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The Paper of Record for Greenwich Village, East Village, Lower East Side, Soho, Union Square, Chinatown and Noho, Since 1933

September 14, 2017 • $1.00 Volume 87 • Number 37

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‘We qualify’: Rivera, husband defend living in Section 8 housing BY LINCOLN ANDERSON

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s the City Council District 2 race to succeed Rosie Mendez came down to the wire, a Page Six item about the frontrunner’s low-income apartment was making some waves — as were photos being floated of her husband sailing in regattas.

Also percolating through the story is the grind of running a chain of local coffee shops in a city increasingly unfriendly to small business. Opponents of Carlina Rivera seized on the story about the apartment and were spreading it around, hoping it could help APARTMENT continued on p. 8

Edie Windsor, equality champion, longtime Villager, dies at age 88 BY PAUL SCHINDLER

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die Windsor, who became a worldwide icon at age 84 when her lawsuit against the U.S. government led the Supreme Court, in 2013, to strike down the key provision of the Defense of Marriage Act, has died at age 88. “I lost my beloved spouse,

Edie, and the world lost a tiny but tough-as-nails fighter for freedom, justice, and equality,” Judith Kasen-Windsor, who married Windsor last September, said in a written statement. “Edie was the light of my life. She will always be the light for the L.G.B.T.Q. community, EDIE continued on p. 19

PHOTO BY SARAH FERGUSON

Carlina Rivera was joined by suppor ters at a rally in the East Village last weekend, including, from left, District Leader Paul Newell, Cit y Councilmember Corey Johnson and Public Advocate Letitia James.

Rivera romps; Chin up 200 votes; Marte not conceding BY LINCOLN ANDERSON

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ayor Bill de Blasio and City Council candidate Carlina Rivera coasted to victory in Tuesday night’s Democratic primary election. Shockingly, though, after the polls had closed, two-term Councilmember Margaret Chin was only ahead by a razor-thin margin of 200 votes in Lower Manhattan’s District 1 versus young upstart Christopher Marte. Marte wasn’t ready to throw in the

towel, saying on Wednesday morning that he is checking out “irregularities” at some polling sites. The First District includes Battery Park City, Tribeca, the Lower East Side, Chinatown, Little Italy, Soho, Noho and Washington Square. A political newcomer, Marte, 28, had never run for elected office until last year, when he campaigned for Democratic State Committeeman on the Lower East Side, losing to Lee Berman in a three-man race.

In unofficial Board of Election results, with 98.84 percent of the vote tallied, only a slim margin of 200 votes separates the two — 5,220 votes for Chin to 5,020 for Marte. Chin apparently only avoided a devastating upset because of two other candidates, Dashia Imperiale and Aaron Foldenauer, who ultimately wound up as spoilers in this intensely watched race. Together, the pair took more than 10 percent of the vote, ELECTION continued on p. 6

Scoops of nuggets from primary elections........p. 2 Welcome back, Connor? Martin in the mix?..... p. 10 Pier55 is sunk! Diller bails ......p. 2

www.TheVillager.com


PIER55 IS SUNK: Wow! In an epic waterfront defeat only second to the sinking of Westway in 1985, Barry Diller this week pulled the plug on his glittering Pier55 “entertainment pier” project. The New York Times reported on Wednesday that the media mogul had sent out an e-mail, saying, in part, a “tiny group of people had used the legal system to essentially drive us crazy and drive us out.” That would be referring to activists from The City Club of New York who repeatedly sued over the project, which was slated to sit off of W. 13th St. in the Hudson River Park, connected to shore by two pedestrian bridges. In a statement, Madelyn Wils, the president and C.E.O. of the Hudson River Park Trust, the waterfront park’s governing authority, said: “We are deeply saddened by this news — not simply because this would’ve been one of the world’s greatest piers, but because this was

a project the community so resoundingly wanted, and that millions would one day enjoy. Instead, it was thwarted by a small handful of people who decided they knew better. We extend our heartfelt gratitude to the Diller-von Furstenberg family for their generosity and for dreaming big with us on the public’s behalf. While work continues on exciting projects like Piers 26 and 57, we’re now left with a big hole to fill where we hoped to build the crown jewel of Hudson River Park.” (We’re also left with those “bridge trestles to nowhere” that were built during a lull in the City Club’s lawsuits.) As we previously reported, The City Club, Trust and Diller reps were in negotiations, trying to reach a settlement — under which the project could maybe move forward — after the club had recently filed yet another lawsuit. Richard Emery, the City Club’s attorney, said in a statement, “We are totally surprised by this development. We thought the negotiations were proceeding to a resolution. Diller’s decision respects the state Legislature’s intent to protect the Hudson as an estuary rather than an entertainment venue. In the end, all the Trust’s machinations and secret deals backfired, as they were destined to do from the beginning.” Tom Fox, one of the plaintiffs, filled us in on Wednesday on the details of how it went down. “We were working to finalize negotiations today,” he said. “We were going over the final draft. We were doing this for a month and a half. It’s unfortunate that all this time and money were wasted,” he reflected. Anyway, when they got a phone call announcing the news, he said, “We were blown off our chairs. For the last six weeks I was working on this three or four hours every day — drafts, letters, lawyers, meetings with the Trust.” Fox said he wasn’t sure if he could tell us what the terms of the court settlement would have been since they would have been confidential, and he would check with their lawyer about that. “If the Trust had followed a public planning process and done a full environmental review, this would have been over by now,” he noted. “We didn’t have any problem with Mr. Diller’s generosity or the arts. The problem was it was in the water. It was a non-water-dependent use. You don’t have to have a theater in the water. They’ve run out of property in Manhattan — now they want to go into the water. It shows that environmental laws have teeth,” he said. He took exception to the Times calling them “a small band of critics.” “It’s basically a small group of people who are able to get the courts to enforce environmental legislation,” he said. The fight centered on two basic points, Fox said: “One, this is a public park. Two, this is a special habitat.” Told that this victory ranks right up their with the win against the hated Westway landfill-and-tunnel megaproject, Fox said, “I’ve been fortunate to have participated in both.” Michael Novogratz, the chairperson

PHOTO BY SARAH FERGUSON

Carlina Rivera campaigning in the East Village over the weekend before the Democratic primar y election.

of the Friends of Hudson River Park, had blasted Fox and Co. as “crusty” washed-up waterfront activists for daring to challenge “Diller Island.” And Diana Taylor, chairperson of the Trust’s board of directors, had slammed Fox as just desperately trying to stay “relevant” after he had criticized the Trust on all its sleight-of-hand changes to its Pier 57 plan. Fox and his fellow City Club activists, as he told us, prefer to refer to themselves as “the old lions.” Well, the lions sure roared — and they won! “It shows the old lions have teeth,” Fox told us Wednesday, “and we are willing to engage” (i.e., to bite!). Also of interest in the Times article, by Charles Bagli, was some more info on how the ill-fated Pier55 project came to be in the first place: “Mr. Diller said the idea was born in November 2011,” the Times article reports. “It came at a party for the High Line, to which he and Ms. [Diane] von Furstenberg have been major donors. Diana Taylor, the chairwoman of the Hudson River Park Trust, whispered to him, ‘I’ve got your next project.’ The 875-foot Pier 54, at the foot of 13th Street, was slowly falling into the Hudson. Mr. Diller said Ms. Taylor later showed him a proposed amoebashaped replacement ‘with a few trees’ and an estimated cost of $35 million.” The project’s cost would, of course, eventually mushroom to $250 million...and, no doubt, still counting! Hey...rooftop party at Susan Brownmiller’s place on Jane St. to celebrate?

