VOLUME 30, NUMBER 07
APRIL 06 – APRIL 19, 2017
DOT=NOT Going to bat City passes buck on school traffic safety
BY COLIN MIXSON City bureaucrats with the Department of Transportation are telling locals that the safety of schoolkids on the streets around the upcoming Trinity Place School isn’t their problem, and any traffic studies or changes with have to funded by the developer. Parents and school advocates are flabbergasted that the city would suddenly shift the responsibility to a private company that now has little incentive to make changes — which they see as a short-cited recipe for tragedy. “[The developer] can just build it the way it is, and then kids will get hit by cars, and then the city will fund the change — except it will cost more money at that point, and someone will already have gotten hurt,” said Eric Greenleaf, a member of the Lower Manhattan School Overcrowding Task Force. The city has purchased property within the residential development helmed by Trinity Place Holdings at 77 Greenwich Street as a site for a 476seat elementary school, which is expected to open sometime in 2022. But the narrow sidewalks surrounding the future school — and the site’s location adjacent to the bustling exit of the Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel — has led community members and local lawmakers to request a number of traffic changes in the area to reduce risks to students. These include closing a west-bound lane on Edgar Street between Greenwich Street and Trinity Place to accommodate a sidewalk extension that would provide plaza where students and faculty can congregate without the this of getting hit by a speeding bus, according to Community Board 1’s youth committee co-chair and member of the overcrowding task force. “All they have is this roughly 650-square feet courtyard — that’s tiny and it’s not adequate for drop off and pickup for the school,” said Tricia Joyce, a member of Community Board 1 and advocate of creating the so-called Edgar Street Pedestrian Plaza. “A plan has to be in place by the time this opens.” But bureaucrats at the city’s transit agency
Howard Hughes Corp. steps up to the plate for local Little Leaguers, replacing damaged gear BY COLIN MIXSON The Downtown Little League’s new season was saved in the bottom of the ninth when a local developer volunteered to help replace the league baseball’s gear that was discovered ruined by improper winter storage just weeks before opening day. The little league, which pro-
vides competitive outdoor baseball and softball fun for about 1,500 Downtown boys and girls, typically relies on players’ moms and dads in the off season to store the hundreds of bats, gloves, pads, and other equipment essential to the Great American Pastime. This year was no different, except that the parents who stored
Photo by Tony Falcone
Ma t z apalooz a! Bright-eyed Battery Park 3-year-old Zoe Fisher enjoyed the arts and crafts activities at “Matzapalooza!” at the Museum of Jewish Heritage on April 2, presented by the Workmen’s Circle and the National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene. The event included a scavenger hunt, costumes and a photo booth, klezmer music and dancing.
TRAFFIC STUDY Continued on page 14 1 M E T R O T E C H • N YC 112 0 1 • C O P Y R I G H T © 2 0 17 N YC C O M M U N I T Y M E D I A , L L C
all the league’s baseball paraphernalia didn’t anticipate construction work that left the equipment encrusted in caustic dust and mold, according to Community Board 1 Vice Chairman Paul Hovitz. “One of the parents volunteered to store the equipment in their building, and apparently there was construction going on, because the equipment got covered in soot and mold — and even after an extensive cleaning a lot of it was unusable,” Hovitz said. Making matters worse, the mistake was only discovered a few weeks before the league’s April 22nd opening day, Hovitz said, leaving organizers to scramble to find a well-endowed emergency sponsor who could help replace $30,000 worth of gear — and fast. “They were in trouble and they were really nervous about how to raise this kind of money,” Hovitz said. Enter Saul Scherl, executive vice president for the tri-state area at Howard Hughes Corporation, the developer transforming the oncedeclining historic South Street Seaport District into shopping and dining destination. He stressed the importance of preserving traditional pastimes and old-fashioned sportsmanship “When something like this happens, it’s important for us to help the kids,” said Scherl, “In this day and age, when we’re tied to phones and other modern-day tech, little league is so important. It’s nice that the kids get out on the field and LITTLE LEAGUE Continued on page 14
Sanctuary strategy session Nationwide immigration conference Downtown to plan the resistance BY TEQUIL A MINSK Y Local lawmakers and immigration advocates from cities across the country gathered in Lower Manhattan last week for the first-ever national strategy conference on countering the Trump administrationâ€™s growing anti-immigrant agenda. â€œIâ€™m hoping we will become this administrations worst nightmare,â€? said Council Speaker Melissa MarkViverito to lawmakers from as far away as California, Texas, Chicago, and Philadelphia at the conference held at Downtownâ€™s Borough of Manhattan Community College on March 28. Co-hosted by Local Progress and the Center for Popular Democracy, the twoday conference was aimed at sharing innovative idea, policies, and resources developed in the many jurisdictions across the country that have declared themselves â€œsanctuariesâ€? dedicating to protecting otherwise law-abiding undocumented immigrants from depor-
tation and harassment. In her opening remarks, MarkViverito mentioned ways New York City defends immigrants, such as blocking Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents from private areas on city properties, restricting access to schools and student records, and offering legal services to vulnerable immigrants. â€œWe are here because we know that as public servants our duty is to uphold the principles that this country is founded on,â€? she said. Pointing to the seemingly vindictive policies of the Trump administration, she declared: â€œThis is the right fight to take on.â€? Not long after the conference began, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions was on TV warning that the Department of Justice is ready to hold back nearly $4 billion in funds from any so-called â€œsanctuary cities,â€? such as New York. Sanctuary cities are municipalities that do not go out of their way cooperate with or help enforce federal immi-
Photo by Tequila Minsky
Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito addressed the nationwide conference sponsored by Local Progress and The Center for Popular for Democracy, where she vowed to become Trumpâ€™s â€œworst nightmare.â€?
gration laws. For years the NYPD has resisted using its personnel to assist ICE officers. Department of Correction officers only honor detainer requests for
undocumented immigrants who have been charged with a violent crime or are SANCTUARY Continued on page 8
We Now Treat Kids, Too! *$%$*( $ */-( **%&(%, $ '+" */&()%$" 0(*%%+( "($$# " ) *%+(.&$ "($))(, )%+(.&(*)$%- %((%+* $.# $* %$) ##+$ 0* %$), ) %$$ ( $*)*)$,"%&#$*")($ $ NYU Langone at Trinity (%-/ $ *"%%() -%(!
April 06 â€“ April 19, 2017
would like to extend a special thank you to our 2017 Impact Award Sponsors Presenting Sponsor:
Our other Sponsors:
April 06 â€“ April 19, 2017
Downtown dogs Shelter hosts pet-adoption event BY COLIN MIXSON Centre Street’s Animal Haven Shelter held a pet-adoption event on March 30, and got a little help from a family of social-media mavens swinging through town on a road trip. The Eh Bee Family, a socialmedia sensation that’s attracted 17 million followers, volunteered at the shelter’s event, where they attracted a crowd that went on to give a few lucky cats and dogs a loving home for life. “They were there to greet people and were volunteering too,” said Tiffany Lacey, executive director at Animal Haven. “So that was a big attraction for people.” The Canada-based internet celebrities, who have earned digital fame for their family friendly Vine, Instagram, and Youtube creations, stopped in at Animal Haven last Thursday as part of a nation-wide tour, during which the allergy-prone family has com-
pleted allergy-triggering tasks in Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Denver, Kansas City, Cincinnati, and Baltimore as part of a campaign to prove allergy sensitivity doesn’t have to prevent you from enjoying a full life. And at the shelter, it proved that having allergies doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the company of cats and dogs, according to Lacey. “They do projects to show that you can still adopt even if you have allergies,” she said. To make it easier for folks to take home their furry friends, the shelter’s sponsors were offering a $50 discount on adoption fees for the animals, who were all spayed, vaccinated, and suited up with microchips. Not many pets were adopted that day, but the event generated tremendous interest in the shelter, and Lacey estimates between five and 10 furry friends found homes as a result of the event.
