attacks among many people present at the rally. However there is a key difference, according to Walmsley and his French wife, Sophie Thumashansen Walmsley. The 9/11 hijackers were foreigners, whereas in Paris, the attackers rose from a “tiny minority” within a native Muslim community living on the edges of French society. They were originally welcomed to France as laborers during more prosperous times. But as one generation gave way to the next, many Muslims in France struggled to assimilate even as second-generation citizens. Recently passed laws forbidding Muslim women from covering their faces in pub-
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lic stoked resentment among them. Radical clerics found a ready audience in recent years among disaffected men such as the Kouachi brothers who were children of Algerian immigrants, according to media reports.
French police arrested Chérif Kouachi in 2005 as he attempted to reach Iraq by way of a Syrian-bound flight. Like more than 1,000 Muslim Frenchmen in recent years who have fought in Syria, he wanted to wage jihad, according to media reports. While thwarted in that effort, Chérif would eventually achieve his purported goal of achieving martyrdom ten years later. Fighting back against such an ideology necessitates a non-violent approach, said participants of the Jan. 10 Washington Square rally. The attacks represent an opportunity to confront this fringe element of French society, according to Sophie Thumashansen Walmsley. “This could be a rallying cry to get France together again to come up with a new French identity,” she said. The next day millions of people mobilized across France in similar fashion: toting Je Suis Charlie signs,
Continued on page 14
Je Suis Charlie (I am Charlie) began as a hashtag on Twitter and quickly became a slogan used across the world.
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January 15 - 28, 2014
Comment Period Extended on Post Office Air Rights Continued from page 1 “I wanted to be here. We’re not required to be here. The process that we’re involved in, the development of these air rights, does not require public meetings as it would if we were moving the post office,” said Lackey. “I’m here voluntarily.” Before he spoke, Betty Mackintosh, co-chairperson of the CB4’s Chelsea Land Use Committee, enumerated several points that it would like the USPS to address. The first was whether the request for proposals, or RFP, will require the design of the new residential development to respect and relate to the existing historic building as well as whether the developer would be required to meet with CB4 and the community for their input. Would the RFP, Mackintosh asked, take into account CB4’s housing policy to include 30 percent affordable apartments? Are the air rights restricted to the area above the post office? Would the USPS provide CB4 a zoning analysis? How much space will be shared between the post office and residents, and will this affect operations? Her inquiry concluded by asking if the post office will remain open during construction. If not, what are the plans to replace services? Lackey read a prepared statement and then spoke about some of the community’s concerns. He emphasized that the post office will continue to function as it has. Delivery and retail services will in no way be altered. “Nothing is being removed from that building,” he said. The bid for the air rights, which the USPS anticipates starting in the “near future” is also for some portions of the property, said Lackey. The residential building will contain some “common elements,” such as the roof, with the post office. Some of the property may be used for a gym as well as additional mechanical or structural components necessary for the building. On the east side of the Old Chelsea Station, there is a single door that will be expanded to a double door for the lobby entrance to the residential building, he said. Around 5,000 to 6,000 feet will be shaved off for the residential building, which will be eight stories and 83 feet above the existing roof deck. It will be set back from the front of the building to “preserve the aesthetics of the existing facade,” he said. Lackey said that there may have been some “misconceptions about the intent of this request for proposals.” The RFP is not to develop the air rights, but rather to sell them. The developer will be the one who has to comply with all laws, he said. The developer will make the decision whether or not to transfer the air rights, he said. “The RFP is really providing guidelines for a suggested approach to the developer,” said Lackey. “We’re not going to tell the developer what he has to do. That’s not the intent of the RFP.” However, Lackey said he would try to incorporate some of Mackintosh’s points. “We all know that [the Old Chelsea Station] is a beautiful building in this neighborhood,” he said. “It’s a historic structure and I know that there’s going to be a lot of emotion over whether or not this tower is going .com
[to] have an impact on the historic significance of that building. That is the whole point of 106.” Lackey was referring to Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act. Due to the fact that the Old Chelsea Station is a National Register listed building, the USPS is required to assess whether the sale of the air rights will have an “adverse effect” on it. The USPS has found no adverse effect. In a Sept. 17 letter to the postal service, the State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) did not concur and stated that the proposal will have an adverse effect. The Advisory Council of Historic Preservation was asked to evaluate the proposal as well, and stated in a Dec. 5 letter to the USPS’ determination that there would be no adverse effects was based on an “insufficient assessment.” Lackey said that the postal service will respond to the agencies’ comment and that the process is not complete. Section 106 does require that the developer’s designs will be also be subject to review, he said. During the public discussion, Lesley Doyel thanked Lackey for his presentation and said she was glad to hear that there will be more time for the public to comment. Doyel is the co-president of Save Chelsea, which had sounded the alarm about the air rights sale when her organization received a letter in November. The Nov. 5 missive stated, “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.” It also said that Save Chelsea had received an Aug. 14 letter, which Doyel said they never got. Doyel said this is really a matter of credibility and she hoped that the USPS would be transparent throughout this process. “This is a vital and very important postal facility not only for Chelsea, but for all the surrounding neighborhoods,” she said. “We’re going to hold you to it.” When the community and elected officials found out about the possible sale in November it was “blindsided” as Assemblymember Richard Gottfried put it. Gottfried was unable to attend the meeting because he was in Albany for the legislative session. A member of his staff, Eli Szenes-Strauss, said, “We very much appreciate the postal service sending a representative here today. This is not the first time that development plans had been announced for the Old Chelsea Station prior to community consultation and elected official notification. In fact, it is now an established pattern. “The pattern is that the sale of the development rights is announced in a way that is unlikely to bring it much attention. There is a very brief public comment period established, elected officials request an extension of the public comment period and then we have a community board meeting. We hope this is our last experience of that pattern.” Will Rogers, a W. 16th St. resident who spoke during the public discussion, also said that the USPS needed to be more transparent. “This is going on all over the United States,” said Rogers, “whereby the United States Postal Service gives small communities
Photo by Scott Stiffler
Change in the air (rights)? The USPS is being more communicative about Old Chelsea Station, but that didn’t allay concerns at Jan. 7’s full board meeting of CB4.
