Page 1

VOLUME 30, NUMBER 02

Road rage Pols rip city for overlapping Downtown street rip-ups BY COLIN MIXSON A city proposal to rip up Warren Street has incited local legislators to renew their push for greater coordination and oversight of Downtown construction. After the city announced that the two-year water-main replacement project would begin next month — even as a similar project continues on nearby Worth St. — Borough President Gale Brewer and a cadre of state and city lawmakers fired off a letter to First Deputy Mayor Anthony Shorris calling on the city to assign a construction coordinator to Lower Manhattan to help mitigate the mayhem the Warren St. and Worth St. projects will wreak in Tribeca. “Coordination from your office will ensure overlapping projects spanning multiple agencies and stakeholders will proceed on time and with minimal disruption to residents,” read the letter signed by state Sen. Daniel Squadron, Congreessman Jerrold Nadler, Assemblymembers Deborah Glick and Yuh-Line Niou, and Councilmember Margaret Chin, along with Brewer. “The recent announcement of a Department of Design and Construction water main reconstruction… highlights this concern.” Downtown leaders would ideally like to resurrect the defunct Lower Manhattan Construction Coordination Command, which was formed to help manage the massive rebuilding effort following the 9/11 terrorist attacks. The office convened biweekly meetings of developers, city agencies, and members of Community Board 1 to coordinate the many projects in the tightly packed neighborhood, and provided locals with a single point of contact to handle quality of life concerns and act as liaison with city agencies and developers. The office was disbanded in 2013 and its functions taken over by the Department of Transportation’s Lower Manhattan office. But in the spring of last year, even the DOT’s dedicated Downtown outpost was merged with the agency’s borough office, leaving Lower Manhattan without a specialized office to supervise and coordinate the many projects still ongoing in the neighborhood. Downtown leaders resisted each of those road rage Continued on page 13

JANUARY 26 – FEBRUARY 08, 2017

In-ugh-guration Hundreds turn out Downtown to protest inauguration of President Donald Trump

Photo by Zach Williams

The hundreds of protesters who turned out in the rain for a rally Downtown late on Inauguration Day made their opinion about the new President very clear.

BY ZACH WILLIAMS Protest, in a sense, had become a part of daily life for Hell’s Kitchen resident Ben Natan by the time Donald Trump took the oath of office on Fri., Jan. 20. That did not mean that Natan hit the streets every day. A Downtown rally that day was a literal way to protest the new president, but the 20-year-old NYU student had another idea about how to oppose Trump. Natan said it involved promoting tolerance and solidarity as much as excoriating Trump with a sign. “That’s a form of protest in itself,” said Natan.

The idea that community building was as important as rallying against Trump spread among the 1,000 people who gathered to denounce him in New York City on Inauguration Day. They highlighted racist and sexist things he has said as they congregated outside a Trump-owned property at 40 Wall St. The event — Stand Against Trump: Inauguration Day Rally & March — drew media attention to their cause, but participants said they also recognized that asserting the vision they had for the future required more than a one-mile protest march from Foley Square. Speakers represented grassroots

1 M e t r o t e c h • N YC 112 0 1 • C o p y r i g h t © 2 0 17 N YC C o mm u n i t y M e d i a , L L C

groups — in contrast to a rally held the night before, where thousands gathered at Columbus Circle listened to celebrities such as Robert De Niro, Mark Ruffalo, Cher, Rosie Perez, and Alec Baldwin. The Stand Against Trump rally did not rival that star power, but organizers told the crowd at Foley Square to aim high by organizing at the lowest levels. “We know in this city that what makes change is people coming together around the ideas of solidarity. It’s when people reject racism and xenophobia,” said Daniel in-ugh-guration Continued on page 2


in-ugh-guration Continued from page 1

Kroop, an event organizer representing a group called the New York City Coalition To Resist Trump. “We’re going to build the most powerful people movement that this city has seen in 50 years.” Member groups of the coalition have names like Occupy Kensington, Democratic Socialists of America, and Socialist Alternatives. The combination of small social media followings expanded their reach — and while the 14,000 people who said they would attend the Jan. 20 rally did not appear, those who stood in the evening drizzle did so knowing they were among the majority of Americans who stood in line to vote against Trump. Mallory McMahon of Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, had never spoken at a political rally before she heard a series of loud bangs at 3 a.m. on Nov. 9. Her neighbors were celebrating Trump’s shocking victory with fireworks as she cried in her bed. But she did not have to go far to find a sympathetic person. “I spoke to my mother the next night, and our conversation kept going back over and over the same thing: ‘What can we do?’ We felt hopeless — afraid — all the things that Trump and his supporters want us to feel.” Hate crimes in her neighborhood followed the election. Early last month, a man allegedly told a woman in a hijab — an off-duty NYPD officer — to leave the country and then threatened to slit her throat. The officer reported the incident to colleagues, who arrested a suspect the following day. In the weeks that followed, a group called Fight Back Bay Ridge formed among a dozen like-minded neighbors who vowed to outnumber “the vocal and scary minority” behind such incidents, McMahon added. Similar groups have popped up across the city as residents and elected officials cope with a Trump presidency.

Photo by Tequila Minsky

Photo by Zach Williams

The rally outside the Trump Building stretched along Wall St. to Federal Hall — where George Washington took the first oath of office — and the New York Stock Exchange (above). (Right) About 1,000 turned out Friday night, despite the chilly rain.

Some worried that he would embolden racists, misogynists and other bigots. Others predicted that he would support Congressional Republicans who want to restrict abortion, deregulate Wall St. and repeal the Affordable Care Act. Causes as diverse as transportation safety and #BlackLivesMatter have a common enemy. Veterans of protests from the Vietnam War era have found new allies in Millennials. Ironically, Trump’s promise to unite Americans has inspired an opposition among diehard Hillary Clinton supporters and revolutionary anarchists alike. One university

student who spoke at Foley Square on Jan. 20 urged the crowd to channel opposition to Trump into the ongoing movement to make public universities tuition-free. Pro-Palestinian activists waved flags nearby.

Photo by Tequila Minsky

Photo by Zach Williams

The protesters deployed a variety of signage to make their feelings known.

2

January 26 - February 08, 2017

These new alliances empower small groups, according to McMahon. Fight Back Bay Ridge only has about 50 followers on social media, but Trump supporters have already demonstrated that a few people can reach millions at any moment, she added. But they do not need a viral sensation to win in the long term, as an ever-growing presence on social media reaches new people incrementally, she explained. A “world of resistance” can form “one by one” against efforts by Trump and others to undermine an inclusive society, according to McMahon. These efforts reached Judith Idowu the night before, after a long day at work. The Upper West Side resident wanted to be among the millions of Americans who would protest the inauguration. But first she needed to know where to go. She logged into Facebook in-ugh-uration Continued on page 13

DowntownExpress.com


In the wind

Experts: Thousands of Downtowners affected by toxic 9/11 dust still missing from Zadroga Act rolls BY DENNIS LYNCH It’s been more than 15 years since the 9/11 attacks spread a cloud of toxic chemicals and dust across Lower Manhattan, and advocates say that many of the people who were harmed by it still don’t realize how they were affected — or that help is available. Despite huge amounts of publicity around the Zadroga Act, which provides health care for those harmed by the fallout and compensates them for their injuries, there are tens of thousands of people eligible for the program who haven’t signed up for it. An exact count of how many people could be eligible for the September 11 Victim Compensation Fund (VCF) is elusive, even to people who have spent the last decade fighting for it. One thing is certain, though — far more people were affected by the toxic dust than have signed up for the program, according to the director of 9/11 Environmental Action, a survivors advocacy group. “At the end of the day, here’s what

we know — the federal government has provided for 25,000 treatment slots in addition to everyone who was already in treatment when they passed the bill, that’s a lot of treatment slots and we’re nowhere near approaching that number,” Kimberly Flynn said. Thousands of Lower Manhattan residents and workers returned to their homes and jobs in the weeks following the 9/11 attacks after Environmental Protection Agency head Christine Whitman falsely declared a week after the towers came down that the air Downtown was safe. These people are at risk for many of the same diseases killing first responders and other Ground Zero workers, including cancer and pulmonary diseases, according to a lawyer who represents 9/11 victims. “It was incredibly democratic toxic dust down there, and folks were convinced the air was safe,” said attorney Michael Barasch. “I think the government is going to be a lot more careful when they have the EPA czar come

Associated Press / Greg Semendinger

The dust cloud from the collapse of the World Trade Center that engulfed Lower Manhattan on Sept. 11, 2001, caused lasting damage to thousands of Downtowners, experts say, but many of them still don’t realize how they were affected, or that help is available.

out and say the air is safe, I don’t think that’ll happen anymore.” Flynn believes that most people trusted Whitman’s false claim that the dust wasn’t harmful, and then tuned out. People moved on with their lives after hearing it was safe Downtown, and likely haven’t ever questioned if later illnesses might be related to the attacks, she said. “When health authorities actively disconnect the dots between exposures

and the resulting health impacts, people go ‘Okay, maybe this is not from 9/11’ or they go ‘I guess I’m just going to go to my private doctor and see what they recommend,’ when they could be getting specialized care from doctors who have been working on this for years and strategizing about this every day.” But anyone who was south of Houston St. shortly after the attacks — and 9/11 dust Continued on page 12

3

# WHERE CAN TECHNOLOGY TAKE YOU?

IN THE NATION IN PRODUCING

THE HIGHEST PAID ASSOCIATE-DEGREE EARNING

GRADUATES —PAYSCALE.COM

76% GRADUATED DEBT-FREE (2015)

APPLY NOW

EARN A DEGREE OR UPDATE YOUR PROFESSIONAL SKILLS

2017 DIRECT ADMISSIONS

CITY TECH 300 Jay Street, Downtown Brooklyn

718.260.5500 • WWW.CITYTECH.CUNY.EDU/DIRECTADMISSIONS facebook.com/citytech • @citytechnews

DowntownExpress.com

NEW YORK CITY COLLEGE OF TECHNOLOGY

www.citytech.cuny.edu January 26 - February 08, 2017

3


Tech for tots

Using toys to teach coding to 3-year-olds

BY COLIN MIXSON This Downtown prep school is turning rug rats into code monkeys! Broad St.’s LĂŠman Manhattan Prepatory School has filled a new learning space dubbed “The Wonder Labâ€? with a cornucopia of robots, video games, and other state-of-the-art gizmos to teach kids as young as 3-years-old the concepts of computer programing. The curriculum may sound advanced, but that’s what it takes to prepare today’s youngsters for occupations that don’t yet exist in the tech-oriented job fields of tomorrow, according to the school’s headmaster. “You see all these startups, people looking at what the needs of the world are and then creating businesses and jobs,â€? said Maria Castelluccio. “That’s what we want our students to do, to be creators of their own futures.â€? Tots at Lehman Prep are spending at least a half hour a day in the tech-filled Wonder Lab, where they’re unleashed to explore the digital marvels at their own pace.

