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FEBUARY 26-MARCH 11, 2015

SILVER HOLDING ON DOWNTOWN B Y J O SH RO GE R S ssemblymember Sheldon Silver has been mostly quiet since he was arrested last month for illegally raking in $4 million according to the U.S. Attorney, but he continues to send one message to the people of Lower Manhattan: I still represent you. That’s essentially what he said in two prepared statements to this paper, the first two weeks ago, and then again Monday. The second one was a response that came only about an hour after Downtown Express posted an article about his appearance at Chinatown’s Lunar New Year parade Sunday. Right after he lost his speaker’s position four weeks ago, it was unclear how he would continue to represent the district. He did not send a representative to Community Board 1’s meeting Feb. 5, but soon after he began making it clear that he planned to continue his work. A week later, he said his Lower Manhattan School Overcrowding Task Force would keep going. “School overcrowding and ensuring children are able to thrive in our schools remains a top priority, and the Task Force will continue its work under my leadership,” Silver, said in a Feb. 12 statement. “I and my staff will continue to


Downtown Express photo by Milo Hess

Ram, sheep or goat? Whatever, Lunar New Year rolls in with style Many thousands came to celebrate the start of Lunar New Year 4713 in Chinatown with lion dragon dancers and at least one vintage car. It’s the Year of the Ram, Sheep or Goat, depending on the how the Chinese word “yang” is interpreted. F.Y.I., Margaret Chin, Chinatown’s councilmember, is in the ram camp. More photos, P. 8.

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SILVER SPECULATION With Shelly Silver out as Assembly speaker and under indictment, there naturally has been some scuttlebutt as to who might run for his Assembly seat if it opens up, but not nearly as much as we would have guessed. Even if Silver beats the rap, he could very well decide not to run for reelection next year, and if he pleads or is convicted he would have no choice. We’re not surprised Democratic district leader Paul Newell told the New York Post he is considering a run. In addition to challenging Silver in 2008, Newell told UnderCover two years ago he was ready to run for state senate if Sen. Daniel Squadron was successful in his run for public advocate. He also told us then that rather than a run for the City Council, Albany was the place he wanted to be.

Jenifer Rajkumar, the Democratic district leader who did run for the aforementioned City Council seat in 2013, has also been talked about as a Silver replacement, but we’re far less certain. She didn’t comment, and Newell didn’t return our call — Paul, we’re wondering if it was something we said. Lastly, there’s Julie Menin, the former Community Board 1 chairperson, but that’s another one we’re doubtful about. As it turns out, Menin swung by our offices last week to talk about what she’s up to as the new commissioner of Consumer Affairs. We felt sure she wouldn’t want to talk about the Silver seat although we appreciated our friend for asking anyway — you never know. We thought the old job interview question — where do you see yourself in 10 years — might get us something since she wouldn’t have to undercut her boss, Mayor Bill de Blasio, and could assume his reelection, but alas, she told us she was focused on her current job. To be continued, perhaps.

to deliberate on the South Street Seaport development application when it reaches the commission. Chen, executive director of the Chinatown Partnership Local Development Corp., has taken a strong interest in the Seaport, and is friendly with some of the plan’s opponents, although it does not appear he has taken a position on the project. Chen told us he’ll let lawyers with L.P.C. and the Conflict of Interest board determine what he should do. We’re not sure when the Howard Hughes Corp. plan will get to Landmarks. The main reason for the holdup now appears to be that Hughes doesn’t know what the Pier 16 building for the South Street Seaport Museum will look like because the museum hasn’t told the firm what it wants. Captain Jonathan Boulware, the museum’s interim president, told us the museum is close to finalizing a “conceptual design” for the building, but he wasn’t sure when that would be.



The City Council confirmed Wellington Chen to the Landmarks Preservation Commission two weeks ago, although it’s still not clear if he will be able

If you’ve been wishing for an end to the constant reminders from subway conductors to move to the front of Downtown 1

trains, file this one under be careful what you wish for. You see relief is in sight this year, but not the sort you probably were hoping for. You see the Metropolitan Transportation Authority plans to begin shutting down the 1 south of Chambers St. in 2015 so it can finally begin renovating the Cortlandt St. station under the World Trade Center. This work is not connected to reopening the newer, South Ferry station platform which is long enough to allow all subway cars to open. That one was damaged almost three years ago as a result of Hurricane Sandy. It could reopen in 2017. Cortlandt St., severely damaged on 9/11 — 14 years ago — has been held up by W.T.C. construction and a funding dispute between the M.T.A. and Port Authority. This week the dispute was resolved and the M.T.A. tells us the 1 will have ”intermittent closures” starting this year, but the exact schedule is still to be determined. The closures could last until 2018, when Cortlandt is expected to open. We snark because we love — it’d be nice if something like the Move NY  tolling plan by  “Gridlock Sam” Schwartz, a.k.a. our own Transit Sam, moved across the finish line so the M.T.A. would have money to do even better projects faster.

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February 26-March 11, 2015

B.P.C. woman killed by van on Canal St. BY LI NCOLN ANDERSON A 63-year-old Battery Park City woman was struck by a van on Canal St. on Wed., Feb. 18, shortly after 11 a.m., and died from her injuries the next day, police said. Following an investigation, police reported that Yu-O Pan, of 380 Rector Place, was attempting to cross Canal St. midblock from south to north near Mott St. when she was hit by a 1998 Ford van traveling eastbound on Canal St. Responding officers found Pan lying on the ground with body trauma. An EMS ambulance transported her to Bellevue Hospital where she succumbed to her injuries on Feb. 19. The vehicle’s driver remained on the scene and the investigation is ongoing, police said. The woman’s son, Gary Pan, 35, said his mother had been shopping for items for the Chinese Lunar New Year. “She was buying stuff like oranges, chicken, pork, stuff like that,” he said.

Downtown Express photo by Tequila Minsky

Last week’s accident scene.

He said she owned a restaurant in Brooklyn Heights, though declined to name it. Originally from Taiwan, she came to the U.S. with her husband in the early 1970s. She lived in various spots in Downtown Manhattan, including Bayard St., Broadway, Bayard St. again, then

Brooklyn Heights, before settling in Battery Park City, where she lived with her son and husband. They were a very close-knit family, her son said. They have no other relatives in America. No services have been held, he said, due to the “surprising cost of funerals.” He said his family never really took photos of each other, which he regrets now. “I haven’t had time to digest it,” her son said of the tragedy. “They said she was crossing on the green, but that she was hit pretty hard. They said she popped out between two cars — that was the account of the driver.” Canal St. is the deadliest major street per mile, according to city statistics released last year when it was turned into an “arterial slow zone.” Speed limit signs of 25 MPH went up soon after but they are unusually high and some drivers have said they do not notice them.


Silver says his work for Lower Manhattan continues Continued from page 1

serve our community, providing high level constituent services and making sure we have the resources we need in order for our neighborhoods to remain vibrant.” Silver’s task force, which includes principals and Downtown school advocates generated citywide headlines four years ago as the setting of Schools Chancellor Cathie Black’s infamous joke about birth control, which led to her resignation soon after her hiring, but it is better known to Downtown school advocates and parents as the place to get timely information about kindergarten waiting lists and to press the case to the Dept. of Education to build more schools. The advocates and Silver played a leading role in finding the sites for the three Lower Manhattan elementary schools that have opened in the last six years — P.S. /I.S. 276, Spruce Street and Peck Slip schools — and got the D.O.E. to open them early in “incubator” space in its Tweed headquarters. So at least by appearances, not a lot has changed yet in Lower Manhattan, but in Albany, where Silver was one of the powerful “three men in a room” for two decades, the difference has apparently been more obvious. “Silver is now relegated to a desk in the back of the Assembly

Downtown Express photo by Milo Hess.

Assemblymember Sheldon Silver, center, marching in Chinatown’s Lunar New Year parade Feb. 22. At far left is Councilmember Margaret Chin and at far right is State Sen. Daniel Squadron. Leaning in: Assemblymember David Weprin, and at back left: Public Advocate Letitia James.

bers, like a freshman Democrat in a new class of lawmakers,” Bob Hardt, NY1’s political director, wrote in a post calling for Silver to resign. He “remains a living object lesson to his colleagues about flying too close to a sun – if the sun was made of a big ball of money.” For his part, Silver’s district office director, Paul Goldstein, stayed on message Tuesday night, telling C.B. 1 members, “he is still your Assemblyman… “Our office is open and operational — and anyone who has any issues, anyone who has any personal

concerns, do not hesitate to contact me, to contact our office.” At the New Year parade Sunday, Silver said, “I’m thrilled to be here with you here today to celebrate this occasion,” according to The Lo-Down, a Lower East Side blog. “I am honored to continue to represent this Chinatown community.” Two parade attendees told Downtown Express that they did not hear any heckles or criticism directed at Silver. One said he heard a few calls of “good luck.” The former speaker walked with other politicians waving to the crowd,

as he does most years for Chinatown’s biggest event. This year, the list marching with him included Letitia James, the city’s public advocate, as well as two Downtown pols — State Sen. Daniel Squadron and Councilmember Margaret Chin. Silver, who was indicted last week and pleaded not guilty this, maintains he will be vindicated. One staff member has left, but there appear to be no other departures so far. Jason Fink, who was Silver’s communications coordinator, started a new job as deputy press secretary with the city’s Dept. of Education this week. Fink will focus on some of the same education issues he had been handling under Silver. One source said the assumption is that Silver will be asked to downsize his office and move, but it’s not clear when that will be. Another source not connected to Silver said not surprisingly, at least a few other Silver staffers are looking for new jobs. The parade was Silver’s second public event in his Lower Manhattan district since he lost his leadership post. The first was last Thursday to celebrate the actual start of the Lunar New Year with the Chinese Consolidate Benevolent Association on Mott St.



