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Tenants Stand Tall at Packed Town Hall BY EILEEN STUKANE Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer is unafraid to become a lightning rod in her commitment to confront property owners who drive rent-regulated tenants from their homes by conducting renovations without the required Tenant Protection Plan (TPP) in place. On Tues., Jan. 10, Brewer teamed up with Stand for Tenant Safety TOWN HALL continued on p. 3

Billions on Board for Bus Terminal BY JACKSON CHEN The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey earmarked $3.5 billion for the controversial bus terminal replacement project as its board approved of the $29.5 billion 2017-2026 capital plan on Thurs., Jan. 5. The project aims to expand the decades-old bus terminal that serves as the main gateway for interstate buses at 625 Eighth Ave.

Photo by Sean Egan

The DOT identified this intersection at W. 34th St. & Eighth Ave. as a priority in a 2014 report — and CB4 wants the agency to do something about it.

GOING THROUGH A DIFFICULT PHASE Waiting for the Green Light on Safer Traffic Signals

PORT AUTHORITY continued on p. 2


Artists aren’t going quietly into the Age of Trump. See page 17.

BY DENNIS LYNCH Half a dozen pedestrians were killed by vehicles on the streets of Chelsea and Hell’s Kitchen last year, prompting local leaders to request the city implement more pedestrianfriendly traffic signals throughout these West Side neighborhoods. The six 2016 pedestrian deaths total four more than the number of deaths in 2014, the year Mayor Bill de Blasio started the Vision Zero campaign to cut all traffic fatalities in half citywide by 2025. The Transportation Planning Committee of Community Board 4 (CB4) sent a letter to the Department of Transportation (DOT) that asked them to put more split phase signals around the district to curb fatalities. Split phase signals typically give pedestrians a walk signal


first, while turning motorists sit at a red light. Then the motorists get the green to turn (hopefully) without any pedestrians in the crosswalk. At least two of last year’s fatalities occurred when a pedestrian was legally crossing in a crosswalk and was hit by a turning vehicle. Split phase signals are popular with transit safety advocates because some evidence shows they are the most effective signaling scheme for reducing injuries and deaths. A 2014 DOT-funded study found that pedestrian and cyclist injuries dropped by two-thirds between 2000 and 2007 when the DOT implemented split phase signals, although it did cause an increase in multi-vehicle over-taking crashes. While the committee noted that DOT has been coopSPLIT PHASE continued on p. 6 VOLUME 09, ISSUE 2 | JANUARY 12 - 18, 2017

Final Plan Pending, Port Authority Earmarks Bus Terminal Funds PORT AUTHORITY continued from p. 1

(btw. W. 40th & 42nd Sts.). The previous plans stirred up a great deal of controversy as it considered using eminent domain — where the government can take over private property for public projects — as a part of the expansion. The designs were eventually scrapped after community opposition claimed there was a lack of input and consideration for community needs. Despite the planning process having been essentially restarted, the Port Authority’s board of commissioners was focused on their 10-year capital plan and keen on funding the crucial revitalization project. The board’s chair, John Degnan, did note the financial squeeze the agency had with the capital plan and expressed doubts that the $3.5 billion would be enough to completely finance the project. “Do I think it has enough money to finally erect a new bus terminal in the 10-year period? No,” Degnan said at a Port Authority public hearing. “But do I think if we had more money we could spend it in that 10-year period to get the bus terminal done? I don’t.” The public hearing brought out many New Jersey elected officials who called for additional funding for the project. Last year, agency officials offered a preliminary estimate of the project’s entire cost, which would be closer to the $8 to $10 billion range. But even if the project is not considered fully funded with the latest capital plan, the board’s chair felt the several billion dollars of funding would be enough to get the ball rolling and get “shovels in the ground.” By the end of the 10-year capital plan, Degnan said he hoped for construction of the new bus terminal to be underway, with the next 10-year capital plan to see the completion of the project. “I am convinced that if we spend $3.5 billion during that 10-year period, the Port Authority will find a way to finish it,” Degnan said. “It would be the height of irresponsibility not to finish a project into which we sunk that amount of money. It needs to be done right, and it needs to be done.” As for the vocal community, many working groups are re-energizing in the new year to organize the stacks of feedback they received from impacted residents in previous months. According to Community Board 4 (CB4) member Betty Mackintosh, who leads the board’s Hell’s Kitchen/Port Authority Working Group, they’re currently going through feedback they received during a Dec. 6, 2016 planning meeting and distributing a follow-up survey for additional responses. Mackintosh said they’d summarize the feedback and review the results during an upcoming meeting. In a larger context, the CB4 member added that they’re working on a “community vision” document that would detail the area’s needs and impact of the bus terminal. “We want to be positive and constructive, and we want to say this is our vision, our identification of what the community is striving for and this is how the bus terminal and other related


Januar y 12 - 18, 2017

Photos by Michael Shirey

The crush of commuters traveling through the Port Authority during a weekday morning rush hour.

transportation issues fit in,” Mackintosh said of the community vision. Delores Rubin, CB4’s chair and part of the Hell’s Kitchen South Alliance, said the coalition is planning to meet later this week as well to discuss next steps. In terms of the capital plan being approved, the chair said there was no official stance yet on the $3.5 billion, as their focus is on the continuing planning discussions. “I think that we’re not that concerned there is a number that’s placed in that [capital plan],” Rubin said. “Mainly because we know we will be part of a conversation that will take into account the concerns of our community, as well as the commuters and the other community boards that surround the bus terminal but may be affected by any change.” As for weighing in on the capital plan, Port Authority will hold two public hearings: one in Manhattan, on Tues., Jan. 31 at 5 p.m. at 4 World Trade Center, and the other in Jersey City, NJ, on Tues., Feb. 7 at 5 p.m. at 2 Montgomery St. The board will consider the public comments before making changes for a final plan to be approved by Thurs., Feb. 16. The capital plan then needs approval from both Governors Andrew Cuomo and Chris Christie. .com

‘Construction as Harassment’ Theme of Town Hall Meeting TOWN HALL continued from p. 1

