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Photo by Milo Hess

Thousands gathered at The Battery on Sunday, capping a weekend of demonstrations around the country against Trump’s executive order.

HUDDLED MASSES WELCOME HERE Travel Ban Challenged in Courts, Streets, Airports, Squares BY CHELSEA NOW STAFF President Donald Trump’s draconian — though ineptly crafted and implemented — executive order on immigration and refugee entry into the US created a spontaneous eruption of protests nationwide and

brought thousands of New Yorkers into the streets and to the airport nearly every day since Thurs., Jan. 26. The evening before Trump announced his order, issued on Jan. 27, International Holocaust Remembrance Day — which he bizarrely acknowledged without any

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mention of its six million Jewish victims — thousands gathered in Washington Square in a rally hastily called by the Council on American-Islamic Relations. Out gay Chelsea City Councilmember Corey Johnson — whose father, the child of a Korean woman and a US GI, was adopted at age three in Seoul and brought LIBERTY continued on p. 2

PRESIDENTS DAY GRAND OPENING

VOLUME 09, ISSUE 5 | February 02 - 08, 2017


Photo by Donna Aceto

Crowds gathered in Washington Square on Jan. 26 on the eve of the Trump immigration order.

Draconian Immigration Order Mobilizes Liberty-Loving New Yorkers LIBERTY continued from p. 1

to the US, and whose maternal greatgrandparents came here from Ireland — told the crowd, “We in New York City are going to be the face of resistance. Forty percent of New Yorkers are foreign born. Why are we the greatest city in the world? Because of our people.” Of the president, Johnson said, “We have a leader who is not just a demagogue, but a pathological liar with no impulse control, and the facts mean nothing to him.” Though immigration rights advocates were clearly prepared for the worst, the breadth and arbitrariness of Trump’s order the following day shocked many. All refugee entry is barred for 120 days, and entry by Syrian refugees is suspended indefinitely. Most immigration is also suspended for 90 days from seven Muslimmajority nations — Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen. The libertarian (and generally conservative) Cato Institute immediately took note of the fact that between 1975 and 2015, not a single American was killed on US soil as the result of terrorist attacks by nationals from any of the seven countries. Other observers pointed out that Trump’s family business has no dealings in those nations but does in other Muslim nations, such as Saudi Arabia, where 15 of the 19 9/11 attackers came from. As customs officials began enforcing

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Photo by Milo Hess

A Sun., Jan. 29 rally was held at The Battery to put the Statue of Liberty in the background of the protest, and the symbolism wasn’t lost on the demonstrators.

the president’s order, which had not been vetted by officials in the Departments of Homeland Security, Justice, Defense, or State, Americans spontaneously flocked in huge numbers to major airports around the nation in protest. The demonstrators who gathered outside Terminal 4 at Kennedy Airport were a strikingly diverse group made up of some home-grown New Yorkers and others from far-flung parts of the world. One shocked bi-national couple turned out in support of those who were stopped

at the airport and threatened with being sent back to their native lands. “It’s absolutely nerve-wracking because we are working on staying here,” said Camila Quinteros-Stein, 26, from Peru. “We are married and we are working on our green card, so I was like, ‘Wait, I just submitted some paperwork, what do I do now?’ ” Phoebe Quinteros-Stein, who is originally from New Jersey and married to Camila, said: “As the American in the relationship, I am pretty ashamed.”

Camila was not surprised by what has happened in America since coming back to the US, particularly in light of a history of military coups in Latin America. “I don’t think this is the end of democracy,” she said. “I think it is a wake-up call for a lot of Democrats and liberals to not accept that our conversation should be amongst ourselves... and to actually speak to people outside of our bubbles.” The outpouring of love for the refugees overwhelmed one Muslim man. “I’m from New York, born and raised in Queens, and I live in Westchester,” said Adil Iqbal, a 33-year-old doctor. When he learned of the president’s order, he said he knew he had to stand in solidarity for all people. “I’m grateful that I’m in New York City, the most tolerant place in the world. Islam is about peace, and I think the media has created a huge misconception on who Muslims are across the world,” Iqbal said. “This is the fruit of that. For a decade and a half the media been injecting fear toward Islam, and they have gotten this idiot Trump elected.” City Councilmember Carlos Menchaca, an out gay Brooklynite who represents Sunset Park, Red Hook, and Windsor Terrace, said, “It was heart-wrenching to spend time with families at JFK Airport Terminal 4 who were waiting for their mothers and wives to be released.” LIBERTY continued on p. 12 .com


Trump’s Nomination for High Court of Concern to LGBTs BY DUNCAN OSBORNE In a brief White House event that was nationally televised, Donald Trump nominated a conservative federal circuit court judge often compared to Justice Antonin Scalia to fill the US Supreme Court seat that was left vacant by Scalia’s death in early 2016. “You’ve entrusted me with a most solemn assignment,” Neil Gorsuch said after Trump introduced him and his wife, Marie Louise, on the evening of Tues., Jan 31. “I pledge that if I’m confirmed I’ll be a faithful servant of the Constitution of this country.” The event began with the usual crowd of Trump boosters — including his two sons, now running his business empire — who gave the former celebrity, now president, an extended round of applause and cheering as he came to the podium. Scalia’s “image and genius” were on his mind when considering a replacement for the jurist, Trump said. Scalia, who was on the court for 30 years, was known for his bitter and angry dissents in cases won by the LGBT community at the nation’s highest court. Gorsuch, who described Scalia as a “lion of the law,” gave a speech at the law school at Case Western Reserve University roughly two months after Scalia’s death in which he heaped praise on Scalia as a judge who limited his decisions according to the original intent of the drafters of the US Constitution and of Congress, a doctrine that is popular among conservatives, but is practically impossible to implement. Scalia reminded us, Gorsuch said last year, that judges “should instead strive (if humanly and so imperfectly) to apply the law as it is, focusing backward, not forward, and looking to text, structure, and history to decide what a reasonable reader at the time of the events in question would have understood the law to

Via whitehouse.gov

President Donald Trump introduces Judge Neil Gorsuch, seen here with his wife Marie Louise, in the East Room of the White House.

be — not to decide cases based on their own moral convictions or the policy consequences they believe might serve society best.” In 2005, Gorsuch was nominated to the 10th Circuit (an appellate court that covers six western states) by thenPresident George W. Bush, and was confirmed the following year. Previously, he worked in the US Department of Justice in the Bush administration. Earlier in his legal career, Gorsuch clerked for Byron White and Anthony Kennedy, both US Supreme Court justices. He also clerked for David Sentelle, a conservative judge on the District of Columbia federal appellate court. “These justices brought me up in the law,” Gorsuch said at the White House event. The general consensus in media reports is that Gorsuch is as conservative as Scalia, but more polite and not inclined to use invective in his opinions. His right-wing roots run deep. On Feb. 1, Robert George, the Princeton University law professor who is a leading anti-LGBT voice, praised Gorsuch

in a Washington Post editorial and noted that the nominee had studied under John Finnis at Oxford University. Finnis is a proponent of natural law theory, a conservative religious view that a universal morality can be discerned by analyzing human nature and the natural world. Gorsuch has a scant record on matters that are of interest to the LGBT community, but some groups are making not-unreasonable inferences about his positions given his earlier rulings, and are opposing his nomination. Gorsuch joined a ruling that held that it violated the religious beliefs of the owners of a closelyheld private company to require them to pay for contraception in employee health plans under the federal Affordable Care Act. He also ruled against a transgender inmate who sought consistent access to hormone therapy in 2015. Right wingers are agitating for a federal law that will allow them to cite their religious beliefs to deny services to LGBT people. Gorsuch’s earlier ruling suggests he might be willing to uphold such a law. “The Supreme Court has played a

central role in advancing the promise of equality for LGBTQ Americans, and Judge Gorsuch’s anti-equality record — from opposing crucial medical treatment for a transgender person to supporting a license to discriminate for private corporations — make him unfit to sit on the nation’s highest court,” Chad Griffin, the chief executive of the Human Rights Campaign, the nation’s largest LGBTQ lobby, said in a statement that was issued within minutes of the announcement. “We cannot afford a justice who will roll back our rights, or who will be a rubber stamp for Donald Trump’s unconstitutional actions.” Rea Carey, the executive director of the National LGBTQ Task Force, also opposed the Gorsuch nomination in a statement. “Judge Neil Gorsuch’s record reveals a jurist who: believes that bosses should control their employees’ private health care decisions; supports the misuse of religion to legalize discrimination; and holds LGBTQ equality with disdain. He is also a darling of those who are vehemently opposed to marriage equality,” Carey said. In published reports made prior to the announcement, Senate Democrats were already saying they would filibuster any Trump nominee for the US Supreme Court. Republicans, who refused to consider President Barack Obama’s pick to replace Scalia — Judge Garland Merrick, the chief judge of the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit — have complained about Senate Democrats stalling Trump’s nominees. For his part, Trump argued for unity. “The qualifications of Judge Gorsuch are beyond dispute,” he said toward the close of the White House event. “I only hope that Democrats and Republicans can come together for once for the good of the country.”

