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YOUR WEEKLY COMMUNITY NEWSPAPER SERVING CHELSEA, HUDSON YARDS & HELL’S KITCHEN

Photo by Steve Freihon for Related-Oxford

10 Hudson Yards seen across from the West Side rail yards.

First Tenant Fills Hudson Yards Tower BY YANNIC RACK On paper, Hudson Yards has been touted as an infrastructure marvel and a “city within a city” for years, and now the first piece of the megaproject has at long last come to life. COACH continued on p. 2

The ‘Line’ Forms Here

A long-running play gets a 21st century reboot, as part of 13th Street Repertory Theatre’s new programming initiative. See page 18.

Photo by Carol Rosegg

Matthew Broderick and Billy Carter in “Shining City,” at Irish Rep through July 3.

Back in Chelsea, Irish Rep Makes a Play for Home BY SCOTT STIFFLER Anyone who’s ever introduced a nail to the business end of a hammer will eagerly testify that a clear vision of things to come is no match for the shocking lack of respect construction projects have for deadlines. So it’s more a product of steely resolve than luck that the Irish Repertory Theatre’s W. 22nd St. space is back in business on time, and, for the most part, functioning as planned — but it took a bold public declaration to ensure their line in the sand didn’t

© CHELSEA NOW 2016 | NYC COMMUNITY MEDIA, LLC, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

stray from its original location. “When we put a poster up outside the theatre with the date of May 17 as the fi rst preview, and announced ‘Tickets are now on sale,’ everybody knew the doors had to open,” said Ciarán O’Reilly, Producing Director of the Irish Rep, regarding their return to a vastly improved version of the place they’ve called home since 1994, when the nomadic company put down roots in Chelsea’s 1911-built Stanwick Building. “We thought we would be in more

toward the end of last year than now,” said O’Reilly, who admitted in an early May phone interview that this best-case scenario existed purely “in our dream world. So everybody thinks, as far as construction goes, we’ve ended up in an extraordinary place.” For a man whose stock and trade involves the fi ne calibration of drama to achieve maximum effect, “extraordinary” may actually be an underIRISH continued on p. 5

VOLUME 08, ISSUE 21 | JUNE 02 - 08, 2016


Photo by Yannic Rack

L to R: Todd Kahn, Coach’s Chief Administration Officer, Coach CEO Victor Luis, Senior Director of Facilities Mitchell Feinberg, Jonathan Mechanic, an attorney at Fried Frank, and Louis Minuto, Coach’s Senior Vice President of Global Environments.

In the Bag: Coach Inc. Claims Place as a Hudson Yards Pioneer

Photo by Steve Freihon for Related-Oxford

Photo courtesy EarthCam

A “product library” of ceiling-high shelves filled with handbags, the company’s signature product, fittingly frames the entrance to the Coach offices.

Even without the rest of the neighborhood completed, 10 Hudson Yards already dominates the West Side skyline.

COACH continued from p. 1

Ten Hudson Yards, one of many buildings to rise in the newly created West Side enclave, made its official debut this week with a reception to welcome its first big-name tenant, Coach Inc., to the 52-story office tower at the corner of W. 30th St. and 10th Ave. “This is a great day for me. In 2008 we envisioned what Hudson Yards might be, and to see this first building opening, I gotta tell

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you, it’s a very exciting thing,” said Stephen Ross, founder and chairman of Related Companies, which is developing the project with Oxford Properties. “This is just a preview of what’s to come, but I think you can see the quality of what we’re doing here, and what our vision is.” Ross was surrounded by Coach employees in the building’s second-floor lobby on Tuesday morning, as workers in hard hats could be seen working on the platform that

will carry an entire neighborhood — built atop active train yards — just outside. The tower broke ground in December 2012 and is the first one to open in the new 28-acre neighborhood. Five more skyscrapers, a shopping and restaurant complex, a cultural center and a six-acre public plaza will be added by 2019 alone, when the first phase of the project from W. 30 to W. 34th Sts. and 10th to 11th Aves. is completed.

When fully occupied, 10 Hudson Yards itself will house 7,000 employees. Move-ins from L’Oréal, SAP, The Boston Consulting Group, VaynerMedia, Intersection, Sidewalk Labs and Coach — which only moved a quarter of its 1,200-person staff this week — will continue through the end of the year. For the fashion firm, which is taking almost half of the 1.8 million square-foot tower, the new space COACH continued on p. 15 .com


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Go, Dogs, Go! Enjoy Your New Dog Run!

Photo Essay by Milo Hess

BY LINCOLN ANDERSON Local politicians joined dog owners in “raising the woof” and cutting the ribbon at the newly renovated Leroy St. Dog Run, just north of Pier 40, near W. Houston St., in Hudson River Park. Councilmember Corey Johnson provided the funds for the renovation. Sweeney, an English bulldog, was having a good time, but he wasn’t about to let go of his tennis ball. A Husky kept it cool while grabbing a drink in the fountain. Madelyn Wils, president of the Hudson River Park Trust, brought along her two little dogs, who were a handful, literally.

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Courtesy Irish Rep

Photo by James Higgins

New seats give the space some green cred (not to be confused with the silver LEED rating earned by the new HVAC and electrical systems).

Irish Rep co-founders Charlotte Moore and Ciarán O’Reilly administer a little tough love to the wall of their W. 22nd St. theatre, in 2014.

