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Microbrews Pour Into Eighth Ave. Tavern BY ZACH WILLIAMS One New Jersey businessman believes that Chelsea customers desire music, sports, technology, and a wide variety of brews at their ideal local tavern. Only time will tell if he presents a mix that suits the ever-changing neighborhood. The World of Beer (WOB) opened a location on Aug. 31 in the middle of a stretch of Eighth Ave., between W. 25th & W. 26th Sts. Tenement buildings remain a few doors down from WOB, where customers can gaze at the towers-in-the-park architecture of Penn South Continued on page 10

Photo by Jenny Rubin

Her Storybook Vision of the City Bathed in blue thanks to the Snapseed app on her iPhone 6, Jenny Rubin gives the iconic W. 18th St. Altman Building a fairy tale reimagining. “Since I was a child, growing up in New York, I’ve liked the feeling of a big city looking like a storybook,” says Rubin. “So now I work with extreme colors, to make it look grand, but still small and welcoming.” See more of her work at instagram.com/jruby70.

A BUMPER CROP OF FALL ARTS FESTIVALS Getting lost in a corn maze or traipsing through and apple orchard is a fine way to spend your fall...but why leave the island when there’s so much to do? Our roundup of the season’s best music, comedy, dance, theater, and film festivals starts on page 15.

Housing Advocate Learned Lessons, the Jane Wood Way BY DUSICA SUE MALESEVIC Some memories are indelible. For Norma Aviles, a lifelong Chelsea resident, there is no way to forget what happened after the third — and biggest — fire hit her W. 17 St. building on a cold December morning in 1986. “Here we are, standing in the street [at] 3:30, four o’clock in the morning and we see Jane Wood coming down the block,” Aviles recalled. “I see her coming down the block and I’m like, “What are you doing here?’ ”

© CHELSEA .comNOW 2015 | NYC COMMUNITY MEDIA, LLC, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Wood, who used to live on W. 19th St., was the founder of the Chelsea Coalition on Housing and a force to be reckoned with. She had a message for the tenants: they could not leave the building. Aviles, six months pregnant, told Wood, “I gotta leave the building.” No, insisted Wood, they were going to come up with a

Continued on page 3 VOLUME VOLUME 07, ISSUE 07, 28 ISSUE | SEPTEMBER 22 | 03 JULY 16 2015 03 - 09, 22, 2015 September - 09, 1


COMMUNITY ACTIVITIES at St. Francis of Assisi Church (135 W. 31st St. btw. Sixth & Seventh Aves.). There is a 9:30 a.m. Mass, and the Walk begins at 10:30 a.m. After its stop in Chelsea, the walk proceeds down Seventh Ave., ending at the World Trade Center. For more info, visit facebook.com/911Walk/info.

THE 100 W. 16TH ST. BLOCK ASSOCIATION’S ANNUAL BLOCK PARTY

Photo by Scott Stiffler

The Father Mychal Judge Memorial 9/11 Walk of Remembrance will stop in Chelsea, on the morning of Sept. 6.

THE FATHER MYCHAL JUDGE MEMORIAL 9/11 WALK OF REMEMBRANCE This annual observance is named for FDNY Chaplain Mychal Judge — who rushed to the scene on Sept. 11, 2001 and was killed when debris from the collapsed South Tower was hurled into Judge’s North Tower lobby location.

The 10th Precinct Community Council will sponsor an Honor Guard to meet the procession as they stop at the quarters of Chelsea’s Engine 3/ Ladder 12/Battalion 7, to honor firefighters from that house who died in the line of duty on Sept. 11. Sun., Sept. 6. The March is expected to be at 19th St. & Seventh Ave. around 11 a.m., from its starting point

This charming side street’s family-friendly block party offers stoop and sidewalk sales, baked goods, kids’ activities, a raffle, badminton and jazz music. Sat., Sept. 12, 11 a.m.–4 p.m. On W. 16th St. btw. Sixth & Seventh Aves.

FALL CLASSES AT PENN SOUTH CERAMICS STUDIO Whether you’re in need of some art for the apartment, a vase for your flowers or a place to pour your morning coffee, the Penn South Ceramics Studio will give you all of the necessary do-it-yourself skills. The fall session begins Sept. 14–16. Some prior experience and equipment is necessary for certain classes, which

Photo by Santiago Pineda

Penn South Ceramics Studio Instructor Michael Milograno, seen here, will teach two classes for the Penn South Ceramics Studio 2015 Fall Term.

include Intermediate Handbuilding, Intermediate/Advanced Wheel, and Beginning Ceramics. Per-class tuition is $155 for Studio members. Otherwise, $210 for Penn South residents and $210 for non-residents. Email questions to pennsouthceramics@gmail.com, or visit pennsouthceramics.com.

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Tenant, Activist, Advocate: The Journey of Norma Aviles

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Norma Aviles, photographed when participating in the StoryCorps oral history project.

Continued from page 1 plan to stay in order to thwart the landlord, who could use the fire to get them out of their apartments, Aviles recalled. “And the firemen are saying, ‘Lady, you’re crazy — they can’t go back in there,’ ” she told Chelsea Now at the W. 16th St. & Eighth Ave. Starbucks — a stone’s throw away from the building in question, and the street named “Jane Wood’s Way.” For four years already, Aviles had been fighting the landlord who owned the building at 457 W. 17th (btw. Ninth & 10th Aves.). Her parents, Jose and Norma Aviles, moved to Chelsea in the early ’60s to W. 22nd St., and were superintendents. Aviles was born on W. 22nd St. Her parents moved her, and her sisters, to 457 when she was around the age of seven. .com

The apartment the Aviles family resided in was rent controlled. After her mom and sisters moved out, she decided to stay in the apartment because it had low rent. When a new landlord took over after the former one died, he wasted no time, she said, sending Aviles a letter stating that she had no right to the apartment and had 30 days to leave. This is how Aviles’ housing activism started. Sure, growing up she had seen her mom take part in the Chelsea Coalition on Housing and hold meetings in their apartment — but being young, Aviles was not interested until it became clear that she might lose her place. Her mom suggested she go to a Coalition meeting, which was held in a nearby building every Thursday night. “So I went there and I meet my her-

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Raised in Chelsea, Taught by a Coalition

Courtesy Norma Aviles

At a Chelsea block party in the ealy 2000s: Norma Aviles, right, and the late Jane Wood, left.

Continued from page 3 oine,” she explained, referring to Wood. She then pulled out a photo of her and Wood at a neighborhood block party to show to this reporter.

