YOUR WEEKLY COMMUNITY NEWSPAPER SERVING CHELSEA, HUDSON YARDS & HELL’S KITCHEN
Critics Rip Garment District Alteration Plan BY JACKSON CHEN The city is proposing to revise the zoning framework of the Garment District, which has seen a steady drop in manufacturing availability and a spike in hotel developments. However, many of the area’s remaining workers and business owners are finding the city’s approach to be rushed and flawed. GARMENT DISTRICT continued on p. 7
‘Wall of Resistance’ Pledged to Protect NYC Immigrants BY LINCOLN ANDERSON “They talk about building a wall,” said Melissa Mark-Viverito, the New York City Council speaker. “We’re going to build a wall of resistance — and create a safe space for everyone.” If one sentence summed up a recent forum held by the Urban Justice Center (UJC; urbanjustice. org) on the idea of “sanctuary citSANCTUARY CITIES continued on p. 12
DOWN ON PUNK AVENUE
Page 18 previews Phil Marcade’s meaty memoir.
MOM-AND-POP MARCH A month-long celebration of local merchants Sugar Cookies has a sweet new home…………….....…..page 2 Haru Sushi, still in Chelsea, now in Hell’s Kitchen.…page 3 GVCCC on great ﬁnds beyond the ground ﬂoor….….page 4
© CHELSEA NOW 2017 | NYC COMMUNITY MEDIA, LLC, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
VOLUME 09, ISSUE 13 | MARCH 30–APRIL 5, 2017
Sugar Cookies’ Sweet Move: Stay in Chelsea BY DUSICA SUE MALESEVIC There’s nothing cookie cutter about Sugar Cookies, a lingerie boutique going on nine years in Chelsea. The secret to the store’s success is owner Susanne Alvarado — and her memory. “When someone comes into the store, I make a point of listening to what they want and just paying attention,” Alvarado said. “And when they come back I will remember.” When a couple recently came into Sugar Cookies (sugarcookiesnyc.com), Alvarado recalled that their one-year anniversary was coming up. “They were completely taken away by that,” she said. “They were like, ‘How did you remember?’ ” That personal touch is something Alvarado excels at, and its rewards work both ways. When Chelsea Now visited the store recently, she had just received a bouquet of white flowers from an appreciative customer. Alvarado used to work in the buying and merchandizing divisions for large companies that sold intimate apparel and clothing. However, she said she felt that her hands were tied, as she knew what customers wanted but was told, “ ‘Well, there’s no need for that, no one’s looking for that,’ or, ‘You don’t need to carry that size.’ ” Realizing there was a demand, she decided to take the leap and open up a lingerie boutique. “Luckily I haven’t had to turn back,” Alvarado said as she knocked on wood. Sugar Cookies opened at 203 W. 19th St. just off Seventh Ave. in June 2008. When the building was bought, however, it was clear that her lease was not going to be renewed, Alvarado said. “We were sad ’cause we were there since the beginning. But we were lucky enough to find something still in the neighborhood, which we wanted to be in, just a block and a half away. It’s been good. Still miss the block, though,” she said. The new location — at 122 W. 20th St. between Sixth and Seventh Aves. — opened last September. Staying in Chelsea was important, Alvarado explained, as they have a strong, loyal customer base. She said she was fortunate to find something that happened to be near Kleinfeld Bridal (110 W. 20th St.). “When we were at the old space we did do a significant amount of bridal and bachelorette [customers], but we found
March 30–April 5, 2017
Photos by Dusica Sue Malesevic
Sugar Cookies moved to its current location last September.
Owner Susanne Alvarado with Kodi at Sugar Cookies’ backyard.
Alvarado handpicks everything at Sugar Cookies.
being right on the block of Kleinfeld has also made a significant difference — like every day we’re pretty much getting a bride-to-be coming into the store,” she said. The new store is about 300 square feet bigger, and comes with a backyard, which she is “really excited” about as Sugar Cookies also hosts private events that have included bridal showers, bachelorette parties, girls’ nights out and, soon, a book club, Alvarado said. Alvarado says many customers like the intimate feel of the store, which allows people to feel comfortable. “We also keep a great record of every customer’s profile on file,” she said. Keeping customers’ likes and preferences on file also helps when a significant other wants to purchase a gift. The trope of the uncomfortable man shopping for lingerie for his partner doesn’t apply at Sugar Cookies. “The feedback that we get from a lot of our male customers — generally it is intimidating going into a lingerie store but we don’t portray that feeling. My dog is here,” she said with a laugh. “Right there that alleviates any type of pretentiousness that you might expect to have at a lingerie store. We just really make them feel at ease.” Her dog, Kodi, is also a hit with customers. “It’s funny how a lot of the cusSUGAR COOKIES continued on p. 16 .com
Haru Sushi Brings a Sea Change to Hell’s Kitchen Cuisine BY DENNIS LYNCH Haru Sushi opened its seventh restaurant in the city on the corner of W. 55th St. and Ninth Ave. last month, so Chelsea Now stopped by to see the new space and sample the menu. Haru’s top brass hope that it’s not just a strong link in their mini-chain, but a good addition for the neighborhood. Vice President of Operations Seth Rose said that they saw a “vibrant” restaurant scene in Hell’s Kitchen, and thought their presence could further enhance it. “We like the mix of all the different cuisines, and we kind of felt the sushi cuisine in particular was maybe underserved. We just thought we’d be a great addition to an exciting neighborhood,” Rose said. While there are sushi places in the immediate area, many are of the fastand-cheap variety. There’s a handful of others in the same vein and price point as Haru though, but Rose thinks that Haru separates itself with generous portions and Haru-made ingredients. “We have a lot of house-made sauces and our nigiri [sliced fi sh on rice] is typically a bigger cut than you might see in independent restaurants,” he noted. “We’re sort of the Ford F-150 of the cuts of sushi,” he said, referring to the American automaker’s fl agship pickup truck. They may have the most diverse menu of all such places in the area. Sushi is their bread and butter, but it’s an injustice to all the other food they offer to think of the place as just a sushi restaurant. Haru’s hot menu includes chicken teriyaki (a company-wide favorite), a Chilean bass, crispy duck, and even a fi let mignon, each with characteristic East Asian fl avors. The fi let mignon, for example, is served on Japanesestyle partially boiled spinach, topped with a shiitake mushroom and a Japanese-spiced sauce, and a side of potato-wasabi fritters. The shishito peppers and king crab dumplings are popular at Haru Hell’s Kitchen, Rose said. But sushi remains the focus. Like they do for all of its locations (including the one on Eighth Ave. in Chelsea), Haru chefs created a special roll just for the Hell’s Kitchen restaurant — aptly named the Hell’s Kitchen Roll. The roll is a “double salmon roll” with some deli.com
Photos by Dennis Lynch
Executive Chef Ben Dodaro (left) and VP of Operations Seth Rose (right) show off a Hell’s Kitchen Roll, green tea ice cream with miso chocolate brownie, and their lobster tacos.
Haru Hell’s Kitchen dining room seats 61 and the restaurant features a full-service bar at its front.
cious additions, Haru Executive Chef Ben Dodaro said. “Salmon inside, salmon outside; inside it’s got tempura crunch and lemon-chili mayo, which is our spicy mayo mixed with preserved lemon, so it’s kind of a little Middle Eastern, North African influence there. Then you have avocado, black tobiko [caviar], Sriracha; and we do a cool design on the plate with the sriracha and mayo to look like fl ames,” Dodaro
said. Rose and Dodaro gave Chelsea Now a Hell’s Kitchen Roll, some lobster tacos, and Dodaro’s decadent green tea ice cream with miso chocolate brownie. The gyoza shell lobster tacos, billed as an appetizer, were very fresh, thanks to the quality of the meat and the cucumber, cilantro, and scallion that topped it. A spicy jalapeño-ponzu dressing made it pop.
