WE’RE CELEBRATING NATIONAL WEAR RED DAY – FEBRUARY 2, 2018
YOUR WEEKLY COMMUNITY NEWSPAPER SERVING CHELSEA, HUDSON YARDS & HELL’S KITCHEN
WHY WE’LL BE WEARING RED BY JAMES HARNEY The American Heart Association (AHA) is uniting with communities across the city to spread the message that cardiovascular disease is the number one killer of women in the US. Thousands of New Yorkers will participate in National Wear Red Day on Fri., Feb. 2 by donating to the Go Red For Women campaign and taking steps to better understand their heart health. Some organizations will offer heart-healthy lunch-and-learn programs, organize healthy walks, or offer healthier foods in vending machines or cafeterias. In addition, landmarks and buildings around the city and state will illuminate in red. Each year, heart disease and stroke cause one in three deaths among women, and AHA statistics show that despite an abundance of public awareness campaigns, 90 percent of women have one or more risk factors for heart disease or stroke. The good news, the group notes, is that by understanding your risk factors, about 80 percent of cardiovascular diseases may be preventable. “Going Red is such a simple yet effective way to raise awareness about heart disease and celebrate heart health. We know the Go Red movement helps save women’s lives through education and advocacy. February is the perfect time to learn more about your heart health and make positive lifestyle changes,” said Dr. Stacey Rosen, a spokeswoman for the AHA and vice president for Women’s Health at Northwell Health’s Katz Institute for Women’s Health in Lake Success, LI. Rosen and Dr. Jennifer Mieres — both professors of Cardiology at Hofstra University’s Zucker School of Medicine — have co-authored a new book, “Heart Smart for Women: Six S.T.E.P.S. in Six Weeks to Heart-Healthy Living.” Rosen said the book “was inspired by the thousands of incredible women we have treated as patients or met at lectures and health screenings. We know our program works and will enable women to translate the knowledge of heart disease into an actionable plan that will put them on the road to heart-healthy living.” The cardiologists noted their book — and the Go Red For Women campaign — is “based on published research as well as on real life stories from our patients,” and encourages women to learn their family’s health history and to meet regularly with a healthcare provider to determine their risk for cardiovascular diseases and stroke. WEAR RED continued on p. 8
© CHELSEA NOW 2018 | NYC COMMUNITY MEDIA, LLC, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
VOLUME 10, ISSUE 5 | FEBRUARY 1-7, 2018
History, Housing, Hellos, Hugs Highlight Speaker Johnsonâ€™s Inauguration Ceremony BY EILEEN STUKANE Just prior to the Jan. 28 inauguration ceremony and swearing-in for Corey Johnson as Speaker of the New York City Council â€” before the praise bestowed upon him from a host of other city and state elected officials â€” Johnson was mingling on the floor of the Morris W. and Fannie B. Haft Theater at the Fashion Institute of Technology, hugging and being hugged by constituents who, without exception, called him â€œa friend.â€? â€œSay hello to your mother for me,â€? Johnson said to one, and â€œHello Jerry, how are you?â€? to another, and he didnâ€™t skip a beat as he greeted person after person by their first name. The warm responses from residents reflected the efforts Johnson has made to connect with people living in the neighborhoods he represents as District 3â€™s Councilmember. The foundation of trust he has developed is evident. Sitting with a group from Manhattan Plaza in Hellâ€™s Kitchen, Marisa Redanty,
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Photo by Christian Miles
Councilmember Corey Johnson took the Oath of Office as Speaker of the NY City Council, as administered by US Senator Charles Schumer, feeling joyful among Democrats.
newly elected District Leader to the NY County Democratic Committee, spoke of how they fought for Johnson when he was running for Council. â€œHeâ€™s not
doing it for himself,â€? Redanty noted. â€œHeâ€™s interested in doing the work for the people, to meet everybody, know everybody, and ask about what
they want and need. He was never far from any event.â€? The residents credited Johnson with getting the bus schedules posted, implementing the Fresh Food for Seniors program (which every two weeks offers seniors fresh produce for $8 a bag, available in Johnsonâ€™s district office), and eliminating the ponding on Ninth Ave. which made the simple act of crossing the street a hazardous endeavor. â€œI know heâ€™s going to do great things as Speaker,â€? said Redanty, â€œbecause thatâ€™s who he is. I donâ€™t know how he does it.â€? A new political group, Hellâ€™s Kitchen Democrats, was founded last April by Marti Cummings, its current president, and Mark Robinson, now an executive board member. In less than a year the group has gained over 100 members, has activated the community, and was instrumental in the election of district leaders. Corey Johnson went to the groupâ€™s first meeting, with 15 people, INAUGURATION continued on p. 14
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Why I Wear Red And Give:
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ÂŠ 2018, American Heart Association. Also known as the Heart Fund. TM Go Red trademark of AHA, Red Dress trademark of DHHS. 1/18DS12998
Februar y 1, 2018
NYC Community Media
Sacred Sites of Local Signiﬁcance Get Landmarks Conservancy Grants BY DUSICA SUE MALESEVIC Two of Chelsea’s architectural gems — and community pillars — recently got a boost in funding for their restoration projects. St. Peter’s Chelsea received $25,000 and Yeshe Nyingpo, a Tibetan Buddhist temple, received $3,000 from the New York Landmarks Conservancy’s sacred sites grant program. The nonprofit established the program in 1986 to “address the special needs of historic religious properties,” Ann-Isabel Friedman, director of the program, said by phone. Seventeen grants for a total of $279,500 were awarded to sites throughout New York state, according to the press release. “A lot of what we do is matchmaking — helping congregations find the right consultant and contractor for their
means or particular problem or issue,” she explained. “We work with congregations where they are.” While this is the first grant awarded to Yeshe Nyingpo (19 W. 16th St., btw. Fifth & Sixth Ave.), it is the fifth grant for St. Peter’s (346 W. 20th St., btw. Eighth & Ninth Aves.). The relationship between the church and the Conservancy dates back to 1988, when St. Peter’s was awarded one of the first grants from the program for structural repairs for the roof, Friedman said later in an email. The church also received grants in 1995, 2000, and $25,000 in 2014, according to Friedman. “St. Peter’s is just a very significant site to Chelsea’s history,” she said. SITES continued on p. 16
Photo by Reverend Stephen Harding
St. Peter’s Chelsea is currently in its second phase of restoring the church, which includes repairing the floor underneath the bell.
Photo by Scott Stiffler
After about a year of fundraising, work began this month on restoring the door — seen here on Jan. 27 — at Yeshe Nyingpo, a Tibetan Buddhist temple.
Seen here, what is believed to be the original door to the 1846 row house, which Yeshe Nyingpo has called home for over 40 years.
NYC Community Media
Februar y 1, 2018
Makeshift Signs of the Resistance BY JOSH ROGERS “Oooh look, there’s the family with the orange hats.” Our subway trip to the 2018 Women’s March on NYC was only a half hour, and already we were a thing before we hit the streets. Actually, I was of little interest to anyone — my hat wasn’t orange, and either way, it still would’ve been my children grabbing the attention. The bright, non-pink hats were merely for safety. Although decidedly off-color, they were easy to spot, just in case. “Did you see a little girl with an orange hat” could’ve worked in an emergency. With my wife off to work the morning of the march, our kids and I rummaged for discarded boxes. What our signs lacked in aesthetics — and they lacked a lot — I at least, thought they made up for it in authenticity. “Donald Trump is not nice,” I wrote on my 4-year-old daughter’s sign, which she decorated. It was something I said to her only a few times before she turned 3, but she latched onto it and still says it on the rare occasions she hears his name. Trump supporters can’t honestly argue differently about a man who talk-
Photo by Josh Rogers
The author’s children at the Jan. 20 Women’s March on NYC.
