YOUR WEEKLY COMMUNITY NEWSPAPER SERVING CHELSEA, HUDSON YARDS & HELL’S KITCHEN
Key Lockboxes Spark Safety Concerns BY DUSICA SUE MALESEVIC An increase in key lockboxes has some residents concerned about safety, as they point to home-sharing sites that use the key keepers so people can gain entrance to buildings. A host can put the keys in a lockbox, giving their guest the combinaLOCKBOXES continued on p. 2
CB4 Designs Bus Terminal Plan Positions BY SEAN EGAN The idea of a new Port Authority Bus Terminal (PABT) coming to Hell’s Kitchen is still weighing heavily on the minds of the members of Community Board 4 (CB4). Ever since the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey announced its desire to create a new, PABT continued on p. 4
WRITING: READ ALL ABOUT IT!
The La Sopa poetry and performance workshop offers an abbreviated August session. See page 17.
Photo by Michael Shirey
A banner carried by protesters who traveled from Trump Tower on Fifth Ave. to Trump International Hotel at Columbus Circle in a July 18 demonstration.
Guns, GOP Platform Bring Protesters to Trump Tower BY PAUL SCHINDLER “They woke a sleeping giant with the LGBT community,” said Glenn Zuraw about the National Rifle Association (NRA), as he stood outside Trump Tower on Fifth Ave. on July 18. “We should have been here on this issue long before now. I cried for three days after Orlando. I didn’t cry after Newtown, and I’m sorry I didn’t.” Zuraw was one of more than 500 demonstrators who braved a late afternoon downpour to raise their voices against the NRA, the Republican Party, and Donald Trump, the man that party coronated as its presidential nominee this week in Cleveland. Protesters — called to Trump Tower by the direct action grassroots group Queer Nation, Gays Against Guns (which formed in response to the June 12 gun slaughter of 49 at an LGBT club in Orlando), and New Yorkers Against Gun Violence — focused their ire on the GOP’s absolutist support for NRA policies, Trump’s repeated xenophobic
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attacks on immigrants, especially those from Mexico or who are Muslim, and a party platform that even the Log Cabin Republicans have termed the most “anti-LGBT ever.” Asked what awakening the LGBT movement would mean for the gun debate in America, Zuraw, who lives in Queens, responded, “Look how much we’ve gotten changed. DOMA. Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. Gay marriage.” Brooklynite Terry Roethlein echoed Zuraw’s thoughts on what the LGBT community can bring to the table in the push for gun control advances. “What can we in the LGBT community do?,” he asked. “Organizing.” For Roethlein, the issue isn’t something new post-Orlando. “I’ve been on the anti-gun violence bandwagon for a while,” he said. “Despite the horror of Orlando, one of the PROTEST continued on p. 3 VOLUME 08, ISSUE 28 | JULY 21 - 27, 2016
Longtime Residents Riled by Home-Share Lockbox Surge LOCKBOXES continued from p. 1
Photo by Jane Argodale
For the buildings at 309 and 311 W. 21st St., two lockboxes are placed at sidewalk level.
Photo courtesy Tom Cayler
A lockbox at 439 W. 48th St., directly outside of a ground floor resident’s window.
Photo by Jane Argodale
On W. 21 St. (btw. Eight & Ninth Aves.), two lockboxes are attached to a tree guard — which the Parks Dept. says is allowed.
Photo courtesy Tom Cayler
New trend, old tech: On Ninth Ave. in Hell’s Kitchen, a lockbox hitches its wagon to a public payphone.
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tion to open the keeper. Those who make their residential spaces available to others via short-term rental sites — Airbnb, HomeAway, VRBO, Flipkey, and Craigslist — use the lockboxes if they cannot hand over keys in person. Realtors also use key lockboxes. Last week, Chelsea Now counted 11 key keepers on W. 21st St., btw. Eighth and Ninth Aves. Some were discreetly placed, hidden behind bikes or garbage cans. Others were easily spotted, out in the open and affixed to tree guards and fences. In front of one building on the block, four key keepers dotted a tree guard’s perimeter. “It affects your quality of life — you don’t know who your neighbor is,” Pamela Wolff said. “It’s uncomfortable.” Wolff is a member of the Chelsea West 200 Block Association, which encompasses W. 20th, W. 21st and W. 22nd Sts., btw. Seventh and Eighth Aves. Wolff, a longtime resident of W. 21st St., noted one particular building’s frequent use of a linen service. “Clearly there is an operation going on there,” she said. Wolff told Chelsea Now she has seen groups of people on her block towing suitcases, opening the lockboxes and then getting into buildings. Sometimes visitors have problems with the lockboxes and ask neighbors for help, she added. This has happened to Wolff, who said the visitors told her they were using Airbnb. “It’s destabilizing the neighborhood,” Wolff said. “When we lose that stability… it can become a frightening experience. Suddenly everyone is suspicious of everyone else. And suspicion breeds fear.” Another W. 21st St. resident, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said she first noticed a few key keepers a year ago and that recently there has been a spike in the lockboxes. Hell’s Kitchen resident Tom Cayler, who has advocated against illegal hotels since 2003, said residents are scared to go on the record because they fear their landlords are listing units on home-sharing sites, and will target them. Another longtime Chelsea resident, who also spoke on the condition of anonymity, said she feared retribution from neighbors. She said that while she understood the economics of putting your apartment on a shortterm rental site, the constant influx of transient people into the neighborhood was weakening the fabric of the community. “It undermines the kind of neighborhood cooperation we’ve had for the last 40 years,” she said. Cayler has seen several lockboxes in Chelsea and Hell’s Kitchen, saying, “They’re a common sight now,” he said, adding, “The biggest concern is you have no idea who is in your building.” There are other quality of life issues as well, as visitors on vacation might be louder or make more noise than a resident who has to work the next day, Cayler said. However, not all residents minded or even noticed the key keepers. Eric Yanez, who has lived in Chelsea for about a year, told Chelsea Now “It doesn’t affect me,” when asked about the lockboxes and his neighbors using short-term rental sites.
