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YOUR WEEKLY COMMUNITY NEWSPAPER SERVING CHELSEA, HUDSON YARDS & HELL’S KITCHEN

THE YEAR OF LIVING OMINOUSLY Looking Back on 2016’s Bombshells and Burdens

Photos by Daniel Kwak

see page 12

July: Hundreds marched to protest police shootings of black men.

September: First responders, after a bomb detonates on W. 23rd St.

© CHELSEA NOW 2016 | NYC COMMUNITY MEDIA, LLC, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

November: Trump dominates the screens of Times Square on Election Night.

VOLUME 08, ISSUE 52 | DECEMBER 29, 2016 - JANUARY 04, 2017


       



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New Course Charted: Success Academy Purchases First School Space BY DENNIS LYNCH Success Academy Charter Schools made its first private purchase of school space earlier this month, paying nearly $68 million for a space at a tower at the north end of the Hudson Yards area. It’s a surprise move from Success Academy, which has only opened in publicly funded buildings — and fought vigorously with the city at times to do so — since its founding a decade ago. Success purchased 93,871 square feet of commercial condominium space on a lower floor of 555 10th Ave., a 56-story mixed-use tower developed by Extell Properties at the corner of W. 41st St., according to the Real Deal. Success expects to open sometime in 2017. Success will run an elementary school, a middle school, and a teacher training center at the space. Officials expect to accommodate 420 students from kindergarten through fourth grade, and 480 in grades five through eight when the school is fully enrolled by 2020, according to a spokesperson. The developers behind the largest chunk of Hudson Yards, which include Related Companies and Oxford Properties Group, have set aside space for a 750-seat Department of Education-run (DOE) public elementary/middle school as well, bringing the count of school seats at Hudson Yards up to 1,650. The new neighborhood will need these school seats, since it includes thousands of residences, including 480 market rate and 120 below-market-rate units in 555 10th Ave., according to CityRealty, a real estate transaction and informational service.

Courtesy Success Academy Charter Schools

An architect’s rendering shows an elementary school classroom at Success’ space at 555 10th Ave.

Any student within a city school district is allowed to apply for a seat at any school in that district, but the DOE fills the vast majority of seats at a given school with students in the geographic catchment zone it sets around each physical school location. That means many of the students at the city-run school at Hudson Yards could come from the immediate area around Hudson Yards. But charter schools are not zoned with a catchment area, only to the school district in which it is located. The Success schools at Hudson Yards will be open to any student in District 2, which covers much of the Upper East Side and all of Manhattan below Central

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Park besides the East Village and Lower East Side. A spokesperson said this means the student body will likely be as diverse as the district itself. “All kids with addresses in [District 2] are given the same chance within the lottery,� she said. “So in that sense, its likely the student population at the [Hudson Yards school] will be diverse, socioeconomically and racially, similar to our schools at Union Square and [the] Upper West [Side].� The spokesperson added that the programming at SUCCESS continued on p. 11

 

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Soldier, Artist, Conservationist: Rick Carrier, 91, Blazed

OBITUARY

Photo by Allison Evans, courtesy The Moth

“Harrowing but also hilarious” was how George Dawes Green, founder of The Moth, described Rick Carrier’s participation in a World War II-themed night of storytelling.

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BY SCOTT STIFFLER Walter Mitty himself could scarcely imagine the horrors, heroics, adventures, and achievements experienced by Frederick Goss Carrier — but unlike the daydreaming wannabe in James Thurber’s 1939 short story, Carrier’s fantastic tales of blazing through life as a 20th-century solider, artist, author, inventor, independent filmmaker and wildlife conservationist are the very real stuff of public record. Carrier, known to all as “Rick,” passed away peacefully at his home in Chelsea on Dec. 12, 2016, at the age of 91. He was born in Etna, PA on Apr. 10, 1925 and grew up in nearby Pittsburgh during the Great Depression. On New Year’s Eve 1943, he found himself sailing through the U-boat-infested North Atlantic Ocean on the Aquitania — a British ocean liner that, like the 18-year-old Carrier, had been drafted into military service. Once in England, Carrier’s boyhood knowledge of demolition work and subsequent US Army training in amphibious warfare earned him the rank of Specialist (T/5) Corporal working with mines, booby traps, and explosives. As part of the First Army, Seventh Corps, First Engineer Special Brigade, Carrier was among the first wave of D-Day troops to hit the Utah Beach in Normandy, France on June 6, 1944. Carrier would go on to march through France, Belgium and Germany as a front line participant in several other major European battles, including the Battle of the Bulge and Battle of Remagen. On his 20th birthday, while behind enemy lines on a solo scouting mission to obtain strategic supplies, Carrier became the first allied soldier to discover Buchenwald concentration camp. The very next day, Apr. 11, 1945, he marched into the camp alongside Patton’s Third Army. Irving Roth, who was among the thousands of Buchwald prisoners to be liberated, met Carrier 67 years later at 2012’s March of The Living, an annual walk down the 3-kilometer path from Auschwitz to Birkenau. Roth, who currently serves as director of the Long Island, NY-based Holocaust Resource Center of Temple Judea of Manhasset, greeted Carrier with the words, “You saved my life.” In June of 2014, Carrier returned to Normandy for a ceremony marking the 70th anniversary of D-Day. Four months later, the President of France awarded him the insignia of Chevalier [Knight] of the Legion of Honour — France’s highest honor. By this time, Carrier had begun to speak publicly about his wartime experiences. In 2014, he participated in a World War II-themed installment of The Moth, a live storytelling session of true recollections, told without notes by authentic voices. George Dawes Green, founder of The Moth, was concerned that the advanced age of the participants might make for less-than-riveting accounts. Then Carrier started speaking. “I had never seen so much energy come out of a human being,” Green noted. “Here’s a man who has stormed the beaches of Normandy; and yet, the story he told was really about a man who lived every moment of his life as a kind of adventure.” .com


