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A NEW REALITY FOR DACA ‘DREAMERS’ Trump Delivers on a Divisive Campaign Promise (see page 6)

Photos by Donna Aceto


VOLUME 09, ISSUE 28 | SEPTEMBER 7 - 13, 2017

Atop Javits Center, The Habitat That Roof Built

Photo by David Sundberg/Esto

An aerial view of the Javits Center’s green roof.

BY RANIA RICHARDSON Despite a heavy drizzle, nearly two dozen intrepid folks were eager to tour the largest green roof in New York City. Armed with umbrellas and cameras, the group made its way through many backstage storage and construction areas and up a long metal staircase to the top of the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center. A spectacular panoramic view of Hudson

Yards under construction rose above an expanse of succulent green stonecrop. The mammoth Javits Center is located on 11th Ave., between W. 34th and 40th Sts. Trade shows and special events such as the Toy Fair, Auto and Boat Shows, and Small Business Expo support the city’s hotels, restaurants, and tourism industry, generating $1.9 billion in economic activity last year alone.

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September 7, 2017

Courtesy Javits Center

New York City Audubon has observed 26 bird species on or near the roof. Some stay to build nests, while others use it as a stop on their journey south.

We were not here for business though, but for study and enlightenment. A group of pre-teen robotics students, a nascent green roof entrepreneur, and a mom with her two-month-old in a sling were all rapt, as Tony Sclafani, a representative for the behemoth center, told the story of how the Javits went from a “bird killer” to a “bird breeder.” A number of years ago, New York City Audubon (an affiliated chapter of the National Audubon Society) identified the Javits Center as one of the biggest culprits for bird mortality in the city, due to its highly reflective glass and its proximity to the Hudson River, a directional for migrating flocks. Between 2009 and 2014, the Javits underwent a half-billion renovation (partially funded by a $1.50-per-night hotel tax) that included expansion of the facility with a new exhibition hall and environmental improvements. To reverse their reputation with wildlife, they replaced the opaque glass with bird-friendly translucent windows printed with a dot matrix pattern to break up the reflection. In addition, they installed the 6.75-acre green roof, trumped in size in the US only by the roof crowning a Ford Motor factory near Detroit. Overseen by architects FXFOWLE and Epstein Global, the upgrade has reduced energy consumption at the Javits by 26 percent and has earned it Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver status. In an unexpected turn of events, the green rooftop has become an avian refuge. As the renovation was being completed, New York City Audubon began conducting ecological studies. They have since observed 26 bird species on or near the roof, including goldfinches, warblers,

and falcons. No longer a place for fatal collisions, birds now build nests and lay eggs, forage for food, and experience some downtime during their journey south. “We’re now in the season for migration,” said Susan Elbin, head of conservation at NYC Audubon, by telephone. “New York City is the hub for the ‘Atlantic Flyway.’ Fortunately, the new glass on the Javits has reduced its bird casualties by 90 percent.” The bird-friendly glass was used to clad the building, and also for one wall of the green roof. In an in-person study, Elbin observed a white-throated sparrow — one of the biggest collision victims — hop right up to the wall and turn around, a sign that the glass was functioning as it should. The living roof has become a habitat not just for birds, but also for insects and the bats that eat them, all under observation by Audubon. Also, hives and flower planters are in place to sustain 300,000 honeybees, at work creating a supply of the sweetener for future green roof visitors. Right now the Javits roof is limited to the weight of one-inch soil planted with sedum, the perennial groundcover also known as stonecrop. (Not every rooftop is appropriate to grow produce, like the Brooklyn Grange, a farm atop a former warehouse in the Brooklyn Navy Yard.) Unlike the previous asphalt, the carpet of plants insulates the building, a major energy-saver from the renovation. The tour group steps carefully on the loose concrete pavers that create a walkway between patches of green. Large herring gulls take off and land in the near distance. Ground nests are visible, but the breeding season is over and the chicks GREEN ROOF continued on p. 12 NYC Community Media

Todd English in ‘Market’ to Transform Former Troubled Watering Hole BY WINNIE MCCROY Neighbors who found it difficult to digest the drunken hijinks stemming from boozy weekend brunches at recently shuttered Il Bastardo restaurant are cautiously optimistic about their appetite for a plan that would see celebrity chef Todd English transform the troubled spot into a communityminded food hall/market. The former occupants of 191 Seventh Ave. (near the corner of W. 21st St.) closed up shop earlier this summer after mounting fines, pending cases, and damning rebukes from the State Liquor Authority — including the revocation of their liquor license. The new potential operators, who have already filed with Community Board 4 (CB4) for their new liquor license, will meet with the community at a Sept. 12 Business License & Permits (BLP) Committee meeting to share further details. “We still don’t know a lot about the Todd English plan, but on paper it looks like a vast improvement,” said Paul Groncki, a representative for the Council Chelsea Block Associations (CCBA). “We still have lots of questions about their hours of operation, outdoor sidewalk cafe seating, and more that we need to hear about yet before we decide.” In an Aug. 28 email to the CCBA, the Elliott-Chelsea Tenants’ Association, the Fulton Houses Tenants’ Association, London Tenant Towers & Gardens, and Penn South, Chef English’s Director of Restaurant Development Flip Arbelaez wrote about “bringing a warm concept to your lovely distinguished neighborhood in Chelsea, NY.” Arbelaez also noted Chef English’s goal was for the food hall to become “an economy booster to the neighborhood, curating great jobs, to willfully rooting ourselves as strong community fixture in Chelsea.”


Todd English has his eye on Chelsea as the latest location in his expanding gastronomic empire.

Describing Chef English as “one of the most decorated American chefs of our time,” Arbelaez notes that over the past decade, the multiple James Beard Award recipient has been expanding his portfolio of cuisines from rustic Mediterranean fare to “more of a global focus, indulging in the flavors from Asia to Pan-American delicacies.” “The concept we’re proposing is a food hall/market. This attraction will fill your community with many helpful amenities from fresh coffee with fresh MARKET continued on p. 24

File photo courtesy CCBA

The bad old days, circa 2016: Il Bastardo’s brunch patrons crowd the sidewalk.

NYC Community Media

September 7, 2017


Albanese Counts on Debates to Break Through BY JULIANNE CUBA AND PAUL SCHINDLER Sal Albanese, who earned a reputation as a maverick during his 16 years representing Bay Ridge on the City Council in the 1980s and ‘90s, is making another run for mayor, after a strong third place finish in the 1997 Democratic primary, an abandoned campaign in 2001, and a weak finish four years ago. This year, the 68-year-old Italian-born attorney, who now lives in Staten Island, is the most experienced of the handful of primary challengers to incumbent Mayor Bill de Blasio. Though defiant toward what he says is the mayor’s effort to marginalize his candidacy, Albanese is a clear underdog, having raised less than $210,000 with no public matching funds, according to city Campaign Finance Board records, and with just $22,000 in cash on hand. The mayor, in contrast, has spent $2.7 million and has nearly $5 million on hand. In a spirited interview with editors from NYC Community Media and its sister company, Community News Group, on August 31, Albanese delivered a harsh assessment of the incumbent, while laying out the ideas and qualifications he said make him the right choice in the September 12 primary. Zeroing in on federal and state investigations into the mayor’s funding raising practices — both in rewarding supporters and in funneling money into upstate Democratic State Senate races in 2014 — Albanese charged, “We also have, in my opinion, one of the most corrupt periods in the city’s history since Ed Koch.” Then acknowledging that both the federal and state probes ended early this year with no prosecutions, he added, “He was not indicted because the payto-play laws are murky. I think we need a higher standard for a mayor than just not being indicted, and he says people don’t care about that around the city. I beg to differ. I don’t accept money from lobbyists or big real estate, not because I’m anti-development or anti-real-estate developers, but what we’ve had from de Blasio is unfettered development, where we’re seeing the towerization of Manhattan.” Albanese also piled on regarding the mayor’s record on homelessness, affordable housing, and the failing subway system. New Yorkers, he said, are “fed up” and looking for a change. Looking back to his time on the Council, Albanese touted his progressive credentials in a neighborhood then


