YOUR WEEKLY community newspaper SERVING CHELSEA, HUDSON YARDS & HELL’S KITCHEN
BUDS OF MARCH Spring has a good head start along the High Line. See page 12 for Tequila Minsky’s photos.
A month-long celebration of local merchants
GVCCC on where to eat..................................page 2 Esposito Meat Market endures..............page 3 Supermarket survery wants you..........page 4 CB4’s ‘Office Hours’ offer help...............page 6 © CHELSEA NOW 2017 | NYC community media, LLC, All Rights Reserved
VOLUME 09, ISSUE 10 | MARCH 09 - 15, 2017
Food for Thought on Eating Out BY MARIA DIAZ In the midst of hectic schedules and the bustle of our city, there is one thing true New Yorkers will always find time for: a flavorful meal in a pleasant setting. Perhaps that’s why so many of us selfidentify as “foodies” — because there is such an abundance of gastronomic possibilities around every corner we turn. Whether your go-to spot is the restaurant with aromas from your childhood or one where the chef awes with flavors that cannot be found anywhere else, we recognize that everyone has that restaurant. You know, the restaurant that always finds a way into your workweek. The best thing about enjoying a truly satisfying meal is that there is a chef, an owner, and a story behind how that dish came to life. In this piece, we at the Greenwich Village-Chelsea Chamber of Commerce (GVCCC) want to introduce you to a few of these local restaurants — places where you will find a welcoming table and unique cuisines that no chain can claim, let alone match.
PASTAI Powerful flavor. Authentic Ingredients. Simple dishes. There are no façades when you choose to dine at Pastai. Spanning the ingredients, the experience, and even the language, Pastai’s pride is bringing each of their patrons home to Southern Italy. Not bound by the constraints of Little Italy, this Chelsea pasta bar has been given the space to flourish and display its authenticity. The restaurant’s manager, Daniele Mazzella, described Pastai’s contribution to the neighborhood. “I think
Pastai’s ingredients are imported directly from Southern Italy.
what we give to Chelsea is different,” said Mazzella, “because we aren’t imprisoned by a specific market niche. We have the freedom to provide the highest quality, because that is really the only way to keep our doors open. Chelsea wants the best you can get.” Not only are all of Pastai’s ingredients authentic and imported directly from Southern Italy, but those who dine in are treated to the full kitchen experience. Once you place your order, patrons are welcomed to watch the chef prepare the anticipated meal. Pastai’s signature dish truly is their pasta. All their pastas and sauces are made fresh in-house each day. Being connected to the cuisine, there are recommendations of pastas and sauces that work best together and truly represent traditions of the Italian region. However, the experience is all yours to design. The restaurant listens to its customers and provides each experience with the flexibility to get what you want. Feel at home with the staff of Pastai and
Pastai, at 186 Ninth Ave., packs powerful flavor into its simple dishes.
be confident that your experience is nothing short of a true Italian meal. At 186 Ninth Ave., btw. W. 21st & 22nd Sts. Hours: Mon.–Thurs., 11am– 12am; Fri., 11am–1am; Sat. & Sun., 10am–1am. Call 646-688-3463 or visit pastainyc.com.
RAYMI PERUVIAN KITCHEN AND PISCO BAR This Peruvian destination provides its patrons with a unique surprise. Raymi has been in business since 2012, and FOOD continued on p. 8
Courtesy Raymi Courtesy Raymi
Pollo a la Brasa, from the Raymi menu.
March 09 - 15, 2017
Raymi, at 43 W. 24th St., offers a menu of Peruvian dishes as well as “Latin Beat” options that are gluten-free and organic. .com
No Bones About It: Esposito Meat Market Endures BY DENNIS LYNCH Hell’s Kitchen has changed a lot over the last 100 years, but there’s one institution on W. 38th St. that’s changed very little, and aged very well. Esposito Meat Market, a traditional Italian butcher shop run by the family from which it takes its name, is still sending locals home with cuts of prime meats and a smile on their faces. Third-generation owner Robert Esposito said it’s that personal service and quality products that have kept the store in business at 500 Ninth Ave. (at the corner of W. 38th St.) for 85 years. “It’s the atmosphere of an old-time butcher shop. We do one thing: the meats, no supermarket stuff. When going to an old-time shop you get better quality and better service,” Esposito said. You don’t have to take his word for it — ask regular Curtis Jewell, who’s been a customer for two decades. “Its not like a supermarket where you’re just a number; they know you, they know your name, they know what you like, how to cut it for you. They do the right thing for you,” Jewell said. Jewell is right — the butchers at Esposito have really gotten to know their customers. Many of them have been there for 10 to 15 years, and the longest-serving employee has been there for 32 years — nearly as long as Robert himself has worked there full-time. “We try to treat everyone like family, our costumers and our employees,” Esposito said. They were on a first-name basis with almost everyone who walked in during Chelsea Now’s visit. Between shooting the breeze with Robert and others while he waited for his order, Jewell planned a workout session with one of the butchers before he left with his deli meats, ground beef, and sausages. When Jewell first started coming to Esposito, Robert’s father Teddy was running the show behind the counter. He’s just a young man compared to some of the shop’s oldest customers — Robert said there’s an elderly woman named Olga who still comes down every month or so to stock up on meats. She’s been coming for 60 years. The family has passed on the deed to the corner shop from generation to generation since Robert’s grandfather Giovanni first opened there just before the Great Depression hit, joining the dozens of butcher shops and meat markets that lined Ninth Ave. and made up Paddy’s Market. Giovanni was already a successful butcher, running his shop on Mulberry St. and on W. 40th St. before settling at the corner of W. 38th St. The construction of the Lincoln Tunnel between Ninth and 10th Aves. killed Paddy’s Market, but Esposito endured. It was never broken, so they never had to fix anything, so the practices have largely stayed the same at Esposito even as the neighborhood and the customer base has constantly changed. Giovanni used to sell a lot more “peasant’s food,” — neckbones and tripe, for example, Robert said. Those cheaper cuts undoubtedly made their way into stews ESPOSITO continued on p. 16 .com
Photos by Dennis Lynch
Esposito Meat Market has been in business at the same location, the corner of Ninth Ave. & W. 38th St., for 85 years
Chelsea resident Curtis Jewell has been coming to Esposito Meat Market for 20 years for cold cuts, sausage, ground beef, and steak.
Not surprisingly, Esposito has garnered its fair share of praise over the years.
Esposito also sells ingredients you’ll need for a good Sunday sauce or steak dinner. March 09 - 15, 2017
Mission Affordable: Hudson Guild Survey a BY DENNIS LYNCH Activists, advocates, and frustrated consumers are seeking to establish a task force that would address the lack of affordable supermarkets in the area, which, they say, has negatively affected the rapidly changing neighborhood’s low-income residents — particularly those in public housing, seniors, and rent-regulated tenants. Chelsea resident and Hudson Guild volunteer Italo Medelius is leading the charge. He’s a member of the Guild’s Neighborhood Advisory Committee and its subcommittee, the Community Access Committee (visit hudsonguild. org for details). Medelius said he was inspired to address the situation after locals came to Hudson Guild and said they were having trouble finding affordable grub in Chelsea. “They thought they were the only ones having these thoughts. We just want to give these people the ability to organize together and voice these issues,” Medelius said. “It’s definitely at the top of the list [of concerns],
along with affordable housing, education, economic development — it’s all tied together.” Medelius and the task force has created a survey residents can take about supermarket shopping in the area and will review the data later this month. You can take it by visiting goo.gl/vCd6YR. To contact them by email, send a message to make. firstname.lastname@example.org. The Neighborhood Advisory Committee will vote on whether to greenlight the task force on Mon., March 13. After they’ve crunched the numbers from their survey, the task force, if established, will organize a town hall, hopefully by May. They want to bring local elected officials into the conversation and Medelius hopes it will lead to a rally at a neighborhood supermarket. Eventually, they hope to start up a free Sunday bus service to bring locals over to New Jersey to do their shopping at more affordable markets.