15 days, the same amount of process we were to be given — and see if you can imagine being someplace in the middle of nowhere and all of sudden your post office is gone.” Jackie Blank, speaking on behalf of Congressman Jerrold Nadler, said that while he is pleased to hear USPS’ reassurances that the postal services will remain on site, “there are a number of outside issues that must be addressed. For example, my office has already heard significant community concerns regarding neighborhood character…and the level of service during construction.” Those concerns were also brought up by Matt Greene from Councilmember Corey Johnson’s office, who also asked whether there will be a preference for affordable housing included in the RFP. Lackey said that the USPS is selling the “surplus” air rights “as part of its efforts to address its serious financial challenges” and to raise revenue. “The postal service has always relied upon its first class monopoly for most of its earning,” he said. “First class mail is declining as people use the Internet…The Postal Service is seeking alternate sources of revenue,” he said. “We are disposing a lot of buildings because we are consolidating operations, we end up with empty buildings or buildings that are largely vacant. And we’re selling those buildings.” State Senator Brad Hoylman said, “A federal agency has no business undermining the expertise of local and state agencies” — in this instance SHPO and CB4 — “and substituting its own opinion without consultation. The sale of air rights would amount to theft of our local public spaces, neighborhood character and history — a reversed form of eminent domain where the federal government is privatizing public resources.” January 15 - 28, 2014
At CB4, Brrr! Outside and Ah! Inside BY DUSICA SUE MALESEVIC As cold and chill invaded the city last week, the January 7 full board meeting of Community Board 4 (CB4) was held at the Fulton Senior Center Auditorium (119 Ninth Ave., btw. 17th & 18th Sts.). It started on an appropriate note with SayAh! — a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting health literacy (sayah.com). Helene Fisher, co-founder and president, explained that SayAh! works with health care providers, businesses, schools, other nonprofits, health centers, libraries — you name it — to educate residents. Many people who are ill continue to work in order to stay insured, she said. Chelsea is the testing ground for their new awareness campaign, which is being launched soon, and will last for two years, said Anna Allen, co-founder and vice president. The organization will be evaluating and tracking the efficacy of the initiative, which will then be scaled to other neighborhoods and, eventually, Allen hopes it will go nationally. Allen urged the community to get
involved and pass along their information to other residents and organizations. “It’s going to be very exciting,” she said. “You are going to see a lot of posters and information around.”
DENIAL IN VARIANCE APPLICATION In 2005, the owner of the building at 124 W. 24th St. (btw. Sixth & Seventh Aves.) sought a variance, or zoning wavier, from the Board of Standards and Appeals (BSA). The case was made, the variance granted, and a part of the building — the second through sixth floors — was converted into residential use. Fast forward ten years and ownership has changed hands. The new owners are asking that the variance be reopened in order to amend it. They would then be able to utilize the unused floor area ratio, or FAR, of the building with the intention to transfer them to another site on the block. Paul Selver, of the land use council for the owners from Kramer Levin, spoke during the public hearing. The board was not convinced,
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and recommended that the BSA deny the application. In its letter to BSA Chairperson Margery Perlmutter, it stated, “that the proposed amendment would violate the conditions in which the [original] variance was granted. The board also believes that the intended conveyances of the development rights to a proposed hotel would be detrimental to the public welfare.” The BSA ultimately has the last word on the variance but it does consider community boards’ recommendations.
ELECTEDS TALK POLICE, TAX ABATEMENT FOR PENN SOUTH Councilmember Helen Rosenthal of the Sixth District dropped by the meeting. “I don’t usually come to these meetings. I don’t come enough,” she said. “I had a little bit of time tonight and I really wanted to say hello.” After thanking CB4 members for their service and asking for more feedback from the board itself and the community, she discussed three issues. Rosenthal, who worked in the city’s budget office for seven years, said that the city council had just passed a “technical modification” for the budget. She voted no and said the budget needs to be released to the public in the name of transparency and needs to be more understandable. In several major urban areas and in the combat military, ten to 15 percent are comprised of women, she explained. Compare that to 0.4 percent of women in the Fire Department of New York City. “Plenty of women seem to be applying and passing many of the tests but not making it through the final rounds,” she said. “When we look at the numbers, it’s not clear that is because of lack of interest.” She said she is working on trying to understand the disparity. Last week, there was talk of a police slowdown and the gulf between the NYPD and Mayor Bill de Blasio seemed wide. Rosenthal called the killing of Officers Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos in December “just a horrific, terrible attack on the police.” Afterwards, she set up a memorial in her office and has been attending roll calls at precincts. However, she was “very disappointed by the lack of indictment in the Eric Garner case” and has been marching with peaceful protestors about the lack of justice for his family. Board member J.D. Noland said
that the antagonism between the mayor and the cops is something that the city doesn’t need. “I want to speak very briefly about what is going on in the city right now. Frankly, I think our elected politicians have fallen down on this job. This is a terrible situation that we are in.” State Senator Brad Hoylman spoke next. He said he had just returned from Albany, where he said it was minus six degrees. “This was our first day of session, it’s almost like God is doing it to punish anyone who goes to Albany,” he said to laughs. Hoylman said they voted in the rules in the state senate, which is now controlled by the Republicans. There would be a lot of important issues this session, he explained, that they needed Republican support on, such as the extension of the rent laws. Hoylman is focused on a tax on luxury high-end second homes, reintroducing the bills that ban gay conversion therapy and public corruption, which he said is a bipartisan issue. There is currently a budget surplus and while Republicans were talking about tax cuts for the wealthy, Hoylman said he wanted to get more beds for homeless youth. There are 1600 kids on the street and only 300 beds. He applauded Governor Andrew Cuomo for signing legislation that will extend the tax abatement for Penn South. Hoylman also noted that the passing of Mario Cuomo, the former governor, was a somber way to start the session. On Jan. 6, Congressman Jerrold Nadler introduced the “Respect for Marriage Act,” to ensure that all legally married same-sex couples are treated equally under federal law, said Jackie Blank, a member of his staff. The public comment portion of the evening was focused on the air rights sale of Old Chelsea Station Post Office (for extensive coverage on the matter, see page 1).
MISSING DOCK, ENDANGERED CHURCH The Manhattan Community Boathouse runs a free kayak program from mid-May to mid-October at 56th St. in the Hudson River Park and it is missing an essential piece of equipment — its dock. Kaitlin Peterson, the organization’s president, was first
Continued on page 7 .com
Construction, Preservation and the Mystery of a Missing Dock for community board applications, which is 5 p.m. on Fri., Jan. 30. Brewer wants to encourage 16- and 17-year-olds to serve on the community boards. Howard said that the City Council will soon hear a piece of legislation proposing term limits for community board service, elected for any role in 2016 or after. Brewer is against the legislation, said Howard. On Sun., Feb. 8 at 1:30 p.m. Brewer will give her State of the Borough address at Columbia University’s Lerner Hall.