September 7, 2017

Photo by Stefano Giovannini

Sal Albanese in the offices of NYC Community Media and Community News Group on August 31.

known as among the city’s most conservative enclaves. His support for the 1986 gay rights law, on which he said he was a “swing vote,” led to threats that had him guarded by a police officer for several days. He also pioneered living wage legislation, with a 1995 proposal to require contractors doing business with the city to pay their workers $12 an hour, well above the minimum wage at the time. The measure that survived Council debate, however, disappointed workers’ advocates given the limited number of contractors who fell under its purview. Encapsulating what he is offering voters, Albanese said, “I’m proud of the fact I had a reputation for independence and integrity. No one ever questioned that I was certainly an outsider. I’m running because I think that under this mayor, the city has become less livable.” Turning to his financial disadvantage compared to the incumbent, Albanese portrayed that as a virtue. “The one problem I do have, the funding is not up to de Blasio’s because I don’t accept money from big real estate and lobbyists, and I’m considered unreliable by those people given my history in the City Council,” he said. However, his ability to spar publicly with the mayor one-on-one — in a debate held August 23 and a second planned for September 6, as this newspaper goes to press — gives the challenger hope he can break through. “People are beginning to recognize me around the city and know that I’m running for mayor,” Albanese said. “Getting my name out there is now starting not to be a problem — because

of the debate, there’s been a huge chunk of media interest. If I can convince people I can do this job — and of course my experience is wider and better than de Blasio’s. He’s been a professional politician — I’ve been a teacher, lawyer, got a finance background, people see that. I think we’re going to generate a betterthan-average turnout because there are a lot of people that want de Blasio out of office all over the city — people who deeply dislike him or are blah about him.” One area on which the challenger gave the incumbent high marks was on sustaining New York’s status as a sanctuary city, saying, “I don’t know what more we could be doing. I think in this particular case, de Blasio is doing a decent job at protecting the undocumented.” In contrast, Albanese harshly criticized de Blasio’s relationship with police. “I think what the police officers resent about the mayor is the way he’s politicized policing,” he said. “He’s demoralized the force.” Regarding cases like the 2014 police killing of Eric Garner, a Staten Island man confronted for selling loose cigarettes who died after being put in a chokehold and wrestled to the ground, Albanese said that sort of situation should be handled by a community police officer rather than by anti-crime cops. He also argued that better training is needed, particularly for dealing with mentally unstable people. After criticizing the mayor’s language toward police, Albanese said pre-screening of police officers is also needed, given that there are “ticking time bombs” among

the force. On homelessness and affordable housing, the challenger faulted de Blasio for being cozy with developers, something that stands in the way of a more aggressive housing policy. “I want to build true affordable housing that the people in these neighborhoods can afford,” Albanese said. “The city owns 1,000 parcels of land. I want to use those parcels as the affordable housing. We can build about 67,000 affordable units, true affordable units.” Paying for that kind of ambition, he said, would be possible through what he calls a pieds-à-terre tax, put on luxury second-home apartments in the city, often purchased by international buyers looking for safe havens for their money and relatively indifferent to such a tax burden. “We need to redesign this whole program, and part of the reason we have this homeless crisis is because of his policies,” Albanese said. “De Blasio’s tax-the-rich scheme doesn’t work because he’s rolled that out three times and it impacts thousands of New Yorkers.” The pieds-à-terre tax, he argued, would be an easier political lift in Albany. One other big issue Albanese has with the mayor is his failure to lead on mass transit issues. Though Governor Andrew Cuomo effectively controls the board of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, de Blasio, he said, could have more leverage if the city were willing to pony up for an equal share with the state of the MTA’s capital budget — and if he played nice with Cuomo. “It would be part of my job to get along with Cuomo — you can’t make this stuff personally — it’s business,” Albanese said. “You really have to get along with the governor, that doesn’t mean you have to do everything that he says. I would be respectful, but very assertive. I think the relationship is toxic with de Blasio. I’m an outsider; de Blasio is a political mechanic. He should know better than this stuff. He just blew this relationship and it’s not going to get any better, it’s only going to get worse.” Among Albanese’s key transportation goals would be enactment of a congestion pricing scheme, along the lines proposed by the Move NY initiative, which would include tolls on the East River bridges, but toll relief on some other bridges. The additional revenues — up to a billion dollars, he said — could be applied to bolstering the subway system. NYC Community Media

LGBT for Bdb Reconvenes at the Cutting Room BY PAUL SCHINDLER In August 2013, as Bill de Blasio was just starting his meteoric rise from the back of the pack to a smashing victory in that year’s Democratic mayoral primary, an energized crowd of LGBTQ supporters turned out for a fundraiser at the Cutting Room on E. 32nd St. headlined by many gay community marquee names. On Mon., Aug. 28, many of the same entertainers — joined by others — returned. De Blasio faces underfunded opposition in the September 12 primary (see page 4) and a little-known Republican state assemblymember in the November general, and hundreds were on hand for a show put together by actor Cynthia Nixon that featured comedians Rosie O’Donnell and Mario Cantone, actors Denis O’Hare, Michael Urie, Taylor Schilling, and Alan Cumming, nightlife maven Michael Musto, and Randy Jones of Village People fame. Introducing the mayor, First Lady Chirlane McCray talked about her own leadership on forging a comprehensive city response to mental health challenges, citing specifically work that program is doing with LGBTQ youth and in the public schools. De Blasio opened his remarks by joking that the raucous and at times bawdy stage show was the “toned-down, more conservative” echo of the 2013 event. That evening, he said, with polls still showing the race a tough one for him, he could feel the sense of “cutting away the bonds of the past and believing that we could make something different for this city.” The mayor emphasized his work on behalf of the LGBTQ community, including his administration’s work to expand the number of available safe shelter beds for queer youth and his guarantee of access to appropriate public bathroom space for transgender New Yorkers. De Blasio also talked about a speech he gave at Cooper Union shortly after Donald Trump’s election, recalling that he told the crowd, “When we band together, we do change our reality for the better.” Pointing to positive signs — from the largest women’s rights demonstration in US history on January 21 to town halls in red states demanding that Obamacare be protected — he said he’s found reason for those optimistic words. “I just want to affi rm to everyone that the spirit we felt in this room four years ago is not only alive and well, it’s growing,” the mayor said. NYC Community Media

Photos by Paul Schindler Comedian Rosie O’Donnell cracked a few jokes at Donald Mayor Bill de Blasio and his wife, Chirlane McCray, on the Cut- Trump’s expense, all in support of the mayor’s reelection. ting Room stage at the August 28 LGBT for BdB fundraiser.

