October 20, 2016 • $1.00 Volume 86 • Number 42
The Paper of Record for Greenwich Village, East Village, Lower East Side, Soho, Union Square, Chinatown and Noho, Since 1933
Save Gansevoort files suit vs. Landmarks, developers; ‘Agency is not preserving’ By Lincoln Anderson
ave Gansevoort — the group fighting a full-block redevelopment project slated for historic Gansevoort St. between Ninth Ave. and Washington St. — last Friday filed a lawsuit in New York State Supreme Court against the city’s Landmarks Preservation Commission and the project’s developers.
The community-based group seeks to overturn L.P.C.’s decision to allow what it calls “a massive, out-of-character development” in the landmarked Gansevoort Market Historic District. The developers being sued included Aurora Capital Associates, William Gottlieb Real Estate and their affiliates. Save Gansevoort notes that gansevoort continued on p. 8
Neighbors still trashing Triangle memorial design; ‘Would be major intrusion’ By Dennis Lynch
oping to compromise with locals, the group behind a planned memorial to the 146 victims of the 1911 Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire presented a significantly toned-down design of the memorial at a public meeting at The Cooper Union on Thursday. But opponents
only doubled down on their criticisms. The architects of the memorial replaced the mirrored metal band that would run up the corner of the Brown Building, at Washington Place and Greene St., from the ground to the scene of the fire on the eighth and ninth floors with a matte stainless-steel band after Triangle continued on p. 15
Photo by Bob Gruen
Bob Dylan playing an acoustic set at the Newpor t Folk Festival on July 24, 1965. Things got wild the nex t night when he “went electric.”
The times are a-changin’: Dylan wins Nobel for Lit By Lincoln Anderson How does it feeeel? How does it feeeel? To be on your own Like a rolling stone Like the 2016 Nobel Prize winner for literature?
Lightsaber super soaker�������p. 35
Of course, that last line wasn’t actually in Bob Dylan’s ’60s anthem “Like a Rolling Stone.” But, yeah, it must feel pretty good! … Or
so one would think. But after winning the world’s most prestigious literary award last Thursday, Bob Dylan so far has remained silent about it. He hasn’t said a word on it publicly. He hasn’t responded personally to the Swedish Academy. He’s currently on an American tour, but hasn’t uttered a peep about it while on stage, either. It’s not even known if Dy-
lan will accept the award at the Nobel ceremony on Dec. 10 — or decline it, like JeanPaul Sartre in 1964. At this point, you could say, “The answer is blowin’ in the wind.” But the musician’s fans note it’s just par for the course for the always-unpredictable artist. In interviews with The Nobel continued on p. 6
Trump Zoltar foresees the future — Oh, no!������p. 3 ‘Thinking twice’ about Freewheelin’ Suze��������p. 21 www.TheVillager.com
Photos by Scoopy
Matthew Broderick and Sarah Jessica Parker were the main attraction.
Mabye it’s “craz y”? Madelyn Wils, the park’s president, and singer CeeLo Green. Not really, as it was “one park under a groove” at the big-bucks gala.
Starry night: The Friends of Hudson River Park Gala was the place to be last Thursday night, as the stars came out to Chelsea Piers for the annual benefit for the 4-mile-long West Side waterfront park. The evening’s honorees were Assemblymember Richard Gottfried, who co-wrote the park’s founding legislation in 1998 with former state Senator Franz Leichter; actor Matthew Broderick; and Friends board member Paula Madoff (no relation, we’re told.) Harry Connick Jr. was the evening’s suave emcee, and CeeLo Green performed. The event raised $3.1 million — surpassing the $2.6 million last year’s gala pulled in — for the park, which doesn’t reliably get government funding. The final one-quarter of the park still needs to be built. We couldn’t get into the actual event, so found ourselves hanging out with a swarm of paparazzi as they photo-
graphed the VIP’s as they posed on the “green carpet” (get it, green, for a park), on their way in. They were even going crazy when Mike Novogratz, president of the Friends, posed. Yes, he is a billionaire, but the milliondollar shot was Sarah Jessica Parker. The photogs went wild when Parker and hubby Broderick pulled up in one of the Hudson River Park Trust’s golf carts. They surrounded the pair, and the waterfront lit up in a blaze of camera flashes. As the two posed for photos, they shouted out to Parker, “Stay with me!” “Work it! “Over here!” When 30 paparazzi are all shooting the same celebs, the competition is for the one photo where the stars are looking right at them, with the best expression. Hey, it’s a living! Also making the scene were developer Ben Shaoul, who is also a Friends board member, and his wife, Megan. Although Shaoul is known locally for his East Village projects, he lives in the West Village.
Harr y Connick Jr., left, the night’s emcee, was accomanied by his daughter Georgia and her boy friend.
Broderick and Shaoul both told us they love the Hudson River Park and that their young kids love playing in it. “I think it’s great. It’s so important,” Broderick said of the park, as the paparazzi were satiating themselves with an orgy of S.J.P. shots nearby. “Now you can relax and ‘get out of the city.’ I live a few blocks from this park and I’m here all the time.” The park is so key for the city, he said, because “There’s just more and more people and less and less space.” With the park, “There’s still a little space.” Madelyn Wils, the Trust’s president, said a study showed that while the percentage of young people under age 18 fell 8 percent for the city from 2000 to 2014, it’s been booming on the West Side, which she attributed to the park. This is backed up by a study by the Regional Plan Association, she noted. The study area covered the 4-mile stretch from Chambers St. to W. 59th St., extending four blocks inland from the park, and the percentage of the youth population soared by 66 percent during the time span. She said the park is also responsible for $8 billion worth of construction – though most Villagers wouldn’t be too happy with that stat. We asked Wils if she thinks the lawsuit by Tom Fox and the City Club of New York against Barry Diller’s Pier55 project is still “ridiculous.” “Why would I think differently?” she said. Fox and Co., though, do hope the Court of Appeals does “think differently,” and that the court will agree to hear their appeal of the Appellate Division’s negative ruling on the suit.
Noreen Doyle, the Hudson River Park’s senior vice presidnet, and state Senator Brad Hoylman.
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October 20, 2016
Ben Shaoul and his wife, Megan. TheVillager.com
All-Seeing Trump has the answers: Believe me! By Dennis Lynch
he most popular fortune-teller of this election cycle stopped by Washington Square Park last Friday to prophesize of a world with Donald Trump in the White House. The mysterious Zoltar-esque All-Seeing Trump posted up in front of the fountain for about a half hour before park security kicked the auguring android off park property. But he gave a captivated crowd plenty of predictions before he was hauled off. The red-eyed All-Seeing Trump told of a Scott Baio-led Justice Department, his plans for a high-speed railway to deport Mexicans at a dizzying pace, and gave onlookers fortune souvenirs to take home. This reporter’s fortune read: “Many surprises await you in the future -- such as racial profiling and economic recession.” One Texan visiting the city first mistook “The All-Seeing Trump” for a real fortune-teller machine before realizing it was a parody of the Republican hopeful. The part-Mexican independent from Houston said she loved using humor to educate people about what she called Trump’s unfavorable policies. “It’s good to bring this consciousness to people who have not heard what he says,” Mary Rice said. “With a little humor, it might educate some people. Whoever is behind it, tell them thank you.” But the artists behind the All-Seeing Trump project remain anonymous. They told Gothamist that comic Anthony Atamanuik provides Trump’s convincing voice, and that they paid the Nevada company that builds the real Zoltar machine $9,000 to build their custom Trump-bot, complete with his tiny hands, eagle sidekick and nuclear launch codes hanging out of his jacket pocket.
Photo by Dennis Lynch
The Trump Zoltar has really been making the rounds lately. He drew a crowd in Washington Square Park last Friday.
The three guys who set up the Trump booth and drove him around in an inconspicuous rental van said they were “just there to help” and claimed they had to wait for a text message to even know where to set Trump up next.
The dummy Donald has already had an impressive tour — he’s turned up all around the city, including in front of Trump Tower, as well in Zuccotti Park and Union Square. He even made it out to Atlantic City for the Trump Taj Mahal’s last day in business, and up to
an actual rally for The Donald in New Hampshire. Tuesday night he was in front of the IFC Center, at Sixth Ave. and W. Third St. for the premiere of Michael Moore’s new movie, “Michael Moore in Trumpland.”
Photo by William Alatriste
Tuesday night, the All-Seeing Trump was seeing red outside the IFC Center on Six th Ave., where “Michael Moore in Trumpland” was premiering. TheVillager.com
Photo by William Alatriste
Hmm...some telling photos inside the for tune-telling Trump booth.
October 20, 2016
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Peter Galperin, left, and Daniel Scot Kadin are the team bet ween the new Rober t Moses rock musical “BLDZR.” Fittingly, they found a bulldozer to pose on for this recent photo in Washington Square Park. Member of the New York Member of the National Press Association Newspaper Association
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October 20, 2016
Moses musical ‘BLDZR’ revs up on U.W.S. By Lincoln Anderson
eter Galperin, a musician who became obsessed with Robert Caro’s book about Robert Moses, “The Power Broker,” and Daniel Scot Kadin are putting on their new musical about the legendary builder this week in a series of showcase performances on the Upper West Side. The duo are hoping the show finds bigger and bigger audiences. For now, it will be playing at the Triad Theater, at 158 W. 72nd St., from Thurs., Oct. 20, to Sat., Oct. 22.
There will also be a holiday matinee performance on Sun., Nov. 20, at 2 p.m. at The Cutting Room, at 44 E. 32nd St. The musical’s full title is “BLDZR: The Gospel According to Moses.” As Galperin explained it, “bulldozer” perfectly describes the force of urban development that Moses was. The musical’s concept was Galperin’s, as are the music and lyrics. He shares co-writing credit on the book with Kadin. The two also share a balcony on the Upper West Side, which is how they became friends, and how the collaboration on the musical
came about. As a press release for the show explains, “ ‘BLDZR’ explores Moses’ early years as a folk hero for the common man, his growing control over New York City’s urban environment, his later years as a power-insulated enemy of the people, and his ultimate demise at the hands of a nascent community movement led by Jane Jacobs.” The 90-minute musical features David Driver — an original cast member of the Broadway production of “RENT” — in the lead role of master builder Moses, Sara Jecko as
the activist and writer Jane Jacobs, and Christina Clare as Moses’ long-suffering assistant/mistress. Patrick Brady plays Moses’ ally-turned-nemesis Governor Nelson Rockefeller, and Nick Auer has supporting roles. Tickets for the Triad Theater shows ($22.50), at 7 p.m. and 9:30 p.m., can be purchased at www.triadnyc.com . Tickets for The Cutting Room show ($20 at the door, $30 online) are available at www.thecuttingroomnyc.com. For more information, visit www.bldzr. nyc. TheVillager.com
New York University and Manhattan Community Board 2 present New York University and Manhattan Community Board 2 present
The 26th Annual
The 26th Annual CHILDREN'S The 26 Annual CHILDREN'S HALLOWEEN PARADE CHILDREN’S HALLOWEEN PARADE th
HALLOWEEN PARADE Monday, October 31,2016 2016 from from 33pm - 6-pm Monday, October 31, pm 6 pm #CB2NYUkidsparade #CB2NYUkidsparade
Please note note that that the different this year. Please theparade paraderoute routewill willbebe different this year. Monday, 2016 from 3Washington pm - 6Square pm Park. Parents and childrenwill willOctober gather at 3:0031, pm at the in Park.Free Parents and children gather pm at thefountain fountain in Washington Free trick-or-treat bags, performances, games, and rides will await the children after trick-or-treat bags, performances,#CB2NYUkidsparade games, and rides will await the children after thethe parade parade on West 3rd Street between LaGuardia Place and Mercer Street. on West 3rd Street between LaGuardia Place and Mercer Street. Please note that the parade route will be different this year. Made possible in part through generous funding provided by: Parents and children will gather at 3:00 pm at the fountain in Washington Square Park. Free trick-or-treat bags, performances, games, and rides will await the children after the parade on West 3rd Street between LaGuardia Place and Mercer Street. Con Edison • The NYU Bookstore • The Villager
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NYU Alumni Relations • Sky Management Corporation • The 9th Precinct Community Council
October 20, 2016
The times are a-changin’: Dylan wins Nobel for Lit; Nobel continued from p. 1
Villager, musicians who knew and played with Dylan during his early formative years in Greenwich Village in the 1960s, and others who have followed his career closely, said they feel great for him — and that he absolutely is deserving of the honor. The Nobel Prize in literature was awarded to Dylan “for having created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition.” Some writers, though, were quick to slam the choice of a popular-music star. It was, in fact, the first time in the award’s 115-year history that it was bestowed on a singer-songwriter. Scottish novelist Irvine Welsh, the author of “Trainspotting,” for one, in a blistering critique, said, “I’m a Dylan fan, but this is an ill-conceived nostalgia award wrenched from the rancid prostates of senile, gibbering hippies.” But Dylan fans hailed the choice. “I think it makes a lot of sense that he received the award,” said Richard Barone, the lead singer of the Bongos, a new wave band that made a splash on the New York scene in the 1980s. “He’s the most deserving of his generation, he’s the most literate,” he said of Dylan and his peers. Barone, who still tours and also teaches performance at New York University, has lived in the Village since 1984. He said that, in his view, it was the historic neighborhood that helped make Dylan who he was, and really informed his songwriting. “I think, particularly, why he won that prize is because he lived in the Village,” he said. “In all of his early songs, I really feel the Village itself — the landscape, the architecture, the immigrants. He didn’t write in a normal 1960s way. He wrote like it was 100 years earlier. He wouldn’t have written that way if he lived in Miami. Dylan was so experimental with his songs — it was all about the words.” Dylan grew up in Minnesota. But there was only one place to be if you wanted to make your mark as a folk singer back then — Greenwich Village, with its burgeoning folk scene — and so that’s where he came in 1961. Dylan lived in the Village, with about a five-year hiatus in Woodstock, through the early 1970s, before moving to California. The folkies immediately knew they had something unique in Dylan when he landed in the city. “I met him when he first came to New York,” said Happy Traum, who with his group, The New World Singers, recorded the first version of Dylan’s “Blowin’ in the Wind.” Dylan had given the song to Gil Turner, Traum’s fellow band member and emcee of the legendary Gerde’s
October 20, 2016
Photo by Bob Gruen
Bob Dylan “going electric” on July 25, 1965, at the Newpor t Folk Festival.
