Vanessa Aronson, a former New York City school teacher.
Keith Powers, who has worked for State Senator Liz Krueger and former Assemblymember Jonathan Bing.
Marti Sperenza, who has led Women Entrepreneurs NYC and is a member of Community Board 5.
NINE DEMOCRATS IN THE HUNT FOR GARODNICK’S COUNCIL SEAT eligible incumbent seeking reelection. Though each candidate in the District 4 race is emphasizing their unique appeal, collectively the group is focused on three central issues — affordable housing, supporting tenants and small businesses, and improving the area’s quality of life. “I believe it is important to listen to constituents and treat their issues as passionately as I would treat my own,” Keith Powers, a third generation resident of the area, said in an email. Powers listed supporting quality education and strengthening public transportation among his top three priorities, along with addressing affordable housing. He wants to make sure that middle class families continue to have a place in the district and that seniors receive
September 7 - 20, 2017 | Vol. 03 No. 18
the district’s middle class neighborhoods to disappear, and supports creating additional affordable housing stock by working with nonprofit and other developers interested in expanding the supply of non-luxury apartments for average New Yorkers. “I am focused on connecting with people on an individual level, understanding their passions and their problems, and working to find solutions that make sense for the community,” Aronson said about what qualifies her for the job, in an email last week. Aronson has spent more than $73,000 to date and has nearly $50,000 on hand, accord to the CFB. DISTRICT 4 continued on p. 14
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BY LEVAR ALONZO A crowded field of nine Democratic candidates with a diverse range of backgrounds and experience — from seasoned insiders to political newcomers — are vying for the open District 4 City Council seat. With just a week left before September 12 primary, it’s time for voters from Stuyvesant Town-Peter Cooper Village, East Midtown, and much of the Upper East Side to make up their minds. Councilmember Dan Garodnick, who was first elected in 2005 and has recently steered a major East Midtown rezoning plan through to approval, is unable to seek reelection due to term limits. The seat is one of the eight truly open races out of the Council’s 51 seats citywide, with the 43 other seats having an
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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Jane B. Jacobs Thomas M. Hogan Roberts B. English Brian O. Mangan Marina Lutz David Stewart Man Lai Lily Fan
This slate is endorsed by Congressman Jerrold Nadler, State Senator Brad Hoylman, Assembly Member Dick Gottfried, District Leaders Sylvia De Pietro, and Steven Skyles-Mulligan, and State Committee Members Fran Haselkorn, and John Sharp.
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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September 7, 2017
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 javitscenter.com/attend/greenroof-tours — where you can also access their live roof cam. Visit NYC Audubon at nycaudubon.org.
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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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DISTRICT 4 continued from p. 1
Aronson, who has gained the support of NOW-NYC and Run for Something, a group that works to recruit and support young progressive candidates, wants to use her expertise as a teacher to help students in the district reach their full potential. Along with candidates Marti Speranza, Barry Shapiro, and Alec Hartman, Aronson wants to to repeal the Urstadt law, which nearly a half century ago handed the city’s power to approve local rent laws to the State Legislature. Rent regulations, those candidates argue, should be determined by the City Council. Appointed by Garodnick to Community Board 5 — and a member of its Public Safety & Quality of Life Committee — Speranza, director of Women Entrepreneurs NYC, an initiative aimed at encouraging and supporting female-owned businesses, stated in a phone call that she hopes to address the noise pollution and risks to pedestrian safety affecting the district and focus particular attention on their root causes in construction, traffic, and nightlife. The United Federation of Teachers, former Manhattan Borough President Ruth Messinger, and progressive organizations including the Sierra Club have given her their support. Speranza is the leading fundraiser in the race, having spent more than $120,000, with nearly $160,000 still on hand as of September 4, according to the CFB. She points to her background in the private sector, her success as a problemsolver when she has worked with local government, and her roots in the district as her primary distinguishing credentials. On the most popular issue among the candidates — affordable housing — Speranza wants to transform underutilized city-owned land into affordable housing units and to create a physical letter grading system for rent-stabilized apartments, much like the restaurant grading system. “I would tackle housing affordability,” Shapiro said. “Particularly the issue as
Barry Shapiro, a retired American Express IT professional.
Bessie Schachter, who has worked for State Senator Liz Krueger.
