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City Clinic Reopens in Chelsea 05

A Parade for Everyone Irish 10

Trump Rebirths in Stormy Spring 20


Photos by Tequila Minsky

All 400 students at the Columbia Secondary School for Math, Science & Engineering in Morningside Heights participated in the March 14 National School Walkout to protest gun violence.

Student government president Rusat Rampogal and vice president Savannah Harcum with Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer outside her W. 125th St. office.

March 22 – April 4, 2018 | Vol. 04 No. 6

BY TEQUILA MINSKY As 10 a.m. approached on Mar. 14, the middle and high school students in Morningside Heights’ Columbia Secondary School for Math, Science & Engineering (CSS) poured from its W. 123rd St. entrance, across from Morningside Park, and circled the adjoining school yard. They stood relatively silent for 17 minutes in memory of the students and staff killed at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, exactly one month before. The high school’s dean, Arthur Puritz, looked on in approval. He confirmed that the entire high school body of 400 was participating in the National School

Walkout, in which students across the country were protesting gun violence. “Unfortunately, this is necessary,” he opined. On the sidelines, a smattering of parents looked on in support of their children. Anna Mhandgo is the mother of a 12th grader and an eighth grader in the school and, explaining her presence, said, “When they leave home, we expect them to be safe, all day.” She added, “Guns have their place. I don’t think an assault rifle should be in the hands of 18-year-olds. We need to preserve children. Guns are not our future.” Another neighborhood resident, who is also a teacher, held a sign that read: “Teachers need books and bathroom breaks, not guns.” On a different side of the yard, Luz Riveros and her third-grade daughter from P.S. 125, located in the same building, and her mother — three generations of the family — stood in support with the students of CSS. “Citizenship involvement begins with the parents,” the Chilean native said. “Demonstrations can push forward change.” Also on the edge of the high school students’ gathering, a little tyke standing next to his parents held a big sign that read: “I’m old enough to know about guns and I don’t like them.” The boy’s father explained that Sammy was in pre-K and has been going to demonstrations since he was 10 days old. Using a small microphone, student leaders addressed the outdoor crowd — emphasizing safety in schools, denouncing gun violence, and protesting easy access to guns. They noted that more than 100 children have been killed by gun violence so far this year and WALKOUT continued on p. 4


Google Closes Deal on Chelsea Market BY WINNIE McCROY In a move that cements Google’s commitment to the West Side tech corridor, the Internet giant announced on Tues., March 20 their purchase of Chelsea Market from Jamestown for $2.4B. The two companies have agreed to work together to ensure a smooth change of ownership, with Jamestown retaining its role as a manager of the building’s retail and food hall presence. Google was already the largest tenant in the 1.2 million-square-foot former Nabisco factory complex, having leased about 400,000 square feet of space. In 2010, Jamestown sold Google their headquarters at 111 Eighth Ave. (directly across from Chelsea Market) for $1.77B. Their New York offices have grown to about 7,000 employees from more than 70 countries, with large teams focusing on projects. “It’s been eight years since we purchased [111 Eighth Ave.], but not before taking on additional space as a tenant in Chelsea Market and 85 10th Ave. Today, we’re excited to announce we’ve closed a deal with Jamestown Properties to purchase the Manhattan Chelsea Market building for $2.4 billion,” said David Radcliffe, Google VP of Real Estate and Workplace Services, on the Google blog. Back then, local preservationists and other concerned community members said it was only a matter of time before Google expanded their footprint to Chelsea Market. These fears were intensified when, as part of a broader effort to add to the city’s inventory of available office space, Jamestown convinced the city to change zoning and approve a 300,000-square-foot addition to Chelsea Market. Now, those fears have come home to roost among critics who feel the deal undercuts the High Line, which will be cast in shadows should Google go vertical. In a February 2018 interview with this publication, Save Chelsea’s David

Photo by Christian Miles

Google owns the building, but they’re walking hand in hand into the future with Jamestown, by retaining their role as management for Chelsea Market’s retail and food hall elements.

Holowka (who is also a member of Community Board 4’s Waterfront, Parks & Environment Committee) expressed concern that “…if they [Google] are allowed to build out their development rights directly about the High Line and Pier 57, they will be sending their employees to work directly above two public parks,” adding in a March 20 phone interview, “We hope they would consider doing [vertical expansion] where it will have less impact on the [High Line] park.” Holowka also said that “Jamestown’s ‘multiple-block technology corridor’ seems like part of a vision that’s been around for five plus years. Their promise to do that may have had a bearing on securing rights to the space directly above Chelsea Market and the High Line [back in 2012].” For Jamestown, a German investment and management company focused on income-producing real estate in the US, this long game is all part of business. Now, Jamestown stands to make a huge CHELSEA MARKET continued on p. 8