‘Shining’ is a Fitting First for a Revamped Theatre IRISH continued from p. 1

stated description of the very nearly realized $13 million “Campaign For a Permanent Home” project that began in September 2014 — when Irish Rep co-founders Charlotte Moore and O’Reilly stood at the tip of stage left, gripped their hands around a single sledgehammer, and took the first of many hefty swipes necessary to bring major structural changes and technological improvements to the two floors that their nonprofit arts organization had just gone from renting to owning. Although O’Reilly would spend the next 20 months making frequent visits to the site, it was the last time he’d wield an instrument of destruction in the name of progress. “I wore the hard hat, that was mandatory,” he recalled, “but handling the tools would not have been allowed. There were four different contractors on the job, and it was run by the city,” whose $6 million contribution to the project was administered through the Department of Design and Construction. “There’s an awful lot of moaning about the city,” O’Reilly acknowledged. “But, at the end of the day, we had huge respect for them, working within a system that can be extremely complicated and dense. So you can grind your teeth and say, ‘Why is this or .com

that not happening?,’ but they have a process to go through to make the system work for us. It took thousands of pages of paperwork, just to make things right. It’s taxpayers’ money at work, and has to be accounted for.” Irish Rep’s facade, box office, rehearsal, and administrative spaces underwent changes, ranging from the radical to the cosmetic. All of the major tasks are complete, although O’Reilly was quick to point out that visitors should note, “It’s not 100 percent. There’s a good number of finishes that are still on back order; wood paneling on the walls, special lighting for the pillars. That will happen throughout the summer. In the fall, we’re going to have the opening of the whole institution.” Certain signature f lourishes remain; the lobby’s distinctive stained glass windows, for example. Other features are new, such as the air conditioning system, which divides the building into 14 different zones. The second floor rehearsal studio also underwent major changes; all the better to be occasionally cast in the role of community room and gallery space (through June 24, the newly christened Irish Rep Gallery presents Geraldine O’Sullivan’s “16 Letters” exhibition of collages based on correspondence before, during,

and after the Easter Rising and the First World War). Spacious new bathrooms (both of them unisex, one wheelchair accessible) were added to the second floor, with a similar pair on the ground level inside the Francis J. Greenburger Mainstage — whose expanded height (now 24 feet, from its previous 12) creates, for those familiar with the original facility, the perception of having suddenly entered a grand loft space more likely to be found in an altogether different part of town. “You’re looking at two floors now instead of one, when you’re sitting in the theatre,” O’Reilly noted. To access the new 40-seat balcony, a wall was knocked down, during the addition of a lighted staircase (outfitted with a metallic mesh railing that furthers the aesthetic of openness). In doing so, it was good riddance to a portion of the theatre whose sight lines were a source of contention for audiences, actors, and directors alike. “We were very conscious of what we used to call our ‘jury’ section,” he said, recalling with very little fondness how it “forced us to cater to the audience to our right as well as to our main section in the front, where most of the seats were. In the old space, the couch [the focal point of their current production] would

Courtesy Irish Rep

A staircase takes visitors to the newly installed balcony (in a later phase of its construction, wire mesh further contributes to the theatre’s newfound sense of open space).

have to be much further back. Now, we can bring the actors right into the spotlight and not have to worry about serving a profile audience. There’s a wing section where the ‘jury’ seats used to be, so we have a backstage that allows us to roll on scenery. We also have a beautiful new revolving stage.” Don’t expect to be dazzled by any of the imagery and action that sort of technology can achieve, should you (and you should) attend “Shining City,” the production chosen to launch Irish Rep’s revamped facility. A brooding tale of the emotionalIRISH continued on p. 20 June 02 - 08, 2016

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Spotlight on Small Business

Photos by Yannic Rack

Midtown Lumber Mart has been serving Chelsea’s cut-to-spec needs since opening on W. 25th St. in 1962.

A Midtown Lumber employee labors over a custom order in the workshop just beyond the store’s main showroom.

At Midtown Lumber Mart, Sawdust Memories of Making the Cut BY COLIN MIXSON This family-owned Chelsea institution is the right kind of chop shop! Midtown Lumber Mart, a woodcutting and delivery service, has met the needs of local contractors, residents, and businesses since the ’60s, literally helping to shape the neighborhood

inside and out with cut-to-spec timber and custom-made furniture. “It’s an honest business,� said second-generation owner Michael Kopf of the emphasis on quality of service over volume of sales — a business model that, while managing to keep the doors open for decades, hasn’t

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exactly made him a rich man. But there are other rewards, including a peace of mind that has him sawing logs well into the night. “You work, you do the right thing, you go home, and hopefully there’s another dollar more in your wallet than what you started the day with,� said Kopf, whose father and uncle co-founded the business in 1962, when they purchased the building at 276 W. 25th St. That location was, and remains, eminently appropriate as the headquarters of a bustling lumber business. The property’s history is practically written in wood. Originally a horse stable, the building was retrofitted sometime in the late 19th or early 20th century for use as a warehouse by the massive California-based wood supplier West-Side Lumber Company — these days known among train aficionados for operating the last of the narrow gauge logging railroads of the American West. At its height, the railroad stretched 72 miles from their mill in present day Tuolumne, CA to deep into the vast sugar pine woodlands to the east, in what’s now the Stanislaus National Forest. But, unlike the West-Side Lumber Company, Midtown Lumber’s bread and butter doesn’t lie in turning over vast quantities of California pine. The small Chelsea business instead prides itself on working hard to ensure the customer always comes first, even if it costs them a sale. “If someone comes in saying they need a $120 piece of one-inch plywood cut to size, we’ll ask what they’re mak-

ing, and chances are good they can make do with a $20 piece,� said Kopf. “No one who works here is going to say, ‘This is the amount, here’s what it costs, goodbye.’ We’re going to ask what you’re making, and advise. It’s always about service — honest service — and doing things right.� Kopf himself is a chip off the old block. As a boy, he recalls playing amongst the lumber bins as sawdust flew and buzzsaws whirred. He started working full-time at the shop at 24 years old, following what was hitherto an early life of after-school, parttime woodcutting with his father. And through it all, Kopf and Midtown Lumber have seen Chelsea evolve. During the ’60s and ’70s, the neighborhood was a bohemian refuge, filled with the type of do-it-yourselfers that gravitated to the shop. The bohemians were followed by a wave of shutterbugs that transformed the neighborhood into a short-lived photography district, and the newly settled cameramen contracted Midtown Lumber to shape the wood that would become the backdrops for their latest shoots. Eventually, the photographers got priced out and replaced by a flock of small businesses, often computer shops, who came to the wood supplier for materials to build the cabinets and desks needed to display their latest tech. These days, the area is experiencing a resurgence as a high-end residential neighborhood and a center for commercial enterprise. The customers walking LUMBER continued on p. 12 .com


