YOUR WEEKLY COMMUNITY NEWSPAPER SERVING CHELSEA, HUDSON YARDS & HELL’S KITCHEN
Spike in ‘Hateful Harassment’ After Trump Victory BY DENNIS LYNCH Hate crimes have surged in New York City during this divisive election year, and show no signs of letting up, but authorities at the state and local levels are mobilizing to address the problem. The NYPD has logged 25% more bias crimes so far this year over the same period last year — rising from 260 to 350 — a rate on pace make 2016 the worst year for hate crimes in the city in at least eight years, according to the NYPD’s available figures. “The trends are a bit disturbing,” said Police Commissioner James O’Neill during an appearance on John Catsimatidis’ WNYM radio show on Nov. 20. “More than an uptick.” Hate crimes against Muslims more than doubled from last year and anti-Semitic crimes rose 9%, O’Neill said, attributing the increase partly to the heated rhetoric surrounding the presidential election. The spike in hate crimes around the state prompted Governor Andrew Cuomo to create a State Police Hate Crime Unit comprised of investigators HATE CRIMES continued on p. 2
TREE HUGGER, GAME CHANGER
Reverend Billy and the Stop Shopping Choir are at Joe’s Pub, every Sun. through Dec. 18. See page 18.
Courtesy St. Peter’s Chelsea
My Chelsea ‘Tis of Tree
Holiday events at St. Peter’s Chelsea begin on Dec. 3, with a small book fair and tree lighting. See page 4 for many (and we mean many) other annual neighborhood activities.
In Midtown South, Outreach to Homeless Expands BY DUSICA SUE MALESEVIC For the Coalition for the Homeless, a major piece of the puzzle to get people permanently off the streets is to provide housing. Known as the “Housing First” model, a homeless individual or family gets long-term affordable housing, which, depending on need sometimes comes with support services. Giselle Routhier, policy director for the Coalition for
© CHELSEA NOW 2016 | NYC COMMUNITY MEDIA, LLC, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
the Homeless, spoke about the necessity of supportive housing at the Thurs., Nov. 17 meeting of the Midtown South Community Council (MSCC). The council, led by its president, John A. Mudd, continues to work on the homelessness issue in the area. “Supportive housing is crucial for homeless individuals who are living with severe mental illness or other disabilHOMELESSNESS continued on p. 7 VOLUME 08, ISSUE 48 | DECEMBER 01 - 07, 2016
Tracking, Reporting, and Responding HATE CRIMES continued from p. 1
trained as “bias crime specialists” that will assist local district attorneys to prosecute hate crimes. Nationwide, the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) has independently collected reports of more than 700 incidents of “hateful harassment” perpetrated around the country since President-elect Trump defeated Hillary Clinton on Nov. 8. The organization compiled the list from news articles and social media, but also collected submissions from outside the organization. “Anti-immigrant” incidents were the most prevalent, and more than a third of those alleged incidents occurred in the first three days following Trump’s victory. But are there really more hate crimes being committed this year, or are we only seeing more because the media is covering them? Looking at the numbers, John Jay College of Criminal Justice professor Frank Pezzella said that, unfortunately, it’s likely to be the former. “I think the election illuminated how divisive things really are and hate crimes spike during times of economic upheaval, strife and the emergence of identity groups — every group wants to be identified and taken care of because of the problems that relate to them,” Pezzella said, referring to normalization of formerly fringe ideologies, such as the “altright” white-nationalist movement and its “unabashed advocacy to return back to the things that used to be.” The connection to the presidential election is clear in some cases. The NYPD is investigating the swastikas and “Go Trump” messages crudely spray-painted at Adam Yauch Park in Brooklyn Heights on Nov. 18 as a hate crime. State Senator Brad Hoylman, an openly gay man who belongs to a Village synagogue, was in the news twice in the last two weeks for encountering anti-Semitic messages. First, a woman found a swastika carved into a door in his apartment building, which made some national news. Then a few days later the senator opened an envelope in his mail to find an anti-Semitic, anti-Israel pamphlet with pictures of flames, human sacrifices, and Bible quotes. The return address led to a known farright extremist living in Arizona. Hoylman said he believes the acts were directly related to Trump’s election and the president-elect’s choice of Steve Bannon — whom he called a “white nationalist” — for a senior cabinet position.
December 01 - 07, 2016
Courtesy Office of State Sen. Brad Hoylman
State Sen. Brad Hoylman, flanked by colleagues, speaks out about hate crimes at Washington Square Park after a woman in his building discovered a swastika carved into a door there.
“I’m very concerned about it [the trend of hate crimes] especially since Steve Bannon has been put in a top White House post,” he said. “I strongly believe Trump should rescind his appointment; all of us should be concerned about that.” The SPLC has not verified every incident they’ve recorded, and we won’t have an “official” number for this year’s bias crimes nationwide until next year when the Federal Bureau of Investigation releases its hate crime report for 2016 in its Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) program. The UCR is the most comprehensive report on hate crimes in the country. But watchdogs warn that the UCR is flawed, and even if it were perfect, it wouldn’t really paint the whole picture. The UCR is entirely voluntary and at least 4,000 law enforcement agencies nationwide do not participate in its hate crime reporting. Around 1,750 departments out of the 15,000 departments that do participate have reported hate crime incidents. Even New York State under-reported its bias crimes in past years due to inconsistencies between the city and state hate crime reporting discovered after Hoylman successfully petitioned the State Comptroller to audit the two systems in 2013. The comptroller found that between 2010 and 2012, there were errors in reporting when the NYPD communicat-
ed its statistics to the state, meaning the state counted fewer hate crimes in the city than the NYPD had, and subsequently reported fewer numbers to the federal government. For example, the audit found that the state reporting system only allowed a single bias per incident filed, even if there were multiple at play. The comptroller pointed out in one case “an agency reported multiple biases on its hate crime incident report: both anti-male homosexual and anti-Arab. Because its system allows staff to only record one bias per incident, the division reported the case only as an anti-male homosexual incident.” But even with full reporting, Pezzella said that the national figure would likely still be lower than the actual number of bias incidents that happen nationwide. For one, small departments across the country might not have the resources to properly train their officers to identify a hate crime, which isn’t as easy as it sounds. An officer responding to a call typically has only a few minutes to assess if bias played a role in an incident, Pezzella said. Offenders, knowing that a hate crime is more seriously punished, often try to hide their bias, and the vast majority of incidents are not as cut and dry as an offender admitting to a deep-seated hatred of Jews or black people, for example, Pezzella said.
“Just calling someone a name is not enough to do it, and often what happens is officers think, ‘Why take the chance to arrest for a hate crime when you can just arrest for an ordinary crime?’ There’s possibly a better chance of sticking, of getting a conviction,” Pezzella said. “You also have to prove motivation.” The officer has to identify that a perpetrator had a “bias motivation” during the act of a crime such as a robbery, harassment, or assault to arrest a person for perpetrating a hate crime. Political affiliation is not grounds for a hate crime charge at the federal level or by New York state law, so many politically motivated assaults in the news recently won’t pass muster. For example, the NYPD is not investigating as a hate crime the case at a Boerum Hill diner when a man punched a woman in the face after an argument about Trump’s election. Similarly, offhanded anti-immigrant comments made by visitors to the Tenement Museum on the Lower East Side aren’t serious enough in the eyes of the law to warrant hate crime status either. That type of incident is typical of what many have encountered this year, according to Shelby Chestnut of the AntiViolence Project (AVP), a ManhattanHATE CRIMES continued on p. 3 .com
to Hate Crimes
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HATE CRIMES continued from p. 2
based advocacy group that focuses on empowering LGBTQ communities to combat violence. â€œSo much of what people are experiencing doesnâ€™t necessarily fit into the framework of a â€˜bias incidentâ€™ that police deem to investigate. Thereâ€™s more of a general feeling of being unsafe in our communities,â€? she said. â€œThereâ€™s a sentiment that itâ€™s suddenly okay to be anti-LGBT, anti-immigrant, anti-Muslim following this election.â€? Furthermore, victims of hate crimes are not always willing to report incidents to police in the first place, according to Pezzellaâ€™s John Jay colleague, Eric Piza, who noted that the federal Crime Victimization Survey found last year that 47% of victims of all types of crimes do not report them to police. â€œThereâ€™s a whole host of reasons why people might not report a hate crime,â€? said Piza, an assistant professor at John Jay and former Newark Police Department crime analyst. â€œOne is that for the victim; itâ€™s a traumatic experience and people want that to be over as soon as possible. In a lot of cases, you have to wait for police, make a statement, and, especially if thereâ€™s a low likelihood of the person being caught, thereâ€™s a low chance they want to do that. And the other side of it is that some people think the police wonâ€™t take their side of the story.â€? Pezzella added that the NYPD has a â€œbuilt-in problemâ€? because many groups protected by hate crime statutes often have, or historically had, a strained relationship with the police â€” including Muslims, racial minorities, and LGBTQ individuals. The fear of or animosity toward police can discourage victims from dialing 911. Chestnut said that fear of deportation or legal trouble is particularly palpable in the immigrant LGBTQ community, even in so-called â€œsanctuary citiesâ€? such as New York, where the police department doesnâ€™t work directly with federal immigration enforcement agencies. â€œIt is ultimately dangerous to report an incidenct of violence to police where you could be targeted for your immigration status, [and] if youâ€™re an LGBTQ immigrant you are at a much greater risk â€” the fear for reporting is very real,â€? she said. Pezzella suggested that the NYPD reach out and let people know they want HATE CRIMES continued on p. 17 .com
Courtesy Office of State Sen. Brad Hoylman
A neighbor discovered these two swastikas etched into a service-elevator door at State Sen. Brad Holymanâ€™s Fifth Ave. apartment building.