The green tea ice cream and miso chocolate brownie were fantastic. The brownie was rich and thick and played very well off the ice cream. It’s defi nitely a good way to end a meal — so long as you’re close to home, as it’ll probably put you right to sleep (it nearly did to this reporter). In terms of quality, you should expect similar to that of Haru’s other NYC locations, partly because of their commissary kitchen model — a central place where chefs make inhouse sauces, dumpling fi llings, and other main ingredients to ship out to all the restaurants. That keeps things consistent, Dodaro said. “We’re kind of our own purveyor essentially, so we can do a lot of things. We can make the brownies, we can make all our own sauces, and you get consistent fl avors throughout every Haru in the city,” Dodaro explained. Rose said that the company wants to open a few more NYC locations, and then perhaps venture outside the city again, as they fi rst did with a restaurant in Boston. Although they’ve been opening new restaurants HARU SUSHI continued on p. 16 March 30–April 5, 2017
Beyond the Ground Floor: Businesses You Can Look Up To
Courtesy McKittrick Hotel
The McKittrick Hotel’s rooftop garden, Gallow Green, is a fine destination after the immersive “Sleep No More” theatrical experience.
BY MARIA DIAZ As New Yorkers, we’re proud of our focus and hustle — and why not? That determination to get where we’re going, however, often happens at the expense of looking around to notice and appreciate all the unique things that make living here so “New York.” That’s why we at the Greenwich
Village-Chelsea Chamber of Commerce (GVCCC) wanted to use the final installment of our “Mom-and-Pop March” series of small business-themed articles to delve into the ecosystems of establishments that thrive above ground level. Although you can find everything from spas to gyms to jewelry in places that only the stairs or an elevator can take you
Courtesy Euphoria Studios
Euphoria Studios’ well-equipped spaces are engineered for success.
to, we chose to focus on a few things that really stand out among the clouds.
THE MCKITTRICK HOTEL When speaking to the McKittrick Hotel’s Special Envoy, Cesar Hawas, you get the sense that planning to spend an evening there would be quite the expe-
rience. On any given night the diverse nature of our Chelsea neighborhood can be experienced through the patrons of the McKittrick. Both local and global visitors come here for “an emporium of curiosities for nightlife.” The McKittrick is a perfect combination of a night on GVCCC continued on p. 17
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March 30-April 5, 2017
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Courtesy NYC Department of Education
The deadline to apply for a free, NYC DOE pre-K seat in Round 2 is May 9.
Second Round of Pre-K Registration Opens BY SEAN EGAN The Department of Education (DOE) has announced that the second round of registration for the city’s free pre-kindergarten (pre-K) program for the 2017-2018 school year is now open. The application period, which will close on Tues., May 9, is open to children born in 2013. “We are making the process as easy as possible for families by opening Round 2 earlier than ever,” noted DOE Chancellor Carmen Fariña in a statement. It’s also easier than ever to acquire crucial information. Navigating the city’s pre-K website (nyc.gov/prek), parents can access the DOE’s pre-K directory, read up on programs in a number of different languages (applications are available in 10), and decide which program/options would best suit their child — including dual-language and special education services. Then, during the application process, parents list the pre-K programs they’d wish to enroll their child in, in order of preference. A while later, parents can expect to receive a letter offering them a spot in one of their listed programs. Acceptance is not determined on a first-come, first served basis, but is instead decided by various factors, including preference, as well as zoning and whether or not the family’s other children are enrolled at a particular location. The DOE also will place families on waitlists for programs higher on their preference list, in the event that they are offered a spot in one of their .com
lower picks. According to the DOE’s Pre-K Finder map (maps.nyc.gov/upk), in Chelsea/ Hell’s Kitchen, District 2 — which encompasses the neighborhoods — currently has eight different programs with seats available for Round 2 applications. Two of these are stand-alone Pre-K Center programs the DOE runs in elementary schools independent of its administration; the rest are Early Education Center programs, run by community organizations contracted by the DOE. The District School-based programs available during Round 1 are no longer open for applications, and the neighborhood has yet to see a Charter School-based program in the area. Families interested in applying can do so in one of three ways before the May 9 deadline: Online, at the DOE’s website at nyc.gov/prek; over the phone, by calling 718-935-2067; or in-person at one of the DOE’s Family Welcome Centers, the closest of which is located at 333 Seventh Ave., Room 1211 (btw. W. 28th & 29th Sts.). Families who already applied during the first round of registration should expect a pre-K offer letter by Thurs., April 20. If they wish, they are advised to apply again in Round 2 after receiving these letters if they want to continue exploring pre-K options. “Pre-K is an absolutely critical foundation for success in kindergarten and elementary school, and I encourage all families to apply,” wrote DOE Chancellor Fariña.
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March 30-April 5, 2017
Crafting a Times Square Vision for New Yorkers BY JACKSON CHEN With Times Square’s recent debut of more than two acres of new pedestrian space, the Times Square Alliance, an influential policy-setting group for the Crossroads of the World, is now moving on to shape a more sweeping vision for the area that will appeal to New Yorkers and visitors alike. Beginning in 2013, Times Square underwent a $55 million renovation project to create pedestrian plazas from W. 42nd to 47th Sts. For nearly four years, the construction bottlenecked the already heavily trafficked area, at times worsening pedestrian and auto congestion. But by the end of 2016, right before the masses flooded the streets for the Times Square ball drop, the city had completed work on more than 85,000 square feet of paved areas. And, in another move aimed at improving conditions and enhancing the experience of visiting the area, last June city agencies worked with the Alliance to create “designated activity zones” that limited commercial activities — from ticket sellers trying to rope in audience members to costumed characters and desnudas asking for tips — to teal-painted sections measuring eight feet by 50 feet. With two new acres of open space plus some measure of order introduced to the area, the Alliance and its president, Tim Tompkins, have now embarked on sketching out a vision of Times Square moving forward. The organization’s main goal is to strike the right balance for an area known to attract tourists with its bright lights and high energy, but which also aims to become a more welcoming space for everyday New Yorkers. “We’re going into this new phase where I think it’s really important that the plazas be viewed as an asset after years of being under construction and a big mess,” Tompkins said at a recent Community Board 5 (CB5) meeting.
Photo by Jackson Chen
The Times Square Alliance hopes to develop a future strategy for the area that appeals to everyday New Yorkers.
“We want to get it right, and we’ll probably make some mistakes.” In tackling this tricky task, Tompkins has reached out to the important players active in the Times Square community, including CB5, the city Department of Transportation (DOT), and the New
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March 30-April 5, 2017
York Police Department. The coalition is also looking to its own data, based on regular surveys it conducts in Times Square. In an August 2016 survey, when the construction work was still underway, 81 percent of visitors coming from throughout the country were pleased with their experience. However, those respondents who identified themselves as part as the tri-state area were less enthusiastic — with only 68 percent of them saying they enjoyed their visit. As might be expected, New York City residents rated Times Square the most critically. A bare majority of them — 52 percent — voiced satisfaction. “The New York residents are still the toughest folks to please, which is not surprising, and that’s frankly the standard we hold ourselves to,” Tompkins said. Kaitlyn Kelly, an Upper East Sider who works in Midtown, said the only reasons she visits the area are for Broadway shows or to shepherd visiting relatives around.
