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June 30 - July 13, 2016 | ManhattanExpressNews.nyc


Taking Protest Right to Trump's Front Door Page 04

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June 30 - July 13, 2016 | ManhattanExpressNews.nyc


CB7 Embraces Concept of Riverside Master Plan, But Not Yet Its Details BY JACKSON CHEN

C

ommunity Board 7’s Parks Committee has expressed support in concept for the Department of Parks and Recreation’s master plan for the fourmile long Riverside Park. However, the committee made clear it was not approving or voting on any specific projects included in the 166-page plan, including the separation of bicyclists and pedestrians, until the projects themselves come in front of the committee individually in the future. The master plan, developed by Parks Department’s principal urban designer, Charles McKinney, would detail future improvements for the park that stretches from West 72nd to 158th Streets and overlooks the Hudson River. “It has its flaws and that’s what we’re going to work on,” McKinney said of the park’s current status. “The reason we do a master plan is because we get money from

elected officials every year and we need to know what to ask for.” According to McKinney, the primary goals of the master plan were cultivated from community concerns, and much of the feedback received mentioned the desirability of a separate bike path. The Parks Department designer said the bicycle route has become very popular and there are often conflicts with pedestrians and sometimes with their children or pets. The conceptual master plan also roughly details several major projects, including the restoration of the West 79th Street Rotunda and the Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Monument on West 89th Street, a reconstruction of Cherry Walk — a stretch of the park filled with cherry trees from West 100th to 125th Streets — and most prominently, the separation of cyclists and pedestrians with a new wooded and hilly bike path. While the board was reserved in speaking about specific proj-

JACKSON CHEN

A portion of the riverfront pathway shared by bicyclists and pedestrians near the 79th Street Rotunda in Riverside Park.

ects, the path separation with the current walkway becoming solely a pedestrian path and a new bicycle path being created more inland was on many committee members’ minds. According to committee member Ken Coughlin, the conflicts between cyclists and pedestrians happen most frequently during peak use times, like in the summer or on weekends.

Parks Department, Skaters Come to Agreement on Redesign at Riverside Park

NYC DEPARTMENT OF PARKS & RECREATION

“It seems like an every time solution for a sometimes problem,” Coughlin said. “I think it’s better served as an alternative path during peak hours when it’s necessary.” Coughlin added that cyclists generally prefer taking a more flat, straight route, like the one currently provided. Despite the

c RIVERSIDE, continued on p.14 BY JACKSON CHEN

S

kateboarders and the Department of Parks and Recreation have come to a compromise on the redesign of the skaters’ cherished Riverside Skate Park. The skate park was designed in 1996 as one of the city’s first by Andy Kessler, a prominent figure in New York City skateboarding who paved the way for the sport’s growth locally. Bucking the trend of street plaza skate parks, where skaters grind, slide, and jump down various obstacles, Riverside Skate Park has remained one of the few options for vert skating, where skateboarders fly in and out of bowls, pools, or half pipes. When the Parks Department’s redesign was presented early on, the skating community largely gave it a thumbs-down because of its departure from the park’s existing design. The proposal lacked the transitional and vert elements that skaters flocked to Riverside Skate Park for in the first place. After the initial design was released, skaters

The Parks Department’s new redesign plans for Riverside Skate Park emphasizes a single bowl that ranges in depth from six feet to 11 feet.

c SKATEBOARDING, continued on p.16 ManhattanExpressNews.nyc | June30 - July 13, 2016

3


Taking Protest Right to Trump's Front Door

DONNA ACETO

Protesters in front of Trump Tower on June 21.

BY DUNCAN OSBORNE

C

hanting “Racist, sexist, anti-gay, Donald Trump go away” and “Silence equals death, fuck the NRA” some 200 people joined a protest held at Trump Tower to counter the rhetoric that the presumptive Republican nominee for president has used to attack Muslims, Mexicans, and other groups. “We’re tired of the bigotry and hatred and murder,” said Andrew Velez, a member of ACT UP NY, the AIDS activist group, during the June 21 protest. “After the massacre in Orlando, he said, ‘Well, if there had been more guns that might not have happened.’ He’s a fool who needs to be put out to pasture.” Carrying a long rainbow banner that was designed by Gilbert Baker, the creator of the Rainbow Flag, that read “Republican Hate Kills,” the crowd spent an hour chanting and listening to speeches. Passersby, who had to squeeze through the narrow space left between the front of Trump Tower on Fifth Avenue at 57th Street and the protestors, sometimes joined in the chants. One or two made insulting comments about the protestors and were quickly confronted with cries of “Shame, shame, shame.” The protest was organized by ACT UP NY and a coalition of Muslim, Latino, and LGBT organizations. Four counter-protestors showed up with signs reading “Build the wall” and “Deport illegal aliens.” When one counter -protestor chanted “Build the wall,” members of ACT UP responded with “Around Trump.”

4

Trump has offended large swathes of the American public with his pronouncements that Mexico was sending rapists and drug dealers across the border into the US. Trump’s promise to deport the estimated 11 million undocumented people in the US was met with derision by some of the Republicans who were vying for the nomination because it simply

cannot be done. His declaration that he would ban Muslims from entering the US has provoked similar responses. “My family can no longer be attacked,” said Patty Rosado, who was among the organizers of a boycott of Fire Island businesses owned by Ian Reisner, a gay real estate developer who donated to Senator Ted Cruz, a Texas Republican, and Senator Ron Johnson, a Wisconsin Republican, both of whom have anti-LGBT records. “It has to stop. I am so angry, I am so angry with him.” Trump’s response to the June 12 killings of 49 people in an Orlando, Florida, LGBT nightclub was widely criticized because the candidate seized on the deaths to claim that he was correct about the threat of “radical Islamic terrorism” and that people “are congratulating me for being right.” The gunman may have been a jihadi or he may have been mentally ill. The FBI, which is investigating the killings, will likely not reach a conclusion, if it ever does, for months or longer. The Trump Tower protest was one of two targeting the celebrity on a day when he met with roughly 900 Evangelicals to discuss his candidacy and what a Trump presidency would look like. That meeting was held at the New York Marriott Marquis. GetEQUAL, a grassroots LGBT group, picketed there and disrupted a press conference the Evangelicals held following their meeting with Trump.

c

FRONT DOOR, continued on p.14

DONNA ACETO

Protesters lay down in front of Trump Tower.

June 30 - July 13, 2016 | ManhattanExpressNews.nyc


The 17th Midtown International Theatre Festival presents

DONNA ACETO

Gays Against Guns march behind a banner created by Gilbert Baker, designer of the Rainbow Flag.

Gun Violence Key Issue in Sunday’s Pride March BY DUNCAN OSBORNE

T

he killings of 49 LGBT people in an Orlando, Florida nightclub were a pronounced presence in New York City’s Pride Parade as a newly formed group of nearly 1,000 marched down Fifth Avenue to chants of “Trans, straight, bi, gay, gagging on the NRA” and “Fuck the NRA.” “The energy was terrific, we’re just getting started,” said Cathy Marino-Thomas, who was among the organizers who wrangled the group, Gays Against Guns, down the avenue behind a banner bearing the group’s name. The banner was designed by Gilbert Baker, the creator of the Rainbow Flag. The group, the GAG in some of its chants, signs, and T-shirts, was formed by Kevin Hertzog and Brian Worth following the June 12 killings. The gunman struck on Latino night at the club and the dead and wounded were overwhelmingly Latino and African-American. Hertzog and Worth organized the contingent in two recent town hall meetings. They were assisted by clothing designer Mari Gustafson, who held a silk screen party the day before the June 26 march and produced T -shirts reading “NRA: Prepare to be gagged,” “Gays Against Guns,” and “Your toler ance is killing us.” A second group immediately behind the first part of the contingent marched behind a banner, also designed by Baker, that read “Republican Hate Kills.” The group chanted loudly as it marched, and the crowds on Fifth

Avenue frequently joined the “Fuck the NRA” chant as GAG marched. At multiple points along the avenue, members staged die-ins and chanted “How many more have to die?” as they fell to the asphalt. Performance artist Tigger-James Ferguson organized 49 people who were dressed entirely in white and veiled and carried posters bearing the pictures, names, and ages of the 49 people killed. Those 49 people marched silently and did not participate in the chants and die-ins so they formed a sorrowful, almost ghostly presence that was powerful and respectful of those who died and contrasted with the political message of the first two groups. Several hundred groups marched in this year’s parade and hundreds of thousands lined the streets along the parade route. Hillary Clinton, the presumptive Democratic nominee for president, marched as did Governor Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio. GAG was able to enter the parade past the deadline for registering because Corey Johnson, the out gay city councilmember who represents Manhattan’s West Side, invited them into his spot in the parade. Heritage of Pride, which produces the annual march and other events that commemorate the 1969 Stonewall riots that mark the start of the modern LGBT rights movement, agreed to the change after some initial resistance.

ManhattanExpressNews.nyc | June30 - July 13, 2016

In the Shadow of a Dream by John A. Adams Directed by Alexander Harrington

A violent homophobe meets his match in a dying AIDS patient. July 18-23, 2016 Workshop Theater Main Stage 312 W. 36 St., New York City www.midtownfestival.org

c GUN VIOLENCE, continued on p.14 5


Wariness the Watchword Among NYCHA “Infill” Advisory Committee Members on UES BY JACKSON CHEN

T

he New York City Housing Authority has created an advisory committee of residents, organizational representatives, and elected officials as part of its plan to “infill” new private housing at the Holmes Towers public housing project. But the Upper East Siders invited to provide community input while sitting at the table are unsure if the committee will lead to a positive outcome for them. NYCHA’s plan for Holmes Towers, located between 92nd and 93rd Streets east of First Avenue, includes the removal of a playground to make room for two 25-story developments that will consist of a 50-50 split of market rate and affordable housing units. This first of two NextGen Neighborhoods projects planned by NYCHA — the other being Wyckoff Gardens in Brooklyn — would help generate revenue to offset the agency’s huge budget deficit. Part of the promise

made by the agency is that income will also be applied to provide much-needed repairs to the existing public housing units. From the time the NextGen project was first announced and through subsequent meetings with Holmes residents, the plan has drawn considerable opposition as those living there expressed concerns about disruptive construction, overcrowdedness on the site’s open space, and who would actually profit from the development of private housing there. To alleviate those concerns while incorporating community input, NYCHA formed the Stakeholder Committee for Holmes Towers made up of nine residents — one of whom is a Community Board 8 member and another the vice president of the Holmes Towers residents association — two community organizations, State Senator Liz Krueger, Assemblymember Robert Rodriguez, and Borough President Gale Brewer.