“With the Coalition, what it teaches is: you learn how to fight and then you help others,” she added. “If anybody needed help, we all went as a group and we supported them.” At the meeting, she realized that several other residents were experiencing

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similar problems with the landlord — being forced out. “Once I got involved with Jane, it just was an eye-opener for me — what was going on around me,” she explained. From the Coalition, Aviles learned she needed to gather all the information that she could. So she went down to an office by Chambers St. and went through its microfilm, finally finding something that had her father’s name on it. She then wrote her landlord a letter that proved she had the right to stay in the apartment, she said. This got her landlord off her back for the time being. “They couldn’t get at me that way,” she said. But there were other problems with the building — Aviles said that she had no heat or hot water. If there were leaks or things that needed to be repaired, there was no super to take care of it. “We’re practically on our own and, of course, here comes the winter — we have no heat,” she explained. Aviles started organizing the tenants and having meetings in her apartment, just like her mom. Through the years, the building changed hands, with “each landlord worse than the other,” she said. In the winter of 1986, the third fire — which started in the basement due to a faulty old boiler — was the tipping point. Some of the tenants decided to stay even after the fire, so that they wouldn’t lose their apartments. “We had gas, so we would boil water on top of the stove to keep the apartment warm,” she recalled. “We don’t want to lose our apartments so we’re going to do everything we can.” The tenants filed an HP action against the landlord in Housing Court, asking that he make the necessary repairs, she said. “Here I am, pregnant, and Jane is pushing me to the front when we go to court,” she said with a laugh. The judge ruled for the tenants and the city ended up installing a boiler, she said. “That’s how we take the building over — we took it back,” said Aviles, who was working at an advertising agency during that period. Aviles continued her involvement with the coalition and explained how Wood organized. “She was an incredible organizer. She gave us all positions. If she found that you were good at one thing, she

used you for that. So she knew that I was artsy and that I love my music,” said Aviles, who attended BMCC and studied liberal arts. When tenants won a fight, the Coalition would throw a party on 17th St. (btw. Eighth & Ninth Aves.). The street would be blocked off, a band would jam and there would be lots of food, which Aviles would organize. “That was just a way to get your mind away from the hell that you’re living through,” she said. “That was the one day, we got together and it was fun and there was music and you were dancing.” Aviles said that she misses those days when Chelsea was a close-knit community. “You look at it now and you say, ‘Really, that was happening?’ ” said Aviles, who has lived on W. 17th St. for almost her whole life. “It was so incredible. I walk down these streets today and I’m like, ‘They’re so different.’ ” She added, “Even though it’s beautiful now, I just miss the community that we had. We had little stores, we had bodegas, we had pastry shops, we had, you know, the mom and pop stuff.” Aviles eventually moved out of 457 W. 17th St., which is now a luxury apartment building. According to real estate site Zillow.com, one apartment is selling for around $1.5 million and its monthly rent is $5,300. She moved, but stayed on W. 17th St., only now between Eighth and Ninth Aves. Jane Wood passed away in 2004, and two years later Aviles got a job with Housing Court Answers, which used to be called the City-Wide Task Force on Housing Court. She first worked in Queens and then became Brooklyn coordinator. “It reminds me of when we were fighting [in Chelsea],” she said of Brooklyn, where she has worked for nine years. “I see the same faces. I so relate to them. It’s like my people all over again.” For over 30 years, the nonprofit Housing Court Answers (cwtfhc.org) has helped tenants in housing court matters. They have a hotline and tables at the courts to provide tenants with information in multiple languages. Aviles continues to fight, using what Wood and the coalition taught her. “I can’t walk down the street without having to give somebody some advice,” she said. .com


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Gay City News presents the

POLICE BLOTTER PETIT LARCENY: Had it in the bag A 60-year-old man might have reckoned that he had the right strategy to avoid theft, when he left his $700 cell phone unattended on Mon., Aug. 24. Knowing that its continued presence could be monitored through a Bluetooth speaker, he placed the Samsung Galaxy S5 in a plastic bag and hid it, according to police, in an arch outside the Morgan General Mail Facility (341 Ninth Ave. btw. W. 29 & 30 Sts.). Then he listened to some music inside. But at about 4:50 p.m., the signal became increasingly faint. He returned to the plastic bag and found that the phone had disappeared without a trace.

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Pepper spray was the reception received by a Parks Department employee at Chelsea Park (btw. W. 27th & W. 28th Sts.) on Fri., Aug. 28. Police say that a 50-something man occupied a restroom for an extended period of time that evening. The employee then checked in on the situation. When he opened the door at about 7 p.m., the man unleashed the pressurized irritant into the 48-year-old employee’s eyes. He refused medical attention, and the perpetrator fled the scene.

CRIMINAL MISCHIEF: A thorough attack, with no explanation Someone did not like a 2014 Lexus or the man with the keys — or, perhaps, what either of them stood for. The man parked the car at 10 p.m. on Fri., Aug. 28 on the 400 block of W. 40th St. (btw. 9th & 10th Aves.). He later found the tires slashed and the front and back windshields smashed upon his later return, police said.

GRAND LARCENY: Never talk to strangers plastered

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A couple of thieves took a 38-year-old drunk man for a ride on Sun., Aug. 30. The victim told police that he met the two perpetrators on the 500 block of W. 43rd St. (btw. 10th & 11th Aves.) at about 4:15 a.m., and accepted their invitation to an afterparty at an unknown location. They piled into a gray Jeep Grand Cherokee and made sure to visit an ATM on the way before proceeding southbound on Second

Ave. One of the men, at this time, went through the victim’s pockets and grabbed his iPhone, debit and credit cards and $500 cash before they kicked the victim out of the vehicle and drove off. Police do not have a description of the perpetrators, an exact location, or even time of the theft. The victim was too drunk to remember, according to a police report.

GRAND LARCENY: Stole his jewelry, if not his heart Letting an unknown female try on $40,000 worth of bling cost a Scarsdale man dearly on Sun., Aug. 30. The 38-yearold man was dancing away the early morning inside of 1 Oak, a bar located at 453 W. 17th St. (btw. 9th & 10th Aves.). The woman asked to wear his platinum chain and platinum ring (worth $20,000), and he let her. She then said she had to go to the bathroom at about 3 a.m. He never saw her, or the accouterments, again.

INVESTIGATION: Burglary pattern on West Side The NYPD seeks the public’s assistance in catching two male suspects wanted in connection with 13 burglaries. The incidents occurred from the early afternoon to the evening hours, at locations ranging from W. 32nd St. to W. 87th St. The thieves have an affinity for laptops and other electronics within commercial buildings, police say. One suspect, age 27, was arrested in connection to one incident, according to an NYPD statement released on Aug. 29.

—ZACH WILLIAMS

THE 10th PRECINCT Located at 230 W. 20th St. (btw. Seventh & Eighth Aves.). Commander: Deputy Inspector Michele Irizarry. Main number: 212-741-8211. Community Affairs: 212-741-8226. Crime Prevention: 212-741-8226. Domestic Violence: 212-741-8216. Youth Officer: 212-741-8211. Auxiliary Coordinator: 212-741-8210. Detective Squad: 212-741-8245. The Community Council meets on the last Wed. of the month, 7 p.m., at the 10th Precinct or other locations to be announced. The council is on summer break, to resume on Sept. 30.

