The Paper of Record cord for Greenwich Village, Villag a g e, ag e , East E Ea a s t Vi as V Village, i ll ll a ag ge e,, L Lower o w er East Side, ow Soho, Union Square, Chinatown Since 1933 Chin iin inat na atto t own ow o w n and a n d Noho, an N oho No o ho h o , Si S i nc nce 1 19 93 33 3
August 17, 2017 • $1.00 Volume 87 • Number 33
Village is losing artists to Brooklyn, Bronx due to a ‘surging economy’ BY EL ANA DURE
wave of artists has moved out of Greenwich Village over the last two decades, but that hasn’t stopped the area from continuing to be a center for the arts in New York City. Greenwich Village, along with Tribeca and the Financial District,
has lost 24 percent of its visual and performing artists, dropping from 5,248 of them in 2000 to 3,989 in 2015, according to a recent report from the Center for an Urban Future. The study attributes the shift to the city’s “surging economy.” Despite the loss, though, Greenwich Village and the FiARTISTS continued on p. 4
Amazon contract delivery trucks eating up parking, sidewalks, hurting shops BY MARY REINHOLZ
here’s a nonunion crew of truckers and delivery people showing up in large unmarked vehicles around Union Square and other Downtown neighborhoods with increasing frequency. These are contract work-
ers carrying packages from Amazon, the Seattle based ecommerce behemoth known for its grueling work ethic. The workers spend long hours parked on metered city streets. Police have ordered them to move from two locations after receiving complaints from resAMAZON continued on p. 6
PHOTO BY MILO HESS
A devishly colored — or just ver y ar tificially tanned — Donald Trump on an inflatable ball, spor ting a Hitler moustache, near Trump Tower at Monday’s protest.
Home on the strange; Protest thumps Trump BY LEVAR ALONZO AND BOB KR ASNER
resident Trump came back home Monday to a hostile welcoming party on his first return to Trump Tower since being inaugurated. More than 1,000 people waited to greet the president at his gleaming Fifth Ave. residence, chanting, “Not My President!” and “Shame!
Shame! Shame!” and “Black and Trans Lives Matter!” The president’s motorcade came from a different direction, bypassing the enormous crowd. Sand-filled Sanitation dump trucks blocked the building’s entrance and police erected hundreds of yards of metal barricades to contain protesters. Helping fuel the protesters’ already-present outrage
against him was the president’s recent frightening and inflammatory rhetoric versus North Korea, plus the wild racial strife over the weekend in Charlottesville, Virginia, that saw 32-year-old protester Heather Heyer killed by an enraged alt-right driver. If there was previously any doubt, Trump’s pathetic response to that tragedy solidified many TRUMP continued on p. 15
W’beth photographer Arlene Gottfried, 66 ........p. 9 Politicians’ B.S. on S.B.J.S.A. — it’s legal!....... p. 16 Alt-right violence in focus .....p. 23
current councilmember, Rosie Mendez, who has less than five months left before being term-limited out of office.
POST-SQUADRON MOB SQUAD: Assemblymember Yuh-Line Niou says she is not interested in running for Daniel Squadron’s former state Senate seat, following the latter’s resignation last Friday. But we’re hearing some more names now as possible Squadron successors, including former Lower Manhattan Councilmember Alan Gerson, Rosie Mendez and even Margarita Lopez, who held Mendez’s East Village City Council seat before her.
PRIMARY FLASH: And then there were five. … Erin Hussein told us Wednesday that she is dropping out of the Democratic primary race for District 2 City Council and will be endorsing one of the other candidates for the East Village seat. Hussein is an attorney and a tenant leader at Stewart House, at E. 10th St. and Fourth Ave. … In other District 2 race news, Jimmy McMillan, who coined the memorable (and extremely accurate) slogan “The Rent Is Too Damn High,” has declined our invitation to participate in Monday evening’s candidates debate at Theater for the New City from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. His campaign manager, Casey Hill, told us that, basically, McMillan is happy to let the Dems debate among themselves without him, but then would be up for debating the primary’s winner. “I’m guessing it’s going to be Carlina,” he quipped, referring to District Leader Carlina Rivera, former legislative director for the district’s
HOSPITAL HEALTH SURVEY: Mount Sinai Health System is conducting an online survey as part of a “community needs assessment” for its new Mount Sinai Downtown health network, of which a new M.S.B.I. mini-hospital at E. 13th St. and Second Ave. will be the centerpiece. The survey is for Manhattan residents living below 34th St. and will be open until Aug. 31. The survey asks respondents what type of medical services they feel are most important to them and which ones they and family members have used in the past year, among other things. Find the survey at http://www.mountsinai.org/locations/downtown . Terri Cude and Jamie Rogers, the respective chairpersons of Community Boards 2 and 3, are both urging people to fill out the survey and say it’s important to do.
PARK PERILS: The heat is on the Central Park Conservancy after an elm tree toppled in the Uptown park at W. 62nd St. on the West Drive on Tuesday, critically injuring a mom who suffered a broken neck while shielding her small children. Meanwhile, Washington Square Park also saw a tree scare of its own this past Sunday. Around 5 p.m., a limb fell off a tree on the park’s western side, near the Holley Monument, striking a woman who was sitting on a bench. Veteran Village activist Doris Diether, as usual, was on the scene. “I came just after the branch was on top of her,” she told us. “They had just taken the branch off of her. It was at least 15 feet long, maybe 4 inches thick. They had her on a stretcher waiting for the ambulance. The musicians told me what happened. They had just MAIL TO: One Metrotech Ctr North, 10th ﬂoor • Brooklyn, NY 11201 stopped playing. The guy who was on the front page of The Villager — YES! I want to receive The Villager every week of the year. Rasheed — told me what happened,’ she said, reCHECK ONE: New Subscription Renewal ferring to horn-blowing double threat Rasheed (New Subscription $29•Renewal $24, for 52 weeks, by check or credit card, will be added to your current subscription) Richard Howard. “It’s funny, because the day Name: before, they were cutting off branches there on the Address: other side of the path.” City: State: Zip Code: Meghan Lalor, a Parks Email: Phone: Department spokesperCard Type: [ ] Visa [ ] Mastercard [ ] Amex [ ] Discover son, told us, “A thorough inspection of all trees in Card Holder’s Signature: Washington Square Park Credit Card Number: was completed earlier Exp. Date: Security Code: this month, and we are in the process of pruning more [of the] approximately 270 trees in this park. Although the
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August 17, 2017
PHOTO BY RAINER TURIM
G.O.P. candidate Jimmy McMillan is chosing not to mix it up with the Democratic District 2 Council candidates at the Theater for the New Cit y debate, but is ready to take on the eventual primar y election winner. His key campaign plank remains “The Rent Is Too Damn High”... and it is! McMillan still lives in the East Village on St. Mark’s Place where he’s battling with his landlord over whether his apar tment should remain rent-regulated.
tree in question was inspected, no conditions were found that would warrant emergency pruning.” As usual, Diether was just where the action was. “I usually wander around the park once a day,” the octogenarian activist noted. “I saw the crowd and then I saw the branch.” She also was there on the morning of Sun., Aug. 6, when Tucker, 32, a longtime park denizen, was found dead. “I saw the body under the tarp,” Diether said. “They said I knew who he was, but I couldn’t see him. But they tell me he was a nice guy.” There was also some action — not a branch, but a club — on Monday. “There was a guy chasing a guy around the park with a club,” she said. “I don’t know what that was all about. He was a white guy, he didn’t have a shirt on and he was chasing a guy wearing a red shirt. People were scattering.” In this case, it sounds like that was a pretty good idea!