Photo by Tequila Minsky
Emily Han came out to Animal Haven’s adoption event looking for the right-sized pooch to fi t in her family’s Washington Square Village apartment.
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April 06 – April 19, 2017
YEAH-BU! Nobu Downtown opens in Fidi this week
Rockwell Group / Eric Laignel
(Above) The centerpiece of the bar area is a dramatic Ash wood â€œbrushstrokeâ€? sculpture carved by artist John Houshmand. (Below) The dining room downstairs can seat 187. (Bottom) The decor of the ground-level bar and lounge makes the most of the landmarked lobbyâ€™s stately columns.
also designed the origiItâ€™s Tribeca flagnal Nobu in Tribeca. ship Nobu Next Door The street-level bar closed its doors March and lounge occupies 25, but Downtown 4,500 square feet of the wonâ€™t Nobu-less buildingâ€™s landmarked for long â€” Nobu lobby, with stairs leadDowntown is opening ing down to the 187-seat on April 6 in Fidi. dining room below. Chef Nobuyuki Nobu is the first Matsuhisa will bring retailer to open in the his distinctive Asianformer AT&T headfusion cuisine to a new quartersâ€™ lobby followspace at 195 Broadway ing a $50 million retail in perhaps the mostredevelopment by L&L anticipated restaurant Photo by Mark Schafer Company. opening of the year in Chef Nobuyuki Matsuhisa Holding retailer an area already expe- opens Nobu Downtown on Clothing Anthropologie is expectriencing a gourmet April 6 at 195 Broadway. ed to open there soon. renaissance. Nobu Downtown is already taking The new 12,500-square-foot restaurantâ€™ decor harkens back to Matsuhisaâ€™s dinner reservations, but â€” as approprihome of 23 years in Tribeca, with its inte- ate for the â€œTelephone Buildingâ€? â€” only rior designed by David Rockwell, who by phone: 212-219-0500.
ATTENTION: Property Owners, Commercial Tenants and Residents of Lower Manhattan
2017 ANNUAL MEETING May 3, 2017 at 4 P.M.
LMHQ, 150 Broadway, 20 th Floor (Picture IDs are necessary to enter building)
The meeting is open to the public and all registered members are eligible to vote. 120 Broadway, Suite 3340 New York, NY 10271 (212) 566-6700 www.DowntownNY.com
April 06 â€“ April 19, 2017
BY JANEL BL ADOW Showers and flowers. We’re seeing the first few crocuses and daffodils popping up following last week’s miserable rain. Ah, April! CHICKEN SHACK… Here’s a fun turn of events. Look for an iconic institution from “Breaking Bad” and “Better Call Saul” to take up residence in the Seaport next weekend. “Los Pollos Hermanos” the chain of Albuquerque chicken joints used as a front to distribute meth by cartel mobster Gus Fring on the hit TV show will set up shop at 243 Pearl St. in the parking lot between Fulton and John streets on Sunday, April 9 (11 a.m.–8 p.m.) and Monday, April 10 (10 a.m.–8 p.m.). As “BB” and “Saul” fans know, Fring is a prominent Southwestern US methamphetamine distributor who uses his successful fried chicken chain and his industrial laundry company, Lavanderia Brillante, as fronts. Meanwhile, he’s a bigtime supporter of the local DEA. A cunning and deceitful character expertly played by Giancarlo Esposito. Let’s hope the chicken is just as juicy as the backstory. BREW NEWS… We’ll be getting a lot more beer and burgers the rest of the year. Beginning in early June, Clinton Hill, a craft-beer bar on Washington Street, plans to open a two-story suds heaven at the corner of Fulton and Front streets. Along with a rotation of 20 craft beers and 20 styles of burgers, this joint
Village sensation Big Gay Ice Cream is in talks to open a pop-up stall in the Seaport for the summer, testing the waters for a more permanent location.
April 06 – April 19, 2017
Fictional fast-food front operation Los Pollos Hermanos — which provided cover for Gus Fring’s meth operation on “Breaking Bad” — is opening a pop-up at 243 Pearl St. April 9–10 to promote the season premier of series spinoff “Better Call Saul.”
will also house a floor for dedicated gamers – including a giant-sized Jenga. It encompasses 40,000 square feet of space – around 7,000 indoors – and another 30,000 outdoors for 50 picnic tables. It will also feature a smaller restaurant, Food Lab, where a rotation of chefs will create a new menu every two weeks. Dale Talde, of TV’s “Top Chef” and owner of Park Slope’s Talde, is one of the food mavens now in talks. Plus, inside will be a “speakeasy” cocktail bar. The indoor restaurants/bars will be open through New Year’s Eve. DAIRY QUEENS… And the iceman cometh. Big Gay Ice Cream is in talks too with Howard Hughes Corp. to open a pop-up stall in the Seaport for the summer, then probably move into a more permanent location. The quirkily named soft-serve confections include cones and pints, like the “Salty Pimp” — Dulce de Leche spiced with sea salt. Started as a whimsical food truck in 2009 by Bryan Petroff and Douglas Qunit, BGIC now has shops in both the East and West Village, Gansevoort Market and Philadelphia. Next stop, the Seaport! HAPPY HOUNDS… Salty Paw celebrated its 10th year last month. Congrats to Amanda Zink and Team Salty. FUNNY PICTURES… More free fun at Animation Nights New York. April Animation, Wednesday, April 12, 8 pm, feature more short freestyle films
from around the world. ANNY HQs are at 180 Maiden Lane. RSVP at http:// www.animationnights.com/upcomingscreening/. NEITHER RAIN NOR SNOW — REALLY?… The United State Postal Service can just can its age-old motto. My mail isn’t getting through no matter the weather! I spent the last three months trying to find a check mailed from Los Angeles in January, a credit card shipped from Florida and fending off late fees and cut-off notices from creditors, utilities and more. All because the mail — bills, checks and statements — never made it to my Water Street door. W2s and other important mail haven’t arrived but I sure do get a lot of notices from State Senator Daniel Squadron and City Councilmember Margaret Chin plus all the credit card promotions! This has gone on periodically for more than five years, starting when the PO was still on Peck Slip. Calls to the manager only get a recording. Visits to the office get a piece of paper to call the manager or suggestions to open a PO box. Anyone else having issues? I would love to hear from you. Leave a message at the end of the column at www.downtownexpress.com. Oh, and when the check was reissued and mailed from LA to a PO box in a small village Upstate, it arrived in two days! Go figure! BAD DOGGIE PARENTS… It’s time to rub some noses in a huge problem of our own creation. If you have a dog, you are REQUIRED BY LAW to pick up after your baby ANYWHERE in NYC – that includes dog runs, sidewalks, the front steps of chic Fidi, and Seaport buildings. No one else is supposed to do it for you! I’ve gotten lots of complaints lately from neighbors as far south as Old Slip and north as Southbridge Towers and about how
filthy our streets have become. More importantly, The Wall Street dog run at South Street is a doggie-doo horror show. Karen Warren — who moved here a couple weeks ago with her husband, two Shelties, and some cats — photographed at least five piles there on Saturday. “It’s disgusting,” she said. The area smells of urine said another long time neighbor. I went over on Sunday. About 10 dogs were running around. It looked better than I expected, but Ben — a neighbor and new puppy parent to Effie, a 3-month-old Boston terrier —pointed out that it could be cleaner. I couldn’t agree more. I saw pee not rinsed off, and another local noted that someone just put a traffic cone over a pile rather than pick it up. The dog run is not a bathroom — it’s a place for dogs to socialize and play. Please, if you see something… you know what to do. And call 311 to log complaints. The Parks Department is supposed to keep that run clean, but they can’t do it if you don’t clean up after your pooch. SETTING SAIL FROM THE SEAPORT… If you’ve lived in the Seaport as long as I have, then you know these “kids.” Kathleen Aisha Joyce grew up hanging around the place her dad (Tommy Joyce) made a neighborhood institution for more than 20 years: Radio Mexico (at the site of the current Cowgirl Seahorse on Front Street). She went on to tend bar at Meade’s, Jeremey’s Ale House, and Paris Café. She and bartending buddy Chano Morales, joined forces with Damien Prudente, her dad’s longtime head chef at both Radio Mexico and Prairie Fire to help revamp Long Island City’s Holy Gaucamole. You can go say hi at their new haunt at 3555 31st St., Astoria, right off the “N” train.
