YOUR WEEKLY COMMUNITY NEWSPAPER SERVING CHELSEA, HUDSON YARDS & HELL’S KITCHEN
Top Budgeting Items Reach Summit BY ZACH WILLIAMS In the end, a little more than 500 votes each was what it took for seven local improvement projects to receive funding through the participatory budgeting process. City Councilmember Corey Johnson announced the results at May 9’s inaugural West Side Summit, held at Civic Hall (Fifth Ave. btw. 20th & 21st Sts.). The event began with remarks from local elected officials on issues pertaining to City Council District 3 — one of 24 council districts which held participatory budgeting this year. Continued on page 4
The Revolution Will Be Relocated BY DUSICA SUE MALESEVIC Revolution Books needs your help. The bookstore, which has been located at 146 W. 26 St. between Sixth and Seventh Aves. since 2008, has lost its lease and is looking to raise $150,000 for a new spot, explained C. Clark Kissinger, the store’s manager. When the bookstore’s five-year lease came to an end, he said, the landlord let them stay on a month-by-month basis at below market rate until he could find a long-term tenant that he liked. That tenant has been found and the bookstore has until the end of this month, he said. Continued on page 14
LONGING LASTS LONGER
Performance art legend Penny Arcade’s new show at Joe’s Pub is all about change and gentrification in “The Big Cupcake.” See page 18.
© Kyle Froman Photography
Students from The Ailey School’s Professional Division need room to stretch.
Admiration Aside, CB4 Denies Ailey Expansion Ambitions BY EILEEN STUKANE The Alvin Ailey Dance Foundation needs more room to stretch. The Foundation — which encompasses the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Ailey II, The Ailey School, Ailey Arts In Education & Community Programs, and the Ailey Extension — opened its home in 2004 in two buildings of The Joan Weill Center For Dance (405 W. 55th St. on the northwest corner of Ninth Ave.). However, the Foundation is currently cramped, and has applied to the NYC Board of Standards and Appeals (BSA) for a variance to build higher. Its request is making Community Board 4 (CB4), which has certain rules to follow, look a little like the bad guy. At the May 6 full board meeting of CB4, Bennett Rink, the Foundation’s executive director, explained that since those buildings opened in 2004, Alvin Ailey has experienced “tremendous growth…the school has doubled in
© CHELSEA NOW 2015 | NYC COMMUNITY MEDIA, LLC, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
size. Our Extension program has proved to be wildly popular. We have to cancel classes at times when the building gets overcrowded, and we don’t have room for academic classes which are so essential to the program.” (In conjunction with Fordham University, the Ailey School is now able to offer a Bachelor of Fine Arts.) A problem arises because the buildings fall within the Special Clinton District — between W. 41st and W. 59th Sts., west of Eighth Ave. — which has specific regulations for the area’s residential character. Those regulations were waived in 2002 when the Foundation received a variance to allow it greater height and floor area to accomplish its original goal of constructing the now-existing two buildings. As Rink explained, in today’s world, the Foundation needs “four additional studios, two new classrooms, and a
Continued on page 6 VOLUME 07, ISSUE 14 | MAY 14 - 20, 2015
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May 14 - 20, 2015
Hudson Yards Taps Top Restaurateurs to Curate Dining
© William Hereford
L to R: Ken Himmel, Thomas Keller and Related Company chairman Stephen Ross in the Per Se kitchen.
BY WINNIE McCROY Renowned chef Thomas Keller of Per Se will spearhead the development of his own new classic American restaurant at The Shops & Restaurants at Hudson Yards. Anchored by the city’s first Neiman Marcus, the one-millionsquare foot retail center will offer convenient access to a new six-acre public plaza and the No. 7 subway station. “Thomas Keller is one of the most innovative chefs and restaurateurs of the 21st century,” said Kenneth A. Himmel, restaurateur and President of Related Urban, the mixed-use division of Related Companies. By 2018, the duo will bring 11 other eateries to Hudson Yards. Recalling their collaboration on the restaurant collection at Time Warner Center a decade ago, Himmel praised Keller’s business acumen as well as his “unique ability to conceptualize the most imaginative and creative cuisines,”
vowing to make Hudson Yards “one of the greatest shopping and dining districts in the world.” Keller and Himmel are looking to create middle-market restaurants, including Italian, French, Japanese, Greek, Spanish and Mexican. Keller said that some of these chefs and restaurateurs had already been selected. The new American restaurant will be Keller’s only other full-service eatery in New York, besides his Michelin-starred Per Se. In 1994, Keller took ownership of The French Laundry in Yountville, California, and debuted French bistro Bouchon in 1998. Over the last 15 years, he has expanded his restaurant group to include Bouchon Bakery, Ad Hoc, Per Se and Bouchon Bakery & Café, among others. He envisioned his new restaurant would serve the nostalgic food Americans enjoyed in the 1950s. Himmel is also a famed restaurateur in Boston, responsible for opening the
A view from The Kitchens at The Shops at Hudson Yards.
legendary Grill 23 & Bar, The Harvest Restaurant, Post 390 and Bistro du Midi, a joint venture with Marlon Abela Restaurant Corporation. “The restaurant collection will have a significant impact on Manhattan’s West Side, and I can’t think of a better place in the city to take on this extraor-
dinary collaboration. For me, it will be also be a personal triumph,” said Keller. “The restaurant I will bring to Hudson Yards is something I have been thinking about for the last 20 years, and to be able to celebrate food in this way, at this place, and at this time, in this city, will be very special for me.”
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May 14 - 20, 2015
Micro Park Wins Big in Participatory Budgeting Continued from page 1 Cooperation among residents and elected officials as demonstrated through participatory budgeting — the process of voting on how to allocate $1 million from Johnson’s discretionary budget — gets to the heart of how the democratic process plays out on the West Side, according to State Senator Brad Hoylman. “It’s back to the fundamentals of what makes us democrats and I don’t mean capital ‘D,’ Democrats but small ‘d,’ democracy — because we have seen in our system of government where people want to make decisions without consulting the people who they are supposedly representing,” he said. Remarks made throughout the evening suggested who those “people” are. Hoylman took a swipe at Republican legislators in Albany for inaction on climate change. City Comptroller Scott Stringer highlighted his support for a $15 minimum wage. Congressmen Jerrold Nadler spoke about the need to overcome Congressional opposition to ongoing negotiations over Iran’s nuclear program. The Trans-Pacific Partnership must be stopped from receiving “fast track” support, he added. As Chelsea Now went to press, a Politico. com report (“Senate strikes deal to pass fast-track trade bill) noted “the agreement would give Democrats a chance to vote on two of their own trade priorities as standalone bills.” A keynote address on the makings of an ideal neighborhood came from Margaret Newman, executive director of The Municipal Art Society of New York. “There are certain buildings, parks, and intersections that bring meaning to our neighborhoods that provide tangible and intangible benefits. One working definition is that a successful place is
Courtesy James Khamsi for Friends of 20th St. Park
Ballot Item #8 was the #1 winner, securing participatory budgeting funds for a micro park on W. 20th St. (btw. Sixth & Seventh Aves.).
