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Midtown Council Calls for Compassion, Cooperation BY DUSICA SUE MALESEVIC “I was homeless,” Delon Ali told the crowd. “I know what it feels like to be rejected, to be cast out. I know what it feels like to be hopeless. I know what it feels like when you don’t shower for three months. I know what it feels like to be a dead man walking, if you will.” Ali shared his story at the Oct. 20

Trump at your table?

Now that’s


MIDTOWN SOUTH continued on p. 2

‘PeopleWay’ 14th St. Plan Praised and Panned BY DENNIS LYNCH An ongoing effort from commuter advocacy group Transportation Alternatives (TransAlt) to establish a “PeopleWay” car- and truck-less thoroughfare on 14th St. during the L train shutdown — and possibly permanently — received mixed reviews from the public at a Community Board 4 Transportation

Photo by Scott Stiffler

West 21st St. is the site of this horrific scene that has Trump courting the fickle skeleton vote. See page 7 for more groovy, ghoulish displays haunting the stoops, windows, and steps of Chelsea.

Panel Promotes Mom-and-Pops

PLAN continued on p. 4


“Phantasmagoria” is an atmospheric, puppet-infused take on the origin story of “Frankenstein.” See page 20.

BY SEAN EGAN “The fabric of this city is dying,” said Chelsea resident Roberta Gelb, while chiding the City Council and Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer for the decades-long stalling of a bill that would strengthen the rights of commercial tenants during lease negotiations with landlords. Unambiguous and apoplectic, Gelb’s linking of political inaction to the loss of single- and family-owned businesses was a common refrain at Oct. 20’s forum (“The Death (& Rebirth?) of NYC’s Mom-and-Pops”) — sponsored by the Chelsea Reform Democratic Club (CRDC; in order to address the issue and examine solutions — most significantly, the aforementioned bill, the Small Business Jobs Survival Act (SBJSA). In her opening statements, panel moderator and CRDC


member Judy Richheimer decried the changing character of the city, noting that in lieu of the many unique shops that once drew people to the city, “I am seeing instead…a 7-Eleven, a Duane Reade, a — you name it — a bank, some chain store. Something you can find anywhere.” She then introduced the guest speakers: urban planner Lucian Reynolds, attorney Steven Barrison, and Eli Szenes-Strauss from the office of NY State Senator Brad Hoylman. Noticably absent was City Councilmember and Committee on Small Business chairperson Robert Cornegy, who cancelled at the last minute (in the audience was a representative of Chelsea’s Councilmember Corey Johnson, who is among the SBJSA sponsors). Reynolds, co-author of the study “Big Impact: Expanding FORUM continued on p. 3 VOLUME 08, ISSUE 43 | OCTOBER 27 - NOVEMBER 02, 2016

Midtown South Community Council Prefers Partnership Over Complaints MIDTOWN SOUTH continued from p. 1

meeting of the Midtown South Community Council (MSCC), held at The New Yorker hotel (481 Eighth Ave., btw. W. 34th & W. 35th Sts.). He explained how he moved from Trinidad to New York City 20 years ago, and how he fell on hard times 10 years ago after losing his job and turning to drugs. “In the winter, I would ride the F train from Queens to Coney Island, back and forth,” he said. “I would sleep in abandoned buildings. I would get locked up in prison all the time.” Ali added, “Ten years ago, I walk into a room and see a bunch of cops, I would make a U-turn and run out.” Indeed, this got a few murmurs as the MSCC meeting was filled with police officers from the Midtown South Precinct. Each precinct has a community council whose meetings bring residents and cops together to discuss problems and issues in the area. Homelessness has persisted on and off for decades in the area, said John A. Mudd, president of the MSCC. Mudd is committed to tackling the complicated problem, and had invited Ali to the meeting to share his experience and insight. Today, Ali is a pastor who has both an associate and bachelor’s degrees in bible science and theology, and is planning to attend the New York Theological Seminary in January, he said. He also manages the 21-day shelter program at The Bowery Mission ( The mission, at 227 Bowery (btw. Prince & Rivington Sts.), serves anywhere from 700 to a 1,000 plates of food per day, every day, according to Ali. It also provides clothing, shelter and a place for people to shower, he said. “I have seen people come in off the parks, off the benches,” said Ali. “I have seen the process. I have seen their life change. I’ve seen them go back to independent living. I’ve seen them go back to their families. I’ve seen them getting jobs. It encourages me.” In a phone interview two days later, Mudd explained to Chelsea Now how he is trying to connect the various organizations — like The Bowery Mission — and city agencies to form a network to help the homeless. Improving communication citywide is part of that, Mudd said. “I think we need to be on a wider net — we need to have all our bases covered,” he said. Mudd has lived on W. 38th St. (btw. Eighth & Ninth Aves.) since 1984 and has been part of the council for 29 years. “This has been on my agenda for a long time,” he said. Earlier this year, he started calling agencies, talking to people about homelessness and researching the issue. The council receives many complaints about homeless people, including when LinkNYC rolled out its kiosks along Eighth Ave. Mudd and others pushed for LinkNYC to disable the web browsing on the kiosks, as residents and businesses said the homeless gathered around the terminals and monopolized them for hours. Mudd has been going out and interviewing those who are homeless — there is an encampment on his block, he said. The day after the council meeting, Mudd, with a rep from Urban Pathways, went to the encampment (Urban Pathways, at 575 Eighth Ave., btw. W. 38th &


October 27 - November 02, 2016

Photo by Dusica Sue Malesevic

At Oct. 20’s meeting of the Midtown South Community Council, Delon Ali of The Bowery Mission spoke about his struggle with homelessness and the outreach work he is doing.

Photo by Dusica Sue Malesevic

Foreground, L to R: Inspector Russell Green of the Midtown South Precinct and Community Council President John A. Mudd.

