YOUR WEEKLY COMMUNITY NEWSPAPER SERVING CHELSEA, HUDSON YARDS & HELL’S KITCHEN
Steely Resolve to Save Tin Pan Alley BY TRAV S.D. To fans of American popular culture, the phrase “Tin Pan Alley” can mean many things. A state of mind. A style of music. But over a century ago, for a period of around 15 years (1893-1908), it happened to be the nickname of an actual, physical place. During those years, the section of W. 28th St. between Broadway and Sixth Ave. was a
TENANTS PREDICT OLD TRICKS AS LANDLORD’S HALLOWEEN DEADLINE FOR GAS RESTORATION LOOMS
TIN PAN ALLEY continued on p. 3
ChalkFIT Artists Drawn to Dreams BY REBECCA FIORE Brutalist architecture can be found all over New York City. The post-war minimalist movement, which peaked between the 1960s and mid-70s, was a response to highly refined and ornate buildings meant for the elite. Buildings such as the Guggenheim Museum, FIT continued on p. 12 Photo by Scott Stiffler
Tenants at 311 W. 21st St. say the landlord only provides the most basic of maintenance, like trash removal.
Photo by Rebecca Fiore
L to R: On the third day of the project, Julia Hemsworth and Alecia Fuschetto worked on their panels.
BY WINNIE McCROY A group of Chelsea tenants who have not had cooking gas for over 20 months — and who often don’t have reliable heat or hot water — are fired up over what they call a pattern of harassment by a bad landlord who just wants to see them leave. In an Apr. 19 article (“Knowledgeable Tenants Challenge Lack of Utilities,
© CHELSEA NOW 2017 | NYC COMMUNITY MEDIA, LLC, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
Shady Landlord Tactics”), Chelsea Now first reported about an ongoing situation at the five-story apartment building at 311 W. 21st St. (btw. Eighth & Ninth Aves.), where longtime tenants Kelly Maurer and Jordan Lage say new owners NYC Management Corp. continue to collect their rent checks every month (via Certified Mail, which some tenants say the company refuses to cash) while
failing to provide much maintenance beyond trash removal. Con Edison cut off the gas back in Feb. 2016 after a gas leak — but when former owner Sidney Rubell sold the property, plans for a new gas system were put on hold. Since that time, tenants say they’ve been subject to harassGAS continued on p. 2
VOLUME 09, ISSUE 35 | OCTOBER 26 - NOVEMBER 1, 2017
20 Months After Shutoff, Tenants Still Getting Burned by Lack of Cooking Gas GAS continued from p. 1
ment, including regular shutdowns of heat and hot water, in an effort to get them to move out. “It was 41 degrees the other day, and there was no heat,” said Steven Zivkovic, who has lived in the apartment for 47 years. “Someone needs to pay attention to this!” “We have hot water, but on the last few cold nights, no heat was coming through the radiator,” said Lage. “The weather hasn’t been too cold yet, but everyone in the building is girding their loins and saying, ‘Here we go again!’ ” The clock is ticking as winter approaches, but a recent development might provide some hope. As the result of a legal case brought against the landlord by the NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) a judge has ordered that gas must be restored to the property by the end of this month, or face consequences for non-compliance. “We will continue to support the tenants in housing court and bring our own cases against the owner as warranted,” said HPD Press Secretary Juliet Pierre-Antoine. “If a property owner creates an unsafe living environment
File photo by Caleb Caldwell
Old photo, nothing new: Alison Moore and her husband, Dwight, are still using the electric skillet, kettle, rice cooker and Keurig they told Chelsea Now in April 2017 were purchased to “try and round out our ability to cook for ourselves.”
Photo by Scott Stiffler
After 20 months without cooking gas, the landlord’s delivery of hot plates and toaster ovens was not needed (and arrived on Oct. 21 after tenants refused the offer).
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October 26, 2017
for their tenants, we will continue to use all of the enforcement capabilities tools [available] to us to hold them accountable. All tenants throughout the City deserve safe and decent homes. We will continue to monitor the situation.” Recalling the events of Oct. 2, Maurer told Chelsea Now, “We were heartened by the fact that a gas plumber showed up with a permit that seemed to be within the law for both occupancy and regulations,” even when that worker reportedly told tenants that if all went well, they would have cooking gas restored within four months.
But those hopes were dashed a week later, Maurer recalled, when NYC Management Corp. sent tenants an email acknowledging the problem, then asking if they’d like two-burner hot plates and toaster ovens to rectify it. “We’ve had that since February 2016 — that’s the only way I can cook,” said Lage, disappointed. “They’re late on that ball by a year and a half.” Zivkovic echoed this sentiment, saying, “Getting a $25 hot plate from Amazon does not appease me. We need GAS continued on p. 20 NYC Community Media
Photos by Daniel Kwak
Center: Miriam Berman, author of “Madison Square: The Park and Its Celebrated Landmarks,” called her walking tour presentation “Tin Pan Alley in Context.” TIN PAN ALLEY continued from p. 1
densely packed warren of song publishers — the hit factory that turned out the tunes America loved to hear. On Sun., Oct. 22, that old identity was resurrected when the 29th Street Neighborhood Association presented a free public event called “Save Tin Pan Alley Day.” The three-hour afternoon celebration featured a speakers’ program, a musical concert, an exhibition of sheet music, and historian-led walking tours, all designed to advocate for the street’s designation as a historic district by the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission. “The American popular music industry was created here at the turn of the century,” said George Calderaro, project head of the Save Tin Pan Alley Project Initiative (savetinpanalley.org). “We are here to gain support for landmark designation of Tin Pan Alley as an historic district based on cultural merit, which is acknowledged globally by everyone except the NYC Landmarks
Commission,” Calderaro said. “Despite repeated requests and detailed reports from the 29th Street Neighborhood Association, the Landmarks Chair Meenakshi Srinivasan — who came from the Board of Standards and Appeals where she approved 93 percent of developer proposals — has refused to calendar a hearing for expansion of the Madison Square North Historic District or even share these proposals with her fellow commissioners. These proposals have the support of all elected officials, the community board and 30,000 people who have signed petitions.” According to the Neighborhood Association, most of the buildings on the street were purchased in a single parcel by a major real estate developer in 2013, and remain in danger of being torn down for more profitable purposes, such as a hotel or condominiums, now that the area has been transformed into the fashionable “NoMad” (or “North of Madison”) district. At present, the strip of buildings, most of which were built between the 1850s and the turn of the
George Calderaro, project head of the Save Tin Pan Alley Project Initiative, gave a concise argument for landmarking: “The American popular music industry was created here.”
last century, house storefronts hawking wares like costume jewelry and perfume at the street level, with apartments and offices on upper stories. But back in the day, according to scholar David Freeland (author of “Automats, Taxi Dancers and Vaudeville: Excavating Manhattan’s Lost Places of Leisure”), the tenants were mostly music publishers. “The windows would be open because there was no air conditioning then,” Freeland noted. “The street was abuzz with activity, a cacophony of
clanging pianos — or as one imaginative character put it, some think it was a journalist named Monroe Rosenfeld, tin pans, hence the name.” According to the event organizers, and they have the documentation, the correct location of Tin Pan Alley is 28th St. between Broadway and Sixth Ave. — not 29th St., nor between Fifth and Sixth Aves. as some sources would have it. To add the muddle, there is TIN PAN ALLEY continued on p. 21
Pergola restaurant filled its walls graced with a temporary exhibition of sheet music called “Black and Jewish Musicians of Tin Pan Alley.”
