August 18, 2016 • $1.00 Volume 86 • Number 33
The Paper of Record for Greenwich Village, East Village, Lower East Side, Soho, Union Square, Chinatown and Noho, Since 1933
Split between raising funds and C’town forum, Cancel abruptly splits BY ALEX ELLEFSON
ampaign fundraising woes appear to have hamstrung Assemblymember Alice Cancel’s ability to connect with voters while she tries to fend off the first primary challenge to her newly won seat. The freshman lawmaker — whose $13,554 in contribu-
tions is dwarfed by war chests of the five other Democratic candidates seeking the position once held by fallen Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver — abruptly dashed out of a well-attended election forum Sunday in order to attend a campaign fundraiser. The event, at which candiForum continued on p. 8
New imaging center comes into focus on Seventh Ave. By Lincoln Anderson
ere’s looking at you, kid. Make that looking inside you. Featuring state-of-the-art CAT scans, M.R.I.’s and X-rays, the new $16 million imaging center at Lenox Health Greenwich Village is the latest addition to the growing community healthcare hub at Seventh Ave. and W. 12th St. A year ago, North ShoreL.I.J. Health System — recently
renamed Northwell Health — opened a stand-alone 24/7 emergency department in the bottom of the former St. Vincent’s O’Toole Pavilion. The new imaging center is on the fifth floor of the ship-shaped building, which was originally built for the National Maritime Union. It represents the second phase of the $150 million renovation of the 160,000-squarefoot medical complex, which is anchored by the freestanding Imaging continued on p. 5
Photo by Q. Sakamaki
Muslims protested Aug. 18 in Brooklyn after a memorial ser vice held for an imam and another Muslim man who were gunned down in Ozone Park, Queens, after leaving a mosque five days earlier. Police subsequently arrested a suspect in the double homicide — a 35-year-old maintenance worker at Greenwich Village’s New School. See Page 12.
Primary race is a first for Glick and Fouratt By Lincoln Anderson The upcoming Sept. 13 Democratic primary election for the 66th Assembly District is something new for both of the candidates. For veteran Assemblyember Deborah Glick, who is now in her 13th term in office, it will be her first Democratic primary challenge in her 26 years in Albany. For her challenger, Village
activist Jim Fouratt — who was at the Stonewall uprising of 1969 — it will be his first time on the ballot for a major political office. The 66th District covers a broad swath of Downtown and Lower Manhattan, including Greenwich Village, Union Square, part of Gramercy, the East Village over to First Ave., Soho and Noho, Little Italy and Nolita, Hudson Square, Tribeca, the City
Hall area and part of Battery Park City. Glick is confidently running on her record, which she says is strong and explains why she has never faced a primary challenge before. Many consider her an “icon” in the L.G.B.T. community, since she was the first openly gay person elected to political office in New York City, and Primary continued on p. 6
Remember ‘The Alamo’...hole? Where is it?.....p. 4 Adele: Nun, strip club owner...neighbor.............p. 17 St. Mark’s crusty crashing���� p. 14
riage alive. But in June, Khloe Kardashian re-filed for divorce from Odom — apparently, he must not be “trending” anymore — which reportedly only started him overindulging all over again. “He’s partying like it’s 1999 to keep his mind off Khloe,” one gossip site reported. Hopefully, he’ll keep things on an even keel, and we’ll be seeing him throw down viciously at the Tompkins Square Park basketball courts one of these days! According to the second source, “He wants to go back to playing with the Lakers.”
Trending at Village View: Lamar Odom, the former pro basketball player and onetime “Keeping Up With the Kardashians” reality TV star, has been spotted hanging around Village View the past three weeks. Hey, at 6 feet 10 inches, he’s hard to miss! According to a source, Odom, 36, has been dating a resident of the East Village complex — a blonde woman who is, of course, much smaller — who isn’t? — than him. “He’s outside — sitting on a bench,” one source said of where Odom can sometimes be found. “And people take photos with him — selfies.” One Village Viewer reportedly even tried to “sell the story” to TMZ, but the celebrity news site never responded. “Now you owe me big time!” the source said after dishing to us about Odom. The tabloids have reported that the ex-hoopster is back in his native borough of Queens. However, a second source said word is that the erstwhile baller is actually living nearby in a hotel on Houston St. “I heard two stories about how they met,” the second source said. “One is that the met in a club. The other is that she used to travel to Florida and met him there.” She said Odom is usually accompanied by a bodyguard who wears a fedora. When she saw Odom in the elevator once, he was sporting a baseball cap with “QUEENS” on it and a gold chain, she said. The girlfriend is in her 30s, separated and has two young children. “He wants her to move with him to California or something,” the second source said. Odom “is not discrete” about his visits, she added, noting that he poses for selfies with the building’s security guards and recently was talking with kids in the complex’s playground. Hopefully, the hard-partying Odom is continuing to recover after he nearly died in October 2015 in an epic blowout at a Nevada brothel. The Love Ranch meltdown rocketed him to the No. 1 spot on Google Trends for living people that year, plus somehow kept his mar-
Photo by David Shankbone
Lamar Odom has been seen around Village View lately.
J.O. Show at The Villager: John Oliver’s recent spoof of “Spotlight” was filmed in none other than The Villager’s office. The HBO show “Last Week Tonight With John Oliver” recently transformed our digs into the fictional office of The Chronicle. In the sketch, Jason Sudeikis plays The Chronicle’s editor. He was filmed in our Publisher Jennifer Goodstein’s office, which was decked out with antique bronze Buddha heads and a mini-Zen sand garden for the skit. Anyway, Sudeikis spikes investigative reporter Bobby Cannavale’s big exposé in favor of Rose Byrne’s clickbait-friendly story about a cat that looks like a raccoon. The moral of the segment’s story is that journalism’s thankless but vital role in keeping a close eye on local government and other power players cannot be replaced by listicles and funny tweets... or raccoon cats. (Though, crusty pit bulls on the rampage are always fair game.)
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August 18, 2016
Sidewalk talk: The vibe was great inside SideWalk Cafe, at Avenue A and E. Sixth St., last Saturday night at the New York Antifolk Festival. We caught Jim Flynn on guitar and blues harp — and, no, we don’t mean a harmonica. The multitalented musician plays an actual harp — albeit a very funky one — as well as a mean guitar. Flynn, who was celebrating
Photo by Scoopy
From left, Jim Flynn, Seaton Hancock a.k.a. Raven and Joff Wilson outside Sidewalk Cafe.
his birthday, is also a contributor to The Villager. He did a moving anti-Donald Trump song / rap, adding that he sincerely hopes he doesn’t ever have to do it again after this election. Afterward, the vibe out on the sidewalk in front was not quite as upbeat, to say the least, as fellow musicians Joff Wilson and Seaton Hanock a.k.a. Raven railed against the new Ben Shaoul building next door at 100 Avenue A. “There goes the neighborhood,” lamented Wilson, whose band is The Bowery Boys. “They just took the scaffolding off of it today.” Added Raven, while pointing an accusing finger at the new edifice, “You want to know what’s killing the East Village music scene — this! ... The stockbrokers who will live there in their $1 million-dollar apartments wear suits — but they’re straitjackets. They don’t love their work.” With a final pronouncement that they have to play music to live, Raven hopped in a cab and headed over to the West Village to play in a big-band gig at Arthur’s Tavern. Punk fans will remember Raven from the Stimulators, the punk-ska band that featured 12-year-old Harley Flanagan, later of the Cro-Mags, on drums.
Shop talk: Is the Greenwich St. D’Agostino food-shortage contagion spreading? D’Ag, at least, has a note at its entrance thanking patrons for their loyalty and saying that the shelves are being restocked. Meanwhile, though, the shelves of Integral Yoga on W. 13th St. have been empty lately. As Zack Scoopy’s continued on p. 4 TheVillager.com
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Remember ‘The Alamo’...hole? What happened? 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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EDITOR IN CHIEF LINCOLN ANDERSON
CONTRIBUTORS ALBERT AMATEAU IRA BLUTREICH TINA BENITEZ-EVES SARAH FERGUSON BOB KRASNER TEQUILA MINSKY CLAYTON PATTERSON JEFFERSON SIEGEL SHARON WOOLUMS
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By Lincoln Anderson
ast week, The Villager reported that the foundation for “The Alamo” had been excavated, paving the way for the signature statue’s return sometime soon. Speaking of paving, however, as soon as the hole appeared, it seemed, only a few days later, it was paved back over. What’s going on? William Kelley, executive director of the Village Alliance business improvement district, explained that the hole won’t be excavated again. What was actually done last week, he said, was that a 3-foot-deep foundation of solid cement was installed at the spot. Sidewalks are normally only from 4 inches to 7 inches deep. But securing a large sculpture such as “The Alamo” a.k.a. “The Cube” requires that long bolts be anchored into a thick foundation. Similarly, Jim Powers’s seven restored mosaicencrusted lampposts will all be anchored to underground concrete foundations, he said. First, the base will be bolted onto the concrete foundation, and then “The Alamo” will be attached to the base. Currently, the iconic East Village sculpture — which will celebrate its 50th anniversary next
Photo by Lincoln Anderson
Wha?... The hole for “The Alamo” sculpture foundation was filled back in soon after it was excavated. The solid block of deep cement actually is the foundation that the sculpture will be anchored to.
year — is still in exile in uncool New Jersey where it is being spruced up by Aegis Restauro, Kelley said. It was opened up and cleaned of rust, and a special coating is now being added on its exterior to make it easy to remove graffiti by using solvents without damaging the artwork. “It gets tagged once or twice a month,” he noted. In the past, they just covered over the scrawls with black paint. “It was restored in 2005 — it had stopped turning,” Kelley said of the spinnable sculpture. The BID director said it’s
his understanding that “The Alamo,” created by sculptor Tony Rosenthal, was the city’s first piece of art in its public art program — as in an “art for art’s sake” creation, not necessarily a memorial or monument. He said all the new planting beds in the newly expanded Astor Place and Cooper Square pedestrian plazas will come in in September. “That will really green it up,” he said. “It will be thousands and thousands of plants.” Railings will be added to all the new benches to keep people
from sleeping on them overnight. Kelley said the BID does not have public safety officers on patrol overnight. If homeless people want to hang out on the plazas, however, he said, “Look, it’s a public space.” Meanwhile, Power is hard at work finishing up his pole restorations at the Sixth St. Community Center. “Jim is working toward a September completion,” Kelley said. “He’s putting pressure on himself. I do think it’s going well. We’re going to have a dedication of them in September.
