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St. Peter’s Prayer Vigil Offers Support, Solace BY DUSICA SUE MALESEVIC The importance of community and civility were two themes at a candlelight prayer vigil for the nation at St. Peter’s Chelsea last week. “There’s been a lot coming out of Washington,” Reverend Stephen Harding told Chelsea Now before the vigil began. “It’s very easy to feel isolated, so providing space for those in our neighborhood to come together, hopefully that isolation decreases.” VIGIL continued on p. 3

Newly Forged Hell’s Kitchen Coalition Gets Cooking BY JACKSON CHEN At the first official Hell’s Kitchen South Community Coalition meeting on Tues., Feb. 7, members presented the previous months’ expansive survey results and began to plan their goals moving forward. The coalition was first ignited as the community’s way to respond to the lack of public input for the Port COALITION continued on p. 5


It takes a village to create Peter Michael Marino’s improvised oneman opus. See page 18.

Photos by Dennis Lynch

A “hop-on, hop-off” tour bus turns from 10th Ave. onto W. 26th St. to make a northbound turn onto Eighth Ave.

THE WHEELS ON THE BUS GO WHERE THEY’RE NOT WANTED BY DENNIS LYNCH A new turn restriction on Eighth Ave. has inadvertently funneled large buses onto W. 26th St., according to residents and community leaders who want the Department of Transportation (DOT) to ban buses on the side street. The city restricted left turns on eastbound traffic on W. 23rd St. at Eighth Ave. to help move along the new M23 Select Bus Service in August. That forces eastbound tour buses — mostly of the double-decker “hop-on, hop-off” variety, according to Community Board 4 (CB4) — to turn north on 10th and east on W. 24th to then legally turn north on Eighth Ave. Their trip on W. 26th from 10th Ave. to Eighth Ave. takes them by a public elementary school, a city park, a playground, a Hudson Guild children’s center, and a Hudson Guild community center frequented by local seniors. A crossing guard posted at W. 26th and 10th Ave. said she’s seen buses turn on W. 26th St. “all the time” during her shifts, BUS TRAFFIC continued on p. 4

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

Trucks are restricted on W. 26th St. CB4 wants the city to restrict buses as well. VOLUME 09, ISSUE 6 | February 09 - 15, 2017

Thousands Rally at Stonewall Against Trump Immigration Ban BY ANDY HUMM LGBTQ people have protested and celebrated outside the Stonewall since the Rebellion in 1969. But on Sat., Feb. 4, in sub-freezing temperatures, thousands filled the streets of Stonewall Place to condemn President Donald Trump’s ban on travel from seven Muslim-majority nations — standing up for Muslims within and outside the community who have been singled out for persecution by the new administration. “LGBTQ people have been fighting oppression for time immemorial,” said out gay Chelsea City Councilmember Corey Johnson, one of the lead organizers of the protest endorsed by more than 60 groups and scores of elected officials, “so when we see an administration come after vulnerable communities, we feel it deeply and personally. We are declaring with one voice that we are in this together.” Jamila Hammami, executive director of the Queer Detainee Empowerment Project, said, “I am not a single-issue person. We are under surveillance. We worry about bombings. We worry about Islamophobia in our own community.” But on this frigid afternoon, there was solidarity with causes from justice for Palestinians to the plight of Syrian refugees. Debbie Almontaser, president of the board of the Muslim Community Network, said, “We need to show up everywhere. We cannot do it without you, and you cannot do it without us.” “They don’t know us,” former City Council Speaker Christine Quinn said of the new Washington regime. “We never leave a brother or sister behind.” Ishalaa Ortega of Immigration Equality, a transgender woman of color from Mexico, talked about how her life was at risk in her country of birth because of her gender identity and how reading about the Stonewall Rebellion at the age of 12 gave her hope. “Until January 20, the world called this the country of freedom,” she said. “The asylum process was a painful journey. But we are here to stay!” Actor Cynthia Nixon ridiculed reports that Ivanka Trump and her husband Jared Kushner were somehow protect-


Februar y 09 - 15, 2017

Photo by Donna Aceto

The crowd rallied for all communities threatened by the new Trump administration.

ing LGBTQ rights in the White House. “They couldn’t even get the president to mention Jews on Holocaust Remembrance Day,” she said, in discussing news reports that the president’s son-in-law, a top White House advisor, and daughter played a behindthe-scenes role in keeping him from rescinding a 2014 executive order from President Barack Obama requiring contractors doing business with the federal government to provide sexual orientation and gender identity employee nondiscrimination protections. Though Trump is allowing that order to stand for now, he and the Republicans are eliminating the office in the Department of Labor that enforces it, and there is widespread anticipation that a “religious freedom” order allowing anti-LGBTQ discrimination by federal employees and contractors citing their religious beliefs is forthcoming. Legislative efforts championed by congressional Republicans would go even further, allowing broad religious opt-outs from nondiscrimination laws throughout society. Rachel Tiven, executive director of Lambda Legal, said, “Lambda is preparing to sue” the moment an anti-

LGBTQ “religious freedom” order is issued or the anti-LGBTQ First Amendment Defense Act (FADA) is enacted by Congress. The crowd was filled with veteran activists and some first-time protesters. Three young men stood at the front of the barricades by the stage for more than three hours, having left their homes without their hats. Ryker Allen, 19, said, “I have to be here. I’m Mexican and queer. I’m here for my immigrant mother who came here illegally.” J.D. Moran, 24, of Brooklyn, said, “I want to be a body and a voice and show my love for all communities who are hurting.” Ryan Duffin, 22, an immigrant from Canada, said, “I don’t know what is coming next. I have the privilege of white skin. I want to be here for all of my friends who are from places like Iran and Libya.” Sam, 43, said, “I got married in 2014. We need to preserve the progress we’ve made. Trump was groomed by the most evil person on the planet, Roy Cohn.” Joe Ameen, 33, of Bayonne, New Jersey, said, “There’s a new reality.