Demolition begins on Murray St., renderings to come BY DUSI CA SUE M ALESEVI C

DAYTIME KILLING AT WALD A 33-year-old man was fatally shot in front of 20 Avenue D, in the Lillian Wald Houses, by an unknown suspect Monday afternoon at about 4:30 p.m. Police and E.M.S. responded and the victim was transported to Beth Israel Hospital where he was pronounced dead on arrival. No arrests have been made and the investigation is ongoing. Police identified the slain man as Shemrod Isaac, a resident of the building where he was killed. The day of the killing, Feb. 23, Bedford + Bowery reported that two Wald Houses residents identified the victim as an aspiring rapper called Shamrock. “I would always pass him [in the hallway],” one of them said. “He always had Pampers and baby formula.” The two men were arguing right before the shooting, witnesses told police, according to the News. Isaac reportedly had a criminal record, mostly for drugs and resisting arrest, according to police sources.

to play to avoid tickets: switching your parking spot to abide by alternate parking rules. For a New Jersey man the game ended with his $6,000 green 2014 Kawasaki motorcycle stolen. The man — police did not release an age — moved his bike to the corner of Hudson and Jay Sts. in Tribeca at 3 p.m. on Wed., Feb. 11. When he came back the same day at 6 p.m., the motorcycle was gone. He told police that the bike was not chained or locked and had no cover.

A SUSPECT NAMED ALLIE It is the case of the vanishing laptop. A male employee, 26, was working a slow Sunday shift at Distilled, a Tribeca eatery at 211 W. Broadway, and left his $1,500 MacBook Air unattended for a few minutes around 1:40 p.m. on Feb. 15. When he returned, his computer was gone — and so was the only customer in the restaurant, a woman known as Allie, who is around 25, 5’9” and 155 pounds, police say.

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RIPPED OFF A thief took advantage of man, 30, who was inebriated and sleeping on a Downtown 1 train in the early morning hours on Wed., Feb. 18 — and got away with $600, a $120 green leather handmade wallet, and a LG Android cellphone worth $200, police say. The man, who lives in Brooklyn, got on the train at 110th St. at 2 a.m. When he awoke at South Ferry, his right front pocket



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after he got away with almost a $1,000 from a pizza joint in Tribeca last weekend, police say. A male employee, 28, told police he closed La Bellezza Pizza at 6 p.m. on Fri., Feb. 20. When he returned the next morning at 8 a.m., the worker discovered the money was missing from the register and tip box. When police came and investigated, they found the suspect’s point of entry into the building: a busted sheet rock wall that is shared by several establishments at 315 Broadway, where the pizzeria is located. The police also found a receipt that showed that the register was opened at 2:11 a.m. Saturday morning.

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was sliced open — the typical modus operandi of what police call a lush worker — and his wallet and phone were gone.

FRUGAL TRAVELS A thief, who stole a wallet from a B.M.C.C. student, used the credit cards to make two purchases in Soho for almost $160 — but bought only a single $2.75 subway ride, police say. The student, a 23-year-old woman who lives in Brooklyn, remembers using her ID card before attending class at the Borough of Manhattan Community College at 199 Chambers St. on Wed., Feb. 18 at 9:30 a.m. After class, she went to get her wallet out of her purse and realized it was gone. She told police that she does not remember being jostled or bumped. Before she was able to cancel her Capital One credit card, someone made two purchases at the Zara at 580 Broadway. The thief also got away with $300.



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SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 28, 10am-4pm Share ideas about creating a mission-focused design for Trinity’s redevelopment of the Parish building at 68/74 Trinity Place.

Anthony DelGreco, project executive, talked about the building’s timeline. He said right now they’re demolishing the existing building — a ten-story, 160,000 sq. ft. structure. The developers bought the building from St. John’s for $233 million in 2013. Demolition began a few weeks ago and should be finished sometime in April. Once completed, the work on the tower’s foundation will begin right away and take about another year to finish, he said. Then the superstructure will be built, which will also take a year, explained DelGreco, with the tower expected to be finished in the summer of 2018. The site will actually have two buildings, the 62-story tower and a much smaller four-story building that will

Continued on page 6


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Downtown Express photo by Dusica Sue Malesevic

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SUNDAY, 8am & 10am St. Paul’s Chapel · Holy Eucharist 8pm · Compline by Candlelight

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Thirty Park Place, at 926 feet, and 56 Leonard, at 821 feet, still may win as the tallest neighborhood buildings. At one time, the building that will sprout up at the former St. John’s University site was in the running for the tallest tower in Tribeca at a reportedly 850-950 feet, but the building is now planned to be 740 feet, according to the developer. The residential building, which will also have some retail space, has a new address: 111 Murray St., not 101, said Alex Adams, project executive for the Fisher Brothers, one of the developers along with the Witkoff Group. At Community Board 1’s Tribeca Committee meeting on Feb. 11, Adams stressed that it was a preliminary presentation and there are still no final renderings of the building, he said. Adams was asked about renderings a few times at the meeting. A rendering that was reported in some outlets early last year turned out to be false. “As soon as the plans are ready, you’ll come and present them,” said Noah Pfefferblit, district manager. “So we get them direct from you and not in a blog.” Adams said that he would. He explained that while there is “a very lengthy cast of folks designing it” — including architecture firm Kohn Pedersen Fox and architect and designer David Rockwell doing a lot of interior work — the plan is close to completion. They are still deciding on things such as the outer shape of the building. Plaza Construction is the construction manager and

have some retail as well as mechanical equipment. There will also be retail at the base of the tower for a total of 2,500 sq. ft. DelGreco said the hours of construction will be Monday through Friday, from 7 a.m. to 6 a.m. Due to the use of cranes, there will be work sometimes on the weekend. While the sidewalk on West St. will stay open, not so on the Murray St. side, which will close. Consideration has been paid to the noise and vibration as acoustic blankets will be installed into the inside face of the construction fence, the owner will hire a third party to monitor both, and the foundation will be drilled with caissons, which is quieter, said DelGreco. Adams said that a website will be up soon that will provide information on upcoming construction and that a number and an email address for concerns will be set up. After the presentation, Marc Ameruso, a C.B. 1 member, asked if there was “anything about this project that’s not as-of-right you need a variance for?” Adams said no. He made it clear at the start that while they were happy to answer questions and listen to suggestions, “we’re not seeking any approvals; we’re here for informational purposes.” But later he did seem to acknowledge a larger building was under consideration, in which case the developer would be more amenable to a public park rather than affordable housing, because

1(855) 239-Care (2273) Ask for Ron February 26-March 11, 2015


New girls volleyball team wins tournament A new girls volleyball club team — whose home court is in Battery Park City — won their first regional tournament this past weekend. The Asphalt Green Wave Volleyball Team, which formed last year, beat Sideout Sports from Fairfield, N.J. at an all-day tournament on Sat., Feb. 21 in Peekskill, N.Y. It was the first regional tournament the 14U team had attended, said Ben Freeman, associate director of sports for Asphalt Green, a nonprofit that provides sport instruction and programs for children and adults. Twelve teams of teens 14 and under from the New York and New Jersey area competed that day in the Garden Empire Volleyball Association tournament. The teams were broken into three groups of four and the top two moved forward. Asphalt Green, made up mostly of players from Tribeca and Battery Park City, won two of their three games in the first round. They lost to Sideout Sports and had suffered another loss at Sideout’s hands in Washington, D.C. the previous weekend. “The girls were really excited” to play them again in the finals, Freeman told Downtown Express.

In the first set, the Asphalt Greens beat Sideout 25 to 11, he said. The girls’ energy was high but Sideout came back to beat them 25 to 23 in the second set. The girls regained their composure in the third set, which is played to 15 points, to win it 15 to 7 and nab the victory. “It was a great team effort,” said Freeman. The ten-member team is comprised of Julie Schoenmaker, Maia Villalba and Anna Comitini from Tribeca; Jamie Morrison, Zoe Anderson and Cate Albright from Battery Park City; and Sierra Good, Carolyn Kavanagh, Sophie Hart and Olivia Perlman from the Upper West Side. The team is off to two more tournaments and then will go to the regional playoffs in May. If they win, they will advance to nationals. The team was started last year, said Freeman, with a 13U and a 15U and then expanded to four this year: 14U, 15U, and two 16 U teams. Tryouts are held in the first week of November. They practice at the Asphalt Green Battery Park City campus at 212 North End Ave.

