VOLUME 30, NUMBER 05
CB1 revamps committees BY DENNIS LYNCH Community Board 1 is doing away with its unique geographic-based committee system in favor of issue-based, district-wide committees with the hope it will help streamline the board’s work and better serve the district. The board eliminated the Financial District, Seaport/Civic Center, and Tribeca committees and added two new ones: Licensing and Permits, and Resiliency, Waterfronts, and Parks. The board is actually resurrecting the latter committee, which had existed in the past, but added resiliency to the docket of the panel overseeing Downtown’s waterfront and parks. It has also tweaked the titles and roles of some other committees. The Landmarks Committee has added “Preservation” to its title, and the Quality of Life Committee has added “Service Delivery,” highlighting that it will address how “the city delivers the proper services all our citizens deserve,” such as sanitation, public safety, and traffic control, according to board chairman Anthony Notaro. The board will keep the Battery Park City Committee, since that neighborhood is a state-run entity and so has unique issues not shared by the rest of Community District 1. It will also keep the Youth and Education Committee, the Planning Committee, and the Personnel Committee (which handles mostly internal business). The Planning Committee’s role was considered “too wide ranging,” Notaro said, so it will now be focused more on land use, including zoning issues and Uniform Land Use Review Procedure (ULURP) applications. The role of the Executive Committee will also shift to focus more on developing broader strategies to deal with community issues, whereas before it concentrated on the board’s operational operations. The board will keep its Street Fair Task Force, but add the a task force to “look at issues about health, seniors, homeless and housing” and come up with ways the board can address them,” Notaro said. It’s the first change in the committee structure in more than three decades. Notaro said the new structure will allow committee members to build expertise on the topics they cover, and so be better able to perform their jobs. “Everyone has some issues locally, but the major
MARCH 09 – March 22, 2017
City fails math
DOE’s own school-needs formula proves city not planning enough seats for D’town BY COLIN MIXSON Downtown’s school overcrowding task force has forecast an urgent need for 626 additional schools seats south of Canal Street — based on the same algorithms city bureaucrats use — and yet the
city has no plans to accommodate the influx. Despite the obviously impending deficit, the Department of Education has not even begun the agonizingly slow process of citing and building a new school —
which can take several years in crowded, pricey Lower Manhattan, according to task force member Eric Greenleaf. “We face a very real possibility that, if the city waits a few schools Continued on page 14
F earle s s
Photo by Milo Hess
The sculpture, called “The Fearless Girl,” by artist Kristen Visbal was placed at the northern tip of Bowling Green facing down the iconic “Charging Bull” late Tuesday, on the eve of International Women’s Day, as part of a campaign by finance company State Street Corporation to promote women in leadership in the financial sector. For more on the public art stunt, see page 4.
committees Continued on page 10 1 M e t r o t e c h • N YC 112 0 1 • C o p y r i g h t © 2 0 17 N YC C o mm u n i t y M e d i a , L L C
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
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KINGSWAY EVENTS CENTER 2902 Kings Highway
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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 firstname.lastname@example.org
SPONSORS The Allure Group
March 09 -22, 2017
Downtown in 3-D Interactive map visualizes Lower Manhattan development BY DENNIS LYNCH The Downtown Alliance has unveiled the beta version of it’s three-dimensional, interactive, online map of Lower Manhattan. The aptly named LM3D project visualizes reams of neighborhood data all in one place to make it easier to digest for Downtown residents, business owners, or anyone interested in the neighborhood. Alliance president Jessica Lappin said it’s often difficult to paint the big picture of change in Lower Manhattan with all that’s been happening in the area over the last few years — but “a map is worth a thousand words.” “We’ve been collecting this information, and we’ve put it out in our quarterly reports, but it can be hard to synthesize it,” Lappin said. “When you see it all together in one place it can be more useful, and so it gives people in real estate, or a planner, or a property owner, a new tool to take a look in a bird’s-eye view manner of what’s happening in the neighborhood.” LM3D gives the user a few ways of interacting with the data. For information on an individual building, you can either click on a building on the 3-D map, or search an address to get an overview of the place. Take Frank Ghery’s 8 Spruce Street for example — clicking on the tower brings up a readout of the total square footage of the tower and how it’s broken down between residential and retail space. In this case you see there’s 773,169 square-feet of residential space
via Downtown Alliance
(Above) The Downtown Alliance’s LM3D interactive map lets you view, for example, residential buildings differentiated between condos and rentals. (Right) The map can also show new developments, both under construction and planned.
spread between 899 units. You also get information about Birch Coffee on the ground floor and PS 397, including phone numbers and websites. That option is useful if you want to find out what’s around a certain building or area, which the Alliance often gets calls for help with, Lappin said. “We field calls from people all the time asking for this information — even though it’s already sort of out there on the web,” Lappin said. “Often we’ll get
via Downtown Alliance
Selecting a specific structure, or searching for an address — such as the Frank Ghery tower at 8 Spruce St. — calls up data on that building and the businesses and institutions located there. DowntownExpress.com
a broker who has a tenant moving in and wants to understand the context of an area better. It’s for sure a great tool for them.” But it’s the filters on the left-side menu that really showcases what the platform can do, whether you’re browsing out of curiosity or actually hoping to glean some useful information about the neighborhood. The Alliance has organized its data into submenus — such as “Land Use” for a color coded breakdown of neighborhood-wide properties, “Development Pipeline” to show projects in the works, and “Property Owner” for finding all of the properties owned by any landowner in the neighborhood. Some of those breakdown further. For example, the Land Use menu lets you differentiate between new construction and conversions, or between condos, rentals, and dorms. The Alliance also has an option to view the makeup of Lower Manhattan’s main corridors — Broadway, Fulton Street, Water Street, and the World
Trade Center area. Among other options, you can map all the subway entrances, which will definitely be useful for prospective residents and visitors, surface parking options, and all the vacant space on the neighborhood. (We’ll save you the trouble of clicking on it — the only empty lot is one at 115 Nassau Street.) Lappin said the platform has a lot of options because it’s meant to be useful for a lot of different kinds of interested parties. “People will use it in different ways. If you’re a retailer, you might look at where residential and commercial spaces are popping up. If you’re a restaurateur opening a restaurant, you might be interested in what’s happening around your location,” Lappin said. The Alliance still needs to work out some of LM3D’s kinks though, which you can expect with the beta version of any program. The Alliance could use more-contrasting colors to better differlm3d Continued on page 14
March 09 -22, 2017
‘Fearless Girl’ faces down Charging Bull to promote women in business on International Women’s Day
Photos by Milo Hess
(Above) Kristen Visbal’s sculpture “The Fearless Girl” ain’t afraid of no bull. (Below) The statue was instant selfie-bait, of course. (Below right) Local schoolkids came out to meet their new neighbor.