Photo by Janel Bladow
Tonto scrutinizes 3-month old Effie at the Wall Street Dog Run, which has been turned into a doggie-doo mine field by negligent puppy parents.
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.
April 06 – April 19, 2017
SANCUARY Continued from page 2
considered a threat to national security. Mark-Viverito forcefully pushed back against the dubious claims by the Trump camp that such sanctuary policies threaten public safety. “We have a fact-averse administration. But we have the reports and the data that demonstrate that those cities that implement policies like the ones we implement in NYC lead to our cities being safer cities. We are the safest large city in the country. We are the safest we’ve been. we are on solid economic ground.” Mark-Viverito insisted that the city is within its legal rights to protect its undocumented residents without fear of losing federal funding, and said that her office was reviewing Sessions’s order to determine a proper response, which may include legal action. A series of panels and small-group sessions followed, and included discussions on detainer policies, litigation strategies to challenge federal and state anti-immigrant actions, local organizing strategies, and a tour of the city’s pioneering access-to-counsel program for unaccompanied minors. The Center for Popular Democracy also released a handbook for policy makers called Protecting Immigrant Communities: Municipal Policy to
Photos by Tequila Minsky
(Above) Philadelphia Councilmemberat-Large Helen Gym stressed how important it is for sanctuary cities to cooperate and stand together against assaults by the Trump Administration. (Left) Yale law professor Michael Wishnie holds up a copy of the Center for Popular Democracy’s handbook Protecting Immigrant Communities.
Confront Mass Deportation and Criminalization, which gathers lessons and best practices from cities that have passed sanctuary policies in recent years to help other such locales adapt tho the belligerent new order. Helen Gym, a Councilmember-atLarge in Philadelphia, pointed out the need for sanctuary cities to stand together against concerted federal sanctions. “With immigrants facing unprecedented and overwhelming threats, we have a responsibility as local lawmak-
ers to stand up for our communities and ensure everyone feels safe and welcome,” she said. “But no one city and no one lawmaker can do it alone. We must lean on each other and come together as one to defeat the dangers we face.” Former San Francisco Supervisor David Campos, now deputy county executive of Santa Clara County, argued that dragooning local police to enforce federal immigration laws violates the 10th Amendment. “We are the second county, next
to Cook County [Chicago], to make it clear that we are not going to become an arm of immigration,” he said. Campos also pointed out that it was police chiefs who were the first to warn that locally enforcing immigration laws risked losing the trust of the communities where they work. “And, it’s a public safety issue. We want our undocumented residents to feel safe to report crime, whether they’re a victim or a witness. When they come forward, crimes get solved.”
COMING IN SEPTEMBER OF 2017
Manhattan. 2 Fifth Avenue, New York NY 10011 A new day care center for children ages two to ﬁve will open its door for 2017/2018 school year. The 8
April 06 – April 19, 2017
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Hot prop-erty Downtown prop warehouse needs loading zone to stay in business BY COLIN MIXSON A prop warehouse that has dressed sets for “The Sopranos” and “Sex in the City” ditched its 22nd Street digs in Chelsea for a new home on Downtown’s Ann Street last week, and while the new space is half the rent, the business needs city permission to install a loading zone on the narrow roadway to make it work, according to Errol Murad, owner of American Foliage. “We’re talking about union trucks coming and dropping off all the time, and they don’t want to get tickets for double-parking every time they come,” said Murad. “If we don’t get a loading zone soon, it will start to hurt our business.” American Foliage specializes in selling and renting plants, fake or live, to film and television productions, in addition to decorating special events like weddings and bar mitvahs. The prop warehouse lists work with films “I am Legend,” “X-men,” “The
Last Samurai,” and the “Spiderman” trilogy in its credits, and is currently working with ongoing productions of TV thriller “The Blacklist,” political drama “Madame Secretary,” and “Elementary,” a re-envisioned Sherlock Holmes detective show. The new space, which has been vacant since print shop Nova Graphics moved to Brooklyn in 2015, is about half the size of the prop store’s former 22nd Street location, and finding space for all the green stuff has been part of the trick in making the Downtown location work. “To say the least, it’s been a little hairy,” Murad said. But the main challenge is helping production vehicles find loading space on narrow Ann Street, where parking has been turned over to the commercial vehicles working the numerous construction sites along the roadway. “This block is really narrow, number one, and there’s no parking,” said
Photo by Bill Egbert
Errol Murad, owner of American Foliage, says accommodating his need for a loading zone would be as simple as extending an existing zone for a nearby hotel just a couple of dozen feet to his storefront.
Murad. “Everything’s filled up before we even get here in the morning.” The city hasn’t gotten back to Murad about his request, but he’s found a champion in Community Board 1’s Vice Chairman Paul Hovitz, who has begun pressing the Department of Transportation to expedite permits for the loading zone. Ann Street is already too clogged up with work trucks and traffic coming
out of the nearby Hawthorn School to allow production trucks to double park along the thin strip of pavement there, Hovtiz said. “It has multiple issues,” he said. And Hovitz also seems to get a kick out of having the prop warehouse in the neighborhood, and would be sad to see it go, he said. “I think it adds to the ongoing fun and games Downtown,” Hovitz said.
Bridge Defender. Father. “I work to keep NYC’s bridges safe.”
Look out for him in work zones.
April 06 – April 19, 2017
JOIN US FOR
HOLY WEEK At The Church of St. Luke in the Fields Saturdayâ€” April 8
Good Friday â€” April 14
7:30 pm The Seven Last Words of Our 9:00 am Morning Prayer Savior on the Crossâ€”Eduardo Bellotti, 1:00 pm Good Friday Liturgy organist 6:00 pm Stations of the Cross Palm Sunday â€” April 9 7:30 pm Meditations on the Blessing of the Palms and Holy Eucharist Passion of Christâ€”Music and Readings 8:00 am Said Eucharist 9:15 am Choral Eucharist* Holy Saturday â€” April 15 11:15 am Choral Eucharist* 8:00 pm The Great Vigil of Easter 1:15 pm Service of Healing The Paschal Vigil and First Eucharist of Easter with Baptism, Conrmation, Mon. Tues.â€” April 10, 11 Reception and Rearmation 6:15 pm Said Eucharist of Baptismal Vows.
Wednesday â€” April 12
6:15 pm Stations of the Cross and Holy Eucharist
Easter Sunday â€” April 16
8:00 am Said Eucharist 9:15 am Choral Eucharist* 6:30 pm Choral Eucharist with 10:30 am Easter Egg Hunt Foot Washing, Agape Supper, Strip11:15 am Choral Eucharist* ping of the Altar, and Vigil at the Altar 12:45 pm Healing Service of Repose. Overnight Watch until 1pm
Maundy Thursday â€” April 13
*Child care is available for children
ages 6 and under
The Church of Saint Luke in the Fields | Corner of Hudson and Grove Streets
A man of questionable moral values stripped a gentleman of his phone, jacket, and cash inside a Broadway fast food joint on April 4 â€” after the man suffered a debilitating seizure inside the eatery. The victim told police he was inside the quickie diner between Liberty Street and Maiden Lane at 12:45 p.m., when he was suddenly struck by a seizure and rendered unconscious. While he was out, another man set to work stripping him of anything of value, taking a Gucci wallet, Prada Jacket, iPhone 6S, credit cards, and cash, cops said.