PRIMARY NOTES: East Village journo Sarah Ferguson was out at the polls Tuesday, and bumped into Councilmember Rosie Mendez, who she promptly asked about the late-breaking news story about Carlina Rivera and her husband, Jamie Rogers, chairperson of Community Board 3, and their Section 8 apartment. Ferguson said that Mendez conceded that Rivera and Rogers having been residing in a Section 8 apartment slated for families earning $60,000 or less — while not illegal — was not a good “optic” going into Tuesday’s race. The New York Post had splashed photos of Rogers crewing on the yacht of his father, a retired partner at the whiteshoe law firm of Cravath, Swaine & Moore,, who SCOOPY continued on p. 21

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TheVillager.com


Foldenauer hopes to ride anti-Chin vote Nov. 7 BY LINCOLN ANDERSON

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ven if Margaret Chin prevails in the First Council District primary election, voters who didn’t support her — meaning a majority of the district’s Democrats — will get another chance to unseat her in two months. The candidates who finished third and fourth in Tuesday’s primary are rejecting the “spoiler” label should Chin be certified as the winner. And one of them said he’s raring to take on Chin in the Nov. 7 general election as he runs on the Liberal Party line. As of press time, Chin held a slim, 200-vote lead over Christopher Marte, who was not conceding. In unofficial results, Aaron Foldenauer and Dashia Imperiale took 6 percent and 4 percent of the vote, respectively. Meanwhile Chin registered just shy of 46 percent of the vote to Marte’s 44 percent. The Villager asked both Imperiale and Foldenauer about being branded as spoilers. “I was in this race to fight for the people who make this city run, not the people who run this city,” Imperiale responded. “We’re going to continue to fight against greedy, unscrupulous developers and landlords. We’ll hold our elected officials’ feet to the fire.” Foldenauer said, “The claim that any candidate spoiled this election is nonsense. My anticorruption message resonated with voters. I turned out hundreds of people who wouldn’t have otherwise [voted]. “The ‘spoiler’ tag is a tool of the political establishment to discourage good citizens from running,” said Foldenauer, who is a litigator. “In addition, I took away thousands of votes from Margaret Chin, given my effective attacks on her record and the three legal complaints that I filed against

TheVillager.com

PHOTO BY TEQUILA MINSKY

Aaron Foldenauer spoke next to an empt y chair left for Margaret Chin at The Villager’s debate for City Council District 1 Democratic candidates t wo weeks ago after Chin ducked the event. Maybe he will now get another chance to debate her face to face in the race for the Nov. 7 general election.

her,” he added. “These three pending investigations continue to cast a pall over Margaret Chin’s future. “The results from primary night set up a head-tohead matchup between me and Margaret Chin in the general election,” he continued. “I’ve been endorsed by the Liberal Party of New York, and I’m on their ballot line in November. Anyone who cares about the future of Lower Manhattan should donate to my campaign today as I unlock a war chest via public matching funds to defeat Margaret Chin in November.”

Foldenauer said he would have fared better in the primary election had he had access to public matching funds — as both Chin and Marte did. “I have saved all of my matching funds to use in my head-to-head battle against Chin,” Foldenauer said. “Margaret Chin has exhausted her matching funds and would have to do fundraising all over again, a tough task to accomplish in a short period of time, given her poor performance yesterday.” Foldenauer didn’t qualify for matching funds because he didn’t meet the bar of raising contributions of at least $10 from at least 75 people living in the district. Under the city’s campaign-finance law, any donation $175 or less from a city resident is matched by the city six times over. So a $100 donation is matched with $600 from the city. To qualify, a candidate must also raise at least $5,000 in matchable dollars. “I’ve already done that,” Foldenauer said. “I’ve raised over $9,000 in matchable dollars. “Once I reach the 75-donor threshold, that $9,000 would be worth $54,000 in matching funds. And I’m eligible for more as more matching dollars come in. “As I consolidate the anti-Chin vote, I expect to easily meet this threshold in the general election, which will unlock matching funds with respect to all the money I’ve raised so far. Do the math and you’ll see that I come out on top!” But hardcore Marte supporters shrugged off the idea. Sean Sweeney of the Downtown Independent Democrats said he had warned Foldenauer he would split the non-Asian vote in the primary. “The numbers and demographics don’t lie,” Sweeney said. “In his arrogance, he refused to believe me. I would much rather have Margaret Chin for four more years than this jerk.”

September 14, 2017

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Named best weekly newspaper in New York State in 2001, 2004 and 2005 by New York Press Association News Story, First Place, 2015 Editorial Page, First Place, 2015 Editorials, First Place, 2014 News Story, First Place, 2014 Overall Design Excellence, First Place, 2013 Best Column, First Place, 2012 Photographic Excellence, First Place, 2011 Spot News Coverage, First Place, 2010 Coverage of Environment, First Place, 2009

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The Villager (USPS 578930) ISSN 0042-6202 Copyright © 2017 by the NYC Community Media LLC is published weekly by NYC Community Media LLC, One Metrotech North, 10th floor Brooklyn, NY 11201. 52 times a year. Business and Editorial Offices: One Metrotech North, 10th floor Brooklyn, NY 11201. Accounting and Circulation Offices: NYC Community Media LLC, One Metrotech North, 10th floor Brooklyn, NY 11201. Call 718-260-2500 to subscribe. Periodicals postage prices is paid at New York, N.Y. Postmaster: Send address changes to The Villager, One Metrotech North, 10th floor, Brooklyn, NY 11201 Annual subscription by mail in Manhattan and Brooklyn $29 ($35 elsewhere). Single copy price at office and newsstands is $1. The entire contents of newspaper, including advertising, are copyrighted and no part may be reproduced without the express permission of the publisher - © 2017 NYC Community Media LLC. PUBLISHER’S LIABILITY FOR ERROR

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A design rendering of a fence that would be installed under the Washington Square Arch this fall for Ai Weiwei’s public-ar t project about immigration and cultural exchange. The fence would have a cutout allowing people to pass through it.

Some rage against Weiwei arch ‘cage’ BY LIZZY ROSENBERG

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n June, the Public Art Fund organized a confidential meeting with three Community Board 2 representatives to discuss Chinese political artist Ai Weiwei’s upcoming project on immigration, “Good Fences Make Good Neighbors.” Though there are 300 sites citywide for the project, a key part of the installation is planned in the heart of the Village, right underneath Washington Square Park’s iconic arch. The installation would last four months, from October to February, which would displace the annual Christmas tree, which would have to be shifted to another spot in the park. A public meeting to discuss the matter was held Wed., Sept. 6, at Judson Church. At the meeting, Nicolas Baume, the Public Art Fund’s curator, gave an indepth presentation on Weiwei’s history and art experience, going into detail on “Good Fences Make Good Neighbors.” As an immigrant himself, Baume explained, Weiwei feels a strong connection to the project, which reflects on issues surrounding immigration and nationalism worldwide. The title is derived from Robert Frost’s poem, “Mending Wall.” The 300 sites citywide would weave through bus shelters, kiosks and rooftops. The artwork planned for the Washington Square Arch would a birdcage-like fence — 37 feet tall, 21 feet wide, with a 16-foot-tall, 6-foot-5-inch-wide humanshaped walkway cut out in the middle. “The work itself fills the void of the

archway, not touching the arch in any way,” Baume explained. “It’s a threedimensional, experiential and immersive sculpture, which manages to take on this issue of fences and borders, generously inviting the public to have an engaging and thought-provoking experience. “We know people will always create walls,” he said. “But people together with an expression in the indomitable human spirit can break through these barriers. “The structure will be mounted on a strong steel base to distribute its weight and will be ADA accessible, he said. Setup time will take about 48 hours, and will be overseen by security, Baumed added. A “Geo-Fencing Web site” will go up when the first fences are installed, allowing tourists to seek out nearby installations and read additional information on them. Though the arch’s installation won’t physically touch the arch, several neighbors said they are worried about the project’s safety. “As someone who happens to be liberal, I understand the exuberance of de Blasio’s effort to make this so prominent in the park. However, this is a highly dangerous installation,” said Trevor Sumner, president of the Washington Square Park Association. “Erecting a very large jungle gym in a park full of kids and college students screams ‘five million dollar lawsuit,’” he further explained. The installation’s timing is also upsetting to Washington Square-area locals. Since the installation is set to run from October to February, the arch’s annual Christmas tree would have to be relocated

somewhere else, perhaps 120 feet south its traditional spot, in between the fountain and the arch. The Public Art Fund, however, is open to other suggestions for tree locations. Some of those in support of relocating the tree for the art installation suggested going Uptown to visit Rockefeller Center’s tree instead, an idea that horrified Greenwich Village locals. “Parkgoers do not want this piece constantly in their faces,” Sumner protested. “It undermines the history and integrity of this recognizable monument, as well as the Christmas tradition of the Washington Square Park tree. It could easily be fi xed by moving the dates of the installation.” Many Downtown neighbors, however, aren’t concerned by the installation’s prominence in the park. One woman said, “In the Village, we’re not about beautiful pieces — we’re about challenging pieces — as we’re constantly surrounded by different kinds of people in this city, with beautiful languages left and right.” The two Community Board 2 committees that jointly held last Wednesday’s hearing — the Art and Institutions Committee and the Parks and Waterfront Committee — voted to recommend approval of the Public Art Fund’s installation in the park. They requested that the Public Art Fund collaborate with the Washington Square Association and the Washington Square Conservancy to relocate the holiday tree — which the Public Art Fund has agreed to pay for. Community members also noted that, in general, they would prefer to consulted earlier about such matters. TheVillager.com


Volume 1 | Issue 1

The Pulse of

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Look to Lenox Health Greenwich Village’s Imaging Center to meet the cardiac care needs of the entire Greenwich Village community; including the early detection and prevention of heart disease and the alleviation of the stress and fear associated with acute chest pain. Visit us at Northwell.edu/LHGV or call (646) 350-0365.

