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Serving Tribeca, Battery Park City, the Seaport and the Financial District VOLUME 30, NUMBER 18

OCT. 5 – OCT. 18, 2017

A Festival of Light at the

South Street Seaport

Photo by Milo Hess

The Association of Indians in America celebrated its 30th-annual Deepavali Festival at the South Street Seaport on Oct. 1. Deepavali — also called Diwali, or the Hindu Festival of Lights — celebrates the victory of light over darkness. For more pictures, see the Seaport Report on page 10.


4 World Trade Center; At the Corner of Greenwich St. and Cortlandt St.

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

PARTY FOUL CNG file photo

BY COLIN MIXSON A spurned state Senate candidate is attacking Manhattan’s Democratic Party boss where it hurts — his wallet. Downtown district leader and one-time state Senate hopeful Paul Newell pushed reforms at a Manhattan Democratic county committee meeting on Sept. 26 that would force former Assemblyman Keith Wright to make a choice between losing his job as a lobbyist, or his post as the Big Apple’s Democratic Party county leader. Newell introduced the resolution banning lobbyists from serving as high-ranking party officials just days after accusing Wright of conspiring with Kings County party boss Frank Seddio to overrule rank-and-file committee members — who voted overwhemlingly for Newell — and select state Assemblyman Brian Kavanagh as the Democratic nominee for a vacant senate seat in Lower Manhattan and Brooklyn, in a back-room deal Newell

Associated Press / Mike Groll

District leader tries to oust Dem boro boss

Spurned state Senate candidate Paul Newell (left) is pushing a rule change to block lobbyists from holding top positions in Manhattan’s Democratic Party committee in a bid to oust the borough’s Democratic Party boss Keith Wright (right) — who insists he’s not a lobbyist, but also says it wouldn’t be so bad is he was.

said has aroused Manhattan Democrats to action. “His overruling of the county committee in the senate race galvanized a lot of people,� said Newell. In addition to serving as the

Democratic Party leader for Manhattan, Wright is listed as a part of a “seasoned team of lobbyists� for the firm Davidoff, Hutcher and Citron, a day job Newell claims poses a profound conflict of interest.

“It is an inherent conflict of interest to be a lobbyist and the leader of a political party,� the District Leader said. Wright, in an interview with PARTY FOUL Continued on page 18

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Oct. 5 – Oct. 18, 2017


This school has a new top dog BY LEVAR ALONZO Don’t call him a mascot — he’s a fully certified “Comfort Dog” on the staff of Lower Manhattan Community Middle School. Bruno, a tawny, 7-month-old pug and beagle mix, came to the Downtown school a few months ago in a pilot program to bring canine counselors into public schools to ease stress, de-escalate tensions and generally brighten people’s day as only a gregarious four-legged furball can. Based on the success of Bruno and his fellow para-pooch-fessionals, Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña came to the Fidi middle school on Sept. 26 to meet Bruno and announce the expansion the city’s Comfort Dog program from the seven original schools last year, 40 schools citywide. “The Comfort Dog program brings a smile to students and staff on a challenging day, helps to de-escalate issues, and can even provide bereavement support,” said Fariña. At the start of the pilot program, when LMCMS guidance counselor Seth Kritzman broached the idea of

having a comfort dog in the school, he said Principal Kelly Mcguire jumped at the opportunity to adopt the adorable pup. The DOE works carefully the North Shore Animal League to selects rescue animals that will work well with kids, and Bruno was clearly an excellent pick, said Kritzman “Bruno is bit of a celebrity in the school, staff stop by just to pet him or say hello,” said Kritzman. “But most importantly, right now Bruno currently helps out with speech therapy and counseling.” Bruno comes to the school about two days a week, according to Kritzman, and specializes in working with a few particular students who have social anxiety to help them settle into their classroom. “The students have trouble going into the their classroom, but once Bruno is there in the room, the students settle right in and Bruno leaves,” said Kritzman. The program was created mainly to give school counselors an additional resource to reach children who can

Department of Education

Bruno, the designated comfort dog for Lower Manhattan Community Middle School, can clearly commiserate with a kid having a ruff day at school.

be resistant to conventional person-toperson methods. “A comfort dog is a counseling support,” said Jaye Murray, Executive Director of the DOE’s Office of

Counseling Support Programs. “They possess the two most important qualities of an effective social worker or DOGS Continued on page 18



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Oct. 5 – Oct. 18, 2017


Study of BPC parks could reap benefits BY LEVAR ALONZO Battery Park City’s green spaces and other public amenities are the crown jewels on the Downtown enclave, and as the neighborhood continues to evolve the Battery Park City Authority wants to get a clearer picture of who makes use of them, how often, and why. To that end, the BPCA has contracted with the nearby Borough of Manhattan Community College to conduct a firstever comprehensive usage study and analysis of how all public spaces in BPC are utilized, and gain insight in how they might be improved. “The BCPA wanted to know the volume of usage in public spaces, who are in the spaces, what people do there and what they would like to see done in the public spaces,” said BMCC assistant professor Michelle Rhonda, one of the faculty members leading the team of 24 undergraduates counting heads, doing surveys and crunching numbers over the past there months. Over a three-month period that spanned the summer and early fall months, students used clickers to monitor the amount of visitors to the public spaces. The survey part of the research

Downtown Express file photo

Battery Park City is famous for its public green space, and the BPCA has commissioned a study about how people use it, and how to make it better.

consisted of 20 questions that included in-person interviews of approximately 1,200 random park users. This project will produce data that the BPCA will use to calculate the average number of users of the 92-acres of public parks, for different times of the day, week, and possibly seasons — as well as their activities and reasons for coming. The data will go to help the BPCA determine future plans for funding and projects to improve the lives of residents, according to the authority’s acting head.

“Battery Park City Parks are quite simply public treasures, visited by tens of thousands each year in a Lower Manhattan more vibrant, sustainable, and interconnected than ever before,” said acting BPCA President, B.J. Jones. Rhonda said that from the first look at the collected data the group found that BPC attract lots of international tourists on weekends but during the week more residents are using the public spaces. She added that the particular day of the week, time of day and the weather plays into who makes use of the

public spaces. “We have a sense of when and why people are using our parks, we just want logistics on the amount of visitors, so that we can better tailor our events for our open spaces,” said Nicholas Sbordone, director of communications for the BPCA. Professor Rhonda can attest to the benefits of students working alongside professors in such research — she worked with William Kornblum, Professor Emeritus of Sociology, of the Graduate Center, CUNY, who had conducted similar studies on Central Park throughout the 1980s and ’90s, and provided data that led to a major transformation of the city’s marquee greensward. The BMCC students followed same the method used by Rhonda when she worked as an undergraduate with Kornblum in the ’80s. “Working with Bill Kornblum changed my entire life,” she said. “I never would have considered that this sort of research was something I could do as a career.” The survey’s initial report will be released next month and the final report

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Oct. 5 – Oct. 18, 2017


Keep your heart strong in golden years


eart health should be a concern for people of all ages, but especially so for men and women over 50. That’s because, according to the American Heart Association, even those who are free of cardiovascular disease at age 50 are at a significant lifetime risk of developing the disease. But heart disease does not have to be an accepted byproduct of aging. For example, a 2014 study published in the Association’s journal “Circulation” found that maintaining or increasing physical activity after age 65 can improve the heart’s well-being and lower risk of heart attack.

ease. Symptoms of arrhythmia can vary greatly, from a single premature beat to a series of premature beats that occur in rapid succession. Arrhythmia that lasts long enough to affect heart function may include symptoms such as rapid heartbeat, fatigue, dizziness, lightheadedness, shortness of breath, and chest pain.