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August 18, 2016
Scoopy’s continued from p. 2
Winestine of the Greenwich Village Community Task Force told us: “Some sort of blight is attacking food markets throughout the far West Village!” Manu Dawson, manager of Integral Yoga Natural Foods Store, gave a statement to us, noting that the summer doldrums are a factor. “We appreciate the concern expressed by your reader,” she
said. “Yes, we in the Village retail food community have been experiencing financial challenges, as have many independent businesses throughout Manhattan. Expenses are high and sales are a bit slower during the summer season. However, we are riding the wave with optimism and determination! Integral Yoga Natural Foods, opened in 1972, was one of the first and remains the only 100 percent vegetarian health food store in New York City, consistent with the principles of nonviolence and sustainable, earth-friendly farming,” Dawson noted. “We are gratified to see that more consumers now seek organic ingredients and healthful food choices. Such products are sold in the many national corporate chains that have come to our city in recent years. We invite everyone in the Village and all the city’s other neighborhoods and boroughs to support our local, independent business in order to help us continue to serve our community. Come check us out and ask for a one-time 20 percent discount on your purchases. Integral Yoga Institute, right next door, will also give you a free yoga class.” Plus, after you take your free yoga class, you’ll be so much more flexible, you’ll be able to reach that healthy product on the top shelf. In happier food-market
news, Moe Issa of Brooklyn Fare assured that the new store in the Archive building will open in a couple of weeks. “We have 5,000 cases of groceries in, and another 3,000 to 4,000 coming next week,” he said. “We’re working around the clock to be sure everything’s ready. I cannot wait.” And in Chelsea Market, the Manhattan Fruit Exchange has moved to tiny temporary quarters. Vito Latilla, the business’s co-owner and vice president, who runs it with his two brothers, confirmed rumors: The retailer/wholesaler will be moving to a larger space in the basement, which he says will be beautiful and which he hopes will be ready in six months. Several other Chelsea Market food businesses are likely to move down there, as well. The new Fruit Exchange space will add about 1,000 new square feet. In addition to new stairs and elevators (and eventually an escalator) within Chelsea Market, the new space will have a separate entrance on W. 16th St., so that serious shoppers can avoid the tourist hordes. Latilla insists that, if anything, prices will go down while selection will increase. “We source from all over the world,” he said. “There’s nothing we don’t carry. If you don’t see it in the store, ask and we’ll get it from the warehouse in Ridgewood [Queens].” TheVillager.com
New Village imaging center comes into focus Imaging continued from p. 1
E.D., which has no hospital beds attached to it. The new imaging center will be followed, in 2017, by ambulatory surgery, physicians’ offices and a range of other medical services, as well as community meeting space. Led by medical director Dr. Kavita Patel, the imaging center offers high-field M.R.I., low-dose CAT scan, ultrasound, 3D mammography, image-guided biopsy, bone densitometry, X-ray services and procedures. Assemblymember Deborah Glick and state Senator Brad Hoylman were on hand at the Aug. 2 ribbon-cutting. “The community really had a terrible blow when we lost St. Vincent’s,” Glick said. “It was a focal point for the community. It employed a lot of people, and the area was dramatically affected when it closed. The new emergency room has been very important to the surrounding community. “I’m old enough to have had some radiology, and this is a beautiful facility,” she said of the new imaging center. “It is a beautiful facility, outside and inside. This looks like a living room,” Hoylman concurred. He added that early detection dramatically improves women’s chances of surviving breast cancer. The free mammography van that he sponsors is very popular, he noted. The imaging center has top-notch equipment. The M.R.I. machine cost $1.4 mil-
Photo by Lincoln Anderson
Cutting the ribbon at the L .H.G.V. imaging center, Nor thwell Health officials, from left, Dr. David Battinelli, chief medical officer; C ynthia Kubala, V.P. radiology; ; Dr. Jason Naidich, radiology chair; Alex Hellinger, L .H.G.V. director; Dennis Connors, E.D. of Lenox Hill Hospital.
lion — the software alone was another million dollars, the technicians said. Dr. Jason Naidich, head of Northwell Health’s imaging services and chairperson of radiology, said the field basically involves reading the images — so Northwell’s extensive roster of experts will be able to examine these whether they are at L.H.G.V. or at another facility. “All of the radiologists at Lenox Hill Hospital can read the images seamlessly,”
he noted. “We have a team of more than 170 radiologists.” Northwell Health is the nation’s 14th largest healthcare system. The imaging center is open seven days a week to 10 p.m., offering convenient nighttime and weekend hours. In the slightly more than a year it has been open, the stand-alone Village E.D., as of Aug. 2, had seen 33,623 patients. It’s on track for this coming year to see 36,000,
said Alex Hellinger, the center’s director. Northwell Health has also opened three urgent-care centers — on Eighth St., as well as in Gramercy and Chelsea. “Our goal was to provide a comprehensive medical network in Greenwich Village,” he explained. Asked how he thought the planned Beth Israel Hospital relocation and downsizing would affect the new W. 12th St. emergency department, Hellinger said, “It’s really too early to tell — but we’ll be ready. We were built to have the capacity. Their model is going to be very similar to ours.” More than 90 percent of the E.D.’s patients are treated and released. About 7 percent are transferred to full-service hospitals for higher-level care. Hellinger noted that, among other things, a free-standing E.D. differs from an urgentcare center since they “accept ambulances and are 911-receiving.” “We’ve gotten gunshot wounds, head trauma, people who have jumped off buildings,” he said. “Last night, a young guy came in in cardiac arrest — his heart wasn’t beating. We revived him.” On another note, the director said he was surprised by how many drug-overdose cases they’ve been getting in the tony Village. “There’s a lot of drugs down here,” he said. “We get K2 a lot — it seems to be one of the drugs of choice of the neighborhood. I didn’t expect to see that around here.”
The Deutsche Bank Building Fire Conspiracy On Aug. 18, 2007, one of the worst fires in New York City’s history rapidly consumed the Deutsche Bank building — a stone’s throw from what was the World Trade Center. The out-of-control raging inferno quickly escalated to a seven-alarm fire killing two firefighters, and injuring 105. One of the firefighters killed during the horrific fire was author Graffagnino’s son, Joey.
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The brave men who entered that blazing inferno had walked into a deathtrap, because there was no water to fight the fire. Water outlets inside and outside the building were bone dry.
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August 18, 2016
Primary race is a first for Glick and Fouratt primary continued from p. 1
Schwartz is also a top union lawyer and principal of the law firm Advocates for Justice, plus was Bernie Sanders’s New York State campaign counsel. He realized he simply had bitten off more than he could chew and had to drop out of the race.
among the first in New York State. “I believe 95 percent of any incumbent’s election is doing their job,” she said in an interview last week with The Villager. “You work hard, you respond to community needs, and you provide a rationale if people raise a concern about a bill or position. I work very hard.” She said one reason she knows she has strong support in the district, is that every two years she needs to collect petition signatures to get on the ballot for re-election, and constituents unfailingly tell her she’s doing a good job. “The response is always very strong,” she said, “because people know me and I am very responsive.”
Committee picks Fouratt Each candidate creates what is known as a committee on vacancies when they are running, and this body appoints a replacement candidate in case the original candidate is incapacitated and can no longer run. Schwartz’s committee on vacancies included his wife; along with Ray Cline, a longtime power in the Village Reform Democratic Club; his son Jacob Schwartz, who is president of the Manhattan Young Democrats; Harvey Epstein, a leader of Coalition for a District Alternative, the East Village’s leading political organization and a director at the Urban Justice Center; and Marty Tessler, a former member of Community Board 2. At any rate, Fouratt will be on the ballot next month, and he is raring to give Glick a run. “I feel I can win,” he said.
Glick is game Although the idea of facing a primary is new to her — not to mention the fact that it means extra work — she said she welcomes the challenge and finds it energizing. Plus, again, it has given her the opportunity to be on the streets and directly connect with constituents and hear about their concerns and issues, she said. “I actually like campaigning,” she said. Two years ago, Glick did face a challenge in the general election by Alexander Meadows running as a third-party candidate on his own ad hoc Progressive Party line. But she trounced him, coasting to re-election with 79.7 percent of the vote to Meadows’s 7.4 percent, while Republican candidate Nekeshia Woods garnered 12.8 percent. Nevertheless, Fouratt, who is also openly gay, charges that Glick has been “silent” on important issues — from Albany corruption to the closing of St. Vincent’s Hospital — and that it’s time for a change.
Photo by Tequila Minsky
Jim Fouratt in Washington Square Park.
Glick declines debate
Backs onto ballot First, though, speaking of petition signatures, it bears mentioning that Fouratt did not get on the ballot in the usual manner. District Leader Arthur Schwartz, in fact, had been running against Glick and performed the necessary petitioning, gathering about five times the required 500 names. Fouratt, according to Schwartz, had been planning to run as an independent, meaning Fouratt would have had to gather 1,000 names. Either way, it’s no easy task to garner the required number of valid signatures of registered Democrats who live in the district. Shortly after the petitioning pe-
August 18, 2016
Photo by Lincoln Anderson
Deborah Glick speaking at a meeting of the Village Independent Democrats.
riod ended, however, about a month ago, Schwartz abruptly pulled out of the race, citing health concerns. Ten years ago, he had quadruple heart bypass surgery and five stents put in. His father died of a massive coronary at age 58, and Schwartz felt that the pressure of the primary race was, in turn, raising his blood pressure. People who have had heart opera-
tions are generally very sensitive to their hearts, he said, adding it may have something to do with how nerves around the muscle are impacted by the surgery. In short, Schwartz told The Villager, this was no ploy from the get-go to pull a bait-and-switch and put Fouratt on the ballot on his part, but a genuine health issue that arose during the campaign.