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POLICE BLOTTER

THE WEST SIDE’S COMMUNITY NEWSPAPER

Publisher

Jennifer Goodstein

Editor Scott Stiffler

Editorial Assistant Sean Egan

Art Director Michael Shirey

Contributors

Lincoln Anderson Stephanie Buhmann Jackson Chen Sean Egan Winnie McCroy Colin Mixson Puma Perl Yannic Rack Paul Schindler Trav S.D. Eileen Stukane

Executive VP of Advertising Amanda Tarley

Account Executives Jack Agliata Lauren Blair Allison Greaker Jim Steele Julio Tumbaco

GRAND LARCENY: Gone in a Flash A 36-year-old woman fell victim to a theft at Flash Factory (229 W. 28th St., btw. Seventh & Eighth Aves.) in the early morning hours of Sun., May 22. She was enjoying her stay at the club (having arrived around midnight), dancing the early morning away, while leaving her bag unattended. It was during that period of time, then, that some quick-thinking thief devised a plot to plumb the depths of her bag, and had the opportunity to make a speedy getaway, before she

THE 10th PRECINCT Located at 230 W. 20th St. (btw. Seventh & Eighth Aves.). Commander: Deputy Inspector Michele Irizarry. Main number: 212-741-8211. Community Affairs: 212-741-8226. Crime Prevention: 212-741-8226. Domestic Violence: 212-741-8216. Youth Officer: 212-741-8211. Auxiliary Coordinator: 212-924-3377. Detective Squad: 212741-8245. The Community Council meets on the last Wed. of the month, 7pm, at the 10th Precinct. They are on hiatus until Sept. 28.

THE 13th PRECINCT

Published by

NYC Community Media, LLC

One Metrotech North, 10th Floor, Brooklyn, NY 11201 Phone: (212) 229-1890 Fax: (212) 229-2790 www.chelseanow.com scott@chelseanow.com © 2016 NYC Community Media, LLC

Located at 230 E. 21st St. (btw. Second & Third Aves.). Deputy Inspector: David Ehrenberg. Call 212-4777411. Community Affairs: 212-4777427. Crime Prevention: 212-4777427. Domestic Violence: 212-4773863. Youth Officer: 212-477-7411. Auxiliary Coordinator: 212-477-4380. Detective Squad: 212-477-7444. The Community Council meets on the third Tues. of the month, 6:30 p.m., at the 13th Precinct. The next meeting is June 21.

returned to her belongings four hours later. The sticky-fingered, light-footed, still-at-large perp got away with both her wallet and iPhone 5.

PETIT LARCENY: Like stealing candy with a baby Hopefully one mother pivoted a Mon., May 23 run in with the law into a so-called teachable moment for her child — perhaps taking the time to espouse the virtue of “do as I say, not as I do.” As a police officer was informed by security at a Rite Aid (282 Eighth Ave., at W. 24th St.) at about 3:30pm, the 31-year-old Brooklyn woman was seen placing a host of items in her purse, and then attempting to take them out of the store — all while her twoyear-old daughter tagged along. The $40 motley assortment of items hidden within the purse included AA Duracell batteries, Häagen-Dazs ice cream, nail polish remover, a Seagram’s malt beverage, and a 15-foot extension cord. For her boo-boo, she was placed in a very adult time-out, as the officer on the scene arrested her.

GRAND LARCENY: The Lift of Pablo A vase missing from ACA Galleries (529 W. 20th St., btw. 10th & 11th Aves.) appears to be the handiwork of someone who so desperately wanted a Picasso in their casa, they turned to a life of crime instead of spendin’ G’s. As the 60-year-old operator of the gallery reported to police on Mon., May 23, he last remembers seeing the $30,000 Pablo Picasso Cruchon Hibou vase on a shelf in the gallery in the beginning of April, and first noticed it missing sometime in early May (though he is unsure of the exact date). Multiple people had access to the gallery, and there were no cameras present at the location — making finding this lost 1955 masterpiece a task worthy of “Don Quixote.”

CRIMINAL POSSESSION OF A CONTROLLED SUBSTANCE: Horse led to jail Sometimes, you have one of those days where you just can’t catch a break. That day was Mon., May 23 for one man, who was spotted by a police officer entering the premises of a parking lot (at the northeast corner of W. 37th St. & Dryer Ave.), which had been clearly marked with “No Trespassing” signs at about 3pm. The man, who did not have permission to be there and no ID on him, was arrested. To further compound problems for the wayward wanderer, during a routine search after his arrest, police found a small glassine envelope (cryptically labeled “Impact” with red ink) on his person. “It’s just a little bit of heroin,” the 56-year-old calmly assuaged the cops, attempting to diffuse the steadily escalating situation. Shockingly, this forthrightness did little to endear the man to authorities, and, in fact, further ensured his stint in jail.

HARASSMENT: Egg on her face It’s a case that will take a genuine hard-boiled detective to crack: At about 7pm on the evening of Mon., May 23, a 20-year-old woman was eating dinner in the courtyard of her residence on the 300 block of W. 16th St. (btw. Eighth & Ninth Aves.). That’s when a rotten assailant decided to strike, employing a weapon of the incredible edible variety — lobbing eggs at the unsuspecting, scrambled outdoor diner. The woman didn’t find the unknown perp’s attack to be anything to yolk about, reporting to police that she felt annoyed and alarmed by the incident — though on the sunny-side, the woman did not sustain any injuries.