March 09 -22, 2017
BY COLIN MIXSON This girl’s not putting up with any of your bull. A Wall Street firm celebrated International Women’s Day by installing a bronze statue of a defiant young girl facing off with the iconic Charging Bull at Bowling Green on March 8. Venerable financial services firm State Street Corporation sponsored the statue, called “The Fearless Girl,” as a reminder for large businesses to diversify their boards and give more women a greater voice in company leadership, according to State Street spokeswoman Anne McNally. “We placed the statue there as a symbol for the need for gender diversity in corporate America, across corporate boards, senior leadership, and organizational ranks,” McNally said. Towards that end, State Street plans on backing up its call to action with the full weight of its $2.45 trillion in managed assets, and leveraging its stock in some 3.500 businesses to sway board members there to alter business practices to promote women in the workplace, McNally said. “What we’re saying to them with this statue is, you have to increase the gender diversity on your board and show us that’s what you’re doing, or we’ll use the power of our vote as a significant shareholder to oppose the decisions you’re making,” said McNally. Meanwhile, crowds gathered
Photo by Milo Hess
Onlookers couldn’t help crowning the sassy statue with a “pussy hat,” the two-pointed knitted cap that became a symbol of female defiance during the anti-Trump women’s marches that swept the nation the day after the Inauguration.
throughout the day to pose for pictures with the sassy statue, while others were drawn there simply by the allure of a powerful symbol on a day dedicated to the empowerment of women. “I purposely took my daughter there this morning before I jetted off to work, so I could be there on this day with her,” said Broad Street resident Elizabeth Siegel, who came girl Continued on page 14
In the fight for tenant rights Hurry and pass anti-harass bills, activists, Chin urge City Council By Joaquin Cotler Thursday morning, more than 100 people rallied on City Hallâ€™s steps calling for the City Council to pass a package of bills intended to curb â€œconstruction-as-harassment.â€? Their chants couldnâ€™t have been more clear: â€œWhat do we want! Our bills passed! When do we want it? Now!â€? Tenant groups from around the city assembled to vocalize their support for the Stand for Tenant Safety, or STS, bills, a collection of 12 regulations designed to help tenants protect themselves against â€œbad-actingâ€? landlords. But while seven of the bills have been already come before the Housing Committee, the City Council hasnâ€™t
brought them to the full floor of the Council for a vote. â€œFor the other five that havenâ€™t had a hearing yet, we need to continue to push,â€? Councilmember Margaret Chin told the crowd. â€œThere are a lot of bills on the agenda for the Housing Committee, but thatâ€™s why we need everyone to work with us to ask our colleagues to move it quickly.â€? Chin, who represents Lower Manhattan, is among 11 councilmembers currently sponsoring tenant-safety bills. Sheâ€™s a co-sponsor of Intro 918, which, if passed, would strengthen restrictions on construction and ratchet up building inspection. The billâ€™s other tenant rights Continued on page 11
Photo by Joaquin Cotler
Margaret Chin, front row right, and Helen Rosenthal, to her left, were among the councilmembers at a City Hall rally last week calling for speedy passage of the STS package of anti-harassment bills. At left is Rolando GuzmĂĄn of Brooklynâ€™s St. Nickâ€™s Alliance.
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ARTIN A TIME OF CHAOS
DESTINATION JAIL Cops busted a pair of alleged thieves suspected of robbing a taxi driver on Canal Street on March. 3. The victim told police that he was in his cab between Church Street and Broadway at 4:20 a.m., when he picked up the pair, who suddenly turned on him. One of the alleged crooks held the cabbie down and pummeled his face, while the other man nabbed his glitzy $850 iPhone 7 and the pair fled down Canal Street, cops said.
CIG SNATCH Two gunmen held up a Wall Street pharmacy on Feb. 26, taking about a grand worth of cigarettes. The victim told police she was minding the store between William and Nassau streets at 5:50 a.m., when the bandits barged in, one man claiming to be armed with a pistol. After growling their threats, the crooks vaulted over the counter separating them from the smokes and looted 85 packs worth of coffin nails before fleeing, cops said.
CUSTOMER DISSERVICE An employee at a Wall Street drug store allegedly attacked a customer on March 1, causing him to black out. The victim told police he was inside the pharmacy between William and Nassau streets arguing with a manager at 11:55 p.m., when the other employee grabbed his phone and fled outside, shouting at him to follow if he wanted his cell back. The victim didnâ€™t take the bait, but that didnâ€™t keep the disgruntled employee from charging back inside the store and wailing on the customer, beating him so viciously that the man lost consciousness, cops said. After leaving the victim a bloody mess, the brute took off running, taking the victimâ€™s cellphone with him, according to police.
BAD FARE A thief robbed a taxi driver at gunpoint on Broadway on Feb. 28. The victim told police she was behind the wheel of her cab between Duane and Reade streets at 3 p.m., when the robber entered her car and pulled a gun on her, demanding cash. All told, the crook made off with whopping $4,750 from the heist, cops said.
March 09 -22, 2017
Police say this man groped a woman at the Whitehall subway station on Feb. 17.
OLD HABITS Cops are hunting the 75-year-old perv who allegedly groped a woman inside the Whitehall Street subway station on Feb. 17. The victim, a 38-year-old woman, was inside the subway station near South Street at 10 a.m., when the grabby geezer treated himself to a fist full of her posterior. When the victim turned to confront the kinky oldster, he was already hobbling away, but the victim managed to snap a shot of him on her cell before he disappeared, cops said.
CRANE STYLE Cops busted three teenaged kids on their way down from scaling a 15-story crane in Tribeca on March 5. Officers spotted the kids on their way down from their adventurous climb at West and Desbrosses streets at 6:27 p.m., and busted the youngsters after they clambered down the cab of the massive crane. The oldest boy, age 16, was slapped with a misdemeanor criminal mischief charge, while his younger accomplices, ages 14 and 15, received marks on their records and were handed off to mom and dad, cops said.
