Page 1

0

15465

10500

9

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

December 7, 2017 • $1.00 Volume 87 • Number 49

‘No room at the inn’; Push to make church site low-income units BY REBECCA FIORE

D

uring a bilingual prayer service at Most Holy Redeemer Church last Saturday afternoon, more than 60 locals and parishioners rallied to ask the Archdiocese of New York to turn over the closed Church of the Nativity to a land trust that would transform the property into affordable housing for families, seniors and the disabled.

“The people prayed that the church building be used to benefit the poorest of the poor by using church resources to build affordable housing,� Valerio Orselli, project director for the Cooper Square Community Land Trust, said. After the prayer service, led by Father Sean McGillicuddy, at Most Holy Redeemer, at 173 E. Third St., between Avenues A and B, the group walked the NATIVITY continued on p. 5

PHOTO BY TEQUILA MINSKY

Randy Credico handing out fliers in 2014 at the West Indian Day Parade for his campaign for governor. He got 3.6 percent of the vote in the Democratic primar y.

No joke! Comic ID’d as ‘Russiagate’ link

‘Give it back!’ Chin cries at Rivington House on AIDS Day

BY LINCOLN ANDERSON BY SAR AH FERGUSON

O

n World AIDS Day last Friday, Councilmember Margaret Chin and local activists held a vigil to honor the AIDS patients who lived at the now-shuttered Rivington House — while demanding that the city find a way to restore the building to the community. The Lower East Side nursing home and AIDS hospice

was sold to luxury condo developers two years ago after the Mayor’s Office inexplicably agreed to lift the deed restrictions, resulting in one of the worst scandals of the de Blasio administration. Mayor de Blasio says the city’s lawyers have found no way to reverse the sale. But Chin has been pushing the mayor to arrange a meeting with the new owners (China Vanke, Slate VIGIL continued on p. 17

 the 9th Annual

L

ocal political comedian and activist Randy Credico last week found himself identified as the alleged “back channel� between WikiLeaks and Roger Stone, an adviser to Donald Trump who may have had advance knowledge about hacked emails related to Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign. Credico, a longtime fi xture on the Downtown scene, has

been subpoenaed to appear before the House Intelligence Committee on Dec. 15. On Nov. 9, Representative Adam Schiff, the committee’s ranking Democrat, sent Credico a two-page letter inviting him to appear before the government body as part of what the letter called its “bipartisan investigation into Russian active measures directed at the 2016 U.S. election.� Through his lawyer, Martin Stolar, Credico declined to at-

SAT, 11am #-  4pm I 7J" December : [ Y[ c X [ h 10th,  / j ^ "  ''Wc *fc SUN, December 11th, 12pm I K D "  : [ Y[ c X [ h  '& j^ "  '( f c  #3pm* )fc * While supplies last!

       Take a walk through our Cookie Wonderland and fill a box with your favorites from over fifty varieties of homemade confections. There are two sizes of boxes: $15 & $35 Çm^_b[ikffb_[ibWijĂˆ

St. Nicholas of Myra Orthodox Church Corner 10th Street & Ave. A, East Village (..;$'&j^Ij$Yehd[h'&j^7l[7 EXPR

ESS

Free Craft Fun 4 Kids! Fun Photo Booth!

w w w. st n i c h o l a s co o k i ew a l k . co m

www.TheVillager.com

tend. Hence the subpoena, which Credico received Nov. 28 — and promptly tweeted out for all to see. Over the years, The Villager has often reported on Credico’s doings. For 20 years off and on, he lived at famed civil-rights attorney Bill Kunstler’s Greenwich Village home on Gay St., and, after Kunstler’s death, he headed the William Moses Kunstler CREDICO continued on p. 6


ONE FOR EPSTEIN: Maybe not that surprising, but Harvey Epstein got his first endorsement last week in his bid to succeed Brian Kavanagh in the Assembly, by winning the support of Epstein’s home political organization, Coalition for a District Alternative. Epstein beat out two other candidates for the club’s support, Michael Corbett and Marie Ternes. Epstein, a former chairperson of Community Board 3, works as a project director at the Urban Justice Center and is a tenant member on the city’s Rent Guidelines Board. Corbett is an aide to Queens City Councilmember Costa Constantinides. Ternes is a communications consultant who worked for Anthony Weiner when he was a congressmember. After having won a special election in November, Kavanagh will take over Daniel Squadron’s former Lower Manhattan / Brooklyn state Senate seat at the start of the new

year. Meanwhile, the special election for the 74th Assembly District, which runs from the United Nations down through the East Village, will be in March, we hear. It’s likely some other candidates will emerge, but word has it that Epstein has good support in other local political clubs. It will be Democratic County Committee members who pick the party’s candidate for the special election, this time. Unlike the debacle that saw Manhattan County Leader Keith Wright and the Brooklyn party boss buck the County Committee’s choice of Paul Newell for Squadron’s replacement and instead put “the fix” in for Kavanagh, that won’t happen this time. In a quirk of the rules, those kind of backroom shenanigans can only occur if the district spans two boroughs. “They won’t be able to ignore the local County Committee’s decision,” Erik Coler, president of the Village Independent Democrats, assured us. “That’s only when there is a cross-borough district that the county chairperson can ignore the choice of the people. I am sure the county will try to influence local committee people for their choices, but according to their own bylaws, they cannot ignore the ruling of the County Committee.”

GLICK STICKS IT TO ELI: Assemblymember Deborah Glick, as anyone would know from perusing her NFL tweets, is a huge football fan and a hardcore Giants fan, but she is also a harsh critic of Eli Manning. So, she wasn’t upset at all when, last week, the two-time Super Bowl-winning quarterback rode

PHOTO BY GWEN TOLINE

At Cafe Wha? on Nov. 27, Jimy Bleu, left, chilled with Storm Ritter and Richard Geist, owner of Uncle Sam’s Army Nav y Outfitters, who are both pushing the effor t to co-name W. Eighth St. between Fifth and Six th Aves. Jimi Hendrix Way by adding at least one Depar tment of Transpor tation-approved honorar y street sign. The initiative would need the City Council’s O.K.

the bench as Geno Smith played versus the Raiders. “Obviously, I’m not a huge fan of Eli. I think he’s past his prime,” Glick told us of the 36-year-old signalcaller. “I want to bring someone along — but not Geno Smith, who is a fumble machine. Next it’ll be Mark Sanchez,” she quipped. “I thought for the last two years, they should put someone in there who is ready… . Eli has not been sharp,” she said, adding that, in a rare feat, Manning actually ran for a first down on “first and inches” two or three weeks ago. “Nor is he gutsy the way that a Roethlisberger or Rodgers or any of them are,” she scoffed, saying that other pro Q.B.’s shrug off bigger hits than Manning does. As for Manning being over the hill, we asked her, what about Tom Brady, who is 40? “Brady views this as his life,” Glick said. “Eli doesn’t. Eli’s never been as accurate as Brady. Eli leads the league in interceptions at this point. Look, you can’t put Eli in the same league as someone like Brady.” Ouch! Oh, well…let’s go, Giants!

ROCK ON, JIMI AND JIMY: After all the hype, we had to check out the Kiss the Sky: The RE-Experience show, featuring Jimy Bleu, at Café Wha? last week. It was in honor of what would have been Jimi Hendrix’s 75th birthday, and the MacDougal St. venue is where the guitar great was discovered. The show, which packed in a crowd of more than 200, didn’t disappoint! Bleu was great, ripping through all of Hendrix’s songs, from “Purple Haze” to “Manic Depression” and “Wind Cries Mary,” and even threw in a side of Cream, with a rocking and pounding “Sunshine of Your Love.” Among the V.I.P.’s in the crowd were the ultra-cool Juma Sultan, one of the percussionists in Hendrix’s band that played Woodstock and who also played on 12 of his albums, and photographer Lenny Eisenberg, who was just 17 when he shot Hendrix at the famed Upstate musical festival. “His music lives through you — and everyone who operates on a level of love,” Sultan told the crowd. “By nature, 2

December 7, 2017

he was quiet, he was more spiritual,” he said of Hendrix. “He was always reaching for higher ground.” Also there was Storm Ritter, the Eighth St. boutique owner who is leading the Jimi Hendrix Way campaign to co-name Eighth St., where Hendrix built his still-extant Electric Lady Studios. The show was terrific and left us thinking: Man, music used to be soooo much better!

HERE’S THE BEEF: You can get into the holiday spirit and get a great meal at the Annual Police Roast Beef Dinner, at the Greenwich House / Our Lady of Pompeii Senior Center, on Wed., Dec. 13, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. There will be vegetarian and take-home meals available, plus Christmas caroling led by the “Arrow Keyboard Man” of disco-era fame, Novac Noury. It all happens in the church’s basement space at 25 Carmine St. The food is donated by local merchants and the Sixth Precinct Community Council and will be served up by the Sixth Precinct’s Finest. All proceeds go to the Greenwich House / Our Lady of Pompeii Senior Center. NOT SELLING: As for Noury, he told us he continues to get queries — “every day, every day,” he said — for his vacant Little W. 12th St. lot in the Meatpacking District near The Standard’s Biergarten, but won’t sell and still wants to develop a building there. “It will be designed around a rainbow. People can have their weddings there,” he said. It would be around seven stories tall, “enough to have a restaurant, High Line elevation and pyramid on top for my caretaker’s quarters. It’s a vision, a legacy and a spiritual calling,” he said. As for why he “made a scene,” to put it mildly, at a Village bank branch a while back, he said he was upset because he had to make a mortgage payment on the lot, but the bank had not changed the mailing address on one of his accounts — he had been using the address of his Chelsea girlfriend’s apartment, but she died — so the bank account was closed to him. TheVillager.com


I found care that’s not only ahead of the curve, but around the corner.

ww

My Mount Sinai is Mount Sinai Doctors • Primary care and multi-specialty practices Find a Mount Sinai health care practice near you 866-612-2370 mountsinai.org/southof34

#MyMountSinai

TheVillager.com

December 7, 2017

3


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

PUBLISHER JENNIFER GOODSTEIN

EDITOR IN CHIEF LINCOLN ANDERSON

ARTS EDITOR SCOTT STIFFLER

REPORTER REBECCA FIORE

CONTRIBUTORS ALBERT AMATEAU IRA BLUTREICH TINA BENITEZ-EVES SARAH FERGUSON BOB KRASNER TEQUILA MINSKY CLAYTON PATTERSON JEFFERSON SIEGEL SHARON WOOLUMS

GRAPHIC DESIGNER MARCOS RAMOS

ADVERTISING AMANDA TARLEY (P): 718-260-8340 (E): ATARLEY@CNGLOCAL.COM

BY SAR AH FERGUSON

M

onty Cantsin made a fiery ritual for fellow Rivington School artist Toyo Tsuchiya on the corner of Rivington and Forsyth Sts., where the Rivington School Sculpture Garden once stood. Tsuchiya — or Toyo, as everyone called him — passed away unexpectedly from heart failure on Thanksgiving morning at the age of 69. Arriving on the Lower East Side from Japan in the late 1970s, he devoted much of his art to documenting the Downtown performance spaces No Se No and Nada, as well as the anarchic happenings of the Rivington School — an art collective that created a mammoth sculpture out of abandoned cars and scrap metal on what was then a vacant city lot. Tsuchiya and Cantsin published a book about the project last year, and a documentary is in the works. So it was only fitting that his friends and family chose to gather on this corner last Friday to pay tribute. “I feel that Toyo’s spirit is here with us,” Cantsin declared. Using rubber cement, he drew the Rivington’s trademark six o’clock symbol on the sidewalk, then lit it on fire. “Art from nothing, art from trash, we ride the wave, we don’t come back,” Cantsin intoned as the flames left a black crust on the sidewalk. “Toyo is now in the eter-

Poet Michael Car ter walking in the fire at Toyo Tsuchiya’s memorial.

