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VOLUME 28, NUMBER 4

JULY 30-AUGUST 12, 2015

B.P.C.’S PARK LEADER IS BEING FORCED OUT, SOURCES SAY BY DUSICA SUE MALESEVIC AND JOSH ROGERS t appears that Tessa Huxley, who has been in charge of Battery Park City’s frequently praised parks for nearly three decades, is being forced out as executive director of the Battery Park City Parks Conservancy. Speculation that Huxley, who has been helming the conservancy since 1988, is being fired began on Monday with a New York Post article citing unnamed sources. Two sources — Vince McGowan, Huxley’s number two person from 1999 to 2012, and a person speaking on the condition of anonymity — confirmed that they’ve heard from multiple sources that she is being forced out. Dennis Mehiel, the Battery Park City Authority’s chairperson, told reporters Wed., July 29 that Huxley, 62, is “headed toward retirement,” and that she can speak for herself. She is serving jury duty this week and could not be reached for comment. “She’s a straight shooter,” said the source, who said he heard from authority people about Huxley’s apparent ouster prior to the July 27 Post article. “She says ‘this is the problem and this is what needs to be done,’ and they don’t want to hear it. When they say jump, they want you to say how high.” The state authority, which oversees the parks conservancy, is run by appointees of Gov. Andrew Cuomo, a former neighborhood resident. McGowan, the former B.P.C. Parks Conser vancy executive, said “there’s always been tension between the political appointees

I Downtown Express photo by Milo Hess

Hot Night, White Picnic Thousands of elegantly dressed people walked through Tribeca Tuesday night for the “Diner en blanc” on Pier 26, the secret location this time for the event where guests are required to wear white.

In a switch, city nixes park cuts backed by neighbors BY D U SI CA SU E M A LE S E V IC t has been almost 14 years since Sept. 11, eight years since Community Board 1 approved a design, nine months since it championed a “simplified” plan and now it’ll be another two years for the plaza area to be complete at Peck Slip, between South and Water Sts. If construction begins on the halfacre Peck Slip Plaza next spring, then it will be finished spring 2017, said Lawrence Mauro, program manager for Lower Manhattan projects for

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the city’s Parks Dept. “Now the Peck Slip school will open in September and then there’ll be another construction project right there for the kids,” said Catherine McVay Hughes, C.B. 1 chairperson. Part of the delay, Mauro told the board’s Seaport Committee at their Tues., July 23 meeting, was that city approvals for the bidding process is taking about a year. But the most recent delay was not the only news the community board cared about. Members want less, not

more when it came to Peck Slip, with many saying it is fine in its current state. The design for the South Street Seaport Historic District that was approved in 2007 included more trees and decoration that were supposed to evoke ship’s ribs, but that many refer to as whalebones. The Lower Manhattan Development Corporation, or L.M.D.C., which is funding the project to the tune of $4 million, met with Mauro about Peck Continued on page 6

1 MET ROT E CH • NYC 112 01 • COPYRIG HT © 2015 N YC COMMU N ITY MED IA , LLC

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Facing fraud suit, Gigi Li withdraws from race

AL CAPONE & THE SEAPORT What do Al Capone and Geraldo Rivera have to do with the Tin and New Market buildings? No, this isn’t the start to a bad joke, but rather what led to a moment of levity in a discussion that is anything but. Rich Cote, of the city’s Economic Development Corporation, went before Community Board 1’s Seaport Committee at their July meeting to give an update on the removal of the cooler sections of both Seaport buildings. Not much has changed since his last presentation, but Cote did say that they are looking for a historical preservation architect to work as a liaison between the agency and the Landmarks Preservation Commission, review the removal plan

and then opine about whether the proper protections are in place in case there are any historical elements left — such as the Tin Building’s original exterior cast iron. “They never told us that they thought there would be any tin left,” said Michael Levine, C.B 1’s planning consultant. Cote replied, “I’m looking forward to seeing what’s behind that wall. It’s kind of like Geraldo and the safe.” For those too young or without long memories, Rivera infamously hosted a live special that purported to find Capone’s buried treasure. For several hours, the site was evacuated — and all that was found was broken bottles. Let’s hope the preservation architect has more luck.

PLAYMATE CUTBACKS Has the shine already rubbed off of Imagination Playground? Five years ago, the playground in the Seaport opened to much fanfare and the uttering of Bloomberg buzzwords such as “private-public partnership.” The private bit seems to have gone first as David Rockwell — the famous architect who designed the playground at no cost — is no longer helping with funding.

BY LI NCOLN ANDERSON Gigi Li withdrew as a candidate for Democratic district leader in the 65th Assembly District, Part C, on Wednesday amid allegations by the opposition of fraudulent ballot petitions. The Lo-Down first reported the news, including a resignation statement from Li, in which she acknowledged that she did not garner the required minimum amount of 500 signatures to get on the ballot. However, her statement added, “I want to be clear that the accusations of fraud are false and played no role in my withdrawal.” Li said while she was disappointed at not being able to run for district leader, she looks forward to continuing to serve as chairperson of Community Board 3. She was elected in June to a fourth one-year term leading the East Village/ Lower East Side board. Last week, two supporters of incumbent District Leader Jenifer Rajkumar who are both Democratic County Committee members — Georgette Fleischer and Lora Tenenbaum — filed a lawsuit in State Supreme Court charging that Li’s petitions were “permeated with fraud.” Fleischer and Tenenbaum are members of the Downtown Independent Democrats Club, Rajkumar’s home club. They were represented in the lawsuit by election attorney Martin Connor, the former Lower

Downtown Express photo by Mia Rupani

Imagination Playground

At Community Board 1’s Seaport Committee meeting on Tues., July 21 — the last meeting at 49 Chambers St. before the board moves its offices to the Municipal Building — Catherine McVay Hughes, C.B. 1 chairperson, had a laundry list from neighborhood parents about what needed to be fixed at the playground: the mast and pulley system, the water faucets, the sand slide, more sand for the box and concerns about rot under much of the wooden planks. Lawrence Mauro of the Parks Dept. said that the decking is fine but “there are issues with rot in the supports under-

neath” and the city would soon be doing a thorough check. Hughes also asked if there was still a person to help facilitate play with the blocks — what we at UnderCover once dubbed professional playmates — albeit G rated. Mauro said the playground is being staffed, but “not to the level that I think anyone would like.” He has submitted for funding from the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation, but wasn’t optimistic. But word on the street, or at least in the park on the day we checked, is that folks were pretty happy with the park now.

Downtown Express file photo

Gigi Li.

Manhattan state senator who is feared for his track record of knocking candidates off the ballot. On Tuesday, amid Connor’s challenge of Li’s petitions, the Board of Elections had determined that she only had

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477 valid signatures — short of the required amount. The Part C district is divided geographically to include Battery Park City, FiDi and parts of the Lower East Side. One of the lawsuit’s main charges is that many of Li’s petition signatures were collected by underage individuals — in this case, students from a local prep school. It would have been O.K. if the signings were actually observed by a “subscribing witness,” who technically must be a registered Democrat, and thus 18 years or older, Sean Sweeney, a leading member of D.I.D. explained. D.I.D. members say they observed the youths collecting the signatures at two locations — 189 Allen St., a public-housing development, and Battery Park City — without the presence of a registered Democrat. “They questioned them,” Sweeney said, “and we have 360-degree, panoramic photographic evidence, showing there was no registered Democrat within 30 feet of them.” A subscribing witness even can be blind, Sweeney said, “because they can hear it” — but they have to be there. One subscribing witness for the signatures collected by the teens was Yume Kitasei, chief of staff to City Councilmember Margaret Chin, who defeated Rajkumar two years ago in a Council Continued on page 17

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Beekman St. hit & run suspect pleads not guilty DRIVER ARRESTED IN CANAL DEATH A dump truck fatally hit an 83-yearold man while he was crossing Canal St. near the Manhattan Bridge on Fri., July 17, police say. Police were called to the scene at around 1 p.m. in Chinatown and the man, Ka Chor Yau, was taken to Lower Manhattan Hospital, where he was pronounced dead on arrival. Police say the man was in the middle of the intersection when the truck, which was coming from the Manhattan Bridge, was traveling west and struck him. The driver, a 24-year-old man, was taken into custody at the scene. Maykel Felix-Tejada was later arrested and charged with aggravated unlicensed operation of a vehicle, according to police.

