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PARADISE LOST Garden of Eden Cast Out of Chelsea by Changing Times (see page 4)

Photo by Scott Stiffler

Signs posted on July 27 made it official: Garden of Eden’s longtime W. 23rd St. location was closing its doors for good.

Garden of Eden on W. 23rd St., still looking robust on July 11. © CHELSEA NOW 2017 | NYC COMMUNITY MEDIA, LLC, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Photo by Dusica Sue Malesevic

VOLUME 09, ISSUE 23 | AUGUST 3 - 9, 2017

Exposé Puts Chelsea Kennel Club in the Doghouse; Owner Calls Investigation a ‘Hatchet Job’ BY WINNIE McCROY A chic puppy boutique is in the crosshairs of city agencies and animal rights activists this week after a twomonth undercover investigation by The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) revealed sick dogs were being sold to unsuspecting customers. The owner insists she is an animal lover who would never neglect a dog’s health, but the animal welfare organization contends that the only doctoring going on was of the puppy mill pooches’ veterinary files. “I’ve been a vegetarian for 40 years; I won’t even eat an animal. I could never hurt an animal!” owner Dana Derragh, owner of the Chelsea Kennel Club (213 Seventh Ave., btw. W. 22nd & 23rd Sts.), told Chelsea Now. The video — available for viewing at youtu.be/7ip0zK27wSU — seems to tell a different story. In this undercover footage, sick puppies are shown, including those with breathing problems, surgery scars, pneumonia, and other illnesses. The HSUS suspects Derragh of instructing her employees to remove paperwork detailing abnormal veterinary findings from files before selling the animals to unsuspecting customers, in contravention of New York State’s pet lemon law. “A few of the many dogs who were sick in the store include a Pomeranian whose eyes were swollen shut with conjunctivitis, a French bulldog puppy whose weight plummeted from 4.12 pounds to 3.08, an English bulldog puppy with severe pneumonia and a Shiba Inu with bronchitis,” the HSUS report claimed. Members of the staff were also caught on camera handling the puppies roughly, pinning them by them muzzle as part of what Derragh said was standard “dominance training,” techniques. Another staffer was caught snapping the animals with a towel. “It’s unacceptable to me to hurt animals; the woman who slapped the dog cage is out of here, I fired her before the store opened and she’s not working for me anymore,” said Derragh. But Jill Carnegie, speaking on behalf of New York Animal Defenders, said that employee is still working there, noting in a recent interview that the “employee who was smacking the dog with a chew toy in the video is still working in the store. I saw at least one of the employees who was showing


August 3, 2017

Photos by Scott Stiffler

Protesters who support the ‘Adopt, Don’t Shop’ movement gathered outside the Chelsea Kennel Club.

L to R, foreground: Longtime Chelsea Kennel Club opponent Rachel Ejsmont and Brianna Bryan, whose bulldog was featured in the undercover video.

aggressive behavior in the video there just two days ago.” “One dog was diagnosed with a level 3 heart murmur, and has less than a year to live,” said Carnegie, referring to an eight-month-old English bulldog purchased for $3,200 by Brianna Bryan, who said at a July 27 rally outside the shop (organized by New York Animal Defenders; @NY_Defenders on Twitter) that she had “made a point to come down here because [what’s going

on] is not okay.” According to rally co-organizer Leonardo Anguiano, the Defenders are a coalition of animal rights groups that organized that day’s rally in direct response to the HSUS video. “We had a few goals going in. Obviously, the main goal was to get those dogs out of there to receive the care they needed,” Anguiano said. “On a larger scale, we would like to see the ban of the sale of puppy mill dogs alto-

gether in New York City.” Anguiano said that opposed to what some may think shelter dogs “are not diseased or damaged; they are just as deserving of good homes as other dogs, and may actually be in better shape than pet store dogs” like the type sold by Derragh. Said protester Rachel Ejsmont of the owner, “She sells a lot of sick puppies and takes a lot of information out of their files.” And don’t expect any discounts for “damaged” merchandise; customers pay anywhere from $500 to $5,000 for purebred pups at the Chelsea Kennel Club (chelseakennelclub.com). Chelsea resident Jennifer Mallicote, who said she recently adopted her dog Bowie Rebel from a “Super Adoption” event hosted by Best Friends Animal Society (bestfriends.org), has seen puppy boutiques like Chelsea Kennel Club and Citipups in her neighborhood — and she’s also seen the frequent protesters gathered outside them. “In general, I’m not a fan of these pet stores; I actually try to avoid them,” Mallicote noted. “I won’t go into those stores and buy products for my pet. I get them from a pet supply store called The Barking Zoo [172 Ninth Ave., btw. W. 20th & 21st Sts.; barkingzoonyc.com].” KENNEL continued on p. 16 NYC Community Media

Report Shows Low-Income Workers Pay High Price for Subway Delays BY WINNIE McCROY The “Summer of Hell� may not have materialized as predicted — but a July report released by New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer puts the underground commuter’s day-to-day frustrations into sobering perspective. “The Human Cost of Subway Delays: A Survey of New York City Riders� takes a look at the victims of these delays: among them, the city’s most vulnerable populations, including children, the elderly, and low-income workers. “We surveyed 1,200 riders at 143 stations and found that in the prior three months, 74 percent were late to work, 65 percent were late to pick up their child, and 29 percent were late for doctor’s appointments,� said Comptroller Stringer’s director of strategic operations, Jessica Silver, during the July 26 full board meeting of Community Board 4 (CB4). “What’s more, 71 percent were impacted by delays at least half the time they rode,� she continued. “The impact of this was very high on lowincome communities, who were often reprimanded at work for being late. And it’s worse off in the Bronx, where 54 percent report being late to work more than half the time.� The subway carries millions of riders each day to work, school, appointments, and other activities. But the aging infrastructure and increasing ridership has taken its toll, resulting in crowded platforms and delayed trains. The Comptroller’s office wanted to find out exactly who was being impacted by these delays, so from June 13–26, they conducted a citywide survey of riders from 143 stations on every line at morning and evening rush hour, talking to 1,227 riders from 158 zip codes. Regardless of borough, the answers were similar: riders gave the MTA service a “C� or lower, with one of seven giving the subway a failing grade. Subway delays affect us all, with more than 70 percent of respondents reporting “significant delays� at least half the time they use public transit. But some pay a higher price: delays caused 74 percent to be late to a work meeting, 18 percent to be reprimanded, and 13 percent to lose wages. Two percent admitted they were fired due to MTA delays preventing them from getting to work on time. “Our subways are in crisis. That’s clear as day. But policymakers have to remember that behind every delayed NYC Community Media

Via comptroller.nyc.gov

A chart from Comptroller Stringer’s July report illustrates the disparities between riders from higher income and lower income neighborhoods.

