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The Paper of Record for Greenwich Village, East Village, Lower East Side, Soho, Union Square, Chinatown and Noho, Since 1933

May 12, 2016 • $1.00 Volume 86 • Number 19





Notorious landlord Croman arrested on slew of charges filed by A.G. Schneiderman BY COLIN MIXSON


tate Attorney General Eric Schneiderman unleashed 20 withering felony criminal and civil charges against landlord Steven Croman on Monday, accusing him of using “harassment, coercion and fraud” as tools for driving out rent-stabilized tenants amid schemes to convert their apartments

into lucrative market-rate units. Croman, who owns 140 buildings across Manhattan, is among the city’s wealthiest and most influential landlords to encounter such devastating allegations in recent years, and the charges represent a state willing to prosecute high-profile tarCROMAN continued on p. 6

Elections chief defends botched N.Y. primary election; Challenges loom BY SAR AH FERGUSON


acing accusations of fraud and disenfranchisement, the New York City Board of Elections voted unanimously last week to certify the results of New York’s hotly contested April 19 presidential primary. But the results are sure to leave many unsatisfied. The board threw out nearly

91,000 of the 121,056 provisional ballots cast by voters who had been unable to vote on primary day either because their names were taken off the rolls or because their party affiliation had been dropped or switched to a different party without their knowing. So roughly three-quarters of the affidavits were deemed inPRIMARY continued on p. 14


At Saturday’s Second Ave. Street Fair, one girl really hooped it up in the “Kids Zone” at Middle Collegiate Church’s Revolutionar y Street Fair. There was also sidewalk chalking and a children’s chorus.

St. Vincent’s and AIDS: What’s in a (park) name? BY LINCOLN ANDERSON


ast Saturday’s edition of The New York Times featured the word “riven” on its front page at least three times. Chicago and the Republican Party (thanks, Trump!) were both riven, two articles’ ledes told us. And West Point was riven, too, a headline said, after black female cadets in a group photo had the audacity to flash the Black Power salute — or was it maybe the Black Lives Matter salute?

Happily going to pot...........page 8

No one was exactly sure. Not to be out-rivened, the Village recently has been dealing with its own intense flap — what to name the new small park, barely one-third of an acre in size, located across from the former St. Vincent’s Hospital, at W. 12th St. and Greenwich and Seventh Aves. The triangular park, which opened eight months ago, will also sport an AIDS memorial at its western corner, which is slated to open by early October. The park includes 16,000

square feet, with the AIDS memorial to cover one-tenth of the space. Community members had been certain that the park’s name would surely honor the historic hospital, which closed six years ago, after more than 160 years of service to the neighborhood and the city. However, supporters of the New York City AIDS Memorial project — who are working to create what they ambitiously say will be “the PARK continued on p. 12

Obama Stonewall Nat’l Park plea.................p. 17 Senior sprinter not running on empty................p. 35 www.TheVillager.com


Can you Belieb it? The Beebster’s fans and merch hustlers flooded Soho to buy items from the singer’s clothing line last week. Nearly t wo-dozen police officers were diver ted there from far more impor tant matters to make sure there were no problems.

SORRY! Apparently, there are some people in New York who still haven’t signed the petition to deport “Sorry” singer Justin Bieber immediately to Canada. Beliebers flooded Mercer and Howard Sts. last Wednesday and Thursday for a sale of the Bieb’s merchandise at VFILES. The crooner’s fans — or just entrepreneurs looking to flip the merch and make some cash — stretched all the way east to Broadway and Grand Sts. More than 20 police were on hand for crowd control. Honestly, is that really the best way to deploy New York’s Finest? J.B. was in town to perform at the Barclays Center last week. J-Beeb’s security notified cops from the First Precinct that he would be showing up at 2 p.m., but he must have been skateboarding somewhere or something because he didn’t show. According to our photographer, there was a limit of five items per customer, with the average Beeb buy around $300 to $500 per person. VIVE LA VÉRITÉ! On a much more serious note, in undoubtedly one of the most important and unforgettable lessons of their academic career, La Salle Academy students last week heard a historic speech from one of the world’s most respected and distinguished Holocaust scholars. Father Patrick Desbois on May 3 addressed the East Village students on his first appearance at a U.S. high school. The author and Vatican advisor discussed the efforts of his humanitarian organization to identify and commemorate sites of mass execution in Eastern Europe, as part of the invaluable mission to make sure this horrific chapter in history is never forgotten or discounted by the younger generation. Desbois also answered questions from La Salle students and from Abraham Joshua Heschel School schools, who also attended. Desbois’s visit is a credit to the innovative leader-


SINCE 19 82!


331 East 9th Street, New York, NY 10003 Phone: 212-473-7833 / Fax: 212-673-5248 www.sourceunltd.com


La Salle Academy President Catherine Guerriero and Father Patrick Desbois.

ship of President Catherine Guerriero, the academy’s first female leader. The school prides itself on offering young men unique experiences in the classroom and community, and exposing them to experts and influencers from varied backgrounds. “As the head of this school, I believe that ignoring the lessons of the Holocaust is at our peril,” Guerriero said. “We are delighted to welcome Father Desbois and his teachings to our school and we are honored to share his findings with our community.” Desbois, a French Catholic priest, has received the Légion d’Honneur, France’s highest honor, for his work documenting the unspeakable genocide of the Jewish and Roma people in Europe by the Nazis and their supporters. In 2004, Desbois founded Yahad-in Unum, a global humanitarian organization dedicated to unearthing evidences of the Nazi massacres on the Eastern front and countering Holocaust deniers who use a lack of official documentation to support their stance. Desbois’s focus is locating unmarked mass graves where the victims of the Nazis’ genocide were buried after being executed by shooting, such as in Ukraine, among other countries, rather than killed in concentration camps. Desbois is also the director of the Committee for Relations With Judaism of the French Episcopal Conference and adviser to the Vatican on Judaism. In addition, he has penned an account of his research: “The Holocaust by Bullets: A Priest’s Journey to Uncover the Truth Behind the Murder of 1.5 Million Jews.”

WESTBETH FLEA FLASH! It’s that time of year again! As Gina Shamus faithfully reminds us, the Westbeth Flea Market opens its doors for the second straight year in the spring, on Sat., May 21, and Sun., May 22, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Items for sale include various exercise equipment, original art, frames, stretchers (some already have canvas attached) and other art supplies. There will also be tons of books, clothing, shoes, handbags housewares, furniture and — a new category this year — collectables. The “irresistible Children’s Corner” has doll houses, bicycles, toys, books and clothing — baby sizes and up. Westbeth’s two addresses are both at the corner of Washington St.: 137 Bank St. (stairs) and 55 Bethune St. (elevator). For more information, e-mail westbethfleamarket@gmail.com or go to westbeth.org or call 212-691-1574.

“It’s worth the trip down the street!” 2

May 12, 2016



Sailboats fly and crowd cheers as America’s Cup comes home America’s Cup racing excitement returned to New York for the first time since 1920 last weekend, as six superfast sailboats literally flew across the lower Hudson River off Battery Park City in a series of races, wowing droves of spectators in North Cove and along the Battery Park Esplanade. Unfortunately, wind conditions were too light Saturday, and the boats — which feature a special high-tech mainsail that is more akin to an airplane wing — barely moved. But Sunday was plenty gusty, and the boats were literally levitating. Once the vessels really get going, they rise up off their two catamaran hulls and slice through the water on only small hydrofoils, with just a few fin points in the water. At one point on Sunday, the crowd gasped as a boat for a moment was zooming along while teetering on just one hydrofoil. The announcer had warned over the P.A. system that they might well see some capsizing in the Hudson’s unpredictable and strong winds. TheVillager.com

Although the U.S. is the reining America’s Cup champion, New Zealand won last weekend’s competition, earning points toward next year’s final America’s Cup competition, plus Louis Vuitton bags. The designer goods giant is sponsoring the racing series. Each boat also has its own corporate sponsor; America’s is Oracle, England’s is Land Rover, New Zealand’s is Emirates. Japan, Sweden and France rounded out the field.

Alhough the Kiwis won the luggage this time, the teams will face off for the ultimate prize — the coveted cup — in Bermuda next May and June. From 1870 through 1920, America’s Cup racing took place in New York. In 1930, the competition moved to Newport, Rhode Island, where it remained until the U.S. finally lost the cup in 1983.

Lincoln Anderson

May 12, 2016


75 Morton zone O.K.’d; Tweaks to come? BY SAR A HENDRICKSON Named best weekly newspaper in New York State in 2001, 2004 and 2005 by New York Press Association News Story, First Place, 2015 Editorial Page, First Place, 2015 Editorials, First Place, 2014 News Story, First Place, 2014 Overall Design Excellence, First Place, 2013 Best Column, First Place, 2012 Photographic Excellence, First Place, 2011 Spot News Coverage, First Place, 2010 Coverage of Environment, First Place, 2009










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The Villager (USPS 578930) ISSN 00426202 is published every week by NYC Community Media LLC, One Metrotech North, 10th fl oor Brooklyn, NY 11201 (212) 229-1890. Periodicals Postage paid at New York, N.Y. Annual subscription by mail in Manhattan and Brooklyn $29 ($35 elsewhere). Single copy price at offi ce and newsstands is $1. The entire contents of newspaper, including advertising, are copyrighted and no part may be reproduced without the express permission of the publisher - © 2016 NYC Community Media LLC. PUBLISHER’S LIABILITY FOR ERROR

The Publisher shall not be liable for slight changes or typographical errors that do not lessen the value of an advertisement. The publisher’s liability for others errors or omissions in connection with an advertisement is strictly limited to publication of the advertisement in any subsequent issue. Published by NYC Community Media, LLC One Metrotech North 10th floor Brooklyn, NY 11201 Phone: (718) 260-2500 • Fax: (212) 229-2790 On-line: www.thevillager.com E-mail: news@thevillager.com © 2016 NYC Community Media, LLC


May 12, 2016


fter a full vetting with communities across School District 2, a new zone for the 75 Morton St. middle school was unanimously approved at the May 3 meeting of Community Education Council District 2. “I am so grateful for your zoning a large part of Manhattan that had no zoned school,” Sanjiv Rao told the meeting. A father of two, he lives in Hell’s Kitchen, which had no zoned middle school for years. The new zone will include Hell’s Kitchen, Chelsea, Greenwich Village, Soho, Tribeca and Battery Park City. But C.E.C. 2 left the door open a crack to add a handful of blocks in Greenwich Village to the zone. Advocates for a group of residents on W. 12th St. made a large impact at the May 3 meeting, speaking out against an “unfair carve-out” from the zone. Several local politicians and Community Board 2 were on their side. A joint letter from Councilmembers Corey Johnson and Margaret Chin, Borough President Gale Brewer, state Senators Daniel Squadron and Brad Hoylman, and Assemblymember Deborah Glick was read aloud, asserting that “bisecting Greenwich Village at 12th St. prevents some students from being zoned to their future neighborhood middle school at 75 Morton. A more appropriate boundary would be 14th St.” Peter Leonardi co-chairs the 12th St. Block Association and lives with his three children on the north side of W. 12th St., which was rezoned three years ago from P.S. 41, at W. 11th St. and Sixth Ave., to the new P.S. 340 elementary school, at W. 16th St. and Sixth Ave. Since the city’s Department of Education follows elementary school zone lines in creating middle school zones, Leonardi’s side of the street would be zoned for Baruch middle school, M.S. 104, at E. 21st St. and Second Ave. “We’ve talked about this since P.S. 41 was rezoned and divided our community in half,” he said. “We were told this zoning would not continue through to middle school, but it has.” Jeannine Kiely, chairperson of the Community Board 2 Schools and Education Committee, pointed out, “The proposed zone already deviates from elementary zones.” Specifically, she showed on the map two small areas in Soho and the East Side where the lines of the existing elementary zone and the proposed middle school zone don’t quite match up. Sarah Turchin of the D.O.E. explained that deviations arose from shifts in elementary school lines subsequent to middle school zones being created. “This is not a discussion of changing elementary school zones,” Kiely continued. “Including this carved-out area would open up 75 Morton to Greenwich Village residents who have lobbied for the school

Peter Leonardi, a W. 12th St. resident, protested that the proposed new Mor ton middle school zone included an “unfair car ve-out” of a chunk of Greenwich Village blocks bet ween W. 12th and 14th Sts.

since 2007.” “Restore those blocks,” urged Michael Markowitz, a former C.E.C. 2 member. “This is a chance to make it right, not rushed.” But postponing the vote would have had consequences, since 75 Morton would not be classified as a zoned school in the middle school directory about to go to press. Even though specific zoning maps are not included in the directory — as Kiely and Markowitz noted in making their case — schools must be listed as zoned or unzoned as an integral part of the application process. Shino Tanikawa, chairperson of C.E.C. 2, suggested an approach used during the complex rezoning of P.S. 3 and P.S. 41. “We have a precedent for voting on a zoning proposal with a caveat that we reevaluate a particular area at a later date,” she stated. So the C.E.C. 2 proceeded to do just that. A formal vote on the 75 Morton zone was taken, with a unanimous 9-to-0 result in favor. A request was then made to D.O.E. to prepare an amended zone map including the currently carved-out area, between W. 12th and 14th Sts. and Greenwich and Fourth Aves. Zoning will continue to be on the agenda with more public hearings for community members to weigh in. C.E.C. 2 member Beth Cirone cautioned, “Don’t expect this to be put to bed in June. This could be a never-ending

battle over zoning lines.” Even if the add-back to the zone is voted down, Matthew Horowitz, who chairs the C.E.C. 2 75 Morton Committee, offered the group an important reminder. “This will be a 200-to-300-seat-pergrade middle school, and many seats outside the zoned seats will be open to the entire district,” he stressed. “It’s important to remember that.” Tanikawa reiterated District 2 statistics that have been a refrain throughout the zoning meetings: A breakdown of 80 percent to 20 percent in choice seats versus zoned seats, since most students shop around for a school outside their zone. In zoned middle schools, only 50 percent of students, on average, come from inside the zone. P.S. 41 Principal Kelly Shannon shared her perspective at the May 3 meeting, noting she had endured the “arduous process” of having her school undergo rezoning. “I’m certainly partial to 12th, 13th and 14th Sts.,” she said. “But as we go into the middle school process in the fall, I wouldn’t want this to detract from bringing clarity to so many families that now, within the choice process [are fortunate to have] another zoned school.” Shannon said she anticipates that families will naturally “need to be convinced” about a new school. “As elementary school principals,” she said, “we will need to focus on rallying around the new leader of 75 Morton, whoever that might be.”