Among the gadgets is Code-A-Pillar, a caterpillar-shaped robot comprised of interchangeable segments, each of which adds a different movement command to the overall contraption, allowing the stripling scholars to program its behavior as they work out a pattern that gets the bot from Point A to Point B. Dash Robot, another mechanical gizmo, is outfitted with a color-coded xylophone which is programmable through an easy-to-understand iPad interface that allows kids to prompt simple rhythms and melodies from the droid. Many of the toys-turned-tutors, like Code-A-Pillar, don’t require any reading skills to interact with, thus allowing the kids to start programming the bots before the can even read, according to the school’s technology advisor. “The beauty of something like Code-A-Pillar is that it’s a pre-reader and writer, so the kids don’t need to know how to read or write words in order to participate in coding,� said Brynn Turkish.

Photos by Tequila Minsky

(Above) Code-A-Pillar is a caterpillar-shaped robot made up of interchangeable segments, each of which adds a different movement command to the overall contraption, allowing kids to program its behavior. (Top right) Dash Robot has a colorcoded xylophone that kids can program. (Lower right) LĂŠman’s “Wonder Labâ€? also has lower-tech favorites for the kids.

The curriculum doesn’t teach computer programing per se — not being able to read or write makes composing strings of code a bit beyond a 3-yearold — but the lab imparts the concept that all these wonderful gizmos require human direction, Turkish said. “This is coding in the sense that

that robot doesn’t know what to do unless you tell it what to do, so you get to be the brains that teaches that computer what to do,� she said. “They’re the brains behind the technology.�

We Now Treat Kids, Too! *$%$*( $ */-( **%&(%,  $  '+" */&()%$" 0(*%%+( "($$# " )  *%+(.&$ "($))(, )%+(.&(*)$%- %((%+* $.# $* %$) ##+$ 0* %$), ) %$$ ( $*)*)$,"%&#$*")($ $ NYU Langone at Trinity (%-/ $ *"%%() -%(! 

  $/+"$%$%(

4

January 26 - February 08, 2017

DowntownExpress.com


GRISTEDES SUPERMARKETS 315 SOUTH END AVENUE • 71 SOUTH END AVENUE Assorted Varieties 64 oz.

Ocean Spray Cranberry Juice Cocktail Assorted Varieties 20 oz.

Hellmann’s Squeeze Mayonnaise 100 ct.

Lipton Tea Bags Assorted Varieties 3-4 oz.

PopChips Potato Chips

Assorted Varieties 48 oz.

Friendly’s Ice Cream Assorted Varieties 7.5-10 oz.

2 $ 99 2 $ 99 4 2/$ 5 $ 99 3 $ 99

Nabisco Snack Crackers

for

Regular 18 oz. or Honey Nut 17 oz.

Excluding Decaf 10.5-11.5 oz.

Maxwell House Coffee Assorted Varieties 15.25-19 oz.

Campbell’s Chunky Soup

for

96-168 ct.

Bounty 2 Pack Big Roll Paper Towels Assorted Varieties 59 oz.

Tropicana Pure Premium Orange Juice

3

$ 59

5 $ 49 5 2/$ 7 $ 99 5 $ 99 3 $ 99

Cheerios Cereal

Classic or Signature 15.25-16.5 oz.

Duncan Hines Cake Mix Old Fashioned or Quick 18 oz.

Quaker Oats Classic Varieties 16 oz.

Colavita Pasta Assorted Varieties 10 oz.

Palmolive Liquid Dish Detergent Assorted Varieties, 8 oz.

Philadelphia Cream Cheese Bars

Assorted Varieties 4.2-5 oz.

Kettle Potato Chips

1 $ 99 3 2/$ 3 2/$ 5 $ 49 3 2/$ 6 $ 99

for

for

for

PICK UP OUR IN-STORE CIRCULAR FOR MORE SAVINGS • PRICES EFFECTIVE 1/27/17 TO 2/9/17 DowntownExpress.com

January 26 - February 08, 2017

5


Vindicated

Gateway’s Plaskin cleared in tenant lawsuit BY COLIN MIXSON Gateway Plaza Tenants Association president Glenn Plaskin was cleared of allegations that he threatened tenants of the Battery Park City residential complex on behalf of Gateway management by a state Supreme Court judge on Jan. 10. The allegations became part of a long-running class-action lawsuit against the buildings’ owner and management when a plaintiff complained that Plaskin had tried to pressure her to withdraw from the suit. The judge’s dismissal of a cease and desist motion, along with other legal sanctions filed against Plaskin, came after the plaintiff’s attorneys failed to prove that the tenant advocate acted as an agent of the landlord when he approached resident Ninfa Segarra, who is the sole named plaintiff in lawsuit, according to an attorney for Segarra. “I think it’s pretty clear he was engaging in that activity, but what was not clear enough for the judge was he was doing it at the behest of management,” said Jeff Norton, a legal eagle

with the firm Newman Ferrara. Segarra, a former deputy mayor under Rudy Giuliani and now chairwoman of Community Board 1’s Battery Park City Committee, testified that Plaskin approached her shortly after she joined the lawsuit against Gateway in August, and said that her involvement in the litigation could put her lease in jeopardy, according to an affidavit filed on Sept. 6. “Mr. Plaskin told me he found out I joined the Gateway class action … then asked me if I understood the ‘dangers’ involved in the case,” Segarra testified. In August, Segarra joined the lawsuit alleging Marina Towers Associates and Gateway Plaza Management forced Gateway tenants to endure freezing temperatures and pay outrageous heating bills as a result of “defective” windows and heaters at the six-building, 1,712-unit complex. The class action was first filed in 2014, but the suit risked fizzling out before it started after the initial plaintiffs, David Spencer and Barbara Stoeble, withdrew their names from the suit.

Gateway Plaza Tenants Association president Glenn Plaskin (inset) has been cleared of allegations that he threatened tenants on behalf of Gateway management to convince them to withdraw from a class-action lawsuit over faulty windows.

The legal action picked up steam again after Segarra joined the suit along with Gateway tenant Pauline Wolf, who has since withdrawn her name from litigation, leaving Segarra as the sole remaining plaintiff. Segarra alleged Plaskin approached her then and insinuated Gateway management would refuse to renew her lease if she didn’t withdraw as well, she testified. “[Plaskin] stated something to the

effect of: ‘Don’t you want to get a lease renewal? Participating in a lawsuit can cause you problems,’” Segarra said in her affidavit. Though Plaskin did acknowledge speaking with Segarra about the lawsuit, the tenant leader insisted in his own affidavit that she had grossly misrepresented their conversation. Plaskin and GPTA have officially Gateway Continued on page 18

The New York State Nurses Association is committed to quality care for ALL patients in ALL the diverse communities of New York City nysna.org 6

January 26 - February 08, 2017

nynurses DowntownExpress.com


Cops arrested a 31-year-old man after he allegedly attacked their squad car with his head on Hudson St. on Jan. 23. The officers reported they were stopped at red light near Van Dam St. at 4:10 a.m., when the suspect leaped onto the vehicle and smashed his forehead into the windshield, then began bashing it with his bare hands. When the patrolmen went to bust the suspect, they found the man in possession of a controlled substance he’d stored in an Altoids container, according to a police source. The man is being charged with criminal mischief, resisting arrest, disorderly conduct, and criminal possession of a controlled substance, according to cops.

SNATCHER SNAGGED Cops busted a man for allegedly snatching a phone from a woman’s hand on Exchange Place on Jan. 17. The victim, 26, told police that she was near William St. at 7:04 p.m., when the suspect waltzed up and yanked the $700 iPhone 7 from her hand. As the suspect fled, his victim yelled for help, and police were able to apprehend the cuff the man with the help of a Good Samaritan, cops said.

QUITTER A shoplifter made off with more than $4,000 worth of Nicorette gum from a Broadway drug store on Jan. 16. An employee told police that the suspect strolled into the pharmacy between Pine and Wall Sts. at midnight and began removing the nicotine-laced gum from store shelves and stashing it in a black bag, before waltzing past the register without paying.

DELAYED REACTION A pickpocket nabbed cash and a cellphone from a man’s pocket on Warren St. on Jan. 16. The victim told police he was near Broadway at 5 p.m., when another passerby suddenly bumped him. It wasn’t until the man had walked another block that he realized his iPhone 6 and $500 were missing from his pockets, cops said.

SNOOZE, LOSE A thief looted a woman’s purse after she fell asleep on a 2 train on Jan. 14. The victim told police she’s fallen asleep and then awoken on the 2 train as hit pulled into the Chambers St. staDowntownExpress.com

tion near W. Broadway at 5 a.m., when she realized her bag had been opened and her $500 iPhone nabbed.

nnn%gi\jZ_ffcf]Xd\i`ZX%lj

8P\Xi$Ifle[Gif^iXdDfe$=i`/1''Xd$-1''gd

2-GRAND THEFT AUTO Some crook looted a woman’s car she left parked in a Wooster St. garage on Jan. 22. The victim told police that she left her car at the parking lot between Grand and Canal Sts. at midnight, and returned at 8:30 a.m. the next morning to find that the wallet she’d left in the center console, along with the $2,000 it contained, were missing.

>\e\iXcGif^iXdj

@e]XekGif^iXdj*dfj$(piĂ—Kf[[c\iGif^iXdj($)pij Elij\ipGif^iXdj)$*pijĂ—Gi\jZ_ffcGif^iXdj*$+pij Gi\$b`e[\i^Xi[\e+$,pij

Jg\Z`XcGif^iXdj

8ik:cXjjĂ—;XeZ\:cXjjĂ—:Xgf\`iX:cXjjĂ—Pf^X:cXjj Dlj`Z:cXjjĂ—;lXcCXe^lX^\DXe[Xi`eGif^iXd

BAGS BAGGED Two shoplifters made off with more than $6,000 worth of designer satchels from a Liberty St. store on Jan. 19. An employee told police that the thieves entered the store near West St. at 7:37 p.m., and one crook distracted a sales associate, while the other grabbed the ritzy bags off a shelf and stuffed them in his jacket, before the pair made for the doors and fled.

