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MARCH 26-APRIL 8, 2015


Brookfield Office Properties began renovating what was known as the World Financial Center in October 2011 and has invested about $250 million in the project near West and Vesey Sts.,

BY JOSH ROGERS eath and destruction hit Lower Manhattan after Hurricane Sandy three years ago, but the area had been largely left out of storm protection plans until this month when the mayor and governor announced almost $15 million in funds for Downtown. Local leaders pushing for more money celebrated the news, but they are still concerned that so little of the $4.21 billion post-Sandy federal package has been focused near Manhattan’s southern tip. Catherine McVay Hughes, Community Board 1’s chairperson, estimates that so far, only about $1.5 million out of billions has been set aside for Manhattan resiliency plans south of Canal St. and the Brooklyn Bridge. The city also ignored the area in the first phase of its federal application for some of the $1 billion “National Disaster Resilience Competion” grant money administered by HUD (the U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development). “C.B. 1 was disappointed that the significant unmet need in Lower Manhattan is not mentioned in the entire 60-page application,” Hughes said March 9 in testimony at a public hearing to discuss revising the city’s application. That Downtown shortfall got a boost this week when U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer said he was going to fight to make sure some of the grant money

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Downtown Express photo by Scot Surbeck

The new retail at the Winter Garden and the rest of Brookfield Place reopens this week along with a floating art installation, “Soft Spin,” by Heather Nicol.

Retail Unveiled: 4-year project opens in Battery Park City BY D U SI CA SU E M A LE S E V IC ike the spring weather that is almost upon us, so is retail at Brookfield Place, which is to open Thursday. Window-sized paper announcements for Le District, which reportedly will be open Mon., March 30, were pulled down this week, while at Satya


Jewelry, the final touches were being done, such as mounting photos on the wall. “We’re very excited about the whole experience,” Kim Zinzi, retail director of all Satya stores, said Tuesday, two days before the March 26 opening.

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SEAPORT WATCH City Councilmember Margaret Chin sounded like she took a particularly tough line this month against the proposed 500-foot tower at the South Street Seaport, but it wasn’t nearly as forceful as we’re pretty sure many of the other opponents of the project hope. “It’s not going to happen under my watch,” Chin told Crain’s March 1. UnderCover has been wondering what the “it” refers to, and Chin has been reluctant to clarify her remark. Now we can understand why. She remains opposed to a tower at the New Market Building, but her line in the sand apparently only refers to the current proposal by Howard Hughes Corp., which if it proceeds, will cer-

tainly be altered anyway, given that the city landmarks review has not begun, and there would undoubtedly be negotiations afterward if it reached the City Council for a vote. When we spoke last week, Chin did not say she was guaranteeing the New Market will be restored and preserved as she and other opponents hope, or even that the project will be within the 350-foot zoning limit, which she backed two years ago. “Can’t answer that right now,” she said, “we’ll have to see.” As of now, the project is in limbo, so Chin’s reluctance to take a tougher line is probably either caution on her part or her belief that a not-so-different version of the plan might start moving again.

BEACHHEAD MAINTAINED Since we’re talking Seaport, the idea of converting the small sandy area at the base of the Brooklyn Bridge into a public beach had been championed by two of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s least favorite Democrats — his former campaign opponent Christine Quinn and

City Comptroller Scott Stringer, who has gotten under the de Blasio’s skin at least once or twice. It might make us wonder if the idea, which has $7 million set aside, had any prayer of happening. Actually, it was Catherine McVay Hughes, chairperson of Community Board 1, who mentioned it to us, although we’re pretty sure she didn’t have the same crass political thoughts we did. Hughes said she heard the money is still there and it could be used. We checked with a city official, who confirmed this.

STEWART & 9/11 Jon Stewart, who regardless of whether he still lives in Tribeca, will always be a favorite son to us, may sadly be running away from “The Daily Show,” but he once again will be helping the 9/11 Memorial in its annual fundraising walk and run. He’ll serve as “honorary chairman” for the third annual 9/11 Memorial 5K Run/Walk and Family Day on Sun., April 26.

A good friend thinks the internet lost its mind recently when Stewart announced his departure from “The Daily Show,” but we disagree. Stewart, who serves on the 9/11 Memorial’s board, perhaps played a key role in getting the Zadroga 9/11 health bill over the last Congressional hurdle a few years ago. After the attack he said on his show: “The view from my apartment was the World Trade Center. Now it’s gone. They attacked it. This symbol of American ingenuity and strength and labor and imagination and commerce and it is gone. But you know what the view is now? The Statue of Liberty. The view from the south of Manhattan is now the Statue of Liberty. You can’t beat that.” The 5K Run/Walk will kick off at Pier 26 and run along Battery Park City, with views of One World Trade Center. Family Day will take place after the run on Greenwich St. between Cortlandt and Albany Sts. Proceeds from the run ( 911memorial. org/5k) will support the 9/11 Memorial and Museum.


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March 26-April 8, 2015


Pre-K yes, but Downtown not OK with K space MUGGERS TAKE BIKE A man was punched in the face and had his bike stolen on Fri., Mar. 13 in the Financial District, police say. Two teens, both 15, had a dispute with the man, 28, at 6:15 p.m. in front of 60 Wall St. Police say one of the teens said, “Where’s my money?” Both struck the Queens man in the face with a closed fist causing him bruising and pain. They then grabbed his bike and took off. Police caught them, however, and the two teen boys were arrested that same day.

TOURIST ATTACKED A tourist was attacked from behind when a man smacked her on the left side of the head and then fled, police say. The woman, 47 and from Minnesota, was walking with her niece, 22 and from North Dakota, on Wooster St. in Soho at around 5 p.m. on Sun., Mar. 15 when the attack happened. She was taken by ambulance to Lenox Hill because of a laceration on her head. The reason for the attack is not

known nor is the object the man hit her with. Police say he fled south on Wooster St.

PREFERRED FLYER LOSES CARD When a man’s bag got swiped at a bar in the Financial District last week, he lost his $900 computer and $100 hard drive — but also his green card, passport and his global entry card, which allows for expedited clearance for pre-approved people at the airport, police say. The New Jersey man, 34, had hung his black Tumi bag on the back of a bar stool at The Full Shilling, an Irish pub at 160 Pearl St. on Tues., Mar. 17 at around 7:30 p.m., police say. When he got up to leave, he couldn’t find his bag. Police say there were no cameras at the pub.

HUNDREDS OF PANTIES STOLEN FROM VICTORIA’S SECRET A two-women team stole 252 pairs of underwear, valued at $3,366, from


SHOPLIFTERS’ GOLD MINE SPEEDY THIEF A thief wasted no time after snatching a Turkish tourist’s wallet — spending $650 at Abercrombie & Fitch and $84 at Duane Reade in the Seaport not long after the grab, police say. The woman, 39, was at the Woolworth Building at 233 Broadway and made purchases, possibly at Starbucks, at 3 p.m. on Thurs., Mar. 19. That is the last time she remembers seeing her wallet. She then left her purse unzipped. Not so long after, she told police, she went to get her wallet and realized it was gone. Police call it a “dip” when a thief reaches into a bag and grabs something like a wallet. The thief then went to the Abercrombie at 199 Water St. and the Duane Reade at 200 Water St. — and the woman got text messages from her bank about the purchases. She cancelled her cards and one was recovered at 200 Water St. The thief also got away with $500 and $250 in Turkish lira.

BIKINI BAR HEIST Nassau Bar, a place where the bartenders sport skimpy bikinis, was the scene of a backpack heist worth $2,800. On Fri., Mar. 6, a man, 35, was exchanging information with his client at around 11 p.m. at the bar, located at 118 Nassau St., police say. He left his backpack, which held an Apple


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March 26-April 8, 2015

Three men stole $1,230 in women’s Nike apparel from a Modell’s at 150 Broadway in the Financial District on Wed., Mar. 11, police say. A male employee, 27, told police that the men — described as around 20 and 6 ft. — came to the store and went straight to the women’s apparel section at 4:30 p.m. When they left, each carrying a bag, the employee said that the entire rack had been taken and security tags were strewn on the floor.





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Bold thieves walked into the Saint Laurent Paris store at 80 Greene St. in Soho and stole 11 purses worth $21,815, police say. Four men and one woman went into the store at 5 p.m. on Fri., Mar. 20, grabbed the purses and left, a 32-yearold male employee told police. No security was working at the time of the theft, police say. This is the store’s fifth shoplifting crime in three months. The next most recent theft was on Sun., March 15 when two men walked into the store at 3:45 p.m., snatched two purses off the display rack, put them inside their jacket and left, police say. The bags were worth a total of $5,640. Police say video shows the thieves fleeing north on Spring St.


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the Victoria’s Secret at 591 Broadway in Soho last weekend, police say. A female employee, 32, told police that the two women shoved the underwear into a black bag on Sun., Mar. 22 at 5 p.m. They fled by foot on Broadway, police say.

BY DUSI CA SUE M ALESEVI C While the recently announced new pre-K seats Downtown are welcome, their arrival is bringing up other school-related issues that Lower Manhattan faces. This September, the Tweed Courthouse will become a pre-K center with 54 seats. Tweed has been used as an “incubation” space for new schools, the latest being Peck Slip School, which will move into its new home in the Seaport this fall. Spruce Street School and P.S. 276 both used the space while there schools were being built. The switch has some Downtown advocates concerned about where new schools will incubate. In November 2013, a 456-seat elementary school was announced as part of the capital budget. “So it begs the question about what happens when the Department of Ed. finally gets around to siting this new school that’s in the capital budget,” Paul Hovitz, co-chairperson of Community Board 1’s Youth and Education Committee, said in a phone interview. “Where will that school be incubated?” The elementary school has yet to be “sited,” meaning it does not have a location. For months, the Dept. of Education has not responded to Downtown Express inquiries about this. Hovitz said that the School Construction Authority continues to

Photo courtesy of the Mayor’s Office.

Mayor Bill de Blasio last year at a pre-K event at Spruce Street School with Assemblymember Sheldon Silver, who was the Assembly’s speaker then.

say that they have not been able to locate a proper site for the school. “We are at a loss as to why it’s been so impossible to find an appropriate space, particularly in the Financial District, which is where we would expect, where C.B. 1’s population census shows the greatest growth and where we need a new school,” said Hovitz. At the December meeting of now

Assemblymember Sheldon Silver’s School Overcrowding School Task Force, possible school sites were presented by Build Schools Now — a group of Downtown parents who are working to create more schools in Lower Manhattan — and Pratt’s Graduate Architecture and Urban Design Program, Wendy Chapman said in an email this week. Chapman, a P.S. 150 P.T.A. member

and one of the leaders of Build Schools Now, said after the meeting a few months ago, the organization was hopeful it could work with School Construction, but that has not happened. Hovitz brought up the new school up at C.B. 1’s monthly meeting on March 24, asking Councilmember Margaret Chin about it. “We will continue to press because the seats [are] allocated for us,” said Chin. “The capital budget is there. We’re not going to let it disappear.” Chin said that she had recently met with Build Schools Now and has a list of potential sites. How the influx of pre-K seats will affect kindergarten seats in also a concern with Hovitz saying that there will be a crunch for those seats. P.S. 276, he said, already has a waitlist of 60 kids for kindergarten for the 2015-2016 year. Downtown has been plagued before with kindergarten waitlists and school overcrowding. A concerted push by Silver, (now under indictment) other elected officials and C.B. 1 made new schools happen. “We’re grateful that our Assemblyman — past speaker — still has the overcrowding task force in action,” said Hovitz. “Shelly’s struggles are Downtown’s struggle because of the fact that we no longer have the most influential Democrat in the state as our representative.”

De Blasio’s pre-K push comes to Lower Manhattan BY DUSI CA SUE M ALESEVI C A onetime pre-K starved Lower Manhattan will soon be feasting on an influx of new seats this fall. As part of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s push for pre-K for all, Lower Manhattan has more than 378 full-day seats for the upcoming 2015-2016 school year. Last year, while the city expanded the full-day pre-K rolls to over 50,000, most Lower Manhattan neighborhoods lost seats to accommodate the swelling kindergarten classes. This year, the city hopes to make pre-K universal with over 70,000 seats, and has found locations Downtown. There will be new pre-K centers — some temporary, some permanent. At the Peck Slip School, which is slated to open this fall, there will be a temporary pre-K center with 180 seats. Peck Slip has been “incubating” at the Tweed Courthouse on Chambers St., which will have a 54-seat center come September.

