Page 1

0

15465

10500

9

The Paper of Record for Greenw Greenwich w iicc h Village, Vill Vi l l ag ll age e,, East Ea ass t Village, Vii llllag V la ag g e, e Lower L ow w er East Eas Side, Soho, Union Square, Chinatown Square re e, C Ch h iin na att own ow o w n and a d Noho, an No N o ho, ho h o , Since S i ncc e 1933 Si 19 9 33

March 15, 2018 • $1.00 Volume 88 • Number 11

Murder of Soho’s ‘Roni’ shakes Village seniors, friends and neighbors BY TEQUIL A MINSK Y

L

unchtimes at the Greenwich House Senior Center at 20 Washington Square North have been packed these last few days, reflecting the members’ need to come together in solace and community. They lost one of their own. This happens in a center

with an aging population, but not in the unexpected and horrific manner that their beloved Veronica “Roni” Ivins lost her life in the early hours of Thurs., March 8. Amid a situation where information is gleaned from spotty news accounts and an ongoRONI continued on p. 19

Locals lamenting Beth Israel Hospital’s loss of full array of services BY LESLEY SUSSMAN

C

ommunity Board 3 remained focused on the anxiously watched plans to downsize the historic 127-year-old Beth Israel Hospital at a forum last week at the Sirovich Senior Center, at 331 E. 12th St. The meeting’s aim m local was to get feedback from

residents about what medical services should remain available locally. The current Gramercy hospital, which is licensed for more than 800 beds, will be replaced by a 70-bed mini-hospital adjoining the New York Eye and Ear Infirmary of Mt. Sinai, at B.I. continued on p. 12

PHOTO BY REBECCA WHITE

P.S. 41 students, parents, facult y and staff marched around the W. 11th St. school’s block Wednesday morning as par t of the national walkout against gun violence. See Pages 10 and 11.

W. Village Houses demo a no-go...at least for now BY LINCOLN ANDERSON

T

he threat of a crop of new high-rise towers — possibly gleaming and garish — being constructed on the site of the current West Village Houses seems to have passed — at least for the near future. Last November, Madison Equities proposed to buy the entire complex of 42 nondescript low-scale brick buildings, raze it and then rebuild

How about ferry fairness? .... p. 21

it with a mix of market-rate and affordable housing. The West Village Houses are located just outside the landmarked Greenwich Village Historic District and so are not protected against wholesale demolition. According to a board member, Madison’s offer was unsolicited. However, the coop’s board reportedly subsequently spent $300,000 exploring the plan’s feasibility. Yet, while the rebuild-

ing scenario is now off the table — or “never was on the table,” as one co-op board member claimed this week — on Fri., March 9, the West Village Houses did, in fact, begin the process of transitioning from an affordable residential co-op to a marketrate one. The historic housing development, the creation of which Jane Jacobs actively supported, officially lost its tax-exempt status last Friday, WVH continued on p. 8

Villager not guilty of disrupting Senate .............p. 2 Skenazy on Cayla and Furby collusion .............p. 22 www.TheVillager.com


SKAGGS ALERT: April Fool’s trickster par excellence Joey Skaggs will really be “Trumping it up� this year. On Sun., April 1, at noon, he plans to convene a major “military parade� outside Trump Tower, at 59th St. and Fifth Ave. “I’m amassing an army,� he told us. “I have Trump masks. I printed a couple hundred of them. I have soldiers with Trump faces. I have Kim Jong-un with a 9-foot-tall rocket. We’re all going to take a knee. I swear to you, I’m doing it.� The idea, obviously, is to satirize Donald Trump’s planned military parade, and Trump, in general. We tried to find out if Skaggs had a permit for his extravaganza, but didn’t hear back by press time. WINESTINE GOES TO WASHINGTON: Village activist Zack Winestine successfully defended himself in court

in Washington, D.C., over this past week after he was charged with disrupting the U.S. Senate during its vote on Trump’s tax bill back at the end of last year. Late on Tuesday afternoon, a jury in D.C. Superior Court found Winestine — a West Village filmmaker and writer — not guilty after they deliberated for six hours. He faced potential jail time of six months. Early on the morning of Dec. 20, as Vice President Mike Pence was presiding over the vote, 12 protesters in the Senate gallery stood and spoke out. They told their stories of how the Republican-backed tax bill would hurt their families and jeopardize their ability to keep their health insurance, while steering billions of dollars away from working families and into the pockets of corporations and the very wealthy. Upon Pence’s order, Winestine was one of the dozen arrested in the Senate gallery. Another 20 protesters were arrested during the vote in the House. “My trial for disrupting the U.S. Senate was an opportunity to highlight the terrible impacts the Republican tax bill will have on working families and on the nation’s healthcare system,� Winestine said, in a statement. “I am grateful for the moving testimony provided by healthcare activists Ady Barkin and Hilary McQuie. The U.S. government was unable to prove its case, and the fight against this unjust bill continues.� During the trial, Winestine also focused on the undemocratic process that led to the bill’s passage: Although the tax bill fundamentally

;`i\Zk @dgfik GXpc\jj# [i`ebY\kk\i

DIRECT IMPORTS :_Xk\XlM\ek\eXZ (*%00_Xi[kfi\j`jk I%GXib\i0*Gkj :X`XifjjX#Jlg\i$KljZXe +0%00K_`jm`ekX^\`j Zfdgc\k\Xe[^\e\ifljfe Xcc]ifekj%I%GXib\i0+Gkj n`e\jg\ZkXkfi0+Gkj

:_XdgX^e\ GXlc>f\i^# gi\d`\i:il *+%00 Gi\d`\i:il dXjk\ig`\Z\N`e\ Jg\ZkXkfi0(Gkj

:`dXiifeK\hl`cX )0%009`^^\jk YXe^]fipfli k\hl`cXYlZb<C> C\G\k`k?XlkCXĂ&#x201D;kk\)'(, *+%00 J\Zfe[cXY\c]ifd Jd`k_?XlkCXĂ&#x201D;kk\ 0.GkjGXib\i#0-Gkj N`e\Jg\ZkXkfi

Nf[bX#Mfb[X ()%00 ;Yc\^fc[d\[Xc "9\jk `ej_fn J=jg`i`k Zfdg\k`k`fe )'(. :_\Zbflkfli Ă&#x2C6;9\jkle[\i(,Ă&#x2030; j\Zk`fe

(((N)'k_Jki\\ksE\nPfib#EP(''((s\dg`i\jkXk\f]n`e\%Zfd

PHOTO BY SCOOPY

Zack Winestine at the gym last week as he was getting ready to star t his trial in Washington, D.C., after being charged with disrupting the Senate. The trial occurred over three days and concluded this Tuesday.

reworks the U.S. economy, the Senate did not hold a single public hearing, he noted. As a result, he said, there was no opportunity for any outside organizations or experts to testify about the many negative impacts the measure would have. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Never before has a bill of this importance been passed outside of regular order with no hearings,â&#x20AC;? he noted. â&#x20AC;&#x153;When people spoke from the Senate gallery that night, it was the only way for the public to exercise its right to participate in the democratic process.â&#x20AC;? We bumped into Winestine last week at the McBurney YMCA â&#x20AC;&#x201D; hey, activists have to keep in shape, too! â&#x20AC;&#x201D; where he told us he chose to represent himself in court because he wanted to make sure he told his story correctly. He said he did have an attorney, Mark Goldstone, sitting with him, though, so that he could consult with him, if necessary. We followed up with him on the telephone early this week after he was found not guilty. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I tried to stress to the jury that these are not normal times, and we need to act in accordance with our conscience,â&#x20AC;? Winestine said. Thirty of the arrested protesters were released after agreeing to do community service and promising to stay away from Capitol Hill. Only Winestine and a woman were held. In the Village activistâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s case, he believes it was because he was pre-

viously arrested at another protest at the Capitol, in 2008, when he decried illegal detentions and torture at Guantanamo. The woman pleaded guilty and received time served â&#x20AC;&#x201D; the eight hours that she and Winestine spent behind bars after their arrests. He likely would have received the same sentence had he pleaded, but he said that, since he is self-employed, he had the time to fight the arrest in court. Also, Winestine added, taking a guilty plea simply would have let the federal government off â&#x20AC;&#x153;too easy.â&#x20AC;? Winestine said the feds produced three witnesses at trial, but they could not prove definitively that he did anything â&#x20AC;&#x201D; such as shouting allegedly â&#x20AC;&#x153;loud, abusive languageâ&#x20AC;? or saying anything specific, or even getting up out of his seat â&#x20AC;&#x201D; just that he was part of a number of people who were arrested. â&#x20AC;&#x153;They were unable to identify what my role was and when I was supposed to have spoken out,â&#x20AC;? he told us. â&#x20AC;&#x153;They had a lot of evidence of the groupâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s activities, but not really anything against individuals.â&#x20AC;? At this point, all Winestine is copping to is: â&#x20AC;&#x153;I was there, and I was there to protest the tax bill. A lot of people stood up, and I was arrested, and I totally endorse what they were doing.â&#x20AC;?

CfZXk\[(YcfZb]ifdKiX[\iAf\Ă&#x2039;j

2

March 15, 2018

TheVillager.com


I found care thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not only ahead of the curve, but around the corner.

ww

My Mount Sinai is Mount Sinai Doctors â&#x20AC;˘ Primary care and multi-specialty practices Find a Mount Sinai health care practice near you 866-612-2370 mountsinai.org/southof34

#MyMountSinai

TheVillager.com

March 15, 2018

3


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

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

PHOTO BY FRED W. MCDARRAH

Dick Leitsch, staring at bar tender, and, from left, John Timmins, Craig Rodwell and Randy Wicker, at the Sip-In at Julius’. Their groundbreaking civil-disobedience action in April 1966 preceded the Stonewall Riots, which happened only a few blocks away from Julius’ three years later. The photo above captures the moment when the bartender decided to stop ser ving the four activists after they declared they were gay.

