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YOUR WEEKLY COMMUNITY NEWSPAPER SERVING CHELSEA, HUDSON YARDS & HELL’S KITCHEN

Project Gives Partial Preference to NYCHA Tenants BY DUSICA SUE MALESEVIC Construction started last week on a 160-unit, 18-story building — that will be 100 percent permanent affordable housing — on the grounds of NYCHA’s Robert Fulton Houses. HOUSING continued on p. 3

Patchwork Panel Opposes City’s Garment District Plan

Photos by Tequila Minsky

At the May 7 ribbon-cutting ceremony, owner Steve Stile (center, with scissors) was joined by elected officials and returning customers.

HELL’S KITCHEN, YOU’VE GOT STILE’S

BY JACKSON CHEN Organizations that are working to preserve the fabric of the Garment District are offering alternative proposals to what they see as an unfriendly zoning change being pushed by the city. The fact that criticism is comGARMENT DISTRICT continued on p. 5

HE HAS ONLY ONE REGRET

See page 16, where John Waters dishes the dirt on “Serial Mom” and more. © CHELSEA NOW 2017 | NYC COMMUNITY MEDIA, LLC, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Fresh Produce Back in Fashion as Affordable Market Reopens BY SCOTT STIFFLER From the warm weather to the flowering plants to the sense of fresh possibilities, spring guarantees certain rites of renewal — but it took four of those seasons for Stile’s Farmers Market to sprout back up and reclaim its presence on a familiar patch of Hell’s Kitchen. “I’m here to serve the community again,” said owner Steve Stile, as he wielded an oversized pair of scissors for the Sun., May 7 ribboncutting ceremony outside his new storefront at 476 Ninth Ave. (btw. W. 36th & 37th Sts.) — just a few blocks from where the family-owned

business was displaced by development on the final day of 2013. “We went to the old Stile’s almost every other day,” recalled Aleta LaFargue, who has lived in nearby Manhattan Plaza for almost 40 years. LaFargue, whose family moved into the federally subsidized building when she was just seven months old, currently serves as president of the Tenants’ Association, which advocates on behalf of nearly 3,500 residents in 1,689 units (W. 42nd to 43rd Sts., btw. Ninth & 10th Aves.; visit mptSTILE’S continued on p. 2

VOLUME 09, ISSUE 13 | MAY 11-17, 2017


Stile’s Aisles Stocked Again in Hell’s Kitchen; Owner Eyes a Chelsea Store STILE’S continued from p. 1

enants.com). Shortly after Stile’s exited the neighborhood, over 600 Manhattan Plaza residents signed a petition urging Port Authority to “rent, at an affordable rate, the space at 551 Ninth Avenue” to the Stile family. Their effort was unsuccessful, but drew the attention and ongoing support of local elected officials as well as Community Board 4 — and, ultimately, a landlord who Stile told Chelsea Now, “heard I was looking for a store, and called me.” At Sunday’s grand opening, LaFargue recalled that Stile’s 35-year presence on Ninth Ave. and W. 41st St. was something Manhattan Plaza tenants “never took for granted. It was fresh, affordable, and convenient. The people who work there have always been so lovely and it really lends to the vibe of the community. You don’t find that at a chain supermarket.” There is, LaFargue noted, a large supermarket connected to her building. “But they’re overpriced.” So expensive, in fact, she said the Food Emporium had become known around the neighborhood as the “Food Extortium.” “Some other company took them

Photos by Tequila Minsky

L to R: Aleta LaFargue and Marisa Redanty, of the Manhattan Plaza Tenants’ Association.

over recently,” LaFargue said, “and it’s improved a little bit, but I never buy my produce there. My whole argument has been that you can scream about affordable housing, and you get it — but the

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May 11-17, 2017

Hell’s Kitchen native Youngblood Lonchiek (right), with owner Steve Stile, said, “He’s got the best of everything.”

people who live there can’t afford to eat. You have to get on a bus to search out other markets. We do have a nice little fresh farm stand that comes during the spring and summer months, but they’re also very expensive.” Since the 2013 closing of Stile’s on Ninth Ave., LaFargue said that she, like many others in the area, have done their shopping at Trader Joe’s W. 14th St. Union Square or Sixth Ave. and W. 21st St. stores. “It’s a schlep,” she deadpanned. “Of course, we did frequent the West 52nd Street Stile’s,” LaFargue noted, referring to the store between Eighth and Ninth Aves. that Stile told Chelsea Now has been there for three decades and is currently in the first year of a 10-year lease, adding that the Ninth

Ave. Stile’s also has a 10-year lease. Nowadays, Stile is back to shopping for two stores — but his routine remains as it has for decades. “Stuff comes from the Bronx Hunts Point Market,” he said. “I go there like, eight at night, and I stay until about 12. They put it on a truck and deliver it in the morning. So we get it fresh every day. They’re closed on Saturdays, so for that, I have another purveyor.” Fair resale prices on wholesale product from that routine schlep to the Bronx is what drew Leslie Johnson, a 51-year Hell’s Kitchen resident, back to the Ninth Ave. store. “It’s one of the best things in this neighborhood,” she STILE’S continued on p. 20 .com


Work Begins on Long-Awaited Affordable Housing Project at Fulton HOUSING continued from p. 1

The around $77.8 million development project has been 12 years in the making, and a groundbreaking ceremony took place on Thurs., May 4. The approximately 11,000square-foot site — at 413 W. 18th St., between Ninth and 10th Aves. — was once home to a trash compactor and a parking lot. The building includes studios, onebedroom, and two-bedroom units, with apartments affordable for an individual earning $33,400 and from $42,950 for a family of three. The building will also have a landscaped rooftop, outdoor recreational areas for resident use, and an about 8,000square-foot community facility space, according to a New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) press release. Miguel Acevedo is the president of the Fulton Houses Tenants’ Association, and said that he has been involved since the project’s 2005 announcement, “to make sure it’s 100 percent affordable housing — especially since it is on New York City Housing Authority land.” In a Mon., May 8 phone interview with Chelsea Now, Acevedo said the project took so long because it was difficult to nail down fi nancing. The city issued a request for proposals in December 2006, and Artimus Construction was awarded the Fulton Houses and Elliott-Chelsea sites in 2007, according to the release. The Elliot-Chelsea — a 168-unit, 22-story mixed-use building — at 401 W. 25th St. near Ninth Ave. was completed in December 2011, according to Artimus’ website. The 2008 Financial Crisis delayed a number of projects — that are a collaboration between NYCHA and the city’s Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) — that included Elliott-Chelsea, the Fulton Houses, and Harborview Terrace, Jasmine Blake, deputy press secretary for the Department of Communications, said in an email. The commitment to affordable housing was made under the Bloomberg administration as part of the West Chelsea rezoning, according to news reports. According to Acevedo, some funding — $4.6 million — for the project came as part of a deal in late 2012 when developer Jamestown Properties asked to construct two office towers on top of the Chelsea Market. Jamestown created the affordable housing fund .com

Courtesy NYCHA

Courtesy Artimus

L to R, at the May 4 groundbreaking: Shola Olatoye, NYCHA Chair and CEO; Star Bermudez, Fulton resident and construction forewoman; Miguel Acevedo, Fulton Houses Tenants’ Association President; and Oscar Pagoada, CB4 member. Acevedo later told Chelsea Now the community has been part of the planning of the affordable housing project since day one. Photo courtesy NYCHA..

