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

NEW-COURT PRESS B-Ballers Back to Sinking Baskets at Renovated Space (see page 5)

Photo by Jackson Chen

Jordan Hughes winds back his arms as he sinks another basket at the new Fulton Courts. © CHELSEA NOW 2017 | NYC COMMUNITY MEDIA, LLC, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

VOLUME 09, ISSUE 21 | JULY 20 – 26, 2017


Steps to Safer Streets Sought After Deaths of Chelsea Cyclists BY JACKSON CHEN At a July 17 stakeholders meeting convened in response to a pair of Chelseabased fatalities involving cyclists hit by charter buses, the Department of Transportation (DOT) offered a list of preventative measures. On June 17, Michael Mamoukakis, 80, was traveling down Seventh Ave. when a charter bus making a right turn on W. 29th St. struck him, police said. Mamoukakis’ death was less than a week following an incident where Dan Hanegby, a 36-year-old investment banker from Brooklyn, collided with a charter bus on W. 26th St. (btw. Eighth & Seventh Aves.) after swerving to avoid a parked van on June 12, according to police. The similar nature and proximity of the two deaths led to Councilmember Corey Johnson calling for an emergency meeting with the DOT, NYPD, other electeds, Community Board 4 (CB4), and bus companies immediately following Mamoukakis’ death. The group, which excluded the bus companies, met on Monday to discuss possible next steps to improve

Photo by Jackson Chen

SAFETY continued on p. 16

It’s a precarious dance of right-turning vehicles and pedestrians at the intersection of West 29th Street and Seventh Avenue, where Mamoukakis was struck in June.

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COMMUNITY ACTIVITIES SAIL ON THE SLOOP CLEARWATER See the West Side waterfront from a decidedly different perspective, when you join members of the Chelsea Waterside Park Association for their annual sojourn down the Hudson River aboard the sloop Clearwater — a replica of the Dutch cargo vessels that once anchored the commercial shipping industry that’s looking particularly ship-shape these days, thanks to an extensive restoration project that began in 2009. Hear tales of the vital role sloops played in 18th and 19th century commerce as you snack, schmooze, and take in spectacular views. Fri., Aug 4. Meet at Pier 60 (W. 20th St. & Hudson River). Board at 5:30 p.m., depart at 6 p.m., return at 9 p.m. Tickets are $60 per person, $55 for Chelsea

Photo by Donathan Salkaln

Come sail away on the sloop Clearwater, when the Chelsea Waterside Park Association takes their annual scenic sojourn down the Hudson.

Waterside Park Association members (price includes a box supper, choice of meat or vegetarian sandwich). Must purchase in advance; call 212-255-8443 and leave your return phone number clearly on the voice mail of Pamela Wolff). Find out more about the sloop and the Chelsea Waterside Park Association by visiting clearwater.org and cwpark.org.

NY STATE SENATOR BRAD HOYLMAN’S SENIOR RESOURCE FAIR Discover the many resources available to older adults, their caregivers, and their families at the firstever senior-themed resource fair sponsored by Senator Brad Hoylman (the first, he assures us, of what will become an annual event). There will be complimentary blood pressure and health screenings along with the opportunity to get information from, and quiz, representatives from over 30 advocacy and healthcare organizations (including the New York Legal Assistance Group, which provides no-cost civil legal services to New Yorkers who cannot afford attorneys). Plus, you’ll find information on how to sign up for classes designed to help you tackle all of the latest technology. Attendance is free. Tues., July 25, 2–4 p.m. at the Theresa Lang Student & Community Center (on the second floor of 55 W. 13th St., btw. Fifth & Sixth Aves.). RSVP is requested, but not required. For more information, call 212-633-8052 or email car-

Courtesy the Meatpacking District Sweat Sessions

Gonna make you sweat: Meatpacking District fitness classes, sans fee, take place Tuesdays through August.

oline@bradhoylman.com. Also visit hoylman.nysenate.gov.

SWEAT SESSIONS Free fitness costs, and 14th Street is where you start paying — in sweat! Weekly through August, The Meatpacking Business Improvement District and The Wellth Collective are giving fitness fanatics a place to find their bliss, while providing a source of redemption to those of us who long ago abandoned our New Year’s resolution to get in shape. Every Tuesday at 6 p.m., 7 p.m. and 8 p.m., there will be a different 45-minute exercise class open to the community. Yoga, dance cardio, boxing, and Pilates are among the perspirationcausing offerings. At Hudson River Park’s 14th Street Park (10th Ave., btw. W 14th & 15th Sts.). Sign up by visiting meatpacking-district.com. Mats will be provided on a first-come basis; proper athletic attire required, and you must arrive on time! —Scott Stiffler



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July 20, 2017

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Play’s Vision of Integrated Infantry Casts Women Who Saw Combat BY DUSICA SUE MALESEVIC It was less than two years ago — December 2015 — that the last barriers barring women from certain combat positions finally fell. Now, the new play “Bullet Catchers” envisions a not-sodistant future where women and men officially serve together in the same infantry unit. “It’s been a 70-year journey for women to fully integrate into all branches, units, and occupations of the military,” said Lory Manning, who served in the Navy for 25 years, starting in the late 1960s. For Manning, the armed forces offered a different path at a time where options were limited for women. “I did not want to be a schoolteacher and I wanted out of New Jersey,” she recalled by phone. “The Navy seemed like a good opportunity — for travel especially.” She explained that it has been a piecemeal process to lift the restrictions. For example, in 1992 women were allowed into combat aviation, said Manning, a fellow at the Service Women’s Action Network, known as SWAN (servicewomen.org). According to the organization’s website, there are “nearly 2.5 million service women in the US.” The nature of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and the sheer number of women deployed during those two conflicts means women (and men) who were not in combat roles saw combat, she said. Since Sept. 11, 2001, over “300,000 women have deployed to Afghanistan and Iraq,” according to a SWAN report dated Feb. 1, 2017. More than 1,000 women were wounded, and 166 were killed during combat operations, the report noted. “Now even though they fought in Iraq and Afghanistan they are officially allowed to fight,” Manning said. Sandra W. Lee, who plays two roles

Courtesy bulletcatcherstheplay.com

“Bullet Catchers” imagines the US Army’s first mixed gender infantry unit, from training to deployment.