Jeff Mailman, who has served as legislative director to Queens Councilmember Elizabeth Crowley.
it relates to families being forced into homeless shelters.” Shapiro, a former IT professional at American Express, mentioned that to separate himself from the others in the race, he is running in the primary with no outside donations and so is not participating in the city’s campaign finance program, which would have allowed him to get generous public funding matches for donations from city residents. Hartman, who did not respond to questions left on his website, co-founded two tech startups. His campaign has focused on strengthening local schools, with fixing mass transit a close second among issues of concern to him. Hartman points to his tech savvy as a critical strength he could lend to the district, mentioning the development of a centralized database to help residents find affordable housing. “I support vocational training and expanding STEM curriculum in public schools to better prepare students for the over 10k STEM job openings in NYC that are currently unfilled year after year,” Hartman states on his website. Harman has raised about $30,000 and has not yet received any public matching funds. Echoing the sentiments of the other candidates, Bessie Schachter wants to attack the scarcity of affordable housing by focusing more city funds on developing affordable units. “Housing, housing, and housing are my top three issues,” said Schachter, who has spent nearly $90,000 and has almost
$60,000 on hand, according to the CFB. “Affordable housing is the core issue of my campaign.” Schachter, who has also worked for Senator Krueger, advocates aggressive efforts to preserve and reclaim affordable housing units that disappear from the rolls of the overseeing agencies, so that more units are made available for residents, and particularly seniors in the community. Increasing the supply of affordable units in the district is the key to sustaining the East Side’s quality of life, in her view. Schachter has garnered the support of a number of elected officials and community groups, including her West Side Council colleague Helen Rosenthal, East Side Assemblymember Dan Quart, and the Lexington Democratic Club. Rachel Honig, a small business consultant, is another big fundraiser in the race, having spent roughly $80,000 and with more than $75,000 still on hand, according to CFB records. Honig did not respond to Manhattan Express’ recent request for comment, but her website emphasized the establishment of better relationships between landlords and small business tenants to allow them to survive and grow as her overriding goal. Her campaign is also is looking to promote public-private partnerships to develop affordable housing units on vacant city lots. Both Maria Castro and Jeff Mailman said that the biggest issue in the district in their view is improving the overall quality of life.
“Quality of life issues such as pedestrian safety, excessive noise, and rodent infestations are of utmost concern,” Mailman said. Mailman, who has served as legislative director to Queens Councilmember Elizabeth Crowley — and, according to CFB records, has spent nearly $100,000, with almost $47,000 on hand — wants residents to know that he is a good listener, has patience, and interacts well with others. “I take the time to research issues and to thoughtfully advocate for positive change,” said Mailman. “I believe that these qualities would make me an effective representative in the City Council.” Mailman pointed to support from Crowley, as well as the Transport Workers Union Local 100 and several uniformed fire associations. Maria Castro, who did not respond to emailed questions, emphasizes that the city is failing its residents by neglecting its infrastructure, and puts particular emphasis on the many subway stations in the district not yet compliant with the federal Americans with Disabilities Act. Castro has raised under $25,000 and has not yet qualified for city matching funds. In this heavily Democratic district, the winner of the September 12 primary would be the favorate to win the November general election, though the presumptive Republican candidate, small business owner Rebecca Harary, will be waiting in the wings as the Democrats choose their nominee.
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UWS Independent Candidate Opposes AMNH Expansion BY JACKSON CHEN In a City Council race in which controversy over expansion plans by the American Museum of Natural History has grabbed considerable attention, one opponent of the Richard Gilder Center for Science, Education and Innovation’s incursion into a small portion of the surrounding Theodore Roosevelt Park is waging an independent campaign for the District 6 seat currently held by Helen Rosenthal. Bill Raudenbush, 38, announced his independent candidacy for the Upper West Side Council seat in June. Rosenthal faces off next week against Democratic primary challengers Mel Wymore, who was her runner-up four years ago, and Cary Goodman, another opponent of the Gilder Center project. Raudenbush and a second independent candidate, David Owens, a finance and real estate professional, will then compete with the Democratic victor in November. While his great-grandfather arrived in America at Ellis Island in 1908 and his maternal grandparents met and were married in New York, Raudenbush, raised by entrepreneur parents in Denver, arrived on the Upper West Side just two years. His passion for community advocacy, however, extends back much further, he emphasized. Putting a high value on green space as vital for an urban community, the challenger has butted heads with the museum expansion plan. The controversial $340 million project has divided the Upper West Side neighborhood, with Gilder Center proponents emphasizing the museum’s vital scientific mission while critics fault the threats the expansion poses to the park’s natural and social ecology. Raudenbush opposes the museum’s taking of any park land, in line with the mission of Community United to Protect Theodore Roosevelt Park, which he has served as vice president. “It just seems so natural to me that we would want to continue to have our quiet, peaceful, tranquil outdoor space,” he said. “People don’t realize it, but it’s so quietly rejuvenating. You don’t miss it until it’s gone.” On that point, he joins scores of museum neighbors who oppose the project. While incumbent Rosenthal has praised the project, Goodman voices the same definitive position as Raudenbush toward any incursion on Theodore Roosevelt Park land, while Wymore has staked out an intermediate posture. Raudenbush said he is unsatisfied with any of the three Democrats. NYC Community Media
Bill Raudenbush, an independent candidate for the District 6 City Council seat, is opposed to any incursion on the Theodore Roosevelt Park from the expansion of the American Museum of Natural History.