“I try to avoid Times Square because of the insane crowds,” Kelly said. “I admit that for visitors it is a really cool spot… but as a local it’s just a huge tourist spot — therefore, it’s always crowded.” To appease those New Yorkers who have the greatest reason to frequent Times Square, Tompkins and his team have scoured the surveys and figured out some common themes that would please them — and perhaps encourage others to visit more often. While Times Square will always have its major commercial elements, CB5 and survey respondents offered feedback that they’d like the area to offer civic space for free community events and simply hanging out. Tompkins said the alliance is considering ways to create small-scale live entertainment events and public art installations that would entice New Yorkers. The thing that has earned the most positive feedback has been the food kiosk offerings, and Tompkins believes on that score quality improvements can be made. He said the food stalls would be slimmer and more attractive and offer a selection curated more toward what New Yorkers may enjoy. “Of course a tourist from Kentucky or Rome is still going to be razzle-dazzled by the energy of Times Square,” Tompkins said. “The key thing is when one finds a place is legitimately occupied by locals, then that validates it in the eyes of tourists.” When informed that a New Yorkerfriendly vision for Times Square is in the offing, Kelly said she would be more encouraged to visit the hectic area if there were art installations or live events, even if she felt they would attract more tourism. In terms of welcoming more residents, the Upper East Sider suggested fewer chain restaurants and more local restaurants doing their own unique events. CB5’s Parks and Public Spaces Committee offered initial notes to Tompkins advising him to keep in mind the bicycle traffic that goes through the area and also consider carefully the layout of where the food kiosks would be. “It’s rare we get to indulge in just being constructive and visionary,” Clayton Smith, CB5’s parks committee chair said. “It’s nice to be able to just talk about the vision for the spaces.” The Alliance’s ideas are still rough and are expected to take on a more specific form after its April 24 annual public meeting (for details visit timessquarenyc.org). The group is currently in conversations with CB5, the DOT, and the NYPD to better flesh out its vision of Times Square’s future. .com
CB5 Finds Flaws in Fabric of Garment District Rezoning GARMENT DISTRICT continued from p. 1
During a Community Board 5 (CB5) presentation on Wed., March 22, the city’s Economic Development Corporation (EDC), alongside the Department of City Planning, presented a proposal for reworking the Garment District’s zoning. The special section of Midtown Manhattan is bordered roughly by W. 35th and 40th Sts., and Broadway and Ninth Ave. The Garment District’s current zoning allows for building types categorized as manufacturing space, commercial use, residential, or mixed-use. Unique to the Garment District, property owners looking to convert their manufacturing space into office use have to-date been subject to a 1:1 preservation requirement that says that every new square foot of office space must be matched by the preservation of a square foot of manufacturing space. That framework, created in 1987, has clearly not achieved its objective. According to EDC’s numbers, the 9 million square feet of production space in the 1980s has shrunk to just 830,000 square feet due to a lack of enforcement and increasing non-traditional
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nal 1987 manufacturing inventory, or about 175,000 square feet, EDC said. While manufacturing was heading south, hotels were sprouting up around the neighborhood, with 12 dotting the
district today and another 10 in the works, according to EDC. The stated goals of the rezoning are GARMENT DISTRICT continued on p. 14
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Photo by Lesley Sussman
Reverend Getulio Cruz, from Monte Sion Christian Church, looked on, as Comptroller Scott Stringer (at podium) gave his remarks at the Manhattan Together gathering.
Interfaith Outrage on Housing and Special Education BY LESLEY SUSSMAN The New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) and the New York City Department of Education (DOE) came under sharp criticism at a Manhattan Together assembly held on Sun., March 19 at Our Lady of Sorrows Roman Catholic Church (103 Pitt St., btw. Rivington & Stanton Sts.). Seated in the audience of around 500 were representatives of various community organizations, churches, synagogues and mosques, and a large turnout of public housing residents, parents and immigrants. The keynote speaker at the afternoon session was City Comptroller Scott Stringer. The gathering was organized by Manhattan Together (mt-iaf.org), an organization of citizens — and aspiring citizens — from dues-paying congregations in Manhattan. The group’s purpose is to organize people from member institutions to push for progress on important local issues. Speakers at the meeting not only outlined the shortcomings of various city agencies, but asked Stringer and other elected officials how they would help. Stringer promised the assembly that he would double his efforts to push the DOE to fix its Special Education Student Information System (SESIS), which, the agency claims, has been filled with glitches. Last year the agency announced a working group to fix its system, which,
March 30-April 5, 2017
it said, does not allow the DOE to track services accurately. The comptroller said this has cost the city millions of dollars in missed Medicaid reimbursements. Stringer added that he wants to increase the accountability and funding of NYCHA and to help immigrants and the homeless build a power base. “I have already conducted eight audits of the New York City Housing Authority in the years that I’ve been in office, which is more than any other comptroller has done,” he said. “The New York City Housing Authority must be fixed, so residents can enjoy their housing and more poor people can find a place to live in.” Stringer said he wants to see $400 million in untapped funds from the Battery Park City Authority allocated to NYCHA over the next 10 years. Turning to the DOE, the comptroller noted that he is a parent of two young children. “We have to make sure that every child of any age and all abilities can have the opportunity to learn and be properly educated,” he said. “I stand with you, today, in fixing a system that only helps kids who have the resources to do well.” In his welcoming remarks, Father Thomas Faiola, pastor of Our Lady of Sorrows, blasted NYCHA. “Many apartments are in disrepair,” he said, “and there’s not adequate housing for the poor and immigrant population. We’ve made some progress, but
huge challenges remain that need to be addressed to make public housing better.” Melissa Bracero, a NYCHA resident, told the audience a heart-rending story of how her aunt became seriously ill because of mold in her apartment that the housing authority could not fix. “The mold problem got so bad, my grandmother couldn’t sleep in her bedroom,” she said. “NYCHA cleaned up the mold but it came back. They tried, again, with no success. They still have not found out what is causing the mold.” Reverend Getulio Cruz, pastor of Monte Sion Christian Church (297 E. Third St.), angrily backed up her remarks. “We want NYCHA to fi x mold problems within seven to 15 days,” Cruz said. “There’s been some progress in them doing that. But the problem keeps recurring in about 30 percent or more of the apartments. We want the agency to resolve mold problems permanently.” Hope Baker, a member of the East End Temple (245 E. 17th St.) told the gathering about the poor performance of the DOE. She said that her son, a special-needs student, was not getting the help he needed. “The DOE admits that over 40 percent of special-needs students are not getting the services they have a legal right to. This is a crisis,” she said. “Their
tracking system doesn’t work.” “This isn’t just about software, and it’s not just about long-term planning,” Stringer answered. “It’s about kids who for years are not getting the support they need because the Special Education Student Information System has flaws.” Father Sean McGillicuddy, a pastor at Most Holy Redeemer-Nativity Church (173 E. Third St.), spoke about the ballooning homeless crisis. “Many homeless people I have spoken to would rather live on the streets than go into these unsafe shelters,” he said. “We need to give more help to the 60,000 homeless people living on the streets of this city.” Jairo Guzman, from the Mexican Coalition for The Empowerment of Youth and Families, said hate crimes are rising in the city against Latinos, Muslims and Jews — particularly, Muslim immigrants. “They are afraid to report crimes against them to the police,” he said. “We must educate them to their rights, so they no longer need live in fear.” The meeting also heard from Rabbi Beni Wajnberg of Temple Shaaray Tefila, on the Upper East Side, who echoed the gathering’s message of unity. “We’re gathered here to make our neighborhoods safer,” he said, “and to work together regardless of our backgrounds of religions.” .com
Handm a in Bro de oklyn
March 30-April 5, 2017
A picture of the blade used to fatally stab Timothy Caughman on March 20.
