YOUR WEEKLY COMMUNITY NEWSPAPER SERVING CHELSEA, HUDSON YARDS & HELL’S KITCHEN
Seminar Preps Advocates for Albany Housing Rally BY WINNIE McCROY On a day when the sun shone brightly over happy children playing in a bouncy castle at the street fair on W. 26th St., few people would have opted to stay indoors. But for the 70 individuals who gathered at Hudson Guild’s Elliott Center on the afternoon of Sat., May 30, the promise of affordable housing offered an even brighter option. “The costs of rent, food, the subway and clothing are going up, but people who’ve lived in this neighborhood for their entire lives are wondering how long they can hang in there, especially on the West Side,” said the symContinued on page 2
10th Precinct Counsels on Crime Spikes BY ZACH WILLIAMS Police from the NYPD’s 10th Precinct highlighted identity theft, felony assault and grand larceny as top criminal challenges afflicting Chelsea at the May 27 meeting of its community council. Increased vigilance from private citizens could help temper recent spikes in those crime categories, according to Deputy Inspector Michele Irizarry, who commands the precinct. The disparate locations of incidents stretches precinct resources — especially when unexpected police-intensive events arise, such as the #BlackLivesMatter Continued on page 3
HUDSON RIVER PARK GAMES See page 12.
A light rail system on 42nd St. could help make internal combustion engine cars a curiosity of the past.
Planning Today for a Midtown Tomorrowland BY ZACH WILLIAMS Predicting what life will be like in the future is a tricky business — one that often involves scenarios residing on the extreme end of the sci-fi spectrum. We will not live underground to escape the effects of nuclear winter, nor will we be vacationing on the moon. Those who envision flying cars or other truly transformative technologies should glance at the Empire State Building and note that airships never took to the docking station up top. Although many things will change in the next 25 years, the means by which we move around Midtown
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does not appear to be one of them. In many respects, the dominance of the automobile is ending in favor of railways, buses, bicycles and good old-fashioned walking. Four wheels (and some extra ones for buses) or two legs are still the best means we have. In respect to public transit, however, we are already seeing the future unfold in forms likely to hold for decades, especially given the length of time required for major infrastructure projects. The Port Authority began the planning process
Continued on page 4 VOLUME 07, ISSUE 17 | JUNE 04 - 10, 2015
The Manhattan Chamber of Commerce LGBTQ Network & Gay City News present Getting Married? Come to our
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Panelists discussed the future of affordable housing in New York City, at a May 30 seminar hosted by Councilmember Corey Johnson.
Continued from page 1
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June 04 - 10, 2015
posium’s host, Councilmember Corey Johnson. “Are we going to become a city of luxury housing for part-time residents, or a city of families…that contribute to the fabric of New York?” Johnson hosted a panel of housing experts — including Sarah Desmond of Housing Conservation Coordinators, Katie Goldstein of Tenants & Neighbors, Daniel Hernandez from the NYC Department of Housing Preservation & Development, Brian Honan of the New York City Housing Authority, Alexander Ryley of Volunteers of Legal Service and Marti Weithman of MFY Legal Services. With long-standing rent laws coming up for a vote, landlords are homing in. Tenant advocates hope to present just as unified a front by heading en masse to Albany on June 9 to lobby for an end to these predatory practices. Panelists discussed the future of affordable housing in New York City, a subject given urgency by the impending June 15 date for the expiration of current rent laws. Advocates are seeking the end of rent deregulation, the closing of the preferential rent loophole, and a change to the practice of rewarding landlords a bonus of 20 percent of the rent for vacating apartments (or more, if the tenant has resided there for more than eight years). “Vacancy decontrol has done more damage to the housing stock than any single item,” said Desmond. “The landlord can deregulate the apartment when
it’s vacant. Then the next tenant has no right for renewal, and no regulations.” Under the current system, it is quite easy for unscrupulous landlords to get an apartment deregulated. They can lure tenants with preferential rents for the first year, then raise rent to the legal limit in the following year, driving that tenant out. Then, they can make “improvements” and raise the rent 1/40th of those costs. Before long, the rent reaches $2,500, at which point the apartment is no longer regulated. This has resulted in the loss of 400,000 rent regulated apartments in the past 20 years, said Desmond. “We want reform in the rent guidelines for the city’s 2.5 million rent stabilized tenants,” Johnson said, adding, “It’s high time for a rent freeze or rollback.” An apartment is rent controlled if the tenant has lived there since 1971, and is rent stabilized if they’ve lived there since 1974. Rent regulation allows tenants to remain in the apartment as long as they don’t violate the lease, and to have their rent hikes set by the Rent Guidelines Board, a nine-person board appointed by the mayor to determine the permitted rise in rent for one- and two-year leases. Even though this usually maxes out at 2.75 percent for a two-year lease, advocates say it is too much. “We’re pushing for rent rollbacks, because every year the board rubber-stamps rent increases while landlords reap incredible profits,” said Goldstein.
Continued on page 15 .com
Precinct Counsil Charts Chelsea Crime Continued from page 1 protest which led to the cancellation of the April council meeting. The neighborhood is safe by-andlarge, according to Irizarry. But that does not mean that an iPhone, laptop or flashy fashion accessory should be left unattended within local bars, coffee shops and libraries, she said. Irizarry added that incidents of grand larceny rose by 9.1 percent in the last 28-day period. Of the 60 incidents, 28 were reports of possessions left without a watchful eye. The crimes haven’t been concentrated at any particular establishments, she said, noting that a bit more attention to one’s possessions and surroundings goes a long way to preventing such theft. “We can’t post officers in every coffee shop, and that’s what we’re dealing with,” she said of the recent rise in grand larceny reports. A similar situation exists in cyberspace, though Irizarry did not offer specific statistics at the meeting. Identity theft continues to target people of all ages, income strata and occu-
pation — including Irizarry herself. She said a credit card company quickly nullified a charge for Nike shoes bought by someone in California who used her credit card number. In the event of suspicious activity, whether regarding a credit or debit card, victims should contact the relevant card issuer in order to resolve account charges. At the ATM, thieves utilize tiny pinhole cameras and clandestine magnetic strips in order to record account information. Covering one’s hands while typing a PIN and looking for signs of tampering are two strategies which might thwart such efforts. Using cash more than cards is the best way to protect the integrity of one’s secret financial information, police said. Domestic violence remains a local problem. Victims include romantic partners, children, and the elderly (who are especially vulnerable for abuse by perpetrators seeking control of their financial resources). Felony assaults increased by 25 percent in the previous 28-day period, Irizarry said. Many of them are actually incidents of domestic violence, she added.
Devices used at ATMs to record personal information were displayed at the May 27 meeting of the 10th Precinct Community Council.
light bulbs removed to darken their vestibules and see men having sex in the hours before dawn on playground benches.” But there have been no reported incidents of that, noted Irizarry. “We’re in May now and there’s been nothing,” she said. Police do not want people calling them with reports of public fornication. That information should be directed to 311. Suspicions of prostitution does merit a call to 911, police said.
Victims of such crimes are often reluctant to speak to police. However, an anonymous tip to police via 911 can create a paper trail which could be of use in the future, even if a victim is unwilling at first to provide information, police said. Such a record simply doesn’t exist to corroborate reports of rising fornication in local streets, according to Irizarry. A recent New York Times article (“Chelsea’s Risqué Business”) cited complaints from neighbors “that they find used condoms and latex gloves in front of their homes, have
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: 212-741-8211. 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 council is on summer hiatus, to resume on Sept. 30.
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Designing the Midtown of Tomorrow
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Current predictions suggest that the Port Authority will replace its aging bus terminal within 20 years. Moynihan Station could be ready for rail traffic by that time as well.