TAPPED OUT A pickpocket lifted the cellphone from a woman’s pocket on Fulton St. Jan. 10. The victim told police that she was near West St. at 2:30 p.m., when the crook tapped her shoulder and, as she looked behind her, deftly nabbed the $600 iPhone 6 from her pocket.

CLAM SCAM A thief caught a few hundred clams and ousters from the back of a delivery truck parked on Duane St. on Jan. 12. The victim told police that he’d made a stop to drop off some fresh seafood between Hudson St. and W. Broadway at 11 a.m., and returned 15 minutes later to find he was short 100 countneck clams, 100 peconk gold oysters, 30 mussles, five razor clams and a hand truck, which presumably aided in the heist.

BAD TIP A lousy thief nabbed a woman’s wallet from a locker at the Liberty St. diner where she worked on Jan. 15. The victim told police that she stashed her valuables at the eatery near West St. at 8:30 a.m., and returned at 4 p.m. to find the lock securing her stuff was missing and her wallet, along with the credit cards and $170 it contained, were missing. — Colin Mixson

9Xkk\ipGXib:`kp J\gk\dY\ijkXik]fijkl[\ekjYfie`e)'(*1 ('''dfek_cpkl`k`fe @ek\iXZk`m\Kf[[c\iKiXej`k`fe:cXjj=\Xkli`e^Dlj`Z;XeZ\ Fg\e;ffiGfc`Zp`efliElikli`e^@e]Xekgif^iXd% )Jflk_<e[8m\%#E\nPfib#EP(')/' )()$./-$(-//Ă&#x2014;Dj%D`Z_\c\ *+,N%+)e[Jk% 7/k_8m\% )()$)-)$+,+,

((0'GXib8m\% 70*i[Jk% )()$+('$((''

(,'(C\o`e^kfe 8m\%70.k_Jk% )()$0/.$*.''

)('09ifX[nXp 7.*i[Jk% )()$*-)$'(*,

+-DXib\kJk% 7DX[`jfeJk% ))$*+-$0/-/

),Kl[fi:`kp GcXZ\7+(jkJk% )()$-/($+-.(

('(N\jk<e[ 8m\%7-+k_Jk% )()$*-)$'(*,

-''-k_8m\% 7(.k_Jk% )()$),,$-0((

),DXib\kJk% 7?\eipJk% )()$,..$).('

*0<ci`[^\Jk% C%<%J%7:XeXcJk% )()$0),$'00/

M`j`kljfe@ejkX^iXdXe[=XZ\Yffb

    

 

   

  

 1

 

     

  



HEAD CASE

      





      



             

January 26 - February 08, 2017

7


Office space for artists LMCC ‘residency’ gives artists free studio space in pricey Downtown

BY DENNIS LYNCH On the 24th floor of 28 Liberty Plaza, Nick Doyle is cutting plywood with a bandsaw. But he’s not a contractor building out offices for one of the financialservices tenants in the building — he’s an artist, and tenant himself. Doyle is one of about 30 artists taking part in a 9-month residency program at 28 Liberty run by the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council. The residency gives artists free studio space to ply their varied crafts, be it film, painting, dance — or in Doyle’s case, mixedmedia, kinetic sculptures. The program, sponsored by 28 Liberty owner Fosun, provides a one-time $1,100 stipend to help with materials, moving in, and other costs. Each artist gets 150–300 square feet of basic space and some storage. They also hold weekly meetings that can include oneon-one studio visits, workshops, lectures, and even potluck dinners. The surreal space is unlike any other art studio in the city — an entire 35,000 square-foot floor in one of the priciest office towers in Lower Manhattan, but instead of cubicles its filled with paintings, Apple computers, and sawdust. The oddness is not lost on Doyle. “I ride the elevator with people in suits and I’m covered in shit,” he said. “It really puts you in a place with people you wouldn’t necessarily spend your days in.” Doyle has turned one of his office spaces into a woodshop and another into a general workspace, where he’s currently working on a small, battery powered train he calls “American Express.” The knee-high train is adorned with symbols of “leftover practices of American culture,” including an oversized Cleveland Indians logo, a nuclear bomb, an oil well, and a piggy bank representing the American financial system. Doyle parked American Express outside his office space, where he’s also hung some his moving, kinetic sculptures — mesmerizing mazes of electrically powered levers and joints that, in one piece, slyly slide a pair of ace playing cards in and out of “sleeves” while moving shifty mechanical eyes. Doyle is thrilled to have the free space. He’s been involved with the program since 2012 and says it has saved him thousands of dollars he would normally pay for studio rent. Prices for art-studio space are rising right along with rent for living space, he said. “Something that’s been happening recently with real estate is that people are realizing they can charge just as much for studio rent as they can for people’s homes, so everything is three or four dollars a square foot,” Doyle said. “Artists are generally poor, most of the time, so access to free space is pretty valuable.” Around 1,200 applicants put in for spaces in the program this year, according to LMCC’s vice president of cultural programs, Melissa Levin. There’s good reason — the space is open 24 hours a day, so artists can work on whatever they want, and they don’t even have to finish any project by the end of the program. “The philosophy is really about putting as few

8

January 26 - February 08, 2017

Photo by Dennis Lynch

(Above) Artist Nick Doyle makes full use of the free studio space he enjoys through the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council’s residency program at 28 Liberty St. (Right) Doyle’s current project, a battery powered train he calls “American Express,” trails symbols of “leftover practices of American culture” — such as a piggy bank representing the financial system. (Lower right) The King of Pop can dance on forever in Doyle’s studio, thanks to the motorized levers that characterize his kinetic art.

restrictions as possible on what kind of work is being made, what hours the artists are using,” Levin said. “The program is really committed to further developing their creative practice in the studio.” LMCC puts together juries of discipline-specific professionals to whittle down the list of applicants based on their past work and what they have planned for the future. The finalists are interviewed and asked, more or less, “Why you, why LMCC, why now?” LMCC was founded in 1973, and from 1997 to 2001 its artist residency program was based in the World Trade Center’s North Tower. Since the 9/11 attacks, they’ve held residences around lower Manhattan, including at 1 Liberty Plaza, 315 Hudson St. and the Woolworth Building. “We have managed to find very willing and enthusiastic partners, especially in the real estate community,” Levin said. “We work with local real estate owners and minimally adapt and take over these temporarily vacant commercial spaces and adopt them for artist use.” Because affordable studio space is so hard to find, Downtown hasn’t been the most attractive neighborhood for artists, nor the most artistically vibrant, despite its rich architectural and historical heritage. That’s not artist Continued on page 18

DowntownExpress.com


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

DowntownExpress.com

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.

January 26 - February 08, 2017

9


Lucky 21

List of 21 rent-stabilized D’town buildings BY COLIN MIXSON An updated list of rent stabilized buildings in Lower Manhattan has gone live on Community Board 1’s website, giving would-be residents an opportunity to snatch some of the best statesubsidized deals in town, according to the list’s creator. “If word is out that you can rent next door for less money, for a rent that doesn’t go up, why would anyone rent at the market-level place?” said CB1 member Tom Goodkind. “You’d have to be nuts!” The list — compiled by Goodkind with help from state Sen. Daniel Squadron’s office — details 21 Downtown properties offering stabilized rentals, along with the lavish tax exemptions they enjoy, mainly through the 421-a tax abatement program. The tax breaks, ranging from $303,341 for 213 Front St. to a whopping $7,481,876 exemption for 2 Gold St., often leave landlords paying pennies on the dollar for their property tax.

In the case of 2 Gold St., the property owner was charged $527,559 after abatements on an annual property tax totaling more than $8 million, according to NYC Department of Finance records from June. In exchange for those abatements, landlords commit to reduced annual rent increases, which in 2016 meant a zero-percent increase for one-year leases, and a two-percent increase for twoyear leases in rent-stabilized buildings. The 421-a tax abatement program expired in January 2016 after negotiations broke down between the Real Estate Board of New York and the Building and Construction Trades Council of Greater New York, with the two parties failing to agree on wage requirements for construction workers at 421-a developments, leaving new residential developments ineligible for the exemption. But that doesn’t mean the two groups couldn’t come to an agreement in the future, and Goodkind hopes that his list

via Google Streetview

The landlord of 2 Gold St. gets a whopping $7,481,876 state property tax exemption in return for offering stabilized apartment rents.

will help fuel a deal by driving would-be renters away from non-stabilized buildings, he said. “It puts pressure on guys in market buildings to go to their reps and say, ‘we want to go stabilized,’” Goodkind said. The list is certainly a helpful tool for new residents looking to settle Downtown, but not everyone is convinced that the effect on the market will be substantial enough to make non-

www.burnerlaw.com

stabilized rentals a thing of the past, according to a CB1 staffer. “Do I think releasing this report is going to force the market-rate units to go stable? No,” said Diana Switaj, director of planning and land use at CB1. “Many of the people in our district are so wealthy it’s not going to matter to them, but it does help people, and it fosters a sense of community.” lucky 21 Continued on page 13

(212) 867-3520

Please join us as we discuss…

Irrevocable v. Revocable Trusts 101 Breakfast February 2 at 10:00 AM

Petite Abeille 401 East 20th St., New York, NY

RSVP at (212) 867-3520 or by e-mail at mbiggart@burnerlaw.com 10

January 26 - February 08, 2017

DowntownExpress.com


Pavilions pulled Developer nixes plans for glass entryways for shopping center underneath Chase Plaza

DBox

Fosun has dropped its request to modify its deed restriction to allow for glass pavilions over the entrances to its underground retail space at 28 Liberty Plaza after changes to the deed restriction modification process.