Shola Olatoye, NYCHA’s chair and CEO, in an interview with Manhattan Express late last year, emphasized that resident and community engagement has been at the forefront of planning for the agency’s NextGen program. According to a NYCHA spokesperson, the primary role of the committee members is to “represent the interests of the residents and share information amongst residents, community members, and the developer.” But the so-called stakeholders aren’t completely sold on the expected effectiveness of the committee organized by the agency. “They weren’t too clear on what they’re expecting from us,” said Yolanda Cancell, one of the committee members. “They just wanted our representation there so we can help relay some of the information to our tenants.” The Holmes Towers resident said she applied to the committee after NYCHA announced it earlier this year with the hope that she would

be able to better communicate with the agency and get new information straight from the source. “The reason why I joined is to know what’s going on with this NextGen project they’re working on,” Cancell said. “I just wanted to find out first hand.” While she’s hopeful that the residents will be able to interact with the developer and eventually come to compromises over disputed issues, Cancell is not clear about her role as a member and what to expect from the committee’s efforts. “[NYCHA officials] weren’t very specific, they didn’t really outline exactly what we were going to be doing,” Cancell said. The wariness doesn’t end with Cancell, as an official from Stanley M. Isaacs Neighborhood Center, a community services organization headquartered at Holmes that is represented on the committee, also voiced uncertainty.

c INFILL, continued on p.7

West 108th Street Housing Developer Gives Some, But Opponents Remain BY JACKSON CHEN

T

JACKSON CHEN

Glory Ann Kerstein and Meryl Zegarek, founding members of Save Manhattan Valley, outside of M.S. 54 at the corner of Columbus Avenue and West 108th Street.

6

he Upper West Side nonprofit organization looking to create an affordable housing complex out of its current homeless shelter will hold off on 60 units of senior housing for several years to preserve parking desired by the local community. West Side Federation for Senior and Supportive Housing’s plans involve the demolition of its current Valley Lodge shelter facility at 149 West 108th Street, which contains 92 transitional beds, and three neighboring city-owned garages to make way for an affordable housing complex of about 250 units and 110 transitional beds. Opponents of the plan charged that loss of the garages would eliminate 675 parking spaces from a neighborhood where parking is already tight. In response, the nonprofit recently updated its plans to allow the easternmost garage with about 125 parking spaces to be maintained for five years beyond the start of construction. According to Paul Freitag, WSFSSH’s executive director, the organization is hoping to begin construction next summer and once the five years are up, the decision falls on the city to fig-

ure out the disposition of the parking garage left intact. Freitag explained that in preserving the garage, a portion of the affordable housing complex that would serve roughly 60 senior citizens would be delayed pending the city’s decision at that future date. WSFSSH is also looking into the costly option of below-grade parking and has provided the operator of the existing garages with all the preliminary information necessary. Freitag said his organization hasn’t yet heard back from the operator. Concerns raised at Community Board 7 meetings earlier this year also involved the volunteer Central Park Medical Unit, which stores four ambulances in the garages at no cost and would be displaced by the WSFSSH development. Once the nonprofit organization was made aware of that situation, it reached out to the ambulance unit. Freitag said that the new complex would dedicate a garage for three of the CPMU vehicles and facility space for any courses or programs the ambulance corps conducts.

c 108TH, continued on p.7 June 30 - July 13, 2016 | ManhattanExpressNews.nyc


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ManhattanExpressNews.nyc | June30 - July 13, 2016

c 108TH, continued on p.9

              

   

   

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Zegarek and Glory Ann Kerstein, another founding member of the group, argued that the Manhattan Valley neighborhood already hosts 40 percent of the Upper West Side’s affordable housing units, more than its fair share. The group also argues that the loss of parking would lead to more circling cars and add to the area’s traffic, air pollution, and safety risks. To alleviate their concerns, Kerstein said her group would like to see more traffic studies done in collaboration with the Department of Transportation as well as an environmental review to gauge how construction would affect the surrounding neighborhood, including M.S. 54, located at the corner of West 108th Street and Columbus Avenue. And after being told that WSFSSH was “not willing to negotiate� during one of their meetings, Kerstein said that Save Manhattan Valley is formalizing a petition and

   

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While the volunteer EMTs are amenable to WSFSSH’s proposal, the unit’s president, Rafael Castellanos, expressed uncertainty about the housing development’s future given the range of concerns raised during community board meetings. “If this goes through, we’ll be taken care of, which is very nice,� Castellanos said. “How long it will take to go through, will it go through, we just don’t know.� An opposition group, Save Manhattan Valley, has voiced more than just skepticism and is outright calling for a relocation of the development. “We are hoping to stop a poorly conceived plan,� Meryl Zegarek, a founding member of Save Manhattan Valley, said. “We don’t know of any other time that WSFSSH and the city have removed a valuable community resource from one segment of the population to aid another segment.�

explained the committee is expected to meet for five or six hours a month. A NYCHA spokesperson said it would start convening this summer. “At the end of the day, if this is going to move forward, the residents, other community stakeholders, and NYCHA need to see this as a long term effort to improve the lives of residents,� Morris said. “Not just to find space to build on because we can generate revenue to fill an enormous hole in the New York City Housing Authority budget.�

40000323 ŠNJMG

c 108TH, from p.6

JACKSON CHEN

Greg Morris, executive director of the Stanley M. Isaacs Neighborhood Center.

40000323 ŠNJMG

“The description of what the Stakeholders Committee will do is not formalized in a way that leads me to a place where I’m comfortable or confident,� Greg Morris, the center’s executive director, said, “that being part of this committee that we’re going to have an impact on the developer.� Morris said he respects the city’s goal of creating more affordable housing, but explained that that the burden of providing that relief seems to be falling on underrepresented residents of Holmes Towers and the adjacent Isaacs Houses. “The context here is that this is a community that feels pretty beat down in some ways,� Morris said. “Their feelings and their interests are not represented or respected.� NYCHA is clearly hopeful that launching the committee will prove persuasive in demonstrating that “residents will continue to be actively engaged with their voices heard throughout the process,� but its newly appointed members are still holding out to see how much influence they will enjoy once the meetings begin. Cancell said that NYCHA

7


JACKSON CHEN

Congressmember Carolyn Maloney flanked by CB8 chair Jim Clynes and Parks Committee co-chair Peggy Price (on l.), and co-chair Susan Evans (on r.) at the June 25 rally.

JACKSON CHEN

Community residents and CB8 members just outside the entrance to Queensboro Oval.

Pols Rally to Cause of Returning Queensboro Oval to the People BY JACKSON CHEN

E

ast Side politicians have joined Community Board 8’s efforts to “de-privatize” the Queensboro Oval as the city’s lease with a tennis court operator there draws closer to an end. The park, located on York Avenue between East 59th and 60th Streets, is occupied by Sutton East Tennis and its courts and bubbles from September to June under terms of a 10-year lease that started in 1997. With the lease expiring next year, CB8 ramped up its efforts to regain public use of the space year-round with a lively community rally on June 25. And momentum is growing significantly with strong support from the East Side’s electeds. “When you live around concrete and glass, to have green around is something very, very important,” Congressmember Carolyn Maloney said. “I can’t think of a more worthy cause.” Originating with CB8’s Parks Committee, the push for returning the park to a public amenity is intended to address a severe lack of open space on the Upper East Side. “It underscores the extreme importance of open space to the livability of a community,”

8

Peggy Price, co-chair of CB8’s P a r k s C o m m i t t e e s a i d . “ We have very large buildings and a huge residential community around here that lack adequate open space.” Price, along with her co-chair Susan Evans and other CB8 members, voiced a vision of a public park that could include a running track, soccer field, baseball and softball fields, and tennis courts. Evans said CB8 members aren’t park designers, but the professionals who are would have a completely open field with endless possibilities. Her hope is that the Queensboro Oval could rival something as unique as the High Line, the park in Chelsea that’s built on unused elevated train tracks. And Maloney isn’t the only outspoken ally of the park, as Bor ough President Gale Brewer, City Councilmember Ben Kallos, State Senator Liz Krueger, and Assemblymembers Dan Quart and Rebecca Seawright have also joined the call for de-privatization. For Kallos, it was his first time in the Queensboro Oval because, he said, Sutton East’s tennis bubbles made the space inaccessible for a majority of the year. In crunching the numbers, the councilmember compared the $80 to $225 per hour costs of playing

at Sutton East Tennis Club to the city permits that have tennis fees of just $200 a year (though the Parks Department has noted the availability of free and reduced programming at the facility). “This space is on an order of magnitude more expensive by 15 times than a comparable space run by the Parks Department,” Kallos said. “Worse yet, this is what the space looks like when they gave it back... an empty lot with dirt.” In contrast to a barren field of rust-colored dust, Brewer said, the space has potential for far more. “It’s a place that people could exercise and see their neighbors,” Brewer said. “Everywhere in New York we need every single aspect of open space for the public for our mental health, our physical health, and the health of our families.” Brewer admitted she played tennis at the space for 10 years —adding she plans not to use the facility anymore — but said it is better suited as open space for the community. With so many politicians on the side of de-privatization, the movement has sped up and arrived at the Department of Parks and Recreation’s door. The department is facing a short timeline for a decision, since it typically begins the process of sending out a request

for proposals about a year prior to the expiration of a lease such as Sutton East currently has. Speaking for Sutton East, Tony Scolnick said that the decision is up to the Parks Department and he would willingly comply. “If they tell me to pack it up, then we pack it up,” Scolnick said. “If they say they want us to run tennis, we’ll run a quality program.” The Sutton East Tennis owner explained that annually he has paid around $2.5 million in concession fees, in addition to a commercial rent tax of roughly $97,000, to the city for the right to operate his facility there. With the 10-year lease running out, he said he has proposed an expanded tennis program with year -round offerings in an air-conditioned facility. “We realize the Parks Department has a difficult decision,” Scolnick said. “Our game plan here is to 100 percent be cooperative with the Parks Department.” Residents who grew up near the park, learning how to ride bikes and play baseball there, are hoping their local elected officials are the extra push they need to sway the agency. Fighting off a cold she caught during the sit-in at the US Capitol Democrats staged last week demanding action on gun control in the wake of the Orlando gay bar massacre, Maloney remained strong in her demand for taking back Queensboro Oval. “I consider this fight already won because we are right and we are going to make it happen,” she said. “If we don’t get our way, we’re going to be sleeping in the open space until we get it.”