Twelve years in the making, construction has begun on a 160-unit, 12-story building on the grounds of NYCHA’s Robert Fulton Houses that will be 100 percent affordable permanent affordable housing. The building will include a landscaped rooftop, outdoor recreational areas, and an about 8,000-square-foot community facility space.

and “that money was directed to this building to help its fi nances,” he said. But Blake said that ultimately the Chelsea Market trust was not used in the project. The total development cost for the project is around $77.8 million, with HPD providing $26.97 million in capital reserves, $10.74 million from corporate reserves, and the city’s Housing Development Corporation providing $30.03 million in bonds, according to the release. JPMorgan Chase will provide a letter of credit, and NYCHA will retain ownership of the land. It will provide a 99-year lease to the developer, according to the release. The remaining balance of funding sources included developer equity, deferred interest, and a NYCHA lessor’s note, according to Blake. NYCHA residents will be given preference for 25 percent of the units with the rest of the apartments made available through HPD’s lottery. “It gives professionals like teachers, police officers [and] fi remen the opportunity to live in this building,” Acevedo said. Artimus has worked closely with the community, which has been involved since day one, he said. The developer hired a Fulton Houses resident to be the forewoman of the laborers, Acevedo said. Artimus is also paying for the renovation of a basketball court and playground at the complex, he said. Acevedo pointed to the efforts of Community Board 4 (CB4) member Joe Restuccia, “who oversaw this whole project and made it happen,” and City Councilmember Corey Johnson who made sure that the project happened

sooner rather that later. “If there are two things we need more of in Chelsea, it’s affordable housing and improvements to our open spaces,” City Councilmember Corey Johnson said in an email statement to Chelsea Now. “This development is bringing both. Permanently

affordable developments like this are exactly what we need to solve our city’s housing crisis and make New HOUSING continued on p. 21

Book and Lyrics by Carolyn Balducci Music by Mira J. Spektor Directed by Lissa Moira Music Direction by Cristina Dinella Projections by Bank Street Films Choreography by J. Alan Hanna Set Design by Marc Marcante & Lytza Colon Costume Design by Lytza Colon Lighting Design by William Geraldo Cast: Amanda Alyse Thomas, Matt Angel, Kimberly Bechtold, Torian Brackett, Jef Canter*, Kareem Elsamadicy, Xi Lyu, Zen Mansley, Douglas McDonnell, Amelia Sasson, Matthew Serra, David F. Slone, Esq., and Amanda Yachechak.

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New Yorkers Vent Anger, Pledge Resistance at President’s Homecoming BY JACKSON CHEN For President Donald Trump’s first homecoming visit to New York City, protestors welcomed him with vocal resistance that flanked him every which way. During his brief Thurs., May 4 stop in the city, Trump met with Australia’s prime minister, Malcolm Turnbull, aboard the aircraft carrier Intrepid to honor the 75th anniversary of a joint US-Australian victory over Japan in a battle during World War II. With Trump’s trip announced well in advance, protesters were prepared, launching vocal confrontations at strategic points throughout Manhattan. By 2:30 p.m., protestors organized by the Working Families Party were gathered at De Witt Clinton Park at the corner of W. 52nd St. and 12th Ave., ready to march south toward the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum (W. 46th St. & 12th Ave.). “We have a duty, an obligation to fight back and transform this energy across this country into a powerful and enlightened and informed electoral base,” said Public Advocate Letitia James to the crowd of several thousand that stretched down the avenue. Banging pots and pans, the protestors chanted, “Not My President!” and began their march toward the Intrepid. “I have been totally consumed with anxiety listening to all the deregulation and all of the things he’s doing,” Maxine Lubow said of Trump. “So I’m lending my support and my voice to the resistance of our president.” When asked to name specific things she opposed during Trump’s first 100 days in office, Lubow, an Orange County resident, countered, “You’d have to ask the reverse question, is there anything that I’m in support of?” The Working Families protestors were able to march as far as W. 47th St., where blockades were set up to prevent them from getting close to the Intrepid. A second group of several hundred protestors,

Photo by Donna Aceto

Rise and Resist and Gays Against Guns activists hoist a rainbow resistance banner created by the late Gilbert Baker, who died on March 31.

Photo by Donna Aceto

Melvyn Stevens as a Steve Bannon puppetmaster.

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May 11-17, 2017

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Immigration rights protesters on Fifth Ave.

organized by Rise and Resist and Gays Against Guns, converged near barricades at W. 44th St. and 12th Ave., creating protest visuals from both the north and the south marring the hoped-for White House tableau of high level diplomacy on parade. Coming from Greenwich Village, Melvyn Stevens was decked out in a towering costume of Steve Bannon, the White House senior advisor, in a judge’s robe and pulling the puppet strings of marionette Trump. “The man is just blatantly and sickeningly evil,” Stevens said. Asked how the city should welcome a hometown president up from Washington, he said, “I just hope [Trump] stays down there and doesn’t ever

come back.” Joining the symphony of resistance, Bronx resident Brian Yankou banged on a homemade drum kit of coffee cans and tomato tins to rally the troops. “Everything that he’s done so far has been based in hatred and fear, favoring the rich over the powerless, and we reject all of that,” Yankou said. “I can’t think of a single thing that he’s even accidentally done right.” Yankou said Trump’s actions ranging from pushing to repeal Obamacare to cracking down on immigrants and trying to block the entry of refugees, “has been HOMECOMING continued on p. 23 .com


Photo by Jackson Chen

A Garment District panel convened by Borough President Gale Brewer included (from left) George Kalajian, pres. of Tom’s Sons International Pleating; Steve Epstein, representing Theatrical Wardrobe Local 764; Edgar Romney, an official from Workers United; Barbara Blair, pres., Garment District Alliance; Yeohlee Teng, a designer for YEOHLEE Inc.; Joseph Ferrara, pres. of the NY Garment Center Supplier Assoc.; and Susan Chin, exec. dir. of the Design Trust for Public Space.