Continued from page 6 up in the public session. The nonprofit is staffed by volunteers and funded through donations, she explained, and helped 20,000 people kayak for free last year. Last October, the 20 by 20 ft. plastic dock was stolen, and they have been working with NYPD, the Coast Guard and the Army Corps of Engineers. Petersen said that she needed the community’s help. “With no dock, we have no program,” she said. To donate or for more information, go to manhattancommunityboathouse.org. Olga Statz of Save St. Vincent de Paul, a church at 123 W. 23rd St., gave an update, as the group has been fighting to conserve it since 2007. She said that they have tried several options, including going to the Landmarks Preservation Commission, which won’t put it on their calendar. However, she said, the community and CB4 have been very supportive. Recently a light appeared at the end of the tunnel, and the case has been taken to the Holy See at the Vatican. “It’s the only court system that’s giving us a shot at this point,” she said. There is now a chance that the church will not be knocked down. Sonia Turner, a longtime Chelsea resident who lives at W. 23rd St. and Seventh Ave., talked about garbage piling up in the streets — an issue that she says is not new. The trash pileup was all the more striking after going to an event in the West Village, which seemed “pristine.” She wanted to know if there was any way to raise money to keep the neighborhood clean. Carla Nordstrom, of the West 25th Street Project, talked about construction on her block and wanted to bring it to the board’s attention. There is a construction fence and temporary walkway in front of 119 W. 25th St., which takes up the sidewalk and two lanes of the street. “As many of you are aware, our situation on West 25th Street is fragile. The structure prevents line-of-sight…There are safety concerns because the sidewalk is not available to pedestrians.” She said that it will be in place until late 2015, or early 2016. There is also construction across the street, at 112 W. 25th St. She asked that the board look into the situation. Chairperson Christine Berthet spoke about the
Photo by Scott Stiffler
Concerned that “conveyances of the development rights to a proposed hotel would be detrimental to the public welfare.” CB4 recommended the denial of a variance application for 124 W. 24th St.
attack on the offices of the French satire magazine Charlie Hebdo, which happened the same day as the full board meeting. “I am personally invested in the cold-blooded assassination of 12 journalists who were shot at Charlie Hebdo today,” she said. She has read the magazine, which she said prided itself on using humor to illustrate our society’s pitfalls and took controversial topics head on. “Freedom of expression is crucial even if it is uncomfortable,” she said. “We should all be proud to do our small part by serving on the community board where everyone is always invited to speak his mind.”
CB4 MEMBER APPLICATION DEADLINE: JAN. 30 Diana Howard, from Borough President Gale Brewer office’s reminded everyone of the deadline
CB4 wrote two letters about the proposed Pier 55 at the Hudson River Park funded by Barry Diller and Diane von Furstenberg, who have donated over $100 million to build “a world-class public park and performance space.” The first letter was addressed to Madelyn Wils, president of the Hudson River Park. While Pier 55 is just south of CB4’s district, in Community Board 2, the board is concerned that it will be affected. There are two main concerns: traffic in and around Pier 55, as well as noise, the letter stated. The second letter was to elected officials about the lack of “public involvement throughout the planning process” of Pier 55. The second issue was the community’s need for green space. The board wrote that it is “also concerned about the inequity among green spaces throughout our city. [CB4] is known for fighting for affordable housing within our district that includes a mix of income bands, equal fixtures and availability throughout a development. In that same spirit, [CB4] believes parks in less affluent areas deserve improvements.” 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 Feb. 4, 6:30 p.m., at Roosevelt Hospital (2nd Fl. Conf. Rm. B, 1000 Tenth Ave. at 51st St.). Call212-736-4536, visit nyc.gov/mcb4 or email them at email@example.com.
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January 15 - 28, 2014
THE WEST SIDE’S COMMUNITY NEWSPAPER
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January 15 - 28, 2014
POLICE BLOTTER ROBBERY: Approached After ATM Stop At around 8:15 p.m. on Sat., Jan. 10, a woman was walking westbound from her trip to a Bank of America ATM at 16th St. & 8th Ave. A male approached her from behind, then whispered into her ear: “Don’t say anything. Give me your bag.” She started screaming when the perp pulled out a knife — attracting the attention of two witnesses who later confirmed the victim’s account of the robbery. The perp pulled a backpack off of the victim, knocking her to the ground. He was followed by one of the witnesses, who lost him near the basketball courtyard at the back of 400 W. 19th St. (the incident occurred on the 300 block of 19th). Responding officers conducted a search of the area, and found the backpack. Missing were: several credit cards, some cash, a pair of Apple earphones and a cashmere hat and a Mackage bag valued at $650. The total loss of property was just
over $1,200. The victim sustained a scraped knee and injury to her back and shoulder (but did not accept the offer to pursue medical attention).
VEHICLE LEAVING THE SCENE: Back Up and Bolt A 68-year-old female sustained bruises to her forearms, when she fell face first into the pavement—after a gray Toyota liver cab backed up and hit her, as she was walking into the street. The incident occurred just after 6 p.m. on Sat., Jan. 10, at the northwest corner of 7th Ave. & W. 23rd St.
CRIMINAL MISCHIEF: Roof Rocks A 28-year-old man told police that at around 3:55 p.m. on Sun., Jan. 11, somebody threw a rock at his car, creating a small chip on the windshield. The victim was unable to provide a description of the perp, whom he identified as being posi-
tioned on the roof of a building on the 400 block of W. 26th St.
CRIMINAL MISCHIEF: Subway Crime, of the Sandwich Variety Three juvenile males were arrested, for their actions at a Subway sandwich shop. With masks on, they entered the franchise’s 141 8th Ave. location (at 19th St.) around 5:15 p.m. on Sat., Jan. 10 — and were told by the employees to take them off in order to be served. They became irate and began to act in a disorderly and “tumultuous” manner, throwing objects around the premises. The trio was forcefully ejected from the store by employees — at which point one of the perps took a milk crate to the store window, causing over $250 in damage.
THE 10th PRECINCT Located at 230 W. 20th St. (btw. 7th & 8th Aves.). Commander: Deputy Inspector Michele Irizarry. Main number: 212-741-8211. Community Affairs: 212-741-8226. Crime Prevention: 212-741-8226. Domestic Violence: 212-741-8216. 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. The next meeting is Jan. 28.
THE 13th PRECINCT Located at 230 E. 21st St. (btw. 2nd & 3rd Aves.). Deputy Inspector: David Ehrenberg. Call 212-4777411. Community Affairs: 212477-7427. Crime Prevention: 212477-7427. Domestic Violence: 212-477-3863. Youth Officer: 212477-7411. Auxiliary Coordinator: 212-477-4380. Detective Squad: 212-477-7444. The Community Council meets on the third Tues. of the month, 6:30 p.m., at the Jan. 20.
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John Doswell, 71, Hell’s Kitchen Community Activist OBITUARY BY ALBERT AMATEAU John W. Doswell, a founding chairperson of Friends of Hudson River Park, executive director of the Working Harbor Committee and member of the Metropolitan Waterfront Alliance, died Jan. 2. He was 71. Diagnosed with cancer a year ago, he was responding well to treatment until he was admitted to the hospital shortly before his death, according to his wife, Jean Preece. Captain John Doswell (he held a U.S. Coast Guard master’s license for vessels, under power or sail, of up to 100 tons) was a prime mover of waterfront events for three decades. He was a member of the North River Historic Ship Society and Save Our Ships New York, among other maritime organizations. As director of the Working Harbor Committee, he organized annual tugboat races and coordinated international visits of historic ships. For the 2012 OpSail event, he
Doswell helped organize the Alliance’s City of Water Day, Hudson River Park Day, the Liberty Cup Hawaiian Outrigger Canoe Race, the Floating the Apple America Star Race and the Flotilla to Reclaim Governors Island event.