ACCOUNT EXECUTIVES GAYLE GREENBURG JIM STEELE JULIO TUMBACO

CIRCULATION SALES MNGR. MARVIN ROCK

Member of the New York Member of the National Press Association Newspaper Association

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

The Publisher shall not be liable for slight changes or typographical errors that do not lessen the value of an advertisement. The publisher’s liability for others errors or omissions in connection with an advertisement is strictly limited to publication of the advertisement in any subsequent issue. Published by NYC Community Media, LLC One Metrotech North, 10th floor Brooklyn, NY 11201 Phone: (718) 260-2500 • Fax: (212) 229-2790 On-line: www.thevillager.com E-mail: news@thevillager.com © 2017 NYC Community Media, LLC

4

December 7, 2017

PHOTOS BY SARAH FERGUSON

Monty Cantsin put down some rubber cement to ignite in honor of his late Rivington School comrade Toyo Tsuchiya.

nal zone of the six o’clock!” he shouted. Cantsin and others then spray-painted the symbol red and threw up some other Rivington tags on the wall: “Make Shit Happen!” and “RU-O-K” Poet Michael Carter showed up drunk and read a poem, then tried walking in fire. Surprisingly, no cops came. Tsuchiya’s family is planning a more formal memorial later this month.

TheVillager.com


Call for closed church to be affordable housing NATIVITY continued from p. 1

two blocks over to the Modernist-designed Church of the Nativity, at 44 E. Second Ave., between E. Second and E. Third Sts. The latter was where Dorothy Day, the leader of the Catholic Worker movement, worshiped and where her funeral was held in 1980. Day is now up for possible canonization. The demonstrators sang songs, including “This Land is Your Land” and placed red roses on the shuttered church’s closed gate. “The Nativity Church for a very long time had a celebration to Our Lady of Guadalupe,” said Aracelis Santana, a parishioner and Lower East Side resident for more than 32 years. “Hundreds of people would come in and pray to the blessed mother for a miracle. We are doing the same thing now, asking the blessed mother for a miracle.” Five years ago, the 100-year-old Mary Help of Christians Church, at 440 E. 12th St., was closed and sold to be developed for luxury housing, which Orselli said, caused displacement pressures in the community. “To have the church turned into luxury housing is unconscionable,” he said. “We want this to be a way of honoring Dorothy Day and her spirit and we want the church to be involved to make this happen.”

PHOTO BY CARLOS “CHINO” GARCIA

At Saturday’s rally, women placed flowers in the closed gate of the Church of the Nativit y on Second Ave.

Other Downtown Catholic church closings in recent years have seen the St. Ann’s Church property, on E. 12th St., developed as a New York University dormitory, and the former Our Lady of Vilnius Church, at the west end of Broome St. in Hudson Square, demolished for a 25-story condo tower, with units currently selling for $1.37 million to $3.3 million.

Speaking at the rally was Councilmember Margaret Chin, who told the crowd she will reach out to other local politicians to write a joint letter to the archdiocese, asking that the Nativity property be allowed to be developed as affordable housing. On Sept. 11, Orselli and Santana, along with Martha Hennessy, a granddaughter of Dorothy Day; Carmen

Trotta from the Catholic Worker; Gisela Jasmine Gomez, the president of the Cooper Square Mutual Housing Association; and Joyce Ravitz, chairperson of the Cooper Square Committee, signed a letter to Cardinal Timothy Dolan, the archbishop of New York, explaining their plan. The letter formally asks Dolan to remove the Church of the Nativity and its rectory from sale on the open market and to consider giving the property to the Cooper Square Community Land Trust, “to be redeveloped to address unmet needs of our Lower East Side community.” Orselli said, if the Church is not willing to hand the property over for free, they are willing to negotiate on a price for it, as well. Orselli said Catholic Charities, an organ of the archdiocese, actually would handle the sale. Santana, who has lived on the Lower East Side since she was 12 years old, said affordable housing is essential. “For me,” she said, “being a single mother and having to raise two kids by myself, it’s important to maintain lowincome and affordable housing because, if not, I would have had to move out.” In addition to affordable housing, the petitioners also want to replace services for the homeless community that were NATIVITY continued on p. 23

Washington Square Association and Friends of Washington Square Park P. O. Box 1395 Cooper Station New York, NY 10276

Washington Square Association invites you to join us for the holiday tree lighting Wednesday December 6 th at 6 pm in Washington Square Park near the Arch Sing Along with the Rob Susman Brass Quartet On Christmas Eve December 24th at 5 pm please join us for Christmas Caroling with the Rob Susman Brass Quartet

For more information visit: W as h i n g t o n s qu ar e n y c . o rg TheVillager.com

December 7, 2017

5


Grilling comic in Russia probe is ‘ultimate satire’ “He’s not,” Stolar said. “He’s in agony.” In 2010, in a Villager profile of Credico during his Senate primary campaign versus Chuck Schumer, Albany political reporter Fred Dicker said of him, “He’s got the comedian’s dark side of loving the limelight.” Credico does political comedy on Dicker’s radio show.

CREDICO continued from p. 1

Fund for Racial Justice.

Fought drug laws Credico, 63, who currently lives in Midtown, was an outspoken advocate for the repeal of New York State’s harsh Rockefeller Drug laws. At the same time, he has been open about his own struggles with addiction. As a fringe political candidate, he has run for office multiple times, including for U.S. Senate versus Chuck Schumer in 2010, for New York City mayor in 2013 and New York governor in 2014. (He got 0.9 percent, 2 percent and 3.6 percent of the vote, respectively, in those races.) Currently, he has a Facebook page up called “Randy Credico for Governor of New York 2018.” During last year’s presidential election, Credico, who is known for his impressions, hosted a regular political comedy night at Theatre 80 St. Mark’s in the East Village. Credico was also a good friend of the late stand-up legend “Professor” Irwin Corey, and in his younger days dated actress and singer Joey Heatherton.

Drive-by interview

PHOTO BY TEQUILA MINSKY

Randy Credico with “Professor” Ir win Corey at the stand-up legend’s 100th bir thday three years ago.

Radio show link As for why he is now being tied to “Russiagate,” it starts with Credico having had a radio show on WBAI for 18 months, and having both Stone and WikiLeaks’ Julian Assange on as guests. Although he no longer has a program on WBAI, he still is involved with one on another Pacifica station. “I have everybody on my show. I have a very controversial show,” Credico said on Errol Lewis’s “Road to City Hall” on NY1, speaking the day before receiving the subpoena. Credico had Assange on his show in August 2016, and subsequently met him on two separate occasions in London in the Ecuadoran embassy, where Assange has been holed up the past six years. Credico first visited Assange on Sept. 6 and then more recently visited him Nov. 13 and 16. He said he went there to cover the efforts of Stefania Maurizi, an Italian journalist who was fighting to obtain British and Swedish government documents relating to Assange’s case. Credico also did a 14-part series on his show, “Assange: Countdown to Freedom.” The timing of Credico’s interactions with Assange has raised the suspicion Credico was the supposed “intermediary,” or back channel, between Stone and the WikiLeaks founder. As a result, some think Credico — as they suspected Assange did, too — backed Donald Trump for president.

6

December 7, 2017

The Villager interviewed Credico by phone on Tues., Dec. 5, as he was driving around, apparently in Manhattan somewhere, in “a borrowed car,” he said. Credico noted that he could not talk about any private conversations he had with Assange or Stone. Asked his thoughts, in general, on Assange, he said, “Great guy. He’s become a friend of mine. Great sense of humor. He’s a historian, very smart. Great conversation. “It’s a threat to freedom of the press,” he added of any efforts to arrest the WikiLeaks honcho for posting hacked or leaked information online. “They want to shut him up,” Credico said. “But the best way to shut him up is to stop doing illegal things — like illegal drone strikes. Whether you like him or not, you gotta defend him. You gotta defend journalists. The First Amendment is the bedrock of our nation.” Regarding how Assange appeared during their meetings, he said, “He looked pretty good for being in there. I was surprised.”

WikiFish and chips Randy Credico, left, and Roger Stone at the former Yippie Cafe at a comedy night Credico hosted there nine years ago.

But Credico says he supported Jill Stein, the Green Party candidate, in the general election.

Might not talk Speaking to The Villager on Nov. 30, his attorney Stolar scoffed at the accusations against Credico and said they still don’t know whether his client will talk to the federal committee in D.C. next month. “The suggestion that Credico is the go-between between Roger Stone and the Trump campaign or some shit like that — it’s absurd,” Stolar said. Stolar said he assumes the committee wants to talk to Credico about conversations he had with Stone and Assange that were not publicly aired. The attorney said that, “if that’s where they want to go,” then Credico might

not cooperate. “It’s still under consideration,” he said of whether Credico will talk. “We’re not sure yet.” He cited “reporter’s privilege,” specifically, “the shielding of sources.” While New York State does offer journalists some immunity from testifying under “reporter’s privilege,” there is no such federal statute, Stolar noted. “This is developing law,” he added, noting the legal situation is not clearcut.

‘He’s in agony’ “It’s annoying,” he said. “Look, Randy’s a comic, a satirist. It’s the ultimate satire that he’s being subpoenaed.” Stolar denied that Credico is enjoying the attention he’s getting over the whole affair.