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Rhymes With Crazy

What You Wear is Where We’ve Been BY LENORE SKENAZY You get up in the morning and walk out the door clad in history. Every item you’re wearing owes a debt to the genius of yesteryear, just as surely as Elvis owes a debt to Muddy Waters, and vegans owe a debt to vegetarians. The problem is, it’s hard to see how the flappers of the 1920s influenced the hippies of the ’60s, or who bequeathed us the skinny jeans of today, until you take a look at the sweep of fashion history. That’s exactly what Daniel James Cole and Nancy Deihl do in their new book “The History of Modern Fashion.” “Fashion always interlocks with culture,” says Deihl, director of the masters program in costume studies at New York University. For instance, adds Cole, who also teaches fashion history at both the university and the Fashion Institute of Technology, just look at the jeans you’re probably wearing right now. (I am!) Denim is a uniform for many of us today, but most likely it was first

used in Europe as a boat covering, says Cole. The word denim comes from “de Nimes” — French for “from the town of Niemes.” It was those classy Italians in Genoa who turned the boat cloth into pants. The word “jeans” sounds like “Genes,” the French word for Genoa. While Levi Strauss is often given credit for inventing the iconic pants (which it seems he didn’t), “He was still a genius,” says Cole. That’s because Strauss realized jeans were the perfect thing to make and market in 1849 San Francisco, epicenter of the gold rush. The miners there spent a lot of their time knee-deep in the river, panning for gold nuggets. The woolen pants they were wearing rotted when wet. Denim, a strong cotton weave, did not. It could handle mud, water, and a lot of wear. And it still can. That’s one of

A Place Where I Can Be Myself

the reasons jeans are still around. “You can buy Levis today that are essentially the same design as the 1850s,” says Cole. You can also buy jeans that are very different. For their book, six years in the making, Cole and Deihl pored over images from every era. In a 1920s magazine they found an ad for denim gardening overalls in pastel colors for women. Bingo! That’s when denim leapt the gender barrier. By the 1950s, movies starring brooding young men showed those men brooding in blue jeans. Marlon Brando in “A Streetcar Named Desire” and James Dean in “Rebel Without a Cause” wore jeans tighter than you’d want to wear if, say, you were panning for gold. But they were perfect for making audiences swoon. Pretty soon if you wanted to look young and sexy, you, too, were wearing jeans, rebelling against the establishment by refusing to wear neatly pressed pants or dresses. The first Gap store opened in 1969, its name a salute to the chasm between the generations. Jeans were the Gap’s specialty. By the disco era, the design world caught on and gave us jeans by Calvin Klein, Gloria Vanderbilt, and Yves Saint Laurent. Now jeans could be fancy. Those who think deeper about fashion than the rest of us have realized clothes provide three things: utility, status, and seduction. Jeans do all three. No wonder they’re still so popular.

But of course, they’re not the only fashion item out there. The book takes readers on a beautifully documented romp from the 1850s through today, with stops at every decade, from the Gibson Girl to Kim Kardashian. Each era introduced some new idea of beauty. In the early 1900s, says Deihl, the perfect figure was the hourglass, with a bust and butt almost cartoonishly pillowy. Garments were lined with padding and ruffles to make slim figures look full. As for legs, who cared? No one saw them. Screeech! By the 1920s, the female ideal was the exact opposite — flat flappers were dancing in knee-baring skirts. “Suddenly your legs were on display,” says Deihl. “That was kind of traumatic for people.” Maybe not for the guys, but gals had to figure out how to display a body part they’d never bothered with before. And it hasn’t gotten any easier. The ’30s demanded curves again, and World War II gave us broad-shouldered broads as they took on the jobs the menfolk left behind. The ’50s saw a lot of matchy-matchy perfection. And then came the ’60s as almost an echo of the ’20s — another rebellion against the old guard, complete with even shorter skirts (and more leg for ladies to worry about presenting). The hip-hop revolution of the ’80s gave us tracksuits as fashion, major jewelry for men, and our current obsession with sneakers. Today, says Deihl, fashion is busy mining the past for the next big thing. Seems like it always has. Lenore Skenazy is a public speaker and founder of the book and blog Free-Range Kids (freerangekids.com).

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Bar Owner Says World of Beer Has Th Continued from page 1 Co-ops through the floor-to-ceiling windows abutting the sidewalk. There is a pizzeria, bodega, 7-Eleven and a hair stylist down the block. But more and more, local businesses are more in line with the luxuries of WOB, where gourmet pretzels arrive on hooks strong enough to dangle fine meat cuts. Customers can choose from more than 500 beer brands with an iPad available on their table tops to provide the details, before their attention might wander to the flatscreens lining the walls. A vision of neighborhood residents congregating over microbrews and their favorite local sports team inspired the entrepreneur behind the establishment, which was about two years in the making. The songs of the ’70s were played on the night of Aug. 30 — when an exclusive set of friends, business associates and this reporter assembled for a preview of how it could all work. “I was just really quickly drawn to the World of Beer experience,” said Will Mingo, owner the Chelsea location. “It doesn’t feel like a franchise. It feels like a neighborhood food and dining experience.” Connoisseurs of a fine brew need not settle for the relatively few types of beer available elsewhere. Nor must they experience the dazzle of looking at each and every brand available within the half-dozen fridges at WOB. A perusal of the offerings via the iPads precludes viewing the choices in the physical or printed worlds before they arrive on the table. Mingo said that his staff studied the nuances of beer, including the differences among the more than 32,000 microbrews available nationwide. Two weeks or so of studying the history and variety of beer does not equate with the title of sommelier — but nonetheless, WOB employees told Chelsea Now that their new jobs required a fair amount of academic rigor. Although one of them mistakenly referred to Budweiser as a pale ale on Aug. 30 (it’s a pale lager), the ambience does not lack overall expertise, according to server Zef Balbona. “You really have to be able to keep up with [customers],” he said based on his experience observing another

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New Jersey businessman Will Mingo (above) believes that World of Beer Chelsea can become a neighborhood hub and a savvy entry into the local market.

Photos by Z

The World of Beer Chelsea opened to the public on Aug. 31.

