The Paper of Record for Greenwich Village, Vii ll V l l ag a g e, e , East Ea ass t Village, V i llag Vi llll a ag ge e,, Lower L ower ow o we err East Side, Soho, Union Square, Chinatown Chinatt o ow w n and a n d Noho, an No N o ho h o , Since Sii n S ncc e 1933 19 1 9 33 33
October 19, 2017 • $1.00 Volume 87 • Number 42
Chelsea terrorist bomber found guilty on all eight charges BY DUSICA SUE MALESEVIC
hmad Khan Rahimi was found guilty Monday on all charges related to a bomb that exploded last September on W. 23rd St. and injured 31 people, and for planting another device on W. 27th St. The federal jury took only
a few hours — two on Friday, ay, then reconvening on Monnday — to convict Rahimi on all counts. The eight charges es included use and attempted ed use of a weapon of mass deestruction, bombing a place of public use, and destroying and nd attempting to destroy property ty BOMBER continued on p.. 6
PHOTO BY BOB KRASNER
“Things” were looking prett y creepy at the annual Zombie Crawl in the East Village over the weekend. See Page 16 for all the fun, guts, gore and blood.
School reunion: Blaz wants to ‘reacquire’ the old P.S. 64 BY LEVAR ALONZO AND LINCOLN ANDERSON
n a stunning surprise announcement, Mayor Bill de Blasio, at a town hall meeting for the Lower East Side and East Village last Thursday night, said his administration is interested in “reacquiring” the old P.S. 64, the former CHARAS / El Bohio, from developer Gregg Singer. “Decisions made a long time ago were a mistake,” de Blasio declared at the Oct. 12 event. “To place that building in the hands of a private owner was a failed mistake. So I’m announc-
Ai’s ‘Fence’ in full effect........p. 10
ing tonight the city’s interest in reacquiring that building. We are ready to right the wrongs of the past and will work with Councilmember Mendez and her successor to get that done.” Most in the audience of more than 300 people at The Island School, near the east end of E. Houston St., sprang to their feet and applauded the news. Returning the building to the community would most likely involve eminent domain, in which the owner would have to be paid fair-market value, which could be $40 million or more. The city would also be required to show a clear plan for the building’s future use to
regain possession of it. Co-hosting the town hall with the mayor were District 2 Councilmember Rosie Mendez and Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer. Mendez, a third-term incumbent cannot seek re-election next month due to term limits. Speaking later, a Mendez spokesperson said that the councilmember did not have any advance notification that the mayor was going to make the announcement. “That was the first that Rosie heard the news,” he said, adding, “It was the first her team MAYOR continued on p. 4
Johnson, Halasa get down to business............p. 15 Salvation Army buildings are landmarked.......p. 32 www.TheVillager.com
PHOTOS BY BOB KRASNER
Jana, Nicole and Lauren, all from New York Cit y, looked cute relishing some spic y cukes, above, at Sundayâ€™s Pickle Day.
In a pickle on Orchard
unday afternoon on Orchard St, from Delancey to Houston, you could get meatballs, macaroons, chocolates, barbecue, baked goods and...pickles. Lots and lots of pickles. Smoked dills, garlic dills, jalapeĂąo, fried pickles, sour, sweet, spicy sour, honey mustard pickle chips... Oy. More pickles than you could eat in a lifetime changed hands. The street was packed solid with customers, with lines at every booth. Randy Kopke, owner of Backyard Brine, estimated that he would be selling â€œabout a tonâ€? of erstwhile cucumbers. At least one of the vendors had a charitable motive: The Pickals Foundation, a nonprofit started by the late photographer Arthur Cohen. When he was diag-
nosed in 2014 with ALS (Lou Gehrigâ€™s Disease), Cohen turned his personal pickle recipe into a very personal crusade. He and his family began bottling and selling his product, donating all of the profits to ALS research and care. Although Cohen recently passed away, his wife, Janet, and kids, Lucas and Tess, have no intention of dropping the ball. They are already planning to return next year â€” with a lot more pickles. Hours before closing time they had sold every single jar. So what do you do when you run out of pickles? Around 3 p.m., the sign went up: â€œPickals Juice $1.â€? For more information on Pickals, visit https://pickals.org/
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October 19, 2017
Community News Group would like to thank the Sponsors and Supporters of last week’s Pink Newspapers Their participation helped raise breast cancer awareness in New York MAJOR SP ONSOR
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October 19, 2017
Mayor wants to ‘reacquire’ old P.S. 64 Named best weekly newspaper in New York State in 2001, 2004 and 2005 by New York Press Association News Story, First Place, 2015 Editorial Page, First Place, 2015 Editorials, First Place, 2014 News Story, First Place, 2014 Overall Design Excellence, First Place, 2013 Best Column, First Place, 2012 Photographic Excellence, First Place, 2011 Spot News Coverage, First Place, 2010 Coverage of Environment, First Place, 2009
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October 19, 2017
MAYOR continued from p. 1
had heard of that.” As for Mendez’s successor, de Blasio was referring to Democratic nominee Carlina Rivera, the prohibitive favorite to win the Council seat in November. Rivera has pledged to work to restore the former school building to the community. Toward the town hall’s start, as Hizzoner was about to launch into his prepared speech about his administration’s initiatives affecting District 2, local activist Barbara Caporale stood up from her seat and shouted, “Mr. Mayor, gives us back our community center!” She was referring to the old P.S. 64, on E. Ninth St. near Avenue B, which was formerly occupied by CHARAS / El Bohio Cultural and Community Center. The Latino-run organization had reclaimed the abandoned building from drug dealers and prostitutes. Telling the woman he would be getting to that issue in a little while, the mayor first rattled off a list of his administration’s accomplishments and upcoming projects in the district. Saving the best for last, at the end of his introductory remarks, right before he opened the floor to audience questions, the mayor broke the news about the old P.S. 64. For nearly 20 years, the vacant former school building has been owned by Singer, who bought it at a city auction for around $3 million in 1998. It was sold to Singer under the Giuliani administration, which viewed CHARAS as a political foe. CHARAS’s artistic director, the late Armando Perez, was a Democratic district leader and a nemesis of former City Councilmember Antonio Pagan, who went on to serve as a commissioner in the Giuliani administration. A few years after Singer bought the building, CHARAS was evicted from it. A huge detail of police in riot gear marshaled outside on E. Ninth St. as other police inside the building cut CHARAS supporters out of PVC pipes inside which their hands were joined together. Singer has long wanted to redevelop the property as a for-profit college dormitory. However, the Bloomberg administration landmarked the historic “H”-style school building nearly 10 years ago, blocking Singer from demolishing it to build a high-rise dorm there; Singer’s plans since then have involved reusing the existing structure. Among the former school’s illustrious alumni is Yip Harburg, the lyricist of “Over the Rainbow” from “The Wizard of Oz.” Reached for comment by The Villager on Friday and asked his thoughts on the mayor’s announcement, Singer repeated his usual refrain of late. “I’m not talking to you about this property,” he said. Singer used to speak more freely with The Villager about the building and his ever-changing schemes for it and his anger at Mendez and others for what he called their obstructionism against his plans. More recently, though — it’s unclear whether he is under a gag order from his investment part-
PHOTO BY TEQUILA MINSKY
Speaking at last week’s town hall meeting, Mayor de Blasio said the cit y is “ready to right the wrongs of the past” on the old P.S. 64.
ners or just doesn’t want to talk — he has declined to comment. Last week’s town hall was the 38th that de Blasio had held so far in his first term in office. Among the issues that dominated the evening were mold in buildings, concerns about whether the mayor will approve a rezoning around the proposed “tech hub” on E. 14th St. between Third and Fourth Aves. and also the need to protect small business owners. As usual at the mayor’s town halls around the five boroughs, city agency officials — in some cases, all the way up to commissioners, and including police brass — were on hand to field questions directly. The mayor expressed his sympathy and concerns about New York City residents helping out family members in Puerto Rico in the wake of Hurricane Maria’s devastation. He noted that moves by the Trump administartion to remove support without many of the island’s citizens even having their power returned yet were irresponsible. “My message to the president is to fix Puerto Rico first,” he said, “return them to normalcy. Then you can talk about leaving — but not before the job is done.” De Blasio also announced a new outreach program to provide people with free legal support to defend against bad landlords. The mayor commended the Ninth Precinct for lowering major crimes in the area. He touted a program aimed at rat reduction in District 2, as well as a new initiative to help small business get support through a program called Chamber on-the-Go. De Blasio opened the evening by saying he likes when residents come out to partake in the democratic process.
