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

Refinancing Rejoicing Pending at Penn South

Photo by Scott Stiffler

BY DENNIS LYNCH Chelsea’s long-affordable co-op Penn South complex has closed a deal with the federal government to refinance mortgage loans that could save its nearly 6,000 residents around $3 million per year. Some were worried the deal would grind to a full halt under President-elect Donald Trump’s administration, and made a push for the Obama administration to hasten the process during its waning days. PENN SOUTH continued on p. 3

INAUGURATION DAY AT NIGHT

A-list talent is booked for Gotham’s gaggle of Jan. 20 alternatives. See page 21.

Photos by Dennis Lynch

Above: A delivery truck occupies the Select Bus Service lane on E. 23rd St., btw. First and Second Aves., forcing the M23 into a regular travel lane. Below: A camera on W. 23rd, btw. Seventh & Eighth Aves.

BIG BOTHER, WE’RE WATCHING

Unblinking Eyes Catch Select Bus Lane Scofflaws BY DENNIS LYNCH Last week the city stepped up bus-only lane enforcement on 23rd St. and began to fine to drivers that block the Select Bus Service (SBS) bus-only lane. But a crosstown ride on the M23 SBS suggests that’s not enough to deter drivers from parking in the lane, particularly delivery truck drivers who need to unload their goods along the thoroughfare. The fines range from $115 to $150 for “driving, parking, or standing” in a bus lane during hours of operation. The bus lanes on 23rd St. have cameras at regular intervals to catch violating motorists — they record a short video of the offense, which you can view online at violationinfo.com, and the city mails you a ticket. The city was only handing out warnings to drivers until last week so they would acclimate to the SBS, which started operating in November. BUS LANE continued on p. 2

© CHELSEA NOW 2017 | NYC community media, LLC, All Rights Reserved

VOLUME 09, ISSUE 3 | January 19 - 25, 2017


Fine By Me: Pricey Punishment Not Deterring Trucks in Bus-Only Lane BUS LANE continued from p. 1

There were two delivery trucks parked in the westbound bus lane between First and Second Ave., on Fri., Jan. 13 around 11:00 a.m. An M23 driver said with a shrug that this was normal, but that the trucks don’t typically slow him down. “It would be easier though if they weren’t there,” he said. “They’re not supposed to, but they still do — if the cops don’t care, there’s not much I can do.” The police can also hand out tickets to offending drivers, although Chelsea Now did not spot any handing tickets to those offending trucks. A spokesperson for the city Department of Transportation said that 1,838 bus lane camera violations have been handed out since Jan. 1, and 669,698 since they started the program in 2010 — but that a count for the number of violations specific to the M23 SBS route was not available. Based on those figures, violations have netted the city between $211,000 and $275,700 so far this year. Most of 23rd St. was relatively quiet

Photos by Dennis Lynch

A delivery truck unloading goods in the westbound M23 SBS bus-only lane, forcing this SBS articulated bus into a normal lane.

on the morning of Jan. 13, apart from the usual hubbub around Fifth and Sixth Aves. — so bus drivers swung past the trucks unloading without incident. It took 34 minutes to cross the city from First Ave. to the M23’s westernmost stop at Chelsea Piers. On the eastbound ride back across the city, we spotted a handful of nonmunicipal traffic cones in the bus-only

lane surrounding what appeared to be a film set trailer, again forcing the articulated M23 SBS into the regular travel lane. A truck driver parked in the lane between Seventh and Eighth Aves. to unload some lumber at a construction site on Wed., Jan. 18 said he didn’t know the city was now handing out fines for bus-only lane violations.

One of a series of cones set out in the eastbound bus-only lane around what appeared to be a film industry trailer parked along W. 23rd. St

Working on 23rd St. was generally “a pain in the a**” — and the lack of parking forced him to set up shop in the bus-only lane, he said. “Its hard; if I show up around 7 [a.m.] I can get a spot, but if I show up after 9 [a.m.], its impossible,” he said. The bus-only route is in effect daily BUS LANE continued on p. 10

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Penn South Eyes an Affordable Status for Years to Come PENN SOUTH continued from p. 1

Senator Chuck Schumer wrote a letter last week to the presidential Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to “swiftly review and make the decisions necessary” to approve the deal. Schumer announced on Wed., Jan. 18, that both OMB and the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) had signed off on the deal. Schumer wrote in his letter last week for a “sense of urgency” in closing out the deal. A source close to the deal said it would be easier to complete now than under President-elect Donald Trump’s administration. Schumer called Penn South “a special place and a vital part of what makes Manhattan so wonderful.” “In the bottom of the ninth inning of the Obama administration, I am proud to report that the feds have hit a homerun that will keep Penn South an affordable oasis for current residents and future generations,” Schumer said following the approval of the deal. “Now that this refinancing agreement has been approved by OMB, and finalized by HUD, we can rest assured this development will remain affordable for many more years.”

Photo by Scott Stiffler

One of Penn South’s 15 buildings, seen from W. 24th St. & Eighth Ave.

Penn South’s general manager was himself concerned about the incoming administration — he sensed that presumed HUD Secretary Ben Carson would be less friendly to the type of deal they sought than President Barack Obama’s administration.

“We’re very nervous about the change of administrations, we have lots of reasons to be concerned if it doesn’t get approved before Carson takes over HUD,” Brendan Keany said before the deal was approved. The deal is to refinance Penn South’s

loans for $190 million and would lock in an interest rate for the length of the 35-year mortgage to shield Penn South from future rises in rates. The loan will still come from a private lender, but HUD would guarantee the loan. If Penn South locks in at current interest rates, management estimates it could save $3 million per year that it wouldn’t have to pay toward loan interest, and could be put toward capital improvements at the 15-building, 2,820-unit complex. Keany said it would be a “hardship” for Penn South and its residents if the federal loan deal had failed. “We would have to figure out other ways to pay for capital projects, and let’s assume interest rates for mortgages are six, eight, or 10 percent in 2021 — we would be talking significantly higher carrying charges to individuals to pay the interest rates on top of the money for capital improvements.” Residents would finance those costs, making the affordable co-op affordable no more. “It’ll climb and climb and climb to maintain the quality of life and mainPENN SOUTH continued on p. 4