There will be 36 seats at an unnamed center at Two Lafayette St. [a city government building], according to the Department of Education. At  17 Battery Place North, there will reportedly be 108 seats. This pre-K center will be housed in the same building as Exponents, a drug treatment center, and the John V. Lindsay Wildcat Academy Charter School. The D.O.E. did not provide any details about the centers. Peck Slip, the new school in the Seaport, will also have two pre-K fullday sections of 18 each. A full day is six hours and 20 minutes. “We will have, of course, extra rooms in our building, so they’ve identified the school building at number 1 Peck Slip having room to take additional pre-K classes,” said Maggie Siena, the school’s principal. The pre-K center of five rooms will be separate from Peck Slip School, which will go up to the third grade this

fall, said Siena. Siena said last week that “the news is so fresh” about the center that there were not a lot of details available at the moment. Siena said she would not be running the center and it’s not clear if a director has been named yet there or at Tweed. “If you’re in the same building, of course you’re going to work together in some way, right? It really does remain to be seen since it’s very brand-new news,” she said March 16. Jessica Pollard, managing director of Child Care Partners NY West at 20 West St., told Downtown Express by phone that she had just received her letter on March 16 saying that the preschool had been “awarded” a pre-K program. Child Care Partners, which has been open for three years as a private school, will have 37 full-day seats this September, which will be its first. Open from 6:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Monday

through Friday, they cater to working families and offer extended day programs, said Pollard. Around 80 children now attend with ages ranging from six weeks to five. She said that she expects about 17 to 20 current students to take spots in this fall’s pre-K class. Private programs running extended days get reimbursed for the six hour 20 minute public program, and parents who use it, pay the balance for the extra hours. Another new pre-K provider is New York Preschool Tribeca at 88 Leonard St. The preschool, which is affiliated with NY Kids Club, will have 18 full-day spots, Jason Lowenhar, director of digital marketing for NY Kids Club, wrote in an email. He said that they expect the class to be filled with a mix of new and already attending children. The Tribeca location opened in the summer of 2013 and while this is their Continued on page 16

March 26-April 8, 2015


Some bricks thrown at glass storefront idea at Chase B Y DUSICA SU E M A L E SE V IC   Let there be light and glass — the new owners of landmarked One Chase Manhattan Plaza want to add glass storefronts, new entrances, a piece of art, more lighting and 200,000 sq. ft. of retail. It will also have a new name: 28 Liberty Plaza. Chinese company Fosun brought the 60-story, 2.2 million sq. ft. tower for $725 million in late 2013. Frank Mahan, associate director for Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, presented the plans for the plaza at Community Board 1’s Landmarks Committee meeting on Thurs., Mar. 12. S.O.M. was the architect of the original 1964 building which was landmarked in 2009, explained Mahan. There are no proposed changes to the facade of the tower, which will remain an office building, he said. The ground floor — the level below the plaza — will be opened up with new entrances and glass storefronts, said Mahan. Currently, there are three points of entry that are “otherwise completely concealed by black granite

around the entire perimeter of the site at street level,” he said. That black granite — 981 feet of it — composes the base that is below the parapet, said Mahan. “In this existing condition it’s not contributing to street life, it’s not contributing to the neighborhood, it’s not enlivening and activating the street, it’s not welcoming its neighbors to the plaza or into the building in any way,” he said. Mahan said that some of the original black granite would be interspersed between the glass storefronts. The glass will be “much more inviting, much more welcoming and help activate the street,” he said. Most everyone on the C.B. 1 committee agreed that the plan was an improvement, but some had concerns with replacing the landmark granite with glass retail storefronts. Glass would also be used to enclose an entrance on Nassau St., which is aligned with Cedar St., explained Mahan. The entrance goes down to the ground level, which he said is now a “dark hole.” There will be glass

Continued from page 6

Images courtesy of Fosun.

New design by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill of One Chase Manhattan Plaza which is to be renamed 28 Liberty Plaza.

doors at the bottom of the stairs and the entrance will be illuminated. Lighting is an important component to make the plaza more welcoming, said Mahan. There will be a new network of visual focal points. There will be subtle lighting underneath the benches while trees and a new piece of public art will be lit as well, he said. Fosun will commission this new piece of public art, he announced. Currently at the plaza, there is the Isamu Noguchi’s “Sunken Garden” and Jean Dubuffet’s “Groups of Four Trees,” which will stay. “Fosun, the current owner, is committing to preserve and to establish a long-term conservation program for both of those,” he said. The underside of the tower, which is now an aluminum leaf ceiling with uplights that has no lighting on the exterior, will be a “new glass luminous ceiling,” said Mahan.

There will also be additional access to the plaza, which now has three staircases and one ramp. Two new sets of stairs and a new ramp will be added, said Mahan. The plaza could be programmed for activities such as film festivals or food markets, said Mahan, making “it a more meaningful part of its community.” Corie Sharples, committee member and one of the founding principals of SHoP Architects, said that she appreciated the commitment, effort and investment in the restoration, but she criticized the addition of glass. “The one thing that I think that’s kind of jumping out at me that seems like it could be improved on is the treatment of the plinth,” she said, referring to the black granite base. “While there’s no question that

opening up to retail … and activating the street is a wonderful improvement over the black granite. I think that what’s being lost is the effect of the platform: the plaza hovering over the street,” she added. The amount of lighting was also a point of contention. “The lighting — it’s awfully bright,” said Megan McHugh, a committee member. “It almost feels over lit.” “Garish,” threw in Susan Cole, committee member. “I’m there three or four times a week so I know that building pretty intimately,” said Cole. “That piece of light, there’s something — it’s just a little too much. It’s overwhelming.” Stacey Haefele, a resident of 20 Pine St., which neighbors the plaza, agreed that it’s an excellent addition but also had lighting concerns. “I do worry about the residents in my building who live directly across from all that bright lighting,” she said. Committee member Marc Ameruso questioned the glass-enclosed stair

entrance. “It just sticks out like a sore thumb,” he said. “It doesn’t fit in with anything — anything contextually here.” Bruce Ehrmann, the committee’s co-chairperson said he was “diametrically opposed” to the current proposal to replace the granite with glass. “The reason this is the rare modernist individual landmark is because of that,” he said. “It’s probably the most important design element in this building.” The committee unanimously passed a resolution approving the overall plan while asking for changes to the lighting and the plinth, and the full board approved the advisory measure March 24. It will be sent to the Landmark Preservation Commission, which is scheduled to take up the matter April 7. Erik Horvat, managing director for Fosun, said in a phone interview on Fri, Mar. 13 that he was pleased with how the meeting went. “I think that the comments were thoughtful,” he said. “And I think it’s nice to get a unanimous approval of some sort. I think it says that people

The new look of the plaza will include the iconic art work, Noguchi’s “Sunken Garden” and Dubuffet’s “Groups of Four Trees.”

understand that times have changed and that this building can be updated to reflect the new realities.” Horvat said that they would talk to the architects about the committee’s reservations about the lighting and the black granite. “We have to sit and have thoughtful conversations internally,” said Horvat, who has ties to Lower

Manhattan. He used to be the director of World Trade Center redevelopment for the Port Authority and is on the board of the Downtown Alliance and the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council. “We met with [the Landmarks Committee] specifically to get their feedback,” he said. ”We’ll respect that — we just need to think through it.”

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Some Community Board 1 members objected to the plan to remove most of this black granite from One Chase Plaza.


March 26-April 8, 2015


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Downtown students rally against Cuomo’s school plan BY ZACH WI L L I A M S Teachers, students, parents and administrators across the city rallied on March 12 against Governor Andrew Cuomo’s education agenda. Particularly vexing for opponents are proposed reforms announced in January that would make standardized-testing scores 50 percent of teachers’ evaluations, as well as grant them tenure only after five consecutive years of “effective” ratings under the plan. Principals’ input in evaluations would be shrunk from 60 to 15 percent. In response, union representatives, as well as teachers, parents, students, and staff from dozens of city schools, participated in demonstrations throughout the day, mostly on a school-by-school basis. In Lower Manhattan, actions were scheduled at a half-dozen schools south of 14th St. These included Spruce Street School in FiDi, Neighborhood School and the Earth School in the East Village, P.S. 2 Meyer London School on the Lower East Side, and P.S. 3 and City As School High

Photo courtesy of Spruce Street School P.T.A.

Students and parents outside Spruce Street School to rally against Gov. Cuomo’s proposed education changes.

School in the Village. “For me, it’s a classroom issue… the idea of the principals having so little say in teacher evaluations,” Anastacia Kurylo, co-president of Spruce’s P.T.A., said this week. She joined others holding hands outside the school to protest the Cuomo plan. “To throw this into a budget at the last minute, instead of letting [education] ideas grow organically,

is very troubling to me,” she added. For teachers and students at City As School, the governor’s proposed changes are at odds with the alternative high school’s effort to boost student achievement through internships and student projects rather than more traditional approaches. About 100 people associated with the high school congregated near its entrance on Clarkson St. in the afternoon, then marched to a

“teach-out” in Washington Square Park. “Standardized testing can’t judge what we do,” said Marcus McArthur, an English and social sciences teacher at the school. “We are here and we are raising and creating innovators not test takers. We got the next great generation of poets and authors and artists and scientists — and the tests, they have nothing to do with that work.” Momentum continued for their cause over the weekend when Public Advocate Letitia James held a rally at City Hall on Sunday criticizing Cuomo’s pairing of increased funding with the proposals. Cuomo announced education reforms in January that would make $1.1 billion in new funding contingent on the state Legislature approving his plans. In addition to the changes in teacher evaluations and tenure, the new approach would also require that, if a school fails to show adequate progress through student test scores for three conChristian Benner Custom

Continued on page 27


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St. Paul’s Chapel & Trinity Church 10:30-11:15am Begins at St. Paul’s Chapel followed by a procession down Broadway to Trinity Church for the continuation of the liturgy.

Palm Sunday Liturgy & Eucharist

2 Rector Street

Trinity Church, 11:15am-12:30pm

The Rev. Dr. William Lupfer, Rector The Rev. Phillip A. Jackson, Vicar


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The liturgy of the Lord’s Supper, with ritual foot washing and preparing of the church for Good Friday.

St. Paul’s Chapel, 8-10pm


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The Office of Tenebrae is sung by the Choir of Trinity Wall Street, followed by a simple Agape Supper at 7pm in the Manning Room. an Episcopal parish in the city of New York

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March 26-April 8, 2015

March 26-April 8, 2015


On The Spot

Signe Nielsen Landscape architect Signe Nielsen has shaped several public spaces — many of them in Lower Manhattan. Nielsen, 64, wears many hats: professor, author, Public Design Commission president and co-founder of Mathews Nielsen Landscape Architects. She talked to Downtown Express at her Financial District office earlier this month about her myriad projects; Tribeca, where she has lived since the ‘70s; and how she moved from dance to landscape architecture. Interview has been condensed and edited.

—DUSICA SUE MALESEVIC Did you grow up in New York? I moved here when I was six. I was born in Paris, France. My father was in the diplomatic service. I grew up on the Upper East Side. Then I went away to college and I worked in Colorado for a year. Then I moved back for graduate school, worked here for a bit. Moved to Greece for a couple years, moved back to New York — and have never left. You attended Smith College for political science. Why did you make the switch to landscape architecture? I was a professional dancer for many years and I went to Smith with the idea of studying choreography. I graduated in 1972. It became rapidly apparent to me that dance was irrelevant and that the issues of the world were far more serious than dance. And that I needed a profession I could make an impact. So I thought about environmental law — that was my motivation [to study] political science. Then I started talking seriously with people about what it meant to be an environmental attorney. I don’t know why it had never occurred to me that if I worked for a law firm I actually had to take whatever case they took. And so sometimes I might be actually having to defend BP — that compromise was way more than I could handle. Had no plan B. It was sort of a toss up of whether I went to Harvard or Yale law schools so I was trying to evaluate the difference


March 26-April 8, 2015

between the two. [I got] to know some Yale architecture students and they had been given a grant to build their thesis project, which was an elementary school [in Colorado]. They were looking for volunteer construction workers. So I volunteered. I was an only child. We had a house that was always falling down [on] Fire Island. My father had taught me how to use just about every tool. All of us lived in various tents but it was incredibly exciting to sit around at the end of the day and talk to the architects. One day one of the fellows said to me, ‘What are you going to do?’ I said, ‘I have no idea.’ ‘Have you ever considered landscape architecture?’ I said, ‘Never heard of it.’ So he explained it to me, basically, it’s everything we’ve been doing but outside. And I said, ‘That’s it. That’s what I’m going to do.’ I got in my truck and I drove back to New York … and went to get a job as a landscape architect. How did you get your start? I went through the yellow pages and I sent a letter to everyone who was listed as a landscape architect and nobody responded. Somewhere along the line, somebody said, ‘Please be sure to bring your portfolio.’ so I slapped together whatever I could do. I got to his office and I sat down. I started going through what was supposed to be my portfolio. He said halfway through, ‘So you don’t actually have a degree in land-

scape architecture? Do you know how to type?’ As I matter of fact I don’t. I specifically didn’t learn how to type so that I could never be a secretary. I ended up, for a variety of reasons, deciding that City College was where I was going to go for landscape architecture. Then in my first year, [Nicholas Quennell] was my professor and he hired me. I worked for him part time during school. I worked for him fulltime until I moved to Greece. By moving to Greece where they didn’t have that legacy [of apprenticeship] — they didn’t even have landscape architecture as a profession. I never would have been offered a project — I was responsible for the parks and open space for a new city in Morocco — in the United States. After projects in the Middle East, My husband decided he wanted to move back to America so we did. Then I worked for M. Paul Friedberg and Partners, [a landscape architecture and urban design firm]. [Friedberg] wouldn’t have put me on the projects he did if I hadn’t had that experience in Greece. He put me a competition to design the new capital for A laska, which was really exciting. L ate r, when I got pregnant at another job, I just decided I would do parttime work. I

called my two prior bosses, if you’ve got any reject work you want to send my way. And they did. I also started teaching at New Jersey Institute of Technology. So that’s what kind of kept body and soul together until my daughter was born. My plan was that when she got to be old enough for daycare or I felt not guilty anymore, I would go back to work. But then I started to get more and more work. You founded your own firm in 1979. It was so not a conscious decision. It really was just trying to figure out — and then my husband left me and I was a single mom — how to work in the career I had chosen and make enough money to make ends meet. The thing that was really shocking was that the kind of projects I was given to do on my own were very small, and quite frankly very uninteresting, given that I had this marvelous set of opportunities to do big scale work. The shift downward in scale and complexity was difficult to deal with.