September 7, 2017


Direct Action in Defense of Dreamers

BY PAUL SCHINDLER WITH PHOTO ESSAY BY DONNA ACETO On September 5, after a week of dreaded anticipation, Attorney General Jeff Sessions, a longtime hardliner on immigration issues, announced that the Trump administration has “rescinded” President Barack Obama’s policy protecting from deportation undocumented immigrants brought to the United States as children. Sessions’ announcement, made without taking any questions from the press, followed through on President Donald Trump’s repeated pledges to do away with Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, program that has allowed more than 800,000 “Dreamers” to win certification allowing them deferral from any adverse immigration action as well as giving them the right to work legally. Trump tried to duck responsibility for this harsh move by having his attorney general make the announcement and by challenging Congress to codify the protections currently enjoyed by Dreamers over the next six months, at which time the “rescinding” would take effect. Repeatedly expressing his “love” for


September 7, 2017

the Dreamers, the president’s unwillingness to own his own policy decision was made clear in a late evening tweet hours after Sessions spoke, when Trump wrote that if Congress fails to act in the six-month window, “I will revisit this issue!” The president’s decision was widely panned across the political spectrum and among business leaders, with House Speaker Paul Ryan making a direct appeal to Trump last week not to roll back the DACA program. Though there is wide bipartisan support for protecting the Dreamers — who have survived a rigorous screening process establishing that they are law-abiding, productive US residents — Congress was never able to agree on legislation giving them deferral from deportation. Obama finally acted with an executive guidance creating DACA in 2012 when it was clear Congress would not act. The uncertainty unleashed by the Trump administration’s actions caused anxiety and anger in many communities nationwide, with demonstrations, some of which included civil disobedience, held in cities across the US. Many immigration advocates agree that it was only after direct action, often undertaken

by vulnerable Dreamers themselves, that Obama was moved to intervene in creating DACA. At 11:30 a.m. on Tuesday, activists organized by Movimiento Cosecho converged from Fifth Ave. and 59th St. south to Trump Tower and below, to voice their outrage. At 5:30 in the afternoon, the New York Immigration Coalition drew a large contingent of protesters to the Foley Square courthouse center downtown, a gathering that drew elected officials, including City Comptroller Scott Stringer and many city councilmembers. In both protests, some demonstrators staged sit-ins on the street, causing the NYPD to sweep in to make arrests. Of the roughly 800,000 Dreamers, nearly 42,000 live in New York, which falls behind only Illinois, Texas, and California in the number of undocumented residents protected under DACA, according to data from the Department of Homeland Security. Another 22,000 live in New Jersey, which ranks ninth among all states in its number of Dreamers. New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman announced he will sue the Trump administration to preserve the DACA program. NYC Community Media


NYC Community Media

September 7, 2017


With Expanded Space, Alzheimer’s Foundation Broadens Its Scope BY NATHAN DICAMILLO The Alzheimer’s Foundation of America (AFA) is taking one more step toward becoming the “one-stop shop” for information regarding living with dementia and taking care of Alzheimer’s patients with the opening of a new Education and Resource Center at its Chelsea headquarters (322 Eighth Ave., at the corner of W. 26th St.). “So far since we’ve been doing training programs, we’ve trained 13,000 folks, through DVD training, live training, and webinars,” Molly Fogel, director of educational and social services and licensed clinical social worker at AFA, said. “Now that we have the actual classroom, we can do more things here in our community in New York along with the things we’re doing around the country.” The AFA is a nonprofit that gives caregivers and families access to information about living with dementia. It serves more than 2,600 member organizations with a nationwide toll-free helpline staffed by licensed social workers, Courtesy Alzheimer’s Foundation of America

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The August ribbon-cutting for AFA’s Education and Resource Center celebrated the nonprofit’s ability to offer more training classes and therapy sessions.

educational conferences and materials, a free quarterly magazine for caregivers, a national memory screening program, and an “AFA Partners in Care” dementia care training for healthcare professionals. The foundation was created with the goal of having a place where no partner or caregiver of an Alzheimer’s patient has to “wonder where to go next.” With a new space in the same building as their headquarters, the AFA is expanding its already existing programs and creating new courses. “Especially as the disease continues to not have a cure, we’re looking for ways to provide meaningful interventions so that individuals who are living with this illness have quality of life,” Fogel said. “This is just the next course.” The classroom will be especially ideal for the AFA’s monthly six-hour dementia care training. “We’ve got this beautiful, comfortable classroom,” Fogel said. “[The training] used to be in our conference room so now we’re able to more than double the size of professionals we can train.” During the train-

ing, professional and familial caregivers alike receive information about understanding the illness, communication techniques and strategies for patients through professional self-care and endof-life care. “We’re able to offer a lot more programming, and we’re getting a chance to be more creative in our programming,” Lauren Snedeker, one of the AFA’s licensed social workers, said. In a new Coffee Talk series, the AFA will tackle issues around mental health and women in caregiving. Evening workshops, called the Sunset Series, will offer workshops for professional development and education. The foundation is also in the middle of developing art therapy, pet therapy, and dance therapy classes. Fogel believes that networking is the most critical component of the AFA’s ability to serve trainees. “Because we want folks to realize that, ‘I’m not just a social worker who’s here to get my continuing education. I’m a social worker who is a mom and a sister and I really like to cook and craft.’ ” The professionals that utilize the AFA include hospital workers, managers of geriatric care centers, social workers, recent graduates, retirees, AFA continued on p. 27 NYC Community Media

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Nazis in the Streets: How Should We React? BY BILL WEINBERG Well, here we are. There are actual Nazis marching in streets, with torches and swastikas, terrorizing those who stand to oppose them. It’s the 1930s again, but this time in the USA. What do we do about it? This question has taken a greater urgency since recent events in Berkeley, where “antifa” (antifascist) counterprotesters mixed it up physically with “alt-right” protesters. Since then, we’ve seen headlines such as “Blackclad antifa members attack peaceful right-wing demonstrators in Berkeley” (Washington Post), “Violence by farleft protesters in Berkeley sparks alarm” (LA Times), and “The Antifa Protests are Helping Donald Trump” (The New Yorker). Ominous reports indicate the FBI and Homeland Security are now referring to antifa as “terrorists.” Some activists suggest the media reports are distorted, omitting provocation by the right-wing protesters that sparked the violence; others decry undue coverage given to brief clashes amid an overwhelmingly peaceful antifascist mobilization. Others speculate,

File photo by Sandi Bachom

Dressed for confrontation, Nazi and white nationalist demonstrators march through Charlottesville on Aug. 12.

without evidence, that the Berkeley hotheads were police infiltrators. On the political left, the debate is polarizing. A majority position (among my friends, at least) holds that Nazis must be physically confronted on their own terms, to the ultimate consequences, and any talk of nonviolence or free speech is naive. This seems to be the emerging consensus of antifa.