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PENN SOUTH continued from p. 3

tenance of the physical buildings,” said Gloria Sukenick, a 20-year Penn South resident and longtime Chelsea activist. “It’s an important piece for the future of the city. We’ve been a prime example of how affordable housing can exist in the city; it’s been very well managed and I can’t think of a better place I’d want to live,” she added. It’s the first time Penn South has sought such a loan from HUD, which only recently became available. HUD negotiated the first loan of its type with Co-op City in the Bronx in 2012. Penn South’s deal would largely be the same. Penn South was completed in 1962, and was partly financed by pension investments from the International Ladies Garment Workers Union. It has remained affordable with the help of city tax abatements and city, state, and federal funding. In co-op housing, residents own a share of the corporation that legally owns the building or complex, and pay towards the mortgage and interest payments, along with maintenance. They vote on corporation decisions. For much of its existence, prospective residents would put their names on a waiting list for an apartment at

Chelsea Now file photo by Dusica Sue Malesevic

In the foreground (on W. 26th St., btw. Eighth & Ninth Aves.), buildings that are part of the Penn South affordable co-op complex, which is a stone’s throw from the market-rate development at Hudson Yards seen in the background.

Longtime local activist Gloria Sukenick has lived in Penn South for the last two decades, and said ensuring affordability there for future generations is critical.

Penn South, but now there is a random lottery system, so anyone on the list could potentially get an apartment there regardless of the time they signed up. Sukenick, who waited for 16 years on the list before she secured an apartment, said she hoped the lottery system would bring in younger people and families into Penn South and maintain the vibrant community there in future generations. Keany was optimistic about the deal, but said there’s still the matter of fine

housing development,” adding, “Once you get the commitment and review it and sign it and send it back, you can move forward to rate lock on the interest rate. At that point they usually have a buyer for the loan. We’re hoping its the AFL/CIO [American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations]. They were the ones who gave us our last mortgage.” Until then, he said, “We’ll just have to wait and see.”

Photo by Scott Stiffler

print. “Of course it’s a sigh of relief,” he told Chelsea Now on Jan. 18. “We’re very excited and of course we’re hoping we can do this deal.” He noted with caution, however, “The devil is often in the details. They’ve sent us the commitment agreement; it’s a 90-page document, so we’ll have to make our way through it and make sure there’s no impediments we can’t comply with in there.” Based on early reviews, however, Keany calls the deal a very positive thing for the

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Januar y 19 - 25, 2017

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Hoylman Will Try to Get Albany Back on Track BY JEFFERSON SIEGEL Wed., Jan. 4, was the first day of the new legislative session at the state capitol. Just after 7 a.m. that morning, State Senator Brad Hoylman settled into a seat on the Amtrak train to Albany. Hoylman, 51, was elected to the state Senate in 2012 after serving as chairperson of Community Board 2 and as Greenwich Village’s Democratic district leader. In between reading and staring at the passing scenery, Hoylman shared his thoughts about local and national politics during the tumultuous past year and the coming year with our sister publication, The Villager. “I think the biggest failure ff the state legislature has been its inability to address, in a comprehensive fashion, ethics reform,” he said. “In particular, the state Senate. The attempts by Democrats to ban limited-liability companies’ contributions to lower campaign limits, to limit outside income and institute campaign finance reform have been thwarted by the Senate Republican leadership. “This is all a function of the way the Senate is run as a centrally one-party rule, with power emanating solely from the leader,” he noted. “Members can’t move legislation to the floor for consideration even though a supermajority of senators support bills.” In particular, Hoylman was frustrated that a bill he sponsored last session, the Child Victims Act (CVA), lacked just a single vote necessary to bring it to the floor for consideration and a vote. The CVA would eliminate the time limits that currently allow child sexual predators to evade responsibility for their actions. This session, Hoylman has renewed hope for the CVA, especially since Governor Andrew Cuomo has said he will make passage of the act one of his legislative priorities. Albany is known for its dysfunction based on the “three men in a room” control of both houses. Legislation lives or dies depending on the nod of the governor and the Senate and Assembly leaders. “Even though Dean Skelos [the former majority leader of the state Senate] is gone, things seem the same,” Hoylman lamented. “What got Skelos and Shelly Silver [the former Assembly majority leader] in trouble, in addition to their own failings, was the opportunity for legislators to serve private clients. You can’t represent your constituents and private clients at the same time.” .com

Photo by Jefferson Siegel

Is the country going off the rails? State Senator Brad Hoylman will do his best to get Albany moving in the right direction.

Private clients remain secret because of attorney-client privilege and thus potential conflicts of interest with legislators escape scrutiny. Hoylman momentarily paused to take in the view outside the train window before addressing the elephant in the room — or, rather, train. “It’s going to be our responsibility, as legislators, to continue to make the case to protect New York from the excesses of the Trump administration,” he said, “whether it’s protecting immigrants, women’s reproductive health, LGBT rights, the Affordable Care Act, the environment and guarding against climate change.” To that end, Hoylman believes the way forward is to create a buffer between Washington and New York. “We’re going to have to figure out ways to ‘Trump-proof’ the state,” he said. “I’ve introduced a bill called the Tax Returns Uniformly Made Public Act — aka the TRUMP Act. It would require presidential candidates who want to qualify for the ballot to release at least five years of federal income tax returns.” During this previous election season, Trump refused to release his tax returns, claiming they were under audit, despite the fact there is no law against releasing tax returns under audit. “We all have to be activated and think of ways to push back,” Hoylman