Kathleen Martinez, who has lived in Chelsea for 70 years and on the W. 21st St. block for over 25, was not upset about the key keepers, but said they are a concern. Her husband, Angel Martinez, said he had noticed the lockboxes, but didn’t know what they were. He had seen a “lot of new faces coming in and out” of his building and had attributed that to high resident turnover. Another concern for some residents is where the lockboxes are being latched, such as tree guards. Speaking on background in an email, a spokesperson for the Parks Department noted that tree guards are under their jurisdiction — but current policy does not consider the presence of key keeper boxes to be an unauthorized use of Parks property. David Moss, spokesperson for City Councilmember Corey Johnson, said in a July 14 phone interview that his office reached out to the 10th Precinct about the legality of cinching the key keepers to public property. The precinct, he said, would look into it, but it is legal as far as they know. Johnson’s office also reached out to the Mayor’s Office of Special Enforcement (MOSE), which is tasked with oversight over illegal hotels (MOSE indicated they would provide a comment to Chelsea Now, but did not do so by the time we went to press for our July 21 issue). Currently, there is legislation before Governor Andrew Cuomo, awaiting his signature or veto, which would make it illegal to advertise entire apartments on Airbnb. According to New York State’s multiple dwelling law, it is illegal to rent out a whole apartment for less than 30 days. It would be “an enforcement tool against major violators of the law,” and MOSE would keep an eye on listings, said a spokesperson for New York State Assemblymember Richard Gottfried on background. State Senator Brad Hoylman’s office did not respond to several requests for comment. A July 18 search on Airbnb’s website found just over 300 listings for Chelsea. There were 214 results on HomeAway, and four on VRBO. One listing on Airbnb for W. 21st St. near Eighth Ave. was for a “big living room and bedroom” for the nightly rate of 165 euros (around $182). From June 1, 2015 to June 1, 2016, there were 41,373 total listings in Manhattan, according to Airbnb’s “One Host, One Home: New York City.” There were 4,676 total listings in Midtown Manhattan and 16,586 for “Other Manhattan,” according to Airbnb. The company’s data did not break down to specific neighborhoods. Chelsea Now asked Airbnb via email about the company’s response to residents who are worried about their safety if the lockboxes are comprised, and by the increased frequency of people coming in and out of their building. Peter Schottenfels, a spokesperson for Airbnb, pointed to the company’s announcement of a new resource for neighbors, launched May 31. Concerned residents can go to tinyurl.com/j42aefj to “share specific concerns they might have about a listing in their community. These concerns could include things like noise complaints. From there, our team will review their concern and, if necessary, follow up with the host regarding the issue,” according to Airbnb’s website. .com
Gun Reform, Gay Rights Concerns as Cleveland Conclave Opens PROTEST continued from p. 1
bright sides was how I was glad to see that my LGBT brothers and sisters were willing to join this movement. I mean, we have marriage equality, which isn’t so important to me. Here our community is moving beyond the particulars to see something that is good for the whole society. That’s what makes America great.” For many in the crowd, guns were only a part of what brought them out on the first evening of the Republican National Convention. “I’m really upset in general with the Republican platform,” said B. C. Craig of Brooklyn. “Trump’s racist xenophobia is added to their inborn homophobia. And Pence is homophobia on steroids.” Craig quickly pivoted her comments to the gun issue. “We must stop seeing the NRA as politically inviolable,” she said. “They must be made toxic so that no candidate takes their money or their endorsement. The NRA is responsible for so many deaths, especially people of color.” Tim Murphy, a media spokesperson for Gays Against Guns, reinforced Craig’s suggestion that gun control advocates must marginalize the powerful NRA. The new group has already staged demonstrations against Long Island Republican Congressmember Lee Zeldin and New Jersey GOP Representative Tom MacArthur, both aimed at “embarrassing” NRA supporters on their home turfs. Murphy mentioned other potential targets, including Republican senators seeking reelection, such as New Hampshire’s Kelly Ayotte, Ohio’s Rob Portman, and North Carolina’s Richard Burr. Murphy said, “We are going to name and shame the whole chain of death” on the gun issue, including those who invest in gun manufacturers — the Blackstone Group and Credit Suisse have been frequent targets of criticism on that score — the manufacturers themselves, the NRA, and legislators who are “puppets” of the gun lobby. In addition to Zeldin, Leah Gunn Barrett, the executive director of New Yorkers Against Gun Violence, mentioned six other New York Republicans in Congress her group is putting pressure on, including Richard Hanna, Chris Gibson, Tom Reed, Chris Collins, Elise Stefanik, and John Katko. .com
New Yorkers Against Gun Violence’s Leah Gunn Barrett speaks to the crowd in Columbus Circle.
Gunn Barrett contrasted the current political climate with that of the 1990s, when many Democrats became skittish about gun control after election reversals, which followed legislation pushed by President Bill Clinton banning the sale of assault rifles. Alluding to Hillary Clinton favorably, she said, “It is very unusual for the Democratic presidential candidate to speak as forcefully on the gun issue as she has.” Still, New Yorkers Against Gun Violence is also working to keep Democrats accountable. Governor Andrew Cuomo, Gunn Barrett said, “needs to get busy.” The state has not yet developed the point of sale ammunition background check database required under Cuomo’s 2013 gun legislation, and Governor Jerry Brown in California has led his state much further, she said, adding that remaining issues New York must tackle include firearms safe storage and ammunition microstamping requirements, as well as provisions to remove firearms from people “in crisis.” Gunn Barrett said she got engaged in the gun control issue after the 1997 murder of her brother, 40-year-old Gregory Gaines Gunn, who was married with two children, at his Oklahoma business. Cathy Marino-Thomas, another Gays Against Guns spokesperson, emphasized that any Democrats who continue to take money from the NRA will be protested along with Republicans. “No one is exempt,” she said, even as she suggested that the Cleveland convention was the site of many of the worst offenders. “Why are they not allowed to carry PROTEST continued on p. 11
Photos by Michael Shirey
Gays Against Guns spokespeople Tim Murphy (center) and Cathy MarinoT:4.313” Thomas (right), along with Little Donnie.
SAFETY FIRST MEANS ACTING FAST.
Nothing is more important than your safety. So if you smell a gas leak or see a downed power line, call 911 or 1-800-75-CONED (1-800-752-6633) immediately. Also, be sure to call us if you see steam from a Manhattan manhole. You can even do it anonymously. For more information, visit conEd.com.
July 21 - 27, 2016
Eminent Domain CB4’s Chief Port Authority Project Concern PABT continued from p. 1
updated terminal in late 2015 — in order to accommodate an expected 50% increase in ridership in the next 20 years — CB4, the community and local businesses have been very vocal with concerns about how the new structure might negatively affect the Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood. Thus, the forthcoming PABT project — which has been steadily moving forward due to a design competition launched by the Authority — was the sole focus of July 13’s CB4 Clinton/Hell’s Kitchen Land Use Committee meeting. Asserting the evening would be a “really important meeting,” but nonetheless “kind of informal” and include public participation, J.D. Noland, the committee’s chair, introduced the first item on the agenda, a report from the Hell’s Kitchen Working Group. The informal group tied to the committee was assembled from community residents, stakeholders in the neighborhood, and CB4 members in order to focus on the area, and the PABT project, specifically. Betty Mackintosh took the lead on the Hell’s Kitchen Working Group’s efforts, in order to research the area where the Port Authority is looking to build, and to articulate what CB4 would demand from the Port Authority going forward with this project. To address the former point, Mackintosh provided the committee with maps of her own design which examined an area whose boundaries stretch from W. 42nd St. and Ninth Ave. west, to the river and W. 33rd St. — taking care to note important areas, like affordable housing projects and land currently owned by the Port Authority. “You can really sense there’s a lot of transportation going on,” Mackintosh commented. Mackintosh also penned a series of requests of Port Authority for the committee to consider and discuss. Some of the main points included respecting community character; improving air quality and decreasing vehicular congestion; improving residents’ and commuters’ safe passage; and building a solution that will satisfy demand for the next 50 to 100 years. Beneath these categories, more detailed suggestions were listed. The most spirited debate of the night touched on the potential use of eminent domain — a process by which the government takes control of privately owned land for public works — and the language used in the bullet points. As originally written, the point said the practice “should not” be used; the committee sought to make the language more exact in their condemnation. Stating she was “echoing the voice of the community,” CB4 Chair Delores Rubin, who was also in attendance, asserted, “Eminent domain is not acceptable to this community.” Noland was also critical of the practice, observing that history shows it “is always [used] in neighborhoods that can’t fight back.” It was agreed that the Port Authority should use land they already owned (as highlighted by the maps). Further suggestions included: the Authority being more responsible for the maintenance of the PABT; constructing an aesthetically pleasing building; ending idling practices to help improve air quality; and that the Authority should go through the ULURP
July 21 - 27, 2016
Image courtesy CB4
One of the maps designed by Betty Mackintosh, showing the land that the Port Authority already owns.