June 30 - July 13, 2016 | ManhattanExpressNews.nyc


Maloney, Nadler Romp, While Espaillat Squeaks By in Crowded Field BY JACKSON CHEN

I

ncumbent Congressmembers Jerrold Nadler and Carolyn Maloney each sailed to easy Democratic primary victories on Tuesday, while an open race in the 13th District appears to have been won by State Senator Adriano Espaillat. After US Representative Charles Rangel, a Harlem political institution for 45 years, decided to step down at the end of 2016, his district that includes Upper Manhattan and a portion of the Bronx was up for grabs. Espaillat, in a crowded field, faced off against Assemblymember Keith L. T. Wright, his principal opponent, who was endorsed by Rangel. According to the New York State Board of Elections’ unofficial numbers, Espaillat tallied 15,735 votes or 36.65 percent, which should lead to him becoming the first Dominican-born member of Congress, with victory in the Democratic primary tantamount to election in November. Wright received 14,499 votes, or 33.77 percent, and on primary night refused to concede, noting that absentee ballots had not yet been counted but also suggesting that voter suppression might have occurred and perhaps should be investigated by the US Justice Department. On Twitter on Wednesday afternoon, Espaillat, who ran unsuccessfully against Rangel in primaries in 2012 and 2014, posted a statement voicing his pride at winning as “an immigrant who was once undocumented.” He added, “As the only candidate in this race who has ran in the last three primaries, and who in the

last two campaigns lost by as few as 1,000 votes, I have a real understanding of how crucial it is that every single vote is counted. And I will not rest until every absentee and affidavit ballot is counted.” Espaillat said he is confident that the final tally of all votes would not change the results. The race was widely seen as a contest between the political clout of Harlem’s traditional black leadership and the emerging Dominican community centered further uptown in Manhattan. In two landslide victories, incumbents Nadler and Maloney each secured roughly 90 percent of the votes in their districts. Representing Manhattan’s East Side and portions of Queens and Brooklyn, Maloney easily won the 12th district with 13,389 votes or 88.91 percent, according to the BOE. Her challenger, Peter Lindner, never ran for political office and secured 1,435 votes, or 9.53 percent.

Maloney, a former member of the City Council, was first elected to the House in 1992. In a statement posted on Twitter, Maloney thanked community leaders, grassroots activists, and volunteers who helped on her campaign, and noted the funding she had secured in Washington for issues including the Second Avenue Subway, the East Side Access program for Long Island Railroad commuters, Superstorm Sandy relief, and healthcare for 9/ 11 survivors and first responders. Having gone 20 years unchallenged, Nadler faced opponent Mikhail Oliver Rosenberg, who only received 2,949 votes or 10.26 percent, according to the BOE’s unofficial tally. The victor easily won his party’s re-nomination to another term representing the 10th district, which covers Manhattan's West Side and portions of Brooklyn, with 25,527 votes or 88.78 percent of the votes. Rosenberg had run largely on

ESPAILLAT2016.COM

State Senator Adriano Espaillat appears headed to becoming Congress’ first Dominican-born member.

c 108TH, from p.7 will be seeking signatures soon. “Effectively, the community’s voice in this poorly conceived project is being ignored,” Kerstein said. Freitag, however, contended that in declinManhattanExpressNews.nyc | June30 - July 13, 2016

FACEBOOK.COM

East Side Congressmember Carolyn Maloney.

ing to negotiate with Save Manhattan Valley, WSFSSH was simply expressing the goal of engaging the entire community rather than a single opposing group. He said that WSFSSH’s traffic analysts have been working to address questions raised by the community and that an environmental review

opposition to Nadler’s vote in favor of the nuclear deal the Obama administration negotiated with Iran on behalf of leading world powers, including the UK, Russia, France, China, and Germany. That issue earned Rosenberg some high profile endorsements, including from the Daily News, the Observer, and Brooklyn Assemblymember Dov Hikind, a key player in the Orthodox Jewish community there. Those endorsements, in the end, counted for little. Daniel Schwarz, Nadler’s campaign manager, said the congressmember focused on a breadth of issues ranging from national questions, including gun control and women’s and LGBT rights, to more local concerns, including transportation funding and support for 9/ 11 first responders’ health care. “The congressman is very happy with the results,” Schwarz said. “It was a pretty emphatic win and an emphatic showing from voters of support.”

JERRYNADLER.COM

West Side Congressmember Jerry Nadler.

would be conducted as part of the group’s zoning application. “We’re trying to be transparent by including all community groups and the community board,” Freitag said. “We’re trying to have this happen in a context that includes all members of the Upper West Side.”

9


DOT, Publishers Spar Over Newspaper Streetbox Regs at Council BY YANNIC RACK

A

WILLIAM ALATRISTE/ NY CITY COUNCIL

Jennifer Goodstein, CEO of NYC Community Media and publisher of Manhattan Express, testified against the proposed legislation at a City Council hearing last Thursday.

boon for New York’s sidewalks, or a kick to the curb for its newspaper boxes? The city is pushing for tighter rules governing the roughly 10,000 newspaper boxes spread across the five boroughs in an effort to clean up public sidewalks, but the proposed legislation is facing heavy pushback from publishers, who say the measures are an unnecessary burden and will cause a dent in their distribution. A set of five bills, introduced by various city councilmembers this week, aims to establish stricter requirements about how often newspaper distribution boxes have to be stocked and cleaned of graffiti and garbage, and where they can be placed. “It’s an issue familiar to many New Yorkers — of news racks sitting empty and filled with garbage,” said Ydanis Rodriguez, chair of the Council’s Transportation Committee, which heard testimony on the proposal from city officials and the newspaper industry last week.

“These bills are about ensuring that the dispensaries for these papers are clean, regularly filled, and attractive to passersby.” The city’s Department of Transportation, which oversees and maintains public sidewalks, backs the legislation, and the bills also enjoy support from some business improvement districts, including the Times Square Alliance and the Garment District Alliance. Under the proposed rules, news racks — both single boxes and so-called modular racks that contain multiple publications — would have to be registered with the city and supply certain information, including delivery schedules and insurance certificates, every year. The legislation would also establish additional standards regarding maintenance and placement, including tighter deadlines by which empty or cluttered boxes have to be cleaned and restocked, and a ban on any boxes in the vicinity of taxi stands (current laws already mandate other placement

c STREETBOXES, continued on p.11

State Moves Against Ticket-Buying, Price-Ballooning Bots BY JACKSON CHEN

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n the final hours of the 2016 regular session, the State Assembly moved to burst the bubble of scalpers who use the unfair advantage of ticket-purchasing software to inflate Broadway prices to outrageous levels. Anyone using ticket-purchasing software, which can secure hundreds of tickets within seconds, would be hit with a criminal misdemeanor charge and anywhere from 15 days to a year of jail time, according to the bill passed on June 17. Previously, use of such software was a civil, not criminal offense. The measure, sponsored by Assemblymember Marcos Crespo, a Bronx Democrat, and earlier approved by the State Senate, also increases fines on scalpers who use their illegal edge from the previous range of $500 to $1,000 to $500 to $1,500. Repeat offenses

10

JOAN MARCUS

For as expensive as a ticket to “Hamilton” is, scalpers using ticket-purchasing software, now a criminal offense, have made the hurdle to seeing the hit show much harder.

within three years would be subject to fines ranging from $1,000 to $5,000. Crespo is hoping the new bill will level the playing field for theatergoers by disincentivizing those who use ticket bots and then flip their hundreds or thousands of tickets to New Yorkers for whom regular priced tickets are consequently less available. “Countless have lost opportuni-

ties to experience the richness of our arts and entertainment industry because there are those willing to circumvent by using automated software to deprive the average consumer of access to entertainment venues,” Crespo said. “The top music, theater, and athletic talent of our nation have priced their events at levels affordable to the mass public.” To be sure, voracious demand

has already driven up ticket prices, especially among hit Broadway shows. The producers of “Hamilton,” the smash hip-hop historical musical recently awarded 11 Tonys, raised premium tickets to $849 from $475 in June, with regular ticket prices also increased, from $139 to $177 to $179 to $199. But “Hamilton” tickets often cost a multiple of that due to the scalpers’ use of bots. “You shouldn’t have to fight robots just to see something you love,” the show’s creator, Lin-Manuel Miranda, wrote in a recent New York Times op ed. Broadway producers have a complicated relationship with secondary market resellers. On one hand, keeping ticket prices low ensures a growing market over the long term, but resellers can help gin up demand and buzz for popular shows.

c TICKETS, continued on p.11

June 30 - July 13, 2016 | ManhattanExpressNews.nyc


c STREETBOXES, from p.10 restrictions). Under the bills, owners of modular racks would also have to submit a plan to the city for approval and give local community boards opportunity for comment, and single boxes would be banned from blocks that already contain a modular rack. “Taken together, [these bills] will strengthen cleaning and maintenance requirements,” said Vincent Maniscalco, the DOT’s assistant commissioner for highway inspection and quality assurance. “What we are looking for is better compliance. We want to work with the industry.” But publishers argue that most of them are already diligent about maintaining their boxes, and say that the additional restrictions would be punishing to an industry that is already struggling to provide vital news to the neighborhoods it serves. “We aren’t the ones filling our racks with garbage or painting them with graffiti,” said Michelle Rea, executive director of the New York

c TICKETS, from p.10 “To some degree, producers need the secondary market. You want your show to be a success, therefore you want your tickets to be resold,” said Kimberly Loren Eaton, a Broadway producer. “However, these bots that can buy a thousand tickets in one minute completely change the playing field.” Scalpers using ticket-buying bots can often command $1,000 or more for premium tickets. Such high prices benefit the scalpers but add nothing to the profits and incentives for producers and creative teams on Broadway. Eaton said she’s often asked by theatergoers why prices are rising so quickly, and has to defend her self and her Broadway peers by explaining that resellers — and not producers — are responsible for most of the ticket price inflation. The Broadway League, the national trade association of the Broadway theater industry, said the current setup leaves theater lovers with little chance of scoring tickets to the most popular shows.

