The Paper of Record for Greenwich Village, East Village, Lower East Side, Soho, Union Square, Chinatown and Noho, Since 1933
July 28, 2016 • $1.00 Volume 86 • Number 30
At 18 months, it’s gonna be one L of a train shutdown By ALEX ELLEFSON
he apocalyptic L train shutdown is coming! The Metropolitan Transportation Authority announced Monday it has chosen to close the train tunnel between Brooklyn and Manhattan for 18 months in order to repair damage caused by Superstorm Sandy. The shutdown, which will pre-
vent trains from traveling across 14th St. in Manhattan, will occur no earlier than 2019. The announcement ended a prolonged period that saw the agency float two possible scenarios. One involved closing the tunnel completely for a year and a half. The other would close one of the tunnel’s tubes at a time — subway continued on p. 3
Jane St. developer must ‘play nice with neighbors,’ build lower: Landmarks By Michael Ossorguine The city’s Landmarks Preservation Commission has again prevented a construction application for Jane St. from moving forward — at least for the moment. At an L.P.C. hearing on Tuesday, David Chipperfield Architects presented the project design, which would replace an existing garage at 11
Jane St. and replace it with a 95-foot tall tower. No action was taken by the agency, but the commissioners expressed discomfort with some aspects of the design. The project needs the L.P.C.’s approval since the site is located in the landmarked Greenwich Village Historic District. Jane continued on p. 4
Photo courtesy Rob Buchanan
Students rowed out of the embayment — or cove-like area — around Pier 54 in a traditional Whitehall boat from the Village Communit y Boathouse at Pier 40. A lawsuit charges that the proposed Pier55 would block boaters from using this area.
Pier pressure: Will lawsuit sink dazzling ‘Diller Island’? BY LINCOLN ANDERSON
f you don’t hear pounding off of the north end of the Village waterfront shortly after Labor Day, it could be a sign that Barry Diller’s Pier55 “fantasy island” has taken a pounding — in court, that is. Earlier this month, an Appellate Division judicial panel issued a stop-work order on construction of Diller’s glitzy Pier55 project at W. 14th St. It was a stunning blow, as
the ruling came just one day before the driving of the first piles for the new “arts island” was about to begin. But last week, the judicial panel modified their order, allowing some of the piles — though just a few, nine — to be installed now, pending the panel’s hearing of the full appeal on Sept. 6. Initially, plaintiffs from the City Club of New York who filed a lawsuit in June of last year were buoyed by the July 5
stop-work order. In turn, with last week’s partial lifting of the injunction, Diller’s PIER55 group and the Hudson River Park Trust declared that it’s only a matter of time until they are cleared to go full-steam ahead constructing the $130 million six-story-tall undulating pier. But the plaintiffs have floated a raft of what they say are serious violations. For example, they charge, the pier Pier55 continued on p. 12
Street-Hollering Woman safety tips����������������� p. 15 Battling Bleecker babe still undefeated...........p. 27 Thrashing for Dr. Know�����������p. 2
In the Know: Punk bands thrashed while the audience crowd-surfed at Tompkins Square Park on Saturday to help raise funds for Dr. Know, the Bad Brains guitarist. The Dr., real name Gary Miller, is miraculously recovering from a severe heart attack and organ failure that he suffered last November. He had only been given a 5 percent chance of survival, but has been miraculously improving. The Tompkins lineup included the Cro-Mags, Token Entry, Antitode and Breakdown. T-shirts and other merch was sold to help the cause. Incredible but true: It turns out that the Incredible Hulk that was recently in Tompkins Square Park, whose photos we featured last week, was actually not tormented nuclear physicist Bruce Banner but East Village performance fun-loving artist David Leslie. “I did the Hulk for my son Brooks’s friend’s birthday surprise,” Leslie told us. Now that’s a cool dad! Fouratt for Assembly: Following Arthur Schwartz’s recently dropping out of the September primary versus Assemblymember Deborah Glick for health reasons, Jim Fouratt has stepped forward to run in his place. Schwartz collected enough petitions to get himself on the ballot, and Fouratt, through what is known as the “committee on vacancies” process, was allowed to use those, in turn, so that he can run in the primary. Schwartz, in a video statement, has endorsed Fouratt, saying that “voters deserve a choice” in September. Fouratt is a lifelong gay activist who back in the 1970s and ’80s ran local dance clubs as the manager at Hurrah and the talent booker at Danceteria. He’s a longtime member of the Village Independent Democrats political club, which is also Glick’s home club. Fouratt is hoping he can scoop up some of Schwartz’s endorsements, but says he feels like he’s getting the runaround from Allen Roskoff’s Jim Owles Liberal Democratic Club. “He hates Glick, but hates me more, I guess,” Fouratt said of Roskoff. “Anyway, I will have my Web site up early next
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“It’s worth the trip down the street!” 2
July 28, 2016
Photo by Clayton Patterson
Sur f’s up at the Dr. Know benefit concer t in Tompkins!
week and am fundraising.” For her part, Glick said that Schwartz’s petitions looked “very sloppy” to her and that, although he gathered enough names, she thinks they would not have stood up to a legal challenge. There were signatures missing and so forth, she claimed. “If I had wanted to, I could have gotten them thrown out by the Board of Elections,” she said. “I just don’t believe in challenging petitions.” Glick was confident that she will romp over Fouratt. “There will be a primary,” she said. “I will win — and I will win big.” Meanwhile, Schwartz scoffed at Glick’s saying his hefty stack of 2,500 petition signatures was sloppy. “I support the importance of Glick’s record being discussed and having a contested election,” he said.
Message from D’Ag: Like other Villager readers in her neck of the woods, columnist Otis Kidwell Burger, who lives on Bethune St. near the Greenwich St. D’Agostino, has been very concerned about the fate of the supermarket, which has been sporting aisles of empty shelves week after week. Through her accountant, Judith Frias, Burger recently received word from Nancy D’Agostino. “My sincerest apologies for the horrendous stock conditions,” the supermarket executive wrote. “As is evident, we are facing serious challenges. It is heartbreaking that we are disappointing our wonderful customers and stressing our hard-working associates. I know it has been weeks of poor conditions, but we are working to rectify our issues and I hope to get back to you within a couple of weeks with news of fuller shelves.” She signed off, “With deep apology, Nancy D’Agostino.” On Tuesday, Westbeth disabled advocate Margie Rubin called to say that when she passed the supermarket on her way home the night before, she saw that they were busy restocking the shelves. “A truck had brought in a whole bunch of new items,” she said, “and they’re expecting another truckload later in the week. Nothing more permanent than that — but there is food at D’Ag’s.” Political ping pong: Speaking of Glick, arts scion Jean-Louis Bourgeois was bummed out that his request to her to snag him a ticket to the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia didn’t pan out. We’re sure it had nothing to do with Bourgeois being a huge supporter of Senator Elizabeth Warren for president, and all about the fact that, well, it’s just not easy to get a seat unless you are a delegate. A couple of weeks ago, we attended Bourgeois’s birthday bash up at his new country house in Cold Spring, N.Y., where he gave an impassioned speech about why he was certain that Hillary Clinton would pick Warren as her running mate.
Well, obviously that prediction didn’t pan out. But we did enjoy playing a few fast-paced doubles rounds on Bourgeois’s new ping pong table with a local sculptor and his real estate broker wife who sold Bourgeois the place.
