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it’s a Niou era BY BILL EGBERT Yuh-Line Niou soundly defeated incumbent Alice Cancel in the Democratic primary for the seat once held by disgraced former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver. Winning the Sept. 13 Democratic primary almost assures victory in the November election in the heavily Democratic 65th Assembly District, which covers Downtown, Chinatown and the Lower East Side. That means Niou, Photo by Tequila Minsky a native of Taiwan, would Yuh-Line Niou was become the first Asianall smiles Tuesday American ever to represent night. Chinatown in Albany — but she stressed unity and inclusion in her victory statement. Niou said it’s now time to “restore trust” in Albany. She also referenced a negative campaign card that was mailed out to Grand St. voters that charged she would only represent Chinatown’s interests, along with a series of other attack points against her. “Tonight, we open a new door and a new chapter for Lower Manhattan, and I am honored and humbled by the trust the voters have placed in me,” Niou said. “This victory is one more step forward for New York, and tonight we silenced the voices of bigotry and division with our campaign of unity, hope and inclusion. Now we have important work to do to restore the voters’ trust in our state government by fighting for better schools, good jobs, affordable housing and a Downtown community that is welcoming to all.” Cancel conceded the six-way race to the former


Cross on guards Locals say cops sent to fill in for missing crossing guards just aren’t doing the job

BY ALEX ELLEFSON There’s just no substitute. Some of the police officers assigned to fill in for short-staffed crossing guards at Downtown schools are shirking their responsibility to shepherd kids across dangerous intersections, according to

parents and educators. At the Community Board 1 Youth and Education Committee meeting on Sept. 13, Peck Slip School principal Maggie Siena said two families complained about the officer who was supposed to cover the crosswalk.

Photo by Daniel Kwak

Ter r or hi t s ho m e

The homemade bomb that went off in Chelsea on Saturday night injured 29, shattered windows, and rattled nerves Downtown just a week after the 15th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. For our coverage of the bombing and its aftermath, see pages 16 and 17.

Assembly Continued on page 4

68 Cancers Linked to WTC dust 1 M e t r o t e c h • N YC 112 0 1 • C o p y r i g h t © 2 0 16 N YC C o mm u n i t y M e d i a , L L C

“We have someone [at the school], but he’s completely ineffective,” she told the committee. “He really did nothing. He was not looking at the street and laughing in his car.” Siena said she approached the officer and asked if he could walk onto the street while the children crossed, but he told her he had been instructed to only step onto the roadway if there was “major congestion.” The First Precinct began assigning officers and traffic agents to local schools last year in order to stand-in for crossing guard positions the city was unable to fill. However, some at the committee meeting said the substitutes were not measuring up. “We have the same situation at West St. for PS 89,” said committee co-chair Tricia Joyce. “She just stands there and blows a whistle and never steps off the curb. It’s a six-lane highway.” She said she fears the worst without active crossing guards out in the streets stopping traffic for kids. crossing guards Continued on page 31

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Cannoli cram Pasteries pounded at Feast of San Gennaro BY COLIN MIXSON A superhuman Filipino-born eating machine utterly destroyed his competition at a cannoli eating contest celebrating the Feast of San Gennaro in Little Italy on Sept. 15, scarfing down an unbelievable 25 Italian confections in six minutes flat. Spectators were blown away by the amateur eater’s effortless consumption of the Sicilian pastries, which were not small, according to the contest’s organizer.

Photo by Tequila Minsky

Cannoli-cramming champ Wayne Algenio clearly couldn’t wait to get started.

“That’s an extreme amount,” said Adeline Sessa, co-owner of Fararra’s Bakery, which sponsored the event. “They’re large cannoli, so yes I was surprised he ate that much. He ate the bulk of them in the first 3 minutes.” The winner, 31-year-old Queens resident Wayne Algenio, even flaunted his impressive lead by ordering a second plate after he’d devoured the first twenty cannoli set before him. Algenio didn’t employ any of the tricks or strategies common to competitive eating, such as dipping the cannoli in water to soften the pastry, and instead merely powered his way through the ricotta-filled little tubes. “In the past you see people dunk them in water, but he wasn’t really using any tricks, he just ate.” said Sessa, “I don’t believe he’s somebody who usually enters these contests.” The contest has featured professional eaters in the past, but none were able to match the ludicrous 25 cannoli scarfed down by Algenio, Sessa said. “I think before we had more people who enter these types of contests all

Photo by Tequila Minsky

Algenio put away an unprecedented 25 of the Sicilian pastries at Fararra’s cannoli eating contest celebrating the Feast of San Gennaro in Little Italy on Sept. 15.

the time, but this was more people who had not entered, and they did better,” she said. After the contest, Algenio was awarded $250 in prize money to honor his victory. The Feast of San Gennaro is a tenday affair spanning Sept. 15–25, and

the cannoli-eating contest won’t be the last opportunity to binge on Italian food. Aspiring power-eaters will have an opportunity to demonstrate their prodigious gluttony at a meatball-eating contest on Saturday, Sept. 24. For more on the Feast of San Gennaro, see page 13.


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September 22 - October 05, 2016


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September 22 - October 05, 2016


Assembly Continued from page 1

chief of staff of Queens Assemblymember Ron Kim shortly after 10 p.m. on Tuesday, even before all districts had reported their results. “A crowded primary points to a robust and thriving democracy, and I am grateful to have had the opportunity to participate in such a diverse and devoted field of candidates. I congratulate Yuh-Line on a hard-fought victory,” Cancel said in a statement. With all results in, according the state Board of Elections’ unofficial tally, Niou had won 31.55 percent of the votes. Her 2,742 votes gave her more than a 1,000-vote lead over her nearest rival, local district leader Jenifer Rajkumar.

But it was longtime Lower East Side district leader, and Silver ally, Alice Cancel, who was chosen in February as the Democratic nominee for the special election at a closed vote of about 200 Democratic County Committee members. Cancel won the April 19 special election, fending off a stiff challenge from Niou, who ran on the Working Families Party line. But no sooner had Cancel won the seat than other local Dems started announcing plans to challenge her in the primary. As soon as the special election results were official, district leader Paul Newell — who had come in second in the County Committee vote, and had challenged Silver in 2008 — issued a statement announcing his primary run.

Newell was soon joined by Niou, Rajkumar, Chinatown activist Don Lee, and former Community Board 3 chairwoman Gigi Li in what promised to be a crowded and contentious battle for the Democratic Party line. The Downtown Independent Democrats added to the drama in June with its decision to endorse Newell over fellow member Rajkumar by a 2-to-1 vote. That prompted Rajkumar to blast the group as an unrepresentative “a gang in a clubhouse” which she compared to Albany’s “Three Men in a Room” — the notorious triumvirate of the Governor, Assembly Speaker, and Senate Majority Leader who control state politics. Cancel struggled with fund-raising as the primary race heated up, leading

to a striking episode last month when the incumbent suddenly bolted in the middle of a candidate forum to attend a fund-raiser. It was actually the runner-up, Rajkumar, who won the money race, with $113,802 in contributions by the time of the primary, according to the state Board of Elections. Niou collected $90,819 between the special election and the primary, Li $86,887, Lee $70,956, and Newell $46,193. Cancel raised only $14,602. According the state Board of Elections’ unofficial tally, 8,692 voters showed up to the polls for Tuesday’s primary, or 20 percent of the district’s 43,094 registered Democrats. —with Lincoln Anderson

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Young and old are invited to try their hands at fishing in the Hudson at the Go Fish catch-and-release events hosted at Wagner Park by the Battery Park City Authority’s parks staff. From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sept. 24 and Oct. 15, fishing rods and bait are provided, and staff will identify and explain the fish folks reel in, and even collect them in a tank nearby for a while so participants and passers by can get a better idea of the diversity of species inhabiting the river. There’s even live entertainment at noon, with Sonia De Los Santos performing on Sept. 24 and The Suzi Shelton Band performing on Oct. 15.