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Town Hall’s Film, Panel, Audience Examine State of ‘Hate in America’ BY LINCOLN ANDERSON Hate is frighteningly in the air these days. Not surprisingly, it was also on the marquee in big bright blue letters on the SVA Theatre in Chelsea on Sun., Jan. 29. So was Brad Hoylman’s name — but Hoylman is not a hater. Rather, he is trying to help people find some answers to what is fueling — at least in part — the craziness that is currently gripping our country. More than 300 people turned out to the School of Visual Arts’ W. 23rd St. film screening facility to view a documentary looking at the roots of hate crimes, followed by a panel discussion about the “alt-right” at an event hosted by the state senator. The name of the film on the marquee was “Hate in America: Stories From the Files of the Southern Poverty Law Center.” Its producer/director, Rebecca Teitel, was on the expert panel, along with Oren Segal, director of the Center on Extremism at the Anti-Defamation League, and Heidi Beirich, director of the Intelligence Project at the Southern Poverty Law Center. Meanwhile, the name on everyone’s mind was Stephen Bannon, the former editor of Breitbart News — which he has called “the platform for the altright.” Over the weekend, new President Donald Trump had elevated Bannon to the National Security Council. A headline about that shocking story was flashed on the movie screen behind Hoylman as he gave his opening remarks. “Make no mistake about it,” the state senator said, “a white nationalist with an apocalyptic world vision will be at the table for every national security decision.” Adding to the climate of fear and uncertainty, just days earlier, Trump had imposed a ban on refugees and people from certain countries seeking entry to the US. Hoylman noted that he personally has been targeted by haters in the wake of Trump’s election. After he went public with the fact that swastikas had been found carved into a service-elevator door in his Village apartment building, Hoylman found himself bombarded with vicious tweets from alt-righters, he said. New York Police Department statistics show a 23 percent increase in reported hate crimes throughout the five boroughs in 2016, Hoylman added. Before the movie started, Hoylman told the crowd that, among other resource materials, he had left a copy

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Photo by Tequila Minsky

State Senator Brad Hoylman’s Jan. 29 Town Hall on Hate featured a panel comprised of, left to right, Oren Segal, of the Anti-Defamation League; Heidi Beirich, of the Southern Poverty Law Center; Hoylman; and film producer/director Rebecca Teitel.

of the US Constitution in the theater’s lobby — “which I think you’ll find invaluable over the next four years,” he quipped, to some nervous laughter. The film follows veteran journalist Tony Harris as he conducts interviews to try to uncover the root causes of several recent heinous hate crimes, ranging from Mississippi to Midtown Manhattan. These include the killing of James Craig Anderson, a 49-year-old gay African-American man, by a group of young whites in Jackson, Mississippi in 2011; the youths singled him out, beat him up and then intentionally ran him over with their truck. The Southern Poverty Law Center has been tracking hate crimes since 1971, and, according to its data, the LGBT community is the group that is most often targeted by hate crimes. However, in Anderson’s case, it wasn’t clear that he was targeted for his sexuality. He had been slightly inebriated and the whites, who had been drinking earlier at a party, had been cruising for a black victim. The film also documents the 2012 massacre at the Wisconsin Sikh Temple, in which white nationalist Wade Michael Page killed six people and wounded four before fatally shooting himself. The film notes that Page had lost both his job and girlfriend, and that these things are often triggers for hate violence.

Interestingly, Harris interviews a founder of the white nationalist group Page belonged to who has renounced racism and hate. What changed him was that he had a daughter — he had something more constructive and meaningful to put his energies into. The third incident in the film was closer to home. On May 5, 2013, Nicholas Porto and a friend were walking near Madison Square Garden around 5 p.m. when they were verbally harassed by eight or nine Knicks fans who started calling them “fags.” When one of the men mocked Porto’s jeans, he responded, “I made them” — after which he promptly found himself thrown to the gutter and punched and kicked in a rapid but brutal beatdown. After Porto spoke out about the incident, he, too, received hate mail. He said he also suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder. Shortly afterward, Mark Carson, a young gay man, was shot to death in the Village on W. Eighth St., by a man who had been shouting homophobic insults at him. Hoylman is shown in the film noting that there were nine hate-crime incidents in his district that summer, which some called “The Summer of Hate.” After the film, Public Advocate Letitia James gave remarks, noting she had been at JFK Airport the day before,

where she stood in solidarity with a female Muslim airport worker who had been harassed by a passenger, who told the worker, “Trump is here now,” before kicking her. “Prejudice and vitriol goes to the top of power now,” James said. “The word has power and consequences, and so do presidential actions. But I tell you: This will not be normalized,” she declared, as the audience applauded. At the start of the panel discussion — which was moderated by Hoylman — Teitel noted that watching her film today, in light of Trump’s election, “the ending no longer seems pertinent.” Beirich, of the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC; splcenter.org), said that what white nationalist Page and his group wanted to do was “turn back the tide of multiculturalism in the United States. We have an administration that wants to turn the tide back to a lot of what we saw in the film,” she noted. However, Segal stressed that at the Anti-Defamation League (ADL; adl. org), “I think it’s important to focus on the Trump administration in terms of what they do, not what they say. We focus on what they do because that’s going to give us an ability to respond.” He also added that not all Trump supporters are members of the alt-right. HATE IN AMERICA continued on p. 18 .com


City Council Extends Penn South Tax Abatement Through 2052 BY DENNIS LYNCH The City Council has approved a resolution to extend existing tax abatements at Penn South until the year 2052 — a move that secures the most vital component to keep the 15-building, 2,820-unit co-op complex affordable for the first half of the 21st century. The Council’s Wed., Feb. 1 approval of the tax abatements scheme comes two weeks after the federal government approved a deal to refinance Penn South’s mortgage and lock in a low interest rate until the same year. The tax abatement was required to complete that deal, which should come together in the next few months, according to Penn South General Manager Brendan Keany. “Everything’s fallen very nicely into place,” Keany said. “We expect we will be concluding the commitment very shortly and closing on the loan in either March or April.” Keany added that Penn South “is gratified once again, for the fourth time, to have extended our contract with the city of New York for 2052 and to continue our original mission providing affordable housing for several genera-

Chelsea Now file photo by Scott Stiffler

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

tions of New Yorkers.” The federal deal will save residents an estimated $3 million per year, which Keany said would go towards maintenance and capital improvements at the 15-building complex. Without it, resi-

dents would have to foot those bills and pay for any interest rate increases over the years. The city has granted Penn South tax abatements since it first opened in 1962, allowing it to remain affordable as prop-

erty values around it have skyrocketed in an increasingly wealthy neighborhood. Protecting Penn South’s affordability is crucial for Chelsea and the city itself, said Councilmember Corey Johnson in response to the Council’s approval of the tax abatements. “This vote,” Johnson told Chelsea Now, “was about ensuring that the people who built our community can stay here and retire here in dignity. Penn South is the heart of Chelsea. It’s a beacon of affordability in one of the most expensive cities in the world. Extending affordability is going to benefit thousands of families over decades to come.” Some worried the federal deal, more a great opportunity for Penn South to save money rather than a necessity, would fall apart once President Donald Trump’s pick for the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, Ben Carson, took office. Penn South started the process for that deal in late 2015 and it was delayed when it hit some road bumps this past fall. Senator Chuck Schumer helped expedite the deal in the last days of Barack Obama’s presidency.