In addition to increasing physical activity as they age, older men and women who understand heart disease and learn to recognize its symptoms have a greater chance of minimizing its affects and lowering their risk of having a heart attack:

What are the symptoms of heart disease? Heart disease is a blanket term used to describe a host of conditions, so symptoms vary depending on each individual condition. The following are some of the more widely known conditions and their symptoms: Hypertension: Also known as

How can I protect my heart? There are few more important aspects to keeping a healthy heart later in life than regular exercise.

high blood pressure, hypertension is a largely symptomless form of heart disease. The Association notes that the idea that hypertension produces symptoms such as difficulty sleeping, facial flushing, nervousness, and sweating is a misconception. Symptoms typically do not alert men and women to the presence of hypertension, highlighting the emphasis you should place on routine visits to the doctor’s office, where your blood pressure can be taken. Heart attack: The symptoms of a heart attack are different than the symptoms of heart disease that may lead to heart attack. The former can be found by visiting www.heart.org. Signs that you may be heading toward a heart attack include undue fatigue, palpitations (the sensation that your heart is skipping a beat or beating too rapidly), dyspnea (difficulty or labored breathing), chest pain, or discomfort from increased activity. Arrhythmia: Arrhythmia means your heartbeat is irregular, and men and women often mistakenly believe arrhythmia only afflicts those who already have been diagnosed with heart disease or have had a heart attack. But arrhythmia can affect even those men and women who have healthy hearts and no history of cardiovascular dis-


Oct. 5 – Oct. 18, 2017

Heart-healthy habits take some effort, but men and women can protect their hearts regardless of their ages: Get sufficient exercise. At least 30 minutes of exercise per day can protect against disease. Quit smoking. Smoking increases your risk for a host of ailments, including heart disease. Quitting is a great way to start getting your heart and other parts of your body back on track. Include heart-healthy foods in your diet. A diet that is rich in fruits and vegetables and low in cholesterol, salt, and saturated fat promotes heart health. Don’t drink alcohol to excess. Like smoking, drinking alcohol to excess can lead to a host of problems, such as high blood pressure, arrhythmia, and high cholesterol, each of which increases your risk of heart disease. Lose weight. Being overweight or obese is a major risk factor for heart disease. If you have already started to exercise daily and eat a more hearthealthy diet, then you’re on your way to losing weight. Consult your physician if diet and exercise don’t seem to be helping you to shed pounds. Heart disease kills millions of people across the globe each year, many of whom are over 50. But men and women who learn about heart disease and how to reduce their risk stand a far greater chance of fighting the disease. DowntownExpress.com


Eating right in twilight years L

egend states that on April 2, 1513, Spanish explorer Juan Ponce de León was the fi rst European to discover modern-day Florida when he traveled on a quest for the mythical “Fountain of Youth.” While modern science has proven that there is no mystical fountain or body of water that can reverse or slow down the aging process, there are many steps people can take to age well and prolong their lives. Eating the right foods is one way to age well. According to Ralph Felder, M.D., Ph.D., coauthor of “The Bonus Years Diet,” reversing the aging process internally is more difficult than outward cosmetic changes. But the right foods can go a long way toward increasing both life expectancy and quality of life. Those who want to employ diet to increase their life expectancy may want to start adding more of the following foods to their breakfast, lunch and dinner plates. • Broccoli, grapes and salad: According to Health magazine, researchers have found that compounds in these three foods boast extra lifeextending benefits. • Berries: In addition to their abundance of antioxidants, berries have other benefits. A 2012 study from Harvard University found that at

A senior couple enjoying their retirement years as they work together to chop healthy vegetables for a salad.

least one serving of blueberries or two servings of strawberries each week may reduce the risk of cognitive decline in older adults. • Fruits and vegetables: Produce is good for the body because it’s low in calories and high in fiber, vitamins and other nutrients. Numerous studies

have indicated that diets plentiful in fruits and vegetables help people maintain a healthy weight and protect against cardiovascular disease. • Whole grains: Whole grains pack a lot of nutrition into a low-calorie food. Whole grains help protect against type 2 diabetes, and researchers at the University of Texas Health Sciences Center found study participants whose diets included plenty of whole grains and fruit cut their heart disease risk by almost half compared to those whose diets favored meat and fatty foods. • Red wine: A glass a day for women and no more than two glasses daily for men can be beneficial. Moderate consumption of red wine has been shown to slow age-related declines in cardiovascular function, according to the American Heart Association. • Fiber: Increase your fiber intake for a longer life. Research from The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition fi nds that the more fiber you include in your diet, the lower your risk of coronary heart disease. The daily recommendation is 25 to 35 grams. While there may be no such thing as the fountain of youth, a healthy diet can help men and women prolong their lives.

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Oct. 5 – Oct. 18, 2017


BY JANEL BL ADOW Lovely evenings for in store for sitting outside with friends and family at a café or on a pier. And clear, blue skies by day. Enjoy! BRING ON THE LIGHT… The 30th-annual Deepavali Festival took over Water Street at Fulton on Sunday, Oct. 1, and what a great time everyone had. Deepavali, or Diwali, is the Hindu Festival of Lights and is celebrated annually throughout the world, as millions of lights shine on rooftops, doors, windows and even the sky. It celebrates the victory of light over darkness, good over evil, knowledge over ignorance, and hope over despair. The street fair marked 50 years for the Association of Indians in America, which formed after Congress passed the 1965-66 Immigration Act, finally repealing the Asian Exclusion Act of 1917. The organization also “represents the hopes and aspirations of those immigrants who are united by their common bond of Indian heritage and American commitment.” Seaport neighbor Zette Emmons said it was “a perfect sunny day. A whole

group of Indian American friends with their kids started the day by going over to the Statue of Liberty on the Schooner Pioneer. There were lots of booths selling crafts, clothes, henna tattoos. Two stages featured performers, dancers and, of course, politicians!” BritishAsian superstar Jay Sean performed, as did Canadian hip-hop/R&B singer Neal Chatha, better known to his fans as The PropheC. Entertainment also included the 4th-annual Inter-Collegiate Dance Competition NAACH INFERNO, presented by India TV’s STAR Bharat. Plus fairgoers could learn a few Bollywood moves of their own from the dance pros of Shiamak USA. And since no festival of light could go without, the day ended with a bang. “The fireworks in the evening were spectacular,” said Zette, “right at the end of Pier 16. Since the general public didn’t really know about them, there were no crowds, except a lot of happy South Asian families.” PARTY HEARTY… The South Street Seaport Museum was set to celebrate its 5th anniversary with an evening under the stars Tuesday, with a cocktail

Photo by Filip Wolak

Borough President Gale Brewer, at podium, spoke at the 50th-anniversary gala to benefi t South Street Seaport Museum at Ciprini Wall Street, joined by, from left, Councilwoman Margaret Chin, SSSM benefactor Anita Durst, and SSSM Executive Director Capt. Jonathan Boulware.