Garment Industry Won’t Fray in Quest to Stay Put GARMENT DISTRICT continued from p. 1

ing from many quarters was clear at a Mon., April 24 forum and panel discussion convened by Borough President Gale Brewer, who has called on the de Blasio administration to go back to square one in its planning about the cluster of Midtown blocks

roughly from W. 35th to 40th Sts., between Broadway and Ninth Ave. Some garment industry officials are urging a fundamental rethinking of the city’s apparent goal of shifting the industry’s center to Brooklyn, and even leaders in that borough agree that the rezoning should be guided in part by an advisory group made up of

stakeholders. The intensifying discussion of substitute proposals for the Garment District’s rezoning follows a heated Community Board 5 meeting in late March at which the city’s Economic Development Corporation (EDC) and Department of City Planning presented their ideas, which includes

the elimination of a 1:1 preservation requirement, created in 1987, under which every new square foot of office space is required to be matched by preservation of manufacturing space. A key component of the city’s rezoning vision is to stem the encroachment GARMENT DISTRICT continued on p. 21

“A strikingly intimate portrait of a man who has often seemed as private and remote as he is heroic.â€? 2  E  &%*( +* % *&(Rolling Stone **(# &  &*(&+% %# **#"%&-%)*&( ) &+* &%)(&$ ## $)&+ ( % )%")*$$*) &%* #*&( #.%&%(&% (%" %*( 0%((* ,'(&, )-&%(+## $'))&  &/) %*( *. " %%))%)%) * , *.'&(*(. % $)&$'# *$%-& !#&+)#.+( ) $1 2Publishers Weekly , ##-(,(&&")&&")%+ &&&")()&#  $&%%+)*(&$

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May 11-17, 2017

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Hudson Yards on Track to Open BY WINNIE McCROY Rising out of a landscape that once boasted little more than bus parking and fi lling stations, the 28-acre Hudson Yards is already taking shape as the nation’s largest private real estate development. More than eight million square feet of commercial, residential, and mixed-use space are currently under construction or completed, with 88 percent of commercial property already committed. The retail space, set to open next year, is already 60 percent leased. And Related Companies just announced that Hudson Yards will now offer 25 restaurant and food concepts, including a 35,000-square-foot Spanish food hall. Home to the anchor tenant, Coach Inc., the 1.8 million-square-foot property at 10 Hudson Yards opened its doors in May 2016, housing L’Oréal USA, The Boston Consulting Group, German software engineering fi rm SAP, VaynerMedia, and Intersection, which is owned by Sidewalk Labs. The new No. 7 subway station opened in September 2015 adjacent to Hudson Yards, shuttling workers and visitors to the west side of Manhattan. “Hudson Yards is the most ambitious development ever undertaken in the country and positions New York City for continued global leadership. Coach has been our partner since the very beginning,” said Stephen M. Ross, Chairman and Founder of Related Companies, last May. “Hudson Yards is destined to become the new heart of New York and it is well on its way to realizing that vision.”

Courtesy Geoff Butler

An ariel view of the emerging Hudson Yards neighborhood.

THE SHOPS & RESTAURANTS Next to 10 Hudson Yards is the retail area, The Shops & Restaurants at Hudson Yards, set to open in the fall of 2018. It comprises more than a mile of shopping opportunities, and is anchored by retail outlets including Neiman Marcus, who announced they would open their fi rst New York City store at Hudson Yards. “Hudson Yards presents the ideal location for a Neiman Marcus store. The project is a bold and innovative retail idea and one that complements how we view our Neiman Marcus Brand,” said Karen Katz, president and chief executive officer of Neiman Marcus Group. “Neiman Marcus Group is well-known to New York

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May 11-17, 2017

Courtesy Geoff Butler

Installation work on the retail façade.

and New Yorkers through our landmark Bergdorf Goodman store — a beloved and revered New York institution at the corner of Fifth and 58th, and we are excited to establish a store in one of the world’s premier shopping destinations. We look forward to serving New Yorkers and visitors to New York with legendary Neiman Marcus style.” Other retailers include Banana Republic, Aritzia, Athleta, Tory Burch, NYX, Zara, Stuart Weitzman,

H&M, AG, Origins, The Body Shop, Kiehl’s, Jo Malone, and MAC. Related just announced that diners will be able to choose from a wide variety of cuisines, including Chef Thomas Keller’s classic American restaurant, a new concept from David Chang’s Momofuku, Chef Costas Spiliadis’ Greek seafood restaurant Estiatorio Milos, a modern brasserie concept from D&D London, and an American Grill concept from Chef Michael Lomonaco.

And, in an exciting joint venture with Related Companies and Oxford Properties Group, José Andrés’ ThinkFoodGroup will debut a unique new concept nestled under the High Line — a sprawling 35,000-square-foot space, akin to a Spanish-style Eataly. By 2019, the fi rst US restaurant from Juan Santa Cruz’ Santa Cruz Co. will join the collection and anchor 35 Hudson Yards, home to residences and the inaugural Equinox Hotel. Additional eateries will be unveiled throughout the coming year. Additional restaurants are planned for 35 Hudson Yards and 50 Hudson Yards, and other cafés and fast-casual offerings will be located at 55 Hudson Yards, 50 Hudson Yards, 10 Hudson Yards and the pavilion in the Public Square and Gardens. The collection includes signature restaurants, as well as eateries and quick service locations including Bouchon Bakery and Jack’s Stir Brew Coffee. These concepts will range in size from 350 sq. ft. to 16,000 sq. ft., and offer a variety of cuisines and experiences morning to night throughout the new neighborhood. Several restaurants will offer outdoor dining. Co-curated by Chef Keller and restaurateur Kenneth A. Himmel, the full collection will establish Hudson Yards as a global culinary destination. .com


Most Properties By 2019 “Exceptional dining experiences are extremely important in curating not only the restaurant collection, but the new neighborhood we are creating, and we are thrilled with the caliber of chefs and restaurateurs that will be coming to Hudson Yards. These chefs and restaurateurs represent the most creative and visionary leaders both in this industry and around the world,” said Himmel, who is also President of Related Urban, the mixed-use division of Related Companies. “Our approach went well beyond just selecting the best chefs and restaurateurs; we wanted to ensure we offered a diverse array of global cuisine and experiences that catered to our residents, employees and visitors’ lifestyles. Everything from your morning coffee and pastry to weekend brunch, happy hour and late-night dining will be available at

Hudson Yards — all offering unique experiences. Hudson Yards is sure to become Manhattan’s newest and most unique culinary destination.” To access the Shops, guests will enter the five-story atrium that merges the retail center with the Public Square and Gardens. Levels 1–4 will house retailers, and a dozen specialty restaurants will occupy Levels 4–6, including concepts by Chef Thomas Keller, Chef Costas Spiliadis of Milos, and Chef José Andrés. On Levels 5–7, Neiman Marcus will offer a penthouse shopping experience.

MIXED-USE CONSTRUCTION KEEPS PACE Cattycorner to these shops and set to open in 2018, 55 Hudson Yards will be home to Boies, Schiller

Image courtesy Related-Oxford

A rendering of Spanish Culinary Experience Under the High Line (with Vessel in the background, to the left).

& Flexner LLP; Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy LLP; Point72; and MarketAxess. Later that year, the retail center and five-acre Public Square and Gardens will open. In 2019, 30 Hudson Yards will open its doors, home to global investment fi rm KKR, Wells Fargo Securities,

Time Warner, CNN, HBO, Turner Broadcasting, Warner Bros., and DNB Bank. The mixed-used 35 Hudson Yards, currently on its 10th floor of construction, will follow. The 1.1M GSF, HUDSON YARDS continued on p. 14

Courtesy Joe Woolhead for Related-Oxford

On April 18, 2017, the first piece of Vessel was lifted for placement.