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Continued from page 1 for a new Midtown bus terminal this year. The shortcomings of the current 50-year-old facility are well-known and fundamental. It is too small and will fall apart in the coming decades from age, and the bigger modern buses. If all goes well, a replacement could open in about 15 years with accommodations for the 1,000 buses (each weighing 27 tons) per hour estimated to be in motion during the evening rush period of 2040 — a nearly 25 percent increase from
current levels, according to a March 2015 Port Authority presentation on the plan. Five concepts for a new terminal were included in the presentation. Their prices vary from $7.5 to $10.5 billion. The more high-rise development space they include, the lower the price. The cheapest option would not even fully accommodate commuter passenger demand, while intercity buses would only find a home within the priciest design. A future Hell’s Kitchen free from bus congestion on neighborhood streets depends on the decisions of which way to go, but the Port Authority is not the only entity looking to shake up the local streetscape. Rail travel was left for dead at about the same time that the current bus terminal was built. Former parks commissioner and “master builder” Robert Moses was busy reinventing the city for the needs of the automobile. His efforts to lay express freeways across Manhattan ironically catalyzed the historical landmarking process, which ensures that much of old New York City will survive well into the current century. The future Moynihan Station (at the former Farley Post Office building at Eighth Ave. btw. W. 31 & W. 33rd Sts.) will not be the rebirth of the old Pennsylvania Station per se — but a certain amount of irony, if not karma, could be at work. Beaux-Arts architecture will have its niche in mid-21st century transportation, even if we’re stuck with the current Penn Station for the time being. Meanwhile, another historical throwback is in the works. An ongoing effort has the goal of replacing private automobiles on 42nd St. with
Continued on page 14
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Consumer Affairs Must Challenge Commercial Landlords TALKING POINT BY DONATHAN SALKALN The Chelsea Reform Democratic Club’s general membership meeting, held on May 20 at Hudson Guild’s Chelsea/Elliott Community Center (441 W. 26th St.), had the privilege of hearing from Julie Menin, the hard-working New York City Commissioner for Consumer Affairs. Her report included updates of litigation involving impropriety at nail salons, a significant reduction in city inspector business fines, the required postings of prices for all street vendors, and a program to help people deal with bankruptcy and another for doing taxes for free for all New Yorkers that make $60,000 or less a year — all important causes by themselves. But in the perfect world, the NYC Offi ce of Consumer Affairs, with their staff of over 400, would take a lead in stopping the erosion of local consumer goods and services by advocating a new plan to prevent commercial landlords from jacking up rents beyond what is reasonable.
Banks, drug store chains, nail salons, and coffee bars are eating mom and pop stores — not just for their breakfast — but for everybody’s breakfast. Stores close and suddenly their goods, services, workers and owners, all with a big stake in our community, vanish. A big piece of our lives, and our conversations, vanish with it. Everyone that breathes city air probably has a story of how an impasse between landlord and a longtime commercial tenant affected their lives. Mine began when a chunk of my life (and tab) left town, when Jimmy of Jimmy Dowd’s Bar (23rd St. near 10th Ave.) had enough of the landlord and moved back to Ireland. Then La Taza de Oro (Eighth Ave. near 20th) closed, taking with it their octopus salad. Galaxy Diner on Ninth Ave. in Hell’s Kitchen moved out, taking their free newspapers I used to read over a reasonably priced breakfasts with it. My mattress place, close enough on Eighth Ave. for a friend and I to lug bedding home, is now sleeping with the fishes. Eighth Ave.’s Casa Havana, which served the best tast-
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Sad citywide story: the appeal of Eighth Ave. further dims, every time a business like Casa Havana closes.
ing Cuban sandwiches, is toast, as are my quick bites and small talk at Frank’s Deli (Ninth Ave. and 20th St.). Camouflage, with their independent designer wear that kept me warm, was left out in the cold. More recently, the original La Taza de Oro (Eighth & 15th) and Ninth Ave.’s Knickerbocker Meats have shuttered their doors (my new butcher is in Brooklyn). I’ve even lost hair following my barber from his original digs on 23rd St. near Seventh Ave. to all corners of the city. Yakob is now a short walk from East Village Cheese Shop, which will close soon, taking with it my smooth brie and whitefish
salad. And my fellow Yankee fan, Alan of Alan’s Alley Video? Come this July, he’s scripted back on the street, after recently moving to W. 25th St. from his longtime Ninth Ave. storefront. My wife simply does her grocery shopping in New Jersey, as New York City’s prices are, as she puts it, “outrageous.” Is that anyway to protect the NYC consumer? Go to Jersey? Over eight million NYC consumers are not being looked after — in either mind, money, or matter. It’s time for Consumer Affairs to aid the NYC consumer. New York City is ready for new ideas.
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June 04 - 10, 2015
Walking the ‘Trash’ Talk
Take Charge of Your Health Today! 4th Annual Community Health Forum: “Listen to Your Heart”
Sponsored by New York University and VillageCare Sanitation Commissioner Kathryn Garcia, left, and Councilmember Corey Johnson unveiled a new “big belly”-style trash can at W. 14th St. and Eighth Ave.
BY LINCOLN ANDERSON On Tuesday, May 28, City Councilmember Corey Johnson was joined by Kathryn Garcia, commissioner of the Department of Sanitation, at the corner of W. 14th St. and Eighth Ave. to unveil new “big belly”-style trash cans, and tout increased collection times for his Council District 3 (West Village, Hudson Square, Chelsea and Hell’s Kitchen). Johnson allocated nearly $70,000 to provide the new trash cans at key intersections throughout the district, including three intersections along W. 23rd St.; at W. 14th St. and Eighth Ave.; at Christopher St. and Seventh Ave. South; at Bleecker and Carmine Sts. and also Cornelia St.; and at Leroy St. and Seventh Ave. South and also Bleecker St. Additional pickup service started last September, including the area
between Seventh and 10th Aves., from 14th St. to 23rd St., on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. “We worked hard to pinpoint the areas that were in need of new heavy-duty bins, as well as increased service,” Johnson said. “After consultation with constituents, block associations and community boards, I am proud to say that 32 new trash bins have been installed at street corners across District 3.” Garcia added, “The Department of Sanitation is pleased to partner with Councilmember Johnson to provide additional high-end litter baskets and additional collection services that will enhance the cleanliness of busy Manhattan streets. I’d like to thank Councilmember Johnson for his continuing commitment, and we look forward to working with him in the years to come.”
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June 04 - 10, 2015
Stonewall Inn Appears Headed for City Landmark Status THE WEST SIDE’S COMMUNITY NEWSPAPER
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June 04 - 10, 2015
BY ANDY HUMM As first reported by our sister publication, Gay City News, in a May 29 online exclusive, the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) will begin consideration of landmark designation for the Stonewall Inn in Greenwich Village, site of the Stonewall Rebellion of 1969 that sparked the modern LGBT rights movement. If approved, it would represent the first such designation from the commission exclusively for a site’s significance to the LGBT community. At its Tues., June 2, meeting, the commission considered whether to schedule a public hearing at a subsequent meeting that would likely follow soon. That hearing would provide opportunity for comment from experts and the public. In a written statement to Gay City News, Meenakshi Srinivasan, the LPC chair, said, “The Stonewall Inn is widely known as the birthplace of the modern LGBT rights movement and holds a truly iconic place in history. In addition to its cultural importance, the building still retains its architectural integrity from its period of significance during the Stonewall Rebellion. I am proud to bring the Stonewall Inn before the full Commission to be considered for designation as an individual and official landmark of New York City — a worthy site that symbolizes one of the most import-
ant events in LGBT history for not only New York City, but for the entire country. Recommending Stonewall Inn’s designation represents the Landmark Preservation’s Commission’s commitment to honor New York’s unique and diverse cultural, social, and political heritage.” Local public officials and the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation (GVSHP) have been pressing for the designation for years — with increased urgency recently given the Rebellion’s impending 50th anniversary in 2019. A press conference by GVSHP, elected officials including US Representative Jerrold Nadler and Borough President Gale Brewer, and the Empire State Pride Agenda had been scheduled for June 1 outside the Stonewall to call for landmark designation for the bar as well as other sites — including Julius’ Bar at 159 W. 10th St., where gay people won the right to be served alcohol in 1966; the LGBT Community Center at 208 W. 13th St., where ACT UP and many other community groups were born; and the site of the Gay Activists Alliance (GAA) Firehouse at 99 Wooster St., the first gay community center in New York. That press conference was cancelled. The Commission has been researching the Stonewall designation for some time and was unaware of the scheduled press conference.