one which attracts a diverse set of users, helps spark social, cultural and economic enterprise, and contributes to a sense of community and global citizenship,” said Newman. An hour into the program, the approximately 200 people in the audience were eager to hear the results of the participatory budgeting election. But first they would have to listen to one more speaker, who Johnson described as “always on the right side of every issue in Albany.” Assemblymember Linda Rosenthal took the praise of Johnson to a new level, following the three other elected officials who had already complimented the freshman councilmember. She even noted that their cats are friends. Between April 11 and 19 — in locations including The LGBT Community
Center on W. 13th St., Hartley House on W. 46th St. and Hudson Guild on W. 26th St. — approximately 2,500 District 3 residents of at least 14 years of age cast ballots in the participatory budgeting election, which allowed voting for five out of the 17 items. Although the turnout equaled only 10 percent of that for the last round of City Council elections, Johnson struck an upbeat note as he announced the projects, which will receive funding of $1 million through his office’s discretionary budget upon approval of the city budget in early summer. The big winner was an effort to create a park at 136 W. 20th St. (btw. Sixth & Seventh Aves.), which received 1,342 votes — nearly 600 votes more than its closest competitor. The money ($200,000) will pay for
the demolition of a former Department of Sanitation building as well as environmental cleanup. The Parks Department backs the idea, but additional funding remains to be secured to realize the longstanding effort led by Friends of 20th Street Park (20thstreetpark.org). A project such as this generally requires about two to four years to complete once funding is secured, according to a Parks Department spokesperson. “NYC Parks supports this acquisition, and we are beginning the process to identify the amount of funding needed to build a park here,” Manhattan Borough Parks Commissioner William Castro said in an email statement to Chelsea Now. New parks require a three-part process: design, procurement and construc-
Continued on page 11
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CB4 Won’t Stretch Rules for Dance Space Expansion Continued from page 1 small amount of office space,” which it could create by adding three floors to the smaller of its two adjacent buildings, the one at mid-block. “This was an extremely difficult case for the (CB4 Clinton/Hell’s Kitchen Land Use) Committee. We love Alvin Ailey but they’ve applied to the BSA for variance. It’s a very strict process. We have to answer it,” explained Jean-Daniel Noland, the committee’s chair. The committee is required to respond to five issues, technically called “findings” — Unique Physical Conditions, Reasonable Return, Essential Character of Neighborhood, Self-Created Practical Difficulties, Minimum Variance Necessary — for each of the requested waivers, of which the Ailey Foundation had four: floor area ratio, lot coverage, height and setback, maximum number of employees. “We tried to respond as correctly as we could. We have nothing against Alvin Ailey,” said Noland. Members of the Ailey Foundation watched as CB4 members voted to
This rendering was made available to those attending a recent CB4 meeting. Despite the board’s support for the Alvin Ailey Dance Foundation, it voted to approve a letter denying expansion efforts.
approve a nine-page letter to the BSA that would deny them three of the sought waivers — floor area ratio, lot coverage, height and setback. Back in 2002 the Foundation won a variance approval for the original 59,123 square foot building of 14 dance studios, offices
and support space. The Foundation did not use all of the approved space. Left over from its initial variance, according the CB4 chair Christine Berthet, is the space to have approximately two more studios — but Rink clearly identified the need for more space than that. The application for variance states that 10,227 sq. ft. of additional space is required. In committee, prior to the full board meeting, the Foundation had identified its desired 98 feet of building height (without setback) as consistent with the height of many existing buildings on surrounding blocks, even though the permitted height is 66 ft. Countering that statement, CB4 in its letter to the BSA, noted that the taller existing buildings were either built before the Special Clinton District regulations were instituted in 1978, or before height regulations were enacted for Ninth Ave. Also, the proposed height increase would make what is now the smaller building, the taller one, thereby setting a precedent for breaking the height limit of the District. CB4’s letter also stated that the committee suggested that the Foundation seek alternate ways of meeting its need for space. At the Clinton/Hell’s Kitchen
Land Use Committee meeting, a member of the Parc Vendome Condominium Board on W. 56th St. offered that the building had a 15,000 sq. ft. former health club space for rent. In addition, the committee suggested that the Foundation might expand in the back or reconfigure the existing space using the additional height from the first variance, but these suggestions were not acceptable. At the May 6 meeting, both Rink and Robert Battle, artistic director, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, spoke about the importance of outreach, which had brought so many CB4 residents into the Ailey Extension programs. They warmly expressed how pleased they were to be part of the CB4 community. In a like manner, Noland spoke of the affection CB4 has for Alvin Ailey and how the board would like to find a space for them in the neighborhood without breaking the height limits. As in so many relationships, though, these two parties had to agree to disagree. What happens next? Ryan Singer, executive director, NYC Board of Standards and Appeals, reiterated that a community board is required to address a specific list of “findings” for each waiver in a variance request. The recommendation of the BSA is considered in the light of these findings. “Each building is considered on its own merits in terms of: Does it meet the findings?,” said Singer. Before making a recommendation, the BSA will also hold a hearing. An applicant such as the Ailey Foundation has to notify property owners within a certain radius of its building site, approximately 20 days beforehand, that a BSA hearing will be held to address its application for variance. A community board, office of a borough president, members of the City Council and NYC Planning Commission are notified. Anyone interested can testify at this open hearing. “If the board [BSA] denies an application, the applicant can file an appeal that goes directly to the New York State Court,” Singer explained. Meanwhile, CB4 and the Ailey Foundation will remain fond of each other but at odds.
WE’VE GONE WEEKLY!
May 14 - 20, 2015
Gas Pipeline’s Proximity to the Whitney Sparks Concern BY ZACH WILLIAMS Local environmental activists want the Whitney Museum to answer lingering questions about its proximity to a controversial natural gas pipeline. The museum has yet to respond to a request from the environmentalist group Sane Energy Project to meet over the summer with local residents. They are concerned that the Spectra pipeline poses a danger to the neighborhood and priceless works of art. Their questions include how the museum determined the new building site, which opened on May 1, as well as whether any emergency plans are in place in the event that the pipeline were to explode. “When you talk about the worst case scenario... the building will be gone. The block will be gone. There was a pipeline explosion in San Bruno, Calif. in 2010 that was a similar pressure and diameter. It blew a crater four stories deep,” Clare Donohue, project director of the group, told the Neighborhood Advisory Committee at its May 11 monthly meeting held within Hudson Guild (441 W. 26th St.). Her group, along with allies Occupy the Pipeline and Occupy Museums, have increased their pressure on museum officials in recent weeks by issuing an open letter, launching the hashtag #WhitneyPipeline on social media as well as a website (WhitneyPipeline. org) in April. Donohue said that dangerous incidents happen all too often in relation to transporting natural gas, whether by rail, truck or pipeline. The Spectra pipeline meets with Con Ed infra-
structure within an underground vault located below the sidewalk on the riverfront side of the museum. The mechanics involved in joining pipelines are particularly vulnerable within pipeline systems, she said. Museum officials did not respond to a request for comment regarding the idea of a community meeting. A representative said government regulators are responsible for ensuring the safety of the pipeline, Chelsea Now reported on March 23. The owner of the pipeline, Spectra Energy of Houston, Texas, also told the paper that the pipeline is monitored around the clock and is among the safest in the nation. But such assurances did not sit well with the dozen local residents who attended the May 11 Neighborhood Advisory Committee meeting. They expressed their solidarity with the effort to bring the museum to a community meeting to address the concerns they share with the Sane Energy Project. Federal and local safety regulators have conspicuously failed to prevent high-profile accidents in recent weeks such as an explosion which shut down a reactor at the Indian Point Nuclear Power Plant upstate, as well as the recent gas explosion in the East Village, according to Larry Littman, a local resident. The Spectra pipeline attracted controversy before and after opening in 2013. It’s association with fracking worried residents that toxic radon would enter their homes via the gas network. Residents also harbored safety fears and opposed the construction
Photo by Zach Williams
A natural gas pipeline which runs near the Whitney Museum could be dangerous, according to Clare Donohue, program director for the Sane Energy Project.