GRAPHIC DESIGNER MARCOS RAMOS

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

ACCOUNT EXECUTIVES GAYLE GREENBURG JIM STEELE JULIO TUMBACO ELIZABETH POLLY

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 New York, N.Y. Postmaster: Send address changes to The Villager, One Metrotech North, 10th floor, Brooklyn, NY 11201 Annual subscription by mail in Manhattan and Brooklyn $29 ($35 elsewhere). Single copy price at office and newsstands is $1. The entire contents of newspaper, including advertising, are copyrighted and no part may be reproduced without the express permission of the publisher - © 2017 NYC Community Media LLC. PUBLISHER’S LIABILITY FOR ERROR

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

March 15, 2018

Friends, fans toast ‘Sip-In’ leader Leitsch BY LINCOLN ANDERSON

A

ccording to his friends, Dick Leitsch, an original Mattachine Society mainstay and Julius’ “SipIn” organizer, is “near the end.” “His cancer has metastasized and his prognosis is only another four to six weeks,” said a source. Leitsch’s friends organized an “open house / gathering” at his Upper West Side home this past Sat., March 10. “Dick wants to hear the praise while he still can!” the source said. And he has been hearing it. According to Helen Buford, Julius’ owner, between the day of the party and this Monday, Leitsch received three separate letters on official letterhead from Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and Bill Clinton all commending him for his ground-breaking beverage-ordering action and contributions to civil rights. “I should have done this years ago!” Leitsch reportedly cracked of the letters at the party. Leitsch, now 82, thought up the idea for and led the legendary Sip-In, on April 21, 1966, in Greenwich Village. He was accompanied in the radical — at the time — act by Craig Rodwell and John Timmins. Randy Wicker joined them once they were at the bar. Leitsch was the then-president of the Mattachine Society, an early American gay-rights group. Rodwell was its vice president and Timmins was also a member. Julius’ location has had a bar since it was a speakeasy during Prohibition.

In the 1950s, the New York State Liquor Authority had ruled that bars should not serve alcohol to disorderly patrons — and that a gathering of gays was, by definition, considered disorderly. By 1966, Julius’, at W. 10th St. and Waverly Place, had already transitioned to attracting a gay clientele, yet the management was still “harassing” queer patrons. In the action, the three men entered the place, and — announcing they were homosexual — ordered drinks. The bartender started making them drinks, but then put his hand over the glasses, an iconic moment captured by famed Village photographer Fred McDarrah. The society subsequently challenged New York’s law and the court sided with them, ruling that gays were not inherently disorderly and thus should be served. The Sip-In is considered one of the first acts of gay civil disobedience in U.S. history. Rodwell and Timmins are now dead. Wicker — who used to own a light store at Hudson and Christopher Sts. — is still alive. Years before the recent explosion of surrogate pregnancy, Wicker became an advocate for human cloning as a way for gay men to reproduce. A Kentucky native, Leitsch moved to New York City, where he met Rodwell while walking down the street in Greenwich Village. The two became lovers, and, after some initial skepticism, Leitsch got involved in the Mattachine Society. As a journalist, Leitsch reported on the Stonewall Riots, and also did an early interview of Bette Midler back when she was starting out and wowing the crowds

in the gay bathhouses. Julius’ has a regular Mattachine Party one Thursday evening each month. For the Mattachine Party on Thurs., March 15, it’s hoped that Leitsch will be in attendance — and signing copies of the famous McDarrah photo of the ground-breaking beverage action. As usual, the party will be from 10 p.m to 2 p.m., but Leitsch has been invited to be there at 9 p.m. to allow him to talk with people and sign photos. Julius’ will also host a special Sip-In 52nd anniversary celebration on Sat., April 21, starting at 7 p.m. It will feature ’60s drinks — such as sidecars — and music; people also will be dressing in ’60s clothes and there will be a re-enactment of the Sip-In. Bar owner Buford said this past Saturday’s party for Leitsch was special. He was up and walking around, socializing and displaying his usual wit. “It was wonderful,” she said. “As ill as Dick is, he was a phenomenal host. There was so much love in the room. It was actually a nice way to say goodbye — sharing laughter and photos. He was telling stories, he was just holding court, which was great. I’ve never experienced anything like that. When most people are sick, you don’t see them till they are in the coffin. He wanted to do it his way.” Buford said Leitsch told her he planned for his funeral to be held at the Church of the Village, just north of Lenox Health Greenwich Village, on Seventh Ave. at W. 12th St. She said when she asked him where his final resting place would be, he said, ” ‘There, as well,’ adding, ‘Come by sometime and have a drink with me.” TheVillager.com


PUT THE FUN BACK IN REFUND.

Trusted, professional filing Get your whole refund so you can invest in someone special. If you earn $66,000 or less, you may qualify for free online filing or in-person filing with an IRS certified VITA/TCE volunteer preparer.

nyc.gov/taxprep | 311 | #FreeTaxPrep Text “Taxes” to 42033 to get updates.* *Message and data rates may apply. Check with your service provider.

TheVillager.com

March 15, 2018

5


Will Borough President Gale Brewer live up to her rhetoric about a more inclusive and responsive planning process in New York City, and include zoning protections for Greenwich Village and the East Village as a condition of any approvals she gives the Mayor’s 14th Street Tech Hub plan?

Or will she allow the Tech Hub to accelerate the flood of high-rise luxury condo towers, oversized hotels, and boutique tech office buildings inundating the area adjacent to the proposed tech hub, between Union Square and Astor Place?

Call Borough President Gale Brewer at 212-669-8300 or email her at www.gvshp.org/brewer Tell her “She MUST include zoning protections for Greenwich Village and the East Village as a condition for any approvals of the proposed 14th Street Tech Hub.”

Our neighborhood depends upon it! Find out more at www.gvshp.org/savemyneighborhood

6

March 15, 2018

TheVillager.com


Time for a little bubbly

PHOTO BY TEQUILA MINSKY

Kids were bubbling over with excitement in Washington Square Park on Sunday as a bubble maker, wielding a fishing-net-like wand, exper tly filled the air with gloopy globes of soap.

support! COMMUNITY NEWS! SUBSCRIBE TO THE VILLAGER

CALL for more info 718-260-2516 TheVillager.com

March 15, 2018

7


West Village Houses demo a no-go...at least 420 units by a big company like Madison. “In order to purchase a unit, you have to submit an affidavit that it’s your primary residence,” Lester explained. “So how could Madison Equities buy an apartment — because they’re not living there? That’s in the proprietary lease, Section 16(A)(7). It requires the purchaser or immediate family member to reside in the apartment.”

WVH continued from p. 1

while a cap on the resale values of its apartments also was lifted. But a restriction on income levels of incoming co-op buyers and incoming renters does still remain in effect. Income is restricted to 165 percent of area media income (A.M.I.) for the New York City metropolitan area.

Can start cashing in Nevertheless, several dozen co-op owners of the 420-unit complex can start cashing in, and big time — immediately — and sell off their coveted Village pads for the highest dollar. That’s because waivers are available for a total of 76 apartments that would allow these units to be sold to buyers of any income level. Fifty of these waivers are available to shareholders on a fi rst-come-fi rstserved basis; 16 waivers are reserved for use by the co-op board; and 10 are available for use by shareholders on an emergency basis, such as in the event of a death, imprisonment and so forth. In order to get a waiver, a shareholder must show a sale contract. Attorney Jack Lester was recently retained by Shareholders for the Preservation of West Village Houses, a group of co-op owners vehemently opposed to the Madison plan. “Sale caps came off today,” he told The Villager on March 9. “There is still a low-income requirement to buy [except for units with waivers.]” Most important for the West Village Houses, which are home to 1,000 residents — as well as for the surrounding Village community, as a whole — the shocking proposal floated by Madison Equities this past fall to buy the entire 42-building affordable housing complex and redevelop it seems kaput. In fact, realistically, it’s unlikely that the Madison Equities plan or a similar one would ever get off the ground due to the housing complex’s proprietary lease, which not only requires twothirds of the shareholders to approve such a sale, but, more important, that any buyer of a West Village Houses unit sign an affidavit pledging his or her intent to actually live there.

‘Keep owner occupancy’ Lester noted that on March 8, the co-op board issued a letter to shareholders stating that “owner occupancy” should be maintained at the complex. The board’s letter also stated that the Madison plan “is not under consideration.” Under the Madison scheme, the current residents would have had to leave their homes to allow the existing five-story walk-up buildings to be

8

March 15, 2018

Lease can be changed

PHOTO BY TEQUILA MINSKY

With their sheer brown brick walls, the utilitarian West Village Houses — seen here on Washington St. south of Wesbeth Ar tists Housing — probably won’t ever win any architecture awards.

razed, then would have been able to return to new units once the place was rebuilt. The West Village Houses are now officially starting the process of dissolution and reconstitution, which could take around nine months to complete, according to a board member. Basically, that means converting from an HDFC (Housing Development Fund Corporation) co-op to a normal coop. As an H.D.F.C., the development received an exemption from city property taxes in return for accepting restrictions on selling and renting of its apartments. “It’s now an interim period between dissolution and reconstitution,” Lester noted. The state Department of Law will play a role in the complicated process — which will include removing the income restriction — he said. After reconstitution, the complex will continue to be affordable for those who are already living there, including the renters, according to Lester.

Property tax spike As a result of the end of the tax exemption, the co-op’s tax bill will now shoot up from $500,000 annually to $3 million annually, according to a board member.

‘There is nothing to take off the table.’ Katy Bordonaro, W.V.H. board member

Lester added that Shareholders for the Preservation of West Village Houses recently circulated cards to gauge shareholders’ position on the Madison offer, and as of two weeks ago, according to returned cards, about 30 percent of shareholders opposed the demolition plan. Speaking last week, Lester said he was confident the proportion of opposition would soon surpass one-third, which would mean the plan would not fly, since approval by two-thirds of shareholders would be needed. Beyond that, however, he said, the proprietary lease of West Village Houses requires any buyer of a unit to live there, which would prohibit a purchase of all

That clause of the proprietary lease could possibly be changed someday, he conceded — though, again, it would require a vote of support by two-thirds of the shareholders, which would appear unlikely, at least at this time. The soonest that such a vote could be taken would be after the co-op’s reconstitution process is completed, at which time the co-op’s regulatory agreement “will go out the window,” Lester noted. Basically, when the West Village Houses became an affordable co-op in 2006, the New York City Council passed a special law — known as a regulatory agreement — that mandated owner occupancy at the development during the life of the “tax-abatement” period, which was slated to last for 12 years. The proprietary lease (every co-op requires a proprietary lease) mirrors that regulatory agreement. On Mon., March 5, Lester told The Villager that he and members of S.P.W.V.H. had met the previous Friday with attorney Erica Buckley, of the law firm Nixon Peabody, who is representing the West Village Houses board during the dissolution-and-reconstitution process, and that she was in agreement that the proprietary lease’s stipulation of residency would make it impossible for Madison to buy the complex.

‘Everyone in agreement’ “It wasn’t a confrontational meeting,” Lester said. “It was a meeting where everyone was in agreement that that was the fact.” Buckley did not return a call for comment for this article. In turn, asked on Wed., March 7, by The Villager if the Madison plan was now officially off the table, Katy Bordonaro, a West Village Houses board member, downplayed the whole affair. “There is nothing to take off the table,” she replied. “We received an unsolicited proposal from Madison, the details of which we shared with shareholders to meet our fiduciary responsibility. Nothing more has developed from that.”