TheVillager.com

September 14, 2017

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Rivera romps; Chin up 200; Marte not conceding; ELECTION continued from p. 1

with Foldenauer raking in 699 votes to Imperiale’s 445. “The two spoilers should be ashamed of themselves,” said Sean Sweeney, a leader of the Downtown Independent Democrats. D.I.D. endorsed Marte, as did other leading local clubs Village Independent Democrats and Village Reform Democratic Club. There were also 20 write-in candidates. On Wednesday morning, though, Marte said he’s not conceding. “We want to make sure every vote is counted,” he said. “We want to look into some of the irregularities at a few voting sites. We have to meet with our poll watchers. In a statement later on Wednesday, Marte added, “We spoke to our lawyer and advisers and the election will not be officially called until next week as we wait for absentee ballots to arrive and be counted. These will be added to the absentee and affidavit ballots already received, and then we will have the final and certified results. We cannot ask for a recount until the election is certified.” Most Democrats, however, clearly were unhappy with how Chin is leading

the District 1 as seen by the fact that she only got 46 percent of the vote — not a majority. According to Jerry Skurnik of Prime New York, his company’s “ethnic estimate” of registered Democrats in District 1 finds about 23 percent are Asian-American. The company estimates voters’ ethnicity based on their last names. “It’s not 100 accurate,” Skurnik noted. “Whoopi Goldberg will be listed as Jewish and Spike Lee as Asian in our counts.” Meanwhile, in City Council District 2, including the East Village, part of the Lower East Side, Union Square, Gramercy and Kips Bay, Rivera ran roughshod. She was backed by a bevy of local politicians, including her mentor, current Councilmember Rosie Mendez, and Mendez and Rivera’s home political organization, Coalition for a District Alternative. With 96.5 percent of the ballots tallied, Rivera had collected 61 percent of the total — or 8,140 votes. Mary Silver hung in there in the District 2 race. A banner of her was hung off a building on Avenue B in the runup to Tuesday’s primary election. Of the other candidates in the District 2 field, education advocate Silver

PHOTO BY MILO HESS

Christopher Mar te campaigning outside Washington Market Park in Tribeca last Friday.

PHOTO BY MILO HESS

Margaret Chin campaigning in Tribeca last Friday. Christopher Mar te, her main challenger, was campaigning right nearby her.

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came in second, with 16.5 percent of the vote (2,198 votes); Obama administration veteran Ronnie Cho (1,139 votes) and attorney Jorge Vasquez (1,016 votes) each got around 8 percent; and Jasmin Sanchez (614 votes) got nearly 5 percent. Erin Hussein, despite dropping out of the race a few weeks ago, was still on the ballot, and 249 people blackened the oval for her, or just shy of 2 percent of the voters. There were 35 write-in candidates. Turnout was higher in District 2 than District 1, with about 2,000 more voters casting ballots in District 2 than District 1, or around 13,400 to 11,400. According to Jerry Skurnik of Prime New York, his company’s “ethnic estimate” of registered Democrats in District 2 finds about 24 percent are Hispanic. In a major upset — and a crushing blow to former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver’s Truman Democratic Club — Lee Berman and Caroline Laskow, two public-school parents, toppled incumbent District Leaders Jacob Goldman and Karen Blatt in the 65th Assembly District, Part A. Berman got 57 percent of the vote to 42 percent for Goldman, or 1,234 votes to 906, while Laskow won by 52 percent to Blatt’s 47

percent. Goldman took over the spot of longtime District Leader David Weinberger, who died last October. Berman and Laskow are founding members of a new reform political club, Grand Street Democrats. “We’re L.G.B.T. friendly,” Berman said in an interview with The Villager last week. “This is one of the things that sets up apart. We comply with the law — we do not have any members who have admitted to [crimes],” he said, referring to William Rapfogel, former C.E.O. of Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty, who pled guilty to receiving millions of dollars in kickbacks — or, as Berman put it, “stealing $9 million from the elderly.” Silver’s Truman club also played a pivotal role in supporting Alice Cancel to replace Silver in a special election last year, Berman noted, calling her “the worst candidate.” Truman members did not even deign to put up a poster for Hillary Clinton in their clubhouse’s window in the presidential election, Berman and Laskow observed, disapprovingly. Berman and Laskow’s Grand Street ELECTION continued on p. 9 TheVillager.com


Albanese to run Nov. 7 ELECTION continued from p. 6

Democrats running mates also won 16 out of 22 Democratic County Committee seats. “These victories give this new political organization immediate relevance in the selection of a new state Senator, following Daniel Squadron’s abrupt resignation,” a press release after election night declared. “Trump’s win last year was a call to action for anyone with a political ethical conscience,” Laskow said after the win. “The Truman Club’s silence in the face of Trump’s campaign and administration signaled not only their apathy but complicity. “Our community deserves better, and voters today made clear they are looking for new local leadership ready to organize resistance to Trump’s radical agenda.” Added Berman, “Locally, this is big news. Silver and his allies have acted as gatekeepers to local officials for decades. “We are determined to celebrate the diversity of our neighborhood and make sure that everyone has equal access to their elected officials, from City Hall to Albany to Washington D.C.” As opposed to the Truman Club, which the winners accused of being closed and unwelcoming, Grand Street Democrats plans to hold regular open meetings, neighborhood events and forums with elected officials for the en-

tire community. Laskow also noted that Truman didn’t have any online or social-media presence at all prior to the Grand Street Dems’ emergence. With 98 percent of the vote tallied, de Blasio had garnered 74 percent of the citywide turnout (or 326,361 votes), with former Brooklyn Councilmember Sal Albanese coming in second at 15 percent (about 66,636 votes). Neither of the other two challengers, Upper West Side police-and-prisons reform candidate Bob Gangi and tech guru Michael Tolkin, got more than 5 percent of the vote. Albanese will still be running in the November general election, however, after besting an opponent to win a third-party nomination — the Reform Party. “While we did not win the Democratic primary last night, we did beat back a concerted and well-funded effort by Republican and other party bosses to take the Reform Party nomination away from me, the legitimate Reform Party candidate,” Albanese said. “People are tired of politics as usual and the effect of big money on politics,” he said. “The poor showing at the polls — fewer than 450,000 voters turned out — is proof of that. “The results are not a mandate; they show us that a small core of political clubs and machine hacks can actually hijack elections and get the results they want.”

PHOTO COURTESY CHRIS RYAN

Call it a Critical Mass: C yclist activist-turned-Little Missionar y’s Day Nurser y parent Chris Ryan, left, and daughter with Mayor de Blasio in Tompkins Square Park this past weekend. TheVillager.com

September 14, 2017

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‘We qualify’: Rivera and Rogers defend living in APARTMENT continued from p. 1

derail her campaign. Slightly more than a week before the election, the New York Post’s Page Six reported that Rivera and her husband, Jamie Rogers, the chairperson of Community Board 3, live in a federally subsidized, low-income Section 8 apartment — whose annual entry income limit for a family of two is $61,050. The Post reported that Rivera’s income, until she stepped down as Mendez’s legislative director in February, was $41,770, meaning Rogers “earns less than $20,000 a year,” the tabloid gossip column said. Rivera told Page Six that if she wins the East Village Council seat — with its $148,050 salary — she and Rogers would no longer qualify for the subsidy. Matt Rey, her campaign spokesperson, added that the couple would then look for another apartment, so that “another deserving family” would get the affordable Lower East Side unit. Rogers has also previously told The Villager that he would step down as C.B. 3 chairperson if Rivera wins the Council seat. Rivera, who is in her early 30s, grew up in the same apartment she still lives in at Pueblo Nuevo, 210 Stanton St. at Ridge St. In separate interviews with The Villager, Rivera and Rogers both said that it’s perfectly legal for them to live in the apartment and that their incomes were fully vetted under the requirements of the federal Section 8 program. (This article was first posted online at thevillager.com around 12:30 a.m. the morning of primary election day.) Rogers, originally from Bronxville, attended Cornell Law School and formerly worked at the white-shoe law firm of Sullivan and Cromwell. However, he ditched the law for a career as a small businessman. He became a co-owner of Puschcart Coffee, a small chain of coffee shops, but has found a hard time making a go of it. A Villager reader who is a staunch supporter of Mary Silver — who was seen by many as Rivera’s toughest opponent in the primary — further tipped off the newspaper that Rogers’s dad is William Rogers, a retired partner at another white-shoe firm, Cravath, Swaine & Moore, where he was a highly successful attorney. According to the Cravath “Lawyers” Web page, the senior Rogers represented corporate and financial-institution clients on “international securities offerings, corporate governance and SEC compliance matters, mergers and acquisitions, and derivative financial products.” The page notes William Rogers advised Royal Dutch Shell on its $70 billion acquisition of BG Group, as well as Banco Santander SA in the $100 billion acquisition of ABN AMRO by a consortium of bidders, including Santander.

