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April 21 – MAY 4, 2016

Sacrebleu! TriBattery Pops are HUGE in France

File photo by Tequila Minsky

Democrat Alice Cancel won the Apr. 19 special election for the 65th Assembly District.

Cancel secures Assembly seat BY LINCOLN ANDERSON Alice Cancel, running on the Democratic Party line, won Tuesday’s special election for Lower Manhattan’s 65th Assembly District, according to unofficial Board of Elections results. Cancel, a longtime Lower East Side Democratic district leader, lives in Southbridge Towers, on the downtown side of the Brooklyn Bridge. She will fill the seat, formerly occupied by the convicted former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, for the rest of Silver’s term, through the end of this year. However, future control of the Assembly district will be up for grabs once again in September, when there will be an open Democratic primary, followed by a general election in November. The results of the three-way race, with 98 percent of the district’s polling sites reporting, show Cancel with 7,284 — or 41 percent — of the votes. She staved off a stiff challenge from Yuh-Line Niou, running on the Working Families Party line, who came in second with 6,250 — or 35 percent — of the votes. Meanwhile, Lester Chang, running on the Republican line, plus three other party lines, won 3,520 — or 20 percent — of the votes. The district is about 6.5-to-1 Democrat-to-Republican, yet the GOP was hoping Silver’s downfall on corruption charges would be a “perfect storm,” allowing them to pull off a huge coup by finally winning a Manhattan Assembly seat — in Silver’s former district, no less. Former Mayor Rudy

BY COLIN MIXSON This local band has gone international. Members of the TriBattery Pops, Tom Goodkind Conductor, a community band of local amateur and professional musicians, recently learned that they’re a hit in France. This came as a surprise to the bandleader, because the group has never been to France.

“We haven’t been to France, not even close,” said Tom Goodkind, the band’s eponymous conductor. “The farthest we’ve gotten was Irving Plaza.” Nonetheless, the local group’s latest album has gone viral in the land of fine wines and fancy cheese. A Facebook post linking to the group’s latest album has gar-

nered an unprecedented 108,000 clicks and rising, of which nearly 93,000 — 86 percent — hail from French IP addresses, mostly young people in their 20s. It’s the type of inexplicable phenomenon that could only exist in the digital age, and it has left the tribattery pops Continued on page 22

TriBattery Pops

The TriBattery Pops’ latest album, “Turn On, Tune Up, and Drop Out” — which features a choir of elderly singers crooning psychedelic hits from the ‘60s — has garnered a surprising number of fans in France.

Cancel Continued on page 10 1 M e t r o t e c h • N YC 112 0 1 • C o p y r i g h t © 2 0 16 N YC C o mm u n i t y M e d i a , L L C

Big buns Monumental rabbits hop into Brookfield Place

BY COLIN MIXSON Brookfield Place is really hoppin’. A herd of huge, inflatable rabbits have made a warren of Brookfield Place, where the floppy-eared balloon sculptures will lounge about until Apr. 30, lending the upscale office and retail complex an air of levity, according to the rabbits’ creator. “I am thrilled for the bunnies to make their way to New York,” said sculptor Amanda Parer, whose monumental art installation — entitled “Intrude” — has appeared in more than 19 major cities around the world, including London, Perth, Paris, and Boston. Brookfield Place became Parer and her troupe of gas-filled bunnies’ latest stop on their North American tour on April 17, when the sculptor inflated five two-story rabbits and two four-

story rabbits in and around the highend retail space. Each of the nylon hoppers is internally lit and arranged in various bunny poses — lying down, standing up, and sitting down — which, because they’re rabbits, become instantly adorable. But don’t be deceived by their cute and playful exterior — it’s only meant to lure you in. Parer’s ultimate hope is that her rabbits will inspire locals to contemplate nature, the environment, and the less adorable affects human influence has upon them. “I expect people will be drawn to the rabbits’ playful appearance,” said Parer, “and I hope they will also take the time to understand the deeper meaning in the work and discuss how our actions impact the natural world in which we all live.” Photos by Milo Hess

Seven huge, inflatable rabbit sculptures have appeared in and around Brook field Place’s Winter Garden as part of sculptor Amanda Parer’s art installation “Intrude.” The white nylon sculptures are lit from the inside, so that they glow at night. The whimsically posed rabbits will be here until April 30 as part of a world tour that has already taken the big bunnies though 19 other cities, including Paris and London.


April 21 - May 4, 2016


Countdown to chaos doT’s downtown coordination office set to close at the end of the month BY YANNiC rACk The city is shutting down the dedicated office tasked with coordinating construction projects in Lower Manhattan, despite repeated calls from local officials to keep the bureau running, and just two months after a deadly crane collapse shook the community. Meeting with Community Board 1 and representatives of local elected officials last week, officials from the Department of Transportation’s Lower Manhattan Borough Commissioner’s Office announced that it would close at the end of the month. “They announced that it would be the last meeting they would be convening on construction projects in Lower Manhattan,” said Michael Levine, CB1’s consulting planner. Local leaders, who have long warned against the move, said the closure would lead to even more construction chaos in an area where more than 90 major construction projects are currently ongoing,

with several new ones expected to commence this year. “Now there’ll be an even larger void of information,” said CB1 chairwoman Catherine McVay Hughes. “And construction is not slowing down.” Since its creation, reps from the Downtown commissioner’s office have regularly met with local stakeholders and also gave updates on construction projects at community board meetings. Levine said that the community board, along with Squadron and Chin, would make a special request to the department’s Manhattan Borough Commissioner, Margaret Forgione — who is set assume the duties of the Lower Manhattan commissioner — asking her “to find a way to assign at least one staff member to continue to conduct these meetings once a month.” Levine said he was told the program had to be eliminated because of reductions in state funding, even though the office’s entire staff has simply been reassigned within the agency.

Photo by Yoon Seo Nam

Downtowners fear that closing the office dedicated to coordinating construction projects across Lower Manhattan will make local quality of life worse.

A DOT spokesperson only confirmed that April 30 would be the office’s last day, but would not comment on the closure or any other questions. The DOT’s Downtown office has fulfilled the long-standing task of coordinating the area’s multitude of new developments, infrastructure projects and residential conversions since its predecessor — the Lower Manhattan Construction Command Center, which was set up to coordinate reconstruction

after 9/11 — was closed in 2013. And even though the building boom south of Canal St. has not slowed down, the city announced last December that the DOT’s dedicated Downtown office would close early this year. Even before the February crane crash on Worth St., where a 565-foot crawler crane toppled over and crushed a man, the community board and local elected DOt OFFiCE Continued on Page 21

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Ticket boot New law to crack down on aggressive vendors BY COLIN MIXSON City legislators are gearing up to crack down on the largely unregulated ticket vendors swarming Lower Manhattan, introducing a new bill that would require the hawkers to get a license from the Department of Consumer Affairs and restrict where they can operate. The legislation comes after a string of incidents involving ticket sellers, ranging from assaulting tourists and battling each other for turf, to selling pricey tickets to the Staten Island Ferry — which is free. Dow ntow n Councilwoman Margaret Chin, who was among the first to co-sponsor the measure is optimistic the bill will force the vendors to clean up their act. “Residents of Lower Manhattan know all too well the threatening tactics employed by ticket sellers who negatively impact the quality of life of residents and actively prey on visitors to our City,� said Chin. “I look

forward to the day that our historic sites and other places of interest will again be comfortable and inviting spaces for residents, workers, and tourists alike.� The bill, which was introduced by Councilman Daniel Garodnick on Apr. 7, would require a license for any vendor selling tickets for tours, transit, or entertainment venues throughout the city, who operates in public space, such as sidewalks. The licenses, which would have to be renewed annually for a $125 fee, could be revoked by the Department of Consumer Affairs for violating any of a long list of rules against unsavory tactics, including fraud and aggressive sales pitches. Vendors would also be required to wear the license at all times, and could be fined if they don’t produce it on demand to law enforcement. The bill would also empower the DCA to determine where the ticket peddlers can operate, in addition to giving

Photo by Bill Egbert

If the ticket-vendor-licensing bill passes, hawking tickets near subway entrances would be illegal.

NYPD the authority to relocate the vendors as necessary. Garodnick introduced the bill to combat issues with ticket vendors

around Times Square and the Empire State Building in Midtown, tickets Continued on Page 23


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Mystery box CB1 gets enigmatic proposal from sculptor BY COLIN MIXSON The unmarked black box appeared suddenly and without warning at the office of Community Board 1, like an obelisk from Stanley Kubrick’s “2001: A Space Odyssey.” Within the monolithic case were renderings of a majestic fountain laid out on thick, fold-out poster boards, along with a booklet and a CD in a custom-made jewel case, all packaged with the same care you might expect when unwrapping Apple’s latest iPhone. The Parks Department and The Battery Conservancy also received identical packages containing the unsolicited proposal for a dramatic, multimillion-dollar monument to nature’s fury — a Hurricane Sandy memorial. It was highly professional, aesthetically stunning, and, according to one board employee, a thoroughly perplexing proposal. “We were all very confused,” said Diana Switaj, director of planning and land use for CB1, who

was among the first to behold the odd package. “We weren’t notified in advance it was coming and it’s outside of procedure. So it was basically confusion. We didn’t know who the company was, or the sculptor. Nobody reached out to us in advance, which is very uncommon.” Normally, when the city wants a monument it asks for one, issuing a request for proposals to solicit designs from interested firms, and then selecting a winner through a competition or bidding process, according to the Parks Department. In this case, however, award-winning sculptor Sassona Norton contracted the TASC Group, a Chelsea public relations firm, to pitch her vision of a Hurricane Sandy memorial directly to the city. Without any indication that the city was interested in hosting a monument to the traumatic 2012 superstorm, Norton has already “invested a considerable amount of resources and funds into this

project,” according to a letter that accompanied the proposal. In addition to hiring the public relations firm, the sculptor has also lined up graphic designers, engineers, construction contractors, and even a foundry to assist in the project, the pitch letter says, as well as establishing a not-for-profit called the Hands for Tomorrow Fund to raise the $10 million she believes will be required to build and maintain the monument, the letter stated. Entitled “From Chaos to Order,” the centerpiece of the memorial would be a column composed of massive bronze hands housing a fountain which the TASC letter describes as “a theatrical event; a dynamic tour de force that casts people and water as foes.” The fountain would perform what Norton envisions as sort of a three-act play. Beginning with “Storm Assault,” jets of water attack the bronze column before moving onto “Storm Defeat,” and ultimately

Rendering by TASC Group

The memorial — centered on a fountain that would occasionally send a jet of water 50 feet in the air — is being pitched for the center of the Oval lawn in The Battery, but local stakeholders are loath to give up precious parkland for a monument that nobody asked for.


April 21 - May 4, 2016

Photo by Colin Mixson

When this enigmatic black box arrived on Community Board 1’s doorstep earlier this month, confusion ensued.

“Celebration,” in which the fountain erupts in a geyser of water blasting 50 feet into the air, in a spectacle that locals and tourists will regard as the “Old Faithful” of Lower Manhattan, according to the letter. Norton wants to build her grand project in the middle of the Oval, the three-acre lawn in The Battery that’s set to be unveiled in June as a major addition of green space for a part of town that doesn’t have much of it. Downtown has only 21 square feet of open space per resident, according to a 2014 study commissioned by CB1 — the seventh-lowest ratio out of Manhattan’s 12 community districts — so locals are none too eager to sacrifice their precious park space to the massive monument. “You’re looking at an area that has slivers of green,” said CB1 chairwoman Catherine McVay Hughes. “This monument to Sandy, there are probably a lot better places for it to be than Downtown and Community Board 1.” Hughes pointed out that Downtown Manhattan wasn’t the only neighborhood hit hard by the superstorm, and that Norton might have better odds pitching her monument to another community board. “Although CB1 suffered due to Sandy, there are other places that suffered more and are more worthy of the proposed installation,” said Hughes. The Downtown community, which lost two lives to the catastrophic storm, is not opposed to erecting some fitting memorial, but local leaders prefer a more low-key and practical approach. The board has passed a resolution in support of MYSTERY BOX Continued on Page 23


Oval reveal

The Battery’s lawn to open in June

BY COLIN MIXSON The Battery Conservancy has announced that the two-acre plot of grass that has been fenced off from the public for the past year is poised to open at the eponymous park in June, and The Battery’s caretakers are inviting locals to a party to celebrate. The inaugural celebration of The Battery’s Oval lawn will be a twoday, alfresco fair on June 25 and 26, featuring 90 stalls where hometown businesses will sell goods as natural as the grass — which the conservancy has taken great pains to ensure is fully organic and toxin-free. “We’re showing a lawn to people that has never had a toxin or synthetic fertilizer, where you can walk across the grass without damaging your pets or children,” said Warrie Price, president of The Battery Conservancy. “We felt we needed a celebration.” The Battery’s Oval lawn was carpeted with a luscious layer of Kentucky Blue grass in June last year, and has lain

virginal and untouched behind a fence ever since, giving the fresh vegetation the time it needs to take root. The conservancy went with Kentucky Blue following an in-house study to select a grass that was not only appealing to the eye, but also robust enough to survive heavy use — without the need for noxious chemicals. As part of the study, the conservancy looked at soil mixture, climate, and irrigation, in addition to calculating the cost of maintenance for the various flora considered, according to Anna Morrison, planning and design associate at the conservancy. “It’s not an easy feat to manage a showcase lawn with the kind of traffic we expect,” she said. And keeping The Battery pest-free without relying on chemicals is no easy task. At one point, the park was infested with plant-eating grubs, and its caretakers had to introduce nematodes, a type of near-microscopic roundworm that attack the grubs.