(STS), a Lower East Side-based tenants’ rights/legal services coalition, for a town hall meeting in a packed auditorium within the Municipal Building at 1 Centre St. The frustration of a few hundred people was palpable in the room — a frustration mostly directed at the NYC Department of Buildings (DOB) for its lack of interest in changing its culture. Brandon Kielbasa of STS asked for examples of construction as harassment from the audience. Many of the issues expressed had been heard before, and are ongoing. Audience members spoke of gas shutoffs, front doors and windows being removed, jackhammering causing cracks in, and collapse of, drywall, and toxic dust in the air. A number of people spoke about the DOB’s self-certification process, whereby a building can acquire a permit by falsely stating a building is “unoccupied” when it is indeed “occupied” and requires a TPP. As reported last year in Chelsea Now, Brewer herself was appalled by the frequent gas shutoffs initiated by landlords who seemed to have no concern about creating hazardous conditions in people’s homes. She took action by contacting Con Edison, NY State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, the NYC Commissioners of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD), the DOB, and the New York State Public Service Commission, and Homes and Community Renewal (which is a stage agency). Twenty elected officials were cosponsors of the town hall, and 10 sent representatives. Working in cooperation with the STS, 11 councilmembers who were among the town hall co-sponsors are involved in shepherding a package of 12 bills into law. These bills would force the DOB to overhaul its penalty system for violations, and to take on more oversight of TPPs and the issuing of permits. An update of how the bills are moving through the City Council is below. Kielbasa spoke about construction as harassment affecting mostly rent-regulated apartments: “The landlords create an unsafe space around you under the guise of construction work and say, ‘This isn’t our fault. We’re trying to do this as fast as we can.’ A landlord will buy a building and chase out as many rent-regulated tenants as .com

Photo by Jordan Rathkopf

Brandon Kielbasa of Stand for Tenant Safety and Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer.

he can through lawsuits and buyouts. This is the acquisition stage of ownership,” he said. “Then they transition quickly to the renovation stage, where they use construction as harassment to lean on tenants who know their rights and understand the importance of having their rent regulated apartments.” Kielbasa further explained that this “violent and tormenting” form of harassment may last from three months to a year, depending on the extent of construction, until the landlord moves into the marketing phase of moving in new market-rate tenants.

WHEN IT’S A FIGHT TO SAVE YOUR HOME A stellar panel of activists was prepared to offer ideas and counsel to the community. On the dais was Yonatan Tadele, an organizer for the Cooper Square Committee; Marti Weithman, a supervising attorney for MFY Legal Services, Inc.; Kerri White, director of organizing, policy and research at Urban Homesteading Assistance Board; and George Tzannes, a Lower East Side/East Village tenant leader. Henry Dembrowski, a resident of Soho who was subject to long-term

construction as harassment by his landlord, Marolda Properties, recalled coming home one night in the wee hours of the morning to his residence at 57 Spring St., only to find the front door of the building locked. He could only get into his apartment by going through the basement access of the bakery next door, climbing up the fire escape in the back of the building, and entering through one of his windows. That was only the beginning. What followed was a loss of power for 10 days, the installation of pipes that ran all night and resulted in the collapse of a wall, and holes poked in his ceiling and walls. The advice from Dembrowski was simple: “Organize,” he said, and warned against trying to take the landlord on alone, because there is much more power in getting people together. When Dembrowski began speaking with his neighbors, he was able to create a coalition of buildings in the neighborhood. Eventually, he prevailed in HPD court. “Construction as harassment is a poison in our city and we need to group together and work together, through legislation and bills,” he said. Holly Slayton, an East Village resident, spoke of the Toledano Tenants Coalition (of which she is a member), that has organized to fight Brookhill Properties. “They pushed out my business and 21 of 24 businesses in the neighborhood,” Slayton said of Brookhill. “Three of the buildings have dust issues, and my doctor advised me and my daughter to wear dust masks in our own apartment.” She explained that Healthy Homes, part of the NY State Department of Health, finally came and got a lead dust sample. “DOB has a billion dollars in fines due to them. They need to put liens on these buildings; take some action. And it is up to us to speak out,” said Slayton. She encouraged everyone to sign contact information cards so that they could be part of ongoing activism.


Photo by Jordan Rathkopf

Rolando Guzman, deputy director of community preservation at St. Nicks Alliance in Brooklyn, gave an update on the 12-bill package, a “Legislative Platform to Reform DOB,” working its way through the City Council. He noted that the first bill on the list would require DOB to inspect at-risk buildings instead of allowing for self-certification, which is a prevalent complaint

Rolando Guzman explaining the 12-bill package of legislation that has the goal of correcting/reforming DOB procedures.

TOWN HALL continued on p. 14 Januar y 12 - 18, 2017


State of the Boozin’: Bar Scene Booming in Chelsea, Hell’s Kitchen BY SEAN EGAN From unnerving national news to local scares to the threat of ever-rising rents, last year gave locals plenty of reasons to go out drinking — and according to data released by the State Liquor Authority (SLA), they have more options than ever before as to where to make merry and/ or drown their sorrows, as 2016 saw a significant uptick in the number of establishments granted full liquor licenses. All told, 22 new libationary locations holding On-Premises Liquor licenses opened in Chelsea’s 10011 zip code — the most of any in Manhattan. Meanwhile, about 30 new On-Premises Liquor licenses were granted in the Hell’s Kitchen area (adding the data for the 10018, 10019, and 10036 zip codes). These 2016 stats surprised Paul Kermizian, CEO and a co-founder of the retro game/craft beer-centric Barcade (148 W. 24th St., btw. Sixth & Seventh Aves.) — though with a location in Williamsburg (the neighborhood tied with Chelsea for most new licenses citywide) his team is good at predicting upand-coming areas. “We liked Chelsea just because of the, at the time, the very recent influx of tech

Courtesy Barcade

Barcade features an extensive beer selection, and dozens of functional arcade game cabinets.

companies and offices of young people and younger companies‌ I guess other people must have thought that too,â€? said Kermizian of the location, which opened in 2014, and targeted a happy hour and group crowd. “We were anticipating that kind of business, and it’s delivered,â€? he said, noting that they now refer to Chelsea as their “flagship location.â€?

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Januar y 12 - 18, 2017



As per the SLA, the On-Premises Liquor license class is “generally considered to be the standard ‘bar’ licenseâ€? which “allows on-premises consumption of liquor, wine and beer,â€? though food must also be served at the establishment. Before the SLA grants licenses, however, applicants must present their case to Community Board 4 (CB4), hear their concerns, and get their go-ahead — and that blessing has teeth; the SLA often heeds the advice of CB4. “You’re seeing just a change overall in the types of establishments that end up getting leases,â€? postulated CB4 Chair Delores Rubin, saying landlords often hold out to lease to profitable bars and restaurants. “You have the High Line really adding an element to that neighborhood which makes the real estate extremely valuable‌ I think it’s really a function of how the real estate [market] has changed more-so than there are very thirsty people out there who are asking for bars and restaurants.â€? Nonetheless, Rubin and the board examine each case individually, “weigh[ing] the concerns of those that live in the community and the businesses that are trying come into the community,â€? and trying to keep the area economically competitive. Of course, there is always the potential for problems — and that’s where CB4 tries to remain particularly vigilant. It’s had issues in the past with “bad operatorsâ€? — most recently, Il Bastardo (191 Seventh Ave., btw. W. 20th & 21st Sts.), whose boozy brunches leave unruly customers spilling out onto the street, acting “completely disrespectful to where they are in the world.â€? “Unfortunately the success for [Il Bastardo] monetarily creates huge qual-