train and budget fight are real New Yorkers with somewhere to go,� Stringer told Chelsea Now in an email. “From a worker in the Bronx losing out on wages she needs to put food on the table, to a father in Manhattan late picking his daughter up from school, to a senior citizen in Queens who misses a doctor’s appointment, this situation is simply untenable.� Late trains don’t just affect workers: they also have an impact on those trying to get to a doctor’s appointment, or pick up their kids from childcare. In fact, MTA delays caused 65 percent of respondents to be late for a pickup, drop-off or child’s function, which can result in late fees or penalties. In addition, 29 percent of those surveyed said delays caused them to be late for a medical appointment. And the consequences hit hard among New York City’s poorest. Among the city’s lower-income zip codes (under $62,150 for a three-person household), 14 percent were more likely to be reprimanded by their boss for being late, and four percent were more likely to have lost wages. Seven percent were more likely to be late for a job interview, ruining their chances to make a good first impression and gain employment. At the July 26 CB4 meeting, Assemblymember Richard Gottfried said, “The MTA’s chronic delays are a real problem all New Yorkers, but none more so than the economically disadvantaged, who have few other options for trips to and from work or school, to medical appointments, and other necessary travel.� These riders were more likely to experience significant delays, and thus

more likely to give the MTA a “D� or “F� for their service. More than half of Bronx riders reported significant delays more than half of the time, with 68 percent of them giving the MTA a failing grade, as opposed to 21 percent of Manhattan residents giving the MTA a “D� or “F.� In Manhattan neighborhoods like Chelsea and Hell’s Kitchen, affected riders were more likely than other borough residents to just take a taxi (61 percent vs. 47 percent), but were much less likely to take a bus. And while the majority of people said they were happy about the MTA’s efforts to improve communication with riders, when it came to on-train announcements about delays or alternative routes, most people just couldn’t hear them well enough to find them useful. The facts are in, showing the MTA has gone from being on-time 84 percent of the time in 2012 to only hitting that mark 63 percent of the time this year. On-time performance fell by over 31 percent on seven subway lines, with

the J/Z winning the prize for latest train, with the C train a close second. “The MTA has been severely underfunded from keeping the existing system running,� Gottfried said at the CB4 meeting. “We paid for three new subway stations in the wealthiest neighborhood on the planet [the Second Avenue subway line] but the governor is saying it’s all de Blasio’s fault because the city is not paying its share. But the city is putting more money into the MTA Capital Plan than we have in decades, and at the same time the state is regularly pulling money out of this budget.� Calling the impact on New York City unfair, Gottfried added, “No one asks the people of Nassau or Suffolk Country to put up a nickel for the LIRR track expansion; the only ones who are asked to put money in is New York City. But it’s the State’s responsibility right there in black and white. The State doesn’t ask any other HUMAN COST continued on p. 23

MANTA SPA FOCUSING ON MAN TO MAN MASSAGE                                                        


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   August 3, 2017


Garden of Eden’s Loss Further Expands Chelsea’s Food Desert BY DUSICA SUE MALESEVIC Longtime local business Garden of Eden Marketplace on W. 23rd St. has closed its doors. The independently owned grocery store at 162 W. 23rd St. near Seventh Ave. has been a part of the community for two decades — and was considered a more affordable option for quality products and produce than some of its competitors. That is what several customers told Chelsea Now on the afternoon of Tues., July 18, as rumors were swirling that the market would soon close. Retiree and longtime Penn South resident Pauline Rothstein was sipping a coffee and scanning a newspaper at a seating nook at the front of the store. She said she has been shopping frequently at the grocery store since it opened and spoke highly of the fruits and vegetables it offered. If you want to maintain a healthy diet, especially if you are older, it is good to shop at Garden of Eden, she said, pointing to the selection of fresh greens and custom-cut veggies. Price-wise it is reasonable compared to Whole Foods, she noted. Rothstein said she likes the “ease of shopping. You don’t have to go through a big store like Whole Foods. It’s never crowded and I don’t understand why — it’s [a] good location.” She also had praise for the store’s catering service, saying it was a good bet to order large meals from the store if you’re entertaining guests. Rothstein said the cashiers were friendly and got to know the regulars. And as she sits and has a coffee, she socialized with those around her. “If you go often, you see the same people,” she said, adding, “I will miss it.” Hulya Yorulmaz, who said she is the administrative assistant for the store, told Chelsea Now during our visit that she was unsure if or when the store would be closing. “We have the same customers for a long time. They don’t want that we close but that is the situation,” she said, noting that the store had been around for

Photos by Dusica Sue Malesevic

Penn South resident Pauline Rothstein said she would miss Garden of Eden.

Jacinto Rodriguez said the service at the store was great.


NYC COMMUNITY MEDIA, LLC One Metrotech North, 10th Floor, Brooklyn, NY 11201 Phone: (212) 229-1890 | Fax: (212) 229-2790 www.chelseanow.com scott@chelseanow.com © 2017 NYC Community Media, LLC


August 3, 2017

EDEN continued on p. 15

Garden of Eden offered a selection of specialty items.

PUBLISHER Jennifer Goodstein


more than 20 years and that many of the employees have worked at the store for 15 years or longer. Yorulmaz said the store faced “a lot of competition.” Indeed, it is sandwiched between Trader Joe’s at 675 Sixth Ave. near W. 21st St. and Whole Foods at 250 Seventh Ave. near W. 24th St. Julio Montanez, who has worked behind the deli counter for three years, said he would miss his co-workers. “That’s what keeps me coming to work — and the customers,” he said. “It’s sad it’s closing, it’s a good store. I wish everything could work out in the future. The food is good. The area is good.” Mustafa Coskun — identified as the owner and founder on the Garden of Eden’s website edengourmet.com; and his LinkedIn says he is CEO of the Garden of Eden markets — said in a Wed., July 19 email that they were negotiating and would announce whether or not the store was staying or closing the week of July 24. Signs went up later that week, thanking customers for their business and announcing the store’s closure but with no date. A letter to customers, copies of which were placed at the checkouts, stated the “last effective day of business” was Fri., July 28. It also stated that they appreciated the business of loyal customers (doors stayed open through Wed., Aug. 2, although the counter with prepared food and deli service had closed two days before). Both the sign and the letter touted the addresses of two other Garden of Eden locations, including one at 7 E. 14th St., near Fifth Ave. Garden of Eden also has stores in New Jersey, according to its website (edengourmet.com). Coskun did not respond to requests for a phone interview, and declined repeated requests to answer questions via email concerning the store’s background, whom he was negotiating with, and whether rent as well as competition from Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods

EDITOR Scott Stiffler ART DIRECTOR John Napoli GRAPHIC DESIGNER Cristina Alcine

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Chelsea Now is published weekly by NYC Community Media LLC, One Metrotech North, 10th Floor, Brooklyn, NY 11201. (212) 229-1890. Annual subscription by mail in Manhattan and Brooklyn $75. The entire contents of newspaper, including advertising, are copyrighted and no part may be reproduced without the express permission of the publisher - © 2017 NYC Community Media LLC, Postmaster: Send address changes to Chelsea Now, One Metrotech North, 10th Floor, Brooklyn, NY 11201. PUBLISHER’S LIABILITY FOR ERROR: The Publisher shall not be liable for slight changes or typographical errors that do not lessen the value of an advertisement. The publisher’s liability for other errors or omissions in connection with an advertisement is strictly limited to publication of the advertisement in any subsequent issue.

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Chelsea to Cali: Sky Rink All Stars Ready for Nationals BY NICOLE JAVORSKY “I need some emotion here.� Marni Halasa, figure skating coach for the Sky Rink All Stars, called out words of advice for Catherine Mayer as she practiced her solo. “Bigger! There.� Team captain Mayer, 17, got up before daylight had even begun to boil the street. As she glided around the perimeter of the rink, her energy did not suggest an alarm had gone off at 5 a.m. Halasa turned toward me and exclaimed, “She’s so on it!� The skating team practices at Chelsea Piers, but on Aug. 8 they’re headed to California for the US Figure Skating National Showcase. “The Nationals? It’s probably one of my favorite weeks of the year. I love watching the other skaters,� Mayer said. “We meet people from different areas. I have some friends from Texas that I see every year.� Over the past several years, the team has placed in the top three at the Nationals competition. Their location in the Empire City, however, has posed some unique challenges. For one, using an ice skating rink is more expensive here. Also, as Halasa put it, living in

Photo by Nicole Javorsky

Coach Marni Halasa snaps a picture of the figure skating team before it’s time to practice their group routine.