He badly wants to debate Glick, but she is declining — citing the fact that it was Schwartz who did all the petition gathering, not Fouratt. In other words, Fouratt has not shown he has any backing in the community, she charged. “He never collected a single signature,” she said. “Jim Fouratt has not demonstrated any public support.” She also declined to debate Meadows two years ago, citing a snafu with his filing of his campaign financing. Glick was recently endorsed for re-election by four of the Downtown area’s leading politicians, state Senators Brad Hoylman and Daniel Squadron and City Councilmembers Corey Johnson and Rosie Mendez. And she is supported by the area’s leading Democratic political clubs. Fouratt — who shrugged that that kind of support is to be expected for an elected official — does not have any endorsements that he has made public yet. But he said he will roll out some high-profile names of his supporters from the arts community soon. He was miffed that Allen Roskoff’s Jim Owles Liberal Democratic Club, which had supported Schwartz, is now backing Glick. “We’re very happy to be endorsing Deborah Glick,” Roskoff said. “Please! Primary continued on p. 10 TheVillager.com
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August 18, 2016
Split between raising funds and forum, Cancel splits forum continued from p. 1
dates discussed issues related to Chinatown and the Lower East Side, drew a crowd of more than 300 people and was sponsored by 20 organizations. Cancel’s absence during the second half of the debate rankled some audience members, who felt their new representative would rather glad-hand donors than make her case to constituents. “She’s not getting my vote,” said Chinatown resident Annie Tan. “Hundreds of people came to this event. She could have planned the fundraiser at another time.” Cancel’s sudden departure surprised event organizers, who said the assemblymember agreed to attend more than seven weeks ago. “Two months of planning went into this and we had no inkling [Cancel] would not be there the whole time until she showed up,” said Liz OuYang, a political consultant representing one of the sponsoring organizations. “I’m extremely disappointed because she was not able to respond to critical questions affecting the district.” A campaign representative for the assemblymember — who scrambled out of the packed auditorium in the basement of the Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association headquarters on Mott St. — said the scheduling snafu occurred because a personal friend planned a last-minute fundraiser that conflicted with the forum. Susan Lerner, executive director for the good government watchdog group Common Cause New York and one of the moderators of Sunday’s forum, said Cancel’s exit gives the wrong message to voters. “It sends a message about the priorities of her campaign,” she said. “The candidate made a choice to stand up the voters in order to take money from donors.” Cancel, who struggled to attract campaign contributions ahead of the special election she won in April, is miles behind her opponents in the run-up to the Sept. 13 primary. According to New York State Board of Elections campaign finance records, since April 15, Cancel has raised just $8,733. Meanwhile, over that same period, former Community Board 3 Chairperson Gigi Li has raised about 10 times that much, $88,811, and Chinatown activist Don Lee has raked in $65,177. The campaigns for District Leaders Paul Newell and Jenifer Rajkumar raised $130,422 and $77,376, respectively, in those four months. YuhLine Niou, former chief of staff for Queens Assemblymember Ron Kim, has raised $77,336 since April 15. Although candidates were given no advance notice about what questions would be posed during the forum, Lerner lamented that Cancel was not present for a discussion about whether to ban outside income for New York lawmakers — an especially important topic, considering that Silver’s corruption conviction centered around nearly $5 million in alleged kickbacks from two law firms. Among the remaining candidates, Raj-
August 18, 2016
Photo by Alex Ellefson
After A ssemblymember Alice Cancel depar ted half way through the forum, the five other Democratic candidates remained to answer questions, from left, Don Lee, Gigi Li, Paul Newell, Yuh-Line Niou and Jenifer Rajkumar.
kumar said she supported capping outside income at 25 percent of legislators’ salaries. The rest said they supported banning outside income. Li added that state lawmakers should also have term limits. Newell proposed doubling assemblymembers’ salaries, so “we have the highest-quality legislators possible.” The five remaining candidates said they would not hold another paying job while serving in Albany. However, a question about whether candidates should be allowed to accept contributions from real estate limited-liability companies, or LLC’s, proved tricky for some of the candidates. Real estate LLC’s, formed to shield stakeholders from debt, can hide the true owner of a property and have allowed wealthy developers to funnel millions of dollars into legislators’ campaign coffers. Newell, who hedged his answer by saying he does not accept “money from people with business before the State of New York,” received a $250 contribution from an LLC that controls one property in Manhattan, records show. Meanwhile, Rajkumar, who told the audience she does not accept real estate LLC money, received a $250 contribution from an LLC that owns New York property. When asked about that contribution, Rajkumar said she understood the question to apply to “big real estate companies that dominate politics in New York,” instead of small property owners. Indeed, the contributions are relatively small compared to the flood of political money distributed through LLC’s owned by some of the state’s largest developers. An analysis by Common Cause New York found that Glenwood Management, a real estate company implicated in the corrup-
tion trials that brought down Silver and former Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos, used at least 50 LLC’s between the years 2005 and 2014 to contribute more than $12.8 million to New York State candidates and committees. When asked about the real estate LLC money received by Newell and Rajkumar, Lerner acknowledged that the most pressing issue is closing the loophole that lets LLCs make donations as if they are individuals — allowing each LLC to contribute up to $60,800 per year to candidates. However, she said, candidates should have acknowledged any and all LLC contributions during the forum. “We would like to see them be a strong example,” she said. An analysis of campaign finance records also shows Li accepted a $500 contribution from the lobbying firm of James Capalino — who has been linked to the scandalous Rivington House propertyflipping scandal. However, her campaign accepted the money before the city’s questionable decision to lift a deed restriction on the Lower East Side nursing home drew scrutiny from the press and investigators. Li’s campaign manager said the money was returned as soon as they learned of Capalino’s connection to the Rivington House deal, and pointed out that the candidate — as former chairperson of C.B. 3 — was one of the first community leaders to raise the alarm about the change to the deed restriction. Issues related to how the New York real estate boom has eroded the community’s access to healthcare, affordable housing and small businesses dominated the discussion at the forum. During her time at the event, Cancel addressed several ways she hopes to
preserve the community — including repealing the 1971 Urstadt Law that gives Albany control of rent regulation in New York City. She also proposed moving One Police Plaza out of Lower Manhattan, so that Park Row can once again become a free-flowing artery for New Yorkers and tourists to patronize Chinatown businesses. Newell later said no one on the stage had the authority to move the New York Police Department’s headquarters, though he and the other candidates did propose other solutions to make Chinatown more accessible. However, Cancel missed out on the opportunity to discuss other important topics, such as the Chinatown Working Group’s rezoning proposal aimed at buttressing the community against mega-developments, like Extell Development Company’s 80-story residential tower at 250 South St. The Department of City Planning nixed the working group’s plan last year. However, the candidates said there are opportunities to continue negotiating with the city about rezoning the neighborhood, and vowed to support those efforts. Chris Kui, director for Asian Americans for Equality, said it was encouraging to see the candidates court voters in Chinatown. He said he was pleased that they discussed affordable housing and preserving small businesses. However, he said, Cancel’s decision to leave early for a fundraiser showed “a lack of sensitivity toward the community.” “I feel like people expected her to be here,” he said. “It’s important for everyone who runs for office to listen to talk about the issues and get feedback.” TheVillager.com
Etan retrial set to start BY ALEX ELLEFSON
rosecutors will take another swing at securing a conviction in the infamous Etan Patz case when the retrial begins Sept. 12. The first case against Pedro Hernandez — the 55-year-old former Soho bodega clerk who confessed to strangling the 6-year-old in 1979 — ended in a mistrial last year when a lone juror refused to convict. Less than a month after the trial fell apart, Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance Jr. vowed to retry Hernandez. A lot has happened since then. Barely a month before the upcoming retrial, a Supreme Court justice overturned a 2004 wrongful-death judgment that found convicted child molester Jose Ramos civilly liable for Patz’s death. The $2.7 million ruling was largely symbolic since Ramos was never criminally convicted. But Hernandez’s defense team used evidence from that case to undercut prosecutors’ arguments against the former clerk. However, Hernandez’s lawyer, Harvey Fishbein, told The Villager that the decision to overturn the civil case will not have an effect when the retrial begins. He said he will continue to argue that Ramos
is the more likely suspect. Even though evidence from the civil ruling was introduced in the case against Hernandez, the 2004 wrongful-death judgment was never mentioned in court, the New York Times reports. Hernandez was arrested in New Jersey in 2012 after authorities received a tip that he had previously mentioned killing Patz. Police were able to get a confession out of Hernandez, in which he admitted to killing the boy and dumping his body in a Thompson St. alley. But the defense argued he had mental health problems and low intelligence, and that the confession was coerced. Patz was one of the first missing children to appear on a milk carton after he vanished during his first unaccompanied walk to the school bus stop. His body was never found and prosecutors never charged Ramos — the boyfriend of the Patz family’s babysitter — citing a lack of evidence. When Vance ran for district attorney, he campaigned on a promise to reopen the high-profile case. The Manhattan District Attorney’s Office declined to comment on whether the overturning of the civil court ruling would give them an edge.
Police Blotter Red card! Police said an Aug.11 late-night organized soccer game became hands-on after a 27year-old man was thrown out of the contest at the Pier 40 soccer field, at W. Houston St. Witnesses said one player, 27, punched another player one year his junior in the side of his head, causing pain, swelling and a laceration near his left ear. Police arrested Christopher Sutherland for misdemeanor assault.
Violent panhandler A 29-year-old woman waiting in line for an early-morning treat outside Creperie, at 112 Macdougal St., was allegedly approached by a very tall panhandler on Sat., Aug. 13. When the woman told him she did not have any spare change, the stranger — who stood 6 foot 5 inches — allegedly punched her several times in the face, according to police. The woman and her male companion followed the assailant down the block and the violent scuffle continued. According to police, a female witness, 22, told police that she saw the panhandler punch the woman several more times in the face, causing her to fall to the ground, and that he then also pushed her friend to the ground. Both victims sustained bruising and lacerations. The female victim reported that her $1,800 yellow metal chain was missing after the alleged attack. TheVillager.com
Responding police tracked down Tyrone George, 30, and arrested him for felony robbery.
Hang on, ‘Snoopy’! Police on patrol spotted a man riding his bicycle against traffic on a one-way street near the corner of Washington Square West and Washington Place on Thurs., Aug. 11. The cops stopped him and found him allegedly in possession of a crack pipe and a dagger. Arthur “Snoopy” Ragin, 50, was arrested and charged with felony weapon possession.
Wrong-way women Police observed two women in a car making an illegal left-hand turn near 173 Bleecker St. in the early morning hours of Wed., Aug. 10, according to a report. The driver was found with a suspended New York State driver’s license, as well as alleged counterfeit U.S. currency. Bella Hernandez, 24 and Damali Whyte, 29, were arrested on forgery charges. A special agent from the Secret Service was contacted by the Police Department to investigate further.
Move-In Day Parking Relief Sunday, August 28, 2016 NYU is welcoming a new class: our freshmen move into their residence halls on Sunday, August 28. We understand the effect that move-in day has on traffic and street parking, and are offering parking reimbursement to neighborhood residents. If you live in the area designated by the darkly shaded section of the map above (from 15th Street to Houston Street, between Sixth and Second Avenues) and need to put your car in a garage on Saturday night or Sunday, August 2728, NYU will repay the cost for up to 24 hours. This offer is not valid for NYU students. Please mail your original parking receipt, proof of residency, name, email, and phone number to NYU Community Engagement for reimbursement, or bring them in person between 9 am and 5 pm on weekdays. Please keep copies of all receipts. NYU Community Engagement 25 West Fourth Street, 5th Floor New York, NY 10012-1119 212.998.2400 email@example.com Find out about public programs and more: visit nyu.edu/nyu-in-nyc.
