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MANHATTAN VERSION VOLUME 29, NUMBER 20

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DowntownExpress.com


VOLUME 29, NUMBER 20

OCTOBER 06 – OCTOBER 19, 2016

City: No play street for Peck Slip School BY COLIN MIXSON It’s the only parking lot in New York determined to keep kids off the street and in the classroom. LAZ Parking, across the street from the Peck Slip School, is blocking the elementary school’s efforts to close a namesake street to give aged students greater opportunity to play outdoors. The school’s request to close off Peck Slip during school hours as a “Play Street” was rejected by the Department of Transportation because the parking lot, which has an entrance on the street, won’t sign off on the plan, a DOT spokesman confirmed. As a result, Peck Slip students can only enjoy the school’s rooftop play space every few days, leaving kids stuck indoors all day for most of the week, according to the school’s principal. “It means that third- and fourth-grade students and kindergarten students take turns being in the gym for recess instead of going outside,” said Principal Maggie Siena told Community Board 1’s Youth and Education Committee at its last meeting. “It’s not great.” The street outside the Peck Slip School is already closed briefly between Pearl and Water Sts., in the morning and afternoon — a concession LAZ Parking has endured because the School Construction Authority decided not to create a plaza for drop offs and pick ups in front of the school. But the request to close the street for the whole school day was apparently too much for the parking lot to accept, and LAZ Parking’s corporate office has refused to communicate with the school, according to Siena. “We’re at a bit of a standstill,” she said. peck slip Continued on page 18

Hello, s ailor!

Photo by Milo Hess

The Wavertree returned to the South Street Seaport Museum’s Street of Ships on Sept. 24 after a 17-month, $13-million, city-funded restoration in Staten Island. For the full story, see page 10.

Bridge over the river ‘WHY?’ Locals question city’s plan to save money on pedestrian bridge at expense of their safety BY DENNIS LYNCH Battery Park City residents are outraged that the city may try to save money on a new pedestrian bridge by leaving them without an elevated crossing over the busy West Side Highway for as long as nine months.

If the city’s Economic Development Corporation sticks to its initial schedule and there are no delays, workers will start dismantling the Rector Street crossing sometime between July and September 2017 — but the new West Thames Street Pedestrian

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Bridge two blocks south won’t be finished until sometime between January and March 2018. An EDC spokesman cautioned that the schedule was not yet set in stone, but said that the agency bridge Continued on page 22

Downtown Residents/Office Workers Eligible Free Consultation


Riven House

Council and Mayor’s office clash over Rivington House debacle, solutions

BY LINCOLN ANDERSON Last Thursday was definitely one action-packed day in the ongoing saga of Rivington House on the Lower East Side. Councilmembers grilled the first deputy mayor, as well as the corporation counsel and another top administration official, in hopes of somehow getting to the bottom of the murky real estate scandal. Meanwhile, midway through the

lengthy hearing — in fact, right after First Deputy Mayor Anthony Shorris was mercifully excused from the hot seat — Mayor Bill de Blasio blasted out a press release, announcing that the city would be building a new senior affordable housing and healthcare facility on the Lower East Side. This new facility, the release said, would “replace shuttered Rivington House,” the former AIDS hospice run by VillageCare that was shockingly lost

Photo by William Alatriste / NYC Council

Anthony Shorris, at left, Mayor Bill de Blasio’s second in command, was grilled for two-and-a-half hours at the oversight hearing on Rivington House.

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when the city quietly lifted a deed restriction limiting the property to nonprofit healthcare use. The deed restriction’s lifting, in turn, paved the way for the Forsyth St. property — a handsome former school building — to be sold, and then promptly flipped, at a huge profit, for market-rate residential development. The story quickly spiraled into a scandal that has shocked the city and damaged de Blasio. Thursday’s hearing by the City Council’s Committee on Oversight and Investigations — co-chaired by Vincent Gentile and Ben Kallos — clocked in at a solid six hours. Basically, Shorris and Lisette Camilo, current commissioner of the city’s Department of Citywide Administrative Services, testified that Rivington House’s deed restriction was lifted without any notification to the community because, well, the city just plain screwed up. No one was to blame for it or was disciplined for what went down, they said. They repeatedly stressed, however, that new, improved processes have since been put in place, so that something like this won’t ever happen again. As for the developers and how they managed to pull a fast one on everybody — allegedly, without the city ever being aware of it — Shorris repeatedly described them as “deceptive.” Camilo previously was director of the Mayor’s Office of Contract Services, or MOCS, when that agency, per its usual duties, officially signed off on the lifting of Rivington House’s deed restriction. She subsequently took over

DCAS after its previous director, Stacey Cumberbatch, abruptly left to become a vice president at New York City Health + Hospitals. DCAS manages roughly 4,000 cityowned buildings. Shorris testified that he had started having discussions about Rivington House early on after de Blasio came into office, in the fall of 2014. VillageCare had come to City Hall seeking help, saying the nonprofit nursing home was a financial liability, threatening to bankrupt it. Shorris said the discussions eventually focused on it becoming a for-profit nursing home — his personal preferred future use for the property — and this is what he assumed it would become. “At no time,” Shorris stated, “did anyone write, call, meet or discuss with me the notion that the actions being taken by [DCAS] would allow the property to be converted to luxury housing.” Time passed and he didn’t hear about the building again until after Camilo learned of the sale and told him about it, he said. “I did not discuss Rivington [House] again until late February 2016 when the new commissioner, Lisette Camilo, reported to me that the site had been sold to a luxury housing developer for in excess of $100 million,” Shorris said. He said de Blasio also was totally in the dark about the Rivington House sale. “I spent the next few days trying to understand what transpired,” Shorris said, “and then I informed rivington house Continued on page 31

DowntownExpress.com


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Autonomous automobiles

Experts: driverless cars could turn Manhattan into a gridlock hell and a ‘jaywalking paradise’ BY JACKSON CHEN As driverless vehicles steadily cruise from science fiction into reality, the borough president facing the city’s thorniest congestion challenges wants New Yorkers to start thinking seriously about the monumental change that is surely coming. During a panel discussion on driverless vehicles hosted by Borough President Gale Brewer on Sept. 27, panelists raised concerns about unintended consequences ranging from higher obesity from easy vehicle access tempting people off their bicycles, to pedestrian safeguards bringing city traffic to a standstill. “Once our pedestrians realize these cars are programmed to stop when they cross the streets, there will be a jaywalking paradise and these cars will never get anywhere,” warned Sarah Kaufman, the assistant director for technology programming at the New York University Rudin Center for Transportation, noting that most autonomous vehicles are programmed to not come within three feet of pedestrians. Brewer convened the panel last week to educate everyday New Yorkers, as well as learn more herself, about the

possible impacts autonomous vehicle technology would have on Manhattan’s infrastructure, labor force, and traffic regulations — because, she said, the questions surrounding autonomous vehicles don’t start with “if” anymore, but with “how” and “when.” A panelist from Audi said that the German car manufacturer is roughly two years away from bringing to market a vehicle that can drive autonomously on interstate highways in traffic moving at 25 miles per hour. Other major players in the nascent field are also road-testing autonomous vehicle technology across the country. Electric car manufacturer Tesla’s autopilot model has been tested on highways, ridesharing app pioneer Uber is operating its own fleet of self-driving cars in Pittsburgh, and tech giant Google is set to get the regulatory greenlight in California for its autonomous prototypes to hit the streets without a person at the wheel. On September 19, the US Department of Transportation released guidelines — including a 15-point set of safety standards and regulations that it urged states to refine to meet specific traffic conditions in their localities —

Photo by Jackson Chen

Borough President Gale Brewer, at podium, introduces a panel on driverless vehicles that included, from left, Audi’s Brad Stertz, Sarah Kaufman from the NYU Rudin Center for Transportation, the Taxi and Limousine Commission’s Jeff Garber, Will Carry from the city’s Department of Transportation, as well as the panel moderator, Recode.net’s senior transportation editor Johana Bhuiyan, at right.

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Photos by Jackson Chen

(Above) Audi’s A7 driverless prototype wowed New Yorkers while parked outside the David Dinkins Municipal Building on Sept 27. (Right) All this junk in the trunk of the Audi A7 allows the prototype to drive by itself as speeds up to 25 mph.

that broadly embraced the advent of self-driving cars. Even as Brad Stertz, Audi’s director of government affairs, admitted that being able to drive hands-free in a traffic jam isn’t “that exciting,” he said the widespread progress of the technology has grabbed the public’s attention and is driving a conversation on how autonomous vehicles will share the road with conventional automobiles and pedestrians. “One of the points we want to make with this is it’s essential to get consumers and drivers to understand what the technology is and not be afraid of it,” Stertz said. For Brewer’s panel, a prototype of an Audi A7 capable of driving on freeways by itself was parked outside the David Dinkins Municipal Building Downtown. The A7 prototype was developed in 2012, according to Spencer Matthews, the industry and government relations analyst for Volkswagen Group, Audi’s parent company. The vehicle, he explained, is equipped with about 20 different sensors that allow it to react in milliseconds — much faster than any human ever could. But while the A7 could drive autonomously on freeways, the congested streets of Manhattan present unique physical challenges — and raise legal questions, as well. The city’s Department of Transportation began seriously looking into the issue of autonomous vehicles roughly a year ago, and the agency now wants to join that to the national discussion of how to move forward. “The ultimate test for autonomous

vehicles will be whether or not they can effectively navigate cities like New York,” Will Carry, the DOT’s senior director for special projects, said. “So we really feel like we should be partners in [the national] discussion.” For several of the panelists, Manhattan serves as a unique stress test for the new vehicles because of the obstacles its clogged street grid provides, with cars in transit joined by a glut of pedestrians, increasing numbers of bicyclists, and, of course, the ubiquitous double-parked cars. Sam Schwartz, the city’s traffic commissioner in the 1980s and now a respected transportation engineering consultant and transit columnist, said that autonomous vehicles could also encourage more people to use cars and reverse the recent healthy trend in people walking and cycling to their to destinations. “Inactivity kills four or five times more people than car crashes kill,” Schwartz said. “Even if autonomous vehicles knock down the number of people killed in car crashes, which I have no doubt they will, if we have less activity we may kill more people through inactivity.” Kaufman also said that driverless cars could lead more residents beginning to move farther out from the city’s center because of the increased ease of driverless cars Continued on page 17

DowntownExpress.com


Lawsuit dispute

Gateway plaintiffs accuse landlord of using intimidation tactics to scuttle window suit

BY COLIN MIXSON The ongoing class-action lawsuit against the landlord and management of Battery Park City’s Gateway Plaza is getting nasty, with a former deputy mayor accusing the head of the tenants association of intimidating plaintiffs on behalf of Gateway’s landlord — a charge he vehemently denies. Gateway tenant and chairwoman of Community Board 1’s Battery Park City Committee Ninfa Segarra says that shortly after she agreed to join the lawsuit, Gateway Plaza Tenants Association president Glenn Plaskin threatened her lease. “Mr. Plaskin told me he found out I joined the Gateway class action… then asked me if I understood the ‘dangers’ involved in the case,” Segarra testified in a Sept. 6 affidavit filed in support of a cease-and-desist motion accusing Plaskin of acting on behalf Gateway’s management and landlord to convince plaintiffs to drop out of the lawsuit. Plaskin emphatically rejected