W. 39th Sts., is a nonprofit offering a myriad of services for the homeless; He talked with the people there, asking them their thoughts about the city’s shelters, and why they may not want to go to one. According to Mudd, one woman told him she was desperate for a something permanent. “They all have their own reasons for being out there,” Mudd said. He said that he thinks the problem is solvable, adding that homelessness is “really unacceptable as a society. If we can’t resolve this, something is really wrong.” After the MSCC meeting the commanding officer of the Midtown South Precinct, Inspector Russell Green, told Chelsea Now that the number one complaint his station gets is about the homeless. The precinct also gets complaints about drug sales and usage in the area, Green said during the meeting. MIDTOWN SOUTH continued on p. 13

Photo by John A. Mudd

John A. Mudd, who has lived at W. 38th St. since 1984, says the homelessness problem in the area has persisted on and off for decades. In this photo, people sleep at the subway entrance at W. 40th St. & Eighth Ave. .com

Forum Shops Strategies for Saving Small Businesses FORUM continued from p. 1

Opportunity for Manhattan’s Storefronters” and attending on behalf of Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer’s Office, spoke about the BP’s efforts to help struggling small businesses by helping them navigate the resources currently available to New Yorkers. “There’s a gap between the people who need resources and the resources,” he commented, noting that instead of putting all hope in the SBJSA, these other processes (such as participation in a Merchants Association) could be used in the interim. He also noted other initiatives as being helpful to the community and business owners alike, such as the BP’s office studying “food desert” areas that lack grocery stores, and cracking down on landlord harassment (including sidewalk scaffolding that lingers for years, obscuring signage and discouraging walk-in traffic). Barrison spoke strongly in favor of the SBJSA, a measure that has periodically gained steam and petered out since it was first introduced in the 1980s, and which Brewer does not support. Barrison, who also serves as Executive VP of the Small Business Congress NYC, noted that skyrocketing rents were the biggest problem facing small business owners now, and that the SBJSA would alleviate these issues by instituting a minimum 10-year lease with a right to renewal, and ensuring equal negotiation terms upon renewal. “Right now, there are no rules, and when there are no rules, the landlord has 100 percent of the power,” Barrison

Photos by Sean Egan

L to R: Eli Szenes-Strauss from NY State Senator Brad Hoylman’s office; attorney Steven Barrison; and urban planner Lucian Reynolds from the office of Borough President Gale Brewer. City Councilmember Robert Cornegy was conspicuously absent.

asserted, while having literature distributed refuting the idea that the SBJSA had any legal issues surrounding its passing. Barrison also compared taking any other measures to combat the situation as using Band-Aids when open heart surgery was required, a simile which received applause. Reynolds agreed that rent was the main issue at hand, but that other resources were also useful. He defended the BP’s position on the bill, stating that the wording was too broad, and could potentially be taken advantage of by big chains as well. “We need to be very specific about who we’re trying to help

here,” he warned. Szenes-Strauss noted that Hoylman did not have any position on the bill, nor did he have any bills targeting small businesses in the works — though his

office had concern for small businesses, and were keeping note of the situation. However, he also said that Hoylman FORUM continued on p. 15

How a child learns to learn will impact his or her life forever.

City and Country School Keeping the progress in progressive education. Two-Year-Olds – 8th Grade

Open House: Thursday, November 17, 6:00 - 8:00pm Penn South resident Gloria Sukenick alerted the panel that Fashion Design Books on W. 27th St. (across from the Fashion Institute of Technology) would be shuttering its doors soon. .com

146 West 13th Street, New York, NY 10011 Tel: 212.242.7802 October 27 - November 02, 2016


TransAlt Seeks Public Input to Solidify ‘Cake Not Fully Baked’

Courtesy TransAlt

Photo by Dennis Lynch

TransAlt believes mitigation measures on side streets could lessen the impact that shutting down 14th St. to cars and trucks will have on the surrounding neighborhood.

At Oct. 19’s CB4 Transportation Planning Committee meeting, local residents voiced concerns over TransAlt’s proposal to make 14th St. a mass transit and bike-only thoroughfare.

PLAN continued from p. 1

Planning Committee meeting on the night of Wed., Oct. 19. TransAlt Director of Organizing Thomas DeVito called the plan extremely preliminary — a “cake not fully

baked” — and that his group was looking for input from locals. PeopleWay would make 14th St. a largely high-capacity bus-only roadway with protected bike lines. DeVito and his group said this would be the most efficient way to move people across Manhattan during

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October 27 - November 02, 2016

2019-2020’s 18-month L train closure, but many locals said the group hadn’t thought of where the roughly 16,000 cars and trucks that now use 14th St. would go. “Our organization has been extremely upset because we have experiencedwhen all of these vehicles do get detoured; there is no mitigation possible on any of this,” said Stanley Bulbach, head of the West 15th St. 100 and 200 Block Association. “The local residential neighborhood does not support this, we make that perfectly clear.” Bulbach and others also criticized TransAlt for what he said was a misleading pitch, because representatives did not disclose that the PeopleWay plan is meant to be permanent, not just a temporary fix during the L train shutdown. DeVito later told this paper that the group does relate that to local stakeholders, but that he mistakenly left it out of his presentation at the committee meeting. A handful of folks at the meeting supported the plan. Gary Roth, a Columbia University urban planning professor and W. 24th St. resident, said that a rapid bus system and bike lanes were the only ways to move a volume of people on the level that the L train moves each day, and that a PeopleWay would naturally attract fewer cars to the area. “When you take down roadways, people don’t drive in, so there won’t be this flood of traffic, I think this is the best way to do it,” said Roth. “As the High Line helped change how an urban park is conceived, I think a redesigned 14th Street could be a new way to look

at a crosstown route in Manhattan, and this could be the template of a crosstown street.” Harris Steinberg, the executive director of Drexel University’s Lindy Institute for Urban Innovation, called Roth’s a “rational assumption,” and said that dispersing traffic widely around the area’s grid would alleviate the increased pressure on the streets immediately surrounding 14th St. The key to implementing such a plan was to look at the big picture, according to Steinberg. “People will either be encouraged to go on public transportation or they’ll find alternative means to get somewhere. But ultimately if you want to bend the curve away from vehicle traffic, you have to have these new, old ways of moving people around the city,” he said. “It’s not an inherently bad idea, but you have to look at how it impacts the traffic, pedestrian, and bike movement in the city — the total system — it’s about the city as a whole.” TransAlt found themselves facing sharp criticism at the meeting, but they’ve garnered support elsewhere. Just over 6,000 people signed the group’s petition to local elected officials and district managers and they have support from at least 52 businesses both on and off 14th St., and from seven civic organizations listed on their petition page. The group counts Borough President Gale Brewer and State Senator Brad Hoylman on its side. Hoylman and a handful of other municipal, state, PLAN continued on p. 15 .com