But we have to march to make it clear to the establishment we are not going backwards.” Ameen’s fiancé, Alexander Esau, 26, said, “As a black gay man, I have very few liberties I can claim and very few I can afford to lose under this presidency.” Keri Willis, 33, a city public school LGBT RALLY continued on p. 12

Photo by Donna Aceto

Actor Cynthia Nixon challenged the notion that Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner will protect the LGBTQ community within the Trump administration. .com

Weekly Prayer Vigil Promotes Tolerance, Safety, Civility VIGIL continued from p. 1

Harding, who has been with St. Peter’s Chelsea for about three years, noted that Episcopalians strive for justice and peace, and to respect the dignity of every human being. “President [Donald] Trump’s executive order banning Muslims, and Steve Bannon calling the media the opposition party, set me over the edge,” he explained about why he is starting the weekly vigil. “We as church can’t keep silent; we have to do something.” The first vigil took place Thurs., Feb. 2 at 6:30 p.m. at the church (346 W. 20th St., btw. Eighth & Ninth Aves.), and Harding said they would continue having a vigil at the same time and day until further notice. Again referring to his faith, Harding noted Episcopalians try to find a middle road, and if Trump came to the church, he would be more than welcome. He said there is space for both sides. “This [vigil] is not an anti-Trump, anti-Republican [vigil],” Harding said. “It’s an attempt to address this time in our country.” Harding said he remembers growing up and watching NBC’s long-running news program, the “HuntleyBrinkley Report” (1956-1970), and when President Lyndon B. Johnson spoke about opponents or issues, it wasn’t mean spirited. “I’m not seeing that anymore,” Harding said. “It’s like, ‘Our way or you’re trash.’ One of the things in our country, we seem to demonize people who don’t agree with us. With that, we’ve lost civility.” He added, “One of the things the church can model is to see a person we disagree with as a person.” Harding started the vigil by emphasizing that that the intent was to pray for the country, and to learn how we can respect one another while still disagreeing. In addition to Harding, Melissa Morgenweck, a parishioner, led prayers and read a psalm. The prayers were for the president, Congress, judges and other leaders, calls for justice and peace, and for those who had been affected by recent presidential orders and decisions. Brandon Snook sang several songs, including “Amazing Grace,” with Greg Zelek accompanying him on the piano. At one point, Harding lit his candle, and Morgenweck and others helped light the candles of those attending the vigil. There was also a moment of silence for reflection and prayer. Before the vigil began, Marnie Joyce, 45, told Chelsea Now that she has been having conversations with Harding. She works nearby as an operations manager for the Atlantic Theater Company (336 W. 20th St., btw. Eighth & Ninth Aves.). “I think that right now finding ways to connect with the community around us is what is going to keep us moving forward,” Joyce said about attending the vigil. For Henry Tuell, a seminary student at General Theological Seminary (on W. 20th St., btw. Ninth & 10th Aves.), recent moves by the administration have spurred him to protest, pray and attend vigils. “As a Christian, I believe it’s my calling to show up for those in need, for those who are scared or threatened,” Tuell, 44, said. Anytime people can get together and pray, it is an opportunity to help us feel connected to each other, he said. .com

Photos by Dusica Sue Malesevic

Parishioner Melissa Morgenweck, left, lead prayers before Brandon Snook sang songs that included “Amazing Grace.” Rev. Harding is seated.

Those attending the vigil helped to light each other’s candles.

Whittnie Daniels, left, called the vigil appropriate and positive while Matthew Menzies said he attended due to the recent political upheaval.

Afterwards, Whittnie Daniels, 34, said she has been anxious, and the vigil was positive and not demonizing. “I didn’t realize things were going to turn that quickly,” Daniels noted of recent executive orders. “It’s scary not to see accountability.” Matthew Menzies, 23, works in the neighborhood and is an Episcopalian. He noted that the core of the religion is inclusivity and collaboration. “It’s not about politicizing, it’s about having a space where everyone can come together,” Menzies said, noting that St. Peter’s is a welcoming church. For Joe Nicholson, 59, a St. Peter’s parishioner, the vigil was necessary, and he said God and prayer have a role to play. Nicholson said he hopes more people come to the vigils. Harding said that the people in his congregation have been scared, uncertain and anxious. “The parish may move more into social activism,” he said. “What we do makes a difference.” For info about the church and its activities, visit and Follow them on Twitter: @StPetersChelsea.

Reverend Stephen Harding led a prayer for Trump, Congress, the Supreme Court, the United Nations, and for all those “who serve the common good.”

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Turn Restriction Shifts Tour Buses to Side Streets BUS TRAFFIC continued from p. 1

but can’t do anything about them. There are no crossing guards posted there during the weekend, when the most buses take their eastbound trips on the street. She said it was dangerous and should be stopped. “It’s not good; it’s not fair for the children. They should go on 24th Street — that is residential but this has a school and the daycare and the community center, a lot of children,” she said, adding that she regularly had to stop large trucks from bypassing restrictions to sneak across town on W. 26th St. The city restricts truck through-traffic on W. 26th with a sign posted at the corner of 10th Ave. This month, CB4 sent a letter to DOT Acting Borough Commissioner Luis Sanchez asking the agency to amend that sign to include buses, citing safety concerns and numerous community complaints about them. “Commercial bus traffic on such a busy residential street is putting all these parents, children and seniors in danger,” the letter read. The board also asked the agency to ensure “the hop-on, hop-off bus companies comply with their approved routes and with the traffic rules that prohibit their use of residential streets.” The board requested the DOT notify the bus companies that W. 26th and W. 28th along with W. 24th St. were inappropriate for bus traffic, and to ultimately restrict them to “commercial streets north of W. 34th St.” Representatives from Big Bus, which CB4 pointed out in the letter as one of the companies using W. 26th

Photo by Dennis Lynch

A bus cruising eastbound on W. 26th St. between 10th and Eighth Aves. will pass a community center, a day care, an elementary school, a playground, and a city park in those two blocks.

St., said they preemptively planned to abandon the route by March. “We’re not the bad guy, we will change. We don’t want to make noise and we don’t want people to be upset with us,” Big Bus General Manager Charles Nolen said. “We are here to support the local economy and show tourists New York. We’re certainly not here to put anyone in danger.” Big Bus uses the street on the way from the High Line to Midtown and reps said they might abandon the High Line trips if they can’t find a good alternative route, Nolen said.

The DOT had not received the letter as of our press deadline, but a spokesperson said the agency “look[s] forward to reviewing it upon receipt,” and that it implemented the turn restriction from W. 23rd St. to Eighth Ave. “to enhance safety and traffic flow as part of the M23 SBS project.” The city requires that bus drivers “travel along New York City truck routes except when local bus routes or other roads are needed to reach their destinations,” and that if necessary to leave the truck route, they do so “at the nearest intersection to their destination and return at the nearest possible location.”

500+ miles. 7 days.