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Jamie Rogers, left, sailing with his father, William Rogers, on his father’s boat, “Big Boat,” in 2013.

Rivera said of her father-in-law, “His [own] father was the manager for a local Woolworth’s. He was a partner at Cravath — obviously doing well [financially].” She said Jamie is one of William’s four children. Rivera said that her husband went into debt in 2011, and “is still in debt, in multiple ways.” “Jamie doesn’t get an allowance, doesn’t get anything from his father,” she said. “All of our income has been federally vetted. We qualify for that apartment.”

‘I lost a tremendous amount of money last year.’ She noted that, even if she does win the Council job, they legally could stay in the Stanton St. unit — though would have to pay market-rate rent, or $2,775 per month. “But I don’t want to because I want someone who qualifies for it to get it,” she said of their plans, assuming she wins the seat. They currently pay around $1,600 a month in rent. If their combined income exceeds $111,000, then they would no longer qualify for the Section 8 voucher

and would have to pay market rate. Another source sent The Villager a document from the city’s Department of Finance, showing that Jamie Rogers, in late 2012, purchased a co-op apartment at 568 Grand St., in the East River Houses co-ops. “It’s true. I own an apartment on Grand St.,” Rogers told The Villager. “The apartment is rented through the co-op board, it’s perfectly legitimate. After expenses, I report the income to the landlord at 210 Stanton St.” He noted he also provides his tax returns and 1099 forms for Section 8 verification. “The landlord has all my information,” he said. “I lived at the Grand St. Co-op from December 2012 to the end of 2015, when Carlina and I were married,” he said. “In 2016, I made a net income of $4,546 on the apartment. It’s in my tax returns, and I reported it to my landlord at 210 Stanton. I have substantial debt on the apartment that I’ll be paying off for years.” He purchased the Grand. St. unit for $320,000. For the purposes of the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Section 8 program, he said, that apartment is assessed at the greater of either what is known as the “passbook value” — which is 2 percent of its total value, or $6,400 — or the rental income. The Grand St. pad is not located in City Council District 2, though, so Rivera could not live there anyway if she is elected to the City Council.

Rogers also told The Villager that he has a trust fund that stood at $50,000 last year. He said he has tapped into those funds in the past for business investments, but not for living expenses — and, even if he wanted to use it to live on, would need to get permission from the trustee first. “It should sit and earn interest for a future investment,” he said of the trust, adding that currently he’s likely to invest the dough in the stock market because the retail climate in New York City is so bad. “My parents opened the account when I was a baby,” he said, “to help pay for college and then law school.” Again, the trust fund is valued based on its “passbook value,” which is $1,000 in this case. Under Section 8, the rent that he and Rivera pay at Stanton St. is one-third of their annual income. Rogers said it’s also true that in 2016 he made “a little under $20,000” in total income, which was his worst year financially. That included the income from his business, along with the “passbook value” of both his apartment and trust fund. “I haven’t been as successful as I look or appear in my business,” he said. “It’s frustrating.” “With Carlina’s 2016 income and mine, we made about $70,000 combined,” he told The Villager. In sharing all of his and Rivera’s financial information with the newspaper, Rogers stressed that he wants to be totally transparent. Like Rivera, he said they are expecting to move. Whoever wins Tuesday night’s Democratic primary election is a lock to win November’s general election. “The minute 9 p.m. tomorrow night rolls around, we’ll start looking,” he said, speaking on Monday. “I really hate that it’s me that’s become the drag on Carlina’s campaign and what she can do,” he said, speaking earlier this week. “It sucks that it’s about me. I don’t want to be part of the equation.” Echoing Rivera, Rogers, who is in his mid-30s, stated that his father doesn’t support him financially. “I have a substantial loan from my father that compounds with interest each year,” he said. “I do not mooch off him. I haven’t taken a loan from him since 2016. We are completely financially independent of him. I lost a tremendous amount of money last year.” Rogers launched his first Pushcart Coffee on East Broadway in 2011. He said another Pushcart Coffee branch, at E. 12th St. and Third Ave., lasted just four months before closing in 2015. “We only lost a little bit of money on that,” he said. APARTMENT continued on p. 9 TheVillager.com


Section 8 apartment APARTMENT continued from p. 8

Another shop, Bustler, a self-serveconcept coffee shop in Midtown (the name was a mash-up of “hustle and bustle� and Hustler) also closed after four months. “That was a huge loss,� he reflected on Bustler going bust. His Chelsea Pushcart Coffee shop, at W. 25th St. and Ninth Ave., did all right for a while. But then the extension of the No. 7 subway opened up and killed its business, since some straphangers started using that line instead of the A/C/E, and so have been getting on and off the subway farther west, he said. Rogers handed that shop over to two Australians, who renamed it Citizens of Chelsea, and Rogers remains an investor. As of now, he has only two coffee shops left: Ava Brew, on Willoughby St. in Downtown Brooklyn, which is “doing well,� he said, and a Pushcart Coffee on E. 22nd St. and Second Ave., which is facing stiff competition from a Think Coffee that opened two blocks away a year ago. “I’ve only made about $1,000 since August� on the E. 22nd St. shop, he said. “Coffee shops have a low profit margin,� he noted. Describing the climate for small

businesses in this city, Rogers said, “Pardon my language, it’s become a f—ed up business.� “I had grand visions of becoming the next Howard Schultz,� he reflected, referring to the Starbucks executive chairperson. “When Bustler failed, which was the first quarter of 2016, and when [the Pushcart Coffee in] Chelsea continued to slip, we were basically living hand-to-mouth,� he said of Rivera and himself. Rivera actually made about $50,000 when she worked with Mendez, he said. Recalling their plans when he moved into Rivera’s apartment last year, he said, “If I was successful, we [would] move out. If I wasn’t, we don’t.� Asked about the photos being floated of him participating in sailing races, Rogers responded, “My dad is retired and he owns a small sailboat. I don’t own the boat.� A fellow Community Board 3 member who is a Rivera supporter said with a laugh that being a “yachtsman� is not necessarily a bad thing for an activist who wants to serve his community. “Yachtsmen have been some of our greatest humanitarians,� he said, referring to Robert F. Kennedy — and the Kennedy clan, in general.

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9


Connor comeback? ‘Placeholder’ idea oated BY COLIN MIXSON

W

elcome back, Connor? Brooklyn’s Democratic Party boss is angling for former state Senator Martin Connor to return to the seat recently vacated by Daniel Squadron, claiming the pol would serve for a year and not seek reelection so that there can be a proper vote to fill the seat in next year’s primary. Brooklyn party chairperson Frank Seddio said that by temporarily installing the former state Senate minority leader in the position, the party would avoid filling Squadron’s seat with someone chosen by county committees and allow for a more democratic process to choose a permanent replacement down the line. “Let him be a placeholder for the 13 months remaining and then have a real primary,� Seddio said. Squadron, who ousted Connor from the District 26 state Senate seat — which includes Lower Manhattan and parts of Brooklyn — in 2008, resigned from Albany’s upper house in August. But the pol stepped down after the petition-filing deadline for candidates to get on the September ballot passed, preventing a primary vote from determining a Democratic nominee that almost certainly would win the seat in

Mar tin Connor’s photo from his old state Senate page.