Folk City, at W. Fourth and Mercer Sts. A few months after Traum’s band recorded the famed ballad, Dylan would release his album “The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan.” “There was already this incredible buzz around the Village about him,” Traum remembered. “We all thought he was in itinerant carnival performer who hopped freight trains from New Mexico — that was the original story.” Beyond his Woody Guthrie-inspired tall tales that proved to be just that, right away Dylan was clearly different. He made the others seem, well, vanilla. “We all sang these songs,” Traum said, “but his phrasing or the way he would subtly change the melodies around — it was totally engaging. Then when he started to write songs, it was totally mind-blowing. “We knew he was special. He was the topic of everyone’s conversation right from the beginning.” Dylan was very approachable and humorous back then, with an “impish charm,” he said. The traditional folk scene started out humbly, recalled Traum, who
‘When he started to write songs, it was totally mindblowing.’ Happy Traum grew up in the Bronx and had been at it since the mid-’50s. The musicians were, for the most part, just playing for joy of it, not expecting to make careers out of it. “There were little ‘basket houses’ in the Village where you’d do a set and hope you’d get some money,” he recalled. “It was a very small scene.” But then Peter, Paul and Mary had a huge international hit with, again, Dylan’s “Blowin’ in the Wind” — just a few months after the song was released on Dylan’s “Freewheelin’ ” —
and folk music took off. “By the time Dylan came along, the scene was bubbling, and he took it to another level,” Traum said. “Right away, ‘Blowin’ in the Wind’ was a masterpiece of lyric writing. Nobody had ever written a song like that before.” Traum recalled one night at Gerde’s after last call when Dylan debuted “A Hard Rain’s a-Gonna Fall” for a few musicians who were hanging around. “We heard that song and it was just jaw-dropping,” Traum said. “It was so powerful. There were the Everly Brothers and Elvis — but this was on another level. Other people were writing songs. You had Phil Ochs and Tom Paxton, but nothing of the scope and depth of Dylan’s songs. He was extraordinary.” Dylan’s guitar playing was unique, too, he said, as he would use it to accent his lyrics just a little bit differently than others would. However, Traum admitted, “Back then, we would never have thought he would win the Nobel Prize for literature. But now, you look back, 50 or 60 years later, and you say, ‘Yeah.’ He just kept putting stuff out. He never stopped.” Traum recalled visiting Dylan and his then-girlfriend Suze Rotolo for dinner when the singer lived in a walk-up apartment on W. Fourth St., where Dylan resided for two or three years. “He made steaks, as I remember,” he said. In 1965, Dylan moved to Woodstock, where he reportedly had a motorcycle accident in 1966. “He had fractured a vertebra in his neck,” Traum said. “It made him realize he had to slow down, stay around home a bit more.” Traum also moved to Woodstock, though for good, in ’66, and would visit Dylan up there, too. He said he remembered seeing a typewriter in Dylan’s Upstate home, but isn’t certain if he saw one at his W. Fourth St. pad. He’s pretty sure, though, that Dylan typed his lyrics. “He spent quite a lot of time on them,” he said. “He used to spend quite a lot of time at his typewriter. “I think ‘Blowin’ in the Wind’ he gave us on a typewritten piece of paper,” Traum recalled of when Dylan handed The New World Singers the lyric sheet. Dylan clearly had a literary bent, he said, noting, “He always had books around. He had a lot of bookshelves. He read a lot of different kind of things. I know he read a lot of poetry. He was into reading the Bible for a while, and the classics.” Eric Andersen, another singersongwriter, met Dylan in the Village Nobel continued on p. 7 TheVillager.com
Village folk scene was where it all began for him Nobel continued from p. 6
a few years after he had burst onto the scene. In an e-mail from Norway, where he now lives, Andersen wrote, “I was introduced to Bob through Phil Ochs in the winter of ’64. I came to the Village as a songwriting newcomer from Buffalo. Dylan would sometimes try out new songs at the hoots at the Gaslight. I heard him perform ‘The Hour When The Ship Comes In’ there one winter’s eve. Or we would whisper lyrics to each other in the Kettle of Fish. “Late one night when Bob got off the road from New Orleans, he and Victor, his road manager, parked their blue Ford station wagon on Bleecker St. and we went up to Phil Ochs’s. Bob whipped out a guitar sang a brand-new song called ‘Hey, Mr. Tambourine Man’ over Phil’s coffee table. Later, when pressures mounted for me to be drafted into the Vietnam War, Bob became one of my two draft counselors. I got out of it. We became friends.” As for Dylan’s winning the Nobel for literature, Andersen said he merits it for his powerful lyrics. “I believe it’s true that a great lyricist/poet can be as deserving of that prize as any great prose writer or blank-verse poet,” he said. “Shakespeare might have won it for his sonnets alone. I commented on Facebook in response to Dylan’s winning the Nobel, ‘Heartfelt congrats to our dearest poet Bob who brandished a big blade of light to cut through the jungles of our darkness. Bob took the power of the word into the future.’ ” David Amram was another contemporary of Dylan’s back in the 1960s and ’70s, though he wasn’t a folk musician per se. “That’s quite some news,” he said of Dylan’s snagging the esteemed award. “It’s nice for all of us to see someone get an award that opens up the door for other poets and musicians and singer-songwriters.” Amram, who is about to celebrate his 86th birthday, used to gig around at various types of venues in the Village. A classically trained eclectic musician, he would jam with jazz great Dizzy Gillespie at the Village Gate, then go sit in and play in the background with the folk musicians at the Kettle of Fish. The Village’s tight-knit scene helped Dylan and other musicians grow and hone their craft, he said. “Everything was smaller and there was much more of a communal sense,” Amram recalled. “Everyone benefitted, including Dylan, who was a scholar of music.” Asked if he hung around with Dylan, Amram vividly recalled one projTheVillager.com
Photo courtesy Eric Andersen
Bob Dylan per forming at Gerde’s Folk City in the Village on the first evening of the Rolling Thunder Revue in 1975, with, from left, Rob Stoner, Joan Baez and Eric Andersen. The tour included 57 concer ts on t wo separate legs in America and Canada. It was at Gerde’s, and other Village clubs likes the Gaslight and Café Wha?, that Dylan first made a name for himself.
ect involving famed Beat poet Allen Ginsberg that they both worked on. “We spent a whole pretty much part of a summer together in 1969,” he recalled. “We collaborated on a recording with Allen Ginsberg. Allen decided he was going to be a singersongwriter — and he started out at the top!” So Ginsberg sang on the album? “So to speak, yes,” Amram said. As for Dylan, he said, “He was being a good sport and playing the guitar.” Amram played French horn and worked on the compositions. Happy Traum was involved, too. Amram lived in the Village for 40 years, but now calls Beacon, N.Y., home. He said he always had a lot of respect for Dylan, and that giving him the Nobel is a great thing for art, in general. “I always enjoyed him,” he said of Dylan. “He had a wonderful personal way of doing stuff. He was really honest. He really cared. He was very private, and I respected that. “Anything that takes the idea of art out of the ivory tower is good,” Amram said. “The Nobel committee did that.” Bob Gruen, the renowned rock-’n’roll photographer, came to the Village in 1965. He covered the Newport Folk Festival that year where Dylan famously “went electric” and set off a firestorm of debate in the folk com-
munity. Gruen, who was just starting out as a shutterbug, managed to get himself right up in the front row at the historic event. “It was my first photo pass,” he recalled. I kind of bluffed my way in. I wasn’t shooting for anyone yet. “Dylan was the headliner. He played electric. People weren’t just booing — some were cheering. It was very chaotic. What he was doing was basically announcing that rock ’n’ roll was the folk music of America — and I think he was right.” Dylan’s lyrics had a profound effect on him as a youth, he said. “When I was growing up, Bob Dylan was kind of like a Bible to me,” Gruen said. “I learned about spirituality from him, sociology, psychology. When I was a troubled teenager and I felt my mother didn’t understand me, I played Bob Dylan’s ‘It’s Alright Ma’ for her.” Asked if she “got” the lyrics’ message, he said, “No, not really.” But that didn’t diminish the evocative power of the singer’s words for him. “Bob Dylan’s lyrics are very visual,” he said, “and for me, as a photographer, that’s important. Every time I hear a Dylan song, I think of different images, depending on what I’m thinking of at the time, and it’s always fresh, and that’s why I like it. “When I first heard him, I didn’t
think he was much of a singer,” he admitted. “But the rhythm and the cadence and what he was saying — later, I realized was very emotional and powerful the way he does it. He wasn’t singing ‘Moon in June’ simple love songs that rhyme.” As to whether Dylan deserves the Nobel for literature, Gruen said, “Sure. I think he’s the conscience of many people around the world.” He noted that it took a while for Dylan to catch on in places like Japan, for example, due to his lyrics-heavy songs. “But I saw him playing in ’94 at the Budokan and people were loving it,” he said. In the history of the award, 11 poets have won the Nobel for literature, among them Rudyard Kipling, William Butler Yeats, T.S. Eliot, Pablo Neruda, Octavia Paz and Seamus Heaney. Despite the disdain for Dylan’s Nobel by writers like “Trainspotting” ’s Welsh, one Village author said the bard’s lyrics truly are transcendent, and worthy of inclusion among the ranks of the names above. “I’m very excited about Dylan winning,” said Susan Shapiro, who teaches writing at The New School. “I’ve adored him since I was 14, and he was an early inspiration for a lot of my creative writing. I think much of his work is pure poetry.” October 20, 2016
Save Gansevoort files suit vs. Landmarks, developers gansevoort continued from p. 1
the lawsuit “is one of multiple litigations instituted against L.P.C. and other city agencies and commissions over a series of unprecedented decisions by the city to grant permission to private real estate developers to develop and convert landmark properties.” In this instance, Landmarks authorized the conversion of several, one-to-two story, low-rise landmark market buildings into larger commercial buildings, whose upsizing the plaintiffs charge is “out of context” with the district and would “forever change” the district’s streetscape. Gansevoort Market — a.k.a. the Meat Market and the Meatpacking District — is among the last intact “fully integrated” market districts left in the U.S., the plaintiffs note. The Aurora / Gottlieb project, known as “Gansevoort Row,” was opposed by Community Board 2 and a slew of local politicians, including Assemblymember Deborah Glick, state Senator Brad Hoylman, City Councilmember Corey Johnson, Congressmember Jerrold Nadler and Borough President Gale Brewer. The opposition also included more than 4,000 e-mails and other correspondence, as well as testimony from about 50 people who testified for hours before L.P.C. issued its decision. Only two members of the public — one of whom was employed
Villager file photo
West Villagers tried to hold the L.P.C. commissioners to their earlier statements before they voted at a hearing on the “Gansevoort Row” project in June.
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October 20, 2016
by the developers — spoke in favor of the project. Zack Winestine, one of the co-leaders of Save Gansevoort, said the legal action is meant to hold the the agency’s feet to the fire, and get them to do their job — preserve landmarks, not let developers rip apart the integrity of designated historic districts. “Gansevoort Market, the West Village, Greenwich Village and other historic districts throughout New York City are under attack by developers,” he said. “We hope this lawsuit will send a message to the Landmarks Preservation Commission that they must consistently and forcefully protect the historic districts and landmarks they are charged with preserving.” Michael Hiller, an attorney who specializes in the preservation of landmark properties and other public assets, is representing Save Gansevoort in this case. “The city’s grant of permission to the Gansevoort developers is part of a larger trend, as revealed by the unprecedented line of decisions by city agencies under the current mayoral administration to authorize the privatization of landmark properties and other public assets,” Hiller asserted. Hiller noted he has seen his preservation case load more than triple since Mayor Bill de Blasio was inaugurated in 2014. “The Landmarks Preservation Commission has ceased to be a commission that engages in landmark preservation,” the attorney said. “Instead, it has become
a city agency dedicated to justifying decisions favorable to real estate developers — even if it means that L.P.C. violates its own prior rulings and the language and history of the Landmarks Law.” Hiller expressed particular concern over the “reasoning” offered by Landmarks to grant permission to alter and destroy the Gansevoort Market buildings. “If not reversed, the decision by L.P.C. would set a new and dangerous precedent that would pave the way for wholesale demolition and conversion of every landmark district in New York,” he warned. “The fight to save the Gansevoort Market Historic District thus represents a line in the sand: If L.P.C.’s decision in this case is not reversed, it would set back decades of progress made by public officials and New Yorkers throughout the city dedicated to preservation.” In another “diss” to the Gansevoort district, L.P.C. recently allowed its staff to sign off on changes to the former Florent restaurant facade, on the north side of Gansevoort St., opposite the “Gansevoort Row” project. However, the building, 69 Gansevoort St., was deemed a “contributing structure” in the historic district’s designation report. Thus, any changes to its exterior should have received a public hearing in front of the agency’s commissioners. So say Andrew Berman, executive director of the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation, and state Senator Brad Hoylman. Both Berman and Hoylman have written to L.P.C. asking for an explanation. TheVillager.com
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October 20, 2016
Another Susie’s story: I dated a Dylan biographer By Susan Shapiro
ichard was a divorced freelance journalist working on a biography of Bob Dylan. Knowing I was a Dylan fanatic, a friend gave him my number. He invited me for a homecooked dinner. At 24, no straight guy had offered to cook for me before. I walked to his Bank St. brownstone that early July evening, wearing a sleeveless sweater and short black skirt. A tall 44-year-old guy, with pepper-and-salt hair to his shoulders, opened the door. He looked like Dylan, in black jeans and a gray silk shirt, silver earring dangling from his left lobe. He was sexy. My mother would hate him. “Susan. Hi. Right on time,” he said. “Come in.” “Thanks.” I regretted not being late. He led me through the hallway into his living room. It was the nicest Village apartment I’d ever seen, with exposed brick walls, moldings, high ceilings. The built-in shelves were neatly stacked. I spotted Victor Navasky and Bob Woodward; he was mostly nonfiction, all hardcover. By the time he finished giving me a tour of his elegant railroad flat, I was falling for him. It ended in the dining room, which had lace curtains and a French country table set for two in the
Photo courtesy Susan shapiro
Writer Susan Shapiro with her former Dylan biographer flame.