NYC Community Media
October 26, 2017
A New President — At Least at London Terrace BY LEVAR ALONZO A peaceful transition of power and an acknowledgement of past service distinguished the annual meeting of the London Terrace Tenants Association (LTTA), held Monday night at the Avenues: The World School (10th Ave., btw. W. 25th & 26th Sts). LTTA outgoing president Andy Humm — a frequent contributor to our sister publication Gay City News and co-host of the long-running weekly LGBT news show Gay USA (gayusatv.org) — passed the baton to Inge Ivchenko, who got down to the business of presiding over her first meeting. Humm is not going away completely, as he will now serve as secretary for the association. “The only thing that I regret and wish I could fight for more was the pool,” said Humm. “Unfortunately we are not getting the pool back.” Humm noted the association won a $165/month (per stabilized tenant) permanent rent reduction to compensate for the loss of the amenity. Humm encouraged all tenants willing to commit the requisite time and effort to run for office and help fight for their neighbor’s rights. Offering a bit of good news, Humm expressed delight that Sept. 23’s London Terrace Street Fair made more of a profit than the annual event has in recent years. State Senator Brad Hoylman joined the meeting to present Humm with a Proclamation that officially designated Oct. 23, 2017 as “Andy Humm Appreciation Day.” Hoylman gave the award to Humm for all the work he has done in serving the LTTA and, by exten-
October 26, 2017
Courtesy Office of Senator Brad Hoylman
L to R: Incoming LTTA president Inge Ivchenko, outgoing pres. and Proclamation recipient Andy Humm, and Senator Brad Hoylman.
sion, the surrounding community. The Proclamation read, in part, “Humm has been a tenacious defender of tenants rights and the rights of New Yorkers.” The award came as a surprise to Humm, who noted that he often has to write things that are critical of politicians. “I joined the association because there has to be a check on unlimited landlord power,” said Humm in a Facebook message posted late in the day on Oct. 23 (which began with a cheeky alert that there was “less than an hour to observe” Andy Humm Appreciation Day). “None of us does this kind of work for recognition,” the posting noted. “I was actually shamed into joining the group by a past leader who I was offering criticism to back in ‘91 without offering to “DO” anything… I saw his point: we’re all in this together and we all need to pitch in however we can. So, at least tonight a small group of Americans got to have a new president — something we all deeply desire.” Other notable events at the LTTA meeting included a presentation by board member Mark Shulman, who announced the enhancement of an online building staff directory. The directory, which can be seen at LTTA.info, features the name, job title and photo of building staffers so residents can acknowledge who they are (and it helps with tipping during holiday time). District 3 City Councilmember Corey Johnson LONDON TERRACE continued on p. 23
NYC Community Media
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October 26, 2017
TALKING POINTS The incumbent and challenger in District 3’s City Councilmember race were asked to weigh in on NYC’s affordable housing landscape, and then conclude with a bid for your vote. For info. on the Tues., Nov. 7 election, visit nyccfb.info/ voterguide.
BY COUNCILMEMBER COREY JOHNSON (DEMOCRAT & WORKING FAMILIES CANDIDATE) There is absolutely no question about it — the single most pressing issue facing New York City is the lack of affordable housing. Unprecedented real estate speculation and an influx of millionaires and billionaires are putting incredible pressure on our housing stock. Market rents are being driven to astronomical levels. Rent stabilized tenants are being forced out. Neighborhood residents who have lived here their entire lives are finding themselves unable to makes ends meet. Longtime next-door neighbors are being replaced by Airbnb tourists. This phenomenon is manifesting itself in cities across the country, most acutely on Manhattan’s West Side. It impacts us on a humanitarian level, as the homeless population surges and countless others live in fear of losing their homes — and on a community level, as our close-knit neighborhood networks are priced out of existence. We must aggressively build new affordable housing while stopping the hemorrhage of existing affordable housing. We must do this like the future of New York City depends on it — because it does. Since being sworn into office, I have made this issue an absolute priority. I’ve fought hard for new affordable housing in Council District 3, with over 1,000 new affordable units in the pipeline. Some examples
The Future of New York City Depends on Affordable Housing
Photo by Erik Bottcher
District 3 City Councilmember Corey Johnson protesting in Albany for stronger rent stabilization laws.
include the former slaughterhouse site at 495 11th Ave., which will be a 100% affordable building with 250 units. I negotiated nearly 500 units of new affordable housing, 180 of which will be for seniors, at 550 Washington Street. A 100% affordable building with 160 new units is under construction at 413 W. 18th St. Two 100% affordable buildings totaling 300 new units
are coming to former Department of Environmental Protection and MTA sites in Hell’s Kitchen. We need to do more, and do more quickly. Demanding more affordable housing in my district will continue to be my top priority. TPOINTS (COREY) continued on p. 23
Solving the Affordable Housing Crisis Begins With a Comprehensive Plan And A Candidate Who Refuses Corporate Money
Photo by Greg Salvatori
Marni Halasa, JD, MS.
October 26, 2017
BY MARNI HALASA, JD, MS (ECO JUSTICE CANDIDATE) Housing is happiness. And when housing is affordable, everyone has the opportunity to live with integrity, better oneself, and fully experience our amazing city. However, the housing costs have skyrocketed. As a result, millions have been forced to leave New York City due to the hyper-gentrification of neighborhoods, the escalating rents displacing tenants and small businesses. Therefore, offering real and attainable solutions has become a vital issue if we want to save our city. The people who tend to get hurt the most are middle-income individuals. While many middle-income individuals can pay for their housing, the reality is their payments take up a significant amount of their take home pay. I firmly believe that housing costs should not consume a disproportionate amount of the income. Instead, I believe housing costs should be affordable where middle-income families can enjoy a reasonable amount of discretionary income.
One older program offers a potential solution to solve our most pressing problem, Mitchell-Lama. Mitchell-Lama provides a framework for new affordable housing policy that works for today’s problems. I propose that 35% of all new rental constructions should be designated as affordable housing catering to low- and middle-income households. Additionally, I propose that 35% of all existing units should gradually transition to an affordable housing designation. Meaning that buildings which currently have no affordable housing and no rent-controlled or rent-stabilized units, will offer every fourth unit as affordable housing as they become available until the building meets the 35% affordable housing threshold. Once a building meets the 35% affordable housing threshold, the rest of the apartment can be rented at market rates. I would also advocate expanding the program to include co-operative apartments, as this would protect even more vulnerable residents. Landlords will not be TPOINTS (MARNI) continued on p. 23 NYC Community Media
Thereâ€™s an Urgent Care Center right on 14th Street. Perfect for us 40-ish skateboarders.
NYC Community Media
October 26, 2017
POLICE BLOTTER PETIT LARCENY: The unkindness of strangers There’s such a thing as being too trusting, and then there’s that thing where you’re being way, way, way too trusting. Such was the case with this first case. At around 11:50 a.m. on Fri., Oct. 20, an overly nice 22-year-old woman gave someone her cell phone to use, on the southeast corner of 12th Ave. and W. 30th St. After the suspect used the phone, he refused to give it back. The phone is valued at $100.
PETIT LARCENY: Food for thought People would do anything to not take MTA these days. A 31-year-old woman locked her bike on Sat., Oct. 21 at 4:15 p.m., on the corner of W. 15th St. and 10th Ave. at Chelsea Market. She walked away from the bike to go food shopping for 45 minutes. When she came back, she realized the bike was gone. The bike is valued at $750.