.com

May 11-17, 2017

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POLICE BLOTTER PUBLIC LEDWNESS: Sleazy Straphanger A man is wanted for masturbating on the E train on Sun., April 30 at around 5:30 p.m., police said. According to police, the suspect was aboard a northbound E train that passed the 42nd Street-Port Authority Bus Terminal station when he sat next to a 30-year-old woman. Police said the suspect “began

to manipulate his penis,” and the victim moved away but not before taking a photo of the man. Police released a photo of the suspect, whom they describe as a male, 30 to 40 years old, 5’8”, 170 pounds, and last seen wearing a white T-shirt and black shorts.

ASSAULT: Blunt Head Drama On Wed., April 19 at around 9:30 p.m., a man who was screaming pro-

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.

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May 11-17, 2017

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.

fanities suddenly attacked a 43-year-old man, police said. The suspect, according to police, cursed out the victim before striking him with a blunt object outside 1568 Broadway (btw. W. 46th & 47th Sts.). Police said the victim was left with a cut to his head, but was able to make his way to Bellevue Hospital on his own. Police released a photo and a video of the suspect, whom they describe as a male, 25 to 30 years old, 5’6”, 160 pounds, and last seen wearing a black jacket, white shirt, and black pants.

ASSAULT: Sixth Ave. slash An argument between two men ended with one of them being slashed. According to police, cops observed one man chasing another at W. 14th St. and Sixth Ave. on Fri., April 28, at 8:22 a.m. Both had blood on their clothes. Police said the two men had argued and one

of them cut the other on the left bicep with a razor, after which the victim was chasing the assailant when police intervened. A 22-year-old resident of Jersey City, N.J., was arrested and charged with assault and two counts of criminal possession of a weapon.

FELONY ROBBERY: Charles chip thief A group entered the Charles Gourmet Produce (140 Charles St., btw. Washington & Christopher Sts.), and one of them stole bags of potato chips on Mon., March 10, at 10:45 p.m., according to police. As he was leaving, the chip-pilfering perp struck a 56-year-old employee in the head. A 21-year-old man was arrested for felony robbery on Sun., April 30.

—Jackson Chen, Tabia Robinson, and Lincoln Anderson

Suspect in Trans Woman’s Killing in Custody BY PAUL SCHINDLER Prosecutors in the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office expect to charge a 26-year-old man, Joseph Griffin, in the Tues., April 25 killing of Brenda Bostick, a 59-year-old transgender woman who succumbed to injuries from a “blunt impact” blow to her head on Thurs., May 4, Gay City News (our sister publication) has learned. Bostick, a resident of the Bowery Residents Committee homeless shelter at 127 W. 25th St. (btw. Sixth & Seventh Aves.), was attacked at 343 Seventh Ave. (btw. W. 29th & 30th Sts.) at about 10:30 p.m. on Tues., April 25, and was taken by EMS to Bellevue Hospital, where she died nine days later. In a Sun., May 7 email, Julie Bolcer, a spokesperson for the city’s Office of Chief Medical Examiner, wrote, “The cause of death is complications of blunt impact injury of head. The manner of death is homicide.” Griffin was arrested shortly after Bostick was taken to Bellevue on a felony criminal mischief complaint of jumping onto the hood of a taxi near 352 Seventh Avenue, across the street from where the victim was found, and smashing in its windshield. Griffin was arraigned on that charge on Sat., May 6, with bail set at $25,000, though prosecutors asked for bail of $250,000.

Griffin’s is expected to be charged in the Bostick killing soon. According to police, Bostick is homeless, though some press reports say he once lived at the Bowery Residents Committee shelter, as well. The NYPD said the killing is not being investigated as a hate crime but rather as a “dispute between neighbors.” At the time the woman’s death was announced, Corey Johnson, the out gay city councilmember who represents Chelsea, released a statement saying, “I am saddened and angered to learn that a transgender woman who was found by paramedics with head injuries in Chelsea has passed away… There must be zero tolerance for acts of violence, particularly against transgender individuals, who are disproportionately targeted by hate crimes and discrimination.” Shelby Chestnut, director of community organizing and public advocacy at the New York City Anti-Violence Project, released a statement saying, “In these tragic moments we must remember it’s on all of New York to ensure we end violence against LGBTQ people, especially transgender women of color.” Naila Siddiqui, Griffin’s Legal Aid attorney, did not return a call seeking comment. People with information about the attack on Bostick can contact the NYPD at 800-577-8477 or in Spanish at 888-577-4782. .com


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© Empire BlueCross BlueShield 2017 May 11-17, 2017

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Seniors Amaze with Magic and Moves at Annual Talent Show BY LAURA SCHARF It was a truly magical spring day for the crowds gathered around the stage on Eighth Ave. and W. 20th St. for Visiting Neighbors’ 23rd Annual Senior Talent Show, a highlight of April 29’s Chelsea Day Festival. Competition was fierce but good-natured as the audience danced along with many of the performers. Emcee Danny Morris encouraged the crowd to cheer for their favorites. Bernie Brandall, a talented magician who has performed at the show many times, amazed the crowd and earned this year’s first prize. “I was standing right in front of him and I still couldn’t figure out how he did those tricks,” said one perplexed onlooker. Latin dancer Gloria Ortiz, another crowd favorite, won second prize with her salsa moves. Third prize went to the Swallow Dance Troupe, whose graceful moves provided a great counterpoint to the vigorous Latin dances. The judges agreed that they had tough decisions to make. “I think all of our performers are winners,” said Mariam Sammons, a Visiting Neighbors board member who served as scorekeeper. Event Coordinator Steve Gould noted that several years ago, Visiting Neighbors initiated a Congeniality Prize to the contestant who best represents both the spirit of the day and its sponsoring organization, which is now in its 45th year. Doris, a member of the Las Dinamicas Puerto Rican Dance Troupe, won the prize — a recognition made even sweeter, as she had just celebrated a birthday the day before (and brought her birthday cake for all the performers to share).

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May 11-17, 2017

Photo by Laura Scsharf

L to R, the winners: Bernie Brandall, Gloria Ortiz, and the Swallow Dance Troupe.

“This great event proves to all that talent is ageless,” said Visiting Neighbors Executive Director Dr. Cynthia Maurer. “Many of our performers are well into their 80s and they’re still going strong. We are so proud to showcase these amazing dancers and singers from different cultures. They are truly a cross-section of our great city.” Assembly Member Dick Gottfried offered similar words of admiration and support, when he stopped by to congratulate the performers. Laura Scharf is Director of Community Development

at Visiting Neighbors, Inc. — a nonprofit organization, provides support services to help seniors stay independent. Services include friendly visiting to relieve isolation of the homebound, help with shopping and errands, escorts to medical appointments, and referrals to needed services. VN is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization. VN does not charge for services. Contributions are tax-deductible. For more info, call 212-260-6200 or go visit the website: visitingneighbors.org.