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Hell’s Kitchen South Community Coalition Has First Meeting COALITION continued from p. 1

Authority of New York and New Jersey’s bus terminal project. The aging facility on Eighth Ave. (btw. W. 40th & 42nd Sts.) is long overdue for a renovation, but the process has restarted after a concerted effort from unhappy residents and local elected officials. According to Joe Restuccia, a coalition and Community Board 4 member, the Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood has a history of uniting to oppose some major nearby projects. This time around, the tentatively named Hell’s Kitchen South Community Coalition came through to represent the community with an extremely detailed survey first distributed in December. Several dozen residents showed up for the coalition’s first meeting, which focused on sharing the survey results that received more than 250 comments, ranging from topics of neighborhood preservation and housing, to air quality and transportation. Nearly 30 percent of the comments mentioned the need to improve air quality overall, with roughly 16 percent calling for better enforcement

Photo by Jackson Chen

Joe Restuccia gives the crowd a brief history of how area residents used to organize to get their voices heard.

of idling buses, and more than 10 percent suggesting that part of the bus terminal should move to New Jersey. As for the area’s transportation issues, close to 20 percent of respondents said tunnel and street-level traffic should be alleviated, especially prior to a modern bus terminal as one comment noted. The survey specifically posed the question of “where to rebuild the

terminal,” where 70 percent of the 254 respondents said both states, 84 percent said the terminal should use Port Authority land only, and 65 percent said to rebuild on Eighth Ave., as opposed to a site west of Ninth Ave. Outside of the controversial project, residents wanted to see more affordable housing, protection for and diversity of small businesses, preservation of the area’s limited historic struc-

tures, an extension of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s 7 line to New Jersey, and more parks, playgrounds, and green roofs. Reverend Tiffany Henkel, the pastor at Metro Baptist Church (410 W. 40th St., btw. Ninth & 10th Aves.), said she was not surprised at the massive amount of survey results they received, as Hell’s Kitchen residents tend to be aware of the area’s issues. “It was good to collect [the survey results] in the way we did,” Henkel said. “The numbers don’t tell the whole story, but I think it does help us get a sense of where we’re starting and gives us a basis to start our goals.” Since it was the coalition’s first meeting, Henkel was looking to create some structure by forming a steering committee to oversee coalition operations, and a planning committee to make clear what the community wants in terms of future projects. The pastor added that outside of the committees, the coalition is also looking for anyone with enthusiasm and special skills like data analysis or fieldwork. COALITION continued on p. 23

Paid for by Social Service Employees Union, Local 371. Anthony Wells-President


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Forum is a Clarion Call for Clemency

Community Reuse Event

Sunday, February 12 12pm-3pm Elliott Community Center 441 West 26th Street, Manhattan (b/t 9th & 10th Aves)

Bring clean, reusable, portable items such as clothing, housewares, electronics, books & toys that you no longer need. Take home something new-to-you, free! You don’t have to bring something to take something.

Please do NOT bring: furniture, large items, expired or open food, unsealed personal care products, medicine, dirty or ripped clothing, fabric scraps, incomplete toys and games, non-working electronics, magazines, tube TVs, or sharp objects.



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BY PATRICK DONACHIE Advocates for incarcerated and formerly incarcerated women vowed to continue pushing for clemency for women imprisoned on non-violent drug offenses despite the “law-and-order” stance of the new presidential administration, according to speakers at a forum sponsored by the National Council for Incarcerated and Formerly Incarcerated Women and Girls. The “Real Women Real Voices” symposium, held in Vanderbilt Hall at New York University’s Law School Jan. 25, brought together formerly incarcerated women to share their stories and views on panel discussions. The evening also included phone calls from two women currently serving time in prison. Andrea James, the Council’s executive director, said she hoped the symposium would be a call to action for the attendees, particularly the law students in the audience who may end up as prosecutors. “We wanted to talk about the policies, as the experts in this field,” she said. “We are working to create a system that is based on human justice.” James founded the Council in December 2015 to advocate for women in and out of prison. She also founded Families for Justice as Healing and was a 2016 recipient of the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Award. Espousing the motto “nothing about us without us,” the council wants to ensure that incarcerated and formerly incarcerated women’s voices are included in the debate over prison reform. The council currently involves more than 1,000 women in and out of prison, with chapters in 22 states, and forum attendees came from as far away as Oakland, Calif., and Atlanta, Ga., according to Topeka Sam, the Council’s national director. At one point, the council set up a video chat with Alice-Marie Johnson, 61, who is currently serving a life sentence for a nonviolent drug offense Having served more than 20 years of her sentence, she originally asked President Barack Obama to grant her clemency as a part of his Clemency Project 2014, but was denied; nor was she among the more than 200 commutations Obama issued during his last week in office. Johnson acknowledged that she made “terrible choices” more than 20 years before, but said her choices in prison had been far different. Johnson said she had an exemplary conduct record in prison and her clemency request had the support of the warden, prison staff and

Photo by Patrick Donachie

The panel at Jan. 25’s “Real Women Real Voices” symposium.

three members of Congress. She expressed sorrow for those inmates “who are languishing in prison, whose dreams have been shattered, whose hopes have turned to hopelessness, whose tears could fill a river.” But Johnson renewed her commitment to continue fighting for clemency despite her disappointment that she was unsuccessful with President Obama. “So many people are quick to say, ‘You do the crime, you do the time,’ but that time should be just and fair,” she said. “There’s no middle way on justice’s highway. You have to pick a side.” The Council and other organizations advocate for clemency for inmates like Johnson, and James said it was important to keep fighting, because sometimes their efforts are successful. She pointed out Ramona Brant, a panelist who had been granted clemency by Obama in 2015. “We used to carry Ramona’s picture with us around the country,” James said. “Now we carry Ramona.” Brant was arrested in 1993 in North Carolina and charged with conspiracy — a conspiracy Brant said began long before she even arrived in the state. She received clemency in December 2015 and later met with Obama to speak about issues surrounding mass incarceration, such as housing discrimination against former inmates. Like many throughout the evening, Brant expressed worry about what the Trump administration would mean for the women and girls who are still incarcerated, but she said she was determined to remain optimistic. “We hope something good will come out of this administration,” she said. “I doubt it, but you’ve got to believe in the unbelievable.” .com

Safety Seminar Says: In Case of Emergency, Break Out Your Plan

Photo by Dennis Lynch

L to R: FDNY Lieutenant Michael Kozo, Councilmember Corey Johnson, FDNY Deputy Assistant Chief Michael Gala and OEM Deputy Commissioner of Operations Frank McCarton.

BY DENNIS LYNCH Locals got a crash course on fire safety and emergency preparedness courtesy the fire department and the city’s Office of Emergency Management (OEM) on Monday night. Residents learned how to prepare themselves for either a fire or a disaster on the scale of Hurricane Sandy, as well as how to handle themselves in emergency situations.