Technology has a role in explaining the origins and flavors of the more than 500 beers available at the World of Beer Chelsea.

franchise in Savannah, Ga. this summer. “People just seemed to know what they want and they’re passionate about it.” Opinions on what constitutes a local bar can be different for Chelsea residents looking for another way to enjoy alcoholic beverages. Offerings at WOB — such as craft brews, gourmet tacos (with romaine rather than iceberg let-

tuce) and post-modern decor — might not attract neighborhood regulars who prefer the dankness of their favorite dive bar. Thus far, though, businesses such as WOB have avoided the level of controversy experienced by another example of a local beer awakening: a proposed beer garden at Pier 62, which some

A fusion of gourmet food, fancy drink and tech quintessential neighborhood bar. There are mor

locals say would unduly appropriate public space. They have also expressed fears that carousing beer drinkers might degrade the family friendliness of a nearby children’s carousel. While that controversy plays out, Chelsea will continue to make its mark on the local beer scene, through this franchise business that has over 70 .com


he Right Mix For a Changing Chelsea

Zach Williams

hnology aims to change popular notions of the Live music will play several nights a week at World of Beer Chelsea, which also seeks attention from sports fans re than 70 World of Beer franchises nationwide. looking to watch local teams play.

locations across the country. “The infusion tower sets this bar apart from any other in New York City,” said Petito, owner of Rockland County-based brewer Kuka, of a threeinch diameter tubular vessel where local brews meet new flavors at WOB. She said that overall competition is fierce within the growing microbrewery .com

market. Survival entails making a living, so that one’s own creation might run — as Kuka does — from the tap of a local bar, she added. There are few opportunities to rest. “We’re competing to keep our beers in rotation,” Petito said. “You rarely see one beer on tap all the time.” She noted that WOB supports local

brewers through a wide selection of New York brews, even if more generic brands such as Pabst Blue Ribbon are sold as well. A few feet away, one longterm resident conceded that the future was on full display that night. “For me, of course, it would be nice to stay with mom and pops, but that’s not where New York City is going,”

said Heather G., who said she has lived in the area for 15 years. Her husband, Bryce Zachery, said that the numerous sex shops on Eighth Ave. give him hope that a certain character will continue to carry over from the neighborhood’s grittier past. “As long as that stays, Chelsea is Chelsea,” he said. September 03 - 09, 2015

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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

THE WEST SIDE’S COMMUNITY NEWSPAPER

PUBLISHER

Jennifer Goodstein

EDITOR Scott Stiffler

EDITORIAL ASSISTANT Sean Egan

ART DIRECTOR Michael Shirey

GRAPHIC DESIGNERS Andrew Gooss Chris Ortiz

CONTRIBUTORS

Stephanie Buhmann Sean Egan Michael Lydon Dusica Sue Malesevic Winnie McCroy Puma Perl Yannic Rack Paul Schindler Trav S.D. Eileen Stukane Zach Williams

EXECUTIVE VP OF ADVERTISING Amanda Tarley

ACCOUNT EXECUTIVES Jack Agliata Allison Greaker Jennifer Holland Jim Steele Julio Tumbaco

Published by

NYC COMMUNITY MEDIA, LLC

One Metrotech North, 10th Floor, Brooklyn, NY 11201 Phone: (212) 229-1890 Fax: (212) 229-2790 www.chelseanow.com scott@chelseanow.com © 2015 NYC Community Media, LLC Member of the New York Press Association Chelsea Now is published weekly by NYC Community Media

LLC, One Metrotech North, 10th Floor, Brooklyn, NY 11201. (212) 229-1890. Annual subscription by mail in Manhattan and Brooklyn $75. The entire contents of newspaper, including advertising, are copyrighted and no part may be reproduced without the express permission of the publisher - © 2015 NYC Community Media LLC, Postmaster: Send address changes to Chelsea Now, One Metrotech North, 10th Floor, Brooklyn, NY 11201.

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.

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Peace on the pier more precious than beer To The Editor: Re: “Private Investment, Public Enjoyment” (Talking Point, August 20, 2015): Long before the Hudson River Park Trust (HRPT) was even a glint in Senator Ohrenstein’s eye — indeed, while many were still either smarting or celebrating over the defeat of Westway, the Chelsea Waterside Park Association (CWPA) was organizing an all-out effort to create a plan to build a world-class park at 23rd St. on the Hudson River. That plan was to encompass Piers 62, 63 Maritime and 64, creating a loving embrace of the river. And so it does. After endless negotiations to establish a funding stream for the park’s maintenance, an agreement was made that established Chelsea Piers as we know it today: Piers 58, 59, 60 and 61. The rent from that commercial entity was to be the cash cow that made our park viable. Our only ask was to keep the perimeters of each pier open as a public passage. Within a few years, the cow ran out of milk. Governor Pataki agreed to a deal to rewrite their lease for far less money, and CWPA saw none of it. Nearly three decades later, HRPT looks to make the same kind of bargain; but this time within the established park, and with no assurance that the meager funds derived from the rent will be devoted exclusively to the maintenance of Chelsea Waterside Park. Madelyn Wils’ argument that Pier 62 is underutilized is the very reason it is so valuable to its users. It is a calm, quiet corner of refuge from the activities to the east. An obscure fact is that when the “finger piers” (62 and 64) were rebuilt, the Trust decided to downsize Pier 62 — for financial reasons, they said. We lost many square feet of open space, and the pier now becomes narrower toward the western end. To propose encumbering that very space with a commercial (not just beer, but a hard alcohol-serving) establishment, is adding insult to injury. Pamela Wolff

September 03 - 09, 2015

MTA is trashing us To The Editor: Garbage cans are a wonderful invention. They have existed since time immemorial. They make it easier for people to dispose of trash, and thus, they contribute to cleanliness and health. In 2011, for reasons unknown, the MTA removed all garbage cans from the N and R station at Eighth St. and Broadway. It did so from a second station, as well: Main St. in Queens. The MTA apparently trusted subway riders to keep their litter until they reached a station with trash cans, or until they got out of the subway. Mysteriously, the plan worked for a while. It is hard to imagine why it should have been effective, but on Jan. 27, 2014, the MTA announced that it would expand the program. Joe Leader, senior vice president of the MTA’s Department of Subways, said, “The results have been for the most part very positive and we have seen some behavioral changes by riders.” Subway riders are responsible and try to be clean and helpful. Most of them held on to their litter. It was an inconvenience. It is so very much easier to dump your garbage into a convenient trash can. Nevertheless, many people put up with the inconvenience. Consequently, the MTA increased the inconvenience. They removed trash bins from 29 additional stations, mainly on the J and M lines. It was too much for subway riders. Littering increased. It increased even where there were convenient garbage cans. Once people get into the habit of dropping their garbage on the platform, they do so even if there is a convenient alternative. When I get off the N or R train at the Eighth St. station, I often see litter or even uneaten food on the benches. This is more common on the Downtown side in the evening. There are also lots of loose scraps of paper on the floor after one passes the turnstiles, but before one starts climbing up the steps. Riders who have been carrying their trash with them just give up when they see no relief when they finally arrive at their destination. The MTA should be happy to make life easier for its riders. It should take advantage of the wonderful, historic invention

that our remote ancestors gave us. Please, MTA, bring back the trash bins. George Jochnowitz