Thieves looted a Broadway fashion shop to the tune of $5,000 worth of designer handbags on March 30. Video surveillance revealed the two men working their way through the boutique between Prince and W. Houston streets at 4 p.m., slipping the Prada purses off of store mannequins and deftly stuffing them into a backpack before sneaking off with two bags worth $3,080 and $2,430.
BOMBED OUT A thief stole a ritzy bomber jacket from a Broadway boutique on March 28. An employee told police the suspect was perusing the retailerâ€™s designer wardrobe between Spring and Prince streets at 10:17 a.m., when he shoved the $1,036 coat into a bag and sailed past the register, before hopping onto a bike and peddling away with his illgotten gear.
487 Hudson Street New York, NY 10014 | 212.924.0562 | www.stlukeintheelds.org
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A pickpocket used a womanâ€™s credit cards that he had nabbed from a Spring Street bakery on March 26 to fuel an illicit, $1,000 spending spree. The victim told police she was dining at the crowded sweet shop between Sullivan and Thompson streets at 1:45 p.m., enjoying her scrumptious treats before realizing an hour later that her wallet was missing from her purse. A call to the bank revealed the unauthorized charges, cops said.
UP IN SMOKE Crooks nabbed more than $1,000 worth of coffin nails from a Wall Street drug store on March 30. An employee told police that the suspect waltzed into the pharmacy between William and Broad streets at 2:42 a.m., when he proceeded to jump the counter and fill his arms with cartons of Parliament, Marlboro, and Camel cigarettes, nabbing 107 packs in total.
SNATCHED A thief stole a womanâ€™s ritzy Louis Vuitton handbag from between her legs on Varick Street on March 31. The victim told police she was between W. Houston and King streets at 11 p.m., when she placed her purse between her legs as she busied herself ordering an Uber cab. Barely a minute had passed before the woman looked down to discover that her $3,000 bag, along with a silk cashmere scarf, Tom Rad Sunglasses, a Louis Vuitton wallet, and the credit cards it contained were all gone, cops said. â€” Colin Mixson
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April 06 â€“ April 19, 2017
UNLINKED Where are Downtown’s LinkNYC free wifi sites?
BY DENNIS LYNCH The city has been installing its LinkNYC free wifi kiosks like mad throughout the five boroughs — more than 800 citywide so far — but you wouldn’t know it if you took a stroll anywhere south of Worth Street. But don’t feel too neglected, Downtowners — the city’s LinkNYC contractor, CityBridge, has plans to expand into the neighborhood this year, a spokesperson told Downtown Express. It’s just not clear where yet — but we can offer an educated guess based on how CityBridge has expanded around the city so far. The stated goal of the LinkNYC program was to replace the city’s ubiquitous but rather obsolete payphones with services more relevant to 21st-century living — namely free wifi, mobile phone charging, and video advertising. So CityBridge has literally been following the map of payphones around the city, laying the fiber optic lines up
Downtown certainly has lots of payphones, which is where LinkNYC installs its free-wifi kiosks.
and down streets and avenues as they go. They started on the west side of Manhattan, “where the internet infrastructure begins” on the island, according to CityBridge, and have been working their way up, down, and across major avenues and streets. Then they lay cables onto smaller streets branchDowntownExpress.com
ing from those larger ones. Kiosks now line Eighth Avenue, Broadway north of W. 66th Street, 14th Street, and Third Avenue. And CityBridge has started to expand in the area between Eighth and Third Avenues in Midtown. If you want to guess where they might come in Lower Manhattan, just look at the payphone map. It turns out there were a whole lot of payphones in Lower Manhattan. So far CityBridge has installed a few on Lafayette north of the City Center and near Allen Street in the Lower East Side. If they continue their practice of installing along main thoroughfares, Broadway is probably the best guess for what street CityBridge will use to reach into Lower Manhattan. The entire LinkNYC program started last year and will take until 2022 to complete installation of the 7,500 total kiosks the city hired CityBridge to install. How that final rollout will look is unclear at the moment, according to the CityBridge spokesperson. In the meantime, you can make use of the Downtown Alliance’s free wifi network, which mostly covers Broadway, and from the Seaport to the east side of The Battery, concentrated around Water Street. The Alliance will soon expand the service along Broad Street. LinkNYC claims that it provides wifi Internet speeds “100 times faster than average public wifi,” so the Alliance will definitely have some competition once CityBridge expands the program southward — but the former’s wifi network isn’t “average,” according Alliance reps. Hurricane Sandy didn’t do a whole lot of good for Downtown, but Internet providers have installed far faster and more robust networks since then, because much of their infrastructure, such as underground copper wires, was totally destroyed in the storm. The Alliance runs its wifi off those networks, and reps said typical speeds are between 50–75 megabytes per second, and 25 megabytes per second at its slowest.
A look at LinkNYC’s map of its free-wifi kiosks could make Downtowners feel kind of neglected.
The Downtown Alliance already offers free wifi in several parts of the neighborhood, and plans to continue expanding the service.
April 06 – April 19, 2017
Outsider art Bookstore exhibit celebrates work of overlooked antiestablishment artist BY DENNIS LYNCH Chelsea’s Printed Matter bookstore is running a career-spanning exhibit of works one of the Lower East Side’s fiercest and certainly one of its least-known antiestablishment artists, Richard Tyler. “The Schizophrenic Bomb: Richard Tyler and the Uranian Press” examines Tyler’s work as an artist, thinker and co-founder of the Uranian Phalanstery, a spiritual and pseudo-mystic art collective that sought to merge life with art and challenge societal norms. The exhibit takes its name from one of Tyler’s many hand-pressed treatises, which in this case addressed nuclear holocaust. As he did with many of his writings, Tyler expounds his worldview in the “The Schizophrenic Bomb” with epic, proselytizing language conveyed in a highly unique visual style. The exhibit spans his entire career, from his earliest works in the mid1950s, to his founding works for the Phalanstery in 1974, to his last work detailing his battle with cancer before his death in 1983. Tyler got his start as a woodblockprint artist and was a “star” at his Chicago art school — good enough to have his early works included in Smithsonian collections, according to Max Schumann, the executive director of Printed Matter, at 231 11th Ave., at W. 26th St. He arrived in New York in the late ’50s with his wife and fellow artist, Dorothea Baer, worked as a commercial graphic artist, including for Playboy magazine, and helped found the famous Judson Gallery at Judson Memorial Church, on Washington Square South. Even though he was deeply involved in the art scene at the time, Tyler never
aspired to ascend in the fine-art world, according to Schumann. The Printed Matter owner first met Tyler as a family friend of his father, Peter Schumann, who founded Bread and Puppet Theater on the Lower East Side in 1963. Tyler’s disinterest in fame is perhaps why he’s not more well known, Schumann said. “Very few people knew about Richard Tyler,” he said. “But the people that did know about him, he had a big impact on. He was a real outsider, as he had no interest in fame and fortune with galleries and stuff like that.” The exhibit includes almost everything the still-functioning Phalanstery has kept of Tyler’s, including his signature pushcart, from which he would sell his and others’ artworks and treatises. Tyler could be seen wheeling the cart each day from his East Village basement to Judson Church to sell his wares. The group was based in two adjacent buildings on E. Fourth St. near Avenue D, buying them in 1974. The younger Schumann admits that he is personally “still trying to figure out” Tyler’s philosophy and work. Tyler was a “madman” and a “violent freak in many ways,” he said, yet also a person with charisma, which attracted artists to his little arts collective. He was dedicated to DIY, doing all his pressing and printing in-house. The artist often hired young neighborhood kids to teach them pressing methods and to help press Uranian Phalanstery materials. Tyler, who spent time in Japan immediately after World War II, was strongly influenced by the imagery and philosophies of astrology, as well as Eastern religions. He incorporated those themes
Photo by Dennis Lynch
An original, hand-printed book done by a young apprentice at the Uranian Press.