found berthing for dozens of vessels from around the world. A Hell’s Kitchen community activist, John Doswell was an early member of Friends of Pier 84, a neighborhood group that successfully advocated for free public use of the pier off W. 44th St. For several years he was a member of Community Board 4, whose West Side district includes the Chelsea and Hell’s Kitchen waterfronts. Madelyn Wils, president and CEO of the Hudson River Park Trust, the city/state agency building the riverfront park, paid tribute to his contributions to waterfront redevelopment. “Captain John Doswell leaves an inimitable legacy of devotion to the New York City waterfront community he so loved and served during his rich and accomplished lifetime,” Wils said in a prepared eulogy. “A U.S. Navy veteran in the Vietnam War, John’s life was fully committed to the preservation and innovation of our working waterfront and environment. All of us at Hudson River Park Trust and Friends of Hudson River Park knew him as a tireless advocate. His vast maritime knowledge and skill in all things nautical made him a stalwart champion for numerous programs and educational activities. He brought unmatched calm, reason and a sense of fairness to every mission he undertook. His legacy will live on for generations.” The Metropolitan Waterfront Alliance also paid tribute to John Doswell’s accomplishments, noting that he had crossed the Atlantic in a sailboat. He also occasionally piloted the restored 600-ton lighthouse tender Frying Pan, as well as the historic schooner Lettie G. Howard. “As a member of the Maritime Infrastructure and Permitting Panel,
Captain Doswell contributed to Vision 2020, New York City’s 10-year waterfront plan,” the Alliance said. He also helped organize the Alliance’s City of Water Day, Hudson River Park Day, the Liberty Cup Hawaiian Outrigger Canoe Race, the Floating the Apple America Star Race and the Flotilla to Reclaim Governors Island event. John Doswell was one of the original group of friends who bought the decommissioned New York City fireboat John J. Harvey in 1999 and
restored her to working condition. He was among the crew that brought the old fireboat to the World Trade Center site on Sept. 11, 2001, ferried residents away from the disaster and returned to pump water into the fire. And it was on the John J. Harvey that Doswell and Preece were married last July after living together for 40 years. They had met in 1961 in junior college in St. Petersburg, Florida. She was a dancer (as a Rockette at Radio City Music Hall and with roles in several Broadway musicals) and he became a producer of corporate events. Married to different partners, they were each divorced and began life together, for a while on a boat in the W. 79th St. boat basin. They got married on the advice of their accountant, and their waterfront friends took over the arrangements. John Doswell was born in St. Petersburg to Betsy Weeks and Claude Douglas Doswell. He was the oldest of five brothers, Warren, Willard, Douglas and Joe, who all survive, in addition to his wife and their daughter, Jhoneen.
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Opening Soon, The Whitney Makes Strides
Courtesy Whitney Museum of American Art
“Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney,” 1916, by Robert Henri, will be among the works from the Whitney’s permanent collection on view at the Downtown museum’s spring 2015 opening. A sculptor and wealthy society figure, Whitney founded the museum that bears her name in the Village in 1931.
A night view from the West Side Highway of the still-under-
BY EILEEN STUKANE The Whitney Museum (whitney.org) did what artists have done for decades. It pulled up stakes and left home — in this case, Madison Ave. and E. 75th St. — to be creative in the Village. To be more exact, though, the Whitney is really coming home, since it was in Greenwich Village that the museum was founded in 1931. The Whitney’s new, asymmetrical Renzo Pianodesigned building, on Gansevoort St. between the High Line and the West Side Highway, is set to open in less than five months from now, on May 1. The Whitney is the first major cultural institution to come Downtown, perhaps drawn by the energy of a neighborhood already in the throes of transformation. Anticipation is high. David Gruber, outgoing chairperson of Community Board 2, believes that the Whitney will become a “huge asset to the Village.” The museum, he pointed out, is actually part of a growing “ribbon” of noteable culture and entertainment on the West Side that currently includes the Chelsea gallery district, High Line park, Meatpacking District, Chelsea Piers and Chelsea Market. Adding to that will be projects coming down the pike, including the Hudson Yards’ planned Culture Shed at the High Line’s northern end; the new SuperPier at Pier 57 (a $200 million food and retail development at W. 17th St.); and Pier55 (a planned 2.7-acre Hudson River Park arts-and-entertainment pier at W. 13th St.). All this is happening along a river that in the past
January 15 - 28, 2014
was home to rail yards and decaying piers. With its southernmost entrance on Gansevoort St., the elevated High Line park is a major presence in the area, drawing more than 5 million visitors annually. But the community knows that the Whitney, with its global reach, will be another significant enterprise that will alter the atmosphere. And the Whitney knows it, too. For two years the museum has been reaching out to neighborhood groups and schools to establish a relationship with the community before opening. And the community has been responsive. “What can a museum do for a community? All of my work has been about answering that question,” said Kathryn Potts, the Helena Rubinstein Chairperson of Education at the Whitney. She explained that in the early planning stages for its Downtown museum, the Whitney created a stakeholders group — the Whitney Education Community Advisory Network, or WECAN, which has been meeting regularly during the last two years. “The idea was that we needed to hear from people within the community about what they thought were their priorities for the institution,” she said. “We felt that we really needed those voices.” WECAN includes representatives from Westbeth, the Fulton Houses, CB2, the Hudson Guild and PS33, which is a Title I elementary school in Chelsea that has been a partner school of the Whitney for at least five years. In addition, the Whitney started short-term pilot programs with the Village’s LGBT Community Center
and FIERCE, the LGBT organization for youth of color, and reached out to a slew of other schools, including Village Community School, PS3, PS41, PS11, Humanities Preparatory Academy, Lab School, High School of Fashion and Industry, and Clinton School for Writers and Artists, and when it opens, will approach the 75 Morton St. middle school. “We try to offer the opportunity to see the museum as an extension of the classroom,” Potts said. “And in the future, we hope to have eight partnership schools where we would work with administration, teachers and students to become a resource for them.” To that end, the new Whitney will have an educational center with state-of-the-art classrooms, a multi-use black-box theater for film, video and performance, a works on paper study center, conservation lab and library reading room, none of which were in the Uptown Whitney. Madelyn Wils, president of the Hudson River Park Trust, cited two art installations in the waterfront park that were accomplished in collaboration with the Whitney in the past: Yayoi Kusama’s “Guidepost to the New Space” installation at Pier 45 (Christopher St. Pier) in 2012, and Tony Tasset’s “Artists Monument” installation near W. 17th St. in 2014. “We look forward to doing more art projects in the park with the Whitney,” Wils said. “We think the museum is a great addition, and the Whitney is open to having the park be an outdoor display for them when it’s appropriate, when it’s right.” Technically speaking, the Whitney’s new home is really in the Meatpacking District. .com
To Get In Step With Its New Neighborhood
Photo by Tim Schenck
A view of the Whitney Museum from the northeast. Parkgoers on the tree-lined High Line, in the foreground, will be able to enter the museum directly from the elevated park, which sits above what’s left of the Meatpacking District’s meat businesses, whose trucks can be seen below the High Line. Photo by Ed Lederman
-construction Downtown Whitney Museum.