Through the 20th Century as a Renaissance Man Carrier’s ability to tell a ripping yarn with equal reverence for the adrenaline rush he experienced and the horrors he witnessed produced, for The Moth audience, “an almost hallucinatory” experience, Green recalled. “His vivid description of that terrible, fearsome day was harrowing, but also hilarious. He’s remembering the battle and these funny moments mixed in with all the gore and the horror and the fear…we were enrapt.” As impressive as Carrier was in storytelling mode, Green also noted that this was a man who was equally engaged with the present. “What surprised me,” Green recalled, “was that afterwards, when we were talking, he was asking questions about what I was doing — and that’s a rare quality in someone who has lived so much, to be still completely curious about the people and the world around him.” In addition to The Moth, Carrier spoke to church and civic groups, then translated some of the most dynamic moments from his live storytelling sessions onto printed page, in a breathtakingly paced three-part series published by Chelsea Now — work that would earn him an Honorable Mention in the Best Column category of 2015’s New York Press Association Better Newspaper Contest. “Rick’s columns seem movieworthy and make for a great read,” wrote the judge. “His voice is one of only a few left, and to have him as a resource is invaluable.” Carrier’s life from the mid-1940s onward was every bit as varied and distinguished as his period of military service. After World War II, he studied at the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris. Returning to America, he continued his education at the Tyler School of Art at Temple University in Philadelphia. He moved to Greenwich Village in 1953, living with his wife, Barbara, and their son, Marc. When Carrier’s marriage dissolved in the late 1960s, he met Lynn Ramsey, who would become his partner for the rest of his life. Carrier’s US Army training in amphibious warfare led to civilian employment. He co-authored (with wife Barbara) 1955’s “Dive: The Complete Book of Skin Diving,” which piqued the interest of Howard Hughes. Summoned to a meeting with the tycoon, he parlayed their brief conversation into a job assignment: Invent a rigging system that allows movies to be enjoyed by an underwater audience. Carrier’s successful followthrough became the basis for a publicity stunt promoting a Hughes-produced Jane Russell vehicle, and ended up garnering more critical raves than the actual film, 1955’s “Underwater!” After this success, Carrier was hired to do New York City-based publicity work for RKO Pictures. Further immersing himself in the world of filmmaking, he prepared to create a work of his own. By 1962, he had written, produced, directed, and edited “Strangers in the City,” a black and white feature about the struggles of a family in Spanish Harlem. When Turner Classic Movies screened the film, an introduction by Robert Osborne praised this “littleknown independent film” for its contrast to “West Side Story” — which, Osborne noted, “had come out a year earlier, but the two pictures couldn’t be more different.” “Strangers,” asserted the host, “paints a much grittier, more realistic picture of lives of Puerto Rican immigrants than does that brightly-colored musical .com

Photo by Lynn Ramsey

At 2012’s March of the Living, Rick Carrier, right, meets Holocaust survivor Irving Roth, who was among those liberated when Carrier entered Buchenwald concentration camp alongside Patton’s Third Army.

Courtesy Lynn Ramsey

Rick Carrier with life partner Lynn Ramsey, in Poland, following the 2012 March of the Living.

about Jets and Sharks and Tony and Maria.” Noting that Carrier also wrote the theme song for the film, Osborne concluded by declaring it to be “an interesting time capsule; a most interesting movie.” This capacity to immerse himself in every aspect of any given endeavor was fondly recalled by William Daniel Grey, a professional musician and Broadway performer who met Carrier in the early 1970s through a mutual friend, filmmaker Larry Lindberg. Carrier — who would occasionally hang out on the set of a film Grey and Lindberg were making (1972’s “Tomorrow Morning”) — struck Grey as “the craziest person I ever met in my life, and take that in a good way. His mind just worked differently than most people’s. He would explore these fantastical realms,” recalled Grey, citing how Carrier generated ideas for

everything from decreasing our dependency on fossil fuels to an epic opera written in collaboration with Grey, focusing on how immigrants came to influence various forms of American music. “Rick always started things, some of which he never finished,” Grey said, “which is a shame.” Nonetheless, dozens of creative projects were fully realized by the determined Carrier. As an author, in addition to “Dive,” he would publish three more how-to books, all of them based on first-hand knowledge and told with gusto: 1972’s “Action! Camera! Super 8 Cassette Film Making for Beginners,” 1974’s “FLY: The Complete Book of Sky Sailing,” and 1985’s “ULTRALIGHTS: The Complete Book of Flying, Training and Safety.” One time, having found himself in a songwriting phase, “Rick somehow hooked up with a string quartet,” Grey recalled, “so he said to me, ‘Do you think you can write a song and the quartet can play it at the ceremony?’ I took his lyrics and I wrote an anthem.” That anthem, “Across The American Sky,” was written to help promote The USA Bald Eagle Command, a nonprofit founded by Carrier in 1975 to protect the endangered American Bald Eagle. The organization’s efforts played a role in President Ronald Reagan’s declaration of June 20, 1982 as National Bald Eagle Day. Allan Sanford, a supervisor in the Art Department at Morgan Stanley’s Manhattan offices, first met Carrier in 1987, when he was “one of the outside graphic art people brought in to help us when things were hectic.” Carrier’s ability to produce slides, brochures, and “any kind of sales material that the various offices around the world asked us for made him extremely valuable to CARRIER continued on p. 15 DECEMBER 29, 2016 - JANUARY 04, 2017

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Spirited Hearing on Enforcing New Home-Sharing Law BY JACKSON CHEN Airbnb hosts, as well as advocacy groups opposed to the home-sharing company’s activities in New York, came out in droves to a Mon., Dec.19 hearing held by the Mayor’s Office of Special Enforcement (MOSE) that took up the question of how a new state law prohibiting the advertising of short-term rentals of homes should be enforced. In October, Governor Andrew Cuomo signed into law a bill, sponsored by Upper West Side Assemblymember Linda Rosenthal, that imposes fines up to $7,500 for landlords and tenants who rent out entire apartments, while they are vacant or tenants are absent, for less than 30 days. The new law immediately sparked a lawsuit from Airbnb, but the company withdrew its suit once it was assured that enforcement efforts would target hosts who operate illegal hotels — both landlords and individual tenants — and not the company hosting the listings’ website. Now, everyone’s attention is focused on how MOSE aims to put the new restrictions into practice. A major concern is whether the city will focus on abusive landlords who warehouse

Photos by Jackson Chen

Jeani Roth, an Upper East Side resident who has rented out her apartment using Airbnb, urged city enforcement officials to target large commercial interests renting out large numbers of units rather than individual tenants using short-term sublets to get by financially.

