VOLUME 29, NUMBER 22
NOVEMBER 03 – NOVEMBER 16, 2016
City abandons plans for a combined gym, auditorium at Trinity Pl. school BY DENNIS LYNCH The city has dropped its plans for a “gymnatorium” at the new Trinity Place school in the Financial District, according to the chairwoman of Community Board 1’s Youth and Education Committee. The gymnatorium concept — a combined gymnasium and auditorium space — has been standard in new school designs citywide for years, according to the Department of Education, but Downtowners pushed back hard, in part because the gymnatorium at the recently opened school at Peck Slip has proven inadequate. Under pressure to can the combo, the DOE’s School Construction Authority confirmed at a recent meeting with the Lower Manhattan School Overcrowding Task Force that the Trinity Place school would have a separate gym and multipurpose room, according to task force member and education committee chairwoman Tricia Joyce, who shared the news at CB1’s monthly meeting on Oct. 25.
“I think it was a combination of the fact that the issues at Peck Slip were reaching a pinnacle at the same time that they were beginning the design phase of the Trinity Place building, as well as our efforts by the [Lower Manhattan Task Force for School Overcrowding], so I think it was everything coming to a head,” she said. Peck Slip School is currently trying to close off its eponymous street during school hours because it needs additional activity space for its nearly 400 students, so locals worried that a gymnatorium would also be insufficient for the 476-seat school planned for Trinity Place. Residents, community leaders, and elected officials successfully pressed the DOE to eliminate the additional pre-K seats planned for the new school in favor of a full gym and auditorium, since Downtown already has a surplus of 250 pre-K seats. The SCA may keep one pre-K section and still build a stage in
Phoyo by Milo Hess
One way to generate buzz A bizarre menagerie of creative creatures (such as this fly in a tu-tu) and hundreds of costumed kids converged on the Winter Garden at Brookfield Place in Battery Park City for a Halloween festival on Saturday. For more on the fun, see page 4.
gymnatorium Continued on page 31
Also inside: Four years after Sandy, Downtown BPCA backs down on South End Ave. plans page 12
still no safer from new superstorm City wins reprive on See pages 18–19 FEMA flood rate maps
1 M e t r o t e c h • N YC 112 0 1 • C o p y r i g h t © 2 0 16 N YC C o mm u n i t y M e d i a , L L C
We are NYC’s transit workers. We safely move nearly 8 million bus and subway riders a day: 365 days a year, 24 hours a day. And with growing ridership, we will transport 150 million more riders in 2016 than just a few years ago - with the same number of workers. These are uniquely dangerous and stressful jobs. We are physically assaulted hundreds of times each year. Spitting incidents are at all time highs. Thousands of our brother and sister transit workers, meanwhile, are injured annually by on-the-job industrial accidents. Twelve were killed on duty since 2001. Our contract with the MTA is expiring. We will kick off our campaign for fair raises, solid beneƓts and no givebacks with a rally on 1ov. 15th in Lower Manhattan. We are NYC’s transit workers and We Move NY.
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Transport Workers Union Local 100 John Samuelsen, President 195 Montague St. Brooklyn, NY 11201 www.twulocal100.org
DowntownExpress.com 11/1/16 3:40 PM
Trump drives Downtown donors — to Hillary Study: Clinton boasts more D’town donors than past Dem candidates BY BILL EGBERT It may be no surprise that the Democratic presidential nominee got the most donations from Downtowners in this election cycle, but what is striking is just how many people opened their wallets for Hillary this year. An analysis by the data jockeys over at RentHop.com looked at the number of individual donors to each candidate by zip code this year compared to past years, and found that across Lower Manhattan several times more people contributed to Hillary Clinton than had plumped for past Democratic nominees. In the zip code covering Tribeca (10013), for example, the study found that, while less than 200 individuals typically donated to the Democratic presidential nominee in past cycles, more than 600 gave to Hillary’s campaign this year. In the 10005 zip code, covering the swath of the Financial District east of Broadway between Liberty St. and Exchange Pl., about the same number of donors supported the Democratic and the Republican candidates in past elections (fewer than 25 each). But this year, more than 100 residents have give to Clinton’s campaign, while Donald Trump garnered only a few donations.
In nearly all areas of Downtown, Trump has under-performed past GOP nominees, reflecting the unease that many of Manhattan’s “Rockefeller Republicans” feel about the populist, nativist, loosecannon campaign waged by their party’s nominee. This “Trump Effect” was most evident in the contribution patterns of two of Downtown’s traditionally Republican-leaning areas. In past presidential elections, more than twice as many residents of northern Battery Park City (10282) and the southern tip of the Financial District (10004) donated to the GOP candidate than gave to the Dem nominee. But this campaign cycle has flipped the script — and then some. The Donald couldn’t break out of the low single digits in terms of individual donors, and far more people in those areas have donated to Clinton than ever gave to a Republican ticket in the past. The exact reason for the spike in Democratic donors this year is unclear. But given the well-documented lack of enthusiasm for Clinton even among her partisans, it may well be that it’s simply the spectre of a Trump presidency that has moved so many Downtowners to give to her campaign.
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Halloween on the Hudson Battery Park City’s Brookfield Place hosts costumed carnival at Winter Garden BY COLIN MIXSON Costumed kids stormed the Winter Garden at Battery Park City on Saturday for a massive Halloween bash thrown by Brookfield Place that left hundreds of pint-sized ghouls and goblins screaming with joy, according to one dad who came all the way from Queens. “He had a wonderful time,” said Veron Wilkerson, speaking for his 4-year-old son, Veron Jr., who came dressed as a certain spinach-guzzling sailor man. The grand atrium of the swank shopping mall was filled with spook-tacular attractions, including a dance party with DJs Mr. Mark and Mikey Palms,
a magic show courtesy of Mario the Magician, pumpkin carving demonstrations, and a sing-along show with cowboys Hopalong Andrew and his Dusty Cowpoke Posse. But the best fun to be had was marveling at all the creatively costumed kids — or for parents, enjoying the looks of glee as onlookers gawked at their own, according to Upper East Side dad Grant Chen. “My wife had a great time just by the amount of reactions we got from all the people around us,” said Chen, who came with wife Janet and 1-yearold twins Alex and Max, both dressed as lobsters.
Photos by Milo Hess
(Above) It’s hard to tell who was having the most fun at the Brookfield Halloween festival on Oct. 29 — the kids showing off their costumes, or the parents in the background snapping pictures of their little monsters. (Top right) Pint-sized Popeye Veron Wilkinson, 4, flexes his muscles. (Right) The Chen family adopted a seafood theme this year, with dad Grant and mom Janet, carrying the cutest crustaceans you’ll ever see — their 1-year-old twins Alex (in the crate) and Max (in the pot). (Left) Pop stars ancient and modern were well represented ate the Brookfield bash — from 8-year-old Charlize Hsieh’s elegant Cleopatra, to her 6-year-old brother Cayden’s rockin’ Elvis.
November 03 - 16, 2016
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New Trinity tower design Details unveiled of the parish house and commercial offices for 68-74 Trinity Pl. BY COLIN MIXSON Lower Manhattan’s Trinity Church released new renderings on Monday of the 26-story, mixed-use tower it will build at 68-74 Trinity Pl. Earlier this year Trinity nixed plans for a residential tower at the site after locals complained. The new design envisions 17 floors of commercial office space above a larger community center than originally planned. The building, expected to be completed in 2019, will provide 150,000 square feet of flexible space for community and parish use. The designs depict a modern-looking tower with modular interiors, which can be reshaped to fit the needs of Downtown worshippers and residents
for decades to come, according to the rector of the 300-year-old church. “Our building is a statement of Trinity Church Trinity’s dedication to serving the people The new design for the tower to be built at 68-74 Trinity Pl. is roughly split of this community, this neighborhood, between church and community space at the base and commercial offices and the city of New York for a fourth above. century,” said Rev. Dr. William Lupfer. “Having been in conversation with our neighbors every step of the way, we are the aging edifice up to code. spokesman David Simpson. creating a dynamic, engaging home for The new 310,000-square-foot buildThe development’s commercial and Trinity’s ministry activities.” ing will be cut roughly in half between non-profit halves will be served by Designed by Pelli Clarke Pelli community/parish and commercial use, separate entrances, with worshippers Architects, the building will sit directly with the first nine floors going to the and residents entering from Trinity behind Trinity Church between Thames community center and church offices, Place, and commercial tenants using a and Rector Sts. at 74 Trinity Pl, and will and the remaining 160,000 square feet Greenwich Street entrance, according retain the existing sky bridge that linked above being rented out as commercial to Simpson. the church to the previous tower, which offices. But tenants will limited those The tower’s lower half will include: was demolished after the church opted which “fall behind Trinity’s core beliefs T:8.75” to erect a structure instead of bringing and mission,” according to church trinity tower Continued on page 20
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November 03 - 16, 2016
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Worth it! MTA plan would extend M1 bus route south from E.8th St. down to Worth St.
BY DENNIS LYNCH outside, they don’t want to deal with The MTA plans to extend the M1 the train, like tourists for example, bus route to Worth Street by next they’ll want to see things and they can spring. hop right off.” Instead of turning back uptown on Every other bus will make the Lafayette St. from E. 8th St., the M1 extended loop on weekdays and every will continue down E. 8th St. and turn bus will take it on weekends. The MTA downtown on Third Ave., onto Bowery, expects buses to run every 16–24 minturn west onto Worth St. and the head utes on weekdays, and every 12–20 uptown on Centre St. to continue onto minutes on weekends, depending on Lafayette St. and get back to the exist- the time of day. ing route. The extension is just under a The extension will not alter the mile long, MTA reps told Community frequency of buses on the existing M1 Board 1’s Seaport Committee on Oct. 18. Committee members raised concerns about how construction further west on Worth St. could affect service and worried that buses could make it dangerous for bikers on Worth Street. An MTA representative said the agency would consider potential service disrupters and will work with other city departments to ensure Worth St. remains safe for bikers, although did not elaborate on particular measures it could take to do so. One city employee who works at the MTA civic center predict- The proposed M1 route extension would see the bus ed that court-goers, head south from E. 8th St. down to Worth St. particularly elderly folks, will benefit the most from the extension. route, an MTA spokesman said. “With people coming down for The extended M1 will supplement court and older people coming for jury the M103 bus that runs on the Bowery duty, you can get right off here and go and join the M22 during its short trip on to the court. You don’t have to walk Worth Street. It will be the only city bus over from the 1 train,” Dilys Rubizzi traveling in either direction on Lafayette said. “And sometimes people like to be Street. DowntownExpress.com
Keep your home, family & ﬁnances above water
November 03 - 16, 2016
BY JANEL BL ADOW A wickedly busy month in the neighborhood — everything from making history to marking it.