Photo by Tim Schenck
A daytime view of the new Whitney, photographed from across the West Side Highway.
“There’s anticipation of a world-class institution coming to a neighborhood that is experiencing a rebirth around culture and technology, as well,” said Lauren Danziger, executive director of both the Meatpacking Improvement Association and Chelsea Improvement Company. “The Whitney brings art as culture to the forefront and day-to-day relevance for both visitors and the people who work here on a daily basis,” she said. “It’s very exciting, not just as a development but as an .com
opportunity for the neighborhood as a whole. There’s palpable excitement.” Words like “rebirth,” “transformation,” “evolution” and “transition” were mentioned by everyone interviewed for this article, in relation to the current state of Greenwich Village and the Meatpacking District. Danziger spoke of a “complete change” on Washington St. in the last two years as small boutiques have opened in preparation for the Whitney’s arrival. Guenter Seeger, the elite chef, hopes to open a 42-seat tasting restaurant at 641 Hudson St. near Horatio St. due to the Whitney being just a few blocks away. CB2, however, recommended denial of Seeger’s application for a liquor license. It’s now up to the State Liquor Authority to make the decision. In addition, there has been a surge in new, innovative technological spaces, as fashion-designer retail has moved away from the Meatpacking District. Google’s massive headquarters at 76 Ninth Ave. and Apple’s store on the northwest corner of W. 14th St. and Ninth Ave. have no doubt attracted more technological ventures, with the Whitney being an added inducement. In leases that were signed this year, Samsung plans to open new offices on Washington St. near the new Whitney, while Intersect by Lexus, on W. 14th St., will be a venue that goes beyond a car showroom to incorporate design, art, fashion, film, dining, music and technology. Commercial mixes, which the museum will also have, are starting to pop up, with Rapha Cycle Club on Gansevoort St. also including a cafe, and Rag & Bone General Store on W. 13th St. featuring Jack’s
Stir Brew Coffee. “The Meatpacking District is a global destination,” said Danziger, “and these changes, these new businesses, these new cultural institutions, technological hubs, are just shining a different light on an already-vibrant community.” Of course, the High Line is another huge tourist magnet. “The Whitney is a mature, interesting organization that I think is going to add a whole new element to the neighborhood,” said Peter Mullan, executive vice president of Friends of the High Line. The High Line has an art program and an educational program, as does the Whitney. “We’re trying to identify ways that we can collaborate,” Mullan said. Although the Whitney will be a game-changer on a major scale, those involved with the museum show an awareness of the surrounding neighborhood, and especially of the landmarked Meatpacking District’s historical importance. “We realized that there was a lot of work that needed to be done to understand the community we were moving into,” Potts said. “We researched demographics, community board assessments, the history of the neighborhood, and also the history of artists who have worked, and are working Downtown. “We were determined not to open our doors on our first day as if we were a giant spaceship that landed at the base of the High Line, and we say, ‘Hello, come on in.’ Our first step was getting to know the community.” January 15 - 28, 2014
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On Jan. 10, in Washington Square Park, Charlie Hebdo supporters battled freezing temperature while promoting free expression (predominately through silence).
Continued from page 4 pens and pencils. Hundreds more came to Lincoln Square Synagogue near W. 68th St. (on Amsterdam Ave.) that evening to mourn. Among the electeds in attendance were Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito and Sen. Chuck Schumer. When the meeting room filled to capacity, one hundred more congregated in a hallway. Soon a hundred more stood outside in the winter cold vainly hoping for admittance. As Schumer prepared to speak on U.S. support for France, Jean-Baptiste soon found her own place to mourn. Stuck outside, she joined a dozen others in a quiet Jewish prayer recited
from smartphones. “Right now the only solution is to gather and be united,” she told Chelsea Now earlier that day. As the workweek began anew, reports of reprisal attacks against French Muslims continued. By Tues., Jan. 13, 10,000 soldiers were patrolling neighborhoods throughout the country and French President Francois Hollande had declared war on terrorism. That same day, the Charlie Hebdo staff announced that the Prophet Muhammad would once again grace the cover of their magazine. This time though, they would print millions of copies rather than the magazine’s typical circulation of about 60,000. He totes a sign with a now-famous slogan and sheds a tear of contrition. “Tout est pardonné,” reads the cover. “All is forgiven.”
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ARTS&ENTERTAINMENT At The Joyce, a New Season and the Promise of Many More BY DUSICA SUE MALESEVIC Can a parent choose a favorite child? Linda Shelton, executive director for The Joyce Theater, has a similar dilemma when talking about the upcoming spring/summer season of dance. “I’m really looking forward to all of it,” Shelton remarked during a recent interview. “When I look at this list, I’m excited about every single one for one reason or another.” Equally exciting is the prospect of a long-term presence in Chelsea, once a matter of great uncertainty. The Joyce Theater was founded in 1982 and quickly established itself as a stable presence in the city’s dance scene. It faced a decisive moment in 2012 when, knowing the venue’s lease would expire in 2016, The Joyce started the process of buying its home at 175 Eighth Ave., at 19th St. “All the paperwork has been signed,” Shelton told this newspaper, “and we close in the coming months.” The upcoming season includes performers that will be at the Joyce for the first time — Ballet West, Liz Gerring Dance Company and Dorrance Dance — as well as what Shelton called “old favorites” — the Stephen Petronio Company and Ballet Hispanico. It kicks off with the Martha Graham Dance Company, from Feb. 10–22, which will be performing the modern dance maestro’s “classics that set the standards for geometric force,” as well as paying homage to her iconic solo, “Lamentation,” with the world premiere of four new pieces in “Lamentation Variations.” Also returning will be Cuba’s MalPaso Dance Company, from March 3–8, said Shelton. “The Joyce has had a big part in the development of this company,” she explained. “They’ll be bringing two brand new works, one by Trey McIntyre, and one by their company’s artistic director, Osnel Delgado.” MalPaso, which only recently formed, performed last year for the first time at The Joyce. The organization commissioned Ronald K. Brown, and arranged and paid for him to travel to
January 15 - 28, 2014
The always-dynamic Parsons Dance will present the NY premiere of “Whirlaway” during their Jan. 21–Feb. 1 run.
