The Paper of Record for Greenwich Village, East Village, Lower East Side, Soho, Union Square, Chinatown and Noho, Since 1933
June 1, 2017 • $1.00 Volume 87 • Number 22
District leader’s son busted with laptop ﬁlled with child porn BY LINCOLN ANDERSON
n what Arthur Schwartz, the Village’s longtime Democratic district leader, called “a personal tragedy,” his son, Jacob Schwartz, 29, turned himself in for arrest last Thursday on child-pornography charges. According to police, the younger Schwartz’s laptop
computer contained “over 3,000 images and 89 videos depicting young nude females between the approximate ages of 6 months and 16 years old, engaging in sexual conduct... on an adult male.” Jacob was arraigned on two charges on Thursday: promoting a sexual performance by a child PORN continued on p. 8
Bike lane, split-phase trafﬁc signals coming soon to Seventh Ave. BY DUSICA SUE MALESEVIC
he city has announced its plan to install a protected bike lane and other measures from Clarkson St. to W. 30th St. along the east side of Seventh Ave. after the community and local politicians pushed for a safer corridor.
The bike lane will span the Community Boards 2 and 4 districts. The city Department of Transportation plans to begin work on the section of the bike lane between Greenwich Ave. and W. 30th St. over the summer and finish it by the end of
PHOTO BY BOB KRASNER
During Sunday’s Loisaida Festival, passersby joined in a street-corner jam session, picking up percussion instruments and playing along to tunes blasting from a sound system.
4 wounded in ‘bike-by’ shooting on W. 14th St.
BIKES continued on p. 10
BY LINCOLN ANDERSON
gunman reportedly on an electric bicycle sprayed at least halfa-dozen shots on W. 14th St. near the Meatpacking District early Saturday morning, wounding four men standing on the sidewalk. Police said the two-wheeled gun-wielding thug rolled up around 3:25 a.m. and starting blasting at the four victims,
who were standing outside the High End Deli, at 320 W. 14th St., about midblock between Eighth and Ninth Aves., before zipping off on the bike. According to police, one victim, age 41, was hit with several bullets in the arms and torso. Another man, 42, was also shot in the torso and arm. A second 42-year-old man suffered a gunshot wound to the back. Meanwhile, a fourth victim, age 35, suffered a
graze wound to the back. According to the Daily News, a private black SUV rushed two of the injured men — one shot in his stomach and groin, the other shot in his stomach — to Bellevue Hospital. Another victim was also transported to Bellevue by first responders with a bullet wound to the chest, according to the Post. The SHOOTING continued on p. 6
Angry Buddhist vents on Sarsour at CUNY ...... p. 14 P.R. Day Parade and Confederate statues .......p. 21 Omega Men go viral! .............p. 27
‘PIER55, NO JIVE,’ TRUST SAYS: Opponents fighting the Pier55 plan in the Hudson River Park have made much ado about an agreement Barry Diller signed earlier this year allegedly “capping” his financial commitment to the embattled project at $185 million. Yet, the price tag of the “fantasy island” pier is now being pegged at $250 million. What gives? ask Tom Fox, one of the City Club of New York plaintiffs who has been battling the project, and Richard Emery, their attorney. And who will pay all those extra millions — taxpayers? they ask. However, a spokesperson for the Hudson River Park Trust, the state-city authority that runs the 5-milelong park, said Fox and Emery don’t have it quite right on this one. “One hundred eighty-five million dollars was never a ‘cap,’” the spokesperson asserted. “Instead, it is the amount that would come from the donor and is based on the detailed cost estimate that was developed for the project following the concept design phase. As previously noted, Mr. Diller/Pier 55 will be responsible for all [cost] overages. At the same time, the public contribution is capped at $20 million.” A nonprofit group, Pier55 Inc., would be created to operate and maintain the pier under the plan. SWEET JANE DOC: Former City Councilmember Carol Greitzer said she liked our editorial last week on the new documentary on Jane Jacobs and Robert Moses, “Citizen Jane: Battle for the City.” The film was about to end its run at the IFC Center last Thursday, but was extended. “Nice editorial,” Greitzer wrote us. “It apparently worked — ‘Jane’ seems to be held over at IFC! You left out one Villager making an appearance in the film,” she added. “There was a fast shot of my then-4-year-old daughter swinging her Raggedy Ann doll in Abingdon Square Park while Jane and I are talking in the background. I think you might have run that picture once in The Villager.” We were correct in noting that we had seen the late Rosemary McGrath in the film, making a
speech against Moses’ plan for the elevated Lower Manhattan Expressway that would have bulldozed a path of devastation through Little Italy and Soho. “Yes, that was Rosemary,” Greitzer, who was interviewed for the film, confirmed. “Again, it was a fast shot, so one had to be alert — not even blink — to see it. I saw the film twice, and noticed a lot the second time that I missed the first.” Meanwhile, Judge Carol Feinman, who is a former chairperson of Community Board 2, noted that you can still see the fighting flick easily if it’s no longer playing at IFC. “I rented it on movies on demand on Time Warner, now Spectrum,” she noted.
CHRISTOPHER ‘CLARIFICATIONS’: Following our report in our May 4 Scoopy column that Jessica Berk and her elderly mom, Ruth, have agreed to take a buyout of $250,000 apiece for their 95 Christopher St. penthouse apartment, both Jessica and attorney Arthur Schwartz, who was representing Ruth, sent us messages to, well, clarify what they felt needed to be clarified. “At first I got kind of upset, then I decided two call Art,” Jessica wrote us. “He tells me he was kidding when he questioned if I were in Mom’s will. I’ve been left everything. Also, though Mr. Schwartz is a genius and helped out tremendously, he was not in PHOTO BY BOB KRASNER court that day. The 26 pages [of Hanging out at the Tompkins Square Park basketball cour ts, waitstipulations] was tossed because ing to get into a pickup game. the judge wanted me to settle (which I wouldn’t unless it was the prior stip) the case badly. been talking to her on the phone just 20 minutes beLastly, there was absolutely no difficulty arriving at a fore the accident. It sounds like Jones, who was 60 and number — since I had always proposed those figures lived on the north side of W. Eighth near Fifth Ave., was well before Arthur became her guardian. I just refused crossing Eighth St. at Sixth Ave. from north to south to to be forced out of my apartment right away. So I asked Judge Lebovitz if the warrant could be stayed two years, get to the W. Fourth St. subway station to catch a latewhich turned into 18 months. Thanks, maybe we need night bus out of town. “My understanding is she was goto not be this touchy!” For his part, Schwartz wrote, ing to get a bus to North Carolina at the Port Authority “Ruth and Jessica Berk each will be paid $250,000 on — so going to the subway,” Wilson said. “She was going the date they vacate their apartment at 95 Christopher to visit her family. When I saw the age of the person and St. Ruth is a strong woman, and we will have to find her the time that it happened, I figured out who it was right a new, wonderful place to live. Jessica wouldn’t be in away. I went to the police precinct, and they told me. … a position to inherit Ruth’s share until after her death. She was an intelligent person,” she reflected. “You saw Hopefully that will be many, many years from now.” that right away. ... She was a personal friend.” CLOSE-KNIT COMMUNITY: Speaking of Christopher St., we’ve also enjoyed the colorful new crocheted MARKET RELIEF: A new Trader Joe’s is coming “tree stockings,” which we saw on the block near the to Hudson Square, at the former Janovic paints spot at Lucille Lortel Theatre. the northwest corner of Sixth Ave. and Spring St. This not only comes as very welcome news for this suTRAGIC TRUCK VICTIM: Carol Wilson, co-chairperson of the W. Eighth St. Block Association, was good permarket-starved neighborhood, but should also friends with Fern B. Jones, the local resident tragically ease the crowds at the other Trader Joe’s stores on killed by a private garbage truck on May 16 around E. 14th St. near Union Square and on Sixth Ave. 11:40 p.m. while crossing Eighth St. In fact, Wilson had in Chelsea.
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Christopher fashion is branching out It still can be a little chilly at night these days, but light poles on Christopher St. bet ween Bleecker and Hudson Sts. are keeping toasty in some new “sweaters” someone recently put around them. The one outside a barber shop, fittingly, is red, white and blue, which are often the colors on barber poles (though some are just red and white). One a bit far ther down the block is more elaborate, spor ting roses that are ent wined around the tree’s branches.