“That’s why I have these town halls,” he said. “This is the ratification of democracy that people come out in the interest of their community.” It seemed no issue was left untouched at the town hall. A topic of particular interest was safety concerns due to leaking New York City Housing Authority roofs and the mold caused by the porous conditions. David Braswell, a community advisory board member of Henry Street Settlement, wanted to know if the mayor would push the City Council to pass pending legislation to help mitigate mold in city housing. De Blasio’s said he had not actually read the proposed legislation, but is sympathetic to the cause and has asked his team to fasttrack the measure to get residents relief. “I have not seen the wording in the bill,” he said. “My team and I may have areas of concern about specific pieces [of the legislation]. But I do find it to be a very worthy idea that we need to find to make workable.” Hizzoner noted that the city has invested $1 billion citywide into NYCHA buildings for fixing 900 leaky roofs. Another resident questioned the mayor on what he will do about all the vacant storefronts and how he willl help keep small businesses afloat. De Blasio said that he has no public solution to save businesses. He said he and the City Council have looked at zoning and tax credits and searched for legal options but nothing has seemed feasible. However, he did note three points he has in place to help save small businesses. “We are reducing the fines on small business,” he said. “All businesses have access to tax cuts, and we are doing a major campaign MAYOR continued on p. 8 TheVillager.com
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October 19, 2017
Chelsea bomber is found guilty on all eight charges BOMBER continued from p. 1
with an explosion. Rahimi, 29, faces a sentence of life in prison. Around 8:30 p.m. on Sat., Sept. 17, 2016, an explosion rocked W. 23rd St. between Sixth and Seventh Aves., injuring people with flying shrapnel and damaging buildings along the street. During the trial, victims of the bombing testified to the explosion’s immediate and lingering impact: Some sustained serious injuries, some still have shrapnel embedded in their body, and some sought counseling. The device on W. 27th St. did not detonate, with local Chelsea resident Jane Schreibman tipping off law enforcement by calling 911. Rahimi, who lived in Elizabeth, N.J., also faces charges in New Jersey’s Union County. He is accused of planting a bomb that exploded in Seaside Park, N.J., before a charity race, and pipe bombs at the Elizabeth, N.J., train station. “Inspired by ISIS and al Qaeda, Rahimi planted and detonated bombs on the streets of Chelsea, in the heart of Manhattan, and in New Jersey, hoping to kill and maim as many innocent people as possible,” Joon H. Kim, acting Manhattan U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, said in a statement. “Rahimi’s crimes of hate have been met with swift and resolute justice… . Today’s verdict is a victory for New
October 19, 2017
PHOTO COURTESY N.Y.P.D.
A photo of Ahmad Khan Rahimi released by the police before he was apprehended in New Jersey after the Chelsea bombing.
York City, a victory for America in its fight against terror, and a victory for all who believe in the cause of justice.” Mayor Bill de Blasio, in a statement, called the Chelsea bombing “an attempt to bring our city to its knees. Instead,” he said, “our N.Y.P.D., F.B.I. and federal prosecutors have brought Ahmad Rahimi to justice. His evil was met with the bravery and resiliency of a beautiful neighborhood and an entire city. New York City will never be intimidated. We remain vigilant, resolute and safe. Congratulations to all those involved in this important prosecution.”
PHOTO BY TEQUILA MINSKY
Chelsea photographer Jane Schreibman, who alerted police to an unexploded bomb on W. 27th St. last September, got a handshake of gratitude from a local denizen back then. She said she was spurred to act by the slogan, “If you see something, say something.” Another bomb planted on W. 23rd St., however, did detonate.
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October 19, 2017
POLICE BLOTTER Shot on bike on C
According to police, a 29-year-old man was shot in the body and left arm on Avenue C between E. 11th and E. 12th Sts. around midnight last Sunday. DNAinfo reported that the shooter wore a black hoodie, and that a black hoodie and a black ski mask were recovered near the site of the shooting, according to a police source. The victim was treated at Bellevue Hospital where he was listed in serious but stable condition. No arrests have been made. On Tuesday, Captain Vincent Greany, the Ninth Precinct’s commanding officer, told The Villager, “The investigation is currently ongoing at this time. We’re currently looking for information from the public in regard to this shooting incident. People can always remain anonymous when giving information to the police.” The New York Post reported that the victim was riding a bike when he was shot. But Greany clarified that the victim was “sitting on a bike, not riding.” The victim got to Bellevue Hospital “by private means,” DNAinfo reported. Greany said the victim did not bike to the hospital. The captain said the shooting’s motive remains unknown at this time. Local blog EV Grieve reported that several readers said they had heard from eight to 12 shots fired. East Village resident Chris Ryan said the shots came from the east side of Avenue C outside the Avenue C Pharmacy and that bullets also hit a building and the bus shelter. Anyone with information is asked to call the Police Department’s Crime Stoppers Hotline, at 800-577-TIPS, or for Spanish, 1-888-57-PISTA (74782). Tips can also be submitted by logging onto the Crime Stoppers Web site, www.nypdcrimestoppers.com, or by texting them to 274637 (CRIMES) and then entering TIP577. All tips are confidential.
Police said that a 28-year-old man met a woman at the Whiskey Traders lounge, on W. 55th St., early on the morning of Fri., Aug. 4, and then returned with her to his apartment, at Madison and Grand Sts. When the man woke up the next morning around noon, the woman and his watch, camera and camera lens were gone. The woman was described as 5 feet 4 inches tall, about 30, with brown eyes and black hair, and wearing a green dress.
She’s shot on L.E.S. On Sun., Oct. 15, around 4:50 a.m., a 26-year-old woman was shot in the left shoulder while standing in front of 106 Rivington St., between Essex and Ludlow Sts., across from the Hotel on Rivington, police said. The shooter was riding an electric scooter and fled the scene. He was last seen wearing a black hooded sweatshirt. The wounded woman was removed to Bellevue Hospital in stable condition. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Crime Stoppers Hotline.
October 19, 2017
Stolen from safe A man stole money from a safe inside 185 Bleecker St., at MacDougal St., on Sun., Sept. 24, at 11:12 p.m., according to police. The safe is in a common area where multiple employees have access to it. Isaiah Bowman, 20, was arrested Mon., Oct. 16, for felony grand larceny.
Teen watch scheme A 16-year-old boy opened a credit card under his neighbor’s name, police said. He then ordered an Apple Watch with the 32-year-old victim’s information and it was delivered to the victim’s home, at 145 W. 12th St. On Wed., Oct. 11, at 6 p.m., the suspect went to the victim’s place to pick up the package, saying, “I am your neighbor. I accidentally sent a package to your apartment.” The teen was arrested for felony grand larceny.
Bank door bash The glass door of the Chase bank branch at 204 W. Fourth St. on Sheridan Square was shattered on Sat., Oct. 14, at 12:42 a.m., police said. Witnesses said a man intentionally kicked it during a verbal dispute. The door is worth more than $250. Jose Ruiz, 41, was arrested for felony criminal mischief.
