VOLUME 28, NUMBER 2
JULY 2-JULY 15, 2015
PARADE, SHIPS & FIREWORKS FOR JULY 4 B Y M I A RU PA NI or the first time in nearly 40 years, Downtown Manhattan will host an Independence Day Parade that will cover the historic streets of Lower Manhattan. Historian and tour guide James Kaplan helped organize the event, which is run by the Lower Manhattan Historical Society, a group he co-founded last year. He said the parade will honor the arrival of the French ship Hermione and its crew at South Street Seaport, as well as help revive the Fourth of July tradition. “July 4th has become about backyard barbeques, trips to the beach and visiting relatives,” Kaplan said in a phone interview. “It used to be a major celebration in the city but the actual purpose of the day has since been lost.”
Continued on page 10
PRE-SCHOOL TODDLER WANDERS OFF PG. 5 SANDY RESTAURANT REOPENS PG. 12 X-MEN & GAY MARRIAGE PG. 19
Downtown Express photo by Milo Hess
Tribeca’s Bravest staying for now Ladder 8 firefighters at the “Ghostbusters” firehouse repainted their sidewalk logo Tuesday. They said they did not know when they will have to relocate from N. Moore St. The F.D.N.Y. confirmed in May that the firehouse where the 1984 blockbuster was filmed would have to move for a few years for major renovations.
Tenants fight for rent limits B Y D U S IC A SUE MAL ESEVIC essica and Taylor West have been living with their three children at 90 West St. for seven years. Two of their children go to P.S. /I.S. 276 in Battery Park City and they hope their third will attend there as well. They were recently informed, however, that the rent for their two bedroom apartment would increase by 33 percent. “We were floored, no, we were shocked,” she said. West was talking to her neighbors at a meeting she helped orga-
nize at Hudson Eats in Brookfield Place on Mon., June 29. They were there to discuss 421g, a tax abatement program from the ‘90s that offered developers tax incentives to turn Lower Manhattan offices into residential buildings. In return, the apartments in those building were to be rent stabilized. “I heard whispering in the building about 421-g,” West said. At least 35 people — including a few who came in strollers — gathered to hear about the possibility that their apartments at 90 West could be rent stabilized.
1 MET ROT E CH • NYC 112 01 • COPYRIG HT © 2015 N YC COMMU N ITY MED IA , LLC
Melissa Harrington has lived at 90 West St. for nine years and had heard conversations in the building about this issue. She wanted to learn more, Harrington told Downtown Express before the meeting began. She loves the building and the neighborhood. The Wests read a recent Wall Street Journal about a tenant facing a similar rent increase in another Financial District building. They contacted Joel Roodman, featured in the article. Roodman and his wife Jill Tafrate have lived at 85 Continued on page 14
End is near for block of Tribeca eateries
HOW LOW WILL IT GO? We’re not ready to sit down at the poker table with Howard Hughes Corp.’s Chris Curry (unless of course he doesn’t play much, in which case we’re all in), but we think we might have read some clues as to how big the firm is going to reduce the size of its much-criticized “mixed use building” proposed for South Street Seaport. It looks like it’ll be months before it is public how much they’ll lop off from the proposed 500-foot tower, but a building of “10 to 12 stories” high might be a good guess. Those were the numbers Roger Byrom, chairperson of Community Board 1’s Landmarks Committee, kept using at a board meeting last week attended by Curry. At one point, Byrom said it would
be an acceptable size to him, as he rattled the phrase off three times in a minute. We were curious to see Curry’s reaction. The first time Curry smirked before he quickly whipped his head over to look at the project’s architect, Gregg Pasquarelli, who had no reaction. The second time, Curry kept a straight face, and the third time he went back to the smirk or silent chuckle. We know enough to know we don’t know, and perhaps the new size has not yet been finalized, so we’re not going to bet the house, but it’s hard to imagine why Curry would care so much about Pasquarelli’s reaction if Byrom wasn’t in the ballpark.
CAPSOUTO RETURNS We were happy to get a call last week from Jacques Capsouto, an old friend of Tribeca who ran Capsouto Frères French restaurant with his brothers for 32 years. The Brothers Capsouto — who successfully resisted “Tribeca trendy” in favor of good food with great service and atmosphere — were sadly forced to close down
Whether you’re looking for the perfect buyer or the perfect space. We modernize the art of the downtown Real Estate for your convenience. We enjoy helping others and truly understand the importance of the downtown community.
We Specialize In Co-Op Transitioning And Luxury Condos. •
Achieve the best price
Knowledge of the marketplace
Knowledge of the neighborhood
Utilize our co-broker network
Coordination of appointments
Save time and prevent mistakes
Collection of accurate data
Knowledge of the selling and buying process
Marketing ability and skill
Knowledge of buildings and boards
Licensed Real Estate Salesperson phone: 212.688.1000 x 579 cell 917.363.2857 Dchow@crrnyc.com
Licensed Real Estate Salesperson phone: 212-688-1000 x 416 cell 646-752-0669 Jhernandez@crrnyc.com
Charles Rutenberg LLC 127 East 56th St, New York, NY 10022
“Expert knowledge of buying and selling process” Bi-lingual - Mandarin and Cantonese Over 13 years experience Seaport and Financial District real estate 2
July 2-July 15, 2015
their Washington St. spot after damage from Hurricane Sandy in 2012. You may well have recently spotted Jacques, who still lives part of the year in Tribeca. Capsouto, who turned many of his former customers onto Israeli wines, has just started selling his Côtes de Galilée Villages from his vineyard in Northern Israel. He tells us it is available for sale in several neighborhood wine stores and it’s also served at City Winery. The first two varieties, a rosé and white, are called Cuvée Eva, after his late mother, was part of the restaurant’s charm. A variety to come will be named for the late frère, Albert Capsouto, the former Community Board 1 member and neighborhood leader who died in 2010. (He says the third brother, Sammy, is doing well but is not involved in the wine venture.) Jacques lives across the street from the old restaurant, and still owns the space, now called China Blue. “They’re getting a lot better their second year,” he said of China Blue. “They did nice work redesigning the place, and the cuisine is much more together.” He gave us a “no comment” when we wondered if it was hard seeing someone else running the kitchen. His vineyard is six miles from the Lebanese border controlled by Hezbollah, but he joked that given the hurricane damage he suffered in Tribeca and Fire Island, “it’s safer there.”
CHIN’S NEW HIRE Paul Leonard has just joined Councilmember Margaret Chin’s staff as the new communications director. Leonard told us he’s excited, and called the new job “an incredible opportunity to serve the diverse collection of neighborhoods that make up Downtown – a place that’s near and dear to my heart.” Leonard comes to Chin from the communications office of the Nassau County D.A., before which he worked for Councilmember James Gennaro. More importantly, we do admire and respect his love for single malt Scotch, which he revealed to Twitter. Leonard is Chin’s fourth spokesperson in just over two years, and though her critics might say she must be tough to work for, the evidence suggests it’s more likely that she hires talented people who are tough to retain. Leonard replaces Sam Spokony, a former Downtown Express reporter who just took a job with Marathon Strategies,
the high-powered political P.R. firm which has worked on Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign. “I’m really proud to have worked for Margaret, and I’ll always be grateful to her,” Spokony said. “‘I’m really excited to be here so I can meet some new people and take on some new challenges.” Marathon has also employed Kelly Magee, a former Chin staffer who is now a spokesperson for the city’s Economic Development Corp. Magee was succeeded in Chin’s office by Amy Varghese, who is now a spokesperson for City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito.
TERROR BILL State Sen. Daniel Squadron last month blasted colleagues including some Democrats for passing a bill that would have prevented the N.Y.P.D. from better protecting Lower Manhattan from terrorist attacks. “The idea that I have to stand up and say that the New York Police Department must be protected in its authority to take care of a neighborhood in my district is really strange,” Squadron, a Democrat, said on the floor June 17. The bill would have blocked the police department from spending any money on security connected to terrorism trials. Squadron’s district includes the Southern District’s courthouse in Lower Manhattan and is just outside Brooklyn’s Eastern District, both of which have tried and convicted many terrorists. The controversy is an outgrowth of the uproar that occurred in 2009 when President Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder proposed trying 9/11 “mastermind” Khalid Sheik Mohammed in Lower Manhattan. In the face of opposition from the local to federal levels, the administration moved the trial to Guantanamo Bay, but in the meanwhile, lower-profile trials of accused terrorists still occur Downtown, as Squadron pointed out last week. The essentially anti-Obama bill passed 42-21 with a surprising number of Democrats voting in favor including Sens. Ruben Diaz, Sr., Tony Avella, Simcha Felder and Jeffery Klein. Perhaps they viewed it as a harmless vote since the Assembly didn’t even take up the bill. We would have also said Gov. Andrew Cuomo would never sign such a bill, but now that Mayor Bill de Blasio has pushed back so hard against Cuomo, maybe anything restricting de Blasio would be all too tempting. DowntownExpress.com
BY M I A RUPANI Will next month be the end for a block of Tribeca eateries that have been facing the ax since May? Despite this news, the seven bars and restaurants on West Broadway are still bustling with activity with no sign the end may be near. The employees at Palermo Pizza told regular Rosario Castronovo that they were instructed to leave by the end of July, he told Downtown Express. “It appears that July 31 is their last day, but could be sooner if they choose…how much more can our neighborhood take? Tribeca is dying a very slow and agonizing death, and the new Tribeca has lost infrastructure,” he said. A woman identifying herself as Palermo’s owner said in a phone interview that “We do not know where Palermo will be moving to…we got the letter in the mail that we have to be out by July 31, but we aren’t going to comply with that.” Cape Advisors reportedly purchased the six building stretch on West Broadway between Warren and Murray Sts. for $50 million in May. The buildings will eventually be torn down to make way for the 46,000-square-foot condominiums. Castronovo said he was frustrated by the loss of neighborhood businesses in Tribeca, where he lives with his family. “Palermo is one of those special places in Tribeca that seems to be disappearing,” he said. “Once you take away family staples, you erode what is important to sustaining a community. Food, shelter…there are very few to no affordable housing Downtown… and education are all under attack by
development.” The Cricketer’s Arms, located at 57 Murray St., is another restaurant that will face eviction. A manager at Cricketer’s speaking on the condition of anonymity, said he thought they had some more time. “Our lease is not up until February, so we still have a lot of time to figure things out,” he said. He mentioned that Cape Advisors might try to buy them out of the lease, but they have not been approached yet. He said Cricketer’s will be moving to a new location, but as of now, that location has not been decided. “It will take a lot of time and planning and rent will obviously go up wherever we move to,” he added. Other restaurants or other businesses likely to be evicted include The Raccoon Lodge, Mariachi’s, Banh Mi, Saleya, and New York Dolls. Many of the owners and employees were hesitant to speak openly about the situation, and much like Cricketer’s, they have yet to decide where their businesses will move.
Downtown Express photos by Mia Rupani.
Palermo Pizza was told it must close by the end of July. It is one of seven businesses on W. Broadway, above left, that are likely to be evicted.
Cape Advisors did not respond to a request for comment. For now, the restaurants are continuing to cater to large lunch and dinner crowds despite the impending threat of the condos that will eventually drive them out. “We are constantly inviting real
estate investment without auditing and adjusting our foundations within the context of the community,” Castronovo said. “It’s irresponsible city planning and we need to be open to dialogue about what is philosophically important for the survival and responsible growth of the polis.”
New street opens at the W.T.C. Greenwich St., a new route through the World Trade Center, opened to pedestrians last week. The opening from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily, provides a new way to access the 9/11 Memorial and Museum, and provides additional relief to the crush of pedestrians — a mix of tourists, commuters, and residents — on Vesey and Liberty Sts. Catherine McVay Hughes, Community Board 1’s chairperson, who has been pushing for more W.T.C. pedestrian space to be opened, told Downtown Express she DowntownExpress.com
noticed people smiling as they took advantage of the new route. It also provides closer views of the $4 billion transit center, which could open at the end of the year. The Port Authority, which opened up Greenwich, had hopes of opening the permanent entrances to the PATH trains at 4 W.T.C. and the 2 W.T.C. site in June. But those openings have been delayed, and a spokesperson this week did not say when they would occur.
— JOSH ROGERS
Downtown Express photo by Josh Rogers
July 2-July 15, 2015
Preschool closed after toddler wanders away ROBBED AT KNIFEPOINT A woman was robbed at knifepoint two weeks ago in the Financial District, police say. The woman, 32, had just gotten out money from an A.T.M. near Fulton St. and Broadway on Mon., June 15 at 8 p.m., police say. A man asked her for directions and while she was distracted another man — described as late 30s, 6'1" and wearing a hat, glasses and a plaid button-up shirt — brandished a knife and said, “Give me everything,” according to police. The Upper East Side resident handed over $800 and her jewelry — a ring, bracelet, chain and pendant — to the thief, who then fled toward Church St. It is unclear if the two men were working together.
MUGGER PUNCHES WOMAN A woman was walking in Soho when a man attacked her from behind and snatched her purse on a recent Tuesday evening. The 21-year-old victim was walking on 6th Ave. on Tues., June 16 at 11:20 p.m., when a man ran up behind her, punched her on the right cheek and then grabbed her white Italian bag, police say. The purse was worth $200, and the thief also got her $70 Coco Chanel perfume and her iPhone charger. The woman, who lives in Soho, told police that she had made eye contact with her attacker, who she said was wearing a bright teal shirt and plaid shorts and has a muscular build. Police say he followed her down the street before he struck.