Brunch wars Tribeca condo owners vow to block new eatery over sidewalk seating

BY COLIN MIXSON Tribeca homeowners’ stubborn resistance to a well-liked restaurateur hoping to move into the ground floor of their Greenwich St. condominium building may backfire on them, according to local leaders. Residents of the Sterling Mason condominiums at the corner of Greenwich and Laight Sts. lined up against Tom Galis, owner of another Greenwich St. restaurant, The Greek, at a meeting of Community Board 1’s Tribeca Committee on Sept. 14 to oppose his request for a late-night liquor license. But even when he quickly agreed to stop serving even before midnight, the monied mob then went after his plans for a sidewalk café — which he says he needs to make the new venture viable. That led one committee member to remind the residents that Galis didn’t really need their green light to get a sidewalk-seating permit — which the

city would likely rubber-stamp regardless of local misgivings — and that if they drive off a proven good neighbor like him, the next person who wants to move in may not be so willing to accommodate their concerns. Photo by Tequila Minsky “Everybody should be clear, people Tribeca restaurateur Tom Galis met unexpected resistance from residents of come to us and say they don’t like this corner building at Greenwich and Laight Sts. where he hopes to open a something, and it may get shot down,” new restaurant. said committee member Adam Malitz. “They may walk away, but someone Galis runs his existing Greenwich St. “We fully believe that these hours who is less friendly may come.” restaurant. will bring unwanted noise and lateEven the condo residents’ de-facto “This is not about The Greek,” said. night disturbance, increase in taxi and spokeswoman at the meeting later said “I happen to be obsessed with The car traffic on cobblestone streets,” she she thought her side’s vitriol went a bit Greek. I love The Greek.” said. overboard. But Allstadt followed her praise by Over the course of the following “This is getting totally blown out of reciting a list she had compiled of other half-hour, the residents were able to proportion,” said Robin Allstadt, a resi- area restaurants — such as American argue Galis down to a 10:30 p.m. weekdent at the condos. “People are being Cut, China Blue, and Loconda Verde, day and 11:30 p.m. weekend closing so mean about this situation, and all I among others — which closed by 11:30 time — despite board guidelines that wanted to do about this is sit and have p.m. at the latest, citing that as a commu- generally permit 2 a.m. closing times on a meaningful conversation about a 4 nity standard that the northern Tribeca main streets such as Greenwich St. o’clock closing.” residents expected Galis to abide by, Galis accepted the 11:30 p.m. closIn fact, Allstadt began her remarks rather than the 4 a.m. permit he initially T:8.75” that night saying that she likes how requested. brunch wars Continued on page 23


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City flunks pre-K math: Locals Downtown has too many pre-K seats already, they say, and new school needs separate activity spaces instead BY ALEX ELLEFSON Locals are giving the city an “F” in math for sacrificing much-needed activity space in a planned Downtown elementary school to make room for new pre-K seats in an area that already has more than 250 too many. Members the Lower Manhattan School Overcrowding Task Force have called on the city to scrap the four additional pre-K classrooms planned for the long-awaited 476-seat elementary school at 77 Greenwich St., near Rector Pl, in favor of a full-size gym and separate auditorium. “This is a no-brainer,” said task force member Tricia Joyce, chairwoman of the Community Board 1 Youth and Education Committee. “We have enough pre-K seats in Lower Manhattan. What we need is a whole school.” Downtown parents, elected officials and community leaders have panned plans by the Department of Education to provide the new Trinity Place School with a “gymnatorium” — a single room designed to accommodate both sports and arts activities — pointing out that the Peck Slip School, which opened last year with a combined gym and auditorium, is already running out of activity space. At a July meeting of the task force, the School Construction Authority introduced plans for a separate “multi-purpose room,” which would have a stage and a 140-student capacity, instead of the pre-K classrooms. But the plan hinges on the DOE allowing pre-K seats to be nixed from the new school. A DOE spokesperson said the agency is “in the process of reviewing the request” to replace the pre-K classes with activity space and that “future pre-K plans — including those at the Trinity Place Pre-K Center — are based around continuing to meet demand for free, full-day, high-quality seats.” But according to its own numbers, the DOE is already more than meeting that demand Downtown. Pre-K enrollment in Lower Manhattan has risen since the program was introduced, but the rate of increase has dramatically slowed. The number of pre-K students enrolled in the area more than tripled last year to 459, up from 138 in the program’s initial year, according to the DOE. But that number rose by only about 20 percent this school year, with the DOE reporting just 575 pre-K students, although final enrollment numbers won’t be available until late fall. Even assuming the 20 percent increase holds steady for another two years, that would still not fill all of the 833 pre-K seats already available Downtown. Pre-K is not zoned, meaning students from outside the district can attend centers in Lower Manhattan, but Joyce said the Downtown glut suggests the city is more focused on boosting the overall number of pre-K seats than putting them where they are actually needed.


September 22 - October 05, 2016

Photo by Yannic Rack

Members of the Lower Manhattan School Overcrowding Task Force — including state Sen. Daniel Squadron, right, and Assemblymember Deborah Glick, center — were not impressed in June, when School Construction Authority spokesman Michael Mirisola, left, showed them plans for the new elementary school slated for 77 Greenwich St., which includes four pre-K classrooms, but not a separate gymnasium and auditorium. Mirisola returned in July with a revised design that swapped the pre-K space for a “multi-purpose room” to complement the planned “gymnatorium,” but nixing the pre-K seats would require the approval of the Department of Education.

“This is the mayor’s campaign platform and it’s been very successful. But I think, because of politics, there has been a singular focus on creating pre-K seats and not much of a sensible plan,” she said. “And in our community, we don’t have the luxury of making room for more pre-K and not having auditorium space at the new school.” Joyce said she is hopeful the DOE will announce they are abandoning the additional pre-K classrooms in Trinity Place School when the task force meets again on Sept. 29. The new school will occupy the second through eighth floors of a 40-story residential tower planned for the Trinity Place site, according to plans filed with the Department of Buildings at the beginning of September, with a lobby located alongside the retail space on the first floor. SCA spokesman Michael Mirisola said at the task force meeting in July that they are tinkering with ways to squeeze the most space out of the new school, but there are challenges. “Remember, there is a 40-story building above us. So we are going to be confined, for instance, by how big we can get based upon the structural columns that are needed to support what’s above us,” he said. “We’re trying all sorts of ways to jigger it so that we can squeeze as many square inches and feet out of it as possible.” Mirisola also said the CS still planned to move for-

ward with the much-maligned “gymnatorium,” and he told the task force that removing the stage would only create slightly more room. “The only advantage would be that it might be a little larger. You have the same facilities. You have the basketball hoops. You’ll have the wood floor. It will be the same room. Only you wouldn’t have the stage,” he said. But parents at the meeting said that the main point of having two separate activity spaces would be to allow sports and arts activities to be scheduled at the same time. “Obviously, having a gymnatorium and a multipurpose room is not the same as having a full-sized gym and an auditorium. But of course, under the circumstances it sounds like something that could work,” said Eric Greenleaf, a parent and task force member. “I could see why that flexibility would be great to have.” The task force pointed to the Peck Slip School — which is currently trying to close the street outside to traffic during school hours to create more space for student activities — as an example of why city must get the designs for the new school right. “If we are going to put all these resources into a beautiful new school, I really feel strongly that we provide the right amount of space for the programming our principals are being hired to create,” said Joyce. DowntownExpress.com

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Feds bust crane wreckers BY COLIN MIXSON that type of “crawler” crane from operFederal safety inspectors are hold- ating on city streets — banishing them ing crane operators responsible for the to off-street worksites and forbidding deadly Tribeca collapse that killed a their operation in winds exceeding 20 man in February. mph. The U.S. Department of Labor’s The Buildings Dept. also requires Occupational Safety and Health crawler cranes to have a lift director Administration slapped Galasso on site with the authority to shutdown Trucking & Rigging with fines totaling crane operations in the event of adverse $22,448 for two “serious” violations weather conditions. related to lax safety procedures that Galasso Trucking & Rigging, which resulted in the 565-foot crane toppling is challenging the violations, did not onto Worth Street earlier this year. return calls for comment. Labor Dept. inspectors found that the crane operators failed to modify their operation in response to the high winds that day, and that the hoist’s boom was lowered below the 75-degree limit specified by the manufacturer. Operators had dropped the boom to a parlous 69.4degree angle before it fell over on Feb. 5. File photo by Milo Hess Following the collapse that The Occupational Safety and Health claimed one life and injured Administration slapped Galasso Trucking & three, the city’s Department Rigging with hefty fines for two “serious” of Buildings has taken steps violations related to lax safety procedures that to curb the chance of future caused the deadly crane collapse in Tribeca collapses, including banning earlier this year.


OCCUPATIONAL HAZARD Cops are hunting a man wanted for allegedly slugging a parking enforcement officer in the face on Canal St. on Sept. 17. The traffic agent was near Sixth Ave. at 7:10 p.m., when he got into an argument with the suspect over “instructions” he had given him, cops said. But the suspect wasn’t interested in what the ticket slinger had to say, and instead slugged him once in the kisser before fleeing, according to police.

BAD CHECK A thief lifted $1,200 worth of electronics from the coat check of a Murray St. night club on Sept. 16. The victim told police that he checked his laptop, earphones, and backpack at the door of the watering hole between W. Broadway and Church St. at 10:30 p.m., and returned to the club at around 7:30 a.m. the next day to find that his stuff had disappeared.

BIKE BANDIT A thief stole a man’s bike he had locked on Cedar St. on Sept. 13. The victim told police that he left his $1,200 ride chained up near Nassau St. at 9:30 a.m., and returned later that evening to find it stolen.

DINE AND SASH A burglar ransacked a Prince St. restaurant on Sept. 19, taking not money, or food, but clothes. A restaurant rep told police that the thief snuck into the eatery between McDouglas and Sullivan Sts. at 6 a.m., before making his way to the basement and nabbing $500 worth of clothes. The restaurant has since handed over surveillance footage they hope will help cops track down the burglar, according to police.

SPICE AND VICE A mystery assailant hosed a drunken man with pepper spray on Desbrosses St. on Sept. 10. The victim told police that he was between West and Washington Sts. at 12:30 a.m., when the unknown man, for unknown reasons, let him have it with the caustic pepper formula, spraying him in the face and eyes. The victim admitted he was drunk when the attack occurred, cops said.