ed about his daughter’s sexual appeal as a baby, admits to violating women, and thinks there are “very fine people” who support Nazis and the KKK. My son, 8, picking up on his sister, went with, “Get Big Meanie Out And Let Muslims in Now!” My wife and I hardly ever talk politics with him, but he
remembered me mentioning the Muslim ban promise during the campaign. “Stop Eating Hamburgers and Help Your Country Now!” he wrote on the other side of his sign. I’m not sure where he got a tidbit of cheeseburger detail in Michael Wolff’s new book. We were obviously novices in activ-
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ism, but the marchers we saw were encouraging, some asking permission to take my kids’ picture. My daughter in particular liked the “hey hey, ho ho” chant she learned. As it turned out, we didn’t march far. We and a few thousand others were stopped from joining the march at 72nd and Central Park West. We heard about others stopped on other side streets. Presumably, everyone patient enough was eventually allowed to join the march. We chanted and raised our signs with the crowd when we thought news helicopters were filming. After over an hour, I figured we’d head north on Columbus to try and join the march and go back Downtown. We ran into a friend of my daughter’s, a PS11 classmate who came with his family, a couple of school staffers, and their children. They had been stuck on a different street and were heading to a nearby playground. We decided to join the fun. I figured that an hour was plenty of activism for them in one day. I’m pretty sure we got counted in the 200,000+. Josh Rogers is a freelance writer and editor living in Chelsea.
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Februar y 1, 2018
NYC Community Media
My Life Lesson: Don’t Dismiss the Signs of Heart Disease BY JENNIFER GOODSTEIN (PUBLISHER, NYC COMMUNITY MEDIA) Heart disease became a very personal issue for me this past year. My story is no doubt similar to many women who are living with the risk, but unaware of it. Hopefully, this will serve as a warning to recognize the signs and take immediate action. In June 2017 I was diagnosed with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM), a genetic disease that causes thickening and scarring of the heart muscle. The disease can be addressed through medication, open-heart surgery, or a heart transplant. In my case, I needed open-heart surgery. It has been a scary, confusing, challenging year. Looking back on the experience there is a moment that stands out. As I was being wheeled into the operating room for open-heart surgery, I asked my husband, “How did I end up here?” Over the past four months I have asked that question over and over. The simple answer is: ignorance and denial. Even though HCM is not caused by smoking, poor diet, lack of exercise, old age and other factors we associate
Courtesy NYU Langone Medical Center
Drs. Mark V. Sherrid, left, and Daniel G. Swistel, who performed successful hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) treatment and surgery on NYC Community Media Publisher Jennifer Goodstein.
with heart disease, I ignored numerous signs. The problems I did see, I dismissed. I was diagnosed with HCM at age 52. Other than the occasional cold, I
was never sick. I exercised regularly, never smoked, had normal blood pressure and good cholesterol, and no chest pain. There was no reason to think I had heart disease.
I did have a slight heart murmur my entire life. The murmur never caused a problem and I never HCM continued on p. 8
Terrible exchange rate. Good blood pressure reading. Certain numbers you can’t take at face value: knowing the numbers related to your health, including ideal blood pressure (<120/80 mm Hg), can be a matter of life or death. 1 in 3 women die of heart disease and stroke, yet about 80% of these deaths are preventable with simple lifestyle changes. Visit nycgored.heart.org for more information. Talk to your doctor in order to
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KNOW YOUR NUMBERS BY HEART #GoRedNYC
NYC Community Media
Februar y 1, 2018
Brewer Appoints Durst to Hudson River Park Board BY LINCOLN ANDERSON They say you can’t go home again — but that apparently doesn’t apply to Douglas Durst, who has been appointed by the borough president to the board of directors of the Hudson River Park Trust. Durst was formerly a leading light of the Hudson River Park, serving for years as chairperson and cochairperson of the Friends of Hudson River Park, the park’s leading advocacy group. But, five years ago, the powerful real estate developer had a falling-out with Madelyn Wils, the president of the Trust, and bolted, abruptly resigning from the Friends. Durst, the chairperson of the Durst Organization, had proposed a plan to refurbish the run-down Pier 40, at W. Houston St. But the Trust — the state-city authority that operates and is building the 4.5-milelong park — rejected the idea, causing the rift. Not only did Durst have a parting of the ways with the Trust. More recently, he even helped sue the authority, ponying up funding for a lawsuit by members of The City Club of New York against Barry Diller’s glittering Pier 55 “fantasy island” entertainment pier, which is planned for off of W. 14th St. Although Durst had been rumored by park insiders to be financing the lawsuit, The Villager (our sister publication) was the first to get him to admit on the record last year that he had, in fact, provided funding for it. The litigation, in fact, nearly sunk the ever-higherpriced project. But thanks to Governor Andrew Cuomo’s intervention, the Pier 55 dispute was resolved this past October, putting the plan back on track to move forward again. When Durst led the Friends, the group sued on the park’s behalf to get municipal uses — such as the Department of Sanitation garage on Gansevoort Peninsula — out of it. Under Durst, the Friends also reached a settlement with the operator of the W. 30th St. heliport to end tourist flights there. And it was Durst who, last year, personally noticed that the tourist flights had started up again, leading to the operator having to pay a $250,000 fine to the Trust. The borough president appoints three members to the Trust board, and the governor and mayor each appoint five. In a statement announcing the appointment, Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer said, “Mr. Durst brings invaluable talent and experience to the table and, as part of the board, will help the Hudson River Park Trust build truly world-class public spaces and amenities. I thank him for agreeing to serve, and look forward to seeing these waterfront spaces truly live up to their potential for all New Yorkers.” “I am honored to be joining the board of the Hudson River Park Trust,” Durst said in a statement. “I have been an advocate and supporter of the park for decades and I am tremendously grateful to the borough president for this opportunity to continue my service to one of New York’s great treasures and most important green spaces. I look forward to working with my colleagues on the Trust board and our partners in government at the city and state to finish the park.” Asked by The Villager what his goals are as a Trust board member, Durst responded, “Continue to pro-
Februar y 1, 2018
File photo courtesy The Villager
Developer Douglas Durst in One Byrant Park, one of the high-profile high-rise buildings his company constructed and owns, with a view of the Hudson River in the background.