CAR BREAK-IN NETS 30 GRAND It is hard to say if the thief that broke into a black car parked in front of 70 Mercer St. was lucky or clever. Either way, he got away with $32,830 worth of stuff. A man, 39, parked his 2014 car in front of his building in Soho on Wed., June 24 a little after midnight, police say. When he returned to his car the next day, it had been broken into. The man was able to get video from a nearby building that showed a 5’7” man use some sort of unknown device to unlock his car, snatch the stuff and flee on foot. The suspect got two Brioni suits valued at $12,800, $950 Cartier sunglasses, tennis racket, bag and balls worth $1,250, a $30 umbrella,
Authentic Thai & Vegetarian
De l i v 1 0 $ Min.
88 Fulton Street (Corner of 33 Gold St.) New York, NY 10038 212.587.8930 | 212.587.8935
July 2-July 15, 2015
a travel bag with clothes, a computer and headphones valued at $4,000 as well as a $12,500 Corum watch. The man told police that he had locked his car and that even if he didn’t, it automatically locks after five minutes of inactivity.
PERILOUS CAB RIDE? It’s a party night gone wrong. On Sat., June 27, a 24-year-old man was hanging out at Libation at 137 Ludlow St. in the Lower East Side when he decided it was time to head home to Long Beach. He got into a cab around 12:30 a.m. and the driver stopped at a gas station. While there, the cabbie convinced his passenger to hand over his debit card information, police say. The next thing he knew, the man woke up on the sidewalk near 11 Broadway in the Financial District with his wallet and $620 iPhone gone, police say. Inside the wallet was his $290 L.I.R.R. pass, a $30 MetroCard and his debit card, which was used by the thief to withdraw an unspecified amount of money.
SIMULTANEOUS SUNGLASS SWIPES The sun is shining and Soho shoplifters have turned their attention to boosting expensive sunglasses. On Wed., June 17, two teams of two men went into Soho shops and grabbed the pricey shades — at the same time, 2:05 p.m. One theft took place at Ilori, a luxury eyewear store at 138 Spring St. A male employee, 31, told police two men who looked around 30 and who were bald, came into the store and stole six pairs of sunglasses worth a total of $5,385. At Silver Lining Opticians at 92 Thompson St., the men, described as around 40, stole sunglasses and glasses worth $2,020. No word if they were coordinated thefts.
BY M I A RUPANI A Battery Park City preschool had its operating license suspended last month after a toddler in its care reportedly wandered away from teachers into oncoming traffic during a neighborhood trip. The boy, whose age has not been released, was in the care of Preschool of America at Two South End Ave. June 17 when staff did not notice him leave the group. The city Dept. of Health, which regulates preschools, suspended the school soon after the incident was reported. The child, according to the Battery Park City Broadsheet, stepped into traffic on South End Ave., but was rescued by Susan Bittan, who slammed on her breaks to avoid hitting him. Bittan then parked her car and began to chase after the boy. “When I caught up with him, I scooped him into my arms,” she told the Broadsheet. Bittan said she brought him back to school and then confronted the school’s director, Michele Demizio. Bittan said Demizio resisted letting her speak to the boy’s mother but eventually connected them by phone. “When I got on phone, I said, ‘I almost killed your child,’” Bittan reportedly said. “She became hysterical….I told her not to leave her child in this place.” The two teachers responsible for the child were fired, because “there is a zero-tolerance policy for any
MAN SCUFFLES WITH COPS On Sat., June 27, at 1:30 p.m. a police officer by City Hall Park said he noticed a food cart at the corner of Park Row and Centre St. did not have the valid Parks Dept. permit. When the vendor was asked for identification, a nearby man said, “Don’t give them ID,” according to police. Police say the bystander then got into the two officers’ faces and shouted obscenities. Backup was called and the man, 29, was arrested — but not before he allegedly resisted arrest and kicked one of the cops in the face.
‘BAD TEETH’ THIEF A Seaport resident was walking home on Sat., June 27 at 6:45 p.m. when he noticed another man had followed him from the Fulton St. station. The man, 22, had just got off the 3 train and was going to his building on Front St. between Beekman St. and Peck Slip. The suspect — described to police as wearing a grey hoodie, black pants and having “bad teeth” and a mustache — followed him into his building’s vestibule. While he called 911, the thief stole his passport and Visa card and fled. Police say the victim appeared to be intoxicated.
ANOTHER CABBIE ROBBED It was a bad month for cabbies. On Mon. June 15, at 10:30 p.m., a taxi driver picked up a woman on W. 9th and 6th Ave. He let her sit up front because she said she had pain in her legs. She asked him to drive to Brooklyn but along the way, kept taking him down random streets. When the driver, 38 and from Queens, got to the corner of Church and Walker Sts. in Tribeca, the woman jumped out and said, “I can’t pay.” Not only did she not pay her fare — she stole his credit cards and $300 from his backpack. Earlier this month, another taxi driver was robbed by a female passenger, who also sat up front with him. Police did not say the two crimes were connected.
Downtown Express photo by Mia Rupani
Preschool of America’s license in Battery Park City was suspended after a child in their care reportedly left the group and walked into traffic.
lapses in safety,” said Enrico Demarco, the preschool chain’s attorney. Demarco, in an email to Downtown Express, contradicted some of Bittan’s claims, but did not deny the child was in the street. “My client disputes that the child traveled the
distance (600 feet) as reported” by the Broadsheet, Demarco wrote in an email. “My client wishes to express that…had the child traveled such a distance, the child would have probably been detected by several doorman that are posted along the street near the park.” Preschool of America has 20 facilities in the city including ones in Chinatown, the Lower East Side and Chelsea. The Battery Park City location was still closed July 1. “We are currently working with the program on a plan of corrective action in order to guarantee the safety of children and ensure the site has measures in place to prevent any such incident from occurring in the future,” Levi Fishman, a Health Dept. spokesperson, wrote in an email to Downtown Express. Fishman noted that in April, a number of changes were made to the health code to strengthen safety. “This includes…designating a staff person to be the trip coordinator and be given heightened responsibility for overall child supervision while offsite,” Fishman said. Demarco, the attorney, said the school is currently working with the city to reopen as soon as possible so it can continue serving families in the neighborhood. “It is important to underscore that the child was found unharmed, and my client is relieved and happy that no harm befell the child,” he said.
Photo courtesy of N.Y.P.D.
GET YOUR SUMMER ON
The N.Y.P.D. released a photo of this suspect, whom they later identified as Tyrelle Shaw, now deceased.
SUSPECT IN ATTACKS ON ASIAN WOMEN DIES A man who was targeting and attacking Asian women throughout Manhattan committed suicide last week, police say. Tyrelle Shaw, 25, was found dead in an Upper East Side building on Mon., June 22. Police say Shaw’s first attack took place on Wed., June 10 at 4:15 p.m. near 155 Grand St. When he tried to speak with a woman, who is 35 and Asian, she ignored him. He left but then returned with a white plastic bag that contained a hard object and struck the woman in the face, according to police. She was taken to a Lower Manhattan Hospital and then released. This pattern was repeated with at least three other Asian women being attacked — in Chinatown, Kips Bay and the Upper East Side. Before Shaw’s suicide, Councilmember Margaret Chin of Lower Manhattan issued a call for information that could help the police capture him. “As an Asian woman, I am personally disgusted by these racially-targeted attacks,” Chin said in a June 17 statement. “These are clearly acts of hate and ignorance.” In a blog post, Shaw described the attacks as “a game” and said he “couldn’t understand why Asian women didn’t find me attractive,” several news outlets reported.
SUMMER BLOCK PARTIES
GAMES, MUSIC, FOOD & FILMS
Check the website for featured DJs, bands and movies. JUNE 17 JULY 8 AUGUST 12 SEPTEMBER 9
Music & Activities 5 P.M. - 9 P.M. Rooftop Films (Elevated Acre) @ 55 Water St. 8:30 P.M.
Red positive version Final art 4/29/05
— DUSICA SUE MALESEVIC DowntownExpress.com
July 2-July 15, 2015
Block that housed J & R readies for next phase B Y DUSICA SU E M A L E SE V IC Alan Steinberg has seen Park Row change. He has seen the block from Ann to Beekman Sts. in the Financial District go from drug dealer terrority to a retail and restaurant haven to J&R Music World’s domain to now turning residential. The story begins with Steinberg’s father, an accountant who had a client on Park Row in the 1960s — Emil’s Restaurant, a place Steinberg says was frequented by mayors. In 1970, his father along with other investors rented the entire building at 34 Park Row, also known as 1 Beekman St., with the option to buy, Steinberg said in a interview at his office at 116 Nassau St. At that time, 34 Park Row was an empty building. He also started a company, Park Row South Realty, which Steinberg, 56, is now president of. Six years later, his father with the syndication brought 34 Park Row and the building next to it, 33 Park Row. “We were not wealthy,” he explained last week. “My father put together a number of his clients, associates, friends [and] family. Everybody put together money and bought these empty buildings.” He bought 33 Park Row — a decision Steinberg’s mother didn’t think was a great idea — because it was not empty, it had a tenant. That tenant was J&R Music World, which had its first store there in 1971. His father invested in the buildings because as an accountant, “he could only make as much money as the pencil that he pushed. He was looking for retirement income that hopefully, even-
July 2-July 15, 2015
tually he would rent it out and pay off the mortgage,” said Steinberg. In the ‘70s, when Steinberg was growing up on Long Island, Park Row had a lot of crime in the area — there was a lot of drug dealing in Theatre Alley, the street that is behind the block. Steinberg’s father also faced new competition — the Twin Towers. “Any tenant who was worth anything in the 1970s would be running to the World Trade Center,” he said. “Everybody wanted to get an office there. His idea was to have small offices, small little niches for small little tenants who couldn’t get an office there.” However, the year after his father brought the buildings, he passed away at the age of 53. His mother, who was a Hebrew schoolteacher, was advised not to sell and the buildings were handed over to people to manage. “After my father died, it actually turned me off — I wanted nothing to do with it,” he said. Steinberg got a master’s degree in finance from Hofstra University and went to work on Wall Street as a commodity trader. In 1987, he was ready to branch out and start his own trading company. His mother suggested he base his operations in one of their buildings. In exchange for rent, he would take over managing them. It was hard to do both at the same time, he said. He said the buildings were being mismanaged and a management agent was stealing. He asked his mother to take over and then went to New York University to take some real estate classes. “I then started a process of buying out my dad’s investors,” he said. He brought his own team in and while it wasn’t big business, the build-
their lease — Steinberg was stunned. “I really felt that they were the Rock being dirty, they were not damaged and of Gibraltar and if they weren’t for the Steinberg said that he didn’t lose any city of New York, they certainly were for tenants. my family,” he said. J&R had closed for a while but had a (The J&R store at 1 Park Row closed grand reopening with then Mayor Rudy in April 2014, but their signage is still Giuliani, he said. on several buildings on the block. J&R For Steinberg, business after Sept. Express is now open inside Century 21.) 11 began getting better. For four months he couldn’t tell his “We never really had a vacancy issue wife or mother. During that time, he — there’s always somebody looking considered the residential route and for small office space,” he said, citing hired an architect. inexpensive rent with park views as the “The residential wave that had now reason. “We never were empty.” hit Tribeca was now starting to overflow J&R, which had become a popular to the Financial District,” he said. destination store, continued to grow After exploring that option, he said and Steinberg said they would “take any he decided to partner with a developer. space I had.” In December last year, real estate “As a landlord in New York, if your company Urban Muse reportedly bought long-term tenant continues to pay and 33 and 34 Park Row for $52 million. you continue to see full page ads in the Both 33 and 34 Park Row will be New York Times, there’s no reason to demolished to make way for a mixedbelieve that there is any issue,” he said. use building — called “Pearl on the J&R is a private company with an Park” — with condos on the upper excellent reputation, he said. Steinberg levels and retail on the lower levels, also had a personal relationship with said Steinberg. Rachelle Friedman. She and her hus“Pearl is my mother’s name,” he said. band Joe had started the business. “I wanted my mother to see what my Downtown Exp May A 2015:Layout 1 5/20/15 12:51 PM Page 1 So in 2013 when J&R wanted to end father’s vision would become.” Continued from page 6
Downtown Express photo by Dusica Sue Malesevic
Alan Steinberg in the now empty building at 34 Park Row.
It is expected to be open in 2017, but no details yet on how tall it will be. Steinberg declined to discuss the sale. Steinberg now had the task of vacating 34 Park Row, a building that had been in his family since the ’70s. Some tenants had been with his family for decades, he said.
He made an unusual move — instead of the 1,500 sq. ft. he needed for his office, he decided to rent 11,000 sq. ft. at 116 Nassau St. and offer the space to his tenants. Almost all — except for two or three — took him up on it. Steinberg proudly showed the new offices, where work was still being done, and introduced Downtown Express to tenants, like Al Maddox of Maddox Watch Co. With a loupe on his head, Maddox and Steinberg explained how he started his business in December 1949 at 116 Nassau St. on the eighth floor — where the offices are now located. Chris Rohan, a metal trader, has been Steinberg’s tenant for seven years. “Small space is hard to find — everything is too big,” Rohan said. Steinberg also showed the now empty 34 Park Row. On the roof of the building, the view encompasses City Hall to the right, the park to the center and the World Trade Center PATH station to the left. Construction went on at nearby 5 Beekman St., which will be condos and a hotel. It seems that Park Row is poised for another transformation.