Photo by Sean Egan
The Clinton/Hell’s Kitchen Land Use Committee deliberated over a list of requests to bring to the Port Authority.
(Uniform Land Use Review Procedure) process for the project. Among the public, community members — including PABT neighbors, such as a deacon from Metro Baptist Church — expressed dislike for the potential of an Eighth Ave. location, and firm disapproval of eminent domain. One local suggested that state of the art “scrubber systems” be put in place to curtail air pollution. A popular suggestion was simply putting a terminal in New Jersey, and light-railing commuters in, an idea the committee was favorable to. “The idea of a single terminal on the Manhattan side is an outmoded idea,” declared Joe Restuccia, a member of the committee, saying that building in New York was “not a long-term solution.” The suggestion for New Jersey construction was thus adopted in the bullets. In the end, the committee decided to revise the requests accordingly and incorporate the new suggestions, to be included in a letter addressed to the
Port Authority, subject to approval at July 27’s CB4 full board meeting. “We’re a very exact board, and we want to make sure [our requests] can’t be misinterpreted in any way,” Rubin told Chelsea Now in an interview after the meeting. It’s all part of an effort to be cautious, so that when they talk to the Port Authority, “We’re completely certain that this is what the community is requesting, and is what the community needs.” “We think that finally we are starting to make it clear that Port Authority really needs to engage with the community in order to make any type of decision — and I think we’re finally getting some headway, as we’ve been getting some positive responses from Port Authority, and have been getting some great support from our elected officials,” Rubin said, noting that the board was looking to organize a follow-up to their April town hall meeting with Port Authority in the early fall. .com
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July 21 - 27, 2016
Cereal Cafe Brings Snap, Crackle Cuisine to Times Square BY JACKSON CHEN The classic combination of milk and cereal is getting a gourmet makeover as Kellogg’s opens its first-ever cereal cafe in Times Square. The location at 1600 Broadway at W. 49th St. opened its doors to fans of Tony the Tiger and Toucan Sam on July 4. (In restaurant biz parlance, that was a “soft opening” in advance of the “official” July 13 debut.) The cereal cafe’s menu of six cereal mixes, priced from $6.50 to $7.50, and four sundaes, from $8.50 to $9.50, was designed by Christina Tosi, who achieved culinary fame with her quirky bakery, Milk Bar. With ingredients like green tea powder, ground coffee, and blueberry jam, Kellogg’s is hoping to draw in crowds by yanking cereal out of the nostalgic cul-de-sac of childhood memories and elevating it to cuisine sought out long after the breakfast hour ends (Kellogg’s NYC is open daily, 7am–11pm, and credit cards are the only accepted form of payment). “I believe in the excitement a bowl of cereal can bring any time of the day,” Tosi said, adding she’s remained a cereal lover long past her childhood. “I’m so excited to bring back a household staple in a fun, creative way!” The cereal manufacturing giant teamed up with Tosi and Anthony Rudolf and Sandra Di Capua of Journee, a restaurant consulting company that was given authority over the space’s design. According to Kellogg’s, everything from the simplistic venue design of white brick walls and black chalkboards, to the perfect spoon size, was tackled by Journee. The Kellogg’s focus on details extends, as well, to cereal’s best friend, with the milk sourced from Five Acre Farms, a company that boasts local production from upstate Salem and Storrs, Connecticut. While the cereal cafe is only just in its infancy, the fan favorite award seems to have already been bestowed upon Tosi’s “Pistachio & Lemon,” a medley of original Special K, Frosted Flakes, pistachios, lemon zest, and thyme. Many cereal samplers compared the flavor to roasted chicken as the aromas of citrus and herbs hit the nose just before the first spoonful. But for prospective customers who still crave the fruity, sugary simplicity of cereal, the cafe’s offering of “Life in Color” with Froot Loops, marshmallows, passion fruit jam, and lime zest may deliver the desired balance between a childhood and an adult mindset.
July 21 - 27, 2016
Photos by Jackson Chen
The Kellogg’s NYC all-day cereal menu was designed by Christina Tosi of Milk Bar fame. Locally sourced milk from Five Acre Farms is also part of the draw.
After ordering his fruity cereal mix, Ravi Rajendra, a tourist from Montgomery, Alabama, was summoned by buzzer to a large chalk drawing of Toucan Sam. The mascot instructs customers to “Follow Your Nose,” but they are actually directed to numbered red cupboards that dispense their orders. “I’ve always been a big cereal fan, and it’s what I have for breakfast most days,” Rajendra said, adding that he too started the habit as a kid. “Now that I’ve grown up, it’s really cool to have a more adulttype cereal.” Rajendra said the simplicity of the recipes at the cafe might well inspire him to spruce up his breakfasts at home. Kellogg’s is backing up its bet that it can carry cereal past the morning hours by offering four varieties of ice cream sundaes –– including Honey Buzz, which features a fetching combo of Honey Smacks, honey, toasted pecans, and banana chips. And adventurous patrons can “raid the pantry,” designing their own cereal concoctions with a list of ingredients including all of the Kellogg’s brand cereals, a variety of fruits, several nuts and seeds, and even a Pop-Tarts crumble. Becky Jones, who was with her family visiting from Jacksonville, Florida, designed her own bowl, but with a restrained, toppings-free approach of Rice Krispies, Frosted Flakes, and Froot Loops.
You can be Toucan Sam: Ravi Rajendra follows his nose, to pick up his order from a red cupboard.
Becky’s siblings, SJ and Terrell, explained that they were raised on Kellogg’s brand cereals during their youth. While the family stuck with fairly conservative choices, SJ said she’d be willing to try the ice cream variations as a dessert item. “For breakfast, you want to go in for what you’re expecting at the first start
of the day,” she said. “But if I came here after dinner and I wanted something sweet, I’d try some of the bigger, more festive options.” To keep up with the ever-changing tastes of Times Square, the cereal cafe’s menu will rotate every three months. A delivery service is also planned, due to launch later this year. .com
Photos by Jane Argodale
Roots to River Farm, one of many vendors at Chelsea Farmers Market.
Third graders at the PS 11 Farm Market clamor to answer a customer’s question.