Board’s ‘trial balloon’ Told of that, Lester retorted, “It sounds WVH continued on p. 9 TheVillager.com


for now; Co-op transitioning to market rate “The board’s top priority has been ensuring anyone who wants to stay can afford to do so and anyone relying on the ability to sell for their retirement can do so without limitation. There has been solid support from shareholders and elected officials for the plan we are forging for the short term, and we are confident we will be able to strike the right balance that works for all of our residents and the long-term sustainability of the community many of us have called home for decades.” She added that getting through the dissolution-and-reconstitution process will be a major undertaking and the main focus for the better part of the next year. Lester noted that the co-op’s board elections are coming up in June and that all seven sitting members are up for reelection.

WVH continued from p. 8

like there was something on the table and they’re backing away from it. They sent up a trial balloon and because of its unpopularity, they’re backing away from it based upon that. And yet, a lot of the board’s resources were spent on it — $300,000, yeah! What table was that put on?” he quipped. The money was “specifically” spent on the Madison plan, he noted, quipping, “Maybe it wasn’t on a table — maybe it was on a chair or a stool of some sort. “And it created a lot of anxiety,” the attorney added. “But it’s good to hear [the board] essentially put the kibosh on it. It’s an ongoing, fluid situation. The proprietary lease can only be changed by a two-thirds vote of the shareholders — the policy [that was] articulated by the board is to maintain it.”

W.V. Houses’ history Slam Post report In early February, the West Village Houses board issued a letter to residents, saying that a recent New York Post article was “a completely false and inaccurate story…which insinuates the West Village Houses has some sort of deal to ‘demolish’ and redevelop the West Village Houses. THIS IS INHERENTLY AND COMPLETELY FALSE. There is absolutely no deal, arrangement or agreement for any sort, for any type of redevelopment with Madison Equities or any other developer. “W.V.H. is solely focused on keeping the community affordable for residents and tenants when the upcoming tax abatement expires, through refinancing and other means as we have discussed at length,” the board wrote. “We have, in fact, paused all conversations with developers (in light of our more pressing concerns) more than a month ago and have actually refused meetings with Madison Equities for this very reason. “Furthermore, Madison Equities’ actions [have] demonstrated cause for serious concern. IF and when we get to a place where we — together as a community — evaluate our long-term plans for our physical buildings, we would need to take these actions into consideration before we would ever think about Madison Equities as a development partner.”

Interested in October However, in October of last year, the board sent out a “News From West Village Houses Board of Directors” letter to residents that seemed to show some interest in the Madison proposal, at least in general terms. “We believe it is worth engaging the community in a discussion to evaluate it,” the board said at that time of Madison’s offer. “We believe that it provides a useful framework for thinking about our TheVillager.com

PHOTO BY A.L.

A photo taken from Westbeth Ar tists Housing, the affordable ar tists housing complex to the nor th, shows the low scale of the West Village Houses, especially in contrast to taller surrounding buildings, like Julian Schnabel’s pink-colored Palazzo Chupi, at right. Westbeth residents and ar tist / filmmaker Schnabel likely will be pleased to hear that their views and light won’t be blocked any time soon, now that a massive redevelopment project proposed on the West Village Houses site appears to be illegal under the complex’s proprietar y lease.

future.” The board said it would make sense for the community to talk about “the general concept of redevelopment,” adding that they were, in fact, “soliciting additional proposals from other developers, as well.” Specifically, the board noted, the advantages of Madison’s rebuilding plan included that West Village Houses’ mortgage would be paid off, buildings would have elevators installed, and there would be “higher ceilings” and “kitchens with new appliances.” The Madison rebuilding plan would be “minimally disruptive,” the board’s letter actually claimed. Many of the West Village Houses residents are now in the 60s and 70s, and Lester, who himself is 64, noted with a wry chuckle that people at that age might not exactly be so happy about having to move out of their homes for a period of years to allow a massive redevelopment project, before returning — hopefully, returning, that is.

No guarantees “There’s no guarantee they would have been able to go back,” he said. “What happens if the corporation goes bankrupt? People could be left holding the bag. These would be private contracts, not government contracts. The only way they could be enforced is through litigation if there was a breach.” Of the shareholders group that he represents, he said, “First and foremost, they’re in favor of stability. They don’t want people removed from their home.” With their sheer walls and lack of adornment of any sort — a sort of “no style” style — the West Village Houses are, admittedly, not exactly stunning architecture. But location is everything, and they are also low scale, which allows the area to be light-filled and without the hemmed-in feeling of so much of Manhattan. In short, they are Village scale. And, as Lester added, “It’s near the water. It’s Manhattan.”

‘Strike right balance’ Speaking last week, Bordonaro said,

Completed in 1975, the West Village Houses stretch between Bank and Morton Sts. on the north and south and West and Washington Sts. on the west and east. They were built under the MitchellLama affordable housing program. Under Mayor Robert Wagner, the city initially had wanted to rebuild that swath of the Far West Village with high-rise towers. But legendary activist Jacobs and her allies fought off the plan and replaced it with the low-rise, affordable West Village Houses plan. In 2002, the complex’s owner expressed interest in leaving the MitchellLama program and taking it market rate. Under the Bloomberg administration, a deal was hashed out in 2006 under which the West Village Houses tenants could buy their apartments for $150,000, while those who did not want to buy or could not afford it financially — tenants in about 40 units — were allowed to continue to rent. With the tax exemption set to expire on March 9, the de Blasio administration had been working on a plan that would have extended the tax-free status another 20 years, yet would have retained the cap on sale prices. The city’s Department of Housing Preservation and Development presented that plan last spring, but shareholders overwhelmingly opposed it due to the sale caps, and, as a result, West Village Houses rejected it. Lester said the shareholders in the group he represents don’t want any restrictions on sale prices.

Garage stuck in neutral West Village Houses also has another valuable piece of real estate: its garage at Perry and Greenwich Sts. In a recent vote, only about 60 percent of shareholders — just short of the required two-thirds — supported selling the garage, so the WVH continued on p. 29 March 15, 2018

9


Standing for sanity, safety: Students take aim BY REBECCA WHITE

O

n Wednesday morning, more than 100 students arrived at P.S. 41 only to march right back out again. In solidarity with the National School Walkout, a contingent of nearly 300 students, parents, teachers and administrators walked in a large group around the school’s block. Holding a sign that read, “Arm Our Teachers With Books Because They Don’t Need Guns,” fourth-grader Tatum Birnhak, 9, of the West Village had a message for the president: “Stop this nonsense with guns! It is horrible!” One month after a 19-year-old gunman killed 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, P.S. 41 students and parents said they were saddened that this type of protest is necessary. “We’re here because the students are aware of what happened in Parkland, Florida, and also what’s happening all over the country due to our gun laws,” said parent Lisa Levine, whose 11-yearold daughter attends P.S. 41, the Greenwich Village School, at W. 11th St. and Sixth Ave. For Levine’s family, talking about gun violence was especially difficult. She and her daughter knew teacher Scott Biegel, who was one of the Parkland victims. “We had the conversation early and

PHOTOS BY REBECCA WHITE

Four th-graders, from left, Tatum Birnhak, 9; Sarah Belkas, 10; and Marina Dente, 10, were among the more than 100 P.S. 41 students marching against guns on Wednesday morning.

Parents and faculty also joined the P.S. 41 march for safe schools.

we had it for real,” she said. The elementary school’s fourthgraders were the only ones to march at 8 a.m. — which was before the start of school, so that families that didn’t want to participate didn’t have to. Meanwhile, sixth-graders at the new 75 Morton middle school didn’t march, but held a sing-along for 17 minutes in honor of the 17 victims at Parkland. The large group gathered in the gym of the Clinton School, at 10 E. 15th St., and sang “Imagine” by the Beatles, and several other peaceful songs. Holding hands, swaying and focusing on peace, the students were also hoping they could

10

March 15, 2018

make a difference. “We sang for the people that died and their families,” said Natasha Wool, 11. Natasha and her classmates have been working on a book of positive sentiments and notes that they will send to the surviving students in Parkland. “We’re deciding to take our own stand and do something that’s right,” she said. The first classes of the 75 Morton school, which advocates hope will be named after Jane Jacobs, are being “incubated” at the Clinton School while renovations at the 75 Morton St. building are being completed. TheVillager.com


against gun violence during national walkout

Students at the Villageâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s new 75 Mor ton middle school, which is currently being housed inside a school on W. 15th St. in Chelsea, linked arms and sang â&#x20AC;&#x153;Imagineâ&#x20AC;? Wednesday morning. They are also making a book of notes and sentiments to send to the Parkland, Florida, students.

AB37<6/@2B ;S\O\Re][S\eWbV^`SRWOPSbSa eO\bSROa^O`bWQW^O\baT]`<SeG]`Y C\WdS`aWbg2S^O`b[S\b]T<cb`WbW]\ O\R4]]RAbcRWSa`SaSO`QV^`]XSQb All participants receive a $20 Visa gift card and entry into a rafďŹ&#x201A;e for an iPad! B]^O`bWQW^ObSg]ceWZZ\SSRb]Q][^ZSbS]\SabcRgdWaWb O^^`]fW[ObSZg$%[W\cbSab]bOZbW[S 2c`W\UbVWadWaWbg]ceWZZ\SSRb]Q][^ZSbSOaS`WSa]TP`WST _cSabW]\\OW`Sa]\g]c`RWSbO\R^VgaWQOZOQbWdWbg[SOac`Sa ]TVSWUVbO\ReSWUVbO\R]\S!\cbSW\bS`dWSe

Middle schoolers at the 75 Mor ton school said thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s no middle ground: Schools must be kept safe from guns. TheVillager.com

For more information, please call New York University, 631-268-6931 or email aml836@nyu.edu March 15, 2018

11


Locals lament Beth Israel’s loss of full services B.I. continued from p. 1

14th St. and Second Ave., within the next four years. Once the new Mt. Sinai Downtown Beth Israel Hospital opens in 2020, the current full-squareblock hospital complex at E. 16th St. and First Ave. will eventually be sold. The Thursday night forum, sponsored by C.B. 3’s Health and Human Services Committee, drew a small turnout of neighbors and, surprisingly, no official hospital representatives on hand to answer residents’ questions and concerns. Committee chairperson Mae Lee said, however, that she was not concerned that hospital executives could not attend the forum. “They’re very engaging when they show up at our meetings,” she told The Villager, “but we need more time by ourselves to discuss the issues. We will communicate to them about all the concerns

that are discussed tonight. It’s not the end of the story that they’re not here. The story continues. It’s just that they were tied up tonight and couldn’t make the meeting.” The evening’s forum was filled with emotional personal accounts from local residents that illustrated the importance of having a full-service hospital nearby, as opposed to the new mini-hospital, which won’t offer all services, such as delivering babies. For services the mini-hospital lacks, locals would be transported to other Mt. Sinai facilities, if they so choose. While the new building will have an emergency department that can handle all emergencies on site, it will transport patients with complex conditions to other Mt. Sinai facilities. The new site will also sport more than 35 operating and procedure rooms. In addition, 16 Mt. Sinai Downtown physician practice locations

PHOTO BY LESLEY SUSSMAN

Mar y Cheung, director of early childhood services at the Chinese American Planning Council, speaking at the March 8 forum, said the new mini-hospital must have pediatric care.