R.I.P., ERIN: Judson Memorial Church held a memorial for former East Village squatter activist Erin O’Connor, 50, this past Sunday afternoon at El Jardin del Paraiso, between E. Fourth and Fifth Sts. and Avenues C and D. The Villager’s obituary on O’Connor in last week’s issue has had a huge online readership, showing how much she was loved and also the reach of the squatter / homesteader community. CORRECTIONS: An article in last week’s issue on the planned E. 14th St. “tech hub” said that Civic Hall — which will run the community-oriented tech space — had given money to Mayor Bill de Blasio’s re-election campaign. In fact, it’s Andrew Rasiej, the founder and C.E.O. of Civic Hall, who has contributed to de Blasio — specifically, $4,950 this past May. In addition, the original version of the “tech hub” article stated that Civic Hall would have three floors of the 20-story building. In fact, it will have six floors. … Also, a photo caption in last week’s issue about the mini-gardens along the Sixth Ave. bike lane incorrectly said that Shirley Secunda is co-chairperson of the Community Board 2 Traffic and Transportation Committee. As she reminds us, she is the committee’s sole chairperson and has been for the last 10 years. TheVillager.com
DISTRICT 2 CITY COUNCIL DEMOCRATIC CANDIDATES
DEBATE MON., AUG. 21, 6 P.M. TO 8 P.M. THEATER FOR THE NEW CITY 155 FIRST AVE.
Freshman Residence Hall No Parking Zone
(between E. 9th and E. 10th Sts.)
COME SEE THE CANDIDATES SPEAK ON THE ISSUES!
Move-In Day Parking Relief Sunday, August 27, 2017
AUDIENCE MEMBERS Q&A WITH THE CANDIDATES
FREE AND OPEN TO THE PUBLIC SPONSORED BY
CO-MODERATED BY LINCOLN ANDERSON EDITOR OF THE VILLAGER AND
PAUL SCHINDLER EDITOR OF GAY CITY NEWS
NYU is welcoming a new class of freshmen into residence halls on Sunday, August 27. We understand the effect that move-in day has on traffic and street parking, and are offering parking reimbursement to neighborhood residents. If you live in the area designated by the darkly shaded section of the map above (from 15th Street to Houston Street, between Sixth and Second Avenues) and need to put your car in a garage on the evening of Saturday, August 26 or during the day on Sunday, August 27, NYU will repay the cost for up to 24 hours. This offer is not valid for NYU students. Please mail your original parking receipt, proof of residency, name, email, and phone number to NYU Community Engagement for reimbursement, or bring the documents in person between 9 am and 5 pm on weekdays. Please keep copies of all receipts. NYU Community Engagement 25 West Fourth Street, 5th Floor New York, NY 10012-1119 212-998-2400 email@example.com Find out about public programs and more by visiting nyu.edu/nyu-in-nyc.
For more info E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org TheVillager.com
August 17, 2017
Village losing its artists: Report Named best weekly newspaper in New York State in 2001, 2004 and 2005 by New York Press Association News Story, First Place, 2015 Editorial Page, First Place, 2015 Editorials, First Place, 2014 News Story, First Place, 2014 Overall Design Excellence, First Place, 2013 Best Column, First Place, 2012 Photographic Excellence, First Place, 2011 Spot News Coverage, First Place, 2010 Coverage of Environment, First Place, 2009
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The Villager (USPS 578930) ISSN 0042-6202 Copyright © 2017 by the NYC Community Media LLC is published weekly by NYC Community Media LLC, One Metrotech North, 10th ﬂoor Brooklyn, NY 11201. 52 times a year. Business and Editorial Ofﬁces: One Metrotech North, 10th ﬂoor Brooklyn, NY 11201. Accounting and Circulation Ofﬁces: NYC Community Media LLC, One Metrotech North, 10th ﬂoor Brooklyn, NY 11201. Call 718-260-2500 to subscribe. Periodicals postage prices is paid at New York, N.Y. Postmaster: Send address changes to The Villager, One Metrotech North, 10th ﬂoor, Brooklyn, NY 11201 Annual subscription by mail in Manhattan and Brooklyn $29 ($35 elsewhere). Single copy price at ofﬁce and newsstands is $1. 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. 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 others errors or omissions in connection with an advertisement is strictly limited to publication of the advertisement in any subsequent issue. Published by NYC Community Media, LLC One Metrotech North, 10th floor Brooklyn, NY 11201 Phone: (718) 260-2500 • Fax: (212) 229-2790 On-line: www.thevillager.com E-mail: email@example.com © 2017 NYC Community Media, LLC
August 17, 2017
ARTISTS continued from p. 1
nancial District still have the most artists of any community in the city after the Upper West Side, which boasts 5,584, according to the report. Chelsea / Clinton / Midtown comes in at No. 3 with 3,711 creative types. Williamsburg / Greenpoint ranks No. 5 with 2,908 artists, on the heels of No. 4, the Upper East Side, with 3,049 artists. CUF is a 20-year-old Wall St.-based think tank focusing on “smart and sustainable policies that reduce inequality, increase economic mobility, and grow the economy in New York City.” Its report examined “censusdefined” neighborhoods. The Upper West Side was defined as Community Board 7. While the “Village / Financial District” was defined as the combined Community Boards 1 and 2, which include Greenwich Village, Soho, Noho, Little Italy, Tribeca, Battery Park City, the Civic Center, South St. Seaport and parts of Chinatown. However, Andrew Berman, executive director, of the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation, noted that because C.B. 7 has about 55,000 more residents than C.B.’s 1 and 2 together, based on “raw numbers,” it can be said that, “on a per capita basis, it’s a virtual dead-heat for the No. 1 spot, with both the Upper West Side and the Greenwich Villageto-Financial District area at about 2.65 percent of their populations identified as artists... .” Berman said gentrification and high real estate prices, though, are driving young artists out of the Village and Downtown areas. “It’s simply not a feasible financial option,” he said, “particularly for people who generally need a large amount of space in order to practice their craft, which they often do in their homes.” As a result, the Village is now home to an increasingly larger amount of successful, world-famous artists who can afford the sky-high rents and prices. Artists of lesser means who still live here either had the foresight to buy when property was more affordable or were lucky to land subsidized or rent-regulated housing. Berman also said artists communities have spread to other corners of the city because it is no longer as essential to be located in Downtown Manhattan as it was in the past. “We’re talking about a much larger and more diverse group of people,” he said, “who probably
Westbeth Ar tists Housing — the former Bell Labs complex, which was conver ted to ar tists’ residences and opened in 1970 — is one of the last affordable housing strongholds for creative t ypes in the West Village.
have an even larger and more diverse set of tastes, in terms of the kinds of communities that they are looking for, the kinds of work that they are doing, and the sort of surroundings that they think are best suited to their artistic pursuits. Naturally, that means that more and more will be picking a greater variety of places.” Historically, the Village has been a center for artists to live and work since the 19th century. The creative community burgeoned in the 20th century, particularly from the post-World War I era through the 1960s. Today, the neighborhood boasts a variety of artistic resources, facilities and institutions, such as Westbeth Artists Housing, the new Whitney Museum
of American Art and New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. There is also a large concentration of galleries, theaters and performance venues that exist in the neighborhood. In addition, the school district within which Greenwich Village, Tribeca and the Financial District are located has the largest number of arts-related facilities in its public schools of any district in the city, according to the CUF report. The report posits that these facilities should be made available to local artists during after-school hours. But even with the area’s available resources, Berman said there is a long-term problem that must be addressed. Currently, the Village has such a high concentration of artists that even with the drop
in their numbers, its ranking isstill unrivaled. However, if current trends persist, other neighborhoods will become the centers of artistic life. To overcome this trend, the Village must tackle its affordable housing problem, the preservationist stressed. “I have no doubt that for years and years to come, the Village and its environs are going to continue to be a really rich landscape for artists,” Berman said. “Even if it may be a while before the Village is the place where the proverbial starving artists come to live, it may still be the place where the proverbial starving artists come to display their work and come to learn more about art… . That, I have no doubt, will continue in record numbers.” TheVillager.com
POLICE BLOTTER to punch the victim multiple times in the face and took his wallet, containing around $400 in cash and various credit cards. E.M.S. medics responded and transported the victim to an area hospital where he was reported in stable condition after the incident. The suspect is described as around 5 feet 10 inches tall and in his 40s. Anyone with information is asked to call the Police Department’s Crime Stoppers Hotline, at 800-577-TIPS, or for Spanish, 1-888-57-PISTA (74782). Tips can also be submitted by logging onto the Crime Stoppers Web site, www.nypdcrimestoppers.com, or by texting them to 274637 (CRIMES) and then entering TIP577. All tips are confidential.