LIU Brooklyn Sits in the Media Capital of the World

LIU’s Esteemed Polk Awards for Journalism Centered in Brooklyn

Photo courtesy of Asphalt Green


The prestigious George Polk Awards are regarded among the most highly sought honors in journalism. Established at LIU Brooklyn in 1948, the Polk Awards have honored the journalistic elite including broadcasters Diane Sawyer, Walter Cronkite, Christiane Amanpour, and Edward R. Murrow as well as high-profi le journalists like Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein (The Washington Post), James Reston (The New York Times), and Pete Hamill (New York Daily News). “The George Polk Awards recognize outstanding contributions from the most respected communicators of our time,” said Dr. Kimberly R. Cline, president of LIU. “Their standards are re-

flected in LIU’s journalism teaching and training that emphasize ethics, journalistic inquiry, entrepreneurial skills, and professional practice in a fast-changing news media.” LIU Brooklyn Sits in the Media Capital of the World Independent research, discovery, and impeccable communications defi ne the George Polk Awards and LIU Brooklyn’s Department of Journalism and Communications Studies. LIU Brooklyn’s faculty of awardwinning journalists and media leaders bring their experience and expertise from the newsroom into the classroom, preparing students to become industry leaders. Among them:

• Julia Talanova, associate producer at CNN. As journalism major, Julia received a scholarship to intern at the Moscow bureau of The New York Times. • Justin Grant, digital content editor at Fidelity Investments. Grant has reported for ABC News’ investigative unit, Good Morning America, National Public Radio, and Reuters as well as The New York Times and Washington Post. He was editor of the campus newspaper Seawanhaka. • Debra Lewis-Boothman reported and wrote for People magazine where she interviewed celebrities and politicians and covered the music beat. She now teaches a course in entertainment journalism at LIU Brooklyn. • Curtis Stephen, adjunct pro-

fessor for news reporting and advisor to the campus newspaper Seawanhaka, is a regular contributor to the urban affairs magazine, City Limits, and has worked for Newsday, Newsweek, CNN in Atlanta, and WNBC-TV in New York. • Rocco Parascondola, police bureau chief at the New York Daily News, is one of New York City’s top crime reporters. Educators and communications professionals who are members of LIU’s faculty and alumni comprise the Polk Awards Advisory Committee. Winners are named each year from among hundreds of entries. The 2014 awards will be conferred at a luncheon held in spring 2015. For more information visit

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February 26-March 11, 2015

Downtown Express photo by Dusica Sue Malesevic

The address of the main building to rise at the St. John’s University site will be 111 Murray St.

Murray Street construction Continued from page 5

the housing would be a much more complicated process. Several committee members wanted to know if there could be community space within the tower. “This is a very large residential tower and it would be nice to sort of provide something for the community,” said Elizabeth Lewinsohn, co-chairperson. “Right now, we’re not planning on anything,” said Adams. “I think we’re interested and happy to be good neighbors and work with the community.”

DelGreco had said “there’s going to be a public park,” but later Adams backed away from that statement, saying that it is something they are considering and “that we are still working through. “You can see, we have a substantial amount of open space between the footprint of the tower building and the retail building. So we’re trying to figure out the best way to kind of integrate that into the overall site plan … so I think we’ll know shortly what we would like to do, but we’re just not there yet.”

COVER THE WORLD AROUND YOU LIU Brooklyn’s Department of Journalism and Communications Studies emphasizes ethics, journalistic inquiry, entrepreneurial skills, and professional practice while a faculty of award-winning journalists and media leaders bring their experience and expertise from the newsroom into the classroom, preparing students to become leaders in the industry. LIU Brooklyn students graduate ready for the fast changing news media ahead of them.

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Polk Awards For more than 60 years, Long Island University has proudly presented the George Polk Awards in Journalism, the Þrst major award of its kind to recognize reporting across all media. February 26-March 11, 2015


City looks to add pre-K center Downtown

Downtown Express photos by Milo Hess

Fun at the Lunar New Year Parade

Chinatown visitors celebrated the start of the New Lunar Year Sunday. One class of youngsters came dressed as sheep, but because the Chinese word “yang” is open to other translations, others say it is the Year of the Ram or Goat.

BY DUSI CA SUE M ALESEVI C The city is seeking proposals to develop a Civic Center site — with a preference for 7,000 square feet of space for a pre-K center. The classes at 137 Centre St. could potentially add 72 full-day pre-K seats in Lower Manhattan, which largely missed out on Mayor Bill de Blasio’s pre-K expansion last year because of a dearth of kindergarten spaces. It would likely take a few years to develop 137 Centre, but Schools Chancellor Carmen Farina told Downtown Express last year that pre-K seats will be added Downtown this September at Tweed, the temporary home of Peck Slip School, as well as other Lower Manhattan schools. She was not more specific but the new Peck Slip building seems to be a likely location. The New York City Economic Development Corporation announced its request for proposals, or R.F.P., for 137 Centre St. in a press release last week. In the R.F.P., the city says it would prefer a proposal that had space dedicated to a universal pre-K facility. Using School Construction Authority requirements, the 7, 275 sq. ft. of space could be divided into four classrooms, around 900 sq. ft. each, a 375 sq. ft. resource room, a 1,200 sq. ft. multi-purpose room, a 500 sq. ft. pantry, and 1,600 sq. ft. of lobby, storage, custodial and administration space. It further states that the facilities should not be higher than the third floor, with ground floor space preferred.

Pre-K has been a priority for Mayor Bill de Blasio’s administration and a concern for Downtown school advocates. The nine-story municipal office building at 137 Centre St., which houses sanitation as well as other departments, is 45,000 sq. ft. Included in the R.F.P. is the over 70,000 sq. ft. of air rights owned by Downtown Community Television Center, which are behind the building and above the nonprofit’s firehouse at 87 Lafayette St. There is a total of around 125,000 sq. ft. for as-ofright development. “This is a win-win-win for the city, the neighborhood and for one of the city’s premier community resources, D.C.T.V.,” said Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer in the press release. Brewer said her office worked with E.D.C. to include a preference for “pre-K school seats in any proposal and affordable housing in residential proposals. Those components will enhance the Downtown community.” The sale of the nonprofit’s air rights “will fund an endowment that should ensure D.C.T.V.’s survival for decades to come,” she said. Councilmember Margaret Chin concurred, saying, “This R.F.P. will go a long way toward helping the Downtown Community Television Center — an outstanding local nonprofit —raise crucial funds and secure its long term financial health. “I’m also very pleased that E.D.C. has included a preference for pre-K school seats in this R.F.P.”

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Applications to join C.B. 1 double Community Board 1 is popular. The number of new applicants for the Lower Manhattan board jumped from 25 in 2014 to 49 in 2015, according to Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer’s office. Nine out of Manhattan’s 12 community boards saw a spike in applications with C.B. 11 — East Harlem — and C.B. 12 — Washington Heights and Inwood — leading the pack with more than double the number of applicants, according to Brewer Overall, there was a 21 percent increase in applications from last year with 722 and out of those, 470 were new hopefuls, a 43 percent boost from 2014. For the first time, 16- and 17-yearolds were able to legally vie for a


February 26-March 11, 2015

community board spot after state legislation pushed by Brewer passed last summer. She has since made a concerted effort to encourage teenagers to apply. Three teens tossed their hat into the ring for C.B. 1, which has 50 slots. Twenty-five 16- and 17-year-olds applied in Manhattan, with an additional 10 adult teens applying as well. Also a first was that the application was available online with 87 percent of applicants using that medium instead of paper. Citywide there are 55 community boards. Brewer appoints all 300 unpaid members in Manhattan, but local councilmembers recommend half. Each member’s term is two years.

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For what it’s Worth, street construction to go ‘til 10 Continued from page 10

Image courtesy of Google Images

The construction work to start this year will run the entire length of Worth St.