corner. Nice seduction method — feed ’em and f--- ’em. I might have been from Michigan, but I was an old 24. “Tell me about your book,” I said, sitting down. “Tell me about your work,” Richard countered. “I checked out some back is-
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sues of Cosmo.” He uncorked a bottle of red wine: “I loved your friend who just met the man she wanted to father the children she didn’t want to have.” My first national publication — he’d done his research. He poured wine into a glass, handed it to me to taste, an act wasted on a diet soda doyenne, but I went along, nodding. “You should try my editor at Vogue,” he said. “Use my name, Susan.” “Everyone calls me Sue.” “I’d rather call you Susan,” he said. “What have you done for Vogue?” I asked. “A bunch of celebrity interviews.” He poured dressing on the salad. “Madonna, Bruce and Mick.” Worse than name-dropping was firstname-dropping. I wondered if he really knew those famous musicians. There was a door off the kitchen. To the bedroom. Convenient, though I preferred sex on an empty stomach. I felt warm from the wine. I’d never slept with a guy on a first date before. “Tell me about your book,” I said again. He ran his fingers through his hair. “We signed a six-figure deal with Simon & Schuster. My agent’s got the biggest balls in the business.” I wanted to hear about the intricacies of the lyrics, not the deal. “An old boyfriend used to send me words to Dylan’s love songs,” I said. “All tortured. I should have taken the hint.” “His songs don’t even touch the surface.” “Tell, tell,” I said. “He makes up stories. You know his famous motorcycle accident?” I nodded. Of course I knew, I had been obsessed with Dylan since I was 14. “It didn’t happen,” Richard said. “He was on drugs. His manager sent him away to get clean.” “Really?” I didn’t believe it. “Tell me more.” I took out a cigarette. He lit it. “He drove his first girlfriend mad.” “The one on the album cover?” He inched closer, took a cigarette from my pack and lit it ineptly, like someone who only smoked at parties. My hands were sweating. “She was young. He seduced her, but he was also sleeping with other women.” He put his arm around me and said, “When she found out the truth, she tried to kill herself. Her name was Suze.” I put out my cigarette. Only my parents called me Susie. “How did you find out?” “She told me,” he said. “I can make people relax and tell me everything. Sometimes I think everyone’s just waiting to spill their secrets.” “Writers are always selling someone out,” I quoted Joan Didion.
“Two writers,” he smirked. “That means our kids will be doctors.” I almost choked. He couldn’t know I came from a family of doctors. Why did he think I wanted children? “That was why my marriage didn’t work. My wife decided she didn’t want kids,” he said. “I lived with another woman, Sally, for two years, but she couldn’t have any.” “When did you end it?” “Two months ago,” he said. “Bad breakup. Sally’s a little crazy.” A lot of women were going crazy around here. I thought of a friend’s warning: Listen to what a man says about his exes, since he could soon be talking like that about you. She’d also said, “Stay away from biographers. They leech on other people’s lives.” “Do you want kids?” he asked. I finished my wine. “I’d rather have books.” “Can’t you have both, Susan?” He moved closer, stared into my eyes. “Not before dessert,” I said, feeling
‘He drove his first girlfriend mad.’ ‘The one on the album cover?’
tipsy. He smiled, went back to the kitchen for raspberries and cream. He put on “Blood on the Tracks.” I waited for him to seduce me and dump me like Dylan did to that other Suze. “Listen, I’m on deadline now,” he said. “I hope you won’t mind making it an early night.” “Not at all,” I lied, looking at my watch. It was 9:30. I felt rejected. The only guy I’d ever wanted to sleep with on a first date didn’t want to sleep with me. “Can I walk you home?” Or maybe he did. “First tell me something juicy,” I said. “What’s Dylan like deep down? A genius or a drifter? Is he just insecure?” “It’s hard to figure out. He’s created a mythology about his life. There’s a lot of conflicting stories.” Richard picked up a raspberry and fed it to me. Then he moved closer. “A real sociopath,” he whispered. From Susan Shapiro’s memoir “Five Men Who Broke My Heart” (Delacorte Press, 2004) TheVillager.com
Police Blotter a branch ran after another man, putting him in fear that he was going to be beaned by the bough. It wasn’t clear if the treebranch-toter had tried to “leaf” the scene, but police said they recovered narcotics in his right pants pocket. Robinson Manrique, 37, was arrested for misdemeanor menacing.
Brothers in arms
State Senator Brad Hoylman and Councilmember Margaret Chin handed out fliers with a description of the wanted bias attacker.
Find this guy! State Senator Brad Hoylman and City Councilmember Margaret Chin handed out “wanted” fliers around W. Fourth St. last Thursday, near the scene of an alleged bias attack that happened the previous Sunday Oct. 2. In the incident, the suspect pushed a man in his 20s into a window sill in front of 168-170 W. Fourth St. while yelling homophobic slurs. The victim hit his head on a window sill and had to be treated for his injury. The politicians’ flier asking for the public’s assistance in ID’ing the suspect was jointly signed by Hoylman, Chin, Congressmember Jerrold Nadler, Assemblymember Deborah Glick and Corey Johnson. Anyone with information is asked to call Detective Michael Diaz at 646-6105267.
On Thurs., Oct. 13, at 12:40 a.m., two brothers reportedly got into an argument that ended violently at the corner of Seventh Ave. South and Carmine St. A police officer said he observed one man punch the other on the right side of the face and then push him to the ground. The victim suffered bruising and swelling above the right eyebrow. Paulino Tax, 24, was arrested for misdemeanor assault.
Keep your home, family & ﬁnances above water
Bagged by police A sharp-eyed police officer on the subway platform at the Christopher St. station arrested a man after he may have stolen something from a sleeping straphanger’s bag. The cop said that at 3:20 a.m. on Sat., Oct. 15, he observed a man sitting next to a sleeping passenger. He then noticed the man feel the outside of the victim’s backpack, which was on the floor between the victim’s legs, then remove it and walk away with it. The man then returned and put the bag back between the victim’s legs. While the officer attempted to arrest him, the man allegedly tensed up and flailed his arms to resist arrest. Upon a search, two bags of marijuana were found in the man’s pockets. Police arrested Asareel Yisrael, 21, for misdemeanor petit larceny.
A sur veillance camera image of the alleged W. Four th St. bias attacker.
Branching out The Papaya Dog at 333 Sixth Ave. was nearly the scene of a “tree-mendous” attack early Wednesday morning. Police said that on Oct. 12 at 3 a.m., a man wielding TheVillager.com
An employee at the McDonald’s at 208 Varick St. repeatedly asked a woman to leave the store around 6 p.m. on Mon., Oct. 10, police said. But the woman refused, and then walked over to a man and his son and apparently started bothering them. The man told the woman not to get close to him and she became irate. She started to curse at him, then whipped out a multitool knife, making him fear physical injury. The woman then walked out of the store, punching the glass door with the knife as she went, damaging the door. Upon a search, she was found with a small glassine envelope of alleged crack cocaine. Tamika St. Jean, 27, was arrested for misdemeanor menacing.
Emily Siegel October 20, 2016
Bike attorney likes how the wheels are turning Interview by Lincoln Anderson
the opposite direction from him on the same street he was on. And the driver just cuts into the lane. He was just standing there on his bike waiting. It smashes his leg, he has to have hardware put in, titanium rod to reset the bones.
Steve Vaccaro has been described by the New York Law Journal as “perhaps New York City’s best-known lawyer advocate for bicyclist and pedestrian rights.” Since 2012, he has been a principal of Vaccaro & White, which specializes in legal advocacy for cyclists, pedestrians and other accident and crash victims. He grew up on Long Island and the Upper West Side, where he attended Calhoun High School. He received his B.A. from Wesleyan University and his law degree from Rutgers. Prior to entering the law, Vaccaro represented musicians and doctors in unions. He currently lives on the Upper East Side with his artist wife, Lisa Freedman, and they have two children. The Villager interviewed Vaccaro last month at his Battery Place office on one of the hottest and stickiest days of the end of the summer. The attorney was wearing a blue shorts and a white T-shirt and in bare feet.
VIL: How old are these victims? S.V.: The fellow I’m describing now is in his late 50s. The woman in the first case is in her early 60s. She has been riding a bicycle in New York City her entire life. She’s a real New Yorker, an East Villager. She’s worked as a physical therapist, healing many crash victims, at Beth Israel Medical Center for at least 20 years. She’s just someone who gets around by bike. The other guy, Jeff Heller, is an international human rights activist and lawyer
‘We can adjust our uses of public space, and the city will still work.’
The Villager: Why are you in a T-shirt in shorts? Steve Vaccaro: Because I was in court all day. I was saturated with sweat because the air conditioning in court wasn’t working. I was taking the subway. I just had to get out [of those clothes…] VIL: What cases were you dealing with today? S.V.: I had two cases. One was a case where a cyclist was doored by a cab driver who opened up his door into traffic at a taxi waiting stand on Union Square East at 16th St. The cab driver gave testimony, very similar to what cab drivers say, which is, number one, they never saw the cyclist first — but then they make all these statements about what the cyclist was doing wrong to cause the crash. In this case, he said the cyclist was too close to his door. The cyclist testified she was proceeding between the cars parked at the curb on her right-hand side and the cars that were moving on her left, going uptown. She was going with the flow of traffic, proceeding in a straight line. She was where she was supposed to be. The cab driver opens up the door, and he sends her to the ground. And she has multiple what are called comminuted fractures of her nose, meaning the bones are smashed up into little bits, and requiring surgery. VIL: She went over the door? S.V.: She hit the ground. She went sort of to the left. And luckily, she wasn’t run over. Doorings generally are not fatal, except in a second-strike scenario, which is really the worst nightmare — where you get doored and you get knocked into the path of a vehicle. The cab driver’s saying she was too
October 20, 2016
Photo by Tequila Minsky
Attorney Steve Vaccaro in his law office at Vaccaro & White in Lower Manhattan on Batter y Place.
close, because he only opened his door by 4 inches. First he said it was 1 inch, and then he said 2 inches. I got him up to 4 inches. My argument is that there is no duty that a cyclist has to remain a certain amount of distance from a stationary object. And, in fact, there is a right to rely on the idea that that car is not going to have the door pop open unexpectedly. Because there’s an obligation on the part of the car occupants not to open the car door unless they can do so without interfering with traffic — including bicycle traffic. A man holding a sheaf of papers walks buy outside the conference room’s glass wall, also wearing a T-shirt and shorts, but with sneakers and socks. Asked who
it was, Vaccaro, whose back was to him, said it may have been his partner, Adam White, who has litigated even more bicycle personal-injury cases than he has. VIL: Has your argument that cyclists don’t have to stay away from stationary objects been proven — is it precedent? S.V.: The rule with respect to stationary objects is: Don’t hit them. And she didn’t. If she had been 4 inches over further into the traffic and then one of those cars hit her, they’d be saying, “She was in my way.” The other case is a fellow who was riding his bike out in South Brooklyn. He was waiting at a red light, on a two-way street. And someone was making a leftturn off another street to go heading in
who has won asylum for many victims. And he raises money for Human Rights First by going on extensive national bike trips, where he’ll ride out to the Midwest, to the Great Lakes, down to Texas, and people will pledge money for the organization. The driver said she doesn’t remember hitting him, that the only way she knew there was a crash is that someone came up to her and told her. VIL: She drove away from the accident? S.V.: But stopped a little while after because people were telling her, “Stop, there’s a guy back there.” And she’s just saying, “I don’t remember anything,” which is what a lot of people who are actually the better ones, the better drivers say. You know, it’s still a lie to say, “I don’t remember anything.” But it’s a more benign sort of lie than making up some story that the cyclist jumped off their bike. A lot of times you hear from people, “The cyclist jumped off their bike, I didn’t come near them.” (Laughs.)
Vaccaro continued on p. 28 TheVillager.com
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Neighbors still trashing Triangle memorial design Triangle continued from p. 1
nearby residents aired concerns that the reflective finish would cast a blinding light on the surrounding area. Under the new design, only a strip at the top of the memorial would remain mirrored to draw eyes toward the building’s eighth and ninth floors, where victims of the blaze suffocated and leapt to their deaths. The rest of the memorial would remain the same — a reflective strip would run around the building, etched with the story of the fire. A non-reflective band with the names of the victims etched into it would run parallel overhead. The lower band would reflect the top band and the sky above, so that people could read both the story of the fire and names of the victims. A lowpower LED light on the upper horizontal band would illuminate the outlines of the victims’ names at night. However, the vertical strip of reflective metal planned at the top of the memorial still concerned residents. Architects Richard Joon Yoo and Uri Wegman repeatedly attempted to reassure them that the mirrored finish would be “no more reflective than a window.” They showed a simulation of what, according to them, would only be minimal reflection that it would project onto the residential building across the intersection. One woman who lives on the ninth floor of that building said it would certainly draw her eyes to the memorial. “I find it impossible to believe that reflections you expect to be seen all through the city will not bother me day and night more than the normal light that comes and goes on windows,” Barbara Quart said. “It seems it would be a major intrusion on my life and a number of us in the building. I don’t know why you have to have a beacon that calls out to the whole city.” Others opponents, including the president of the Washington Place Block Association, derided the design in its entirety, and called it inappropriate for a memorial to a disaster that happened more than century ago. The memorial “lacks the dignity, solemnity and gravitas that should characterize the memorial for the 146 people that perished in this tragedy,” Howard Negrin said, adding that the memorial’s eye-catching design was “incompatible” with the neighborhood character. Negrin and many others alleged that the Remember the Triangle Fire Coalition did not properly consult local stakeholders in the project’s design, which members of the memorial group said was not true. Negrin advocated for a subtler memorial, such as a plaque listing the names of the victims to go alongside the three plaques that are already now on the Brown Building. But TheVillager.com
Courtesy architects Richard Joon Yoo and Uri Wegman
Architects did away with the long band of reflective metal running ver tically up the corner of the building to compromise with neighbors concerned with reflections. But the opponents still weren’t satisfied with the redesign.