State Assemblymember Linda Rosenthal, lead sponsor of a new state law that targets those advertising illegal short-term apartment rentals on sites like Airbnb.

vacant apartments to list on the website or will also go after individual tenants who choose, essentially, to sublet their units for shorter periods of time than allowed by law. For many hosts using the Airbnb platform, the new law and its fines could become a threat to income they have

become accustomed to making by renting out their homes. Jeani Roth, an Upper East Sider who’s been hosting for two years through Airbnb, said she was able to overcome fi nancial hardships stemming from health problems by renting out her apartment. With the new law threaten-

 





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ing to slap her with fines if those rentals are for less than 30 days, Roth pleaded with MOSE to target the bad actors, not hosts of single apartments seeking extra money to get by. “While the intent of this law may have been a good one, enforcement of the law on hosts like myself would be crippling,” Roth said. “Thousands of dollars in fines should not be directed at someone like me, but rather the illegal hotels for commercial operators with many listings.” Dozens of other hosts from Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens attended the hearing to tell their stories about how renting out their homes helped them stay financially afloat. For Yulia McClamrock, a part-time photographer on the Upper West Side, the extra money from hosting her one-bedroom apartment allowed her to return to school and continue her career. “While the intent of this law is very positive, we should think about hosts like me,” McClamrock said. “If not for Airbnb, I wouldn’t be able to live in Manhattan... I just ask you to take the HOME-SHARE continued on p. 15

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Using Tax-Exempt Financing, SAGE To Own Its Home BY DUNCAN OSBORNE Demonstrating the extent to which the community has broadly integrated itself into the civic life of New York City, the leading organization serving LGBTQ seniors in New York City will purchase its Manhattan headquarters using financing made possible by the city’s Economic Development Corporation (EDC). “Were it not for the bond financing, we probably would not have been able to do this,” said Michael Adams, the chief executive at Services and Advocacy for GLBT Elders (SAGE). The $8.2 million in bonds are issued by BuildNYC, a corporation that is administered by the EDC, and that has issued roughly $3 billion in bonds since 2011. The bonds will be purchased by JPMorgan Chase and will pay 3.24% in interest, a rate about 20% below what SAGE would pay if it used a commercial loan from a bank, according to Johan Salen, the executive director of BuildNYC. By using bond financing, as opposed to a loan, SAGE avoids the requirement of having to raise a down payment, which would be prohibitively expensive. And its debt service will be less than what it currently pays in rent so the agency will realize substantial savings of about $3 million over time. “That’s why using bond financing is such a great option,” Adams said. SAGE will now own two floors in the building it calls home in Chelsea (305 Seventh Ave., btw. W. 27th & W. 28th Sts.). The bonds will finance the purchase of its offices on the fifth floor. In 2011, SAGE spent $2.7 million in city capital dollars to buy the 15th floor where it houses its major services, such as its meal program. The higher price for the fifth floor reflects the hot real estate market in the city. “That’s the nature of Manhattan real estate, which is why it’s so hard for nonprofits to own,” Adams said. Had SAGE relied on city capital dollars this time, it may have had to pay a higher interest rate, and it would have taken longer (perhaps months longer) to complete the financing. Today, sellers may not be willing to wait. “Now, you really can’t do that because no seller is going to wait that long,” Adams said. In 1983, when the city sold what is now known as the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center, the community was required to raise the $150,000 down payment, an amount that was reduced to just under .com

Courtesy Gay City News

SAGE executive director Michael Adams in the group’s Seventh Ave. office in Chelsea.

$105,000 in the 1984 deed. The city financed the deal, initially charging the Center 12% on the $1,350,000 in principal, and the payments began at just over $3,500 a month, and then grew to just over $10,600 a month two years later. The interest was capped at 15%, but it could also never fall below 9%. The monthly payments varied according to projections for how long it would take to pay off the loan. Ed Koch, then the mayor, wanted to put the 75-year-old building up for auction, but he was opposed by other elected officials and the local community board. “Both symbolically and practically, it says we’re here for the long haul,” Adams said of the current SAGE purchase, adding that in 2016 the city is a more supportive entity. “It certainly reflects progress in terms of local government being a partner now,” he said. The city is not taking on any risk with the SAGE deal, and there is no tax on the interest that the bonds pay. “The city and the EDC, we’re not taking on any risk,” Salen said. “We looked through all of their financials. It’s a complete due diligence on the borrower.” SAGE, which was founded in 1978, serves 2,600 New York City clients and operates four other centers in the city. It also has 28 affiliates across the nation. The agency is building 145 units of senior housing in Brooklyn and 82 units in the Bronx.

As an owner, SAGE can now renovate its cramped offices, which support both its local and national programs, though the logistics of a renovation will be difficult since on a recent visit to the

offices, it appeared there was no space to spare. “That’s why we have to own it,” Adams said. “If you don’t own it, you’re not going to invest in construction.”

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POLICE BLOTTER THE WEST SIDE’S COMMUNITY NEWSPAPER

PUBLISHER

Jennifer Goodstein

EDITOR Scott Stiffler

EDITORIAL ASSISTANT Sean Egan

ART DIRECTOR Michael Shirey

GRAPHIC DESIGNER Cristina Alcine

CONTRIBUTORS

Lincoln Anderson Stephanie Buhmann Jackson Chen Sean Egan Bill Egbert Dennis Lynch Dusica Sue Malesevic Winnie McCroy Puma Perl Paul Schindler Trav S.D. Eileen Stukane Zach Williams

ADVERTISING Amanda Tarley

ACCOUNT EXECUTIVES Gayle Greenberg Jim Steele Julio Tumbaco

Published by

NYC COMMUNITY MEDIA, LLC One Metrotech North, 10th Floor, Brooklyn, NY 11201 Phone: (212) 229-1890 Fax: (212) 229-2790 www.chelseanow.com scott@chelseanow.com © 2016 NYC Community Media, LLC

CHELSEA BOMBING UPDATE On Tues., Dec. 20, Ahmad Khan Rahimi, the suspect in September’s Chelsea and New Jersey terror bombings, pled “not guilty” to attempted murder charges in New Jersey stemming from a shootout with law enforcement officers that happened in the aftermath of the bombings and the manhunt that followed. On the weekend of Sept. 16, Rahimi planted bombs in two locations in New Jersey and two bombs in Chelsea. One of the devices in the latter incident, placed on W. 23rd St. (btw. Sixth & Seventh Aves.), detonated and resulted in over two dozen non-fatal injuries and significant damage to surrounding buildings. In the months following his arrest, Rahimi was indicted on eight federal terrorism charges in New York — to which he also pled not guilty at his arraignment — in addition to the New Jersey charges he pled not guilty to. Rahimi’s next New Jersey court date is set for Feb. 28; his trial in New York is set to begin in March, where he could face life in prison if convicted. Chelsea Now will continue to cover developments.