Farmers Market Produce Makes for Delicious Meals BY JANE ARGODALE With tables set up under tents and stocked from end to end with goods from vendors throughout the tri-state area, farmers markets are once again in full swing. As a student who’s often strapped for cash, I recently visited two of Chelsea’s weekly farmers mar-
kets with the goal of buying as much produce for as little money as possible, then cooking up some tasty and healthy dishes. The PS 11 Farm Market, run by (supervised) third graders at the W. 21st St. elementary school’s summer camp, is small but impressive. With reasonably
priced produce from Stoneledge Farm in Greene County upstate, I was able to buy a number of fresh vegetables for less than $10. The children working at the farmers market were eager to assist perusing customers with impressive energy on a weekday morning. Assisting me were third graders Madison, who
rattled off the prices for me — “That’s two dollars! That’s one dollar!” — and Stephon, who put his arithmetic skills to the test and totaled up the price of my goods. After a few minutes of counting and re-counting, he informed MARKETS continued on p. 15
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July 21 - 27, 2016
POLICE BLOTTER THE WEST SIDE’S COMMUNITY NEWSPAPER
Editor Scott Stiffler
Editorial Assistant Sean Egan Jane Argodale
Art Director Michael Shirey
Graphic Designer Cristina Alcine
Lincoln Anderson Jane Argodale Stephanie Buhmann Jackson Chen Sean Egan Winnie McCroy Colin Mixson Puma Perl Paul Schindler Trav S.D. Eileen Stukane
DWI: Backwards boozer In the early morning hours of Fri., July 15, one seriously soused driver was arrested after he was seen heading the wrong way down Ninth Ave. (at the northwest corner of W. 22nd St.). The 22-year-old New Jersey man, observed behind the wheel of his 2009 Toyota Scion at about 4am, offered up some pertinent information to the arresting officer. “I had five drinks,” he declared, as though his inebriation wasn’t obvious due to the whole, you know, driving the wrong way down Ninth Ave. thing. An Intoxicated Driver Testing Unit (IDTU) administered was able to place a precise numerical value on just how reckless the man was being, as he blew a .14 BAC — far over the .08 New York State limit.
DWI: Smashed cars while smashed On the morning of July 15, the same date as the above item, another drunk driver caused chaos in Chelsea. At about 6:30am, an officer was called to respond to a three-vehicle accident at the northwest corner of 10th Ave.
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THE 10th PRECINCT
Located at 230 W. 20th St. (btw. Seventh & Eighth Aves.). Commander: Capt. Paul Lanot. Main number: 212741-8211. Community Affairs: 212741-8226. Crime Prevention: 212-7418226. Domestic Violence: 212-7418216. Youth Officer: 212-741-8211. Auxiliary Coordinator: 212-924-3377. Detective Squad: 212-741-8245. The Community Council meets on the last Wed. of the month, 7pm, at the 10th Precinct or other locations to be announced. They are on hiatus until Sept. 28.
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July 21 - 27, 2016
THE 13th PRECINCT Located at 230 E. 21st St. (btw. Second & Third Aves.). Deputy Inspector: Brendan Timony. Call 212477-7411. Community Affairs: 212477-7427. Crime Prevention: 212-4777427. Domestic Violence: 212-4773863. Youth Officer: 212-477-7411. Auxiliary Coordinator: 212-477-4380. Detective Squad: 212-477-7444. The Community Council meets on the third Tues. of the month, 6:30pm, at the 13th Precinct. They are on hiatus until Sept. 20.
and W. 15th St. The crash was the fault of a 27-year-old Brooklyn man, who drove his 2014 Toyota Camry through a red light, causing the collision. Upon inspection, the officer noticed the individual smelled of alcohol, and had bloodshot, watery eyes. “I had one beer three hours ago,” the man proclaimed. This was confirmed to be but a weak attempt at a cunning ruse, however, as a breath test administered on the scene revealed his .14 BAC — confirming the suspicions of intoxication aroused by the whole, you know, running a red light and causing a three-car collision thing. After breathing a .087 BAC on an IDTU a few hours later, the man was arrested.
CRIMINAL MISCHIEF: Vandalism vexes vacationer A 34-year-old resident of the 300 block of W. 24th St. (btw. Eighth & Ninth Aves.) found himself stuck in an exceptionally literal sticky situation when coming home from a trip. The man, who was absent from his apartment while on vacation since Thurs., July 14, came home only to be greeted by a damaged front door. Specifically, an adhesive aficionado had glued the keyhole on his front door lock. The returning resident reported the incident to the police upon his arrival on Sun., July 17, and while his building has cameras, they could not be accessed at the scene — leaving the fate (and motivation) of the cyanoacrylate criminal unknown.
CRIMINAL MISCHIEF: Delinquent destroys dishes A case of seriously bad table manners turned criminal on Sun., July 17 at La Vela (558 11th Ave., btw. W. 42nd & W. 43rd Sts.). According to a 20-year-old witness, at about 9pm, a 24-year-old Staten Island man eating at the establishment made a spectacle of himself; breaking dishes, and refusing
CASH FOR GUNS $100 cash will be given (no questions asked) for each handgun, assault weapon or sawed-off shotgun, up to a maximum payment of $300. Guns are accepted at any Police Precinct, PSA or Transit District.
to pay his $52.82 food tab. After causing a ruckus, the man left the scene — though he apparently didn’t quite stick the landing of the “dash” half of his “dine and dash” plan, as he was quickly apprehended by authorities after wandering away from the restaurant.
ASSAULT/GRAND LARCENY: A kick in the head, apprehended Last week, the NYPD arrested two individuals connected to a brutal attack on a 75-year-old man. As reported in our sister publication, The Villager, shortly after 2pm on Wed., July 13, the two were in front of 120 W. 14th St. (btw. Sixth & Seventh Aves.). The 19-year-old woman took the senior citizen’s cellphone out of his front pocket, and then played the role of lookout — while her 20-year-old partner punched the man in the back of the head, knocking him to the ground. He then kicked him in the face, knocking him out, at which point they fled eastbound on W. 14th St. The victim (now in stable condition) was taken to Lenox Hill Hospital, suffering from a laceration to the head, while the police released security footage images of the duo from the incident, and asked for the public’s help in identifying/finding them. The pair, who hailed from Chicago, were picked up by authorities the next day, after shoplifting at a Kmart (250 W. 34th St., btw. Seventh & Eighth Aves.).
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Safety not juSt driverS’ reSPonSibility Safety should be a top priority for everyone sharing the road, including cyclists, drivers and pedestrians. The following are a few tips each of those groups of travelers can employ to ensure the roads stay safe for everyone.
• Bicyclists must follow the same traffic rules as automobile drivers. Stop for red lights and stop signs, signal lane changes or turns, and
drive on the correct side of the road. • Watch out for parked cars. Oftentimes, drivers exit their vehicles and do not check for oncoming traffic or cyclists. You can be hit by a swinging car door. • Make yourself as noticeable as possible. This could include using a light or horn on the bike to signal your presence to drivers. • Always wear a helmet and other applicable safety equipment.
• Maintain your bike so that it is safe to ride. • Do not carry others on your bike (such as a friend or a child) if it is not designed to do so. Riding on the handlebars or behind the cyclist can be dangerous. • Avoid the use of ear buds or headphones while cycling. You want all of your senses to be available to avoid accidents. • Cycle out of the way of drivers’ blind spots so you’ll be more visible.
• Do not ride your bike on the sidewalk where you could injure pedestrians.
• Always use sidewalks and crosswalks when available. If no sidewalk is present, be sure to walk against the direction of traffic. • Use traffic signals as your guide. However, make sure all traffic has stopped before crossing the road or stepping off of the sidewalk. • Keep control of pets when
walking on a leash, so you’re not pulled out into traffic. • Use caution at bus stops. Many injuries occur from pedestrians running to catch a bus or stepping out into traffic after exiting a bus. Remember, there will be another bus behind the one you’re chasing and safety is more important. • Wear brightly colored or reflective clothing if walking at night. • Do not cross highways or interstates on foot.
July 21 - 27, 2016
July 21 - 27, 2016
BOYS! BABES! BIRDS!
(and some pretty cool BOATS too!)