of a pipeline transporting carbon-emitting fossil fuels. Protests and court challenges failed to stop the project, but activists still want to know why the Whitney chose to relocate to the site, and what the plans are if the situation there ever goes awry. “I just feel it doesn’t appear to be a responsible decision and they should answer these questions,” Donohue said.
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Rhymes With Crazy THE WEST SIDE’S COMMUNITY NEWSPAPER
Editor Scott Stiffler
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Contributors Stephanie Buhmann Sean Egan Michael Lydon Dusica Sue Malesevic Winnie McCroy Puma Perl Paul Schindler Trav S.D. Eileen Stukane Zach Williams
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Let Our Kids Boldly Go…Buy Legos BY LENORE SKENAZY If you have passed a public playground anywhere in New York City, you have seen this sign: “Playground rules prohibit adults except in the company of children.” That is right — no adults allowed, unless they are demonstrably there in their capacity as a caregiver. Apparently, any adult who simply wants to sit on a bench and watch kids at play could be a creep. Best to just ban them all. The idea that children and adults go naturally together has been replaced by distrust and disgust. Maybe you recall that case in a Washington Heights playground a few years back when seven chess players were fined for — wait for it — playing chess. The chess tables — concrete ones, placed there by the city — were deemed too close to the kids. So the men were booted. It didn’t matter that they hadn’t caused any trouble. In fact, the grizzled guys had taken it upon themselves to teach some of the local kids how to play the Game of Kings. The reality of the situation — the men’s kindness — didn’t matter. All that mattered was the fantasies conjured up by “What if?” thinking: What if they turned out to be monsters? By separating the genera-
tions this way, we are creating a new society, one that actively distrusts anyone who wants to help a kid other than his own. Compare this anxiety with what goes on in Japan. There, the youngest kids wear bright yellow hats when they go to school. “Doesn’t that put them in danger?” asked a friend I was telling about this. To her, a kid who calls attention to himself is a kid who could be attracting a predator. It is like she really thinks kids should play outside in camouflage. But attracting adult attention is exactly what the yellow hats are supposed to do. In Japan, the assumption is that the easier it is to see children, the easier it is for grown-ups to look out for them. Japan is coming from the idea that children are our collective responsibility. America sees children as private treasures under constant threat — so why trust anyone else around them? Which brings me to the flip side of our obsession with stranger danger: The idea that any time a parent lets her kids do anything on their own, she is actually asking the rest of us grown-ups to “babysit” them, for free. This topic came up last week when a story from Canada went viral: An 11-year-old boy in
an Alberta mall was detained by the staff of the Lego store because he was shopping there without a parent. It didn’t matter that he had come there with his own money, intending to buy the Legos he loves so much. It didn’t matter that he had shopped there many times before without incident. And it didn’t matter that he was perfectly well behaved. All that mattered was that this time, a store employee asked his age and when it was under 12 (the magical age when Lego allows consumers to fork over cash on their own) he was deemed an unbearable burden to the store. The manager had him detained him until his father picked him up. This detention outraged many people, but a significant contingent sided with the store, saying that the employees there shouldn’t have to “babysit” the boy. But that’s the point! No one did have to babysit him. He was just a person in public, albeit a
young one. He was fine. If some problem had come up — say he poked himself in the eye with a Lego block — well, then, yes, some adult may have had to come to his aid. That is not babysitting! That is one human being helping another who happens to be under 12. Most kids making their way to school, running an errand, or playing in the park are not going to need major league assistance from anyone, adult or otherwise. But if they do, I’d like to think most of us would give it ungrudgingly. Their parents have not foisted a huge burden on society by letting their kids be part of it. Old and young have always interacted. Adults who enjoy being around kids are, for the most part, adults who enjoy being around kids. They aren’t predators. And kids who are out and about in the world are, for the most part, kids out and about. Not a big, unpaid, drag of a job for the rest of us. I’m not sure about the yellow hats, but Japan has the right idea. Looking out for everyone beats trusting no one. Lenore Skenazy is a public speaker and founder of the book and blog Free-Range Kids (freerangekids.com).
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May 14 - 20, 2015
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR Honey and vinegar Re “Gloria Sukenick Awarded for Activism” and “Still on Stage at 90”: To The Editor: In the May 7 issue of Chelsea Now is a fascinating comparative juxtaposition of articles describing two 90-year-old women. Each is going against the conventional stereotype of the white-haired old lady, but there the similarity ends. The one aggressively and self-consciously has divided the world (at least in her own mind) into two warring camps. She thinks that the only people who mat-
ter are the poor and disenfranchised, and anyone with (or appearing to have) money, power, or a long-term perspective on the necessary economic growth of the city is the enemy. The other is quintessentially stylish, outspoken, funny, and a delight. Instead of fighting, she charms. Ultimately, she beneficially affects far more people than the other old lady does. The approaches towards life of these two women reveal all we need to know about honey and vinegar. Andrew Alpern
Feedback from Facebook Re: “Gloria Sukenick Awarded for Activism” (feature, May 7, 2015): Congratulations, Gloria — and congratulations, Chelsea Now, for recognizing who’s really important in the community! Judith Mahoney Pasternak E-mail letters, not longer than 250 words in length, to Scott@ChelseaNow.com or fax to 212229-2790 or mail to Chelsea Now, Letters to the Editor, NYC Community Media, One Metrotech North, 10th Floor, Brooklyn, NY 11201. Please include phone number for confirmation purposes. Chelsea Now reserves the right to edit letters for space, grammar, clarity and libel. Chelsea Now does not publish anonymous letters. .com
POLICE BLOTTER HARASSMENT: Unknown man beats it from bus A woman riding along an MTA bus near the 400 block of Ninth Ave. rebuffed a stranger’s attempt to entice her romantic interest by suggestively flicking his tongue. She declined a request to sit with him at about 10:40 a.m. on Wed., May 6, according to a police report. The perpetrator then demanded that a female bus driver remove the object of his desire from the bus, while honoring the driver’s request to remove himself from public transit.