Segarra’s accusations in a responding affidavit, denying that he has ever threatened a Gateway tenant, or ever acted as an agent of the lawsuit defendants. “I have never threatened any tenant, nor would I,” said Plaskin. “As President of the Gateway Plaza Tenants Association, I advocate for the rights of the tenants and for improving the quality of life at Gateway. I absolutely do not work for Gateway management.” Segarra, who served as a deputy mayor for Rudy Giuliani, had agreed to join the lawsuit to replace other plaintiffs representing the class who dropped out, potentially scuttling the class-action suit. The class action was first brought against Marina Towers Associates and Gateway Plaza Management in 2014 by two Gateway tenants, Maureen Koetz and Jennifer Rajkumar, who alleged that tenants were forced to endure freezing temperatures and pay exorbitant heating bills as a result of “defective” windows

Residents of Gateway Plaza filed a class-action lawsuit against the management and landlord in 2014 over defective windows and heaters, and the suit recently took a particularly nasty turn, with plaintiffs’ lawyers accusing Gateway Plaza Tenants Association president Glenn Plaskin, inset, of trying to scare plaintiffs into dropping out of the suit — a charge Plaskin emphatically denies.

and heating units at the six-building, 1,712-unit complex. The suit had to be refiled, however, after Rajkumar was accused of plagiarizing complaint documents that law firms Morgan & Morgan and Newman Ferrara claimed to have written. The two firms later joined the refiled suit, and tenants Barbara Stoebel and David Spencer replaced Rajkumar and Koetz as representative plaintiffs. In August, the plaintiffs’ attorneys filed another motion requesting that

www.burnerlaw.com

Stoebel and Spencer be replaced as the suit’s named plaintiffs by Gateway tenants Pauline Wolf — who has since withdrawn from the suit — and Segarra, who will become the sole remaining plaintiff when and if the judge approves the motion. Segarra alleges that she was approached by Plaskin just days after the motion to include her as a named plaintiff was filed with the courts, and gateway Continued on page 17

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October 06 - 19, 2016

5


By Janel Bladow Feels like we’re getting some welcome Indian Summer just when lots of fun events pop up on our calendar! SCREEN & SIP… So excited about the grand opening of iPic Theaters at the Fulton Market Building in the Seaport District on Oct. 7. Can’t wait to go to the movies right down the street! To celebrate, iPic Theaters is giving locals a free gift package valued at $68. The package features one Premium movie ticket (a $29 value, good through Nov. 16), plus a free year of Sapphire-level membership (normally $29) that includes one free Premium ticket on your birthday, free dessert on your anniversary, and other member perks such as priority ticket purchases and invites to special events. The offer is good until Oct. 12, so sign up at ipicmember.com or visit guest services at the theater. Grand opening feature films include: “Girl on a Train,” “Birth of a Nation,” “Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children,” and “Masterminds.” Tickets available for purchase via www. ipic.com or through the iPic app. WAVERTREE RETURNS... See the full story on page 10. CELEBRATE SCHERMERHORN ROW… NYC’s annual Architecture and Design Month picked Schermerhorn Row as Archtober Building of the Day on Monday, Oct. 10. To celebrate the honor, the South Street Seaport Museum opens a new exhibit, “The Architecture of Trade: Schermerhorn Row and the Seaport.” Presented in two parts, on the mezzanine level and in fourth-floor galleries at 12 Fulton St., the show looks at the Federal-style merchant county hous-

es and what happened on the Seaport’s cobbled streets in the last two centuries. Access to the fourth floor exhibit is by guided tour only. Meanwhile the museum has lots of other fun October events: walking tours of the city’s oldest buildings, sailing aboard the Pioneer, building tours of Schermerhorn Row and Free Friday — with free admission to the museum — on Oct. 28 from 3–7 p.m. Check the site for details: www. southstreetseaportmuseum.org. NEW OSA BOARD MEMBER… Long-time Seaport resident Neil Mossberg is the newly elected co-chair of the board of directors for the Old Seaport Alliance (OSA), a non-profit neighborhood improvement organization founded after Hurricane Sandy by business owners in the neighborhood. He takes over from Vbar Seaport owner Enrico Ciotti, who will continue on the board and will work alongside current OSA co-chair Sara Williams, owner of Fresh Salt. OSA wants to expand its board and membership base in order to ramp up its programs and strengthen its role in the community. A couple of its successes include turning Peck Slip into a plaza and securing the Citibike station there. If you want to learn more or get involved go to www.oldseaportny.com. LIP-SMACKING GOOD… It’s time for the 7th-annual Taste of the Seaport food festival! More than 40 food vendors, artists and entertainers are lined up for the event on Saturday, Oct. 15, from 11 a.m.–3 p.m., along Front St. between Fulton St. and Peck Slip. Barbalu, Mark Joseph Steakhouse, and Tolache Taqueria are among the local spots dishing out tastes. Entertainment

Photo by Milo Hess

The South Street Seaport Museum opens a new exhibit this month, called “The Architecture of Trade: Schermerhorn Row and the Seaport,” to celebrate some of the most historic buildings in Downtown Manhattan.

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October 06 - 19, 2016

iPic Theaters

Premium plus tickets at iPic Theaters not only offers uber-comfy lounge seats, but also unlimited popcorn.

includes The Besnard Lakes and Control the Sound — and organizers promise more. Kids Zone activities include cardboard ship building and some sensational, seasonal, scary face painting. The event is sponsored by the Howard Hughes Corporation and benefits our two public schools — PS 397, the Spruce Street School and PS 343, the Peck Slip School. Get advance tickets, $35 for 5 tastes at www.tasteoftheseaport.org, or at the festival on Front Street, $40 for 5 tastes.   WOOHOO WARRIORS… Over the last 10 months, our neighborhood’s Aikido and Yoga studio, Warrior Bridge has outgrown its 275 Water St. storefront. By the end of the month, the new, much larger, studio at 250 Front St. will open. The new location has more practice spaces, higher ceilings, larger changing rooms and showers. “We can have way more classes in each art we offer and there will be ten new evening yoga classes,” boasts Sean Langhaus, manager of the yoga and acroyoga programs. He’s partnered with founder Gary Snyder, a 7th-degree Black Belt in Aikido with over 35 years of martial arts training. “We’ve become one of the most popular acroyoga programs anywhere and this new studio ensures we can continue to grow,” Langhaus said. Congrats! MINI MOVIE FEST… Animation Nights New York (ANNY) celebrated its first anniversary with a twoday festival last weekend. Panel judges including writer Anthony Haden-Guest picked 20 films to showcase from the 200 shorts screened during monthly events. With animation screenings, artist installations and panel discussions

on topics from “Technology and Story in Animation” to “Voiceover Acting in Animation and Games” the fest was a huge success. Meanwhile, if you haven’t popped in, stop by for the “Art in Motion” exhibit of drawings, cells, video, painting, and sculptures before it ends on Oct. 7. ANNY is at 180 Maiden Lane, entrance on South St. Some of the featured filmmakers are Nin Brudermann, Emily Hubley, and my friend Bill Plympton! RAMPING UP… The latest big announcement — 10 Corso Como is coming to the Seaport District. The “world concept store” was founded in 1991 by former fashion editor Carla Sozzani as a union of culture and commerce by blending fashion, food, art, music, design and lifestyle. With retail venues around the globe from Milan to Beijing, this will be the company’s only first and only location in the U.S. The new spot will cover approximately 13,000 square feet. “As a European, I am very excited to see 10 Corso Como come to the place where New York City was born,” said Sozzani in a press release. And David R. Weinreb, CEO of  The Howard Hughes Corporation, noted: “Given the Seaport District’s history as the city’s birthplace of innovation, we have been sharply focused on curating cutting-edge experiences across food, entertainment, fashion and culture. 10 Corso Como is a consummate example of our vision for the Seaport District.” This latest addition joins other upmarket offerings already announced for the Seaport, including restaurants by Jean-Georges Vongerichten and the Momofuku Group. DowntownExpress.com


DowntownExpress.com

October 06 - 19, 2016

7


‘Shero’ honored Proclamation honors woman who spotted the second Chelsea bomb BY TEQUIL A MINSK Y Sometimes a citizen does something so special that it demands public recognition. That is how Borough President Gale Brewer and other electeds felt as they surveyed the damage caused by the bomb that went off on W. 23rd St. on the evening of Sept. 17, injuring 31 people. Things could easily have been twice as bad if Jane Schreibman hadn’t spotted an odd device on her block of W. 27th St. between Sixth and Seventh Aves. and reported it to 911. Schreibman spotted a crock pot with wires sticking out — a pressure cooker bomb that could have created much damage and loss of life had it gone off on a street crowded with pedestrians diverted from the W. 23rd St. blast zone. Although Schreibman has not sought attention or praise since her deeds first came to light, the borough president and the others wanted to acknowledge

how important those actions were. On Sept. 30, her friends, Chelsea neighbors, NYPD personnel, and elected officials gathered at the Fashion Institute of Technology, where Schreibman had taken many courses as part of the Senior Learners Program, to celebrate how she saw something and then said something — and quite likely saved lives. Public Advocate Letitia James said how glad she was that Schreibman didn’t “mind her own business,� as New Yorkers are wont to do, and instead took action when she saw something suspicious. “In this city we should be cognizant of our immediate surroundings. We are the eyes and ears of NYPD. Jane’s actions are by simply speaking up, by being more suspicious. For me and for Gale, Jane is a Shero,� James said. “She saved lives, and for that I am grateful.� Comptroller Scott Stringer said he was glad to have such a clear example of why it’s so important for citizens to be vigilant, and to keep the authorities informed.

Photo by Tequila Minsky

Surrounded by elected officials, NYPD leadership and FIT personnel, modest hero Jane Schreibman was compelled to step into the spotlight when presented with a Proclamation honoring her decisive role in preventing a second explosion on the night of Sept. 17.

“It’s nice that we have the proof, that there are people in the city that actually look out for us and know how to get the information to where it should go,� he said. Bringing a little lightness to the pro-

ceedings, state Sen. Brad Hoylman quoted examples from social media of what really terrifies New Yorkers — flying cockroaches, subway cars without air condiShero Continued on page 22

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BEER BEATDOWN Cops busted a man for allegedly stealing beer from a W. Broadway bar on Sept. 26 and then beating a bartender with it. An employee told police that he and another server at the watering hole between Grand and Broome Sts. spotted the suspect swipe a case of beer at 9:24 p.m. The pair tracked the suspect down to Sullivan and Broome Sts., where they duked it out and managed to recover the majority of the stolen beer, with the exception of two bottles that the man managed to abscond with, cops said. The workers then confronted the suspect a second time near Sixth Ave., according to police. That’s when the alleged crook supposedly began wielding his ill-gotten beer as a weapon, beating one of the employees, and leaving nasty gashes on his brow and cheeks, cops said.

TOO LATE A man filed a report with cops on Sept. 29 stating his bike was stolen from a Greenwich St. parking garage — more than a year ago. The victim told police he last saw his bike when he chained it up inside a parking garage between Hubert and N. Moore Sts. at 8 a.m. on May 1, 2015. He first noticed it was missing in late May this year — four months before filing his report, cops said. Investigators with the First Precinct have not made any arrests and consider the case closed, according to police.

Python Sneakers off a rack and fled without paying.

SMELLY STEAL Cops are hunting a man wanted for allegedly ripping off a Broadway beauty supply store to the tune of $1,700 worth of designer fragrances on Sept. 27. An employee told police that the crook was spotted on camera inside the store between Prince and Spring Sts at 6:10 p.m. when he grabbed 17 bottles of high-class perfume before running out the door and ducking into a nearby car.

STICKY-FINGERED THIEF A pickpocket snatched a woman’s brand-new iPhone 7 from inside her bag while riding an escalator inside the Fulton St. subway station on Oct. 3. The victim told police she was inside the transit station near Broadway at 8:45 a.m., when she was startled as someone bumped into her. It was only later that the woman realized that a sticky-fingered thief had managed to unzip her bag and remove her phone in one deft motion, cops said.