Downtown Express photo by Dusica Sue Malesevic
Above, 34 Park Row on the corner, and 33 Park Row next to it will make way for a new building. Below left, a photo of a younger Alan Steinberg in front of Park Row.
ings turned profitable. Park Row started getting better and J&R was expanding — it had other stores on the block. “In the 1980s, as J&R was growing, Park Row started coming alive,” he said. “Any retail store that became available on Park Row, J&R was grabbing it.” Steinberg remembers what was on the block — two hardware stores, a jewelry store, a Radio Shack, a Burger King and an optometrist. Several would turn into J&R stores. “They were successful and they had cash and they bought the buildings,” he said. “Their main concern was retail. They wanted to be like Harrods or Macy’s. They wanted to be block to block.” In the ‘90s, that is almost what happened — with only one store holding out. “Once J&R got 34, now they could say, ‘We had the entire block’ — from 34 Park Row to 1 Park Row,” said Steinberg. There was an unofficial sign that said “J&R Row,” he said. The store’s owners did not respond to a request for comment.
LUXURIOUS SOLUTIONS FOR YOUR SHORT TERM RENTAL NEEDS.
34 Park Row 33 Park Row
Park Row in the Financial District between Ann and Beekman Sts.
At that time, “nobody was looking to move down here,” he said. “This place shut down for the weekends. It shut down at 6 o’clock at night.” The area was so quiet, he noted, that when he left late at night he wouldn’t take the subway to his apartment on the Upper West Side — no one was around. Then Sept. 11, 2001 happened. Steinberg wasn’t there that day, but he remembers where he was the day after — the authorities allowed him into his buildings, which were completely engulfed by dust fumes. Except for
THE SUITES AT LIBERTY VIEW BATTERY PARK CITY
212 842 7300 www.liberty-view.com
30 Day Minimum • Brokers Welcome
RENOVATING? OLD APARTMENT SOLD? NEW APARTMENT NOT READY? RELATIVES VISITING?
Continued on page 7
July 2-July 15, 2015
City adds Lunar New Year holiday to school calendar
Silicon Alley’s lastest: Alliance opens meeting space for techies
Students won’t have to play hooky next year to celebrate Lunar New Year. The mayor and chancellor announced last week that they are adding the holiday to the coming school year. “We pledged to families we would keep working until we made Lunar New Year an official school holiday, and today we are keeping that promise,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said in a statement June 23. “We are proud to be the largest school district in the nation to recognize the heritage of our AsianAmerican community by recognizing Lunar New Year.” The announcement during the last week of school appeared to be a surprise as advocates pressing for inclusion of the Chinese New Year did not appear optimistic that the holiday would be added to the 2015-16 year. Many were disappointed when the mayor did not include Lunar New Year earlier this year when he announced the addition of two Muslim holidays to the school year, Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha. There will be no school Mon., Feb. 8, 2016 to celebrate the holiday. The city was able to maintain the mandated 180-day schedule by consolidating two half-days for administrative work
BY DUSI CA SUE M ALESEVI C The push for Lower Manhattan to be a beacon for tech and creative firms continues with the Downtown Alliance opening a new event and meeting space June 24. Called Lower Manhattan HQ, or LMHQ, the new modern and bright space at 150 Broadway offers conference rooms, long tables for collaborative work, walls that can be scribbled on and, of course, a coffee bar. For five years, Daria Siegel ran the Alliance’s Hive at 55 Broad St., which offered dedicated workspace. The Hive closed in January and Siegel is now the director of LMHQ. She said LMHQ is a pivot from the Hive, as “we didn’t really want to be in the co-working business anymore. There’s so many people offering co-working spaces today. So we really wanted to figure out what the demands were today and how we could help support the innovation economy Downtown.” There is a huge demand for event space, Siegel explained, and the Hive could only hold 40 people. The new center can accommodate up to 140. During the day, it will be a “living room” cafe environment and in the evenings the space can be rearranged for events, said Siegel. “Additionally, with the influx of creative tenants moving to Lower Manhattan, we wanted to create a sense of community for them.” Siegel said. “That was the thing that was still missing Downtown — they were kind of siloed in their office spaces and
Downtown Express file photo by Milo Hess
Children celebrating Lunar New Year at the parade in February.
into one day. Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña called the addition “a welcome teachable moment in the classroom for our students to learn about the contributions of various cultures.” Politicians from all over the city praised the decision in the Dept.
of Education’s press release including several who represent at least part of Manhattan’s Chinatown: U.S. Rep. Jerrold Nadler, State Sen. Daniel Squadron and Councilmember Margaret Chin. Some schools in the neighborhood reported absence rates of over 80 per-
cent on Lunar New Year. In a statement, Chin said 15 percent of public school students across the city observe the holiday and the announcement “gives Lunar New Year the respect and recognition it has long deserved.”
— JOSH ROGERS
let’s do something together
WELCOME TO THE LARGEST PUBLIC COLLEGE OF TECHNOLOGY IN THE NORTHEAST
at TRINITY WALL STREET
Daria Siegel, who runs at LMHQ, in the new space Tuesday, the day before the June 24th opening.
don’t have chances to interact.” Siegel called the new space an annex to people’s offices — a place people can take a meeting, grab a coffee, arrange an event, work or brainstorm. “We all recognize that we’ve changed the way that we work — that we don’t just work sitting at our desks anymore,” said Siegel. “You want to get out and meet with people and network.” Who needs white dry erase boards, when there are walls and columns, plied with IdeaPaint, you can write on? The mural in the main room has been drawn in black and white so people can fill it in,
education SUNDAYS, 10-11am
The Gospels, Times, Journal, and You Parish Center Join in a discussion of the editorial pages of The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and the assigned Gospel for the day. Led by the Rev. Dr. Mark Francisco Bozzuti-Jones.
All Are Welcome
All events are free, unless noted. 212.602.0800 trinitywallstreet.org
Knitting and Crochet Fellowship
TRINITY CHURCH Broadway at Wall Street
ST. PAUL’S CHAPEL Broadway and Fulton Street
FALL 2015 DIRECT ADMISSION
Trinity Episcopal Church Parish Center 2 Rector Street
Downtown Express photo by Dusica Sue Malesevic.
The Rev. Dr. William Lupfer, Rector The Rev. Phillip A. Jackson, Vicar
said Siegel. Siegel said they spent a year looking for the right space, but construction took about three months. “The furniture and design of the space was really critical — that we offer those opportunities to have collaborations and serendipitous interactions,” she said. A $2.5 million grant from the state went to construction. The Alliance is subsidizing the operating costs with the hope that membership will ultimately support LMHQ, said Siegel. It is $160 a month for an individual and $8,000 for an annual corporate membership with access for five people. A conference room — some named after Lower Manhattan luminaries old and new like Horace Greeley and Frank Gehry — costs $50 an hour. The largest costs $125. There is a drop-in rate of $30 a day. “I think we’ll see a real demand…because so many people are doing business in Lower Manhattan,” said Siegel. There are 800 companies — in tech, advertising, media and information — that are making their home in Lower Manhattan, according to the Alliance. Microsoft outfitted LMHQ with Surface tablets, Xbox One consoles and Skype. There will be a fulltime I.T. department, she said, to make sure WiFi is up and running and to do troubleshooting. Siegel stressed that it will be a community space with events open to the public.
VOICES A new semi-pro choir
SUNDAY, JULY 12, 12:15-2:15pm Parish Center Learn how to knit or crochet prayer shawls and items for housebound community members, returning veterans, and others in need. Supplies are provided.
Schedule an audition today at trinitywallstreet.org/
worship SUNDAY, 8am & 10am St. Paul’s Chapel · Holy Eucharist 8pm · Compline by Candlelight SUNDAY, 9am & 11:15am Trinity Church · Preaching, music, and Eucharist · Child care available MONDAY—FRIDAY, 12:05pm Trinity Church · Holy Eucharist MONDAY—FRIDAY, 5:15pm Trinity Church, All Saints’ Chapel Evening Prayer
FRIDAY, JULY 24, 7-9pm
Neighborhood Movie Night St. Paul’s Chapel Watch a favorite film on the big screen with your neighbors. Popcorn and drinks will be served. More information at trinitywallstreet.org/movies.
Watch online webcast
Imagine a happy, secure child who engages with the world in mind, body, and spirit.
NEW YORK CITY COLLEGE OF TECHNOLOGY
CITY TECH 8
July 2-July 15, 2015
300 Jay Street • Brooklyn, NY 11201
• For children 3 months to 5 years • Enrollment open for 2015-2016 • Financial aid now available
Follow Us: www.citytech.cuny.edu/facebook
an Episcopal parish in the city of New York
Schedule a tour at trinitypreschoolnyc.org
July 2-July 15, 2015
EFFICIENT CARE TRAINING CENTER EFFICIENT CARE TRAINING CENTER
Hour Instructor Course Parade, ships & of course40 fireworks thisDevelopment July 4
Instructors: Tom Flynn & Bob Loveridge
We have NYS DCJS mandated Security Guard Training Courses: Jacket • 8 Hour Pre-Assignment Training Course Name • 16 Hour On the Job Training Course • 8 Hour Annual In-Service 4C 6 x
Continued from page 1
On the federal holiday, July 3, at 11 a.m., the parade will start at Pier 15 near John St., and travel the length of Wall St. to the historic Trinity Church where it will turn left on Broadway and end at Bowling Green, the city’s oldest park. Marchers will stay on the sidewalk so there’ll be no street closures. It will be led by the New York Veteran Corps of Artillery color guard, the oldest military organization in New York founded in 1790. The New York Sons of The Revolution color guard will also be walking in the parade. Though it is yet to be confirmed, Kaplan said they hope to have local Boy Scout troops and sailors from L’Hermione participating as well. L’Hermione is integral to the history of the American Revolution and will be celebrated throughout the week. Today it is an authentic reconstruction of the original, which brought a young Marquis de Lafayette to America with the news of France’s alliance to the American patriots in 1780. T he South Street Seaport Museum is hosting the vessel and visitors can tour L’Hermione for free and learn from its crew July 2 and 3rd at Pier 15. On July 4th, Hermione will lead a parade of nearly 100 ships past the Statue of Liberty in a salute to the holiday. Not to be forgotten, the 39th annual Macy’s Fourth of July fireworks display will be fired from a barge south of the Brooklyn Bridge and from four positioned between E. 23rd and 37th Sts. starting at 9:20 p.m. on July 4. For best viewing Downtown, the F.D.R. Drive will be accessible via Dover St. and limited viewing areas include Fulton St. and Peck Slip. The Fraunces Tavern Museum, 54 Pearl St., site of Gen. George Washington’s farewell to his troops, will be charging $1 admission for the Fourth of July weekend. On July 3 from 1 p.m.-5 p.m., actor William Daniels will be speaking at the museum about his experience playing John Adams in the film, “1776.” The event is free with museum admission and reservations are not required. On July 3, Fraunces Museum will also offer a walking tour of the Financial District from 8 p.m.-10:30
July 2-July 15, 2015
Specialty Courses: • Fire Guard Prep Class
HOME HEALTH AIDE TRAINING New to our Jamaica Campus Home Health Aide Training 5.69
EFFICIENT CARE TRAINING CENTER Su Futuro Empieza AHORA! Cada curso tiene que necesitas paraestar certiﬁcado se ofrece diario. (Cursos de Dia y de Noche)
Instructores con experiencia Assistimos en buscar trabajo
Su Futuro Empieza Ahora!
Home Health Aide (Day and Evening Courses) Experienced Instructors Job Assistance Provided
• OSHA 10 • OSHA 30 •CPR / AED
Asistente de salud domiciliaria
YourFuture Future Starts NOW! Your Starts NOW! Every course you need to be certiﬁed is oﬀered daily.
a division of
Day and Evening Courses• Experienced Instructors 54-06 Myrtle Avenue, 2nd Fl. 168-25 Jamaica Avenue JOB Assistance Provided • Se Habla Espanol
Jamaica, NY 11432 Ridgewood, NY 11385 168-25 Jamaica Ave., 54-06 Myrtle Ave., 2nd Fl.718-609-1674 718-307-7141 Jamaica, NY 11432 Ridgewood, NY 11385 718-609-1674 718-307-7141 EXCLUSIVE! Accessible by Accessible by FJE M andBECOME Q58, Q55, B52,A TRAINLTO B26, B54
and Q24, Q56
SECURITY GUARD INSTRUCTOR 40 Hour Instructor Development Course
Instructors: Tom Flynn & Bob Loveridge SECURITY GUARD TRAINING
We have NYS DCJS mandated Security Guard Training Courses: • 8 Hour Pre-Assignment Training Course Become a NY State Certiﬁ ed Job Security Guard Today! • 16 Hour On the Training Course • 8 Hour Annual In-Service
p.m. where participants can learn more about the city’s Revolutionary War history. Tickets are $25 and include a pint of Samuel Fraunces Ale at Fraunces Tavern before the tour begins. From 10 a.m.-5 p.m. on July 3, the Museum of Jewish Heritage in Battery Park City will exhibit “Voices of Liberty,” a soundscape that combines the voices of Holocaust survivors, refugees and others who chose to make America their home. Tickets to the exhibition cost $12. On July 3rd and 4th, a George Washington re-enactor will be speaking about the A merican Revolution and France’s role in the war on the front steps of Federal Hall, Wall and Broad Sts. From 3 a.m.-7 a.m. the Fraunces Tavern’s annual Fourth of July
Revolutionary War nighttime walking tour will be led by Kaplan and include watching the sun rise from Trinity Church, where many Revolutionary War heroes are buried. Following the tour at 7 a.m., a wreath laying ceremony will take place at Trinity Church to honor General Horatio Gates, Alexander Hamilton and Marinus Willett. The El Galeon, an authentic replica of the original ship that was part of Spain’s West Indies fleet in the 16th century will be docking at Pier 15 in South Street Seaport on the Fourth of July for one week. Visitors will have a chance to relive the experiences of explorer Ponce De Leon through tours of the ship and exhibitions. At 3:15 p.m. a reading of George Washington’s 1790 Newport Letter
will take place in front of the Fraunces Tavern Museum, followed by a reading of the Declaration of Independence at noon on the front steps of Federal Hall. T he South Street Seaport’s Festival of Independence will take place on the Fourth of July starting at 1 p.m. Live music performances will be happening throughout the day on three separate stages in the Seaport District — one on Fulton St. at the corner of Fulton and Water Sts., the second at Peck Slip at the corner of Peck Slip and Front St. and the third at 207A Front St. A few of the bands set to perform include Elk City, Doll Parts and The Blue Vipers. Food and drinks can also be purchased from vendors during the event, which ends with Macy’s Fourth of July fireworks display. DowntownExpress.com
8 Specialty HR. Pre-assignment Courses: • Fire Guard Prep Class OSHA 10 Job • OSHA 30 •CPR / AED 16 HR. •on the Training Fireguard Prep CARE TRAINING CENTER IDC - (InstructorEFFICIENT Development Course)
Su Futuro Empieza AHORA! Jamaica Ave., paraestar certiﬁcado se ofrece diario. 54-06 Myrtle Ave., 2nd Fl.Cada168-25 curso tiene que necesitas Jamaica, NY 11432 Ridgewood, NY 11385 Asistente de salud domiciliaria a division of 718-609-1674 718-307-7141 (Cursos de Dia y de Noche) Accessible by L M and Q58, Q55, B52, B26, B54
Accessible Instructores con by experiencia J Ebuscar trabajo Assistimos Fen and Q24, Q56 July 2-July 15, 2015
BY JANE L B L A D O W Can’t believe it’s already mid-year and top of the summer. Time has wings.