vide transparency and openness.” Asked if he would be able to work with Wils, he said, “Absolutely.” It was Tom Fox, who was one of the City Club plaintiffs against the Pier 55 plan, who tipped off the newspaper that Durst had been put on the Trust board. Fox was an early leader of the park and its planning as the first president of the Hudson River Park Conservancy, the Trust’s predecessor agency. “I think it’s long overdue,” Fox said approvingly of Durst’s being tapped for the Trust’s board. “He’s been working on this park — for what? — 20 years now? I think it’s good news for the park. He’s a man who’s willing to put his money where his mouth is. And he works hard. And he cares.” Apparently, though, the Trust isn’t quite as enthusiastic about the development. Asked about Durst’s appointment, a spokesperson said the authority would decline comment. Under the Hudson River Park Act of 1998, the borough president is supposed to appoint one member from each community board that contains the park — Boards 1, 2 and 4 — and to consult with the relevant board before doing so. Asked if Brewer had done it in this case, a spokesperson indicated she had not. Andrew Goldston, Brewer’s spokesperson, said, “Borough President Brewer spoke with the chairperson of Community Board 4 [CB4] today to discuss the appointment, and issued Mr. Durst’s formal appointment letter after that conversation. The announcement of this appointment Friday came a little earlier than it should have, and we regret the error.” Pam Frederick and Lawrence Goldberg are currently the BP’s representatives on the Trust board for Community Board 1 (Tribeca) and Community Board
2 (the Village), respectively. Each lives in their respective board, just as Durst lives in CB4 (Chelsea and Hell’s Kitchen). Tobi Bergman, the previous chairperson of CB2 and a longtime advocate for youth sports on Pier 40, was disappointed at Durst’s appointment to the Trust’s board. “If the community board was not consulted as mandated, that would be discouraging,” he said. “But mostly it’s the choice itself that disappoints. When the act was written, everyone assumed the governor and mayor would pack the board with supporters who would vote obediently. The act allowed the borough president to appoint three members who would be park activist voices from the adjacent communities. That’s why community board consultation was mandated. No one expected or intended one of those voices would be of a captain of real estate.” In the effort to redevelop Pier 40 five years ago, Bergman and youth-sports advocates supported the idea of developing luxury residential towers at the pier to generate income to repair it — and even independently commissioned design renderings of what the towers would look like. Leading members of the Pier 40 Champions group, a coalition of the local youth leagues, decried Durst’s competing plan to repurpose the pier’s existing pier shed as office space for tech firms. Unlike Bergman, however, Arthur Schwartz, a former longtime chairperson of the CB2 Parks and Waterfront Committee, said Durst — despite being a big-time developer, is a community-oriented person. “It’s funny to say this, but the Trust board has become a plaything for a lot of rich people with no connection to the community,” Schwartz said. “Douglas Durst is a very wealthy guy but at least he has some notion of community involvement and input. When he ran Friends, it was built as an activist group, which balanced a board that was political. Once he left Friends, both bodies lost touch with the community.” Burt Lazarin, the chairperson of CB4, told The Villager that, in fact, the community board was blindsided by Durst’s appointment. “CB4 was surprised and upset by the borough president’s recent appointment to fill the vacancy on the Hudson River Park Trust board designated as the Board 4 position as there was no prior consultation with CB4,” he said. “I have had a recent conversation with the BP where she recognized our concerns and offered to meet with CB4 to further explain her decision.” At the same time, he said, the community board is looking forward to working with Durst on issues involving the waterfront park. “CB4 has collaborated with the Durst Organization in the past and has high expectations of Mr. Durst, as the representative of board district 4, to prove his passion for the park and effectively add his skills to the team to get our park completed,” Lazarin added. “We look forward to meeting with Mr. Durst to discuss his vision for the park in the near future.” Under the leadership of Douglas Durst and his cousin Jody Durst, the Durst Organization built the DURST continued on p. 16 NYC Community Media
RISC Preps War Correspondents for Physical Dangers of Their Profession BY JUDY L. RICHHEIMER Journalism is under siege. Earning one’s living as a reporter is more difficult than ever — and for those fortunate to still be employed, the product of their labor may be dismissed as “fake news.” But for correspondents covering armed conflict, economic insecurity and attacks on credibility pale beside the goal of simply staying alive. Sebastian Junger is determined to reduce the profession’s mortality rate. The journalist who authored “The Perfect Storm” and co-directed the documentary “Hell on Earth: The Fall of Syria and the Rise of ISIS” is also responsible for the 2012 creation of Reporters Instructed in Saving Colleagues (Junger feels that its acronym, RISC, conveys “excitement”). Its mission: to teach freelance war correspondents the rudiments of first responder medicine. He remains RISC’s unpaid director and works with one other staff person. Mail comes to The Half King, the popular W. 23rd St. bar/restaurant he cofounded, where the work of photojournalists is often featured in talks and exhibits. “We could run RISC out of a hot dog stand if we had to,” Junger said. RISC was created in response to a doubly heartbreaking event. In 2011, while covering the civil war in Libya, Junger’s close friend and colleague, photographer Tim Hetherington, was killed by a shrapnel wound. Later Junger learned Hetherington’s wound “was not necessarily mortal. He bled out. People around him didn’t know what to do. Had I been there, I wouldn’t have known what to do.” Junger limits RISC to freelance war correspondents, recognizing that they face challenges so numerous and interlocking the result can be... well, a perfect storm. On the one hand, war reporting can serve as “a professional shortcut,” eliminating a trek up the “very slow ladder at a local paper.” But many combat zones are not occupied by American troops, who provide reporters with some degree of protection. “If you are assigned to a platoon with the US military there’s always a medic or a corpsman there. If you’re on your own in someone else’s civil war, there are no Marine corpsmen there to help if you get shot.” While salaried war reporters are given medical and survival training (their NYC Community Media
Photo by Federico Rios
Wilderness Medical Associates instructor Sawyer Alberi (wearing cap), at a Dec. 2017 RISC training session in Medellín, Columbia.
©Tim Hetherington via sebastianjunger.com
employers’ insurance requires it), freelancers who “typically don’t have a lot of cash” could not afford comparable instruction. So, without RISC, which pays hotel as well as training costs, freelancers would go to remote and violent areas without skills to protect themselves and their colleagues. Applicants for the training are chosen with an eye toward diversity, the goal being an even mix of writers and photographers, and men and women (although trainees have been approximately 65 percent male and 35 percent female). Students often come to the training with distinguished careers (some having won Pulitzers) or, like one early participant, Erin Banco, author of the well-received “Pipe Dreams: The Plundering of Iraq’s Wealth,” go on to publish important work in their field. RISC’s training emphasizes medical survival skills that are, according to
Sebastian Junger (right) and Tim Hetherington, whose death in the field prompted Junger to found RISC.
RISC continued on p. 12 Februar y 1, 2018
consciousness while walking down the street in Manhattan. Surgery was no longer an option, it was a necessity. On Sept. 13, 2017, Dr. Daniel Swistel performed a septal myectomy — he’s one of the few surgeons in the world who has performed hundreds of such operations in his career — and mitral valve repair, and five days later a defibrillator/pacemaker was implanted in my chest at NYU Langone. Drs. Sherrid and Swistel have worked
together for more than 20 years, doing research and publishing much of the leading work on HCM. They run the NYU-Langone’s HCM Center of Excellence — a high-volume, highsuccess, research-oriented unit staffed by a team of talented, caring doctors, nurses, and technicians who know how to diagnose and treat HCM. Thanks to them, my surgery was successful and I feel better than I have in years. Looking back, I realize how the dis-
ease slowly took over my life. And I let it. Heart disease is too often viewed as “an old man’s disease,” causing women to ignore symptoms and fail to seek treatment. I spent more than a year with symptoms and never addressed them. I had fatigue, shortness of breath, and dizziness when standing up. As I became fatigued, more and more often I blamed age and stress. The shortness of breath was blamed on not spending enough time in the gym. I wrote off the dizziness to an inner ear problem, anemia, or lack of sleep. The problems were vague, intermittent — and I did not consider them important enough to interrupt my family and work responsibilities. Like many women, I was more focused on the people around me than my health. I still have HCM even though the surgery relieved my symptoms. I will need echocardiograms and medication for the rest of my life to monitor and control my heart disease. My family and friends have been by my side to help me along the way. Thanks to the Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy Association (4hcm.org), a nonprofit that helps people with HCM, I have found a support group that understands what it’s like to live with HCM. Most importantly, I have a new awareness and respect for my health. I have a better understanding what the symptoms of heart disease are for women, and I can be more diligent about getting help before a serious situation arises. That is my hope for you, dear readers — to have knowledge and have awareness of your heart health. Take care of yourself. It’s the best gift you can give to those you love.
called pre-diabetes — can impact your risk for heart disease.” •Blood pressure: “There are new guidelines on how to measure blood pressure. Have a home blood pressure monitoring device and know how to use it.” •Body mass index: A measure of your height, in relation to your weight. In connection with the launch of their book, the authors have also launched the Get Heart Smart for Women campaign, which Mieres said “is a call to action for women everywhere that will inspire them to take the first steps towards translating their knowledge into action. “While women are eager to change their lifestyles, most don’t know where to begin,” she said, adding that “Heart Smart for Women” provides “a practical step-by-step program to help women of all ages put the research and physician’s
guidance into action. The book provides readers with comprehensive insight on the workings of the heart while demystifying the science, risk factors and symptoms of heart disease. The book is a lifestyle tool stocked with effective guidance on diet, sleep, stress, strength and flexibility exercises, physician partnership and other critical factors for a hearthealthy life.” Rosen said that February’s Get Heart Smart for Women campaign will “focus on blanketing communities with educational programs and a variety of events to extend knowledge about healthy heart care. “People get scared that their options are limited,” she added. “The truth is, anything you do will help. You don’t have to be a marathon runner, just try walking more. Maybe your diet’s not perfect, but try oatmeal some mornings for breakfast
and try sprinkling some blueberries on top.” “Being knowledgeable about heart disease is not enough. It is time for women to translate their knowledge into action. Only then will we really see the needle start to move. It’s time for a new call to action,” Mieres said. The American Heart Association is the nation’s oldest and largest voluntary organization dedicated to fighting heart disease and stroke. Go Red For Women is nationally sponsored by Macy’s and CVS Health; and locally by New York City Goes Red Sponsors, Northwell Health and the Elizabeth Elting Foundation. This movement inspires women to make lifestyle changes, mobilize communities, and shape policies to save lives. For more info on National Wear Red Day or to participate, visit the American Heart Association at nycgored.heart.org.