Councilmember Corey Johnson, who sponsored the event as part of his “Let’s Talk” series, opened with remarks, then handed the mic off to FDNY Deputy Assistant Chief Michael Gala, who gave the crowd of around 100 people the lowdown on what some of the main fire safety issues people face. One of his most important points was that the construction of your building changes what you should do in the case

of a fire. If you live in a non-fireproof building (typically under 75 feet), you’ll want to look for your traditional ways out — fire escapes and stairwells. But if you live in a modern building above 75 feet, it’s going to be fireproof, so you want to stay in your apartment and close the door, he said (see for details). “Do not leave your apartment,” Gala said. If you have no smoke or no fire in your apartment, stay in your apartment and call 911.” If there is smoke coming in through the cracks around the door, stuff them with towels or seal them with tape. Those high-rise buildings must have two stairwells. The FDNY will use one of them to evacuate, and one of them to “attack” the fire. The latter will have opened doors and so it can fill with smoke, but you won’t necessarily know which one is which. Gala said that many times firefighters find people passed out in their attack stairwells from smoke because they were trying to get out of the building. Penn South resident Donna Lamb said she had no idea that she was supposed to stay in her apartment in her fireproof building. “I didn’t know how important it is to stay in my apartment and wait until they tell you what stairwell they want you to evacuate out of. Just that alone was completely new knowledge for me,” she said. “I thought the whole idea was to get out by any means necessary.” All Housing Authority buildings are fireproof — and generally speaking, buildings with fire escapes are not fireproof. SAFETY continued on p. 14

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POLICE BLOTTER CRIME PATTERN: Handy’s sticky fingers Last week the NYPD Community Affairs Bureau sent a message to the community warning them to stay vigilant when using the online/app cleaning service Handy, as it has been linked to more than 50 crimes in the city last year. One Handy employee has already been arrested in connection to an incident of theft. Police advise people to safeguard valuables when an unknown individual is in their home.

IDENTITY THEFT: Credit cards and the scammers The latest in a string of attempted (and sometimes successful) identity theft cases, a resident of W. 23rd St. reported to police last week that an unknown party attempted to open multiple credit card accounts under his name. On Fri., Feb. 3, the man told police that a caseworker from MyIDCare contacted him on Jan. 23 to alert him to the fact that over the last couple of days someone had tried, unsuccessfully, to open three credit cards in his name — at Macy’s, Target, and Comenity Capital Bank. While these attempts failed, the caseworker noted that the perp had the man’s name, address, date of birth, and Social Security number. Though no

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arrests have been made, the victim is in possession of the documents and reference numbers associated with the failed applications, and has put a fraud alert on his identity.

UNAUTHORIZED USE OF A MOTOR VEHICLE: Renter gone rogue Usually companies don’t have to worry about their merch casually cruising off the premises, never to be seen again — but that’s the reality one U-Haul location (562 W. 23rd St., at 11th Ave.) now has to confront. On Fri., Feb. 3, a company rep told police that a customer rented one of their vehicles on Jan. 9, and as per their rental agreement, only had authority to operate it through Jan. 10. The problem is, nearly a month later, the U-Haul has still not been returned, despite the branch’s numerous attempts to alert the rebel renter about his infraction. The vehicle — which was not rented fraudulently by the 59-year-old New Jerseyan perp, whose identity is known — was last seen on Jan. 30, heading inbound on the Macombs Dam Bridge at about 8am.

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ascertain the salivating suspect’s plate number, no arrests were made.

At around 5:30am on Sat., Feb. 4, a New Jersey man parked his car at Eighth Ave. and W. 16th St., and then went across the street to use an ATM. When he came back to his car about five minutes later, he found his front passenger’s side door was open, and his $120 Galaxy 4S cellphone had been taken. The 39-year-old is at a loss: He didn’t see anyone around the area at the time of the theft, he has no tracking app/device on the phone, and it is currently unclear whether or not video evidence of the incident is available at the scene.


HARASSMENT: Spit happens Wed., Feb. 1 saw a uniquely New Yorkian display of aggression when, at about 8:30pm at the northeast corner of W. 23rd St. and Eighth Ave., an unknown male yellow cab driver (for reasons unknown) spat (through his window) at a 45-year-old Long Islander driving near him. The loogie hit him right in the face, and the cabbie drove off — leaving the victim annoyed and alarmed by the unexpected attack. While he was able to

THE 10th PRECINCT: THE 13th PRECINCT: Located at 230 E. 21st St. (btw. Second & Third Aves.). Deputy Inspector: Brendan Timoney. Call 212-477-7411. Community Affairs: 212-477-7427. Crime Prevention: 212-477-7427. Domestic Violence: 212-477-3863. Youth Officer: 212477-7411. Auxiliary Coordinator: 212-477-4380. Detective Squad: 212477-7444. The Community Council meets on the third Tues. of the month, 6:30pm, at the 13th Precinct.

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

On Sat., Feb. 4, a narcotics enthusiast got caught making himself at home in a public housing building on W. 27th St. At about 6:45pm, an officer observed a male in the building holding a small, clear baggie of alleged marijuana in his hand — a baggie he promptly threw to the ground when he noticed the officer. He then proceeded to attempt to flee the scene, but the officer was able to detain him to issue a summons. During this process, it became clear that the man was trespassing at the dwelling, as he could not provide any tenant information or reason he should be there. Upon further inspection, his reason for running became clearer: On his person were two large glass containers full of marijuana, as well as a baby bottle filled with six ounces of alleged liquid codeine. The 18-year-old was arrested.


MIDTOWN SOUTH PRECINCT: Located at 357 W. 35th St. (btw. Eighth & Ninth Aves.). Inspector: Russel J. Green. Call 212-2399811. Community Affairs: 212239-9846. Crime Prevention: 212239-9846. Domestic Violence: 212-239-9863. Youth Officer: 212239-9817. Auxiliary Coordinator: 212-239-9836. Detective Squad: 212-239-9856. The Community Council meets on the third Thurs. of the month, 7pm, at the New Yorker Hotel (481 Eighth Ave., btw. W. 34th & W. 35th St.). Visit

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Non-Profit Funding Scramble Shifts from City Hall to Albany BY JACKSON CHEN With a storm of uncertainty and unwelcome signs coming out of the new Trump administration, a coalition of non-profits are looking to the state and its budget to help shore up their frayed sector against a widely anticipated decline in federal resources. Across New York, more than 300 non-profit organizations have teamed up to launch the “Restore Opportunity Now” campaign in response to the $152 billion state budget blueprint that Governor Andrew Cuomo released on Jan. 17. During a Feb. 2 press conference, non-profits like Urban Pathways and the Federation of Protestant Welfare Agencies (FPWA) were joined by state legislators in issuing a rallying cry for the state to bolster human services funding. “I’m going to welcome you to what is the not-for-profit version of the movie ‘Groundhog Day,’” said Frederick Shack, the CEO of Urban Pathways. “Every day we replay the day before, and we’re stuck in this loop where we struggle to change the narrative. Unlike the movie, ours is not a romantic com-

Photo by Jackson Chen

Frederick Shack, the CEO of Urban Pathways, at the Feb. 2 press conference.

edy, it’s more of a tragedy.” Shack said his team at Urban Pathways continues to provide services to the city’s homeless despite operating with an underpaid staff and receiving reimbursement from government contracts that covers “85 cents on the dollar” relative to its costs. Allison Sesso, the executive director of the Human Services Council, an umbrella organization that represents



non-profits, has been working on the same issue at the city level. In contracts with both levels of government, non-profits face a similar squeeze, and they are appealing for more funding to prevent the shuttering of vital human services organizations. “There’s no doubt that we as a state and nation are going to see shrinkage in terms of the amount of dollars that are available for our services,” Sesso







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Paintings, Clocks, Watches, Estate Jewelry & Fine China, From Single Items to Entire Estates!