Oct. 5 – Oct. 18, 2017

Photos by Milo Hess

(Above) Dancers dazzled at the Association of Indians in America’s 30th-annual Deepavali Festival at the South Street Seaport on Oct. 1. (Right) Henna tatoos were all the rage.

hour aboard its flagship Wavertree, followed by a multi-course, sit-down dinner dockside on Pier 16. But with all the wild weather blowing our way from the south, it wasn’t to be. The festivities went on, however, thanks to some quick thinking and resourceful planning. And by all accounts, it went off spectacularly. “It was a stunning gathering,” SSSM Executive Director Captain Jonathan Boulware told Seaport Report. “The Seaport Museum faithful from all eras of its existence convened to celebrate our first 50 years, to honor many who made it possible, and to lay the foundation for the next 50 years. Even though Hurricane Jose thwarted our shipboard party, we celebrated in fine style at Cipriani Wall Street. We raised needed funds that support our programming. We made new friends. And we showed that the Downtown coalition that supports the Seaport Museum is strong and getting stronger!” TASTY... Mark it in ink! Saturday, Oct. 21, kicks off the 8th-annual Taste of the Seaport. The fall foodie fest celebrates everything delicious in our little ‘hood. Look for tantalizing dishes and refreshing beverages from more than 40 Seaport and Financial District bars, cafes, restaurants and food stands. There will also be tons of fun for tots with children’s activities and plenty of fun music for the big kids, er, grownups. Proceeds benefit arts and enrichment programs at PS 343 Peck Slip School and PS 397 Spruce Street School. The fun starts at 11:30 am. Buy pre-sale tickets at: www.tasteoftheseaport.org. ENJOY AN URBAN HIKE… Hey, weather’s nice. Why not take a walk

for a good cause? The Alzheimer’s Association Walk to End Alzheimer’s raises funds and awareness for care, support and research. Held annually in more than 600 communities nationally, the NYC hike kicks off at Pier 17, on Saturday, Oct. 28. Registration is at 8:30 am, followed by a welcome ceremony at 9:45 am. The walk itself begins at 10:15 am and goes to City Hall (1.5 miles) or go all the way with the group to the Brooklyn Bridge first tower (2.5 miles). So far, nearly 1,300 people and 323 groups have already signed up, raising more than 40 percent of the $590,000 goal. So join in and help push them over the top! To register: http://act.alz.org/site/ TR/Walk2017/NY-NewYorkCity?fr_ id=10649&pg=entry. YOU CAN SEE BB NOW… Just in case you haven’t wandered over to the East River lately, the scaffolding is down! Pier 17 looks great, with more space, light, air, and seating. Plus, most importantly, another wonderful view of our iconic Brooklyn Bridge. Take a stroll. DowntownExpress.com

(JSPUPJHSYLZLHYJOZ[\K`MVYKLWYLZZPVU Have you been diagnosed with depression, and have antidepressant medications not been effective? You may qualify for a study that is evaluating whether an investigational medication taken along with an antidepressant can reduce symptoms of depression in people who have not responded well to medications before. To be eligible, you must: - Be 21 to 64 years old - Have been diagnosed with depression - Currently be taking an antidepressant medication but not fully benefiting from it Additional requirements apply. The study will last up to 26 weeks, and you will receive the study medication and all study-related care at no cost. For more information, please call the study research staff at:

Brittany Cho, 212-241-7906

+BOTTFO3FTFBSDI%FWFMPQNFOU The image depicted contains models and is being used for illustrative purposes only.

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Oct. 5 – Oct. 18, 2017


If the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act (CCRA) passes Congress, carrying a gun into NYC from out of state will be easier than ever.

SHOPLIFTING SPREE A thief stole more than $4,600 worth of merchandise from a Vesey Street fashion boutique on Sept. 26. An employee told police the suspect waltzed into the store near West Street at 12:17 pm, and nabbed a small fortune worth of fancy sunglasses, bags, wallets and suitcases from the swank retailer before fleeing on a bike.


Learn how you can help keep our city safe and stop the CCRA at CyVanceForDA.com Paid for by Cyrus Vance for Manhattan District Attorney

Belong. Believe. Become.



Cops are hunting a one-time construction worker suspected of looting his former employer’s Stone Street worksite on Sept. 22. The victim told police his ex-employee slunk into the construction site between Broad and Whitehall streets at 11 am, and grabbed a $1,100 hammerdrill and drill bits, along with a 50-foot extension chord worth about $125, before fleeing in broad daylight as his former colleagues continued their labors.


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OUT OF TIME A thief nabbed a woman’s $5,000 watch she left unguarded in a Murray Street gym on Sept. 17. The victim told police she took off her watch to shower at the gym between W. Broadway and Church Street at 5:30 pm, placing it on a ledge outside the stall. All clean, she stepped out of the shower 15 minutes later, and discovered the silver timepiece stolen, cops said.

WHEEL BAD GUY A burglar ransacked a woman’s car on Thompson Street on Sept. 22, taking more than $1,000 worth of electronics and other valuables. The victim told police she parked her car between W. Houston and Prince streets at 8 pm, and returned at around 1 am to find a back window busted and her backpack — which contained an Apple laptop and perfume — stolen.

SURGICAL STRIKE A thief made off with a $4,000 surgical headlight and women’s shoes from a man’s car on North End Avenue on Sept. 25. The victim told police he parked his car near Warren Street at 7 pm, and returned early the following morning to find his high-powered doctor’s light and feminine footwear were stolen. Speaking to investigators, the victim admitted he probably left the car unlocked, cops said.

A sticky fingered thief deftly nabbed a $3,000 camera from the back of a woman’s car as she loaded luggage up front on Broadway on Sept. 23. The victim told police she had loaded up the back of her hatchback near Cortland Street for a trip to Long Island at 11 pm, and had left the hatch open with the camera inside as she was throwing some of her stuff into the car’s front passenger side. It only took a moment, but it was enough for the thief to sneak into the car’s rear and nab the pricey photo gear without its owner noticing, cops said.

Sunday, October 22, 2017 12-3pm (last tour starts at 2:30PM)

Jeffrey Rudes jackets and fleeing.

COAT CROOK A crook looted a Greene Street fashion boutique to the tune of $21,000 worth of leather jackets on Sept. 20. Surveillance footage shows the suspect force open the front door of the business between Spring and Broome streets at 3:47 am, then grabbing six

TURNAROUND TIME Cops busted a man for allegedly slashing a woman on Broadway on Sept. 22. The victim, 28, told police she was between Vesey and Fulton streets at 8:05 pm, when the suspect approached her from behind and snarled, “don’t turn around.” But that’s exactly what the woman did, and the suspect pulled a blade, which he allegedly used to open up a nasty gash on her shoulder, cops said. Police collared their suspect later that evening, and the victim identified him as her attacker, cops said.

