YOUR WEEKLY COMMUNITY NEWSPAPER SERVING CHELSEA, HUDSON YARDS & HELL’S KITCHEN
AN EYE FOR ELEVATION
See page 12 for Tequila Minsky’s photos, taken along the High Line and high above the Whitney.
© CHELSEA NOW 2017 | NYC COMMUNITY MEDIA, LLC, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
VOLUME 09, ISSUE 15 | JUNE 8–14, 2017
The Search for Truth Marches On
PHOTO ESSAY BY ROBERT PRICHARD Calling for no less than â€œa fair and impartial investigation, for the pursuit of truth, and for the restoration of faith in our electoral system and the Office of the Presidency,â€? a national March for Truth was held on Sat., June 3. Local participants assembled in Foley Square (where Robert Prichard began this photo essay), and then made their way south. For more information, visit marchfortruth.info and use the social media hashtag #MarchForTruth.
THE CHELSEA REFORM DEMOCRATIC CLUB IS PROUD TO HOST AN IMPORTANT DEBATE: SHOULD PROGRESSIVE NEW YORKERS SUPPORT A STATE CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION? Every 20 years New Yorkers are faced with a ballot proposal: should we revise and amend our state constitution? November 7, 2017 is the next mandated referendum on that question, and progressives are sharply divided on how to vote!
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June 8, 2017
NYC Community Media
Hellâ€™s Kitchen South Coalition Coalesces Around Port Authority Plans BY JACKSON CHEN The Hellâ€™s Kitchen South Coalition is readying their plans and members in advance of the Port Authority of New York and New Jerseyâ€™s expected plans to address the Midtown bus terminal. The replacement or renovation of the current underperforming facility on Eighth Ave. (btw. W. 40th & 42nd Sts.) is a desperately needed measure, but the project has been steeped in community contention from early on. Due to a lack of community input during the first proposal, the project was restarted and involved residents formed the Coalition to take a proactive role in fielding their concerns to the Port Authority. The agency recently eliminated the worry that eminent domain, the process in which governments can capture private property for public works, would be used as a part of the project. It was a welcome victory for the Coalition, but the members are not resting on their laurels as they continue to meet every other month at Metro Baptist Church (410 W. 40th St., btw. Ninth & Dyer Aves.). â€œWe are very excited that they have stated there will be no eminent domain,â€? Rev. Tiffany Triplett Henkel,
Photo by Jackson Chen
Rev. Tiffany Triplett Henkel addresses the Hellâ€™s Kitchen South Coalition with a preview of what she hopes the face mask-donning crowd will look like at Julyâ€™s Port Authority board meeting.
the churchâ€™s pastor, said at the May 31 meeting. â€œBut we know that wasnâ€™t the whole of what we were gathering for in this Coalition.â€? The group is in the process of preparing the Hellâ€™s Kitchen South Neighborhood Plan, which would serve as a bridge between the community and the Port Authority. The plan would cover W. 33rd to 42nd Sts., between Eighth and 12th Aves., and focuses on several major objectives â€” including preserving the existing community, enhancing the community, improving air quality, and creating a comprehensive transportation plan. As noted by Christine Berthet, a member of the Coalition as well as Community Board 4 (CB4), the coverage area has the third-highest amount of air pollution in the city, according to the cityâ€™s Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. Betty Mackintosh, also a CB4 and Coalition member, said theyâ€™ve been sending out teams to conduct research efforts including field observations, collecting photos, and brainstorming recommendations. While hitting the major objectives, the plan also will look at COALITION continued on p. 10
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June 8, 2017
Community Council Driving at Car, Trafﬁc, Bar Concerns BY TABIA C. ROBINSON The Wed., May 31 edition of the 10th Precinct’s monthly Community Council meeting was the last meeting before a three-month summer hiatus. Larry O’Neill, the Council’s president, began the meeting shortly after 7 p.m. by welcoming everyone, then introducing Community Affairs Detective Mike Petrillo and the Precinct’s Commanding Officer, Capt. Paul E. Lanot. Lanot began by talking about the approaching summer months, whose warm conditions would later figure into the quality of life issues raised by some of the dozen or so of locals in attendance. Quoting from the crime statistics for the month, Lanot noted that during this 28-day period, crime was down 19 percent. However, the 10th Precinct has seen an increase in felony assaults — specifically domestic violence (which accounts for 50 percent of those felony assaults), and cases of people leaving keys in their vehicles when their cars are running. He then turned the floor to Police Officer Benicie Alezy of the Domestic Violence Unit (see the final paragraph of this article for their contact number). “Just like you see ‘If you see some-
Photo by Tabia C. Robinson
L to R, standing: Community Council President Larry O’Neill, CO Capt. Paul Lanot and Detective Michael Petrillo.
thing, say something on the subway’,” said Alezy, “it’s the same with domestic violence. If you hear something, say something.” There were pamphlets that members of the community could take home with them to read about the signs of domestic violence and Alezy referred people to the Family Justice Center, where there are services available for domestic violence victims, including
children. Lanot took over the floor again to caution drivers against exiting the vehicle with the keys still in the ignition. He furthermore advised them to lock their car doors, close all of the windows, and not leave any valuables on the seats (which gives thieves an opportunity to steal). The meeting was then opened up to
questions and concerns from members of the community. A resident who lives on Ninth Ave. was upset about a new bar that had a significant amount of noise at night. The resident, her husband, and another neighbor backed up claims about the new bar, aRoqa (206 Ninth Ave., btw. W. 22nd & 23rd Sts.). “They say they aren’t open, but they are. The music is blaring and there are people in there,” said the husband. They said they complained to the owner and their landlord about the noise, and since then, they’ve been “verbally threatened and threatened with a lawsuit.” Petrillo said that he would go to the bar and talk to the owner about the issue. “We usually have pretty good success,” he noted, regarding the 10th Precinct’s track record of intervening in such matters. Petrillo asked if there were any more questions or comments, but the crowd was silent so he pointed to people and had them introduce themselves and their positions in the community. The fi rst set of people were from an organization called Breaking Ground, whose The Christopher locaCOMMUNITY COUNCIL continued on p. 8
De Blasio Affordable Housing Myth #2 Mayor Bill de Blasio wants affordable housing and income equality for all New Yorkers. (Note: as long as it doesn’t affect his bank account)
The Facts: • Mayor de Blasio freezes the rents of stabilized apartment owners, but Landlord de Blasio has continued to raise rents… of his tenants in two homes he owns in Park Slope to cover his expenses. (Source: PoliticoNY, 4/17/17) • de Blasio is a hypocrite – rent hikes for his tenants, but he denies the largest providers of affordable housing the revenue they need to repair, improve and maintain apartments for their tenants.