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June 1, 2017
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June 1, 2017
Four wounded in ‘bike-by’ shooting on W. 14th; SHOOTING continued from p. 1
fourth victim refused medical treatment at the scene. All three men treated at Bellevue were in stable condition, the two tabloids reported. The day after the shooting, police asked for the public’s assistance in identifying the whereabouts of two individuals — a man and a woman — wanted in connection with the shooting: Ricardo Daniell, age 31, who is 5 feet 9 inches tall and weighs 150 pounds; and Paola Betances, 22, standing 5 feet tall and weighing 140 pounds. Police also released a video showing a man and a woman dancing at the nearby Ipanema bar, at 252 W. 14th St., between Eighth and Seventh Aves., about a half hour before the shooting, and the man then getting on an electricpowered bike and riding off eastward. Police also provided photos of the bike rider subsequently dressed differently — wearing a hood and baseball cap. The News reported that the shooter allegedly did a wardrobe change before he ambushed the victims. The gunman was still at large as of Wednesday. A year ago on Yelp, the owner of Ipanema bar described it as “sports dive bar” that just happens to have a Brazilian name.
PHOTOS BY TEQUILA MINSKY
Police closed W. 14th St. bet ween Eighth and Ninth Aves. Saturday after four men outside the High End Deli, in background, were shot around 3:25 a.m. At right, a 360-degree camera was used to gather evidence.
Following the “bike-by shooting,” police closed the crosstown block between Eighth and Ninth Aves. to pedestrian and car traffic as they conducted an investigation. At least 14 crimescene markers were left on the street, showing where spent bullet casings had landed, plus possibly where other crime-scene objects had been. Police also were taking 360-degree photos at the scene. Speaking to The Villager on Saturday, a police spokesperson initially said the suspect had been “tracking” the victims, but he then declined to confirm that, saying the case was still under investigation. The spokesperson said six 9-millimeter bullet-shell casings had been recovered at the scene. A police e-mail news bulletin on the shooting said the man had “fired multiple times” at the victims. It wasn’t immediately clear what sparked the shooting. Asked if the victims and suspect knew each other, the spokesperson, again, said it’s all still under investigation. Village resident Jay Matlick was out shopping Saturday morning when he passed the location. “There is a massive crime-scene investigation in progress on 14th St. between Eighth and Ninth Aves.,” he told The Villager. “Crime-scene tape across the street in many places, including the entrance to the [A/C/E] subway sta-
June 1, 2017
tion, crime-scene markers on the street and a C.S.I. truck on site. Traffic rerouted. “I tried to find out what was happening,” he said. “Police aren’t talking. But it looked very serious and I couldn’t tell if it was a hit-and-run or something more sinister. Lots of people there were taking pictures.” The block of W. 14th St. between Eighth and Ninth Aves. is ususally bustling early Saturday mornings with revelers going to and fro from “Meatpacking” and the A/C/E subway at the corner of 14th St. and Eighth Ave. Other popular food spots on the south side of the block near the deli where the shooting occurred include Insomnia Cookies, which had already closed at 3 a.m. at the time of the “bike-by,” as well as Istanbul Grill and Rocky’s Brick Oven Pizza, which were both still open at the time the gunfire erupted. Anyone with information about the shooting incident is asked to call the Police Department’s Crime Stoppers Hotline, at 800-577-TIPS, or for Spanish, 1-888-57-PISTA (74782). Tips can also be submitted by logging onto the Crime Stoppers Web site, www.nypdcrimestoppers.com, or by texting them to 274637 (CRIMES) and then entering TIP577. All tips are confidential.
With reporting by Tequila Minsky TheVillager.com
Police are searching for gunman and a woman
The victims were hanging out in front of this deli when the rolling shooter struck. The No. 7 marker on the sidewalk shows the location of an item of crime-scene evidence — maybe a bullet-shell casing or some other object. A dried pool of blood was left on the sidewalk to the right of the bic ycle, which also looks like it was left with a flat rear tire from the wild gunfire.
Please Join Us for the 24th Annual Meeting of the Village Alliance Tuesday, June 20th 5:00 - 7:00 PM NY Studio School 8 West 8th Street (Btw 5th/6th Aves.)
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Police are looking for Ricardo Daniell, 31, in connection with Saturday’s shooting on W. 14th St. TheVillager.com
Police are also looking for Paola Betances, 22, in connection with Saturday’s shooting that wounded four people near the Meatpacking District.
June 1, 2017
District leader’s son is busted with child porn PORN continued from p. 1
and possessing a sexual performance by a child. He was freed on $7,500 bail and given a return court date of July 6. Jacob was living in Murray Hill, and employed as a computer programmer analyst with the city’s Department of Design and Construction, where he worked for Build It Back, a Superstorm Sandy recovery and rebuilding-assistance program. Following the news of his arrest — published last Friday in the Daily News and New York Post — he was promptly fired by the de Blasio administration. Jacob Schwartz was also the president of the Manhattan Young Democrats and the Downstate region vice president of the New York State Young Democrats. However, according to the Post, his name and photo were scrubbed from both groups’ Web sites after the story broke. According to the Post, a statement from the Manhattan Young Democrats said the organization was “shocked” by the allegations against Schwartz, and added that he was “no longer a member of the board, and an interim president is now in place.” As for how law enforcement got wind of the younger Schwartz’s cache of child porn, his father said, “They said something was posted to a social-media site.” According to a complaint filed with the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office, a detective from the Police Department’s Special Investigations Unit stated that on March 29, he went to Jacob Schwartz’s home, where Schwartz handed him the laptop and gave a written and signed consent to search it. Arthur Schwartz said his son “deleted everything” before handing over his laptop to police, but “they can reconstruct what was on the computer.” “He knew what he was doing was bad,” the district leader told The Villager. “The judge released him without restrictions,” he added. “She didn’t say don’t be around kids or don’t go on the computer.” However, Arthur acknowledged, “If found guilty, he might go to jail. ... That’s a horrible consequence.”
In a lengthy telephone interview with The Villager Tuesday evening, Schwartz spoke about his sadness at the news, but also his son’s positive qualities, even his past playing Little League as a kid on Pier 40, and his hope that his son will recover and get his life together. “It’s heartbreaking for me — I’ve been crying a lot,” Arthur said. “He’s my first son. He’s my only son. Kids are like a project... .” Arthur Schwartz has been married twice and has four children — two from each marriage — including three daughters. Jacob is from his first marriage. In the 1990s, Arthur Schwartz, who is a top labor lawyer and a former Community Board 2 member, sued to force the state to create a ball field on Pier 40, at W. Houston St. That led to the community winning a ball field on the southeast corner of the roof of the 14-acre pier. A few years later that was followed by the massive artificial-turf field in the pier’s courtyard, which — though initially called “interim” — has become a sacred cow for local families whose kids play in the Greenwich Village Little League and Downtown United Soccer Club. “My activism on Pier 40, a lot of was motivated by Jacob,” Schwartz reflected. “He played Little League on Pier 40 for five years. Not only did I litigate on Pier 40, I managed and coached his Little League team there.” Jacob is now living with his mother, a psychiatrist, in the East Village, Arthur said. Jacbob is in therapy — he started before his arrest — and is seeing someone who is a top specialist for this kind of psychiatric illness, his father said. “Absolutely, absolutely,” Arthur said, when asked if his son was getting help. “I think he’s going three times a week. He’s going to suffer a lot, even if he doesn’t go to jail. He’s moved in with his mother — so he won’t be alone.” Jacob attended Village Community School, followed by Packer-Collegiate in Brooklyn, and then Lehigh University. “In high school, in his junior and senior years, he had the lead in all the musicals,” Arthur recalled. “He was in an a cappella group in college.” Jacob spent 2012 singing a cappella on
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June 1, 2017
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Jacob Schwar tz is potentially facing jail time.