—SEAN EGAN

Member of the New York Press Association

CASH FOR GUNS Chelsea Now is published weekly by NYC Community Media

LLC, One Metrotech North, 10th Floor, Brooklyn, NY 11201. (212) 229-1890. Annual subscription by mail in Manhattan and Brooklyn $75. The entire contents of newspaper, including advertising, are copyrighted and no part may be reproduced without the express permission of the publisher - © 2016 NYC Community Media LLC, Postmaster: Send address changes to Chelsea Now, One Metrotech North, 10th Floor, Brooklyn, NY 11201.

PUBLISHER’S LIABILITY FOR ERROR: The Publisher shall

not be liable for slight changes or typographical errors that do not lessen the value of an advertisement. The publisher’s liability for other errors or omissions in connection with an advertisement is strictly limited to publication of the advertisement in any subsequent issue.

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• Maintain windshield wipers. Inspect and, if necessary change windshield wipers regularly to ensure they are working optimally. Always test wipers before driving in rainy weather. • Turn on lights with wipers. Reduced visibility is a major contributor to wet-weather accidents. Drivers’ views may be hampered by falling precipitation and glare from wet roadways. Cloudy conditions and fog also compromise visibility. When using windshield wipers, turn on your headlights as well. This makes your vehicle more visible to other motorists and improves your own ability to see the road and

pedestrians. • Recognize changing road conditions. Roadways accumulate oil and engine fluids that can float in rainwater, creating slippery road surfaces. This is usually a problem during the first few hours of a rainstorm or in areas that receive little precipitation and then are subjected to downpours. These fluids make rain-soaked roads even more slippery. Slow down, leave more room between vehicles and try driving in the tracks left by vehicles ahead. • Reduce speed. The automotive group AAA says hydroplaning, when the tires rise up on a film of water, can occur with as little as 1⁄12 inch of wa-

ter on the road. The group goes on to say that tires have to displace a gallon of water per second to keep the rubber meeting the road. Drivers should reduce their speeds to correspond to the amount of water on the roadway. New tires can still lose some contact with the roadway, even at a speed as low as 35 mph. Therefore, reducing speed and avoiding hard braking and turning sharply can help keep the rubber of the tire meeting the road. • Rely on the defogger. Use the car’s windshield defroster/ defogger to improve visibility. Turn it on early and keep it on until the rain has stopped and visibility has improved.

• Recover from a skid. Skids can be frightening, but when skidding, resist any temptation to slam on the breaks. Instead, continue to look and drive in the direction you want to go and slowly ease up on the accelerator. • Skip the cruise control. It’s important to maintain control over the vehicle in rainy conditions, so avoid using cruise control. • Maintain tires. Proper inflation and tire tread levels can improve traction. AAA recommends checking tread depth by inserting a quarter upside down into the tire groove. If you can see above Washington’s head, start

shopping for new tires. Check tire pressure on all tires at least once a month. Get an accurate reading when tires are cold and adjust air pressure accordingly. • Avoid other distractions. Distracted driving can be hazardous during good road conditions and even more dangerous when visibility and other factors are compromised. Switch phones and other devices off so you can fully focus on the road and other drivers. Rainy weather can contribute to poor driving conditions. Drivers should make changes to speed and other factors to make wet weather driving as safe as possible.

June 02 - 08, 2016

9


Pride

A Virtuoso Performance of Pride

Courtesy Gerald Busby

Gerald Busby at Yale, 1960, the year of his graduation.

BY GERALD BUSBY I came out while a junior at Yale in 1959, when a gay witch hunt brought me face-to-face with the campus police. The practice back then was to “catch” one of us expressing himself orally in a public restroom and then coerce him to reveal his cohorts. Shades of the House Un-American Activities Committee. I was named by one of those captured transgressors, brought to campus police headquarters, and told if I’d say what I did was wrong and name someone else, I wouldn’t be “fired,” Yale’s term for being expelled. I chose with considerable trepidation to say I was, and always had been, homosexual — but to my shame, I named another student I’d been intimate with. I remember calling the police interviewer’s attention to other behavior in the men’s room I thought was far worse than men diddling each other — men sitting on toilets meticulously chiseling glory holes with pocket knives through the marble partitions that separated the stalls. Some holes were decorated peripherally with rococo flourishes of colored felt tip pens. I worked part-time for the university’s maintenance department — Operating Services it was called — that, without comment except for those of us who were gay, treated this vandalism as routine. They replaced the marble partitions just as they reupholstered leather chairs that were worn thin or had cigarette burns. My case was referred for final judgment to the Master of Branford College where I lived. We called him Old Iron Jaw. “One bad apple spoils the barrel” was his argument, but then he acknowledged, “Times are changing. If you’ll agree that you’re abnormal and see a psychiatrist, we’ll let you off.” I agreed, traumatized but grateful to avoid further humiliation.