MAN DIES IN FIDI A 20-year-old man was found unconscious on a sidewalk in the Financial District on Sun., July 12 and was taken to Lower Manhattan Hospital, where he was pronounced dead, police say. Police were called to the front of 20 West St. at 10:45 p.m. and found the man lying face down on the sidewalk unconscious, unresponsive and with numerous abrasions to his body. Police identified the man as Pablo Polanco, a resident of Washington Heights. Police say the investigation is ongoing. On July 29, the Medical Examiner said the cause of death has yet to be determined.

$23,650 worth of hand bags, police say. The four men entered Celine at 67 Wooster St. on Sat., July 18 at 2 p.m. and snatched the six pricey purses, the male employee, 20, told police. On their way out, the men got physical with the employee, who had visible red marks on his shoulder and left arm, police say. The men then fled.

THIEF TARGETS STROLLER It is a mother’s bad dream — shopping with your child and your wallet is grabbed from the stroller. On Fri., July 24, that is exactly what happened to a Financial District mom as she shopped at the Tribeca Whole Foods at 270 Greenwich St. at 11 a.m., police say. The woman, 39, told police that around $300 worth of unauthorized purchases had been made on one of her cards. She had cancelled the other two cards in time.

ROBBERY SUSPECTS

Photos courtesy of N.Y.P.D.

Photos of suspects in a July 26 robbery on South St.

In Soho, a team of shoplifters got rough with an employee, grabbing and shoving him to the ground after they stole

The N.Y.P.D is asking for the public’s assistance in locating two suspects wanted in a South St. robbery Sunday.

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Canal St. near the Manhattan Bridge, near where a pedestrian was killed two weeks ago.

Police say the victim, a 37-year-old man, was sitting on a bench at Catherine Slip and South St. at 2:20 p.m. July 26, when another man snatched his cellphone from his hand and began to flee, police say. The victim attempted to chase the suspect when a second man struck him from behind and shoved him to the ground, police say. Both suspects then fled the location on foot. Police have released photos of the suspects and want people with information about the crime to call the Crime Stoppers Hotline at 800-577-TIPS, or texting their tips to 274637(CRIMES) then enter TIP577.

VICTIM ARRESTED

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Downtown Express photo by Mia Rupani

A Financial District resident got an unwelcome surprise when he took a cab home early Sunday morning — not only was his wallet missing, he was then arrested after reporting the crime. The 31-year-old went to the First Precinct on Sun., July 26 to report his $750 iPhone 6 and $300 Montblanc wallet with credit cards stolen, police say. He was promptly arrested for theft of service because he was unable to pay for his cab to Broad and Water Sts. at 5:30 a.m., police say. Then, after he was released, the man discovered there had been unauthorized charges on his credit cards.

STEAL SOME, PAY FOR OTHERS A Soho shoplifter tried to a different tactic to stealing — paying for two items while trying to get away with a backpack full of stuff. The plan didn’t work. At the Sephora at 555 Broadway, a loss prevention guard observed the suspect loading her backpack on Thurs., July 23 at around 7 p.m., police say. After she paid and left the store, the 24-year-old Lower East Side woman was arrested. Inside the bag, were 33 lipsticks valued at $1,186, six facial products worth

$435, two setting powders worth $74 and other items for a total of $2,378, police say.

2 BIKE THEFTS A student who double locked and chained his $3,100 Felt bicycle did so to no avail — both the bike and chains were stolen. The man, 30, chained his bike to a fence at around 1 p.m. at South End Ave. and Liberty St. in Battery Park City on Fri., July 24 and went to class, according to police. When he returned at 5 p.m., the expensive bike as well as a $100 lock and chain combo and a $60 lock and chain combo were gone. The theft was near a culinary school, but police did not identify the location student’s class. The next evening, in a separate bike snatching incident at 9:15 p.m. Sat., July 25, a man who left his CitiBike unlocked and unattended in front of the 55 Fulton Market on Fulton St. at 9:15 p.m. came back 30 minutes later to find it stolen, police say. CitiBikes are now valued at $1,300.

DINNER’S ON THE VICTIM A thief who stole from a woman hanging out at Fraunces Tavern treated himself or herself to a fancy dinner and cab ride. On Tues., July 14, a woman, 38, was sitting at the bar at the famed historical tavern at 54 Pearl St. in the Financial District at 7:40 p.m. when someone stole her wallet, which had credit cards, gift cards for J. Crew, Sephora and Whole Foods, $300 and a $200 makeup bag — for a total of $790. The thief did not waste a minute, using the woman’s cards to have a $705 meal at Red Stixs, a restaurant on 216 E. 49 St., and take a $25.81 cab ride, police say.

— DUSICA SUE MALESEVIC WITH REPORTING BY MIA RUPANI DowntownExpress.com

BY DUSI CA SUE M ALESEVI C Tiffany Murdaugh pleaded not guilty last week in a hit and run case that shook the Lower Manhattan community and left a woman seriously injured. On Wed., July 22, Assistant District Attorney Philip J. Gary asked Judge Gregory Carro in criminal court at 100 Centre St. to increase bail to $100,000 because of the defendant’s “depraved actions.” Murdaugh, 34, is currently out on bail. Video from the incident clearly depicts Murdaugh’s car going onto the sidewalk and “pedestrians jumping into the middle of Beekman St.” to avoid it, said Gary. Saying that she was going 20 to 25 miles per hour on the street, Gary said the video also shows a mother of two, who was on her way to Spruce Street School, pushing her children into the street to avoid the car. Gary also focused on the victim, who he did not mention by name, but is Heather Hensl, 37, a mother of two who was on her way to work when she was struck at around 8 a.m. on April 13. She was thrown into the air and

suffered a laceration to her head and could not walk for months, he said. She has just started to walk again without the aid of crutches, but will suffer the effects of the incident for the rest of her life, said Gary. After leaving the scene at Beekman St., Gary said Murdaugh then went over the Brooklyn Bridge and got into another accident in Crown Heights. Her car rear ended another car. When the other driver got out, Murdaugh fled the scene, leaving her car there, said Gary. Murdaugh did not answer Downtown Express questions as she left the courthouse. She appeared to be crying after she left and her family shielded her. A Legal Aid lawyer filled in for Lamar Miller, also of Legal Aid, who had been handling Murdaugh’s case. He said all these facts were presented when bail was first set. He also said that Murdaugh just completed a threeyear training program and is part of the Cement Mason’s Union. Originally thought to be a New Jersey resident, Murdaugh resides in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Her family sat in the

court to support to her. While Judge Carro did note the price — $35,000 — of the car, a 2013 Dodge Challenger, he denied the increase in bail. He did say, however, that Murdaugh was to hire a private attorney by her next appearance in court on Aug. 11. Hensl, who works as a physician assistant at New York Presbyterian Lower Manhattan Hospital, was worried at one point that the investigation would be dropped. After identifying Murdaugh as the owner of the car, police initially said she would only be charged with a misdemeanor if they were able to prove she was driving. Spruce Street School parents and the community were outraged that the incident happened during morning drop-off and pushed for an arrest. Murdaugh was arrested on May 19 after admitting to a detective at the First Precinct that she was driving the car, according to the complaint from Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance, Jr.’s office. She has been charged with assault in the first degree and second degree — both felonies — reckless endangerment in the first

Downtown Express photo by Dusica Sue Malesevic

Tiffany Murdaugh pleaded not guilty in criminal court on last week.

degree and leaving the scene of the incident without reporting. Vance, in a statement, called Murdaugh’s alleged actions “egregious….There is no place for this type of recklessness in New York City.”