De Blasio’s Housing Policies: Politics & Hypocrisy Next Week: de Blasio Myth #3 4
June 8, 2017
NYC Community Media
Chelsea Music Festival Pleases the Palate and Stirs the Soul BY JACKSON CHEN Get ready for a nine-day exploration of time through multidisciplinary arts, when the Chelsea Music Festival (chelseamusicfestival.org) begins on June 9. The festival is entering its eighth season of colliding visual and culinary arts with the musical performances that range from classical to contemporary. Pleased with the results from last year’s universal theme of gravity, the founding artistic directors and husband-wife duo, Ken-David Masur and Melinda Lee Masur, settled on “Measuring Time” as this year’s theme. “This year, we’re focusing on measuring time because one of the protagonists of the festival is Beethoven,” Ken-David explained, adding that the Classical composer was known for using a metronome to capture the tempo of music. “But at the center, we’re just focusing on the playfulness of what a metronome is, what time keeping is... how we perceive and experience time,” Ken-David said. “We just want people to have fun taking the time to think about this topic which we’re all exposed to on a daily basis.” Photo by Matt Harrington
Aaron Diehl, pictured, will share the stage with Adam Birnbaum for CMF’s closing concert on June 17.
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MUSIC FESTIVAL continued on p. 20
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June 8, 2017
Our History/Our Dignity: Education and the Health of the LGBTQ Population BY PERRY N. HALKITIS, PHD, MS, MPH & ROBERT M. HALKITIS We rarely find intersecting paths in our careers. So after nearly a decade years of marriage, it was surprising and exciting to discover that the projects we were each enacting were so complementary — Perry, a book exploring the coming out experiences of gay men across generations (“Out in Time”), and Bobby, an examination of LGBTQ history as part of social studies education in schools. What binds these projects is an underlying belief that LGBTQ history must be taught, and viewed, as integral to the narrative of American history. The last several years have witnessed a series of works (including David France’s “How to Survive a Plague” and Cleve Jones’ “When We Rise”) that have served to record and preserve our past while looking to the future. While the LGBTQ population is becoming increasingly visible in the media and LGBTQ rights, especially marriage equality, are part of current political discussion, LGBTQ history is almost entirely absent from classroom. As Michigan State University Professor Margaret Crocco notes, there is a missing discourse regarding sexuality in social studies curricula, directed in part by the homophobia of American society. These anti-LGBTQ attitudes have been fueled recently by the narrow-mindedness of those in our federal administration (particularly Vice President Mike Pence) who have used religious freedom as tool for spreading their ignorance and hate, and attempting to deny our rights. Our schools have not set aside a month to celebrate the accomplishments of the LGBTQ population like they do other groups such as African Americans and women (of course, separating celebrations into months is not the same as truly integrating the histories of all people into the curriculum throughout the year; but at least it’s a step in the right direction.) Students in our schools are not exposed to the accomplishments of prominent LGBTQ heroes like Marsha P. Johnson, Alan Turing, Laurel Hester and Stacie Andree, Harvey Milk, or Larry Kramer, let alone lesser known heroes such as Robert Massa (who documented the AIDS crisis in excruciating detail until his death in 1994 at the age of 36), all of those heroes at the Pulse nightclub, or any of the 23 amazing men interviewed for “Out in Time.” Gender and gender identity, along with religion, race, ethnicity, culture, social class, language, ability, and sexual
June 8, 2017
Courtesy Halkitis & Halkitis
Like a rock: L to R, Perry N. and Robert M. Halkitis.
orientation, are all integral dimensions of culture. If social studies function as a means to enhance critical thinking and decision-making skills, how can schools act as though LGBTQ people, who undeniably exist amongst us, in our schools, family and communities, do not have any history? As per educator James Banks, schoolteachers must meet the challenges of multicultural citizenship and the diversity of American society; LGBTQ people are an integral part of that citizenry. Unfortunately, discussions of diversity, even in the corridors of highly respected higher education institutions, often diminish or cast aside outright the lives of LGBTQ people while we, as individuals and as a population, continue to be marginalized, harassed, victimized, tortured, and too often killed throughout the world including but not limited to nations such Abu Dhabi, Chechnya, and our own United States. We must take a stand and demand our representation in the curricula of our nation’s schools. In 2016 the passage of the Fair, Accurate, Inclusive and Respectful (FAIR; faireducationact. com) Education Act set us on this path, when California became the first state to require the inclusion of LGBTQ his-
tory in the curricula of schools. Can you imagine how much richer all of our lives would have been had we been exposed to this education in our youth? Instead, so many of us hid our identities and same sex desires in fear of retaliation, being made to feel lesser, and fueling the loneliness that plagues us throughout our lives. It does not have to be this way for future generations. We must take a stand with institutions of higher learning that continue to do business with counties and governments that disrespect and ostracize LGBTQ people. The issue of dignity should direct our efforts. The judicial advances of the last several years, including the passage of marriage equality, have been rooted in the concepts of dignity. Even though the word dignity is not mentioned in the US Constitution, the word has been referenced in multiple constitutional cases interpreting the First, Fourth, Fifth, Eighth, Ninth, and 14th Amendments. Legal and political discussions use the concept of dignity to express the idea that a being has the right to be valued, respected, and to receive ethical treatment. It is for this reason that our lives must be represented in the mainstream of American culture and