Continued from page 10

never left — not a minute. How has the neighborhood changed? I often say that it has evolved as I’ve evolved. To get your shoes fixed or dry cleaning — I used to have to take it work ‘cause there wasn’t that kind of service. I can’t just bemoan the good old days — that would be really disingenuous. Within a month, my pet store closed, a deli closed and what I even thought was a rather upscale restaurant, The Harrison, closed — that was not exactly McDonald’s. It’s shocking to me. I patronized them for years and so I would ask them, of course, why are they leaving. When I found it was rent, I think that’s one thing that’s saddening. I used to look down at Tribeca from the World Trade Center. I did work in the World Trade Center. I’d look down at our neighborhood — it was obviously

tall buildings to the south, tall buildings creeping around to the east and tall buildings growing on the north. And it was getting sandwiched — you could see it. Talk about some Downtown projects. Favorites? The Tribeca section of Hudson River Park, which is still ongoing. First of all, I worked on the master plan that’s starting in ’93 — the whole park. We were awarded this section in 2005. [Gets up to point to the map of the park on her office wall.] The two [unfinished] pieces are Pier 26, from the restaurant boathouse out and this bit right here between Piers 25 and 26, which is construction staging for Pier 26. So that is certainly one of my favorite projects. I’ve worked on it for nine years and will hopefully continue to work to finish it. It’s been really wonderful to have people stop me in the street and just say, ‘Oh, I love this or I love that’ or ‘Can we have more of this or less of that.’ That’s certainly near and dear to my heart.

I think Duane Park [on Duane St.] was a really happy story that resulted in long-time friendships. [It was] one of the more successful private public engagements I ever worked on. For me, no project is too small. Projects can be too boring or uninteresting but they cannot be too small. Now we’re doing Bogardus, [on Hudson St. near Chambers St.] which is a little bigger than Duane Park. I know that’s going to have an even bigger impact because it’s right by a huge mass transit facility. That has different challenges because how do you ensure it’s still a neighborhood place at the same time that corner is effectively overrun by thousands of people all day long. Achieving that balance is, to me, the real challenge. What else do neighbors say? I get lots of ‘What are you going to do about the rats?’ It’s not always flattering. You talk to folks around the country and they say ‘Oh, you live

in in New York City and what’s that like?’ You know I live in this really great neighborhood. Between my house and the subway, I’ll run into at least seven people I know. I have these plants, which I keep out on the sidewalk in front of my building, and on Saturdays when I garden, I would say probably between six to 12 people stop and talk to me — about half of them know me and half of them don’t. [When] a person thanks me for improving their walk or the look of Duane St. or the sidewalk or their child’s day, it so incredible. I got these 14 pots and people know I love them and they’re very respectful — never been stolen. My biggest problem is, of course, rats. That aside, I do feel that Tribeca is a neighborhood. The seminal moment in Tribeca was those of us who stayed after 9/11. People that I knew their face but I didn’t know their name, I then got to know their name. We remember each other.

When did you move to Tribeca? I moved there in 1973 to Chambers St. Before we moved to Greece, my husband found a burnt-out building on the corner of Duane and Greenwich and he said, ‘Let’s get this building.’ [He] found three other friends, we can get a ten-year net lease for a $1,000. Now, when we came back from Greece, it was a burnt-out building so we couldn’t exactly move in there. So we sublet an art studio — it was a huge loft — in Soho while we fixed it up. We did almost all the labor ourselves except for the plumbing and electrical. I’m still there. Did you like the neighborhood? Oh no, [it was] cheap rent. We’d been living in a railroad flat on 16th St. on the West Side. My husband was always out, cruising around and checking stuff out. Came back one day and said ‘I found this really cool neighborhood with cheap rent.’ To go from, whatever, an 800 sq. ft. railroad flat to a 3,000 sq. ft. wide-open space on top of Cheese of All Nations was the most wonderful thing I’d ever experienced. And I’ve Continued on page 11

March 26-April 8, 2015


Sandy money starts to trickle Downtown Continued from page 1

goes to Lower Manhattan. “I’m here to commit to you that I’m going to make this the top of my list,” Schumer said Monday at a meeting of the Downtown-Lower Manhattan Association, according to the transcript of the event. “Think about it – where is HUD going to get the most bang for their buck in resiliency if not Lower Manhattan,” Schumer added.   Jessica Lappin, president of the D-L.M.A., said she was thrilled to have such strong support, given the problem. “Lower Manhattan’s needs are significant and remain underfunded,” said Lappin, who also runs the local Business Improvement District as president of the Downtown Alliance.   There were two Sandy-related deaths in Community Board 1 and some of the subway stops were among the last to reopen — effectively cutting Manhattan and the Bronx off from Brooklyn. Water flowed like a river through the Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel, and over to the east, water levels reached 7 feet at the South Street Seaport, damaging businesses and some homes. The bulk of the city-directed funds have gone to housing, which the Downtown advocates recognize is an important need in hard hit

areas elsewhere in the city. But Lappin said the pie is big enough for some money Downtown. “The city and the feds are focused on housing and we understand that, but I think there’s an opportunity for us to be successful,” she said. It’ll be a good number of years before there will be major investments in C.B. 1 which is why some Downtowners were relieved to hear the joint city-state announcement earlier this month.

Continued from page 12

Battery Park City ery St.

BATTERY PARK The city will spend $ 8 million for protection in historic Battery Park — likely berms jutting out from the park, the place where the Hudson and East rivers meet New York Harbor, officials announced on a Saturday, March 14. “The Battery is down,” as the song goes, and the park in one of the city’s lowest-lying areas spots took in a deluge of water Oct. 29, 2012, the day Sandy reached New York. The park work is not likely to begin until 2017, according to a city official and some Downtown leaders pushing for the project. The timeline is either praiseworthy or disappointing depending on whom you ask. “For the city, that’s an expedited time frame,” said Lappin, who worked with other leaders to get


The U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development plans to invest $335 million in storm protections north of Montgomery St. as part of the “Big U.” The city and state just announced it would spend $6.75 million tto study the area to the south, around to Battery Park City.

the city to spend more in Lower Manhattan. “Two years seems like an awfully long time for it to begin,” said Board 1’s Hughes, who had not heard directly about the timeline. Hughes, who also led the state’s NY Rising group in Lower Manhattan, which recommended the

Battery Park plan last year as part of post-Sandy planning, did say the new money is “a very welcome first step.” Based on Rising’s recommendations, Gov. Andrew Cuomo had already committed $3.75 million for the park and similar Downtown projects. With the city now taking care of the park, the state’s money will be added to a new $3 million city investment for a study covering Downtown’s east side from Montgomery St., down around the Battery, and the west side to the end of Battery Park City.

section a “little squiggle,” said while she’s happy there will be major investments north of Montgomery St. (2017 is also the target to start construction there), she’s also concerned Lower Manhattan would be even more vulnerable to floods once the protections are in place up to the north. “If you build something north of Montgomery St. you need to study what will be the impact in Lower Manhattan,” she said. “Better than that would be a plan for protection further Downtown.” The decision to start building to the north amounted to sacrificing protection in large housing complexes like LaGuardia and Smith Houses in favor of the even larger Stuyvesant Town. “The hardest hit are the ones that will be the least protected,” Aixa Torres, president of the tenant association at Smith, told Downtown Express a few months ago. “What happens to the rest of us?” “The pace and funding shortage are certainly still serious concerns,” said State Sen. Daniel Squadron. Another Downtown leader who has been pressing the city to focus

more Downtown, Councilmember Margaret Chin, said that because of the long wait for protection, she’s hoping the new study might produce “some short-term things the city can do in terms of resiliency.” Mayor Bill de Blasio, in announcing the city money said in a statement that “Lower Manhattan residents and businesses know too well just how devastating Sandy was to this community,” adding that the Battery Park project and study would help “ensure that Lower Manhattan is better prepared next time extreme weather hits.”

HOW LONG A WAIT? In related news, President Barack Obama put $1 million in his proposed budget for the Army Corps of Engineers to study long-range solutions for New York and New Jersey. If passed, the money would require matching funds from both states and the city, but the Corps has been working closely with all three and officials said at C.B. 1’s Planning Committee meeting March 9 that they were not concerned that there would be a holdup. And even though Congress has been trying to slash the budget, Paul

Photo courtesy of the Downtown Alliance

Sen. Chuck Schumer, center, said Monday that securing storm protection funds for Lower Manhattan is “at the top of my list.” With him were Jessica Lappin, president of the Downtown Alliance, and World Trade Center developer Larry Silverstein.

Tumminello, the Army Corps’ chief of civil works programs for the New York district, said there was a much greater chance the $1 million study would be increased rather than cut or reduced. C.B. 1’s Bob Schneck pressed for

the best case scenario, assuming no hiccups in Congress, and matching funds for the study. How long would it take to start building something more in Lower Manhattan? “It’s probably about a decade,” Tumminello told him.



Downtown Express file photo by Jay Fine

The Battery Park Underpass after Hurricane Sandy in 2012.


March 26-April 8, 2015

The idea is to come up with resiliency plans that are ready to go once more money is found, and to begin to plug a gaping funding hole in the much ballyhooed “Big U” plan. The federal concept announced last year would form a U-shaped ring of flood protection around the lower half of Manhattan. HUD is funding $335 million of the project’s first phase from the Lower East Side’s Montgomery St. up to E. 23rd St. “It’s not a Big U — it’s more like a little ‘i’ right now,” Patrick Ryan of the Mayor’s Office of Recovery and Resiliency said at a Community Board 1 meeting March 9, five days prior to the mayor’s announcement. Hughes, who calls the first Continued on page 13

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Pols renew push for Lunar school holiday

TRANSIT SAM Thurs., March 26 – Wed., April 1 ALTERNATE SIDE PARKING RULES ARE IN EFFECT ALL WEEK In case last Sunday’s toll hikes didn’t make your commute sluggish enough, closures this Thursday night will create extra traffic turbulence getting to Lower Manhattan. Under the Hudson River, the Lincoln Tunnel’s south tube to New York will close 11 p.m. Thursday to 5 a.m. Friday, sending inbound traffic south to the Holland Tunnel. No easygoing there either, since one New York-bound lane will close during the same hours. Planning to head in across the East River? All Manhattan-bound lanes of the Brooklyn Bridge will close 11 p.m. Thursday to 6 a.m. Friday. That means drivers will take the Manhattan or Williamsburg bridges instead and

traffic will be extra heavy on Canal and Delancey Sts. The Brooklyn Bridge will also close all Manhattan-bound lanes midnight Friday to 7 a.m. Saturday, and 11 p.m. to 6 a.m. Monday through Thursday nights. On West St./Route 9A, one southbound lane will close from Vesey St. to West Thames St. 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Thursday and Friday.  The Stone St. Pedestrian Mall will close Stone St. between Broad St. and Hanover Sq. and Mill Ln. between William and Stone Sts. 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily.  