BEAT IT Cops are hunting the fiend who nabbed cash off a sleeping straphanger and then beat a good Samaritan with his own bike lock aboard an N train near Chambers Street on Sept. 22. The beating victim told police his train was approaching the station near West Broadway at 1:45 am, when he spotted the crook sneaking cash out of a woman’s pocket as she slept, according to police. The good Samaritan went to intervene and ended up brawling with the thief, who managed to drag a chain off the victim’s bike and clock him with it over the head. The crook made off with the woman’s $60, along with the bike chain. The victim required stitches for his wound, cops said. — Colin Mixson DowntownExpress.com












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Oct. 5 – Oct. 18, 2017


B U S I N E S S , B R O O K LY N S T Y L E – A D V E R T I S E M E N T

Thurs., Oct. 5–Wed., Oct. 11

ALTERNATE SIDE PARKING RULES ARE SUSPENDED THURSDAY, FRIDAY & MONDAY FOR SUCCOTH AND COLUMBUS DAY Some are now worrying about the “Fall of Hell” as a result of a devastating highway ramp fire in NJ that has caused lasting traffic headaches for Downtown. The westbound Route 139 ramp, just past the Holland Tunnel exit, was badly damaged in a fire on Friday. The elevated structure has been weakened and multiple lanes are closed, probably for another month or more. This limits capacity to NJ backing up traffic from the mouth of the Holland Tunnel up Varick, down Hudson and across Canal and Broome. N.J. DOT and the Port Authority have been coping as best as possible and many drivers have gone back to PATH. Others are traveling north to the Lincoln Tunnel. But, no way to sugarcoat this — it ain’t gonna be pretty. No relief in sight on Sunday, as the hapless Giants face off against the Chargers at 1 p.m. at MetLife Stadium,

with Holland Tunnel fan traffic picking up around 11 a.m. Post-game traffic will hit the city around 5 p.m. Columbus Day Monday! It is not a major holiday so watch where you park. Only alt-side rules are suspended. All other rules, including meters, remain in effect. You may park by a school but make absolutely sure school is out for the day — some parochial schools may hold classes. On Sunday, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., the Avenues for Justice Fourth Avenue Festival will close Fourth Ave between 9th and 14th streets. On Monday, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., the Columbus Day Festival will close Whitehall St. between Stone and Water streets, Broadway between Morris and Stone streets, and Broadway between Liberty Street and Battery Place. On Tuesday, from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m., the Double Ten Parade in Chinatown will close streets in the area of Canal and Worth and from Mulberry to Bowery. With the festivities tapering off just in time for rush hour, prepare for delays approaching the Manhattan Bridge.

Have a party to remember at Sirico’s 9P:8D@CC<JG<II8QQ8 When you’ve got 90 years of experience, you know how to throw awesome parties. Their grandparents may have started Sirico’s Catering, but two cousins, Hercules and Jim Sirico, are the ones that keep these parties going every night.


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

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

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

www.cityandcountry.org DowntownExpress.com

A bit overwhelmed with all to be done? Your life just got easier because everything you need is coordinated by Sirico’s in-house wedding planner who directs the process. Ceremony: Want to get married here? Say the word, and the planner will say, “I do.” Food: They get it. It’s got to be good. With customized menus for every taste and budget, it will be. Guests enjoy drinks and food in a separate room for the cocktail hour, then make their way to another for dinner and dancing. Of course, there’s a lovely bridal suite for the bridal party. Music: The house DJ is young, hip, gets the party started, and keeps it moving all night long. Pictures: Photos and videos will be treasured for a lifetime, so Sirico’s works with proven photographers and videographers who make sure special moments are captured. The beautiful gardens and active fireplace in the lobby make perfect backdrops. Decorations: Lighting sets the mood and atmosphere, so color-coordinate your event with an LED lighting package. It can match your wedding colors. Or, reach for the stars with specialized effects that include an image of a bright blue

sky. Sirico’s has it all covered with chair draperies and sashes, too.

Jn\\k(-j Busy moms can relax because Sirico’s party planner has your back. Your daughter’s party starts in the Entourage Room where the guest of honor can wait with friends before the introductions begin. Tropical Bar: Say aloha to the place where teens enjoy drinks that include virgin pina coladas, strawberry daiquiris, and frozen sensations. Food: A buffet loaded with fun food, customize designed to taste. Among the offerings: taco stations, a mashed potato bar, and sliders. For dessert, there’s an ice cream sundae bar, candy tables, and Sirico’s famous chocolate fountain. Decorations: Select from inhouse designs and decorations, tailored to teens. Balloon center pieces are always a hit.

Fk_\igXik`\j Every special occasion calls for unique needs, and Sirico’s accommodates them all. Whether it’s an anniversary, retirement, Communion, Confirmation, corporate event, or other special occasion, Sirico’s is the place to be. There are party rooms that can accommodate up to 100, 200, and 300 people. Valet parking and a parking lot make it convenient for all guests. Let’s get this party started. Sirico’s Caterer’s [8023 13th Ave. between 80th and 81st streets in Dyker Heights, (718) 331–2900, www. siricos.net]. Open Tuesdays through Sundays, from 1:30 to 9:30 pm. Oct. 5 – Oct. 18, 2017


PARTY FOUL Continued from page 2

Downtown Express, refused to go into detail about his work for DHC, but was adamant that it did not include lobbying in any form — despite the fact that the firm’s announcement of Wright’s hiring in January stated that he “will immediately take on a leadership role in the firm’s State and City lobbying efforts.” But Wright also defended allowing lobbyists to serve in the party leadership. “What do you do for district leaders that work for labor unions? What do you do for people who work for planned parenthood?” Wright asked. “There are affiliations with everyone and everybody.” Wright went on to claim that Newell’s resolution was purely motivated by resentment for his political failure to achieve the Democratic nomination, which, despite Newell receiving 72-percent of the vote from Manhattan committee members, ultimately went to Kavanagh as a result of Wright’s decision to split Manhattan’s vote — with 28-percent going to the assemblyman — while Seddio wielded Brooklyn’s vote as a single bloc to support Kavanagh. Had Wright opted to similarly consolidate the Manhattan committee’s votes as a (significantly larger) bloc to support

its members’ overwhelming favorite, Newell would have won the contest. “Listen, we know what this is all about,” said Wright. “Paul’s not a bad guy, he’s upset.” The Manhattan Party boss denied any wrongdoing on his part in the process that denied Newell the nomination, saying he was forced into that position “as a matter of state law,” while also saying that he believed Kavanagh was really the best man for the job. “What really went into my decision making was that I had served with Mr. Kavanagh for 11 years,” said the former 12-term assemblyman. “Mr. Kavanagh has proven himself a great reformer in many ways, upholding the ideals of our country.” The prospect of axing Wright as Manhattan’s Democratic boss incited a nearly hour-long debate at City College’s Marian Anderson Theater in Harlem, where opposition from the party leader’s supporters was enough to sway members to table the vote and send the measure to the county’s Rules Committee, which can be expected to submit a report on Newell’s resolution sometime in the next three months. Even for members who support Newell’s resolution in spirit, a period of contemplation for the weighty measure was accepted with a sigh of relief,




Oct. 5 – Oct. 18, 2017

screenshot of Davidoff, Hutcher and Citron’s website

The website of Davidoff, Hutcher and Citron, had long touted Wright as “part of a seasoned team of lobbyists” — as seen in this recent screeshot — but days after inquiries by this paper, the firm changed its website’s wording to “a seasoned team of government relations professionals.”

especially in the face of strong opposition from Democrats loyal to Wright, according to fellow Downtown district deader Dennis Gault. “I thought the solution we came up with was excellent,” Gault said. “[The resolution] is completely reasonable, my concern is all the emotions of the people who thought it was a terrible idea.” Going forward, Wright is expected