American education. It’s all about our dignity! Efforts to enhance respect for our lives and how we love will have immediate implications for the LGBTQ population. We will, first and foremost, be part of the ongoing discussion of America and what it means to be Americans — not just an afterthought. That, in and of itself, will elevate our place in society and assure we have a seat at the table when important discussions are being held. It will also become clear that the challenges that we face are American issues, not simply gay issues. Moreover, the integration of our history into the American story ultimately will bestow many benefits on the health of sexual minority individuals and populations. The research is clear. Psychosocial burdens created by social conditions, including the bigotry and hate we face on a daily basis and the enactment of discriminatory laws and policies, do nothing but undermine our health and well being. This includes aggression, peer victimization and bullying in schools that diminishes the mental health of LGBTQ youth. DIGNITY continued on p. 14 NYC Community Media
The Making of a Gay Snob BY GERALD BUSBY Most of the creative people I know are gay snobs. They range from narcissistic bodybuilders and clerks at Bergdorf Goodman to international fashion models and performers at Carnegie Hall. Gay snobbery, like all other kinds, is an expression of the ego, but it takes on a special quality when used as a defense against assaults based on sexual identity. It’s also an effective way to get attention; it’s a character gay men create to display their most extravagant, and most sophisticated behavior, practical and artistic. “I never felt like I fit in anywhere in the gay world, so I wanted to be a snob,” Garrett Swann told me. “Gay men seem to form cliques, and I felt excluded. I was always attracted to affluent men, and I always felt I was asking their permission to exist, to know what to do, and how to do it.” Ah, the allure of existential dependency — the luxury of being told what to do by an older, richer, more sophisticated man. “I thought being a snob would give me a sense of security, but it didn’t,” Garrett recalled. “Being a snob is being first and foremost competitive; being prettier, being more in shape, having fancier possessions, flying first class on Lufthansa.” Young gay men want models to define their sexuality — and ego, principally in the form of narcissism, plays a central role in that yearning. Garrett continued, “I met an older affluent man on a nude beach at St. Bart’s in the Caribbean, and he flew me to Atlanta every five weeks to socialize with him and his rich gay friends. There was a hierarchy of prestige among them, and they divided into cliques with specific tastes for exotic food, sex, and drugs. I thought I had arrived, though he called me a brat for wanting things and never being satisfied with what I had. He disdained my lack of confidence in being who I was at the moment — being with him.” Garrett confided that in those halcyon days as the darling of a rich older man, he confused snobbery with confidence. In his 30s, living in Los Angeles, he easily found his way into elite social groups, especially one where a wealthy fag hag, an heiress to the Pepsi fortune, ruled the roost and paid for lavish parties populated by pretty young gay men. She too, like the man in Atlanta who spent Christmas at St. Barts, spoiled Garrett with gifts and hedonistic NYC Community Media
delights. “Not being from a family of money, I always felt like an outsider. I was the court jester who kept everyone laughing. I really felt I had arrived when I got a role on a  Fox TV series with Bo Derek and Tippi Hedren called ‘Fashion House.’ I would get drunk and call my friends to tell them how famous I was going to be. That was the peak of my narcissism. Ego reigned.” Garrett found his way out of that quagmire when he quit alcohol and drugs, and went on to a successful career as a fashion model. OUT Magazine recently featured him in an article titled: “DILF: These Nine Gay Men Prove That Aging is Sexy.” Garrett is 48. He’s currently creating a business that capitalizes on all the lives he’s lived, all the places he’s gone, and all the gay snobs he’s fallen in love with. Garrett Swann’s snobbery took him down some rocky paths and also taught him who he is. Then there’s Craig Rutenberg, a person who deserves to be a snob more than anyone I ever knew. He personifies sophistication, and he’s a masterful musician. When we met in 1972, he was 19 and was with the distinguished composer and critic, Virgil Thomson at a dinner I cooked in a friend’s apartment in the West Village. Craig was a bright and attractive young gay man whose unwavering alertness conveyed that he knew what he wanted from life and how to get it. Here he was, a teenager, holding his own in conversation with Virgil Thomson, an international celebrity who wrote and produced “Four Saints In Three Acts,” an opera with an allAfrican American cast, and a libretto by Gertrude Stein. Craig spoke knowledgeably about the food I had prepared, and we became friends and food snobs. We still are after 45 years. It’s important to distinguish between the contexts of snobbery — opera, food, wine, literature, painting, movies, place settings at a dinner party — and the sheer physicality of affectation. Craig’s consummate musicianship and expertise as an opera coach and accompanist for the best singers in the world put him in a unique category of superior behavior. Yet as gay man who is overweight, he has been a target of ridicule and disparaging comments for much of his life. A few years ago, Craig accompanied the Canadian tenor Ben Heppner in a recital at the Berlin Philharmonie. One critic commented on their heftiness as they strode sturdily on stage to begin
Photo by Aaron Jay Rogers
the program. It was a bit nasty, though measured with praise for their artistry. When Craig was 15, he went to Germany and was introduced to a classical European education by Friedelind Wagner, granddaughter of the composer, Richard Wagner. Craig took to it voraciously. Friedelind had a production of “Lohengrin,” one of her grandfather’s most popular operas, and she took Craig to meet the singers and production crew. She also took him to Leipzig, Dresden, and Bayreuth, where he met many famous people. Craig told me it was his “first glimpse of what real theater and real music-making could be.” It’s no wonder that he developed a personality that connected him with elite society. His snobbery was born with provenance. Back home in New Haven, Craig accompanied choirs and singers at their private lessons. Craig’s Great Uncle Fritzi Kniehl, who was his first piano teacher and a major influence, told him that opera companies hired pianists to accompany rehearsals and prepare singers to perform with the orchestra. Craig knew instantly that was for him.