CRIMINAL MISCHIEF: Bowling for trouble On Wed., Dec. 21 a crowd of rowdy pinheads at Lucky Strike (624 W. 42nd St., btw. 11th & 12th Aves.) started throwing punches instead of rocks, and caused some costly property damage in the process. The group — comprised of approximately eight to ten men and women — was apparently antagonistic to the bowling lane’s security guard, and an aggressive altercation ensued. At some point during the kerfuffle, one of the members of the group struck the glass front door of the establishment, breaking it, and causing $4,000 worth of damage. It’s at this point that the unknown mischief-maker fled the scene, along with the rest of their cohorts — save for one individual who was arrested for assaulting the security guard earlier. While they all

Member of the New York Press Association

Chelsea Now is published weekly by NYC Community Media LLC, One Metrotech North, 10th Floor, Brooklyn, NY 11201. (212) 229-1890. Annual subscription by mail in Manhattan and Brooklyn $75. The entire contents of newspaper, including advertising, are copyrighted and no part may be reproduced without the express permission of the publisher - © 2016 NYC Community Media LLC, Postmaster: Send address changes to Chelsea Now, One Metrotech North, 10th Floor, Brooklyn, NY 11201.

skedaddled, camera evidence at the scene should be able to illuminate the identity of the culprit.

CRIMINAL POSSESSION OF A FORGED INSTRUMENT: The high price of $100 It seems one man’s unscrupulous quest to score a Big Gulp with phony funds wound up landing him in the Big House this weekend. At about 4:45am on Sat., Dec. 24, a man attempted to purchase items from a 7-Eleven (246 W. 23rd St., btw. Seventh & Eighth Aves.) by using a $100 bill — which the teller determined to be a forgery, despite the customer’s claims to the contrary. When a police officer arrived to inspect the situation shortly thereafter, they found, upon further investigation, that the man had two active warrants as well. Not only was the 24-year-old Queens resident arrested, but the police also notified a secret service official about his bogus bill.

GRAND LARCENY: Cell on wheels These days, it’s common for people to ignore the world around them with their heads buried in their phones — but this time, it cost one man more than missing out on appreciating a nice day. On Thurs., Dec. 22, a 32-year-old California man was

THE 13th PRECINCT: Located at 230 E. 21st St. (btw. Second & Third Aves.). Deputy Inspector: Brendan Timoney. Call 212-477-7411. Community Affairs: 212-477-7427. Crime Prevention: 212477-7427. Domestic Violence: 212477-3863. Youth Officer: 212-4777411. Auxiliary Coordinator: 212-4774380. Detective Squad: 212-477-7444. The Community Council meets on the third Tues. of the month, 6:30pm, at the 13th Precinct.

walking near the northwest corner of W. 19th St. and 10th Ave. around 8:30pm, phone in hand, when all of a sudden, an unknown perp snatched the device out of his grasp. The thief then somehow hopped on a bike and fled the scene. The phone in question — a new, jet-black iPhone 7S Plus — was valued at $900; video evidence of the incident may be available from cameras at a nearby location.

ASSAULT: Crazy taxi two On Sat., Dec. 24, a cab driver was cruising down Ninth Ave. at around 5am, when another taxi came and cut his vehicle off. The cut-off cabbie then followed the offending driver to a stop light at the northeast corner of W. 19th St. and Ninth Ave., and (for reasons not entirely clear) began recording him while stopped. Apparently, this didn’t sit well with the other driver, who proceeded to get out of his car, break the other man’s mirror, and then strike the side of the head with a closed fist. He then hopped in his car and fled southbound on Ninth Ave. The 51-year-old victim refused medical service after the incident, and was able to provide authorities his attacker’s plate numbers. —SEAN EGAN

MIDTOWN SOUTH PRECINCT: Located at 357 W. 35th St. (btw. Eighth & Ninth Aves.). Inspector: Russel J. Green. Call 212-2399811. Community Affairs: 212-2399846. Crime Prevention: 212-2399846. Domestic Violence: 212-2399863. Youth Officer: 212-239-9817. Auxiliary Coordinator: 212-239-9836. Detective Squad: 212-239-9856. The Community Council meets on the third Thurs. of the month, 7pm, at the New Yorker Hotel (481 Eighth Ave., btw. W. 34th & W. 35th St.). Visit midtownsouthcc.org.

YOUR WEEKLY community newspaper SERVING CHELSEA, HUDSON YARDS and HELL’S KITCHEN

PUBLISHER’S LIABILITY FOR ERROR: The Publisher shall not be liable for slight changes or typographical errors that do not lessen the value of an advertisement. The publisher’s liability for other errors or omissions in connection with an advertisement is strictly limited to publication of the advertisement in any subsequent issue.

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DECEMBER 29, 2016 - JANUARY 04, 2017

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Reading Glancing at an advertisement, updating a Facebook status or reading a book are all activities that should be avoided when driving. Even pouring over a traffic map or consulting the digital display of a GPS system can be distracting.

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Courtesy Success Academy Charter Schools

An architect’s rendering of what a middle school classroom at the Success Academy space will resemble. SUCCESS continued from p. 3

the 555 10th Ave. location would be similar to the programming at other Success schools, and likely not have specific partnerships with any of the businesses moving into Hudson Yards, which include some tech and media companies. Success does not typically do “one-off” partnership programs because one goal of the charter academy is “being able to deliver high-quality education at scale.” District 2 is the city’s largest district by enrollment as of the 2014-2015 school year, according to DOE data from June. With a 90% utilization of its target

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70,888 seats, it is less crowded than the citywide average of 96%. A Success Academy spokesperson did not say if the charter would look to independently purchase other spaces for its schools in the future. Success’ founder Eva Moskowitz has battled Mayor Bill de Blasio since he took office to provide more space in DOE-run public school buildings for Success Academy classrooms. Demand is extremely high for seats at Success schools — more than 20,000 students applied for around 3,200 open seats for the 2016-2017 school year, according to Success Academy’s own numbers.