He said whenever he visited Assange, he would bring fish and chips, lobster rolls and fresh-squeezed orange juice from Harrods, which they would have together. Asked whether he believed Assange supported Trump, Credico said, “Nah, he’s a journalist. He puts it out there.” As for Stone, Credico offered, “Roger Stone is a great radio guest. He’s controversial. He says blunt things, crazy things. I had Wayne Barrett on six times,” he noted by way of contrast. “He was a Hillary supporter. “I tried to get Alex Jones on my show,” he added, referring to the radio host and Infowars.com conspiracy theorist. “But most of my stuff is to the left — keep you friends close but your enemies closer.” Credico said he enjoys the radio show because, now in his early 60s, he doesn’t have as much energy to run around in the streets protesting. CREDICO continued on p. 18 TheVillager.com


PHOTOS BY TEQUILA MINSKY

Dog day afternoon

T

he Dog Day Harvest Costume Parade and Party, held at the Washington Square Park fountain on Nov. 19, featured treats, vendors, costumes, prizes, artists, trainers, vets and even a dog psychic. TheVillager.com

Up for grabs were a Nantucket weekend and thousands of dollars in prizes. But the main thing — at least for those pooches who weren’t too annoyed at being garbed in goofy getups — is that it was a lot of tail-wagging fun. December 7, 2017

7


POLICE BLOTTER Club steal

Juice jam

Lobby mugging

According to police, two women stole property from a 21-year-old woman at the Up & Down nightclub, at 244 W. 14th St., on Sun., Dec. 3, at 2 a.m. A 48-year-old witness said she saw both suspects in possession of the victim’s property, an iPhone 5c and wallet, which they tried to claim as their own. The wallet contained a credit card, driver’s license, college ID and MetroCard. Elise Bueno, 29 and Emily Machin, 30, were arrested for felony grand larceny.

A woman walked into Cho Grocery, at 58 Carmine St., on Mon., Nov. 27 at 5:51 a.m., chugged an orange juice and then tried to leave the store, police said. She was held by an employee, 43, but while police were on their way, she became irate. She spit in the man’s face and punched him multiple times, causing swelling, a cut and “substantial pain” to his right eye. During a search by responding police, she was reportedly found to be in possession of a crack pipe with residue. Ana Infante, 38, was arrested for felony robbery.

According to police, a 32-year-old woman was walking into her building lobby near Grove and Bedford Sts., on Sat., Dec. 2, at 11 p.m., when an unidentified male approached her from behind, demanded her property and forcibly removed her handbag, before fleeing eastbound on Grove St. toward Seventh Ave. South. The handbag was later thrown on the ground and recovered with all its contents.

A surveillance-camera image of the alleged Grove St. lobby mugger.

Citi Bike Bust

Cab cad

A Citi Bike was taken from the corner of Suffolk and Stanton Sts. on Wed., Nov. 29, at 6:17 p.m., but apparently never returned. Police said, after contacting a Citi Bike representative to confirm where the bike was last locked — there is a docking station near that location — they zeroed in on a suspect. The bike is valued at $1,307. Alfredo Rivera, 46, was arrested Fri., Dec. 1, for felony grand larceny.

A man was robbed at Fifth Ave. and W. 12th St. on Mon., Nov. 27, while paying for his cab, police said. The incident happened just after midnight. The victim said he was forking over his fare when an unknown male got out of a car and demanded his bag. When the victim refused, the suspect grabbed $90 out of his hand and fled eastbound on E. 12th St. Mark Archibald, 25, was arrested for felony robbery.

Car break-in Police said that on Wed., Nov. 29, at 11 p.m., a 48-year-old man’s vehicle was parked in front of 526 E. 11th St., between Avenues A and B, when someone used an unknown object to gain entry to it. The burglar removed $2,459 worth of electronics and clothes. The suspect is described as age 35, 5 feet 5 inches tall and weighing 155 pounds.

iRobbers Two thugs stole a 66-year-old’s tablet computer on Mon., Nov. 27, at 6 p.m., as he was walking near Mercer and W. Houston Sts., police said. The pair approached the tech-savvy senior and first tried to remove his bag, which contained an Apple iPad and iPad case. The bag ripped open, and one of the perps pushed the victim as the other picked up his property, at which point both fled. Both robbers wore black hooded sweatshirts, police said.

Tabia C. Robinson and Lincoln Anderson

Now, money can buy happiness. A more energy efficient world is a happier world. Discover, compare, and purchase energy efficient products at the Marketplace.

Con Edison customers, visit marketplace.coned.com Orange & Rockland customers, visit marketplace.oru.com

8

December 7, 2017

TheVillager.com


W h e n I d i d n’ t h ave t h e hear t to go on, Mount Sinai found me a new one.

ww

My Mount Sinai is Mount Sinai Heart • 10 Union Square East 646-568-5964 mountsinai.org/unionsquare

#MyMountSinai

TheVillager.com

December 7, 2017

9


EDITORIAL For three terms

A

ll eight candidates running for speaker of the New York City Council are backing a legislative proposal by one of them, Jumaane Williams, to increase term limits for councilmembers to three consecutive four-year terms. Under Williams’s legislation, however, the twoterm limit for mayor, public advocate, comptroller and borough presidents would remain. A key caveat to Williams’s measure is that the increase would only be approved if voters back it at the ballot box in a general election. However, New York City residents have already spoken three times in previous referenda, saying they back two terms and no more. Obviously, term limits should not be extended legislatively — going around the back of the voters – which is exactly what former Mayor Mike Bloomberg did, with the help of former Council Speaker Christine Quinn, in 2008. Two years later, voters angrily slapped down that move, restoring the two-year term limit for New York City pols. However, there are good arguments for why 12 years in office is better for councilmembers. First of all, it’s just better for continuity and institutional memory: The Council would not turn over as fast and there would not be the constant situation where incoming new councilmembers would need to spend time just to get up to speed with their district and the mechanisms of how the Council operates and how business gets done. The New York Post noted that Robert Cornegy, another of the speaker candidates, has said it takes 10 years for councilmembers to get fully vested in the city’s pension system, which is not a concern for us, though clearly is for councilmembers. It’s unclear if a new referendum on this matter would pass muster with voters, though. Clearly, there would have to be a major public-education effort to get the message out that three terms for councilmembers is better than two. Williams has said the idea is partly fueled by the fact that, currently, councilmembers and other office holders are all often vying for the same offices. Apparently, giving councilmembers longer terms would make them less apt to seek higher office, or at least, less likely to do so as quickly. Meanwhile, on a related note, the so-called ABC, or “Anyone But Corey,” campaign continues, with articles in the daily tabloids taking shots at Corey Johnson, one of the speaker candidates. The articles have hit Johnson over everything from accepting financial favors from a campaign volunteer, to owing his landlord back rent (which he has since paid), to smoking on a balcony outside his Council office, despite the fact that he has passed a number of antismoking pieces of legislation. A Johnson source, though, brushed off the attacks as typical “election politics,” and noted that an investigation into the volunteer’s story did not result in any findings of wrongdoing against Johnson. In addition, the Small Business Congress and David Eisenbach, who recently ran for public advocate, are calling out Cornegy, chairperson of the Council’s Small Business Committee, for not allowing a hearing on the Small Business Jobs Survival Act. As we’ve said repeatedly, this longstalled bill deserves a hearing — and a vote by the full Council. Shame on Cornegy and Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito for blocking it.

10

December 7, 2017

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR Report ducks larger issue To The Editor: Re “Pier 40 report: Fields of dreams...but also fears of heights” (news article, Nov. 30): The draft report by the Community Board 2 Future of Pier 40 Working Group is thoughtful and thorough, but stops short of fully confronting the contradictions of the park mandate as interpreted and implemented for the past 20 years. According to the Hudson River Park Trust, the future of Pier 40 and the entire park / esplanade requires a $1 billion commercial center to be built in the river, which will fully pay for its own construction, financing, developer fees and maintenance, plus $12.5 million dollars to the park annually. That’s a big project, reminiscent of the Hudson Yards and the Time Warner Center. The Trust needs to scale down its building plans and seek other models for maintenance and funding. The only way to keep the Pier 40 playing field protected from winds but still open to the sun and sky is to keep the existing donut structure. Adaptive reuse could fulfill most of C.B. 2’s recommendations for park-compatible facilities, but probably not the Trust’s hopes for maximum revenue. Chris Gaylord

Weakness invites terrorism To The Editor: Re “Path of most resistance? Bikeway blockers put in” (news article, Nov. 9): This attack, like all Islamic supremacists’ attacks, was not meant to separate us from our values or undermine our way of life. It was meant to kill us. That more than 16 years after 9/11, more innocent people’s blood was shed just blocks from Ground Zero, where the dust of the collapsed towers fell, people who were teenagers then, massacred by the same death ideology, is an obscenity and an affront to the dead of Sept. 11. And how do our elected officials react? With the same homilies. It’s an “attack upon humanity.” Great, now what do you plan to do about it, de Blasio? Let’s install barriers and more cameras, post more heavily armed guards, have more body searches. Our inaction, our weakness, our cowardice contributed to these deaths. We are so afraid of offending or cheating somebody somewhere — not of discounting our values or traditions — that we cheat these

innocents, visitors to our city, of their lives. Weakness encourages terrorists, not a nonexistent intolerance on our part. Michael Burke

Screwing us into ground To The Editor: Screwing you into the ground in the name of their donor base is more important than anything else. It’s more important than our corrupt health-insurance system providing even minimal care for everyone. It’s more important than drinkable water and biodiversity. It’s more important than not having someone with a nuclear arsenal at his disposal who could walk into a psych ward, talk with a doctor, and not expect to end up tranquilized to the hairline in a day room. The top 1 percent’s money has been bankrolling Republican state races in the shadows for a long time now because, for them, it’s an investment. It’s an investment in building pipelines without ever having to worry about the environmental impact. It’s an investment in being able to indemnify banks against classaction suits brought by the people they victimize en masse. It’s an investment in being able to transfer all their wealth, intact, to the children they raise, who will think of everyone else as a fungible peasantry that exists to serve them in exchange for scraps. Eventually, Paul Ryan’s assertion that giving corporations more money to add to the billions they keep in offshore accounts, so they can pay higher wages will sound like the turbocharged nonsense it is. Before that day comes, America will find that voter suppression isn’t enough, and gerrymandering isn’t enough, and Citizens United isn’t enough, and that a free press is just too good for the peasants, even when the vast majority of them ignore it completely. When that day rolls around, everything you think of as “America” will finally be dead. Mark Kalvin E-mail letters, not longer than 250 words in length, to news@thevillager.com or fax to 212-229-2790 or mail to The Villager, Letters to the Editor, 1 MetroTech North, 10th floor, Brooklyn, NY 11201. Please include phone number for confirmation purposes. The Villager reserves the right to edit letters for space, grammar, clarity and libel. Anonymous letters will not be published.