a cruise ship with his group, On Tap, after they won a talent contest. “I’m looking at one of his YouTubes right now,” Arthur said, “ ‘I’m Yours.’ It’s got 173,000 hits. Not bad. They’re singing on a subway train.” Arthur stopped living with Jacob when he was 14 after the attorney separated from his wife. Asked about his son’s personality, he said it was fine. “He seemed extremely well adjusted,” Arthur said, “and when he got into politics, he was extremely popular, well liked and well respected. “It’s an illness and it can go into remission — and that’s my hope,” Arthur said. He said it all came as a shock to him, though his understanding now is that his son had been engaging in this activity for a while, apparently since his teens. “He didn’t learn that from me,” Arthur stressed. In 2017, with the world now thoroughly in the Internet age, his current wife has access and passwords to their two children’s e-mail accounts and social-media pages, and monitors them, he noted. Republicans were quick to jump on the news story, wanting to make hay out of it and attack Mayor Bill de Blasio, in particular, and Democrats, in general. “The Post called him ‘a de Blasio staffer,’ ” Schwartz scoffed. Adding to conservatives’ interest, Arthur Schwartz was the lawyer for Bernie Sanders’s presidential campaign in New York State and also the treasurer for Zephyr Teachout’s primary race against Governor Andrew Cuomo in 2014. Breitbart News, the alt-right Web site, quickly picked up the story. Kellyanne Conway, Donald Trump’s former campaign manager and current counselor, tweeted out one of the articles — but it only backfired on her. “All she got were attacks — ‘How dare you?’ etc.,” Schwartz said with some satisfaction. But it did have some effect, he admit-
ted. “Anyone that searches ‘Bernie’ will find that story the next couple of hours,” he noted. “Kellyanne Conway wanted to hurt Democrats. The Post wanted to sensationalize it and turn it into an attack on de Blasio.” Asked if his son had been interested in following in his footsteps and running for office, Arthur said no, that he preferred the “behind-the-scenes, nuts-and-bolts” part of politics. “He was basically running Build It Back,” Arthur said. “He’s an extremely organized, thorough person. I don’t think he made an enemy in the world. You wouldn’t find a person that had a bad word to say about him — other than this stuff that came out in the press.” Arthur said no one is criticizing him personally or using his son’s misfortune as a political weapon against him. “Nobody has said one thing to me,” he said. “And I got a lot of positive support — from all over the country. Nobody’s taken any work away from me.” Some of the politicos who called him to share their sympathies also offered suggestions on where to get treatment — because they had previously been down that road themselves, Schwartz added. “I got tons of calls from people in the political world — and it would shock you,” he told The Villager. “People who had sexual issues and went into therapy — in our district and out of our district.” Local politicos asked for comment by The Villager expressed sympathy for Schwartz and his family — yet also decried the scourge of child porn. Tony Hoffmann is a former Village district leader and former president of the Village Independent Democrats. “It’s a personal and family tragedy,” Hoffmann said. “I wish Arthur and his family the best during these harrowing times. As a father, I can relate to the pain Arthur is experiencing as he sees what his son is going through. As a father, I can also relate to the pain the exploited children of porn videos go through. Their lives are ruined and they will be scarred for life. Child porn must be stamped out. Society cannot tolerate it.” Keen Berger, Schwartz’s co-district leader — each district has a male and a female leader — just called it sad. “No comment from me,” she said. “It’s sad in so many ways, and nothing I say will make it better.” Within the district, Assemblymember Deborah Glick and Schwartz are bitter political foes. “It’s a terrible circumstance for the Schwartz family,” Glick said, “although I reserve my compassion for the obvious victims, who are all these young girls who have been sold or trafficked and whose images have been proliferated around the Web. Those are the real victims and that is the really horrible part of this.” TheVillager.com
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.
June 1, 2017
Bike lane set for 7th Ave. Washington Square Music Festival
THE WASHINGTON SQUARE MUSIC FESTIVAL’S 59TH SEASON Main Stage, Washington Square Park Free and Open to the Public
www.washingtonsquaremusicfestival.org Tuesday, June 6 at 8:00 pm CARMINA BURANA • Bizet: Overture to Carmen • Orff: Carmina Burana • The Festival Orchestra, Lutz Rath, conductor with the Stonewall Chorale and soloists Rainspace: Judson Memorial Church, 55 Washington Square South Tuesday, June 13 at 8:00 pm HARP MASTERPIECES • The Festival Chamber Ensemble, Lutz Rath, conductor • Mélanie Genin, Harp • Gerard Reuter, Oboe • von Winter: Sinfonia Concertante • Mozart: Concerto for Harp and Oboe • Fauré: Impromptu for Harp, Op. 45 • Ravel: Introduction and Allegro Rainspace: Judson Memorial Church, 55 Washington Square South Tuesday, June 20 at 8:00 pm SONGS FOR VOICE AND CHAMBER ENSEMBLE • The Festival Chamber Ensemble • Ariadne Greif, Soprano • Mozart: Horn Concerto K407 • Vocal Selections • Taiko Drummers • Luigi Boccherini: Flute Concerto in G Major Rainspace: NYU Law School, Tishman Auditorium, 40 Washington Square South Tuesday, June 27 at 8:00 pm MOSTLY ARGENTINIAN: TANGO AND MORE • With JP Jofre, bandoneon, and nine-piece band Rainspace: NYU Law School, Tishman Auditorium, 40 Washington Square South The Washington Square Music Festival is made possible with public funding through Council Member Margaret Chin and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs along with the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature. Generous grants from the Earle K. & Katherine F. Moore Foundation, the Washington Square Association, Music Performance Trust Fund, the Margaret Neubart Foundation Trust, New York University Community Engagement and NYU Community Fund, Salamon-Abrams Family Fund, the Hilaria and Alec Baldwin Foundation, Con Edison, the Washington Square Park Conservancy, Three Sheets Saloon/Off the Wagon/Down the Hatch, and Sanford L. Smith Associates are deeply appreciated.
June 1, 2017
BIKES continued from p. 1
the year. Due to current utility work in the area, D.O.T. lans to begin construction on the section between Greenwich Ave. and Clarkson/Carmine Sts. next year, according to D.O.T. Shirley Secunda, the chairperson of the C.B. 2 Traffic and Transportation Committee, said the board had asked for a “complete street” redesign of the avenue in 2014. A complete street, she said, includes a “whole slew of different improvements for both pedestrians and vehicles, as well as bicycles.” Per a September 2014 C.B. 2 resolution, which the board approved unanimously, the redesign could include “pedestrian safety islands with landscaping, protected bicycle lanes, dedicated bus lanes and traffic lights with leading pedestrian intervals or split-phase timing.” Local politicians sent letters to D.O.T. the next year and in 2016. “This was a campaign in action for a long time,” Secunda noted. D.O.T. presented its plan to the C.B. 2 Traffic and Transportation Committee on Thurs., May 4, which was attended by about 50 people. “I think that, for the most part, it was very happily welcomed,” she said. Secunda said that Seventh Ave. below 14th St. — most of which is actually known as Seventh Ave. South, which starts below Greenwich Ave. — has complicated intersections and, “as a result, every intersection is kind of a nightmare.” The Village board — like C.B. 4 to the north — is an advocate for split-phase signals, and there has “always been a problem with left turns,” Secunda said. Generally speaking, traffic signals at intersections allow vehicles to turn left at the same time as pedestrians are walking in the parallel crosswalk and cyclists are riding straight ahead in bike lanes, Secunda explained. When there is a split-phase signal, vehicles are stopped by a red light, protecting pedestrians in the crosswalk, while cyclists can keep going through the intersection on a green, she said. D.O.T.’s plan is to install split-phase signals at some intersections, including Greenwich Ave. and W. 11th St. and W. Fourth St. and Christopher St., according to the agency’s presentation and Secunda. “That’s a real improvement,” Secunda said of the safer signals. “That’s very welcome.” It’s fairly common for D.O.T. to install split-phase signals at major intersections where there are bike lanes. So, not surprisingly, one will be put in at W. 14th St., and an existing split-phase signal will be maintained at W. 23rd St., according to a C.B. 4 letter to D.O.T. The agency made a presentation to C.B. 4’s Transportation Planning Committee in April and the protected bike lane was discussed at C.B. 4’s full board meeting on May 3. It’s “a standard bike lane,” Christine Berthet, co-chairperson of the C.B. 4
Transportation Committee, said. Berthet also helped found Clinton Hell’s Kitchen Coalition for Pedestrian Safety a.k.a. CHEKPEDS. “We’d like for them to do more pedestrian protection and safety items,” she said. The committee’s letter to D.O.T. asked “that signals be adjusted to reduce the speed limit, so that it does not exceed 25 m.p.h., 24 hours a day” and for splitphase signals at all intersections. Many intersections have what is known as a “mixing zone,” which Berthet called “dangerous.” In a mixing zone, pedestrians, cars and cyclists all have a green light, and, as mentioned above, vehicles are turning left as pedestrians are crossing. “It’s proven to be a tremendously vulnerable spot for crashes,” Secunda of C.B. 2 noted. She said she has been in contact with Berthet for years and that on mixing zones, they are on the same page. From 2011 to 2015, there were nine cyclists, 10 motor-vehicle occupants and 19 pedestrians seriously injured and one pedestrian fatality between Clarkson and W. 30th Sts. on Seventh Ave., according to D.O.T. As part of the plan, one lane of traffic will be removed, as well as about 50 parking spaces. D.O.T. declined to answers questions about the project’s cost, when work was expected to begin and when the bike lane was expected to be completed. C.B. 2 also had some tweaks for the agency’s plan. They, too, would like more split-phase signals, as well as more curb extensions, Secunda said. The committee also asked for a crosswalk to be installed across Seventh Ave. South at Leroy St., she said. “It’s really needed there,” she said. “It’s a dangerous spot.” In addition, C.B. 2 would like the bike lane extended along Varick St. from Clarkson/Carmine Sts. to Canal St. The committee recommended approval, and the resolution was approved at C.B 2’s full board meeting on May 18. C.B. 4 approved a draft letter that said it was “pleased” with the agency’s plan but that also included the board’s “serious concerns about speed, intersection treatments and pedestrian safety.” The only No vote was by C.B. 4 Chairperson Delores Rubin, who stressed her vote was “a personal position,” not a board position. “The main reason is a good number of cyclists do not follow traffic laws, which means we have a potential conflict with pedestrians and cyclists,” she explained. “The bike lanes tend to give the impression there is a separate set of rules for cyclists than other vehicles.” TheVillager.com
POLICE BLOTTER Double trouble
According to police, a woman was walking along Horatio St. on Wed., March 15, at 10:10 p.m. when she was robbed in front of 77 Horatio St. The 27-year-old victim was looking down at her cell phone and trying to find a subway station, when she said two unknown males pushed her down and removed her purse from her. The suspects then fled down Horatio St. and got into a light-colored car. It took a little while, but a woman, Rebeka DeoOliveira, 20, was arrested Sat., April 8, for felony robbery. A man, Nouraldeen Daifallah, 19, was arrested for felony robbery on Thurs., May 25. The victim had mistakenly thought both were males when she was jumped by them.