‘The Beekman’ to open in Feb. BY DUSI CA SUE M ALESEVI C The Temple Court at 5 Beekman St. is now expected to open early next year. The hotel, originally slated to open this year on Oct. 31, is now planning to open Feb. 1, 2016, the hotel’s managing director Rob Andrews told Community Board 1’s Seaport Committee at their Tues., July 21 meeting. There have been multiple reasons for the delay, including the complex nature of the landmark building, which was built in the early 1880s and has a tall interior atrium. The main entrance for the 287-room hotel will be at 115 Nassau St. with a separate entry for the residences next door, he said. Two retail spaces, which have yet to be confirmed, will be located in each lobby, said Andrews. While the hotel won’t open until early next year, people can start booking a room at the beginning of August, he said. The two restaurants — one by Tom Colicchio and another by Keith McNally — when open when the hotel does. Andrews said people could start moving into the Beekman Residences in the second quarter of next year. The 68 luxury residences, which start on the 17th floor of the 51-story DowntownExpress.com

tower, include 20 one-bedrooms, 38 two-bedrooms, eight three-bedrooms and two full-floor penthouses, according to a press release. One of the penthouses was listed for over $15 million, according to the release. Another entrance will be on 5 Beekman St., which will be available for guests to use if they so chose. Everything else — such as trash, deliveries and moving furniture in and out for residents — will take place on Theatre Alley, said Andrews. Five Beekman almost covers the whole of Theatre Alley, he said. “Talking about Theatre Alley, right now it’s in pretty bad shape,” said Catherine McVay Hughes, C.B. 1 chairperson. She wanted to know if the Beekman could improve its lighting and general condition. Andrews said he would take that back to the owners and stressed that they wanted to make it safe and lit for their employees, who will also be using that entrance. “That’s a top priority for this community to make sure that that particular alleyway is safe for everybody,” said Hughes. In addition to alley concerns, nearby residents who have had to put up with construction since 2013 expressed some

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Peck Slip Plaza plan proceeds despite opposition Continued from page 1

Slip in January. The corporation, which operates now with a skeletal staff, was formed to manage Lower Manhattan’s recovery after Sept. 11 and is federally funded. The city plans to proceed even if it means paying for elements the community board no longer wants. “The decision coming out of that meeting was that the funding was truly in jeopardy if we did not move,” explained Mauro. “That we would bid the project, see how the bids came in and if the bids were over then we would discuss editing elements of the project out, but only then.” This did not site well with some community board members. Jason Friedman, a committee member and an architect, said that 2007 design had an “air of it not suiting the community.” He and other neighbors felt there was a need for more open space, and that cluttering the area up with modern elements did not fit the historic district. Friedman had presented to the committee back in October when they had voted to approve a scaled back plan.

The plaza’s east end.

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July 30-August 12, 2015

Downtown Express photos by Mia Rupani

The west end of Peck Slip Plaza.

“This was heavily influenced by the funder — L.M.D.C.,” said Mauro. David Emil, president of the L.M.D.C., said in a phone interview this week that he hopes a “modified version will meet everyone’s concerns.” “L.M.D.C. is in its final phases and is anxious to proceed,” said Emil, who no longer collects a salary from the corporation. Friedman said, “The biggest takeaway I think I remember was we kind of like [Peck Slip] just the way it is. The priorities of the community might be to lose money on the park and have them just not spend all the money they’ve allocated and just give it up ‘cause it’s a better solution.” Hughes and Marco Pasanella, the committee’s chairperson, were also at the meeting with the L.M.D.C. “I think everyone is conscious of what had gone on here and what the community’s wishes were,” said Pasanella. Friedman said he was “shocked” that things were proceeding even though “we expressed a community a desire that we didn’t like that park.” “The shock now is the delay and particularly when [13] and a half years after 9/11 to be still be spending L.M.D.C. money,” said Pasanella. Paul Hovitz, another C.B. 1 member, asked Mauro what would happen if the city lost the funding for the project. Peck Slip would remain as it is now, he said. “Which is what exactly what we said we wanted,” said Hovitz. Pasanella said editing the plan is still on the table. Hughes concurred, saying, “For example, one feature that this community was vehement against was the whalebones in the park — an example of something that could be edited out.” DowntownExpress.com

2 W.T.C. to be gets raves from Community Board 1 BY DUSI CA SUE M ALESEVI C The new design for 2 World Trade Center has been splashed everywhere in the press, but Community Board 1 was the first to get a public presentation. Members of the board’s Planning Committee applauded at the end of the presentation Mon., July 13. “Wow” and “that’s exciting” were heard as Dara McQuillan, spokesperson for Silverstein Properties, explained that the design was about to be presented. “Two World Trade Center really is the last piece of the puzzle for our organization. We’ve been at this as long as many of you have — for 14 years,” said McQuillan. “It was always a bit of a question mark because we didn’t have the financing…Two World Trade Center couldn’t get building unless we had a Image by BIG tenant. And we needed a big tenant.” That “phenomenal tenant,” as McQuillan put it, is Rendering of the view from Tribeca of 2 World Trade Rupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox and News Corp., Center, right, and 1 W.T.C. which has inked a letter of intent with Silverstein, the developer of 2, 3, 4 & 7 W.T.C. In addition to specific requirements, time was a James Murdoch, who is likely to take over for factor as Fox was looking to move by 2020 when their his father, had approached Bjarke Ingels, a 40-year- lease runs out. BIG looked all over Manhattan and had old Danish architect, and his eponymous group, 11 sites to analyze, she said. last September about a new headquarters, said Ute “At the end, somehow there was a site available Rinnebach, project manager for the Bjarke Ingels and the foundations [were] already in place,” said Group, also known as BIG. Rinnebach, referring to 2 W.T.C. Fox was looking for floors that were large enough There was already a design for Two, created by for newsrooms and studios and also wanted to increase Norman Foster, which had four diamond shapes at the connectivity between departments and employees, said tower’s top. Rinnebach. Fox did not want is a tower, which is 12:51 In January, BIG1 started thinking about the design Downtown What Exp May A 2015:Layout 1 5/20/15 PM Page what it has right now at 6th Ave. in Midtown, she said. and Rinnebach said that they had to figure out how to

build on top of the existing foundations. Other things BIG also took into consideration were how the design would fit in with the other towers and Daniel Libeskind’s master plan, which had included the “wedge of light.” In 2003, Libeskind unveiled the idea of a “Wedge of Light” plaza, which would create a lighting effect on Sept. 11 to coincide with when the first plane hit. Rinnebach said the new design was presented to both Libeskind and David Childs, who designed 1 and 7 W.T. C., and they both loved it. The keystone idea of the design was how to bring together the modern, contemporary towers of the Financial District and the smaller historic buildings of Tribeca, she said, to create something that incorporates the best of both worlds. The design is seven stacked boxes that get smaller the higher the tower climbs. Rinnebach said that the silhouette of the building changes — large at the bottom, slender at the top. Fox will occupy about half of the tower on its lower levels and the upper portion will be filled with other tenants. There will be four levels of retail and Fox will have a studio on the ground floor, she said. Gorgeous terraces populated with plant life as well as amenities such as a basketball courts and gyms will not be open to the public, she said. While the Fox move is not yet set in stone, all signs point to the deal happening. “We’re optimistic that this is the beginning of the end of the World Trade Center project,” said McQuillan.

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Summer Streets and other Downtown weekend events Rooftop Films and Arts Brookfield will be co-presenting free movie screenings on the waterfront plaza at 200 Vesey St. this weekend. Live musical performances will precede each of the films in Battery Park City. On Fri., July 31, Rooftop films will show a sneak preview of environmental film “Racing Extinction” which will debut worldwide on the Discovery Channel to 220 countries later this year. Rooftop Films will be screening the 1984 Academy Award-winning Talking Heads documentary “Stop Making Sense” on Sat., Aug. 1 at the plaza near the Winter Garden. The film follows The Talking Heads during their three-day concert at the Pantages Theatre in Hollywood. Aug. 1 also kicks off the Summer Streets celebration, inviting New Yorkers of all ages to play, run, walk and bike on car-free streets from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. Summer Streets will open 6.9 miles of Lafayette St. and Park Ave., connecting streets from the Brooklyn Bridge to Central Park. Food and a number of free activities will be offered at each of the five rest stops along the route. Activities include a 270-foot water slide at Foley Square, yoga classes, children’s workshops and more. Summer Streets will also run Sat., Aug. 8 and 15. T he sixth annual Lower Manhattan

will be performing a free concert at Nolan Park on Governors Island Aug. 1 at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. In case of inclement weather, the concert will be rescheduled to Sunday.

WEEKEND OF AUG. 7

Downtown Express file photo by Jefferson Siegel

The first Summer Streets event in 2008.