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May 11-17, 2017

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Our Town: Donald Can’t Duck Clear PHOTO ESSAY BY CHRISTIAN MILES Photographer Christian Miles captured these images, as several hundred people gathered at De Witt Clinton Park (W. 52nd St. & 12th Ave.) in the early afternoon of Thurs., May 4, to protest Donald Trump’s return to Manhattan. Hoping to jeer his motorcade as it made its way along the West Side Highway en route to the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum, the crowd exited the park and began to march Downtown — but the object of their dissatisfaction would not arrive until the early evening, hours later than scheduled (having stayed in DC after a narrow but victorious “repeal and replace” vote in the House). Miles then made his way to Trump Tower, where protesters gathered despite the absence of a Trump sighting.

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May 11-17, 2017

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Message From Intrepid Protesters

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May 11-17, 2017

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HUDSON YARDS continued from p. 7

1,000-square-feet-tall mixed-use tower was designed to accommodate a hotel, residences, retail space, office space, and a fitness club. When 35 Hudson Yards opens in 2019, it will house 137 for-sale residences, the world’s fi rst Equinox hotel, a 60,000-square-foot Equinox Fitness Club and Spa, and Equinox’s global office headquarters. And demolition is already underway on the corner lot that will feature 50 Hudson Yards, the 2.9M-square-foot, 985-foot-tall office tower at W. 33rd St. and 10th Ave. Designed by Foster + Partners, it will house the investment management fi rm BlackRock, which will relocate from its Park Avenue offices. The design stacks three distinct blocks of commercial space on top of each other, staggered with setbacks to create external terraces, with a signature “halo” at the top, adding a new element to the NYC skyline. That building is expected to open by 2022. “50 Hudson Yards is a key part of a larger vision that integrates places to live and work within a dense, walkable urban neighborhood,” said Norman Foster, Executive Chairman and Founder of Foster + Partners. “Covering a full city block, the building is highly permeable at ground level, allowing it to engage fully with its urban location.” Residential construction is also keeping pace. Related noted that more than 100 apartments at 15 Hudson Yards (35 percent of capacity) have been sold to date, “outpacing all other Manhattan residential new developments.” The building, imagined by Diller Scofidio + Renfro in collaboration with Rockwell Group, is over 900 feet in height and features 285 luxurious condominiums in 88 stories forming four glass arcs. Several different unit sizes are available, priced from $3.7– $32M. “The market’s response to 15 Hudson Yards and the pace of sales has been tremendous. Buyers today want convenient access to all elements of their lifestyle. That is exactly what you will fi nd at Hudson Yards,” said Jeff Blau, Chief Executive Officer at Related Companies, in a January press statement. “Fifteen Hudson Yards quickly became one of the fastest selling buildings of 2016, with more signed contracts than any other new construction development in Manhattan,” echoed Ryan Schleis, Vice President of Research & Analytics of The Corcoran Group.

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Courtesy Geoff Butler

In June 2016, 10 Hudson Yards (center) made its official debut with a reception to welcome its first big-name tenant, Coach Inc., to the 52-story office tower at the corner of W. 30th St. and 10th Ave.

HUDSON YARDS GETS TWO NEW SCHOOLS The bulk of properties in Hudson Yards project will be completed by 2019. The fi nal product will feature more than 100 shops and restaurants, five acres of public open space, and a new 750-seat Department of Education public school. And, as Chelsea Now reported in our Dec. 29, 2016 issue (“New Course Charted: Success Academy Purchases First School Space”), Success Academy Charter Schools has also stepped up, making a $68M private purchase of school space at 555 10th Avenue. They intend to run an elementary school, middle school, and teachertraining center at the space, which should be open in September 2017. “It’s a done deal,” said spokesperson Brian Whitley. “Our elementary school sent out applications for K-4th grade and already had the big admissions lottery, but we are still taking applications.”

Robert J. Benfatto Jr., President of the Hudson Yards/Hell’s Kitchen Alliance, noted that in addition to the Success Academy, 555 10th Ave. also houses some of the fi rst residential property to spring up on the northern corner of Hudson Yards. He was pleased to report that people were already living in this building, dubbed 555TEN, situated across from Covenant House. He also noted that the new Henry Hall building at 515 W. 38th St., located at the epicenter of Hudson Yards, was about to open another block of desperately needed residential units. “It’s residential with retail on the ground floor, and they are out there now trying to rent it out,” said Benfatto. “We hope it’s a success, and are happy to see it is almost done.” Benfatto said members of his alliance were glad the neighborhood was growing, and were not concerned that Hudson Yards would negatively impact the existing character of Hell’s Kitchen, saying, “There wasn’t much

here before, besides former manufacturing stuff that hadn’t gone anywhere in a while. It’s good to see the change. We are also excited by the commercial building on the Eastern Rail Yards. It’s still a year away, but it’s up and coming.” There will also be an Equinoxbranded luxury hotel, all where the High Line, Hudson River Park, and Hudson Park & Boulevard converge. It will be adjacent to the new artistic center The Shed, and will overlook the interactive public landmark called Vessel. Sitting at the center of the project, the 15-story tall staircase Vessel is a new kind of public landmark comprised of 154 intricately interconnected fl ights of stairs and 80 landings, which are meant to be climbed and explored. “In a city full of eye-catching structures, our fi rst thought was that it shouldn’t just be something to look at. Instead we wanted to make something that everybody could use, touch, relate to,” said Thomas Heatherwick, designer and founder of Heatherwick Studio. “Influenced by images we had seen of Indian stepwells, made from hundreds of fl ights of stairs going down into the ground, an idea emerged to use fl ights of stairs as building elements.” Construction officially began on Vessel last month, with the 75 prefabricated interlocking units by Cimolai S.p.A. being shipped from Italy to be assembled on site. The fi rst 10 pieces have already arrived, with the remaining pieces set to arrive and be lifted into place in the next year. Vessel should open ahead of the Public Square and Gardens in fall 2018. The first 40 trees for the garden will be planted later this year, followed by more than 28,000 plant species and 200 mature trees. Together with the 200-foot-long fountain that mimics the flow of a river, this centerpiece should be a real eye-catcher. Blake Hutcheson, President and CEO of Oxford Properties Group, said, “We have always believed that Hudson Yards would give New Yorkers a reason to look up. This spectacular piece by Thomas Heatherwick and Heatherwick Studio goes one step further — it not only gives people a reason to look up, but a reason to go up. A reason to explore and to engage with the city and with one another in a form that is both personal and communal at the same time.” For more information, visit hudsonyardsnewyork.com. .com


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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.