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Courtesy The Villager
Threatened: Post-its with hate messages on the door of four studentsâ€™ shared suite at NYUâ€™s Gramercy Green residence, at E. 23rd St. & Third Ave.
Courtesy Office of State Sen. Brad Hoylman
Parents found swastikas and the phrase â€œGo Trumpâ€? scrawled on playground equipment when they took their kids to play in Brooklynâ€™s Adam Yauch Park on Nov. 17.
December 01 - 07, 2016
CLASSIC HOLIDAY STANDARDS: SELIS MANOR ANNUAL HOLIDAY BAZAAR
Selis Manor, the W. 23rd St. building that provides services and housing to the blind and visually impaired, opens its doors to the public for the first time since sustaining damage from the Sept. 17 Chelsea bombing. Sponsored by the Tenants Association and taking place in the wheelchair-accessible first floor auditorium, this sale really knows how to deliver on its promise of “something for everybody.” If the raffles and door prizes don’t sway you to stop by, then surely your holiday needs put you in the market for gift and food baskets, clothes, jewelry, fragrances, kitchen items, linens, and homemade goodies — all of which, along with Avon and Tupperware products, are normal staples of this annual bazaar. Sat., Dec. 3, 11am–5pm at Selis Manor (135 W. 23rd St., btw. Sixth & Seventh Aves.).
Courtesy NYC Fire Museum
The NYC Fire Museum’s Dec. 4 Santa Rescue deploys a ladder truck to help a stuck St. Nick.
Ave., at the northeast corner of W. 26th St.). For more info, email them at email@example.com or visit pennsouthceramics.com.
SANTA RESCUE SUNDAY AT THE NYC FIRE MUSEUM
Photo by Richard B. Levine
Great gifts for every last person on your list line the tables and shelves of Penn South Ceramics Studio, whose holiday sale happens Dec. 10 & 11.
THE PENN SOUTH CERAMICS STUDIO HOLIDAY SALE
Some people camp overnight, bust the door down, then jockey for a position as they elbow their way through the aisles of a dime-a-dozen chain store; but there’s only one place in the neighborhood where you can browse for a oneof-a-kind bowl, plate, vase, mug, votive, platter or piece of jewelry. Taking place for two days only, the Penn South Ceramics Studio Holiday Sale is where
December 01 - 07, 2016
you’ll find perfect, personalized, practical gifts that can be enjoyed every day of the year. Every item on sale (at very reasonable prices) has been handcrafted by the Ceramics Studio students and instructors. Be sure to exit the sale with flyers listing all of the upcoming winter classes. Tuck that in along with the present, and maybe next year you’ll be the one getting something from Santa that puts a plain old gift card to shame. Sat., Dec. 10 & Sun., Dec. 11, 11am–6pm in the Penn South Ceramics Studio (in Building 6B, 276 Ninth
How can a jolly old elf with the ability to circumnavigate the globe in one evening get stuck on the roof of the New York Fire Museum? There’s a good explanation for that, and an equally satisfactory solution to this unexpected predicament — when an FDNY ladder truck rescues Santa from his perch, then welcomes the him into the Museum, where kids can pose for photos and give their gift requests to The Man With All The Toys. Don’t put on the kids on your “Naughty” list if that Beach Boys reference flies right past them with the speed of a hypersonic sleigh; best to just let them enjoy the experience (further heightened by Christmas carols and other seasonal selections performed indoors by John Clacher’s Fire House Band). Sun., Dec. 4, 11:30am at the New York City Fire Museum (278 Spring St., btw. Hudson & Varick Sts.). The outdoor rescue is free; admission for the in-museum event is ($8 for adults, $5 for children. Reservations recommended: Visit nycfiremuseum.org or call 212-691-1303, x13.
TREE LIGHTING AND HOLIDAY SINGS IN WASHINGTON SQUARE PARK
What good is having a song in your heart if you keep going in and out on the words? With free lyric books at the ready, The Washington Square Association has you covered, as you cover beloved Yuletide carols and Hanukkah songs while accompanied by the Rob Susman Brass Quartet — at this pair of annual events taking place at the base of the iconic Washington Square Park Arch. The stage was set on Mon., Nov. 28, when a 45-foot Christmas tree was delivered in the extremely early morning hours, then anchored to the Arch for the season (it shines bright daily, between 4pm and 1am). On Wed., Dec. 7 at 6pm, those sparkling lights get their first go-round, when Santa Claus distributes a copious amount of candy canes, then leads the crowd in an illumination countdown. Brass Quartet and songbooks at the ready, you’ll croon familiar holiday tunes — then repeat that festive holiday ritual on Christmas Eve, when revelers will gather beneath the Arch at 5pm to see if they can get through their favorite song without the help of those handy songbooks. The Washington Square Park Arch is located at the foot of Fifth Ave., one block south of Eighth St. For info, call 212-252-3621 or visit washingtonsquarenyc.org. ACTIVITIES continued on p. 5 .com
ANNUAL COMMUNITY ACTIVITIES
Photo by Ken Howard
Photo by Davis Foulger
You lend your voice, and the Rob Susman Brass Quartet will give the gift of music — at Dec. 7 & 24 events beneath the Washington Square Park Arch.
The West Village Chorale kicks off a series of events with their Dec. 4 Open Messiah Sing.
ACTIVITIES continued from p. 4
WEST VILLAGE CHORALE AUDIENCE OPEN MESSIAH SING
A nonsectarian, independent chorus that’s been the voice of the people, for the people, and by the people since 1971, the West Village Chorale hosts concerts and community events from its base at that 1890 landmark, Judson Memorial Church. This month sees three of the Chorale’s most beloved annual happenings, starting with a Dec. 4 audience sing of Handel’s “Messiah.” Scores are provided, as is piano accompaniment and intermission refreshments. Come lend your voice to fill the atmospheric sanctuary as The Chorale’s new music director, Dr. Colin Britt, conducts. David Ralph, on piano, serves as the baroque “orchestra.” Other upcoming Chorale events: Dec. 11’s holiday concert and Dec. 17’s Village Caroling Walk. The Open Messiah Sing happens on Sun., Dec. 4, 4pm at Judson Memorial Church (55 Washington Square South at Thompson St.). $15 general admission, $10 students. Visit westvillagechorale.org.