Phone ﬁlcher A woman was sitting on a bench at Morton and West Sts. on Sun., Oct. 15, at 5:25 a.m. when a guy approached her and stole her phone, police said. The suspect distracted the 18-year-old by engaging her in conversation. When he went to shake her hand, he snatched BLOTTER continued on p. 9 TheVillager.com
De Blasio says city wants to ‘reacquire’ old P.S. 64 MAYOR continued from p. 4
to inform owners. And we are providing free legal services to help business owners to negotiate lease agreements with landlords.” Hizzoner was also quick to point out that everyone needs to support small businesses in their community because of the reality they are facing with competition from chain stores and online stores, such as Amazon. “To the credit of the mayor, we have been bugging him to come up with solutions,” Brewer said of the city’s harsh climate for small businesses. A few in the crowd had stickers on their clothing that read, “Say No to Tech Hub.”
The project, proposed for E. 14th St. between Third and Fourth Aves., at the P.C. Richard & Son site, has been the topic of ongoing debate, with preservationists and community members calling for the site to be used for affordable housing, plus for a rezoning of the surrounding area to protect against overdevelopment. One resident asked the mayor if he favored rezoning the area to the south and east of Union Square for building affordable housing or for creating a new tech alley. “I think what is going on with the tech hub is very important to the future of this city,” de Blasio said. “That being said, I do think there is a possibly to create balance.” De Blasio added that when he looks
Police Blotter BLOTTER continued from p. 8
the iPhone and fled. The victim ran after him and when she caught up to him, he touched her buttocks and tried to sell her back her phone. Jamelle Manning, 37, was arrested
for felony grand larceny.
Subway wallet swipe A 49-year-old woman told police that on Sun., Sept. 17, around 4:50 a.m., inside the W. Fourth St. subway
to create development, he always aims to create affordable housing, as well. A moment of friction happened when Jim Power, the “Mosaic Man,” demanded the mayor write him a check to help him renovate and complete his famous “Mosaic Trail” through the East Village. Power noted that his trail has been featured by National Geographic as a “number one tour.” (In fact, Power’s trail is part of the “The Villages” entry in National Geographic’s “Walking New York” guide.) “Out of all these town halls I do,” the mayor responded, wryly, “this is the first time anyone has asked me to write them a check.” Police ultimately escorted Power out of the meeting because he wouldn’t be quiet and kept interrupting anyone else
who tried to ask a question. It’s not the first time, and likely won’t be the last, that Power has gotten obstreperous at a public meeting. Mendez became emotional, noting that the town hall represented one of the last times she would be able to address community concerns publicly as a sitting councilmember. State Senator Brad Hoylman and Assemblymember Brian Kavanagh were in the audience and offered statements of praise for the work Mendez had done for District 2. At the end of the question-and-answer period, as is customary, crowd members broke off into small groups to speak directly with de Blasio, Mendez, Brewer and agency officials.
station, she realized she no longer was in possession of her wallet. Her wallet contained two credit cards and about $145 in cash. When she called the credit card company to report her cards missing, she was informed there was unauthorized usage on one of her cards. An investigation determined that the suspect used the victim’s card that same day inside a CVS at 360 Sixth Ave., near Waverly Place, and a Duane
Reade at 33 Seventh Ave., near W. 12th St., to buy more than $120 worth of goods. Police said the suspect is bald man wearing glasses, last seen wearing a blue long-sleeved shirt, dark-colored jeans, red sneakers and a black backpack.
Tabia C. Robinson and Lincoln Anderson
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October 19, 2017
PHOTOS BY TEQUILA MINSKY
he Ai Weiwei “cage” sculpture underneath the Washington Square Arch was officially opened last week. It’s part of the Public Art Fund’s citywide “Good Fences Make Good Neighbors” project, which features 300 installations around town. The Village park sculpture, however, is clearly the project’s centerpiece. Although there has been a lot of debate over the “fence” under the arch — it will stay there for four months and displace the annual
October 19, 2017
holiday tree — it really doesn’t seem to be making huge waves: Locals and tourists are snapping photos of it and walking through it, but it’s not exactly pandemonium. The project is meant as a commentary on America’s current political climate and its lack of openness, reflected in the concept of fences that keep people out. In the cutout in the Washington Square piece, two people walk through the barrier together, their arms around each other in friendship. TheVillager.com
NEWNEW YORK YORK UNIVERSITY UNIVERSITY ANDAND MANHATTAN MANHATTAN COMMUNITY COMMUNITY BOARD BOARD 2 PRESENT 2 PRESENT
ThE 27Th ANnuAL
HAlLowEeN pARadE OCTOBER 31, 2017, 3-6PM Families and children will gather at 3:00 pm at the fountain in Washington Square Park. Free trick-or-treat bags, performances, games, and rides will await the children after the parade on West 3rd Street between LaGuardia Place and Mercer Street. Design based on original artwork by Kathryn Faughnan.
Made possible in part through generous funding provided by:
C.O. Bigelow • Con Edison • The Lucille Lortel Foundation • The NYU Bookstore • The Villager 9th Police Precinct Community Council • NYU Alumni Relations • Sky Management Corporation The Greenwich Village Chelsea Chamber of Commerce (GVCCC) • The NYU Photo Bureau
October 19, 2017
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East Village explosion victims honored by signs
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October 19, 2017
On Saturday, family and friends of the two victims of the March 26, 2015, East Village gas explosion and fi re gathered at the northwest corner of E. Seventh St. and Second Ave. to unveil two new street co-naming signs in their honor: Nicholas Figueroa Way and Moises Locรณn Way. Ana and Nixon, parents of Nicholas, 23, and Alfredo Locon, brother of Moises, 27, were joined by Councilmember Rosie Mendez, Public Advocate Letitia James, Comptroller Scott Stringer, state Senator Brad Hoylman and Reverend Jacqueline Lewis, senior
minister of Middle Collegiate Church, among others, at the ceremony. The explosion, caused by illegal gas tampering, led to the fiery collapse of three buildings, 119, 121 and 123 Second Ave.. The disaster rendered dozens of families homeless and temporarily displaced several small businesses and neighboring area residents for weeks and, in some cases, months. The introduction to co-name this corner was passed by Community Board 3 and the City Council earlier this year. TheVillager.com
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October 19, 2017
EDITORIAL Viva old P.S. 64!
ayor de Blasio’s announcement that the city is interested in reacquiring the old P.S. 64 is amazing and heartening news. Nearly 20 years ago, Gregg Singer bought the decommissioned school building, on E. Ninth St. between Avenues B and C, for about $3 million. Since then — save for a few years until Singer evicted CHARAS / El Bohio from the building — the structure has sat vacant, a sad eyesore. Making things even sadder, of course, was that with the eviction of CHARAS, the neighborhood lost a thriving cultural and community hub. The building carries a deed restriction for certain types of community uses, including for a school, a library and a medical facility, among others. However, Singer’s college dormitory schemes have never satisfied locals’ calls for a true community center. More to the point, his dormitory plans — including in recent years — have not met the letter of the law. Local politicians, preservationists and activists continue to fear his real plan is simply to create a “dorm for hire” that lacks any real nexus to local educational institutions. Worse has been Singer’s truly disgraceful disrespecting of this beautiful, “H”-style (when viewed from overhead), turn-of-the-century building. Early on, he planned to demolish the ornate former school and replace it with a high-rise dorm akin to a slightly smaller U.N. Secretariat building Another time, Singer proposed saving the building’s front facade while razing the rest and, again, building a tower, though a tad smaller. All of this spurred the creation of the East Village Community Coalition, which — with the help of then-Councilmember Margarita Lopez and the SAVE CHARAS activists — got the building landmarked, foiling Singer’s development plans. Enraged, he chopped details off the exterior, hoping to block the designation. How crazy was that? Then there was the time a spiteful Singer plastered fliers on the building, announcing it would be a facility for ex-cons, troubled youth, drug addicts and battered women. It would all be funny if it wasn’t so loony and mean-spirited. Speaking this week, Chino Garcia, CHARAS’s executive director, told The Villager that the mayor has assigned several assistants to sit down with his organization and “start working out details.” Presumably, the city will take back the building through eminent domain, paying fair market value. Singer vows he won’t sell. We’ll see about that. “The mayor would not make an announcement without a plan,” Garcia said, confidently. “It’s sad to see that building empty. It’s a resource that the community could really use — especially given that everything in Lower Manhattan is so expensive. Most of the artists that used to be on the Lower East Side, they went to Brooklyn...to New Jersey. “I feel very strongly something good’s going to happen with that building,” he said. All this, however, doesn’t absolve de Blasio of the Rivington House debacle or his intransigence on the Elizabeth St. Garden, where he insists housing must be built — two other community resources he has mishandled terribly. But somewhere up there, we know — “somewhere over the rainbow” — District Leader Armando Perez, Garcia’s former partner at CHARAS, and E.V.C.C. activist and poet Roland Legiardi-Laura are looking down and beaming over this stunning news about the old P.S. 64.