continued. “There are tens of thousands of constituents who could lose their healthcare in the next 30 days. What is New York going to do about that?” Hoylman has local concerns first and foremost in mind for his home district, which includes Greenwich Village, Chelsea, Hell’s Kitchen and the Upper West Side. “As a diverse community of LGBT people, we have to prepare ourselves for what’s been unleashed nationally,” he said. “I think the president-elect has sent a message that it’s okay to hate your fellow Americans.” Hoylman was himself a victim of possible hate crimes when, just a week after the election, a neighbor of his discovered swastikas carved into a service elevator door in their building. Hoylman also subsequently received a packet of anti-Semitic fliers in the mail. The senator outlined priorities for his district, including ensuring that the state budget protects the most vulnerable, including seniors and homeless youth. “I’m very concerned that federal dollars for healthcare and services are going to be cut. We still have numerous public health problems like HIV and AIDS that depend on federal dollars.” Then there’s City Hall. Hoylman is close to the city’s legislative team in Albany, and Mayor Bill de Blasio was one of the first to contact Hoylman

after the bias incidents. Still, the senator deplores the fact that for every dollar the city sends to Albany, it gets less than 50 cents back. “At times, it makes you think New York City needs to secede from the rest of the state,” he noted. “The city has a lot to offer the state, in terms of leveraging our industries, our knowledge base and Wall Street. “We still don’t have transgender full equality in New York State. Tenants are still vulnerable. Tenant harassment has been extremely evident in the last few years,” he said. As the train reached Albany’s outskirts, Hoylman reflected on Barack Obama’s legacy. “He’s the greatest president of my lifetime and the most significant historic figure,” the senator declared. “His administration did the most for LGBT rights. He restored to the presidency creativity, intelligence and virtue.” “I believe in the cycles of history,” Hoylman said as the train slowed and he packed papers into a folder. “We as New Yorkers have confronted hostile federal administrations in the past: Nixon, Reagan, George W. Bush. “We need to protect groups of New Yorkers,” he said, “even though we live in the capital of progressive action, the last frontier of the civil rights movement.” Januar y 19 - 25, 2017

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Midtown’s Lending Library Due for 21st Century Overhaul

Courtesy NYPL

The Mid-Manhattan Library as seen from the steps of the NYPL’s Stephen A. Schwarzman Building (at W. 42nd St. & Fifth Ave.).

BY JACKSON CHEN The Mid-Manhattan branch of the New York Public Library (NYPL) is preparing to undergo a $200 million renovation involving roughly two years of construction that aims to yield a state-of-the-art educational facility. The library, at the corner of 40th St. and Fifth Ave. — diagonally across from the system’s grand main branch, now known as the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, one block north — is the NYPL system’s largest circulating branch, with about two million items going out every year and roughly 1.7 million annual visits. More than four decades after its opening in the 1970s, the branch is due for muchneeded interior renovations as well as upgrades in the services provided. “Having been here for some time, I really understand the needs for a new library,” Caryl Soriano, the branch’s chief librarian, said. “We’re currently challenged by the spaces we have now. We have much more demand than we have space available.” The project calls for a revamping of the library’s interiors into a contemporary light-filled space with the second, third, and fourth floors dedicated to general collections and reading and study spaces. Below grade, the plans show a children’s library and a teens’ library, separate from each other. The library will also have an adult learning center on the fifth floor and a business library on the sixth. The Mid-Manhattan Library’s rooftop will also be remodeled to create outdoor terraces for the public to enjoy the sights of the crowded nearby cityscape.

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“Us having a rooftop terrace in Midtown that’s going to be free and open to the public is another exciting adventure I look forward to,” Soriano said. “Not just for myself and the community, but for my staff who really want to provide a really rich and intensive array of programs and opportunities.” Another key feature of the project, dubbed the Long Room, will host a majority of the library’s collection in five floors of book stacks for open browsing — compacted within three of

Courtesy NYPL

A new public terrace planned for the roof of the Mid-Manhattan branch.

the building’s floors — and two meeting room spaces. According to the plans, the new building design will allow for 35 percent more public space and capacity for housing 400,000 books and materials. The project’s design team is being led by Elizabeth Leber from Beyer Blinder Belle, a Lower Manhattan architecture firm, and Francine Houben from Mecanoo, a Dutch architectural firm. To fund this massive project, the city is contributing more than $150 million while the remaining $50 million was

secured through private funds, according to the NYPL’s Vice President for the Office of Capital Planning and Construction, Risa Honig. “We always felt that this building could use quite a bit of an overhaul and renovation,” Honig said. “It needed work, being the largest circulating library in our city and in our system. We felt it was time to really give it that upgrade that it so desperately needs.” To facilitate the long construction LENDING LIBRARY continued on p. 13

Courtesy NYPL

A cross-section rendering of the refurbished Mid-Manhattan Library, showing the use of each floor and the creation of five floors of book stacks on floors two to four. .com


New Push to Landmark 42nd Street Library’s Jewel Box Reading Room interior landmarks. The committee’s petition calls for landmark status for the Rose Reading Room on the third floor and the Bill Blass Public Catalog Room that leads into the reading room. Warren and his supporters are also looking for a total of nine other individual designations other rooms within the library, including:

Photo by Jackson Chen

The Rose Reading Room in the New York Public Library’s Stephen A. Schwarzman Building.

BY JACKSON CHEN A library advocacy group garnered more than 1,000 signatures in a matter of days on a petition to landmark the iconic Rose Reading Room and several other interior spaces in the New York Public Library’s Stephen A. Schwarzman Building (Fifth Ave., at W. 42nd St.). The Committee to Save the New York Public Library, led by its president, Charles Warren, launched its petition on January 10 in hopes of getting the attention of Landmarks Preservation Commission

(LPC) Chair Meenakshi Srinivasan and the NYPL’s President and CEO Anthony Marx. “Everybody wants this‌ these are some of the most magnificent rooms in the City of New York and only a couple of them have landmark protection,â€? Warren said of interiors within the Schwarzman Building. So far, only the Astor Hall on the first floor, the McGraw Rotunda on the third floor, and the staircases that connect them have been designated as

•T  he Samuel and Jeane H. Gottesman Exhibition Hall • T he DeWitt Wallace Periodicals Room • The Lionel Pincus and Princess Firyal • Map Division Room • The Celeste Bartos Forum • The Edna B. Salomon Room • T he Brooke Russell Astor Reading Room for Rare Books and Manuscripts • T he Sue and Edgar Wachenheim III Gallery • The North-South Gallery • T he Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Art and Architecture Room The committee’s efforts already have the support of preservationist groups such as the Historic Districts Council and the New York Landmarks Conservancy. In 2013, those two groups were joined by Community Board 5 in requesting landmark designation for several interiors of the Schwarzman Building, an effort that yielded no results. READING ROOM continued on p. 13