GRAND LARCENY: Like taking money from a baby store The law caught up with an employee of Buy Buy Baby (270 Seventh Ave. btw. W. 25th & 26th Sts.), who channeled refunds to her personal credit card. Police say that the 23-year-old perpetrator amassed $16,333 by transferring the funds to her possession in small amounts since last October. She was arrested and charged with felony grand larceny.
PETIT LARCENY: Something smells good A shoplifter got away clean on Fri., May 8 after stealing $73 worth of deodorant and personal hygiene products from a CVS store at 272 Eighth Ave. (btw. W. 25th & 26th Sts.). The suspect of unknown age and sex evidently preferred Axe brand deodorant to Dove Body Care, having taken four of the former and two of the latter at about 2:30 p.m., according to police. A 25-year-old employee witnessed the heist and alerted police who did not locate a suspect.
ASSAULT: Beat him up so no one else would A 30-year-old man told police on Fri., May 8 that he repeatedly pummeled a teenager on a southbound A train for the kid’s own good. The man said he opposed the 17-yearold’s purported cocaine habit and thereafter decided that his victim, who is an acquaintance, was too soft for the streets. If he did not beat him then and there, someone else would do so in worse fashion at a later date, reads the attacker’s reasoning in a .com
police report. NYPD officers arrived on-scene when the train stopped at its W. 14th St. and Eighth Ave. station. Police officers subsequently arrested the attacker after numerous passengers identified him. He was arrested and charged with misdemeanor assault. Medical responders transported the teenager to Bellevue Hospital for treatment.
HARASSMENT: Selfies bombed by milkman
WE’VE GONE WEEKLY
Two women were taking photographs together on Fri., May 8, which resulted in some collateral damage. They were on a northbound platform at the A train station at W. 14th St. and Eighth Ave. when an unknown man in his late 40s approached them. “Stop taking pictures of me,” he reportedly said to them at about noon. He then threw milk at them. The two twentysomething ladies then requested that police track down the perpetrator, but a search of the area did not locate a suspect.
THE 10th PRECINCT Located at 230 W. 20th St. (btw. Seventh & Eighth Aves.). Commander: Deputy Inspector Michele Irizarry. Main number: 212-741-8211. Community Affairs: 212-741-8226. Crime Prevention: 212-741-8226. Domestic Violence: 212-741-8216. Youth Officer: 212741-8211. Auxiliary Coordinator: 212-741-8210. Detective Squad: 212-741-8245. The Community Council meets on the last Wed. of the month, 7 p.m., at the 10th Precinct or other locations to be announced. The next meeting is May 27.
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May 14 - 20, 2015
West Side Summit Reveals Winners, Outlines District 3 Concerns
Photos by Zach Williams
At the West Side Summit, residents offered their suggestions for policy priorities on issues such as transportation, housing, and the development of small businesses.
Continued from page 4 tion, according to the department. A project becomes official when it has secured full funding and has a designer assigned. West Side Summit audience member (and longtime Chelsea resident) Pamela Wolff was nonetheless pleased that the proposal prevailed in voting, though the ultimate success of the effort remains undetermined. She said in an interview that the 20th St. effort is progressing at a pace far faster than the three-decade campaign to create another prominent local park. “This is not long given how long it took to get Chelsea Waterside Park to get off the ground,” she noted. An $85,000 idea to create an interactive garden to teach children about ethnobotany and native fauna at Chelsea Waterside Park (11th Ave. at W. 23rd St.) received the 758 votes — the second highest tally once the participatory budgeting ballots were counted. The call of nature was what ultimately determined the extent to which multiple projects could receive funding.
Teenager Liam Buckley was one example of the “delegates” who backed each proposal during the months of preparation before voting began. He said in an interview that about 25 hours of work included meetings with Johnson’s staff as well as people within the LAB School community. The proposal to get money for a new public address system fell short, but a concerted effort to rally support through the PTA and among students pushed the bathroom idea over the top in voting — though city funding will ultimately come through another channel. An ADA [Americans With Disabilities Act]-compliant bathroom for Jefferson Market Library in the West Village (648 votes) and restroom improvements at the LAB School in Chelsea (594 votes) each had a $500,000 price tag. Johnson said before voting that there was a chance that his office would fund projects beyond the $1 million earmarked for participatory budgeting. These two projects, however, came in at third and fourth place — making the top four projects require nearly $1.3 million in funding. Three more items on the ballot
Liam Buckley (standing) met with Councilmember Johnson’s staff as well as people within the LAB School community to advocate for a public address system and bathroom facility upgrades.
won, after the city School Construction Authority (SCA) agreed to fund new bathrooms at the school, according to Johnson. A proposal to allocate $500,000 for a cooling system at Muhlenberg Library was a top-seven vote recipient (571 votes) — but allowing it to secure the funding would have brought the total too far beyond the $1 million target, according to Matt Green, legislative aide to Johnson and participatory budget
director for his office. As a result of SCA funding for the LAB project and the deletion of Muhlenberg’s cooling system, three other ballot items received funding: sidewalk repairs on W. 26th St. at the Elliot-Chelsea Houses ($50,000, 578 votes), library modernization at PS3 ($35,000, 533 votes) and the $250,000 pilot of a raised pedestrian crosswalk at W. 45th St. and Ninth Ave., which received 532 votes.
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has received a Brownfield Cleanup Program (BCP) application from 438-‐444 Eleventh Avenue, L.L.C. for a site known as 4 38 11th Avenue, site ID #C231095. This site is located in New York City, within the County of New York, and is located at 438 11th Avenue. Comments regarding this application must be submitted no later than June 19, 2015. Information regarding the site, the application, and how to submit comments can be found at http://www.dec.ny.gov/chemical/60058.html or send comments to Michael MacCabe, NYSDEC – DER, 625 Broadway, 12th Floor, Albany, NY 12233-‐7016; firstname.lastname@example.org; or call 518-‐402-‐9687. To have information such as this notice sent right to your email, sign up with county email listservs available at www.dec.ny.gov/chemical/61092.htm
May 14 - 20, 2015
What You Need to Know About Wh
Courtesy Action on Smoking and Health
Jeff the Diseased Lung busts a move during his recent Times Square flash mob action.
This year’s Dance Parade New York will celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Photo by Lori Tajika for Artists & Fleas
Pioneering NYC graffiti artist Erni Vales oversees the work of a youngling.
BY SCOTT STIFFLER
COLLABORATIVE GRAFFITI AT CHELSEA MARKET It was drink, schmooze and draw on May 7, when vintage market Artists & Fleas celebrated its one-year anniversary as a Chelsea Market store. The event, “Colab by Erni Vales,” presented a collaborative art installation by Erni Vales. The prolific graffiti artist, whose work spans over three decades, was one of the first NYC graffiti artists to transition from subway cars to canvas (and, later, to his own
May 14 - 20, 2015
clothing line). Vales created work of his own and provided encouragement to all who picked up a marker and approached the blank white walls. For info on the artist and the store, visit evlworld.com and artistsandfleas.com, respectively.