B Y DUS ICA SU E M A L E SE V IC Lower Manhattan residents will be hit with yet another street construction project, this time on Worth St. from Hudson St. to Park Row. The $90 million project is slated to begin this fall and will take five years to complete, but other specifics are not yet available. Norberto Acevedo of the city Dept. of Design and Construction, told members of Community Board 1’s Tribeca Committee Feb. 11 meeting that the focus will be underground infrastructure, such as water mains and sewers, that are extremely old, he said. Work will also be done on ancillary

streets at the east end of the project — Mulberry and Mosco, which is a small alley. While the committee was glad that the D.D.C. came to them early in the process, the hours of construction was a source of contention. The city plans to allow construction Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. and 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. and on the weekends, Saturday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. The city Dept. of Transportation sets the hours of construction and when many members expressed concern and suggested that they be truncated and no weekends, Luis Sanchez, D.O.T.’s Lower Manhattan Borough commissioner, said that would

take much longer and add to the costs. “Let’s say we made it a straight 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. hours,” he explained. “The project gets elongated in terms of years. The more restrictive [the hours are], that $90 million also goes up in price to $100 million. That means $10 million comes from some other part of the city budget.” Sanchez said it was a balance between reducing costs and lessening community disruption. Committee member Bruce Ehrmann, who has lived on Worth St. for 27 years, said that he has suffered through Hudson St. reconstruction “and many of us here suffered through Chambers St., which is

not done after all these years. Some of us who are younger adults have never lived here without construction on Houston St. And we’re all very concerned.” Ehrmann said that Chambers St. was to be finished by last month, but has since heard that it will be another five months. “I don’t think any of us plans or intends to go through the kinds of reconstruction scenarios that have been going on with Chambers and Hudson,” he said. A week later, John DeLucia, director of street reconstruction for the D.O.T., said that Chambers St. should be done in Continued on page 11

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April. He also told the board’s Quality of Life meeting that Hudson St. should be completed in June. Trying to get in front of the Worth St. construction, instead of behind it, Ehrmann said that a small citizen advisory committee would be formed. Parking, traffic, loading and unloading will be affected and bus stops may need to be closed or relocated. Water service will be shut off for up to eight hours, said Acevedo. “Trash. That’s a big issue anywhere is the city and especially Lower Manhattan,” said Acevedo. “We’ve been on Chambers St. for quite some time. It’s always an ongoing process for the coordination of trash pick up.” The community construction liaison, he said, will work with the community — giving construction information in advance and fielding complaints. Jeff Ehrlich, committee member, said that the liaison for Chambers St. project was helpful with issues such as trash, but that later on, it was hard to get accurate information. “One of the problems is the communication,” he continued. “For instance, I went to the D.D.C. site today to check on what’s the new deadline for Chamber’s St. It says, I believe, either June or July of 2013.” Acevedo blamed it on the web developer. Ehrmann also asked about the Lower Manhattan Construction Command Center. “We lost the L.M.C.C.C., now it’s the Lower Manhattan D.O.T.,” said Ehrmann. “It’s [C.B. 1’s] understanding that will be folded into another division come July or August.” The center, which closed in early 2014, had been coordinating the many construction projects that were happening south

of Canal St. The board and residents were concerned when it was shut down. Its duties were transferred to Sanchez’s office. Ehrmann wanted to know whether it was true and, if so, who will be communicating with the board. “Right now, our current funding extends to the end of September,” said Sanchez. “We are going back to state D.O.T. for initial funding” but don’t know if it will be approved until later this year. “Worse case scenario is some of the staff who will handle Lower Manhattan would just get absorbed into the Manhattan borough,” he said. “Obviously, there will still be staff involved down here in terms of projects so nothing really would change, it’s just that different units now will be more involved rather than anything centrally located in my office.” Sanchez was asked again about the changes, this time by Catherine McVay Hughes, Board 1’s chairperson, at the Seaport Committee meeting last week. Hughes asked him who will be coordinating the 95 major construction projects in Lower Manhattan. “There’ll still be coordination, it’s just not going to be to the same level of detail that’s happening right now,” said Sanchez. Meanwhile at the Tribeca Committee meeting, since it is not known where on Worth St. construction will begin, some business owners are concerned. Scott Ramsey and his partner Michael Barrow have owned Xeno Lights at 1 Worth St. since 1993 and wanted to know if they would still be able to use the curb cut for moving heavy equipment in and out during construction — but the D.D.C. doesn’t know yet. Ramsey told the Downtown Express after, “If we can’t get trucks in there, we’ll be out of business.”

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February 26-March 11, 2015


Drawing for history & the 24/7 news cycle BY JEFFE RSO N SI E G E L Civilization’s oldest form of artistic expression, sketching, is thriving in 21st-century federal courthouses. As part of a year-long series of events celebrating the 225th anniversary of the Federal Court for the Southern District of New York, the Thurgood Marshall Courthouse, at 40 Foley Square, is hosting an exhibit, “Courtroom Art: Eyewitness for the Public 1972-2011.” Twenty-one examples of artwork from notable court cases are on display in the courthouse’s main lobby. Among the individuals illustrated are Imelda Marcos, Leona Helmsley, Martha Stewart and Bernard Madoff. Art from the criminal trial against former U.S. Attorney General John Mitchell, the trial of General William Westmoreland against CBS, and the trial of Ariel Sharon against Time, Inc., as well as several high-profile organized crime and terrorism cases, offer the public a rare glimpse inside the rarefied precincts of federal justice. Despite advanced technology and a voracious 24-hour news cycle, photography is still prohibited in federal courthouses. Thus, courtroom artists who capture the daily drama of trials do become the

Downtown Express photo by Jefferson Siegel

At the opening of “Courtroom Art: Eyewitness for the Public 1972-2011,” from left, courtroom sketch artist Elizabeth Williams, Judge P. Kevin Castel, artist Jane Rosenberg, artist Aggie Kenny, Chief Judge Loretta A. Preska, artist Christine Cornell and Judge Deborah Batts.

eyewitnesses for the public. Downtown resident Elizabeth Williams, an artist for the Associated Press and other news organizations, drew the “Somali Pirate,” “Pizza Connection” and “42nd Street Bomber” trials, among countless others. “The art is the harmony to the reporter’s words,” said Williams, a former member of Community Board 1. “In court they don’t smile for the cameras,” she added. Williams praised the news media as the true patrons of courtroom art.

“If a picture is worth a thousand words, you’ve just added a thousand more words to your story,” she said. Chief Judge Loretta A. Preska joined several of the artists at a recent reception in the courthouse’s soaring lobby for the exhibit’s opening. “Through their great talent, courtroom artists animate the range of emotions that are so frequently evoked in the courtroom, and they do so in a far more intense way than a mere photograph could,” Preska said. “Their ability to capture the emotions in such a vivid way makes their drawings much more evocative than a mere photograph.” Another federal Judge, P. Kevin Castel, reflected on the historical significance of courtroom sketches. “Think about a drawing of Aaron Burr, who swore his oath of office in the first Federal Court in 1789,” Castel said, recalling America’s third vice president. “What was on Aaron Burr’s face that day? Courtroom art is history.” Judge Deborah Batts noted, “While the courts are always open to the public, we have more public than capacity. Our courtroom artists provide access

to significant and poignant aspects of the trials.” Jane Rosenberg draws regularly for the New York Daily News and others. She sketched the trials of Leona Helmsley and Ponzi schemer Bernard Madoff. “I love to study human nature,” Rosenberg said, “the facial expressions and gestures of people who tell the truth or lie. Some people try to mask their emotions; others can’t hold them back.” Christine Cornell was only 21 and on spring break when she accompanied her sister, WCBS Newsradio 88 reporter Irene Cornell, to a trial. “I can do this,” she thought, and enrolled in fine-art courses at Pratt. After art school, Cornell went to a Long Island trial and pitched her sketches to CBS News. Soon she would be drawing for CNN and NBC. “Nothing beats it for the excitement, for observing and being part of the story,” she said. These historical works by artists Rosenberg, Williams and Cornell, as well as Aggie Kenny and Richard Tomlinson, are on display in the courthouse lobby until May 4. The exhibit is free.

TRANSIT SAM Thurs., Feb. 26 – Wed., March 4 ALTERNATE SIDE PARKING IS IN EFFECT ALL WEEK Lunar New Year celebrations continue in Lower Manhattan! A Chinese Lunar Festival will close Market St. between East Broadway and Division St. 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. Both Hudson River tunnels will be impacted by maintenance this coming week, causing latenight gridlock in the vicinity of the Holland Tunnel. In the Lincoln Tunnel, one New York-bound tube will be closed 11 p.m. Thursday to 5 a.m. Friday. This will send drivers south to the Holland Tunnel where one New York-bound lane and one New Jersey-bound lane will be closed during the same period. Expect late night delays and extra traffic on Canal and Varick Sts. All Manhattan-bound lanes of the Brooklyn Bridge will close 11 p.m. Thursday to 6 a.m. Friday, midnight Friday to 7 a.m. Saturday, midnight