New York City can mean “the kids get pulled in so many directions.� Mayer said, “It’s not built into our lives and we make room for it.� Team member Alida Monaco, 18, mentioned it’s difficult getting everyone to Chelsea Piers at the same time, and emphasized Halasa’s role in making sure the team comes together.

“Marni has always been there to get you to the rink. She’s going to hound you to come back,� Monaco added. “That’s a good thing.� Before it was time to practice, team members Jennie Berlin, Mayer, Monaco, and Emma Wender traded jokes and laughter around a bright red table in the Chelsea Piers Sky Rink lobby. Once the

girls left the lobby for the locker room to lace up their skates, Halasa spoke about how great the girls are. As she said their names, Halasa added compliments about each of them. She remarked, “I can retire if I want to!� The team members entered the West ALL STARS continued on p. 10




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August 3, 2017


City Form Allows Citizens to ‘Air’ Idling Vehicle Complaints; Councilmember Calls for Training BY JACKSON CHEN A vigilante air quality activist has been awarded over $3,000 by taking bus companies and their idling drivers to court. George Pakenham, director of the film “Idle Threat: Man on Emission,” began his journey of environmental advocacy in 2006. Worried about his neighborhood’s air quality, he began approaching strangers who left their cars idling for more than three minutes. In his film, the brave Upper West Sider interacts with many city dwellers, often concluding their conversation by asking them to turn off their engine and leaving them with a business card that states the law and the accompanying penalties. According to the city’s administrative code, drivers aren’t allowed to let their vehicles idle for longer than three minutes while parking, standing, or stopping. The laws are stricter around schools and limit idling vehicles to one minute. There are exceptions, as legally authorized emergency vehicles and

Photo by Jackson Chen

With lax enforcement, buses and trucks often idle for more than the legal limit of three minutes.

those whose engines are being used for loading, unloading, or processing devices, are exempt, according to city code. Drivers are fined $300 for the



August 3, 2017

first offense, $460 for the second, and $620 for the third and any subsequent offenses, according to the city penalties. But residents aren’t left to suffer in a smog-filled environment. Proactive people can utilize a mechanism through the city’s Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) called the Citizen’s Air Complaint Form. Residents can fill out the form, sign and notarize an affidavit, and provide photographic and video evidence of an idling truck or bus (access the form via tinyurl.com/ ybny356e). Once the form is received by the DEP, the agency will investigate the matter and either issue a summons on the violator or decline to pursue the issue, according to the form. The complaint form adds that if the submission doesn’t result in a DEP summons, the resident who filed the complaint is free to pursue the idling vehicle and their company at their own expense. For Pakenham, the DEP has refused to pursue several of his submissions, yielding him multiple appearances and judgments in his favor. So far, he’s netted $3,000 from bus companies whose drivers frequently idle, Pakenham said at a May 31 meeting of the Hell’s Kitchen South Coalition held at Metro Baptist Church (410 W. 40th St., btw. Ninth & Dyer Aves.). But outside of his bus-idling bounty hunting, the clean air advocate has been working alongside the City Council and

the DEP to better codify the process. “This is another great example of civic engagement because he brought this idea to our attention and we ran with it,” said Upper West Side Councilmember Helen Rosenthal of meeting Pakenham. In turn, Rosenthal introduced a bill, Intro 717, that proposes creating a page on the DEP website where individuals could submit complaints supplemented with evidence. The bill, which looks to offer residents of successful cases 50 percent of the civil penalty amount, most recently had a hearing in Sept. 2016. However, as the issue developed and Pakenham discovered the Citizen’s Air Complaint Form, Rosenthal said she’d instead focus on crafting her legislation to lay out training for those interested. “What I would hope is that everyone who was going to do this were trained to do it the way that George [Pakenham] does it,” Rosenthal said. Rosenthal noted her office often fields calls from residents who are concerned about improving air quality, but just don’t know how to get involved. As for Pakenham, he’s remaining vigilant in his crusade against idling vehicles and is hoping to further the process eventually. “In the end, I’m fighting the good fight and in this country, if you fight the good fight, you usually win,” Pakenham said. Learn more about Pakenham’s film and activism at verdantvigilante.com. NYC Community Media

Trump Steps Up War on Transgender Rights Sudden tweet storm about military service catches Pentagon, Congress, America by surprise



Staten Island transgender activist Bryan John Ellicott also addressed the protest rally.

BY PAUL SCHINDLER In a series of three tweets on July 26, President Donald Trump announced his intention to bar transgender Americans from serving openly in the military. At about 9 a.m. that day, tweeting on his personal account @realDonaldTrump, the president wrote: “After consultation with my Generals and military experts, please be advised that the United States Government will not accept or allow……,” then, “…Transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the U.S. Military. Our military must be focused on decisive and overwhelming…..,” and finally, .”… victory and cannot be burdened with the tremendous medical costs and disruption that transgender in the military would entail. Thank you.” The announcement marked a sharp U-turn from the policy announced on June 30 of last year by the Obama administration’s defense secretary, Ash Carter, who said that open service by transgender enlistees would roll out in stages over the following year. When the anti-gay Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy was overturned in late 2010, the military spent nearly 10 months preparing for the transition to open service by gay and lesbian service members. The first clear sign that the Obama/ Ash plan might be turned back came when Defense Secretary Jim Mattis announced on June 30 — one day prior to its planned final implementation — that he was giving military NYC Community Media

leaders another six months to evaluate how transgender service would affect the “readiness and lethality” of the armed forces. In recent months, as well, some conservative Republicans on Capitol Hill have tried to block transgender service, suggesting either an outright ban or a prohibition on funds spent on medical expenses for transition-related care. That second idea was recently defeated in a close vote in the House. The measure’s sponsor, Missouri Republican Vicky Hartzler, had claimed that medical costs associated with open transgender service would total $1.35 billion over 10 years. In fact, in a study completed last summer, the Rand Corporation, a think tank that works on military-related policy issues, had estimated the annual incremental cost at between $2.4 and $8.4 million annually, a fraction of Hartzler’s claim. Rand estimated that out of 1.3 million service members there are currently between 1,320 and 6,630 transgender soldiers. Those personnel presumably are now at risk for harassment and discharge under Trump’s new policy. The Rand report, commissioned by the Department of Defense, stated that “only a small portion of service members would likely seek gender transition-related medical treatments that would affect their deployability or health care costs,” and estimated that each year between 30 and 140 new hormone treatments would be initiated and between 25 and

130 gender transition-related surgeries would be utilized. Focusing on the question of “readiness,” Rand noted that in 2015 there were 102,500 nondeployable soldiers in the Army alone, 50,000 of them technically in active service, while transgender service would add only 10 to 130 to the number of personnel with reduced deployability. Rand reported that 18 nations — including Israel, the United Kingdom, Canada, and Australia — allow open transgender military service. Responding to Trump’s tweets, Aaron Belkin, director of the Palm Center, an independent research institute that focuses on issues of sexual minorities in the military, wrote, “The President is creating a worse version of ‘don’t ask, don’t tell.’ As we know from the sad history of that discredited policy, discrimination harms military readiness. This is a shocking and ignorant attack on our military and on transgender troops who have been serving honorably and effectively for the past year. As former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mike Mullen stated yesterday, their service must be respected. The Rand Corporation has estimated that the cost of medical care for transgender troops is approximately one one-hundredth of one percent of the military annual health care budget, or at most, $8.4 million per year. To claim otherwise is to lie about the data.” When he announced the