Press Association, pointing out that current regulations were already so onerous that the number of boxes registered in the city was down 25 percent from three years ago. “More regulations aren’t the answer,” Rea said. “Enforcing the current regulations is a better solution.” “Without the ability to walk down the street and find a local paper in a news rack, the very citizens who need to read our coverage will not be able to find it,” said Jennifer Goodstein, CEO of NYC Community Media and the publisher of Manhattan Express. “News racks play a very important role in the city. They play a very important role in branding our product. We ask that the rules be enforced, not expanded, and that communication between publishers and the Department of Transportation be improved through the use of email or another form of electronic communication.” DOT officials said the city receives several hundred complaints about the boxes every year

c STREETBOXES, continued on p.17 “In Broadway, we see it with the big shows and at the end of the year with peak tourism,” said Tom Ferrugia, the league’s director of governmental affairs. “When you have people who want to see a specific show in a specific window, this becomes a huge problem.” Ferrugia explained that ticket bots may purchase 200 to 300 tickets at once, at a price of $65 a shot, allowing scalpers to turn around and resell them for $250 each. “A casual ticket buyer is almost precluded from buying a ticket,” Ferrugia said. “Availability is extremely limited because the scalpers bought them all up.” The previous system of civil fines had not proved effective in deterring ticket resellers, who as a group could make as much as $60 million a year just on “Hamilton” tickets, according to an estimate by the New York Times. “People come from all over the city and all over the world to enjoy a Broadway show,” said City Coun-

ManhattanExpressNews.nyc | June30 - July 13, 2016

c TICKETS, continued on p.20

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Rents Frozen Again for One-Year Lease Renewals BY PAUL SCHINDLER

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espite calls for an unprecedented rent rollback, tenant activists hailed this week’s decision by the city’s Rent Guidelines Board to freeze rents on one-year leases in rent-stabilized apartments. “The Rent Guidelines Board’s decision to freeze rents this year demonstrates what we can accomplish when we raise our voices and stand up for tenants’ rights,” said Pilar DeJesus of the Rent Justice Coalition in a written statement. “Tenants from all over the city voiced their concerns and we are grateful to the Rent Guidelines Boards for listening. But we will continue the fight to repair years of exorbitant rent increases and to protect New York City’s affordable housing.” The rent freeze, announced by the RGB on June 27, affects tenants in more than one million rent-stabilized apartments citywide, and follows a similar freeze in one-year lease rentals that the agency established last year. That freeze was the first in the RGB’s now 47-year history. Rents on two-year leases are allowed to increase by two percent, according to the RGB’s action this week. Ahead of the RGB’s vote on Monday evening, tenant advocates, including the Rent Justice Coalition, were joined by elected officials at a rally calling for a rollback in rents. Noting that New York is losing rent-stabilized apartments “handover -fist,” Upper West Side City Councilmember Helen Rosenthal said, “When rents go over 30 percent of income, they are no longer affordable — and for most rent stabilized tenants, they are ‘rent burdened,’ leaving less money available to cover the cost of food, health care, and the basic necessi-

12

ties. A rent freeze, or better, a rent rollback, would allow tenants to stay in their home. I urge the RGB to consider a rent rollback for oneand two-year leases.” West Side State Senator Brad Hoylman echoed the call for a rollback, stating, “I hear every day from hardworking families struggling to save for retirement, start college funds for their kids, or even put food on the table because of skyrocketing rents. One in three tenant households in the city spend more than half their income on rent, while the Rent Guidelines Board's own statistics show landlords are raking in higher profits than ever before.”

back seriously next year.” Ben Kallos, an East Side councilmember, said, “The Rent Guidelines Board has shown that last year's rent freeze was more than a symbolic gesture, and tenants have the power to be heard. We will continue to fight to make up for years of too-high rent increases. Thank you to the many tenants who came out to tell their stories and the Rent Justice Coalition for their advocacy.” Kallos’ East Side colleague, Dan Garodnick, in a written statement, said, “There was ample evidence for the Rent Guidelines Board to deliver not only a freeze, but a rollback for tenants this year. That

RENT JUSTICE COALITION

City Councilmember Helen Rosenthal testifying in favor of a rent rollback at a Rent Guidelines Board hearing earlier in June.

West Side Congressmember Jerrold Nadler, facing a primary challenge the following day (which he easily surmounted), also joined in the call for rolling back rents. Despite having staked out such an aggressive pro-tenant position, elected officials, like the Rent Justice Coalition itself, praised the RGB’s June 27 action. “I'm grateful the Rent Guidelines Board recognized the plight of rent-stabilized tenants and granted a rent freeze for one-year leases for a second straight year,” Rosenthal said in a written statement. “I hope the RGB considers a rent roll-

said, I hope this signals the end of the era where landlords got enormous increases year after year, and where tenants never caught a break.” Councilmember Corey Johnson, who represents the West Side, also praised the rent freeze, even while noting that a rollback would have been preferable. “I applaud the Rent Guidelines Board for instituting a rent freeze for over a million rent-stabilized tenants for the second year in a row,” he said. “Last year’s rent freeze was the first of its kind. Extending it for another year is an

equally historic sign that our city will stick up for hardworking New Yorkers in the face of an unprecedented housing crisis. Despite our strong efforts for a rent rollback, this decision is nonetheless a victory for New Yorkers who have faced persistent rent increases for decades until just last year.” Not surprisingly, the Rent Stabilization Association of NYC, a trade association representing residential property owners and agents, denounced the RGB action and announced plans to file a lawsuit against the agency. “The RGB continues to implement Mayor Bill de Blasio’s political agenda, targeting apartment building owners,” the group said in a written statement. “As a result, RSA is prepared to fight these unjust and unlawful rent guidelines in the courts.” In comments on NY1, de Blasio, who is responsible for appointments to the RGB, praised the agency’s second consecutive freeze on one-year rents. “The Rent Guidelines Board did the right thing. You know, for over a million-and-a-half New Yorkers who live in rent-stabilized apartments this is very good news,” he said. “And the Rent Guidelines Board went by the numbers — and what the numbers showed was, you know, the price of fuel had been way down over the last year. There was not a reason for a rent increase for a one-year lease… This was about being fair to tenants and going by the facts, going by the numbers.” The new rent guidelines affect more than 1.6 million New Yorkers whose leases come up for renewal beginning on October 1. In his comments to NY1, the mayor noted that since “you don’t know what’s going to happen in the future… if you lock in, you know, two years at two percent, you have a guarantee.” n

June 30 - July 13, 2016 | ManhattanExpressNews.nyc


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THE WORKMEN’S CIRCLE

The Workmen’s Circle Yiddish teacher Eve Jochnowitz (second from l.) leads impromptu dancing.

The Workmen’s Circle, a group founded in 1900 that celebrates identity and belonging in a and grants and have been accepted into schools such as Barnard College,  shared, progressive, inclusive vision of heritage, values, ideals, and cultural traditions, hosted Brandeis University, College of William and Mary and New York University.  its third annual Taste of Jewish Culture Street Fair on June 26. The event, held on Sixth Avenue between 11 a.m. and 6 p.m., drew thousands who sam “Empowering Young Women through Education” pled some of New York’s best Jewish delicacies as well as comedians, klezmer music, and that favorite trivia game, “So You Think You’re Jewish?” 350 East 56th Street ~ New York, NY 10022 “We can’t think of a better way to celebrate Jewish traditions, and to introduce those  tra ditions to our entire New York community,” said Ann Toback, executive director of the Work(212) 688-1545 ~ www.cathedralhs.org men’s Circle. “The flavors of the Street Fair are quite literally the flavors of our heritage — and they’re mouthwatering!”  

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THE WORKMEN’S CIRCLE

The comedy duo Soren & Jolles led a Yiddish Spelling Bee, here with guest player New York City Councilmember Mark Levine.

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c FRONT DOOR, from p.4

c RIVERSIDE, from p.4

“I disrupted it when Tony Perkins started speaking,” said Heather Cronk, GetEQUAL’s co-executive director, referring to the head of the Family Research Council, an anti-LGBT group. Angela Peoples, also a co-executive director of GetEQUAL, posted a video on Twitter of her dogging Perkins for over a minute as he was leaving the hotel and apparently searching for his ride. “You are responsible for hate and lies, a culture that has fueled violence against our community,” Peoples can be heard saying to Perkins as she cornered him in a revolving door. “What do you have to say for yourself, sir?” At the press conference, Cronk said, a reporter asked the Evangelicals if any of them would be endorsing Trump and they all said they would not. “This was bad day for Evangelicals, it was a bad day for Donald Trump,” Cronk said at the Trump Tower protest. “He got nothing out of this.” n

scenery offered with the wooded bike path, he added, users might consider it less safe with higher chances for debris and the need for more snow removal. In contrast, committee member Meisha Hunter Burkett felt the safety improvements were necessary because of the constant threat of collisions. “Oftentimes, I’m almost hit by bicyclists,” Burkett said. “It happens so frequently, I feel like my life is in somebody else’s hand.” Despite these competing observations, the committee concluded it was not time to support or vote on any specific projects until the master plan is more fleshed out and items come in front of it individually. “We [focused] on the organizational goals and vision for this,” Burkett said, “with a commitment to working with [McKinney] and Parks as specific items get further developed in their concept stage.” n

DONNA ACETO

The protest called attention to Republican resistance to gun control legislation.

DONNA ACETO

Anti-gun marchers stage a die-in.

DONNA ACETO

DONNA ACETO

Th o m a s S i m m o n s, a m e m b e r of O u t r i g h t Libertarians, spoke out in favor of gun rights in Times Square on the afternoon of the Pride March.

A group of 49 people organized by performance artist Tigger-James Ferguson bore silent witness to those killed in the Pulse nightclub in Orlando.

c GUN VIOLENCE, from p.5

DONNA ACETO

Gun rights critics sported T-shirts silk-screened under the supervision of clothing designer Mari Gustafson.

14

The day, however, was not without dissent. Three libertarian groups and a chapter of the Pink Pistols, a pro-gun LGBT group, held a press conference late in the day and challenged the prevailing sentiment that was seen in the march. “I have a license to carry in the state of Massachusetts because as a gay man I know I am statis-

tically more likely than almost any other demographic in the United States to be assaulted,” said Thomas Simmons, a Massachusetts resident who traveled to New York City. “I want the right to protect myself.” Simmons, a member of Outright Libertarians, was joined by Steve Scheetz, a member of People Against the Initiation of Violence and a Libertarian Party candidate for Congress from Pennsylvania. A

member of Pink Pistols was supposed be on hand to speak but could not leave work and, similarly, a member of the group Muslims for Liberty who was supposed to speak was stuck in traffic. Simmons’ broader point was that the Bill of Rights, the first 10 amendments to the US Constitution, is to be interpreted broadly to maximize the freedoms that document affords to the people. Limits on those rights, he said, effectively eliminate them. He also argued that it was common for federal, state, and local governments to overreact to events such as the June 12 attack. “Every time there’s a crisis in this country, there’s an assault on the Bill of Rights,” he said. Scheetz said that self-defense was both legally and morally right and that if people in the Pulse nightclub in Orlando had been armed, the outcome on June 12 might have been different. “Pink Pistols, they’re people who believe in self-defense,” Scheetz said. “I believe in self-defense, every person has a right to self-defense. Whatever tool you use for self-defense is fine by me… If people were there and able to protect themselves, then people with guns, people who want to commit murder are not going to go to a place where they know people are armed.” n