Allison Davis Greaker, 78, Knew How to Sell Ads, and Stories BY ALBERT AMATEAU Tears of grief and tears of laughter flowed at Allison Greaker’s wake in Brooklyn this week when her family, friends, and colleagues from NYC Community Media, whose publications include Chelsea Now, Gay City News, and The Villager, celebrated her irrepressible wry humor. Allison Davis Greaker died suddenly at the age of 78 at home on Friday, Oct. 21. She had not been feeling well since Wednesday, said her daughter, Allison Hope Greaker. Nevertheless, she went to work that day and the next at the weekly newspapers where she was an advertising account executive. She and her husband, Richard Henry Greaker, celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary two years ago on Flag Day, June 14. “My mother was very patriotic. She observed holidays like Flag Day. She’s been telling my brother and me, ‘It’s been more than 50 wonderful years — for your father,’ ” her daughter said. “My mother made a joke of everything. It made life interesting, fun, and sometimes embarrassing,” said her daughter. A staunch supporter of the Republican and Conservative Parties, Allison boasted at one point that she was the only open Republican in the newspaper office. Her conservative ideology extended to her deeply held Episcopalian faith. She was an officer in the 1928 Prayer Book Alliance, formerly known as Episcopalians for Traditional Faith. “Allison had been working in sales in New York City newspapers for decades,” said Lincoln Anderson, editor of The Villager. “I believe she worked at The Westsider, the Chelsea Clinton News, and the Observer before she came to NYC Community Media.” “Allison had a wry, humorous perspective on everything, including the newspaper business. But I thought she was very honest in her take on people, although I didn’t agree with her political views. She has a grandson named Andersen, and she always made a point of mentioning that to me since my last name is Anderson,” he said. “I know she had some deep roots in New York City, going all the way back to colonial times. She would sometimes talk about it when prompted,” Anderson added. A proud Daughters of the American Revolution member, her roots did .com

indeed go back to the colonial era. “One of our ancestors was James Blackwell, who bought Blackwell’s Island [now Roosevelt Island] from the Indians. It was sold later to the State of New York. During the Revolution, one of our ancestors fought on the American side and his father fought on the British side,” her daughter said. Scott Stiffler, editor of Chelsea Now, said, “Devout faith, conservative politics, occasional profanity — that was Allison. She was not above telling a risqué story, which she did with considerable skill. Great timing.” “We had a lot of fun together playing each other’s devil’s advocate,” recalled Gay City News editor Paul Schindler. “Allison was tireless in bringing Gay City News to advertisers that had never before been considered, and she had remarkable success with that.” “It is always a pleasure to meet someone who is smart, witty and funny, but it’s even better when you get to work with someone like that every day. Allison brought her own style of selling and competitive spirit to her job,” said Jennifer Goodstein, NYC Community Media publisher. “She approached every client as an opportunity to find a creative solution to their business need, often creating one-of-akind advertising that brought the client results. Allison’s creativity and successful campaigns earned her recognition from the business community and statewide awards from the New York Press Association. We are privileged to have known her and will miss her greatly,” Goodstein said. Cynthia Soto, office manager at NYC Community Media, said, “I’ve had the pleasure of working with Allison for 11 years. She was an amazing woman. I looked forward to her stories, her jokes, and her great sense of humor. I considered her my family, not only my co-worker.” Soto’s two teenage children, frequent visitors to her workplace over the years, referred to Greaker as their “office grandma.” Lisa Malwitz, office manager at sister company Community News Group, said, “Allison was a wonderful woman whom I will miss so very much. She always had a story and could make you laugh with the funny way she told it. My dear friend, may she rest in peace. It won’t be the same here without her.” Allison Davis Greaker was born on July 26, 1938, in Brooklyn, the seventh

Photo by Cynthia Soto

Allison Davis Greaker, at her 50th wedding anniversary party.

of eight children of Jocelyn Christine Andrews and Edwin Graves Davis. “My last remaining uncle died a while ago,” said her daughter. Allison went to PS 104 in Bay Ridge and Fort Hamilton High School. She also attended Wagner College for two years. “My father and mother met at a Lutheran church social in Marine Park. My father was the reigning eligible bachelor there. My mother was there because she couldn’t find an Episcopal church in the neighborhood where she just moved to. They got married on June 14, 1956, at St. John’s Episcopal Church

in Bay Ridge,” her daughter said. “My mother told people she named me Allison so she wouldn’t forget my name. But we all have different middle names,” her daughter said. In addition to her daughter, she is survived by her husband, Richard Henry Greaker, and her son, Richard Nixon Greaker. She also leaves three grandsons, Andersen, Jacob, and Richard Thomas Greaker. Clavin Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements. A funeral mass was held at 10 a.m. on Wed., Oct. 26, at Christ Church, Bay Ridge. October 27 - November 02, 2016


Block Association Commends Pols, Police, Peers BY DENNIS LYNCH The 300 West 23rd, 22nd, 21st Streets Block Association honored and heard from local community leaders, pols, and law enforcement officers at their annual community meeting at St. Paul’s German Lutheran Church (315 W. 22nd St., btw. Eighth & Ninth Aves.) on Oct. 24. The block association gave each honoree a framed print of the buildings on the 300 block of 21st St., between Eighth and Ninth Aves., the same iconic image the association uses as its logo. The association honored Assemblymember Richard Gottfried, State Senator Brad Hoylman, Councilmember Corey Johnson, longtime President of the Council of Chelsea Block Associations Bill Borock, and the NYPD’s Chelsea-based 10th Precinct. The 10th Precinct sent 26-year veteran, Detective Mike Petrillo (of the Community Affairs office) and their crime prevention officer, Jarret DiLorenzo, to accept the gift. Petrillo said it was the work that all precinct officers do, not just those tasked with community affairs, that should be credited with building a positive rapport with locals.

“For the precinct itself, it’s a great honor. It’s more about the work we do as a whole, and the relationships we’ve built over the years with our community,” he said. The block association’s co-chair, Zazel Loven, had glowing praise for the precinct, and Petrillo in particular. “He supports everything we do in the neighborhood. He’s out there walking around; he will listen to people from the neighborhood that have something they want to air, or just want to tell him about. He’s a very accessible community affairs officer,” she said. Borock took the opportunity to speak about what his organization has been involved in over the last year, including their successful efforts campaigning for a park on W. 20th St. (btw. Sixth & Seventh Aves.), and establishing micro gardens along bike lanes on Sixth Ave. He also reported that the council will testify at a State Liquor Authority hearing regarding the license held by what he called the troublesome Seventh Ave. bar Il Bastardo, and of the council’s establishment of a task force to study Transportation Alternatives’ PeopleWay plan for 14th St. Representatives from the Lower East Side Ecology Center (lesecologycenter.

Photo by Dorothy Francoeur

Unwanted pumpkins become the seeds of things to come, at Nov. 5’s composting event.

org) discussed the upcoming Pumpkin Smash composting event set for Sat., Nov. 5, 11 a.m.–2 p.m., at PS 11 (320 W. 21st St., btw. Ninth & 10th Aves.) and Clement Clarke Moore Park (10th Ave., btw. W. 21st & W. 22nd Sts.). Anyone can bring their over-the-hill jack-o’-lantern to smash up in big barrels and be hauled off for compost at the ecology center. There will also be a worm composting demonstration, activities for kids, and refreshments. Anyone who cannot bring their pumpkin can email to have block association volunteers scoop up their pumpkins from their stoops.

Photo by Pat Cooke

Block association volunteers have carts, will travel — to liberate you from your Halloween pumpkins, then humanely deliver them to a better place.