HATE CRIME WATCH Mon., March 20 saw the fatal stabbing of a 66-year-old black man in Hellâ€™s Kitchen, in what was quickly determined to be a race-based hate attack. At about 11:25pm, the victim â€” identified as Timothy Caughman â€” was near the corner of W. 36th St. and Ninth Ave., when he was approached by a man who proceeded to drive a 26-inch sword through his chest, puncturing a number of vital organs. Wounded, Caughman was able to make it to the nearby Midtown South Precinct, but died shortly thereafter at Bellevue Hospital. In the early morning hours of Wed., March 22, after video of the suspect circulated following the incident, the killer turned himself in to police at the Times Square subway station, con-
fessing to the killing. The man, 28-yearold James Harris Jackson of Baltimore, told police that he came to the city for the express purpose of killing black men, due to years of simmering anger over the miscegenation of black men and white women. He also was quoted as saying he chose New York in order to get the most media attention, and that he viewed Caughmanâ€™s murder as a â€œpracticeâ€? for the larger-scale attack he was planning against black men in Times Square; heâ€™s also been captured on video stalking (though not attacking) other black men in the area. On Thurs., March 23, he was arraigned for murder as a hate crime, and was later charged with murder as an act of terror in addition to assorted weapons-related charges.
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PETIT LARCENY: Fresh meat walks out
At around 5am on Sun., March 26, an officer observed a man standing outside his vehicle at the southwest corner of 11th Ave. and W. 21st St., and approached to investigate the situation. The man at the scene, swaying and smelling strongly of booze, told the officer (through slurred speech) that his car had simply shut down while he was driving it. Not quite buying this story, the officer continued to check out the car, and noticed front-end damage and abrasions to the vehicle, and that its airbags had been deployed. The man, wising up to the trouble he was in, refused to take a breathalyzer test at the scene of the incident. While this didnâ€™t stop the 45-year-old Staten Island resident from getting arrested, he similarly refused an IDTU test later at the precinct.
Someone should have let this careless criminal know that â€œa moveable feastâ€? only exists in the context of Christian tradition and Hemingway tellalls. While at a Whole Foods (250 Seventh Ave., at W. 24th St.) at around 2:20pm on Sun., March 26, a man was observed removing a number of items from the storeâ€™s shelves, and attempted to leave without paying around. All told, the would-be haul totaled $151, and was comprised of six lobster tails, a pricey cut of fish, bacon, and two packages of chicken. Authorities were called, and the 52-year-old Queens man was arrested.
CRIMINAL MISCHIEF: Bathroom break This is most certainly not the kind of emergency that calls for breaking glass: At around 3:20pm on Fri., March 24, a man entered Hot Sichuan (130 Ninth Ave., btw. W. 18th & 19th Sts.) looking to use the establishmentâ€™s bathroom. After being informed that restrooms were reserved for customers only, he left in an irritated huff, purposely kicking the front door and damaging the glass. The man then fled southbound on Ninth Ave., and westbound on W. 18th St. The restaurant estimates the damage cost $400, and the 44-year-old employee who filed the report is going to send video evidence of the incident to authorities.
THE 10th PRECINCT: Located at 230 W. 20th St. (btw. Seventh & Eighth Aves.). Commander: Capt. Paul Lanot. Main number: 212-741-8211. Community Affairs: 212-7418226. Crime Prevention: 212741-8226. Domestic Violence: 212-741-8216. Youth Officer: 212741-8211. Auxiliary Coordinator: 212-924-3377. Detective Squad: 212-741-8245. The Community Council meets on the last Wed. of the month, 7pm, at the 10th Precinct or other locations to be announced.
PETIT LARCENY: The big cheese On Fri., March 24, at 8:17pm, a 40-year-old Brooklyn man was arrested after attempting to leave Food Emporium (452 W. 43rd St., btw. Ninth & 10th Aves.) without paying for 17 wedges of cheese he had hidden. Itâ€™s not clear what the fondude was planning on doing with $139 worth of cheese, but I think everyone can agree that that is, quite simply, far too much cheese for any sane individual to have on their person regardless of legality.
CASH FOR GUNS $100 cash will be given (no questions asked) for each handgun, assault weapon or sawed-off shotgun, up to a maximum payment of $300. Guns are accepted at any Police Precinct, PSA or Transit District.
THE 13th PRECINCT: Located at 230 E. 21st St. (btw. Second & Third Aves.). Deputy Inspector: Brendan Timoney. Call 212-477-7411. Community Affairs: 212-477-7427. Crime Prevention: 212-477-7427. Domestic Violence: 212-477-3863. Youth Officer: 212477-7411. Auxiliary Coordinator: 212-477-4380. Detective Squad: 212-477-7444. The Community Council meets on the third Tues. of the month, 6:30pm, at the 13th Precinct.
&/(-*4)tĐ ĐŁĐĄĐĄĐšĐ˜Đ™ 929-293-4897 10
March 30-April 5, 2017
March 30-April 5, 2017
Sanctuary Cities Forum Ponders, and SANCTUARY CITIES continued from p. 1
ies” — and how New York is taking actions to increasingly bolster itself as one — that was it. The event, hosted by UJC’s Young Professionals Board, was held at the Rector St. office of the progressive nonprofit on the evening of Mon., March 13, a few hours before the big snowstorm blew into town. Joining Mark-Viverito on the expert panel were Ravi Ragbir, executive director of the New Sanctuary Coalition of New York City; Lourdes Rosado, the civil-rights bureau chief at the New York State Attorney General’s Office; and Danielle Alvarado, an immigrant-rights attorney with the UJC’s Community Development Project. Though “sanctuary city” has become an accepted part of our vocabulary — though not by Donald Trump — it’s a relatively new term, having evolved, at least in the case of New York City, only over the past 15 years or so. But the concept has obviously taken on far greater significance now with the new president vowing to deport millions of undocumented immigrants — particularly those he vaguely disparages as “the bad ones.” In New York, the nation’s largest city, with 8.5 million people, Trump’s threats have created a deep chill. Immigrants make up 40 percent of the population here — that’s the biggest amount of immigrants, both by percentage and sheer numbers, of any city in the world. “We are obviously in an awful climate right now,” said Mark-Viverito. “There’s a lot of fear.” The leader of the City Council for the past three years, Mark-Viverito said she does consider New York to be a de facto sanctuary city. However, as the panel’s moderator, reporter Jeff Mays, formerly of DNAinfo, and the other panelists agreed, technically speaking, there is no official defi nition of what a sanctuary city actually is. Nevertheless, the effort to create this refuge has been vigorous and is ongoing. It’s been multipronged, involving executive orders passed by former Mayor Mike Bloomberg, Mayor Bill de Blasio’s signing of the “ICE Detainer Bill,” changes in police enforcement to minimize immigrants’ contact with the criminal-justice system, and an effort to keep Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers
March 30-April 5, 2017
Photos by Yekaterina Gyadu
Immigration attorney Danielle Alvarado spoke at the March 13 forum on sanctuary cities as Ravi Ragbir, executive director of the city’s New Sanctuary Coalition, listened.