June 30 - July 13, 2016 | ManhattanExpressNews.nyc


MIDTOWN’S DOUBLE DOSE OF PRIDE

PHOTO ESSAY BY DONNA ACETO | THIS PAST WEEKEND, LGBT PRIDE HIT MIDTOWN BIG

TIME, WITH THE JUNE 25 DYKE MARCH GATHERING IN BRYANT PARK, BEFORE TAKING TO FIFTH AVENUE FOR A BOISTEROUS, ENTHUSIASTIC, AND TECHNICALLY UN-PERMITTED MARCH DOWN TO WASHINGTON SQUARE PARK. THE FOLLOWING DAY AT NOON, HERITAGE OF PRIDE STAGED ITS ANNUAL MONSTER LGBT PRIDE MARCH BEGINNING AT 36TH STREET AND FIFTH. THIS YEAR, IN ADDITION TO THE COLORFUL COSTUMES, MUSICAL ENSEMBLES, COMMUNITY GROUPS, AND POLITICIANS, CAME MANY SOMBER TRIBUTES TO THE 49 PEOPLE KILLED IN THE JUNE 12 ATTACK ON AN ORLANDO, FLORIDA, LGBT BAR — AS WELL AS FIERCE DEMANDS THAT FEAR NOT TRIUMPH AND THAT GUNS FINALLY BE BROUGHT UNDER CONTROL. ManhattanExpressNews.nyc | June30 - July 13, 2016

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Natural History to Spare Two Venerable Trees in Gilder Expansion BY JACKSON CHEN

T

COURTESY: AMERICAN MUSEUM OF NATURAL HISTORY

The English elm that will be spared in the Gilder expansion project.

c SKATEBOARDING, from p.3 filled Community Board 7’s June 7 meeting to voice their opposition. After hearing complaints about the Parks Department’s plans, the board decided to return the issue to CB7’s Parks Committee on June 27. The skating community, meanwhile, organized itself and began discussions with the Parks Department about coming up with a setup truer to Kessler’s original design. Riverside Skate Park devotees were joined by representatives from the Parks Department, Community Board 7, the project’s two designers — California Skateparks and W Architecture and Landscape Architecture — and the elected officials who are funding the redesign, including City Councilmembers Helen Rosenthal and Mark Levine and Borough President Gale Brewer, in formulating a design that benefited more from park users’ input. The new design, presented at the June 27 Parks Committee meeting, replaces two proposed six-foot bowls with a single bowl that ranges in depth from 11 feet to a milder six feet. The revised design also adds transitional elements throughout the street plaza section of the park.

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he American Museum of Natural History announced that it would take two trees off the chopping block in its controversial expansion project for the Richard Gilder Center for Science, Education, and Innovation. According to the museum, the Gilder Center expansion — a project that will have 20 percent of its footprint in the surrounding Theodore Roosevelt Park — would not need to remove two notable trees, an English elm and a Pin oak, after conducting an engineering study and an assessment from an arborist. The expansion project would create much more exhibition space and crucial foot traffic connections for the museum, but has drawn criticism from the community that is trying to preserve a cherished park. The project’s conceptual designs, which are currently under review with the Department of Parks and Recreation, originally included the removal of nine trees to be replaced with the planting of 17 new ones. With the recent studies, the project is now expected to remove only seven trees and will take another look at the number of replacement trees, according to the museum’s senior direc-

Under the revised design, the western side of the bowl would have a tiered seating area that both the Parks Department and skaters have embraced. Four levels of concrete blocks would provide seating as well as skate-ability. Margaret Bracken, the Parks Department’s landscape architect and its chief of design and construction, said the tiered seating serves multiple purposes, by providing a scenic view toward the Hudson River, creating a lively atmosphere, and giving users more skating options. The rollout of the new design won widespread praise from the skating community, both young and old. “With a park like this that’s more evenly distributed between different elements,” Maximón Monihan, one of the skaters who contributed to the new design, said, “you’re going to have a much wider demographic of people.” For the younger crowd, like 11-year-old Max West and nineyear-old Harry Schimtz, the new bowl’s 11-foot depth is needed given the loss of existing ramps at the park. Despite concerns that younger children might be at risk of injuring themselves on what looks to be a

tor of communications, Roberto Lebron, who emphasized that there would ultimately be a net positive number of trees in the park. The reductions in removals resulted from an engineering study that revealed the museum’s new underground service drive could be designed to not impinge on the roots of the two mature trees. On top of that, Bartlett Tree Experts’ assessment of the trees’ overall health and root structures concluded that they would be able to survive the construction process in good condition. Adrian Smith, president of Defenders of Teddy Roosevelt Park, originally formed to oppose the museum’s incursion into the park, concurred that the mature trees that provide a chunk of the park’s canopy could be maintained in good health for another 20 or 30 years. Now part of the museum’s Park Working Group, established to provide input on the Gilder expansion, Smith added that the Defenders’ focus on tree preservation and the impact of the underground service drive hopefully has influenced the museum to consider those issues with greater weight.

c GILDER, continued on p.27

daunting structure, Kate Schimtz, Harry’s mother, assured the committee that younger kids are plenty flexible and impact-resistant. She added that there’s an equal chance for kids to get hurt at other playgrounds and that Riverside Skate Park offers her son the ability to interact with what she views as an extremely inclusive skating community. Monihan said the redesigned park continues a legacy of providing a space where the skating community helps its individual members grow. “What you will get with a park like this that’s balanced,” Monihan said, “you’ll get kids that will become better skateboarders and they’re going to have the mentors. It’s a cultural stew and people learn from each other, and they’ll be more respectable and better citizens.” Skaters were so pleased with the new design that they raised the question of renaming it the Andy Kessler Memorial Park, in honor of the skater and park designer who died in 2009. According to Bracken, it is something the Parks Department is interested in exploring, though the matter would have to go through the proper city channels.

The only requests for further refinement of the plan related to pushing the expansion of transitional elements even further, extending the hours the park is open, and preserving the existing 11-foot ramp that Kessler constructed 20 years ago. The design will go for a full CB7 vote on July 5 and then the Parks Department will be in front of the Landmark Preservation Commission — because of the skateboarding facility’s location within the scenic landmarked area of Riverside Park — as well as the Public Design Commission. Ian Clarke, who runs the skater coalition that manages repairs at Riverside Skate Park, said the community would remain vigilant that the agreement for an 11-foot bowl isn’t altered by future discussions. In its presentation, the Parks Department noted that “civil and structural details are pending and may impact final height of bowl.” “The number 11-foot will be really great for New York,” Clarke said. “That’ll make the park a success because it’s a standout and it makes it different from anything around.”

June 30 - July 13, 2016 | ManhattanExpressNews.nyc


c STREETBOXES, from p.11 — mostly about dirty and graffiti-covered boxes used as trash bins — with most complaints coming from Community District 8 on the Upper East Side. In the last fiscal year, the agency issued more than 2,200 notices of correction for non-compliant boxes, but they resulted in only around 350 summonses — prompting even Rodriguez to acknowledge how low that number was. “If we rely on those numbers, we can say that most are not being targeted by DOT because they comply,” he said. But the officials maintained that the rules would simply keep city sidewalks cleaner by way of stricter enforcement. “It will make our streets safer and cleaner, and the publishers will still have their papers out there,” said Maniscalco. “We’re not against news racks. If we issue a notice of correction and its corrected right away, we won’t issue a summons.” The current laws around the boxes, instituted in 2002 and amended in 2004, mainly rely on a self-certification process to show they are kept in shape, only mandating that “best efforts are being made” to keep them clean and stocked, according to Maniscalco. Under the new regulations, this would be replaced with an actual mandate to keep the boxes clean and stocked at all times, he said. If the bills are enacted, DOT would still issue notices of violation to publishers for dirty, damaged, and empty boxes, but be able to issue fines more quickly if the problems are not rectified in time. “While most publications try to make sure their boxes are clean and stocked, many news racks remain a blight on our sidewalks,” said Bronx Councilmember James Vacca, a Transportation Committee member and the sponsor of one of the bills. “And our existing rules don’t do far enough to address that.” Some who showed up to the hearing even oneupped the councilmembers, suggesting the bills should be more severe. Christine Berthet, former chair of Community Board 4 and a founder of the advocacy group Clinton Hell’s Kitchen Coalition for Pedestrian Safety, said she would like to see even stricter rules enforced — including bolting down boxes on the sidewalk and banning any racks within 25 feet of pedestrian crossings. “We wish this legislation would go further,” she said, adding that less newspaper boxes would mean more safety for the 75 percent of New Yorkers who walk at some point in their daily commute. In the end, Rodriguez promised to discuss the legislation further and hear out its opponents, to make sure any new rules would be considerate to the newspaper industry. “We will continue this conversation,” he said. “We’re not in the business of creating a hardship.” n ManhattanExpressNews.nyc | June30 - July 13, 2016

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When A Stranger Becomes A Son

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W

hat is it like to have two teenage boys you never met before move in and stay for the whole school year? Funny you should ask, as the two boys we’ve had living with us for the past 10 months are leaving today. I am hoping the goodbye will not be as hard as I worry it will be. The young men were our exchange students, one from Germany, one from China. Or, as I liked to say: If your country has been at war with America — or may be some day — our home is your home! Why? Well, two years ago, when our older son was heading off to college, I jokingly-not-jokingly told my husband that we should replace him with another kid about his age.  Then I started Googling ar ound and found out that the American Field Service, the same exchange student program that was around when I was growing up, is still going strong. In fact, AFS has been ar ound for more than 70 years, sending kids to and from more than 40 countries. Back in my day, four inter national kids attended my high school and it was like they were from Planet Maturity. Simply by braving life in a foreign country, they were so much more sophisticated — read: cool — than the rest of us.  So I called the AFS New York office, and immediately an outreach coordinator was telling me how much I’d love

being a host. It is a volunteer position. All we really needed to qualify was an empty bed and a desk. Bingo! Since it was already late in the application process, we had just two kids for us to choose from: A “German boy who loves movies” or an “Italian boy who loves basketball.” “Get the Italian,” said my husband. Thus did Giovanni come to live with us for a year.  He moved right into our older son’s now-empty bedroom and went right off to public high school with our younger son. They were both juniors. They were both everything: They both played basketball, watched basketball, talked basketball… But they also explored the city — my son said he’d never seen half as many neighborhoods as he did once Gio arrived — and cracked up at in-jokes and remained SnapChat friends when Gio went home last June. But once your AFS kid leaves, you’re back at the square one, if you don’t like being lonely. (Did I mention I work from home? Just me and my computer.) So this year we decided to plunge in again and chose Eric from China and Matteo from Germany. Why two? Why not? The exchange kids shared a room and dinners were lively. Did you know that in China 13 is bad luck, but so is 14 — so some Chinese buildings have three 12th floors? Or how about this German fact: Instead of “Happy Birthday” when the cake comes out, they blast some obscure ’80s American pop song. Our Ger man kid was shocked to find this was not also the practice in America when we celebrated my husband’s birthday. Meantime, the boys made him a cake and wrote “Happy Birthday” in Chinese characters along with, “Alles Gute zum Geburtstag.” That’s a lot

to write in blue icing. But of course, there were some downsides, starting with the fact that neither of the boys loved my cooking, except for barbecue chicken. So I made a lot of chicken. I also bought truckloads of Chips Ahoy! There was also extra laundry, of course. And at school, one of them slacked off and we had to deal with the teachers and the principal and a bit of hooky. But the upside? Hearing Ger man and Chinese music around the apartment. Talking to them about everything from Donald Trump to Chairman Mao. Listening to the changes in their vocabulary, from “We are seldom winning the game” to “Our team sucks.” Feeling a swell of pride as they got to know the city, deal with the subway, discover “South Park,” and grow — literally. Yes they are going home skinny, but taller. Just a few days ago I got up very early and was sitting in our living room at 5 a.m. when the front door opened and our German student walked in. He had been unable to sleep as thoughts swirled about going home and how changed he felt. So he had taken a long walk through our neighbor hood, which is now his neighborhood. By tomorrow, he will be back home with his real parents. But for a year, he was our boy — they both were — in homesickness and health, school work and skateboarding, and the daily doings that tur n a stranger into a son. I hope I can hold it together when we say goodbye. Lenore Skenazy is author and founder of the book and blog “Free-Range Kids,” and a contributor at Reason.com. For more information on American Field Service Intercultural Programs, visit afsusa.org. n