Photo by Milo Hess
This high-water-mark sign, marking the height of Superstorm Sandy’s flood surge, will serve as a permanent reminder of how vulnerable the Seaport is to extreme storms.
SANDY SURGE SIGN… Saturday, Oct. 29, some 30 neighbors and Seaport enthusiasts turned out to officially mark the highest extent of the storm surge that inundated the area three years ago. The South Street Seaport Museum along with the city’s Office of Emergency Management and the Federal Emergency Management Agency unveiled an official high-water-mark sign near the museum’s flagship Wavertree to promote awareness about storm surge risk. “The location where we are now standing had storm surge waters that reached four feet high in October 2012 when Hurricane Sandy hit,” said OEM
deputy commissioner Frank McCarton. “This is the fourth community in New York City where we have placed High Water Mark signs to help promote awareness of hurricane risks and to encourage people to take steps to prepare for a storm.” Councilmember Margaret Chin, and tireless storm-resiliency advocate Catherine McVay Hughes joined McCarton and museum director Capt. Boulware for the unveiling. “The South Street Seaport Museum and its historic buildings were devastatingly flooded during Sandy, as were many businesses, homes, and communities throughout New York,” said Capt. Boulware. “Although Sandy was a onetime event, a storm like this will occur again, and we must be prepared.” The High Water Mark Initiative aims to increase communities’ awareness of local flood risk by posting prominent signs showing high water marks after recent floods. GRANDMASTER SLAM… Flushing Meadows may be known for the U.S. Open but we have the grand slam of chess coming to the Seaport this month. See the two youngest chess grandmasters ever to compete for the world title right in our hood! The World Chess Championship Match is the first large-scale event to take place in the newly renovated Fulton Market building. The three week match up running Nov. 11–30 will be the first match-up of two great minds of the Millennial Generation, according to Agon Limited, the company that holds the internationally recognized World Chess Championship. Defending Champion
“The Taylor Swift Experience” is coming to the Seaport at 19 Fulton St., opening Friday, Nov. 18. Tickets are $9 (plus tax and fees) through Ticketmaster.
November 03 - 16, 2016
Photo by Sebastian Reuter
World chess champion Magnus Carlsen, 25, will face off against 26 -year-old challenger Sergey Karjakin in a 12-game match played over the course of 20 days at the South Street Seaports Fulton Market Building to determine the new world champion.
Magnus Carlsen, 25, of Norway faces off against 26-year-old Sergey Karjakin of Russia. Challenger Karjakin is the world’s youngest Grandmaster (he earned the title at 12 years and 7 months old). The match consists of 12 games, with every move followed and analyzed by a global audience of hundreds of millions of chess fans. The last World Championship match, held in Sochi in Russia in 2014, enjoyed record-breaking coverage with a viewing audience topping 1.2 billion people, according to Agon Limited, which will provide a live broadcast of the Match through its worldchess.com website. To attend the actual event, register at nyc2016. fide.com. GATHER YOUR SQUADS… Are you ready to “experience” Taylor Swift? The Grammy Museum® The Howard Hughes Corporation®, will bring “The Taylor Swift Experience” to 19 Fulton St., opening Friday, Nov. 18. The exhibit opened two years ago on Taylor’s 25th birthday (that’s Dec. 13, in case you just awoke from a coma) and gives the public a sneak peak at the 10-time Grammy winner’s musical and private life through personal photographs, home videos and interactive experiences. Also in the Swift stuff are her childhood books, costumes from the RED and 1989 tours, her banjo from her 54thAnnual Grammy performance, her Met Gala Louis Vuitton dress, and more. “This installation will activate the Seaport with a new offering that will attract New Yorkers and visitors alike while we continue to transform the district into a leading destination for cut-
ting edge entertainment, fashion, dining and cultural experiences,” said HHC CEO David Weinreb. Tickets are $9 (plus tax and fees) and available through Ticketmaster. The exhibit will be on display within the Seaport District through February 19, 2017. MEET & GREET… Want to meet some neighbors, get to know other Seaport business people or just like to mingle? Mark your calendar for Tuesday, Nov. 15. The Old Seaport Alliance will hold its general membership meeting at the Blue School at 241 Water St. Come at 6 p.m. to chat with fellow Seaport fans, sip some wine and nibble on snacks. The meeting begins a half hour later, covering topics that concern business owners and residents in the neighborhood — for example, the closing of Peck Slip for a school “Play Street.” And feel free to raise some concerns of your own — OSA is all about respecting the Seaport’s historic past and helping create a dynamic future. HOWL ‘O WEEN… More than 50 dogs had their day along with their two-legged escorts and partied like a pack of crazy hounds at the 9th-Annual Salty Paw Halloween Party. Winning costumes included Aladdin, Harry Potter and a bunch of sailor and taco dogs. The Money raised went to the Humane Society and Social Tees Animal Rescue. You can still help out the rescue group — just pop round to the Paw where they’re selling Grounds & Hounds coffee beans to raise money. For more on the canine costume contest, see page 11.
Photo by Milo Hess
Dougie the Chihuahua kicked back to soak in the scary sights at the 9th-annual Salty Paw doggie costume contest at the Seaport on Sunday.
MORE SCARY MADNESS… The annual frightfest isn’t just going to the dogs… two-legged terrors had a good time too. The neighborhood partying began on Friday night with a nightseaport Report Continued on page 10
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time jaunt — “A Dark Tour of the Wickedest Ward.” The South Street Seaport Museum hosted its first adultsonly walking tour of 19th-century Downtown’s most infamous district of vice and depravity: the Fourth Ward — a place of murder, mayhem and misery. Oh my! Intrepid walkers joined museum history buffs to see former rat pits, bordellos, and haunted saloons in the hood. On Saturday bands rocked the cos-
tumed fun at Nelson Blue and the Paris Café, for two fun parties, then Sunday saw more family friendly fright fun with the FiDi Families’ annual daytime Halloween fest, supported by HHC, complete with a Mad Science show, a kid-friendly concert and a child-proof, non-carving pumpkin decoration station where kids could take their creations home. Then on Monday night nearly a hundred kids and companions made the annual candy trek through Seaport streets and winding up at Peck Slip Plaza for some fun and games.
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Photo by Milo Hess
At the Seaport Halloween festival on Sunday, kids could decorate free pumkins however they liked — no carving required.
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November 03 - 16, 2016
Salty dogs Seaport pet spa hosted canine costume contest
BY COLIN MIXSON Dozens of debonair dogs competed for a chance at an all-inclusive resort experience at The Salty Paw dog spa on Peck Slip, which hosted its 9th-annual canine costume contest on Sunday. The masquerading menagerie featured Beanie Baby bichons, giraffe bull dogs, leopard pugs, and a seafaring dachshund in an event spectators described in no uncertain terms as awfully adorable. “It was the cutest thing ever,” said Angelee Miranda, master of the Beanie Baby tagged maltese-bichon mix, Bailey. Most of the canine contestants were regular customers at the Peck Slip dog spa, and with free coffee and grooming on the line, the stakes were high. But despite the allure of fame and free prizes, the pups managed to keep things civil and focused on the simple pleasures, such as sniffing butts and making friends, according to Miranda. “The community of dogs get together and its really nice and fun,” she said. “The kids come and all the dogs get to
Photos by Milo Hess
(Above left) Lincoln, a 15-week-old dachshund, came to the Seaport ready to set sail on Sunday. (Above right) Little Rufus has a very special delivery for somebody. (Right) Oatmeal the French Bulldog may be a bit short to pull off this giraffe costume.
hang out for two hours.” The Salty Paw’s annual Halloween costume bash has, by luck, traditionally fallen on fair-weather days, and this year was no exception, with unusually warm weather and clear skies that enticed pet lovers to dine with their dogs at nearby cafes when they weren’t gawking at the obscene levels of twee, according to the pet spa’s owner.
“The weather was ridiculous,” said Amanda Zink. “We have a few eateries next door, and everybody was sitting outside eating with their dogs. It was a win-win for everybody.” The dog spa partnered with Grounds and Hounds Coffee Company to benefit Social Tees, a New York City animal rescue group that Salty Paw provides grooming services for, Zink said.
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November 03 - 16, 2016
Arcade fire Torches and pitchforks make BPCA back off South End Ave. arcade infill
BY DENNIS LYNCH Following angry pushback from residents against a high-handed attempt to remake South End Ave., the Battery Park City Authority has abandoned its most controversial element — a proposal to allow expanded retail space take over the avenue’s covered pedestrian arcades along the sidewalks. The 11th-hour concession from a top BPCA official came just before Community Board 1 was set to vote at its Oct. 25 meeting on whether to sign onto a blistering complaint to the governor’s office demanding the BPCA scrap its current South End Ave. plans and start over in cooperation with the Department of Transportation and residents The BPCA’s climb down was a “good step forward,” according to the BPC committee chairwoman, but she suggested that the unpopular arcade-infill
plan was just a symptom of the authority’s deeper disease, which is a “matter of process” that seems to cut out the voices of residents. “There’s a lot of things they could to do show they’re listening,” Ninfa Segarra said. “It’s for the residents of Battery Park City to have a part in the [decision-making] process.” Despite the olive branch offered by the BPCA’s vice president of real property Gwen Dawson, CB1 voted to send the complaint to the governor’s office anyway. It is Gov. Cuomo, after all — not the thousands of Battery Park City residents who actually live there — to whom the BPCA board is accountable to. Since BPC is a state-owned asset managed by a board appointed by Gov. Cuomo, the BPCA’s primary mandate is its fiduciary responsibility to maximize financial returns to the state — which
Photo by Alex Ellefson
After residents rebelled against the idea, the Battery Park City Authority has abandoned a proposal to transform the pedestrian arcades along South End Ave. into private retail space.