Chriss Williams August 18, 2016
Upstart activist challenging Assembly veteran Primary continued from p. 6
I mean is anyone endorsing Fouratt? Iâ€™d be shocked if itâ€™s anyone of any credibility.â€?
Will pull an â€˜Eastwoodâ€™
Before he dropped out, Schwartz had already done one mailer, a piece featuring him and Sanders that he sent out before the New York presidential primary. Glick, a Queens native, has lived in the Village for 40 years. She won her seat in a five-way primary in 1990 that included the likes of then-District Leaders Kathryn Freed, Tony Hoffmann and Liz Shollenberger. Besides Glick, there was one other gay candidate in the race, but unlike Glick, he wasnâ€™t particularly open about it.
For his part, Fouratt said that as a progressive Democrat, Glick should welcome a debate with him, and that voters deserve to hear her speak publicly about the issues, and for her to be challenged. If Glick refuses to debate, Who is Jim Fouratt? he declared, heâ€™ll hold a forum and â€œput a chair on a tableâ€? to represent Glick, Most voters likely know much less and speak about his positions and her about Fouratt than Glick. He grew up record. That might bring to mind actor Clint in a working-class family in Rhode IsEastwoodâ€™s widely mocked stunt when land. He had initially hoped to become he chided a chair representing President a Catholic priest and was studying at a Obama at the Republican National Con- seminary, but said that when he openly vention four years ago. But while Fouratt admitted to being gay, he was promptly is, in fact, an actor, too â€” among his told to leave. He came straight to New other hats â€” he is serious that he feels York and got involved in running large Glickâ€™s record should be challenged, in dance clubs, including Hurrah â€” â€œit was the beautiful people club,â€? he noted â€” a debate and in general. Another way he hopes to get out his Danceteria and the Peppermint Lounge message is through a mailing â€” though, on W. 42nd St., and also went into actat $20,000, that will be an expensive ing. In the 1980s, he was involved with proposition. Fouratt has not fundraised ACT UP in direct-action protests to end anywhere near the amount that Glick the AIDS crisis. He currently writes a movie-review column. has, so it will be a challenge. Glick plans () On the political front, for the past 30 to do at least one district-wide mailing.
years, off and on, he has been a member of the Village Independent Democrats, which is Glickâ€™s home club and her local power base. Glick is 65 and Fouratt is 75. â€œAge will not be an issue in this race,â€? Fouratt quipped. However, he added, â€œIâ€™m not your typical 75-year-old.â€? Heâ€™s an avid Citi Bike rider, among other things.
Battling eviction Heâ€™s currently fighting an eviction effort against him, which he said stemmed from an incident where his sink overflowed once. Councilmember Corey Johnson helped get him a pro bono attorney to fight his landlord. Eventually, Fouratt would like to move into a building with an elevator, so that heâ€™s no longer living atop a fifth-floor walk-up. But for now, heâ€™s not moving â€” especially not out of the Assembly district, as that would make him ineligible to run. He and Glick live about two blocks away from one another in the Village and frequently pass each other in the street. Glick supports Hillary Clinton for president. Fouratt backed Sanders until he lost the nomination, then switched to Clinton, fearing Donald Trumpâ€™s impact on the U.S. Supreme Court.
Dismissed as a gadfly?
Some, however, see Fouratt as basically a political gadfly, someone who often attacks those in power, whoever they may be. Asking not to have his name printed for fear of mixing it up with Fouratt, one prominent local gay activist went so far as to call him â€œdangerous.â€? Another, again requesting anonymity, accused Fouratt of having a â€œhighly toxic reputation in the gay community.â€? Everyone, however, unfailingly acknowledges that Fouratt is â€œvery smart.â€? Fouratt says that his outspokenness and refusal to compromise on issues is, in fact, just whatâ€™s needed in Albany. Tony Hoffmann, a past president of V.I.D., didnâ€™t hold back in his assessment of Fouratt, branding him â€œvery disruptive.â€? â€œHeâ€™s very articulate, but he doesnâ€™t follow through,â€? Hoffman said. â€œAnd heâ€™s very disruptive. He brings organizations to a standstill. â€œIâ€™m a big fan of Deborah,â€? Hoffmann said. â€œSheâ€™s a major asset to this community, and Iâ€™d hate to lose her. We got a new school,â€? he said, referring to the 75 Morton St. middle school, â€œand sheâ€™s the one who found the location for it. I think sheâ€™s a big champion of the waterfront. Sheâ€™s a leader on gay and lesbian issues. Thereâ€™s no reason to change horses at this point.â€?
Everyone depends on electricity. However, if thereâ€™s ever a loss of power, be prepared to report it. Text REG to OUTAGE (688243) and follow the prompts. Also check our outage map to get estimated restoration times at conEd.com/OutageMap. Message and data rates may apply
August 18, 2016
His plan of attack
Fouratt intends to hammer Glick on the closing of St. Vincentâ€™s Hospital and also the air-rights transfer legislation that allows developers to purchase unused air rights from Hudson River Park. Glick basically told The Villager that, in the past, the best that the community could get when facing the latest overly large development project, is to get a few stories shaved of the top. The Hudson River Park air-rights legislation, on the other hand, will provide a stream of revenue to the park that will allow the repair of Pier 40 â€” the Villageâ€™s beloved youth sports pier â€” among other things, she said. â€œPier 40 is important,â€? she said. â€œItâ€™s important to the kids. Itâ€™s important to their parents. Itâ€™s important to schools in the areas and corporate teams who use it. Itâ€™s a vitally important recreational facility in an area â€” Community Boards 2 and 4 â€” that has the least amount of park space in the city.â€? Glick is still vulnerable to the charge, though, that the air-rights bill was â€œstealth legislation,â€? passed at the end of session in Albany with no notification to constituents. Fouratt, who proudly admits to a strong arts bias, said he actually had liked the glitzy Cirque du Soleil plan previously proposed by Related Companies for Pier 40 some years back that was derided by many as â€œVegas on the Hudson.â€? He said he supported including in that plan a community meeting space on Pier 40 for the gay youth group FIERCE. Also on the arts, Fouratt said he fully supports the IFC Center movie theater expansion on Sixth Ave. at W. Third St., including building an extension on its vacant lot on Cornelia St. â€œI had a boyfriend who used to park on that lot,â€? he recalled. The block isnâ€™t solely residential, he noted, sporting a number of commercial storefronts, mainly restaurants.
The St. Vincentâ€™s issue As for St. Vincentâ€™s, Glick maintained that she did clearly stake out her position early on that the hospital should be preserved, or at least taken over by another hospital group, such as Mt. Sinai, which had expressed interest in doing so. As for why the Mt. Sinai takeover plan ultimately failed, she stated she does not know the definitive reason. (Back in 2010, when St. Vincentâ€™s closed, a local healthcare administrator very close to the issue told The Villager that he knew for a fact that the commissioner of the state Department of Health had put the kibosh on the plan, declaring that another hospital group should not Primary continued on p. 12 TheVillager.com
TOP DRIVER DISTRACTIONS Using mobile phones
Leading the list of the top distractions behind the wheel are mobile phones. Phones now do more than just place calls, and drivers often cannot pull away from their phones, even when driving. According to the California Department of Motor Vehicles, studies have shown that driving performance is lowered and the level of distraction is higher for drivers who are heavily engaged in cell
phone conversations. The use of a hands-free device does not lower distraction levels. The percentage of vehicle crashes and nearcrashes attributed to dialing is nearly identical to the number associated with talking or listening.
Many people will admit to daydreaming behind the wheel or looking at a person or object outside of the car for too long. Per-
haps they’re checking out a house in a new neighborhood or thought they saw someone they knew on the street corner. It can be easy to veer into the direction your eyes are focused, causing an accident. In addition to trying to stay focused on the road, some drivers prefer the help of lane departure warning systems.
Those who haven’t quite mastered walking and
chewing gum at the same time may want to avoid eating while driving. The majority of foods require a person’s hands to be taken off of the wheel and their eyes to be diverted from the road. Reaching in the back seat to share some French fries with the kids is also distracting. Try to eat meals before getting in the car. For those who must snack while en route, take a moment to pull over at
a rest area and spend 10 minutes snacking there before resuming the trip.
Glancing at an advertisement, updating a Facebook status or reading a book are all activities that should be avoided when driving. Even pouring over a traffic map or consulting the digital display of a GPS system can be distracting.
August 18, 2016
New School staffer arrested in Muslims’ slaying By Lincoln Anderson
he shocking murder of a Queens imam and his assistant on Sat., Aug. 13, held an added shock for The New School, when police arrested a man in the killings who works at the Greenwich Village university. Slay suspect Oscar Morel, who lives in East New York, Brooklyn, was walked out of the 107th Precinct in Queens on Monday and was wearing a light-tan work short with “Oscar” stitched on the right breast in red lettering and “The New School Facilities Management” on the left breast. The New School issued a terse
statement, saying, “Oscar Morel has been a porter at The New School since November 2013. While we are unable to comment on his arrest, we are cooperating fully with the authorities in this matter.” The school declined to comment further. Police would not say where and exactly when Morel was arrested. On Tuesday, Morel’s charges were upgraded from second-degree to first-degree murder. The Daily News reported that one friend of Morel’s was stunned by the allegations. He said that he had never heard Morel, whom he saw two weeks ago at a family function, say anything disparaging about Mus-
Some of the crowd at the memorial for the double murder victims, which has shocked the local Bengali and the cit y’s broader Muslim community.
Photos by Q. Sakamaki
The casket of one of the victims of the Aug. 13 Queens shooting is loaded into a hearse after the Aug. 18 memorial ser vice.
lims. “He’s a good guy,” he said. “He never messes with anybody. I don’t believe he could do it.” But a neighbor described him as “silent” and “weird.” Police did not immediately give an exact motive for the double murder. Morel is accused of coming up
behind Imam Maulama Akonjee, 55, and Thara Uddin, 64, both of them Bengali immigrants, who had just left their mosque, and pumping bullets into the backs of their heads. Mayor Bill de Blasio spoke the two slain men’s memorial service, vowing that the city would beef up the police presence in the area.