Photo by Jordan Rathkopf
Italo Medelius wants to start a task force to come up with solutions for locals who need affordable groceries, but have no viable options near them.
The issue became that much more real for Westsiders last summer, when a $32,000 to $100,000 per month rent hike forced the affordable Associated Supermarket to close after 27 years at its W. 14th St. and Eighth Ave. location. Elected officials representing Chelsea, includ-
ing Councilmember Corey Johnson, appealed to the landlord to renegotiate a lease, but the city has no commercial rent restrictions and the landlord refused to budge. Now, the only truly inexpensive option in Chelsea is Western Beef on W. 16th St. (btw. Ninth & 10th Aves.),
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Start for Better Grocery Shopping Options
Chelsea Now file photo by Yannic Rack
Photo by Jordan Rathkopf
Protesters waved flyers and signs at a Mar. 13, 2016 demonstration, which took place in front of the store that many of them have frequented for decades.
Whole Foods is a great option for people who can afford it, but the organic fare there is pricey.
which is luckily close for the residents of Fulton Houses. But only having one affordable market isn’t ideal, and Fulton Houses Tenants’ Association President Miguel Acevedo said that the neighborhood is slowly losing its other options — bodegas. “If we didn’t have Western Beef,
I don’t think there would be any affordable options for anyone in the neighborhood,” Acevedo said of the supermarket. “What used to be bodegas are now high-end bars or restaurants; we don’t have anything like that now.” Commercial rent regulation and
a binding rent arbitration process are part of the long-proposed-butnever-voted-on Small Business Jobs Survival Act (SBJSA). Many proponents say the SBJSA is the only way to truly ensure that vital local businesses are able to hold out in changing neighborhoods. The Council has
never been able to get it to a floor vote since a version of it was first proposed in the 1980s — both those for and against the legislation have claimed that legal issues with the bill have prevented the vote. The City SUPERMARKETS continued on p. 9
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CB4 Provides ‘Office Hours’ for Small Business Owners LGBT FINANCIAL, BUSINESS & LEGAL PLANNING IN THE TRUMP ERA With the election of Donald Trump as President, many new policies are being proposed that may affect your business, taxes, investment strategies and estate planning. The LGBT community may be uniquely impacted. Come learn from our panelists how to develop the best business and personal plans in a rapidly changing environment. Enjoy networking with Manhattan Chamber members and the panelists following the discussion. Panelists Alexander J. Fruchtman, Financial Advisor The Fruchtman Group Morgan Stanley Wealth Management
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Yolanda Kanes, Esq. Partner, Chair of Trusts & Estates Group Tannenbaum Helpern Syracuse & Hirschtritt LLP
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March 09 - 15, 2017
BY DUSICA SUE MALESEVIC Office hours are no longer for students only: Community Board 4 (CB4) is taking the concept of drop-in consultation, partnering with NYC Business Solutions, and providing one-on-one “Office Hours” strategy sessions for small business owners and those looking to start one. For Melissa Lee Dymock, owner of Dymock Work, the “short version” of why she came to the board’s Office Hours on Tues., Feb. 21 was to learn more about how to get certified as a minority and woman-owned business enterprise. Her firm does project management and owner representation for construction projects, and the certification would be advantageous when vying for projects with public funding, she said. After her consultation, the longtime Hell’s Kitchen resident said, “It was really great.” Dymock said she was advised to go to a small business training class that will go through the application line by line — exactly the type of assistance the office hours are looking to provide. “We started this idea because we wanted small business owners to feel that the community board was a resource for them,” Jesse Bodine, the board’s district manager, said in a phone interview. Last June, the board had an informal small business roundtable with the city’s Department of Small Business Services (SBS) to hear small business owners’ concerns, he said. “Besides coming to the board for their liquor licenses, there wasn’t an understanding in what a community board could do in assisting them in their issues,” Bodine explained. CB4 and SBS decided to partner up for the office hours. A representative from the SBS’s NYC Business Solutions would do the consultations. SBS operates NYC Business Solution Centers across the five boroughs to provide tools and resources that are close to home, Nick Benson, a department spokesperson, said in an email. The centers offer an array of services that include business courses, financing assistance, recruitment services, probono legal advising and more, he said. Bodine said that the office hours are both for those looking to start a busi-
Photo by Dusica Sue Malesevic
Ruth Walker and Phil O’Brien of “W42ST,” a magazine focused on Hell’s Kitchen, checked out CB4’s “Office Hours.”
ness or to update and expand a current one, and can also help with navigating the city’s licensing requirements as well as the city’s bureaucracy and agencies. Benson said the partnership with the board on its office hours is a great way to proactively reach area small business owners and to connect them to services that can help them succeed. Five small business owners (and a person looking for help starting one) came to the Feb. 21 Office Hours, the third such event scheduled by CB4. Bodine told Chelsea Now after that the “turnout was great — it was very good.” The first session was in December and was too new, and the one in January was slow due to inclement weather, he said. Ruth Walker and Phil O’Brien of W42ST (w42st.com), a magazine that focuses on Hell’s Kitchen, came to the office hours to check it out. “I have no idea what to expect to be honest, but thought it was worth coming out and having a chat,” Walker, the magazine’s editor, told Chelsea Now before the session. Afterwards, Walker said it wasn’t for them, with O’Brien, the magazine’s publisher, saying they were looking for ways to grow their advertising. Bodine said he would like to see the office hours continue, and become akin to housing clinics. “Doing it on a routine basis makes a big difference and we can build momentum on that,” he said. It is important that if people have ideas they should feel there is a way to access their goals, he said. “It’s not easy to start a small business, but it’s not OFFICE HOURS continued on p. 9 .com
TOP DRIVER DISTRACTIONS Using mobile phones
Leading the list of the top distractions behind the wheel are mobile phones. Phones now do more than just place calls, and drivers often cannot pull away from their phones, even when driving. According to the California Department of Motor Vehicles, studies have shown that driving performance is lowered and the level of distraction is higher for drivers who are heavily engaged in cell
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.
March 09 - 15, 2017
Pergola turned its 36 W. 28th St. location from a flower shop into a Mediterranean sanctuary.