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A minority view calls for not confronting the Nazis directly, since violence plays into their hands, abetting Trump’s moral equivalism and justifying police-state measures that will be used against us. This is the position of the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC). This vital watchdog group on radical-right activities calls for holding anti-Nazi rallies away from the Nazis — which essentially means ceding control of public space to them. Worse still was “Saturday Night Live” comic Tina Fey’s hopefully facetious recommendation to stay home and eat cake instead of confronting them. A smaller minority view calls for understanding that our adversaries are working-class white folk who have been screwed by globalization and ultimately share the same oppressors we do. Such voices advocate reaching out to the Nazis through “dialogue” and “debate,” holding out hope that we can convert them. There is a place for dialogue, debate and even cooperation with elements of the grassroots right. I’ve worked in loose coalition around opposing the war on drugs and such issues with rightlibertarians and “constitutionalists.” But not Nazis. There are certain things you do not legitimize with debate, and if slavery and genocide do not fall into that category, I don’t what the hell does. Since Reconstruction, there has been a general consensus in this country that slavery was bad. Since World War II there has been a general consensus that Nazis are bad. And since the civil-rights era, there has been a general consensus that racism is bad (even if this was partly based on denialism about the extent

to which it still existed). The establishment of this social consensus was due to generations of struggle — from the abolitionists to the “premature antifascists” to those who marched with MLK. By embracing Nazis in “dialogue,” we are eroding that consensus, and betraying those who struggled and sacrificed to forge it. Talking or working with the grassroots right is always a tricky proposition. But when real Nazis are unleashing terror in the streets, there is only one appropriate response: opposition. I do think — or, at least, want to believe — that nonviolence can be an effective tactic, even against Nazis. Primarily, nonviolence serves to keep us clearly on the moral high ground in the battle for public perception. Secondarily, it may serve to win the hearts (or weaken the will) of some on the Nazi side who still have a glimmer of human empathy. Some now arguing for meeting the Nazis on their own terms — physical force — seem insufficiently aware of the gains that tactical nonviolence won in the civil rights era. But, to some extent, the civil rights movement ceded use of force to federal authorities — as when the National Guard was sent in to desegregate the Alabama and Arkansas schools. Today the federal apparatus is under the control of our principal antagonist. We can, however, hope that orders for repression will not be obeyed (just as the military brass may disobey orders to launch the nukes). Defections within the ranks can be seen in the statements from the Joint Chiefs of Staff distancing themselves from Trump’s racism. I’m critical of the Black Bloc’s tactics in Berkeley, both last weekend and back in February, to shut down a talk by altright mouthpiece Milo Yiannopoulos. But I also believe not one square inch of public space in America should be ceded to the Nazis to hold their hate fests unopposed. I also have little faith that a consensus for nonviolence can be reached, or that our contemporary culture encourages the self-discipline required for it. I’m heartened by Boston three weeks ago. The Nazis were massively outnumbered, and retreated. They were confronted directly, not in the deluded way SPLC advocates. There was no violence. With both the numbers and moral high ground on our side, there didn’t have to be. NYC Community Media

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September 7, 2017


Photo by Rania Richardson

Green went well with gray, on the drizzly afternoon of our Aug. 29 tour. GREEN ROOF continued from p. 2

have grown into speckled juveniles. We see stripped chicken bones trapped in the vegetation. The city gull colony here does well in an urban environment — they are keen enough to pull leftover chicken wings out of the garbage and dine on the roof, leaving evidence behind. We’re invited to come back to the green roof on a sunnier day, when the towers on the West Side sparkle, monarchs flit about, and grasshoppers dodge the young kestrels hunting for food. On a wet day like this, though, we are glad to learn that

the sedum collects and filters storm water runoff, reducing the amount of water flowing into the sewers and thus improving the quality of the Hudson River. Birds, bats, bugs and bees add value to the upgraded Javits Center by supporting biodiversity. When the sun goes down on the green oasis, a chorus of crickets may even drown out the noise of the city. For more information, call 212-2162000. To register for a free green roof tour, visit — where you can also access their live roof cam. Visit NYC Audubon at

How a child learns to learn will impact his or her life forever.

City and Country School Keeping the progress in progressive education. Two-Year-Olds - 8th Grade

Open House: Thursday, November 16th, 6:00 - 8:00pm 146 West 13th Street, New York, NY 10011 Tel: 212.242.7802 12

September 7, 2017

Courtesy Javits Center

Summer’s almost gone: This fall scene on the Javits Center’s roof is about to repeat itself.

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1-917-246-2888. *You must continue to pay your Medicare Part B premium, if not otherwise paid for under Medicaid or by another third party. Plans are insured through UnitedHealthcare Insurance Company or one of its affiliated companies, a Medicare Advantage organization with a Medicare contract and a contract with the State Medicaid Program. Enrollment in the plan depends on the plan’s contract renewal with Medicare. This plan is available to anyone who has both Medical Assistance from the State and Medicare. This information is not a complete description of benefits. Contact the plan for more information. Limitations, co-payments, and restrictions may apply. Benefits, premiums and/or co-payments/ co-insurance may change on January 1 of each year. Premiums, co-pays, co-insurance, and deductibles may vary based on the level of Extra Help you receive. Please contact the plan for further details CST15186F H3387_160706_161216 Accepted NYC Community Media

September 7, 2017


LETTERS TO THE EDITOR Picnic area should remain part of park To The Editor: The Board of Chelsea Waterside Park Association is strongly opposed to the removal of the public picnic area in Chelsea Waterside Park, located at W. 23rd St. and 11th Ave. next to the Children’s Water Park. We support and encourage the use of the picnic area by community residents. It is of the utmost importance to maintain a picnic area with tables as the groups using this location have no other easily available place in Chelsea for birthday parties, family gatherings or leisure space. We are disappointed that the Chelsea community was left out of the process for these revised plans to renovate the children’s playground, which included the demolition of the community picnic area. We urge that the Friends of Hudson River Park and the Hudson River Park Trust work with Community Board 4 and Chelsea Waterside Park Association to assure that all residents have access to this cherished and valued neighborhood picnic area. Board of Directors, Chelsea Waterside Park Association

Photo by Allen Oster

Chelsea Waterside Park Association wants the public picnic area to remain.

oppose Diller Island. We consider it an unseemly giveaway of a piece of the river to a billionaire. The river belongs to all of us and should stay that way. Elaine Young

Pier 40 pool — not parking


To The Editor: Re “Architect Floats Pier55 Alternative” (news article, Aug. 31): We live in the West Village and visit the Hudson River Park several times a week. We’d like to say that we strongly support the main elements of Michael Sorkin’s plan for Pier 40, as set out in your issue of Aug. 31. We particularly like the proposal for an outdoor swimming pool — the bigger the better! Mr. Sorkin is right in saying that it is absurd to use the pier, with its wonderful views, as a parking garage. Let the car owners store their cars at their own expense, not at the expense of the people who use the park. Cindy Niedoroda and Frank Stewart

Re “Community Has Back of Chelsea Journalist Who Broke Wrist Covering Charlottesville” (news, Aug. 17): I don’t know you, but I am now a fan and I deeply admire your courage. THANK YOU for personally facing danger and the unknown to document this Nazi KKK rally from a woman journalist, longtime activist POV. I hope your wrist heals smoothly and well. Acupuncture helped heal me when I fell and broke my wrist. A great place that helped me is Acupuncture Associates on E. 15th St. Love to see what you filmed. Cheers. Lynette Sheldon

The river belongs to us To The Editor: Re “Architect Floats Pier55 Alternative” (news article, Aug. 31): This is an idea that should be explored. Many of us

Sandi… you are the best and bravest. Would that our so-called leaders be as involved and vigilant. Mike Slosberg You have real living political Chutzpah! So proud of you! Larry Russell Re “Jewish Identity in the Summer of Hate” (guest

PUBLISHER Jennifer Goodstein


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September 7, 2017

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column, Aug. 24): Max, I’m sorry you didn’t get the richness of a Jewish education… something I didn’t embrace until I was an adult. I didn’t grow up in a Jewish neighborhood. I grew up in a Christian neighborhood where I was the token Jew. From kindergarten until my sophomore year of high school I was bullied, tormented, and occasionally beat up. I had buried those memories until… Charlottesville. That night I could remember the names of each kid that made my life miserable. Seeing Nazis marching in the streets of America was a horrifying site. They were shouting, “Jews will not replace us.” They were so emboldened that they weren’t wearing masks. A Nazi murdered an American citizen and we have a president that can’t acknowledge that. How does one explain to a Jewish child that there were Nazis marching in the streets of America? As a Jew the saying “Never again” has a whole new meaning to me. Dvorah Doris Stoll E-mail letters to (not longer than 250 words in length) or fax to 212-229-2790 or mail to Chelsea Now, Letters to the Editor, NYC Community Media, One MetroTech North, 10th Floor, Brooklyn, NY 11201. Please include phone number for confirmation purposes. Chelsea Now reserves the right to edit letters for space, grammar, clarity, and libel. Chelsea Now does not publish anonymous letters.