Not going quietly: John Bal is back from Thailand but he’s out of the running for the September primary for the 65th Assembly District. In addition to announcing that he has dropped out of the race, he fired a parting shot at the Truman Democratic Club, the Lower East Side Democratic Club and the United Democratic Organization, accusing them of being “private clubs masquerading as Democratic clubs,” and has filed a complaint against them with the Board of Elections. Bal charges they are “closed” membership clubs with “closed” endorsements. He is calling on the B.O.E. to throw out the petition signatures that L.E.S.D.C. and Truman have collected for Alice Cancel and the ones U.D.O. has gathered for Yuh-Line Niou. The only club, in Bal’s view, that is doing things by the book is Downtown Independent Democrats. Funding and facts: Last week, we reported that Paul Newell had put out a press release hailing himself as the “clear front-runner” in the 65th A.D. race based on campaign fundraising, having raised $92,000 in the current cycle. But former District Leader John Scott blasted that as “spin,” noting, for example, that, according to a recent report from the state Board of Elections, Jenifer Rajkumar has raised $137,400, Gigi Li $105,670 and Don Lee a whopping $156,000 in the same period. Surprisingly, Yuh-Line Niou is trailing the pack, with $52,400. Suffice to say, the crowded field of candidates are all scrambling for funds — except, that is, for incumbent Alice Cancel, who has raised only a few hundred dollars, but is clearly “banking” on her deep grassroots community support built up over decades of district activism to help her win re-election. For his part, Newell says he is the only candidate who, over the years, has been laser-focused on winning election to the state Legislature. That was clearly a dig at Rajkumar who made a bid for City Council in the past. Newell ran against former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver in 2008. Correction: In our article last week on the unveiling of the Jean-Michel Basquiat plaque outside his former Great Jones St. loft, a photo caption incorrectly identified artist Kevin Duggan as Michael Holman. The article also incorrectly referred to the Two Boots Foundation as the Two Boots Pizza Foundation. TheVillager.com
At 18 months, it’s gonna be one L of a shutdown subway continued from p.1
allowing trains to run, but at a significantly reduced capacity — and was expected to take twice as long to complete. Veronique Hakim, president of the M.T.A.’s New York City Transit, said the 18month closure “offered the least amount of pain to customers.” “We think it is better to have a shorter duration of pain than a longer, more unstable process — and risk unplanned closures — by leaving one track open during construction,” she said in a statement. The M.T.A. is now tasked with developing transportation alternatives aimed at minimizing the impact on the estimated 400,000 people who use the L train daily. More than half of those riders travel under the East River into Manhattan and 50,000 use the line for crosstown service in Manhattan. State Senator Brad Hoylman has called for closing portions of 14th St. to expedite bus service and sent a letter last month signed by 10 other legislators, requesting the M.T.A. and the city Department of Transportation study ways to improve public transportation along the crosstown thoroughfare during the L train disruption. Following the M.T.A.’s announcement that the line will be closed for a year and a half, the senator urged the agencies to move swiftly in crafting a plan. “With today’s announcement of a full
18-month shutdown, it’s imperative that both agencies act expeditiously to determine whether any changes to 14th St. aboveground could help otherwise stranded straphangers,” Hoylman said in a statement. Community Board 4’s Transportation
‘There is no question these repairs are critical.’ Thomas Prendergast Committee drafted a letter supporting the M.T.A.’s decision to close the tunnel during repairs. However, the committee expressed concern that aboveground changes could divert cars onto narrower residential streets. The letter urges the M.T.A. and D.O.T. to consider traffic-calming measures to miti-
gate the impact of more congestion on surrounding streets. “In Manhattan, we have a lot of transportation options, so where we see a cause for concern is how the overflow of traffic from the 14th St. corridor will affect some of the smaller streets,” said Delores Rubin, Community Board 4 chairperson. “It is important for the M.T.A. to work with D.O.T. to figure out the impact of those proposals.” A D.O.T. spokesperson said the agency is prepared to work with the M.T.A. on mitigation efforts. The committee’s letter also proposes connecting another subway route to the L line in order to provide cross-town service. The letter acknowledges that project would be expensive, but would mitigate some of the traffic disruptions expected to arise by mothballing the L line in Manhattan. The M.T.A. said it is in the process of engaging stakeholders to develop alternative service plans. The agency already intends to add additional trains on the M, J, and G lines to accommodate the expected surge in ridership. The agency has hosted four meetings since May in communities along the L line, including one for the area along 14th St. The town halls allowed for public engagement on some of the solutions proposed by the M.T.A. The agency plans to continue the approach. When announcing the tunnel’s closure,
Thomas Prendergast, the M.T.A. chairperson and C.E.O., said the agency is “committed to working with the community just as closely as we develop ways to add service to help minimize the impacts of the closure.” Prendergast added, “There is no question that repairs to the Canarsie Tunnel are critical and cannot be avoided or delayed.” The L train’s path under the East River — called the Canarsie Tunnel — was one of nine underwater tunnels that required repairs after being flooded during Superstorm Sandy, the M.T.A. said. The Montague Tunnel, used by the R line, was closed for 13 months, and the G line tunnel under Newtown Creek was closed two months for repairs. The M.T.A. said damage to the Canarsie Tunnel is extensive and requires fixing signals, switches, tracks, various cables — for power signals and communication — cable ducts and lighting. Additional work must be done to protect the route’s structural integrity. While the tunnel is repaired, the M.T.A. said it will also rehab some of the stations along the L line — such as adding new stairs and elevators at the First Ave. station. Additional work will also provide additional electric power to allow more trains to operate on the line during rush hour, the agency said. The M.T.A. has committed to building an Avenue A entrance / exit for the cramped First Ave. stop.
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 28, 2016
Jane St. design must be lower: Landmarks Named best weekly newspaper in New York State in 2001, 2004 and 2005 by New York Press Association News Story, First Place, 2015 Editorial Page, First Place, 2015 Editorials, First Place, 2014 News Story, First Place, 2014 Overall Design Excellence, First Place, 2013 Best Column, First Place, 2012 Photographic Excellence, First Place, 2011 Spot News Coverage, First Place, 2010 Coverage of Environment, First Place, 2009
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July 28, 2016
The proposed design for 11 Jane St. features a 61-foot-tall street wall, with two setbacks reaching to 95 feet tall.
Jane continued from p.1
The commission did not dismiss the application outright, however. In fact, the commission favored the demolition of the existing structure, which is described in a 1969 designation report as a “noncontributing” building to the historic district. However, the majority of commissioners did not approve of a number of design features in the project, such as its height, the cast-stone street wall and the windows. “We are gratified that the commissioners listened to our and others’ concerns about this proposal, expressed an unease about the height, scale, design and materials of the building, and did not approve the current application,” Andrew Berman, director of the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation, said. “We know that this developer will be back with a revised version. We hope that the commission will push hard for significant revisions so no oversized or out-of-context design is approved for this very important site in the heart of the Greenwich Village Historic District.”
In June, the commission held another hearing on the project that ended similarly, with the commission saying they would consider preservationists’ arguments. This time, though, David Chipperfield made little to no changes to their design. The main argument put forth by the applicants was that the building, in fact, is contextual, since there are a number of large towers on Horatio St. one block north, and even-taller structures already existent on the same street. However, the commissioners were not persuaded, and said they would reject the plan without adjustments. The commission was displeased with the design’s height. The present building plan calls for six floors, with another structure on the roof slated for mechanical purposes. The L.P.C. members said that the ground-floor ceiling heights — which, under the current plan, would be 2 feet taller than on the other floors — could be the same height as the rest. In addition, they said, the added structure on the roof was an unnecessarily large addition to the height, which could also be shrunk.
The L.P.C. also took issue with the street wall, which was described as a pale cast-stone facade, with the large windows contoured smoothly into the rest of the structure. The commission suggested a “punched window” design more in line with the rest of the street, which would have a less-contemporary feel. Michael Goldblum, one of the L.P.C. commissioners, stated that the design needs to “play nice with its neighbors,” referencing criticisms that it should be built with brick and should not be 95 feet tall. Tuesday’s outcome was described by G.V.S.H.P.’s Berman as “not dissimilar” to the decision made earlier this month regarding another tower plan on Jane St. That plan, by Stephen Harris Architects LLP, calls for a one-family mansion at 85-89 Jane St. Both applications were widely panned by the commission. But, in each case, no action was taken to reject the plan completely. Each project will have another hearing, to be scheduled after the architects have amended their designs. TheVillager.com
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July 28, 2016
POLICE BLOTTER Wrenching robbery
A 63-year-old woman was robbed on the street in front of 354 Sixth Ave. last Wednesday afternoon, police said. At around 2 p.m. on July 20, a woman walked up to the victim and told her to fork over $10 or $20, but the victim said no. The woman then placed a wrench to the victim’s stomach, took hold of her bag and said, “Are you going to make me get my boyfriend?” The victim then handed the woman a $20 bill. Police arrested Yashira M. PerezRios, 33, for felony robbery.
Three men allegedly attempted to rob Bleecker Farm, at 272 Bleecker St. near Morton St., on Thurs., July 21. At around 5 a.m., according to police, the trio removed property from the store. When the storeowner approached them, they struck him multiple times in the head and body, causing substantial pain and bruising. Lucas Baez, 18; Wyatt Luong, 18; and Julius Venuti, 18, were arrested for felony robbery.
Gaslight ‘gun’ On Tues., July 19, at 3:55 a.m., a man was asked to leave the Gaslight bar, at 400 W. 14th St. But he then returned, re-entering the longtime Meatpacking District watering hole and remaining there. Upon further investigation, police said, it was discovered that he was in possession of a toy gun. Police arrested Ernest Lala, 29, for felony criminal possession of a weapon.
Wireless assault A couple got into a dispute that ended in assault early Friday morning. The man told police that on Fri., July 22, at 2 a.m. inside an apartment at 49 Grove St., he and his live-in girlfriend got into a verbal dispute. While arguing, his girlfriend picked up a wireless speaker and threw it at his head. It caused a large bruise to his left eyebrow and nose, requiring medical attention. He was removed to Lenox Hill Hospital. Alicia Hauge, 34, was arrested for felony assault.
W. 4th bank job Police said that on Sat., July 23, at 12:30 p.m., a man entered the Chase bank at 204 W. Fourth St., approached a teller, and passed a note demanding money. The teller complied and the robber left with an undetermined amount of cash. Police described the suspect as white, around age 30 to 35, 5 feet 10 inches tall, 210 pounds, and last seen wearing a sleeveless white T-shirt and blue shorts. Anyone with information is asked to call the Police Department’s Crime Stoppers Hotline, at 800-577-TIPS, or for Spanish, 1-888-57-PISTA (74782). Tips can also be submitted by logging onto the Crime Stoppers Web site, www.nypdcrimestoppers. com, or by texting them to 274637 (CRIMES) and then entering TIP577. All tips are confidential.
Sex-abuse arrest A Queens man was arrested for an attempted rape on the Lower East Side on Wed., July 20. Police said that on that day around 3 a.m., in the vicinity of Suffolk and Stanton Sts., the suspect was observed taking off his pants and underwear. He then reportedly lay on top of
an unconscious 21-year-old woman who was at the location, whose shorts he was attempting to remove. When a passerby stopped to yell at the suspect, he fled the location, according to police. The victim was taken to Beth Israel Hospital in stable condition, where she was treated and released. As a result of an investigation, police arrested Sean Walker, 45, charging him with first-degree sex abuse.
E. 14th burglary It was reported to police that on Fri., July 22, at 1:37 p.m., an unidentified male gained entry to an apartment on E. 14th St. and Avenue A by picking the lock. Once inside, he removed a white iPad 4, a Canary security system and other electronics/accessories with a combined value of $964. The occupant of the apartment, a 29-year-old male, was not home at the time of the incident. The suspect is described as Hispanic, wearing a blue baseball cap, a striped polo shirt, gray cargo shorts and black sneakers. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Police Department’s Crime Stoppers Hotline.