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Years later Old Iron Jaw’s son contacted me for a tribute to his recently deceased father. I was surprised to hear myself saying his father had supported my coming out at Yale by not firing me. It was true, though inadvertent. I also told him that most of my gay friends at Yale had judged me harshly for admitting I was gay and not playing the game by the accepted rule — you could do almost anything you wanted, and look any way you liked if you never called it by its real name. My straight professors and one gay piano instructor in the music school supported me. Most sympathetic was Nathaniel Lawrence, my philosophy of religion teacher. He’d been a protégé of Alfred North Whitehead at Harvard. Whitehead and Bertrand Russell were the authors of “Principia Mathematica,” an epic tome on the foundations of mathematics. Professor Lawrence was compassionate and understanding. Just two weeks before I had told him about bringing a hustler to my college room. When the hustler turned violent I called the campus police, but I didn’t press charges when he was taken into custody. He was only 19, it was his first offense, and I didn’t want him to have a criminal record. I’m sure I was thinking of myself in his position. The next two years of psychotherapy with Dr. Arnstein were totally about admitting the error of my ways and changing my habits to align with acceptable behavior. I kept thinking, “This is Yale and it’s a misdemeanor to be gay.” In East Texas back then, it was a felony. Homosexuality was officially a neurosis in the world of medical definitions, and I remember Dr. Arnstein saying to me, “Does it really make you happy to make love to another man?” This was the nicest way he could say what he really meant: “Do really like to suck cock knowing that it’s abnormal?” “Yes,” I answered. “It can make me very happy.” I really didn’t think that I was making love with other men, though I sometimes had desperate crushes on them. My virtuoso piano performances at Yale distracted me from such compelling urges, very much as they had when I was a teenager and played eight services a week in the First Baptist Church in Tyler, Texas. I wasn’t proud of my sexual identity, but I was proud of the ways I could create to connect with other men secretly, sometimes seducing them through my musical talent. This was my modus operandi at 16, when I toured the south one summer with a Mexican Southern Baptist evangelist named Angel Martinez. I was the gospel piano player, and I ran the length of the keyboard with scales, arpeggios, and octaves that glorified the Lord. Angel himself was handsome and charming. He could quote from memory lengthy passages from the Bible while members of the congregation, mostly poor white people, marveled “how smart that Mexican is.” He was married to a woman who looked like Jayne Mansfield. Angel never came

on to me, but the young doctor I was staying with in Sylacauga, Alabama kissed me passionately one night in bed. His name was Henry, and he tasted like tobacco. The Angel Martinez Gospel Team was hired for a two-week “Crusade for Christ” in a football stadium. Besides saving souls, we had to raise money to keep going. My career at Yale as a pianist thrived. I accompanied the University Glee Club conducted by Fenno Heath, and I was featured in their programs playing Bartok’s “Suite Opus 14” or Chopin’s “Scherzo in C-sharp minor.” I also liked to sneak into practice rooms in the basement of Woolsey Hall and blast sustained sounds from the Holtkamp pipe organ. I wasn’t supposed to be there since I was a piano major. One morning the curator of organs, Mr. Thompson-Allen, stuck his head in the door and asked, “Is that Messiaen you’re playing?” “No,” I answered, “I’m just improvising.” With no expression on his face he responded, “In that case you’ll have to leave.” I realize now that my identity as a gay man at Yale was really determined by others, my audiences, as it were, for sexual and musical performances. I remember no pride other than knowing for sure I existed if I had sex with another man. It didn’t matter how difficult or humiliating it might be, very much as an abused woman knows who she is because her lover beats her — abuse as a mode of existence. My gay life consisted of the challenge and tyranny of constantly pursuing pleasure. I was proud of my conquests at the piano and with other men. Nothing resembling gay pride had dawned on me. When I graduated from Yale in 1960, I came to New York and got a job typing in an advertising agency like the one in “Mad Men.” The CEO was the most erudite gay man I ever met. He was German, elegant, and conspicuously successful marketing a diet drink called Metrecal. He owned the building that housed his agency on 51st Street between Madison and Park. He had Picasso ceramics on his desk; Paul Klee drawings and Matisse paintings hung on the walls in his office. He hired handsome young men as account executives, and I occasionally lunched with them at Reidy’s or the Yale Club. I was proud not necessarily to be gay, but to be included in this group of mostly straight men. I had just begun my journey as a homosexual in New York with a degree in music and philosophy from Yale. I could type faster than anyone else in the typing pool. Gerald Busby is a longtime resident of the Chelsea Hotel and protégé of Virgil Thomson. He is best known for his film score for Robert Altman’s “3 Women” and his dance score for Paul Taylor’s “Runes.” With Craig Lucas, Busby is currently writing an opera based on “3 Women.” Busby’s life at the Chelsea Hotel is the topic of “The Man on the Fifth Floor,” a documentary film currently in production. .com


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Photos by Yannic Rack

Owner Michael Kopf and his staff put the customer first — even before a sale. “It’s always about service,” he said, “honest service — and doing things right.” LUMBER continued from p. 6

past the roll-up gate that serves as Midtown Lumber’s main entrance are more often than not contractors seeking cut wood at the bidding of their well-todo clients, according to Kopf. “We have a lot of contractors coming in,” he said. “It’s not easy to build your own cabinets.” And, along with the neighborhood it serves, Midtown Lumber has evolved in stride. In 2013, Kopf set up The Splinter Factory, a workshop nestled inside a Pennsylvania barn, where craftsman labor over custom-built furniture, largely for a New York City clientele. In addition to the homes of local renters, their work has graced the galleries of the neighborhood’s many art sellers, in addition to some custom pieces for the Museum of Modern Art. And they’ve done some weird stuff too, like cutting an over-sized wooden sword for what Midtown Lumber employee David Leto described as “role playing of sorts. Japanime or something.” Throughout its more than half-century in business, things haven’t always been easy, and Kopf admits the business has seen its share of “ups and downs.” In addition to cutting wood to spec, Midtown Lumber has a fullon delivery service, which is as much a delight to the city’s Parking

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June 02 - 08, 2016

Michael Kopf carries on the family business started by his father in 1962, providing cut-to-spec lumber and quality service for locals.

Violations Bureau as the business’s clientele. In between deliveries, the business sometimes parks its vans close by on W. 25th St., inviting passing meter maids to start flashing neon orange citations. “One of the most frustrating things are the parking tickets,” said Kopf. And Kopf readily admits he doesn’t always get along great with his neighbors, who take umbrage at the odd scrap of construction material that sometimes is left to linger outside his shop. “We have neighbors who have nothing better to do than complain about ridiculous things,” he said. “We try to be responsible, because of where we are, and we were here before anybody else anyway.” Despite whatever hardships face the small lumber supplier, chances are good that their service-based niche will keep locals heading in their direction — not Home Depot’s — for decades to come. “Anyone can sell a basic piece of sheetrock,” said Kopf. “Here, we pride ourselves on doing custom cutting to the size exactly, and helping local people.” Midtown Lumber Mart is located at 276 W. 25th St. (btw. Seventh & Eighth Aves.). Hours: Mon.–Fri., 8am–4:30pm and Sat., 9:30am–2pm. Call 212-675-2230 or visit midtownlumbermart.com. Also visit thesplinterfactory.com.