EVERYTHING NEW IS OLD….
An old neighbor returns with a new name and new look. What was Stella Bistro is reborn as Dorlan’s Tavern & Oyster Bar at 213 Front St. “We always loved the neighborhood and neighbors. Love the community,” said co-owner Fernando Dallorso, one of the people who also helped start the annual Taste of the Seaport event to support Spruce Street School. “We always had plans to come back. Now our dream has come true.” Dorlan’s opened last week with early dinner — “to get the machine’s tested and back in the game.” Lunch began this week Monday to Friday. Brunch Saturdays and Sundays and dinner seven days a week — will be up and running by mid-July. Stella, which originally opened in 2007, was destroyed when Hurricane Sandy swept through the Front St. restaurant leaving a wake of mayhem and muck behind. It’s taken nearly three years and more than a half-million dollars but the phoenix that has risen in 2,300-square foot space is definitely more fitting for the Seaport. “We have a different name and different concept. I always thought the neighborhood needed a seafood restaurant,” Dallorso told Seaport Report. He and business partner Jeremy Dahm opened up the kitchen (bright with white subway tiles) and lightened the walls. The look was refreshed with warm woods, copper accents and industrial steel furniture. “We got the brass lantern light fixtures
from a ship salvage yard,” he said. “We want the original Seaport feel but not tacky.” The menu also reflects a reborn seafront. Fresh chowders, fish and chips, lobster rolls and ceviche are just a few of the mouthwatering items. Right now they have a list of between four and six kinds of oysters but hope to expand with up to 12 varieties delivered daily. “We have the half shell, oyster po’boys and fried oyster B.L.T.” During the week, the back room will be “Dorlan to-go,” Mondays through Fridays. Catering to the FiDi lunch crowds who want something a little special but fast, takeout includes salads, sandwiches and smoothies. “They can get a good lunch for $20,” Dallorso said. Weekends beginning in mid-July, the room transforms for a family brunch crowd. “Parents can bring their kids, strollers and crayons. We want to cater to that very highly,” said Dallorso, who has a 10–year–old. They chose the name and style after a fisherman who opened one of the first oyster bars in the city. And they want to harken back to seaport of 200 years ago. “Celebrities and politicians, common people and aristocrats all came down here to eat fresh seafood, so I went back to a favorite about the neighborhood, ‘The Big Oyster: History on the Half Shell,’ by Mark Kurlansky. He writes that “The Fulton Street Market was celebrated by locals and visitors as the place to get late-night oysters… Sweet’s was a famous restaurant that opened in 1847. Dorlon’s (this is how Kurlansky spelled it; it was cited in other books and papers as Dorlan’s) was an
Photo by Caitlin McNaney
Eloïse Eonnet and Will Turner in SeaWife, which is playing at the South Street Seaport Museum.
July 2-July 15, 2015
Photo by HannabrakeyDSLR@instagram
HEY STELLA, WHAT COMES AFTER SANDY…Jeremy Dahm, left, and Fernando Dallorso outside their new Front St. restaurant, Dorlan’s Tavern. Stella, their previous restaurant at the same spot, closed nearly three years ago because of damage from Hurricane Sandy.
extremely popular oyster bar.” Alas, this oyster bar is long, long gone. And so are the other historic seafood eateries. Sweet’s went the way of all mompop second floor restaurants in 1992 and Sloppy Louie’s got the hook six years later. Carmine’s Italian Seafood restaurant — around for 107 years — held on the longest and got the boot in June 2010. So welcome Dorlan’s Tavern & Oyster Bar!
THE WHALER – NOT WAILER – WIFE…
Our little neck of the urban jungle hosts the world premiere of a new folk concert/play, “SeaWife,” by The Naked Angels, a Downtown theater company, and an indie rock band, The Lobbyists. Part play-part concert, SeaWife is a cautionary tale of romance, tragedy and spirits on the high seas. Created by Seth Moore and the indie-folk rock sextet, the production has a limited summer run through July 19 at South Street Seaport Museum’s Melville Gallery, 213 Water St. Audiences will hoist a pint of ale as they follow the adventures of a young sailor (Percy) during the golden age of America’s whaling industry as he travels through port cities in search of greater glory. “I am beyond thrilled that, for my inaugural production as Naked Angels’ artistic director, we are able to bring this riveting piece of theater to life,” said newly appointed Liz Carlson, who also directs. “SeaWife…draws from the fascinating world of the 19th-century whaling industry — so it was our dream from day one that this piece would find its physical home within that same world. South Street Seaport is our city’s most remarkable historic district, and…following Hurricane
Sandy, we are honored to be a part of the movement to reestablish the extraordinary energy and activity the Seaport held for so many centuries.” SeaWife will play Tuesday through Sunday at 7 p.m., with an additional performance at 11 p.m. on July 3. No performances on July 4. Tickets are $40 and can be purchased at BrownPaperTickets.com.
BAD NEWS, GOOD NEWS…
The Seaport made a list of historical places, but not in a good way. The National Trust has released its list of “America’s 11 Most Endangered Historic Places” for 2015. And we’re on it! But actually this is good news because now the nation knows that we risk losing another rare treasure of our historic past. Since 1988 the list has identified more than 250 sites, galvanizing preservation so that only 12 have been lost (JFK’s Worldport Terminal made the list and was demolished in 2013). According to the National Trust’s website “The Seaport’s restored 19th-century commercial buildings transport visitors back in time, evoking the commercial trade of that era…. The South Street Seaport is unique for its continuous relationship to the waterfront and its status as the focal point of the early maritime industry in New York City. “While the Seaport is a locally designated historic district, and is separately listed on the National Register of Historic Places, it is currently under threat due to a series of development proposals that would disrupt the look, feel and low-scale historic character of the Seaport.” Let’s hope this new designation earns a positive place in our history. DowntownExpress.com
Concept Store 19 Fulton St, New York SeaportStudios.com
new york’s oldest new neighborhood
July 2-July 15, 2015
Building tenants join fight for rent stabilization Continued from page 1
John St. since 2007 with their two kids. Their daughter, who now goes to Lower Manhattan Community Middle School, attended P.S. 234 and their son is currently a student there. “We very much set ourselves to be part of this community,” Roodman said in a phone interview last week. In April, when they received their renewal notice for their rent, it was raised 28 percent, he said. “Suffice to say we were shocked,” he said. “What is this all about — how can you just raise it 28 percent. They went from $7,200 to $9,500 — just like that, bang.” Attorney Serge Joseph, who has litigated two cases on 421-g, said the vacancy decontrol that usually kicks in when rents get too high, does not apply to this Lower Manhattan law. Tafrate retained Joseph after reading his blog. He brought up 421-g with his building’s manager and “three days later they sued [us] in New York Supreme Court,” he said. Kibel owns 85 John St. and 90 West St. as well as other properties. Sherwin Belkin, Kibel’s attorney, did not say whether the apartments were rent stabilized, in an email to Downtown Express. He said, “90 West St. is fully compliant with the existing state and city laws, and our units reflect the pricing of the Lower Manhattan rental market. We are committed to
providing the best possible value to our residents.” Roodman has been organizing the tenants at 85 John St. “Since this has happened, we’ve galvanized a lot of people in the building here and a few others,” he said. The Journal reported that at least 32 buildings — over 5,000 apartments — are under the 421-g program. People from those buildings have been contacting Roodman. “I’m prepared to fight,” West said at the meeting. Joseph spoke after West and told those gathered, “The statute is very clear and unambiguous.” The only exception is if the building is a cooperative or a condo, he said. Records from the Department of Finance shows that Kibel is receiving $351,617.42 residential conversion abatement for 90 West. Joseph was the lawyer in a 2009 case in which a tenant at 37 Wall St. stopped paying his rent due to what he said were adverse conditions in the apartment, including mice. The landlord sued him, but a judge ruled that the building was receiving the tax abatement and thus the apartment was subject to rent stabilization. In 2010, Downtown Express reported that over 5,000 apartments could be rent stabilized in Lower Manhattan, but not many tenants took advantage. More recently, on May 20, a New York State Supreme Court judge affirmed the earlier decision. If a land-
Downtown Express photo by Dusica Sue Malesevic
90 West St. tenants met Monday to talk about winning rent protections based on a law that only applies to Lower Manhattan.
lord is receiving the tax abatement, its units are subject to rent stabilization. There four benefits when you have rent stabilized apartment, Joseph explained. A tenant has the right to renew their lease, will know what the increase is as it is set by the Rent Guidelines Board, the right not to be evicted except for very specific grounds and the right to succession to a family member, he said. On June 29, the Rent Guidelines Board voted for a rent freeze for the first time in its history. There is no increase for a one-year lease and a two percent increase for a two-year lease. Joseph suggested a multi-plaintiff case to the tenants gathered as it is both cost effective and “sends a fairly
loud strong message to a judge.” The landlord cannot retaliate against you for exercising your rights, Joseph told them. “This is a community wide issue,” said Paul Newell, Democratic District Leader, who attended the 90 West meeting. “We have an opportunity here to dramatically change the neighborhood’s character for the better. Community Board 1 member Tom Goodkind, for half a decade now, has been working with Joseph to spread the word about 421-g and rent stabilization. “You’re all here — that’s incredible,” said Goodkind. “I’m really blown away. You’re neighbors — we want to keep you as neighbors.”
TRANSIT SAM ALTERNATE SIDE PARKING RULES ARE SUSPENDED FRIDAY AND SATURDAY FOR THE FOURTH OF JULY Happy Independence Day! With July 4th on Saturday and most workplaces taking the holiday on Friday, the big getaway will be Thursday afternoon, but don’t be surprised if you see a surge Wednesday afternoon as well. Expect a crunch at every bridge and tunnel out of Lower Manhattan. The F.D.R. and West St. will be jammed with drivers heading to the Holland and Battery tunnels as well as East River bridges. On Sunday evening, drivers will take the Holland and Battery back into the city, as well as the Brooklyn, Manhattan and Williamsburg bridges. Fireworks over the East River this Fourth! In addition to the entire Brooklyn Bridge, the Macy’s show will close streets in Manhattan and Brooklyn near the river on Saturday afternoon into the evening. In Manhattan, the F.D.R. will close between the Battery Park Underpass and Houston St. beginning around 4 p.m. Streets in the area
bounded by Grand St., the Brooklyn Bridge, the F.D.R., and East Broadway will gradually close, beginning with the streets closest to the river. This means more traffic on the avenues west of First and on the West Side Highway. The Manhattan Bridge will stay open in both directions during the fireworks, but beware that traffic will be very slow. Not only will all the Brooklyn Bridge traffic divert to the Manhattan, but drivers will slow down to get a view of the fireworks. Avoid driving between Brooklyn and Manhattan during the show. Additionally, the pedestrian and bike paths on the Manhattan Bridge will close. Both meter and alternate side parking rules are suspended Friday and Saturday. Signs that say “No parking” or “No standing” on certain days, in this case Friday and Saturday, are also suspended. Signs with the word “anytime” are still in effect. On West St./Route 9A, one southbound lane will close between Vesey and West Thames Sts. 10 a.m. to noon Thursday.
A 4th of July pig roast will close Cliff St. between John and Fulton Sts. 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday. The Community Board 1 Summer Fair on Fulton will close Fulton St. between Water St. and Gold St. 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday.
Have a question about a parking ticket, traffic rules, public transportation, or street cleaning rules? If so, send me an e-mail to TransitSam@ downtownexpress.com or write to Transit Sam, 322 Eighth Ave.5th Floor, New York, N.Y. 10001.
Sign up for our weekly email blasts at downtownexpress.com, follow us on Twitter and friend us on Facebook. Read the blotter & Transit Sam every week at downtownexpress.com.