HCM continued from p. 5
thought about it. My cardiologist monitored the murmur by echocardiogram (echo) every three years. The regularly scheduled echo is what took me to the cardiologist the day I was diagnosed. I had never heard of HCM and immediately started to research the disease. Big mistake. The online health sites list the fi rst symptom of HCM as sudden death. Time for another tack. I found a cardiologist who specializes in HCM, Dr. Mark Sherrid at NYU Langone, who has seen thousands of people with the disease. “HCM is a thickening of the heart walls that occurs for no clinical cause, like high blood pressure or heart valve disease. We now know that it’s caused by genetic abnormalities that may not show up until mid-life,” Dr. Sherrid told NYC Community Media. “It’s now a highly treatable condition when recognized and treated appropriately. Unfortunately, there’s often a delay in diagnosis, because HCM can masquerade as other conditions. These other conditions include coronary artery disease, mitral valve prolapse, benign flow [heart] murmur, exercised-induced asthma or panic attacks. The key test is an echocardiogram, which often reveals the true cause of the symptoms.” Dr. Sherrid and his team explained the disease, reviewed the echo and MRI images with me, and suggested that open-heart surgery to remove part of my heart muscle was the recommended treatment. I had a difficult decision to make. Two weeks later the decision was made for me. I lost
WEAR RED continued from p. 1
“Every woman should have a clinician, someone you see over time and can partner with to monitor your health, someone who can help them know their heart health numbers. We joke that you would never go to your accountant to get your taxes done without being prepared with your financial numbers, and the truth is you should never go to your doctor without knowing your five important heart health numbers,” Rosen said. Those five numbers, she explained, are your: •Total cholesterol: “This can be measured with a simple blood test.” •HDL (good) cholesterol: “You want that number to be higher, rather than lower.” •Blood sugar: “Even mild elevations in blood sugar — a condition sometimes
Februar y 1, 2018
Before her diagnosis, Jennifer Goodstein exhibited signs of HCM for over a year. She urges women not to ignore symptoms, and promptly seek treatment.
NYC Community Media
POLICE BLOTTER CRIMINAL MISCHIEF: Break on through An unknown person broke a glass panel on the door of an apartment building. The incident happened on Thurs., Jan. 25 at 1:30 a.m. on the 300 block of W. 22nd St. According to police, the damage exceeds $250.
IDENTITY THEFT: Company called, she cancelled A woman told police that her NetSpend credit card was used at a Walmart in New Jersey. The incident happened on Sat., Jan. 27 at 1 p.m. The 67-year-old woman was sitting in her apartment on the 400 block of W. 27th St. when NetSpend alerted her to fraudulent charges of $197. She has since cancelled the card.
PETIT LARCENY: Paying lip service to crime No matter what the groundhog says, it’s going to be cold for quite some time — and if you don’t have proper lip care, you will be chapped and in pain. One man, knowing this, decided to stock up on (stolen) supplies. The deed happened on Fri., Jan. 26 at 10:30 a.m. at Rite Aid (282 Eighth Ave., btw. W. 24th & 25th Sts.) A security guard saw the 30-year-old man stealing nine ChapSticks, 10 Blistex, and 3 Nivea lip care products. The items (total value, $83) will do him no good, since the thief was taken into custody and placed in the “cooler” — just the kind of place that lip balm could come in handy.
PETIT LARCENY: He got game, they got his watch Basketball is a great game. It is also a competitive one. When you’re playing, you don’t want anything holding you back. That’s what a 26-year-old man had in mind when he put his Apple Watch, iPhone, and headphones down before playing at the Chelsea Recreation Center (430 W. 25th St., btw. Ninth & 10th Aves.) on Thurs., Jan. 25 at 1 p.m. When the game was over, he returned to his stack of stuff and discovered the Apple Watch (valued at $300) had been taken.
THEFT OF SERVICES: The terrible tens Going out with girlfriends to a restaurant is always good for a good time. A group of 10 women were enjoying a meal together at Clyde Frazier’s Wine and Dine (485 10th Ave., btw. W. 37th & 38th Sts.) on Sat., Jan. 27 at 9 p.m. When it was time to pay the $299 bill, they skipped out — leaving the 24-yearold waitress shocked and surprised.
PETIT LARCENY: The great couch caper A man was having a great time at Marquee (289 10th Ave., btw. W. 27th & 28th Sts.) on Fri., Jan. 26 at 1:30 a.m. and he didn’t want his phone to take away from his quality time with friends. He put the item in a storage box behind the couch where he was sitting. When he went to retrieve his phone, it was no longer in the box. The iPhone 6 is valued at $800. —Tabia C. Robinson
THE 10th PRECINCT Located at 230 W. 20th St. (btw. Seventh & Eighth Aves.). Commander: Capt. Paul Lanot. Main number: 212-741-8211. Community Affairs: 212-7418226. Crime Prevention: 212-741-8226. Domestic Violence: 212-741-8216. Youth Officer: 212-741-8211. Auxiliary Coordinator: 212-924-3377. Detective Squad: 212-741-8245. The Community Council meets on the last Wed. of the month, 7 p.m., at the 10th Precinct or other locations to be announced. MIDTOWN SOUTH PRECINCT Located at 357 W. 35th St. (btw. Eighth & Ninth Aves.). Inspector Russel J. Green, Commanding Officer. Call 212-239-9811. Community Affairs: 212239-9846. Crime Prevention: 212-239-9846. Domestic Violence: 212-2399863. Youth Officer: 212-239-9817. Auxiliary Coordinator: 212-239-9836. Detective Squad: 212-239-9856. The Community Council meets on the third Thurs. of the month, 7 p.m., at the New Yorker Hotel (481 Eighth Ave., btw. W. 34th & 35th Sts.). Visit midtownsouthcc.org.
NYC Community Media
What Does Black History Month Mean To Me? by Maurice W. Dorsey, Ph.D.