CONSTRUCTION CROOK A thief nabbed a laptop and phone stashed in a briefcase within a Wall St. DowntownExpress.com

construction site on Aug. 25. The victim told police that he left his satchel inside an unlocked room at the worksite between Water and Front Sts. at 3:30 p.m., and returned a few days later to find it missing. Neither of the electronic devices inside the bag, together worth $2,450, were equipped with tracking technology and investigators were unable to find any surveillance footage of the crime, according to police.

CUSTOM JOB A thief rode off with a man’s prized custom bicycle he had left chained up on Thompson St. on Sept. 7. The victim told police that he’d secured his bike with lock and chain to a pole between Broome and Spring Sts. at 9 p.m., and returned a few hours later to find it stolen. The bike was a custom job, worth a whopping $1,200, cops said.

STRAPHANGER STING An opportunistic crook nabbed a phone off the lap of a sleeping straphanger on a southbound E train on Aug. 30. The victim told police she was sitting on the subway heading to Chambers Street at 8:30 a.m,. when she dozed off with her bag open on her lap. She awoke a few minutes later at her stop, but it wasn’t until she’d headed topside that she realized her iPhone 6 had been nabbed.

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GYM RAT A crook swiped a woman’s purse at a Maiden Lane gym on Sept. 8. The victim told police the crook entered the fitness center between Gold and Pearl Sts. at 8:08 p.m., and grabbed her designer wallet before fleeing. Later, the victim was notified by her bank that two unauthorized transactions had occurred using her stolen cards, cops said.

BIKE BANDIT A thief zoomed away with a man’s electric bicycle he had left locked up on Broadway on Sept. 7. The victim told police he’d chained his ride to a bike rack Beaver St. at 10 a.m., and returned three hours later to find it stolen. Cops were unable to find any surveillance footage or witnesses to the theft of the victim’s $1,400 bike, according to police. — Colin Mixson

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Designers unveil boxy plan for WTC performing arts center

BY COLIN MIXSON This design isn’t just out of the box — it is a box! Locals finally got a glimpse of the World Trade Center’s upcoming cultural cornerstone, the Ronald Perelman Performing Arts Center, through new renderings that depict a large, translucent box, and Downtowners can’t stop raving about the elegant simplicity of the cube-shaped theater. “I like the boxiness,� said Battery Park City resident Dennis Gault. Brooklyn-based architectural firm REX was selected last November to design the new performance center, and finally unveiled its renderings at an event Sept. 8. The new images depict a slightly off-grade, cube-shaped structure sheathed in translucent marble, which will permit sunlight to illuminate the space within during the day, and indoor lights to shine outside after dusk as the silhouettes of human fig-

ures become visible from within. The facade’s marble will be sourced from the very same Vermont quarry that provided materials for the U.S. Supreme Court building and the Thomas Jefferson Memorial, and will be laminated with insulated glass. The structure will have three levels, with performances occurring on the top floor in three separate auditoriums capable of seating 499, 250, and 99 people respectively, with an additional rehearsal space that can also double as a performance venue. And those core rooms will have moveable “guillotine� walls, allowing the spaces to be reformed to create seven additional rooms for a grand total of 11 configurations. The middle level will contain facilities to support performers and artists, including dressing, green, musician, and quiet rooms, in addition to wig storage and costume shops. The bottom, street-level floor will


The World Trade Center’s upcoming performing arts center will have a translucent marble facade, allowing sunlight to pass through during the day, and lights from inside to shine out during the night.

provide public amenities such as a restaurant/bar, which can transform into a cabaret, dance podium, performance art space, or a community room. The PAC@WTC was promised to Lower Manhattan as part of the WTC site’s master plan in 2002, but was

blocked from construction by a temporary PATH train station that remained in operation while the gigantic, $4-billion Oculus Transportation Hub was under construction. PAC@WTC Continued on page 21



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September 22 - October 05, 2016


Norse Cove World’s largest Viking ship docked at Battery Park Ciy’s North Cove Marina

BY DENNIS LYNCH around the Great Lakes. They spent the Rarely has the sight of an approach- last few weeks sailing through the Erie ing Viking longship been so eagerly Canal and down the Hudson River to welcomed by a coastal village. New York City. The world’s largest Viking ship landBut it was no pleasure cruise, said ed at Battery Park City’s North Cove one sailor who was visiting New York Marina on Saturday to the sound of tra- for the first time. ditional Norwegian music and the cheers “The crossing was really rough, of an enthusiastic crowd. The Draken especially between Greenland and Harald Hårfagre is spending a week Newfoundland — icebergs, hurricanes, at the marina, where lots of troubles,” Henrik enthusiasts can take a Wallgren said. tour of the Viking longThe team behind ship and meet her three the expedition chartdozen or so crewmemed their transatlantic bers who made the crossing with stops in journey from Norway Iceland, Greenland, and to America earlier this Newfoundland, to trace the year — and who are route that Viking explorers ready to answer any led by Leif Erikson used a questions, one said. millennium ago. And their “This whole trip 115-foot-long ship was was geared toward built just like the longships Getty / Thos Robinson New York — this is that the ancient Norsemen the big finale, so we’ve been would have sailed to the New preparing for a few days and making World. sure we’re on top of our game,” said Sigurd Aase, the Norwegian energy crewmember Johnathan Olsen. “We’re tycoon who financed the ship’s conall set and ready to rock, to give some struction, had his country’s best traditours and show the people what we’re tional shipbuilders construct it with traabout.” ditional tools and methods used by their The Draken Harald Harfagre and Viking predecessors. They designed the her crew pushed off from Haugesund, ship based largely on archaeological Norway, in April, and spent five weeks sources and Viking literature, which crossing the Atlantic, then most of the means a step onto the oak-hulled “dragsummer sailing through Canada and on ship” is as close to a step onto an

Getty / Thos Robinson

It may be the world’s largest Viking ship, but the 79-foot mast of the Draken Harald Harfagre still can’t compare to the mast atop One World Trade Center.


September 22 - October 05, 2016

Getty / Thos Robinson

THE Draken Harald Harfagre sailed past Lady Liberty on its way to North Cove Marina.

authentic ancient Viking ship as you can get. The Draken Harald Harfagre is named after Harald Harfagre — Harald Fair Hair — the king who unified Norway into a single kingdom. It weighs as much as three dump trucks, has a 79-foot-tall mast made from a single piece of Douglas fir, and sports a silk sail bigger than a tennis court. Since no longship this large has existed for centuries, the crew had to spend months on the water off Norway’s coast figuring out exactly how to sail such a monster before even venturing far from shore, much less attempting to cross an ocean. An exhibition on the ship’s construction is open all week at the Winter Garden in Brookfield Place, but on the weekend, the crew will run tours of the longship from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tickets are available in the exhibition area at $10 for adults and $5 for kids, up to age 17. Visitors can check out the small, canvas “cabin” where two dozen sailors crammed in to sleep together, see the modest galley where they ate their

meals on the high seas, and grab a selfie with the huge, colorful dragon head that adorns the bow. One Queens woman admiring the dragon from the dock said she will be back this weekend for a tour. “Its just a beautiful ship,” Lori Bentzen said. “It’s like our ancestors did years and years ago, and they’re still doing it to honor their history. It’s beautiful.”

Photo by Dennis Lynch

Sigurd Aase, the Nordic history buff behind the Draken Harald Harfagre expedition, poses on the deck of the ship he financed. DowntownExpress.com

Feast of faith

Devotees celebrate the patron saint of Naples in Little Italy’s 10-day Feast of San Gennaro

BY COLIN MIXSON Supplicants hailing from across the city convened at the Most Precious Blood Church on Mulberry Street to honor the martyred saint San Gennaro on his feast day on Sept. 19, as dozens of devotees took turns baring the Catholic saint’s prodigious icon through the streets of Little Italy in a three-hour procession. Congregants and special guests gathered at Most Precious Blood for a special feast-day mass, before the devotees bore the sacred statue of San Gennaro, the patron saint of Naples, on its procession, as supplicants took turns hoisting the massive statue on his long march through Little Italy. The procession is the latest incarnation of a tradition that’s endured for 90-years, and which draws thousands of worshippers and sightseers every year for the holy spectacle. A notable drop in participation was felt at this year’s event, likely due to safety concerns sparked by the bombing in Chelsea the night before, according to

a long-time feastgoer and knight of the Sacred Military Constantinian Order of St. George, who was invited as an honored guest of the church. “I thought this year was the smallest I ever saw it,” said Cav. John Napoli. “Just listening to people, I think they were worried about terrorism, with that recent incident with the bombing in Chelsea.” Despite concerns, a beefed-up NYPD detail left devotees and feastgoers at ease on the day, which organizers of the Figli di San Gennaro managed to pull off without incident. “There was a strong police presence and it went off without a hitch,” Napoli said. “It was a lot of fun.” The Feast of San Gennaro is a 10-day affair running from Sept. 15–25 that invites food vendors, performers, and revelers of all faiths and creeds. In addition to the procession, the festival features live music, a parade, and eating contests. A few, however, still hold to the old traditions and values of the feast honor-

Photo by Andrew Giordano

Charles Sant’Elia, left, and John Napoli, both knights of the Sacred Military Constantinian Order of St. George, hoist the icon of San Gennaro in a threehour procession honoring the Catholic martyr on Sept. 19.

ing the Catholic martyr and saint, and prefer acts of supplication over fits of indulgence, according to Napoli.