BY COLIN MIXSON A Downtown developer has shelved plans to erect glass pavilions at Chase Plaza at 28 Liberty St. —at least for now — shortly after a change in city law that would make it more difficult. Developer Fosun had sought to build three plate-glass structures around the entrances to the 200,000-square-foot shopping center it is currently building under the plaza. But the pavilions — ranging in height from 11-feet and 17-feet tall — would require a modification of the property’s deed restriction, which prohibits the construction of any new structures more than six-feet tall. The height-limiting deed restriction was put in place as a way to protect sight-lines around the plaza at a time long before the Landmarks Preservation Commission was created to provide such protections. Last July, a joint meeting of Community Board 1’s Financial District and Planning committees approved a draft resolution supporting a deed modification to allow two of the three pavilions, but preservationist Alice Blank rallied locals at the subsequent full board meeting, where members voted to table resolution, according to a board staff member. “Alice Blank really kind of lead the opposition on this,” said Diana Switaj, director of planning and land use at CB1. Reps for Fosun claimed the new structures were necessary to provide handicapped access, but Blank and her preservationist cohort weren’t buying it, and objected to the style and height of the new structures, according to Switaj. DowntownExpress.com

Another major point of contention was the transparency — or lack thereof — of the glass structures, with opponents arguing that the pavilions would be more opaque than what renderings provided by Fosun showed, Switaj said. “I think that was a general sentiment for people opposed was that in these renderings the pavilions appeared to be almost completely transparent,” Switaj said, “but Alice believed that they would not be as clear as depicted.” But more than the local opposition, what most likely shattered the plans was a change in city law that makes modifying deed restrictions a much more cumbersome process than before. Councilmember Margaret Chin and Borough President Gale Brewer championed the change, signed into law late last year, in the wake of the Rivington House scandal, in which a developer was able to sell off a Lower East Side nursing home to become condos for tidy profit after the city quietly lifted a deed restriction on the property. Under the new law, any deed-restriction modification requires three separate city bureaucracies — including the Mayor’s office — to review and sign off on the move, as well as a statement listing factors proving that the modification is in the best interests of the city. Reached for comment, Fosun spokesman George Shea would not say what led the developer to pull back on the pavilion plans, but he provided a statement that left open the possibility that Fosun may try again. “We will reevaluate the additional glass entryway pavilions in the future,” he said.

DON’T MISS OUT

The second annual Gay City News Impact Awards will recognize and celebrate outstanding contributions to New York City’s LGBTQ community, its progress, and its achievements

Honorees are being celebrated at the Gay City News Impact Awards Gala on March 30 To Get Your Tickets Today, Visit

gaycitynews.nyc/impact or Contact Jennifer Stern

718-260-8302 jstern@cnglocal.com Post your congratulations message in the special keepsake issue profiling the honorees on March 30, 2017 Contact Amanda Tarley For More Information: 718-260-8340 | atarley@cnglocal.com gaycitynews.nyc | cnglocal.com

January 26 - February 08, 2017

11


9/11 dust Continued from page 3

many people in Downtown Brooklyn, Brooklyn Heights, and DUMBO — could be eligible for care if they have any one of the numerous conditions the federal government has now certified as related to the attacks. The Zadroga Act, first passed in 2010 and then renewed in 2015, establishes two programs: a compensation program that expires in 2020 without a renewal, and a healthcare program that is funded through 2090. Anyone who suspects they are suffering an illness caused by the attacks — whether cancer, respiratory issues, or post-traumatic stress disorder, or any other covered condition — can start the process of making a claim with a medical exam at a local center. The program covers dozens of cancers, numerous aerodigestive disorders — such as asthma and chronic laryngitis — and mental health conditions, including anxiety and substance abuse problems. If certified to have a related injury, a victim has two years to make a compensation claim, which could be for pain and suffering as well as to recover past and future lost wages. If a victim has already paid out of pocket for healthcare before becoming certified, they can be reimbursed through the program.

Ground Zero cleanup worker John Feal has since dedicated himself to raising awareness of the help available to those harmed by the dust and fumes from the infamous “Pile” that smoldered Downtown for weeks. He hopes that more people will sign up before they’re slammed with huge healthcare costs, which he said happens to all to often. “Its heartbreaking. Imagine the person who lost their apartment or their brownstone because they couldn’t afford the care, and meanwhile there’s a World Trade Center clinic near them where they can be getting treated for free,” said Feal, who founded the Feal Good Foundation. The 75-year term of the healthcare program may seem excessive for a bill meant to protect people who were mostly adults at the time, but there are indications that even the unborn children of women exposed to the dust were affected. A study published in the fall of 2016 found that Downtown women who were in their first trimester during the attacks were twice as likely to deliver their babies prematurely and more likely to have low-weight babies. Babies with low birthweight are more likely to develop diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, and be obese later in life, according to the March of Dimes.

the Centers for Disease Control, which administers the program, to consider a health condition to be linked. Recent petitions include multiple sclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis. Its not an easy process, though. The threshold for evidence to link a disease to the Associated Press / Stan Honda Even a month after the 9/11 attacks, the still- dust is high. The act smoldering wreckage at Ground Zero spewed “requires that there be noxious smoke and toxins into the air. peer-reviewed, scientific evidence that the condiFeal recalls that cleanup crews only tion is related to a 9/11 had to wash down the outside of their exposure,” according to Ben Chevette, vehicles when they left the Ground Zero who helped write the Zadroga Act and site, and were not required to change now runs the advocacy group 9/11 their clothes or wash the insides of their Health Watch. For example, it took vehicles — so they literally brought the until 2012 for the federal government carcinogenic dust home with them. to add 50 cancers to the list of covered “They got home and they put those illnesses, and it has added only 18 more clothes in the washing machine with all in the four years since. of their family’s clothes,” Feal said. The Zadroga Act also helps fund the The federal government has not yet efforts of advocates such as Flynn and included complications from low birth- Feal, who work to let potentially eligible weight as eligible for coverage or com- people know what conditions are covpensation under the bill, but its possible ered and what help is available. it could in the future. The Zadroga Through his foundation, Feal travels Act allocated $15 million for scien- the country to educate the thousands of tists to investigate conditions potentially linked to attacks. Anyone can petition 9/11 dust Continued on page 13

THE DOWNTOWN CONNECTION IS YOUR FREE RIDE AROUND LOWER MANHATTAN!

DowntownNY.com/bus

12

January 26 - February 08, 2017

DowntownExpress.com


in-ugh-guration Continued from page 2

and found not one, but two events over the weekend. She said that she wanted to be among the Americans â&#x20AC;&#x201D; who like a few people long ago in her native Germany â&#x20AC;&#x201D; opposed from the get-go a politician who notoriously promised to implement policies that discriminate against ethnic and religious minorities. A few feet away, Natan looked at the

road rage Continued from page 1

moves, arguing that the neighborhood still needs special treatment â&#x20AC;&#x201D; not only because the areaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s building boom continues unabated, but because the neighborhoodâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s narrow roadways, congestion, and 15th-century street layout make multiple construction projects more difficult to deal with than anywhere else in the city. The politiciansâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; letter pointed out that 17 properties along the four-block stretch of Warren St. tagged for reconstruction already have active construction permits â&#x20AC;&#x201D; something a central coordinating authority would have taken into consideration, along with

lucky 21 Continued from page 10

Just because a unit is rent-stabilized doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t mean landlords canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t charge market rates for new leases, and, in many cases, savings only become apparent over time as the reduced annual rent increases are outpaced by the market, according to real estate guru and Fidi Fan Page author Luis Vazquez. For Lower Manhattan, that means college students and young professionals likely to move after a few years wonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t enjoy the same savings as a family look-

9/11 dust Continued from page 12

first responders who flocked to Ground Zero from across the nation. Flynn and her cohorts hit the streets of Lower Manhattan and go to community meetings with informational pamphlets â&#x20AC;&#x201D; and if they find someone who may be eligible, they help them sign up for an examination at one of the three certified 9/11 clinics in the city. Flynn said, and noted that folks from 9/11 Environmental Action be posted outside local Catholic churches this upcoming Ash Wednesday. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve found thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a really good way to encounter area workers who donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t live in the area but commute here, because DowntownExpress.com

bronze statue of George Washington in front of Federal Hall. The inauguration of the 45th president made Natan fear for the future, but for the time being he found solace among neighbors. The appreciation for diversity that defines neighborhoods like Hellâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Kitchen will keep the opposition against Trump alive even in the darkest hours to come, according to Natan. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s really not about going out and protesting every day,â&#x20AC;? he confirmed.

the two bus routes along the street that would be disrupted. The upcoming construction project will see Warren St. ripped up over the course of two years, as workers repave the roadway after replacing water mains and sewage infrastructure below. The project, which is expected to begin in February, wonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t be completed until 2019, and will include occasional night and weekend work â&#x20AC;&#x201D; creating a quality of life nightmare for locals, according to one Tribeca resident. â&#x20AC;&#x153;It will be extremely difficult for the residents there,â&#x20AC;? said Bruce Ehrmann, a member of Community Board 1â&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Tribeca Committee.

ing to settle down, Vazquez said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;At the end of the day, everything is essentially market rate,â&#x20AC;? said Vazquez. â&#x20AC;&#x153;When you look at a large part of the housing market, college grads and people new in their careers, they turn over very quickly, and those rent-stabilization benefits disappear.â&#x20AC;? You can find a copy of the full list linked in the â&#x20AC;&#x153;Studies & Reportsâ&#x20AC;? section of the CB1 website: http://www. nyc.gov/html/mancb1, or our online version of this story at Downtownexpress. com.

Ash Wednesday is a religious day of holy obligation, so theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll come to the church near where they work,â&#x20AC;? she said. So, as folks leave church with their holy ash markers on their foreheads â&#x20AC;&#x201D; a symbol of repentance that saves the soul â&#x20AC;&#x201D; Flynn will be handing out information about treatment for the harm that 9/11â&#x20AC;&#x2122;s unholy ash might have done to their bodies. â&#x20AC;&#x153;What I want people to know is that thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s something out there for people who are suffering from both physical and mental ailments, there are many unresolved health impacts people are suffering from needlessly, and people can benefit from the program,â&#x20AC;? she said.

2  -!%"(,.0. ".&(2 ".. &/2-".+0- ". #-+)/%"(&--2/+/%" &/2 %+.,&/( *$"/!&. +0*/. +*$-+ "-&".)"!& &*"*! )+1&"/& '"/.

                  

HOUSE HOUSE CALLS CALLS

SERVING MANHATTAN AND THE ENTIRE TRI-STATE AREA

   

   

SAME DAY SERVICE AVAILABLE

TOP $ PAID FOR JUDAICA COLLECTIBLES

ANTIQUES & ESTATE BUYERS We Pay $CASH$ For Paintings, Clocks, Watches, Estate Jewelry & Fine China, From Single Items to Entire Estates!

Military Collections Wanted

Swords, Knives, Helmets, etc.

Top $ Paid for Antique Sterling!

s Coin & Stamp Collections s Costume Jewelry s Antique Furniture s Lamps s Bronzes s Paintings s Prints MOVING s Chinese & Japanese DOWNSIZINor G CALL ? Artwork & Porcelain US! s Sports Collectibles s Comic Books s Old Toys s Records s Cameras s Sterling Flatware Sets

HUMMELS & LLADROS SEE OUR AD IN THE SUNDAY POST

516-974-6528 ASK FOR CHRISTOPHER

ANTIQUE & ESTATE BUYERS WILL TRAVEL ENTIRE TRI-STATE!