FOOD continued from p. 2
just last year, the Torres family launched a new concept they call “Latin Beat.” Patrons now get the options of two restaurants in one. The Raymi menu features signature Peruvian dishes like their lomo saltado and delicious ceviche. With the addition of Latin Beat, patrons can find Latin based options that are nonGMO, gluten-free, and organic. Latin
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NoMad mainstay Pergola brings new flare to your dining routine.
ers, being able to stay open since 2012 is an important accomplishment for the Torres family. When you dine at Raymi you will certainly get the family welcome. Family-run and owned by a father and his three sons, Raymi’s two executive chefs are brothers Jaime and Filipe Torres. Both have traveled the world to develop their cooking skills, learning and cooking in kitchens in Peru and Spain. Whether you stop in for a healthy, fast dish through Latin Beat or have the full family experience from the Raymi menu, the Torres kitchen caters to all tastes. They are proud of their craft cocktails (my absolute favorite: the pisco sour) and wine list — something patrons don’t initially associate with Raymi, but are always happy to find and peruse the unique options. Raymi offers all-night happy hours on Tuesdays and Sundays, which Bari notes is a special you can’t find at many other locations in the city. At 43 W. 24 St., btw. Fifth & Sixth Aves. Hours: Mon.–Thurs., 5–10pm; Fri. & Sat., 5–11pm; and Sun., 12–3pm brunch and 5–9pm dinner. Call 212-9291200 or visit rayminyc.com.
“I really feel spoiled to have everything I could ever need for my business and personal life available within a four-block radius,” Sherri said of Pergola’s NoMad location. “Most New York neighborhoods offer convenience, but this one is exceptional!” Not only is Pergola a small business itself, but Sherri makes it a point to support other small businesses within the community. She noted that numerous surrounding businesses have been in the same locations for over 30 years; getting to know and share stories with neighbors has been an enriching experience to Pergola’s space. When Pergola entered the space five years ago, the choice of cuisine in NoMad was quite limited. Pergola has sought to provide diverse fare to its equally diverse clientele. Step out and enjoy an authentic Mediterranean meal — perhaps with hookah, to add a new element to your normal dining routine. For an added bonus go again during fair weather and enjoy the space with their front garage door open. At 36 W. 28th St., btw. Broadway & Sixth Ave. Hours: Mon–Fri., 11am–2am; Sat. & Sun., 4pm–2am. Call 212-6794842 or visit pergolanewyork.com.
PERGOLA A historic flower shop turned Mediterranean sanctuary? Pergola is one of those treasured locations in NYC that has preserved a rich past while bringing an even more diverse ambiance. Owner Sherri’s introduction into the hospitality space starts with a love story in our neighborhood. After meeting her now-husband on her third day in New York, Sherri took a chance away from her time in fashion, was married five months later in Cairo, and found herself opening her first restaurant Downtown.
Maria Diaz is the executive director of the Greenwich Village-Chelsea Chamber of Commerce. For info, call 646-4701773 or visit villagechelsea.com. Twitter: @GVCCHAMBER. On Facebook: facebook.com/GVCCHAMBER. .com
SUPERMARKETS continued from p. 5
Council has enough sponsors, including Johnson and representatives for neighboring Council districts, on the latest iteration of the bill to pass it. I n ste ad, law m a ke r s h ave approached the issue with other bills. Johnson and some colleagues introduced bills last month to establish a definition for “affordable” supermarkets and exempt them from the 3.9 percent rent tax the city levies on businesses that pay more than $250,000 in rent. The bill is currently in the Council’s Committee on Finance. Medelius himself struggles to find reasonable deals on groceries in the area, so he usually makes the trek over to Trader Joe’s (on Sixth Ave., at W. 21 St.). Seniors, especially those living in far West Chelsea, don’t always have that option though, he said. Transportation is “terrible” there, he said, so seniors remain in the neighborhood, no matter what’s in their budget or on their shopping list. David Moss, Councilmember Johnson’s director of communication, said that Johnson and his staff share those concerns about seniors and mobility. “We’ve seen this problem a lot, where older residents can’t carry around heavy bags for a half a mile to their homes,” Moss said. “The grocery stores don’t really tailor products to them either; one elderly person doesn’t need a dozen eggs.” Johnson’s office is working with supermarkets to offer items in smaller portions so folks can carry them back home on foot or by public transit. They were among several parties involved in facilitating such a deal with the D’Agostino West Village location (at Greenwich & Bethune Sts.) — though that does not cut to the root of the problem. “Of course, we don’t want people traveling longer distances. There should be an affordable market in everyone’s backyard,” Moss said.
Photos by Jordan Rathkopf
Gristedes operates three locations in the neighborhoods, including this one on W. 26th St., btw. Eighth & Ninth Aves., frequented by Penn South residents.
The Associated Supermarket on W. 14th St. shuttered last year after the landlord upped the monthly rent from $32,000 to more than $100,000.
OFFICE HOURS continued from p. 6
impossible,” Bodine said. The Office Hours were important, Bodine noted, as there is a need for as much small business diversity as possible. Benson said small businesses are part of what makes the city’s neighborhoods vibrant. Small busi.com
nesses face intense competitive pressure, and shopping at small, neighborhood businesses is a great way to support and invest in your own community, he said.
The next Office Hours will be a workshop-style event held on Thurs., March 16, 3–5pm, and will focus on what
you need to know about signing or renewing a commercial lease. Co-sponsored by the Hell’s Kitchen / Hudson Yards Alliance, Volunteers of Legal Service, CB4, and Councilmember Corey Johnson, it takes place at 412 W. 42nd St., third floor. To RSVP, visit lowermanhattanleaseworkshop.eventbrite.com. For NYC Business Solutions, visit nyc.gov/nycbusiness. March 09 - 15, 2017
POLICE BLOTTER PETIT LARCENY: Cell sleeper Perhaps the events of Sat., Mar. 4 will give this man a much-needed figurative wake up call — though a literal one may have come in handy a little earlier. At about 8:45pm, the 58-year-old arrived at Bean & Bean Coffee (318 Eighth Ave., at W. 26th St.), and settled in to download some files to his two cellphones. Obviously skipping the java, he quickly fell asleep at his table. When he woke up about an hour later, he discovered that someone had taken both phones — a $350 iPhone 5s and a $450 iPhone 6s.
THE 10th PRECINCT: Located at 230 W. 20th St. (btw. Seventh & Eighth Aves.). Commander: Capt. Paul Lanot. Main number: 212741-8211. Community Affairs: 212-7418226. Crime Prevention: 212-741-8226. Domestic Violence: 212-741-8216. Youth Officer: 212-741-8211. Auxiliary Coordinator: 212-924-3377. Detective Squad: 212-741-8245. The Community Council meets on the last Wed. of the month, 7pm, at the 10th Precinct or other locations to be announced.
THE 13th PRECINCT: Located at 230 E. 21st St. (btw. Second & Third Aves.). Deputy Inspector: Brendan Timoney. Call 212-477-7411. Community Affairs: 212-477-7427. Crime Prevention: 212-477-7427. Domestic Violence: 212-477-3863. Youth Officer: 212477-7411. Auxiliary Coordinator: 212-477-4380. Detective Squad: 212477-7444. The Community Council meets on the third Tues. of the month, 6:30pm, at the 13th Precinct.
While there were cameras at the location, they could not be accessed at the time of the report’s filing.
CRIMINAL MISCHIEF: Big Mac attack Sun., Mar. 5 saw one disgruntled worker enact some technological retribution that managed to top even the cult film “Office Space.” As reported by a 27-year-old employee of R/GA (450 W. 33rd St., btw. Ninth & 10th Aves.), at around 4:30pm, he witnessed a fellow employee enter into the office’s computer room (where he was working) with a pair of scissors in hand. The new arrival then proceeded to throw a computer on the floor — at which
CASH FOR GUNS $100 cash will be given (no questions asked) for each handgun, assault weapon or sawed-off shotgun, up to a maximum payment of $300. Guns are accepted at any Police Precinct, PSA or Transit District.