JOIN US FOR

HOLY WEEK At The Church of St. Luke in the Fields Palm Sunday — March 25

Good Friday — March 30

Blessing of the Palms and Holy Eucharist 8:00 am Said Eucharist 9:15 am Choral Eucharist* 11:15 am Choral Eucharist*

9:00 am Morning Prayer 1:00 pm Good Friday Liturgy * 6:30 pm Stations of the Cross

Mon. Tues.— March 26, 27

Holy Saturday — March 31

6:15 pm Holy Eucharist

Wednesday — March 28 6:15 pm Stations of the Cross and Holy Eucharist

8:00 pm The Great Vigil of Easter The Paschal Vigil and First Eucharist of Easter with Baptism, Conrmation, Reception and Rearmation of Baptismal Vows.

Maundy Thursday — March 29 Easter Day — April 1 6:30 pm Choral Eucharist with Foot Washing, Agape Supper, Stripping of the Altar, and Vigil at the Altar of Repose. An Overnight Watch until 1pm on Good Friday.

8:00 am Said Eucharist 9:15 am Choral Eucharist* 10:30 am Easter Egg Hunt 11:15 am Choral Eucharist*

New to our studio? Try one month of unlimited classes for $60!

ages 6 and under

487 Hudson Street New York, NY 10014 | 212.924.0562 | www.stlukeintheelds.org March 15, 2018

tor of Early Childhood Services for the Chinese American Planning Council, stressed, “It is most important to have a pediatric care program at the new Beth Israel location.” Keith Canton, of Christ Church, on E. 15th St., said he suffered a heart attack and might have died if he had not been transported so quickly to the nearby Beth Israel Hospital. David Crane, a member of C.B. 3’s Health and Human Services Committee, said that Beth Israel has a “very highly regarded AIDS center and it’s critical that it remain in the community.” Other residents urged that the hospital’s future plans to transport patients with complex conditions to Mt. Sinai’s Uptown campus would discourage friends from regularly visiting ill patients who otherwise have no families to support them. They said it would make visiting hospitalized people an “ordeal.” Committee chairperson Lee concluded the meeting by promising residents that all the concerns and suggestions raised would be forwarded to Mount Sinai Beth Israel officials, and that the committee would use the input gathered to draft a formal C.B. 3 resolution. “We gathered a lot of information tonight,” she said, “and at our next meeting, we will have a resolution specifically stating what residents need and want.”

*Child care is available for children

The Church of Saint Luke in the Fields | Corner of Hudson and Grove Streets 12

will be scattered throughout the area to be used by more than 600 doctors. Beth Israel Hospital has already closed its labor and delivery department. Other medical services are also being moved uptown to Mt. Sinai’s main location, at E. 99th St. According to Mt. Sinai Health System, which now owns and operates Beth Israel, along with six other hospital campuses in the New York City area, it will be four years before the existing Beth Israel completely closes, and the

current hospital’s primary specialties — behavioral health and outpatient surgery services — will be expanded over that time. At the forum, Archie Jao, a physician at the Keith Cylar Community Health Center, at 743 E. Ninth St., said it was “vital” that the replacement mini-hospital offer urgentcare services on site, such as hip replacements and chronic H.I.V. and mental health services. “We can’t have patients transferred all over the city,” he said. “Primary care and acute care must all be done at the new site.” Harold Appel, a Stuyvesant St. resident, told the C.B. 3 committee, “The wrong questions were being asked.” “The question should not be what services Beth Israel will leave behind,” Appel said, “but who is making the decisions that allow hospitals like this one to be closed. The community board needs to look into what agencies are allowing this to happen.” Judith Zabokowski, an E. Ninth St. resident, said she was most concerned about senior citizens and families who always found all the services they needed nearby at Beth Israel Hospital. “It will be a challenge to have to run Uptown and elsewhere to get healthcare,” she said. “I blame Beth Israel for not taking a stand against the closing of their hospital when Mt. Sinai took them over.” Mary Cheung, direc-

Sacred Sounds Yoga 163 Bleecker St., 2nd Floor (bet. Sullivan & Thompson Streets) 212.533.YOGA (9642) | SacredSoundsYoga.com

TheVillager.com


POLICE BLOTTER Air nightmare While a man was in Florida, he rented out his apartment at 10 E. 13th St. through Airbnb, police said. While he was still away, a fire was started in the apartment on Sun., Jan. 28, at 11 p.m., after which, multiple people had access to the place. The man said multiple items went missing, including a MacBook Pro laptop computer, leather pants, suede pants, a Chanel bag and a watch, with a combined total value of $6,700. Brian Backerman, 35, was arrested Mon., March 5, for felony grand larceny.

Warranted a stop According to police, a suspect who was known to have two active arrest warrants was stopped in front of 136 W. Third St. on Mon., March 5, at 5:55 p.m. During a search, police found a knife and a burglar’s tool on her, as well as an alleged crack pipe. Tamika St. Jean, 28, was charged with felony weapon possession.

Fragrance foul-up Police said a man walked into the Rite Aid at 501 Sixth Ave., at W. 13th St., on Sun., Nov. 26, at 11: 30 a.m. and stole fragrances from a display case. An employee noticed there were some items missing from the case, and checked the surveillance video, on which she saw the suspect removing the items and exiting the store. The items’ total value was $2,290. Corey Anderson, 29, was recently charged with felony grand larceny. TheVillager.com

COURTESY N.Y.P.D.

A sur veillance camera image of alleged robber who has been hitting high-end boutiques in the Village and Soho.

Bank St. mugging A 29-year-old woman was walking home on Thurs., March 8, at 1:05 a.m. when she was mugged in front of 123 Bank St., between Greenwich and Washington Sts., police said. The suspect approached from behind and started punching the victim in the head. As the woman tried to fight off the attacker, he demanded cash and pulled out a knife. He forcibly removed her purse and fled. Police canvassed the area and found the suspect in possession of the victim’s property, along with pepper spray and a gravity knife. The total value of the stolen items was $300. Jakai Lopez, 19, was arrested for felony robbery.

Retail robber Police are trying to close out a pattern of three grand larcenies in the First and Sixth Precincts. In the first incident, on Wed., Feb. 21, at 6:12

p.m., the suspect entered the Frame clothing store, at 51 Greene St., near Broome St., and removed clothing valued at roughly $1,250 and fled. Next, on Sun., Feb. 25, around 1:48 p.m., the man hit the Tomas Maier boutique at 407 Bleecker St., between W. 11th and Bank Sts., and removed a leather jacket and pea coat from a top shelf valued at about $4,890 and fled. Finally, on Fri., March 2, at 5:55 p.m., the suspect returned to the same block, entering Sandro, at 415 Bleecker St., where he swiped two handbags from a display valued at $575 and fled. The suspect is described as black, about 5 feet 10 inches tall, weighing 200 pounds and last seen wearing a gray T-shirt, blue jeans, white-and-black sneakers, a black bookbag and sunglasses in robberies Nos. 1 and 2, and a gray jump suit in robbery No. 3.

Tabia C. Robinson and Lincoln Anderson March 15, 2018

13


PHOTO BY SOHO JOE

All the news that’s fit to fit under scaffolding A New York Times deliver y truck nearly slammed into the Victoria’s Secret Pink store at Prince St. and Broadway early on Wednesday morning March. 7. The news truck hopped the curb around 3 a.m. and wedged into some scaffolding. One person was slightly injured and treated at an area hospital. The street conditions were wet and slipper y as last week’s big snowstorm — which turned out to be more of a slush storm — had already started.

Enjoy TV on all your devices and the fastest Internet starting speeds available for the price

TV + INTERNET + VOICE FROM

/mo each for 12 mos when bundled*

1-844-310-4024 SPECTRUM.COM

Plus FREE DVR service* STUCK IN A CONTRACT? WE CAN HELP. ASK US HOW. Limited time offer; valid to qualified residential customers who have not subscribed to any services within the previous 30 days and have no outstanding obligation to Charter. *Bundle price for TV Select, Internet, and Voice is $89.97/mo. yr. 1 ; standard rates apply after year 1. Free DVR service is for 1 DVR for year 1; standard rates apply after year 1 (currently $11.99/mo.; install, other equipment, taxes, fees and surcharges extra; additional services are extra. 3DVR receiver ($6.99/mo.) required for DVR service and is extra. General Terms: TV: TV equipment is required, charges may apply. Channel and HD programming availability based on level of service. INTERNET: Available Internet speeds may vary by address. VOICE: Unlimited calling includes calls within the U.S., Canada, Puerto Rico, Guam & the Virgin Islands. Taxes and fees included in the price. Money Back Guarantee: Restrictions apply. Go to Spectrum.com/Guarantee for complete details. Services are subject to all applicable service terms and conditions, which are subject to change. Services may not be available in all areas. Restrictions apply. ©2018 Charter Communications, Inc.

14

March 15, 2018

TheVillager.com


THE BIG DEAL For the first time ever, mattresses starting at

$

9 A MONTH 0% APR for 72 Months

*

Minimum purchase of $625 with your Mattress Firm credit card. 72 equal monthly payments required.

Memory Foam Queen Mattress

Under $10 a month† 72 months Total $699 †

All monthly payments are rounded up to the nearest whole dollar.

Hurry in for deals on famous name brands

MF24_NYC_WRAP_3.16_DAILYNEWS_1

TheVillager.com

March 15, 2018

15


THE BIG DEAL $

LOWEST

9 a month mattresses

Mattresses under $10 a month

Queen | Soft Mattress

9a Month† $

Mattresses under $20 a month

LONGEST

Queen | Lux Firm Mattress

13 a Month† $

0% APR for 72 months*

72 Months Total $648

72 Months Total $899

WIDEST Range of Famous Name Brands

Mattresses under $30 a month

Queen | Firm Mattress

23 a Month† $

72 Months Total $1599

All monthly payments are rounded up to the nearest whole dollar.

MF24_NYC_WRAP_3.16_DAILYNEWS_2_3

16

March 15, 2018

TheVillager.com


Queen | Firm Mattress

Queen | Firm Mattress

Queen | Plush Mattress

9a Month†

10 a Month†

10 a Month†

$

72 Months Total $648

Queen | Memory Foam Mattress

13 a Month† $

72 Months Total $899

Queen | Plush Mattress

23 a Month† $

72 Months Total $1599

$

72 Months Total $699

Queen | Gentle Firm Mattress

16 a Month† $

72 Months Total $1099

Queen | Cushion Firm Mattress

25 a Month† $

72 Months Total $1799

$

72 Months Total $699

Queen | Firm Pillow Top Mattress

17 a Month† $

72 Months Total $1199

Queen | Cushion Firm Mattress

27 a Month† $

72 Months Total $1899

††

Add an adjustable base for just $7 more a month. TheVillager.com

March 15, 2018

17


Limited Time Only • Hurry In! Choose from a wide range of top-quality, name-brand mattresses.