April 06 – April 19, 2017
Photo by Dennis Lynch
Richard Tyler’s street pushcart, from which he would sell his hand-printed Uranian Press treatises — such as “The Schizophrenic Bomb,” about nuclear war and LSD.
in all of his works, long before the “New Age” movement exploded in Western culture. Tyler’s interpretations were noticeably darker and more mystical than the themes in that later movement, Schumann noted. “It’s totally not hippie-dippie New Age,” he said. “There’s this sort of dark, death current that runs from the very beginning of his work to the end of it.” Tyler put his offbeat creations on his body, too. He ran an illegal DIY tattoo parlor for Phalanstery members, inking himself and others with the symbols that adorned his pamphlets, the walls of his apartment and his collages. That earned him an interview and feature published not long after his death in Ed Hardy’s Tattootime magazine in 1983. If you want to get his philosophy from the horse’s mouth, that’s the interview to read. It’s available on the Uranian Phalanstery Facebook page. Tyler and the collective also regularly took LSD and other psychedelics as a mode of “controlled schizophrenia, helping to facilitate entry into nonmaterial realms.” Like acid-dropping Lower East Side gardener Adam Purple, who sometimes called himself Rev Les Ego, Tyler similarly also went by Rev Relytor. (Like Tyler, Purple also distributed his own fliers, though from a bicycle not a pushcart.) Schumann hopes that people will walk away with a new appreciation for Tyler and his collective’s works. Tyler, who died in 1983, was a man
“whose life was really his art practice,” explained Schumann, calling him almost a “case study” in that regard. “It’s the mash-up and the art-life practice,” he said, “where art, death, creativity, community, a lifestyle of living outside the system, and not only not being engaged or aspiring to high art or the institutions of arts — just completely not recognizing the values. So, it’s a refusal of the culture values that the rest of us are working within. He was a real renegade and anti-authoritarian, so I think that’s an interesting model. Someone who, they aren’t pissed because they aren’t in it, they just totally don’t give a s---. It doesn’t register as anything meaningful or important to be in a gallery.” But now Tyler’s work is in a gallery. And the walls feature blown-up photos of what his basement studio at 326 E. Fourth St. looked like. Because the two East Village brick buildings were in deteriorating condition, the Uranian Phalanstery relocated Uptown in 2010 to Hamilton Heights, where it continues on today. Printed Matter, which specializes in artists’ books and small-press publications, also started out Downtown, in Tribeca in 1976, and after a 20-year stint in Soho on Wooster St., moved to Chelsea in 2001 and to its current location in 2015. The exhibit will be at Printed Matter through Sun., April 16. For more information, visit www.printedmatter.org. DowntownExpress.com
Dates: Thur., April–Wed., April 12
ALTERNATE SIDE PARKING SUSPENDED TUESDAY WEDNESDAY FOR PASSOVER The fi nger pointing has begun with the MTA and NJ Transit blaming Amtrak for poor maintenance and a terrible response to Monday’s derailment. Whoever is at fault, it is the public that will suffer. Service is still spotty as of Wednesday night. In Lower Manhattan, this means more people on PATH trains and more traffic at the Holland Tunnel. We don’t care who’s at fault! Work together and get it fi xed! Happy Pesach! Monday and Tuesday at sunset, Jews all over the city will begin celebrating Passover with Seders, traditional dinners recalling their time as slaves in Egypt and their exodus. Afternoon delays for Lower Manhattan will be especially heavy at the Williamsburg Bridge, Brooklyn Bridge and the Holland Tunnel as people make their way to join families and friends. Traffic turbulence will begin around 3 p.m., but the good news is it will also calm down early, between 6:30 p.m. and 7 p.m. On the subway, uptown 1 trains will skip Franklin through 28th streets, midnight to 5 a.m. Monday, through the end of the week. Monday marks the beginning of spring recess for public schools, so although morning traffic might be slightly lighter without school traffic, drivers beware: kids out of school means they’ll
be out and about, so pay extra special attention! From the Mailbag: Dear Transit Sam, Can you explain: what is the law regarding yellow school buses parked on city streets? Are they allowed to park anywhere at any time? Can they park in front of schools or religious institutions? Henry Bolus Dear Henry, Buses (and the law (NYC Traffic law 4-08(m)(5) doesn’t omit school buses) are not allowed to park on city streets unless authorized by signs. School buses are allowed to park at any time adjacent to a school. Religious institutions are not covered by this law unless they include a school. Transit Sam Dear readers: Transit Sam wants you to be safe at all times. Please see his company’s recent report, Pedestrian Traffic Fatalities by State, detailing an 11-percent jump in pedestrian fatalities nationwide in just one year. Here in NYC we also saw a spike in pedestrian and bicycle deaths. Please do not drive distracted or impaired; and please be careful walking out there. My recommendation is keep the volume down on headphones while crossing and don’t even THINK of texting in the road. Transit Sam
SOU N D O F F! W R ITE A LETTE R TO TH E E D ITO R! EDITO R@DOW NTOW N EXPR ESS .C O M
Photo by Milo Hess
Shining bright The brilliant spire of 1 World Trade Center glowed electric blue on April 2 in honor of World Autism Day, joining hundreds of iconic landmarks around the world in raising awareness of autism-spectrum disorders.
THE NEW SOUND OF
BROOKLYN The Community News Group is proud to introduce BROOKLYN PAPER RADIO. Join Brooklyn Paper Editor-in-Chief Vince DiMiceli and the New York Daily News’ Gersh Kuntzman every Tuesday at 2:00 for an hour of talk on topics Brooklynites hold dear. Each show will feature instudio guests and call-out segments, and can be listened to live or played anytime at your convenience.
JOSEPH LICHTER, D.D.S.
LISTEN EVERY TUESDAY AT 2:00PM ON BrooklynPaper.com/radio DowntownExpress.com
April 06 – April 19, 2017
TRAFFIC STUDY Continued from page 1
have refused even to fund the study required for the agency to weigh in on the proposal, instead saying its up to the developer to not only foot the bill for a feasibility test, but also fund any subsequent work, according to spokeswoman Alana Morales. “As is typical with new developments, a traffic study would need to be conducted by the developer,” said Morales. “Any costs associated with traffic changes would be the responsibility of developer [or] property owner.” Usually, the city would dangle necessary zoning changes or the promise of additional development rights in front of builders to induce any desired probono spending on the developer’s part. As it stands, however, Trinity Place Holdings doesn’t require any further permissions or permits from the city to complete construction of the largely residential tower, meaning DOT appears content to rely purely on the developer’s sense of charity, and the consequences could be dire, Greenleaf said. “It sounds as though the DOT is being intransigent,” said Greenleaf. “I don’t really understand that. If the school is being built as planned, there will be tons of traffic problems; there
could be injuries or worse.” Local lawmakers, including state Sen. Daniel Squadron, agree it would be nice if the developer chipped in money for the study, but about the only party saying the responsibility doesn’t ultimately fall on DOT’s shoulders is DOT itself. “It would be great if the developer picked up the tab, but at the end of the day, that can’t be an excuse for nothing to happen,” said Squadron spokesman Zeeshan Ott. Assemblywoman Yuh-Line Niou condemned the city for passing the buck on a process that can take considerable time, and should begin as quickly as possible. “Finger pointing on who is responsible for funding a study only delays the speed at which we can deliver the peace of mind of school safety to Lower Manhattan families,” Niou said. As it is, the city has track record of waiting for tragedy, and then taking action. In Tribeca, the city waited until after a child was hit by a speeding cab crossing Greenwhich Street at Duane Street in 2011 to install a much-needed traffic light, despite repeated requests for improvements from parents and safety advocates.
