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Serving Tribeca, Battery Park City, the Seaport and the Financial District VOLUME 30, NUMBER 16

Battery Dance Festival takes center stage on Downtown’s waterfront Page 22

AUG. 24 – SEPT. 6, 2017

Motion on the water Photo by Milo Hess

Local dance company Ballet Inc. dazzled audiences on Aug. 16 during the 36th-annual Battery Dance Festival at Wagner Park last week. For more, see page 15.

SHOP. EAT. DRINK. PLAY.

BUTTERCUP BAKE SHOP DUNKIN’ DONUTS NEUHAUS BELGIAN CHOCOLATE PRESSED JUICERY SHAKE SHACK WASABI SUSHI & BENTO AND SO MUCH MORE. On the corner of Fulton and Broadway

1 M E T R O T E C H • N YC 112 0 1 • C O P Y R I G H T © 2 0 17 N YC C O M M U N I T Y M E D I A , L L C


THE SPHERE IS HERE

(Above) The Koenig Sphere survived the collapse of the World Trade Center towers largely intact, and became a potent symbol of resilience for Downtowners after 9/11. (Right) Workers moved the 25-ton sculpture from its home since 2002 in The Battery to its new site in Liberty Park on the night of Aug. 16.

National September 11 Memorial & Museum could be persuaded to offer the Koenig Sphere a permanent home, despite the advocacy of victim’s families, who argued the sculpture should be placed back in its original place as a

Associated Press / Peter Morgan

BY COLIN MIXSON An iconic World Trade Center sculpture that survived 9/11 was brought back to near its original site last week, nearly 16-years after the attacks. The Port Authority quietly moved Fritz Koenig’s Sphere from its temporary home in The Battery to Liberty Park on Aug. 16, where it will overlook the 9/11 memorial and its former home between the Twin Towers, where it was first installed in 1970. The 25-ton bronze sculpture was found bent and scorched, but largely intact amid the rubble of the fallen towers, and was dismantled as the city deliberated what, if anything, to do with the battered artwork. The sculpture found a temporary home in The Battery six months later, where it was installed near Pier A and rededicated as an interim monument to victims of the attack. Throughout the years, however, neither The Battery Conservancy, nor the

Associated Press / Ted Warren

Koenig sculpture moved from Battery to a permanent home in Liberty Park

symbol of survival and resilience. “I was originally advocating for it to go back to pretty much where it was,� said Michael Burke, founder of Save the Sphere, and brother to fi refighter William Burke, who was killed

in the towers’ collapse. But memorial planners didn’t like how the sphere evoked memories of the attack, according to Burke, who faults SPHERE Continued on page 15

 

 





         

  

  

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DowntownExpress.com


Zeroes not Heroes

Mayor’s crackdown on hate-linked memorials starts in Downtown’s Canyon of Heroes with Nazi collaborators

BY COLIN MIXSON After plans to remove a Confederate statue in Virginia led to deadly protests down south, Mayor de Blasio vowed to systematically expunge “symbols of hate” from all city property, and tweeted that the purge would begin with removing plaques honoring Nazi collaborators along the “Canyon of Heroes,” on lower Broadway. “The commemoration for Nazi collaborator Philippe Pétain in the Canyon of Heroes will be one of the first we remove,” the mayor tweeted Wednesday. Sidewalks along the Canyon of Heroes feature 164 granite plaques along Broadway from Bowling Green to City Hall Park, one for each of the city’s beloved ticker-tape parades along their traditional route. Among those includes tablets baring the names of Pétain — who during World War II led the rump puppet state of Vichy France and worked with Nazi’s to suppress French resistance and round up Jews for the concentration camps — and Pierre Laval, an even more reviled Franco-Nazi collaborator, whose plaque is also expected to be included in a 90-day review of symbols of hate the mayor called for, also by tweet. The plaques were installed as part of a 2004 street improvement project envisioned by the Downtown Alliance, and were subject to review by the city’s Department of Transportation and Public Design Commission, which approved engraving the French names into Broadway long after their legacy had become inseparably tied to Hitler’s Final Solution, said Alliance spokesman Andy Breslau. But the plaques don’t specifically honor Pétain and Laval, according Breslau. Instead, they commemorate historic instances of the parades themselves, both of which occurred just days apart in 1931, about a decade before France fell to the Nazis. “The thinking at the time was that this was a piece of notable New York history, which could be marked with these inlays,” Breslau said. “It was never designed to endorse.” DowntownExpress.com

Photos by Milo Hess

The sidewalk plaques commemorating parades down the Canyon of Heroes in 1931 for later Nazi collaborators Philippe Pétain and Pierre Laval — which flank Broadway just north of Morris Street — are the first targets of Mayor de Blasio’s campaign to rid city property of hate-tainted monuments.

AP Photo / Vichy Censor

Marshal Philippe Pétain as Chief of State, at right, and Pierre Laval as Minister of Foreign Affairs, interior and propaganda, led the rump puppet state of Vichy France, and collaborated with the Nazis in deporting French Jews to death camps.

The Alliance has no official stance when it comes to the mayor’s purge of questionable memorials, or his fi rst intended targets, according to Breslau, who said the BID “looks forward to working with the mayor” in reviewing public sculptures and other memorials Downtown. But several notables New York City has chosen to honor through its iconic parades have later fallen on the wrong side of history, and their accomplishments are marred by political beliefs and policies that are considered unconscionable by today’s standards. In 1927, for instance, the city honored Charles Lindbergh for his daring solo flight across the Atlantic Ocean. The legendary aviator was later notoriously supportive of the Nazis, however, and infused his arguments for U.S. neutrality in the war with racist, anti-Semitic rhetoric. And a 1962 ticker tape honored Iranian Shah Mohammad Reza, a dictator installed by the Central Intelligence Agency, whose reign was marked by oppression and brutality that paved the way for his overthrow in 1979 and the establishment of a theocratic state that exports terrorism. It’s important that lines are drawn in determining the moral standards by which historical figures are judged, or else risk New York City’s many MONUMENTS Continued on page 15