Photo courtesy of The Battery Conservancy

The Battery Conservancy has plans to open the refurbished Oval lawn to the public with a big bash beginning June 25.

“We always use natural ways to combat pests,” said Price. In keeping with its pesticide-free policy, The Battery Conservancy is curating a lineup of growers and makers to fill its market fair in June, with a priority for local businesses that produce all-natural goods, according to Price. In addition, the park caretakers are hoping to attract horticulturists and craftsmen for the big event, each of whom will represent one of nine categories of produce and merchandise, including meats and dairy, plants and seeds, natural


sweets, grains and grasses, cut flowers, natural fibers, herbs and teas, fruits and vegetables, and fish and seafood. The vendors will set up in specially designed stalls dubbed The Battery Oval Stand, 90 of which will ring the Oval facing outwards, allowing locals to shop around the perimeter of the new lawn, before heading in to picnic and lounge. “The first Battery fair is a demonstration of our values and the sense that we want a bio-diverse environment and that we celebrate our ecosystem,” said Price. “Plus to have a lot of fun.”


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Bartender sues Fidi club over sex parties BY COliN MiXSON She’s no “working girl,” but she says she was forced to work with them. A bartender at a Financial District watering hole is hauling her boss into court for requiring her to work shifts during weekly sex parties — where she was subjected to the lurid spectacle of naked patrons cavorting with ladies of the night — or else lose her job of nearly 14 years. The plaintiff’s lawyer said the owner of Club Remix on Park Pl. is free to host such salacious sexcapades at his private establishment, but forcing his employees to staff them is a clear case of sexual harassment. “It’s probably better to not have this type of parties in a work place, but certainly if you’re going to subject an employee to something like that, you would think the way to handle that is to advise them as such, and honor any request to not work at such an event,” said Thomas Ricotta, the attorney representing bartender Jamilya Bliss. Bliss was hired as a bartender at Club Remix between Church St. and Broadway — about a block away from City Hall — by owner Panagiotis Kotsonis in 2002, eventually rising to the position of head bartender before things started getting weird, according to court documents. About four years ago, Kotsonis scheduled Bliss to work a private party he was hosting at the club, but it wasn’t until she got there and saw guests getting nude and nasty that she realized it was a very special kind of party, according to her attorney. When Bliss decided she couldn’t take it any more and told the boss man that the sex parties weren’t what

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A bartender at Club Remix on Park Pl. is suing owner Panagiotis Kotsonis for allegedly forcing her to work shifts during disturbing sex parties he hosts at the club.

she’d signed up for, Kotsonis made it clear that she could either mix drinks for his horn-dog guests, or hit the road, Ricotta said. “He basically told her you have no choice,” the lawyer said. “Your employment is conditional upon you working these parties on these dates.” The bartender endured the shame of serving pervs for the better part of four years, before ultimately deciding to sue, and during that time, Bliss says she and her col-


Dow ntow n A llian ce and Fo sun pre sent

leagues were subjected to various other forms of harassment by Kotsonis. Bliss, a gay woman, says Kotsonis would routinely refer to homosexuals as “f------” in her presence, despite knowing her sexual orientation. And the bar owner is accused of various racist policies, including avoiding booking parties for black patrons, and firing black employees “on a whim,” while shouting racial slurs, including “n-----,” court documents show. This isn’t the club’s first brush with controversy. Kotsonis appeared before Community Board 1’s Financial District Committee in 2013 to request the board’s endorsement for his cabaret license application — which is necessary for dance and strip clubs — following a New York Post report earlier that year on parties hosted at the club where patrons were offered $20 lap dances. The committee ultimately declined to give Kotsonis its blessing, citing numerous concerns from neighbors, including one woman’s claims that her teenage daughters were uncomfortable walking past the club at night due to its rowdy clientele. “For me here tonight, the testimony that the teenage girls are having difficulty going home, testimony of dishonesty toward getting around the cabaret license with invitations… I think off the bat we had a misrepresentation of the role of the two men outside, I don’t think someone should be given the privilege of a cabaret license,” board member Megan McHugh said at the time. Kotsonis could not be reached for comment.

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NOT FOR SALE A Duane Reade customer in Tribeca left the store with an unusual item last week when he grabbed the car keys of an employee and took his SUV for a joy ride around the neighborhood, according to police. The key-snatcher saw his chance when the worker put his jacket on the pharmacy counter of the Greenwich St. store at 10:30 p.m. on Tuesday Apr. 12, cops say. The perp grabbed the keys out of the jacket and fled. When the victim went to get his car around 15 minutes later, he ended up searching in vain for his white Chevrolet Suburban, according to police. A police report noted that a license plate reader caught the car near DowntownExpress.com

BANK JOB The risk doesn’t always match the reward. A man robbed a Tribeca bank branch in broad daylight on Friday Apr. 8, threatening a cashier and ditching a dye pack as he made off with a measly $530, cops say. Around 1:50 p.m. that day, the 50–60-year-old strode into the Santander branch in Hudson St. and walked up to a teller, police say. The robber, sporting a grey goatee, sunglasses and a white sweatshirt and sweatpants, then placed a black plastic bag on the teller ledge and told the woman behind the glass, “This is a bank robbery. Do what I’m telling you to do, or I will hurt you. I only want 50s and 100s,” according to police. He fled the bank northbound on Hudson St. with the cash, and police later found a dye pack discarded in front of 112 Hudson St., according to a report. — Yannic Rack

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DRIVE-BY BEATING Two men from Staten Island were arrested for allegedly beating and robbing a Brooklyn man in the Financial District last week, cops say. Witnesses told police that the men, aged 33 and 37, assaulted the victim as he was sitting on the passenger side of a truck at the corner of Whitehall and South Sts. at 3 p.m. on Tuesday Apr. 12, according to a report. The two allegedly managed to steal two cellphones from the victim before fleeing, but were caught and arrested later that same day, according to police.

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TAKING TOOLs Burglars hit two Lower Manhattan construction sites last week, stealing more than $5,000 worth of tools in one case, police say. On Saturday Apr. 9, someone broke a locked gate to get into the building site at 52 Wooster St. at 4 p.m., leaving with a hefty tool set, including three Bosch demolition hammers worth $2,100, a water valve worth $1,200 and a $965 saw, according to police. Six days later, on Friday Apr. 15, a witness told police that he saw someone stealing tools from the construction site at 66 White St. at 4:30 p.m. The civic-minded observer said he chased the perp up White St. and onto Broadway, but to no avail. Still, a police report noted that his intervention seemed to have saved the construction company some money: the thief left all of his loot behind when he fled the building through a window.

RAVENOUS RAIDER A hungry burglar used a stolen credit card to treat himself to dinner at a burger joint last week, police say. The thief cleaned out a locker at the New York Health & Racquet Club at the corner of Pearl and Whitehall Sts., between 8 and 9 p.m. on Tuesday Apr. 12, while his unsuspecting victim — who left his stuff unlocked — was working out at the gym, according to a report. The stolen loot included a $500 laptop and a $100 wallet with two credit cards, one of which was used a short while later at the Smashburger eatery on William St., police say.

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Expensive jewelry worth more than $50,000 disappeared from the offices of a media company in the Financial District, cops say. A worker at the XO Group told police that the seven pieces — including earrings, rings and a $25,300 necklace — were stolen from a storage closet at the company’s offices on the 25th floor of 195 Broadway between 3 and 4 p.m. on Friday Apr. 8. The thief apparently opened the closet with a key and cut open the parcel that contained the valuable merchandise, according to a report. Police said that up to eight employees would have had access to the package.

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CANCEL Continued from Page 1

Giuliani even stumped for Chang at a Chinatown dim sum palace fundraiser. But it was not to be. Dennis Levy, the Green Party candidate, ran on a pro-pot platform but didn’t fire up the electorate, winning 661 — or about 4 percent — of the votes. There were also 47 write-ins, though those names — one wonders if a few Sheldon Silvers or perhaps others who could not run under the Democratic line in this race were among them — were not immediately available. Cancel’s husband, State Committeeman John Quinn, said she withstood Niou’s heaping war chest and negative campaigning, plus the Albany power structure’s clear decision to back Niou, based on all the high-powered political endorsements she got. Meanwhile, Cancel’s only major endorsements were local City Councilmembers Rosie Mendez and Margaret Chin. “It was a lopsided race, I’ll tell you that,� Quinn said. “Niou spent $160,000. We had $5,000. “Rosie was incredible. They had all the Albany support. This is coming down from Heastie and and the real power brokers,� he said of current Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie. “Rosie held Alice up,� Quinn said, with something like awe. “Let’s face it — they were hitting us left and right.� Quinn said the Puerto Rican-born Cancel’s support came, “naturally,� from the district’s Latino community, but that she also won, for example, Battery Park City. Niou — who has only lived in New York City about five years and only a couple of years in the district — simply didn’t have roots in the community, and it showed, he said. Quinn said Cancel probably only wants to serve one or two terms tops in the Assembly. “All Alice wants to do is straighten up the mess,� he said, “and then leave.� Cancel has said she supports term limits in Albany. Quinn said she’s also very interested in having input in the state’s upcoming Constitutional Convention, which only comes around every 20 years. In February, Cancel was chosen from among a handful of candidates as the Democratic nominee for the special election at a closed vote of about 200 Democratic County Committee members. Seeing she wouldn’t win the County Committee vote, Niou had dramatically dropped out from that

Photo by Roberto Mercado

Alice Cancel, middle row, fourth from left, and supporters, celebrate her win in Tuesday’s Assembly special election.

vote at the last minute, calling the process “flawed and undemocratic.� After Tuesday’s election results had been announced, District Leader Paul Newell — who came in second in the County Committee vote — promptly issued a statement putting Cancel on notice that he will be running in the September open Democratic primary. “I congratulate Alice Cancel on her election to the New York State Assembly for the remaining months of Sheldon Silver’s term,� Newell said. “I hope that during her term in office, she will do her best to represent the interests of Lower Manhattan, not the political bosses who have driven the special election process from its inception. “Fortunately,� he declared, “on Sept. 13, the 65th Assembly District will be presented with a real choice.� Other expected candidates include District Leader Jenifer Rajkumar and Community Board 3 Chairperson Gigi Li, both of whom were candidates in the February County Committee vote, and Chinatown activist Don Lee. It was not immediately known if Chang or Levy would try to run again in September. Rob Ryan, Chang’s campaign manager, said they will regroup over the next few days and try to reach a decision. But Niou issued a statement, indicating that she indeed will run in the fall. “We knew that running against the machine, off the Democratic line would be a challenge, and while we made a valiant effort it appears we were not successful,� she said. “This race is over, but a new chapter for this district is just beginning. Let us turn the page into a brighter future. We come out of this campaign stronger, more organized and more determined than ever to fight for reform and the progressive leadership this state needs. We move on tonight from this party-dominated special election to September’s primary, and I look forward to continuing our vigorous fight to advance our progressive values.� DowntownExpress.com

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April 21 - May 4, 2016


Going green Farmer’s market set for permanent return to World Trade Center after 15 years away