HOLIDAY EVENTS AT ST. PETER’S CHELSEA
Friendly and inclusive, St. Peter’s Chelsea Episcopal Church has been serving its namesake neighborhood since 1871, and is frequent host to, among other destination events, the Chelsea Musica concert series and the Chelsea Opera. On Sat., Dec. 3, St. Peter’s welcomes you to their Parish Open House, highlighted by a small book fair inside (4-9pm) and, outside, the singing of carols and the lighting of their Christmas tree (5pm). On .com
Thurs., Dec. 22, their “Handel’s Messiah Community Sing Along” takes place at 7pm. Sat., Dec. 24 Christmas Eve events include a 5:30pm service for children and families; 10pm carols; and the 10:30pm Mass of the Angels. The Sun., Dec. 25 Christmas Day Service begins at 10am. At St. Peter’s Chelsea Episcopal Church (346 W. 20th St., btw. Eighth & Ninth Aves.). For info, visit stpeterschelsea.org or call 212-929-2390.
stands on land that was once part of Moore’s estate, features choir music under the direction of Larry J. Long. Musical selections include the ancient plainsong chant “Hodie Christus natus est” (“Today, Christ is born”), John Rutter’s contemporary “Shepherd’s Pipe Carol,” and the opening movement of Antonio Vivaldi’s “Gloria in excelsis.” The choir will be accom-
panied by internationally recognized organist Christopher Houlihan, along with harp and flute/piccolo. Sun., Dec. 18, 6pm at St. Peter’s Chelsea (346 W. 20th St., btw. Eighth & Ninth Aves.). Free (offerings accepted). For info, call 212-886-5463 or visit chelseachurch.org.
M A R B L E C O L L E G I AT E C H U R C H OUR ANNUAL CHRISTMAS CONCERT!
BETHLEHEM Photo by Malcolm Ritter
Broadway actor Arbender Robinson reads a Clement Clarke Moore classic, at the Dec. 18 Chelsea Community Church Candlelight Carol Service.
CHELSEA COMMUNITY CHURCH CANDLELIGHT CAROL SERVICE
Congregational singing and a scripture lesson figure into The nondenominational, lay-led Chelsea Community Church’s 42nd Annual Candlelight Carol Service, the highlight of which is a reading of “A Visit From St. Nicholas.” This year, Broadway veteran singer/actor Arbender Robinson will give voice to the words penned by Clement Clarke Moore (1779-1863). This service, which takes place in a church that
SUNDAY, DECEMBER 4 AT 2:30PM For ticket information go to MarbleChurch.org
1 West 29th Street / New York, New York 10001 / 212 686 2770 MarbleChurch.org December 01 - 07, 2016
Trump Emerges As De Blasio’s Primary 2017 Opponent BY DUNCAN OSBORNE Addressing a crowd of several hundred people who had gathered at the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center to wrestle with how to respond to Donald Trump winning the White House and continued Republican control of Congress, Mayor Bill de Blasio had a simple message — unity. “Those of us on the left have to be unified,” the mayor said at the Nov. 20 town hall meeting. “This is how we fight back. We fight back by gathering in the same room in solidarity.” The mayor carried the same message to an even larger crowd at Cooper Union’s Great Hall the next day saying, “I want to thank everyone for being here because this is a moment when New York City needs to stand tall. We need to stand together.” The appearances serve a dual purpose: They calm a city that is worried about Trump’s threats to deport immigrants, register and track Muslims, and end Obamacare, and they continue de Blasio’s 2017 reelection campaign with the mayor promising that the city will protect these groups from the new administration in Washington. At its heart, it is an anti-Trump message. “I think that’s the theme of the campaign,” said Ken Sherrill, a professor emeritus of political science at Hunter College. MAYOR continued on p. 15
Photo by Zach Williams
As State Assemblymember Deborah Glick and Senator Brad Hoylman look on at a Nov. 20 town hall, Mayor Bill de Blasio pledges the city’s cooperation in resisting Trump administration moves against communities from immigrants to LGBT New Yorkers.
Please join us as we discuss…
Elder Law 101 Breakfast December 6 at 10:00 AM
Petite Abeille 401 East 20th St., New York, NY
RSVP at (212) 867-3520 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org 6
December 01 - 07, 2016
Community Council Building Coalition to Help the Homeless HOMELESSNESS continued from p. 1
ities, including physical [or] developmental,” Routhier told the crowd at The New Yorker hotel (481 Eighth Ave., btw. W. 34th & W. 35th Sts.). “It’s really proven to be effective at getting people housed and keeping them housed,” she added. Housing is the first step to recovering from issues a person may be dealing with from living on the street, Routhier explained. When a homeless individual has a stable place to live, he or she can then address issues — such as substance abuse or mental illness. As policy director, Routhier says she oversees advocacy in New York City, which is focused on housing-based solutions to homelessness. The coalition has pushed both the city and state for more supportive housing units. Mayor Bill de Blasio has committed to 15,000 units for the city, and Governor Andrew Cuomo committed to creating 20,000 units statewide. Routhier said de Blasio has made some progress, and several hundred units are slated to come online this year. While the state legislature did allocate funding in last year’s budget for the first 6,000 units, it has yet to release that money, she explained. “We’re in a really unfortunate gap period where the new units have not come online yet and…most of the old units are actually not funded anymore,” Routhier said, noting that there are six or seven applicants per one unit of supportive housing. “It’s a tough spot we’re in right now.” Routhier said the coalition supports a move by the city that would require developers to set aside half of affordable housing units within a community for the homeless. Routhier was responding to a question from Allen Oster, a Community Board 4 (CB4) member; CB4 opposes the plan. After the meeting, Oster told Chelsea Now, “I think CB4 has worked very hard to get affordable housing in our community.” During the meeting, Routhier explained that the Coalition for the Homeless, located at 129 Fulton St., also provides 11 direct ser v ice prog rams, including a mobile soup kitchen called Grand Central Food Program. The coalition has three vans that run routes .com
Photo by Dusica Sue Malesevic
Giselle Routhier, policy director for the Coalition for the Homeless, talked about the need for supportive housing at the council’s November meeting.
Uptown, Downtown and in the Bronx, which give out hot meals at set stops, she said. The coalition was founded in the early 1980s as the result of a lawsuit. A homeless man was denied shelter because there were no more beds available, Routhier said. A coalition founder argued that according to the New York state constitution there should be a right to shelter, and that right was established for homeless single men in the early 1980s. The right to shelter was eventually extended to homeless single women and homeless families with children, Routhier explained. “New York City is very unique,” she said. “We’re the only municipality in the United States that has a right to shelter for families and single adults. That’s important to recognize and remember.” According to a recent US Department of Housing and Urban Development report, which compared Los Angeles and New York City, 75% of the homeless in LA are unsheltered while that number is 5% in NYC, she said. MSCC’s President Mudd had invited Routhier to speak at the meeting as he continues to build a consortium of agencies and organizations to help the homeless.
Photo by Barbara Rosenwach
Midtown South residents are seeking to clear homeless encampments, such as this one at W. 30th St. near Eighth Ave., by helping those who live there.
What do you want the world to bring into 2017 ?
A PARTICIPATORY INSTALLATION
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What do you want to leave behind in 2016 ?
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HOMELESSNESS continued on p. 15 December 01 - 07, 2016
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December 01 - 07, 2016
A New Vision for Cleaner Streets BY COUNCILMEMBER COREY JOHNSON Nearly every day, I see garbage cans overflowing throughout my district in neighborhoods like Greenwich Village, Chelsea or Hell’s Kitchen. Just as often, I hear from frustrated constituents who express a growing sense that our city is failing in its duty to simply keep the streets clean. On weekends, these problems only seem to grow worse. When we cannot keep our public spaces clean, it instills a sense that our city is in over its head when it comes to performing basic functions. Sanitation is one of those crucial municipal issues that come at the crossroads of both quality of life and public health. In the greatest city in the world, we have to do better. This district — which spans the West Side of Manhattan from roughly Canal St. to Columbus Circle — is in a unique position when it comes to sanitation. While our residential population is about 170,000 people, we have a daytime population that often exceeds 1.3 million people. As home to Times Square, the High Line, the Whitney, the Theater District, the Garment District and so much more, we have a lot of pedestrians on our streets every day. That means a lot of waste to clean up — roughly 210 tons per year, to be specific. The men and women of the Department of Sanitation (DSNY) perform difficult work every day with finite resources, and they do an outstanding job. But with burgeoning tourism, a rising population and countless weekday office workers, the sanitation demands of my district are too great for DSNY to handle alone. Since taking office in 2014, I’ve been diligently seeking new ways to improve our sanitation services. I’ve funded the installation of 90 new, large waste baskets around the district, with 22 more on the way. And each year, I’ve allocated significant funding to DSNY for additional garbage collection. But more has to be done. That’s why this year, we’ll be taking a bold new approach in the district. I’ve allocated funding from the 2017 budget to hire the Association of Community Employment Programs for the Homeless (ACE; acenewyork.org), a not-for-profit organization, to provide comprehensive cleaning services to our neighborhoods. ACE is a truly inspirational organization, with a mission to help home-
Photo courtesy Office of Councilmember Corey Johnson
May 2015: Sanitation Commissioner Kathryn Garcia and Councilmember Corey Johnson unveiled a new “big belly”-style trash can at W. 14th St. and Eighth Ave.