The very first reaction to President Donald Trump’s July 26 early morning announcement about transgender military service was alarm. In a three-part tweet, the president began with the phrase, “After consultation with my Generals and military experts, please be advised that the United States Government will not accept or allow…….” It was another nine minutes until he continued that thought, and numerous reports indicate that Pentagon officials held their breath waiting to see what might come next from their impulsive commander-in-chief. When it became clear that Trump was unexpectedly reversing a 2016 policy aimed at achieving full open service for the up to 6,600 transgender military personnel as well as future recruits, prominent conservative congressional Republicans were among the first critics. One of the Capitol Hill’s leading authorities on the military, Senator John McCain, who chairs the Armed Services Committee, criticized Trump’s abrupt policy shift offered without any explanation, saying, “The president’s tweet this morning regarding transgender Americans in the military is yet another example of why major policy announcements should not be made via Twitter.” Orrin Hatch, a conservative Senate veteran from Utah, told USA Today, “Transgender people are people, and deserve the best we can do for them. I look forward to getting much more information and clarity from our military leaders about the policy the President tweeted today.”


The crowd massed near the armed forces recruiting station on July 26.

The Des Moines Register quoted a spokesperson for Iowa Senator Joni Ernst, a 20-year military veteran, as saying though she does not support the military paying for gender reassignment procedures that “Americans who are qualified and can meet the standards to serve in the military should be afforded that opportunity.” Arguing that transgender Americans already serve in the military and that “excommunicating” them only “weakens our readiness,” Gregory T. Angelo, president of the Log Cabin Republicans, said, “This smacks of politics, pure and simple.” Trump’s tweets came on a week when he’d been panned for a partisan and also sexually suggestive speech to the Boy Scouts annual Jamboree, he was facing criticism from right-wing media for his repeated public humiliation of Attorney General Jeff TWEETS continued on p. 23

RIGHTS continued on p. 23 August 3, 2017


POLICE BLOTTER PETIT LARCENY: Cobbly’s wobbly ticket to nowhere

PETIT LARCENY: Drug store soap dope

This “Matthew” found his mark on Craigslist. A 48-year-old male reported to police that he had been bilked out of $200 by falling for a scam older than the Internet — perhaps even predating the telegraph. Both of those mediums of communication played their part in this torrid tale of trust gone to seed. In the morning of Fri., July 28, the abovementioned victim was still a fish waiting to be reeled in. The bait? A pair of tickets. The scam? A man calling himself “Matthew Cobbly” instructed the ill-fated concertgoer to send payment via Western Union, which he did. After verifying the money was picked up in San Antonio, TX (possibly deep in the heart of that town), a phone that had been used during the exchange was disconnected—and our victim has yet to see the tickets he was promised. No word on whether the music was rock, but it’s safe to say a certain someone is singing the blues. You want insult with that injury? The victim is a resident of the West 200 block of 20th St. — home to Chelsea’s own 10th Precinct, where any officer worth their salt would have surely peppered the victim with good advice about online scams, had he simply stopped by the station before going west (to Western Union, that is).

Theft is a dirty business, even when the pilfered product is meant to make one fresh and clean. Thankfully, police have effectively dissolved the soap scum who entered the Rite Aid at 195 Eighth Ave. (at W. 20th St.) at around 6 p.m. on Sat., July 29, and proceeded to the aisle containing the kind of stuff you stock your washroom with. The 28-year-old male attempted to leave the store with $43 worth of body wash and a packet of soap worth $8. This brazen attempt to abscond with bubble-stuff was observed by an employee, who summoned the arresting officers.

HARASSMENT AND LOST PROPERTY: Taxi driver double trouble No reasonable person would blame these two yellow cab drivers for seeing red. The first one, a 40-year-old male, was confronted by a 20-year-old male passenger around 3:50 a.m. on Sun., July 30, after the PO’d perp got all huffy. Seems the passenger had differences with the driver regarding placement of a bike in the cab. The

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tense negotiations hit an impasse, and the passenger hit the driver in the face, with an open hand. The victim did not sustain any serious injury, and the passenger is now wanted (for, among other things, being a Class A, Type A jerk). The second unfortunate cabbie does not appear to be the victim of a crime, but he can certainly put in a claim for bad luck. The 30-year-old male parked his cab on Seventh Ave., between W. 28th & 29th Sts., around 3 a.m. on Sat., July 29, and went into a nearby restaurant for a bite to eat. About an hour later, upon his return to the cab, he noticed his wallet was missing. It contained several credit and debit cards, his New York State license, and around $50 in cash. The man told police he did not know if he dropped the wallet along the way or left it in the restaurant. By the time he was able to cancel the credit cards, he was told that no unauthorized charges had been made. —Scott Stiffler THE 10th PRECINCT Located at 230 W. 20th St. (btw. Seventh & Eighth Aves.). Commander: Capt. Paul Lanot. Main number: 212-741-8211. Community Affairs: 212-7418226. Crime Prevention: 212-741-8226. Domestic Violence: 212-741-8216. Youth Officer: 212741-8211. Auxiliary Coordinator: 212-924-3377. Detective Squad: 212-741-8245. The Community Council (on summer hiatus until Sept. 27) meets on the last Wed. of the month, 7pm, at the 10th Precinct or other locations to be announced.

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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

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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.

August 3, 2017


ALL STARS continued from p. 5

Rink and picked up their prop guns for this year’s group routine set to “My Shot” from the Broadway smash “Hamilton.” Halasa started the music. Lin-Manuel Miranda’s voice filled the rink. “I am not throwing away my shot!” Berlin and Mayer had worked together to choreograph the routine and solicited feedback from the rest of the team. “It’s a democratic process and everyone really learns how to do this, so maybe one day, they can coach,” Halasa wrote in an email before our visit to Chelsea Piers. Berlin, 16, became interested in choreography because her brother is a ballet dancer and choreography has “always been something fun” they do. Since the skaters are often busy during the academic year, Berlin said competing at the summertime Nationals every year has allowed her to further bond with teammates. The upcoming week of skating and living together in California for the Nationals is especially meaningful since Monaco and Wender start college in the fall, at Harvard and Kenyon respectively. “It’s a community,” Mayer said. “I have something I can really dedicate and commit myself to.”

Photos by Nicole Javorsky

In their routine for the US Figure Skating National Showcase, the team has the chance to show off some of their signature moves.

Wender, 18, started learning how to figure skate with Halasa as her instructor after attending a birthday party at a rink. “I think I fell a lot and had the motivation to fall a lot less,” she recalled. After discussing times she didn’t succeed at competitions, Wender noted a transferrable skill for other pursuits: perseverance. “You just have to come back stronger,” she noted, “kind of like

falling.” Although Wender also plans on joining a skating club in college, she’s looking forward to exploring new interests where she can apply what she learned in figure skating. “It really pushes you and teaches you a great work ethic,” Berlin said. “You go home and you’re already in this mindset.” Like other team members, Monaco

started figure skating at a young age (in her case, six). “I was trying a lot of sports. I like skating the best,” she said. “I keep going back for the people.” The ambition of the skaters is as evident as their rapport. “My favorite part would be the first time we do the program and do it well,” Monaco said. “We look at each other and say, ‘That was good.’ ”


BROOKLYN The Community News Group is proud to introduce BROOKLYN PAPER RADIO. Join Brooklyn Paper Editor-in-Chief Vince DiMiceli and the New York Daily News’ Gersh Kuntzman every Tuesday at 4:30 for an hour of talk on topics Brooklynites hold dear.