Courtesy bulletcatcherstheplay.com

During 2016’s research process, the cast and creative team of “Bullet Catchers” met with active duty personnel at Fort Dix.

in “Bullet Catchers,” saw combat in Iraq although she was assigned to civil affairs, she told Chelsea Now in a phone interview. Lee joined the army in response to 9/11, she said, and served from 2002 to 2010. Civil affairs focuses broadly on rebuilding a country’s infrastructure, and in Iraq, Lee explained she worked

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July 20, 2017

on rebuilding schools. Her unit did train in combat, and Lee said she went along with another division as they conducted security sweeps and raids, and looked for weapons caches. “We would fill in a lot,” she recalled. “We did a lot of missions that were not part of our job description. But being a solider, that is in the job description.” Lee, who was in Iraq from 2003 to 2004, said that while driving in the country, her convoy was hit four different times by roadside bombs. She said she has a brain injury that stems from those incidents. She was also diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder, known as PSTD. Lee said she was raped by another solider during her deployment. Her experiences inform how she plays Até, which in the play is the goddess of war and a warrior. Being a woman in the military, Lee explained, there is a perception that females are not good enough and “you have to prove yourself in order to join their ranks.”

Due to her brain injury, Lee was somewhat apprehensive about contributing to the writing of the play but said she put her voice into Até, whose character was a “shell” when she joined the production last December. “The nice thing about this process… it was a group effort,” she said. Indeed, the co-creators of “Bullet Catchers,” Maggie Moore and Julia Sears, sought input from the actors for the play, which was a collaborative endeavor. “It felt like a writer’s room for a lot of the process,” Sears, who is also the play’s director, said by phone. The actors were given writing assignments, Sears said, such as writing the fairytale version of their character’s arc in the play, or being challenged to write five minutes of theater within a half hour. “They have so much ownership over what they’re making,” Sears said. Moore and Sears were the final editors but the actors had a part in shaping their characters, like Lee with Até. Moore, who is also the play’s associate director, said the actors found their voices as writers. While Moore and Sears were honored to be the leaders, she said, the play belongs to the collective. “We all jumped off the cliff together,” Moore said by phone. Neither Moore nor Sears served in the military. The genesis of the project stems from when Moore was working at the Washington, DC-based Truman National Security Project in early 2015, she explained (trumanproject.org; “a BULLET CATCHERS continued on p. 10 NYC Community Media


Nothin’ But Net During Dunkin’ Days of Summer BY JACKSON CHEN It’s game on at the Robert Fulton Houses as officials unveiled the newly renovated basketball court on Ninth Ave. Young b-ballers, parents, and community advocates joined New York City Housing Authority reps, elected officials, and the developer during the July 12 ribbon-cutting ceremony of the new courts between W. 18th and 19th Sts. The court renovations were done as part of Artimus Construction’s 18-story affordable housing project at 413 W. 18th St. that would provide 160 units of permanently affordable units. The $77.8 million development will build onto the complex’s parking lot and began construction in May. As part of the deal, the developer agreed to renovate the basketball courts and the children’s playground. The previous courts at Fulton Houses had seen years of wear and tear resulting in bent backboards and torn nets, according to the players. But the renovation breathes new life into the courts with fresh hoops and a vibrant red and blue layout. Jordan Hughes, who’s at the court daily, said the old backboards and ground were uneven. Many spectators would often have

to stand as the benches were sparse and beat up, he added. Zayin Bumbray, another frequent player from Fulton Houses, said the old courts looked trashy. “The courts were busted, the hoops were destroyed, the nets were torn up,” Bumbray said. But now, their local court is ready for some serious pickup games. “It feels better,” Hughes said of the new court. “It helps you work on your shot to make you more dominant and the spacing is good, it’s like a real actual court.” Councilmember Corey Johnson said the court was a big win for the residents as it’s rare a developer is willing to offer amenities or assets to the community they invade. “In one of the most expensive neighborhoods in the United States of America, it takes a lot of teamwork to accomplish more than just what a developer wants to potentially give or what the city is asking for them,” Johnson said at the ribbon cutting. “To make this happen is a really big deal,” Johnson said. “It’s because of all your hard work and us coming together collectively... to ask for more.” Photo by Jackson Chen

Kids practice their shots at the recently renovated Fulton Court on Ninth Ave.

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Photo courtesy Office of Councilmember Corey Johnson

Councilmember Corey Johnson and Assemblymember Dick Gottfried (front row) were joined by eager B-ballers at the newly renovated basketball court’s July 12 ribboncutting.

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Crowds checked out the much-improved Robert Fulton Basketball Court on its opening day. NYC Community Media

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5


POLICE BLOTTER PETIT LARCENY: Newport worth hundreds The smooth taste of Menthol may have helped a certain toxic tar stick cement its status as “the second best selling cigarette brand in the United States” (unimpeachable source: Wikipedia), but we doubt this brazen thief has the lung capacity to smoke his ill-gotten gains in a single session. According to police, a male, approximately 19 (not even out of his “nico-teen” years!), walked into the 7-Eleven at 246 W. 23rd St. (btw. Seventh & Eighth Aves.) around 54 minutes past midnight on Fri., July 14. He jumped over the counter and removed 21 packs ($279.30 worth) of Newport 100 cigarettes. Video of the incident was available, which could give authorities the smoking gun they need to snuff out the problem.

52-year-old victim told police that in the late afternoon of Fri., July 14, he was sitting in Starbucks (W. 43rd St. & Ninth Ave.) chatting away on the phone. Two hours later he arrived home to discover that the iPad Air (valued at $1,000) was missing from his bag, which he later admitted to police was open on a seat next to him. Using an app to find the device, it was traced to a building on W. 41st St., but authorities were unable to pinpoint the specific apartment in which it was being held (and not for safe return, we’re betting).

PETIT LARCENCY: Lack of ‘Air’ after languid latte

CRIMINAL POSSESSION OF A CONTROLLED SUBSTANCE: I paid for it!