EVAN FORSCH

TheVillager.com


High Line hates artists, but court rules for us

TALKING POINT BY ROBERT LEDERMAN

T

he High Line prides itself on being one of New York City’s most important art venues. It even has a paid full-time art curator. Unfortunately, the High Line hates artists. When The High Line opened in 2009, one of the first things its operators did was to have two street artists illegally arrested. I was the first artist to display his work on the High Line, the first arrested (two times in two weeks) and the first to sue and win. The Friends of The High Line proudly documented the false arrests they had demanded on Page 412 of their coffeetable book, “The High Line” (Phaedon Books). To keep artists out of the elevated park, the Friends of The High Line pressured Mayor Mike Bloomberg and Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe to enact severe anti-street artist rules for all New York City parks. The new restrictions imposed on artists in 2010 eviscerated the free-speech rights we had spent 20 years winning. Those precedent-setting federal court rulings granted street artists full access to public streets and to all New York City parks to create, display and sell First Amendment-protected art. These rulings were subject only to reasonable limits on the size and placement of displays — limits that street artists and city officials had long accepted. To justify the Parks Department enacting drastic new restrictions against street artists, the Friends of the High Line co-founder testified at a public hearing that the elevated park was too small and narrow to accommodate art displays, and that such displays would commercialize the park, make it dangerous for pedestrians and damage the aesthetic Friends of the High Line wanted to achieve. An entire public park was envisioned as reserved for the corporate-sponsored art approved by Friends of the High Line. Fast-forward to the present. The High Line now hosts many overpriced food stands, a restaurant, sprawling corporate promotions, fashion shows, product promotions, corporatesponsored art displays and a new art gallery. The officially curated High Line art focuses on artists who are sponsored or collected by the wealthy patrons of the High Line or promoted by the elitist galleries that surround the park. Despite it being a publicly funded park, special events require substantial financial “donations” to Friends of the High Line, sometimes millions of dollars for a one-night event. From The TheVillager.com

PHOTO COURTESY ROBERT LEDERMAN

Activist Robert Lederman said the law is on artist vendors’ side, and that the High Line can’t restrict their number to only five for the whole park.

Friends of the High Line Web site: “Corporate and foundation events on the High Line may include sponsored public events or programs and, on a limited basis, private corporate events on the High Line. Events on the High Line require a significant contribution to support the park’s maintenance and operations and are subject to the approval of the City of New York and the Department of Parks & Recreation.” How are these millions of dollars in “donations” spent? Much of it pays the salaries of the High Line’s top executives, some of whom earn more for a part-time job than the mayor or the U.S. president. These executives must negotiate as many corporate events as possible in order to collect their inflated salaries, which totaled $1.3 million in executive compensation in fiscal year 2015. Despite the park being 1.45 miles long, street artists are limited to five small 8-foot-by-3-foot artist spots crammed next to each other inside a dank unlit tunnel. Although the park does not open until 9 a.m., to get one of the five spots, an artist must line up as early as 3 a.m. Each spot is marked by a plastic medallion. The five spots are usually held by

the same art vendors. Fights frequently break out out when any new artist tries to find a location. Limiting artists to five spots hidden in a dark tunnel is apparently not demeaning enough; so, on many days, the Friends of the High Line eliminates anywhere from two to all five medallion spots to make way for a corporate promotion or private party. The seasonal food-cart concessions (which pay huge fees to the Friends of the High Line), take up about 30 times the space these five little artists spots do, and are not removed for events. While systematically undermining artists’ rights, the Friends of The High Line uses high-profile art installations to attract corporate funding and obtain charitable donations from unsuspecting art lovers, amounting to $18 million to $20 million per year. The art installations are thinly veiled camouflage for a massive real estate scam disguised as a public park. From conception, the High Line was intended to boost the property values of real estate investors, which it has more than succeeded in doing. The everexpanding glut of giant new residential towers and exclusive stores that sur-

round the park today, are in many cases owned by board members or major contributors to The High Line. The humiliations that the Friends of the High Line has inflicted on New York City’s street-artist community since 2010 should have come to an end on Sept. 20, 2017. On that date, New York State Supreme Court Judge Lucy Billings overturned the park rules that limited artists to those five medallion spots. Instead, Friends of The High Line and the Parks Department found a judge willing to suspend the Billings ruling with a stay order based on the justification that the PEP (Parks Enforcement Patrol) officers and artists would be “confused” by a change in enforcement policy. At the behest of Friends of the High Line, the Parks Department is now attempting to overturn Judge Billings’s ruling. Friends of the High Line must be held accountable for its ongoing mistreatment of New York City artists and for its concerted efforts to destroy our constitutionally protected free-speech rights throughout New York City. We New York City street artists have three demands. First, we demand that, in a public letter, the Friends of The High Line will apologize to all New York City street artists for how they have been treated and, in the interests of artists’ First Amendment rights, demand that the Parks Department drop its appeal of Judge Billings’s ruling. This letter must be prominently published by Friends of the High Line in The New York Times, The Villager and in the Friend of the High Line’s newsletter. Second, the medallions restricting locations for artists on the High Line — and also in Central Park, Union Square Park and Battery Park — are to be permanently removed. Finally, we demand that the PEP officers will return to enforcing the park rules in relation to street artists (a.k.a. expressive-matter vendors) that were in effect before 2010, as per Judge Billings’s ruling. Numerous top-level Parks Department and PEP officials have testified under oath that these rules were more than sufficient to protect the public and all New York City parks. Before 2010, the park rules for artists were virtually identical to the New York City street vending rules for artists. Until this controversy is fully resolved, we will strive to bring it to the attention of every person who visits the High Line, donates to or otherwise supports it. The message will spread far and wide that Friends of The High Line hates artists. Lederman is president, A.R.T.I.S.T. (Artists’ Response to Illegal State Tactics) December 7, 2017

11


Papp cheer: Astor co-named for theater giant BY TEQUIL A MINSK Y

A

ttesting to the mark that the late Joseph Papp made at The Public Theater and beyond, the intersection of Lafayette St. and Astor Place was co-named Joseph Papp Way on Dec. 1. The event coincides with the 50th anniversary of the Public, which Papp founded. Three hundred fifty signatures were collected, from theater members, community organizations, local businesses and residents — including 170 from Community Board 2 — in support of the sign honoring Papp’s contribution to the neighborhood, his long-standing residency and successful restoration of a landmarked building, in addition to his theatrical legacy, bringing new playwrights, actors and producers to The Public Theater. C.B. 2’s requirement for a street co-naming is that the individual must have contributed directly to the community. To this effect, the C.B. 2 resolution notes that, in 1966, Papp acquired and revitalized as The Public Theater the severely deteriorated Astor Library on Lafayette St. This became the first building to be saved from demolition under New York City’s new Landmarks Law. The Public became the first successful model of “adaptive reuse” as an approach to saving historic buildings. The old library was slated for development as a high-rise apartment building. At the time, Ada Louise Huxtable, The New York Times’s architecture critic, called the library’s rescue from the wrecking ball “the miracle on Lafayette Street.” The Public was founded by Papp in 1954 as the New York Shakespeare Festival. In 1957, he was granted the use of Central Park to mount free productions of Shakespeare plays, which continue there to this day after his death at age 70 in 1991.

PHOTO BY TEQUILA MINKSY

At the Joseph Papp Way unveiling, from left, Tom Finkelpearl, commissioner of the Depar tment of Cultural Affairs; Oskar Eustis, Public Theater ar tistic director, holding a proclamation by Mendez for Joseph Papp; Gail Papp, widow of Joseph Papp and Public Theater board member; Patrick Willingham, Public Theater executive director; Cit y Councilmember Rosie Mendez, and Alexandra Shiva, Public Theater board member.

The Public Theater’s permanent home in the East Village at 425 Lafayette St. opened its doors for the first time in October 1967 with the groundbreaking new musical “Hair.” On a cool, sunny late autumn morning last Friday, community members, City Councilmember Rosie Mendez and representatives of 0other elected officials gathered with The Public Theater staff and board members, along with Papp’s wife Gail and other family members for the co-naming.

Be The GIFT HERO!

“Joe Papp changed the life of New Yorkers forever, creating a beloved institution devoted to making the life of our culture inclusive,” said Oskar Eustis, the theater’s artistic director “It is thrilling that the city of New York will recognize him forever by co-naming this street for him.” Also making remarks before the sign’s unveiling were Mendez and Gail Papp; Patrick Willingham, The Public’s executive director; Tom Finkelpearl, commissioner of the city’s Department of Cultural Affairs, followed by a reception inside the historic building.

Mary Spink in the house

TM

LOOK FOR OUR CIRCULAR IN TODAY’S PAPER!

VISIT PCRICHARD.COM FOR A STORE NEAREST YOU 12

December 7, 2017

T

he southeast corner of E. Second St. and Avenue A was co-named for the late housing activist Mary Spink on Sat., Dec. 2. For nearly 20 years, Spink was the executive director of the Lower East Side People’s Mutual Housing Association. She was also an appointed member of Community Board 3, a member of the Seward Park Area Coalition and a board member of the Lower East Side People’s Federal Credit Union, the Lower Eastside Girls Club and the East Village Community Coalition. Spink transcended difficult beginnings and a checkered past to rise to become executive director of the Lower East Side People’s M.H.A., which today owns and runs 32 low-income buildings in the East Village and Lower East Side, as well as managing eight low-income, tenant-owned, Housing Development Fund Corporation buildings. She left behind a past of abuse and reform school in Troy, N.Y., and came to the Lower East Side from the Albany region in her late teens. The neighborhood then was teeming with drugs, and Spink soon got hooked. But she eventually kicked drugs and became a leading light of the community. Speakers at Saturday’s co-naming event included Councilmember Rosie Mendez, former

PHOTO COURTESY ROSIE MENDEZ’S OFFICE

Cit y Councilmember Rosie Mendez proudly hoists the Mar y Spink Way street co-naming sign at the Dec. 2 ceremony.

Councilmember Margarita Lopez, City Comptroller Scott Stringer, state Senator-elect Brian Kavanagh, C.B. 3 District Manager Susan Stetzer, Assembly candidate Harvey Epstein, former C.B. 3 Chairperson Lisa Kaplan, C.B. 3 Vice Chairperson Herman Hewitt and Mike Schweinsburg, vice president of 504 Democratic Club. TheVillager.com


WINTER SLUMBER

SALE FREE BOX SPRING

**

ON ALL MATTRESS PURCHASES

YEAR END CLOSEOUT SAVE UP TO 70% ON FAMOUS NAME BRANDS†* floor samples and much more while supplies last.