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October 27 - November 02, 2016



From gourds of all shapes and sizes to ghouls caked in gore, these seasonally appropriate scenes can be found on W. 21st and W. 22nd Sts., from Eighth to 10th Aves. If you dare to take a late October stroll, only to catch your crafty neighbors emerging from their crypts, thank them as you give their efforts the not-so-evil eye!

Photo by Sean Egan

Photo by Sean Egan

Photo by Sean Egan

Photo by Sean Egan


Photo by Scott Stiffler

October 27 - November 02, 2016


Being sick and hungry is an urgent crisis no one should face. Help us deliver hope, compassion and love, all wrapped up in a nutritious meal.

Volunteer. Donate. Advocate.


October 27 - November 02, 2016




Jennifer Goodstein

Editor Scott Stiffler

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Feedback from Facebook Re: “CB4 Hears TransAlt’s 14th St. Plan” (website news posting, Oct. 20, 2016): It is a horrible plan! The traffic which goes down 14th St. will shift to 15th and 16th Sts. There will be constant honking by impatient drivers, and since 16th St. does not go through Union Sq. there will be spillback as cars pile up and the resulting noise, pollution, and similar problems will be highly unpleasant. As a resident of W. 16th St. at Eighth Ave., I am really appalled. TD Walter Segall I’ve taken the L for 19 years to work, but I’ve got to say: What happens to the businesses on 14th St. if no trucks are allowed? I work for Goodwill, which opened a store there last year, and I can’t imagine what it would be like for us and other nonprofits or businesses if no trucks are allowed. And I’m betting that 17th St., where I live, would also be hurt by the overflow traffic. Martha Gotwals

‪That is so not true. Time Square is still a mess. The traffic has to go somewhere; it just goes on the alternative route. Traffic has not decreased, it’s just been detoured. Trust me. I’ve taken enough cabs to know that’s the truth. So the traffic will increase on 15th St. and 16th St. and 13th St. — very poor planning for the people who live in the neighborhood. We have seen an increase [of vehicle traffic and foot traffic] since the Meatpacking District and the High Line are tourist destinations. This is an unfair burden. John Gerard Griffith Re: “Weiss Decision: Gallery Shuts Its Doors Following Disruptive Development” (news, Oct. 20, 2016): Really disgusting that de Blasio won’t help Mike Weiss (who knows what the ulterior reasons for siding with this company might be). But then again, Bloomberg and de Blasio have destroyed what

was a mecca in the art world for the sake of greedy and ignorant real estate developers. The Chelsea art gallery district is officially dead and New York City is the worse for it. Daniel Gauss

Change means opportunity To The Editor: Re: “Stand Up for Our Neighborhood Stores” (Letters to the Editor, Oct. 20, 2016): It is clear that what Miss [Gloria] Sukenick is upset about is the normal pace of neighborhood change, in which retail establishments open, and thrive as long as they can remain economically viable. When they can’t sell whatever they are purveying at a competitive price that will allow for a profit at the end of the year, they close. Then some other capitalist will take over the vacant space and will try his luck. With so many new immigrants here in America, there is no lack of optimistic hard-working people to lease whatever storefronts are available. Some will succeed and some will not. That’s been what has built our city (and country) right from the beginning in the 18th century. In the 21st century it’s no different. America is the land of opportunity, and unless there are vacant stores to be rented, there will be no place for that opportunity to take root and grow. That’s the promise of America for immigrants. Mr. Trump wants to stop that from happening…and it would appear that so does Miss Sukenick. Andrew Alpern E-mail letters, not longer than 250 words in length, to Scott@ or mail to Chelsea Now, Letters to the Editor, NYC Community Media, One Metrotech North, 10th Floor, Brooklyn, NY 11201. Please include phone number for confirmation purposes. Chelsea Now reserves the right to edit letters for space, grammar, clarity and libel. Chelsea Now does not publish anonymous letters.





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October 27 - November 02, 2016



In most situations honesty is the best policy — though it can be, on occasion, a thoroughly mediocre (or even subpar) one. Take the case of this 35-year-old Queens man, for instance: On Thurs., Oct. 20, the shifty suspect was spotted by police at about 8:45pm at the OUT Hotel (510 W. 42nd St., btw. 10th & 11th Aves.). Upon inspection, police discovered a number of suspicious substances in his possession. They weren’t left to wonder what they were for long, however. “It’s meth. It’s GHB. It’s cocaine,” the man said bluntly to the authorities. His straightforwardness was repaid with a similarly matter-of-fact arrest.

THE 10th PRECINCT Located at 230 W. 20th St. (btw. Seventh & Eighth Aves.). Commander: Capt. Paul Lanot. Main number: 212-741-8211. Community Affairs: 212-741-8226. Crime Prevention: 212-741-8226. Domestic Violence: 212-741-8216. Youth Officer: 212-741-8211. Auxiliary Coordinator: 212-9243377. Detective Squad: 212-7418245. The Community Council meets on the last Wed. of the month, 7pm, at the 10th Precinct or other locations to be announced.

THE 13th PRECINCT Located at 230 E. 21st St. (btw. Second & Third Aves.). Deputy Inspector: Brendan Timoney. Call 212-477-7411. Community Affairs: 212-477-7427. Crime Prevention: 212-477-7427. Domestic Violence: 212-477-3863. Youth Officer: 212477-7411. Auxiliary Coordinator: 212-477-4380. Detective Squad: 212-477-7444. The Community Council meets on the third Tues. of the month, 6:30pm, at the 13th Precinct.

HARASSMENT: Stream of conscienceless Though most people don’t hesitate to thank God for Fridays, one woman could tell early on that Oct. 21 was most certainly not a day worth praising, when her parade was unexpectedly rained on, by showers of the golden variety. The 27-year-old New Jersey woman was walking up the stairs from the 14th St. A train subway station at around 8:45am, when she felt someone tap her on the shoulder — a Good Samaritan, kindly alerting her to the fact that some other guy standing behind her was casually urinating on her back. Realizing he’d been made, the “number one” criminal zipped up his package and fled southbound on Eighth Ave., leaving the confused and disturbed woman to contemplate her sad, smelly situation. To make matters worse, a police canvas yielded negative results, and cameras were not present on the scene to capture the pervy, peeing perp.

PETIT LARCENY: Go-getter got him While the boys in blue are usually the best line of defense against crime, sometimes you’ve gotta take matters into your own hands (non-vigilante style, of course). That’s what one employee of a Rite Aid (282 Eighth Ave., at W. 24th St.) did after he saw a man conceal a 12-pack of Coors (estimated value: $10) and remove the property from the store without paying at 10:30am on Fri., Oct. 21. Upon seeing this, the 34-year-old employee took to action, approaching the ear-

CASH FOR GUNS $100 cash will be given (no questions asked) for each handgun, assault weapon or sawed-off shotgun, up to a maximum payment of $300. Guns are accepted at any Police Precinct, PSA or Transit District.

ly-morning boozer and performing a civilian’s arrest on the perp — actions later endorsed by the police when they processed the 43-year-old upstate New York resident.