FLASH MOB KICKS BUTTS IN TIMES SQUARE He busts a move so we won’t burst our blood vessels. Designed to invoke a cancerous organ as well as the three Marlboro Men who died from cancer, Jeff the Diseased Lung (#JeffWeCan) —
scourge of the tobacco industry and satirical mascot known from his appearances on HBO’s “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver” — took part in a protest and awareness action. Sponsored by ASH (Action on Smoking & Health) in collaboration with the Campaign for TobaccoFree Kids, dozens of anti-smoking advocates met at the TKTS steps in Times Square on the morning of May 6. The flash mob coincided with Philip Morris International Inc.’s annual shareholders meeting — where, ASH points out, PMI would “discuss their sales of the only consumer product that kills when used exactly as intended.” For info on why you shouldn’t smoke, see the grotesque spots on Jeff. For info on the event organizers, visit ash.org and tobacccofreekids.org.
WEST 25TH STREET GOES GREEN The West 25th Street Project is hosting a series of free events to beautify the block and bring neighbors together. They’ve already screened the Helen Mirren movie “Greenfingers,” at 127 W. 25th St.’s Senior Planet (a tech-themed resource space for people 60-plus). The small tree in front of Senior Planet is the
meeting place for two upcoming events. On Wed., May 20, at 5:30 p.m., there will be a workshop on tree stewardship led by representatives from the One Million Trees initiative. On Sat., June 6, a Cleanup and Planting Celebration does just that — beginning at 1p.m. The greening project is being funded with a grant from Citizens Committee for New York City. Sponsors include the Bowery Residents’ Committee, Senior Planet, Alan’s Alley and Curb Allure. For more info, send an email to email@example.com. Check them out, and like them, on facebook. com/west25project.
DANCE PARADE NEW YORK Everybody dance now! There are plenty of colorful and coordinated troupes on display in the street — but sidewalk spectators are just invested in the hip-shaking action, when Dance Parade New York snakes its way down Broadway, through Union Square, past the Grandstand on Eighth St. and University Place, all the way to five stages in Tompkins Square Park. On a moveable mission to inspire .com
hat Was, What Is and What Will Be
Courtesy the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum
The Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum celebrates Fleet Week, May 20–26.
Photo by Leonard Rosmarin
civil rights legislation embodied in the
dance through the celebration of diversity, over 10,000 dancers will showcase dozens of dance styles — making this event the world’s largest display of cultural diversity. The Grand Marshals are choreographer/dancer Carmen de Lavallade and Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater Artistic Director Robert Battle, as well as Dancing Wheels founder Verdi-Fletcher and DJ Rekha (pioneers of Indian bhangra dance in North America). This year’s Dance Parade will celebrate the 25th anniversary of the civil rights legislation embodied in the Americans with Disabilities Act. VerdiFletcher, whose physically integrated troupe was the first professional company in the U.S. to bring the talents of dancers with and without disabilities to the stage, will lead the parade while dancing in her wheelchair. The Ninth Annual Parade and Festival will kick off on 21st St. & Broadway at 1 p.m. on Sat., May 16th. Visit danceparade.org for details.
MANHATTAN BOROUGH PRESIDENT’S OPEN HOUSE You are invited to the Grand Opening .com
of Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer’s new storefront office: Sun., May 18, 4–8 p.m. at 431 W. 125th St. The Ribbon-cutting happens at 5 p.m., followed by small group tours every 15 minutes. For more info, visit manhattanbp.nyc.gov, call 212-669-8300 or send an email to info@ manhattanbp.nyc.gov.
FLEET WEEK AT THE INTREPID SEA, AIR & SPACE MUSEUM The Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum will host week of activities and interactive displays, to coincide with the 27th Annual Fleet Week (May 20–May 26) — America’s premier tribute and “thank you” to the men and women who serve in the armed forces. The celebration kicks off on Wed., May 20, as Naval and Coast Guard ships with men and women manning the rails sail up the Hudson River into New York City, traveling past Intrepid’s Pier 86 before docking at Pier 92. Four U.S. Naval Academy Yard Patrol boats will dock at the Intrepid Museum’s Pier 86. They will be open for free public tours until 5 p.m. Throughout the day, live demonstrations, scavenger hunts and a family aviation gallery walk will be presented by Intrepid Museum educators, and Fleet Week themed Tour Guide Talks will take place on the hangar deck (these activities also take place on other days throughout Fleet Week). On Fri., May 22, the Intrepid kicks off its Summer Movie Series with the most appropriate film possible, given the
screening’s flight deck setting: “Top Gun.” Scott D. Altman — a former NASA astronaut who, in 1986 was a young Navy F-14 pilot serving as the flying double for Maverick (Tom Cruise) — will introduce the film. This event is free. Lawn chairs, picnic baskets and blankets are permitted (and highly recommended). Doors open at 7 p.m. and the film begins at sunset, weather permitting. Space is limited. Seating is on a first come, first served basis, and there is no admission after 8:30 p.m. On Sat., May 23 at 12:30 p.m., meet pilots Scott D. Altman, Ron Garan and Greg C. Johnson at a panel discussion moderated by their friend and former NASA colleague Mike Massimino, now Senior Advisor, Space Programs at Intrepid and Professor, Mechanical Engineering Department, Columbia University. This program is free with museum admission. Throughout the day on Sat. and Sun., Pier 86 will host displays and hands-on activities from NASA, the Office of Naval Research, U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Fleet Forces Command, the American Legion and the American Red Cross. Four U.S. Naval Academy Yard Patrol boats will be open for free public tours. Live demonstrations, scavenger hunts and a family aviation gallery walk will be presented by Intrepid Museum educators, and free Fleet Week themed Tour Guide Talks will take place on the hangar deck. On Memorial Day, Mon. May 25, an 11 a.m. ceremony honors the men and women who have
Photo by Scott Stiffler
The West 25th Street Project is using this little tree as the meeting place where its big ambitions begin.
made the ultimate sacrifice while serving in the United States Armed Forces. All activities take place at the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum and on Pier 86 (46th St. & 12th Ave.). Events on the pier are free and open to the public. Events in the Museum are free with Museum admission. For Fleet Week info, visit fleetweeknewyork.com. For Museum info, visit intrepidmuseum.org. Regular Museum Hours: Mon.–Fri., 10 a.m.–5 p.m. and Sat./Sun., 10 a.m.–6 p.m. Admission: $24 ($20 for students/seniors; $19 for youth 7-17; $17 for veterans; $12 for children 3-6; and free for active military, retired military and children under 3). May 14 - 20, 2015
Revolution Books Seeking Harlem Relocation
Courtesy Revolution Books
Photo by Dusica Sue Malesevic
On May 7, Revolution Books spokesperson Andy Zee addressed a packed audience on the emergency facing the store.
Revolution Books’ plan to move from Chelsea and renovate a Harlem space and restock the shelves requires $150,000 over the next three months. There is a role for everyone to play in making this happen.