Community Day will take place on Governors Island on Aug. 1. Councilmember Margaret Chin leads the event on a free ferry ride at the Battery Maritime Building, 10 South St., at 10 a.m. Grammy nominated wind quintet Imani Winds

Join other poetry lovers at the Poets House Showcase for readings, conversation and celebration on Aug. 8. This free exhibition at the Poets House at 10 River Terrace will run the entire day and includes all of the new poetry books and poetry-related texts published in the U.S. in a single year by more than 650 commercial, university and independent presses. Ultimate Frisbee will take place from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Battery Park City ball fields on Aug. 8 and all skill levels are invited to join in on the fun and fitness. Discs will be provided for this free outdoor event. Organizer Art Kibbutz is inviting people to be a part of the Shmita Artfest on Sun., Aug. 9 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Nolan Park on Governors Island. Shmita Artfest is an interactive experience where Jewish learning, environmental activism, art, exploration and spirituality come together. This event will include art installations, hands-on workshops, picnics and more, plus a series of guest speakers.

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July 30-August 12, 2015

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TRANSIT SAM Thurs., July 30 – Wed., Aug. 5 ALTERNATE SIDE PARKING RULES ARE IN EFFECT ALL WEEK Major weekend street closures ahead! T he D.O.T.’s Summer Streets program will close Centre St. between the Brooklyn Bridge and Foley Square, Lafayette St. between Foley Square and Astor Pl., and Union Square East between 15th and 17th Sts. as well as Park Ave. from 17th St. all the way up to E. 72nd St. 6:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Saturday. The following crosstown streets will remain open to cars: Chambers, Reade, Worth, Canal, Broome, and Houston Sts. This event will repeat the next two Saturdays, Aug. 8 and 15. The D.O.T. Summer Streets program will also make some changes in Brooklyn Bridge traffic. Next weekend all Manhattan-bound traffic on the Brooklyn Bridge will be detoured at the Centre St./North Chambers St. exit midnight to 6 p.m. Saturday. Manhattan-bound traffic will take the F.D.R. Drive or the Park Row

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South exit instead. For the rest of the week, all Manhattan-bound lanes will close 11 p.m. Thursday to 6 a.m. Friday, and 11 p.m. to 6 a.m.  Monday through Wednesday nights. Drivers will instead take the Battery Tunnel and Manhattan Bridge, making for slowdowns on West St. and Canal St., respectively. The Seaport Community Coalition Summer Seaport Festival will close Water St. between Fulton and Broad Sts. 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday. The Stone St. pedestrian mall will close Stone St. between Broad St. and Hanover Sq., and Mill Ln. between South William and Stone Sts. 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. each day this week. In the Lincoln Tunnel, one tube will close 11 p.m. Thursday to 5 a.m. Friday morning. In the remaining open tube, traffic will be maintained in both directions. This slowdown will send Manhattan-bound traffic down to the Holland Tunnel. In the Holland Tunnel, one New York-bound lane and one New Jersey-bound lane will close 11 p.m. Thursday to 5 a.m. Friday, slowing

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no trouble, as long as your permanent residence is in Florida too. Transit Sam Confused about ever-changing traffic and parking regulations? Need driving tips or help navigating around Lower Manhattan? You can always e-mail me at transitsam@ downtownexpress.com or write to Transit Sam, 322 Eighth Ave. Fifth Floor New York, NY 10001. And of course, be sure to follow me on Twitter @Gridlocksam.

FROM THE MAILBAG: Dear Transit Sam, My wife and I are retiring soon and contemplating to split our residence stay between Miami in the winter and spring and New York City in the summer and fall, about six months in each location. Currently, I possess a New York State driver’s license and registration. If I change them to the state of Florida, would I need to do something documentation-wise when coming for six months stay to New York and driving?

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Tessa Huxley, park leader, looks to be out

A feathery felony in park as perps net 200 pigeons BY TEQUI LA M I NSKY

Continued from page 1

and the staff.” The neighborhood’s lush parks are often cited by residents as the area’s best quality. McGowan, who said he hasn’t spoken directly with Huxley about the change, said she always made sure everyone would “start every day with the idea of maintaining the consistency of the quality of life Downtown…. “She’s singularly responsible for getting the authority to adopt the sustainable policy for the maintenance of the neighborhood,” McGowan said, referring to the authority’s green guidelines, which were adopted almost 20 years ago. During the two-hour Battery Park City Authority meeting Wednesday, there was no mention of Huxley, who was not present. In an unusual move, a Parks Enforcement Patrol officer was assigned to the meeting. Talking to reporters afterwards, Mehiel, B.P.C.A.’s chairperson, said he “didn’t want to set the precedent to talk about personnel matters.” He had praise for Huxley, saying,

“She’s wonderful. She’s done a great job.” A handful of Battery Park City community members attended the authority’s midday meeting, which was closed to the public for about an hour for an executive session. They made posters with slogans such as “Tessa Matters” and “First the marina, next the gardens?” The signs never got a chance to be displayed. Rosalie Joseph was at the authority’s meeting and also spoke during Community Board 1’s monthly meeting on Tues., July 28. “As you’re aware, the community has been at battle with the Battery Park City Authority to protect our community and its assets,” said Joseph, who has been living at Gateway Plaza for 26 years and has been an active leader in the community. “We find ourselves in another crisis,” she added. “Clearly she has been forced out. Speaking to many residents today who are outraged due to Battery Park City Authority’s current behavior we have lost trust.” Joseph asked the board to “request that the authority explain, for the

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July 30-August 12, 2015

Downtown Express file photo by Terese Loeb Kreuzer

Tessa Huxley, executive director of the Battery Park City Parks Conservancy, in 2013 with Vince McGowan, when it was announced he was leaving the conservancy.

community, to the community the future of the Parks Conversancy as well as the reasons for Tessa’ departure.” Paula Galloway, who runs the Battery Park City Dog Association, said that Huxley had been instrumental in keeping the neighborhood beautiful and noted her help after Sept. 11 and Superstorm Sandy. “This is very reminiscent of what happened with Michael Fortenbaugh — you do a great job, you’re fantastic and then you get canned and we want to know why,” said Galloway. “[B.P.C.A. officials] just don’t explain anything.” In January, Fortenbaugh was ousted as the operator of North Cove Marina when the authority chose Brookfield Office Properties and its partner Island Global Yachting. Many within the community were unhappy with that decision. Justine Cuccia, C.B. 1 public member and Battery Park City resident, said the authority had cut back community access to the ballfields. The B.P.C.A. opened up the permit-

ting process for the fields and many feared local leagues would lose time. “I think this is another sign and indication of the Battery Park City Authority’s high-handedness and taking control over Battery Park City in a way that has no concern and no respect for the wishes of the residents,” she said. Anthony Notaro, Community Board 1’s B.P.C. Committee chairperson, said the situation is “very troubling” because of “the fact that the authority again is not only not transparent but forcing someone out.” C.B. 1 passed a resolution asking that the B.P.C.A. explain to the community their rationale for such a drastic change of leadership. For his part, McGowan thinks the authority should close since all of the neighborhood’s sites have been developed. “The original law had it right,” he said. “The authority was supposed to build it, but the conservancy was supposed to run it.”