Hey, highly caffeinated chums, have you heard the latest buzz? It’s a good idea to keep your eyes peeled while sipping the day away. Heeding that sage advice could have saved one java-juiced Joe a cool one thou(sand), had he been more vigilant. The

Shortly after 3 a.m. on Fri., July 14, police observed two people in a car at the northwest corner of Ninth Ave. & W. 14th St., engaging in what appeared to be a narcotics transaction. Defendant

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#1, a 29-year-old male, was “observed in possession of a controlled substance.” Upon exiting the transporting vehicle, a quantity of a controlled substance was found on the seat where Defendant #2, a 56-year-old male, had parked his rump. A strip search of D#2 conducted at the 10th Precinct yielded positive results for a quantity of marijuana. “This isn’t mine,” claimed D#1, with the not-so-smooth criminal identified as D#2 stating, at one point, “He sold me drugs,” and “I paid for it.” Needless to say, arrests were made, and all hopes of making it home that night and ministering to their munchies went up in smoke.

PETIT LARCENY: Stolen look Governor Cuomo may have coined the phrase, but we doubt he saw this one coming. A careless commuter had his own personal “Summer of Hell” during the start of evening rush hour on Fri., July 15 — when, at around 5 p.m., he was sitting on an underground bench at Eighth Ave. & W. 23rd St., waiting for a train. Placing his phone next to him on a bench (never a wise move in this town), the man looked the other way for just a moment and, when he looked back, saw that his $600 Samsung Galaxy Note was no longer in his personal orbit. —Scott Stiffler

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Just In Case, Health Advocates Return to Capitol Hill BY PAUL SCHINDLER One day after efforts by the Trump administration and the US Senate’s GOP leadership to dismantle President Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act collapsed, up to 500 activists descended on Senate offices demanding that Republicans work on “providing health care rather than taking it away.” That’s how Eric Sawyer, the vice president of public affairs and policy at Gay Men’s Health Crisis (GMHC), explained the efforts of his group and other health care advocates in Washington on July 19. In tandem with hundred of others –– including about 200 New Yorkers representing Housing Works, VOCALNY, Rise and Resist, Gays Against Guns, ACT UP, and Positive Women’s Network, as well –– GMHC staff and clients staged sits-ins at the offices of the 49 GOP senators who had not yet rejected Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s call for an outright repeal of Obamacare without putting forward any immediate replacement. McConnell adopted that strategy on July 18, after it became clear the Republicans lacked the 50 votes needed to pass his Obamacare replacement bill. The repeal with no replacement option

NYC Community Media

Courtesy Office of Councilmember Corey Johnson

Councilmember Corey Johnson being arrested after sitting-in at Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s office on July 19.

has been scored by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) as even worse than McConnell’s replacement bill, leaving 32 million more Americans uninsured by 2026, versus the 22 million who would be forced out of care under

the measure just abandoned. Three Republican senators — Susan Collins of Maine, Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia, and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska –– didn’t even need the CBO scoring to reject the outright repeal option,

announcing their opposition just hours after McConnell signaled his intentions. The GOP leader plans a vote next week — one he seems destined to lose — to ADVOCATES continued on p. 15

July 20, 2017

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OBITUARY

Gail Borden Chisholm, 62, Vintage Poster Dealer BY ROBERT CHISHOLM AND SUZANNE CHISHOLM Gail Borden Chisholm, a longtime gallery owner and collector / dealer of vintage original posters in the Village and Chelsea, died July 5 after a three-month illness. The cause of death was lung cancer. She was 62. Gail chose to spend her final days at home surrounded by loved ones. For the last 15 years, she lived in a nearly 200-yearold 1827 Federal landmark building at 145 Eighth Ave., above a gallery owned by her brother Robert Chisholm and his partner, Lars Larsson. Gail and Robert co-owned the building. She also had an apartment in Paris that she spent time in as often as possible for 20 years. Gail Borden Chisholm was born to Raymond Nelson Chisholm and Martha Belle Borden on Oct. 14, 1954, in Richmond, Virginia. She grew up on a farm with cows, ponies, and a hay barn. She was the youngest and only girl with three older brothers. Her mother and three of her sisters became nurses during World War II. Her father was a schools superintendent. When Gail was starting high school, she and her family moved to El Tigre, Venezuela, a small oil company town in the middle of nowhere, for two years before returning to Virginia. Gail went on to attend Mary Baldwin, a small women’s college, for a couple of years, but felt confined and restricted. In 1975, her brother, Robert Chisholm, asked if she wanted to come to New York City to run his small gallery at 277 W. Fourth St., between Perry and W. 11th Sts., after he had opened another gallery in Soho on Thompson St. “She was 20,” Robert recalled. “I think she was here the next weekend.” Early on, the siblings supplemented their gallery income by waiting on tables during the graveyard shift at the newly opened Empire Diner on 10th Ave. Gail soon fell in love with vintage poster art and in 1980 opened her own business, Chisholm Gallery, on Greenwich Ave., where for 13 years she had many devoted customers. “In the beginning, we were selling paintings and vintage paper,” Robert recalled. “After a short time, she switched over to just selling original vintage posters. This unusual career choice continues now with her lovely gallery at 325 W. 16th St. just steps away from Chelsea Market.” The Greenwich Ave. gallery ran until the end of 1992. That was followed by the gallery’s move to lower Fifth Ave. in a fourth-floor space for a short period. Next, her gallery was on W. 17th St. and Sixth Ave. in a spacious fifth-floor space. Another 10 years passed followed by another move — this time to W. 22nd St. and Sixth Ave. In 2010, Gail relocated to her final gallery space at 325½ W. 16th St. Gail Chisholm served as the inaugural president of the International Vintage Poster Dealers Association, starting at the nonprofit’s inception in 1996. She was also an avid traveler.

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Gail Chisholm in front of her gallery on Greenwich Ave. It was at that location from 1980 to 1992, but she went on to relocate it to several other spots over the years.

Gail Chisholm’s specialty was vintage original posters.