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Film Yields Bumper Crop of Food for Thought on GMOs BY LENORE SKENAZY It all began when a neighbor of filmmaker Scott Hamilton Kennedy’s sent a text asking if she could borrow some organic milk. Kennedy texted back, “You can borrow some milk, but I don’t have organic.” The friend politely declined, which set Kennedy to thinking. His family drank conventional milk. Did that make him a dad who didn’t care about his kids’ safety, or the environment? That would be odd, since he was nominated for an Oscar for his film about a community garden blooming in South-Central Los Angeles. Fortuitously, just as he was processing these ideas about how organic produce had become almost like a secret handshake among his “well-educated and wellintentioned” friends, he was approached by the Institute of Food Technologists, a group of 18,000 food scientists, to make a movie for their 75th anniversary. The idea was to somehow illustrate the intersection of food and science. Eventually, Kennedy and his fellow producer, Brooklynite Trace Sheehan, decided to delve into one issue: GMOs, or genetically modified organisms. That is, plants where a geneticist has taken DNA from one organism and inserted it

Rhymes with Crazy another to make a food easier to grow, or healthier, or hardier. Like Kennedy’s organic-only neighbor, many folks consider GMOs “Frankenfood.” Jon Stewart, in his days as host of “The Daily Show,” called “G-M-O” the language’s three scariest letters. Kennedy and Sheehan started wading into the debate. What they found was a war — and a huge disconnect between the science world, which overwhelmingly believes GMOs are safe, and the public, which does not. “I feel like so many people who are skeptical of GMOs sort of lump together a hodgepodge of arguments, as if it’s one monolithic entity,” said Sheehan in a phone interview. There are the people who think we’re growing too much corn, and who hate Monsanto (ignoring that farmers choose to buy the results of the company’s research). There are the people who want sustainable agriculture, but don’t take into account that organic farming can sometimes require more land, water, or (“organic”) pesticides than GMOs. Kennedy’s crew flew to Uganda where

the banana crop is dying due to a rotting disease. A genetically modified banana plant is being developed by public sector scientists there, and the farmers are desperate to start growing it. In the movie, we meet a mom and her children who survive on her small farm’s banana crop. When the trees die, we grimly understand: So will her kids. The tree-saving modification has nothing to do with profit, America, or big agriculture. It is simply a scientific advance. “We’ve been screening our film a while, and we ask before and after the film, ‘Who has concern about the safety of GMOs?’ And we see time and again, [the film] is changing minds,” said Sheehan. “No one says the farmers in Africa shouldn’t have the right to grow that genetically modified banana.” And no one thinks it is going to hurt them, or should be shunned in favor of organic bananas. And now that audiences agree that there’s at least one beneficial use of genetic modification, said Sheehan, “That’s a new place to start the conversation from.” Neil deGrasse Tyson narrates “Food Evolution” (

Having such a prominent scientist on board underscores the filmmakers’ message. When people ask Kennedy, “Are you really pro-GMO?’ ” he responds, “I am pro-science.” After the movie, I tried having a proscience conversation myself. My husband and I saw the film in Manhattan. There were precisely four people in the theater. As we were leaving, I saw two young men going up the stairs and said, “Wasn’t that amazing?” “What?” they asked. “The GMO movie.” “We didn’t see that! GMOs are terrible! Monsanto! Cancer!” So I quickly mentioned just one fact I’d learned from the film: If we want to have enough food to feed the 30 billion people soon to inhabit the planet and we only grow organically, we’ll have to chop down the rain forest to turn it into farmland. “But if we grow GMO crops that need less space and less water, the rain forest is safe.” That started a conversation. Let’s hear it for more of those. Lenore Skenazy is a keynote speaker, founder of the blog Free-Range Kids (, and author of “Has the World Gone Skenazy?”

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September 7, 2017


Excellent ‘LIBRIS’ New NYPL film, retrospective testify to Frederick Wiseman’s talents BY SEAN EGAN “I don’t even use the term documentary,” asserted legendary filmmaker Frederick Wiseman, 87. “In my youth when people used the word documentary it always had the connotation of something that would be boring and would be good for you. I don’t think either of those has to be the case. It was almost like Ex-Lax. … That was the connotation of documentary a long time ago. I think there’s still a slight flavor, so to speak, of that. They’re just movies. What’s wrong with that word? It’s a good enough word for me.” Terminology aside, it’s hard to overstate Wiseman’s contribution to the documentary form throughout his career, which has yielded more than 40 films in five decades, from his groundbreaking 1967 debut, “Titicut Follies,” to “In Jackson Heights,” his 2015 neighborhood portrait. The director’s style is low-key and inimitable — fly-onthe-wall footage is presented sans narration and subtitles, as careful editing immerses viewers into the milieu of his subjects (often over expansive run times). Wiseman’s importance certainly hasn’t been lost on the film community: Film Forum is gearing up to release his latest work (he’s the theater’s mostpremiered American director), and are currently in the midst of a multipart career retrospective. Over its expansive selection of films, the lookback, titled “The Complete Wiseman,” captures Wiseman in his element, chronicling a number of institutions with unrivaled depth and grace (1989’s “Central Park,” 1995’s “Ballet”). “I think, generally speaking, I’m a curious person. I am ‘Curious Fred’ instead of ‘Curious George,’ if you know that children’s book,” Wiseman remarked. “In a sense, the institution is only an excuse, a pretext, to have a look at what’s going on in America. What I’m trying to do overall is to give an impressionistic account of contemporary life and each institution provides a framework for that,” he noted. Wiseman’s latest, “EX LIBRIS — The New York Public Library,” continues to mine this vein by taking an in-depth look at the New York Public


September 7, 2017

Courtesy the New York Public Library

An exterior shot of the New York Public Library’s Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, one of the subjects of “EX LIBRIS.”