less New Yorkers get back on their feet through employment training and job opportunities. To date, ACE has helped over 2,500 homeless New Yorkers find full-time jobs and start new lives. What’s more, ACE knows how to get the job done. We’ve already seen them do an outstanding job at several parks and corridors in our district, and that’s why I’m confident that they will handle this expanded role with diligence and excellence. As of Thurs., Nov. 3, we have three full time ACE employees on our streets 40 hours per week, all 52 weeks of the year. They’ll be emptying and bagging full garbage baskets, sweeping sidewalks, and doing so much of the tough work that it takes to keep our streets clean. While they’re starting off on particularly high volume corridors like Christopher St. in the Village, and Seventh, Eighth and Ninth Aves. in Chelsea and Hell’s Kitchen, they’ve offered to be flexible to meet our greatest needs on any given week. Individual business owners and building managers can also get involved by joining the Adopt-a-Basket program, in which the DSNY gives residents and
businesses the tools they need to supervise the waste basket on their corner and ensure that it remains tidy. Call 311 or my office if you’d like to join this vital community program — it’s a great way to be part of the solution. Of course, nothing can replace the amazing employees of the DSNY, who will continue to service our neighborhoods as well. To further support their efforts, I have allocated $20,000 for additional mechanical broom service and $20,000 for Manual Litter Patrol, a DSNY initiative that focuses extra-attention to high volume areas in need of greater services. At the end of the day, results are all that matter. I expect these solutions to make a major improvement on our streets. But I always want to hear from you, the people who live and work in the district, to make sure that our city is living up to the highest standards of services. If you see a sanitation issue that needs to be resolved promptly, please let me know. You can contact my office by calling 212-564-7757, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. See you around the neighborhood! .com
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December 01 - 07, 2016
POLICE BLOTTER HARASSMENT: Hogging the bike lane While in recent years the city’s been making strides to realize Vision Zero, it seems like some people have still really not gotten the memo. When riding a Citi Bike westbound on W. 21st St., a 44-year-old man witnessed one such individual, who he saw full-on riding his motorcycle in the bike lane. When the two reached the corner of W. 21st and Eighth Ave. a little before 2pm on Wed., Nov. 23, the cyclist confronted the chopper operator, and tried to explain to him that the use of a literal motorcycle in the bicycle lane was a no-go. “I will beat you up and kill you,” the man told his lecturer flatly while disregarding his advice. While the Citi Biker felt threatened and annoyed enough to file a police report about the incident, he was also vigilant enough to remember the license plate number and report it to the police.
CRIMINAL POSSESSION OF MARIJUANA: Urine trouble
Any sense of relaxation or relief one incontinent pothead felt on Sat., Nov. 26 must have gone up in smoke quickly. That’s because, at about 3:20am, he had a run-in with the authorities, who caught him with his pants (literally)
down, urinating in plain view at the northwest corner of 10th Ave. and W. 26th St. — all while smoking a lit marijuana cigarette. While the man put away the joint and his Johnson, an additional quantity of marijuana was discovered on his person. “I’m sorry,” the suddenly sheepish 21-year-old told the investigating officer. This apology was resolutely not accepted, however, as the man was arrested, leaving a conspicuous stain on his criminal record.
PETIT LARCENY: Loss for words After Sat., Nov. 26, you might be able to find this Californian tourist’s picture under the definition of “unlucky,” after she left lost a strange assortment of items with no obvious fix in sight. The 61-yearold heeded the siren call of 7-Eleven goodies (246 W. 23rd St., btw. Seventh & Eighth Aves.) at around 2:30pm, when she noticed a tall man hanging around by her stuff, which she had left outside of the store for reasons unclear. When she was finished purchasing her items, she left the store and realized that both her belongings and the gangly gentleman were nowhere to be found. She lost a DeWalt brand tool chest ($59), as well as a suitcase (curiously containing a copy of the Webster’s Dictionary).
GRAND LARCENY: Watch the watch, man While visiting the Manhattan Tennis Club (341 Eighth Ave., btw. W. 26th & W. 27th Sts.) on Sun., Nov. 13, a careless 31-year-old Albany resident placed his Cartier Tank watch inside an unlocked locker at the facility, then left. After 24 presumably tennis-filled hours, he returned to the locker on Nov. 14, only to discover that his pricey, $3,000 timepiece had vanished. Clearly distraught and losing his sense of the passage of time, he finally filed a police report about two weeks later on Sat., Nov. 26.
PETIT LARCENY: Dirty custodians? A teacher at the Quest to Learn School (351 W. 18th St., btw. Eighth & Ninth Aves.) was taught a difficult lesson herself recently, when she learned that there might be some bad apples at her educational institution. Leaving her laptop on her desk in a fifth floor classroom, the 29-year-old
left the school for the weekend, while custodians were nailing bulletins up. When she returned to the school on the morning of Mon., Nov. 21, the laptop was missing from her desk. There was no evidence of the door’s lock being tampered with or damaged, and no video surveillance was available at the location. The woman reported the theft of the 2012 model MacBook Pro — though the targeted teacher admits that the laptop was no longer worth its list price of $1,200.
CASH FOR GUNS $100 cash will be given (no questions asked) for each handgun, assault weapon or sawed-off shotgun, up to a maximum payment of $300. Guns are accepted at any Police Precinct, PSA or Transit District.
THE 10th PRECINCT Located at 230 W. 20th St. (btw. Seventh & Eighth Aves.). Commander: Capt. Paul Lanot. Main number: 212-741-8211. Community Affairs: 212-741-8226. Crime Prevention: 212-741-8226. Domestic Violence: 212-741-8216. Youth Officer: 212-741-8211. Auxiliary Coordinator: 212-924-3377. Detective Squad: 212-741-8245. The Community Council meets on the last Wed. of the month, 7pm, at the 10th Precinct or other locations to be announced.
APPLY AND ENROLL FOR SPRING 2017 DURING EXPRESS DECISION WEEK December 5 to 10, 2016
Join us on Saturday, Dec. 10 at 11 a.m. for: Undergraduate Open House Pharm.D. Information Session and Wet Lab Tour B.S. in Nursing Information Session and Sim Lab Tour
RSVP at liu.edu/Brooklyn/yes or 718.488.1011 .com
December 01 - 07, 2016
Top driver disTracTions Using mobile phones
Leading the list of the top distractions behind the wheel are mobile phones. Phones now do more than just place calls, and drivers often cannot pull away from their phones, even when driving. According to the California Department of Motor Vehicles, studies have shown that driving performance is lowered and the level of distraction is higher for drivers who are heavily engaged in cell
December 01 - 07, 2016
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 theyâ€™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 havenâ€™t quite mastered walking and
chewing gum at the same time may want to avoid eating while driving. The majority of foods require a personâ€™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.
On World AIDS Day, Village Memorial Dedicated BY NATHAN RILEY A solemn ceremony bringing together leading AIDS organizations and advocates as well as public officials will mark World AIDS Day 2016 with the dedication of the New York City AIDS Memorial at the St. Vincent’s Triangle Park. The Memorial, a 1,600-square-foot corner of the park, commemorates the shattering struggle against the epidemic that wreaked widespread death among gay and bisexual men and many other New Yorkers beginning in the early 1980s. The dedication marks the culmination of a five-year drive to finally create a public space to honor those lost to HIV, as well as the many activists who battled to bring public attention and government dollars to bear on the unprecedented health crisis. The Thurs., Dec. 1 event is co-sponsored, in part, by the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene and the New York State Department of Health, and both Mayor Bill de Blasio and Governor Andrew Cuomo have been invited to participate. Drawing on the poetry of Walt Whitman, the dedication will juxtapose the more than 100,000 New Yorkers who died from HIV disease to the 54,000 local soldiers who died in the Civil War. Poet Kamilah Aisha Moon will read from Whitman’s Civil War poems as part of the ceremony that begins at 11 a.m. Chris Tepper, a planning professional who was one of the two co-founders of the AIDS Memorial project, called it a “beautiful new city landmark, a new Washington Square Arch that people will recognize” as they enter Greenwich Village. The Memorial’s 18-foot-high steel canopy that plays with triangular shapes is visible from Greenwich Ave., Seventh Ave., and W. 12th St., which define the borders of the three-sided park. For curious and contemplative visitors who enter the Memorial, Whitman’s words spiral out in ever-grander circles from a central water feature. In total, the park draws on roughly 10,000 words from Whitman’s “Song of Myself,” the poem at the heart of “Leaves of Grass” that the poet revised again and again for decades. The words chosen are carved into the gray granite ground in a design by New York artist Jenny Holzer. A nurse during the Civil War, Whitman witnessed its carnage up close, and his post-war writ.com
Rendering via nycaidsmemorial.org
A rendering of the New York City AIDS Memorial set to be dedicated on Dec. 1.