out of Rikers Island. Things started under Bloomberg, who passed executive orders generally barring city employees — other than law enforcement — from inquiring about people’s immigration status, plus mandating that no one be denied city services based on their residency status. Also based on an executive order by Bloomberg, police, as well, are not supposed to inquire about a person’s immigration status “unless investigating illegal activity other than mere status as an undocumented alien.” “It shall be the policy of the Police Department not to inquire about the immigration status of crime victims, witnesses or others who call or approach the police seeking assistance,” one of Bloomberg’s several orders stated. Speakers on the panel noted that it’s very important for immigrants to feel safe approaching police — both for immigrants’ own safety and for the public’s safety in general. As the Council speaker said, “We don’t want an immigrant who witnesses a shooting not to call the police.” In addition, the “ICE Detainer Bill,” signed into law by de Blasio in late 2014, dramatically reduced New
York City’s cooperation with the feds regarding ICE deportations. Basically, the city said it would not turn over information on low-level offenders with immigration issues, and would not detain them for an additional 48 hours after their cases were resolved — even if the charges have been dropped or dismissed — so that ICE agents could come get them. “Let’s remember,” Mark-Viverito stressed, “if you’re being held at Rikers, you’re accused of a crime — you’re not convicted of a crime. ICE had records of those rosters. We were colluding and feeding into this broken deportation system, letting ICE know about people accused of a crime.” Also, in May 2016, the City Council passed the Criminal Justice Reform Act, which creates “more-proportional penalties” for certain low-level, nonviolent offenses, including having an open container of alcohol in public, being in a park after hours, littering, public urination and unreasonable noise. These cases are now being sent to civil court rather than criminal court — so the individuals do not receive a permanent criminal record. In addition, the City Council is working with the New York Police Department to modify its Transit
Bureau policies, notably by having police just issue a summons rather than making an arrest for turnstilejumping. Again, this keeps the individual out of the criminal-justice system, and he or she does not get fi ngerprinted. As Mark-Viverito summed it up, “We’re really pushing the envelope as a city, in terms of protecting immigrants.” She added that New York City leaders will meet with those from other self-declared sanctuary cities around the country this month to discuss how they can better work together to combat deportations [that meeting happened on March 27; see the end of this article for more info]. Trump, of course, has said that sanctuary cities are violating the law by shielding illegal aliens — and has threatened to punish these metropolises by withholding federal funding. But Rosado, from the state AG’s office, said there is leeway in immigrationenforcement regulations. “There are places where it’s voluntary or not to follow federal law,” she noted. In her introduction of Ragbir, MarkSANCTUARY CITIES continued on p. 13 .com
Promises, Protection for Immigrants
Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito speaking at the Urban Justice Center’s forum on sanctuary cities as moderator Jeff Mays, left, and panelist Lourdes Rosado, right, listened.
SANCTUARY CITIES continued from p. 12
Viverito noted that he had “legally immigrated” here from Trinidad — but Ragbir took exception to that. “Let’s stop using qualifying words,” he said. “You said I legally immigrated here. I migrated to the US,” he stressed. “Migration is a natural process.” Ragbir noted he has “to be careful” what he says in public since he has to “check in” again with ICE officials next month. He formerly worked for a mortgage lender and was convicted in 2001 of wire fraud — and thus faces deportation. He was under house arrest for three years, served two-anda-half years in prison, and then two more years in immigrant detention, according to an interview earlier this month on WBAI’s “Democracy Now!” His green card remains subject to review. According to The Observer, he was ordered to be deported in 2006, but received a stay of removal in 2011, extending to 2018. Even though he is married to a US citizen, the government refuses to normalize his status. In the meantime, Ragbir has been leading the city’s interfaith New Sanctuary Coalition, which is based .com
out of Judson Memorial Church, on Washington Square South, in the Village. The passage of the ICE Detainer Bill was a major victory for the coalition. “In 2014, we literally got ICE out of Rikers Island,” he said. “Actually getting them out of that space was huge.” Ragbir offered some other advice on how to thwart ICE: basically, make the agents’ job as difficult as possible. He referred to last month’s ICE raids in New York City, which included the arrest of at least two men on Staten Island for violent crimes — although immigrant advocates say more people were actually busted in that borough than ICE is admitting. “They went to Staten Island,” Ragbir said. “Can you guess why they went there? They were going where the community would welcome them.” Yet, ICE agents still need a warrant to enter a home, he noted. So a good fi rst step for protection is just to lock your door, he offered. “If ICE comes into an area and everyone locks their door and no one is on the street — what happens? ICE becomes ineffective,” he stated. Also, Ragbir advised that if people are “accosted by ICE,” they should just
show their IDNYC — the new municipal ID card created by de Blasio — which is obtainable by anyone living in New York, regardless of immigration status. “They will not know your status,” he said. “That was the idea of municipal ID… And if you are bilingual, speak in Spanish,” he added. Also, Ragbir suggested, as much as possible, people should flood ICE’s offices in a show of support whenever an immigrant convicted of a crime has to go for a check-in, as many — including Speaker Mark-Viverito — did for him at his check-in last month. Hundreds rallied outside the ICE office down by Foley Square when Ragbir went for his check-in. “What if we had 600 people who showed up for every person who had a check-in with ICE?” he asked. Alvarado, of UJC, added that, even in a city like New York with all its protections for immigrants, more can still be done. There is “room for growth,” she said, for people with more-serious criminal convictions. “There are 170 offenses for which the city will let ICE know about the individuals,” she noted. And low-level offenses can still pose
a threat, too. “The ‘broken windows’ policy disproportionately affects people of color and low-income people,” she noted of the Police Department’s policy of nabbing people for relatively minor offenses to try to keep down moreserious crime. More to the point, referring to the country’s undocumented immigrants, she said, “Trump has made all 11 million people ‘illegal criminals.’ ” “We’re seeing ICE undercovers at the courts, and that’s very disturbing,” she said. Trying to restrict ICE from public areas in government buildings is another step the city is now contemplating, she said. As for the president threatening to yank federal funding to punish sanctuary cities, Rosado, of the AG’s office, said there are limits. “It’s very narrow what he can do,” she said. “He can’t take money from daycare, but he could take money from law enforcement — which would hurt law and order.” Added Mark-Viverito, “Being rational is never a word you can apply to this administration or this individual.” Meanwhile, New York City’s success disproves the rationale of Trump’s jihad against immigrants. “All these policies to protect immigrants have made us a better city,” Mark-Viverito said. “We’re doing well economically, we are not less safe — and we have the data to prove it. What they are doing is clearly scapegoating,” she said of the Trump administration. “They’re not talking about gun control,” she scoffed. “They’re afraid to go after the NRA. That’s what they’re doing to our Muslim brothers and sisters. “We’re a viable, thriving immigrant city,” she declared. “They don’t want that to be the case.” The Villager (our sister publication) later asked Mark-Viverito about concerns from some police that not arresting people for turnstile-jumping or public urination means that sometimes a person packing a gun, for example, won’t get caught. “It’s a negotiation,” she said, moving her hands up and down to indicate a need for balance. As for his own situation, Ragbir said existing with the constant threat of deportation is draining. SANCTUARY CITIES continued on p. 23 March 30-April 5, 2017
GARMENT DISTRICT continued from p. 7
to allow the garment industry manufacturing that remains to stay put over the next decade, while accommodating the area’s trend toward smaller companies (like startups and nonprofits) moving into office space. To accomplish this, the zoning proposal would maintain the current manufacturing and commercial zones, and eliminate the 1:1 space preservation requirement in recognition of its failure. In response to the proliferation of hotel development, the zoning change would require new hotels to seek a special permit first, which should prioritize new office and residential creation where allowed. While not part of the rezoning proposal regarding Manhattan’s Garment District, the EDC pointed out that the city is currently creating two garment hubs in Brooklyn: one at the Brooklyn Army Terminal that will have 500,000 square feet opening this coming summer and another at Bush Terminal, with 200,000 square feet opening by spring 2020. The agency also mentioned that there is currently about 2.4 million square feet of industrial space managed by private companies available in Brooklyn. Regarding the Garment District rezoning proposal, the agency noted its
Photo by Jackson Chen
Two local designers, Rosie Turner (left) and Alisa Nicole, voice their concerns to members of CB5 (far right) and the New York City Economic Development Corporation (far left).
efforts are still early in the process and have prioritized hearing community feedback before moving forward. But for many in the garment industry, the plan already seems very misguided and not informed by those familiar with the district’s manufacturing opportunities. Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, who spoke at the CB5 meeting, agreed with many of those who packed the meeting upset about the proposal. Brewer said that she doesn’t agree with lifting the 1:1 manufacturing preservation requirement in the current zoning, nor the incentives for moving business to Brooklyn.