A rendering of the memorial showing how, when people look down at its hip-level element, they would see the reflection of the overhead metal band with names of victims etched into it.
coalition members disagreed. “Nobody looks at those plaques. I’ve looked at those plaques every time I’ve walked by, but I’ve also watched everyone walk by ignoring them,” countered Daniel Levinson Wilk, a professor at the Fashion Institute of Technology. “This work of art will be so much more visible, will attract so much more attention, especially from younger people.” Scrapping the idea and starting over was essentially off the table, coalition members said. “We’ve compromised,” Joel Sosinsky said. “Their compromise is throw this out the door and start over — we’re not going to start over.” The coalition’s president, Mary Anne Trasciatti, said the group would move forward with the basic design, but that the street-level night lighting and the matter of the reflective material at the top of the memorial were “still in play.” The design, however, still has to make its way through Community Board 2 and gain Landmarks Preservation Commission approval before it could actually go up on the building. The coalition has not set a date for a hearing with either entity, and its president stressed that L.P.C., in particular, could require changes of the current proposal. “I think, in any case, even if everyone here loved the design, there’s no guarantee this is what will be on the building,” Trasciatti said. “If we were to move to an Edwardian, Victorian or Ben Shahn-ian kind of design, that’s not going to happen. Those kinds of things are not likely to change.” The group also needs to raise what they estimate needs to be a $1 million endowment to pay to maintain the memorial in perpetuity. Governor Andrew Cuomo allocated $1.5 million in state funds last December to help pay the memorial’s construction cost. The horrors of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire prompted a sea change in labor safety laws in New York. Many of the victims —who were mostly poor Eastern European immigrants, primarily Jewish and Italian women — could have survived the fire, but a fire escape collapsed during the fire, the factory owners had locked the doors to one of the two stairwells to prevent material theft, and there were no sprinklers installed in the factory. After the factory owners walked out of court with a slap on the wrist for their role in the tragedy, women laborers organized and successfully pushed for new laws regulating work hours and safety requirements, such as proper entryways and exits, sprinkler systems and fire alarm systems. Together the city and state adopted 36 such laws in the years immediately following the tragedy. October 20, 2016
Chabad-church collaboration is a sukkah-cess By Tequila Minsk y
utdoor temporary space is so scare in the Village area, particularly for something like putting up a sukkah, a temporary structure to celebrate the weeklong Jewish harvest festival of Succoth. Chabad of the Bowery has erected one, open to the public, in Washington Square Park. A tent-like sukkah is also on the sidewalk outside of the kosher burger joint on LaGuardia Place. There is a sukkah on the roof of the 14th Street Y. The Sephardic synagogue Magen David of Manhattan used a truck as its sukkah last year, but this year things are quite different. In collaboration with and through the generosity of a neighboring religious institution, St. Anthony of Padua Church, a very large, spacious sukkah, sits on the corner of Houston and Sullivan Sts., in a portion of the churchâ€™s parking lot. Tradition has observants eating meals in the sukkah, and meals have been served and consumed in the temporary structure that will only be up for a week. A message in large block letters on the temporary sukkah walls thanks St. Anthony of Padua for their generosity. This gesture is a true showing of grace and ecumenicalism in the neighborhood.
Photos by Tequila Minsky
The sukkah, at Sullivan and Houston Sts.
Signage on the sukkahâ€™s ex terior thanks St. Anthony of Padua for making the space avaiable.
October 20, 2016
TOP DRIVER DISTRACTIONS Using mobile phones
Leading the list of the top distractions behind the wheel are mobile phones. Phones now do more than just place calls, and drivers often cannot pull away from their phones, even when driving. According to the California Department of Motor Vehicles, studies have shown that driving performance is lowered and the level of distraction is higher for drivers who are heavily engaged in cell
phone conversations. The use of a hands-free device does not lower distraction levels. The percentage of vehicle crashes and nearcrashes attributed to dialing is nearly identical to the number associated with talking or listening.
Many people will admit to daydreaming behind the wheel or looking at a person or object outside of the car for too long. Per-
haps they’re checking out a house in a new neighborhood or thought they saw someone they knew on the street corner. It can be easy to veer into the direction your eyes are focused, causing an accident. In addition to trying to stay focused on the road, some drivers prefer the help of lane departure warning systems.
Those who haven’t quite mastered walking and
chewing gum at the same time may want to avoid eating while driving. The majority of foods require a person’s hands to be taken off of the wheel and their eyes to be diverted from the road. Reaching in the back seat to share some French fries with the kids is also distracting. Try to eat meals before getting in the car. For those who must snack while en route, take a moment to pull over at
a rest area and spend 10 minutes snacking there before resuming the trip.
Glancing at an advertisement, updating a Facebook status or reading a book are all activities that should be avoided when driving. Even pouring over a traffic map or consulting the digital display of a GPS system can be distracting.
October 20, 2016
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October 20, 2016
Child porn and autism RHYMES WITH CRAZY By Lenore Skenazy
n a St. Francis College classroom in Downtown Brooklyn last week, a law professor dad introduced his son, now 30-something, and said, “I’m very proud of him.” The dad, Larry Dubin, told the small audience about his son Nick growing up, playing tennis, graduating college, and eventually writing three books. What dad wouldn’t be proud? Then he talked about his son’s diagnosis: Asperger’s syndrome, a developmental disorder on the autism spectrum. As a young child, Nick flapped his arms and jumped a lot. At 3, he barely spoke. As an adult, he still cannot tie his shoes, making it all the more impressive that he has achieved so much. Then the dad added one more item to his son’s résumé: Nick is a convicted felon, a sex offender on the registry. He was found guilty of possession of child porn. “That does not in any way dilute my feelings and respect for who Nick is as a person,” said the dad. And maybe that’s something the rest of us have to digest. What the dad has learned the hardest way possible is that many of the people charged with possession of child porn turn out to be people with developmental disabilities. One study found it’s actually the majority, which is not totally surprising. These are people who have often grown up bullied and despised. Their neurological differences affect their lives in many ways, sometimes including the age of the people they relate to. The individual might not even understand that it’s wrong. I realize this is a tough and depressing topic. But that is why it was so impressive that Larry and his son Nick decided to make this public appearance — their first — to discuss what it is like to live with a disability and be a sex offender. They were invited here from their home in Michigan by the Institute for Peace and Justice, the Center for Crime and Popular Culture, and the New York Sex Offense Working Group. Nick took the podium after his silverhaired, professorial dad. He looked boyish in a striped sweater, which he may have chosen because he can’t tie a tie. (People with Asperger’s can be geniussmart in some respects and far behind in others.) “I think you can see how I’ve been able to survive this,” he said, with a grateful nod toward his dad. As a kid, Nick was tormented. Boys in the locker room would steal his towel. They taunted him. But as he watched
them growing up and entering relationships, Nick felt even more alone. Then he discovered the world of online porn, and that is where Nick went to feel less lonely. He knew there was something wrong about child porn, but he had no idea it was illegal. One morning, before dawn, his door burst open. Twelve men barged in. They yanked him out of bed, threw him against the wall and clapped him in handcuffs. “I thought they were burglars,” Nick recalled. “I thought I was going to die.” They were the F.B.I. He was under arrest for the pictures he’d been looking at. By the time his case finally came to court, Nick had undergone five psych evaluations. They all concluded the same thing: He poses no threat to actual children. He had never touched any, and wouldn’t. Nonetheless, he was found guilty of viewing the illegal images, which makes him a felon. “I don’t enjoy talking about this,” said Nick. But he decided to take this embarrassing leap into the spotlight because as word of his case spread — including the fact that his dad is a law professor — the family phone started ringing. And almost once a month it is a desperate parent, crying on the phone, saying the same thing just happened to their son. A son with Asperger’s, or autism or some other illness. One case in Alabama just finished last month. A young man with autism was given 10 years in prison, which, Nick pointed out, may kill him. Already outcasts, people with autism have a very hard time with social cues, loud noises and bright lights. Often, they end up in solitary — sometimes begging for it. The Alabama judge shrugged, saying, “You have autism? I’m bald. It’s just something we live with.” Over the years in criminal cases we have come to take into account a defendant’s IQ. We understand that someone with mental retardation should be treated differently. It’s time we realized that about people with other developmental differences, too. Skenazy is a keynote speaker, author of the book and blog “Free-Range Kids,” and a contributor at Reason.com TheVillager.com
Brooklyn Fare fared well in our foodie review SHOP TALK By Michele Herman
did something I’ve been looking forward to for more than a year: I shopped at the newly opened Brooklyn Fare. Ever since I first interviewed the store’s owner, Moe Issa, I’ve been hoping the new supermarket in the Archive building might save the West Village from the usurious prices of our other local options. I also hoped it might save my household from the elaborate alternative system we have worked out: my husband’s weekly marathon through Western Beef, Manhattan Produce, Amy’s Bread and the Italian import store to haul home our week’s staples in an old stroller. I bike to Trader Joe’s and fill up the baby seat with everything else. I corralled my resistant husband - who watches food prices the way others watch the Dow - into joining me. Why, you might ask, was he reluctant to test out a store that’s no farther from home and that just might save him a fair amount of weekly aggravation and energy? It turns out he feels tremendous loyalty and responsibility to Western Beef, one of the few retailers left that still serves the unaffluent, not to mention our local fire-
fighters. good onion bagel but can’t get one at any In the extensive cheese department, he of our usual places; what could be bad? ignored the fine selection of fancy cheese Croissants are $1.99, at least a dollar less and zeroed in on the basics: cheddar than the neighborhood patisseries. (cheaper at Manhattan Produce) and the One piece of bad bakery news: parmigiano-reggiano (much cheaper at Though Issa had hoped to do all the the Italian import place). baking in-house, the Landmarks PresThings got more interesting in the bak- ervation Commission didn’t approve the ery department. We ran into an old ac- necessary venting; the baked goods and quaintance who began kvelling about the prepared foods are trucked down, still store. In fact, she used to work at Mrs. warm, from his other Manhattan store, Green’s and now works at Brooklyn Fare on W. 37th St. and is a true believer, a very energetic PR In the huge produce department (both person or both. regular and organic), pineapples and “The people are wonderful,” she said. grape tomatoes were both on sale for an “They care about quality. Moe is here all excellent 2 for $5. My husband approved the time checking things out. And there’s of the price of peppers, onions, clemenno ageism.” tines, Brussels sprouts and much other She praised the French pastry chef produce. and the tiny Spanish woman who makes Packaged bread prices were good, the pasta fresh daily. She said the lemon though the specials on Thomas’ English chicken and the haricot verts with pista- muffins at Western Beef can’t be beat. He chios and pistachio oil are the finest she praised the double pack of naan for $3.49, has ever had. and said the Ocean Spray cranberry juice I know my spouse, and the more some- was competitive at 4.59. Amid the enorone tries to impress him the more unim- mous selection of beer, he was surprised pressed he’s determined to be. But then to see the same $14.99 deal Western Beef we looked at the bread. The sourdough has had lately on 12 packs of bottled Heibatards ($4.99) were beautiful and ex- neken. He approved of the huge selection tremely fresh, as were the baguettes of bulk nuts and the Reynolds Wrap at ($2.99, same as Amy’s, where he com- $5.39 for a 50-foot roll. plains almost every week about the inef-T:8.75” We found the three-pound bargainficient service). There were H&H bagels basement Camilla rice, but also an un(available only wholesale these days) for usually extensive selection of Asian and 80 cents apiece. He’s a guy who loves a Indian products, almost enough to save
us an occasional trip to Chinatown or Curry Hill. He’s been complaining for months about the mysterious disappearance of canned whole Italian tomatoes. There were several brands, including a house brand on sale for a rock-bottom $1.99. And the new store aced our basic supermarket test: Barilla pasta on sale 5 for $5, as good as it gets. We hit a snag in the butcher department, where I had to wait for quite a while to ask for chuck, which I planned to use for barley soup. The butcher apologized, saying he had just sold his last portion. I rejiggered my plans when I spied three kinds of fresh pierogis - once a favorite item of our regular menu rotation until Trader Joe’s stopped selling them. In the end, the chuck was my only disappointment, and Hellman’s mayo ($7.49 for 30 ounces) the only product that seemed way too expensive. The rest of the store was a marvel: huge selection of ice cream, including Haagen-Dazs on sale at 2/$6 (lately 3/$10 at Western Beef), and Peanut Butter & Co. products on sale at 2/$7. The store is bright and clean and jampacked with normal and specialty goods. The cashier was friendly. The reward card is straightforward: 1 point per dollar spent. “A good addition to the neighborhood,” my husband admitted as we exited on the ramp, letting him down easy.
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October 20, 2016
News, arts,politics, police, opinion and more... Itâ€™s all in the Villager 0
contentious bill that will put deadlines on the cityâ€™s preservation agency to designate landmarks within two years was passed by the City Council last week. There was heavy opposition from preservationists and even initial disapproval from the cityâ€™s Landmarks Preservation Commission itself â€” but the measure might be moot due
BY MICHAEL OSSORGUINE
he Omnibus Child Victims Act, or Senate Bill S6367, is the latest effort from state Democrats to reform the statute of limitations on victims of child sexual abuse. The bill, though still in committee, has momentum in the Senate as victims are stepping forward
LANDMARKS continued on p. 12
and Senate Democrats are arguing against entrenched opposition. State Senator Brad Hoylman introduced the Senate version of the bill with several co-sponsors, including Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins, the leader of the Democratic Conference. ABUSE continued on p. 14
PHOTO BY TEQUILA MINSKY
Thousands of points of light: Monday nightâ€™s vigil stretched along Christopher St. from Waverly Place to Seventh Ave. South.
â€˜We shall overcomeâ€™: Vigils draw thousands to Village BY PAUL SCHINDLER
n two vigils in the West Village on Sunday evening, one crowd numbering in the thousands, another in the hundreds voiced shock, grief, and anger over the murder of 50 patrons of an Orlando, Florida, gay bar in the early morning hours of the same day. Speaker after speaker emphasized that the violence cannot be isolated from a climate of anti-L.G.B.T. hatred that continues to persist across the nation, but also pledged to continue building community to respond to hostility and bigotry where it exists.