MIDTOWN SOUTH PRECINCT: Located at 357 W. 35th St. (btw. Eighth & Ninth Aves.). Inspector: Russel J. Green. Call 212-2399811. Community Affairs: 212239-9846. Crime Prevention: 212239-9846. Domestic Violence: 212-239-9863. Youth Officer: 212239-9817. Auxiliary Coordinator: 212-239-9836. Detective Squad: 212-239-9856. The Community Council meets on the third Thurs. of the month, 7pm, at the New Yorker Hotel (481 Eighth Ave., btw. W. 34th & W. 35th St.). Visit midtownsouthcc.org.
point the witness casually exited the room, closed the door, and alerted the authorities. By the time an officer was able to arrive and arrest the 28-year-old Brooklyn resident, he’d already caused an impressive $25,000 worth of damage, presumably while listening to Geto Boys on repeat.
CRIMINAL MISCHIEF: Faux cop kerfuffle Another simpatico destructive incident occurred a short while later on Sun., Mar. 5, at HK Restaurant (523 Ninth Ave., at W. 39th St.). At around 5:30pm, a pair of rowdy customers entered destructive mode, intentionally damaging an ATM, a wall, a set of glass stairs, and eight chairs in their rampage. When the establishment’s manager understandably approached them to stop destroying his restaurant, they replied with a glib “Mind your business, we’re cops.” When the manager didn’t buy their story and continued to ask them to stop, one of the pair lunged at him, and intentionally caused lacerations to his neck. To top things off, they also refused to pay their bill: $81.54. By the time the real authorities arrived, the faux fuzz caused over $1,500 worth of damages. The two — 26 and 25, both from Long Beach — were arrested. They were not, for the record, police officers, though their behavior would be unacceptable (and unlawful) even if they were.
POSSESSION OF STOLEN PROPERTY: Junkie joyride A little after 7:30pm on Fri., Mar. 3, police noticed a man driving a stolen vehicle — a not-at-all-low-profile gold 1999 Mercury van — and tried to stop him, to no avail. The driver then led the burgeoning
pursuit down the Lincoln Tunnel’s south tube (near the southeast corner of Dyer Ave. & W. 39th St.), ramming into other vehicles to speed himself along and elude apprehension. At a certain point, when this strategy stopped working, the man simply got out of the car, and started running away on foot — impeding traffic and putting other drivers in danger. Though he did his best to ignore the many commands to stop, and proclamations that he was under arrest, the man was eventually caught and arrested. Aside from avoiding the consequences of stealing a vehicle, his behavior could also partially be explained by a pipe found in the van, containing a white, powdery residue suspected to be crack cocaine.
CRIMINAL POSSESSION OF A WEAPON: Molly, maybe At around 3:45am on Sat., Mar. 4, an officer observed a black Dodge sedan travelling westbound on W. 25th St. with its headlights off. When the driver failed to signal for an abrupt turn on 11th Ave., the officer stopped the vehicle, and immediately was hit by the smell of alcohol wafting off the driver — who also had watery eyes and dilated, unresponsive pupils. “I had four vodka cranberries,” the man revealed — though the open bottle of Ciroc in plain sight pretty much told that part of the story. Upon further inspection, the man was found to have a small quantity of a controlled substance on his person, and in his car, a gravity knife and a wooden box containing drug paraphernalia and an additional quantity. “I think it’s Molly,” hedged the druggie driver. He was taken to the 28th Precinct (where he blew a .049 BAC around 7am) and was arrested.
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March 09 - 15, 2017
March 09 - 15, 2017
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR The Struggle to Save Chelsea Continues To The Editor: Re: “Save Chelsea Chosen as One of ‘Six to Celebrate’ ” (news, Feb. 23): Save Chelsea had its beginning with Jane Woods’ Chelsea Coalition on Housing (see Jane Woods Way atop the street lamp at 19th St. & Eighth Ave.). She fought to save affordable housing, fought landlords who were trying to evict tenants by whatever means possible, and helped keep Chelsea a rich, diverse neighborhood. There was Ed Kirkland of Community Board 4 who single-handedly drew up a zoning plan for Chelsea. He knew each brick and block of stone in all of Chelsea, and he wanted to save every one of them. Many of us walked the streets to assist him in this endeavor. Then there was the High Line and the land speculation that ensued as part of the deal. Air rights over the river, air rights over any of the one- and two-story garages, restaurants, etc. — all were sold to make those high-priced, high-rise buildings we now see even higher. As these buildings were sprouting up all over west Chelsea, many of us in Save Chelsea were fighting for mandatory 30 percent affordable housing in each and every new building, but to no avail. So the struggle to Save Chelsea continues! Gloria Sukenick
Glib and insulting To The Editor: Re “The Suspicious Samaritan as Model Citizen” (Lenore Skenazy, Feb. 16): I was there that day, 9/11. I wish some-
one had said something. Your glib remarks are an insult to the people who died in the buildings and the pits. Shame on you. Alex Smythe
FEEDBACK FROM FACEBOOK Re: “Tap Into the Unique Energy of Chelsea’s Small Businesses (news, posted to chelseanow.com March 1): I am a small restaurant owner in the West Village and I can tell you that we have seen a drop of 25 percent drop in business this first quarter. Stores are closing more than ever. Along Hudson Street and Bleecker Street, storefronts are remaining empty. High rents and very little foot traffic. I reached out to small business solutions [NYC Business Solutions], [Councilmember] Corey Johnson’s office, the Comptroller’s office, and Greenwich Village-Chelsea Chamber of Commerce with questions on how we can improve business and how to stop landlord harassment. I have been up and down William Street and John Street, with no results. All the governmental offices’ lack of help to small business concerns is all very sad. Nicolas Bustamante, Bespoke Kitchen Re: “Adieu, Alan’s Alley: Video Shop’s Closing Credits Scrolling Soon” (posted to chelseanow.com March 1): I love and hate this. Every time we pass by a place that we think would be good fit we say, “Ahh we have to call Alan.” I hope to run into you soon, Alan!!! Jennifer Lynne Dreussi Hansen Re: West Side Workshop Troubleshoots L Train Shutdown (posted to chelseanow.com March 1):
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March 09 - 15, 2017
It strikes me as preposterous that community members who organize themselves around safe and efficient transportation are cast as some nefarious lobbying group. Transportation Alternatives does great, life-saving work across the five boroughs, and they’re an excellent resource for the hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers who support their mission. They rightly contend that the only way to save the residents and businesses along 14th St. during the L train closure is by prioritizing high capacity modes of transport that are proven to work, rather than bending over backwards to accommodate the every whim of the few people who choose to drive single-occupant vehicles in the densest city in the country. William Jacob Farrell I too found this article unbalanced. Full disclosure, I support the PeopleWay, as a viable alternative to moving buses, pedestrians, and bicyclists across 14th Street as efficiently as possible. I live on 14th Street, and can tell you from bitter experience that as things stand now, it is pretty impossible to get across at certain times of the day without using the L train. When the L train isn’t there to be used, the situation may well become untenable. PeopleWay presents an alternative, but only if MTA/DOT commits to doing it right, which would mean finding a way around the endless construction that plagues 14th Street at almost every block, which will not be completed before 2019. That already makes my commuting life hard, even as a pedestrian. MTA/DOT also has to find a way to mitigate traffic on the surrounding streets. I’m sure they have experts that can figure that out, if there is the will to do so. I will continue to attend workshops and will continue to support PeopleWay. Done right, PeopleWay could enhance the quality of life for 14th Street residents, and once folks become used to it, will mitigate traffic on the surrounding streets as well (for example: if drivers will leave their cars at home for short trips). Julia R. Alberino I am a member of the 14th Street community who will be directly affected by the L Train shutdown. I attended the West Side workshop. My biggest concern is that our already congested neighborhood will be inundated with vehicle traffic. I feel we need to do