Saturday to 9 a.m. Sunday, and 11 p.m. to 6 a.m. Monday through Wednesday nights. During these overnight closures, inbound traffic will be rerouted to the Manhattan and Williamsburg bridges, as well as the Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel. That means more traffic on Canal, Delancey, and West Sts. On West St. / Route 9A, one southbound lane from Vesey St. to West Thames St. will be closed 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. both Thursday and Friday. Also on West St., during the weekdays, one northbound lane from West Thames St. to Chambers St. will be closed 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and 10 p.m. to 5 a.m., and one southbound lane will be closed 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. to 5 a.m.   FROM THE MAILBAG:   Dear Transit Sam,   I saw you on a morning news

show talking about your tolling plan, “Move NY.” Will the plan undo the horrific impacts that oneway tolling has on Canal St.? Linda, Tribeca   Dear Linda, It will do a lot to take cars and trucks off Lower Manhattan streets like Canal, Broome, Delancey, Chambers and others that connect with the Brooklyn, Manhattan and Williamsburg Bridge by correcting Gaynor’s Goof; William Gaynor is the mayor who removed tolls from the East River Bridges in 1911. T he one-way tolls at the Verrazano Bridge were introduced by federal legislation in 1986 over my objections as a city official.  I predicted it would wreak havoc on Lower Manhattan which it has with at least several score dead from rerouted vehicles [Read about the

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Christine Cornell’s sketch of Martha Stewart’s securities-fraud trial. Stewart — shown, at left, as her attorney looks on with his hand to his head — was sentenced to five months behind bars.

latest death on Canal St., P. 3]. While MOVE NY does not call for a return to one-way tolls, which I support, it does slash tolls at the Verrazano Bridge making it much less expensive to drive through Staten Island and more expensive to drive through Manhattan. This will sharply reduce truckers and others who have been getting a free ride through our streets. The entire plan is available for you to read on the website www. and you can show your support for the plan there by signing the petition to get New York moving again.

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February 26-March 11, 2015


Downtown Notebook

The pain of Alabama and the hope for tomorrow BY TROY M ASTERS As a crimson tide of same-sex marriage rolls across Alabama, lives are being transformed right before our eyes — the latest huge stage in the paradigm shift that has remade that state in the past 50 years. And if racial progress upended a way of life in Alabama centuries old, gay marriage manages to go beyond race, straight to the core of every family, black and white. I was raised in 1960s Nashville, where my stepfather — originally from Dothan, Alabama — was a prominent musician. From a very early age, I had a deep sense of pride in the privilege I enjoyed, with chances to tour the country with him, meeting thousands of people. I met people I was in awe of — musicians with great skill and extraordinary ambition who taught me a lot about having a mission in life.


Jennifer Goodstein EDITOR

Josh Rogers REPORTER

Dusica Sue Malesevic ARTS EDITOR



Jack Agliata Allison Greaker Jennifer Holland Julio Tumbaco A rendering courtesy of the Parks Dept.


Michael Shirey

Rendering of what the art will look like in Tribeca Park.


‘Head of Goliath’ coming to Tribeca Park

Andrew Gooss Chris Ortiz WEB MASTER


Milo Hess Jefferson Siegel PUBLISHER EMERITUS

John W. Sutter

Move over, teddy, there’s new art in town. “Bearlike Construction,” a bronze teddy bear that looks as if it is made of trash bags, will be replaced by “Head of Goliath,” Jennifer Lantzas, public art coordinator for the Parks Department, told the Tribeca Committee on Feb. 11. The teddy bear has been installed at the center of Tribeca Park, a misshapen

triangle situated between Walker St., W. Broadway and Sixth Ave., for almost a year, but the new piece will be there from May until July. “Head of Goliath,” which is six feet wide and roughly three to four feet tall, is the work of artist Nicolas Holiber. An interpretation of the biblical story of David and Goliath, the

massive sculpture will be made with multiple repurposed materials and will rest on a base similar to the one the bear is now on, said Lantzas. Committee members asked if people would be able to touch the art. “Any of our public artworks, we assume people will be putting it to the test,” she said to laughs.

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February 26-March 11, 2015

NO DEFENSE FOR ‘SHADY’ POLITICS To The Editor: Re “Trumped up case against Silver” (Talking Point by Ken Paskar, Feb. 12 - 25, 2015): It hardly inspires faith in our local political organizations, in this case the Lower Manhattan Democrats represented by Ken Paskar, to attempt to refute the charges made by U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara against Sheldon Silver. Perhaps it is oxymoronic to assume that politics can ever be objective even where ethics are concerned.   While Sheldon Silver did remarkable good for us, his constituents, as our representative in Albany, “one hand does not wash the other,” as the saying goes. It is naïve to pretend that the climate in Albany is the best that our democracy can offer.  It is the role of local political groups to make it better, and not

attempt to justify the shady climate that our state capital is well known for where Silver was one of  “three men in a room” making deals for everyone in the state. Making deals gets to be a way of life.  Dolores D’Agostino     A WORLD TRADE MISTAKE To The Editor: Although I do give my condolences for the death of John Whitehead, I don’t believe he did the right thing for the W. T. C. site (Obituary, Feb. 12 – 25,“Whitehead’s Downtown legacy”).  Like the rest of the Lower Manhattan Development Corp., he just followed whatever then-Gov. George E. Pataki wanted, rather than actually listen to the public.  As a person who has attended just about every hearing or other events involving the process on the W. T. C. site, I have never heard anyone

outside the panel ever support what was planned. If Whitehead really did want to be a hero for Downtown Manhattan, he should have agreed to go with what the public wanted, and have the Twin Towers back, rather than just go with some different plan that was mostly supported in a backroom by an elite group.  I suggest reading some books such as “Sixteen Acres” and the “Outrageous Struggle for Ground Zero” by Phillip Nobel or even the more recently published “Debacle: Failing to Rebuild the Twin Towers” by Joe Wright to find out what really happened.  More importantly, Whitehead should have known that rebuilding the Twin Towers wouldn’t just cost less than building what was being planned, but it could have even been done faster as well. Tal Barzilai

One of my stepfather’s band members that summer was blind, and in those days it didn’t seem strange that he was nicknamed Blind Jack. But he was also called a “homo” by almost everyone. Jack was the object of unending ridicule and I instinctively knew to avoid him. I was also desperate to know him. One day, Jack and I were alone at the dinner table and he asked me to read the newspaper to him. After I read to him for a while from the Eagle, he asked me if there was anything wrong, if there was something I wanted to talk about. Jack never denied he was a “homo,” and he had overheard gossip about me. I burst into tears and told him what I had overheard my stepfather say. I wanted to run away, I said, and I wished I had never been born. Assuring me that everybody is different in some way and that sometimes other

‘Kids would scream, “faggot,” “queer,” “chicken,” “homo,” as they tried to dunk my head under the water.’ My sister and I would travel to Dothan to spend summers there, and those childhood memories — good and bad — have shaped us throughout our lives. Getting in the car to leave Nashville, I would always say, “Let us go to Dothan,” the tag line of the local newspaper, the Dothan Eagle, that was borrowed from the Bible. My sister and I would always laugh at our silly inside jokes, as we counted and categorized cars and read billboards that were the basis of crazy narratives we would invent. We were always excited to see Granny Alabama. She’d cook for a week before we arrived, and no matter what hour we showed up, we were showered with buttered biscuits, red-eye gravy, black-eyed peas, collard greens, red velvet cakes, banana pudding and countless other treats all cooked up with love. Papa would always be there, stoic, wearing his overalls, showing his love in playful glances. The cotton fields surrounding their home were like endless rows of dreams. In my youngest years, Alabama seemed to be a place of infinite love and security. Summers there seemed so alive. Dothan, located in Houston County at the state’s border with Georgia and Florida, is denying marriage to all couples rather than issue licenses to same-sex couples. But as I grew to understand more about adult conversation — often filled with derogatory expletives about blacks and Jews — I came to feel my safety there was fragile. During one of those summers, I was exposed to the first evidence that others could see what was so different about me. “Troy is a queer,” I overheard my stepfather say with energetic disgust to another family member. Even at 13, I understood that my feelings for other boys were supposed to be secret. Now I knew terror. What my stepfather said humiliated me, sending an icy panic through my body that changed my demeanor and ruined my confidence. For the first time in my life, I felt depression and I became painfully shy. Alabama became a place, not of love, not of shelter, not of the magic of family, but of fear. I wanted somebody to turn to for understanding.

people just can’t understand, he told me that I was a good boy and that he loved me, that even my stepfather loved me, and that one day I would be happy. At some point, he said, people just wouldn’t care. Shortly after that conversation, my stepfather fired Jack and I always imagined it was my fault. The secret that I had associated with Blind Jack was out, and some of the adults who had taunted Jack began to say, “Troy is a homo.” Their kids said it, too. At the public pool, kids would scream, “faggot,” “queer,” “chicken,” “homo,” as they tried to dunk my head under the water. At one point, a big crowd joined in — including kids I had known all my life — and I was terrified they were trying to drown me. My depression became dangerous and I remember thinking of ways to hurt myself. Alabama now seemed

like a hostile hell full of hate. I gave up going there in the summer even though that meant missing out on the love of Granny Alabama and Papa. And in time, I began to associate my experiences there with what I learned about Alabama’s recent past: the church bombings, the police dogs attacking black people. The slurs I heard about blacks, Jews and Yankees now seemed pretty much the same as my stepfather’s ugly phrase “Troy is a queer.” But that Alabama is not the Alabama of tomorrow. The night before a federal ruling legalizing marriage equality went into effect, Roy Moore, the chief justice of the State Supreme Court, ordered county probate judges not to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. But as of now, with further action by the federal court, 50 of the state’s 67 counties are complying with the mandate for equality. The Dothan Eagle ran an editorial criticizing the chief justice and the probate judges following his lead. Like George Wallace before him, history will judge Moore as the personification of a fading legacy of bigotry, a gasping mouse, one of the last of his kind, a demagogue taking his last Rebel stand in order to pander to a mob. Still, as I watched counties in Alabama gradually fall in line, my jaw dropped as I recalled the way my summer dreams were crushed there decades before. Had all this happened when I was 13, so much would have been different for me. I hope that for every L.G.B.T. 13-year-old in Alabama today — many of them still feeling isolated and perhaps even more in danger — this month’s events, boisterous and contentious as they are in many parts of the state, can also make a big difference. Jack was right. Troy Masters is associate publisher of Gay City News, a sister paper of Downtown Express.