a memorial service was held for the avian Last Friday, Paul the Pigeon Man was abductees organized by Tina Trachtenberg, stoic. Larry the Birdman was bereft. an artist and animal advocate. She creThey missed seeing their friends ates the felt pigeons at Washington in Washington Square Park. Square. U N O AR D If it seems there are a lot Days later, flowers marked less pigeons in Washington the memorial site and a weathSquare Park, it’s because ered sign read: “This park is a safe there are. haven for many animals. Today we Earlier last week, on Tuesday mourn the tragic death of 200-300 afternoon, birdnappers were resident pigeons. We loved and cherreportedly out in force on the park’s far ished their magical presence. They will be west side. In an orchestrated maneuver deeply missed.” taking just minutes, the peaceful pigeons By Tuesday, flowers and sign were gone. were lured to a spot near the Washington Joyce Friedman the New York City Place park entrance, where they were cap- coordinator at The Humane Society of tured by net — they netted three batches the United States, read on social media — and then whisked away in a van. about the memorial and came to the Larry the Birdman was near the foun- park to learn more. tain and missed the abduction of possibly “I reported it to the N.Y.P.D. Animal more than 200 birds. Cruelty Investigation Squad,” she said. “It happened so fast,” he said. “It was a “We can’t give out any more detailed silver-colored van.” information, because now it’s an ongoing One member of the cadre who hang investigation.” out on the park’s western side near the She reiterated that the investigating Holley monument said, “We know these officers take it seriously, also mentioning birds and some of us have relationships that the same sort of birdnappings took with individual birds.” place a couple months ago on the Upper Doris Deither, a Community Board West Side and are also under investigation. 2 member, is among the F.O.B. (Friends For four days, Tuesday through Friday, of the Birds). She said the pigeon she security at the Parks Department office calls Opal likes her and comes to her as at Washington Square Park, the bicycle she walks assisted by a walker. Deither police on patrol and police in a van said, thankfully, “her bird” is still in watching on Sunday morning were totally the park. unaware of the birdnapping. As of this “But they got two of William’s birds,” Tuesday, not all the local patrolling police she said, explaining that William cares for or Parks employees were aware of the pigeons that are injured. nefarious netting. Seven years ago, the New York However, on Tuesday, Parks spokesPost wrote about “pigeon netting,” the person Crystal Howard warned the pigeon black-market act of snatching pigeons off pluckers to beware. the streets and selling them for $5 and “Don’t steal our animals!” she said in a $10 each, mostly to legal, out-of-state phone interview. “Pigeons are core to the (frequently Pennsylvania) pigeon shoots. character of New York City, and it is illegal It was believed that the purloined and dangerous to remove animals from Washington Square pigeons were destined New York City parks.” for a similar fate. Diether said word was Friedman also emphasized that birdthat the van had New Jersey license plates. napping is illegal. Saturday afternoon at the Holley bust, “If you see someone doing it, take

DowntownExpress.com

Paul the Pigeon Man feeding birdseed to some of his friends fortunate to have evaded the birdnappers’ net.

a picture of the license plate,” she said. “Then call 911. If you become aware afterward, report it by calling 311.” Early Sunday evening, Haley, a friend of Larry, swung by the park to see if he was all right. Larry now sits on his usual bench, but

no longer bedecked with birds, keeping a vigilant eye on the park’s Washington Place entrance to see if there are any more lurking vans. “There are surveillance cameras,” he said, hoping they would have caught useful information to bust the birdnappers.

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July 30-August 12, 2015

13


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BY L I N CO L N A N DE R S O N The new park at the former “St. Vincent’s Triangle” — at Seventh Ave. South, Greenwich Ave. and W. 12th St. — is rapidly nearing completion. It will include a lawn, wooden benches, movable tables and chairs and “interactive water jets” for kids to play in. U ARO ND The site will also eventually include a trellis-like AIDS memorial at its western angle, which reportedly will be completed by the end of the year. The park is being built and will be maintained by Rudin Management, which is also constructing the Greenwich Lane luxury residential development on the former St. Vincent’s Hospital main campus. “The park will open soon,” John J. Gilbert III, chief operating officer and executive vice presDowntown Express photos by Lincoln Anderson ident of Rudin Management, told The Villager. “We are waiting for final approvals from the city An overview shot of the new park taken from a W. and then we will have a brand-new open space 12th St. balcony of Lenox Health Greenwich Village, for the public to enjoy. We are very excited to be above. Work being done on the emerging park viewed from the corner of W. 12th St. and Seventh so close.” Ave. South, at right Rich Caccappolo, chairperson of the Community Board 2 Parks Committee concurred, “It looks close to being open. It looks great.” the site was the pivotal role that St. Vincent’s Caccappolo said that last Sunday he was told played in treating early victims of the devastating by someone at the site that the new greensward epidemic. could be open in one to two weeks. In 2010, after 161 years of operation, the hisAs for the park’s name, it will be unveiled soon. toric but bankrupt Catholic hospital closed, $1 The inspiration for having an AIDS memorial at billion in debt.

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Li drops out of race primary. The accusation, thus, was that Kitasei did not actually witness the signatures, yet signed them at some later point, which would constitute fraud. Sweeney said, if need be, they were willing to subpoena the young students to make them produce their birth certificates in court. Chin had endorsed Li, who is widely considered to be the councilmember’s protégé. Like Rajkumar, Li is thought to have her eyes on the Assembly seat of scandal-scarred former Speaker Sheldon Silver, who — according to political word on the street — is not expected to run for re-election if he is exonerated. Other subscribing witnesses for Li included two former Chin staffers, Persephone Tan and Matt Viggiano, as well as Susan Stetzer,

only say “I’m sorry. I’m very, very busy. We’re doing our district needs and we have a full-board meeting tomorrow night and I am extremely busy and I cannot speak right now.” In addition, the suit charged, at least 50 petition signatures collected for Li were all written in what appeared to be the hand of one female subscribing witness, and so also constitute forgery, the suit charges. Li and a Chin spokesperson both did not respond to a request for comment Wednesday. Chad Marlow ran against Li for C.B. 3 chairperson two years ago, losing by 31 to 15. He chose not to run again this June as Li won an uncontested re-election to a fourth term. When he ran two years ago, Marlow sharply criticized Li’s leadership of the board. Asked earlier this week about the

Candidate is considered a potential successor to Sheldon Silver. the district manager of C.B. 3 — but no fraud is alleged in their cases. “A lot of people say it’s a conflict of interest,” Sweeney said of Stetzer petitioning for Li. Li, who heads the 50-member volunteer board, is technically Stetzer’s boss, in that Stetzer is the board’s top paid staff member. Asked his thoughts, Arthur Schwartz, the West Village’s district leader, said, “I don’t think it’s the smartest of moves. Perceptions are important.” Schwartz said if anyone had a conflict of interest it would be Li, since she is Stetzer’s boss and thus holds power over the district manager and her job. On Monday, two days before Li bailed out of the race, Stetzer would

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allegations of fraud in Li’s ballot petitions, Marlow said local politicos of course had all been buzzing about the lawsuit — but that even before the suit’s filing, he had been hearing stories of alleged petition improprieties. “What I am hearing,” Marlow said, “is like the old Ronald Reagan line: ‘There she goes again.’” He called Stetzer collecting signatures for Li “inappropriate.” Without an opponent, Rajkumar declared victory Wednesday night in a statement, adding, “My focus remains fighting for my constituents everyday to keep our neighborhoods affordable, create quality education for our children, and transform local government into a platform for innovation and inspiration.”

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July 30-August 12, 2015 16 DowntownExpress.com

DowntownExpress.com June 18-July 1, 2015

DowntownExpress.com

GARCIA MALIGNAGGI

VERSUS

Continued from page 3

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JACOBS vs. MORA

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N.Y.C.’s new slang dictionary BY LENORE SKENAZY New Yorkers have always had their own slang. We all know that “coffee regular” means coffee with milk and sugar. A “straphanger” is a subway rider (though, come to think of it, maybe it’s a bus rider, too). And fugheddaboudit is a single word. But we are clearly overdue for an update. So here is:

PUBLISHER

Jennifer Goodstein EDITOR

Josh Rogers REPORTER

NEW SLANG FOR NEW YORK

Dusica Sue Malesevic Scott Stiffler

Halal-anon: Meetings for people addicted to lamb over rice.

EXECUTIVE VP OF ADVERTISING

Quipster: A hipster who lives in Queens.

ARTS EDITOR

Amanda Tarley

Tri-asselete: A person who, by a combination of man-spreading, leaning, and glowering, manages to take up three seats on the subway.

ACCOUNT EXECUTIVES

Jack Agliata Allison Greaker Jennifer Holland Jim Steele Julio Tumbaco

PPB: Short for “phantom phone booth” — a phone booth with only wires left in it.

Michael Shirey GRAPHIC DESIGNERS

Downtown Express photo by Milo Hess

Andrew Gooss Chris Ortiz Troy Masters

Sad Sign With commercial rent increases all over Manhattan, people are seeing so many of these signs lately. This one was at the former Imperial Coffee Shop at Church and Chambers Sts. in Lower Manhattan.