Upstart activist challenging Assembly veteran take over St. Vincent’s.) That said, Glick stressed that she did work in Albany to ensure that emergency funding was allocated to keep St. Vincent’s on life support toward the end, before it finally suddenly closed. It’s simply a fact that healthcare is increasingly moving toward an ambulatory model, she stated. “Increasingly, you do not want to be in a hospital,” she said, noting that the highest number of “medical mistakes” happen in hospitals. “I do feel that people who think that a full-scale hospital is coming back aren’t facing the reality of healthcare,” she said.
sponsibility she takes very seriously, she noted. She said that reforms were put in place following the Vito Lopez scandal, in which former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver was found to have authorized hush money payments to female interns Lopez had abused. Sexual harassment complaints are now made to an outside firm and no longer are routed through the Speaker’s Office, she noted. These sort of reforms are constant and ongoing, she said. In recent efforts, Glick said, she championed the passage of the state’s college campus sexual assault law, and — on other issues — has been working on increasing the number of red-light traffic cameras and also extending the hours of operation of speed cameras, the latter which are located outside schools.
‘Too loyal’ to Silver?
As for sexual harassment in the state Legislature, Glick noted that she has chaired the Assembly’s Interns Committee for about the last half-dozen years, so is charged with overseeing that interns are not harassed. It’s a re-
Regarding Silver, and the accusations that she was “too loyal” to him at the end, Glick said it was sad what happened to the former speaker, but that, at the same time, “he did a lot of good.” It was two schemes involving
Primary continued from p. 10
August 18, 2016
Silver’s outside work that led to his downfall, and this is an example, Glick said, of why she opposes legislators having outside income. In turn, she said, legislators — who only are in Albany half the year — need a pay raise, so that they can survive without outside income.
Two feisty candidates Although Fouratt does not lack for critics, Schwartz, for one, said he is exactly the kind of person needed to take on entrenched power. “Jim has been an activist all of his adult life but with a difference: He is simply incapable of compromise and he owes nothing to anybody,” Schwartz said. Glick, too, acknowledges that after her two-dozenplus years in Albany, she also has her critics in the community. “I’m confident that I’m going to win,” she said. “There are going to be people, over time, who don’t like me for whatever reason — because I’m opinionated and I actually do tell people the truth. Not everyone wants to hear the truth.”
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Well, that sucked! Trump climber’s nutty stunt By Jefferson Siegel
n admirer intent on meeting real estate mogul and Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump brought Midtown Manhattan to a standstill last Wednesday. Traffic didn’t stall at the shock of someone in Manhattan actually supporting Trump. Instead, crowds gathered because the man, identified by police as Stephen Rogata, 19, of Great Falls, Virginia, chose to climb the outside of Trump Tower in hopes of meeting his hero. News reports said his birth name is Michael Joseph Ryan, but that he recently changed his name. The day before, after posting a YouTube video describing himself as an independent researcher seeking a “private audience” with the candidate, Rogata drove to Manhattan, spending the night on the Lower East Side at the swank Bowery Hotel. Carrying a backpack, the long-haired Rogata, wearing shorts and a green Tshirt, walked into the glitzy building at midafternoon and made his way to a fifthfloor outdoor space. Unpacking four large suction cups and two long straps, he began climbing the sloping enclosure on the building’s east side before beginning his nearly three-hour vertical ascent. Around 3:30 p.m., a 911 call of a possible jumper at the building brought emergency vehicles to Fifth Ave. Police shut down E. 56th St. between Madison and Fifth Ave. Giant yellow airbags were inflated on 56th St. and on a building setback. Barricades along Madison Ave. were soon packed with crowds, their cell phone cameras pointed skyward at the unfolding spectacle.
Photo by Jefferson Siegel
Stephen Rogata, around the eighth floor of Trump Tower, moving from an east-facing wall to a south-facing one after police cut through ventilation grates above him. Photographer / writer Jefferson Siegel is a longtime contributor to The Villager. Rogata slowly rose along the dark glass changed course, moving horizontally to a wall, moving first to the southeast, out of southern corner of the building. reach of Emergency Service Unit police Rogata could be seen wiping each surwho had extended a ladder across the top face before slamming a suction cup against of an atrium. the glass to guarantee a tight seal. The 58-story building’s sealed windows After Rogata turned the corner, police left police little opportunity to snag the several floors up broke one of the doubleascending alpinist. Their first attempt in- paned windows. A large piece narrowly volved cutting through metal ventilation missed him as shards of glass fell to the grates. But once he saw the E.S.U. officers’ street below. distinctive blue helmets above him, Rogata Two officers then descended in a win-
dow washers’ scaffold, stopping three floors directly above Rogata — but, seeing no way to grab him, they soon returned to the roof. Despite occasional gasps and cheers from the crowd below, Rogata never appeared to lose his grip or slip from the straps. As he reached the 18th floor, a large window several floors above began shaking. It appeared police might also break through that window. But moments later, glaziers who had been brought in to help remove the large window and an adjacent pane. Seeing his upward progress thwarted, Rogata moved further to the building’s south side, but by then the window washers’ basket had returned to block him. Rogata continued climbing along the building’s edge and was soon within easy reach of police at the now-open 21st-floor window. A half-dozen officers watched as Rogata came even with them. As two officers reached out to snag him, Rogata made a last grab of the building’s corner before finally being pulled inside. Crowds cheered as Rogata’s flailing legs followed his body inside. “When [the opportunity] presented itself, I reached out, took hold of his hand and I said, ‘Sir, come with me,’ ” said Detective Christopher Williams of E.S.U., one of the officers who pulled Rogata inside. Rogata was taken out the building’s Fifth Ave. entrance on a stretcher for transport to Bellevue Hospital, where he remained for observation over the weekend. He was charged with reckless endangerment and criminal trespass.
Crusties are crashing on St. Mark’s Pl. again By Lincoln Anderson
hey just couldn’t stay away. The crusty travelers are back on St. Mark’s Place. This photo, taken a month ago, shows a group of the young punks laid out on the sidewalk between Second and Third Aves. around 7 a.m. on Sun., July 24. Surrounded by paper pizza plates, beer bottles and cans, backpacks and a banjo, they are lying near their favorite affordable food source, 2 Bros. Pizza, which slings $1 slices. From the looks of it, this crew wasn’t doing too well. “Yes, they could have been dead!” said famed punk-rock photographer Roberta Bayley, who took the shot. “There’s at least a couple every morning, usually sprawled out like that. They seem much less unified. Much more f---ed up. “I saw one right outside my building
August 18, 2016
with a massive unneutered male pit. We kept our distance.” Last summer, a huge pit bull named Jax, belonging to a particularly troubled crusty named Natas (“Satan” spelled backwards), attacked Bayley’s pug, Sidney, right after she and the pooch stepped out of their building on their way out for a walk. Natas was lying in a stupor on a discarded couch outside the 2 Bros. Pizza and Jax, who was not on a tight leash, went right for Sidney’s throat. The pug later died of his injuries at the vet. William Kelley, executive director of the Village Alliance business improvement district — whose service area includes that block — said it’s hard to predict when the migrating young hobos will decide to camp out on St. Mark’s, or anywhere else, for that matter. “I think it just goes in waves,” he said. Last Saturday night, a couple of crusties were silently slumped against a storefront
Photo by Roberta Bayley
Young crust y travelers out cold on St. Mark’s Place on a Sunday morning last month.
a bit west of the pizzeria. Meanwhile, there was a commotion nearby, as a group of “normal” young bargoers were trying to help their friend, who was bent over
and looking like she was about to throw up. One of them was loudly screaming at a man who had insultingly joked about the drunken woman. TheVillager.com
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August 18, 2016
Letters to the Editor Won’t be voting for Fouratt
Sound off! Sound off! Sound off! Sound off! Sound off! Sound off! Sound off! Sound off! Sound off! Sound off! Sound off! Sound off! Sound off! Sound off! Sound off! Sound off! Sound off! Sound off!
To The Editor: Jim Fouratt’s candidacy to become my New York State Assemblymember is most troubling. While I truly believe his heart is in the right place, I have all too often witnessed the fact that his head is not. What a waste of a sharp mind! So often facts get distorted and the ensuing rants become personally insulting and offensive. My observation over the many years I have known Jim is that he regards anyone elected for anything as deficient. For example, the last three presidents of the Village Independent Democrats have been the recipients of constant insults. On another level, that holds true for anyone in a position of authority, including our elected officials. The community has been made aware of his devotion to the cause of keeping St. Vincent’s Hospital open; it was strident and prolonged. To this day, he proclaims at every opportunity that none of our elected officials did anything or made any effort to keep the facility open. That is just so not true! Their fight was channeled and informed, not geared toward press notoriety and drama. The fact that no efforts were successful was an inevitability from the start, but the differences between Jim’s approach and that of so many others is what worries me. In many decades of political and community involvement, I have learned that governing is, in a democracy, wholly a matter of cooperation. If you function under the premise that your way is the only way, you lose every time. Jim is like that. He cannot move his perceptions and opinions to encompass even the slightest variation. In other words, he cannot negotiate and work with other people whose views differ from his. That renders him powerless and totally ineffective. In the Assembly, that would be a disaster. Democracy has always encompassed compromise. On the other hand, Deborah Glick, in her two and a half decades as our assemblywoman, has represented our community well. Without caving in on principles and by championing great causes, she has built effective coalitions and gained the respect of her colleagues. Even if you are not devoted to leaders like Shelly Silver, you either find ways to work with them amicably or you might as well stay home. Deborah has learned that fact. But Jim could neither accept it nor actually function with that in mind. Do not get me wrong, there is much that I like in
Jim, but it frightens me to even imagine him as my representative in Albany. I am, and will always, be a supporter of Deborah Glick as the right voice of our community in Albany. Frieda Bradlow
LA II feels the streets To The Editor: Re “LA II tagged with robbery, menacing with a knife” (news article, Aug. 4): I have been in the arts for over 40 years. I work with urban artists. I know Angel Ortiz was a great friend of Keith Haring. Please give Angel another chance. He is a social artist and this guy lives and feels the streets. Big hug from Sao Paulo, Brazil. Melton Magidson
Remember Tony, too! To The Editor: Re “Remember ‘The Alamo’? … Well, it’s coming back!” (news article, Aug. 11): You don’t mention the artist’s name: Bernard (Tony) Rosenthal. The sculpture is 8 feet long and weighs about 1,800 pounds. I miss it, but I prefer the historic name Astor Place. How will redubbing this spot “Alamo Plaza” jibe with the subway stop’s Astor Place name? Will that be changed, too? Just too confusing. If it ain’t broke... . Bonnie Rosenstock E-mail letters, not longer than 250 words in length, to firstname.lastname@example.org or fax to 212229-2790 or mail to The Villager, Letters to the Editor, 1 Metrotech North, 10th floor, Brooklyn, NY, NY 11201. Please include phone number for confirmation purposes. The Villager reserves the right to edit letters for space, grammar, clarity and libel. Anonymous letters will not be published.