File photo by Suellen Epstein
Downtown’s little leaguers really had something to cheer about this spring when Howard Hughes Corp. went to bat for the tykes, replacing thousands of dollars worth of equipment ruined by a mishap during winter storage. LITTLE LEAGUE Continued from page 1
communicate and get together outside of the modern tech.” Scherl stepped up to the plate to cut a $15,000 check for the league organizers, covering roughly half the damages, and earning Howard Hughes a place as a platinum sponsor for the little league’s upcoming season. Howard Hughes has donated roughly $2 million between 2015–2016 to local schools and community organizations, including the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, Military Society of the War, Old Seaport Alliance, Peck
Slip School, and Spruce Street School, Scherl said. And all that goodwill may come in handy as the company pursues further its sweeping development rights at the Seaport, where Howard Hughes has already run into trouble with local preservationists over nixed plans to build a 650-foot super tower, plans to physically relocate and demolish parts of the landmarked Tin Building, and a reluctance to release the company’s overall master plan for the historic Downtown area. But coming through for the kids in the clutch like this can only help.
THE DOWNTOWN DOWNTOWN CONNECTION CONNECTION IS THE IS YOUR YOUR FREE RIDE RIDE AROUND AROUND LOWER LOWER MANHATTAN! FREE MANHATTAN!
April 06 – April 19, 2017
A cyber-seal from Uncle Sam Pace University again named computer-security ‘center of excellence’ BY COLIN MIXSON The federal government has certified Pace University as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education for a second time, and will continue offering scholarships to budding cyberwarriors through 2022 in exchange for a few years in service to their country. The students who can expect to be awarded the federal scholarships are interested in more than just making a tidy profit off their cutting-edge skills, but also in waging cyberwar on behalf of their fellow Americans in the front line of the burgeoning digital battlescape, according to school’s primo code slinger. “These kids are motivated not because it’s a lucrative career field, but because they want to give something back,” said Dr. Jonathan Hill, dean of the Seidenberg School of Computer Science and Information Systems at Pace. “The government is also a great proving ground, and they’re very much on the front lines of this battle.” Through the federally sponsored cyber security program, Pace will be accepting 12 to 15 students into its Seidenberg School, where they’ll not only receive a firm grounding in computer science, but will also get hands-on experience combating cyber threats, and work hand-in-hand with government agencies such as the National Security Agency and the Department of Homeland Security. “We give them a really strong foundation, coupled with specialized training in the latest cyber security technology, encryption, cyber-forensic techniques, and so on, and they will do internships with government agencies to get experience,” said Hill. The scholarship will pay for tuition, room, and board for between two and three years, and graduates will owe Uncle Sam an equal amount of time in service to the country, either on the city, state, or federal level.
Dr. Jonathan Hill, dean of Pace University’s Seidenberg School of Computer Science and Information Systems will be training America’s next generation of cyberwarriors.
“It’s not unlike service at the military academy,” said Hill. “The federal government pays for tuition, room, board, books, and they are then required to work for a government agency. It can be local like the NYPD, state like the State Attorney General, or a federal agency.” After repaying the government, the cyber security experts will be well-placed to enter a private sector in constant need of innovative new digital security mea-
sures, in a world where any service provided online has become a target for hackers and cyber schemers looking to make an easy buck, Hill said. “Anybody who does business on the internet needs this — the threat to industry and e-commerce in general by cyber criminals is overwhelming,” he said. “When these folks come out with this Pace education, and a number of years working for the government, they can write their own check.”
Pace debaters win hearts, minds, and cash money
Pace students Christina Thomas and Rowan Lanning won $3,000 for effectively arguing that a proposal to create 43 oil-barge anchorages on the Hudson needs an environmental review. The prospect of cleaner water will just be a bonus. DowntownExpress.com
BY COLIN MIXSON A pair of articulate environmentalists studying at Pace University’s Dyson College of Arts and Sciences took home $3,000 after they scored first place in a debate competition held at New School University on March 30. Pace students Christina Thomas and Rowan Lanning persuasively argued that a Coast Guard proposal to create 43 oil-barge anchorages on the Hudson River should be subject to an environmental review process, using rhetoric that Upstate Sen. Terrence Murphy said couldn’t have been better — and chimed with his own arguments.
“Your detailed research project put further emphasis on what I have been saying since the Coast Guard ambushed us with this senseless proposal last spring,” Murphy exclaimed during the judging. The students’ victory marks Pace University’s fi rst-ever win at the Debating for Democracy competition, and faculty couldn’t be more proud of the scholars’ accomplishments. “We are extremely proud of Rowan and Christina for their stunning performance at the competition, and for representing Pace University with intelligence and distinction,” said John Cronin, senior fellow at the Dyson
College Institute for Sustainability and the Environment. The students plan on using their $3,000 winnings to fund further dogoodings, and lobby congress for the reform they argued for at the debate. “We feel so honored that we were able to attend and to present our work,” said Lanning. “We still have to decide exactly where we are going to put it, but we want to implement the proposal that we laid out in our letter. We want to start a student outreach group and get the students more connected with the local government, local legislation and to be an active voice in this area.” April 06 – April 19, 2017
E D ITO R IAL
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April 06 – April 19, 2017
BY LENORE SKENAZY A new airport is about to open on 44th Street, just west of Times Square. It has 17 gates, plenty of parking, 34 gift stores and, of course, planes taking off and landing day and night. Best of all, a ticket only costs $25. That’s because this airport is the jewel in the crown of Gulliver’s Gate, a mind-boggling scale model of the world, unlike anything I’d ever seen (including that cool model of New York City at the Queens Museum). Buildings the size of luggage, paperclip-high people, dogs no bigger than jellybeans, and hats the size of cake crumbs — the place is a riot of minutiae. But equally thrilling is the fact that as you walk though this world in miniature you take a couple of steps to tour Grand Central Station (peering at the 4, 5, and 6 subways underneath), then a few feet later you’re in Paris, with a stopover in Rome. Then it is on to Beijing, Buenos Aires, Stonehenge, and Angkor Wat. Can the Pyramids be far behind? Of course not. They’re right across from the Red Square. And all along the way, jokes and juxtapositions await anyone who looks a little closer: Who is crossing London’s Abbey Road? Four mini mop-topped musicians. And look over there, below sea level: a yellow submarine! The exhibit, the size of a city block, opens April 6 and represents the work of 600 artists. It is expected to welcome up to 4,000 people — real ones, life size — daily, and take 90 minutes to walk around. The adult ticket price becomes $36 after about a month of previews, with the place poised to become a
Times Square attraction every bit as quintessential as a Broadway show, or hug from a slightly drunk Elmo. “And all the while, things are happening,” said Gulliver’s marketing director, Jason Hackett, as he toured me around the world, still being assembled. “Lights and bells — constant motion — it’s an amazing symphony of interaction.” Cars honk and trains toot above the hum of ambient sound recorded in whatever country you’re looking at. And then there are 137 different keyholes you can put your key in to make something else happen: Your face appears in the pounding water of Niagara Falls, or a volcano erupts. What’s more, if you want to add yourself as a citizen of the world, you can have an itsy-bitsy 3D print of yourself placed in one of 15 crowd scenes — for instance, in front of the Louvre. The day I visited, two sculptors were busy carving a mountain for Guangzhou, China, while boxes of parsley-sized trees were being unloaded into Europe. South America had been held up at customs — all the overseas countries were actually made overseas. And Melanie Jelacic, a model maker, was working on the airport. “We want it to look very modern, “ said Jelacic, who’d previously created window displays at stores including Macy’s and Tiffany’s. The Gulliver airport is hyper-realistic. That means that in the shops you
can see — if you squint — there’s candy, cosmetics, souvenirs, even a rack of neck pillows. “Each pillow is so tiny, smaller than a sequin,” said Jelacic. And then there are the Gulliver’s Gate mugs. “They’re smaller than an ant — they’re like the back end of an ant. A lot of the times, if you drop them on the floor, they just disappear. I’ve dropped chairs, which are a little easier to find, but I also dropped a tray of vases that just rolled onto the floor and I lost them.” Although we’re talking about a scale model airport, it is still bigger than most Manhattan apartments — 2,000 square feet, with 11 workers weaving around each other. “Our team has to climb under and over the table,” said Jelacic. “That’s a knee-killer. It’s a big dance trying to stay out of engineering and electrical’s way.” Inside the airport, there will be mini people sleeping in chairs, re-charging their phones, and, of course, racing to catch their planes. To add to the realfeel, the model makers even built an art deco abandoned terminal, surrounded by a pockmarked roadway and dead grass. Meantime, the “in use” tarmac will be buzzing with luggage trucks, and littered with tire rubber from the planes constantly taking to the sky. Even after the exhibit opens, Jelanic and crew will be adding, tweaking, fixing, perhaps forever. Visitors will be able to watch it change. Which is pretty much how it works in the actual size world, too. Lenore Skenazy is a keynote speaker, author of the book and blog Free-Range Kids, and a contributor at Reason.com.