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March 30-April 5, 2017
“This plan does not include, in my opinion, a serious effort to maintain a garment manufacturing hub in the current district,” she said. The borough president said she’s been very vocal about her criticisms to the EDC, which, she felt, presented disputable statistics. The agency numbers show that more than 34 percent of the garment industry workers live in Brooklyn, with Queens housing roughly 22 percent of its workers, and then Manhattan with 15 percent and New Jersey with a little over 12 percent. Brewer said she wasn’t “convinced the research is correct,” noting how many industry workers have voiced unhappiness about the plan. Meanwhile, an industry expert argued that 80 percent of his workers come from Queens. Joseph Ferrara, president of the New York Garment Center Suppliers Association, a trade group that represents more 7,000 city industry workers, said that his workers would have to switch from a 30-minute commute from Queens to the Garment District to an hour-and-45-minute commute down to a new Sunset Park garment hub in Brooklyn. While the EDC said it had reached out to more than 100 affected companies, individuals, and organizations in developing its plan, Ferrara claimed otherwise. “The direct stakeholders — the workers, the manufacturers, and the landlords — the city should be talking to them,” Ferrara said at CB5. “The city has not spoken to the manufacturers... [the EDC] already baked a plan and did not include two direct stakeholders: the workers and the manufacturers.” Newcomer designer Alisa Nicole said it feels like the city is actively pressing longtime Garment District manufacturers to move to Brooklyn where, in her view, their businesses could be negatively affected. “I feel like they’re trying to move the transition by offering something shiny,”
Nicole said. “And then once [the manufacturers] get over there, it’s not going to the be the same; the business might just crumble.” Nicole, who has been running Alisa Nicole Swimwear for more than a year, said she values the working relationship she has with a nearby manufacturer, RCW Grading & Marking. The manufacturing prices are reasonable, she said, but just as valuable are their expertise and willingness to teach her hands-on. “It would be really sad overall if the Garment District lost the manufacturers in this way,” Nicole said. “More people actually want the Garment District to be hoisted up and given more support. We need to give them more of a shining light.” Robin Sokoloff, the founder and executive director of Loft227 — a Swiss Army knife of an incubator company that caters to all creative and production needs — said the zoning issues the agencies are confronting are beyond the control of the “garmentos.” Sokoloff, who’s visited more than 200 sites in the Garment District, said that around 85 percent of them were vacant. She said she’s been rejected over and over again by the landlords who control the Garment District properties. She believes that the landlords are “icing out” her business and other garment industry enterprises with ever-increasing rents and refusals to negotiate leases. But not everyone in attendance was dismissive of the rezoning proposal. The Garment District Alliance’s president, Barbara Blair, said the current zoning was not effective for the sustainability of the garment industry. She said the alliance supports the city’s proposal and commends the agencies trying to steer the area’s changing landscape in a positive direction. “Our largest stakeholders in the neighborhood are fashion designers,” Blair said. “And if fashion designers don’t have some place in the city of New York that can manufacture their goods, that ecosystem will fall apart.” But the overwhelming majority of those who spoke up at CB5 said the city really needs to reach out to the industry’s manufacturers and workers before moving forward. In fact, Brewer argued the city should start the process over. “This is way too important, in this region in Manhattan and to the entire city, to rush out with a text amendment without having a robust discussion... and considering all the options and any potential adverse consequences,” she said at the meeting. “Once a delicate ecosystem is disturbed, there may be no putting it back together.” .com
March 30-April 5, 2017
Haru’s brass pride themselves on offering freshly-made sushi at all of their restaurants around the city.
HARU SUSHI continued from p. 3
fairly consistently — they opened in Chelsea in late summer — they’re not in any big rush, Dodaro said. “It’s important to grow steady and slow, though. Some people outgrow themselves, then they lose their consistency and they lose their
fi ne touch; they lose the details,” he observed. “We’re in a good space where we opened two restaurants in eight months, but we’ve been able to do it in a way to maintain quality.” Dodaro, who himself has been with Haru for two decades, said that besides using fresh ingredients and products, keeping employees happy
Photos by Dennis Lynch
The Hell’s Kitchen Roll was originally just a promotion, but popular demand earned it a place on the regular menu.
is the most important thing for maintaining quality. “The old adage is, ‘An unhappy cook makes food that doesn’t taste good.’ You can tell a cook’s mood by what they put out. So the fact that we have sushi chefs that have been here for 14 or 15 years, the longevity speaks for itself,” he proudly noted.
Haru Hell’s Kitchen has a capacity of 61 and is open for larger events and parties, as long as there is ample notice. Haru also caters. Dodaro and Rose have some new seasonal items, including desserts, planned for a May rollout. For the menu and info on all NYC locations, visit harusushi.com.
SUGAR COOKIES continued from p. 2
tomers will know his name; [they] just know that I’m the owner, but know Kodi by name,” she said. Alvarado handpicks everything — bras, pajamas, shapewear, hosiery, swimsuits, lingerie and more — that comes into the store. She keeps in mind a range of sizes, which run from extra small to large, and price. In addition to well-known European brands, the store also carries locally made New York brands such as Sapphire Bliss and Graffinis. “We’re always looking to carry other small independent brands,” she said. Unlike other local shops where online shopping is a competitor, it has been a boon for Sugar Cookies as the store’s website has increased sales and promoted awareness of the boutique. Alvarado said, “Several times someone will come in and say, ‘I saw this on your website, do you have this here?’ ” People outside of the city who have checked out the site or bought something online often make a point to stop by the store when they come to New York, she said. Out-of-towners also book bridal showers and bachelorette events at the boutique, she said. Alvarado has lived in Chelsea for
March 30-April 5, 2017
Photo by Dusica Sue Malesevic
Sugar Cookies, including its backyard, is available for private events.
around 20 years, and she and her husband, who also helps with the store, live near the High Line. “What prompted me to move into Chelsea several years ago was I loved the artistic feel that it had to it,” she recalled. “It was very creative back then. I love being along the West Side.” Even though more tourists frequent Chelsea, it still has that neighborhood feel, she said — although the one thing
that’s challenging is commercial rents. When looking for a new space, Alvarado said, rents had doubled or tripled since 2008. “It’s great that you have the big chains that are moving in, but I think there just needs to be a better balance of the chains as well as the small mom-and-pop stores,” she said. She appreciates her customers’ sup-
port and said, “They’re always asking, ‘How are doing, are you doing okay? We want to make sure that you’re going to be around.’ That’s nice.” Alvarado said that while owning a business can be stressful, she wouldn’t trade it in for anything. “I pretty much live here. I really enjoy doing what I do,” she said. “Every day I get help them to feel beautiful about themselves. Who .com
Courtesy Euphoria Studios
Courtesy McKittrick Hotel
August 2015: Jason Miles (keyboard) and Ingrid Jensen (trumpet) rehearsing at Euphoria Studios for their album, “Kind of New.”
Guests of “Sleep No More” arrive at The McKittrick Hotel’s front desk, outfitted as a 1939 Manhattan hotel.
GVCCC continued from p. 4
the town and a close encounter with the performing arts. With a bar and a restaurant on site, patrons can curate an entire night of activities. Come for “Sleep No More,” Punchdrunk theatre company’s immersive presentation of Shakespeare’s Scottish tragedy. Told in the style of a suspenseful film noir, you can move freely through a transporting world at your own pace, then stay to enjoy drinks at the McKittrick’s rooftop garden: Gallow Green. And if you plan the day just right, work your way to their restaurant, The Heath, and enjoy dinner and the electrifying, soulful rock of house band Heathens. The McKittrick has many options for your un-ordinary night out in Chelsea. The McKittrick Hotel is located on various levels of 530 W. 27th St., btw. 10th & 11th Aves. Visit mckittrickhotel.com or call 212-904-1880. For Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook: @TheMcKittrick.