An off-duty Fifth Precinct police officer and his girlfriend were arrested for selling cocaine to undercover cops twice, it was reported. Officer Jose Sierra, 41, was hit with two charges of criminal possession of a controlled substance. His girlfriend, Lina Maria Bedoya Muriel, 30, is also facing drug charges. The Daily News reported that the couple sold coke from their car to an undercover officer in Astoria on two separate dates in May, according to prosecutors. When the powder-hawking pair were busted, police allegedly found 18 packets of cocaine on Muriel and another 36 bags in the car’s trunk.
‘Give us the bag’ Police said a woman was robbed on the northeast corner of Hudson and Horatio Sts. on Tues., May 23, at 10:50 p.m. The victim, age 25, told cops she was walking on Horatio St. to her hotel when she was approached by two males. “You know what this is. Have you ever been robbed before? Give us the bag,” they told her. When she handed over the bag, the two suspects ran away. Wilfredo Serrano, 15, and Davean Ricks, 16, were arrested Wed., May 24, for felony robbery.
Candid camera Police said an officer observed a man try to yank a camera off of a 59-yearold man’s neck at the southeast corner of Sixth Ave. and W. Third St. on Tues., May 23, at 9:40 p.m. Steve Werner, 49, was arrested for attempted felony robbery.
Not very sporting According to police, a man had his belongings stolen out of a gym locker inside the New York Sports Clubs branch at 225 Varick St., between Clarkson and W. Houston Sts., back on Tues., Nov. 8. While the 23-year-old victim was working out at 12:45 p.m. that day, his debit card and two credit cards were stolen out of the locker, police said. He did not have a lock to secure the locker. His debit card was used three times, twice at Duane Reade and once at CVS. Edward Friedhoff, 55, was busted Mon., May 22, for felony grand larceny. TheVillager.com
Bike ticket blitz The First Precinct, which covers Soho, Tribeca and Lower Manhattan, has been cracking down on bike infractions this spring. Eugene Schatz, a community affairs at the precinct, said, “We have monthly meetings where complaints from the neighborhood are aired. Grievances regarding bicycles have been coming up in the last few months. This info is shared with the patrols and traffic cops.” According to precinct statistics for the last two-and-a-half months, March saw 29 tickets issued to cyclists, including nine for riding on the sidewalk, eight for going the wrong way, five for running a red light, and another five for failure to yield to pedestrians. April saw the amount of tickets almost triple, largely due to better weather and more cyclists on the streets. There were four tickets issued for riding on the sidewalk, 17 for going the wrong way, 55 for running a red light, three for failure to yield to pedestrians, and eight miscellaneous others, which could include missing equipment on the bikes and the like. As of May 15, the First Precinct had handed out 19 summonses to cyclists for running red lights and one for riding the wrong way down the street.
Tabia Robinson, Tequila Minsky and Lincoln Anderson June 1, 2017
Loisaida Festival fills Avenue C with music,
A famenco dancer at the Loisaida Festival.
“The Pineapple Girls” were a sweet sight enjoying their pina coladas.
PHOTOS BY BOB KRASNER
“Feeling the vibes” at a tribute to Tito Puente at the Loisaida Festival.
June 1, 2017
Las Dimamicas, from the Grand Street Settlement, let their pride flag fly at the festival.
dancing and a lot of Puerto Rican pride
The Batala New York all-female Brazilian drum corps, with co-director Deinya Phenix, center, got down at the Loisaida Festival on Avenue C on Sunday.
De Blasio Affordable Housing Myth #1 Mayor Bill de Blasio is creating, preserving and protecting affordable housing for families that need it most.
The Facts: • 168,000 wealthy tenants with annual incomes of $100,000+ occupy nearly 20% of all rent-regulated apartments. (Source: U.S. Census Bureau) • What’s de Blasio doing for 172,000 households with annual incomes of less than $25,000? • Only 5% of 40,000 affordable units under de Blasio went to tenants making less than $25K. (Source: Gothamist, 2/10/16) … “de Blasio’s… program will yield a grossly inadequate amount of housing for… the people who need it most.” (Source: Metropolitan Council on Housing)
De Blasio’s Housing Policies: Politics & Hypocrisy Next Week: de Blasio Myth #2 TheVillager.com
June 1, 2017
This hurts: CUNY gives Linda Sarsour the stage
THE ANGRY BUDDHIST BY CARL ROSENSTEIN
n light of the recent federal indictment of two Michigan doctors charged with genitally mutilating two 7-year-old girls, the fact that Linda Sarsour was picked to be the commencement speaker at the CUNY School of Public Health is deeply troubling. Opponents claim her virulent opposition to Israel disqualifies her from such an honor. The City University of New York has countered she has the right to free speech. But the First Amendment doesn’t mean that hate, bigotry and misogyny should be given a stage. Sarsour, the executive director of the Arab American Association of New York, calls herself a “racial and civilrights activist.” That’s a good one. In 2011 Sarsour attacked Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a true champion of Muslim women seeking liberation from the cruel cultural practices of female genital mutilation imposed in the Middle East. Sarsour tweeted of Ali, “She’s asking for an ass whippin’. I wish I could take their vaginas away — they don’t deserve to be women.” That the CUNY School of Public Health is allowing an advocate for female genital mutilation to address the graduating class of health professionals is outrageous. To balance out the program, so there are no claims of sexual-mutilation discrimination, the warm up act should include a mohel from Williamsburg. In 21st-century America, F.G.M. is now imported, along with carpets and baklava. Customs from the Middle Ages aren’t blocked at Customs and Immigration in airports. All the while, the Democratic Party and its liberal base remain silent. Their unholy alliance of political convenience with proponents of this misogyny is immoral and a betrayal of Muslim women globally, especially to the 500,000 Muslim-American girls who are at risk. To the culture police, denouncing this barbarism makes one a “racist.” Ayaan Hirsi Ali was an F.G.M. victim when she was 5 years old in Somalia. First as a refugee, then as a Dutch politician, Hirsi Ali courageously denounced F.G.M., forced marriage and honor killings. Multiple fatwas were placed on her head, as they were for writer Salmon Rushdie for his authorship of “The Satanic Verses” and his
June 1, 2017
portrayal of the prophet Muhammad. Hirsi Ali went underground and fled Holland, so not to suffer the fate of her colleague Theo Van Gogh, who was horrifically murdered in 2004 by a jihadist on the streets of Amsterdam. The pair collaborated on the film “Submission,” which deals with violence against women in Muslim societies. Van Gogh was shot multiple times at close range. The murderer cut the filmmaker’s throat with a large knife and tried to decapitate him, after which he stabbed the knife deep into Van Gogh’s chest, reaching his spinal cord. He attached a note to the body with a smaller knife. The note was addressed to and contained a death threat to Hirsi Ali. Hirsi Ali now resides in the U.S. and is the founder of the AHA Foundation, dedicated to protecting young Muslim women from these atrocities. For diehard, politically correct liberals, the following graphic description should convince you — women’s rights are inherently incompatible with Islamic fundamentalism. F.G.M. procedures include the removal of the clitoral hood and clitoral glands; removal of the inner labia; removal of the outer labia; and the closure of the vulva. In the last procedure, known as “infibulation,” a small hole is left for the passage of urine and menstrual fluid. This is not done in a hospital or clinic. The sick rationale for this horrific act is to ensure girls’ “purity” and virginity by desensitizing the female erogenous zone. A month ago, in the first case of its kind in the U.S., a grand jury issued a federal indictment against two doctors, Jumana Nagarwala and Fakhruddin Attar. They were charged with performing F.G.M. on two minor girls at Attar’s medical office in Livonia, Michigan. Daniel Lemisch, acting U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Michigan, said in a statement, “This brutal practice is conducted on girls for one reason, to control them as women. F.G.M. will not be tolerated in the United States.” Prosecutors say they believe there are many other victims. Sarsour, of course, was a leader of the Women’s March in D.C. Only in this twisted time can “feminists” assemble in mass to protest 10-yearold vulgar locker-room comments by Trump — yet be led by the worst sort of demagogue, whose beliefs would eliminate the last 100 years of victories for women’s rights and turn back the clock centuries. In this new dark age of newspeak and groupthink beware the rise of Trojan Horse Linda Sarsour. TheVillager.com
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Horning in on social media use among Gen Unicorn RHYMES WITH CRAZY BY LENORE SKENAZY
o you know what a Finsta is? Neither did I, because I am not between the ages of 13 and 34. Anyone 13 to 18 is “Gen Z,” and those aged 18 to 34 are the much-discussed millennials. Dan Coates studies them both. His company yPulse is a marketing research firm based in Manhattan, and lately some of its research has been on Finstas. Finstas are fake Instagram accounts that are actually more real than a person’s so-called “real” Instagram account. On a Finsta account, he explains, “Teens only accept their closest friends and post funny or embarrassing photos for the enjoyment of their few followers.” In other words, it is a window into their imperfect life. But on their “real” Instagram account — that is, a social media account where people can share pictures and captions — they post perfection. In fact, Coates said, Instagram users take an average of eight photos for every one that they post, which means that their friends or followers are seeing a highly selective, cropped and filtered version of their