We We buy buy anything anything old. old. One One piece piece or or house house full. full. WILL TRAVEL. HOUSE CALLS. WILL TRAVEL. HOUSE CALLS. WILL TRAVEL. WE MAKE HOUSE CALLS.

1029 WEST JERICHO TURNPIKE, SMITHTOWN L.I.

FREE Estimates!

January 26 - February 08, 2017

13


E D ITO R IAL

Mr. President, build this wall instead Publisher

Jennifer Goodstein Editor

Bill Egbert REPORTERs

Colin Mixon Dennis Lynch Arts Editor

Scott Stiffler Advertising

Amanda Tarley Account Executives

Jack Agliata Allison Greaker Jim Steele Julio Tumbaco Art Director

Michael Shirey Graphic Designer

Cristina Alcine Photographers

BY BILL EGBERT The Inauguration of President Trump last week flooded Downtown’s streets with protesters as part of a nationwide demonstration that may well have been the biggest in the country’s history. But there is a chance — albeit slight — that the incoming President may help prevent Lower Manhattan flooding of the wetter kind. Hurricane Sandy laid bare Downtown’s vulnerability to storm surges — which will only get worse, experts say, as sea levels rise and climate change pushes the path of Atlantic tropical storms ever northward. Trump’s professed belief in the conspiracy theory that climate change is a hoax means he is not likely to confront the danger from that end, but there is reason to hope that he might be persuaded at least to address the problem from the other. Lower Manhattan Protect and Connect, the network of seawalls, berms, and elevated waterfront envisioned to protect Downtown from future flooding, is expected to cost at least $600 million, and the city is still short half that funding. For a President

The network of seawalls, berms, and elevated waterfront proposed in the city’s Lower Manhattan Protect and Connect project would protect Downtown from flooding well into the future, even if America fails to act against climate change. And the pricetag, pegged at $600 million, is a bargain compared to the billions of dollars in damage to local real estate — including the President’s own eponymous building at 40 Wall St. — it could prevent.

promising to increase spending on vital infrastructure projects to put people back to work — and who even owns property in the area needing protection — funding this project would seem like a win-win. A wall along the Mexican border to stem a tide of illegal immigrants that has been ebbing for nearly a decade would be a boondoggle whose effect, if any, would never be noticed. A flood barrier for Lower Manhattan would

provide a tangible benefit to one of the nation’s foremost economic engines. Funding Lower Manhattan Protect and Connect would allow Trump to achieve a bipartisan policy objective (infrastructure), advance his own ideological stance (adapting to climate change rather than preventing it), and — perhaps most importantly — serve his own self-interest (the Trump Building at 40 Wall St.). Now that would be an artful deal.

to investigate BPCA and anything to do with North Cove Marina. This is “pay to play” at its worst. BPC resident

and the social aspect is important, as well. MYC built its community of sail racers, sail cruisers, instruction, and mentorship, it had little competition. A community gelled. But that community did not disband when it was banished from Downtown. BPCA/Brookfield drove it across the rivers, where it is functioning surprisingly in tact. Those who did not follow it to NJ are at the new Brooklyn club. I’d like to see the section in IGY’s plan that explains how it is to come in at this point and compete with that. What a loss for Battery Park City. The only clear winners are NY Waterway and Uber. I miss having MYC in Lower Manhattan where I live, but my friends and I won’t be signing up for its replacement (just like with OffShore). That BPCA/Brookfield doesn’t understand that, or doesn’t want to believe,speaks to the obstinance of the people making the decisions for Battery Park City. Kerry

Milo Hess Tequila Minsky Publisher EMERITUS

John W. Sutter

Published by

NYC Community Media, LLC ONE METROTECH CENTER New york, NY 11201 Phone: (212) 229-1890 Fax: (212) 229-2790 www.downtownexpress.com news@downtownexpress.com Downtown Express is published every week by NYC Community Media LLC, One Metrotech Center North, 10th Floor, Brooklyn, N.Y. 11201 (212) 229-1890. The entire contents of the newspaper, including advertising, are copyrighted and no part may be reproduced without the express permission of the publisher - © 2017 Community Media LLC. PUBLISHER’S LIABILITY FOR ERROR The Publisher shall not be liable for slight changes or typographical errors that do not lessen the value of an advertisement. The publisher’s liability for other errors or omissions in connection with an advertisement is strictly limited to publication of the advertisement in any subsequent issue.

Member of the New York Press Association Member of the National Newspaper Association

© 2017 Community Media, LLC

14

January 26 - February 08, 2017

Posted To Pirate sails! Fortenbaugh accuses IGY of industrial espionage in its bid to take over North Cove’s sailing school (Jan. 12) Appalling. Dr. Sonita Dirty, disgusting, dispicable. Shame on Brookfield. Shame on IGY. John D. Those sneaks!! This is what happens when the Battery Park City Authority is not accountable to the people who live in BPC. They are arrogant and self-entitled! Governor Cuomo – please put local residents on the Board who understand what’s needed here and let your fat cat contributors stop awarding goodies to their friends. Readers – please sign petition to the Governor at http://WWW. Democracy4BPC.org. Maryanne P. Braverman U.S. Attorney Breet Bharara needs

If BPCA are truly looking out for what is best for the community then why did they destroy something that was working so well and replace it with something that was assured not to succeed. Now Brookfield/IGY wish to try again with even a less chance of success. If the agenda is all about doing good for the community why is there no focus on the community. Why would Brookfield/ IGY want to waste any effort on a small community sailing school – this is not what they do. Something is very wrong. John LaGrassa Copying the business plan is not going to bring back what was here. I’m sure it’s possible to sell a lesson or two, but to have the program pay for itself, you need multiple types of fees and you need to have the boats in use as often as possible. That kind of mult-functioning sailing community takes time to build,

posted Continued on page 15

DowntownExpress.com


You just gotta sing like nobody’s listening! BY LENORE SKENAZY The shower is where America does it — in private, with no one judging, just because it feels good. I’m talking about singing, of course, that once-universal pastime that uplifts the soul, re-boots the body, and doesn’t demand a monthly fee. So why aren’t we singing all the time? In “La La Land,” the hit movie that may sweep the Oscars, everyone on screen bursts into song. Yes, that’s what a musical is: an embarrassing admission that we’re all a-tingle with music, just waiting for the chance to explode. But aside from Disney, most moviemakers have not been pumping out song-anddance movies for, oh, about half a century. There’s a reason more Americans knew Carrie Fisher than her mom, Debbie Reynolds, star of “Singing in the Rain.” Musicals were once the most American of movies. Now action movies are. But with the success of “La La Land,” that may be about to change — and maybe we’ll change, too. Singing is so basic to human happiness, some scientists believe it might have evolved even before language. It was the way stories were passed down before writing, because it is a lot easier to remember a song than a paragraph. And that’s why kids still sing their ABC’s — our brains are built to embed music. What’s more, when actual language eludes us — for instance, after a stroke — sometimes music doesn’t, since it is processed in another area of the brain. After my mom had lost almost all her memory, I could sing a few songs from her childhood and she could, out of the fog, join in. The power of music is mysterious. One study of

posted Continued from page 14

As a local resident and active sailor I would love for Manhattan Yacht Club to be brought back to North Cove sooner rather than later! The area has not been the same since they had to leave- the community of sailors, the camaraderie, the programs they run (and have been running extremely well for 30 years) and so much more cannot be replicated just by purchasing a couple boats. . .we’ve witnessed it over the last couple years. Bring Back MYC Luigi Bring back MYC! They are the club the marina deserves and needs! Kevin YES! bring back MYC – they are the best! Nina It’s been two years since MYC left North Cove Marina. Since then, the small sailing operation that IGY chose DowntownExpress.com

cancer patients found that an hour of singing boosted their immune proteins. It also lowers blood pressure. Even people with lung disease feel better when singing. And of course, it is bonding. Sing with a group and you are one — a fact understood by anyone who has ever been in a choir, or the military, or the bus to summer camp. But Americans (heck, humans) have been singing less and less ever since technology started to do it for us. While in the pre-Edison era most middle class families had a piano around which to sing, the record player and radio made it easy to hear music anytime. The smart phone made it even easier. And since the people singing on tape, television, and iTunes (but not necessarily YouTube) sing better than the rest of us, we started to believe that this is a task, like neurosurgery, best left to the professionals. So, barring the occasional “Jingle Bells,” or “Happy Birthday,” most of us sing only to ourselves if we sing at all. This is a loss of such gargantuan proportions, it is as if we stopped walking, or dancing. Which, come to think of it, we sort of have. Even the clergy report that congregants are singing less. What would it take for us to bring singing back into our everyday lives? • Make singing a regular part of school: By the time kids are in eighth grade, only a third have a music

to run the club and school (Offshore Sailing) collapsed and pulled out of the NY market. What had been a 900-member sailing club, along with a 300 children sailing camp, with 30+ boats, from 2000–2014, became a five-boat operation that was too expensive for Offshore to manage and succeed. There wasn’t enough talent and professionalism to run a viable operation. Manhattan Yacht Club went to Jersey City and is thriving. They are so well respected that their Race Committee was chosen to start the prestigious Transat Race that ironically had its boats docked in North Cove. There was no one else in NYC who could manage such an important race start. Also, Memorial Day weekend, when the Navy annually comes to NYC for Fleet Week, many of their officers and naval cadets were sailing from MYC’s Jersey City operation. Michael Fortenbaugh runs the best operation in NY harbor, head and shoulders above anyone else. His efforts made

class. What’s more, there doesn’t seem to be much agreement on which songs to teach. So even though my kids went to public school, K–12, they don’t know “My Country ’Tis of Thee” or even “I’ve Been Working on the Railroad.” You can argue that we have a wider world now, but sharing at least a few songs is an easy way for people to connect. • Stop trying to sing like Mariah: Nowadays when we sing, we think we have to sound like the professionals. (See: Karoake.) But that’s like saying that anyone who wants to play basketball shouldn’t bother unless he has the word “Jordan” in his name. Singing is actually a skill that almost everyone gets better at the more they do it. (Not great at. Just better.) • Establish your own glee club: Around the country, people are starting informal groups where people get together and sing. This sounds so fun that I’m thinking of starting one myself — provided everyone sings better than I do. • Join the party: In the meantime, find a place — church, community center, synagogue — where people are already singing and join in. In turn, whoever’s in charge should remember to promote the kind of songs the average person likes to sing — not too complex, not too soprano. There’s a reason folk songs lasted through the centuries. They’re written for the folks, not opera stars. • Start singing!: Do it while waiting for the bus. And if I happen to be standing next to you, I just may join in. Lenore Skenazy is a keynote speaker, author of the book and blog Free-Range Kids, and a contributor at Reason.com.