Photos by Michael Shirey
The crowd at Columbus Circle. PROTEST continued from p. 3
guns inside the hall, if they are so safe?,” Marino-Thomas asked of rules barring weapons from the convention center, despite Ohio’s open carry law that allows demonstrators outside to have guns. “Why do they get a safe zone and nobody else does?” Several of the protesters speculated on the kinds of coalitions that could be built around the gun issue. Craig and Roethlein each mentioned that law enforcement officials often speak out about the need for sensible gun legislation, and that instinct may be heightened in the wake of the targeted shooting deaths of eight police officers in Dallas and Baton Rouge. Both, however, emphasized that any conversation about such a coalition strategy must
include people of color, among whom there is widespread anger over shooting deaths by police. “We have to find common ground,” Roethlein said. “But Black Lives Matter will have to be part of the conversation. Not just white liberals.” That point underscored one of the challenges for a movement that, at least on this occasion, fielded a crowd of protesters that was predominately white. As the demonstrators reached Columbus Circle, where the Trump International Hotel is located, after marching from Fifth Ave., one black man watching the procession called out, “I would be with you if all the guns would be gone, but what you want would take the guns away from everyone except the people I don’t want to have the guns. That’s why I need my gun.”
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New Regulations Clamp Down on Cranes BY COLIN MIXSON The city took the first steps towards tightening regulations of construction cranes and their operators, implementing several measures designed to prevent collapses like the one that claimed the life of a man in Tribeca earlier this year. The action by the Department of Buildings (DOB) follows the recommendations of a crane-safety panel set up in the wake of the Feb. 5 toppling of a crawler crane on Worth St. When the Crane Safety Technical Working Group reported its findings last month, Community Board 1(CB1) called on the city to move swiftly to implement the proposed regulations before they could be diluted by pushback from the construction industry. “I’m very pleased that DOB has acted so quickly to adopt some of the recommendations from the working group,” said Jeff Ehrlich, a member of the board’s Tribeca Committee who lives on Chambers St. The new regulations were put into effect at the end of June by order of DOB Commissioner Rick Chandler, and may be tweaked and refined over the coming weeks as they’re written into the city’s construction code, according to a spokesman for the agency. The new rules include: • Requiring mobile cranes to be fitted with wind measuring devices, called anemometers, which record real-time wind readings. • Requiring contractors to hire “on-site lift coordinators” with the authority to shutdown crane operations in the event of unsafe conditions. • Restricting mobile crane operations whenever winds exceed 30 miles per hour. • Requiring crane operators to secure cranes when not in use as per a specified “wind-action plan,” which includes retracted, jackknifed, and laid-down positions. These regulations are in addition to emergency measures taken immediately after February’s crane collapse, which included banning mobile cranes rated for 20 mile per hour wind gusts or less from operating on public streets, and an increase in fines related to “failure to safeguard cranes” from $4,800 to $10,000, both of which will remain in effect. Furthermore, the now-mandated on-site lift coordinators will be subject to unannounced inspections, during .com
Photo by Milo Hess
A falling crane killed one person and crushed several cars parked along Worth St. on Feb. 5, prompting new regulations from the city.
which city sleuths will check recorded wind readings at work sites and compare them to the actions of the lift coordinators to ensure operations were shutdown in accordance with the commissioner’s mandate. Joe Soldevere, a spokesperson for the DOB, stressed that additional regulations will likely follow, and that the new rules announced last month comprise measures that the building’s department felt could be implemented without new legislation on the part of city council, and which were simple enough to be implemented quickly. “We will have additional actions to announce in terms of enacting the recommendations that the working group has already made,” said Soldevere, “but as the commissioner said, these regulations are solid, sensible, and do-able.” Bruce Ehrmann, another member of CB1’s Tribeca Committee, expressed concern over the new regulation’s maximum wind-speed, despite praising the city as “basically doing the right thing.” “I’m uncomfortable with a 30-milesper-hour wind threshold,” said Tribeca resident Erhmann. “I’m not an engineer, I’m basing that on terror — on the terror of living on a block where a crane crash destroyed two blocks and killed someone. That’s all pure viscera.” The deadly collapse in Tribeca that still concerns Erhmann isn’t the only instance of a crane toppling over in recent memory. A crane collapse on July 19 snarled traffic on the Tappan Zee Bridge for four hours, although motorists largely escaped the crash unharmed, with
only three drivers suffering “very minor” injuries, according to Governor Andrew Cuomo, who spoke a press conference following the accident. The collapse occurred amid a $3.9 billion project to replace the aging 1955 span, and the toppled crane was one
among 28 that were installing pilings using a vibrating hammer at the time that it fell. The governor described the fallen crane as a newer model, which had conducted heavier work than it was at the time of the accident.
Live Tweets to Give Dems Devil of a Time Our outspoken in-house satirist Max Burbank — whose “Stump Speech” columns have been covering the race for president since the very first caucus fracas — turns his attention to the July 25–28 Democratic National Convention, via the modern miracle of live tweeting. Follow @ChelseaNowNYC, and find out what Max really thinks of the big plans “Crooked Hillary” and Lucifer have for our great nation.
@ChelseaNowNYC July 21 - 27, 2016
1 ACTOR. AN EXTRAORDINARY TOUR-DE-FORCE.
Join Live Out Loud & Bay Street Theater for a special viewing of
The Absolute Brightness of Leonard Pelkey For tickets, please visit: baystreet.org/calendar/the-absolute-brightness-of-leonard-pelkey/
Saturday, July 23, 2016 at 5:00 pm Bay Street Theater in Sag Harbor, NY (corner of Bay Street and Main Street, Sag Harbor, New York 11963)
Performance starts promptly at 5:00 pm. Reception to follow (Limited availability - location TBA).
Proceeds from the evening will benefit Live Out Loud and Bay Street Theater. 14
July 21 - 27, 2016
MARKETS continued from p. 7
me, “That’ll be nine dollars.” That got me two Boothby cucumbers, one bunch of spinach, two pounds of summer squash, a bunch of thyme, and a box of cherries. The Chelsea Farmers Market on W. 23rd St., run by Down to Earth Farmers Markets, has more vendors and consequently more varied offerings — in addition to the usual fruits and vegetables, vendors were selling honey, meats from Dickson’s Farmstand, flowers, baked goods, and even gin from Greenhook Ginsmiths in Brooklyn. On the sunny mid-afternoon I visited the market, each shaded stall was bustling with customers examining the array of goods in front of them. To stretch my money as far as possible though, I stuck with produce and found goods that were fresh, local, and delicious. I picked up a pint of hot padron peppers from the Roots to River Farm stand at the market for three dollars, and fresh tomatoes, mint, and basil from Jersey Farm Produce for eight dollars. My goods from both farmers markets went a long way for my culinary pursuits this week. Roasted with some olive oil, sea salt, and pepper, and alongside some eggplant, the squash made a great addition to a pasta dish with Italian sausage. My
Photos by Jane Argodale
The PS 11 Farm Market is run by students at the elementary school.
fresh thyme along with rosemary added flavor to a simple tomato sauce, and the spinach and Boothby cucumbers, tossed with strawberries, pecans, and apple cider vinegar, made the perfect sweet but still healthy salad. After de-seeding one of the padron peppers, I made a very simple spiced lemonade with basil and mint, and the extra basil went perfectly with my tomatoes, some olive oil, and fresh mozzarella for a classic Caprese salad. The cherries, being one of my all-time favorite finger foods, I just ate straight up. Though differing in size and scope, both the Chelsea Farmers Market and PS 11 Farm Market provided healthy and afford-
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able alternatives to my usual Key Food runs, and helped me create tasty meals on a budget, just as I had set out to do. The PS 11 Farm Market is located at 320 W. 21st St. (btw. Eighth & Ninth Aves.), and is open every Wed. morning, 8–9:30am, through late Nov. Visit stoneledgefarmny.com and ps11chelsea. org/ps11-farm-market.com. The Chelsea Farmers Market, run by Down to Earth Farmers Markets and hosted by Church of the Holy Apostles, is open every Sat., 9am–5pm, through Dec. 17. Vendors are located on the north side of W. 23rd St., east of Ninth Ave. Visit downtoearthmarkets.com.