Military Collections Wanted

Swords, Knives, Helmets, etc.


NON-PROFIT continued on p. 23


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said of a Trump administration that is unpredictable and also likely unfriendly toward the needs the groups she represents face. “We need to make sure the non-profits as institutions are shored up so that they can weather this storm.” According to FPWA’s director of policy, Emily Miles, the issue comes up over and over in conversations with constituent organizations — all of it testimony to the struggles non-profits face in providing salaries and benefits their staffs can live on. The pressure on staffs, Miles said, inevitably trickles down to the people they serve, whether they’re homeless, senior citizens, or children. Thursday’s press conference featured two allies that non-profits have in Albany. State Senator Brad Hoylman, a West Side Democrat, offered his support and said people need to start putting pressure on his colleagues. “We have to make certain Albany understands,” Hoylman said. “We’re going to be making the case that we need to restore the budget and make it a people’s budget and ensure that the

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Photo by Andy Humm

Photo by Donna Aceto

J.D. Moran, Ryker Allen, and Ryan Duffin were among the thousands who braved the cold for more than three hours at the LGBT solidarity rally.

Alphonso David, Governor Andrew Cuomo’s out gay counsel.

State’s Senate back from Republican leadership enabled by rogue Democrats despite the fact that a Democratic majority was once again elected to the State Senate this past November. The defection of Senator Simcha Felder of Brooklyn keeps Republicans in the leadership and separate deals with the growing Independent Democratic Conference (IDC), led by Bronx Senator Jeff Klein, gives that faction leadership perks while freezing the majority of Democratic senators out. With Republicans controlling the State Senate agenda, attempts by the Democratic-led Assembly to codify certain reproductive rights and transgender rights and to enact Chelsea Democratic Assemblymember Dick Gottfried’s universal health insurance bill — things that would cushion the blow of Republican assaults from Washington — have gone nowhere. The Trump ascendancy puts added pressure on the disloyal Democrats as new IDC member José Peralta of Queens found out when he was protested by his constituents at a town hall meeting this past week. Out gay Councilmember Daniel Dromm of Queens said he was

“extremely disappointed” in Peralta. “He should step down immediately,” the councilmember said. While city and state officials are making promises of never going back, Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer said she is not confident that all of the proposed Republican cuts in Washington can be made up by New York. “We receive $8 billion in food stamps here,” she said, adding that she is also alarmed about massive federal cuts to affordable housing monies that have gone to the New York City Housing Authority and into Section 8 funding. “We should have affordable healthcare for everyone,” Marjorie Hill, the former CEO of Gay Men’s Health Crisis and now head of the Joseph P. Addabbo Family Health Center in Far Rockaway, told our sister publication Gay City News. “We cannot have government turn back the clock.” Before taking the stage, the US Senate’s minority leader, Chuck Schumer, told Gay City News, “The people are so aroused, the administration is becoming afraid.” He said he believes the effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act will fail, and at the time thought that Betsy DeVos

LGBT RALLY continued from p. 2

teacher from North Massapequa on Long Island, said she has gay and immigrant students. “Things are changing so fast,” she said. “Someone has to speak up for them.” Jay Russell of Washington Heights has joined an LGBTQ neighborhood group called Outwood for residents of upper Manhattan. A veteran of ACT UP, he said, “I’m feeling frustrated and sad and like the world is turned upside down and every day is worse than before. I wanted to be with people who felt similarly.” Chad Miller, also with Outwood, said the social group is taking on advocacy efforts now as well. Jordan Schaps, 68, who lives on Perry St., just blocks from the Stonewall, said, “We’ve got to get moving.” Schaps said he has greatly increased his donation to the American Civil Liberties Union. A former longtime photo editor at New York magazine, he said, “I’ve got five friends getting together” to see what actions they can take as leaders in the photography field. “Protesting on Facebook is not enough,” Schaps added. Political leaders were out in force, including City Comptroller Scott Stringer, Public Advocate Letitia James, City Council Speaker Melissa MarkViverito of East Harlem, out gay Council Majority Leader Jimmy Van Bramer of Queens, and, representing the mayor, out lesbian Human Rights Commissioner Carmelyn Malalis. Governor Andrew Cuomo’s out gay counsel, Alphonso David, said, “The governor will stand by you shoulder-toshoulder to make sure every individual right is protected.” Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul said, “We’re taking America back,” and was emphatic about not returning to “the days of back-alley abortions.” But while the governor is for these things, he is unwilling to take New York


Februar y 09 - 15, 2017

will be not be confirmed as secretary of education (she was, on Feb. 7). Schumer was met with cheers as well as some vigorous boos from activists outraged at his votes confirming some of Trump’s nominees. He gamely led the crowd in a chant of “Dump Trump” and said, “I stand with you. We are going to make sure the Supreme Court does not turn the clock back.” There have been several large protests outside his Prospect Park West home in Park Slope, including by the Rise & Resist LGBTQ group. How does that make him feel? “Good,” he said. “The energy is good.” Schumer claimed not to be concerned about “a few brickbats.” Schumer’s mixed reception is an indication that the resistance to Trump is being driven and led by grassroots activists and not the politicians, as demonstrated at the massive Women’s Marches in New York, Washington, and around the world the day after the inauguration and by the flood of protesters at US airports immediately after Trump issued his anti-Muslim executive order. “You are the conscience of this nation,” author, journalist, and activist William Rivers Pitt wrote on truth-out. org this weekend. “You are the flour and the yeast and the heat and the rising bread. You stand between what I see at night and what I know at dawn. You’re it, you’re everything. The Democrats won’t save us, nor will the Greens or the libertarians, and like Diogenes I despair of finding an honest Republican in the daylight. Instead, I found you, and you found each other, and this cannot stop.” Cynthia Nixon urged the crowd to carefully preserve their energies for a fight likely to last at least four years. “We cannot be here 24 hours a day,” she said. “Our rage will consume us. We are in this for the long haul. Take care of yourself because you are our most valuable resource. We have to keep coming out.”