Continued from page 1 “We couldn’t afford to stay here,” Kissinger told Chelsea Now at the store, which held an emergency meeting on May 7. Revolution Books has always been a destination bookstore — people search for it due to its categories such U.S. History, Revolutionary Theory, Women and Libros en Español as well as a wide selection of material — and the nexus of subway lines in Chelsea has always been helpful. “The neighborhood has changed” Kissinger said, adding, “other parts of the city are more appropriate.” The not-for-profit bookstore first opened in 1978. It has had several locations before settling in Chelsea, mostly notably in Union Square at W. 19th St. for 13 years, said Kissinger. “This is an important resource for the metropolitan area,” he said. “We think we have a new place. We have to raise a lot of money to make this possible.” The emergency meeting was a rallying cry to enlist as much help as possible for their fundraising drive and move. As it is a not-for-profit endeavor, people cannot invest in it, and so the bookstore is calling “on people who feel this kind of store needs to be in the mix,” said Kissinger. “I was always glad it was here,” said Sylvia Mendel, who has lived in Chelsea for 11 years. The bookstore’s disappearance gets at a deeper problem, she said, and “it is just another sadness.” “I think we all know why we’re here
May 14 - 20, 2015
Courtesy Revolution Books
A Revolution Books patron spells out why he will attend a dialogue between Dr. Cornel West and the revolutionary communist leader Bob Avakian. “Revolution and Religion: The Fight for Emancipation and the Role of Religion” took place last Nov. at The Riverside Church.
tonight,” said Andy Zee at the start of the meeting. It is to turn a bad thing into a good thing by raising enough money to relocate the store, he said, and “to ask ourselves, do we really need this store?” Yes, he declared, before announcing that the store is moving to Harlem. “Harlem is where Revolution Books should be,” said Zee, who noted the neighborhood’s history of art and activism. “To make this real requires serious money. It is a lot of money for people like us.”
The $150,000 is needed now for a new lease, to take care of past obligations and to renovate and set up the bookstore at the new location, he said. He tied the bookstore, whose members had participated in Occupy Wall Street, to current issues — what happened in Baltimore, the #BlackLivesMatter movement and sexual assault and said, “No other bookstore is dedicated to this mission.” Revolution Books will start an Indiegogo campaign in June to raise $40,000 to $50,000, said Zee. For now, people can go to revolutionbooksnyc.org
to donate. Kissinger then took the mike and explained that they were going to break up into three taskforces. One will be dedicated figuring out how to raise the necessary funds and brainstorming about how to utilize to social media to reach the goal. Another will focus on programming, which will continue even while the bookstore is in transition. Revolution Books has hosted several events, such as readings as well as a dialogue between Cornel West and Bob Avakian last November. This weekend, there will be events and a giant book sale. The third will work on the mechanics of the move — there is much to be done to pack up the store and then shelve the new one — as well as plan a party that will announce the new store. K. Osburn, 19, knows how she will pitch in. She recently moved to Brooklyn from Los Angeles and frequently comes to Revolution Books. A film student at New York Film Academy, she will volunteer to edit the testimonial video of people who support the bookstore. Revolution Books / Libros Revolución is located at 146 W. 26th St. (btw. Sixth & Seventh Aves.). Because of the many tasks involved in moving by May 31, Revolution Books is open on a new schedule: 4 p.m.–7 p.m. Mon.–Fri., Sat. noon7 p.m. and closed Sundays. Volunteers needed at all times. Call 212-691-33455 or visit revolutionbooksnyc.org. May 15, 16, 17 is a “Weekend to Support the Revolution Books Move,” featuring performances, food, thousands of used books and testimonials. .com
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May 14 - 20, 2015
Hitchcock Holocaust Documentary to Screen at Jewish Museum
Image courtesy Imperial War Museums
“Smiling children through barbed wire,” a still from footage of Bergen-Belsen shot by Sergeant Lewis or Sergeant Lawrie, April 18-20, 1945. The British liberated the concentration camp on April 15.
BY LINCOLN ANDERSON On Tues., May 19, the Museum of Jewish Heritage will premiere a never-before-seen 1945 documentary directed by Alfred Hitchcock. However, unlike a typical film by the master of suspense, this isn’t a psychological thriller that will leave viewers wondering until the mystery is finally unraveled at the last minute. Rather, the documentary was made with the opposite intent: to erase any mystery about what really happened in the Nazi death camps, to expose the unvarnished truth about the Holocaust. It’s called “German Concentration Camps Factual Survey.” It runs 88 minutes, and is in English and German, with English subtitles. When the camps were liberated, extensive footage of them was shot by British, American and Russian military cameramen, as well as by newsreel cameramen. This array of film, in turn, was used by the British Ministry of Information to create a documentary that would condemn the Nazi regime and document the magnitude of its crimes. In short, it was meant to be the film to be shown to German prisoners of war and the German public to shame them into accepting the Allied occupation. Sidney Bernstein, chief of the film division of the Psychological Warfare Division of the Allied Expeditionary Force, initiated the project and fought for its production. Hitchcock — who was described by Bernstein as the film’s director — spent a month overseeing the editing. Ultimately, though, the film was shelved. Now, seven decades later, England’s Imperial War Museums has digitally restored the documentary and assembled it for the first time exactly as Bernstein and Hitchcock originally intended. Bruce Ratner is best known for his development
May 14 - 20, 2015
prowess, including building The New York Times building and, in Downtown Brooklyn, MetroTech and the new Barclays Center — home of the basketball Nets, of which he is a part owner. He’s currently constructing three buildings in the Atlantic Yards project — now known as Pacific Park Brooklyn — half of whose total units will be affordable. Work will soon begin on a fourth building, which will be 100 percent affordable. By the end of June, construction will be underway on more than 780 units that are low-, moderate- or middle-income. When fully built, the project will have 2,250 affordable units. In addition to his development work, Ratner takes immense pride in being chairperson of the board of trustees of the Museum of Jewish Heritage, a position he has held for the past year. The opportunity for the museum to host the East Coast premiere of the forgotten 1945 documentary is a great honor, he said. “I would say it’s a major moment in Holocaust documentary,” he stated. “When the Russians reported on Auschwitz, it wasn’t believed. This film was meant to prove and show what the German people and what the Nazis had done — and then to tell the people of the world. “It still shakes the soul, shakes the mind to see this film,” Ratner said. “The ‘Holocaust,’ the word, did not exist as we know it now until the 1970s. Had this documentary been shown at the time, it would have accelerated understanding of the atrocities and extreme brutality of the Nazis.” As for why the film, in the end, was left on the shelf, he said, there were a number of factors. “It got delayed, in general, in the summer of 1945,” he said. “They didn’t have the Russian material from Auschwitz.” But the film’s visceral impact and condemning mes-