As an undergraduate at George Washington University, Craig majored in German and Italian, the two most prominent languages in opera repertoire, and he began to study seriously the operas of Wagner, Verdi, and Puccini. With Friedelind, he had watched famous singers being coached in their operatic roles, and that had excited him. So he took jobs accompanying singers at the Washington Opera Society, and felt comfortable doing so. Attitude is something else he felt comfortable doing. There’s an imperiousness that bigtime singing teachers have which marks their unequivocal authority to say things to their students like, “Life your Instrument!” Their attitude is often clearer than their words. When Craig began prompting singers at the Houston Grand Opera, this was an important tool in his learning the scores comprehensively, by following precisely every note and word the singers were singing in English, German, Italian, or French. In the SNOB continued on p. 14 June 8, 2017
Renew Mayoral Control of New York City’s Public Schools BY COUNCILMEBER COREY JOHNSON It’s another legislative session in Albany, and once again State Senate Republicans are holding a key New York City issue hostage in order to extract concessions: mayoral control of New York City’s schools. Let’s put aside the obvious question of why legislators who represent districts hundreds of miles away from here have the authority to determine how New York City runs its schools. We must then ask whether or not mayoral control has been a success. The answer is yes, and it’s outrageous that it’s being held up for political horse-trading. Before mayoral control, New York City schools were run by a myriad of school boards and a seven-member Board of Education, appointed by six different entities. This labyrinth resulted in no accountability, no direct lines of authority, and no centralized decisionmaking. It was unclear who was responsible for the failing education system. Therefore, no one was responsible. Mayoral control allows for a singular vision for our school system with stability, efficiency and clear accountability. The buck stops with the Mayor. Fifteen years into mayoral control, it is abundantly clear that it has paid dividends. During Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s term, the city’s graduation rate increased from 50.8 percent to 66 percent. Mayor de Blasio has further built on that progress. New York City’s four-year graduation rate hit 72.6 percent last school year, the highest rate in city history and a two-point increase over the year before. Before mayoral control, 22 percent of kids dropped out of high school. Last year, New York
COMMUNITY COUNCIL continued from p. 4
tion at 202 W. 24th St. (btw. Seventh & Eighth Aves.) provides, according to its website (breakingground.org), “207 units of permanent supportive housing for low-income or formerly homeless adults and persons living with HIV/AIDS.” They also offer support for the mentally ill, people battling substance abuse, and veterans. Petrillo said that they do “great work in the neighborhood.” Another resident recalled having, at the last meeting, brought up the issue of noise from parties now that it’s getting warmer outside. There was a party in a backyard behind his residence and the
June 8, 2017
Photo by Orange Blossom Photography
Councilmember Johnson speaks with a student at a Participatory Budgeting Expo at PS 340.
City’s dropout rate hit an all-time low: 8.5 percent. Academic performance continues to improve under mayoral control. Last year, there was an eight percent increase over the year before in students taking and passing at least one Advanced Placement exam. Participation in the Advanced Placement exam among black students increased by over 14 percent, and it rose 10 percent for Hispanic students. In 2016, the share of New York City students who passed the state English exam jumped by nearly eight points to 38 percent, matching the state
average for the first time. While test scores are by no means the best measure through which we should evaluate our schools, the positive trend they reflect can’t be ignored. Mayoral control fosters innovation. In 2014, the Mayor’s Pre-K for All program increased access to early childhood education to nearly 70,000 children. This year, the Mayor announced that the he will now build on that work by setting on a path to offer a free, fullday, high-quality education for every three-year-old. Clearly, this should be a no-brain-
er. But, true to form, the Republicans are not motivated by the merits. They are holding mayoral control hostage in exchange for giveaways to charter schools and tax credits for private and parochial schools. Luckily, we have outstanding Democrats representing us in Albany, including Senators Brad Hoylman, Liz Krueger, and Daniel Squadron and Assemblymembers Richard Gottfried, Deborah Glick, and Linda Rosenthal. It is our job to support them and to send a strong message to the Senate Republicans: Stop playing politics with our children’s futures.
noise was “unbearable,” he said, adding, “I and other residents started calling 311 at around 11 o’clock.” He also said that while they were waiting for someone to show up and shut the party down, some of his neighbors got upset and went to confront the people “across the backyard fence.” Lanot spoke about the NCO, or Neighborhood Community Officers, who have smaller meetings of about 20 residents to hear from the community about crimes and other issues that go on in the community. The NCO program gives the opportunity to sit with the officers, connect with them to see what the problems are, and work together to solve said problem. “We have cops with
great skill sets and community members with great skill sets,” Lanot said, “and we should work together.” For more information, see the contact number for Community Affairs in the last paragraph of this article. There were a few complaints from residents about transportation and safety. One resident asked about “blowing the whistle” when he sees people driving while talking on their cellphones. Petrillo does not advise that because it could be dangerous and “you don’t know who you’re dealing with.” Lanot stepped in and said that he’s “stepped back up the traffic team for the community.” The same resident lives on W. 19th St. and says that
there are already two speed bumps, but motorists continue to race down the street. When he asked if it’s possible that a third speed bump could be put in place, Petrillo said he knows the Department of Transportation would not do that. On hiatus for the summer, the next Community Council meeting will take place on Wed., Sept. 27, at 7 p.m. The 10th Precinct is located at 230 W. 20th St. (btw. Seventh & Eighth Aves.). Main number: 212-741-8211. Community Affairs: 212-741-8226. Crime Prevention: 212-741-8226. Domestic Violence: 212-741-8216. Follow the 10th Precinct on Twitter, via @NYPD10Pct. NYC Community Media
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
NYC Community Media
phone conversations. The use of a hands-free device does not lower distraction levels. The percentage of vehicle crashes and nearcrashes attributed to dialing is nearly identical to the number associated with talking or listening.
Daydreaming Many people will admit to daydreaming behind the wheel or looking at a person or object outside of the car for too long. Per-
haps they’re checking out a house in a new neighborhood or thought they saw someone they knew on the street corner. It can be easy to veer into the direction your eyes are focused, causing an accident. In addition to trying to stay focused on the road, some drivers prefer the help of lane departure warning systems.
Eating Those who haven’t quite mastered walking and
chewing gum at the same time may want to avoid eating while driving. The majority of foods require a person’s hands to be taken off of the wheel and their eyes to be diverted from the road. Reaching in the back seat to share some French fries with the kids is also distracting. Try to eat meals before getting in the car. For those who must snack while en route, take a moment to pull over at
a rest area and spend 10 minutes snacking there before resuming the trip.
Reading Glancing at an advertisement, updating a Facebook status or reading a book are all activities that should be avoided when driving. Even pouring over a traffic map or consulting the digital display of a GPS system can be distracting.