November’s general election. Instead, the nominee, Squadron’s likely successor, will be chosen by the district’s combined county committees from Manhattan and Brooklyn. And, as a result of party rules that weight the decision in favor of Manhattan’s committee members, Manhattan party boss Keith Wright is ultimately empowered to choose the nominee, according to Connor, who currently works as an

election attorney in Brooklyn Heights. Seddio said he hopes to sell Wright on the plan, arguing it would be fairer for voters to choose from a fresh slate of candidates next year that does not include an incumbent selected via county committees. “Incumbency has an enormous amount of value,� he said, “so not having that would allow a real election.� Connor told the Brooklyn Paper, a sister paper of The Villager, in August that he had no intention to campaign for Squadron’s seat. But speaking last week, he said he would agree to assume the position at Seddio’s and other Democrats’ request, claiming it is the best move for the party. “I’m not running,� Connor said. “I’m not making calls. But if that’s helpful to the party and the constituents and would give the other candidates an open shot in the primaries, I’d be willing to do it.� The former politician promised he would not seek re-election next year if appointed, and his word is good enough for Seddio, even though there is nothing that would legally prevent Connor from launching a campaign. “I’ve known Marty Connor for 30 years,� Seddio said. “He’s one of the most honest people I know in terms of how he handles his political role. I can’t imagine him giving his word and not

keeping it.� Eileen Naples, a former prosecutor in the Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office, is the only Brooklynite vying for the seat. “I haven’t spoken to Marty Connor himself, but a placeholder that promises not to run is the most democratic thing,� Naples said. “To give the choice of the democratic nominee to the voters ultimately is the goal.� But some are skeptical that Connor would willingly hand over the position if appointed. “I would cast a cold eye on such a promise, because too often promises are broken,� said Sean Sweeny, a leader of the Downtown Independent Democrats, who voted for Connor in 2008. Paul Newell, a Lower East Side Democratic district leader running for the seat, decried any effort by party bosses to handpick a candidate. “The idea that two county leaders would sit together and decide without the committee members who have been selected for this purpose would be the least democratic outcome,� Newell said. In addition, during the election when Squadron ousted Connor nine years ago, some slammed the longtime Albany fi xture as a “do-nothing� politician.

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

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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 14, 2017

11


LETTERS TO THE EDITOR Allison would vote Sal

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To The Editor: Re “Sal Albanese for mayor on Sept. 12” (editorial, thevillager.com, Sept. 9): My late mom, Allison, would vote for Sal. She may have not liked him 25 years ago. But he can’t be any worst than “YMCA Bill.” No pun intended to the Village People. Richard Nixon Greaker

and advocating for diversified and sustainable agricultural solutions to food and nutrition security here, in Malawi, Africa, for nearly two decades. We can assure you that countries in Africa do not need expensive, patented, imported and ecologically unstable genetically engineered technologies to solve our problems. We already have hundreds of highly nutritious, well-adapted and open-pollinated traditional crops, which continue to be overlooked, overshadowed and even stigmatized by the current push to monocrop a handful of introduced crops. Kristof Nordin

‘Statutory’ nonsense! To The Editor: Re “City’s monumental statues debate” (news article, Aug. 31): Why didn’t De Blasio come out and tell us his plan before the election? Let’s also rename the F.D.R. Drive, my old high school in Brooklyn (also F.D.R.), the George Washington Bridge and many other landmarks because someone was “offended”! I remember a time when New Yorkers and Americans were tougher than that! Charles Frank

Monocrops: The root cause To The Editor: Re “The great GMO freak-out exposé” (Rhymes With Crazy, by Lenore Skenazy, Sept. 7): There is a reason that entire species, such as bananas and papayas, are now threatened by outbreaks of pests and diseases. There is also a reason that scientists are trying to artificially insert Vitamin A into plants that it doesn’t belong in, such as cassava and rice. These problems, however, lie not within the banana, papaya, cassava or rice, but within unhealthy and unbalanced, chemical-based, monocropped agricultural systems. These are systems that serve to eradicate biodiversity and promote an overreliance on highcarbohydrate, low-nutrient foods, while exacerbating the very problems for which genetic engineering is now literally being “sold” as the solution. Using genetic engineering to adapt our crops to these unhealthy systems is simply covering up the root causes of the problems. We can keep throwing band-aids at these problems, or we can start to heal the wound. The choice is ours. My wife and I have been implementing, teaching

District 1 debate points To The Editor: Re “District 1 candidates debate without Chin; Marte cool under fire” (news article, Sept. 7): I’ve been involved with the work to restore Rivington House to the community and to ensure this never happens again since 2014 (and as members of the Sara D. Roosevelt Park Coalition since 1993). None of these three candidates’ analysis of what happened is accurate. Councilmember Margaret Chin has been advocating at our side every step of the way. Within the recesses of arcane processes of the Department of Citywide Administrative Services — where Jim Capalino had access and deep ties — Rivington House was undone. It was his language from decades before (when he first lobbied to lift the property’s protections) that was used in the eventual lifting of the deed restrictions. This is election-time posturing for easy applause. And to be honest, we aren’t giving up on the mayor, either. Advocates advocate, win allies, work on policies that are inclusive and keep fighting for the best outcomes for the most vulnerable (who are all of us someday). Regardless of where you stand on sharing the Elizabeth St. open space with affordable senior housing, it was an affront to the former evicted patients living with AIDS that candidate Christopher Marte brought the Elizabeth St. Garden to pose in front of Rivington House to make the case for their own cause with the building as a mere prop, given that the Friends of Elizabeth St. Garden had hired Capalino’s lobbying firm in 2013 and that he’s worked for them pro bono ever since. Everyone has the right to have their fight — but it lacks all integrity to use the plight of the Rivington LETTERS continued on p. 21

EVAN FORSCH

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September 14, 2017

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Stories from my closet: Vintage Village finds NOTEBOOK BY NANCY GENDIMENICO

I

tried on the black lace shell. Sleeveless and hip skimming, it fit as if it were designed for me and was like nothing I’d owned. The label said made in Austria for Bonwit Teller. I didn’t need the top. I had a closet full of items I’d wanted more than needed. When I’d wandered into Stella Dallas, a vintage store on Thompson St., one August day 20 years ago, I’d hoped to enter another world, far from my thencurrent worries. I imagined a chic woman wearing the top with a trim skirt to lunch or for cocktails. She would have been well-bred and cultivated, the type of customer Bonwit’s attracted before the New York store was closed in the late ’80s. Not my roots —coming from a Rust Belt town in Northeastern Pennsylvania. My 83-year-old mother had had a stroke the month before. Her condition was not life-threatening, but it was shocking to see my once-mobile mother relegated to a wheelchair and requiring daily care. My five siblings and I weren’t sure she could stay in the Pennsylvania house where she’d brought us up and lived for more than 35 years, the past four spent alone after my father died. An alarm had sounded — my mother could pass away at any time. With this realization came an inevitable role reversal, a mother’s children in charge of her future. Heated discussions ensued among the six of us about what was best for my mother. Should we keep her at home and comfortable, a costly option, or uproot her and select a nursing home where quality of care was uncertain? Phone calls with my siblings dissolved into fights that summer and fall. While I was away on business, the calls continued. I remember the chirp of the Tokyo hotel phone waking me while I tried to recover from jet lag and my guilt about not being closer to home. I felt it again in Phoenix, during a company meeting. I’d worn the lace top there, when temperatures soared to 100-plus degrees and a migraine was setting in before I was to speak in front of hundreds of clients and colleagues. In my single state, the only one in the family unmarried and in my forties, I wasn’t sure what my role should be, when I hadn’t fulfilled certain goals for my own life, like finding a stable relationship. Where was the training manual for this? A year later, my siblings and I still hadn’t agreed on where my mother should settle longer term. She’d had subsequent strokes, yet her mental functioning was intact. Several interim moves and hospital stays had left her TheVillager.com

PHOTO BY NANCY GENDIMENICO

Some of the fashions on display recently at Screaming Mimi’s, which is now on W. 14th St.

disoriented and she was now at an assisted-living center 10 miles from home. Not happily. She complained about other residents stealing small items from her room and the terrible food, an affront to her Italian cooking. Shopping — part of my livelihood as a former apparel buyer and now brand marketer — continued to be an escape. In Noho one fall weekend, I discovered a silk embroidered jacket made in Hong Kong with hand-knotted buttons and bracelet sleeves at Screaming Mimi’s while shopping with my college-aged niece. N.Y.U. had already taken over the neighborhood and multimilliondollar apartments near the Bowery were nascent.