“I’m just devoted to San Gennaro,” the knight said. “I’m religious. I go out of faith and devotion.”

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September 22 - October 05, 2016


Tribute in Light still burns bright Our photog got up close with the iconic memorial

As night fell on Sept. 11, the annual Tribute in Light blazed to life in Lower Manhattan to memorialize the 2,983 people who were killed in the 9/11 attacks fifteen years ago. Downtown Express sent photographer Milo Hess the roof of the 8-story Battery Parking Garage at 70 Greenwich St., where the lights are set, up to get an inside look at the display. The twin shafts of light are formed by 88 xenon spotlights laid out in two 48-foot-wide squares to resemble the positions of the Twin Towers, just a few blocks south of the World Trade Center site. With each spotlight burning at 7,000 watts, the combined 616,000-watt twin beams are the most powerful light ever projected from Earth, and are visible from up to 60 miles away as brilliant blue shafts reaching four miles into the sky. The power for the lights comes from generators fueled, since 2008, with biodiesel made from local restaurants’ used cooking oil, provided by Tri-State Biodiesel. The original display was lit on March 11, 2002, marking six months since the 9/11 attacks, and since 2003, it has returned annually on Sept. 11. Though originally organized by the Municipal Arts Society, the display is now handled by the National September 11th Memorial and Museum. Annual funding for the Tribute in Light, which costs $350,000 to put on, is generally ad hoc, and past years’

Photos by Milo Hess

(Above) The twin shafts of the Tribute in Light reach four miles into the sky and can be seen up to 60 miles away. (Right) The 88 spotlights are arranged in two 48-foot-wide squares positioned to resemble the positions of the Twin Towers.

displays have repeatedly been predicted to be the last. Earlier this year, however, the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation allocated a $700,000 grant to the memorial to fund the tribute through 2017.

Photos by Milo Hess Photo by Milo Hess

The combined 616,000-watt twin beams are the most powerful light ever projected from Earth.


September 22 - October 05, 2016

(Above left) The lights are set up on the roof of the 8-story Battery Parking Garage at 70 Greenwich St. (Above right) Each spotlight burns a 7,000-watt xenon bulb. DowntownExpress.com

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September 22 - October 05, 2016


Defiance in the face of terror Lower Manhattan refuses to be cowed by ‘craven’ bombing

BY EILEEN STUK ANE The bomb explosion at 8:30 p.m. Saturday night near a dumpster in front of 131 W. 23rd St. between Sixth and Seventh Aves. sent shrapnel flying and left New Yorkers, and Chelsea residents in particular, in a state of disbelief and concern — feelings compounded by the discovery of a second device, a pressurecooker bomb, found undetonated on W. 27th St. between Sixth and Seventh Aves. None of the 29 injuries were life-threatening, but as Chelsea’s Councilmember Corey Johnson said Sunday, “It’s a miracle that there were no fatalities.” Johnson learned that one of those injured last night was a friend who is a staff member the Council. “He was on West 23rd Street walking home and he was struck with different material,” Johnson said. “I don’t know what the material was but he was taken to Lenox Health [formerly Healthplex] on Seventh Ave. near W. 13th St. His head was bloody and his

Photo by Daniel Kwak

The street was blocked off quickly by police as paramedics cared for the 29 injured and law enforcement searched the area for clues.

back was bloody. His were minor injuries, but it was a very traumatic experience.” On Sunday, W. 23rd St. was filled with NYPD presence and blocked to traffic and pedestrians from Fifth to

September is National Preparedness Month! Join NYC Emergency Management to learn how to prepare for all types of emergencies. Activities throughout September: Free preparedness fairs, events and workshops throughout the five boroughs Family day at the Bronx Zoo on Sunday, Sept. 18 Family day at the Staten Island Children’s Museum on Saturday, Sept. 24 and much more!

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September 22 - October 05, 2016

Seventh Aves. This residential neighborhood seemed an unlikely target for attack. As Johnson said, “There’s anxiety and confusion, people just wondering how could this happen in Chelsea, on 23rd Street. It’s not Times Square. It’s not the World Trade Center.” What is on the block, in close proximity to where the bomb exploded, is Selis Manor (135 W. 23rd St.), an affordable housing residence for people who are visually impaired or fully blind. “Those residents are the most vulnerable, the blind. Of all the craven things to do!” said a young mother from W. 19th St., on Sunday morning. “My understanding is that the building [Selis Manor] sustained some damage,” Johnson said, noting there were “windows that were blown out. It must have been terrifying for the folks living there.” Helen Murphy, a resident of Selis Manor, was downstairs playing Bingo when “all of a sudden we hear a ‘baboom,’” she said. “Somebody says, ‘It’s thunder,’ and I said, ‘It’s not thunder. It sounds like a bomb going off.’” According to Murphy, the president of the building’s tenant association was standing across the street after the explosion, and couldn’t return to the building due to the fire trucks, the NYPD bomb squad, and the presence of the mayor. Slowly, holding on to both banisters because she cannot see, Murphy made her way up the eight flights of stairs to her apartment. “The elevators lock automatically when the alarms go off,” she noted.

In his noontime press conference Sunday regarding the explosion, Mayor de Blasio was clear but cautious: “It was intentional, it was a violent act, it was a criminal act, it was a bombing. That’s what we know. To understand any specific motivations, any political motivations, any connection to an organization — that we don’t know.” Governor Cuomo toured the site of the explosion Sunday, alongside the mayor, and commented that although so far there is no known link to international terrorism, “It’s terrorism when a bomb explodes in New York City,” Cuomo said. Mayor de Blasio would not use the “T word,” but said, “We’re interested in giving confirmed facts. When we have those facts we’ll give them to you.” NYPD investigated a Tumblr posting from someone calling themselves the “NY Bomber,” who stated that the bombs were “a protest for the oppression of the LGBT community,” according to WPIX News late on Sunday afternoon, but police officials and the mayor’s office said they had determined that the manifesto was not credible and was linked to a person in North Carolina. Also by late Sunday afternoon, de Blasio announced an increased police presence in the city and Cuomo said he would be asking the National Guard bombing Continued on page 17

Photo by Daniel Kwak

The homemade bomb that went off Saturday night shattered windows up and down W. 23rd St. in Chelsea.


Bombing suspect nabbed BY SEAN EGAN Rahami was seen on security camAhmad Khan Rahami, the prime eras in the W. 23rd St. area, as well as suspect in the Sept. 17 Chelsea near W. 27th St., and evidence from bombing, was arrested on Monday the scene linked him to the bomb, in New Jersey after according to police. a shootout with Authorities apprepolice. hended Rahami Rahami has so around 11:30 a.m. on far been charged Sept. 19. He was dison seven counts: covered sleeping in the Five for attempted doorway of a bar in murder of a law Linden, New Jersey, by enforcement offithe owner the estabNYPD cer, one count of Ahmad Khan Rahami, lishment. Authorities unlawful possession the prime suspect in the responded to his call, of a weapon, and bombing, was arrested and a foot pursuit and one count of posses- Monday in New Jersey shootout followed. Two sion of a weapon for after a shootout with officers were hit durpolice. unlawful purposes. ing the altercation, and The authorities Rahami was shot in the believe that Rahami is the main right shoulder and leg, and taken out perpetrator of the bombing on W. on a stretcher. 23rd St. as well as the undetonated Rahami is a 28-year-old, Afghanpressure-cooker bomb found nearby born U.S. citizen, whose last known on W. 27th St., plus two other bomb address was in Elizabeth, New incidents in New Jersey over the Jersey, where his family owns a weekend, and are trying to deter- restaurant. Since 2011, Rahami has mine whether or not he acted alone. made frequent trips to Afghanistan Prior to the Sept. 17 explosion, and Pakistan, according to police.

bombing Continued from page 16

to be a presence at airports and other transportation hubs. Meanwhile, although our elected officials encourage us to be to be resilient and vigilant, and not to be cowed by cowardly acts, New Yorkers cannot deny having some trepidation. One woman at the Flatiron Eataly on Sunday admitted, “It makes me scared to be outside. You have to live your life in New York City — and I’m getting married next weekend — but it’s very scary, very nerve-wracking.â€? However, she added that even though she felt that, and she and her fiancĂŠ were aware of the explosion, they still went out into the city streets last night. In a testament to resilience, Eataly was packed with people, mostly tourists, some residents, who seemed undeterred by events. Jermaine Kinsey, an employee at Legoland on Fifth Ave. at W. 23rd St., was in the store at the time of the explosion, which occurred after closing. “I was thankful that the store closes at 8 p.m. and all of our guests got out in time. We have a lot of children here,â€? he said. On Sunday the store is once again filled with parents and children laughing over Legos. “It was a confusing night,â€? Kinsey said. “We were still in the building. You could feel the ground shaking but there

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Bill de Blasio, Mayor @�ÛÅèüÊ�ðå‘Ñêå�ÛÅ DowntownExpress.com