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Sometimes patrons appear before Midtown Lumber craftsmen with unusual requests, such as this anime-inspired sword cut. .com


Great News for the Downtown Community!

Mount Sinai Announces $500 Million Investment to Create “Mount Sinai Downtown” Network New Mount Sinai Downtown Beth Israel Hospital on 14 th St. with inpatient beds & brand New Emergency Department Expanded & Upgraded Outpatient Services Convenient to Home & Work NEW YORK (May 25, 2016) – The Mount Sinai Health System today announced a plan for the sweeping transformation of Mount Sinai Beth Israel Hospital, by investing over $500 million to create the new “Mount Sinai Downtown,” an expanded and unified network of state-of-the-art facilities stretching from the East River to the Hudson River below 34th Street. The Mount Sinai Downtown network will include a new Mount Sinai Downtown Beth Israel Hospital on 14th Street with inpatient beds plus a brand new state-of-the-art Emergency Department. The new ED will have observation beds and will be equipped to treat patients with heart attacks and strokes. An expanded and upgraded network of outpatient services, including expanded behavioral and mental health services, and physician practices will also be part of the Downtown network. Mount Sinai Beth Israel’s Emergency Department will remain open until the new ED is up and running.

The current Mount Sinai Beth Israel Hospital will remain open during this transformation and all services will be available throughout the Mount Sinai Health System. Patients will be able to continue to see the doctors they know and trust.

For additional updates and information, please visit our website: www.mountsinai.org/downtown

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R B E N BA KE TE M S Y S D N U HONE Y SO ORES H W N O T H OX SK Y N I K C A J AL A IN

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COACH continued from p. 2

is within familiar territory — the company has been headquartered just four blocks north on W. 34th St. for decades, and a nearby portion of the High Line is still known as the Coach Passageway. “I couldn’t be prouder of the result [of this partnership] and what it means for us,” said the company’s CEO, Victor Luis. “We have been in this neighborhood for north of 50 years, and as we celebrate this year our 75th anniversary,” he added, “we’re providing our team with a fresh start in a new home — which is very open, airy, and has the most amazing views!” Once it is completed in 2025, adding three more blocks stretching all the way to the West Side Highway, more than 125,000 people a day will work in, visit or call Hudson Yards their home, according to Related. The development will then span more than 100 shops and restaurants, including New York City’s first Neiman Marcus department store, approximately 4,000 residences, 14 acres of public open space, a new 750-seat public school and a 200room luxury hotel. An independent study commissioned by the developers recently found that the micro-neighborhood would contribute nearly $500 million in New York City taxes every year and generate more than 55,000 jobs on the West Side. “It’s really the beginning of another city within a city,” said Luis. “We’re excited to be at the center of culture, with all that’s coming next door to us with the Culture Shed; at the center of commerce, with all our partners who will be in this and the future buildings; and to be a part of this wonderful residential community that is very fast coming up around us.” With the project’s first phase, the Eastern Yard, scheduled to fully open in three years, sales for the residences at 15 Hudson Yards and 35 Hudson Yards will launch later this year, according to Related. Another office building, 55 Hudson Yards, future home to law firms Milbank, Tweed, Hadley

Photo by Yannic Rack

In the base of the building’s 15-story atrium, the workers could pick up a “Field Guide” to get familiar with the neighborhood — even though Coach itself has been based in the area for 50-plus years.

Photo courtesy Related-Oxford

Photo by Yannic Rack

The public plaza that will be the centerpiece of the neighborhood once it opens in 2018, seen together with the new 7 subway stop.

Inside the main entrance lobby of 10 Hudson Yards, which will welcome more tenants later this summer.

& McCloy LLP and Boies, Schiller & Flexner, will open in 2018, together with the retail center and 6-acre public plaza. The final building to come online, in 2019, will be 30 Hudson Yards, another commercial office tower that is set to house such big-name tenants as Wells Fargo Securities, TimeWarner, HBO and CNN. Ross emphasized how much companies like Coach, with their commitment to rent space in

buildings only realized on paper, contribute to the project. “Having the vision to want to develop something and coming here to make something happen,” he said, “I really have to thank Coach for the vision they had in wanting to stay here, and buying into our idea of what the next great neighborhood in the city of New York will become.”

Photo by Yannic Rack

Photo by Yannic Rack

Other companies already signed on to fill space at 10 Hudson Yards include L’Oreal, SAP, VaynerMedia, Intersection and The Boston Consulting Group.

L to R: Stephen Ross, founder and chairman of Related, chats with Hector Figueroa, president of 32BJ Service Employees International Union.

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Fleet Week Lands in The Battery

Photo Essay by Milo Hess

On Saturday, May 28, outside Castle Clinton in The Battery, Marines and Navy officers showed how they do it, from tying a regulation neckerchief, to pull-ups, to hand-to-hand combat. Vehicles and weapons were also on display.

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Diversity Initiative Rejuvenates 13th Street Rep New cast keeps long-running ‘Line’ relevant

Photo by Sean Egan

An injection of new talent, on stage and behind the scenes, is giving one of Downtown’s anchor theatres a few new pillars.

Courtesy Women of Color Productions

“Black Panther Women” plays at 13th Street Rep through Aug. 7.