Out gay City Councilmember Corey Johnson, whose district includes the Stonewall, said in reaction to the development, “Wow! It’s shocking that in 2015 the Stonewall Inn was never recognized as an individual landmark given its hugely important symbolism and history. LPC recognition is stronger than federal or state recognition. It brings with it more protection.” The designation would apply only to the exterior of the Stonewall. For a time after the bar closed in the 1970s, a bagel shop and pottery store occupied the spaces before a bar resumed operating in one of the storefronts. While the new bar appears to be thriving, there has been discussion in recent years of its possible use as a national LGBT history museum. Out gay State Senator Brad Hoylman, whose district also takes in the Stonewall and has, as well, pressed for the designation for years, said, “The landmarks law has not permitted buildings that have cultural significance but minimal architectural or aesthetic significance to be individual landmarks. I am pleased to see the shift in how landmarks will be considered generally and that it is starting with Stonewall, which is a human rights icon across the globe.” Hoylman said he would also like to see it designated by executive order as
Continued on page 17
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR Ranters, remember who paid for pavilion! Re: “Coffee Party Brews Citizens United Battle” (May 22-27, 2015): To The Editor: While the Coffee Party and its fellow ranters are boycotting all products made by the Koch Brothers, I’d better not see these aging hippy limousine liberals at Lincoln Center, the Metropolitan Museum or seeking medical attention at NY Presbyterian. And do NOT ever allow your brainwashed offspring into the Dinosaur Pavilion at the Museum of Natural History. Yup, that too brought to you by those miserable benefactors and productive achievers, Charles and David Koch. Norma Segal
Feedback from Facebook Re: “Local Legislation Could Impact International Hostel” (news, May 21, 2015): The Chelsea Hostel has been a great resource for a long time.
It has been a polite, quite neighbor for the most part, and is clean and safe, and extremely well run. The kids who find their way there from all over the world are respectful of the community. It is a great asset for us. Pamela Wolff Chelsea West 200 Block Association Re: “Good Sport Wins With Words” (feature, May 28, 2015): What an outstanding child!!! Julianna keep it up. You are totally on the right track!! Allison Drew Klein E-mail letters, not longer than 250 words in length, to Scott@ ChelseaNow.com or fax to 212-229-2790 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
Rhymes With Crazy
Convenient and Essential: Bodegas Nourish Our Lives BY LENORE SKENAZY It is the place you can grab a gallon of milk or a can of frosting at midnight, but is it possible it is also one of those amazingly New York things that, like Central Park, makes us all a little calmer and happier? The bodega is what we’re talking about today: That humble store, often as tall as it is wide, stocked with every item you didn’t expect to find there. (Except you sort of did, or why’d you go there in the first place?) Muffins mummified in cling wrap, plantain chips (both salted and unsalted), Hershey bars slightly reshaped by global (or at least store) warming — all these are staples at the typical mom-and-pop bodega. But you can also find these staples — cheaper, bigger, less lumpy — at the local supermarket, which is often just a block or two further. So why would anyone patronize the dinky little deli when there is a bona fide grocery right across the street? “Speed!” says Bill Dysel, an opera singer and tech manual writer. (Yes. Both.) “I often run into my local bodega, pay, and get out within 60 seconds. At the grocery everything has to be scanned and there are long lines. Somehow bodega cashiers always know what everything costs from memory.” “And it’s across the street!” says Brooklyn’s Isabel Kraut, a mom of two. Convenience is the key. “You can send your kid to get milk without any wayward glances,” adds another mom, Liz Gustafson. There’s also something of the scavenger hunt about the bodega.
You go in there and think, “They can’t possibly have strawberry syrup.” Or, “I don’t want to go to the supermarket just for one package of onion soup mix.” And then you look way, way, waaaaay up on the shelf — and there it is! Maybe slightly past its sell-by date. Maybe 29 cents more than at the grocery. But still. Score. But even beyond the speed and clown-car quality of being stuffed with a million items you can’t believe all fit, there is another draw. “The cat!” says Eileen Mullin, a web designer in Rego Park. Well, yes, but beyond that, too. I’m talking about the two-footed friends. The people. “I’ve run to my local bodegas to grab sodas or snacks a few times and realized I didn’t have enough cash on me. And rather than run to the ATM and back, the owners — who know me as a regular — have let it go with the promise that I’ll bring back the full amount the next day,” says Inwood’s Jena Tesse Fox, a writer. “You can’t do that in a supermarket.” “On Monday when I needed an avocado, I went to get one at the bodega and the owner said, ‘They’re not so good, but they’re the only ones we have today,’ ” reports social researcher Marla Sherman. She skipped the purchase, but that is the way bodega owners win hearts. They’re on our side. “When I lived on 10th Street, I
liked the bodega on Second Avenue and 10th because they would feed snacks to Dooley — little pieces of turkey,” says journalist Adrienne Press. Dooley was her basset hound. Homemade food also lures us in. In the backroom or upstairs, some grandma is making pakoras, or tacos. I was in an East Elmhurst bodega the other day that sold homemade glazed fruit. And the smells are irresistible too. “At the bodega on my corner, they always seem to be making bacon,” says lawyer Diane Glass. She keeps kosher, but it’s not verboten to pass by and sniff! As the years go by and relationships deepen, the family bodega owners become our extended family, too. “When my mom had a severe
stroke, the owner of the local mini-market saw me through his window, walking home from the hospital in tears,” marketing consultant Amanda Hass recalls. “It’s a bit of a blur, but he made sure I had food. And, years later, he made the platters to feed folks after she died. He let me ‘borrow’ his best worker to help me move her belongings. Twice. So hell yeah, I don’t mind paying a premium.” When you live in a city where the people who sell you your gum also lend you money, love your dog, and see you through life’s biggest transitions, you live in a city that cushions the slings and arrows of daily life. Let us raise a cup of $1 coffee, then, to the very best bodega in New York City. The one down your block. Lenore Skenazy is a public speaker and founder of the book and blog Free-Range Kids (freerangekids. com).