October 19, 2017
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR Just one more eyesore To The Editor: Re “‘Mini-Port Authority’ to park it on W. 14th St.” (news article, Oct. 12): This is yet again another eyesore for our neighborhood. What a horror. A child in kindergarten could do a better and more creative job of designing this building. Doesn’t anyone have a say in what atrocities that call themselves modern 21st-century buildings should actually be constructed? There is also a hideous building built above an already-existing smaller building on 15th St. It soars up in the air like some glacier that has just broken through the ground. It’s another sore sight and can be seen above all the other buildings in the Chelsea area. Disgraceful — but, I guess, once again, big-money deals rule. For someone like myself who has lived and enjoyed the architecture and simplicity of buildings limited in height for 51 years, it is painful to see. Judy Cohen
Park arch isn’t a void To The Editor: Re “My survey says: People don’t want Ai’s ‘Fence’” (talking point, by Sharon Woolums, Oct. 3): I like this article a lot. For Ai Weiwei to refer to the space below the arch as a void is a real misunderstanding of the space. There were always musicians, artists, performers and others right there, enjoying that spot, for everyone to enjoy. Perhaps Ai was not really familiar with Washington Square Park, or at least the Washington Square Arch. Maura Tobias
Rescind the sale To The Editor: Re “City is ‘interested in reaquiring’ old P.S. 64, mayor tells town hall” (thevillager.com, Oct. 13): Although the Empire State Development Corporation used “eminent domain” to snatch a row of buildings along Eighth Ave. between 40th and 41st Sts.,
and then leased the site to The New York Times for its new headquarters, the city need not use eminent domain in this case: The sale from the city to Singer, which we understand was financed — something that is never allowed when selling a city-owned property! — can simply be rescinded. Chris Flash
Singer: Old P.S. 64 ‘facts’ To The Editor: Re “City is ‘interested in reaquiring’ old P.S. 64, mayor tells town hall” (thevillager.com, Oct. 13): To find out the truth about this property go to: www.oldps64.com . Gregg Singer
Let’s get ‘conventional’ Re “The pros and cons of a constitutional convention” (news article, Sept. 28): We need to be open to new ideas. If we aren’t in agreement with the proposals, we vote it down. Plus, the legislators need to include ordinary citizens in the discussions to get a pulse of what the public wants, not just themselves. After all, they are supposed to be representing the citizens of New York. Phyllis Vedder
Disgraceful, Trump! To The Editor: Re “Puerto Rico: Heartbreak, love and determination” (notebook, by Puma Perl, Oct. 5): A very good article, Puma. Today, I heard that Trump made another disparaging comment about Puerto Rico, saying that their power grid was in bad shape before the hurricane, and that he can’t have people stationed there indefinitely trying to fi x it. This, despite the fact that, I think, about 90 percent of the people are still in need of water, electricity, etc. Linda Lerner
LETTERS continued on p. 28
The City Council must Utilizing all the tools vote on the S.B.J.S.A. to save small stores BY MARNI HAL ASA
t is no secret that one of the most important issues that needs to be addressed in our district is escalating rents on small businesses. Since Mayor de Blasio and our city councilmmember, Corey Johnson, have been in office, more than 1,000 small businesses have closed each month, and 8,000 jobs have been lost. In our district, neighborhood landmarks like the Garden of Eden, House of Cards and Curiosities and Gray’s Papaya have all closed due to escalating rents. Escalating rents have led to small businesses wondering about their long-term viability and whether or not they should invest in their neighborhoods for the long haul. This has had devastating effects in our district. Our community is suffering from empty storefronts, a lack of vital services and an economic malaise that is manufactured solely from greed. The few stores left have no choice but to charge a premium for their goods and services if they want to avoid the same fate. As a result, necessary items are outrageously expensive, making the neighborhood virtually unlivable for most elderly residents and impossible to enjoy for the rest of us. The solution to this problem is to pass The Small Business Jobs Survival Act — a bill that has been in front of City Council for quite some time, but that no one, including Corey Johnson, has the guts to bring it to a vote. If passed into law, the S.B.J.S.A. would
give any commercial tenant, whether they are a bodega, a medical office or nonprofit, the right to a 10-year lease, with the right to renew the lease; if the lease terms are not agreed upon, the dispute would be presented to an independent arbitrator who would then determine a fair rent. The S.B.J.S.A. is designed to help both small businesses and landlords. With this law, small businesses can have an easier time controlling their overhead costs. Meanwhile, the law will provide landlords with a boost to their occupancy rates and ensure that they are getting top dollar for their spaces. To ensure the passage of this act, one of the very first things I plan on doing when elected is to bring the Small Business Jobs Survival Act to a vote. Specifically, I will bring a motion to discharge the act. Doing so will fast-track it to the floor and force the City Council to vote on a law that is supported by a vast majority of its current members. Its likely passage will give small business owners a new lease on life, and it will make the American Dream more accessible to all individuals who desire a level playing field. The rest of us can enjoy reduced prices on goods and services that are both necessary and allow us, once again, to experience the joys of living in New York City. Halasa is the Eco Justice Party candidate for City Council in District 3
SOUND OFF Write a letter to the editor firstname.lastname@example.org TheVillager.com
BY COREY JOHNSON
ur local small businesses are more than just brick and mortar. They’re more than just places to shop. They are the lifeblood of our communities. The corner deli, bric-abrac thrift store, affordable supermarket and lampshade shop collectively make up the essence of our neighborhoods. They create the beautiful “sidewalk ballet” that Jane Jacobs famously identified as a city’s heart and soul. Sadly, our mom-and-pop stores are in crisis. Unchecked real estate speculation, skyrocketing rents, fines, competition from deep-pocketed corporate chains and online shopping are putting unprecedented pressure on small businesses. Many landlords are opting to let their storefronts sit vacant, holding out for exorbitant rents. We cannot allow this trend to continue. Government has a responsibility to take action before it’s too late. We must use every tool in our toolbox. I am a proud co-sponsor of the Small Business Jobs Survival Act, which would give tenants a right to lease renewal, a right to arbitration by a third party if fair terms cannot be reached, and restrictions to prevent landlords from passing their property taxes on to small business owners. The importance of these measures cannot be overstated. This bill would give mom-and-pops a fighting chance. Recently enacted legislation that I cosponsored includes the Non-Residential Tenant Harassment Law, which cracks down on harassment of commercial tenants by landlords. Another bill creates the role of small business advocates within the city’s Department of Small Business Services. We also recently passed a Business Owner’s Bill of Rights. It’s also time to address the Com-