Havana, she said. Brown created a piece, “Why You Follow,” for the young company. This year, his company, Evidence, will be performing before MalPaso, from Feb. 24–March 1. Shelton described his style as incorporating some African dance and said much of his work had a spiritual element to it. As Brown’s style differs from McIntyre, a contemporary ballet choreographer, Shelton said it will be a very different piece that MalPaso will present this season. Jazz musician Arturo O’Farrill, Shelton explained, will once again play a live accompaniment for most of the performances. O’Farrill will play in the theater’s music area to the side, but Shelton said, “You will not miss him. He has a presence.” She said that The Joyce tries to pair live music with dance whenever
possible. Other international companies are also slated to perform. The French company, Compagnie CNDC-Angers, will make its first appearance at The Joyce from March 10–15. Its artistic director, Robert Swinston, a former Merce Cunningham dancer, has drawn from the extensive and excellent work of Cunningham’s cannon to create “Event.” Also on the roster is the Lyon Opera Ballet, from April 29–May 3, which has been at The Joyce several times, said Shelton, but is always a “special treat.” By the time summer arrives, it will be time for the Polish National Ballet, performing June 16–21. “We feel like we need to bring dance to our audiences,” said Shelton. “It does have to be a combination of both New York-based, US-based and international because we program for 48 weeks. We
have enough room for all of it.” There are a myriad of factors involved when curating a season — when troupes are available, budgetary concerns, and the balance of different movement styles, Shelton explained, calling it a “big puzzle.” “First and foremost, we’re looking for artistic excellence in dance and at the same time, we’re looking for diversity so that we can fulfill the mission of The Joyce, which is inclusive and incorporates all different styles and genres of dance, from the well-known to the not so-well-known,” she said. “I think our audience looks for that kind of diversity.” The Joyce also commissions new work and Shelton said, “we try to give priority to getting that on the schedule.” She said it is difficult to fit everything
Continued on page 17 .com
Dance Scene Staple Close to Owning its Chelsea Home Continued from page 16 in and sometimes a performance gets postponed. “Sometimes I wish we had more weeks in the year, but we program as many as we possibly can,” she said. “We have to make sure that we can afford it all too, because our ticket prices are pretty reasonable.” Several Joyce-commissioned pieces have made their way into the upcoming season. Michelle Dorrance is an artist-in-residence and received support to create new work. Her company, Dorrance Dance, will perform at The Joyce for the first time on April and 5. Former principal for the New York City Ballet, Wendy Whelan, begins a new chapter with four duets as part of “Restless Creature” from May 26–31. A new work was also commissioned for Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, May 12–24, a company that is not afraid of versatility. Another artist-in-residence is Stephen Petronio, who is working on a new project called “Bloodlines,” said Shelton. He’s bringing in work from other choreographers, she explained, which many companies do, but in Steven’s case, he’s looking at choreographers with which he has a history — a kind of bloodline. “The first one [is] Merce Cunningham and it’s terrific. It’s ‘Rainforest’ — you don’t see that so often,” she said. His eponymous company will perform from April 7–12. Shelton said that she sees every company at least once. “I could talk all afternoon to you about all these things that I’m extremely anxious to see — I’d take up the whole newspaper,” she said with a laugh. She saw Liz Gerring perform “Glacier” at another venue and knew that she wanted to bring it to The Joyce. “I just loved the piece and I thought it needed to have another showing,” she said. “It’s just so powerful, just intensely physical. I was totally drawn into it. I was riveted for the entire time of the piece.” The Liz Gerring Dance Company will be at The Joyce from March 31– April 2. Another upcoming event is Dance from the Heart on Jan. 26, a benefit for Dancers Responding to AIDS (DRA). Proceeds will go to 450 AIDS and family service organizations across the country. .com
Photo by Paul Kolnik
© Michel Cavalca
The NYC Ballet’s Ashley Bouder and Amar Ramasar, in a promotional photo for Dance from the Heart. The Jan. 26 event benefits Dancers Responding to AIDS (dradance.org).
The Lyon Opera Ballet returns to The Joyce April 29-May 3.
“We worked with them many times before,” said Shelton. “We have a hard time finding a date in the season when we can accommodate some of these outside projects, like galas or events. It’s very hard to find even one dark night in the season. We’re glad that we’re able to find one for DRA, because they really are fantastic.” Parsons Dance will perform at the benefit and is a part of The Joyce’s fall/ winter season, from Jan. 21–Feb. 1. Chelsea Now got a sneak peek at the company practicing “Nascimento Novo” at the 92nd Street Y. Parsons Dance is performing wellloved pieces, such as “Caught,” as well as the New York premiere of “Whirlaway.” David Parsons, the founder of the company and a choreographer who has created over 70 works, said that the New Orleans Ballet Association commissioned “Whirlaway” last year. He was invited to pick a New Orleans musician and immediately choose Allen Toussaint. Toussaint let Parsons check out his repertory and the music chosen became the seed that sparked the piece’s movement. “I picked something that really was just a celebration of New Orleans,” he told Chelsea Now after stepping away from rehearsal. “New Orleans is a feel. It’s an environment that’s really rare in the United States.” His company, he explained, is known for a lot of physicality. “What we do is, when we start a new work, we really try and come up with a new vocabulary for each piece,” he said. “I think that is one of the reasons why we have lasted so long. I learned this from Paul Taylor: variety is an import-
ant thing. Especially when you have a one-choreographer company.” Parsons has danced for several companies, including the Paul Taylor Dance Company for eight years and MOMIX, and has worked with Mark Morris and Peter Martins of the New York City Ballet. “You see a lot of dance where it’s just
the same movements all the way through the evening,” he explained. “I’ve always noticed that and always kind of fought against that.” “Whirlaway” debuted last May in New Orleans and Parsons said he wanted to make it sort of timeless.
Continued on page 23
January 15 - 28, 2014
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TRINITY CHURCH Broadway at Wall Street ST. PAUL’S CHAPEL Broadway and Fulton Street Trinity Episcopal Church Parish Center 2 Rector Street The Rev. Dr. James H. Cooper, Rector The Rev. Dr. William Lupfer, Rector-Elect
Both classes are held at Trinity Church, Manning Room SUNDAY, JANUARY 18 & 25, 10:15am Discovery — Walking in the Light Led by Jodi and David Belcher Jan. 18: Reading Scripture with New Eyes Jan. 25: Evangelical Feet: Proclaiming the Gospel Wherever God Calls Us
BUY TICKETS NOW! SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 21, 8PM The Big Concert Alberto Ginastera Turbae ad Passionem Gregorianam and Charles Ives Symphony No. 4. Performed by the Choir of Trinity Wall Street, NOVUS NY, the Trinity Youth Chorus, the Washington Chorus, the Washington National Cathedral Choir of Boys and Girls, Julian Wachner, conductor. Tickets: $15-$120 at carnegiehall.org, 212-247-7800, Box Office. Carnegie Hall
SUNDAY, 8am & 9:15am St. Paul’s Chapel · Holy Eucharist 9:15 service followed by Sunday School 8pm · Compline by Candlelight SUNDAY, 9am & 11:15am Trinity Church · Preaching, music, and Eucharist · Child care available MONDAY—FRIDAY, 12:05pm Trinity Church · Holy Eucharist MONDAY—FRIDAY, 5:15pm All Saints’ Chapel, in Trinity Church Evening Prayer; Evensong on Thursdays WEDNESDAYS, 5:30pm Trinity Church · Choral Evensong Watch online webcast
Both classes are held at 14 Vesey St, 2nd Floor (across from St. Paul’s Chapel)
All Are Welcome
SUNDAY, JANUARY 18 & 25, 10am Discovery — And No One Shall Make Them Afraid: God & Guns NYC Jan. 18: The History of Discrimination in New York City, the Rev. Deacon Novella Lawrence Jan. 25: Advocacy and Empowerment: Making Our Voice Heard, co-facilitators Robert Gangi and Celeste Morris
FRIDAY, JANUARY 23, 7-9pm Neighborhood Movie Nights at St. Paul’s Watch favorite films on the big screen with your neighbors. Popcorn and drinks will be served. More information at trinitywallstreet.org/movies. St. Paul’s Chapel
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Buhmann on Art GALLERY CHRIS OFILI: NIGHT AND DAY Through January 25 At the New Museum 235 Bowery (btw. Rivington & Stanton Sts.) Tues.–Wed. & Fri.–Sun., 11 a.m.–6 p.m. Thurs., 11 a.m.–9 p.m. Admission: $16 ($14 seniors, $10 students) Pay as you wish, 7–9 p.m. Thurs.