Emily Siegel and Lincoln Anderson
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Visit NYC.gov/knowyourzone or call 311 to ﬁnd out what to do to prepare for hurricanes in NYC. #knowyourzone
July 28, 2016
SAFETY NOT JUST DRIVERSâ€™ RESPONSIBILITY Safety should be a top priority for everyone sharing the road, including cyclists, drivers and pedestrians. The following are a few tips each of those groups of travelers can employ to ensure the roads stay safe for everyone.
sÂŹ "ICYCLISTSÂŹ MUSTÂŹ FOLLOWÂŹ THEÂŹ same trafďŹ c rules as automobile drivers. Stop for red lights and stop signs, signal lane changes or turns, and
drive on the correct side of the road. sÂŹ7ATCHÂŹOUTÂŹFORÂŹPARKEDÂŹCARSÂŹ Oftentimes, drivers exit their vehicles and do not CHECKÂŹ FORÂŹ ONCOMINGÂŹ TRAFlCÂŹ or cyclists. You can be hit by a swinging car door. sÂŹ -AKEÂŹ YOURSELFÂŹ ASÂŹ NOTICEable as possible. This could include using a light or HORNÂŹ ONÂŹ THEÂŹ BIKEÂŹ TOÂŹ SIGNALÂŹ your presence to drivers. sÂŹ !LWAYSÂŹ WEARÂŹ AÂŹ HELMETÂŹ and other applicable safety equipment.
sÂŹ-AINTAINÂŹYOURÂŹBIKEÂŹSOÂŹTHATÂŹ it is safe to ride. sÂŹ$OÂŹNOTÂŹCARRYÂŹOTHERSÂŹONÂŹYOURÂŹ BIKEÂŹ SUCHÂŹ ASÂŹ AÂŹ FRIENDÂŹ ORÂŹ AÂŹ child) if it is not designed to do so. Riding on the handlebars or behind the cyclist can be dangerous. sÂŹ !VOIDÂŹ THEÂŹ USEÂŹ OFÂŹ EARÂŹ BUDSÂŹ or headphones while cycling. You want all of your senses to be available to avoid accidents. sÂŹ#YCLEÂŹOUTÂŹOFÂŹTHEÂŹWAYÂŹOFÂŹDRIVersâ€™ blind spots so youâ€™ll be more visible.
sÂŹ $OÂŹ NOTÂŹ RIDEÂŹ YOURÂŹ BIKEÂŹ ONÂŹ THEÂŹ SIDEWALKÂŹ WHEREÂŹ YOUÂŹ could injure pedestrians.
sÂŹ!LWAYSÂŹUSEÂŹSIDEWALKSÂŹANDÂŹ CROSSWALKSÂŹ WHENÂŹ AVAILABLEÂŹ )FÂŹNOÂŹSIDEWALKÂŹISÂŹPRESENT ÂŹBEÂŹ SUREÂŹTOÂŹWALKÂŹAGAINSTÂŹTHEÂŹDIrection of trafďŹ c. sÂŹ5SEÂŹTRAFlCÂŹSIGNALSÂŹASÂŹYOURÂŹ GUIDEÂŹ (OWEVER ÂŹ MAKEÂŹ SUREÂŹ all trafďŹ c has stopped before crossing the road or STEPPINGÂŹOFFÂŹOFÂŹTHEÂŹSIDEWALK sÂŹ+EEPÂŹCONTROLÂŹOFÂŹPETSÂŹWHENÂŹ
WALKINGÂŹONÂŹAÂŹLEASH ÂŹSOÂŹYOUREÂŹ not pulled out into trafďŹ c. sÂŹ 5SEÂŹ CAUTIONÂŹ ATÂŹ BUSÂŹ STOPSÂŹ -ANYÂŹ INJURIESÂŹ OCCURÂŹ FROMÂŹ pedestrians running to catch a bus or stepping out into trafďŹ c after exiting a bus. Remember, there will be another bus behind the one youâ€™re chasing and safety is more important. sÂŹ 7EARÂŹ BRIGHTLYÂŹ COLOREDÂŹ ORÂŹ REmECTIVEÂŹ CLOTHINGÂŹ IFÂŹ WALKing at night. sÂŹ $OÂŹ NOTÂŹ CROSSÂŹ HIGHWAYSÂŹ ORÂŹ interstates on foot.
July 28, 2016
Photos by Tequila Minsky
Beating the heat, from splashy scoots to shorts
One surefire way to keep cool in the current seemingly never-ending heat wave is to ride a kick scooter through the fountains in the NYC AIDS Memorial Park at St. Vincent’s Triangle. You can make several refreshing whisks through before you even can utter the park’s full name. Shor ts are, of course, also de rigueur in this kind of infernal heat — though tattoos are optional. Though if you have them, atop a ladder is a good spot to show them off.
July 28, 2016
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July 28, 2016
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July 28, 2016
Going postal is not a bad way at all to find a bride
RHYMES WITH CRAZY
NYCâ€™S SMALL BUSINESS PARTNER
By Lenore Skenazy Years ago, when Marcia Zug read a GQ magazine article about mail-order brides, she was revolted. A high-flying New York City photographer, fed up with all the demanding models he was dating, wanted to find a subservient woman to make him happy. So he ordered a pretty bride from a foreign country. When the bride got here he found her annoying, too. So he sent her home â€” pregnant with his child â€” and went back to dating models. Zug never forgot that piece. And even after she left her hometown of Manhattan to become a professor of family and immigration law at the University of South Carolina, she felt she had to expose the evil men who get their brides by mail. She delved into her research and guess what? Now sheâ€™s married...to a very different narrative. â€œIâ€™m not suggesting that this is the marital path for everybody,â€? Zug said in a phone call. But in her new book, â€œBuying a Bride: An Engaging History of Mail-Order Matches,â€? (NYU Press) she presents the opposite of the idea she went in with. Far from depressing and degrading, mailorder matrimony â€œcan actually be a very good choice for certain people in certain situations.â€? The book starts at the dawn of mailorder love: Jamestown, Virginia, circa 1600. Unlike New England, which was settled by families, Jamestown was settled by men. Conditions were horrendous â€” one settler described it as â€œhell, a misery, a deathâ€? â€” and there werenâ€™t any Englishspeaking women to not enjoy it with. Some men hightailed it home, others married Native American women and went to live in their comfier villages. In desperation, the Virginia Company decided to try attracting Englishwomen by paying their dowries. For young women toiling as servants just to save up enough to marry, the offer was liberating, and about 140 came over. They got to choose their husbands and seem to have been treated quite well, thanks to the laws of supply and demand. Laws were written to keep them happy. They could, for instance, legally break an engagement â€” something they couldnâ€™t do back in England. Fast-forward to the Western frontier a couple hundred years later when, once again, American men were heading out, and women werenâ€™t. As much as these men needed wives, some women back East needed husbands. These included women appalled by the local prospects, TheVillager.com
like the gal who placed this ad in a Missouri paper in 1910: â€œAttractive woman, not a day over thirty, would be pleased to correspond with eligible man. Would prefer one with property, but one with a good paying position would be satisfactory. The young lady is of medium height, has brown hair and gray eyes, not fat, although, most decidedly, she is not skinny. Her friends say she is a finelooking woman. Object matrimony. Reason for this ad, the young woman lives in a little dinky town, where the best catches are the boys behind the counters in the dry goods and clothing stores, and every one of â€™em is spoken for by the time he is out of his short pants.â€? Gosh, Iâ€™d marry her â€” what spunk. Zug found little evidence of exploitation or mistreatment of these brides. And today, the same holds true. Americans seeking brides can easily go online to meet prospects. Most of the women live in Asia or Eastern Europe. And while it seems like a terrible imbalance â€” any schlub with U.S. citizenship can attract a desperate catch â€” it is a better marriage market for everyone. â€œThe women come from countries where their prospects are not great,â€? says Zug. Some live where theyâ€™re not allowed to pursue a career. Some live where they are worthless if divorced, widowed, already have children, or are simply too old â€” perhaps 25. They look to America, and the path to get here is marriage. â€œThese men are often much more attractive to them than the men they see in their countries,â€? says Zug. The men are not allowed to marry women sight unseen. Legally they must meet at least once before they marry, and the mail-order sites organize trips to get the prospects together. Once here, Zug says, the brides not only have far rosier prospects than back home, they often make the men shape up, too. As in â€œIâ€™m learning a whole new language. Go get your GED!â€? And unlike the GQ article, many of these couples live happily ever after â€” maybe even happier than most, since everyone likes to get a surprise in the mail. Skenazy is a keynote speaker and author and founder of the book and blog â€œFree-Range Kidsâ€?