 



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POLICE BLOTTER LOST PROPERTY UNCLASSIFIED: A grand for a grande You can’t really blame people for not functioning at 100 percent before they’ve had their morning coffee — though one employee’s jumbo cup of pre-Joe absentmindedness wound up costing his company $1,100. At about 8am on Thurs., Jan. 12, the 24-year-old man stopped at Bean & Bean Coffee (318 Eighth Ave., btw. W. 25th & 26th Sts.) for a caffeinated pick-me-up before work, with a business envelope in his pocket, containing the aforementioned $1,100 in cash. In a real-world “It’s A Wonderful Life” turn of events, by the time he got to work with his java in tow, he realized that the envelope was missing from his person. He returned to the coffee shop shortly thereafter to see if anyone had returned the envelope, but alas, no one had, as the world is sadly full of Mr. Potters.

PETIT LARCENY: Jacket off On Thurs., Jan. 12 one innocent, uh, cinema lover became a thief’s mark while watching a movie in a private booth at the Blue Store (206 Eighth Ave., btw. W. 20th & 21st Sts.). While he was presumably absorbing film’s gripping narrative, his dollar’s worth of short-lived cinemagic was interrupted at around 11pm, when he noticed that his jacket — placed near the gap at the bottom of the booth’s door — was being removed by some unknown individual. He quickly composed himself and got out of the booth, and managed to recover the jacket. The very enthusiastic viewer-turned-victim was, however, too late to save the $165 set

of wireless Bose headphones that were pilfered from the right pocket of the jacket. A happy ending just wasn’t in the cards that night, as a canvas of the area yielded negative results.

LEAVING THE SCENE OF PROPERTY DAMAGE: Taken out by trash While driving near the northeast corner of W. 14th St. and Seventh Ave. at 1am on Sat., Jan. 14, a garbage truck sideswiped a 27-year-old Pennsylvania resident’s vehicle (a 2008 Sterling) — apparently without noticing. According to the woman, the male driver just kept on truckin’, heading southbound on Seventh Ave. The police report did not indicate that the incident was caught on camera, leaving the woman to deal with her damages without much hope for justice.

GRAND LARCENY AUTO: Copy car crashed Last week, American Copy Machines (141 W. 28th St., btw. Sixth & Seventh Aves.) found themselves to be the unlikely victim of a vehicle theft. According to a police report, given by a 62-year-old New Jersey man on behalf of the company, on Fri., Jan. 13, an employee parked the vehicle a few blocks away from the store, on the 200 block of W. 22nd St. (btw. Seventh & Eighth Aves.). At around 4:45pm, when another employee went to retrieve the car for a delivery run, the car was missing. After contacting the police about the situation, a DAS search revealed that the vehicle in question — a 2004 GMC Savana 2500 van valued at $15,000 — had been

involved in an accident within the confines of Staten Island’s 122nd Precinct, and had been towed by authorities to a location on Arthur Kill Road. It’s currently unclear as to who’s responsible; while a canvas didn’t yield results, cameras are available at the location where the car was parked.

had provided the officer with a false name, but was also in possession of other IDs that did not actually belong to her. Once the mystery woman’s true identity was sussed out, the 23-yearold was arrested for her infraction. The man received medical treatment on the scene.

—SEAN EGAN

ASSAULT: Duplicitous Dreamer As an employee was escorting a woman out of the Dream Hotel (355 W. 16th St., btw. Eighth & Ninth Aves.) for some unknown issue shortly after 10pm on Sat. Jan. 14, the troublemaker suddenly turned on him and struck him with her closed right fist. This attack left the unfortunate 24-year-old New Jersey man injured with a bloodied mouth. Luckily, there was a police officer at the scene who intervened. Upon further inspection, it was discovered that the perp not only

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.

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.

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ADVERTORIAL

TOP DRIVER DISTRACTIONS Using mobile phones

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

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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.

Daydreaming

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.

Eating

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.

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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Photos by Dennis Lynch

A van parked with hazard lights flashing in the bus-only SBS lane on E. 23rd St., btw. First & Second Aves. Fines for parking in a bus-only lane range from $115 to $150.

 

  



            





      



             

Come and explore all that Cathedral has to offer you!

BUS LANE continued from p. 2

on 23rd St. between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., outside of which delivery drivers and cars can legally stand in the lane to unload merchandise or to pick up a passenger, for example. On Jan. 13, a handful of people needed assistance getting tickets from the off-board SBS ticketing system, but overall boarding was far smoother than our last trip on the M23 SBS a week after it debuted in November. Regular riders have largely adjusted to the new scheme.

Riders buy their tickets at each stop at machines that look similar to MetroCard vending machines, except they spit out a receipt to show the driver instead of a MetroCard. Each receipt is good for a one-way trip. They cost the same as a ride on the subway and are free for unlimited card users. The M23 SBS route is identical to the old M23 route, although the MTA removed two stops near Madison Square Park between Broadway and Madison Ave. and at the intersection of Lexington Ave. because they were too close to other stops.

s Specialized Programs in the field of Medicine, Law and a Business Academy. s TEM Curriculum featuring Robotics and Coding. s 10 AP Courses and 4 languages offered. s Sports include Volleyball, Soccer, Lacrosse, Basketball, s Cheerleading, Softball and Track. s Over 35 clubs and extracurricular activities.