LOST PROPERTY: Recipe for pre-marital regret Who would think that cooking for your fiancé could turn into a tragedy? THE 10th PRECINCT Located at 230 W. 20th St. (btw. Seventh & Eighth Aves.). Commander: Capt. Paul Lanot. Main number: 212741-8211. Community Affairs: 212741-8226. Crime Prevention: 212-7418226. Domestic Violence: 212-7418216. Youth Officer: 212-741-8211. Auxiliary Coordinator: 212-924-3377. Detective Squad: 212-741-8245. The Community Council meets on the last Wed. of the month, 7 p.m., at the 10th Precinct or other locations to be announced. THE 13th PRECINCT Located at 230 E. 21st St. (btw. Second & Third Aves.). Deputy Inspector: Brendan Timoney. Call 212477-7411. Community Affairs: 212477-7427. Crime Prevention: 212-4777427. Domestic Violence: 212-4773863. Youth Officer: 212-477-7411. Auxiliary Coordinator: 212-477-4380. Detective Squad: 212-477-7444. The Community Council meets on the
October 26, 2017
Inside an apartment on the 400 block of W. 25th St., a 28-year-old woman removed her ring while cooking on Thurs., Oct. 19 6:30 p.m. The ring fell into the trash and was accidentally discarded. The ring is valued at $13,850.
PETIT LARCENY: Taking a crack at crime On Sun., Oct. 22 at 3:20 p.m., a man was seen taking store property from a Rite Aid at 188 Ninth Ave. (at W. 22nd St.). Police were called and saw the 30-year-old suspect putting a stereo and DVD player in his bag without permission. While officers were searching him, they found a crack pipe in his back pocket. —Tabia C. Robinson third Tues. of the month, 6:30 p.m., at the 13th Precinct. MIDTOWN SOUTH PRECINCT Located at 357 W. 35th St. (btw. Eighth & Ninth Aves.). Inspector Russel J. Green, Commanding Officer. Call 212-239-9811. Community Affairs: 212-239-9846. Crime Prevention: 212-239-9846. Domestic Violence: 212-239-9863. Youth Officer: 212239-9817. Auxiliary Coordinator: 212239-9836. Detective Squad: 212-2399856. The Community Council meets on the third Thurs. of the month, 7 p.m., at the New Yorker Hotel (481 Eighth Ave., btw. W. 34th & 35th Sts.). Visit midtownsouthcc.org. CASH FOR GUNS $100 cash will be given (no questions asked) for each handgun, assault weapon or sawed-off shotgun, up to a maximum payment of $300. Guns are accepted at any Police Precinct, PSA, or Transit District.
NYC Community Media
NYC Community Media
October 26, 2017
Spooky, Kooky, Kid-Friendly Halloween Fun BY SCOTT STIFFLER
HUDSON BLVD PARK KIDS HALLOWEEN HANGOUT The emerging Hudson Yards neighborhood is scaring up some frightfully good activities for its annual event along Hudson Blvd Park. During two windows of opportunity (10 a.m.-noon and 2-4 p.m.), kids can paint pumpkins, get their own faces painted, sip cider, and listen to spooky (but not too terrifying) tunes and stories. Then, at 6:30 p.m. (across from the 7 train stop), all ages can enjoy a screening of Tim Burton’s 1988 flick “Beetlejuice,” starring Michael Keaton in classic performance that serves as a cautionary tale of what can happen when kids consume too much sugar in a single setting. Free. Thurs., Oct. 26; afternoon events at the concession kiosk and playground in Hudson Blvd Park (W. 35th to 36th Sts., mid-block btw. 10th & 11th Aves.). Visit hudsonyardshellskitchenalliance.org.
HALLOWEEN KIDZ KARNIVAL Please don’t refer to it as Pier 26 — at least not for this one special afternoon every year, when that part of Hudson River Park is transformed into “Halloween Central.” Designed for ages 2-8 (all ages are welcome), there will be face painting, treats, personalized pumpkin art projects, spooky interactive tales from the Story Pirates, and mildly-to-really-thrilling rides (for the more adventurous tykes). Many of the activities are free, some are $2. Sun., Oct. 29, 12–5 p.m. at Hudson River Park’s Pier 26 (at N. Moore St.). Visit hudsonriverpark.org.
Photo by Liz Ligon
Candy treats, magic shows and face painting are part of Oct. 28’s scary-good Haunted High Line Halloween.
HAUNTED HIGH LINE HALLOWEEN This costume-encouraged, kid-centric event isn’t haunted by the past so much as informed by it. Events and activities that pay tribute to the nearby area’s industrial heritage include the Cookie Corner. Located in the 14th St. Passage, it’s an interactive opportunity where you can meet the ghost La Cocinera and hear about her work at the old Nabisco factory. Ask her how she made Oreos and biscuits, and she’ll answer with a story and a special treat. Then, kids can try their hand at the Cookie Factory Art Project. The Great Ragidy Supreme has a special magic show full of Halloweenthemed surprises and enchantments (11:30 a.m. & 12:30 p.m.). At 1:30 and 2:30 p.m., Spanish songs from The Bilingual Birdies will have kids and their caretakers dancing around. Elsewhere along the elevated park (btw. the Diller von-Furstenberg Sundeck & Chelsea Market Passage), once you emerge from the Ghost Tunnel (a spooky immersive walkthrough where the West Side Cowboy and his horse Cyclone reside), you’ll hear about the gruesome trade of a Meatpacker, get your face painted by Agostino Arts, and take home an old timey GIF taken at Bosco’s Photobooth. Interactive opportunities also abound via a science experiment showing how trains once kept produce and dairy cold during deliv-
October 26, 2017
Courtesy Hudson River Park
Hudson River Park’s Pier 26 dresses up as Halloween Central on Oct. 29, for its annual Kidz Karnival.
eries, and a Mobile Garden full of creepy crawly bugs and insects. Dancing, karaoke, yummy seasonal treats, and a Superhero Clubhouse round out the roster of activities that’s so jam-packed it’s scary. Free. Sat., Oct. 28, 11 a.m.–3 p.m. on the High Line, btw. W. 14th to 16th Sts. (enter at W. 14th St. & 10th Ave.). This rain or shine event for children up to 12 years of age and their caregivers (who are highly encouraged to show up in costume) has limited capacity. To ensure a faster check-in process, RSVP via thehighline.org/activities (RSVPing does not guarantee participation).
JACK-O’LANTERN COMPOSTING Days after the Halloween decorations have all been put in a box (or coffin?) to hibernate until next year, that hollowed-out gourd no longer appropriate for the front steps or kitchen counter must be contended with.
Photo by Zazel Loven
Smashing Pumpkins isn’t just a great band name. On Nov. 4, it’s what you do at Clement Clarke Moore Park in the name of composting.
To the rescue comes this annual ritual. Members of the 300 West 23rd, 22nd, 21st Streets Block Association, the West 400 Block Association 23rd, 22nd, 21st Streets, and the NYC Compost Project (funded by NYC Sanitation and hosted by the Lower East Side Ecology Center) will be on hand to supervise the purpose-driven destruction of pumpkins, then provide compost education and outreach (and free snacks!). From 10 a.m.–1 p.m. on Sat., Nov. 4, at Clement Clarke Moore Park (W. 22nd St. & 10th Ave.). For more info, send and email to email@example.com. Also visit nyc.gov/compostproject. NYC Community Media
(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.