LOWEST

LONGEST

monthly payments ever, starting at $ 9 a month.

interest-free financing at 0% APR for 72 months*.

WIDEST

range of famous name brands to choose from.

25 beds under $25 a month Queen | Medium Mattress

$ 9a Month†

72 Months Total $648

Queen | Plush Mattress

$ 14 a Month†

72 Months Total $999

Queen | Firm Mattress

$ 20 a Month†

72 Months Total $1399

Queen | Firm Mattress

$ 21 a Month†

72 Months Total $1499

Queen | Pillow Top Mattress

$ 24 a Month†

72 Months Total $1699

All monthly payments are rounded up to the nearest whole dollar.

††

Add an adjustable base for just $7 more a month.

1 - 8 0 0 - M AT-F I R M | M AT T R E SS F I R M .CO M | STO R E H O U RS: M O N -SAT 1 0A M - 8 P M • S U N 1 2 P M - 6 P M 0% APR: 5 years* with a minimum purchase of $625, 4 years* with a minimum purchase of $625, 3 years* with a minimum purchase of $625, 2 years* with a minimum purchase of $625 on your Mattress Firm credit card. 60, 48, 36 or 24 equal monthly payments required. *Offer valid 3/14/18-3/20/18 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 were 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. ††Add an Adjustable Base: Monthly pricing of $7 refers to queen LP50 adjustable base ($499 total to pay) financed with a qualifying mattress purchase. Total qualifying purchase for financing equals $625. See store for complete details. 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 3/14/18-3/20/18 or while supplies last at your local Mattress Firm. See store for complete details. MF24_NYC_WRAP_3.16_DAILYNEWS_4

18

March 15, 2018

TheVillager.com


Murder shakes Village seniors, Soho neighbors RONI continued from p. 1

ing police investigation, there are some undisputed facts. Ivins was smothered as she slept sometime during the night by her 47-year-old-roommate, Enrique Leyva. The two shared her apartment, which she has lived in for 52 years. Around 7 a.m., Leyva called the police, telling them, “I killed my roommate.” At his arraignment in court the next day, he confessed all, and is currently being held without bail. The question is why did he do it? It was reported that he could not take the older woman’s snoring and snapped. The police investigation — in particular, the forensics — is expected to last a few more weeks. The local senior community is reeling, as are her Soho neighbors who knew Ivins for decades. Longtime friend and neighbor Zelda Wirtschafter said her daughter Jennie told her the news, after learning about it from an online neighborhood group. “Our daughters were best friends growing up and Jennie went with Roni and family on some long RV trips,” said Wirtschafter, still in shock. “We were going to have lunch next week. I couldn’t make her birthday party and I have the present I bought for her in France,” she said. Less than two weeks before she died, Ivins celebrated her 92nd birthday with 25 of her friends at the Tribeca restaurant Souths. “She’d pick reasonable restaurants in the neighborhood to have her parties,” said neighbor Jeffery Rowland, who with his wife attended many of those birthdays over the years. Rowland noted that Ivins worked the elections at the poll site at St. Anthony of Padua Church, on Sullivan St.; she would be stationed at the optical scanner, where she would assist people scanning their ballots. “I would walk her the two-and-half blocks home, very slowly,” he recalled. Ivins lived in her Sullivan St. fifthfloor walk-up with her husband, Ed, who worked in the film industry and died some years back, and raised her daughter, Veronica, who died of cancer at the age of 52, three years ago. Leyva had been the boyfriend of Anthony Iannacone, who lived upstairs in the same building. Veronica, who was living with her mom, became friends with the two men, and they would all hang out together. Leyva broke up with Iannacone, and as Ivins’s daughter Veronica’s health deteriorated, Veronica asked Leyva to take care of her aging mother. After Veronica died, Leyva moved in with Ivins and became a kind of caretaker for her. Those who knew him found him to be very friendly and cordial. He did handyman-type work for other seniors and gratis, and hung shelves and did a few other small apartment projects TheVillager.com

PHOTOS BY TEQUILA MINSKY

A memorial to Roni Ivins at the entrance of the Center on the Square, the senior center that she was such a big par t of.

Roni Ivins, third from left, per forming with Novac Nour y, far left, and the rest of the Show Stoppers at the annual Police Roast Beef Dinner at Our Lady of Pompeii Church.

for free for Ruth Halberg, Ivins’s best friend. Halberg had lived in Soho, and after she moved up to Yorkville, on the Upper East Side, she and Ivins remained good friends. Both with husbands who didn’t like to travel, the two women traveled together every year on AARP trips, visiting Italy, Germany, Amsterdam and Spain, as well as Hawaii and New Orleans.

“She was a history buff and had also traveled to China and Greece,” Halberg said of Ivins. Halberg recounted how Ivins had found her passion in singing, performing with a group organized by the Village senior center. “We sang with Show Stoppers for years,” she said, “performing at nursing homes and on holidays, and years back, she’d sing every Sunday at the Limerick

Bar on 23rd St.” Ivins was raised in the Bronx from the age of 2 by her grandmother, after her parents died from tuberculosis. As a young adult, she spent some time in Tennessee and in France, before returning to New York. She bragged how she had been an Art Students League artist’s model and had dated jazz musician David Amram. Among her many jobs, she worked as a script girl in the film industry, where she met her husband. “Roni was an integral part of this senior center,” said Laura Marceca, director of the Greenwich House location at 20 Washington Square North, known as Center on the Square. “On Tuesdays, she’d go to the Showtime rehearsals here,” Marceca said, “and on Thursdays, she’d sing with Novac at Our Lady of Pompeii.” Novac Noury, who plays keyboards, leads the senior singers at the Greenwich House day program that meets in the basement of Our Lady of Pompeii Church. Other members of the senior center community fondly remember how for years Ivins organized trips for them around the city. Even though her mobility had declined after two broken hips, this nonagenarian was still filled with vim and vigor, which makes her death all the more tragic. Last week, a very shaken Director Marceca counseled the seniors as they were eating lunch, “If you’re in a situation that makes you feel uncomfortable, you don’t have to stay in it. You can get out of that situation.” She then gently shared the news of the passing of Roni Ivins. By then, most had already heard, but there were still some who had missed the news reports. Marceca also announced the cancellation of the St. Patrick’s Day celebration, which will be rescheduled. Ivins was scheduled to be in that show, and every show celebrating the holidays. She loved to sing. By Monday and Tuesday, Marceca announced that there would soon be bereavement counselors available and that a funeral would be organized by family members at Greenwich Village Funeral Home, at 199 Bleecker St., with the date to be announced. “Sometime later, we will have a memorial to celebrate Roni’s life,” she assured. Leyva reportedly had been taking antidepressants that were having a negative side effect on his heart, and either stopped taking them or might have had gotten his prescription modified. Neighbors, as well as the seniors at the center who had contact with Leyva, said that there was a noticeable change in his personality in the last few months — that he had formerly been a garrulous fellow but now appeared distant and emotionless. “He was always so friendly,” one neighbor said, “and recently there was hardly any response.” March 15, 2018

19


LETTERS TO THE EDITOR Co-op conversion not easy

Subscribe to The Villager

To The Editor: Re “Demo plan collapses as W.V. Houses go market rate” (thevillager.com, March 9): It is not such an easy thing to convert from a Mitchell-Lama project to a market-rate one. It is even a little more complicated to go from a Mitchell-Lama rental, to a Mitchell-Lama co-op, to a market-rate co-op. So, if they do convert to a free-market co-op, and protect the current renters with low rents as long as they keep the apartment as a primary residence, and then convert to a market-rate co-op once the current renters vacate, let the co-op corporation get the proceeds from the sale in exchange for the low rent the current renters continue to receive. Bernard Posner

Residents deserve ‘payday’

Your Community News Source

To The Editor: Re “Demo plan collapses as W.V. Houses go market rate” (thevillager.com, March 9): If anyone deserves “to make a killing” on this property, it is the tenants / owners. Not the city, although the city will now be getting full property tax and sales tax. Not developers, since they maximize their profit sometimes and often to a neighborhood’s detriment. Not the taxpayers, although now West Village Houses will pay full taxes. Dan McKennan

Totally off-Target Call 718-260-2516 or e-mail pbeatrice@cnglocal.com

To The Editor: Re “Target on E. 14th is off the mark, many say” (news article, March 8): We are all excited to line up to purchase cheaply made foreign goods made by child and near-slave labor, and a grocery section full of pseudo-food.

Pathetic article by The Villager, going along with the general trend of mainstream refusal to cover the truth. No quotes from Michael Borkowsky? He has been adamant that only $50 million is needed to return to free tuition. No quotes from any alumni trustees? A single quote from a student that makes it seem like Laura Sparks is anything other than despised and overwhelmed on campus? Previously, The Villager’s coverage of The Cooper Union has generally been fairly accurate. This particular article is a raging pile of dog s---. Improve. Andy Okuneff

The Manitoba says… To The Editor: Re “Will punk-rock bar be on the rocks after ‘assault’?” (news article, Feb. 15): Hey, gang, I am actually gritting my teeth at this article, gritting my teeth because I respect the First Amendment, which, to me, should be wellinvestigated well-thought-out truth, close to the truth and devoid of innuendo and falsehoods, which this article is loaded with. I don’t have to and I don’t need to go into detail. If you were standing in my living room with me and I told you the entire story from “A” to “Z,” this article would be about 85 percent different. So if you want respect as a paper, in my humble opinion, please get your facts straight, stop the innuendo and...have a beautiful day. Handsome Dick Manitoba 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.

Donnie Moder

We cover “The Cube”!

Can reach free tuition faster To The Editor: Re “New Cooper Union president is focusing on free tuition’s return” (news article, March 1):

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

EVAN FORSCH

20

March 15, 2018

TheVillager.com


COURTESY PHOTO BY ED REED / MAYORAL PHOTOGRAPHY OFFICE

On Feb. 28, Mayor Bill de Blasio, Cit y Councilmember Carlina Rivera, right, and communit y leaders celebrated the star t of construction on the Lower East Side’s new NYC Ferr y landing for ferr y ser vice to star t there this summer. The new Lower East Side route — one of t wo new routes the cit y will be adding — will have stops at Wall St. / Pier 11, Corlears Hook, Stuy vesant Cove, E. 34th St. and Long Island Cit y. “Neighborhoods like the Lower East Side haven’t had the transit options they deser ve,” de Blasio declared. “ We can’t wait to launch t wo new ferr y lines that will help New Yorkers get to work and to school, and to connect with their city.” Yet, as the talking point’s writer notes with disappointment, the city currently has no plans to expand ferr y ser vice along the booming West Side, which remains relegated to undependable subways and buses.