whatever we can as a community to encourage people to use mass transit/ walk/bike. NOBODY is happy about the shut down of the L train. It will be hard for EVERYONE. We will ALL have to make changes. BUT — let’s work for changes that will improve the community and make life better for more people. If it is cheaper and more convenient to use mass transit/walk/ bike that is what people will do. Let’s work toward that. KM Brmingham This article should be praising Transportation Alternatives for the work they do. TA acknowledged the impact of this crisis before anyone else and started mobilizing immediately. They do a great job of connecting community members and encouraging citizens to speak out on issues where they are directly affected. As a proud TA member who lives on 14th Street, I am upset by the tilt of this article. Claire Brennan The Transit Alternative [Transportation Alternatives] is using the shutdown of the L to push their radical causes. Who is behind this lobbying group? The shutdown of the L will affect each borough differently and should be addressed as so. Getting our largest community of workers and students into Manhattan with as little added stress to the already stressful daily commute via other alternatives is the main objective. The longer part of the journey is from the outer boroughs to Manhattan; I didn’t hear a lot about that. Thankfully we are a city with many alternatives, especially in Manhattan — let’s use them effectively and not take this shutdown as the catalyst to push other agendas. Let’s keep the playing field as objective as possible. Susan Numeroff E-mail letters to Scott@ChelseaNow. com (not longer than 250 words in length) or fax to 212-229-2790 or mail to Chelsea Now, Letters to the Editor, NYC Community Media, One MetroTech North, 10th Floor, Brooklyn, NY 11201. Please include phone number for confirmation purposes. Chelsea Now reserves the right to edit letters for space, grammar, clarity, and libel. Chelsea Now does not publish anonymous letters. .com
The Yea and Nay of PeopleWay
Debating the Fate of 14th St. During the L Train Repair yea I am a member of Transportation Alternatives (TransAlt; transalt.org) who lives on 14th St., between Seventh and Eighth Aves. I stand for a more people-friendly 14th St., and for a more efficient, healthy, and equitable use of its right of way, prioritizing walking, cycling, and clean public transportation. This is, in my opinion, the rational way to approach the challenges of the coming shutdown of L train service along 14th St. and between Manhattan and Brooklyn. I know from numerous conversations that I am far from alone in my community in supporting people-oriented change on 14th St., and so was disappointed by the comments from the president of the Council of Chelsea Block Associations made in a recent Chelsea Now article [“West Side Workshop Troubleshoots L Train Shutdown,” March 2, 2017]. Mr. Bill Borock criticized Transportation Alternatives for rallying supporters of a 14th St. “PeopleWay” dedicated to walking, bus transit, and cycling, accusing
TransAlt of exercising “undue influence” just because the advocacy group made use of the right to express their views. I strongly object to this language, which leaves me with the impression that the CCBA is currently acting as a special interest lobbying group defending only the views of the most privileged fraction of the community. The almost idyllic conditions on the quiet neighborhood blocks are, after all, possible only because 14th St. and nearby avenues bear the brunt of the traffic and its nuisances. I support and commend TransAlt for expressing what so many of us think and want. I am grateful to the group for raising awareness of these issues, and for helping mobilize us to attend these workshops. Nevertheless, I do understand the concerns of critics that closing 14th St. might push cars and trucks onto surrounding streets. I, too, love these quiet side streets and do not want to see them overrun with the toxic traffic, emissions and noise that those of us who live on 14th St. deal
with every day. However, if we don’t take bold action to keep the 225,000 commuters who currently use the L train between Brooklyn and 14th St. moving during the shutdown, the side streets will not be spared the consequences of gridlock. At the local level, closing 14th St. to most private vehicular traffic is inevitable because the entire width of the street will barely accommodate the additional buses, biking and walking that the crosstown connections will require during the shutdown. At the same time, through traffic should be restricted on side streets, by regulation, enforcement and redesigns to ensure slow speeds. These measures could extend all the way to Eighth St. and 23rd St. Publicizing the closure to through traffic of the entire area will discourage driving. This is a well-documented phenomenon: A large part of the traffic demand simply disappears when roads are closed, as commuters seek out alternatives. On 14th St., the motor vehicle ban
would, of course, have to exempt police and emergency vehicles, along with transportation for the disabled and elderly, and allow access to pre-existing garages. Trucks could make deliveries during offpeak hours, and officials could consider a daytime cycle rickshaw delivery service. Borough- and citywide measures should include tolling the bridges into Manhattan that are currently free, reducing on-street parking for non residents, raising parking meters and garages fees while banning new garage construction, improving sidewalks and crosswalk signals, expanding the protected bikeway network, and adding more, better-enforced, dedicated bus lanes around the city. All of us living and working in Chelsea and the West Village should unite to promote and demand the reduction of car traffic in the area. We will all benefit.
drastic consequences. Along residential streets, historic older buildings would experience cracked foundations, underground utilities such as the 20-inch gas main under 15th St. would be stressed and could crack, and deliveries could be extended well into evening or early morning hours. The worst outcome is that emergency vehicles could be trapped, and unable to respond in a timely manner. Second, without proper planning, traffic that is diverted because of a permanent PeopleWay would create unsafe road conditions and threaten the safety of people walking on narrow sidewalks. It would also create extreme noise and air pollution for local residents. There has not been one proposal that that explains where the traffic is going to go. At a recent [Feb. 23] MTA/DOT workshop, two of the three plans presented were traffic diversion plans and thus, unworkable. There are options, however, by diverting commuters to re-entering the transit system closer to the bridge,
and to specific lines, to which many L train riders transfer to. To provide perspective, the Manhattan riders of the L train are only 1.6 percent of total Manhattan average weekday ridership (based on MTA’s 2015 figures). Based on other studies, only three percent of such riders actually get out at 14th St. stops. The number of residents, businesses, schools, shops and others affected would easily be much larger than the number of commuters affected. In addition, the west side of Chelsea and the West Village no longer have a full-service hospital. How much stress needs to be expended when trying to get medical care? Further, 85 percent of commuters affected are expected to use alternative subway lines, like the M, J, or Z. Buses are expected to handle about 10 percent, and bikes about 5 percent. Why are bikes so prominently being considered in plans? They don’t serve the 95 percent, yet they will displace traffic and cause huge problems if they are given a lane across 14th St. as TransAlt proposes.
Buses can carry people over the East River to different stops in order to reconnect with the subway system, like using Houston (a three-lane street) to West Fourth St. for the Sixth and Eighth Ave. subway lines, which also provides access to express trains. We understand something must be done to help the affected commuters, but we do not support lobbying groups that are exerting undue and out-of-proportion influence to push their permanent traffic diverting agendas onto our local neighborhoods. Our residents deserve and demand better planning so that our neighborhoods are not negatively impacted by any traffic diversions from 14th St.