PETIT LARCENY: Slid right on by Another man was lucky that the staffers of the Duane Reade at 131 Eighth Ave. (btw. W. 16th & W. 17th Sts.) weren’t so tenacious in their theft prevention, as it made his life a whole lot easier when he stole $125 worth of toiletries from the location on Sat., Oct. 22. At around 10:30am, the man walked into the store and took eight six-count packages of Dove soap and six tubes of Crest toothpaste. While he was observed doing this by an employee, when leaving the store he confidently declared, “You don’t have the right to search my bag” — and apparently he was right, as he strolled right on out of the store unscathed, with his hygienic haul in tow. While the man wasn’t arrested, the police report confirmed that the store has video footage of the incident, so there is a chance he might see justice at some point.

CRIMINAL TRESSPASS: Bullet, un-dodged At about 5:30pm on Sat., Oct. 22, a man was discovered, loitering in the lobby of an apartment building on the 400 block of W. 17th St. without permission or authority to do so, near signage that clearly stated that no trespassing was allowed, and that those who violated the policy were subject to arrest. “I’m visiting my friend,” said the 21-year-old by way of explanation for his presence in the building — though the authorities didn’t quite believe his less-than-detailed tale. Upon further inspection, it was discovered that the man had “alleged Adderall” in a Ziploc bag in his sock, as well as a loose .22 caliber bullet. These totally unsuspicious items likely didn’t help the man’s case, and he was, in accordance with the sign, arrested.


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October 27 - November 02, 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 27 - November 02, 2016



October 27 - November 02, 2016


MIDTOWN SOUTH continued from p. 2

With the holiday season approaching, Green said that people should watch and secure their belongings. Seventy-five percent of all crime for the precinct is grand larcenies, which means a theft of over a $1,000 or something involving a credit card, Green explained. Theft happens near and around popular tourist spots, such as Macy’s and Times Square, and many people have gotten their computers, purses and wallets swiped, Green said. “It’s huge and unfortunately a lot of people are not aware of it,” Green told Chelsea Now. “They are trusting.” Near the end of the MSCC meeting, Mahari Simmonds, a volunteer organizer with Reading Partners, spoke about the organization’s program, which brings volunteers into schools where children are struggling with reading. Simmonds said Reading Partners works with 19 schools and is looking for 1,447 volunteers. In New York City, about 28% of children are not reading at grade level, and that number jumps to 80% when looking at children from lower income neighborhoods, according to Simmonds. Mudd went to a seminar they hosted, and said later in the phone interview that the council wants to partner with the organization, as it is “one of the programs we think would be a terrific thing to do.” Photo by John A. Mudd

For more information about the Midtown South Community Council, visit

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October 27 - November 02, 2016


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FORUM continued from p. 3

was sponsoring a bill that could “control and clam the renting market” by, among other things, putting zoning more in the hands of municipalities, which could benefit small businesses if used correctly. The Q&A session that followed was comprised of precious few actual Qs, as most used the opportunity to simply state their opinions and frustrations with the current situation. Some brought up anecdotes of favorite stores that have closed over the years; others suggested improvements to the SBJSA or tax breaks that would incentivize landlords to work with mom and pops. Longtime neighborhood activist and Penn South resident Gloria Sukenick came out to highlight the fact that the situation has become so dire that an art supply store (Fashion Design Books at 250 W. 27th St., across from the Fashion Institute of Technology) would soon be shuttering its doors due to a drastic rent hike. The evening drew to a close with some words from a surprise visitor, State Assemblymember Richard

Photo by Sean Egan

The recently closed Associated Supermarket — another victim of rising rents, which helps create grocery-starved “food deserts.”

Gottfried. Saying, “It makes tremendous sense,” Gottfried made clear his support of the bill, and disappointment that it has faced issues in City Council. “We shouldn’t be trimming the bill down, negotiating with our-

selves,” he stated, while asserting that the resources already available to small businesses should also be used. “We can walk and chew gum at the same time,” he joked. Differing opinions aside, the com-

munity was firm in the opinion that a solution needed to be reached, and fast. As attorney Peter Brightbill implored, to cheers, during the Q&A, landlords and politicians need to “Go out, and do the right things by mom-and-pops.”

PLAN continued from p. 4

and federal elected officials successfully campaigned the Metropolitan Transportation Authority to analyze the impact of closing 14th St. to vehicular traffic and the impacts to surrounding streets in the authority’s pre-shutdown study. Hoylman said the city shouldn’t shut down 14th St. if the overflow of traffic leaves residents on neighboring streets “unable to access their homes,” but that people had to also consider the benefits a system such as PeopleWay would have for pedestrians and commuters, particularly for seniors and people with disabilities. “I encourage the germination of these ideas; I think it can only help the eventual outcome. Again, if we do nothing, then we will have L-maggedon. That’s not an option,” he said. “Yes, traffic on the side streets has to be part of this equation, but there are a lot of other factors that have to be considered — seniors, people with disabilities, cycling, express buses, dedicated bikes that are protected, and greater pedestrian access and safety.” TransAlt did not ask the Transportation Planning Committee for an endorsement of the plan .com

Photo by Dennis Lynch

Stanley Bulbach, of the W. 15th St. 100 & 200 Block Association, made it “perfectly clear” that his residential neighborhood does not support a plan that would detour vehicles to their side streets.

because of its preliminary nature, and the committee did not weigh in on the discussion. On Thurs., Nov. 10, at 6:30 p.m. at Fulton Auditorium (119 Ninth Ave., btw. W. 17th & W. 18th Sts.), TransAlt will hold a public workshop to hear more input from locals. For more info, visit October 27 - November 02, 2016


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October 27 - November 02, 2016


Courtesy the artist and Anastasia Photo

“Military Age Males, 2015.” Civilian cadets at the Citadel Military College, Charleston, SC.