FROM THE MAILBAG: Dear Transit Sam, I am a N.Y.C. bicycle rider. There appears to be a relatively new practice around building construction

sites. More often now than ever, I run into areas where the sidewalk has been pushed out into the street, limiting the width of the pedestrian way, and reducing the number of lanes available to vehicles. What’s going on with these? Is this practice in greater use today? In the past the construction site would be separated from the sidewalk by a temporary wall. The sidewalk would remain open, and there would be no reduction in the number of lanes available for vehicular traffic.   Al, New York   Dear Al,   You’re seeing more of these in part because of the building boom and also the insistence by D.O.T. that pedestrians not be forced to

cross a street but keep on the side of the street they started on. Sometimes this means temporarily removing a lane of parking or even a moving lane so that the “sidewalk” can be maintained around the construction site. Whether or not these temporary walkways are created in the street or within the bounds of the property itself has to do with the specifics of each construction site and the construction staging.   Transit Sam

Email your traffic, parking and transit questions to transitsam@ Follow me @GridlockSam and check www.  for more updates on the latest traffic news.

BY DUSI CA SUE M ALESEVI C Elected officials and community groups rallied in front of City Hall two weeks ago to push Mayor Bill de Blasio to fulfill his pledge that the Lunar New Year would be a school holiday. The March 13 rally came on the heels of de Blasio’s recent announcement that two Muslim holidays — Eid al-Adha and Eid al-Fitr — will be added to the school calendar. Schools will be closed on Sept. 24 in observance.

State Sen. Daniel Squadron said the mayor had more than enough time to add the Lunar New Year to the 2015-2016 school calendar. While applauding de Blasio on making the Muslim holidays part of the school calendar — a position all of the speakers took — Squadron said the mayor should keep his pledge on the Lunar New Year. Next year, said Squadron, it will be on Mon., Feb. 8 and families

should not have to choose between celebrating the holiday and missing a day of school. “We’re really pushing this,” said Councilmember Margaret Chin, whose district includes Chinatown. There is “enough time to plan for next year’s schedule” and it “must be declared a school holiday,” Chin said. Asian Americans are around 15 percent of the student population in New York City. Students who miss school to celebrate the holiday receive an “excused” absence that is marked on their record.

No one community is more important than another, said Assemblymember Sheldon Silver, who reiterated the call for the mayor to keep his promise. Silver, who was forced to give up the Assembly speaker’s post earlier this year in the face of federal corruption charges, has been more visible in the district of late. An observant Jew, he likened the calendar change to school closings on the Jewish Holy Days. Councilmember Peter Koo of Queens said “Mayor de Blasio, let’s do it now.”

Downtown Express photo by Dusica Sue Malesevic

State Sen. Daniel Squadron at a City Hall rally March 12 calling for a school holiday on Lunar New Year. To the right are Assemblymembers Ron Kim and Sheldon Silver.



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More pre-k seats Continued from page 5

first year as a public pre-K provider, it has offered four-year-old preschool programs at several other locations and has experience with this age group, said Lowenhar. It also offers afterschool programs, he said. Full-day pre-K will be offered again this year at CCLC at 4 NY Plaza, at Water and Broad Sts., which has 31 spots. The center opened a month before Superstorm Sandy in September 2012 and was then closed for six months due to damage, Lisa Pacheco, center director, said in a phone interview. After renovation, it reopened in May of 2013, and serves children from six weeks to pre-K. This is the second year the center will have pre-K. It has extended hours and she said she expected around 12 children already attending the center would fill spots for this fall’s pre-K class. There are 18 full-day spots at the Tribeca Early Childhood Center at 21 St. John’s Lane. This is the center’s second year of pre-K, Mary Sikarevich, director, said in a phone interview. The center has

been open for two years and has 45 children attending, ages ranging from two to five. It does have extended hours, which she said costs $300 a month. P.S. 89 will have 16 spots and P.S. 150 will have 18. Spruce Street School, which has had pre-K since it opened in 2011, has this year one full-day class with 18 children and four half-day sections for a total of 72 students, said Nancy Harris, principal, in a phone interview. Come September, there will be two sections of full-day classes with 36 spots available, she said. Two rooms will be used instead of three for pre-K. Spruce Street is expanding into middle school starting this fall with sixth grade, seventh grade in fall 2016 and eighth grade in fall 2017. When asked if pre-K would affect the school’s middle school expansion plans, Harris said, “We don’t anticipate an issue for September or for the foreseeable future.” She said she didn’t know how many years the school would have room for pre-K.

C.B. 1 to lose 5 vets Five active members of Community Board 1 are stepping down and were honored with citations at the board’s Tues., Mar. 24 monthly meeting. Chairperson Catherine McVay Hughes spoke about their contributions. George Calderaro, who is moving, has been a member of C.B. 1 since 2010. He was co-chairperson of the Battery Park City Committee for three years as well as a member of the Landmarks Committee. “His knowledge, passionate commitment to landmarks preservation [in] Community Board 1 and elsewhere in New York City [is] irreplaceable,” said Hughes. As a member of the Planning and Quality of Life committees, Sarah Currie-Halpern joined the board in 2013. Hughes touted her knowledge of environmental quality of life issues, such as light pollution. Corie Sharples has shown “her dedication to landmark designation and preservation through countless hours of committee meetings, complex disposition of issues and outstanding resolution writing” said Hughes. Sharples, a principal with SHoP Architects, who has lived both

in the Seaport and Tribeca, became part of the Landmarks Committee in 2009. Allan Tannenbaum has made “outstanding contributions” to the Landmarks and Tribeca Committee, said Hughes. He joined the board in 2006 and was a public member for two years prior to being appointed. He is also a well-known photographer, probably most famous for his pictures of John Lennon and Yoko Ono. A “dedicated chair” of the Seaport/ Civic Center Committee, John Fratta has been on the board for 12 years. He once served as C.B. 1’s treasurer and will be back as a public member. “I’ve been involved in community boards for 40 years now, both as a member of the board or as an employee of the board,” said Fratta. “And I thought C.B. 1 is one of the most professional and involved boards probably in the city of New York. You’re all great people — you’re committed. You really have the community at heart and for that I want to thank you,” said Fratta, to applause, and then thanked the board’s staff.


Have girls come a little way, baby, on sports equity? BY ZACH WILLIAMS Gender equity remains a concern in public high school sports, but the Downtown community is finding its own ways of evening the playing field while the city catches up. An influx of new city funding has led to a dramatic expansion of sports offerings at the middle school and elementary levels. But it was in January that the city Department of Education reached an accord with the federal government which mandates that the city improve athletic opportunities for girls in local prep sports just as one local Downtown school was gathering the resources to fund a team on their own initiative. The D.O.E. denied in a Jan. 22 agreement with the federal Department of Education that it violated Title IX, part of a 1972 law mandating equal emphasis on girls’ and boys’ sports by school districts which receive federal funding. Nonetheless, the city opted to come to terms with federal officials in order to resolve a complaint made in 2010 by the National Women’s Law Center about city schools. “It is long past time for schools to give girls what they need, deserve and are entitled to under the law,” Marcia D. Greenberger, co-president of the center, said in a statement. The timing of the agreement coincided with the recently successful effort to add a varsity softball program at Millennium High School in the Financial District, but the balance came at a cost to the girls’ families — they had to raise the money themselves. Thus far, donors have contributed more than $16,000 for the team. Students, parents and staff there relied upon an online funding effort to help secure funding for the upcoming team. Female athletes now exceed their male counterparts at the school 109 to 101, athletic director Brian Friedman said in a March 23 email. Twelve varsity sports teams are evenly split between boys and girls, he added. But the fundraising effort sent the wrong message, according to Community Board 1 member Paul Hovitz, co-chairperson of the Youth and Education Committee. Girls should not have to rely upon such extraordinary measures, he said in a

telephone interview. “It is unfair that the girls team is not funded like the boys team. There should be equity there,” he said. The process through which new sports are added to city high schools will change per the Jan. 22 agreement. Principals right now have to request new sports teams but soon coaches, parents and students will be able to directly apply to D.O.E. Records will be stored and the department will conduct assessments of unfulfilled athletic interests of female students at city high schools, according to the agreement. Athletic Directors will also receive training in Title IX. City education officials did not answer questions about the Title IX agreement with the feds. The city did claim compliance with Title IX by arguing that the department demonstrated a history of responsiveness to the interests and abilities of female students, but the federal government did not concur. From school years 2002-03 to 2009-10, 353 girls’ teams were added but 309 were eliminated within the same time period, according to the federal investigation. Meanwhile, 478 boys’ teams were added while 340 teams were eliminated leading to a net increase of 138 boys’ teams but only 44 girls’ teams. Overall, 2,425 more participation opportunities were added for boys than girls. D.O.E. budgeted an additional $1 million for the next four fiscal years to add a total of 96 new girls teams by 2019, according to the department statement. But elsewhere the city has made a bigger commitment to youth sports and programs for younger students. “It’s not an equality issue. It’s a money issue.” John De Matteo — athletic director at P.S. 126 and commissioner of the Middle School Athletic League — said of lingering inequity between athletic opportunities for girls and boys. He has been able to provide gender balance, but he said it’s more difficult to accomplish that at the high school level. There are differences in the level

Photo courtesy of Manhattan Youth

Manhattan Youth, which runs middle school sports programs Downtown, has high participation among girls, but high schools have had more trouble achieving equity.

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March 26-April 8, 2015


Whitney starts to hire for Downtown move BY TEQU I L A M I N SKY munity organizations, like SAGE, The hard hats are putting finHudson Guild and the Lower East ishing touches on the steps facing Side Employment Network. Fliers West and Gansefoort Sts. With one were posted in local libraries, anmonth to go, the Whitney Museum nouncements were made at meetlooks like an in-progress ings of Community Boards building site, but not for 2 and 3, and e-mail blasts long. May 1 is the opening were fired off. U N O AR D date for the Whitney’s At the job fair, 162 job relocation from its Upper applicants came through East Side address to an the doors, resumes and expanded new home in the cover letters in hand. Meatpacking District. Many came out of curiosity. A couple of weeks ago, They were all ages. the Whitney held a job fair for “They were a diverse cross customer-contact jobs. In the midsection, matching the jobs availdle of the still-under-construction able,” Hardwicke said. lobby, tables were set up and job Some had backgrounds in retail, applicants were able to speak to the catering, teaching or the hotel inmanagers of the museum’s various dustry. There were artists checking departments with job openings. out the possibilities, including a “We have 180 positions we’re couple who had just moved from hiring for,” said Adrian Hardwicke, D.C., having left government jobs. director of Visitor Experiences, Hardwicke elaborated that of which means public-contact jobs. the 180 positions, 120 are in food The jobs are in the areas of secuservices. rity, retail, membership services, Stephane Birmingham, memberticketing and volunteering. ship manager, said she personally “We didn’t want this museum spoke with about 100 people at the to land as an alien spaceship,” he job fair. explained. “We want to include the “We never had a dedicated community.” department for volunteer appliNot to mention that being able cants,” noted Meryl Schwartz, the to walk to work is an advantage for Whitney’s volunteer manager, who everyone. actually has a newly created job To this end, announcements for herself. “I spoke with 15 to 20 job the job fair were sent to local comapplicants,” she said, astounded

Downtown Express photo by Tequila Minsky

Construction is still going on to put the finishing touches on the Whitney Museum, which is set to open in about a month from now.

that some who walked through the door possibly looking for a job actually might be interested in volunteering, as well. Following receipt of the resumes, Whitney managers have held group interviews and are now holding individual interviews. Is it too late to apply? “It’s never too late,” said Hardwicke, recommending that job hopefuls send a cover letter and resume to (The Web site www.whitney. org also has a range of more job

openings that are not in the field of customer contact.) The managers will have all hires in place by April 13. Hardwicke emphasized how, along with outreach education programs, the world-renowned museum is trying to create something relevant to the people in the local community. “We want to build relationships to our immediate neighbors while having a global presence,” she said. The museum’s grand opening will be May 1.

Historic former pharmacy in the Village forced out BY TEQUI L A M I N SKY The faded “ghost sign” on the wall advertising Avignone Pharmacy (later Avignone Chemists) overlooks Sir Winston Churchill Square and can be read easily from Sixth Ave. It probably dates from the 1950s, according to the Greenwich Village Society for Historical Preservation’s blog. Another testament to Avignone’s long history could be found inside — a massive old prescription book filled with script handwriting from the early 1900s. It was left in a window, a glimpse of history for passersby. Saturday, March 21, Avignone’s last day of operation, owner Abe Lerner pointed out one prescription in the big book dated 1917. Avignone, which operated continuously for more than 100 years, was at this last location, at 226 Bleecker St./281 Sixth Ave., since 1929. Before that, it was at 59 McDougal St., but had to move after that spot was demolished when Houston St. was widened. A little more than a year ago, it lost its pharmacy, when the pharmacy’s owner decided to


March 26-April 8, 2015

relocate to the nearby CVS on Sixth Ave. But Avignone continued on as a health and beauty-care shop. According to G.V.H.S.P.’s blog, Frank and Horatio Avignone built the two-story building on Bleecker St. for their pharmacy, and the building has not changed significantly since then. Italian-born Frank (Francis Titus) immigrated to the U.S. in 1890. His son Carlo took over the business in 1956, and in 1974 sold it to Dominic Grassi, whose son, Mike Grassi, assumed ownership in 1978, and worked there until 1991, when he was joined by Lerner. More recently, the building was sold to Force Capital Management, which announced plans to triple the rent to $60,000 a month. Villager Judyth Silverstein stopped by last Saturday and picked up a few final items, on sale so that they would “move.” Repeating the sentiments of most of her neighbors, she said, “I feel terrible, horrible. It’s an institution.” And, yes, she said, she does shop there, “enough to miss it.”