Mayoral Photography Office / Michael Appleton

This rolling dumpster was possibly the point of origin for the explosion on W. 23rd St. that shattered windows in Chelsea — and rattled nerves throughout Downtown — at approximately 8:30 p.m. on Sept. 17.

was confusion. You have to stop and think, ‘What’s going on?’ 9/11 memorial was just last week, and then the next week, something exploded right here. It was really life-changing.� As a Chelsea father holding his 6-and-a-half-month-old daughter said, while he shopped, going on as if nothing happened, just living our lives, “is the way it should be, but it’s sad that we live in a world like this, that we have to worry about stuff like this.� His wife added, “But we’re lifelong New Yorkers. This doesn’t change our feelings of living in New York. We’re not going to leave.�





Wednesday, October 5, 2016 6:30 - 8:30 PM

Thursday, October 6, 2016 6 - 8 PM

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September 22 - October 05, 2016


Photos by Tequila Minsky

Pipes for police Memorial procession honors cops who died on — and after — 9/11 BY TEQUIL A MINSK Y Hundreds of bagpipers in their plaid tartans gathered at Zuccoti park on Sept. 9, before getting into formation for the 9/11 commemorative walk down Broadway around Battery Place, ending at the NYC Police Memorial at the northern end of South End Ave. The procession marked the 15th anniversary of the 9/11 attack on the World Trade Center, particularly paying homage to the 23 NYPD officers killed that day and the more than 99 officers who have died since of illnesses linked to their exposure to toxic fumes and dust while working at Ground Zero. Former NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton, incoming Commissioner James O’Neill, and Public Advocate Letitia James were among the city officials who walked at the head of the somber parade, with the NYPD Emerald Society Pipes &


September 22 - October 05, 2016

Drums leading the musical procession. Tourists, office workers and other city denizens lined the route for the polyphonic scene and students from Battery Park City School cheered the musicians as they passed by. The marchers continued to the memorial wall that is engraved with the names of the NYPD officers who have died in the line of duty, where they ended with a ceremony honoring the fallen. The parade included 16 bands, historical police cars, and family members who walked the route to the memorial ceremony with bagpipers hailing from police departments of several East Coast cities and from as far away as Chicago and Toronto. Memorial wreaths were placed at the wall and former Commissioner Bratton, Mayor de Blasio, and police union president Patrick Lynch were among the speakers at the ceremony.




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.

September 22 - October 05, 2016


Talk with chalk

City invites the public to write ideas for Governors Island on a giant cube

BY ALEX ELLEFSON The city wants to know what you want for Governors Island — and wants you to write it on a cube. The Trust for Governors Island and the city’s Economic Development Corporation have partnered on an initiative, called #GovIsland365, to gather ideas about how to transform Governors Island into a year-round destination. They’ve planted a giant black cube at the Soissons Landing and are inviting visitors to write their ideas on it in chalk. The city will be accepting feedback about how to make the 150-acre park a better place to play, learn and work through Sept. 25. “I encourage all New Yorkers to share their ideas and get involved — Governors Island belongs to you,” EDC president Maria Torres-Springer said in a statement. “To fully realize Governors Island’s potential as a year-round asset for all New Yorkers, we need to think outside

the box — or in this case, the Cube,” she said. The campaign follows the opening this summer of The Hills — four grassy, man-made mounds that provide a better vantage point from which to soak in views of the Downtown Manhattan skyline. In his 2016 State of the City address, Mayor Bill de Blasio promised improvements aimed at transforming the park into a thriving commercial and cultural center. A centerpiece of that pledge involved turning the park into a place that attracts visitors throughout the year. In a statement, Councilmember Margaret Chin applauded the city for turning to the public to help further Photo by Tequila Minsky revitalize Governors Island. The city is inviting visitors to Governors Island to write their ideas about how “This innovative community to make the 150-acre park a better place to play, learn and work on a giant black engagement process will allow people cube at the Soissons Landing through Sept. 25. of every age and background to fully engage with the process of shaping million into improvements on the island service, infrastructure, and free up an the future of this city-wide asset,” sheT:8.75”during the last six years. The Mayor’s additional 900,000 square feet along said. vision, called the Governors Island the waterfront and in the island’s hisThe city has already pumped $307 Innovation Cluster, will add more ferry toric buildings.

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September 22 - October 05, 2016



Dates: Thurs., Sept. 22 – Wed., Sept. 28

ALTERNATE SIDE PARKING RULES IN EFFECT ALL WEEK This week, things will start to wind down so our streets can take a breather from the heavy traffic caused by the UN General Assembly and the arrival of 130 heads of state and government — in particular, President Obama. His 35-car motorcade has been the cause of multiple road closures since his arrival in the city Sunday evening. With only a few days left of the UN General Assembly — to end on Monday — our city streets should go back to normal in no time. We’ll still face intermittent closures near the United Nations and in Midtown, as several high-profile heads of state remain in town, including two which will continue until the end of the General Assembly on Monday. First Ave. between 42nd and 47th Sts. remains fully closed, while from roughly 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily, 42nd St. between Second Ave. and the FDR will remain closed. The good news is, full closures along the FDR have come to an end with the president’s departure back to D.C. The Stephen Siller Tunnel to Tower Run & Festival will take place this weekend, with setup on Saturday

PAC@WTC Continued from page 10

It was verbosely dubbed the Ronald O. Perelman Performing Arts Center at the World Trade Center after the billionaire philanthropist pledged $75 million for the project. The project is seen by many as the next step in Downtown’s rise to become one of the city’s premiere places to live, work, and play, and the cherry on top of

and the run and festival taking place Sunday. From 7 a.m. to 3 p.m., the race will close Battery Park City from the Battery on the south to Warren Street on the north, and from West St. to the Hudson, as well as closing the Battery Park Underpass. The Seaport Community Coalition will host its Summer Seaport Festival from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday, taking over a long stretch of the Financial District along Water St. between Broad and Fulton Sts. The Stone Street Oyster Festival will close Stone St. in the Financial District from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Saturday. Sunday football will cause jams for Lower Manhattan, with the Giants playing Washington at 1 p.m. on Sunday at MetLife Stadium. Since it’s an early afternoon game, look out for late-morning traffic and post-game traffic after 5 p.m. in both directions at the Lincoln Tunnel, which means some spillover to the Holland Tunnel during those hours. Sunday is the final day of Little Italy’s San Gennaro festival from 11 a.m. to roughly midnight. Closures on Mulberry St. between Canal and Houston Sts., as well as Grand and Hester Sts. between Mott and Center Sts., will cause delays and jams in Chinatown, Nolita, and parts of Soho.

a rebuilding effort that, when the performing art center finally opens sometime in 2020, will have been 19 years in the making following the terrorist attack on Sept. 11, 2001, according to a local real estate expert and founder of the Fidi Fanpage. “It’s another part of the ongoing transformation of the neighborhood as part of one of New York’s top 24/7 communities,” said Vazquez.


BROOKLYN The Community News Group is proud to introduce BROOKLYN PAPER RADIO. Join Brooklyn Paper Editor-in-Chief Vince DiMiceli and the New York Daily News’ Gersh Kuntzman every Thursday at 4:45 for an hour of talk on topics Brooklynites hold dear. Each show will feature instudio guests and call-out segments, and can be listened to live or played anytime at your convenience.





A rendering of the design by Brooklyn-based architecture firm REX depicts the World Trade Center’s performing art center’s theater-in-the-round. DowntownExpress.com



LISTEN EVERY THURSDAY AT 4:45PM ON BrooklynPaper.com/radio September 22 - October 05, 2016



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September 22 - October 05, 2016

BY LENORE SKENAZY Congratulations! Your friend — or niece, or roommate — is getting married, and you’re invited! To Hawaii… And you live in the Bronx… And so does she… Or the invitation arrives, “Saddle up to Sarah & Wesley’s wedding at Dave’s Dude Ranch in South Dakota.” And the closest Sally and Wesley have ever come to straddling a horse was the carousel in Central Park. What is the deal with these weddings set several time zones away from friends and family? “Sometimes it’s strategic,” says Karen M. Dunak, an associate professor of history at Muskingum University in Ohio (though a Jersey gal by birth), and author of the new book, “As Long as We Both Shall Love” (NYU Press). Destination weddings, she believes, can be a way of keeping a wedding small and affordable, without hurting anyone’s feelings. Hold the wedding in Guam and you can invite even your parents’ friends, and still not spend the $30,000 that has become the typical American wedding price tag, because only a handful of the invited guests will actually attend. Dunak’s book traces the trends in American matrimony. Before World War II, she discovered, many Americans had their weddings at home. “It’s very common, from 1910 to 1930, to drive to the justice of the peace, go home and have a big chicken dinner. Or a minister comes to the parlor and they do it there.” What’s more, different communities had different traditions. Lake County, Indiana, for instance, was a Romanian enclave in the early 20th century. There, says Dunak, “The bride would walk down the street and neighbors would put eggs in her bas-