EUPHORIA STUDIOS “You run your business like you mean it. Your clients are depending on it.” It was important for David Sokol, the owner of Euphoria Studios, to express that. When visiting the studios, as we did when we recently spoke with him, you get a clear vibe that it’s all about the quality of the music and the space in which it is made, and nothing less than the best will do. Musicians (Herbie Hancock among them) are willing to pay for this kind of quality. Twenty-five years ago, as a musician himself, Sokol felt that studios were subpar. Bad equipment, dirty spaces, and poor management all led to the establishment of Euphoria to remedy such “atrocities.” Perhaps that is why, as Sokol noted, there are only eight studios .com
still operating in Manhattan. “You get what you pay for in New York,” he said. “We’re not inexpensive, but we’re busy because we deliver the goods musicians need to work.” In a place like New York, people are willing to pay for quality. It’s what has kept the doors open, and has kept musicians coming back. Euphoria has had big names come through their doors, such as Suzanne Vega and Joe Jackson, but are still relatively small, with just four studios. “You can’t change the DNA of a business,” Sokol said. “I wouldn’t want to have to manage more studios.” Sokol is an artist, and a focused individual. Euphoria is about making good music, not necessarily expanding his personal enterprise. With regard to the challenges of not having a traditional storefront, Sokol noted this aspect of his business is actually advantageous. Euphoria by design couldn’t have random individuals walk into the facility; it’s not that type of place. As Sokol put it: “Here we have 360 degrees of music. If it’s good, we’ll record it. Everything that’s needed will be here for you.” Sokol’s business structure is simple, yet hits the point directly: “If you want a high quality music studio, Euphoria will have the elevator door open for you.” Euphoria Studios is located on the ninth floor of 40 W. 27th St., btw. Sixth Ave. & Broadway. Visit euphorianyc. com or call 212-447-5070.
SUM INNOVATION SUM Innovation has been part of Chelsea since 2001, and they’ve expanded a few times over the past years — which should give a good measure of their success. CEO Mathew Heggem recently told us that SUM is proud to be part of the neighborhood because a loca-
Courtesy SUM Innovation
A “Lunch and Learn” session at SUM Innovation.
tion in the middle of Manhattan really gives a business certain clout. “It helps you portray a certain professionalism for clients looking to associate themselves with a company that has the NYC stamp of approval,” Heggem said. Being housed on an upper floor, however, can be quite the marketing challenge. “It takes a lot more reaching out,” Heggem noted, “because nobody is going to tell someone about an accounting firm on the fifth floor of a building. We have to be creative in how we use our marketing resources in a way that constantly makes people seek us out purposefully, otherwise nobody will notice us.” SUM Innovation loves the community it serves. They work with a lot of smaller shops and nonprofits, and sometimes much bigger clients than your average mom-and-pop. You get the sense from talking to Heggem that SUM really helps other New York businesses thrive and grow. Seeing all the unique and beautiful businesses throughout Chelsea, we are
grateful for companies such as SUM that keep that local economy flourishing by assisting other businesses with services that they may not be able to provide for themselves. SUM Innovation is located on the fifth floor of 40 W. 27th St., btw. Fifth & Sixth Aves. Call 212-242-6010 or visit suminnovation.com. Twitter: @ SUMInnovation. Facebook: facebook. com/SUMInnovation.
Maria Diaz is the executive director of the Greenwich Village-Chelsea Chamber of Commerce. For info, call 646-4701773 or visit villagechelsea.com. Twitter: @GVCCHAMBER. On Facebook: facebook.com/GVCCHAMBER. March 30-April 5, 2017
Outrageous and Contagious Phil Marcade memoir walks down ‘Punk Avenue’ BY PUMA PERL As I reached the end of Phil Marcade’s upcoming memoir, “Punk Avenue” (May 2, Three Rooms Press), I felt the urge to return to page one and start fresh, both literally and symbolically. I’d been exchanging emails with the author, and had mentioned the laughter and exuberance that hooked me from the start; I’d also asked about his process. “I started this project by taking a little notebook in my back pocket everywhere I went. That was in the spring of 2006,” he responded. “Whenever an old funny anecdote would come to mind, I would take down a few notes. Where it began and where it ended was very important to me and really made sense. After laughter comes tears. I didn’t want it to be just a collection of funny anecdotes; I wanted it to also be a ‘human story.’ ” Each chapter is marked by a song title — opening with “Happy Birthday to You” and closing with “Run Run Run.” As the story begins, Marcade, age 18, is being transferred to an Arizona federal penitentiary. The event unfolds as hilariously as the adventures that follow. Marcade is simultaneously a cool and warmly engaging character, with enough of a bad boy streak to make it work; he possesses a near infallible ability to fall in with the right people at the right time, no matter the circumstances. From his birthplace in France, to Amsterdam, to the States, to the Chelsea Hotel, Max’s Kansas City, CBGB, to every corner where punk exploded, he tears through a history shared by many of us. What makes this memoir shine is his empathy — his “human story.” He speaks fondly of Nancy Spungen, a lonely soul he encouraged to try London in order to fi nd a boyfriend — well, we know how that worked out. He even tolerated the heroin-addicted cat she left in his care, which was in a murderous rage before finally detoxing. In a subsequent chapter he favorably compares the “junkie cat” to an abandoned German Shepherd he rescued. Once home, the dog somehow consumed a bag of pot and, in a stoned
March 30-April 5, 2017
lineup included guitarist Billy “Wild Bill” Thompson and drummer Marc Bourset, with Danny Ray often joining them on saxophone. “Phil and Steve Shevlin taught me to play unaffectedly and commit to 300 percent sonic storm R&B playing,” remembered Danny Ray. “The Senders was like the Fight Club. I was lucky to be involved with such a cool bunch. That’s how I started.” While we talked, I was watching Senders videos and remarked upon Thompson’s riveting guitar work. “Billy was great before The Senders,” Ray noted. “With them, he became illuminated.” Although the band never reached the heights it should have, nobody can doubt their longevity. In 1981, as Marcade writes, “All that was left of The Senders was one deaf guy [Shevlin had lost his hearing], one in the nuthouse, and two in the dope house.” They played what they thought was their final gig at The Peppermint Lounge. In 1989, Marcade received a call from a record company asking if The Senders could be put back together. With Ritchie Lure replacing Shevlin, and the other three back on track, they played for another 13 years, and, in 2001, were named the “Best Bar Band in New Photo by Eileen Polk, courtesy Three Rooms Press York” by New York Press. L to R: Phil Marcade with Stiv Bators of During that period, both The Dead Boys, 1978. Lure and Bourset died, and were replaced by Ned frenzy, tried to attack him before Brewster and Danny Li, with running off. Danny Ray continuing on Landing in the middle of the New saxophone. York City punk scene, Marcade is “Punk Avenue” leads us introduced to former boxer Steve from the early highs through Shevlin by Johnny Thunders. In the dark periods of addiction 1976, he and Shevlin form The and loss without losing hope. Senders — a raw and dirty rock The epilogue ends on a differand roll band, with a rockabilly/ ent kind of high note. I’ll attest blues mix and a punk sensibility. to the authenticity of Lower Peter Crowley, former Music and East Side life, having walked Art Director of Max’s Kansas City, those same streets. If you were recalled, “The Senders should there, you get to hang with have been huge. They had it all: the gang again. If you weren’t looks, chops, and excellent rock Photo by Marci a Resnick , im around, or if you were as preoc‘n roll taste.” With Shevlin on L to age cour tes y Three Rooms R: Steve Shev Press lin, Johnny Th cupied as I was, “Punk Avenue” bass, Marcade was the band’s cade, circ unders and Ph a 1979, on th il Mare book’s jack original drummer, but moved et cover. to frontman, and, by 1978, the PUNK AVENUE continued on p. 20 .com
Courtesy Martin Roemers
“Broad Street, Lagos Island, Lagos, Nigeria.”