The independent candidate explained he originally approached Wymore with research he had done about the Gilder Center project’s impact on the park, but was disheartened by the response he received. He felt Wymore was unclear about his position and would ultimately support the project if elected. Wymore insisted that he’s been very clear about his stance, citing his strong opposition to the $100 million in public funding being poured into the project without more community say. If elected, Wymore said, he would freeze any city funds and focus on negotiations until an outcome that satisfies all sides is reached. “I am generally supportive of the museum as a world-class institution,” he said. “But I actually feel very strongly that this project is suffering from a lack of community dialogue and interaction with all of the stakeholders.” Rosenthal herself has expressed dissatisfaction with one of the museum’s two working groups created to invite more community input. She said she is adamant that they address the expected congestion on Columbus Avenue and 81st Street. “I’m totally holding their feet to the fire on traffic,” the councilmember said. “I am unhappy with what they’ve come up with so far. It doesn’t even begin to address the issues, so we’re not done with them there.” Goodman, the first candidate to step forward to challenge Rosenthal, shares much the same views on the Gilder Center project as Raudenbush. But Goodman argued that he has distinguished himself from Raudenbush with his 40 years of advocacy in the area. Raudenbush, in turn, has criticized Goodman’s campaign as “too absolute”
in his opposition to the Gilder Center project. Goodman, who heads the 161st Street Business Improvement District in the Bronx, has consistently pushed the idea of establishing a satellite location for any museum expansion — perhaps in that borough — an idea about which the incumbent is dismissive. “To those who say let’s put an annex in the Bronx, that’s very offensive to the
elected leaders in the Bronx,” Rosenthal said. “They do not want an AMNH lite, L. I. T. E. in the Bronx. This is an opportunity for science to be robust. Why would they want a replica of a dinosaur in a building in the Bronx?” Owens, the other independent in the race, stated that while he’s not happy about losing park land, he is willing to sacrifice a bit to strengthen the museum’s reach. In addition to his advocacy for Theodore Roosevelt Park, Raudenbush hopes to present an alternative to the stagnant politics he sees among New York’s Democratic Party insiders. “Everyone’s out for themselves,” he said. “I don’t think it’s that hard to say you need to listen and do what is important to the people. Everyone seems to be tied into a special interest of have a big donor.” Forgoing the preliminary round on September 12, Raudenbush hopes he can wage an uphill fall campaign to beat out the Democratic primary winner in the November 7 general election. “It’s very important that we are engaging the electorate and getting people to the polls for the health of our country and our democracy,” he said.
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
Just Do Art BY SCOTT STIFFLER
METROPOLITAN ROOM: FINAL DAYS IN CHELSEA Cozy to put it mildly, the layout of Chelseaâ€™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€” and did â€” 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€™t debut until early 2018. Until then, theyâ€™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€™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€œLee Squared: An Evening with Liberace and Miss Peggy Lee.â€? Show at 9:30pm â€” and donâ€™t lift any glassware on your way out, okay? Letâ€™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 metropolitanroom.com.
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€™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€™s Washington Square Park Folk Festival.
MANTA SPA FOCUSING ON MAN TO MAN MASSAGE
September 7, 2017
ÂŠ 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€” along with a formidable crew of likeminded genre enthusiasts and local small business backers â€” will present the seventh annual edition of their Washington
Square Park Folk Festival. The event draws heavily upon local talent. This yearâ€™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 brooklynfolkfest.com. 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 wspfolkfest.com.
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 nyc.gov/records.
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September 7, 2017
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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 nyc.gov/mcb4. For info. on the applicant, visit cheftoddenglish.com. 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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September 7, 2017
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 nypl.org/LIVE.
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 alzfdn.org. September 7, 2017
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September 7, 2017
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September 7, 2017