May 12, 2016


Notorious landlord Croman hit with felony charges CROMAN continued from p. 1

gets suspected of flagrantly violating tenants’ rights, according to Schneiderman. Based on the A.G.’s lengthy investigation, Croman has already been indicted on the criminal charges. “My message to unscrupulous landlords is simple: If you put your own profits over your tenants’ legal protections, we will investigate you and prosecute you to the fullest extent of the law,� the attorney general said. “My office will not tolerate anyone who attempts to line their own pockets by gaming the system. No one is above the law — no matter how rich or powerful.� The criminal charges focus on Croman’s alleged schemes to defraud the New York Community and Capital One banks. Schneiderman claims Croman — along with mortgage banker Barry Swartz, who was also indicted on 15 charges — colluded to submit false mortgage documents to their lenders, including rent rolls describing market-rate units that were, in fact, occupied by rent-stabilized tenants, along with inflated rents charged for commercial spaces located in buildings Croman owned. In reporting an allegedly exagger-

ated income, Croman hoped to obtain honeyed terms when refinancing, and, over the course of three years, Croman obtained more than $45 million in loans under false pretenses, according to the attorney general. All told, the various criminal allegations leveled against Croman could net him 25 years in prison. But it’s the civil charges brought against the lightning-rod landlord, which allege a widespread, institutional policy of harassment against rent-stabilized tenants, which have renters giddy with excitement. “All the tenants are very happy about this,� said George Tzannes, a rent-stabilized tenant of Croman’s living on E. Sixth St. between Avenues A and B. Croman directed his employees to offer rent-stabilized tenants meager buyouts worth a few months’ rent, and, in the event they declined the offers, to utilize less-seemly tactics to persuade them, according to the attorney general. These included filing baseless lawsuits against rent-stabilized tenants, and investigators claim to have uncovered internal e-mails sent by company employees acknowledging that the bogus suits would “aggravate� tenants into accepting a buyout.

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May 12, 2016




Landlord Steven Croman, holding a folder to hide his handcuffs, is brought to his arraignment in Manhattan Supreme Cour t by a detective, left, with his law yer on Monday. Croman was arrested early Monday and charged with grand larceny and other charges. Within hours, Croman walked out of the cour thouse on $1 million bond / $500,000 cash bail.

Furthermore, the embattled landlord incentivized property managers to gain access to tenants’ apartments in an effort to falsely accuse residents of violating their leases, according to Schneiderman. In particular, Croman employed private investigator Anthony Falconite — a former New York Police Department officer whom the landlord referred to as his “secret weapon� — to enter tenants’ apartments under false pretenses, usually pretending to be a city worker, according to the state prosecutor. Falconite himself referred to obtaining buyouts as a “team sport,� to which one property manager responded in an e-mail, “I know that!! Who’s our next target? We have to start lining them up!!!,� according to Schneiderman. Croman purchased the building where Tzannes has resided for 45 years in 2007, and the East Villager’s experience exactly matched the charges leveled against the alleged slumlord. The local claims it was soon after Croman bought the property before lawsuits started flying, with the landlord’s lawyers claiming Tzannes and his wife were in rent arrears, despite the company routinely cashing the couple’s checks. “It started immediately,� Tzannes said. Croman ultimately dropped each of the three suits he brought against Tzannes, but not before the E. Sixth St. resident had wasted thousands of dollars on lawyers’ fees preparing to

fight the baseless claims. Amid the alleged harassment, Croman’s contractors went about renovating unoccupied apartments in the tenement, with work causing potentially lead-tainted dust to spread throughout their homes. At one point, gas was shut off for 15 months due to the construction, and complaints from tenants were taken as invitations by Croman to send contractors — along with his wife — into their homes in attempts to suss out violations, according to Tzannes. “They have ways of weaseling their way in,� Tzannes said. “At one point his wife, Harriet, came by and started grilling me.� Tenants’ excitement over Croman’s indictment is tempered by anxiety about the future of their homes, and the expectation of decreased services as their landlord turns his focus toward combating the state’s allegations. A spokesperson for the attorney general’s office said they’ll be filing a request with the courts to appoint an operator to manage Croman’s various properties, though a timeline for that appointment is not readily apparent, and the landlord is expected to challenge that motion in court. Also unclear is the scope of the attorney general’s civil claims, and the amount of fines the prosecutor is seeking as restitution for Croman’s alleged crimes. But the penalty is expected to be in the tens of millions of dollars, with the money split between former renters and the state, according to an A.G. spokesperson. TheVillager.com

L Manhattan Community Fix&Fortify Sandy Recovery Work Canarsie Tunnel Reconstruction


The MTA is holding the second of two community meetings to discuss future Canarsie Tunnel reconstruction work. This is your opportunity to hear from MTA and NYC Transit leadership and technical staff about necessary L line work and its impact on L service. Also, learn about construction options currently under consideration. Visit www.mta.info for details about the recovery and resiliency work that needs to be addressed in the wake of Superstorm Sandy. Manhattan Community Meeting Date and Location: Thursday, May 12, 2016 Program: 6:30-8:30 p.m., Doors Open: 5:30 p.m. Salvation Army Theater 120 West 14 St in Manhattan between 6th and 7th Avenues By Bus: M14A/M14D, M5/M7, M20, M1 By Subway: FM 14th St 123 14th St L 6 Av ACE 14th St Visit mta.info to plan your trip with TripPlanner+, or call 511 for automated travel information 24/7; agents are available from 6 AM to 10 PM daily. Hearing impaired customers should call 711 for relay services and then ask to be connected to (646) 252-6777 to speak with an agent. Accessibility and Interpreter Services The meeting has been scheduled at a location that is accessible to people with mobility impairments. Sign language and Spanish interpreters will be available. Follow us on

@ @NYCTSubway #LReconstruction

Š 2016 Metropolitan Transportation Authority


May 12, 2016



Weed walkers say drug laws are whack Like a train trailing smoke, the NYC Cannabis Parade floated along in a cloud of ganja from Herald Square to Union Square on Saturday. The event’s message was sixfold: “Heal the Sick...Stop the Arrests...Release the Medicine... End the War [on Drugs]...Unite the Nations...Free the Prisoners.” Among the pot procession’s leaders were Dana Beal, founder of the Global Marijuana


May 12, 2016

March, and Aron Kay, “The Yippie Pie Man.” Bernie Goetz, bottom right, the notorious 1980s subway gunman and a longtime regular pot smoker, was there, sporting his signature vegetarian / pot leaf T-shirt. Goetz, who lives in the Village area, was arrested in Union Square in 2013 after an undercover cop duped him into selling her a small amount, $30 worth of pot.


POLICE BLOTTER Citi Bike bust A police officer said he observed a man inside Washington Square Park on Thurs., May 5, around midnight with a Citi Bike that he apparently did not have the rightful use of. Upon searching him, the officer also found a box cutter in the man’s possession. Kenneth Quintero, 19, was charged with felony criminal possession of stolen property.


Licenses too ill At around 3 a.m. on Thurs., May 5, a police officer said he spotted a man in a parked car with his motor running in a bus stop for about 5 minutes in front of 815 Greenwich St. The officer found that the man’s license had been suspended twice. Upon searching him, the officer found the man to be in possession of four New York license plates and one Massachusetts plate that were not registered to him. Police arrested Kofi Boakye, 48, for misdemeanor criminal possession of stolen property.

Yer out! A woman threatened to thump another woman at Thunder Jackson’s bar, at 169 Bleecker St., on Friday night, police said. At 1:30 a.m. on May 6, according to cops, a woman stated that the other woman had menaced her with a bat, placing her in fear of her safety. Responding officers reportedly found the suspect in possession of the bat. Rosalba Buzzetta, 37, was arrested for misdemeanor menacing.

Serial swiper Police are asking for the public’s help in tracking down a suspect wanted in connection with a pattern of grand larcenies stretching from the Lower East Side to Midtown. Police said that on Fri., April 1, at

A sur veillance camera image of the alleged serial swiper.

9:30 p.m., one suspect entered The Pennsy food court, at 2 Pennsylvania Plaza on W. 34th St., and removed a 36-year-old male victim’s laptop from under his table. On Thurs., April 7, around 12:30 p.m., police said, the same individual entered Irving Farm Coffee Roasters, at 88 Orchard St., and swiped a 28-yearold female victim’s purse containing $50 in cash and her iPhone. Later in the month, on Fri., April 29, shortly after 8 a.m., the same man is said to have entered the Sheraton Hotel, at 811 Seventh Ave., and taken a 70-year-old woman’s bag, which contained $2,000 in cash, two plane tickets and three credit cards. The suspect is described as about 5 feet 7 inches tall, and on the heavy side, weighing between 190 to 220 pounds. Anyone with information is asked to call the Police Department’s Crime Stoppers Hotline, at 800-577-TIPS. Tips can also be submitted by logging onto the Crime Stoppers Web site, www.nypdcrimestoppers.com, or by texting them to 274637 (CRIMES) and then entering TIP577. All tips are confidential.

Emily Siegel and Lincoln Anderson

C H E L S E A C O N S I G N M E N T D AY T H U R S D AY, M AY 1 2 Doyle Specialists will evaluate your Jewelry, Art and Silver for auction consignment or outright purchase. We invite you to schedule a private appointment Jill Bowers, 212-427-4141 ext 225 Jill@Doyle.com Franz Kline, Untitled, circa 1957, Oil on paper board, 9 1/4 x 11 3/8 inches. Estimate: $150,000-250,000. Auction: May 10 in New York Diamond Ring, Ap. 5.20 cts. F color, VS1 clarity. Estimate : $75,000-100,000. Auction: May 16 in Los Angeles




May 12, 2016


Pier 40 air rights appraised at $75 million; BY LINCOLN ANDERSON


tarting the ball rolling on a massive development project on the Lower West Side, an appraisal firm has pegged the value of 200,000 square feet of development rights planned to be transferred from Pier 40 to the St. John’s Center site at $74.7 million, or $373 per square foot. The Hudson River Park Trust — which runs the Hudson River Park, in which Pier 40 is located — was legally required to do the appraisal under the state’s Public Authorities Law. The plan is to use the transferred air rights in the colossal St. John’s Partners project, which would be built on the current three-blocklong St. John’s Building site located right across the West Side Highway from Pier 40. The project’s total size would be 1.7 million square feet, with 1.3 million of that residential, and 400,000 square feet commercial. Of the development’s estimated 1,586 residential units, 476 would be permanently affordable. Of those, 175 would be set aside for low-income seniors while the rest would be for low- and moderate-income families. The inclusion of so much affordable housing partly accounts for the Pier 40 air rights’ relatively low appraisal price. A rezoning of the St. John’s site is first required to allow the development project to proceed. With the air-rights appraisal now completed, the application for the St. John’s Partners project was set to be certified by the city’s Department of City Planning on Mon., May 9. That, in turn, will trigger the start of the seven-month-long Uniform Land-Use Review Procedure, or ULURP, process that will see the project reviewed by Community Board 2, the borough president and City Planning and ultimately voted on by the City Council. The C.B. 2 Pier 40 / St. John’s Terminal Working Group will hold the first of two public hearings to review the application on Tues., June 24, at 6:30 p.m. at the Scholastic Building, 557 Broadway, auditorium. The second hearing will be on Tues., June 31. C.B. 2 will then consider the working group’s resolution on the application at its June full board meeting. The project’s developer is St. John’s Partners, comprised of the site’s owners, Atlas Capital Group, LLC and Westbrook Partners. They have previously agreed to pay the Trust $100 million for the 200,000 square feet of park air rights. Under the 2013 amendment to the Hudson River Park Act that allowed the park to sell off its unused air rights,


May 12, 2016


Pier 40, at W. Houston and West Sts., is the Lower West Side’s go-to “spor ts pier” for local families, whose kids stream there after school and on weekends to play baseball and soccer.

this payment would have to be funneled back into the repair of Pier 40, the ailing 14-acre mega-pier that is Downtown Manhattan’s treasured youth sports nirvana.