EXHIBITIONS TALKS FILMS CONCERTS SHOP CAFE
BECOMING ANOTHER: THE POWER OF MASKS NOW ON VIEW 150 WEST 17TH STREET NYC 10011 RUBINMUSEUM.ORG Top: Noh Mask in a Silk Case (detail); Japan; 17th century; wood, lacquer; 5 1/4 x 8 1/4 in. Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Mrs. Theodore Roosevelt in memory of Kermit Roosevelt, 44.192.1, Right: Still from Storm Over Tibet
June 04 - 10, 2015
SHOW YOUR PRIDE/SHOW YOUR PICTURES
PRIDE IN PICTURES 2015
d n A
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iPad Mini & a Bottle of Absolut Vodka
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3. TELL YOUR FRIENDS
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June 04 - 10, 2015
a veteran remembers
Rhine Maiden Tells All BY SPECIALIST (T/5) CORPORAL FREDERICK (RICK) CARRIER Behind the open door stood Rhine Maiden. Her bare legs were wide. She looked mean and scary. My heart pounded louder than bells of hell. The gun in her hand was the gun I saw the MP carrying. A Schmeisser machine pistol — and it pointed down at my head. My pituitary gland flew into action. Piss squirted into my pants making mud pies as I lay sprawled out on a dust-covered floor as my guts pushed dreck into my underwear. I began trembling. Nothing happened. I saw pictures of my brains, as a pink watermelon mist. Rhine Maiden stood in a frozen stance. I barked, “What’s with the gun? I came here to kill that bright light. Not you. Eager 88 Gunners on the other side of the Rhine are aiming at that bright window behind you.” Quick as a striking cobra she whipped around and fired a burst. The light blew out. The room was black except for sparks from dangling electric wires. Her voice boomed, “American soldier. I need your help. That’s why I turned the light on, hoping you would come before that miserable rapist MP I had to kill for this gun. I would never shoot my salvation.” “My salvation” rang in my ears. What is she thinking? I dug my secret night light out of a piss-soaked pocket. It still worked. I spotted Rhine Maiden sitting on the windowsill. The Schmeisser dangled off her right shoulder. “OK, honey. I believe your salvation pitch.” I adjusted my stinking wet pants. “Lady. Saddle up. Let’s git the hell outta here. Follow my blue-green light until we get across the street.” She held my hand to the door. Inside, I double locked the door, turned on lights and checked the radio. Nothing from HQ. “Grab a seat. Got to shower ’n change. Food and coffee are in the kitchen. Have a feast.” Rhine Maiden picked up my secret flashlight, looking it over. “Your light’s very clever. Did you invent it?” From the shower, “Yep.” She stood by the radio. “Can I turn on your radio?” “NO! Absolutely NOT!” Poking my head out of the shower, yelling, “DON’T TOUCH THE RADIO!” I ducked back under the nice warm shower. Her breath caressed my ear. “OK if I shower with you, American Soldier?” “YEAH,” I blurted. We had five days of pillow talk together. I’ve written 2,400 pages of her incredible life as an OSS spy in Hitler’s .com
Celebrating LGBTQ Leaders Harlem Pride & Public Advocate Letitia James to honor leading LGBTQ businesses, entrepreneurs, & charities.
West 139th St. & Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. Blvd
inner circle and what she did to survive his endless Nazi dinners. Rhine Maiden used my radio to make contact with her control at OSS and SHAEF, and was to meet him at Patton’s Rhine River crossing. She rode along with me to Patton’s, crossing the Rhine on his pontoon bridge. The world has a picture of Patton pissing in the Rhine River while cussing Hitler violently. Rhine Maiden, in my uniform, gave me a discrete buss, said goodbye and hopped into the OSS contact’s car. Now in the Third Army, I crossed the Rhine with my new boss, General Patton. Little did I know I would soon face horrors of unbelievable terror. To be continued.
June 15 at Hyacinth’s Haven networking from 6-8pm • free appetizers drink specials • raffle prizes
Among the first group of soldiers on Utah Beach, Normandy, U.S. Army Combat Engineer Rick Carrier marched through the European Theater of France, Belgium and Germany. While behind enemy lines in 1945 on a mission to obtain strategic supplies, he became the first allied soldier to discover Buchenwald concentration camp — then helped to liberate it, alongside Patton’s Third Army. After the war, Carrier studied art at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris. He co-authored 1955’s “Dive, The Complete Book of Skin Diving,” then was hired personally by Howard Hughes to design underwater rigging for one of the tycoon’s Hollywood publicity stunts. This past summer, the 90-year-old (a longtime member of Chelsea Community Church) was back in Normandy for a ceremony marking the 70th Anniversary of D-Day. In October, the President of France awarded Carrier the insignia of Chevalier of the Legion of Honor — France’s highest honor. June 04 - 10, 2015
What You Missed and Wh
Photo by Kat Slootsky
Courtesy Hudson River Park Trust
At May 28’s Geek Street Fair, the tech entrepreneurs of tomorrow used gumdrops and other materials to bring the periodic table of elements to life.
Let the tradition begin! NYC’s first-ever Olympic-style games day happens June 13, at Hudson River Park’s Piers 25, 26 & 40.
BY SCOTT STIFFLER
THE GEEK SHALL INHERIT GOOGLE EARTH Held so close to their Chelsea headquarters that you didn’t need the company’s mapping system to find it, Google’s May 28 Geek Street Fair filled Gansevoort Plaza with virtual games, robotics, educational demonstrations and electronic tinkering activities. The annual event, which launched in 2013, is open to all ages — but has a special focus on inspiring the tech entrepreneurs of tomorrow in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math. Vendors on hand included the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, the Kid Cool Theremin School (Google them!), Harlem Biospace, Cornell Tech and YouTube. Social media hashtag #geekstreetfair.
HUDSON RIVER PARK GAMES The longest waterfront park in the country goes global, with the premiere of an annual event taking its cue from the Olympics. On June 13, competitors from around the corner and around the world will gather to compete in the Hudson River Park Games. Held as a fundraiser for the wonderfully worthy Friends of Hudson River Park (a nonprofit), this sprawling event has something for athletes of all levels, along with kid-friendly programming and endless photo ops for sports-oriented shutterbugs. There’s still time for your corporate or community group to join the ranks of those competing in the Pentathlon —
June 04 - 10, 2015
whose winning team will walk (perhaps crawl) away with the Hudson River Park Cup after besting the competition in heats of dodgeball, beach volleyball, kayaking, flag football and a grueling obstacle course. Individuals who register in advance can take part in the 5-K Fun Run/Walk for kids and adults, sports clinics, multiple yoga activities, Cardio Kickboxing and a Six-Pack Abs Boot Camp taught by top Chelsea Piers trainers and experts. At the Games Village and Expo on Pier 26, skilled sideline warriors can chill in the beer garden, chow at numerous food booths and shop for the latest outdoor sports gear. Set against the scenic backdrop of the Hudson, the Closing Ceremony will send you away exhausted, inspired and ready to train for next year. Free and low-cost. Sat., June 13, rain or shine, from 7:30 a.m.–8 p.m. at Piers 25, 26 and 40 in Hudson River Park. For the complete schedule, and to register for certain events, visit hudsonriverpark.org/thegames. On Twitter and Instagram: @HudsonRiverPark, and LIKE on Facebook at facebook.com/ HudsonRiverPark.
DOWN TO EARTH FARMERS MARKET RETURNS It doesn’t quite balance out the relentless loss of local mom and pop shops — but at least one good thing that went away has come back to Chelsea. Last year’s introduction of a weekly Down to Earth Farmers Market on 23rd St. (btw. Eighth & Ninth Aves.) put all
Photo by Carlye Waxman
Walking 23rd St. is especially healthy on Saturdays, when Down to Earth Farmers Market returns (June 6 through Dec. 19).
manner of fresh, good food within easy walking distance for those without the time, inclination or mobility to visit the Union Square Greenmarket. The market’s second season begins on June 6 and continues on a weekly basis, Saturdays, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. through December 19. EBT (Electronic Benefit Transfer) available for shoppers with SNAP Benefits. For more info, call 917-923-4837 or visit DowntoEarthMarkets.com.