sage were also reasons why it was decided not to show it back then: In short, there was a fear of alienating the Germans and driving them toward the Soviets. Rebuilding became the focus, not de-Nazi-fication. “You wanted to win them over, and it was felt that this would not do that,” Ratner explained. “Germany became the focal point of the Cold War.” Ratner was born in 1945, and growing up, heard family members talking about the Holocaust. His family lost about 120 members across Germany and Eastern Europe in the war. Afterward, his father sponsored many survivors who came over to America. In 1976, Ratner went to Poland to see Auschwitz for himself. “It was communist,” he said. “Nobody visited Auschwitz in those days.” The Nazis murdered about 1 million Jews at the infamous killing camp. Other victims included Gypsies, the disabled, homosexuals, dissidents and non-Jewish Poles and Russians. “It’s inexplicable,” Ratner said. “That’s why it very much resonates today.” While the Russians filmed Auschwitz, the British documented Bergen-Belsen, and the Yanks recorded other sites. Other camps shown include Dachau, Buchenwald and Majdanek. In all, the film includes footage from 14 locations (10 camps and four sites of atrocity) discovered in Austria, Germany and Poland. The combat cameramen who shot the footage used very simple cameras, Ratner noted, but “there were a lot of them.” Although Bernstein called Hitchcock the director, a more apt description would be “treatment adviser,” according to a release by the Imperial War Museums, in that Hitchcock was not present for the actual filming or the creation of the rough-cut. The documentary bears a Hitchcock hallmark, Ratner said, namely in long, wide shots that show the scenes in their full context. “That was done to prove it wasn’t staged,” he explained. The movie also uses symbolism to evoke the camps’ horrors. “Hitchcock was always about symbolism,” Ratner noted. “It’s not like the 15-minute newsreels of the day. It’s done with a certain degree of artistry and care.” Five rough-cut reels of the film were originally completed, but a planned sixth reel was never made — until now. To create the new, digital version, the restorers went back to the original footage — a total of 100 reels of film — and followed the 1945 film team’s instructions. There is also a new soundtrack, with a narrator reading the original script, plus new sound effects added. Ratner has seen five of the film’s six reels. Asked how graphic it is, he admitted, “It’s very hard to watch.” For now, the plan is to show the long-lost documentary on only one night, Tues., May 19, at the Museum of Jewish Heritage, at 36 Battery Place, at 7:30 p.m. “They want to be very careful about how this is being released,” Ratner said. Tickets for the premiere are available by visiting the museum’s website, mjhnyc.org, or calling 646-437-4202. Ticket prices are $25, $15 for members and $10 for students. .com
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May 14 - 20, 2015
Counterculture as Cure for New York’s ‘Sugar Coma’ Penny Arcade, on the slide from Apple to Cupcake BY TRAV S.D. (travsd.wordpress.com) One of the strongest links bridging the contemporary Downtown arts world with its avant-garde heyday of the late 1960s is the continued presence of performance art legend Penny Arcade. She was still a teenager when she moved to New York and had the good fortune to be immediately embraced by John Vaccaro and his Playhouse of the Ridiculous, which led to working with Jackie Curtis at La MaMa, which led to the Andy Warhol-Paul Morrisey film “Women in Revolt” (1971), in which she shares the screen with Curtis and fellow drag legends Candy Darling and Holly Woodlawn. After this, she spent a decade in Europe, returning to New York just in time for the explosion in performance art just then getting under way. Through the '80s she worked with the likes of Jack Smith, Charles Ludlam and Quentin Crisp, and began to develop her first solo work. She was to become best known for her 1990 piece “Bitch! Dyke! Faghag! Whore!” which mixed elements of monologue, comedy improv and erotic dancing, and which she has toured all over the world. Now with 30 years of being a solo performance star under her belt, she is developing a new show called “Longing Lasts Longer” which is being presented at Joe’s Pub on four successive Mondays, beginning May18. It’s all about change and gentrification in the town Arcade refers to as “The Big Cupcake.” “It used to be the Big Apple,” she says, “and the apple has always repre-
May 14 - 20, 2015
sented the fruit of knowledge. But New York has changed in the past 20 years. It was the city that never sleeps. Now it’s the city that can’t wake up. It’s in a sugar coma. People are careening from one cupcake shot to another.” The “knowledge” she refers to is New York’s famously rich, vibrant, multi-ethnic culture which seems to be rapidly disappearing. “I’ve lived here almost 50 years. I watched people much older than me and now I’m much older than a lot of people, and I see a world that I once knew becoming homoge-
had always brought the past with it. We are now into the first generation where that remarkable tapestry that has influenced the rest of country and the rest of world is being cut off. What the blacks brought, what the Italians brought, what the Chinese brought, the German beer halls, the beatnik coffee houses, the hippie head shops, all these different cultures. Each new generation had access to these things and internalized these histories and moved forward and now we are at the end of history and people are coming to New York not because they want to be like New York, but because they want New York to be like them. They hate history, but love ‘vintage.’ It used to be you would leave your hometown and give up comfort and come to New York for its urbanity. It was anonymous. You’d have a relationship with the city itself the streets. Now, it’s becoming suburban. Take walking down the street. People in New York used to have their own choreography. People bump into you now and have conversations at the top of the subway steps. They are not used to having to live with people.” “People keep talking about Photo by Steven Menendez the problem of high rents. But there is gentrification of ideas as well as of buildings. The nized. The people who are coming here now are changing it. There has always whole sense of community that charbeen a deep resentment in the rest of acterized the counterculture has been American about how New York was eroded away. ‘Longing Lasts Longer’ different. Giuliani sold New York to is a standing up for that. There is so the rest of America as the same, and so much isolation now. The Internet is we’ve had all this free market capitalist not fulfilling its promise the way the destruction. Developers are destroy- old community spirit of Downtown ers. They’re not developing anything New York used to. It separates people here, they’re destroyers. So I thought I more and more. It erases the sense of needed to make a show with my point city space.” But at the same time, claims Arcade, of view. I could express what I see New Yorkers (including its artists are happening.” “People say New York has ALWAYS changed,” she says, “but historically it Continued on page 21 .com
Just Do Art
Photo by Samantha Mercado-Tudda
Courtesy Theater for the New City
The Cast of “Little Wars,” one of five plays by Steven Carl McCasland in rep through May at the Clarion Theatre.
The Filipino-American troupe Kinding Sindaw will join dozens of other performers, playwrights and musicians at Theater for the New City’s free, family-friendly Lower East Side Festival (May 22–24).
BY SCOTT STIFFLER
THE FLATIRON HEX The Empire State Building has it beat on height — but mere blocks away, an equally iconic (and just as sexy) structure straddles Fifth & Broadway, has a district named after it and played The Daily Bugle in several “Spider-Man” films. Now, New York’s only building shaped like an old school Monopoly piece gets the top billing it’s always deserved. “The Flatiron Hex” takes place in a parallel, post-plague, near-future city surrounded by a toxic swamp and threatened by ghosts, elemental spirits and evil demigods. Created by 2014 Jim Henson Award recipient James Godwin, “Hex” uses puppets, masks and noirish visuals to tell the story of contract sorcerer Wylie Walker, who must decode an enigmatic document in order to channel the Flatiron building’s occult power and to save NYORG from an impending Super Storm. May 15–30, Fri. & Sat. at 7:30 p.m. At Dixon Place (161A Chrystie St. btw. Rivington & Delancey). For tickets ($16 in advance, $12 at the door and for students/seniors), call 866-811-4111 or visit dixonplace.org.