was the motivation many residents suspected to be behind the sudden push to handover thousands of square feet of open, public sidewalk space to become commercial retail that could increase the BPCA’s revenues. But in the case of the South End
Ave. arcades, the authority’s fiduciary priorities may just so happened to have aligned with the interests of residents. Dawson acknowledged at the meeting that in addition to the community oppoArcades Continued on page 31
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November 03 - 16, 2016
Executive evacuation service offering get-away boats at BPC’s North Cove BY COLIN MIXSON It’s like Uber for the exact opposite of the bridge-and-tunnel crowd. A ritzy private evacuation service tailored for Lower Manhattan’s executive class is now leasing dock space at North Cove Marina, whence it plans to whisk Downtown’s masters of the universe safely off the island come Judgment Day. “It’s the contingency backup that people who live or work Downtown have been asking for,” said Pat Dowhie, CEO of Plan B Marine. “Plan B boats are docked at Brookfield Place now, so that subscribers can get off the island in the event of critical infrastructure failure or other catastrophic circumstance.” Plan B Marine allows businesses to lease military-grade all-weather boats, which are maintained in a constant state of readiness so that Downtown honchos and their C-suite posses can
make a B-line across the Hudson whenever Helter Skelter strikes — or even, according to Dowhie, just if the tunnel gets backed up. “If the railroad is down and it’s jeopardizing your business, or the roads are gridlocked and you need to get from point A to B, the only way to immediately get off island is by water,” Dowhie said. The business started up six-months ago with docks at Chelsea Piers, but Plan B took its inspiration from the events of Sept. 11, 2001, Dowhie recalled. Plan B Marine Before 9/11, Dowhie and her partParked conveniently among the superyachts of Battery Park City’s North Cove ners operated a telecommunications Marina, the military-grade nautical escape boats of Plan B Marine remain company based out of the World Trade gassed up a ready to whisk high-powered executives out of Manhattan the Center, but had begun moving to anothnext time all hell breaks loose. er building nearby not long before the attack, so fortunately, all she lost in the outside world made a big impres- to safety. That’s what lead Dowhie to the conflagration was equipment and sion on her. the revelation that, in a true Doomsday some furniture. But the panic and chaos As did the massive water-borne Scenario, the only sure way out of Downtown, and watching besuitedT:8.75”evacuation in which hundreds of civil- Lower Manhattan was by water. executives’ desperate efforts to escape a ian watercraft transported as many as Financial District suddenly cut off from half a million stranded Downtowners escape pods Continued on page 20
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November 03 - 16, 2016
PURSE PINCHED A sticky fingered thief poached a woman’s purse from inside her husband’s bag on a crowded southbound 5 train on Oct. 27. The victim told police he boarded the train heading downtown at Grand Central Station at 10:10 a.m., and disembarked at Bowling Green 20 minutes later when he noticed his bag was unzipped and his wife’s valuables were missing. In route, the man said he was jostled several times as passengers came and went, and fears that some pickpurse managed to unpack his bag unnoticed, cops said.
RAIL RAGE Cops are hunting a black-clad whacko who socked a subway conductor in the face on a World Trade Center-bound E train on Oct. 26. The victim told police he was busy ferrying straphangers towards the Financial Center and had stopped the train at the Spring St. station near Sixth Ave. at 9:45 a.m., when the belligerent goon, wearing a black hat and black overcoat, sucker punched him right in the kisser. The attacker fled down Spring St. heading west, cops said.
BIKE BANDIT A 23-year-old man was arrested after he was allegedly spotted riding a stolen Citi Bike on a Chambers St. sidewalk on Oct. 26, cops said. The arresting officer was near Center St. at 4:56 p.m., when he spotted the suspect illegally riding on the sidewalk and stopped him for questioning. The suspect allegedly stated that he was given the bicycle as a gift, but when the officer reached out to Citi Bike, he was told the cycle was reported missing, according to police.
UP IN SMOKE Looters nabbed more than $1,000 worth of smokes from a Wall St. pharmacy on Oct. 25. An employee told police that the suspects were caught on surveillance footage inside the drug store between William and Broad Sts. at 4 a.m., when they went behind the cash register and nabbed more than a hundred packs of cigarettes before fleeing.
BUR-BYE! Three thieves made off with more than $5,500 worth of Burberry scarves from a Vesey St. department store on Oct. 26. DowntownExpress.com
An employee told police that the crooks waltzed into the store near West St. at 5:50 p.m., when one of them got an employees attention and kept him busy as his accomplices nabbed 11 ritzy neck wraps before making for the exit.
NOW YOU SEE, NOW YOU DON’T Four thieves stole $7,000 worth of spectacles from a Spring St. glasses retailer on Oct. 26. Surveillance footage shows the crooked crew entering the eyeglass store between Wooster and Greene Sts. at 12:44 p.m., and removing a grand total of eight pairs of glasses from a display case.
FOOD FIGHT A sidewalk food vendor attacked the owner of another food cart on South St. on Oct. 22, and then took his cash, police said. The victim told police that he was selling food between Fletcher and John Sts. at 9:10 a.m., when his competitor launched the assault, serving up a knuckle sandwich and a swift kick to the leg, leaving him bloodied. With his rival incapacitated, the food-vending fiend grabbed his victim’s wallet, nabbing credit cards and more than $600, cops said. The belligerent cook was no stranger to the victim, who told police that his attacker was a nuisance for other vendors in the area.
BIKE BANDIT A bike-mounted thief ripped the purse off a woman’s shoulder on Thompson St. on Oct. 16. The victim told police that she was near Spring St. at 2 a.m., when the biker, dressed all in black, swooped past, deftly snatched her bag and sped away. The handbag contained debit cards, which were later used to make more than $300 worth of illicit purchases, cops said.
BAND OF GOONS Four thugs beat and robbed a man on Sixth Ave. on Oct. 22, taking his iPhone and cash. The victim told police that he was near West Broadway at 3:30 a.m. when the goons attacked, punching him the face and injuring his eye, before turning out his pockets and taking his valuables. Cops responding to the attack canvassed the area, but their search came up empty, according to police. — Colin Mixson
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Silverstein feted by Museum of Jewish Heritage BY BILL EGBERT One of the leading figures of Lower Manhattan’s struggle to recover from the destruction wrought by the 9/11 attacks was honored last week by a Downtown institution dedicated to remembering one of history’s most profound stories of devastation, perseverance, and restoration. The Museum of Jewish Heritage celebrated the contributions of Larry Silverstein — the chairman of Silverstein Properties and a founding trustee of the museum — at the museum’s inaugural luncheon of the Museum of Jewish Heritage’s Real Estate and Allied Trades Division on Oct. 27. “The Museum of Jewish Heritage was proud to recognize our beloved Trustee Larry Silverstein and his family, whose extraordinary contributions to building our city have ensured so that the Museum’s neighborhood of Lower Manhattan will have an enduring legacy for generations to come” said Bruce C. Ratner, the museum chairman. “Larry is a great American hero and we couldn’t be more pleased to honor him.” The stars of the New York real estate community gathered at the 4 World Trade Center last week to honor Larry and his
wife Klara, along with their children, Roger, Lisa, and Tal Kerret, for their commitment to supporting the museum and their leadership throughout the arduous process rebuilding Lower Manhattan. “This point of recognition for the Silverstein family is quite special as we raise funds to support the Museum’s future as a world-class Holocaust museum that serves as a beacon of hope to all New Yorkers and to those who visit from far and wide,” said Michael S. Glickman, the museum’s president and CEO. The event brought together more than 450 guests and raised more than $3.2 million to support the museum’s mission of Holocaust education and remembrance — as well as its efforts to combat anti-Semitism, which has seen a disturbing rise over the past year. The Silverstein’s were inspired by the museum’s new alliance with the real estate industry and allied trades. “My family and I are delighted to support the launch of the Real Estate and Allied Trades Division of this incredible Museum,” said Larry Silverstein. “This event was an opportunity for me to bring together the four great passions of my life: my family, my
Museum of Jewish Heritage / Melanie Einzig
Left to right, Klara Silverstein, founding museum trustee Larry Silverstein, museum chairman Bruce Ratner, and museum vice chairman George Klein, gathered at the Museum of Jewish Heritage for a luncheon on Oct. 27 to honor the chairman of Silverstein Properties for his commitment both to building the museum, and to rebuilding the neighborhood of Downtown.
faith, my colleagues in business, and the great Downtown neighborhood the Museum calls home.” The Luncheon host committee included Milton Cooper of Kimco Realty, Jeffrey J. Feil of The Feil Organization, Winston C. Fisher of Fisher Brothers, Eugene M. Grant of Eugene M. Grant & Company, H. Dale Hemmerdinger of Atco Properties & Management, Peter S. Kalikow of H.J. Kalikow & Co., George Klein of Park
Tower Group, and Bruce C. Ratner of Forest City Ratner Companies. The Museum of Jewish Heritage – A Living Memorial to the Holocaust is dedicated to educating people of all ages and backgrounds about the diverse history of Jewish life over the past century — before, during, and after the Holocaust. It is the new home of the National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene, now in its 102nd season.
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Scrap the map! Fed go back to the drawing board on flood maps that could hike insurance BY DENNIS LYNCH The federal government has finally agreed to take another pass at the revised flood-risk maps it drew up after Hurricane Sandy which would have slammed thousands of homes and properties with sky-high rate hikes for flood insurance When the Federal Emergency Management Agency unveiled preliminary versions the city’s new Flood Insurance Rate Map, or FIRM, Mayor DeBlasio asked the agency for a do-over on the map because it added 70,000 city properties into the “highest risk” areas — double the number as in the pervious FIRM from 2007. The city forked over a 188-page report and a terabyte and a half of their own flood-risk data to convince FEMA they got it wrong, and after a year, the agency finally agreed. “The general premise was that they believed there were several aspects of
our analysis that we could have done better, and after a lot of discussion, we decided they were right,” said Andrew Martin, acting chief of the Risk Analysis Branch in FEMA Region II. If City Hall succeeds with its planned redraw, it could potentially move thousands of properties from the “highest risk” flood areas into those deemed merely “high risk.” Property owners in the “highest risk” areas pay dramatically higher rates for flood insurance and FEMA claims that revising the maps could save coastal property owners “tens of millions of dollars” in premiums. The point of FIRMs is to estimate the height and inland penetration of a major flood which would have a onepercent chance of occurring in any given year — sometimes misleadingly referred to as a “100-year flood” — so as to help calculate the risk and extent of damages, which thus determines
Still time for Sandy relief! Deadline for SBA disater loans is Dec.1 By BILL EGBERT The repairs and recovery after Hurricane Sandy may still be dragging on, but there is a flipside — the deadline to apply for federal disaster loans has also been delayed — but time is running out. The U.S. Small Business Administration is still offering disaster loans for Sandy damage to businesses, nonprofit organizations, homeowners and even renters, but the deadline to apply Dec. 1. Low interest loans are still available to cover uninsured losses and fund eligible mitigation projects. Businesses and private nonprofit organizations may borrow up to $2 million to repair or replace disasterdamaged or destroyed real estate, machinery and equipment, inventory, and other business assets. For small businesses, the SBA offers Economic Injury Disaster Loans to help meet working capital needs caused by the storm, and these loans are available regardless of whether Sandy directly caused the business any physical property damage.