SHUTTER SNATCH A trio of thieves snatched the camera from a man on South Street on Feb. 23. The victim told police that he was near the Staten Island Ferry at 8 p.m., when a pair of men drew his attention, while a third snuck up from behind and snatched the bag containing the $3,700 camera off his back, and fled along with his nefarious cohorts. â€” Colin Mixson DowntownExpress.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 -22, 2017
BY JANEL BL ADOW Lion or lamb — any way you look at it, March leaps forward with Daylight Savings Time and we, hopefully, enjoy more daylight hours! Yay Spring! SHAKESPEARE ON SOUTH STREET… Okay, not exactly, but our own local Shakespearean actor, John Holtzman, will be back tending bar on at Fish Market (111 South St.) on March 16 after touring. Most recently he’s been performing as Mr. Darcy in Jane Austen’s “Pride and Prejudice.” While in North Carolina in October, his company went on with the show for families displaced by Hurricane Matthew. “Hey, we were staying at the hotel,” he told me. “They lost their homes, everything.” The actors, staying at the same hotel as many of the evacuees, performed the show in the hotel lobby. “The least we could do,” he humbly said. Good peeps! SWEET MUSIC… Our own Knickerbocker Chamber Orchestra peeks into the window of three leg-
endary composers’ creative process. In a special, behind-the-scenes soiree on Thursday, March 16, KCO takes the audience into the world of Bach, Mozart and Beethoven where they can experience their music from the musician’s view. Enjoy these timeless melodies performed by these top New York musicians. But the beautiful music isn’t all that’s on offer. Also partake in fine wine and genial company! It’s at the South Street Seaport’s Melville Gallery (213 Water St.) 6–8 p.m. Tickets start at $20. To order yours: http://www. knickerbocker-orchestra.org/ CB1 BOARD CHANGES… Not sure if you are aware of the changes coming to Community Board 1, but they’ve abolished the neighborhood community committees — meaning no more Seaport/Civic Center Committee to discuss matters relevant to our ’hood. Seems the neighborhood committees were getting bogged down by liquor license applications, or at least that’s what they contend — too many
Photo by Janel Bladow
The Best Western at the Seaport shuttered, but the site will be resurrected as a 66-key hotel dubbed “Mr. C. Seaport” run by the Cipriani brothers.
March 09 -22, 2017
Photo by Janel Bladow
John Holtzman, bartender at Fish Market on South Street — and a Shakespearean actor — will be back serving drinks next week.
issues were the same in each neighborhood. CB1 was one of the only Community Board with neighborhood committees. But this has been status quo for 30 years. A special CB1 public meeting is set for Thursday, March 9, at 6 p.m., at the Manhattan Borough President’s office (1 Centre St., 19th floor) to discuss the new committee structure (also, see our news story on page 1 for more details). BOOK PARTY… For 10 years, author Brian Floca’s award-winning children’s book “Lightship” has been wowing little ones and delighting their parents. Come celebrate with the author and the South Street Seaport Museum on Saturday, March 25, 10 a.m.–noon with his talk, “From Book to Boat.” The best-selling author and illustrator will share slides and stories of his inspiration — the museum’s Ambrose lightship — and how he researched, wrote and illustrated his celebrated picture book. And there will be time for a Q&A afterward. Tickets available at www.seaportmuseum.org/lightshipbook-talk. YUCKY RATS… Hey, I’ve been saying for months now… we’ve got rats! The ’hood is full of them. Just the other day, I was walking along Peck Slip thinking “Hey, I haven’t seen a rat all week,” when two vermin suddenly scurried out from under a parked car and chased one another down the street. About the same time, news broke that two people died from Leptospirosis. This is a bacteria excreted in animal urine. It survives in warm, moist environments. Dogs and
humans can become infected through contact with urine from infected animals, or water, soil or food contaminated by infected animals. The bacteria gets into the body through open wounds or mucous membranes. So why do we care? Because in NYC, 10 canine leptospirosis cases are reported every year. The doctors at Seaport Animal Hospital (80 Beekman St.) are concerned enough about this problem that they’ve issued a bulletin for Seaport dog owners to check with their vets for testing and vaccinations. CHIC SLEEP… So as we reported in an earlier column, the Best Western Hotel at 33 Peck Slip is no more. Howard Hughes got the building at auction but now they’ve worked out a deal with the Cipriani family, owners of the chain of chi-chi restaurants, to open its first New York City hotel. According to “The Real Deal,” the 66-key hotel dubbed Mr. C. Seaport (huh?), “is being developed by Bob Ghassemieh and Alex Ghassemieh — the same duo behind the Mr. C Beverly Hills, which debuted the Mr. C Hotels brand in 2011. Just like the Beverly Hills location, the Seaport hotel will be operated by brothers Ignazio and Maggio Cipriani.” They say the “rebirth taking place in the Seaport District as a dining, retail, and entertainment destination makes it a perfect home for Mr. C’s only New York hotel.” The brothers jointly own the property with Howard Hughes Corp., and expect the hotel to open before the end of the year. DowntownExpress.com
Hit-and-run diver gets up to 4 years in prison BY COLIN MIXSON A Manhattan judge slapped New Jersey motorist Samuel Silva with 16 months to four years in prison on March 8 for killing bicyclist Olga Cook last summer at a Battery Park City crossing. The sentence follows a plea deal Silva made with prosecutors that could have him walking free in as little as four months time, but Cook’s husband is counting on the guilty man’s conscience inflicting a more enduring punishment for taking his wife life. “The fact that he has to live with what he did, that’s worse than any jail time,” said Travis Maclean. Silva, 26, was behind the wheel of his truck heading southbound on the West Side Highway last June when he turned west onto Chambers Street, striking the bicyclist as she peddled north along the Hudson River Greenway crossing Chambers Street. Silva promptly fled the scene, but off-duty MTA police officer Otis Noboa spotted him parked three blocks away and busted the Jersey resident, who prosecutors alleged was drunk at the time of the accident. His defense maintained that the Jersey motorist intended to phone police
Photo courtesy of Travis Maclean
Olga Cook was struck and killed last June while biking across Chamber Street along the Hudson River Greenway. The driver pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 16 months to four years in prison on March 8.
before he was nabbed by Noboa, and that tests revealed his blood-alcohol content was below the legal limit, according to lawyer Nicholas Ramcharitar. But Silva copped a plea offered by prosecutors after Judge James Burke promised to throw the book at the
defendant if we went to trial and lost, Ramcharitar said. “Sam believes this was an accident, but he couldn’t risk seven years in jail as opposed to 16 months. So, after long conversations with him and his family, he decided this was his best option,” said Ramcharitar. A native of Brazil who immigrated to the States at 9-years old, Silva now also faces the prospect of deportation upon his release — a potentially worse fate than the brief prison sentence awaiting him, according to an attorney representing Maclean in an upcoming civil case against the city. “Being sent back to a country you hardly know could be worse than the jail time,” said lawyer Daniel Flanzig. At the sentencing hearing, Silva professed his profound remorse to Maclean, his family, and friends of Cook who gathered in the Manhattan court room, and vowed to aid them in any efforts to increase traffic safety for bicyclists in the city. “He apologized to the family and everybody,” said Maclean. “His girlfriend came up and gave us hugs, everybody was crying it was very emotional. His family is devastated as much as we are.”
The intersection of Chambers Street and the West Side Highway where Cook was struck has a long history of car accidents, with 17 collisions in the last 5 years resulting in serious injuries, including several involving southbound motorists turning onto the greenway, according to the city. The Department of Transportation moved quickly to enhance safety at the intersection following Cook’s death, altering traffic-signal patterns in addition to installing new bollards and repainting crosswalks. But Maclean is pursuing a civil suit against the city and state for not remediating unsafe conditions at the notoriously accident-prone intersection before his wife was killed, contending that both the city and state were well aware of the dangerous conditions in the years leading up to Cook’s death, and thus bear some responsibility. On that, at least, Silva and Cook’s family are in agreement. “Not only has counsel for the deceased stated that things need to change at that intersection, but the city recognized that and moved to immediately change the conditions there,” said Ramcharitar.