North Cove dynamic and an important stop for historic races. Community sailing was thriving with a school open to hundreds each summer Now there’s an opportunity to right a wrong and bring back a community centered club, and a group of sailors who not only enjoyed North Cove’s friendly environment, but also spent countless hours and dollars at the BPC stores, restaurants and shops. It may not happen today, but like MacArthur, MF “shall return,” SC

Michael and the MYC brought a tremendous amount of life to the area after 9-11, and over the next 15 years. Sailors frequented the local establishments, and all the boat activity provided a greta backdrop to the area. Shameful that corporate greed seems to have turned its back on all of that. Richard

If I recall correctly, when MYC / MSC we’re at North Cove, it was a vibrant waterfront community, lots of sailing and things going on 5 days per week in summer. On IGY’s watch, it’s been… a handful of Offshore School boats, some transient monster gin palaces and a lost opportunity. MYC / MSC would bring life back to the North Cove waterfront, rather than guarded, locked gates with the 0.1%’s megayachts beyond. pgcnewyork

As a BPC resident, I pass by the mostly empty marina every day. Replacing Manhattan Yacht Club with amateurs was one of the most short sighted bureaucratic blunders I have ever seen. The BPCA needs to cut it’s losses, move IGY out, and get professional marina management back in our neighborhood. Paul R Cheek

Anyone can replicate a business model, but you can’t replicate passion. Mike is the best!! TJ

posted Continued on page 16

January 26 - February 08, 2017

15


E D ITO R IAL posted Continued from page 15

For many people, the sport of sailing can be life changing. I am one example. Living in lower Manhattan since 1999, I became involved with Manhattan Sailing School and later Manhattan Sailing Club before and after 9/11. I have watched the club and school persevere through good times and bad, always doing what it has done since day one: Spread the joy of sailing to anyone wishing to learn. Long before it became fashionable to promote diversity, economic equality or the latest PC mood of the moment, MSS and MYC welcomed ALL. Plumbers and hedge-fund managers, LBGT, any race or nationality. All you needed was a willingness to learn and a desire to participate in the community of sailing. Of course we had detractors and disagreements. All was never perfect. One could argue the boats were getting too old or the non-sailing public use of the club house too frequent or a host of other things that are normal flash points in any organization with such a diverse membership. And the Club was never a Yacht Club in the traditional sense. (It’s unlikely it would have enjoyed the success it has if it were so!) But the numbers and friendships created at North Cove speak to an enduring legacy that will never be matched. MSS taught over a thousand students each season. Races and regattas came to NYC due to invitations from MYC. The number of weddings, relationships and friends made over the years is substantial. And in spite of what would have been a death blow to any organization losing its namesake home of Manhattan, the Club and School survive in New Jersey. So how are things now in Battery Park? A marina largely unused by locals. A school closed. A real-estate company too proud to admit its mistakes trying to create something new by borrowing from the very people they rejected. On the 30th Anniversary of Manhattan Sailing Club, New York City needs to step up to the big-business insiders who created this mess and listen to what the local people want. The waterfront belongs to everyone. It’s time we gave it back to an organization that can foster its use for the greatest number of sailors. I live in West Palm Beach now, but my sailing heart will always be in Manhattan. Good luck guys, and as always, fair winds… Tracy Spinney

16

January 26 - February 08, 2017

It is obvious that the past couple of years have been a business failure for OffShore Sailing and IGY. From the point of view of the Battery Park City Board there should be a process that is legally transparent and objective in which the ‘Ten’ potential entities are provided a Request For Proposal in a legitimate competitive bidding process. It has been suggested that the IG should evaluate this disaster and hold those who should be accountable. In fact the current contracts should be canceled and a new process initiated. Paul Savage

Centre stage: CB1 pushes to landmark 139 Centre St. as city plans to redevelop its twin (Jan. 12) The statements by Lynne Ellsworth regarding the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation (GVSHP) are untrue, and require a response. Ms. Ellsworth (whom I consider a friend and a colleague) claims that GVSHP “made…a deal with the city to calendar the South Village Historic District … in exchange for the GVSHP’s support of transferring air rights from Pier 40 to the St. John’s Terminal site… [T]hey wanted [GVSHP] to stand down.” This is simply false. GVSHP never has and never will support transferring air rights from the Hudson River Park, which we think is a bad and troubling idea that ignores better alternatives we and others have consistently put forward for generating revenue for the park. We have made that position crystal clear through every step of the process. We did, however, also fight to ensure that if city legislation was passed that enabled any air rights transfers from Pier 40 to the St. John’s Terminal site, that it must include protections against any future air rights transfers from the park anywhere within Community Board #2 (Canal Street to 14th Street), thus protecting this area from the possibility (some might say inevitability) of as much as a million and half square feet of air rights being transferred from the park into our neighborhood, as allowed by 2013 state legislation. Thus while 200,000 square feet of air rights were transferred to this one site, which we strongly disapproved of, we won protections from more than seven times that amount of air rights from ever being transferred to anywhere in our neighborhood in the future. It should be noted that this same air rights limitation mechanism, which was crafted by City Councilmember

Corey Johnson, also protects Tribeca and all of Community Board #1 from any air rights transfers from the Hudson River Park whatsoever. It restricts all air rights transfers from the park to within the same Community Board; since Community Board #1’s section of the Hudson River Park contains no commercial piers (the sole source of air rights within the park), no air rights can be transferred there. Ms. Ellsworth is correct in pointing out that after the city refused to move on designating this final phase of our proposed South Village Historic District for years, then suddenly moved quite swiftly to do so. This was because of a concerted campaign we had waged for years to point out that any rezoning of the St. John’s Terminal site would increase development pressure upon this historic, low-rise, residential area, and that for the City to consider approving such a rezoning without final moving on this long overdue landmark designation would be a betrayal. We had a committed and determined partner in Councilmember Johnson, who made clear to the City that he would not consider the St. John’s rezoning unless the South Village landmarking moved ahead. Clearly the City’s hand was forced, or at least pushed considerably. At the end of the day, we never wavered in our position that air rights transfers are bad policy and should not be sanctioned. What we achieved was a severe restriction on their future use, a long overdue historic district designation, and significant improvements to the planned development at the St. John’s Terminal site that protect the surrounding area from its potential impacts. Andrew Berman Executive Director Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation Mr. Berman, What are the ‘better alternatives’ you have put forward to save Pier 40? More government funding? You know as well as anyone that the governor would just as soon see the pier fall into the river. You purport to be concerned about the quality of life in the West Village, but what about the thousands of families and individuals who use the pier? Do you care more about the fate of an unloved three block long building with zero adjacent residents than a pier that functions as the de facto Central Park for Downtown? For you to even now rail against this deal that Corey Johnson and others worked incredibly hard on, in order to (as always) raise your profile

and that of GVSHP just shows how little you do care. HRP User The above anonymous commenter seems to be offering a critique of GVSHP’s position that directly contradicts GVSHP’s actual position, as clearly stated above. We have not “railed” against the deal, and in fact have praised and lauded it (see http://www.gvshp. org/_gvshp/preservation/hudson/h…. We have never argued over the fate of the existing lumbering hulk of a building, as the writer implies. And in fact, we along with two dozen other community groups representing neighborhoods bordering the park offered several very reasonable alternatives for raising money for the park that did not depend upon additional government funding — see http://www.gvshp.org/_gvshp/ preservation/hudson/d…. Just to offer a highlight, one was to apply a dedicated fee on all new development in areas bordering the park that would go towards funding the park, as was done in Battery Park City, Hudson Yards, and other places throughout New York City. Unlike air rights transfers, this would not encourage overdevelopment because it would not make funding the park dependent upon increasing the size of allowable development in adjacent areas. It would also make the entire new development pay for the park, as opposed to just the fraction of it that comes from the sale of air rights, and would apply to all new development, rather than just those that received air rights transfers, thus increasing the funding possibilities for the park. The Hudson River Park Trust and city and state officials refused to pursue this option. I am happy to engage in a meaningful dialogue with those who have different opinions about the best future for our neigbborhoods and what our priorities should be in planning for them. That’s very difficult to do when someone claims that our positions are nothing like what they actually are, even when the correct information is staring them in the face. Andrew Berman Executive Director Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation

Vindicated: Gateway’s Plaskin cleared in tenant lawsuit (Jan. 19) I certainly would believe what Ninfa says over anyone else in Gateway Management or the GPTA. Maryanne Braverman DowntownExpress.com


Ship of state meets tip of iceberg: Trump’s first 100 hours BY MA X BURBANK

FRIDAY: JANUARY 20, 2017 12:00 p.m. | Donald John Trump takes the oath of office, becoming the 45th President of the United States of America. Kellyanne Conway sports respectful attire for American Democracy’s funeral, cosplaying as a sexy Revolutionary War soldier. In a secret room deep below Trump International Hotel DC (the true reason Trump purchased the Old Post Office location), Stephen Bannon slits a ram’s throat, uses its blood to paint cryptic runes on his naked body, and opens a portal to a dimension of madness beyond time. 12:15 p.m. | The inaugural address Trump insists he wrote “all by himself” describes “rusted-out factories scattered like tombstones,” “young and beautiful students deprived of all knowledge,” and a pledge to stop “this American carnage” — a phrase considered by some to be “a little bit of a downer.” 12:30 p.m. | Like a single rose unexpectedly blooming in a burned-out field of rubble, Nazi Spokes-Wiener Richard Spencer gets punched in the face. 3:00 p.m. | On live national television, the inaugural parade passes several rows of nearly empty bleachers. Later, several hapless transition staffers will get screamed at real good and maybe slapped a little. 5:00 p.m. | DC police report around 100 arrests after a day of sporadic rioting. 7:45 p.m. | At the Inaugural Balls, the President and First Lady dance to “My Way,” an English rewrite of a French song about the disintegration of a doomed marriage, that opens with line “And now, the end is near.” Trump demanded this song, though several people, most notably Nancy Sinatra, told him it was an amazingly bad choice.