Subway slasher According to police, a man in a black trench coat slashed another man on his head and wrist after they knocked into each other and got into a dispute while walking down the stairs inside the Canal St. A / C / E subway station, near Sixth Ave. and Broome St., Tuesday afternoon around 4:45 p.m. The assailant slashed the victim, 44, with a razor before fleeing out onto the street. One report said the victim was slashed from his right eye down to his throat, with heavy bleeding. The attacker was also wearing green pants and a blue hooded sweatshirt under his coat, according to police. The victim was treated at Bellevue Medical Center.
School save An emotionally disturbed man was threatening to jump from the roof of the Little Red School House, at Bleecker St. and Sixth Ave., on Tues., Aug. 15, around 10:45 p.m., according to police. Airbags were set up on the ground as police engaged the man in conversation, and then took him into custody without incident.
Sidewalk slashers According to police, a group of men beat another man and cut his face in front of 104 W. 14th St. on Wed., Aug. 2, at 12:30 a.m. The thugs reportedly pushed the 55-year-old victim to the ground and punched and kicked him multiple times, and one of them also slashed him on the right side of his face. According to amNew York, the
A sur veillance-camera image of the alleged Horatio St. mugging suspect.
group stole $30 from the victim. The paper said that 25 minutes later, the group struck again, slashing a 23-yearold man on his hand and face in front of 42 Seventh Ave., near W. 13th St., before grabbing his phone and $50. Police arrested Paul Grant, 23; Damon Johnson, 38, and James Hatcher, 30, on Sat., Aug. 5, and Harjeet Ahir, 19, on Tues., Aug. 8, for felony robbery.
Assaults senior A mugger attacked a 74-year-old Villager as he was entering the vestibule of his residential building on Horatio St. between Greenwich and Washington Sts. on Wed., Aug. 2, around 7:30 p.m., police said. The crook proceeded
Cash cab — not A cabbie was nearly robbed Wed., Aug. 9, at 7:15 a.m. in front of 378 Sixth Ave., near Waverly Place, police said. A man entered the vehicle, and simulating having a gun in his pocket, demanded that the 35-year-old hack give him all the money in the car. Scared for his life, the driver opened the door and got out into the middle of the avenue. The suspect then exited the taxi and fled southbound on foot. The victim told police the suspect said, “I
have a gun. Give me your cash.” Police tracked down Simon Martial, 56, arresting him for felony attempted robbery.
Broken-case case Police said a man threw a glass at a glass case inside the Washington Square Diner, at 150 W. Fourth St., on Thurs., Aug. 10, at 10:30 a.m., breaking the case. Johanni Martinez, 22, was charged with felony criminal mischief.
Wrong at Rite Aid According to police, a man was spotted stealing items from a Rite Aid at 534 Hudson St., near Charles St., on Thurs., Aug. 10, at 3:50 p.m. When confronted, he tried to flee but was caught by police. The suspect reportedly resisted by moving his hands and legs, preventing the officer from handcuffing him. Dion Montgomery, 46, was charged with misdemeanor resisting arrest.
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August 17, 2017
Amazon contract trucks impacting parking, stores AMAZON continued from p. 1
idents, merchants and the Village Alliance Business Improvement District, which alerted this newspaper to their curbside activities. Rival brother truckers have also noticed their M.O. “These guys have huge trucks and they take up practically an entire block,” a UPS driver and member of the Teamsters Union told The Villager on Aug. 9 after making a delivery on E. 17th St. “They park, and then about 10 other guys show up and start setting up cones and sorting packages on the street. Sometimes they do it under their tents. Then they spread out and deliver to [online] customers in the area pushing a small four-wheel truck” — also known as a dolly. “Sometimes they are there for hours,” the UPS driver added, noting that by contrast, he generally leaves a spot “within 20 minutes.” The outfit the UPS driver described is a New York-based trucking and freight-shipping company called Cornucopia Logistics, which is based in the Chanin Building, at 122 E. 42nd St., but has warehouses in New Jersey and recently posted online “help wanted” ads for $13-an-hour delivery drivers in Elizabeth, N.J. Cornucopia was forced last October by New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman to pay $100,000 to more than 100 contract workers for Amazon.com as restitution for illegally docking them for lunch breaks they didn’t take and for overtime. Cornucopia’s corporate parent, Avant Business Services, has a dispatching office in the Chanin Building’s basement, not far from entrances to the trains of Grand Central Station. Ken Daniels, an Avant financial executive, refused last week to discuss the nature of his company’s contract with Amazon or to explain why it allows workers to use city streets as an ad hoc warehouse and distribution hub. “I don’t have to tell you about the terms of our contract with a customer,” Daniels said. “Ask Amazon.” This reporter reached Amazon spokesperson Ernesto Apreza and sent him five photos of Cornucopia’s trucks taking up more than two commercial parking spaces on Broadway between E. Ninth and 10th Sts. with workers unloading boxes, some on the sidewalk, from May 3 to June 1. Apreza asked for a list of questions. He received six, one inquiring about Amazon’s arrangement with Cornucopia and what its standards were for contract workers. Apreza’s response was brief: “We work with a variety of small to medium-sized businesses that provide work opportunities to individuals who deliver packages on behalf of Amazon,” he said in an e-mail. “We will provide feedback directly to the service provider on this matter.” Cornucupia’s trucks and street sorters have raised hackles at the aforemen-
August 17, 2017
PHOTO COURTESY VILLAGE ALLIANCE BID
A contracted truck for Amazon sets up a distribution point for the online giant’s deliveries on E. Eighth St. In rainy weather, the deliveries are covered by por table tent-like tarps on poles, which fur ther obscure the view of the brick-and-mor tar storefronts behind the truck operation, hur ting the shops’ business.
tioned East Village location, disrupting foot traffic and parking, according to Julie Jang, the manager of Jay Nails at 780 Broadway. “Basically, they park all day,” Jang said, claiming the trucks overstay a three-hour metered parking limit on commercial vehicles imposed by the city’s Department of Transportation. “They load up all the boxes on the street where cars park. They have a canopy when it rains.” Jang said Cornucopia’s street operation has caused business to drop at the nail salon because “they’re right in front of our store and people passing can’t see our awning. My husband went out and talked to the drivers,” she added. “They went away for a day and then came back again. We tried calling 311 but nothing was done.” She noted, “We also called the company” but to no avail. “It’s really awful — you can’t get into the nail store because the boxes are all lined up over the sidewalk, and people have to go to the other side of the street,” said Barbara Ballison, a vice president of property management for Douglas Elliman Real Estate, which is right next door to the nail salon at 774 Broadway. “The [workers] there on the street aren’t rude, but it’s just an insane place to unload.” Ironically, an officer manager at Elliman said some of its employees receive Amazon packages from the Cornucopia workers. One complained that he
couldn’t get a parking space on a Saturday because of Cornucopia’s trucks. Cornucopia hasn’t been seen on the block recently. Earlier this month, Jason Garcia, a company supervisor at the site, admitted that a New York Police Department detective from the Sixth Precinct’s community affairs office had told the company to leave a previous location at University Place at E. Eighth St. about two months ago.