Via Extell Properties

Success Academy paid nearly $68 million for just under 94,000 square feet of space at the base of 555 10th Ave., a 56-story glass tower at the corner of W. 41st St.

DECEMBER 29, 2016 - JANUARY 04, 2017

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Taken Aback, But Not Giving In: Decency

Photo by Richard Hillman

An omen? Snow-covered show business titan George M. Cohan weathered a Jan. 23 storm so fierce that it caused The Broadway League to cancel performances on the Great White Way.

Activists, advocacy groups, and public officials vowed to organize a long-term approach to opposing the cont

Photo by Donna Aceto

Photo by Daniel Kwak

The West Village became a gathering place after the June 12 murder of 49 patrons inside Pulse, a gay nightclub in Orlando, FL. Here, expressions of grief and resolve outside the Stonewall Inn.

Shortly after an explosion occurred at approximately 8:30 p.m. on Sat., Sept. 17, crowds were kept from W. 23rd St., btw. Sixth and Seventh Aves. The incident was later revealed to be an intentional act.

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DECEMBER 29, 2016 - JANUARY 04, 2017

Chelsea photographer Jane Sc unexploded bomb on W. 27th handshake of gratitude. .com


Trumps A Year Of Dreadful Developments

Photo by Zach Williams

troversial president-elect.

Photo by Daniel Kwak

Photo by Zach Williams

After the Sept. 17 bombing, with pedestrian and vehicular traffic allowed back on the block, a man surveyed the damage to (l–r) Selis Manor, King David Gallery, and St. Vincent de Paul Church.

Nov 12: Throngs of demonstrators left Union Square on their way to Trump Tower, which became the focal point of many protests against the president-elect.

Photo by Naeisha Rose

Photo by Zach Williams

Binod Bhattarai, of Landmark Wine & Spirits — a stop on Sept. 24’s Chelsea Small Business Crawl, organized to help W. 23 St. stores that lost business in the aftermath of Sept. 17’s bombing.

Thousands of people posted messages at subway stations like Union Square (above) to express their opinions about the presidential election.

Photo by Tequila Minsky

Photo by Zach Williams

Photo courtesy Office of State Sen. Brad Hoylman

chreibmen, who alerted police to an St. on the night of Sept. 17, gets a

Times Square onlookers reacted in disbelief to news that Donald Trump won Florida.

Flanked by colleagues, State Sen. Brad Hoylman speaks out about hate crimes. On Nov. 16, a woman in his building discovered a swastika carved into a door there.

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DECEMBER 29, 2016 - JANUARY 04, 2017

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HOME-SHARE continued from p. 6

many, many stories into consideration before you slash us and don’t give us a chance to share on this amazing platform.” While hosts related their personal anecdotes, opposition groups and elected officials emphasized the greater good of a law they say will help restore the city’s affordable housing stock and its residents’ quality of life. “Illegal hotels represent a pernicious threat to New York’s tenants and to our affordable housing stock,” Assemblymember Rosenthal said. “Their proliferation hastens the pace of gentrification and leads to higher housing prices for all New Yorkers. It diminishes our stock of affordable housing as well as the quality of life for tenants who are forced to share their building with a rotating cast of strangers occupying apartments meant for New Yorkers.” She added that if the city is to preserve an adequate stock of affordable housing, MOSE needs to crack down on commercial operators “who are collectively warehousing thousands of units of housing that can and should be made available to permanent New Yorkers and their families.” City Councilmember Helen Rosenthal focused her remarks on the responsibility Airbnb has to adequately police its own website, whether or not the new law specifically holds it legally responsible for the actions of those listing there. “If Airbnb complied with the New York State Multiple Dwelling Law, its site would not allow anyone to post an illegal rental,” the councilmember said in her testimony. “So here we are, left holding the bag

Photo by Jackson Chen

City Councilmember Helen Rosenthal, in testimony at the hearing, emphasized the responsibilities Airbnb has in helping curb illegal listings.

with an arm and a leg tied behind our backs, trying to enforce New York State law, a law which helps preserve affordable housing.” While they may be on opposite sides regarding the letter of the new law, both hosts and opposition groups seem to agree that its enforcement should zero in on those who skirt the housing laws for profit by listing multiple units or creating setups similar to illegal hotels. The Airbnb hosts insisted they should not be grouped in with such commercial operators and be subject to heavy fines. Elected officials, as well, emphasized the need for MOSE to focus on those who warehouse empty apartments or list multiple apartments. Councilmember Rosenthal urged the city to launch an education campaign of advertisements, public ser-

vice announcements, and comments in news stories to explain exactly what is legal or illegal when it comes to listing a home on Airbnb. “We don’t want individual tenants to unknowingly engage in illegal acts that could result in a fine by the city and an eviction by their landlord,” she said. First offenses for listing entire apartments on sites like Airbnb for rentals of less than 30 days will result in fines of $1,000, rising to $5,000 for the second offense, and $7,500 for third and all subsequent times. “Now that the bill has finally become law despite threats of legal action, MOSE has the ability to wield tremendous power to curtail the lawbreaking of Airbnb and similar brazen illegal hotel operators,” Assemblymember Rosenthal said.