mercial Rent Tax, an unfair 3.9 percent rent surcharge on Manhattan businesses below 96th St. that pay an annual rent of more than $250,000. When that threshold was established, it didn’t apply to many small businesses, but now it does. Councilmember Dan Garodnick has introduced legislation to raise that threshold to $500,000, which I support. But there is one business that should be entirely exempt from this tax: affordable supermarkets. My bill with Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer would exempt them, reducing overhead costs and promoting healthier grocery practices by requiring a minimum amount of floor space for the sale of fresh produce. Another bill I’m sponsoring, with Councilmember Robert Cornegy, would help relieve business owners from fines by creating an on-site compliance consultation program. Other bills include legislation that would create a Small Business Disaster Recovery and Resiliency Advisory Board, and a bill that would create a notification system whereby small business owners can be informed of complaints lodged against them. Importantly, we all need to personally support our small businesses. Think twice about choosing Amazon over your local store. In November, I am partnering with the Greenwich Village Chelsea Chamber of Commerce on the #ShopBleecker campaign. Please join us! This column is too small to outline everything that needs to be done, both here and in Albany. This issue has been and always will be one of my top priorities. Thank you for your partnership as we work together on this and many other issues of vital importance to our community. Johnson is city councilmember, Third District, including the Village, Chelsea and Hell’s Kitchen October 19, 2017
Sunday, bloody Sunday: Zombies crawl, party BY BOB KR ASNER
t was a quiet Sunday night in Tompkins Square Park, just a little chilly. Although it’s getting darker earlier, people were still sitting on benches, dogs were chasing each other — and there were about 150 or so blood-drenched zombies staggering past. Led by Kabukiman, a.k.a. special-effects makeup artist Doug Sakmann, the enthusiastic crew included kids as young as 8 and pros as well as amateurs. The march began with Kabukiman leading chants in front of the Lucky bar on Avenue A. (“What do we want?” “Brains!” “When do we want them?” “Now!”) They continued through the park to The Continental bar on Third Ave. It was the 22nd Zombie Crawl. Sakmann started the biannual event 11 years ago with a bunch of friends, and has watched it grow and get more elaborate each year, even picking up some corporate sponsorship along the way. He estimated there were about 300 undead revelers (over age 21 only) at the after-party at Bowery Electric. They partied to live music and handed out best costume prizes in various categories, including Hottest Zombie. Sakmann, musing on the success of the gory celebration, noted, “It’s a refreshing break from what is going on in the world. You don’t have to have brains to have a good time,” he added. “But they are delicious.” For information on future events, visit http://nyczombiecrawl.com/.
PHOTOS BY BOB KRASNER
The Zombie Crawl meetup was at Luck y on Avenue A . Bar ar owner Abby Ehmann, left, l and bartender Eeva were ready for the gor y onslaught.
Fun for the whole family!
A zombie having fun in Tompkins Square Park.
October 19, 2017
Blood was in fashion at the Zombie Crawl. TheVillager.com
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October 19, 2017
At Gilda’s Club, healing help is always free
The club is not only for adults. The “Noogieland” program supports kids ages 5 to 12, while the teen program is for youths from ages 13 to 17. Safani noted that one of the reasons she got into nonprofit healthcare is because she thinks that often the psychosocial part of treatment goes overlooked. “Many times, we never think about the effects that families have to go through with a person that is fighting a disease,” Safani said. “People don’t have the access or resources to deal
with their family who is fighting, and that’s why I’m here.” Gilda’s Club is part of The Wellness Community, an international organization that provides support for those with cancer and those that care for them. When the two organizations merged, they created the nation’s largest psychosocial cancer support community. According to Torres, the cancer support community has about 50 offshoots of Gilda’s Club, with affiliates in Canada, Israel and even Japan. Although the W. Houston St. program has 14 full-time staffers and volunteers that have to keep in contact with about 32,000 members, it also has outreach programs to find new members through hospital outreach, health fairs, schools and basic inquiry calls. “We definitely try to paint the town red with our information,” Torres said. “We have our brochures, Web site, our Facebook and social media. The fact that what we offer doesn’t reach everyone is what keeps me up at night.” The club was founded in 1995 in memory of Gilda Radner, one of the original cast members of “Saturday Night Live,” who died in 1989 from ovarian cancer. The W. Houston St. clubhouse was the organization’s first location. According to the club’s Web site, while on the West Coast, Radner was part of a group that offered psychosocial support for patients and families through love and hope, and gave people a renewed sense of life. Before she died, Radner expressed that she wished a program like that existed on the East Coast. “Our mission here is that no one should face cancer alone,” Torres said.
has had to deal with trying to fit in. Since launching his podcast, he went from being the foreign kid to a more outspoken and trusting person. For the past three years, Ülgen has invited one to two people per week, often total strangers to him, into his apartment to be guests on his podcast. Although he viewed his podcast as a sociable service to the community, his former landlord, Robert Perl, said Ülgen having strangers in and out of the building posed safety concerns for the other tenants. Perl said that if he had not been getting complaints from other tenants, then he would have reconsidered his decision. “There are other units that are, at times, being used for Airbnb and that exacerbates the problem,” Perl said, in an e-mail last month. “We have to deal with this regularly these days.” Lured by fliers posted around the East Village, more than 250 guests
have shown up on Ülgen’s doorstep just to talk on mürmur. Guests have ranged from homeless persons and rock stars to politicos, like Carlina Rivera, the Democratic nominee for City Council District 2. Ülgen views his space as a free platform for people who just want to have a conversation and get whatever is on their mind off of it. It is free of charge to be a guest on mürmur. Ülgen noted that Rivera — after reading the Sept 21. article in The Villager, “Mürmur podcast goes silent, for now” — reached out to him to offer her support. “I have gotten so much support from those in the community that want to see mürmur back on,” he said. “It got me choked up.” Keeping on with his labor of love, Ülgen has another guest scheduled for this Sat., Oct. 14.
BY LEVAR ALONZO
heir red door is always open. In observance of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Gilda’s Club New York City will be focusing its educational programming during October to offer more information to its members on this form of cancer. Migdalia Torres, executive director of Gilda’s Club New York City, said that the programs are not just open to breast cancer patients and families, but for everyone — from family members, to those who have lost someone, to those diagnosed — because there is some form of knowledge to be gained from this month of programming. “I like to believe that 50 percent of the people that do come to the club are living with breast cancer,” Torres said. “However, our expansive programming supports anyone living with any type of cancer. “But, specifically, we do have educational programs this month that are focused on breast cancer in observance of the month.” The club, at 195 W. Houston St., offers licensed medical health professionals who share wisdom and first-hand experiences and facilitate support groups. There are also groups that are able to meet any requested specific needs. “Gilda’s Club is a welcoming community of support for cancer patients and their families. It’s for men, women, teens and children,” said Lily Safani, C.E.O. of Gilda’s Club New York City. “We provide educational lectures, support groups, healthy-lifestyle workshops and social activities, which really help to build this community. People come and help each other to understand what it means to be living with cancer.”
PHOTO BY LEVAR ALONZO
Gilda’s Club executives Migdalia Torres, left, and Lily Safani aim to build a suppor tive communit y.