L to R: Emma Wender, Catherine Mayer, Jennie Berlin, and Alida Monaco laugh together before their team’s practice begins.

Each show will feature in-studio guests and call-out segments, and can be listened to live or played anytime at your convenience.






LISTEN EVERY TUESDAY AT 4:30PM ON BrooklynPaper.com/radio 10

August 3, 2017

The figure skating team practices their routine for Nationals in the Sky Rink at Chelsea Piers. NYC Community Media







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NYC Community Media

EDEN continued from p. 4

were factors in the store’s closing. Garden of Eden filed for bankruptcy protection last year, the New York Post reported in September. Jacinto Rodriguez has been coming to the Garden of Eden for three years, often to grab something for lunch. Rodriguez works nearby at the Made Man Barbershop (169 W. 23rd St.). “It’s great service,” he said. “I love the people who work here.” Like Rothstein, he liked the quality of the fruits and vegetables and said there were also organic options. Rodriguez said it would be sad if the store closed, noting “all the people around here go to Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods.” Another customer, Stephen Ironside, said it seemed that Garden of Eden was suffering from competition from the chains. Sometimes he’ll go to the other supermarkets, but they are so busy he’ll walk in and then walk out. For around six years, Ironside, who said he lives on the northern edge of Chelsea, said he has been coming almost everyday to Garden of Eden for their prepared food, prices, and “the quality here is quite good.” Ironside snagged some fresh pineapple and greens from the cold salad bar while talking to Chelsea Now. When he heard the store might be closing, he said, “That’s a drag. I’m disappointed — I think they’re one of the finer small markets.” While Jill Iversen comes by the store less frequently, she said she appreciated the selection and good deals, such as when two containers of raspberries cost five dollars. “It’s not my store of choice, but there are certain things that they have that are great,” said Iversen, who has lived in Chelsea for around 25 years. “I wouldn’t want them to close. I don’t want anybody to close.” Italo Medelius, a new member of Community Board 4, has been working on the issue of food access in the neighborhood. After the Associated Supermarket at W. 14th St. and Eighth Ave. closed last year, there was a little bit of an uprising, he said by phone. “It’s been an issue that has riled the community. Because it’s just been way too common for access [to be] limited,” he said. “People are opening their eyes to what is going on.” About six months ago, Medelius formed a subcommittee of the Hudson Guild Neighborhood Advisory Committee that focuses on food access. “People that are suffering the most… are the seniors, the disabled and the homebound,” he said. NYC Community Media

Photos by Dusica Sue Malesevic

“These smaller independent stores need to be supported,” asserted Wallace Cheatham, who said the store’s closing would be a big loss.

Customers touted the freshness and quality of the store’s veggies.

“The quality here is quite good,” said Stephen Ironside, who often shopped at Garden of Eden.

The store’s salad bar offered prepared options such as macaroni and spicy cabbage salad.

The subcommittee’s online “Chelsea Grocery Affordability” survey, launched in March, can still be accessed (visit goo.gl/vCd6YR). The survey is meant to gather data that will be used to ameliorate the area’s growing “food desert” (a term used to denote a lack of affordable options within reasonable walking distance). Medelius said that many area residents shopped at Garden of Eden, which was “not the most affordable option, but they’re good.” He added that the store did “feed a lot of people in the area with moderate prices.” Armando Moritz-Chapelliquen is the campaign coordinator for equitable economic development for the Association

for Neighborhood & Housing Development, known as ANHD (anhd. org). He said it seems like every other day, the association is hearing about a small business closing. “We keep hearing this story over and over again,” Moritz-Chapelliquen said by phone. For over 40 years, the association has been fighting for residential housing and protections, and now wants to shine a light on the problems commercial tenants are facing. While there are residential tenant protections, there has not been the same progress for commercial tenants. “When you see small business displacement, you also see cultural dis-

placement” for the neighborhood, he said. “It’s where community happens. If you lose small businesses you lose the opportunity for those interactions to happen.” Meanwhile, back at Garden of Eden that Tuesday afternoon, Tribeca resident Wallace Cheatham said he has been occasionally stopping by the store for about 10 years. “It’s convenient and the prices are reasonable,” Cheatham noted, adding, “I think it would be a big loss. There’s not a lot of grocery stores in the area. These smaller independent stores need to be supported.” —Additional reporting by Scott Stiffler August 3, 2017


KENNEL continued from p. 2

Derragh called the investigation a “hatchet job,” saying, “The dogs pictured were in isolation, and were not for sale. If I was money-hungry, it would not even be worth it to sell a dog that’s sick, because I’d have to pay the vet bills. They’ve all been treated, they’re taking pills, we have the proper paperwork. I have video of these puppies looking good.” Derragh provided Chelsea Now with video footage of the dogs, who now appear to be healthy. She said the real story here was the attacks on her character, noting that she was speaking to a lawyer about suing the HSUS for defamation (during a July 31 follow-up visit to the store, Derragh declined Chelsea Now’s request for a photo, asserting she has been the target of death threats). “These pictures will never hold up in court,” said Derragh (video and still photos are posted on the “News” section of humanesociety.org). “The Health Department and the Animal Cruelty Department were here, the police were here, and the NYC ASPCA were all here,” Derragh said, “and they cleared me from all wrongdoing two days ago, the moment the story broke.” “That’s not true,” countered John Goodwin, Director of the Stop Puppy Mills Campaign at the HSUS. “We’ve only just this week provided all of the evidence to the proper authorities. I’m not at liberty to get into any details, but the idea that she’s been cleared of wrongdoing is not true. One agency with a narrow purview went in there, but this is only the beginning. They are still being looked at very thoroughly.” Goodwin noted that in New York City, an ordinance enacted in 2015 dictates that pet stores can’t acquire animals from puppy mills with severe animal welfare violations — a list the HSUS calls the “Horrible Hundred.” But part of the problem in investigating these claims is that shortly after Donald Trump took office, the USDA removed most puppy mill inspection reports from its website, making it nearly impossible for buyers and pet stores to research where their animals are coming from. “I don’t know how that part of the law can be enforced when that data has been removed from the USDA website,” said Goodwin. “We have put in a lot of Freedom of Information Act requests, and 18 months later, only three were answered — with all the information redacted. For law enforcement to confirm whether sources have clean records, they need to know if they have purchased animals from places with severe violations on record.”


August 3, 2017

Photos by Scott Stiffler

Several protesters circled the area with laptops playing the undercover video taken during an undercover investigation by The Humane Society of the United States.

Jennifer Mallicote found out about the protest on social media and decided to bring her recently adopted dog, Bowie Rebel, along as a show of support.

Leonardo Anguiano of New York Animal Defenders, at the July 27 action, took time to pet a pup.