CARRIER continued from p. 5

us. This was pre-computer [graphics], and Rick would do everything: designing, setting the type, physically pasting it together.” A lasting friendship soon developed between Sanford, his wife Shannon, and Carrier and life partner Lynn Ramsey — although only recently did he became aware of Carrier’s role in Word War II. “It was around four years ago that he started talking about it,” said Sanford of what happened at Normandy and Buchenwald. “Before that, it was always just, ‘Well, yeah, I was in an engineering battalion.’ ” Grey had similar recollections: “Up until about 10 years before he died, I never knew he was in the Second World War. Nobody ever had any idea that’s the kind of person he was before we knew him.” Tracing his newfound willingness to speak about the war back to their 2012 trip to Poland, Ramsey noted the emotional impact that meeting other concentration camp liberators had on Carrier. Prior to that, she said, “he was interviewed a few times about the war, typically around Veterans Day, but he never mentioned Buchenwald.” Ramsey also noted that in his later years, Carrier found comfort — and a creative spark — in his deepening faith. Although the couple had been participating in the Chelsea Community Church Candlelight Carol Service every December since 1975, “We didn’t go to church regularly” until shortly after the 1994 death of Carrier’s son, Marc. Not content to sit in the pews (or anywhere, for that matter), Carrier volunteered to mount a produc.com

Courtesy Lynn Ramsey

Longtime congregation member Rick Carrier, seen here at a Chelsea Community Church potluck brunch (yes, he even knew how to make a great mac and cheese).

tion based, in part, on the music of “Jesus Christ Superstar.” Grey (William Daniel, aka “Billy”), who played Jesus in the original Broadway production of “Superstar,” acted in, and supervised the music for, Carrier’s “Walk the Via Dolorosa” — which, Ramey recalled with pride, “ran every Palm Sunday from 1996 through 2006. It was very professional and very moving. People cried.”

In addition to Ramsey, Carrier is survived by his son, Alan Carrier, and two grandchildren, Camille Gibbons and Helen Carrier, of Cape Cod. The congregation of Chelsea Community Church invites the public to celebrate the life of Rick Carrier on Sun., Jan. 1, as part of their weekly gathering (noon, at St. Peter’s Chelsea Episcopal Church: 346 W. 20th St., btw. Eighth & Ninth Aves.). DECEMBER 29, 2016 - JANUARY 04, 2017

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From Oddballs to Oscar Bait 2016’s best films, unranked and unmissable BY SEAN EGAN While most of us are on the same page — we can’t wait to see the back of 2016 — this year’s movies will surely be looked back at more fondly. Whether reflecting our cultural climate or providing escapism, forging new trails or looking to the past, filmmakers ensured that going to the theater remained one of the few bright spots of a dark year. Below is a roundup of some the year’s finest offerings, unranked, but loosely grouped — because haven’t we all had enough of divisive debating for one year? These are the films that helped make 2016 worth it; hopefully revisiting them will help to make 2017 a little bit better too.

DARING NEW NARRATIVES Spanning decades and employing three actors to play its protagonist, Barry Jenkins’ soulful “Moonlight” follows the life of Chiron, a gay, black Miami man, as he grows up and grapples with who he is, and his place in a world stacked against him. Full of evocative imagery, masterfully naturalistic performances, and carefully observed relationship dynamics, it’s easy to say it’s movie “about” a lot of things: identity, poverty, toxic masculinity — take your pick. But above all else, it’s about Chiron; the boy, teen, and eventual man at its center. While the details of his story may not match your own, the emotions ring poignantly, deeply true, becoming universal in their specificity. Sure, a plot synopsis of “Swiss Army Man” — a movie where a shipwrecked Paul Dano uses the magical farts and erections of Daniel Radcliffe’s reanimated corpse to survive the wilderness — reads like a foulmouthed 12-year-old filled out a Mad Libs. But directing duo Daniels make damn sure they’re offering the most conceptually ambitious, thematically resonant fart jokes ever committed to film. As the movie tracks the two leads’ blossoming friendship, they mix humor so low it doesn’t even have a brow with resonant ideas about shame, love, and (of course) what it means to be human. Daniels’ confident direction ensures the movie doesn’t just avoid the dangerous tonal pitfalls twee-r indies fall prey to, but actively flips them off while speeding along its own bold, surprisingly moving path. In short, it’s the year’s most unexpected, original, idiosyncratic triumph.

Via A24

The young Chiron experiences a symbolic rebirth, in the beautiful “Moonlight.”

AUTEURS AT IT AGAIN Jim Jarmusch goes refreshingly small-scale in “Paterson,” which follows a week in the life of Adam Driver’s titular bus driver, going about life in the (also) titular New Jersey city. It’s a gentle movie, whose small pleasures (both narrative and aesthetic) accumulate to produce a quietly powerful portrait of an everyman, and a stirring treatise on creativity. Forever zagging when expected to zig, the Coen

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Via Universal

Scarlett Johansson in a Busby Berkley-inspired sequence from “Hail, Caesar!”

Brothers’ “Hail, Caesar!” lets loose a veritable who’s who ensemble on a fictional 1950s Hollywood soundstage, running through meticulously crafted, imminently quotable vignettes that imitate golden-age mov-

ies — from westerns to stiff-lipped dramas to lively (and hilariously homoerotic) musicals. It might be the BEST FILMS continued on p. 17 .com


BEST FILMS continued from p. 16

notoriously mercurial brothers’ lightest and brightest film to date, but don’t mistake that for lack of substance. Squint just beyond the old school razzle-dazzle and you’ll be rewarded with a parable on religious faith as meaty as it is absurdist. After the triumph of 2014’s “Boyhood,” Richard Linklater took a victory lap this year with “Everybody Wants Some!!” — an ’80s-set college baseball comedy. In his oeuvre, it might be in the minor leagues, but it’s been a while since he’s turned his unobtrusively accomplished direction and plainspoken, poetic writing to material this addictively fun and deceptively deep. For movie lovers, that’s an achievement worth celebrating in and of itself.

MUSICAL MOVIES Right from its title cards, the joyous “La La Land” announces itself as a modern spin on the Technicolor studioera musicals of yore. Every candy-colored frame is a delight, enhanced by long takes where the camera dips and weaves around energetically choreographed song-and-dance numbers. It manages, however, to elevate itself beyond mere nostalgic curio, as underneath the (substantial) surface-level pleasures, writer/ director Damien Chazelle digs into his pet themes, considering the push/pull of art and commerce, reality and dreams — all while skewering modern Hollywood culture and hoary romantic tropes. In lieu of doing a press tour, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds invited director Andrew Dominik to document the recording of “Skeleton Tree” — a powerful album produced in the aftermath of the tragic death of Cave’s 15-year-old son. The result: “One More Time with Feeling.” Shot in the alluring combo of state-of-the-art 3D and charcoal-smeared black and white, it’s a haunting meditation on grief, rendered more gut-wrenching because of the broken, all-too-human icon at its center. The music, beautiful and damaged, is the only thing that cuts through the fog of loss with any clarity. A scrappy Irish import from “Once” creator John Carney, “Sing Street” tracks a teen discovering his musical gifts, and using them as an escape from the often overwhelming issues he experiences at home and at school. Perfectly capturing the giddy highs and precipitous lows of adolescence, and boasting an infectious collection of ’80s-tinged original songs, it’s a heartfelt gem.