Luc Nadal is Technical Director for Urban Development at the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy (itdp.org).
nay The traffic diversion plans of Transportation Alternatives (TransAlt) and the Regional Planning Association (RPA) leave much to be desired. These organizations support a “PeopleWay” along 14th St., which would divert traffic onto residential side streets and ignore the consequences and impact to our fragile neighborhoods. The issue of how to transport L train riders across the Williamsburg Bridge and back into the underground transit system is not the same issue as permanently re-designing 14th St. The L train shutdown is temporary, but a radical redesign of 14th St. is not. By pushing the agenda of the PeopleWay, both TransAlt and RPA completely lose sight of the negative consequences associated with such a change on our residential streets. First, 14th St. is a major thoroughfare for surface transportation. It is designed to withstand a heavy load of traffic such as tractor-trailers, buses and constant usage by vehicles (private cars, Uber, delivery trucks, etc.). If traffic were diverted off this route, there would be .com
Members of the 14th Street L-Line Closing Extended Task Force – comprised of The Council of Chelsea Block Associations [north of 14th Street], The Flatiron Alliance, The Lower Chelsea Alliance, The Union Square Community Coalition, and Block Associations South of 14th Street — authored this statement. March 09 - 15, 2017
ESPOSITO continued from p. 3
and soups eagerly consumed by hungry laborers who helped build this city. Who knows? Maybe there was an Esposito sausage packed in the lunchbox of one of those workers captured in the iconic â€œLunch atop a Skyscraperâ€? photo from 1932 (Rockefeller Center, after all, is only a dozen or so blocks away from the shop). Now customers ask for more prime cuts, such as shell steaks and ribeye steaks. They sell more chicken too. Regardless of demand, Esposito cuts everything in-house from sides and quarters of meat, and stocks just about everything that comes off a cow, lamb, or chicken, so you can ask for any custom cut or peasant food you want. Espositoâ€™s in-house-made sausages are still the bestselling product, though. Esposito still uses his traditional family recipe for many of them, but heâ€™s gotten creative too, again to adapt to changing demands. â€œBack then weâ€™d sell sweet, hot, cheese, and parsley [sausages]; now we sell, like, 20 different varieties,â€? Esposito said. â€œBack then it was just pork sausage, now we have a line of chicken sausage â€” people wanted chicken sausage so we made chicken sausage.â€? Esposito sources their all-natural, non-steroid meats from around the country â€”Â their pork and chicken comes from Pennsylvania, lamb and veal from Colorado, and beef from Nebraska. Their veal and lamb are grass-fed and their beef is certified Angus â€” but for now they donâ€™t have much in the way of certified organic meats. Thatâ€™s not because they donâ€™t want to, but because sourcing a side of organic beef or a
Photo by Dennis Lynch
Third-generation owner Robert Esposito holds up a photo of the block from 1932, the year his grandfather opened the butcher shop.
quarter of lamb is difficult these days, Esposito said. â€œAll that organic stuff comes prepackaged from the farm. When you go to the supermarket and you see [organic] ground beef in the Cryovac package, that comes from wherever that farm is,â€? he said. â€œItâ€™s a local farm, not big, and you canâ€™t get it wholesale. As more and more people ask for it maybe it will come to the day
when a butcher shop can offer whole sides of it.â€? Until then, Esposito Meat Market will just have to survive on customer service and quality, which has certainly served them well so far. Visit espositomeatmarket.com for more information.
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March 09 - 15, 2017
Bad Chemistry Derails Daring Experiment Thomas Dolby enlivens an otherwise flat ‘Brainwave’ BY SCOTT STIFFLER Pairing groundbreaking scientists with equally edgy creative types has been a winning formula for the Rubin Museum of Art’s “Brainwave” program, now in its 10th year and, this time around, dedicated to coming at the theme of “Perception” from a variety of angles. But not every pairing in the series comes up with the requisite chemistry to deliver on its intriguing premise. Sadly, such was the case with March 4’s promised look at “where music and technology intersect.” Wired with a body mic and each given a side of the stage filled with tech toys specific to their fields of expertise, French neuroscientist, academic, and DJ Jacques Lavoisier interviewed musician, producer, and Nokia ringtone co-developer Thomas Dolby. Lavoisier garnered laughs by breaking the ice with a self-deprecating joke about his love of talking about himself “because I am French” — then continued, sans irony, to make good on that statement by cutting off Dolby in mid-anecdote, and cracking a number of crude jokes. “Is your mother hot?” he asked, to a youth brought on stage during the audience participation segment. The fact that the kids’ mom was an old school chum of his made the remark all the more creepy and sad. Later, after showing a short film about a friend who was blinded, then paralyzed, Lavoisier made sure we knew his “Brainwave” speaking fee was waived in lieu of a donation to the man’s recovery fund. Karma wasn’t announced as a guest on the bill at this museum that celebrates the Himalayan region, yet one couldn’t help but feel the universe was at work when Lavoisier’s much-hyped brainwave-meets-music demonstration suffered a software glitch from which it never recovered. The evening had one thing going for it, though: Dolby was the mirror image of his crass counterpart. Humble and candid during a 1980s flashback, the accomplished sing-
March 09 - 15, 2017
The cover for “A Map of the Floating City,” Thomas Dolby’s excellent 2011 album.
Photo by Adam Ferguson
Thomas Dolby dazzled with his decency (but didn’t blind anybody with science) at March 4’s “Brainwave” event. The series continues through April.
er/songwriter recalled an episode of paralyzing anxiety upon seeing the venue (Radio City Music Hall!) for the opening night of his first American tour. Powerful stuff dispensed from a hastily summoned doctor’s hypodermic needle got him through that night — but the numb feeling “of being outside of myself,” he said, was nowhere near as challenging as the “failure was not an option” time when he found himself, after very little rehearsal, tasked with executing a flawless keyboard intro to childhood hero David Bowie’s set at Live Aid (witnessed by a global audience of one billion). “The stakes are higher if you do it from the inside out,” he added, on the topic of answering audience expectations from a vulnerable place of sincerity found far beneath one’s protective persona. Looking back, he noted that many of his defining successes (music videos, cellphones) came from a natural “attraction to areas where there was no rulebook” or road map. After layering a series of tracks and delivering a sizzling version of his 1984 hit “Hyperactive,” Dolby spoke about teaching a course in the Film and Media Studies program at Johns Hopkins University. Recognizing that the next great advancement in art or technology will likely be the work of his young students rather than himself, Dolby’s peaceful, even happy, acceptance of this notion yielded an inspiring takeaway: Perception may play its part in shaping reality, but it’s a positive interpretation of what we perceive that creates a reality we can live with. Better luck next time: “Brainwave 2017” films, talks, and discussions happen through April at the Rubin Museum of Art (150 W. 17th St., btw. Sixth & Seventh Aves.). For reservations and the full schedule of events, visit rubinmuseum.org. Visit thomasdolby.com for artist info. .com
Just Do Art BY SCOTT STIFFLER
Courtesy Poets House
L to R: Google-worthy creative types Jawid Mojaddedi, Richard Nash, Melanie Dunea and Kevin Young, at the Feb. 27 Poets House fundraiser. Photo by Aled Roberts
Guest soloist Adele Anthony, in red, at the Greenwich Village Orchestra’s season opener. Their next concert is March 19.
Photo by Jenny Rubin
L to R: Co-hosts M. M. De Voe and Christina Chiu welcome you to the March 14 Pen Parentis Literary Salon, whose theme is “Aspects of Love.”