Photo by Donna Aceto

Photo by Donna Aceto

Senator Chuck Schumer with City Councilmember Corey Johnson.

Thousands of LGBTQ people and their allies rallied outside the Stonewall Inn in resistance to Donald Trump’s immigration order and other policies on Feb. 4. .com

Oh Yes, She Did

Signs Said It at the LGBT Solidarity Rally PHOTO ESSAY BY ERIC DRYSDALE


Februar y 09 - 15, 2017


SAFETY continued from p. 7

OEM Deputy Commissioner of Operations Frank McCarton followed Gala with some preparedness pointers. He suggested everyone pack a small bag with some emergency essentials, including a flashlight, a radio, medications (if necessary), toothpaste, batteries, and a facemask among other items. Visit em/ready/ for more info on compiling a “Go Bag.” McCarton also suggested you create a plan with your family and know your neighbors, because they might need help in an evacuation scenario too. And, as he put it, “If we ask you leave, leave.” FDNY Lieutenant Michael Kozo followed with some more detailed home fire safety tips. Electrical fires are the biggest cause of fire-related deaths in the city, he said. To prevent them, you should turn off space heaters and electric blankets when you go to bed. You should use surge protected power strips, because unprotected strips can melt when too much is plugged in. Similarly, “you get what you pay for” with extension cords — go for a gauge with a low number (which indicates a thicker wire) and cords with thicker insulation. They should only be used temporarily. If you don’t have a fire extinguisher, keep some baking soda in your kitchen outside the refrigerator and someplace you can reach in the case of a stovetop grease fire, which you absolutely cannot put out with water, unless you want to see some deadly fireworks. Kozo suggested getting one combination smoke and carbon monoxide detector for each floor of your home, and one smoke detector for each bedroom. New detectors don’t have replaceable batteries anymore, they have

Photo by Dennis Lynch

Councilmember Corey Johnson addresses the crowd at a Beacon High School on Mon., Feb. 6.

integrated batteries that last about 7-10 years, so you just test them once per month. He also said candles need to go out when you leave a room and suggested moving to electric candles if you’re the forgetful type. “If you constantly find yourself a half hour away from your apartment asking yourself if you blew that candle out, its probably time to go with electric candles,” Kozo said. They ended the talk with a question and answer session moderated by Johnson. The councilmember said his biggest takeaway was about preparedness.

“I think the biggest point to make is that you have to have a plan and you have to know your plan ahead of time,” Johnson said. “And you have to have working smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors; those are two things that are the biggest lifesavers if, in fact, a fire hits your building or apartment.” Johnson also said his office could help coordinate with local groups and companies if they wanted to bring in city fire safety and preparedness experts for talks in the district. Contact his office at 212-564-7757 or by email at


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Februar y 09 - 15, 2017


The Lasting Impressions of a Marked Up Man Exhibit pays tribute to tattoo master Gus Wagner

Photo by Puma Perl

Michelle Myles of Daredevil Tattoo inked a dragon head on Texan Michael Wyatt, at the Gus Wagner exhibition’s opening night reception.

BY PUMA PERL From the act itself to the passing down of techniques and tools, tattooing is an intimate endeavor — so it is fitting that the South Street Seaport Museum’s new exhibition should bear such distinct marks of artistry, legacy, and collaboration. “The Original Gus Wagner: The Maritime Roots of the Modern Tattoo” is a fascinating look at tattoo history through the study of a unique, exuberant artist: Augustus “Gus” Wagner (1872-1941). During his time as a young merchant seaman, Wagner claimed to have been trained in the use of hand-made tools by tribesmen in Java and Borneo, and later studied under practitioners in Australia and London. By 1908, he was billing himself as “the most artistically marked up man in America,” with over 800 tattoos. Throughout his career, he continued to use his hand-held instruments, despite the emergence of electric tattooing machines. His work as a traveling tattooist, tat-


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tooed man, and circus performer spanned over 40 years. Along with other wandering artists, Wagner brought the art of the tattoo inland from coastal ports, making it part of small town American culture. Included in the exhibition are videos, tattooing tools, flashes, and pages from Wagner’s scrapbook, providing an education in hand tattoo techniques and a closer look into Wagner’s life. Wagner met his wife, Maud, an aerialist and contortionist, at the 1904 Louisiana World’s Fair. He offered her a tattooing lesson in return for a date. Under his tutelage, she became the first wellknown female tattooist. Their daughter, Lovetta, began tattooing at the age of nine; unlike her mother, whose body was covered by Wagner’s work, she had no tattoos of her own. The Alan Govenar and Kaleta Doolin Tattoo Collection at the South Street Seaport Museum has a winding road that began when Alan Govenar was a 21-year-old studying American Folklore at

Ohio State University. Seeking a subject for a fieldwork assignment, he came across a sign reading “As Ancient as Time, As Modern as Tomorrow — Tattooing by the Teacher of the Art Since 1928.” The tattooist turned out to be Old School artist and circus performer Leonard L. “Stoney” St. Clair (1912-1980). Govenar became a frequent visitor to the shop, and his lifelong fascination with tattooing began. Today, Govenar’s body of work on the topic includes the book “Stoney Knows How: Life As a Sideshow Tattoo Artist” and its award-winning documentary film adaptation, and three books with the legendary Don Ed Hardy, whose tattoo designs became the basis for a popular fashion line. “It was very important to me to bring this [exhibition] to the Seaport Museum,” said writer, filmmaker, photographer and folklorist Govenar. “Not WAGNER continued on p. 17 .com

Courtesy South Street Seaport Museum

Courtesy South Street Seaport Museum

Augustus “Gus” Wagner: “Self-Portrait, Tattoo Flash” ca. 1910-1930 (photographic print, ink, cardboard).

Pages from “Souvenirs of the Travels and Experiences of the Original Gus Wagner, Globe Trotter & Tattoo Artist” scrapbook, ca. 1897-1941 (leather, paper, photographic print, ink, thread).

Courtesy South Street Seaport Museum

Tattooing Tools, ca. 1900-1940 (metal, wood, bone, plastic, textile, paper).