Talking Point

Preserving Affordability at Penn South BY COUNCILMEMBER COREY JOHNSON Since taking office in 2014, one of my highest priorities has been to preserve and create affordable housing in Council District 3. This is absolutely essential if we are to address our housing crisis and retain a viable middle and working class. A big part of that effort involves preserving affordability at Penn South, the 2,820-unit cooperative that has been a beacon of affordable homeownership in Chelsea for over 50 years. I am pleased to report that on February 1, the New York City Council passed a resolution to extend existing tax abatements for Penn South to the year 2052. Here in the heart of one of the most expensive cities in the country, the people of Penn South have maintained affordability through smart planning and determination. They have set an example for the rest of the country to follow as a place where middle-class New Yorkers can establish a home, raise a family, be part of their communities, and retire with dignity and comfort. This accomplishment would not have been possible without the leadership of the Penn South Board of Directors, as well as the efforts of General Manager Brendan Keany and his team, whose tireless efforts ensured that Penn South will be on steady footing for generations to come. I would also like to thank Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer and Congressmember Jerrold Nadler .com

Photo by William Alatriste via NYC Council

Councilmember Corey Johnson in the Council chambers at City Hall.

for orchestrating the federal government’s role in preserving affordability at Penn South. State Senator Brad Hoylman, Assemblymember Richard Gottfried and Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer have also been stalwart champions of this effort. As we face the very real prospect that that our nation’s affordable housing stock will be jeopardized under the Trump Administration, we must not waiver. We must not allow our city to become an enclave for only the wealthiest, where the price of admission is a high six-figure salary. We must make sure that millions of New Yorkers who have worked hard their entire lives have an oppor-

tunity to live in the heart of this city, and take part in all aspects of what it means to be a New Yorker. As your councilmember, I will continue to seize every opportunity to maintain affordability, and I look forward to working with my fellow West Siders and elected officials to make sure that New York remains a place for all people. Councilmember Corey Johnson represents District 3 in the New York City Council, which covers the neighborhoods of Hell’s Kitchen, Chelsea, the West Village, and parts of Flatiron, SoHo, and the Upper West Side.‎ Contact his office at 212-564-7757 or by email at at district3@council.nyc.gov. Februar y 02 - 08, 2017

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Proposals, Workshops Prep for the Coming ‘L-pocalypse’ BY DENNIS LYNCH Community leaders in Chelsea have banded together with members of block associations and community groups in and outside the neighborhood to push their concerns over the fate of 14th St. come the L train shutdown in 2019. The Council of Chelsea Block Associations, which is made up of 15 block associations covering 25 blocks, is spearheading the effort with a task force of members and members of other neighborhood groups with a stake in the future of 14th St. The group’s main concern is with proposals to ban all but buses, bikes, and pedestrians from 14th St. to transform it into a more pedestrian-friendly thoroughfare. The transit advocacy group Transportation Alternatives (aka TransAlt; transalt.org) came up with the most prominent of such proposals, the PeopleWay, as a way to maintain efficient public transit along 14th St. while the vital L train is out of commission to repair the Canarsie Tunnel to and from Brooklyn, which was heavily damaged during Hurricane Sandy. The plan is likely the most efficient way to move people across town without the L train, which moves roughly

Courtesy The Villager

A Transportation Alternatives activist advocating for the group’s PeopleWay plan for 14th St. during the coming L train shutdown in Manhattan. So far, though, the city has not been very forthcoming in responding to the proposal.

225,000 people from Brooklyn and 50,000 people in Manhattan alone everyday, but it would also displace the 16,000 cars that use 14th St. Those vehicles would spill over onto adjacent east/west streets to get across town without major mitigation measures — and that would be a nightmare for people living there, according to

opponents of the proposal. “The side streets have been inundated with traffic for years; even our sidewalks are crowded now,” said Michele Golden of the Flatiron Alliance, who is part of the task force and lives on W. 18th St. “There’s this misconception that the side streets are empty. I love living on West 18th Street, but they’re

honking day and night. It’s beyond a quality of life issue at this point.” Golden also pointed out that many elderly and disabled people who live along 14th St. need to be able to walk out their door and access curbside car services. Last week the task force spoke with state Senator Brad Hoylman, who represents the entirety of 14th St., who supported their calls for involvement. “I think what the neighborhood is seeking is entirely reasonable and necessary, which is a seat at the table for these discussions for mitigation of the effects of the L train shutdown,” Hoylman said. “The streets around 14th Street are going to bear the most impact from any potential closure, and we want to make sure that residents’ voices are heard.” There are some people who do want to see cars and trucks banished from 14th. St. though. Gary Roth, a W. 24th St. resident and Columbia University urban planning professor told our sister publication, The Villager, in October that it was the only way to move the huge volume of riders who take the L train each day. L SHUTDOWN continued on p. 17

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At the Rubin Museum, a Home for Your ‘Om’

Courtesy Rubin Museum of Art

The OM Lab records your chant for posterity via inclusion in an upcoming exhibition.

BY DUSICA SUE MALESEVIC If recent presidential executive orders are causing hyperventilation, the Rubin Museum of Art is offering a way to slow down, take a deep breath, and say “Om.” “It’s a very important concept for our time right now,” Risha Lee, curator, told Chelsea Now last week at a sneak peek of the museum’s newly installed “OM Lab.” Starting this Friday, Feb. 3, the temporary participatory space will invite visitors to the sixth floor — which has been turned into a sleek, sparse area dominated by a white booth in which willing participants can have a go at the enduring Sanskrit mantra. “The process is a bit tricky,” Terence Caulkins, sound and interaction designer for the exhibition, said. “We’re trying to make it as easy as possible for people to produce their most authentic Om.” Caulkins, who designed the iPad interface visitors will be using, said in a phone interview that the program will “guide people through the process of doing the recording.” First, a visitor will prepare — sit upright, put on the headphones and get close to the microphone. Next, they will hear three samples of Tibetan monks chanting at lower, medium and higher pitches, and will hum along to see which pitch they should record at, Caulkins explained. After choosing their pitch, the visitor will then record their Om. While the chant is being recorded, .com

Photo by Dusica Sue Malesevic

Daniel Neumann, acoustic designer for the upcoming “The World Is Sound” exhibition, demonstrates how a visitor will record their “Om.”

a waveform is projected on the wall behind the booth. Banners before the booth, will provide information about Om, which Lee said in a phone interview “has a huge 3,000 years of history that is absolutely fascinating, and might not be known to the wider public. We wanted to involve the community. Om by its nature is communal.” “Om can be considered to be the most supreme mantra — it condenses

all of the meaning into one word, so to speak,” Jorrit Britschgi, director of exhibitions, collections and research, said in a phone interview. “Om cannot be reduced to smaller parts. It’s the smallest possible molecule, sonically speaking.” The OM Lab grew out of brainstorming and planning for a larger exhibition, called “The World Is Sound,” which will open in June, Lee explained. “The World Is Sound” is “so interesting, that

it spilled over. We realized this [OM Lab] could be an exhibition itself,” she said. Britschgi said that the whole point of OM Lab is to be “an interactive and participatory experience” for visitors. Indeed, after the chants are recorded, they will be woven together, and will be part of “The World Is Sound” exhibition. OM continued on p. 24 Februar y 02 - 08, 2017