Dear Editor, Extension of the 1 train subway line from the Rector St. station to Red Hook for $3.5 billion (including a tunnel and three new stations) — as proposed by AECOM Engineering senior VP Chris Ward — is wishful thinking. This subway extension would support his proposed Red Hook economic

ket. These would be used to make baked goods for the wedding.” Everyone chipped in. In Nebraska, by contrast, the weddings were just the bride, groom, siblings, and parents. After the war, Americans experienced a surge in religiosity, Dunak says. And what’s more, they finally had a little extra cash, so they started holding fancier weddings outside the home, in the church. This did not just happen spontaneously. Movies like “Father of the Bride” served almost as instruction manuals. In that 1950 Spencer Tracy-Elizabeth Taylor hit, the parents end up hiring a snooty caterer and blanching at the bills. Welcome to the new normal. That norm was reinforced by the bridal magazines. These were once read only by the East Coast elite, but by the ’50s, bridal magazines had gone national, teaching everyone to spend, spend, spend on cakes, floral arrangements, cummerbunds… And then come the ’60s. When the counter-culture started its countering, wedding culture was in its crosshairs, of course. After all, what could be more staid and sexist? Why was the bride wearing white — to advertise her virginity? Why was daddy walking her down the aisle — to transfer ownership from one male to the next? “People thought, ‘Weddings are dead. This is it, done, that ship has sailed,’ ” says Dunak. “Department stores were closing their bridal salons.” But the valiant bridal magazines did not throw in the bouquet. Instead of

development project, which would be similar in size and scope to Battery Park City in Manhattan. Was this $3.5 billion figure written on the back of a napkin? There isn’t even a planning feasibility study, let alone any environmental documents or preliminary design and engineering, followed by final design and engineering efforts. All of the above is necessary to validate any

pushing the old wedding model, they turned on a dime and played along with the revolution. You can have a wedding and still be liberated, they told readers. A wedding could be hip — you could “do your own thing.” So instead of formal ceremonies, couples started writing their own vows. They chose different music. Brides wore peasant dresses, grooms wore bell-bottoms. And the American wedding, God bless it, was saved. By the ’80s, it was bulking back up, and that was what we’ve been seeing for a generation or two — My Big, Fat American Wedding — egged on by an ever-growing list of specialists who promise to create a Kardashian-like affair. The photo shoots are Vogueworthy. The desserts are Pinterest-ready. The dresses star in television shows. And the bridesmaids? They have to play along. “There is this undercurrent of, ‘How much is my friendship worth?’ ” says Dunak. Some brides put their friends in a very awkward position: Are they willing to buy a dress that looks hideous and costs a fortune? Fly out for the bachelorette weekend? Buy a gravy boat from the registry? Under that kind of pressure, something had to give, and finally, it has. The latest trend gliding down the aisle is the Do-It-Yourself Wedding. Everyone pitches in to make the food, arrange the flowers, decorate the backyard. Which, when you think about it, isn’t too different from the Romanian weddings of 1900 Indiana. Something old, something new, something borrowed and something true: The American wedding may constantly be changing, but we remain married to it. Lenore Skenazy is a keynote speaker, author and founder of the book and blog Free-Range Kids, and a contributor

basic estimates for construction costs. Given the narrow streets and dense development Downtown, how would he find a staging area for mobilization of contractor employees, equipment, and materials to support construction? Imagine trying to assemble a tunnel boring machine at Rector Street adjacent to the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel. Letters Continued on page 23


Posted To

Great article!!! Keep up the good work!!! 90 West St. Resident

connection to the site and memory and more cut off from the surrounding community than the original WTC ever was. While, with a little vision and leadership, an authentic memorial could have been had at a fraction of the price and half the space and actually fit into the neighborhood. Michael Burke

‘Left in the dust’: Locals continue fight for 9/11 healthcare (Sept. 9)

Niou set to be new Assemblymember for Downtown (Sept. 13)

The few who recognized the government’s con job from day one are among the unsung heroes of 9/11 and Kimberly Flynn is preeminent among them. But why has it taken Christie Todd Whitman fifteen years to apologize? Is it because the burgeoning cancers, which will only mushroom as the incubation periods run out, make it impossible to continue to lie? Jenna Orkin

Cancel said to reporters that she lost to the candidate that raised the most money. First, that’s incorrect. Secondly, EVERYONE raised more money than Cancel. Goodbye cronyism politics. On with the new! East Villager

TAX BROKEN: Pols say Downtown landlords abusing 421-g tax program (Sept. 8)

Reflections on the recovery: Locals recall the destruction and resurrection of Downtown (Sept. 9) Sorry, but Wils and Menin are also partly responsible for the colossal – and that’s the word – failure of the 9/11 WTC memorial. They were convinced that incorporating it seemlessly into the community meant ensuring that it did not recognize the attacks. And what we got is an eight acre, billion dollar extravaganza, an immense tourist attraction with zero meaning and

letters Continued from page 22

What about removal of debris once excavation begins? Hundreds of trucks needed on a daily basis to remove rock and soil would be challenging. It cost $4.5 billion for Phase 1 of the Second Avenue subway (36 blocks

brunch wars Continued from page 5

ing with the caveat that he would like to have his potential neighbors’ approval for a sidewalk café, which he envisioned wrapping around the corner of Greenwich and Laight Sts, and which he was adamant would either make or break the prospective business. “I can work with that [closing time], but I need you to work with me on the sidewalk café,” Galis said at the meeting. But that assertion provoked cries of “Never!” and “Not a chance!” from the riled-up crowd, and residents vowed to oppose Galis with whatever resources DowntownExpress.com

Theater-in-the-square (Sept. 15) Not understanding how this area can accommodate any additional development and traffic? Another “destination” development? It is overcrowded already, with multiple buildings under construction and not yet open. JS


The new performing arts center at the World Trade Center will be decidedly cube-shaped.

Fascinating how a box, cube, square is a wonderful shape for a PAC but totally ugly for a residential or commercial building nowadays. Interestingly, the outdated plaza in front of the NY State Capitol is the reverse, and (now considered) truly ugly. The architectural styles

in vogue downtown will in the not too distant future themselves become tiresome. What then, will we downtowners be stuck with monstrous dinosaurs of construction like Albany and so many other locales around the world? Ugh. Regarding the “rise” of downtown becoming a premiere place to live, work and play: Great! It’s going to be a wonderful day when we regular people are priced out on our homes because of

the “success” of the planners and real estate fanatics (like Vazquez?). It will be a beautiful place to live on the street, parks and memorial while the mega rich get to live indoors. Jan David

and three stations) and $2.4 billion (18 blocks and one station) for the 7 train Hudson Yards subway extension. Neither of those required a multi-billion tunnel under the East River. Construction of new subway stations averages between $500 million up to $1 billion, depending upon location and

complexity of work. All three new subway stations would require compliance with the Americans with Disability Act, which requires expensive elevators and other features. I have a wager for Chris Ward: If you are so confident of your numbers, put up your engineering licence, mortgage

your home as collateral, and agree to have your firm cover any cost overruns more than $3.5 billion. I won’t hold my breath waiting for a response. Larry Penner Transportation historian Great Neck

they could muster if he chose to pursue the street seating. “If it’s essential for him and his business to have a sidewalk café, he should know that we would oppose any kind of sidewalk café as strongly as possible — with lawyers, with money, with anything we can do,” said one Sterling Mason resident at the meeting. Galis then offered further concessions, saying he’d limit his sidewalk café to Greenwich St. only — but even that didn’t placate the cranky condo owners. That impasse is what prompted Malitz to warn the locals that if Galis, who has not yet signed a lease for the location,

decided to walk away from the venture, then a less amenable entrepreneur might come to take his place. The Tribeca Committee ultimately decided to postpone voting on the matter in order to give locals and Galis an opportunity to find some common ground and work out a list of stipulations to be attached to Galis’s liquor license application that would codify any concessions made on the part of the restaurateur. Meanwhile, Galis said there are no hard feelings on his part, despite what he saw as a lack of experience on the part of Sterling Mason residents in deal-

ing with new businesses on the community board level. “I think they were speaking from their heart without understanding how things work,” the restaurateur said. In any case, at least Galis made a good impression on Allstadt. “Tom couldn’t have been any nicer last night,” she said. And in light of recent events Downtown, a reflective Allstadt was able put the prospect of Galis’s new restaurant in perspective. “There are so many worse problems to have in the world than this lovely man coming downstairs,” she said.