ings reflect sorrow and compassion for the wounded and dead, with the Memorial including his words, “Agonies are one of my changes of garments, I do not ask the wounded person how he feels, I myself become the wounded person.” Whitman is an iconic figure in the LGBT community, given the unmistakable homoeroticism in his poetry’s celebration of male camaraderie. The location of the Memorial, Tepper explained, is significant in sitting opposite the former campus of St. Vincent’s Hospital, which housed the city’s first and largest AIDS ward, becoming an epicenter of the local response to HIV. In an early AIDS era of hysteria and scapegoating, activists, doctors, nurses, and volunteers struggled to offer succor to those facing a calamitous illness with few or no effective treatments. The first mentions of AIDS came in a May 1981 story by Lawrence Mass in the New York Native, an LGBT publication, followed quickly by a report from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and then, on July 3 of that year, a story in the New York Times that concerned what was then a handful of cases. From there, the epidemic grimly escalated. By 1990, 25,000 New Yorkers had already died from AIDS-related illnesses, with many more infected — gay and bisexual men, injecting drug users, and, increasingly, women, especially in communities of color. Hysteria, calls for names reporting of HIV-positive people, and even harsh demands for quarantine emerged, and in the early years Gay Men’s Health Crisis and later ACT UP were among the few organized responses to the epidemic. “We have come a long way since the early days of the epidemic. Even
Photo via kamilahaishamoon.org
The poet Kamilah Aisha Moon will read from Walt Whitman’s Civil War poems on World AIDS Day.
without a cure or vaccine, we have the tools to end AIDS as an epidemic” is the upbeat assessment offered by Charles King, president of Housing Works, one of the leading organizations in the End Aids 2020 Coalition. “Our biggest challenges now are overcoming socioeconomic barriers to care. With expanded access to testing, treatment, and prevention options like PrEP [PreExposure Prophylaxis] and PEP [Postexposure prophylaxis], we can achieve an end to the epidemic locally, nationally, and globally.” King was one of the co-chairs of a task force appointed by Cuomo several years ago to chart the state’s push to reduce new infections from roughly 3,000 each year to as low as 750. At that rate of infection, epidemiologists say the scourge will begin to fade of its own accord. The plan proposed by the task force assumes that by treating those living with HIV so they are no longer infectious and getting negative New Yorkers at risk on pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP, the state can achieve the dramatic reduction in new
infections sought. Housing low-income people with HIV is a critical component of the plan, since insecure housing has been shown to deter people from sticking to their drug regimens. Advocates continue to press Albany to provide the funding necessary to support their ambitious goal. One reason for the optimism advocates have shown has been Obamacare, with King explaining that “in New York, due in no small part to expanded primary care through the Affordable Care Act and better cost efficiencies through Medicaid redesign, we are leading the charge and well on our way” to reaching the 2020 goal. The specifics of how the new Trump regime in Washington moves on its pledge to do away with the ACA will be a critical factor going forward. In addition to Tepper, the AIDS Memorial was brought to fruition by his fellow urban planner Paul Kelterborn. The two gay men, who never knew a world without HIV, believed strongly that the epic struggle against the disease deserved permanent public recognition. Early on, they recognized that their project required persuading Greenwich Villagers to modify plans for the triangular park, set to replace an unsightly utility plant that had supported St. Vincent’s Hospital. Merging the two concepts required cooperation and often delicate negotiations. A New York Times story about Tepper and Kelterborn’s efforts prompted Keith Fox, the CEO of Phaidon Publishers, to contact them and, in Oct. 2011, join the project. As chair of the New York City AIDS Memorial Foundation board of directors, Fox spearheaded efforts to mobilize community sentiment in favor of the project and build a network of donors to pay for it. “We are an all-volunteer organization and the board members do all the work to bring to life a project of this scale,” explained government relations and communications professional Ethan Geto, a board member. With LGBT activism going back to the Gay Activists Alliance in 1971 and professional relationships with LGBT leaders, government officials, and real estate industry interests, Geto was a key mediator between the community and Rudin Management, which donated the space for a park. “Virtually every LGBT and AIDS organization from all five boroughs MEMORIAL continued on p. 15 December 01 - 07, 2016
December 01 - 07, 2016
HOMELESSNESS continued from p. 7
“When it comes to homeless, our philosophy is to do outreach, outreach, outreach,” he said. On Mudd’s street, there was a homeless encampment on W. 38th St. (btw. Eighth & Ninth Aves.). He spent time with the people there, asking them why they were living on the street and whether they had a place within the shelter system. Working with someone from the nonprofit Urban Pathways, Mudd worked to clean up the encampment, which he said was starting to attract prostitution and drugs. “We gave them a lot of warning that we were coming to clean it up,” he said. “We gave them a lot of access to a lot of different kinds of shelters.” Mudd said in a phone interview on Nov. 18 that they were very sensitive in how they broke up the encampment. The Friday before, he spent about four hours talking to people there.
“We were well-received by them because they know we want to help,” he said. On Mon., Oct. 24, a police officer, an Urban Pathways employee, and Mudd went to the encampment. They threw out chairs, milk cartoons and garbage, but left personal belongings alone. He said there are other encampments — W. 30th St. near Eighth Ave., and Eighth Ave. btw. W. 33rd and W. 34th Sts. — that he wants to clear by helping the homeless who live there. The boundaries of the council are the east side of Ninth Ave. to Lexington Ave. from 29th to 45th Sts., but Mudd also helped with an encampment in Hudson Yards at W. 35th St. at Dyer Ave. (btw. Ninth & 10th Aves.). The encampment formed about two weeks ago. However, the people have been around since the summer, said Robert Benfatto, executive director and president of the Hudson Yards /Hell’s Kitchen Alliance (a
MAYOR continued from p. 6
In 2013, de Blasio ran a populist “tale of two cities” campaign. He talked about creating pre-K for all, which he has done, and enacting paid sick leave at many employers, which has also been done. The city has seen job growth, though many of those jobs are low-wage. While the mayor will claim progress on building affordable housing, any opponent would likely dispute that. Economics resonated with voters then and now. Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders used such a message during his failed effort to win the Democratic nomination for president. Trump also ran on an economic platform, railing against perceived unfair trade deals and lost jobs. Trump promised to bring back industries that have struggled, such as coal and steel manufacturing. “Old fashioned, New Deal, Fair Deal politics sure has been doing well recently, and that’s a politics that downplays identity, with the exception of Trump playing up race,” Sherrill said. The mayor has shifted. At least for the moment, de Blasio is using a theme that looks more like Hillary Clinton’s failed campaign for president. “It’s very interesting because in some ways the strategy mirrors the Clinton message for the last elec-
MEMORIAL continued from p. 13
made the creation of the AIDS Memorial a top agenda item,” said Geto, who explained that was “a critical factor in getting it accomplished.” City Comptroller Scott Stringer, when he served as Manhattan borough president, was the first official to pitch .com
Photo by Dusica Sue Malesevic
John A. Mudd, MSCC president (center), continues to build a consortium of agencies and organizations to fight homelessness. At right, Lt. Louis Morines of the Midtown South Precinct, who said there will be an increased police presence on W. 34th St. during the holiday season.
business improvement district), in a Nov. 21 email. According to Benfatto there are no other homeless encampments in the Alliance’s area of coverage, which spans approximately between W. 42nd St. and W. 30th St., and Ninth and 11th Aves. He said homelessness is a major concern, but not a major problem. For his part, Mudd said he is enthused
tion,” Sherrill said. “He [Trump] insulted this group, he insulted that group; we’re better than that.” While Clinton also talked about economic issues, she played in identity politics and presented herself as the only alternative to Trump, who was “unfit” for the presidency. “It may be insufficient,” Sherrill said. “All in all, it helps [de Blasio]. I think that Donald Trump is the perfect foil, but the one potential downside is that somebody will run a 2013 Bill de Blasio campaign, and he will have a hard time defending against that.” The mayor’s greatest threat comes from a Democrat challenging him in next year’s primary. While he can claim successes, it may be that there are enough Democratic voters who are upset by the city’s more visible homeless population, by slow job growth, and by hearing stories about housing problems to deliver a loss to de Blasio. “The thing about affordable housing, or unaffordable housing, is that most people have not had to move because they could not afford the rent, but it may be that enough people may know someone who has that they worry it could happen to them,” Sherrill said. “The strategy of someone running against him would be to say that solving a tale of two cities is a lot of bunk; working people still can’t find a place to live in the city.”
in, finding $1 million to help with design and construction of the project. Other funds came from Governor Cuomo, City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito and her predecessor, Christine Quinn, and Corey Johnson, the out gay city councilmember whose district includes the park. “Interestingly,” said Geto, “the
with the progress he is making. “Everyone wants to resolve the problem,” he said. “The more we continue in this direction, it’s the right direction.” Visit midtownsouthcc.org for more information about the Midtown South Community Council. Visit coalitionforthehomeless.org for more information about the Coalition for the Homeless.