Library (NYPL). Its system, comprised of over 92 branches in three boroughs, provides Wiseman with an excellent opportunity to gauge America’s pulse through the lens of a societal cornerstone often taken for granted. “It just occurred to me one day that I had never done a library, and a library might make an interesting addition to this so-called institutional series that I’ve been doing,” Wiseman explained. After getting permission from NYPL President Anthony Marx in 2015, Wiseman visited a number of branches, and started filming soon thereafter. Armed with NYPL activity bulletins, Wiseman bounced around the system for 12 weeks, capturing everything from lectures to NYPL board meetings to simple day-to-day activities. Then, Wiseman began his extensive editing process, poring over hundreds of hours of footage in order to determine the shape and themes of the movie (“I can’t work on structure in the abstract,” he noted). “I had the view, naïve and uninformed, before I started

[that] the library was a place you take out books. That’s only a very small part of what goes on in the New York Public Library,” said Wiseman. “Over the last eight or 10 years, the branches particularly have become important cultural and academic centers in the communities. … I was very moved by the depth and scope of the work of the library.” The film bears out Wiseman’s realization, as “EX LIBRIS” paints an NYPL that’s a far cry from the hushed tones and austerity often associated with libraries. Locals assemble to discuss community politics and take classes; children enjoy after-school activities; and students take advantage of the unique resources exclusive to the NYPL. Philosophy, history, and art are passionately and thoughtfully discussed, in the form of events featuring high-profile figures such as Richard Dawkins, Elvis Costello, and Ta-Nehisi Coates, as well as classes from lesser-known lecturers delivering animated talks on Jewish identity in America, socialism, and the slave trade. Meanwhile, Marx and the

board are shown working to improve the NYPL, debating how to push it further into the 21st century. “I think the library represents the best aspects of democracy. Particularly in this time when there’s an attempt to undermine the very idea of democracy by the Trump Administration,” postulated Wiseman, who cites the accessibility of the library as fostering opportunities for all members of the community. “What you see is democracy in action. You see immigrant groups being helped, you see poor people being helped, improving the possibilities for getting better work, furthering their education, improving their language skills, or their training skills,” he elaborated. “Well, that’s completely opposite to the attitude and the point of view that’s coming out of Washington. The film is very political in that sense; the contrast between the interest in people that the library represents, and the racism and elitism that comes out of the WISEMAN continued on p. 27 NYC Community Media

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September 7, 2017



METROPOLITAN ROOM: FINAL DAYS IN CHELSEA Cozy to put it mildly, the layout of Chelseaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Metropolitan Room has always paled in comparison to the expansive roster of talent to grace that tiny stage over the course of any given month. Now, after an 11-year run, the little space that could â&#x20AC;&#x201D; and did â&#x20AC;&#x201D; provide a friendly and supportive home to drag performers (Hedda Lettuce!), old school Yiddish theater greats (Fyvush Finkel!), autobiographical raconteurs (Leslie Jordan!), and nightclub royalty (Marilyn Maye!) is pulling up stakes and staking its claim on a new Midtown space with enough square footage for a restaurant, piano bar, and two performance rooms. That new club wonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t debut until early 2018. Until then, theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll be presenting some of their longtime performers at a kindred spirit venue that knows a little something about eclecticism: The Triad on W. 72nd St. But the Metropolitan Room isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t going quietly from its W. 22nd St. space. Trading kicking and screaming for crooning and swinging, the Metropolitan Room bids adieu to Chelsea with a highspirited marathon starring an embarrassment of riches culled from their long list of top-notch headliners. That event goes from 9pm on Sun., Sept. 24 through 9pm on Mon., Sept. 25. The final night, until we meet again, is Sat., Sept. 30, when David Maiocco and Chuck Sweeney rule the roost as, respectively, Liberace and Peggy Lee, in the appropriately titled â&#x20AC;&#x153;Lee Squared: An Evening with Liberace and Miss Peggy Lee.â&#x20AC;? Show at 9:30pm â&#x20AC;&#x201D; and donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t lift any glassware on your way out, okay? Letâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s remember what the Metropolitan Room taught us, and keep it classy.

Photo by Kevin Alvey

Marilyn Maye was a big draw for the Metropolitan Room, which bids adieu to W. 22nd St. on Sept. 30.

The Metropolitan Room is located at 34 W. 22nd St. (btw. Fifth & Sixth Aves.). For reservations, call 212-2060440 or visit

THE WASHINGTON SQUARE PARK FOLK FESTIVAL Long a prime destination for poets, protesters, and people watchers, Washington Square Park can also claim a storied history (and a not-too-shabby present) as the place where musicians of all stripes gather for impromptu jams, intense debates, and pivotal moments where songs are written and bands are formed. Before the coffeehouses of Greenwich Village took it indoors and exported it globally, the cityâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s folk scene found a warm and welcoming incubator when the likes of 1940s-era Woody Guthrie and Pete Seeger would spend Sunday afternoons making music in the park (followed some years later by a young Bob Dylan). Mindful of that history and determined to keep the tra-

Photo by Eli Smith

Roll away to a half sashay, a community square dance closes out Sept. 10â&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Washington Square Park Folk Festival.

MANTA SPA FOCUSING ON MAN TO MAN MASSAGE                                                        


                ! "




September 7, 2017

Š Down Home Radio etc

John Cohen joins The Down Hill Strugglers (seen here) at the Washington Square Park Folk Festival.

dition alive, Greenwich Village native and music producer Eli Smith â&#x20AC;&#x201D; along with a formidable crew of likeminded genre enthusiasts and local small business backers â&#x20AC;&#x201D; will present the seventh annual edition of their Washington

Square Park Folk Festival. The event draws heavily upon local talent. This yearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s roster features blues guitar from Zeke Schein (1:45pm), traditional JDA continued on p. 22 NYC Community Media


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

NYC Community Media

phone conversations. The use of a hands-free device does not lower distraction levels. The percentage of vehicle crashes and nearcrashes attributed to dialing is nearly identical to the number associated with talking or listening.

Daydreaming Many people will admit to daydreaming behind the wheel or looking at a person or object outside of the car for too long. Per-

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.

September 7, 2017


The Great What’s His State Debate Questioning our president’s sanity is a rational act BY MAX BURBANK “He’s an asshole, but he’s our asshole.” That’s how California Congressman Duncan Hunter (R-Alpine) described President Donald J. Trump to a “Meetup” of the Riverside County Young Republicans, and I’m not making any of that up. Not the use if the word “asshole.” Not that a Republican congressman used that word twice in reference to the leader of his own party. Not even that a group of Young Republicans refer to that official gathering as a “Meetup” — a term more commonly used to describe gatherings of people dressed as their favorite anime characters. Here’s the thing: When your asshole is causing you this much grief? It’s almost certainly a medical issue. You need to get it taken care of right away. It could be cancer, and it could kill you. Congresswomen Zoe Lofgren (D-San Jose) offered a more nuanced, less scatological take on Trump, introducing a resolution suggesting the president undergo a mental health exam, noting an “alarming pattern of behavior and speech causing concern that a mental disorder may have rendered him unfit and unable to fulfill his Constitutional duties.” A followup press release asked, “Does the President suffer from early stage dementia? Has the stress of office aggravated a mental illness crippling impulse control? Has emotional disorder so impaired the President that he is unable to discharge his duties? Is the President mentally and emotionally stable?” You can’t simply chalk up Lofgren’s concerns to partisanship. Republican pundits, major donors, former and even current office holders have begun to openly question Trump’s mental health. James Clapper, who served in top intelligence jobs under former Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama, described Trump as a “complete intellectual, moral, and ethical void.” Republican Senator Bob Corker of Tennessee said Trump “has not yet been able to demonstrate the stability” required of the presidency. Agree or disagree with these assessments, you have to admit they’ve got the same cards-on-the-table authenticity as “He’s an asshole.” So which is it? Is Donald J. Trump clinically insane, or is he just a… you know. I promised myself I’d only use that word seven times in this column and I need it twice more. Regardless, it’s a tough question. Where does one leave off and the other begin? The whole subject is almost impossible to talk about, especially for comedians, or “satirical pundits” if you want to address me with respect. See, if Trump is actually mentally ill, I can’t poke him for being a nut job, can I? I can’t even say “nut job,” because it’s cruel, stigmatizing, and not even functionally descriptive. I want so badly to say that Trump is “Cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs,” with Cocoa Puffs being a metaphorical standin for a slavish compulsion to wallow, pig-like, in the worst excesses of fascism — and now I’m slamming pigs, blameless animals that are rarely dangerous and never so in any sense involving nuclear annihilation.