Aug. 24 – Sept. 6, 2017

3


Water music Knickerbocker Chamber Orchestra plays concerts at Belvedere Plaza BY COLIN MIXSON Downtown’s own Knickerbocker Chamber Orchestra treated Battery Park Citizens to three outdoor concerts this summer, with a fi nal performance on Aug. 17, giving local jitterbugs a chance to dust off their dancing shoes, according to the group’s maestro. “Where else do you have the opportunity to dance to an orchestra playing fox trots and waltzes for free,� said conductor Gary Fagin. The waterfront Strings-On-Hudson concerts began as a one-off youth outreach initiative sponsored by Goldman Sachs, but Battery Park City’s parks department was so pleased by the orchestra’s inaugural performance at Belvedere Plaza that the agency decided to sponsor two more free concerts, Fagin said. The first recital focused on Tango tunes, and the orchestra contracted a professional dance duo to show locals how the seductive Argentinian art is

Photo by Milo Hess

(Above) The Knickerbocker Chamber Orchestra played three free Stringson-the-Hudson concerts at Belvedere Plaza this summer. (Left) The outdoor events gave locals a chance to get up and dance.

done. And they were good, according to Fagin — too good. “They were awesome, but everybody

was a little intimidated,� said Fagin. The musicians had a great time hobnobbing with the locals, according

to Fagin, who said he hopes to return to Battery Park City next summer for another round of free concerts.

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ADVERTORIAL

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

DowntownExpress.com

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.

Aug. 24 – Sept. 6, 2017

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

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BAD HANGOVER A thief stole more than $19,000 worth of electronics and jewelry off a drunken 26-year-old man on Aug. 14. The victim couldn’t tell police where he was, although he believes it was somewhere off Seventh Avenue south of W. Houston Street when he put his bag down and a thief ran off with it at around 5 am. The man passed out sometime after that, and woke up to realize that his drunken revelry had cost him a small fortune in trinkets and gadgets, including a $14,000 bracelet, cops said.

SUBWAY SLASHER Police are hunting the goon who slashed a man’s face on the subway on Aug. 15. The victim told police he was in the subway near Canal Street at 4:40 pm, when he bumped into the suspect, and the pair both spit at each other, then began brawling. The man got more than he bargained for in the fight when his opponent drew a knife a slashed his face and wrist, cops said. The victim was taken to Bellevue Hospital following the attack, while the slasher fled, according to police

the station near Broadway at 5:30 pm, and two teenage crooks nabbed his phone before fleeing out the closing doors. The man managed to squeeze out of the train before it left, and gave chase to the young crooks, but the delinquents split up and outran him, cops said.

CRANE JOB A 25-year-old man was arrested on burglary charges for scaling 71-stories to the top of a Fulton Street crane to snap pictures on Aug. 12. Construction workers spotted the suspect atop the massive crane between Nassau and Dutch streets at 7:25 pm, snapping shots of the surrounding skyline from atop the awesome but illicit vantage.

TICKET PUNCHER Cops arrested a 52-year-old man for allegedly slugging an MTA employee inside the Fulton Street Subway Station on Aug. 12. The victim told police he was giving directions to another straphanger at the station near Broadway at 3:10 pm, when the suspect suddenly socked him in the face.

NO GOOD DEED... BIKE BANDIT A thief rode off with a man’s $2,500 bike that he had chained to scaffolding on Murray Street on Aug. 4. The victim told police he locked his bike up between Church Street and Broadway at 10 am, and returned that evening to find that his pricey bike was stolen.

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A ticket vendor stole $10 from a cashier at a Broadway liquor store in a grab-and-dash robbery on Aug. 8. The victim told police the crook waltzed into the booze emporium between Morris Street and Battery Place at 3:11 pm, and snatched a $10 bill from her hand, then darted out of the store. The alleged thief is a known ticket vendor who operates near the State Island Ferry, cops said.

APPLE PICKING A pair of thieves nabbed a phone from a man’s hand on a south-bound 4 train at the Fulton Street subway station on Aug. 8. The victim told police he was riding the rails when his train pulled into

Two crooks robbed a kind-hearted woman after she gave one of the delinquents a dollar inside the Bowling Green subway station on Aug. 10. The victim told police she was inside the station near Battery Place at 1 am, when the two crooks approached her and asked for a buck. The good Samaritan duly handed over the bill, then one of the crooks shoved her and dug into her purse to grab another $120, cops said.

RED HANDED Cops busted an alleged robber inside a Varick Street bank on Aug. 9. A teller told police she was working at the bank between W. Houston and King streets at 2:16 pm, when the suspect sauntered up and handed her a note which read, “I have a gun give me all your money.” The teller handed the man $500, and the suspect promptly ventured outside the bank, where he took a garbage can and destroyed property belonging to the business, cops said. When police arrived at the scene, the man was back inside the bank holding the stolen cash, according to police. — Colin Mixson DowntownExpress.com


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BACK TO SCHOOL How to create a great study environment at home A student’s academic performance is influenced by a host of factors, including the learning environment both inside the classroom and at home. While students may have only limited control over the environment in their classrooms, they and their parents can do much to create home study environments that are conducive to learning.

be more efficient when studying. Encourage kids to separate their learning materials by subject, and keep a calendar or daily planner at home listing when their assignments are due and which days they will be tested. Encourage youngsters to keep their home study areas tidy as well, as unorganized areas can make it harder to focus or force kids to spend some of their study time cleaning up.