BY YANNIC RACK It has taken 15 years to sprout back, but the beloved greenmarket that supplied farm-fresh produce and neighborhood vibes at the World Trade Center in the ’80s and ’90s could soon return to a permanent spot at the redeveloped site, organizers say. The more than a dozen farmers and vendors could once again pitch their tents at the farmer’s market that served Downtown from 1983 until the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, starting as soon as August, according to Grow NYC, the group that runs greenmarkets throughout the city. “It was such a resource and fixture prior to 9/11, so we’ve always been looking forward to the day when we can finally come back,” said Michael Hurwitz, the director of the group’s greenmarket program. “We love this community and want to re-establish the market that served them for years.” The area around the Oculus WTC Transportation Hub is still teeming with construction activity — but representatives for Westfield, the company that will operate the retail and open spaces around the site, confirmed this week that the market’s return was imminent. “We’ve been in discussion, and we feel very optimistic about bringing back the fresh farmer’s market to the site,” Senior Vice President of Development Michael McNaughton said at a Community Board 1 Planning Committee meeting on Apr. 11. The announcement prompted a round of applause from the board members, who have been supportive of the market’s past attempts at re-establishing a foothold in the neighborhood. “This is something this community has been waiting for a very long time,” said CB1 chairwoman Catherine McVay Hughes, who lives near the site in the Financial District and used to frequent the outdoor market. “Nothing replaces buying fresh corn on the cob, freshly picked local strawberries and peaches,” she said. “The local residents really bonded with the farmers, they are an important part of our ecosystem.“ After 9/11, the twice-weekly market returned for stints of up to a year at locations ranging from the plaza in front of the temporary PATH station to Zuccotti Park, but its last incarnation, which disappeared last July, hosted only one farmer and one baker — whereas the original market at the World Trade Center boasted up to 16 producers at a time. “None of the other spaces really allowed us to grow, to have any type of vibrant market,” said Hurwitz. “It lacked the foot traffic, it wasn’t the market that it once was. But we always wanted to maintain a presence.” The new market would try to bring back some of the vendors that used to sell their goods Downtown, and Hurwitz said it would likely be similar in size to the original market as well. Although it would probably start out with only one day a week, he said the twice-weekly format


April 21 - May 4, 2016

(Right) The original World Trade Center Greenmarket, seen here in a vintage photo from the 1980s, served Downtowners from 1983 until the 9/11 attacks in 2001. (Below) The Cortlandt Way passage between 3 WTC and 4 WTC is one possibility for a permanent location for the revived World Trade Center Greenmarket. Grow NYC

Port Authority

could be revived depending on demand. “We would probably start with one day, and if with the traffic and everything else it would make sense to do two, we would,” he said. “We think it’s a great location for commuter traffic, the folks who work down there, and of course for the people who live here and have lived here without a market for 15 years.” For the farmers who served the neighborhood before it was devastated by 9/11, the prospect of setting up their stands in Lower Manhattan once more is enticing. “I was always very fond of the market and the people down there,” said Bernadette Kowalski, who runs the River Garden flower farm together with her husband. Kowalski said she was at the World Trade Center market for about a decade and now sells flowers out of Union Square. Hers was also one of the stands that returned Downtown in the years after 2001, although with mixed results. “Getting back there not long afterwards didn’t quite work out with the logistics,” she said. “But I would be really happy to go back now. I felt very much at home there.” “We had a lot of loyal customers that came back every week. It was a great neighborhood to be in,” agreed Ron Samascott, who owns and runs the Samascott Orchards farm near Albany together with his brother, and was a fixture at the original WTC Geenmarket for its entire 17-year run. Samascott, who primarily sells apples but also offers produce ragning from strawberries and plums to asparagus and squash, said the twice-weekly stand at the original location made up about half of his business back then. “That was the first greenmarket we ever did,” he said, adding that the farm now travels around every week to markets from Union Square to Inwood.

“We do all kinds of fruits and vegetables all summer, and then we have apples in the winter. It was really a part of my life, every week for 17 years.” Before the September 11 attacks, the vendors were located along Church St. near the old 4 World Trade Center, and the market was open on the morning of the attacks. “A number of our farmers were there and actually lost their tents and tables,” said Hurwitz. “Our manager helped evacuate people from the buildings.” Westfield said it couldn’t say yet exactly when or where the new market would return. But the only outdoor options are Cortlandt Way, the passage between Church and Greenwich Sts. between 3 WTC and 4 WTC — which Hughes points out will likely be too narrow — and the plaza around the Oculus, which appears to be a more likely choice. Although the transport hub already opened its doors for straphangers this March, the station’s retail section — which will include more than 120 stores, spread throughout the sprawling space, as well as its underground corridors — is scheduled to open in Aug. 16, according to Westfield. Hurwitz said the two parties were having another meeting on the topic in the coming weeks, and that the market organizers would aim to return as soon as possible after the remainder of the Oculus opens in late summer. “We will be back there as soon as is operationally feasible,” he said. For Samascott, returning to a permanent spot at the World Trade Center after 15 years away would certainly be reason to celebrate. “We’re looking forward to it,” he said. “We definitely miss that market.” DowntownExpress.com

Developers should pay for more school seats: Assemblymember BY YANNIC RACK The developers filling Downtown with residential towers should foot the bill for the additional classroom space needed for the new families they will bring to the neighborhood, according to one Lower Manhattan legislator. A sse mbly me mb er D eb ora h Glick thinks the solution to Lower Manhattan’s school overcrowding crisis may lie in Albany, where she has just introduced a bill that would impose a “school impact tax” on any new non-senior residential developments or conversions in the city, with the funds devoted to K-12 school construction. “The city unfortunately does not have a lot of authority over its own taxing policy — it really can only deal with property taxes — and so this would allow them to raise the money needed for new schools,” said Glick. The idea has long been popular with members of the Lower Manhattan School Overcrowding Task Force, a forum for local elected officials and Downtown school advocates that Glick co-hosts every month, and her bill was praised by local parents who say that the city is

too slow in building schools to cater to Downtown’s population boom. “It only makes sense. Right now, the city can’t keep up,” said Wendy Chapman, a parent and member of Community Board 1’s Youth and Education Committee. School advocates have long warned that the rapid development of new and converted residential buildings south of Canal St. is already outpacing the current need for school seats — despite a new 476-seat elementary school that is planned to open within the next five years in the Financial District. “It’s not enough, that school was funded three years ago,” said Eric Greenleaf, another Downtown parent and a professor at NYU who calculates that up to 600 additional elementary school seats would need to be funded right now just to keep up with current levels of development in the area. “Since then, 3,000 to 5,000 new apartments have entered the pipeline, so another new school is already needed,” he said. Exacerbating the problem is that the city uses a factor of 0.12 children per apartment to calculate the need for seats when any new development

Assemblymember Deborah Glick is pushing a bill in Albany to require residential developers to pay into a fund earmarked to build new schools.

is built or proposed — which critics deride as too low. The Department of Education did not respond to a request for comment on the legislation by press time. Although the bill is sure to face heavy opposition from the real estate industry, Glick hopes that the ubiquity of new development — and ensuing school scarcity — across the city will help get her fellow legislators on board.

“I believe I can make a good case for it,” she said. “Many of the members of the Assembly majority come from the city and are facing the same issues of insufficient school seats in the district. We’re not the only ones. That’s why I hope I’ll have buyin from other members.” A spokesman for the Real Estate Board of New York said he couldn’t comment on the legislation yet. Even if the bill is passed and the city gets more money for schools, Chapman said the next challenge would be to find the space to build them Downtown, since the real estate frenzy in the neighborhood also means that few suitable sites are left. “It’s still going to be incredibly difficult to find space for schools — that will always be a problem, especially in Lower Manhattan,” she said. “But of course the other problem is that it’s so expensive.” Greenleaf added that cities like San Francisco already collect similar development impact fees that directly benefit schools, and that there was no reason why New York shouldn’t ask developers to pitch in as well. “It’s not a radical idea,” he said. “It’s a matter of the city having to catch up.”

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Buddha Bar Blocked Residents rally against luxury club, restaurant chain opening in Tribeca BY YANNIC RACK It was the sound of no hands clapping. Buddha Bar, a worldwide franchise of pricy Asian Fusion restaurants from London to Manila, was unable to transcend earthly concerns last week when dozens of Tribecans showed up to a Community Board 1 meeting to oppose the swanky chain’s plan to open an outpost in their neighborhood. A group wants to open a massive 12,000-square-foot outpost of then franchise on Thomas St. later this year — but its liquor license application was shot down by CB1’s Tribeca Committee on Apr. 13, because locals contend its owner plans to create a noisy nightclub instead. “This bar is so obviously a nightclub, even though you’re not getting a cabaret license. People dance in this club, there’s plenty of evidence on social media,” said Thomas St. resident George Rush, one of dozens of incensed locals who said its existence would mean suffering for its neighbors.

The discussion focused on the planned establishment’s method of operation, which the owner and his honchos insist will be that of a “high-class restaurant” serving an average bill of $100-plus — but which the residents, citing the franchise’s other locations, fear will lean more towards a flashy bar and event venue attracting a rowdy clubbing crowd. “The Buddha Bar experience is nightclub with some food. You can shake your heads — go online, it’s out there,” said Carolyn Bekkedahl, another neighbor on the block. But even if the spot turns out to be nothing more than a restaurant, its potential neighbors fear that an establishment that can hold almost 300 people and is open until 2 a.m. will undoubtedly wreak havoc on their block, with honking, loitering and smoking shattering the inner peace of their quiet side street. “The general concern from all these neighbors here is that people will spill out of your restaurant — it will be rowdy,

Photo by Yannic Rack

Nicolas Barthelemy, center, who will be the restaurant’s director of operations, gestures as he tries to convince skeptical residents that the proposed Tribeca Buddha Bar would be a good neighbor, while neglecting to mention that he was part of the team running the global brand’s disastrous foray into the Meatpacking District when it lost its franchise due to complaints from locals.

late hours, drunk people,” said committee chair Elizabeth Lewinsohn. The location doesn’t help the restaurateurs’ case either — the same space was previously occupied by two other restaurants, Obeca Li and Megu, which turned into noisy neighbors that drove the community crazy. “This is symptomatic of a problem in Tribeca, where on many streets residential

peace is shattered by clubs that come in, claiming that they’re restaurants and have nothing but the best intentions,” said Rush. “But we have lived through 15 years of lies from Obeca Li and Megu, who resorted to party promoters and became the reason many people could not go to sleep.” The future restaurant’s operators BUDDHA BAR Continued on Page 25







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Shooting Straight

Council bill aims to gather info on film shoots BY YANNIC RACK Lights, camera… action — on a longstanding Downtown quality-of-life issue. A bill aiming to get a clearer picture on the film and TV shoots that regularly shut down streets in the Financial District has been stalled in the Council because of industry opposition — but now the legislator who proposed it is cutting the script in the hope that the measure might pass after all. Intro. 84, proposed and then tabled by Brooklyn Councilmember Stephen Levin, would require the city to disclose more frequently when and where productions take place, as well as the companies behind them. Downtown residents, whose streets are often clogged by camerawielding film crews, think the idea is worthy of an Oscar. “Anything that sheds more light on this industry and makes it more transparent is good,” said Community Board 1 chairwoman and Fidi resident Catherine McVay Hughes. “We know it’s an important industry and brings a lot of business to New York, but it’s difficult for the community.” The original bill would have mandated the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment collect detailed data on local spending by film crews to be included in annual reports quantifying the industry’s economic impact, but Levin now plans to amend the language to require only monthly reports of film and television production permits and better community notification. “The focus is going to be more on the reporting, and less on the economic

impact. That’s really what we’ve been hearing from residents — frustration when streets are closed up and parking spots are not there anymore,” said Levin spokesman Ed Paulino. The bill would require the timely disclosure of film locations, shooting durations, the impact on on-street parking and the identity of the company producing the shoot. “This is about being responsible to the public,” Levin said. The renewed push for the legislation comes only weeks into former CB1 chairwoman Julie Menin’s tenure as commissioner of the agency, which gives out permits for production companies. Downtown Councilmember Margaret Chin, who co-sponsored the bill, said she hoped to meet the new commissioner soon to discuss the measure — especially since Lower Manhattan is such a hot-spot for filming activity. “This important piece of legislation is vital for our city to effectively track the number of film and TV shoots that are having an increasingly negative impact on the quality of life of residents — particularly those living along narrow, cavernous streets in Lower Manhattan,” she said. The Mayor’s Office wouldn’t comment on the amended legislation since it isn’t officially introduced yet, but Menin, who left the community board in 2012, said that her agency was already keeping a closer eye on productions anyway. “The Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment aims to strike a balance between community needs and produc-






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April 21 - May 4, 2016

Photo by Bill Egbert

The memorial’s map of Vietnam, which was damaged by storm-tossed debris during Hurricane Sandy, will be replaced as part of the $1.2-million restoration.