DOGS Continued from page 4

counselor — unconditional acceptance and warmth.” The interacting with the silent canine counselors can help emotionally guarded at-risk students feel more open to discussion and help. The doe-eyed dogs can defuse high emotions during crisis interventions, and offer non-judgemental empathy in grief counseling. But the dogs don’t just take care to the students. Schools in the program also use a free curriculum called “Mutt-i-Gree” — after a term coined the dignify the non-pedigree mutts that make up the majority of shelter rescues — which teaches kids how to care for the dogs and develop empathy for other creatures and people, and shows them how these skills can be useful in later life. “According to school officials, the Comfort Dog program’s approach to learning provides students with life skills critical to their success in the classroom and beyond,” said Fariña. “We know students need academic and

to exert his considerable influence as party boss on Manhattan’s district leaders, who will be tasked with forming a new Rules Committee and produce a report that is expected to determine fate the resolution, according to Newell. “If anybody’s stacking it, it would be the county leader,” said Newell. “Hopefully, we can find compromise and form a committee that’s not stacked.”

social-emotional supports to succeed in the classroom and beyond, and comfort dogs are helping nearly 40 schools strengthen their culture and build stronger relationships.” LMCMS’s canine counselor is already a well-established pillar of the school, and sounds like he could be well on his way to becoming prom king. “Bruno has already become an essential member of our school community,” said Prinicpal McGuire. “Whether he is greeting students in the morning, Bruno is a relationship builder, an effective part of our counseling services, and an adorable addition to our school.” Kritzman said the school has plans to get Bruno involved in more school programs as time goes on. The parentteacher association has given its support of letting Bruno roam the halls on his own. The school even has an online schedule for the pup so school staff can see when he needs to go outside for a bathroom break. No word yet of when Bruno can expect a varsity letter jacket. DowntownExpress.com


TOP DRIVER DISTRACTIONS Using mobile phones Leading the list of the top distractions behind the wheel are mobile phones. Phones now do more than just place calls, and drivers often cannot pull away from their phones, even when driving. According to the California Department of Motor Vehicles, studies have shown that driving performance is lowered and the level of distraction is higher for drivers who are heavily engaged in cell


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

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

haps they’re checking out a house in a new neighborhood or thought they saw someone they knew on the street corner. It can be easy to veer into the direction your eyes are focused, causing an accident. In addition to trying to stay focused on the road, some drivers prefer the help of lane departure warning systems.

Eating Those who haven’t quite mastered walking and

chewing gum at the same time may want to avoid eating while driving. The majority of foods require a person’s hands to be taken off of the wheel and their eyes to be diverted from the road. Reaching in the back seat to share some French fries with the kids is also distracting. Try to eat meals before getting in the car. For those who must snack while en route, take a moment to pull over at

a rest area and spend 10 minutes snacking there before resuming the trip.

Reading Glancing at an advertisement, updating a Facebook status or reading a book are all activities that should be avoided when driving. Even pouring over a traffic map or consulting the digital display of a GPS system can be distracting.

Oct. 5 – Oct. 18, 2017



The good and the bad of Chinese schooling PUBLISHER

Jennifer Goodstein EDITOR


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Jim Steele Julio Tumbaco ART DIRECTOR


Milo Hess Tequila Minsky PUBLISHER EMERITUS

John W. Sutter


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Oct. 5 – Oct. 18, 2017

BY LENORE SKENAZY Four months after Lenora Chu and her family arrived in Shanghai from the United States in 2010, Shanghai high-schoolers scored tops in the world in math, reading, and science. America landed somewhere in the middle of the pack of about 70 countries. As a mom, a reporter, and the American-born child of Chinese immigrants making a giant reverse commute, it seemed she had come to the real land of opportunity. Chu, a Columbia Journalism School grad, saw a grand schooling story unfolding. She spent the next seven years examining not just her young son’s education, but the whole Chinese educational system, comparing it with her own American upbringing and what’s happening in our schools today. Far from declaring China the winner — or America — she’s come down in favor of mix-n-matching, as she explains in her new book, “Little Soldiers: An American Boy, a Chinese School and the Global Race to Achieve.” “A lot of upsides can obviously be downsides,” she said on a recent trip to New York. “This book is the story of an American family that landed in China in a very extreme environment that prompted me to reflect.” How extreme? Well, that’s the stuff that gets a lot of negative publicity. In China, education is not a touchy-feely thing. “It’s a sorting mechanism — you advance to the next level of schooling based on a test score,” said Chu. And so, from the get-go, the teachers are very strict. One day, her preschooler came home from school with shiny red star stuck to his forehead. “What do you get a red star for?” she asks in the book. “Do you get it if

you run fast?” Her son, Rainey, laughed as if that was the most ridiculous thing ever. He got it, of course, for sitting still. Chu was outraged. Her son was just three! “Why do you sit? Do they make you sit at school? Do you have to sit?” Her husband, National Public Radio’s China correspondent Rob Schmitz, said it sounded as if she was asking, “Are your human rights being violated?” But learning to sit still doesn’t violate any U.N. conventions. And neither did what happened next. Rainey told his mom that four times that day he had found egg in his mouth — the food he detested most. How did it get there, Chu asked? The teacher put it in, because eggs are an important food. Three times he cried and spit it out. The fourth time, he swallowed. And today? I asked Chu. “He likes eggs.” He’s also bilingual and has learned some of the lessons American kids — or, let’s put it bluntly, my own kids — did not get in public school, like knowing the multiplication tables by heart. “I hate the word ‘rote,’ ” said Chu as we spoke in a Midtown hotel. “It’s just memorization of basic knowledge and repeated practice. A lot of research supports that as foundational to learning.” It’s possible that in bending over backward to make math and other subjects relatable, or “discovery-based,” we forgot that discoveries depend on leaping forward from a base of knowledge. That

base can be memorized for easy access. Chu contrasts the Shanghai education her son was getting with an alternative school in California where there are no grades, punishments, or rewards. That kind of school, she said, would never exist in China. Of course, it barely exists in America, either. “But the narrative is that these kids will become the bosses of the kids in China,” she said. And they may. While there’s a lot to be said for memorization, there’s also a lot to be said for cultivating curiosity and a love of learning, instead of literally force-feeding it. In China, Chu said, “If you ask most Chinese parents, ‘How’s little Ming doing?’ They’ll say, ‘He’s eighth in math, ninth in Chinese, and 28th in physics. Out of 489 students, he’s number 87 in his grade.’ So it’s a culture that measures value based on numbers.” It is that way for a reason: The topscoring students go on to the top schools and get the top jobs. It’s straightforward. And that, Chu added, is why so many Chinese students are coming to study in America. They want a different, less regimented kind of education. Chu sees a value to the strict education her son is getting there, but perhaps because it is balanced with summers in America. When she dropped him off at a camp here in the states, she overheard him asking the other kids about their test scores. “The reaction was pretty muted.” He quickly switched over to talk about baseball. There’s a kid who is getting a real education. Lenore Skenazy is founder of the book and blog Free-Range Kids, and author of “Has the World Gone Skenazy?”