November 03 - 16, 2016
Homeowners can access disaster loans of up to $200,000 to repair or replace disaster-damaged or destroyed real estate. Both homeowners as well as renters are still eligible for up to $40,000 to repair or replace personal property damaged or destroyed in the storm. Interest rates are as low as 1.688 percent for homeowners and renters, 3 percent for non-profit organizations and 4 percent for businesses with terms up to 30 years. Loan amounts and terms are set by the SBA based on each applicant’s financial condition. Sandy survivors can apply directly online using the Electronic Loan Application via SBA’s secure website at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela. For more information, call the SBA’s Customer Service Center at 800-659-2955 (800-877-8339 for the deaf and hard-of-hearing) or email firstname.lastname@example.org. But down wait — there’s just four weeks left before the Dec. 1 final deadline.
The maps of revised flood risk that the FEMA released in 2013 would have moved tens of thousands of homes and properties into the highest risk zones, causing huge leaps in insurance premiums. The City has successfully appealed those preliminary maps, and FEMA has agreed to work out new ones that better differentiate near-term and long-term flood risks.
insurance rates. Martin said FEMA is unsure how the new data will affect expected flood zones in Lower Manhattan, but he generally expected flood risks to go down compared to its 2013 map, but still be up from the 2007 map FEMA currently uses. Most at-risk properties are in Queens, Staten Island, and Brooklyn, but there were around 2,100 buildings in Manhattan in that “highest risk” floodplain in the 2007 FIRM and nearly twice as many — 3,000 — in the preliminary 2013 map. FEMA began its research for its 2013 maps in 2010 and so had not incorporated flood data from Hurricane Sandy, Hurricane Irene, or last year’s nor’easter. Integrating the data from those storms will help validate FEMA’s storm models, Martin said. “New York City is particularly challenging to model because there haven’t been a lot of tropical storms that hit it directly,” he said. “We have had to model potential strikes and storms without a lot of historical information as validation.” Martin said the re-analysis will take six to nine months to complete, but it will be another few years before FEMA will have new maps. Insurance companies will continue to use the old 2007 FIRM until then. But even the city admits that the upcoming revisions will provide only a
short-term respite. Projections from the Lower Manhattan Coastal Resiliency Project taking global warming a rising sea levels into account show th 2020 flood risk map nearly identical to the 2013 FIRM that had the city scrambling for revisions. The 2050 flood plain map virtually turns Fidi into an island of its own.
Projections from the Lower Manhattan Coastal Resiliency Project taking global warming and rising sea levels into account show the 2020 flood risk map to be nearly identical to the 2013 FIRM that sent the city scrambling to get revisions. And the flood plain map for 2050 virtually turns Fidi into an island of its own.
What a difference four years doesnâ€™t make Downtown still no safer, still not whole after 2012 Sandy strike BY DENNIS LYNCH Four years after Hurricane Sandy inundated Lower Manhattan and caused billions of dollars in economic losses, the road to a resilient Downtown is still as muddy as ever. There are no concrete designs for flood protections, nowhere near enough money allocated to fund them, and no clear source to make up the shortfall, leaving local leaders outraged at how little progress has been made in protecting one of the cityâ€™s most vulnerable and densely populated neighborhoods from future storms. â€œWe have no idea how much it will cost because thereâ€™s no plan in place, because only now has community engagement started,â€? said Catherine McVay Hughes, former chairwoman of Community Board 1 and the former cochair of the Lower Manhattan Planning Committee for the stateâ€™s post-Sandy New York Rising program. Last year the city estimated it would cost $608 million just for a series of measures stretching along the East River waterfront from 14th St. down
to The Battery, which would still leave Battery Park City and Tribeca unprotected. The city requested $500 million from the federal government for that limited plan, but received only $176 million, which was earmarked entirely for the Two Bridges area, leaving none at all for any projects south of Montgomery St. This summer the city allocated $100 million to fund resiliency projects along the Financial District waterfront down to The Battery â€” an area designated â€œManhattan Tipâ€? â€” and an additional $8 million specifically earmarked for The Battery to fortify the popular park at the southernmost point of the island. Local leaders are certain that this amount isnâ€™t enough to pay for all the measures necessary to protect Manhattan Tip, but they canâ€™t even say how much more they need because the city says it wonâ€™t be finished with its analysis until Spring 2018. A previous estimate put the price tag at $234 million, but the Mayorâ€™s Office wouldnâ€™t speculate on the cost
Catherine McVay Hughes, former chairwoman of Community Board 1 and a champion of improving Downtownâ€™s storm resiliency, is furious that four years after Hurricane Sandy devastated her neighborhood, so little has been accomplished to prepare for the next, inevitable superstorm.
of fortifying Downtown until the city finishes the studies that are part of its Lower Manhattan Coastal Resiliency
Project, which also requires community outreach and logistical planning. The city doesnâ€™t expect to put shovels in the ground before Fall 2018 â€” fully six years after Sandy struck. The city started the community outreach phase of the LMCR Project this summer and says it will continue with the study and design phase, while continuing efforts to raise the hundreds of millions of dollars required to build whatever projects result. The LMCR Project is just one of several citywide storm-proofing projects that grew out of former Mayor Bloombergâ€™s multi-billion-dollar citywide resiliency initiative. The initiative created a holistic citywide design, but then split it up into smaller localized projects to be designed and funded individually. Downtown leaders and elected officials formed the Lower Manhattan Coastal Resiliency Task Force to see the project through below 14th Street. Task force member and CB1 Chairman Anthony Notaro said he and sandy Continued on page 23
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“We understood that evacuating your family and employees can turn into a nightmare, and that the only viable, fast way of leaving Manhattan was by boat,” she said. And having a dedicated craft gassed up and ready to go you wouldn’t have to rely on the kindness of strangers. Plan B Marine typically allows the customer to specify where they want their get-away boat docked, but the move to North Cove came from Dowhie’s conclusion that Lower Manhattan is the perfect place to sell peace of mind to a first-class clientele. “The market seems to be Lower Manhattan,” Dowhie said. Not all Downtowners are on board with the idea of selling a subscriberonly flight to safety when a catastrophe strikes. “My first reaction is, how disgustingly repulsive,” said Patrick Harris, captain of the historic sailing ship Ventura, who participated in the epic 9/11 boat lift — free of charge. “This flies in the face of the ethics of the boating community, the first tenet of which is give aid to those in peril. You don’t make that a commercial service, you do it because it’s the right to do.” Nautical ethics aside, Harris, who operates out of IGY’s North Cove marina in the summer sailing season, did admit that the business plan makes sense, whether he likes it or not. “From IGY or North Cove’s perspective, it makes good business sense. But from Plan B Marine’s perspective
Plan B Marine
You can guarantee a spot in a Plan B Marine evacuation boat like this for the low-low price of just $750-per month.
they’re exploiting fear. You might as well vote for Trump.” Currently, Plan B Marine docks one boat at North Cove Marine, with another soon to follow, although the North Cove’s management is flexible in allowing the business to expand its operation as its Downtown market expands, said Dowhie. Though the evacuation provider keeps trained captains on standby, Plan B Marine also trains customers to operate the Coast Guard-certified craft. Subscribers are encouraged to have four to five members of its survivor group primed and ready to operate the craft. The boat currently moored at North Cove, a 25-foot Safe Boat Defender, goes for the low-low price of just $750per month for year-round access. A small price to pay, perhaps, when the zombie apocalypse starts.
trinity Continued from page 6
• Parish Hall, a large multifunctional gathering space able to accommodate up to 300 people • Early education programs located within the tower’s mezzanine, in addition to second- and third-floor classrooms. • Space for music and dance rehearsals, plus a 1,000-square-foot studio located on the fourth floor. • The Parlor Library, which incorporates the Lina Lowry Library and meeting spaces • A gymnasium on the fourth floor • Fifth floor interior and outdoor congregational gathering spaces, incorporating a landscaped terrace, a kitchen area able to serve groups of up to 25 people, and stained glass windows salvaged from the previous building at 74 Trinity Pl. The community facilities will be largely open to the public, and locals
November 03 - 16, 2016
Earlier this year, the church abandoned plans for a residential development after strong pushback from the community.
will not be required to be parish members in order take advantage of the amenities, according to Simpson. “Certainly it’s a welcoming facility,” he said. “No membership card required.” Plans for the building have been submitted to the city for approval, and construction is expected to kick off early next year and finish in late 2019. DowntownExpress.com
Top driver disTracTions Using mobile phones
Leading the list of the top distractions behind the wheel are mobile phones. Phones now do more than just place calls, and drivers often cannot pull away from their phones, even when driving. According to the California Department of Motor Vehicles, studies have shown that driving performance is lowered and the level of distraction is higher for drivers who are heavily engaged in cell
phone conversations. The use of a hands-free device does not lower distraction levels. The percentage of vehicle crashes and nearcrashes attributed to dialing is nearly identical to the number associated with talking or listening.
Many people will admit to daydreaming behind the wheel or looking at a person or object outside of the car for too long. Per-
haps they’re checking out a house in a new neighborhood or thought they saw someone they knew on the street corner. It can be easy to veer into the direction your eyes are focused, causing an accident. In addition to trying to stay focused on the road, some drivers prefer the help of lane departure warning systems.