Photo by Maris Hutchinson/EPW. All artworks © Chris Ofili. Courtesy David Zwirner, New York/London
An installation view from “Chris Ofili: Night and Day.”
Call 212-219-1222 Visit newmuseum.org
BY STEPHANIE BUHMANN (stephaniebuhmann.com) This first major US solo museum exhibition of Ofili will span the artist’s entire career, encompassing painting, drawing and sculpture. Over the past two decades, Ofili has become known for his vibrant, meticulously executed compositions that fuse elements derived from figuration, abstraction, folklore decoration and pop-cultural kitsch. His imagery is no less eclectic, sourcing the Bible, hip-hop, Zimbabwean cave paintings, blaxploitation films and William Blake’s poems, among others. This survey aims to reveal how significantly Ofili’s practice is based on constant change and free experimentation. It certainly succeeds in celebrating a body of work that involves many facets and ranges from boldly expressive to deeply introspective. In contrast to Ofili’s famous work of the 1990s, in which he layered materials — including paint, resin, glitter and elephant dung — his most recent works have been animated by exotic characters, outlandish landscapes and myths that resonate with references to the paintings of Henri Matisse and Paul Gauguin. No matter what series one focus.com
© Chris Ofili. Courtesy the artist, David Zwirner, New York / London and Victoria Miro, London
© Chris Ofili. Courtesy the artist, David Zwirner, New York / London and Victoria Miro, London
Chris Ofili, The Adoration of Captain Shit and the Legend of the Black Stars (Third Version), 1998. Oil, acrylic, polyester resin, paper collage, glitter, map pins, and elephant dung on linen, 96 x 72 in (243.8 x 182.8 cm).
Chris Ofili, Confession (Lady Chancellor), 2007. Oil on linen, 110 3/5 x 76 4/5 in (281 x 195.3 cm). © Chris Ofili. Courtesy the artist, David Zwirner, New York / London and Victoria Miro, London.
es on, one quickly recognizes that it is Ofili’s hybrid juxtapositions of high and low, and of the sacred and the profane, that bestow his images with unique drama and energy.
At 7 p.m. on Thurs., Jan. 29, writer and scholar Fred Moten responds to “Chris Ofili: Night and Day” by critically considering Ofili’s work through various stages of the art-
ist’s career. A portion of the exhibit, which officially closes Jan. 25, will remain intact. Admission to the event is $10, with pay-as-you-wish general admission to the museum. January 15 - 28, 2014
Just Do Art
Photo by Kevin Yatarola
Excerpts from Taylor Mac’s “A 24-Decade History of Popular Music” are performed at New York Live Arts through Jan. 25.
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BY SCOTT STIFFLER
TAYLOR MAC: “A 24-DECADE HISTORY OF POPULAR MUSIC: 1900–1950S”
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January 15 - 28, 2014
Take your pick when referring to Taylor Mac, he of many hats (and heels, and the use of “judy” as a gender pronoun). A longtime presence on the NYC performance scene who continues to break new ground while leading the way, the venerable artist can be described as a playwright, actor, singer-songwriter, cabaret performer, director and producer. Through Jan. 25, you’ll get a little bit from all of the above — and leave with a song in your heart. Presented as part of The Public Theater’s Under the Radar Festival, this 1900-1950s outtake from Mac’s sprawling, century-spanning “History of Popular Music” project takes tunes from a particular decade and infuses them with various contexts pulled from the American subconscious. With Mac accompanied by a live band, the “performative ritual” concerts (each decade is one hour, each installment has three decades) feature dancing beauties, special guests and a lobby transformed by collaborator and Visual Designer Machine Dazzle. Arrive early (6:30 p.m.) for the Jan. 22 performance, when Dazzle will give a talk on his work for the project. The gig concludes on Jan. 25, with a six-decade, six-hour marathon. “1900s–1920s” is performed on Jan. 16 & 17 at 7:30 p.m. “1930s–1950s” is performed on Jan. 19, 20, 22, 23 at 7:30 p.m. The marathon (“1900–1950s”) is performed Jan. 25 at 3 p.m. At New York Live Arts (219 W. 19th St. | btw. 7th & 8th Aves.). Tickets start at $40 with select $15 seats available; tickets for the Jan. 25 six-decade marathon are $75. Purchase online at newyorklivearts.org, by calling 212-924-0077, or at the box office (Mon.–Fri, 1–9 p.m. & Sat./Sun,
Photo by Melba Huber
Hoofer Hank Smith is among the dancers, storytellers, and musicians telling then-and-now tales of the city, at Jan. 20’s “Tapping Into New York.”
10 a.m.–9 p.m.). For the full Under the Radar Festival schedule, visit pubictheater.org. For info on the artist, visit taylormac.org.
TAPPING INTO NEW YORK The cadence of language soars, hands keep a beat and feet meet the floor — in this unique collaboration between storytelling memoirists, tap dancers and musicians. Then-and-now tales of New York are told, when your host Kathryn Adisman (“K”) welcomes to the stage percussionist/poet Fred Simpson along with storytellers Kendell Kardt, Alice Klugherz, Ron Kolm, Su Polo and Armand Ruhlman. The tap dancers are Dolores Sanchez and Hank Smith. Tues. Jan. 20, 6–7 p.m. at Cornelia Street Cafe (29 Cornelia St. | btw. Bleecker & W. 4th Sts.). Admission: $8 (includes 1 drink). Reservations: 212989-9319 or visit corneliastreetcafe.com/ performances.asp. .com
Inward Islands Korean-Chilean playwright’s ‘Tala’ is a world of bridges, built and burned RISTORANTE ITALIANO
SUNDAY – THURSDAY | 4PM – 10PM
3 COURSES FOR $19.95 Photo by Marie Yokoyama
L to R: Flor De Liz Perez, Daniel K. Isaac and Rafael Benoit play multiple characters, in Kyoung H. Park’s surreal saga of immigrant aspirations and revolutionary fervor.