Life got tough — but there was shopping. I wasn’t sure when I would the wear the jacket. I bought it anyway, wondering who had owned the item before me. I pictured an elegant Chinese woman having an ill-fated love affair, like a

character in a Wong Kar-wai movie. Then about nine months after my purchase, I was invited to a May wedding with an Asian theme. Getting drenched was a good reason to skip the reception that rainy day. Given my own ill-fated romances, I was reluctant to attend solo, but it was less than a mile away. I wore the jacket over a black dress. The newlyweds had gone all out to make a fun party — decor, drinks, servers in sarongs and print tops, and the groom celebrating in style dressed as a Chinese nobleman. A friend who worked for a fashion publication snapped photos and took one of me. Four months later, my picture was included in the report, a thrill to be recognized for my fashion sense. By then, the spell had broken on my dreary dating history and I was seeing a law school classmate of the groom’s I’d met at the wedding. The relationship lasted four years. Nine months after the wedding, we moved my mother to a nursing home in central New Jersey near my brother and sister. She stayed there for more than 10 years. There were times when her health worsened and we weren’t sure she was going to make it. My mother surprised us and hung on, lucid until she passed

away in 2009 at the age of 95. I still have the jacket and lace top, surviving several wardrobe purges the Marie Kondo way. Both vintage stores have survived, too. Stella Dallas remains at the same Thompson St. address. The Japanese owners offer a fashionable assortment of American and European designer apparel and accessories, revisiting the ’60s, ’70s and ’80s. Screaming Mimi’s moved out of their former Lafayette St. location. I’d assumed the “For Rent” sign meant another retailer had shut down — another local business had disappeared due to a rent hike. The store recently re-opened on W. 14th St. in a bright, clean space where their well-curated collection allows shoppers to channel their inner disco vibe for a costume party or envision themselves as characters in a film or TV show. I am still wearing the lace top and silk jacket. I think of how my personal history has superseded that of the previous owners who’d zipped the top or buttoned the jacket. When it’s time for me to pass the vintage pieces on, I hope whomever owns my items next will conjure up their own stories and enjoy the escape. September 14, 2017

13


POLICE BLOTTER Tattoo rage

McMugging

A man was assaulted Thurs., Aug. 31, at 8:30 p.m., inside Boots & Saddle, at 100A Seventh Ave. South, between Grove and Barrow Sts., police said. The 31-year-old victim stated he was at the gay bar and inquiring about a tattoo on the suspect’s neck, when the suspect grabbed his glass and hit him on the left cheekbone, causing an abrasion and a minor cut. The suspect allegedly told the victim, “Get the f--- away from me.” Anthony Agosto-Garcia, 33, was charged with felony assault.

A man was robbed inside a bathroom at the McDonald’s at 136 W. Third St. on Mon., Sept., 11, at 11:15 a.m., police said. The victim entered the restroom and was followed in shortly afterward by another man. The suspect reportedly placed an unidentified object against the victim’s back and said, “Give me the money.” A worker at the fast-food joint opened the bathroom door and allowed the victim to escape. Witnesses kept the suspect inside the bathroom by holding the door shut until police arrived, and the defendant surrendered and was arrested. Omar Courtman, 41, was busted for felony robbery.

Standard Mickey Finn Police said a man was robbed after he invited a woman back to his room at The Standard hotel on Thurs., Dec. 11, 2014, at 8 a.m. The victim, 25, met the suspect at Club Fusion. After arriving at the 848 Washington St. hotel, the woman mixed a drink for the victim, and after downing it, he passed out. Upon awaking, he found his iPhone and Apple Watch missing. Nicole Evans, 23, was arrested Sat., Sept. 9, for felony grand larceny.

First Ave. fight

A sur veillance-camera photo of First Ave. beating suspect. A video shows him using the small flashlight in his hand to signal to someone down the street.

On Sat., Aug. 12, just before 4 a.m., in front of 25 First Ave., two men got into an altercation. During the fight, the other man headbutted and punched the victim, 39, in the face numerous times. In addition, he cut the victim with an unknown sharp object. The victim

suffered a broken jaw, cuts on his head and shoulder and was treated at Bellevue Hospital. The suspect fled in an unknown direction, and was last seen wearing a light-colored long-sleeved shirt, black pants and black sneakers. Anyone with information is asked to call the Police Department’s Crime Stoppers Hotline, at 800-577-TIPS, or for Spanish, 1-888-57-PISTA (74782). Tips can also be submitted by logging onto the Crime Stoppers Web site, www.nypdcrimestoppers.com, or by texting them to 274637 (CRIMES) and then entering TIP577. All tips are confidential.

Bike and butterfly According to police, a man, working with two sidekicks, was spotted trying to cut a bicycle lock on Thurs., Sept. 7, at 11:10 p.m., in front of 120 University Place. A responding officer reported that, during a search, the suspect was found in possession of a butterfly knife and a stolen credit card. Gary Scovil, 18, was arrested for felony criminal possession of a weapon.

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HERE was there and will surely endure Silver Anniversary season looks back, forges ahead

Photo by Paula Court

L to R: Mariana Newhard and Purva Bedi in “Assembled Identity” (April 24-May 13, 2018).

BY TRAV S.D. By many measures, 1993 was a pretty wretched year. The World Trade Center was bombed (the first time); the siege in Waco occurred, resulting in the loss of 76 lives; the US military saw action in Iraq, Somalia, and Haiti; Arthur Ashe died of AIDS; River Phoenix OD’d; and Colin Ferguson shot up the LIRR. But that same year, in Lower Manhattan, something wonderful happened. Two Downtown theatre companies, Tiny Mythic and the Home for Contemporary Theatre and Art, joined forces to create HERE Arts Center. The 2017-2018 season will be HERE’s 25th, which means the company will be celebrating its Silver Anniversary — TheVillager.com

no small feat given the failure rate of small arts organizations. “It was just a raw space when we found it,” said co-founder Kristin Marting, of their location at 145 Sixth Ave. “It was 13,000 square feet of storage, full of refrigerators and appliances, with a loading dock. We had to gut and rehab the whole space ourselves, and our family and friends, with just sweat equity.” As originally configured, HERE had three theatres, a large art gallery on the ground floor, and a cafe space on the Sixth Ave. side. The space was initially considered a vessel for its two main companies, Tiny Mythic and the Home for Contemporary Theatre

and Art, and the various artists and companies they sponsored and hosted through their core programs. The two founding companies merged in 1997 and Marting was named Executive Director, a post she held for a decade. In 2007, her job title shifted to Artistic Director, with Kim Whitener coming on as Producing Director. “I came on during on what we call our ‘teenager with braces phase,’ ” recalled Whitener. During these years (2005-2007) the building’s owners announced that they going to convert the building to condominiums. “They didn’t want us here anymore,” said Whitener. Nevertheless, HERE persisted. They raised the money to get out

of their current lease, condensed their footprint, and purchased the smaller square footage. Work on the conversion was completed in 2008 (with the entrance on Dominick St., one block south of Spring St.). It was a bold and risky gambit, but it paid off, solidifying HERE’s fi nancial position even as it supported hundreds of artists and helped change the face of the neighborhood. “No one used to go beyond Sixth Avenue,” said Whitener, “Now the neighborhood is bustling. All those artists moving in made a difference. HERE has made an impact.” HERE continued on p. 16 September 14, 2017

15


Photo by Benjamin Heller

L to R: Nola Sporn Smith and Jade Daugherty in “Stairway to Stardom,” playing through Sept. 23.

HERE continued from p. 15

It has also grown. Initially an organization with a $350,000 annual budget, that number has grown nearly sixfold. Once entirely volunteer based, HERE now employs nine full-time and nine part-time staff members. Equally impressive is the high quality of the work the company has produced over the past quarter century — including such groundbreaking productions as the premiere of Eve Ensler’s “The Vagina Monologues,” Basil Twist’s “Symphonie Fantastique,” Basil Twist and Joey Arias’ “Arias with a Twist,” Young Jean Lee’s “Songs of the Dragons Flying to Heaven,” Trey Lyford & Geoff Sobelle’s “all wear bowlers,” Taylor Mac’s “The Lily’s Revenge,” and several works created and directed by Marting. Other artists with a close association with the space have included Labyrinth Theater Company, Elevator Repair Service, Target Margin Theater, and The Talking Band. This year’s season will present three world premieres of works developed through the HERE Artist Residency Program, or HARP: “Stairway

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to Stardom” by Amanda Szeglowski/cakeface, “Thomas Paine in Violence” by Paul Pinto, and “American Weather” by Chris Green. There will also be a new original work by Marting and cocreator Purva Bedi and Mariana Newhard entitled “Assembled Identity,” and a revival of a seminal production from HERE’s past: Basil Twist’s “Symphonie Fantastique,” which will soon be celebrating its own 20th anniversary, and has traveled to cities from San Francisco to London. Said Twist, “The original production of ‘Symphonie Fantastique’ was part of HERE’s puppetry program and presented in the little theatre downstairs [now named the Dorothy B. Williams Theatre in honor of Twist’s grandmother]. After the HERE run, I developed a touring production and the show got a bit bigger, and this time we’ll be bringing that bigger version of the show to the upstairs space [the Mainstage Theatre]. I really do hope to recreate the magic of that original production, the sense of discovery. It means a lot to bring it back here. It’s thrilling. It’s like coming home.” For more on HERE’s 2017-2018 season, visit here. org.