Gilda’s Club holds social events throughout the year, and its educational lectures are geared toward providing access to information, including medical, legal and financial and other cancer-specific topics. Torres said that their goal through their social events is to help people achieve a sense of community. “Our services are all completely free of charge, which is the most important thing here,” she said. “We don’t take insurances or co-pays. We are open to all people.”
mürmur podcast is making noise again in its new digs BY LEVAR ALONZO
anned from running a free podcast out of his former apartment, an East Village man has returned to the airwaves, once again inviting total strangers into his home to just talk. Uluç Ülgen moved out of his previous apartment, on E. Fifth St., after his landlord gave him an ultimatum to cease all recording or face eviction. He has since found a new home and is back to recording his podcast, mürmur. For now, at least, he is requesting that his new address not be published in the newspaper. He said that he had his first taping TheVillager.com
at the new location on Oct. 8 and it felt great. “It’s unexplainable how I feel to be back doing what I love,” he said. “I feel like my air of magic has come back.” Ülgen said he hasn’t told his new landlords about the podcast, but that if he is told again to get out, he will definitely fight for his rights this time around. “The place is bigger and cheaper,” he said. “If I’m given another ultimatum to move, then this time I will put my foot down ’cause I have a right to do this.” The once-shy 28-year-old was born in Turkey but raised in Minnesota. He said since moving to this country he
October 19, 2017
Making zombies into babies
RHYMES WITH CRAZY BY LENORE SKENAZY
ACTIVE KIDS DO BETTER IN SCHOOL.
THE BENEFITS OF PHYSICAL EDUCATION RING CLEAR AS A SCHOOL BELL. But for too many students in New York City, effective physical education programs don’t exist. The American Heart Association is working to ensure every student in our city has access to PE.
You can help make that happen.
Text PHYS ED to 46839
October 19, 2017
rick or treat! Trick or treat! Give us something lethal to eat!” That’s not the actual rhyme, but from all the warnings about Halloween, you just might think it was. Even the American Academy of Pediatrics is still insisting that “a responsible adult should closely examine all treats.” But why? How many decades of disproving this murderous myth do America’s doctors require before they lay it to rest? Joel Best, a sociologist at the University of Delaware, first put a stake through the poison candy rumor all the way back in 1985, when he did a study of newspapers dating back to 1958, looking for “Child poisoned by Halloween candy” news stories. He found none — because there were none. One time, a boy in Texas did die of a poisoned Pixy Stix, but cops quickly discovered that his own dad, $100,000 in debt, had just taken out a life insurance policy on him. Dad was dispatched to that haunted house in the sky (or down below). And yet we still use this fear of neighbors as psychopaths as an excuse to curtail our kids’ Halloween fun.We trot out plenty of other threadbare fears, too. Last week, Patch USA reminded its readers of a girl murdered in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, by a man later referred to as the Halloween Killer. That crime was in 1973 — 44 years ago. And yet, that single, sad story is the excuse Patch gives for publishing maps of the homes of men, women and children on the sex offender registry. That may sound like they’re doing a public service. But it’s actually like telling people never to go south of 14th St. because once there was a terrorist attack there. When Johns Hopkins Professor Elizabeth Letourneau did a study of sex crimes on Halloween, looking for evidence of registered sex offenders pouncing on pint-sized pirates and princesses, she was shocked to find not only was there no bump in the numbers: The day was actually remarkably low in crimes against kids. In fact, she said, “We thought about calling it, ‘Halloween: The Safest Day of the Year.’ ” So Patch publishing the addresses of registrants may sound responsible, but it is scaring families with one exceedingly rare tragedy, and reinforcing the false idea that anyone registered as a sex offender is an insatiable monster. In truth, the number of people on the registry who commit a new sex crime is far lower than most people realize. It’s about five out of 100. Your kids are
more likely to end up on the registry than to be molested by someone on it. That’s scary. And then there are the fears spread simply by the way Halloween is morphing from child holiday into supervision on steroids. Kids trooping door to door seems less and less normal as communities, churches and schools sponsor chaperoned parties and “trunk or treats.” That’s when parents park their cars in a circle and open up the trunks, which are decorated and filled with candy. Nothing wrong with that new tradition, except that it is edging out the far older one of kids walking around their neighborhood, not just a parking lot, and doing it on their own, not under the watchful eyes of a gaggle of grown-ups. Trunk or treat is a perfect example of modern-day childhood. We have taken away all the independence of the most liberating holiday of the year and replaced it with something that grownups may feel is just as good — plenty of candy — even though so many thrilling elements are gone: the bravery kids get when they knock at the cobwebbed house, the confidence they get from being trusted to go out at night, the triumph they feel returning home with the fruits of the labor, and the memories they make the way most of us did, goofing around without a parent always watching. That’s a lot to trade for a trunk of easily accessed candy. And that’s not to mention all the lesser fears swirling around, like bats in our collective belfry. Fears for our kids’ teeth, digestive systems and future figures, trotted out by marketers trying to foist upon us everything from Halloween toothbrushes (a substitute for sugar) to probiotic treats (I kid you not), to low-cal substitutes and vegan candy corn. As if Mary Janes weren’t bad enough! Holidays always evolve. Sleighs evolve into SUV’s. Taffy apples evolve into fun-size Snickers. But trick or treating did not just evolve into a riot of overprotection. That is a decision adults have made, pushed by the forces insisting our very safe kids are not safe enough to have the kind of fun and freedom we did. TheVillager.com
(JSPUPJHSYLZLHYJOZ[\K`MVYKLWYLZZPVU Have you been diagnosed with depression, and have antidepressant medications not been effective? You may qualify for a study that is evaluating whether an investigational medication taken along with an antidepressant can reduce symptoms of depression in people who have not responded well to medications before. To be eligible, you must: - Be 21 to 64 years old - Have been diagnosed with depression - Currently be taking an antidepressant medication but not fully benefiting from it Additional requirements apply. The study will last up to 26 weeks, and you will receive the study medication and all study-related care at no cost. For more information, please call the study research staff at:
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+BOTTFO3FTFBSDI%FWFMPQNFOU The image depicted contains models and is being used for illustrative purposes only.
October 19, 2017
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CALL FOR NOMINATIONS At a gala at the Grand Prospect Hall on Thursday, April 12, 2018, Gay City News will present its third annual Impact Awards recognizing the achievements and contributions of outstanding LGBTQ and allied New Yorkers. These individuals will represent the best in a diversity of ďŹ elds, from advocacy, public service, and business to media, the arts, and literature, with a demonstrated commitment to enhancing the rights, cultural opportunities, health, and well-being of the LGBTQ community, while supporting the principle that America and the world are best served when the dignity and access to opportunity for all are respected and nurtured.
If you wish to nominate an LGBTQ or allied New Yorker who reďŹ‚ects these values and contributions in their life and work, please ďŹ ll out the attached form and mail it to the address below, before November 15 or NOMINATE ONLINE WWW.GAYCITYNEWS.NYC/NOMINATION2018.
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Please include a copy of your nomineeâ€™s bio and/ or rĂŠsumĂŠ, if available. MAIL TO: Gay City News, 2018 Impact Award Nominations, Attn: Paul Schindler, One Metrotech Center North, 10th Floor, Brooklyn, NY 11201.
October 19, 2017
The long view on La MaMa’s mind At 56, it’s the anchor of stability we need
Photo by Carolina Restrepo
An exploration of aging, anxiety, and doomsday, Split Britches’ “Unexploded Ordnances (UXO)” plays Jan. 4-21, 2018.
BY TRAV S.D. What to make of the state of the world when pillar institutions (e.g., the government in Washington, ostensibly) become the loose cannons, and experimental arts organizations become anchors of stability? We are thinking specifically of the Downtown theatre La MaMa, which is now about to enter its 56th season as New York’s premier Off-OffBroadway venue, and is now in the midst of launching a major capital project and an innovative archiving initiative even as it unrolls one of its most exciting seasons in years. Here are just some of the things that are on the calendar. In obserTheVillager.com
vance of the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Ridiculous Theatrical Company and the 30th anniversary of the death of its founder Charles Ludlam, his partner and heir apparent, Everett Quinton, will direct a production of Ludlam’s “Conquest of the Universe or When Queens Collide” (Nov. 2-19). On Nov. 11, an edition the Sat. afternoon educational performance series “Coffeehouse Chronicles” will be devoted to Ludlam. On Oct. 7, “Chronicles” focused on the late Sam Shepard, many of whose earliest plays premiered at La MaMa. Readings of his plays will happen throughout January.