Some on the left would certainly approve of de Blasio’s promise to resist any efforts by the Trump administration to deport immigrants, but those voters, by definition, would not face deportation themselves and that message may be less powerful among them. Bradley Tusk, a former Bloomberg administration official, made recent public efforts to recruit a candidate to oppose de Blasio next year. A Republican would probably not perform well in 2017 in a city in which 78% of voters went for Clinton and just 18% backed Trump. A Republican candidate for mayor would struggle if Republicans in Washington actually implement some of their controversial proposals. Tusk did not respond to a message seeking comment. The mayor may yet return to his economic populist theme of four years ago by arguing that his administration has made progress on the issues he campaigned on. That would turn the race into a referendum on his performance, something the mayor and his campaign may choose to avoid given that the city has not unambiguously improved. Running against Trump and Washington might be his only choice. “What de Blasio appears to be doing this time, most charitably, is to say we’ve made substantial progress on the issues we talked about four years ago,” Sherrill said. “The question is whether the claim is credible to the average voter.”
majority of the funding for the AIDS Memorial came from a small group of city and state elected officials.” A total of $4 million in public funds were added to the $2 million raised privately. The New York City AIDS Memorial launched an international design competition in November 2011, chaired
by Michael Arad, the designer of the National September 11 Memorial & Museum. Nearly 500 architects from around the world submitted designs, and Studio ai, led by Mateo Paiva and Lily Lim, won the competition to become the park’s architect. It is their design that today is a dramatic new gateway to the West Village. December 01 - 07, 2016
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December 01 - 07, 2016
HATE CRIMES continued from p. 3
to hear their stories, and said that assigning openly LGBTQ or foreign-born officers to neighborhoods where those populations are experiencing issues could encourage people to report crimes. The UK did that with LGBTQ officers and had success, he said. Chestnut noted that witnesses to hate crimes can help by refusing to remain silent, and asked people to sign AVP’s “bystander pledge” to act if they witness an act of hateful violence. The pledge, promoted with the hashtag #IWILLNOTSTANDBY, includes advice on safely intervening to halt a bias attack. The man who targeted Hoylman may have been 3,000 miles away, but the state senator believes that people who want to change the nation’s toxic political climate for the better should start in their neighborhoods. “As New Yorkers are frustrated by the national political climate, they should get involved — join the community board, go to precinct community [council] meetings, get involved with your block association, contribute money to your favorite advocacy group,” he said. “There’s the saying, ‘A crisis is a terrible thing to waste,’ and I think there’s a lot of work to be done to restore the feeling of safety and respect in our national political dialogue, and I think starting locally is a good option.” Chestnut agreed with Holyman’s advice to think nationally and act locally, saying that New York should be an example for the rest of the country. “In New York City, we’re fortunate that there’s an organization for every reality that someone is facing,” she said. “We should ensure that resources and support go to regions of the country that don’t have as much wealth as we do — and think of how New York City can lead that.”
If you witness what you think is a hate crime, if you want to volunteer with a group to fight hate crimes, or if you just want more information about how to combat hate crimes, these are numbers to call and resources to visit.
GOVERNMENT ORGANIZATIONS: NYPD Hate Crimes Task Force One Police Plaza, New York, NY 10038 646-610-5267 NYPD LGBT Community Liaison Office of the Police Commissioner One Police Plaza, Room 308, New York, NY 10038 646-610-6017 nyc.gov/html/nypd/html/community_affairs/lgbt.shtml Manhattan District Attorney Hate Crime Hotline: 212-335-3100 New York State Division of Human Rights Bias Incident Hotline: 888-392-3644
The Anti-Violence Project avp.org 240 West 35th St., Suite 200, New York, NY 10001 212-714-1141 (24-hour hotline) 212-714-1134 (TTY) Arab American Association of New York arabamericanny.org 7111 Fifth Ave., Brooklyn, NY 11209 718-745-3523
Courtesy The Villager
Violated: “Trump” with an exclamation point written on the door of the Islamic prayer room at the NYU Tandon campus in Downtown Brooklyn. .com
Southern Poverty Law Center splcenter.org 400 Washington Ave., Montgomery, AL 36104 888-414-7752
In celebration of more than 31 years of service comes God's Love We Deliver Cookbook: Nourishing Stories and Recipes from Notable Friends, packed with family recipes and personal anecdotes from 75 supporters of God’s Love We Deliver. Contributors to the organization’s first-ever cookbook include Isabella Rossellini, Ina Garten, Danny Meyer, Michael Kors, Mario Batali, Meryl Streep, Stanley Tucci and many, many others. All proceeds from this initiative go directly to support the mission of God's Love We Deliver.
AVAILABLE FOR PURCHASE NOW AT GODSLOVECOOKBOOK.COM 100% OF THE PROCEEDS FROM THE BOOK BENEFIT GOD’S LOVE WE DELIVER
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Stop Shopping and Start Gathering Reverend Billy’s new show inspires ‘activists to their actions’ BY SCOTT STIFFLER Marching as to war armed only with wit, a white suit and collar, and Elvismeets-evangelist hair that’s every bit as enigmatic as the dome-topper sported by our president-elect, Reverend Billy is a preacher whose dire warnings about the high cost of putting profit before people no longer requires the leap of faith it did in 1998. That’s when he made his bones in the NYC performance art and activism scenes, with a series of Times Square sidewalk sermons admonishing “the imperialism of dreams that is marketed so brutally by Disney.” Back then, even the most sympathetic set of ears did not always process the urgency of a plea to resist consumerism’s siren call. The ensuing two decades, however, give credence to this comedic, faux-cleric’s vision of an American landscape scarred by sweatshop labor, corporate-created toxins, species extinction, chain store domination, and an increasingly militarized police force. Vowed Reverend Billy of the coming year, “Our politics is of us, ceding from Trumpland. Religion, the industrial universities, the large institutions, they are not creating safety. They are not creating prosperity. They are not inviting involvement. We’ve been conned out of feeling we have power. And so, we’re feeling a return to the local, to what’s happening in our neighborhoods. We’re ‘magicalizing’ the things in the foreground: What’s up and down my street? What’s in my essential reach? Who can I talk to?” With the list of things that cry out for our attention longer than the list of toys a particularly greedy child has already mailed to Santa, a Sunday afternoon spent communing with the clapping, singing, swaying, satin-robed Stop Shopping Choir is a surefire way to charge your eco-friendly batteries and double down on your own resolve. “We inspire activists to their actions,” the right righteous Reverend assured, citing “Gather” (his current stage show) as a happening whose music and mood will “whip the audience to a froth. Then, we will all go out from Joe’s Pub and we will do that thing that is necessary to make change.”
December 01 - 07, 2016
Photo by Andy Blue
No stone tablets, just tree trunks: Reverend Billy compels us to bend to our better nature; or, barring that, just nature.