‘Police aren’t enforcing the threehour parking limit.’ Martin Tessler “He gave a warning, stating that if we continued to stay it would lead to a summons,” Garcia said during a phone conversation. “Individuals who were part of a community board had made a complaint. They said we were blocking company signage. It’s a narrow street and our trucks are pretty high. We only have three other trucks and don’t have any [other] problem,” he insisted, noting that Cornucopia trucks have been on Park Ave. “in the high 20s” and on
31st and Lexington. They’ve also been spotted parked on E. 18th St. between Irving Place and Park Ave. South. Garcia strongly denied that he and his crew are breaking parking regulations. “If we were parking illegally, we’d be arrested,” he said. Captain Vincent Greany, commanding officer of the Ninth Precinct, said the trucks have received no summonses but drew complaints “from merchants along Lafayette St. directly and from Village Alliance. Our NCOs [Neighborhood Coordination Officers] visited the delivery trucks and they have since moved. Since they moved, we have not received complaints. The problem is that the trucks probably have set up on another street.” Martin Tessler, a retired real estate consultant and former member of Community Board 2’s Business and Institutions Committee, has seen the trucks up close and personal from his apartment in the Stewart House, at E. 10th St. near Broadway. He believes they are creating a chaotic citywide problem. Tessler places the blame on Amazon, claiming that the Internet giant is using the contract workers to operate on the cheap because “all they have to do is pay a paltry parking fee.” Amazon, he said, could reduce congestion by renting or buying a building to sort merchandise and then have it delivered in smaller vehicles. Instead, Tessler claimed in an e-mail, “This problem is accelerating and is attributable to the fact that the thirdhour parking limit is not enforced by N.Y.P.D. officers.” Amazon, he continued, has hired trucks that are separate “third-party contractors and are geared to just plugging the meters and thus extending their unloading times that can occupy the several hours. Amazon escapes its need for brick-and-mortar warehouse trucking facilities while at the same time undercutting the exact brick-and-mortar retail stores that are dying off as competition.” Marc Wulfraat, founder and president of MWPVL International Inc., a supply chain and logistics consulting firm in Quebec, speculated that Amazon may be using the Cornucopia street operation as a “stopgap” or temporary solution “until they get a proper building.” He said the nearly 1-millionsquare-foot warehouse (called a “fulfillment center”) that Amazon reportedly expects to complete at the end of the summer in Staten Island will be for big, “non-sortable” items, like washing machines, ironing boards and other goods, “that can’t be put in 18-inch boxes.” He noted that Amazon’s warehouse at 7 E. 34th St., established in 2014, “doesn’t have room for trucks to come in.” One industry source, who asked not to be identified, lambasted Amazon for AMAZON continued on p. 21 TheVillager.com
TOP DRIVER DISTRACTIONS Using mobile phones Leading the list of the top distractions behind the wheel are mobile phones. Phones now do more than just place calls, and drivers often cannot pull away from their phones, even when driving. According to the California Department of Motor Vehicles, studies have shown that driving performance is lowered and the level of distraction is higher for drivers who are heavily engaged in cell
phone conversations. The use of a hands-free device does not lower distraction levels. The percentage of vehicle crashes and nearcrashes attributed to dialing is nearly identical to the number associated with talking or listening.
Daydreaming Many people will admit to daydreaming behind the wheel or looking at a person or object outside of the car for too long. Per-
haps they’re checking out a house in a new neighborhood or thought they saw someone they knew on the street corner. It can be easy to veer into the direction your eyes are focused, causing an accident. In addition to trying to stay focused on the road, some drivers prefer the help of lane departure warning systems.
Eating Those who haven’t quite mastered walking and
chewing gum at the same time may want to avoid eating while driving. The majority of foods require a person’s hands to be taken off of the wheel and their eyes to be diverted from the road. Reaching in the back seat to share some French fries with the kids is also distracting. Try to eat meals before getting in the car. For those who must snack while en route, take a moment to pull over at
a rest area and spend 10 minutes snacking there before resuming the trip.
Reading Glancing at an advertisement, updating a Facebook status or reading a book are all activities that should be avoided when driving. Even pouring over a traffic map or consulting the digital display of a GPS system can be distracting.
August 17, 2017
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR Only in Newell’s dreams
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We cover “The Cube”!
To The Editor: Re “Squadron resignation shakes up landscape; Special election likely” (news article Aug. 10): Very disappointed in this hastily written and poorly researched article in The Villager. Basically the only one this reporter spoke to was a long-shot candidate with no chance of winning by the name of Paul Newell. With a straight face Newell proclaims himself the leading candidate for Squadron’s state Senate seat and his wildly exaggerated estimations of support are added to the article as fact. This is the same man who confidently predicted he would be elected to the 65th Assembly District last fall. Let us not forget he was summarily demolished by Yiou-Line Niou and finished a distant third. In reality, it is too early to know anything for sure because all the candidates have not yet announced. If Assemblymember Niou chooses to run, obviously she would carry the most widespread support within the County Committee and Newell and Downtown Independent Democrats’ Sean Sweeney both know that full well. Brain Kavanagh would also command wide support. Dear Villager, please strive for more objectivity going forward and stop serving as a forum for Paul Newells’s elaborate fantasies. Timothy Spruches
Dealing with Trumpites To The Editor: Re “Sharing the Shore uneasily with Trump supporters” (notebook, Aug. 10): I share Kate Walter’s dismay at the election of Donald Trump. That said, it wouldn’t do her any harm to pipe down a bit at restaurants and parks. I’m not saying that you can’t talk about your politics or you should be intimidated by people who don’t share them. But if the people at the next table, or some guy on a bench several feet away, can follow your conversation, you are probably being rude by being too loud. I would find it annoying if strangers curdled my limited recreational time by forcing me to hear their political views, even if I agreed with them. As for your seasonal beach mates from Patterson, why not ask them a bit about why they are Republicans or what they liked about Trump? Leave the denunciations of their candidate at home; few people respond to condemnation with openness. Be respectful and open and share your own concerns about Trump in the same non-inflammatory manner. They may not respond similarly, but then again, they might and you maybe able to get a dialogue going that helps
you both understand a bit more fully. Don’t expect to change any minds quickly, just humanizing each other is a little is the victory. Cormac Flynn