SPECIAL DELIVERY Thieves looted a box truck parked on Grand St. on Sept. 28, nabbing more than $1,100 worth of merchandise. The victim told police that he left his truck near Wooster St. at 9:45 a.m., and returned 10 minutes later to find the pad lock securing the truck’s rear door had been snipped and the goods stolen, cops said.

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Police are hunting the thief of a tricked-out, $1,400 Allezsport bike left locked on Reade St. on Sept. 27. The victim told police he secured his bike with a U-lock to a rack between W. Broadway and Church St at 6:39 p.m., and returned the next day to find the lock busted and his bike stolen. The victim reported the theft that day, and was able to provide investigators a receipt and serial number for the bike, cops said.

Cops busted an alleged crackhead after he was spotted nabbing goods off of sleeping straphangers on a train near the Whitehall Subway Station on Oct. 1. The arresting officer reported he was on the train as it neared the station by South Street at 3:30 a.m., when he saw the suspect allegedly lean over a sleeping commuter and unzip his pouch and remove his phone. The suspect then crept along the train into the next car, where he was arrested, cops said. “I’m just waking people up,” the man allegedly wailed. “Someone gave me that phone.” It was only after searching the man that patrolmen say they discovered a crack pipe in the suspect’s possession, according to police. — Colin Mixson

SNEAKER SNATCH A shoplifter absconded with a $1,395 pair of sneakers from a Mercer Street boutique on Sept. 30. An employee told police that the thief was spotted via surveillance feed inside the retailer between W. Houston and Prince Sts. at 1:45 p.m. when he grabbed the ritzy pair of Balenciaga DowntownExpress.com

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Welcome home, Wavertree! Flagship of the South Street Seaport Museum returns after $13M rehab

By Janel Bladow Last Thursday night saw one of the most unique premieres ever to wow New York City. Dozens of fans came out greet the evening’s celeb at an exclusive cocktail party held in her honor. And she did not disappoint. The old girl dazzled, dressed in her ribbons of colors, all freshly scrubbed and brightly painted. A star was reborn after 17-months of rehab and restoration. Welcome home Wavertee! The 131-year old flagship of the South Street Seaport Museum rocked in her berth at Pier 16 as content as a baby. After a$13-million bow-to-stern makeover, the old lady looked a quarter of her age. Her decks were newly sanded, tarred and stained. Her steel rails swapped with traditional wooden ones. Her lower and ‘tween decks were removed, restored and replaced. The floors on all decks glistened. She was more than shipshape, she was a knockout. Partiers hoisted their glasses at the Sept. 29 welcome-home bash, cheering all she symbolized — the rebirth of the seaport’s struggling museum and a salute to the history of what was once one of the world’s most important shipping ports. The museum’s director, Captain Jonathan Boulware, proudly saluted not only his sparkling beauty but also all those who helped realize this moment. He singled Mayor Bill de Blasio, Borough

Photo by Janel Bladow

Longtime South Street Seaport Museum volunteers Lia Dudine, at left, and Marie Oleske are thrilled with the Wavertree’s rehab.

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October 06 - 19, 2016

President Gale Brewer, the Council and the Department of Cultural Affairs for their support, noting that the city “has never undertaken something as grand as this.” He thanked the founders of the museum as its “lifeblood,” and singled out the foresight of one in particular — shipping magnate Jakob Isbrandtsen — who bought the battered and beaten Wavertree in 1968 for the fledgling seaport museum. The sailing ship had been dismasted in a storm off Cape Horn in 1910 and spent the next 58 years as a workhorse in South America, serving first as a floating warehouse in Chile, and then as a sand barge in Argentina. After Isbrandtsen saved the world’s last surviving wrought-iron ship from a watery grave, the Wavertree was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1978. Capt. Boulware also acknowledged the “many volunteers who keep the light burning.” Lia Dudine, of Bayonne, NJ, volunteered on the Wavertree for a year and half during the eight years she’s been involved with the museum. “The experience of seeing the ship this night was more emotional that I realized,” she said. Dudine used to “rust bust” the corroding iron hull, as well as fold and fix sails on the deck. The commitment and camaraderie of the volunteer crew stood out most in her memories of the experience. Her friend Marie Oleske began her volunteer stint at the museum while working for the state attorney general’s office at 120 Broadway and was immediately hooked. She became a crew member not only on the Wavertree, but also on the museum’s other sailing vessels, the Ambrose and the Pioneer. The restored Wavertree is a far cry from the rusty old lady Oleske remembers, when the lower deck was rotting away, with holes covered with sheets of plywood. “You really had to be careful where you stepped. It was heartbreaking to see her then,” she said. “I’m awestruck over what they’ve done to her. She’s 100 times better.” Museum guide Gabby Ricciardi showed folks around the ship during the reception. On the upper deck she pointed out two beautiful wooden staircases with brass handrails, which

Photo by Milo Hess

(Above) The Wavertree returned to the South Street Seaport Museum’s Street of Ships on Sept. 24 after a $13-million, city-funded restoration in Staten Island. (Right) The 131-yearold ship was clearly due for spa day when she left the South Street Seaport Museum in May 2015 for the 17-month rehab.

came from the ocean liner RMS Queen Mary. Below deck we came across the ship’s eight remaining sails — her fore and main upper and lower topsails, three staysails, and the spanker or aftermost sail. Capt. Boulware told us those are “sufficient to sail the ship when the time comes. But much needs to be done in order to get the ship sailing — including rigging work, ‘bending on’ [that

Susie McKeown / South Street Seaport Museum

is, installation] of those sails, and of course, training and preparation of the crew, both professional and volunteer.” Throughout the evening, guests wavertree Continued on page 22

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Fun run in BPC Locals have a blast at Tunnel to Towers event BY COLIN MIXSON Never forget — but let bygones be bygones. Every year, the Tunnel to Towers 5k run attracts tens of thousands of fitness buffs and first responders to Vesey Street in Lower Manhattan for an event that honors the fallen heroes of 9/11, but also disrupts life for residents with its massive and raucous afterparty, leading many locals to resent the event. But this year was different. The 15th Tunnel to Towers Run/ Walk on Sept. 25 marked the first time that a group of local residents joined the 28,000-strong procession — although, by all accounts, it won’t be the last. “It was amazing,” said Reade St. resident Robert Moore. “We enjoyed it very much, and I know ‘enjoy’ is kind of a funny word — the event obviously has a very deep significance — but we enjoyed participating in it and we’d of course do it again.” The annual run from Brooklyn to Lower Manhattan retraces the steps of firefighter Stephen Siller, whose legendary dash though the Brooklyn-Battery

Photos by Tequila Minsky

(Above left) Members of the Neighbors group who participated in the Tunnel to Towers run — from left, Jill Goodkind, Robert Moore, and his wife Mary Ann “Mac” Chiulli — agreed that it was an inspiring experience they want to do again. (Above right) The Tribattery Pops, conducted by Tom Goodkind — who also organized the Neighbors group for the run — played at the Tunnel to Towers afterparty.

Tunnel Sept. on 11, 2001 — in full gear — to the burning Twin Towers, where he died saving civilians, has come to epitomize the heroism of the 9/11 first responders. The residents’ group — appropriately dubbed the “Neighbors” — included more than 20 Downtowners hailing from across Lower Manhattan, with runners and walkers turning out from

Battery Park City, Tribeca, and South Bridge Towers to join in on the memorial jaunt. The merry band of local runners was formed by Battery Park City resident Tom Goodkind, largely in response to years of gripes and demands that Community Board 1 made of run organizers, including that no alcohol be served as part of the event’s post-run

party, Goodkind said. “You can’t have music, you can’t close our streets, you have to clean up, no one’s allowed to drink,” recounted Goodkind, himself a member of CB1. “Imagine 30,000 firemen and no one’s allowed to drink. Nobody would come!” tunnel to towers Continued on page 16

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Open season on Target Long-awaited discount retailer opens in Tribeca BY COLIN MIXSON well, even where it’s compacted tightly The first Target south of Harlem together. I noticed families with strollopened its doors to waiting crowds in ers were able to navigate through the Tribeca Wednesday morning, and the store, which, as new mother, I noticed stores wide range of merchandise and a lot of stores uptown aren’t stroller low costs instantly friendly.” smote locals, accordThe store was ing to one Financial flushed with locals District mom, on opening day, “I thought it was but also out-ofamazing,” said Denise towners and New Courter, mother of Yorkers from the two and creator of outer boroughs, fidifamilies.com. like one rapturous The new big-box Bronx consumer, retailer is now officialwho treated the ly open for business stores opening as at 255 Greenwich St. akin to a religious between Murray St. experience. and Park Place, occu“All I saw was pying two floors and beautiful colors, Photo by Milo Hess filling every inch of clothes, people Bullseye, Target’s face-painted — I enjoyed it, them with affordable stuff, according to bull terrier mascot was on his best I enjoyed every behavior as he greeted shoppers. Courter. moment in there,” “I thought it was said an exultant a beautifully designed store, especially shopper, who only gave her name as in a city where its hard to find space,” Phyllis. “I have to go back.” she said. “They really utilized the space Target released its plan to open the

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Photos by Milo Hess

Denise Courter, a mother of two and creator of fidifamilies.com, said she was impressed at the new store’s use of space, fitting a wide range of products into a comparatively snug layout — but still with room for strollers!

Greenwich St. location in November last year, eliciting grim concerns from local business over the stiff competition they expected from the brand-name big box. Yafit Goldfarb, owner of nearby jewelry shop Seasonal Whispers at 71 Murray St., was not pleased that a Target was coming across the street. “Target is not good anywhere,” she said. “It is meant for remote cities.” Time will tell whether Target’s cheap goods will spell ruin for nearby small businesses, but Courter, despite her love of the new retailer, says she still plans

on throwing the little guys a bone from time to time. “I’m vowing I’ll still go to my local hardware store, Fulton Hardware,” she said. “Those guys have been there for years and years, they’re so nice you can forget your credit card, and they’ll say, ‘Don’t worry, we know you’ll come back and pay.’ They don’t do that at Target.” That said, the Fidi mom, who’s been forced to hoof it to New Jersey and Brooklyn for bulk shopping, said her trips to the outer boroughs will be far less frequent now that targest here. “I never will again,” she said.