Padron peppers from Roots to River Farm on display.
Produce, including mint and bok choy on display at the Jersey Farm Produce stall at Chelsea Farmers Market.
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Speak Your Story at La Sopa
Workshops challenge writers to explore and evolve BY PUMA PERL In my experience, the best writing workshops emphasize building community and sharing the transformative experience of creation. Technique can be taught; a simpatico group of artists evolves. Some years back, I travelled faithfully to the Bronx every Sunday morning. When and how my Saturday night had ended was irrelevant; I needed to write with this family of poets called Acentos. A fierce young woman named Jani Rosado was another dedicated family member, so naturally I was excited to learn of her engagement in a new endeavor. La Sopa NYC (aka The School of Poetic Arts) is an educational workshop series currently in residence at The Loisaida Center, a Lower East Side nonprofit organization and multi-purpose space born during the activist movements of the 1970s. The series is dedicated to the development of artistic skill and the exploration of literary and performance expression, and its vision and mission are continually expanding. Now in its fourth cycle, “Our emerging pedagogy is that of a Community STEAM [Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics] program, as it pertains to adult innovators seeking mastery of arts and entrepreneurship,” Rosado noted. The $150 fee for a six-week session provides many opportunities in addition to the poetry and performance workshops offered weekly. The students, many of whom have never been onstage, are provided platforms for their voices to be heard and their stories to be told. La Sopa participates in events throughout the city, including the Queens Book Festival’s Q-Boro Literary Crawl, the Loisaida Festival, the New York Poetry Festival at Governors Island, and the Union Square Slam. Individual critiques and mentoring are offered via virtual office hours, available to all participants. The courses are not geared toward basic poetry writing skills. A screening process for new applicants is in place in .com
Photo by Albert Areizaga/TaínoImage
A La Sopa Completion Ceremony at Nuyorican Poets Cafe.
order to sustain a creative dynamic and attract participants who have already developed a relationship with the arts. Many of the students return, and fresh energy is created between the new and the old. Mario J. Pagan, an emerging poet, midway through his third cycle with the intention to continue, noted, “I keep coming back for the camaraderie. I’ve found peers who are open and eager to teach and to learn from each other, and to master our craft. La Sopa is a community where I have seen anxiety go out the window, shyness kicked to the curb, egos shut down, and self-esteem flying high — a space where all the misfits, late bloomers, nerds, and geeks come together and finally find a place to fit in. But most importantly, we continue the oral tradition of the Nuyorican
movement and honor those who came before us.” The idea for a school had been on poet Juan “Papo Swiggity” Santiago’s mind for some time. Papo and George “Urban Jibaro” Torres founded Capicu Culture, a grassroots house of poetry and performing arts in 2007. In 2009, Papo began seriously thinking about opening a school based on the Nuyorican, Black Arts, and Beat Poet movements. He had recently learned about the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics and figured if the Beats could do it, so could he. Fast-forward a few years and a few attempts later. Co-founder Jani Rosado recalled a late-night gathering at Papo’s place in 2011 as a pivotal moment when, sitting on the steps at sunrise, still talking about their
creative work and the community, “I mentioned how much I missed the Acentos workshops. It was like church for many of us — where we went to commune with others and improve ourselves. As I spoke, Papo looked at me like lightning had struck oil; we shared the same dream. The three of us, Papo, George Torres and I, made a pact that night that we would make it happen.” The trio eventually agreed on the use of the description “Poetic Arts” because there “is poetry in every form and medium,” said Rosado. “La Sopa, or soup, is the asopao. Throw it all in the pot, simmer it with love, and make something warm and delicious for the family. It’s medicine. Every culture has LA SOPA continued on p. 18 July 21 - 27, 2016
Photo by Puma Perl
L to R: Kimberly Andino, Juan “Papo Swiggity” Santiago and George “Urban Jibaro” Torres at the Loisaida Festival.
LA SOPA continued from p. 17
Photo courtesy Jani Rose
L to R: La Sopa facilitators Rich Villar, Juan “Papo Swiggity” Santiago, Anthony Morales and Jani Rose.
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a special soup that the grandmothers feed you to make you strong and make everything better.” Before they found their current home, it was Torres who worked tirelessly behind the scenes to create visibility and strengthen the new union with the Loisaida Center — which, in June 2015, joined them on the first Capicu float in the New York Puerto Rican Day Parade. The group expanded to include guest facilitators such as Willie Perdomo and Lemon Anderson, as well as adding teachers and mentors, including former Nuyorican Poets Cafe slam master Keith Roach, hiphop poetry educator Anthony Morales, and poet/educator/activist, Rich Villar, who wrote, “When I think of this group of writers, I see nothing less than the next wave of a movement. I’m honored to be in their midst. I’m honored to do my part for this nation-building going on at the Loisaida Center. What we are saying at La Sopa is that when you speak your story, in a culture that doesn’t necessarily want to hear your
story, you are already participating in a political act.” In the upcoming session, for the first time, men and women will have separate tracks, so core issues that have previously arisen can be unpacked and further explored in writing. The fifth cycle of La Sopa will be an abbreviated three-week session, and includes poetry and performance workshops and online mentoring, as well as participation in activities. It will take place 11am–3:30pm on Sat., Aug. 13, 20 & 27, at The Loisaida Center (710 E. Ninth Ave., btw. Aves. C & D;). Applications may be downloaded and submitted, at no cost, via the following link: tinyurl. com/gpecnfa. The series is $75 ($20 each for individual drop-in classes). Those interested in taking individual classes should send three writing samples to email@example.com for consideration. Visit loisaida.org and facebook.com/groups/LaSopaNYC. Follow Capicu Culture at facebook. com/CapicuPoetry and visit capicuculture.com.
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© Saul Metnick
The International Center of Photography, at 250 Bowery.