June 30 - July 13, 2016 | ManhattanExpressNews.nyc


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19


Andrew Gould, the “Mayor of the Upper West Side,” Dies at 60 BY PAUL SCHINDLER

A

ndrew Gould, who since 1992 owned and operated NY Hair Co., a “green and cruelty-free salon” on Amsterdam Avenue between 85th and 86th Streets, has died at the age of 60. His death on June 20 was due to pancreatic cancer, according to his widow, Christina Wong. The philosophy behind the salon’s choice of hair care products, its website explains, was based on Gould’s “personal commitment to the humane treatment of animals and his belief in caring for the environment.” Gould’s love of animals could often be very personal, indeed. In a message to friends announcing his death, Wong wrote, “He loved people and treated everyone with equal respect, with the exception of those unwitting souls who dared to tie their dog to a lamp post in the hot sun.” On one occasion, a friend recalled, Gould burst into a Starbucks demanding to know whose dog had been left outside in the heat. When a very tall bodybuilder type stood up to claim responsibility, Gould employed his gift of gab to defuse what could have been a very unhappy animal rights intervention. He later often ran into the dog owner on the street and always got a friendly wave. Still, his wife told the friend, the muscleman probably never again left his dog tied up on the street. Wong recalled walking home one evening to their apartment on 92nd Street just off Broadway when her husband dashed into a Duane Reade to break up a brawl that a crowd of bystanders was simply watching. When she later told Gould she was upset by the harm he put himself at risk for, he explained “that this was his neighborhood and that people needed to get involved when someone was in trouble.” That kind of attitude earned Gould the moniker of “Mayor of the Upper West Side” among many in his neighborhood. In a city where businesses routinely post signs warning that their bathrooms are for customers’ use only, he would never refuse a homeless person’s request to use the facilities at NY Hair.

c TICKETS, from p.11 cilmember Corey Johnson, whose district covers the chunk of the Theater District west of Broadway. “We can’t allow them to be taken advantage of by scam artists looking to make an easy buck.” Both Johnson and Ferrugia praised Crespo and his Assembly colleagues for enacting the

20

“When I asked him why, he would tell me that everyone deserves to have a little dignity,” Wong recalled. Gould, who was born in Freeport and was raised in Merrick on Long Island, met Wong on Fire Island in 1989. “We were complete opposites in just about everything but I knew that I liked him from the first moment we met,” his wife recalled. “He was handsome with a head of long hair like a lion’s mane, beautiful blue eyes, and a generous warm spirit. He was pretty unstructured and a bit wild but he said when we met he knew his life was going to change.” Gould soon moved to the Upper West Side, and the couple married there in 2001 in a garden of a brownstone on West 89th Street. With a strong interest in politics, “a sharp wit and an opinion about everything,” Wong said, Gould was always at the ready to engage people in deep conversation. With his brother Lewis, who works in the film industry and survives him, he frequented screenings around town, and his TV interests ranged from Bill Maher to Judge Judy, and also took in “Better Call Saul.” Gould also kept close tabs on his 96-yearold father, Howard. Every Saturday morning, while walking to the gym, he would get Howard on the phone so they could “walk” together. Stopping to get coffee from a local street vendor, Andrew would put the vendor on the phone, warning Howard, “Dad, say hello to the guy who makes the worst coffee in New York.” Then, as Andrew headed up the hill on Amsterdam Avenue, Howard would worry about whether he had the stamina that day to make the climb. Gould, his wife said, battled “his cancer with grace and courage right up to the end, still caring about people, animals, and his community. He told me that he loved his life and that if he was given the gift of surviving his cancer, he would gladly spend it right here on the Upper West Side.” In addition to Christina, Howard, and Lewis, Andrew is survived by another broth-

ticket bot legislation, but Ferrugia added he’d like to see some tweaks to the law. The Broadway League is looking for stricter language requiring resellers to disclose the portion of the price that goes to them, a phone number in case something goes wrong for the buyer, and that they have no affiliation with the show they are selling tickets for.

COURTESY: CHRISTINA WONG

Flowers in memory of Andrew Gould sit side by side with water bowls for passing dogs outside his NY Hair Co. salon.

COURTESY: CHRISTINA WONG

Andrew Gould in his NY Hair Co. salon.

er, Richard, nephews Jesse, Billy, and Nick, and eight cousins among a large extended family. Donations in Andrew Gould’s name can be made to Farm Sanctuary, which operates facilities to protect farm animals and encourage vegan living in Watkins Glen, New York as well as Los Angeles and Oakland, California, the Best Friends Animal Sanctuary in Utah, and People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. n

“Anytime your business model includes hiding how you do business or hiding your identity from the consumer, you know you should look into it a little further,” Ferrugia said. Looking at the bigger picture, however, Ferrugia acknowledged that the bill was a huge step forward in addressing the rampant use of ticket bots. The Broadway

League is hoping that strict sentences will begin to deter the unfair practice and help consumers feel more welcome on Broadway. “We want to make sure the patron is not being robbed and have all the information they need to make an informed ticket purchase,” Ferrugia said. “We want to make sure they get the best product for the best price.” n

June 30 - July 13, 2016 | ManhattanExpressNews.nyc


Police Blotter Police have connected previous bank robberies at Santander Bank to four new incidents throughout May and June and have incorporated them all into a citywide bank robbery pattern. Adding to the two previous robberies, police said that on May 27 at around 4 p.m., the male suspect returned to the Santander Bank at 250 Lexington Avenue, between East 34th and 35th Streets, and attempted to pass the teller a note. According to police, the 57-year-old female instead went to the back of the bank to call 911. Police said the suspect fled with no property taken. A few days later on May 31 at around 4:30 p.m., the suspect entered the HSBC Bank at 354 Avenue of the Americas, between West 4th Street and Washington Place, and passed a note to the male teller that demanded money and suggested he was armed, police said. The 46-year-old teller complied and the suspect fled with an undetermined amount of money, according to police. Police said that on June 13 at around 3 p.m., the suspect struck again at an HSBC Bank at 2025 Broadway, between West 69th and 70th Streets, and passed a note requesting money and suggesting being armed. The 46-year-old female teller complied, and the suspect made off with an undetermined amount of money, police said. According to police, the latest incident occurred on June 24 at around 11:45 a.m. with an HSBC Bank located at 721 Amsterdam Avenue, between West 95th and 96th Streets, with the same modus operandi, but with a 28-year-old female teller and the suspect fleeing northbound on Amsterdam Avenue, then westbound on West 96th Street, police said. Police released photos of the suspect (available at manhattanexpressnews.nyc), whom they don't otherwise describe.

COLLISION: PEDESTRIAN IMPATIENCE (20TH PRECINCT) An Upper West Sider, on June 28, passed away after being hit by a vehicle that had the green light, police said. According to police, a 2013 Infiniti SUV struck Stephanie Dains, 69, while she was walking along West 75th Street and began crossing Broadway without the right of way. The vehicle was travelling southbound on Broadway with the green light when it struck Dains, according to police. Police responded at around 8:30 p.m. and found Dains lying in the roadway with head trauma. EMS transported her to St. Luke's Hospital, where she was pronounced dead. Police said the driver, who was not arrested, remained on the scene and the investigation is ongoing with the NYPD’s Collision Investigation Squad.

GRAND LARCENY: SUPERMARKET SKIMMERS (VARIOUS PRECINCTS)

credit and debit card usage throughout Manhattan. Police said they received 23 reports from February 27 to March 29 of victims who said money was removed from their bank accounts without authorization. Police determined that devices, placed throughout supermarkets in Manhattan, stored the victims’ card information and PINs. According to police, the suspects then later withdrew money from the victims’ bank accounts at ATMs in Manhattan and Queens with forged cards made from the stolen information. Police added that 26 incidents were added to the investigation since May 11 and one additional incident was added since June 15. Police released photos of the suspects (available at manhattanexpressnews.nyc), whom they don't otherwise describe.

SEXUAL ABUSE: UNWANTED GUEST (19TH PRECINCT) A 25-year-old male is wanted by police for an incident of sexual abuse where he is suspected of approaching a 26-year-old female victim on June 14 at around 2:45 p.m. As the victim entered her apartment building on East 85th Street, the suspect touched her chest over her clothes, according to police. Police released photos of the suspect (available at manhattanexpressnews.nyc), whom they describe as a 25-year-old male Hispanic, approximately 5'5" and 160 pounds.

GRAND LARCENY: WANTED FOR WALLETS (1ST, 17TH, MIDTOWN SOUTH, MIDTOWN NORTH PRECINCTS) Police are looking for two females for a possible connection to a grand larceny pattern in Manhattan. The pattern, police said, includes 11 incidents where a male suspect, now apprehended, removed credit cards from victims or their unattended property and then used the stolen cards to make purchases. According to police, there are two females that have been seen using the stolen credit cards. Police said the most recent incident occurred on May 11 at around 3:15 p.m. at Manhattan Hotel on 790 Seventh Avenue, between West 51st and 52nd Streets, where a female victim's wallet was removed. Before that, police said that on May 1 at around 4 p.m., a 14-year-old female victim’s wallet was removed from her bag when she was at the McDonald’s at 160 Broadway, between Liberty Street and Maiden Lane. And dating back to April 21 at around 4:45 p.m., police said there was an incident where a 17-yearold female victim’s wallet was removed inside a Shake Shack at 691 Eighth Avenue, between West 43rd and 44th Streets. The previous eight incidents followed the same pattern of the male suspect removing victims’ wallets in locations ranging from trains to business establishments.