Having just returned from North Dakota, where the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe is protesting the Dakota Access Pipeline, the Nov. 27 performance of “Gather” saw Reverend Billy delivering a message “devoted to the plight of New York City’s hundreds of thousands of undocumented immigrants.” Stop Shopping Choir bass section member Ravi Ragbir, who works on behalf of the New Sanctuary Coalition of NYC, led the event. The theme of Dec. 11’s show will be “Neighborhoods Vs. Gentrification.” On Dec. 18, the run goes out with a bang, via their “Great Winter Solstice Bash.” Like past Church pilgrimages to
Appalachia, Iceland, and the Redwoods of the Northwest, spending time at Standing Rock “changed us,” said Reverend Billy, whose Dec. 4 sermon will focus on how “the transformation at Standing Rock — where it is impossible to make a distinction between prayer and protest, between singing and seizing sacred land — needs to be carried to many towns and cities. Living inside their principles for a few days, then flying back from North Dakota, we feel the show isn’t so separate from our life. We must press up against militarized and consumerized citizens at all points.” To that end, Reverend Billy deploys
his Choir like a Greek chorus that’s as nimble and theatrical on the picket line or the bank lobby as they are within the limited confines of a Downtown cabaret stage. “Yes, we’re a bunch of radicals who sing songs and we go to jail a lot,” Reverend Billy said, “but it’s also true that we have some great artists in our midst.” Their ever-changing roster ranges from 35-40 musicians/singers at any given performance, and currently includes Broadway’s Amber Gray (“Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812”) and soloist Gina BILLY continued on p. 19 .com
BILLY continued from p. 18
Figueroa, winner of the 2016 Best R&B Song Grammy for co-writing “Really Love” with D’Angelo. “She’s that mysterious Puerto Ricaninflected woman’s voice at the beginning of the song,” said Reverend Billy of Figueroa. “About half of the Choir,” Reverend Billy noted, “is of European ethnicity, and half [those of] many ethnicities. We have African American mothers in the Choir, who really took us to the issue of being safe on your own street,” and inspired one of the numbers you’ll hear in this current run. Written by the group’s longtime director, Savitri D., after Reverend Billy and Choir members went to Ferguson, Missouri in response to the 2014 police shooting of Michael Brown, the lyrics of “Get Home Safe” include: Working late on Thursday Trying to stay awake Parking lot is empty Get home safe Man down, brother down Man down, brother down Friday’s family dinner Don’t be late
Can’t keep your mama waiting Get home safe Saturday’s the wedding Girls dressed up Watching out the window Get home safe And even Sunday There’s no resting Even Sunday Get home safe Man down, brother down Man down, brother down “Our singing and my ‘preaching’ comes out of the heartbreak we all feel,” Reverend Billy said, in an interview conducted before his trip to Standing Rock, and while still reeling from the disappointing election results. “It seems to me that a lot of us who have let ourselves drift into a sort of mushy liberal middle ground — we’re suddenly radical. Our distance from this right-wing government is profound. We’ve always been cheerleaders for direct action, but now we must console as we inspire. Sorrow and inspiration don’t always go together, but we have this to figure out with those who join us at Joe’s — because we must act against racism and violence against the Earth.”
Jefferson Market Garden JEFFERSON MARKET GARDEN
HolidayTree Tree Lighting Holiday Lighting Garden Gate Opens 4:30 pm Garden Gate Opens 4:30 pm
Saturday, December 03, 2016 4:30-5:30 pm
SATURDAY, DECEMBER 3, 2016 4:30-5:30 PM JEFFERSON MARKET GARDEN
Sing along with Tree Lighting Cookies Holiday Show Stoppers Sing along with Garden Gate Opens 4:30 pm &
Cookies & Hot Cider Hot Cider
at this Annual SATURDAY, DECEMBER 3, 2016 4:30-5:30 PM Show Stoppers Community
this Annual Sing at along with Event Show Stoppers Community at this Annual Event Community Event
Cookies from from & Hot Cider from
Enter through the Garden Gate on Greenwich Avenue between 6th Avenue and www.jeffersonmarketgarden.org Enter through the Garden10th Street, Gate on Greenwich Avenue Greenwich Village www.jeffersonmarketgarden.org
Photo by Sophie Molins
Rev. Billy and the Church of Stop Shopping Choir aren’t afraid to get their hands dirty, having returned from a visit to Standing Rock — where efforts to stop the Dakota Access Pipeline are ongoing.
“Gather” is performed every Sunday through Dec. 18, 2pm, at Joe’s Pub (425 Lafayette St., btw. Astor Pl. & E. Fourth St.). Tickets are $15; $12 with the discount code HONEYBEE; children’s
tickets, $8. Food and spirits served; no minimum purchase. Visit joespub.publictheater.org for reservations, or call 212967-7555. Get info on Church of Stop Shopping activities at revbilly.com.
Fa la la la la la TREE LIGHTING & SINGING IN WASHINGTON SQUARE! Under the Historic Arch
A community project of The Washington Square Association with the assistance from the City of New York Parks and Recreation and the Washington Square Hotel
Wednesday, Dec. 7 at 6pm
Sing seasonal songs with the Rob Susman Brass Quartet, and a song leader, and help Santa with the illumination countdown, as the tree lights magically go on.
Saturday, Dec. 24 at 5pm
Celebrate Christmas Eve singing carols with the Rob Susman Brass Quartet.
between 6th Avenue and 10th Street, Greenwich Village
Song Books for Each Evening
courtesy of the Washington Square Association washingtonsquarenyc.org
Enter through the Garden Gate on Greenwich Avenue between 6th Avenue and 10th Street, Greenwich Village
Free Song Books! December 01 - 07, 2016
Just Do Art: sion at the door. For $25 unassigned seats in the premium reserved section, visit eventbrite.com/o/the-chelsea-symphony-8502263127. Also visit chelseasymphony.org.
PEN PARENTIS LITERARY SALON HOLIDAY AUTHOR MINGLE
Courtesy Pen Parentis
Author Christine Rice, pictured, is a panelist and guest reader at the Dec. 13 Pen Parentis Literary Salon Holiday Author Mingle.
BY SCOTT STIFFLER
CHELSEA SYMPHONY HOLIDAY CONCERT Chelsea’s very own symphony delivers all of the high-caliber musicianship you’d expect, along with consistently innovative programming and an ongoing commitment to collaboration via “upending the traditional hierarchy of the classical orchestra” by having its members rotate as featured soloists, conductors, and composers. Affable and wry Caroline Rhea (comedian, sitcom star and Reality TV host) adds some star power to Chelsea Symphony’s Dec. 2 holiday concert, when she appears as guest narrator of “Twas The Night Before Christmas,” which is recited to orchestral accompaniment. Other concert selections include Irving Berlin’s “White Christmas,” Victor Herbert’s “March of the Toys,” and Ottorino Respighi’s “Adagio con variazioni” (with soloist Hsuanyu I, cello). Reuben Blundell and Mark Seto conduct. The Symphony returns for concerts on Jan. 27/28, Mar. 10/11, and Apr. 21/22, at St. Paul’s German Lutheran Church. Their 2016-2017 season — whose “Flight Paths” theme is devoted to the music of composers who have been inspired by, or have immigrated to, the United States of America — concludes on June 3/4, at W. 37th St.’s DiMenna Center for Classical Music. The holiday concert is performed on Fri., Dec. 2, 8pm, at St. Paul’s (315 W. 22nd St., btw. Eighth & Ninth Aves.). Suggested donation: $20 general admis-
December 01 - 07, 2016
Assure the kids that any bad behavior will be duly noted when Santa does a final pass on his “Naughty” list — then head to Lower Manhattan, with the confidence that your baby sitter won’t have to seek treatment for night terrors. An evening of no worries and the chance to have intelligent conversation with a roomful of other likeminded creative types: That’s the promise of a Pen Parentis Salon, where inspiration to keep (or start) writing comes in the form of shop talk and readings from successful authors, who also excel at meeting the sort of ongoing deadlines associated with raising children. Before those readings and a panel discussion, sip wine and schmooze, as you enjoy music from award-winning jazz guitarist Wilson Montuori. This month’s featured authors are Eleni Gage, Christine Rice, and Elizabeth
Isadora Gold. Moms and pops may be the target audience, but everyone is welcome. The series returns on Jan. 10, with an annual Poetry Night featuring Stella Padnos-Shea, Matthew Thorburn, and Christina Cook. Free. Tues., Dec. 13, 7–9:30pm, at Andaz Wall Street (75 Wall St., entrance at Water St., second floor). Light refreshments and wine provided by the venue. RSVP to this 21+ event is encouraged, via penparentis. org.calendar.