ity of life issues,� Rubin said, noting that laying out guidelines with operators before opening often helps curtail such issues. “I think good operators will work with the community to ensure that, when these problems do arise for the community, to figure out how to go ahead and put something in place that mitigates it as much as possible.� “We’re as strict as you can be on ID-ing, and ensuring that everyone’s behaving properly, and having security at the door,� Kermizian elucidated, noting these efforts deter trouble. “I think for bars and restaurants with a liquor license, that’s how to ensure you get along with your neighbors: Make sure you’re playing by the rules.� According to Rubin, “I think where we try very hard is to not throw everyone in a bucket; to really look at what the operator is proposing, the history of that operator if they have a history, taking into account the history of the location, and also hearing from people,� she said, asserting that when these dialogues have been initiated early, “the outcome has been favorable.� That was certainly the case for The Brazen Tavern (356 W. 44th St., btw. Eighth & Ninth Aves.), which opened last fall in Hell’s Kitchen, according to co-owner Damien Rafferty. “The fact that we’ve worked in the neighborhood a long time I think was kind of appealing to [CB4]; that we’ve worked in establishments that never really had a blemish on any of their liquor licenses, or ever had any trouble with the SLA,� said Rafferty, who has worked in the neighborhood for nine and a half years, and who has a partner who worked at McAnne’s in the Port Authority for 17. “We know a lot of people in the neighborhood and feel like we’re part of the community,� he explained, noting that their status in the area helped bring in a steady clientele from the get-go (aided by NFL games, their hot drinks, and a “very attractive lounge area� featuring a homey fireplace). “It kind of got us off the ground running really, which helped a lot.� However, getting board support and a license is usually only the first hurdle for new bars/restaurants. Competition, naturally, is stiff. Bar Truman, for example — formerly located in Chelsea Market — was granted its license in June, and has already shuttered its doors. Similarly, The Fillmore Room (146 10th Ave., at W. 19th St.) also called it quits, after being granted a license in early January BARS continued on p. 10 .com

Dust Hasn’t Settled on Illegal Demolitions in Special Districts BY DENNIS LYNCH Following a year mired by illegal demolitions, Community Board 4 (CB4) is pushing the Department of Buildings (DOB) to heighten their vigilance in the neighborhoods’ Special Districts, whose designation is supposed to afford special protection to its buildings — and, by extension, the housing therein. At least 96 units in 10 buildings were illegally demolished last year in Special Districts parts of Community District 4, according to the board’s Clinton/Hell’s Kitchen Land Use Committee (CHKLU). That’s significantly higher than in previous years. Buildings in the Special Districts can only be demolished if the city determines they are unsafe, or if the Department of Housing Preservation and Development certifies the landlord did not harass tenants into leaving, signs off on the demo, and provides a 60-day community board notice and comment period, among other provisions. But “bad actor” landowners have filed false paperwork to secure demo permits from the DOB anyway — they’ll claim a building isn’t residential or file for alteration permits allowed by that law, but tear the building down anyway. The false paperwork has gotten past the DOB mostly because the department’s primary concern is of safety, not housing preservation, according to CB4 Chair Delores Rubin. “When their staff receives a request, they’re looking toward safety issues mostly, but its almost as if the blinders are on — they’re not looking at the address, the history of the property, the zoning,” Rubin said. “What they’re doing is looking at whether all the safety issues indicated warrant a demo or not. That’s why we’ve seen buildings be granted demolitions — because the staff is not aware.” A department spokesperson said that the department had done additional training with plan examiners, who approve permits, to “ensure they are identifying when a demolition is filed in a Special District to ensure the applicant meets all required items prior to the issuance of a work permit.” The spokesperson added they would work to implement a system to flag any demolition filed in a Special District, which the community board requested in 2016. As reported in a Dec. 7, 2016 Chelsea Now article that referred to a then-recent CB4 Hell’s Kitchen Land Use Committee meeting (“DOB Now Evolving, Not Yet a Network to Find Permit Fraud”), John Waldman, DOB’s Community Affairs .com

Photos by Sean Egan

There were six units of affordable housing lost when Related Companies demolished this building at 500 W. 28th St. Related later apologized and will add additional affordable units to a future development in the neighborhood.

The owners of these two buildings at 317 and 319 W. 35th St. filed for illegal demolition permits earlier this year and had they received them, would have destroyed 28 units of housing, according to CB4.

Liaison, was asked about whether a forthcoming online system would help to prevent the loss of neighborhood buildings, and acknowledged that there have been “real gaps in the [training] system.” He explained that plan examiners are now being trained to identify special districts in the community where demolition is not allowed. Also quoted in that Dec. 7 article was DOB Deputy Commissioner of Strategic Planning and Policy Archana Jayaram, who described the development of “tools for the operational units to use to identify and protect the Special Districts. We’ve invested heavily in our analytics team and that group is creating maps that will be

used by the staff that do the approval of these permits. That is the sort of interim solution to address this issue.” The pure volume of applications and the DOB’s antiquated information systems don’t help either, so the board wants to see the DOB roll out improvements to its Building Information System (BIS) as soon as possible. The DOB created the BIS so the public could easily look up permits filed or safety violations filed on any property in the city — but behind it, much of the DOB’s record keeping and permitting work is done on paper. It is currently rolling out its $120 million replacement called DOB Now, for which all work will be done electronically — easier for both

building owners filing information and for the public looking for it. When DOB Now reaches completion, however, the department’s BIS site will become an archival resource. Members of the community who have come to rely on BIS for checking falsified permits and other issues related to construction and demolition will have new paths to access current information through those DOB Now public portals. While a public-facing system, the BIS is relatively hard to navigate without some training in DOB terminology, and information on it can be easily misconstrued by the layman. For example, the BIS displays a demolition permit application as “approved” once the application itself is complete, has been received, and ready for review. That can be mistaken for “permit approved,” which means the DOB has given them the permission to swing the wrecking ball. CB4 District Manager Jesse Bodine said that this terminology would only be acceptable if it were an internal DOB system. It could have real consequences for tenants living in those buildings, Bodine said. “If someone sticks a permit on your building that says ‘demo application approved’ on it, most of the residents there are going to panic and think the place is coming down, that’s a real concern for us,” Bodine said. “Most people living in these buildings don’t know they have these protections that we fought tooth and nail for.” The department’s Deputy Commissioner of Strategic Planning and Policy did not say if a public flagging system would be part of DOB Now when Rubin asked at a board meeting last month. She instead answered that there would be more transparency regarding permits and building data. “So for example, if you were to see that there was a piece of information about a building on its property profile that’s incorrect, you could call in and complain and disagree; this is a landmark building or it isn’t a landmark building,” she said. “That kind of transparency and that feedback loop will allow us to ensure the right actions are being taken at a site.” Three of DOB Now’s four main components — Build, Inspections, and Licensing — are live, although a recent search showed limited information in its “Safety” component, and found the old BIS system to be far more informative. The system’s last component will roll out as 2017 progresses. Visit the site at https://a810-dobnow.nyc.gov/publish/#/. Januar y 12 - 18, 2017


CB4: More Special Signals Will Improve Our Vision Zero SPLIT PHASE continued from p. 1

Photos by Sean Egan

A woman was killed in December when a truck traveling northbound on 10th Ave. turned onto W. 39th St. and struck her in the crosswalk in the upper right of this photo.