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>LZ[YK:[YLL[ŕ Ž ŕ Ž[LRZLY]LJVT July 28, 2016
‘Diller Island’ still under partial injunction; Opponents’ arguments
Pier55, Inc./Heatherwick Studio
A design rendering showing an aerial view of the proposed Pier55, which would be built between the pile fields of Pier 56, to its nor th, and Pier 54, to its south, whose concrete decking has been removed, leaving a field of old wooden piles, as depicted in the rendering. Pier55 continued from p. 1
project was never put out for competitive bidding; plus, it’s illegal to build in the water portion of Hudson River Park; and also that state legislators also were “deceived” into passing an amendment to allow the project, among other things. The Trust, a state-city authority, is building and operates the 5-mile-long Hudson River Park. The Trust had hoped to drive a total of 55 steel-and-concrete piles during this in-water building season, which — under state and federal regulations — starts in the spring and ends Oct. 31. Those 55 piles would support two footbridges extending out to the new isle-like pier park. About 10 times that many piles, however, would be needed for the entire project. The nine piles now being allowed to be driven are to hold up a “balcony” that would hang over the river and connect the pier’s footbridges to the mainland part of the Hudson River Park.
ing an expanded esplanade along the mainland part of the park, began in late June. “With the City Club’s latest charade behind us, we will get back to building the new public park that local residents have sought for years,” a PIER55 spokesperson said in a statement last week. “Now that both state and federal courts have denied its demand for an injunction, the City
‘We’re fighting an unaccountable government agency.’ Tom Fox
One-year delay avoided If those nine piles had not been allowed to be installed this summer, however, it would have pushed back the project’s completion date a full year, according to a Trust source. Construction on Pier55, includ-
July 28, 2016
Club should take this cue to finally end its absurd crusade against the wishes of the community. We remain committed to making Pier55 a reality and providing new green space for all New Yorkers to enjoy.” A day before the modified injunc-
tion was announced, a federal court denied a stop-work order in a separate City Club lawsuit against the project. A Trust spokesperson added, “We’re pleased that the court has reversed its decision, allowing us to get back on track with our planned construction for the summer. The plaintiffs have yet to produce a single relevant credible expert, and we’re confident the courts will continue to rule in our favor.” But Tom Fox, a longtime Hudson River Park advocate and one of the City Club plaintiffs, said the Trust and PIER55 group are mischaracterizing the opposition, as well as the court’s modification of the injunction. Fox was chairperson of the Hudson River Park Conservancy, the Trust’s predecessor. “It’s interesting that they are trying to pitch this as us against the community,” Fox said. “We’re fighting an unaccountable government agency breaking environmental laws and negotiating in secret with a billionaire. “This is not lifting an injunction against building Pier55 — it’s allowing them to drive nine piles, not the 547 piles that they want to drive to build ‘Dilligan’s Island,’ ” he explained. “We are in court in six weeks. If they lose, they have to pull them,” he said of the nine preliminary piles. “This is another risky act by the Trust and another potential waste of scarce resources.”
For starters, the plaintiffs charge that the Trust was wrong to say no new environmental impact statement was needed to build Pier55 because it already had done one to reconstruct the former Pier 54 — which never was rebuilt despite the Trust getting approvals to do so in 2005. In fact, a full environmental impact study is required, the plaintiffs say — because Pier55 would be built on a totally new footprint, not on Pier 54’s former one. “The site of the Pier55 project is open water, and the impact of Pier55 must be compared to open water,” the recently filed appeal papers state. “This comparison requires an Environmental Impact Statement (E.I.S.)... .” In addition, the plaintiffs argue that a request for proposals — as in, a competitive bidding process — is legally required for this project, but was never done. “The 165-page lease between H.R.P.T. [Hudson River Park Trust] and PIER55, Inc., an entity controlled by Mr. Diller, is at bottom a commercial lease that required a request for proposals (R.F.P.). H.R.P.T.’s regulations mandate public bidding for ‘any lease’ involving a capital expenditure over $1 million,” the appeal states. “The PIER55 lease involves tens of millions of public dollars, so it demands an R.F.P. There is no exception for lessees controlled by wealthy donors, and this Court should reject H.R.P.T.’s invitation to create one.”
‘Deceived’ legislators The plantiffs furthermore contend that the Trust “deceived” state legislators in 2013 into passing an amendment to allow the project. The amendment, among other things, permitted Pier 54 to be reconstructed outside of its footprint. “H.R.P.T. concealed the existence of PIER55 [the private group that would run the pier], the Diller gift and the design of Pier55 from the Legislature while asking the Legislature to approve a ‘reconstruction’ of Pier 54,” the appeal says. “A futuristic island with three performance venues is not a ‘reconstruction’ of a working historic pier in a different location.” The appeal notes that, according to Assemblymember Deborah Glick, the Trust “led [her] and other legislators to believe that its plan was to make minor changes to the then-existing Pier 54.” Pier 54, though officially designatPier55 continued on p. 13 TheVillager.com
Raft of arguments floated in new appeal Pier55 continued from p. 12
ed as a “park use” pier, had become — during the wait for its renovation — a place for performances and summer movies. In short, legislators thought they were simply voting to approve a shorter, wider pier that would bring attendees closer to the stage and facilitate emergency evacuation of the pier.
Citi Field example However, citing the example of the Mets’ stadium, the appeal notes, “[Most]... would not call Citi Field a reconstruction of Shea Stadium because Citi Field looks nothing like Shea Stadium and was built in a different location (the Shea Stadium parking lot).” The plaintiffs also stress that, under the “public trust doctrine,” parkland cannot be “alienated” — in this case, leased — without the state Legislature’s consent. “While PIER55 states that its ‘intentions’ for Pier55 are inclusive,” the appeal notes, “it has bargained for the contractual right to turn a public park into an exclusive concert venue, including on major holidays, and offers no assurance that it will not exercise this right.” Summing up, the appeal states, “If H.R.P.T. wants to lease away land north of the old Pier 54 and build something radically new and different in a protected public waterway, it needs to prepare an E.I.S., issue an R.F.P., and obtain proper legislative authorization. Because H.R.P.T. did none of these, Pier55 is unlawful, and the [state] Supreme Court’s decision approving it should be reversed.”
Cuomo slams injunction Showing the high stakes involved, the day after the full stop-work order was issued, Governor Andrew Cuomo made a power play, personally weighing in on the side of Pier55, trying to ratchet up the pressure to allow it to proceed. “I am disappointed the Appellate Division has temporarily halted construction of the Hudson River Park Trust’s and PIER55, Inc.’s plan to transform an underutilized pier into an open space where New Yorkers would be able to enjoy recreation and entertainment,” Cuomo said in a July 6 statement. “Delaying this project does a disservice to the public, as well as damages the economic development that important public parks like this one encourage. I’m hopeful that when the appeals court hears the merits of the case, the Hudson River Park Trust and PIER55, Inc. will be able to move forward with the construction of this important project.” However, the plaintiffs counter that the Pier55 project is still stuck in court, not because they are obstructionist, but because the Trust “cut corners.” The project’s supporters also point out
Photo courtesy Rob Buchanan
A mixed group of community and Stuy vesant High School rowers from the Village Communit y Boathouse leaving the embayment around the wooden pile fields of Piers 54 and 56 last July.
that the courts tend to slow down in the summer, which is likely why the appeal was put off till early September. In the meantime, the Appellate Division thought it best to issue the stop-work, at least until the full appeal is heard — though the panel subsequently O.K.’d the driving of only the nine piles. The Pier55 plan has received all the required approvals from government agencies, including from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the New York State Department of Environment Conservation, as well as the advisory approval of Community Board 2.
‘This — to me — the pros overwhelm the cons.’ Al Butzel
Shows for thousands
C.B. 2 supports plan Tobi Bergman, chairperson of C.B. 2, said the board is bullish on the Pier55 concept. “We held two public hearings, each attended by over 100 people who overwhelmingly supported the project,” he said. “The proposal is for a beautiful and unique new park with great performance spaces that will be managed by an extraordinary team, providing unique opportunities for cultural enrichment and education for everyone, including school children. Along with the Whitney Museum, it will
lots of available cash to pay for a lawsuit, are doing great harm to our neighborhood and our park by delaying this project.” This past April, Joan Lobis, a Manhattan Supreme Court justice, dismissed the City Club’s lawsuit, throwing it out “with prejudice,” meaning that while the club could appeal to a higher court, the lawsuit could not be filed anew. Appeals to the Appellate Division are automatic, as opposed to the state’s high court, the Court of Appeals, which can decide whether or not to hear an appeal.
be a transformative counterpoint to the philistine nightlife of the Meat Market area. “There was some initial skepticism, as there often is to a major proposal,” Bergman admitted. “But people recognized this as a very serious project and a special enhancement to the community and to the river park. That’s why almost everyone who came to our hearings supported it and that’s why our board voted for it. A few people who have personal grudges against the park leadership and obviously
The square-shaped Pier55 project, more an island than a pier, with two access ramps to the shore, would cover 2.7 undulating acres, supported on 547 concrete pilings. Its height above the river would vary from 8 feet to 62 feet. The pier would have three performance spaces, with a total audience capacity of at least 4,250. Barry Diller, the media, Internet and travel titan, and his wife, Diane von Furstenberg, the famous fashion designer, have pledged to pay $113 milPier55 continued on p. 26 July 28, 2016
AIDS memorial is taking shape in Village park The NYC AIDS Memorial has resumed construction, with the recent deliver y from Argentina of the latticed steel trellis and canopy defining the memorial’s footprint, at the intersection of Greenwich Ave. and W. 12th St. The numerous cur ved granite flooring panels have been cut, and are currently being engraved with por tions of Walt Whitman’s “Song of Myself” selected by ar tist Jenny Holzer. It doesn’t look like too much right now, with only some major suppor t beams have been put up so far. But before long, the memorial will have taken shape, with its projected completion presently set for midNovember. “The memorial canopy sculpture is being installed over the nex t few weeks, and then the stone goes down after,” said Christopher Tepper, founder and executive director of the AIDS Memorial Committee. “All the work at this point is on site.” A s first repor ted by The Villager in May, the cit y has named the location the NYC AIDS Memorial Park at St. Vincent’s Triangle — a.k.a. N.Y.C. A .M.P.S.V.T.? Photo by Tequila Minsky
Letters to the editor Westway hero backs Pier55 To The Editor: Re “Pier pressure: Diller ‘arts island’ still under partial stop-work order” (news article, thevillager. com, July 21): The Villager’s article on the Pier55 lawsuit interprets a comment by Tom Fox that identifies me as a member of the City Club of New York and implies that I support the City Club lawsuit against Pier55 and regard the Diller plan negatively. The opposite is the case. I urged the City Club not to pursue the case and the appeal. More importantly, I
support the “Diller Island” project. I believe it will provide New Yorkers with exciting new recreational opportunities and expand their chances to interact with the Hudson River. I also think that it will draw tens, if not hundreds, of thousands of new visitors to the park and bring new life to this currently derelict section of the waterfront. Having had long experience with the habitat question, I do not believe Pier55 will have a negative impact on the aquatic and marine resources of the area and it could well have a positive effect. Further, while I recognize that fees will be charged for many events (a practice that is common to many parks), what is left largely unsaid is that the pier will be open to the public for free the majority of the time. Finally,
I do not believe in looking a gift-horse in the mouth. Mr. Diller’s and Ms. von Furstenberg’s incredible largess should be celebrated by all New Yorkers, not criticized, and I, for one, am happy to add my thanks. Albert K. Butzel Butzel was a principal attorney in the fight against Westway. As chairperson of the Hudson River Park Alliance and president of Friends of Hudson River Park, he helped secure the political and financial support that has allowed the Hudson River Park to be built.