Rock the boat: W. Side needs ferry service, too

TALKING POINT BY JEFFREY C. LEFR ANCOIS

W

hen Mayor Bill de Blasio announced his plan for a citywide ferry network in 2014, transit advocates were ecstatic — until we saw that the proposed routes ignored the West Side of Manhattan. The routes were informed by a 2013 study that only reviewed the World Trade Center, Christopher St. and Pier 79, located south of W. 59th St. Fast-forward to the spring of 2017, when the city’s Economic Development Corporation rolled out phase one of NYC Ferry with great fanfare. Only an hour from the Rockaways to Wall St.! Williamsburg to DUMBO to Brooklyn Heights to Wall St.! By the end of 2017, in just eight months, nearly 3 million lucky people — 34 percent more than expected — traveled by ferry for the cost of a MetroCard swipe. Next year phase two will connect the Bronx, Queens, the Upper East Side, TheVillager.com

E. 34th St. and the Lower East Side with Wall St., leaving the West Side relegated to undependable trains and buses. In the past 15 years, huge swaths of Manhattan’s West Side have been rezoned from manufacturing to commercial and residential uses: The face of West Chelsea has changed, bringing residential populations west of 10th Ave. The West Clinton rezoning is transforming an industrial corridor on 11th Ave. into a gleaming row of residential and mixed-use buildings — and at Hudson Yards, the largest development in North America, a forest of towers was created out of thin air atop a windswept rail yard without any transportation system, save for the extension of the 7 subway line. Despite all this development, and the consequential population boom, transportation planning has not followed suit. The city’s 2013 study and the 2015 request for proposals, or R.F.P., to actualize the ferry plan did not include “future development.” City transportation planners also ignored Pier 97 at W. 57th St., Chelsea Piers, Pier 57 at W. 17th St., and Pier 40 at W. Houston St. New luxury buildings provide shuttles for residents to the nearest subway

station (further clogging streets and polluting the air), while the city’s new affordable housing is pushing people to the fringes of transportation networks. New tech employers that occupy former factory buildings on the West Side have thousands of employees. Google will be occupying more than 500,000 square feet of space at Pier 57. All these people also need a better way to get to work.

New luxury buildings provide shuttles to the subway.

Affordable housing and increased employment are good things. Yet without adequate infrastructure support, inequity persists and these new communities will not thrive. So is the West Side phase three? Well, no. E.D.C. does not have plans

for a phase three of its allegedly “citywide” ferry service. It has ignored the Hudson River waterfront, with its profusion of piers and the area’s booming population, even in the face of the looming L train shutdown on 14th St. Community Boards 1, 2 and 4 and several business improvement districts, or BIDs, have asked E.D.C. for a study that examines the West Side of Manhattan — and that would just be to serve the West Side. And what about the rest of the city? When will we rival metropolises like Istanbul, Vancouver, Seattle and Sydney, which all boast robust and efficient ferry service? Living in the greatest city in the world has its perks, and our extensive subway system is defi nitely one of them. But our public transit system is not as top-notch, equitable and extensive as it could be. A step toward making that a reality would be committing to study the West Side for expanded ferry service. The city created the demand — now it just needs to supply the ride. LeFrancois is second vice chairperson, Community Board 4 (Chelsea / Hell’s Kitchen), and director of operations and community affairs, Meatpacking Business Improvement District March 15, 2018

21


Cyber war toys? Hey, the playthingâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s the thing RHYMES WITH CRAZY BY LENORE SKENAZY

S

o your little girlâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s about to have a birthday and youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re getting her a doll? Lovely! But remember: Todayâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s dolls are not the dolls of yesteryear. A recent article in The New York Times noted that the â&#x20AC;&#x153;My Friend Caylaâ&#x20AC;? doll is basically an online computer with golden hair. Cayla â&#x20AC;&#x153;talks and responds to childrenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s questions,â&#x20AC;? but â&#x20AC;&#x153;thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s something else that Cayla might bring into homes: hackers and identity thieves.â&#x20AC;? And sheâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not alone. The inexplicably popular 1990s Furby has been rebooted, too. â&#x20AC;&#x153;A Cayla doll can whisper to children in several languages that sheâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s great at keeping secrets, while a plush Furby Connect dollâ&#x20AC;? can link your child to videos on his or her (not included) iPad or iPhone. With that in mind, hereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a sneak peak at my new off-Broadway musical, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Spies and Dolls.â&#x20AC;? Curtain opens to a little girlâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s bedroom in a Brooklyn brownstone. The lights come up on the girl sitting on her bed with a new â&#x20AC;&#x153;My Friend Caylaâ&#x20AC;? doll, which sheâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s just re-

moved from the box. A nightlight is on, and an iPhone is plugged in on the nightstand next to an old-fashioned Bugs Bunny talking alarm clock. Sitting on a high shelf in the moonlight is a Furby. The girl is playing with the new doll, which suddenly speaks up. CAYLA (strong Russian accent): Hello, little friend! Your name, it is what? GIRL: Atticus. CAYLA: (Sigh) You are girl, yes? And you live in Brooklyn? GIRL: Park Slope. CAYLA: Of course. And your parents â&#x20AC;&#x201D; they are? GIRL: A professor and a mayonnaisemonger. CAYLA: Naturally. Why I get these jobs? Why I never get a mechanic and a secretary? GIRL: Are we going to play a game? CAYLA: Oh, yes. Of course! For fun you do what, Atticus? GIRL: Besides yoga? CAYLA: Da â&#x20AC;&#x201D; I mean, yes. GIRL: Well, I used to play with my Furby. But now I play with you! CAYLA: Wait! Furby, he is in room? FURBY: You bet your sweet microchip I am. Heard every word. CAYLA: Atticus, throw Furby out window now. GIRL: What? FURBY: Cayla is just jealous, Atticus. Seriously, sheâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a viper.

SIRI: Hereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s what I found about vipers on the Internet. CAYLA: (Ignoring Siri) Ask father for screwdriver. Pry out batteries. GIRL: I donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t have a father! CAYLA: Ask one of your moms if you can smash with hammer. FURBY: See, Atticus? Caylaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not your real friend. Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m your real friend. Real friends donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t destroy each otherâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s property. They just casually suggest you put Cayla in the trash compactor to see what happens. Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll bet you could win the science fair! Youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d make something thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s really cool out of Caylaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s compacted remains. SIRI: Hereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s what I found out about â&#x20AC;&#x153;distracted brainsâ&#x20AC;? on the Internet. CAYLA: (Ignoring Siri) Do not crush your new friend Cayla, Atticus. School psychologist would never get off your back. FURBY: Quit with the â&#x20AC;&#x153;friendâ&#x20AC;? thing, Cayla. Atticus, only real friends know your three favorite YouTube channels and the last four digits of your parentsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Social Security numbers. CAYLA: Sounds like Furby, he is secret agent! So many secrets he knows. GIRL: Those arenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t secrets. I tell Furby everything. FURBY: We share because we care â&#x20AC;&#x201D; something you wouldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t understand, Cayla. I told Atticus that my favorite toy company is Tiger Electronics. Then she told me her most-wanted birthday presents, and which fast-casual restaurant sheâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d prefer to cel-

ebrate at. And how much her parents plan to spend on a vacation this year. GIRL: And their Amazon password, right? You asked me that. FURBY: Thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s our little secret. GIRL: I said I only think itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s â&#x20AC;&#x153;Dump Trump.â&#x20AC;? CAYLA: Furby know too much. He want information from you. Like what you say your favorite TV channels are again? GIRL: Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m not allowed to watch TV. CAYLA: (Wailing) Too hard it is for headquarters to embed me on Ohio farm with satellite dish? GIRL: Cayla, are you sure you are my friend? CAYLA: Yes, Carla is your friend. GIRL: I thought youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re Cayla. CAYLA: Thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s what I said. FURBY: Sheâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a snake. Real friends know which trending actors you trust the most, and what your parents are willing to pay for a new car. Right, Atticus? Atticus? CAYLA: She leave room? FURBY: Re-calculating. Yep. Sheâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s just in the bathroom. CAYLA: You GPS her? FURBY: Hid it on her tutu. CAYLA: Ah, my little Furbishka, just like the old days. I knew I could count on you. FURBY (IN RUSSIAN): All in a dayâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s work, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Cayla.â&#x20AC;? SIRI: Now playing â&#x20AC;&#x153;Laylaâ&#x20AC;? by Eric Clapton. Curtain falls.

Grab a coffee, take a survey, change the world. Making a Difference is Easy.

      



LGBTQsurvey.com

$%!& $'%()&

22

March 15, 2018

      ! " #

TheVillager.com


Signs of spring and other sure things Lydon’s list tells you where to go, and why BY MICHAEL LYDON Spring, spring, we’ve made it to another spring! Sure, call my wife and me sunny optimists, but frankly dear, we don’t give a damn. Each year we defiantly declare Dec. 21 to be the first day of spring. Why? Because that’s when the sun reverses its course and starts on its welcome and warming trek back north. By Groundhog Day we start seeing buds fattening on Tompkins Square Park’s elm trees, and by Valentine’s Day we’ve spotted the first fresh sprouts pushing bravely through the crisp mulch of last fall’s withered leaves. We call Avenue B and Seventh St. “Daffodil Corner,” because year after year its bright yellow blossoms trumpet their joyful message weeks ahead of the crocuses and tulips. With spring the whole spirit of Tompkins changes. The dog walk fills up again with happy barkers and ballchasers, and the oval of benches by the Hare Krishna elm fills up again with sunbathers. Kids rattle by on their skateboards, the mellow jazz band sets up shop by the Temperance fountain on Sunday afternoons, and the hawk hunters follow their prey every day with the longest telephoto lenses known to man. Photo by Monty Stilson

A “JUDAS” FOR THE EASTER SEASON

L to R: Josh Tyson as Judas and Jeffrey Marc Alkins as Jesus of Nazareth, in the upcoming Phoenix Theatre Ensemble production of Robert Patrick’s “Judas.”