Private Matters For Public Consumption ICP opens strong on the Bowery with sprawling exhibition BY NORMAN BORDEN With the eagerly anticipated opening of its new museum space at 250 Bowery now a reality, the International Center of Photography (ICP) has come a long way, both physically and philosophically, since it was established by Cornell Capa on Fifth Avenue’s Museum Mile in 1974. Capa’s intent had been to preserve and promote the legacy of the “Concerned Photographer,” a term he used for any photographer passionately dedicated to doing work that contributed to the understanding and well-being of humanity, which included photojournalists and street photographers. Over the years, as photography gained in stature as a fine art, ICP’s influence also grew. When it moved to a larger space on Sixth Ave. in 2000, the Internet and digital technology were .com
in their infancy. ICP embraced the new, but did not trash the old. In fact, its mission statement said, “ICP is expanding to encompass the new electronic imaging media which will shape the 21st century just as photography did the 20th.” (But who could have predicted that over one trillion digital photos are now taken annually?) ICP’s sprawling new exhibition includes 150 works by 50 artists that occupy both floors at 250 Bowery, demonstrates just how far the institution has come — and, more importantly, where it’s going. In the age of selfies, Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram, “Public, Private, Secret” explores how self-identity has become tied to public visibility. Given that millions of people around the world now produce and exchange
images to communicate complex ideas about everything from urban policing to self-identity, Mark Lubell, ICP’s Executive Director, noted, “The new ICP Museum space was specifically designed to foster shared dialogues about these issues and the opening exhibition is a perfect example of this, addressing one of the most critical conversations in today’s post-Internet society: privacy.” Explaining the show’s evolution, Charlotte Cotton, ICP’s first Curator-inResidence, told of a conversation with Lubell while the new space was being built out, during which she expressed her interest in keeping ICP very strongly involved with the social implications of the visual culture. “I wanted to approach it as a social issue rather than from the fine art perspective that most institutions would take.”
When he suggested doing a show about privacy, Cotton said she could live with that subject. “We’re all worried about our privacy to some degree and I was interested in doing a show that would ask you to deal with it in a personal way. I wanted the look and feel of the exhibition to deal with your own body in the space.” Recognizing that all information can be found online, she knew there would have to be a really good reason to visit a physical space, She says, “I liked the idea that we were creating an exhibition that was an experience. You have to be here to get it — you can’t see this at home.” In curating the show, Cotton had some clear ideas about what it should ICP continued on p. 21 July 21 - 27, 2016
The Trials and Triumphs of an Evicted Urban Elf
Rev. Jen’s dispatches from far-flung Bedwick BY REV. JEN MILLER In a recent installment of my written adventures, I made the false claim that it was the most depressing column ever written. I was wrong. This is actually the most depressing column ever written. This month I will discuss homelessness, cancer, mental illness, unemployment, and more! Also, I am going to turn 44 in a couple of days, almost a decade older than Anne Bancroft was when she played Mrs. Robinson. When you are female and constantly surrounded by advertisements featuring women half your age, you start to feel like you age — in dog years. So, technically, I will be 308. But even at that ripe old age, there is still a spring in my step and hope in my heart so, as always, this column will maybe make you smile while I curl up in the fetal position and cry. So, let’s go! I’ll start with homelessness and get to the fun stuff later.
to me in front of the judge after asking me why I was getting such a “hard-on” over the case. I don’t know — maybe the prospect of losing my home of over 21 years? Eventually, due to circumstances, a panoply of mental disorders, and life events, I really couldn’t make rent. But the gavel never came down. They never told me I was evicted. So, it came as quite a shock, one afternoon, when I emerged from the shower, clad only in a towel, to find two men in my kitchen. One was a City Marshal, the government’s equivalent of a mall cop. He told me I had three minutes to leave. Because I know Marshals are allowed to carry guns, I asked him if he had a weapon. He said, “I wish I had a gun to deal with you.” My friend, John, who was staying in the East Wing of the Troll Museum, ran out and had him confess this on video. Even so, there was nothing I could do. I grabbed the two most important things in my life: my cat and my Chihuahua. As I was struggling to get my pussy in a carrier, he said, “Oh, just leave the cat.” What a great idea! Leaving a cat (that’s very stupid) in a 90-degree apartment with little food and water really bodes well for his longevity. So, I got the critters and ran to a neighbor’s, then bolted to the courthouse, where I was granted six hours, two days later (June 28), to remove my belongings. Luckily, a dozen art stars showed up to help. They rented a van and took my things to storage. Three kind friends offered me a temporary place to stay in what I call “Bedwick” because I’m not sure if it’s Bushwick or BedStuy. I do know it’s across from “Big Boy Deli,” which was recently busted for the sale of K2 (synthetic marijuana), which has led to epidemic hospital visits.
New York, New York. I did not want to come here. I wanted to attend Virginia Commonwealth University — but I needed a 1,350 SAT score to get a full scholarship. I had something like a 1,300. So my parents signed me up for an SAT course. Unfortunately, I’d just discovered weed and forgot how to do math, thus scoring 800 on my second attempt. I got scholarships to various art schools and my dad said, “If you are going to be an artist, you should go to New York.” So, in 1990, I arrived here to attend the School of Visual Arts. Because SVA didn’t have dorms, I took a room at the Parkside Evangeline, a Salvation Army residence that looked like a haunted mental institution. No men were allowed to enter. When Irina Dunn coined the phrase “A woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle,” I’m certain she had yet to visit the Parkside. It was hell. Five years later, I found John and I actually a place on Orchard Street found a guy overdosed a where, at the time, no one block away from the Deli. One fellow had already wanted to live. In 2000, I turned my home into a “Troll Museum,” called 911. John called as well while I felt for a given I had something like 600 Troll Dolls and it seemed like a pulse, then felt his abdomen. He was breathing. good idea at the time. My tiny “museum that could” soon gained EMT showed up in less than a minute. I said, “He’s international notoriety and, several men entered. breathing.” They said, “It’s shallow” and they took But after losing my job at the Lower East Side Tenement Museum, him away in an ambulance. It looked like he was I fell behind on my rent and spent over three years in eviction court, 23. Next day, the Post’s front page announced my representing myself. Something like 88% of New York tenants can’t block was “Zombieland.” If Big Boy Deli wants to afford a lawyer, while 97% of landlords can. I was rent-stabilized and clean their act up, they should turn into a legitimate the landlord wanted my lease the way Gollum wants the ring, since “Bob’s Big Boy,” because everyone needs pancakes I’d gentrified the neighborhood and turned it into the worst real estate and coloring contests. shitshow ever. The landlord’s lawyer rarely showed up for court. So I spent Photo by John Foster hours there, hours I could have spent working rather than waiting for Sign of her times: Rev. Jen ponders life REV JEN continued on p. 21 the next adjournment. He was so rude that he was made to apologize away from the Lower East Side.
July 21 - 27, 2016
© Natalie Bookchin
Natalie Bookchin: “My Meds” (2009, from the “Testament” series). ICP continued from p. 19
and shouldn’t be. “I didn’t want to do a surveillance exhibition with drone pictures,” she says. “I didn’t want to fetishize anything. Among the things I picked were historical works that were really at the roots of issues we’re facing today, like early mug shots, Weegee, and the paparazzi.” Asked if she could imagine what Cornell Capa would have thought about this new ICP, Cotton smiled and said, “I think he would have been most proud of the communal space that’s free and open to the public. It doesn’t feel like a museum lobby, but it’s all about access.” Designed to be like a village square, the space has a clock, cafe, comfortable seating, a bookstore, and a bulletin board — all visible from the street through floor to ceiling windows. Workshops, some free, are planned to start in the fall. The hope is that visitors won’t just visit ICP to look at exhibitions, but also come for conversations about photography. “Public, Private, Secret” will cer-
tainly give visitors a lot to talk about. Privacy is a complicated subject, and so is this show. In the main gallery downstairs, the work is loosely organized into three categories: public, private, and secret — and the historical and contemporary work often appear side by side. For example, in the “public” category, 1979’s “Untitled,” by Cindy Sherman (known for her self-portraits), is juxtaposed with a video of “Selfish,” Kim Kardashian’s 2015 book of selfies. Next to it is a series of Andy Warhol self-portraits framed with mirrors. In effect, you’re looking at yourself looking at Warhol. And mirrors are used elsewhere in the exhibition as a framing device, a clever wink to the narcissism that surrounds so much of today’s picture taking. Surveillance and privacy, or the lack of it, come together in a juxtaposition of a poster-sized Weegee photograph of prisoners using their hats to cover their faces, placed next to “The Revolutionary,” from the 2013 series “Spirit is a Bone,” by Adam Broomberg and Oliver Chanarin. They created por-
REV JEN continued from p. 20
CANCER! In somewhat better news, my paramour, Joe, is making a recovery from brain cancer, which means he’ll be able to visit and make sweet love to me on my birthday. I can’t think of anything I want more for my 308th except to maybe finally have my wisdom teeth extracted. It’s been a year and if his battle taught me anything, it’s that love really is patient.