‘Distraction-free’ zone Today’s students are inundated with distractions. Whereas students were once most distracted by radios, televisions, and the great outdoors when studying at home, nowadays kids must also find time to focus on their studies with their tablets and smartphones just a stone’s throw away. When choosing a study area at home, parents can designate a “distraction-free” zone where no televisions, radios, tablets and smartphones are allowed. Children are increasingly dependent on their smartphones and tablets, and while such devices can sometimes prove useful to students, that benefit is often outweighed by the distraction they present. When kids

Establish quiet hours Quiet hours at home while kids are studying can help them better absorb their coursework, and that may lead to improved performance in the classroom. While it’s important that a kid’s study area remain distraction-free, it can also help if distractions outside those areas are minimized. Keep televisions and other potentially noisy distractions turned off while kids are studying. If you want to catch up on a favorite television show or watch a movie, do so on your tablet instead of the television, connecting earphones so kids are not overhearing anything while they’re trying to study.

The right setting is crucial to concentration, focus, and effective study.

study at night, be sure they turn off their smartphones and only use their tablets as study aids.

Emphasize organization Various organization techniques can help kids

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BACK TO SCHOOL

.URSERY3CHOOLs0RE +s3UMMER

s&OR#HILDRENn9EARS Technology has transformed the way lessons are taught and learned.

Tech choices for school Technology is essential in the daily lives of students. Whether it’s kids learning their ABCs or graduate students pursuing advanced degrees, technology has transformed the way lessons are taught and learned. Statistics support the notion that technology in the classroom is irreplaceable. According to data from the tutoring resource PracTutor, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, and various colleges, 98 percent of schools have one or more computers in the classroom. In addition, 77 percent of teachers use the internet for instruction, while 40 percent of teachers report students use computers during instructional time in the classroom. Many instructors now assign homework that must be completed online. The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development looked at computer usage among 15-year-olds across 31 nations and regions. Many students in high-performing nations reported spending between one and two hours a day on a computer outside of school. Because computers are so necessary in and out of the classroom, families and students may want to revisit their options before buying new devices:

Desktop computer Desktops used to be the go-to for families and students, and there are still many reasons why desktops make sense. In addition to their relatively inexpensive sticker price, desktop computers allow students to customize their packages according to their needs and get a powerful operating system in the process. New and advanced processing speeds also mean that many desktop computers can be relied on for educational purposes while also being fast DowntownExpress.com

enough to handle recreational gaming. One of the main disadvantages of desktop computers is their lack of portability. Desktops are not easily moved, and if repairs are necessary, it can be a hassle to have them fixed.

Laptop computers Over the last decade, laptop computers have become more popular than desktop computers, largely because of their portability. Laptops are designed to be taken from place to place, so students can use them for note-taking in the classroom and then studying at home. Laptop processors have just about caught up to desktop processors, but they may be lacking the processing pop unless consumers are willing to pay more for laptops with high performance. Another shortcoming of laptops is that they generally have smaller screens than desktop computers, which can make working on fine details more challenging.

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Tablets Tablets offer the most in terms of portability. They’re lightweight and small and offer a wealth of access in a compact package. Today’s tablets offer much more than the fi rst such devices to hit the market. Some can run apps and equivalent programs that were once exclusive to desktop and laptop computers. Tablets also tend to be less expensive than desktops or laptops. Where tablets may fall short is in the peripherals. It’s difficult to connect backup drives and other accessories to tablets. However, with advancements in cloud-based storage, this may TECH Continued on page 10

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BACK TO SCHOOL Finding balance vital for extracurricular activities Many high schools, colleges, and universities emphasize their goals of producing well-rounded students. Extracurricular activities teach students important life lessons, provide them opportunities to socialize, and often stimulate their minds and bodies in ways that differ from the stimulation provided in the classroom. Data from the U.S. Census Bureau states that, in 2014, 57 percent of children between the ages of 6 and 17 participate in at least one after-school extracurricular activity. Children are more likely to participate in sports than clubs or lessons — such as music, dance, and language — but each of these activities can be beneficial to students’ development. Students who participate in extracurricular activities may want to limit their participation to 20 hours per week. This is according to a group of professors from Stanford University and Villanova University who have been collecting data on the issue since 2007. In their report “Extracurricular Activity in High-Performing School Contexts: Stress Buster, Booster or Buffer?,” Jerusha Conner and Sarah Miles found that 87 percent of kids who would be considered to have packed schedules were perfectly happy unless they were doing more than four hours a day. The “over-scheduling hypothesis” may be overhyped. This is the concern that too much organized activity participation leads to poor developmental outcomes. This hypothesis also suggests that hectic schedules also undermine family functioning, detract from schoolwork, and possibly increase the risk of copycat behaviors and excessive competitiveness. However, in the study “The Over-Scheduling Hypothesis Revisited: Intensity of Organized Activity Participation During Adolescence and Young Adult Outcomes,” researchers J.L. Mahoney and Andrea Vest determined that, controlling for demographic

TECH Continued from page 9

not be an issue. Also, note-taking on virtual keyboards may be more challenging, and working on tablets’ small screens can be tiresome over time.

10

Aug. 24 – Sept. 6, 2017

Even though extracurricular activities are largely positive — even when schedules are packed — parents need to be aware of the diminishing returns of too many activities.

factors and baseline adjustment, extracurricular intensity was a significant predictor of positive outcomes and unrelated to indicators of problematic adjustment (e.g., psychological distress, substance use, antisocial behavior) at young adulthood. Even though extracurricular activities are largely positive — even when schedules are packed — parents need to be aware of the diminishing returns of too many activities. This is something called the “threshold effect.” Benefits from extracurriculars can level off when too many activities are being juggled. If a child is experiencing anxiety, sleeplessness, or depression, or seems overly stressed, it could be time to reduce his time spent doing structured activities. It’s essential that families use the cues given by kids to assess what students can handle. And children should be encouraged to be honest with their parents about their extracurricular activities as well.