SATURDAY: JANUARY 21, 2017 12:00 p.m. | Donald John Trump takes the oath of office, becoming the 45th President of the United States of America. Kellyanne Conway sports respectful attire for American Democracy’s funeral, cosplaying as a sexy Revolutionary War soldier. In a secret room deep below Trump International Hotel DC (the true reason Trump purchased the Old Post Office location), Stephen Bannon slits a ram’s throat, uses its blood to paint cryptic runes on his naked body, and opens a portal to a dimension of madness beyond time. 12:15 p.m. | The inaugural address Trump insists he wrote “all by himself” describes “rusted-out factories scattered like tombstones,” “young and beautiful students deprived of all knowledge,” and a pledge to stop “this American carnage” — a phrase considered by some to be “a little bit of a downer.” 12:30 p.m. | Like a single rose unexpectedly blooming in a burned-out field of rubble, Nazi Spokes-Wiener Richard Spencer gets punched in the face. 3:00 p.m. | On live national television, the inaugural parade passes several rows of nearly empty bleachers. Later, several hapless transition staffers will get screamed at real good and maybe slapped a little. 5:00 p.m. | DC police report around 100 arrests after a day of sporadic rioting. 7:45 p.m. | At the Inaugural Balls, the President and First Lady dance to “My Way,” an English rewrite of a

French song about the disintegration of a doomed marriage, that opens with line “And now, the end is near.” Trump demanded this song, though several people, most notably Nancy Sinatra, told him it was an amazingly bad choice.

MONDAY: JANUARY 23, 2017 8:45 a.m. | Former Speaker of the House and current Human Irrelevancy Newt Gingrich calls for the arrest of Madonna and warns of “emerging left-wing fascism,” ignoring “existing right-wing fascism.”

11:59 p.m. | Shocked that becoming president has done nothing to fill his lifelong existential emptiness, Trump is enraged to find himself physically unable to use the White House bathrooms’ ridiculous non-golden toilet.

12:45 p.m. | Trump files paperwork retroactively declaring the day of his inauguration a “National Day of Patriotic Devotion.” Kim Jong-un is “mad jelly.”

SUNDAY: JANUARY 22, 2017

3:00 p.m. | Sean Spicer holds an actual press conference with questions; says of Trump administration, “Our intention is never to lie,” a statement that is itself a transparent lie — the sort of logical paradox frequently employed by Captain Kirk to destroy malevolent computer intelligences.

4:47 a.m. | Unable to contain himself an instant longer, Trump crafts the first traditional “Trump as yuge A-hole” tweet of his presidency, predictably whining like a cranky toddler about the Women’s March. 6:23 a.m. | Trump tweets “Peaceful protests are a hallmark of our democracy.” Or, staff are now awake and have taken away his phone. 10:39 a.m. | Kellyanne Cosplay calls Spicer’s absurd inaugural attendance lies “alternative facts,” announces Trump will not ever release his taxes, as they “litigated this all through the election.” Legal scholars describe these new concepts as “non-existent” and “batshit.” 12:15 p.m. | Republican holdouts McCain and Graham cave announcing they will back Rex Tillerson, Vladimir Putin’s nominee for Secretary of State. 11:59 p.m. | Trump has not slept since Thursday because of the laughter. He is president, and still they laugh. Must he rule the world to get a little sleep?

5:00 p.m. | Trump meets with lawmakers and repeats the wildly unsubstantiated lie that he lost the popular vote due to massive illegal votes, upping his estimates from three to five million, because it’s fun and also he’s insane. 11:45 p.m. | Can a truly great man, one of history’s greatest, take a crap on a toilet that has zero gold leaf? Sleep is also out of the question.

TUESDAY: JANUARY 24, 2017 7:45 a.m. | Kellyanne Cosplay informs Minister of Propaganda Sean Hannity, “Because of what the press is doing to me now, I have Secret Service protection.” 3:15 p.m. | Sean Spicer, who 24 hours earlier said it was not the administrations’ intention to lie, defends Trump’s outrageous lie about millions of illegal votes by citing a 2008 Pew Research Center study that, as described, does not exist.

11:59 p.m. | Shocked that becoming president has done nothing to fill his lifelong existential emptiness, Trump is enraged to find himself physically unable to use the White House bathrooms’ ridiculous non-golden toilet.

4:00 p.m. | Having possessed the staff and all the guests at Trump International DC, tendrils too unspeakably terrible for human eyes to see begin to undulate outward from that mighty structure and into America’s Heartland.

DowntownExpress.com

January 26 - February 08, 2017

17


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

WITH

SPONSORED BY

JOSEPH LICHTER, D.D.S.

VINCE DIMICELI

GERSH KUNTZMAN

LISTEN EVERY TUESDAY AT 2:00 PM ON BrooklynPaper.com/radio

GIVEAWAY! NYC Community Media is giving away URBY Bike Bags to 50 loyal readers

Dates: Thurs., Jan. 26–Wed., Feb. 1

ALTERNATE SIDE PARKING RULES ARE SUSPENDED SATURDAY FOR ASIAN LUNAR NEW YEAR

Asian Lunar New Year festivities begin again this week, leaving Lower Manhattan packed with lion-dancers and spectators, alike. In the West Village, Fashion Week preparations begin. New Year events kick off this weekend with the Chinese New Year Lion Dance Parade, which will take over Chinatown’s streets from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday. During the festivities, the area will face full closures, meaning traffic and major pedlock in the area bounded by Grand St. to Centre St.; Centre St. to Bayard St.; Mott St. between Bayard and Worth Sts.; Bowery between Worth and Grand Sts.; as well as along Hester St. between Centre and Eldridge Sts. That means the surrounding area, bounded by Broome and Worth Sts., and Centre St. and Bowery, will see some big jams. Drivers: expect delays along the Manhattan Bridge, as well as on Bowery as far up as Delancey/Kenmare Sts., and

artist Continued from page 8

for lack of desire though. Doyle called it his “favorite part of the city,” and would live here if he had the option. But unless real estate prices go down, Doyle will have to keep hauling his works to galleries outside the ‘hood for exhibits. “The Lower East Side is where a lot of the scene is — Chelsea and the LES — there’s been a few spaces down here, but I think it has to do with the availability of space, and the real estate down here is just astronomical compared to even just a little bit uptown,” he said. The artist residency at 28 Liberty is one of a half dozen LMCC runs in

gateway Continued from page 6

FOR A CHANCE TO WIN VISIT

www.cnglocal.com/urby For more info on URBY Bike Bag

18

January 26 - February 08, 2017

urbybikebags.com

taken a neutral stance on the lawsuit, although he admitted to calling one of the Plaintiff’s lawyers last year to express his concern that the litigation could complicate GPTA’s ongoing negotiations to preserve rent stabilization at the complex. Likewise, he testified that when he approached Segarra he told her that the lawsuit was putting Gateway’s rent stabilization in jeopardy, but that he never

along Canal St. as far west as Broadway. Brooklyn Bridge drivers might also face some spillover traffic as cars reroute along it. Transit Sam’s advice: opt for the subway, taking the 6, N, Q, R, or W to Canal St.; the J or Z to Canal or Bowery; or the B or D to Grand St. Last week’s demos in Foley Square and march down to the Trump Building at 40 Wall St. will likely recur. In addition, Trump Soho on Varick St. is another potential target. Stay tuned to Transit Sam for more on Trumplock! Fashion Week activities may cause sporadic closures in the West Village and Tribeca through the end of February, causing delays along West St. and near the entrance of the Holland Tunnel. Weekdays (through Wednesday), 4,5, and 6 trains will not run below Grand Central from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. nightly. From 11:30 p.m. Friday to 5 a.m. Monday, 1 trains will not run below 28th St. in either direction. E trains will run along the F line above W. 4th St. During that period, the L train will not run between Union Square and Eighth Ave; take the M14 bus instead.

Lower Manhattan, and is one of the largest and most robust, along with their residency on Governors Island. Together, LMCC hosts 100 artists in the residencies, and runs about 60 free public events annually, including the River To River Festival. This year LMCC will hand out $651,000 in grants for 150 projects around Manhattan. About half of the funding will go to individual artists and artist collaborations, and the other half to arts organizations. LMCC also offers artist development programs, which include seminars and workshops to help artists square their finances as their careers progress.

said anything about a threat to her individual lease. LeFrak, the owner of the Gateway complex, has already begun to resolve the underlying cause of the lawsuit, agreeing a year ago to replace all 10,000 of its notoriously drafty windows. “Gateway has commenced a window replacement project,” said a spokesperson for the management. “The project is expected to be complete by fall 2017, pending any unforeseen delays.” DowntownExpress.com


Church of the Safe to Say It SANCTUARY puts marginalized artists in the front pew

Photo by Hunter Canning

Vocal trio SIREN did a searing version of Katy Perry’s “Dark Horse,” making good on their vow to “take pop songs and cover them in gravy.”

Photo by No Future Photography

Black actors stuck in a bit part audition time loop resolve to write their own ending, in Feb. 1’s “Room 4.”

BY SCOTT STIFFLER It wasn’t that kind of Inaugural Ball. Nobody looked past trans theatre artist Maybe Burke’s talent, caring only about who designed the clothes; and DowntownExpress.com

eyes didn’t dart when Natalie Douglas declared, “I’m a woman, so bleeding is political” before nailing a song about meeting Jesus in a Christopher Street gay bar; and not a single person in attendance answered the refrain of

vocal trio SIREN — “How am I going to be an optimist about this?” — with the snide suggestion that they just get over it already and give the new guy a chance. There were, however, plenty of knowing nods when SANCTUARY co-creator Jonathan Cottle opened the month-long series by acknowledging, “Yeah. It’s been a day.” Those assembled on Jan. 20 in the Mainstage space of Manhattan’s HERE arts center stood in stark contrast to how Donald J. Trump celebrated the first night of his presidency. Actually, they sat — cabaret-style, downing wine and beer and cheese puffs, and looking pretty damn good in the candlelight, given the grim tone of that day. By the 8:30 p.m. curtain, a number of progressive causes had been (and remain) ghosted from the White House website — and a prediction of the same fate for federal arts funding was among the ominous things occupying the top of everybody’s news feed. Although Twitter and Facebook know what you like to hear about, an informed algorithm doesn’t cut it when the thing you really need is a brick-and-mortar destination whose prime directive is to celebrate lives lived outside the margins. Performances, dance events, panel discussions, SANCTUARY Continued on page 21

January 26 - February 08, 2017

19


All This Jazz!