ART CONNECTS NEW YORK SPRING BENEFIT Art Connects New York — a nonprofit which unites artists and curators with social service agencies to create
museum-quality permanent exhibitions of contemporary artwork — is kicking off Gay Pride Month with an event that offers the chance to preview their first-ever exhibition of all-commissioned art, before the mixed media pieces are installed at Harlem’s True Colors Residence (permanent, supportive housing for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender youth with a history of homelessness). Additional work by the commissioned artists will be on sale, with proceeds benefiting True Colors’ educational and outreach programs and the continuation of Art Connects’ work. Curator Peter “Souleo” Wright, who will be in attendance along with his .com
here You’ll Go
Copyright Erik McGregor (email@example.com)
Inspired by the suffragettes and not shy about a little street theatre, the LPTW marches through Times Square on June 9, to advocate for equal representation of women.
artists and the True Colors residents who inspired their work, notes that this pairing resulted in portraits that “reaffirm the subjects’ confidence as they raise greater awareness about LGBT homelessness. As these individuals draw strength from a supportive community, we hope the art helps them to dig deeper and discover their own inner beauty.” Tues., June 9, 6–8 p.m. at Kathryn Markel Fine Arts (529 W. 20th St., #6W, btw. 10th & 11th Aves.). Tickets start at $100. To purchase, visit artconnectsnewyork.org/spring-benefit-2015. Also visit westendres.org/true-colors-residence-2 and souleouniverse.com.
THE LEAGUE OF PROFESSIONAL THEATRE WOMEN: EQUALITY MARCH THROUGH TIMES SQUARE The League of Professional Theatre Women (LPTW) takes their mission to the heart of New York City’s theatre industry, during June 9’s awareness event. Marching past the marquees of numerous Broadway theaters, “Women Stage The World” will see hundreds of women parading and advocating for equal representation in theatre — many wearing costumes that pay tribute to those who set the stage for this spirited flash street theater. You may spot Dorothy Parker, Katharine Cornell, Aphra Behn, Margo Jones or Lady Gregory holding signs with slogans such as “More Women Producers,” “Hire Women” and “Support Our Voices.” Others will wear garb recalling the .com
suffragettes who paved the way for so many other human rights efforts to follow. “In a field that is influenced by existing networks and long-standing relationships, artistic directors and literary managers need to find ways to remain open to work by women artists,” says the LPTW’s Karen Eterovich, who offers the example of symphony orchestras that have “blind auditions,” where women and men audition behind screens — a move that has more than doubled the number of female concert musicians employed professionally around the country. Tues., June 9, 6 p.m. throughout Times Square. For the parade route, visit womenstagetheworld.org.
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Courtesy of the artist
Greg Frederick’s “Human In Hoodie” is on view at June 9’s Art Connects New York benefit.
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Port Authority Plans for Passenger Growth Continued from page 4
Courtesy the Port Authority of NY and NJ
A revamped Port Authority could accommodate a nearly 25 percent increase from current levels.
Courtesy the Port Authority of NY and NJ
The future may not be now, but won’t be far away — according to a March 2015 Port Authority presentation.
DONATE YOUR CAR Wheels For Wishes benefiting
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June 04 - 10, 2015
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a modern take on the trolley line. Such transportation was the norm on the street until 1946. The City Council voted to support the plan in the 1990s, but funding was not available. The effort continues 20 years later through the “Vision 42” initiative, whose supporters meet on the third Tuesday of every month. As they wait for political support to gain traction, their website (vision42.org) is filled with technical studies of the project and renderings that depict Midtown Manhattan with a low-floor light rail line running river-to-river along 42nd St. Advocates say that the economic benefits of such a transformation would exceed the costs of constructing 2.5 miles of trolley line (estimated at $360 to $510 million). Four prospective designs were selected last year, all of which propose a mixture of a pedestrian mall and light rail system. Former traffic lanes would become space for outdoor vending, an idealized recreation of the busy commercial streets of a century ago. Advances in fuel cells would make the trolley cars self-propelling rather than reliant on overhead wiring, and help reduce overall costs. Underground utility pipes and wires could complicate construction, but the barriers to light rail on 42nd St. are largely of a political rather than engineering nature. If all parties got on board, particularly business and building owners along the route, the project could be realized in just a few years. Chances are high that this project will happen long before the Second Ave. subway nears completion. Some things might just never change. As always, funding remains the big determiner of any subway system extension, especially when compared to the relatively cheaper costs of surface rail systems. The dream of a 7-train extension to New Jersey could remain just that in 25 years, given the current pace of subway construction projects — but the current citywide emphasis on pedestrian safety might be the biggest threat to the century-long dominance of the private, gasoline-burning automobile on city streets. The city is aging fast. City estimates state about a 44.2 percent
increase in the senior population by 2030. There might be an old-timer taking his internal combustion engine out for a spin on Ninth Ave. on the pleasant afternoons of 2040, but that likely won’t be the only peculiar feature of his car. With drones buzzing throughout the skies, toting parcels from here to there, the sight of a car driven by a human might appear antiquated. Self-driving cars are already under development. The predicted advancement by mid-century of artificial intelligence on par with our own would enable this transition away from a dependence on human drivers with all of their potential for accidents. Computers are already better than us at “Jeopardy!,” chess and piloting jets, after all. They can even write a rudimentary news story. An aging generation (by 2040) born in the 1980s and early 1990s also portends less reliance on automobiles of any type. “Driving by young people decreased 23 percent between 2001 and 2009,” the New York Times reported in a 2013 article entitled “The End of Car Culture.” The ongoing Vision Zero initiative emphasizes less car use through the implementation of “Complete Streets,” which allocate space on more equal terms among buses, cars, pedestrians and bicyclists whose numbers have doubled in the last five years across the city, Chelsea Now reported last December. The Ninth Avenue of 2015, the first local street to receive such a redesign, will likely be the paradigm of the coming decades as car ownership decreases and local transportation options expand. Crosstown trips in 2040 will involve plenty of walking if the trains are too full or no bicycle is at hand. Taxis might get a little held up as the trolley rolls along 42nd St. Although digital technology will have changed our lives in as many different ways as it already has in the last decade, the transportation means of the early 20th century are here for the long haul. Going anywhere in Manhattan will still take that standard 15 to 30 minutes. But it will be sleeker, a lot safer, and perhaps a little bit quicker. The big technological leaps will likely arrive from elsewhere and affect different facets of daily life — but you probably have many more years to save up for that moon vacation.
Affordable Housing Seminar Ponders, Preps Continued from page 2 “In the next month, there will be public hearings in each borough. Tenants must testify, because landlords are saying they are not making enough money.” Weithman pointed to her work securing a zero percent increase for Single Room Occupancy tenants as proof that testifying could make a big difference, and could be very empowering. The city is divided into public housing, affordable housing and market rate housing. Public housing is for those living below the poverty line. Affordable housing is calculated by a formula that figures the area median income (AMI), and allots 30 percent of that for housing. Market rate housing is housing with any rent that the current market will allow and that a tenant will pay. Johnson also noted that public housing was at risk, adding, “We must ensure the stock administered by NYCHA [New York City Housing Authority] is sustained for the next generation of New Yorkers. We must improve the quality of life for the half million New Yorkers in
public housing.” A New York without NYCHA, Honan added, “is unimaginable. We are only getting 80 cents on the dollar of what we need. Eventually, the camel’s back breaks.” Honan noted that Mayor Bill de Blasio has helped matters by transferring 100,000 workers to other city agencies, and forgiving NYCHA’s $70 million in police services and $30 million payment in lieu of taxes. But there aren’t just problems with private landlords. Local resident Jean Sullivan spoke candidly about her battles with NYCHA, telling the crowd that she has been submitting requests for a paint job for upwards of six years. Honan said he would work to help her. The afternoon saw attendees break off into small workshops covering Tenant’s Rights and Repairs, Senior Citizen’s Rent Increase Exemption, Rent Law and Rent Guidelines, and Finding and Applying for Affordable Housing. But as Lillian from The Actors Fund noted, what constitutes affordable housing is determined by calculating the AMI, then allocating 30 percent for housing. The result basically excludes
In a Facebook posting on the late afternoon of June 3, Councilmember Corey Johnson wrote, “I was arrested in the Capitol for demanding Albany to strengthen rent regulations and protect New Yorkers in our last remaining affordable housing stock. We will not give up!”