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August 18, 2016
Adele: Stripping away the layers, finding a friend
NOTEBOOK By Tar a Cox
s I got ready for the Christmas party, I tossed aside the heels that matched my outfit and went with a pair of motorcycle boots, in case I had to run. I was heading to the Cozy Cabin, a go-go bar in Queens. I had been invited by my cantankerous neighbor Adele, a former nun and current longtime owner of the strip club. “I run it like a church,” she told me. “No funny business.” I had no idea what I’d be getting myself into, but curiosity and a fondness for the old lady prevented me from saying no. Plus, how could I not celebrate the birth of Christ at a nudie bar owned by former servant of the Catholic faith? It was like any dive — old, wooden, with neon beer signs and grizzled blue-collar types in ball caps hunched over both bar and pool table. A back room contained a small stage — complete with a bikini-clad hot gal and a pole — enclosed by a horseshoe-shaped bar. Adele sat at the head of the curve gesticulating commands with her cane as she presided over her party. To my surprise, big burley bouncers and tough bartenders alike jumped to do her bidding. When one badass-looking guy repeatedly talked back to her, she kicked him out. I knew Adele as the slightly hunched, sturdy woman with short, messy hair and pink sweatpants who lived in my East Village building. She walked her two little yappy white dogs while trying to handle both leashes and her cane. She was usually armed with a complaint and an unkind word. Though we lived on the same floor, Adele was someone I avoided at all costs. Until Hurricane Sandy approached... . Knowing she was old and alone, I stopped by her apartment on my way to the store to see if she needed anything. No good deed going unpunished, she answered stark naked, trying to hide her freshly showered body behind the door while figuring out who I was. Appreciative of my gesture, she paid me a visit as Sandy hit, and our relationship upgraded to storm buddies. I didn’t mind the company. For the past few months I had been living a monk-like existence of my own due to a day job with unpredictable hours, and nights and weekends consumed with research for a book. So peeling back the cranky layers of this woman pleasantly passed the time. She nagged the super, concerned with loose items on the scaffolding outside our windows. I was appreciative, having been too busy with work and hurricane prep to follow through. Adele and I discovered we were both Italian Catholic Long Islanders, a fact that bonded a 38-year-old editor and a 72-yearold grouch. When the power was out the next morning and a scared Adele was conTheVillager.com
Adele, young and snazz y in and old photo print from the 1970s — marred by rusty spots from age — well before the writer knew her.
vinced we’d starve to death, I cooked her a breakfast buffet of soon-to-spoil food by flashlight over my gas stove, complete with a mocha pot of espresso. “This is good. Can I pay you to cook for me?” she asked, sweetly. Three weeks later, I answered a frantic phone call while she was in Florida. After a fight with her dog sitter, she needed someone to look after Marcello and Sophia. When she returned she’d describe me as the one who “saved her babies’ lives.” She also accused me of stealing the pooper scooper. Now that I had keys to her place, I’d pop in for a chat, texting first, then letting myself in, so she wouldn’t have to get up and open the door. She had a blood disease that was making her weak, and often it was hard for her to get off the couch at all. One night she sat naked under a tiny blanket while we talked as her dog licked my armpit. “She loves you for saving her life,” she said.
I grew to admire Adele. A self-made woman, she turned to religion to escape a violent household that turned her off to men, only to be disillusioned when a fellow nun put the moves on her. Realizing she didn’t like women, and upset with the nun for breaking her vows, she left the convent and got into the bar business, buying the strip club in the ’80s. Never married, she built her own fortune with nightclubs and real estate. At the Yuletide party, a group of wellcoiffed older white Long Island ladies, relatives of Adele’s, stood back near the wall, bopping their heads to, as Adele called it, “this crap WKTU music,” while watching the dancers gyrate. On one side of the bar was a multicultural array of hospital workers who cared for Adele during her various health crises. On the other side of the bar sat one sadlooking hunched old man — he looked 95 — shakily holding dollar bills out toward the ladies on stage with what looked like his last bit of life. As one thong-clad go-go
dancer turned her rear toward him and did a booty clap, his face lit up so much, I was confident he’d been re-energized to last another week, at least. Halfway into the night, an elf appeared — well, a little person dressed as an elf — I thought I recognized. Adele introduced us and I did know him. “I hired you for my birthday party years ago!” I gushed. I couldn’t forget Randy, the bruised midget stripper from Queens, who was assaulted by a group of teenage girls the night before he performed for my 30th. Adele couldn’t have been more delighted. “He’s gonna dance, Tara. He’s gonna dance!” Adele enthused. Randy hugged Adele and said to me, “Oh, I’m gonna dance.” He then grabbed Adele into a big hug, “I love this woman. She’s like a mother to me.” He was the second person to say that to me that night. By the end of the party there was no need for the boots I chose to wear — I wasn’t running anywhere. If anything, my relationship with my neighbor was solidified. I adored this lady. As the night wound down, I got a sharp poke on the arm from Adele. “Tara, ya wanna buy the bar?” she asked. I eventually started seeing less of Adele as my office hours grew more demanding and my freelance workload lightened, resulting in my spending more time away from our building. Visits became less frequent, though we’d chat over phone or e-mail. A year after the party, when she needed help with errands, I introduced her to a friend, an unemployed recent college graduate who needed the money. “Thanks for recommending her, she’s a big help to me,” Adele e-mailed. I was happy to connect the two for a mutually beneficial relationship, but within a month my Texas-born pal declared Adele mean. Soon after, Adele accused her of stealing money (a rite of passage when it came to the old lady, in my opinion), and my friend quit Adele. When I went to return the spare keys to her, Adele seemed unfazed by the whole thing. “I’ve got others who can help,” she sniffed. A month and a half later, Adele’s blood disease got the better of her and she passed away. I didn’t find out until two months after the fact, when a resident coldly mentioned it at a building meeting. Guilt took over as I realized the most pathetic of New York mantras — “I’m too busy” — was my excuse for not seeing or talking to her for the past few months, even though I thought of her often. My sadness deepened. Though I knew I’d get no comfort from this group — they still viewed Adele as that sour old resident to avoid — I looked up and proudly said, “Adele was my friend.” Cox is managing editor at Men’s Journal magazine and the author of “Airstream: The Silver RV” August 18, 2016
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Elizabeth Catucci, 96; Ran fabric binding company
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August 18, 2016
lizabeth J. Catucci, who grew up in Greenwich Village and was an original tenant of 505 LaGuardia Place, died Aug. 6. She was 96. She was born the daughter of Lillian and Frank Morganti, immigrants from Sicily. Elizabeth’s daughter Joyce Gatti said her mother was born in Pennsylvania, where Lillian and Frank first settled, before moving to Greenwich Village when Elizabeth was still a young child. Elizabeth’s father, Frank, had a cafe in the Village across from her family’s home, at 93 MacDougal St. “It didn’t have a name. It didn’t have a sign,” Joyce said. “A lot of Italian guys would frequent it.” From an early age, Elizabeth showed talent as a seamstress and clothing designer. She designed and made her own wedding dress, and won a scholarship to a New Jersey School. “She wasn’t able to take that scholarship,” her daughter said, “because my grandmother always felt that the daughters should remain by their mothers’ apron strings.” Elizabeth’s father supported her taking the scholarship, but his wife overruled him. “She cried for months after that,” Joyce said. “My mother actually made me clothes out of my father’s old suits — like woolen jumpers when I was a toddler,” she recalled. “Even when I was older, she made dresses for me. When I was a child, she made dresses for all my dolls, out of beautiful material.” Elizabeth met her future husband, Joseph Catucci, who lived nearby in the Village, when they were both 14. “Imagine that — that’s true love,” Joyce said. They wed before Joseph entered the Navy for World War II. Later, they were one of the first couples to move into the new Mitchell Lama building at 505 LaGuardia Place when it opened in 1967. Elizabeth was active in many worthy causes, including notably the American Committee for Italian Migration (ACIM), of which she was the president for a year or two, her daughter said. She was also involved in church affairs and fundraising. She and Joseph obtained the first station wagon for the sisters of Our Lady of Pompeii School on Bleecker St. She was an active member of the school’s P.T.A. The couple would also drive the nuns up to Connecticut, and, with her sisterin-law, Hilda Morganti, Elizabeth even
washed the church steps at Our Lady of Pompeii on her hands and knees, her daughter said. “The father was very meticulous,” Joyce noted. Joseph ran the Success Trimming and Binding Corporation, at 550 Broadway, which cut and bound fabric and trimmings for garments, and also made ribbons. Joseph — who had previously worked delivering fish — had started out as a worker at the company, and impressed the owner so much that he left him the company, according to Joyce. After Joseph died, Elizabeth ran the company with her late son William. William, who was a Coast Guard auxiliary member, was a coach with Downtown United Soccer Club for many years. Joyce said her parents also worked on the election campaigns of longtime Village Assemblymember William F. Passannante. On a personal level, Elizabeth was a social lady who loved to laugh, enjoyed cooking and caring for her children and grandchildren. She will be deeply missed by her family and friends. She is survived by her daughters, Joyce Gatti and Lillian Catucci, treasured grandchildren, Lisa, Laura, Patricia, Joseph and Daniel, and great-grandchildren, Brandon, Brian and Joey. Visitation was held at Perazzo Funeral Home on Aug.11, and a funeral Mass was held at Our Lady of Pompeii Church on Aug. 12. Joyce, of East Patchogue, Long Island, went on to become a foreign language teacher. She said that, unlike her grandmother, her father, Joseph, strongly supported his children getting higher education, and that he was supported by Elizabeth, who had seen her dreams of a fashion career quashed by her own mother. “My father said, ‘If you educate the mother, you educate the whole family,’” she said. TheVillager.com
Werner’s worrisome world Herzog demands we ‘Behold’ the Internet
BY SEAN EGAN
wo teams of small cylindrical robots zip around a tiny soccer field in a lab, swerving to and fro, dribbling, passing, and shooting a ball into goals. An engineer brags that by the year 2050, these robots will have evolved to such an advanced state that they could defeat the FIFA world champions. After singing its praises, he affectionately picks up one of these automated, artificially intelligent Roombas — Robot Eight — and begins to describe its unique pattern of dot stickers. “Beautiful. Do you love it?” interjects Werner Herzog from behind the camera, vocally smirking. “Yes, we do. We do love Robot Eight.” This is “Lo and Behold, Reveries of the Connected World” in miniature — a fascinating look at technology, that’s equal parts worrisome and humorous. It’s the latest documentary from Herzog, known as much for his pessimistic point-of-view and formalism as for his eccentric personality and distinctive accent. Fortunately for fans, all aspects of the iconoclastic German filmmaker are on display, as he decides to aim his probing camera toward the Internet’s past, present, and future. Now 73, Herzog famously didn’t discover cinema until he was 11, and made his first phone call at 17. He’s been similarly behind the curve when it comes to the Internet, reportedly only using email on rare occasions. Naturally, he researches the topic with an outsider’s eye, allowing him to dig into issues the average person would never think to broach. Things start out standard enough, with Herzog chronicling the Internet’s birth and salad days as a small interconnected community, with its potential for good shown in the form of a gameified online scientific research tool. Unsurprisingly, though, the bad eventually creeps in. There’s a trip to a rehab center for online gaming addicts, a look at hacker culture, and, most heart-wrenchingly, a segment with a family plagued by horrific online harassers in the wake of a personal tragedy. The clan in the latter segment observes that there’s “no dignity or respect on the Internet,” and suggest that
COURTESY MAGNOLIA PICTURES
A scientist shows off a highly advanced, problem-solving robot.