Sandy-damaged Vietnam War Memorial to get $1.2M facelift BY COliN MiXSON The Parks Department is planning a $1.2 million restoration of the city’s Vietnam Memorial at 55 Water St., which sustained significant damage from flooding caused by Hurricane Sandy. The FEM A-funded restoration work will replace light fixtures throughout the memorial, in addition to handrails, guardrails, signs, and granite stonework. Perhaps most significantly, it will replace the heavily scuffed and damaged etched-metal map of the Southeast Asian nation where more than 58,000 American soldiers gave their lives in the Cold War-era conflict. The memorial suffered substantial water damage from flooding during the 2012 superstorm, which fried lights and electrical systems. The guard rails and stone work, in addition to the etched steel map, were also damaged by floating debris, according to a Parks spokeswoman. Plans for the restoration are expected to be finalized in June, with construction due for completion in mid-2018, when community members can expect a ceremony commemorating the refurbished monument. The city will, wherever possible, replace all lights, railings, and signage with exact duplicates. But in many cases, the 1985 memorial’s original appliances are no longer in production, so similar, though not identical,

appliances will be used instead. The FEMA funds will also provide for certain flood resiliency measures, including raising lighting along the Walk of Honor six inches above flood level. The site of the memorial was originally named Jeanette Park, created in 1884 in honor of the ill-fated naval exploration vessel of the same name, which sunk about 300 miles north of the Siberian coast after it was trapped and subsequently crushed by shifting ice flows. The space was first dedicated to the soldiers who fought in the Vietnam War — including more than 1,700 New Yorkers who died in the conflict — in 1985 by then-Mayor Ed Koch, with architects Peter Wormser and William Fellows, along with writer Joseph Ferrandino, commissioned to provide designs. The space was rededicated by then-Mayor Rudy Guliani in 2001 shortly after the attacks on Sept. 11, following a $7 million restoration. The renovation included new additions to the memorial, including a ceremonial entrance at Water and South Sts., in addition to a black granite fountain. The Walk of Honor is flanked by 12 granite pylons, on which the names of the 1,741 New Yorkers who gave their lives in the conflict are inscribed. DowntownExpress.com


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The Hotel Andrew 75 North Station Plaza, Great Neck, NY 516-482-2900 www.andrewhotel.com Leave the details in accommodat-


ing your friends and family the the professionals at The Andrew, Great Neck’s Boutique Hotel, where chic sophistication meets the timeless essence of Long Island’s Gold Coast.

La Marina 212-567-6300 La Marina, located in upper Manhattan, offers a variety of indoor and outdoor event spaces for parties of 50 -1,500, right on the shore of the Hudson River. Step into our extraordinary venue where the food, the scene and the music share a stage; where the George Washington Bridge consumes the panorama; Boasting unbeatable views and large open spaces, both indoors & outdoors La Marina can be your dream wedding. Landmark Venues 866.683.3586 LandmarkVenues.com Landmark Destination Weddings, Crave Caterers, The Boathouse At Mercer Lake, Stone House at Sterling Ridge, The Ryland Whitehouse Station, Celebrate At Sung Harbor, Hotel Du Village, Liberty House Restaurant & Catering For over 25 years, we have been celebrating beautiful weddings at our venues across News York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Marble Collegiate Church* Weddings at Marble Collegiate Church, renowned for our inclusiveness and diversity, we have many unique spaces to offer, from our elegant Sanctuary, to more intimate sacred venues. At Marble, your Wedding can be spiritual, beautiful and memorable. It’s a celebration of love. That’s what Marble Collegiate is all about. 1 West 29th Street, New York, NY 10001 212-686-2770 www.MarbleChurch.org Plaza Athenee 37 East 64th Street at Madison Ave, New York 212-644-0202 plaza-athenee.com Le Trianon, our ceremony space is elegantly appointed in natural earth tones with ten windows overlooking the townhouses of East 64th Street. For your wedding reception, the venue’s dazzling, gold-domed Arabelle restaurant provides one of the most unique settings in Manhattan with its blend of murano glass and brass chandeliers, chiffon colored walls and murals of Asian pagodas. Russo’s on the Bay 162-45 Cross Bay Boulevard, Howard Beach, NY, 718-843-5055 russosonthebay.com Exemplary service and exquisite cuisine combined with professional attention to detail was the best way to achieve customer satisfaction. Sirico’s Caterers Sirico’s is a tasteful event planning and catering hall in Brooklyn, maintaining a beautiful facilities with top-notch event services. With three event halls accomodating 300 guests. They pride themselves on elegant wedding receptions and private events that are second to none. In The Heart Of Dyker Heights 8015/23 13th Avenue Bklyn, NY 11228 718-331-29008–331–2900 www.siricoscaterers.net Soleil Caterers 212-316-5000 Your wedding day is one of the most memorable days of your life and we at Soleil Caterers would love to be a part of it. No matter what your theme or food preferences are, we

will work closely with you down to the last detail to be sure that every moment is exactly as you picture.

Terrace On The Park 52-11 111th Street Flushing, NY 11368 718-592-5000 www.terraceonthepark.com Award winning food, breath taking views, and impeccable service. Tio Pepe 168 W. Fourth St. in New York 212-242-9338, tiopepenyc.com At Tio Pepe you have a choice of atmosphere. The skylight dining room supplies a touch of romance while the enclosed sidewalk cafe provides a room with a view of Greenwich Village. The Vanderbilt at South Beach Waterfront Facility 300 Father Capodanno Blvd., Staten Island, NY 718-447-0800 www.vanderbiltsouthbeach.com Boasting both a luxurious banquet hall, as well as magnificent outdoor oceanfront space. Vavaldi’s 201-10 Cross Island Parkway Service Road Bayside, NY 11360 718-352-2300 www.vavaldiny.com Woodhaven Manor Caterers & Banquet* 96-01 Jamaica, Ave., Woodhaven, NY 11421 718-805-8500 woodhavenmanorny.com We have created the ultimate venue for the most special of celebrations!

ENTERTAINMENT Amazing Bottle Dancers Add a touch of tradition and excitement to your B’nai Mitzvah or Wedding! bottledancers.com 800.716.0556 East Coast Band New York’s Ultimate Party Band 516-354-2372 EastCoastBand.com Soul System Orchestras 1650 Broadway, Suite #503 New York, 800-466-7685 soulsystemorchestras.com Soulsystem Orchestras bands have been on the leading edge in providing “elegantly hip” wedding entertainment for the past 15 years. Clients can choose from a 3-piece ensemble to a 20-piece swing orchestra and beyond.

FORMALWEAR Lindman NewYork What the dress is to the bride, the necktie is to the groom. Well, perhaps not quite, but it is important. Well-designed neckties for you, the best man, and the groomsmen will capture—as well as add to—the style and sophistication of the wedding as a whole. 917-364-6675 LindmanNewYork.com

HEALTH & BEAUTY Central Park Cosmetics 200 West 57th Street Suite 1005 10th Floor NYC www.centralparkcosmetics.com 646-692-3248 Look and feel your best! Laser Hair Removal,

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HONEYMOON DESTINATIONS Sand Castle on the Beach 127 Smithfield, Frederiksted St. Croix, Virgin Islands 340-772-1205 sandcastleonthebeach.com Our quaint, beach side boutique hotel is designed to meet your personal vacation style. We maintain a sense of intimacy and freedom in this seaside oasis. It’s our home and we invite you to relax and unwind in this comfortable and tranquil setting. Villa Amor Camino a Playa los Muertos, Sayulita Bahia de Banderas Nayarit, Mexico 619-819-5407 hotelvillaamorsayulita.com. “Sweeping ocean vistas and a sexy room concept do away with outside walls and invite you to see Sayulita through a rustling fringe of palm fronds.”Travel+Leisure.

JEWELRY Fortunoff Fine Jewelry New Jewelry Boutique by Esther Fortunoff 1504 Old Country Road, Westbury, NY 11590 FortunoffJewelry.com 800-636-7886 Shop 24/7 - Phone appointments available Solomon Jewelers 74 Manetto Hill Plaza Plainview NY 11803 516-681-6111 www.solomonjewelers.com A third generation family business with seventy years of experience, Solomon Jewlers is the only premiere certified Verragio Dealer in NY State.

OFFICIANTS Alisa Tongg Storyteller & Celebrant For AisleBound Couples Ceremonies from Scratch Serving NYC, New Jersey and Pennsylvania 570-369-3955 www.alisatonggcelebrant.com For This Joyous Occasion Officiating Services & Seaside Ceremonies Andrea Purtell NJ Wedding Officiant Weddings, Vow Renewals & Baby Blessings Certified in NJ All Faiths/Non-denominational Traditions/Lifestyles Point Pleasant Beach Atlantic Highlands Red Bank Asbury Park Ocean Grove Island Beach Long Beach Island www.forthisjoyousoccasion.com thisjoyous@gmail.com 848-333-9948

Mitch the Minister Mitchell S. Maged Wedding Officiant and Minister 201-410-6834 www.mitchtheminister.com email: mitchtheminister@aol.com 70 Oneida Avenue, Oakland, NJ 07436 Ny Life Events Mary A. Carroll – Universal Life Minister 201-410-0782 – In your home or venue • Wedding/Civil Union – NonDenominational • Evenings/Weekends – NJ-NY-NYC www.NJLifeEvents.com Reverend Greg Kits, DD NY & NJ Wedding Officiant 973-220-9400 text/cell Gregg37@optimum.net Servicing NY, NJ, & NYC www.GayWeddingMan.net www.TheWeddingMan.net Reverend Luisa’s Holistic Weddings & Ceremonies Interfaith Minister Bilingual English & Spanish Wedding Ceremonies for Tristate Couples 2014 ABC-NY Sparkle Award Top Wedding Vendor Officiant 2015 Couples Choice Award Wedding Wire 917-572-4831 revluisaceremonies.com Reverend Samora Smith Common Ground Ceremonies Ordained as an Interfaith Minister Specializing in all types of ceremonies Commongroundceremonies.com 711 East 11th Street, New York 646-709-2090 Sacred Journey Healing* Reverend Kyle Applegate Interfaith Minister 212-777-1119 kyle@sacredjourneyhealing.com sacredjourneyhealing.com Stephen David DYM/WEDinNYC LGBT Wedding Officiant Creating Custom Wedding Ceremonies for you and your partner. www.WEDinNYC.com 917.855.6830

PHOTOGRAPHY & VIDEO Glamour Me Photo & Video* 109-19 Rockaway Blvd. South Ozone Park, NY 11420 718-504-1970 www.glamourmestudio.com

REAL ESTATE SERVICES Accurate Building Inspectors 1860 Bath Ave. in Brooklyn 718-265-8191, accuratebuilding.com Accurate Building Inspectors is a full-service home and building inspection firm servicing the tri-state area since 1961.

Rev. Kyle Applegate Interfaith minister 212-777-1119 kyle@sacredjourneyhealing.com www.sacredjourneyhealing.com


April 21 - May 4, 2016


Begin planning kids’ summer now Many families spend winter figuring out how to chase away cabin fever and endure frigid temperatures until spring and summer mercifully return. Parents thinking ahead to swimming pools and days lounging on the beach can put their daydreams to practical use by planning ahead for their youngsters’ summer vacations. Youth recreational programs and summer camps can bridge the gap in care between the end of school and the day when classes resume. Due in part to high demand, parents who want to place their kids in summer rec programs or summer camps should begin vetting such programs and camps well in advance of summer. The following are a handful of tips for moms and dads who want their kids to have fun and fulfilling summers: Ask for recommendations. Speak with fellow parents and trusted friends about where they send their children. Personal recommendations can be very helpful, providing firsthand insight into a particular camp or program. Schedule appointments to visit camps that fall

within your budget. Take your child along so she can get a sense of what camp will be like. Explore all options. Camps come in more flavors than ever before. Certain camps may be faith-based ministries while others may focus on particular sports. Band camps and art camps may appeal to creative kids. Also, there are plenty of general-interest camps that offer various activities without narrowing in on any particular one. Parents may need to choose between a sleepaway camp or day camps, depending on which camp experience they want for their children. Inquire about camp schedules. Many camps are flexible, but day camps do not have the same level of flexibility as after-school programs. Arrangements will need to be made if care is required after regular camp hours. Speak with camp staff to see which types of after-hours programs, if any, are available. Determine your camp budget. As varied as program offerings may be, camps also can vary greatly with regard to cost. Government-run camps



Sleep-away camp can be a life-changing experience for a child, but it takes planning to choose the right camp and prepare for the summer.

may be less expensive than those offered by private companies. Day camps typically cost less than those that provide room and board. Find out if a particular organization subsidizes a portion of camp costs. Scouting programs often have a dedicated camp and may offer affordable options for scouts. Martial arts schools and dance centers frequently offer camp schedules. If camp seems out of reach, look into local summer recreation programs at parks or schools. Such pro-

grams may not be as extensive as those offered by camps, but they can quell kids’ boredom and keep children occupied during the day. In addition to camp, remember to plan for some free days so children can just enjoy some downtime. Such days can break up the monotony of a routine and provide kids and families with time to relax together. Summer recreation may be far off, but it is never too early to start making summer plans, including finding camps and other activities for kids.