middle class families from ever qualifying. “Almost one third of New Yorkers pay more than half their income to rent,” she said. “This means that if you are making $35-60K per year, there is absolutely no subsidized housing for you.” Join advocates and tenants when they
rally in Albany on June 9. Buses leave at 7 a.m. at 135th St. and Fifth Ave. in front of PS197 and return to NYC at 6 p.m. Transportation is free (breakfast and lunch are included). Reserve your seat by calling Darren at Tenants & Neighbors at 212-608-4320 x316 or email Darren@ tandn.org. Also visit tandn.org.
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June 04 - 10, 2015
The Manhattan Chamber of Commerce & Chelsea Now Support
n e p O s i ge
a l l i V t s Ea
ness i s u b e illag V t s a E last e b t i e r h o t v y r fa ed b u t o c y e ff p a o Sh hose t t r o p p and su
he â€œEast Village Lovesâ€? campaign is conceived by the East Village Independant Merchants Association (EVIMA) and encourages residents and visitors to shop local at their favorite East Village spots. Many businesses affected by the blast have re-opened and are ready for your visit.
The campaign is a celebration of the rich, diverse, and historic neighborhood in lower manhattan, characterized by a concentration of mom-and-pop establishments that are becoming less common throughout the city
June 04 - 10, 2015
Stonewall’s Landmark Legitimacy Debated Before Decision Continued from page 8 a National Park by President Barack Obama, who mentioned Stonewall along with Seneca Falls and Selma as sites of three great human rights struggles in his 2013 Inaugural Address. Seneca Falls, New York, is part of the Women’s Rights National Historic Park, and the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma is a US National Historic Landmark. The street outside the bar, where the Rebellion lasted for several days and nights in June of 1969, was named Stonewall Place by the city in 1989. A George Segal sculpture of gay and lesbian couples called “Gay Liberation” in Christopher Park across the street was dedicated in 1992. The Stonewall Inn is on the National Register of Historic Places and is listed on the New York State Register of Historic Places. But the city had previously balked at individual landmark status since it is already within the Greenwich Village Historic District, which was designated in April of 1969, two months before the Stonewall made history. The historic district designation report creating the district, as a result, makes no mention of the Rebellion. Landmark designation for it now would preserve those architectural features it possessed in June of 1969. GVSHP’s Berman, who spearheaded the landmarking fight for years, called the latest development “fantastic news,” “incredibly important,” and “long overdue.” The site, he said, got its federal historic recognition “in 1999 in response to an application from GVSHP and others.” Berman said that the Stonewall’s interior is not up for landmark status since it has been modified since 1969. “But we don’t want it to become a Starbucks or a nail salon,” he said. “We and others are looking to make sure that it remains a place that speaks to the history of the LGBT rights movement.” He said GVSHP will continue the push for recognition of other sites. “We’re glad the city is taking this first step,” Berman said. Out lesbian Assemblymember Deborah Glick, who represents the West Village, said, “It has been a .com
Photo by Donna Aceto, courtesy Gay City News
The celebration outside the Stonewall on June 24, 2011, the day New York’s marriage equality law was enacted.
good year for gay people, with the Irish voting for love and now the city administration finally recognizing a key location for the LGBT community. It’s a start.” She said that the Wooster Street Firehouse, where GAA housed its community center in the early 1970s, is in many ways “more compelling.” And she said that “there are sites of gay clubs in Harlem that are far more meaningful because it is where people — particularly African-American people — had their early gay identification.” Glick credited the de Blasio administration with moving relatively quickly on this. “One could ask why the Bloomberg administration paid no attention,” she said. Despite the strong community support for the contemplated designation, at least some of those who participated in the Rebellion balk at a special status for the bar. One of them, Jim Fouratt, recently made public a letter he wrote to the National Parks Conservation Association arguing, “I very strongly support the designation of the Sheridan Square Park [Christopher Park] becoming a national park and designated a historical landmark
because of what happened that night in the street in front of the Stonewall Inn. I am very opposed to designating a business that was run by organized crime in contempt of the law and with the knowledge of the local police force as a symbol of Lesbian and Gay liberation. It is a private business still in operation. To me it is a symbol of oppression and not liberation. It would be appropriate to mark the street location as the spark that set off a series of events that forever changed the visibility and fight for equality for lesbians and gay men of all gender expression throughout the world.” Councilmember Johnson has a very different perspective on the bar, saying, “The first time I visited NYC in 2000 — the year before I moved here — the first place I wanted to go was the Stonewall Inn. I stood outside. I was just 18. I felt like a deep connection to this place that I had read and heard so much about. To now be the councilmember representing this district and have a chance to vote on it is incredibly meaningful and special.” On Facebook, John O’Brien, a longtime gay activist and historian and, like Fouratt, a Stonewall Rebellion participant who was active
in the Gay Liberation Front that came out of it, praised the move toward landmarking the Stonewall. “Like many such landmarks whether around wars, revolutions, or other sites that were the scene of important history, the actual previous usage of the site is not the essential consideration, but what a site came to represent,” he wrote. O’Brien and veteran activist Rick Landman, who gives gay historical tours of New York, cited the nearby Triangle Shirtwaist Factory where 145 women workers perished in a 1911 fire that led to workplace safety improvements throughout the nation. Tree, a 76-year old bartender at the Stonewall “off and on for 45 years,” who was himself at the Stonewall the day the Rebellion broke out, said, “This makes us feel great. It’s about time.” He reported that business at the bar is good and is made up of a high percentage of tourists, both gay and non-gay, from around the world who know what Stonewall means to history. Duell Management, which owns the Stonewall, did not return a call for comment on how the company feels about the potential landmarking. June 04 - 10, 2015
ARTS&ENTERTAINMENT Two Crow About ‘The Wolfpack’ Tribeca Film Fest flick gets well-deserved national release FILM THE WOLFPACK Documentary Directed by Crystal Moselle Runtime: 84 minutes Rated: PG-13 2015 USA Opens June 12 At Landmark Sunshine Cinema 143 E. Houston St. Btw. First & Second Aves. Call 212-260-7289 Expanding nationwide on June 19
This publication ran brief observations on “The Wolfpack” during our coverage of the Tribeca Film Festival (April 15-26). The following contains full reviews by Puma Perl and Rania Richardson, based on seeing the film during a pre-festival press screening.