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Creamline’s Second Store is a Sweet Addition to Seventh BY DENNIS LYNCH The owners of Chelsea Market staple Creamline have opened a new location in the heart of Chelsea that serves the same choice American classics that’s made it a favorite at the iconic food hall. Hunger and thirst in tow, Chelsea Now went to check out the new joint and chat with owner Harris Mayer-Selinger. The Creamline team didn’t have to wander far before settling on their second location — a modestly sized canteen space at 180 Seventh Ave. (near the corner of W. 21st St.). Mayer-Selinger explained that although the new store is only a 15-minute walk from Chelsea Market (79 Ninth Ave., btw. W. 15th & 16th Sts.), they’re serving two very different customer bases. “Our guests at Chelsea Market are typically very international. We’re very proud of that. Sure, locals go there; but we wanted to see how the locals jump on the train with us, and so far its just been fantastic,” Mayer-Selinger said, adding that most of the customers on Seventh Ave. have been locals. It’s also logistically advantageous, he said. Creamline sources all of its beef from its neighbor at Chelsea Market, Dickson’s Farmstand Meats, so they’re able to quickly get meat from there over to the Seventh Ave. location without much trouble. The menus at both locations are the same — except that the Chelsea Market location also serves hard ice cream in their floats and shakes, whereas the Seventh Ave. location uses soft serve. Both styles are from Ronnybrook Farm Dairy (an upstate farm, and a partner in Creamline’s

Photo by Dennis Lynch

Harris Mayer-Selinger (center) with the managers of Creamline’s two locations. Evan Jay (left) manages the Chelsea Market location, while Austin Dickens (right) manages the Ninth Ave. location.

business). Ronnybrook supplies Creamline with all of its dairy, and actually supplied it with its name too: Creamline is the name of Ronnybrook’s non-homogenized milk, taken from the line of thick cream that forms at the top of the milk (Ronnybrook retail items are available at the Chelsea Market Creamline). Creamline’s new location is much smaller than the Chelsea Market original, so seating is limited to a dozen stools in front of a wall-mounted counter — but you get a good look at your burger or chicken sandwich cooking up on the grill and the shakes coming together at the ice

cream station. Mayer-Selinger called it a personal experience. “I think it feels pretty roomy actually. What’s cool is you’re in the kitchen; it’s one in the same,” he said. “We have an open kitchen at Chelsea Market too. But here, you’re really with our cooks, who are also your service team.” The most popular meal is not surprisingly the four-and-a-half ounce burger, the undisputed champ at the Chelsea Market location. They’ve sold around 600-650 of the burgers, but the fried chicken sandwich is giving the burger a run for its money on Seventh Ave.

Especially popular is the new honey butter hot sauce chicken sandwich lathered in honey, Ronnybrook butter, and Frank’s RedHot sauce. We tried the honey butter hot sauce chicken sandwich and it was as rich as it sounds. Creamline (creamlinenyc.com) is the latest in a string of Mayer-Selinger’s culinary explorations. He’s chef’d at restaurants around the world in a variety of styles, but said his farm-driven ethos was primarily inspired by time spent at New York restaurants Hundred Acres and Five Points. CREAMLINE continued on p. 27

Photo by Dennis Lynch

Via creamlinenyc.com

The many sources that Creamline uses for its ingredients. Dickson’s Farmstand Meats is located next door to Creamline at Chelsea Market, and Ronnybrook Farm Dairy supplies all of Creamline’s dairy products.

The new honey butter and hot sauce chicken sandwich is giving the burger a run for its money as top choice at Creamline’s new Seventh Ave. location.

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POLICE BLOTTER IDENTITY THEFT: Lost Verizon

PETIT LARCENY: Uber lyft

Last week, a W. 25th St. resident found herself on the hook for a number of unauthorized charges when the phone company came calling to collect. On Sun., Jan. 29, she reported to police that she had received a letter a few days earlier claiming she owed $793.43 to Verizon. The problem? According to the victim, she only ever held a phone account with AT&T, not Verizon. According to Verizon, however, not one, but four cellphone lines were opened up with their company, using the victim’s name and security number to set them up. The police are looking into this identity theft — a category of crime they said was on the rise (and often targeted seniors) at a Community Council meeting October of last year.

As Uber was taking a hit with the public last weekend (after an illadvised appeal to customers during the time cabs refused to go to JFK because of Trump’s travel ban), one of its own drivers was still reeling from an unexpected setback of his own. As reported to police on Fri., Jan. 27, the driver in question recalls picking up passengers on the afternoon of Wed., Jan. 25, and driving them to the northeast corner of 11th Ave. and W. 28th St. A little while after dropping the fares off, the man realized a number of items were missing from the car. All told, the 56-year-old Bronx man lost $470 worth of stuff — a set of keys, a pair of gloves, and a pricey polo from Ralph Lauren.

PETIT LARCENY: Mismatching miscreant Last weekend, an unlucky Bronx resident had to schlep all the way to the NYPD’s tow pound (at W. 38th St. & 12th Ave.) to claim his car — all for an offense he was uninvolved in. On Sun., Jan. 29, the 32-year-old man reported to authorities that while he was at work the day before, he was completely unaware that some unknown person (for reasons similarly unknown) had switched the front plate on his car for a different one, causing the back and front plates to be mismatched — the infraction for which his 1998 Toyota Camry was towed to the lot, and for which he was ticketed. Police duly provided him with the proper paperwork to file the stolen tag.

PETIT LARCENY: Vespa vandal It’s a bit surprising this thief didn’t just take the whole vehicle — though they might have just been more self-conscious than its owner about being caught riding a Vespa. On Thurs., Jan. 26, a 47-yearold man parked his scooter on the 300 block of W. 28th St. (btw. Eighth & Ninth Aves.) at 9:30am, but when he returned to that location at 7:15pm he found the vehicle in disrepair. Specifically, there were scratches on both the left and right sides of the body, and the trunk storage space had been forcibly opened. While they opted out of the ride, they helped themselves to the Bluetooth-compatible helmet therewithin anyway. No cameras were available at the location; the Originebrand helmet was valued at $250. .com

ASSAULT: Scratch the punchline Working at Gotham Comedy Club (208 W. 23rd St., btw. Seventh & Eighth Aves.) was no laughing matter for one man, after the evening of Sat., Jan. 28 took a painfully unfunny turn — and not just because Carlos Mencia was performing. At approximately 7:15pm (tellingly, just after Mencia’s set began, according to Gotham’s schedule) the 52-year-old employee got into an argument with an agitated customer. Eventually things escalated to the point where the customer lashed out at him physically, scratching at the right side of his neck and causing two lacerations. Authorities arrived shortly thereafter, and arrested the 54-year-old New Jersey man for his stand-up beat-down. Surprisingly, Mencia himself was not taken into custody despite his rampant joke theft, extensive crimes against comedy and good taste, and the inexcusable introduction of the phrase “dee dee dee” into the cultural lexicon.

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Photo by Bill Parry

Photo by Donna Aceto

Lawyers rushed to Kennedy Airport to aid detained travelers trying to enter the US.

Public Advocate Letitia James in Battery Park.

tion of Brooklyn. “It’s really nice to see this response to all the anger that’s out there right now.” Inside, Judge Ann Donnelly had to shush whoops as she granted a temporary stay regarding a portion of Trump’s order, finding that returning some of those detained — already holding visas, green cards, or refugee status — could subject them to “irreparable harm.” “If they had come in two days ago, we wouldn’t be here,” said Donnelly. Somewhere between 100 and 200 people — even government lawyers claimed they didn’t know exactly — were being held at airports around America on Saturday, including dozens at Kennedy. Though some detainees were allowed to enter the country, Donnelly’s decision doesn’t necessarily mean all will be freed, lawyers warned — they could be held in detention until the case is actually heard on Feb. 21. “That’s a lot of time to be sitting in a detention center,” said Anthony Romero, head of the American Civil liberties Union, which filed the lawsuit.