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This camera, near Seventh Ave., is one of many along the M23 route set to catch those who drive or park in the bus-only lane (in effect daily, between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.). .com


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READING ROOM continued from p. 7

In May 2014, an ornamental plaster rosette fell from the ceiling of the Rose Reading Room and triggered the NYPL’s full inspection of the reading room and the space immediately next to it. The reading room only reopened in October 2016, and the committee now hopes to secure its permanent protection through city landmark status. While not a landmark, the NYPL has kept the Rose Reading Room in prime condition since its opening in 1911 and is currently working on restoring a chandelier in the adjacent Bill Blass Public Catalog Room. “For over 100 years, the New York Public Library has been a great, proactive steward of the 42nd Street library and its magnificent and historic Rose Main Reading Room,” the library’s director of media relations, Angela Montefinise, said in an email. “We will continue to make preservation of these spaces a priority to ensure that they inspire the public now and for generations.” Warren agreed that the interiors have been well looked after by NYPL, but still wants to see landmark designations within the building, which would cause the NYPL and the LPC to work jointly in taking care of the historic interiors. The committee president said the LPC’s recent calendaring of the interior spaces of both One United Nations Plaza and the Waldorf Astoria could indicate that the Schwarzman Building’s interiors, most notably the Rose Reading Room, might be on their way, too. A spokesperson for the LPC told our sister publication, Manhattan Express, that the agency received a

Photo by Jackson Chen

The Rose Reading Room after its recent renovation.

referral for landmark designation “several years ago,” when the Rose Reading Room was closed for renovation and could not be formally considered. “Now that it has re-opened, the agency can review the space as a potential Interior Landmark,” the LPC’s Damaris Olivo said in an email message. Olivo emphasized that the LPC “worked closely with the New York Public Library in their intent to

restore the space” in the work just completed and that since the building itself is landmarked, “any proposed interior work can be monitored by the Commission.” “It’s one of the biggest, grandest rooms in New York, in America really, and it’s almost two blocks long,” Warren said of the Rose Reading Room. “This is like not having Grand Central Station designated as a landmark.”

GIVEAWAY! Courtesy NYPL

A close-up rendering showing the relationship of open spaces, a light-filled atrium design, and the book stacks on floors two to four. LENDING LIBRARY continued from p. 6

period, the Mid-Manhattan Library will be using nearby NYPL locations to continue offering its services during its downtime, according to Soriano. The majority of the library’s primary services — like circulation and computers — will be carried out at the iconic Schwarzman Building one block north. Soriano added that community programs like IDNYC, which offers free identification cards to all New Yorkers, will be temporarily moved to the Grand Central Library (135 E. 46th St., btw. Lexington & Third .com

Aves.), while technology offerings will be relocated to the Science, Industry and Business Library at 188 Madison Ave. (at E. 34th St.). The recently opened 53rd Street Library (18 W. 53rd St., btw. Fifth & Sixth Aves.) will also bear some of the brunt of the MidManhattan branch’s closing during the several years of construction. The NYPL is currently working on the transitional phase for the project, according to architect Leber, and expects to vacate the building by the fall in order to start construction. The refurbished Mid-Manhattan Library is expected to be open for business again in late 2019 or early 2020.

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Remember the Faith and Forgiveness of Detective Steven McDonald THE WEST SIDE’S COMMUNITY NEWSPAPER

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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.

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Photo by Daniel Kwak

Det. Steven McDonald, last year, at the annual Father Mychal Judge 9/11 Walk of Remembrance.

BY FRANK MEADE It was sad, but triumphant, day here in the city last Friday, as more than a mile of Fifth Avenue en route to St. Patrick’s Cathedral was closed down for the funeral procession of a police detective and servant of the people of the City of New York, who died on January 10, 2017. In his 29th year, Steven McDonald was shot by a 15-year-old and paralyzed from the neck down on July 12, 1986, while his wife was pregnant with their son. Among this man’s spiritual advisors and friends was Rev. Mychal Judge, OFM, an FDNY Chaplain who is listed as “Victim 0001” of the September 11 attacks.  Detective McDonald memorialized him each year by being among the founders of the Father Mychal Judge 9/11 Memorial Walk of Remembrance, in which the stalwart 10th Precinct Auxiliaries have participated for many years. Detective McDonald was an outstanding spokesman and training officer for the NYPD — speaking not only at precinct and firehouse roll calls from Tottenville to Eastchester, but at schools and as far afield as Sarajevo. Confined to a wheelchair, relying on a respirator and

a deeply devoted cadre to get from place to place, he did outstanding work over the years for community relations. And he did it as a real cop — without fanfare, publicity or want of recognition. By his side always were his wife Patti Ann, his son Conor (named in honor of John Cardinal O’Connor, the Archbishop of New York at the time), his extended family — ranging as far as an Irish priest in England — and his fully dedicated friends within and without New York City’s professional and volunteer public service community. Among his most profound acts, which offered proof positive of the man’s pureness of heart, was his public forgiveness of the young man who shot him.  To many Catholics it brought to full life Christ’s plea, “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.” On the day of Detective McDonald’s funeral, several thousand cops from around the world fell into formation along Fifth Avenue — to salute him, offer solace and support to his family and friends, and to quietly, unabashedly, shed tears for a man whose goodness, fortitude and spirit could not be dimmed by some of the worst that life had to offer.

His grandfather and father were NYPD, and his son is a respected-in-hisown-right sergeant. He was an honorable and noble man of highest integrity whose family continues its legacy of dedication to service. He was as revered by FDNY and EMS as he was by his brothers and sisters in law enforcement.  Like most of his colleagues, he didn’t look at the job as a guaranteed paycheck and putting in overtime toward retirement.  He was one of the vast majority of cops who would never think of withholding or stymieing Police Department honors from being rendered to others in public service regardless of the uniform worn or title held. He has been taken from us only in the physical sense.  While he would have continued making extraordinary contributions to a society which is in desperate need of extraordinary contributions and pure goodness, Detective McDonald was called to his eternal home and leaves us — whether we knew him personally or not — with a powerful, inescapable legacy. Learn about the man, learn from the man.  Contemplate, meditate and grow to understand that goodness is, indeed, in us and shall overcome the evil around us — but only if we foster it. Januar y 19 - 25, 2017

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The Martin-Fitch House is waiting to be Your Dream Home