Chinatown double standard? To The Editor: As a member of Community Board 3, but primarily as a resident Chinatown advocate and activist, I could not keep silent anymore. It is disturbing to see C.B. 3 apply different sets of rules when it comes to the State Liquor Authority Committee’s handling of applications. During last month’s S.L.A. Committee meeting, I was there to oppose the application of MJK Foods Lic# 1301890 and had argued that it would be irresponsible and reckless to approve an on-premises full liquor license for operators without experience in the restaurant / bar business. But the argument fell on — intentionally? — deaf ears and the application was approved. I was merely using an argument the committee itself had previously used to deny an application. During the September 2015 S.L.A. Committee meeting a full-service Chinese restaurant, Hwa Yuan, at 42-44 East Broadway, applied for an O.P. full liquor license but was rebuffed by committee members because the owner lacked “experience.” Instead, the committee instead “floated” a wine-and-beer license, which the applicant had no choice but to accept. So, why was Hwa Yuan subject to a different set of rules? Why was C.B. 3’s S.L.A. Committee even considering criteria that the New York State S.L.A. doesn’t? Yet, MJK was approved? Is there a double standard when it comes to Chinese applicants? Are they subject to a different set of rules and scrutiny? East Broadway was once teeming with Chinese businesses as far down as Clinton St. But in recent years gentrification has pushed Chinatown businesses back to Pike St. Many of these businesses struggle to survive month to month. Hwa Yuan is a beautifully designed tri-level restaurant serving traditional Chinese specialties that is an anchor for this block of Chinatown and has drawn visitors and diners to the area. Hwa Yuan’s original location, which closed in the ’80s, was just two doors down. One would think the community board would have the area’s economic health in mind but this example shows otherwise. Are there special interests involved here? LETTERS continued on p. 10
August 17, 2017
Her camera captured the quirkiness of the city
PEOPLE Arlene Gottfried, a photographer par excellence of New York City’s street life, died on Tues., Aug. 8. She was 66 and a resident of Westbeth Artists Housing, at Bethune and West Sts. The New York Times reported that her brother, the comedian Gilbert Gottfried, said she died of complications from breast cancer. Her funeral was at Riverside Memorial Chapel, at W. 76th St. and Amsterdam Ave., on Aug. 10. The Villager profiled Gottfried in August 2011 on the occasion of the publication of a book of her photographs from the 1970s and ’80s, “Bacalitos & Fireworks,” which included many images of Alphabet City from that era. Also included in the book are a number of portraits of Miguel Pinero, author of “Lower East Side Poem,” which features the famous refrain asking that his ashes be scattered throughout the Lower East Side. Gottfried also enjoyed singing with church choirs in Harlem, hence her nickname, the “Singing Photographer.” In her 2011 interview with The Villager, the Coney Island native reflected how much things have changed since the ’70s and ’80s. It used to be easier to enjoy events and a sense of community in New York, she said. “You would just go,” she said. “It didn’t cost a lot. It was easy to be with people then. It’s so different today, and you don’t have the mix of people. New York is becoming so homogenized. The East Village — it’s like N.Y.U., all dorms.” Gottfried’s friend fellow photographer Tequila Minsky is working on a full obituary of her for The Villager.
PHOTOS BY TEQUILA MINSKY
Arlene Gottfried, right, at the “Sometimes Over whelming” exhibit of her 1970s and ’80s photos at Daniel Cooney Fine Ar t in 2014, with family members, including siblings comedian Gilber t Gottfried and Karen Gottfried.
Arlene Gottfried with a photo por trait of her mother.
Arlene Gottfried with her photo book “Mommie” at a book-signing and exhibit at Westbeth, where she lived, last year. TheVillager.com
Arlene Gottfried at her “Bacalitos & Fireworks” exhibit at Daniel Cooney last year. August 17, 2017
Tentative Silver trial date Letters to The Editor BY MARY REINHOLZ
alerie Caproni, the U.S. district judge in Foley Square who presided at the corruption trial of former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, has set April 16, 2018, as a tentative date to begin a second trial of Silver should the U.S. Supreme Court reject Silverâ€™s appeal to review his case, according to a court filing noted in press accounts on Wednesday. â€œThe filing speaks for itself,â€? said a law clerk for Caproni who declined to offer further comment for The Villager. On May 3, 2016, Caproni slapped the once-powerful Democrat, 73, with a 12-year sentence for seven felonies, including extortion, theft of honest service and money laundering. The charges stem from the governmentâ€™s claim that Silver accepted about $4 million in illegal quid pro quo transactions via referral fees from two law firms that had allegedly hired him for no-show jobs starting in 2000. He will face the same charges again should a second trial proceed. It could last for more than a month unless SCOTUS accepts his petition. The latter scenario is unlikely to happen, according to Manhattan attorney Emily Jane Goodman, a retired New York State Supreme Court justice, who previously told The Villager that SCOTUS accepts â€œvery, very fewâ€? cases to review or hear.
Silverâ€™s lawyers, however, appear to be optimistic. â€œWeâ€™re hopeful theyâ€™ll hear our case,â€? said Joel Cohen, a former prosecutor who represented Silver at trial with Steven Molo. â€œI donâ€™t know if they will, but weâ€™re hopeful the Supreme Court will rule in our favor and there will never be another trial.â€? Cohen said that he and Molo will be filing papers in mid-October to SCOTUS for a writ of certiorari â€” an order from a higher court for the proceedings of a lower courtâ€™s ruling on a defendant. He expects SCOTUS to respond â€œfairly quickly.â€? Silverâ€™s 2015 conviction was overturned last month by the Second Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan. The three-judge appellate panel cited a SCOTUS ruling seven months after Silverâ€™s conviction that reversed the corruption case against former Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell and his wife, contending that jurors had been given an overly broad definition of official acts of corruption. The judges â€” who remanded the case back to Caproni â€” did not acquit Silver of the charges against him. Three government prosecutors involved with the case against Silver have since left their jobs. These include former U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara, fired by Republican President Trump earlier this year.
LETTERS continued from p. 8
Clubâ€™s transparency? To The Editor: Re â€œPier55 meeting, Part IIâ€? (Scoopyâ€™s Notebook, Aug. 3): Any meeting between â€œPier55 lawsuit plaintiffs from The City Club of New York and the Hudson River Park Trust and representatives for Barry Dillerâ€? should be public. The notion that they may be pressing for â€œa much higher degree of transparency and public reviewâ€? is farce, particularly considering their own lack of transparency regarding both these meetings and their only recently revealed, long-hidden lawsuit funding source. These facts alone render this lawsuit and its hidden considerations dangerous, whereas formerly they were, in my opinion, merely pompous and ill-considered. Under what and whose authority do these plaintiffs have the right to speak for â€” or particularly to negotiate on behalf of â€” the entirety of the Hudson River Park waterfront and the general public? They are neither elected nor appointed officials. This process must be stopped in its tracks, and the plaintiffs first make their case to Hudson River Park communities all, not just the Village. Proceeding without community assent, and out of the pub-
lic eye, means only that something is being hidden. Mr. Foxâ€™s history as a waterfront advocate does not confer upon him actionable communitywide authority. The lawsuit, though public, does not confer upon the plaintiffs the right to privately settle a public matter. Foxâ€™s history as a waterfront profiteer, which we hear much less about, and is never personally characterized here, ought to raise red flags. This community is presently allowing a privately funded lawsuit to drive public policy. Consider if the lawsuit was, in the eyes of the community, the opposite â€” as in, not in the best interests of the community. The issue here is not the result, it is the authority. Currently, it has been ceded to private individuals, funded by a developer. Who is in the room? The nontransparent Trust, the nontransparent so-called City Club and the developer. That is all everyone Downtown needs to know. Patrick Shields E-mail letters, not longer than 250 words in length, to firstname.lastname@example.org or fax to 212-229-2790 or mail to The Villager, Letters to the Editor, 1 MetroTech North, 10th floor, Brooklyn, NY 11201. Please include phone number for confirmation purposes. The Villager reserves the right to edit letters for space, grammar, clarity and libel. Anonymous letters will not be published.
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PHOTO BY BOB KRASNER
Qween Amor doing an exorcism dance of sor ts at a protest at Union Square Sunday evening over the Charlottesville tragedy and the president’s lame response blaming people on “both sides.”