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Prepare your child for camp 

Camp is a time to develop new skills, have fun, gain independence, and experience new wonders, but the camping experience is also one of the first times that many children will be away from home for an extended period. In order to lead a more happy and productive camp life, children need to develop a positive self-image, the feeling that “I am somebody,” before they go to the first day of camp, and that’s your job as the parent. The following ideas can help foster self-esteem in children: Level with children. Don’t talk down to a young person; instead, put yourself at eye level with a child. It can often minimize a problem, as well as make the child feel equal. Let children make decisions. For example, early participation in health care decisions such as, “Do you want liquid medicine or tablets?” lessens a child’s feeling of powerlessness, and can foster an intelligent consumer attitude in children. Value rules. The purpose of rules is to help people get along with each other and, in turn, feel good about themselves. The best rules are written during calm times with the participation of the child. Show the child you understand. Share your childhood memories. ChilDowntownExpress.com

dren need to know that their parents  had trouble learning things, too. By  showing understanding, you will help your child become more confident. Develop your own self-esteem. Parents need to feel valued and self-confident before they can help their children develop self-esteem. Parents should try to show their children that they don’t have to have it all together all the time to feel good about themselves. Children need to feel that they are special in and outside of camp. Parents have the advantage at home, because they can tailor the environment to what the child needs and wants. The following activities will help create some memorable one-onone times between a parent and child: • Keep a notepad ready to jot down ideas of special things to do with each of your children. • Take your young child to the grocery store. Talk about prices, and let him pick out one thing to buy. • Help your child make a scrapbook of a trip or something that he enjoys. • Save the child’s drawings and colorful paintings and use them in decorative ways. • Sit with your child and discuss how you and he can make this day or this weekend better. Focus on your child’s strengths, not weaknesses.

General Programs  

Camp can be a great way to build a child’s self-esteem, but it’s important to do some groundwork first to prepare for the experience.


Special Programs 

Infant program 3mos-1yr   1-2yrs   Toddler    program  Nursery program    2-3yrs       Preschool program 3-4yrs   Pre-kindergarten 4-5yrs        After school program 5yrs-up        

  • Piano class   • Art  class      • Dance class       • Karate class    • Yoga class     • Soccer class    • Foreign  language  class                


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BY JANEL BL ADOW More people out enjoying our cobblestoned streets… yay spring!


Enjoy the season and learn about our neighborhood’s unique past with the South Street Seaport Museum’s series of fun and informative walks. Led by William Roka, historian and operations associate at SSSM, the program appeals not only to tourists and history fans but also to locals who love to learn about our neighborhood. “We get a pretty good mix,” Roka told Seaport Report. “About a third tourists, a third New Yorkers and a third of the people on the tours live in the Seaport area.” The tours started last week with a three-time limited run walkabout of the area’s ties to the tragic passenger liner HMS Titanic. Commemorating the 104th anniversary of the ship’s sinking, Roka detailed the ship’s wealthy first-class passengers’ connection to the Seaport. John J. Astor IV went down with the ship — he was the youngest child and only son of John B. Astor, Jr. and Caroline Schermerhorn Astor — yes, of Schermerhorn Row on Fulton St.

The next tour, “The Secret Life of the Brooklyn Bridge”, begins Thursday, April 21, and runs every Thursday through May 26. Roka gives details of construction and secret vaults in the archway supports. “Years ago there were actually stores in the chambers under the bridge approach roads. In the late 1880s to 1900s, all the newspapers were on Park Row — then known unofficially as Newspaper Row — and the publishers stored machinery, newsprint and other printing materials there. In 2000, construction workers actually uncovered in a secret chamber the remains of a Cold War-era bomb shelter.” The next walk, “A Wicked Tour of the Fourth Ward,” starts the next day, Friday, April 22, and runs for five consecutive Fridays. “This is my favorite,” Roka explained. “In the middle of the 19th Century, the Fourth Ward was known as the Wicked Ward, the heart of the vice district. The area was rampant with prostitution, people selling alcohol on the streets, gambling and more saloons than people.” One story he enjoys telling is actually about an early proprietress of the saloon where the Bridge Café is today. “Gallus Mag was a real tough one,”

Photo by Caroline Sinno Photography

From left, Downtown Alliance president Jessica Lappin, OSA executive director Whitney Barret, Borough President Gale Brewer, and OSA board member & owner of The Salty Paw Amanda Byron Zink had a blast at the Old Seaport Alliance’s fund-raising gala on Apr. 5.

he said. “If bar patrons were drunk or in other ways unruly, she would climb over the bar and bite off their ear. She filed her teeth to points and kept the ears in a jar behind the bar.” Years ago, when my husband Chris Oliver was a reporter at the New York Post, he recounted that story in an article about the café. The next day, the manager presented him with a huge pickle jar filled with plastic ears floating in water. (The jar, by the way, was there for years; hopefully it still will be when the restaurant returns. On that front, the trim has been freshly painted, windows washed… but owner Adam Werpin is still waiting for Verizon!) Those two SSSM walking tours run on Thursdays and Fridays through May, 12:15–1:30 p.m.; $25 adults, $15 seniors & museum members, $10 children. After Memorial Day, several new tours will be added to the program. Sign up online, https://southstreetseaportmuseum.org/seaportwalkingtours/.


Photo by Caroline Sinno Photography

Howard Hughes Corp. general manager Phillip St. Pierre and Maria Ho Burge of fidilivingnyc.com turned out to support the Old Seaport Alliance.


April 21 - May 4, 2016

The Old Seaport Alliance fundraising gala cocktail cruise on April 5, was a massive success, organizers say. More than 200 people attended and raised $28,000 for the neighborhood improvement organization. “It was an amazing evening,” OSA Executive Director Whitney Barret told Seaport Report. “People were meeting or reconnecting with each other. Everyone had a great time.” Barret says the organization has been both humbled and energized by all the support they received. Among the supporters are the Downtown Alliance and New York Presbyterian Hospital, as well as newer partners such as Project Rebirth, Empire Oyster, Defend Brooklyn, and North Street Creative,

which designed the gala invitations and helped create the evening’s slideshow. The party was aboard the Hybrid, donated for the event by Hornblower New York. “Their generosity allowed us to create a really special evening for our neighbors and supporters, and gave us the opportunity to cast a wider net, so-to-speak, about the work we’re doing on behalf of the Seaport community,” said Barret. More than 50 items for both the live and silent auction were contributed by Seaport restaurants, stores and others, including a package of 30 pounds of lobsters! Seaport resident and TV personality Contessa Brewer served as the evening’s MC, while Borough President Gale Brewer — no relation! — spoke in support of the work OSA has done for the Seaport community. Barret offers special thanks to the evening’s gala committee headed by Diane Honeywell (Nelson Blue) and Maura Kilgore (Cowgirl Seahorse). She also sang the praises of NY Tab maps, from their gala sponsorship and guidance of the President/CEO Audrey Bretillot, who is also an OSA board member, and Kortlyn Shoemaker, who designed the evening’s program. “We are fortunate to have an active and dedicated board, all of whom offer invaluable skills and resources to the OSA,” she said. “It was so wonderful to see how the community came together to show support for their neighborhood organization. Having so many Lower Manhattan and Seaport stakeholders represented — from the South Street Seaport Museum, to the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, to local restaurants and businesses, to friends, neighbors, local PTA members, and so many others — was incredibly meaningful. We are stronger together, and it is this kind of support that makes us more resilient as a community.” DowntownExpress.com

ALTERNATE SIDE PARKING RULES ARE SUSPENDED SATURDAY FOR PASSOVER Transit Sam supports car-free day on Friday in honor of Earth Day and you should too! Please avoid driving anywhere in the city all day Friday. Lower Manhattanites can also enjoy the streets surrounding Washington Square Park being closed to car traffic 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. so that pedestrians and cyclists can roam the streets freely. Warmer weather means street festivals, races, and plenty of slowdowns for Lower Manhattan. For updates as the week progresses, be sure to follow me on Twitter @GridlockSam and check GridlockSam.com The Bloomberg Square Mile Relay on Thursday from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. will close Old Slip, Wall St., Maiden Ln., and Fulton St. between Water and Front Sts., and Water and Front Sts. between Fulton St. and Old Slip. Slow-going Thursday and Friday nights getting back to Lower Manhattan! One New York-bound lane of the Holland Tunnel will close 11 p.m. Thursday to 5 a.m. Friday. During the same time, the New York-bound south tube of the Lincoln Tunnel will also close. Watch for major slowdowns into Lower Manhattan and on Canal St. In the Battery Park Underpass there

dot office Continued from Page 3

officials appealed to the city to either keep the DOT office open or provide another way to coordinate Downtown construction projects and keeps locals informed. In the aftermath of the fatal accident, the mayor did appoint a task force to improve crane safety — but City Hall has yet to respond to calls for a construction liaison that would work to make sure residents don’t bear the burden of the city’s construction boom. “It’s critical that the city doesn’t let construction coordination in Lower Manhattan disappear,� said state Sen. Daniel Squadron, who has appealed to the administration to create a position to continue cross-agency oversight on major infrastructure and building projects in the dense and crowded area. “We are concerned that with the impending closure of the Department of Transportation’s Lower Manhattan Borough Commissioner’s Office, there will be no entity coordinating the large DowntownExpress.com

will be a full closure of the south tube from the FDR to West St. 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. Monday through Thursday nights, and 1 a.m. to 8 a.m. Saturday. During that time, use the detour by going south on West St., left onto Battery Pl., continuing onto State St., and going one block north on Water St., then right onto Broad St. The Tribeca Film and Family Festival will close a number of streets 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, including Greenwich St. between Chambers and Hubert Sts., Beach St., Franklin St., Jay St., Duane St., and Reade St. between Greenwich and Hudson Sts., and N Moore St. and Harrison St. between West and Hudson Sts. The Tribeca Film Festival wraps up on Sunday. Watch out for extra traffic at the Tribeca Film Center on the east side of Greenwich St. between Franklin and N Moore Sts., at Tribeca Cinemas on Varick St. at Laight St., and BMCC Tribeca PAC on Chambers St. between Greenwich and West Sts. The 9/11 Memorial 5K Run, Walk, and Block Party on Sunday from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. will close Battery Pl. between Little West and Greenwich Sts., Greenwich St. between Edgar and Rector Sts., Trinity Pl. between Morris and Edgar Sts., and Edgar St. between Trinity Pl. and Greenwich St. for the run, and Liberty St. between Greenwich St. and Trinity Pl. for the block party.

number of current and pending projects in the area,� he wrote in a letter to Deputy Mayor Anthony Shorris last month, along with Congressman Jerrold Nadler, Borough President Gale Brewer and Councilmember Margaret Chin. “We request that your office assign the role of coordinating construction efforts in Lower Manhattan and engage the community on construction-related issues.� Hughes said the regular meetings with the Lower Manhattan Borough Commissioner’s Office were vital to understanding all that’s going on in a community that is continuing to see an influx of residents and the building projects they bring with them — and that there is no substitute for having a single point person who can coordinate with city agencies. “This is the information we need. It’s really important that there’s someone who interacts with the public,� she said. “Getting an email is not the same as getting everyone in one room at the same time.�

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tribattery pops Continued from Page 1

band in a state of exuberant bewilderment, according to Goodkind. “I saw they were mostly from France, mostly between 20 and 25 years old, and I’m like, ‘what? ’ ” the conductor said. “I have no idea what to do about it. Probably nothing, but it’s sort of cool. It puts us right up there with Jerry Lewis.” But based on the Facebook translations of the French comments, Goodkind suspects that it may not be just about the music. “The music’s so goofy,” he said. “I mean maybe that’s what they’re into, it’s hard to say. But my best guess, it’s got to be the cover.” The album, “Turn On, Tune Up, and Drop Out,” is a tongue-in-cheek compilation of acid rock covers, and its cover features band members in tie-dyes popping out of a classic Volkswagen bus parked on a beach. Many of the comments seem to focus on the cover’s setting rather than the music — such as “Great vacation with friends” and “We’re going on vacation.” And some referred directly to the beloved Volkswagen touring van: “I’d like to

have this little truck.” It should be noted that neither the band, nor any of its members actually own a Volkswagen bus. The album cover was a Photoshop job courtesy of flute player and web designer Heidi Hunter, who was herself a tad confused by the French comments. “It makes me wonder if they really understand what it is. I don’t know, maybe they think we all sit in one of those V W buses,” she said. The TriBattery Pops feature a loose-knit, revolving ensemble of amateur and professional musicians, who volunteer their time and expertise to provide live music at neighborhood events. The band actually grew out of what Goodkind described as the bizarre bonds of love and fellowship that formed among Downtowners after the harrowing events of September 11, 2001. According to the conductor, the terrorist attack taught the denizens of Lower Manhattan that, even in New York, events may conspire to force neighbors to rely on each other — and that revelation led to faces becoming names, names becoming friends, and eventually, friends becoming a band.