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Poets In Protest

Wielding words, writers refuse to yield to Trump BY PUMA PERL On November 9, 2016, I woke up numb. Then I wrote a poem. Social media exploded with rage and argument. My Texas poet buddy Justin Booth and I made a pact to post poems, lyrics, and quotes. Diane di Prima. Amiri Baraka. Bad Brains. I sought to commune with other artists. According to Percy Shelley, ‘Poets are the unacknowledged legislators of the world,’ ” said Hoboken poet Danny Shot, who was also interested in activist events. “In this time of potential darkness, we will have to work that much harder to bring light into the world.” Poets Protest Against Trump, a nationwide action that took place over the weekend, was definitely a light force. Alan Kaufman, novelist, memoirist and poet, organized the event “as a result of my own shocked disbelief at this election. My response to fear has always been to act in defiance of it. The greater the fear, the larger the action. I needed someone with an existing organization in place, and contacted Michael Rothenberg of 100 Thousand Poets For Change, asking him to join me in rallying the nation’s poets to rise up. Together we contacted poets from New York to San Francisco and in no time poet protests sprang up in cities and towns across the US — from Austin to Chicago, San Francisco, to Oakland, St. Louis to New Orleans.” Rothenberg, a Tallahassee resident, created several events in Florida. “I feel that it is my job to do what I can to enable and empower all of these poets, and artists’ actions,” he told me, “and to bring our resources together. We must move away from empire building and towards unity.” On Sunday, January 15, a group of poets gathered at 1 p.m. on the front steps of City Hall. Kaufman opened the reading with his poem, “Let Us,” dedicated to “the poets of January 15 and the women of January 21 (the poem recently appeared in our sister publication, The Villager, and is available online at thevillager.com). Kaufman invited people to “just jump in.” In freewheeling, non-elitist fashion, everyone got the chance to offer his or her unique perspective. Maria de Los Angeles, a visual artist, brought a poem, “Who Am I?” “I am here with words to show diversity. We are a diverse country that is fictionalized as white. It has never been white,” she said. When you see me, what do you see? I feel like an Undocumented artist…. But I see an American who is Free. Queens resident Ron Kolm is a founder of the Unbearables, a collective of underground artists and writers. He provided a humorous note in “Hitler Was Wrong (And Donald Trump Is Too).” He shared with .com

Photos by Puma Perl

Event organizer Alan Kaufman (center) opened with his poem “Let Us.”

me his theory that Hitler came to power due to his resemblance to Charlie Chaplin, and sees a similarity in Trump’s election. There probably Wouldn’t have been A Bill Clinton Without Elvis, Or a Donald Trump Without the Terminator. Another Unbearables founder, Jim Feast, presented a new work never before read: “Trump Regnant.” Trump lay sleeping on a burning bed, not aroused till flames touched his head. He leapt to the floor, his hair aflame, looking both for water and for someone to blame. Poet/performer love I.E.D. provided a change of pace in the rhythm and musicality of his piece, “dex.” More bars more stars, more bars more scars so the few can sip on their pinot noirs, on their decks built upon the bodies of the dark-skinned POETS PROTEST continued on p. 18

Ron Kolm, a co-founder of the NYC lit scene collective the Unbearables, listened to others as they took their turn on the steps of City Hall. Januar y 19 - 25, 2017

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Photo by Alice Espinosa-Cincotta

Photo by Michael Cincotta

Jim Feast, a co-founder of the Unbearables, read “Trump Regnant.”

L to R: Maria de Los Angeles read “Who Am I?” as poets Alan Kaufman and Tom Savage looked on.

POETS PROTEST continued from p. 17

…the more people you put behind bars the more blood you put in your cars “It’s important that we gather in these spaces so we see each other’s faces, smell each other’s bodies, touch each other; this is how we keep politics real,” he said. “We realize through dance, poetry, painting and song, that our emotions are not wholly private, but shared with others, the very medium through which we communicate and move from solipsism to solidarity.” Nancy Mercado’s poem, “I Told You,” included a refrain that exemplified her concerns. “Writers can, and often do, pose a threat to such regimes as they expose their unscrupulous practices,” she noted. “As Trump’s political apparatus becomes reality, writers and poets who document these times will be of great importance. It remains to be seen whether their work will be met with paying the ultimate price.” I told you that McCarthy Would miraculously Come back from the dead Danny Shot provided an interesting piece called “Mr. Know It All,” consisting of a series of paragraphs addressed to the title figure. Dear Mr. Know it All, How long am I allowed to grieve? The gathering was not large, but it was high-spirited with a sense of community, knowing that similar readings were taking place across the nation. Alan Kaufman expressed satisfaction with the outcome. “This was a great cross section of poetry representing many demographics. This is just the beginning. We must keep organizing and build a collective sense of community so that people do not feel alone.” Some performers headed up to the PEN America event. Held on the steps of the New York Public Library’s Stephen A. Schwarzman Building (Fifth Ave.

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Photo by Alice Espinosa-Cincotta

Eve Packer, the last poet to read, and Danny Shot.

& W. 42nd St.), WRITERS RESIST: Louder Together for Free Expression was organized as “a collective stand to defend free expression, reject hatred, and uphold truth in the face of lies and misinformation.” Steve Dalachinsky, who had read a particularly moving piece (“heavy sleep”) at the Poets Protest Against Trump gathering, reported back. “Although one had a modest but sincere attendance and one had a larger crowd, both events were of equal weight in emphasizing the importance of fighting against a corrupt and dangerous government. Both put forth valuable messages and insights into what is happening or could happen in a Trump/Republican-dominated world.” That evening, I heard from my Texas friend, Justin Booth, who had organized a reading at Malvern Books. “The event was a huge success; Austin poets vowing to continue their vigil, not wavering in calling Mr. Trump

out on behaviors that are dangerous as well as dishonest.” Similar reports have come in from around the country. To quote the piece performed by love I.E.D.: we climb this ziggurat of bodies that reaches the sky we climb with harnesses made of flesh and rope made from human hair we climb sticking our fingers in the sockets of the skulls and using the ribs as toeholds we climb, we climb, we climb 100 Thousand Poets for Change invites all artists to visit 100tpc.org, and use their calendar to view events. Their annual global event will be held Sept. 30, 2017. Join PEN America’s “campaign to fight domestic threats to free expression” via #LouderTogether: PEN.org/louder-together. For Poets Protest Against Trump: facebook. com/events/1157152344392881. .com