Cops crack down on vendors targeting tourists B Y DUSICA SU E M A L E SE V IC Competition for tourists is so fierce near the Whitehall Ferry Terminal in the Financial District that rivalries have developed between ticket sellers, police say. “These sightseeing tickets-tours salesmen prey on tourists,” Captain Mark Iocco, the First Precinct’s commander, said last week. “They’re becoming a huge problem.” At the end of May, the New York Post reported that two tourists were bamboozled out of $400 for two tickets to the Staten Island ferry, which is free. The precinct has stepped up its enforcement of the area, stationing additional cops at the terminal and by Battery Park, now known as The Battery, he said at precinct’s community council meeting June 25.
July 2-July 15, 2015
In addition to the beefed up patrols, plainclothes cops — dressed like tourists with hats and cameras — are also stationed there. The plainclothes are trying to get close enough to listen in on conversations between the hawkers and the tourists — trying to see if there is some kind of fraudulent ticket being sold, said Iocco. “These guys get very very aggressive,” he said. “They’re telling [the tourists] anything to sell them something.” He said police officers have also been reassigned from Soho to that area. The precinct is employing its scooter task force to drive up and down near the sellers to get them off their game a bit, said Iocco. The hawkers have a system, he said, communicating by radio when they see the police com-
ing and then moving to another spot. On a bright day this week, there were numerous ticket sellers conversing with tourists on the plaza near the ferry terminal. Touts shouted “Statue of Liberty, guys?” and “helicopter ride.” There were several uniforms on display — beige, light blue shortsleeved shirts, deep red and blue jackets as well as long-sleeved white shirts with lettering. Some sported green Statue of Liberty crowns while they talked to tourists in Spanish and English. One ticket seller lamented the “one bad apple” — the hawker who sold expensive tickets for the free ferry — as ruining the business for others. “Tourists look at us like scam artists,” he said. The hawker, who identified himself as Rico Rodriguez, wore a
beige shirt that had “Tourism Inc.” and “sightseeing” on it. He said he’s now careful to avoid selling in the park or on Dept. of Transportation property like the ferry terminal. Iocco has met with the Downtown Alliance and the Battery Park City Authority about this issue and is looking to start a campaign for tourists — some sort of signs or handouts in several different languages — to alert them. The police have been making a lot of arrests as well as issuing summons for trespassing — ticket sellers are not allowed to vend on Parks Dept. or Dept. of Transportation property, said Iocco. But so far it has been ineffective. “They get thrown out. They go to court,” he said. “They’re back the next day.” DowntownExpress.com
July 2-July 15, 2015
New Tattoo Museum is creating some buzz BY DU SI CA SU E M A L E S E V IC representing tattoo history in New York City. We’re Tattooing may now be ubiquitous, but how well do really excited to be able to represent that.” people know its history? In 1859, Martin Hildebrandt opened a permanent tatHere’s a pop quiz. Pick out the false statement: too parlor in Chatham Square, not too far from Division A. Tattooing has never been illegal in New York City. St. He, in turn, taught Samuel O’Reilly, who in 1891 B. Thomas Edison has no connection with the ink art. patented the first electric tattoo machine based on Thomas C. Permanent tattoo shops began in the 1900s. Edison’s electric engraving pen design. If you knew all were false, bravo. If not, Fink has one of the Thomas Edison pens — but maybe you should pay a visit to a new free museit isn’t at Daredevil yet. Myles said they have started um that is highlighting the skin art’s roots. a Kickstarter campaign to bring the pen to the U A RO N D In 1997, when tattooing was made legal shop, as well as finish up the last details for the again in New York City, Michelle Myles and museum. Brad Fink opened Daredevil Tattoo on Ludlow Earlier this month, Daredevil offered a sneak St. It’s now located at 141 Division St. peek of the museum and launched the campaign to “My business partner Brad has been collecting raise their goal of $30,000. tattoo stuff for as long as he has been tattooing, which is “It was over-the-top really good,” Myles said of the about 27 years,” Myles said. “It’s a tremendous collection event. “Everybody was so positive and so supportive of the and so far, all this time, it’s just been hidden in his house.” whole idea of the museum.” With the new, bigger space on Division St., both of The donations will go toward various essentials, them decided it was time to display the artifacts, and the including getting Plexiglas for the display cases. Myles said Daredevil Tattoo Museum was born. that just to hang a neon sign outside Daredevil would cost “We didn’t have that opportunity before to ever con- thousands of dollars. sider something like that in our old space,” Myles said in Also, necessary is a new heating/air conditioner unit a phone interview. to keep the shop climate controlled for the artifacts. Six huge display cases house their favorite things in Daredevil’s current unit is “on life support,” said Myles. Fink’s collection, especially those that illuminate tattooThe pieces in the collection are very delicate, she ing’s history in the city. explained. “That’s what we’re most excited to represent in the “Most of the stuff, when it was painted, it wasn’t collection — mostly because of where we’re actually considered art,” she said. “Some of the stuff was located,” explained Myles. “We’re in the area where made on discarded whatever they could find. We the old tattooers used to work. There isn’t anybody have some of the [tattoo] sheets that are actually
BY ALI CI A GREEN Hundreds of thousands lined Fifth Ave. and clogged Village sidewalks for June 28’s Heritage of Pride March — always an occasion for solidary and celebration, but especially this year, having taken place just two days after the landmark Supreme Court ruling in favor of same-sex marriage. Here’s what a few had to say:
BETH AND CATHERINE
DAR R E N AN D T OM
Photo courtesy of Daredevil Tattoo
An original Thomas Edison engraving pen, owned by Daredevil Tattoo Museum’s Brad Fink.
painted on window shades.” The collection also has two sheets of artwork from O’Reilly. “I’ve never ever seen his work published anywhere, so to have two original sheets from O’Reilly in the shop is amazing,” Myles said. O’Reilly ended up teaching Charlie Wagner, who patented the first American twin-coil tattoo machine in 1901. Myles and Fink have been doing archival research, going to the library and looking through old city directories, to create a map of all the old tattooers who used to work in the Chatham Square/Bowery area — considered to be the birthplace of modern tattooing in America.
STONEYCREEKCREMATION.COM Stoney Creek Cremation & Burial Society is an alternative to costly funeral home and cemetery services and merchandise, allowing us to leave a more meaningful, healthier, greener society to those we leave behind. Join our Society today and know you have chosen to leave a footprint for the future. For those wishing to preplan their final contribution to society, if paid in full today we will include the cost of the crematory. ($995 Society’s Service Fee)
Acting as a for profit organization. Crematory fee is not included, death certificates and disposition permits not included in service fee.
ders]. It’s so fluid now. So I think the idea of what’s modern and being called gay is a lot more fluid and larger than how we knew it when we were much younger. It’s very exciting to see such a dynamic shift and to be a part of that just by living in this world as it is now.
BRI AN AND ADAM
3024 QUENTIN ROAD • BROOKLYN NY
July 2-July 15, 2015
Sound bites of joy at Pride March
Downtown Express photos by Alicia Green
Identifies as a transsexual female Q: Where were you when the 19 Supreme Court announced its decision? Q: How do you feel about the A: Probably sleeping in bed. I didn’t Supreme Court’s decision? find out until I went on Facebook ADAM: Now that we are parents, ‘cause I don’t have a TV. it means that our son (Milo, 2 ½) will Q: What was your reaction? grow up with a greater feeling of the A: I think it’s about time they legitimacy of his family, and we will stepped up. I mean we’re in 2015. feel better about traveling to other People are getting married. People states. just want to be happy. We should be BRIAN: Our parents are in Texas, able to marry who we want to. As a and Texas not being one of the states transsexual, I should be able to marry where you could previouswho I want to. And the thing ly be married…we were so is people think that there are U A RO N D concerned just about basic [only] heterosexual transsexurights and being able to be als. There’s homosexual transtogether in a car from point sexuals too. A to point B and not getQ: And what is a homosexuting pulled over — or what if al transsexual? something happened that put either A: [Someone who] likes…other of us in a hospital? So now that we transgenders or, likes woman or man, have the thousand-plus rights, any depending on how trans they are. other city we want to go to we’d be Q: What are some other concerns protected. that need to be addressed for the Q: What do you think this means L.G.B.T. community now that marfor the modern gay rights movement? riage equality is possible? ADAM: I think the struggle is not A: Now that marriage equality is over, but the focus can now change a possible and queens can get married, little bit. It’s important for everyone now they need to get back to the transto remember how much effort it took gender reality. The fact that we don’t from so many different people to get have rights. The fact that because we to where we are. look different and we sound different BRIAN: And I’m not sure it’s we’re not allowed to go to the proper considered a modern gay movement bathroom, which now they’re making anymore because I think of queer gender-neutral bathrooms. But they culture and really the larger rainbow need to get back on that [and] then including [bisexuals and transgen- they need to get back on education. Married for 3 years, together for
Q: How long have you two been together? CATHERINE: 12 years. BETH: 13. CATHERINE: Oh! 13. There you go. Typical married answer. One gets it right, one doesn’t [laughs]. Q: How long have you been married? BETH: We got married this past March. It was cool. We did become domestic partners in 2004 when it became legal to do that. CATHERINE: In New Jersey. So we were the first couple in our town of Jersey City to become the first domestic partners in 2004. Q: How do you feel about the Supreme Court ruling? CATHERINE: Before that, we would always try to explain to people that although we were domestic partners and even once we were married, it’s great when we’re in our own state — but once we travel, we are just two friends in a car. God forbid if anything should happen, we would have to rely on whoever happened to help us, if they were an ally or not. And now that’s not the case. Now we have the same rights as every other married couple and burdens, and we pay the same taxes so I think that legally it’s a long time coming. We’re very happy about it. BETH: I don’t think that people realize that the young gay people couldn’t dream about their marriage ceremony. A lot of young ladies always dream about their big wedding. I think probably girls more than guys. But to actually think that they can have that dreaming when they’re young because they know that they can do it anywhere they want across this country…I think that’s great.
Together 39 years, married for 7 Q: What was your initial reaction to the Supreme Court ruling? TOM: Shock and overjoyed. It just all of a sudden hit you like a brick wall that it happened. We’re there. DARREN: I cried. It has been a long, long battle that we fought so long to have our families respected and to have our relationships respected. So many people have been working so long, so hard. It was just the culmination of that incredible fight that so many people have done. Q: Did you face any challenges when you wanted to get married? DARREN: The ironic thing for us is we both came from performing backgrounds. We had a lot of straight friends. We’ve had very little problems. And we’ve lived either in Los Angeles or New York so we lived in two very liberal cities. TOM: So our problems were few. What affected us most was when the AIDS crisis started and then we ended up losing so many friends. That was our big turmoil that we had to face and deal with. DARREN: We’ve talked this weekend how much we think of them, especially having had conversations ten years ago with friends that said marriage would never happen. We certainly have thought of them and how much this means. And in a very strange way with the funeral [of Rev. Clementa Pinckney in Charleston] this Friday, it just shows us how much work we have Continued on page 22
July 2-July 15, 2015
The X-Men & other superheroes for gay marriage PUBLISHER
Jennifer Goodstein EDITOR
Josh Rogers REPORTER
Dusica Sue Malesevic ARTS EDITOR
Scott Stiffler EXECUTIVE VP OF ADVERTISING
Jack Agliata Allison Greaker Jennifer Holland Jim Steele Julio Tumbaco ART DIRECTOR
Michael Shirey GRAPHIC DESIGNERS
Andrew Gooss Chris Ortiz WEB MASTER
Downtown Express photo by Donna Aceto
Troy Masters PHOTOGRAPHERS
Milo Hess Jefferson Siegel PUBLISHER EMERITUS
John W. Sutter
NYC COMMUNITY MEDIA, LLC ONE METROTECH CENTER NEW YORK, NY 11201 PHONE: (212) 229-1890 FAX: (212) 229-2790 WWW.DOWNTOWNEXPRESS.COM NEWS@DOWNTOWNEXPRESS.COM Downtown Express is published every week by NYC Community Media LLC, One Metrotech Center North, 10th Floor, Brooklyn, N.Y. 11201 (212) 229-1890. The entire contents of the newspaper, including advertising, are copyrighted and no part may be reproduced without the express permission of the publisher - © 2015 Community Media LLC. PUBLISHER’S LIABILITY FOR ERROR The Publisher shall not be liable for slight changes or typographical errors that do not lessen the value of an advertisement. The publisher’s liability for other errors or omissions in connection with an advertisement is strictly limited to publication of the advertisement in any subsequent issue.
Member of the New York Press Association Member of the National Newspaper Association
© 2015 Community Media, LLC
July 2-July 15, 2015
New York’s winners Joseph Vitale, left, Robert Talmas and their son Cooper were three of the honored participants in this year’s Gay Pride March Sunday. They were the only New York City plaintiffs in last week’s landmark Supreme Court decision legalizing same sex marriage in every state. Cooper was born in Ohio two years ago, and the state refused to put both of his fathers’ names on his birth certificate.