At the same time, both crowds rejected the notion that hate is an appropriate response to the violence and specifically called out efforts to pit the L.G.B.T. community against the Muslim community over a tragedy in which the shooter, 29-year-old Omar Mateen, is reported to have phoned 911 just prior to the massacre and pledged his allegiance to ISIS. Ken Kidd, a member of Queer Nation New York, took the lead in organizing a rally outside the Stonewall Inn that drew several thousand people. â€œWe come together because this is a community that will
never be silent again,â€? he said. â€œI ask every person to think of someone you knew who was killed because of anti-L.G.B.T. hatred. Think of a time when you felt unsafe in your own community. And I want every single one of you to think not of what anyone else, not of what I, but of what you can do to change that.â€? Kidd said the L.G.B.T. community should draw strength from the 49 patrons of the Pulse nightclub who were killed. â€œWe must go forward in love,â€? he said. Mirna Haidar, a representaVIGILS continued on p. 5
Graffiti artist tags Haring group in lawsuit ...... p. 16 Remembering Ramrod rampage of 1980.........p. 21 Here comes the sun energy...p. 18
The Paper of Record for Greenwich Village, East Village, Lower East Side, Soho, Union Square, Chinatown and Noho, Since 1933
January 14, 2016 â€˘ $1.00 Volume 86 â€˘ Number 2
Squadron slams Senate for refusing to consider the Elevator Safety Act BY YANNIC RACK
enants and politicians joined in calling on state legislators to SDVV D ELOO WKDW ZRXOG LPprove regulation and licensLQJ IRU HOHYDWRU ZRUNHUV DIWHU D \HDUROG PDQ ZDV crushed to death in an elevator on New Yearâ€™s Eve. 6WHSKHQ +HZHWW%URZQ
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Composting comes to Spring St., twice a week BY TEQUILA MINSKY AND LINCOLN ANDERSON
he term â€œscrappy New Yorkersâ€? is taking on added meaning at a spot on the Lower West Side where local resiGHQWV DUH Ă RFNLQJ Âł ZHOO WZLFH ZHHNO\ IRU QRZ Âł WR GURS RII WKHLU EDQDQD SHHOV EURFFROL VWHPV DQG FRIIHH
grounds. 3DUW RI D FLW\IXQGHG SURgram to encourage residents to separate out their organic PDWWHU IRU FRPSRVWLQJ WKH GURSRII VLWH LV LQ RSHUDWLRQ at Spring St. and Sixth Ave. RQ7XHVGD\VDQG7KXUVGD\V IURP DP WR DP ULJKW RXWVLGHWKH&(VXEZD\VWDCOMPOST continued on p. 12
Grey Art Gallery goes global........page 21
To The Editor: Re â€œ â€˜Trump thumped Clintonâ€™ â€? (Scoopyâ€™s Notebook, Oct. 13): Scoopy was wrong to write last week that I thought Trump won the second debate. Not true. As I said, Hillary showed I could trust her in a crisis: I was awed that she was able to stay with facts on the substance despite Trumpâ€™s stalking her and thrusting Bill and sex in her face. Trumpâ€™s actions and words are evil â€” not only at the debate but also regarding women, immigrants, Mexicans, African-Americans, gays, children. The mistake in Scoopyâ€™s Notebook might have occurred because I thought Trump was better at expressing emotion â€” albeit divisive and prejudiced emotion. Did you hear Michelleâ€™s speech in New Hampshire? She expresses emotion and logic. Keen Berger Berger is Democratic district leader, 66th Assembly District, Part A
to a loophole, according to its chief critics. The legislation, Intro 775A, mandates that L.P.C. vote within one year to designate proposed individual landmarks, and take no longer than two years to vote on proposed historic districts â€” limits that the billâ€™s opponents charge could lead to the loss of countless potential landmarks.
Hoylman pushes Albany to pass child sex-abuse reform, but Senate stalls
Trump emotional, but evil
The Paper of Record for Greenwich Village, East Village, Lower East Side, Soho, Union Square, Chinatown and Noho, Since 1933
June 16, 2016 â€˘ $1.00 Volume 86 â€˘ Number 24
Critics blast landmark bill as â€˜anti-preservationâ€™; Say â€˜loopholeâ€™ offers little hope BY YANNIC R ACK
Letters to the Editor
PHOTO BY Q. SAKAMAKI
A photo of David Bowie during his Ziggy Stardust period amid votive candles and flowers at the memorial in front of his Soho building.
Fans bid Bowie farewell, good luck amid the stars BY LINCOLN ANDERSON
lison Dalton was walking down LaID\HWWH 6W FDUU\LQJ D ERXTXHW RI UXVWRUDQJH URVHVKHDGLQJWRWKHPHPRULDOLQIURQWRI'DYLG%RZLHÂˇV EXLOGLQJ $OWKRXJK QR WHDUV FDPHIURPKHUH\HVVKHDSSHDUHGDVLIFU\LQJ Â´7KH\ÂˇUHWKHFRORURIÂś$ODGGLQ 6DQHÂˇÂľ VKH VDLG RI WKH Ă RZHUV UHIHUULQJ WR %RZLHÂˇV DOEXP Â´+H KDG D OLJKWQLQJEROWWKDWFRORURQKLVIDFHÂľ The superstar singer died
early Sunday in London at age DIWHU DQ PRQWK EDWWOH with liver cancer. Along with KLV ZLIH WKH PRGHO ,PDQ KH had lived at the Soho address VLQFH Asked what Bowie meant WR KHU 'DOWRQ VDLG Â´+H ZDVDOZD\VLQKLVZD\FRPSOHWHO\KRQHVWDERXWZKDWKH was going through.â€? 6KH DGGHG KHU Ă RZHUV WR WKH PHPRULDO ZKLFK LQFOXGed cards with â€œAladdin Saneâ€? OLJKWLQJ EROWV DQG VWDUV IRU 6WDUPDQ D Â´'DYLG /LYHÂľ DOEXP FRYHU SKRWRV RI =LJJ\ Stardust and the Thin White
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Editorâ€™s note: The Scoopyâ€™s item said that, according to a source, the consensus among a group of Village Independent Democrats club members who watched the debate was that Trump had won it. But the item did not specifically name anyone.
Trump â€˜stalkedâ€™ Clinton To The Editor: Re â€œ â€˜Trump thumped Clintonâ€™ â€? (Scoopyâ€™s Notebook, Oct. 13): Anyone who thought Trump won that debate should listen very carefully to Michelle Obamaâ€™s recent speech. Trump, in his aggressive, looming and stalking behavior during the debate (characterized by Scoopy as â€œon the warpathâ€?), employed a classic and brutish use of male girth (and the societal context of institutionalized sexism) to try to physically dominate and terrify his smaller female opponent. If you didnâ€™t already understand what the intended effect was, Trumpâ€™s recently revealed relationship to sexual assault made it clear. Or should have. Men donâ€™t have to do much to kick up the feelings of terror that many women and girls have to live with daily. But the privileged Trump, accustomed to bullying to get his way, tried to use every bit of it as leverage. Itâ€™s not enough to call him names: We have to stop
admiring patterns that just arenâ€™t admirable. For a whole lot of women who understand in our bones what undergirds those kinds of physically threatening postures, it was game over. We knew. He lost. K Webster
Can Hillary hack it? To The Editor: Re â€œ â€˜Trump thumped Clintonâ€™ â€? (Scoopyâ€™s Notebook, Oct. 13): If Mrs. Clinton feels threatened merely by having a tall man stand next to her, she should go home and sit down in Chappaqua. Diane Whelton
Village 9/11 memorialâ€™s truth To The Editor: Re â€œ9/11 tiles return, but â€˜fauxcadeâ€™ is still a faux pasâ€? (news article, Oct. 6): This is a great memorial. Iâ€™ve referred it to visiting Danish students who were preparing a paper on 9/11 memorials. Thereâ€™s far more truth and emotion in it than the billion-dollar spectacle Bloomberg had installed at Ground Zero. Michael Burke
Just stringing us along To The Editor: Re â€œHearing on S.B.J.S.A. was a sham all the wayâ€? (talking point, by Sharon Woolums, Oct. 13): In a Villager article in June 2015, Editor Lincoln Anderson asked Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito when the Small Business Jobs Survival Act would get a hearing. She promised a hearing once the bill got through the legislative process. That was nearly a year and a half ago. What happened to keeping promises? Is the speaker the ringleader in the rigging process at City Hall? Steven Null
Letters continued on p. 34
BOWIE continued on p. 6
Ex-chef dies in skateboard accident...........page 8 Are kidsâ€™ playdates really for parents?......page 14 www.TheVillager.com
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Bob Dylan, the Villageâ€™s renowned former resident, wins the Nobel.
October 20, 2016
‘Freewheelin’ first love Suze had opened the book
NOTEBOOK By Minerva Durham ‘The new generation causing all the fuss was not driven by the market; we had something to say, not something to sell.’ — Suze Rotolo, “A Freewheelin’ Time” (2008)
ithout hat or gloves, their shoulders hunched against the cold, they walk up the middle of Great Jones St. through dirty snow, his bare hands tucked into the pockets of his jeans while her arms circle round his left arm, holding it tight. He leads the way, slightly ahead of her, his head tilted toward her, and she, being a little shorter, leans her head on his shoulder. Their legs march in step, with their left feet suspended in mid-action, pointing up and forward, ready to strike down with their heels, their image frozen for eternity in the sort of transitional gesture that sculptors favor. He seems lost in thought. Maybe his teeth chatter from the cold, but, clearly, he is not unhappy. She smiles. “She had a smile that could light up a street full of people,” he wrote about her years later in his memoir. Looking at the photograph of Bob Dylan and Suze Rotolo in Greenwich Village in 1963, the cover of Dylan’s second album, you can see that they were young and very much in love. You can imagine how cold it was the day that Columbia Records staff photographer Don Hunstein shot the image. It nearly makes you shiver, except that Suze’s smile warms you. Thirty years after the iconic photo was taken, Stephanie Connell, a retired artist, brought a woman named Susan Rotolo to my Spring Studio. Susan didn’t want to draw the figure with the rest of us. She asked if she could instead draw the bones in my bone collection. She sat to the side of the room all by herself in the midst of animal and human bones that were to be the most recent subject of her ongoing project. She planned to sew her drawings together by hand to make small art books, inserting an occasional found object. She worked quietly and diligently. When she smiled, her eyes expressed genuine sincerity. She no longer looked much like the girl in the photo. Her face was thinner than it had been 30 years earlier. She was a little long in the tooth, but attractively so. At first glance, she looked like my sister Alexandra, with the same average height and slender build, and the same fair, honey-haired complexion, so much so, that artists would walk up to her at opening receptions and ask her, “Aren’t you Minerva’s sister?” TheVillager.com
Photo by Don Hunstein
The famous 1963 Bob Dylan album cover, featuring the singer and Suze Rotolo, walking at Jones and W. Four th St. near where they lived.
I imagine that our families could only be related by blood through redheaded Normans, some of whom conquered England in 1066 and others of whom passed through southern Italy as crusading knights and liked what they saw, so decided to take it over. I planned an exhibition at Spring Studio of mementos mori, to be shown in March 1996. I called it “Expressions of Mortality from Anatomy to Vanity.” Susan was eager show her hand-stitched books. She joined seven artists who drew the figure at the studio and who also drew bones, dealt with the theme of death, or illustrated medical subjects. All told, the show featured eight artists: Patricia Arrott, Stephanie Connell, Sharon Ellis, Elissa Gore, Rima Jablin, Geoffrey Laurence, Susan and me. Such was the power of Don Hunstein’s photo on Dylan’s album cover that people kept asking me during the exhibition if the artist in the show listed as Susan Rotolo was Bob Dylan’s girlfriend.
“The record cover,” they would exclaim, “you know, the record cover!” They wanted to know all about her, but I knew almost nothing except that she was devoted to making her art, had been Bob Dylan’s girlfriend for a few years, was married to someone else, and had a teenage son. Apparently, she was famous among Dylan fans as his mysterious first love. “Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right,” “Tomorrow Is a Long Time” and “Boots of Spanish Leather” were written for and about her. Until I read about her in David Hajdu’s book “Positively 4th Street,” I had no idea that the woman named Susan had been a significant person in Bob Dylan’s musical development. Hajdu revealed her to be of good character and deep sensitivity, with plenty of human vulnerability, devoted to the cause of human justice. It is commonly agreed that she had a strong influence in Dylan’s early songs, deepening his interest in and understanding of French symbolist poets, English-
language folk ballads, American protest music, and the lyrics of Berthold Brecht. In her memoir (published in 2008), Susan describes Dylan’s response to the performance of “Pirate Jenny” by Micki Grant, an African-American soprano, actress, writer and composer. In 1997 Susan exhibited her handmade books at the Jefferson Market Public Library, on Sixth Ave. in Greenwich Village. The show was listed in the Regional section of The New York Times, on October 26, 1997: “ ‘The Book as Art,’ an exhibition by Susan Rotolo, displays books decorated by the artist, including a memoir of the 1960s when Ms. Rotolo, who dated Bob Dylan at the time, came of age.” While checking out the architecture of the Jefferson Market Library, designed by Frederick Clarke Withers, Mario Maffi saw the show. He wrote about Susan’s “small, magical art books” in “New York suze continued on p. 22 October 20, 2016
‘Freewheelin’ first love Suze had opened the book Suze continued from p. 21
City, An Outsider’s Inside View” (published in 2004.) “So, in 1997 Susan Rotolo was coming out of hiding, presenting her story to a small, random audience, telling it in her own way, in unassuming non-commercial, small handmade artists’ books,” Maffi wrote. It was a start. In her prose poem, “Record Time,” she places her relationship with Dylan in its historic context of the civil rights struggle, the anti-war movement and the sexual revolution, just before the rise of second-wave feminism. She scrawls, “action was already in the making…so we were ready to roll,” alerting us to her nascent feminism. Like many American women at the time, Susan was empowered by participating in protest marches. A newfound feminist consciousness allowed her to reject the sort of relationship that she had with Dylan. Suze used the name Susan Rotolo in relation to her book production and her personal social life for many years. She married Enzo Bartoccioli, a filmmaker at the United Nations. She lived in an apartment on Broadway near Houston St. that she had bought when places in the Village were still cheap. Not everyone in New York was impressed with Suze’s connection to past glories or with the mystique of the silent former girlfriend of the famous musician/poet. New residents moving into her apartment building complained that her teenage son Luca sometimes played his guitar in the lobby of the building. Their complaints irked her, but she saw the humor in the situation. Everything was moving upscale, becoming flat and anonymous. She hadn’t wanted to be a legend anyway. During the years that Suze refused to give interviews to the media, she held close whatever resentment or pain she had. What was there to say? Maybe she talked about the past with Stephanie Connell, who was a big sister/mother figure for her. Stephanie was nonchalantly sophisticated and great fun to be with, a part of the generation of arty young women who lived in Greenwich Village in the ‘40s and ‘50s that included Virginia Admiral, Julia Ann Crawford, Ruth Herschberger, Alene Lee, Marjorie McKee, Elizabeth Pollet, Dachine Rainer, Edith Stephan, Helen Walker and Elaine Williams. These women spoke their minds, had brushes with fame, had some success publishing, lived bohemian lives, married famous men and/or gave birth to sons who became famous. By the time I met most of these women through Virginia Admiral, they were minor legends. You might find yourself reading about them in Anais Nin’s memoirs, if nowhere else. Susan met Stephanie while standing
October 20, 2016
Some examples of Suze Rotolo’s handsewn book ar t. Above, “Record Time — Personal Histor y,” 1995, 4 x 4 inches closed, 4 x 50 inches open. Not for sale. Below, “Bone Por traits: Still Lives,” 1995, 4 x 3.75 inches. Pen and ink on translucent paper. All six versions were sold.