Posted To NEW BIKE LANES FOR LOWER MANHATTAN (MARCH 17) Pedestrians in NY are like cattle in the streets of India. They are not held responsible for their reckless behavior, like watching movies as they jaywalk across Broadway. Then they pretend to be annoyed when drivers honk at them. Wombat Weeknight
GUERRILLA CARFARE: ‘TACTICAL URBANISM’ AIMS FOR GRASSROOTS STREETSCAPE REFORM (MARCH 27)
Great ideas — if you don’t have any cars on the road. The streets are for the vehicular movement of people, goods and services. Crowding the streets — the only place cars are allowed — with pedestrians who believe they are tourists in upstate/country and with bicyclists who dart in and out of traffic, is simply asking for an increase on traffic delays and traffic deaths. NYC has limited street space, yet NYC is building for how many thousands more inhabitants every year?? Surely NYC is therefore also planning
for an increase in the smooth movement of auto traffic?? Madame Difarge Are “vehicular streets” the best use 100% of the time of 100% of the space between all the buildings in all the neighborhoods in NYC, though? And are bicyclists not movement of people, goods & services? For that matter, aren’t most pedestrians in NYC residents/workers and not tourists? Traffic delays are always a given, POSTED Continued on page 17
E D ITO R IAL
Letters Dear Editor: At a recent Metropolitan Transportation Authority board meeting, the MTA’s own independent engineering firm, which provides oversight over various major capital construction projects, announced that reconstruction of the Cortland Street World Trade Center NYC Transit #1 IRT subway station may miss the most recent anticipated reopening date of June 2018.
How disappointing that 16 years after 9/11, the Cortland Street WTC NYC Transit #1 IRT subway station is still sixteen months away from returning to service. The original completion date was 2014. If there are no new delays over the next 16 months to the most recent project construction recovery schedule, perhaps the June 2018 date may still hold, but do not be surprised — based on past history
for other subway station construction projects — if there are additional delays. Who knows if we may have to wait until December 2018, or sometime in 2019 before the station reopens. The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and the MTA fought for years over the budget, funding sources, scope and schedule. The MTA assumed total control of this
project from the Port Authority in February 2015. Construction for the MTA portion of the project began in February 2016. This station was totally destroyed as a result of 9/11 suffering far more damage than others. Why will it take the MTA 17 years to rebuild it? Taxpayers and commuters deserve better. Larry Penner, Transportation historian
since any opportunity to drive func-
short-sighted view on the purpose of streets. Only after WWII have streets become 100% the realm of vehicular traffic… before that it was shared equally. We are rapidly discovering in the US what Europe discovered 40-50 years ago: that designing fi rst for the movement of people, and not for vehicular traffic, is what makes our cities more productive, more livable, happier and wealthier. When you slow traffic on dense streets, they’re safer and more enjoyable for everyone. This was how these places were
and should be designed. Moving people with all modes of transit is far more efficient than just moving vehicular traffic. The crux of the problem is sprawling out – change that and you don’t need to get anywhere quickly in a car because it’s close by and local. Jim
vehicular traffic – particularly trucks (construction and delivery) and Uber. The real way to reduce traffic is to reduce development; for folks to eliminate Fresh Direct, Amazon etc delivery; and for folks to walk or use bus/subway and dump their Uber. Streetscape “reform” may seem nice for the affluent folks who live downtown or tourists, but it only dumps the transportation problem on low wage workers – delivery folks, truck drivers etc. JS
POSTED Continued from page 16
tionally seems to draw people (from the suburbs) off of transit or from just-staying-home. Drivers seem to care very little about traffic deaths because they’re not subject to them, they seem to fight passionately against anything that calms traffic to protect other road users. With these realities in mind, we need rebalancing. Brian Van Nieuwenhoven That’s an understandable but
Non-driver here… However, with more luxury apartment development, more hotel development and more people using instant-gratification/ecommerce delivery, there is more
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April 06 – April 19, 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 DowntownExpress.com
by 1978, the 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 those same streets. If you were City, recalled, “The Senders there, you get to hang with should have been huge. They had the gang again. If you weren’t it all: looks, chops, and excelPhoto by Marci a Resnick , im around, or if you were as preoclent rock ‘n roll taste.” With age cour tes y L to R: Steve Three Rooms Press Shevlin, John cupied as I was, “Punk Avenue” Shevlin on bass, Marcade was cade ny Thunders , circa 1979, and Phil Mar on the book’s the band’s original drummer, jacket cover. but moved to frontman, and, PUNK AVENUE continued on p. 21 April 06 – April 19, 2017
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,
April 06 – April 19, 2017
“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. 21 DowntownExpress.com
METROPOLIS continued from p. 20
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. 19
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. DowntownExpress.com
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.
April 06 – April 19, 2017
East Side Stories of the Famous and Infamous Metropolitan Playhouse fest fetes everyday life on the LES BY PUMA PERL I’m one of those New Yorkers who loves authentic New York settings. If the Lower East Side is involved, even better. Sitting in the pleasantly funky Metropolitan Playhouse with its artistic director, Alex Roe, I immediately grasp that the backbone of the annual East Side Stories theater festival is its commitment to preserving and supporting the heritage through a marvelously inclusive format. The festival consists of “East Village Chronicles,” a series of four one-act plays set in the neighborhood, and “Alphabet City,” six interview-based solo performances which tell the stories of long-term local residents. Both elements of the East Side Stories program — all of them world premieres —scrutinize and celebrate what Roe described as “famous, infamous, and everyday lives.” The plays are generally submitted by emerging artists. A single director (this year, Michael Hardart) is chosen for “Chronicles,” which helps shape the program, and may include subtle threads — perhaps in the use of a specific prop throughout. Three of the four works that comprise this year’s “Transformation” theme are based on influential events and famous figures in Lower East Side history, including Peter Cooper, Fiorello La Guardia, Eleanor Roosevelt, and Janis Joplin. The contemporary offering, Jen Plants’ “The Bowery Waltz,” is described as “a comedy with dancing” (the title is derived from an imitation of a street fight between a drunken man and his equally inebriated female companion). The storytelling project began 14 years ago, with a homeless man named Carlos Roman who hung out near the corner bodega. Roe had gotten to know him, and thought that neighborhood people might be interested in doing monologues based on their own lives. A friend suggested that actors conduct interviews and present the stories. Roman was the first participant, with Roe as the actor. He never attended a performance, but telling his story and impacting others made a difference in his life. They stayed in touch and he eventually found housing Uptown — “Not that we had anything to do with it,” said Roe. “I’m not saying this is transformational.” Though in my opinion, it just might be. The list of people who’ve participated in the project includes fairly well-known LES denizens like “Mosaic Man” Jim Power and filmmaker Jonas Mekas, alongside people who have never been formally recognized. “There wasn’t a dry eye in the house when the story of a woman who works as an AIDS caregiver was told,” Roe recalled. Actors audition for the project and identify their own subjects; some have a specific person in mind, for others it’s serendipitous. Often, there is no correlation in gender, race, size, or appearance. “It’s about capturing the essence of a person,” explained Roe. “The way they stand, how their voices sound; in terms of dress, we may choose a signature item. If you were portrayed, maybe it would be a hat like yours,” he told me. I was wearing a hat only because I was en route to an appointment with my hairdresser, Joey Paulina —
April 06 – April 19, 2017
Photo by Alex Roe
“Cooper Union, Cooper Union” puts a musical spin on the origin story of Peter Cooper’s “biggest and best idea.”