TROLL MUSEUM RESURRECTION! I told you I’d get to something happy. When you go through awful crap, some people turn their backs and some people step right up. The fine people at Chinatown Soup (16B Orchard .com
© Cindy Sherman; courtesy the artist, Metro Pictures
Cindy Sherman: “Untitled” (1979).
traits of a broad spectrum of Moscow’s citizenry by adopting a facial recognition system used by the Russian government to identify individuals at demonstrations and in other public places. Voyeurism has its place in the privacy discussion, as revealed in historical works by Henri Cartier-Bresson (“Mexico,” 1934), Gary Winogrand, (“Women are beautiful,” 1975), and Polaroid photos by unidentified photographers of auditions for Playboy magazine that are covered by a canvas drape, so lifting it up turns the viewer into a voyeur. Underscoring the exhibition’s 21st century sensibilities are streams of real-time images and video on display in the downstairs gallery. Curated by Mark Ghuneim, the feeds use various social media as sources of content, and are organized by themes such as “Hotness,” “Morality Tales,” “Celebrity Leaderboard,” “Transformation,” and “Privacy.” An algorithm changes content about every 15 minutes. As a non-Millennial, I thought “Testament,” by Natalie Bookchin,
was more mesmerizing than the video feeds. It’s a powerful series of collective self-portraits that the artist made from a montage of video diaries she found online. Using topics such as unemployment, sexual identity, and psychopharmacology, Bookchin edited and sequenced the clips from different people — so the effect of her work sounds like a well-synchronized Greek chorus or choir. You can’t see this at home. Like the show itself, ICP’s re-opening downtown was overwhelming — there were some 6,000 visitors during its first four days, a welcome surprise. With those numbers, a thought-provoking exhibition, and a different kind of museum space, ICP is off to a good start. “Public, Private, Secret” is on view through Jan. 8, 2017 at the International Center of Photography (250 Bowery, btw. Houston & Prince Sts.). Hours: Tues., Wed. & Fri.-Sun., 10am-6pm; and Thurs., 10am-9pm (6-9pm, pay what you wish). Admission: $14 (seniors, $12; students, $10; free for children 14 & under). Call 212-8570000 or visit icp.org.
St.) have invited me to do a gallery show and Troll Museum “pop-up.” Opening night is Aug. 16, 7pm. So please join me for a week of performances, music, art, and trolls.
WEREWOLF BITCHES! It only took four years, but my latest feature film, “Werewolf Bitches from Outer Space,” is done — thanks to my goddaughter, Dylan Mars Greenberg, who took over filming after my ex dumped me and left the project. One thing I know about art: If you start a project, finish it, even if the end product is terrible. Opening night to be announced soon (at Anthology Film Archives). Check my Facebook page for details (find me at Revjenn Miller). If you like scantily clad werewolf lesbians, gore, and political satire, you won’t be disappointed!
Photo by John Foster
There’s a new kid in town: Rev. Jen outside of Big Boy Deli, alleged source of K2 zombie sightings. July 21 - 27, 2016
July 21 - 27, 2016
Rhymes With Crazy
Farfetch’d Fears of Pokémon Go Won’t Stop BY LENORE SKENAZY By now even if you have not yet played Pokémon Go, you are more aware of it than your own breathing. You have read that the game has been more downloaded than any other app, ever, and that it has actually convinced kids to leave the house to go play outside — a miracle! But you have probably also heard about the player who stumbled upon a dead body, and the two guys who walked off a cliff (but lived), and the 15-year-old who didn’t look up and got hit by a car (she’s alive, too). And then there were those four guys arrested in a black BMW somewhere in Missouri for waiting in a secluded area and robbing the Pokémon players who stopped by. So if you are part of the vast web of Very Concerned Adults whose life’s purpose seems to be dreaming up terrible things that can happen to kids anytime they venture beyond the kitchen, you can relax. You’ve got your stranger-danger stories. Phew! Now you can remind us that any time people are headed outside, especially kids, they had better think long and hard first. Following this incredibly predictable script, a bunch of our local television stations are solemnly warning us about scenarios they have made up in their heads. Reports CBS New York, “There are worries that sex offenders might use the app to lure children.” And, says NBC New York, the app “could potentially put young people at risk.” Note to news editors: Worries are not the same as “realities.” What’s more, pretty much anything can “potentially” put young people at risk, including eating dinner (they could choke), playing baseball (they could get hit by a bat), and attending school (they could fall off the stage during a production of “Annie”). As delightful as Pokémon Go is to play — I love it and I’ve never played video games (or whatever this is) before — it almost seems to be more exciting to the authorities, who can spit out a new set of warnings faster than you can say “Airtime!” And so all the way across the country, the San Francisco Police Department took it upon itself to tell moms and dads that they should “know where your
kids are going when playing with the app” and “set limits” — as if parents couldn’t possibly figure this out for themselves. As if this whole “kids going outside” thing is just so new and crazy. The ’Frisco Fear-Mongers also published this Pokémon Go Safety Tip: “Know your surroundings and pay attention to where you’re going and who is around you. Slow car paralleling a person on foot might be a sign it’s a getaway car.” Um, yeah. Except that with literally 15,000,000 people playing this game across the entire country for the past week, we have that one BMW in Missouri to point to as an actual menace. Meantime, over in England, which you’d think has bigger problems to freak out about, the authorities are warning that the app could be used to make children “easily accessible to criminals” — and they don’t even have the game there yet! It is almost like there’s a parallel universe out there: Game players get points for finding Pokémon, and the warning-class gets points for dreaming up Hollywood horror movie plots. But the warners also get massive publicity, because nothings sells like kids in peril. Even if they aren’t in peril (can I remind us all here that stranger-danger is the least likely of crimes?). So the other morning I was walking around my bustling neighborhood, Jackson Heights, when I saw one mom showing another mom the app. The explainer had her 10-year-old son with her. “Can he go out on his own to play?” I (a stranger!) asked. “Oh no, no, no,” she said, as if I’d queried, “Would you bathe your child in acid?” The other mom agreed: No way.
“What age do you think you’ll let them play on their own?” Answered Mom #1, grimly laughing: “28.” The Pokémon game is so fun, so simple, so sharable, it is as if the company invented the 21st century equivalent of the ball — a toy kids can play with on their own, or in a group, or when they’re walking down the street. But the ball came of age before the warning industry, indeed before the dawn of history, so kids simply got to go outside and play with it. Imagine that.
Lenore Skenazy is a keynote speaker who authored the book, and founded the blog, Free-Range Kids (freerangekids.com).
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July 21 - 27, 2016
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