.com

Via Summit Entertainment

Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone star in the super-saturated musical “La La Land.”

Via Magnolia Pictures

The South Korean period piece/romantic drama “The Handmaiden” stuns with its twists.

FEMALE-FRONTED FOREIGN FILMS To say that Paul Verhoeven’s “Elle” isn’t to everyone’s tastes would be a dramatic understatement — it opens, after all, with a viscerally upsetting rape scene. But those who trust in the veteran Dutch director’s mastery of tone are in for the best character study of the year; a blackly comic tale that tackles its difficult subject matter with mature nuance. Anchored by Isabelle Huppert’s prickly

powerhouse performance, it’s a film that refuses to give viewers any easy outs (or answers), and is all the more rewarding for it. The greatest asset of “The Handmaiden,” Park Chan-wook’s recursive lesbian romantic drama, isn’t the fluid, precise camerawork, nor the sumptuous colors, nor the expertly delivered performances. No, it’s the narrative twists. In Chan-wook’s hands the twist, so often the crutch of lazy directors grasping for profundity, is used not

just to shock and induce adrenaline, but to genuinely enrich both the filmmaking on display and the story’s already-strong emotional core. It’s a sensual, suspenseful, stone-cold masterpiece.

ONLY IN AMERICA Yes, Andrea Arnold’s “American Honey” captures a poor, suburban American milieu often ignored by blockBEST FILMS continued on p. 19

DECEMBER 29, 2016 - JANUARY 04, 2017

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BEST FILMS continued from p. 17

busters and indies alike. More importantly, though, she uses this backdrop to create a sprawling, not-quite-coming-of-age road trip movie that bustles with immediacy and poetic grace notes. Arnold sketches characters sharply and nonchalantly through Linklateresque conversation; her full-screen cinematography approximates an Instagram account run by Terrence Malick. Just hop in the van, and take a hit — I guarantee you’ll like where it goes. Everything about “Hell or High Water” is informed by the economic strife facing rural, southern America — but the timeliness of this dusty, Texasset neo-Western doesn’t overshadow its invigorating cops-and-robbers story. The archetypical narrative is populated with colorful, well-drawn characters; even the most minor roles feel perceptively real and lived-in. It’s thanks, no doubt, to Taylor Sheridan’s effortless screenplay, which the actors (most notably Jeff Bridges) chew on like so much tobacco, and spit out with rough-hewn grace. Unfortunately for the country, “Green Room,” a punk rockers vs. Neo-Nazi flick, has only become more prescient since its April release. Fortunately for cinema, however, director Jeremy Saulnier’s crafted a genuine whiteknuckle thriller that expertly taps into our cultural anxieties for maximum tension. Saulnier isn’t afraid to off his characters brutally, but unlike many others, he’s also not afraid to invest time on character development and examining moral ambiguity — which, combined with its DIY attitude, makes the movie an instant classic.

Via Disney

Donnie Yen does battle against stormtroopers as Chirrut Imwe in “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.”

TO FEED THE NEEDS OF GENRE JUNKIES At a certain point watching “Arrival” — which follows a linguist deciphering the language of extraterrestrial visitors — you’ll realize that director Denis Villeneuve has been subtly toying with film grammar the whole time. It’s then you’ll understand that you’re not just watching an exceptionally smart and inventive sci-fi movie, but an exceptionally emotional and humanistic one, too. Visionary madman Ben Wheatley’s adaptation of JG Ballard’s dystopian sci-fi novel, “High-Rise” is a bonkers, blood-soaked tale of class warfare and societal collapse, laced with deadpan dark humor and gorgeous, nightmarish visuals — all scored to ABBA, natch. Catch it, in all its hyper-stylized glory, before its inevitable (and well-deserved) cult status is cemented. A belated entry in the burgeoning .com

Via The Weinstein Company

The boys are back in town: The titular teenage band from “Sing Street.”

“Cloverfield” franchise, “10 Cloverfield Lane” is a survival bunker-set chamber thriller, featuring career-high performances from John Goodman and Mary Elizabeth Winstead. Honestly, that’s about all you want to know going in, in order to let this tense, twisty little movie work its charms. The follow-up to last year’s “Buzzard,” “The Alchemist Cookbook” secures Joel Potrykus’ rep as both craftsman extraordinaire of engrossing (or maybe just gross) eating scenes, and as one of the most interesting indie auteurs working today. This strange brew of about a half dozen subgenres — psychological horror chief amongst them — Potrykus proves that even the lowest of budgets can’t hold back his skewed,

unclassifiable vision from being hysterical (in all senses of the word) and

effectively unsettling. Like its heroes, “Rouge One: A Star Wars Story” often feels like the orphaned underdog of the “Star Wars” franchise — and that’s a good thing. It digs deeper and darker than any of its predecessors (yes, even “Empire”), culminating in a stunner of a third act that unflinchingly drags the space opera down to ground level. And finally, with “The Neon Demon” Nicolas Winding Refn continued to playfully gussy up pulpy genre material with auteurist flourishes, daring viewers to cry foul. This particular fashion industry satire/horror flick plays out a lot like if David Lynch directed a Sephora commercial on Xanax, and employed a sentient box of crayons as cinematographer. Oh, and also Keanu Reeves is there. Somehow containing zero subtext, while also being nothing but subtext, it’s a garish, gory, Grand Guignol experience.