Feedback from Facebook Re: “Apartment Building Caught Behaving Like a Hotel” (news, Aug. 27, 2015): We’ve told DOB that when landlords lie on DOB forms, that’s a felony that should be reported to the District Attorney. DOB must stop coddling felons who endanger tenant lives and destroy housing. Richard N. Gottfried New York State Assemblymember Re: “Her Chance to See Again Comes at a Cost” (news, Aug. 27, 2015): I know the Hobbs family very well, and what was written in the paper was wonderful. They are a very special family to me. Elijah and Alexandra look in on me to see if I am okay, since I live alone. Elijah and Anna Polowitzer and Lenny Gaskin all came to my door one morning and said, “You must go to the hospital.” Well, I did — and if I had not, I would have died. The Hobbs family is most deserving of the eye operation, because they are one of the nicest families I’ve ever met. I do hope Alexandra reaches her goal to see again, to see her most wonderful family. So please give to a most deserving woman, so she can see again. Thank you, from a neighbor of the Hobbs family. Helen Murphy

E-mail letters, not longer than 250 words in length, to Scott@ ChelseaNow.com or fax to 212-2292790 or mail to Chelsea Now, Letters to the Editor, NYC Community Media, One Metrotech North, 10th Floor, Brooklyn, NY 11201. Please include phone number for confirmation purposes. Chelsea Now reserves the right to edit letters for space, grammar, clarity and libel. Chelsea Now does not publish anonymous letters.

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Connecting the Dots Creates New Leadership TALKING POINT BY MICHAEL ADAMS After the Supreme Court’s decision for marriage equality in late June, 26 million friends of the LGBTQ community showed their support — at least on that issue — by putting a rainbow filter over their Facebook profile picture. Ultimately, the freedom to marry and #LoveWins became a “sexy” way for new allies to express their solidarity en masse. It was easy — by clicking a button the supporter and supported both could feel good basking in the glow of new equality and community. I won’t critique the value of the effort — I have to admit that when I saw the rainbow over the face of my staunchly Catholic straight cousin, it meant a lot. But the gritty work that forges equity at the deepest crossroads of disenfranchisement and marginalization in our society often isn’t so sexy. What it takes to be an ally isn’t as easy as momentary solidarity and the click of a button. It takes commitment and sacrifice — putting a real stake in the ground. That’s why it’s noteworthy that at SAGE in recent years we’ve seen the emergence of true new leaders in the struggle for dignity and equity for LGBT elders. Even more importantly, some of the most game-changing new leaders have come from outside LGBT communities. These stories of new leadership are a tribute to the courage and vision of new leaders for our cause — individuals who know how to “connect the dots” of social justice and are willing to do so. The stories also reflect emerging strategies of SAGE and other diverse elder communities — strategies that recognize how systems of oppression and privilege intersect, and turn that recognition into powerful action for change and greater equity.

STEPPING OUT FOR LGBT ELDERS OF COLOR IN NEW YORK It’s not surprising that the country’s first fullfledged senior center for LGBT elders is located in Chelsea. The historical roots of New York City’s modern LGBT community, and of SAGE itself, are located right down the street in the West Village. Many elders from the Stonewall generation still live, as they have for decades, in the rent-controlled walk-up apartments that remain in these neighborhoods. While this is SAGE’s historical backyard, we also recognize that many of those who most need senior center services are LGBT elders of color — who live at the intersection of LGBTQ identity, race, advanced age, and in many cases poverty. Yet, for the most part, that’s not who was using the SAGE Center in Chelsea. The fact is that, apart from the valiant efforts of GRIOT Circle, the country’s only LGBT elders of color organization, the needs of LGBT elders of color have largely been disregarded. Most elders want to age in place — by continuing to reside in their neighborhoods and communities. For the vast majority of New York City’s LGBT elders of color, that means Harlem, the Bronx, Brooklyn, and

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Queens — not Chelsea. SAGE’s recent advocacy efforts on behalf of low-income LGBT elders of color across New York City have attracted important new leaders to our cause. Support for our work historically has come predominantly from older white gays and lesbians and a small group of New York City Council members who make up the LGBT Caucus and understand the needs of the city’s LGBT communities. The successful advocacy for public funding for SAGE Centers across New York City broke the mold in part because the advocacy effort was led by Councilmember Ritchie Torres. True, Councilmember Torres is gay and a member of the LGBT Caucus. But he’s also young (at 27, the youngest member of the City Council), of Puerto Rican descent, a lifelong resident of the Bronx, and a champion of the city’s public housing that he was raised in. As somebody who connects the dots and understands the value of services that reflect the needs of diverse communities, Ritchie Torres clearly represents an important new leader for the cause of LGBT elders. Even more striking is the crucial political support for the citywide LGBT elder initiative that came from the New York City Council as a whole, led by Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito. The speaker is not a member of the LGBT community. But she is a progressive Latina leader who has become a powerful and visible champion for a New York City that prioritizes the needs of low-income people of color and who has argued forcefully for an equitable allocation of resources across the city’s neighborhoods. The combination of the speaker’s intersectional values and SAGE’s intersectional strategies resulted in the City Council making an unprecedented $1.5 million investment to open five new LGBT senior centers in Harlem, the Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens, and Staten Island.

DIVERSE ELDER COMMUNITIES STAND UP FOR EACH OTHER AT THE NATIONAL LEVEL Fortunately, this isn’t just a New York City story. In 2010, SAGE joined with leading people of color aging organizations like the National Hispanic Council on Aging and the National Asian Pacific Center on Aging to form the Diverse Elders Coalition, a national collaborative that engages in policy advocacy and community education on behalf of low income LGBT and people

of color elders. For participating people of color organizations, the formation of the Coalition represented a decision to formally embrace LGBT older people and their needs as an important part of a diverse elder agenda. For SAGE, joining the Coalition meant that issues like immigration reform, language competency in aging services, and disenfranchisement of Native American elders needed to become part of our advocacy agenda. Thus, when the National Indian Council on Aging and other people of color aging organizations confronted serious threats to elder workforce programs for their communities, SAGE made protection of those programs one of our policy priorities. Similarly, people of color organizations in the Diverse Elders Coalition have strongly supported SAGE’s efforts to make the federal Older Americans Act LGBT-inclusive. Here again, new leaders from beyond the LGBT community have emerged to take up the cause of LGBT elders. Dr. Yanira Cruz, the head of the National Hispanic Council on Aging, has personally championed the first-ever needs assessment of Latino LGBT elders and has participated in LGBTQ conferences across the country. Quyen Dinh and Doua Thor, the present and former heads of the Southeast Asia Resource Action Center, have been powerful and vocal advocates for LGBT-inclusion in national coalition work in the aging sector. These new leaders for SAGE’s cause have emerged not only as a result of their personal courage and values, but also as a consequence of an intentionally intersectional approach by SAGE and our sister organizations in the Diverse Elders Coalition. So, we celebrate the 26 million rainbow profile photos on Facebook. But at SAGE, we save our deepest awe and respect for leaders like Speaker Melissa MarkViverito, Dr. Yanira Cruz, and Quyen Dinh, who have put a powerful stake in the ground for LGBT elders living at the intersection of sexual and gender identity, race, age and class. Michael Adams is the executive director of SAGE, Services & Advocacy for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Elders (sageusa.org).