Please join us for breakfast as we discuss…
Estate Planning and Medicaid Basics Breakfast April 4th at 10:00 AM
Petite Abeille 401 East 20th St., New York, NY
RSVP at (212) 867-3520 or by e-mail at email@example.com DowntownExpress.com
March 09 -22, 2017
committees Continued from page 1
issues we face today are district-wide — the impact of major construction, traffic, sanitation, resiliency being number one since Sandy,” Notaro said. “And all those issues really need subject matter experts, people that can dive into these issues and understand what resources we have to help solve problems.” The old geographic system was put in place when the board was struggling to get people involved, Notaro said. It made more sense at the time to delegate to what were essentially sub-boards on the neighborhood level, because each part of the district faced unique issues and people were more apt to get involved with the board if they could more directly deal with those issues in their immediate area. Notaro polled members over the last few months to come up with the new scheme. He asked what their top issues were, what were their committee suggestions, and what problems the old system presented. Soon-to-be-former Seaport/Civic Center Committee chairman Marco Pasanella said he will be part on the waterfront committee and is looking at what other committees where he could be of use. Pasanella may no longer be a chairperson, but he’s happy with the reshuffle process and thinks its worth trying something new. “You lose a little bit in the passion of your little neighborhood that you know so well but the trade off may be really worth it,” he said. “You may be more connected to other parts of the district and be able to treat these thematic things in a more unified way, whereas committees in different geographies deal with the same issues, but sort of reinvent the wheel sometimes. There’s trade-offs, but I’m game.”
ing that institutional knowledge is really a strength,” Ameruso said. “[In years past] there was always subject matter experts, and the staff was always there as well, nothing really fell through the cracks — at least I never saw it.” Ameruso serves on the Planning Committee, which will now handle all of the licensing and permitting in the district. He worried all of those permits will bog down the committee and discourage public participation. Photo by Dennis Lynch Instead, he suggested that the board Community Board 1 chairman Anthony Notaro explains the have geographic committees only for board’s new committee structure at the last full board meeting. licensing and permitting. On a positive note, Ameruso applauded the incorpoLooking back over the last six months or so, the ration of veterans issues into the Human and Seniors board found that geographic boards especially spent Task Force’s duties. a lot of time reviewing liquor license and sidewalk Those issues won’t necessarily be dealt with onecafe permits. The Licensing and Permits Committee size-fits-all, district-wide solutions though, Notaro will now handle those permits district-wide, freeing said. Using the Licensing and Permits Committee as up other board members to focus on their new com- an example, Notaro said that members will be still be mittees’ issues. encouraged to make their voices heard on issues in There are some dissenters, though. Marc Ameruso, their immediate area, since each neighborhood still who has served on CB1 for 25 years and is on four has unique challenges and needs. committees, including the to-be-eliminated Tribeca “What we’re going to do is have a consistent way in Committee, said the geographic committee structure how we review applications, how we get stipulations in was a strength of the board, particularly in regards to writing from owners,” Notaro said. “If someone comes licensing and permit issues. He preferred an even older to us with an application in Fidi, I expect the members iteration of the geographic system where each commit- of that committee who live in Fidi to say ‘here’s what tee had someone with extensive land-use experience on makes sense in our neighborhood.’ There should be difboard to handle those issues in the neighborhood with ferences in how things are handled [in different neighfull knowledge of the local context. borhoods].” “The Seaport is certainly not like Tribeca, and havThe new structure takes effect April 1, no fooling.
THE DOWNTOWN CONNECTION IS YOUR FREE RIDE AROUND LOWER MANHATTAN!
March 09 -22, 2017
tenant rights Continued from page 5
sponsor is Brooklyn’s Carlos Menchaca. Speaking at the rally, he condemned “disruptive rehabilitation of vacant apartments” and other strategies some landlords use to intimidate tenants. “We need to do whatever we can to help end fear in our country,” Menchaca said. “Passage of these bills will go a long way toward doing that.” His 38th Council District includes several neighborhoods in central and southwest Brooklyn, including part of Gowanus, that are currently seeing widespread construction. “The need for passage of these bills in our community is crystal clear,” said Dave Powell, a community organizer from the Fifth Avenue Committee in Park Slope, just teast of Gowanus. “It’s particularly urgent if we’re considering the rezoning of the Gowanus neighborhood. A lot of the displacement came right after the 2003 rezoning. We’re losing so much of our community. There’s an urgency and a fury to the landlords’ harassment and we can’t wait literally another year.” Idelys Savignon, a tenant at 342 Bergen St. in Gowanus, said she has experienced harassment since a new landlord, Inc. Realty, recently took over her building. “All my neighbors got forced out,” she said. “Now there’s construction, the apartment downstairs has no walls, and my hallway is a disaster. She said despite it being winter, she hasn’t had heat and hot water for a month and a half. “I would like a nice hot shower. You know … basic living conditions. I’m taking them to court myself Monday, because they think they’re above the law — which they’re not.” “We’ve been to these hearings and events with tenants from 342 Bergen St., and we’ve done the same with tenants from dozens of other buildings,” Powell said. “Today’s event was really a call to the City Council and particularly the chairperson of the Housing and Buildings Committee, Councilman Jumaane Williams, and Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito to show them that there is an urgent need to pass these bills now.” In her State of the City speech just a few days before, Mark-Viverito addressed the issue head-on. “Tenant harassment is far too rampant — but because it can be hard to
prove in court, far too often it goes unchecked,” she said. “Even when a tenant does beat the odds and win, they typically get nothing. We’re going to change that. Going forward, the Council will pass legislation so that when a landlord threatens a tenant, the burden will be on the landlord to prove it wasn’t harassment.” She continued by saying that the City Council “will soon take a close look at how some landlords — unscrupulous landlords — may use construction work to push tenants out from their homes.” According to Brandon Kielbasa, a community organizer for Cooper Square Committee in the East Village, having the Council speaker’s support is very important. Even so, he feels the process is being held up unnecessarily. “Every week that we go without these Stand for Tenant Safety bills as laws, more tenants are harassed and more essential, affordable rent-regulated housing is lost,” Kielbasa stressed. “We need these laws yesterday. Our communities are being torn apart by construction-as-harassment.” Kielbasa and the other organizers urge Councilmember Williams to schedule hearings for the remaining five bills in April, in hopes of bringing the full Stand for Tenant Safety legislative package to a vote. He points to the highly publicized case of 159 Stanton St. on the Lower East Side as an example of what can happen if the City Council continues to wait. On Saturday, the Department of Buildings issued a vacate order for the second floor of the building, own by notorious landlord Steve Croman, as the crumbling ceiling was beginning to give way. Croman currently already has 20 felony charges pending against him, and the building’s walls are wallpapered with violation notices that remain unaddressed. Current residents of 159 Stanton St. have been in and out of court, with little to show for it. However, the STS bills would make it so landlords like Croman have to cough up their outstanding fines — or risk losing their buildings. “Right now DOB issues lots of violations and they turn into fines,” Kielbasa said. “The city doesn’t force people to pay them. The passing of these laws couldn’t be any more urgent. We need to put an end to this type of illegal harassment.”