June 8, 2017
COALITION continued from p. 3
affordable housing, green public spaces, and strengthening local businesses. Another CB4 and Coalition member, Joe Restuccia, noted the plan would serve as a way to infuse community input into the bus terminal project. â€œWhere our leverage is on this issue is part of the environmental review that will happen for the new terminal,â€? Restuccia said. â€œThatâ€™s the huge place that us as a community gets to influence what happens.â€? He added that since the project will receive federal funding, it would go under a more robust reviews process. Most recently, the Port Authority board gave the green light during its April 27 board meeting to pursue a feasibility study about renovating the existing bus terminal at Eighth Avenue. The study is expected to conclude by late July, according to the board chair John Degnan, who added that they expect to take it up at the Sept. 28 board meeting. However, Henkel and the community are hoping to have at least a dozen people from the alliance donning surgical masks and speaking about air pollution during the Port Authority boardâ€™s July 20 meeting at 4 World Trade Center. The group is hoping to garner more
Chelsea Now file photo by Eileen Stukane
At Metro Baptist Church, CB4 Chair Delores Rubin (at podium) moderates a Dec. 6, 2016 Hellâ€™s Kitchen South Community Planning Session that was prompted by Port Authorityâ€™s bus terminal expansion plans.
attention to their cause of ensuring community input into the project. The upcoming board meeting on June 15 will be held in New Jersey at 2
Montgomery St. â€œIf we donâ€™t as a community say what we want to be looked at, we will not be able to balance the way for the burden
and the benefit we get for our community,â€? Restuccia said.â€œWeâ€™re embarking on a multi-year process here, but if you donâ€™t get in early, you get nothing.â€?
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High Above the Whintey and All Along
PHOTO ESSAY BY TEQUILA MINSKY
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g The Elevated Park
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Photo by Christian Steiner
Craig Rutenberg. SNOB continued from p. 7
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prompterâ€™s box at the center of the stage and level with the floor, Craig silently performed with the singers, and could quickly rescue them if their concentration failed. Craig learned pacing in the prompterâ€™s box â€” exact-
DIGNITY continued from p. 6
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By enacting our history as American history in the social studies curricula, we will not only educate the future generations of our many accomplishments, but we will also help to foster and empathy and respect for LGBTQ people. Thus, education in schools will pave the way for the eradication of state-sanctioned discrimination and protections from bigotry, which in turn are essential steps in improving our health. In a society where social conditions celebrate lives instead of degrading them, the individual and collective health of LGBTQ people will certainly be improved. So how do we get there? We have to tell and document our stories. Oral histories drawn from the LGBTQ population provide an eye to the past and a roadmap for the future â€” the basis for grassroots organizations such as The
ly how slow or fast a phrase should move to be practically executed by the singers and clearly perceived by the audience. Snobbery is implicit in such extraordinary skills, and I think anyone who understands exactly what Craig Rutenberg does would agree.
Generations Project (thegenerationsproject.info). We also need to educate our population, beginning with our children in our schools. The hope then rests with the future â€” a future in which the stories of our lives and our past struggles are a seamless component of the American story we all share. And as we become part of the American fabric, we eradicate feelings of marginalization and loneliness that so often plague our lives and impact our well-being. Perry N. Halkitis, PhD, MS, MPH, author of â€œThe AIDS Generation,â€? is the Incoming Dean of the School of Public Health and Professor of Biostatistics and Health Education/Behavioral Science at Rutgers University. He is also the founder of the Center for Health, Identity Behavior & Prevention Studies (CHIBPS) Follow him @DrPNHalkitis. Robert M. Halkitis is a teacher in the New York City Department of Education. NYC Community Media
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June 8, 2017
Courtesy Cinelicious Pics
Prototype for the “Clockwork” droogs? An artfully framed gay boy gang zips down and charges up for confrontation.
The Bloom is Back on ‘Roses’ Restored ‘Parade’ reclaims rightful place in queer cinema pantheon BY SCOTT STIFFLER From protester/police clashes in the streets to hipster-packed groping sessions in darkened apartments to bitter rivalries that topple the power structure of a “gay boys bar,” simmering unrest is the spark that ignites explosive acts of lust and violence in writer and director Toshio Matsumoto’s gorgeous, gripping, sexually assertive feature film debut. Subtitled in the original 1969 English language version press kit as “Aesthetics of cruelty and perversion” — a description that’s both accurate and understated — “Funeral Parade of Roses” is set in and around the off-grid pleasure dome Genet, where intoxicating hostesses (womanly ways, male plumbing) mix and mingle with Tokyo businessmen and American soldiers just back from Vietnam. “Mamma”
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Leda presides, but rising star Eddie is a threat to her professional and romantic relationship with bar manager Gonda. Up to his neck in intrigue from the accounting burdens of narcotics brokering and secret, limb-twisting liaisons with Eddie, Gonda’s discovery of a telling photo from the forbidden couple’s dark past sets in motion a final reel whose blood, betrayal, death, and destruction do graphic justice to the Greek tragedy upon which the plot is not-so-loosely based. Rarely seen on North American screens since its brief and limited initial release — and, as result, largely absent from the roll call of watershed LGBTQ cinema — “Funeral Parade of Roses” is given richly deserved new life in the form of a 4K digital restoration that will screen locally at, appropriately, the Quad Cinema (hav-