September 03 - 09, 2015

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The Manhattan Chamber of Commerce & Chelsea Now Support

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he “East Village Loves� campaign is conceived by the East Village Independant Merchants Association (EVIMA) and encourages residents and visitors to shop local at their favorite East Village spots. Many businesses affected by the blast have re-opened and are ready for your visit.

The campaign is a celebration of the rich, diverse, and historic neighborhood in lower manhattan, characterized by a concentration of mom-and-pop establishments that are becoming less common throughout the city

#EastVillageLoves evimanyc.org

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ARTS&ENTERTAINMENT

Fall Back: Annual Autumn Festivals

Photo by Lee Rayment

Somewhere that’s green: Communal Spaces sets its short play fest in Manhattan and Brooklyn community gardens.

BY SCOTT STIFFLER Like fall, that fleeting sweet spot between summer’s messy swelter and winter’s bone-chilling cold, we’re keeping this introduction brief — all the better to get right down to the business of presenting our totally subjective picks from the robust harvest of fall festivals in and around Manhattan. It begins!

COMMUNAL SPACES: A GARDEN PLAY FESTIVAL Green gathering places are an integral part of the show (and sometimes get cast as central characters), when Communal Spaces presents short plays in Manhattan and Brooklyn community gardens. The Alphabet City venue gets title billing, in Sarah Bernstein’s “Catfight at the Oasis,” which has long-suffering but dedicated garden administer Joanne tasked with brokering peace between the procat lobby and bird fanciers who want to ban feline strays from Green Oasis Community Garden. Angela Santillo makes her fifth consecutive contribution to Communal Spaces with “Welcome to The Fall,” in which a contemporary tour guide experiences fallout from a smokejumper’s 1973 crash landing on property occupied by a meteor strike survivor. The plays .com

run at 2:30 & 3:30 p.m., respectively, in Green Oasis Garden (E. Eighth St. btw. Aves. C & D). Charly Evon Simpson’s “An Apple Today” finds two sisters meeting at Warren St. Marks Garden (619 Warren St. in Park Slope, Brooklyn) to speak in confidence. When they encounter a former classmate, memories of playground romances and acts of emotional agression come flooding back. You’re already there for the 5 p.m. “Apple,” so it’s job accomplished when Dominic Finocchiaro’s “enter a garden” beings at 6. “Leaves turn from green to red to brown and fall to the ground. Life happens.” That’s all the playwright is divulging about the plot. Free. All plays run Sept. 12–27, Sat. & Sun. For more info, as well as a description of what’s on the boards (or brick pathways) in Bed-Stuy’s Classon Ful-Gate Community Garden and La Perla Garden (76 105th St. in Manhattan), visit communitygardenproject.wordpress.com.

DANCE NOW AT JOE’S PUB From its first year in 1995, those who’ve created content for DANCE NOW have been both constrained and inspired by the festival’s unconventional venues

Photo by Whitney Browne

Limited stage space serves as inspiration for DANCE NOW artists.

— which included swimming pools, firehouses, and galleries — until landing on its feet for good at Joe’s Pub, where the “less is more” mantra came with a mandate for “brevity, clarity and effect.” The 2015 edition will feature contributions from 50 New York-based choreographers who’ve presented over the past 20 years. Some, such as David Parker and Jeffrey Kazin will revive works (“Old Fashion Wedding,” a duet from 2009), while others will reimagine them (Heidi Latsky and Lawrence Goldhuber’s “Head Duet”). Established artists like Aszure Barton, Doug Elkins, and Ellis Wood (once up-and-comers) will be joined by emerging choreographers including Jordan Isadore, Cori Marquis, and Donnell Oakley. At 7 p.m. Wed. Sept. 9–Sat. Sept. 12 at Joe’s Pub (425 Lafayette St. btw. E. Fourth St. & Astor Place). Tickets: $20 in advance, $25 at the door. Encore Performance of 12 “producer’s picks” Thurs. Sept 24. ($25 advance, $30 at the door). To order: 212-967-7555 or joespub.com. Also visit dancenownyc. org.

THE WASHINGTON SQUARE PARK FOLK FESTIVAL Veterans of the 1960s Greenwich Village scene share the bill with young

groups from today’s New York City, at folk promoter Eli Smith’s fifth annual forward-looking throwback to the time when “the likes of Woody Guthrie and Pete Seeger came together on Sunday afternoons to play music and socialize in the park.” From a stage in the southeast portion of the park, by the Garibaldi statue, the legendary John Cohen (of the New Lost City Ramblers) will appear with old time string band The Down Hill Strugglers. Also booked for the afternoon: Balkan and gospel-influenced singer and songwriter Feral Foster; country blues guitar and fiddle duo Hoodoo Honey Drippers; Jalopy Theatre house jug band The Whisky Spitters; and square dance caller Alex Cramer, who’ll guide you in matters of partner-spinning and do-si-doing. Free. Sun. Sept. 13, 1–5 p.m. in Washington Square Park. Visit WSPFolkFest.com.

BETWEEN THE SEAS Day in and day out, they say a balanced Mediterranean diet is the best thing for you — but there’s nothing wrong with binging once a year, at least when it comes to that region’s

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No Drama Involved in This Guide to Fall Continued from page 15

Courtesy Esperimenti Dance Company

Feast on a Mediterranean diet of theater and dance, Sept. 8-13 at Between the Seas. Pictured: “Per…Inciso” grooves to Italian pop songs.

culture. The fifth annual Between the Seas festival returns to The Wild Project with six days and nights of theater, dance, and performance art. From Catalonia, “Dreams of the Mediterranean” is an atmospheric storytelling performance in which illustrator Borja González speed paints, with sand, on a light table. Ephemeral images are projected on a giant screen, as large-scale puppets and the live music of pianist Roc Sala swirl around him. In the New York premiere of “A Palo Seco,” the contemplative words and fiery movement of Rebeca Tomas express her inner dialogue about motherhood and the Spanish art of flamenco. Lebanese playwright Issam Mahfouz’s “The Dictator” gets a new English translation and minimalist staging. The 1969 absurdist exploration of tyranny (eerily applicable to our 2016 presidential race) concerns a “mentally disturbed individual under the illusion that he is humanity’s long-awaited savior.” A creative team from France and Catalonia has built “Hearts Beating Like Drums” around the stories of women impacted by living through war. A series of low- or no-cost discussions and performances on the first day address the experiences of Mediterranean refugees and migrants. Sept. 8–13 at The Wild Project (195 E. Third St. btw. Aves. A & B). For tickets (most shows $20, $15 with student/senior ID), call 212-352-3101 or thewildproject.com. Full schedule at betweentheseas.org.