The attorneys who successfully intervened won widespread praise, as did the thousands who turned out in support of those struggling to enter the country. “This is just so beautiful, I am just so proud,” said Congressmember Nydia Velázquez, a Democrat who spent the whole day at Kennedy Airport with her colleague, Jerry Nadler, who represents Manhattan’s West Side and portions of Brooklyn. Velázquez, whose district spans many immigrant neighborhoods in Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens, added, “Now we have to bring justice to all the refugees who are escaping violence in their countries to be here — this is who we are.” The energy expended on Saturday did not dissipate passion about the issue, and on Sunday, an estimated 10,000 gathered in Battery Park, with America’s most enduring symbol of immigration as a backdrop. Many of the protesters sported foam Statue of Liberty hats they bought from vendors, and at least one demonstrator’s sign quoted Emma Lazarus’ famous poem inscribed on the statue’s

LIBERTY continued from p. 2

He added, however, “I was able to bring some sense of community and hope to one family when I showed them photos and video of thousands of people gathering outside in solidarity. For a moment, their hearts lifted knowing they were not alone.” Kui Tan, 24, a Chinese American originally from Iowa and now living in New York, recalled past discrimination against Asian immigrants. “This is totally immoral, unconstitutional, and a lot of things have been happening with the executive orders, but this is the first time that people’s lives are affected, international relations are shot, and this is like Japanese internment,” she said. “When it’s convenient to discriminate, they are not going to care.” Chtindarpal Singh, a South Ozone Park resident who came to New York from India, reflected on the importance of Americans uniting in the face of antiimmigrant sentiment. “To be honest, I feel really loved,” said Singh, who is often mistaken for Muslim. “I know it’s kind of crazy, but what you see [here] is love for Muslims. I’m Sikh, a different religion, but I feel like New York has got our back and I love it. There is always a mix-up between Sikh and Islam, but any hate is bad. I’m not going to say, ‘No, I’m not Muslim.’ There shouldn’t be any hate at all.” Even as thousands held vigil at Kennedy, news of an emergency federal court hearing on Trump’s order in Brooklyn on Saturday evening spread quickly on social media, and demonstrators high-tailed it to Cadman Plaza East near the Brooklyn Bridge. By the time the court’s decision came down at 9 p.m., a large crowd erupted in singing, chanting, and cheering alongside a live brass band. “It was a party feeling,” said Marika Plater, who lives in the Clinton Hill sec-

12

Februar y 02 - 08, 2017

pedestal: “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses… Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me.” The crowd chanted, “No hate, no fear, refugees are welcome here!” and “No ban, no wall!” — a message many bore on signs and banners. Numerous Democratic elected officials attended the rally — including Mayor Bill de Blasio, Senators Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand of New York and their New Jersey colleague, Cory Booker, Velázquez and Nadler, along with their fellow House members Carolyn Maloney, Adriano Espaillat, Hakeem Jeffries, and Joe Crowley. Schumer vowed that he would “not rest until these horrible orders are repealed,” and credited Saturday’s protests at Kennedy with helping to ease restrictions and allow dozens of people being held there to enter the country. But he warned the work was not over. “We have made progress for 42 [visa holders],” Schumer said, “but we have to make progress for thousands, and tens of thousands more, and hundreds of thousands more.” Schumer, who as Senate minority leader is the most powerful political opponent Trump has in Washington, received a lukewarm welcome from the crowd, in part because he has supported some of the president’s less controversial cabinet nominees. Some demonstrators chanted “oppose the nominees” following his speech. Later on Sunday, Maloney asked a House committee to investigate “how the executive order banning and restricting immigration signed on Friday came to fruition,” according to a press release from her office. She wants to know what federal agencies the Trump administration consulted in preparing the order. LIBERTY continued on p. 27

Photo by Stefano Giovannini

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L SHUTDOWN continued from p. 6

“When you take down roadways, people don’t drive in, so there won’t be this flood of traffic,” Roth said. “I think this is the best way to do it. As the High Line helped change how an urban park is conceived, I think a redesigned 14th St. could be a new way to look at a crosstown route in Manhattan, and this could be the template of a crosstown street.” The Department of Transportation and the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) are studying solutions to the looming “L-pocalypse,” as some have called it, after local elected officials, including Borough President Gale Brewer, urged them to do so. The agencies have largely kept quiet about all of the proposals, but the community will have a chance to weigh in with ideas at joint workshops this month to “develop service alternatives .com

and mitigation proposals tailored to the affected neighborhoods,” according to the MTA. The agencies said they will use the community input to inform “traffic modeling and analysis currently being conducted as service plans to minimize impacts are developed,” and they will run down what the repairs will entail for the public. They’ll have representatives “available to discuss construction impacts, ADA issues, and bus and subway service as it relates to the closure,” at the workshops as well. Community Workshops will take place at the Town and Village Synagogue (334 E. 14th St. btw. First & Second Aves.) on Thurs., Feb. 9, and on Thurs., Feb. 23 at Our Lady of Guadalupe Church (328 W. 14th St., btw. Hudson St. & Eighth Ave.). Both meetings are scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. and last for two hours.

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HATE IN AMERICA continued from p. 4

On the subject of anti-Semitism and the alt-right, Segal said, “Yes, anti-Semitism is at the heart of the alt-right,” but added, “What extremist movement isn’t anti-Semitic?” Beirich said that, unfortunately, part of her job is to read Breitbart News. “It actually has a section on blackon-white crime,” she noted. Bannon, she said, is the “main offender” in the administration right now. “Trump is welcoming some of the worst elements of our society,” she said. “This is the opposite of the civil rights movement. The country has been working for decades to get rid of this.” She called Milo Yiannopoulous, a young gay tech editor at Breitbart, “the gateway drug.” “He tries to create the idea that he’s just kidding,” she said. “He now has a book deal,” Hoylman interjected, drawing some groans from the audience. Segal noted that most extremists in the US are “unaffiliated” with specific groups. “People go online and pull a lot of what they connect with,” he said. “Most people will find hate on their phones walking down the street.” Added Beirich, “Dylan Roof can go

Photo by Tequila Minsky

An audience member at the forum asked how she can help defeat Donald Trump and extremism.

online and never even meet these people,” referring to the Charleston church mass murderer who killed nine people. Nevertheless, hate groups are on the rise. “There’s no doubt it’s a backlash to change in demographics,” Beirich said. “These people do not like the direction of the country — which is away from whiteness.” Added Segal, “I have never seen so

many hate messages reference a presidential campaign.” “I was trolled after the swastika was found in my building,” Hoylman noted. “It said, ‘Hey Rabbi, what ya doin’?’ ” Hoylman asked if the message was some sort of code. Segal noted that online trolls’ current “code” for Jews is “skypes,” which is how they avoid automatic filters. “It will probably change by next week,” he shrugged. In response to one woman’s question about the alt-right’s hatred of Jews, Segal added that white supremacists think Jews are “not white… and are responsible for race mixing.” “Well, that would make me proud, as a Jew,” she responded. Making matters worse, Teitel added that, in the current climate, “It’s really unlikely you’re going to get the Department of Justice investigating hate crimes.” The panel then fielded audience questions during a Q&A, though some of the questions were more akin to statements.

“We need to be looking at impeachment because he is not competent for the role,” one woman said of Trump. “He showed us who he was for a year. When somebody tells you who they are, and they show you who they are, believe them. In the immediate term, we have to keep this fool from blowing up the world. And for the long term, we have to educate, educate, educate to address and correct this behavior.” Similarly, Segal said it’s important to educate kids at a young age about differences and tolerance, and that “twinning programs” between big cities and small towns can help in this. Hoylman asked if the current climate of hate will make more people become racist. Sadly, the answer appeared to be yes. “It was about Mexicans the first day, then Muslims,” Beirich said. “It normalizes it. The civil rights movement was about de-normalizing it.” Another audience member, Caroline, said, “They’re doing things that absolutely mirror the early days of the Third Reich. When do you have to start calling it what it is?” “What can we do to get rid of him?” another woman asked, referring to the president. Hoylman recommended getting more involved locally, such as by joining the community board. He added that congressional midterm elections are also coming up. “I like the idea of adopting cities,” he said of Segal’s “twinning” concept. “We should also be adopting candidates, as Congressmember Jerry Nadler says.” The audience appreciated the event, which ran two hours. One senior Chelsea resident, who only gave her name, Jean, said, “I wished it had lasted longer.” After the informative afternoon, Hoylman told our sister publication, The Villager, “Everybody in the country needs to take stock of what they can do to push back on this attack on our pluralistic society.”