PUSHED TO SEE APPRAISAL The area’s local politicians had requested that the Trust let them see the appraisal when it was completed, and they recently received a copy of the 180-page report. State Senator Daniel Squadron’s office, in turn, last week forwarded to The

The sale price the Trust has said it is sticking to is $100 million. Villager the report’s five-page executive summary, which outlines how the appraisal figure was derived. Basically, the appraisal starts with the premise that the unused Pier 40 air rights can only be transferred to one site, the St. John’s property. This is because this is the deal that the city supports. As part of the process, the appraiser — the firm Appraisers and Planners Inc. — first calculated the market value of the 200,000 square feet of Pier 40 air rights as if it were part of the underlying property, the St. John’s site. The developer had

initially planned for the marketrate units to be rental, under which the developer would have benefited from tax breaks under the 421-a program. However, since 421-a was not renewed, the appraiser then looked at “the highest and best use” of the market-rate units — that is, what would yield the greatest profit — and determined that to be condos.

AIR RIGHTS ALL RESIDENTIAL The St. John’s site includes three sections — a north, center and south section. The north and center sections are planned for residential development, while the south section will probably be a hotel. Again, since residential is considered “the highest and best use,” the appraiser looked at all the 200,000 square feet of air rights in light of their being used on the north and center sites — which is, in fact, the developer’s plan. Of the 1.3 million square feet of residential development, 74.5 percent would be market-rate condos, about 17 percent affordable units and 8.5 percent senior affordable units. Under the analysis, the market-rate units would have a market value of $ 825 per square foot, but the affordable units would have a negative “value,” in that they would not be profitable. The senior affordable units were appraised at - $58 per square foot and the straight affordable units at - $208 per square foot. If 421-a still existed, the straight affordable units would not have such a negative value since the developer would get tax credits for build-

ing them. Given the breakdown of the project’s rental structures, the market value of the air rights — described as a “blended value” — was appraised at about $114.9 million, or $574 per square foot. However, under the next step in the process, the appraiser then looked at the 200,000 square feet of air rights in terms of a “ratio” — namely, a comparison to other similar recent air-rights transfers in New York City. Coupled with the fact that the air rights can only be sold to the St. John’s site, this reduced their market value to $74.7 million, or $373 per square foot — only about 65 percent of the initial figure.

AFFORDABLE VS. PROFITABLE “The senior affordable and lowincome affordable components produce negative values, indicating that development of these components costs more to develop than their appraised value indicates,” the report states. “In addition…the limited market of both granting and eligible parcels for Pier 40 air rights…yields an applicable ratio of 65 percent… .” According to sources familiar with the project, the value of air rights is always less than the value of the land to which they are being transferred. In addition, the appraisal does not determine the actual sale price. Again, by law, the Trust’s board of directors must have the appraisal done; they then must use that appraisal in deciding the AIR RIGHTS continued on p. 11 TheVillager.com

St. John’s ULURP process is about to start AIR RIGHTS continued from p. 10

ultimate sale price. The figure that the Trust has negotiated with St. John’s Partners — and which it has said it is sticking to — is $100 million. However, that sum is “simply a negotiated number,� according to the sources, and “is not a binding number� on the Trust. The sale price, in fact, cannot be set until the ULURP is approved by the City Council. In addition, under the Hudson River Park Act, the sale of the air rights would be what is known as a “significant action� — because, according to the sources, “it’s important and has to do with property.� As a result, the Trust will have to conduct a “Significant Action Process,� meaning all affected community boards must be notified about the project, a public hearing will be held about it and public comment will be received. All of this information and input will then be provided to the Trust’s board of directors, who will then approve the transfer of the air rights and set the sale price. This would all be a separate process from ULURP, but could happen concurrently with it.

CITY: ‘NEXUS’ IS NEEDED As for why the St. John’s site is the only one authorized to accept the Pier 40 air rights, the sources explained that this is basically how the city plans to handle air rights transfers from the Hudson River Park. In short, the decision was made by the city to review each of these transfers on “a case-by-case basis.� A special zoning

district is being put in place to allow the transfer of air rights from the 4.5-mile-long park across the highway to sites within one block of the park. However, according to the sources, “The city wants a nexus between the granting site and the receiving site‌wants them to be reasonably proximate.â€? Specifically, the Department of City Planning reportedly will require that receiving and granting sites be within one half-mile of each other, or at least within the same community board. So — contrary to what some local activists had wondered might be the case — air rights will not be able to be transferred up and down the length of the park. Air rights may only be transferred from commercially zoned piers.

POLS WRITE WEISBROD, WILS Following their receipt of the air rights appraisal, the local politicians on May 2 wrote a joint letter to Carl Weisbrod, chairperson of the City Planning Commission, and Madelyn Wils, president and C.E.O. of the Trust. The six pols — Squadron, state Senator Brad Hoylman, Congressmember Jerry Nadler, Assemblymember Deborah Glick, Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer and Councilmember Corey Johnson — last November submitted joint testimony at the scoping hearing for the St. John’s project, raising a number of concerns about it and requesting more detailed information about the state of Pier 40. AIR RIGHTS continued on p. 31


A rendering of the nor th towers in the St. John’s Par tners plan, viewed from the nor th. One of the towers would be 430 feet tall, the development’s highest point.





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May 12, 2016


Big to-do over what small park’s name will honor

The New York Cit y AIDS Memorial Project’s Web site, until early last month, spor ted this image of the future memorial structure, with this caption, shown in a screenshot taken April 5. However, by April 8, the reference to St. Vincent’s had been dropped and the caption had changed to “ View the design for the future at New York Cit y AIDS Memorial Park.” PARK continued from p. 1

world’s most signifcant AIDS memorial” — a few months ago, suddenly put on a major push to have the park’s name refer only to the AIDS memorial alone. Supporting them in that effort were Councilmember Corey Johnson, Borough President Gale Brewer and state Senator Brad Hoylman. In early March, without notifying the community, the three local politicians wrote to Mayor Bill de Blasio and Mitchell Silver, the Parks Department commissioner, saying that it should be called The New York City AIDS Memorial Park. Period. “As the elected officials representing the location of the new park at Seventh Ave. between 12th Street and Greenwich Avenue, we urge you to officially name it The New York City AIDS Memorial Park. No additional language is necessary,” the three politicians wrote. “This Memorial will be of unparalleled significance to the people of New York City, the nation and the world. The Memorial does not just honor the over 100,000 New Yorkers who have died from the disease, but it marks where New Yorkers, from all creeds and walks of life, banded together, rose up and developed a cohesive community response to the H.I.V./AIDS epidemic that has revolutionized drug


May 12, 2016

research and changed the course of public health and global development the world over. .... “Putting any qualifiers in the name would diminish the significance of the Memorial,” the politicians stated. “However, along with the board of directors of the New York City AIDS Memorial, we would welcome signage in the park that acknowledges the historic role of St. Vincent’s Hospital, not only in the AIDS epidemic but with regard to many other health emergencies over the course of the 20th century.” The letter — clearly, an end-around the Village community — soon came to light, however, and advocates for naming the park after St. Vincent’s were incensed. And so, the situation was riven. As The Villager was reporting on the disagreement this past week, a “compromise” was being worked out, a source very close to the issue who requested anonynmity told the newspaper. The situation had become incredibly fraught, he said with exasperation. Every imaginable H.I.V. / AIDS advocacy group was putting on a full-court press to call it AIDS Memorial Park only, but local advocates were pushing back, saying the name must prominently acknowledge St. Vincent’s, he said. On Tuesday, the Parks Department shared with The Villager the name

that, after much deliberation, fi nally had been decided upon. Not too surprisingly, it’s a mouthful: NYC AIDS Memorial Park at St. Vincent’s Triangle. In a statement touting the muchmulled-over-multi-word moniker, Parks Commissioner Silver said, “NYC AIDS Memorial Park at St. Vincent’s Triangle stands at the crossroads of the richly historical West Village. Here, we honor and celebrate St. Vincent’s Hospital’s more than 150 years of service to our city, as well as the countless New Yorkers impacted by AIDS: those we have lost, those who live with H.I.V./AIDS, and those who continue to battle against fear and ignorance.” The AIDS Memorial project is being led by two young urban planners, Christopher Tepper and Paul Kelterborn. On Tuesday, a few hours before Parks issued Silver’s statement, Tepper e-mailed the paper a response to a question on whether St. Vincent’s would be part of the park’s name. “Over the past several months, the board of directors of The New York City AIDS Memorial organization, in consultation with dozens of AIDS and L.G.B.T organizations and other stakeholders, has engaged in discussions with the city administration regarding the naming of the park that will be home to a memorial which honors the more than 100,000 New Yorkers

who perished in the epidemic, their caregivers and the courageous activists who fought for change,” Tepper said. “We are confident that the city will confer an appropriate name on the park which reflects the site’s imminent status as home to the most significant AIDS memorial in the world, and which is located at both the local epicenter of the disease and the community’s heroic response to it. “The memorial’s steel canopy sculpture, which will serve as a gateway to the park, is nearly complete and will be shipped from Argentina, where it is being fabricated, next month. Installation in the park will begin in July and will be completed in the fall.” Initially, the AIDS Memorial group had hoped to take over the entire triangle park, as well as develop an underground space beneath it. Their preliminary design, presented in 2012, dubbed “Infi nite Forest,” would have seen the triangle fenced in with mirrored walls and fi lled with a grove of birch trees. Yet, Rudin Management, which is developing the condo project on the former hospital site, had already designed a plan for the park that previously had been approved by the Department of City Planning and the Landmarks Preservation Commission, plus the borough president and Community Board 2. PARK continued on p. 30 TheVillager.com


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May 12, 2016


Elections chief defends botched PRIMARY continued from p. 1


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valid and not counted, according to the tallies posted on the Board of Elections Web site last Friday. That’s in addition to all those who did not file affidavits because they were not aware they could or because their polling places ran out of them. In Brooklyn alone, some 126,000 registered voters were removed from active status between November of last year and this April — or roughly 8 percent of the borough’s active voters. It’s the only county in the state that lost voters in that time period. The B.O.E. says most of the affidavit ballots it rejected were submitted by people who are not affiliated with any party and hence ineligible to vote in New York’s closed primary. But critics say the board’s accounting is flawed because they relied on the same faulty voter data that was used to purge people from the rolls in the first place. “They just rubber-stamped it, even though the board knows full well that the results were incomplete and inaccurate,” said Andrew Fader, a certified poll watcher from the Bronx who went to observe the counting of the affidavit ballots as a representative of a Bernie Sanders delegate. “Most of those affidavits weren’t counted because the way that they validate affidavits is by checking them against the same voter database that those people weren’t in, which caused them to have to vote by affidavit in the first place,” Fader charged. Fader also complained that he and other campaign representatives were not allowed to witness the process by which affidavits were deemed invalid, and were not given the names of people purged, so they could follow up — information he said the board was legally required to provide to the campaigns. In an interview with The Villager following the certification on Friday, the B.O.E.’s embattled executive director, Michael Ryan, acknowledged that the board

had failed to follow proper procedures when it purged people from the Brooklyn rolls. But Ryan insisted that the board had gone out of its way to make sure all eligible votes were counted. “We meticulously combed through all the affidavits in Brooklyn, and all the five boroughs, to make sure if any were improperly purged, and if they were, we would reactivate their registration and make sure their vote was counted,” Ryan said. Some 38,000 votes were restored, Ryan said, adding, “For the balance of the list, we’re going to have to rely on voters to get back to us.” By law, citizens who want to contest the invalidation of their ballot have just 20 days following the certification of the vote to do so. So that deadline is May 26. The board is required to notify by mail all those whose votes were invalidated — or “archived” in the parlance of the B.O.E. But considering its poor track record in keeping New York City voters informed and up to date thus far, many wonder whether the notices will reach people in time. Voting rights groups — including Election Justice USA, which went to court in Suffolk County last week seeking to delay New York’s certification — are encouraging anyone who filed an affidavit ballot to contact the B.O.E. offices in person to check the status of their ballot. If people feel their vote has been improperly disqualified, they can file a legal challenge in state court. Ryan said none of the invalidated ballots were tossed; rather, some 90,998 were set aside for possible “further review.” “This was the best we could do in the circumstances,” Ryan explained. “We focused our counting based on our initial validation process. We took all the invalidated ballots and checked the system to see whether they were purged properly. If we could not justify the ‘archiving’ of that voter, it was the judgment of the commisPRIMARY continued on p. 15