The DOT identified the intersection at W. 24th St. & Eighth Ave. as a safety priority in 2014. It’s one of 11 intersections CB4 wants the agency to make safer.

erative and implemented a number of split phase signals in the district, their letter argued the agency has been too slow and hasn’t implemented enough. The signals are needed at certain trouble intersections, such as W. 42nd St. and Eighth Ave. and at W. 39th St. and 10th Ave., where a woman was recently crushed to death by a truck — but the DOT has failed to implement them, according to CB4 Transportation Committee Co-Chair Christine Berthet, who is also a founding member of the Clinton Hell’s Kitchen Coalition for Pedestrian Safety (CHEKPEDS). “I think they are not attacking those complicated intersections; maybe they are in other neighborhoods, but not in ours. Not to put words in their minds, but maybe that’s because that’s where traffic is so intense, maybe they are afraid of slowing down traffic,” she said. Berthet said elected officials should be held responsible too. “You have to make a political decision that you are the party that is going to be the pedestrian party, and then it becomes simple,” she said. “You have to decide what to prioritize first, and if you want Vision Zero you would want to prioritize pedestrians.” The reason for the higher number of deaths last year is unclear, but could be because of higher population or increased tourist traffic, Berthet said. Berthet believes that the DOT should implement split phases at all intersections in the district and have a “standardized toolkit” to do so, which would save time because the department wouldn’t have to study each intersection. Some may be concerned that it would make vehicle traffic even worse in Manhattan, but Berthet doesn’t think it would slow down motorists any more than they are now. “In many situations, the cars can’t turn because there are pedestrians, so it’s a false argument that they slow down traffic,” she said. “They are fighting; [the] only thing you’re doing is organizing the chaos.” The committee identified 11 intersections from W. 14th St. to W. 57th St. that need some sort of pedestrian-friendly changes: one on Seventh Ave., four on Eighth Ave., three on Ninth Ave., two on 10th Ave., one on 11th Ave., and one on the West Side Highway. SPLIT PHASE continued on p. 7


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Chelsea Now file photo by Zach Williams

In January of 2015, Chelsea Now reported that split phase traffic lights at W. 23rd St. & Seventh Ave. led to a decrease of 63 percent in injury collisions.

SPLIT PHASE continued from p. 6

Citywide, the number of overall deaths fell from 258 in 2014 to 233 in 2015. It dropped again, to 229 last year — the lowest since record keeping started in 1910, according to the city’s Vision Zero website (nyc.gov/visionzero). The number of pedestrian and bicy-

clist deaths has steadily declined during those years as well, from 160 to 152 to 145. Pedestrian-only deaths jumped from 139 in 2015 to 144 last year. Along with changes to signals, lawmakers dropped the citywide speed limit from 30 miles per hour to 25 miles per hour and got tougher handing out tickets to drivers.


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ASSAULT: Criminal commuting customer caught While dining at Triple Crown (330 Seventh Ave., btw. W. 29th & W. 30th Sts.) on Thurs., Jan. 5, a would-be customer consumed $60.43 worth of food and beverage, according to the establishment’s manager. When his waitress presented him with a bill to that effect just before midnight, the man simply got up and left without settling the tab. When the manager and the waitress noticed and followed him out to confront him about the bill, an altercation ensued during which the customer caused minor injuries to the waitress’ forearm. After this incident, the restaurant staff then tailed the attacker to Penn Station, where the 33-year-old was arrested by the Amtrak Police Department.

PETIT LARCENY: When Dove’s Crime On Fri., Jan 6, one thief attempted to enact a hygienic heist at CVS (272 Eighth Ave., btw. W. 23rd & W. 24th Sts.), by trying to give security the slip while stealing some soap. The store’s manager reports that shortly before 3pm, he witnessed the man grab some items off of a shelf, and stealthily put them into a Starbucks bag. When he started heading towards the door, attempting to leave without paying, the manager stopped him, and the man dropped the bag, releasing the Doves — or six bottles of Dove body wash, anyway (valued at $54). He then exited the store, but to no avail; the 49-year-old Bronx resident was arrested by authorities shortly thereafter.

CRIMINAL MISCHIEF: Wrapscallion at large A Krampus-y criminal wielded open fire of their own on Thurs., Jan. 5 — but instead of roasting chestnuts, they engaged in some holiday cheer-dampening vandalism. At around 5pm, a

54-year-old woman discovered that an unknown party had burned the holiday decorations off of the door of her residence in a 400 block of West Chelsea (the door was still covered in festive wrapping paper for the holidays). For her part, the victim told police that she was cooking at the time of the incident, and therefore did not notice the smell of the fire. She only realized what happened when her neighbor knocked on her door to let her know the decorations were destroyed. Luckily, there was no additional damage to the door itself, though unfortunately video cameras were not present at the location to capture the Grinches in action.

PETIT LARCENY: The great vape escape It seems, on Fri., Jan. 6, the proprietors of New Jubilee Vape (219 W. 14th St., btw. Seventh & Eighth Aves.) discovered what most people already hold as infallible truth: People who vape are totally the worst. At 5:40pm an employee was showing off some (probably goofy-looking) gear to a prospective customer — a G Pen and a PAX 2 Vaporizer, which research confirms are not just a bunch of nonsense words, but pieces of equipment intended for real adults, valued at $160 and $225, respectively. At some point, the customer asked to take the items with him, claiming that he was going to show them to his “girlfriend” (which should have set off a red flag too, honestly). Instead, he then ran out of the store with the merchandise in tow, taking off down W. 14th St. (heading toward Sixth Ave.), presumably leaving thick plumes of sickly-sweet smelling “vape juice” in his wake for passersby to choke on. Naturally, the store owner has security cameras installed and video evidence of the incident — because even he knows not to trust anyone who vapes. And, on the off chance the perp is reading and wondering: No, it’s definitely not “cool if [you] vape” in jail.


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

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

MIDTOWN SOUTH PRECINCT: Located at 357 W. 35th St. (btw. Eighth & Ninth Aves.). Inspector: Russel J. Green. Call 212-2399811. Community Affairs: 212239-9846. Crime Prevention: 212239-9846. Domestic Violence: 212-239-9863. Youth Officer: 212239-9817. 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.