“Gail’s life was an adventure. … It’s hard to imagine a part of the world Gail didn’t visit from India to Bali to South America,” her brother Robert said. “Her love of scuba diving and the sea or water of any sort often directed her travels. “The water romance led her also to a small rustic cottage on a lake in northern New Jersey near Dover. Each year when the community around the lake would take a vote on whether or not to allow electricity, Gail would vote No.” Her niece Suzanne Chisholm recalled Gail as a veritable Renaissance woman. “A bright star, Gail spread her light, love, laughter, generosity, and enthusiasm wherever she went,” Suzanne said. “A successful woman in many ventures, she was a groundbreaking entrepreneur, passionate world traveler, avid reader, amazing gardener, cat

Gail Chisholm in her gallery in 2001 wearing a peace button in protest of then-President Bush’s invasion of Afghanistan.

lover, ocean and fish enthusiast, and an engaging conversationalist — both in English and in French. “Gail was steadfast in her opinions and likewise supported many organizations with both her time and her generosity,” Suzanne continued. “She unwaveringly fought for what she believed in and encouraged others to do the same. “Her Southern roots afforded her a special flair for dinner parties and entertaining, especially at a moment’s notice. She loved her Virginia country ham! Gail was an exuberant, lively woman, who loved life, friends and family dearly. She has left an indelible mark on many lives.” Surviving are her brothers, Robert Chisholm and his husband Lars Larsson of Chelsea; James Chisholm of Richmond, VA; Raymond Chisholm of Uganda; her niece Suzanne Chisholm of the Village; her nephews Andrew Chisholm and his wife Jennifer of Richmond, VA, Matthew Chisholm and his wife Ashley of Nashville, TN, and Allen Chisholm of Knoxville, TN; her sisterin-law Terryee Lynn Chisholm of Blacksburg, VA, and four great-nieces and great-nephews, Hailey, Carter, Nora, and Henry. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made in Gail Chisholm’s name to Planned Parenthood or Doctors Without Borders (Medicine Sans Frontier). Memorial celebrations will be private. Stories, condolences, and memories of Gail can be expressed via e-mail to her brother Robert at robert@posterny.com or on her Facebook page. NYC Community Media


ADVERTORIAL

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NYC Community Media

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-

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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.

July 20, 2017

9


BULLET CATCHERS continued from p. 4

nationwide community, forged in the aftermath of 9/11, fighting for America’s promise on the battlefield, along the campaign trail, and in the halls of government”). Sears and Moore have been friends since college, and followed the news of whether the last restrictions on combat positions would be lifted. Sears thought the story of women fighting for recognition in combat would be an excellent story, Moore said. Sears and Moore interviewed 35 veterans and current service members — an about even mix of women and men. The veterans had fought in Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan, Sears said. The interview process took about three months, Sears said, with Moore and her then listening and transcribing the interviews. From there, they started to narrow down stories and characters, Sears said. A bullet catcher is “army slang for an infantryman,” according to the play’s website, and Moore said, “It’s kind of a badge of honor to be a bullet catcher.” Some women are going through infantry training right now, she said, and “we’re seeing the movement towards the world we built in the play becoming a reality.” “Bullet Catchers” follows the journey of “the first official mixed gender infantry unit in the US Army, from training to deployment,” according to the play’s website. Moore said it was important to highlight a diversity of experience and so the play’s characters run the gamut from private to lieutenant colonel. Jessica Vera plays Maya de los Santos, who in the play is a lieutenant colonel and the first female commander of a forward operating base, Vera explained by phone. Vera described Maya as a leader, someone who

Courtesy bulletcatcherstheplay.com

The cast during a recent rehearsal.

not only sees the opportunity before her, but also the weight of that level of responsibility. While Vera has no military experience, her father was an Army Ranger, her older brother was in the Army Cavalry and is currently serving in the Air Force. Growing up in a military household has informed how she plays Maya, she said. One of the play’s first scenes is Maya picking up

her wife, Jordan, a civilian, and taking her over the threshold after getting married. Lee, the veteran, also plays Jordan in the play, and said Vera helped to shape Jordan’s character. While the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy has been officially abandoned, Lee said, “There’s still a stigma. It depends on who your command is.” On the other end of the military spectrum is character Joan Boudica, played by Emma Walton. Joan is a private and is brand new to the experience, Walton explained by phone. Joan is part of the reserves and is randomly picked for special training and is deployed, she said. “It’s a coming of age story for her,” Walton, who has no military experience, said. Walton said women have been in the military for a long time — flying planes and protecting the country like men are. “We’re excited to show it,” she said. “The rest of America thinks that they’re nurses, they’re doing paperwork. That’s just not true.” Sears, the director, said she hopes the play spurs a myriad of conversations for the audience, including a larger discussion of women in leadership roles. “We’re hoping that this story — as specific and nuanced [as it is] — can still have reverberations for woman and anyone who has tried to move the needle of gender integration in general,” she said. Thurs., July 20 through Sat., August 5 (opening night, July 22). At Judson Memorial Church (55 Washington Square South, at Thompson St.). Evening and matinee performance schedule varies. For tickets ($20) and schedule info, visit bulletcatcherstheplay.com. Veterans and active military members can receive discounted rates by sending an email to bulletcatchersboxoffice@gmail.com.

JOIN US AT THE INTREPID MUSEUM FOR

A special performance encompassing everything from the Cold War to Sputnik, from Yuri Gagarin to Neil Armstrong, this action-packed show brings tongue-in-cheek humor to a whole new atmosphere— one where the rules of gravity no longer apply. AUGUST 4 & 5, 8:00pm

General: $25 adults / $18 children Members: $23 adults / $16 children Not recommended for children under five. This performance is part of the Intrepid Museum’s Space & Science Festival, a weeklong celebration of science and innovation. PIER 86, W 46TH STREET & 12TH AVENUE, NYC intrepidmuseum.org

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Photo Courtesy of Theater Unspeakable