Home on the strange; Protest thumps Trump TRUMP continued from p. 1
people’s opinion that he is truly unfit to lead this country. Monday’s Midtown protest lasted more than four hours. Hawk Newsome, president of Black Lives Matter of Greater New York, who had been in Charlottesville protesting the alt-right rally, said police did nothing to contain the supremacists. “It was war…people throwing rocks at us, hitting us with pipes and sticks and the police just standing there doing nothing to separate or even help the group,” he said. “It was absolutely horrifying.” At the entrance to Central Park, a number of people dressed all in black held a mock funeral procession to mourn Heyer’s death. Maryellen Novak, a Manhattan resident and co-organizer of Monday’s action, said in a press release, “In the TheVillager.com
wake of all this dangerous saber-rattling by the Republican Party, I feel it’s my duty to march and demand the hostile threats of war stop now. We are here to demonstrate a force of peace and love.” The protest was not devoid of Trump supporters. About two-dozen of them stood two blocks away from the tower, chanting, “God bless President Trump” and carrying American flags and signs, one of which read, “Now is not the time for divisiveness.” “I’m here to support the man I voted for and who will change this country, making it great again,” said Heshy Freedman of Manhattan, a member of Jews for Trump. Freedman said he supports Trump because he believes the president will change the direction of the Supreme Court, making the country more conservative, give more security to Israel and talk tough to countries like North Korea that want to threaten American
freedom. “Go home, Nazi! Go home!” the protesters shouted at the pro-Trump group. Much of the protest was peaceful until one Trump supporter was hit by a water bottle. Police tried to catch the thrower but he slipped away into the crowd. According to police, only three people were arrested during the action. The evening before, there were scattered smaller protests around the city, including at Union Square, in response to the Charlottesville tragedy. Following chanting, speeches and some very appropriate solemnity, the Union Square rally got a little raucous as the sun went down. Perhaps taking her cue from Emma Goldman, (who famously stated, “If I can’t dance, I don’t want to be part of your revolution”) Qween Amor, a “trans queer performance artist,” cranked up a boombox and pranced up a storm to
some very danceable protest tunes. Some of the more energetic participants joined Amor, dancing to Twisted Sister’s “We’re Not Gonna Take It” and the Sharon Jones funk version of “This Land Is Your Land.” An extremely vocal supporter of Jesus attempted to shout his message to the crowd, but was drowned out by R.E.M.’s “Losing My Religion” and was eventually forced to leave by the police, after getting into a shoving match with a protester. Calm was restored as 19-year-old Adri led the transition from disco to campfire tunes, strumming her acoustic guitar and leading the crowd in singing tunes such as Bob Marley’s “One Love” and John Lennon’s “Imagine.” After participating in a few singalongs, the Qween packed up her sound system and said goodnight. “I’ve got a street party to go to,” she explained. August 17, 2017
S.B.J.S.A. is legal! Denials just a roadblock BY SHARON WOOLUMS
our years ago, I started a quest to find out which candidates had a real solution to stop the closing of our small businesses and save the character of our beloved Village. In most American cities during an election this would be an easy task. New candidates would welcome the opportunity to show off problem-solving skills, while incumbents highlight their progressive records of accomplishments. But this is New York City politics where the party most responsible for causing this crisis and blocking real solutions has the most powerful lobby (the Real Estate Board of New York) pouring huge sums of real estate cash into the election. Self-proclaimed “progressives” were elected by pledging to steer the city in another direction from Mayor Bloomberg’s pro-real estate policies and end economic inequality. Yet a bill before this progressive legislation, the Small Business Jobs Survival Act, giving business owners rights to lease renewal and to negotiate fair lease terms, is denied a public hearing while weaker proposals with no possibility of saving a single business are promoted. Responses from lawmakers to my quest ranged from “no comment” to the S.B.J.S.A. has legal problems. I needed to find out if these claims were substantiated by credible legal review of case law. Small business advocates claim they were merely a phony legal roadblock cooked up by REBNY and the City Council Speaker’s Office to stop a vote on legislation regulating lease renewals while giving politicians cover for doing nothing as the crisis worsened. Over my four-year series on solutions to save small businesses, whenever the “it’s
not legal” answer was used, I asked lawmakers to send me legal documents supporting their claims. No response. But guess what, politicos? Legal facts matter! The S.B.J.S.A. is the most legally vetted piece of legislation in New York City’s history. The scrutiny of its many versions spans 30 years, including legal oversight by the city’s Law Department, a special public hearing prior to a vote by committee, two amendments to the bill recommended by the City Council’s Legal and Legislation departments, two motions to discharge the bill from committee, 11 public hearings at which REBNY could challenge the act’s legality, support by seven prime sponsors over the years who submitted the bill to Council Legal for review, 18 years of court rulings (many from the state’s highest court, the Court of Appeals) and, most importantly, a vetting by an independent legal review panel of the bill’s constitutionality held in the Bronx courthouse. On May 7, 1985, former Mayor Ed Koch and Council Speaker Peter Vallone created the Small Retail Business Study Commission, exploring the impact of higher rents on merchants. They appointed Frederick A. O. Schwarz, the city’s corporation counsel (the head of its Law Department), to oversee legal questions. The committee requested the Law Department do legal research to determine if the city had authority (“home rule”) to enact commercial rent-regulation legislation. On June 3, 1986, the Law Department issued case-law findings to the commission, concluding, “These cases illustrate clearly that the City has broad powers to regulate economic activity if a public purpose is served.” This legal conclusion from the corporation counsel has never
changed publicly in more than 30 years. The Law Department cleared all options, including the S.B.J.S.A., introduced by then-Councilmember Ruth Messinger, as being fully constitutional and within the city’s authority to enact. A minority report led by Ron Shiffman, founder of Pratt Institute’s Center of Community and Environmental Development, favored Messinger’s plan for binding arbitration between landlords and merchants. If it was felt the minority-supported arbitration bill was unconstitutional or the legal power was lacking to enact it, the majority members would have brought these facts out in their lengthy dissent against the minority report, which was never mentioned. In October 1988, a special City Council hearing devoted to the legality of the original Jobs Survival Act was held prior to a decision on whether the Council’s Economic Development Committee would vote on the bill. The main testimony came from the corporation counsel — again, that’s the city’s own Law Department — which, after extensive research on New York State’s Commercial Rent Control Law and the many court decisions about it — concluded that the bill was constitutional and that the city had power to enact it. This legal conclusion, grounded in 18 years of extensive litigation in state courts, cited many cases and rulings from the state’s highest court, the Court of Appeals. The Economic Development Committee subsequently agreed and scheduled a vote on the bill for Dec. 1, 1988 — but it was never followed by a vote of the full City Council. On Nov. 12, 2010, a legal review panel was held at the Bronx courthouse. All parties were invited to give arguments sup-
porting their legal claims. In December 2010, the legal review panel released its final report: “The Small Business Survival Act, as it is presently written, is fully constitutional and legally sound to withstand court challenges. The legal assessment of the Small Business Survival Act by the Legislative Division and The Office of the General Counsel, ‘that the bill is vulnerable to the legal challenges,’ is an inaccurate legal assessment of the bill due to an excess reliance upon a deficient evaluation of a single court decision handed down in 1987 in another state, California.” Neither the city’s corporation counsel nor REBNY attorneys responded to the legal review panel’s findings. The powerful Mayor Koch and Speaker Vallone failed on legal grounds to stop a Council committee vote on the original Jobs Survival Act. Twenty-five years later, Mayor Mike Bloomberg and Council Speaker Christine Quinn, however, did succeed in stopping a committee vote on the bill on alleged legal grounds that were never debated. Meanwhile, current Mayor Bill de Blasio, Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito and the Council leadership are so afraid of the S.B.J.S.A. that they will not even allow a public hearing on it, which would force REBNY and the speaker’s Council attorneys to substantiate in public their challenges that the bill “isn’t legal.” While small businesses are being destroyed and jobs lost, why do “progressive” lawmakers make false claims against legislation that is likely the only real solution to end the crisis and save our local economy’s backbone? Perhaps they know something “We, The People” don’t — that we no longer have a democracy of, for and by the people and that REBNY controls City Hall.