Those who haven’t quite mastered walking and
chewing gum at the same time may want to avoid eating while driving. The majority of foods require a person’s hands to be taken off of the wheel and their eyes to be diverted from the road. Reaching in the back seat to share some French fries with the kids is also distracting. Try to eat meals before getting in the car. For those who must snack while en route, take a moment to pull over at
a rest area and spend 10 minutes snacking there before resuming the trip.
Glancing at an advertisement, updating a Facebook status or reading a book are all activities that should be avoided when driving. Even pouring over a traffic map or consulting the digital display of a GPS system can be distracting.
November 03 - 16, 2016
E D ITO R IAL
The robots are taking over — your brains! Publisher
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BY LENORE SKENAZY We don’t kill off our retirees just because they’re not working anymore, so don’t worry about our future robot overlords killing off us humans when we’re no longer working, either — which we won’t be, since robots will be doing everything faster and better than us, just as machines have been taking jobs from us since the invention of the sawmill. And in that future, robot-ruled time, we might have the choice to actually become one of the superbots by donating our brain after we die, then coming back (sort of) as the brain of a computer just like us, down to our likes, dislikes, sense of humor — and maybe even our looks. That, my friends, was just part of the trippy argument going on at a monthly event called The Soho Forum (thesohoforum.org), where free, open-to-thepublic debates examine issues of interest to free-will–loving libertarians. I’m not quite sure how robots and libertarians find common cause, but in any event the question to answer was: “Will robots eventually dominate the world and eliminate humans’ abilities to earn wages.” One professor — Robin Hanson, an associate professor of economics at George Mason University — briskly insisted that in the future, we will see the ascendancy of “Ems” — remarkably human robots that emulate us, because they’re modeled on our own brains. Or at least they’re modeled on the people who would make the very best workerrobots, claimed the author of “The Age of Em: Work, Love and Life when Robots Rule the Earth.” But that’s not who will choose, said the “Robots will not take over” debater, Bryan Caplan, also an author and econ professor at George Mason, because
Posted To book by father of fallen firefighter calls for justice after Deutsche Bank fire (Oct. 18) Fantastic account of the shameful coverup of the Deutsche Bank building fatal fire. The only place the families of the two dead firefighters can hope to get an honest investigation is the Office of the U. S. Attorney. I believe there is no Statute of Limitations on Wrongful Deaths. Martin J. Steadman Reading this book, leaves you dumb-
when we get around to creating worker robots from human brain scans, we will scan only the most docile, efficient workers, to create docile, non-humankilling Ems. And this is where it started getting weird(er): Hanson believes that company chiefs will still want to hire the most-brilliant workers, which means they’ll end up cloning (or replicating, or whatever the word is) jerks. “We expect the highest productivity workers will be chosen,” said Hanson. In other words, the Ems will be clones of the cutthroat people most of us hate. And, being cutthroats, eventually they’ll cut ours throats. “Although it may well be that the first five generations of robots will keep humans around because they feel some vestigial warmth toward our species,” Hanson said. How comforting. Caplan was having none of it. Why on earth would we clone the cutthroats who want to kill us, he asked. Well, over the eons we’ve had quite a lot of experience breeding new beings to do our bidding: Our pets and farm animals. We’ll do the same with humans — cloning the absolutely sweetest ones who also have a fierce work ethic. “We’ve got 7 billion people to choose from,” he pointed out. “A normal employer has five.” The moderator, Gene Epstein, economics editor at Barron’s magazine, tried to make peace.
founded at the kind of cover ups that can happen. A crime that young men gave their live for greed. Mr Graffagnino did a tremendous job uncovering the truth, that’s was to be hidden by those we look to for leadership. It makes you lose trust in those who run our city. Steven Matassa Joe, your persistence and determination is a testament to your characther. I came away with a greater appreciation of what the FDNY faces when it answer the bell. We’ll written and kept me turn-
“You’ll tweak it,” he nodded to both. Caplan was not convinced that the day of the Ems will ever come, because who would volunteer to become one? “First thing, you’re actually dead. They have to slice your brain in pieces. Very few people would want their biological death in order to have a computer simulation,” he said. “Today we can’t conceive of it,” agreed Hanson. But when humans in the future see that the Ems talk and look and act like “real” people — except they never die — then the prospect might become attractive. Hanson made it sound as normal as wearing glasses, another biological enhancement people eons ago could not have conceived. And that was Hanson’s big point: Of course this stuff sounds bizarre to us. But think back 1,000 years to the subsistence farmers. If you’d told them that someday we’d be able to talk to someone across an ocean, there’s no way they would have understood much less believed you. And now we have Skype and FaceTime. Would the Ems own property? Would they eventually fight? Or would the earth become a paradise with Ems doing all our work? Those issues were not resolved. In fact, nothing really was. A before-and-after poll of the audience found that the exact same number had changed their minds from negative to positive, and vice versa. It was the least strange moment of a very strange night. Lenore Skenazy is a keynote speaker, author of the book and blog Free-Range Kids, and a contributor at Reason.com.
ing the pages. The corruption and cover up on par with the lies and corruption of DC politics. Obama has his FBI and Attorney General carrying his water as Bloomberg had his Loretta Lynch. Frank Barone Mr. Graffagnino, you’ve done important work taking LMDC, Bovis and Galt to task. We neighbors of the Deutsche Bank building went to numerous LMDC meetings and fought and lost trying to convince Avi Schick to posted Continued on page 23
sandy Continued from page 19
his colleagues didn’t want to “sit around and wait” for the city to present a design — they wanted drive the process. “The city said ‘Hey here’s a multibillion-dollar plan,’ Well, that’s not going to happen tomorrow — everyone has to say how can we implement that,” Notaro said. “There’s no way to say what neighborhood is more important than others. The issue is how to get people to stand up and say ‘Here’s what we need.’” The city plans to present some preliminary design options to members of the task force in December, who will take them to the public for more input. Some proposals floated in the past include tall, grassy berms along the Downtown waterfront, and even building out flood-absorbing marshlands with landfill. But even leaving aside such grand
Posted Continued from page 22
clean and demo the building in sections (5 floors each) from the top down. We stood in the street at one Liberty Plaza to protest the hiring of both Bovis and Galt. You could see even from the outside that this was a disaster waiting to happen. So sorry that it turned into a needless tragedy. Mary Perillo Superb and doggedly thorough research which is unlikely to be replicated anywhere else. as for the absence of footnotes, much of the book consists of interviews so that speaker and reference are one and the same. Jenna Orkin A “war” needs to be declared and fought on corruption at each level of government – local, state and national. Then, we can take on corrupt unions, corporations and charities (actually, probably need to only focus on executives, directors and certain donors (for charities)). Jan David
Asperger’s, autism, and sex offenders (Oct. 20) We need to start naming and shaming this judge, as well as those in the victim industry who exploit those on the registry for personal gain. Derek W Logue Funny – you say that there is understanding for people with a low IQ and not for autism, however, I’ve been of DowntownExpress.com
visions, there are still dozens of smaller scale repair, recovery, and mitigation projects south of Canal St. that are still only in the design and planning phases, four years after the storm, There is still more than $45.6 million worth of repair and recovery work Downtown that is still just in the planning or design phase, according to the Mayor’s Office of Recovery and Resiliency, including a $2-million reconstruction of Mannahatta Park, and $3 million in repairs and mitigation at Pier 36. Many wounds have still yet to heal. The Seaport’s iconic Bridge Cafe is still struggling to reopen after Sandy flooded its 222-year-old building. Other storefronts in the area have seemingly shuttered for good. Notaro said he “has to be optimistic,” because the tasks ahead are so complex and daunting. “Its important to know that every-
Photo by Janel Bladow
The Seaport’s Bridge Cafe is one of many Downtown businesses that has still not reopened following the devesation of Hurricane Sandy.
the opinion that the opposite is true and that someone with autism or down syndrome get the sympathy. My grandson, who has an IQ of 72, has been through something similar. No one seemed to even consider his disability. Of course, he was hanging around a younger crowd due to his limitations, but these were kids he knew from school and not ten years younger. The one that landed him on the list was five years younger and he made a bad joke to her. Who knew that 19 year old could be charged with a felony for this? We are also from Michigan and I would be most interested in the information where the findings are that the majority found in possession of child porn are developmentally disabled. This really needs to change. I’m so tired of the hypocrisy. Thank you for this article. Lin
the fact that very few people will call for the removal of this judge. In Calif, at least two judges have faced potential recalls for granting “light” sentences to sex offenders. This Alabama jurist can joke about a condition like autism and get away with it simply because the target of the comment is now a registrant. Just goes to show how conditioned our society has become to such hatred of a particular group, that taunting and jokes about those who also suffer from a disability are allowed to be victimized. Martin
The study is from Lawrence Sutton in Pennsylvania. The sample size was small (around 60 people) and it was taken in a juvenile facility for people charged with a sex crime. Nothing totally definitive can be drawn from it except that it does give us a starting place. Jim
The thought of my children playing on a public street that is closed ONLY TO TRAFFIC with 1 hotel adjacent to the school and another 1 block away is terrifying. Between the street being open to stranger danger aka foot traffic and the kids playing on cobblestone aka death trap/ dentists dream.. I, unlike many other families will NOT be rejoicing over this news! Melissa Rumore-Carol
The Alabama judge shrugged, saying, “You have autism? I’m bald. It’s just something we live with.” This a clear abuse of his power. That man is unfit to sit at the bench. Some day…Karma. Noemi The saddest aspect of this story is
He’s a federal judge so the only way that will happen is if he is impeached. Very sad but true. Jim
Free play! Peck Slip School can close street for recess (Oct. 20)
Talk to us! BPCA finally to allow public comment at board meetings (Oct. 21) This is a good development, but does not replace the need to have local
one is committed to doing this. There are regulations to comply with, lots of people to get agreement with. Public facilities are involved. It’s a complex thing,” he said. “We are attempting to do things that have never been done before on this scale. Our federal, state, and city governments are all focused on it — to spend money wisely, and engage the community. We’re all in it together.” In the meantime, the city’s Department of Small Business Services is offering free property risk assessments to small businesses affected by Hurricane Sandy, recommending “customized physical, operational, and financial preparedness and resiliency-related improvements to business owners.” Participating businesses will be eligible for a $3,000 grant to buy items recommended by the assessment. Apply at BusinessPREP@sbs. nyc.gov.