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

Reading

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

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Outing the Atonal Music of Mr. Copland Thorny textures rendered poetic by stunning virtuosity BY GERALD BUSBY At a recent concert featuring the serial music of Aaron Copland (19001990), Adam Tendler played “Piano Fantasy” — a piece I first heard 60 years ago. William Masselos was the pianist on that occasion, and he hammered home the stiff angularity of the music as if force-feeding the audience something they hated. So I was surprised and delighted when Tendler made the same notes sound familiar and likable, even delicate. His phrasing turned even the most complex and discontinuous passages into satisfying music. It sounded like a wild, beautiful bird trying to escape from its cage to fly home, deep in the forest. Those thorny textures and complex rhythms I remembered from 1957 became poetic in Tendler’s hands. The “Serial Copland” program, performed Jan. 19 at Bleecker St. multimedia art cabaret venue (Le) Poisson Rouge, began with a gentle piece: 1921’s “Petit Portrait (ABE).” It created a calm atmosphere that contrasted sharply with the blunt assertiveness of the “Piano Variations” that followed. Third on the program, “Quartet for Piano and Strings,” was a kind of sorbet between “Piano Variations” and “Piano Fantasy.” Three members of JACK Quartet — Austin Wulliman (violin), John Pickford Richards (viola) and Jay Campbell (cello) — joined Tendler for a precisely intoned, lyrical and tender reading. Then came the main course, “Piano Fantasy,” Copland’s intense journey into atonality. It wasn’t a strict 12-tone composition (and neither were any of the others), but the effects of atonality were all there. Tendler gave this formidable work a shape and momentum that held the audience’s unwavering attention for the duration of the 30-minute piece. There wasn’t a single extraneous sound to be heard in the large room, filled to capacity with people eating and drinking — and not a cough or a whisper from the crowd standing at the bar. Tendler, a scholar as well as a vir.com

Photo by Greg Parkinson

Adam Tendler’s Jan. 19 program at (Le) Poisson Rouge showcased the range of his touch and the inventiveness of his phrasing.

tuoso, wrote comprehensive program notes that can be accessed online (bit. ly/serialcoplandprogramnotes). They give a clear and entertaining narrative of Copland’s sporadic affair with serialism. In 1930, when Copland wrote “Piano Variations,” the influence of Arnold Schoenberg (1874-1951) was keenly felt in Western classical music. He declared the demise of tonal function and reorganized the way notes could be sequenced in a musical phrase. No composer could ignore this new concept. Tonal classical music, principally in the German tradition — from the early 18th through early 20th centuries — was the template against which Schoenberg rebelled. Some crit-

ics think it was World War II and the Holocaust that provoked this revolution. I give credit for Schoenberg’s becoming a pioneer of music composition to the philosophy of history put forth by Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel (1770-1831). Hegel propounded a dialectical scheme in which an idea, a thesis, competes with another idea, its antithesis, until the two merge as a synthesis. That synthesis becomes a new thesis. Schoenberg’s rules for tone rows and the unfamiliar sounds they created, the antithesis of tonal music, resolved in a new synthesis: serialism. Between pieces on the program at (Le) Poisson Rouge, Tendler played recordings of Aaron Copland’s genteel voice, which described, with quiet ear-

nestness, how Schoenberg’s aesthetics influenced his own method of composition. I think Copland’s voice also communicated the ordeal he experienced in being accepted by the academic establishment, who were the guardians and promulgators of Schoenberg’s ideas. Being gay and closeted played a role in Copland’s desire to be approved by the music establishment at Harvard, Yale, and Princeton. It was his way of finding a place in academic high society that disapproved of homosexual behavior. Neither Copland nor Virgil Thomson (1896-1989) ever said publicly that they were gay, even though it was obvious. “You don’t rub their noses in it,” Thomson told me when I asked why he wouldn’t support efforts to stop the spread of AIDS. In the early ’70s, I had dinner with Copland in his home upstate, with Michael Tilson Thomas, David Del Tredici, and Robert Helps. Copland couldn’t have been nicer. A short time later I attended a concert of his music and afterwards approached him. “Aaron, I loved your music.” He looked at me without smiling and replied, “Call me Mr. Copland.” Robert Helps, a brilliant pianist who played complex modern music with uncanny ease, had a deep fear of being “discovered” as gay. He studied music composition with Roger Sessions and was famous for his performances with Bethany Beardslee of Schoenberg’s “Pierrot Lunaire” and Milton Babbitt’s “Partitions.” Whenever Babbitt came to hear him play at Yale, Helps warned me not to say anything remotely gay in Babbitt’s presence. Denial was a major part of our lives back then, and it was a source of excitement as well, to see what we could get away with in such austere company. Our conversations were loaded with gay allusions and innuendos. One might say that Copland alluded to serialism in his music more than he employed it methodically — Schoenberg’s sounds seeped into Copland’s music. COPLAND continued on p. 22 Februar y 02 - 08, 2017

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COPLAND continued from p. 21

Ivy League composers, theorists, and teachers back in the ’50s were the bastion of propriety with regard to Schoenberg’s theory. Copland, despite his failure to fully embrace the technique, was nevertheless accepted as a practitioner of it in the elite coterie of academic serialists. I think it was because of his enormous popular success with pieces like “Appalachian Spring” and “Fanfare for the Common Man.” Maybe a musicologist will someday write about how some gay composers absorbed the aesthetics of 12-tone music without really committing to its formal demands. Every time I’ve heard Adam Tendler play modern American piano music, he has surprised me with the range of his touch and the inventiveness of his phrasing. His performance at (Le) Poisson Rouge was no exception. A few months ago, in a recital of John Cage’s piano (and toy piano) music at Lincoln Center, Tendler talked about Cage’s indications in the score to play as soft as possible. It reminded me of sitting in the top balcony at Carnegie Hall, hearing Vladimir Horowitz play pianissimo; every note had a “ping” that carried to the back of the house. The strings in the first and third movements of Copland’s “Quartet for Piano and Strings” also had gossamer moments. Most impressive was their perfect intonation of delicate phrases. Tendler and the string players — Wulliman, Richards and Campbell — seemed to breathe together. Aaron Copland was a gentle genius, and his atonal music, meticulously performed by this ensemble, demonstrated that humanity. Visit adamtendler.com and jackquartet.com for music, info, and upcoming performance dates.

Photo by Shervin Lainez

JACK Quartet members brought perfect intonation to the first and third movements of Copland’s “Quartet for Piano and Strings.”

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Breakable Hearts and Hopeful Art Rev Jen. exits the psych ward and embraces the unknown BY REV. JEN MILLER On December 14, 2016, Reverend Jen Junior, my beloved Chihuahua of nearly 15 years, died in my arms. She was a celebrated Art Star, the most photographed dog in NYC, a Page 6 girl, and the star of 22 episodes of “The Adventures of Electra Elf” along with countless films. Also, she was my best friend. We went everywhere together, toured the country a couple times, and snuggled every night. She watched countless hours of bad shtick at open mics and saw things in the Troll Museum apartment (which we were evicted from in June 2016) that most humans avert their eyes from. Like most Chihuahuas, “JJ” had bad teeth. Before she passed, she had two previous dental surgeries, leaving her with two teeth, one which unceremoniously fell out on the pillow next to my head. Because of her heart murmur, vets were unwilling to do another dental. She still wagged her tail, ate voraciously, cuddled and made the noises dogs only make when dreaming, so I thought she would hold on. But when she suddenly grew listless, I took her to the vet who did simple blood work, at which point her heart stopped. They gave her CPR and oxygen and brought her back momentarily. But the prognosis was aggressive cancer, and no amount of chemo or prayer could save her. So, they shot her up with enough Valium to take out the entire East Village and she went peacefully, off to the Island of Eternal Bliss. I wrapped her in a towel, laid her down on a tiny bed, and said goodbye to the greatest friend I have ever known. I remember, when my father died, a man at the memorial asked one of my little nephews, “Do you know what a legacy is?” My nephew replied, “It’s what you leave behind.” JJ left a legacy of memories, cherished by all who knew her, and when, in Dog Heaven, she makes those little dream noises, I will be dreaming right beside her. JJ’s Memorial was held Dec. 22 at Cake Shop, formerly at 152 Ludlow St. — an excellent venue that closed on New Year’s Eve. FU, 2016!

Photo by Jason Thompson

Art star and beloved companion Reverend Jen Junior (2002-2016).