in line at MoMA for free admission on a cold winter day. They struck up a conversation and were deep into it when a guard interrupted them. “I can’t let Bob Dylan’s girlfriend stand out here in the cold,” he said to Suze. “Come with me into the museum now.” “Only if my friend can come, too,” Suze said. They became fast friends until Stephanie died in 2008. With the publication of the first part of Dylan’s memoir, “Chronicles: Volume One,” in 2004, Suze’s resistance to notoriety softened. She appreciated his description of her when he met her, calling it “wonderful, generous” in an interview. She was “the most erotic thing I’d ever seen,” he wrote. She broke her silence. She agreed to be interviewed for Martin Scorsese’s 2005 documentary “No Direction Home,” which covers Dylan’s career between the years 1961 to 1966. As luck would have it, Scorcese’s cameraman was sick on the day that Suze was scheduled to be interviewed. My friend and neighbor Lisa Rinzler was called in at the last minute to shoot the interview in Suze’s home. Small talk revealed that Suze had a connection to Spring Studio. Lisa was surprised. She called me and we three made a lunch date. Suze, still essentially a private person, was warm, gentle and intelligent, as usual. We at Spring Studio who were friends with Suze somehow knew that Dylan had never lost touch with her. Stephanie must have told us, because Suze never spoke his name. We invented a sort of myth about her first love, and it served us until she finally wrote her memoir in 2008 — “A Freewheelin’ Time: A Memoir of Greenwich Village in the Sixties” — and revealed her truths. It pleased us to think that the relationship had ended because Dylan sought fame and abandoned her for Joan Baez, who furthered his career. Suze continued on p. 34
Ar tist Suze Rotolo in a more recent photo. Unlike Bob Dylan, she stayed in the Village. TheVillager.com
Horror hounds, theater freaks, and club creeps Downtown’s hallow-weirdest happenings
BY SEAN EGAN
experience to see these films in a theater full of fans, so I think people will have a great time.” Oct. 21–27 at Cinema Village (22 E. 12th St., btw. University Pl. & Fifth Ave.). Visit fearnyc.com.
t can be a hellish task to choose from the sheer variety of Halloween events in that vast and twisted underworld known as Downtown Manhattan, so we’ve handpicked some of the best ways to go about the deadly serious business at hand.
THE ALCHEMIST COOKBOOK
VAMPIRE MASQUERADE It’s not easy describing exactly what “Vampire Masquerade” is — and that’s because this immersive, free-form “happening” (as creator Michael Alan describes it) won’t really exist until it happens, naturally. “There’s a whole lot of things that it’s not,” said Alan, an artist and musician born and raised in New York City. “I don’t see a lot of fine art things around Halloween that are very scary, or even a little scary,” he elaborated. “I really wanted to give people an authentic New York horror show from the arts culture.” While the exact specifics of how the happening will shake down are abstract, what we do know in advance is that it will involve fine art created by Alan and collaborators spanning multiple mediums, from painting, sculpture, image/video projection, and experimental music, to performance (Alan’s been fleshing out a cast of characters for the evening). And with audience participation greatly encouraged and the requirement to unplug for the happening’s duration (photography and phone use aren’t allowed), “Vampire Masquerade” seems poised to be the kind of strange, fun, had-to-be-there Halloween experience that could only happen in New York. Oct. 22, 7pm–midnight, at Teatro IATI (64 E. Fourth St., btw. Second Ave. & Bowery). Visit michaelalan.com.
FEARnyc FILM FESTIVAL This year sees the inaugural edition of FEARnyc — billed as New York’s biggest horror film festival — featuring dozens of screenings of new features and old favorites. “We wanted to give the audience really a tour through the horror world, and represent all of the various subgenres,” said festival founder John Capo. “We really wanted to present variety.” The repertory slate attests to TheVillager.com
COURTESY WEBSTER HALL
Some of the gory party-goers at Webster Hell, Webster Hall’s after party for the worldfamous Village Halloween Parade.
this, featuring a showing of “The Exorcist” with a live séance, John Carpenter’s “Halloween” paired with an intheater party, and screenings of tons of classics (including “The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari” and “Psycho”). “For the new films it was about, ‘What are the most exciting new films people haven’t seen that they’re gonna be talking about tomorrow?’ ” Capo revealed, of the lineup that includes “Dead Awake” by “Final Destination” creator Jeffery Reddick, and a remake of “Blood Feast.” The merits of these films will be weighed by a panel that includes jurors like Kate Siegel, the star/co-writer of the tightly wound thriller “Hush,” and Robert Eggers, director of “The Witch.” “If you like horror films, there’s no better opportunity this year to see so many of them on the big screen,” Capo asserted. “It’s an incredible
Luckily, homebodies need not leave their couches to check out some new, adventurous horror cinema; they just need to queue up Joel Potrykus’ latest feature “The Alchemist Cookbook.” Mixing an uneasy blend of dark comedy, intimate character study, and horror, “Alchemist” tells the story of Sean, a loner living offthe-grid in a trailer in the woods, who spends his days mixing chemicals in a ramshackle kitchen lab, and poring over a mysterious book full of Latin incantation and eerie illustrations. His only companions are his cat Kasper, and his supply-bringing friend Cortes — and, well, whatever evil force might be causing the threatening whispers and roars on the wind. As the film progresses things alternate between shaggy, offbeat humor and slowly mounting psychological terror, never letting on what’s coming next. This confident balancing of moods is the film’s greatest strength — it’s unsettling and entertaining in equal measure, making it a thoroughly original must-watch for genre fans. Best of all, it can be yours right now — as Potrykus released the film on Oct. 7 on a “pay-what-youwant” model using BitTorrent. Chances are, though, “Alchemist” will linger with you, and you’ll end up wanting to pay more for the peek into Potrykus’ distinct cinematic world. Visit thealchemistcookbook.oscilloscope.net.
BLOOD MANOR Nothing says Halloween quite like a good, solid haunted house — and Blood Manor is nothing if not a tried-and-true, time-tested scare shack. A perennial favorite of this paper, Blood Manor has been operating for years downtown, consistently and thoroughly providing scares for visitors. Guided through in groups, the attraction provides visitors HALLOWEEN continued on p. 24 October 20, 2016
COURTESY THE ARTIST
COURTESY THE FILMMAKERS
A mask that will be featured in artist/musician Michael Alan’s horrorthemed happening “Vampire Masquerade.”
In “Dry Blood” (just one of over 65 screenings happening at FEARnyc), a supernatural mystery interrupts one man’s attempts to sober up.
HALLOWEEN continued from p. 23
with a (pardon the pun) killer lineup of different themed rooms — and with the variety on display, at least one is guaranteed to strike a nerve. Highlights of previous years include a grimy meat locker, a mad scientist’s lab complete with vivisected gorilla, and a neon-soaked zombie strip club (the Manor’s campy sense of humor is also a plus). Real thrill-seekers should take note of the special “lights out” nights the Manor offers, upping the ante by leaving victims (er, visitors) to stumble around in the dark. Through Nov. 5, at 163 Varick St. (btw. Charlton & Vandam Sts.).Visit bloodmanor.com.
THEATER FOR THE NEW CITY VILLAGE HALLOWEEN COSTUME BALL For those who want to raise the curtain on Halloween in style, look no further than the Theater for the New
City’s Village Halloween Costume Ball. Now in its 40th year, the ball (which requires participants to be in costume or don formal wear) finds the theater’s premises transformed into a Halloween wonderland, packed to the gills with artists and activities for those who attend. Starting with outdoor festivities and progressing inside as the night goes on, attendees will be treated to cabaret acts, big bands, dancers, numerology readings, and the “House of Horrors” maze. And naturally, food and drink will be available for purchase at the “Witches’ Cauldron,” ensuring you have enough energy to party through till the Monsters and Miracles Costume Parade, where participants have a chance to win prizes for their getups. Oct. 31, at Theater for the New City (155 First Ave., btw. E. Ninth & E. 10th Sts.). Visit theaterforthenewcity.net.
THE 43rd ANNUAL VILLAGE HALLOWEEN PARADE/WEBSTER HELL The Village Halloween Parade, NYC’s pre-eminent
Halloween event, has been thrilling people for years — 43 to be exact — as tens of thousands of costumed New Yorkers march up Sixth Ave., from Spring to 16th Sts., creating a spooky spectacle. Anyone and everyone decked out in a costume is invited to participate in the parade (whose entertainment also includes bands, dancers, and giant puppets) with no prior registration needed, making for a truly unique New York community experience. And if you aren’t all Halloween’d out after marching in the parade, you’d do well to head on over to Webster Hall’s annual parade after party. The event, fittingly titled “Webster Hell,” allows visitors the chance to dance into the wee hours of the night and compete for costume prizes, culminating in the climactic annual “virgin sacrifice,” in which the “Demon Queen” hoists a randomly chosen virgin over the crowd in order to spill her blood. Oct. 31 at Webster Hall (125 E. 11th St., btw. Third & Fourth Aves.). Visit halloween-nyc.com and websterhall.com/halloween.
COURTESY OSCILLOSCOPE LABORATORIES
PHOTO BY JONATHAN SLAFF
In “The Alchemist Cookbook,” Sean skulks through the woods, where demonic forces may or may not lurk.
Satiate your theatrical urges, at the Theater for the New City’s 40th Annual Village Halloween Costume Ball.
October 20, 2016
Queen of Harlem Renaissance is subject of ‘Zora’
Holder’s play praises Hurston’s pioneering BY TRAV S.D.
he year 2016 saw the 125th birthday of trailblazing African American writer, folklorist, and anthropologist Zora Neale Hurston (18911960). To mark the occasion, the New Federal Theatre is reviving their 1998 production of Laurence Holder’s “Zora Neale Hurston: A Theatrical Biography.” Sometimes known as the “Queen of the Harlem Renaissance,” Hurston had a life and a career that were extraordinary by any standard. Raised in Eatonville, Florida, America’s first town to be incorporated and governed entirely by African Americans, Hurston went on to study at Howard University and later Barnard College. While at Barnard, she was tapped by anthropologist Franz Boas to collect material on the folk culture of African Americans, a lifelong project that would come to embrace a study of the people of the Caribbean as well. Said Woodie King Jr., artistic director of the New Federal Theatre and director of the upcoming play, “She was a pioneer of promoting the folkways of AfricanAmericans that had been unheard up until that time. She went into the South and collected tons of stories. She studied folk music and blues songs, she spoke with people on chain gangs, in prison, in lumber camps, at fishing holes, on front porches. It all had an impact on her.” Hurston had already begun publishing her fiction prior to this folklore fieldwork, becoming one of the key players in the Harlem Renaissance by the mid-1920s alongside such figures as Langston Hughes. Her subsequent studies of folk culture would come to enrich her short stories, novels and non-fiction works of a decade later to a marked degree, giving them a distinct, authentic flavor. Her principle works were written during the Great Depression: the novels “Jonah’s Gourd Vine” (1934), “Their Eyes Were Watching God” (1937, her best-known work), and “Moses, Man of the Mountain” (1939), and the nonfiction works “Mules and Men” (1935) and “Tell My Horse” (1938). In the 1940s there followed a memoir “Dust Tracks on a Road” (1942), and one last published novel “Seraph on the Sewanee” (1948). Over the years she also wrote plays, poetry, short stories, articles, and opinion pieces. In later years she fell out of favor. The fact that she wrote in phonetically rendered black dialect (an outgrowth
PHOTO BY MARTHA SWOPE
Elizabeth Van Dyke in “Zora Neale Hurston: A Theatrical Biography.”
of her anthropological fieldwork) alienated her from many black readers and intellectuals (including novelist Richard Wright), as did the fact that she was an outspoken political conservative. In 1948 she was framed by Florida authorities, who accused of her molesting a 10-year-old boy, a crime of which she was manifestly innocent, having been in Honduras at the time. This incident finished her career as a public figure. Hurston spent her remaining 12 years both penniless and obscure. According to playwright Holder, Hurston’s famously go-it-alone personality contributed to this isolation. “She didn’t really like authority, and being a woman, she was constantly being upbraided by men, being told to stay in the kitchen and so forth. She rebelled against it. She knew who she was and was quick to remind everyone. But,” he added admiringly, “she was one bad-ass bitch! She told Langston Hughes and Richard Wright where to go. And these
were all guys who were helping her out! She castigated [scholar] Alain [LeRoy] Locke, and he was the one who helped her get into Barnard. So she didn’t really belong to anyone. She was a loner.” In 1973, Hurston’s unmarked grave was located by the young writer Alice Walker, who collaborated with others to
erect a headstone, and led the rehabilitation and popularization of Hurston’s place in American literary history, beginning with a 1975 article in Ms. Magazine entitled “In Search of Zora Neale Hurston” (later anthologized as “Looking for ZORA continued on p. 26
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
East Village Halloween Costume Ball Monday, October 31st Come see and be seen and Celebrate the Night of Nights! Costume Parade & Live Bands | Miracles & Monsters HOT FOOD & HOT ENTERTAINMENT Band stage on E. 10th St. at 4:30PM DOORS OPEN 7:30 PM ALL TICKETS, $20!