NYC Community Media
October 26, 2017
Public Art Project Draws on the Tale FIT continued from p. 1
Kips Bay Plaza, and the Chatham Towers demonstrate a heavy use of exposed concrete to create a raw, sometimes uneasy, impression of fort-like strength and stability. Many buildings across the country adopted this style, primarily government buildings such as Boston’s City Hall and college campuses such as Chelsea’s Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT). When Dan Shefelman, an assistant professor of artist and illustration at FIT’s School of Art & Design, looked at the blank, 3x6 foot blocks of limestone used to create his workplace, he saw potential for a revamping. Five years ago, he launched the first ChalkFIT public art project with his class of senior illustration majors. “We started in 2013 in the spring. It was spontaneous,” Shefelman recalled. “We were shocked how people responded. People with briefcases in hand stopping, some people asking for chalk, one little autistic girl spent three hours working while her mom watched. We saw the power of public art. It’s officially now part of the curriculum.” Two buildings on the FIT campus serve as a canvas, extending along Seventh Ave. from W. 26th to 28th Sts. All illustration majors who are enrolled in the Mentor/ Specialization Projects course participated in the chalk pastel painting process that began on Mon., Oct. 16 and lasted through Friday of that week. Shefelman described the class as a program that teaches students to respond to verbal props with a visual concept. Every year the students and Shefelman come up with a theme. Last year’s theme was “Resilience and Diversity” in response to the Sept. 17, 2016 Chelsea
Photos by Rebecca Fiore
Stacey Figueroa worked on her piece while a woman watched. Public attention, and feedback, is a new experience for many of the artists.
bombings which occurred just weeks before the students took to their brushes. The students worked along a brick wall on W. 28th St. (btw. Seventh & Eighth Aves.) in acrylics. “It’s really a new experience to them,” Shefelman said. “Most of them haven’t worked this big, on-site, with people watching. In the painting process, it’s as much of a performance as a piece of art. It’s amazing to watch the students realize how much people like what they do.” This year, across 77 panels, mixed with seniors, alumni, and a few professors, the theme is “Dreams.” When he was thinking of the this year’s theme, Shefelman said he thought of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act. “I didn’t want to do something explic-
itly political or something out of date in a week or two. The idea is dreaming, an antidote to the lack of imagination, without mentioning the unmentionable. … We want to talk about human imagination and the subconscious and your brain. How do you visualize that?” Some students took images from their own dreams — a large octopus, crystals under the moon, mushrooms growing in clusters, or fish swimming in space. Annmarie Arnone said she wanted to focus on having a good time and experimenting with her art. She added vibrant colors and fantasy elements to make her panel have a more psychedelic feel to it. “I wanted to do something out of the realm of what I would normally do,” Arnone said. “It’s a public piece, rather than a personal. It’s a lot of prep too. We came up with the ideas weeks ago. It’s a bigger scale too so you need more sup-
plies. All the challenges that we are happy to figure out.” Others thought of the dreams and aspirations of children such as a little boy who wants to be a firefighter, a young girl imagining a world bigger than her own, or a child playing with bubbles and toy boats. “I wanted to show a child dreaming,” Jaqueline Carvalho said. “When I picture dreams, I always picture children. They always have big dreams that might not even make sense. I wanted to portray something whimsical too.” Some of the artist also chose not to stay in the lines, or confinements, of their panels. Many students took a playful approach to dreaming, including Taylor Swierkowski and Julia Hemsworth. “I’m 21 years old and I still have my teddy bear,” Swierkowski admitted. “I thought it would be kind of funny if my
At left, panels in various states of development on the project’s first day. At right, the same stretch on the project’s third day.
October 26, 2017
NYC Community Media
nt of FIT Students, Past and Present
Shannon Ramos (foreground, left) was stopped by a passerby who admired her work and asked if she did album cover work.
teddy bear were taking me to sleep.” “We are in our senior year and we are all very tired,” Julia Hemsworth said. She explained her piece as “an art student dreaming about her painting being finished.” Underneath each panel is a variety of chalk pigments, finely ground to be mixed with water. On one afternoon during the project, there was a shortage on white chalk. Shefelman said he ordered 42 cases of 144 colors of chalk in preparation. Besides the cold weather earlier in the week, Mariesa Aguilar said the most difficult part of the process is transferring the image from paper to stone. “The challenge that most people have, especially what I have, is to get it accurate,” she said. “From that drawing on the paper then onto the wall and to mix the colors together. The colors we use on paper are already premixed, whereas the chalk comes in certain colors so we have to mix them ourselves. It’s a messy process, don’t wear anything nice.” Some artists have tools or rocks to smash their chalk. Stacey Figueroa used
the bottom of her shoe and Anastasia Zuchko took to using her water bottle. “It’s pretty much trial and error,” Carvalho said of her process. Alexa Kuebler added, “You just play with it because we don’t know what we are doing.” Kuebler’s piece shows “a dream catcher that’s a tornado, coming down and circling me. The stars represent my dreams and how they will come true eventually.” Every year, Shefelman said he hires Angel Garcia and Victor Saint-Hilarie, two alums who work for Groundswell (groundswell.nyc), an organization that brings artists, youths, and community organizations together through art, to help supervise the project. The two created the main logo for this year’s theme, featured prominently under the Fred P. Pomerantz Art and Design Center sign. Irina Fialko, a 2013 grad, said the program wasn’t around when she was in school, and she wasn’t an illustration major. But since graduating and continuing to be an assistant teacher at FIT, she
FIT artists took a break from their work for a group photo. At right in the black T-shirt is artist and illustration professor Dan Shefelman, who oversaw the project.
was able to get a panel for herself. She noted that the past two years she wasn’t able to get a spot. “It was a little daunting at first when I had to climb on top of the chair to paint, and it’s noisy, but you get into the groove of it. Some people have stopped to talk, which is nice,” Fialko said. Sandra Krakowiak, said she was “most nervous about messing up in front of everyone.” But that she also enjoys connecting with classmates and watching friends work together. Gerard Chambers actually prefers working outdoors. “It’s more organic,” he said. “You can feel the sun, the coolness of the wind.” Kuebler said she has been waiting for this since she first toured the college campus four years ago. Swierkowski said it’s the reason why most people attend FIT. Arnone said the whole school gets excited for this time of year. Alecia Fuschetto said it’s a great opportunity for free advertising. The artists use #ChalkFIT on social media platforms such as Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook to attract attention.
Many also added their profile handles, or usernames. The panels will last through the winter if not longer, depending on the elements, Shefelman said (rain water or snow won’t cause these works to fade off so easily; they actually have to be power-washed off to completely disappear, when it comes time to make room for next year’s new theme). “One of the greatest experiences for [the students] is they either go into it with total confidence and see how it comes across when others see it, or they go into it with fear and insecurity, and when it’s done, almost across the board, they have that confidence. I get choked up. Once they put the charcoal line on the wall, people stop and most of them have never had the experience of having direct reception of their work,” Shefelman said. One passerby took a picture of Shannon Ramos’ piece, looked up and said, “Hey, is this yours? I just followed you on Instagram. Do you do album covers?” For more info, visit facebook.com/ ChalkFITNYC.