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BY TRAV S.D. How comforting it is to know that in this too-too transient city, where beloved institutions bite the dust daily, there are some that still endure. A case in point is the 13th Street Repertory Theatre, an anchor in New York’s Downtown theatre scene since 1972. Two pillars of the company are New York institutions in their own right. Founder and Artistic Director Edith O’Hara turned 100 years old this year, and continues to serve the company in an emeritus capacity — and the company’s landmark production of Israel Horovitz’s “Line” has been open for an astounding 42 years (surpassing the original run of “The Fantasticks,” which lasted from 1960 through 2002).

But like relationships and sharks (to misappropriate a Woody Allen line), a theatre must keep moving or it will die. And this company is very much alive and kicking. To find out their secret, we spoke with 13th Street’s public relations representative, Jay Michaels. “Phase two for 13th Street began in 2014 when Susan Merson came on board as Managing Artistic Director, and she began the resurgence and rejuvenation the company is now experiencing. She brought in lots of new companies into the space. While she remains very much involved with the board and staff of 13th Street, last month she was succeeded by our current Artistic Director, Joe Battista.” Battista, whom Michaels describes as a “journeyman theatre artist with a lot of experience,” is a graduate of The American Academy of Dramatic Arts, who has been on the staff of 13th Street for many years. One of Battista’s first official acts in his new position was to revisit one of 13th Street’s primary programming staples — the four decade-plus production of Israel Horowitz’s “Line.” To lead the effort, he hired Jacqueline Wade, founder and executive producer of Women of Color Productions (wocproductions. com), to recast and direct a rebooted version of the absurdist classic about a group of strangers jostling for first place in a line for some unspecified event. The now-predominantly African American, multiracial cast is designed to “reflect the diversity” of contemporary New York and has been tweaked to include such facts of 21st century reality as the smartphone and earbuds. The resulting production’s success prompted Battista to throw the theatre’s support behind an entire series of works created by, and about, African Americans. According to Michaels, “Joe liked ‘Line’ so much, and Jacqueline had all these wonderful ideas about how to push the envelope and make a statement. So he asked her, ‘What else you got?’ ” REP continued on p. 19 .com


Courtesy 13th Street Repertory Theatre

Courtesy Women of Color Productions

L to R: Jenny O’Hara, Edith O’Hara, Carol Schaefer, Joe Battista and Arturo Toulinov.

The current version of 13th Street Rep’s long-running “Line” acknowledges 21st century realities, such as smartphones and earbuds.

REP continued from p. 18

The next show out of the pipeline was “Black Panther Women,” an original ensemble piece written and directed by Wade. This historical drama features an all-female, all-African American cast of a dozen, who tell the story of the rise and fall of the controversial Black Panther Party (1966-1982) from the point of view of its female members. The two-act docu-play focuses especially on key players in the party’s evolution, like Elaine Brown, writer,

singer and Black Panther Party Chair from 1974 to 1977; and Afeni Shakur, mother of hip-hop artist Tupac Shakur. The cast also portray male characters in the history, such as Huey P. Newton, Bobby Seale, and J. Edgar Hoover. Audiences have been flocking to the groundbreaking drama. According to Michaels, houses have been selling out. “Black Panther Women” is slated to play through August 7. Also part of 13th Street’s diversity initiative is “Yaki Yim Bamboo,” a family musical set on an imaginary

Caribbean island, which plays through June 12. And, coming in July, Michaels is directing his own one-man steampunk production of Shakespeare’s “Hamlet,” starring Matt de Rogatis. The company’s revitalization has been so effective that it has attracted independent work by outside producers, such as “The Over Share Cabaret: Sex, Love and Show Tunes,” a regular variety show presented in the 65-seat space by performer Mel DeLancey, who calls it a “fun place to work” that allows her “more ownership of the perfor-

mance space than you would have in a typical cabaret venue.” She first rented the space back in February and according to DeLancey, “The managers liked my energy and wanted a more youthful presence in the space.” From a theatre company that’s approaching the half-century mark that’s a healthy sign. The 13th St. Repertory Theatre is located at 50 W. 13th St. (btw. Fifth & Sixth Aves). For info, visit 13thstreetrep. org or call 212-675-6677.

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IRISH continued from p. 5

ly bruised and physically displaced, “City” manages to pack a wallop without deploying any of the flashy tech upgrades. “They’re permanent installations, to be used when a play requires five, six, seven scenes,” O’Reilly notes, of the tracking and revolving options. “I don’t think Charlotte and I would pick a season based on showing off those things,” he asserts, while politely declining to tip his hat regarding a summertime announcement that will list the choices for their next season. “It has to be the right thing to do,” he says of their new toys, “but it’s good to know that when the time comes, we can pull it off.” O’Reilly did, however, happily confirm that despite significant changes to the Mainstage space, Irish Rep’s good working relationship with sound waves remained intact. “We were living in dread of it,” O’Reilly said, recalling their maiden voyage with a full house. “It had somewhat perfect acoustics before. You really could whisper on the stage and be heard in the back row. And we were afraid, with double the ceiling height, we were going to lose that, which seems to not be the case. Sound travels well. The actors need to look up a little bit more to acknowledge the presence of the balcony, but it’s just a slight adjustment of the head, really.” More significant adjustments were required, however, when keeping every element of production in-house was no longer an option. Irish Rep’s W. 22nd St. base, O’Reilly notes, “had become a pretty well-oiled machine” before the walls came tumbling down. “We have really missed that feeling of going to one place where rehearsals happen,