Convertible tablets and laptops are now emerging to bridge these gaps. Shopping for a new computer can be complicated, but basing purchases on need rather than want can help guide the process. DowntownExpress.com


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Aug. 24 – Sept. 6, 2017

DowntownExpress.com


Photos by Bill Egbert

(Left) Lucy, a rescue dog working with animal-therapy youth program A Fair Shake for Youth, took great interest in Dana Sherwood’s mixed media piece “Confections of Canines and Kings.” (Above) These perplexed pooches weren’t quite sure what to make of this statue made of dog toys. (Below) Presented with stylized facsimile, some dogs still preferred the real thing.

Haute hounds Brookfield hosts art show for dogs BY BILL EGBERT The art world has gone to the dogs. A pack of canine connoisseurs descended on and open-air gallery at Brookfield Place over the weekend of Aug. 12 to get a sniff of the world’s first art show curated just for dogs. The exhibit, dubbed dOGUMENTA, was the brainchild of art critic Jessica Dawson, inspired by her own dog’s reactions when she made the rounds of local galleries. Dawson recruited ten artists to create art pieces that pooches would appreciate — from a dog-sized living room set they were free to lounge on, to a statue

of a dog composed entirely of dog toys, to a portrait rendered in biscuits and exhibited inside a dog house so as to be viewable only by four-legged friends. By far the most popular artwork was Dana Sherwood’s creation — a selection of savory “food sculptures” in the style of elaborate Victorian-era confectionery. Many of the attendees just couldn’t get their fill of her work. Sherwood credited her “recipe tester,” a sleek Whippet named Hera, for the success of her work. The guests of honor were rescue dogs from A Fair Shake for Youth, an animaltherapy program working with at-risk

kids. Founder and executive director Audrey Hendler was escorting Lucy, an inquisitive border collie-spaniel-hound mix who darted from one installation to

SPHERE Continued from page 2

MONUMENTS Continued from page 3

the museum’s board for sanitizing the memorial to the victims by ignoring the horror of the attacks. “The plans for the memorial were to pretty much wipe out any trace of the attack, so all their final designs didn’t include any direct reminder of what happened there,” Burke said. “It was like removing the dome from the Hiroshima memorial, or any ships from Pearl Harbor.” The Port Authority asked Burke to endorse a move to Liberty Park on several occasions, and the brother of the slain firefighter eventually agreed to the site as a decent compromise. “It overlooks the memorial, it’s next to the Greek Church,” said Burke. “It’s a good site.”

splendid statues and cherished landmarks being sacrificed on the altar of modern political sensibilities, according to Brooklyn Assemblyman Dov Hikind, who first brought the Pétain and Laval plaques to the mayor’s attention in May. “It’s going to be complicated,” Hikind said. “Certain standards have to be set.” When the plaques were brought to Hizzoner’s attention about three months ago, de Blasio was sympathetic to the state lawmaker’s concerns, but reluctant to immediately removing the memorials, fearing that destroying one tribute might lead to demands that others be discarded, Hikind recounted.

DowntownExpress.com

Photo by Milo Hess

The iconic Koenig Sphere — which miraculously survived the collapse of the Twin Towers on 9/11 — will remain shrouded at Liberty Park until a formal unveiling next month.

The Sphere will remain covered until an official, as-yet-unscheduled unveiling ceremony expected in the first two weeks of September, according to a Port Authority spokeswoman.

another all evening, taking it all in. “She’s a very sensitive soul,” said Hendler. “She doesn’t reflect too deeply on life, and that’s part of her joy.”

“He was clear about dealing with it — it was a question of how to deal with it, because once the city decided to do something, what about all the other things that might be objectionable to people for one reason or another?” Hikind said. In the wake of riots in Charlottesville, Virginia, however, the mayor seems to have decided to take action, and while it remains to be seen exactly how that review will be conducted, it appears that at least one standard for demolition — abetting the Holocaust — has been set, according to Hikind. “You have to set some kind of limit,” said Hikind. “A mass murderer, someone responsible for rounding up Jews, that’s a no brainer. Otherwise, it’s going to get very interesting.” Aug. 24 – Sept. 6, 2017

15


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Siri, her son, and ‘the spectrum’ PUBLISHER

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Aug. 24 – Sept. 6, 2017

BY LENORE SKENAZY Manhattanite Judith Newman was at the deli counter ordering cold cuts with her sons Gus and Henry, twins in their early teens. One of them was hopping up and down, announcing to anyone and everyone that his father would soon be coming home from a trip and would land at JFK, then take “the A train from Howard Beach to West Fourth and then change to the B or D to BroadwayLafayette. He’ll arrive at 77 Bleecker…” At which point, the boy continued, daddy and mommy “will do sex…” And then he went back to explaining more about the train transfers. So begins Newman’s book, “To Siri with Love,” an essay collection about raising two boys, one with autism, one without. I think you can guess which one was hopping and announcing the train schedule, and which one whispered into his ear to add that little detail about what happens when daddy gets home. Newman writes that she is so used to her son Gus’s behaviors that she barely noticed. “But in that moment I see our family the way the rest of the world sees us: The obnoxious teenager, pretending he doesn’t know us; the crazy jumping bean, nattering on about the A train; the frazzled, fanny-pack-sporting mother, now part of an unappetizing visual of two ancients on a booty call.” But you probably won’t see them that way after reading her book. Or, at least not only that way. In fact, you might grow to love them all. That’s because Newman is a hilarious mom and so heartbreakingly honest that one chapter is actually a list of her traits that she worries may have caused her son’s autism — a list she runs through her head “usually at 4 am”