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Fritz Koenig, WTC Sphere creator, dies at 92 BY DENNIS LYNCH German sculptor Fritz Koenig, whose iconic work “The Sphere” gave Lower Manhattan a symbol of hope and solidarity when it survived the collapse of the Twin Towers in the World Trade Center plaza after the 9/11 attacks, died in late February at age 92. Koenig passed away in his hometown of Landshut, Bavaria, where he created most of his abstract, geometric works, according to the German outlet Deutsche Welle. Koenig’s 25-ton sculpture stood in the plaza between the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center from 1971 until 2001 and miraculously survived the Twin Towers’ collapse with only dents and holes. Photos of The Sphere standing amid a sea of rubble following the attacks spread around the world and quickly made it a symbol of Downtown’s — and America’s — resilience in the face of terror. The Sphere was left unrepaired and moved to The Battery following the attacks, where it was dedicated on the six-month anniversary of the attacks as a temporary memorial with an eternal flame. It has remained there since, but in a long-awaited decision by the HOUSE HOUSE CALLS CALLS
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Associated Press / Beth A. Keiser
Artist Fritz Koenig, who died last month, stands next to his sculpture “The Sphere” after the 2002 dedication ceremony at The Battery, where the iconic artifact that suvived the collapse of the Twin Towers was dedicated as a temporary memorial six months after the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
Port Authority of New York and New Jersey last summer it will be moved to the newly opened Liberty Park — much closer to its original home, but outside the official 9/11 memorial, where many Downtowners and Ground-Zero responders hoped it would one day be returned. That decision wasn’t made easily. SAME DAY SERVICE AVAILABLE
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The debate over where to permanently locate The Sphere was heated, and at sometimes pitted survivors, family members of victims, local residents, and officials against one another. Some argued that placing it in Liberty Park would draw too many people to the elevated green space and spoil the respite from tourists many locals thought the park would become. Others wanted to see the sphere moved back to the base of the towers in the 9/11 Memorial plaza, although the memorial foundation’s leadership reportedly opposed that idea because it didn’t fit into the plaza’s design. Michael Burke, who’s firefighter brother died in the attacks, started the Save the Sphere group and advocated for moving it back to the plaza. When the Port Authority made their decision to move it to Liberty Park instead of the plaza, Burke said he was happy that
it was at least moving back closer to Ground Zero. Soon after the decision, Burke received an email from Koenig’s foundation that the man himself was “ecstatic” to see it moved to Liberty Park. Burke said it was a good thing that Koenig knew his sculpture would return to Ground Zero before he passed. “It was in a state of limbo. It wasn’t going to stay in Battery Park, it would disappear to who know’s where,” he said. “To know it would find a permanent home was, I’m sure, a comforting thing for him.” Soon after the attacks, word spread that Koenig had created The Sphere as a symbol of world peace, further cementing its post-9/11 legend, but Koenig later denied that interpretation. Burke said that regardless of its intent, the sculpture was an “expression of a human endeavor,” and thus no less of a poignant symbol in the wake of the attacks. “That’s what the terrorists hate — the notion of an expression, a recognition that there is such thing as a human endeavor — a humanity that matters,” he said. “So it’s very fitting that his work of art survived that, and will go on after him. I guess what else can artists hope for?” The Sphere became an accidental memorial here, but Koenig was known in his native country for memorials to tragedies there. He designed a massive, beam-like sculpture to honor the victims of the 1972 Munich Olympic Games massacre, and another memorial at the Mauthausen concentration camp. He also established the Sculpture Museum in his hometown, where he showed his works, he and his wife’s extensive collection of African art, and works by other artists.
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Associated Press / Ted Warren
Koenig’s sculpture survived the collapse of the World Trade Center towers largely intact, and became a potent symbol of defiant resilience for Downtowners after 9/11. DowntownExpress.com
Pose before bros Tribeca gymâ€™s â€˜Brogaâ€™ makes yoga macho BY COLIN MIXSON Yoga mat? Meet yoga Matt! A Tribeca fitness center is giving the term Downward Dog a whole new meaning with â€œBrogaâ€? â€” a yoga workout routine that cuts out all the â€œfufuâ€? spiritualism that guys mistrust, and pumps up the volume with songs by Rage Against the Machine and Led Zeppelin, so a man can still feel like a man, while still getting his stretch on and practicing his breathing, said Aqua Studio instructor Emma Galland. â€œRage Against the Machine is not something you usually play in yoga, and the men feel itâ€™s manly,â€? said Galland, who teaches Broga at Aqua Studio every Saturday at 1:15 pm. Aqua Studioâ€™s approach to yoga is perfect for that type-A crowd populated by guys named Chad and Lance, who are looking to augment their athletic portfolio with additional hip and shoulder flexibility, without running the risk of an accidental glimpse at their innermost self, Galland said. â€œItâ€™s not fufu the way we teach yoga,â€? Galland said. â€œWe donâ€™t say â€˜bring your
hands to your heart,â€™ we say â€˜bring your hand to your chest.â€™ We donâ€™t say â€˜reach for the sky,â€™ we say â€˜put your hands over your head.â€™â€? The tunes likewise are geared towards men, who may fear that tantric chants and whale music will spoil their highintensity vibes with an air of relaxation. â€œHere we play Jack Johnson, Led Zeppelin, Nirvana â€” basically bro music,â€? said Galland. â€œItâ€™s really like a cool, California, riding-your-motorcycle kind of playlist.â€? While Gallandâ€™s man-spired workout routine does away with much of yogaâ€™s eastern trappings, itâ€™s the physicality of Broga that really keeps men coming back for more, she said. Broga focuses more extensively on cardio workouts, with plenty of pushups and mountain climber moves, while retaining the yoga stretches that target areas where men are typically less flexible than women, such as the shoulder, back, and chest. As a result, Broga practitioners become better equipped for more traditionally male exercises, such as weight
Photo by Emmanuelle Galland
Aqua Studioâ€™s â€œBeer and Brogaâ€? class is yoga geared to bros, replacing sitar music with rock, and chakras with craft brews.
lifting, due to having an increased range of motion, Galland said. â€œIt increases flexibility which makes them stronger in the weight room because they have a bigger range of motion in shoulders and hips,â€? she said. But Broga is not without its dangers,
Galland said, and may even serve as a gateway to more traditional forms of yoga, where men might be subjected to things like meditation and inward reflection. â€œBroga is the place to come for men to discover yoga,â€? she explained.