Posted To More people means less business for Nassau Street shops (POSTED, July 16):

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July 30-August 12, 2015

Ferry Godfather: A Mafia don who lives on Staten Island. Cartio Workout: The exercise one gets walking over to the hot dog cart. Bubblestone: Street or sidewalk littered with bubble-shaped tops of Frappucino cups.

Mister Loudee: Any ice cream truck that plays music. Horse Shoo: Nickname for Mayor de Blasio’s initiative to rid Central Park of carriages. Sick Passenger: Joking euphemism for lame excuse. E.g., “I wanted to get to your opening, but there was a sick passenger.” Or, “A sick passenger ate my homework.” Eva-lution: The gradual switch from traditional to charter schools, often aided by Eva Moskowitz.

Lost and Lost: The MTA’s Lost and Found booth.

Not to be insensitive, but I’m not sure what they want. NO construction? NO Change? Sorry, that’s not happening. If you don’t adjust your merchandise to appeal to the new demographic you are not going to succeed. I don’t shop at those stores because they don’t offer what I want. I’ve seen lots of stores close over the last 8 years that refused to adjust to the “new” neighborhood by staying open later and opening on weekends. They have been replaced by better tenants that offer what we do want. That’s how capitalism works. Pisillo makes great sandwiches. I order from them. He gets it. For him, business is great. DTNYC

I agree with other comments about the merchants just not being in touch

High Line Line: A line you are likely to hear on the High Line, e.g., “It’s 7:30 in Milan now.” Or, “I could’ve bought that building for $50,000 in ‘78.”

Late Bloomers: Buildings and projects begun in Bloomberg era only now reaching completion. A-Riguez: The side of A-Rod we didn’t see until now. Cataclysmic Climate Change: The act of entering a freezing subway car from a sweltering platform, or vice versa.

Shadowfreud: To feel pleasure in knowing a friend’s luxury apartment will soon to be in the shadow of an even more luxurious building. Smidgeon: A small pigeon. Lenore Skenazy is a keynote speaker and the author and founder of the book and blog Free-Range Kids.

Yellowed Cab: Pre-Uber form of transportation.

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Churisma: The irresistible allure of a giant pile of churros.

Tube Jobs: A street fair job, e.g., selling tube socks.

PHOTOGRAPHERS

Milo Hess Jefferson Siegel

Speed Lump: A person standing on the left side of the escalator unaware that that side is reserved for people walking.

Mondo Condo: Nickname for Long Island City. Celebate: A person who tries to not spot celebrities.

ART DIRECTOR

WEB MASTER

Loughnut: The lone doughnut left on a doughnut cart.

with what residents want. I prefer to shop near home (who has time to shop near work these days?), and I would love to have more businesses with merchandise I like. Tribeca had a tradition of independently owned stores (clothing, jewelry, hardware, housewares, etc.) that are dying as rents go sky-high over there. Maybe Nassau Street is an opportunity for merchants priced out of Tribeca to make a move, or for some other enterprising small businesses like we see in residential Brooklyn neighborhoods to have a branch in Manhattan. Local Resident

To expand or not is the question at Tribeca plaza (POSTED, July 15): As an attendee, this was one of the most pathetic discussions I have ever heard at a Community Board meeting

Square Knot: A crowd of Times Square tourists trying to cross the street that intersects with a crowd of tourists trying to buy $10 handbags. Coney-ism: Boardwalk employees who send business to other Boardwalk establishments. E.g., “Now that you’ve had a hot dog, maybe it’s time for a ride on the Cyclone.” NO-DOZ: (Acronym) The neighborhood Near Or Directly Opposite Zabar’s. NO-DOZ BRONX: The neighborhood Near Or Directly Opposite Zoo.

RMMTribeca Blunch: Brunch that commences at or past lunchtime. We could use a lot more plazas in the neighborhood. And just as important, we need to get on-board with the Move-NY Sam Schwartz plan to end the cheap toll incentive trucks have to get to Jersey via Tribeca. No neighborhood has a bigger reason to support this plan than Tribeca.

If the neighborhood demographic indicates average household income of over $200K, I would think Omega Jewelers should be selling Rolexes not Seikos, and the Silk Shop should be selling Charvet ties not 3-for-$10 specials. If they upgraded their merchandise, the upscale residential clientele would follow.

Agreed, the neighborhood is a traffic nightmare. Why would anyone not want improvements?

Nassau Resident

Matthiashess

HamTech87

DowntownExpress.com

Tramelot: Nickname reflecting Camelot-like hopes for a new Cornell Tech campus on Roosevelt Island.

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

Downtown Express photo by Milo Hess

Hungry for a spire? Security is tight at One World Trade Center, but we trust no one is too worried about this shark spotted recently in Tribeca. July 30-August 12, 2015

19


Are my mothering skills slipping to my husband? B Y VICTOR I A G RA N T H A M One of the things you learn when you become a parent is that you’ve taken on a responsibility for life. You can never truly get a vacation from your role as a mom or dad… but my husband and I aren’t above trying. This summer Jay had a large chunk of time off of work, and when the kids weren’t in school (they go to a year-round daycare/preschool), a lot of the childcare fell to my husband. He’s an extraordinarily involved dad even when schedules are normal, (he regularly cares for our youngest three days a week) but during this time he became The Go-to Guy for our two and five-year-old. For the last hurrah of his summer break he decided to jet to San Francisco for a boys’ week with his college friends. (I don’t begrudge him this in the least, but who has ever heard of a boys’ week?? Anyway.) I remember years ago when a girlfriend of mine said that her husband had never stayed solo overnight with the kids before, and she feared he might not be capable of handling it — and her oldest was six! At the time I felt pretty smug about the fact that I could leave my child with my husband and be confident he’d not only keep him alive, but also that he’d be pretty well cared for in my absence. But now that I’m in the mid-

LIFE DOWNTOWN dle of Jay’s time away I’m starting to realize the pendulum may have actually swung too far in the opposite direction. Yes, my husband is a competent caregiver, and that’s a wonderful thing, but I’m starting to wonder…am I? Here’s the story… A couple days before Jay left we instituted a rewards system. We bought the chore chart years ago, but finally decided to implement it more consistently last week. For getting dressed, eating meals while seated, brushing teeth, and putting their toys away, the kids get to pick colorful magnetic circles emblazoned with “Way to Go!” “Good Job!” and “Awesome!” We decided that after three days of solid performance they’d get a small privilege — an ice cream, stickers, an extra book at bedtime, etc. Before Jay left, the kids were super enthusiastic, but then it fell apart and it’s all my fault. The first night Jay was gone I decided to take the kids to Wagner Park for music and a picnic with friends. When I was ginning up the plan it sounded great: live music, running around on the grass with classmates on a beautiful night… what could go wrong? I picked the kids up at 6 p.m.

Temple Court frustrations. Continued from page 5 Committee member Fern Cunningham, who has lived at 140 Nassau St. for 15 years, said that in the past week, the street has improved a bit, “but it’s been pretty much awful.” During the prime time in the morning when kids are off to school and people are rushing to the subway, foot traffic on Nassau would be stopped for the crane, she said. Retail across the street said that the construction was affecting their business. “It just seemed like there wasn’t any thought into pedestrian traffic along that street,” she said. Andrews said significant concrete work was currently going on, but when it finishes at the end of September there will be fewer road closures. Marc Donnenfeld, a 140 Nassau St.