These include, “Because I was old…. Because I was fat… Because I had twins via in vitro fertilization…” She looks at these risk factors with a gimlet eye (and the help of some experts). And then, “When I needed still more ways to blame myself, I would read about the genes involved.” But after she has worked herself into a state, “I look at Gus the person, not Gus the mental condition and calm the hell down.” What is Gus the person like? Well, the subtitle of the book is, “A Mother, Her Autistic Son, and The Kindness of Machines.” One machine in particular — Siri, Apple’s voice-activated virtual assistant — has provided her son with a companion that talks to him without getting bored or testy about the topics Gus can’t get enough of, particularly transit and weather patterns. So Gus — like many “Autism Spectrum Disorder” kids (that is, kids whose disorder falls somewhere along the autism spectrum) — is very focused. “Every person with ASD I’ve ever met loves repetition and detail in some form or another,” writes Newman. “If a subject is interesting to him, there is no such thing as ‘getting tired’ of it.” Siri doesn’t get tired either, making her a great companion. But she’s also programmed to interact somewhat like a human. So when Gus asks her, “Will you marry me?” she responds, “My enduser agreement does not include marriage.” And Gus deals. But the fact that he wanted to marry Siri sounds like pure Gus, because he

is in love with almost everyone who’s kind to him. He talks to strangers, he takes his mom’s hand when they go for a walk, he helps out the doormen in his building, buzzing people when their food arrives, fetching their packages, saying hello to everyone. A dream job. But then, a few years back, a tenant or tenants got Gus “fired.” “Whatever the reason,” Newman wrote, “Gus’s job was no more.” Newman had to lie to Gus and tell him it was a union rule. He pouted, but accepted it. Then she locked her bedroom door … and sobbed. ‘‘I was embarrassed,” she writes. “Embarrassed that I had believed my autistic son was actually performing a service, when in fact he’d been merely tolerated, a nuisance. Embarrassed that I had the audacity to convince myself that he was actually in some sort of training, that someday he would have a job like this, that he would be just another dude with a job, a guy who’d get a million hellos.” How could she even look at her neighbors after that? I’m not sure how Newman managed. But then some time passed, Gus started hanging out in the lobby again, and now he’s back to his greeting duties. “He will never pass as a kid who doesn’t have some issues,” Newman told me in a phone interview. But between his devoted parents, his pretend-tough brother (who spent all summer going around the city with him), the neighbors who are happy to have him back in the lobby — and Siri — Gus seems very happy. And hoppy. Lenore Skenazy is founder of FreeRange Kids, a contributor to Reason. com, and author of “Has the World Gone Skenazy?”

line for anyone to be a candidate in the Democratic Party September primary. This denies any independent registered Democratic Party challenger the opportunity to run in a primary. Members of the Democratic Party county committee loyal to district leaders and state committee members — all of whom genuflect to their respective county leaders instead of the voters — will decide their replacement. Yesterday’s reformers such as state Sen. Daniel Squadron, and his mentor Sen. Charles Schumer, have

morphed into today’s Democratic Party’s smoke-filed-back-room political bosses. Between gerrymandered districts and overwhelming numbers of Democrats versus Republicans, Squadron’s successor chosen by the bosses versus the voters is a guaranteed winner in the November general election. Republicans haven’t held his seat in almost 100 years. Democrats like Schumer and Squadron have taken democracy out of the Democratic Party. Larry Penner

Letters To the Editor: No wonder Brooklyn-Manhattan liberal Democratic state Sen. Daniel Squadron is smiling in “Flight Squadron! Downtown’s State Senator renounces seat in surprise move” (Aug.10). It is no coincidence that he joined Brooklyn NYC Council member David Greenfield along with former Manhattan Democratic boss and State Assembly member Dennis Farrell in timing their resignations after the NYC Board of Elections filing dead-

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Jewish Identity in the Summer of Hate BY MAX BURBANK Growing up, everything I knew about being a Jew came from Woody Allen films and the movie version of “Fiddler on the Roof.” Sad, right? No Zero Mostel for me, my Tevye was Topol, for Christ’s sake! (See what I did there? Apparently, Jesus was a Jew. A lot of people don’t know that.) The whole Woody Allen thing is admittedly a little tainted now, but you’ll have to forgive me — I didn’t have a time machine. I was raised by secular Jews in Massachusetts, one of only two Jewish families in town, and the Silvermans didn’t care for us. Anti-Semitism wasn’t something I ran into that much. To the other kids, Jews were obscure, robeand-sandal creatures found mostly on Sunday school felt boards. Oh sure, I’d hear the occasional “Don’t be such a Jew” or “He Jewed me down.” One time, classmates threw pennies at me in the hallway, shouting, “Chase the penny, Jew!” Okay, I guess that’s pretty overtly anti-Semitic when you think about it. At the time it just seemed on par with the wedgies and locker-stuffings I got for all the other ways I was different — talking about “Star Trek” too much, eagerly sharing my rote memorization of Tom Lehrer’s entire song catalogue… which, now that I see it in writing, also seems maybe a little Jewy. I identified as Jewish growing up, of course I did. I am. My parents are Jews, my grandparents. I didn’t go to Hebrew school and I didn’t have a bar mitzvah, but that doesn’t un-Jew me. All my life people said, “If you don’t practice the religion, how can you be Jewish?” the same way they said, “You can’t eat bacon. You’re a Jew!” like it was a physical impossibility. I’d explain as patiently as possible that Judaism is a religion and Jews are a people. Full disclosure, I don’t know if that’s correct. Also, I don’t really care. I’ve always liked being a Jew. It justifies a lot of my funny, slightly paranoid, sometimes standoffish personality and also my love of run-on sentences and habitual interruption of people (which I think of as just the natural flow of conversation, so when people give me a hard time about it they are really just being anti-Semitic). I stole that last joke from my oldest daughter, but she’s only half-Jewish (and I would have thought of it eventually). Beyond all that, I didn’t spend a whole lot of time pondering my JewishAmerican identity. I didn’t have to. I had DowntownExpress.com

AP photo by Steve Helber

White nationalist demonstrators hold their ground as they clash with counter demonstrators in Lee Park in Charlottesville, Virginia on August 12.