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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 - © 2017 NYC Community Media LLC, Postmaster: Send address changes to Chelsea Now, One Metrotech North, 10th Floor, Brooklyn, NY 11201.



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.


Januar y 12 - 18, 2017




Leading the list of the top distractions behind the wheel are mobile phones. Phones now do more than just place calls, and drivers often cannot pull away from their phones, even when driving. According to the California Department of Motor Vehicles, studies have shown that driving performance is lowered and the level of distraction is higher for drivers who are heavily engaged in cell


phone conversations. The use of a hands-free device does not lower distraction levels. The percentage of vehicle crashes and nearcrashes attributed to dialing is nearly identical to the number associated with talking or listening.


Many people will admit to daydreaming behind the wheel or looking at a person or object outside of the car for too long. Per-

haps they’re checking out a house in a new neighborhood or thought they saw someone they knew on the street corner. It can be easy to veer into the direction your eyes are focused, causing an accident. In addition to trying to stay focused on the road, some drivers prefer the help of lane departure warning systems.


Those who haven’t quite mastered walking and

chewing gum at the same time may want to avoid eating while driving. The majority of foods require a person’s hands to be taken off of the wheel and their eyes to be diverted from the road. Reaching in the back seat to share some French fries with the kids is also distracting. Try to eat meals before getting in the car. For those who must snack while en route, take a moment to pull over at

a rest area and spend 10 minutes snacking there before resuming the trip.


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

Januar y 12 - 18, 2017


Photo by Oleg March

Courtesy The Brazen Tavern

Sons & Daughters boasts a prime spot underneath the High Line, with outdoor seating in the warmer months.

The owners of the homey Brazen Tavern have been tending bar in the area for years.

BARS continued from p. 4

— among others. Once running, then, operators are tasked with setting themselves apart in a crowded market, lest they suffer a similar fate. “A lot of people, they just come into the bar area, for the most part, so I would say there probably is a lot of competition, because the back [dining] part,

we’re finding, is more challenging,” described Robert Simonton Jr., general manager of Chelsea Station (290 Eighth Ave., btw. W. 24th & 25th Sts.). Since opening in August, they’ve been steadily building a roster of regulars, due to events like their Code NYC Unplugged acoustic nights. “We also have a fireplace from the Biltmore Hotel — a lot of the fixtures we

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have here are from the Biltmore Hotel that were preserved,” Simonton revealed, saying that these features help draw people in. Simonton, as well as Rafferty, noted that the holidays, and the parties that came with them, helped give a boost to business. Positioned right underneath the High Line, location is a key part in differentiating Sons & Daughters (85 10th Ave., btw. W. 15th & 16th Sts.), which opened last July. While tourists are welcome to come get “a taste of New York,” Mary Massey, the bar’s director of marketing, said the concept of the bar is that it’s “by New Yorkers, for New Yorkers,” with their food and drink menu highlighting “New York staples that we put our own twist on.” Massey cited Chelsea, specifically, as an “an important neighborhood in the city right now,” that she expects to make even more of a resurgence as Hudson Yards develops. “We’ve been trying to focus on ourselves as a neighborhood destination, a place where both people who live in the residences close by or people who work

close by will think of us as sort of their hometown bar,” said Massey, who also stressed the care put into their “topnotch” menu. “We want people to not only remember that they had a good time, but really remember how great the food and beverage were.” Despite the challenges of setting up shop in a saturated spot, the community and operators remain optimistic about the area and its future. “You have an entire corridor, like in areas of Chelsea and Hell’s Kitchen, where there’s a ton of different choices,” said Rubin. “You will get folks who will flock to that area because they know they can’t miss. They can’t go wrong if they go to Chelsea; they can’t go wrong if they go to Hell’s Kitchen to find exactly the mood, the taste, or the crowd that they’re looking for.” “It just kind of seems to be an area that’s kind of developing up more, and developing around us,” mused Simonton. “I think it’s a good place to be in right now — and in the next five years, I think it’s going to be even better to be in.”


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On MLK Day, Remembering Penn South’s Bayard Rustin BY COUNCILMEMBER COREY JOHNSON On January 16, Martin Luther King Day, we honor the legacy of the man who changed history and bent the arc of the moral universe towards justice. But as many Chelsea residents know — although many may not — Chelsea was home to another towering figure in the civil rights movement and a key aide to Dr. King: Bayard Rustin. Mr. Rustin, who moved into the Penn South complex in 1962 and lived there until his passing in 1987, was among the earliest and most active leaders of the 20th century’s civil rights movement. He helped mastermind some of the most iconic actions in American history, including the 1963 March on Washington, of which he was Chief Organizer. Rustin exemplified the term “intersectionality” long before it became common vernacular in the language of social justice. When he said, “No group is ultimately safe from prejudice, bigotry, and harassment so long as any group is subject to special negative treatment,” he gave voice to a movement that sees everyone as equal. Indeed, Rustin’s advocacy spanned over five decades and helped protect vulnerable people of so many different communities. In fighting for the rights of African Americans, he stood alongside Dr. King and served as a mentor to the young activists who created groundbreaking organizations like Congress on Racial Equality and the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee. He bridged the gap between the Civil Rights Movement and the labor movement as a leader of the A. Philip Randolph Institute. Through his work with Project South Africa, he mobilized American support for a peaceful transition to democracy in South Africa, and he helped refugees in countries from Haiti to Vietnam as a missionary until the day he died. All of this he accomplished as an openly gay man in a fiercely homophobic era. Arrested for “homosexual activity” in 1953 and shunned by some in the civil rights movement, Bayard Rustin arguably would have received even greater recognition if not for the prejudices of the time. Regardless, Rustin soldiered on and fought tirelessly for the causes of freedom and equality. Later in his career, Rustin was at the front lines fighting for LGBT rights. Here in New York, he advocated forcefully for .com

World Telegram & Sun photo by Ed Ford via Wikimedia

Bayard Rustin (center) speaking with (left to right) Carolyn Carter, Cecil Carter, Kurt Levister and Kathy Ross, before a 1964 demonstration.

the passage of legislation that would ban discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation in housing, employment, and public accommodations. The law passed in 1986 after 15 years of fierce debate. Bayard Rustin taught us not only to care about the members of our community, but to care about all people, regardless of any of the superficial barriers that may seem to separate us. This past March, in recognition of his many extraordinary contributions to our city, our country, and our world, the US National Park Service added his residence in Building 7 of the Penn South Complex in Chelsea, where his longtime partner Walter Angele still lives today, to its National Register of Historic Places. As I look at the current political landscape in our country, I cannot help but think that we need more people like Bayard Rustin. This Martin Luther King Day, I will commit myself to following more closely in his footsteps, and I encourage all to do the same. Councilmember Corey Johnson represents District 3 in the New York City Council, which includes the neighborhoods of Chelsea, Hell’s Kitchen, Greenwich Village, and parts of Hudson Square and the Upper West Side. Contact his office at 212-564-7757 or by email at district3@gmail.com.