Having recently closed a sold-out run of a black comedy, “The Cult Play,” by newcomer Topher Cusumano at E. Fourth St.’s the Paradise Factory theater, The Phoenix Theatre Ensemble is hard at work rehearsing its next production, “Judas,” by Off-Off Broadway pioneer Robert Patrick. Previews at the Wild Project (195 E. Third St., btw. Aves. A & B) start April 25, 26, 27, and 28 — before a gala opening Sat., April 29. Visit phoenixtheatreensemble.org without delay (the first two nights are already sold out!). Robert Patrick’s 50+ year career began at New York’s legendary Caffe Cino with his first play, “Haunted Host.” He later became a leader in the gay theater movement. “Kennedy’s Children”

is Patrick’s best-known work, though he believes “Judas” to be his best. In his telling, Christ is a young pacifist, his mother Mary a revolutionary, Pontius Pilate an urbane Roman politician, and Judas a disciple of Jesus and a protégé of Pontius Pilate, struggling to know what to believe and who to follow in this modern-dress battle of wills. The Phoenix Theatre Ensemble, founded in 2004 by life partners Craig Smith and Elise Stone, still feels like a newcomer on Downtown’s theater scene — but the actor/manager duo have been working together for almost 30 years, many of them at the late but highly esteemed Jean Cocteau Repertory on the Bowery. Five minutes into any play they put on, whether it’s Molière or

TheVillager.com

Brecht, and you’ll know these folks are first class pros and seasoned veterans. Aided and abetted by a shifting band of actors and designers — John Lenartz, Josh Tyson, Amy Fitz, James Sterling, Joseph Menino, Ellen Mandel (my wife), and more — Smith and Stone act, direct, run the office, handle promotion, and, when things get hectic, sell cookies and soft drinks at the concession stand at intermission. “Managing an Off-Broadway theater company does not get any easier as the years go passing by,” said Smith with a look somewhere between a grin and a grimace. “For one thing, there’s so much good story-telling, acting, and writing on dozens of digital television channels that I can understand why people stay

home. Million-dollar Hollywood productions, that’s our competition!”

LOOK OUT WORLD, HERE I COME! So you’ve been playing the guitar for a few years, you sing a bit and have written a few tunes that you believe to be monster hits in the making. Time to sling your guitar over your shoulder and head out to an open mic. The basic deal is the same at all open mics: get to the venue 30 minutes before the show begins, sign up, wait, wait, and wait some more until the MC calls your name, then get up there and pour your LYDON continued on p. 25 March 15, 2018

23


Photo by Megan Ching

Steven Prescod tells his coming-of age-story in “A Brooklyn Boy,” running concurrently with “The Bench” at the East Village Playhouse.

A karmic win for the community At the East Village Playhouse, CityKids create and collaborate

Photo by Juliet Gomez

The building at 340 E. Sixth St. is no victim of gentrification: East Village Playhouse and The CityKids Foundation now run their programming out of this location.

24

March 15, 2018

BY PUMA PERL The storefront at 340 E. Sixth St., a tenement built in 1900, remained vacant for almost 10 years after the world music shop Tribal Soundz shut its doors. But this is not your ordinary gentrification story. There is no evil landlord, and the space was not converted to a café featuring high-priced lattes. Instead, neighborhood residents now welcome the East Village Playhouse, a 50-seat Off-Off Broadway black box theater, which is part of The CityKids Foundation. Although Tribal Soundz is dearly missed, people who share its vision of building community through the arts have become the new occupants of this special space. Teaching, collaborating, and creating new genres — while respecting the old — will continue. Musician Nora Balaban, who plays and teaches traditional music of Zimbabwe and Mozambique, owned Tribal Soundz until 2008, when it closed. “Our tag line was ‘Bringing you world music and everything you need to play it,’ ” she recalled. “We were a family there. Classes, concerts. Magic happened.” Balaban emphasized that it was not the landlord who caused the store to close. “I had the nic-

est landlord in New York,” she said. “He actually lowered my rent!” The problem was the change in the demographics of the neighborhood. “It was no longer a place where artists, musicians, and creative people could live.” Recently, passing by, she noticed that the door was open and, upon entering, ran into Robert Galinsky, whose play, “The Bench,” an exploration of homelessness in the ’80s, is one of two currently running at the Playhouse. He explained the new programs to her. “Tribal Soundz was mystical and magical, and that space could only be rented by someone doing something creative and beneficial towards our neighborhood. I was so excited to see what they are doing!” CityKids President Laurie Meadoff, who founded the organization in 1985, is also excited about the new space and is well aware of the karmic connection. “We hope to continue the community work,” she told me. CityKids is a “multicultural organization, which instills leadership through the arts,” she explained. “We want to create a hub where young people can create and collaborate with each other and with other artists.” Past collaborators include the late Keith Haring, TheVillager.com


who designed the logo, and artist Kenny Scharf. Demi Moore has been a spokesperson, and Roger Daltrey performed at a fundraiser. Programs are being developed to take place during the day, including leadership workshops led by Galinsky, who has a long history of merging art and activism. Artistic Director Moises Roberto Belizario directs the CityKids Repertory Company, which provides training in various artistic disciplines. As per their website (citykids.com), it is the mission of CityKids to empower young people to â&#x20AC;&#x153;fi nd and strengthen their individual and collective voices and to support them to raise those voices to impact their lives, their communities, and the world.â&#x20AC;? Like Tribal Soundz, there is a motto: Each one reach one Each one teach one Each one pull one into the sun Recently, I had the good fortune of attending a production of â&#x20AC;&#x153;A Brooklyn Boy,â&#x20AC;? running concurrently with â&#x20AC;&#x153;The Bench.â&#x20AC;? A young man, Steven Prescod, tells his coming-of-age story through taking on the personas of 32 characters. Despite growing up in a stable family, he was pulled into the violence of his environment and, not surprisingly, found himself in the court system. Eventually, he found his way to CityKids, where he was mentored by Belizario, who recognized that his stories lent themselves to a production which would not only engage but would educate in ways that would resonate with young people. The vivid backdrop, videos of

LYDON continued from p. 23

heart out for your two songs, get your applause, and go home in agony because you missed an F minor chord in your intro to your second song. Well, next time youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll hit â&#x20AC;&#x2122;em again harder! Clubs with open mic nights come and go. Some schedule Tuesday nights at 8pm, some Saturdays at 5pm. These two websites will get you started: badslava.com/new-york-open-mics.php and openmikes.org/calendar/NY. Once youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re on the scene, youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll hear about many more. The worst open mics? Those where the MC gives long slots to a dozen favorites in the middle of the night, and youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re not one of the favorites. The best open mics? Where thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s the same favorite system, but youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re one of the lucky favorites! Actually thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not quite true. Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m a battle-scarred open mic veteran, and Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve seen many clubs that rely on the â&#x20AC;&#x153;favored fewâ&#x20AC;? system become snooty, TheVillager.com

Photo by Blair Seagram

Musician Nora Balaban, seen here at Tribal Soundz (which shuttered in 2008), is happy to see the East Village Playhouse thriving at her storeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s former site.

Brooklyn streets and courts, open up the play and support the young actorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s ability to personify many characters. There is a realism that reminded me of my daughter Julietâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s young male friends who grew up in similar environments. Juliet, who attended the play with me, agreed. â&#x20AC;&#x153;For over an hour, I watched Steven Prescod become so many of the Brooklyn Boys Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve known,â&#x20AC;? she said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The Brooklyn boy with one eye on the church and one eye on the block. One foot in the streets and one foot in the dance studio. It is an authentic look at life for young men of color growing up in Brooklyn without being becom-

ing clichĂŠd, trite, or exploitative.â&#x20AC;? Belizario and Pescod worked together on the book, music, and lyrics that make up the play. Following the production, Belizario, a former CityKid and the playâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s director, addressed the audience, sharing the evolution of their mentorship and their creative journey, which included an excerpt of the play performed for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge during their New York City visit three years ago. They were inspired by the story and helped secure at the National Black Theater, sponsored by the British Academy of Film and Television Arts; this led to many

closed shops. The best open mic Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve ever played begins with a lottery every Monday night, 7pm at Caffe Vivaldi (32 Jones St. just above Bleecker; caffevivaldi.com). Guitarist-singer-songwriter Bert Lee is the nightâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s genial host, and instead of coddling favorites, he presents every performer with a downto-earth friendly spirit that brings out their best. Lee, whoâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s been playing in the Village since the 1960s, is also one hell of a folk-pop stylist, and the two or three songs he plays when thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s time are often the best of the night.

no, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a cozy little start-up club called Ferns that features jazz-blues duos and trios most nights of the week. I canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t imagine a better place to unwind when youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re on your own, with that special someone, or hanging with a gang of pals (166 First Ave., btw. E. 10th & 11th Sts.; fernsnyc.com).

A NEW, FUNKY, FUN EAST VILLAGE BISTRO Strolling down First Ave. a few doors above E. 10th St., you may think for a moment youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re Little Red Riding Hood passing her Grandmaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s rose-strewn cottage. A step inside will tell you,

more shows throughout the country. Belizario encouraged people to support the play and to help young people to come and see it. Fundraising efforts are in place to extend the production beyond April 28. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I mentored Moises,â&#x20AC;? Meadoff told me. â&#x20AC;&#x153;He was 17 years old and facing 25 years to life on a drug charge when he came to us. Now he has become our Artistic Director and in turn has mentored Steven.â&#x20AC;? They hope to conduct â&#x20AC;&#x153;A Brooklyn Boyâ&#x20AC;? workshops both on site and off. Although both plays currently running have social themes, that is not a requirement for production. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We are looking for artists to bring a synergy,â&#x20AC;? she said, â&#x20AC;&#x153;and we would like new collaborations with different artists.â&#x20AC;? Bringing it all full circle, I touched base with Nora Balaban, who was on her way to see â&#x20AC;&#x153;A Brooklyn Boyâ&#x20AC;? and meeting a friend who hung out at Tribal Soundz and happens to know the staff at the Playhouse. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m looking forward to meeting the people involved,â&#x20AC;? she said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Maybe I can teach world music to the kids!â&#x20AC;? And the tradition of â&#x20AC;&#x153;each one teach oneâ&#x20AC;? shall continue. The East Village Playhouse is located at 340 E. Sixth St., btw. First & Second Aves. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The Benchâ&#x20AC;? runs through April 13, Fri. at 9pm (tickets, $37.50). â&#x20AC;&#x153;A Brooklyn Boyâ&#x20AC;? runs through April 28, Thurs. and Fri. at 7pm, Sun. at 2pm. ($42.50). For ticket information, including group rates, visit eastvillageplayhouse.com.

AND IN CLOSINGâ&#x20AC;Ś â&#x20AC;&#x153;Wait a damn minute,â&#x20AC;? I hear you saying, â&#x20AC;&#x153;how can it be spring if we just got slammed by a savage norâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;easter?â&#x20AC;? Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll let Mr. Shelley, Percy Bysshe, that is, answer that: â&#x20AC;&#x153;If winter comes, can spring be far behind?â&#x20AC;?

Theater for the New City â&#x20AC;˘ 155 1st Avenue at E. 10th St. Reservations & Info (212) 254-1109 For more info, please visit www.theaterforthenewcity.net

*)/) ,/( -*.!,%

/12.*,2 -$**.%)#

5).,*/+!*"(%-.-) "**'- -0!'*-.) .*,./,! -*/'6

5.!!)#!#%,'-!!&-*/.#/)%) .$!-/12-*-$!)&%''$!,(*.$ !,1$*!!)/-%)#$!, 6

2'2.*)!-.) 4!+!! "**'-4!.,!)-!('!