Sprawl and the City Stunning ‘Metropolis’ captures urban chaos, dynamism BY NORMAN BORDEN “Metropolis” is the culmination of Martin Roemers’ long-standing interest in documenting the growth of megacities — urban areas with populations of more than 10 million inhabitants. Today, more than half of the world’s population lives in cities, and the United Nations predicts that by 2050, the number will grow to nearly 70 percent. The idea for photographing megacities came to Roemers when he was in Mumbai in 2003. He realized that despite all of the energy and chaos, nobody seemed to mind the crowds or lack of personal space. He said, .com
“The smells, the noise, the crowds of people; that was actually the fi rst inspiration for this work.” In undertaking this project, Roemers asked himself: How do individuals manage to live, or survive, in crowded, stressful megacities like Mumbai and Beijing? He wondered whether cities can cope with all the newcomers, and if there’s enough infrastructure and housing. His aim was to capture in a single panoramic image the essence of life in these megacities and show that their growth is the consequence of economic migration. He said, “A city is a magnet for people. It’s a center of economy, so it’s an opportunity to fi nd
jobs and make money.” In 2007, Roemers began traveling around the world to document the impact of global urbanization on people and places. By 2015, he had been to 23 megacities, including Mumbai, Lagos, Nigeria, Tokyo and London. Sixteen of his colorful, compelling images are now on view at Anastasia Photo. He captures the realities of daily life in these large detail-fi lled photographs by showing blurred crowds of humanity co-existing with non-stop traffic of all sorts, surrounded by chaos and tumult. The artist said, “The more chaos, the better it is for me.” Still, all the chaos and dynamism
belies the methodical process and techniques that Roemers uses to take the photos. Before he arrives in a city, he fi nds a local assistant/fi xer who knows the area and understands what he’s looking for. “Before my arrival, we make a list of possible locations, and once I’m in the city, we visit every one and see if there’s an elevated vantage point.” It’s this point of view combined with time exposures of two to four seconds that allows Roemers to visualize the energy, chaos and sensory overload that’s part of urban life. METROPOLIS continued on p. 20 March 30-April 5, 2017
METROPOLIS continued from p. 19
He said, “I am shooting the city as a spectacle, and there should be a balance between static and moving elements. While shooting, I am constantly waiting for things to fall into place. I watch the people and movement of the traffic; sometimes I can anticipate it because I know that every two minutes there’s a bus or a tram coming and people have to wait before they cross the street. At the moment when all objects fall into their place, I push the release button. And that’s why these images are really fi lled up — you see elements in every corner.” A good example is the image “Madan Street and Lenin Sarani, Chandni Chowk.” It’s the Kolkata, India street crossing where taxis and rickshaws are forced to stop for the tram that the photographer knew passed by every five minutes. Roemers says it’s a waiting game and in this case, he waited at that location for two days until all the elements came together and the corners were fi lled. The long exposure captures the tram whizzing past as a blur with the taxis, rickshaws, and pedestrians standing still as counterpoint; the energy is palpable. His choosing to wait two days
Courtesy Martin Roemers
“New Market, Dhanmondi, Dhaka, Bangladesh.”
underscores the challenges Roemers faces shooting each image. He said, “I can only follow five or six elements. When I expose, I’m never quite sure these elements will be on the film since so much can change in two or four seconds.” He doesn’t really know what he shot until he develops the film. Even then, he keeps seeing new details every
time he looks at a large print. For example, in the 57x70 inch print, “New Market, Dhanmondi, Dhaka, Bangladesh,” dozens of men sit idly on the ledge that effectively frames the bustling market below where vendors and shoppers conduct business; the combined blur of light bulbs, motor scooters and rickshaws add dynamism. Take a closer look at
the print, and other details and elements will emerge. When Roemers was searching for suitable locations in Lagos, Nigeria to photograph, his local fixer/assistant led him to a site under an overpass used by Muslim taxi drivers for Friday prayers. Apparently, the mosques are so crowded on Fridays that some people pray on the street. The image, “Broad Street, Lagos Island, Lagos, Nigeria,” reveals how people adapt and have a spiritual moment in the midst of a crowded, congested city. The photographer shows the drivers surrounded by their parked taxis, with the split roadway overhead serving as a strong graphic element — the image is filled with details, corner to corner. With “Metropolis,” Roemers has literally elevated the cityscape to another level and dramatically captured the chaos of urban life. Acknowledging the impact of his work, National Geographic published several images in its March 2017 issue, but seeing the work up close at Anastasia Photo will have its own rewards. On view through April 26 at Anastasia Photo (143 Ludlow St., btw. Stanton & Rivington Sts.). Hours: Tues.–Sat., 11am–7pm. Call 212-6779725 or visit anastasia-photo.com.
PUNK AVENUE continued from p. 18
invites us to sit at the cool kids’ table. We don’t even have to lose 20 pounds or master the art of liquid eyeliner. Marcade, who lives in Italy, will perform with his friends The Rousers at two events, with books available for purchase and signing. On Tues., May 2, Three Rooms Press hosts “Mayday 2” at (Le) Poisson Rouge (158 Bleecker St.). The Senders’ Steve Shevlin and Danny Ray, The Waldos, Legs McNeil, and others are on board. On Sat., May 27, Marcade and The Rousers will also be part of “ ’76 LP Party,” the closing event of the three-night Max’s Kansas City Festival at Bowery Electric (327 Bowery). “I chose The Senders for the first studio 12-inch on Max’s Kansas City records,” said producer Peter Crowley. “We’ll be celebrating Phil’s book, our LP, and my 76th birthday!” In advance of its May 2 release date, “Punk Avenue” can be pre-ordered on amazon.com. For “Mayday 2” tickets (18+ show; $20), visit lpr. com. For tickets to the Max’s Kansas City Festival show ($15; $40 for the three-day event), visit theboweryelectric.ticketfly.com. Artist info on The Senders at thesenders.us.
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Photo by Alan Jay, courtesy Three Rooms Press
L to R, from 1980: Steve Shevlin, Basile Nodow, Billy “Wild Bill” Thompson, Phil Marcade and Marc Bourset. .com
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SANCTUARY CITIES continued from p. 13
“It’s like living in quicksand,” he said, “not knowing what will happen when you put your foot down.” He added that, while he was under house arrest for three years, he was forced to wear a GPS ankle monitor, which never came off, and which he had to charge for three hours each night by hanging his foot over the edge of his bed. “This quicksand we’re in, we were living in it even before ‘he who shall not be named,’ ” he said. But he added that with the new administration, things have clearly gotten much worse. “They have only one goal in mind,” he said. “Ethnic cleansing.” During a question-and-answer period, a woman in the audience who represents African street vendors said many of them are very afraid right now about getting arrested. “Some of the bags that they are selling are fake,” she noted. “They’re worrying it could affect their immigration status.” Trump — shamefully, many would say — likes to showcase family members of murder victims who were killed by illegal immigrants. But Ragbir, for one, argued against “setting lines,” offering that homicide shouldn’t always necessarily be a basis for deportation. “Even murder — maybe we can fi nd there was a mental illness in the situation,” he noted. “There are many things to consider.” Similarly, Alvarado said, a criminal conviction shouldn’t automatically mean deportation. “Why are people irredeemable?” she asked. NOTE: Since this article’s original March 23 publication in The Villager, Mark-Viverito met, on March 27, with “reps from more than 30 cities around the country that limit their cooperation with immigration enforcement,” according to a March 28 report by the NY Daily News. Also of note: Following US Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ March 27 threat to eliminate federal (including Department of Justice) funding from sanctuary cities, Mayor Bill de Blasio vowed that “Any attempt to cut NYPD funding for the nation’s top terror target will be aggressively fought in court. We won’t back down from protecting New Yorkers from terror — or from an overzealous administration fi xated on xenophobia and needless division.”
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March 30-April 5, 2017
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
March 30-April 5, 2017
phone conversations. The use of a hands-free device does not lower distraction levels. The percentage of vehicle crashes and nearcrashes attributed to dialing is nearly identical to the number associated with talking or listening.
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.