File photo courtesy Gay City News

The US National Park Service added Bayard Rustin’s Penn South residence to its National Register of Historic Places.


Januar y 12 - 18, 2017



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Photos by Jordan Rathkopf

Hell’s Kitchen resident Maury Sherman (standing) asked, “Where is the Bad Landlord School that they all go to?�


TOWN HALL continued from p. 3


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among tenants. More information on the 12-Bill Package can be found on the STS website: standfortenantsafety.com/ sts-dob-platform. Guzman explained that the 12 bills were introduced to the City Council in September 2015. The bills first go to the Council’s Housing Committee where they are given hearings. After the hearings, the bills go to the full Council for a vote. If the Council gives the go-ahead, the bills go to the Mayor’s Office to be signed into law. Right now seven bills have had hearings. “We are working with some councilmembers to have hearings on the remaining five bills, and we hope that within the next month they should be voted on and passed,� Guzman said.

A FIRST FOR COMMUNITY BOARDS Loraine Brown, a co-chair of Community Board 8’s Housing Committee, told Chelsea Now of a groundbreaking gathering of all 12 Manhattan Community Boards, to which the public is invited. “We’re convening all Manhattan Community Boards, the Land Use and Housing Committee mem-

This woman asked, “Why didn’t landlords go to jail if falsifying permits is a felony?�

bers, to meet and discuss the affordable housing program,� Brown noted. “We want to come together to create guidelines that we can all use, and to develop the ‘ask’— what we ask of developers in terms of permanent affordable housing versus temporary, and keeping the 421A units in our borough.� This will be the first time all Manhattan Community Board Committees have ever come together with the public to share ideas. The gathering will be on Tues., Jan. 31, 6:30 p.m. at the Stanley M. Isaacs Neighborhood Center (415 E. 93rd St.).





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Resistance is Fertile Artists activate in the Age of Trump

Photo by Stephen Anthony Elkins

Photo by Stephen Anthony Elkins

Peyton Berry’s “Incurable Activism” has two women differing on how much is enough in the effort to improve Black Lives.

A film about the Black Lives Matter movement gets mixed reviews before the screening even starts, in Astoria-based playwright Esther Ko’s “With Allies Like This...”

BY SCOTT STIFFLER Divisive and downright ugly from the first primary to the final tally, last year’s presidential election had supersized portions of the key ingredients one would expect to find in a meaty theatrical drama: conflict, contrast, and the quest for power. With these elements still very much in play after November 8, the flabbergasted duo behind feminist theater company The Dirty Blondes had no question as to how they would answer the president-elect: cancel the production booked for January, and heed the call of an ominous new muse. “We were planning to produce a show about Britney Spears,” said artistic director Ashley Jacobson, “but we decided to put all our resources toward supporting a political project.” Embarking on that course correction didn’t take long: “I think .com

we made the determination on November 10,” Jacobson recalled. “We had just cast the show and were going into rehearsals. I was in a little bit of a stupor after the election; surprised and scared and crying, ‘I can’t get my sh**t together for a show about Britney Spears!’ So I talked with [executive director] Elizabeth [Sarkady], and we said, ‘Let’s do something else.’ ’’ With 52 percent of white women having voted for Trump (a demographic both Blondes fit snugly into), “that was a reminder to look at the conversations we were participating in, and whether or not we were leading or listening. So we want to take a step back creatively, and support a space for particularly threatened and marginalized artists to speak.” Playing the East Village’s Kraine Theater through January 15, “The Resister Project” came together over the past several weeks, as its 49 par-

ticipants spent much of the holiday season creating nine new plays and seven solo performances based on their experiences before and after the presidential election. At the helm is Miami-born, Astoria-based musical theater bookwriter Rebecca Aparicio, who is no stranger to the task of bringing disparate voices into harmony. The bluegrass band she formed with her husband, Alabama native and guitarist/vocalist Stephen Anthony Elkins, gigs weekly at Handcraft Kitchen & Cocktails (367 Third Ave., btw. E. 26th & 27th Sts.). “Our banjo player is from Poland,” said Aparicio of Wild Magnolia, “and our mandolin player is a Dominican from the Bronx. We have a Cuban girl, me, on the washboard, and a Japanese fiddle player.” The band is not the only collaborative project with her husband. They created “Pedro Pan,” a bilingual children’s

musical based on the struggles of children sent, alone, to the US as a means of escaping 1960s Cuba (the show was a critical and audience favorite at the 2015 New York Intentional Fringe Festival). As to how she became a producer on “The Resister Project,” Aparicio noted a call to action made on Facebook right after the election. “I had this idea that anybody who wanted to write or perform could have [a platform for] a cathartic reaction,” Aparicio recalled, “and I wanted it to happen before the inauguration.” “So many took to it [social media] to vent,” Jacobson said. “This show came together because of that. At least it reminds us that there is some good in having such a large community at your fingertips.” “I think it’s only going to become Resistance continued on p. 21 Januar y 12 - 18, 2017


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All Dolled Up For Operation Orange Don Start learning Russian, Amerika! BY MAX BURBANK On Friday, January 20, our long national plummet down the rabbit hole comes to an end, and all signs point to a very hard landing in Wonderland. Congress and the president-elect have promised to “hit the ground running” — but that rarely happens when your chute fails to open on the way down. That’s a crap metaphor, I know. Alice wasn’t skydiving; but if she had been? And she represented the American Experiment as we have known it? And her parachute was the transition? Well, the American Experiment would be boned, my friends, ’cause that is one tangled-ass chute that wouldn’t stop a four-pound paratrooper kitten from splattering like a watermelon at a Gallagher concert. See what happened there? My out of control metaphor just killed a kitten! And Gallagher! Jesus wept — do you even know who that is!? It’s possible I haven’t slept since November 8. The point is, we’re entering uncharted territory. There’s no historical precedent, and any pundit who tells you they know where we are headed probably told you a Trump victory was a demographic impossibility. I know I did. So let me tell you where we’re headed. I’ll give you three hints: It’s very cold a lot of the time, the national dish is a bowl of borscht with a side of misery, and it’s Russia. We all know that Trump literally has a shirtless equestrian Putin poster over his bed which he stares at dreamily while writing “Mrs. Donald Putin” all over his note-