it may be a “manifestation of the antichrist.” From there, the examination quickly spirals into something strange and personal, as the filmmaker explores the offbeat subjects that catch his fancy (like a diversion to discuss Mars settlements with Elon Musk, or a trip to a colony of people “allergic” to electromagnetic fields). And this being Herzog, you can’t shake the feeling that he believes humanity just might be seriously (and hilariously) doomed, as a number of cataclysmic technological hypotheticals dominate large stretches of the film — such as a discussion of potential solar flares knocking out all systems and throwing the world into Y2K-esque rack and ruin, or talk of intense cyberwars between nation-states. Thankfully, Herzog knows better than to render this push and pull between technology and man an unbearably bleak slog. The director, narrating as per usual, is as verbose and droll as ever, dispensing his trademark detached and lofty observations and inquisitions throughout (“Does the Internet dream of itself?” he
wonders). Distinct directorial flourishes crop up — the very prominent and painterly framing of an empty chair and, more inexplicably, a veritable mountain of muffins in the harassment sequence, for instance — and keep the filmmaker’s hand in the proceedings even when he steps back. He’s also got a knack for choosing engaging and entertaining interview subjects — starting from the prelude, as Dr. Leonard Kleinrock flamboyantly shows off the Internet’s birthplace in UCLA — as well as knowing the right questions to ask to disarm them. The net effect is a bit like helping an elderly relative set up their Wi-Fi, only to see them quickly become a deep web-spelunking conspiracy theorist. But even after taking Herzog’s deadpan paranoia with a hefty grain of salt, his core thesis still resonates: The human element is what is wrong with technology; the glitch, if you will. It’s through our complacency that technology has been allowed to rise, and be twisted for evil and destructive means. After BEHOLD continued on p. 20 August August18, 18,2016 2016
‘Burrito Filled With E. coli’ is easy to digest Alton and Warnock create a new comedy duo dynamic BY SCOTT STIFFLER
he ominous title implies a severe adverse reaction — but “A Microwaved Burrito Filled With E. coli” finds its sweet spot early on, stays there, and earns an “A” rating by the time your 60-minute inspection has run its course. All is anything but quiet at Enchilada’s Shelly’s, a Mexican restaurant as low on the Yelp! review food chain as it is far along on the L train’s Brooklyn spectrum. Entering the side area dining room with very little grace and an instantly endearing lack of self-awareness, pill-popping, mullet-rockin’ security guard/poet Molly “Equality” Dykeman defiantly chicken dances away from the general direction of her pissed-off girlfriend, Giselle, and the rowdy lesbian wedding reception she’s just been kicked out of. Doomed to spend the rest of the night in exile, unsinkable Molly turns her attention to the menu and attempts to engage recent Kentucky transplant Angie Louisa Angelone, a chipper but woefully unqualified waitress whose entire wardrobe comes from a shopping spree at Jack’s 99 Cent Store. Between bouts of absorbing verbal abuse from her offstage manager (“Get your trashy little butt in here and take this tray of fishy tacos!”), Angie pours her heart out to Molly, and the broadly drawn out-
casts end up forming a bond that’s as sweet and believable as the verbal sparring is fast and consistently funny. Written by its two performers, the dynamic between Molly (Andrea Alton) and Angie (Allen Warnock) really shouldn’t work, at least according to the universal rules of comedy adhered to by successful duos. Both characters are prone to long-winded stories, and both yearn to be the center of attention — and whether the product of wishful thinking or obliviousness, both are prone to delusion and intense (if brief) bouts of depression. The “straight man/funny man” identities that the likes of Laurel and Hardy or Martin and Lewis clung to for the duration of their careers, Alton and Warnock gleefully toss back and forth like a hot potato — and director Mark Finley’s deft touch allows these exchanges to play out with elegant simplicity, communicating the change in status with nothing more than a knowing glance or the choice of who’s sitting and who’s standing. The result is a raucous, engaging comedy that consistently nails its aspiration to entertain, while allowing its characters to reveal hidden depths (transwoman Angie puts the “Q” in LGBTQ, while hard-living Molly veers back and forth between making a commitment and being committed). Here’s the part where I’d usually gush to the point of overflow with killer lines from the script (of which there are plenty), but your time would be better
PHOTO BY JENNY RUBIN
L to R: Andrea Alton, as Molly “Equality” Dykeman, and Allen Warnock, as Angie Louisa Angelone.
spent making reservations — to the show, that is. Best to give Enchilada’s Shelly’s a wide berth, though. You DO NOT want to know what’s in that burrito. Runtime: 60 minutes. Fri., Aug. 19, 5pm; Sat., Aug. 20, 7pm; Wed., Aug. 24, 8pm.; Fri., Aug. 26, 3:45pm. At The Huron Club (15 Vandam St., btw. Sixth Ave. & Varick St.). For tickets ($18), visit fringenyc.org. Also visit amicrowavedburrito.com.
BEHOLD continued from p. 19
all, we can’t blame nature for the ugliness of the Internet — we created it, and continue to welcome it into our homes and lives, pushing forward to an uncertain (and potentially dangerous) future. Nonetheless, Herzog ends on a note of tenuous hope. As a group of bluegrass musicians play their hearts out, far from the maw of technology, he suggests things may, in fact, turn out fine. Does the human spirit — or perhaps art — have the ability to triumph over the tools we’ve created? At one point, a scientist informs the director that in the future, there will be AI-imbued robots capable of creating their own films. He hypothetically wonders if they will be better than Herzog’s. “Of course not,” Herzog rejoins flatly, cutting the expert off. Despite all the ominous evidence to the contrary in “Lo and Behold,” it’s hard to disagree with him. Runtime: 98 minutes. Written & directed by Werner Herzog. Opens Fri., Aug. 19 at IFC Center (323 Sixth Ave., at W. Third St.). Call 212-924-7771 or visit ifccenter.com. Also visit loandbeholdfilm. com and facebook.com/loandbeholdfilm.
August August18, 18,2016 2016
COURTESY MAGNOLIA PICTURES
Dr. Leonard Kleinrock shows off the machine that sent the first message via the Internet at UCLA in the prelude to “Lo and Behold.” TheVillager.com TheVillager.com
8LIHSSVQER[MXLELERHPISRÁPQQEOMRK Eric Chaney’s directorial debut gets its digital due
© 2012 INDIGO CHILDREN LLC
The rural landscape is its own character in Eric Chaney’s debut film.
BY JANE ARGODALE
here are, as the narrator of a TV series once told us, “eight million stories in the naked city” — and even more can be found if you take into account the parallel lives led by working artists with full-time jobs. Thus, by day, residents of an apartment building in the West 50s are regularly greeted by their doorman, Eric Chaney — a screenwriter and director whose 2012 debut, “Indigo Children,” will be released on iTunes on Aug. 23, and other online platforms, including Amazon, on Oct. 4 (see indigochildrenfilm.com). The film, which tells a story of young love between a teenage boy and girl from broken homes in a rural town, had a festival run in 2012, as well as a theatrical release at Greenwich Village’s Quad Cinema in 2014. Chaney, who grew up in Freehold, New Jersey and got his BFA in screenwriting at SUNY Purchase, has been working as a doorman for the last decade, and has been at his current building in the west 50s for four years. Though he is now a full-time, union doorman, he started out working parttime, at a job he got largely by chance. “There was one building that needed someone to work the Sunday shift,” Chaney recalled, “and my friend told me that he could more than likely get me the job if he wanted to… at the time I was working as a screenplay reader and he kind of said that, ‘Oh, you know you could probably read a bit when you’re there, and the pay was TheVillager.com TheVillager.com
pretty good.’ ” Of course, Chaney said, “Like any job, it’s a job,” but the work itself was enjoyable. “It’s been great, very eclectic mix of people. You meet the same kinds of people that you’ll meet in New York, you know, from all walks of life, when you’re doing a job like that.” Balancing that work with the demands of being a filmmaker has proven to be a challenge for Chaney, especially while making “Indigo Children,” which was filmed over four-and-a-half weeks on a “crude vacation” in a handful of towns in central New Jersey, and largely financed by Chaney himself, with a budget of $50,000. During preproduction and postproduction, he was working 49 hours a week as a doorman. “It goes quickly,” Chaney said of the movie’s budget, partially spent on hiring a private freight train for the many scenes where the film’s two main characters watch trains pass through their town — in one scene, placing objects on the tracks to see what happens to them, and, in another, spray-painting one of the cars. “Indigo Children” follows the romantic relationship of teenagers Mark and Christina, who are drawn to each other in the midst of loss in both of their families. Set in a rural town, the film has an incredibly strong sense of place, with sweeping landscape shots of trains, rivers, and forests. “I wanted nature to be a character in the film,” Chaney explained, describing the natural beauty of the landscape as “intoxicating” for him after spending a
© 2012 INDIGO CHILDREN LLC
L to R: Isabelle McNally, as Christina, and Robert Olsen, as Mark.