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May 12, 2016

Voting rights activists Yvonne Gougelet protesting at the B.O.E. hearing on May 3 at 42 Broadway in Lower Manhattan. TheVillager.com

primary, but challenges loom PRIMARY continued from p. 14

sion to count that vote.� Voting rights groups say now that the certification process is complete, they can move forward to challenge the results. “The [primary] certification formally starts the process where everything will become official,� explained Jonathan Clarke, a lawyer for Election Justice USA, speaking on the Internet news show “The Young Turks� last Thursday. “There’s been a couple of occasions before in New York City when they’ve certified an election and they went back and looked at affidavit ballots, absentee ballots, and they got added or subtracted from the total,� Clarke said. In addition, both state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and City Comptroller Scott Stringer have launched investigations of the B.O.E. in the wake of last month’s botched primary. There have been reports of similar widespread purges of voters in Suffolk County (where 90 percent of the affidavits cast were tossed) and Nassau and Westchester counties. It is unlikely that legal challenges and investigations will alter the overall result of New York’s Democratic primary. According to the now-official results, Hillary Clinton beat Sanders by 1,054,083 to 763,469 votes statewide, or roughly 290,000 votes. But because New York awards delegates proportionally — based on how many votes a candidate receives in a particular Congressional district — advocates are determined that every vote be counted accurately. At a raucous public hearing on May 3, several poll watchers accused the B.O.E. of counting affidavit ballots behind closed doors. Jesse Bonelli, a certified poll watcher for Sanders, testified that he was allowed to watch the counting of absentee ballots in the Brooklyn borough office. “But when it came time to count the affidavits, I was told I could not see it,� Bonelli said. “The ballots were being processed and verified in another room. But we only got to see the ones that were verified. Where are the ones in the back room? Two-thirds of the ballots were turned away that we were not able to see,� he told the commissioners. Similarly, poll watcher Fader, who was certified to represent Sanders delegate Nicolas Dedual in the 13th Congressional District, said he went on April 29 to observe the counting of the affidavit ballots at the Bronx borough office. “I arrived at Friday at 11 a.m. and they didn’t let me see a single thing until 4 p.m.,� he said. “All that time, they kept stonewalling me, but they were basically just invalidating the affidavits in the back room. “They are supposed to provide a list of the invalid affidavits to the delegate representatives, so we can contact the voters to see if they feel their votes should be counted,� Fader continued. “They said we could have that information, but we got nothing. Now there’s all these people whose data TheVillager.com

was lost and we can’t object.� Responding to him and the scores of other pissed-off voters who packed the May 3 hearing, B.O.E. Chairwoman Bianka Perez insisted the “proper procedure for counting affidavits� had been followed. In a follow-up interview with The Villager last Friday, Ryan said the poll watchers were not allowed to see the affidavits that were invalidated because of the need to “maintain the secrecy of the ballot.� When an affidavit is submitted at the polls, it is placed in an envelope that the voter must sign, Ryan explained. Before even opening the envelope, Ryan explained, B.O.E. staffers look first to see if the voter is legally entitled to vote in the primary. “If you’re not a registered Democrat or Republican, you’re not entitled to vote in the primary, so your ballot is invalidated because a) you’re not registered at all or b) you’re not registered to a particular party or c) you did not fill out the affidavit properly, i.e. you didn’t sign it. That’s a legal defect,� Ryan said. “So all those envelopes never got opened because we have to maintain the secrecy of the ballot,� Ryan stated. Only the affidavits submitted by eligible voters were opened, Ryan said: “The procedure is, once the envelopes are going to be opened, the opening process is public, and party representatives or attorneys for the candidates can be seated at the table. Otherwise, there’s a cordoned-off public area.� Ryan said the widespread purging of voters in New York City stemmed from a 2013 audit by the city’s Department of Investigation that found there were too many voters on the rolls. “So in early 2015, the Brooklyn borough office undertook voter list maintenance,� he said. “Anyone who didn’t vote in 2008 or earlier was flagged to receive an intent-to-cancel notice.� Almost 124,000 of those notices were sent out, Ryan said. “Of those, over 6,000 were returned,� meaning people sent back a mailer confirming their address and current voting status. “In the case of the other 117,000, there was no response, and so we cancelled those voters. They were supposed to be sent actual cancellation notices,� Ryan explained. But in the Brooklyn borough office, Ryan conceded, “they skipped that step� — meaning the voters were not informed they were being placed on the “inactive� list. Ryan admitted that there was an “unusually high number� of voters purged from the lists — a fact that was even flagged during a B.O.E. hearing last July. “We discussed this — and that the Brooklyn board was behind in its list maintenance by several years,� he acknowledged. Ryan said the commissioners took this to be a reasonable explanation PRIMARY continued on p. 20




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Richard Dye, John Farris’s grandson, played sax in the backyard of Bullet Space, where Farris’s ashes were scattered.

A memorial to the poet.

Family and friends remember Farris More than 300 people packed into the basement of Judson Memorial Church on Fri., April 29, for a memorial tribute to the East Village poet John Farris, who died in January at 72. The event featured readings by family members, friends and past lovers, as well as a haunting solo by his grandson, Richard Dye, on sax. The following day, family members and friends gathered again at Bullet Space, the artists’ homestead on E. Third St. where Farris lived and died, to scatter his ashes under

the maple tree in the backyard. Painter Nico Smith told the epic tale of how he and Farris once hitchhiked across America and then to Acapulco in 1963 on a quest for good weed. Farris got so stoned, he briefly took up fishing at a nearby village until Smith came and rescued him. At the close of the night, family members poured some of the remaining ashes in a circle around the fire pit, where a fire was lit.

Sarah Ferguson

John Farris’s granddaughters Siena Farris, right, and Bibi Duxbur y in Bullet Space’s back yard at the memorial.

Ar tist Nico Smith told an epic tale of a trip he and John Farris took to Mexico.

Steve Cannon, of A Gathering of the Tribes, center, at the memorial. Farris’s desk, heaped with a pile of pages, and his floor light evoked the late poet’s spirit.


May 12, 2016


Hope for Obama to create Stonewall National Park


he momentum for declaring the area outside the Stonewall Inn a national monument overseen by the National Park Service seems headed for an inevitable conclusion, with all the political, L.G.B.T. rights movement and community forces aligned in its favor at a May 9 public hearing at P.S. 41 in Greenwich Village. The hearing was chaired by Congressmember Jerry Nadler, who is widely credited with coordinating support for the designation. Nadler was joined by U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell and Jonathan Jarvis, the National Parks Service director. The Inn, site of the 1969 Stonewall Rebellion that sparked the modern L.G.B.T. rights movement, would be the fi rst national park designated because of its significance to gay history if — as expected — Jewell recommends that President Barack Obama use his powers under the Antiquities Act to declare it a monument by the 47th anniversary of the uprising late next month. A national monument designation for Christopher Park would serve as the anchor for a larger national park area incorporating surrounding streets. Nadler opened the proceedings by saying he was “confident� the president would act, given that the other route to a national park — Congressional legislation sponsored by him and New York’s two senators, Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand — is unlikely to pass with Republicans in charge of both houses. The small triangular Christopher Park across the street from the bar has been transferred to the federal government as the result of a City Council resolution sponsored by Councilmember Corey Johnson, support from the de Blasio administration, and legislation quietly and unanimously passed in Albany through the leadership of Assemblymember Deborah Glick and state Senator Brad Hoylman, who represent the area, and signed by Governor Andrew Cuomo last month. Johnson, Glick and Hoylman, who are openly gay, along with City Comptroller Scott Stringer, Public Advocate Letitia James and Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, spoke at a press conference Nadler held just prior to the hearing to announce the fi nal push for the monument’s designation. James, who noted she is the fi rst African-American woman elected citywide, said, “The Stonewall Inn represents to the L.G.B.T. community what Selma represents for the civil rights movement and Seneca Falls represents for the women’s move-



Secretar y of the Interior Sally Jewell, who will make a recommendation to President Barack Obama on establishing a national park, at Tuesday’s hearing.

ment,� echoing Obama’s own linking of these three historic places in his second inaugural address in 2013. Jewell, in opening remarks at the hearing, said she was in eighth grade when the Stonewell Rebellion happened and “oblivious to the struggles� of L.G.B.T. people, as were most Americans at the time. She noted that in 1969 “two people of the same sex could be arrested for dancing together� or for “wearing clothes of the other gender, so I’m inappropriately dressed,� by that standard, she said, given her pants and suit-jacket ensemble. While Christopher Park –– which already includes George Segal’s “Gay Liberation� statues of a male couple and a female couple, both painted solid white –– will anchor Stonewall National Park, the spot’s appearance is not likely to change much other than in terms of signage. However, the Stonewall Veterans’ Association — a group run by Williamson Henderson, who has long made widely disputed claims, for which no police or court records exist, of having been arrested during the uprising — was pushing an elaborate redesign at the Nadler hearing. Friends of Christopher Park, a volunteer group, will continue its unpaid efforts at maintaining the park, and the city will continue to contribute to upkeep. During the hearing, Community Board 2 Chairperson Tobi Bergman praised the proposal as “preserving the character of the neighborhood� while celebrating it as “a source of influence on the world.� Andrew Berman, executive director of the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation, credited the private and influential National Parks Conservation Association’s push for this park over several years with help-

ing to advance the idea. He noted that the park will not include the actual site of the Stonewall Inn, which is already protected with federal, state and city historic landmark designations, but urged that it be included. Veteran gay activist Jim Fouratt, however, called the bar itself “a symbol of our oppression� and insisted that “what happened in the streets� is what needs to be commemorated. The Gay Liberation Front, he noted, was formed as a direct result of the Rebellion, making Stonewall distinct from earlier uprisings of L.G.B.T. people in spurring ongoing militant organizing that created a permanent political movement. While the hearing was contentious at times as witnesses debated who was there, what it meant, and what else should be memorialized, they were unanimous in support of making the area a national park. Michael E. Levine, 73, said he was in the Stonewall the night of the raid and that it marked a seismic shift in how gay people felt about themselves. “From that date in ’69, I have been out to everyone I know,� he said. Gil Horowitz, who said he participated in the Rebellion’s second night, testified that the bulk of those who participated were “homeless youth who hung out in Christopher Park –– thrown out because they were gay.�

Randy Wicker, a gay activist since 1958, said, “There is no such thing as gay rights, there is just human rights.� He urged those creating the monument to fully incorporate the role played by people of color at Stonewall and in the movement that followed. Transgender activist Josephine Fantasia Perez, who described herself as a daughter of Sylvia Rivera and niece of Marsha P. Johnson, two early transgender street activists of the Stonewall era, made an impassioned plea about the life-and-death burdens that continue to weigh on transgender people. She and other transgender witnesses, such as Mariah Lopez, argued that the Christopher St. Pier in the Hudson River Park, home over the years to many transgender homeless people, should also be part of a national park. N.P.S. Director Jarvis told the audience at the hearing’s conclusion, “I heard unanimous support. My job is to recommend to Secretary Jewell and her job is to recommend to President Obama that the Stonewall should join the Statue of Liberty and the Grand Canyon� as a national park, not just in recognition of the history of the Rebellion and the role the streets outside the Stonewall played in moments of both trauma and celebration for the community, but to highlight the “continued struggle� for L.G.B.T. rights.

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Big bubbles, big ears of corn and big fun filled the “Kids Zone” on Saturday at Middle Collegiate Church’s Revolutionar y Street Fair.

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR Still blaming the messengers To The Editor: Re “Villager wins 10 NYPA awards; Ranks No. 5 in state” (news article, April 14) and “Prisoner Purple: ‘Talkative’ con made cut for tree camp” (news article, April 28): I am writing to protest the awarding of first place for News Story to Lincoln Anderson’s “The dark side of Purple.” I knew Adam Purple. Adam Purple is dead and cannot speak for himself. It is clear to me that this best News Story is exactly that — a story, fiction. Lincoln responded to some information that came over the transom. There was no initial investigation. Just a publication of some salacious tales and papers iden-


tifying our Adam Purple as David Lloyd Wilkie and introducing his adult daughters, who haven’t fared that well in life. Here, I am thinking of Roseanne Barr and her “repressed memories” of horrific sexual abuse at the hands of her father. It was all over the newspapers. Eventually, she realized her mind was playing tricks on her. I think her father forgave her. But our informants on Adam Purple say they never forgot for one minute. And they corroborate each other. But there are no pictures, no dildos (which the woman say Purple trained them with as little girls), no proof. Lincoln graciously published a letter from me protesting the first article, “The dark side of Purple.” At that time, I predicted that he would eventually be ashamed of himself for publishing this story. He fol-

lowed up that first article with two more — and now, most recently, an article on Adam’s prison records. The thing that stands out in this last article is Adam’s protestations of innocence. The trial record is not yet known. We know he was convicted of doing something to a minor. The other thing that jumps out is that they put him on an agricultural camp — planting trees. Maybe it was soil reclamation. This is the beginning of Adam Purple. He said he was innocent. He asked to be repatriated. He came to Forsyth St.; thus began the Garden of Eden. I don’t think the NYPA newspaper contest judges understand how iconic a figure Adam is. After George Bliss brought the world’s attention to the garden, it was featured in National Geographic, among many other media. The loss of that garden galvanized the community gardens movement. Teachers would bring their classes to the garden. Adam taught hundreds of people about recycling and composting. In Adam’s more than 40 years on the Lower East Side, there was never a hint of anything like what The Villager articles describe. The Villager did a beautiful job covering Adam’s memorial. Everybody says it’s unbelievable that he could have done these things — yet they believe it. It is not my life’s work to exonerate Adam Purple — I’m just saying. I have no idea what motive these women have or who sent them to The Villager. Laura Zelasnic Editor’s note: Lincoln Anderson is not ashamed of having reported the true story of David Lloyd Wilkie a.k.a. Adam Purple’s previously unknown history of having sexually abused his stepdaughters and daughters and his serving time in prison in Australia for sexually attacking his oldest stepdaughter when she

Bernie keeps winning! 18

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LETTERS continued on p. 20 TheVillager.com


Going around in circles...finally choosing a name The new park at the St. Vincent’s Triangle includes about five circular medallions set into its paving. Two are located near the park’s entrances along Seventh Ave., at W. 12th St. and Greenwich Ave., and three others are located more toward the park’s western side, near the site of the planned NYC AIDS Memorial, which is expected to be completed by this fall. The markers honor emergencies and health crises that the historic Catholic hospital, which closed in 2010, responded to during its more than 160 years of operation, including the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire, the sinking of the Titanic, the AIDS epidemic of the 1980s and the 2001 terror attack that leveled the World Trade Center. The group behind the AIDS Memorial project last month tweaked the captions on its design renderings of the memorial on its Web site so that they no longer referred to “St. Vincent’s Hospital Park” but to “New York City AIDS Memorial Park,” as seen in the image on this page, showing a screenshot taken on April 8. On Tuesday, the city’s Parks Department announced to The Villager that the site’s new name will be NYC AIDS Memorial Park at St. Vincent’s Triangle, an at-


tempt to honor “both sides” in the name debate. The AIDS Memorial group’s Web site, as of Wednesday, had not been updated and still referred to it as the New York City AIDS Memorial Park. The Parks Department planned to issue a formal

press release on Thursday, after the publication of The Villager’s exclusive article on the park’s name. Shown rising behind the park, below, is the new Greenwich Lane high-end condo project, being completed on the former St. Vincent’s Hospital site.