WAGNER continued from p. 16

Photo by Puma Perl

South Street Seaport Museum Executive Director Captain Jonathan Boulware, at the exhibition’s opening reception.


only for the sake of tattoo history, but to support the Museum.” Seaport Museum Executive Director Captain Jonathan Boulware added, “Remarkably, four years after Hurricane Sandy, we’re still recovering. It’s also worth noting that we hadn’t yet fully recovered from the prior two blows: 9/11 and the recession of 2008. So, all things considered, we’re doing quite well! There’s much to be done to bring us fully back on line as the cultural anchor to the South Street Seaport Historic District, the birthplace of New York City. Exhibitions like this one are just right for us as we move ahead.” The Jan. 28 opening reception included a live

demonstration, utilizing Wagner’s original tattoo design, by Daredevil Tattoo artists Brad Fink and Michelle Myles (141 Division St. in Chinatown; Michael Wyatt had flown in from Dallas to attend the opening and to be tattooed by Myles, choosing a dragon head as his image. Wyatt became acquainted with Govenar at his coffee-roasting studio, Full City Rooster. Last July, he presented a studio event, “American Tattoo: As Ancient as Time, As Modern as Tomorrow,” with Govenar as special guest speaker (the event title is the same as Govenar’s 1996 ArtBox, which contained a 48-page book, 15 postcards, and three temporary tattoos). Unlike the heavily inked Wyatt, Colin Graham, a Mariner at the Seaport Museum, was a tattoo virgin. “I don’t think most people get their first tattoo at a museum’s opening exhibition,” he said. “I was a little anxious doing it in open view of a bunch of people, but I couldn’t turn down the opportunity to get tattooed by a first-class artist, and to choose an image from Gus Wagner’s collection. Brad joked with me while I was getting the piece done that I was going to probably feel a little lopsided and want to get one on my other arm. I do see some truth to the thought that once you have one, you’ll want another; the mental hurdle of getting your first is much bigger than for your second... I couldn’t be happier with how it came out. Brad Fink did a fantastic job, and I couldn’t imagine a better first tattoo.” On view through June 4 at the South Street Seaport Museum (12 Fulton St., btw. South & Water Sts.). Museum hours: Wed.–Sun., 11am–5pm. The exhibition is free with Museum admission: $12 for adults; $8 for seniors (65+), $6 for ages 6–17. Tickets can be purchased in person at 12 Fulton St. or online at For info about Govenar’s work, visit

Februar y 09 - 15, 2017



SHOW UP: A SPONTANEOUS COMEDY ABOUT YOU Last seen by this publication in the basement performance space of Triple Crown Ale House — where his chipper but talent-challenged character Lance soldiered through a one-man show to which a bevy of invited megastars failed to attend — comedy coach (and skilled practitioner) Peter Michael Marino moves one block away and two floors up for his latest endeavor. The PIT Loft is the place to be, as Marino manages to “Show Up” without ever phoning it in. That’s mighty impressive for a guy who recently outed himself as suffering from the sort of social anxiety that makes it far more tempting to stay at home watching documentaries about space aliens rather than taking the stage, looking people in the eye, and engaging them in rapid-fire conversation. So goes the deceptively simple device that fuels this often silly, occasionally searing, ultimately affectionate send-up of solo theater performances, interpersonal communication, and the bendable nature of truth. At last week’s show, after the abovementioned schmoozing — during which the audience provided a laundry list of highly personal details — Marino used those quirks to improvise the epic saga of Otto, a Russian/Mexican lad with a crippling sugar addiction, a scandal-plagued sibling, dreams of big city glory, and a knack for creating fantastic, Wonka-like sweets from household throwaways. All the while, beneath Otto’s sweet but dim monkey mind façade, Marino was in chess master mode: absorbing the many plot points he’d just commissioned, then orchestrating those wildly disparate moving parts toward a logical end (using traits of order and empathy, he noted, that come with his social anxiety). Adding to the absurdity was a second wave of audience participation: random sound cues, and rearranged set pieces every time Otto stopped the action to hydrate. Unlike that hackneyed device familiar to anyone who’s ever suffered through a less-thanstellar solo show, Marino made each sip of water seem like a breath of fresh air. “Show Up” plays Thurs., February 9, 16, & 23 at 8pm, and Sun., Feb. 12 at 5pm. At The PIT Loft (154 W. 29th St., btw. Sixth & Seventh Aves.). For tickets ($15), visit Aritst info at


Februar y 09 - 15, 2017

Photo by Alicia Levy

Peter Michael Marino’s “Show Up” recruits the entire audience for the plot of his improvised one-man show.

HI-FI | WI-FI | SCI-FI Pity the poor futurist who lives to see his fantastic visions come to pass. More often than not, the sweet distinction of being ahead of the curve comes with a bitter, unpredictable, “Twilight Zone”-like twist. Such ironies, both cool and cruel, bounce off every image and object as you walk through the satisfyingly interactive, genuinely immersive experience that brings finely calibrated, cutting-edge tech to the decades-old, forward-looking work of playwright Robert Patrick. An all-too-rare success story within the realm of multi-media endeavors that bite off more than they can chew only to serve little worth digesting, “Hi-Fi | Wi-Fi | SciFi: Predictions Past Present and Future” is a multi-room presentation of La MaMa’s CultureHub art and technology center. Hub artistic director Billy Clark co-directs alongside Peabody award-winning artist Jason Trucco, with live performances beamed in from Seoul, as guided by Korean director Park II Kyu. Together with a nimble and intense five-member cast appearing live and in the electronic ether, this communal experience (which includes a communion of sorts) is worth the trip — but those perfectly synchronized speakers and screens within the 360-degree setting aren’t the only selling point.

Photo by Minji Lee

Playwright Robert Patrick’s decades-old, disturbingly predictive work gets the multi-media, post-“Matrix” treatment. L to R: Valois Mikens and Agosto Machado.

Beyond the impressive physical presentation are those sparse, cerebral, and, it turns out, disturbingly predictive scenarios of the playwright. From 1968’s time delay courtship kerfuffle “Camera Obscura” to 1981’s “All in The Mind” (which handily beats “The Matrix” when it comes to critiquing the hive mind mentality), to a new world premiere and an endearing stab

at crooning from a surprise guest, this triple “Fi” is one blast from the past you’ll be chewing on long into the future — if there is such a thing. Through Feb. 19: Thurs., Fri., Sat. at 8pm, Sun. at 3pm; at The Downstairs at La MaMa (66 E. Fourth St., btw. Bowery & Second Ave.). For tickets ($25, $20 for students/seniors), visit or call 212-352-3101. .com