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schools Continued from page 1
more years to find a school, there literally won’t be any space left,” said Eric Greenleaf. Greenleaf, who has served as a member of the Lower Manhattan Overcrowding Task Force since 2008, presented his projections for new Downtown students at a task force meeting in February. His analysis was based on Department of Building’s filings for new residential developments since June 2013 — the last time the city acknowledged the need for more school seats, shortly before allocating funding for the new elementary school at Trinity Place. Since then, developers have announced a whopping 5,216 new apartment units Downtown. The School Construction Authority, the city agency largely responsible for forecasting future student populations, uses the borough-wide standard of 0.12 students per residential unit — or 12
girl Continued from page 4
to Bowling Green with her 17-monthold daughter Georgina. “It was meaningful to be there with her, wearing red, and to touch the statue on this day.”
students for every 100 apartments — according to Greenleaf, who used the same formula to reach his figure of 626 new seats needed. When Greenleaf announced the number to the task force, SCA representative Mike Mirasola incredulously asked, if his numbers were correct, then “where are the kids?” Greenleaf pointed out that many of the buildings filed with DOB since 2013 are not yet finished, and for the ones already on the market, it was unrealistic to expect those units to fill up overnight. And regardless, Greenleaf said, the point was to have the school seats built and ready for the incoming students, not scramble to play catch-up when the overcrowding problem gets even worse. State Sen. Daniel Squadron, who also attended the meeting, had Greenleaf’s back. “We saw that extensively in 2008, 2009, and 2010,” Squadron said, “and
the same thing was said: ‘Where are the kids?’ And it turned out the kids were in preschool.” Councilwoman Margaret Chin, also a task force member, plans on using Greenleaf’s numbers to lobby the SCA for additional school seats, including at a agency budget hearing at City Hall on Wednesday. “Every time I see the SCA, I remind them,” she said. Like Greenleaf, Chin sees Lower Manhattan’s dwindling stock of open real estate as among the chief problems with the city’s playing waiting games when it comes to placing new schools, and the lawmaker stressed the importance of constantly keeping watch for potential school sites. “The kids are coming,” she said. “We have to ID sites that can be used for schools.” The Department of Education did respond to a request for comment by press time.
The statue was set up on a temporary, week-long permit, but State Street lobbying the city to let it stay in place for the duration of Women’s History Month, McNally said. But there’s already a push brewing to make the Fearless Girl a permanent
addition to Downtown’s streetscape — not unlike the Charging Bull, a oncetemporary public art stunt which the city granted permanent residence after a wave of popular demand. “I hope it stays indefinitely, just like the bull did,” said Siegel.
LM3d Continued from page 3
entiate the kinds of property in some cases. The colors used to show the different types of residential buildings (condos/co-ops, rentals, and dorms) are very similar, as are the colors used to show new construction and conversions. You’ll need a fairly fast computer to run LM3D smoothly. It was somewhat sluggish on a laptop that’s a few years old with a decent internet connection. There is a two-dimensional option, but it doesn’t speed up LM3D very much. It would be more accessible to locals without a newer computer if there was a more bare bones two-dimensional option. The Alliance will release the full version of LM3D this fall, and plans to update the system data regularly, either a few times a week or once a week, depending on market activity and when the city releases that information publicly. The biggest feature coming to the final version will be historical data going back to the late 1990s, an Alliance spokesperson said. That data, he said, will take the longest time to incorporate into the platform. Check it out online at: lm3d. downtownny.com.
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Time to change treatment of ‘violent’ criminals Publisher Publisher
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March 09 -22, 2017
t isn’t secret that America loves to send people to prison. We have five percent of the world’s population and 25 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, says 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 are labeled “violent” that 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,” says Pfaff. “If we’re trying to minimize future harm, some sort of anger management class might be more ef-
fective 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, says 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 cites 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,“ says 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,’ ” says Pfaff. But the cops also bring in an array of
social workers to help with housing, food, employment, health care. “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 says. Somehow, one solitary neighborhood managed to keep its funding. And there, says Pfaff, the crime rate continue 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, says 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, author of the book and blog Free-Range Kids, and a contributor at Reason.com.
Posted To Transit Sam: Week of March 3, 2017 M-15 reduced rush hour service. I am unsure if anyone has addressed reduced UPTOWN SBS and local M-15 bus service during rush hours, either at the Wall Street or Fulton Street stops. During the weekday period of 7:00 am to 8:00 am time period, SBS and local M-15 service occurs around 6-7 minute intervals between buses. DURING 8:00
am to 9:00 am time interval, service DIMINISHES to uptown buses stopping every 12 to 22 minutes. The 8:00 am to 9:00 am period is perhaps the busiest period of the day, and yet there is BETTER SERVICE on Saturdays, Sundays and Holidays than during this critical commuting time period. Service improves AFTER 9:00 a.m. to 8-10minute intervals; after 10:00 a.m. bus service resumes a 6-8 or 9-minute inter-
val. The worst service of the day is at the most critical time of the day: 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m, and this must be properly addressed by the MTA. Generally at the 14th Street (and First Avenue) uptown bus stop there is a MTA schedule/timing supervisor. That person stated to me that due to reduced amount of equipment availposted Continued on page 18
Of pivots and paranoia:
A very bad week for Trump
BY MA X 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 Cuckoofor-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
Illustration by Max Burbank
September, at the height of the Russian 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 super-cool 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. March 09 -22, 2017
Dates: Thurs., Mar. 9–Wed., Mar. 15
ALTERNATE SIDE PARKING RULES IN EFFECT ALL WEEK
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.