At left, a section of panels during the early days of the project. At right, the same section on the final day. NYC Community Media
October 26, 2017
‘Comfort Women’ Statue Remembers Victims of Sexual Slavery BY ANNABELLE BLAIR Statue of Peace, a memorial to “comfort women” who were exploited as sexual slaves by the Japanese military during World War II, was recently unveiled at Chelsea’s Museum of Korean American Heritage (MoKAH), located within W. 24th St.’s Korean American Association of Greater New York (KAAGNY). The monument depicts a bronze girl in traditional Korean clothes sitting next to an empty chair with the shadow behind her of an old woman. The inscription reads, “This monument is an historical marker offered in the memory of the hundreds of thousands of women and girls who were forced to be comfort women, and is dedicated to eradicating sexual violence and trafficking. Their powerful history and noble spirit should never be forgotten.” It is an exact replica of the statue outside the Japanese embassy in Seoul, South Korea, and designed by the same artists, Kim Seo-kyung and Kim Eunsung, who attended the Oct. 13 unveiling. Historians say up to 200,000 women from at least 13 Asian-Pacific countries and a former Dutch colony in modern Indonesia were forcibly enslaved by the Japanese government and brutally raped by Japanese military officers and personnel. Many were girls — often between 12-19 years old, according to testimonies cited by Margaret Stetz, a professor of women’s studies and humanities at the University of Delaware. Dr. Pyong Gap Min, a sociology professor and director of the Research Center for Korean Community at Queens College, said the “hyper sexual exploitation” was extremely violent and frequently exposed women to injuries, pain, infertility, vaginal ruptures, and diseases, in addition to beatings, stabbings, and humiliation. Although Japanese officials have attempted to dismiss the issue by offering token recognition and money to victims, no formal apology for the atrocities committed against comfort women has ever been offered by Japan or accepted by the women themselves — or the many groups and coalitions formed to honor and support the victims. The Statue of Peace is the first statue for comfort women erected in New York City and the tenth nationwide, according to the Washington Coalition for Comfort Women Issues. Across the United States, 13 comfort women memorials stand in public locations, including inside historical Korean-American associations, according to Min. The recently erected memorial in Manhattan did not provoke any contention, Min said, because it is located inside a Korean Museum and sponsored by the Korean American Association of Greater New York. “No one can say anything,” he said. He noted, however, that the statue’s influence is “minimal” because of its location indoors on the sixth floor of a complex where it will likely attract less attention than it would in a prominent space in New York City. On the same weekend as the Oct. 13 memorial unveiling, Min also hosted an event to remember comfort women at Queens College in Flushing. The eighth annual conference, called “The Redress Movement
October 26, 2017
Courtesy Research Center for Korean Community at Queens College
Academic speakers and sponsors at Queens College in Flushing on Oct. 13. During a two-day conference, they discussed the redress movement for “comfort women” who were sexually enslaved by the Japanese military during Word War II.
Courtesy Korean American Association of Greater New York
New York politicians, human rights officials and members of the Korean American Association of Greater New York attended the unveiling of Manhattan’s first “comfort women” statue on Oct. 13
for the Victims of Japanese Military Sexual Slavery: Looking Back at the 27-year Movement,” was hosted by the Research Center for Korean Community at Queens College in Flushing. The center is a nonprofit research institute for the local Korean and KoreanAmerican communities in Queens, with the neighborhood of Flushing having one of the largest Asian populations in New York. At least 17 academics, human rights leaders, and activists presented their research this year and addressed topics, such as shame, legacy, girl-victims, and gender-war crimes. Speakers compared the atrocities experienced by comfort women to the Holocaust, with expressions of “never again.”
Some Japanese officials and citizens deny the testimonies of comfort women. They contend that the women were paid prostitutes and ignore or dispute the 500-plus documents of research that scholars say prove the Japanese government approved of the sexual trafficking. In the year 2017 alone, Japanese interest groups have fought to have similar comfort women statues in San Francisco and Glendale, CA, removed from prominent public locations. Academics at the conference emphasized the global importance of the issue, beyond Korea-Japan relations, as the heart of basic human rights, often championed by the United States. “This is not Japan’s history, it is the history of humanity,” Alexis Dudden, a professor of history at the University of Connecticut, said during the conference. “And we all have a right to that history.” James Park, a New York City resident and KoreanAmerican, said he took the day off work to attend the conference. “I was literally close to tears,” he said when describing his experience after the conference’s first two sessions. “As a male who doesn’t know this topic, to have it exposed right to your face.” A year after the fi rst comfort woman came forward in 1991, protesters began gathering weekly in front of the Japanese embassy in Seoul, setting the world record for the longest-running protest on any issue. “I think it’s time, after 25 years, that we expand our scope of activities with other movements of human trafficking, regardless of gender and regardless of where it’s happening in the world,” Bonnie Oh, a retired professor of Korean studies at Georgetown University, said at the conference. The Museum of Korean American Heritage is located within The Korean American Association of Greater New York (149 W. 24th St., sixth floor (btw. Sixth & Seventh Aves.). Learn more about them online at nykorean.org and facebook.com/ OFFICIALKAAGNY. NYC Community Media
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October 26, 2017
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October 26, 2017
BY LINCOLN ANDERSON The design of a planned 10-story building at the southeast corner of W. 14th St. and Eighth Ave. has been unveiled, and... it’s awful! The Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation (GVSHP) tweeted out a photo of a design rendering of the thing with the caption: “Ugh; design revealed for new bldg @ 14St+8Av. Glad we stopped zoning variance which would have made it 20% taller.” “It’s as bad as you can imagine,” Andrew Berman, the society’s executive director, told The Villager (our sister publication). “I saw someone on Twitter describe it as ‘An ode to the Port Authority Bus Terminal,’ which I think is fitting. Even a building half that height, a design that ugly and obtrusive would stand out like a sore thumb. The scale here is not really a problem; it’s the ugliness and insensitivity to the design.” In July 2016, GVSHP. successfully advocated against the developer’s request to the Board of Standards and Appeals for a zoning variance to allow the project to rise 21 feet higher than zoning allows. The developer had tried to argue “hardship” — claiming that only by being able to build larger would they get enough economic return on the building. The site is just outside the Greenwich Village Historic District, so is not landmarked. But the spot does have contextual zoning, so new development there is capped at 120 feet tall. In 2015, Mayor de Blasio sought to lift height limits for new developments across the city, including in the Village. But GVSHP and the community fought back and the height caps for the West Village, along with other districts, remain intact. The building just to the south of the new project, One Jackson Square, which went up eight years ago, used to be GVSHP’s Public Enemy No. 1 in this neck of the woods. One Jackson Square actually is in the Greenwich Village Historic District, yet the city’s Landmarks Preservation Commission
A design rendering of architect Gene Kaufman’s design for a new building planned at the northeast corner of W. 14th St. and Eighth Ave.
still approved its modern-style undulating glass facade. “That design makes this design look almost poetic,” Berman sadly reflected, comparing the wavy-glass monstrosity to the mini-Port Authority. Berman said that he, like others, has noticed two other likely development sites two blocks east, on the north corners of the intersection at W. 14th St. and Sixth Ave. But he said he is “not following them as closely because they are on the north side of the street,” so just outside GVSHP’s main coverage area. These include the former site of an HSBC bank branch on the northwest corner and the building that used to house Sol Moscot eyeglasses store on the east corner. As for the Eighth Ave. site, there simply is no existing mechanism in this case for the city to regulate the design. “It’s really unfortunate,” Berman said. He said Gene Kaufman is the architect. “He’s kind of known for really bad architectural designs,” Berman noted, “sort of cheap-quality-construction hotels in Manhattan and Brooklyn. ... I’m so glad that we were able to keep it from being 21 feet taller.”
Extra! Extra! Read all about it!
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An Homage to Constant Flux Kate Shepherd has a ‘lock’ on 56 Henry
Installation view, Kate Shepherd’s “Bagels and Locks.”