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The Long Way to Liking a Love Song A serious look at ‘Funny Valentine’ BY JIM MELLOAN Eighty years ago this April the Rodgers and Hart musical “Babes in Arms” opened on Broadway. The show contained a number of songs still well-known today, including “Where or When,” “The Lady Is a Tramp,” and that quintessential Valentine’s Day song, “My Funny Valentine,” which has since been performed by more than 600 artists. My sister Molly says there’s a joke: “How many New York cabaret singers does it take to sing ‘My Funny Valentine’?” “Apparently all of them.” What a funny old song it is. Far from gushing with ardor, it seems more an ode to the necessity of compromise in matters of the heart. The male object of the female singer’s affections is “funny” and “comic,” whose “looks are laughable, unphotographable.” Yet she begs him to stay. Personally, I’ve always hated it. The words seem condescending to me, and paired with music that’s cloying in its sentimentality. It’s like an artfully constructed, saccharine confection dedicated to expressing the sentiment “You’ll do.” I did a little crowdsourcing via Facebook to see how my friends feel about the song. Many love it, but a few had misgivings similar to my own. One friend loved the music but found the words “strange.” Another thought it “creepy.” Another said it was “unusual in that it’s honest, which gives unexpected force to the sentiment.” “Babes in Arms” was the original kids-putting-on-a-show musical. In this case it was kids from Long Island who a sheriff threatens to send to a work farm because their parents are all off on tour trying to stage a vaudeville revival. He gives them a two-week reprieve to put on the show. The musical was heavily revised for the 1939 Busby Berkeley film starring Judy Garland and Mickey Rooney, losing most of the original songs, including “My Funny Valentine,” two black teenagers, and a Communist. The song is actually sung to a character named Valentine. My old improv comrade Marty Barrett, who did the show in high school, said learning that fact was “like finding out that ‘We Wish You a Merry Christmas’ first appeared as a jingle for a used-car dealer named Leon ‘Merry’ Christmas.” But it appears that the song came before the musical’s book, and Rodgers and Hart decided to name the character Valentine to hang the show around the song. Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart met each other in 1919 while both were attending Columbia University. By the late ’20s they had become one of the most popular and prolific songwriting duos on Broadway. They wrote more than 500 songs together. While Rodgers, the composer, was a hardworking man of predictable habits, lyricist Hart was often depressed, and an alcoholic. Four-foot-ten, by most accounts he was an extremely closeted homosexual. In an interview to publicize “Babes in Arms,” he said “Love life? I have none… Who would want me?” Hart eventually became too erratic for Rodgers, who enlisted Oscar Hammerstein as a collaborator for


Februar y 09 - 15, 2017

“Oklahoma!” After a booze-soaked sojourn in Mexico, Hart returned to write lyrics for one new song for a revival of “A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court.” He wasn’t there for opening night, having commenced his last bender, and died a few days later, of pneumonia, in 1943. Rodgers continued long thereafter in a successful partnership with Hammerstein. While the song was a minor hit for a few artists in the ’40s, it became an iconic classic in the ’50s. The Gerry Mulligan Quartet, which trumpeter Chet Baker joined in 1952, started doing the song in that year as an instrumental, and Baker was fascinated by it. He sang it on his first vocal album “Chet Baker Sings” in 1954. Baker, like Hart, was a troubled soul, addicted to heroin for years. He alone is said to have done more than 100 recorded performances of the song. Sinatra also did his version in 1954, and Ella Fitzgerald did hers on a double album called “Ella Fitzgerald Sings the Rodgers and Hart Song Book” in 1956. Elvis Costello put out his version on the B-side of the “Oliver’s Army” single in 1979, letting it be known that he wasn’t just another punk. By far the most popular version on YouTube, with more than 41 million views, is by a woman named Alice Fredenham, who performed it on the first week of auditions for the 2013 season of “Britain’s Got Talent.” The segment pulls out all the tropes that makes this show so successful: the shy, unknown singer who belts out the song in a master performance and wows the judges. In this rendition, all hint of the condescension in the lyrics is gone; instead the emphasis is all on the passionate plea that her Valentine will “stay.” Fredenham was eliminated on a subsequent semi-final, had a brief appearance on “The Voice UK,” put out a video of “My Funny Valentine,” and is still apparently a struggling less-than-successful singer. For my money the most impressive performance is by Chaka Khan, whose lushly orchestrated, vocally acrobatic yet soulful version is on the soundtrack for the 1995 film “Waiting to Exhale.” So have I gained a new appreciation for the song? Yeah. When I was a kid, my taste in comic books was strongly pro-DC, anti-Marvel. I liked the forthright goodness of Superman and Batman, and the conflicted personal lives and moral ambiguities in Spider-Man and the Hulk litVia iStock/RyanJLane erally made me queasy. I’m older now. I get it. .com

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COALITION continued from p. 5



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“We have passion and we have food and we have power. That’s kind of where we are,” Henkel said. “We need some folks to help us really get motivated and moving around preserving our neighborhood.” Henkel said the coalition would meet every two months or so, with the next scheduled meeting for April 4 at 6:30 p.m. at the Metro Baptist Church again (unless something comes up where they would have to call an emergency meeting). Ultimately, the coalition is hoping to form a cohesive community vision that Port Authority can refer to whenever they need context moving forward. “We learned a long time ago these public actions happen one way or another. We’re not going to stop the action from happening, our goal is to shape how the action happens,” Restuccia said. “By us being organized, that’s what makes a difference and enables community board and elected officials to walk into a room and sit with Port Authority officials, negotiate back and forth, and determine what is the plan that helps us instead of wipes us away.”

Photo by Jackson Chen

Reverend Tiffany Henkel encouraging people to fill out a form to indicate if they’d like to join a committee and which organization name they preferred.

For info on CB4’s interaction with the PA, visit mancb4. Choose the Committees

and Task Forces option, then go to the Clinton/Hell’s Kitchen Land Use page.

NON-PROFIT continued from p. 10

human services sector has the resources it needs to look after New Yorkers.” In the State Assembly, Richard Gottfried, a Chelsea Democrat, said he is joining the non-profits in asking for more money set aside in the state budget for human services. Rather than re-litigate the issue each year, Gottfried said, he’d like to see some form of legislation that would ensure funding in the budget for years to come. Being formerly homeless and now working with Urban Pathways, Scott McDonald said he is acutely aware of how frustrating the situation is, having been on both sides. “There’s a lot of loneliness out there, hopelessness,” McDonald said. “That’s why individuals may rely on substance abuse and have tendencies to want to end their life. And I was there, a number of times.” When asked what would happen in a worst-case scenario, McDonald said, “The human services community goes away, all the non-profits go away. It’s almost a doomsday scenario where you have no place to address mental and psychiatric health and homelessness.” Governor Cuomo’s office had not returned a phone call seeking comment as of press time.

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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


Februar y 09 - 15, 2017

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


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

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


Those who haven’t quite mastered walking and

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

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


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


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Chelsea Now  

February 9, 2017

Chelsea Now  

February 9, 2017