Three of a Kind, But Different Authors direct authors at La MaMa

BY TRAV S.D. As a wise old saying tells us, “Everything comes in threes.” On the third week of this month, La MaMa will open the third edition of “AdA: Author Directing Author,” which will showcase three one-act plays by three playwrights from three different countries, each of whom is directing one of the other’s works. On the bill will be works by Marco Calvani (Italy), Marta Buchaca (Spain) and Neil LaBute (US). The cast members are Gabby Beans, Margaret Colin, Gia Crovatin, Dalia Davi, Richard Kind and Victor Slezak. According to LaBute, the seeds of this theatrical series were first sown when he overheard workshops Calvani was leading at the Obrador Internacional de Dramaturgia at the Sala Beckett in Barcelona. “I heard these sounds coming from the actors in their workshop and I grew curious,” said LaBute. “I got to talking with Marco about theatre and realized that we were similar animals, in that we were both playwrights and directors and actors, although Marco has done much more acting than I have. We realized that though we are directors, we usually only get to direct our own plays. We rarely get asked to direct other people’s stuff. So we said, ‘Let’s do something where we each create some work and then direct each other’s plays.’ ” The first fruits of their collaboration were presented at the Spoleto

Photo by Theo Cote

L to R: Neil LaBute, Marta Buchaca and Marco Calvani do double duty, as playwrights and directors.

Photo by Theo Cote

Since we ourselves had met at Sala Beckett in 2010, we said, ‘Let’s close the circle.’ So we got in touch with Sala Beckett to see if they had a suggestion for a Spanish playwright, and they suggested Marta [Buchaca], who happens to be an award winning playwright herself.” “Like Neil and Marco, I am also a director as well as a playwright,” said Buchaca, “and I loved the project when they brought it to me. I was so excited. It’s always the same, that playwrights direct their own plays — but it’s atypical that other playwrights ask you to direct their own work.” Each iteration of “Author Directing Author” has had a theme. The first two were “Home” and “Desire.” This year’s is “Power.” The offerings in the current production are: LaBute’s “I don’t know what I can save you from,” directed by Calvani; Calvani’s “After the dark,” directed by Buchaca; and Buchaca’s “Summit,” directed by LaBute. Each depicts a power struggle between warring parties — in the first, a father and daughter; in the second, a woman and her boss; in the third, a defeated

L to R: Cast members Dalia Davi and Victor Slezak (Marta Buchaca’s “Summit”) and Gabby Beans and Margaret Colin (Marco Calvani’s “After the dark”).

AUTHOR DIRECTING continued on p. 23

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Festival in Italy in 2012, not far from La MaMa Umbria International, the writers’ retreat and workshop facility long operated by the historic OffOff Broadway company. At Calvani’s suggestion, they workshopped and rehearsed their plays at La MaMa Umbria. Then they were invited by the

company to transfer the show to New York. This went so well, a second edition followed in 2014. Said Calvani, “When we decided to do a third edition it was clear to us that we had to open the doors of the project to a third playwright/director, and it should be a female voice.

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‘Cold’ of Many Colors NAWA walls filled with chilly scenes of winter “Cold” is the seasonally appropriate the title — and the broadly interpreted theme — of this exhibition at the National Association of Women Artists (NAWA). The white walls of the organization’s Garment District headquarters have been filled with photographs and paintings from its member artists, who responded to the call for works depicting not just quiet winter beauty, but the manner in which “colors are warm or cool; relationships may grow cold; a mood can be cold — or drinks, perhaps.” Although this collection does indeed have its share of abstract imagery and bold colors (Anne Vandycke’s “Permafrost”), it’s a literal, although by no means pedestrian, interpretation of the exhibition’s title that dominates: Dale Osterle’s “Winter Birches,” Sandra Gorman’s “Lake Snow Scene,” and Carol

Sommerfield’s “Breaking Ice and Mist,” for example. While there are a number of scenes far removed from the city (Irene Nedelay’s “Siberian Concert Tour” triptych), the exhibition also delivers a solid block of offerings that provide snow-covered views familiar to Manhattanites who simply draw back the blinds and look out the window (Susan Phillips’ “Roof Party Over,” Joan Menschenfreund’s “December Day From My Window Looking South,” and Jacqueline Sferra Rada’s “Central Park Snow”). Images courtesy NAWA Gallery

Free. Through Jan. 26 at NAWA Gallery (315 W. 39th St., btw. Eighth & Ninth Aves., Suite 508). Hours: Tues.– Fri., 10am–5pm. Call 212-675-1616 or visit thenawa.org.

Anne Vandycke: “Floe” (oil on linen, 24x30 in.).

—SCOTT STIFFLER

THE NEW SOUND OF

BROOKLYN The Community News Group is proud to introduce BROOKLYN PAPER RADIO. Join Brooklyn Paper Editor-in-Chief Vince DiMiceli and the New York Daily News’ Gersh Kuntzman every Tuesday at 2:00 for an hour of talk on topics Brooklynites hold dear. Joan Menschenfreund: “December Day From My Window Looking South” (oil on canvas, 23x29 in.).

Each show will feature instudio guests and call-out segments, and can be listened to live or played anytime at your convenience.

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Susan G. Hammond: “Moo” (photograph, 16x20 in.).

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Januar y 19 - 25, 2017

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You Should Solemnly Swear Artful ways to have a decent Inauguration Day

Photo by Armen Elliott

The International Contemporary Ensemble will be among the experimental and jazz musicians who bring their A-list talent to The Anti-Inaugural Ball.