Police are looking for four male suspects related to a total of 50 incidents of unauthorized ManhattanExpressNews.nyc | June30 - July 13, 2016

c BLOTTER, continued on p.27

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21


The Big Chill

CAROL ROSEGG

Mary Theresa Archbold, Jamie Petrone, and John McGinty in Samuel D. Hunter’s “The Healing,” at Clurman Theatre at Theatre Row through July 16.

BY DAVID KENNERLEY

N

ew York’s summer theater scene usually boasts lighter, feel-good fare, especially during LGBT Pride Month, when it throws on a rainbow-hued feather boa and kicks up its heels. Openly gay playwright Samuel D. Hunter (“The Whale,” “A Bright New Boise”) is oblivious to this tradition. And that’s fine by me. His latest work, “The Healing,” presented by Theater Breaking Through Barriers, is an exquisitely poignant, largely joyless affair. Under the acutely sensitive direction of Stella Powell-Jones, an air of mordant desperation hangs heavy over a group of friends reuniting to bury one of their own. Their sorrow feels all too real, intensified by protracted, awkward silences. The action is set in the dead of winter at the dour, cramped southeastern Idaho abode of Zoe, who passed away under woeful cir cumstances that become painfully clear as the play progresses. The living room, designed with obsessive, hoarder-esque detail by Jason Simms, is cluttered with cutesy figurines and gewgaws — clowns,

22

frogs, Mickey Mouse, and the like — most of them ordered from the Home Shopping Network. “Sometimes I just get lonely, and… I just like knowing that even when I’m gone they’ll still be around,” Zoe says, in one of several flashbacks offering clues to her plight. The friends have traveled from afar to attend the funeral. Since Zoe had no close family, it’s up to them to pack up the house and dispose of its contents. Hardly anyone else came to the funeral. And yet, this is no ordinary social circle. Some 25 years ago, the gang bonded at a nearby Christian sleepaway summer camp geared toward kids with disabilities. Accordingly, several roles are played by actors with disabilities, which adds a fascinating dimension to the work, alternately uneasy and inspiring. Not that the word “disability” is appropriate for this highly accomplished ensemble. Shannon DeVido is outstanding as Sharon, the whip-smart, successful executive who happens to be wheelchair-bound. Sharon, now an atheist, is livid that poor Zoe, a devout Christian

Scientist who relied on prayers instead of pills to cure her frequent bouts of illness, learned her faith from the head counselor at the camp. Sharon bitterly recalls the counselor telling the young campers, “If we prayed har d enough, Jesus would heal our broken little bodies.” Pamela Sabaugh portrays Zoe with a light touch. To be sure, Zoe is despondent and obsessed with earning God’s love, but Sabaugh refuses to play her as a crazed zealot, and when Zoe has a crisis of faith, it feels completely believable. “I’m asking for God and I’m not getting anything,” she says. “I’m worried that God is not in my life anymore.” David Harrell is affecting as Donald, a gay man who could really use a boyfriend. He proves that the absence of a forearm in no way impedes his progress wrapping up figurines in newspaper. The only couple is Bonnie (Jamie Petrone, who uses a wheelchair) and Greg (John McGinty, who is deaf), who did not know Zoe or attend the camp. This is their first trip together and their new relationship is sorely tested.

Rounding out the bunch is Laura (Mary Theresa Archbold), a gloomy associate professor of Baltic studies at the University of Montana. This supremely sad visit uncovers wounds that have been festering for years and draws out a number of fraught themes surrounding loss, mortality, and the power of faith, friendship, and shared memories. Each character is in need of healing in some way. They casually self-medicate using antidepressants, Ativan, Xanax, and, in Zoe’s case, shopping and God (sometimes she has difficulty separating the two). Not surprisingly, the subtext of “The Healing” is that people with disabilities are as capable as anyone — skilled at packing up a house, holding down jobs, and loving relationships. My only quibble is that the climactic scene, where the group comes face-to-face with a longtime nemesis, is not as powerful or satisfying as it could be. Throughout the entire play, a television blares the Home Shopping channel, with a disembodied, otherworldly voice repeatedly offering the promise of a better life in three easy payments of $19.99 plus shipping. Nobody bothers to change the channel, claiming it’s because they can’t find the remote. When it’s finally found, they leave the strangely comforting channel on anyway. n

THE HEALING Theater Breaking Through Barriers Clurman Theatre at Theatre Row 410 W. 42nd St. Through Jul. 16 Tue.-Wed. at 7 p.m. Thu.-Sat. at 8 p.m. Sat.-Sun. at 3 p.m. $55; telecharge.com 90 mins., with no intermission

June 30 - July 13, 2016 | ManhattanExpressNews.nyc


Contradictions Wrapped Into Right and Wrong

JEREMY DANIEL/ COURTESY: THE BROADWAY LEAGUE

Lads from “Fiddler on the Roof.”

THE WHOLE BROADWAY SEASON & HOME FOR DINNER BY SAM OGLESBY

H

ave you ever fantasized about seeing all the shows on Broadway, knowing full well you don’t have the time, never mind the money to realize that dream? Well, I was lucky enough to come close — all in one afternoon. On June 3, I saw “Stars in the Alley,” the absolutely free show that takes place every year in the heart of Times Square showcasing the best of Broadway’s fare in an intimate setting tucked away in Shubert Alley, located west of Seventh Avenue between 44th and 45th Streets. Celebrating the end of the Broadway season, “Stars in the

Alley” is part of the build-up of festivities that culminate in the annual Tony Awards. With star appearances and highlights from more than 30 shows from the current season, the show had a live 12-piece orchestra and also included numbers from long-running favorites such as “Chicago” and “Phantom of the Opera.” “Stars in the Alley” is sponsored by the Broadway League, the industry’s national trade association. You’re now on plenty of advance notice for next year’s show. With a 12:30 p.m. “curtain,” showing up by 11 a.m. gets you a shot at prime standing room or maybe even a seat in the sponsor -reserved area. Or at least that was my experience: smile at security and good things happen. n

JEREMY DANIEL/ COURTESY: THE BROADWAY LEAGUE

Heather Headley and the cast of “The Color Purple.”

ManhattanExpressNews.nyc | June30 - July 13, 2016

GRASSHOPPER FILM

Kim Min-hee and Jung Jae-young in Hong Sang-soo’s “Right Now, Wrong Then.”

BY STEVE ERICKSON

J

udging from his 17-film oeuvre (made in only 20 years), here’s a list of things South Korean director Hong Sang-soo likes: filmmakers such as himself, young women who are attracted to them, zoom lenses, soju (an indigenous Korean wine, equivalent to sake), complicated narrative structures. Hong has built a personal vocabulary and aesthetic as distinctive as any director who’s emerged in the time in which he’s been working. Unfortunately, Americans have had a hard time keeping up with him, unless they attend film festivals avidly. I keep expecting his latest film to be his American breakthrough, but many of them haven’t even received distribution here. The films that have opened always closed in a week or two. Hong’s work recalls French New Wave directors like Eric Rohmer and Alain Resnais, but its narrative playfulness is accessible, even if it demands an active spectator. I can even see connections between his films and “Groundhog Day.” But Hong would probably need to be American — or at least cast an American star like Julianne Moore, instead of French actress Isabelle Huppert, who has appeared in two of his films — to find an audience here. Thankfully,

the plucky new distributor Grasshopper Film is trying its luck with “Right Now, Wrong Then.” Filmmaker Ham (Jung Jaeyoung), who’s often just referred to as “Director,” has arrived at the Suwon Film Festival a day early. Killing time at an outdoors hall, he meets a young female painter, Heejung (Kim Min-hee). She professes to admire his work, although conversation reveals that she hasn’t actually seen any of it. The two head to her workshop, where she puts the finishing touches on a colorful painting. Then they go out for sushi and soju, eventually having a lengthy drunken talk. It’s clear that they’re attracted to each other, but he’s married. The next day, he appears in front of a small audience at the festival and gives a rambling answer when asked to give a concise summary of what film means to him. Then Hong’s film begins again around the hour mark, replaying the same situations with somewhat different dialogue and behavior. A few films into his career, Hong seemed to discover the zoom lens and he hasn’t looked back since. While it was popular in the ‘60s, and filmmakers like Robert Altman and Roberto Rossellini made eloquent use of it, it quickly became

c RIGHT & WRONG, continued on p.27 23


Manhattan Treasures exhibition brings together these photographs, drawings, photomontages, and collages, along with a selection of related archival material, to reconstruct this volume. Though never published, due to financial and organizational difficulties, Tzara’s project addresses concerns about art’s reproducibility that continue to be relevant today. Museum of Modern Art, 11 W. 53 St. Through Sep. 18: Sat.-Thu., 10:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m.; Fri., 10:30 a.m.-8 p.m. Admission is $25; $18 for seniors; $14 for students; free for 16 and under. Information at moma.org.

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A PEEK INSIDE SCOTUS

NEW ENGLAND’S GOT TALENT “Talent Has Hunger” is Josh Aronson’s inspiring film about the power of music to consume, enhance, and propel lives. Filmed over seven years in master cello teacher Paul Katz’s studio at the New England Conservatory, “Talent Has Hunger” is a window into the mysterious world of the artist, the passion that can grip and sustain a young player from childhood through the last days of life, and the years of sacrifice and dedication a budding artist needs to fulfill one's talent. The film focuses on the challenges of guiding gifted young people through the struggles of mastering the cello. Leonard Nimoy Thalia at Symphony Space, 2537 Broadway at W. 95th St. Jul. 3 & 10, 5 p.m. Aronson appears in a Q&A following the Jul. 10 screening. Tickets are $14, $12 for students & seniors at symphonyspace.org.

at the Beacon Theatre, 2124 Broadway at 74th St. Jul. 6, 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $55-$150 at beacontheatre.com.

THE BANALITY OF EVIL’S AUTHOR

A TROVE OF DADA ARTIFACTS

The German-Jewish philosopher Hannah Arendt caused an uproar in the 1960s by coining the subversive concept of the “Banality of Evil” when writing about the trial of Adolph Eichmann in Jerusalem for the New Yorker, with many critics charged minimized the unique horrors of the Third Reich. In her private life she was no less provocative, thanks to an early love affair with renowned German philosopher and Nazi supporter Martin Heidegger. A probing and spirited documentary, with an abundance of archival materials, Ada Ushpiz’s “Vita Activa: The Spirit of Hannah Arendt” offers an intimate portrait of the whole of Arendt’s life, traveling to places where she lived, worked, loved, and was betrayed, as she wrote about the open wounds of modern times. Leonard Nimoy Thalia at Symphony Space, 2537 Broadway at W. 95th St. Jul. 3 & 10, 7 p.m. Tickets are $14, $12 for students & seniors at symphonyspace.org.