PEN PARENTIS LITERARY SALON: “ASPECTS OF LOVE” Fifteen is pretty much the high water mark of sassy and sullen, when it comes to the rough seas of parenting. When it comes to Pen Parentis, however, it’s been smooth sailing for season #15, whose March installment looks at love in all of its intense permutations by booking guests known for writing about matters of the heart (and other body parts). Internationally bestselling romance novelist and erotica writer Jennifer Probst, edgy literary novelist Marcy Dermansky, and poet, fictionist and essayist John Reed will be joined by Pen Parentis’ M. M. De Voe and Christina Chiu for a panel discussion directly following the schmooze session and some readings. In keeping with the Pen Parentis aesthetic, all of the abovementioned have made their mark on the literary world while raising children, and are appearing as a means to inspire other writers living with the challenge of writing one for the ages while dealing with those still navigating their formative years. Bonus activity: At facebook.com/ groups/280475532369981, join the Pen Parentis Book club. This month’s pick is March panelist Dermansky’s “The Red Car.” The “Aspects of Love” Literary Salon is Tues., March 14, 7–9:30pm, at Andaz .com
Wall Street (75 Wall St., at Water St., second floor; enter through hotel lobby). Light refreshments and wine provided by the venue. RSVP to this free 21+ event is encouraged, via penparentis.org/calendar.
THE GREENWICH VILLAGE ORCHESTRA Under the leadership of conductor Barbara Yahr and chorus master Robert Long, the Greenwich Village Orchestra plays Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9. Soprano Rachel Rosales, mezzo-soprano Jan Wilson, tenor John Tiranno, and baritone Peter Stewart are the soloists, with a guest appearance from the Brooklyn Conservatory Chorale. A reception follows the concert, with a silent auction whose proceeds benefit the Orchestra. Sun., March 19, 3–5 pm at Washington Irving Auditorium (40 Irving Place, at 17th St.). Suggested donation: $20 ($10 for students/seniors). Visit gvo.org or call 212-932-0732.
POETS HOUSE EVENTS Although it offers a wide-ranging roster of programming — including social justice initiatives like their Poetic Voices of the Muslim World series — the spine binding Poets House to its public has always been their ever-expanding library, currently stocked with 60,0000 volumes. If that amount impresses, so too did the sheer number of arts-loving practitioners and patrons who attended Feb. 27’s “cosmic alignment of food, wine, conversation, and poetry” — a none-tooshabby way of saying they had a fundraiser, whose proceeds will keep talks and readings for adults and children at Poets House free or low-cost. Case in
point, upcoming offerings include the free Wed., March 22 opening event for “Poetry Since 1912: Books, Issues, & Ephemera from the Poetry Foundation.” At 6pm, Katherine Litwin and Fred Sasaki of the Poetry Foundation guide you on a walking tour of the exhibit, followed by a 7pm talk by Poetry Magazine editor Don Share. On Tues., March 28 at 7pm, “Huddled Masses” is a tick-
eted event ($10, $7 for students/seniors) that’s a part of the Poetry Coalition’s “Because We Come from Everything: Poetry & Migration” initiative. Awardwinning poet and critic Alicia Ostriker will link poetry and America’s “origins as a nation of immigrants and as a beacon of equality, intended to be open and welcoming to all.” Poets House is located at 10 River Terrace (at Murray St.) in Battery Park City. Hours: Tues.–Fri., 11am–7pm and Sat., 11am–6pm. Call 212-431-7920 or visit poetshouse.org.
THE NEW SOUND OF
BROOKLYN The Community News Group is proud to introduce BROOKLYN PAPER RADIO. Join Brooklyn Paper Editor-in-Chief Vince DiMiceli and the New York Daily News’ Gersh Kuntzman every Tuesday at 2:00 for an hour of talk on topics Brooklynites hold dear. Each show will feature instudio guests and call-out segments, and can be listened to live or played anytime at your convenience.
JOSEPH LICHTER, D.D.S.
LISTEN EVERY TUESDAY AT 2:00 PM ON BrooklynPaper.com/radio March 09 - 15, 2017
Of Pivots and Paranoia A very bad week for America’s solo savior
BY MAX BURBANK It seems impossible, but only a week ago, addressing a joint session of Congress, Donald Trump was riding high. Ascending the human scaffold of a Navy Seal widow, the president achieved what one-time Trump critic Van Jones called “One of the most extraordinary moments you have ever seen in American politics, period.” Suck on that, Gettysburg Address. Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for Big Daddy Trump! Done deal. Resistance finished. Pivot achieved, right? And yeah, about a dozen so-called Trump pivots have re-pivoted in the opposite direction almost immediately over the last year. Sure, pundits who’ve gone Cuckoo-for-Previous-Pivot-Puffs have ended up looking like Charlie Brown suckered into trying to kick Lucy’s football just one more time — but not this time, right? Trump read aloud, in public! He didn’t get all sweaty and red, all his clothes stayed on, and he didn’t wet himself. Not one time! Come on! That makes Trump the most Presidenty President in the entire history of
Presidenting, right?! Pretty good for a Tuesday, huh? Yeah, not so much. Less than 24 hours later, The Washington Post brought Trump’s pivot honeymoon to an abrupt, unconsummated end, breaking the story of the Right Honorable Attorney General Jefferson Beauregard Sessions the Third’s somewhat shaky relationship with the truth. It seems as if the gentleman from Alabama might have ever so slightly perjured his li’l ol’ self: At his confirmation hearing, under oath, he stated he “did not have communications with the Russians,” which turns out to be just the tiniest bit totally untrue. Sessions met with Russian ambassador Sergey “Fat Tony” Kislyak in September, at the height of the Russian
Illustration by Max Burbank
March 09 - 15, 2017
cyber campaign to seat King Donald on the American throne. Who knew when Trump blamed election tampering on “somebody sitting on their bed that weighs 400 pounds” he meant Kislyak? Thursday morning in Virginia, Trump delivered a speech from the deck of the USS Gerald R. Ford — sporting a flight jacket and official ship’s cap, attire which folks who actually served might find slightly offensive. Our own modern-day Demosthenes, Donald Trump, told the assembled sailors, “We’re wearing this, right? I have no idea how it looks, but I think it looks good. It’s a great-looking hat. Just like this is a great-looking ship.” He then went on to tell the press he had “total confidence” in Sessions and that there was no reason for him to recuse himself. That evening, Sessions called a press conference to announce he would indeed recuse himself from any investigations related to the 2016 presidential campaign. One might assume this meant Sessions and Trump had discussed the matter during the day and strategically adjusted their position. One would be wrong. Sessions didn’t consult or warn Trump, which didn’t go over well. That’s probably why Trump had him stand in the Mar-a-Lago lobby and greet guests later that weekend, an act that is in no way humiliating. Just ask Mike Tyson. Friday morning Trump did what the great leaders of men have always done in times of crisis: threw the kind of gigantic, hissy, toddler tantrum usually accompanied by the words “I do not need a nap! I do NOT need a NAP! I AM NOT TIRED!!” Enraged by his staff’s inability to plausibly explain why his entire cabinet appears to be a wholly owned subsidiary of the Russian state, Trump put hapless Chief of Staff Reinhold Richard “Reince” Priebus and aging-frat-boyreanimated-corpse Stephen “Steve” Bannon on double secret probation,