Thanks Jan, and yes, I LOVE IT and make no apologies for it. And the best is yet to come! Luis Vazquez (FiDi Fan Page)

September 22 - October 05, 2016


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September 22 - October 05, 2016




The Transcendent Tension of Tammy Faye Starlite’s shape-shifting set list is just what America needs BY TRAV S.D. Few things in this life are as pleasurable to this observer as a Tammy Faye Starlite performance. I first became aware of her in the late ’90s, when she began performing her faux Christian country character at nightclubs and performance art spaces around town (mostly Downtown venues, where her envelope-pushing antics get the most traction). As crazy as the right wing is in our times, it can sometimes slip our memory how unprecedentedly loony they seemed during the age of the Contract with America, the Culture Wars, local amateur militias, and religious cults. Tammy (whose real last name is Lang) tapped into that craziness with a literal vengeance, her satiric wit as sharp as a dagger made of crystal. Supernaturally gifted as a writer, actress, and singer, she’s always seemed to me the foremost heir apparent to Andy Kaufman. She gets into the head of a character, usually an insane one, and stays there. In subsequent years she used both her musical gift and her shape-shifting ability to inhabit a series of popular show business characters, from Nico, to Marianne Faithfull, to Mick Jagger, performing them to great acclaim at places like Lincoln Center and Joe’s Pub. But the times have gotten crazy again — perhaps crazier than ever. Indeed, there could be no more auspicious time to bring back “Tammy Faye Classic,” the country Tammy Faye, to skewer the times with her bodacious barbecue fork. And so she has, with “Tammy Faye Starlite Presents Holy War 2016: The New Regime,” in weekly repertory at Pangea through the end of October. We caught the show at its opening on September 16, and it was everything we were hoping and longing for. Clad in virginal white and clear plastic platform shoes that add four inches to her height, she looks as though she were already dressed for the heaven she is convinced she belongs in. But she proves to be a devil in the guise of an angel. She comes out swinging with a version of “El Shaddai,” a Christian song written in Hebrew and mostly associated with Amy Grant, who recorded it in 1982. It’s the perfect song for this act. Lang is Jewish; undergirding her ire when she plays Starlite is an omnipresent current of tension between the two religions. One of my favorite moments is when she started speaking in tongues, with a good deal of Hebrew flavoring PHOTO BY BOB GRUEN

STARLITE continued on p. 26 DowntownExpress.com

And not a moment too soon: Tammy Faye resurrects the perfect persona for our troubled times. September 22 - October 05, 2016


STARLITE continued from p. 25

the babble. And how can we forget that the 1969 glam-Christian classic “Spirit in the Sky,” which Tammy covers was written by a man named Norman Greenbaum? Lang lampoons the dominant culture with an outsider’s resentment, which is somehow also always mixed with a connoisseur’s appreciation. Country artists (or many of them) have a knack for uttering the most unfortunate things while making genuinely beautiful music. This is one of Lang’s strong suits no matter what character she’s playing. She quite fearlessly “crosses the line” again and again, garnering guffaws and gasps in equal measure. And while the song lyrics are impressively witty, so is her patter, which goes on to epic lengths at times, as though every song contained Barbara Jean’s nervous breakdown in the movie “Nashville.” It’s never a Tammy Faye show unless she goes too far at least once, and you can hear a pin drop in the audience (though I hasten to point out that I cheer her on every time she does it). In the performance I saw, she compared the pneumoniafilled lungs of “Mr. Hillary Clinton” [sic] to the falling Twin Towers of the World Trade Center. She dials the right-wing rhetoric all the way to Nazism in a song called “White as Snow.” Her character radiates the self-hating misogyny so peculiar to women on the American right, reflected by her cover of Jeannie C. Riley’s “The Rib,” and her selfpenned “God Has Lodged a Tenant in My Uterus.” Platitudes about family are invoked ad nauseam, even as a palimpsest of incest, pedophilia, failed marriages, promiscuity, drug abuse and alcoholism is plainly visible beneath. She claims her moth-


Tammy Faye has gazed into the cultural abyss, emerging with enough new material for at least 19 nervous breakdowns.

er had 16 babies in eight years, and that she lost some of her six ex-husbands to divorce, others to NASCAR. Much like Sacha Baron Cohen (of “Borat” fame), another artist she resembles (at least in this respect), she delivers it all straight and with the utmost seriousness. She is playing this part, and never undermines it with self-conscious attitudinizing or apology. It’s on you to get what she’s really saying. That’s why satire is so risky. Much of the joyous experience of her show comes from the crack band

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September 22 - October 05, 2016

behind her: David Dunton, piano; Richard Feridun, guitar; Eszter Balint, fiddle. On the night I caught them, Lang’s husband and sometime collaborator, Keith Hartel, subbed on bass and sang a number as “Jim Rob,” a part normally performed by Eric Drysdale, who will be performing most of the run. The band is as witty as Tammy is, vamping as long as they need to under the patter, and punctuating the lyrics with just the right Nashville touches, but never slammed in your face with a sledgehammer. For you see, the central irony of Tammy Faye Starlite is that one of the most “tasteless” of performers around is gifted with extraordinary taste. Seeing her show during this harrowing election season is a wonderfully cathartic antidote to this season of hypocrites. “Tammy Faye Starlite Presents Holy War 2016: The New Regime” is performed at 7pm, Fridays, Sept. 16, 23, 30 and Oct. 7, 14, 28. At Pangea (178 Second Ave., btw. E. 11th & E. 12th Sts.). For reservations ($25 cover, $15 food/beverage minimum), visit pangeanyc.com.


Hebrew flavors the babble, when this Christian country singer speaks in tongues. DowntownExpress.com

Buhmann on Art Philip Pearlstein draws upon his life as a young soldier BY STEPHANIE BUHMANN Featuring drawings from the 1940s by the revered realist painter Philip Pearlstein, “WWII Captured on Paper” manifests as a stunning historic document. Made from observation and personal experience, the works tell of the physical and emotional realities of a G.I. in an infantry replacement unit during the Second World War. Pearlstein recalls: “During my freshman year at Carnegie, most of the male student body took the introduction to military training [ROTC] instead of gym, and at the end of the school year, in June 1943, we all met at Fort Meade, Maryland. After being interviewed, all of my friends were assigned to the Signal Corps.” Already recognized for his artistic talent, Pearlstein was able to avoid the same fate, perhaps saving his life. In the National Scholastic High School Art Contest, he had been awarded first and second prize for two paintings that were subsequently featured in the July 16, 1941 issue of Life magazine. “On instinct, I had taken a copy of the issue with me,” he explained, “and I showed it to the officer who interviewed me. He seemed impressed, but I was assigned to the Infantry rather than the Signal Corps, packed into a very crowded train, and sent to Fort McClellan, Alabama, where four months of violent physical activity, training in a very hot, sun-blinding summer, transformed me from a pudgy, non-athletic person into a surprisingly muscular G.I.” Between 1943 and 1946 Pearlstein created almost 100 drawings, watercolors and sketches, which are shown in their entirety here, and meant to be sold as a complete group (hopefully to a major public institution). Vividly installed in tableau-like fashion, the faceted works capture various stages, ranging from basic training at Camp Blanding, to a ship convoy to Italy, to Pearlstein’s time stationed in Italy during and after fighting. They are complemented by signs and charts, which Pearlstein made in the visual-aids shop at the time. Represented in such esteemed permanent collections as of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Museum of Modern Art and Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Pearlstein’s oeuvre is well known. However, this body of work will prove a discovery to all and provide a rare glimpse into the artist’s early personal life, even to those well familiar with his work. “G.I. Philip Pearlstein: WWII Captured on Paper” is on view through Oct. 15, Tues –Fri., 10am–6pm, at Betty Cuningham Gallery (15 Rivington St., btw. Bowery & Chrystie), in their Sidecar space next door. Call 212-242-2772 or visit bettycuninghamgallery.com.


Philip Pearlstein: “Convoy to Italy XI” (1944. Pen and ink on paper. 4 13/16 x 6 5/8 in.).

Philip Pearlstein: “G.I.’s at Marina di Pisa Breakwater” (1944-46. Watercolor on paper. 14 x 18 in.).

September 22 - October 05, 2016


Must-Play Video Games Beckon Before the Holidays

Don’t wait for St. Nick to deliver your fix

Image via Blizzard Entertainment

“World of Warcraft: Legion” is an expansion that’s been received warmly by fans of the MMO.

BY CHARLES BATTERSBY The months ahead will see a glut of new video games scrambling to be the must-have holiday gift. However, recent releases have brought a swarm of titles that will keep players entertained until the big holiday rush arrives — and beyond. Among them are early Game of The Year contenders, highdefinition re-releases of classics, and long-running hits that are still going strong, thanks to new content updates. Image via Bungie

“Rise of Iron,” the new DLC for “Destiny,” continues the game’s course correction after a rocky launch; updated features include new multi-player modes.

Image via Square Enix

With “Deus Ex: Mankind Divided,” players continue to view the world from the perspective of the maligned augmented humans of the game’s future.


September 22 - October 05, 2016

WORLD OF WARCRAFT: LEGION “World of Warcraft” (“WoW”) wasn’t the first Massively Multiplayer Online (MMO) game, but it has dominated the other MMO’s for 12 years, with over five million people still subscribed at the end of 2015. Every couple of years it gets a big update, and its most recent one, “Legion,” was just released. Many “WoW” fans consider it the best one yet. “Legion” is a separate purchase from the main “WoW” game, and its missions are intended for high-level characters. Purchasing it will grant players a “Level Boost” token that can instantly bring any character to level 100. There is also a new playable class called the “Demon Hunter,” which starts at level 98. Demon Hunters

have a special introductory set of missions that will let new players begin their adventure with “Legion,” instead of spending months leveling up from square one. However, it is strongly recommended that new players do level up a character the hard way before tackling “Legion.” For former “WoW” players who have not logged on recently, the Demon Hunters are a compelling reason to jump back in. They are elves who have gained demonic powers, which grant them abilities not available to other classes. They can double jump, sprout bat wings for gliding, and wield a wide set of offensive and defensive powers. Their versatility and fast movement make them an excellent choice for soloing through the new content.