WEST AFRICAN CULTURAL FESTIVAL AT CHILDREN’S MUSEUM OF THE ARTS

Photo by Paula Rey Jimenez

The third annual Chelsea Film Festival, Oct. 15-18, focuses on women in film and media.

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This edition of CMA’s Cultural Festival series puts the spotlight on Nigeria, with events throughout the museum — including performances from Brooklyn Music School’s World Percussion Department, the chance to design and animate your own Ibibo Puppet in the Media Lab, and workshops teaching techniques to make Yoruba masks, Adire cloth fabric designs and a traditional Nigerian board game. Other fall Cultural Festivals are Caribbean (Oct. 25), Mexican (Day of the Dead theme, Nov. 1), Indigenous People (Nov. 15)

and Native American (Nov. 22). Sun., Sept. 20. All Cultural Festivals take place 10 a.m.–5 p.m. at the Children’s Museum of the Arts (103 Charlton St. btw. Hudson & Greenwich Sts.). Free, with general admission (infants free, $12 for ages 1–65, senior admission is pay-asyou-wish). Call 212-274-0986 or visit cmany.org.

THE CHELSEA FILM FESTIVAL It was named for the place where every screening happens, and where its founders live — but the shorts, documentaries and features chosen for the Chelsea Film Festival have always had an international flavor. This year’s edition, the third, retains that programming penchant while dedicating itself to the theme of women in film and media. A day of panel discussions (Oct. 17, 10:30 a.m.–5:30 p.m.) will focus on emerging international markets, On Demand distribution, and the value of financing films made by women. Before the festival, free panels (topics to be announced) take place at the W. 14th St. Apple Store on Sept. 30, Oct. 7 and Oct. 14. Establishing a presence far past its four days in October, CFF will be launching a new monthly series at Bow Tie Cinemas Chelsea (23rd St. & Eighth Ave.) — to debut on Nov. 9 with a 7 p.m. screening of the 2015 Grand Prix Winner. Future installments will present an indie feature that has appeared in the festival’s programming, followed by cast/filmmaker Q&A and a networking reception. Oct. 15–18 at the SVA Theatre (333 W. 23rd St. btw. Eighth & Ninth Aves.) and other Chelsea locations. Visit chelseafilm.org, where the roster of films will be announced in midSept.

THEATER FOR THE NEW CITY’S DREAM UP FESTIVAL Some people never go below 14th St., while others refuse to venture above it. For the first time in its six-year history, Theater for the New City’s Dream Up Festival ministers to both stubborn groups, while encouraging them to broaden their horizons. Although most of the action is staged in TNC’s sprawling East Village home, some of it takes place at a Hell’s Kitchen venue equally

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ll Comedy, Dance, Theater & More Continued from page 16 adept at multitasking (the Producers’ Club Theaters and Bar). So there’s no excuse not to catch one of Dream Up’s 27 musical, drama, improv, dance or aerial performances (they’ve also got a “Scratch Night” series of works in development). Comedy is not pretty, Steve Martin told us with his 1979 album title, hinting at the ugly reality that life as a stand-up comic is largely about treading water once you leave that little island with the mic, the laughs, and the applause. “The Boom” takes place in a shabby condo owned by the management of Pittsburgh’s Steel City Funny Factory. Three comics on the bill are thrown together: a pasthis-prime veteran, his second banana pal, and a new guy whose viral video appeal both eludes and confuses the old guard. This dynamic of foxhole friendship and cutthroat competitiveness is something the cast and creators of “Boom” know intimately (though they’ve learned to laugh about it). Club circuit comic, TV pundit and ghostwriter Vinnie Nardiell makes his debut as a playwright, with Amoralists Theater Co. member Mark Riccadonna directing for the first time. Working comics Dan Stern, DJ Hazard and Richie Byrne play the quick-thinking, hair-trigger trio. Dream Up mines matters of home, family, assimilation and reinvention in a multitude of productions, including Rachel Graf Evans’ drama “Inch by Inch,” which gives Bridget a house and a garden — and the chance to dig up old questions about identity — when her mother’s death requires a hasty return to her old childhood home. Andrea Fulton’s “Roof-Top Joy” is a musical comedy/drama concerning two new tenants of an upscale Brooklyn high-rise who discover what’s below the thin veneer of wealth and power that lurks behind every door. People who aren’t what they seem also figure into Hassem Khemiri’s immigrant and tolerance-themed “Invasion!,” which has its ensemble of four playing multiple characters. Teenagers Yousef and Arvind are the main focus, as they navigate New York’s hip-hop culture while challenging stereotypes. An Italian/Puerto Rican immigrant family discovers you

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Photo by Jana Marcus

An immigrant family relocates to California, in the musical memoir “Escaping Queens” (part of Theater for the New City’s Dream Up Festival).

can’t go home again, after “Escaping Queens” and settling in California. The musical memoir of Joe Ortiz — a melting pot of Latin beats, Sicilian ballads, bluesy riffs, jazz and 1950s radio hits — makes its New York debut after a well-received run at Cabrillo Stage in Aptos, California. The Dream Up festival plays through Sept. 20 (but not every show runs until then). Mon-Fri, 6:30 & 9:30 p.m. and Sat./Sun. at 2, 5, & 8 p.m. At Theater for the New City (155 First Ave. btw. 9th & 10th Sts.) and the Producers’ Club (358 W. 44th St. btw. 8th & 9th Aves.). For tickets ($12, $15, $18, $20), visit dreamupfestival. org or call 212-686-4444.

Photo by Angela McConnell

You’re about to get lucky. Style, seduction and skin are on display at the New York Burlesque Festival.

NEW YORK BURLESQUE FESTIVAL You may have the right to go topless in Times Square, but there’s a good chance those painted ladies would land in the hoosegow if their bare-breasted busking was accompanied by the sort of bumping, grinding, twirling tassels and unabashed sexuality on display at the New York Burlesque Festival. Those who like their skin with a side of seduction are set to get lucky, when the fest’s 13th edition celebrates “glitter and glamour in Gotham with over 100 performers from around the Globe!” Brooklyn is the location for a teaser and premiere party on Thurs./Fri., with a “Saturday Spectacular” at B.B.