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resident, said that when construction began, the Beekman and its developers promised that they wanted to be part of the community. Once the project began, however, all doors and communication was shut, he said. “You continually work after hours without a permit,” said Donnenfeld. “You ignore requests to stop making noises before work should start and after work should stop.” He said there is a myriad of complaints to 311 from 140 and 145 Nassau St. Andrews, who has been on the job for four and a half months, was amenable to meeting with the committee about concerns and problems. “We’re part of the neighborhood,” said Andrews. “We want to talk to you.”

when their school day and my work day ended. We went and got picnic food and started out on our adventure — them on their dinosaur head scooters and me on foot. First miscalculation: I forgot how far we actually live from Wagner Park. After 30 minutes of scooting they were famished and exhausted and their bedtime was rapidly approaching. We were late and it was crowded, so we needed to step over and annoy large groups of people to get to our friends. I felt like we needed to stay for at least a little while since our friends had saved space for us. It was a beautiful night and a fun concert, and watching my two-year-old bust a move was priceless, but then we were pushing up to and past their bedtime and I had a 9 p.m. work call that I had to be home to lead. (Late night work calls are very unusual for me, but of course one had to be scheduled for this particular night.) We finally packed it up and headed home leaving our friends behind. By the time we got back I had to rush the boys to sleep without the usual fanfare of baths, stories, songs and backrubs. As a result, they wailed throughout my call. After I wrapped up I went to console them and they promptly suckered me into allowing them to come into my bed. OK so maybe I proactively offered out of guilt. In any event, it was “The Worst Idea Ever.” They proceeded to treat it like some kind of kiddie rave and stayed up until midnight out of sheer excitement. To top it off, in the morning, after scaling the pillow walls I’d built, the two-

year-old tumbled off the bed and started screaming bloody murder. Thankfully there were no permanent injuries, but I was rattled, as was he. “I miss daddy” and “I don’t like mommy” was the depressing breakfast mantra. Needless to say, none of us earned chore chart accolades on either of my first two days alone with my boys. I planned to tell my husband none of this, but three minutes into his check in call I confessed all (minus the fall off the bed as I knew that would drive him bonkers and he’d potentially strangle me through the phone). I felt like I was living the disastrous scene from the beginning of “Mr. Mom,” the icon ‘80s movie, but instead of being the buttoned up mother (Teri Garr) I’m apparently the bumbling, inept Michael Keaton. What the hell? On the upside, I can say that we’re now on day five and the situation is steadily improving. We had a fantastic Sunday at Victorian Gardens in Central Park with friends and I actually got my kids to bed on time for once. I’m trying to be more realistic in my planning and more consistent with rules enforcement. The chore chart is no longer barren. Let me just say though that I do not understand how single parents do it and my hat is off to stay-athome moms and dads. It’s a tough and unrelenting job. A couple days after my husband returns I’ll be off for a girls’ weekend, so the tables will be turned. I’m (pretty) sure he can handle it.

Beekman restaurant Keith McNally, restaurateur extraordinaire, went before Community Board 1’s Seaport Committee last week and revealed some details about his new restaurant at 5 Beekman St., which will be both a hotel and condos. Named Augustine, the restaurant will feature French cuisine — a continuation on the theme of some of McNally’s other spots, which include the Odeon in Tribeca and Balthazar in Soho, but somewhat different, he said. There will also be a bar with 10 to 12 seats. Shane McBride, currently

the executive chef at Balthazar, and Daniel Parilla, co-executive chef at Cherche Midi, will helm the kitchen. McNally said he had been coming before the board since 1979. He quickly agreed to the hours the committee wanted, midnight during the week and 1 a.m. on weekends. The committee approved the liquor license. Tom Colicchio will also have a signature restaurant at 5 Beekman. The restaurants are slated to open when the hotel and residences do on Feb. 1, 2016. DowntownExpress.com

Activities JULY 30-AUG. 12, 2015

LONG-RUNNING TENNIS PROGRAM: East River Park, Montgomery St. and E. 12th Street; cityparksfoundation. org/2015-summer-; Tuesdays and Thursdays, 9 am – noon, Now – Fri, Aug. 14; Free. City Parks Foundation is again hosting tennis lessons for children as part of its Summer Sports program. Registration is required online.  YOGA: Washington Square Park, West 7th St. and University Place; nycgovparks.org; Thursdays, 10 am to 11 am, Now – Fri, Aug. 21; Free.  Bring your little ones 2 to 7 years old for a stretching session. All children must be accompanied by an adult. Mats will be provided.  ART TIME: Nelson A Rockefeller Park, Battery Park City; (212) 267– 9700; bpcparks.org; Thursdays, 10:30 am–noon, Now – Thurs, Oct. 29; Free.  Young artists are introduced to paper, clay, paint and other supplies.  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 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, Now – Thurs, Oct. 29; Free.  Create a fun project, make friends and play games. For children 5 years and older.  ARTS ISLAND OUTPOST: Governors Island, Outside DowntownExpress.com

Building 14; Nolan Park; (212) 274–0986;cmany.org; Saturdays and Sundays, 12 pm to 4 pm, Now – Sun, Sept. 27; Free. The whole family will enjoy making artwork inspired by Governors Island. Participants create works with natural materials found on the island, including rocks, recyclables and more. Hosted by the Children’s Museum of Art.  TRACK AND FIELD: East River Park, Montgomery St. btween E. 12th Street and the FDR Drive; cityparksfoundation.org/2015-summer-; Mondays and Wednesdays, 9:30 am to 10:30 am and 10:30 am to noon, Now – Wed, Aug. 12; Free with museum admission.  ART AND PLAY: Robert F. Wagner Park, Battery Park City; (212) 267–9700; bpcparks.org; Mondays – Wednesdays, 10 am–noon, Now – Wed, Oct. 28; Free.  Preschoolers drop-in and play with other toddlers, in this interactive play time on the grassy lawn. Sing and hear stories too.  PARENT AND BABY YOGA: Nelson A. Rockefeller Park, Battery Park City; bpcparks.org/event; Mondays, 1 –2:15 pm and 2:30–3:45 pm, Now – Thurs, Oct. 29; $180.  Multi-level class designed to strengthen the body after giving birth. Preregistration required. (two sessions).  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, Now – 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. Drop ins welcome. All materials provided while supplies last. Weather permitting.

with our senses. This interactive story-time is designed for children ages 3 to 7. Children with disabilities are encouraged to attend.

SAT, AUGUST 1 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; bpcparks.org; Tuesdays, 3:15 – 3:45 pm, Now – Thurs, Oct. 29; Free.  Little ones 3 to 5 years old learn about simple gardening projects. Space limited first come, first served.  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.  PLAYTIME: Teardrop Park, Battery Park City; bpcparks.org; Wednesdays, 3:30–5:30 pm, Now – Wed, Oct. 28; Free.  Staffers teach children the value of play and create fun projects in drawing, sculpting and murals. For children 5 and older. 

THURS, JULY 30 SENSORY STORYTIME: Children’s Museum of the Arts, 103 Charlton St. at Hudson Street; (212) 274–0986; cmany.org; 4:30 pm to 5 pm; Free with museum admission. Explore books recommended for the new exhibition about small worlds and the far off places of imagination. Stories will be read by CMA staff with opportunities to explore them

SLIDE THE CITY: Vita Coco Beach - Foley Square Rest Stop, Duane and Centre Sts.; nyc.gov/summerstreets; 7 am – 1 pm; Also Aug. 8 and 15; Free.  Cool off while you slush and speed down a 270-foot water slide. Yippee! This once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to slide through the streets is presented by Vita Coco Coconut Water. Participants must register on line in advance. 

THURS, AUGUST 6 GARDEN STORIES: Hamilton Fish Library: Siempre Verde Garden, 181 Stanton St. and East Houston Street; (646) 400–2042; nycgovparks. org; 10:30 am; Free.  Join in for stories for toddlers through five year olds.  STORYTIME ART CLASS: South Plaza - Union Square Park, East 14th St. and Union Square; nycgovparks. org; 11 am; Free.  Dress and mess for artistic success: young children explore their talents with dough, crayons, chalk and more. 

SAT, AUGUST 8 SLIDE THE CITY – see Aug. 1. SATURDAY STUDIOS: Children’s Museum of the Arts, 103 Charlton St. at Hudson Street; (212) 274–0986; cmany.org; 10 am – 1 pm; $12 plus general admission.  Skill-based art classes for parents and kids together! Pre-registration required. 