© 2012 INDIGO CHILDREN LLC
Mark’s moss-covered house in “Indigo Children.”
long time in the city. Chaney calls his driving force in filmmaking “that euphoric moment of discovery,” that he found at every step in the process of making “Indigo Children,” from the writing of the screenplay to the editing and postproduction. While writing the film, Chaney said he took inspiration “from being in love for the first time when you were around that age in New Jersey,” and though the film isn’t autobiographical, he also drew inspiration from the skateboard culture he spent his teenage years in, where most people (excluding him) came from broken homes. “There’s a complete divide between the adult world and the world that the young people live in,” Chaney said of his impressive feature debut, whose few scenes featuring adults — Mark’s
mother grieving for his deadbeat (nowdead) father, his friend Armand yelling at his mother to take him with her as she drives off — speak to a basic unawareness of the inner lives of their children. Chaney is looking forward to future projects, with what he calls a “psychological, spiritual, dramatic thriller” coming next on his to-do list. Though it’s been challenging balancing the many different kinds of work he does, he’s optimistic. “I want to tell the truth about how the hardships can get you as an artist,” he said, “but a lot of great things happen too. A small movie like this playing at some festivals, getting a theatrical release, iTunes, this is all very exciting to me and I’m very grateful — and even more excited about the next film.” August August18, 18,2016 2016
Buhmann on Art Gabriel de la Mora: Sound Inscriptions on Fabric BY STEPHANIE BUHMANN
efore receiving his MFA degree in painting from Brooklyn’s Pratt Institute in 2003, the Mexican artist Gabriel de la Mora had studied and subsequently practiced architecture for five years. Though his focus might have shifted to visual art, his experience in that field continues to inform his striking sensibility for installation and organization. Since the early 2000s, he has collected found objects (some as obscure as shoe soles, for example), which he then transforms into conceptual contemplations of the nature of art. In the past he has explained that to him, the artwork already exists before the artist, and that it is, therefore, his role to transform. This particular exhibition was conceived in this spirit. Here, 55 pairs of found speaker screens are featured side-by-side, making for an enticing installation. Far from pristine, each of these objects has been marked by time, exhibiting accumulated layers of dust, for example. Upon close inspection, one can only imagine the many hours of eclectic music that were filtered through these screens, as well as random snippets of commercials, important news broadcasts and static. While they originally might have channeled the various voices and sounds of their time, they have now become defunct witnesses of an era long past. De la Mora, however, does not seem to approach his subjects with a strong sense of nostalgia. Instead, he views them as caches for historical information about everyday life. In this case, he studied all of the speaker grills with an almost obsessive devotion in order to reveal the unique underlying architecture of each one. Curated by Brett Littman, this exhibition serves as both an analysis of the objects at hand and a poetic contemplation of the fluidity of time.
IMAGES COURTESY TIMOTHY TAYLOR, LONDON; PROYECTOS MONCLOVA, MEXICO CITY; AND SICARDI GALLERY, HOUSTON
“B-79” (2015; vintage radio speaker fabric; 19 x 13 3/8 inches each).
Through Sept. 2 at The Drawing Center (35 Wooster St., btw. Grand & Broome Sts.). Hours: Wed., Fri., Sat. & Sun., 12–6pm; Thurs., 12–8pm. Admission: $5 ($3 for students/seniors, free for members and those under 12, free for all Thurs., 6–8pm). Call 212-219-2166 or visit drawingcenter.org.
“B-196” (2015; vintage radio speaker fabric; 7 3/8 x 6 3/4 inches each).
August18, 18,2016 2016 August
“B-135” (2015; vintage radio speaker fabric; 7 1/4 x 5 1/8 inches each). TheVillager.com TheVillager.com
BY SCOTT STIFFLER
Just Do Art
THE WEST VILLAGE CHORALE SUMMER SINGS SERIES It’s easy enough to nod your head in agreement and beam a beatific smile when the calendar says “December” and a cheery caroler implores you to keep Christmas in your heart all year long — but just try to muster that sentiment during the dog days of August, when sunstroke-induced hallucination is the closest you’re likely to get to hearing those sleigh bells jingling, ring-ting-tingling too. But on August 22, you can rest assured that the sounds of a holiday classic wafting from Judson Memorial Church are firmly rooted in reality. That’s when the West Village Chorale (WVC) concludes the 45th season of its Summer Sings series by plucking a favorite from its holiday repertoire: Handel’s “Messiah.” Patrick Gardner, director of choral studies at Rutgers and conductor of the Riverside Choral Society, does baton duties, as you raise your voice alongside an assemblage of vocalists from the multiplicity of choruses in the New York area. Scores, intermission refreshments, and piano accompaniment are provided, alongside the very real sense that nearly eight full months into the year, it’s beginning to look (or at least sound) a lot like Christmas. Mon., Aug. 22, 7:30pm at Judson Memorial Church (55 Washington Sq. South, at Thompson St.). Tickets: $15 general, $10 students. Visit westvillagechorale.org for more info, including auditions for the group that begin on Aug. 30.
AMY STILLER WORKSHOPS “JUST TRUST” You know Dasher and Dancer and Prancer and Vixen; and Jerry and Ben, and also, Anne Meara — but do you recall, the least-known Stiller of all? If not, it’s the right time to discover what you’ve been missing. First seen by this scribe quite a few years back, in solo performance at PS122, Stiller burst onto the stage with a silent, frenetic, unbelievably lengthy Irish Step Dance — milking that genre’s hypnotic intensity and disciplined physicality for maximum comedic effect TheVillager.com TheVillager.com
PHOTO BY DAVIS FOULGER
PHOTO BY ALISON BERT
It’s Christmas in August (on Aug. 22), when the West Village Chorale’s Summer Sings series closes out with Handel’s “Messiah.”
Tell me your troubles and doubts: Amy Stiller brings “Just Trust” to Dixon Place on Aug. 23.
by revealing a slight, only occasional, hairline fracture in her brave façade. Aiming high and keeping up, her manic task implied, has its rewards: but stare at the struggle too long, and it begins to unravel under the weight of multiple absurdities. Flash forward to 2016, and Amy’s new project finds her “striving to emotionally survive as the only nonfamous person in a very famous family.” Still in the workshop phase, “Just Trust” comes to Dixon Place for one night only, mere weeks after it kicked off Cornelia Street Cafe’s SOLOFEST series of oneperson performances. “Trust” promises to be a fitting showcase for the wry, raw, self-aware, and, above all, empathetic Amy, who has managed to carve a distinct niche within the Stiller clan — as well as the crowded field of self-reflective writer/performers who mine the days of their lives for comedic gold. Tues., Aug. 23, 7:30pm at Dixon Place (161A Chrystie St., btw. Rivington & Delancey Sts.). For tickets, ($15 in advance, $18 at the door; $12 for students/seniors), visit dixonplace.org or call 212-219-0736.
FRINGE AL FRESCO: “A HISTORY OF SERVITUDE” Through next weekend, all manner of dance, comedy, drama, and off-the-deepend FringeNYC productions are taking place at various Downtown venues, at the reasonable price of $18 per seat — but there’s no price quite like $0, and there’s no more authentic way to get back to the
PHOTO BY JESSE DITTMAR
Don’t believe what you read in the books: “A History of Servitude” pulls back the curtain on well-known events. Part of the Fringe Al Fresco series.
campfire roots of storytelling than seeing a show in the great outdoors. To that end, the largest multi-arts festival in North America includes a Fringe Al Fresco series of free, open-air productions. Featured in this year’s series is “A History of Servitude,” which takes you on a sweeping tour through time, and across the globe. An eclectic international cast — whose ranks include Philadelphia-born Israeli-American actor Yair Ben-Dor, of ABC’s “Quantico” — uses Commedia del’Arte-style physical comedy, acrobatics, and song to examine history from a working class point of view. Did
Einstein’s maid put a bug in his ear when he was formulating the Theory of Relativity? Did Shakespeare live off the fat of a janitor’s genius, as opposed to that of Francis Bacon? Find out, when street theater troupe The Department of Fools focuses their penchant for satire on the folly of pride and the power of the underdog. Free. Runtime: 60 minutes. Sat., Aug. 20, 3:15pm; Sun., Aug. 21, 3:45pm; Fri., Aug. 26, 4:45pm; Sat., Aug. 27, 2:15pm. At FringeLOUNGE at the Clemente (107 Suffolk St., btw. Rivington & Delancey Sts.). Visit fringenyc.org and departmentoffools.wordpress.com. August18, 18,2016 2016 August
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Photo by James Kwitny
Current New York Liber ty superstars Kiah Stokes, in foreground, and Carolyn Swords signing autographs at the G.V.Y.C. event.
Liberty pros to youth: Free your greatness
sports By Joey Zannino
ast week, current and former players from the WNBAâ€™s New York Liberty came down to Greenwich Villageâ€™s William F. Passannante Ball Field to meet with a group of youth for an afternoon of womenâ€™s empowerment. The event was part of the Greenwich Village Youth Councilâ€™s annual W. Fourth St. Summer Basketball Tournament. What began as a shoot-around with a former international basketball superstar turned into a panel of powerful messages delivered by a group of women that have all played professional basketball both internationally and in the WNBA. Kym Hampton, Carolyn Swords, Sue Wicks and Kiah Stokes are all either current or former players for the Liberty. The four women visited the Downtown park on a sunny afternoon to deliver a message that instilled confidence and ignited passion in the audience of young women, mostly basketball players themselves. All four panelists were college graduates and encouraged everyone to work toward their degree. Swords, who plays center for the Liberty, graduated from Boston College. â€œCollege is important because you canâ€™t play basketball forever,â€? she told the girls. â€œCollege is where you learn how to think and find out who you are. Itâ€™s a really special and unique time.â€? The panel also spoke about individual identity and how women
need to work together to bring each other up. â€œWe are made to be excellent, made to excel, to really be glorious,â€? said Wicks. â€œNot just good, but glorious. I think thatâ€™s what we have to aspire to. Be glorious. Find something that sets you on fire, and if you do that, it sets the people around you on fire and makes them inspired, too. Seek greatness because thatâ€™s what inside of you.â€? Wicks, a four-time All-American at Rutgers University, played for the Liberty for six years â€” including the teamâ€™s inaugural season in 1997 â€”after competing internationally for nine years. Liberty star Stokes elaborated on the effort required to achieve that greatness, adding, â€œYouâ€™re not as good as you think you are if you donâ€™t put in the work.â€? Hampton, who led the panel, played pro ball 12 years in Europe, speaks many languages, and played three seasons with the Liberty, also during the inaugural season. â€œWe were created as individuals and a lot of times we judge ourselves based on other people,â€? Hampton told the young women. â€œWe were created to be different and created to shine. Stop dimming your light because others canâ€™t handle your shine.â€? G.V.Y.C. is a youth-serving agency that has been empowering young people in New York City since its founding in 1969 by John Pettinato, its executive director, and runs the tournament annually. â€œThis event with the Liberty was special because it went beyond the game of basketball and focused on female empowerment,â€? Pettinato said. For more information on the Greenwich Village Youth Council, visit http://www.gvyc.net . August 18, 2016
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