residents on the Board. Please sign the petition asking Gov. Cuomo to appoint locals to the Board at Democracy4BPC. org. Maryanne P. Braverman
MTA to extend M1 bus route south to Worth St. (Oct. 26) Highly needed route extension, since the M5 is being split into the M5 North of Midtown and the M55 South of Midtown. Something must be done with the West Side buses, either the M11 extended to Lower Manhattan or combine the M10 and M20 routes (like before the former M10 ran from Harlem to Lower Manhattan)/ Fredrick Wells Return of M1 to South Ferry. It deserved to be extended to South Ferry. M1 was discountinued to South Ferry due to MTA service cut in 2010. Return M1 to South Ferry make sense.. let extended M1 back to South Ferry. Why was it cut back in 2010. dont know.. Sunny May I also bring up low quality service on the M22 – too often the driver leaves Grand St./ FDR before scheduled departure. (Although, that only happens if the scheduled bus actually shown up.) Similar for departures from BPC (at El Vez). I have more comments about other downtown bus routes, but that can keep until a story is done on that topic. Jan David November 03 - 16, 2016
Dates: Thurs., Nov. 3–Wed., Nov. 9
ALTERNATE SIDE PARKING RULES SUSPENDED TUESDAY FOR ELECTION DAY
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November 03 - 16, 2016
Marathon gridlock alert! The NYC Marathon—the biggest in the world— saw nearly 50,000 finishers last year, so we can expect at least that many to stampede our streets from roughly 7 a.m. to noon Sunday. And let’s hope they run fast, because the long list of closures means traffic jams will build up throughout the city. Although the race doesn’t include any streets below Central Park, lower Manhattan will still get a solid dose of the impact, because street closures for the marathon have a kind of ripple effect. Since all streets north of 59th St. will be closed at either First or Fifth Aves., crosstown traffic will shift southward, toppling domino style, 42nd, 34th, 24th, and 14th Sts., in that order — and possibly as far south as Houston St. Expect heavier-than-usual Holland Tunnel traffic into Manhattan as drivers avoid the Verrazano Bridge to get to Brooklyn and Queens. Also Staten Islanders will drive through NJ to get to Manhattan. Although runners will keep out of Downtown Manhattan, their path in Brooklyn takes them only a few blocks away from both the Manhattan and Brooklyn Bridges. So if you’re thinking of taking that route into Brooklyn, fuhgeddaboudit. To avoid marathon delays, be sure to check out the full list of street closures here: http://www.tcsnycmarathon.org/race-day/course
Also Sunday, football comes back to town as the Giants battle the Philadelphia Eagles at MetLife Stadium for a 1 p.m. showdown. Traffic heading to the Meadowlands will be a challenge for most. Lower Manhattan Giants fans shouldn’t find the outbound Holland Tunnel to be a problem. Best bet for all: take NJ Transit to Secaucus, and hop on the Meadowlands rail service. Election day on Tuesday is a big day for obvious reasons, not least is that this election cycle will finally come to an end [sighs with relief]. But in case you haven’t heard, it’s an especially big day in New York because both candidates have announced they’ll be coming to town. Hillary’s victory rally will await the results at the Javits Center, which may cause hefty delays on West St. Trump has not yet announced his venue, only that it will be in the Big Apple. That day, I’m willing to bet, will also drive many of us to drink — but be sure not to drink and drive. Also keep in mind, with all the viewing parties taking place, we’ll be seeing election action all over the city, even in the streets. Look out all over Lower Manhattan, because bars around the area are advertising discounted drinks for an Election Day special. On Sunday, Daylight Savings comes to an end — on the bright side, we gain an hour of sleep. But the end of daylight savings also means more people will be headed home after work in the dark. Drive, walk and bike more carefully than usual this first week of standard time.
Help us deliver hope, compassion and love, all wrapped up in a nutritious meal.
Volunteer. Donate. Advocate. godslovewedeliver.org
Horror is the New Fleck Tone, in ‘Blacktop Highway’ ‘NEA Four’ performance artist takes a solid turn down a dark path BY SCOTT STIFFLER Halloween will be a thing of the past by the time “Blacktop Highway” parks itself at Dixon Place, but that doesn’t mean you should pass up the opportunity to grip your ticket and enter the creepy old house John Fleck has stocked to the hilt with death, dread, grief, greed, sex, secrets, and lye (and, also, lies). “I like to scare and shock people,” said Fleck, the defunded-circa-1990 “NEA Four” performance artist and, later, busy TV actor, whose new multicharacter solo show lingers on the palate like a sweet confection laced with something bitter, possibly toxic, that you can’t quite put your finger on. Nominally the story of an upscale stranger with car trouble who stumbles upon a taxidermy-filled estate occupied by brother Frank, sister Jane, and a caged creature of dubious parentage, “Blacktop” unfolds as the manic, humorously self-aware live presentation of a screenplay whose constant revisions serve to amp up the drama — and, at times, appeal to the vanity of its writer/performer (“a man in his mid to late 50s” becomes “a non-smoking very attractive man in his early to mid-30s, his lush head of hair blowing in the wind from an open car window; a man steering his own course.”). Grim and goofy, disarming and disturbing, it’s informed as much by familiar Hollywood set pieces and plot twists as Fleck’s knack for hurling kitschy, misty, emotionally complex satire at interpersonal relations, religion, and the raw power of repressed sexual energy. But wait, why gothic horror as the vehicle? It’s hardly an obvious choice for the man whose autobiographical and absurdist theatrical endeavors include “Nothin’ Beats Pussy,” “Psycho Opera,” and “I got the He-Be-She-Be’s.” To be fair, though Fleck has made his mark in the sci-fi genre, having appeared in “Babylon 5” and several incarnations of the “Star Trek” franchise. “I always loved horror,” Fleck insisted. “I had this thing about ‘The Werewolf’ — I liked to pretend I was ‘The Werewolf,’ and I remember, as a kid, we’d play ‘Godzilla’ in the driveway.” It’s interesting to note, then, that a destructive monster looms large throughout “Blacktop Highway,” as does a gravelfilled, 50-foot strip of driveway that leads from the titular stretch of slickened road to the house where doom awaits. “I kind of grew up in a somewhat dysfunctional family,” Fleck explained, “so you act out things to get it out of your psyche when you can’t share it in the family.” Don’t project too much onto that. An undercurrent of autobiography is standard issue in any creative endeavor — but here, Fleck combines what may or may not be his own secret shames with a DowntownExpress.com
Photo by Rafael Hernandez
Long-suffering sister Jane floats above it all, as a pitiful creature strives to nail his vocal lesson.
movie junkie’s fondness for tropes and an anthropologist’s fascination with the crave/recoil response when confronted with facts that are probably fiction. Lest you think you’re being lectured to (apart from the point where there’s an actual lecture), Fleck heaps upon this foundation thick layers of sight gags, slapstick and prop comedy, puppetry, virtuoso vocal and facial contortions, and video projections that turn the black box theater into a cinema where the watcher becomes the watched (the screenplay direction “Cut to the attractive man’s POV” is this show’s breakout drinking game phrase). “Here’s the thing,” Fleck confessed, “It’s not the greatest horror story. It’s based on old clichéd scenarios. The deconstruction is what interests me,” he noted, and not just in reference to the spook house genre he both respects and subverts. “Observation affects behavior,” says Fleck, in the guise of the smug “Blacktop” professor-type who interrupts the action to name-drop the late French philosopher Jean Baudrillard’s 1981 “Simulacra and Simulation” treatise, insisting that from this moment on, our man Fleck is “very aware that he is being watched” and, in our own awareness of that fact, the audience becomes “the überwatchers.” “We live in a hyperreal world where there’s no longer a difference between reality and the appear-
ance of reality,” said Fleck of the show’s Baudrillardinspired, ever-peeling layers of revelations and shifting perspectives. “People want know, ‘Is this all fiction?’ But in a way, I could look at all these characters that came out of my psyche as a mirror aspect of myself; this quest for the pretty face, and me being an aging gay man; the quest to stay young instead of accepting the reality of wanting to change that.” This is just one of the deep insecurities we’re prodded/tempted/encouraged to project onto Fleck, who at one point turns to the audience and quips, “I’m too old to get a job in Hollywood, so I made my own [movie] and play all the parts.” Fleck admitted his bitter little Norma Desmond/Baby Jane routine is “somewhat exaggerated, as we in the theater tend to do,” although work on the small screen has dried up since a long stretch of steady work in episodic and procedural dramas: Check out his IMDb profile for a multitude of unsavory characters, including “Gravedigger,” “CEO” and, yes, “Wolf”. But Fleck isn’t disavowing, or dissing, the dues paid through such steady work. After all, he noted, “I squirreled away enough bucks when I was working in that medium, and now I’m at a point in my FLECK continued on p. 29 November 03 - 16, 2016
Overall, You’ll ‘Like It’ and That’s ‘That’ Celebration of Puerto Rican cultural has a winning score
Photo by Marisol Diaz
The cast of “I Like It Like That” (Caridad De La Luz, center).