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A soldier remembered, justice demanded Chinatown community gathers to honor a hometown soldier bullied into suicide BY COLIN MIXSON At first, Chen’s family was told by Chinatown residents gathered in the Pentagon only that Chen had been memory of Pvt. Danny Chen on Sunday, shot, and it wouldn’t be until weeks the fifth anniversary of his death, pay- later that the trickle of details regarding tribute to the hometown soldier ing the circumstances of his true fate who was driven to take coalesced into a his own life at the age tale of constant torof 19 after enduring ment, not from forweeks of brutal hazing eign enemies, but at the hands of his felfrom his comrades low soldiers. in arms. Chen’s family and Over a period of friends were greeted at six weeks, Chen was the memorial by comassailed on a daily munity members, polibasis with an endticians, veterans, and less barrage of ethdozens of unrelated nic slurs and physiwell-wishers, many of cal tortures, includwhom were drawn to ing excessive guard Chen family the commemoration by details, forced exernothing more than the Pvt. Danny Chen volunteered to cises, and beatings. serve his country, but his fellow powerful and painful On Oct. 3, 2011, soldiers’ bullying drove him to story of the soldier’s suicide in 2011. the day Chen shot tragic death. himself to death, “I think the word his fellow soldiers is spreading,” said Councilwoman forced him to crawl across a football Margaret Chin, a longtime advocate for field’s length of gravel, pelting him with the Chen family who was instrumental rocks along the way. in getting a section of Elizabeth St. coAnd it was only through the tireless named for the soldier in 2014. “From advocacy of the Chinatown commu[Sunday’s] program there were col- nity and groups such as the New York lege and high school students — many chapter of the Organization of Chinese who didn’t know what happened to Americans — which organized rallies, Pvt. Danny Chen, and one student who gathered petitions, and arranged meetspoke about seeing his street sign, and ings between the family and military how that lead to doing research about brass — that the army finally agreed who he was and what happened to to charge Chen’s tormentors for crimes him.” related to his death. This year’s remembrance at PS 130 Even then, the greater charge of marked the fifth annual memorial since manslaughter was dropped, and many Chen’s body arrived from Afghanistan felt the punishments meted out to the in 2011, his lifeless six-foot form weigh- eight soldiers convicted of driving ing a mere 100-pounds and covered in Chen to suicide fell far short of Justice, bruises. according to the former president of

(Above) After the memorial service, they marched to the stretch of Elizabeth St. that was co-named for Pvt. Danny Chen in 2014 (right). The honorary street sign at the corner of Elizabeth and Canal Sts. has become a rallying point for those wanting to do justice for Pvt. Danny Chen by preventing the often race-based bullying they say is still endemic in the armed forces.

which “inconveniences all the residents of the neighborhood who have no say in the matter.” Regardless of the misgivings of other locals, the Downtowners who participated with the Neighbors were amazed at how profound the event could be, according to Jill Goodkind, who helped organize the group alongside her husband Tom. In particular, Jill Goodkind described the moment when, just as

the group emerged from the BrooklynBattery Tunnel, she was greeted by 343 emergency workers bearing images of first responders who died during the attack. “It was amazing,” she said. “You come out of the tunnel and you see the light, and you’re greeted by fire fighters — each holding a photo of someone who died — high-fiving everyone, and thanking us for supporting the cause. It was extremely moving.”

tunnel to towers Continued from page 13

And CB1 wasn’t the only local organization giving Tunnel to Towers guff, according to Downtown resident Dan Kohn. Kohn, who participated in Tunnel to Towers for five years before joining Neighbors, wrote The Broadsheet supporting the event after another Downtowner penned a letter decrying the event as a “Brooklyn Interloper,”

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Photo by Wellington Chen

OCA-NY. “The punishments were paltry,” said Elizabeth OuYang. “Four spent time in jail, but not for longer than six months.” Family members and advocates host the annual memorial not only to honor Chen’s life, but to also raise awareness of the need for military reform and inform parents of the brutal trials that sometimes await minorities entering the armed services, according to one community leader and long-time advocate for Chen and his family. “The memorial reminds people of what happened and why we need

File photo by Katja Heinemann

to say it’s not about the past,” said Wellington Chen executive director of the Chinatown Partnership. “Would you like your child to be subjected to something like this?” At the memorial, community members listened as Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez and Councilwoman Chin spoke of Chen, while a representative of the Army spoke of new training procedures for officers designed to prevent the type hazing that lead to Chen’s death. danny chen Continued on page 18

Photo by Tequila Minsky

Many firefighters wore their gear for the run. DowntownExpress.com


gateway Continued from page 5

that he insinuated that Gateway’s landlord would refuse to renew her lease if she was indeed named in the suit, according to court documents. “[Plaskin] stated something to the effect of: “Don’t you want to get a lease renewal? Participating in a lawsuit can cause you problems,” read the affidavit filed earlier this month. The plaintiffs’ attorneys are now leveraging Segarra’s testimony against Plaskin in order to obtain a cease-and-

driverless cars Continued from page 4

commuting on highways. One of the biggest concerns raised by driverless cars are about the many jobs they would impact, such as driving taxis, short-haul delivery vehicles, and long-haul trucks. Jeff Garber, the director of technology and innovation for the New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission, emphasized there is still time for those industries to adjust since he expects the rollout of autonomous vehicles to be a slow transition. “We’re going to have to be adaptable to how this technology looks,” Garber

desist order against the tenant’s association president, and approve discovery of any correspondences between Plaskin and the defendants, according to court documents. In his response, Plaskin said that Segarra had distorted his comments to her, and that he actually told her the lawsuit was complicating his ongoing efforts renew an agreement with Gateway Plaza’s landlord, the LeFrak Organization to extend rent stabilization beyond 2020. Furthermore, Plaskin said that, as

president of the tenants association, he has remained neutral in regards to the class action lawsuit and, as such, has in the past declined to provide interviews on the suit or provide any statements at tenant association meetings other than to state that the GPTA board voted unanimously to remain neutral, he testified in an affidavit filed on Sept. 24. Plaskin acknowledged that he did call one of the plaintiffs’ lawyers earlier this year about dropping the suit, testifying in his affidavit that he initially

expressed concern that the lawsuit may harm the building’s ability to retain its rent stabilized status, before inquiring as to whether it could be dropped. LeFrak has already begun to resolve the underlying cause of the lawsuit’s main grievance, agreeing a year ago to replace all 10,000 of its notoriously drafty windows. “Gateway has commenced a window replacement project,” said a spokesperson for the management. “The project is expected to be complete by fall 2017 pending any unforeseen delays.”

said. “We’re kind of putting the cart before the horse a little bit because we’re not quite sure how it’s going to come. But I do think we have a little more time, it’s not going to be a catastrophic dropping of all the drivers.” Audi’s Stertz said there could even be new job opportunities to supplement the use of driverless cars. The Audi rep said there are possibilities for traffic management positions to help autonomous vehicles deal with unique situations that arise. “Until the time when cars truly can outthink us, there’s going to need to be some human management of the fleets that are out there,” Stertz said of the

technology’s impact on the labor force. Schwartz, however, predicted that self-driving cars could take over current driver-focused industries in as few as 20 years, which he said represents rapid change in the grand scheme of a city as complex as New York. “Twenty years to change a workforce is very fast,” he said. “You’re going to have people that are 30-years-olds that are now truck drivers and they’ll be 50-years-olds. What do you do with them when there’s no more truck drivers?” The best solution, according to Schwartz, would be to assimilate selfdriving cars slowly into the current

transportation infrastructure, with legislation preventing the abrupt domination by autonomous vehicles. Everyone on Brewer’s panel agreed that it’s time to start talking how to regulate the new technology. “The tech is old and the opportunity is here, so it’s time for policy and culture to catch up to the technology that’s enabling self-driving cars,” said James Felton Keith, a member of the public who checked out the A7 prototype out front. “In these cities, as population becomes more and more dense, technologies that keep us out of each other’s way are going to be increasingly important.”

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Photo by Tequila Minsky

LAZ Parking, on the left, is blocking efforts by the Peck Slip School, on the right, to close its namesake street during school hours for use as an outdoor activity space. peck slip Continued from page 1

Meanwhile, CB1 has received a letter from attorney Ross Moskowitz purporting to represent a “neighbor of the Peck Slip School” — which board members believe to be LAZ Parking — urging the board to deny the school’s request, citing traffic and safety concerns the closure would cause. Moskowitz did not return calls for comment, and LAZ Parking director of operations Omar Perera, when reached by phone, declined to comment for this story. The lack of space at the Peck Slip School will only get worse, since the school, with 387 students currently enrolled, is still only at just over half its planned capacity, and is expected to grow over the next few years to 712 students as a fifth-grade class is added, and existing grades are expanded, according to a DOE spokeswoman. Despite LAZ Parking’s apparent refusal to acquiesce to the play street, community leaders put more of the blame for the Peck Slip students’ current play plight on the Department

Danny chen Continued from page 16

Kids ages 3–4 from the Head Start pre-school Chen attended in his youth sang “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star,” while holding up an image of the late soldier. Famed composer Huang Ruo appeared at the memorial accompanied by a soprano singer, who sang a lullaby Ruo wrote for an opera about Chen. “It was beautiful,” said OuYang. Chen’s cousin, Banny Chen, also spoke at the memorial, describing his cousin as just an ordinary kid whose life was destroyed for no reason other than his race. “If I were to group Danny with a bunch of other young men, he would

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of Education and the SCA, according to the chair of the CB1 Youth and Education Committee. “When planning schools, these kind of things need to be a consideration in the design phase,” said Tricia Joyce. “If they can’t provide enough plaza space for children to recreate then that’s the responsibility of the School Construction Authority, and to expect our principals to go door to door and interview neighbors on the impact of closing the street is unfair.” The DOE refused to comment when asked whether efforts to close Peck Slip reflect a failure on the city’s part in designing the school, with a spokeswoman saying only, “We strive to design new schools that have adequate space for recreational activities.” Locals now hope that the DOE and SCA will take the lessons learned from Peck Slip and apply them the Trinity Place School, which is currently in the design phase, according to Joyce. “I think a big thing is that the plaza space is a no-brainer, they should have built I that way to begin with,” she said. “Recreation is not an afterthought.”

not stand out at all, since he was so ordinary to me,” said Banny Chen. “Unfortunately, this wasn’t the case for him in Afghanistan. To his platoon leaders, he was different because of his race, and because he appeared weaker.” After the memorial program had concluded, the gathering sallied out in a procession to Elizabeth St. near Canal St., to the street sign honoring Chen’s memory, and where Danny’s cousin Ada Chen beat a drum 24 times, one beat for every year Danny would have lived by now had he not been driven to suicide. “It was very powerful,” said OuYang. DowntownExpress.com


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Eating

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.

Reading

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.

October 06 - 19, 2016

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E D ITO R IAL

Trumptastic tweets through the ages Publisher

Jennifer Goodstein Editor

Bill Egbert REPORTERs

Colin Mixon Dennis Lynch Arts Editor

Scott Stiffler Executive VP of Advertising

Amanda Tarley

Account Executives

Jack Agliata Allison Greaker Jim Steele Julio Tumbaco Art Director

Michael Shirey Graphic Designer

Cristina Alcine Photographers

Milo Hess Jefferson Siegel Publisher EMERITUS

John W. Sutter

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NYC Community Media, LLC ONE METROTECH CENTER New york, NY 11201 Phone: (212) 229-1890 Fax: (212) 229-2790 www.downtownexpress.com news@downtownexpress.com Downtown Express is published every week by NYC Community Media LLC, One Metrotech Center North, 10th Floor, Brooklyn, N.Y. 11201 (212) 229-1890. The entire contents of the newspaper, including advertising, are copyrighted and no part may be reproduced without the express permission of the publisher - © 2016 Community Media LLC. PUBLISHER’S LIABILITY FOR ERROR The Publisher shall not be liable for slight changes or typographical errors that do not lessen the value of an advertisement. The publisher’s liability for other errors or omissions in connection with an advertisement is strictly limited to publication of the advertisement in any subsequent issue.