that luxury. I grew up thinking that Jew-hating in America was for the most part a historical relic. I mean, I didn’t imagine everybody was all, “Oh, boy, Jews!” I just assumed that classic, old school, antiSemitic conspiracy theories about hooknosed Jews managing vast banking cabals, secretly controlling the media and Hollywood, and cackling maniacally while quaffing Christian baby blood by the liter had gone the way of the passenger pigeon and the rotary phone. I pooh-poohed Jewish friends who saw anti-Semitism lurking behind every corner like it was the solution to Einstein’s unified field theory. Charlottesville changed all that. Or Charlottesville was the final, undeniable proof that everything had changed. Or nothing had changed, I’d just been wrong my whole life. A rock that had always been in our backyard had been turned over, revealing about a million squirming Nazi bugs. And the President of the United States was telling me that sure, some of those Nazi bugs were bad, but many of them were very fine bugs. My grandfather on my dad’s side fought in World War II. He gave me a German helmet with a bullet hole in it he said he’d put there, but I always thought that was a lie. He was one of the first American doctors into Auschwitz. He never talked about it. Smuggling cases of whiskey on supply flights he talked about, but not a word about the

camps. My grandmother reportedly said once (and only once) that her husband had come back from the war different. Some things don’t get talked about, like what you saw in the war or what is was like to speak for your parents because they only spoke Yiddish, or why you fled Russia in the first place. I always imagined it was because of what happened at the end of “Fiddler on the Roof.” I have no other way to imagine it. When my dad was a kid running around Brooklyn, his dad was away fighting Germans — some of whom were, I have no doubt, “very fine men” who’d spent the last several years rounding up Jews from all over Europe. Now, here in the United States, we’re quite a ways away from doing anything remotely like that. But we’re a good deal closer than I ever imagined possible just a year ago. I hope I’m wrong. Just before I turned this column in, I stood on the Boston Common with my family, a few friends, and tens of thousands of people I had never met to protest a “free speech” rally whose guest list leaned heavily toward… well, let’s say Nazis so I don’t have to get into the finer distinctions of the particular ways in which they hate other folks. See how I demonstrated my right to free speech there? They huddled together in what could have passed as the gazebo from “The Sound of Music,” all 50 or so of them, and I imagine they were afraid to be sur-

rounded by a massive crowd that really didn’t like them. Wouldn’t it be great if there were a lesson they could take away from the experience? But that was Boston, not Charlottesville. I love my bubble, and I hope its skin is more like steel than soap, but it’s a bubble. I loved not thinking about things like this. I loved raising my kids certain they’d never worry about this bizarre hatred, as it faded further and further into the past until it was just a story, like Passover, which I’m stupidly now realizing is exactly the opposite of what the Passover story is supposed to teach you. I’m used to the full bucket of white privilege, but I find myself missing the cream, where I never had to think at all about my own race. I liked not thinking about it, and missing it makes me feel small and petty and naïve, like a Republican who changed his mind about marriage equality, but only after finding out one of his grandkids was gay. Apparently, Nazis don’t think Jews are white. I mean literally. I don’t know what the hell color they think our skin is, I guess it’s like camouflage, another nefarious Jew trick. It’s okay, though. If white only comes in a polo shirt, khakis, and a Tiki torch accessory, I don’t want it. I hope we’re Rose gold. I’d eat that color up with a frikkin’ spoon. Aug. 24 – Sept. 6, 2017

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At Monday Night Jam, a Firm ‘Foundation’ for Jazz Hell’s Kitchen club room cooks with top chops, camaraderie BY NICOLE JAVORSKY Billy Kaye climbed the stairs, made his way to center stage, and stood at the mic. “We are waiting,” he said, pausing to great effect, “for the host.” An audience member quipped, “You’re the host!” Without skipping a beat, some others took up the refrain. The chant, though a joke, expressed the audience’s reverence for the jazz musician. “You’re the host! You’re the host!” This friendly exchange was just one example of the good humor — and good timing — on display every week, when the The Jazz Foundation of America (JFA) hosts a Monday Night Jam in the heart of Hell’s Kitchen, at the Local 802 Musicians’ Union. Kaye has been a part of the Jazz Foundation since its beginnings. He joined the union at 18. Back when the clubroom where the jazz jam is held was a studio, Kaye’s music was recorded there. “I’ve been a member, host, honoree, the whole thing,” he said. “This room is my history.” But this steamy July Monday was a special occasion. The clubroom was packed for the 92nd birthday of another beloved jazz figure — pianist Zeke Mullins. Mullins’ smile was visible under the rim of his baseball cap. He sat at a table near the front of the room, surrounded by family members. Over 120 people filled the space, now adorned with black and gold balloons. Often during the night, faces gleamed in sudden recognition of someone else in the room. As two attendees shook hands and embraced, laughter spilled from their lips. Gabriel Romance, longtime jazz vocalist and flutist, emphasized, “It’s the camaraderie and friendship of musicians coming here. That’s what it’s all about.” Last year, after Romance sang at the jam, one member of the audience approached the stage. That week was the anniversary of the attendee’s father passing away. “The Shadow of Her Smile,” the song Romance performed, was a touchstone in her

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Aug. 24 – Sept. 6, 2017

Photos by Nicole Javorsky

The house was packed for the 92nd birthday of Zeke Mullins, seen here at the piano.

Gabriel Romance captivates the audience at the JFA Monday Night Jam in August 2016.

relationship with her dad. As waves of nostalgia crashed on her face, she cried, “To hear Gabriel sing it like that means so much.” Dashiell Feiler, JFA Manager of Grants and Program Development, organizes the jam. In his office upstairs, Feiler recalled how he used to wear jazz and blues T-shirts every day to school. “It’s a lifelong obsession.” He shuffled through some drawers until he found a cartoon. Jean Cabut, who died in the 2015 attack on the office of satirical French newspaper Charlie Hebdo, drew it at one of JFA’s Monday night jams. After a moment of squinting at the caricatures, Felier pointed to the jazz musicians in the illustration, naming each one. At Mullins’ birthday celebration, singer, songwriter and musician Whitney Marchelle Jackson gave Mullins her CD (“Me, Marsalis & DowntownExpress.com