THEATER TALA Written & Directed by Kyoung H. Park Music by Svetlana Maras Choreography by Yin Yue Video by John Knowles Installation art by Jason Krugman At 8 p.m. Thursday, January 15 & 22 Friday, January 16 & 23 At University Settlement’s Speyer Hall 184 Eldridge Street (btw. Rivington & Delancey Sts.) Tickets: $18 ($10 for students & seniors) For reservations, call 800-838-3006 Or visit universitysettlement.org Artist Info at kyoungspacificbeat.org
BY SCOTT STIFFLER No man is an island? Try telling that to the man without a country. Casting its net across time, place, culture, the search for self and the need for a greater purpose, playwright Kyoung H. Park’s script for “Tala” is as tangled and conflicted and contemplative as you’d expect from that messy melting pot of thematic ingredients. Dashes of surrealism may sweeten the dish, but their presence has no ambition to overwhelm the bitter .com
taste that lingers on the palate of every righteous fighter or melancholy searcher in the cast — even the ones who seem poised to find what they’ve been looking for. First-born son Park bases much of “Tala” on a fictionalized version of his own experience as a Korean-Chilean in America during 9/11, whose emerging identity as a gay man and an artist parallels our country’s defensive shift into a new era of military aggression abroad and paranoia at home. That uncomfortable genesis is accompanied by the tale of Pepe and Lupe. Two lovers inspired by Chilean poets Pablo Neruda and Gabriela Mistral, their sand dune picnic takes place on September 10, 1973. It is, observes Park’s onstage counterpart Kyoung, “the night before the first 9/11” (aka the Chilean coup d’état). Resentful of colonialist incursions from the mainland, Pepe takes to burning bridges (literal and figurative), while former rebel Lupe pines for domestic tranquility on a distant and better island. Meanwhile, Kyoung attempts to return to the island of Manhattan from soul-searching trips abroad, only to be red-flagged by airport security and his boyfriend — whose cutting breakup line could only be delivered in a post-9/11 world: “You were deported and black-listed from my country. You’re a gay, North Korean terrorist. We can’t make this work.” Never mind that only portions of that assessment have any basis in fact. Kyoung, like countless other immigrants and struggling artists, is in for a world of hurt when he charts a course for home, then dares to stray from the set path.
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© Christopher Duggan
Led by artist-in-residence Michelle Dorrance, the Dorrance Dance company makes their Joyce premiere on April 4 & 5.
Full Season, Bright Future at The Joyce Continued from page 17 “The historic aspects of New Orleans just permeate everyday life down there,” he said. “We wanted to have a real funkiness to it.” Also on the program, are two pieces: “Train” by Robert Battle, the artistic director of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, and a duet by McIntyre’s “Hymn.” “It’s really important for dancers and audiences to get a mix of [movement] — and why not — in a program,” he explained. “These are two choreographers that I admire.” Battle danced with Parsons’ company out of Julliard, he said. “It’s very ritualistic and it goes really well with the Parsons’ program,” he said of the piece. Parsons has also known McIntyre for years and said that they are a good fit conceptually. “We just like to have people who speak our language,” he said. Parsons said he has been working with dancers in his company for 15 years to help them produce work. At The Joyce, Natalie Lomonte, who once was with the company, will perform “Within,” which will be a world premiere, accompanied by the music of Nina Simone. Parsons understands the struggle of a dancer trying to make the transition to choreographer well. When he first came to New York from Kansas City, Missouri he had a lot of jobs to make ends meet. A gymnast and dancer who had a trampoline forte, Parsons became known as a stunt model. He said he .com
could hit things in the air and make incredible shapes. While doing a photo shoot with Lois Greenfield for The Village Voice, he found the inspiration for his wellknown work, “Caught,” and began a collaboration with Greenfield that has lasted 25 years. “I came up with this thing where I lied on my back and I just popped myself up — straight up in the air like that, a foot off the floor and she shot it. And then I landed again. Smack,” he recalled. By throwing his body up, “you can see the shadow underneath you and Lois was like, ‘damn that’s cool.’” Parsons realized that the sequence of motion captured by Greenfield’s photo session could translate to the stage. “Caught” is a very athletic piece, he explained, with 100 jumps in five minutes, which gives the audience the idea that the dancer is flying or suspended in the air. At The Joyce, Parsons Dance member Elena d’Amario will perform the piece. D’Amario has had an interesting path to Parsons, winning the Italian talent show “Amici,” and by doing so, getting a scholarship with the company. Parsons, who was a judge on the show, is well traveled and speaks Italian. “Bachiana,” which Parsons likened to a love letter to ballet with “a modernist taking it on” is also a part of the program, which differs from matinee to evening. “I really like an arc,” he said. “It’s great for me to have an audience go through a real dark piece and actually laugh in the concert and then gasp in the concert and then just pull out all the emotions.”
Aquarius Your yearlong buzzword: Risk. Your watchword? Patience. Your lucky numbers: 78, 31, 23. Pisces This is not Groundhog Day, and you’re not Bill Murray. Stop making small improvements to the same sad pattern. You don’t have a limitless supply of do-overs! Aries A long walk on a brutally cold winter’s morn brings clarity to an on-the-spot decision forced upon you late in the day. Taurus Heed the sudden urge to travel, then alter your destination upon arrival at the airport. Romance tinged with danger awaits! Gemini Spring thaws your rigid position on a person, a plant, music you’ve long thought of as noise, rainbow sherbet and the curative powers of cumin. Cancer Word of a loved one’s misfortune prompts two nights of uneasy dreams sure to unleash a Hermit’s Kingdom of repressed emotions. Leo Buoyed by the return of sundown after 7, your series of casual strolls will attract the attention of a bashful admirer. The burden of first contact falls upon you! Virgo An uncanny ability to find hidden meaning in plot points from Season 5 of “Downton Abbey” allows you to wisely council a friend beset by March madness. Libra Resolve to create new routines, or succumb to sad realizations stemming from unfulfilled New Year’s resolutions. Scorpio Bring a handful of quarters to nickel beer night and you’ll cook up some cheap fun — but making a habit out of it? That’s an expensive recipe for disaster. Sagittarius After enduring a cruel, cruel summer, fall will put the requisite spring back in your step, staving off a winter’s worth of discontent. Capricorn May is your month of molasses-like traction. July, your time of decisive action. November? The acquisition of your ability to get some satisfaction. January 15 - 28, 2014
OUR BRAND-NEW EMERGENCY DEPARTMENT IS NOW OPEN. AND WE HOPE YOU NEVER GET TO SEE IT. INTRODUCING THE RONALD O. PERELMAN CENTER FOR EMERGENCY SERVICES. 570 FIRST AVENUE AT 33RD STREET. We’ve completely rebuilt our emergency department since the devastation of Hurricane Sandy. State-of-the-art improvements have been made, and it’s now triple the size of the former ED, with treatment areas that have room for families at bedside. We provide experts in virtually every specialty to handle emergencies for both adults and children, and specialized teams on call for stroke and heart attack. But to truly appreciate our new emergency department at Tisch Hospital, you have to see it in person. And we hope you never get to do that. To learn more, visit nyulmc.org/emergency
January 15 - 28, 2014 NYU1470_ER_NYC_Community_8.75x11.5_release.indd 2 4
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CHELSEA NOW, JAN. 15, 2015