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“Dadaglobe Reconstructed” reunites more than 100 works created for “Dadaglobe,” Tristan Tzara’s planned but unrealized magnum opus, originally slated for publication in 1921. An ambitious anthology that aimed to document Dada’s international activities, Dadaglobe was not merely a vehicle for existing works, but served as a catalyst for the production of new ones. Tzara invited some 50 artists from 10 countries to submit artworks in four categories — photographic self-portraits, photographs of artworks, original drawings, and layouts for book pages. The

The US Supreme Court is the branch of the federal government with the most mystery and it arouses the greatest curiosity. The proceedings are not televised, and yet many are fascinated by the goings on at the high court, despite having little understanding of the cases decided there and what they mean for most people. The 92nd Street Y and its partner, the Forum on Law, Culture & Society at NYU School of Law, begins a new annual program, “Law of the Land: the Supreme Court’s Year in Review” that will take audiences inside SCOTUS’ major rulings and discuss their bearing on past and future cases. This year offers the added intrigue of a new presidential nominee to the bench. Moderator Thane Rosenbaum, director of NYU’s Forum, leads a discussion with Adam Liptak of the New York Times, Dahlia Lithwick of Slate, and NYU Law’s Professor Kenji Yoshino and Dean Trevor Morrison. 1395 Lexington Avenue at 92nd St., Buttenwieser Hall. Jul. 6, 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $32, $15 for those 35 and younger at 92y.org.

THE FORLORN DANISH PRINCE As part of the British National Theatre’s NT Live Program, Symphony Space presents a screening of the Royal Shakespeare Company’s “Hamlet.” The world at his feet, Hamlet is young, wealthy, and living a hedonistic life studying abroad. Then word reaches him that his father is dead. Returning home he finds his world is utterly changed, his certainties smashed, and his home a foreign land. Strug-

ETHERIDGE, BENATAR & GIRALDO Singer-songwriter Pat Benatar and her longtime collaborator guitarist Neil Giraldo join rocker Melissa Etheridge in concert

24

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gling to understand his place in a new world order he faces a stark choice. Submit, or rage against the injustice of his new reality. Simon Godwin (“The Two Gentlemen of Verona,” 2014) directs Paapa Essiedu in the title role, and Sola Akingbola provides the percussive accompaniment. Leonard Nimoy Thalia, 2537 Broadway at W. 95th St. Jul. 13, 2 p.m.; Jul 30, 7 p.m. Tickets are $24, $16 for those 30 and younger at symphonyspace.org.

THE ANCIENT ART OF NOH Kiyokazu Kanze, the Kanze School’s 26th Grand Master and a descendent of the founder of Noh, brings the lyricism and elegance of this ancient dramatic art to Lincoln Center. Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Rose Theater, Time Warner Center, Broadway and 60th St., fifth fl. Jul. 13-15, 7:30 p.m.; Jul. 16, 1:30 p.m.; Jul. 17, 2 p.m. Ticket are $30-$125 at jazz.org.

TAKING THE MEASURE OF ELEVATOR REPAIR SERVICE For 25 years, Elevator Repair Service has been a leader in innovative and experimental theater in New York. ERS is currently in the early stages of planning for a co-production with the Public Theater of Shakespeare’s “Measure for Measure,” one of the Bard’s so-called “problem plays.” The ensemble offers a preview excerpt from the production, and the company and its artistic director, John Collins, then appear in conversation about the project. 92nd Street Y, 1395 Lexington Ave., Kaufmann Concert Hall. Jul. 14, 8 p.m. Tickets are $32, $15 for those 35 and younger at 92y.org.

June 30 - July 13, 2016 | ManhattanExpressNews.nyc


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James McNair and seriously injured fellow comedian Tracy Morgan. The driver, Kevin Roper, was going 20 miles over the speed limit and was almost at his drive time limit, according to preliminary reports by the National Transportation Safety Board. According to the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, about 100,000 car crashes in the United States each year occur as the result of an overly tired driver. Various studies demonstrate that drivers who have remained awake for 18 hours prior to driving

ManhattanExpressNews.nyc | June30 - July 13, 2016

mimic the driving performance of intoxicated motorists. In fact, drowsy driving can be confused with driving with a high blood alcohol content. Sleepiness can arise relatively quickly, and according to Thomas Balkin, PhD, director of the behavioral biology program at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research and a leading expert on sleep and fatigue, it’s difficult for drivers to assess just how sleepy they are. “Sleepiness affects the part of the brain responsible for judgment and self-awareness,”

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noon, prompting drowsiness. A 2010 study by the American Automobile Association Foundation for Traffic Safety found that as many drivers reported falling asleep at the wheel in the afternoon hours as reported falling asleep late at night. Driving in a warm, quiet car also may spur drowsiness, as would driving after a heavy meal. Driving tired is just as dangerous as other impaired driving. Slow reaction times and unawareness of surroundings can contribute to accidents that are otherwise avoidable..

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June 30 - July 13, 2016 | ManhattanExpressNews.nyc


c GILDER, from p.16 In closely tracking the expansion’s impact on the park’s treasured trees, Smith explained, the Defenders hired their own arborist, Urban Arborists, which conducted a separate evaluation prior to the Bartlett’s. Urban Arborists’ analysis of the trees found that both the elm and the oak are in good condition and would have a very high replacement cost. The English elm, Urban Arborists estimated, is worth around $230,000, while the Pin oak was valued at $124,000. The replacement cost for all nine trees originally expected to be lost came to about $1.1 million, the arborist concluded. For the Defenders, the trees are worth

much more than these replacements statistics would suggest. “Intuitively and inherently, you get a feel those trees are important from a layperson’s perspective,” Smith said. “Those two big shade trees really help retain that beautiful character we’re trying to achieve.” While the Defenders group was originally in complete opposition to the project, its members now feel they’re able to have more influence on the project’s future by being a part of the conversation in the museum’s Park Working Group. Meanwhile, the opposition has grown into several new groups, which have all lamented the lack of true community input and transparency. For Claudia DiSalvo, the president of the Community United to Pro-

c RIGHT & WRONG , from p.23 a tiresome device; one French critic complained about the “boom of zoom.” In Hong’s hands, the zoom lens enables him to vary the long takes he favors. He uses it 32 times in “Right Now, Wrong Then.” Sometimes it reinforces his characters’ essential isolation by suddenly focusing the camera on one of them. At other times, it allows him to reframe the image without moving the camera. The possibilities of the zoom lens seem endless in Hong’s hands. The first part of “Right Now, Wrong Then” is actually called “ R i g h t T h e n , Wr o n g N o w ” onscreen, causing me to wonder if I’d gotten the title wrong. The differences between the two halves are sometimes minimal, sometimes major. For instance, Heejung uses orange paint in the first half and green paint in the second half. More importantly, she and Ham have a friendly discussion about painting in the first half and an unpleasant argument in the second half. Sometimes, Heejung contradicts herself in the same ways. She complains about having no friends and then takes Ham to a party thrown by one of them. The film’s centerpiece — the extremely long take where Ham and Heejung drink soju and eat sushi — comes across differently in the two parts. Ham and Heejung seem to have fun getting drunk at first; later on, she drinks much less — this comes after she says she’s given up drinking

tect Theodore Roosevelt Park, the museum’s announcement about two trees was a feeble and insulting attempt at responding to the opposition. “I’m just outraged they think they’r e throwing us a bone for giving us two trees,” she said. “This doesn’t mean they have considered the community.” But the museum maintained that saving the two trees is part of its goal of incorporating the interests of different constituents into its plans. “The community had come forward about wanting to maintain some of these trees,” said Lebron. “We’re just continuing to find ways to work with the community, to look at the design, and to try and save some of the trees. Here was a gesture on our part.”n

c BLOTTER, from p.21 RIGHT NOW, WRONG THEN Directed by Hong Sang-soo

Police released photos of the two wanted females (available at manhattanexpressnews. nyc), whom they don't otherwise describe.

Grasshopper Film In Korean with English subtitles Film Society of Lincoln Center Francesca Beale Theater 144 W. 65th St. filmlinc.com Metrograph 7 Ludlow St., btwn. Hester & Canal Sts. metrograph.com

and smoking — and his drunken antics have an ugly, desperate edge. This air of desperation only continues at the party Heejung takes him to. Hong must know that his films often play like male fantasies; after all, he titled one of them “Woman Is the Future of Man.” Ham has a magnetic ability to attract women, but he also seems to be a pathetic drunk. This duality isn’t rare for a Hong protagonist. The same kind of scenario, playing out in a Woody Allen film, would wind up with Heejung becoming Ham’s girlfriend. Hong is too self-aware to play the fantasy through to its obvious conclusion. He clearly identifies intimately with characters like Ham, but he creates universes to separate himself from them. Quantum physics meets the French New Wave in “Right Now, Wrong Then,” and the results don’t feel like anything I’ve seen before outside the Hong filmography. n

ManhattanExpressNews.nyc | June30 - July 13, 2016

ASSAULT: MALLET MELEE (19TH PRECINCT) According to police, a 21-year-old female victim was assaulted by another woman with a black rubber mallet on June 14 at around 9:30 p.m. outside the subway station at East 96th Street and Lexington Avenue. The victim was brought to Metropolitan Hospital for treatment. Police released photos of the suspect (available at manhattanexpressnews.nyc), whom

they describe as a black female in her 20, 5'8" and 135 pounds, with a slim build.

COLLISION: HIT AND RUN (20TH PRECINCT) On June 18 at around 3:15 a.m., police discovered a 21-year-old male in the crosswalk of West 61st Street and Broadway. Police said the man was unconscious and unresponsive and when EMS arrived, they declared the male deceased on the scene. The NYPD Highway Unit’s Collision Investigation Squad found that the man was trying to cross westbound on Broadway when he was struck by an unknown vehicle that then continued northbound on Broadway. Police said there have been no arrests, but the investigation is ongoing.

LOCAL POLICE CONTACTS: Midtown North Precinct

20th Precinct

306 West 54th Street

212-580-6411

212-767-8400

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162 East 102nd Street

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19th Precinct 153 East 67th Street 212-452-0600

120 West 82nd Street

212-860-6411

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Central Park Precinct 86th Street and Transverse Road 212-570-4820

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