Buy tickets online at intrepidmuseum.org/moonshot

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ADVOCATES continued from p. 7

give his members the chance to show just how little they like Obamacare. City Councilmember Corey Johnson, the out gay Health Committee chair, is unwilling to bet against McConnellâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s ability to yet turn things around. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The fight isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t over as we saw with the House, where Paul Ryan pulled a rabbit out of a hat,â&#x20AC;? Johnson said as he headed over to sit-in at McConnellâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s office, where he was later arrested. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The fight has to continue until straight repeal and repeal and replace are both abandoned by the Republicans.â&#x20AC;? As New York Stateâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s only openly HIVpositive elected official, Johnson said he was in Washington as one of hundreds of activists with pre-existing conditions that would be penalized severely under all the Republican alternatives that have been discussed. â&#x20AC;&#x153;So now weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re here to tell our stories and to fight back against any effort to curtail health care in this country,â&#x20AC;? he said. Johnson said most of the protesters favor a single-payer approach that would truly deliver universal care, but he acknowledged that the only feasible next step as long as Republicans hold the Senate and House is a bipartisan effort to steady the insurance exchanges established under Obamacare. Ohioâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Republican governor, John Kasich, a tough critic of Trump on his health care initiative, wrote about the need for that type of bipartisanship in a July 19 New York Times op-ed. For his part, President Donald Trump, responding to the expected failure of a repeal-only vote, is not talking about any immediate fixes, telling reporters on Tuesday, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m not going to own it. I can tell you the Republicans are not going to own it. Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll let Obamacare fail, and then the Democrats are going to come to us.â&#x20AC;? Announcing that strategy out loud,

Photo by Andy Humm

Members of Rise and Resist and ACT UP outside David Kochâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Upper East Side home on July 6.

however, may make it more likely that voters will come to see that the president does own any problems that become worse going forward. The success health care advocates have enjoyed in mobilizing grassroots opposition to the Republican efforts on health care is striking. This week was the third time that GMHC and other New York AIDS advocates faced arrest in Washington this month. Two weeks ago, roughly 40 activists were arrested in Senate sit-ins, with that number roughly doubling the following week. Sawyer said he expected 100 or more to be arrested in this weekâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s action, though no final number was available as of press time. Activists have also been at work in New York putting pressure on those calling for the ACAâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s repeal. On July

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SAFETY continued from p. 2

safety and mitigate present dangers. According to a DOT spokesperson, the agency was looking at possibilities for more protected crosstown bike lanes. Additionally, the DOT is looking for ways to better communicate the city’s designated truck routes to bus companies and drivers, including meetings and training with the company representatives. In terms of punitive measures, the DOT noted increased use of warning letters, a stricter process for bus stop permit renewals, and working with the NYPD for more thorough enforcement on buses traveling outside of designated truck routes, according to Johnson’s office. The councilmember said the morning meeting was productive as both the DOT and stakeholders were prepared with solid ideas towards increased safety. “Convening this step of stakeholders is a crucial step in helping ensure that our streets are safe for pedestrians, cyclists, and motorists alike,” Johnson said in a statement. “This is literally a life or death issue.” Assemblymember Richard Gottfried, who attended the meeting, said far too many pedestrians and cyclists were being injured and killed by buses and trucks on streets they don’t belong.

Photo by Jackson Chen

West 26th Street between Seventh and Eighth Avenues, where Hanegby was killed, sees many cyclists and vehicles.

Chelsea Now file photo by Scott Stiffler

Dan Hanegby was the first fatality with Citi Bike when he collided with a charter bus on W. 26th St., less than a week before Mamoukakis was similarly killed.

“DOT and NYPD are right to step up their enforcement of truck and bus route regulations and educating and warning bus and truck drivers to obey the law, or pay the consequences,” Gottfried said. Christine Berthet, a CB4 member and attendee at the stakeholders meeting, said there were a lot of ideas exchanged, but it would ultimately come down to implementation. CB4 has been aware of the hectic situation with the charter buses using non-truck-routes and has already brought up many of the possible solutions mentioned. But on top of protected crosstown bike lanes and better enforcement, Berthet mentioned the idea of permit revocation for certain reckless drivers and their companies. “If proven that the behavior of the buses was responsible for death, we’d like the permit to be taken away from the bus companies,” Berthet said. As for future incidents, the CB4 member recommended that the NYPD not speak about the incidents until the investigation was more complete to avoid misinformation. While the bus companies were not involved in the July 17 meeting, Johnson’s office is working on scheduling the next meeting to include those stakeholders.

Save the date for our 29th annual film festival

October 19th -24th, 2017 Become a member or learn more at NewFest.org

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‘Jars’ Creator Defies Containment From punk to opera, Patchel’s song remains the same BY PUMA PERL Several weeks ago, a friend, Clayton Patterson, messaged me, suggesting that I interview Keith Patchel, a recent Acker Award winner in the category of composer/producer. “Keith has been able to make the different switches to stay relevant in the game of staying in the game. Now he’s about to kick everything up to a higher level,” wrote Clayton, an artist/ activist/producer who knows a thing or two about kicking it up. “Keith was part of the punk thing with Richard Lloyd,” he continued. “He recently wrote an opera, ‘The Plain of Jars,’ the site of the United States Laotian bombings.” From punk to opera. Set it up, I responded. We met at Clayton’s storefront, winding our way from punk to global themes in a non-linear conversation. As Patchel remarked, “Real punks were revolutionaries.” We agreed that music transforms not only the arts, but also our visions of the world and ourselves. Raised upstate, Patchel graduated from the University of Buffalo with a fine arts degree; John Cage and Aaron Copland were among the guest lecturers he met, while studying composition with Lejaren Hiller. He’d already started some bands when he moved to New York City in 1979, reconnecting with Cage and meeting other avant-garde artists, as well as younger musicians and denizens of the punk scene. He formed a band called The Opportunists, which backed up Joe Bidewell, and, through him, met John Cale and Richard Lloyd, who invited him into the Richard Lloyd Quartet. During this period he began graduate work at Queens College. “It was two very different lives,” Patchel reflected. “Music theory/composition studies with composer George Perle and playing in rock bands.” In January of 1985, having rejoined Richard Lloyd’s band, the acclaimed “Field of Fire” album was recorded in Stockholm, Sweden. When Patchel returned to his Midtown apartment, he discovered a new roommate had moved in — some Columbia student named Barack Obama. Patchel later moved to London for several years, and, in the mid-’90s, to Bogotá, Colombia, where he found fame NYC Community Media

©2016 Clayton Patterson

Foreground: Keith Patchel and Xi Yang following a 2016 performance of “The Plain of Jars.”