When I think of African American History Month I think of the generations of Black People who have preceded me, some who struggled to live through the torture and suffering of slavery before the birth of my grandparents and parents long before my birth. My grandparents were poor and did not graduate high school. They only knew and staunchly believed in their Christian faith and used it each day to get through profound racism, low wages, dilapidated segregated housing, education inequality and verbal abuse to their face and behind their backs. I think of my parents who ﬁnished high school, raised and educated their children through college. They built their ﬁrst home at age 40. It was a struggle and huge sacriﬁces that were made to achieve middle class standards. I reﬂect on myself now age 70, my birth certiﬁcate reads that my race was colored, then I later was designated Negro, later I was Black, later still I was referred to as Afro-American and now I am called African American, with each decade my identity, as well as, all others in this situation changed. I attended a segregated public school for 10 years that was substandard to its white counterpart. I graduated the only Black person in my high school class of 460. In 1964 I was required to seat in the back of the school bus, I was called “nigger” by the white students and “boy” by the white school principal who did not think a Black student should graduate with an academic diploma, but I did. I recognize the immense progress African Americans have made in science, education, politics, athletics, entertainment and the arts---and the previous White House. Their achievements along with the help of benevolent whites have advanced and further the quality of life for African Americans. This portfolio of achievements makes me feel grateful and proud. Since the 1960’s I live abundantly, I have earned three graduate degrees, earned a six ﬁgure salary and I live in a downtown neighborhood near 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, where it is a desire to turn the clock back on Black History. When I think of Black History in 2018 I think back to the struggles of my grandparents, parents and myself who in the 1960’s integrated a white school 10 years after the Brown vs The Board of Education decision because the Department of Education in the county that I attended school refused to implement the federal law, and got away with it for 10 years! The harsh policies, lies, verbal assaults and abuse that come from the White House, formulated in Congress not only affect African Americans but people around the world. Moving from a personal story to a worldwide story, the struggles of the African American is the same struggle for women, the LGBTQ community, the physically challenged, veterans, children, the economically deprived and all others. Our struggle is everybody’s struggle. What is most disturbing to me is to see African Americans who have a national and sometimes global platform who could challenge white nationalism but have chosen to remain mute. History will show when all is said and done however they are still Black and will have the same Black experience as all others. Black History in 2018 is not a time to celebrate it is a time to recognize how far we have come, our strengths and achievements. Moreover we need to recognize and galvanize to perform the work that is in front of us that remains to get done. We need to ensure the accomplishments of our ancestors is not reversed and the clock is not turned back. The struggle is not over. Maurice W. Dorsey is author of Businessman First, Remembering Henry G. Parks, Jr. 1916-1989 Capturing the Life of a Businessman Who Was African American A Biography, a QBR Wheatley Book Award Finalist, 2015. He is also author of From Whence We Come, the story of an African American gay who must come to terms with his mother who tells him throughout his life she never wanted to have him. Both books are available at Xlibris.com and Amazon.com. You can contact Maurice at www.mauricewdorseybooks.com He resides in Washington, DC.
Februar y 1, 2018
Art at the Base of the Place Where They Live New galleries populate Chelsea’s western landscape
Photo by Scott Stiffler
From the High Line looking north, a view of 500 W. 21st St.
BY STEPHANIE BUHMANN As Chelsea’s art district continues to change, seeing more high-end condo buildings pop up along the High Line, one cannot help but wonder how long (and how many) galleries will be able to afford the steadily increasing rents. Still, though several larger outfits have continued to move elsewhere, including to the Lower East Side and Soho, others continue to set up shop. One of the newer buildings to shape Chelsea’s western landscape is 500 W. 21st St., at 10th Ave. Though the building was completed in May 2015 as a luxury building (only 32 residences in the large complex), it took a while for galleries to move in and add some
Courtesy Washburn Gallery
An installation shot from “The Nines” — works by Ray Parker on view through March 3 at Washburn Gallery (177 10th Ave., btw. W. 20th & 21st Sts.). Visit washburngallery.com.
Courtesy Nohra Haime Gallery
Close-up view of Lesley Dill’s “Unredeemed Regions” (2017), part of “Wilderness: Words are where what I catch is me” | Feb. 14-March 17 at Nohra Haime Gallery (500 W. 21st St., at 10th Ave.). Visit nohrahaimegallery.com.
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spark to its ground floor. Only one space remains to be filled, its window lettering announcing that Wilensky Gallery will be “Coming Soon.” In addition to Galleria Ca’ d’Oro, Sato Sakura Gallery, Praxis, and YSP Gallery, two well-established Midtown galleries have now settled in. Both Nohra Haime Gallery and Washburn Gallery, which had been located in the 57th St. section for decades, are up and running, presenting their program Downtown with their usual sophistication. All galleries in the building are open to the public Tues.–Sat., 10am–6pm. Through March 3, Washburn Gallery is presenting “The Nines” — a new exhibition of the modernist abstract painter Ray Parker. Born in 1922 in South Dakota, Parker became associated with some of the leading Abstract Expressionists in the 1950s, including Mark Rothko and Willem de Kooning. Influenced by jazz music and with a keen admiration for Matisse, he soon developed a unique compositional language, in which cloudlike forms in rich muted colors form a stark contrast to white or off-white backgrounds. Washburn has been showing Parker, who died in 1990, for decades and yet, perhaps by introducing Parker’s work to a Downtown audience, they might finally succeed in raising wider appreciation for one of the very fine Color Field painters of the 1950 through 1970s. Meanwhile, Nohra Haime Gallery will open “Wilderness: Words are where what I catch is me,” a new solo exhibition of Brooklyn-based artist Lesley Dill (reception for the artist Tues., Feb. 13, 6–8pm; “Wilderness” runs Feb. 14–March 17). Exploring the power of words, especially in regard to their psychological impact, Dill creates delicate sculptures and drawings. In her work, paper, wire, horsehair, photography, foil, and bronze mingle with references to music, as well as the poetry and writings of Emily Dickinson, Salvador Espriu, Tom Sleigh, Franz Kafka, and Rainer Maria Rilke, among others. It is obvious that aesthetically and in spirit, Dill follows in the footsteps of the late Nancy Spero (1926–2009), a friend of Dill’s whose scroll paintings with text and classical goddesses are much revered. Interestingly, the elaborate website for 500 W. 21st St. (500w21.com) stresses that “West Chelsea is also avant-garde art in landmarked buildings,” using it as an enticing pitch for the neighborhood. Though the galleries on its ground floor are as little avant-garde or cutting edge as the building is a landmarked one, there’s certainly a positive note to end on: thankfully there will be art displayed on these expansive premises instead of more ATMs. NYC Community Media
Courtesy Praxis Gallery
Jorge Miño’s “Crosslines Series” is part of “Monochrome: a group show” — an exhibition on view through Feb. 24 at Praxis Gallery (501 W. 20th St., entrance btw. 10th & 11th Aves.). Visit praxis-art.com.
Yu Yoshikawa’s “The Cherry Blossoms are in all their Glory (The Couple Sakura in Miharu)” is on view at Sato Sakura Gallery (501 W. 20th St., btw. 10th & 11th Aves.) through March 31, part of “Imagination: Contemporary Nihonga Collection from Sato Sakura Museum.” Visit satosakura.jp.
Courtesy Galleria Ca’ d’Oro
Courtesy y-s-p Gallery
A selection from “Wonderland” — works by Marco Grassi on view through March 4 at Galleria Ca’ d’Oro (179 10th Ave., btw. W. 20th & 21st Sts.). Visit ca-doro.com.
Installation view of “New Works | Art + Form” — featuring works by painter/sculptor Ufan Lee and Korean ceramicist Young Sook Park, on view through March 4 at YSP Gallery (175 10th Ave., btw. W. 20th & 21st Sts.). Visit yspgallery.com.
NYC Community Media
Februar y 1, 2018
RISC continued from p. 7
Junger, “very, very basic: clear the air passageway, stop the bleeding, stabilize the person, move them, get them out… our mandate is to save lives on the battlefield.” To some extent the curriculum is a work in progress: “We chucked the drowning and the bee stings.” But learning to deal with kidnapping, a growing threat to foreign correspondents, may get added to the course. The curriculum was developed in conjunction with the Maine-based Wilderness Medical Associates (WMA), a pioneer in teaching remote medical skills. Sawyer Alberi, a WMA instructor, came uniquely qualified to lead that effort. A graduate of the Coast Guard Academy and a former military medic (“I liked the idea of being a citizen soldier,” Alberi said in a phone interview), she wrote her doctorate thesis in education while serving in Afghanistan. Alberi is sometimes bemused by her RISC students. “They are not used to working as a group; they are used to working as exceptions to the group,” she laughed. But alongside their hyper-independence, RISC trainees have, in Alberi’s view, an exceptionally strong work ethic: “They take seriously that other people donated money for them to take the training.” The four-day course, which is eight or more hours a day, begins with some foundation of medicine and physiology and quickly moves to hands-on learning. “The most preventable death [in combat zones] is bleeding-related,” Alberi said, noting that strong attention is given to finding bullet entrance and exit holes and learning to apply tourniquets. Another key skill (Junger considers this the most challenging in the syllabus) involves driving a large-gauged-needle into the chest cavity, several ribs down from the collarbone, performed to relieve pressure built up from the trauma of a gunshot wound. “You don’t want to put the needle in the heart — that will kill them,” Junger noted. This skill is practiced on dummies. Other procedures can be done studenton-student (Banco recalled working on a dead chicken). Every student is given a medical kit containing scissors, gauze, and other firstaid gear. But Alberi wants them to learn to improvise, if necessary, and will deploy around the training site certain items that might be found in any urban setting. “A tablecloth that could be used for insulation [injured bodies quickly lose heat, leading to hypothermia and possible death], or a blanket, or a garbage bag, even.” In addition, Alberi leads her students in philosophic discussions of “when to put the camera down and get involved, a per-
Februar y 1, 2018
Photo by Scout Tufankjian
RISC instructor Bill Frederick (standing), overseeing a practice scenario in which journalists come across the site of a catastrophic emergency with multiple injuries, details of which are given to those standing in as “patients.”