May 11-17, 2017

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Mother, Manilow, Mania, Murder Bonus content abounds on Blu-ray of John Waters’ ‘Serial Mom’ BY SCOTT STIFFLER You’re in candid and charming and proudly perverse company when watching a John Waters film with John Waters. “Now this of course is one of my favorite scenes,” the writer-director notes on his audio commentary, just moments before Baltimore housewife Beverly Sutphin beats an annoying neighbor to death with a leg of lamb. “It has everything; murder, shrimping, dog abuse.” Actually, the dog thing is up for interpretation. “No,” he quickly course corrects, “it wasn’t dog abuse, basically, because you just put butter on your toes and a dog will lick your toes all night — one thing we discovered.” That odd little tip is among the many amazing facts and enlightening anecdotes awaiting the discovery of fetish neophytes and Waters completists alike, when they spend a few hours soaking in the bonus content on the Blu-ray collector’s edition of “Serial Mom” — just released from the Scream Factory imprint in time for, depending on her sense of humor, Mother’s Day. Before exploring other revelations peppered throughout the extras on that well-appointed release, this publication had to ask a tough, nagging question at the onset of our recent phone interview with the director who filmed such startling acts as anal stimulation via rosary beads (1970’s “Multiple Maniacs”), feces ingestion (1972’s “Pink Flamingos”), and puke (see most of his oeuvre). Are there, we asked of the “Serial Mom” scene with those buttered-up toes, other cinematic instances of canine-on-human-shrimping? “There are a lot of shots where dogs shove their nose in someone’s crotch,” Waters deadpanned, “but I don’t know. There could be. But off the top of my head? My dog-shrimping history? I don’t know that there’s another one; but I could be proven wrong.” No matter. “Serial Mom” can certainly claim its share of unique moments, as well as unprecedented elements for a John Waters film: first sets to be built from scratch (interiors for the Sutphin home), first use of a stuntman (the con-

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cert immolation scene), highest budget ($13 million), and first casting of a mainstream Hollywood star in the lead female role. It’s also the most amount of money the director ever laid out for music rights (more on that later). Released in 1994, “Serial Mom” is Waters’ sendup of suburban banality and true crime dramatizations. Turner, as the well-composed titular menace, bristles at the slightest indignity visited upon son Chip (Matthew Lillard as a blood and gore film fan), blossoming daughter Misty (Ricki Lake, who launched a successful talk show in Sept. 1993), and husband Eugene (Sam Waterson, giving a richly flummoxed performance familiar to fans of his work on the Netflix series “Grace and Frankie”).

SERIAL MOM’S STANDARDS SHARED BY HER CREATOR

Photo by Greg Gorman

John Waters’ only regret in life is not accepting that offer for a Barry Manilow MasterCard.

Courtesy Shout! Factory

L to R: Mink Stole and Kathleen Turner as, respectively, the victim and perpetrator of a cruel prank. John Waters credits 1959’s “Pillow Talk” as the source of his affinity for the split screen technique.

“She’s the Breck Girl gone crazy,” says Waters in the making-of featurette, when commenting on Turner’s cheerful but easily crossed mother — who secretly purchases books with titles like “Helter Skelter” and “Hunting Humans,” corresponds by cassette tape with Ted Bundy (Waters, in an uncredited voice-over), and phone pranks her divorced neighbor Dottie Hinkle (Mink Stole) into uttering obscenities. “She thought she was doing the right thing,” Waters told us. “Serial Mom had the right morals, she was just... well, talk about a reactionary.” Stopping short of condoning the ultimate punishment Sutphin doles out more times than you can count on one hand, the character’s creator readily admitted, “I agree with some of the stuff Serial Mom does, like no white after Labor Day.” Waters noted he’s also in the “no velvet before Thanksgiving” camp, adding, “I’m right wing on fashion rules.” Like wife-ofa-dentist Beverly, who makes a visiting detective spit out his gum, Waters told us, “I hate it. It makes me crazy if somebody’s sitting next to me on a plane chewing gum. I feel like I could drag them off, like United Airlines. That’s SERIAL MOM continued on p. 18 .com


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May 11-17, 2017

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SERIAL MOM continued from p. 16

what I want to do when I see them, without asking them; just grab them by the feet, pull them right out of the chair and up the aisle, right to the jetway. Chew your gum there.” Vivid daydreams of assault, righteous though they may be, seem to come easy to Waters, whose director’s commentary to the film notes, “I have a huge true crime library, probably one of the better ones in America; and I thought, God knows I know about this stuff. But nobody had ever made a movie that I could think of where you rooted for the serial killer to kill more.” Waters goes on to recall the casting of Patricia Hearst, as a juror who runs afoul of the aforementioned fashion stance regarding the seasonal shelf life of white. It’s Hearst’s second appearance in a Waters film (following 1990’s “Cry-Baby”), and the bonus content includes the backstory of how they met. Waters, who attended her 1976 trial, opines on the etiquette of courtroom hag subculture, and Hearst recalls the phone conversation they had during the June 17, 1994 O.J. Simpson white Bronco chase.

MINK STOLE TALKS TECHNIQUE AND TONE What remains the most famous slow police pursuit in history happened just two months after the release of “Serial Mom” — which, longtime Waters ensemble member Mink Stole noted when we spoke with her by phone, contains an eerily predictive scene (the Sutphin family is followed by a phalanx of police cars as they slowly drive to from home to church). “There’s a shine on it,” Stole said of “Serial Mom,” which she called “polished in a way that none of his other films are. I watched it a couple of days ago for the first time in years and it holds up. There’s not a wrong note or an extra beat; it just works. I think you can credit Kathleen for a lot of that,” Stole noted, “but you can also credit John” for “a gradual progression over the course of the years. I mean, we started out in eight millimeter [film stock], and now, here we were in 35 millimeter; and we had money! When we were making ‘Multiple Maniacs,’ there was no money for reshooting. You had to remember your dialogue from beginning to end. With ‘Serial Mom,’ we had the luxury of being able to afford retakes.” Stole said her performance was also a dip into uncharted waters, so to speak. “This was the first movie where John would tell me to take it down,” she recalled, “which was interesting, and

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May 11-17, 2017

Courtesy Shout! Factory

A whiz in the kitchen and a killer on the loose: Kathleen Turner as Beverly Sutphin.

an unexpected challenge. What was wonderful about this movie was, there’s an element of restraint to it. Even the scene in the courtroom where I scream and lose control is not the same kind of lunacy as, say, ‘Desperate Living.’ I was aware that the whole film was understated, which is a total departure for John.” Stole’s was especially aware of abiding by that tone in the early phone prank scene, which sets up Stole’s Dottie Hinkle as innocent but easily goaded, while firmly establishing the cat and mouse sadism of its lead character (also notable in the commentary version of this scene is Waters’ nod to 1959’s “Pillow Talk” as the source of his affinity for the split screen technique). “People do like it,” Stole said of the foul-mouthed exchange, in which Sutphin masquerades as a phone company rep who requires Hinkle to use the obscene language she’s been subjected to by her mysterious caller (Serial Mom, of course). “I had to allow myself to be pulled into her sphere,” Stole recalled of working with Turner, “rather than her into mine, and that was great for me.” A later scene, again with Turner as well as Mary Jo Catlett as nosy neighbor and fussy Franklin Mint Faberge Egg collector Rosemary Ackerman, was “like being shot out of a cannon,” Stole said. “I was working with two women I consider consummate professionals. I didn’t want to be bad, and that made me nervous. But Dottie was a little stiff

anyway. She had a personal rigidity, so I was able to incorporate that.” Taking it down more than a few notches paid off. Waters, during the feature commentary version in which both he and Turner watch the film, said of Stole, “I think this is my favorite role she ever did, actually. … The very first day in rehearsal, when I heard Mink calling Kathleen a cocksucker in my living room, I knew my worlds had come together.”