THE LOWER EAST SIDE FESTIVAL Although the milestone about to be achieved isn’t quite equal to what we Americans designate as legal drinking age, there’s nothing sober about the lineup for year #20 of the Lower East Side Festival. This totally free, family-friendly, somewhat subversive and “slightly anarchistic throwback to carnivals and festivals of old” is so jam-paced with art, theater, acrobatics, dance, film, and music that it takes every last drop of .com
Memorial Day weekend to soak it all in. Nearly 100 performers will be seen on the various stages at Theater for the New City, as well as at a block party outside the theater on the festival’s final day. It won’t cost you a dime to see Penny Arcade, F. Murray Abraham, Hotsy Totsy Burlesque host Cherry Pitz, Tonywinning actress Tammy Grimes, and dancers from Latin, American Indian, Asian, and disabled/abled ensembles — plus far too many other comedians, playwrights, and musicians to mention. Bonus activity: dozens of Lower East Side artists will have their work displayed in the lobby. Free. Fri., May 22, 6 p.m.–1 a.m. Sat., May 23, noon–midnight. Sun., May 24, 4 p.m.–midnight. At Theater for the New City (155 First Ave. at 10th St.). For full performance schedule, visit theaterforthenewcity.net.
STEVEN CARL McCASLAND: FIVE PLAYS IN REP With biting words and intriguing speculation by Steven Carl McCasland, a cast of 25 brings some of history’s most intriguing and conflicted characters to life. “Little Wars” finds tensions running high — and not just because war is coming to 1940 France. An imaginary gathering of Lillian Hellman, Dorothy Parker, Gertrude Stein, Agatha Christie, Alice B. Toklas and Muriel Gardiner finds the formidable group drinking, baring their souls and scoffing at their demons. This remounting of “Wars” is being presented in repertory with four other works by McCasland. “What Was Lost” follows stage actress Laurette Taylor (1883-1946), sober for the first time in a decade and attempt-
Photo by Jim Moore
James Godwin pulls the strings, as creator and performer of “The Flatiron Hex.”
ing a return to the boards as Amanda Wingfield in Tennessee Williams’ “The Glass Menagerie.” Featuring arias by Giuseppe Verdi and Richard Strauss, “Der Kanarienvogel [The Canary]” explores the love affair between legendary soprano Elisabeth Schwarzkopf and Reich Minister Joseph Goebbels. Inspired by the 1994 case of Susan Smith (who drowned her sons in a lake, then claimed the vehicle they were strapped into was carjacked). “Neat & Tidy” focuses on the desperation behind
a murderous act and its aftershocks. The Kennedy’s Hyannis Port compound is the setting for “28 Marchant Avenue,” which takes place over the course of five summers and concerns family skeletons (with a focus on the lobotomy of Rose Marie Kennedy). Through May, at The Clarion Theatre (309 E. 26th St. btw. First & Second Aves.) Tickets are $18 per play, $75 for the five-play package). For reservations and more info, visit BeautifulSoup. Showclix.com. May 14 - 20, 2015
EVERY THURSDAY FROM JUNE 18TH – AUGUST 13TH SPEND YOUR SUMMER THURSDAYS IN UNION SQUARE PARK WITH NINE WEEKS OF FREE EVENTS.
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May 14 - 20, 2015
‘Longing’ More Call to Action Than Look Back in Anger Continued from page 18 allowing political correctness to stifle their famous individualism. “Traditionally, New York people formed their own opinions. Most came from somewhere else because we needed to follow our own star. We don’t want to be told anything. We’re interested in your opinion as long as we can have our own opinion. The problem with political correctness is that it’s a consensus activity. Human beings are herd animals biologically. We need to be with other people. This can be acted out in two ways: being part of a crowd or being part of pack. The crowd operates by consensus: you have to agree with everyone in crowd. But a pack is a group of individuals, it operates by expansion. You don’t need to agree but you’re allowed to expand. You can’t have own opinion among people who traffic in political correctness. You have to agree. Political correctness hijacks the conversation.” This is a drum that Arcade has been beating for quite a while now: “My 2002 show ‘New York Values’
Photo by Jasmine Hirst
Penny Arcade’s new work puts the onus on New Yorkers to remedy isolation and champion individualism.
was about ‘the New York you miss’ or ‘the New York you missed.’ The person who reviewed it for Time Out New York was very annoyed by it. They claimed I was saying that anyone who’s not a starving artist is uncool. It’s never been that. Bohemianism has always been a set of values. It’s never been about being poor. It’s about what
your values are.” “Longing Lasts Longer,” says Arcade, “is not a swan song but more of a call to action. We need to restore our own personal authenticity. The only thing that is constant in our life is change,” she says, “and the thing that lasts longest is longing. Anyone of a certain age who complains of the
way things are today is accused of nostalgia, but longing is different from nostalgia. It is a yearning not only for the past but who you were in the past. Longing attaches to our values, to our desire. It’s not tied to our time and place. We’re longing for the future. We’re living in a culture that’s so ageist that if you’re over 50 you’re really not allowed to have an opinion on the present. But I like that my whole 48 years of performing comes into play onstage. Art is one of the few things in life where you get better as you get older. The media keeps telling people that aging is some kind of failure, that the last 40 years of your life are inferior. People are buying into that. People in their early 30s, people are panicking. I want this show to be a vindication for people over 50, inspiration for people under 50.” “Longing Lasts Longer” is performed at 7 p.m. on May 18 and 25, June 1 and 8 at Joe’s Pub (425 Lafayette St. btw. Astor Pl. and E. Fourth St.). For tickets ($20), visit publictheater.org. For artist info, visit pennyarcade.tv.
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May 14 - 20, 2015
BUHMANN ON ART
2015 TRIENNIAL: SURROUND AUDIENCE
Courtesy New Museum, New York (photo by Benoit Pailley)
Photo by Heji Shin, courtesy the artists
Eva Kotátková: “Not How People Move But What Moves Them” (2013, various mediums).
From the New York-based artist collective, DIS: “The Island (KEN)” (2015).
BY STEPHANIE BUHMANN (stephaniebuhmann.com) The New Museum’s Triennial signifies the only recurring international exhibition in New York City devoted to early-career artists from around the world. Besides providing an important platform for an emergent generation of contemporary artists, it embodies the institution’s 37-year
commitment to exploring the future of culture through the art of today. This year’s edition, which is organized by curator Lauren Cornell and notorious video artist Ryan Trecartin, features 51 artists and collectives from over 25 countries. While incredibly varied, the Triennial reflects the curator’s overall passion for probing the social and psychological effects of
digital technology. The increasing tension between the newfound freedoms and threats of today’s society marks the core of their contemplation. The artists here explore a culture replete with impressions of life, be they visual, written, or construed through data. They present a world in which most of us move through streams of chatter, swipe past pictures of other
people’s lives, and begin to frame our own experiences in digital format. Through May 24 at the New Museum (235 Bowery btw. Rivington & Stanton Sts.). Hours: Tues.–Wed. & Fri.–Sun., 11 a.m.–6 p.m.; Thurs., 11 a.m.–9 p.m. Admission: $16 ($14 seniors, $10 students). Free admission every Thurs. from 7–9 p.m. Call 212-219-1222. Visit newmuseum.org.
Courtesy New Museum, New York (photo by Benoit Pailley)
L & R, Installation images from the New Museum’s 2015 Triennial: “Surround Audience.”
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