Posted To Reactions to the new 2 W.T.C & video (POSTED, June 18): On the Charlie Rose Show, Ingels mentioned a fireman’s brother who emailed him stating that the building invoked the heroic stair climb of the rescue workers on 9/11. That was me. I like this building; it’s a break from recent NYC architecture as was the WTC. So it commemorates the WTC in that way. And it incorporates into the skyline a homage to the rescue workers of 9/11 and they earned that. A relief as compared to the idiot years-long battle we had to wage to have them even acknowledged by the billion dollar, eight acre memorial. And the
BY LENORE SKENAZY Superman helped America find its fighting spirit. Captain America did his white male, square-jawed, hetero-normative bit, too. But it was the next generation of superheroes — the mutants — who made us the more tolerant, more feminist, more mutli-culti America we are today — and maybe even gave us gay marriage. Yes, that’s quite a Bruce Wayne-like leap, but comic-book authority Ramzi Fawaz makes it gracefully in his book to be published this fall, “The New Mutants: Superheroes and the Radical Imagination of American Comics.” His premise is this: When the first superheroes appeared in comic books in the late 1930s, they were drawn by second-generation immigrants — usually New York Jewish guys who wanted to fit in and, while they were at it, beat the heck out of Hitler. After World War II was won, however, comic books went into a bit of a slump. Not only was there no Fuhrer left to fight, Fawaz says, “But there was the creation of the atomic bomb. How can a superhero compete against that?” The masked men and their creators were starting to sag like old tights. By the ’50s, comic books were filled with crime and horror, and the House Un-American Activities Committee — the folks generally focused on ferreting out Communists — believed that comics were creating juvenile delinquents. (Just like some folks believe that about video games today.) Comics were in the
Continued from page 18
building pays respect to the sacred history of the site; the memorial was chosen specifically because it disposes of it. Hopefully it will be built as is. Handsome I find this nihilistic design arrogant to 9/11, to what the WTC represents, and a symbol of the naïve, young-architect pretense that modernism has become. Novelty form making is not good architecture. This design is undignified and a disgrace. Abstraction and facetiousness have no place on hollowed ground or the center of world commerce. Frank
Seaport tower will be downsized & city admits to mistake at historic buildings (POSTED, June 18): If the building they wish to construct is no taller than 12 stories, then that’s fine with me. That will fit in with the entire Seaport height restrictions. Warren Green I will ask one more time. WHERE is a REAL plan from anybody that provides all the money to get all the goodies they are asking for WITHOUT a tower from HHC? Seriously folks. In order for them to provide the Affordable Housing, SSS museum support, Tin Continued on page 19
Building reconstruction, new SCHOOL, Community Space and Rebuilt Pier, they must be given something in return that justifies this kind of investment. It sounds like nothing will ever satisfy these people so they should just be OK with demolishing both buildings and simply extending the esplanade. NO TOWER but also NO school, NO Affordable Housing, NO Tin Building, NO Community space, NO Museum Support. If a 12-story building justifies the investment, that’s great, but we all know it won’t. Just be honest folks. And don’t expect the city to pay for the pier. That money should be spent on school construction in our fast growing community. DTNYC DowntownExpress.com
cultural crosshairs. This could be the end. But then, like the plot of almost every Marvel masterpiece, the industry came fighting back! It did it by resuscitating the one thing that could save it: The superhero genre. Now no one could accuse the com-
rays that turn them into freaks. Very symbolic freaks. There’s Ben Grimm, who becomes a human rock called The Thing. And yet, while embodying the traditional male ideal – he’s a rock, after all — he is “extremely emotionally vulnerable,” says Fawaz. “He weeps over his state. He leaves the team at different times because he feels he does not belong.” He’s not your father’s Superman. Then there’s Reed Richards, the super-straight, even rigid, scientist. “He works for the government, he’s
‘Ever since the superheroes started mutating it has been like the feminists meet the civil rights workers meet the anti-war activists meet the L.G.B.T. crowd…’ ics of being un-American anymore, because superheroes have always been as American as truth, justice and, well, you get the idea. Except this time, says Fawaz, the heroes came back with a subversive twist — as mutants. What kind? Every kind, representing every new idea taking root in American society, says Fawaz. Take the Fantastic Four. The gang starts out as friends who go on an unauthorized rocket ship trip – “a sort of space race thing,” Fawaz says – but they’re bombarded by cosmic
the breadwinner of the family, and the patriarch,” says Fawaz. “But what happens to him physically is he becomes extremely stretchy, elastic.” Now he’s flexible in every sense of the word. For her part, Sue, the one and only female, becomes invisible — a sort of cosmic comic metaphor for the invisibility of women, Fawaz believes. And yet, she can use that power to her advantage, and what was a weakness becomes a strength. Hear her roar! And finally there’s Johnny Storm,
I am really getting tired of the preservationists - we should rename them the obstructionists. They won’t rest until they delay development for ten years - my children will have to see rotting piers and rat infested vacant buildings - for what - I do not believe the CB1 leaders represent the community - I went to one of the meetings on Tuesday 16th and the turnout was pathetic. They offer no solutions. Just not fair that we have an extremely generous developer willing to work with the community and we consistently thwart any effort to compromise. I do not want the seaport to be like it was ten or twenty years ago it was terrible then and is obviously worse now. Please do what is best for the community. See what is being done in DUMBO and in Battery Park City. Let’s get
together and do what it best for the community. Fidiparent Vehicular traffic, pedestrian/sidewalks, subway and garbage will be a nightmare with a new Seaport high rise plus nearby development in progress, for example, two sites on Fulton Street, the hotel (?) on Beekman and Pace building on William St. The development on these small, narrow streets over the past five years has been unbelievable. The garbage already blocks the sidewalk on William Street, you can hardly walk on the sidewalk when the Gehry building trash is out. The number of taxis and Uber cars has exploded with new hotels and luxury hotels. There are days when fire trucks can’t get
a.k.a. the Human Torch — a teen who turns to flame, just because…teens turn to flame. And maybe because people were starting to set themselves on fire to protest injustice. Look, not everything is a perfect allegory. After the Fantastic Four, the X-Men comics were reintroduced not as the five suburban white kids they’d started out as, but a gaggle of multi-cultural mutants including Wolverine, Nightcrawler, Colossus, Phoenix and perhaps most powerfully Storm — an African-American goddess who controls the weather, saves the world and, according to Fawaz, also embodies a whole lot of the disco aesthetic: glitzy, gay-friendly, fabulous. All these character are outcasts who are stronger thanks to their “flaws,” and undefeatable once they find, accept and join each other. So while they didn’t explicitly fight for gay marriage — at least not in the ’60s and ’70s, when they first got off the ground — ever since the superheroes started mutating it has been like the feminists meet the civil rights workers meet the anti-war activists meet the L.G.B.T. crowd, and together they can change the world. And considering their REAL superpower — inserting new ideas into the public mind under the guise of fun — maybe they did change the world after all. Lenore Skenazy is a keynote speaker and author and founder of the book and blog Free-Range Kids.
through. The narrow platform on the Fulton 2/3 is an accident waiting to happen. Etc. Unfettered development ignoring common sense and infrastructure needs is disastrous. Lisa Lets call it like it is; it is all about people losing their views!! I have lived here for most of my life, raised my children here as well. When the Gehry building was built (and it is an eyesore that I have to see every day), no one complained, no action was taken. I for one am happy so far with what the HHC has done with the seaport. It is lively and bustling and I take full advantage of all it has to offer this summer. Downtowner July 2-July 15, 2015
He’s OK, I’m not: Kindergarten worries after graduation B Y VICTOR I A G RA N T H A M We were in P.S. 234’s cavernous cafeteria sitting at a long lunch table with a bunch of other families waiting for kindergarten orientation to begin, when I noticed the little boy sitting across from us was crying. The child was telling his mother he was worried about leaving his preschool and his pals there behind. “Maybe I won’t make new friends,” he said through tears. I butted into their conversation and introduced him to my son who muttered a tentative hello. “All the five-year-olds are probably feeling the same way,” I said. “I’m four,” he clarified. Oh. What I didn’t say was that even some of the parents were also feeling wistful and anxious. OK, at least one of the parents…me. Shortly after we’d gotten the acceptance/confirmation letter from P.S. 234 in Tribeca I’d sent a note to parents of my son’s pre-K classmates to see if anyone else would be heading there. Some replied that their kids were going to Spruce Street School, a couple to gifted and talented programs and several to private schools, but not one was P.S. 234-bound. After three years I finally had a handle on who’s who and what’s what. My son’s pre-K class was a cast of characters. There were a couple of alpha boys, a handful who gravitated frequently to pretend play donning cop and princess costumes and some early readers already confident with their pencils and crayons. The parents were also a good
LIFE DOWNTOWN mix — there was “The Mayor,” an ultra-connector who knows everyone and always has the latest info on classroom happenings; the “Super Mom,” who juggles it all with ease; several amazing parents raising their kids solo; a couple of families who have transitioned from life abroad. Now we have to change. I’m not a big fan of transitions. We’ve been in our apartment for more than a dozen years, and I’ve held the same job for nearly a decade. I get attached, sentimental and change-averse. Who are these other parents? Will we click with them? Oh right, we’re talking about the kids here. The school administrator at the orientation broke us into groups and told us where to go — kids to classrooms to meet teachers and other students, and parents to the auditorium. My son went willingly — if tentatively — into the room full of strangers. He didn’t complain when we walked away. In the auditorium, the principal talked about how letting go is typically harder for the parents than the kids. (Maybe it’s not just me.) She cautioned us against stalking our kids on the playground. She talked about the class projects, the buddy setup, and mentioned the afterschool program through the community center, which has amazing options like Taekwondo, French, swimming and cooking. By
the time we reunited with our son, I was feeling more at ease. So was he, it seemed, judging by the way he was laughing alongside his peers during story time. We’ve hatched a plan with the parents from my son’s pre-K class. My husband arranged a last hurrah soccer class for all the kids, and we’re going to reunite at his preschool’s “Family Table” program during the new school year. So, we’ve done what we can to maintain bonds with old friends, but what about building connections with new ones? One of the dads at orientation asked about arranging playdates before school starts. I was wondering the same thing, but the school won’t facilitate them prior to September, so I took matters into my own hands and posted on the Hudson River Park mamas board to try to find moms of soon-to-be kindergartners at P.S. 234. I was able to coordinate a quick playdate with one. We met in the park and let the kids run around while we chatted on a blanket. She was great — much better than I even hoped as we had a lot in common and she seemed like someone I’d want to be friends with regardless of the kid connection. Our tots, however, had a couple of disputes during our two hours together, so not an immediate love connection. Meanwhile, pre-K graduation came last week. My husband asked who we should invite. “We only have eight tickets?” Only EIGHT tickets?? (Apparently, I’m not the only sentimen-
Activities JULY 2-JULY 15, 2015 LONG-RUNNING ART TIME: Nelson A Rockefeller Park, Battery Park City; (212) 267–9700; bpcparks.org; Thursdays, 10:30 am– noon; Free. Young artists are introduced to paper, clay, paint and other supplies. A student’s pre-k invitation.
tal one.) I reminded him it was the very first of (hopefully) many graduations, so not every family member needs — or will want — to attend. He begrudgingly agreed and said we’d schedule a celebratory lunch with all instead. My son started practicing his graduation song using his brother as audience/fawning fan while I surreptitiously shot video. He belted out: “All that I am, all that I see, all that I’ve been and all I’ll ever be is a blessing, it’s amazing and I’m grateful for it all.” The sweet lyrics made me put my plans and anxiety to the side for a while and inspired me to find and reflect on a feeling of gratitude — for old friends and new, for the path behind and the one ahead. Like the song says, I’m grateful for it all. Victoria Grantham, a writer and communications professional, is raising her family in Tribeca.
Hearing on Tribeca’s proposed Pier 26 restaurant BY LINC O L N A N D E RSO N In accordance with the Hudson River Park Trust Act, the Hudson River Park Trust will hold a public hearing on a proposed lease for a restaurant at Pier 26, at N. Moore St. in Tribeca, between the Trust and City Vineyards and Wine Garden, LLC. The public hearing will be held Tues., July 7 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.at Manhattan Youth Community Center, 120 Warren St., between West and Greenwich Sts. The public will be invited to address the proposed 10-year lease, with an option to renew for a maximum 15-year lease.
July 2-July 15, 2015
In addition, the public comment period, which started on June 5, goes until Aug. 5, offering people the opportunity to send written comments. Comments may be sent by regular mail to: Bill Heinzen, Hudson River Park Trust, Pier 40, 2nd Floor, 353 West St., New York, NY 10014, or by e-mail to Pier26RestaurantComments@hrpt. ny.gov. The proposed lease can be found on the Trust’s Web site, hudsonriverpark.org. Early last month, the Trust announced that it had chosen Michael Dorf, founder and C.E.O. of City Winery, to operate a
full-service restaurant, to be called City Vineyard, on Pier 26. Dorf has four City Winery locations nationally and formerly ran the Knitting Factory, the well-known Tribeca music venue, before open City Winery — featuring music, wine and cheese — on Varick St. Plans are for the glass-enclosed restaurant to include both indoor and outdoor dining space. The design plan includes a 3,000-square-foot interior, 3,200 square feet of pier-level seating and a 4,400-square-foot rooftop terrace. The restaurant is expected to open in May 2016. “Michael is a longtime neigh-
bor and fan of the park, so we’re thrilled that he’ll be running our largest restaurant,” Madelyn Wils, the Trust’s C.E.O. and president, said in a statement. “With spectacular views and fresh local ingredients, City Vineyard will be a fantastic addition to the city’s culinary scene.” Dorf, in a statement, said the new eatery will be just “di-vine.” “I plan on creating a respite from urban living with the unique feel of being at a vineyard,” he said. “Unlike City Winery, our focus at City Vineyard will not be on live music — the vines will take center stage.” DowntownExpress.com
ACCESSIBLE ARTS INITIATIVE: Children’s Museum of the Arts, 103 Charlton St. at Hudson Street; (212) 274–0986; cmany.org; Mondays and Wednesdays, Noon–5 pm, Thursdays and Fridays, Noon–6 pm, Saturdays and Sundays, 10 am – 5 pm; Free. The museum is beginning a pilot year of the program which will enable any child with a disability and their caregiver, admission to programs in exchange for feedback to help strengthen museum wide programs. The initiative is aimed at making the museum more accessible for all children including special needs children. Registration is required. ART AND GAMES: Nelson A. Rockefeller Park, Battery Park City; bpcparks.org/event; Thursdays, 3:30–5:30 pm; Free. Create a fun project, make friends and play games. For children 5 years and older. EL GALEON - TALL SHIP: Pier 15, South Street Seaport Esplanade; hornblower.ticketmob.com/event. cfm?id=99764; Saturday, July 4, 9 am; Sunday, July 5, 9 am; Monday, July 6, 9 am; Tuesday, July 7, 9 am; Wednesday, July 8, 9 am; Thursday, July 9, 9 am; Friday, July 10, 9 am; Saturday, July 11, 9 am; Sunday, July 12, 9 am; $15 ($45 family). For one exciting week, come aboard and tour this magnificent Spanish galleon, from the upper deck to the crew’s quarters, live the life of a buccaneer.