Artist Armed With a Drone’s Eye View Photos target scenes mimicking military surveillance, strikes

BY NORMAN BORDEN Tomas van Houtryve is a photographer on a mission to bring the drone war home, and raise awareness of the growing use of photography in surveillance, spying, and targeting. The result of his commitment is “Blue Sky Days,” a thought-provoking exhibition whose large images of America were created by using a consumer drone he bought online for a few hundred dollars. “With a bit of tinkering,” he explained, “I was able to add a high resolution camera and a system for transmitting live video back to the ground — a greatly simplified version of the system that .com

American pilots use to guide military drones over foreign airspace.” Starting in 2013, with the help of a Getty Images grant, he visited 35 states over a two-year period and flew his drone over weddings, funerals, and groups of people exercising or praying — the kind of gatherings that have been subjected to US drone strikes in Pakistan, Yemen, and Somalia. He also flew the drone over some domestic settings where US government surveillance drones have been used — prisons, oil fields, and parts of the US-Mexican border. “Blue Sky Days” is, van Houtryve said, “the story of a 2013 drone attack

that really affected me, the story of a 13-year-old boy in Pakistan who watched his 67-year-old grandmother get killed by a Hellfire missile. When the boy testified in front of Congress nine months later, he said, ‘I no longer love blue skies, I prefer gray skies. The drones do not fly when the skies are gray.’ ” “By creating these images,” the artist explained, “I aim to draw attention to the changing nature of personal privacy, surveillance, and contemporary warfare… I want people to rethink drones; I want people to get into their minds that as Americans, they could be watched by a drone.”

In researching his project, van Houtryve obtained drone war information by looking at strike reports from the London-based Bureau of Investigative Journalism, Human Rights Watch, and Amnesty International. With this data, he created a shot list and began to seek out settings and events he could find in the United States (such as outdoor weddings and funerals). Then, by using captions from the strike reports and his research, he connected many of his own drone photographs of what look like typical domestic BLUE SKY continued on p. 18 October 27 - November 02, 2016


BLUE SKY continued from p. 17

scenes, albeit from about six stories up, with actual US military strikes overseas. In effect, he brought the drone war home, illustrating how mistakes — sometimes deadly ones — can happen when US military drone pilots sitting in a trailer in Las Vegas or New Mexico zero in on a target that they perceive to be exhibiting a “signature behavior” (a suspicious pattern of behavior or “signature” perceived to be that of terrorists, which the CIA or military use as criteria in deciding whether to attack a target). For example, in his image “Wedding, 2013,” van Houtryve came across an outdoor wedding in Philadelphia by chance while on another assignment. “I was at the top of the Rocky Stairs [at the Philadelphia Museum of Art] and saw the wedding going on below, and sent the drone over it.” In the 40x60 inch print, the caption states, “In December 2013, a US drone reportedly struck a wedding in Radda, in central Yemen, killing twelve people and injuring fourteen.” Looking at this photo, it’s hard to imagine how a drone pilot could have categorized a wedding celebration as “signature behavior.” In showing how government drones can also be involved in domestic surveillance, photojournalism becomes art. In “Heat Signature, 2014,” a drone photo captures countless houseboats moored along the drought-affected shoreline of Bidwell Canyon in California; the accompanying caption connects it by stating, “Global Hawk drones based at nearby Beale Air Force Base can survey as much as 40,000 square miles of terrain per day.” The photographer’s goal of using drone technology to look at America

Courtesy the artist and Anastasia Photo

“Wedding, 2013.” Central Philadelphia, PA.

the way we look at other countries is well-realized in the stunning 40x60 inch image of civilian cadets in formation at the venerable Citadel Military College in Charleston, SC. The cadets are faceless and dehumanized because they’re bathed in deep shadows. That’s all the drone can see, which makes the caption for “Military Age Males, 2015” all the more foreboding. It states (in what sounds like government-speak): “The method used by the US government for assessing civilian casualties of drone strikes abroad counts all military-age males within a strike zone as combatants unless there is explicit posthumous proof of their innocence.” That said, it seems very possible for a drone pilot to fire on

a target that can’t be positively identified as a combatant, so empathy is not an issue. Other drone images in the exhibition also effectively tie in strike reports. “Funeral, 2014” shows grave diggers preparing for a funeral in Colma, CA, which is San Francisco’s burial ground. The accompanying caption: “In 2009, a drone strike on a funeral in South Waziristan reportedly killed 60 Pakistani civilians.” Get close, and you can read the names on the tombstones. Van Houtryve’s work has already

been widely recognized. In fact, Harper’s Magazine published some of his drone work in April 2014 (the largest photo essay in the magazine’s 164-year history). “Blue Sky Days” is comprised of only 13 images — but their combined effect is powerful, delivering a message that can’t be ignored. Through Dec. 31 at Anastasia Photo (143 Ludlow St., btw. Stanton & Rivington Sts.). Hours: Tues.–Sun., 11am–7pm. Call 212-677-9725 or visit

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October 27 - November 02, 2016

Courtesy the artist and Anastasia Photo

“Heat Signature, 2014.” Houseboats along the drought-affected shoreline of Bidwell, Canyon, CA. .com

The Man He Becomes

Coming-of-age tale explores black gay masculinity, sexuality BY GARY M. KRAMER “Moonlight” is Barry Jenkins’ extraordinary film adaptation of Tarell Alvin McCraney’s play “In Moonlight Black Boys Look Blue,” which takes its title from a nighttime scene of teenage sexual experimentation on a Miami beach. Before the film gets there, Jenkins introduces the main character, Chiron, as a nine-year-old boy (Alex Hibbert). Nicknamed Little, he is escaping from bullies from school, who threaten to “kick his faggot ass,” by hiding out in a dope hole when he is discovered by Juan (Mahershala Ali), a local drug dealer. After Juan takes him home to his girlfriend, Teresa (Janelle Monáe), Little doesn’t speak much — but he does eat. When Juan returns Little to his mother, Paula (Naomie Harris), she makes clear she doesn’t want Juan involved in her son’s life. Paula, it is soon revealed, is one of Juan’s customers. Juan, however, becomes a kind of father figure to the young boy. A very tender scene has Juan teaching Little how to swim in the ocean, “baptizing” him. He later tells Little, “At some point, you have to decide for yourself who you are going to be. You can’t have anyone else make that decision for you.” These words resonate throughout the film as Chiron grows into adulthood, and is repeatedly forced to face his true nature. What is also particularly compelling about “Moonlight” is how much we learn about the characters through their internalized — rather than expressed — emotions. Jenkins deftly captures unspoken empathy between characters, allowing viewers to appreciate why they matter to each other. Little also forges a strong relationship with Kevin (Jaden Piner). Helping Little prove he isn’t “soft,” Kevin wrestles with him in the grass, and the sexual tension between the two — which plays out over the course of the film — is already palpable. The second act of “Moonlight” focuses on Chiron (Ashton Sanders), now a teenager, seemingly living in constant fear. His mother’s drug habit has escalated out of control, and in a particularly uncomfortable scene she demands money from him. Chiron is also still being bullied at school. His erotic dreams about Kevin (Jharrel Jerome) become reality in .com

Photo courtesy A24

Alex Hibbert and Mahershala Ali in Barry Jenkins’ “Moonlight,” based on a play by Tarell Alvin McCraney.