September 7, 2017

The phrase “Cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs” is offensive in every way, except when it appears in an essay on the unacceptability of mocking the disease of addiction in the service of selling chocolaty breakfast cereals. His name was Sonny. He was not “Cuckoo.” He was a Cuckoo bird. He was sick and he deserves our compassion, not our scorn. You see how hard this is to talk about? We need to talk about it, though. The possibility of a mad president is far too dangerous to avoid discussing just because it’s awkward. Is Trump

evidence for us to consider vis-à-vis our president being, shall we say, overly focused on Cocoa Puffs to the extent that he is unable to perform the duties of his office.

I’ve selected a line from a recent tweet. “After witnessing first hand the horror & devastation caused by Hurricane Harvey, my heart goes out even more so to the great people of Texas!” He wrote this before visiting Houston, after his initial visit to Corpus Christi, some 200 miles from the flooding. He’d yet to tour any disaster sites, hadn’t met any victims, didn’t get rained on. So what can we glean about the presidential mental state from this tweet? crazy? And if he is, is he Maybe he believes he really did witRob Ford crazy, where it’s ness those things “first hand.” Not a doca chuckle unless you lived in tor here, but do I need a degree to know that Toronto when he was mayor and constitutes a hallucination? Maybe he can’t tell even then it was hard not to laugh the difference between seeing stuff on TV and until he died at 46 and you felt a little actually being there. That’s also cut-and-dried, bad about yourself? Or is he Aerys don’t need a psychiatrist to tell you it’s crazy, Targaryen crazy, where a whole lot of right? Maybe he thinks him saying folks end up extra crispy and it’s only a untrue stuff makes it become true, little funny if you’re part of the which is, hello, ALSO INSANE! royal family, but not for long But maybe… maybe he knows even then; Eric and Jr., TAKE full well that tweet is just a garNOTE! Illustration by Max Burbank gantuan lie. He knows no one It might be instructive to have mental health professionals weigh in, but for believes it. He’s telling it not just because he doesn’t the most part, that’s simply not going to happen. The give a crap about the truth — he wants you to know American Psychiatric Association holds to its long- he doesn’t give a crap about the truth. If that’s the case, we’re back at the start of the standing policy that it’s unethical for members to offer a professional opinion on the mental state of someone article. He’s just an asshole. A lot of people are saying they have not evaluated. The American Psychological maybe the biglyest asshole in the history of politics. Association agrees. If any other governing bodies of Does it matter? Isn’t that just as dangerous in every mental health professionals can be abbreviated using way and for many of the same reasons as if he was crazy? “APA,” I’m certain they’d also agree. And isn’t it possible, perhaps even likely, he’s both? That leaves us lay folk on our own. There’s ample NYC Community Media


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Courtesy NYC Municipal Archives Courtesy NYC Municipal Archives

As the United Nations General Assembly opened its 26th session on Sept. 21, 1971, the US opposed replacing the Taiwan-based Nationalist Republic of China with the People’s Republic of China. Those who took to the UN Plaza and surrounding areas in a show of support for the PRC were under surveillance by the NYPD — records of which are on view as part of the “Unlikely Historians” exhibit. JDA continued from p. 18

Turkish and Balkan music from Seyyah (2:30pm), and string band Bill and the Belles (3:15pm). Joined by legendary ’60s-era folk musician John Cohen, The Down Hill Strugglers (a trio that claims Smith as a member; Coen Brothers fans known them from the soundtrack to “Inside Llewyn Davis”) open the festival with a 1pm set, and the event closes

with a 4pm community square dance called by Alex Kramer. If that afternoon in Washington Square Park gives you the folk bug, or makes it worse, mark your calendar for another Smith-produced event: The 10th Annual Brooklyn Folk Festival, April 6–18, 2018. Details at The Washington Square Park Folk Festival is a free event, held from 1–5pm on Sun., Sept. 10 (stage located by the

In 1968, Columbia University students opposed a proposed gym in Morningside Park and the University’s affiliation with a defense industry think tank. The gym, with a back door entrance for Harlem residents, was seen as a misuse of public land and an example of urban segregation. Protestors occupied several buildings; over 100 were arrested; construction of the gymnasium was halted. Part of the “Unlikely Historians” exhibit.

Garibaldi statue on the park’s East side). For more info, visit

UNLIKELY HISTORIANS: MATERIALS COLLECTED BY NYPD SURVEILLANCE TEAMS, 1960-1975 Freedom of assembly doesn’t necessarily mean freedom from scrutiny — in fact it often guarantees it, especially when the cause you stand for poses a threat, real or imagined, to the powers that be. Decades before making headlines and earning ACLU ire for keeping tabs on the Muslim community and the Black Lives Matter movement, the NYPD was very busy tailing individuals and infiltrating organizations. In doing so, the trail of records left behind survived to become a fascinating, at times infuriating, time capsule of Big Brother’s unblinking eye. This exhibit is rich with photographs and objects from 15 years of surveillance, which saw NYPD scrutiny of organi-

zations such as the Communist Party, Black Panthers, Nation of Islam, The American Renaissance Party, Women Strike for Peace, and Youth Against War and Fascism. Among the documents are photos from a 1963 C.O.R.E. demonstration for fair housing, a 1972 National Renaissance Party gathering at the Rhodesian Embassy in support of that country’s segregationist government, and Muhammad Ali’s 1968 speech at Muhammad Mosque 7C (following revocation of the boxer’s license after he refused to enlist in the Army). Other items on display include film footage of demonstrations, a copy of a speech written by Martin Luther King Jr., pamphlets, buttons, and magazines. And what does all of this cost to see? It’s free — which seems only fair, given how taxpayer dollars financed all that surveillance in the first place. Sept. 8–Feb. 28, 2018. At the New York City Municipal Archives (1st floor gallery, 31 Chambers St.; northwest corner of Centre & Chambers Sts.). Viewing hours: Mon.–Wed. & Fri., 9am–4:30pm; Thurs., 9am–7pm. Visit

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September 7, 2017


MARKET continued from p. 3

breads and pastries to cold-pressed fresh juices in your mornings,” wrote Arbelaez. “Asian delights like sushi and authentically made dumplings and gyoza will be neighbors to some Mediterranean and European influences for lunch and dinner all under one roof, tendered under one payment. Domestic cuisines as well as some South American treats will fill the air with aromas like nowhere in the neighborhood.” The move follows a failed attempt in July by former Il Bastardo owner Robert Malta’s wife Kristin Sollenne to split the space into two restaurants, a Mexican and Italian eatery, with a capacity of 316 people. CCBA and other concerned organizations and individuals came out at a July 11 meeting of CB4’s BLP Committee at Yotel to speak against the establishment’s long history of drunk and disorderly conduct violations. At that time, both residents and BLP members voiced the sentiment that the location was too big to succeed as a single restaurant, or even as two restaurants. Some hope that the food hall concept will be more in keeping with the timbre of the neighborhood. In earlier forums, CB4’s BLP co-chair Frank Holozubiec noted that the spot “has been a plague on our community for 15 years or more, and I haven’t known of any other location in this district that has been such an unremitting problem that could not be solved, regardless of ownership issues.” Hopefully, this diversified food hall concept will allow for a number of different small eateries and takeaway counters to provide a daily stream of food and