ing reopened in April after a two-year renovation process of its own; slightly less time than it took to secure, scrub, and prep the film). Aspiring to a state of cosmetic perfection befitting its alluringly feminine gay boy protagonist, Hollywood-based distribution company Cinelicious Pics embarked on the restoration of “Parade” by sending its director of acquisitions, Ei Toshinari, overseas to consult with Hirofumi Sakamoto, of the Postwar Japan Moving Image Archive (PJMIA). Sakamoto acted as an intermediary for director Matsumoto — who, despite declining health, gave extensive notes throughout the process, and passed away just a few weeks ago. PJMIA authorized the release of the film’s original 35mm camera negative and sound ele-
ments (stored at Tokyo’s National Film Center, within the National Museum of Modern Art) for scanning by Japanese post-production facility IMAGICA, which then sent the files to Cinelicious’ team for digital restoration. Stripped of dirt, debris, scratches, and splices while leaving the natural grain untouched “as much as possible,” the restored film’s crisp palette justifies a boast in the press material that puts Tatsuo Suzuki’s “breathtaking” black and white cinematography in league with the erotic messaging and artful framing of photographer Robert Mapplethorpe. The visual aesthetic of “Parade” certainly captivates — but so too will its emotional impact, sure to stun those unprepared for the nonROSES continued on p. 18 NYC Community Media
Howling in Kips Bay ‘Live From Spaceship: Your Mind’ turns 10 BY JIM MELLOAN Back in the mid-aughts, New York’s Art Star scene of quirky Downtown performance artists had its own version of a supergroup. The New York Howl brought just about everything you could want to the party — a real rock & roll group with driving beats; danceable, tuneful, bizarre, and fun. Fronted by Andrew Katz, a tall Detroit native with a Mick Jagger mouth, and with soulful songs by Katz and playful, catchy songs by longtime busker and scenester Brer Brian (a Binghamton, NY native), the group rocked thenkey club venues such as Bowery Poetry Club and Mo Pitkin’s, toured locally, and had a couple of tours of England. On their second English tour, every stop attracted more than 2,000 people. Leaping around the stage and into the audience, native New Yorker Stefan Zeniuk brought a maniacal energy to the group (his saxophone often literally spouting fire), and Adam Amram supplied the energetic rhythm. Adam comes from New York arts scene royalty. His father David is a well-known composer who scored the original version of “The Manchurian Candidate,” one of his sisters is a singer-songwriter, and the other is a writer, performance artist, and actress. The New York Howl put out a wellreceived CD in 2006 called “People Will Come to See Us Ride.” Brer lived with his wife in New Jersey, but I often let him crash on one of my couches (I had two!) at my 400-squarefoot studio apartment at E. 30th St. and Second Ave. We had similar tastes in music, and spent a lot of time listening to my new and burgeoning iTunes collection and exploring the nascent YouTube. In the apartment, I had an inexpensive but versatile and decentsounding Yamaha keyboard, an old 8-track cassette recorder suitable for mixing, and an iMac equipped with Audacity, the free editing software — everything the band needed for its second, DIY album. In the first part of 2007, while I was working at Inc., busy overseeing the expansion of the magazine’s venerable Inc. 500 list of fastest-growing private companies to the Inc. 5000, the band spent a lot of time in my apartment recording a large part of its second album, consisting of what Brer calls “B-sides.” Some of the tracks were NYC Community Media
Photo by Jim Melloan
Brer Brian, in 2007, as The New York Howl recorded an album in the Kips Bay apartment of Jim Melloan.
recorded on the road live, and some at another guy’s flat in England; the rest were done at my place. They “released” the second album “Live From Spaceship: Your Mind,” a decade ago this week (or depending on where you look, maybe it was in early May.) “Spaceship: Your Mind,” I’m proud to say, was essentially my apartment. Brer recently told me, “It was very comfortable. We had a whole lot of space and time to do whatever we wanted.” After a brief intro called “The First Day I Met You,” the album kicks off with “Good Thing,” which is all Brer. It’s a bouncy hoedown of a song, with Brer on guitar and multiple vocal overdubs. It’s a good thing, says the song, that white people can’t dance, or drive, or see. As to why that’s a good thing, the reasons are somewhat garbled in the lyrics, but the track is just too much of a good time to worry about that. “Let’s Make Love” is a mournful/joyful European-sounding waltz by Andrew, with Brer on harmonies and Stefan on sax. “Baby Baby Baby” is an improvisational-sounding track by Brer and Andrew, and “Train Dispatcher,” with its sweet harmonies, sees the upside of the situation known to all New York subway riders of being held by a train dispatcher. It’s a collaboration between Brer and Stefan.
“It’s Raining in England” is a plaintive, minimalist, hypnotic track by Andrew recorded in England, and the album ends with “Oh My My My,” a masterful droning work by Brer that sounds like something out of Appalachia by way of Nepal, with Lewis Carrollesque nonsense lyrics. Around this time, Art Star scene veterans Master Lee and Rick Patrick started a monthly series of events at the Himalayan Asia-focused Rubin Museum of Art on W. 17th St. called “Talkingstick,” in which museum staff traded reflective riffs with performers on items in the museum’s collection. At one of the fi rst “Talkingstick” events, Brer and Andrew led a group of people doing this chant parading around the Rubin. Those were glorious times. The band never sold many copies of “Live From Spaceship: Your Mind.” They didn’t make many copies of the physical CD; those they did make they mostly gave away free at shows. The album is available, free to stream or $5 to download, at brer.bandcamp. com/album/live-from-spaceship-yourmind. They did make a fair amount of progress on recording a “real” second album, but Andrew began to drift away. He eventually decided it was best to relocate to Nashville, where