Photo by Scout Tufankjian
Journalists learning how to safely move an injured person — one of many scenarios they practice as they build skills throughout the course.
sonal decision they need to think about beforehand.” People who observe the trainings are invariably struck by the drama of smoke and explosions that RISC employs to mimic modern warfare and terrorist attacks. Banco — who prior to the training had experienced in the Middle East
her share of real life car bombings, or at least their immediate aftershock — was impressed. “The simulation was similar to the chaos I experienced,” she said. The use of explosives, which are prohibited in certain locales, has helped determine where trainings take place. In 2017, one was held at a campsite outside
NYC, whose capacious outdoor space is a natural for RISC, and another in Medellín, Columbia. In addition, Junger explains that training sites need to be “in a place that’s cheap, that’s safe, that’s easily accessible to our students. And we need a country that’s not too corrupt, because we don’t want to end up having to pay bribes to get equipment in and out.” Junger regards RISC as a kind of insurance policy and is happy that its students have infrequently made use of their training. But those who have had occasion to come to their colleagues’ medical aid describe the experience on the RISC website as “empowering.” The idealism engendered by the training has intensely affected at least one participant. “I recently got an e-mail from a former RISC student who wanted to leave journalism and get into medicine,” Alberi noted. “She is growing increasingly frustrated with being the witness and not being able to help.” For more information, visit risctraining.org, wildmed.com, sebastianjunger. com, and thehalfking.com. NYC Community Media
A Sunken Liner Whose Ship Will Never Sail â€˜Jimmyâ€™ is deďŹ ned by an event of Titanic proportions BY SCOTT STIFFLER Everybodyâ€™s gotta go from something â€” so if heaven is a place where the thing that killed you gets trotted out for everything from first impressions to party invitations, it helps to have a cause of death that leaves them thirsting for more once the ice has been broken. And for a Belfast shipyard worker coming up on his centennial as an angel, nothing piques a strangerâ€™s interest quite like name-dropping a certain passenger liner whose unexpected sinking has come to symbolize humanityâ€™s hubris, heroism, and folly. â€œBoylanâ€? is the last name of this chatty charmer, but he wonâ€™t mind if you think of him as â€œJimmy Titanic.â€? Written by Bernard McMullan as a wistful, witty, wry, and, on occasion, brutally damaging jab at the pull of disaster porn and the power of identity politics (as much in the afterlife as here on earth), â€œJimmy Titanicâ€? â€” the man, and the show, is consumed by the notion of litigating the less virtuous aspects of oneâ€™s defining moment. Itâ€™s a losing battle, but a fascinating one that the McMullan seems to imply weâ€™re doomed, tasked, or morally obligated to fight (sometimes all at once). With the merest tilt of the head, flick of the wrist, or lilt in the voice, Colin Hamell (equally adept in contemplative and broadly comic mode) plays over 20 characters, many of whom went down with the ship to varying degrees of desperation and resignation. The dead are to the lucky ones, however, and not just because their untimely demise confers superstar status in heavenâ€™s best discos and highly specialized online chatrooms. Those who experienced the disaster on dry land (a New York Times editor penning a headline on the fly; a Belfast mayor desperate to deflect attention from the shipbuilding industry) have as many rationalizations as there are rivets on the Titanic â€” three million, weâ€™re told, a number effectively hammered home by the setâ€™s hellish red lighting, churning steam, steel beams, and rows and rows and rows of, yes, rivets. Itâ€™s here, in the bowels of the ship, that Jimmy the equilibrium-challenged angel (whose chafing wings keep â€œpullinâ€™ to NYC Community Media
ENTER NOW FOR YOUR CHANCE TO WIN 2 VIP Tickets - good until March 04, 2018 contest ends on 02/14/2018
A NEW COMEDY by Isobel Mahon
Photo by Carol Rosegg
Colin Hamell is ship shape, as over 20 characters impacted by a disaster history (and heaven) wonâ€™t soon forget.
the rightâ€?) returns again and again, and of his own volition. What better place to question his actions as a friend, mentor, sailor, and shipbuilder? Good thing, then, that our man Jimmy is such a crackerjack storyteller. Likably written and played, the audience can clearly see a depth of purpose the main characterâ€™s penchant for melancholy reflection wonâ€™t allow, at least not when the foundation begins to crack and the water starts to seep in. If Jimmy has his flaws, at least heâ€™s in exceedingly good company for all eternity. Gabriel is a petty thief who delights in pranking recent arrivals to the pearly gates, God is a Dublin gangster with a serious smoking habit and the look of â€œa dodgy Santa,â€? and Steve Jobs is a recent arrival who gave heaven the Internet, but catches hell from Adam and Eve on account of that Apple logo. Some memories, it seems, are less pleasant to revisit than others. â€œJimmy Titanicâ€? is directed by Carmel Oâ€™Reilly. Runtime: 75 min., no intermission. Through Feb. 18 in the W. Scott McLucas Studio Theatre at the Irish Repertory Theatre (132 W. 22nd St., btw. Sixth & Seventh Aves.). Wed. at 3pm and 8pm; Thurs. at 7pm; Fri. at 8pm; Sat. at 3pm & 8pm; Sun. at 3pm. For tickets ($50), visit irishrep. org.
YOUâ€™RE INVITED TO A PARTY FULL OF SURPRISES! Academy Award-Winning Actress Hayley Mills (Pollyanna, The Parent Trap) returns to the stage in the new, unabashedly funny, Off-Broadway comedy written by the wickedly brilliant Isobel Mahon (â€œGlenroe,â€? â€œFair Cityâ€?), and directed by Amanda Bearse (â€œMarriedâ€ŚWith Childrenâ€?). Direct from a sold-out, celebrated run in Ireland, PARTY FACE is the hilarious and bitingly honest play about the lengths we go to convince people weâ€™ve got it all together â€”and the love and acceptance we ďŹ nd once we allow the truth to expose our imperfectly perfect selves. Itâ€™s an invitation to celebrate life that you donâ€™t want to miss! Now playing at the City Center, Stage II for a limited time only! Buy your tickets now! starring Academy AwardÂŽ Winner
HAYLEY MILLS directed by Amanda Bearse
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INAGURATION continued from p. 2
in Robinson’s apartment. “He was running a fever but he came,” Robinson recalled. “We’re very proud of him,” Cummings added. Every seat in the 700-capacity Haft Theater was filled by the time the ceremony opened with musical performances from the students of PS111 and PS51, who created a hopeful mood with “This Land Is Your Land” along with the Shaker melody “Simple Gifts.” Johnson had requested Aleta LaFargue, President of the Manhattan Plaza Tenants Association, to make opening remarks and to introduce the many councilmembers and other elected officials on the stage. “I know I speak for everyone when I say that if you’re on the West Side, Corey is much more than an elected public official,” said LaFargue. “To so many of us across our district he is a friend, a neighbor, a surrogate son, a mentor, a mentee, a role model, a fighter.” Later on, LaFargue would tell Chelsea Now that Johnson “has been a great advocate for us. He stood up for us many times.”