Perfect mattress, perfect price.

199

299

$

359

$

PILLOW TOP QUEEN MATTRESS

$

PILLOW TOP QUEEN MATTRESS

PLUSH QUEEN MATTRESS

SAVE $60 off our low price of $359

+FREE BOX SPRING**

+FREE BOX SPRING**

+FREE BOX SPRING**

0% APR: 5 years* with a minimum purchase of $2799, 4 years* with a minimum purchase of $1999, 3 years* with a minimum purchase of $1299, 2 years* with a minimum purchase of $999 on your Mattress Firm credit card. 60, 48, 36 or 24 equal monthly payments required. *Offer valid 12/6/17-12/12/17 and applies only to single-receipt qualifying purchases. No interest will be charged on promo purchase and equal monthly payments are required equal to initial promo purchase amount divided equally by the number of months in promo period until promo is paid in full. The equal monthly payment will be rounded to the next highest whole dollar and may be higher than the minimum payment that would be required if the purchase was a non-promotional purchase. Regular account terms apply to non-promotional purchases. For new accounts: Purchase APR is 29.99%; Minimum Interest Charge is $2. Existing cardholders should see their credit card agreement for their applicable terms. Subject to credit approval. **†All monthly payments are rounded up to the nearest whole dollar. Monthly payment is based on purchase price alone excluding tax and delivery charges. Credit purchases subject to credit approval. Other transactions may affect the monthly payment. Total to pay amount reflects total for queen mattresses. MF10_NYC_WRAP_12.8_COMMUNITY_DAILYNEWS_1

TheVillager.com

December 7, 2017

13


WINTER SLUMBER SALE

Introducing

The simple technology features a layer of soft air and memory foam that conforms to your body for ultimate comfort, support and an uninterrupted night’s sleep.

ONLY AT

SLEEPY’S TWIN MATTRESSES

STARTING AT $320

MF10_NYC_WRAP_12.8_COMMUNITY_DAILYNEWS_2_3

14

December 7, 2017

TheVillager.com


FREE BOX SPRING

**

ON ALL MATTRESS PURCHASES

+FREE BOX SPRING**

Experience the latest in sleep technology.

One of the softest and plushest we offer, this innovative cooling mattress lets you sleep at the perfect temp and comfort level.

A timeless classic; your traditional mattress infused with a blend of pocketed coils and memory foam to give you revolutionary slumber.

ONLY AT

ONLY AT

50

$

TheVillager.com

+FREE BOX SPRING**

Per Month**†

60 Months 0% APR*

$ 2949 Total to Pay

48

$

Per Month**†

60 Months 0% APR*

$ 2849 Total to Pay

December 7, 2017

15


WINTER SLUMBER

SALE

FREE DELIVERY

†† †

We’ve matched millions with the perfect mattress. +FREE BOX SPRING**

WEEKEND GIFTS

FREE

FIRM QUEEN MATTRESS

*†

MATTRESS PROTECTOR & PILLOW

ONLY AT

with any mattress purchase. (up to a $128 value)

$

SAVE $250 off our low price of $649

399

FRIDAY - SUNDAY ONLY

120 NIGHT LOW PRICE GUARANTEE

Move freely and sleep perfectly without disturbing your partner with this advanced foam technology.

††

If you find a lower price at another location or one of our stores, we’ll pay you the difference for up to 120 nights after the purchase.

ONLY AT

$

39

Per Month**†

36 Months 0% APR*

$ 1399 Total to Pay

+FREE BOX SPRING**

YEAR END CLOSEOUT SAVE UP TO 70% ON FAMOUS NAME BRANDS†*

It’s your reliable way to recharge. This classic mattress proves that the bells and whistles aren’t always mandatory.

floor samples and much more while supplies last. ONLY AT

$

44

Per Month**†

36 Months 0% APR*

$ 1549 Total to Pay

1-800-MAT-FIRM | MATTRESSFIRM.COM | STORE HOURS: MON-SAT 10AM - 8PM • SUN 12PM - 6PM **Free Box Spring Offer: Offer valid 12/6/17-12/12/17. Receive a free matching standard or low-profile box spring with select mattress purchases. Free box spring offer valid on same-size mattress purchased. Free box spring offer valid to complete mattress set and has no cash value, cannot be used as credit or combined with any other offer, coupon or discounts. Free box spring offer does not apply to previous purchases, Serta iComfort or any MAP products. Limited quantities available; offer valid while supplies last. See store for complete details. †*Save up to 70% off select famous name brand floor models. Savings applied to our low price. Savings vary by mattress set and model. Product selection may vary by store. May not be combined with any other discount, coupon or offer. Not valid on previous purchases. In-store percentage savings range from 5%-70%. Limited quantities available. Offer valid 12/6/17-12/12/17 or while supplies last. See store for complete details. †††Free delivery valid on purchases of $599 and above. On available products in local delivery areas. Not available for online purchases. Offer valid 12/6/17-12/12/17. *†Weekend Gifts: Offer valid 12/8/17-12/10/17. Free Mattress Protector: Receive a free Bedgear Basic mattress protector (up to a $99 value) with any mattress purchase. Free Comfort Cloud Pillow: Receive a free Comfort Cloud Pillow (a $29.99 value) with any mattress purchase. Free mattress protector & free pillow offer have no cash value, cannot be used as credit or combined with any other offer, coupon or discounts. Offer not valid on previous purchases, special purchases or with Groupon. Limited quantities available; offer valid while supplies last. See store for complete details. ††Our Low Price Guarantee: We will beat any advertised price by 10%, or your purchase is free, if you find the same or comparable mattress set advertised for less than your invoiced price within 120 days. See store for details. Our Low Price Guarantee does not apply to Serta iComfort, clearance merchandise, floor models, vendor rollbacks/rebates, special purchases, promotional items, doorbusters, discontinued merchandise or any MAP products. Some products are at the manufacturer’s minimum selling price and further reductions cannot be taken. Merchandise offered for sale on auction sites (e.g., eBay, Craigslist, etc.) is excluded. See store for details. *†*If you don’t love your new mattress, you may exchange or return it within 120 days of your original mattress delivery date. Guest is limited to up to 2 exchanges (excluding product warranty exchanges) within the 120 day time period, calculated from the original mattress delivery date. If exchanged, guest is responsible for redelivery fee of $79.99. See store for complete details. In-store dollar savings range from $10-$400. We invite you to ask about any individual prices. Product and selection may vary from store to store. Photography is for illustration purposes only and may not reflect actual product. Mattress Firm, Inc. strives for accuracy in our advertising, but errors in pricing and/or photography may occur. Mattress Firm reserves the right to correct any such errors. Store hours may vary by location. Unless otherwise indicated, offers valid 12/6/17-12/12/17 or while supplies last at your local Mattress Firm. See store for complete details. MF10_NYC_WRAP_12.8_COMMUNITY_DAILYNEWS_4

16

December 7, 2017

TheVillager.com


‘Give it back!’ Chin cries at Rivington House vigil VIGIL continued from p. 1

Property Group and Adam America Real Estate), in hopes of persuading them to drop their condo plans and develop the building into a “state-of-theart� senior nursing facility, instead. Chin got de Blasio to agree publicly to set up a meeting during a contentious town hall forum last June, but nothing has been scheduled yet. “Apparently, there is a team of people in City Hall working on it,� Chin told the small crowd of people holding candles outside 45 Rivington St. “As long as I’m still here as the councilmember, we are going to fight to make sure we get this building back,� Chin declared. “The mayor promised to set up the meeting with the developers, and I’m still holding him to that promise.� The local group Neighbors to Save Rivington House has also mounted an online petition and postcard campaign urging the mayor to “Call the Meeting� (www.change.org/p/bill-de-blasio-mrmayor-call-the-meeting). “I will continue to fight. I am not giving up. It’s not a done deal, and we still have hope,� Chin told the crowd, which broke into chants of “Give it back!� Others in the crowd spoke movingly of the people who once resided in the facility, which opened in 1995 at the height of the AIDS crisis.

PHOTO BY SARAH FERGUSON

Councilmember Margaret Chin, left, led a vigil for Rivington House on World AIDS Day last Friday.

“This was a place for people who didn’t have anyone, who had no family and nowhere else to go,� said Alysha Lewis-Coleman, who said she came to sit with the patients as they were dying. Ironically, advances in the prevention and medical treatment of AIDS left the facility half-empty in later years, leading to its sale. But as Chin and others noted, the

Lower East Side now has a growing elderly population that needs care. “We have over 25,000 seniors in this district, one of the largest [senior] populations in the city,� said Steve Herrick of the Cooper Square Committee. “We need this building back.� Michel Campo, a longtime resident and member of the Bowery Alliance of Neighbors, agreed.

“It used to be we were losing people to the AIDS epidemic,� she said. “Now we’re losing people to the epidemic of real estate development.� A stop-work order has been in place since April 2016 blocking the condo conversion. However, recently the Department of Buildings said it may allow the new owners to resume some “structural survey work� at the site.

F 168West West4th 4th Street, Street, NYC NYC 212.242.6480 168 212.242.6480 ZZZSHSHVUHVWDXUDQWVFRP

ZZZSHSHVUHVWDXUDQWVFRP A traditional Spanish and Mexican restaurant located in New

A traditional Spanish and Mexican restaurant located in New York’s West Village neighborhood. York’s West Village neighborhood.

JOIN US US FOR AF@ELJ=FI8E JOIN FOR AN AN

AMAZING 8D8Q@E> AMAZING BOTTOMLESS BOTTOMLESS 9ILE:? BRUNCH

BRUNCH

J8KLI;8PJLE;8P()GD8E;+GD (+LEC@D@K<;D@DFJ8Ă&#x2039;J9CFF;PD8IPĂ&#x2039;J SERVED DAILY BETWEEN 12PM AND 3:30PM

Our menu showcases theBETWEEN simple reflective food flavors of Spain. SERVED DAILY 12PM AND 3:30PM Using the best ingredients and implementing a simplistic Our menu showcases the simple reflective food flavors of Spain. technique in a clean,and dynamic presentation, creating Using the resulting best ingredients implementing a simplistic memorable dining experiences through presentation, passionately created technique resulting in a clean, dynamic creating culinary dishes, many of which are prepared in the wood-fire memorable dining experiences through passionately created oven, including our signature dish, Paella Valenciana.

culinary dishes, many of which are prepared in the wood-fire oven, including our signature dish, Paella Valenciana.