INDEPENDENCE THROUGH FILM BY PUMA PERL It is both ironic and fitting that a family cloistered from the outside world by a delusional, alcoholic patriarch, finds itself on the large screen in Crystal Moselle’s first fulllength feature, “The Wolfpack.” The Angulo family consists of a Peruvianborn father, his American wife, their six sons and their mentally disabled daughter. The father was the only family member with a door key and the children were allowed out only for rare, supervised excursions. As one of the sons explains early in the
June 04 - 10, 2015
Courtesy of Magnolia Pictures
Kept indoors by their father, a band of brothers act out well-known movies, complete with homemade costumes and memorization of scripts.
film, “We went out maybe five times a year…some years we didn’t go out at all.” One of the things they did, in addition to completing the home study assignments provided by their mother, was to watch and act out movies, complete with homemade costumes and memorization of scripts. They have a natural preference for ensemble films, and Quentin Tarantino seems to be a favorite. One of the boys, Mukunda, describes movies as “his life” and the closing scene shows him at work directing a short film that he created. As the boys grew older, they began to defy their father by going out into their Lower East Side neighborhood, eventually exploring further — including a trip to Coney Island, where Mukunda, who was the first to leave the house unaccompanied, exclaims, “I’m not going on that beach! There are people on it!” Moselle just happened to meet the boys during their first week exploring the neighborhood, and, over several
years, completed the film. One of the dynamics we observe is the ways in which the father, who in most scenes wears only jockey shorts, grows weaker as the boys grow stronger. One of his intentions had been to create his own cult-like tribe, and we see home movies of ritualized celebrations. He insisted that the boys’ hair be kept long and, as a failed musician, provided instruments for them; he described his avoidance of work as “rebellion” and revealed his dashed hopes of forming a famous rock band. It is significant that the boys, one by one, began to cut their hair as they began to establish their independence. All of the family members appear not only comfortable before the camera, but seem to enjoy it. The only physical neglect apparent in the children is an obvious need for dental work. They are high-spirited at times, intelligent and humorous. But this is not a story about resilience. That would be too simple. Rarely does anyone speak longer than a few minutes
without holding back tears, including the father, who initially addresses the camera only with attempted penetrating stares, which failed to project the power he intended. “He thinks he’s special,” says one of the boys, “like he’s smarter than anyone else.” Fiercely protective of their mother, whose physical abuse was obvious to them, they express great sadness about the life inflicted upon them, and suggest sexual abuse. Even the father admits that “he wished that what happened didn’t happen” without going into detail. I left the film chilled with the knowledge that I pass their Lower East Side housing project every day. I was able to pinpoint it in scenes where they gazed out the windows, and was reminded of the many times we read of a “house of horrors” with nobody around to notice anything amiss. One can only hope that their journey toward claiming their lives continues.
Continued on page 20 .com
Rendering the Familiar Foreign, in Super 8 Stephanie Gray’s films disrupt what we think we know
Courtesy of the filmmaker
Film stills from “You know they want to disappear Hell’s Kitchen as Clinton” (Stephanie Gray, Super 8, 2010).
FILM SUPER 8MM POETICS: THE FILMS OF STEPHANIE GRAY June 12–14, 7:30 p.m. nightly At Anthology Film Archives 32 Second Ave. (at Second St.) Tickets: $10 Available at the box office only 30 minutes prior to show Visit anthologyfilmarchives.org Call 212-505-5181
BY SEAN EGAN “Say you’ve walked by that building a million times, but never saw the sunlight glint that way, or that little piece of graffiti, or the man who is always standing in the window,” Stephanie Gray hypothesizes. “It makes you think of the many stories we don’t know, and how you thought you knew what that was all about, but you were wrong.” Gray, a poet and filmmaker based in Queens, is not content to simply tell a clear-cut narrative. She has differ.com
ent, perhaps more ambitious goals in mind — to challenge the ways in which audiences view the world around them. This tendency will be made clear June 12-14, when Anthology Film Archives presents a three-night, three-program retrospective of her short film work. “Many times we think we understand the ‘reality’ of the world, but do we really?” Gray asks. “What if what we think of it isn’t really ‘the truth?’ I’m interested in uncovering those gaps. I’m interested in uncovering our perceptions, and if they were what we thought all along.” To this end, Gray makes a number of distinctive stylistic and thematic choices. To start, her films are notable for being just that — films. Gray almost exclusively shoots on Super 8. The grainy, consumer-grade stock gives her films an intriguing, meditative quality. They’re almost ethereal in nature, rendering familiar landscapes foreign and new. Through Gray’s lens, major cities like Buffalo (where she spent the mid-90s to early 2000s) and New York come across as lands out of time, despite the modern signifiers captured on the celluloid. This is not lost on Gray, who praises the film stock’s “home movie” qualities. “I just don’t connect with what feels like the flatness of video. The Super 8 format, to me, feels like it’s latching onto a distant memory, an excavation of digging beneath memory and per-
ception, to find a hidden truth,” she comments on the differences between modern formats and Super 8. “So it’s part of the mood I’m trying to convey — experimental home movies.” That’s as an apt description as any for Gray’s work, which is often as personal and revealing as any candidly shot family movie, and as formally ambitious as the best art films. As a queer woman with severe hearing loss, Gray has a unique authorial voice, and often accompanies her films with evocative spoken word pieces and poetry, which could almost double as journal entries. Aesthetically, her films run the gamut from focusing on the hazy, interestingly framed urban landscapes captured on Super 8, to re-appropriated bits-and-pieces of pop culture — oftentimes in tandem, while also incorporating expressionistic sound usage. This style can be seen most clearly in the retrospective’s first show (June 12), titled, fittingly, “Earlyness: queeahs, bflo, myles, metal, hearing.” In this program of her earlier films, Gray grapples with issues of identity, to beautiful results. “Who Do You Think You Are?,” for instance, perfectly summates the experience of being a confused and rebellious adolescent with a penchant for heavy metal (complete with Metallica on the soundtrack). One of her most striking films, “Kristy,” is a gorgeously glitched-out examination of queerness, featuring dis-
torted visuals from Kristy McNichol movies, and a slowed down remix of Tony Basil’s “Mickey” that manages to feel ominous and disorienting while still remaining somewhat funky. In a similar fashion, “Never heard the word impossible” takes a closer look at the relationship between sitcom duo Laverne and Shirley, after Gray began to wonder if the two were actually “just roommates” as she thought as a kid. “Those hidden meanings are part of the reason why I make the films,” notes Gray on her use of pop culture artifacts. The most ambitious piece in this program, however, is “close yr hearing for the cap(shuns),” which at 32 minutes is the retrospective’s longest film. It’s an immersive work that pointedly reflects on the experience of living with hearing loss, featuring memorable visuals, deliberate use of silence and sound, and the playfully deployment of excerpts from “Schoolhouse Rock.” Her second show (June 13), “What You Thought You Knew/What You Knew You Thought,” highlights a different facet of Gray’s work — notably, live spoken word readings and sound performance. Often, her films will be silent, and then accompanied by Gray reading in person, and/or music (provided this time by Rachel Gumal and Jeremy Slater for shows two and three, respectively). All of the films on this second night fit in this mold — though Gray promises to
Continued on page 23 June 04 - 10, 2015
Cinema as Expression and Retreat for ‘The Wolfpack’
1 0 H L RANDY JAMES ARTISTIC DIRECTOR Celebrating the exceptional artistry of the male dancer
2015 NY season
benefit evening 2 Programs 6 Premieres 9 Works 10 Choreographers Courtesy of Magnolia Pictures
The Angulo brothers eat dinner while watching a movie. L–R, back: Narayna, Govinda, Jagadisa and Bhagavan. Front, from L: Mukunda and Krsna.
Continued from page 18
INDOCTRINATED OR CONTAMINATED?