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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR continued from p. 18

was 12. These four now-adult women are not “informants,” as the letter writer calls them — rather they are survivors. And, yes, their stories basically all do agree with each other — especially on the facts of Purple’s sexually abusing them. Yes, Adam Purple was an “icon” of the community gardening movement; but he is not the first icon or leader — nor will he be the last — to hide a dark secret about his life. Just look at the Oscar-winning movie “Spotlight” and its depiction of pedophile priests or the coverage of all the women accusing Bill Cosby, “America’s Dad,” of drugging and sexually abusing them years ago or former House Speaker Dennis Hastert’s history as a serial child abuser. The letter writer wonders “what motive these women” have for coming forward now and sharing their stories about Adam Purple with The Villager. Their motive is simple: to tell the truth, and to help them heal from the suffering that Purple — a narcissistic predator — put them through and which has left them with lasting psychological and emotional scars, damage from which they have only recently started to heal. As one NYPA contest judge wrote of “The dark side of Purple”: “Excellent reporting, but even more kudos go to the victims for their bravery sharing their stories about this individual.”

Hard to stomach To The Editor: Re “Salad days for new business in old Bleecker pharmacy spot” (news article, May 2): Just what we needed, another millennial shrine.

No hospital, no first-run movie theater, few remaining bookstores, few supermarkets — but an expensive salad bar. Way to go. Ava Sterling

Highly upsetting supertall story To The Editor: Re “Son of L.E.S. supertall; Second huge high-rise planned at Two Bridges” (news article, May 5): The developer, JDS, is paying for all of the upgrades, improvements and flood protection — not Two Bridges Neighborhood Council or Settlement Housing Fund. They have yet to disclose where the profits are going, although required to do so by the state attorney general. None of the profits are going toward improvements for 82 Rutgers Slip, which actually sits in front of the senior building — and suffered severe flood damage — mere feet from the East River. What’s must disturbing is this building will sit atop a low-income, senior building where the average age is 90 and most do not speak English but Chinese. Yes, this senior building will literally be the supertall’s foundation; hence, the need to remove apartments and attach support beams. This new tower will actually be taller than the Extell’s and closer to 100 stories since it needs to rise and clear the senior building. In comparison, Extell almost looks…meh. Noncontextual, out of scale, disrespectful to the area and the Manhattan Bridge — this is gentrification on steroids. Where are all the people who fought against

the Hughes tower in the South Street Seaport? This is not the right path for creating more affordable housing. Otherwise, let’s just build on every vulnerable senior building with the false notion that this is the only way to build housing. Something needs to be done now to prevent developers — both nonprofit and profit — from controlling the waterfront. Next, they’ll be asking to form a corporation or conservancy just for that purpose. This is just wrong on every level, and I hope the entire community pushes back. Dean Lee

In Hillary, we trust To The Editor: Re “Vote Sanders and join the political revolution” (editorial, April 14): I’ve been thinking about this, so here goes: Despite all the negative personal attacks —and your Bernie editorial — Hillary Clinton received more than 1 million votes and won the New York primary. Wanna know why? Because she’s the real New Yorker and we like her and we trust her. She reflects our values. She’s done more for human rights than any of her detractors ever will. Believe me, she will be a really great president. Sylvia Rackow E-mail letters, not longer than 250 words in length, to news@thevillager.com or fax to 212-229-2790 or mail to The Villager, Letters to the Editor, 1 Metrotech North, 10th floor, Brooklyn, NY, NY 11201. Please include phone number for confirmation purposes. The Villager reserves the right to edit letters for space, grammar, clarity and libel. Anonymous letters will not be published.

B.O.E. defends botched New York State primary vote PRIMARY continued from p. 15

for why so many voters would be deemed invalid. “According to a 2014 presidential report, a full 40 percent of the United States relocates at any one time in the calendar year,” Ryan told The Villager. “That’s probably higher in urban settings. Not everyone moves under the most ideal circumstances, so people can get lost in the shuffle.” Ryan suggested other ways in which people’s voting status might have been invalidated or changed without them realizing it. “In New York, we also have voter registration through the D.M.V.,” or Department of Motor Vehicles. Under the so-called “Motor Voter” law, states are required to offer people the opportunity to register to vote or update their voting status when they apply for or renew a driver’s license. “There’s a box for you to check your party affiliation,” Ryan said. “If you leave it blank, we default that to unaffiliated. We can’t assume you wanted to remain in the party that you were previously enrolled in.” The city’s welfare office also mails out voting registration forms, which people may mistakenly submit without checking their party status. “Last in time is first in line,” Ryan added, repeating the B.O.E.’s slogan for how it determines party affiliation. Other voters may have run afoul of the U.S. Postal Service’s change-of-address process. “We get a report once a year in May from the State Board of Elections, which gets a report from the U.S. Post Office telling us all the people who moved. We are required to process those address changes,”


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Ryan said. As a result, some voters may have had their polling places changed. Nevertheless, there were numerous reports of voters who had lived and voted in the same place for decades missing from voter lists at polling sites, as well as newly registered voters who met cutoff deadlines for registering, yet were not included in the rolls. In an effort to rein in such errors, last week the City Council voted on three bills to ease voting and improve transparency. The first bill will require the New York City B.O.E. to post notices at former polling sites informing voters of the new polling site location. The second bill requires the B.O.E. to send e-mail and text messages to voters who have opted to receive information alerts — alerts that could inform them when their party affiliation has been changed, for example. And the final bill requires the B.O.E. to provide a Web site and mobile app that gives the public easy access to their voting status and tools. In addition, the B.O.E. announced that a second official, Democrat Betty Ann Canizio, the deputy clerk at the Brooklyn borough office, was suspended without pay during the ongoing investigation into problems at poll sites on primary day. The board had already suspended the Brooklyn borough office’s Republican clerk Diane Haslett-Rudiano on April 21, following the revelation that 126,000 voters had been purged or rendered inactive in the borough in the six months leading up to the primary. Ryan said the B.O.E. is taking steps to correct its records. “We’ll be meeting with the State Board [of Elections] and putting our technical people together to make sure our info is as accurate and up-to-date as possible,” he told The Villager.

Ryan termed the ongoing controversy and distrust engendered by the widespread voting problems “unfortunate.” But he blamed outside groups for contributing to the chaos. “We received advance notice that there were going to be individuals who want to use this process as a cause célèbre — to make an issue over the fact that New York’s primary is closed.” “The vast majority of complaints are from individuals not registered in the party they were attempting to vote in,” Ryan said. Just prior to the primary, the group Election Justice USA — which filed suit on April 17 after the initial discovery of widespread voter purges in Brooklyn and Long Island — posted a notice on its Facebook page, urging independents and people registered in third parties to try and vote in the Democratic and Republican primaries anyway. This was an apparent effort to bolster the group’s case that New York’s closed primary system is unnecessarily restrictive and hence unconstitutional. New York requires voters to declare their party affiliation six months prior to a primary election in order to be eligible to vote — the earliest cutoff of any state. It is unknown how many people heeded the advice of Election Justice, but if they tried to file affidavits, that no doubt boosted the count of those voters deemed ineligible in the primary. According to a source, Election Justice withdrew its motion to block the primary certification last week after a state judge on Long Island threatened to fine the group. The City Council is conducting an oversight hearing of B.O.E. operations on Fri., May 13, at 12:45 p.m. at the Council Chambers in City Hall. TheVillager.com

Love and hope flicker at the dawn of motion pictures ‘Evening’ bears the unmistakable stamp of Axis Company BY TRAV S.D.


xis Company remains one of the few theatre companies in New York that always manages to keep me guessing. This is all the more remarkable given the number of their productions (probably a dozen) I have caught over the past decade and a half — ranging from classics (Buchner’s “Woyzeck”), to children’s fairy tales (“Seven in One Blow”), to 19th century melodrama (“A Glance at New York”), to modern grunge nihilism (Sarah Kane’s “Crave”), to storytelling (“East 10th Street,” starring the incomparable Edgar Oliver). All wildly divergent theatre forms, yet all bearing the quirky and unmistakable stamp of Axis founder and Artistic Director Randy Sharp. Their current production (“Evening – 1910”) happens to be a musical. One is tempted to call it a “rock musical” or “rock opera,” not just because the popinflected score was co-written by Paul Carbonara, a former guitarist and musical director for Blondie, but because, much like The Who’s “Tommy,” it is highly impressionistic, consisting of many character songs and expository production numbers, as opposed to active, plotdriving dramatic tunes. But Carbonara’s and Sharp’s gorgeous, melodic songs and the cast’s impressive, “legit” harmonizing seem the furthest thing from rock. And there is a plot — an eloquent, thoughtprovoking one. “Evening – 1910” is an elaboration upon an earlier, shorter work by the team entitled “Solitary Light,” which had its premiere in the 2014 Theatre: Village Festival. The latter show was more focused on the 1911 Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire, one of New York City’s worst disasters. The current work alludes to that event, foreshadows it, warns of it TheVillager.com


Stephanie Lynne Mason is a showgirl who dreams of a better life, perhaps at the nearby garment factory.

— but it centers more on a love triangle, which speaks equally to socioeconomic disparities in America and the tough choices people at the bottom are often forced to make. Happily for this reviewer, vaudeville and early cinema lay at the heart of the tale. Henry (Michael Sheehy) crosses the Atlantic with a chorus of fellow immigrants bound for Ellis Island. His principal asset is his movie camera and his skill in using it. This draws him into the world of a Bowery variety theatre, where he finds himself caught between two women: a vaudeville chorus girl (Shira Averbuch) and the wealthy sister (Emily Kratter) of the theatre’s owner (James Scheider), who is just branching out into the new kinetoscope business. We won’t spoil the suspense for you by revealing the choice he makes, but we will say that we found the chorus girl’s song (“Here He Comes”) to be a touching high point in a show that has many. Like much of the Axis Company’s work, “Evening – 1910” is built on tension between the aesthetics of history and more modern, experimental techniques. On the one hand, we get wonderful old favorites like “Sidewalks of New York” and “A Bird in a Gilded Cage.” On the other hand, much of it comes to us through techniques of Brechtian distanciation. As we have come to expect from writer-director Sharp, many of the events are not spelled out in the lyrics themselves, rather in the space around them. Many of the more concrete details of time and place and action are rooted in the stagecraft: Karl Ruckdeschel’s period-accurate costumes, Steve Fontaine’s evocative and multi-layered sound design, and the machine-like complexity of the actors in EVENING continued on p. 22

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George Spencer (James Scheider, foreground) is a Bowery theatre owner whose vaudeville offerings are falling out of favor.

EVENING continued from p. 21

motion as guided by Sharp and choreographer Lynn Mancinelli. The entire cast (which also includes Mancinelli, Justin McEllroy, Stephanie Lynne Mason, and Katie Rose Summerfield) frequently function as a chorus to the action. Chet Yarborough’s sets are minimalistic but effective, enhanced as they are by David Zeffren’s warm but contrasty lighting. As much as I loved the music, as much as I loved the singing, and as much as I loved the story, my very favorite moment

in the production belonged to Zeffren. It’s the last moment in the show, a moment the entire proceedings had been heading toward. As in all Axis productions, one had spent the entire experience wondering, “Where can this be going?” And then Zeffren and Sharp give us a moment that not only explains it all, but ties the meaning of the show to present-day realities in a profound and chilling way. Very few directors have the power or the skill to make me rethink theatre in this way, to fake me out and surprise me and fill me with wonder using techniques

Shira Averbuch (foreground) plays a vaudeville chorus girl, one-third of the love triangle between newly arrived immigrant Henry and the wealthy sister of the theatre’s owner.

that are foreign to me or that I might, in the abstract, be skeptical of. Randy Sharp does it to me every time. If you ever feel caught in a rut, or forget why you ever became excited about theatre in the first place, go see something — anything — at Axis Company. May 12, 19, 25 & 26 at 7pm; May 13, 14, 20, 21, 27 & 28 at 8pm. At Axis Theatre (One Sheridan Square, btw. W. Fourth St. & Washington Pl.). For tickets ($40, $30 for students & seniors), call 212-807-9300 or visit axiscompany.org.