Photo by Richard Termine

The 12-week engagement of Basil Twist’s “Symphonie Fantastique” begins March 29, 2018.

Photo by Carl Skutsch

L to R: HERE Producing Director Kim Whitener and Artistic Director Kristin Marting. TheVillager.com


Just Do Art

Photo by James Coote

Find out what Oslo already knows: The Krumple presents “YOKAI, Remedy for Despair” at The Tank through Sept. 24.

Photo by Ed Forti

Photo by James Coote

L to R: Alexandra Anne, Margaret Catov and Erin Beirnard in “The Climbers” — at Metropolitan Playhouse through Oct. 8.

From The Krumple’s “Do Not Feed the Trolls.” View the show’s clever stand-alone short film at thekrumple.com.

BY SCOTT STIFFLER

“THE CLIMBERS” The programmers at Metropolitan Playhouse either have a fully functioning crystal ball squirreled away in the prop room of their East Village theater, or an extraordinarily keen sense of when something old is new again. That’s the only reasonable explanation for their uncanny ability to revive early American plays that turn out to be tailor-made for our times. Such is the case with the work that opens their 2017-2018 season, whose theme of “Resilience” calls to the modern mind everything from hurricane recovery to having the wind knocked out of you after an unwelcome election result. Written by then-Broadway box office darling Clyde Fitch, 1901’s “The Climbers” finds the Hunter family reeling from the death of their patriarch — TheVillager.com

and bereft of assets or income (due to extravagant spending and an ill-advised investment). Two factions of the family emerge, with one side cooking up a fraudulent fundraising scheme and the other choosing the route of personal sacrifice. This damnation of Gilded Age greed and decadence, says artistic director Alex Roe, is “a welcome appraisal of a divided culture from a century past” whose “vote for compassion and empathy is one that should count again.” If the Hunters are divided, at least the creative team is on the same page. Directed by Metropolitan mainstay Michael Hardart, “The Climbers” has been cast with faces from past seasons who will share the stage for the first time — including Ian Eaton (“East Village Chronicles”), Margery Catlov (“Leah, the Forsaken”), Becca Ballenger (“The Hero”), and David Licht (“Rollo’s Wild Oat”). Currently in previews; opens Sept.

15, closes Oct. 8. Thurs.–Sat. at 7:30pm; Sun. at 3pm. Additional 3pm performances Wed., Sept. 27/Oct. 4 & Sat., Sept. 30/Oct. 7. At Metropolitan Playhouse (220 E. Fourth St., btw. Aves. A & B). For tickets ($30; $25 for students/seniors, $10 for children), call 800-838-3006 or visit metropolitanplayhouse.org.

THE KRUMPLE AT THE TANK Taking its title from the Japanese word for supernatural entities capable of mischief, malice, or good fortune, “YŌKAI, Remedy for Despair” doesn’t hold back on delivering Parisian-tinged Norwegian theater company The Krumple’s promise to combine “theater, dance, magic, poetry, and sheer stupidity.” But don’t mistake the pride they take in being silly for a lack of serious subject matter.

Clad in beige bodysuits, Yōkai-like members of the silent ensemble fill the empty stage with miniature trees, mountains, skyscrapers, and puffy clouds — then populate that world with destined-to-converge storylines involving a horrible car accident, a hungry cod, and a father/daughter’s toxic Christmas Eve. Cutting the constant despair with moments of slapstick and surrealism, The Krumple excels at deploying wordless whimsy in the service of themes both hopeful and disturbing. For a better sense of their ability to deftly move between such extremes, visit thekrumple.com and view the short film version of their Internet bullying stage show, “Do Not Feed the Trolls.” “YŌKAI” is performed Thurs., Fri., Sat. at 8pm and Sun. at 3pm through Sept. 24 (also Wed., Sept. 20 at 8pm). At The Tank (312 W. 36th St., btw. Eighth & Ninth Aves.). For tickets ($15–$35), visit thetanknyc.org. September 14, 2017

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PHOTO BY TEQUILA MINSKY

Edie Windsor, the Village woman who over turned the Defense of Marriage Act in the U.S. Supreme Cour t, cheering on the Gay Pride March last year.

Edie Windsor, equality’s champion, 88 EDIE continued from p. 1

which she loved so much and which loved her right back.” Roberta Kaplan, the civil-rights litigator who represented Windsor in her successful DOMA challenge, said, “Representing Edie Windsor was and will always be the greatest honor of my life. She will go down in the history books as a true American hero. With Edie’s passing, I lost not only a treasured client, but a member of my family. I know that Edie’s memory will always be a blessing to Rachel, myself and Jacob. I also know that her memory will be a blessing not only to every L.G.B.T. person on this planet, but to all who believe in the concept of b’tzelem elohim, or equal dignity for all.” Windsor’s victory at the Supreme Court, which came on a 5-to-4 vote on June 26, 2013, meant that the federal government was obligated to recognize all legal marriages of same-sex couples on the same terms as those of different-sex couples. Windsor arrived before the Supreme Court in her challenge to a federal estate-tax bill of more than $360,000 after the 2009 death of her first wife, Thea Spyer. Windsor and Spyer, both New Yorkers who began dating in 1965, had traveled to Toronto in 2007, where they legally married. The following year, a New York court ruled that the state would recognize legal same-sex marriages from other jurisdictions, despite the fact that such marriages could not yet be formalized within the Empire State. Regardless of New York’s recognition of their marriage, the Internal Revenue Service viewed Windsor and Spyer as legal strangers. Justice Anthony Kennedy’s majority opinTheVillager.com

ion in the DOMA case made clear that the court was not ruling on the underlying question of whether same-sex couples have a constitutional right to marry — but instead on the narrower issue of whether the federal government must recognize those marriages that are legally recognized by the states or foreign governments. Over the following two years, district and appeals courts — in a blizzard of pro-equality rulings — drew on the logic of the Windsor decision to find just such a constitutional right. On June 26, 2015, two years to the day after the Windsor ruling, the Supreme Court, in the same 5-to-4 split, ruled that same-sex couples have a right to marry. Edith Schlain Windsor was born June 20, 1929, in Philadelphia. A graduate of Temple University, she was married to Saul Windsor for a year following college, before divorcing him and moving to New York. Here, she earned a master’s degree in mathematics at New York University and began a career at IBM. Windsor and Spyer, a psychologist, were in their 30s when they met at a West Village restaurant in 1963 and began a friendship that two years later blossomed into a romance. They got engaged in 1967, but as for marriage, at the time they “never thought it would happen,” Windsor told Gay City News, The Villager’s sister paper, last fall shortly after her marriage to Kasen-Windsor. Spyer lived with a multiple sclerosis diagnosis for decades before her death, and as Kaplan noted, when the couple traveled to Canada for their wedding, “four best women and two best men” were needed to help assemble and disassemble Spyer’s wheelchair

at airports in New York and Toronto. “That’s how much they wanted to get married,” Kaplan said as the time of the DOMA victory. The couple traveled to Toronto as part of an effort dubbed the Civil Marriage Trail, founded by New York activists Brendan Fay and Jesús Lebron after the Canadian courts ruled in 2003 that same-sex couples there had the right to marry. Civil Marriage Trail facilitated the planning for U.S. couples wishing to travel to Canada to marry. When Windsor decided to mount a federal case against DOMA, she was no stranger to activism. In addition to years of working alongside the community’s earliest marriage advocates, she was, by 2010, already the recipient of a Lifetime Achievement Award from SAGE (Services and Advocacy for GLBT Elders), and had long been involved as well with the L.G.B.T. Community Center and the Callen-Lorde Community Health Center. But in 44 years with Spyer, Windsor’s path to outspoken advocacy was a gradual one. On the day she prevailed over DOMA, Windsor told a packed news conference at the L.G.B.T. Community Center, “Internalized homophobia is a bitch.” For many years during her relationship with Spyer, she said, “I lied all the time” to a close-knit group of coworkers at IBM. Internalized homophobia seemed an odd topic to be broached by a woman whom others at the same press conference called a hero and “shero” and compared to Susan B. Anthony, Rosa Parks and Harvey Milk. Windsor had just gotten off the phone with EDIE continued on p. 21 September 14, 2017