books. He could care less that all of our national intelligence organizations now agree Putin personally ordered a cyberattack on the election designed to undermine faith in the democratic process and discredit Clinton. Trump insists the Russians didn’t do it, because Julian Assange told Sean Hannity they didn’t. So, a professional Russian conduit told Trump’s Minister of Propaganda that Kremlin house organ WikiLeaks did not get their info from Russia. Listen, when a sewage pipe tells you the stuff flowing through it isn’t crap? Don’t believe it. Trump doesn’t; not really. But he actively wants you to believe 17 US Intelligence agencies aren’t credible, and an albino fugitive sex offender he once called a spy and accused of espionage is. Why would he want that? What’s the endgame here? Stick with me. That bastion of liberal hysteria, The Wall Street Journal, reports that when Trump isn’t busy midnight tweet-slapping celebrities, he’s working on a plan to “pare back” and “reorganize” the nation’s top spy agencies. Once he gets rid of staff currently keeping tabs on Russia, what caliber of people will he replace them with? Who can say? But Trump’s chief advisor on the project is Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, a gentleman who believes Hillary Clinton ran a child sex trafficking ring out of a pizza place called Comet Ping Pong. Trump is also calling for all Obama appointees, including ambassadors and leadership positions at the NNSA (National Nuclear Security Administration) to clear out

AP Photo/Pavel Golovkin

A popular matryoshka “nesting” doll depicts Russia successfully devouring the US presidency. .com

their desks by Inauguration Day. It’s typical to ask for letters of resignation — but also to leave staffers in place until replacements have been appointed and confirmed so someone can be, oh, I don’t know, RUNNING agencies necessary to our national security? This process can take months, years — sometimes, entire presidential terms. And then there’s Rex Tillerson: Presumptive Secretary of State, former ExxonMobil CEO and, wait for it, recipient of the Russian Order of Friendship, a medal physically pinned to his chest by Vladimir Putin. See, the Russians were super grateful to Tillerson for brokering a massive oil deal, but then these pesky sanctions put the kibosh on that over some petty nonsense about annexing Crimea. Of course, it might be possible to lift those sanctions if you were pals with the Secretary of State. Why would a president-elect, regardless of their political beliefs, flack relentlessly for Putin, take Russia and Assange at their word while denigrating and hamstringing US Intelligence, appoint Putin’s bestie Secretary of Sate, and leave our international, security, and nuclear agencies without leadership for an indeterminate amount of time? It’s like his game plan is to empower the Russians and weaken us. Why? Simple: Operation Red Dawn. Operation Orange Dawn? Operation Orange Don. There we go. That’s the ticket. I know it sounds crazy, it makes no political sense, but it doesn’t have to. It’s not political. It’s just business. It’s the art of the deal, the yugest, most beautiful deal in history. See, American banks stopped bankrolling Trump quite some time ago, due probably to his constitutional aversion to paying his bills. Somehow he’s managed to stay in the game. How? He went to a loan shark. Here’s how Donald Trump Jr. put it as far back as 2008 (as quoted in notorious supermarket tabloid The Washington Post, citing clickbait trade publication eTurboNews): “Russians make up a pretty disproportionate cross-section of a lot of our assets. We see a lot of money pouring in from Russia.” Here’s the thing about loan sharks: When they call their marker in, you can’t refuse and sue them. They tend to rough you up a little, maybe break your leg, maybe murder everyone in your family while you watch. It’s kind of a whim-based business practice. As of press time, it turns out there might be a little blackmail involved as well. Nice presidency you’ve got there, Mr. Trump. It would be a shame if surveillance video documenting your enthusiasm for the works of R. Kelly ever came out. Operation Orange Don isn’t as exciting as the movie “Red Dawn.” It’s not an invasion, per se. It’s more like “Amerika,” a little-remembered 1987 ABC miniseries, where we gradually became part of the greater Soviet Union by way of being a client state. It was slow, boring, and the production values sucked, which is probably a really good description of the next four to eight years — if we’re super lucky. Januar y 12 - 18, 2017


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And A ’60s Child Shall Lead Them

Photo by Susan Weiman

Set the right tone for our Trump times, at this Cornelia Street Café Inauguration Day event.

The people who were little more than children during the Age of Aquarius have grown up to become the adults in the room, and they’ve formed their own response to Trump. “What Were the ’60s REALLY Like?” is an evening of spoken word and performance. Never one to sit out a chance to stand up, K (the performance persona of Manhattan-born writer Kathryn Adisman) saw the writing on the wall at 4 a.m. on Wed., Nov. 9. That’s when she sent an email to book a decidedly alternative Inauguration Day event. This collective response to the new president, K assured, will celebrate “the children of the ’60s who are still here. It’s a way of tuning into an alternate channel via oral history. But rather than following the herd of protesters, what we are doing is affirming another America that is still alive in us!” As of press time, the performers include Anoek; Madeline Artenberg; Steve Dalachinsky; David Elsasser; Dorothy Friedman; .com

Davidson Garrett; Phillip Giambri; Bob Heman; Ptr Kozlowski; Tsaurah Litzky; Eve Packer; Mireya Perez; Su Polo; Bob Quatrone; Susan Weiman; and Richard West. Also on board is Ron Kolm (a founding member of NYC lit scene collective the Unbearables, and contributing editor of Sensitive Skin magazine). Kolm will likely elaborate on what he told us: “Just as the cultural revolution of the ’60s came about in reaction to the conservative ’50s, Trump is like a throwback to the ’50s — which is giving rise to a new, Faux ’60s. In other words, the election of Donald Trump is a necessary step toward change.” Proof positive that where there’s hip, there’s hope. “What Were the ’60s REALLY Like?” plays on Fri., Jan. 20, 6pm at Cornelia Street Café (29 Cornelia St., btw. Bleecker & W. Fourth Sts.). For tickets ($10 gets you in and 1 drink), visit corneliastreetcafe.com.

—Scott Stiffler

Resistance continued from p. 17

stronger and continue to be a force in how people get connected, artistically,” Aparicio said of electronic outreach, adding that after the production closes on January 15, “We plan on building a website and uploading the plays that were chosen and not chosen. The idea is that someone in another state can produce their own ‘Resister,’ and we can keep this project alive beyond our work.” First things first, though. Last weekend’s launch of “The Resister Project” included Nelson DiazMarcano’s “Abbie Jones & That Jorge Kid,” in which a woman is torn between loyalty to her white supremacist brother and her Mexican boyfriend. Cat Crowley’s “Nasty Bitch Radio” is set in a feminist underground broadcasting studio — ground zero, the playwright noted, for a revolutionist response to “Trump’s dystopian America, where women are classified on a scale of 1-10.” Solo performers Julia BarclayMorton and Hayden Kristal were also on the bill — and at the Jan. 7 show, ReEmergent Theater company (a community in collaboration with those emerging from prison) moderated a talkback session following a monologue by member Juan Carlos Hincapie, who was released after serving 25 years for a crime he did not commit. Among this weekend’s Thurs.– Sun. performances will be Ricky W hitcomb’s “What’s On Your Mind,” which follows Facebook users from the time Clinton won Iowa to November’s very bitter end — posting, commenting, and doing plenty of unfriending. In Ashley Lauren Rogers’ “Fight or Flight,” Bear Spiegel serve as the lone cast member. “I’m not saying I stabbed