Justin McEllroy as stage manager Frank.


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These are the days of chintz and change Ed Hamilton’s tales of urban grit get under your skin BY PUMA PERL


ew Yorkers are notoriously, easily, justifiably irritated by geographical errors and timeline flubs when reading about their city. Fortunately, Ed Hamilton pretty much gets it right. “The Chintz Age,” a collection of short stories, is aptly described on the cover as telling “tales of love and loss.” The characters are living in a time of uncertainty, watching in horror as their neighborhoods turn against them; small businesses are being displaced, chrome and glass have risen up like monsters, and longtime residents are losing the fabrics of their lives. We meet the characters of the seven stories (and one novella) at pivotal points in their lives. They long for the past as they seek validation in the present. Even the realm of horror is entered, with vultures scheming to take over an apartment. Backed against the high-rise walls of gentrification, the characters find themselves seeking redemption as their lives and relationships are forced into change. Greg, the protagonist of the opening story, “Fat Hippie Books,” immediately engages the reader. He is the cantankerous and somewhat egotistical owner of a bookstore that is on its way out. Flaws and all, Greg is ours, the type of guy we put up with even when he drives us crazy. Like most of the others in the book, he’s a dying breed; more interested in a dissection of Kerouac’s influences than in a nouveau grilled sun-dried fig cheese sandwich. He’s growing older, and is reluctantly acknowledging that the success he once expected has not come to pass. To the author’s credit, each tale develops fleshed out characters, responding in their own ways not only to the city’s changing landscape and to gentrification, but also to their own realizations and self-assessments. Hamilton’s affection for the outer edges of society is demonstrated by his portrayals of the artists, musicians, writers, pimps, homeless individuals, prostitutes and junkies who roam through the various locales, usually the seediest corners that remain in existence. Ed Hamilton was born in Atlanta and raised in Louisville, Kentucky. Following graduate school, he taught philosophy in Washington, DC, but always wanted to write fiction. When his girlfriend (now his wife), Debbie Martin, received a job offer in New York, they took the opportunity and ran with it. “We had long been fans of the Chelsea Hotel, since some of our favorite writers and artists had lived there, and it was the first place we tried. EventuTheVillager.com


Ed Hamilton, a resident of the Chelsea Hotel since 1995, stands outside of the building, where scaffolding has been up for years as the interior undergoes reconstruction.

ally, [then-owner/manager] Stanley Bard rented us a room, and we’ve been there since 1995,” said Hamilton. Incredibly, they have been able to hold onto their home through years of court cases and the constant noise, dust, and lack of services that go along with renovation. “Life at the hotel has not been pleasant,” he said. “The hotel has been stripped of its art collection, most of the historic rooms have been gutted, and it looks like a filthy construction site. We are hopeful, though not overly optimistic, that the current regime will bring about some relief.” The Hamiltons’ blog, “Living with Legends: Hotel Chelsea Blog,” chronicled the artistic life at the W. 23rd St. hotel, and then the sad demise of that life. Although focused on other projects, they still occasionally update the blog. In the introduction to a previous book, “Legends of the Chelsea Hotel,” Hamilton notes, “This book came about as a result of a fire” and describes Stanley Bard jauntily explaining the literary history of the Chelsea Hotel as he marched the fire marshal through the lobby. Both the blog (which his wife co-created) and the book came about due to his fascination with the colorful history of the hotel and its inhabitants. They tried to use the media attention the book received to bring the Bard family back, but that did not to happen. I asked the author how he views the connections between the two books.

“Though issues related to development and gentrification are often presented in abstract terms, what I saw here at home was a terrible human tragedy,” he explained. “In my struggle to understand, I wrote several stories about the post-takeover Chelsea, but I found they didn’t have the joy or the humor of the stories in ‘Legends.’ I needed to set the stories elsewhere, and I also needed the distance of fiction to deal with what had taken place in the lives of my friends in Chelsea, and in New York as a whole. ‘The Chintz Age’ is about the personal, private struggles of individual artists in the face of the impersonal juggernaut we call gentrification.”

The title, said Hamilton, is a twoedged sword: “On the one hand, it’s meant to evoke the past, as chintz is an old time fabric. On the other, it’s also meant to connote that things today are cheaper and chintzier than in the good old days. The title also refers to the recent trend of pulling down beautiful, historic buildings, and replacing them with cruddy glass and plastic boxes, which look glitzy for a few years, but aren’t designed to last. This is not exactly a Golden Age for New York.” Some of the places that Hamilton misses the most, he told me, are the Florent, and its presence in the era when the CHINTZ continued on p. 24

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Seven stories and a novella comprise “The Chintz Age,” Ed Hamilton’s look at culture clashes in gentrified NYC neighborhoods.

CHINTZ continued from p. 23

Meatpacking District was a “slightly edgy zone of dark corners,” and Left Bank Books. “The staff was smart and loved to talk about books. Bookstores are one of the key ingredients of an intellectual and artistic life.” Hamilton, on the back cover of the book, describes his stories as “grittily realistic fairy tales.” “While ‘fairy tales’ may be the wrong word,” he said, “I wanted to express that, even in certain rather grim situations, where the challenges of a hardcore deterministic, materialistic city daunt and overwhelm us, grinding us to bits, there is still the possibility of transcendence and redemption — both for my characters, and, hopefully, for myself.”


Ed Hamilton and his wife, Debbie Martin, in 2007, when artwork collected by longtime manager Stanley Bard (sometimes in lieu of rent) filled the hallways of the Chelsea Hotel.


Stanley Bard, who first rented a room to Ed Hamilton in 1995, talks to reporters in the lobby of the Chelsea Hotel shortly after he was ousted by the minority shareholders.


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On Thurs., May 12, at 5:30pm, Ed Hamilton will read from “The Chintz Age” at the Muhlenberg Library Community Room, 209 W. 23rd St. (btw. Seventh & Eighth Aves.). Free admission. To purchase “The Chintz Age” (Cervená Barva Press, 2015) and for more author info, visit edhamilton.nyc.


L to R: Ed Hamilton, in his room at the Chelsea Hotel, playing foosball with punk rocker Bruno Wizard, who was a guest at the hotel in 2006.


A tactile thread runs through it CMA is the where of ‘What?’


Adrian Esparza: “Skyscape 2” (2014. Wood, paint, nails, serape. 42 x 72 inches.).



djacent to the Children’s Museum of the Arts’ foyer, the Cynthia C. Wainwright Gallery continues to host groundbreaking contemporary exhibitions. This current one — “Sew What?” — is focused on a selection of works that explore various tactile materials, such as felt, knitted wool, thread and scraps of textile.

Among the 10 artists are such internationally known names as Louise Bourgeois and Eliza Kentridge. Most of these sculptures, large installations and more intimate wall pieces, are steeped in the artists’ personal narratives, while exploring cultural links between people, places, and ways of life. A fantastic installation by Timothy Paul Myers (in conversation with Andrew Barnes and Bigheavy Studios) re-imagines a picturesque domestic setting in grey felt. The life-size work pulls us close, absorbing our attention as an avalanche of flowers spills out of an ornate fireplace right before our eyes. Among the many enchanting conTheVillager.com

templations are a hanging wall piece by Alicia Scardetta, which references knotted friendship bracelets, and a geometric abstraction by Adrian Esparza, who in this case worked with threads from Mexican serape blankets. Just around the corner from this show is a newly commissioned installation by Jeila Gueramian entitled “The Bridge Project.” Though not officially part of the exhibit, it fits the theme perfectly and should not be missed. Here, Gueramian has employed stitch work, crochet, knit and various embellishments to create an interactive work, spanning multiple levels, that guarantees a magical experience. Through May 22, in the Cynthia C. Wainwright Gallery, at the Children’s Museum of the Arts (103 Charlton St. btw. Hudson & Greenwich Sts.). Hours: Mon., 12–5pm. Thurs.–Fri., 12–6pm. Sat. & Sun., 10 am–5pm. Admission: $12 for ages 1–65, (for seniors, pay-as-you-wish). Call 212274-0986 or visit cmany.org.


Timothy Paul Myers in collaboration with Bigheavy Studios: “Untitled (Grey Felt)” (2016. Grey felt. Dimensions vary.). May 12, 2016


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ACCOUNTING PROCEEDING FILE NO. 2010-2030/A CITATION THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK TO: Unknown Distributees, Attorney General of the State of New York, Irma Garcia-Sanchez, Pedro Garcia, New York City Human Resources Administration. And to the heirs at law, next of kin and distributees of Emilia Garcia, a/k/a Emilia Garcia Sanchez, if living and if any of them be dead, to their heirs at law, next of kin, distributees, legatees, executors, administrators, assignees and successors in interest whose names and places of residence are unknown and cannot, after diligent inquiry, be ascertained by the petitioner herein; being the persons interested as creditors, legatees, devisees, beneficiaries, distributees, or otherwise in the estate of Emilia Garcia, a/k/a Emilia Garcia Sanchez, deceased, who at the time of her death was a resident of 2140 Madison Avenue, New York, New York 10037. A petition having been duly filed by the Public Administrator of the County of New York, who maintains an office at 31 Chambers Street, Room 311, New York, New York 10007. YOU ARE HEREBY CITED TO SHOW CAUSE before the New York County Surrogate’s Court at 31 Chambers Street, New York, New York, on June 10, 2016 at 9:30 A.M. in Room 509, why the following relief stated in the account of proceedings, a copy of the summary statement thereof being attached hereto, of the Public Administrator of the County of New York as administrator of the goods, chattels and credits of said deceased, should not be granted: (i) that her account be judicially be settled; (ii) that a hearing be held to determine the identity of the distributees at which time proof pursuant to SCPA Section 2225 may be presented, or in the alternative, that the balance of the funds be deposited with the Commissioner of Finance of the City of New York for the benefit of the decedent’s unknown distributees; (iii) that Pedro Garcia show cause why his claim, if any, for payment of decedent’s funeral expenses should not be disallowed; (iv) that the claim of the New York City Human Resources Administration in the amount of $50,088.37 for public assistance rendered to decedent in the form of Medicaid be allowed and paid; (v) that the Surrogate approve the reasonable amount of compensation as reported in Schedules C and C-1 of the account of proceedings to the attorney for the petitioner for legal services rendered to the petitioner herein; (vi) that the persons above and mentioned and all necessary and proper persons be cited to show cause why such relief should not be granted; (vii) that an order be granted pursuant to SCPA Section 307 where required or directed; and (viii) for such other and further relief as the Court may deem just and proper. Dated, Attested and Sealed. April 21, 2016 (Seal) Hon. Nora S. Anderson, Surrogate. Diana Sanabria, Chief Clerk. Schram Graber & Opell P.C. Counsel to the Public Administrator, New York County 11 Park Place, Suite 615 New York, New York 10007 (212) 896-3310 Note: This citation is served upon you as required by law. You are not required to appear. If you fail to appear it will be assumed that you do not object to the relief requested. You have the right to have an attorney-at-law appear for you and you or your attorney may request a copy of the full account from the petitioner or petitioner’s attorney. Vil: 04/28 – 05/19/2016