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Edie Windsor dead at 88 EDIE continued from p. 19

President Barack Obama, who called her from Air Force One when the Supreme Court ruling came down. (The former president, who said he spoke to Windsor just a few days before her death, said of her this week, “Few were as small in stature as Edie Windsor — and few made as big a difference to America.”) At the same news conference, when a reporter asked her what love is, Windsor at first said there are many types of loves, then alluded to the excitement of her sexual relationship with Spyer, admitting that her late wife always insisted they “keep it hot.” Barely missing a beat, Windsor then quoted at some length a W.H. Auden poem about romantic love. Insisting that the two-and-a-half years of DOMA litigation she endured were “joyous, just joyous,” Windsor said, “If I had to survive Thea, what a glorious way to do it. And she would be so pleased.” In the wake of her DOMA win — which unleashed a euphoric L.G.B.T.Q. response from coast to coast — Windsor’s vigor in using her newfound fame to advance the community’s agenda was nothing short of astonishing. Whether it was the Center’s annual Women’s Event, a rollout of a national senior housing initiative by SAGE, a rally for homeless L.G.B.T. youth in Union Square or innumerable other gatherings, she seemed to be everywhere. “Because of my name, because I am Edie Windsor, I have a certain amount of pull,” she said last fall. “And I feel an obligation when somebody asks me to please come speak or even to put my name on their ad — ‘Yes, yes, and I promise I’ll be there.’” Even as she was constantly in the public eye, Windsor admitted after marrying Kasen-Windsor, she had felt a deep and enduring loss from Spyer’s death. Her life, she told Gay City News, was “very full with the community, but that’s not the same. And when Judith came into my life, I had just admitted to my best friend, ‘You know, I’m really lonely.’” Windsor’s relationship with KasenWindsor began in late 2015, when Judith walked Edie home from an L.G.B.T. Community Center holiday party to Windsor’s lower Fifth Ave. apartment “We talked for, like, hours,” KasenWindsor recalled last fall. “We sat and talked for hours, and then in the hallway, by her door, she kissed me. Then I called her during the week, and she asked me to go to Robbie [Kaplan’s] Hanukkah party that following Friday.” “And very quickly, very quickly, it really caught quick, it really caught,” Windsor interjected. “We began dating seriously, almost right away.” After an illness last summer, Windsor decided it was the right time to tie the knot again. “I said, ‘I think we should do it right away,’ ” Edie recalled telling Judith. “My sense was that if I’m going to die on her, TheVillager.com

it would be unfair — we were clearly in love, we were practically living together, and that I shouldn’t cheat her” by leaving her unmarried. With Kasen-Windsor’s best friend, Danielle Reda, visiting from France, the couple traveled to Manhattan’s Marriage Bureau on Worth St. on a late September Monday to pledge their vows. When their officiant, Angel Lopez, learned from Judith who the other bride was, he briefly excused himself, saying, “Let me get my boss,” City Clerk Michael McSweeney. When asked whether her new marriage meant she was ready to slow down in her activism, Windsor shot back instantaneously, “Not at all!” This past June 11, she was in Washington as the grand marshal for the Equality March for Unity & Pride, organized in response to the anti-L.G.B.T.Q. backlash brought on by the new Trump administration. Two weekends later, she marched in the Dyke March and the L.G.B.T.Q. Pride March on consecutive days. In insisting last fall that she would never retire as an activist, Windsor recalled a recent speech she had given, after which “everybody kept thanking me. And I said, ‘Thank you.’ I’m somebody who was really a dumb, ignorant middleclass woman, who said, ‘I’m not in trouble about being gay but I do have trouble identifying with those queens,’ and then a queen overturned that police car and changed my life. O.K., so that was the beginning of my sense of unity. “And then during the AIDS crisis, when the lesbians poured in to help, what had then been a split really between the males and the females was deeply changed and my sense of community grew. “And then when people were pouring into, looking to get into the Supreme Court, that made it even wider, that meant that we were out more — and the more of us that got out, the more of us got out. It was suddenly wonderful not to be left behind in the closet. And it keeps happening. But it also happens with the straight world. Mothers discovered that their kids were gay. Everybody discovered that their neighbor was, that their friend was. And a lot of the stigma for us disappeared.” Then, on that early autumn day last year, even as she voiced dread at the possibility that Donald Trump could win the White House — something that at the time she said might force her and Judith into exile in Spain — Edie Windsor said, “I’m grateful to live in this great world.” A public memorial will be held this Fri., Sept. 15, at Riverside Memorial Chapel, 180 W. 76th St., at 12:30 p.m. In lieu of flowers, Edie Windsor had requested that any donations in her memory be made to the following organizations: the L.G.B.T. Community Center, the Callen-Lorde Community Health Center, the Hetrick-Martin Institute and SAGE.

Letters to The Editor LETTERS continued from p. 13

House residents while taking support from one of the key enablers of their eviction. I was involved in the Chinatown Working Group (chairing the C.W.G. Education Working Group) since before 2009. Councilmember Chin was involved early on, as was Ed Ma, who worked to initiate it because he saw gentrification coming. The leadership of the C.W.G. was targeted by some of the very groups who now decry the lack of movement. We spent years dealing with personal attacks (instead of policy issues). That delay caused core Chinatown stakeholders and C.W.G. leadership to leave the group. It meant we lost those stakeholders — yes, including a small minority of developers whose politics I may abhor, but they were stakeholders — and we lost time. The plan was stymied and the real estate developers happily marched on.

It would have required difficult compromises to move forward that no one liked but would have given us traction and protected many, many tenants. City Planning had the final say and they weren’t budging on accepting the whole plan. In my opinion, that is how we got Extell. Now the fight, no matter who you vote for, is to push Chin’s legislation — if you care about that issue. K Webster E-mail letters, not longer than 250 words in length, to news@thevillager. com or fax to 212-229-2790 or mail to The Villager, Letters to the Editor, 1 MetroTech North, 10th floor, Brooklyn, NY 11201. Please include phone number for confirmation purposes. The Villager reserves the right to edit letters for space, grammar, clarity and libel. Anonymous letters will not be published.

Scoopy’s Notebook SCOOPY continued from p. 2

used to oversee billion-dollar mergers. “I told them they needed to move before the campaign,” Mendez told Ferguson. “She was working nights for me [as a legislative aide] and some days — I couldn’t give her time off from her job for the campaign — and so they just didn’t fi nd something that they could afford in time. But they have also said that if she wins, she’ll move,” Mendez added. Rivera grew up in the apartment on Stanton and Ridge Sts., and after she married Rogers in late 2015, he moved in with her, opting to rent the co-op apartment he owns on Grand St., which he purchased in 2012. While Rogers’s apartment is within the lines of Community Board 3, it is outside Council District 2 — which explains why Rivera would not have wanted to move there. Campaign manager Pedro Carrillo didn’t want to go there

when asked whether he was worried the stink over the apartment and Rogers’s wealthy background would derail Rivera’s bid. “I think people are intelligent enough to look at her qualifications and not concentrate on his family life,” he said. “This race was always about her and her qualifications, not his. We’re focused on running a very energized, positive campaign.” Of course, Rivera went on to win handily, taking more than 60 percent of the vote. Also regarding Rivera: Was it her looks or progressive chops that boosted her in Tuesday’s primary? Ferguson was passing by C-Squat, where Eden Brower a.k.a. local blogger “Slum Goddess” was sitting on front steps, who told her, “All day long we’ve been hearing, ‘I’m going to vote for the hot one on Avenue C.’” C-squat is two doors down from Rivera’s campaign office, which is in the storefront formerly occupied by Barnyard sandwich shop.

Sound off! Write a letter to the editor news@thevillager.com September 14, 2017

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Houston St. was a catwalk for Fashion Week

PHOTOS BY MILO HESS

On W. Houston St. on Monday it was all fashionistas and photographers on their way to and from Sk ylight Clarkson Sq studios for New York Fashion Week shows.

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Arch ’nt yah glad to be reading your community newspaper?

s s i m t n o D g’e issue! a sin l Call ûõüĘöúôĘöùõú To Subscribe! TheVillager.com

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