Chelsea knocks mayor’s affordable housing plan BY ZACH WI LLI AM S floors — such as fire sprinklers Mayor Bill de Blasio’s plan to and soundproofing materials. As increase affordable housing around a result, this limits the amount the city by allowing bigger buildof floors permitted by what the ings to be built is getting a rude non-profit called “rigid” building reception in Chelsea. height limits. “This is a citywide initiaThe result is that architive that is being rammed tects and developers have U N O AR D through with not enough to maximize floor area as time to make even the much as possible while most basic consideration keeping construction of what [the Dept. of City costs down, according to Planning] should be studythe housing group’s presiing,” Lee Compton, co-chairdent, Mark E. Ginsberg. person of Community Board “We’ve created this strait4’s Land Use Committee, said last jacket where if you look at a lot week. of the buildings there’s very little The proposed changes would variation besides the color of the drastically overhaul regulations on brick because (developers are) trythe height, size and shape of new ing to take all the floor area and fit residential developments. it into the building,” he said at the Compton said the push for more community board meeting. affordable housing cannot come at the Limiting a building’s height by cost of more than a decade of work by floors rather than feet is one way the community board on managing to inject more residential units into neighborhood development. a development, according to the The current rules on zoning group’s report. came into effect in 1987. Changes “Many C.H.P.C. board members are needed in order to meet the believe that New York City should demands of mayor’s affordable begin to move away from such housing push, according to repreprescribed requirements for our sentatives of the Citizens Housing built environment and make a shift and Planning Council, who present- toward performance zoning — an ed their own research to a C.B. 4 alternative system to traditional meeting March 16. land use planning that uses perThe non-profit group represents formance-based, or goal-oriented many connected to the building criteria,” reads the report. industry including architects, develRemov ing obstacles to housopers and lawyers. ing production and reducing Of particular concern to the constr uction costs are key group is how the limitations on strateg ies of de Blasio’s affordbuilding dimensions reduce the able housing plan, which has the amount of residential units in a ambition of preser v ing or creatnew development. ing 20 0,0 0 0 units of affordable A 2014 study by the housing housing by 2024. group examined the experiences of City Planning is in the midst of 17 projects in the city — none of a yearlong process, preparing recwhich were in Manhattan south of ommendations to the City Planning 99th St. Only one out of that samCommission and City Council on pling was able to maximize floor zoning changes. space under current restrictions, A draft Environmental Impact according to the report. Statement on the plan is scheduled In the 28 years since the last to be completed this spring. The changes, average ceiling heights public land use review process, have increased from about eight also known as ULURP, will likely feet, eight inches to nine or more commence at about that time and feet. Pre-war buildings typically conclude in the fall, according to feature even higher ceilings. City Planning. But building practices require Members of C.B. 4, which also more infrastructure between covers Clinton, last week expressed

Downtown Express photo by Zach Williams

Neighbors at a Community Board 4 meeting last week said they were worried the mayor’s affordable housing plan would increase building size too much. In the foreground is the board’s chairperson, Christine Berthet.

concern that altering current zoning regulations would lead to higher buildings and questioned whether developers truly need to maximize floor area as much as possible in order to build affordable housing while still making money. But more than anything at the March 16 meeting, the biggest worry was that 16

years of development of the community board’s own housing plan could quickly become irrelevant by the city’s plan. “The context is what defines neighborhoods. If we want to keep that diversity and character of the neighborhood, we have to keep the context,” said Christine Berthet, Community Board 4’s chairperson.

Christ’s Light, Leaven & Salt—In New York City and beyond

HOLY WEEK Palm Sunday • March 29 9:30 am, Kirkland Chapel; 11 am, Sanctuary

Maundy Thursday • April 2 7 pm, Sanctuary

Good Friday • April 3

12 pm, Sanctuary A Service of Sacred Music and Reflection

Join us as we celebrate the Resurrection of the Lord.

Easter Sunday, April 5 9:30 am & 11:15 am

Do you remember when ______________ happened downtown? ...We do. Downtown Express photos by Tequila Minsky

Abe Lerner with a historic prescription book at Avignone, which had a pharmacy for about 99 of its 100 years. A prescription from 1917, in a typically indecipherable doctor’s writing (inset).

Visit Our Archives At Fifth & 55th in Midtown • •



March 26-April 8, 2015


March 12th,  2015    

REQUEST FOR  PROPOSALS   DCTV  is  hereby  inviting  proposals  f rom  qualified  contractors  for  integration  services   for  the  DCTV  Digital  Cinema  at  87  Lafayette  Street.  

To request  the  full  RFP  document,     please  email:      David  Harvey,  HMBA    david@hmb-­‐                                                            and  cc.  Chris  Arnold,  DCTV    

DCTV SYSTEMS  INTEGRATION  SCOPE  OF  WORK   I.      This  project  entails  the  outfitting  of  a  new  Digital  Cinema  and  studio  in  accordance            with  DCTV’s  designs  and  industry-­‐standard  practices.    The  work  will  include  but              not  be  limited  to:            a)  Generating  a  supplemental  list  for  all  additional  equipment  needed  for  the                      installation  in  close  collaboration  with  DCTV  staff  and  design  contractors  and                      procuring  all  such  materials  on  the  client’s  behalf              b)  Generating  any  necessary  shop  (or  other)  drawings  necessary  for  the  building  of                      the  systems,  documenting  all  work            c)  Receiving,  cataloging  and  labeling  all  equipment  in  firm’s  workshop,            d)  Building  and  storing  systems  offsite  until  installation  is  possible.            e)  Transporting  systems  to  87  Lafayette  for  installation            f)    Installing  all  equipment,  all  necessary  wiring  and  cabling,  power,  connectors,  etc.                      to  create  a  fully  functional,  integrated  system            g)  Installing  all  jack-­‐in  plates,  jacks,  plugs,  cables  and  connections  for  all  devices                      used  with  the  projection  system  including  but  not  limited  to:  color  correction  and                      sound  mixing  station,  podium  tie-­‐in  locations,  stage  and  wall  jack-­‐ins,  etc.            h)  Installing  all  jack-­‐in  plates,  jacks,  plugs,  cables  and  connections  for  all  cameras  to                      be  used  for  the  Audience  Participation  System,  close  collaboration  with  the                        integrator  for  that  system  to  ensure  proper  compatibility.              i)  Setting  up,  tuning/properly  adjusting  equipment  f or  full  DCI-­‐compliant  playback                      and  in  accordance  with  other  established  cinema  playback  standards  such  as                      Dolby  sound  guidelines,  THX  qualification  requirements,  etc.              j)  Performing  any  custom  programming  of  systems  or  macros,  performing  all                      custom  configurations  of  routing,  patchbays  and  other  gear.              k)Testing  and  guaranteeing  all  systems  and  work              l)  Training  D CTV  staff  on  systems  use,  features,  customization  and  programming   II:    This  contractor  shall  act  as  the  prime  contractor  for  the  project  and  shall  retain                all  required  subcontractors  to  provide  a  complete  installation.    Where  g eneral                contracting  or  electrical  contracting  work  is  necessary,  contractor  will  oversee                  work  to  ensure  proper  execution.      This  work  will  include  but  not  be  limited  to:                a)  Construction  of  a  temporary  sound  proof  projection  booth  with  proper  venting                of  projector  exhaust  to  the  outside.                b)  Any  electrical  upgrade  or  modification  necessary  to  run  the  new  equipment.                c)  Construction  of  a  platform  for  the  projector  and  installation  of  the  projector                          base  onto  the  platform    

Question period:    4/2  –  4/8      (All  questions  submitted  via  email  by  4/6.)   RFPs  DUE:      5:00  PM  EST,  APRIL  13th   ALL  WORK  COMPLETED  BY  JUNE  30TH,  2015    

Proposal shall  include    ·  Narrative  description  of  approach,  including  tie-­‐in  of/hand  off  to  Interactive   Audience  Participation  system   ·  Description  and  list  of  all  supplemental  equipment  proposed  for  build  with  prices  per   item  for  firm  to  provide    ·  Qualifications  of  f irm  and  key  persons    ·  Documentation  of  recently  completed  similar  projects  detailing  firm’s  exact  role  and   including  professional  references  from  the  project    ·  Lump  sum  f ee  (including  supplemental  equipment)    ·  Hourly  rates  for  any  additional  services      ·  Timeline  with  benchmarks  to  complete  project  by  the  deadline     Bid  documents  are  to  be  distributed  to  contractors  digitally.     DCTV  will  select  the  bid,  which,  in  its  sole  judgment,  most  successfully  demonstrates  the  necessary  qualities  to   undertake  the  project,  offers  most  favorable  financial  terms,  and  best  meets  the  other  needs  and  g oals  of  the   project.  DCTV  reserves  the  full  right  to  reject  all  bids  if  it  so  chooses.  DCTV  will  not  pay  any  costs  incurred  in   response  to  this  invitation  to  bid.    

Let it  be  known  by  all  person(s)  who  respond  to  this  invitation  to  bid  that  the  work  to  be  performed  under  contract   with  D CTV  is  for  a  p roject  a ssisted  under  a  program  providing  Federal  financial  assistance  from  HUD  a nd  is  subject  to   the  requirements  of  Section  3  of  the  Housing  a nd  Urban  Development  Act  of  1968,  as  amended  (12  U.S.C.  §  1701).    All   services  to  be  p erformed  in  connection  with  the  proposed  project  will  be  subject  to  all  Local,  State,  and  Federal  laws,   ordinances,  regulations  and  Building  Codes,  including  the  Historic  Preservation  requirements  set  forth  in  the  National   Historic  Preservation  Act  of  1966,  a s  amended  (16  U.S.C.  §470)  and  the  requirements  of  all  of  DCTV’s  public  a nd  private   funding  sources,  including,  without  limitation,  the  Lower  Manhattan  Development  Corporation  (LMDC)  and  the  US   Department  of  Housing  and  Urban  Development  (HUD).     DCTV  activities  outlined  in  this  invitation  to  bid  are  funded  by  the  L ower  Manhattan  Development  Corporation   (LMDC),  which  p rograms  are  funded  through  a  Community  Development  Block  Grant  (CDBG)  from  United  States   Department  of  Housing  and  Urban  Development  (HUD),  pursuant  to  a  Subrecipient  Agreement  executed  by  DCTV,  as   “Subrecipient”,  and  LMDC,  as  “Grantee.”    LMDC  must  a pprove  all  work  of  the  contract  between  DCTV  and  the  selected   contractor  (the  “Contract”).  Administration  of  the  grant  imposes    r ecord-­‐keeping  and  paperwork  r equirements  on  the   contractor.  Each  bidder  shall  familiarize  him/herself  with    all  regulations  and  necessary  submittals  expected  by  the   LMDC  and  the  U.S.  Department  of  Housing  a nd  Urban  Development  (HUD)  during  the  actual  execution  of  the  p roject.  It   is  the  bidder's  responsibility  to  comply  with  all  HUD  and  LMDC  r egulations  included  in  references  and  meet  all   requirements,  including  adherence  to  prevailing  wages  as  determined  in  a ccordance  w ith  the  Davis-­‐Bacon  Act  as   amended  (40  U.S.C.  276a–276a-­‐5);  inclusion  of  full  LMDC  a nd  HUD  contract  language  in  any  and  all  subcontractor   contracts  (see  attachments);  a nd  such  subcontractor  contracts  and  selections  must  be  a pproved  by  LMDC  before   commencement  of  work  by  subcontractors.     This  p roject  h as  a  stated  Minority-­‐  and  Women-­‐Owned  Business  Enterprise  (M/WBE)  goal  of  20%  participation.     Bidders  must  submit  their  MWBE  plan.    The  bidder’s  ability  to  meet  or  exceed  the  MWBE  goal  will  be  considered  as   part  of  the  evaluation  criteria.    As  used  in  this  procurement,  the  term  “minority  and  woman-­‐owned  business   enterprise  means  a  business  at  least  fifty-­‐one  percent  (51%)  owned  and  controlled     by  minority  group  members  or  women.     For  immediate  a ccess  to  the  full  RFP  document,  HUD/LMDC  Compliance   Requirements,  a nd  the  required   Standard  Business  Background  Questionnaire,  g o  to:  


March 26-April 8, 2015

Woman killed in accident wasn’t taken to closest E.R.