he remains today, heading up a band called Clear Plastic Masks. Their latest album, “Nazi Hologram,” was released late last year. Many of Brer’s share of the songs recorded for the next Howl album wound up on his next solo album, “Ghettastrophe,” also available at Bandcamp. He has continued to put out albums via Bandcamp; there are now a total of 13 available at his site there. Brer and Stefan head up a fun-times descendant of The New York Howl called The New York Fowl Harmonic. In January 2016, they released an album called “Rubber Poultry” on Bandcamp. The tossing around of a rubber chicken is essential to their live performances. Stefan also heads up a Latin-flavored instrumental band called Gato Loco, and has performed with various lineups several times on “Saturday Night Live.” From 2011 to 2014 Adam teamed up with Japanese singer-guitarist Ken Minami in Ken South Rock, a Tokyomeets-Brooklyn high-energy outfit that played both sides of the world. Last year he joined a 10-year-old New York-based major label band called Psychic Ills, and they have done multiple tours of Europe and South America in support of their latest album. The good, howling times continue to roll. June 8, 2017
ROSES continued from p. 16
linear narrative’s flurry of intense sexual encounters, traumatic memories, art gallery visitations, “gay boy” lifestyle contemplations, gang violence, flashes of potent imagery, and popping word balloons. All of these elements build upon 1932born Matsumoto’s previous work as a post-war essayist and theoretician seeking to absorb journalistic and experimental techniques into his own work. “Parade” not only achieves this, but also breaks new ground for the filmmaker, in a manner both mischievously selfaware and culturally candid (such as a recurring glimpse of the titular floral element clenched between a standing male’s exquisite ass — a cheeky reference to, among other things, “rosebud,” although not the kind you know from “Citizen Kane”). David Marriott, a co-supervisor of the restoration project and VP of acquisitions and distribution at Cinelicious, noted in a recent interview with this publication that Matsumoto’s interest in “exploring the tension between documentary and avantgarde” were “dual concerns evidenced in early shorts,” including 1961’s “Nishijin.” Elements of reality-based investigation are seen throughout “Parade,” Marriott said, particularly in “Suzuki’s cinematography and, for example, during the interview segments, many of which were real documentary interviews with people in and around the Tokyo underground scene, and during the exterior city scenes, most of which were were shot on location in heavily trafficked areas.” A pair of Matsumoto’s avant-garde short films are even given screen time in “Parade” — 1969’s “Ecstasis” unspools during a party scene, and shots from 1968’s “For My Crushed Right Eye” are, Marriott noted, “recycled into the narrative. The drugfueled apartment dance scenes also echo similar sequences in ‘Crushed Right Eye,’ both in framing and lighting.” Marriott hailed the film’s melting pot of influences as “everything but the kitchen sink filmmaking, in the best possible way,” noting that alongside an evolved take on the director’s use of documentary and avant-garde is an exploration of “new stylistic techniques which seem to have grown organically from his earlier work, including the film’s construction/deconstruction of linear time and the varied film-within-a-film meta dimensions.” Matsumoto’s use of sped-up motion has been cited as the source of that technique in 1971’s “A Clockwork Orange” (in particular, the scene where Eddie’s trio boasts of their appeal to men as a prelude to battling it out with a biological girl gang). One might also be tempted to trace Malcolm McDowell’s droog drag to
June 8, 2017
Courtesy Cinelicious Pics
Pîtâ, Peter, Pîtâ! A then-unknown club dancer’s star turn gives “Funeral Parade of Roses” its enduring queer appeal.
Courtesy Cinelicious Pics
Smoke ’em if you got forgot ’em? A cigarette burn eradicates the face of an absent father.
Eddie’s pronounced eyelashes and effective use of black mascara. Such linkage long ago embedded itself in cinematic lore — but Marriott recalled the effort to verify “is something we spent many months trying to track down,” and concluded that although still “anecdotal at this point, it’s become de facto authoritative. The way the droogs in ‘Clockwork Orange’ are framed and move, you can see a clear influence.” No matter. Whether or not others have been inspired to admirable imitation or outright thievery takes nothing away from
the experience of virgin eyes watching this “Parade” pass by for the first time. Its black and white film stock and distinct 1960s fashion statements notwithstanding, the defiant confidence and erotic potency of its lead character makes the film seem utterly contemporary, even progressive. Plucked from Tokyo’s nightlife scene — where the androgynous pixie’s Peter Panlike dance moves and manner of dress earned the fluid monikers “Peter” and “Pîtâ” — 1952-born Shinnosuke Ikehata’s Eddie shares memorably smoldering love
scenes with 1927-born Yoshio Tsuchiya’s Gonda. Already an established actor who appeared in Akira Kurosawa’s seminal 1954 film “Seven Samurai” (talk about flicks people pilfered from!), Tsuchiya was notably paired with another formidable screen presence one year before “Parade,” in the 1968 Godzilla flick “Destroy All Monsters.” Ikehata, who, Marriott said, has long been “a huge celebrity in Japan” and enjoys contemporary notoriety as “a talking head on a lot of TV programs,” also claims a place in the Kurosawa canon, having played the jester Kyoami in 1985’s “Ran.” As for “Parade,” Marriott predicted its “incredibly subversive and transgressive” core will play “almost as well, if not better, today than I imagine it did at the time.” No matter which way you swing or how hard you land, this is one time when a trip to the cinema is a safe bet for those seeking reasonably priced, mind-expanding thrills that are anything but cheap. Opens Fri., June 9 at Quad Cinema (34 W. 13th St., btw. Fifth & Sixth Aves.). Screenings: 1:45pm, 4:15pm, 6:45pm & 9:10pm. Runtime: 105 minutes. Black and white. Japanese with English subtitles. Cinelicious will release “Funeral Parade of Roses” on Blu-ray in the late fall, with bonus content including a commentary track and remasterings of seven avant-garde shorts by Matsumoto. Visit quadcinema.com & cineliciouspics.com.
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MUSIC FESTIVAL continued from p. 5
Photo by Nana Shi
Courtesy Chelsea Music Festival
Married to their work: Melinda Lee and Ken-David Masu chose “Measuring Time” as this year’s festival theme.
St. Paul’s German Lutheran Church is the site of June 9’s opening night gala. Pianist Aaron Diehl, seen here during a previous CMF performance at St. Paul’s, is also part of this year’s lineup.