lives. Instagram pictures are to real life what Vogue’s fall fashion spread is to the average person wearing, well, clothes. Naturally, if you are taking eight pictures for every one you post, that’s a lot of snapping. Young folks “feel like there’s always some sort of camera on,” says Coates. “So they’re always ‘on.’ ” They are also worried about which moments should and should not be recorded. It is like sitting at the control panel and editing a movie of your life. Constantly. This new pressure — and the pressure of seeing all your other friends looking their best, happiest and skinniest all the time — may explain why this generation of young people is so anxious. “More than half say, ‘I often feel overwhelmed.’ Sixty percent say, ‘Social situations make me feel anxious.’ More than 50 percent say, ‘I constantly feel
stressed,’ ” says Coates. That is an unprecedented level of worry. The worry manifests itself in a couple ways. On campus there’s been a “huge increase” in students seeking personal counseling. But another trend Coates has noted is the “fear of burning out,” in which young people recognize that this media obsession is too consuming, and deliberately take a break. As a gal who has tried her own digital detox and generally failed within several long minutes of not checking my e-mail, all I can do is wish them luck. When not worrying about how their life looks to the world — or whether they’re having some kind of breakdown — millennials are completely obsessed with food and drink. Even though I was the last to hear about the Starbucks Unicorn Frappuccino (currently being sued by Brooklyn’s End Cafe for being a ripoff of its Unicorn Latte), the drink is still being shared on social media, in part, because it is a gorgeous swirl of colors and sprinkles. But also, like the Cronut before it, this is a novelty food that confers status on whoever gets one. Snap! A much lovelier trait the millennials seem to share is their inclusivity. The generations before them, says Coates, were far more cruel. “One false move and you were exiled. You got a nickname and everything went downhill from there.”
But today’s young people have lots of friends, including some who would have been outcasts in an earlier era. When Coates and his team interview millennials, “We’ll say, ‘We totally get all your friends — except Phil.’ They say, ‘Yeah, we get it, there’s a lot going on with Phil. But if you ever need advice on the Android operating system… .’ It’s like they’re stockpiling tools and resources.” It’s also like they’re just not into excluding people, perhaps because they were raised by the generation that brought us flower children and the peace movement. Coates theorizes that “after going through the ’60s and trying to change the system, I think an entire generation of Boomer moms decided, ‘O.K. Mixed results. We haven’t changed society, but I’m going to start with my own family.’ ” It may be no coincidence that the millennials’ concerns are the same as their parents’ — race relations, gender equality, tolerance — just taken a step further. Like their parents, young people also expect to save the world, although sometimes they do this with a credit card. “Now when you buy shoes you somehow must be shoeing people on the other side of the planet,” says Coates. “Your every act as a consumer somehow has to create a positive net effect.” That’s a worthy goal, even if a multicolored Frappuccino may be a particularly sweat-free, status-boosting, cameraready way to achieve it. Snap!
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June 1, 2017
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR Helped untold artists grow
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To The Editor: Re “At $33,000 a month, will the show go on at Cornelia St. Café?” (news article, May 18): Viva Cornelia Street! So many artists, including singer-songwriters like me, have used the club’s commitment to freedom to grow and grow and grow! Support Cornelia Street Café, a one-in-amillion joint! Michael Lydon
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To The Editor: Re “At $33,000 a month, will the show go on at Cornelia St. Café?” (news article, May 18): Paradoxically, a lot of storefronts in Manhattan are for rent, with vacancy rates at near record highs. This should be driving down rents, even in the Village. Apparently, at least here, this is not happening. Will we be having yet another vacant storefront? Joseph Hanania
She rolls with S.B.S. buses To The Editor: Re “No L train? No big deal” (letter, by John Wetherhold, May 25): On May 22, at noon, all riders were put off the L train at First Ave. because another train was stalled in the tunnel. People poured out of the station and right onto the double-length bus, so it was packed, and became more so as the bus continued along 14th St. On May 25, at 11 a.m., A train riders were put off at 14th St. because of “passenger injury.” Only half the train was in the station, so we walked through the subway’s cars to get on the platform. Firefighters were on the scene. A huge crowd then proceeded upstairs to the L train to connect with other lines; many riders probably went to the bus, too. So, let’s all envision what it’s going to be like when the entire L line shuts down, shall we? Why anyone is opposed to Select Bus Service is beyond me. We’re going to need as many buses as the M.T.A. can put on, some S.B.S., some making ev-
ery stop. P.S.: No subway riders were seen carrying their tricycles as an alternative to get them to their destinations. Noreen Shipman
One more costly failure? To The Editor: Re “Durst admits funding Pier55 suit, showing ‘Novo’ claim was true” (news article, May 18): It’s a waterfront. A passive-use waterfront is lovely. No bells and whistles needed. And the Pier55 designer, Thomas Heatherwick, has many controversies to his name. There were the falling spikes of his “B of the Bang” sculpture in Manchester and its subsequent cost overrun — its fi nal price tag was twice the original estimate. There is “Vessel,” Heatherwick’s $150 million “sculpture” going up at Hudson Yards on the West Side. Do we think spending $150 million on this “artwork” in these times, in this city, makes any sense at all? Meanwhile, Heatherwick’s Garden Bridge fi asco in London is now under investigation for procurement irregularities and “significant failures of process throughout.” Experts predict it will cost taxpayers significantly more than initially proposed. And then there is his Pier55 “fantasy island” protruding into the Hudson — as if the river needed any further adornment, at current and future cost to the city whose parks are starved for funding. Why do the very wealthy insist on foisting these “emperors with no clothes” on the public dime, and why do does this city keep buying it? This is no “favor” to the public. It is the whim of the wealthy, and frankly we can’t afford to fund their whims — neither environmentally nor fi nancially. K Webster
Silwa but no Kuby: Borrring! To The Editor: Re “Kuby canned from ‘Curtis & Kuby’ show by WABC” (news article, thevillager.com, May 23): I have been listening to the show and calling in from LETTERS continued on p. 22
We need an alternative to the M.T.A.! 20
June 1, 2017
What we honor: It should never be terrorists
TALKING POINT BY CORMAC FLYNN
here is a difference between remembrance of history and reverence of it.” With this pithy sentence, New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu summed up the distinction that the country has been struggling with in a myriad of cases over the last few years: the Confederate battle flag, the names of buildings and schools on college campuses, statutes honoring problematic people or renounced causes, etc. As local activists move to displace reprehensible historical figures from positions of honor, opponents predictably decry “erasure” and warn of a slippery slope. If you take down a monument to Klan founder Nathan Bedford Forrest, they warn, you’ll have to take down monuments to Washington and Jefferson, who, after all, were slave masters. The answer from liberals and progressives like myself has been a variant on Landrieu’s eloquent summation: There is a difference between honestly presenting history, warts and all, and celebrating those warts as achievements and role models. There is a difference between honoring someone who is flawed for a specific good they did and exalting them specifically for the flaw. Another criterion is whether the repugnant acts were what the individual is chiefly known or remembered for. In other words, it doesn’t wash to say, “Hey, I’m just honoring Hitler for his service to auto travel.” In the campaign against “Lost Cause” propaganda in particular, we have avoided any slippery slope by keeping moral footings. Taking up arms against our elected government, for example, is treason. And murdering civilians to stoke fear for a political purpose is terrorism. Also, service in evil causes is never praiseworthy; an individual might be forgiven, or even redeemed, but the shameful actions themselves should not be honored. Which brings me to Oscar López Rivera and New York’s own Puerto Rican Day Parade. López Rivera was a terrorist. His organization, the FALN, was responsible for more than 120 bombings in the U.S. between 1974 and 1983 in its quest to impose a Stalinist dictatorship on Puerto Rico. Among the most notorious of these was the brutal 1975 lunchtime bombing of historic Fraunces Tavern in Lower Manhattan. Four people were killed, dozens injured. That same year, in a scene eerily similar to recent footage from Europe, police found Rivera’s apartment loaded with explosives, weapons, bomb-making equipment and targeting photos of high-profile TheVillager.com
A scene of the aftermath of the FALN bombing of Fraunces Tavern in Lower Manhattan in Januar y 1975 that killed four people and injured 43 others. The dynamite-powered fragmentation bomb blew up during lunchtime, spewing nails and other shrapnel. The power ful blast brought down a marble stair way to the second floor, collapsed the ceiling and blew out walls and windows. Fifteen minutes after the bombing, the FALN called the A ssociated Press to claim credit for it.