the scene on the beach that involves the boys kissing and more. What transpires after this romantic encounter moves “Moonlight” into its third and most compelling act. Chiron (Trevante Rhodes) has now assumed Kevin’s nickname for him, Black. When he gets a call out of the blue from Kevin (André Holland), Black meets his old friend in a diner where Kevin works. As the men reconnect, “Moonlight” becomes transcendent. It would spoil the pleasures of this intimate, deeply affecting film to discuss too many details — in part because so much of the story happens inside each character or offscreen. One character disappears without explanation, leaving audiences to draw their own conclusions about their fate. Some scenes, such as Paula yelling at her son, are presented twice, to emphasize, even magnify, their importance. Jenkins seems less interested in plot than he is in creating a raw space where the film’s potent themes about power and masculinity can be explored. “Moonlight” sensitively investigates what it means to be black and gay amidst a world that revolves around the sale and use of drugs. We understand the characters from quiet moments — such as Little preparing a bath for himself or

teenaged Chiron getting a lesson on how to make a bed from Teresa, or when Kevin and Black sit across from each other in a diner. Juan may be a tough drug dealer, but he practically melts when nine-year-old Little looks up at him and begins a series of tough questions by asking, “What’s a faggot?” Jenkins is not afraid to explore what makes Chiron cry, but he also shows us a shocking act of violence that proves a catalyst in Chiron maturing. Seeing the shy, confused child (and later, the haunted teen) transform into the adult Black, who still grapples with his sexuality and who he is, is remarkable.

The three actors who play this one character are all indelible in the role. If Jenkins’ film has a drawback, it is that Teresa and Paula are presented as mother/saint and crack whore stereotypes, respectively. The lack of nuance here detracts from the film’s overall impact. But in the moving, empowering, even necessary “Moonlight,” this is a minor complaint. Runtime: 110 minutes. Written & directed by Barry Jenkins. At Angelika Film Center (18 W. Houston St., at Mercer St.). Call 212-995-2570 or visit

October 27 - November 02, 2016


Three-House of Horror

A trio of Halloween things to do, if you dare BY SCOTT STIFFLER

THE PUMPKIN PIE SHOW: STUMP SPEECHES No less than the very soul of America is at stake, in this election-themed edition of “The Pumpkin Pie Show.” A dependable Halloween season source of unsettling images that worm their way into the brain with nothing more than sheer word power and impeccable acting, this 19th season of horror scribe Clay McLeod Chapman’s gutsy storytelling session finds its finest conduit yet in the debate stage histrionics of presidential candidates Pendleton and Templeton — two bitterly competitive senators with skeletons in their closets and blood on their hands. Watched over by a pair of manic, hyperbole-prone moderators, these dead ringers for Trump and Clinton trade caustic barbs as a multitude of ladder-climbing sins bubble to the surface. Turns out, the sacrifices we voters are expected to make in the name of goatgod and country involve actual sacrifices. That’s nothing, though, compared to the toll taken on a meek Pendleton rally attendee who sees an opposition protester drawn and quartered; or the self-medicating First Lady who spins a cautionary tale about her devil’s bargain with an interdimensional donor to hubby’s war chest. As fun to watch as the current race is hard to stomach, “Stump Speeches” is an evening of theater that draws back the curtain on human nature and delivers what the voting booth can’t: satisfaction that doesn’t require compromise, and a party line that’s beyond reproach. Through Nov. 5, Thurs.–Sat., 8pm, at UNDER St. Marks (94 St. Marks Pl., btw. First Ave. & Ave. A). For tickets ($20, $15 for students, seniors, and military), visit Artist info at

PHANTASMAGORIA; OR, LET US SEEK DEATH! “Mary Shelly’s mother died giving birth to Mary. This knowledge of her body as murderer,” we’re told, in an ominous tone, “it hanged around her like a ghost for the rest of her life.” Set in 1816 and taking place in a candlelit Genevan castle on the rainy, booze-soaked night during


October 27 - November 02, 2016

Photo by Antonia Stoyanovich

It’s not up for debate: “Stump Speeches,” the election-themed edition of “The Pumpkin Pie Show,” is worth voting for with your box office bucks.

which a teenage Mary would answer Lord Byron’s spooky story challenge by conjuring the ultimate struggle between creator and creation, “Phantasmagoria; or, Let Us Seek Death!” uses biography and gothic storytelling to breathe new life into the origin story of “Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus.” This Eric Borlaug production runs as part of the 2016 La MaMa Puppet Series, and has its premiere, fittingly, during the 200th anniversary year of the monster tale that refuses to die. The producers are keeping the precise look of their walking collection of corpse parts under wraps, all the better to amp up its visceral impact; but social media teases the towering, tortured visage interacting with passersby, on the block where he’ll rise from a slab in the lab. Written by Chana Porter; conceived and directed by Randolph Curtis Rand; puppetry by Benjamin Stuber. Through Nov. 6: Thurs.–Sat. at 7pm and Sun. at 4pm. At La MaMa’s Ellen Stewart Theatre (66 East Fourth St., btw. Bowery & Second Ave.). For tickets ($30, $25 for students/seniors; limited number of $10 tickets for each show), visit or call 646-430-5374. For mature audiences (ages 16+). Postshow panel follows Oct. 30 performance. On Instagram: @phantasmagoriaplay; @ letusseekdeath on Twitter.

BUTOH BEETHOVEN: ECLIPSE Returning after a two-year-long international tour that included a four-star review at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, butoh star Vangeline communes with ghosts of the past, in the New York premiere of a solo performance that

Photo by Theo Cote

L to R: Josephine Stewart and Jane Bradley have an eye for unholy creations, in “Phantasmagoria; or, Let Us Seek Death!”

Photo by Roberto Riciutti

Vangeline Theater’s “Butoh Beethoven: Eclipse” respects ghosts of the past while breathing new life into the Japanese art form.

pays tribute to a pair of towering giants: Tatsumi Hijikata, founder of butoh, and composer Ludwig van Beethoven. With due respect for the “Dance of Darkness” Japanese art form that came to be in the decade after Hiroshima, Vangeline’s sci-fi noir take gets a further injection of futurism from cutting-edge lighting technologies by European designer Tilen Sepič, a fiber-optic costume by the French company LumiGram, and

by singer Kesang Marstrand’s recording of the Paul Verlaine poem, “Chansom D’Automne.” Communing with the performer by coming in costume is highly encouraged! Nightly through Oct. 31, 8pm, at The Producers Club, Royal Theater (358 W. 44th St., btw. Eighth & Ninth Aves.). For tickets ($20, $18 for students/seniors), visit Artist info at .com

Buhmann on Art

Carolee Schneemann: Further Evidence - Exhibits A and B

Photo by Victoria Vesna, copyright C. Schneemann, courtesy Galerie Lelong & P•P•O•W

From Exhibit A: Carolee Schneemann with “Venus Vectors” (1985).