Maria Alyokhina of Pussy Riot will be joining the Belarus Free Theatre in “Burning Doors” (through Oct. 22). Split Britches (Peggy Shaw and Lois Weaver) premiere “Unexploded Ordnances (U XO)” Jan. 4-21, 2018. Performance artist John Kelly stars in “Time No Line” Feb. 22-March 11. And there will be international projects, like Motus Theatre (Italy) in collaboration with Great Jones Repertory Company on “Panorama Part One,” a show about race and immigration (Dec. 28-Jan. 21). And “ALAXSXA | ALASKA” by Ping Chong and Ryan Conarro (through Oct. 29), as well as “Don’t Feed the
Indians” by Murielle Borst-Tarrant (Nov. 2-19, part of of La MaMa’s Safe Harbors Indigenous Collective programming). Why all this activity now? Is La MaMa rising to the specific challenges of this political moment? “Most of our shows this fall have been in development, for some a year or two,” said artistic director Mia Yoo. “Artists are hyper-sensitive to the world around them. They guide us and show us the direction we need to be going. And our season’s programming and concept grow out of that urgency that they feel.” LA MAMA continued on p. 26 October 19, 2017
Just Do Art BY SCOTT STIFFLER
THE FIFTH CHELSEA FILM FESTIVAL We’ve always lauded the Chelsea Film Festival’s dedication to emerging talent, marginalized voices and social justice — now, with the annual fall event occurring for the first time during a Trump administration, its mission (“give voice to the unheard”) seems more vital than ever. Founders Sonia JeanBaptiste and Ingrid Jean-Baptiste have retained the four-day festival’s signature content: short and featurelength narrative and documentary films, Q&A sessions, and industry mixers — but they’ve also added a Climate Change Day (Oct. 22, 12-4pm) dedicated to issues including mindful consumerism, reducing waste on film sets, and factory farming. Also new to the festival, a Virtual Reality Competition will showcase works made by women, people of color, and LGBTQs. As for the films (72 shorts and 15 features), selec-
tions include Kazuyoshi Kumakiri’s redemption tale “Mukoku,” in which a washed up drunk (once a skilled swordsman) meets and mentors a high schools student with “a natural high ability in Kendo and fond of rap music.” Shirley FrimpongManso’s comedy “Potato Potahto” has divorced couple Tony and Lulu still living together, each hiring attractive younger people for help around the house (with the added benefit of making their live-in ex jealous). Closing the festival, director Fisher Stevens collaborates with Leonardo DiCaprio for the climate change documentary “Before the Flood,” a call for swift action as species disappear and ecosystems change. Thurs., Oct. 19 through Sun., Oct. 22. Screenings take place at AMC Loews 34th St. (312 W. 34th St., btw. Eighth & Ninth Aves.) and venues within the Fashion Institute of Technology (227 W. 27 St., btw. Seventh & Eighth Aves.). Tickets to individual screenings are $13, with several festival pass options available. For the full schedule and to purchase tickets, visit chelseafilm. org. Social media: #CFFNY2017.
Photo by Mei-Yin Ng
Hear stories from Chinatown residents during an immersive dance performance tour. “Sit, Eat and Chew” happens Oct. 21 and 22.
SIT, EAT AND CHEW: A GUIDED TOUR OF DANCE PERFORMANCES Growing up in 1970s Klang, Malaysia as the daughter of that port town’s fi rst fi lm projector and, later, camcorder owner, Mei-Yin Ng put herself on a steady diet of American musicals and, later, Merce Cunningham’s work via videotape. Since arriving in NYC on a one-way fl ight, the director and choreogra-
LA MAMA continued from p. 25
The long view seems to be very much on La MaMa’s minds these days. Even as they undertake this ambitious season, they are launching a three-phase $50 million construction project called “Restore a Building, Remake a World,” which will begin with the oldest of their four properties at 74 E. Fourth St. According to Nicky Paraiso, Director of Programming at the Club at La MaMa, work on the first leg is slated to begin in January, necessitating the temporary closing of the popular Club Space and First Floor Theatre for at least two years. The two spaces will be merged into one, with a raised ceiling and more flexible seating and staging areas. La MaMa will upgrade their technical equipment in the space, and make it wheelchair accessible. Further, they will add a studio above the theatre, in a space that was once La MaMa founder Ellen Stewart’s apartment. This will be used as rehearsal space, and for the presentation of their Coffeehouse Chronicles series, play readings, and children’s theatre productions. During the construction, Paraiso
October 19, 2017
Photo by Adam C. Nadel
Puppetry, video, interviews and yuraq (Alaska Native Yup’ik drum and dance) are woven into “ALAXSXA | ALASKA,” playing through Oct. 29.
added, “There will be an interim club space in the lobby era of the new Downstairs Theatre [at 66th E. Fourth St.], where we can continue to do solo performances, readings, and small productions of plays and music events. It will be called Nicky’s Paradise Lounge and will open right after the New Year.” “This isn’t just about making nice new spaces,” Yoo noted. “The buildings are in dire need of help, after years and years of constant use. We
want to make sure it exists for future generations. Just as in the very beginning, when Ellen [Stewart] looked at the needs of the community, saw that the Downtown theatre needed a space to work, and she provided it. We’re thinking about the future of our community, who they are, and creating a space where people can connect to people.” In a similarly forward-looking vein, La MaMa has recently announced a project to make their video archives
pher has been exploring the nexus of technology and the human body at a number of unconventional venues (including a hotel room and a fi sh market). Her current project provides food for thought by taking its audience on an immersive guided tour that goes beyond the Chinatown most of us know — restaurants and shops — to share the stories of its longtime residents. “Sit, Eat and Chew” features her six-member dance troupe in collaboration with local troupes from the community. At various locations throughout Chinatown, the ensemble uses words and movement in performances based on interviews, research, and personal anecdotes drawn from community storytelling workshops. On Sat., Oct. 21 & Sun., Oct. 22 at 2pm, 2:45pm and 3:30pm (each tour approx. 100 minutes). Meet at MOCA, the Museum of Chinese in America (215 Centre St., btw. Howard & Grand Sts.). Tickets, which include admission to the museum, are available via mocanyc. org ($25 general, $15 for students, seniors & MOCA members, $10 for Chinatown residents). For artist info, visit MeiBeWhatever.com.