public places. Apprehended and tried in 1980, he openly admitted to all charges against him. He expressed no remorse. López Rivera was sentenced to 55 years; a later escape attempt earned him 15 more. Social-justice and human-rights advocates became concerned that López Rivera’s lengthy incarceration was out of proportion to his specific convictions. In 1999, President Bill Clinton offered clemency on the condition that López Rivera renounce political violence. Fourteen of his 15 former FALN comrades agreed, but López Rivera would not. President Barack Obama commuted López Rivera’s sentence earlier this year — which should have been the end of his story: By the mercy of a great nation, a 74-year-old man is freed after 35 years, so he can finish his days quietly at home. But now, López Rivera is to be honored in the Puerto Rican Day Parade. When I say, “honored,” I am bearing in mind Mayor Landrieu’s distinction between memory and veneration. López Rivera has not been invited as, for instance, a symbol of the need for criminal-sentencing reform, a guilty man who nevertheless deserves fair treatment. Nor is he being presented as an exemplar of repentance: Rivera remains Trumpian
in his defiant self-pity. Nor does he seek to make amends: The New York Times quoted him just this month refusing to apologize to the families of FALN victims and, in fact, complaining that they should show him more respect. No, López Rivera is to be honored
If López Rivera was a statue, we’d tear it down.
as the parade’s first “National Freedom Hero,” a superlative specifically created for him by the organizers. You know — for all that heroic bombing of innocents in pursuit of dictatorship. It is really hard to see how this is different in principle from obnoxious celebrations of the Confederate cause in Southern cities and towns. Think about it: López Rivera is to be given a public
triumph in a city he terrorized — a city still vigilant to bombs and blanching at every firecracker — in the name of heritage and ethnic pride. All that is missing is the Stars and Bars. The scope and impact of the FALN’s reign of terror pale beside those of the Confederacy and the Klan, though that is little comfort to its victims. Race and privilege must also be taken into account. The glorification of terrorism by the white majority is obviously more dangerous to society than similar behavior by the longmarginalized Puerto Rican community. Yet, the principle is the same: the sanctioned adoration of thugs and killers who reject our core values of human rights, law and democracy. Oscar López Rivera was a terrorist, as Nathan Bedford Forrest was. López Rivera was a traitor to the United States, as Robert E. Lee was. López Rivera does not renounce his shameful past or pledge himself to the cause of those he harmed, as James Longstreet did. Indeed, he is known for no other commitment than to the FALN. It is for that reprehensible conspiracy of violence, terror and totalitarianism that he is being honored. If he was a statue, we’d tear it down. And we’d be right, too.
June 1, 2017
Letters to The Editor LETTERS continued from p. 20
time to time and I have to say this sucks. Curtis Sliwa without Ron Kuby is boring and says the same old s--- every day, and he does it all over again at 5. Kuby was the only non-right-wingTrump-loving fascist on the whole station. And I say, so long. I listen no more. John R. Penley
Phase out meat, dairy To The Editor: Earlier this month, the 146-year-old Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus shut down for good after years of animal activists effectively exposing it for animal abuse. Can the meat and dairy industry be far behind? The shift toward plant-based eating is everywhere. Fast-food chains, like Chipotle, Quiznos, Starbucks, Subway, Taco Bell and Wendyâ€™s, offer plant-based options. Parade, Better Homes and Gardens and Eating Well are all touting vegan recipes. Indeed, Global Meat News reports that nearly half of consumers are reduc-
ing their meat intake. Beef consumption has dropped by 43 percent in the past 40 years. Google C.E.O. Eric Schmidt views replacement of meat by plant protein as the worldâ€™s No. 1 technical trend. The financial investment community is betting on innovative start-ups, like Beyond Meat or Impossible Foods, while warning clients about â€œdeath of meat.â€? Even Tyson Foods new C.E.O. Tom Hayes sees plant protein as the meat industryâ€™s future. The industry needs to transition to plant-based foods, or shut down, like the Greatest Show on Earth. In the meantime, every one of us can shut the meat and dairy industry out of our own kitchen by checking out the rich collection of plant-based entrees, milks, cheeses and ice creams in our supermarket. Nelson Yancy E-mail letters, not longer than 250 words in length, to news@thevillager. com or fax to 212-229-2790 or mail to The Villager, Letters to the Editor, 1 MetroTech North, 10th floor, Brooklyn, NY 11201. Please include phone number for confirmation purposes. The Villager reserves the right to edit letters for space, grammar, clarity and libel. Anonymous letters will not be published.
PHOTO BY TEQUILA MINSKY
Vernita Nâ€™Cognita per forming Sunday in the downstairs cabaret â€” which included song, music, theater and per formance â€” during the three-day 22nd annual Lower East Side Festival of the Ar ts.
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Genuine affection for ‘Artiﬁcial Jungle’ TBTB launches loving revival of Ludlam’s Ridiculous Theatrical classic BY TRAV S.D. The summer of 1967 (50 years ago) is remembered today for many things. On the one hand, it was the “Summer of Love” — the Beatles released “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band,” and the Monterey Pop Festival brought together many of the top musical acts of the day. On the other hand, it was also known as the “long, hot summer,” when race riots erupted across the United States. It was a tumultuous time of radical change — and in the middle of it all, a brilliant actor, director, and playwright named Charles Ludlam broke away from John Vaccaro’s experimental Playhouse of the Ridiculous to found his own Ridiculous Theatrical Company, bringing with him a troupe of actors who would become legendary, including Mario Montez, Black-Eyed Susan, Lola Pashalinski, Bill Vehr, and John Brockmeyer. Ludlam’s brand of the style known as “The Ridiculous” was multi-faceted. A large portion of the company was openly gay. Drag performance was central to their art; “Camille” was to become one of Ludlam’s most famous roles as well as one of his most famous plays. Camp comedy was central to the Ridiculous sensibility, as was a firm grounding in the classics. Ludlam was just as likely to tweak the nose of Shakespeare or Wagner as he was Hollywood movies or vaudeville. High and low were thrust together in their work and New York audiences loved them for it, packing their Sheridan Square theater for two decades until Ludlam died of AIDS in 1987. Ludlam’s lover and right hand, Everett Quinton, then took over leadership of the company and managed to keep it going for another decade. Unthinkably, New York has now been without a Ridiculous Theatrical Company for 20 years, although their influence is everywhere — not just on stages, but in film and television. In his 1984 biography, “The Divine Bette Midler,” James Spada quoted the star as saying, “I got a great deal of my early inspiration from Charles Ludlam.” On the occasion of the Company’s 25th anniversary, John Waters gushed, “I used to run away from Baltimore to New York as a teenager just to see them.” JUNGLE continued on p. 25 TheVillager.com
PHOTO BY CAROL ROSEGG
L to R: Rob Minutoli, David Harrell, Alyssa H. Chase, Anthony Michael Lopez and Anita Hollander in Theater Breaking Through Barriers’ revival of “The Artificial Jungle,” through July 1 at the Clurman Theatre.
PHOTO BY ANITA AND STEVE SHEVETT
L to R: Philip Campanaro, Charles Ludlam, Black-Eyed Susan, Everett Quinton and Ethyl Eichelberger in the 1986 production of “The Artificial Jungle.” June 1, 2017
Just Do Art BY SCOTT STIFFLER
THE WASHINGTON SQUARE MUSIC FESTIVAL A sweet source of June swoon for music lovers of many stripes, The Washington Square Association’s free outdoor Tuesday night concert series offers the distinct possibility of moon and the certitude of croon. June 6’s opening installment tips its hat to Pride month by welcoming America’s first gay and lesbian chorus. Rendered by the venue as technically unable to raise the roof, but powerful nonetheless, The Stonewall Chorale lends its 60+ voices to Carl Orff’s “Carmina Burana,” newly transcribed for chamber orchestra by timpanist and percussionist Charles Kiger. The series’ longtime musical director, Lutz Rath, conducts the Festival Chamber Orchestra — and returns for those duties on June 13, conducting the Festival Chamber Ensemble in a program featuring harp soloist Mélanie Genin. June 20 sees the Ensemble return with selections from Rameau, Boccherini, and Mozart — along with four works by the thunderously dynamic New York Taiko Aiko Kai drum ensemble. The series concludes June 27, with a “Mostly Argentinian” program of tango and jazz featuring master bandoneonist and composer JP Jofre, backed by a nine-piece band. Tuesdays in June at 8pm, in Washington Square Park (main stage south; Fifth Ave./Waverly Place, btw. W. Fourth & MacDougal Sts.). All concerts are free (seating on a first-come, first served basis). Rainspace for June 6 & 13: Judson Memorial Church (55 Washington Square South, at Thompson St.); rainspace for June 20 & 27: NYU Tishman Auditorium (40 Washington Square South). Visit washingtonsquaremusicfestival.org or call 212-252-361.