ART AND PLAY: Robert F. Wagner Park, Battery Park City; (212) 267–9700; bpcparks.org; Mondays – Wednesdays, 10 am–noon; Free. Preschoolers drop-in and play with other toddlers, in this interactive play time on the grassy lawn. Sing and hear stories too. BASKETBALL CLINIC: Nelson A. Rockefeller Park, Battery Park City; bpcparks.org/event; Mondays, 3:30–5:30 pm, Now – Mon, Oct. 26; Free. Staffers teach children of all ages the basics of the sport. No classes May 25, September 7 and October 12. HUDSON RIVER OUTPOST: Hudson River Park, Pier 25 at North Moore Street; (212) 274–0986; cmany. org; Tuesdays, 1 pm to 2:30 pm, Tues, July 7 – Tues, Aug. 25; Free. Hosted by the museum and Hudson River Park Trust, families explore the environment of the Hudson through art workshops. No registration required. Weather permitting. SOCCER CLINIC: Nelson A. Rockefeller Park, Battery Park City; bpcparks.org; Tuesdays, 2:30– 3:15 pm; 3:30–4:15 pm and 4:30–5:30 pm, Now – Tues, Oct. 27; Free. Children learn the fundamentals of the game and pre-schoolers have fun kicking, running and being part of a team. Drop in. For ages 3 to 11 years old. YOUNG SPROUTS GARDENING: Nelson A Rockefeller Park (Children’s Garden), Battery Park City; (212) 267–9700; http;//www.bpcparks.org; Tuesdays, 3:15 – 3:45 pm,; Free. Little ones 3 to 5 years old learn about simple gardening projects. Space limited first come, first served.
THURS, JULY 9
PLAYTIME: Teardrop Park, Battery Park City; bpcparks.org; Wednesdays, 3:30–5:30 pm; Free. Staffers teach children the value of play and create fun projects in drawing, sculpting and murals. For children 5 and older.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY FRIDA KAHLO: 10 am–4 pm. Children’s Museum of the Arts. See Monday, July 6.
FRI, JULY 10 HAPPY BIRTHDAY FRIDA KAHLO: 10 am–4 pm. Children’s Museum of the Arts. See Monday, July 6.
THURS, JULY 2 VOYAGE OF L’HERMIONE: Pier 15, South Street Seaport Esplanade; hermione2015.com/voyage2015/new-york; 9 am– 4 pm; visit website. Tour the 18th century tall ship.
SAT, JULY 11 HAPPY BIRTHDAY FRIDA KAHLO: 10 am–4 pm. Children’s Museum of the Arts. See Monday, July 6.
FRI, JULY 3 SUN, JULY 12
VOYAGE OF L’HERMIONE: 9 am – 4 pm. Pier 15. See Thursday, July 2.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY FRIDA KAHLO: 10 am–4 pm. Children’s Museum of the Arts. See Monday, July 6.
SAT, JULY 4 VOYAGE OF L’HERMIONE: 9 am –4 pm. Pier 15. See Thursday, July 2.
MON, JULY 13 BASTILLE DAY: Children’s Museum of the Arts, 103 Charlton St. at Hudson Street; (212) 274–0986; cmany.org; Noon–5pm; $12 (Free for children under 1). Learn all about French culture and artists throughout the museum. Then visit the Fine Arts studio to create miniature models of French landmarks out of recycled materials.
MACY’S FOURTH OF JULY FIREWORKS: South Street Seaport, Fulton and Water streets; 9 pm; Free. The Seaport district will be a viewing location for the annual firework display.
MON, JULY 6 HAPPY BIRTHDAY FRIDA KAHLO: Children’s Museum of the Arts, 103 Charlton St. at Hudson Street; (212) 274–0986; cmany.org; 10 am–4 pm; $12 (Free for children under 1). Children celebrate the famed Mexican artist by expressing their artistic abilities with mixed media.
DROP-IN ART WORKSHOP: 1 pm to 4 pm. The Jewish Museum. See Monday, July 6.
WED, JULY 15
Play, Learn, New Park, Friends! MIND FLIP Make DUO: Seward East
WED, JULY 8
GIZMO GUYS: Seward Park, E. Broadway and Essex St.; cityparksfoundation.org; 10:30 am; Free. Play, Juggling, music, and fun.
Classes - Indoor Playspace
Broadway and Essex Street; Salon - Birthday Parties - Boutique cityparksfoundation.org; 10:30 am; Free. Learn, Make New Acrobatics to the beatFriends! of the music. Classes - Indoor Playspace
!sdneirF weN eSalon kaM- Birthday ,nraeLParties ,yalP- Boutique ecapsyalP roodnI - sessalC euqituoB - seitraP yadhtriB - nolaS
Play,Learn, Learn,Make MakeNew NewFriends! Friends! Play, Classes - Indoor Playspace Classes - Indoor Playspace Salon - Birthday Parties - Boutique Salon - Birthday Parties - Boutique
Play, Learn, Make New Friends! Classes - Indoor Playspace Salon - Birthday Parties - Boutique
Receive $10 off your next haircut! (Mention Downtown Manhattan Guide!)
Play, Learn,Receive $10 off your next haircut! New Friends! ffo 01$ eviecMake eR
KIDVILLE DISTRICT !tucriah txen rClasses uoy • Indoor FINANCIAL Playspace • Salon Manhattan Guide!) (Mention Downtown
ARTS ISLAND OUTPOST: Governors Island, Outside bldg. 14 in Nolan Park; (212) 274–0986; cmany.org; Saturdays and Sundays,11 am–3 pm, Now – Sun, Sept. 27; Free. Enjoy a day out with art workshops, and fun projects. Hosted by the Children’s Museum of the Arts. DowntownExpress.com
DROP IN CHESS: Nelson A. Rockefeller Park, Battery Park City; bpcparks.org/event; Wednesdays, 3:30–5 pm, Now – Wed, Sept. 30; Free. Players of every level practice, learn and hone up on skills. For children 5 to 15 years old.
nwotnwoD noitneM( )!ediuG nattahnaM
40 Gold Street (Between Fulton and John) 212.566.2020 Learn more at kidville.com/fidi
Birthday Parties • Boutique
Receive$10 $10off off KIDVILLE FINANCIAL DISTRICT Receive 40 Gold ! Street (Between Fulton and John) your next haircut your TCInext RTSIDhaircut LAICN!A NIF ELL212.566.2020 IVDIK (Mention Downtown (Mention )nhoJ dnaDowntown notluF neewteB( teertS dloG 04 Manhattan Guide!) Learn more at kidville.com/fidi Manhattan Guide!) 0202.665.212 idif/moc.ellivdik ta erom nraeL
Receive $10 off
KIDVILLEFINANCIAL FINANCIALDISTRICT DISTRICT KIDVILLE your next haircut!
40 Gold Street (Between Fulton and John) 40 Gold Street (Between Fulton and John)
July 2-July 15, 2015
WIN TICKETS TO SEE
MADONNA COURTESY OF
Pride March Continued from page 17
left to do for the other minorities — whether its people of color, whether its transgender, whether its women, ageism, sexism. There still a lot of work to do. But it gave me incredible hope that it could be done. I figured if this could be done, we can get through anything. Q: What are some other concerns that need to be addressed for the L.G.B.T. community? TOM: There’s still discrimination where so many gay, lesbian and transgender [people] could be fired from their jobs, can not get housing…things like that. Even though we may have marriage equality, we’re still not equal.
GERARDO Q: Is that your drag name as well? A: That’s my original name. But you know that’s me. I’m not like anyone so I have to use my real name. Some people think that I should use a stage name, but I’m fine with my birth name. Q: Why did you get into drag? A: Expressing myself. I think it’s something that I have to do. I like art so this is a way of doing it. Sometimes,
Park your thoughts in Tompkins Square The Typewriter Project tells the city’s story Downtown Express photo by Alicia Green
I wear a tie. Sometimes, I wear a suit. I don’t think clothes should have gender. Q: Did you ever see yourself getting married? A: Yes, of course. Q: How do you feel about the Supreme Court decision? A: Now we have the option. My ex didn’t marry me ‘cause at the time I didn’t have the opportunity to do it. But now it is the opportunity. Q: And how does that make you feel? A: I think he has to do it. I have so many rings. I don’t know which one I’m going to pick [laughs].
Fresh Off Their Mid-Western Tour
MADONNA SEPTEMBER 17th at Madison Square Garden
freedom souls album tour “Freedom Souls” is available through iTunes & Amazon
For your chance to win, visit
July 2-July 15, 2015
Wednesday, July 8th @ 8pm at The Bitter End
147 Bleecker Street • Greenwich Village New York burlaptocashmere.com • www.bitterend.com DowntownExpress.com
BY SEAN EGAN Make your way through Tompkins Square Park and you’ll see something new near the Hare Krishna tree — a small, unassuming wooden booth sitting amongst a light layer of straw. Inside this booth is a single, teal-colored typewriter, loaded with a long spool of paper and attached to an iPad (which is hidden out of sight). Passersby are encouraged to step inside the booth, spend some time with their thoughts, and type some poetry onto the scroll — either continuing from the work of the previous writer or taking inspiration from elsewhere. The efforts of these park-visiting poets are then anonymously uploaded to subconsciousofthecity.com. This is The Typewriter Project (subtitled “The Subconscious of the City”), the brainchild of Stephanie Berger and Nicholas Adamski, who are also the CEO and COO, respectively, of The Poetry Society of New York. The installation was inspired by the Exquisite Corpse, a form of poetry in which writers take turns writing lines, based on what was written prior to their turn. “One of the things I love doing more than anything else, as a poet and an artist, is collaborating with others, because you’re able to make something more than what you’re able to make on your own,” says Berger, praising the form’s collaborative nature and how, “You can create something totally unexpected and something that you wouldn’t ever make on your own.” The Typewriter Project is the culmination of a long-percolating, collaborative idea — at least three or four years by the creators’ estimation. Trial and error factored heavily in refining the project — scrolls of paper at an early installation on Governors Island would go missing, and similar events at the fluid retail concept space, Story (144 10th Ave. at 19th St.), helped them learn how different people interacted with the typewriter. DowntownExpress.com
A view of the Hare Krishna tree from behind the typewriter.
They also decided to incorporate the iPad and website because, as Adamski asks, “Why not use all of the technology at our disposal, and maybe push it a bit?” After all their work, they finally settled on Tompkins Square Park, by the Hare Krishna tree — an area Adamski refers to as a “particularly literary point in Manhattan,” with Berger corroborating, “Allen Ginsberg used to hold writing workshops by that tree.” It seems the perfect place for the project, as Adamski believes poetry can be “a manifestation of your subconscious or your psyche. This is sort of like: ‘What’s on your mind New York?,’ ” he says. “We built the booth, it has a certain aesthetic we can control. We put a typewriter in it, which is a beautiful old thing — it’s very charming, the sounds it makes, and all that. We pointed out a very beautiful, special tree, and put it in this place, but then, ultimately, when
people sit down they’re left alone with their thoughts.” He concludes, “We’re trying to mine that and see, what does someone write if they get ten or fifteen minutes alone in a little booth in a park?” And what exactly has this shown them? “The typewriter scroll, if you read it, it sounds completely insane,” admits Berger. “It’s like so many different voices. It sounds the way the city sounds more than it sounds like a single person writing a poem.” Adamski adds, “Even if I would have made something up in my brain about what it might look like or how it might sound or what people might write, there’s no way that I could have been prepared for what’s been written.” He notes with fascination that many of the entries are in Spanish, or gibberish, or clearly written by children. Their website certainly confirms these claims, revealing the variety
of writers who’ve taken a seat at the typewriter. Scouring through entries posted by the anonymous authors yields everything from meditations on love (“the concept of being everything to one person terrifies me.”) to inscrutable comments about the undead (“this is a save point. the zombies cannot eat me this time.”). A string of entries written by various children chronicles an epic-sounding birthday party of one “Nicholas.” One entry reads “I am sitting here with my son and I am not used to typing this anymore. I used to be able to type very fast” — reflecting Adamski’s theory that “[The Typewriter Project]’s kind of bridging a little bit of a generation gap,” and Berger’s that “A lot of humans just don’t know how to type on [typewriters] anymore.” Standing by The Typewriter Project with the sun shining verifies this, as Continued on page 25
July 2-July 15, 2015
Sweet Summer Music
Stories unspool on old tech
American jazz in the park, Mozart in church
Continued from page 23
Our Executive Chef Jose Zamora is a native of Tarragona, Spain. Beginning his career at a family friend’s restaurant, he received two culinary degrees, one from Cordon Blue in the U.S. and one from the Institution Culinario de Cambrils in Spain. His cooking is inspired by both Spanish and French cuisine. Jose is devoted to using the best ingredients and implementing a simplistic stylist technique with dynamic presentation. His goal is to provide a memorable dining experience through passionately created culinary dishes.