THE HIGH COST OF HIT MUSIC Now back to the matter of what a $13 million budget can buy. That scene with Turner wailing on her neighbor with a leg of lamb (a favorite dish of Waters’ mother) happens as the victim settles in to watch a VHS copy of “Annie,” which she’s told video store clerk Chip Sutphin she won’t be rewinding. The murderous deed happens to the tune of “Tomorrow,” which, on the director’s solo commentary track, Waters pegged as costing $60,000-$70,000. “I don’t know why they just didn’t’ say no,” he told us, about the process of acquiring music rights. “I’ve had many people say no before. They ask for content and I think, oh Christ, there it goes, they’re going to say no. But I think they gave us a really high price, thinking we would say no, because not only do we murder the song, but Kathleen even kills a woman with a leg of lamb in beat with the music, in time. So I think it was

worth the money.” Also of note is the 1976 pop tune “Daybreak,” which Serial Mom sings along with during a high-stress driving situation. “I just thought that Serial Mom would like Barry Manilow’s music,” Waters told us. “I mean, I like it. But ‘Daybreak’ was a mainstream, Middle America hit; and good for him! Barry thought it was funny. He was totally for it.” On the commentary with Turner, Waters recalled, “Later, I got, from Barry, an application to get a Barry Manilow MasterCard.” Pressed for details during our interview, Waters confirmed it wasn’t mere junk mail, but a personal invite from Manilow himself. “I don’t know if it was a joke or not,” Waters said. “I didn’t get one because I already had a MasterCard, but I should have. If I have one regret, it’s that I didn’t get a Barry Manilow MasterCard.” The “Serial Mom Collector’s Edition Blu-ray” ($34.93) is available now on retail shelves and via Shout! Factory’s genre entertainment imprint, Scream Factory (shoutfactory.com). Bonus material includes two feature commentary tracks (one from Waters, one with Turner and Waters); a “making-of” featurette; a conversation with Waters, Stole and Turner; a “Serial Mom: Surreal Moments” compilation of interviews with cast and crew; the original theatrical trailer; and the featurette “The Kings of Gore: Herschell Gordon Lewis and David Friedman.” .com


Photo by Sheldan C. Collins, courtesy Whitney Museum of American Art, NY

Courtesy Whitney Museum of American Art, NY

Georgia O’Keeffe: “Music, Pink and Blue No. 2” (1918. Oil on canvas, 35 × 29 15/16in.).

Jacob Lawrence: “War Series: Prayer” (1947 from “War Series.” Tempera on composition board, 16 1/8 × 20 1/4in.).

Buhmann on Art Where We Are: Selections from the Whitney’s Collection, 1900-1960 BY STEPHANIE BUHMANN Engaging in an interesting dialogue with the current Whitney Biennial, this stunning installation organized by David Breslin with Jennie Goldstein and Margaret Kross depicts another tumultuous time in American history. Comprised of works from the museum’s collection, this exhibition focuses on the first six decades of the 20th century — when life changed drastically due to two World Wars, the Industrial Revolution, economic collapse, and growing demands for civil rights. Artists responded in myriad ways, documented here by a variety of iconic works by Louise Bourgeois, John Steuart Curry, Edward Hopper, Jasper Johns, Jacob Lawrence, and Georgia O’Keeffe, among many others. In addition, less prominent names, such as Palmer Hayden, Archibald Motley and PaJaMa, as well as more obscure works by well-known artists like Ellsworth Kelly, are featured. One such gem comes in the form of an envelope, which was sent from Merce Cunningham to Robert Rauschenberg. On it, we find a drawing of two American flags by their mutual friend Jasper Johns. To assure cohesion, the exhibition traces five themes: family and community, work, home, the spiritual, and the nation. Meanwhile, its title is derived from a phrase in W. H. Auden’s poem .com

Photo by Ron Amstutz, courtesy Whitney Museum of American Art, NY

L to R: Arshile Gorky, “The Artist and His Mother” (1926-c.1936); Louise Bourgeois, “Quarantania” (1941), Henry Billings, “Machines and Men” (1931), Jerome Liebling, “Grain Worker, Minneapolis, MN” (1950) and Jasper Johns, “Three Flags” (1958).

“September 1, 1939,” which he wrote in New York City at the outset of World War II, referring to the day Germany invaded Poland. When thinking of Auden’s words while viewing this installation, one cannot help but further con-

template the fragility of peace, as we still know it. Open-ended run at the Whitney Museum of American Art (99 Gansevoort St., btw. 10th Ave. & Washington St.). Hours: Sun., Mon., Wed., Thurs.,

10:30am–6pm. Fri. & Sat., 10:30am– 10pm. Admission: Online, $22 general, $17 for students/seniors. At the door: $25 general, $18 for students/senior. Free for members and those under 18. Call 212-570-3600 or visit whitney.org. May 11-17, 2017

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STILE’S continued from p. 2

L to R: Larry Littman and Italo Medelius, members of a Hudson Guild Neighborhood Advisory Committee task force committed to helping Chelsea residents access affordable groceries.

Donna Stile (center) with her son and daughter, Steven and Gabrielle. The third triplet, Nicole, lives out of state.

said. “Stile’s has the best produce and the best prices.” The hand-written signs lining the store’s two long aisles back her up. Among the $1 per pound items were baby peeled carrots, yellow squash, and green bell peppers. For $1.50, one could walk out of the store with a pound of leeks, kale, bok choy, ginger root, or chayote squash. “I like this. It’s reasonable,” said Elliott-Chelsea Houses residents Miriam James — referring not just to the prices, but the distance from her home. “I can walk here. It’s better than the big stores where you pay more.” Darlene Waters, who joined James in the walk from Elliott-Chelsea, agreed, noting that her shopping cart makes the difference when setting out for the return portion of their 20-block round trip. Chelsea residents Larry Littman and Italo Medelius, members of a Hudson Guild Neighborhood Advisory Committee task force committed to helping Chelsea residents access affordable groceries, were also at the May 7 opening. Early conversations with Stile for a location closer to home, they said, were encouraging — a sentiment Stile confi rmed. “I’m looking to go down to Chelsea,” he

Photos by Tequila Minsky

L to R: Elliott-Chelsea Houses residents Miriam James and Darlene Waters, at the May 7 grand opening.

vowed. “As soon as this one starts to do well, we’re going to start looking. I’ll go wherever we can get a reasonable spot; 23rd Street, 24th Street, Eighth or Ninth Avenue.” For the time being, Stile said, the Hell’s Kitchen customers of old “have been happy as a lark, so happy that we’re back. People want to pay the right price, and that’s what I’m here for.” —Additional reporting by Tequila Minsky