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April 21 - May 4, 2016

TriBattery Pops

The band’s logo was created by Marvel comics legend Stan Lee, a friend of bandleader Tom Goodkind since they were neighbors in Hewlett Harbor, Long Island.

“A sort of problem that occurs after 9/11 is people get together and become friendly, because we almost got killed,” said Goodkind. “New York shouldn’t be like that, where you talk to people in elevators, but in Downtown we still do that. Typically you get in an elevator, size someone up, and say I’m better than that person.” Specifically, the attack led Downtown residents to host a greater array of community-based events, including a 2001 block party, where the absence of live music was conspicuous, according to the bandleader — so he started making calls. Goodkind had been involved in music back in the 80s, when he was a member of the Washington Squares, a neo-beatnick/folk-revival group that toured with the Beach Boys, the Ramones, and Joan Jett — in addition to selling out Carnegie Hall and shifting about 300,000 records. Perhaps more pertinently, the conductor and his partners opened several iconic clubs and music venues back in the day — including Irving Plaza, the Roseland Ballroom, and the Peppermint Lounge — and he was able to leverage some old contacts to help the band get on its feet. Goodkind managed to arrange a peculiar gig early in the band’s

career opening for a goth band at Irving Plaza — though he threw a fit after the club owners tried to cancel on the day of the show. “I was stamping my feet, screaming, ‘I made this club and I can destroy it too,’” he recalled. “Of course, I had no power to do that.” Nonetheless, the Tribattery Pops went on to play the venue, and the crowd of dour, black-clad youths ate up the band’s early catalogue of jazzbop covers, as Goodkind tells it. “Everyone was dressed in head-totoe leather, with earrings and tattoos, and they were all grumpy and it was hot out, but they went nuts,” he said. “They were dancing and it was fun.” The band consists of a fairly eclectic lineup. Members range in age from 8-year-old kids to geriatrics pushing 80. Professionally, they include real estate agents, lawyers, actuaries, accountants, and baggage handlers. Musically, they range from professional trumpeters to amateur triangle players, in addition to a certain late tambourine player, who would occasionally remember she was in a band. “Our tambourine player, who was one of the top real estate saleswomen in Downtown, who’s since died, tribattery pops Continued on Page 23


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played tambourine when she felt like hitting it,” said Goodkind. “It starts with that and it goes all the way up to professional jazz musicians from Tribeca.” Since its inception, the band has suffered two losses from causes related to old age, which Goodkind, with his irreverent sense of humor, thinks is pretty neat. “We’re like the Beatles, we have two dead band members,” he said. “It’s kind of cool. It gives us street cred.” Also worth noting: the group’s logo was designed by Marvel comics legend Stan Lee, who became friends with Goodkind back when they were neighbors in Hewlett Harbor, Long Island. The TriBattery Pops usually play about six shows a year, beginning with the opening of the Downtown Little League’s season in April and ending with the 4th of July fireworks in Wagner Park. And they put out an album every year, which is always free — and always a little weird. In 2012, the group produced the “Dark” album, featuring songs inspired by the Mayan calendar’s supposed end-of-the-world predictions. That album cover featured a logo stolen from Apple, Inc. — in what Goodkind claims was an attempt to goad the technology juggernaut into suing the band for copyright infringement — again, for purposes of accruing “street cred.” Their 2015 album, which has soared to unlikely heights in the country responsible for baguettes and croissants, found its inspiration in a Downtown nursing home, which led to Goodkind’s realization that the oldsters of today were the acid-head rockers of yesterday. So he went to the Church Street School for Music and Art, grabbed some talent from their adult choir, and started recording psychedelic hits from the ’60s. The effect of sweet little old ladies singing about getting whacked out on drugs is, he says, priceless. “They were really cute and fun,” said Goodkind. “When they sing ‘I’m Wasted and I Can’t Find My Way Home,’ it’s precious.” The group doesn’t take itself too seriously. The amount of musical talent required to join is basically none, and only one memDowntownExpress.com

ber has ever been ejected from the group in its nearly 15-year run — and Goodkind said that was for smelling bad and making crude remarks to the group’s female members, not playing out of tune. But playing for the TriBattery Pops is a lot of fun, according to Hunter, especially compared to many of the city’s other community bands, who tend to take themselves more seriously and play more sober sets. “We don’t play classical,” she said. “We do rock and roll, jazz. We play stuff that people like and is fun to play, and the types of gigs we play are more fun too — more outdoor gigs, or club gigs where people are dancing or drinking. It’s not like a concert hall. It’s a different vibe, and people are rocking out.” And the bandleader makes a point of being generous with the spotlight. “They’re all stars to me,” said Goodkind. “If they want to solo, I let them solo. I say, ‘go crazy.’ It’s fun!” Of course, you can’t expect the French to appreciate all of this nuance — you’d have to be a local. And while their Facebook numbers aren’t quite as big locally as they are across the pond, that doesn’t mean the Tribattery Pops have gone unnoticed Downtown, according to one of the band’s benefactors. “They’re not all professional musicians, but what they lack in professional musicianship, they gain in heart,” said Lisa Eckland-Florus, founder of the Church Street School for Music and Art, where the band stores its equipment and rehearses free of charge. Eckland-Florus said that the TriBattery Pops are an important part of maintaining the fabric of a neighborhood experiencing some growing pains. “I think a community band is one of those essential elements that creates a real neighborhood feeling, and this neighborhood has grown exponentially in the last decade,” she said. “Trying to keep these sort of low-key but high-warmth activities and organizations and opportunities for residents to get together is really important to the community, and it’s something Tom had in mind and it’s something he’s been successful in doing.”

MYSTERY BOX Continued from Page 6

participating in FEMA’s High Water Mark program — which posts signs indicating the height of floodwaters — commemorating the disaster by informing locals and visitors how far the storm surge reached into the neighborhood. The $500 signs, paid for through the National Flood Insurance Program, are better suited for a neighborhood that’s more concerned with finding money to protect itself from future floods than spending millions to remember the last one, according to Hughes. “It’s a minimal sign — minimal cost,” she said. “Right now we’re focusing on rebuilding [The Battery] and resiliency.” The Battery Conservancy, which maintains the park — and presided over the nearly year-long wait for the Oval’s opening — isn’t eager to see the lawn hijacked by a memorial either. “I think it should be the lawn it was always envisioned as,” said Warrie Price, president of the conservancy. “Downtown has waited a long time to sunbathe, picnic, and have a place of leisure, and it should

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but Chin was quick to sign on as a sponsor following a slew of nasty headlines generated by ticket merchants Downtown. “Aggressive ticket sellers are a widespread issue in our city, particularly in Manhattan, and I am grateful to Councilmember Garodnick for addressing this growing problem through this common-sense legislation, which has my full support,” Chin said. In February, a man sucker-punched a 33-year-old tourist after the out-oftowner turned down the assailant’s wife, who tried to sell him a ticket to the Statue of Liberty. The blow sent the victim sprawling onto the pavement, fracturing his skull. Tourists aren’t the only ones suffering at the hands of ticket peddlers, who have taken to infighting amongst rival groups, in battles that left at least one man suffering from knife wounds around The Battery last July. There have also been complaints that the ticket sellers increase congestion on Downtown’s crowded streets, but it’s the wild-west nature of the business that’s driving residents up a

stay as the place it’s always been meant as.” It’s unclear exactly what support Norton hopes to get from the city — whether she simply requires a site for the monument or if the sculptor expects the city to pitch in with funding for the project. Neither Norton nor the TASC Group returned calls for comment by press time. The Parks Department, which has the final say, said it is not currently interested in a permanent monument, but it might consider a temporary installation, and directed Norton to its website for instructions on how to properly submit a proposal. “While NYC Parks is not currently considering such permanent proposals, as New York City’s greatest public gallery we are always open to proposals for temporary artworks that beautify our parks and honor our city’s history and culture,” the agency said in a statement. “NYC Parks does have other resources for artists to propose temporary artworks—also highly competitive—detailed information can be found in the Arts & Antiquities section of Parks’ website.”

wall, according to the president of the Downtown Alliance. “The increased presence of ticket sellers has not only added to the congestion of Lower Manhattan’s narrow streets and sidewalks — it has also prompted more and more frequent, aggressive behavior from competing ticket sellers,” Jessica Lapin said at a city council hearing on the bill on Apr. 12. “The free-forall stemming from a lack of regulations has led to a survival-of-thefittest mentality on the street.” Downtown residents are happy to see the city taking steps to combat the ticket-vendor nuisance, although many believe the bill is only as strong as the city’s willingness to enforce it, according to Community Board 1 member Michael Ketring. “I’m pleased to see that it’s moving forward, but will it solve it? I think it’s a question of enforcement,” said Ketring. “One of the things the community board wanted to say is it needs resources. Just like conventional vending of food and merchandise, if it’s not enforced, then the regulations don’t mean much. But with proper enforcement, it could be a major help.” April 21 - May 4, 2016



‘The Syndrome’ shakes up ‘shaken baby’ laws Publisher

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April 21 - May 4, 2016

BY LENORE SKENAZY On Saturday night at Cinema Village on E. 12st Street I met Marine Sgt. Aaron Rasheed. He was up from Virginia with his wife and three young children, including baby Elijah, who cried part-way through the new documentary we were there to watch: “The Syndrome.” I can’t blame him. The movie is about Shaken Baby Syndrome — a heinous crime we’ve all heard of. Back in the fall, when Elijah was 3 weeks old, he suffered a seizure. Sgt. Rasheed and his wife rushed him to the hospital. The baby had two hematomas — blood on the brain (or at least it looked like that at the time). How had he gotten them? The desperate parents had no idea. Tsk tsk. They must be hiding something. Child Protective Services swooped in and accused Rasheed of shaking the baby. Rasheed was floored. He loved his son! He’d never do that! “But I think because I had served in Afghanistan,” Rasheed said, the authorities assumed he must be suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, and further assumed he must be taking it out on his baby. All three children were placed in a relative’s custody and Rasheed faced trial. Frantic, he went online and tried to find any information he could about Shaken Baby Syndrome. That’s where he found Susan Goldsmith, the researcher behind “The Syndrome.” A journalist for more than 20 years specializing in child abuse, her investigative reporting resulted in two new laws protecting children in foster care. She was especially revolted by the idea of anyone who’d shake a baby. I guess we all are. But the more she looked into this crime, the more surprised she became.

It turns out that the constellation of three symptoms that “prove” a baby was shaken (a type of brain swelling, brain bleeding, and bleeding in back of the eyes) can actually be caused by all sorts of other problems, including genetic issues, birth trauma — even a fall off a couch. And yet, over and over, distraught parents and caregivers with no history of anything other than loving their babies have been accused of shaking their kids to death, simply because their children presented these symptoms — or other unexplained symptoms. To this day, about 250 parents and caregivers are prosecuted for this crime every year. “The Syndrome” tells the tale of how this new category of crime appeared seemingly out of nowhere in the mid-1990s. Goldsmith found that some of the same doctors who had actively promoted the Satanic Panic of the early ’90s, accusing daycare workers of things like sacrificing animals in the classroom and raping the tots in Satanic rites, abandoned that narrative when people started doubting its plausibility. In its wake, those doctors found a new horror to focus on: Shaken Baby. As Goldsmith puts it, “They medicalized Satan.” Attention, donations, and research money flooded in. But after Goldsmith’s film interviews parent after parent who brought their ailing babies to the hospital only to find themselves accused of the sickest, saddest crime possible, it turns to the heroes: doctors who gradually started to question the syndrome.