BY MICHELE CARLO On a metal-gated, garbage can-lined street of tenements and storefronts, the eloquent, energizing rhythm of Salsa music whirls through a doorway. In this record store and upstairs live a family unified in love; soon to be divided by life. Is there a riot or a celebration going on…or is it both? Are we to witness a story of hope and achievement, or loss and betrayal — or will it be both? And then there’s the music again; the unmistakable, transporting Latin music. Welcome to “I Like It Like That,” a musical set in El Barrio, aka Spanish Harlem, during the 1970s. The decade NYC nearly went bankrupt and blacked out; where crime, drugs and graffiti ruled the streets; and where a group of woke individuals turned protest into a force for social justice and change whose reach still exists today. A neighborhood whose music came to represent its people and culture during a time when all seemed poised on the wrong side of a sword. And through it all, a father struggles to keep his family hale and whole. It’s a celebration of old-school Puerto Rican culture: street parties and Valencia cake, culture clashes between generations amid poverty and neglect, the battle between the lure of the street and the desire to become something more than the powers that be want you to believe you can be (along with the backlash that you’re not “keeping it real” if you do choose to leave). I know this NYC; I grew up in it as well, albeit in a different neighborhood. Yes, the dialogue was sometimes an excuse to get to the next song — but what songs! The numbers include works by seminal musicians Eddie Palmieri, Hector Lavoe, Tito Puente, La Lupe, Johnny Pacheco, Willie Colon, Fania All-Stars, and more — plus Manny
November 03 - 16, 2016
Rodriguez and Tony Pabon, who wrote the title song. And, since this is a musical, we forgive any momentary timeline confusion or clunkiness of phrase while transfixed by the joyous explosion of hips, hair, and feet. Just ask the friend I brought that evening, a fullblooded Caucasian WASP who I thought might leap from her seat in delight at any given time. Unfortunately, many of the “inside” jokes and references that had the sold-out, mostly Latinx crowd roaring weren’t understood by her. And even though the English translations of many Spanish lyrics (and lines) projected on the walls and doorways of the sets were as legible as they were artistically effective, therein lies a dilemma. At times, I didn’t know what the odd word or phrase was either, as I am one of those Nuyoricans-of-a-certain-age who grew up speaking English at home; many of my parents’ generation thought it more important to assimilate, as our culture wasn’t as accepted as it is now. Yet this is just one of our many Nuyorican stories. and one which we’ve seen variations of before. Is it an anachronism in today’s Latinx nation? A misplaced nostalgia? Or is it something more — an homage to a specific place and time when you and everyone you knew were young, bristling and hopeful? That is doubly important to me because I don’t think that Latinx culture — and certainly not my own Puerto Rican heritage — has yet to have the nuanced, universal portrayal that sees us as just people; that takes us out of stereotype and into mainstream acceptance. I spoke with actress/poet Caridad De La Luz, who wholly and wonderfully embodied the role of socially aware sister, China. She told me how the timeline in the show connected with her, too, and since her parents met through salsa, the music is especially close
to her heart. She also said, “When I was around six or seven years old, I saw ‘West Side Story’ over and over, emulating Rita Moreno’s character Anita, and promised myself one day I would be in a musical about our people. With ‘I Like It Like That,’ it’s my dream come true. It’s our East Side Story, the story of how our music brought all kinds of people together.” As I left the subway on my way home from the theater, I saw the waning moon and thought of “Moonstruck,” the 1987 film about an ItalianAmerican family set against the backdrop of their neighborhood, and how their lives were truthfully portrayed down to the breakfast egg-bread frying in the cast iron pan. It’s groundbreaking to me because portrays this family as believable people, as opposed to the prevailing stereotypes of the time. And I don’t believe the Puerto Rican-American experience has had such a portrayal…yet. But that’s another thread for another time. “I Like It Like That,” is a show that has legs — 20 of them. Its score should be an album. I’d wish it to have a long, successful run beyond the Puerto Rican Traveling Theatre’s self-contained audience. So how can it reach, and win over, the mainstream audience any show must achieve for commercial success? Can it be our “Moonstruck?” I can’t answer that. But if it isn’t…it’s pretty darn close. And I liked it — just like that! Through Nov. 30. Tues.–Fri. at 8pm; Sat. at 5pm & 9pm; Sun. at 3pm & 7pm. At the Puerto Rican Traveling Theatre (304 W. 47th St., btw. Eighth & Ninth Aves.). For tickets ($55–$85), visit ilikeitlikethat.com or call 212-581-9859. Also visit pregonesprtt.org. DowntownExpress.com
The Force Awakens Gina Gibney’s long revolution expands big-time downtown
Photo by Julieta Cervantes
Nigel Campbell in Gibney Dance Company’s “Folding In.”
a secure community settlement for dance artists. Shifting into high gear, Gibney used earned income from its studio rentals to pilot-test a residency for mid-career artists. The Mellon Foundation has now funded that residency program, which will serve 30 artists over three years. “Instead of paying to turn on the lights,” Gibney explained, “they were paying for added programming. Funders love that.” The same year Gibney was expanding at 890, DNA was close to eviction from its space at 280 Broadway. The company finally went belly-up in 2013 after failing to implement a long-term funding strategy as part of its effort to “come up with a stronger model,” as DNA’s director said at the time. Gibney Dance stepped in, signing a lease on 36,000 square feet at 280 and hosting a wall-breaking party to mark its gut renovation into the Agnes Varis Performing Arts Center, which houses performing arts space, studios, and resources for the arts and social justice communities. Now, like Ailey,
the company is also embarking on an expansion, adding 10,000 square feet to the downtown complex, which will house seven smart studios equipped with technologies to create and disseminate high-quality digital content. The company will also deepen the social justice work that has been at the core of its activities since the beginning through its now-global Community Action programming that uses dance and creativity to empower domestic
abuse survivors and their families to take back control of their lives. The center will also provide social justice and community action services and training, and also cultivate partnerships, like the one with the Mayor’s Office to Combat Domestic Violence, with whom Gibney Dance conducted a symposium on bullying and abusive relationships. GIBNEY continued on p. 29
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Rob Redding is quickly becoming known all over the art world for his Smear Paintings and is continuing his growing career with his “Black on White” Show in NYC this November.
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BY BRIAN McCORMICK For years, people in the dance field talked about, experimented with, and funded research on “new models” — alternative organizational structures and approaches to creative work, presentation, fundraising, audience development, and press/marketing practices. While some of these were enabled or empowered by the rise of social media, surprisingly little institutional progress has been made. Due to calcification of leadership and a lack of innovation, the field remains largely unchanged, leaving artists at the mercy of an out-moded system. There is, however, a beacon of hope across from City Hall in Lower Manhattan, where Gina Gibney is building (on) an empire rebels can be proud of. Some may see this as a recent development that capitalized on the 2013 bankruptcy of Dance New Amsterdam (DNA), but the reality is Gibney has spent her entire adult life working on this — well, at least the last 25 years. Gibney Dance Company was founded as a performing and social action dance company in 1991 aimed toward women in need. They used a community action model; while other companies had a dramaturge on the payroll, Gibney had a clinical advisor. 890 Broadway, in the Flatiron District, became the company’s artistic home. With the security of space, Gibney focused on “keeping the company, and being a community actor, while making it viable, and trying not to lose money,” she told our sister publication, Gay City News. “For 20 years we had been working on the same scale, with the same problems, and no momentum,” she said. “The tipping point came when we had enough money earned from the studio space that funders began to pay attention, and expressed a desire to invest in what they saw as a stable entity.” In 2010, the company expanded its footprint at 890 Broadway into an eight-studio community center, and introduced a slew of new programming, events, and partnerships with Dance/NYC among others. Like Mark Morris Dance Center and the Ailey Center, Gibney blossomed into
November 03 - 16, 2016
Can’t Walk Away ‘Renée’ still finds a way to haunt me BY JIM MELLOAN Fifty years ago, on Oct. 29, 1966, “Walk Away Renée,” by the Left Banke, peaked at No. 5 on the Billboard Hot 100. The song’s intricate string arrangement made it a prime example of what came to be called “baroque rock” — already pioneered by George Martin’s arrangements of Beatles songs such as “In My Life” (Lennon actually asked him to play something “baroque-sounding” on the piano), “Yesterday,” and “Eleanor Rigby,” and later echoed by many of the Bee Gees 1967-1968 hits, the Supremes’ “Reflections,” and even Dylan’s “Lay Lady Lay,” with its keening dobro. The Left Banke’s harmonies were reminiscent of many Beatles tunes, as well as those of the Zombies and the Mamas and the Papas. In fact, 16-yearold keyboardist and co-writer Michael Brown (who died last year, at age 65, of heart failure) got the idea for the oboe solo from the flute solo in The Mamas & the Papas’ “California Dreamin’.” I moved to England just as the song was topping the charts here. I may have heard it in America, but the Left Banke’s version of the song did not chart over there. But a year later, the Four Tops had a No. 3 hit with it in England (No. 14 here). While unmistakably soul, the Tops’ version retained the plaintive strings and harmonies, evoking the same specific kind of rainyday-glo melancholy. Brown’s father was Harry Lookofsky, a bebop jazz violinist who had put out an album called “Stringsville” in 1958, and who had played with Toscanini, Quincy Jones, and Blood, Sweat & Tears. He owned a studio called World United Studios at W. 48th St. and Broadway. He gave Michael keys to the studio, in exchange for some cleaning and sometimes sitting in as a session pianist. Michael brought his friends in to sing and jam when the studio wasn’t booked. They weren’t great players, but they were great singers. Lookofsky took an interest in the group, and wound up playing all of the strings on “Walk Away Renée.” The song was inspired by Brown’s crush on bass player Tom Finn’s girlfriend Renée Fladen (now Fladen-Kamm), a
November 03 - 16, 2016
In 1966, “Walk Away Renée” was here to stay, after peaking at No. 5 on the Billboard Hot 100.