BY STEPHANIE BUHMANN For her latest exhibit — “Bagels and Locks” — Kate Shepherd lures us into the realm of New York City’s construction sites. In fact, some visitors might easily engage in the illusion of having stumbled upon one, scaffolding and all. Shepherd, who though best known for her almost minimal but lusciously slick-surfaced enamel paintings has a long practice of material exploration, succeeds in shining a spotlight on the delights of the rough and tumble — partially by bringing it indoors. Here, boarded up street facades serve as memorials for the notion of impermanence in a city where constant development tears at the infrastructure. In New York, gentrification is hardly a new phenomenon and yet, the increasing speed of it makes it difficult to follow. Whereas the process of seeing NYC Community Media
Courtesy the artist and 56 Henry
Installation view, Kate Shepherd’s “Bagels and Locks.”
a neighborhood transformed from rags to riches seemed to take at least a decade, it now tends to unfold in less than a handful of years. Shepherd’s outlook is not nostalgic but rather factual, finding relevant visual appeal in Hunter green plywood, for example, that aims to keep pedestrians from trespassing onto yet another construction site slotted for new condominiums. At 56 Henry, one of the walls is painted in muddied-up beige with a diamond shaped peephole cut into it. Covered by a Plexiglas, the latter serves as a stylized invitation for street side voyeurism. Another wall is made of large, rough-hewn boards affixed with a set of doors that rest mildly askew, chained together and padlocked. What Shepherd draws attention to can be experienced on an outdoor city walk any day and yet,
by bringing these elements into an indoor setting, she has created an unusual sanctuary; a place for contemplation. In that, “Bagels and Locks” manifests as an homage to constant flux. In this setting, we get to recognize that it is not only the city which is changing, but also everything and everyone who is navigating its intricate web. To stand still for a moment and to absorb it in this distilled and simplified form enables us to realize what construction fragments really are: remnants of a particular slice of time. Through Nov. 19 at 56 Henry (56 Henry St., btw. Market & Catherine Sts.). Visible from the street 24 hours a day. Gallery doors are open to the public Thurs.-Sun., 12-6pm and by appointment. Call 646-858-0800, email info@56henry. nyc, or visit 56henry.nyc. October 26, 2017
Just Do Art BY SCOTT STIFFLER
“WHY WHY ALWAYS” Set in a dark dystopia where supercomputer Alpha 60 pulls the strings and pushes the buttons of an emotionally lobotomized population, “Alphaville” is a gritty, bullet-ridden, noirish nightmare through which a chain-smoking, trench coat-wearing secret agent assumes the guise of a journalist (talk about Fake News!) to track down the computer’s inventor and bring him in from the cold. By no means derivative yet certainly owing debts to George Orwell and Raymond Chandler, French New Wave filmmaker Jean-Luc Godard’s 1965 black and white prophecy of doom still packs a wallop — but its then-futuristic vision of technology as the ruler of a single city didn’t foresee an Internet with the power to engage, stimulate, and placate on a global scale. Taking Goddard’s film as “a foundation and a jumping off point,” the longtime collaborative team of Shaun Irons and Lauren Petty have crafted a hybrid stage presentation that defies mere categorization as “multimedia” (although that’s a good place to start). Using performance, dance, live-feed cameras, sound, scale models and other we-won’t-spoil-it-for-you elements, “Why Why Always” mimics certain plot points and buzzwords from “Alphaville” while mapping its own search “ for the human, poetic and emotional amidst a landscape of mechanization, isolation and control.” The contemporary phenomenon of online ASMR (autonomous sensory meridian response) videos also has a key role in the world of “Why Why Always,” with repetitious, seemingly soothing acts (such as towel folding) rendered both comforting and ominous when placed alongside a world of whispers, secrets, and seductresses — and that’s all the explanation we’re going to attempt, still swooning as we are from the show’s video trailer (available for view via their website). Wed., Oct. 25 through Sat., Oct. 28 at 7:30pm; Sun., Oct. 29 at 4pm. At Abrons Arts Center (466 Grand St., btw. Pitt & Willett Sts.). For tickets ($25), call 212-352-3101 or visit abronsartscenter.org. Show info at whywhyalways.automaticrelease.org.
“OFF THE METER, ON THE RECORD” and “THE HOME PLACE” at the IRISH REPERTORY THEATRE You don’t need to wait for their holiday production of “It’s a Wonderful Life” to appreciate how much better off the world is with the Irish Repertory Theatre in it. Attending two current productions from this nonprofit Chelsea gem will do more than just earn your angel wings — it will send you out of the W. 22nd St. facility hungering for more (a craving that can be attended to somewhere between Nov. 29 and Dec. 31, when their live radio play version of George Bailey’s redemption tale takes place). Good news in the meantime: Two of Irish Rep’s stalwart stewards are helming current projects. Through Nov. 5 on the W. Scott McLucas Studio
October 26, 2017
Photo by Paula Court
At Abrons Arts Center through Oct. 29, “Why Why Always” uses Jean-Luc Godard’s 1965 film “Alphaville” as a jumping off point.
Photo by Carol Rosegg
Photo by Carol Rosegg
“The Home Place” takes place in the Irish town of Donegal during a sweltering 1878 summer; at the Irish Repertory Theatre through Nov. 19.
A NYC cabbie comes clean with tales of the gritty city in “Off the Meter, On the Record” at the Irish Repertory Theatre through Nov. 5.
Stage, producing director Ciarán O’Reilly is the director of “Off the Meter, On the Record” — writer/ performer John McDonagh’s world premiere solo work based on 35 years spent as the driver of a NYC yellow taxi. Eons before apps and ages before Uber, McDonagh answered the hails of everyone from Upper East Side matrons to celebrities, with an occasional consulting job thrown in (he was the one who taught Richard “Top Gear” Hammond how to beat the mean streets of Manhattan while in cabbie mode). Pithy and poignant, McDonagh blends classic NYC seen-it-all observational humor with earthy Irish storytelling. Through Nov. 19 on the Francis J. Greenburger Mainstage, artistic director Charlotte Moore directs Brian Friel’s “The Home Place.” Set in the northwest coastal town of Donegal during a sweltering 1878 summer, Ireland’s dawning Home Rule movement has
nationalist tensions already simmering by the time a doctor arrives determined to demonstrate the indigenes’ “inferior place in the natural order.” His measuring of craniums doesn’t sit well with the villagers, nor does this politically dangerous form of Darwinism do much to improve relations with his cousin — a liberal-minded Anglo-Irish landlord who, along with his son, has a romantic interest in Margaret, the dutiful “chatelaine” at the lodge in which they all reside. “Off the Meter, On the Record” plays through Nov. 5: Wed. at 3pm & 8pm; Thurs. at 7pm; Fri. at 8pm; Sat. at 3pm & 8pm; Sun. at 3pm. Tickets are $50. “The Home Place” plays through Nov. 19: Wed. at 3pm & 8pm; Thurs. at 7pm; Fri. at 8pm; Sat. at 3pm & 8pm; and Sun. at 3pm. Tickets are $50-$70. For reservations to both shows, call 212-727-2737 or visit irishrep.org. Irish Repertory Theatre is at 132 W. 22nd St. (btw. Sixth & Seventh Aves.). NYC Community Media
TOP DRIVER DISTRACTIONS Using mobile phones Leading the list of the top distractions behind the wheel are mobile phones. Phones now do more than just place calls, and drivers often cannot pull away from their phones, even when driving. According to the California Department of Motor Vehicles, studies have shown that driving performance is lowered and the level of distraction is higher for drivers who are heavily engaged in cell
NYC Community Media
phone conversations. The use of a hands-free device does not lower distraction levels. The percentage of vehicle crashes and nearcrashes attributed to dialing is nearly identical to the number associated with talking or listening.