TUES, AUGUST 11 “GREASE”: Tony Dapolito Recreation Roof, 3 Clarkson St. and Hudson Street; (212) 242–5228; nycgovparks. org; 8 pm to 10:30 pm; Free.  Sit back and enjoy the classic with great music, John Travolta and Olivia Newtown John.  July 30-August 12, 2015

21


Hold the onions! A Village Valentine’s Day story BY SUSA N SH A PI RO The following is an excerpt from Susan Shapiro’s new novel, “What’s Never Said,” published by Greenwich Village’s Heliotrope, officially coming out Aug. 3. Setup: In February 1981, in Greenwich Village, Lila Lerner, an innocent graduate N.Y.U. student from a Jewish Wisconsin family, is upset when the professor she adores ignores her on Valentine’s Day. So sheW has dinner with a Turkish classmate, Tarik, at the Cookery on University Place. When the wine came, Tarik took a sip and nodded for the waiter to pour. “Why did you get a bottle from ten years ago?” Lila asked, wondering if it was still good a decade later, and if you got a discount for old stuff. “A friend and wine best when old,” he said, clicking her glass. Lila was intrigued by his accent and the way he sometimes left out connectives. “You prefer red or white?” “Definitely red,” she said, not mentioning that the kind they drank at home was Manischewitz. “After graduate degree, you move home?” Tarik asked. “No. I’ll get a job and stay here. I love the Village.” Lila drank up. The taste was growing on her. “Your family let you do this?” Tarik poured more. Lila shrugged. “Why not?” “Dangerous alone. Before you marry…” Lila finished her glass. “I might never get married.” “Woman writer needs husband,” he insisted. “Tell that to Sylvia Plath.” She poured a tall one she finished quickly. He looked confused. “She had husband and two babies young.” “Yeah, then her husband’s affairs ruined their family,” Lila said. “She would have been better off unmarried and childless. Like Emily Dickinson. Jane Austen. Elizabeth Bishop.” “You don’t mean.” Tarik shook his head. “Something wrong with woman who doesn’t want to be wife and mother.” “What do you mean by [ital] wrong?” [unital] “Broken. Damaged. Not normal. Crazy,” he listed. “How you say — disturbed.” “Why the f--- would you say something so ignorant?” she asked, emboldened by the wine.

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Susan Shapiro as an N.Y.U. student in 1981, with a friend in the Village.

sent her for Valentine’s Day, Lila decided “Speak quietly,” he said through to take herself out to dinner at Dojo. She clenched teeth. “Not attractive for changed into the flats hidden in her purse ladies to swear.” and waded through the hordes of bohe“F--- you!” she said louder, stand- mians and homeless men hanging out on ing up. decrepit St. Mark’s Place. It smelled He stood up too, his eyes of burning incense and the hot UND O jumpy, horrified. “Sit down,” dog truck on the corner. R A he whispered. Lila marveled at the seedy Lila did not sit down. She bodega, dive bar, graffiti-lined marched out the door. She’d record shop and tattoo parlor never walked out on a guy at she passed. More crazy chardinner before. It felt totally cool, acters strolled this jam-packed like she was the poet version of Gloria East Village intersection than she’d seen Steinem. Until she realized that she was in nineteen years in her hometown of overdressed and alone at 9 p.m. on the Baraboo — population 10,000. She was Saturday night of Valentine’s Day in a city awed by the downtown graffiti artists of couples on dates. How humiliating. and foreign women selling used blouses Lila started to cry, heading back and coffeemakers on the sidewalk — not to her dorm to hide under the covers. noticing it was twenty degrees out. All the Instead she went to Washington Square oddballs were decked out as if Valentine’s Park. Sitting on a bench, she lit her Day was Halloween — girls in gowns with roommate Sari’s present: a red joint. vampire capes, men in dresses, high heels Nobody noticed Lila amid the trans- and makeup. Everybody carried bizarre vestites, hippies and students gath- objects: antique chairs, bagpipes, a boa ered around the fire-eater — even in constrictor. She felt like she was floating, freezing cold. A scraggly regular said, escaping from prison to live in this excit“Hey pretty clothes, what ya doin’ back ing drug-filled carnival. here?” At her favorite bookstore, St. “Dumped my date,” she said, hand- Mark’s Bookshop, she treated herself ing him the joint. They shared it as a to a poetry collection, Louise Glück’s guitar player sang Joni Mitchell’s “Free “Descending Figure,” on sale for $2. Man in Paris.” She hummed along, tin- Crossing the street, she sat inside gly, dizzy, starving. at Dojo and read the angry female Remembering the $20 her mother Jewish poet’s words, craving chicken

yakimeshi. Sari had turned her on to this dive and awesome $4 meal. When Lila got her paycheck, she’d treat herself to this special dish. The only thing Lila didn’t like was the sliced onions. She’d pick them out one by one, putting a pile on the side. Right after she ordered, she had a revelation. She stopped the waitress and said, “Excuse me, miss. I have a question. Can I get my yakimeshi without onions?” “Sure, hon. No problem,” the waitress said. Lila was amazed. Forget all her male Svengalis trying to teach her wisdom. She’d just learned the most important lesson on her own: You could order the world without onions! Just as it came, she saw Sari walking by through the window. She was alone too. What happened to her date Lenu? Lila ran outside and called out to her. “I left Tarik at the Cookery and smoked your joint alone in the park.” “Lenu bangs me four times last night, then blows me off Valentine’s Day. It’s a stupid motherf---ing Hallmark holiday,” Sari muttered, then started crying. Lila held out her arms, which Sari fell into. “I’m so glad you’re here. Come hang out with me.” Lila led her inside. Sari sat down at her table, blowing her nose with Lila’s napkin. Then she stuck her fingers in the yakimeshi, picking out chicken and some carrots, plunking them in her mouth. “Tastes different,” Sari said. “I special ordered it,” Lila told her. “You can just order life without the onions!” “Nice metaphor,” Sari said. “Right? I know!” Lila cracked up, then asked the waitress for another fork, thinking she wound up with the exact right person she loved most on Valentine’s Day after all. Susan Shapiro will read from “What’s Never Said” at a “Shrinks Are Away Reading” on Tues., Aug. 4, from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., at St. Mark’s Bookshop, 136 E. Third St. Other authors reading from their new works will include Kate Walter, Neesha Arter, Royal Young and Kenan Trebincevic. On Wed., Aug. 5, from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., Shapiro will host a “Secrets of Book Publishing Panel” with book editors and literary agents at the Strand bookstore’s Rare Books Room, 828 Broadway at 12th St. (Buy a copy of “What’s Not Said” or a $15 Strand gift card in order to attend.) DowntownExpress.com

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Just Do Art THE SINGULARITY Dystopian near-future? Check. Bossy health care cyber-overlord? Check. Successful use of a fortysomething’s last egg? Nope. So begins “The Singularity” — in which Astrid rages against the system while HAMLETGHOSTS going rogue to find a After 18 months donor who’s got the in the workshop right stuff to beat her percolation phase, biological clock. A The Brewing Dept. has chance discussion with distilled Shakespeare’s a quirky scientist about “Hamlet” down to its essence his odd experiments — a potent cup’s worth of core could take her plans from themes remain, with much of the concept to conception… plot and text jettisoned in favor of but at what price? Playwright vignettes that mash the best of Crystal Jackson’s sassy, surDesigned by Jiin Choi the Bard’s takes on family ties, real, sci-fi comedy of escainsanity and revenge with Lady The Brewing Dept. boils down “Hamlet” lating absurdities marks a Gaga, Internet info and can- to its essence, when “HamletGhosts” return by Virago Theatre did narratives plucked from the haunts HERE Aug. 3–5. Company of San Francisco lives of cast members. Director — last seen in these parts Cody Holliday Haefner’s interlast summer, at The Flea, pretation of the much-produced play forces the with their productions of “AROUSAL” and “The audience, he asserts, “to question their own com- Lover.” plicity in the acts of madness and violence played July 30–Aug. 15: Mon.–Sat. (dark on Tues.) out in front of them.” at 9 p.m. with Sat. matinees Aug 1, 8, 15 at Mon., Aug. 3–Wed., Aug. 5, 7 p.m. at HERE 1 p.m. At The Flea Theater (41 White St. btw. (145 Sixth Ave. btw. Spring & Broome Sts.) For Broadway & Church). For tickets ($15–$30), call tickets ($15), visit here.org. Artist info at the- 212-352-3101 or visit theflea.org. Artist info at brewingdept.org. viragotheatre.org. 9). Matinees Sun. Aug. 2 & Sat. Aug. 8 at 4 p.m. For tickets ($18), visit here.org. For info on the play’s producing entities: new dogtheatre.com and piedmontperformancefactory.org.

Photo by Nick Graetz

One man, five fates: J. Alphonse Nicholson timeshifts between different eras in American history, in “Freight” (at HERE through Aug. 9).

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