Retail reopens with new name: Brookfield Place

BY L IN COL N AN DERSON Emergency responders made the snap decision not to take Trang Thuy “Tina” Nguyen to the nearby Lenox Hill HealthPlex last week after she was critically injured by a piece of construction fence that blew off the new Greenwich Lane project on W. 12th St. near Seventh Ave. Instead, they took her crosstown to Bellevue Hospital, where she was pronounced dead. On Tues., March 17, Nguyen, 37, was slammed by a 4-foot-by-8-foot piece of construction fence that ripped off the new development in nearly 40-mile-per-hour winds. She was thrown against a parking garage across the street, where she struck her head against a brick wall. Following the fatality, the Department of Buildings issued a full stop-work order for the accident-plagued project, plus a violation to safeguard the site. Trang Thuy Nguyen, who was killed in It’s a cruel irony that the site Greenwich Village March 17. of the Greenwich Lane residential project was formerly St. Vincent’s Hospital. The historic Village hospital closed in 2010 and its former It’s been long established, he campus is being redeveloped into said, that it’s best “to go a little high-end residential condos by farther in the ambulance” to get Rudin Management Co. the victim to the right place for In addition, although North treatment, a trauma center. Shore-L.I.J. opened up a standMaking this decision is part of alone emergency department last the E.M.S. responders’ job, he said. year in the former St. Vincent’s As for the HealthPlex, accordO’Toole Building across the street, ing to Cruzen, since opening eight it’s not equipped as a trauma center months ago, it has seen about — and that’s why the decision was 18,000 patients, or roughly 2,250 made not to take Nguyen a month. there. St. Vincent’s, on the “People seem happy,” other hand, was a Level he said. “We get a lot of UND O R A 1 trauma center, as is positive feedback.” Bellevue. Two days after NguyDr. Eric Cruzen, the en’s tragic death, ComHealthPlex’s emergency munity Board 2 passed medical director, explained a unanimous resolution, that this was a decision made calling for the city to make by the responding medics. building work-site safety a priority “When E.M.S. providers assess on par with the new Vision Zero a patient at the scene of an accistreet-safety initiative. dent,” he said, “they determine “Community Board 2 is greatly whether or not the patient’s injuries saddened by the tragic death of require the specialized services Tram Thuy Nguyen, a 37-yearonly available at a trauma center. old resident of our community,” Bellevue Hospital is the only trauthe resolution stated in part. “We ma center in the immediate area…. express our deepest condolences to “They have specialized trauma her family and friends. teams — with trauma surgeons “C.B. 2 calls on the mayor and — on hand 24 hours a day, ready to the New York City Department of go at a moment’s notice. They have Buildings to create a program parspecial equipment. allel to Vision Zero,” the resolution “Had she come to the Healthurged, “so that workers, residents Plex,” Cruzen said, “we would have and pedestrians are fully protected done everything we could to have from the injuries and deaths that stabilized her, and then we would too frequently result from preventhave likely transferred her to a able accidents at construction sites trauma center.” throughout the city.”

across from the World Trade Center. Other stores to open include Hermes, Salvatore Ferragamo, Zegna, Scoop, Theory, Judith & Charles, Michael Kors, Calypso, Bonobos, Diane von Furstenberg, Paul Smith and J. Crew. The renovation pushed out several shops and some in the neighborhood have criticized the new high-end retail. @AudreyBPC tweeted Downtown Express this week that there is “Nothing for residents! Shops cater to business tenants.” Equinox has already been open for about a month. Matt Herrick, an employee that works at the front desk, said as of now, more of the members are office workers rather than local residents, but once construction is complete and people know that the gym is open that should change. “We look forward to everything opening,” he said. At 30,000 sq. ft., Le District will include stores, such as La Boulangerie that will sell bread, and restaurants. HPH Restaurant Group is behind the French Le District, which is headed by Paul Lamas and Peter Poulakakos. Poulakakos’ family has been running Downtown eateries for decades and now has a hand in running the restored Pier A. August Schopfer, 26, said that it will be convenient when the retail is open since he already enjoys the food options at Hudson Eats, which opened last year. He lamented, however, the loss of food trucks that were banished once the upstairs food court opened. His colleague at American Express, Matt Kokeiwo, 34, said although he was indifferent about the new retail, he was happy that the construction is ending. “I kind of forgot what it looked like [before],” said Schopfer.

Continued from page 1

Downtown Express photo by Dusica Sue Malesevic

Some finishing touches at Brookfield Place.

LETTERS POLICY Downtown Express welcomes letters to The Editor. They must include the writer’s first and last name, a phone number for confirmation purposes only, and any affiliation that relates directly to the letter’s subject matter. Letters should be less than 300 words. Downtown Express reserves the right to edit letters for space, clarity, civility or libel reasons. Letters should be emailed to or can be mailed to 1 Metrotech Center North, Brooklyn, NY 11201.

Downtown Express photo by Scot Surbeck

Le District is reportedly opening March 30. March 26-April 8, 2015



Jennifer Goodstein EDITOR

Josh Rogers REPORTER

Dusica Sue Malesevic ARTS EDITOR


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Andrew Gooss Chris Ortiz WEB MASTER


Milo Hess Jefferson Siegel PUBLISHER EMERITUS

John W. Sutter

Tribeca Neighborhood Watch Letters to the Editor SCARY SHOPPING DREAMS IN ‘FIDI’

Re “Retail market is finally booming near Wall St. (Downtown Notebook, March 12 -25):

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March 26-April 8, 2015

ThE FouNdaTioNS oF ThE STEiNEr CommuNiTY

Eyes of all sorts were on Duane St. this week.

To The Editor:


Downtown Express photo by Milo Hess


Last night I had a nightmare. When I awoke I discovered it was no nightmare. It was real. No longer did I live in the Wall Street/Seaport Area.  I am living in FiDi. Attempting to rid myself of the nightmare, I took my handbag and credit cards and walked in FiDi to do my favorite thing:  Shop! Kate Spade, Michael Kors, Burberry. Oh a sea of high-end retail stores waiting for me to discover. Lovely clothes, expensive clothes.  I quickly ran to Century 21 where I knew that I could buy at least one dress, maybe more, leaving me not broke by the temptations of the new and classy retail stores.  Even Disney was beyond my pocket and I didn’t want to dress like Cinderella. Lunch time, no luck there either.  Wow, oh wow.  Soup, salad, and cocktail broke the bank. The old was better than the new.  Surrounded by mini malls, I sought comfort in a movie. This is great I thought.  At last a movie theater that I can walk to from my new

address, FiDi. Reserved ticket in hand, I checked in and sank into my airline style bed. The smell of food surrounded me.  My pillow covered my eyes because I did not want to watch the couple next to me kissing, hugging and......well, you know!  I ran out to buy a drink to aid my recovery from shock.  Thirty-somethings gathered round the bar area, making the usual noise.  This was a movie, a dream.......or a nightmare? Luis Vazquez is a real estate broker who lives and I presume sells real estate in the Downtown area.  He writes “more coming.....just wait.  This is a brand new FiDi.”  Dickens wrote about cities “getting younger.”  I can hardly contend with William St. traffic.  Back to bed in my Financial District apartment I draw the blinds, turn on Mozart, and feel into what I hope is a  dream.   Diane Wintering To The Editor: In the quintessential historic district of New York City, the plans of the Howard Hughes Corp. are to de-construct and to destroy, thus their motto — “See Change”— nothing to do with the Sea and everything to do with Change. Had the Roman Coliseum been here, Hughes would topple it and turn it into a Barclay

Center. This Texas company has no interest in an intelligent enhancement of our historic district, but worse, they have no interest in the common man or in common sense. Tourists from all over the world come here every day. Why? They come to view history: a non-existent building — the former World Trade Center. They come to see the old Financial District, its buildings and its history, whose disappearance the present plans would accelerate. Hughes’ motives are clear. As the New York Post reported long ago, the lease to our Seaport was given away for pennies (“South $weet Lease Deal.” Feb. 24, 2013). The city politicos time and again have had short vision with tragic consequences (i.e. Penn Station). Now they would take some crumbs from the table of the plutocrats. As I read Luis Vazquez, “Retail Market is Finally Booming near Wall Street.” (Downtown Notebook, March 12-25), I shuddered and hoped that the article was pure fantasy — that its outline of the future Financial District is a series of sick jokes. Must we ever be victimized by weak political hacks who refuse to say the one moral word: NO. No to costly cinemas that sound more like bedrooms and bars than film theaters. No to costly stores when people need to shop at Century 21. No to buildings that block the view of the Brooklyn Bridge. No. No. No.

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of resources necessary to start a new team at the high school versus middle school and elementary schools, he added. Prep sports tend to practice every day, spurring competition for playing space. Younger athletes hone their skills fewer times a week, allowing for multiple teams for the same sport, he added. This sharing of resources also extends to coaching staff, said De Matteo who currently oversees nine different teams. “I could never do that at the high school level,” he said in a telephone interview. An emphasis on participation rather than competition has enabled P.S. 126 to include more than 90 percent of students there in some form of athletics, according to De Matteo who added that the level of participation by girls is now higher than boys. After-school programs throughout the city received $145 million in new funding this year under a city initiative. The subsequent affect

on Downtown has been dramatic, according to Theseus Roche, director of sports programs at Manhattan Youth. This year Manhattan Youth has eight city-funded after-school programs rather than just one, Roche said in a telephone interview. The funding, which does not come out of individual school budgets, strengthens sports offerings and allows the expansion of other activities such as theater, he added while also improving access to paid programs for lower income families. Youth coaches are becoming more serious about girls sports, but troubling attitudes linger, Roche said. “So long as everybody is passively accepting that the girls teams are just something you’re sort of supposed to have [equity is elusive],” he said. “But it only takes a small handful of people to make a different choice and suddenly it becomes readily apparent what the difference is and that’s when change happens. It’s undeniable.”

BREAKTHROUGH CATARACT TREATMENT New therapy eliminates need for expensive eye drops, saving hundreds of dollars per case while improving comfort and safety for elderly patients Dr. Edward Rubinchik, one of the most highly experienced ocular surgeons in New York, is now offering patients a cataract surgery option that eliminates or minimizes the need for expensive post-operative eye drops, which are often required for 3-4 weeks after the procedure. “Drops are effective at reducing the risk of inflammation and infection,” said Dr. Rubinchik, a partner at Reich Medical and Surgical Eye Care, LLC and the first physician in New York to offer the dropless therapy. “However, at least 50% of patients end up missing a scheduled dose for one reason or another.” Studies show that many patients simply forget to use the drops properly and may have other medical conditions, such as arthritis, which


March 26-April 8, 2015

make it harder for them to take the drops. The number of patients who skip eyedrop doses increases with patient age, as does the need for cataract surgery itself. “We don’t have to worry about any of this with the dropless technique,” said Dr. Rubinchik, who practices in Midwood and Bensonhurst. “Our patients are much happier going ‘dropless’, and the medical system is saving hundreds of dollars per case. It’s a win-win for everybody.” Dr. Rubinchik added that many cataract patients have longstanding vision problems such as myopia or astigmatism and may be eligible for a multifocal lens implant during the same procedure, resulting in much better vision than the patient has experienced in years.

Vernita and her artful friends: Shadow and Jacob

Downtown Express Photos BY Tequila Minsky

BY TEQUI LA M I NSKY Vernita N’Cognita, a.k.a. Vernita Nemec, loves cats and has always had them while making art in her Canal St. loft where she has lived since 1972. There was Molly, then Giovanni, Liz Taylor and Laser Beam. “My first cat was Pete, when I was three in Ohio,” she recalled.

About a month later, she got Jacob to keep Shadow company. The two now-grown felines co-exist, though they’re not particularly friendly to each other. “They never really got along,” she reflected, “maybe because they’re two males. I never had two males together before.” As for Shadow, the artist admits that

he is stunted emotionally. “I love the cat and raised him,” she said. “But he never had a mother cat’s love. I didn’t lick him. He really doesn’t know how to be a cat. I think of him as a very philosophical cat. He’s lost in his own thoughts.” N’Cognita is an artist, a curator, a galleryist, poet and art and butoh performer.

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During dropless cataract surgery, a formulation of antibiotics and anti-inflammatory medications is deposited in the eye following cataract removal and lens implantation. The mixture is then slowly released throughout the post-operative period, not unlike a time-release capsule.

A few years ago, when a friend found a newborn kitten outside abandoned in a box, Vernita gladly adopted Shadow. He was one week old. Vernita took him everywhere so that she could keep feeding him on schedule, every two hours. He’d drink goat milk from a doll baby bottle. “He’d nestle in the crook of my neck,” she said, “and sleep in a box on my bed.”