Bayou boomerang as Great Jones Cafe closes...reopens! BY R AINER TURIM
ocated on Great Jones St., Great Jones Cafe lives opposite Jean-Michel Basquiat’s former studio space. The blue neon “EAT” sign, along with the “Jones” sign above the door have been symbols of the place for the last three-plus decades. But July 27 looked like the end of an era of sorts when the place was said to be closing. But by Aug. 2 it has “re-opened,” and reports of its demise were found to have been greatly exaggerated. A few days before July 27, Bill Judkins, the place’s former general manager and co-owner, wrote in an e-mail to local blog EV Grieve that he had been “forced out” by the restaurants’ other owners on March 10 following
August 17, 2017
a feud over the preservation or renovation of the 34-year-old establishment. Several sources cited employees saying the cafe was closing because of current owner James Moffett’s health. At word of the end, an impromptu party sprung up. Doris Kornish, a former Great Jones Cafe waitress and dishwasher, was enjoying the celebratory reminiscing on what seemed to be the cafe’s last night. Though she was never officially an owner, Kornish said she had “loved and treated the place like an owner.” Phil Hartman, a former owner, opened Great Jones Cafe’s doors in 1983 before four years later going on to start the first of his Two Boots pizzerias — on Avenue A — with Kornish, to whom he was formerly married, and de-
veloper John Touhey. Kornish said she always saw Great Jones Cafe as a place for everyone. “It provided a home or at least a living room for many people from all kinds of backgrounds. Artists, doormen, stay-at-home moms, retail salesmen from the local hardware store and stylists — everyone that came was very welcomed and honored as an individual, and without any kind of prejudice.” But earlier this month, the Noho hot spot was right back in business again, with Moffett saying the landlord wants them to stay. The restaurant blog Eater reported that a “rogue employee” had spread the closure rumor, when the closure was always only temporary due to Moffett’s having to deal with a health issue.
PHOTO BY RAINER TURIM
Phil Har tman, an original owner of the Great Jones Cafe, was “Jonesing” at the place’s closing — well, apparent closing — at end of last month. TheVillager.com
An assignment secured and a life transformed The composer of Altman’s ‘3 Women’ looks back, and ahead
Courtesy 20th Century Fox
Shelley Duvall in a production still from “3 Women.”
Part of the Film Society of Lincoln Center’s 33-film series celebrating 1977’s diverse year in cinema, Robert Altman’s “3 Women,” notes the program’s press material, presents “a languid sense of dread and claustrophobia, in which three social outsiders (Shelley Duvall, Sissy Spacek, and Janice Rule) form an unusual bond around a Palm Springs health spa for the elderly.” Gerald Busby, a longtime Chelsea Hotel resident and frequent arts contributor to this publication, wrote the film’s music. In anticipation of its 14 screenings at the Lincoln Center series, we asked Busby for his recollections of securing the assignment, then composing and recording the score.
BY GERALD BUSBY In April 1976, when I was 41 years old, my life was in the tempestuous and exhilarating stages of becoming a composer. My fi rst commission, the score for Paul Taylor’s dance piece “Runes,” had come a year earlier, and it had been a success. Still, I was anxiously riddled about what to do next. At the time, I was living with TheVillager.com
my boyfriend, Rafe Blasi, in a loft on Seventh Ave. and W. 27th St., just opposite the Fashion Institute of Technology. A giant metal trash container, used to collect debris from a building being demolished, stood at the curb just outside our front door. It was fi lled with arms, legs, and torsos from dismembered manikins and epitomized an only-in-New York
scene. People walking by would reach into the pile of plastic limbs, pull out an arm or a leg, look it over, then toss it back into the container with a look of disdain. Rafe and I considered assembling a pile of arms and legs near the large windows at the front of our loft as an homage to the fashion industry. Rafe was a unit publicist for movies that were about to open.
He wrote press releases and arranged screenings for critics. He knew other public relations people in the movie industry, including Robert Altman’s full-time publicist, Mike Kaplan. Altman in the late ’70s was writing, directing, and producing three fi lms a year and selling them to 20th 3 WOMEN continued on p. 18 August 17, 2017
3 WOMEN continued from p. 17
Century Fox for distribution. Alan Ladd Jr. was Altman’s contact and primary supporter at Fox, and he got a green light for “3 Women,” a fi lm based on a dream and shot without a script in the desert near Palm Springs. It was a totally improvised movie, and it represented Altman at his most daring, willing to risk his money and reputation on a bizarre idea. Rafe sent Altman a cassette containing a suite for solo flute I had just written called “Noumena.” The performance was by Michael Parloff, a brilliant young flutist just out of Juilliard, whom I met in a restaurant called Ruskay’s, where I cooked Sunday nights. Michael was hired to serenade the diners and played virtually every solo flute piece in existence. Over steaming carrots, I absorbed his beautiful flute sounds as I plated my fi let of sole Helen Corbitt, a dish I created to pay tribute to the fi rst chef I ever idolized. In the early ’50s, the original Neiman Marcus in Dallas hired Helen Corbitt to create a restaurant called the Zodiac Room. There, at the age of 15, I discovered the thrill of eating imaginatively conceived and skillfully prepared food. And now, as a cook at Ruskay’s, I was connecting with a virtuoso flute player who was to become the star of my fi rst fi lm score and the principal flutist with the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra. “Noumena” impressed Altman enough to consider me, along with two other composers, for his new fi lm, “3 Women.” But it wasn’t Altman alone who made the fi nal decision. It was his staff of office workers and editors, as well as friends and actors he’d worked with, such as Elliott Gould, Lily Tomlin, and Peter Boyle. It was a late Friday afternoon when they gathered in Altman’s office for a drink and a little grass. When everyone was sufficiently drunk and stoned, Altman, asked for quiet, saying merely, “I want you to
August 17, 2017
Courtesy The Criterion Collection
L to R: Shelley Duvall and Sissy Spacek.