Letters To the Editor: Regarding Ms. Braverman’s letter in response to the article discussing removing some plaques from the “Canyon of Heroes,” Ms. Braverman displays an astonishing ignorance of what happened in France during WWII and who the players were after the Nazi occupation. Phillippe Petain was Chief of State of Vichy France while Pierre Laval was at

first Chief Minister of Vichy France and then Head of the Vichy government. Among other atrocities during their official roles for the Vichy Government they participated in the deportation of 75,000 Jews to concentration camps — only three percent survived. After the war, Petain was tried and convicted for treason-his death sentence was then commuted to life in prison where he died.

After the war, Laval was tried for high treason, convicted and executed. Petain and Laval did not disgrace themselves “by bad behavior” as Ms. Braverman seems to think — they were Nazi collaborators and voluntarily and knowingly participated in crimes against humanity. Marilyn R. Masaryk LETTERS Continued on page 21



New York needs a Constitutional Convention BY CURTIS SLIWA AND BOB CAPANO New Yorkers should vote “yes” for a state Constitutional Convention on Election Day because our government needs reform and the politicians in Albany have continuously demonstrated that their priority is maintaining the status quo. Article 19, Section 2 of our New York State Constitution requires that every 20 years voters decide whether or not to hold a Constitutional Convention. The mere fact that the career politicians of both political parties strongly oppose a Constitutional Convention demonstrates how much they fear the will of the people. If voters choose to hold a Constitutional Convention, three delegates from each state Senate district, along with 15 at-large delegates, will be elected by the people in November, 2018. After this, these citizen representatives will meet to discuss changes to our state constitution. Any proposed amendments are then put before the voters for approval in the next general election. In short, we support a constitutional convention because we trust the people, not the politicians. The last state convention that had changes approved by the voters came in 1938; this convention should be the next one. Like the American Constitutional Convention of 1787 that led to the world’s greatest example of democracy, a state constitutional convention is the best opportunity for reform because it would be called for — and run by — the people directly. New York State needs initiative and referendum, as well as term limits for state elected officials. Initiative

LETTERS Continued from page 20

To the Editor: The Battery Park City Authority “wants to,” the BPCA is “hoping,” the Battery Park City Committee “passed a resolution” and a bicycle working group of “representatives called for,” etc. All of these are code words for inaction. I don’t know whether to laugh or to cry, but given the current pathetic scene in Battery Park City, laughing myself sick would be more like it. The BPC Esplanade is a mess. DowntownExpress.com

and referendum allows the people to decide key policy issues. Blue states like California and red states like Arizona have initiative and referendum. This has resulted in increased voter turnout because the passion of the people around particular issues comes to the forefront, and they are engaged. Voters care more about issues, not elected officials, and this inspires them to be more involved in our political process. The list of issues that could be put before voters to decide through initiative and referendum that would spark voter interest and debate are endless. It could include whether or not to have red-light cameras, voucher programs for private and parochial schools, or fees on plastic bags. Regardless of the issue, people would be discussing these topics at town halls, diners, and schoolyards throughout the state, building momentum for more participation on election days. A Constitutional Convention can also propose term limits for state

elected officials. Albany politicians will never approve term limits by themselves because their main interest is maintaining and accumulating power. Haven’t we seen enough New York politicians convicted of bribery because they think they are immune to laws because of their longevity in office? We also need to ease ballot access. One should not need an army of lawyers to get through the petitioning process to be on the ballot, and voters should not have to wait almost a year for their change of party affiliation to be implemented. Entrenched incumbents benefit from making it as difficult as possible for newcomers to challenge them so they have no interest in these changes either. Gerrymandering of state and congressional legislative seats must end. Although the United States Supreme Court ruled that racial gerrymandering is unconstitutional in Thornburg vs. Gingles (1986), drawing districts based on political party affiliation is permitted. This has led to the incumbency protection plans we have today because seats are safely held by Republicans or Democrats. Therefore, these elected officials do not have to worry about serious challengers and can afford to only pay attention to their political base. This is why we have more sustained gridlock in Albany and Washington. A Constitutional Convention can offer a proposed amendment to create a real independent redistricting commission to draw districts every 10 years after the census. This would lead to more competitive races where members of all political parties, and not just Republicans and Democrats, have a real chance to

win. Elected officials would be forced to listen to all voices in their districts. Again, the career politicians in Albany would never take this step on their own because their priority is keeping their jobs as long as possible by having easy re-elections every two years through having carefully drawn districts that all but guarantees their continued time in office. We know that the Albany crowd opposes all of these changes to state government, and therefore, a constitutional convention is the only chance to implement them. Opponents of the convention are frightening voters into what changes could happen that would adversely affect particular unions or interest groups. Simply, whether or not to vote to approve a constitutional convention or not comes down to hope versus fear of the unknown. We can’t hope any longer that the career Albany politicians will do the right thing to reform and improve our government. We must have faith in the people. In 1846, Ansel Bascom was one of the authors of the provision allowing voters to decide on a Constitutional Convention every 20 year and he stated, “All power is preserved to the people … once every 20 years they might take the matter [of how they are governed] … into their own hands.” We must seize this opportunity on Nov. 7 and vote “Yes” for a New York State Constitutional Convention. Guardian Angels’ founder and radio show host Curtis Sliwa is the chairman of the New York State Reform Party and Capano has served as an adjunct political science professor for more than 15 years with the City University of New York and is the Reform Party candidate in Brooklyn’s 43rd Council District.

Cyclists crouched over as though they are competing in the Tour de France clearly don’t belong there. The endless trail of Parks motor vehicles and their fumes do not belong there. Half-naked runners whose heavy breathing, hairy chests, sweaty flesh and shorts-sliding-down-their-behinds do not belong there. The Battery Park City Esplanade as a venue for foreign visitors to view the Statue of Liberty certainly provides a panoramic display of our societal disarray: the most noble of intentions degenerating into sweaty, gas-fumed, mindless human traffic presided over

by the BPCA and an anonymous group of “representatives” selected by Nick Sbordone. Amid all the other Downtown monuments to our history, the Esplanade provides tourists a testimonial to our societal and local mediocrity. Obviously, Nick Sbordone and his BPC “representatives” (who remain nameless) want to take the slow road (18–24 months) to removing bicycles from the Esplanade. Has anyone asked the residents of Battery Park City who are just bubble gum on the political scene? This is one more example of no political voice

available to those of us who are merely residents and not allowed a voice in this “democracy.” In 18–24 months, this news story will be a piece of quaint history in your files. A useless space filler. Finally, the Downtown Express photos of cannoli-eating men at the San Gennaro Festival is disgusting. You would certainly not publish photos of black people or Jews or gays in similarly biased and derogatory poses. Someone there at the Downtown Express is incredibly stupid — too stupid to be in journalism. Dolores D’Agostino

Curtis Sliwa, (at left) founder of Guardian Angels, radio host, and the chairman of the state Reform Party, and Bob Capano, at right) an adjunct political science professor running for City Council as a Reform Party candidate, argue that a state Constitutional Convention is the only way to give people more power over politicians.