Consider the case of Natasha Richardson, says one of them, neurosurgeon Ronald Uscinski: She hit her head in a skiing accident and even joked about it afterward. No big deal! Two days later she was dead. This happens to children, too, he says. Toddlers toddle. Sometimes they fall. Usually it’s fine, but sometimes it’s tragic. It may be diagnosed as the fallout from a shaking, but here’s the sticking point: If someone shook a baby so hard that its head went flopping back and forth, the neck would show signs of whiplash, right? And yet, the film notes: none of the hundreds of “shaken” baby cases Goldsmith reviewed showed serious neck damage. Not one. D ebora h Tuerk hei mer, a Northwestern law professor interviewed in the film, estimates there are 1,000 people in prison today for a shaken baby crime they did not commit. Rasheed was almost one of them, but he was found not guilty. The idea that the shaken baby diagnosis may be as unfounded as the Satanic Panic does not sit well with the medical establishment. The American Academy of Pediatrics issued a 14-page document criticizing “The Syndrome.” Three different film festivals were threatened with lawsuits simply for screening it. But the show goes on. “The Syndrome” is available on demand through iTunes, Amazon, Time Warner Cable — almost everywhere. And Rasheed is hosting a screening back home in Virginia. He knows firsthand how easy it is to end up in the medical establishment or child protective services prosecutor’s crosshairs. It’s enough to leave anyone shaken. Lenore Skenazy is author and founder of the book and blog Free-Range Kids, and a contributor at Reason.com.

Letters To the Editor, Let us celebrate Earth Day April 22nd all year long. Besides recycling newspapers, magazines, glass, plastics, old medicines, paints and cleaning materials, there are other actions you can take which will also contrib-

ute to a cleaner environment. Leave your car at home. For local trips in the neighborhood, walk or ride a bike. For longer travels, consider many public transportation alternatives already available. Metropolitan Transportation Authority, New York

City Transit, Long Island Rail Road, Metro North Rail Road, PATH, Staten Island Ferry along with other private transportation owners offer various options, such as local and LETTERS Continued on Page 25


Buddah Bar Continued from Page 14

countered that they had already demonstrated their good will by reaching out to a handful of neighbors, putting a security plan in place to mitigate customers spilling into the street, and commissioning a noise impact study. “We want to run a clean, nice operation,” said Nicolas Barthelemy, who will be the restaurant’s director of operations. “We’re not here to ruin your life and make it a nightmare. I reached out to the neighbors. I think we’re being proactive about addressing some of these issues.” “Megu started out as a clean, nice operation, it was well loved by the community,” countered CB1 member Bruce Ehrmann. “But the space was so large and the street was so obscure that they couldn’t make it, so they took desperate measures to try to stay in business — which was so disruptive that we closed them down.” Ehrmann pointed out that Wikipedia describes the Buddha Bar’s flagship location in Paris as popular “among

LETTERS Continued from Page 24

express bus, ferry, jitney, subway and commuter rail services. Most of these systems are funded with your tax dollars. They use less fuel and move far more people than cars. In many cases, your employer can offer transit checks to help subsidize a portion of the costs. Utilize your investments and reap the benefits. You’ll be supporting a cleaner environment and be less stressed upon arrival at your final destination. Many employers now allow employees to telecommute and work from home. Others use alternative work schedules, which afford staff the ability to avoid rush hour gridlock. This saves travel time and can improve mileage per gallon. You could join a car or van pool to share the costs of commuting. Use a hand powered lawn mower instead of a gasoline or electric one. Rake your leaves instead of using gasoline powered leaf blowers. The amount of pollution created by gasoline powered lawn mowers or leaf blowers will surprise you. A cleaner environment starts with everyone. Larry Penner Great Neck, NY DowntownExpress.com

foreign yuppies and wealthy tourists.” And the chain heavily promotes its lineup of music and DJs. But the restaurant’s representatives at the meeting — backed by a phalanx of lawyers and other employees — seemed to intentionally obscure the connection between their establishment and other Buddha Bar franchises around the world. Although they insisted there was no relationship with their namesakes in Europe and elsewhere, Stefan Stefanov, the Bulgarian investor who said he is putting up the money for the venture, has actually run the Buddha Bar in London for the past four years, according to his LinkedIn profile. Similarly, Barthelemy lists on his online resume that he was in charge of the franchise’s overall operations in North and South America and Eastern Europe — and also helped run the Buddha Bar that operated in the Meatpacking District until it lost its franchise license a few years ago. At one point, Barthelemy even went so far as to call the Meatpacking loca-

To the Editor, Your article sent me to the Winter Garden to see the Buddhist Sand Mandala. Looked dwarfed in that giant fashion palace, but up close seemed very precise and potent. On late night radio I heard a short interview with the Dalai Lama. He said some penetrating truths. For me the most surprising was: “Don’t become a Buddhist, we have enough; practice Compassion, we don’t have enough.” What if we all took that approach? Don’t become a Banker, we have enough; practice Candor, we don’t have enough. Don’t become a Lawyer, practice Justice, we don’t have enough. Don’t become a Senator, practice Responsibility, we don’t have enough. Don’t become a Poet, Artist, Composer, we have enough; practice Fresh Vision, we don’t have enough. Robert Janz

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tion “poorly operated,” without disclosing his own involvement as assistant to the CEO who “took part [in] all major operational decisions,” according to his LinkedIn profile. “They took the brand away from them,” Barthelemy said of the former spot on Little W. 12th St. The team’s lawyer and spokesman also brazenly denied any connection at the meeting. “We have no relation with the prior Buddha Bar in Manhattan,” he told the residents at one point. The CB1 members voted 7-0 against the application in the end, but its vote is only advisory. In fact, one board member pointed out that it might have been a smarter strategy to approve of the license with certain stipulations about opening times and noise levels — since the State Liquor Authority might give Buddha Bar the go ahead anyway, which would leave CB1 completely powerless. “It’s a double-edged sword. If they do get approval from the SLA, you run the risk of giving them exactly what they want, because they will no longer

have to fulfill the conditions under which they came before us,” Adam Malitz explained to the crowd. “You might get something even worse.” The Tribeca Committee is already dealing with another restaurant-cumnightclub in the neighborhood — M1-5 Lounge on Walker St. — which got a slap on the wrist last month, when CB1 denied an application to amend its liquor license because residents say the place is violating the law by operating a rowdy nightclub without a cabaret license. Combined with the history of the previous tenants of the Thomas St. space, some CB1 members think the lesson learned is that once an establishment — whatever kind — is up and running, there’s little that neighbors can do to stop them from turning into a neighborhood nuisance. “There’s definitely the experience of having a few places that started out saying they’re one thing and becoming another,” said committee member Jeff Ehrlich. “But once things start to go wrong, we have no control. It can go on for years.”

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require a street activity permit, most likely for staging, and might therefore not even represent the full total. The applications come to the board only for notification, and CB1 doesn’t have any input on the permitting process. Fidi residents, who have to deal with the onslaught of shoots on a weekly basis, have protested the flood of film crews in the past — partly because community notification is usually only given in the form of parking notices. “That’s how most people find out about it,” said Patrick Kennell, a resident who recently started the Financial District Neighborhood Association to address such quality-of-life issues. Kennell said the industry is generally welcome Downtown because of its positive economic impact — but more information and advance notice about film shoots would go a long way to ease residents’ concerns about individual productions. “The community shouldn’t find out when they walk down the street and can’t get through because the way is blocked by a film crew,” Kennell said. “I don’t think the bill is asking that much.” He added that an increase in transparency regarding the companies’ economic data might even sway some of the more critical denizens of the neighborhood. “I think providing that info [on money spent locally] will actually show the community how good these shoots are for the neighborhood,” he said.

tion requests, and our staff works with community groups and local elected officials, including City Council members, to ensure minimal impact to neighborhoods,” she said. “Our staff monitors production details on a daily basis, keeping track of each neighborhood while identifying areas that may need a temporary hiatus from filming.” The television and film industry employs around 130,000 New Yorkers and contributes nearly $9 billion to the city annually, according to the Mayor’s Office. The bill’s opponents — which include industry union members, small-business owners and New York-based studio heads — heavily protested against it during a Council hearing last year. They say that collecting spending figures from a production’s hundred-plus employees on a daily basis is impractical and unnecessary. “This legislation is very shortsighted,” Silvercup Studios CEO Alan Suna told Crain’s New York recently. “They want a microscopic view on an important macroscopic industry that benefits this city tremendously.” Of the 1,142 Street Activity Permit applications CB1 received from January 2015 to the present, almost half were for shooting permits, said Diana Switaj, the board’s planning director — although she noted that those were only the shoots that

April 21 - May 4, 2016


The Vulcan Was Down-to-Earth Adam Nimoy’s Spock doc earns an emotional response

BY MA X BURBANK I have no memory of ever watching an episode of the original “Star Trek” for the first time. I do remember my dad and I watching it first-run on a black and white TV, when I was four. By the time I was watching reruns religiously, I wanted to be James T. Kirk. My lack of success with the ladies at Franklin Elementary made it pretty clear that was never going to happen. Maybe though, just maybe, I could be Spock. Standoffish? Check. Alien? I was the only Jew not on a Sunday School felt board any of my classmates had ever seen. Smart? Well, I got punched a lot for using “big words.” That counts, right? So yeah. I could be Spock. Full disclosure, I also thought I’d be a good choice to carry the One Ring to Mordor, which would not have gone well for anyone. Except, you know, Orcs, I guess. You get the picture. So my dad gave me “Star Trek.” Adam Nimoy’s dad gave him, and the world, Spock. Now Adam has given us “For the Love of Spock.” Begun in 2014, it was originally intended to focus solely on the character of Spock, to commemorate the original series’ 50th anniversary. With Nimoy’s passing, it became clear the film should celebrate the man as well as his creation. Loaded with archival stills, restored original footage, interviews with original and reboot cast members, family, celebrity superfans (Jason Alexander and Jim “Sheldon” Parsons), scientists (Neil deGrasse Tyson, can I get a what WHAT?) and astronauts, this is the Spockfest everyone wanted, a claim for which there is empirical evidence. Crowdsourced, the documentary holds the Kickstarter record for Most Successful Campaign. Why? Simple. No Spock, no “Trek.” The original “Star Trek” and the eventual franchise (with the possible exception of “Voyager,” sorry, that’s just how I feel) is full of memorable characters, but Spock…Spock resonates. Spock is more than just a character; he’s a way of looking at life, a lens through which to view the human condition. I know, super


April 21 - May 4, 2016

Leonard photo, courtesy CBS archival; Adam photo by Kai de Mello

(Above) Time travel episodes are generally frowned upon, but this is an exception. (Right) Adam Nimoy as a child, on the set of the original “Star Trek” series. Nice photo, but what’s with the smiling? Clearly not cannon.

nerdy, right? But also true. Fascinating. Adam Nimoy grew up with that. Leonard was his dad, but Spock must have loomed over that family. It must have been hard, but there’s not an iota of bitterness or regret in Adam Nimoy’s documentary. It doesn’t shy away from the inevitable difficulty of being Spock’s kid, but there’s an embrace of both the man his father was, and the icon he created. It’s where everyone who ever had a fraught relationship with their father would want to end up. SPOCK Continued on Page 31

Photo courtesy CBS & Adam Nimoy


Photo by Stuart Brereton

Seth Green in the Christmas-themed segment of “Holidays.”