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2017, YOU SUCK ALREADY By the fourth day of January, I was feeling slightly less insane. Then I made the mistake of checking Facebook. A message popped up from my boyfriend of three years, who I’ve stood by through thick and thin, supported and loved. It read, “I don’t want to be your boyfriend anymore.” Just like that, he ended our relationship OVER THE INTERNET. I know he has cancer and I hope he gets better. I wish I could cure cancer. I wish JJ had never gotten cancer and that I could be God and save every living being. I can’t. I am just a writer and painter who has a heart, a brain and courage. Boy, were they fools to ask for such things. As the man behind the curtain once pointed out, “Hearts will never be practical until they can be made unbreakable.”

HOPE

in Santa. As Courtney Love once sang, “I don’t really miss God, but I sure miss Santa Claus.” Eventually, the sun came up. I grabbed my pussy, and we found another place to stay.

No home. No dog. No boyfriend. At least I still have Tenney. He misses JJ as much as I do, but we both know the show must go on. So what to do? I have decided to teach, ensuring the world that our youngest generation will not grow to be gigantic assholes. Starting Sat., Feb. 18 (from 12–1:30 p.m.), Reverend Jen’s Art Academy for Youngsters will begin at Carrie Able Gallery (409 Keap St., Brooklyn.) All classes are free and materials will be provided (ages 8-12 recommended). Let’s make some art, kids! Sometimes art and a warm kitty is all you got.

PSYCH WARD, PART II

THE ANTI-SLAM!

Two days after Christmas, convinced that I was going to rapidly drink myself to death, my friends staged an intervention (even though I was already on my way to another psych ward). At Mount Sinai West, they dosed me with massive quantities of

One more thing to look forward to in these bleak times is the return of the Anti-Slam, my long-running open mic, which will now be held weekly on Sundays

CHRISTMAS What’s worse than Christmas? Nothing! By Christmas Eve, everyone was out of town — but I found a place for Tenney (JJ’s surviving cat brother) and me to stay. This year’s holiday was a bit of a blur. I bought a half-pint of rum and split it with a fellow homeless person on a bench in front of the First Ave. Starbucks, then proceeded to have several beers in an attempt to forget the worst celebrity death of 2016: JJ. At some point, my phone died and I got locked out. With no other options, I fled to Beth Israel’s psych ward (which I spoke highly of in a past column) but they were overloaded with other Christmas casualties. So after a six-hour wait, I was rejected. Stealing warmth from ATM vestibules, I thought of happy families unwrapping presents and children believing

Librium, which is great if your are the mother in “The Exorcist” — but not so great if you like to move your limbs. They addressed none of my psychological problems, but sure did like giving me drugs. It, in no way, had the cheerful atmosphere of Beth Israel. On New Year’s Eve, I sat in my oversized scrubs, by the payphone, wishing for a call from my boyfriend (who was still in Boston receiving cancer treatment) but the phone didn’t ring. Drifting asleep, I awoke to total chaos. On “Visitor Day,” a “visitor” somehow snuck in heroin, and gave it to a patient. Her roommate noticed their joint shower was running too long, opened the door, and the girl fell out. Brain dead, they put her on life support and we watched as they carried her off on a stretcher. I used to think 2017 should have been Time’s “Person of the Year” for replacing 2016. Now I’m not so sure. Moments later, the nurses threw my things on the bed and told me I had to leave, because Healthfirst didn’t cover me for more than five days.

Photo by John Foster

Rev. Jen, at the Women’s March on NYC, had a quid pro quo for Trump.

REV. JEN continued on p. 27 Februar y 02 - 08, 2017

23


‘Brainwave’ Houses Many Doors of Perception

Photo by Dusica Sue Malesevic

Curator Risha Lee stands with banners whose reverse sides give visitors information about the historical and religious contexts of Om.

OM continued from p. 7

This will be the first time that visitors participating in one exhibition will be featured in another, Robin Carol, who does public relations for the Rubin, said. After an initial culling of the chants, Caulkins will knit them together, with the hope “that it will create this interesting blending of voices,” he said. The installation featuring the Oms will be dynamic, shifting between different tones and chants, with visitors awash in a “sound bath” as loudspeakers will be placed around the room to create a “3D sound field,” Caulkins said. Britschgi said the OM Lab is a way to connect with Himalayan art, and that “Om is deeply rooted to the traditions that the Rubin stands for.” Carol said the museum does outreach to the Himalayan community — a hub of which is in Jackson Heights — with their monthly Himalayan Heritage

Meetup, their Family Sundays program, and the museum’s block party. The lab will deepen people’s experience and understanding of Om, Lee said. “The exhibition is connecting people with something they’ve already known and heard to something that’s greater. That was important — to plant the seed that things in the Rubin already exist in the outside world.” “The World Is Sound” exhibition, Lee added, will expand the narrative beyond the focus of objects. In addition to the lab, the museum is also hosting an “OM-In” on Fri. and Sat., Feb. 24 and 25, which will feature a series of events — including adult coloring, sound meditation, lectures, performances, and yoga. The OM Lab will be at the Rubin Museum of Art (150 W. 17th St., btw. Sixth & Seventh Aves.) from Feb. 3 through May 8. For more info, visit rubinmuseum.org.

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 24

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

Februar y 02 - 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

Photo by Adam Ferguson

A beacon of forward-thinking programming year in and year out, the Rubin Museum’s annual “Brainwave” series chose for 2017 the timely theme of “Perception” — a tack they took, mind you, long before the introduction of “alternative facts” into our increasingly Orwellian political lexicon. Scheduled through May, here are some of the discussions, events and screenings in which scientists, spiritual leaders and artists challenge us to recognize the limits of our subjective worldview in order to “unshackle ourselves from the past, and unleash creativity, growth, and inspiration.” See the full schedule at rubinmuseum.org. The jilted and jaded are given practical tips for navigating Valentine’s Day, in the form of some preemptive TLC at Feb. 10’s “Buddhist Advice for the Brokenhearted.” Shambhala teacher Lodro Rinzler and addiction expert Judson Brewer converse about “love, suffering, and how emotion colors perception.” “Would You be a Reliable Witness to a Crime?” is the question, and the title, of this March 5 event in which Lieutenant Ralph Cilento of the NYPD and Amy Herman (founder of the Art of Perception, Inc.) give a frank assessment of our ability to accurately remember events, then provide solid methods to enhance the power of observation. March 15’s “When All You Hear is White Noise” has musician Peter Silberman (of The Antlers) recalling odd sensory experiences, when a temporary hearing loss flooded his mind with static. He’ll discuss the creative process, as well as how the brain interprets sound, with neuroscientist and hearing science specialist Mario Svirsky. Microscopes and telescopes have long been used to expand human knowledge and advance our perception of the micro/macro world — but what are the implications when the machines we created begin to learn, and, in turn, teach us? At March 29’s “A.I. and Avatar: The New Explorers,” Roboticist Hod Lipson moderates a panel of scientists and philosophers who’ll discuss the far-reaching implications of rapidly developing artificial intelligence, robotics, and virtual reality. That surface you stare at before going out into the world can have a more profound function than checking for flaws or boosting your ego. At April 29’s “Mirror Meditation,” Barnard College psychology professor Tara Well leads a workshop where participants learn how to gaze at their reflection “without an agenda” — a simple act that, ironically, advances the agenda to “reduce stress, anxiety, and depression while increasing self-compassion.”