Oct. 5 – Oct. 18, 2017


Old Dogs, New Show, Visual Tricks ‘Dressed and Undressed’ unleashes the Wegman archives BY NORMAN BORDEN There are many breeds of fi ne art photographers, but William Wegman has long had a pedigree all his own. He has been photographing dogs — not just any dogs, but his beloved Weimaraners — for nearly 40 years. With Man Ray as his fi rst muse, Wegman has humanized his dogs to the point of absurdity at times and made them famous. Long recognized as a brilliant conceptual artist, painter, photographer, writer, and video artist, he has portrayed his dogs as landscapes, put clothes on their backs and everything from wigs to fruits on their heads, thereby making us take a closer look at ourselves. With a wink here and there, he has turned his dogs into a cast of whimsical characters, virtually guaranteed to make us smile while we wonder how he does it. More smiles are in store in “William Wegman Dressed and Undressed,” a thoroughly engaging show at Sperone Westwater of 20 x 24 inch Polaroids never exhibited before. It spans over 30 years of Wegman’s Polaroid work and, amongst its many charms, it challenges the viewer with visual sleight of hand. Is that a mountain range or a dog’s back? Is that a wine glass or dogs’ legs artfully composed? Why is one dog much bigger than the other? It’s Wegman’s wellknown wit at work. Speaking recently with this publication by phone, the artist explained how Man Ray started it all. “I got him in September 1970 as a very young puppy.” Wegman recalled. “I had just started to do video and photography so I took him to my studio and


Oct. 5 – Oct. 18, 2017

Photography by William Wegman, courtesy the artist & Sperone Westwater, NY

Photography by William Wegman, courtesy the artist & Sperone Westwater, NY

“Twisted Hope” (2001. Color Polaroid, 24 x 20 in. / 35 x 26 1/2 in. frame).

“Parcheesi” (1998. Color Polaroid, 24 x 20 in. / 35 x 26 1/2 in. frame).

took his picture. Naturally, if you have a baby, you take his picture and it was sort of magical the way he looked on camera. I was working in black and white photography and video and he was grey; somehow he seemed to suit it. The longer we worked, the more involved it became and the more hilarious he was, especially in video.” In 1979, the Polaroid Corporation invited the artist to try out its new 20 x 24 inch camera. He took Man Ray to Polaroid’s Boston studio to work with him and liked the large format and the almost instantaneous (70 seconds) exposure. “I reveled in that everything was the same 20 x 24 vertical,” Wegman said. “I loved that. I didn’t have to think how big this should be. Polaroid

was great because you could see every little trick. If you tried to hide something, forget it, you couldn’t Photoshop it out. The dogs were really cooperating; they weren’t just stuck in there in some postproduction way. That’s what I liked.” However, the camera had its limitations. It was huge, weighing over 200 pounds — and since it couldn’t be pointed down at the ground, Wegman used special stools and pedestals to raise the dogs up to camera height. In the studio, if the shot he was trying to get didn’t work out after two or three exposures, he said, “I’d stop and go another way… It sticks its thumb out at you. It costs a lot of money to make and gives you this tremendous energy to correct it.”

After Man Ray died in 1982, Wegman didn’t get another dog until 1986 when Fay Ray entered the picture. “The real laughs came with Fay Ray,” the artist recalled. He took hundreds of Polaroid images of her and her offspring until 2007, when Polaroid stopped making the 20 x 24 fi lm. He would rent the 20 x 24 camera every couple of weeks and take 4 x 5 inch color transparencies of a few Polaroids for exhibitions, and store the rest in archival boxes. “I would never look at them again,” he said. But when writer Bill Ewing proposed doing “William Wegman: Being Human” (published Oct. 3 by Thames & Hudson), these archived Polaroids became the basis of the book and the current show. Ewing, the artist

noted, “is the one who broke down these characters into chapters like ‘Landscapes’ for the book and ‘Dressed and Undressed’ for the show. I thought it was funny having nude dogs and characters. I never thought of myself as the guy who dressed up all the dogs, but most people probably think that.” Asked his reaction when Polaroid announced it was ending 20 x 24 fi lm production, Wegman’s answer was surprising: “I was kind of relieved. The camera was exhausting to use.” Of course, at that time, digital photography was changing everything. According to the artist, “Digital is way more instantaneous... The choices you can make are huge — WEGMAN continued on p. 24 DowntownExpress.com

Halloween Horrors of the Virtual World Disturbing and terrifying treats for October and beyond BY CHARLES BATTERSBY Many video game publishers like to focus on big blockbuster games in the fall, to usher in holiday giftgiving profits. However, a few clever companies have brought their spookiest titles to the market just in time for Halloween. Horror games where monsters pop out at the player for cheap scares are slowly being replaced by projects offering more cerebral frights. Many of this year’s big horror titles have little combat — and even when they do, the primary source of fright comes from the protagonist doubting their own sanity. Whether you’re fi lling up your own virtual pumpkin bucket or playing the long game of stocking stuffi ng, here are a few disturbing and terrifying treats that deserve to make the cut. This year, October 13 is on a Friday. So, of course, Bethesda Softworks had to release their big new horror blockbuster, “The Evil Within 2,” on that ominous (some say cursed) date. The much-anticipated sequel picks up a few years after the fi rst “The Evil Within,” but new players should be able to leap right in without playing the fi rst game. They will take control of former police Detective Sebastian Castellanos, who fi nds himself in a small town called Union. The plot of the fi rst game centered on a device that could draw people into a virtual reality, and Union is actually a distorted virtual version a wholesome little town. The game has a non-linear story, so players will be able to set aside the main quest line and go looking for mysteries to solve in Union. Both “The Evil Within” games are directed by Shinji Mikami, who also directed the fi rst game in the “Resident Evil” franchise, not to mention “Resident Evil 4.” Many horror game fans consider “Resident Evil 4” to be the apex of that series, and “The Evil Within 2” uses similar controls and combat. This means the horror is tempered with plenty of action. Players will still need to ration their ammunition and other resources carefully but, for those who like gunplay combined with their horror, this is the game grab of the fall. People who want a more introspective form of horror can try “Conarium,” which released in June. This game has little combat, and takes its inspirations from weird science DowntownExpress.com

Via Red Barrels Inc.

Dreaming you’re back in the fourth grade is not the scariest part of “Outlast 2.”

Via Bethesda Softworks/Tango Gameworks

“The Evil Within 2” promises visceral horrors and sadistic enemies.

author H.P. Lovecraft, and his tales of things too terrifying for mankind to comprehend. It begins at an Antarctic research base and uses a plot that is overtly inspired by Lovecraft’s novella “At the Mountains of Madness.” The player discovers a secret prehuman society deep beneath the ancient ice. To survive this encounter with the unknowable, players will need to solve puzzles and occasionally escape pursuing monsters.

Unlike “The Evil Within 2,” this game doesn’t allow players to gun down the bad guys. In “Conarium,” the only option for the poor protagonist is fleeing in abject terror. Learning the full backstory of the game requires players to hunt down journal entries and other clues, and then piece together what happened. The overall tone, visual design, and storytelling will delight true Lovecraft fans.