July 2-July 15, 2015
still running strong!
Darien Nizza-Lazaroff enjoys the “organic” experience of writing on a typewriter.
Founders Stephanie Berger and Nicholas Adamski strike a pose by the door to The Typewriter Project’s writing booth.
ple remember that writing literature is valuable.” “It’s just the idea that even if poetry doesn’t have the place in the wider culture that it once had, that people might have a moment where they think of themselves as someone who is engaged
with it or might want to be engaged with it,” Adamski elaborates. And if the flurry of activity around The Typewriter Project is any indication, it seems as if it’s doing that job quite well. As one typewriter scribe elegantly puts it: “Found poetry, a lost art.”
The Typewriter Project runs through July 19, at Tompkins Square Park (Ave. A to Ave. B, E. Seventh St. to E. 10th St.), near the Hare Krishna Tree. Hours: Mon.–Fri., 3–8 p.m. and Sat.–Sun., 12–8 p.m. Visit subconsciousofthecity.com for more info. The scrolls produced during this iteration of the project will be on display at The New York City Poetry Festival (newyorkcitypoetryfestival.com) on Governors Island on July 25 & 26 along with the booth itself.
Katz Moving has a stellar reputation for excellence in the moving industry.
Check out our 5 Star
Please mention “Community Media” when placing your move.
Sailing leSSonS for ageS 7-17 north Cove Marina Weekly through auguSt 14
Katz Moving will donate 5% of your move to The Ali Forney Center
855.692.5289 A family run business since 1970 — and
many people stop to admire the installation. A father explains to his scooter-riding child what exactly a typewriter is. Later on, a group of young girls stare quizzically at the booth, until one takes charge and explains the strange machine, bragging, “My mom used to have one.” Inside the booth, however, a young man named Darien Nizza-Lazaroff types away diligently for a while, before eventually getting up to leave. He’s a repeat visitor, having attended the initial opening of the Project, and finding the experience enjoyable. “It’s definitely fun and relaxing to use the typewriter. Not many people use or own one in this modern day and age,” he says. “It feels organic.” He leaves, promising staffers that he’ll be back soon to continue writing. Nizza-Lazaroff seems to embody some of the hopes the founders had for the project. “In some ways, I guess our project is trying to create some kind of literary activism,” Berger laughs. “On an individual level, I hope that people write things that they’re proud of,” Berger says. “On a wider level, I hope that peo-
Photo by Kondala Rao Dhulipudi
THE WASHINGTON SQUARE MUSIC FESTIVAL What our city lacks in a crystal clear view of every star in the sky, it more than makes up for in the sensory stimulation offered by the Washington Square Music Festival. The free, eclectic, daylightto-dusk-to-dark outdoor series — which has already given us two Lutz Rath-conducted Festival Chamber Orchestra concerts in June — closThe Washington Square Music Festival’s July 7 concert has New York Jazzharmonic per forming a program of American jazz. es out its season on July 7 with a program celebrating American jazz. Founder Ron Wasserman The music of Duke Ellington, Billy ick Loewe Theatre (35 W. Fourth St. at conducts his 17-piece New York Strayhorn, Woody Herman, Count Greene St.). Visit washingtonsquaremuJazzharmonic, with JP Joffre (ban- Basie and Scott Joplin will also be sicfestival.org or call 212-252-3621. doneon) and vocalist Elvy Yost celebrated, along with a preview of Also visit nyjazzharmonic.org. as the guests. Selections include the Jazzharmonic’s upcoming 2015Dizzy Gillespie’s “He Beeped 2016 season. SUMMER MUSIC IN CHELSEA When He should Have Bopped,” One good classic deserves a proFree. Seating is on a first come, first gram full of them — when the a new arrangement of “The Star served basis. Tues., July 7, 8 p.m. in Summer Music in Chelsea series Spangled Banner” (its John Philip Washington Square Park (Fifth Ave./ returns to the beautiful, serene, Sousa version) and a recreation of Waverly Place, btw. W. Fourth & MacBenny Goodman’s 1938 Carnegie St. Peter’s Chelsea. Gemma New 15.PR.3929_1.qxp_Layout 1 4/21/15 11:40 dougal AM Page 1 Rainspace: NYU’s FrederSts.). Hall version of “Sing, Sing, Sing.” will conduct the New Amsterdam Summer Orchestra, welcoming cellist Stephen Fang as the guest soloist. Selections include Mozart’s “The Marriage of Figaro” (overture), Saint-Saens’ “Cello Concerto #1” and, to celebrate the bicenten168 W. 4th Street, NYC 212.242.6480 nial of its composition, Schubert’s An authentic Spanish and Mexican restaurant “Symphony No. 3 in D Major.” The located in New York’s West Village. Since 1970, concert series returns to St. Peter’s Gemma New conducts the New Tio Pepe has been serving up Spanish cuisine on Sept. 15, with the Summer Amsterdam Symphony Orchestra, at the at its finest. Their recently revised menu Orchestra conducted by Tong Chen July 9 Summer Music in Chelsea concert. showcases the simple, traditional food flavors in a program of Schumann, Sarasate of Spanish culture. and Beethoven. ($5 for seniors/students). Concert proThurs., July 9, 7:30 p.m. at St. Peter’s ceeds benefit the food pantry at St. PeChelsea (346 W. 20th St. btw. Eighth & ter’s. For info: 212-929-2390 or email Ninth Aves.). Suggested Donation: $10 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photo by Mihyun Kang
BY SCOTT STIFFLER
Call 212-786-4888 Today! 800-221-4326
47-47 Austell Pl., Long Island City, NY 11101 • NYSDOT #T-38598 • USDOT #2280679 Terms and conditions apply, can't be applied with any other offer, offer expires on 3/31/2015. Must mention "community media" when calling.
July 2-July 15, 2015
Johnny Rivers and me
How one man’s theme became another’s signature song BY JIM MELLOAN Johnny Rivers’ career was in high gear 50 years ago. On the July 3, 1965 Billboard Hot 100, his “Seventh Son” hit No. 7 — which was, fittingly, its peak (and where it remained for three weeks). He had hit it big the previous year with his versions of Chuck Berry’s “Memphis” and “Maybellene,” as well as “Mountain of Love,” a 1960 Harold Dorman song. Though Rivers was a songwriter, his success as a performer came from his energetic covers of songs originally done by other artists. “Memphis,” “Seventh Son” and 1966’s “Secret Agent Man” were each from one of five albums recorded live at the Whisky a Go Go in San Francisco. It’s a matter of some speculation how “live” these albums actually were. Apparently, a lot of the tracks were actually recorded in a studio with a small live audience. But there’s no question that Rivers was responsible for the success of the club, owned by Elmer Valentine, a former vice cop who converted it into America’s first discotheque, and in the process helped revive the Sunset Strip. Of “Memphis,” Rivers told the Los Angeles Times last year, “It wasn’t a big hit for Chuck. That record took me from $350 a week to $5,000 a night…They didn’t come to see the Whisky. They came to see
July 2-July 15, 2015
Johnny Rivers.” I’ve always loved “Seventh Son,” originally written and recorded by Willie Dixon in 1955 (the year I was born). Sting also does a great cover of it on Jools Holland’s 2001 album “Small World Big Band.” I performed it with Mansueto Ventures’ company band The MansueTones around 2010. But it’s “Secret Agent Man” that I have a special relationship with. Written for the American broadcast of the British series called “Danger Man” starring Patrick McGoohan (renamed “Secret Agent” in the U.S.), the song, by P.F. Sloan and Steve Barri, features one of the classic guitar riffs of all time, right up there if not better than Monty Norman and John Barry’s James Bond Theme. In the mid-'60s, the whole culture was secret-agent crazy, with “The Man From U.N.C.L.E.” and “I Spy” on TV, and later, more fantastic spy heroes in the movies like Dean Martin’s Matt Helm and James Coburn’s Derek Flint. Rivers’ in-your-face rock ‘n’ roll delivery was perfect for the song. But now about me. I moved to New York City in 1993, after having lived in and around Boston for 14 years. In Boston, while I went to clubs to see bands, I never found a bar where I considered myself a regular. I hoped to find such a place in New York. I lived in the Kips Bay neighborhood, barely known as a neighborhood, bordering Murray Hill — not really known for anything except old commercials before 800-numbers became common announcing the number to call as one with a Murray Hill exchange. Famously, Kips Bay for a long time was the one unnamed neighborhood on the maps in New York taxis, just a patch of gray. In 1994, a small bar opened up on Second Ave. at 33rd St. called South Beach. The South Beach neighborhood of Miami was just beginning to be recognized as hip, and the idea behind this bar (owned, coincidentally, by a guy from South Dakota named Murray) was that it would be a home for Miami Dolphins fans. So that kind of worked, maybe, for 16 days out of the year. Then it became a neighborhood bar for mostly 30- and
40-somethings, a bunch of misfits who over the '90s became pretty good friends. And there was a bartender there named Stormy Spill. Her real name. She was a singer-songwriter who bore a facial resemblance as well a low-register vocal resemblance to Cher. But she favored flannel shirts and ripped jeans, and her music was much more blues-based. She started up an “Acoustic Jam” on Sunday nights that attracted some of the best old-school musicians in town. These were guys who would tour with '60s nostalgia acts like The Tokens and The Chiffons. I had moved to the city having gotten a reporting job with Worth magazine, and for a couple of years I had thought, all right, that’s it with the artsy-fartsy stuff, no more music, no more improv, I are now a serious journalist. And the Acoustic Jam in short order blew that notion out of the water. In 1996, I started going to Faceboyz Open Mic at Surf Reality on the Lower East Side, also on Sunday nights, more of a conceptual anything-goes deal, and so Sundays consisted of a one-two punch that meant I was frequently late to work on Monday morning. Often at two or three in the morning, the crowd at South Beach would achieve glorious five-or-six-part harmony on numbers like “Take Me Home, Country Roads” or “It Don’t Come Easy,” blasting through the open windows onto Second Ave. One night Stormy was doing a rendition of “Secret Agent Man” and went up on the words. I took over, as I knew them cold. And I was a hit. Soon the song became my trademark at the jam, and people actually called me “Secret Agent Jim.” I kind of out-Johnny-Riversed Johnny Rivers, as I exaggerated his delivery: “Thay-a’s a may-an who lives a life of danger…” Pherg, a rotund regular who was a sports photographer, marveled at my delivery as I worked the crowd, moving amongst them and delivering the song while leaning on the bar or the wall: “You were leaning on shit!” And sometime in the late '90s, Paul Page, a bass player, played with Johnny Rivers, and told him about me, and got an autograph from him, which he gave to me as a birthday present. Rivers celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Whisky a Go Go last
One of five albums recorded (live?) at the Whisky a Go Go in San Francisco.
Johnny Rivers has aged as well as his music.
year at his own event with Jimmy Webb across town. He wasn’t invited to the Whisky a Go Go celebration, which concentrated on its later punk and metal years. He still records and releases music occasionally. And I don’t know where Stormy is now. Jim Melloan is a writer, actor, musician, and editor. He does occasional columns for this publication on pop music from 50 years ago. His radio shows “50 Years Ago This Week” airs Tuesdays from 8–10 p.m. on RadioFreeBrooklyn.com. For info on Johnny Rivers, visit johnnyrivers.com. July 2-July 15, 2015
SILVER BUFFET PACKAGE
*MINIMUM 50 GUESTS
Cold Display WHEATBERRY SALAD BRUSCHETTA CHICK PEA SALAD TORTELLINI PESTO PASTA WITH SPINACH AND FETA CHEESE PASTA PRIMAVERA FRIED EGGPLANT STACKS MOZZARELLA CAPRESE OLIVE SALAD
choose any two
PENNE ALLA VODKA BAKED ZITI CAVATELLI AND BROCCOLI RABE LINGUINE ALLE VONGOLE RIGATONI BOLOGNESE
choose any three
CHICKEN MARSALA CHICKEN PARMIGIANA CHICKEN FRANCESE CHICKEN SCARPRIELLO SAUSAGE AND PEPPERS EGGPLANT PARMIGIANA EGGPLANT ROLLATINI PORK SCARPRIELLO VEAL PARMIGIANA
CAESAR SALAD TRADITIONAL GARDEN SALAD ORGANIC MIXED GREEN SALAD
Choice Of Vegetables choose one
BROCCOLI W/ GARLIC & OLIVE OIL STRING BEANS & BABY POTATOES ASSORTED MIXED VEGETABLES ROASTED POTATOES YELLOW RICE
Dessert choose one
SHEET CAKE ASSORTED ITALIAN COOKIES & PASTRIES COLOMBIAN COFFEE, DECAF, & TEA
Monday through Friday & Sunday Evening Saturday Evening add $10.00 per person Must Choose Either: Wine, Beer and Soda $10.00 per person or Open Premium Bar $20.00 per person Price does not include tax and service
101 CITY ISLAND AVENUE | BRONX, NY 10464 | TELEPHONE: 347-680-3865 | EMAIL: SCAVELLOP@AOL.COM
July 2-July 15, 2015