Cuomo idea would bury the news BY M I CHELLE K . R E A We are strongly opposed to the governor’s proposal to eliminate newspaper public notice of proposed constitutional amendments. Instead of publishing public notices, the board of elections would post an abstract and brief description of the proposed amendment somewhere on its website for three days in the week prior to the election. The secretary of state would also post a notice somewhere on its website once per month for three months. At a time when there is general agreement that there is a need to increase transparency and accountability in state government, it is astounding that this provision is included in a budget bill. Among the many reasons this is a very bad idea are: *This proposal disenfranchises voters who cannot afford a home computer with broadband access. *It assumes that New York voters sift through state agency websites when looking for news that affects them. They do not. They turn to a local newspaper.

*This proposal will not save money. Time after time, when advocating for legislation that would require government agencies to post information on their websites, we have been told it is too difficult or expensive. *Newspaper publication provides a historic record. Government websites may not be maintained long term. Newspapers are preserved in libraries and newspaper archives for posterity. *The governor has called for a constitutional amendment to strip public pensions from legislators convicted of crimes, and yet this bill supports making the proposed language available only on obscure websites few voters will ever see. The proposed legislation says it will save $342,000. There are more than 10 million registered voters in New York State, so the proposal saves about three pennies per voter. Michelle K. Rea is executive director of the New York Press Association and New York Press Service. February 26-March 11, 2015


Activities THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 26–WEDNESDAY, MARCH 11 B Y VICTOR I A G RA N T H A M The harsh weather continues. We’ll just have to stay indoors and entertain ourselves with a little escapism in the form of a movie. There’s ample opportunity for that given the International Children’s Film Festival, which kicks off Feb. 27 and runs through March 22. The fest will be held at various locations throughout Manhattan, including Tribeca Cinemas, P.S. 89, and the Scholastic Theater. The Film Forum Jr. Sunday matinee series is also continuing with “The Princess Bride” and there’s a family movie night at St. Paul’s Chapel. Other entertainment options include live shows. There’s “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” at B.M.C.C Tribeca Performing Arts Center. (I took my kids to this troupe’s show last year at another venue. I highly recommend it.) There’s also a show called “The Magic Garden, or, the Princess Who Grew Antlers,” at Theater for the New City based on Czech fairy tales. If you’re saving up for a flight out of dodge (like me) there are also free entertainment choices, like Brookfield’s Saturday Morning show at Hudson Eats. It’s an Ed Sullivan-esque variety show with magicians, musicians

THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 26 NEW YORK PUBLIC LIBRARY BATTERY PARK CITY BRANCH 175 North End Ave, 212-790-3499, nypl. org/locations/battery-park-city Baby Laptime for Pre-Walkers: Enjoy simple stories, lively songs and rhymes, and meet other babies in the neighborhood. Limited to 50 babies and their caregivers; first-come first-served. Ages 0-18 months | Free | 11:30 a.m.   Crafternoon: Listen to Peanut Butter and Jellyfish by Jarrett Krosoczka and create a fishy craft. All ages | Free | 4:00 p.m.  


February 26-March 11, 2015

and other assorted performers. We went recently and participated in a dance party with a great DJ. There was also a hilarious magician who was mostly about being silly, which the kids loved. Another variety show, Kiddie Kabaret, is at the Metropolitan Room. That show is not free but at $22.50 per person it won’t break the bank. For dramatic international fun, consider the Lunar New Year Family Festival at the Museum of Chinese in America on Centre St. The show includes a lion dance, traditional folk arts, zodiac-themed arts and crafts, and a performance by Chinatown’s Red Silk Dancers. If all else fails, there’s the old standby of the library. In addition to the usual story times there’s also some teen programming including a college admissions essay workshop. Finally, for those of us fantasizing about warmer weather (are you picking up on a theme?) there’s a New York Family Camp Fair at B.M.C.C., which will introduce families to camp options and undoubtedly feature pictures of summer fun. I’m thinking of going to bask in the photos of sun and fun even though I’m not sending my kids to camp yet! Stay warm!

Teen Volunteer Time: Teens can meet new friends and earn community service credit by volunteering at the library. Ages 14-18 | Free | 4:00 p.m.

FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 27 COMMUNITY CUBE South Street Seaport, 14 Fulton Street, Language Beans: Language Beans is an art- and play-based Mandarin program. All ages | Free | 10:00 a.m.   WINTER AFTERSCHOOL SPORTS AND GAMES Battery Park City Ball Fields, West Street between Murray and Warren, Kids can

come play soccer, flag-football, hockey, and more at the Battery Park City Ball Fields. Find winter activities organized by parks programming leaders or play independently. Equipment will be provided. Ages 7+ | Free | 3:30 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. NEW YORK INTERNATIONAL CHILDREN’S FILM FESTIVAL 2015 Various Theaters throughout Manhattan including Tribeca Cinemas, PS 89, Scholastic Theater and other venues, (212) 349-0330 This festival includes a wide variety of children’s films from around the globe at theaters throughout Manhattan. New screenings are continually being added to the roster. See the website for further details and the up-to-date schedule. Ages 3+ | $13-$16 per screening | various times, runs from 2/27 to 3/22   NEIGHBORHOOD MOVIE NIGHTS AT ST. PAUL’S St. Paul’s Chapel, Broadway and Fulton St.,, Liz Stonehill; 212-575-4545 Give Netflix, Hulu and Amazon a break and head to St. Paul’s Chapel for Neighborhood Movie Nights on the fourth Friday of each month. Doors open at 6:30 pm, the movie begins at 7 pm. Most films are PG13. February 27: West Side Story. All ages | Free | 7:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.

SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 28 NEW YORK INTERNATIONAL CHILDREN’S FILM FESTIVAL 2015 See 2/27 for info   THE SATURDAY MORNING SHOW Hudson Eats at Brookfield Place, 200 Vesey Street, in the back seating area, A six-week variety showcase in Hudson Eats that features a combination of interactive live music, games, story time, puppetry, magic and more. Lloyd H. Miller leads the Deedle Deedle Dees educational band. At noon the WonderSpark Puppets perform. Ages eight and under | Free | Performances at 11 a.m, and 12 p.m.   ‘THE VERY HUNGRY CATERPILLAR & OTHER ERIC CARLE FAVORITES’ BMCC Tribeca Performing Arts Center, 199 Chambers St.,, “The Very Hungry Caterpillar,” by award-winning children’s book illustrator and writer, Eric Carle, is retold on stage in black light. Performed by the Mermaid Theater of Nova Scotia. Ages 3+ | $25 | 1:30 p.m.

LUNAR NEW YEAR FAMILY FESTIVAL Museum of Chinese in America, 215 Centre Street At this festival families will enjoy an awe-inspiring lion dance, try their hand at traditional folk arts, participate in zodiac-themed arts and crafts, embark on storytelling journeys, and sway along with Chinatown’s Red Silk Dancers All ages | $10, free for children under 2 | 11:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. ULTIMATE FRISBEE Battery Park City Ball Fields, West Street between Murray and Warren, Come to the BPC Ball Fields for a game of Ultimate Frisbee. The game is great fun for novices and experts alike. Newcomers are welcome. Co-ed/Pick-up. Discs are provided. All ages | Free | 3:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.  

SUNDAY, MARCH 1 NEW YORK INTERNATIONAL CHILDREN’S FILM FESTIVAL 2015 See 2/27 for info   FILM FORUM JR. SUNDAY MATINEE SERIES: ‘The Princess Bride’ Film Forum, 209 West Houston St., A weekly Sunday matinee series for kids and families through 3/29 Age 5+ | $7.50 | 11:00 a.m. NYC AUDUBON’S WINTER SEALS AND WATERBIRDS OF NEW YORK HARBOR ECOCRUISES Pier 16 at 89 South Street The winter ecocruises depart from South Street Seaport’s Pier 16 aboard NY Water Taxi’s eco-friendly vessels. A NYC Audubon naturalist provides a narrated tour of the surprising wildlife of the harbor: Look for harbor seals. All ages | $35 for adults $25 for children 3-12 | 12:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m.   JAZZ FOR KIDS Jazz Standard, 116 East 27th Street (between Park & Lexington) The weekly session draws family and friends grooving to music by the Jazz Standard Youth Orchestra (JSYO) and eating ribs from Blue Smoke. All ages | Free, suggested $5 donation | 2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. (doors open at 1:00 p.m.)