Photo by Marcia Resnick

The Richard Lloyd Quartet, circa 1981. L to R: Keith Patchel, David Key, Richard Lloyd, David Mann.

and infamy after writing a song about the death of Pablo Escobar. Upon his return to the United States, he continued his interest in electronic music, scoring films, including the Emmy-nominated “Finishing Heaven,” starring Ruby Lynn

Reyner, and performing as a guitarist and singer. Upon the recommendation of composer Milton Babbitt, he began a new course of studies at The Juilliard School, finding what he calls “a second level of maturity as a composer.”

Over the last several years Patchel’s friendship with his neighbor, Carter Emmart, has led to a professional collaboration, merging arts and humanitarianism. Emmart is the Director of Astrovisualization at the Rose Center for Earth and Space, which houses the rebuilt Hayden Planetarium at the Museum of Natural History. They created MARSBAND, merging improvisational instrumentation with an “immersive exploration” of space and the planets by way of “an educational, musical meditation” (see amnh.org/calendar for info on their Aug. 1 performance). Patchel, who is currently the Composer in Residence at the NYU Music Experience Design Lab (MusEDLab), has developed a linkage between NYU and the Museum of Natural History. “This was not for financial gain,” he said. “It was the right thing to do.” Emmart has long been involved with JARS continued on p. 20 July 20, 2017

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Gaming Fest Makes a Play for Change G4C advances medium beyond matters of conquest BY CHARLES BATTERSBY Rescuing the princess is a mainstay of video games, but some developers are out to do more than save a fictional damsel. They want to save the real world. For the 14th year, the Games For Change Festival (G4C) will gather together game designers, researchers, and humanitarians to explore how video games can be used for positive impact. The threeday summit (July 31–Aug. 2) will focus on health, social impact, and education, with a full day devoted to Virtual Reality. We spoke with Susanna Pollack the president of G4C, about the different programming tracks that attendees will find at the festival. Pollack described the Civics & Social Issues track as “the heart of what Games For Change has been since the beginning — talking about socio-cultural, political, emotional, personal experiences, and how that’s expressed through games.” One of the games featured in the Civics & Social Issues track is “Walden, a Game,” which is based on Henry David Thoreau’s book “Walden.” Its designer, Tracy Fullerton, told us, “Thoreau’s themes are even more topical now than they were when he was writing them. His book is a call to action for reflecting on our lives and society, how we live and what we value. For him, living simply and consciously was an answer; a kind of active life of reflection and deliberate choice. I think that in this way, it is a perfect example of a game for change: changing our way of thinking and living.” Fullerton will also deliver a Keynote speech about designing games that explore the arts and humanities. “So many games are about conquest, winning, losing, a kind of binary approach to existence,” she noted. “I want to talk about the gray areas of experience that the arts and humanities allow us to focus on. We need more experience parsing these gray areas, and while games that model more simplistic questions are fun and engaging, I am calling for games that don’t give simple answers but rather open in more complex, layered questions about life.” Another line of programming in festival is the Games For Learning

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Courtesy “Minecraft: Education Experience”

“Minecraft: Education Edition” tailors the familiar game to classroom needs.

Photo by Jane Kratochvil

This year’s festival devotes an entire day to Virtual Reality.

Summit, which focuses on educational games. Featured prominently this year is “Minecraft: Education Edition.” Kids have learned to fear the phrase “It makes learning fun” — but “Minecraft” has an edge in that it’s already a massively popular franchise. Meenoo Rami, manager at “Minecraft: Education Edition,” explained, “I think what makes ‘Minecraft’ unique is that it allows

teachers to use an environment students already know and love, and build on it with learning experiences that are richer and richer.” We asked Rami about how this game fits with the festival’s ambitions, and she said, “Games For Change is about innovation, aligning with ‘Minecraft: Education Edition,’ which promotes creativity, collaboration, and problem solving, meeting students where they are in a fun and

familiar environment.” Rami said they’ve “found a lot of support in the educator community and more importantly, we are turning to them to help us shape the road map for our work,” and noted that kids’ “love and excitement is palpable. If teachers tap into this enthusiasm and expertise and combine it with their own know-how of designing learning experiences, you have a winning combination in the classroom.” For years, the game industry has claimed that some games are good for your health, or that they keep your brain in shape through puzzle-solving. Last year the festival added a new track to examine these ideas with a more clinical eye. The Neurogaming & Health program returns this year with panels that discus and debate the realities of games and their relationship to health and “brain training.” New to the festival this year is a full day set aside for Virtual Reality, with the VR For Change Summit. According to Pollack, “It’s time to call that out as a medium that has a lot of impact potential, and also to expand the type of experiences that creators are making beyond just games. ... We’re going to have a G4C continued on p. 20 NYC Community Media


Linda Lavin’s Fine ‘Farewell’ Returns to Birdland Coming full circle to tell tales of an arc not yet complete BY SCOTT STIFFLER From cutting her teeth in the cabaret rooms of bygone Gotham to achieving sitcom icon status to her work as a commanding presence on Broadway, Linda Lavin’s career has given rise to more stories than a Midtown megatower — but she won’t be serving up that dish in beach read form. Jazz and cocktails are this summer’s only available delivery system. Which suits her, and us, just fine. “I don’t want to write a book,” Lavin declared during our conversation in anticipation of a July 24 show at Birdland. “If you want to know me, listen to the songs; songs that are attached to the story of me. That’s what I want to present.” Afternoon binge viewers and channel-flipping insomniacs who’ve landed on the Logo network lately have come to know (or happily rediscover) Lavin as the “new girl in town” — a widowed mother and aspiring singer en route to LA, whose car broke down in front of a greasy spoon in Phoenix with a “Waitress Wanted” sign in the window. Slyly conveying a strength just about to be discovered and tapped, Lavin’s vocals (once described by Hal Prince as “wonderfully unique”) begin each episode of “Alice,” whose catchy and efficient theme song takes just under a minute to evolve the character from “sad” and “shy” to insisting, “Things are great when you stand on your own two feet.” “I think it’s great whenever ‘Alice’ can come back and remind people… I mean, she’s a very real person. She’s represented by 80 percent of all women who work in this country,” Lavin said, when asked about the 1976-1985 show’s new national profile. “She’s still looking for healthcare and benefits, and she’s still making 69, 70 cents to the dollar that a man makes for that same quality of work.” These days, various reports put that figure in the 79- to 83-cent range. “But it’s taken since the seventies,” Lavin noted, “for it to move up a couple of pennies.” Hearing her talk about Alice (who, she recalled, “politicized me and gave power to a lot of working women”), Lavin could just as easily be describing the lead character on “Roseanne,” another classic sitcom currently in heavy rotation on Logo — although “Alice” both precedes and predicts that 1998-1997 show’s unvarnished look at a blue collar realities (one of NYC Community Media

