YOUR WEEKLY COMMUNITY NEWSPAPER SERVING CHELSEA, HUDSON YARDS & HELL’S KITCHEN
AHVs Blasted as ‘Rubber Stamp Permits’ BY SEAN EGAN It’s something that’s becoming a frequent, if not common, occurrence across the city: the abuse of After Hours Variances (AHVs), to the detriment of residents forced to essentially live near construction sites that are active at all hours of the day. This time, the source of the problem is, arguably, Chelsea’s most powerful resident — Continued on page 5
Community Council Confronts Index, Intersection BY LINDSAY BU With the unusually warm December coming to a close, the 10th Precinct Community Council held its final meeting of 2015 on the evening of Wed., Dec. 30. Only three local residents showed up to the 7 p.m. meeting. Despite this meager attendance, Community Council President Larry O’Neill commenced in a friendly and casual tone, as he introduced the 10th Precinct’s Commanding Officer, Deputy Inspector Michele Irizarry, Continued on page 7
MR. PEEPS IS WORTH A LOOK
“Stefanie Gutheil: The Home of Mr. Peeps,” an exhibit on view at Mike Weiss Gallery through Jan. 30, is ﬁlled with otherworldly landscapes and fantastical creatures. See page 23.
Photo by Yannic Rack
The right age to shape up: At 73, Vera Konig doesn’t pull any punches, and still works out at X-Fit twice a week.
Ring in the New Year at X-Fit Gym BY YANNIC RACK Jimmy Fusaro is not your average fitness trainer, and he doesn’t run your average gym either. Walk in the door of X-Fit — just under 1,500 square feet tucked away on the 12th floor of a nondescript building on W. 27th St. — and you’ll be greeted by walls decked in movie posters and signed boxing paraphernalia, with a stack of tires, wrapped in ropes, sitting in a corner. It’s the first of several home-built exercise machines surrounding a far more recognizable, but just as formidable, boxing ring. And then of course there’s Fusaro, a 53-year-old former professional kickboxer, bald, with penetrating eyes and a no-nonsense attitude that he wears like a piece of clothing — literally. The T-shirt he has on proclaims, “F**k yoga” (with the real letters, not the asterisks we’ve provided). Fusaro doesn’t mind yoga, he’s quick to explain, but that’s not the point. “If you’re gonna exercise, or you’re gonna do a sport, why would you do the same sh*t everybody else does?” he
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said. “You wanna try something different, have some fun.” So what you do is hit a stack of tires with a baseball bat, for example, or try any of the other exercise machines that Fusaro creates at a small workbench behind the reception desk. There’s a rowing machine mounted vertically on a pipe; a bench with hand-pedals he built after surfing on Hawaii (“I didn’t realize the hardest part about surfing was the paddling out, not standing on the board”); the “push-up gauntlet,” essentially a board with various handles and baseball balls attached to it, to stimulate different muscles doing the same basic exercise; and an umbrella stand fitted with a metal bar and weight handles — which used to include a golf club tied to it with a rubber band and was employed to train the upper-body strength of a golfer. “I built this gym so that it’s something you wouldn’t see anywhere else,” Fusaro said, adding that many of the
Continued on page 4 VOLUME 08, ISSUE 01 | JANUARY 07 - 13, 2016