Run To, Run From: Egan Takes On TFF Multiple standouts aside, ‘Women Who Kill’ dominates the slate

BY SEAN EGAN The weather tells me it’s officially spring, which can only mean one thing — it’s time to hole up in a movie theater and take in all the Tribeca Film Festival (TFF; tribecafilm.com) has to offer. Or at least that’s what I gladly did this past weekend, to ensure you needn’t roll the dice on quality when picking your celluloid poison. Here’s the lowdown on some of the best (and not so best) picks you can consider before the festival concludes on Apr. 24. If you can't make it to TFF (or the remaining screenings are sold out), note that many of its films get picked up for wide release theatrical distribution or become available via streaming services soon after their festival run. “Hunt for the Wilderpeople” is an excellent odd couple comedy, and a strong contender for festival breakout hit — which should come as no surprise, considering the talent behind the camera. Hailing from New Zealand, writer/director Taika Waititi’s film tells the story of Ricky (Julian Dennison), a young troublemaker from the city, and his begrudging, dethatched foster father Hec (Sam Neill), who, through a series of escalating misunderstandings, find themselves the targets of an extensive manhunt, forced to go on the lam for weeks in New Zealand’s expansive forests. While “Wilderpeople” might lack the acidic bite (pun shamelessly intended) of his recent vampire mockumentary “What We Do In The Shadows,” Waititi’s dry and understated sense of humor remains intact, palpable in both the dialogue and visual gags. It’s a sweeter and sadder movie, and Waititi renders the central relationship accordingly — with nuance and specific human flaws — allowing him to avoid the kind of cheap sentimentality that usually sinks this kind of movie. The struggles the duo endure, therefore, feel real, and their personal breakDowntownExpress.com

Photo courtesy The Orchard

L to R: Julian Dennison and Sam Neill in “Hunt for the Wilderpeople.”

throughs feel earned — and that makes all the difference in elevating the film from a good-natured crowd-pleaser into something altogether more affecting. For those looking for something a little more gory than gentle, “Holidays” should do the trick. It is, appropriately enough, a holiday-themed horror anthology movie that boasts a startlingly solid lineup of high-quality shorts. True, as with all films of this nature, unevenness is the norm; the opening Valentine’s Day piece has little to praise but its lighting design, and Kevin Smith’s Halloween-themed segment is pretty slight and under-

whelming, especially following his deranged, inspired “Tusk” (2014). But that can be forgiven when the hit-to-miss ratio is as highs as it here. From the blue-hued, measured tension of Anthony Scott Burns’ “Father’s Day,” to the blasphemous black comedy and stunning practical effects of Nicholas McCarthy’s “Easter,” to the nutso, offbeat humor of Gary Shore’s “St. Patrick’s Day,” “Holidays” is a brisk and bloody good midnight movie. TFF Review Roundup Continued on Page 28

April 21 - May 4, 2016


tFF rEViEW rOUNDUp Continued from Page 27

Photo by Diane Russo

Writer/director Ingrid Jungermann (left) with Sheila Vand (right) in “Women Who Kill.”

Courtesy Titmouse Inc.

L to R: Sally (Kate Micucci), John (Paul Rudd), Elliot (Patton Oswalt) and Linda (Riki Lindhome), the idiots of “Nerdland.”

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Best of all, however, is “Women Who Kill,” a confidently low-key yet hysterical hybrid of dark comedy, queer romantic drama, and murder mystery. Set in Park Slope with a lovingly skewering eye, Morgan (Ingrid Jungermann) produces a podcast about female serial killers with her ex-girlfriend Jean (Ann Carr). Things begin to go awry when the pair suspects Morgan’s mysterious new sweetheart, Simone (Sheila Vand), may actually be a killer. Vand (also turning in good work in “Holidays”) draws upon the same steely-eyed intensity she brought to her titular breakout role in the 2014 thriller, “A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night,” but effectively shades Simone with a tangible vulnerability, refusing to remain a simple cipher or plot point, while Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre vet Shannon O’Neill brings perfect comedic timing to her empathetic portrayal of best friend Alex. The real find here, though, is multi-hyphenate Jungermann, who handled writing and directing duties, in addition to delivering a perfectly unassuming, deadpan leading turn. As a debut feature, “Women” is remarkably assured, effortlessly balancing its competing tones with emotional authenticity, and more than a dash of gallows humor. Simply put, it’s the kind of homegrown gem that Tribeca, at its best, was designed to highlight and bring to the attention of a wider audience. But it can’t all be good, can it? Enter “Nerdland.” Produced by Adult Swim alums Titmouse and boasting a voice cast packed with alt-comedy royalty like Paul Rudd, Patton Oswalt and Hannibal Burress, the Hollywood-set animated feature is allegedly a satire of our fame-obsessed culture — but damned if Andrew Kevin Walker’s aimless, regressive, mean-spirited script amounts to anything but tired juvenilia and rehashed, dated tropes. Things wouldn’t be so bad had Walker and Co. remembered to make their bad-taste exercise actually funny, but no amount of inventive animation or lively voice work can distract from the dearth of laughs. As it stands, its most effective (and cruelest) joke is on itself. As the opening credits roll, a tongue-in-cheek song blares: “Get your hopes up,” the voice commands. “It’s gonna be great; it’s gonna be awesome!” “Nerdland” was neither great nor awesome. In fact, it was the worst thing I had the misfortune of seeing at the festival — and with plenty of fine offerings and events coming up, I implore you not to make the same mistake I did in giving this movie time of (a beautiful) day.

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April 21 - May 4, 2016



A Weak Arc Red Flags Color Guard Doc

Concert film falters, but the art form is admirable

Photo by Jarred Alterman & Wyatt Garfield

St. Vincent (pictured) is among the major recording artists collaborating with color guard teams for a lively Barclays Center performance.

BY RANIA RICHARDSON While spinning batons, rifles, sabers or flags in the air, the color guard performs a joyous dance to celebrate school spirit during a football halftime show, to the tune of the high school marching band. Former Talking Heads frontman David Byrne stumbled upon the art form and “was knocked out,” and so, to bring it to a wider audience, matched 10 color guard teams chosen from national competi-

tion with 10 established composers. The yearlong collaboration culminated in a performance at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn in 2015. The motion of the props, the synchronized choreography and the fresh music — as well as the exuberance of the youth — created a lively spectacle that drew crowds. With Byrne as producer, sibling filmmakers Bill and Turner Ross turned the event into the documentary, “Contemporary Color.” Lucius, Nelly Furtado,

St. Vincent, How to Dress Well, Zola Jesus and other artists of profiles both high and low worked with the troupes, many of whom were performing their final color guard and saying goodbye to their team forever. It was an emotional time for the student performers, who exhibit diversity in body size and ethnicity, and some appear to be social outcasts. Color guard provides a skill, a community, and, it seems, a safe space for misfits. The Ross brothers choose not to adhere to the standard structure of similar films, which usually follow the stories of a few characters closely, document rehearsals, and build momentum towards an exciting main event. Instead, they use camera tricks, such as superimpositions, to add interest, and zero in on some interesting moments, such as the girlfriends who lean on each other for support, the “dads” who pitch in with set building, and a pair of eccentric boys bursting with excitement. Without the typical pattern, though, the film is unfocused and the trajectory falls flat. In the final minutes, all performers come together for a powerful and uplifting group number that hints at what could have been with a more traditional form of storytelling. Not every concert film can be a pinnacle of achievement. For that, we have the Talking Heads in “Stop Making Sense,” directed by Jonathan Demme in 1984. Directors: Bill Ross, Turner Ross. Runtime: 97 minutes. Thurs., Apr. 21, 8pm at Regal Cinemas Battery Park (102 North End Ave., at Vesey St.). Tickets: $20 plus $3.50 phone & web processing fee. Visit tribecafilm.com or call 646-502-5296. For more info, visit contemporarycolor.com.

Clash and Burn

A rock rebel comes of age in Tunisia

BY PUMA PERL Vivacious, rebellious, 18-year-old Farah (Baya Medhaffer) loves rock and roll, hates convention, and is a member of an underground band — all of which brings about conflict with her mother, who is insistent that she forget about music and go to medical school. This description sounds like any coming of age story, but there is a catch. The film is set on the eve of Tunisia’s Jasmine Revolution, and the young people, fueled by creative energy and disenchantment with the authoritarian government, are more likely to wind up beaten and imprisoned than losing their driving privileges. DowntownExpress.com

“I decided to place the mother/daughter relationship in the center of the film. It was a way of demonstrating that the explosiveness and idealism of the younger generation modernized the elder one,” explained writer and director Leyla Bouzid at the Q&A that followed the film’s first Tribeca Film Festival screening. Although the script is not strictly autobiographical, it does include some of her life experiences. Under the dictatorship of Ben Ali, she and some friends ran a cinema club, and, like the film, one trusted compadre turned out to be a police agent. In her discussion, Bouzid exhibited some similarities to her heroine, but was careful to explain that in some ways she was the opposite of her.

Photo courtesy Kino Lorber

L to R: Montassar Ayari as Bohrène and Baya Medhaffer as Farah in “As I Open My Eyes.”

Farah is fearless, with no regard for limits, whereas Bouzid was extremely conscious of limits and consequences. Central to the film is the music, not only for its narrative component, but also for the intensity of Ghassen Amami’s lyrics and the beauty of Iraqi musician Khyam Allami’s compositions.

Medhaffer, a newcomer to the screen, is a riveting performer and has excellent chemistry with her love interest, singerperformer Benali, a fellow band member. Singer Ghalia Ben Ali plays the part of her mother, who is initially seen through the AS I Continued on Page 31

April 21 - May 4, 2016



April 21 - May 4, 2016


SPOCK Continued from Page 26

There’s not a lot of new ground here. If there are new insider “Trek” stories to tell, I haven’t heard one in a long time. I did come away with some fresh insight into how Nimoy shaped the character of Spock as a reaction to Shatner’s acting style, and that was cool. One thing that’s especially nice? The film dishes no dirt on cast infighting. The elder Nimoy didn’t want that. It focuses on how Spock touched people, and how the character Nimoy created wove himself into people’s lives. Everyone has their Spock story. Here’s mine. Back in the ’80s, I was a camp counselor, and, for movie night one time, we showed “Star Trek II: The Wrath of Kahn,” aka the awesomest “Star Trek” movie. And it’s Spock’s death scene, so I’m crying, even though I’ve seen it like eight times, thank God it’s dark, the kids can’t see. And this one kid, this little privileged rich snot, laughs. Laughs! And I yell “YOU ARE A HEARTLESS A-HOLE!” Except of course I didn’t say “a-hole.” I got a talking to from the owner afterwards, but not a very stern one. ’Cause he was crying too, I guarantee it. Anyone half-human or more cries.

AS I Continued from Page 29

daughter’s eyes as rigid and oppressive. As the story unfolds, we begin to understand her fierce love and devotion to her daughter, and the ways that her past drive her to stop at nothing to protect her. Again, the music is elemental, playing a role in their communication and in their shared healing processes. The close examinations of the familial relationships, as well as

Photo by Sébastien Goepfert

Direc tor Leyla Bouzid incorporated her own life experiences in the rebellious character of Farah, whose creative awakening happens against the backdrop of Tunisia’s Jasmine Revolution. DowntownExpress.com

Spoiler alert, you’re going to cry at the end of this documentary. You won’t think you will, but there’s a section that sneaks up on you, as stealthy as a Vulcan nerve pinch — and you’ll cry. It’s okay, because Leonard Nimoy is gone, and he will be sorely missed. But Spock is still here. Will you like this documentary if you are not familiar with “Star Trek?” Insufficient data. I’m not a “Trekkie,” or “Trekker,” couldn’t even tell you what the difference between those terms is, but I’m a huge fan. I can’t separate myself from the degree to which “Star Trek” has been the ambient noise in the background of my life. Embarrassing? Sure. But I’m not sorry. I spent most of the year I was 13 in front of the medicine chest mirror teaching myself to raise one eyebrow. I have never regretted it. Director: Adam Nimoy. Runtime: 105 minutes. Fri., Apr. 22, 3:30pm & Sat., 9:15pm at Bow Tie Cinemas Chelsea (260 W. 23rd St., btw. Seventh & Eighth Aves.). Tickets: $20 plus $3.50 phone & web processing fee ($10 plus processing for pre-6pm screenings). Visit tribecafilm.com or call 646-502-5296. Also visit fortheloveofspock.com.

the friendships, provide a normality that makes the violent historical events even more shocking. Farah’s bold nature and free spirit are simultaneously admired and judged, even by her nonconformist boyfriend, as she breaks the gender rules that govern women’s behavior. The film atmospherically focuses in on a specific moment in the history of an oppressive, authoritarian government, often utilizing residents as extras in the smoky clubs and dark streets. There continues to be a battle against the limits in Tunisia, but the fact that the film has received funding from the government, and has been shown in festivals there, can only be considered a good sign for the future. Director: Leyla Bouzid. Screenplay: Leyla Bouzid & MarieSophie Chambon. Runtime: 123 minutes. Thurs., Apr. 21, 6:45pm at Bow Tie Cinemas Chelsea (260 W. 23rd St., btw. Seventh & Eighth Aves.). Tickets: $20 plus $3.50 phone & web processing fee. Visit tribecafilm. com or call 646-502-5296. April 21 - May 4, 2016




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April 21 - May 4, 2016


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