DECEMBER 29, 2016 - JANUARY 04, 2017

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‘Art Startup’ Alpha Effort Ponders Community Partnership Theater for the New City forum gauges goals and concerns BY TRAV S.D. The Johnson Theater, the largest of Theater for the New City’s four theater spaces, was at capacity on the night of Tues., Dec. 27, for the first in a series of free neighborhood gatherings called “Art Startup.” The initiative is being presented by Theater for the New City (TNC) as a response to “CreateNYC” — the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs’ recently launched “cultural plan for all New Yorkers,” which means to establish a “roadmap for the future of NYC arts and culture” by July 2017. For “Art Startup,” TNC made available a diverse panel of over a dozen arts professionals affiliated with the company, including actors, playwrights, choreographers, visual artists, teaching artists, and directors. Crystal Field, cofounder and artistic director of TNC, launched the meeting by announcing its purpose: to hear from members of the community, particularly from TNC’s “non-artist” neighbors on the Lower East Side, about the sort of art they would like to see in the future, and the

Illustration by Ilana Hessing

TNC’s Johnson Theater was filled to capacity for the Dec. 27 debut of its “Art Startup” initiative.

particular barriers there might be to creating it. She expressed a particular fear that New York’s status as a sanctuary city might put arts funding at risk,

given the results of the recent presidential election. The panelists were then introduced, and the floor was opened up for ques-

tions and comments from the audience. While the announced mission of the forum was for “the community to speak to artists,” based on those who spoke, the turnout seemed to consist mostly of fellow artists and arts administrators, although there were a few TNC fans and audience members who spoke about how important their productions have been to them, and some parents whose children had benefitted from arts education. Concerns expressed by attendees were wide-ranging. Representatives of a “not strictly legal” underground concert space in Greenpoint/Williamsburg expressed concerns about the physical welfare of artists in the wake of the recent Oakland fire, which took place in a similar venue. A man affiliated with the Chinatownbased Asian American Arts Centre mentioned their involvement in the Cultural Equity Group, an effort to bring greater fairness to the distribuSTARTUP continued on p. 23

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Hedda Lettuce Harvests Bumper Crop of New Year’s Eve Fun

Photos by Trav S.D.

L to R: Actress and TNC board member Vinie Burrows, choreographer Robert Gonzales Jr., and visual artist/curator Carolyn Ratcliffe. STARTUP continued from p. 21

tion of cultural resources in New York City. High among his concerns he said was the fact that, “We can’t pass our work on to the next generation, because we can’t afford to pay people [to be junior staffers].” Yazmin Colon of Educated Little Monsters in Bushwick spoke of gentrification, saying, “It’s inevitable, but the character that comes with it is not.” She said there was a tendency for newer residents to “disrespect the art that was already there and displace it,” and there is a need “to create new systems” to address that. A man who identified himself as a TV professional who’d been involved with the Kitchen, The Wooster Group, and the Collective for Living Cinema, spoke of the availability of space in outer boroughs and at houses of worship, and suggested the challenges of iconoclastic location may be offset by vigorous promotion. Another speaker mentioned that the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation has announced a renovation plan for Tompkins Square Park, and that he is working on a proposal for a children’s outdoor theater for the playground on the park’s southeast corner. Several of those who spoke expressed their fervent wishes for the return of CHARAS/El Bohio, the art space that was long located in the former P.S. 64, but was displaced in December 2001 after then-Mayor Rudolph Giuliani sold the premises to a private developer. Providentially, Chino Garcia, one of the founders of CHARAS, was on hand to offer an update, saying that developer Gregg Singer (who bought the building) has been unable to raise funds to convert the building, and that there is a movement back on to revive CHARAS. “We’re not just an artistic community but also a political community,” .com

Theater for the New City teaching artist Brandon Mellette.

said panelist Viney Burrows. “The price of rent is a political issue,” he stressed, asking, “What are the ways we can come together, and what leaders do we need to put pressure on to make these changes?” Panelist Carolyn Ratcliffe mentioned her involvement with the Arts & Cultural Affairs Subcommittee of Community Board 3 and encouraged attendance at their next meeting, which will be at Theater for the New City (155 First Ave., btw. E. Ninth & E. 10th Sts.) on Jan. 9 at 6:30 p.m. Field concluded the meeting by remarking, “This is meeting number one. It is ‘A,’ not ‘Z.’ It didn’t have to be perfect. But I think this was a big success.” Then the two-hour forum adjourned for a free post-session repast proved by local businesses Iggy’s Pizzeria, McSorley’s Old Ale House, Moishe’s Bake Shop, Gena’s Grill, Haveli Banjara Indian Restaurant, La Palapa, China Star, Veselka, Paquito’s, Rai Rai Ken and Pinks. The date of the next “Art Startup” will be posted on TNC’s website: theaterforthenewcity.net.

Courtesy H. Lettuce

BY SCOTT STIFFLER Their worst day of the year may not have happened until the very last day of the year — but the passengers of a certain aging luxury liner have 2016 beaten handily when it comes to feeling as if the whole world has been turned upside down. So make sure your 2017 doesn’t start off on a disastrous note by spending New Year’s Eve with the dirty-minded, sharp-tongued, evergreen delight that is Hedda Lettuce. To put your own sorrows into perspective and assure you there’s got to be a morning after, the yet-to-wilt drag legend will preside over a screening of 1972’s “The Poseidon Adventure.” It’s the latest installment of her 15-yearrunning “Hedda Presents The Classics” series at Cinépolis Chelsea — the recently renamed and much-improved W. 23rd St. venue that’s changed hands more times than Hedda at an open bar Christmas party. Proceeds from the bar at this party will benefit Housing Works, a nonprofit hopelessly devoted to the causes of homelessness and AIDS.

Guests should plan on arriving early to the wine and beer bar, snack on complimentary hors d’oeurves, mingle, and perhaps even win special prizes. Inside the movie theater, Hedda will replace the standard coming attractions trailers with some gloriously profane stand-up. Then, the audience experiences a restless, tribal-type screening of the film — whose prototypical Lifetime TV movie histrionics from the likes of Ernest Borgnine, Red Buttons and Shelley Winters are fodder for Hedda’s highly evolved ability to wring camp quips from lowhanging fruit. Later that night, Hedda helps you ring in the New Year (sans that pesky tidal wave that toppled the SS Poseidon) with a complimentary champagne toast and a live feed of the countdown from Times Square. Sat., Dec. 31, 8pm at Cinépolis Chelsea (260 W. 23rd St., btw. Seventh & Eighth Aves.). The $45 ticket price includes the film screening, one complementary drink, light snacks, and midnight champagne toast. To order, visit cinepolisusa.com/chelsea.aspx. Artist info at heddalettuce.com.

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Chelsea Now  

December 29, 2016

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