NEW YORK PUBLIC LIBRARY BATTERY PARK CITY BRANCH 175 North End Ave, 212-790-3499, nypl. org/locations/battery-park-city Baby Laptime for Pre-Walkers: Enjoy simple stories, lively songs and rhymes, and meet other babies in the neighborhood. Limited to 50 babies and their caregivers; first-come first-served. Ages 0-18 months | Free | 9:30 a.m. Toddler Story Time: A librarian shares lively picture books, finger plays, and action songs with toddlers and their caregivers. For ages 12-36 months. All ages | Free 4:00 p.m.    TUESDAY, MARCH 3   NEW YORK INTERNATIONAL CHILDREN’S FILM FESTIVAL 2015 See 2/27 for info   NEW YORK PUBLIC LIBRARY BATTERY PARK CITY BRANCH 175 North End Ave, 212-790-3499, Baby Laptime for Pre-Walkers: Enjoy simple stories, lively songs and rhymes, and meet other babies in the neighborhood. Limited to 25 babies and their caregivers; first-come first-served. Ages 0-18 months | Free | 11:30 am   College Admissions Essay: At this workshop, teens will learn how to choose a meaningful topic and write a great college essay. Presented by Laurel Haines. For ages 13 to 18 years old. All ages | Free | 4:00 p.m.   Picture Book Time: A librarian will share classic picture books and new stories! All ages | Free | 4:00 p.m.  



NEW YORK INTERNATIONAL CHILDREN’S FILM FESTIVAL 2015 See 2/27 for info   THE SATURDAY MORNING SHOW Hudson Eats at Brookfield Place, 200 Vesey Street, in the back seating area, At 11:00 a.m. Vered and the Babes, brings a variety of instruments including pots and pans, french-horn and trumpet, to get the kids and parents jumping and singing along. At noon Bill Gordh, an award winning storyteller, banjoist and author, performs. Ages eight and under | Free Performances at 11:00 a.m. and 12:00 p.m. ‘THE MAGIC GARDEN, OR, THE PRINCESS WHO GREW ANTLERS’ See 3/5 for info

NEW YORK INTERNATIONAL CHILDREN’S FILM FESTIVAL 2015 See 2/27 for info   NEW YORK PUBLIC LIBRARY BATTERY PARK CITY BRANCH 175 North End Ave, 212-790-3499, Toddler Story Time: A librarian will share lively picture books, finger plays, and action songs with toddlers and their caregivers. Ages 12-36 months | Free | 10:30 a.m. | EVERY WEDNESDAY AT 10:30 AM

Crafternoon! Family Tree Edition: Read The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein and then create family trees. All ages | Free | 4:00 p.m.

NEW YORK INTERNATIONAL CHILDREN’S FILM FESTIVAL 2015 See 2/27 for info NEW YORK PUBLIC LIBRARY BATTERY PARK CITY BRANCH 175 North End Ave, 212-790-3499, Baby Laptime for Pre-Walkers: See 2.26 for info Gross Biology: Through the Gross Biology class students discover what’s inside of them, how their body works hard to keep them healthy. Presented by Children’s Museum of Manhattan. First come, first served to the first 25 children with an adult. Ages 5-12| Free | 4:00 p.m.   ‘THE MAGIC GARDEN, OR, THE PRINCESS WHO GREW ANTLERS’ Theater for the New City, 155 First Ave. (at E. 10th Street), Chechoslovak-American Marionette Theater will perform its newest work, “The Magic Garden, or, The Princess Who Grew Antlers,” an ensemble creation that is concocted from Czech fairy tales. Ages 5+ | $15 for adults, $8 for children Thursdays through Saturdays at 8:00 pm, Saturdays and Sundays at 3:00 p.m.  



Lloyd H. Miller will of course be inside with his Deedle Dees band for The Saturday Morning Show Feb. 28 at Hudson Eats Feb. 28 at 11 am

NEW YORK FAMILY CAMP FAIRS Borough of Manhattan Community College (BMCC), 199 Chambers Street,, Parents and children can discover a wide variety of day camps (in and out of NYC) and sleep-away camps from across the region. With many great options, parents learn about the kind of camp experience that would be right for your child. Sponsored by the American Camp Association-NY & NJ,. Ages 3-13 | Free | 12:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.    

SUNDAY, MARCH 8 NEW YORK INTERNATIONAL CHILDREN’S FILM FESTIVAL 2015 See 2/27 for info   FILM FORUM JR. SUNDAY MATINEE SERIES: ‘The Music Man’ Film Forum, 209 West Houston St., A weekly Sunday matinee series for kids and families. March 8: The Music Man Age 5+ | $7.50 | 11:00 a.m.   JAZZ FOR KIDS See 3/1 for info   ‘THE MAGIC GARDEN, OR, THE PRINCESS WHO GREW ANTLERS’ See 3/5 for info  


Baby Laptime for Pre-Walkers: Enjoy simple stories, lively songs and rhymes, and meet other babies in the neighborhood. Limited to 50 babies and their caregivers; first-come first-served. Ages 0-18 months | Free | 9:30 a.m. Toddler Story Time: A librarian will share lively picture books, finger plays, and action songs with toddlers and their caregivers. Ages 12-36 months | Free | 4:00 p.m.

TUESDAY, MARCH 10 NEW YORK INTERNATIONAL CHILDREN’S FILM FESTIVAL 2015 See 2/27 for info   NEW YORK PUBLIC LIBRARY BATTERY PARK CITY BRANCH 175 North End Ave, 212-790-3499, Baby Laptime for Pre-Walkers: Enjoy simple stories, lively songs and rhymes, and meet other babies in the neighborhood. Limited to 25 babies and their caregivers; first-come first-served. Ages 0-18 months | Free |11:30 a.m. Picture Book Time A librarian will share classic picture books and new stories. All ages | Free | 4:00 p.m.  

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 11 NEW YORK INTERNATIONAL CHILDREN’S FILM FESTIVAL 2015 See 2/27 for info   NEW YORK PUBLIC LIBRARY BATTERY PARK CITY BRANCH 175 North End Ave, 212-790-3499, Toddler Story Time See 3/4 for info February 26-March 11, 2015



235 East 11th Street New York, NY 10003 (212) 777-3240 Monday through Friday, 8:30 AM – 9:00 PM Saturday, 8:30 AM – 5:30 PM

Winter is the season to look for summer camps Summertime will soon be here, and it’s never too early to start thinking about activities for your children. We all want our children to have happy, enjoyable summer experiences that are appropriate for their needs and interests. Though February does not often elicit images of youngsters building campfires or playing games in the pool, the month more synonymous with the Super Bowl and Valentine’s Day is a great time for parents to start thinking about summer camps for their kids. Summer camp is often something kids look forward to, and something they will fondly recall long after they reach adulthood There are other options just for teens, such as counselor-in-training programs, where 14 to 17 year olds can


we’re your community music school!

gain leadership skills while assisting with younger campers. Teens can also take advantage of wilderness programs, cross-country travel, bike trips, and adventure programs, as well as international travel or summer school programs. As an alternative to a typical day or residential camp, other summer activities for children can be found at local community centers, neighborhood playgrounds, Scout programs, and public libraries. These options can include arts and crafts classes, swimming lessons, and other recreational programs. Good camps do fill up early. So it behooves parents to start thinking about camps for their kids in winter, before camps start filling out their rosters in early spring.

Beginner group classes Individual or partner lessons Free trial lessons Weekly music and dance instruction for all ages and levels, after school and on Saturday afternoons. Third Street Preschool full and half-day programs. Daytime Toddler/Early Childhood dance and movement classes.