Derragh insisted the HSUS agent came in with “the mission to make me look bad. She’s an animal rights activist who wanted to be a whistleblower. These people hate pet shops and will do anything to make me look bad.” In fact, HSUS does not care for pet shops — or the places that supply them with animals. Goodwin said you can get an excellent dog from a shelter or rescue group rather than spending thousands on a dog from a puppy mill. He sees this incident as part of a systemic problem of sick animals that goes back to overbreeding dogs in “tiny, filthy cages with stressed-out mothers.” Carnegie noted that her team at the New York Animal Defenders would like to expand the legislation against puppy mills, and see more people adopt shelter dogs, which she called “healthy, loving, available companion animals.” “Why does New York, which is so progressive, support the breeding of more animals when we already have to put down so many hundreds of thousands every year?” asked Carnegie. “It’s a nobrainer at this point; the ‘adopt not shop’ movement is so big, there’s really no reason to be supporting breeders at any time, whether they are ‘reputable’ or not.” Despite the video footage, Carnegie was cautious to point blame. “It appears to be a pattern,” she noted, “but I don’t have firm evidence to support that yet. The Humane Society sent this person in to [take] video, and it’s that video from two months of investigating that we’re responding to. In looking around at several of the businesses [Derragh] owns, the reviews seem to indicate she’s been suspected of neglect or abuse for a long time. But we haven’t found anything yet regarding whether she has been cited or investigated by the authorities.” In an Aug. 2 email to Chelsea Now, Councilmember Corey Johnson said he was “extremely disturbed by these reports” and called animal cruelty “among the most repulsive of crimes. I have been in close communication with both the Mayor’s office and the Department of Health and I have been assured that a thorough investigation is underway. Animal cruelty must be punished to the fullest extent of the law.” The HSUS encourages anyone who has bought a sick dog from a pet store to contact them at humanesociety.org/puppycomplaint. To report incidents involving dog fighting, puppy mills, or other animal abuse issues, call New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s Crime Tip Line at 866697-3444. —Additional reporting by Scott Stiffler NYC Community Media

Whimsical, Political, Surreal, Satirical Barry Wine’s installation is a window into the soul — but whose? BY JUDY RICHHEIMER After dancing, say, at Marquee, or drinking at The Half King, and before fighting for a cab on Ninth Ave. or praying that the E is running after midnight, the merrymaker who glances at a certain window just to the west of the doorway at 415 W. 23rd St. is in store for one last bit of fun. In a ground floor commercial space, facing outward, arrays of white and painted mannequin heads, full-scale mannequins, generally in costume, colored lights, occasionally toys, a large mirror, a whirling panel, and other objects form sometimes whimsical, sometimes surreal, and of late, satirical, installations, which change according to season or the recent outrage from DC. These constantly lit displays are best enjoyed at night, as glare interferes with good daylight viewing. Barry Wine (in his mid-70s and a Chelsea resident since 2009), creator of the “tableaux,” as he called them, more or less slid into this ongoing project some three years ago. “I am a collector,” he explained. He had been working with vintage jewelry bought secondhand (“grandma’s stuff that the family didn’t want”), which he repurposed as one-of-a-kind, phantasmagorical rings, marketed under the name Butter+Bling. He turned next to painting and the creation of wall pieces, consisting of mannequin torsos, generally with heads still attached, mounted on canvas. “They were very heavy,” Wine recalled, so he switched to Styrofoam wig heads, which were easier to maneuver. Eventually the work was moved to the windows, in part to clear space in his overburdened art studio, and, as he frankly put it, to “brand” his work and perhaps catch the eye of an interested gallery owner. Wine is a self-taught artist, and there was scarce intimation that he would someday pursue that role (with one exception; as a young man, Wine worked with famed investor Victor Niederhoffer, applying decorative bits to the shells of living snails and selling them as pets). Speaking to Chelsea Now in the cool, almost corporate comfort of his building’s tenant lounge (and later in his workspace, which feels like the inside of a magic barrel, stuffed with material for assemblages past and future), he averred, “I went to good schools, became a lawyer, and then I owned a restaurant. Actually, it was pretty well-known.” If the Quilted Giraffe, the restaurant he owned from 1975 to New Year’s Day of 1993 with his thenwife, Susan, was “pretty well-known,” then Studio 54 was a “fairly popular dance hall.” Both establishments helped define their era — the boom years of 1980s New York (the Giraffe was located first on Second Ave. and E. 50th St., then at E. 55th St. and Madison Ave., where incoming tenant SONY would buy out Wine’s lease). NYC Community Media

Donald Trump Jr. depicted as a defensive child (albiet ready to take on big game).

Photos courtesy the artist

“I told the heads that we were going to the museum. But really, we were just on our way to my apartment,” joked artist Barry Wine.

Wine was not merely the proprietor of the Quilted Giraffe; he was its first serious chef. Amazingly, given the acclaim he garnered in that role (the New York Times repeatedly bestowed four stars), he was an autodidact in that realm, too. Good food was not part of his upbringing. “My parents owned a plastics business together” and there was not much cooking at home. “My grandmother had one dish, veal tongue.” For the most part, he lets his collection dictate the work, his days behind the stove redux: “I would make dinner from the best ingredients available, not from the recipe. I make art the same way, as though the parts came out of my walk-in refrigerator.” The window “ingredients” are acquired from several sources, including the legendary Old House Parts Company in Kennebunkport, Maine, and on W. 25th St., between Sixth and Seventh Aves. (the wholesale “Mannequin Street” of Manhattan). The tableaux in Wine’s window are sometimes naughty — during the holidays a sign near the heads read: FOR THE MAN WHO HAS EVERYTHING

GIVE HIM HEADS FOR XMAS — but today they send a darkly funny political message. The current window is an indictment of the two Donald Trumps, Junior and Senior. Its centerpiece is a male, child-size mannequin wearing a T-shirt, with a bandolier of bullets slung across the chest. In front of the child is a tiger head, signifying Junior’s love for big-game hunting. Above him hangs a whiteboard whose black letters read: DADDY YOU TOLD ME TO TAKE THE MEETING NOT BAD BOY. To the side, a panel of heads whose foci are in various directions, and masks, including one of a Pinocchio-nosed Nixon. Melania Trump and Vladimir Putin each present platters of Donald-Senior heads. Were those severed heads meant to evoke Kathy Griffin’s notorious prank? “No,” said Wine adamantly. “I was depicting an image of victory, not violence.” Despite his manifest dislike for Trump, Wine made a point of stating: “I am not an activist,” nor a “leftwing Democrat.” With prodding, Wine talks about process — the heads, for example, adhere together by application of expanding foam called Great Stuff — but is reluctant to opine about the meaning of his art. He does offer that the groups of heads were designed to look as though they were carved into a mountain, MountRushmore-style, and the mirror was meant to reflect the people viewing the tableau, so they would see WINDOW continued on p. 18 August 3, 2017


WINDOW continued from p. 17

themselves as part of the drama (unfortunately, it could not be positioned to perform that task). Asked about influences — James Ensor’s mask paintings, Robert Rauschenberg’s found objects, or Tony Oursler’s electronic creatures, perhaps? — Wine shook his head; there is none. He freely admits that his knowledge of art is less than comprehensive, and added, “I am not in favor of the artistic statement that helps a gallery sell someone’s work.” On the other hand, Wine does not see himself as an outsider, working in the spirit of eccentric Chelsea past, when his street was described by Martin Amis as “unleashed, unmuzzled.” Wine identifies with new Chelsea. That’s understandable. The Quilted Giraffe achieved the kind of breathtaking allure associated with Chelsea today. It was reckoned in the 1980s to be the most expensive restaurant in the country, attracting A-listers by the score, including, on a few occasions, one real estate mogul named Donald Trump. (“He was concerned that our granite table tops encouraged germs and worried that people hadn’t washed their hands before coming over to his table,” remembered Wine.) One dish, with the ironic name, beggar’s purse, was a bite-full of crème fraîche and beluga caviar, wrapped in pastry, and topped with a gold leaf. In 1990 it cost $50, and would be ordered dozens at a time by Masters of the Universe. But even those more inclined to eat the rich than be fascinated by how the rich eat may admire aspects of the Quilted Giraffe. At a time when French restaurants made a fetish of hiring French workers, Wine consciously brought in an American staff. “We tested to see if they knew who Howdy Doody was,” he joked. He removed what he called the “brutalized” atmosphere of most professional kitchens, paid his workers well, and hired women to cook, something practically unheard at the time. His windows may not have yet generated the buzz of the Quilted Giraffe — about which Town&Country published a rhapsodic, nearly 5,000-word remembrance two decades after its closing — but Wine insists that he garners equal satisfaction from both pursuits. “Creating a special restaurant experience was thrilling. Like having made a good movie.” When people walk by the window and exuberantly send thumbs-up, Wine again is the successful auteur.