platinum blonde teenager. Brown wrote the song a month after meeting her. “I was just sort of mythologically in love,” he has said, “if you know what I mean, without having evidence in fact or in deed...But I was as close as anybody could be to the real thing.” Fladen was present during the recording of the song, and Brown was unnerved. He later said, “My hands were shaking when I tried to play, because she was right there in the control room. There was no way I could do it with her around, so I came back and did it later.” A near-perfect story of young, desperate, unrequited love and a resulting masterpiece — but almost certainly not the whole story. The writing credits go to Brown, Bob Calilli, and Harry Sansone. The latter two were never in the band. I haven’t been able to find anything about Calilli except that he was a friend of the Bronx-
born Sansone. Sansone was a friend of Brown’s, although I haven’t been able to find out how. Sansone was at least 10 years older. In a strange 10-minute YouTube interview from 2012, and a National Catholic Register article from July of this year, Sansone continually refers to the song as his own. (A passionate commenter on the YouTube video says, “The NCR article is a poorly sourced puff piece, written by a presumably well-meaning reporter who was bamboozled by a liar.”) The lyrics start with “And when I see the sign that points one way.” Sansone, who comes across more like a boxing promoter than a songwriter, claims that he was inspired by the one-way sign at the corner of Hull Ave. and E. 207th St. in the Bronx. He says he used to see it every day when he was coming out of grammar school. Other accounts say Brown got the inspiration from a one-
way sign at the corner of Falmouth St. and Hampton Ave. in Manhattan Beach, Brooklyn. The last verse starts with “Your name and mine inside a heart on a wall.” Sansone says there was a heart with “Tony loves Toni” (or maybe vice versa) inscribed near the handball court outside the school. The name Renée, he says, wasn’t based on a real person, merely inspired by the fact that the Beatles had written a song about a French girl named Michelle. He says the song was written in the Bronx with Brown and Calilli, with “a number of other young kids that used to hang out with me” present, and that the Left Banke was formed and asked permission to record the song sometime later. Sansone notes, correctly, that when Frankie Valli recorded the song, he changed the word “block” to “street.” “In New York City,” he explained, “we lived on a block, not on a street. New York City has blocks and lots. Frankie Valli… used the word street. He comes from Jersey; he lived on a street, not a block.” The band’s first live performance came after the song’s release in a gig set up by Sansone at Our Lady of Solace’s Church in the Bronx. They arrived in a limousine with Renée in tow, and were greeted by screaming girls, befitting the rock stars they had just become. Could the truth be somewhere between the two stories? There’s no doubt that Sansone did at least contribute to the song. Perhaps the song was written more or less as Sansone describes, Brown took it downtown and put it on the back burner, and after he met Renée the name struck a chord, and he was inspired to revisit the song and complete it. I used to have a crush on a girl named Linda, and I would get hot and bothered when Paul McCartney’s “The Lovely Linda” came on. There’s another YouTube clip recorded just before the interview of Sansone playing the song. The chords aren’t quite right; at best it’s a simplified version. Perhaps Sansone contributed a sizeable part of the lyrics and refined them, and Brown, unquestionably the better musician, refined the music to complete the classic song. Regardless, the song remains a touchstone for longing hearts everywhere. DowntownExpress.com
FLECK continued from p. 25
life [where] I don’t need to hustle for the TV jobs and am instead focusing on my performance art and theater. I did a feature film with Margaret Cho called ‘Alaska Is a Drag.’ I just finished acting in a David Greenspan play in LA called ‘Go Back to Where You Are,’ and I’m planning on doing a Pinter play in the spring. I want to be ‘live.’ ” This renewed dedication to theater, it turns out, is steeped in irony. Fleck credits the creation of “Blacktop” to an Internet project that never saw the light of day. “I have this old crone in me,” he said regarding what would become the character of long-suffering sister Jane, “that I got in touch with when I did [Lady Enid in Charles Ludlam’s] ‘The Mystery of Irma Vep,’ so it just kind of evolved. I originally thought about this piece [“Blacktop”] as a web series. I was gonna call it ‘The Door.’ This old woman would answer the door, and there’s a big secret inside.” Our dear readers are strongly advised to enter the doors of Dixon Place, and discover that secret for themselves. Your time will be duly rewarded, promises the man whose Downtown theater credits date back to the early ’80s and include the “Blacktop” host venue as well as PS122 and La MaMa. “I think the power of live theater,” Fleck insisted, will trump the experience of sitting at home “just looking at a screen. I want something to make me feel like I’m a f**king human being, not a robotized media head.” Let’s hope that message reaches the masses — or at least the guy who recently asked what he was up to next. “I said I was going to New York City to do my solo show,” Fleck recalled, “and he asked, ‘Why?’ and I said, ‘Well, that’s what I am. I’m a performance artist/theater person.’ And he said no one he knows ‘goes to live theater anymore.’ And I said, ‘Well, if that’s the case, then this an act of defiance
GIBNEY continued from p. 27
Perhaps most incredible among Gibney’s accomplishments is the fact that her company members are now 52-week salaried employees with health care and the month of August off. She accomplished this by redesigning their jobs to include activism and advocacy. “What does a company residency look like?” Gibney asks. Since last year, each company member has been assigned an advocacy fellowship. “They envision and implement something they deeply care about using the resources of the organization,” she explained. “We activate dancers as leaders of the community, provide their projects with incubation and mentorship by senior staff. They each choose the area they want to focus on.” And they are making a real difDowntownExpress.com
Photos by Rafael Hernandez
Wing man: Even caged creatures can take flight in the dreamy world of John Fleck.
and rebellion on my part.’ I truly feel theater, at its core, is about reminding us of our shared humanity — and it has to be live.” “Blacktop Highway” is performed Fri. & Sat., Nov. 4, 5, 11, 12, 18 & 19. All shows 7:30pm, at Dixon Place (161A Chrystie St., btw. Rivington & Delancey Sts.). For tickets ($18; $15 for students/seniors), visit dixonplace.org or call 212-2190736. Artist info at johnfleck.net. Written & performed by John Fleck. Directed by Randee Trabitz. Video design by Heather Fipps. Costume design by Christina Wright. Puppet design by Christine Papalexis. Original lighting design by Anne Militello.
ference. Dancer Nigel Campbell developed and now co-directs Move(NYC), a rigorous, tuitionfree summer dance intensive for talented locals teenagers who lack the financial means to attend summer dance programs like those at Jacob’s Pillow or ADF. This community-based philosophy can also be found at work in some of the curatorial programming, like “Double Plus,” shared evenings of work by artists chosen by other artists. “Artists are coming to us with ideas,” Gibney explained. “We want to have a strong artist-driven selection process, as well as selective presenting curated around a strong point of view. And we are working on how to make that process fair.” As for her own dance-making, the choreographer joked she hasn’t been “cranking them out in the last five years,” but she’ll present her
A live feed of Fleck’s face on the monitor, from a performance of “Blacktop Highway” at REDCAT in Los Angeles.
new evening-length work “Folding In” during the first two weeks of November. “We can’t do one thing all the time in this field. There has to be an acknowledgement of cycles and processes and demographics,” the dance magnate elaborated. “We wear many hats and embrace and use those things. But I put it all behind me when I walk into the studio and breathe the same air as the dancers. Admittedly, making this new work has been slow, stretched out over time, but it feeds me in a way nothing else does.” “Folding In.” Nov. 2–5 at 8pm; Nov. 10–11 at 8pm; Nov. 12 at 2 & 5pm. At 280 Broadway (enter at 53A Chambers St.). For tickets ($1520) and info on programs, services, classes, and events at both Gibney Dance Center spaces, visit gibneydance.org or call 646-837-6809.
Photo by Christopher Dugga
Gina Gibney is a visionary artist, activist, and entrepreneur who has been rethinking and improving dance infrastructure in New York City for 25 years. November 03 - 16, 2016
November 03 - 16, 2016
gymnatorium Continued from page 1
what will now be the gymnasium at the Trinity Place school, according to the DOE, but the agency has not yet finished the designs for the school that will occupy six floors in the 40-story residential tower coming to Trinity Place. A review by Joyce and Manhattan Youth, an after-school-program provider, found that gyms and auditoriums at Lower Manhattan schools were in almost constant use, before and after school, and on both weekdays and weekends. Auditoriums were utilized 75 percent of the time for performances, civic meetings, and other functions, while gyms were used consistently for school programming until 6 p.m. on weekdays and for sports leagues on weekends. The founder of Manhattan Youth said there was no way any school or provider could offer the same volume of programming in a single gymnatorium as they could in two separate facilities. “It’s self-evident — you can’t run a school play and a basketball game at the same time,” said Manhattan Youth’s
arcades Continued from page 12
sition to enclose the arcades, the authority’s own economic analysis “indicates significant potential barriers to pursuing,” the plan. The city recently suggested that a similar push for retail infill of arcades along Fidi’s Water St. may come to naught due to flood-proofing regulations. But as Segarra suggested, the real problem residents have with the BPCA’s South End Ave. plans were often less about the changes proposed, and more about the secretive and exclusionary process of how those proposals were arrived at. Instead of implementing a community-driven study on the avenue conducted by the Department of Transportation in 2013, which suggested improvements that CB1 has already signed off on, the BPCA decided, for reasons never fully explained, to hire an outside consulting firm to come up with three new alternate proposals with minimal community participation. Adding to the impression that the BPCA wanted to limit public input, the authority set up meetings in the summer — when many BPC residents com-
Bob Townley. “A gymnatorium is neither fish nor fowl, you can’t run great gym programs in there, and the plays are also half-baked. Between scheduling and layout, it just doesn’t make sense in a city like ours.” Both Joyce and Townley agreed that the DOE should connect with private developers as early as possible to design school spaces in new mixed-use and residential buildings, so the SCA doesn’t have to come in after the fact trying to fit adequate school facilities in spaces not designed for them. Joyce said the SCA representative at the task force meeting told her that the DOE was dropping the gymnatorium concept as a standard citywide but the DOE would not confirm that, saying only that “We work closely with each community to construct a school that best meets the needs of families in the area.” Joyce commended the DOE’s willingness to address community concerns and their efforts to make a difficult space work for the students, and said she was optimistic that they would respond to future concerns.
plained they were away — for locals to view the three outside proposals and offer feedback. The BPCA’s proposals includes many traffic-calming measures the DOT had already recommended, such as curb extensions to narrow crosswalks, planted medians in some areas, and speed bump-like infrastructure on the roadway, which actually made the authority’s initiative less popular even with residents who want to see changes along South End Ave. Even after the authority has backed down, many local leaders still argue that the BPCA should be held accountable for wasting residents’ money by paying outside consultants $270,000 for study largely duplicating the one just done by the city. “This South End Avenue matter is over, the only question left is why did they do it in the first place?” said Pat Smith organizer of the Battery Park City Homeowners Coalition. “We have to call on our elected officials to ask why the authority decided on their own to go out and spend $270,000 on these pointless, needless proposals.” Governor Cuomo’s office did not respond to calls for comment on the BPCA’s fiduciary effectiveness.
Photo by Tequila Minsky
Doesn’t look bad for 250 Trinity Church celebrated the 250th anniversary of St. Paul’s Chapel on Sunday, Manhattan’s oldest surviving church building. The Broadway house of worship, built in 1766, earned the moniker “little chapel that stood” after it survived the collapse of the nearby World Trade Center on 9/11 virtually unscathed. The venerable chapel recently concluded extensive renovations, which included a historically accurate paint job and façade repairs, among other touchups. Most importantly, the chapel’s namesake, St. Paul, has been brought in from the rain. The carved wooden statue of the Christian martyr that stood atop the church’s spire for more than 200 years has been moves inside the chapel, replaced outside by an all-weather resin replica.
SOU N D O F F!
W Write rite aa letter letter to to th thee editor! editor! editor@ editor@dow downtow ntown nex exppres resss.c .coom m DowntownExpress.com
November 03 - 16, 2016
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November 03, 2016