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March 26-April 8, 2015


Fashion Merchandising in New York City’s Fashion Hub

Student rally to protest state budget plan

Trendsetting and Entrepreneurship in NYC’s Premier Business Borough LIU Brooklyn is the University of Entrepreneurs—a leader in experiential education in the most entrepreneurial borough in New York City. According to the New York State Comptroller’s Office, the number of Brooklyn businesses has grown by 21 percent since 2003, much faster than any other borough. Located in downtown Brooklyn, LIU Brooklyn’s School of Business, Public Administration and Information Sciences is preparing students of all majors to become the next generation of the borough’s influential business leaders. Angel Investors, burn rate, nondisclosure, venture capital, equity, value proposition, forecasting models. Students

studying LIU Brooklyn’s Entrepreneurship minor will learn these key phrases of the entrepreneur’s vocabulary. At the heart of the minor is the belief that entrepreneurial thinkers create value in the world by using innovation under conditions of uncertainty to solve problems. “The best way to understand the entrepreneurial process is to employ a hands-on, experiential approach,” said Dr. Kimberly R. Cline, president of LIU. “LIU Brooklyn Entrepreneurship students interact with Brooklyn’s tech-driven business community inside and outside of the academic environment to create business plans that are defensible to investors and actionable in the real world before graduation.”

LIU Brooklyn Entrepreneurship Differentiators— • LIU Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation • Student-run businesses • Business competitions, with mentoring by faculty entrepreneurs • Immersion in Brooklyn’s Tech Triangle Fashion Merchandising in New York City’s Fashion Hub The borough of Brooklyn has become a world brand and a pioneer of trendsetting. LIU Brooklyn’s focus on Fashion Merchandising allows students to explore their passion for fashion in Brooklyn’s melting pot of style, influence, and culture. LIU Brooklyn’s Fashion

Merchandising program was designed with input from local industry leaders to prepare LIU Brooklyn students for all elements of Fashion’s tech-driven future, including retail strategy, design, data analytics, marketing, and online purchasing. Fashion Merchandising students are also encouraged to take full advantage of Brooklyn’s fashion-forward community by applying in-class experiences to internships in the Fashion industry. The next Ralph Lauren, the next editor-in-chief of Vogue, or the next YouTube fashion expert may very well be found—or fi nd themselves—at LIU Brooklyn. For more information, visit

The March 12 rally outside Spruce Street School. Photo courtesy of Spruce Street School P.T.A. Continued from page 8

secutive years, then another school district, nonprofit organization or a “turnaround technocrat” — as the critics put it — would take over management of the “failing” school. According to a February 2015 report from the Governor’s Office, there is a stark disparity between teachers rated as effective — more than 90 percent statewide in the 2013-14 school year — and the amount of students judged proficient in English and math in state testing, roughly 35 percent and 31 percent, respectively. Four local Manhattan schools below 14th St. were labeled as “failing” in the governor’s report: Henry Street School for International Studies, Marta Valle Secondary School, P.S. 15 and University Neighborhood Middle School. “How can so many of our teachers be succeeding when so many of our students are struggling? ” the report asks. Cuomo’s education plan also seeks to raise the cap on charter schools in the state by 100 from

460, as well as make the cap apply statewide rather than by region. Under the current limit, New York City could only add 24 more charter schools. Mayoral control of New York City schools, which is due to expire this year, would also be extended for three more years under Cuomo’s proposal. Many people at the City As School demonstration, as well as others across the city, urged the governor to visit more local schools and to address student poverty instead of overhauling the teacher-evaluation process. During the City As School rally, current and former students spoke about how traditional education had failed them until they arrived at the Clarkson St. building’s nurturing environment. One current student said she had a troubled experience at another school due to her attention deficit disorder. But she said that thanks to the encouragement she received from teachers at City As School, she now plans on attending a local college after she graduates.



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impact we’ve been able to have on youngsters in our city.” Spruce’s Kurylo said the lobbying efforts to Cuomo and key legislative leaders continues with more rallies to come. From what she’s heard from advocates, State Sen. Jeff Klein, a Democrat who has backed the Senate Republicans, will be a key vote in determining whether the governor’s plan passes.


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T he Washington Square Park rally also was an opportunity to highlight the need for curriculum f lexibility, especially at schools like City As School that serve students who have experienced difficulties elsewhere, noted Principal Alan Cheng. “People had a chance to talk to our students, talk to our staff, to be able to understand what it is we do,” Cheng said, “our interdisciplinary courses, our project-based learning, our internships and the kind of

March 26-April 8, 2015


Activities THURSDAY, MARCH 26–WEDNESDAY, APRIL 8 B Y VICTOR I A G RA N T H A M Spring has arrived. It’s official. We made it. Hallelujah. And what better way to kick off the season than with an earthworm race? At least that’s what the good folks at the Hudson Park Library on Leroy St. are suggesting. On Saturday, March 28, you too can “celebrate the beginning of spring with a highly competitive, edge-of-your-seat exciting, SLOW worm race!” No need to bring your own worm as they’ll be provided if you pre-register. If you’re in a musical mood, head to the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian at 1 Bowling Green for a free weekly (Wednesdays) music and movement class led by Taino musician Irka Mateo, or consider a Music Together class. If you haven’t done Music Together before, you can try a free class at either Imagine Swimming or at the Pine Street School. Pine Street is also partnering with Children’s Museum of the Arts to host CMA Day on March 29. The event will feature a pop-up museum. If you have a little Energizer bunny, that same day at noon you could head to the Baby Loves Disco for some booty shaking. Also on the 29 at 2 p.m., there will be an early Passover celebration at the Museum of Jewish Heritage in Battery Park City. The “engaging model Seder” will feature interactive storytelling, live music, and traditional Passover food. Celebrate National Poetry Month

THURSDAY, MARCH 26 POETS HOUSE 10 River Terrace, Tiny Poets Time: a poetry reading for toddlers, every Thursday morning. Ages 1-3 years | Free | 10:00 am MUSIC TOGETHER IN THE CITY TRIAL CLASS 40 Harrison St,


March 26-April 8, 2015

(April) by taking your little poet (1-3 years old) to Poets House for Tiny Poets Time (now every Thursday at 10 a.m.) in Battery Park City. Or, head to the B.P.C. Library on Saturday April 4th to hear Mike from Poet’s House as he shares a few of his favorite poems and encourages your kids how to perform them. Speaking of performances, there are a couple new live shows that sound like a lot of fun. One, at the Linda Gross Theater on 20th Street, called “Camp Kappawanna,” is a Lisa Loeb musical inspired by the Grammy-nominated artist’s summer camp memories. Another, a version of Robin Hood that’s good for four to nine-year-olds, will be performed at the Gloria Maddox Theater. Also, “Rapunzerella White” the Rapunzel/Cinderella/Snow White princess mash up, continues, and Eric Carle’s beloved “Very Hungry Caterpillar” is being performed at N.Y.U.’s Skirball by the inventive Mermaid Theatre of Nova Scotia. On Easter, The Church of St. Luke in the Fields on Hudson St. will be holding a service followed by an egg hunt with the Easter Bunny. (You can attend the hunt without attending the service if you’d like.) For older kids (ages 10+) who’ve eschewed the traditional hunt, there’s a wacky-sounding event called “Full Bunny Contact”. This bizarre fest involves a “bunny warrior joust” and an “insane Easter Carnival”. Good times. Enjoy!

Imagine Swimming: Based on the premise that all children are musical and that parents/primary caregivers play a crucial role in activating their child’s music development. Demo classes are for new students only. PreRegistration is required. Ages birth-4 years | Free | 10:00 am 10:45am MUSIC TOGETHER IN THE CITY TRIAL CLASS The Pine Street School, 25 Pine

Street, Demo classes are for new students only. Pre-Registration is required. Use the demo scheduler on their website to reserve your spot. Ages birth-4 years | Free | 10:00am - 10:45am 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 50 babies and their caregivers; firstcome first-served. Ages 0-18 months | Free | 11:30 am Gross Biology: Students discover what’s inside of them and how their body works. Presented by Children’s Museum of Manhattan. First come, first served to the first 25 children with an adult. Ages 5+ | Free | 4:00 pm

FRIDAY, MARCH 27 NEIGHBORHOOD MOVIE NIGHTS AT ST. PAUL’S ‘Goonies’ ‘PG’ St. Paul’s Chapel, Broadway and Fulton Street, Give Netflix, Hulu and Amazon a break and head to St. Paul’s Chapel in Lower Manhattan on the fourth Friday of each month. Doors open at 6:30 pm, show time begins at 7 pm. Snacks (popcorn and drinks) are free. All ages | Free | 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

SATURDAY, MARCH 28 ‘RAPUNZARELLA WHITE’ 50 West 13th Street Mixing Bullwinkle with Carol Burnett, follow three baby triplets, Rapunzel, Cinderella, and Snow White that are kidnapped by an angry witch. Ages: 4+ | $35/ticket | 11:00 am 1:00 pm ‘ROBIN HOOD’ Gloria Maddox Theater, 151 W. 26th Street, 7th Floor, Robin Hood´s risky adventures have him taking from the rich to give to the poor. Ages: 4-9 | Adults $20/Children (217 years) $15 | 2:00 pm

EARTHWORM RACE Hudson Park Library, 66 Leroy St. Celebrate the beginning of spring with a highly competitive, edge-ofyour-seat exciting, SLOW worm race! Pre-register before the day of the event in person or by phone (212-243-6876) so the library has a worm ready for you. Ages: 4+ | Free | 2:00 pm

SUNDAY, MARCH 29 ‘CAMP KAPPAWANNA’ Linda Gross Theater, 336 W 20th St. Following the misadventures of 12year old Jennifer Jenkins, inspired by Lisa Loeb’s own nostalgic summer camp memories. All ages | $15 for kids, $20 for adults | 10:30 am CMA DAY AT PINE STREET SCHOOL Pine Street School, 25 Pine Street, A pop-up museum, featuring Children’s Museum of the Arts and Figment artist-in-residence Yung Lee Page. During the day there will be two workshops for kids. All ages | Free | 10:00 am & 11:00 am BABY LOVES DISCO Le Poisson Rouge, 158 Bleecker St., There is music spun by the DJ with bubbles floating over the dance floor to get the mamas, papas and little ones moving. 6 months to 7 years | $20 or 4 for $60 | 12:00 pm - 3:00 pm STUPENDOUS MODEL SEDER WITH SHIRLALA Museum of Jewish Heritage, 36 Battery Place, Join ShirLaLa for an engaging model Seder featuring interactive storytelling, live music, and traditional Passover food. Ages: 3-10 years | $10, $7 children 10 and under | 2:00 pm

MONDAY, MARCH 30 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 50 babies and their caregivers; first-come firstserved. Ages 0-18 months | Free |9:30 am

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 pm






Baby Laptime for Pre-Walkers: Limited to 25 babies and their caregivers; firstcome first-served. Ages 0-18 months | Free |11:30 am Picture Book Time All ages | Free | 4:00 pm

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 1 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. Ages 12-36 months | Free | 10:30 a.m. EVERY WEDNESDAY AT 10:30 AM

Crafternoon: Listen to “Dinosaur Rescue” by Penny Dale and create PlayDoh dinosaurs to take home. All ages | Free | 4:00 p.m. FULL BUNNY CONTACT: NYC’S EXTREME EGG HUNT & INSANE EASTER CARNIVAL The Clemente, 107 Suffolk Street, Aimed at adults but a good bet for kids too old for traditional Easter egg hunts. Ages 10 and up | $20-$60 | 6:00 pm TODDLER MUSIC WITH IRKA MATEO National Museum of the American Indian, 1 Bowling Green. Weekly music and movement class for children each Wednesday with Irka Mateo. Learn about Taino culture through stories, song and movement. First come, first served. Ages: 18 Months - 4 Years | Free | 10:15am & 11:15am

THURSDAY, APRIL 2 POETS HOUSE 10 River Terrace, Tiny Poets Time: See 3/26 for info

Baby Laptime for Pre-Walkers: See 3/26 for info

Photo by Andrew Federman

Children’s reading at the Poet’s House.