BY STEPHANIE BUHMANN In their first joint exhibition since announcing dual representation of Carolee Schneemann in 2015, Galerie Lelong and P•P•O•W present this influential feminist artist by pulling together examples of her critical but lesser-known works from the ’80s, ’90s, and present. Born in 1939, Schneemann has long been known for her discourses on the body, sexuality, and gender. Though trained as a painter, her oeuvre encompasses a variety of media, including filmmaking and performance, among others. As stated in the past, Schneemann is “interested in sensuous pleasure and the power of the naked body as an active image rather than the same old, pacified, immobilized, historicized body.” In these two particular exhibitions, Schneemann focuses on representations of the body in captivity, utilizing visualizations of repressed histories of control and confinement. At P•P•O•W, for example, Exhibit A will present the rarely seen “Known/ Unknown: Plague Column” (1995-1996), an installation which combines collage, sculptures, wall texts, photographs, and video. The latter will be looped, showing enlarged permutated cancer cells and juxtaposing these with grids of religious icons. Meanwhile, at Galerie Lelong, Exhibit B will entail two films by Schneemann: “Precarious” (2009) and “Devour” (2003), as well as works on paper (“Caged Cats”).

Copyright C. Schneemann, courtesy P•P•O•W & Galerie Lelong

From Exhibit B, a film still from Carolee Schneemann’s “Precarious” (2009, 6 minutes; loop, color, sound; motorized mirrors, multi-channel video projection).

Through Dec. 3 at P•P•O•W (; 535 W. 22nd St., btw. 10th & 11th Aves.; Tues.–Sat., 10am–6pm) and Galerie Lelong (; 528 W. 26th St., btw. 10th & 11th Aves.; Tues.–Sat., 10am–6pm). Courtesy C. Schneemann, Galerie Lelong & P•P•O•W

From Exhibit A: Carolee Schneemann’s “Plague Column: Known Unknown (Angles and Demons)” (1995-96). .com

October 27 - November 02, 2016



October 27 - November 02, 2016


Rhymes with Crazy

Shrinks as Parents Seldom Tower Over Others BY LENORE SKENAZY “In 20 years they can tell it to their therapist” is a line parents hear — and say — a lot. Especially in New York. Most of us — somewhat jokingly, somewhat earnestly — believe that our kids are keeping track of all the little things we’ve said and done wrong, and will someday divulge these while free-associating on a couch. If only we could be raising our kids with the expert wisdom of the real child experts: psychiatrists. Well, a new book should make us all breathe a little easier. “Great Psychologists as Parents” by David Cohen looks at 10 towering shrinks and child-development experts, including Freud and Dr. Spock, and finds that their track record is, well, mixed. In fact, the British Cohen told me in a phone interview, the shrinks’ odds of raising happy, well-adjusted offspring were “not very different” from the rest of ours. “The idea that if you study child psychology you become a better parent? Historically, there’s no evidence for it,” said Cohen. To illustrate, he added, “I went to a funeral not long ago and met the son of a very famous British psychologist and I said to him, ‘You must miss your dad.’ And he said to me, ‘You must be joking!’ ” Which makes me feel kind of good. Not that I want any child to suffer a traumatic upbringing! I just like knowing that there isn’t necessarily a cheat sheet that the experts get that the rest of us don’t. And I say this as someone sometimes described as a parenting expert myself, since I write the blog Free-Range Kids (I always say I’m not an expert on how to parent, I’m an expert on how we got so afraid

for our kids). So anyway: How did Freud fare as a papa? He was very close with his daughter Anna — “perhaps too close,” writes Cohen. He actually analyzed her. And since Freudian analysis deals with childhood sexuality and fantasies, you have to assume this was awkward. These days, there’s no way a father could ethically analyze his own child. But back then it was all new — Freud basically founded the field — so you can’t hold it against him. And rather than castigate her dad, Anna followed in his footsteps and became another distinguished psychoanalyst. The same dynamics are not found in the Klein family. Melanie Klein was a student of Freud’s who became famous for her work on play therapy — the idea that children express their fears and frustrations through play (a toddler angrily punishing her doll for being a “bad girl,” for instance). Like the Freud family, Mama Klein’s daughter also went into the family business. That meant that mother and daughter were sometimes at the same psychoanalytic conferences, where they’d be shrieking at each other. “It was a soap opera,” Cohen says. They didn’t speak for 20 years, and when the mom died, daughter Melitta refused to go to her funeral, and she wore special red shoes to celebrate. Darwin and his children go on the other side. Although Darwin was not really a psychologist, since the field had not yet been invented when his kids were born in the mid-1800s, he was a keen observer of species, including his own. He lost three of them, but the children who survived felt very warmly toward him, and were at his bedside when he died.

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Not so the kids of John B. Watson, one of the first scientific psychologists, as well as one of the founders of modern advertising. Watson wrote a book on the psychological care of the infant that was hugely influential in the first half of the 20th century. And yet, he was a harsh disciplinarian who only shook hands with his kids. In fact, says Cohen, “He accused American mothers of hugging their children and making them homosexual” — a good reminder that accepted truths in one generation do not always last into the next. Nor do parenting books. When Dr. Spock’s “The Common Sense Book of Baby and Child Care” came out 1946, it quickly supplanted Watson’s as the most popular guide around. That’s in part because it sounded so much more gentle — even though Spock, too, was a “quite severe father.” Whether he practiced what he preached, Spock’s book famously begins: “Trust yourself. You know more than you think you do.”

Maybe he should have added, “And we don’t really know what we’re doing either.” Lenore Skenazy is a keynote speaker who authored the book, and founded the blog, Free-Range Kids (


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






LISTEN EVERY THURSDAY AT 4:45PM ON October 27 - November 02, 2016



Fidelis Care’s Medicare Advantage Plans for 2017 Original Medicare*

Fidelis Medicare (K]HU[HNL-SL_ (HMO-POS)

Fidelis Medicare $0 Premium (HMO)






$250 per year


Part B Deductible




PCP Copay




Specialist Copay




Outpatient Surgery in a Hospital




Outpatient Surgery in an Ambulatory Surgical Center




$0 or 20%













$350 per day for days 1-5, per admission

$350 per day for days 1-5, per admission


Yes, with $0 copay for preferred generics $250 deductible

Yes, with $0 copay for preferred generics




)LULÄ[ Monthly Part B Premium**

Lab Tests X-rays Preventive Services MRIs, CT Scans, PET Scans Inpatient Copay Part D Prescription Drug Coverage Preventive Dental



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October 27 - November 02, 2016


Profile for Schneps Media

Chelsea Now  

October 27, 2016

Chelsea Now  

October 27, 2016