you because we disagree politically,” says the non-binary Skye while tracing the roots of Thanksgiving Day toxicity with dad. “I stabbed you because the first thing that happened when I got in from New York, after a five-hour bus ride, the first thing you did was start chanting ‘Trump, Trump, Trump.’ ” After the Jan. 12 show, representatives from the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) will lead the talkback. On Fri. and Sun., the evening’s playwrights and actors will engage with the audience — and on Sat., members of Smoke and Mirrors Collaborative will talk about their online and theater work addressing issues including HIV, national security, immigration, and the role of technology in forming human relationships. Hopefully, these talkback sessions will keep us all from taking a page from Skye’s playbook, instead embracing The Dirty Blondes’ mission to help artists and audiences “participate in a dialogue that bears on their experience and pushes the conversation further.” It’s a goal of civil but unapologetic activism that Aparicio hopes will become the real takeaway from “Resister,” which she noted has evolved from a shared sense of frustration on social media to “a community that extended beyond anyone’s circle of friends, uniting individuals who felt that they had no voice in the postTrump world.” “The Resister Project” plays Thurs., Jan. 12 through Sun., Jan. 15, all shows 7pm, at The Kraine Theater (85 E. Fourth St., btw. Second Ave. & Bowery). For tickets ($15), visit horsetrade.info. Proceeds go to the American Civil Liberties Union. For artist info, visit thedirtyblondes.org.

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Januar y 12 - 18, 2017


Rhymes with Crazy

New Subway Sets in Motion a Slew of Slang BY LENORE SKENAZY To celebrate the opening of the Second Avenue Subway, we have commissioned the first New York Guide to Subway Jargon. Here it is — after 98 years in the making! Sick passenger (noun): Patently lame excuse for lateness. “I meant to call you on your birthday, but there was a sick passenger on the train ahead of us.” Zizmor (noun): A blemish or disfigurement that causes the stomach to lurch. “When I finally pulled the leech off my nose, it left an oozing Zizmor.” Hand shame (verb): To accidentally grab the pole where someone else is already grabbing it. Kinky pinky (verb): To deliberately grab the pole where someone else is already grabbing it. Hangry birds (noun, plural): Hunger pangs activated by the smell of someone else’s fried chicken. See also: “Colonel Knowledge” (knowing that someone on the train is carrying KFC, but not being visually able to locate the source). Grampification (noun): The shock one feels upon being offered a seat by someone you thought was your age (fem: Grammafication). Doork (noun): Dork who blocks the door without realizing it. Joork (noun): Jerk who knows he’s blocking the door but keeps standing there, watching people maneuver around him. Bunwich (noun): The very tight space between two other commuters. Snudge (noun): A real nudge pretending to be inadvertent. Train traffic ahead (noun): Colloquial for, “Brace yourself for bad news.” E.g., “The boss called a special meeting for 3 o’clock today. Could be train traffic ahead.” Nod squad (noun, plural): Two or more passengers nap on the same bench. Warm shoulder (noun): The shoulder a stranger has fallen asleep on.

New natives (noun, plural): People who got on just one stop before you, but act as if they own the seat. L-and-back (noun): A hipster. Literally, someone who takes the L back and forth to their coding job. Tooth squad (noun, plural): Individuals dedicated to blacking out the teeth of smiling news teams on subway ads. Bubbleheads (noun, plural): Individuals who add speech and thought bubbles to posters, usually referencing the president, police, or private parts. NJ devils (noun, plural): Young people from New Jersey who drink in Greenwich Village, then add devil horns to PATH train posters before vomiting and heading home.

Sniff & run (noun): An extremely under-populated car surrounded by extremely overcrowded cars.

Box shock (verb): To be suddenly awakened by a boombox and someone’s sneakers near your nose.

Grudge budge (noun): The grimace made by a person who must move over an inch to make room for you.

Family dollaring (verb): To give a single dollar to a subway performer or performers on behalf of all the members of your family.

Grudge buddies (noun, plural): The bonding emotion felt by former grudge budger and grudgee when they must make room for someone else.

Post-a-boo (verb): To sneak a peek at your neighbor’s Post. Peek-a-News (verb): To sneak a peek at your neighbor’s Daily News.

BBB (noun): Short for “Baby Bump Blindness.” The ability to not notice an 8-months pregnant woman holding onto the strap in front of you while you sit playing Candy Crush. Blobstacle (noun): Escalator rider who stands on the left side, not moving.

A.M. mayhem (noun): Being offered an A.M. New York by three or more people on your way into the train. Suspicious package (noun): Male standing too close.

ROTFL (noun): Anything “Rolling on the Floor Loudly,” e.g., an empty Snapple bottle.

Second Ave. (verb): To take longer than anyone thought possible. “I ordered my burger at 4 and they Second Avenued it at 11!”

Point and shoo (verb): To indicate a wet or sticky spot on the seat before someone sits down.

Lenore Skenazy is a keynote speaker who authored the book, and founded the blog, Free-Range Kids (freerangekids.com).


Januar y 12 - 18, 2017


Coverage Countdown to January 31, 2017! You must apply for enrollment through www.nystateofhealth.ny.gov by January 31 to have health insurance in 2017. • Do you need health insurance? • Are you shopping for coverage but haven’t made a decision yet? • Have you already chosen a plan, but want to reconsider? • Do you know about the Essential Plan, with monthly premiums that are either FREE or $20 based on your income? Fidelis Care can answer all your health insurance questions and help you apply for enrollment through www.nystateofhealth.ny.gov.

Fidelis Care is committed to providing you with excellent customer service. We are here to help! Call 1-888-FIDELIS for more information or to make an appointment with a Health )LULÄ[9LWYLZLU[H[P]L@V\JHUHSZV]PZP[ÄKLSPZJHYLVYNVѝJLZ[VÄUKHJVTT\UP[` VѝJLJSVZL[V`V\.L[HMYLLLZ[PTH[LPUZLJVUKZVYSLZZI`]PZP[PUNV\Y(ќVYKHISL *HYL(K]PZVYH[ÄKLSPZJHYLVYNLUYVSS To learn more about applying for health insurance including Child Health Plus BOE.FEJDBJEUISPVHI/:4UBUFPG)FBMUI UIF0GmDJBM)FBMUI1MBO.BSLFUQMBDF  visit www.nystateofhealth.ny.gov or call 1-855-355-5777.


Januar y 12 - 18, 2017


Profile for Schneps Media

Chelsea Now  

January 12, 2017

Chelsea Now  

January 12, 2017