more available to the public, made possible by a $100,000 grant from the National Historical Records and Publications Commission. La MaMa’s audiovisual archives date back to the 1970s, documenting many seminal, now historic productions. But much of the material exists in now obsolete formats and is degrading. It’s now being digitized, which will both preserve the information and make it widely accessible. La MaMa’s archives, which also include correspondence, photographs, play scripts, show posters, and other historical ephemera is not just significant in relation to La MaMa itself. Because of La MaMa’s central role in the development of Off-Off Broadway, it amounts to a documentary record of the birth of a movement. “Martin Luther King spoke of a ‘network of mutuality,’ ” Yoo said. “We need each other, in our society, in our community. Theatre is so much about storytelling, about seeing through the eyes of another human being. This is the time when art can make us think. It’s a big part of what we can do.” For more information on the season, visit lamama.org. TheVillager.com
Buhmann on Art: Joyce Kozloff at DC Moore Gallery â€˜Girlhoodâ€™ maps a route back, and away from, innocence BY STEPHANIE BUHMANN Joyce Kozloffâ€™s latest work â€” â€œGirlhoodâ€? â€” contextualizes her ongoing mixed-media cartographic collage paintings with her childhood drawings by incorporating them. This journey into personal childhood exploration began when Kozloff recently discovered a folder of safely stored elementary school drawings in her late parentsâ€™ home, after having to face the difficult task of packing it up. The result is a moving installation that aids in accentuating notions of wonderment and the thrill of discovery that has characterized Kozloffâ€™s oeuvre for years. Woven into stunningly layered assemblages of maps, figures, landscapes and still lifes, these works treat the world as an open invitation for exploration, a vast space that can be navigated from various distances. However, it also addresses
the fact that over time, our worldview becomes something learned, impacted by clichĂŠs, misinformation, and doctrine. Having been engaged in feminist and political activism for decades, Kozloff stresses that the worldview of her â€œnaĂŻve publicschool picturesâ€? is, in fact, â€œfurther away from me today than the places were then.â€? Thinking back to her childhood, she notes: â€œFalse scenarios about other times unraveled for many in my generation, although not everywhere nor for all Americans. And thatâ€™s why my conventional grammar school innocence feels weirdly relevant to me â€” within our polarized society, where so many people hold onto fantasies about recovering an imaginary past.â€? The deeper one dives into Kozloffâ€™s works, the more complex they become. Whereas they might simply appear whimsical and playful
Courtesy the artist and DC Moore Gallery, NY
â€œThen and Nowâ€? (2017. Acrylic, collage, and found objects on canvas; 72 x 60 x 3 in.).
at first, a quality that is underlined by the inclusion of foreign dolls and 1950s goofy figurines, for example, they soon raise questions of stereotypes, the preservation of the natural world, and, especially, our responsibility toward children â€” whose innocent curiosity about the world
should remain a source of inspiration and not a dream waiting to be crushed. Through Nov. 4 at DC Moore Gallery (535 W. 22nd St., btw. 10th & 11th Aves.). Hours: Tues.â€“Sat., 10amâ€“6pm. Call 212-247-2111 or visit dcmooregallery.com.
Theater f Avenue a Rrvaf For more info!"# w.theaterforthenewcity.net
Village Halloween Costume Ball Miracles & Monsters Hot Food & Hot Entertainment Come See and Be Seen and Celebrate Courtesy the artist and DC Moore Gallery, NY
â€œThe Giant of New Jerseyâ€? (2017. Acrylic, collage, oil pastel, and photograph on canvas; 49 x 37 in.).
Outside on 10th St. 4:00PM Inside Doors at 7:30 PM October 19, 2017
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Shame on Jane To The Editor: Re â€œJane didnâ€™t let in Latina and friendâ€? (news article, Oct. 5): Shame on The Jane. How can this be happening in the West Village in 2017?
October 19, 2017
Faking It A power evolution of our time Is easy, swift information access, A CPU, TV, print political crime, Rich ownersâ€™ slanted news press. Fake news evolved myriad forms, As tech offered forceful persuasion By video screens, radio, cell norms,
As Trump cleverly taps public views, Misdirected for his self-serving aim, His reflex self-defense, â€œFake Newsâ€? Identifies how few win a power game.
E-mail letters, not longer than 250 words in length, to news@thevillager. com or fax to 212-229-2790 or mail to The Villager, Letters to the Editor, 1 MetroTech North, 10th floor, Brooklyn, NY 11201. Please include phone number for confirmation purposes. The Villager reserves the right to edit letters for space, grammar, clarity and libel. Anonymous letters will not be published. TheVillager.com
AMADA • BENARES • BLACKTAIL • BLUE RIBBON FEDERAL GRILL • BRUSHSTROKE • DEAD RABBIT • FOUR SEASONS • HARRY AND IDA’S LUNCHEONETTE • HARRY'S CAFE AND STEAK • JING FONG • L’ APPART • LATIN SOCIAL • PIER A • SHAKE SHACK • THE TUCK ROOM • WESTVILLE
October 19, 2017
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October 19, 2017
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October 19, 2017
Salvation Army building, theater both landmarked on W. 14th St.
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October 19, 2017
he city’s Landmarks Preservation Commission voted unanimously Tuesday to designate The Salvation Army National and Territorial Headquarters, located in the Village, as a New York City individual landmark. A focal point of the Salvation Army’s activities in the U.S., the headquarters, at 120-130 W. 14th St., between Sixth and Seventh Aves., was constructed from 1929 to ’35 to serve the American operations of the organization, an international religious and charitable organization started in England in 1865 by William and Catherine Booth. The Art Deco headquarters building was opened and dedicated in May 1930 as the centerpiece of The Salvation Army’s Golden Jubilee National Congress, in celebration of 50 years of mission work in the U.S. and the Army’s contributions to American society. “I am very proud that the commission voted to designate the original National and Territorial Headquarters of The Salvation Army, an organization that serves in 127 countries around the world and annually assists approximately 25 million people in this country alone,” said Meenakshi Srinivasan, the L.P.C. chairperson. “This is an important designation, which recognizes the architectural significance of this Art Deco-style complex and the cultural significance of the organization in New York and the nation.” In 1895, The Salvation Army erected an auditorium and office building on part of this site. By the 1920s, though, a larger headquarters to serve a wider variety of purposes was required. The choice of the pre-eminent architect Ralph Walker reflected the group’s desire for a signature structure. Walker created a simple but striking Art Deco brick-and-cast-stone complex of three buildings specifically meeting the needs of this organization. The office building and auditorium are the subject of Monday’s designation; the third building, a 17-story dormitory built originally for working women, is already part of the Greenwich Village Historic District and is not part of this individual designation. Facing W. 14th St., the modern, 11-story office structure is surmounted by a tower at its northeastern corner, and is adjacent to a smaller building. They share a distinctive, arched entranceway, providing a large public gathering space that leads to the auditorium. Local politicians cheered the designation. “Lower Manhattan maintains a
PHOTO COURTESY G.V.S.H.P.
The Landmarks Preser vation Commission on Tuesday designated t wo Salvation Army buildings on W. 14th St.
number of important structures that contribute to the historical, cultural, and architectural history of New York City, and the Salvation Army Headquarters Building and Theater is an important part of this history,” said Assemblymember Deborah Glick. “This building is a beautifully maintained and functional theater that should receive landmark designation and be kept in the historical record for its acclaimed Art Deco style. I strongly support this landmark designation for our community.” Added Councilmember Corey Johnson, “I thank the L.P.C. for acknowledging this historically and architecturally significant building, which, for many years, has served as a community-service asset and as a prominent piece of neighborhood architecture. This action will ensure that this 1920s Deco masterpiece will survive for future generations to ap-
preciate and enjoy.” The Salvation Army served a critical role in helping New Yorkers during the Great Depression, establishing free employment bureaus for men and women, opening free food stations in Brooklyn and Manhattan, and providing food and shelter for unemployed men and families. In 1982 the national headquarters relocated to Verona, N.J., with the Eastern Territorial headquarters moving to Nyack, N.Y., in the late 1990s. Today, the complex’s office-building portion continues to house the offices of the Greater New York Division of The Salvation Army, as well as a social-services center that offers alcohol and drug treatment, casework services, detoxification services and transitional housing, while the fourstory auditorium building is still used for worship services, meetings and concerts. TheVillager.com
October 19, 2017
Astor was Place to be for free arts festival
PHOTO BY CHARLES LUDEKE
The recent Astor Alive performingarts festival saw a slew of dancers, poets, actors, craftspersons and storytellers animate the new, expanded plaza areas at Astor Place and Cooper
Square. The talent came from Blue Man Group, Joeâ€™s Pub at The Public, LaMaMA E.T.C., Bowery Poetry, Peridance Contemporary Dance Company and many more.
PHOTO BY DAVID GONSIER
October 19, 2017
PHOTO BY DAVID GONSIER
PHOTO BY CHARLES LUDEKE
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.
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.
October 19, 2017
October 19, 2017
October 19, 2017