PHOTO BY SALLY J. BAIR
Seen here, Lutz Rath conducts the Festival Chamber Orchestra. Washington Square Music Festival concerts happen every Tues. in June.
LaserDisc titles, vintage ’60s psychedelic posters, magazines, and rare Fillmore East programs. Spurred to action by a recent donation of books (for sale at the sale, of course), the ARChive crew is a tempting trade agreement: bring in any music-related book not in stock and exchange it for one of “equal or thereabouts face value.” Prep for your act of amiable bartering by visiting arcmusic. org/catalogs/books to see the 9,500 titles already in their book catalog. Daily: Sat., June 3–Sun., June 18. Weekdays, 11am–7pm; weekends, 11am–6pm. At ARChive of Contemporary Music (54 White St., btw. Broadway & Church St.). Visit arcmusic.org or call 212-226-6967. COURTESY ARCHIVE OF CONTEMPORARY MUSIC
Sizzling hot: ARChive of Contemporary Music’s summer sale has 33,000 musicthemed items (give or take) up for grabs.
ARCHIVE OF CONTEMPORARY MUSIC’S SIZZLIN’ SUMMER RECORD + CD SALE Everything old isn’t new again at the ARChive of Contemporary Music, because the recordings they collect
DOWNTOWN MUSIC PRODUCTION Mimi Stern-Wolfe, Artistic Director PRESENTS
Marshall Coid, Violin | Justin Vance, Clarinet Mimi Stern-Wolfe, Piano
Saturday, June 10, 3pmÊUÊSt. Marks in the Bowery Darius Milhaud: “Suite” Op 157b Pour Violon, Clarinette & Piano Igor Stravinsky: “L’Histoire Du Soldat” For Violin, Clarinet & Piano Aram Khachaturian: “Trio” For Violin, Clarinet & Piano Suggested Donation: $15, $10 (Seniors, Students) Information: firstname.lastname@example.org s 212.477.1594 s DowntownMusicProductions.org
June 1, 2017
(1950 to the present) never did and never will go out of style — certainly not in the hearts and minds of artists and scholars who flock to this Tribecabased nonprofit to access their library of over 90 million songs and over three million pieces of rare music-related photos, sheet music, press kits, and memorabilia. Twice a year (right now, then in December), ARC opens its doors to the general public, with a fundraising sale whose fair price “wow” factor is eclipsed only by the breadth of its offerings: 30,000 items representing the best of what was left after they did their Noah’s Ark thing (i.e., keeping two of everything for that ever-expanding permanent collection). There’s no gristle in this “Sizzlin’ Summer” sale,” whose offerings include a selection of Latin recordings pressed in South America, Classical LPs for $1, other LPs, $1-$5, CDs, box sets, 2,000 never-before-offered singles, music-themed VHS and
FILM: “THE INCOMPARABLE ROSE HARTMAN” “She’s a rose with thorns,” says one keen observer, in this begrudgingly admirable warts and warts look at longtime West Village resident and photographer Rose Hartman — the woman who helped create the global face of NYC nightlife by confidently entering (then elbowing her way through) Gotham’s most fantastic parties, galas, and fashion shows. Labeled by an impressive parade of talking heads as everything from “a very complex character” to somebody who “just doesn’t quit, to the point that you really want to strangle her,” this self-professed “chiffon jungle” safari photographer has an essence far more difficult to capture than that of her subjects. Starting out as a strict observer back in the day when the A-List had names like Capote and Warhol, the film makes a compelling argument that Hartman’s gift for “impulsive portraiture” (as one person describes it) elevated her from paparazzi to “visual historian.” It’s telling, however, that few who sing TheVillager.com
JUNGLE continued from p. 23
COURTESY THE FILMMAKER
Bicycle Habitat’s Hal, from filmmaker Fredgy Noël’s “Seven Days in New York.”
her praises appear on camera with her — and for good reason. More than once, Hartman berates director Otis Mass, who, like so many before him, finally snaps. “Rose,” says the exasperated director, “shut the f--k up and let’s talk.” The exasperated viewer will feel the same way, and long before the film’s 70-minute running time has come to an end — thus granting Hartman’s desire: “I don’t want to be humanized. I like to come across as provocative.” Opens Fri., June 2 at Quad Cinema (34 W. 13th St., btw. Sixth & Fifth Aves.). Visit quadcinema.com.
FILM: “SEVEN DAYS IN NEW YORK” Independent filmmaker, 12-year Gothamite, and tart nostalgist Fredgy Noël populates her satisfyingly candid documentary with one longtime New Yorker for each day of the week — outsized personalities all, but none of them reduced to the sort of “boy, they sure are real a character”-type depictions that have soured so many other lazy and/or uninformed attempts to get under the Big Apple’s skin. A smart decision by director, cinematographer and editor Noël to sit back and observe
rather than engage her subjects in conversation or bring third party talking heads into the mix pays off every time, revealing hidden dimensions and yielding quiet moments that speak volumes (such likable tour guide Sherwood, who, unable to stomach looking at New Jersey because that’s where his ex-wife lives, plays it for laughs then gets caught by the camera having uttered a very telling slip of the lip). With seven character sketches unfolding in just under 50 minutes, “Seven Days in New York” knows how to dig in and drill down, then move on before we’ve had our fi ll. Harlem hair queen Monae, Billymark’s West bartender/co-owner Billy, and Bicycle Habitat’s Hal are among the witty, stubborn, natural born charismatics who made it here, and wouldn’t want to be anywhere else. Their incurable love of the city is contagious. This film screened Wed., May 31 as part of the NewFilmmakers New York Film Festival at Anthology Film Archives (32 Second Ave., at Second St.). For info on future screenings and more artist info, visit fredgynoel.com. “Seven Days” will be available on vimeo.com in December.
PHOTO BY ROSE HARTMAN, COURTESY THE FILMMAKER
Bianca Jagger at Studio 54 in 1977. Discover the backstory of this iconic image in “The Incomparable Rose Hartman,” opening June 2 at the Quad. TheVillager.com
Fiftieth anniversary commemoration events are already underway. A public reading and panel discussion with original cast members was presented at CUNY’s Martin E. Segal Theatre Center on May 15 — and Theater Breaking Through Barriers (TBTB) is marking the occasion with the first New York revival of Ludlam’s last completed play, “The Artificial Jungle,” currently in previews and opening on June 8 (with readings of several other Ludlam works to take place on June 5, 12, and 19). Everett Quinton will direct. “Our most recent production, last season’s ‘The Healing,’ was a heavy, ultrarealistic drama,” said Nicholas Viselli, artistic director of TBTB. “So I thought our next production ought to be a comedy. As it happens, our general manager Steve Asher also used to be the managing director of the Ridiculous. He reminded me that we are coming up on the 30th anniversary of Charles Ludlam’s death. That seemed rather a grim occasion for us to mark, but we also quickly realized that the 50th anniversary of the Ridiculous happens around the same time. The show will also be open during Pride Month. So it all tumbled into place. I like to say the project chose us.” “The Artificial Jungle” is a hilarious Hollywood noir parody owing much to movies like “Double Indemnity” and “The Postman Always Rings Twice.” The Ridiculous aspect is that the events of the story are transplanted to a pet shop, a highly unglamorous setting where the stakes are absurdly small. The tale is told compactly, with a cast of five. For this reason, noted Quinton, “The Artificial Jungle” comes in second only to the two-hander “The Mystery of Irma Vep” as the Ridiculous Theatrical Company’s most-produced play nationwide. Yet the current production will be its first New York City revival. As it was the last play Ludlam ever appeared in, its selection will have even more significance. “It’s a perfect little play, perfect story, perfect for actors,” Quinton said. “But it’s hard to play. It demands one thousand percent of your energy. We’re lucky to have a group of extremely talented people in the cast. It feels like a miracle.” Perhaps even more miraculous: TBTB is an integrated company that is, according to its mission statement, “dedicated to advancing actors and writers with disabilities and changing the image of people with disabilities from dependence to independence.” Three of the five cast members are amputees, and one is legally blind. “People tend to think of disability as
PHOTO BY CAROL ROSEGG
L to R: Alyssa H. Chase, Anthony Michael Lopez and David Harrell, from the 2017 production of “Jungle.”