Two series highlight old vets, idiosyncratic artists BY SEAN EGAN “When I got into music, honestly, everyone was doing the Monk contest — so many, it was basically like the NBA finals for us,” recalled jazz pianist Orrin Evans of his experience as a finalist at the Thelonious Monk International Jazz Competition. In the years following that 1999 edition of the venerated jazz contest, Evans participated in numerous ensembles, amassed an impressive discography, and today enjoys a busy gig schedule. Why take the time for recollection then? February marks the beginning of the annual Monk in Motion: The Next Face of Jazz series — a concert program run by the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz, which usually highlights the finalists of the most recent edition of their Competition. This year, however, the Institute is taking a bit of a stroll down memory lane, turning the reins over to Competition alums who’ve gone on to find success beyond the contest — hence Evans’ involvement. Following his Feb. 4 opening salvo, 2010 contest finalist Charenee Wade and 2003 finalist David Gibson are set to take the spotlight on Feb. 18 and March 4, respectively. Coming off the heels of her 2016 effort “Offering: The Music of Gil Scott-Heron & Brian Jackson,” vocalist Wade promises to bring her own smooth arrangements and soulful singing to the stage. Trombonist Gibson — who has performed with Evans’ own Captain Black Big Band — will be accompanied by a quartet of musicians for his set. For his part, Evans has decided to prepare a set full of Thelonious Monk arrangements with his sidemen — a

Photo by John Abbott

Courtesy Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz

Orrin Evans’ Thelonious Monk tribute set opens the Monk in Motion series on Feb. 4.

Trombonist David Gibson leads a quintet on March 4, for the Monk in Motion series.

program they usually reserve only to mark Monk’s birthday. “It’s something that I’ve needed to do, not something that I always wanted to do,” explained Evans, noting that they often twist their arrangements to sound “totally different from Monk,” while still maintaining his spirit. “I would hope that what [the audience will] hear and what they expect to hear, is a representation of freedom and openness, and with a respect to the history and culture and all of the people and the forefathers that created

Theater for the New City • 155 1st Avenue at E. 10th St. Reservations & Info (212) 254-1109 For more info, please visit www.theaterforthenewcity.net

Luigi & Langston In Honor of African American History Month:

Plays by famous and emerging playwrights. February 2nd - 12th Thurs. - Sat. 8:00 PM Sat. & Sun. 3:00 PM 20

The Thunderbird American Indian Dancers

Pow Wow and Dance Concert Jan. 27-29 & Feb 3-5 Fri. and Sat. at 8PM Sat. and Sun at 3PM

January 26 - February 08, 2017

Verses at Work by Malik Work

“An exhilarating show in the vein of Hip-Hop Theater” Jan.19 - Feb.5 Thurs. - Sat. 8:00 PM Sat. & Sun. 3:00 PM

this music,” he elaborated, expressing hope that his playing (while not imitative) will help “keep [Monk’s] essence alive.” “An opportunity to play is always special, but with it being based on the Monk contest — I guess that’s an extra special little treat,” he continued, citing the Monk Institute’s ongoing educational efforts as an admirable resource. “I love that I’m a part of it.” Monk in Motion isn’t the only jazz game in town this winter. Just a short jaunt north, the “Sound It Out” series runs concurrently. The year-round program, curated by music journalist Bradley Bambarger, has gained acclaim for its high-quality, if idiosyncratic, lineups of stylistically diverse artists. “I think it’s a really cool series — I like the type of stuff [Bambarger] programs, so I was actually pretty stoked when he wrote to me to ask me to play,” said Nick Millevoi, a guitarist scheduled for a set on Feb. 11, noting Bambarger keeps the series “carefully curated,” and highlights music from across the jazz spectrum. Indeed, for just the next month or so, Bambarger has lined up an eclectic mix of artists. The week before Millevoi

Courtesy Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz

Charenee Wade, vocalist and 2010 Monk Competition finalist, takes to the Monk in Motion stage on Feb. 18.

takes the stage, classical pianist Taka Kigawa will take jazz-influenced pieces by composers like Stravinsky out for a spin, followed by a set from Color Wheel, a new quartet featuring pianist Sebastian Ammann. The week after Millevoi’s gig will find European piano/ JAZZ Continued on page 23

DowntownExpress.com


SANCTUARY Continued from page 19

and community organizing training sessions on the SANCTUARY schedule through Feb. 18 may provide a safe space for participants, but the project itself is rooted in leaving one’s comfort zone: Cottle, a set designer, and old friend Adam Salberg, a sound designer, had never taken it upon themselves to produce a show before. “We’re not a writing/directing duo,” noted Cottle — a disclaimer repeated at the SANCTUARY Inaugural Ball, where he and Salberg submerged themselves in the uncharted waters of hosting a variety showcase. “Fair warning,” announced the visibly nervous Salberg. “I’m on enough Xanax to sedate a small horse.” The techies-turned-emcees didn’t have much to apologize for. Between the two of them, they turned out to be one fine Ed Sullivan. As for what you’ll see during the month-long series, Azure D Osborne-Lee, Debra Morris, and Jenna Grossano (she of the nonprofit theatre company Less Than Rent) were brought on board to curate the talent. The results of their effort include Jan. 27-29’s “Next Faggot Nation,” in which The Fossick Collective uses “Faggots’” (Larry Kramer’s 1978 novel of pre-AIDS sex and drugs), along with other icons and influences, as a way to “hold a mirror up to the younger generation of gay men to bring a call to action.” Conceived and designed by Ran Xia in collaboration with Charlotte Arnoux, Feb. 8’s “Harmony” is a sound sculpture that draws upon the collective consciousness to form an audio document of in-the-moment global concerns. Feb. 14’s “Monopoly: A Landlord’s Game” is a dance piece by Megan Minturn, honoring the life of little-known Monopoly creator Lizzie Maggie and applying her board game’s rules to, among other things, economic injustice and for-profit prisons. Two panel discussions — “Envisioning Full Gender Inclusivity in the American Theater: What Does It Look Like?” and “Ally-ship in the Arts: How to Be a Change-maker Without Making It About You” — don’t have dates yet, but are expected to land in the last two weeks of the schedule. For the visual identity of SANCTUARY, Cottle drew on his day job know-how (along with a fondness for pews and red curtains) to immerse the audience in “different protest and counterculture movements, including

Weimar, Berlin — that queer sexual revolution; and the riot grrrl feminist punk scene in the early ’90s. The other inspiration is the idea of making it a sacred space, because a lot of churches have been associated with activism, with human rights movements.” As for content on the stage, “We decided we wanted to make the heart of this about providing a forum for artists who were from traditionally marginalized groups, who are targets of the administration; queer folks, feminists, people of color.” Many of the artists presented by SANCTUARY have been making personal, political, confrontational work, noted Cottle, “since way before the election, and they will continue to make work like this. We didn’t seek out any specific thematic material. We did get some stuff created in response to the election, but many people already had stuff that addresses racism or misogyny — and it’s made all the more relevant now.” One notable example of the latter is “Room 4,” which gets another well-deserved goround after a successful fall run at the Peoples Improv Theater in Manhattan. Written by the team of Marina & Nicco, it forces four black actors to repeat the same audition for a bit part in a horribly written police procedural drama. Having tremendous fun with its time loop gimmick (which the playwrights know is every bit as stereotypical as that coveted “Drug Dealer #2” role), the one-act is full of surprises — the best of which happens when the hungry thespians become aware of their power to shatter an unjust cycle by taking a red pen to what’s been written for them. It’s a fitting metaphor: for the play, the whole of SANCTUARY, and the daunting task that lies ahead. Through Feb. 18 at HERE (145 Sixth Ave.; enter on Dominick, one block south of Spring St.). Most performances begin at 8:30pm and most tickets are $20. For reservations and the schedule of events, visit here.org (order tickets by phone 212-352-3101).

Photo by Hunter Canning

Theatre artist and trans activist Maybe Burke spoke on visibility, invisibility, and the power of identity.

Photo courtesy Fossick Collective Photo by Hunter Canning

L to R: Jonathan Cot tle and Adam Salberg lef t their comfor t zone to host the SANCTUARY Inaugural Ball. DowntownExpress.com

“Next Faggot Nation,” Jan. 27-29, challenges the current crop to make their mark on activism and art. January 26 - February 08, 2017

21


22

January 26 - February 08, 2017

DowntownExpress.com


JAZZ Continued from page 20

cello duo Anja Lechner and Francois Couturier bringing their moody and meditative stylings stateside to play a set in support of their newest album together, “Nuit Blanche.” And that’s just the beginning — Sound It Out already has acts booked through June 29. As for where Millevoi fits in, he’ll be playing with his Desertion Trio, which has found its footing at the crossroads of classic rock and free jazz. The trio’s named after his latest LP, an instrumental disc with sprawling soundscapes, alternately melodic and proggy, gentle and aggressive. While the group is still evolving, it represents a synthesis of Millevoi’s far-flung musical influences — spanning everything from Neil Young records to harshand-noisy jazz/punk — with his own unique playing at the center. “Sometimes it’s more like a free jazz spin on there, sometimes it’s more of like an open free rock kind of vibe that we’re taking to approach the material,” said Millevoi, describing the group’s distinctive tonal palette. “Any sound that I’m working with is just something that feels personal. So to jump around never feels like that crazy of a thing, as much as it might be aesthetically crazy.”

DowntownExpress.com

Photo by Matt Hurst

Guitarist Nick Millevoi will lead his Desertion Trio through genre-bending, jazzy numbers: Feb. 11, at the Sound It Out series.

Millevoi is confident that audiences will stay along for (and enjoy) the sonic ride they’ll take them on, due to their faith in Bambarger and the Sound It Out brand. “When it’s a carefully curated experience by somebody who’s really passionate, those are always the most meaningful experiences,” Millevoi asserted. “That’s

the best way to reach the audience that’s most interested or, often, most openminded to what you’re doing.” Monk in Motion plays Saturdays: Feb. 4, 18, & Mar. 4, at 7:30pm. At the BMCC Tribeca Performing Arts Center (199 Chambers St., btw. Greenwich & West Sts.). For tickets ($30; $20 stu-

dents/seniors) and info, visit tribecapac. org. Get info on the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz at monkinstitute.org. Sound It Out takes place at Greenwich House Music School (46 Barrow St., btw. Bedford & Bleecker Sts.). Dates, times and ticket prices vary. For tickets and info, visit facebook.com/sounditoutnyc or greenwichhouse.org.

January 26 - February 08, 2017

23


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.

24

January 26 - February 08, 2017

DowntownExpress.com

Profile for NYC COMMUNITY MEDIA

Downtown Express  

January 26, 20017

Downtown Express  

January 26, 20017