‘Old lions’ are in the way To The Editor: Re “Pier pressure: Diller ‘arts island’ still under partial stop-work order” (news article, thevillager. com, July 21): Many in our community have been wondering: Who exactly are these people fighting to keep a beautiful public park from being built? After reading Tom Fox’s comments in The Villager, we now understand: The City Club just thinks it knows better — than the community board that voted overwhelmingly in favor of Pier55, than the hundreds who supported the plan at public meetings, than the millions who love Hudson River Park and will one day enjoy this incredible new section of it. We can plainly see what Fox and his small band of “old lions” really embodies: out of touch obstructionism that reeks of stale self-righteousness. Time to give it up. Mike Novogratz Novogratz is chairperson, Friends of Hudson River Park Letters continued on p. 16
July 28, 2016
Street-Hollering Woman, Part II: The Method
Notebook BY kathleen rockwell lawrence After a most distressful string of 3 a.m. wakings, nightmarish mullings on ways to reach her pharmacy and bagel store on “the far side,” Street Hollering Woman has arrived at The Method, a series of life-saving crosswalk techniques she wishes to share. Simplicity itself, The Method requires only items and humans, perhaps even pets, already found in one’s home. Practiced daily with mindfulness and consistency, it will incrementally increase one’s street cred, until one day, one will find oneself positively swaggering across even the most hair-raising thoroughfares of our great city. One will be empowered! The Swinging Compost Bag: This method is worldsaving, as well as life-saving. Also, a 180-degree swing of a Trader Joe’s bag filled with deliquescing arugula, carrot shavings, broccoli stems and chicken gizzards is just a terrific workout for one’s rotator cuff! And a driver will slam on the brakes at the thought of that bag whacking his car. The compost bag has the requisite heft to it, but there’s a caveat. It breaks with leakage, which of course is part of the point, but one fears premature leakage. For this reason, S.H.W. recommends stashing it in the freezer overnight. This works like a charm. It could contain two bowling balls, for all that biker/ driver knows. No compost? Whatever you’re schlepping must and will suffice, if swung with élan! S.H.W. has had bag-swinging success with Bloomie’s Little Brown Bag. Swing the sack with attitude, and one’s adversary will have no clue that it contains only a matte magenta lipstick from Clinique. Any Old Baby: A small baby in and of itself is not much good, but in a stroller it becomes quite useful. We’ve all seen it: mothers and fathers who test the waters by pushing their babies out into traffic before venturing themselves. And why do you suppose this is? Call it cowardly or call it smart self-defense. No stroller? Just hold child with arms outstretched — well away from oneself —and high enough for the drivers to see. Street Hollering Woman currently finds herself all too often in the company of a rather large baby, and one quite difficult to lift. But the great advantage of large babies is that drivers are more likely to see them, which may actually release traces of oxytocin in the hardest of hearts. Child-free? No problem! Simply insert pet — even into a stroller or Snugli carrier! The Umbrella: It’s packable, and features real whackability. Also, one must not dismiss out of hand that lighthearted Jabberwocky technique, which might actually charm drivers into giving way. Third, one may choose to unfurl it and hold it full-on, shield-like, between oneself and the driver/biker. But then one’s vision is likewise obstructed...and one will get wet. Generally, the umbrella is best used in rain; for who wants to be found carrying it in fair weather? The Book: To increase one’s stature and visibility, hold a coffee-table book vertically on your head as you take to the crosswalk. Keywords here: “vertically” and “coffee table.” Admittedly, this is not the classiest look, and so of course one should refrain except in the case of a dire emergency. And though this would never be S.H.W.’s choice, it may be for those harboring intellectual pretensions. S.H.W. has no such need. But she includes it here after being startled by the sight of a gentleman so employing a paperback of “The Sound and the Fury.” Or was it “The Naked and the Dead”? Anyway, nothing against Faulkner and Mailer, but he definitely looked crazy. The books were too small! TheVillager.com
Photos by Tequila Minsky
Uh-oh! It looks like not even the baby method will get this Stuy Town driver to slow down.
The umbrella method works — making a c yclist aware of the presence of S.H.W.
Field Expediency: A term borrowed from the military, it means use a book, a baby, etc., as we have mentioned above — whatever one has at hand. But there are those occasions, rare to be sure for New York pedestrians, when one finds oneself hands-free, with only one’s empty hands. Which brings us to: Hand Semaphores! ... Total Surrender: Hands held aloft; elbows forming right angles with bicep and forearm. Alternatively, if one has a white fabric, a tissue, a scarf, a blouse —wave it! This international appeal and one’s desperation in employing it, can be quite effective in eliciting sympathy and a recognition of our common humanity. Stop in the Name of Love a.k.a. The Diana Ross: This works, but must be done with authority. Helps if, like S.H.W., you’ve taught “Intro to Lit” for decades. Hand Held at Right Angle to Hip: A calming, patting motion. Subtle, but sometimes effective if adversary is proceeding only slightly above the limit. Index Finger Pointing to the Crosswalk Lines in Staccato Jabs: As if to say: “Hell-o-o, it’s the crosswalk, and je suis ici!” The Hail Mary: Hands fervently folded, even blessing oneself if this is an option. Yogic Prayer Hands at Heart Position: The spirit in me meeting the spirit in you. Namaste… . Let it go… .
Street-Hollering Woman uses the compost-bag swinging method to make a bic ycle deliver yman think twice.
Let me go... . And, yeah right, good luck with that. The Last Resort: Yet another hand signal, albeit the most common — using only one finger — but one which S.H.W. does not advise, for it triggers instant road rage. She should know. Do develop a strong ego: When drivers call one the vilest words in the English language — and sometimes in Spanish, Urdu and Chinese — do not be crushed if one isn’t crushed. Sticks and stones, my friend, sticks and stones. Don’t bother making eye contact: Some manuals instruct you to do this. Really? When it’s one’s own light? Light, shmite. When one’s foot is in the crosswalk, even a light-running walker has the right of way. Pedestrians rule, my peeps. Eye contact, indeed! That is so asking permission. No karate kicks: Don’t try kicking the back of a car that’s blocking the intersection as one attempts to cross. Just trust me on this one: When the car takes off with one’s foot against its trunk, one will lose balance and find oneself perilously in the way of the vehicle behind the first one. S.H.W. sends you forth, my peds. My peeps. My consanguinity. Go mindfully, armed with new discipline she has freely and so generously provided you. And live. July 28, 2016
Delancey rooftop-bar bid gets takedown at C.B. 3 By Amy Russo
Photo by Amy Russo
The C.B. 3 S.L . A . Committee said “no” to a rooftop bar at the Delancey St. Holiday Inn.