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HOUSING continued from p. 3

York a place where all people can afford to raise a family.” State Senator Brad Hoylman said in the release, “For the families that will soon call Chelsea home, particularly those who have spent years on NYCHA waiting lists, these units represent an opportunity to build a better life.” CB4 Chair Delores Rubin said in the release the board was “proud to have worked alongside our local elected officials, the residents of Fulton Houses, NYCHA, HPD, Artimus Construction and other stakeholders culminating in this milestone project.” Rubin noted how the board has been a “longtime advocate for affordable housing” and is “thrilled that as a result of our advocacy and the West Chelsea rezoning negotiations to see this administration fulfi ll its commitment to deliver permanent affordable housing” at Fulton. “Chelsea has been gentrified so much as of late,” Acevedo told this publication, “with such little affordable housing being built — especially 100 percent affordable housing building. This building is so important to me — it gives the next generation the

GARMENT DISTRICT continued from p. 5

of hotels into the district by requiring new ones to seek a special permit. The proposal is aimed principally at catering to the new breed of smaller enterprises that have been moving in — in advertising, technology, media, and the non-profit sphere. With the EDC continuing to invite community feedback before moving forward, it is fi nding that critics are not shy about pointing to the lack of stakeholder input and to the plan’s overall misguidedness. Brewer’s forum drew a wide array of traditional Garment District players, including designers, manufacturers, and unionized workers. According to Steve Epstein, representing the Theatrical Wardrobe Local 764, the district, though not the center of manufacturing it once was, continues to offer him a cluster of convenient outlets for his supply needs. “We’re talking about an efficiency that does not exist anywhere else,” Epstein said. “That does make me more competitive and it makes the product… much more exciting and beautiful for the consumer.” Joe Ferrara, president of the New York Garment Center Supplier .com

Courtesy NYCHA

opportunity to live where they were

L to R, at the May 4 groundbreaking: Nicole Ferreira, NYCHA Executive VP for Real Estate Development; Maria Torres-Springer, born andPreservation raised.” Housing and Development Commissioner; Joe Restuccia, CB4; Gale Brewer, Manhattan Borough President; Shola Olatoye, NYCHA Chair and CEO; Miguel Acevedo, Fulton Houses Tenants’ Association President; Brad Hoylman, State Senator; Richard Gottfried, Assemblymember; Eric Enderlin, Housing Development Corporation President; Alicia Glen, Deputy Mayor for Housing and Economic Development; Robert Ezrapour, Artimus Principal.

Association and one of the panelists, charged the EDC’s proposal would “deport the Garment Center to Brooklyn.” While separate from its Manhattan rezoning push, the EDC has aggressively promoted the city’s efforts to create two garment hubs in Brooklyn. Yeohlee Teng, a designer who owns YEOHLEE Inc., said that investing in Brooklyn is a great idea, but that the city should offer the same incentives in what remains of Manhattan’s Garment District. Teng, who also teaches at the Parsons School of Design, said many of her students are able to complete projects due to the school’s proximity to the Garment District. “The importance of the Garment District lies in New York’s claim to be the fashion capital of the world,” Teng said. “Now you can only be the fashion capital of the world if you keep incubating great new designs that are made in New York.” Rather than focusing on improvements to the proposal laid out by the city, with what the Garment Center Supplier Association sees as clear inducements for the industry to move to Brooklyn, the group has submitted a completely alternative plan to

the EDC. Ferrara explained that the association’s proposal calls for setting aside 500,000 square feet of space in the district dedicated exclusively to manufacturing use. Under this alternative, a city entity or a non-profit would own or manage the space and allocate it among industry manufacturers. “[This] would provide enough of an anchor to the industry to survive,” Ferrara said of the half-million square-foot set-aside. “We expect it would build upon that anchor… It’s not intended to include the entire industry, it’s simply so that enough of it can be anchored in the district.” CB5 chair Vikki Barbero, in a Wed., April 12 letter, requested to pause the process and instead pursue a steering committee to spend up to nine months exploring rezoning options. And on Wed., May 10, Deputy Mayor Alicia Glen and Councilmember Corey Johnson joined Brewer in announcing the creation of a steering committee. The group would be chaired by Brewer and is expected to meet over three months before issuing recommendations to the city, in advance of City Planning’s Aug. 21 review session on the Garment District. “Our steering committee will gather

experts and representatives from all major stakeholders — manufacturers, labor, designers, and more — to examine the data, hear from everyone, and achieve consensus,” Brewer said in a statement. “The bottom line is that we already agree on a lot, and there’s a little more homework we need to do.” In an April 14 letter addressed to city agencies, Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams — whose borough critics of the EDC plan charge would be the winner from that approach — joined Brewer and the chairs of Manhattan Community Boards 4 and 5 in requesting that a steering committee be formed. According to an EDC spokesperson, the agency is considering the proposal for a steering committee and reviewing the New York Garment Center Supplier Association proposal regarding Manhattan manufacturing space, though that statement was grudging, at best. “The sponsors of the forum offer no realistic path to preserving and strengthening one of New York City’s iconic industries,” said Stephanie Baez, EDC’s vice president of public affairs. “This is about safeguarding a job-intensive sector for future generations by taking action today.” May 11-17, 2017

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May 11-17, 2017

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HOMECOMING continued from p. 4

the opposite of what I think American values would stand for.” A third unit of several hundred protesters, organized by the New York Immigration Coalition and the New York State Immigrant Action Fund, mobilized at around 6 p.m. at the corner of E. 54th and Fifth Ave. near Trump Tower. “This is our New York and you are not welcome here,” Anu Joshi, the deputy director at the Immigrant Action Fund, said. “You cannot marginalize us, you cannot intimidate us, and you cannot divide us, Mr. Trump.” “Up to and including today, Trump has demonstrated again and again that he doesn’t care about the Constitution,” Joshi said. “Well, we’re here to say that doesn’t fly in this city, that doesn’t fly in our streets. Those aren’t New York values, this is our New York, and we’re here to stay.” Trump — who delayed his arrival in New York to host a Rose Garden celebration of yesterday’s House vote to repeal Obamacare — never made it to a meeting with Turnbull originally planned for Midtown ahead of the Intrepid event, and he opted not to sleep at his Fifth Avenue penthouse, instead heading for his New Jersey golf club after meeting with the Australian prime minister. Rather than causing a big disruption in N.Y.C.,” Trump tweeted the day after his appearance on the Hudson River, “I will be working out of my home in Bedminster, N.J. this weekend. Also saves country money!” The field on Thursday wasn’t absent of Trump allies, though, as a couple of his supporters wandered around the Intrepid area among a sea of protestors. Ron H., a Staten Island Trump supporter, said he showed up at the Intrepid to support his president, who was “trying to do good.” Surrounded by anti-Trump protestors on all sides, Ron sought to find a pro-Trump refuge somewhere, repeatedly asking police officers, “Is there any nice people over there?” to which an officer quipped, “There’s nice people everywhere.” .com

THE WEST SIDE’S COMMUNITY NEWSPAPER

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