Photos by Christian Miles
Children from PS111 (left) and PS51 (right) opened the ceremony with songs “This Land Is Your Land” and “Simple Gifts.”
SHAPED BY A PERSONAL HISTORY Mayor Bill de Blasio reminded the audience that after the Nov. 2016 election, “One of the people in this city who stood up the quickest, with the most fortitude, who started to organize his community to resist and to make sure values stay strong, was Corey Johnson.” He added that New York City was sending a message to the whole country “that an HIV-positive man is one of the great leaders of our city.” The mayor talked about Johnson’s origins in a small town in Massachusetts and how 20 years ago he came out “in a world where almost no one did it, in a culture and athletic culture that so tragically rejected people’s truth.” He referred to the close connection Johnson has to his mother who was unable to attend, and added, “Corey is not a moderate. You don’t do things in moderation. You do it with all your energy and heart and became an activist, a community activist, a fighter for LGBT rights, a civic leader, and the youngest community board chair in the city.” The mayor vowed that in regard to AIDS, “this will be the place where this epidemic ends.” Before administering the Oath of Office, US Senator Charles Schumer, like Mayor de Blasio, referred to Johnson’s childhood, specifically his upbringing in public housing. “His family struggled, and struggled,
Februar y 1, 2018
Corey Johnson in constituent embrace with Marietta LaFargue, not his first or last hug of the day. In the background, left, is Marisa Redanty, newly elected District Leader for Hell’s Kitchen.
and struggled, but Corey had some inner strength, a great gift from God, and he became captain of his football team and he came out and said ‘I’m gay.’ ” Schumer, who met Johnson shortly thereafter, today refers to him as “a fighter to stand up for who we are and what we believe in.” Amidst the accolades, Johnson’s ability to make the City Council a “Council of independence,” meaning apart from the mayor’s office, was later mentioned by NYC Comptroller Scott Stringer, as was Johnson’s creation of a new committee for oversight and investigation of city agencies. Alphonso David, Counsel to Governor Andrew Cuomo, labeled Corey Johnson “the disruptor, the underdog, the fighter, and now the Speaker of the New York City Council,” who “has never forgotten how important it is to remain humble, how important it is to fight for the things that absolutely matter.”
LOCAL ISSUES AND CITYWIDE CHALLENGES
L to R: Kyle Bragg (secretary/treasurer of 32BJ SEIU) and Donovan Richards (Councilmember for District 31 in Queens) confer before the ceremony.
Finally at the podium, after being unable to stop himself from dancing to “Ain’t No Stoppin’ Us Now” sung by the New York City Community Chorus earlier in the program, and comforting the Council Majority Leader Laurie Cumbo’s baby, Prince, while Cumbo was seated beside him on stage, Johnson took five minutes to offer thanks to a list of people that included a shout-out to each Councilmember by first name. He then spoke of the 14,703 doors he knocked on during the campaign and NYC Community Media
how he continues to be inspired by those he met: “Each one of you has a unique incredible story and a unique set of life experiences and challenges that you’ve overcome. You are what inspires me and motivates me every single day.” He highlighted accomplishments, including the pending public park on W. 20th St. in Chelsea, a new historic district in the South Village, the 500 affordable housing units resulting from the Pier 40 negotiation, and a development with an indoor recreation facility and affordable supermarket. In spite of these wins, Johnson said the city faces big challenges. “The affordability crisis that grips our city threatens the very existence of our neighborhoods,” he said. “People who lived in the same community for their entire lives find themselves priced out, unable to afford their rent or even their groceries. Many working families are literally living paycheck to paycheck. One missed shift or one medical expense away from eviction or bankruptcy.” Johnson noted that the night before his inauguration ceremony, 61,000 people slept in shelters, 23,000 of them children under age 16. “We must do better,” he urged, also vowing to extend rent protections and to work with state government “to finally once and for all close the loopholes that are allowing landlords to deregulate apartments.” Later he would note that 22 percent of New Yorkers — 1.7 million people — are living below the poverty line, and 44 percent are at the poverty line. He made clear that affordable housing is a priority. He spoke out for small businesses that are unable to compete with “deeppocketed chain stores” and subway riders who are experiencing “years of disinvestment in our infrastructure,” and also “shamefully racial disparities that persist in nearly every aspect of life in our city, including life expectancy, health outcomes, criminal justice, and education.” To the people of his District 3, running from an edge of Central Park to Canal St., Johnson vowed that even though he had a bigger set of citywide responsibilities, “I will never ever let that stop me from my obligations to you, my constituents in this district. You will see me often, you will see my staff often, and we will have a close, strong working partnership over the next four years just as we have had over the previous four years. I will always remember who elected me.” Johnson himself then referred to his personal story: “When I came out in 1999 in a small town of 5,000 people NYC Community Media
Photos by Christian Miles
Aleta LaFargue, President of the Manhattan Plaza Tenants Association, offered opening remarks and introduced dignitaries on stage.
A POSTSCRIPT FROM COLLEAGUES
L to R: Mark Robinson and Marti Cummings co-founded Hell’s Kitchen Democrats (HKD), a new political/activist group. Last Spring. Corey Johnson attended the group’s first meeting of 15 people. Now, HKD has over 100 members.
30 miles north of Boston, when I came out to my family, when I came out at school, I was three months before that literally suicidal. I was clinically depressed and I did not want to live anymore because I couldn’t accept myself and I was scared the world wouldn’t accept me. But I came out and I got the support and love that I needed and ultimately I realized that I deserved. And that one moment of coming out was the chain reaction in a series of events.” Life events broadened Johnson’s perspective and brought him to New York. He concluded, “I will remember where I came from, I will remember the struggles that I faced, I will remem-
ber the adversity, and when difficult decisions have to be made, I will do it remembering all of you of course, but also the folks who aren’t here today, the single mom working two jobs, the public housing resident living in conditions that are not acceptable, the family whose landlord is harassing them, trying to deregulate where they live. I’ll remember these stories.” He also promised that even though there would be good days and tough days, he would do the job “with a smile. I will have fun. I will do this job in an earnest way, in a serious way, and it will get the attention it deserves. But I hope to have a lot of fun with you while at the same time making our city even better.”
Those attending the ceremony who have worked with Johnson in myriad ways, shared with Chelsea Now their experiences: From NY State Assemblymember Deborah Glick: “Going back to when he was a Community Board Chair, we had a number of issues that related to the waterfront we worked on. He’s smart and focused and is going to be very good for the community.” From NY State Assemblymember Richard Gottfried: “One of the reasons I supported Corey when he first ran for the Council was his dedication and the priority he gives to rent and housing. I think as Speaker we’re going to see a lot more movement on protecting the rent laws and tenants’ rights and getting more affordable housing.” From Kyle Bragg, Secretary/Treasurer of 32BJ SEIU: “Corey has been an extraordinary advocate for responsible development and good jobs. I’m very happy to see someone who has both the skills and abilities and the morality to look out for working families in this city, be the Speaker of the NY City Council.” From Christine Berthet, former chair of Community Board 4 and vice-chair of the board when Johnson was chair: “I was immediately captured by his intelligence. We worked together when he was the chair and he was really trying to get all the projects from all the committees worked on, pushing them, making them happen. He’s very inclusive.” Februar y 1, 2018
“I was nervous about raising the $5,000. We raised the five and the checks kept on coming,” said Eric Marcus, who has lived on the block for 24 years and is a block association member. The block association ultimately raised $9,000. Marcus said he was heartened not just by the donations, but also by the number of people who contributed. “St. Peter’s is a key part of our community,” he said by phone. “Our neighbors are committed to community and supporting an institution… that provides services for those in need.” Friedman noted, “Why these sites are important: They’re not just serving their congregation, they’re serving their neighborhoods.”