he S.L.A. Committee of Community Board 3 recently rejected an application to expand a liquor license for a proposed rooftop bar atop the Holiday Inn at the corner of Delancey and Suffolk Sts. Joe Donagher and Eamon Donnelly, operators of the Retro Bar and Grill on the hotel’s ground floor, envisioned a chic rooftop hangout for a “corporate crowd.” But it is now unlikely that the duo will ever see the drinkery become a reality. C.B. 3 members had expected Donagher and Donnelly to appear at the board’s July 11 State Liquor Authority and Department of Consumer Affairs Licensing Committee meeting. But only the hotel’s general manager, Rosario Bianchi, was present, reportedly texting, then stepping out of the meeting and taking a phone call, according to Pam Ito, president of the Suffolk St. Block Association. Twenty-three individuals were present at the meeting, sporting neon green signs strung around their necks to protest the license expansion. After Donagher and Donnelly failed to show, the decision was made to reject the application. Upon requesting the expanded license, Donagher and Donnelly “never really contacted anyone at all,” Ito noted. “They just kind of appeared on the S.L.A. list.” According to a July 10 letter from Ito to the S.L.A. Committee on behalf of the block association and local residents, the applicant “showed no particular interest in the community’s concerns of bringing more transient people to the area, nor does their application show a move toward installing any sound proofing.” Donagher and Donnelly run three other Manhattan bars, and numerous “311” phoned-in complaints concerning the locations have been reported, the letter notes. The letter also states that 15 liquor licenses already exist within 500 feet of the Delancey location. Unsettled by the bar’s planned 4 a.m. closing time, community members anticipated noise pollution and an increase in drunken behavior. Ito, whose apartment building abuts the Holiday Inn, cited the closing time as problematic, stating that even a midnight closing would have been disruptive. Residents also highlighted concerns over the traffic congestion from the nearby Williamsburg Bridge that they
Letters to the Editor Letters continued from p. 14
Not a party to Pier55 row To The Editor: Re “Pier pressure: Diller ‘arts island’ still under partial stop-work order” (news article, thevillager. com, July 21): The board of directors of Village Community Boathouse wishes to make it very clear that Rob Buchanan is acting entirely on his own in his legal action with City Club against Diller’s Pier55 group and does not represent V.C.B. We at V.C.B. take no position on the Pier55 project. We are tenants and partners of Hudson River Park Trust and rely on our good relationship with the Trust to offer our programming to the public. We introduce hundreds of new rowers to the Hudson River every year absolutely for free. We also build traditional wooden boats in a large space inside Pier 40 that the Trust graciously makes available to us. Village Community Boathouse strives to serve the Hudson River Park Trust’s mission of providing free
July 28, 2016
public access to the water. As an all-volunteer, donation based nonprofit organization, we could not do this without Trust. Sally Curtis Curtis is president, board of directors, Village Community Boathouse
Pier plan wasn’t secret To The Editor: Re “Pier pressure: Diller ‘arts island’ still under partial stop-work order” (news article, thevillager. com, July 21): In its suit against the Hudson River Park Trust, the City Club of New York, through its attorney, Richard D. Emery, claimed that the project was “born in secrecy,” when in fact it was presented at a public meeting of Community Board 2 that was attended by nearly 100 members of the community, including me, who were given ample opportunity to weigh in. I
feared would have been exacerbated had yet another bar opened. The application’s denial comes as a wave of opposition to more bars has swept through the Lower East Side in response to the growing nightlife and routine drunken antics. “From Wednesday to Sunday brunch, the area is turned into a version of Cancun — crowds of drunken people club- and bar-hop, taking over the sidewalk and curbside and bike lane,” said Diem Boyd, who organized a petition against the approval of the Holiday Inn license expansion. Boyd, founder of LES Dwellers, described nights of “drunken fights in the middle of the street, over-intoxicated people colliding with traffic, and vomit- and urine-stained sidewalks and doorways in front of residential buildings and places of business the next morning or same day.” Ito and Boyd have helped to lead a grassroots community campaign against the proposed bar, garnering 144 signatures on an online petition and 250 in an additional paper petition. The latter was intended to capture the support of older residents, explained Ito. According to the 2010 census, people age 60 and up account for more than 20 percent of the L.E.S. population. When Ito initially spoke to Susan Stetzer, the Community Board 3 district manager, it was made clear to Ito that she would have to mobilize residents to make an impact. So, Ito and others “hung out in front of the Holiday Inn, in front of apartments and got those signatures,” she said. The hotel is next to “Hell Square,” the name given by LES Dwellers to the boozy nine-block domain bounded by Allen, Essex, E. Houston and Delancey Sts. The LES Dwellers focus on trying to maintain and improve the neighborhood’s quality of life, which they charge has been negatively impacted by an excess of liquor licences and the resulting weekly chaos. The group’s Web site states that there are a total of 461 on-premises full liquor licenses in the C.B. 3 district. “Our neighborhood wasn’t saying, ‘Not in our backyard,’ ” Ito remarked. “We’re just saying we already have 15.” Although it wasn’t always the case before, it is now rare that the state approves a liquor licence application previously denied by a community board. Donagher and Donnelly refused to comment for this article.
didn’t see Mr. Emery there. The community board voted at a public meeting to support the new Pier55, which is to replace Pier 54, where the liner Carpathia brought the survivors of the tragic sinking of the Titanic. There is now no Pier55 shown on any existing or historic map that I know of. Moreover, Pier55 is not Barry Diller’s project, but one conceived wholly by the Hudson River Park Trust, but which Mr. Diller and Diane von Furstenberg generously agreed to fund, so as not to drain the Trust’s scarce resources. Without the generosity of Ms. von Furstenberg, we probably would not have the world-famous High Line park. The Hudson River Park Trust desperately needs vision and money to complete the park. Pier55 will be a gorgeous green island rising out of the Hudson River. Barry Benepe E-mail letters, not longer than 250 words in length, to email@example.com or fax to 212-2292790 or mail to The Villager, Letters to the Editor, 1 Metrotech North, 10th floor, Brooklyn, NY, NY 11201. Please include phone number for confirmation purposes. The Villager reserves the right to edit letters for space, grammar, clarity and libel. Anonymous letters will not be published. TheVillager.com
A ‘Bending and Blending’ artist breaks out Lisa Beth Older’s paintings are layered, in style and substance BY EILEEN STUKANE
helsea artist Lisa Beth Older was having a moment when we met in the lobby of what’s still called the American Express Building, even though the company left this 65 Broadway address just over 40 years ago. Looking at her smartphone, Older realized that she had a buyer for another of her “bending and blending” abstract paintings. This original, signature technique requires working with layers of paint so thick Older uses knives, from butter to butcher, as well as brushes, to cross acrylic barriers and create texture that somehow still retains the stand-alone quality of her colors. Her work is reminiscent of Jackson Pollack’s in its abstraction of hues, but that’s where the comparison ends. Older is not dripping paint, she is meeting and conquering it. Lately, the energy that comes through the work is getting the attention of more collectors — among them the American Museum of Natural History, which commissioned a painting that became “My Inner Cosmos” (more about that later). One reason why art lovers have become more aware of Older was right in front of us. “Hardship of Hope,” her installation of eight 36 x 48 inch abstract acrylic paintings, graces the marblewalled lobby in permanent exhibit. The paintings — each individually lit and inset separately under glass — stretch opposite the building’s long bank of 10 elevators. Every canvas is an explosion of color and metallic paints, with a title and a theme. For example, the first painting, “The Gladiator,” is a battle of black, gold, and silver. “It was a challenge to blend those metallic paints, and I wanted this to be TheVillager.com
PHOTO COURTESY LISA BETH OLDER
Dr. Rebecca Oppenheimer, (right) commissioned Lisa Beth Older (center) to create a work (“My Inner Cosmos”) for the American Museum of Natural History’s Department of Astrophysics. At left, astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson.
a challenge,” Older said, “because that’s what the show was all about, creativity. This painting was very fierce and had a fighting mentality to it, and there’s actually a gladiator in there with a shield — but it’s abstract. It was the image I was trying to portray. I don’t always do that, because usually a painting comes from certain emotions and then I trust my hands to bring it to the right place.”
“Hardship of Hope,” Older explained, represents her life, and the lives of many who find it difficult to survive in the city, but hang on to hope. “It’s scary for a lot of people. There’s a lot of change, a lot of emotion. Are we going to make it in this city or be swallowed up by it?” In addition to “The Gladiator,” the other works in the exhibit are “Yellow Ribbon,” “The Empress,” “Reborn,” “Beating Heart,”
“Lenore,” “Melee,” and, my personal favorite, “Inferno,” with its defiant curves of red, gold, and silver metallic paints. “I drew mad the day I did ‘Inferno.’ That day I just went at it,” Older said. The way she pours paint to create air bubbles, and maneuvers canvasses, requires more intense physicality to get the desired result. OLDER continued on p. 18 July 28, 2016
COURTESY THE ARTIST
Lisa Beth Older’s “Glory in Parting” (acrylic on canvas, 24 x 30 inches).
OLDER continued from p. 17
AN ARTIST FROM THE START Lisa Beth Older, a married Penn South resident, is getting more notice these days, but it has not been an easy journey. When she was a six-year-old girl living in Connecticut, her mother died as a result of breast cancer. Older had started painting when she was three, and she just continued to do what came naturally as she was passed around from one guardian to another during childhood, until she found her way to UCLA, where she did not major in art, but graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree. “I’m primarily self-taught, but art has science to it,” she said. “You learn how paints interact, how to base your painting. I bend the paint. I wait until it’s a certain temperature, which depends upon the color and consistency of the paint. You can’t bend fluids.” Elaborating on her style, she explained, “Paint builds and you have another layer and you have to bridge the two perfectly — but it has to be in one fell swoop. It has to be just perfect. Most people would get it muddy. My paintings aren’t muddy. You can look at them for hours. There are some of my paintings that are layered this high,” Older remarked, showing a three-inch space between her thumb and forefinger. Years after UCLA, Older would attain a law degree. Like Paul Gauguin, the stockbroker, or Mark Rothko, the elementary school teacher, she would go on to live successful parallel lives, one life supporting the other. Early on, she paid her dues, starting out as a resident of the Chelsea Hotel, followed by years in the East Village, where she shared loft space in the late 1980s with artist Fredda Mekul. Older regards Mekul as her mentor. “I learned through her,” she said. “For four years, I studied with her. She has been my inspiration throughout.” Almost offhandedly, Older mentioned that she has a congenital condition and is legally blind in her left eye. “It doesn’t matter,”
July 28, 2016
COURTESY THE ARTIST
Lisa Beth Older’s “My Inner Cosmos” (acrylic on canvas, 36 x 36 inches).
she insisted. “The art that I do is all about energy and layering, and color itself has a certain energy.” For a time, Older painted in her studio in Woodstock, and also did early portraiture, painting Angelina Jolie for her private collection, and Melania Trump. These days, Older paints, and lives, in Chelsea — after a 15-year-wait, she finally triumphed in the Penn South housing lottery — and her abstract work is far from portrait painting. In fact, her art attracted the attention of Rebecca Oppenheimer, Ph.D., curator and chair, Department of Astrophysics, American Museum of Natural History, because the unusual textures and layers of Older’s work reminded her of a moonscape.
HER INNER COSMOS On a visit to 65 Broadway, Dr. Oppenheimer noticed that “People were stopping and looking at these particular paintings, which you don’t often see. Everyone is always in a rush to get to an appointment. Here, people were okay with missing an elevator and just looking at the paintings.” Dr. Oppenheimer connected with Older about commissioning a painting for the Museum’s Department of Astrophysics, and Older asked Dr. Oppenheimer for her color preferences. “I had never had anyone ask me about colors before — but I had some sort of dream, and purple
and green came through. They don’t necessarily go together, but let’s see what Lisa can do with it,” Dr. Oppenheimer recalled, noting that Older wholeheartedly embraced her suggestion, built upon it, “and did a magnificent job.” Today, Older’s “My Inner Cosmos” hangs on a wall in the Department of Astrophysics across from a bust of the astronomer Copernicus. The work is indeed filled with deep purple, green, but also reds, yellows, blues, white, black. Unlike the sculptural quality of the “Hardship of Hope” paintings, “My Inner Cosmos” presents more of a mystery that draws you in. “I think everybody reacts a little differently to the painting,” Dr. Oppenheimer said of reactions from other members in the Department. “Everyone seems to see aspects of their own work in it.” “Sometimes,” said Older of a creative process that includes meditation, “I feel there’s a universe inside of me. Yes, we are all connected to the [physical] universe, but there’s an inner universe that can be tapped into.” In addition to “Hardship of Hope,” a permanent installation in the lobby of 65 Broadway (btw. Morris & Rector Sts.), the art of Lisa Beth Older can be viewed on her website, lboart.com, and at facebook. com/lisaolderartist.