Courtesy 1st Irish

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Des Bishop’s “Made in China” charts his quest to learn the language for a Chinese stand-up audience. Part of the 1st Irish Theatre Festival. September 03 - 09, 2015

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Fall Festivals You Won’t Want to Leaf Leave Continued from page 17 King Blues Club (W. 42nd St.), a free Sun. 2–7 p.m. showcase/bazaar at The Tippler (in Chelsea Market), and The Golden Pastie Awards at The Highline Ballroom (W. 16th St.). Some featured talent you’ll be able to finally put a face (or other body parts) to the name: Bunny Buxom & Schaffer the Darklord, Sizzle Dizzle, Dr. Lucky, Francine “The Lucid Dream,” Tigger, Julie Atlas Muz, Dirty Martini, Matt Knife, Scotty the Blue Bunny, Gal Friday, Kitten LaRue, and Cherie Nut. Sept. 24–27. Tickets are sold through each venue, with a four-day VIP pass ($125.19) available at thenewyorkburlesquefestival.com.

ORIGIN’S 1ST IRISH THEATRE FESTIVAL Forget everything you know about entertainment that flows from the Irish people’s supposed penchant for pain and suffering, high drama, and excessive drink. A river of tears most certainly runs through Origin Theatre Company’s 1st Irish, but the salty stream is from excessive laughter — because comedy is the theme for this eighth edition of the city’s only theater festival dedicated to Irish playwrights. Dublin’s New Play Company returns for the fourth time, with Donald O’Kelly’s “Fishamble,” a comedic road trip-cum-dark thriller that finds an ex-con and a nun being chased across Ireland, as they search for a roll of film. Comedian Des Bishop, who’s made a name (and a niche) for himself by creating solo performances based on his immersive cultural experiences, brings “Made in China” to 1st Irish, after its

March 2015 limited run at The Barrow Street Theatre. The solo show recalls his travels to China on a quest to learn Mandarin, in order to perform stand-up for Chinese audiences. The lessons must have stuck: Bishop has relocated to his native Flushing, in order to launch a Chinese-centric comedy club called “The Humor Section,” at Huang Cheng Gen Tea House (135-14 Northern Blvd.). Opening weekend is Sept. 26 & 27. See desbishop.net for more info. Limerick’s Bottom Dog Theatre brings “Language UnBecoming a Lady” to Chelsea’s the cell (a frequent presenter of Irish subject matter). The “Lady” is Liam O’Brien, who plays an aging drag queen hunkered down in her dressing room, recalling pivotal moments of her life. Equal parts tart and sweet, Eugene Pack’s “Celebrity Autobiography” series at The Triad (which features celebrities reading passages from often howlingly bad celeb-written bios) goes all-Irish for one night only. The precise tome is under wraps — but announced readers include Michael Urie (“Buyer and Cellar”) and Tate Donovan (“24”) Ensconced at Union Square’s DR2 while his W. 22nd St. Irish Repertory Theatre undergoes a game-changing renovation, director Ciaran O’Reilly will premiere a 1st Irish entry just two weeks after the having helmed IRT’s long run (closing Sept. 5) of “The Weir,” a bone-chilling collection of one-upmanship ghost stories told by a country pub crowd. “The Quare Land” is a comedy by John McManus, about a prickly Irish farmer who — while taking his first bath in four years — is interrupted by a golf course developer intent on getting a contract signed. The 1st Irish Theatre Festival runs through Oct. 4. For tickets and schedule, visit 1stirish.org.

blackrockcoalition.org

The Black Rock Coalition celebrates its 30th year, with daily events in September.

AND SO VERY MUCH MORE To celebrate its 30th year, the volunteer-powered Black Rock Coalition is presenting 30 concerts during the 30 days of September, in recognition of how “Black musicians have a central, vital role to play in shaping edgy, righteous, driving rock.” Festival co-founder and guitarist Vernon Reid (of Living Colour), Tamar-kali and

Pillow Theory are among the artists on the roster, along with listening sessions, retrospectives, showcases and a BAMCafé (Sept. 18–19) concert from the BRC Orchestra, playing the Jimi Hendrix “Band of Gypsys” album. See blackrockcoalition.org for more info. The New York Comedy Festival (Nov. 10–15) schedule includes

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Spring Forward to Fall Festivals

Photo by Mathilde Delahaye

Iranian artist Ali Moini makes tension tangible, in his Crossing the Line Festival performance.

Continued from page 19 Billy Crystal conversing with David Steinberg, and new “Daily Show” host Trevor Noah (both at Town Hall). In a festival replete with marquee names (Bill Maher, Margaret Cho, John Leguizamo), the must-see is Kathy Griffin, in a Nov. 12 Carnegie Hall gig that will hopefully have her conducting an acerbic postmortem on her time in the main “Fashion Police” chair.

Purchase tickets and access the full schedule at nycomedyfestival.com. The 10 shows presented by The New York Gypsy Festival (Sept. 18– Oct. 4) include Georgian folk ensemble Zedashe, NYC’s Underground Horns and Slavic Soul Party, and the NYC debut of French/North African brass orchestra Fanfarai. Ticket prices and venues vary. Visit nygypsyfest. com. Thespis, a competition-structured festival that brings new work to the

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stage, takes place through Sept. at Hudson Guild Theater (411 W. 26th St.). Playing Sept. 14, 16 and 19, “Brush Strokes” is a musical that finds aging art lovers Virginia and Eric drawn together, but wary of their controversial pasts. See thespisnytheaterfestival.com for tickets and the full schedule of shows. In collaboration with founder/ curator Peter Michael Marino (whose “Late With Lance” just played the Edinburgh Festival Fringe), The Peoples Improv Theater brings back their loopy and eccentric (often to the point of insane) SOLOCOM Festival of one-person storytelling, music, stand-up, improv and cabaret performances — Nov. 20–22 at their E. 24th St. home base, and the newly-opened PIT Loft on W. 29th St. The shows (dozens of them) range from 15 to 60 minutes. Get info at thepit-nyc.com/ solocom. The NYC nonprofit service and advocacy organization Community Access holds its 11th Annual Mental Health Film Festival at Village East Cinema (Second Ave. & 12th St.) on Sept. 26. The features and shorts,

all addressing life with mental illness, include the US premiere of “No Letting Go,” about a family whose middle child is diagnosed as bipolar. Filmmakers and cast members for the features will be in attendance for an audience Q&A. Visit MentalHealthFilmFest.nyc for the full schedule, and communityaccess.org for info on the event sponsor. The French Institute Alliance Française cultural and language center’s Crossing the Line Festival showcases the work of interdisciplinary artists from around the world, in a variety of premiere venues and public spaces. Iranian artist Ali Moini’s “Lives” (Sept. 29 & 30 at NY Live Arts on W. 19 St.) is a dance of tension between his fictional, political, mythical and real selves — while NY-based Elana Langer’s “WhatILiveBy” is a free, interactive happening that will pop up at festival events and kiosks throughout the city, all in the service of launching her fantastic new “product-less” brand. Visit fiaf.org for the full schedule of performances (Sept. 10–Oct. 4) and venues. .com


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