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October 06 - 19, 2016

BY LENORE SKENAZY Donald Trump’s 3 a.m. “Tweets that woke the world” wasn’t the first time a sleep-deprived celebrity shot his mouth of when he should have been counting sheep. Here’s a rundown of other tweeters in history who said too much: Tutankhamun @PyramidScheme · 1:20 am Crooked Cleopatra is an eating machine. Check out before and after hieroglyphics. #HungryHungryHippo Tutankhamun @PyramidScheme · 3:40 am Crooked Cleo says she’ll help the slaves. Who build your palace, lady? Tutankhamun @PyramidScheme · 12:15 am Cracked Cleopatra is a disaster. Her needle is 1,000 times too big to use. #BADJUDGEMENT! Tutankhamun @PyramidScheme · 4:37 am OpatraCare “choice” a total LIE. You don’t get to pick your healer. If you get bitten by an asp, you die. #Crazy! Tutankhamun @PyramidScheme · 5:18 am Crooked Cleo’s husband slept with his grape-peeling girl. He is the WORST abuser of women in ancient history! Tutankhamun @PyramidScheme · 2:55 am Bird, bird, eye, throne, owl! Tutankhamun @PyramidScheme · 1:19 am Crooked Cleopatra is 100% controlled by Rome. #BADLEADERSHIP Tutankhamun @PyramidScheme · 12:56 am An extremely credible source has signaled to my office that Crooked Cleo was born in Mesopotamia. • • • Freud Envy @i_love_mom · 12:20 am Goofy Jung is the WORST psychoanalyst in Vienna. His patients are all getting crazier. Freud Envy @i_love_mom ·3:42 am Jung has got to be one of the dumb-

est interpreters of subconscious symbolism ever. Analyze this! : ( Freud Envy @i_love_mom · 1:25 am Still haven’t seen that diploma from the University of Basel! #FRAUD • • • MC Squared @PatentClerk · 3:20 am Madame Curie is a loose cannon in the lab. No one has WORSE JUDGMENT — except her poor husband. MC Squared @PatentClerk · 4:50 am Maybe Curie should spent a little less time with isotopes and a little more at the hairdresser. MC Squared @PatentClerk · 3:18 am Be careful, Kooky Curie! Your fans are more excited about relativity than radioactivity! #PlayingDice MC Squared @PatentClerk · 5:18 am Just another dud lady scientist. #SAD MC Squared @PatentClerk · 2:20 am Kooky Curie is very weak on quantum theory, which is what the people want. Her career is dead. MC Squared @PatentClerk · 2:20 am Kooky Curie hasn’t created a single bomb in her whole life. Unless you count her hairstyle. MC Squared @PatentClerk · 2:20 am She does not have the RIGHT TEMPERAMENT to revolutionize science. MC Squared @PatentClerk · 2:20 am Curie a failed scientist. That glow

her burning out. MC Squared @PatentClerk · 2:20 am Have it on good authority Curie was adopted! • • • Veni Vidi da Vinci @RenaissanceMan · 2:20 am Michaelangelo is a joke. He’s in the pocket of the Medicis. Veni Vidi da Vinci @RenaissanceMan · 2:20 am He will never MAKE FIRENZE GREAT AGAIN! Veni Vidi da Vinci @RenaissanceMan · 2:20 am Mediocre Mikey has to make his sculptures big and naked to get attention. #PATHETIC Veni Vidi da Vinci @RenaissanceMan · 2:20 am I’ve seen paint-by-numbers better than Mikey’s latest Moses. He should go home and relax. Veni Vidi da Vinci @RenaissanceMan · 2:20 am If you’ve got a block of marble, keep it away from Mediocre Mikey or he’ll chisel it into a lawn ornament. #LAWNGNOMEART Veni Vidi da Vinci @RenaissanceMan · 2:20 am Interesting how my commissions go up whenever Mikey unveils another painting. Veni Vidi da Vinci @RenaissanceMan · 2:20 am LIES! I never tried to get the Sistine job! #SimplicityBestSophistication Veni Vidi da Vinci @RenaissanceMan · 2:20 am I wouldn’t hire MM to paint my garage. Veni Vidi da Vinci @RenaissanceMan · 2:20 am Pretty sure Mikey was never baptized! #OriginalSin Lenore Skenazy is a keynote speaker, author of the book and blog Free-Range Kids, and a contributor at Reason. com.

Posted To

Brunch wars: Tribeca condo owners vow to block new eatery over sidewalk seating (Sept. 22) The 500-foot law prohibits any new liquor licenses from being issued if there exist three or more licensed premises within 500 feet of the proposed location, UNLESS the applicant can

prove the public interest is served by granting an additional license. Has Galis proved that? No. So the “monied” residents (what does their finances have to do with anything? Galis is not poor either) are perfectly right to oppose this, and Adam Malitz and the committee should obey the law and not be stooges for this entrepreneur.

Most restaurants close early and have no sidewalk cafes, many not selling alcohol at all — and they turn a profit. Galis is just being greedy and the Committee is aiding his greed. Shame. Mr. Mixson, have you ever heard of journalistic integrity? posted Continued on page 21

DowntownExpress.com


E D ITO R IAL

He sniffled, she smiled, we suffered BY MA X BURBANK Gliding onto the hushed stage, Trump’s entrance was regal. In a lovely, custom-tailored suit that masked his jiggly mid-region, the errant strands of his trademark come-from-behind pompadour tamed and coiffed, his makeup professionally subdued, an almost human glowing peach. The white circles around his eye sockets less glaring than the shocking bone china look he’d favored for the primaries were skillfully blended into his foundation. If only he’d smiled more, He could be a 7, even a 7.5. Clinton wore… something red, I don’t know, are we really talking about this? She’s running for president, not “America’s Next Top Model.” The first presidential debate of 2016 was the most watched event of any kind ever in television history, except for that time the winning video on “America’s Funniest Home Videos of Traumatic Groin Injuries” was that super-old guy getting hit in the nuts with a football. If the debates were an Olympic event, they would be the uneven parallel bars,

except with two competitors, one on each bar, kind of taking turns but also sometimes swinging around at the same time while a desperate Lester Holt told them to “quit it now, I’m serious.” “Uneven” ’cause the bars are set differently, see? Clinton had to show that voters’ baseless gutlevel assumption that she’s dishonest is wrong, and the fact that she makes them slightly uncomfortable isn’t a great reason to give nuclear weapons to a madman. Trump had to keep his trousers on, not defecate into his hands, and not hurl his loose orange poops into the audience. If that requirement had been literal, Trump might have stood a chance. This was a rout. By now you’ve seen a lot of polls where uni-toothed idiots, who could no more manage registering to vote than read a whole entire book, say Trump won. You’ve watched Kellyanne Conway

do that thing where she says a boatload of impossibly ludicrous crap while out-stonefacing Buster Keaton. It doesn’t matter. Trump got his flabby tangerine ass handed to him on a platter and everybody knows it. Giuliani knows it, and his head is literally an old bowling ball bag stuffed with a geriatric, incontinent, rabid badger. America’s Mayor Who’s Gone Bugshit said the event was “not Trump’s best performance” and that he should skip the rest of the debates! That’s Giuliani speak for, “Holy crap, it’s like she turned him upside down and now everybody knows he was an empty sack of rotting garbage the whole time! Who’s gonna clean up this mess?” It was rope-a-dope, except that’s uncharitable to dopes. Clinton grabbed the Blue Collar Billionaire by his madein-China lapels, pressed his Daddy Issues button, gave him a shove, and let

him spin like a rusty top. She said Pappa Trump gave his baby boy 14 million simoleons. Trump called it “a very small loan.” Clinton said Trump rooted for the housing crisis; Trump responded, “That’s called business, by the way.” No, that’s called shooting yourself in the foot and trying to cauterize the wound by shooting the stump, by the way! Clinton said Trump thinks global warming is a Chinese hoax, Trump said he never said that. He’s right. HE TWEETED IT, ’cause the man is hooked on the Twitter the way Sketchy Steve behind the 7-Eleven is hooked on methamphetamines! You can’t take a tweet back, Donald! Tweets go away less than herpes! Reince Priebus wanted Hillary to smile more? I’ve been watching Hillary Clinton for almost 30 years, and I never saw her smile so much. A genuine, sunny, “My Lord, I am having such a good time” smile, the kind she’s always had difficulty with, and there it was, like the sun coming out from behind a cloud, all

posted Continued from page 20

more trendy neighborhood, the bad guys leave and a new good guy comes in, but the new good guy can’t necessarily pay the high rent being a good guy, so he sells his business to god-knows-who. I feel sorry for all the residents of New York City neighborhoods who are attacked by the liquor lobbyists for loving their neighborhoods and for defending the quiet of residential neighborhoods. They are fighting a losing battle. Of course, the ultimate blame falls on the consumers, party-loving young people who have no idea what they are doing. I don’t care how rich anyone is. We all deserve a good, quiet sleep at night in residential neighborhoods. Minerva Durham

Women making a modest fashion statement (Sept. 29)

a symposium of the sort mentioned in the article, please include Christians (or at least Catholics). Jan David

Galis is “well liked”, but the residents are “monied” and “cranky” Maybe if you were awakened at 4 a.m. by drunks leaving a late-night joint, you’d be cranky too. Mr. Editor: you slipped up here. Asleep at the wheel? Padavan I think that by “monied” what the author really meant was “overly selfentitled individuals, used to getting what they want by shouting louder or throwing money or insults at any problems they encounter in life.” If anyone would like a clearer description, of “cranky” please reference the above comments. Laight Wow, stereotype much? Ignore the SLA laws much? Bet you don’t live anywhere near a noisy, late-night joint, O Cranky One Vesey The good guys come in and get the liquor license. The bad guys follow. When the bad guys begin to lose money because another den of iniquity has become more popular in a different, DowntownExpress.com

Locals say City flunks math, Downtown doesn’t need more pre-K seats in new school (Sept. 22) Greenleaf is the guy always claiming that downtown is growing so fast and now he wants to swap out classrooms for an auditorium? What a bad idea! Auditorium is a waste of space. Classrooms or multi-purpose maybe but auditorium isn’t logical. Jason Stewart

Disappointing column from Lenore Skenazy who who writes about range free kids but makes excuses for women who are brain washed/forced to cover their elbows and knees in the names of preserving their “sexuality.” It isn’t Muslim women who “choose” to wrap themselves in tents; it’s 12 year olds who menstrate and automatically become sexual objects for very hard up grown men. I would suggest if one is looking for where the perverse, violent reaction of Muslim men to a contemporary world they find confusing and threatening comes from, they might start at their wacko reaction to the sight of female forearms and calves, or hair or ears. Michael Burke What an embarrassment that Christian women were not involved on this effort. (I’m Catholic.) I’m all for more modesty because exposure has gone too far. Super short shorts, super tight pants, super small tops, low rider (with exposed rear) jeans, extra-belly belly tanks are all over the place for girls. I can’t get normal clothes for my daughter’s anymore. Next time there is

stump speech Continued from page 21

He Sniffles, She Smiles, We Suffer (Sept. 29) Max, some of the language used in your text is unbecoming to Downtown Express? some of its readers, like me, and some under 18 reading? the Downtown Express. Besides, you sound like a poor loser type which you will be when my candidate Donald Trump wins. I love Hillary, just not women as Presidents, And reading your meanspirited column, Donald Trump has a long memory. Alice F.La Brie Harlem American Republican of Color While I don’t agree with your vote for Trump, I do agree on your challenging the language used by the author of the above. It is not only unbecoming but stoops to Trump’s vulgar language level. One does not respond to a bully like Trump this way. One shows how stupid he is and how uninformed his followers are. Never how vulgar the article’s writer is. Sylvia Rackow October 06 - 19, 2016

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bridge Continued from page 1

would save money by doing the two jobs simultaneously rather than waiting until the new overpass is finished before dismantling the existing one, leading local leaders to question the city’s priorities. “The question is: what is the dollar value of pedestrian safety crossing the West Side Highway?� asked Tammy Meltzer, a member of Community Board 1’s Battery Park City Committee. “This isn’t crossing a two lane road, this is crossing a highway with a tunnel exit and entrance there in the winter, its very dangerous.� The EDC rep explained that taking down the old bridge while finishing the new one would save money by allowing project managers to oversee both projects at once, instead extend-

ing the job for the time it would take for workers to dismantle the Rector Place crossing afterwards. The agency did not respond to press inquires about much money it expected to save by requiring BPC residents to cross six lanes of traffic in the middle of winter. A representative of the Battery Park City Authority, which is kicking in some of the money for the project and will maintain the new bridge upon completion, said pedestrian safety is a priority, and if the neighborhood goes without an elevated bridge for any length of time, the authority would put safety measures in place at the street level, perhaps including crossing guards. Scrimping on construction costs at the expense of pedestrian safety at this point appears to be a departure from earlier practice with the