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ACCOUNTING PROCEEDING FILE NO. 2013-4826/D CITATION THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK TO: Unknown Distributees, Attorney General of the State of New York, Anna Patriki, a/k/a Iouanna Patriki, Vassiliky Haramis, Catherine Rallis, Hariklia Delivasilis, Vicky Karakatsani, a/k/a Victoria Karakatsani, a/k/a Viktoria-Evangelia Karakatsani, Eleni Votsi, Panayiotis Psiroukis, a/k/a Panagiotis Psiroukis, Elizabeth Papoutsis, Hariklia Moularas, Peter Mourlaras, a/k/a Panayiotis Moularas, Arthur Halkas, Peter Halkas, a/k/a Panagiotis Halkas, Marianthy McCarthy, Verizon, Professional Claims Bureau, Inc., Rui Credit Services/Client-ConEdison, Heights 173, LLC. And to the heirs at law, next of kin and distributees of Helen Psiroukis, if living and if any of them be dead, to their heirs at law, next of kin, distributees, legatees, executors, administrators, assignees and successors in interest whose names and places of residence are unknown and cannot, after diligent inquiry, be ascertained by the petitioner herein; being the persons interested as creditors, legatees, devisees, beneficiaries, distributees, or otherwise in the estate of Helen Psiroukis, deceased, who at the time of her death was a resident of 609 West 173rd Street, New York, New York 10032. A petition having been duly filed by the Public Administrator of the County of New York, who maintains an office at 31 Chambers Street, Room 311, New York, New York 10007. YOU ARE HEREBY CITED TO SHOW CAUSE before the New York County Surrogate’s Court at 31 Chambers Street, New York, New York on June 24, 2016 at 9:30 A.M. in Room 503, why the following relief stated in the account of proceedings, a copy of the summary statement thereof being attached hereto, of the Public Administrator of the County of New York as administrator of the goods, chattels and credits of said deceased, should not be granted: (i) that her account be judicially settled; (ii) that a hearing be held to determine the identity of the distributees at which time proof pursuant to SCPA Section 2225 may be presented, or in the alternative, that the balance of the funds be deposited with the Commissioner of Finance of the City of New York for the benefit of the decedent’s unknown distributees; (iii) that the claim of Marianthy McCarthy for expenses paid in connection with the administration of decedent’s estate be allowed in the amount of $132.00 and rejected in the amount of $775.54; (iv) that the claims of Verizon in the amount of $226.75, Professional Claims Bureau, Inc. in the amount of $65.00, Rui Credit Services/Client-ConEdison in the amount of $396.00 and Heights 173, LLC in the amount of $2,376.30 be rejected for failure to file a claim in accordance with the provision of SCPA Section 1803(1); (v) that the Surrogate approve the reasonable amount of compensation as reported in Schedule C and C-1 of the account of proceedings to the attorney for the petitioner for legal services rendered to the petitioner herein; (vi) that the persons above mentioned and all necessary and proper persons be cited to show cause why such relief should not be granted; (vii) that an order be granted pursuant to SCPA Section 307 where required or directed; and (viii) for such other and further relief as the Court may deem just and proper. Dated, Attested and Sealed. April 26, 2016 (Seal) Hon. Nora S. Anderson, Surrogate. Diana Sanabria, Chief Clerk. Schram Graber & Opell P.C. Counsel to the Public Administrator, New York County 11 Park Place, Suite 615 New York, New York 10007 (212) 896-3310



Note: This citation is served upon you as required by law. You are not required to appear. If you fail to appear it will be assumed that you do not object to the relief requested. You have the right to have an attorney-at-law appear for you and you or your attorney may request a copy of the full account from the petitioner or petitioner’s attorney. Vil: 05/05 – 05/26/2016 TheVillager.com

May 12, 2016


Big to-do over what small park’s name will honor PARK continued from p. 12

At that time, Marilyn Dorato, president of the Greenwich Village Block Associations, blasted the AIDS Memorial group’s alternative design pitch as “presumptuous and dreadful.” Local residents wanted an open, sunny, upbeat park. The AIDS Memorial group subsequently scaled back its claims on the park — yet more recently, as seen in the name flap, once again has tried to grab more influence over the space, critics charge. Trevor Stewart, chairperson of Protect the Historic Village, has been one of the chief watchdogs on the park’s naming process. On Tuesday evening, told of the “compromise name,” he wasn’t very pleased. “That sounds like a map location rather than a name,” he scoffed. “I think that’s a total fudge, and I don’t think it’s acceptable. Basically, they’re calling it AIDS Memorial Park and trying to locate it at St. Vincent’s Triangle. I think that the ‘St. Vincent’s’ part of it will just get dropped — that’s what they want. It’s confusion by design. This is like an inversion of what the community wants. The politicians kind of have been strongarmed into supporting a position that is not supported by the community.” What most galls Stewart and others, however, is the AIDS Memorial group’s behind-the-scenes powerplay on the park’s name. “I’m much more focused on the process than the name,” he said. “The community wants it be named for St. Vincent’s, and this group has come up in a very underhanded way and gotten it to be named what they want.” Stewart noted that, in fact, up until early April, the AIDS Memorial group’s Web site had shown renderings of the memorial structure with the caption, “View the design for the future New York City AIDS Memorial at St. Vincent’s Hospital Park.” However, he noted, on April 8, two days after he spoke to a representative in Johnson’s office, to voice his concerns about the AIDS Memorial group’s effort to sway the name, the Web site’s caption had changed, to “View the design for the future memorial at AIDS Memorial Park.” “I thought that would happen,” Stewart said, “which is why I took screenshots.” He provided these to The Villager. He was disappointed in Hoylman, in particular, for signing on to the secret letter to the mayor and Silver. “A guy like Brad — Christ!,” Stewart fumed. “And he was the chairperson of the St. Vincent’s Omnibus Committee on Community Board 2. He sat through hundreds of hearings on the hospital. That’s what really got in my nose.


May 12, 2016


The new park on what has always been referred to over the years as the St. Vincent’s Triangle spor ts a series of slate medallions in its paving, honoring the former St. Vincent’s Hospital and its ser vice during times of major crises that impacted New York Cit y.

“I think what’s happening, and I understand it,” Stewart said, “the AIDS Memorial people see this as ground zero for world AIDS. They want something that’s exclusively named for AIDS. The Village sees it as — there’s actually a Village, and St. Vincent’s served it for 160 years.” At the same time, he acknowledged, his group strongly supports the AIDS Memorial, and feels that the St. Vincent’s Triangle is the right spot, since it would “provide an appropriate historical and physical context for it.” Stewart added of the AIDS Memorial group, “I’ve met them, they’re really nice guys.” Asked for comment on the whole flap, Hoylman said, “St. Vincent’s Hospital and the AIDS crisis are inextricably linked in our community. I’m pleased that the Parks Department has chosen a name that honors this shared history.” Bu former Councilmember Carol Greitzer, co-president of the W. 12th St. Block Association, called the park’s combo name “ridiculous.” “Can you imagine putting it all on the sign?” she asked incredulously. “What is it — eight words? It sets a record.” Greitzer said the park should be named for St. Vincent’s and that it isn’t even necessary to refer to the AIDS memorial in the name. “It’s going to be an attractive little building,” she noted. “They can point to that. It will be a visible presence. “When we did a survey on 12th St., people wanted the St. Vincent’s name in there in some way,” she said. “People weren’t opposed to having

the AIDS memorial in there, but they wanted it to be St. Vincent’s Park.” Assemblymember Deborah Glick notably did not sign on to the other politicians’ joint letter to the mayor and Parks commissioner advocating for the park to be named exclusively for the AIDS memorial. Asked her thoughts on Monday, as the park’s name still had not been fi nalized, Glick responded, “I think open dialogue is always a positive thing. I have recently heard from two sides of the community, with differing opinions, and I believe a community meeting or a mediated discussion between these groups is essential before moving forward with any formal naming.” However, on Tuesday, shortly before the combination name was released — after, again, fi rst stressing the need for “open dialogue” — Glick said, “I am happy to hear that the input from both sides is being incorporated into the final name of this park.” She added of the mini-greensward’s popularity, “As you can see on any nice day, the park is enjoyed by residents, tourists and passersby.” Though Johnson previously lobbied the city to label the park solely for the AIDS memorial, last Friday, as things were coming to a riven head, Erik Bottcher, his chief of staff, indicated there had been a shift in Johnson’s position. “Regarding the naming, we’ve been contacted by people on both sides of this issue who are equally passionate about their opinions,” Bottcher said. “Though it’s the Parks commissioner who names the parks, the coun-

cilmember is pushing for a name that honors both worthy causes.” While Glick, at least earlier this week, had called for a community meeting on the issue, for its part, Community Board 2 has punted on the debate, apparently not wanting to wade into the stormy waters. Speaking a week before Parks decided on the name, Tobi Bergman, C.B. 2 chairperson, said neither AIDS Memorial Park nor St. Vincent’s Triangle or Hospital Park sounded that great to him. “None of the proposed names exactly rolls off the tongue. I’ve always wanted to have a park in the Village called Triangle Square,” he quipped. “Seriously, I think this should be worked out respectfully among those to whom it is important, and I am glad Corey Johnson is doing his best to fi nd a solution everyone can support.” The Sisters of Charity of New York opened St. Vincent’s Hospital in 1849 in response to a major epidemic at that time — an outbreak of cholera sweeping the city that killed thousands. New York City’s fi rst Catholic hospital, St. Vincent’s became the flagship of an expansive healthcare system run by the sisters. When St. Vincent’s closed in 2010, it was the city’s last remaining Catholic hospital. In response to The Villager’s query, Elena Miranda, director of communications for the Sisters of Charity, forwarded a letter from Sister Jane Iannucelli, the order’s president, who was away at a meeting in Rome. Iannucelli was also vice chairperson of St. Vincent Catholic Medical Centers. “Since its inception, the [St. Vincent’s Triangle] park was designated to recognize both the AIDS crisis and the contributions of St. Vincent’s Hospital to the people of Greenwich Village and the city of New York,” Iannucelli said, “and rightfully so, as both were absolutely integral to the fabric of the community. “St. Vincent’s Hospital provided much-needed care for all in our beloved city, particularly the poor, from 1849 to 2010. Situated in the epicenter of the AIDS crisis, St. Vincent’s Hospital emerged as a leader in providing compassionate care when the mysterious disease was ravaging our neighbors. It is truly fitting and just that this park should be the site of the New York City AIDS Memorial. But to exclude St. Vincent’s Hospital — for 161 years an iconic institution of care for all in need in the city of New York — would be a great injustice to the community and to the entire city. “As a native New Yorker, I strongly believe that the history of the city of New York is incomplete without recognizing the contributions of St. Vincent’s Hospital,” Iannucelli said. PARK continued on p. 33 TheVillager.com

Pier 40 air rights appraised; ULURP set to start AIR RIGHTS continued from p. 11

“While we have received the air rights appraisal, we have not yet received a list of the outstanding repairs needed at Pier 40 and their associated costs,” the politicians wrote. “As such, it is still unclear if the proposed payment from the developer to the park of $100 million will be sufficient to cover the necessary repairs to the pier. Therefore, we again request a detailed breakdown of necessary repairs to the pier and their associated costs from Hudson River Park Trust. This is essential information that we, and the community, should know prior to reviewing this ULURP application. “We also ask that representatives of the Trust and the appraiser attend a Community Board 2 meeting so that community members can ask specific questions about the project, including the air rights, before the ULURP process begins,” the politicians said. “Additionally, we have not received updates from City Planning on the impact this project would have on school seats, open space, traffic and other items we outline in detail in our testimony. It is imperative that we have this information in order to assess the proposed project. Therefore, we ask that City Planning provide a written response to our questions before May 9. “Pier 40 is an important resource for Lower Manhattan and all of New York City,” the lawmakers stressed. “We must ensure its continued wellbeing for future generations of New Yorkers. A fair valuation of the air rights and a robust public examination of the appraisal are a critical fi rst step in securing Pier 40’s future.”

A rendering of how Pier 40’s facade would have looked under a concept plan presented three years ago by Douglas Durst and Ben Korman. They proposed to retrofit the existing pier shed for office use for tech firms, among others. Local youth leagues opposed the plan. Now a leading youth spor ts advocate is saying the pier should be rezoned to allow office use.

Providing a community perspective, Daniel Miller, a leading local youth advocate, said the air rights sale is a good start, yet more will need to be done to ensure Pier 40’s lasting survival. Miller is a member of the Pier 40 Champions youth sports coalition and also of C.B. 2, on which he is on the Pier 40 / St. John’s Terminal Working Group. “The appraisal of $74 million is not utterly surprising, given the amount of affordable housing units in the development,” Miller said. “And in many respects, it is inconsequential, given the deal to transfer $100 million will not be affected by the appraisal.

WILS: ‘WORKING ON IT’ In response to the concerns about Pier 40 in the politicians’ letter, Trust C.E.O. Wils said, “In addition to our primary focus of repairing the piles, as requested, we are compiling a list of other potential repairs which may be needed in the next five-plus years.” According to Wils, Pier 40’s most pressing need is to repair of its scores of corroded steel piles, which hold the pier up over the river.

‘INPUT APPRECIATED’ As for the pols’ concern about the project’s impact, Joe Marvilli, City Planning’s press officer, responded, “We appreciate the elected officials’ request and we will take into account all comments in our forthcoming public review process.” TheVillager.com

SWINGING FOR THE FENCES “The bottom line for me is to guarantee not only the future of Pier 40, but the park as a whole,” he said. “As advocates for the health of Pier 40 and the open space it provides as athletic fields, the Trust is in desperate need for funds to repair the piles that support the pier. Without this infusion of funds from the St. John’s development, Pier 40 will be condemned. But let’s consider if all goes according to plan. What happens next, after the $100 million in air rights transfer funds is spent fixing underwater piles, but the infrastructure of the above-water pier continues to rot? ” In short, Miller said, what the Trust is doing at Pier 57 in Chelsea could be a model for Pier 40. In other words, the Village pier will need some more

commercial uses beyond its current parking operation, so it can generate additional ongoing revenue to keep the pier afloat into the future.

NEED A LONG-TERM PLAN “We need a plan that will ensure the longevity of the pier for generations to come,” he said. “Pier 57’s success in finding a top-tier tenant in Google should be used as an example of forward-thinking stewardship. The act governing Pier 40 should be revised to include office space, which bears a lower impact than residential or retail.” (Ironically, three years ago when Pier 40 Champions was pitching an idea to build twin luxury high-rise towers beside the pier to raise cash for it, developer Douglas Durst was pushing an opposing plan — namely, to convert the existing two-story Pier 40 shed structure into offices. Desperate youth sports advocates — feeling the towers plan was their best chance to save the pier, and fearing Durst was undermining their efforts — angrily lashed out at him at a public hearing at which the two competing plans were presented.) “Our Downtown youth leagues cannot survive without the fields at Pier 40,” stressed Miller, a past president of the Greenwich Village Little League. “The next request for proposals for Pier 40 should make it clear that the pier’s current ball fields will stay where they are, and not be displaced or interrupted

when the inevitable development on the pier is approved. If anything, the R.F.P. should require an increase in footprint [of the ball fields on the pier] to provide more open space for all the new residents that will reside in the new developments.”