One element of the sprawling Todd English Food Hall, at the Plaza Hotel. The Chelsea space will accommodate 280 inside, 36-40 outside.

beverage items to residents and visitors alike. Chef English has already opened a Europeaninspired specialty food hall of this type at The Plaza New York on Central Park South, which offers nine diverse food stations: Ocean Grill & Oyster Bar, Noodle & Dumpling Bar, Pasta Bar, Sushi Bar, The Grill, Taqueria, Pizza, Cheese & Charcuterie, Wine Bar and Patisserie. The space was designed by architect Jeffery Beers, and features mosaic marble floors, elegant wood paneling, and stained-glass windows. The reputedly hard-partying chef also reportedly signed a 15-year lease in Aug. 2016 for nearly 12,000square-feet of space at the old New York Times building at 229 W. 43rd St. for The American Market by Todd English, a food hall concept venture with Jared Kushner. That space was set to open this summer, but recent reports now reveal Chef English will open it

this December, for New Year’s Eve in Times Square. With Chef Anthony Bourdain’s plan to open an Asian Market-style food hall at the nearby Manhattan waterfront in 2019, it’s easy to speculate that Chef English may want to get a jump on the competition. Residents hold out hope that the concept will fulfill the needs of the community without causing the litany of problems they contended with for years. “We sent [Chef English] an email asking for details, and we are hoping they’ll talk to us, because a big number of us believe that to be a good part of our community means they’ll reach out to us and explain what they’re doing,” said Groncki. “If they play things close to the chest and all we do is worry and wonder, that won’t be as good.” In an Aug. 30 email reply to questions posed by the 20th Street Block Association, Todd English representative Joseph Korbar noted their desired seating capacity as 280 inside/36-40 outside, and confirmed the proposed hours of operation (closing Mon.-Sat. at 11 p.m., Sun. at 10 p.m.). Korbar also noted they are not planning to employ a DJ or live bands, but stopped short of providing details to the question of whether there are violations or complaints on record regarding any other Todd English establishments (“This is under review and if any they will be addressed,” he wrote.) Speaking with Chelsea Now over the phone on Fri., Sept. 1, Korbar confirmed he will accompany Chef English to the BPL meeting. To access the CB4 calendar, visit For info. on the applicant, visit To learn more about the plans, attend CB4’s BLP Committee meeting: 6:30 p.m. Tues., Sept. 12 at Yotel (570 10th Ave., at W. 42nd St.; 4th floor, in the Green Room).


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Thursday, October 18


7pm – 9pm

Location: Lenox Hill Hospital Einhorn Auditorium 131 East 76th Street New York, NY 10075 Presented by Northwell Health Orthopaedic Institute: Fred Cushner, MD Orthopaedic Joint Surgeon

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September 7, 2017

NYC Community Media

WISEMAN continued from p. 16

Trump Administration.” Nonetheless, Wiseman does not consider himself a political filmmaker — that is, his movies, with their decided lack of editorializing, do not trade in the kind of partisan politics or didactic message-distribution many more recent, fi nancially successful documentaries aim for (ones “mainly of the Michael Moore variety,” he quipped). “There’s a famous American philosopher by the name of Samuel Goldwyn who said, ‘If you have a message, send a telegram.’ It would be presumptuous of me to make a statement of what I hope people will get out of [my films]. I hope they enjoy the movies and it provokes and stimulates them to think about the material, the subject matter of the movie, or the group of movies if they see more than one,” Wiseman explained. “We all live such segmented lives. One of the things that movies like [‘EX LIBRIS’] can do is bring the experience of being at the place to people who haven’t had my experience. It’s not many people get a chance to spend 12 weeks wandering around the main branch and the various local branches of the New York Public

Courtesy Zipporah Films

Photo by Erik Madigan Heck

New Yorkers take advantage of the Milstein Microform Reading Room at the NYPL’s Stephen A. Schwarzman Building.

A portrait of Frederick Wiseman, 87, legendary filmmaker and director of “EX LIBRIS.”

hope people will think about what the movie is about.” It might be a simple request, but Frederick Wiseman has proven time and again over his career that his movies deserve to be not only seen and thought about, but treasured and revisited long after the projection bulb dims. “EX LIBRIS — The New York Public Library.” Director, Sound, Editor, Producer: Frederick Wiseman. 197 minutes. Daily screenings, Sept. 13–26,

at 12:15pm, 4pm & 7:45pm. Tickets: $14, $8 for members. At Film Forum (209 W. Houston St. btw. Varick St. & Sixth Ave.). “The Complete Wiseman: Part II (1986-1996)” runs Sept. 6-14. Call 212-727-8110 or visit filmforum. org. Wiseman appears for Q&A following the 7:45pm screenings on Sept. 13 & 14. He will be in discussion with Errol Morris at the NYPL on Sept. 14, 7–9pm. For tickets ($25) and info, visit

Library. Or similarly, hang out at ballet rehearsals for three months. Or if you haven’t been through Army basic training, see what Army basic training is like. Or if you haven’t been riding around in police cars, give you a sense of what that’s about. “When a film like this works it can bring the experience to the viewer,” he asserted. “I don’t have any general wish other than, naturally, because I make the movies, I’d like them to be seen. I

AFA continued from p. 8

and people working in a private healthcare practice. As the professionals in AFA’s space learn new professional techniques from each other, Fogel also wants the caregivers to learn personal skills from each other as well. “We want folks to do that same thing when they’re working with someone with dementia,” Fogel said. “’Cause it’s not just, ‘Oh, this is Sam and he’s living with dementia and he likes to go to dance class,’ but ‘Oh, this is Sam and he likes to go to the dance class, and he likes to engage and you can’t stop him from dancing.’ ” Understanding patients on an intimate level is part of working with Alzheimer’s patients. Dana Marchetti, who coordinates community relations for a licensed homecare agency based in the financial district called Senior Helpers, has used the AFA as an educational center for both her employees and her clients. Now that the foundation has more space, more workshops can be held at the foundation’s headquarters instead of being hosted somewhere else in the community. “It’s a different way to bring everybody together and have a community education at the center,” Marchetti said. “You get to see everybody and see the social workers that you speak to on the phone.” NYC Community Media

Courtesy Alzheimer’s Foundation of America

Molly Fogel, seen here teaching the six-hour dementia care training class.

Marchetti’s staff takes courses through the AFA and refers family members of patients to the foundation to fi nd counseling and support groups. “The partnership shows that we are very passionate about caring for folks who are dealing with this and helping their families who are going through this,” Marchetti said. “We want to educate ourselves and educate the community and get as much awareness as we can to change what

we need to.” AFA employees often receive the first call from family members who suspect that they or a loved one have Alzheimer’s disease, Snedeker said. While the AFA has its own support groups, helpline social workers will recommend resources in the communities of those calling. Even though the foundation is based in New York, it keeps in mind the needs of professionals and caregivers who don’t live in areas with

as much access to resources, Snedeker noted. “We’re very strong advocates for person-centered care, and education in your local area is really where we try to begin,” she said. “I love what I do here because I love to have a conversation with people on my helpline to, in a natural way, understand what would be most beneficial for them.” For more information, call 866-2328484 or visit September 7, 2017







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September 7, 2017

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Profile for Schneps Media

Chelsea Now  

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Chelsea Now  

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