Nature under surveillance
‘Plasma’ is strange, bloody good cinema BY STEVE ERICKSON
or far too long, the uncanny has been missing from American independent cinema. It has a long and venerable tradition in our literature, from Edgar Allan Poe and H. P. Lovecraft to Thomas Ligotti and lesbian transgender author Caitlin Kiernan. But while indie horror films continue to be made, something as weird and uncategorizable as Bingham Bryant and Kyle Molzan’s “For the Plasma” is a UFO in the American film scene. For one thing, it’s far more upbeat than most of the films I could compare it to. A story of two women who work together over the course of a summer under increasingly weird circumstances, it doesn’t end with everlasting love and friendship, but nor does it culminate in terror. Helen (Rosalie Lowe) arrives in a remote town in Maine for a new job. Charlie (Annabelle LeMieux) is already there. Theoretically, their position involves monitoring CCTV cameras in a nearby forest for signs of fire. But Charlie has developed a new obsession: she thinks she can detect future movements in the stock market from patterns in the cameras’ images. She’s hooked up with brokers in New York and receives checks daily based on her predictions. Charlie sends Helen out into the woods to get more detailed information about the forest. One night during a blackout, the women meet their neighbor, a lighthouse keeper (Tom Lloyd). Bryant and Molzan shot on 16mm film, although “For the Plasma” is being distributed and projected digitally. The use of celluloid enabled them to capture a rich color palette. Early on, Charlie analyzes a photo in detail for Helen, pointing out its shadowy areas and the way a tree seems to bow toward the light. The film’s use of color, particularly green, enables such a close reading. The scenes in the forest are lovely in a way that’s slightly ominous. The presence of CCTV cameras is necessary for Charlie and Helen’s work but still feels out of place and creepy, something Helen seems to TheVillager.com
CHRISTOPHER MESSINA/COCHIN WOOD
Rosalie Lowe in Bingham Bryant and Kyle Molzan’s “For the Plasma.”
agree with. Charlie, in contrast, has become immune to their presence and thinks it’s perfectly natural to put security cameras in the middle of the woods. By the time Helen’s GPS starts malfunctioning and she finds swamps where paths are supposed to be, I felt spooky overtones of “The Blair Witch Project” and Kiernan’s novel “The Red Tree.” Charlie finds a way of monetizing nature without destroying it. But is she deluded or has she stumbled onto a new form of magic in the trees? The film seems to side with the latter explanation, but it keeps its options open. Toward the end, two Japanese businessmen approach her with a very open-ended project: studying satellite photos for a purpose they won’t explain. “For the Plasma” riffs on the American fondness for conspiracy theories without suggesting that Charlie’s full of crap. LeMieux and Lowe’s performances seem amateurish at first. They’re obviously outsiders to this small Maine
town, and while they might not feel out of place in a Joe Swanberg film, they seem glaringly strange in “For the Plasma.” Not until Lloyd enters the film do they fall into context. While I don’t know for sure, I’m guessing that Lloyd is an authentic Maine local, complete with a thick accent and small-town friendliness. Charlie and Helen are far more guard-
ed, although not exactly hostile to strangers. Part of the film’s weirdness stems from its collision of these two worlds — Lloyd seems grounded firmly in reality, while the women have one foot in a collective fantasy. If there’s a tradition into which “For the Plasma” falls, it’s a small canon of films about female identity transference: Ingmar Bergman’s “Persona,” Jacques Rivette’s “Celine and Julie Go Boating,” Robert Altman’s “3 Women.” (Sophia Takal’s forthcoming “Always Shine” is one of the few examples directed by a woman, and Nicolas Roeg and Donald Cammell’s “Performance,” obviously inspired by “Persona,” is the male equivalent of such work.) Helen is sent into the field to do Charlie’s grunt work, essentially. Before she arrived, Charlie seemed to rely entirely on her CCTV cameras. While the two women are often separated, they spend a lot of time together, as well, and start to develop a resemblance. Helen’s mild dissatisfaction with the project rubs off on Charlie. “For the Plasma” may frustrate some people by erring too much on the side of the enigmatic, especially in its final half hour, but it offers up a compelling optimist’s vision of the forest of life, before which we’re all searching for answers. Runtime: 94 minutes. At Anthology Film Archives (32 Second Ave. at Second St.). For screening dates and times, visit anthologyfilmarchives. org.
Theater for the New City • 155 1st Avenue at E. 10th St. Reservations & Info (212) 254-1109 For more info, please visit www.theaterforthenewcity.net
The Elephant Pen Written by: Etienne Lepage Directed by Lissa Moira “A mental game of
predator and prey” July 7th - July 17th
Thurs.- Sat. 8:00 P.M. Sun. at 3:00 P.M.
TNC’s Street Theater Election Selection or You Bet!
Written and Directed by: Crystal Field Music Composed by: Joseph Vernon Banks
August 6th - September 18th Opens right here on 10th Street on August 6th at 2:00 PM All performance locations and times are available Online! July 28, 2016
Buhmann on Art ‘Persuasive Percussion’ at On Stellar Rays
COURTESY ON STELLAR RAYS
Installation view, “Persuasive Percussion,” At On Stellar Rays through Aug. 12.
BY STEPHANIE BUHMANN
COURTESY ON STELLAR RAYS
Ryan Mrozowski: “The Swimmer.” 2016. HD Video, color, silent. 3:05 minutes. Edition 1 of 3.
resenting new works by gallery artists Athanasios Argianas, Julia Bland, Zipora Fried, and Ryan Mrozowski, this exhibition explores the visual manifestation of two crucial aspects of sound: rhythm and repetition. In fact, the exhibition title, “Persuasive Percussion,” was taken from a series of LP albums released in the late 1950s and early 1960s by Enoch Light (1905-1978), a classical violinist, bandleader and recording engineer credited with pioneering the use of a specific stereo effect, in which sound bounces between the right and left channels to establish an immersive aural experience. None other than Josef Albers, whose influential color theory most famously played out in rhythmic variations of colored squares, designed seven of the “Persuasive Percussion” LP covers. In this spirit, these contemporary positions have much to offer. BUHMANN continued on p. 21
July 28, 2016
‘Midnight’ is an Oasis Tuneful tale of love and loss has memorable music, and more BY SCOTT STIFFLER
COURTESY ON STELLAR RAYS
Julia Bland: “Midnight Morning.” 2016. Canvas, wool, linen threads, wax, fabric dye, oil paint and ink (96 x 82 inches).
BUHMANN continued from p. 20
The sculptor Athanasios Argianas, for example, creates works that source from the composition and transcription of sound, as well as language. He is particularly interested in the rhythms and frequencies of speech, and how the pronunciation of consonants and vowels can determine pattern and form. In contrast, Ryan Mrozowski employs stock images of flowers, fruits, and dots, among other things, to create a sense of optical play. Meanwhile, Zipora Fried’s “Night” series consists of colored pencil drawings, which are characterized by densely repeated gestures. Fried, one gathers quickly, is less interested in the particulars of language than in capturing the essence of a sensory experience at large. In her work, the hand serves as a link between an inner mood and its visual realization. In her large-scale, site-specific mural, for example, a group of reappearing heads succeeds in establishing a metaphor for the intersection of a psychological space and a material one. By employing dyed, stitched and painted fabrics, canvas, as well as hand-woven supports, Julia Bland creates stunning paintings that imbue archetypal and familiar geometric forms with a strong sense of the personal. “Geometry is a kind of grammar,” the artist once poignantly remarked, adding, “Language breaks down into isolated moments.” In that sense, Bland’s work, despite its abstraction, seems to share more with intimate diary entries than with Albers’ use of geometry to illustrate his color theory. Through Aug. 12 at On Stellar Rays (213 Bowery, btw. Rivington & Delancey Sts.). Hours: Tues.–Fri., 10am–6pm and Mon. by appointment. Call 212-598-3012 or visit onstellarrays.com.
hen the simple act of being yourself makes the whole world a dangerous place — or, at the very least, a deeply unwelcoming one — you take your happiness, your success, and your shot at true love wherever you can find it. For Idaho escapee and selfprofessed “skinny queer” Trevor Copeland, that all-purpose safe space is a Greenwich Village bottle club: The Never Get. Just beyond its front room, where gay men sip drinks and enjoy a certain amount of protection courtesy of the mobbed-up management, there’s a dingy little performance space presided over by Sister Etcetera — an enterprising crossdresser who took a chance by booking endearingly self-effacing singer Trevor and his composer/pianist/romantic partner Arthur Brightman; at midnight; on a Tuesday; in the dead of winter. Soon thereafter, the duo are playing to packed houses — with Trevor’s lilting baritone delivering alternately campy and cutting interpretations of Arthur’s boymeets-boy love songs, and without the risk mitigator of feminine pronouns. Which makes Trevor and Arthur considerably ahead of the curve. Too bad they’re also a little behind the times. Cleverly, stealthily calculated to wring every last drop of emotional resonance from the implications of its title, “Midnight at The Never Get” puts poor Trevor and Arthur’s creative burst in the years leading up to the Stonewall Rebellion of June, 1969 — after which the burgeoning LGBT rights movement renders their material positively tame by comparison. Almost overnight, songs like “The Bells Keep Ringing” and “I Prefer Sunshine” position our lads as two Jerry Hermans in an increasingly Stephen Sondheim world (Arthur, clinging to his American Songbook sensibilities, can’t fathom the appeal of the
PHOTO BY JEREMY DANIEL
Sam Bolen, as Trevor Copeland, is a dapper baritone who still believes in love.