HOTSY TOTSY BURLESQUE TRIBUTES THE “STAR WARS HOLIDAY SPECIAL” A long time ago, in a far-out, far, far away place known as the pop culture landscape of 1970s America, confidence
Photo by Ben Trivett Photo by Steve Ullathorne
Caroline Rhea, narrator of “The Night Before Christmas,” at Chelsea Symphony’s Dec. 2 holiday concert.
On Dec. 8, Cherry Pitz, pictured, and the Hotsty Totsy Burlesque crew make a Death Star run at the “Star Wars Holiday Special.”
Extra-Festive Holiday Edition gained from the phenomenal box office success of “Star Wars” got the best of its creator, George Lucas, who would almost immediately disavow the debacle that was the “Star Wars Holiday Special.” Long the stuff of VHS-only legend before the days of YouTube, the thoroughly bizarre Wookie-centric plot concerns efforts to properly celebrate “Life Day,” and includes a musical number from cantina owner Bea Arthur that’s actually pretty good, except for the part where it’s bookended by an interminably long scene that has very little purpose besides, perhaps, to fill time between cameos from Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, and Mark Hamill. To the rescue of this cultural curiosity comes Hotsy Totsy Burlesque, an ongoing series where skin meets satire, in the form of loving, libido-friendly tributes to everything from “Doctor Who” to “Harry Potter” (the first two months of 2017 will tackle The Muppets and the “Ladies of Disney,” respectively). As for December’s show, hosts Cherry Pitz and Handsome Brad present performances from Bimini Cricket, Brief Sweat, Fem Appeal, GoGo Incognito, Le Grand Chaton, and Rosie Cheeks, and Dolly Dagger — names that put the seemingly clever monikers of “BB-8” and “C-3PO” to shame! Thurs., Dec. 8, 8pm at The Slipper Room (167 Orchard St., corner of Stanton St.). For tickets ($10), visit slipperroom.com. Artist info at hotsytotsyburlesque.com.
THE ARChive OF CONTEMPORARY MUSIC HOLIDAY RECORD & CD SALE Sure, the event listing you’re about to read ran in a recent issue — but this is one of those rare occasions when we don’t mind sounding like a broken record. That’s because it’s almost the most wonderful time of the year — when lovers of LPs, groovy givers of global music, and Secret Santas of all stripes can sleigh .com
Courtesy ARChive of Contemporary Music
Secret Santas looking to score food for the soul, rejoice: ARChive of Contemporary Music’s holiday sale happens Dec. 3–18.
(okay, slay) their appointed tasks at this one-stop shopping opportunity. Day in and day out, the busy elves at the ARChive of Contemporary Music nonprofit library and research center labor to collect and preserve information on the popular music of all cultures and races throughout the world from 1950 to the present. Having amassed 3 million sound recordings so far, ARC’s noble Noah’s Arc mission inevitably wracks up duplicate copies from record companies and collectors — hence this holiday sale, one of two annual events where the general public has the run of the place. Up for grabs this December are over 30,000 items: pop, rock, jazz, blues, classical, and world music recordings; videos and DVDs; music books and magazines; picture discs; original vintage ’60s psychedelic posters from the Grande Ballroom in Detroit; and rare Fillmore East programs. Formats? They’ve got 78s, LPs, 45s, and CDs (new and out-of-print CDs start at $3; classical LPs start at $1!). Dec. 3–18, daily, 11am–6pm. At the ARChive of Contemporary Music ground floor office at 54 White St. (3 blocks south of Canal St., btw. Broadway & Church St.). Call 212-2266967 or visit arcmusic.org. December 01 - 07, 2016
December 01 - 07, 2016
Rhymes With Crazy
Dangerous Toy List Brings Panic to Playtime BY LENORE SKENAZY Sick of being warned about anything and everything when it comes to the holiday season, especially all the warnings about dangerous toys? Me too. That’s why I’m ready to throw a lawn dart at a group called “World Against Toys Causing Harm” — W.A.T.C.H. Every year since 1973 it has published a hyperventilating “10 Most Dangerous Toys” list at Christmastime. Now maybe back in ’73, toymakers were still grinding out toy ovens that could smelt ore, and chemistry sets that could actually blow things (that is, people) up. But in the 40-plus years since W.A.T.C.H. was started — by a trial lawyer who wouldn’t exactly suffer if he drummed up clients eager to sue toymakers for negligence — the regulations on toys and other kiddie products have multiplied to the point where if there’s lead in the ink in the logo that’s printed on the instep of a child’s boot, the item is recalled. Because what if a kid somehow hacked the boot into pieces, peeled out the instep and ate it? And speaking of shoes, another run of children’s footwear was recalled because “the metal rivets surrounding the holes where the shoestring is secured on the shoes can have sharp edges, posing a laceration hazard.” So wrote the Consumer Product Safety Commission. What threat level are we talking about? “The firm has received one report of an adult who scratched or cut his finger,” the Commission wrote. “No medical attention was required.” A miracle! But it is just this zero tolerance for “risk” that W.A.T.C.H. exploits every Christmas. Among its Top 10 dangers this year is a large, plush elephant. What danger could a stuffed animal with no sharp edges, lead paint, or exploding parts possibly present? Duh! “Potential for suffocation! Not to be used unsupervised.” Also on this year’s list is a kind of wearable beach ball called Bump n’ Bounce Body Bumpers. You put the bumper around your waist like an inner tube and then proceed to bump into your friends. The manufacturers’ own warning label, already quaking at the thought of personal injury lawsuits, clearly states, “To avoid risk of serious .com
injury or death…protective equipment (for head, elbows, knees, hands, etc.) should be worn (not included).” But somehow, even a warning about death was not enough. The company was shamed because its box shows kids using the toy without any head, elbow or knee guards whatsoever. Goodbye, St. Nicholas, hello St. Pete! If they only worked a little harder, I’ll bet lawyers could stop kids from ever moving their fragile little bodies again. But so far, W.A.T.C.H. has shied away from the biggest kahuna of them all, the toy that must be stopped. So I did it for them. I ran a contest online: Come up with a warning label for a ball! Here’s what folks came up with (some using their whole names, some not).
without adult supervision. Do not throw ball while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. If you have high blood pressure or diabetes, consult your doctor before attempting to throw ball.—Rick • Warning, if you bounce this too high it might break through the ceiling causing the house to cave in on you.—Alaina, age 12 • To be used on padded surfaces only. Use of a helmet is recommended. If any hole or tear develops discard immediately.—Jessica • Not to be used by children under 13.—Sally • Do not throw.—Jack D. • Warning: Balls may be bigger than brains.—Lollipoplover
• Caution! Sharp edges.—Neil S. • Warning: This is a toy and not to be used as an actual ball.—Matthew Trescher • Warning: Ball carries germs. Wash after each use.—Alanna
• Playing with ball could attract dogs. • Mothers: Warn children against playing with ball in house. • Warning: For every action there is an equal but opposite reaction.
But wait! There’s more! • Do not insert into urethra. • For decorative purposes only.— Christina • Not to be used as a flotation device.—Adam Kampia • Do not operate without protective goggles.—Shelly Stow • Device does not provide a stable support. Do not attempt to sit or stand upon the ball.—Scott • Toy may change direction unpredictably when impacting an object.— Jim C. • Chasing this object could cause fatigue.—John B. • For educational purposes only. Not to be taken internally. Do not play “ball” while driving.—Bob Magee • For recreational purposes only. Do not use as a metaphor for having a great time. Do not use as a metaphor for masculinity or courage. Do not confuse with a formal dance.— Kenny Felder • Not to be used to exclude other children.—Backroads • To avoid risk of serious injury or death, always wear groin protection. Do not roll or throw ball near a street, drain, sewer, or body of water
And finally, from my editor:
• If use of this item results in a broken window, drop everything and run. Lenore Skenazy is a keynote speaker who authored the book, and founded the blog, Free-Range Kids (freerangekids.com).
THE NEW SOUND OF
BROOKLYN The Community News Group is proud to introduce BROOKLYN PAPER RADIO. Join Brooklyn Paper Editor-in-Chief Vince DiMiceli and the New York Daily News’ Gersh Kuntzman every Thursday at 4:45 for an hour of talk on topics Brooklynites hold dear. Each show will feature instudio guests and call-out segments, and can be listened to live or played anytime at your convenience.
JOSEPH LICHTER, D.D.S.
LISTEN EVERY THURSDAY AT 4:45PM ON BrooklynPaper.com/radio December 01 - 07, 2016
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