DESTINY: RISE OF IRON Back in 2014, “Destiny” was a hotly anticipated new game from Bungie, the team that made the original “Halo” games. “Destiny” has a lot in common with its ancestor: It’s a multiplayer shooter with a sci-fi setting and a richly detailed story. However, it distinguishes itself from many other shooters by using elements of MMO games, like “World of Warcraft.” GAMES continued on p. 29 DowntownExpress.com

GAMES continued from p. 28

When it was first released, it won several Game of the Year awards, but also disappointed some of Bungie’s hardcore fans. In the year after its release, “Destiny” had several major updates that added new content, altered some of the mechanics, and even removed the voice-over acting of Peter Dinklage (of “Game of Thrones” fame). Each of the paid downloadable content (DLC) packs received increasingly positive response from players and critics, and the latest big update for the game, “Rise of Iron,” arrived on September 20. “Destiny: Rise of Iron” added more content to just about every aspect of the game. There is a new single-player campaign with new enemies and locations, new cooperative and competitive multiplayer maps, and more loot (including a giant flaming ax). It’s the perfect excuse to grab a game whose launch controversies prevented many potential fans from ever trying it out.

DEUS EX: MANKIND DIVIDED The “Deus Ex” franchise has an illustrious lineage dating back to the late ’90s. The series is set in the near future, where every conspiracy theory ever dreamed up is actually true. The newest game, “Deus Ex: Mankind Divided,” arrived last month, and it continues the story of Adam Jensen, a cybernetically augmented government agent, who fights cyborg terrorists, even as he fights prejudice against people with cybernetic augmentations. The subtitle, “Mankind Divided,” refers to the way that people with augmentations have become second-class citizens in the future. Jensen has cool cyborg superpowers, but most “augs” are just ordinary people with mundane augmentations, like prosthetic limbs. Despite this, they are viewed with suspicion, due to an incident where many augs were hacked and went crazy. Because the playable character is augmented, the game gives players a sense of what it might be like to live on the bottom rung of an unfair society. Players then get to choose how Jensen responds to the countless injustices that he and other augs face.

BIOSHOCK: THE COLLECTION When people debate whether or not video games are art, the game that takes the vanguard is “Bioshock.” It has been 10 years since the first “Bioshock” game arrived, and two sequels were DowntownExpress.com

Image via 2K

“Bioshock: The Collection” gathers all three remastered “Bioshock” games in one package, including the steampunkinfluenced “Infinite,” pictured above.

released in the ensuing decade. All three games, along with their DLC, have been bundled together in a new high-definition format for modern game consoles. People who never played this franchise should consider it a must-play experience. Gamers who actually did run through the games in the past also have a reason to grab this edition: a new director’s commentary featuring Ken Levine and Shawn Robertson of “Bioshock” developer Irrational Games. We spoke with Levine about his experience making a commentary track a decade after the first game was released. “The thing that I, myself, remember from the commentary session is how much other people remembered that I didn’t,” he said of his old masterwork. “I found it interesting how you can just bury stuff in your head, and how when someone summons it back up, it kind of comes barreling at you like something rising from the dead.” Longtime fans of the franchise will likewise be able to scour the games again, to see what memories they left buried on the ocean floor.

THE WITCHER III: GAME OF THE YEAR EDITION “The Witcher” is a series of sword and sorcery books from Poland. Although it’s essentially the “Lord of the Rings” of Poland, the series was mostly unheard of in America until the books were adapted into video games.

Image via CD Projekt Red

The celebrated “The Witcher III” takes a victory lap with its “Game of the Year Edition.”

The first game was a cult hit on the PC, but the second and third “Witcher” games grew exponentially in popularity. Witchers are professional monster hunters, and the game trilogy tells the story of a Witcher named Geralt. His use of alchemy has made him more than human, although most people see him as less than human. His magical powers make him the guy to call when a griffon needs to be killed, but once the job is done, villagers can’t wait to get Geralt out of town. He faces prejudice similar to what players find in “Deus Ex.” While “The Witcher III” won

numerous Game of the Year awards in 2015, it continued to release DLC packs in 2016. This is the rare case of DLC being considered just as good as the main game. The game and all of its DLC have just been released together in the “Game of the Year Edition.” This is Geralt’s final adventure, and much of the story revolves around events from the previous two games, so players are encouraged to play them as well. Alas, there is no convenient collection of all three games bundled together, but the first two installments are easily purchased online. September 22 - October 05, 2016



September 22 - October 05, 2016


Gateway tenants honor Schumer BY COLIN MIXSON Sen. Chuck Schumer missed out on an evening of flattery from Battery Park City residents and a small army of political big wigs on Sept. 9, when he called out sick from a ceremony organized by the Gateway Plaza Tenants Association to honor Downtown’s most powerful advocate in Washington with a lifetime achievement award. And while many Gateway residents were disappointed that the senator couldn’t attend his own party, there were no hard feelings, according to the president of the association. “Obviously we were disappointed, but we understood — and, as they say, the show must go on,” said GPTA honcho Glenn Plaskin. The riverside ceremony was held at North Cove Marina, which was filled to bursting with local legislators and city honchos, including Rep. Jerry Nadler, state Sen. Daniel Squadron, Comptroller Scott Stringer, Public Advocate Letitia James, Borough President Gail Brewer, FDNY Commissioner Daniel Nigro, Commissioner of Media and Entertainment Julie Menin, and Councilwoman Margaret Chin, along with former Community Board 1 Chair Catherine McVeigh Hughes, local District Leader Jenifer Rajkumar, and former Police Commissioner Ray Kelly. The local politicos took turns praising Schumer on stage, before

crossing guards Continued from page 1

“I’ve watched 15 sixth graders run across the West Side Highway as the light went yellow to red,” said Joyce. “All it takes is for one kid to trip. The crossing guard should be standing in the street at that moment.” The First Precinct, which is in charge of the fill-in crossing guards, did not return a call for comment. Siena said the school had positive experiences with some fill-in police officers in the past, but Joyce said the issues brought up at the meeting demonstrate why the city must find a permanent solution instead of just plugging holes. “The whole thing needs an overhaul. It’s not working,” said Joyce. “Everybody means really well and everybody is doing the best they can. But the fact that we don’t have trained crossing guards for our schools is ridiculous.” Assemblymember Deborah Glick, who pushed for the NYPD to post DowntownExpress.com

Photo by Tequila Minsky

Several local pols were on hand — including, left to right, Borough President Gail Brewer, Comptroller Scott Stringer, Councilwoman Margaret Chin, Public Advocate Letitia James, and state Sen. Daniel Squadron, joining Gateway Plaza Tenants Association president Glen Plaskin. But sadly, the night’s honoree, Sen. Charles Schumer, was too ill to attend.

breaking to hobnob and pose for pictures with locals, while snacking on a nearly endless supply of ritzy hors d’oeuvres. Hillary Clinton, while not on hand to praise the senator in person, sent her accolades on official Hillary for America stationary, which Plaskin read for the big-name crowd. “Throughout his more than four decades in public service, Chuck has been a powerful champion for New Yorkers and for working-class families across the country,” he read on Clinton’s behalf.

Schumer’s acceptance speech was read by Squadron, with the state senator thanking the association and discussing the challenges the community has faced since 9/11, on behalf of his federal counterpart. “I am so grateful to be honored by the Gateway Plaza Tenants Association and would have loved to attend in person,” said Squardon, reading off a speech prepared by Schumer. “From 9/11 to Sandy, we’ve had our share of tough times. But this community and GPTA has always weathered the storm and come back stronger.”

officers at vacant crossing guard posts, provided a list to the CB1 committee showing that crossing guards are missing this year at eight of nine Downtown schools. Two are away because of health problems, one post is unguarded, and police officers or traffic agents fill the rest of the positions. Part of the reason the city has so much trouble finding crossing guards for Downtown schools is the position’s low pay and unusual hours. The parttime job pays only $11.50 an hour for a maximum of 25 hours a week — while splitting the workday between morning and afternoon shifts. Glick has proposed making the job full-time and finding work during the day so crossing guards wouldn’t have to twiddle their thumbs between shifts. The lack of crossing guards became a priority last year after a driver plowed into a mother, and

narrowly missed a group of schoolchildren, in a notorious hit-and-run outside the Spruce Street School during moring drop-off. CB1 is also pushing for new traffic safety measures along West St. — partly in response to a cyclist recently struck and killed, but also to bring more order to the traffic in an area surrounded by four local schools. The Department of Transportation has agreed to put a right-hand turn signal at Chambers and West St., where the cyclist was hit, and to study adding similar lights down West St., between N. Moore and Liberty Sts. But the signal changes, like the substitute crossing guards from the local precinct, are still an inadequate half-measure to address the chronic shortfall in Downtown crossing guards, according to Joyce. “It’s been a year and I can’t get over how difficult this nut is to crack,” she said.

September 22 - October 05, 2016


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September 22 - October 05, 2016



Profile for Schneps Media

Downtown Express  

September 22, 2016

Downtown Express  

September 22, 2016