posted Continued from page 16
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 18
March 09 -22, 2017
The demos keep on going strong in Lower Manhattan, with Foley Square as this week’s big destination. Today, Thursday, from 9 a.m. to noon, the Solidarity Rally Against Deportation will bring demonstrators to Foley Square, bounded by Worth, Centre, and Lafayette streets, causing Broadway, Chambers Street, and the Brooklyn Bridge slowdowns just in time for morning rush hour. Beginning noon on Tuesday, City of Action: 24 Hours of Action for Refugees will bring the action to the Trump Building at 40 Wall St., between Nassau and William streets, where they’ll rally until 1 p.m. Then they’ll march to Trinity Church on Broadway at Wall Street, remaining there various for events and camping out for the night. At 10 a.m. on Wednesday, the same group will march from Trinity Church via Broadway, passing by the African Burial Grounds on Duane Street at Broadway, around the Federal Building, and arriving at Foley Square where they’ll rally until noon. This will impact Broadway, Worth, Lafayette, and Centre streets, as well as Chambers Street and the Brooklyn Bridge. Closures: On the Williamsburg Bridge, one lane at a time on the inner and outer Manhattan-bound roadways will be
able, the Lower Manhattan portion of M15 bus route (below Houston Street) might experience reduced bus service. I have repeatedly spoken to this supervisor, as there have been service interval gaps of greater than 25 minutes after 8:06 a.m. The supervisor said that setting/developing service schedules is not (her) job. She suggested I call 311. Repeated complaints to 311 over the last year have proven useless. Many customers who have traditionally used uptown M15 service no longer gather waiting for service after 8:00 a.m. They have learned that if it
closed 10 p.m.–5 a.m. Thursday and Friday. The Battery Park Underpass’s north tube (from FDR Drive south to northbound West Street) will have one lane closed 10 a.m.–3 p.m. Thursday and Friday. Beginning from 11 a.m.–10 p.m. Wednesday, the Stone Street Pedestrian Mall is back, closing Stone Street between Hanover Square and Broad Street, as well as Mill Lane, daily until November. Reminders: Sunday at 2 a.m., it’s time to roll the clocks forward one hour for Daylight Savings Time. The good news: we’ll have longer hours of sunlight. The bad news: you’ll lose an hour of sleep. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, “the cumulative effect of four million drivers in the metro area losing four million hours of sleep Sunday night means the probability of a crash will rise.” Get extra sleep to make up for that precious 60 minutes you’ll lose after the DST “spring forward.” This applies to sleepy pedestrians as well as drivers. The MTA’s 2017 toll and fare hike will go into effect next Sunday, March 19, raising weekly passes to $32 and monthlies to $121, though base fares remain the same, at $2.75. Tolls for Lower Manhattan crossings will go up by 20 cents for E-ZPass to $5.76 and 50 cents to $8.50 for cash.
takes upwards of 30 minutes for a bus to arrive, they use an alternate commuting method or timing versus using the M15 bus. On some occasions, uptown-bound M15 buses marked “Out of Service” might pass the Fulton Street stop. I have learned through extensive questioning of customers that these “out of service” buses begin their uptown route at the Catherine Street stop. Can the Downtown Express research this issue? Can local residents downtown be assured that MTA officials be made aware of this service quandary, and properly address it with improved service? Robert Gedzelman
SOU N D O F F! W r ite a lette r to th e e d ito r! e d ito r@ d o w nto w n ex p r es s .c o m
She Puts Spirit in the Stone Artist Lorrie Goulet, on the power of ‘complete immersion’
Photo by Dlo Slaughter/www.faithfocusflash.net
Photo by Budd Photography
Lorrie Goulet stands in her W. 20th St. studio with 1952’s “Earth” (walnut, 36x32x30).
From 1963, Lorrie Goulet at her former studio on W. 21st St., holding an unfinished piece done in alabaster.
BY STEPHANIE BUHMANN Lorrie Goulet’s New York studio, located in a townhouse in the heart of Chelsea, includes a stunning collection of work spanning seven decades. Set up on pedestals, her many sculptures tell of a life devoted to art. “I was always happy to be in the studio,” she explained, clarifying that it was, and remains, her “favorite place.” In conversation it became increasingly clear that to her, happiness was indeed always rooted in having enough time to work and in maintaining the considerable physical strength needed to tackle her challenging materials —
their male peers, Goulet’s success seems both staggering and inspiring. She did get married (to another artist), raised a daughter, and taught hundreds of art students — but she also, as she proudly noted, created more than 500 sculptures by hand. Goulet’s story is one of unwavering determination. “I wasn’t interested in any of the things traditionally expected of women like getting married and having several children,” she said. Bolstered by this conviction, she managed to find her unique path, as well as a professional support system. In 1932, at the age of seven, she
“any kind of stone I could get my hands on,” she explained. Though her oeuvre also entails painting, drawing and poetry, Goulet is primarily known as a sculptor, who carved each of her works directly by hand. Born in 1925 in Riverdale, New York, Goulet knew she was an artist early on. Considering that her formative years occurred during a time when women were discouraged from pursuing any profession, let alone art, and when the handful of working female artists could never dream of receiving the same recognition as
met Aimee Le Prince Voorhees at The Inwood Pottery Studio, which Voorhees had founded with her husband Harry. There, in the pastoral setting of Inwood Hill without any modern conveniences, Goulet studied with Voorhees for four crucial years, reflecting once that “It was one of my happiest experiences,” and that she had “never forgotten [her] first teacher.” Even when The Pottery Studio was forced to close by Mayor LaGuardia (protested in the press by the then-11-year-old Goulet) and her LORRIE GOULET Continued on page 21
March 09 -22, 2017
From Rehab to Rockwood, Rocker ‘Reckless’ No More Addiction, recovery inform singer/songwriter’s solo debut BY SEAN EGAN At 30, Matt Butler can finally look back with clarity at his time on a destructive path taken by many a musician given to the excesses of the rock and roll lifestyle. Four years after spending his salad days as a Lower East Side rocker in the throes of addiction, Butler has emerged stronger, with a set of songs that grapples with his past and tracks his redemption. “I’ve been writing songs and performing in bands my whole life for the most part, since I was a teenager — and I simultaneously struggled with drugs and alcohol from about the same age, and these were two very concurrent themes in my life,” Butler explained on the phone from his home in Chelsea. “The album was sort of like the after effect of, the result of, a lot of work that I had done processing my experiences of what I had been doing for the past few years of my life when I wrote it, and what my life was like at that moment — living and breathing and surrounded by these really, really intense stories. And most of that album is, for the most part, autobiographical.” The album in question is Butler’s solo debut, “Reckless Son.” Direct in its message and brimming with pathos, the LP toes the line between rock and roll and folk-tinged, acousticbased singer/songwriter material. In its plainspoken, poetic vignettes, it most vividly calls to mind Bruce Springsteen (“a big hero of mine,” Butler noted), as Butler tracks the precipitous lows of addiction, as well as his climb back to sobriety. Released in late 2016, the record and accompanying performances have garnered enough goodwill to land Butler a March residency at the East Village’s Rockwood Music Hall. It’s a long way to come for Butler, who, prior to releasing the record, was working as a copywriter after a string of post-rehab odd jobs, and struggling to decide whether to even pick music back up again. “I was at a crossroads of my life,” he said. “I think if I was going to write or do anything creative, it’s just a thing that I had to do
March 09 -22, 2017
Photo by Michael Shirey
Matt Butler, at a live performance.