Shero Continued from page 8

tioning, bedbugs, and getting stopped by Greenpeace for a signature, to name a few — but terrorists aren’t on the list. “This is Chelsea. We won’t be intimidated,� Hoylman said. “We look out for our neighbors and terrorists don’t scare us.� Assemblymember Richard Gottfried called Schreibman the epitome of “what Chelsea is all about: smart people who care about their community.� The formal Proclamation from Brewer’s office was festooned with gold seals and ribbons, as well as a rare col-

long-delayed West Thames Street Bridge project, whose budget has ballooned from $18 million decade ago to $45.1 million as of June, according to the Broadsheet, which recently calculated that the 230-foot span is now slated to cost more than $196,000 per foot. The CB1 BPC committee went on record opposing current timetable and EDC representatives said they would consider changing it in light of the opposition. The permanent West Thames Street Pedestrian Bridge will stretch across the highway from West Thames St. to a pedestrian plaza at the base of the new 50 West St. tower. It will feature stairs and an elevator — but no ramp, which also irked some CB1 members. The EDC expects construction to start later this year.

lection of signatures from nearly all the elected officials representing the area — including Brewer, Gottfried, Hoylman, James, Stringer, Councilmember Corey Johnson, and Congressional representatives Jerry Nadler and Carolyn Maloney. The wording was witty — suggesting that it was “the cookware potential� of the abandoned crock pot that first caught Ms. Schreibman’s attention, but acknowledging that “it was her quick thinking in calling the police that helped divert another explosion.� It ended by declaring Friday, September 30, 2016, as “Jane

wavertree Continued from page 10

enjoyed music by the Knickerbocker Chamber Orchestra. And they supped at the raw bar — hosted by Empire Oysters — with six varieties from six states. Chef Rob McCue carefully spooned his “spirited� pearls onto the raw shellfish. Rosser Lomax, a “luxury specialist� with Jim Beam, trickled Bowore single malt

15 Dutch Street ISVJRZLHZ[VM)YVHK^H`VŃœM\S[VU

Offering: Nursery School & Kindergarten HNLZ Parent/Caregiver Workshop Series

1/8 page

NOTICE OF NONDISCRIMANATORY POLICY AS TO STUDENTS: The Downtown Little School does not discriminate on the basis of race, creed, color, ethnicity or gender. We actively seek a population that reflects the cultural diversity of our neighborhood. For tours and info call 212-791-1300 or visit downtownlittleschool.org 22

October 06 - 19, 2016

Schreibman Appreciation Day.� At the end, Schreibman thanked those present and expressed her gratitude for the privilege of living in the city she helped protect. “I love New York so much, and I’m so happy that I can live in New York,� she said. “Thanks to rent stabilization I can be here,� she added, prompting a burst of applause. She also told the audience to not second guess themselves when they spy something potentially dangerous, or apologize for a possibly frivolous call to 911 — ending her remarks by reminding people, “If you see something, say something.�

Scotch whisky over the mollusks. The cocktail reception was the first time most supporters were able to climb aboard the newly restored ship. ​Jimmy Walker, a museum volunteer since 1988, marveled that this ship is still here. “She’s a survivor,� he said. “To think her dismasting saved her. She a hard, old working girl.�

Downtown Express The Downtown Little School 10/6/16

DBOX

A rendering of the new West Thames Street Pedestrian Bridge expected to be completed in early 2018 — up to nine months after the existing overpass is due to close.

Photo by Tequila Minsky

Jane Schreibman shows the spot on W. 27th St. where she saw the bomb not long after a similar device had injured 31 people just a few blocks away.

The Wavertree is open for public tours Wednesday– Sunday, 11 a.m.–5 p.m., along with the lobby exhibition at 12 Fulton St. Public tours happen regularly. School groups will soon begin visiting the ship as well. For information on classes and lessons available aboard Wavertree, contact education@seany.org. Those interested in volunteering should contact volunteercoordinator@seany.org. ​

REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS Affordable Housing Development Opportunity The New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) is inviting developers to submit proposals for a new construction project in the Nolita section of Manhattan. The Request for Proposals (RFP) will be available starting Wednesday, September 14th, 2016 on HPD’s website (www.nyc.gov/hpd). Respondents can download the RFP at no charge and must register online to receive any updates or additional communications regarding the RFP. A pre-submission conference will be held on Thursday, October 6th, 10:00 AM at HPD, 100 Gold Street, Room 8F-14, New York, NY 10038. HPD strongly recommends that interested Applicants attend this pre-submission conference. Those planning on attending the conference must RSVP on the RFP webpage. People with disabilities requiring special accommodations to attend the pre-submission conference should contact Evan Easterbrooks-Dick at the email address below. All proposals are due in hand no later than 4:00 p.m. on Wednesday, December 14th, 2016. Detailed instructions are provided in the RFP. All communications must be IN WRITING to: Evan Easterbrooks-Dick NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development Office of Neighborhood Strategies 100 Gold Street, 9X New York, NY 10038 MottElizRFP@hpd.nyc.gov

Bill de Blasio, Mayor Alicia Glen Deputy Mayor for Housing and Economic Development Vicki Been, Commissioner

DowntownExpress.com


FONTBONNE HALL ACADEMY Dates: Thurs., Oct. 6 – Wed., Oct. 12

ALTERNATE SIDE PARKING RULES ARE SUSPENDED MONDAY AND WEDNESDAY

Columbus Day means that alternateside parking rules are suspended this Monday. But the rules aren’t quite like a normal Sunday suspension, and that makes this a big day for summons. This is what you should remember: schools are out, so both alternate-side and School Parking rules near public schools and some private schools will be suspended. But don’t forget that meter restrictions still apply. I know, it’s confusing! Luckily, you won’t have to worry too much about heavy gridlock that day. There may be holdups around the Holland Tunnel beginning at roughly 3 p.m. Tuesday as families head home for Yom Kippur the following day. The good news is, public schools and some private schools close for the holiday (other than Jewish parochial schools, fuhggedaboudit!) and that means Wednesday will be the lightest day of traffic this week. It also means that Sunday alternate-side parking rules are in effect for the day. This week, Lower Manhattan won’t have to worry about sports traffic, but Queen Bey will take over MetLife Stadium at 7:30 p.m. on Friday. Beyoncé brings a massive following everywhere she goes, which means MetLife will be at capacity with more than 80,000 fans in

stump speech Continued on page 23

courtesy of a mean-spirited, bitter Orange Troll. She smiled through Trump saying Barrack Obama ought to thank him for ending that whole nasty, racist birther thing she started. She beamed through Trump saying it was perfectly all right to call a woman a fat pig as long as she was Rosie O’Donnell. She lit up like the White House Christmas Tree as Trump insisted he was always against the Iraq War; how if only people would call his very lonely boyfriend Sean Hannity, they could go back to painting each other’s toenails and smooching their Putin posters! Did no one tell Trump what a split screen was? That every time he lurched at the mic like a cretinous rube defendant on “Judge Judy,” we could see him? That he was visible as he drank a 90-gallon aquarium’s worth of water? And the sniffing! Donald wants us to believe his mic was defective — but somehow, we could hear every sniff; like he was the DowntownExpress.com

attendance. That crowd will head to the Meadowlands just in time for end-of-theweek rush hour, adding even more standstill traffic at the Lincoln Tunnel, which means spillover gridlock at the Holland. If you’re headed to MetLife, New Jersey Transit to Secaucus connects you to the Meadowlands Rail Line, and that will take you straight to the stadium without the roadway delays. Major closures in Lower Manhattan might make commutes to the area tricky for Columbus Day commuters. From 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., the Bowling Green Association Street Festival will close Broadway all the way from Liberty St. to Battery Pl. The east side of Broadway, as it turns into Whitehall St., will also close all the way down to Water St. Whitehall St. goes all the way south to where the FDR originates, possibly causing delays for anyone getting on the highway, though Whitehall will remain open between Water and South Sts. South St. will also remain open. The Sons of Italy Freedom Block Party will close Liberty St. from Broadway to Trinity Pl. noon to 6 p.m. Sunday. North of W. 4th St., E trains will run on the F line; 5 train service between Dyre Ave. and Bowling Green will end early on weeknights, between 8:30 p.m. and 9 p.m. for downtown trains, and 9:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. for uptown trains.

passed-out grease bag we brought home for a self-loathing-fueled one-nighter that we deeply regretted WHILE IT WAS HAPPENING?! A lot of very smart people are saying it was cocaine. I just think he’s a little sick. You tell me. Something degenerative, contagious, possibly fatal — believe me. Trump got thumped. Or maybe I’m wrong. I’ll tell you what, though. If we elect him, we deserve him. I have some measure of compassion for folks who get suckered by a con man. But when that con man is doing a songand-dance routine about being a snake oil salesman next to a movie screen showing clips of him at church emptying the collection plate into his pants and using the money to have “Rip-Off Artist” tattooed across his forehead? I don’t know. Like Ted Cruz said before he revealed himself to be every bit as unspeakably repellent as you’d been pretty sure he always was, “Vote your conscience.”

OPEN HOUSE Saturday, October 22nd 1PM - 4PM (Rain Date 10/23)

Transportation to campus available from the R train and ferry (coming in 2017).

Register for this event at www.fontbonne.org Fontbonne Hall Academy t 9901 Shore Road, Brooklyn, NY 11209

Inspiring young women to be leaders of tomorrow. Sisters of St. Joseph Schools

THE NEW SOUND OF

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.

WITH

SPONSORED BY

JOSEPH LICHTER, D.D.S.

VINCE DIMICELI

GERSH KUNTZMAN

LISTEN EVERY THURSDAY AT 4:45PM ON BrooklynPaper.com/radio October 06 - 19, 2016

23


Horror Ham to Higher Plane: A Chatty Clown Evolves ‘Myth’ posits Dandy Darkly as a presence with power

PHOTO BY ATTICUS STEVENSON

Far out: Darkly’s latest takes you from the dawn of man to deepest outer space.

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October October06 06- -19, 19,2016 2016

BY SCOTT STIFFLER He’s been doing it in the basement for a few good years now — attracting crowds that is, who eagerly flock to Horse Trade Theater Group’s intimate underground space on St. Marks Place every time southern-fried storyteller Dandy Darkly mounts a new collection of zinger-laced gothic tales. If you have yet to be seduced by the lilting voice and penetrating presence of this mincing, menacing, alliteration-loving oracle, it’s high time to give in, because “Myth Mouth” is the supernaturally gifted phenom’s strongest, strangest creation yet. Brilliantly written, beautifully structured, and delivered in a damn near flawless manner that seems both effortless and unrehearsed (impossible, given the sheer volume of meticulous wordplay), “Myth” hits the viewer like something Joseph Campbell, Kenneth Anger, and Paul Lynde would concoct after passing around a gourd filled with shrooms and absinthe. What’s more, this is virgin territory for Darkly — one long, beefy narrative, as opposed to his usual handful of blood-soaked, stand-alone morality tales that invoke the pulpy best of ancient fables, dimestore novels, and horror anthology comic books. That these influences served as basic building blocks in previous efforts is not to say those shows were anything less than incredibly original or immensely entertaining. The stage persona of Georgia-born Brooklynite Neil Arthur James, Dandy Darkly is a vehicle for his queer creator to celebrate, critique, and often recoil at what attracts meek wannabes and bold adventurers alike to the lure of sex, drugs, violence, and revenge. Past monologues have seen zombies, witches, werewolves, shape-shifters, and slasher film final girls used to explore celebrity worship, PTSD, gun culture, misogyny, gentrification, self-loathing, and good old-fashioned bad intentions.