Another terrifying game from earlier this year is “Outlast 2.” In it, players control a photojournalist, armed only with a camcorder. Instead of rationing ammo, players have to ration batteries for their camera. As with “Conarium,” there is no way to fight back — and “Outlast 2” is full of patrolling enemies who are constantly searching for outsiders to kill. Players HORROR GAMES continued on p. 24 Oct. 5 – Oct. 18, 2017


WEGMAN continued from p. 22

how many, how big, how little, do you add something, subtract something?” One of the more riveting images in the show is “Parcheesi.” Composed of two dog legs touching each other; the negative space looks like a wine glass. It’s just amazing. “Parcheesi looks easy,” Wegman said, “but it was very hard to do… everything had to be just so… It’s very geometric; a map of dog legs, ‘Parcheesi’ [a classic board game] refers to the colors.” When asked how he gets the dogs to pose, Wegman replied, “The dogs are so calm. Once they get in the studio they let you adorn them. They like the attention, they like being looked at, held, talked to and used. They thrive on the interaction. They’re calm around me, but not other people. Must be something I do. They’re always looking at me like, what should we be doing, Bill?” In viewing the diptych “Victor/ Chundo,” which features a ceramic statue of the iconic RCA Victor — its head tilted to the right and Chundo,

Photography by William Wegman, courtesy the artist & Sperone Westwater, NY

“chick CHICK” (1991. Color Polaroid. Two panels, each 24 x 20 in. / 35 x 49 in. frame).

the number one son of Fay Ray, tilting his head to the left — one has to wonder, how did that happen? ”You can elicit the tilted head by speaking sweetly,” Wegman explained of his method of questioning. “Do you want to go for a walk or be in a video? They’re trying to listen and hear what you’re saying.” In the photograph “BATTY/Batty,”

size matters. The conceit here is that the small image is actually a cutout from a Polaroid. The artist revealed that he made a little stand for the small picture and after placing it next to Battina, took the Polaroid of the photo. Very clever. In “Daisy Nut Cake,” an incredible parody of Renaissance painter Giuseppe Arcimboldo’s work, Fay

Ray sports two Slinkys with glass eyes, her head covered by fruit, flowers, and a hat. Wegman said, “Fay had remarkable steadiness and willingness to put up with this stuff. Fay was proud of her stamina.” So where does this conceptual genius get his ideas? Wegman credited the source as the dogs themselves. “Some of the later ones, where I turned them into landscapes, came from looking at my groups of dogs lying on the couch close together, creating hills and valleys… and probably a lifetime of working with them in the studio, playing with them, and living with them in your house gives you ideas. Once in a while there’s a project, like when the Metropolitan Opera loans you sets and costumes and asks, ‘What can you do with that?’ Once I became well-known, it’s kind of thrown in your lap and ideas come from that.” Through Oct. 28 at Sperone Westwater (257 Bowery, btw. Houston & Stanton Sts.). Hours: Tues.–Sat., 10am–6pm. Call 212-999-7737 or visit speronewestwater.com. Artist info at williamwegman.com.

HORROR GAMES continued from p. 23

must sneak around in the darkness to survive, using the night vision lens of their camera outwit foes in the darkness. Much of the horror in “Outlast 2” comes from the fact that it uses a relatively realistic setting. The main characters must escape a rural community that is beset by a holy war between two groups of religious fanatics. It is deliberately provocative with its use of Catholic imagery and a “Middle America” setting. Because “Outlast 2” uses an entirely different protagonist and location, players don’t need to have experienced the fi rst game. However, the original “Outlast” remains a brilliant psychological horror game in its own right, even four years after its release. For players who want to support the work of indie designers, the game “Inmates” hits the virtual shelves on Oct. 5. While it isn’t as polished or elaborate as some of the other horror games out there, it does incorporate many of the same design elements, including a helpless protagonist trying to escape a prison populated only by memories and phantoms. Even games that aren’t specifically about horror are getting in on the


Oct. 5 – Oct. 18, 2017

A hatchet is of little use against the abysmal enemies of “Conarium.”

act this month. Online multiplayer games like “World of Worldcraft” usually hold short-term events during the weeks around Halloween, and WoW’s developers have already confi rmed a “Hallows End” in-game event, which begins on Oct. 18. Last year, the online shooter “Overwatch” also held a “Halloween Terror” event that temporarily added in new maps and game modes with a gothic horror theme. It also served as

a way to test out a new cooperative mode where players teamed up to fight waves of robot zombies. This week, the publisher of “Overwatch” confi rmed the return of “Halloween Terror” beginning on Oct. 10. People who have yet to try this massively popular game now have one more reason to jump on the bandwagon. Zombies have been a part of the “Call of Duty” franchise for nearly a

Via Iceberg Interactive/Zoetrope Interactive

decade. The most recent game, “Call of Duty: Infi nite Warfare,” also has an outlandish zombie mode. The developers have confi rmed that something special coming this month, although details have not been released at the time of this writing. From the absurdities of fighting robot zombies to the terrors of confronting religious extremism, Halloween 2017 has a virtual nightmare for everyone. DowntownExpress.com

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Oct. 5 – Oct. 18, 2017


Big art unfolding Downtown BY COLIN MIXSON Call it the great wall of Lower Manhattan! A Downtown business improvement district has commissioned a massive 200-foot mural on Site 5 in Albany Plaza on the World Trade Center campus — to make a public art canvas longer than two full-sized basketball courts. But while the original great wall was meant to keep people out, this one aims to bring people together. The mural was commissioned by the Downtown Alliance the cover the 12-foot-tall wall bordering Albany Street between Greenwich and Washington streets with nine portraits that demonstrate humanity’s common heritage, from the cradle of civilization to the four corners of globe. Artist Chinòn Maria started the massive 200-foot-long mural on Sept. 25, and curious locals are invited to view the process as she continues her labors over the course of the month, the painter said. “We get a lot of people who live or work in that area of NYC, and it’s wonderful to see how excited they are to learn how where they have lunch everyday is evolving as part of this beautiful project,” said Maria. Aside from its impressive dimensions, one of the most challenging

Photo by Milo Hess

Artist Chinòn Maria will spend the next month laboring over a massive 200-foot-long mural at Site 5 in Albany Plaza on the World Trade Center Campus.

aspects of completing such a massive, open-sir project is the weather, according to Maria, who said the grueling

heat that persisted through the end of September turned her normally joyous work into something of chore.

Photo by Milo Hess

The public mural that will stretch as long as two basketball courts is going up near Albany Street as a celebration of humanity’s common heritage.


Oct. 5 – Oct. 18, 2017

But now that the temperature has cooled, it will be smooth sailing for the artist, who’s previous career as a professional alpine skier prepared her for working in chilly weather, she said. “Concerning the rain and everything like that, I don’t mind to work in the rain,” Maria said. In addition to the nine portraits, Maria has sent out an international message looking for kids interested in collaborating on the piece, and schools in Sweden, Germany, Israel, Mexico, Taiwan, and New Zealand are tasking students to submit words of peace, outlining their dream for a better future. “Our goal to have over 5,000 children involved by submitting their words on the future of the world,” she said. The artist is intent that the final vision of her gigantic mural be kept hidden until its completion, and is keeping her sketches of the design under lock and key to preserve the secret. “We want people to be able to see it come to life,” Maria said. “The rendering is in a safe lock.” Locals can spot Maria working six days a week, from 1–6 pm, Monday through Saturday, and she hopes to finish on Oct. 25.



Oct. 5 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Oct. 18, 2017



Oct. 5 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Oct. 18, 2017


Profile for Schneps Media

Downtown Express  

October 5, 2017

Downtown Express  

October 5, 2017