August 3, 2017

Photos courtesy the artist

Wine’s windows began as whimsical, holiday-themed installations, then turned darkly funny and political in tone.

The pig mask made its debut in Wine’s evolving art installation around the same time Donald Trump came onto the political scene.

For detail and sheer impact, Barry Wine’s windows are best viewed at night.

NYC Community Media

Eichmann in the Dock Exhibition explores Nazi’s heroic capture, gripping Nuremberg trial BY JACKSON CHEN Follow the thrilling capture of Adolf Eichmann, the Nazi behind the death of millions of Jews, in the new exhibition at the Museum of Jewish Heritage – A Living Memorial to the Holocaust. “Operation Finale: The Capture and Trial of Adolf Eichmann” propels visitors in with a brief history of the Nazi Party, the Holocaust, and Eichmann’s instrumental role in both. Eichmann, who was unsuccessful in high school and failed as a salesman, eventually joined the Nazi Party and quickly rose in the ranks thanks to his efficient plans for the genocide of the Jewish people. As the Nazi Party crumbled after World War II, Eichmann was able to find refuge in Argentina under the pseudonym “Ricardo Klement” escaping prosecution in the Nuremberg trials of Nazi war crimes. “Operation Finale” guides museumgoers through the infamous Nazi fugitive’s discovery and capture by Mossad, the Israeli national intelligence agency, and the subsequent trial that led to Eichmann’s death by hanging in December 1961. The exhibition features declassified artifacts from Mossad that illustrate a historic moment of justice that unfolded more than 50 years ago. And it all sparked from a love story, according to Avner Avraham, a former Mossad agent and curator of the exhibition. Avraham explained that they only began actively pursuing Eichmann after a girl named Sylvia began dating Eichmann’s son by chance. After confirming it was Eichmann and his family living in Argentina, Israel’s first prime minister, David Ben-Gurion, requested Mossad pursue the capture of Eichmann. “You can put [Eichmann] on trial and tell the whole story, not only the story about him,” Avraham said of the importance of the capture and prosecution of a prime architect of the Holocaust by Israelis, rather than the Allies. “The trial was a turning point in Israel because Holocaust survivors didn’t talk about it.” From the very first reconnaissance photos of Eichmann on a 35mm film camera to a replica of the leather gloves that were used to kidnap the Nazi, visitors are led through NYC Community Media

Photo by Jackson Chen

“Operation Finale” curator and former Mossad agent Avner Avraham stands at the exhibition’s entrance, where visitors are given a brief history of Eichmann and his role in the Nazi Party and the Holocaust.

Courtesy Museum of Jewish Heritage

“Operation Finale” explores in detail the capture and trial of Adolf Eichmann.

the extensive planning and espionage work that went into capturing Eichmann. A team of Mossad agents used everything from a primitive license plate forger to fake official documents to blend into Argentinian society. Avraham explained that Mossad agents treated language skills as a weapon too, which was crucial in establishing a cover. And when Mossad was finally able to smuggle Eichmann back to

Israel, the people put their lives on pause to hear radio broadcasts of the announcement of his capture and follow the trial. “The people stop their life when they broadcast the trial,” Avraham said. “People knew if they have lunch, they have to do it before or after, but not during the broadcast.” Eichmann’s trial before the Jerusalem District Court gave Holocaust survivors a platform to recount the harrowing sights and experiences, which often left them in tears. To recreate the trial, the exhibit immerses guests with three screens showing archival footage of Eichmann projected into a glass box that the Nazi was held in, alongside simultaneous projections of the judges and the survivors. During the trial, he was described by New Yorker writer Hannah Arendt as the embodiment of the “banality of evil.” Eichmann coldly claimed that he was only following orders, submitting a not-guilty plea, and offering no emotion during the gruesome retellings from survivors.

But if the testimonies of his victims did not move him, they did move the nation, and helped Israelis to come to grips with a singularly traumatic episode of Jewish history. “Holocaust survivors didn’t want to talk about anything, they didn’t talk with their kids, their second generation,” Avraham said. “That’s why the trial was very important, to tell the stories of Holocaust survivors to the Israelis and other people.” “Operation Finale” is on view through Dec. 22 at the Museum of Jewish Heritage (Edmond J. Safra Plaza; 36 Battery Pl., at West St. & First Pl.). Museum hours: Sun., Mon. & Tues, 10am–6pm; Wed. & Thurs., 10am–8pm; Fri., 10am–5pm. Closed Saturdays, major Jewish holidays, and Thanksgiving. Nov. 10, 2017–March 9, 2018, the Museum will be open 10am–3pm on Fridays. Admission is a suggested donation of $10; $8 for seniors, $5 for students; Wed. 4–8pm, free admission (suggested donation accepted). For more info, call 646-437-4202 or visit mjhnyc.org. August 3, 2017


This Little Light of Mine ‘Unpacking’ illuminates the ghosts of relationships past BY SCOTT STIFFLER From the overbearing parent to the ex who keeps popping up uninvited to that pillow hog in bed next to you, everyone, it seems, wants to direct. Even you, dear audience member, can’t sit in a theater for more than a few minutes without giving the show a mental rewrite. Don’t feel bad about it. Shifting the focus to your liking is a perfectly natural response to an imperfect world. How lucky for us, then, that the latest sharply crafted piece of comedic, supernatural, existential puzzle work from the writing team of Marina & Nicco includes a nifty (but by no means gimmicky) little device that gives spectators real control over the unfolding drama, while trusting them to exercise that power responsibly. “Unpacking: A Ghost Story Told in the Dark” finds us eavesdropping on Melissa and Anthony’s first night of cohabitation in a newly purchased home. Actually, it’s just a two-bedroom, and not the whole building — but it’s all theirs. Or so it seems. Shortly after a bit of lovey-dovey cooing and some small talk about what color to paint the walls, there’s a block-wide power failure. Things get weird fast, when the seemingly happy couple is momentarily separated during their desperate attempt to figure out what went wrong (lack of electricity isn’t the only thing keeping these two in the dark). Back in the same room, if not entirely on the same page, Anthony compares Melissa’s hastily designed candlelight decor to that of a séance. The strange mojo that clouds the rest of the night, however, is never fully explained. Dead parents (Anthony’s formidable mother and the father who abandoned him) might be real or imagined; and Melissa’s interaction with a fun-loving former roommate and an appealing ex-lover, both of whom are very much alive, might be their astral projections or her wishful thinking. To the writing duo’s credit, this lack of clarity only serves to deepen the mystery by encouraging us to fill in the blanks with issues and agendas and rationalizations of our own. Whatever the cause, how deeply in love can these increasingly tense homeowners be? After all, this isn’t the first time they’ve confided in a specter instead of each other. As their house becomes crowded with spooky guests dispensing largely unsolicited advice, the ghostly visitations shine a light on what went wrong — metaphorically. The literal task of light direction is up to the audience, who’ve been given flashlights and told to point that unflinching beam at their character of choice, the clock on the wall, or the packing boxes in the corner — or leave the entire cast in relative darkness for the rest of the show. Those of us viewing intimate exchanges between lovers, children, and estranged friends from the sidelines will decide what to shine a light on, and when. That’s a clever way to play tag with the fleeting nature of illumination, and it’s worth noting this novel production value never approaches, or even flirts with, cheesy contrivance


August 3, 2017

Photo by Giancarlo Osaben

Did you hear something? Cohabitating couple Melissa (SJ Son) and Anthony (Temesgen Tocruray) have ghostly encounters on their first night in the new house.