SATURDAY, APRIL 4 NEW YORK PUBLIC LIBRARY BATTERY PARK CITY BRANCH 175 North End Ave, 212-790-3499, Celebrate Poetry Month with Poet’s House: Mike from Poet’s House shares a few of his favorite poems and teach you how to act them out. Poems will be followed by a hands-on writing exercise. All ages | Free | 11:00 a.m. THE 2014-2015 BIG RED CHAIR SERIES: ‘THE VERY HUNGRY CATERPILLAR’ AND OTHER ERIC CARLE FAVORITES NYU Skirball Center, 566 LaGuardia Place, Three beloved stories by Eric Carle, award-winning children’s book illustrator and author. Age 4+ | $20-$28 | 10:00 am and 2:00 pm

SUNDAY, APRIL 5 EASTER EGG HUNT Church of St. Luke in the Fields, 487 Hudson St., Attend the 9:15am Easter service at the Church of St. Luke in the Fields and then follow the Easter Bunny into the garden to join in a festive egg hunt. The hunt is open to the public even if you don’t attend the service Free | 10:30 am | All ages FILM FORUM JR. SUNDAY MATINEE SERIES: ‘THE SOUND OF MUSIC’ Film Forum, 209 West Houston St., A weekly Sunday matinee series. Age 5+ | $7.50 | 11:00 am Baby Laptime for Pre-Walkers and Toddler Story Time. See 3/30 for info

ings in April. Latecomers will not be admitted. Ages 0-4 years | Free |11:15 am


Picture Book Time All ages | Free| 4:00 pm

NEW YORK PUBLIC LIBRARY BATTERY PARK CITY BRANCH 175 North End Ave, 212-790-3499, Singing Stories with Baby: The program by talented singer and songwriter Lou Gallo takes place before the library is open to the public on Tuesday morn-

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 8 NEW YORK PUBLIC LIBRARY BATTERY PARK CITY BRANCH 175 North End Ave, 212-790-3499, Toddler Story Time See 3/30 for info

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March 26-April 8, 2015


Fiterman Art Center transforming into a valued downtown venue

Shirley Fiterman Art Center finds its voice New curator brings BMCC students, faculty into the mix

BY STEPHANIE BUHMANN New York’s gallery districts have been in constant flux since the 1980s. Whereas 57th St. was the city’s first and main art center for decades, it has shifted multiple times since, most notably to Chelsea beginning in the 1990s. However, due to major developments East and West of the High Line, real estate prices keep soaring, forcing out many galleries who rely on renting their premises. The flood following Hurricane Sandy in 2012 has not helped to encourage art dealers’ trust in the area, remembering how much of their stored inventory was permanently destroyed during those events. Despite the promising opening of the Whitney Museum’s new building in the nearby Meatpacking District this May, several galleries continue to move away from this tourist-laden district, putting down roots in the Lower East Side, Soho, Uptown or even the Hudson River Valley. As a result, Manhattan’s formerly exclusive focus on one major art district is becoming increasingly diversified. This trend also applies to Tribeca — which although home to many local artists and their studios, especially since the late 1960s, has never been rich in exhibition venues. In recent years however, smaller newly founded galleries, such as the formidable KANSAS, have sprung up in this neighborhood and more established outfits, such as Postmasters, have moved there from Chelsea. It seems that although residential developments are in full swing here, some commercial spaces are still affordable enough. In addition, public and semi-public artworks by some of the most prominent contemporary artists add enticing context. Julie Mehretu’s mural at Goldman Sachs (200 West St.), Jenny Holzer’s wall of words in the lobby of 7 World Trade Center, or Jeff Koons’ Balloon Flower (Red) sculpture in the adjacent fountain park


March 26-April 8, 2015

Photo by Louis Chan

Cater Hodgkin’s “Vortex 2” (2012 | Gouache, Watercolor, inkjet on paper | 44” x 44”). From the “Paper Reveries” exhibit, which closed in Feb. 2015.

Continued from page 30

Photo By Louis Chan

An installation view from 2014’s “Material Way” exhibit.

are ery-worthy surprises in the area. In addition, Santiago Calatrava’s incredible World Trade Center PATH station, which is finally coming to life fast, will mark a major new destination — not only for local commuters but also for lovers of architecture and art worldwide. In close proximity to Calatrava, Holzer and Koons, a promising art venue is beginning to take shape. Located at 81 Barclay St. (at W. Broadway), the Shirley Fiterman Art Center (which belongs to the Borough of Manhattan Community College) has become a destination for interesting group exhibitions and art performances since last fall, although its history reaches back a bit further. The Art Center was created in honor of Shirley and Miles Fiterman, who donated the original Fiterman Hall in 1993, which was damaged in the 9/11 attacks. The rebuilt Fiterman Hall, which was designed by

the architectural firm of Pei Cobb & Partners, officially re-opened on Aug. 27, 2012 — adding a state-of-the-art, 4,000-square foot exhibition space to the area. Surrounded by the large and small businesses of the Financial District, it is refreshing to find an art venue free to the public, whose main focus is education. In fact, the Art Center was conceived as a link between art and the diverse student body enrolled at BMCC. However, in addition to being a free public platform for contemporary art, it also offers a means to raise funds for student scholarships: 40 percent of the proceeds from works that are sold here will benefit the BMCC Foundation Scholarship Fund, whereas the remaining 60 percent goes directly to the artist. While working on spreading the word on its exhibition program to a wider public, BMCC also encour-

ages both students and faculty to get involved. Recently, faculty of the English and Art departments have been sending students in for writing assignments and to teach those unfamiliar with art about the unique language it has to offer. Programmatically, contemporary art is the main focus of the Center and it is consciously aiming to present works of various mediums and styles. To assure the quality of its exhibitions, the Art Center hired the New York-based artist Kathleen Kucka as its curator last year. In addition to putting together thematic group exhibitions, Kucka is also inviting guest curators to realize their own projects. Concepts for the latter are presented to BMCC’s President Antonio Pérez and Elizabeth Butson, who oversee the Art Center’s overall program. “Bringing energy and art to Continued on page 31

a large gallery space is a challenge,” explains Kucka. “I look for work that will engage BMCC students and which will start a conversation in the art world of New York City.” As the Art Center is evolving, both the art community and more of BMCC’s students are taking note. “We are fortunate to have students working in the gallery, explains Kucka, adding, “They help to spread the word and communicate about shows and events.” In this regard it is important to keep the program open to art that reflects a wide variety of interests, tastes and media. Kucka’s curatorial debut at the gallery came with “Material Way” (Sept. 30–Nov. 26, 2014) an exhibition that took artists’ materials and processes as its main source of inspiration. Fourteen artists were featured, whose practices not only embraced traditional paint and canvas, but also tables, coffee cups, thread and plastic. In contrast, “Paper Reveries” (Dec.10, 2014–Feb. 9, 2015) focused on no less than 21 eclectic artists who work extensively with paper, albeit in

very different ways. In addition to this exhibition, the Art Center hosted its first art performance piece last month. It was local artist Elena Berriolo who performed, integrating music into visual art. As the gallery was activated by the music of Edith Hirshtal and Rosie Hertlein, a video camera recorded Berriolo sewing on the sewing machine, projecting her actions onto a screen nearby. When asked what her hopes for the Shirley Fiterman Art Center going forward might be, Kucka noted: “I am excited and encouraged by all the support the gallery has received thus far. I would like to see this momentum continue. We have a roster of engaging shows coming up in the near future. The more diversity in terms of shows, artists and subject matter, the better. Four curated shows a year along with the faculty and student art shows would fill out the schedule nicely.” The Shirley Fiterman Art Cen-ter at BMCC is located at 81 Barclay St. (btw. Broadway & Greenwich St.). Hours: 12–6 p.m. Tues.–Sat. For more info, visit

Photo by Louis Chan

Curator Kathleen Kucka, speaking at the Art Center.



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to their Brainwave Festival theme is “tangential, admittedly, but the reference is nonetheless there.” Donning a mask RUBIN MUSEUM OF ART: in ritual or theatrical form, he notes, BRAINWAVE FESTIVAL can represent the desire Good art makes you to obtain “a different think, but great art changrole, and assume all of es the way you think. its powers and responsiIt happens all the time bilities.” at the Rubin Museum At the Rubin Museum of Art. Through April, of Art (150 W. 17th St. their Brainwave Festival at Seventh Ave.). explores Buddhist notions Brainwave Ticket pricof attachment and hapes vary. Hours: Mon. & piness. Pairing artThurs., 11 a.m.–5 p.m. ists with scientists, the Wed., 11 a.m.–9 p.m. “Conversation” series Photo courtesy of Rubin Museum Fri., 11 a.m.–10 p.m. Sat. includes “Bouquet in a of Art Sun., 11 a.m.–6 p.m. Call Bottle” on April 1, with Face yourself at the 212-620-5000 or visit sommelier Aldo Sohm Rubin Museum of and olfaction expert Terry Art — where masks Acree. On April 8, Shaolin and costumes in their Master Shi Yan Ming and “Becoming Another” STEPHEN PETRONIO neuropsychologist Tracy exhibit compliment CO. PRESENTS Brainwave Festival Dennis ponder “Discipline “BLOODLINES” themes. as an Art.” A Friday night This upcoming run at film series exploring fixThe Joyce Theater finds ation includes Hal Ashby’s deathly dry Stephen Petronio Company celebrating 1971 romp between a youthful Bud Cort its 30th anniversary by making a five-year and a pushing-80 Ruth Gordon (“Harold commitment to present iconic works of and Maude” on April 17). postmodern American dance alongside On view through Feb. 2016, RMA’s world premiere pieces by the troupe’s “Becoming Another: The Power of founder and namesake. Season One of Masks” features a collection of masks “Bloodlines” will feature two works. and costumes from the 15th-20th cen- A contemplation on animal abstract turies. Intricate and stunning creations motion and sound, Merce Cunningham’s from Siberia, the Himalayas, Mongolia, “RainForest” (1968) is set to an elecJapan and the Northwest Coast of tronic score by David Tudor, with visuAmerica highlight culturally diverse (and al design by Andy Warhol. Stephen similar) approaches to shamanism, com- Petronio’s two-part work “Locomotor/ munal ritual, and theatrical performance. Non Locomotor” has the company’s RMA Director of Public Programs Tim dancers shifting through time and space, McHenry says the exhibit’s connection in an exploration of “movement deep

Watch it, sucker: Trav S.D. as P.T. Barnum is part of the mad goings-on at “Money Lab.”

Photo by Sarah Silver

Gonna fly now: Stephen Petronio Company is at The Joyce Theater, April 7–12.

within a torquing center.” Its electronic score, by Clams Casino (Michael Volpe), has vocal elements by the Young People’s Chorus of New York City. April 7–12. Tues./Wed. at 7:30 p.m. Thurs.–Sat. at 8 p.m., Sun. at 2 & 7:30 p.m. At The Joyce Theater (175 Eighth Ave. at 19 St.). Post-performance discussion on April 9. For tickets ($10-$59), call 212-242-0800 or visit

WASHETERIA Tribeca’s Soho Rep goes off-site and into another borough, with its first-ever theatrical experience created for “children and their adults.” This two-episode event (each the length of a single wash cycle) transforms a Brooklyn storefront into a fantastical laundromat where very different people have the same goal in mind. Through April 5 at 321 Broadway in the South Williamsburg section of Brooklyn. Subways: J, M, Z to Marcy Avenue, L to Lorimer St. or G to Broadway or Metropolitan Ave. For tickets ($10), call 212-352-3101 or visit (where you can access the full schedule of 11 a.m., 3:30 p.m. & 4 p.m. performances).

MONEY LAB Art! Finance! Morality! They collide with unpredictable results, in Untitled Theater Company #61’s “Money Lab” — where the audience is required to purchase tokens whose value fluctuates during performances based on various


March 26-April 8, 2015

fiscal scenarios. A rotating cast of four puppeteers, dancers, economists, musicians, and other creative types are on hand during any given installment. They include Patrice Miller and cohorts dancing to jargon about the 2008 banking collapse, and skilled conjurer Magic Brian, who frames his classic Monte hustle with questions about gambling and the stock market. Suckers beware! Downtown performer Trav S.D. will portray P.T. Barnum, who reveals “The Art of Money-Getting.” Also making a grab for your precious tokens, Tatiana Baccari and Hannah Allen’s fleshy dance theater piece parks itself at the intersection of money and stripping. Through April 11. Performance schedule varies. At HERE (145 Sixth Ave.; enter on Dominick, one block south of Spring St.). For tickets $20 (plus a required $5-$10 buy-in), call 212-3523101 or visit Also visit

NYC FIRE MUSEUM LECTURE SERIES They’ve been braving the heat, taking heat and saving lives for 150 years — and this lecture series speaks to all of those facets of the FDNY. On April 8, Glenn P. Corbett (Associate Professor of Fire Science, John Jay College of Criminal Justice) reveals new information surrounding the accusation that Black Joke Engine Company 33 set fires during the 1863 Draft Riots. On April 22, FDNY Honorary Deputy Chief Gary R. Urbanowicz tells the life stories of firefighters buried at Greenwood Cemetery (including those from the pre1865 volunteer era). The series concludes on April 29, when Paul Hashagen (FDNY, retired) traces the history of Rescue Company 1 — a hand-picked group tasked with dangling from ropes, performing underwater dives, handling dangerous chemicals and controlling toxic leaks (the talk is based on his book, “100 Years of Valor”). Lectures begin at 6 p.m. At the FDNY Fire Museum (278 Spring St. btw. Hudson & Varick Sts.). For tickets ($10), visit

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March 26-April 8, 2015

March 26-April 8, 2015



March 26-April 8, 2015