Thursday, June 11, 2015 Performance at 7:30 pm Reception immediately following performance to meet the men of 10 Hairy Legs
June 12 & 13 at 7:30 pm
BY RANIA RICHARDSON The Angulos, a large, good-looking family living in extreme conditions, would certainly make for entertaining reality TV. One is left with so many questions after viewing “The Wolfpack,” it’s hard to believe that no broadcaster is considering this. How can we see more? How can we know more about this odd group? The story is as intriguing as it is unbelievable, as a paranoid Peruvian immigrant, his pliant Midwestern wife and their six longhaired sons and one daughter live in self-imposed confinement, in an apartment just steps away from the bustling day-to-day activities of millions of New Yorkers. Like a real-life “Being There,” in
which Peter Sellers plays a homebound man who is schooled in human behavior by watching television all day, the Angulo boys grow up in isolation, but have access to a myriad of movies on DVD — complete with the violence and horror that one imagines their father is trying to shield them from in the outside world — such as “The Godfather,” “Reservoir Dogs” and “Blue Velvet.” When they do eventually journey away from home, Coney Island looks like “Lawrence of Arabia” and a patch of trees is the Forest of Fangorn from “The Lord of the Rings.” The boys have a surfeit of creativity and they build props and reenact scenes from their favorite films with a striking resourcefulness. The gentle, inseparable siblings are close to their mother, who shuns materialism. Ingenuity has trumped consumerism in their lives. Is it possible that being indoctrinated by the fantasy world of Hollywood was better than being “contaminated” by the outside world, as believed by Mr. Angulo?
WE’VE GONE WEEKLY!
and June 14 at 2:00 pm New York Live Arts / 219 W 19th St. PHOTO BY STEVEN TRUMON GRAY
PO Box 4452 • Highland Park, NJ 08904 • firstname.lastname@example.org
June 04 - 10, 2015
Bridge Walk Spans Boroughs, Benefits Poets House Readings express a love for city, structure, skyline BY SCOTT STIFFLER Some leave locks on bridges as a testament to their bond with another, only to endanger the very structure that inspired them. Then, there are some who walk a connective span, swoon at the skyline, put pen to paper and create something just as intimate as romantic love, but more lasting and universal. For 20 years, the annual poetry walk across the Brooklyn Bridge — a benefit for Lower Manhattan’s 60,000-volume-strong Poets House — has celebrated the power of cadence and carefully chosen words to create a bond between the city and its people. “The best way to discover poetry is through unexpected, positive exposure,” says Poets House Executive Director Lee Briccetti, who calls the Bridgewalk “a great way to bring the transcendent, transformative ‘ah-ha!’ of poetry to an unsuspecting public, while at the same time providing an only-in-New-York poetry event for the art’s most ardent supporters.” If past years are any indicator, several hundred people will take part — providing photo ops for tourists, passages to linger in the minds of passing joggers and, yes, celebrity sightings. Longtime participant Bill Murray, an icon in his own right, will once again join inaugural poet Richard Blanco. From the front of the procession, they’ll occasionally stop to read poems that articulate the cascade of emotions brought out by those who’ve walked the Brooklyn Bridge, viewed the skyline and contemplated
the risks and rewards of life on the other side. More food for thought awaits at journey’s end, during a dinner held in DUMBO at 26 Bridge, the historic foundry-turned-event space. This year’s featured poets are Richard Blanco, Brooklyn Poet Laureate Tina Chang, Cornelius Eady, Edward Hirsch, Laura Kasischke, Thomas Lux and Ocean Vuong. A short film in memory of poet Galway Kinnell (19272014) will acknowledge his steadfast commitment to Poets House and the Bridgewalk. The poetry walk across the Brooklyn Bridge takes place on Mon., June 8. Individuals who are interested in participating can sign in at 6:00 p.m. in the small park just outside of the Municipal Building at 1 Centre St. The walk begins at 6:30 p.m. sharp. Readings take place in the park and on the Bridge, concluding with Richard Blanco’s sunset reading of Walt Whitman’s “Crossing Brooklyn Ferry” beside Jane’s Carousel in Brooklyn. The dinner will follow the walk and will conclude around 9:30 p.m.
Photo by Mark Woods
On June 8, hundreds of Poets House friends will take part in the annual benefit walk and reading.
ALL HE WANTS IS MR. RIGHT. RIGHT NOW.
All proceeds benefit the programs and services of Poets House. Tickets for the walk and dinner begin at $250 ($225 for Poets House members). For reservations (required), contact Krista Manrique at 212-431-7920, ext. 2830 or email@example.com. For info on Poets House programming and services (much of it free to the public), visit poetshouse.org.
JOSHUA HARMON DIRECTED BY
TRIP CULLMAN PHOTO BY DARREN COX
A WORLD PREMIERE FROM THE WRITER OF BAD JEWS
LIMITED ENGAGEMENT Courtesy of Poets House
L to R: Donna Masini, Cornelius Eady, Dave Johnson, and Patricia Smith celebrate an early Bridgewalk. .com
IT’S ABOUT WHEN YOU HAVE TO WAIT – AND WAIT – FOR “THE ONE.” HAROLD AND MIRIAM STEINBERG CENTER FOR THEATRE/LAURA PELS THEATRE ROUNDABOUTTHEATRE.ORG
June 04 - 10, 2015
June 04 - 10, 2015
Retrospective Documents Changing City Landscape Continued from page 19 reveal a few brand new film surprises on this evening as well. Of the interplay between poetry and film that is so important to her work, Gray reveals, “Often there’ll be a distinct image I’ll see, or series of images that intrigue me or pop out from the city’s traffic, and that seems to tell a sort of truth of the city, which normally is not noticeable. When I think about it more, I usually write words to go with it that highlight that mystery.” Later, she observes, “Some of the city films that are of odd shots of the city, that are mysterious, I will often read live, as to read a bit of introspective bits of what I might feel the city might be saying.” The last show of the retrospective (June 14), “Too lateness: the vanishing new yawk city,” picks up on this thread of the city as a character. In this program, Gray looks outward, lamenting the ways in which New York, as we know it, is disappearing. The theme of cities disintegrating goes back to her Buffalo days, though. “I first got started in noticing huge parts of that city abandoned. It used to have the biggest office building in the world, and that just blew my mind,” she comments incredulously. “So much of the city was an empty slate, but not really. There were people in the city, but the buildings were left over, like ghosts in some parts.” Similarly, after moving to New York, Gray began to notice (like many others) that the unique character of the city was being dulled away in favor of more homogenized fare. Concerned, she turned her camera to the rapidly changing city landscape. “I found shops were closing due to high rents and greedy landlords,” she says. “I wanted to try to film those bits of authenticity as well as the unique street facades that seemed to tell a story.” This third program documents those stories, and the many local mom and pop businesses which have shut down over the years. Hell’s Kitchen, in particular, gets
Courtesy of the filmmaker
A film still from “Someday Behind Coney Island” (Stephanie Gray, Super 8, 2011).
attention from Gray, in her longer-form film “You know they want to disappear Hell’s Kitchen as Clinton.” Unlike some of her other films, it does not document a specific business, but rather insistently probes at the implications of the city’s drastic changes, and its effects on New Yorkers. This film closes the night, and the retrospective, on a thoughtful note. “I hope it brings a new way of seeing, as if the camera was your eyes for a moment, and blinking for you, and making you see the city as you haven’t before. Like you are wearing special sunglasses or a third eye,” Gray says of her expectations for the retrospective. Citing the title of her second show, she concludes, “Whether we uncover misperceptions about Kristy McNichol, Joan of Arc, Laverne and Shirley, or the bakery on the corner, I hope to disrupt what you thought you knew and what you knew you thought.”
WE’VE GONE WEEKLY!
Celebrates GAY PRIDE
Hudson Guild Theater Company
“Brave Smiles...another lesbian tragedy” May 8-17 | Reservations: 212-760-9817
Hudson Guild Gallery
“Comedies and Tragedies...an art exhibit” April 30 -June 27
Visit HudsonGuild.org for more information .com
June 04 - 10, 2015
June 04 - 10, 2015
THE CUBE GUYS
WAY N E G