Monk”), on which Wycliffe Gordon and Clark Terry also appear. Beyond serving as a place for established jazz musicians to come together, Romance called the Monday night gathering “a good fraternity” to support local musicians — old, new, and in-between. For each jam, a different combination of musicians plays in the band, accompanying the vocalists and players who sign up to perform. Anyone who didn’t know otherwise, however, would think they were part of a regular band. The bandleaders lend their support to the “newbies,” as Feiler put it. JFA’s work to support jazz and blues musicians encompasses much more than the weekly jam though. Feiler explained how scarcity of work, low payment, and unreliable work add up to difficult financial circumstances for many jazz players. “I like to think that it’s because they’re innovators, and that’s not economically optimal,” Feiler said. Improving the welfare of jazz musicians is important not only for the craft, but also for the individuals themselves. JFA offers direct assistance to musicians, including housing and medical help. They even have a licensed social worker on staff and host free concerts at schools, museums, and nursing homes. The jams alone are an avenue to engage the community in jazz music. Attendees come from all over the New York City boroughs to perform and listen to others. One of Feiler’s favorite moments from the jams is when the musicians are on stage playing and the people in the audience sing along. “That happens fairly often here.” Weekly except on major holidays, the Jazz Foundation of America hosts its Monday Night Jam from 7pm to 9:30pm at the Local 802 Musicians’ Union (322 W. 48th St., btw. Eighth & Ninth Aves.; first floor Club Room). Free and open to the public. Musicians wishing to perform are encouraged to arrive early to sign up. Visit jazzfoundation.org/ wh at-we - d o /m o n d a y - n ig htjam-series. DowntownExpress.com

Photos by Nicole Javorsky

Whitney Marchelle Jackson (second from right) and other audience members enjoyed jazz music, along with refreshments.

Billy Kaye, at right, was met with a supportive chant from the audience when he took to the stage.

The Monday Night Jam is free and open to the public.

Aug. 24 – Sept. 6, 2017

19


Just Do Art BY SCOTT STIFFLER

“THE PLANTATION” — AN IMMERSIVE ADAPTATION OF “THE CHERRY ORCHARD” First presented in 2015 — when pivotal anniversary dates in Civil War and Civil Rights history coincided — Brave New World Repertory Theatre’s postemancipation, southern plantation adaptation of “The Cherry Orchard” calls Charlottesville to mind as it immerses the audience in circa-1870 dynamics of race, class, power shifts, and steadfast denials. Replacing Russian playwright Anton Chekhov’s recently freed serfs and fi nancially strapped aristocrats with emancipated Confederate slaves and bankrupted Southern gentry, director and Repertory Theatre co-founder Claire Beckman sets her adaptation in Virginia, and sets out to explore “the root causes of America’s most pressing social issue.” In doing so, “The Plantation,” says Beckman, “is our effort to return to the genesis of the conversation; the neglected and misunderstood period known as Reconstruction.” Having gained acclaim for its sitespecific, up-close approach (“To Kill a Mockingbird” unfolded on the front porches of tree-lined Flatbush; “The Tempest” sprawled across Coney Island’s beach and boardwalk), “The Plantation” will be a 17-person, fully formed production taking place in the Commanding Officers House on Governors Island. That 1843-built landmarked mansion gives plenty of period cred to this culmination of two summers’ worth of development; first, as a standing-room-only staged reading, then, last year, as a limited run. Even then, before Charlottesville cast its shadow, actor Blair Underwood hailed it as “a poignant, powerful, riveting and relevant production that resonates profoundly in these current times.” Ten performances, all at 1:30pm, from Aug. 31 through Sept. 24 in the Nolan Park section of Governors Island, at The Commanding Officers House. Free tickets are available for each performance, with a limited number of guaranteed seats for $25; free ferries depart from Manhattan and Brooklyn before 11:30am. For ferry info, visit govisland.com/info/ferry. For tickets, visit bravenewworldrep.org.

THE DREAM UP FESTIVAL While Theater for the New City’s fun,

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Aug. 24 – Sept. 6, 2017

Photo by Doug Barron

Brave New World Repertory Theatre sets Chekhov’s “The Cherry Orchard” on a post-emancipation plantation, circa 1870.

Photo by Kat Yen

“I.M. LOST!” — at the Dream Up Festival Aug. 27–Sept. 3 — gets serious about clowning.

free, potently political street theater production (“Checks and Balances, or Bottom’s Up!”) makes its rowdy way across the five boroughs through Sept. 17, all is far from quiet at their East Village home base. Another annual happening — the Dream Up Festival — is set to unleash its quirky roster of fulllength plays, musicals, and solo shows hailing from here and abroad. Among the offerings: Nathalie EllisEinhorn’s “I.M. LOST!” has added poignancy this year, with the curtain having come down on the Ringling Bros. circus.

Based on interviews with clowns working everywhere from hospitals to theaters, the show looks at why people stay in the art “despite inevitable failure.” Likewise, “Buskers: The Musical” explores destiny and determination through the lens of NYC subway performers. In “Finishing the Suit,” a tailor looks back, having lost his lover Jimmy and his most famous client — the Duke of Windsor. Set in a Los Angeles art school, “Dimensions” merges theater and dance with spoken word to tell the stories of young minority students exploring their sexual identity

— and Craig Silver’s “God in a Box” has the conflicted solo performer mulling over options, when he finds the deity trapped in a container and placed in front of him. Aug. 27 through Sept. 17 at Theater for the New City (TNC; 155 First Ave., btw. E. Ninth & 10th Sts.). Admission price ($12-$20) varies depending on the show. For show, schedule and ticket info, visit dreamupfestival.org. Order tickets by phone at 212-868-4444. For all other things TNC, visit theaterforthenewcity.net or call 212-254-1109. DowntownExpress.com