FF

F

Happy Holidays from Our Family to Yours.... 7EARENOWACCEPTINGRESERVATIONSFOR0RIVATE0ARTIESs#HRISTMASs.EW9EARS TheVillager.com

December 7, 2017

17


Credico: I did not cause Donald Trumpâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s election CREDICO continued from p. 6

â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Not happy Trump wonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;

Says he backed Stein

â&#x20AC;&#x153;Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m not happy that Trump won. I donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t like the way heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s running the nation. I donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t like the deportation of Haitians and the belligerence with China. One nuclear weapon goes off, the world is over. Everyone knows heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a danger, and theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re trying to get rid of himâ&#x20AC;Ś . If Hillary was president, I donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t think sheâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d start a nuclear war. Thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d be a lot of soft wars. Thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d be war with Russia.â&#x20AC;? As for the notion that Russia provided the Democratic e-mails to WikiLeaks, Credico said dismissively, â&#x20AC;&#x153;I think itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s complete nonsense. Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m convinced it was a leak, not a hack.â&#x20AC;? Speaking to NY1â&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Lewis the day before receiving the subpoena, Credico told him, â&#x20AC;&#x153;I am a journalist, in the sense that I had a radio show for 18 months. I still do reportage for KPFA. And I consider this to be confidential First Amendment protection. So, Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m not sure Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m going to talk to them.â&#x20AC;?

Asked if he personally had supported Trump, Credico said, â&#x20AC;&#x153;I was at Jill Steinâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s party on the night of the election. I left extremely depressed when I realized who was going to win. It was like in 1980, when Red Buttons and I were sitting and watching the results in Nevada and Reagan won, and we were so depressed afterward, we got drunk.â&#x20AC;? Asked if he would have preferred if Hillary Clinton had won, he said, â&#x20AC;&#x153;I would have been depressed no matter who won that race last year. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I still do not like the fact that Trump is president. With Hillary, the same stuff would be going on, but this guyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a madman. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I would have preferred Bernie Sanders because he could have won that race,â&#x20AC;? he added. â&#x20AC;&#x153;A lot of Sanders supporters went to Trump because they were tired of the two-party system. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I did not cause Trumpâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s election,â&#x20AC;? Credico stressed. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Julian Assange did not tell Hillary to stay out of Michigan and Wisconsin â&#x20AC;&#x201D; someone else did. She had a bad team.

Judith Miller example In 2005, former New York Times reporter Judith Miller famously refused to reveal her sources regarding the leaked identity of a C.I.A. officer. She was found in contempt of court and

jailed for 85 days. Stolar noted that Credicoâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s situation is different since, again, he will probably be asked not to divulge sources but about conversations he had. On Lewisâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s show, Credico, after citing Millerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s name, noted he had â&#x20AC;&#x153;gone to jailâ&#x20AC;? numerous times for protesting stop-and-frisk in New York City â&#x20AC;&#x201D; though those were presumably very brief stints in The Tombs awaiting arraignment on his charges. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not disputed that Stone, an infamous G.O.P. operative who worked in Richard Nixonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s administration and on his re-election campaign, was a Trump campaign adviser and supporter.

â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;October surpriseâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; As the Daily News reported: â&#x20AC;&#x153;Stone repeatedly alluded to an â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;October surpriseâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; in 2016 just days before WikiLeaks published Clinton campaign manager John Podestaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s hacked e-mails, raising questions about how he appeared to have prior knowledge of the dumps.â&#x20AC;? Credico, however, shrugged that â&#x20AC;&#x153;October surpriseâ&#x20AC;? is a stock phrase that means a news event deliberately timed to influence a presidential electionâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s outcome.

Assange wanted Trump For his part, Assange, in a recent New Yorker magazine interview, admitted he didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t want Clinton to win the presidency, feeling she was the epitome of the entrenched establishment. He indicated he was more willing to roll the dice on a political outsider like Trump and hope for the best. As for those who might think Credico similarly wanted Trump to win, though, Stolar said itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s nonsense. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I know, for a fact, heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a Jill Stein supporter,â&#x20AC;? he said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Everyone who knows Randy knows he throws up at the mention of Donald Trump.â&#x20AC;? As for Stone, Stolar said, â&#x20AC;&#x153;The guyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s probably the dirtiest political operative in American history.â&#x20AC;? Stone has already gone before the Intel Committee once, during which he initially refused to name Credico. But he reportedly later privately disclosed â&#x20AC;&#x201D; after being threatened with a subpoena â&#x20AC;&#x201D; that Credico was the alleged intermediary between him and Assange.

â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;In bed with Stoneâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Meanwhile, former East Village acCREDICO continued on p. 25

THE WINCHENDON SCHOOL OFFERS:

TIRED OF LEARNING ONLY WHAT OTHER PEOPLE THINK IS IMPORTANT? 

â&#x20AC;˘ A NEW day campus in Brooklyn, NY coming in September 2018 â&#x20AC;˘ High school serving grades 9-12 boarding or day campus in MA â&#x20AC;˘ NY Campus classroom center will be located at the CDSC on Classon Avenue â&#x20AC;˘ Highly individualized and engaging learning for students to achieve their greatest potential and success â&#x20AC;˘ Graduates studying at top universities: Babson, BC, Union, GWU, UC San Diego, Davis College, SMU, UMass, Purdue, Providence, St. Johnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s, and Stanford University. â&#x20AC;˘ Financial aid and scholarships available

                               

THE WINCHENDON SCHOOL HIGH SCHOOL CAN BE INTERESTING! brooklyn.winchendon.org additional information, contact Sean Duncan LEARN MORE:  For at 347-328-5653 or sduncan@winchendon.org    

   !" ##$%%&'(#$%%)' '   !## *$%%(+$%%)'

    

   '    ,+-  &.      /  01  2   3  4      &. 3  5&     

18

December 7, 2017

   4  4   4 4

4         3      67       3     /  .        

TheVillager.com


‘Revelations’ resonates Alvin Ailey company dazzles at City Center BY DUSICA SUE MALESEVIC Alvin Ailey’s “Revelations,” 57 years on, is, well, still a revelation. Performed as part of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater’s 2017 season at New York City Center, the piece — created when the choreographer was just 29 — feels as fresh and as relevant as ever, and certainly got those in attendance up and clapping. A dance told in three acts, it begins with a circle of light that bathes the company — dressed in muted tones except for a female dancer in red — as they stretch their arms to the heavens, at times pleading with their hands clasped and thrust up. Other movements evoke birds opening their wings as the dancers bow their heads in what could be supplication. Adding to the sense of a religious revival, the performance this reviewer saw on the afternoon of Sat., Dec. 2, had live music and singing. In the second act, for one scene, dancers are resplendent in white, one carrying an umbrella, others flags, as they cross the river — ribbons of azure and dark blue that stream across the stage — while “Wade in the Water” is sung. Clifton Brown, who has been with the company since 1999, gave an affecting solo — at times, the crisp lines of the Horton technique on display — to the song “I Wanna Be Ready.” For the fi nale, a single female dancer, complete in yellow from her hat to her dress to her fan, steps on stage with a stool in front of the bright, hot sun against a red background. Soon, other church ladies and then the men, dressed in formal attire, join her as they dance to “Rocka My Soul in the Bosom of Abraham.” The enthusiasm for the piece could be heard through a smattering of claps that grew louder as people stood for the company’s curtain call. “Revelations,” it is noted on the Ailey website (alvinailey.org), “pays homage to and reflects the cultural heritage of the African-American, which Ailey considered one of America’s richest treasures — ‘sometimes sorrowful, sometimes jubilant, TheVillager.com

Photo by Paul Kolnik

As danced by Akua Noni Parker and Jamar Roberts, Christopher Wheeldon’s “After the Rain Pas de Deux” had quiet, compelling moments and captivating lifts.

but always hopeful.’ ” It is said to stem from the choreographer’s church experience in Texas, and the works of James Baldwin and Langston Hughes, according to the website. If “Revelations” has stood the test of time, then the matinee’s first piece, “The Winter in Lisbon,” is like a photograph that is fading at its edges. The piece, from 1992 and choreographed by Billy Wilson, had moments that felt outdated — a male soloist drawing the outline of a woman’s body with his hands, a kiss that is thrown and then caught, and a male dancer burying his head into a female dancer’s chest. Nonetheless, the Ailey dancers Photo by Nan Melville

Created in 1960, Alvin Ailey’s “Revelations” still resonates with audiences.

AILEY continued on p. 21 December 7, 2017

19


Classic and contemporary, Repertorio Español endures Spanish language theater makes the half-century mark

Photo by Michael Palma Mir

L to R: Zulema Clares, Maria Cotto and Soraya Padrao in “Valor, Agravio y Mujer.”

BY TRAV S.D. A half-century ago, New York City was exploding with the formation of dozens of new alternative theatre companies as part of a new movement that was being called “Off-Off Broadway.” Of those, a scant few survive to this day. One of the most robust of them has to be the groundbreaking Repertorio Español. Founded in 1968 by stage director René Buch and producer Gilberto Zaldívar (both Cuban Americans), Repertorio Español presents a rotating repertory of Spanish language theatre year-round — a mix that includes classics as well as contemporary Latin American playwrights and works by emerging Hispanic writers. Since 2005, the company has been run by the late Zaldivar’s partner, Robert Weber Federico. Thus far, the company has over 250 productions to its credit and has garnered a host of accolades including Obie, Drama Desk, ACE, HOLA, and ENCORE awards. Each year, the Repertorio presents a season of 15 productions totaling 300 performances to more than 40,000 patrons and 16,000 students. The company has premiered

20

December 7, 2017

several new works by contemporary playwrights, including Caridad Svich. The first staged reading of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s “In the Heights” was at the Repertorio. The current season includes the US premiere of a 375-year-old-play by Ana Caro, “Valor, Agravio y Mujer” (“Courage, Betrayal, and a Woman Scorned”). Caro was one of a surprising number of female playwrights during the Spanish Theatre’s Golden Age (roughly 1590-1680). Only two of her works are known today, so this is an extremely rare chance to check out her work, which was very much ahead of its time (a time, after all, when women in Spain weren’t even allowed to be educated). “Valor, Agravio y Mujer” is a sober farce (if such a thing is possible) which turns the Don Juan legend on its head, making it a very timely, if little-known, classic to be producing in this day and age. Truly, it can be said that Repertorio Español has come a long way. Zaldivar’s first theatre company had been the Teatro Arlequin in Havana, but he fled Cuba for political reasons in 1961 after Fidel Castro came to power. In