listen to some music.” Altman played music by each of three composers he had chosen, and he used a stop watch to determine exactly how long the group listened to each without commenting. The composer whose music lasted longest in silence was the winner. It was mine. As I was writing the score in December 1976, Altman told me how he’d gone about fi nding original music for “3 Women.” “I wanted something abstract, something none of my staff had ever heard before and something they’d never on their own choose to listen to.” He found me in his Zen-like way, and I made a deal with him when he called to tell me the job was mine. I wanted Michael Parloff, who played my music beautifully, to be the flute soloist in the orchestra assembled to record my score. John Williams, who wrote music for Altman’s “The Long Goodbye,” chose every other instrumentalist in the ensemble, virtuoso studio musicians who could readily read modern music. I was especially nervous
about facing those ace musicians as I took the podium, to tell them, right off the bat, that I’d never conducted before. But I did it, then quickly added that my score was really chamber music (19 instruments), and I hoped they’d follow Michael’s example and just conduct themselves. They at fi rst looked dismayed, then, as the session progressed, they took charge and corrected themselves and repeated takes they didn’t like. I was immensely relieved and flattered that my music had won their respect. It was Michael’s flute playing that really convinced them, and during the lunch break they paid him the ultimate compliment of camaraderie by exchanging stories and quips about how different things used to be for professional musicians. Two of them had studied with musicians who played in the NBC Symphony conducted by Arturo Toscanini. The fi nished recording of my music for “3 Women” thrilled me. I had trouble grasping the fact that my fi rst fi lm score had been recorded
by the best studio musicians in Hollywood, and it was for a Robert Altman fi lm. I kept thinking of my brother Marion, 16 years older than I, who had been a high school band director in Texas, and was my fi rst mentor and guide in music. How I wished he were alive and could hear my score for “3 Women.” It had passages that sounded like all the musicians he introduced me to in the early ’50s — Stan Kenton, the Four Freshmen, and June Christy. I felt certain he would love it. Now, 40 years later, “3 Women” has become an international cult classic and is being featured by the Film Society of Lincoln Center this August, with 14 screenings. I still have trouble comprehending the reality of its success and the enduring devotion of fans around the world. Not bad for an East Texas Baptist who, as a teenager, toured the south with an evangelist named Angel Martinez and played gospel music to crowds of 3,000 in small-town football stadiums. That taught me how to write movie music, how to keep the
show moving, and persuade the Bible-toting attendees to give their hearts to Jesus and put their money in the basket to keep our “Campaign for Christ” on the road. My good fortune with “3 Women” continues. I have just completed an opera based on the fi lm with a libretto by Craig Lucas and Frankie KL. This is another incarnation of Robert Altman’s extraordinary creation. I’ve dedicated it to his memory with love and deepest gratitude. “3 Women” (runtime, 124 min.) screens as part of the Film Society of Lincoln Center’s “ ’77, a 40th Anniversary Survey of a Diverse Year in Cinema.” At 165 W. 65th St. (btw. Broadway & Amsterdam Ave.). For tickets ($14, $11 for students/seniors, $9 for members), visit filmlinc.org. Screenings on Fri., Aug. 18, 4:15pm & 8:45pm; Sat., Aug. 19, 4:15pm & 9:30pm; Sun., Aug. 20, 4pm & 8:30pm; Mon., Aug. 21, 4pm & 9:15pm. Tues., Aug. 22, 4pm & 8:30pm; Wed., Aug. 23, 4:30pm & 9pm; and Thurs., Aug. 24, 4:30pm & 9:15pm. TheVillager.com
OUT IN THE OPEN BY PUMA PERL Saturday night, August 12, 2017. Community Garden 6th and B. We make music, we make art. The events of the day reverberate. Somewhere in this country, Someone’s making a picket sign, Someone hears the car crashing, Someone’s making the world’s best pizza. Someone’s living, someone’s dying. Someone’s pulled over for Driving While Black. Someone’s assaulted for being gay or trans or a person of color or weak or old or female. Someone’s placing a white pointy hat upon a toddler’s head. The President tweets. Charlottesville. Sad. Almost a year ago, we sat in this same Garden as a bomb exploded in Chelsea. Since then, the country spun on its head, landing on the right. And sometimes we stagger, unable to keep up with the chaos, the threats, the rotating cabinet. Last weekend, in Indiana, I asked my friend, What’s it like here? They do it out in the open now, she replied. Today, young men, hatred twisting their faces, wore swastikas, carried torches, shouted expletives, waved Confederate flags, Nazi salutes and chants. Jews will not replace us. Blood and soil. Sieg Heil. The Ku Klux Klan, and the neo-Nazis marched. Cops without riot gear, White Supremacists without hoods. They do it out in the open now. Counter-protesters. Car crashing into the crowd. One dead, 19 injured. Two police officers killed by the end of day. The President says, We must look at all sides. We are all horrified. Only the privileged are surprised. Fascism hides in plain sight. Learn what the oppressed already know. They are coming for you. In the Garden, four drunken guys disrupt the show. I keep one eye on them, the other checking exit routes. Are there guns? Will that beer bottle crash across a head? When they shift or wander, my back stiffens, I wonder if I can take one down from behind as they move behind the tree They’ve already been 86’d from everywhere, I’m told. Even the old Mars Bar. You had to be really fucked up to be 86’d from the Mars Bar. I’ve dealt with many drunks before, maybe even with these guys. But the country’s polarized and the sides have been armed and they do it in the open and paranoia sets in. TheVillager.com
Mykal McEldowney/The Indianapolis Star via AP
Fri., Aug. 11, multiple white nationalist groups march with torches through the UVA campus in Charlottesville, Virginia.
It all starts with words. Hate speeches, propaganda. Marcuse called it “a prologue to the massacre.” Like it did in Nazi Germany, the distance between words and actions grows shorter. We must NOT look at all sides. There is no time to compromise, to understand, to tolerate. A marching hatemonger, shown in a photo gone viral, explains, As a white nationalist, I care for all people. We deserve a future for our culture and our children. I’m not the angry racist they see in that photo. Yes, you are that angry racist. Whites have always owned the rights. And you’ve gained permission to show it. Out in the open. In the Garden, I bring my words and music to the stage. The four drunken guys become enraged. One of them wanted to play. They stand up and shout and a guy more bad-assed sober than they are drunk throws them all out. Our night ends with “Wichita Lineman” and continues with whiskey. In Virginia, people lie in hospital beds watching the news. Heather Heyer’s community mourns. Her mother describes her as fun-loving. I was always proud of what she was doing. The Nazi sympathizer who killed her sits in his cell. His mother watches his cat. She said she tries to stay out of his political views. On Sunday, the President comes to town. Traffic will snarl. Some people will protest, some will stand on the beach, waiting, or on street corners, puckering their lips, taking selfies. Somebody’s living, somebody’s dying. Somebody’s making the world’s best pizza. Somebody’s placing a white pointy cap upon a toddler’s head. Out in the open. August 17, 2017
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August 17, 2017
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Amazon contract trucks impacting parking, stores AMAZON continued from p. 6
letting contract workers use city streets for long periods of time. “They have no right to take public real estate and make it available for their own purposes,” the source said. “People should rise up and do something.” William Kelley, executive director of the Village Alliance BID — which has compiled a dozen complaints about Cornucopia’s operation — observed that Amazon has made an impact in New York with its popular Amazon Prime free delivery for online customers within two days. “We demand free shipping from Amazon Prime,” Kelley noted. “Anything gets shipped in two days. It’s like Amazon has become a department store TheVillager.com
for everyone. But there are consequences to that.” Kelley said he hopes that community boards and New York City councilmembers will take a look at the activity of Amazon’s contract delivery trucks and crews to determine whether “an inordinate amount of space is being used legally” when workers are “setting up pop-up tents, organizing packages and bringing in 10 to 20 people to roll them to their destinations. Should this be free or should [companies] have to pay for that? Shouldn’t there be standards? “This is happening in multiple East Village locations and in Williamsburg,” Kelley added. “I don’t know if it’s the same company, but this is not going away and it should not be happening to the detriment of brick-and-mortar busiAugust 17, 2017
August 17, 2017
Scenes from a sea of hate in Charlottesville
PHOTOS BY JOHN PENLEY
Anti-fascists and alt-right extremists who look like they just stepped out of “A Clock work Orange” clashing in Charlottesville on Saturday.
ormer East Village activist and photographer John Penley was in Charlottesville over the weekend covering the clash between alt-right
protesters and anti-fascist counterprotesters. At one point, he was “run over by a pack of Nazis,” and was left sore and with a badly cut knee, but
he otherwise escaped more serious injury. One counterprotester, however, Heather Heyer, 32, tragically died after a hate-filled alt-right ac-
tivist plowed his car into the crowd. For more of Penley’s coverage of the protest and more of his photos, visit thevillager.com.
Brandishing shields, white supremacists stood near the Rober t E. Lee Civil War statue that counterprotesters want pulled down. TheVillager.com
August 17, 2017
August 17, 2017