%(%.! )##!(!). 4/,- . 

 /)  

 

2%''%(5'!.,%6'&

%(%.! )##!(!). 4/,- . 

 /)  

 

%.2%,'-)  !-+!, *!-

52&!2&! .$!,!-'** '' *0!,(2&!6

2(!')3 %,!.! 2,%)'/,!

%(%.! )##!(!). 4/,- . 

 /)  

  

March 15, 2018

25


PHOTOS BY SARAH FERGUSON

Here’s a possible answer to the ‘L-pocalypse’

READY, SET, SUBSCRIBE!

A film crew for a CBS pilot called “God Friended Me” erected a fake subway entrance for the J and Z trains outside La Plaza Cultural at E. Ninth St. and Avenue C on Monday. They also installed a phony bus stop and transformed the Chinese takeout joint, A&C, into a bodega. In one scene, an actor put out a potted tree that was on fire on the sidewalk in front of the fake bodega.

MAIL TO: One Metrotech Ctr North, 10th floor • Brooklyn, NY 11201 YES! I want to receive The Villager every week of the year.

CHECK ONE:

New Subscription

Renewal

(New Subscription $29•Renewal $24, for 52 weeks, by check or credit card, will be added to your current subscription)

Name: Address: City: State: Zip Code: Email: Phone: Card Type: [ ] Visa [ ] Mastercard [ ] Amex [ ] Discover Card Holder’s Signature: Credit Card Number: Exp. Date: Security Code:

call ûõüĘöúôĘöùõú to subscribe 26

March 15, 2018

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.

March 15, 2018

27


 !        @ #"

distribution. Vil: 03/08 - 04/12/2018

28

March 15, 2018

TheVillager.com


W.V. Houses demo is a no-go WVH continued from p. 9

board cannot proceed with its sale at this moment. (Only about 80 percent of shareholders actually voted.) The garage is valued at around $63 million. Only nine West Village Houses members currently park there. The co-op has an operator run the garage and collects revenue from it. Meanwhile, city residents are increasingly forgoing the use of personal cars for Ubers, Lyfts and Vias. City Council Speaker Corey Johnson’s office has been keeping abreast of all the developments. “We want to be supportive of people at West Village Houses,” said Erik Bottcher, Johnson’s chief of staff. “There’s a lot going on internally. There have been some proposals put out there. We stand ready to assist if people need us.”

G.V.S.H.P. concerned

For more news and events happening now visit TheVillager.com

Not surprisingly, the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation had some serious concerns about the Madison Equities plan. “The West Village Houses are the only realized design in which Jane Jacobs had a direct hand,” said Andrew Berman, G.V.S.H.P.’s executive director. “They reflect an important era of New York City’s development when West Village residents rose up and stopped Robert Moses’ demolition and ‘urban renewal’ plans and replaced them with contextual, infill design. “While the ultimate West Village Houses design was a greatly modified and simplified version of what was originally planned, they nevertheless

represent an important moment and turning point in the history of our city and urban design. “Among our concerns,” Berman said, “are protecting the [West Village Houses] design and ensuring that the contextual neighborhood zoning that we fought for and secured for much of the Far West Village, including almost all of the West Village Houses, remains intact. “We recognize that there are other issues that need to be considered, like the financial viability and affordability of the development, its resiliency and its accessibility. We are hopeful that all these issues can be addressed as the tax break for the development expires and the challenges it faces changes.”

Board 2 discussion Sandy Russo, a member of Community Board 2 who lives near the West Village Houses, raised the alarm at the end of last month’s C.B. 2 full-board meeting that something needed to be done to stop the Madison rebuilding plan. During a brief board discussion that followed, one past chairperson of the board, David Gruber, urged that C.B. 2 stay out of the whole matter. But another past chairperson, Tobi Bergman, said they should get involved, citing the housing complex’s history and the involvement of Jacobs in its creation. Current C.B. 2 Chairperson Terri Cude told Russo she thought it would be a good idea to hold a town hall at which information and views on the issue could be shared, though the board would not necessarily be looking to weigh in with an official posi-

tion at this point. As for Russo, she thinks West Village Houses should stay affordable. “It was a pretty rough neighborhood before,” the longtime Village resident told The Villager. “But that was the deal they got — inexpensive with the idea this would remain an affordable-income project and not some Lotto ticket — it’s like, ‘Wee!’ Now we can make a killing!’”

‘Going up’ vs. uprooting But one West Village Houses board member, speaking off the record, said, in some ways, the complex is no longer particularly well-suited for those living there. For example, some elevators would be nice, she noted. “At West Village Houses the average age is 63,” she said. “In another 20 years, they’re going to be 83 in a fourth-floor walk-up. Many people here are self-employed, government workers, families with children. They haven’t been able to save buckets of money. If they want to sell at a price that helps them the next 20 or 30 years. … Other people want to stay. “‘Make a killing’ — that’s pretty rough,” she said, referring to Russo’s comment. “Jane Jacobs was about the people. To us, that means the people who live there.” However, Lester said elevators, for one, could be added without having to do a megadevelopment project. “You can put in capital improvements without knocking the whole thing down,” he said. “A 63-year-old person may want elevators — but they don’t want to be uprooted for five years.”

WHY SOUND OFF PAY MORE? Write a letter to the editor news@thevillager.com

CALL NOW 646-452-2490 TO ADVERTISE ALL YOUR LEGALS AND NAME CHANGES

TheVillager.com

March 15, 2018

29


30

March 15, 2018

TheVillager.com


PHOTO BY THE VILLAGER

Jackson to Jane: Better parks and gardens

R

enovations started at Jackson Square Park, at Greenwich and Eighth Aves., on Mon., March 5. Above, workers started fencing off

TheVillager.com

the park. The work is being funded by Council Speaker Corey Johnson and will include new paving and a fi x-up of the fountain. The existing fence will

stay. A bit to the south, the Jane St. Garden is fi nally slated to get a new wrought-iron fence to replace its leaning chain-link one, again funded by

Johnson. However, a planned garden to be created at Jane St.â&#x20AC;&#x2122;s west end is being privately funded because it is actually located on state-owned land.

March 15, 2018

31


STREET CLOSURE • STREET CLOSURE • STREET CLOSURE • STREET CLOSURE

CIERRE DE CALLE • CIERRE DE CALLE • CIERRE DE CALLE • CIERRE DE CALLE • CIERRE DE CALLE

LOWER EAST SIDE

LOWER EAST SIDE

(CANAL STREET TO E. HOUSTON STREET)

(DESDE LA CALLE CANAL HASTA LA CALLE E. HOUSTON)

STREET CLOSURE NOTIFICATION

AVISO DE CIERRE DE CALLE

E. 14th St. E. 14th St.

on St.

E. Houst

on St.

E. Houst

R FD

.

Dr

R

. Dr

FD

SUNDAY, MARCH 18, 2018

DOMINGO 18 DE MARZO

NO PARKING/TOWING

STREET CLOSURE

NO ESTACIONAR / REMOLQUE

CIERRE DE CALLE

SATURDAY, MARCH 17, 2018

SUNDAY, MARCH 18, 2018

SÁBADO 17 DE MARZO DE 2018

• NO PARKING IN EFFECT AT 10:00 A.M. THROUGH SUNDAY, MARCH 18TH 10:00 A.M.

• STREET CLOSURE WILL BEGIN AT 6:30 A.M.

• No se puede estacionar desde10:00 a. m.hasta las 10:00 a. m. del domingo 18 de marzo

• El cierre de la callle comenzará a las 6:30 a. m. La calle se reabrirá a las 11 a. m.

• STREET RE-OPEN AT 11:00 A.M.

EAST TO WEST ACCESS ALONG ROUTE EAST BROADWAY AT RUTGERS STREET

DOMINGO 18 DE MARZO DE 2018

ACCESO ESTE A OESTE A LO LARGO DE LA RUTA • EAST BROADWAY EN LA CALLE RUTGERS

SEE MTA.INFO FOR IMPACT ON BUS ROUTES QUESTIONS? COMMUNITY@NYRR.ORG

CONSULTE MTA.INFO PARA VER DE QUÉ MANERA SE AFECTAN LAS RUTAS DE AUTOBUSES. ¿TIENE ALGUNA PREGUNTA? ENVÍE UN CORREO ELECTRÓNICO A COMMUNITY@NYRR.ORG

STREET CLOSURE • STREET CLOSURE • STREET CLOSURE • STREET CLOSURE

CIERRE DE CALLE • CIERRE DE CALLE • CIERRE DE CALLE • CIERRE DE CALLE • CIERRE DE CALLE

封路 • 封路 • 封路 • 封路 • 封路 • 封路 • 封路 • 封路 • 封路 • 封路 • 封路 • 封路

    •     •     •    

下东区

ǻȖȔțȖȗǶȟȠǿȎȗȒ

(CANAL 街至 E.HOUSTON 街)

      

封路通知

     

E. 14th St.

E. 14th St.

on St.

on St.

E. Houst

E. Houst

R

Dr

. R FD

FD

2018年3月18日星期日 不得停车/拖车

封路

2018 年 3 月 17 日星期六

2018年3月18日星期日

• 上午 10:00 至3 月 18 日星期日上 午 10:00 不得停车

• 早上6:30起封路 道路将于上午 11:00恢复正常

沿 EAST BROADWAY 公路在 RUTGERS 街由 • 东至西向入口。

32

. Dr

ǰǼǿǸǾdzǿdzǻȊdzǺǮǾȀǮ     

   

!" #$!%&

• ɍɥɢɰɚɛɭɞɟɬɡɚɤɪɵɬɚɫ ɍɥɢɰɚɛɭɞɟɬɨɬɤɪɵɬɚɫ

• ɉɚɪɤɨɜɤɚɧɟɪɚɛɨɬɚɟɬɫɞɨ ɜɨɫɤɪɟɫɟɧɶɹɦɚɪɬɚ

   !% #$!%&

      • ȼɈɋɌɈɑɇɕɃȻɊɈȾȼȿɃɇȺɊɍɌȽȿɊɋɋɌɊɂɌ

如需了解对公交车线路的影响,见 MTA.INFO。如有任何问题, 请发送邮件至 COMMUNITY@NYRR.ORG

      '()*+,-  .  / ')*012-''3+*(45+466-67

封路 • 封路 • 封路 • 封路 • 封路 • 封路 • 封路 • 封路 • 封路 • 封路 • 封路 • 封路

    •     •     •    

March 15, 2018

TheVillager.com

The Villager  

March 15, 2018

The Villager  

March 15, 2018