Downtown Community Center



Private Pool • Field Sports • Pier 25 • Karate • Tennis Arts & Crafts • Music & Drumming • Movement Story Pirates • Song Shows • Weekly Field Trips • Choice Time For Senior Division Campers

Tribeca | Battery Park City | Lower Manhattan



February 26-March 11, 2015

February 26-March 11, 2015




Of Bullies, Bigfoot, Haters and Hope Freeman spins a ripping yarn about rumors and reality

B Y S COTT STIFF L E R Whether brightening local burlesque stages as her slinky and sweet alter ego Cherry Pitz or exposing her true self on the storytelling circuit, Cyndi Freeman has an uncanny knack for coaxing epic images from intimate moments. The two-time NY Fringe Festival award-winning solo performer — whose work as an instructor with The Moth Community Outreach Program has empowered disabled adults, nurses and the incarcerated tell their stories — has a brand new tale of her own, based on old wounds and earned wisdom. A world premiere in Horse Trade Theater Group’s annual Frigid Festival, “I Was a Sixth Grade Bigfoot” charts the myths and misunderstandings that define an 11-year-old’s shattered public image. Victimized by an elaborate homeroom smear campaign and regarded as a violent pathological liar by teachers, young Cyndi draws strength from research books and “Six Million Dollar Man” episodes about a reclusive Pacific Northwest monster that lashes out only when attacked. But there’s no retreating to the forest during a school assembly, at which classmates weigh in on the emotional cost of bullying — while the target of their wrath sits on display like a captured creature. Joined on stage by a tiny Sasquatch action figure, Freeman’s heartbreaking anecdotes (filled


February 26-March 11, 2015

Photo by Ben Trivet

Elusive truths and hidden agendas abound, in Cyndi Freeman’s look back on the high price of tall tales. “I Was a Sixth Grade Bigfoot” plays the Frigid Festival through March 8.

with wry impressions of her cruel tormenters) often end with the performer out of breath and scanning the horizon for some sense of justice in the universe — or just going silent, letting us fill that momentary blank space with our own empathetic image of a friendless little girl who instinctively knows that oddball traits have a way of becoming great strengths. It helps, a little, that her engineering genius dad declares, “We Freemans are different” — while her mama grizzly makes a trip to principal’s office and growls, “I will tell you what I tell her...She is honest, honest to a fault.” Freeman peppers her quest to expose grade school falsehoods with accounts of hoaxes perpetrated by major players in “American Bigfootery.” Making some disturbing observations about the ease with which we check our skepticism at the door when there’s a juicy tale to help spread, she nonetheless musters a bit of admiration for the conspirators who pulled their stunts more out of opportunism and boredom than a malicious desire to destroy another human being. Revelations about the true nature of those much-hyped Sasquatch sightings are every bit as

Freeman peppers her quest to expose grade school falsehoods with accounts of hoaxes perpetrated by major players in “American Bigfootery.”

surprising as the “Where are they now?” tidbits, during which Freeman recalls accepting a string of emotional apologies that will one day enable her to reassure a troubled young girl that things change for the better — and sometimes, so do people. Occasional basketball columnist and burlesque performer Sara Peters directs, making sure the potentially depressing story moves at a brisk pace towards its hopeful and wonderfully well-adjusted conclusion. And that’s the truth!

Say what you will about Taylor Swift — but even haters have to admit her “Shake It Off” song has planted in tween hearts and minds the notion that the path to inner peace begins at the point where we let go of toxic thoughts. Whether you’re still in your juice box years or a jaded adult in need of a philosophical reboot, the Rubin Museum of Art is the place to expand your mind and satisfy your soul. Now through April, their Brainwave Festival is exploring the Buddhist notion of attachment. “We’re looking at the basic idea of where satisfaction exists… through a diversity of perspectives on the very human tendency to cling to the things that we think will make us happy,” says RMA Director of Public Programs Tim McHenry, who has filled the festival with on-stage conversations, films and art that further the museum’s overall mission to “break down the ego-driven behavior that we have, and recognize that we are just one element of many that are connected.” Upcoming installments of their “Conversation” series, which pairs artists with scientists, include an April 8 event at which Shaolin Master Shi Yan Ming and neuropsychologist Tracy Dennis discuss “Discipline as an Art.” Curated by Oscar-nominated writer-director Guillermo Arriaga, the “Words with Gods” series (March 4–April 22) screens short cinematic meditations on faith and consciousness, followed by dialogues between faith practitioners and scientists who study the mind. A Friday night film series addressing the theme of “fixation” includes Hal Ashby’s 1971 romp between a very young Bud Cort and a very old Ruth Gordon (“Harold and Maude” on April 17). A Wednesday lunchtime series (“Lunch Matters”) screens past recorded Brainwave events. On March 4, a 2014 conversation between Hunter College neuropsychologist Tracy Dennis and former NASA astronaut Scott Parazynski has the duo discussing the mindset required to endure extreme space missions. Brainwave Festival events take place through April 22, at the Rubin Museum of Art (150 W. 17th St. at Seventh Ave.). Ticket prices vary. Museum Hours: Mon. & Thurs., 11 a.m.–5 p.m. Wed., 11 a.m.–9 p.m. Fri., 11 a.m.–10 p.m. Sat. Sun., 11 a.m.–6 p.m. Call 212-620-5000 or visit

Courtesy of the Rubin Museum of Art

Monkey see, monkey want…but what happens when monkey gets? Rubin Museum of Art’s Brainwave Festival contemplates attachment and happiness.

Photo by Da Ping Luo

The Greenwich Village Orchestra returns to Washington Irving Auditorium for three Sunday afternoon concerts, on March 1, April 12 and May 17.

FROM SILVER APPLES OF THE MOON TO A SKY OF CLOUDLESS SULPHUR: V This latest installment in The Kitchen’s long-running Synth Nights series — devoted to the live performance of electronic music — brings a genre pioneer to the iconic Chelsea performance venue. An extension of Morton Subotnick’s “Silver Apples of the Moon” (a 1967 work widely acknowledged as the first large-scale electronic work created for the record medium), this new multi-media piece pairs the perennial innovator with Berlin-based visual artist Lillevan. Musical resources from Subotnick’s analog recordings are combined with recent electronic patches and techniques to create a virtual instrument — while Lillevan, similarly, spontaneously draws from old and new visual resources. Wed., March 4 at 8 p.m. At The Kitchen (512 W. 19th St. btw. 10th & 11th Aves.). For tickets ($15), visit or call 212-255-6793 x 11. Like: Follow: @TheKitchen_NYC.

Courtesy of The Kitchen

Electronic music pioneer Morton Subotnick (left) and Berlin-based visual artist Lillevan collaborate, at the March 4 installment of The Kitchen’s Synth Nights series.

of mingling with Music Director Barbara Yahr and the musicians. GVO’s 12th season continues on April 12, when they return to Washington Irving Auditorium for an all-Tchaikovsky program led by guest conductor Pierre Vallet (from the Metropolitan Opera), and featuring young virtuoso Siwoo Kim. May 17’s “Summer in the City” program has favorites by Gershwin and Rossini, with

mezzo-soprano Naomie O’Connell singing Berlioz’s song cycle “Les nuits d’été” — and “Symphonie Fantastique” anchors the orchestra’s first-ever music video. “Momentous Mahler” is performed on Sun., March 1, 3–5 p.m. at Washington Irving Auditorium (40 Irving Place, at 17th St.). Suggested donation: $20 ($10 for students/seniors). Visit gvo. org or call 212-932-0732.

GREENWICH VILLAGE ORCHESTRA PRESENTS “MOMENTOUS MAHLER” It’s a case of the Fifth on the first, when Greenwich Village Orchestra’s March 1 “Momentous Mahler” program comes in like a lion and never goes the way of the lamb. “From the opening fanfare to the closing chords, through marches, dances, storms and the famous Adagietto, a love song to his wife,” promises the GVO, “Mahler’s Fifth Symphony will envelop you in an intense musical world filled with humanity, spirituality, and emotion. The classy cultural venue has yet to ban selfie sticks, so bring them to post-concert reception, in anticipation February 26-March 11, 2015


Courtesy of Nicelle Beauchene Gallery

Untitled (Cream Tone #14) / 2015 / Oil, acrylic and flashe paint on linen with staples / 69 x 48 inches.

Courtesy of Nicelle Beauchene Gallery

Installation view of “and the Cream Tones” (2015).

BY STEPHANIE BUHMANN ( In the past, Lee has recast components of painting through a variety of experiments such as cutting, dismantling, slicing and sculpting. Testing the surface and structure of his canvases to the extreme, he questions their traditional physicality and the general sense of preciousness that can be associated


with the medium. Stapled seams and stacked canvases seen from the back as one sculptural piece, for example, reflect Lee’s talent in finding beauty in what many would consider mundane. In order to experience his works fully, one has to look at it closely, from various angles and while considering all perspectives. In Lee, the viewer joins the artist’s exploration of what distinguish-

es image and object, surface and interior, or the visual and physical for that matter. Devoid of one-sided distinctions, this work disobeys categorization and finds its own niche somewhere between drawing, painting and sculpture. In his new exhibition we can expect Lee to continue to astonish, startle and amaze us. He will draw from the lexicon of art history without overt references to any one specific source.

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February 26-March 11, 2015


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Admit To Bitter Brother Vellies Christian Benner Custom Lee Lee’s Forest ModaBox Rialto Jean Project South Street Local Artists Whisper Editions

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February 26-March 11, 2015


Downtown Express, Feb. 26, 2015  

Downtown Express, Feb. 26, 2015

Downtown Express, Feb. 26, 2015  

Downtown Express, Feb. 26, 2015