Daydreaming Many people will admit to daydreaming behind the wheel or looking at a person or object outside of the car for too long. Per-
haps they’re checking out a house in a new neighborhood or thought they saw someone they knew on the street corner. It can be easy to veer into the direction your eyes are focused, causing an accident. In addition to trying to stay focused on the road, some drivers prefer the help of lane departure warning systems.
Eating Those who haven’t quite mastered walking and
chewing gum at the same time may want to avoid eating while driving. The majority of foods require a person’s hands to be taken off of the wheel and their eyes to be diverted from the road. Reaching in the back seat to share some French fries with the kids is also distracting. Try to eat meals before getting in the car. For those who must snack while en route, take a moment to pull over at
a rest area and spend 10 minutes snacking there before resuming the trip.
Reading Glancing at an advertisement, updating a Facebook status or reading a book are all activities that should be avoided when driving. Even pouring over a traffic map or consulting the digital display of a GPS system can be distracting.
October 26, 2017
GAS continued from p. 2
to expose this.â€? Maurer wrote the management company back to say â€˜no thanks,â€™ but noted that the company delivered a shipment of cooking appliances on Oct. 21, which residents refused to accept. In her email, Maurer noted she told her landlord that Councilmember Corey Johnsonâ€™s office wanted to set up a meeting between the landlord and tenants to discuss how they could move forward in the future, so the company could safely begin construction while still providing basic services to existing tenants. Said Maurer, â€œThe email I got back from NYC Management said theyâ€™d been in full communication with all of the tenants at 311, and the request to meet with us and the Councilmemberâ€™s office was denied. They wonâ€™t meet with us and they wonâ€™t meet with them.â€? â€œMy office has been working with tenants of 311 West 21st Street to ensure they are safe during this completely unacceptable situation,â€? Councilmember Johnson told Chelsea Now. â€œThey have now been without gas for 20 months and I understand that the NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development has brought a comprehensive litigation case against the owner and received a consent order from a judge to restore gas to the building. I encourage anyone who is unsuccessful in resolving heat issues with their landlord to report it to 311 and my office at 212-564-7757.â€? Tenants of the building say that Matt Green, Councilmember Johnsonâ€™s Deputy Chief of Staff, Community Affairs, has been a tireless advocate for them, with Lage noting, â€œItâ€™s nice to know thereâ€™s actually a politicianâ€™s office thatâ€™s on your side. But my understanding is that NYC Management just blows them off. They donâ€™t show up or they just pay the fines. To them, this is just the cost of doing business.â€? As reported in an Oct. 4 Chelsea
Photo by Scott Stiffler
The NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development says gas must be restored by Oct. 31, but tenants weary of the landlordâ€™s scofflaw attitude say it wonâ€™t happen.
Now article (â€œNew Laws Give More Muscle To Tenant Safetyâ€?), tenants subject to these conditions have been given some hope via a raft of legislation by Mayor Bill de Blasio, who on Aug. 30 signed into law 18 pieces of tenant safety legislation designed to mitigate these â€œconstruction as harassmentâ€? tactics. Tenants of 311 W. 21st St. may be able to benefit from NYC Councilmember Stephen Levinâ€™s bill to create a Real Time Enforcement Unit within the Department of Buildings (DOB) to quickly follow up on complaints of work being done without a permit. Another part of this package was NYC Councilmember Helen Rosenthalâ€™s bill
MANTA SPA FOCUSING ON MAN TO MAN MASSAGE
October 26, 2017
creating an Office of Tenant Advocate to serve as an internal watchdog at the DOB. Although itâ€™s not yet clear who will be staffing this position, the position will go into effect on Dec. 28. â€œThis is an instance in which residents and local elected officials have had to struggle to get the Department of Buildings to do the right thing,â€? said Councilmember Rosenthal in an Oct. 23 email to Chelsea Now. â€œIt looks like DOB has taken some corrective actions, but itâ€™s a large bureaucracy and those steps took a lot of outside work. When the Office of Tenant Advocate is installed within the DOB, we will have staff at the agency who will be solely responsible for defending tenantsâ€™ rights â€” helping to get things right and, crucially, to continue to follow up until situations like these are fully addressed.â€? Although representatives of the DOB originally argued that a Tenant Advocate was not necessary, DOB Deputy Press Secretary Andrew Rudansky told Chelsea Now in an Oct. 18 email that the â€œDOB wonâ€™t tolerate landlords who use construction activity to harass their tenants. We are a proud partner in the cityâ€™s Tenant Harassment Protection Task Force, though which weâ€™ve conducted more than 2,000 tenant-related safety inspections in the last year, including at this property.â€? Tenants maintain that itâ€™s a vicious
circle, with the landlord illegally applying for permits. Once tenants inform the DOB that rent-regulated tenants are in the building, an inspectorâ€™s findings may invalidate the permit â€” after which the landlord just repeats the application process. The past history of permit applications submitted and denied speaks to this situation, although the DOB indicates that inspectors have found no violations at this building since an Aug. 2017 inspection, and no complaints. Tenants are skeptical that more legislation will solve their problems. Lage said it may depend on how the rules and regulations define â€œmiddle class,â€? as many advocates are only authorized to help those who fall well below the poverty line. Maurer noted that 11 of the laws passed have the potential to help lower-middle class people throughout the city â€” but only if they are enforced. â€œAt this point, with 20 months of no cooking gas, many calls to the DOB about no heat and hot water last winter, with repeated falsifications on submitted permits, where are the fines?â€? asked Lage. â€œWhere are the consequences for them that would make them stop doing this? What does it take before the city steps up and says, â€˜enough?â€™ These people are being harassed and abused in their own homes.â€? NYC Community Media
Photos by Daniel Kwak
Along with Laurence Frommer, an appropriately dressed Cher Carden gave a walking tour entitled “African-American Composers and Performers of Tin Pan Alley.” TIN PAN ALLEY continued from p. 3
a plaque on 29th St. “No one is sure why they put it there,” Freeland said. It was 28th Street that was home to seminal show business entrepreneurs like M. Witmark & Sons, the Harry Von Tilzer Music Publishing Company, the Paul Dresser Publishing Company, and Leo E. Berliner & Company. In addition to music publishers, the strip was also the location of other related concerns, such as theatrical producer Gustave Frohman’s Dramatic Exchange, the offices of the New York Clipper (New York’s premier entertainment industry newspaper, which was later absorbed into Variety), the William Morris Agency, and an early Thomas Edison silent movie studio. At one end of the street was the 5th Avenue Theatre; at the other end was the entrance to the Sixth Avenue Elevated (IRT line). Broadway producers and famous vaudeville singers could not walk through the neighborhood without being besieged by pesky “song pluggers” trying to create interest in the latest tunes. The organizers of the celebration made it easy to picture how the neighborhood used to be. Pergola restaurant (36 W. 28th St., btw. Broadway & Sixth Ave.; pergolanewyork.com) was the event’s epicenter, its walls graced with a temporary exhibition called “Black and Jewish Musicians of Tin Pan Alley” curated by Columbia University Community Scholar John Reddick, from his own collection. On view
Robert Lamont sang Tin Pan Alley-era songs while playing a piano supplied by Steinway & Sons.