1965 he became an associate producer with Stella Holt’s legendary Greenwich Mews Theatre, which was then making an attempt to include more people from minority communities. When Holt died in 1967, Zaldivar struck out on his own to realize his vision of creating a company in New York that spoke to New York’s growing Spanish-speaking audience. Buch, his partner in the enterprise, was a Yale Drama School alum. Federico joined in 1971. “I was designing a dinner theatre show in St. Petersburg, Florida when a mutual friend told me they [Zalvidar and Buch] needed a designer,” recalled Federico. “I started out doing set and costume design for them, then just got drawn in. I sorted mail for bulk mailings. I became an expert on third class postage! Then I got involved in grant writing and now I’m the administrator.” The company originally produced its works in a 13th St. house of worship that was jointly shared by the Village Presbyterian Church and the Brotherhood Synagogue. By 1972, sufficient funds had been raised to move into its present location — the 140-

seat Gramercy Arts Theatre at 138 E. 27th St. (btw. Lexington & Third Aves.). “The location is perfect for us,” Federico said. “It’s a good area, a safe area, close to transportation, but south of the Midtown traffic. And it’s not identified with any specific Latin community. As we serve all of New York’s Spanish-speaking groups, that’s important for us.” According to Federico, the company’s mission of serving audiences of many nationalities and interests has resulted in its unique repertory method of producing. Once a near-universal practice in American theatre, it has become extremely rare for companies to keep several plays in rotation at the same time: “We used to do it the conventional way, one play for four to six weeks, but we quickly realized we’d lose part of our audience, the part that doesn’t want to see, say, a classical play, or a play from Puerto Rico. A production needs time for word of mouth to develop. The repertory method keeps people in and you can satisfy more REPERTORIO continued on p. 21 TheVillager.com


What the world needs ‘Now!’ Reverend Billy at Joe’s Pub is a tonic for our toxic times BY SCOTT STIFFLER They made a list and checked it twice — but unlike the cattle stampede of shoppers who stormed retail stores, this vertical collection of must-haves was focused on how to give of oneself rather than take marching orders from Big Retail. That explains items #6 (“repurpose”) and 8 (“scavenge”), alongside reminders to “build community” and “exercise restraint.” With this altruistic challenge to Black Friday in mind, a white-suited preacher and his golden-throated flock spent November 24 hunkered down in the heart of Herald Square — where director Savitri D staged an anti-consumerism protest to unfold as if a bout of performance art truth-telling had suddenly overtaken NBC’s coverage of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. In a year where fresh slices of hell have been served daily by President Donald J. Trump, we thank heaven for Reverend Billy and the Stop Shopping Choir. Fresh from the front lines of street-level resistance and ensconced at Joe’s Pub for their annual December run, they fill

AILEY continued from p. 19

excellently executed the moves, and the bright fuchsia, orange, violet and green costumes were a feast for the eyes. Christopher Wheeldon’s startling “After the Rain Pas de Deux,” from 2005, brought on oohs and aahs from the audience, who, like this reviewer, marveled at the duet, performed by Jacqueline Green and Yannick Lebrun. Green, dressed in a coral leotard, and Lebrun, wearing white, flowing pants, began the pas de deux side by side, moves in sync, before

REPERTORIO continued from p. 20

audience, and allows us not to spend a lot on publicity. This way, we can keep a play going for years. [Federico García Lorca’s] ‘La Casa de Barnarda Alba’ has been in rep here for years.” Carmen Rivera’s ‘La Gringa’ has been playing here for 22 years!” The company is also developing a new generation of audiences through its education initiative ¡DIGNIDAD! (dignity and self-esteem), which presents 100 performances each year at TheVillager.com

Photos courtesy revbilly.com

Hey, Santa, what about this wish list? It’s full of 2017 must-haves for Reverend Billy and his flock.

When Black Friday comes: Reverend Billy and members of the Stop Shopping Choir took their message to Macy’s shoppers on Nov. 24.

that intimate room with the kind of tent revival energy that shoots through the crowd like an electric current of cosmic consciousness, until the space between performer and audience is as thin as the line between power and corruption. Preachy in the wonderfully pure, purpose-driven sense of the word, Reverend Billy prowls the stage with a new inspirational sermon befitting each week’s particular theme. Dec. 17’s show, for example,

centers around young women and girls — with members of The Lower Eastside Girls Club chorus joining Billy’s spot-on band and spirited, 25-member choir. Politically aware and morally sound, this is one Sunday service that will send you back into the big bad world determined to keep the faith — and pass it on — until the balance of power has been restored by the scales of Karmic justice (and voter turnout?). It’s a long arc,

yes, but this communal exercise in basic decency makes you believe that lasting change is just around the bend. “NOW! NOW! NOW!” is presented Sundays through Dec. 17, 2pm, at Joe’s Pub (425 Lafayette St., btw. Astor Pl. & E. Fourth St.). Tickets are $15. For reservations, visit joespub.publictheater. org or call 212-967-7555. Get info on Church of Stop Shopping activities at revbilly.com.

turning and engaging with each other in a way that felt authentic and brimming with chemistry, and showcased little moments such as when Green kicked Lebrun’s feet to propel him forward. The lifts wowed: Lebrun raised Green while she formed an “X” with arms and legs flung out and her feet pointed flat, and, in another, Green became like a prow on a boat, one of her legs on Lebrun’s thighs as he elevated her in the air steadily. Lighting played an important role throughout each dance, highlighting moves and acting as a character. For

Robert Battle’s “Mass” from 2004, light and smoke poured down from above, reminiscent of a stained glass window and took the audience to church. Battle, who took over as artistic director of the company in July 2011, said in promotional materials the piece was inspired by a choral concert, and, indeed, from the lighting, music and long robes of dark brown, oranges, pinks and red festooned with crosses, it was as if a Caravaggio had been brought to life. Pounding their feet on their tiptoes, the dancers used their hands to form an incomplete circle

— a movement repeated throughout the piece that had an arc with slow downs and quicker-paced moments. The piece was compelling — a study of discord and harmony. The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater will be at New York City Center (131 W. 55th St., btw. Sixth & Seventh Aves.) through Dec 31. Tickets start at $29. Visit alvinailey. org for reservations, info on scheduled dance selections, and start times for specifi c performances (7:30pm or 8pm Tues. through Sun. and 2pm or 3pm matinees on Wed., Sat. & Sun.).

over 15 schools, along with in-school residencies, family workshops, and teacher training programs. Federico cited as a highlight of the past half-century, a US governmentsponsored tour of Latin America, which brought the company to 15 countries. “It was the first opportunity we had to be judged by audiences and critics strictly as theatre, and not as an exponent an ethnic subculture. It did a lot for our self-confidence going forward.” As for what’s changed over the

decades, Federico mentioned several: “The demographics have changed a great deal. For example, the Dominican community was quite small when we started. Now they are a major group, maybe the largest. Our budget has changed. In the beginning it was around $15,000 for the season. Now it’s now up to $2.2. million. And there have been changes to our repertoire. In the ’80s there was much more demand among older people for zarzuelas (a particular kind of Spanish language musical theatre) and operet-

tas. In recent years, demand for that kind of thing has dwindled. Now we commission and present more original material.” Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Nilo Cruz is a playwright the company works with. They’ll be premiering his newest play — “Exquisita Agonía” beginning April 21, 2018. For more information, and their entire upcoming season, visit repertorio.nyc. And if you don’t speak Spanish, not to worry. All shows are translated into English as individual simultext. December 7, 2017

21


 !        @ #"

22

December 7, 2017

TheVillager.com


 !        @ #"

Let church house poor NATIVITY continued from p. 5

Call 646.452.2490 To Advertise Here

TheVillager.com

available at the Holy Name Center, which Dolan closed in 2014. Orselli said the building could be a community center, providing a place to shower and clean up, a place to get mail, and â&#x20AC;&#x153;to have a sense of dignity.â&#x20AC;? The letter also states that part of the building would be set aside as a sanctuary honoring the memory of Dorothy Day. Over the past 20 years, the Cooper Square Committee has secured 21 buildings in the Lower East Side and converted them to affordable housing and community spaces, Orselli said. The land under these is owned by the C.S.C.L.T. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We have done it before,â&#x20AC;? he said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;But we have never done it with a church building before. There are very few expansions available to the C.S.C.L.T. because the Lower East Side is being gentrified. This is an opportunity to make affordable housing for the community.â&#x20AC;? Cooper Square Committee previously has developed or renovated Section 8 housing at the Thelma Burdick Apartments at 10 Stanton St., the Cube Building co-op at 16 Second Ave, and the JASA Section 202 senior housing, at 200 E. Fifth St., at Cooper Square, according to the letter. Orselli said, ideally, about 80 to 100 residential units â&#x20AC;&#x201D; a mix of two-bedrooms, one-bedrooms and studios â&#x20AC;&#x201D; could be built at the Nativity site. Although the archdiocese has received the letter, it has not yet responded to Orselli. Joseph Zwilling, spokesperson for the Archdiocese of New York, said in an email, that the Church of the Nativity belongs to Most Holy Redeemer, since the two merged, and is not owned by the archdiocese. â&#x20AC;&#x153;In parishes where there is unused property, the archdiocese works with parish leadership to determine the best course of action,â&#x20AC;? he said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Nothing has been determined at this time for Nativity Church.â&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x153;We understand they have many responsibilities. This is one of 18 churches,â&#x20AC;? Orselli said of the number of former archdiocese churches currently for sale on the open market. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We are not expecting action tomorrow. But Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m hoping they will meet with us sooner rather than later. We are trying to make the project proposal concrete. It will take at least a couple of years. All we are asking now is for the church not to sell the building to a developer.â&#x20AC;? Orselli said heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s appealing to the Churchâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s sense of justice, to provide housing to their community. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We are talking about developing the church, thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s no room at the inn at the Nativity Church at the present time,â&#x20AC;? he said. Santana said she didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t want their efforts to be seen as a protest. â&#x20AC;&#x153;This is not a strike against the archdiocese,â&#x20AC;? she said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a cry for mercy.â&#x20AC;? December 7, 2017

23


PHOTO BY BOB KRASNER

At the Modern Love Club, from left, photographer Kristin Gallegos, founder and C.E.O. Amy Van Doran, friend Arielle Craw ford, par tner and C.O.O. Emily Lesser and sometime curator Marina Press, with pooches, from left, Juniper, Piola and Odette.