October 20, 2016
PHOTO BY JONATHAN SLAFF
Laurence Holder at Harlem Besame Restaurant, for a sitespecific March 2016 performance of his play, “Sugar Ray.” ZORA continued from p. 25
Zora”). With renewed interest by the public, Hurston’s works were republished, re-evaluated and celebrated, and are now considered classics. “Their Eyes Were Watching God” was made into a 2005 TV movie by Oprah Winfrey and Quincy Jones, starring Halle Berry. “Their Eyes Were Watching God” is the same book that inspired playwright Laurence Holder’s decades-long engagement with Hurston. “When I read that book I was floored — floored!” he said. According to Holder, he immediately began working on an adaptation that was being workshopped in 1979 when a call from Hurston’s estate shut it down. “That’s when I started writing a biographical play,” says Holder. This became “Zora,” which starred a then-unknown Phylicia Rashad and was presented in 1981 on a double-bill that also included Holder’s biographical play about Malcolm X entitled “When the
PHOTO BY MARTHA HOLMES
Elizabeth Van Dyke and Joseph Lewis Edwards in the 1998 “Zora” production.
Chickens Came Home to Roost” — starring a then-unknown Denzel Washington (now, there’s a night of theatre I wish I could go back in time to see!). In total, Holder has written five theatrical works about Hurston. In 1998, his “Zora Neale Hurston” was presented as a co-production of the American Place Theatre and Woodie King, Jr.’s National Black Touring Circuit, starring Elizabeth Van Dyke, who had directed “Zora” back in 1981. The play is a two-hander; all the men in Hurston’s life were played by Joseph Lewis Edwards. Both actors are returning for the present revival. For her portrayal of Hurston in the original production, Van Dyke won an AUDELCO Award for Best Actress.
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In the 18 years since that last production, America has seen the election of its first black president, and the appointments of its first black attorney general, and two black secretaries of state, including the first black female in that position. Oprah Winfrey became the world’s first black female billionaire. At the same time, America has continued to deal with issues of racial division, most markedly in the area of unfair practices in law enforcement and the criminal justice system. What does a figure like Hurston have to tell us today? Said King, “It would be amazing for me to know that this show would help audiences discover a figure who was present at the Harlem Renaissance,
through the Great Depression, through World War II, through the beginning of the Cold War, who wrote about all this, who gave us that vast canvas, that history. The story of Zora Neale Hurston really is a large part of the story of African Americans in the 20th century.” Through Nov. 20. Thurs., Fri. & Sat. at 8pm; Sat. & Sun. at 2:30pm. At the Castillo Theatre (543 W. 42nd St., btw. 10th & 11th Aves.). For tickets ($40; $30 for students/seniors; $25 for groups of 10 or more), visit castillo.org or call 212-941-1234. Visit newfederaltheatre. com. A Scholar’s Panel will be held immediately following the 2:30pm Oct. 30 performance.
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Just Do Art BY SCOTT STIFFLER
MAH JONGG IN JEWISH AND CHINESE HERITAGE Although the precise details of its Qing Dynasty origins will be forever shrouded in mystery (or at least intense debate), there’s nothing open to interpretation about the enduring appeal of Mah Jongg — a draw-and-discard game whose most popular variation (four players sitting around a table) has been part of the social fabric of America’s Chinese and Jewish communities since making its stateside debut in 1920. Co-sponsored by the Museum of Jewish Heritage and the China Institute, this event will delve into the history, meaning, and tradition of Mah Jongg. Panelist Gregg Swain (co-author of “Mah Jongg: The Art of the Game”) will pay tribute to the craftsmanship of those lost-to-history designers who created the game’s first tiles — while Melissa Martens Yaverbaum, from the Council of American Jewish Museums, speaks to Mah Jongg’s past and present impact on popular culture. Wed., Oct. 26, 7pm, at the Museum of Jewish Heritage – A Living Memorial to the Holocaust (36 Battery Pl., at West St. & 1st Pl.). For tickets ($12 general, $10 for MJH and China Institute members), call 646-437-4202 or visit mjhnyc. org. Also visit mahjonggtheartofthegame. com and chinainstitute.org.
ERYC TAYLOR DANCE: THE 10-YEAR ANNIVERSARY PERFORMANCES A full decade after its debut performance, the prodigious output, collaborative nature, and nurturing instinct of this prolific company is still in lock step with its founding mission: “advance appreciation of dance by creating and presenting original performances, conducting master classes and workshops, and awarding grants to aspiring choreographers.” Not content to rest on its laurels, this anniversary performance from Eryc Taylor Dance will feature seven world-premiere choreographic works — each with its own stand-alone narrative, choreographed by Taylor and company members, and performed over the course of 60 requisitely tight and dynamic minutes by the quartet of Nicole Baker, Chris Bell, Graham Cole, and Jacob Kruty. The selections include “Grand Duet,” an Eryc Taylor/Timothy Pattersonchoreographed dance featuring Cole and Baker; the Bell-danced “#1 Fan,” which he choreographed, based on his original story. The quartet performs “Song for Cello & Piano,” directed by Taylor to an original composition by author/ composer Daniel Tobias; and “Dances on Wood,” another quartet work choreographed to an original score by renowned composer and longtime Chelsea Hotel resident Gerald Busby.
Fri., Oct. 21 & Sat., Oct. 22, 8pm, at Martha Graham Center of Contemporary Dance (55 Bethune St., at Washington St.). For tickets ($30; $20 for students & seniors), call 858-401-2456 or visit eryctaylordance.com.
“NICE T!TS!” — A RECONSTRUCTIVE COMEDY Breast Cancer Awareness Month is the appropriately scheduled time for writer/ performer Amy Marcs to present an encore run of this multi-character solo comedy about how breast cancer changed her view of femininity, self-confidence, and mortality. “I have a family history of this disease,” she told this publication prior to the 2015 run of her show. As a teenager, Marcs saw her 51-year-old mother die from the disease. Years later, she responded to her own diagnosis (and, ultimately, a double mastectomy) with “an unbelievable gut instinct that I had the emotional strength to go through this.” Determined to get back what she lost (metaphor and spoiler alert!), “Nice T!ts!” is a frank, funny, sharp, wry, and, at times, unabashedly sad look back at her “quest to find the perfect set of boobs,” and the emotionally complicated aftermath of achieving that goal. Mon., Oct. 24 and Thurs., Oct. 27, 8pm, at The PIT Loft (154 W. 29th St., btw. Sixth & Seventh Aves.). For tickets ($10-$20), visit thepit-nyc. com. Aritst info at amymarcs.com.
PHOTO BY JUAN FELIPE RANGEL
Amy Marcs’ tart and smart comedy about breast cancer plays at The PIT Loft through Oct. 27.
PHOTO BY TREVOR MESSERSMITH
Tale of the tile: “Mah Jongg in Jewish and Chinese Heritage” pays tribute to the game’s impact on American popular culture. TheVillager.com
PHOTO BY MARIA PANINA
There is only one, and it’s turning 10: Eryc Taylor Dance celebrates decade #1 with a seven-premiere program, Oct. 21 & 22. October 20, 2016
Bike attorney likes how the wheels are turning; Vaccaro continued from p. 12
hazard. Anyway, there was a huge fight because no one wanted the lanes on their block: “Our block has hospitals.” “Our block has senior citizens.” “Our block has schools. There are kids — you’re going to bring bikes in?” Since when did it become gospel that kids and bikes don’t mix? Huh?
VIL: That they jumped off their bike to try to create an injury to themselves? S.V.: Yeah, or just that bikers are crazy: “Who knows why they did it, but I had nothing to do with it.” VIL: What kind of damages would you typically recover in a case like this?
VIL: People are probably afraid that some renegade biker will be going too fast and hurt someone.
S.V.: If you’re talking about a driver of limited means who goes to GEICO because they’re cheapest, chances are they have $25,000 worth of personal injury coverage. And so, you can smash someone’s leg, requiring metal hardware. You could take someone’s leg off. You could take both their legs off, and $25,000 would be the amount of the insurance. The person can go after your assets. But if you don’t really have any real property or significant assets, you’re probably just going to walk away, after changing that person’s life, with your insurance company paying the $25,000, and that’s it. And that is one of the things that is so shocking about driving in New York City, is that the amount of harm you can do is incalculable. But the amount of liability coverage or financial responsibility you’re required to really have in place is $25,000. VIL: And what if the driver does have financial means and / or good coverage? S.V.: Every case is different. But for people who have to have surgery and have metal hardware put in, or who lose parts of internal organs and things of that nature, the cases run into the hundreds of thousands or millions. VIL: Is bicycling in New York worth the risk? Some would say not. S.V.: I don’t think that you can ride a bike in the city your whole life without getting into some crashes, no matter how careful you are. You have to weigh it against what are your alternatives in terms of maintaining your fitness and maintaining your mental health? A lot of people wouldn’t give up cycling in the city, despite the dangers. Most injuries, thank God, are not all that serious. VIL: I think, for cyclists, familiarity with your surroundings is important — and to go slow — to help avoid accidents. S.V.: The thing I’d say about the bike infrastructure is that it calms the traffic, it makes it safer to bicycle, it creates a predictable space for each of the participants in traffic to be. And it’s a learning process. Yes, you do need to be familiar with your surroundings. Look at First and Second Ave. separated bike paths as
October 20, 2016
Photo by Tequila Minsky
Attorney Steve Vaccaro with his Surly Long Haul Trucker commuter ride on Batter y Place.
compared to Eighth and Ninth Ave. in Midtown. You have a much greater concentration of tourists and out-of-towners by Eighth and Ninth Ave., who are less familiar with the streets of New York and are less susceptible to that learning curve. So they all walk in the bike lane going to the Port Authority. The irony is the cyclists fought to have those lanes put in on the rationale of “Hey, pedestrians, you don’t want bikes on the sidewalk, give us a space to be.” We got the protected bike path, and now it’s a sidewalk extension and there’s still no place for cyclists to be. But even now, it’s better than it was. And First and Second Ave. are really great. VIL: What about the Jay St. bike lane in Downtown Brooklyn? It was recently moved from out in the street to in between the curb and the parked cars. Some non-cyclists are complaining about it. But before, cars were double-parking in the bike lane and forcing cyclists dangerously out into traffic. S.V.: I think you don’t render your verdict until the bike lane has been in for a while and people have a chance to adjust. It has worked in other parts of the city that have comparable levels of foot traffic. You need to ticket motorists who park
in the bike lane, because that’s a flagrant violation. There are “No Stopping” signs up, and that needs to be heavily enforced. They weren’t enforcing double-parking there before. They need to enforce blocking the bike path there, or you’re going to have chaos. There will be issues with interactions, even with a protected bike path. But I think as long as cyclists bear in mind that you cannot go as fast in a protected bike path between the parked cars and the curb as you could in a vehicular traffic lane, you can still go at a reasonable rate of speed. VIL: Apparently, Upper East Siders — including, notably, Woody Allen — really hate bike lanes. What exactly is their beef with bicycles? S.V.: Yeah, and I’ve been to some of those meetings. (Chuckles.) I heard the most incredible story when I was at an Upper East Side community board meeting regarding which east-west cross streets they were going to install Class 2 bike lanes. Those are just paint, two white lines, where the bike lane is within the dooring zone of the parked cars. I would recommend that no one ever proceed faster than 10 miles an hour in one of those lanes because of the dooring
S.V.: But when, in fact, is the last time a renegade biker ever hurt a kid? When do you ever hear that? But I can tell you about so many kids who’ve been killed by renegade motorists. It happens all the time in New York City, and no says, “We’ve got to get these cars off our block.” The cars are the danger. So this one parent gets up and says, “My kids go to school at Loyola on E. 84th St., and they have a play street and you can’t have a bike lane there. And I was watching the kids play the other day. I saw one little second grader running, and he ran right into a dumpster that was on the street and fell down. He was O.K., but he was crying. Now imagine the danger of having all these bicycles.” Are we going to be living in padded rooms? I mean, don’t raise a kid in New York City if they’re not safe around stationary objects. That’s my advice to him. I mean that is ridiculous. (Laughs.) VIL: O.K., how about the West Side? S.V.: The West Side is interesting because the people are more politically sophisticated. I’m a West Sider, even though I live on the East Side. I grew up on W. 93rd St. You have many more cyclists on the West Side than you do on the Upper East. But you also have a lot of people who aren’t cyclists and have negative views, and they’re frankly much more formidable in their opposition to cyclists than the haters on the Upper East. VIL: And why is that? S.V.: They’re more politically savvy. They know how to make those arguments. You see it in the machinations of the community board. You don’t see them making the silly arguments of the type I just mentioned on the Upper East Side. (Laughs.) VIL: So what kind of arguments do West Siders make? S.V.: They read through the studies that D.O.T. [the city Department of Transportation] does and they come up with facially reasonable arguments about why the study wasn’t good enough, and they say, “We have to have another study, and please come back in two years.” And Vaccaro continued on p. 29 TheVillager.com
‘City is on the right path’ vaccaro continued from p. 28
that’s what happened for about 20 years. VIL: To delay. S.V.: Yes. But eventually it couldn’t be prevented. So first, they fought the Columbus Ave. lane, and then the Columbus lane went in. And then they kept fighting, but still eventually the Amsterdam Ave. lane went in. So we have Columbus and Amsterdam, people are riding on them. The city has not ground to a halt. One thing you find in common anywhere you go, is people say, “There’ll be a traffic nightmare, ‘carmageddon.’ No one can move in traffic once you put in bike lanes.” And then they put the bike lanes in, and traffic continues to move. New York is still functioning. VIL: What about the bridges? The Brooklyn Bridge is a nightmare for cyclists now because it’s jammed with tourists who want to put a “love lock” or “love earphones” on the bridge. S.V.: There’s all these vying uses for public space in New York City that people are constantly thinking of — Pokemon Go. VIL: What? That’s now a problem, too, Pokemon Go? S.V.: It’s a competing public use. If you have people running around with their phone trying to position themselves in a certain way according to their video game, they could end up running in front of a car or a bike or anything else. VIL: Is that happening? S.V.: I’m sure it’s happened. But no one’s reported it to me. The point I’m making is that we can have adjustments and changes in our uses of public space, and the city will still work. And if there’s one principle that makes sense, it should be getting people to reduce their footprint. You can get people out of their goddam S.U.V. as a single-occupant vehicle. We should be promoting smaller footprints for people to move around because we have a scarce resource — it’s space. Part of what people love about the city is the mobility and the vibrancy and the density, and the proximity to other people. And cars just make no sense. It’s no social interaction in a car. Drivers are cut off, they’re listening to their music, they’re talking on their phone… VIL: Or texting. I read that more drivers now die due to texting than drunk driving. … What about Citi Bike? You’re a supporter, right? S.V.: Absolutely. It’s expanding, and they just hit another record, 60,000 trips TheVillager.com
in one day. Citi Bike is now as well used as public transportation in many small cities. It is an undeniable critical supplement to the mass transit system. VIL: They’re such safe bikes. They’re slow. Why do you think some people oppose them so vehemently? S.V.: Many people don’t like it because they don’t expect it, and they feel like it’s limiting what they had traditionally seen as their freedom to move around in their accustomed comfortable spaces. People don’t like change. And that’s what we’re working through, in trying to encourage modal shift from motor vehicle traffic to bicycle traffic to walking. VIL: Do you bicycle commute from the Upper East Side every day? S.V.: Absolutely. Every day, pretty much, weather permitting. I go down Fifth Ave.; during the daytime, I’m more comfortable on the grid. At night, I recognize that drivers can pay a little less attention. And it can also be a little harder for me to see defects in the road. So I take a longer route home, going up the Hudson River greenway and along the Riverside Park bike path. I go across at 96th St. I worked very hard — my son and I, actually — to get a shared bike / pedestrian path in Central Park at 96th St. It’s one of two in the park where you can share the path with pedestrians going crosstown. You don’t have to ride in the transverse, which is very dangerous. It’s a pedestrian path, with signage and decals saying cyclists are allowed, and telling cyclists to be careful and respectful of pedestrians. The community board was livid. They said, “There’s gonna be blood in the streets. You’re giving away our park to the bikers.” But there has not been one incident, or one pedestrian injured. People don’t want to accept any of this. They just go on crying, “The sky is falling. … Citi Bike is coming, it’s going to lower our property values.” And there is evidence, based on empirical research in peer-review journals — by people in the real estate industry — that Citi Bike increases the per-square-foot rate of commercial space. VIL: Commercial, but not residential? S.V.: It’s been studied in the context of commercial. If a Citi Bike dock is in front of your business, you have people coming and going right in front of your store. They look right in your window. What shop owners are losing is their own little personal parking space for their car that they’ve had for 20 years, and now they can’t do that anymore. But they should let go of that and accept the fact that it’s actually bringing traffic to their business.