excluding them from the weekly golf vacation/pilgrimage to Mar-a-Lago. Accompanied only by Ivanka, Jared and the grandkids, and ensconced in familiar, properly gilded surroundings, one might think the leader of the free world would calm down and try to at least appear in control, as he had just berated his staff for failing to do. That is such a cute idea. But alas, no. Instead he woke up extra early Saturday morning, took what was presumably one of many back-up secret phones from one of many unspeakable hiding places and hammered off a series of tweets accusing Barack Obama of having “wires tapped” him during the campaign. Okay, first of all… no, you know what? Screw that. Like his racist birther nonsense, like his impossible assertion that millions of illegal votes were cast in the election, there is literally zero evidence to support this claim, and even trying to explain why it’s blisteringly moronic lends it a dignity that it in no way deserves. Those in his inner circle have tried to cheer him up. He got to sign Travel Ban 2.0, which is mostly the same as Travel Ban Classic, but with a new, improved 10-day period for Customs and the TSA to build up to guessing the degree to which they can abuse people who seem Muslimy. They unwrapped the ultra-secret “Repeal and Replace” with the supercool defunding Planned Parenthood expansion module. It’s just not working. Trump’s pissed. This was supposed to be a good weekend. Hell, it was supposed to be smooth sailing all the way to the port of dictatorship. Instead he didn’t even get a full chaos-free day, and it can only be the fault of absolutely everyone except himself. Maybe that’s the secret. Maybe he won’t be able to “Make America Great Again” until he fires every last traitor, disappointment, and choke artist. Maybe this is a job for “He Who Alone Can Save Us.” Alone. That’s how Superman would handle things. Jesus was a solo savior. And compared to Trump? Those guys? So overrated. Losers. Sad. .com
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Rhymes with Crazy THE WEST SIDE’S COMMUNITY NEWSPAPER
Crime and Ineffective Punishment
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BY LENORE SKENAZY It’s no secret that America loves to send people to prison. We have less than five percent of the world’s population and more than 20 percent of its prisoners — which is odd for a “Land of Liberty.” Lately it has become common to attribute our mass incarceration to the war on drugs. The conversation goes like this: “Why don’t we just release the non-violent drug offenders? That makes so much sense!” And it does. But it will not make that big a dent in the number of people sitting in cells, said John Pfaff, a professor of law at Fordham University and author of the new book, “Locked In: The True Causes of Mass Incarceration — and How to Achieve Real Reform” (book titles keep getting longer, don’t they?). Surprisingly, people arrested for drug crimes constitute only about 16 percent of the people in prison. Most of the rest are there for violent crimes. So for Pfaff the question is: Should we start releasing the violent criminals, too? At first blush, this sounds crazy. We need to keep violent offenders off the street! But one point that Pfaff makes is that “violent offender” is a misleading term. It makes it sound as if there is a class of people who are wired wrong and incorrigible. This is wrong on two counts. First of all, some crimes that are labeled “violent” aren’t — like breaking into a house. But beyond that, some people are labeled “violent” who committed their crime only in the context of one particular situation. “You’re in a bad mood, you have a beer, you get in a fight with your friend at the bar and break his jaw,” said Pfaff. “If we’re trying to minimize future harm, some sort of anger
management class might be more effective than prison.” But prison has become our kneejerk response to all violence, even though often this isn’t addressing the real problem. Which is? Well, said Pfaff, “Whenever you have young men who are denied upward social mobility, and the state doesn’t do a good job of preventing violent crime, these young men will engage in violence against each other. It’s as true in 19th-century Czarist Russia as it is in 20th-century Los Angeles. What is necessary is a change of circumstance.” That might sound like a verse from the “West Side Story” song — “Officer Krupke, you’re really a slob. This boy don’t need a doctor, just a good honest job.” — but Pfaff cited a current theory that looks at violence as an epidemic: A shoots B, B’s friends shoot C, C’s brother shoots D, and so forth. “One study tied 400 shootings back to one initial shooting,“ said Pfaff. If we could just stop that chain at the start, so many lives would be saved — and so many fewer people would wind up in a cage. One method shown to work is a program in Boston called Project Ceasefire. It works like this: The cops determine which gangs are responsible for the majority of the gun violence. “Then they sit down and meet with those people and kind of give them two choices: ‘If you persist in this violence, we will crack down on you as a group, aggressively,’ ” said Pfaff. But the cops also bring in an array of social workers to help with housing, food, employment, healthcare. “And
they say, ‘If you’re willing to put this violence behind you, we will help you build a more stable life.’ It’s called ‘focused deterrence.’ It’s carrot and stick.” A program like this called Cure Violence was introduced in Chicago. “And when the state cut the funding a couple of years ago, that’s exactly when the violence in Chicago began its sharp increase,” Pfaff said. Somehow, one solitary neighborhood managed to keep its funding. And there, said Pfaff, the crime rate continues going down. This doesn’t definitively prove the program works. “But it’s worth a lot more study.” It certainly is. And so is a look at the prison guard unions. While many people are concerned about the advent of private prisons — after all, these make money on “heads in beds,” so they support more incarceration — the role of the public prison guard unions should not be ignored. Here in New York State, said Pfaff, our prison population is down 25 percent, and yet our correctional budget keeps going up. The more guards that are on the payroll, the more potential votes for laws that are tough — perhaps excessively — on crime. After all, jobs depend on it. But lives depend on something else: Preventing violence, not just punishing it. Putting people behind bars ignores the cost to their families, and to taxpayers. If we want to make our cities safer, locking up violent offenders may not be the key. Lenore Skenazy is a keynote speaker who authored the book, and founded the blog, Free-Range Kids
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March 09 - 15, 2017
Attention Seniors and Caregivers Come to the E R A C R E D L NYC E nference o C & Expo
017 2 g n i n plan & h t l hea senior
Sun., March 19 s AMnPM th
KINGSWAY EVENTS CENTER 2902 Kings Highway
(Between E. 29th Street & Nostrand Avenue)
Brooklyn, NY 11229
FREE Admission Register now at eldercaretickets.eventbrite.com or call (718) 260-4552 FREE Valet Parking FREE Coffee, Tea & Refreshments
The event will feature informational seminars and more than 80 vendor booths showcasing a variety of facilities, products and services such as assisted living, home care, pooled trusts, legal advice, insurance options, massage, neuro-feedback, osteopathy, skin care, elder care options, community wellness initiatives, chiropractic, and more.
SEMINAR SCHEDULE 10:30 am 3EMINAR Urology in the elderly 3EMINAR Debunking Popular Myths About Elder Care
11:30 am 3EMINAR Safety Concerns of Seniors: Fraud, Fear & Facts 3EMINAR What you need to know about Vascular Health: Important concepts and misconceptions
12:30 pm 3EMINAR Navigating Home Care 3EMINAR Medicare and Medicaid Planning
1:30 pm 3EMINAR Wills, Trusts, Beneficiary Designations, and Estate Planning 3EMINAR Understanding Managed Long Term Care- MLTC Additional seminars to be announced
Register now to attend for free. eldercaretickets.eventbrite.com or call (718) 260-4552 Coffee, tea and refreshments will be available at no charge. Food will be available for purchase.
If you would like to exhibit or be a sponsor call Ralph Dâ€™Onofrio at 718-260-2510 or email email@example.com
SPONSORS The Allure Group
March 09 - 15, 2017