Photo by Bill Westmoreland

Never can say goodbye: Linda Lavin’s “Second Farewell Concert” comes to Birdland on July 24.

Roseanne’s longer-lasting jobs had her working at a diner while trading jabs with customers and battling management). Both women, it’s interesting to note, will soon be back on the networks that made them famous: Barr on ABC in a 2018 reboot of “Roseanne” and Lavin this fall on CBS, as a doting and occasionally smothering mother in “9JKL.” “It’s the best time I’ve had in this format in a very long time,” she said of the sitcom that reunites her with Mark Feuerstein, whom she also mothered in the 1998 sitcom “Conrad Bloom.” Whether karma or coincidence, it’s one of the many full-circle moments that came up during our conversation, such as the title of that Birdland gig: “My Second Farewell Concert.” “I’ve been doing this show for close to a dozen years,” Lavin noted. “I began under the tutelage of the great Jim Caruso. He helped me write this act.” (Caruso, host of Birdland’s fizzy and fabulous “Cast Party” open mic night, gets an “Inspired by” credit on “Possibilities,” Lavin’s eclectic 2011 debut CD of 12 covers spanning everything from Richard Rogers to Cy Coleman to Donald Fagen.) “He’s my papa,” Lavin said of Caruso. “He’s the entrepreneur who gives me the room when he can, and I wanted it now, because I want to try out this new material.” Over time, the show (once dubbed “My First Farewell Concert”) has “changed and grown,” Lavin said, to further realize “my dream to become more of a jazz singer and to really focus

on the American Songbook as it applies to my history.” That history began in a house where there was always music in the air (her mother was “a great musician, a great opera singer who gave up a career”), and found an early public outlet in 1960s NYC. “Jan Wallman

was a great entrepreneur of cabaret,” Lavin said, of the legendary proprietor of various rooms on Grove, Cornelia, and West 44th Streets. “She was such a champion of singers and storytellers and instrumentalists. All I could afford at the time was a pianist. Now I have five great pieces behind me and around me and alongside me — and great arrangements done by [pianist and “Cast Party” cohort] Billy Stritch and [jazz violinist] Aaron Weinstein. … I’ll speak about some of the shows that I was in, some of the people I’ve met along the way, some of the loves that I’ve had, and some of the disappointments, some of the losses; and where I am now. It’s a real personal exposé of me, as if you were all in my living room and I was just standing there entertaining you.” Linda Lavin’s “My Second Farewell Concert” is performed on Mon., July 24, 7pm at Birdland Jazz Club (315 W. 44th St., btw. Eighth & Ninth Aves.). For reservations ($35–45, $10 food/ drink minimum), visit birdlandjazz. com or call 212-581-3080. Lavin’s CD “Possibilities” is available on iTunes, Spotify, and Amazon.

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G4C continued from p. 18

whole day focused on the opportunities and challenges of VR.” The festival isn’t just for gamers and tech enthusiasts. The roster of speakers and panelists includes many who are from the scientific and political fields. “What’s bringing people together is the potential that games have to help further their work,” Pollack said. “A lot of the speakers that you’ll find at the festival are talking about a high level overview of the potential that games have, why they’re relevant, how amazing projects have been born using this medium, that is enlightening people or educating people, helping them gain a little awareness about an issue. … It’s as much about the content that the games are about, as it is about the technology and the processes of making a game.” The festival still seeks to draw in hardcore gamers, and traditional game designers. “We’re hoping to inspire those gamers or game developers who are more focused on commercial, entertainment properties, and bringing them into the space,” Pollack said, noting G4C provides a space “to explore and find amazing games that they can play, that are high quality and completely engaging, that might offer a different experience.” Of particular interest to New

Courtesy NYU Game Innovation Lab

Players explore a recreation of Walden Pond and the town of Concord in “Walden, a Game.”

York’s game design community are several panels on funding sources for games that have educational or research value. People who can’t make it to the festival in person can still see the panels from this year’s festival and previous years, on the festival’s YouTube channel. G4C is also hosting a series of

live “Talk And Play” events in New York City later this fall. Kids who are in public school will also be able to participate in making their own games with the festival’s Student Challenge event in the coming school year. Mon., July 31 through Wed., Aug. 2. At the Parsons School of Design at

JARS continued from p. 17

humanitarian work in Southeast Asia; he recommended that Patchel read Fred Branfman’s “Voices from the Plain of Jars,” a compilation of essays, poems, and drawings by Laotians. Originally published in 1972, Branfman interviewed over 1,000 survivors of the secret air war waged upon Laos by the United States during the Vietnam era (1964-73). “I knew I had to do something,” said Patchel. His resolve to tell the story led him to compose an experimental chamber opera, “The Plain of Jars,” which premiered December 2016 at W. 52nd St.’s Medicine Show Theatre and was described by Noj Treblig (at rovingnoticer.blogspot.com) as “a significant cultural event that should be noticed and honored.” Some of it is spoken, some sung. “The play turns into an opera,” explained Patchel, who plans to keep the genre going with additional installments under the umbrella title, “The American Empire.” The now retired head of the NYU Music Department, Dr. John Gilbert, worked with him