PHOTO BY ANITA AND STEVE SHEVETT
L to R: Black-Eyed Susan, Everett Quinton and Charles Ludlam, from the 1986 production of “Jungle.”
limiting,” Viselli said, “but we want to show how the possibilities for people with disabilities are actually limitless. ‘The Artificial Jungle’ is a high-energy physical comedy, and yet the demands of the play are not an issue. The ongoing issue for us is always more, ‘Are we going to be able to do this without the audience being afraid for the actors?’ Because the actors themselves know they can do it in a way without compromising or dumbing it down and everyone is on board with that. That’s what this company is all about.” Added Quinton: “Charles would have been very happy with this group.” “The Artificial Jungle” runs through July 1: Tues.–Wed. at 7pm, Thurs.–Fri. at 8pm, Sat. at 3pm & 8pm, and Sun. at 3pm. At Theatre Row’s Clurman Theatre (410 W. 42nd St., btw. Ninth & 10th Aves.). Tickets are $52.25, via 212-239-6200 or at tbtb.org, where you can also find info. on staged readings of Ludlam’s “Turds in Hell” (June 5), “Der Ring Gott Farblonjet” (June 12), and “Galas” (June 19). June 1, 2017
June 1, 2017
Tompkins vets Undead, Sewage headline Memorial Day concert
PHOTOS BY BOB KRASNER
Spike Polite, second from right, and Sewage NYC rocked the stage Saturday at the Tompkins Square Park Memorial Day Concer t.
The Undead, featuring Bobby and Diana Steele, above, really came alive at Tompkins on Saturday. TheVillager.com
The Omega Men rocked the Tompkins crowd with their rockabilly beat.
June 1, 2017
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June 1, 2017
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June 1, 2017
PHOTO BY ALEX LEFF
Beloved local ‘greasy spoon’ becomes City Spoon Favorite neighborhood diner La Bonbonniere, on Eighth Ave. bet ween W. 12th and Jane Sts., was transformed last week, with a sign, into The City Spoon and vintage cars were brought in for a film shoot. And after you enjoy your meal at La Bonbonniere, don’t forget to pick up your copy of this week’s Villager on the corner at Casa Magazines!
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June 16, 2016 â€˘ $1.00 Volume 86 â€˘ Number 24
Critics blast landmark bill as â€˜anti-preservationâ€™; Say â€˜loopholeâ€™ offers little hope BY YANNIC R ACK
contentious bill that will put deadlines on the cityâ€™s preservation agency to designate landmarks within two years was passed by the City Council last week. There was heavy opposition from preservationists and even initial disapproval from the cityâ€™s Landmarks Preservation Commission itself â€” but the measure might be moot due
to a loophole, according to its chief critics. The legislation, Intro 775A, mandates that L.P.C. vote within one year to designate proposed individual landmarks, and take no longer than two years to vote on proposed historic districts â€” limits that the billâ€™s opponents charge could lead to the loss of countless potential landmarks. LANDMARKS continued on p. 12
Hoylman pushes Albany to pass child sex-abuse reform, but Senate stalls BY MICHAEL OSSORGUINE
he Omnibus Child Victims Act, or Senate Bill S6367, is the latest effort from state Democrats to reform the statute of limitations on victims of child sexual abuse. The bill, though still in committee, has momentum in the Senate as victims are stepping forward
and Senate Democrats are arguing against entrenched opposition. State Senator Brad Hoylman introduced the Senate version of the bill with several co-sponsors, including Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins, the leader of the Democratic Conference. ABUSE continued on p. 14
PHOTO BY TEQUILA MINSKY
Thousands of points of light: Monday nightâ€™s vigil stretched along Christopher St. from Waverly Place to Seventh Ave. South.
â€˜We shall overcomeâ€™: Vigils draw thousands to Village BY PAUL SCHINDLER
n two vigils in the West Village on Sunday evening, one crowd numbering in the thousands, another in the hundreds voiced shock, grief, and anger over the murder of 50 patrons of an Orlando, Florida, gay bar in the early morning hours of the same day. Speaker after speaker emphasized that the violence cannot be isolated from a climate of anti-L.G.B.T. hatred that continues to persist across the nation, but also pledged to continue building community to respond to hostility and bigotry where it exists.
At the same time, both crowds rejected the notion that hate is an appropriate response to the violence and speciďŹ cally called out efforts to pit the L.G.B.T. community against the Muslim community over a tragedy in which the shooter, 29-year-old Omar Mateen, is reported to have phoned 911 just prior to the massacre and pledged his allegiance to ISIS. Ken Kidd, a member of Queer Nation New York, took the lead in organizing a rally outside the Stonewall Inn that drew several thousand people. â€œWe come together because this is a community that will
never be silent again,â€? he said. â€œI ask every person to think of someone you knew who was killed because of anti-L.G.B.T. hatred. Think of a time when you felt unsafe in your own community. And I want every single one of you to think not of what anyone else, not of what I, but of what you can do to change that.â€? Kidd said the L.G.B.T. community should draw strength from the 49 patrons of the Pulse nightclub who were killed. â€œWe must go forward in love,â€? he said. Mirna Haidar, a representa-
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Graffiti artist tags Haring group in lawsuit ...... p. 16 Remembering Ramrod rampage of 1980.........p. 21 Here comes the sun energy...p. 18
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2017 NYU Thom Fluellen Award Unlocal, Inc. 2017 NYU T.G. White Fund Awards A Place for Kids Apex for Youth Avenues for Justice (formerly the Andrew Glover Youth Program) The Door, A Center of Alternatives, Inc. Go Project, Inc. Grand Street Settlement Greenwich House Greenwich Village Youth Council Hetrick-Martin Institute Jefferson Market Garden Lower East Side Girls Club of New York, Inc. University Settlement Society of New York, Inc. Young People’s Chorus of New York City Youth Represent, Inc.
New York University salutes the 2017 recipients of the
NYU Community Fund and T.G. White Awards The NYU Community Fund has contributed over $2.9 million to hundreds of local nonprofits since its inception in 1982, supporting organizations that improve the health and well-being of New York City. The majority of this money comes directly from NYU faculty and staff who donate funding through an annual employee-based charitable giving program. All administrative costs are absorbed by NYU, so 100% of every dollar donated goes directly to community organizations. Awardees are community organizations whose work addresses concerns such as at-risk youth, homelessness, hunger, literacy, economic independence, and services for those who are elderly, visually impaired, or living with health issues. Learn more about the community fund at nyu.edu/community.
June 1, 2017
2017 NYU Community Fund Awards A Fair Shake for Youth, Inc. Academy of Medical and Public Health Services Artists Space Ascension Outreach Back on My Feet Bailey House Bowery Mission Bowery Residents’ Committee, Inc. Brooklyn Community Services Cabrini Immigrant Services of NYC Center for Alternative Sentencing and Employment Services (CASES) Children of Bellevue, Inc. Children of Promise Children’s Aid Society Church of St. Luke in the Fields City Parks Foundation Community Health Project, Inc. d/b/a Callen-Lorde Community Health Center Community of St. Egidio USA Cooper Square Community Development Committee Cornelia Connelly Center Covenant House New York Dances For A Variable Population (DVP) Downtown Music Productions East End Temple (EET) Elizabeth Seton Pediatric Center
George Jackson Academy Gibney Dance Gilda’s Club NYC God’s Love We Deliver Hamilton-Madison House Henry Street Settlement Holy Apostles Soup Kitchen - Church of Holy Apostles LEAP, Inc. d/b/a Brooklyn Workforce Innovations Legal Information for Families Today (LIFT) Loco-Motion Dance Theatre for Children Mariners’ Temple Baptist Church Helping Hands Outreach Program Movement Research Nazareth Housing New Women New Yorkers New York City Rescue Mission The New York Foundling New York Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children Nicu’s Spoon Our Lady of Sorrows Peer Health Exchange Petey Greene Program Phoenix Theatre Ensemble Project Ezra Project Renewal Rattlestick Playwrights Theater Reading Partners Rescuing Leftover Cuisine Society of the Third Street Music School Settlement St. Joseph’s Soup Kitchen Stuttering Association for the Young (SAY) Tech Kids Unlimited The Uni Project Theater Breaking Through Barriers Corp. University Community Social Services, Inc. Urban Justice Center (Peter Cicchino Youth Project) Village Center for Care (“VillageCare”) Village Temple Soup Kitchen Vision Urbana, Inc. Visions/Service for the Blind and Visually Impaired Visiting Neighbors, Inc. Visual AIDS for the Arts, Inc. Washington Square Association Music Fund Washington Square Park Conservancy Xavier Mission, Inc.
June 1, 2017