On Avenue A, matchmaking with a modern twist BY BOB KR ASNER

T

he history of matchmaking is long and complicated, but we would presume to sum it up as follows. The Old World: The local matchmaker tells you, “This is who you are going to marry.” The New World: A computer tells you, “This is who you should marry.” The Modern World: Amy Van Doran tells you, “This is what you’re going to have to figure out about yourself if you’re going to find the right person to be with.” Van Doran, founder and C.E.O. of The Modern Love Club, has been called “the first feminist matchmaker.” In a profession that she says is “usually geared toward men,” she has a business model that puts women on equal footing with the men. And if her clients — men or women — are going to find romance, they are going to have to “change their way of thinking — change their patterns,” according to Van Doran’s business partner Emily Lesser. After operating for nine years in a more conventional office setting, Van Doran set up shop in a storefront at 156 First Ave., between E. Ninth and E. 10th Sts., about a year ago. Her experience, however, goes back much farther. “I was trying to fix up my friends in second grade!” she told The Villager. And, when she was 5 years old, she matched up her dad with her stepmom. Something says this is where she was meant to end up. But it wasn’t until a stint running a boutique on E. Ninth St. convinced her that she was destined for a different kind

24

December 7, 2017

of management. “The shop wasn’t very busy,” she recalled. “The regular East Village folks all came in, realized that I had no place to go and would sit and talk about their love lives. I started to become an armchair therapist.” Lesser, the club’s C.O.O., is actually studying psychology. When Lesser came on board two-and-a-half years ago, she had enough going for her that she replaced four people. The two are very much in agreement about their approach to their trade. “We approach it in a creative way,” Lesser explained. “We’re making matchmaking more fun,” Van Doran added, “more of a party.” The pair’s opinions frequently find common ground. Take, for example, the myth of the soulmate. “If you’re looking for one, you’re wasting your time,” Van Doran stated. Or the absurdity of reality shows like “The Bachelor.” “Hysterical,” said Lesser. “So much emotional manipulation.” They both love hearing people’s stories — “I’m a very nosy person,” Lesser noted — and between them, they interview nine prospective mates per day. Some become paying clients and some go into the “Rolodex” as possible matches. The storefront is an interesting setting for those conferences, as it doubles as an art gallery and occasionally as a litmus test. “It’s a cool place for people to hang out,” Van Doran noted. “Sometimes a piece gets sold [to an interviewee], and sometimes they hate the art. The way that people react says something about

them.” According to her, the matchmaking service supports the gallery, so she is not worried if an art show doesn’t make money. She is much more concerned with creating a community. Curator Marina Press, a 10-year veteran of a prestigious art gallery, is a friend of Van Doran who recently put together a successful group show for the shop. She loves being connected to an East Village gallery that’s in it for art’s sake. “It’s amazing that we can put our friendship together in a work context,” Press said. “When people walk in here they feel like they have discovered something special.” Photographer Kristin Gallegos found the Modern Love Club was the perfect place for her first solo show. “The vibe there is very retro — it was perfect for my work,” she said. “The gallery is an extension of the business; it’s not the main thing, but somehow it all seems connected,” Van Doran explained. “I like to bring people together,” she added. Not everybody makes the grade for their services, though. Van Doran chooses her clients carefully; she won’t take their money if she doesn’t feel comfortable working with them. Using a metaphor from the art world, she pointed out that if her clientelle “is not super-curated, it doesn’t work. We’re on an intense journey with our clients,” she said. “We think of them as an extended family.” They believe that everyone has issues (and not much surprises them anymore) but no one is undateable. “We’re always looking for interesting, intelligent people for our clients,” Lesser stated. “Even if this is something that they normally wouldn’t do, they should try us

out.” Although most of the romantic candidates they deal with are between the ages of 30 and 55, they can range from 18 to 72 and that presents different challenges. “Eighteen-year-olds need more perspective, 72-year-olds need less” said Van Doran. She is not afraid to tell people how she feels. “I’ve been on a truth tirade lately,” she admitted. Summing up why the Modern Love Club is successful, she simply said, “I think that I’m the best at what I do, and others agree.” In fact, they do. One satisfied client, who calls Van Doran “a pied piper of cool, interesting people,” went on to say that Van Doran is “completely enchanting, a good listener, and deeply smart. So you feel confident in her taste level and understanding of what you’re looking for.” Another happy customer (recently engaged) wrote to Amy to say, “When I first met you, I thought [ital] she really sees me, I have to try this, she might actually be able to help me find love. [unital] And you did. You really did.” It might seem obvious why it’s called the Modern Love Club, but asking the question elicits an unexpected answer. “Ha!” Van Doran laughed. “I just really like David Bowie.” For more information, visit http:// modernloveclub.com . Matchmaking and gallery viewing are by appointment with Emily Lesser, at emily@modernloveclub. com . The next show, featuring paintings by Jenna Gribbon, is opening Dec. 11, from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m., and is open to the public. TheVillager.com


At the “Crossing Delancey” 30th-anniversar y screening, from left, Amy Ir ving, Joan Micklin Silver and Peter Rieger t.

Randy Credico in Albany in 2015 demonstrating for the state to divest from prison pension systems. The cit y has, but not the state.

Matchmaking in the movies

Stone into being stoned

I

CREDICO continued from p. 18

n September, a special 30th-anniversary screening of “Crossing Delancey” was held at Film Forum on W. Houston St. The beloved classic 1980s romantic comedy tells the story of how Isabelle Grossman (Amy Irving), an Upper West Sider whose bubbie, or grandmother, Ida (Reizl Bozyk), lives on Grand St., is courted by Sam Posner (Peter Riegert), a Lower East Side pickle merchant, after a local marriage broker, played by Sylvia Miles, introduces the pair at Ida’s anxious behest. The discussion and audience Q&A at Film Forum included the film’s director, Joan Micklin Silver, and was moderated by Bruce Goldstein, the Film Forum’s director of repertory programming. Irving said the movie was her favor-

ite moment in her film career. Riegert said the role “jumped off the page” when he first read it. There was some disagreement on whether the couple would have another date. Irving said, no. Riegert said he just sticks with the script, which ended with the date and the unanswered question. Silver said it’s up to the two film characters, so we’ll never know for sure. One audience member said shadchanits, Yiddish for “matchmakers,” are still alive and well on the Lower East Side — and that she had been approached by them frequently. Meanwhile, Film Forum will close in May and June of 2018 to add a fourth screen.

Lincoln Anderson

Sound off! Write a letter to the editor news@thevillager.com

TheVillager.com

tivist John Penley put his own spin on the wild story. “Credico, for whatever reason, got into bed with Roger Stone, who’s a Nixon hit man,” he told The Villager. “He wanted to help Assange get a pardon from Trump, but he hated Hillary.” Yet, while Trump did win the election, he and his administration don’t appear interested in letting Assange off the hook for having dumped tons of sensitive U.S. military and diplomatic information on the Internet. In a statement, Penley said, “As a longtime supporter and listener who has been on the station many times over the years and who knows many people who have shows and listen to WBAI, I can tell you that, while Randy Credico had every right to put anyone on his show he wanted to, many WBAI people have hated Roger Stone since his Nixon days and now associate both Stone and Assange with the alt-right and the campaign that got Trump elected, and wonder why Credico got involved with them in the first place? “Roger Stone is a mentor to the new generation of alt-right Trump-loving neo-nazis and David Duke followers,” Penley said, “and by associating with him, Credico went over to the dark side.”

a few months earlier and would eventually go on to remove mandatory minimum sentencing from the state’s drug laws.

Wanted to get Stoned In a twist to the story, Kay a.k.a. “The Yippie Pie Man” said he later rebuffed the gonzo conservative politico when he tried to buy some pot from him. “Roger Stone was there with Credico at No. 9,” recalled Kay, who said he was working the cafe’s front desk that night. “A few days later, Stone called the Yippie office and asked if he could score. He was nixed. He was told, ‘No.’” Kay said he was not comfortable selling to Stone because, as he told him, “I don’t know you.” Penley mused, “There’s always been love and hate between Roger Stone and the Yippies, all the way back to the Nixon days.” East Village journalist Paul DeRienzo said it’s well-established that Stone is a big pot smoker. “I have never met the guy,” he said. “I just know he models himself on Roy Cohn. He likes Trump and Bannon. He loves Nixon, he’s a pothead, and he has Nixon’s face tattooed on his back. And he has no morals.”

Stone on stage

Stage fright

According to Aron Kay, in July 2008, Credico sponsored a comedy night at the former Yippie Cafe, at 9 Bleecker St., and Stone attended. In a brief 4-minute stint at the microphone that night, Stone said, “I obviously philosophically come from a different place” than the Yippies. But he went on to blast New York’s harsh Rockefeller Drug Laws that have sent low-level offenders to jail for many years, calling them discriminatory, and he praised Credico for his advocacy on reforming the laws. David Patterson had just become New York’s governor

Meanwhile, Credico said he’s getting anxious as the date of his D.C. appearance nears. “I’m having stomach problems,” he said. “It’s getting closer...eight, 10, 11 days. I’m not sleeping well. I never sleep well — even if I had the entire MyPillow factory.” NY1 reported that Credico is refusing to go before the committee without his bichon frise therapy dog, Bianca. Plus, there’s one more thing. “I do have jury duty next week,” he said. “It’s going to be very complicated.” December 7, 2017

25


26

December 7, 2017

TheVillager.com


ADVERTORIAL

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

TheVillager.com

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.

December 7, 2017

27


  :## 

79 #   

      +   ( #. ### %# $ 4#%    5#%'' #%&(  & #& (     #

  ( ( )(*  #%# #  # #$   * ##    $&'  (  ( 5%( '  .&##%&(  & # +   '#&5#&#%% #  #  (   '&   4#  +5# &#&   5(. * 6( %  #   % ,%+# "($ % #( #      (  &  $1# "   # $ .& 5#& .# ( ( (#2#  5%  .'5# ( &   (#

$%&'

( #$ #$  .#$&  %   #  # # #'% .  # . + #% #  . &( ' &$  

&&  1 # 2    &&$  # '  &##  $' #( &( ##    $%&'

*7 " &! $ 4#" %     %   #'#. (((#  # '# ' & -& .  5%&  & $  85#      % % &  % '% ' &  ' " #! # '# &%

3    ' &   - .&& ' ## . &  # $#  %      %% # "  '   

-(% . 2 &(& #$.#  &  # # &  #  & 4 #%&

 !   "   #$       #% &  %&'# ( # ) #' % #" # ('& *# (''  ' " & & # +   ' & ," -" . +# / &+# 0  #  ##  #     ' !"#

28

December 7, 2017

TheVillager.com

The Villager  

December 7, 2017

The Villager  

December 7, 2017