2 R.F.P.’S — 2 STRIKEOUTS Two previous R.F.P. processes by the Trust to find developers for Pier 40 both failed in the face of community opposition; local residents feared high-impact commercial uses would negatively affect both the surrounding community and the pier itself, particularly its Little League and youth soccer programs. The Trust, though, has not said if it plans to issue another Pier 40 R.F.P. On the other hand, some appropriate, low-impact commercial uses could be the pier’s long-term savior, in the opinion of Miller and presumably other youth sports advocates. “From what I understand, no tax dollars are returned to Hudson River Park,” Miller said. “The Trust’s budget relies on private donations and an unreliable stream from local and state sources. Consider all that the park has given back to the city in terms of real estate taxes because new developments [along the waterfront and in neighborhoods near it] would not be as attractive without the park. It’s time our elected officials re-examine how Hudson River AIR RIGHTS continued on p. 33 May 12, 2016



May 12, 2016


Air rights appraisal starts ULURP AIR RIGHTS continued from p. 31

Park is expected to stay afloat. “Hudson River Park is the main outdoor attraction to Downtown West Siders,” Miller said. “It deserves our support. We should not allow our most precious resource — our children’s health and the outdoor activities Pier 40 provides — to be condemned.”

PRESERVER PRESSES CITY Meanwhile, some media outlets are saying that St. John’s Partners is being taken for a ride by the Trust, since it has agreed to pay well above market value for the air rights. However, Andrew Berman, executive director of the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation, said it’s really the community that is set to lose, unless the city takes action. “The appraisal seems designed to indicate that the developer should not have to provide any additional funding, and seems intended to make it seem as though the developer is taking it on the chin with this project and making some great sacrifice,” Berman said. “In fact, the air rights transfer is part of a larger package that will exponentially increase the value of this land by significantly increasing the size of allowable development, and by changing the zoning rules to allow vastly more profitable residential and hotel development, which is currently prohibited here.

AIR RIGHTS VALUE? HUGE! “The methodology for arriving at the ‘value’ of the air rights seems questionable at best,” Berman scoffed. “The air rights are allowing the construction of an additional 200,000 square feet of highly profitable development; the only real question about the value is how much additional money will the developers make as a result? The appraisal seems to avoid answering that question.” The preservationist continued to press the city to landmark the remaining unprotected part of the nearby South Village. “More importantly, the [St. John’s Partners] ULURP is about to be certified and the public approval process about to begin, and yet there has been no movement on the long-called-for landmark or zoning protections for the nearby South Village,” he said, “nor any commitment made to limit any future use of air rights to further increase overdevelopment in the Village. “Amazingly, there has not even yet been the most basic accounting of how many air rights the 2013 state legislation created on Pier 40 or elsewhere in Hudson River Park,” he added. “ T his is yet another example of gover n ment offer ing tremendous w indfalls to deep -pocketed developers,” Ber man charged, “while the needs and desires of local com munities are being ignored.”

Big to-do over small park’s name PARK continued from p. 30

“It is a legacy to be shared and celebrated by all New Yorkers, particularly the Greenwich Village community. St. Vincent’s Hospital Park is also a fitting tribute to all who cared for the people of our great city with kindness and compassion, as well as to those who were served. The original intention to provide a site for the AIDS Memorial and to recognize St. Vincent’s Hospital side by side on these hallowed grounds should most defi nitely be honored.” Told of the new compromis name, Miranda said she spoke by phone about it with Iannucelli. “The proposed name is acceptable to her but we would hope the signage acknowledges both equally,” she said. “We also believe that the Sisters of Charity of New York should be acknowledged in a form other than the medallion. Perhaps this can be accomplished by additional signage in the park or even a garden with signage. I think it is agreed that the medallion is not very visible.” The current park does sport about half a dozen slate medallions embedded in its paving that refer to St. Vincent’s and various emergencies the hospital responded to, from taking in the Titanic’s survivors to the AIDS crisis and the 9/11 terror attack. Rudin Management, which is developing The Greenwich Lane — 199-unit high-end residential condos on the former St. Vincent’s Hospital site — also built the new park, and will additionally construct the AIDS Memorial when the steel trellis arrives from Argentina. John Gilbert, Rudin’s executive vice president, said that in negotiations four years before Rudin closed the deal to buy the hospital campus, it promised to honor the memory of St. Vincent’s. “We made a commitment to the Sisters of Charity 10 years ago in 2006, and we keep our commitments,” he said. “And we always felt the park’s name should have St. Vincent’s in it. The sisters said they want to leave TheVillager.com

a lasting legacy of St. Vincent’s Hospital — and if the hospital doesn’t get built, it’s the park.” St. Vincent’s had planned to build a new hospital tower on its O’Toole Pavilion site, but the scheme fell through not long before the hospital closed under a ton of debt. That site is now occupied by the new Lenox Health Greenwich Village 24/7 emergency department and comprehensive-care center. Rudin gave the O’Toole building free of charge to North Shore-L.I.J. Health System — recently renamed Northwell Health — plus $10 million to help the hospital chain create the stand-alone W. 12th St. Village E.D. Gilbert said the O’Toole property alone was worth about $40 million. Rudin’s cost to build the triangle park, all told, was $10 million, he said, and it will soon be given free of charge to the city. “The park will be conveyed to the city as soon as the AIDS Memorial is fi nished,” Gilbert said. “We’re happy that St. Vincent’s is in the park’s name,” Gilbert said, “and we’re very proud to be involved with the memorial.” He noted that “throughout the public process, the ULURP and on maps, the triangle park was always called St. Vincent’s Triangle Park or St. Vincent’s Hospital Park.” But he admitted that’s not a lock, since ultimately it’s up to the Parks Department to decide on park names. In addition, Rudin gave $1 million to be spread over 10 years to P.S. 41, P.S. 3 and the new P.S. 340 (at W. 16th and Sixth Ave., in the former Foundling Hospital building), for after-school programs, plus $1 million for local tenant legal services. While there might still be some disagreement on the name, one thing everyone seems to concur on is that the little park is a huge success. “I just got off the phone with someone concerned that two trees were taken out of the park,” Gilbert said on Tuesday afternoon. “The trees were dead. We’ll replace them.” May 12, 2016


Dynamic International Airways and Guyana Celebrate 50 Years of Independence and Growth “The airline has given dozens of Guyanese people jobs, and Dynamic’s fares are low enough to allow the Diaspora to come home. “ BY PETER MOSES NEW YORK - Guyana may be a small country north of Brazil in South America, but with the help of Dynamic International Airways and its expanding New York hub at JFK, the country’s footprint on the world stage is destined to grow. Many Americans have heard of Guyana but don’t know much about where it is, what tourists can do there or how easy it is to fly from New York to this English-speaking Garden of Eden. In May of 2016, Dynamic International Airways and the nation of Guyana are taking steps to change that. The airline and Guyana are teaming up to celebrate


May 12, 2016

50 years of independence by this former British territory and a new logo has been affixed to one of Dynamic’s fleet of six Boeing 767 jets. It incorporates the jaguar (national animal of Guyana), the country’s flag and coat of arms and, temporarily, a banner that announces the Jubilee Celebration taking place in New York from June 4-12. “The country is looking up and raising its connection to the world,” said New York State Senator Roxanne Persaud (DCanarsie), who was born in Guyana and moved to the United States with her family in 1983. “This partnership with Dynamic will encourage tourists to come and experience

Guyanese life which includes eco-tourism, waterfalls, beaches, great food and first-class accommodations.” But for the 140,000 Guyanese diaspora who live in the New York City area, Dynamic provides an affordable option to travel back and forth from home with regular service out of JFK. Guyana is home to nearly 750,000 residents, but more than 300,000 citizens live overseas. The largest single group of Guyanese who live outside the country reside in the five boroughs of New York, and Dynamic is the leading air carrier between the two nations. “The partnership between Guyana and Dy-

namic matters to us,” said H.E. George Talbot, United Nations ambassador to the United States. “The airline has given dozens of Guyanese people jobs, and Dynamic’s fares are consistent and low enough to allow the Diaspora to come home. We are so grateful to Dynamic for this opportunity.” For tourists, the charming people and beautiful landscape are Guyana’s chief natural resources. However, the country produces and exports sugar, diamonds, bauxite and shrimp. Guyana’s service industry is growing to meet the needs of tourism and industry. Captain Gerry Gou-

viea, Dynamic’s agent in Guyana, said the airline runs on a 95 percent ontime departure rate and flights average 90 percent capacity. New flights are being added to the JFKGuyana schedule as well as two new aircraft joining the fleet in the coming months. “We started Dynamic with the intent to serve in an underdeveloped niche market,” said Karen Kraus, interim chief operating officer for Dynamic. “With this growth we are experiencing, we want people to know there is a reliable, inexpensive alternative for getting to Guyana and our non-stop flights make it easy on travelers seeking a high level of service.” TheVillager.com

L.E.S. track enthusiast in it for the long run



n any fine day, a visitor to the E. Sixth St. track in East River Park is likely to find a tall, thin 63-year-old man leading a fitness class and talking up the sport of running. Two Saturdays ago, the man, Francis Bishop-Schiro, was almost beside himself about his victory, along with the three other members of his Lower East Side Track Club team, in the 122nd running of the Penn Relays. “It’s the longest and oldest track meet in the country,” Schiro said of the renowned three-day event that took place April 28-30 at Franklin Field in Philadelphia. Schiro’s Lower East Side team in the 60-plus-age group ran the 1,600-meter relay (4-by-400) on Friday night April 29 in 4 minutes 27 seconds. A search of The Villager archives for March 2004 notes that Schiro, with a different 4-by-400 relay team, smashed an indoor world record for the 50-plus age group, running in a Washington Heights meet in 3 minutes 56.77 seconds. The Penn Relays, however, are the pinnacle of U.S. track events. “This track has six lanes,” Schiro said, pointing to the E. Sixth St. oval. “The one in Philadelphia has 10 lanes. As soon as you finish your race, the next event, maybe an Olympic team, replaces you.” The 1,600-meter relay is slightly less than a mile. Schiro’s teammates — Kendrick Smith of the Bronx, Simon Barrett from Great Britain, and Reinhard Michelchen from Germany — are all 63 years old, like he is. “Reinhard is the current European champion for the 200- and 400-meter races in the 60-plus age group,” Schiro noted. How did a resident of London and a resident of Stuttgart get on the Lower East Side Track Club team? “Well, the number of 60-year-old guys who run a quarter of a mile at that level is limited. It’s a very small pool and we all know each other,” Schiro replied, adding, “I met Reinhard about 12 years ago in a track meet in Germany. We were running against each other then and we’ll probably run against each other in the future.” In relays, the runners pass a baton to each other, and the passing can be a crucial point in a race. “Simon led for us and ran a perfect race in a tight field with a lot of elbowing — track can be a conTheVillager.com

tact sport sometimes,” said Schiro. “We all had lots of experience, so we didn’t have any trouble with the handoff. I was second and passed the baton to Kendrick, who passed it to Reinhard, our anchor. It got progressively less crowded as the space between runners opened up. We ran with 50-year-olds in our event and we beat a few of them,” Schiro said. “There were 45,000 people in Franklin Field on Friday night. It was a real thrill. My wife was in the stands,” Schiro said. He and Elizabeth Bishop, a social work supervisor with an agency in the Bronx, were married a year and a half ago. “It was my birthday, too,” said Bishop, who is also a runner. (She finished a New Jersey marathon two years ago and is training to run one in Baltimore in October.) Born and raised in Chatham, N.J., Schiro started track as a youngster. “I could always run faster than anybody else,” he said, noting that he had 17 offers of college track scholarships in high school. “I wasn’t mature enough to take any of them,” said Schiro, who gave up on track soon after high school and embarked on a life that included on-and-off periods of drug dependency. Along the way, he managed to get both arms

Frank Schiro proudly displays his Penn Relays medallion.


BROOKLYN Frank Schiro, right, with t wo members of his 4-by-400 Penn Relays team, Simon Barrett, left, and Reinhard Michelchen.

tattooed from wrists to shoulders. He became drug-free and returned to the track in his 40s. “I was 44 when I entered a 4-by400 relay with the Central Park Track Club team. We came in second,” he recalled. Pointing to the 16-inch wood-andbronze Penn Relays medallion that he was carrying, Schiro said, “This is not really the goal. If medals come, that’s fine, but I don’t need them for validation; I love the sport.” Schiro conducts fitness training for people of all ages and every level of ability. “I have a sliding scale and I’ve never turned anyone away,” he said. “Now I’m trying to get kids interested in joining my Lower East Side Track Club. It’s a sport that can last all your life.”

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Profile for Schneps Media

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