Vaccaro continued on p. 34 October 20, 2016
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October 20, 2016
Photo by Dennis Lynch
At a press conference outside P.S. 41 in the Village regarding a bill to curb speeding near schools, from left, Caroline Samponaro, of Transpor tation Alternatives; State Senator Jose Peralta; A ssemblymember Deborah Glick; and Cristina Furlong, co-founder of Make Queens Safe.
Glick aims to ‘school’ drivers on speeding By Dennis Lynch
tate politicians recently unveiled a bill to suspend a motorist’s license for two months if a judge convicts him or her of speeding in a school zone three times over the course of 18 months. Assemblymember Deborah Glick and State Senator Jose Peralta, of Queens, announced their bill outside P.S. 41 in Greenwich Village. Glick called the measures an effort at behavior modification, not driver penalization. “We don’t want people to lose their license, we want them to slow down,” she said. “We hope that after the first infraction where someone is caught on a speed camera, that they then change their behavior. But if they don’t, if they are repeat offenders, you have to take a more serious sanction.” The legislators’ bills will hit the floor of their chambers when they return to session in January. They said they believe a two-month suspension looming over drivers’ heads is enough to make them slow down. But Glick added, “You have to balance the penalty with the ability to pass the legislation.” The measure goes hand in hand with the two pols’ bills to put speed cameras around more schools in the city and to keep them on 24 hours a day - instead
of only operating from an hour before school to an hour after school, as 140 cameras part of a pilot program currently do. The city installed those 100 fixed cameras and 40 mobile speed cameras at 140 school zones around the city at the start of the school year last fall. Daily speeding violations have since dropped “by an average of 60 percent” in those areas, according to the Department of Transportation. The lawmakers referred their identical Assembly and Senate bills -- A09861 and S07776 - to their respective transportation committees in May and June. However, neither committee approved its version of the bill before the end of the last legislative session in July. Critics have called speed cameras just a way for the city and state to rake in cash on the backs of drivers. However, a WNYC analysis of speeding violations around the city’s own speed cameras showed that the number of speeding tickets issues “fell steadily over time,” implying that drivers learned to slow down where the city installed stationary cameras. The license-suspension legislation would take effect across the state, while the speed-camera legislation the pair have put together would only affect the city.
October 20, 2016
Letters to The Editor Letters continued from p. 20
Buy a cell phone! To The Editor: Re “My DSL hell: The K.G.B. had nothing on Verizon” (talking point, by Bill Weinberg, Oct. 13): Go ahead and get a cell, Bill. You’re in good company. Nothing bad is going to happen. I personally guarantee it. Aydin Torun
Marte has my vote To The Editor: Re “Challenging Chin” (Scoopy’s Notebook, Oct. 13): As someone who ran against Chris Marte this past year for Democratic State Committee, I can vouch that he is a hard worker, a progressive and a bridge builder, not a bomb thrower nor a divider, which seems to be the norm in this political season, both locally and nationally. The potential City Council candidates mentioned by Scoopy — Marte, Don
Lee and Rajkumar — would all be an improvement over incumbent Margaret Chin, and I could easily see myself supporting Chris. I would lend a hand in fundraising. In the recent State Committee race, Chris came out of nowhere and worked hard. His experience in the community and his nonstop campaigning won him a very impressive percentage of the vote. He joined me in my effort to increase visibility for the State Committee race, which was no easy task. His ability to communicate, rally people for important issues, and get the press to pay attention would serve him well in the City Council. Dodge Landesman
Done to perfection To The Editor: Re “A Bride in the Willows: Theresa Byrnes suspends her body to create provocative art” (news article, Oct. 13): Perfectly evokes what it was like to be witness to a fierce and wonderful performance piece. Thanks, Sarah! Steve Zehentner
‘Freewheelin’’ first love suze continued from p. 22
We were wrong. Suze felt “like a string” on Dylan’s guitar; her mother and older sister disliked Dylan intensely; feminism was on the rise. She needed to be herself. Then, there was the abortion. In the early ‘60s abortion was not legal in New York State yet, or anywhere else in the country. After moving out of their W. Fourth St. apartment, Suze had an illegal abortion. Every woman from the ‘60s has an unwanted-pregnancy story to tell, hers or her sister’s or her best friend’s, each story unhappy in its own way. Everything moved quickly after Suze’s book came out. She did interviews and made appearances and was written about favorably. She was an excellent writer, honest and empathetic. Of the period when she new Dylan, she wrote, “The 1960s were an amazing time, an eventful time of protest and rebellion. An entire generation had permission to drink alcohol and die in a war at eighteen, but it had no voting voice until the age of twenty-one. Upheaval was inevitable. Talk made music, and music made talk. Action was in the civil rights marches, marches against the bomb, and marches against an escalating war in Vietnam. It was a march out of a time, too - out of the constricted
October 20, 2016
and rigid morality of the 1950s. The Beats had already cracked the facade and we, the next generation, broke through it.” After Stephanie Connell died in 2008, the same year that Suze’s memoir came out, another of Stephanie’s friends, Eileen Krest, planned to mount a memorial show of Stephanie’s works at Spring Studio to be presented in 2010 with the help of Stephanie’s boyfriend Ron Efron and her son Eric Connell. I ran into Suze and Enzo on the street. “I haven’t read your book yet, but I want to,” I confessed. She smiled her beautiful, warm smile. “Do,” she encouraged me. I told her that Eileen and I were working with Ron, doing a memorial show of Stephanie’s drawings and paintings. Suze was excited and offered to help. But as the show neared we couldn’t reach her. Finally, I got an e-mail from Eileen on Dec. 3, 2010. Suze just got back to me. She really sincerely wants to come Sun. evening, but she has “not been well” (sounds serious). She told me to tell you both. Suze missed the opening reception for Stephanie’s memorial show, but
iPic makes him sick To The Editor: The opening of the iPic movie complex in the historic South St. Seaport area marks a historic occasion for the Lower East Side. Instead of being the first major movie house to geographically serve the large population while complementing its unique seafaring location, it vividly illustrates another glaring symbol of how Howard Hughes Real Estate plans to turn the Seaport Historic District into an upscale pricey mall. There is no list of prices, movies and times anywhere in the lobby. You are told that this multiplex theater has two price scales, one for its registered, paid annual club membership (lower), the other public (higher), with a rising scale of prices according to varying plushy seating and service. In the words of the receptionist, “We are not designed for children and no discount for seniors.” Food varies from restaurant to faster service, including personal service. What should have been a modern, egalitarian, typical American movie theater is now an elitist cinema club for upscale spenders who don’t ask, “How much?” This is another dramatic example of the Howard Hughes business plan, with the support of the city’s Economic De-
I hoped that she could see the show before it came down. I left a few messages on her phone. Enzo finally called to tell me that she was too sick to visit the studio. Suze Rotolo died of lung cancer at
velopment Corporation, adding to the Modernist glass cube building now replacing the period salty redwood multiservice one on Pier 17 to bury its historic identity. In addition, the attempt to build a 48story tower in the water next to the Tin Building and the proposal to move the iconic Seaport Museum to the remote Pier 16 from its current early-1800s Schermerhorn Row houses, the heart of the historic district, demonstrates what happens when politicians put business — and the commerce-oriented E.D.C. — in charge of priceless cultural sites. The South St. Seaport is the last and oldest location where Manhattan’s seaport began. It’s a place that draws visitors from around the world, as well as locals, to view our heritage — not a pricey mall. Sy Schleimer E-mail letters, not longer than 250 words in length, to news@thevillager. com or fax to 212-229-2790 or mail to The Villager, Letters to the Editor, 1 Metrotech North, 10th floor, Brooklyn, NY, NY 11201. Please include phone number for confirmation purposes. The Villager reserves the right to edit letters for space, grammar, clarity and libel. Anonymous letters will not be published. her home on Feb. 25, 2011, at age 67, in Enzo’s arms, we were told. To see scores of Susan Rotolo’s handmade books online, go to Medialia Gallery’s Web site: www.medialiagallery.com/artists/Rotolo/Rotolo.html
Bike attorney is bullish Vaccaro continued from p. 29
VIL: My fantasy has always been that there would be one avenue in Manhattan dedicated to bikes, or a bike viaduct above the streets. S.V.: It needs to be more decentralized. I remember back before there were protected bike paths in Manhattan and they were just talking about bringing it to Ninth Ave. I said we need it on Eighth and Ninth, First and Second, and Fifth and Sixth Aves., and then that would be it for protected bike paths north-south in Manhattan, and the rest would be the painted bike lanes. And that’s pretty much what we’ve got. I mean, I don’t know what’s going to happen with Fifth Ave. — it has a buffered bike lane south of Madison Square Park — but Sixth is being built out. Sixth Ave. is getting a protected bike lane. So, really, it’s coming to pass in about 10 years. And the city lives on. VIL: Do you give former Mayor Bloomberg a lot of credit for all of the new bike lanes and Citi Bike?
S.V.: Sure, because he backed up his Transportation commissioner, Janette Sadik-Khan. VIL: How do you think Mayor de Blasio is doing on further expanding bike lanes, and implementing his own Vision Zero street safety initiative? S.V.: I think de Blasio has done a good job of continuing the successes of Mayor Bloomberg in terms of alternative transportation and public space. VIL: What kind of bike do you ride for commuting? S.V.: I have a steel-frame Surly Long Haul Trucker. It’s heavy but strong. I have a road bike for weekends, for goingup-to-Nyack kind of thing. Vaccaro’s client Jeffrey Heller — the cyclist who was injured in Brooklyn — was calling on the phone. Vaccaro had to take the call, and the interview, which had run 40 minutes, ended. As usual, the bike attorney would cycle home later that evening. TheVillager.com
‘Empire’ strikes back, as Parks soaks saber fighters Jedi knights, Sith lords and sundr y “Star Wars” characters filled Washington Square Park Saturday evening for yet another epic lightsaber battle. A s their weapons glowed pink, blue, green and yellow in the darkness, they joy fully engaged in combat and took over the fountain, and were planning to keep on dueling until 11 p.m. But at 9:30, in a dastardly move Dar th Vader himself would surely savor, the Empire — i.e., the Parks Depar tment — suddenly turned on the fountain’s water jets, sending most of them scattering. A few of them continued to wage water combat on the fountain’s fringes, though. The red-garbed Sith, below, said he was eagerly looking for ward to the next installment of the massive biannual pillow fight in the historic Village park, which is coming up soon. Back in March, state Senator Brad Hoylman told the pillow-fight organizers they had to get a permit, or else he wasn’t “down” with their feather-scattering melee, which he said also harms the park’s plantings and impacts families with small children and others who just want to use the park in peace. But they went ahead and held the event anyway.
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October 20, 2016
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October 20, 2016
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October 20, 2016