who, coincidentally, had been a subject several years back. He also works as a drag performer, the type who does backflips in gowns and stilettos. One evening, actress Sylvia Roldán Dohi stopped by Lucky Cheng’s (a Hell’s Kitchen drag restaurant formerly located in the East Village) looking for a subject. “It was mad cool to be seen as a rendition of what life in the East Village means, and being part of keeping it as it’s meant to be. Sylvia did a great job of slipping into my high heels!” Paulina said. One of the interesting pairings this year is that of Jonathan Shaw and Julie T. Pham. One of the interesting pairings this year is that of Jonathan Shaw and Julie T. Pham. Shaw is a world-traveling outlaw artist and novelist whose time as a master tattooist widely influenced the culture. Iggy Pop called him “the great nightmare anti-hero of the new age.” Actress Pham was born in Saigon to a family of entertainers who toured with various Vietnamese opera troupes. She had never even walked into a tattoo shop prior to meeting Shaw. So how did these two connect? “I was visiting the city for pre-promotional meetings for my new book, ‘Scab Vendor: Confessions of a Tattoo Artist,’ ” said Shaw, “and happened to be hanging out in my old shop, Fun City Tattoo, when Julie walked in asking questions about the place’s history.” Pham had been wandering around the East Village hoping to find someone to interview for the project and noticed the shop. “I had never been in a tattoo parlor before, so why not now?” she remembered thinking. “Jonathan introduced himself as the former owner
and was so talkative and helpful — so unexpected for someone you would find in a tattoo parlor!” “It was a total coincidence that she happened along on a rare visit by me, since I just happen to be the living embodiment of the place’s history,” said Shaw. “I gave her a copy of my new book, referring her to the afterword, which sums up the history of the shop with my personal history. At this point, she must have realized what a fortuitous confluence of circumstances she was looking at by me just happening to be here. We walked over to Odessa and I gave her an initial interview and emailed her a bunch of press material related to the subject matter she was interested in, and the rest is history, as they say.” Shaw was scheduled to fly out of the city in just several hours, so Pham “ditched dinner reservations and shared pierogies and tea with Jonathan.” She agrees with his assessment of the fortuitous circumstances. “I’ve found the most unlikely celebrity in the oddest place ever! Is this possible?” she recalled thinking upon meeting the multi-faceted Shaw. “I couldn’t believe how open, kind and generous he was to me. I was, and am still, in awe!” Through April 23: Wed.–Sat. at 7:30pm; Sat. & Sun. at 3pm. At Metropolitan Playhouse (220 E. Fourth St., btw. Aves. A & B). Single tickets: $20 for adults, $15 for students/seniors, $10 for children under 18; Festival Pass: $40. For reservations, call 800-838-3006 or visit metropolitanplayhouse.org. Artist info at missjuliepham.com and facebook.com/ jsfuncity. DowntownExpress.com
Acting the Dickens Out of Shakespeare Theater Reconstruction Ensemble conjures a wry ‘Hamlet’ BY SCOTT STIFFLER Like the gingerly placed lampshade that allows a ghost light to bathe its final scene of battle-weary camaraderie in a calm and forgiving glow, there’s an oddball logic to the fits of madness that play catch and release with four brave souls determined to act the Dickens out of Shakespeare. Performed with everything from gleeful buffoonery to seriously Elizabethan emoting to sheer panic, Theater Reconstruction Ensemble’s “How to Hamlet, or Hamleting Hamlet” is an intense, 70-minute whirlwind that lampoons, lionizes, psychoanalyzes and rationalizes the countless thespians and academics who’ve put their stamp, for better or worse, on the circa 1600 tale of a melancholy Dane undone by poisonous acts. Seated in a front row that’s ominously close to the stage (or actually part of it?), Sam Corbin, Joshua William Gelb, Nathaniel Basch-Gould and Emily Marro begin the mega-meta proceedings in the guise of chatty audience members given to inappropriate coughing, embarrassing confessions of intestinal distress, and hushed, endearingly neurotic improvised chatter upon realizing the play’s the thing — and they’re in it now — and it ain’t “Hamilton.” “Maybe the show is just some sort of discussion about the play ‘Hamlet,’ ” they speculate. “Or like a PowerPoint presentation? Maybe a TED Talk?” Spurred into action when a technician wheels in a rack of period costumes and fires off a plume or two from the fog machine, the friends suit up, turn their chairs to face the audience, place palm on
Photos by Suzi Sadler
L to R: Joshua William Gelb, Emily Marro, Nathaniel Basch-Gould and Sam Corbin.
top of palm on top of palm, and strike the first of several séance-like tableaus that will, with fever dream effectiveness, conjure brilliant little bits and pieces of the play — but never enough to send you out of the theater able to say that you actually saw “Hamlet.” It’s not for lack of trying, though. The thoroughly befuddled foursome never seems to quite get over making that transition from observer to participant. It’s an awesome responsibility to summarize, analyze, and agree upon what this welltrodden text wants to say or has to offer — and in their epic attempt to do so, the charismatic and insanely skilled actors find in Hamlet (the person, not the play) a kindred spirit. Just as that title character
“How to Hamlet, or Hamleting Hamlet” is in possession of all the fears and foibles that come with putting one’s stamp on Shakespeare.
is willing to throw the kitchen sink at his vow to avenge dear old dead dad, Theater Reconstruction Ensemble pulls out all the stops while staying mission-focused on its quest to make sense of things. Frequent spasms of spirit possession by Shakespearean stock characters, a slapstick battle with the upstage wall, a desperate attempt to steer the play by hijacking the stage manager’s headset, and the passing of an electrical current between twitchy thespians might seem at first to be nothing more than a collection of loony, pyrotechnic distractions. But like the sweet prince who feigns madness, there’s a solid method at work here that says more about our drive than our destination.
“Okay, that’s a good answer,” says Gelb at one point, slipping out of character and, more or less, back into himself. “That’s a good answer. It’s not exactly the answer I’m looking for. But it’s good. Could you try again? It’s the same riddle.” Written by John Kurzynowski and Jon Riddleberger; conceived and directed by John Kurzynowski. Through April 14: Tues., Wed., Thurs, Fri. at 7pm; Sat. at 2 & 7pm; Sun. at 2pm. At HERE (145 Sixth Ave.; enter on Dominick St., one block south of Spring St.). For tickets ($18), visit here.org or call 212-352-3101. Artist info at reconstructionensemble. org.
Sticking their necks out and getting a little ruffled: L to R, Sam Corbin and Nathaniel Basch-Gould.
April 06 – April 19, 2017
April 06 â€“ April 19, 2017
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