As seen in a June NYC preview before it killed at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, we can happily report that “Myth Mouth” is a giant step in Darkly’s ongoing evolution as a spinner of yarns, a social critic, and an all-around keen observer. Cha-Cha the Caveman — humanity’s first pop star, religious extremist, tyrannical leader, and recovering addict — is the tale’s throughline, which shifts back and forth through the millennia-long hero’s journey of this “Stone Age sissy… blissfully unburdened by the bluster that so defined his hunter brothers.” Notable stops along the way include scenes from a codependent virtual reality courtship, a glimpse of Soviet space pooch Laika’s secret Cold War mission, front seats to a modern day anthropology lecture, and a party of cosmic proportions that has Cha-Cha rubbing elbows and clicking heels with the likes of Walt Whitman, Joan Crawford, Alvin Ailey, Alan Turing, and Prince. Don’t try to process that last part, just surrender yourself — because the epic feast of words and images flowing from this “Mouth” makes perfect sense when all is said and done, and will send you on your way tuned into a frequency that, like all good myths, has lasting power. Written and performed by Dandy Darkly. Directed by Ian Bjorklund. Soundscape by Adam Tendler, Rachel Blumberg, and Bryce Edwards. Fri., Oct. 14, Thurs., Oct. 20 & Sat., Oct. 22 at 10:30pm; 7pm shows on Mon./ Tues., Oct. 17/18, Sun./Mon./Tues., Oct. 23, 24, 25. At UNDER St. Marks Theater (no wheelchair access; 94 St. Marks Place, btw. First Ave. & Ave. A). For tickets ($20), horsetrade.info. Artist info: dandydarkly.com and Twitter @ dandydarkly. DowntownExpress.com DowntownExpress.com


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October 06 - 19, 2016

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At Merchant’s House, The Dead Are Still Touring

‘Spirited’ events play up the museum’s haunted rep BY SCOTT STIFFLER From spooky hayrides to cheesy corn mazes to pop-up attractions populated by costumed actors who have little to offer beyond jumping out and yelling “boo,” discerning fans of the spooky and strange are understandably jaded by Halloweenthemed events that promise supernatural thrills, but only manage to deliver poorly crafted, man-made tomfoolery. How fortunate we Manhattan souls are, then, to have a genuine haunted house that has no problem living up to its well-earned reputation for disembodied footsteps, sightings of fully-formed apparitions, shoulder taps from unseen sources, and an all-around feeling that you’re not alone, even when your rational mind tells you otherwise. Open to self-guided tours all year long, Merchant’s House Museum is making the most of its penchant for paranormal activity with a series of October events whose chills come with easily digestible history lessons about the wealthy Tredwell family, generations of whom lived in the house from 1835 to 1933. Since opening to the public as a museum 80 years ago, dozens of visitors and staff members swear the long-dead residents of this remarkably preserved E. Fourth St. row house have made appearances in the Greek Revival double parlors, on the narrow staircases, and in a basement kitchen that, servant bells and all, is right out of “Downton Abbey.” But the Crawleys never laid out their dead for all to see, as was the custom of the Tredwells (and they had plenty of occasions to do so; seven family members died in the house!). Through Oct. 31, the exhibition “Truly We Live in a Dying World: A 19th Century Home in Mourning” drapes the front parlor in black crepe, as an uncomfortably realistic version of Tredwell patriarch Seabury lies in repose (the easily spooked are advised not to make eye contact with his portrait, hung uncomfortably close to the coffin). On Sun., Oct. 23 at 4pm, “Parlor to Grave” recreates the 1865 funeral service of Seabury, with a discussion about the death-centric customs of the time. Period-accurate mourning attire is encouraged. VIP tick-

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October October06 06- -19, 19,2016 2016

COURTESY MERCHANT’S HOUSE MUSEUM

Purchase a VIP ticket to the “Parlor to Grave” event, and you could be giving the coffin a death grip.

ets include front-row seating, black armbands, and the opportunity to lead the procession as a pallbearer, for a graveside service at nearby Marble Cemetery. On Tues., Oct. 11 at 6:30pm, “Probing for Paranormal Proof” is a fascinating if occasionally unsettling lecture delivered by the physically imposing, often jovial, and still-skeptical Dan Sturges. Dozens of times over the past near-decade, his investigative team has been given exclusive access to the public and private areas of Merchant’s House, with psychics, mediums, video and audio recording equipment, and EMF meters (and, on

occasion, this jittery writer) in tow. After a crash course on paranormal terms and research equipment, you’ll see photo and video footage of ghostly silhouettes and flying orbs, and hear audio of disembodied voices that seem to interact with the investigators. Add to that the recording of a thing that really did go bump in the night, and the takeaway is a catalog of occurrences that, while proving nothing beyond the fact that strange things do indeed happen here, is still nothing short of extraordinary. Less likely to rattle and more prone to entertain is Fri., Oct. 14’s “Chant

Macabre: Songs from the Crypt,” a 7pm program from the Bond Street Euterpean Singing Society. What they lack in spinetingling shock value they more than make up for with world-class vocal chops, wry humor, and a seriously scary ability, through pre-song patter, to transport you back in time, to when these songs of death and enchantment first cast their spell on audiences. Selections include Moussorgsky’s “Trepak” (1875; from the “Songs and Dances of Death” cycle), and the 1871 ballad “Denny Malone’s Ghost.” On Sat., Oct. 15, “A Séance at the Merchant’s House” is just that, with 7, 8:30 & 10pm recreations of a 19th century séance. Mentalist and magician Kent Axell guides the proceedings, and provides some background on how the cultural phenomenon of spiritualism existed alongside an increasingly rational, scientific world. Feeling lucky? Get your tickets now before they’re gone; this event is limited to 13 participants. If still alive to tell the tale, tempt fate at the Sun., Oct. 31, 7pm “Tales From the Crypt: Horror on Halloween” gathering, which features readings of envelopepushing, paranormal-themed prose from the Tredwell era. Finally, should tickets still be available by this point, dear reader, the annual “Ghost Tours” (times and dates vary, Oct. 21–30) are conducted by some of the very people who have experienced the strange goings-on you’ll hear about — in the very rooms in which they took place. There’s no guarantee that somebody (or something) from the great beyond will reach out and touch you as you tour the house; but the staff has become used to fielding phone calls the following day by shaken and stirred guests who swear they’ve seen, felt, heard, or sensed a ghost. Prices vary for these events, and discounts are available to museum members. Reservations are strongly suggested, and in some cases, required. For more info, visit merchantshouse.org. Merchant’s House Museum is located at 29 E. Fourth St. (btw. Bowery & Lafayette). Regular hours: Fri..–Mon., 12–5pm; Thurs., 12–8pm. Admission is $13, $8 for students/seniors. Visit merchantshouse.org or call 212-777-1089. DowntownExpress.com DowntownExpress.com


Good Day Sunshine Gay punk progenitor Danny Fields’ story told in bubble-gum hues BY STEVE ERICKSON Out gay music scenester Danny Fields, the subject of Brendan Toller’s documentary “Danny Says,” had a knack for arriving just before the zeitgeist. As a “hippie yenta” at Elektra Records, he was involved in the company’s decision to sign MC5 and the Stooges. At the time, the bands sold few records and dissolved in a mess of controversy over four-letter words — MC5 were dropped by Elektra after taking out a newspaper ad using the word “fuck” and the record label’s logo — and drug abuse. They’re now legendary for influencing punk rock, and Stooges songs have even been used in TV commercials. But in 1969, Fields had to convince his colleagues that the racket these bands made was indeed music — in a recorded phone call in 1970, Stooges singer Iggy Pop swears that the band’s second album, “Fun House,” will convince everyone the band really knows how to play. Fields went on to manage the Ramones. Their 1976 debut album went gold. It just took 38 years to do so. “Danny Says” is largely edited to sound like a monologue from Fields. Toller does interview an array of other people, from glam/horror icon Alice Cooper to folksinger Judy Collins to one of Fields’ former assistants. He uses a wealth of period photos, many of which seem to have been found on Fields’ bedroom wall. He lets Fields control the story; despite the “existential despair” his assistant describes, it’s a fairly happy-go-lucky one. In one of his more dubious decisions, he introduced Iggy Pop to cocaine, but if he ever came close to becoming a drug casualty himself, he doesn’t talk about it. Since many of the people Fields reminisces about, such as Jim Morrison and Warhol superstar Nico, are dead, “Danny Says” illustrates his stories with animation. Four different animators worked on the film, creating a variety of styles. There’s a psychedelic depiction of Morrison’s drug indulgences and starker imagery more appropriate to the Ramones’ minimalism. Fields says that everyone in his family realized he was gay before him. He was born in the late ’30s and was already 30 when the Stonewall Rebellion took place. However, he describes ’60s gay life with little angst, recalling a Boston scene revolving around two bars and cruising on the Brooklyn Bridge. He attended Harvard Law School but eventually dropped out to concentrate on his social life, which included plenty of sex. One of his friends says “I was never in” the closet, before adding that he never saw the need to tell his parents about his sexuality. DowntownExpress.com DowntownExpress.com

COURTESY MAGNOLIA PICTURES

L to R: Danny Fields, Iggy Pop, Lisa Robinson, David Bowie.

Recalling his time managing the Ramones, Fields also remembers lots of sex. I was curious what it was like to be openly gay in the hippie and punk scenes, but Fields doesn’t really discuss these subjects. He did create one major controversy in 1966, reprinting controversial comments from a British Beatles interview in a magazine aimed at teenagers. One of these was an anti-racist statement from Paul McCartney using the N-word, but the one that people still remember is John Lennon’s claim that “the Beatles are bigger than Jesus.” This led to KKK protests, record burnings, apologetic press conferences, and, some claim, the end of the Beatles’ career as a touring band (although the increasing complexity of their music and its reliance on instrumentation beyond guitars, bass, and drums might have had something to do with that). Fields says he never liked the Beatles much. In a way, his act of reprinting the comments was as much of a punk gesture as his promotion of MC5, the Stooges, or the Ramones. There are some major gaps in “Danny Says.” What did Fields do for a living after he stopped managing the Ramones? The film never tells us. Actor/director John Cameron Mitchell is interviewed, suggesting a connection, but it is never spelled out. Hints of depression come through,

COURTESY MAGNOLIA PICTURES

Danny Fields and Nico.

but Toller never follows up on them. The film is edited to offer a particularly cheerful slant on Fields’ life, with suggestions of something darker coming through occasionally. Still, many Baby Boomers acted as though Woodstock was the high point of Western culture and that the evolution of rock music ended in 1969. Fields was perceptive enough to recognize that it kept going and that he could continue to participate in it. Any punk fan should be grateful. Runtime: 104 minutes. Directed by Brendan Toller. At IFC Center (323 Sixth Ave., at W. Third St.). Call 212-924-7771 or visit ifccenter.com. October 06 06 -- 19, 19, 2016 2016 October

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Just Do Art

Photo by Alicia Levy

Peter Michael Marino musters up the courage to attend his Oct. 12 show, “Show Up.”