Since its inception over 30 years ago, the sacred sites program has helped 780 historic religious properties through 1,400 grants, according to Friedman. “We consider this one of the cornerstones of the Conservancy,” Peg Breen, the organization’s president, said by phone. “So many of these buildings are under threat… and I think these are some of the most important in New York and in any community.” St. Peter’s hosts concerts and operas, and the rectory is used for community-based programs — block association meetings, for example — and the church also distributes over 24,000 bags of groceries to residents in need, Harding said. “St. Peter’s has been serving our neighbors since we started,” he said.
“We are so grateful for the support from our neighbors, especially from our block.” Working with the conservancy is great, he said. “Over the years, they have really helped us. Clearly they love the building. They have been extremely generous over the years.” Yeshe Nyingpo’s Theresa Giorgi agreed, saying, “It’s been a wonderful experience” to work with the Conservancy. Giorgi said she contacted them after receiving an estimate of $6,000 to restore the temple’s front door. “We were raising money, but not enough money,” said Giorgi, who has been the general manager of the temple since 1998 and a part of the dharma center since the mid-1980s. The Conservancy said it would meet the temple halfway, providing a $3,000 grant if they could raise the same amount, she said. It took about a year to raise the money, and Yeshe Nyingpo did so by reaching out to its international community. “We have churches all around the world,” she explained by phone. “This is a temple that the Dalai Lama comes to.” The temple maintains a special chair for the Dalai Lama, keeping a photo of him on it to connote that it is his seat, Giorgi noted. Yeshe Nyingpo has called the threestory, red brick row house home since 1976. The landmarked 1846 house was built in the Greek Revival style, according to the release. The temple offers several programs to the community, including instructions and guided sessions of meditation, according to its website. Giorgi called the grant “really important. The [door’s] frame was breaking apart. It was a little bit dangerous.” The door, which is believed to be the original, was susceptible to the elements and the hinges were coming off, she said. Work began on Jan. 22, and Giorgi said it is expected to be completed in about two weeks. For more information, visit nylandmarks.org, stpeterschelsea.org and tersar.org.
for Public Spaces. He is also involved in the theatrical arts and environmental activism. Another question is whether Durst will be a voting member of the board. Under the park act, the borough president designates two of her three appointees as voting members “on a rotating basis.”
Brewer spokesperson Goldston said, “Per the Hudson River Park Trust law, the three members rotate as to who casts the two votes. Since Mr. Durst’s seat was previously vacant, the two existing members held both votes without rotating. Now that Mr. Durst is being appointed, the BP’s office will determine a rotation schedule.”
Durst actually was not present at last Thursday’s regularly scheduled Trust board of directors meeting. According to the Trust, because things must go through “a process,” Durst will not “officially” be appointed until March. A Durst spokesperson confi rmed that is Durst’s understanding, as well.
SITES continued from p. 3
In 1831, what is now the rectory was built, Reverend Stephen Harding, of St. Peter’s, told Chelsea Now by phone. (Merriam-Webster defi nes a rectory as the residence of a parish priest.) For five years, it served as the chapel but it became too small as the congregation grew, and work began on St. Peter’s in 1836. Clement Clarke Moore — known for “The Night Before Christmas” poem, (which is actually titled “A Visit from St. Nicholas”) — effectively donated the land from his estate for the church, which was consecrated in 1838 (indeed, St. Peter’s is sometimes referred to as the “Christmas Church”). Moore was also, at one time, an active member of the church, according to PBS’ “Treasures of New York.” Needless to say, some 180 years later, repairs were needed, and in 2014, the church embarked on an extensive restoration journey. Harding said it took about a year to do condition surveys, file necessary city documents and get approvals, and come up with a restoration plan. The first phase was to fix the church’s roof. “We didn’t want a band aid approach to something crucial,” he said. “It was a major project. We were lucky. We had a lot of help and a lot of generous people.” It took about two years and over $2 million to replace the church’s roof, he said. The church is currently in phase two, repairing and restoring the south wall of the rectory and the sacristy — per Webster, the room where a priest prepares for service — as well as repairing the floor underneath the bell in the tower. St. Peter’s has already completed restoring the south wall of the church as part of this phase, he said. Harding said they are looking to raise $500,000 for this stage. For the New York Landmarks Conservancy’s grants, the institution must fundraise a matching amount. A neighbor said they would anonymously donate $10,000 if the block raised $5,000, Harding said. Enter the 300 West 20th Street Block Association.
DURST continued from p. 6
nation’s first sustainable skyscraper at 4 Times Square and the first LEED Platinum-certified high-rise office tower at One Bryant Park. Douglas Durst serves as a director of the Real Estate Board of New York, The New School, The Trust for Public Land and Project
Februar y 1, 2018
Photo by Jack Slowik
Work being down on the west side of St. Peter’s Chelsea in March 2016.
NYC Community Media
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Februar y 1, 2018
Februar y 1, 2018
NYC Community Media
A Mother Remembers Her Son, Undiagnosed with HCM
Courtesy Carmina Taylor
A table setting at a recent Children’s Cardiomyopathy Foundation function honoring Dorien “DJ” Garnett, who died of sudden cardiac arrest in May, 2009, and was later diagnosed with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.
Heart disease can take more commonly known forms, such as a heart attack or stroke, or manifest itself in more insidious ways, as hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM), a silent — sometimes deadly — thickening of the walls inside a heart. In her own words, here is the story of Carmina Taylor, 46, a consultant in Philadelphia, PA, whose son, Dorien Garnett, died of HCM at age 17 in 2009. I’ll never forget it. It was May 8, 2009, and my son Dorien — we called him DJ — was with his dad and my younger son, Taylor Garnett, in Boston, where DJ was competing in a basketball tournament. I remember I had spoken to DJ on the phone at 5 p.m. Then, at 8 p.m. I got a call from Taylor telling me DJ had passed away. I was in disbelief; I had just spoken
to my son three hours before. I drove from Philadelphia to Boston that night, and when I got to the morgue I saw the most horrible sight a mother could see. My son’s body was cold, so cold that the only place on his body I could kiss him to say a final goodbye was his hair. I talked to the doctors, who couldn’t really explain why my son had suddenly died, except that the indication was that he had some kind of heart failure. They said they would perform an autopsy, which took six agonizing weeks before it was completed and the results were released. When the autopsy was done, they determined that DJ had hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, a disease I had never heard of before. I have since learned that there was a history of heart disease on both sides of DJ’s family, one relative on my side
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had it, two on his father’s side. But my son had played sports his whole life and nothing — not an irregular heartbeat, not shortness of breath — had come up in physicals. We now know that HCM is a genetic mutation of the heart. My son was born with an enlarged heart and over time the ventricles grew thicker and the moment my son died was that the moment that his heart could not pump any more blood through its ventricles. Once I found out that my son died of HCM, I immediately took my younger son and myself to a cardiologist to get tested to see if we had it. The tests revealed that we didn’t; so it was my husband who was the carrier of HCM. I’ve since become an advocate for encouraging families with histories of heart disease to dig deeper and ask
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questions about what type of heart diseases they have had. I don’t want other families to go through what I did. For the past nine years I’ve been involved as a parent ambassador with the Children’s Cardiomyopathy Foundation (childrenscardiomyopathy. org). Our goal is to conduct a mobile tour to travel to around the Philadelphia region to educate minority communities about HCM. There’s no cure, but perhaps we can prolong lives if the disease is detected and treated early. I’ll always think of my son DJ as a hero. I realize now that he was probably experiencing symptoms of heart disease, but he never articulated them at all. It’s up to us as parents to ask the questions, of ourselves, and our families. —By Carmina Taylor as told to James Harney
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Februar y 1, 2018
There’s an Urgent Care Center right on 14th Street. Perfect for us 40-ish skateboarders.
My Mount Sinai is
Mount Sinai Urgent Care Center • 10 Union Square East 646-568-5690 mountsinai.org/unionsquare
Februar y 1, 2018
NYC Community Media
February 1, 2018