The Chelsea Music Festival will kick off Friday evening at 7:30 p.m. at St. Paul’s German Lutheran Church (315 W. 22nd St., btw. Eighth & Ninth Aves.). The opening gala will feature musical performances from the Masurs, this year’s Composer-in-Residence, Sebastian Currier, cellist Caleb van der Swaagh, and more, all exploring the theme of time. It’s van der Swaagh’s second year with the festival and he’s happy to be reunited with the crew who have gotten to know each other through the first music fest. “It’s a really unique place,” van der Swaagh said of the festival. “The things they do with connecting music to art and food is exciting to be a part of.” Violist Jesus Rodolfo Rodriguez is also spending his second year with the Chelsea Music Festival and participating in four musical performances. “It was just such a life-bringing experience,” Rodolfo Rodriguez said of his first year. “I feel very honored to carry this very eclectic idea of assembling art in all genres together.” The range of events includes a family friendly metronome-making event on Sat., June 10, a panel discussion with visual artists on Wed., June 14, and
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the climax is just the beginning
Crowds enjoy the General Theological Seminary’s picturesque grounds. The longtime CMF venue will once again host festival events.
short-film screenings from the year’s Visual Artist-in-Residence, Jonathan Rattner, on Thurs., June 15. As for a culinary experience, Jonathan Pina, Tessa Liebman, and the festival’s Culinary Artist-in-Residence, Allie Wist will tackle the event’s receptions. And for the first time, the festival will host a Chelsea Gallery Walking Tour in the afternoon (also on June 15) that explores the neighborhood’s many galleries, like Corkbuzz and C24 Gallery, and their art exhibitions that explores ways to measure time. The Chelsea Music Festival closes with a jazz finale featuring a first-time joint performance from pianists Aaron Diehl and Adam Birnbaum. “We have something really for everybody, for every artist,” Ken-David said. “We start with the youngest with all the family events, but we also have popular pieces like Vivaldi’s ‘The Four Seasons’ on June 13 that people would recognize.”
The Masurs have been conducting rehearsals since early June and were already in full swing for the weekend’s start of the festival when they spoke with this publication on Tues., June 6. “It’s pretty packed every day and we have rehearsals with all the other artists,” Melinda Lee said of the preparation work. “Then we have a lot of amazing team meetings because this festival is held up every year by a breathtaking core of 60 to 80 interns and volunteers that come and help.” But the Masurs and their team of musicians and artists are ready to bring their artistic melody about time to the masses this coming weekend. “We would just love for people to join us for some of these new venues,” Ken-David said. “Especially if people want to get a full image of measuring time with all the senses, almost every event has a culinary, musical, and visual side to it, so people will have a lot to discover.”
AFTERGLOW a new play by S. ASHER GELMAN
THE LOFT at the DAVENPORT THEATRE
Courtesy Chelsea Music Festival
Food, glorious food: The culinary arts get equal billing to the visual and performance variety, giving Chelsea Music Festival its unique identity. NYC Community Media
June 8, 2017
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Rhymes with Crazy
Summer Assignment for Kids: Schedule a Playdate with Free Time BY LENORE SKENAZY About 15 years ago, some friends whose kids went to the same pre-K as ours invited us to visit the bungalow colony an hour upstate, where they spend their summers. “Great!” we said. “But what’s a bungalow colony?” As it turns out, it’s a time portal that can transport you back to 1958. There you will find yourself in a world of impromptu coffee klatches, potluck suppers and, best of all, NO PLAYDATES. Kids just run around and make their own fun. I know. Surreal. In practical terms, we learned, a bungalow colony is actually a cluster of small, basic cabins — maybe 10, 20, up to about 100. Usually they’re near a lake, and most of them are an hour or two outside the city. The one we’d been invited to, Rosmarins in Monroe, NY, opened in 1941. There used to be hundreds of these “colonies.” And while different ethnic groups would settle their own enclaves, somehow Jews took to the phenomenon the most enthusiastically. In fact, the old nickname for the Catskills was “The Jewish Alps.” Bungalow colonies thrived from the 1920s until about the 1970s, when they started dying out thanks to “The Three A’s” — Airplanes (once people could travel to more exotic locales, they did), Air-conditioning (no need for mountain
air when you could crank up a cool breeze indoors), and Assimilation (once Jews and other minorities were allowed to join clubs and neighborhoods previously closed to them, they didn’t have to hang out just in their own enclaves). But even as many colonies were closing up — or transitioning to an ultraOrthodox clientele — Rosmarins not only continued to operate much as it had since it opened, it continued to exist in some kind of time bubble. Run by the same family for nearly 80 years, its cabins still boast Linoleum floors and Formica tables. But best of all, kids keep organizing their own games — cards, Wallball, Manhunt (tag at night with flashlights!). We visited our friends and felt nauseous with envy. Back in the city, we felt we had to watch our kids all the time. Here, our friends actually instructed us to simply let the kids go out and play. We did — and it was Heaven!
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By the next summer, we had a bungalow of our own, and have been coming ever since. We still quote our younger son walking out the screen door that first summer, saying, “I’m going down to Johnny’s bungalow.” He was three. And off he went. When that same boy turned nine and took the subway by himself, I founded Free-Range Kids — the book, blog, and movement dedicated to the idea that our kids are smarter and safer than society gives them credit for. But I wonder if it wasn’t possibly bungalow life that made me see, with my own eyes, the importance of unstructured, unsupervised time in childhood. Back in the city, we had the kids in science camp, soccer lessons; all sorts of enrichment. What I’d forgotten was how much more pleasant it is to have free time and figure out how to fill it. Not that our kids became great novelists or baseball champs just by goofing around. But they did end up spending their summers plain old playing — an activity increasingly rare in this era of supervised, structured activities for kids. Peter Gray, a Boston College psychology professor and author of the book “Free to Learn,” says that one of the saddest things we’ve done to kids is deprive them of the chance to play together in mixed age groups. For instance, he says: A group of seven-year-olds might not
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be able to play a game of Gin Rummy. But if they’re playing with a couple of nine-year-olds, they can. The older kids tell them, “Hold up your cards better! We can see them!” and, “Why did you throw that card out? You need it!” For their part, the seven-year-olds are so desperate to act like the “big” nine-yearolds, they hold it together when they lose, instead of crying like babies. In this way, everyone gets socialized: The older kids learn patience and empathy. They grow more articulate as they explain the rules to the little kids. And the little kids grow more self-controlled as they strive to be as cool and mature as the fourth graders. They focus. They may even learn some math — without a teacher in sight. All those lessons kick in when adults back off, which is what parents used to do come June, and what they still do at a bungalow. Obviously, not everyone can rent a summer place. But everyone can reach back and remember their own summers, and the joy of hours stretching forth without anything to do but play. As we try to give our kids every advantage, remember that the greatest gift just may be free time. Lots of it. Have a great summer. Lenore Skenazy is a keynote speaker, founder of the blog Free-Range Kids (freerangekids.com), and author of “Has the World Gone Skenazy?”
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