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and where our offices are,” he said, noting that his schedule on any given day during the past year-and-a-half might involve an early morning visit to check on progress at the Chelsea theatre, office work in Midtown (on Park Ave., in the same building as the Irish Consulate), rehearsals at A.R.T./New York (Eighth Ave. & W. 36th St.), and then off to Union Square’s DR2 Theatre, where much of the past two seasons took place. It’s something more than coincidence, then, that “Shining City” speaks to the universal longing for a place to call one’s own, and functions as a reunion on more than one level. This is the first NYC revival of “Shining City” since its 2006 Broadway run — and it marks yet another Irish Rep presentation of Conor McPherson’s work, following “Port Authority” and “The Weir” during their time at DR2 (both polished and highly enjoyable productions, and similarly wrenching as “City” in their raw portrayal of those who yearn for roots while coping with loss). O’Reilly, who directs “City,” expressed gratitude and pride for the theatre’s “terrific rapport with Conor, whom we think is one of Ireland’s top living playwrights.” This work, he notes, “is almost all about dislocation. All of the characters are out of their homes, and trying to find a home within themselves. It’s a quite seemingly simple play — one set, four actors; and at this time, with so much else going on, it seemed to have the right feel for us coming back.” Having old friend Matthew Broderick on board is another coup for O’Reilly, who notes, “I just sent him the script, not really thinking he was going to say ‘yes.’ But it was such a good script for him; quite different. It allows him to bury deep

Courtesy Irish Rep

The Francis J. Greenburger Mainstage space, after its ceiling height was raised to accommodate a new balcony.

Photo by Carol Rosegg

Billy Carter as novice counselor Ian and Lisa Dwan as his estranged girlfriend Neasa in “Shining City.”

into something. He’s better known for musicals and comedy, which he has a huge flair for — but this was a different attack.” Stopping short of a review (“Shining City” is embargoed for such scrutiny until its official premiere), this publication can happily confirm that even in previews, Broderick’s performance as a guilt-ridden man — driven to seek counseling after a jarring encounter (real or imagined?) with his deceased wife — hits home, especially when confronting the sequence of events that led him to lose control, then lose his bearings. It’s a facet of the human condition that’s utterly appropriate, O’Reilly notes, for Irish Rep’s return to form after being “suddenly scattered to the wind. We were so used to steering

our own ship, so we really missed the neighborhood. We never got over that.” “Shining City” is currently in previews (then, running June 9–July 3). At the Irish Repertory Theatre (132 W. 22nd St., btw. Sixth & Seventh Aves.). Irish Rep’s 2016 Gala Benefit (“Finian’s Rainbow: In Concert”) happens Mon., June 13, 7pm, at The Town Hall (123 W. 43rd St.). The performance (hosted by Saoirse Ronan, with Tony Award winner Jim Norton in the title role) will be followed by dinner at Bryant Park Grill (25 W. 40th St.). For reservations to the Gala (single tickets start at $100; premium seating/ dinner packages start at $500) or tickets to “Shining City” ($70), call 212-727-2737 or visit irishrep.org. .com


THE QUESTION:

Who is the new voice in morning radio that everyone is talking about?

THE ANSWER:

-2(3,6&232

PHOTO BY DANNY SANCHEZ

• He’s Funny • He’s Smart • He’s Informative – and a great way to start your day!

MORNINGS: 6-9AM

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Rhymes With Crazy

Summer Listing, Had Me a Blast •Q  uit thinking about things you didn’t do in the middle of “to-do” list! •T  o do: Get son’s health form.

BY LENORE SKENAZY It’s, like, so much fun getting ready for the summer. Here’s my to-do list: •  Get new bathing suit. • Come on. Who am I kidding? Get out old bathing suit. Ignore the fact it predates the Bush era. • The W. Bush era, that is. It’s not like I never get a new bathing suit. •   It would just be nice if someday they invented an elastic that stayed elastic instead of getting crunchy after a decade or two.  • Also, if someone made bathing suits that don’t go out of style every two (in glacial terms) seconds. • Quit obsessing about age of bathing suit! • Quit obsessing about age! “Only as old as you feel.” • Or is it “Only as young as you feel?” • Positive affirmation: I feel younger than springtime! • Of course, springtime has been with us for a while. Ever since the Earth started spinning on its axis, right? Or at least since the evolution of plants? I do, for sure, feel younger than that.

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•  Just not in my bathing suit. • Anyway: Buy sunscreen! •   Choose: White glop no one in the family ever will use because it’s like slathering on blue cheese dressing and pretending that that’s a normal way to walk around? The Buffalo wing look? • Or the clear spray-on stuff that costs more per ounce than Chanel No. 5?

•A  lso to do: Stay on hold for 45 minutes waiting for pediatrician’s office to remember you are alive, on the phone, and had cheerfully responded, “Sure!” to “Can you please hold?” — hoping that your chipper sympathy for their “crazy day!” would get you better service. So much for that. You want a crazy day? Try calling the doctor and, after the first 10 minutes on hold, realizing you really have to go to the bathroom. •Q  uit drifting off topic! Summer! Coming! Soon! Start exercising! •S  tart exercising God-given right to enjoy life without jogging, stretching, crunching. •  If I want crunch, I’ve got the elastic in my bathing suit. •G  et ready for guests: paper plates, napkins, tablecloths.

• Buy both. Mere presence of gloppy white stuff in medicine cabinet will protect family from skin cancer by appeasing angry Coppertone god. Can stay there for years. In fact, it has.

•F  eel guilty about using too much paper.

• Ignore whole article glimpsed yesterday that said a responsible family would go through a whole bottle of sunscreen in a day at the beach, reapplying after each swim.

•   Make guest list for festive (if small) barbecue and swim party!

•  Feel guilty about not inviting people about to not be invited (but at least you’ll be using less paper).

•S  WIM? • I n what?

• I suppose this is the same family that cleans the coils behind its refrigerator on a monthly basis, as the manufacturer suggests, to “boost cooling efficiency.” As if it is so easy to move a fridge every month. • Or ever. •  Which could explain our electricity bills.

• To do: Buy bathing suit. •O  r not. Happy summer! Lenore Skenazy is a keynote speaker who authored the book, and founded the blog, Free-Range Kids (freerangekids.com).

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Chelsea Now  

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