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Photo by Puma Perl

L to R: Clayton Patterson and Keith Patchel.

as the play developed and is credited as Executive Producer. Following a 2017 MARSBAND show in Singapore, Emmart guided him on a tour of Laos, including a visit to the Plain of Jars. They plan to form alliances with other groups, including MAG (Mines

Advisory Group), to bring worldwide attention to the contamination of Laos — which, unbeknownst to many, is the most bombed country per capita in the world. In 2016, President Obama pledged 90 million dollars to clear up the unexploded ordnance that continue

The New School (66 Fifth Ave., btw. Fifth & Sixth Aves.). Festival passes for individual days or entire event range from $179— $499 (nonprofit/ educator and group discounts available). Visit gamesforchange.org, call 212-242-4922, or email festival@ gamesforchange.org. Social Media: #G4C17.

to contaminate the soil. The opera consists of eight characters and two settings, a Laotian field and the White House. A multimedia production, visual projections are included. In the opening scene, four Laotian women express joy in the harvesting season. The second scene moves to the White House, with President John F. Kennedy welcoming Richard Nixon, Lyndon B. Johnson, and Henry Kissinger to Camelot. Kissinger and Nixon agree that all weapons must be used to stop communism “or the dominoes will fall.” Patchel hopes to keep a “small guerilla ensemble” and develop a vehicle for student productions. As Clayton concluded, “I didn’t know a lot about Laos and Cambodia. Writing this keeps it alive. There is still vitality down here pushing forward. Our lives are rich encyclopedias of Downtown history.” “The Plain of Jars” is part of NYU’s Impact Festival (events.nyu.edu). Thurs. & Fri., July 27 & 28, 8pm and Sat., July 29, 2pm & 8pm at NYU’s Black Box Theatre (82 Washington Square East at Washington Place). Suggested donation of $20 cash at the door. NYC Community Media


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Rhymes with Crazy

Snack Superpowers Fight a Summertime Cold War BY LENORE SKENAZY Warning: Reading this column may have the same effect it had on the woman writing it. (I must have a popsicle or Good Humor right now!). But it wasn’t always as easy as screaming (and going to the freezer, or deli). These things had to be invented, and I think we owe those stone-cold geniuses a salute.

THE POPSICLE If it weren’t for Frank Epperson, we wouldn’t have the Popsicle. And if it weren’t for his kids, we’d be licking Epsicles, which sounds almost obscene. Here’s the story. One night in 1905, when Frank was 11, he left a glass filled with water, Kool-Aid (or its 1905 equivalent), and the stick he was stirring them with out on his porch. This was in Oakland, the Brooklyn of San Francisco. You know how they say it’s always beautiful weather in California? Ha. The cup of sweetened water froze solid. Frank pulled it out by the stick and — well, I think you can tell where this is going. He made these stick treats for his friends and, years later, he made them for his kids, too, calling them “Epsicles” — a mashup of his name, plus icicles. But his kids called them Pop’s Icles, because they were made by their pop. And they convinced him to change the name. Epperson started selling the Popsicles at Neptune Beach, Oakland’s Coney Island. So novel were they that they had to be described to the public as a “frozen lollipop,” or a “drink on a stick.” They took off. By May of ’23, a single stand at the real Coney Island (in the real Brooklyn) sold 8,000 in a day. That same year, Epperson got a patent on his frozen treat. But, debt pressing down, he quickly sold the patent to a guy named Joe Lowe — a decision Epperson later recognized as so epically awful that he is quoted as saying, “I haven’t been the same since.” For his part, Lowe expanded the business and, when the Depression hit, made the brilliant move of selling a two-stick Popsicle for the same price — five cents — so two kids could (with some persuading, perhaps) break them in half and share them. In 1986, the Popsicle company finally stopped selling doubles, supposedly swayed by moms who complained they were too messy. One has to wonder if that was truly the case, or if 50

years after the Depression someone on staff pointed out: Why are we still selling two for one? Anyway, now Popsicle is owned by Unilever, and Epperson is buried in the same California cemetery as another food genius: Trader Vic, inventor of the Mai Tai.

THE GOOD HUMOR BAR And what of the yin to the Popsicle’s yang: The Good Humor Bar? Well, it’s complicated — and parallel. In 1922, an Iowa schoolteacher patented the Eskimo Pie, a square of vanilla ice cream enrobed in a chocolate shell (I love every word describing that pie). At approximately the same time, in Youngstown, Ohio, Harry Burt invented a chocolate coating that also enrobed a slab of vanilla ice cream. But when his daughter said it was too messy (kids seem essential to the confection invention process), he inserted a stick. He called it the Good Humor Bar and started selling

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them from a fleet of 12 trucks outfitted, originally, with the bells from his son’s bobsled. Burt applied for a patent, but the officials in Washington, DC demurred, concerned his invention was too similar to the Eskimo Pie. Frustrated, Burt took a bucket of Good Humor bars to DC and passed them around the patent office to demonstrate the difference: His had a stick. Thus satisfied (or bribed, or just plain happy), the authorities gave him his patent. Guess what happened next? Burt sued Lowe — the guy who bought the Popsicle company — for copyright infringement. How dare Lowe sell something else frozen on a stick? By 1925, the suit was settled out of court and the deal was basically this: Popsicle could sell ice on a stick and Good Humor could sell ice cream. And sell they did. By the 1950s, there were 2,000 Good Humor trucks plying the streets of suburbia. The Good Humor men (no women till 1967) were required to take a twoday class in ice cream etiquette, like, “Always tip your hat.” But by the ’70s, with gas prices, insurance, and competition (yes, I’m talking to you, Mister Softee) all going up, the company’s profits melted. Good Humor didn’t become profitable again till the ’80s, and by then, the bars were sold in stores, not streets. Today, Good Humor is owned by Unilever, too. The bars are still delicious, but like Frank Epperson’s invention, they are no longer a mom- and (wait for it!) Popsicle business. If you want that, cool off with some shaved ice from a cart. Lenore Skenazy is a keynote speaker, founder of the blog Free-Range Kids (freerangekids.com), and author of “Has the World Gone Skenazy?”

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