Deborah Karpel was one of the featured artist in an afternoon program of music.
were sheets for well-known classics like Albert von Tilzer’s 1908 “Take Me Out to the Ball Game” and his brother Harry’s 1904 “A Bird in a Gilded Cage” alongside now-forgotten tunes like Leo Berliner’s 1899 “Mississippi Side Step.” A Harlem-based architect, Reddick said his interest in the built environment drew him into an appreciation of the music that came out of those buildings. Mario Messina, president of the 29th Street Neighborhood Association, led off the program of speakers (titled “Why We Fight”) followed by Freeland, who stressed the necessity of experiencing Tin Pan Alley as an “extant neighborhood” as opposed to strictly learning about it from a distance in a museum. He mentioned that the Landmarks Preservation Commission tends to give the most weight to architectural merit in making its determinations, but in his view, “The fact that we can see that this great movement of American popular culture came from these relatively humble buildings is important in and of itself. Cultural movements often start with the masses. That’s important to understand.” Calderaro noted that the Neighborhood Association has been attempting to achieve landmark status for 10 years, and warned, “Demolition scaffolding went up this week around the beloved and magnificent 112-year-old Kaskel building on Fifth and 32nd to make way for a 40-story luxury tower.” The roster of speakers was rounded out by
remarks by educator and instructor Lesley Doyel, former president of Save Chelsea (savechelseany. org) and creator of the Teaching Tin Pan Alley school curriculum, who spoke of her efforts to make New York City school kids aware of this important history. There followed a free musical concert, which made maximum use of a piano loaned (and transported to the event) by Steinway & Sons. On the bill were singers Aubrey Barnes, Stacey Haughton, Betsy Hirsch, Deborah Karpel and Robert Lamont, all of whom drew from the deep well of Tin Pan Alley standards for their sets, including well-known classics like Lawlor and Blake’s 1894 “The Sidewalks of New York,” especially appropriate, given the setting. Simultaneously, three historical walking tours were given. Freeland’s tied Tin Pan Alley to its seedy surroundings in the Tenderloin, which was the city’s vice district at the time. (In ensuing decades, the vice district, the theatrical district, and the music publishing industry would all move in part up to Times Square). Miriam Berman, author of the book “Madison Square: The Park and Its Celebrated Landmarks,” called her presentation “Tin Pan Alley in Context.” Laurence Frommer and Cher Carden gave a tour entitled “African-American Composers and Performers of Tin Pan Alley.” For more information on Tin Pan Alley and the landmarking effort, visit savetinpanalley.org.
PUBLISHER Jennifer Goodstein
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October 26, 2017
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LONDON TERRACE continued from p. 4
was in attendance to announce that there are two proposed locations — W. 29th St. (btw. 11th & 12th Aves.) and W. 37th St. (btw. Ninth & 10th Aves.) — to move Emergency Medical Service 7 from its current location: under the High Line on W. 23rd St. (btw. Ninth & 10th Aves.). Johnson said that the developers of these two locations are very interested in making space for the EMS unit. The NYFD placed the emergency medical unit under the High Line in response to the closing of St. Vincent’s Hospital and the need for medical service to Manhattan’s West Side. The Councilmember, since his days as chair of Community Board 4, has been looking to move the EMS station because of loud sirens, overcrowding, and emissions from its idling vehicles. Gabriel Lewenstein from Public Advocate Letitia James’ office was at the meeting to announce that as of Oct. 31 there will be an official ban on job seekers being asked of their previous salary history at interviews. “Let your neighbors and friends know that it will be now illegal to be asked of their previous job salary at their interviews,” he said. This is to protect and bring about more equality in the workforce for women and minorities, according to the public advocate staffer. James’ office also announced that
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It is equally essential that we keep the affordable units we have. Like water pouring out of a hole in a bucket, New York City has been losing affordable housing for decades. Unscrupulous landlords are exploiting loopholes in the rent stabilization law to deregulate units. When our rent laws were up for renewal in Albany, I was arrested in the state capitol while demanding that these loopholes be removed. I was the prime sponsor of the Council bill that renewed rent stabilization in New York City. I helped lead the fight for a rent freeze at the Rent Guidelines Board. I’m sponsoring legislation to expand supportive housing for people with HIV. I cosponsored the Stand for Tenant Safety bills, which crack down on construction-as-harassment and created an Office of the Tenant Advocate within the Department
TPOINTS (MARNI) continued from p. 6
left out of this proposal, as they would be given tax abatements and low-interest mortgages by a MitchellLama designation to help offset their losses. The difference between my policy and MitchellLama as it now exists, is that my policy allows for an affordable housing life cycle with rents changing as incomes change and a continuous flow of units into affordable housing as other units price out. MitchellLama worked for New York in the past and if resurrected with minor tweaks, such as I am suggesting, it can work again. To help pay for my affordable housing proposals, I would institute an annual 1% vacancy tax on “ghost apartments” that sit empty, reasonable linkage fees for developers, as well as using city-owned vacant lots for housing sites. I will also pressure Albany to abolish 421-a, which will NYC Community Media
File photo by Alicia Green
Councilmember Corey Johnson said two sites have emerged as potential new locations for EMS 7, currently located on W. 23rd St. (btw. Ninth & 10th Aves.).
all public schools would offer free school lunch for all students. A presentation by Lieutenant Joe Delligatti of the FDNY offered safety tips to avoid fires and guidelines on protocols to observe during a fire. Delligatti said that he would that he would take an hour out his schedule to come and give residents an in-depth lecture on fire safety. The FDNY offers Fire Safety Materials on a wide range of topics. Safety publications are downloadable and printable at https:// tinyurl.com/yaaxz8an.
of Buildings. I have helped lead the fight against Airbnb, which is transforming entire buildings into illegal hotels and taking thousands of units off the market that could otherwise be housing full time residents. We have succeeded at extending the life of our largest affordable housing developments. We extended tax abatements for Penn South to the year 2052, maintaining affordability at the 2,820-unit bastion of affordability in Chelsea. Manhattan Plaza is in the process of extending its Section 8 contract until 2044. In this small column, only a fraction of our efforts can be listed. I want to thank everyone who has fought alongside me these past four years. Serving as your Councilmember has been the honor of a lifetime. We have much more work to do, and I hope to be honored with the opportunity to serve you for another four years.
allow us to reclaim the forgone one-billion-dollars in property taxes lost to the abatement. This plan ensures that housing will never again be a major financial struggle for working families, the backbone of our city’s economy. What our district has been missing with Corey Johnson and Christine Quinn before him is a representative who not only has a moral conscience, but does not accept money from corporate and real estate interests. The purpose of a city councilmember is to help create policies that make people’s lives easier, not pad the bank accounts of corporate gentrifiers. My policies seek to help forgotten populations who struggle every day to pay their bills and live fulfilling lives. If elected to City Council, I promise to ensure that the voiceless will always have a voice, and that the action I take, will be real. October 26, 2017
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Location and speakers for both events:
Lenox Health Greenwich Village - Community Center 200 West 13th Street, 6th Floor New York, NY 10011 Presented by Northwell Health Orthopaedic Institute: Peter D. McCann, MD Director, Orthopaedic Surgery
Etan P. Sugarman, MD Orthopaedic Surgeon
Michael A. Zacchilli, MD Orthopaedic Surgeon
Daniel L. Seidman, MD Orthopaedic Surgeon
October 26, 2017
These events are FREE and snacks and light refreshments will be served.
NYC Community Media
Published on Oct 26, 2017