BY SCOTT STIFFLER Between the time when a hissing plume of sulfur smoke greets the placement of his wee little hand on the Lincoln Bible and the opening moments of his inevitable impeachment hearing, local voters whose candidate came up short will just have to find a way to cope with, and respond to, the deplorable notion of a Trump presidency. Best, then, to set a positive tone on Day One. To that end, a slew of events set for January 20 are sure to raise spirits — and, in one case, raise funds for organizations dedicated to the protection of free speech, reproductive rights, liberty, justice, and the pursuit of happiness. Take one look at the lineup for “The Anti-Inaugural Ball” and you’ll have no problem distinguishing it from the sort of D-list talent that Republican celebrants will be subjected to as they ineptly chicken dance and electric slide their way through the night. This event gathers all-star musicians from throughout New York City’s experimental and jazz communities for a concert/ dance party where deep listening and positive action converge. It’s a free event, but audience members are encouraged to help raise funds “for institutions that uphold America’s .com

democracy and diversity” — including the ACLU, LAMBDA Legal, Planned Parenthood, Hollaback!, and the Southern Poverty Law Center. Reps from many of these organizations will be on hand, and laptop stations will allow attendees to make direct donations to the abovementioned good causes. From the “acoustically intimate” Mary Flager Cary Hall space at The DiMenna Center for Classical Music, DJ Robert Maril spins between performances from artists including Phyllis Chen & Friends; string quartet ETHEL; Flutronix; International Contemporary Ensemble; loadbang; JACK Quartet; So Percussion; and Adam Tendler. Stephen King, bartender at The Musket Room (Nolitabased New Zealand cuisine) serves free drinks; and you can wash that down with something from the potluck table. “I’m bringing cookies,” vowed event co-organizer Lainie Fefferman, whose Facebook page encouraged others to “bring your kickass-est savory tidbit to share!” Free (donations to diversity organizations encouraged). Fri., Jan. 20, 7pm–12am, at The DiMenna Center for Classical Music (450 W. 37 St., Ste. 502; btw. Ninth & 10th Aves.). Visit facebook.com/

events/376894262660138. A project created to showcase the work of feminist, queer, and minority artists, “SANCTUARY” transforms HERE into a safe zone where marginalized voices can congregate and create “in response to their fears and anxieties about the incoming administration.” This month-long pop-up of live performances and panel discussions will also feature trainings on community organizing and privacy rights, along with dance events and forget-about-trying-to-categorize-it “non-traditional works.” First things first, though. In the spirit of this page’s theme, the “SANCTUARY Inaugural Ball” serves as a kick-off to the venue’s concept and content: an “eclectic atmosphere that draws upon the rich visual legacy of Activist and Counter-Culture spaces.” There will be performances from Molly Pope, Alison Fraser, Ikechukwu Ufomadu, Tova Katz, Maybe Burke, vocal trio Siren, and other highly capable celebrants of “New York City’s identity as a home for artists and creators, misfits and queers, admirers of all things inclusive, loving and human.” At HERE (145 Sixth Ave.; enter on Dominick, one block south of Spring St.). Tickets for the Fri., Jan. 20 Ball (8:30pm until whenever) are $35. For “SANCTUARY” events running through Feb. 28, most performances begin at 8:30pm and most tickets are $20. To purchase, visit here.org or call 212-352-3101. Ten dollars gets you a drink, a seat, and the chance to say you chose creativity and constructive dialogue on Inauguration Day, should you so choose to attend this event by, but not exclusively for, those who came into their own during the Age of Aquarius. “What Were the ’60s REALLY Like?” is an evening of spoken word and performance. Host and organizer K (the stage persona of Manhattan-born writer Kathryn Adisman) says this collective response to the new president 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!” The performers include Anoek; Madeline Artenberg; Steve Dalachinsky; David Elsasser; Dorothy Friedman; 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), who 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.” Fri., Jan. 20, 6pm at Cornelia Street Café (29 Cornelia St., btw. Bleecker & W. Fourth Sts.). For tickets ($10 gets you in, and a drink), visit corneliastreetcafe.com. BONUS EVENT: The New Museum is offering pay-what-you-wish-admission on Fri., Jan. 20, “in recognition of art’s power to transform communities  and to foster tolerance and empathy.” So come as you are, and whatever amount you can give: 11am6pm, at 235 Bowery (btw. Stanton & Rivington Sts.). For info on current exhibits, visit newmuseum.org.

Photo courtesy the artist

Maybe Burke is definitely one of the artists set to launch the month-long “SANCTUARY” space at HERE. Januar y 19 - 25, 2017

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AUTHOR DIRECTING continued from p. 19

(male), politician and his female successor. Class, gender, age, money, and sex percolate throughout. “For better or worse, ‘power’ is always the theme if you’re a playwright,” said Calvani. “It happens to be perfect this year, but it was also perfect five years ago. We were led to ‘Power’ from ‘Home’ and ‘Desire’ spontaneously, but let me tell you, if you took any of the plays that we put on in the first installations and put them under ‘Power,’ it would probably still work!” LaBute concurs on the evergreen nature of this particular theme and insists that its applicability in the age of our incoming President is coincidental. “These works were written before this decided crossroads [i.e., the last election]. Although it features two wealthy white males, one with a long red tie and the other with a bowler hat, any resemblance to Trump is coincidental. We’ve refrained from writing any urine scenes into it. We’ve decided to keep it classy in that way!” And, despite his heavy schedule of writing and directing for film, television, and productions at much larger theaters, LaBute is enthusiastic about the possibility of future incarnations of this project. “I’ve learned that you

HOUSE HOUSE CALLS CALLS

SERVING MANHATTAN AND THE ENTIRE TRI-STATE AREA

Photo by Theo Cote

Richard Kind and Gia Crovatin perform the Neil LaBute play “I don’t know what I can save you from.”

need to make time for projects like this that matter to you. I’d like to see these [“Author Directing Author” productions] happen about as often as Phil Collins and Genesis get back together. You know, I’ll go off and do a few ‘solo albums,’ and then we’ll all get back in the studio together. And maybe next time we’ll do it with four playwrights.” Through Feb. 5: Thurs., Fri. & Sat. at 7pm and Sun. at 4 pm; additional performance Mon., Jan. 23 at 7pm. At La MaMa (66 E. Fourth St., btw. Bowery & Second Ave.). For tickets ($18 general, $13 students/ seniors), visit lamama.org or call 212352-3101. SAME DAY SERVICE AVAILABLE

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Chelsea Now  

January 19, 2017

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