Image by Chris Kalb

(another appealing strength of the playwrights also seen in 2016’s time loop audition fantasia, “Room 4”). Effectively staged by Niccolo Aeed, whose direction is especially crisp in moments of tense confrontation, the uniformly strong cast doesn’t seem phased by shifts in status bestowed upon them by the random attention of a flashlight. The lead performers (SJ Son’s Melissa and Temesgen Tocruray’s Anthony) arrive at establishing house rules in a believable and skilled manner best understood, and appreciated, in hindsight. As Anthony’s estranged father, Odera Adimorah’s Lou has a long, particularly compelling, deep-marrow monologue and the most emotionally complex backstory. Written with plenty of flaws and played with even more charisma, he’s the play’s best argument for dealing with your restless nature until the power comes back on. Written by Marina Tempelsman and Niccolo Aeed. Directed by Niccolo Aeed. Produced by Michelle Francesca Thomas. Set design by Ally Spier; Lighting design by Katy Cecchetti. Through Aug. 13; Wed.– Sat. at 7pm, Sun. at 2pm. At HERE (145 Sixth Ave.; enter on Dominick St., 1 block south of Spring St.). Tickets ($25) at here.org. Also visit marinaandnicco. com. NYC Community Media

NYC Community Media

August 3, 2017



August 3, 2017

NYC Community Media

RIGHTS continued from p. 7

Obama administration’s intention last year to move toward open service, Carter said, “The Defense Department and the military need to avail ourselves of all talent possible in order to remain what we are now — the finest fighting force the world has ever known. We don’t want barriers unrelated to a person’s qualification to serve preventing us from recruiting or retaining the soldier, sailor, airman, or marine who can best accomplish the mission. We have to have access to 100 percent of America’s population. Although relatively few in number, we’re talking about talented and trained Americans who are serving their country with honor and distinction.” Trump’s action marks the administration’s second attack on the transgender community. In February, Attorney General

TWEETS continued from p. 7

Sessions, and the Senate was hurtling toward rejection of his hopes for Obamacare repeal. An ironic staple of the reporting that followed Trump’s surprise announcement was a fact uncovered by the Military Times newspaper — that the nearly $42 million the armed services spends on erectile dysfunction medications is more than five times the high end of a Rand Corporation estimate of what transition-related medical expenses would be. Democrats, of course, were harsh in condemning Trump’s posture. New York Senator Chuck Schumer, the Democratic minority leader, said, “We must be clear-eyed about the threats to

Jeff Sessions and Education Secretary Betsy DeVos reversed an Obama administration policy that schools receiving federal funding must protect transgender students from discrimination, including in their access to private facilities like bathrooms and locker rooms consistent with their gender identity. Ironically, Trump’s decision to throw red meat to the right this week comes as he is facing criticism from leading conservatives for his attacks on Sessions, whom he is blaming for the continued investigations into Russian interference in the election and any ties to the president’s campaign. Just hours before Trump issued his tweets, the Human Rights Campaign sent out an advisory pointing to an article in Foreign Policy reporting that Vice President Mike Pence has been working with congressional Republicans to block implementation

of open transgender service. What remains unclear in the wake of Trump’s tweets is how they will be received by military personnel who have worked for the past 13 months to implement the changes Carter announced. Mattis’ statement this past June 30, in focusing not on implementation questions but rather on fundamental issues of “readiness and lethality,” suggests that he perhaps was second-guessing decisions already settled by the Defense Department under Secretary Carter. But that is not certain, and it bears keeping in mind that Mattis was on vacation at the time of Trump’s tweets and that the Pentagon, when contacted about them, referred calls to the White House, though a spokesperson said the Department of Defense would “work closely with the White House to address

the new guidance provided by the commander-in-chief” and would “provide revised guidance to the Department in the near future.” How on board with the president “his” generals are on this issue remains an open question. The day after Trump’s tweets, three Defense Department officials told CNN that the Joint Chiefs of Staff had not been informed that the president would make the announcement he did. To the thousands of transgender service members whose futures were suddenly thrown into doubt, General Joseph Dunford, the Joint Chiefs chairman, assured them there would be “no modifications to the current policy until the president’s direction has been received by the secretary of defense and the secretary has issued implementation guidelines.”

our civil rights and unified in opposition to any and every attempt to erode them. I will fight tooth and nail against any policy that discriminates against these patriots and erodes the capability of our military.” Nancy Pelosi, the House Democratic leader, cited the ironic historical significance of the day Trump opted to announce his transgender military position. “On this very day in 1948, President Harry Truman signed the executive order desegregating the US military,” she said in a written statement. “Sixty-nine years later, President Trump has chosen this day to unleash a vile and hateful agenda that will blindside thousands of patriotic Americans already serving with honor and bravery… This morning’s tweets reveal a

President with no loyalty to the courageous men and women in uniform who risk their lives to defend our freedoms.” On PBS’ NewsHour that evening, retired Lieutenant Commander Brynn Tannehill, a transgender woman who is a former Navy pilot and advocacy director of Spart*a, an LGBTQ military organization, described the president’s action as “fairly shocking. This is something we didn’t see coming.” Saying that Defense Secretary Jim Mattis had supported the Obama administration’s decision last year to formally open the military to transgender service — despite his June 30 delay for six months in fi nal implementation to assess the policy’s impact on “readiness and lethality” — Tannehill

argued that for the thousands of transgender service members now serving openly, the sudden fear they might be discharged is “highly disruptive and damaging to people who just want to serve their country.” The military recruiting station in Times Square, on the evening of July 26, became the venue for the first of a series of New York protests against the Trump announcement. The large crowd, that included many elected officials and LGBTQ activists, like retired Army Captain Sue Fulton, an out lesbian West Point graduate who now leads Spart*a, marched from Times Square to the Trump International Hotel at Columbus Circle and then to Trump Tower on Fifth Avenue. – Paul Schindler

HUMAN COST continued from p. 3

local government to contribute to the MTA.” Gottfried pointedly noted, in an email statement to Chelsea Now, “The State took responsibility for the MTA decades ago, but it’s been underfunding and defunding New York City’s critically important mass transit. We’ve got to turn that around.” Stringer’s statement echoed this sentiment, saying, “This challenge didn’t start overnight, and we won’t fi x it overnight. But we have to come together — City and State — as one New York, and get to work. That’s why I’m calling for a lockbox that will ensure funding goes where it matters: to getting the subways, and New Yorkers, back on track.” To download the report, visit comptroller.nyc.gov. NYC Community Media

Via comptroller.nyc.gov

Commuters reported that subway delays were a direct cause of reprimands at work and, in some cases, termination of employment. August 3, 2017


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August 3, 2017

NYC Community Media

Profile for Schneps Media

Chelsea Now  

August 3, 2017

Chelsea Now  

August 3, 2017