Buhmann on Art Carol Rama at the New Museum BY STEPHANIE BUHMANN This is the first New York museum survey featuring the fascinating Italian artist Carol Rama (1918-2015) and the largest presentation of her work in the US to date. Though her oeuvre has been largely overlooked in contemporary art discourses, she has still managed to achieve a cult status of sorts. Recently, she has attracted renewed attention from artists and scholars, especially after a stunning retrospective exhibition was held at the Irish Museum of Modern Art in Dublin (2016/2017). “Carol Rama: Antibodies” brings together over 150 of Rama’s paintings, objects, and works on paper, embracing primarily examples of her figurative work (she also worked in abstraction). With an at times Surrealist twist, Rama created fantastical anatomies that reflected ideas of desire, sacrifice, repression, and liberation. In its enchanting eccentricity, these works recall another Italian artist (and Fellini actor), Ele D’Artagnan (1911-1987), whose figures were equally liberated, erotic, ambiguous, and rendered in brilliant colors. Self-taught, neither Rama nor D’Artagnan had thankfully

Photo by Pino dell’Aquila © Archivio Carol Rama, Turin

Carol Rama: “Annunciazione [Annunciation]” (1985. Mixed mediums on framed canvas. 12 5/8 x 18 7/8 in.).

ever been schooled into conformity. Looking at Rama’s images, one cannot help but be in awe of her talent and courage to

embrace such a radical subject as desiring women with wagging tongues in a rather conservative time. On view through Sept. 10

Photo by Maris Hutchinson/EPW Studio

Installation view of “Carol Rama: Antibodies.”

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at the New Museum (235 Bowery btw. Stanton & Rivington Sts.). Museum hours: Tues.–Sun., 11am–6pm, Thurs, 11am–9pm. Admission:

$18 ($15 seniors, $12 students, free for ages 18 and under, pay as you wish every Thurs. from 7–9pm). Call 212-219-1222 or visit newmuseum.org.

Photo by Pino dell’Aquila © Archivio Carol Rama, Turin

Carol Rama: “Spazio anche più che tempo [Even More Space Than Time]” (1970. Rubber tire collage on canvas. 47 1/4 x 59 in.). Aug. 24 – Sept. 6, 2017

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Photos by Milo Hess

(Above left) Ballet Inc. is one of 20 local dance companies that performed at the seven-day festival. (Above right) Wilder Project is a New York dance-film company founded by siblings Holly and Duncan Wilder. (Below) Compania Nacional de Danza Contemporanea de Republicia Dominicana, from the Dominican Republic, was one of fi ve international dance companies hailing from as far away as Sri Lanka and Botswana that the festival brought to Battery Park City.

River dance

Battery Dance Festival takes Wagner Park BY COLIN MIXSON Downtown’s longest-running probono dance festival returned to Battery Park City’s Wagner Park last week for its 36th year, featuring performances from dozens of domestic and international troupes in a seven-day, waterfront bonanza of groove. The Battery Dance Festival, which debuted as the Downtown Dance Festival in 1982, draws more than 12,000 people to Lower Manhattan every year for the spectacle of movement.

Thurs. Aug. 24–Wed., Aug. 30

ALTERNATE SIDE PARKING RULES IN EFFECT ALL WEEK Get ready for a home-team showdown at MetLife Stadium, as the Jets take on the Giants on Saturday! Though this preseason face-off will kick off at 7 p.m., expect jams to start mid-afternoon, with parking lots at the stadium opened by 2 p.m. With sellout crowds making their way to New Jersey, prepare for major delays at the Holland Tunnel, as traffic at the Lincoln trickles south. Holland Tunnel delays, of course,

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Aug. 24 – Sept. 6, 2017

The nightly two-hour shows in the park included as many as seven performances in an evening, plus free workshops at Battery Dance’s studio at 380 Broadway. The choreographic confab even had a festival-withina-festival with the Erasing Borders Festival of Indian Dance, which featured six Indian-culture dance companies from across India and the United States. Battery Dance takes its mission of connecting the world through dance quite literally, and the Downtown dance

company uses its festival as a way to bring together dancers from across the country and around the globe. This year’s event featured 20 stateside dance

crews, who were joined by international companies hailing from Belgium, Spain, the Dominican Republic, Sri Lanka, and Botswana.

end traffic forecast, follow me on Twitter @GridlockSam and see my column in next week’s paper.

will mean Canal and Varick streets will take much of the heat, also affecting the Manhattan Bridge. In short, if you’re planning to drive to the game, fuhgeddaboudit. Your best bet will be to take New Jersey Transit to Secaucus, where you can transfer to a rail shuttle to MetLife Stadium. The other option for game-goers will be to skip the train and take one of Coach USA’s additional buses leaving from the Port Authority Bus Terminal. On the Brooklyn Bridge, one Brooklyn-bound lane will close on

Saturday from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. On the FDR at the Houston Street Overpass, one lane will close in either direction Saturday from midnight to 6:30 a.m., and Sunday from 1 a.m. to 11 a.m. and from Monday to Friday, 11 p.m. to 5:30 a.m. The Washington Square Fair will take over Waverly Place between Fifth Avenue and University Place from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday. Demo alert! Hundreds of Stand Up Against the Fascists: Solidarity Action with Berkeley demonstrators will head to Union Square Park on Sunday from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. The Fourth Avenue Fair will bring pedlock to Fourth Avenue between 9th and 14th Streets from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday. For a Transit Sam Labor Day week-

From the Mailbag: Dear Transit Sam, If you rent a garage for storage can you then spray paint a ‘No parking 24hr’ sign on the gate of that garage and use the spot in front for personal parking? The car is NEVER parked in the garage because it doesn’t fit. Laura M. Dear Laura, The only time you can legally park in front of a driveway is when it is attached to a one or two-family house and you’re the tenant or owner. This doesn’t sound kosher to me. Transit Sam DowntownExpress.com


DowntownExpress.com

Aug. 24 – Sept. 6, 2017

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Aug. 24 – Sept. 6, 2017

DowntownExpress.com

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August 24, 2017

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August 24, 2017

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