BY SCOTT STIFFLER

“SHOW UP” Top-notch improvisational comedy chops require that you abandon fear — but what about that general, nagging feeling of reluctance and unease? Writer, director, teacher, and longtime Chelsea resident Peter Michael Marino’s upcoming “semi-written” solo show has the veteran funnyman “coming out as a performer with social anxiety.” Marino is keeping things loose by creating scenes based on the lives of audience members, and recruiting some of them to (no pressure!) run the lights and guide the show’s direction. The result, he hopes, will examine his own social anxiety while giving you heightened sensitivity to its manifestation in everyday life. “Don’t think people make the decision to be a hermit or be the awkward person at the party,” Marino

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October October06 06- -19, 19,2016 2016

Photo by Elena Siebert

Author Aidan Donnelley Rowley, at the Oct. 11 Pen Parentis Literary Salon.

noted, adding, “There are people I see on a regular basis who I’ve never actually said ‘Hello’ to, and they’ve never said that to me. And I think, why does that guy hate me? Then you find out he has social anxiety, and you learn they’re not an asshole!” Wed., Oct 12, 8pm at the PIT Loft (154 W. 29 St., btw. Sixth & Seventh Aves.). For tickets ($10), visit thepit-nyc.com. Also visit petermichaelmarino.com.

PEN PARENTIS LITERARY SALONS Raising kids can drive you to drink, that’s for sure — but can their constant presence inspire you to new creative heights? Find out by totally ditching them for one night every month, for the rest of 2016, at the fall slate of Pen Parentis Literary Salon events. There, you will rub shoulders with other overseers of the juice box set, and lift your spirits by raising a glass. Open to all

but programmed with working and aspiring authors in mind, the evening begins with an informal networking session, followed by readings, then a panel discussion from three writers who also happen to be parents. The Oct. 11 theme, “Never Give Up: Writers on Tenacity,” features Oregon-based novelist Jamie Duclos-Yourdon, and local writers Courtney Zoffness (serial comma advocate, former managing editor of The Earth Times) and Aidan Donnelley Rowley (occasional Twitter delinquent, author of “The Ramblers”). “Election Day Madness” is the well-timed focus of Nov. 8, and they close out the year on Dec. 13 with a “Holiday Author Mingle.” Pen Parentis stalwart members M. M. De Voe and Christina Chiu are your panel moderators on most given nights. Free. Tues., Oct. 11, 7–9:30pm, at Andaz Wall Street (75 Wall St., entrance at Water St., second floor). RSVP to this 21+ event (wine provided by the venue) is encouraged, via penparentis.org/calendar. DowntownExpress.com DowntownExpress.com


Buhmann on Art Ernst Caramelle at Peter Freeman, Inc.

Photo by Nick Knight, courtesy Peter Freeman, Inc. New York/Paris

Untitled (2016). Pigments, water on wall. Site specific. 215 3/4 x 564 1/2 inches (548 x 1433.8 cm).

BY STEPHANIE BUHMANN The Austrian conceptualist Ernst Caramelle, who resides in New York parttime, is known for his geometrically based abstractions — which often employ non-traditional materials, such as wine and sunlight. This particular exhibition (“Ernst Caramelle: serious candy revis-

ited”) will feature a selection of exactly these so-called “Sun Pieces,” for which Caramelle uses sunlight and stencils in order to discolor construction paper to varying degrees. In addition, a variety of the artist’s “quasi-paintings,” which usually involve gesso, will be on display. In fact, “quasi” — the idea that something can resemble rather than be categorized

as something specific — is a big theme here. Along these lines Caramelle will also create a “quasi-fresco,” a large-scale watercolor wall painting. This work will share characteristics with his stunning site-specific installations, in which the artist reacts to an exhibition space by turning its doorways, walls, and floors into a blank, three-dimensional canvas. In these works, which count among the artist’s finest, geometric compositions become an environment that can be

entered and physically experienced. For over four decades, Caramelle has confidently navigated between abstraction and illusion. Drawing from a visual vocabulary based on dichotomies, he skillfully plays with the opposition of flatness and depth, or transparency and opacity. Through Oct. 29, at Peter Freeman, Inc. (140 Grand St., btw. Crosby & Lafayette Sts.). Hours: Tues.–Sat., 10am– 6pm. Call 212-966-5154 or visit peterfreemaninc.com.

Theater for the New City • 155 1st Avenue at E. 10th St. Reservations & Info (212) 254-1109 For more info, please visit www.theaterforthenewcity.net

The Folk Singer

UBU Rex

by: Tom Attea Directed by Mark Marcante

Directed by Roman Primitivo Albear

“A new musical about

contemporary times”

the ruling class”

Thurs.- Sat. 8:00 P.M. Sun. at 3:00 P.M.

Thurs.- Sat. 8:00 P.M. Sun. at 3:00 P.M.

Oct 9 - Oct 23

Photo by Nick Knight, courtesy Peter Freeman, Inc. New York/Paris

Untitled (2013-2015). Sun on paper. 8 13/16 x 12 inches (22.4 x 30.5 cm)

DowntownExpress.com DowntownExpress.com

“an odyssey to become:

$15.00

Sept 22 - Oct 9

$15.00

Life Masks

By: Lorinne Vozoff and Eduardo Machado “Three new one act plays” Sept 29 - Oct 15 Thurs.- Sat. 8:00 P.M.

$18.00 October October06 06- -19, 19,2016 2016

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rivington house Continued from page 2

the mayor as news accounts were beginning to run — the first time he heard anything about the matter.” Camilo said after informing Shorris of the sale, she called the Department of Investigation the next day to have them look into it. Shorris said he, too, called DOI to ensure that they were on it. MOCS produces the City Record, which contains listings of city-owned properties for sale. Camilo said the only public notice of the Rivington House property being on the market was a listing in the City Record that only identified it by its Forsyth St. address. One of the councilmembers on the committee, however, corrected her: In fact, the listing had not even been an address, he said — just the block and lot number. “Do you know what the block and lot number is for your office?” he asked her, to which Camilo responded, no. As previously reported by the New York Post, Camilo said she first became aware of the property’s sale this March 1, although Community Board 3 previously “had alerted her of the possible flip” in a January letter. In fact, the procedures the city followed with 45 Forsyth St. are the ones it has been using for such DCAS-owned properties over the past 20 years, the city officials maintained. There were suggestions that lifting a deed for such properties should trigger an official ULURP (Uniform Land Use Review Procedure) seventh-month-long review, including public hearings. But Shorris said for many of the properties, it really would not be warranted. The new LES senior housing and healthcare facility announced by de Blasio on Thursday would include 100 apartments in a mixed-use building at 30 Pike St., a property currently owned by the city’s Department of Environmental Protection. “Rivington House’s conversion to luxury housing never should have happened,” de Blasio said in his statement in the press release. “This community was the victim of a broken process, city error and unscrupulous developers looking to make a buck. Our reforms will prevent that from ever happening again. This investment is a reflection of our unwavering commitment to the health of this neighborhood.” More than 1,000 city-owned properties currently are under deed restrictions, the committee members were told. Councilmember Margaret Chin and Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer are pushing new legislation to create a database of all such properDowntownExpress.com

Photo by Bill Egbert

The building at 45 Rivington St. was a public school until 1992, when it became aresidential AIDS treatment facility. But it will soon become a luxury condo development — much to the consternation locals and the Council.

ties, along with requirements for public notice and review if any change of the restrictions is being contemplated. When the city lifts a deed restriction, the owner typically must pay the city 25 percent of the property’s assessed value — since it will now be worth so much more. In the case of Rivington House, the assessed value was $64 million, so the cost to lift the restriction was $16 million. VillageCare had retained top lobbyist Jim Capalino to try to get the administration to waive this payment. But because he could not get it done, and with the end of the Bloomberg administration approaching, VillageCare dropped him. Capalino previously told The Villager that after that point, he had nothing more to do with the Rivington House property or the issue of the deed restriction. The property was sold to Allure Group for $28 million last year, with the understanding it would become a for-profit nursing home, assuming the city modified the restrictions. Allure paid the agreed-to $16 million to modify the deed — but then went on to flip the property just mere months later, selling it to luxury developer Slate for $116 million — in the process, turning a huge profit. Shorris said Allure had been able to purchase the property in the first place because it has “a nonprofit arm.” Amid the ongoing furor over the Rivington House scandal, de Blasio in July announced that this $16 million fee would be used within the Lower East Side community for healthcare purposes. Thursday’s press release noted that this sum would be used to construct the new facility, though the release added that the project’s cost actually would exceed this amount. However, local politicians, advocates

and community members continue to stress that they “want Rivington House back” — as in, returned to the community as a healthcare facility. At a town hall on how to address the Rivington House situation earlier this year at University Settlement, Councilmember Chin, along with Melissa Aase, the settlement’s executive director, and others repeatedly said — to the audience’s cheers — that what everyone wants is for the building to be returned to the community. Aase noted that the old school building is really worth about $70 million, when the cost of an extensive interior renovation from a few years back that increased its usable space is factored in. In short, the $16 million does not even begin to approach the value of what was lost, Aase said. Also testifying at City Hall Thursday was Zachary Carter, the corporation counsel, or city’s top law officer. The councilmembers interrogated him on why his department had so heavily redacted documents about Rivington House that were requested by the Department of Investigation. Carter replied he felt that only the “relevant” parts of the documents should be handed over. The councilmembers blasted this behavior as “shocking.” At any rate, under pressure, Carter eventually did fork over the un-excised papers. Chin asked Carter what he is currently doing in terms of legal actions to restore Rivington House to the community. Carter said his department is looking at all options. He added that, depending on what is turned up in investigations, the developer could possibly be hit with “civil fraud” charges. He noted that the current investigation into the deal by Eric Schneiderman, the New York State attorney general, could possibly yield something actionable.

At the end of the hearing, a small number of members of the public — under 10 — testified, among them, Susan Stetzer, CB3 district manager; K Webster, founder of Friends of Rivington House; and Annie Wilson, a former squatter from 544 E. 13th St. Carlos “Chino” Garcia, the head of CHARAS, which used to occupy another former school building — the old PS 64, on E. Ninth St. and Avenue B — was also in the audience early on, but left before it was time for the public to testify. For her part, Stetzer scoffed that a listing of a block and lot is not a public notice. Webster said the nursing home’s beds being wiped out was equal to “the loss of 215 affordable homes” — which the community desperately needs back. The pledged 30 Pike St. facility, though, would only have half that number of apartments. Comments by both Chin and Brewer about the new project were included on the mayor’s press release about the plan. “My first wish is to return Rivington House to its previous use, a home for those who needed assisted-living support,” Brewer said. “But I look forward to working with the administration and the community to build an equal number of permanent affordable senior housing and assisted-living units in the neighborhood.” Calling it “a win” for the Lower East Side, Chin said, “The decision to pursue a comprehensive senior health facility at this site will allow for a continuum of care that I hope will become a model for communities across our city. I look forward to working with the administration to ensure that this facility will be accessible to the growing number of low-income seniors who need more affordable housing and healthcare options in the neighborhood.” Meanwhile, Webster, who is also a member of CB3, said the Pike St. site is less than ideal, but she’ll take it — plus, Rivington House must still be returned, too. “Yes, the community board has been trying to get that for affordable housing for a really long time,” she said of 30 Pike, albeit adding, “It’s underneath a very, very noisy subway train. Not so great for elders or those who are disabled.” She was referring to the steady stream of trains — the B, D, N and Q lines — that thunder over the nearby Manhattan Bridge. But noting that the number of homeless the city is now housing recently spiked to a record high of 60,000, Webster said, “I say — go ahead and use both sites for affordable housing!” October 06 - 19, 2016

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