in order to move past it.” Move past it he did, writing catchy and candid tales with himself at the center, full of friends and flames experiencing the manic highs and consequences of substance abuse, a coke dealer with a “Jameson grin,” and plenty of religious and familial imagery. “It was so interesting, the experience of trying to mine [that] for sort of an authentic truth,” the singer commented. “I mean, I was like drunk for 10 years straight, man. So much of it is just impressionistic.” Still,
these aren’t, nor did Butler ever intend the album to be, a series of “drunkalogues.” “It just took a lot of work, a lot of recovery work to get the perspectives that I needed in order to [get through] some of the inauthenticity and some of the self-pity that I had felt, and a lot of the anger,” Butler said of his creative process, and drudging up his darker days for his art. “I needed to get through those things in order to write the album that I felt sort of embodied the true
spirit of what I wanted to say, which had much more to do with gratitude and humility.” That sense of gratitude stems from the support system Butler discovered after reaching out for help with his addiction. By the time he checked into a Caron Treatment Center in April 2013 (caron.org), his father was fully convinced he’d get a call announcing his son’s death, Butler revealed. Over time, through those he encountered during recovery, and healing his relationship with his family (who “never left,” Butler gratefully recalled), he was able to conquer his demons. “Every time I took a little baby step forward, there was somebody right behind me ready to catch me if I fell,” Butler said. At this point, sobriety has done much to help shore his music career. His extended Caron family still supports him, and he noted that the publishing deal that led to “Reckless Son” sprung from a serendipitous gig played at the Freedom Institute — his outpatient rehab facility at the time. But, that’s kind of how things have worked for Butler; wherever he goes, people react to his music’s openness. “It’s really, really validating as an artist, as well, to be able to play music that people respond to so tangibly. There’s a lot of laughing and crying at a lot of these shows,” Butler noted. “You release your song and then it’s up to everyone else to have their experience with it. You want to honor that every time you perform it” — something he hopes to do at his upcoming Rockwood gigs. “This is just this other extension of this second life that I’m having,” Butler summarized. “It really feels that way — like AD and BC. It’s just a whole new life as a musician, and this is just kind of the next phase of it.” Matt Butler plays at Rockwood Music Hall (196 Allen St., btw. E. Houston & Stanton Sts.) on Wed., March 15 & 22 at 8pm. No cover, 21+. For artist info, visit mattbutlerofficial.com, or follow at facebook.com/MattButlerMusic or on Twitter @mattbutlerband. DowntownExpress.com
LORRIE GOULET Continued from page 19
family moved to Los Angeles, Goulet still managed to find a way to supplement her regular schooling with a serious art education. In 1940, she apprenticed with local ceramicist Jean Rose. However, it was not until 1943 that Goulet entered art school full time, enrolling at the venerated Black Mountain College in North Carolina. There, she was able to study painting and drawing with Josef Albers, as well as weaving (with Albers’ wife, Annie). It was at Black Mountain that Goulet also met her future husband, the established sculptor José de Creeft, four decades her senior. A visiting instructor at the time, de Creeft is perhaps best known for his 16-foot “Alice In Wonderland” bronze sculpture in Central Park. The couple was married in the fall of 1944. Two years later, they acquired a farm in Hoosick Falls, New York. Through 1968, they worked part of each year there while raising their daughter, Donna Maria de Creeft. Goulet’s exhibition history dates back to 1948, including several Annual Exhibitions at the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York and an installation at the New York World’s Fair of 1964/1965. From the beginning, it was Goulet’s ambition to create sculptures that would appear timeless and free of specific stylistic tastes. She never belonged to an art movement. In fact, in her sculpture, she always remained committed to one subject: the human figure. However, instead of realistically rendering its physiognomy, Goulet was interested in interpreting it. She was describing its potential, tracing fluid shapes and movements without a sense of weight or density. “I believe that anyone in the world can understand my work,” she said, stating that she wanted to make art for all people from all cultures. “I like the idea that someone in Borneo can access my sculpture as well as someone from my background.” As a direct carver, she would take her material as-is and begin to work without making any preparatory studies or maquettes. “Direct carving is a way of life. It’s a way of seeing things,” Goulet explained. “That’s why I was always so reclusive — because I was concentrated on seeing; it was about complete immersion in my work.” Goulet’s process required an extensive contemplation of the raw material, including its details, such as the grain of the wood or the veins in the DowntownExpress.com
Courtesy the artist
“Aurora in Limestone” (1971; 20x39x10; collection of Lee Hall of Northern Michigan University).
stone, as each unique feature would impact the finished work. This might explain why alabaster, which possesses a range of rich natural colors and an unusual sense of translucence, counts among one of Goulet’s favorite materials. Each unique characteristic holds an inherent promise of potential. In fact, according to Goulet, “You see the potential when you look at the stone and you start to make forms. Everything begins to take shape and then you see the whole thing and you go towards that goal.” However, rather than superimposing an idea of form onto the raw material, Goulet was always interested in searching for something already hidden inside of it. The female body — its sensuality, fertility, and embedded sense of strength — was a recurrent theme in Goulet’s work. In fact, instead of focusing on individual women or stylized goddesses, Goulet employed the female figure as an analogy for nature. “It is full, it is blossoming, it is progressive, it is giving; the female figure has all the qualities that I think are so important in sculpture. In fact, when you look at the history of sculpture, you find that artists have always used women. It carries on [in] my feelings about what sculpture should be.” A prolific writer, Goulet’s philosophical and educational writings aid in formulating her vision. One of her past statements, which best sums up her take on the creative process and role of the artist, rings truer than ever when considering the entirety of her oeuvre
today: “I believe the source of our art lies on our inner center of being… the core of our awareness. From this center flows our power of creativity, the mystery and magic of our art. I believe that art is the realization of the dynamic energy and order of the universe… as perceived by the individual… as reflected and made whole in the visual images we create.” In addition to her work in the studio, Goulet looks back at decades of teaching. First, at the Museum of Modern Art’s Peoples Center, New York (1957), then at The New School, New York (1961-1975) and the Art Students League of New York (19812004). In fact, between 1964 and 1968, CBS aired 23 segments featuring Goulet’s teachings with demonstrations for children in a program entitled “Around the Corner,” which was sponsored by the New York City Board of Education. Today, Goulet continues her daily practice in the studio. Despite a stroke, which made it impossible for her to continue carving, she has not slowed down much. She now focuses primarily on painting while continuing to write poetry. When speaking with Goulet, one gets the clear impression that for her, it was always about making work with as little distractions as possible. “Often my studio door was closed and nobody knew what was going on. It was my peaceful niche.” Luckily for the general public, examples of her work can be found in many major collections, including at The Whitney Museum of American Art, The Smithsonian American Art
Photo by Dlo Slaughter/www.faithfocusflash.net
Lorrie Goulet at her Chelsea studio in 2016. In the background: “Equinox” (1993; acrylic, 84x60). Below is the sculpture “Goddess Of The Sea in Alabaster” (2014; 20x27x12).
Museum, the National Museum of Women in the Arts, and the Museo Nacional Centro De Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid. “I was making beauty: beautiful sculpture,” Goulet reflected, adding, “The French philosopher René Descartes wrote that beauty was harmony, unity, and radiance — and I work with these three words. Radiance is the life, the ‘me’ that I put into the stone, and which of course gets lost over time. But the spirit I put in stays.” Visit lorriegoulet.com for more information. March 09 -22, 2017
March 09 -22, 2017
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 DowntownExpress.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.
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.
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 March 09 -22, 2017
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