—SCOTT STIFFLER

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National Endowment Defunding Could Usher in Culture Crisis BY DENNIS LYNCH Concern that President Donald Trump plans to completely eliminate the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) has local arts organizations and elected officials up in arms over what would be a devastating blow to cultural programs in the city. The two national endowments write hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of checks to dozens of dance companies, foundations, galleries, and individual artists in Lower Manhattan, mostly for works on specific projects. The impact of a loss in funding for Downtown arts would be much more than cultural, according to Bruce Allardice, Executive Director of Ping Chong + Company (pingchong.org). The theater company has received dozens of grants over the last quarter century. â&#x20AC;&#x153;What is the biggest impact the arts has in Downtown? The arts bring people to the Village â&#x20AC;&#x201D; to restaurants and bars,â&#x20AC;? Allardice said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;It helps our urban culture be vibrant; thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s why so much of the [NEA]â&#x20AC;&#x2122;s work has a community development aspect. The economic impact, if that were to end, is quantifiable.â&#x20AC;? Ping Chong + Company received $25,000 this year to fund â&#x20AC;&#x153;Where the Sea Breaks Its Back,â&#x20AC;? a multi-discipline show about Alaskan culture and history. It will premiere and tour in Alaska before coming to New York. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The arts are an ecology,â&#x20AC;? said Allardice, â&#x20AC;&#x153;so the loss of NEA support, if that were to happen, will be devastating; particularly to smaller communities and arts organizations across the country.â&#x20AC;? The NEA grant makes up only about 10 percent of the funding for â&#x20AC;&#x153;Where the Sea Breaks Its Back,â&#x20AC;? but itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s used as leverage for raising funds from other sources. Each national endowment grant comes with an obligation to raise three times that amount from other sources. Ping Chong wonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t have to shut its doors, Allardice said, but the community as a whole will suffer. The relatively small grants can mean a lot, especially to small arts organizations, but itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a drop in the bucket in terms of the national budget â&#x20AC;&#x201D; the combined $298 million cost of the NEA and NEH are roughly 0.006 percent of the $3 trillion federal budget. Thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s less than 94 cents per capita per year to fund. However small a slice it is, the federal government currently runs a $552 billion deficit, and Republicans are looking at a myriad of cuts to slash federal spending .com

by $10.5 billion over the next decade. Congress will have to sign off on the cuts and Republicans have control of both the Senate and House of Representatives. Over the years, Republicans criticized the NEA in particular for partially funding what some call â&#x20AC;&#x153;inappropriate art.â&#x20AC;? Debate was the most fervent in 1987, a year after the NEA provided $5,000 to photographer Andres Serrano, who then created the controversial â&#x20AC;&#x153;Piss Christâ&#x20AC;? photograph of a plastic crucifix submerged in his urine. Risa Shoup, Executive Director of Fourth Arts Block (FABnyc; fabnyc. org), which  advocates for cultural and arts groups in the Lower East Side and helps maintain affordable rehearsal spaces for rent,  said defunding the national endowments would be an â&#x20AC;&#x153;egregious thing to do,â&#x20AC;? and called it indicative of a wider effort to combat dissent. â&#x20AC;&#x153;This is not a cost-cutting decision; this is some kind of symbolic decision meant to assert dominance over those of us on the left, and I would go so far as to say over those of us in the arts who are making space for creative expression which naturally creates a platform for dissent and disagreement with this administration,â&#x20AC;? Shoup said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We must align with our friends and partners who advocate for affordable housing, civil liberties, immigrant rights, public education and other sectors to continue to cocreate spaces to share, gather and support. We are in this for the long haul.â&#x20AC;? US Representative for District 12, Carolyn Maloney, who represents a large chunk of Manhattanâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s East Side, north Brooklyn and east Queens, heavily criticized the decision. The Manhattan portion of the 12th District is home to hundreds of individuals and organizations that receive funds through the endowments. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The arts and humanities represent who we are as a society,â&#x20AC;? Maloney said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;They open minds, expand peopleâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s imaginations and their knowledge, empower creativity, bridge cultural gaps, and so much more. Our nation needs more access to the arts and humanities, not less.â&#x20AC;? The rumors spread after a pre-inauguration report in The Hill cited anonymous sources with the Trump transition team. The plan would also privatize the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, which runs National Public Radio (NPR) and the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS), and reduce funding for many federal agencies, including the Department of Commerce and Department of Energy,

Courtesy Ping Chong + Company

A promotional photo for Ping Chong + Companyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s â&#x20AC;&#x153;Where the Sea Breaks Its Back,â&#x20AC;? which will tour Alaska before a NYC run.

according to The Hill. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Piss Christâ&#x20AC;? was only one battle in the war over the endowments though. In 1981, then-President Ronald Reagan wanted to do away with them when he took office, although he ended up cutting only 10 percent of its budget.

Congressmember Newt Gingrich went after the NEA in the following decade, and in 1997 its budget was cut by 40 percent. A group of 165 House Republicans wanted to cut it again in 2011, and an agreement was reached to cut it by six percent.

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LIBERTY continued from p. 12

THE WEST SIDE’S COMMUNITY NEWSPAPER

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Throughout the week, activism and street protests have continued in New York regarding the Trump order. On Wednesday evening, the Syria Solidarity New York City and CISPOS: Committee in Solidarity with the People of Syria co-sponsored a rally in Foley Square, the site of the federal courthouse in Manhattan.

—Reporting by Lincoln Anderson, Ruth Brown, Lauren Gill, Dennis Lynch, Naeisha Rose, and Paul Schindler. CREAMLINE continued from p. 10

“I think as I matured as a chef I realized the quality of ingredients you get and your connection with people who supply them to you — whether its Italian, French, American, Chinese, Peruvian food — is the most important thing,” the self-professed champion of American food said. “So if you’re lucky enough to have a connection like what we have with Ronnybrook and our other suppliers, that’s going to make delicious food and that’s the business I’m in. I always, as a chef, want to make delicious food; it’s a bonus and a feather in my cap that I get to do it with American food because I’m a proud American — I love this food.” Creamline’s farm-to-table, high-quality working-class grub isn’t necessarily groundbreaking. There are plenty of other quality burger joints in the city, but the price point here is definitely refreshing. A cheeseburger with New York cheddar, a Big Marty’s seeded bun toasted with Ronnybrook butter, lettuce, onion, pickles, ketchup and mayo runs you $8.50, and a chicken sandwich (on the same bun with a choice of sauces) is $8. Fries are another $4, but you can save a bit with the “Chelsea Combo” — $15 for a burger, fries and soda (or $18 to sub in a milkshake or float). Speaking of floats, Mayer-Selinger

REV. JEN continued from p. 23 Member of the New York Press Association

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Photo by Milo Hess

Chuck Schumer, the Senate minority leader, spoke to a Battery Park crowd, many of whom felt he was not resisting the new Trump administration as strongly as he should.

from 6–9 p.m. (also at Carrie Able Gallery). Every Art Star gets six minutes and a perfect score of 10. There may be some guest hosts, since I’ll likely be back in the nuthouse, but please do attend and join the fun. All performers are welcome. Musicians, poets, dancers, mimes, freaks

Photo by Dennis Lynch

Harris Mayer-Selinger shows off the Chelsea Combo — for $15 you can get a burger, fries and a soda (sub in a milkshake for three bucks more).

doesn’t think they get the attention they deserve. Like everything else on the menu, Creamline’s floats are made with high-quality ingredients — Maine Root sodas and the Ronnybrook ice cream — and you can mix any flavors. He suggests vanilla ice cream and blueberry soda. The popular vanilla shake is another example of powerful flavor by way of mea-

and geeks. Let’s keep bohemia alive!

THE WOMEN’S MARCH ON NYC On a final note, my friend and column cohort, John Foster, joined me at the Women’s March on NYC. Why did I march? Because I believe women should be treated with

sured restraint: cream, milk, vanilla and sugar, all in the right amounts. “It’s no frills, no fancy garnishes, just real vanilla and extraordinary dairy, and we want you to taste that,” Mayer-Selinger said. “It’s the same with our beef. One of my complaints with most any fast casual is you barely taste any beef. When I want a burger, I want to scratch that itch and taste beef.”

respect, not grabbed by the pussy or called pigs. Dudes, next time you are tempted to devalue a woman by assigning her a number, remember: That woman could be your daughter, sister, or mother. John and I made signs that got big yuks from the crowd. Mine said, on one side, “Keep your tiny hands off my Gyna” — and on the other, “I’ll show you

mine if you show me yours… (tax returns).” John blew up a picture of Tenney that said, “Grab me and find out!” It was a sweet, loving day — and just like at the Anti-Slam, everyone was a 10! AUTHOR’S NOTE: This column was written from a Trump Internment Camp for women with small boobs. Februar y 02 - 08, 2017

27


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