Beatles, let alone the notion of marching in the streets). Told in the form of flashback anecdotes and taking place in some sort of cabaret-room-cumhereafter-waystation, Trevor recreates the old act while waiting for recently deceased (and longestranged) Arthur to join him. The witty, dishy tone he brings to their hardscrabble origin story takes a dark turn, when Arthur heads straight (so to speak) to the West Coast — where mainstream success, minus that flamboyant cabaret crooner he once wrote love songs to, is his reward. Packed with a satisfying mix of torch songs and zippy little numbers, the music and lyrics of Mark Sonnenblick, who plays
the show’s onstage pianist, are as easy to consume in one bite as they are to chew on for a while (you’ll find yourself preferring the latter). But it’s Sonnenblick’s book, along with co-creator Sam Bolen’s unsinkable Trevor, that allows “Never Get” not just to fly, but to soar. Directed by Max Friedman. At the New York Musical Festival: Thurs., July 28 at 9pm; Sun., July 31 at 7pm; Mon., Aug. 1 at 8pm. At 42West at the OUT NYC Hotel (514 W. 42nd St., btw. 10th & 11th Aves.). For tickets ($27.50), call 212-352-3101 or visit nymf. org/midnight ($2 service fee for online purchase). Also visit nevergetmusical.com.
July 28, 2016
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July 28, 2016
Enviro attorney: Pier55 could help striped bass Pier55 continued from p. 13
lion toward the project’s construction through their Diller-von Furstenberg Family Foundation. The city is paying $17 million toward the project, while the state is paying $18 million to widen the park’s esplanade from Gansevoort St. to W. 14th St. to improve access to the planned-for pier. Under a lease, a nonprofit, PIER55, Inc., or P55, to be chaired by Diller, would fund the new pier’s programming, operations and day-to-day maintenance for 20 years, with an option to extend this another 10 years, bringing Diller and von Furstenberg’s total commitment to hundreds of millions of dollars. They’ve also promised to pay for any project cost overages that may occur. The Trust and the Diller-von Furstenberg Family Foundation have agreed that 51 percent of the performance events on the pier would be completely free and 49 percent could charge market-rate admission.
Historic ships, small boats Also among the plaintiffs’ arguments is that Pier 54, which Pier55 would replace, has always been — from the early concept plans of the Hudson River Park
— designated for the berthing of historic ships, but that Pier55 would not be slated for this use. Pier 54 was where the Carpathia brought the Titanic survivors and from where the Lusitania departed on her fateful journey that ended in her being torpedoed by a German U-boat. The Trust has already completely removed Pier 54’s concrete deck, however, leaving only its wooden pile field remaining, as the authority is bent on building Pier55 to the north of the former Pier 54 footprint. Another of the City Club plaintiffs, Rob Buchanan, comes at the issue from another angle, charging that Pier55 would destroy an important “embayment,” or cove-like area, along the Hudson waterfront. Boaters in small crafts use these nooks — like stepping-stones, working there way up and down the river — to duck out of the river’s powerful current, winds and boat traffic, and find calmer water, he explained. Buchanan is a founder of the Village Community Boathouse, based at Pier 40, at W. Houston St., whose members build traditional New York-style Whitehall rowboats, then take them on free excursions in the Hudson. The boathouse also does free programs with high school students. According to Buchanan, despite the height of Pier55, boaters wouldn’t be
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July 28, 2016
able to safely row or paddle underneath it, while the remaining Pier 54 and 56 pile fields are also unsafe for boaters to enter. So, an entire embayment area, between Gansevoort Peninsula and Pier 57, would be off-limits, he contends. In short, Pier55, as the appeal states, “would harm petitioners’ distinctive, legally cognizable interests” regarding the “navigability” of the Hudson River.
‘Suit doesn’t hold water’ But David Paget, the Trust’s environmental lawyer said, first of all, there has not been interest expressed from owners of historic ships to berth in the park, beyond the old ships that are there now. The Trust has issued R.F.P.’s for historic ships, and gotten no takers, he said. But Fox countered that the Trust doesn’t make it economically feasible for operators of vintage vessels to be in the park, since the agency demands marketrate commercial rent and requires they insure themselves, among other things. “The historic berths were supposed to have all the necessary support systems and be free,” Fox said. “But the Trust has forced nonprofits who are struggling to preserve historic vessels to provide their own water, electric and sewage hookups.” However, Paget said, the Hudson River Park Act was amended three years ago to permit the Pier55 project, and the amended language says nothing about historic boats at Pier55. Plus, the park is already home to a number of old boats, he noted. Paget added there is also nothing in the park act mandating that the storied history of Pier 54 be preserved — though, he noted that the former pier shed’s old White Star Line cast-iron entrance arch still does stand, and that the Trust has pledged to retain it. On the second point, Paget said, the Trust’s dock master surveyed kayakers and other boaters in the park last July and found none of them use the Pier 54 embayment, though they do regularly use the waters around Piers 26, 40 and 66. Boaters consider the water around Pier 54 risky because there is a lot of submerged debris from old pile fields, the dock master stated in an affidavit. “The plaintiffs characterized the water in this area as pristine,” Paget said. “The truth is it’s a former industrial waterfront, and it’s an area that was filled in to create 13th Ave., and was then dredged out later.” But Buchanan slammed the survey as a “sham,” and reiterated that his group definitely uses that spot.
(Some) ‘old lions’ roaring Some Pier55 backers have sought to dismiss the City Club as a mere shell
organization with just a few disgruntled members. But Fox said the group’s board and policy council are comprised of prominent veteran leaders of New York civic life. In addition to him, the club includes Kent Barwick, Brendan Sexton and Frank Sanchis, all past presidents of the Municipal Art Society; Ross Sandler, the city’s former Department of Transportation commissioner; and Al Butzel, the environmental lawyer who in 1985 famously defeated the Westway sunken highway megaproject along the West Side waterfront, which, in turn, led to the creation of Hudson River Park and the renovation of the West Side Highway. “We’re the old lions,” Fox said of the City Club. Butzel, however, clarified that he, in fact, supports the Pier55 project and had urged the club not to pursue the lawsuit. It would be a missed opportunity not to accept Diller and von Furstenberg’s gift, he said. Fox speculated that Butzel — who, he claimed, “has played both sides of the fence” in the past — must have been retained by Diller. Not true, said Butzel. “I have nothing to do with Diller or Diane,” he said. Butzel said the idea that the highprofile pier project should have been put out to bid is ridiculous. “If someone offers you $100 million, it’s just going through the motions [to have competitive bidding],” he said. As for Buchanan’s argument that Pier55 would block small boaters from using the Pier 54-56 embayment, Butzel scoffed, “That’s gotta be bulls---.” “I think it is good for the park and good for the city,” he said of Pier55. “I think it’s an interesting design.” The attorney said, though, if the process were done again, it could probably benefit from “more transparency.” “I might have done it differently,” he said. “But I’m not going to criticize the Trust on this.”
Fish are into piers Pier55 might even help the aquatic habitat, Butzel noted. He said that during the Westway fight, he learned that 30 percent of the Hudson’s juvenile striped bass winter in the waters of what today is the Hudson River Park, that the pier pilings slow the water, making it attractive to young fish. “This — to me — the pros overwhelm the cons,” Butzel said of the Pier55 project. Asked if he and Fox will now have to face each other uneasily while eating BLT’s in the City Club dining room, Butzel said, it’s not that kind of a club. “When we do meet, we just meet in a room,” he said.
Photos by Clayton Patterson
Alicia Napoleon, in foreground, throws a hard right in her bout versus Kita Watkins last Friday night.
Bleecker Empress continues her undefeated reign
SPORTS By Lincoln Anderson
licia “The Empress” Napoleon, the Battling Babe from Bleecker St., notched another victory last Friday night, in a bout at Five Star Banquet Hall, in Long Island City. Napoleon’s fight against Kita Watkins was the main event at the July 22 night of boxing by Uprising Promotions. Napoleon, who is actually from Long Island but trains at the Overthrow boxing
gym, at 9 Bleecker St., came in with a 6-0 record – with five knockouts. Watkins, a 20-bout veteran, stood at 7-14 with one knockout. In January, Napoleon beat Szilvia Szabados in an action-packed slugfest at Five Star to win the undisputed WBC Silver Female Super-Welterweight Title. “The Empress” is currently the top-ranked super-welterweight in the U.S. and number four in the world. On Friday night, Napoleon hung on for the win, but Boxing News 24 reported that it was a tough and gritty brawl, if ever there was one. “The Long Islander displayed nice ring
generalship and controlled the action for the majority of the six-round encounter,” the boxing site said. “Watkins looked to make it a dogfight and drew Napoleon inside, but she was more than happy to oblige. Not allowing her work to be smothered, Napoleon also fought Watkins on the edge of her range and threw hard power shots while maintaining great balance and movement. “While it took a calculated effort on her end, Napoleon got the better of Watkins over the course of the bout, eventually securing a unanimous decision (60-54, 59-55 x 2) to remain undefeated.”
Alicia Napoleon, feeling confident of having notched another win, raises her hand victoriously before the referee does it for her. She gutted out a tough win versus wor thy opponent Kita Watkins. TheVillager.com
“The Empress” shows her winning form — and one of her fists of fur y. July 28, 2016
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July 28, 2016