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March 22, 2018

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Community Urges Hartley House to Stay in Hell’s Kitchen BY WINNIE McCROY Citing a continued need for services and a love of the historic settlement house, community members and representatives from Community Board 4 (CB4) have united to urge the leadership of Hartley House against selling their property at 413 W. 46th St. (btw. Ninth & 10th Aves.) to whichever high-end condo or hotel investor makes the highest bid. They came together on the evening of March 15 in the community room of 353 W. 30th St. for CB4’s Housing, Health & Human Services (HHHS) Committee meeting to speak with Hartley House Executive Director Nicole L. Cicogna and her cohorts about fighting to preserve the beloved but beleaguered site, and to stay true to their 120-year-old mission to serve Hell’s Kitchen. Hartley House is currently on the market via Denham Wolf Real Estate Services, a firm providing consulting, brokerage, and project management services to the nonprofit sector. But HHHS members urged Cicogna to explore alternatives, among them partnering with other organizations to occupy part of the property (thus ensuring a revenue stream), or selling Hartley House to

Hudson Guild; the $64M, seven-year renovation of The Irish Arts Center; and the $30M NYPD Police Stables, relocated to the ground floor of the luxury Mercedes House at 550 W. 54th St.


Photo by Winnie McCroy

Hartley House board member Dodie Gumaer (in black) and executive director Nicole Cicogna (hand raised) explained why the board didn’t seek public funds.

another community organization while moving their mission to a suitable space in one of the area’s new luxury buildings. “The absolute simplest way to resolve this — by selling your building — doesn’t necessarily help our community,� said HHHS Co-Chair Joe Restuccia. “If we

can figure out a way to get you what you need to continue your ongoing mission‌ while keeping that location for a socially responsible, important community need, that to us is the thing we do well.� Restuccia gave many examples of how CB4 helped fund failing or crumbling works, among them the renovations of

During the meeting, HHHS Board Co-Chair Barbara Davis expressed concerned that the Hartley House Board of Trustees felt it was too difficult to get government funding to do the extensive repair work. “Over my 14 years on the [Hartley House] board, maintaining the infrastructure has taken up the greater part of our budget, to the point where it’s hurting the mission,� said Dodie Gumaer. “There’s a lot of consternation on the part of the board members because this is our home.� HHHS members assured Hartley House they were aware of the board members’ love for the historic home, and that they shared that love — to the point that they were not ready to let them surrender the property and its mission to the HARTLEY HOUSE continued on p. 12





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March 22, 2018


WALKOUT continued from p. 1

stressed that legislation is needed to address the availability of high-capacity weapons. After the planned program of commemoration and solidarity, the energy at the rally intensified and became more spontaneous. The students next made their way a few blocks north to Borough President Gale Brewer’s uptown storefront office on W. 125th St. Their litany of chants included: “No more silence, end gun violence”; “Enough is enough”; “Hey-hey, ho-ho, NRA has got to go! We want federal gun control!” Other phrases shouted included “We are the future!” and, simply, “#Enough.” Ten minutes after the enthusiastic crowd arrived on W. 125th St., Brewer pulled up, applauding as she exited her car. Students packed the sidewalk. “I’m so proud of you,” she said into a microphone. “You are putting college students to shame. You are part of something so historic, there are no words to describe it.” Clearly moved, Brewer continued, “History will thank you over and over again.” The Wall Street Journal reported an estimated one million students participated in the walkout nationwide. Locally, support came from both Mayor Bill de Blasio — he said that those who walked out of public schools would not face any disciplinary action — and Governor Andrew Cuomo, who participated earlier in the day in a staged die-in in Zuccotti Park with students from the Leadership and Public Service High School in Manhattan’s financial district. Elsewhere around the nation and even the city, other officials were not so supportive. One Brooklyn parochial high school student said they were not allowed to walk out and instead had an assembly with prayers during the action’s scheduled time. News accounts from around the US noted numerous school systems where students were threatened with detentions or suspensions if they walked out. And, in the city’s public schools,

Photos by Tequila Minsky

First-time demonstrators Yenifer Brown and Isaac Reeves said they are committed to continuing their activism combating gun violence.

students at different high schools had widely varied reactions. Students at a Midtown high school showed they were well experienced in political activism and demonstrations, while those from a Brooklyn school exhibited an air of “what’s the big deal?” “They see gun violence a lot,” said one observer about their markedly nonchalant attitude during their walkout, suggesting they experienced the issue day-to-day in and around their homes in public housing projects. For many CSS students, however, the nationwide walkout was a big deal — a chance to find their voice and express themselves with the full support of their school’s administration. “The demonstration was put forth by the student government and principal Miriam Nightengale,” said Ethan Rubin, an 11th-grader who is on the school’s student government. The 12 student government members, he said, met a number of times to plan the demonstration. “We also turned a tension-filled moment into a teaching moment,” Rubin explained. “Before, we talked about how social isolation and bullying can lead to possible gun violence in the

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One demonstrator signaled opposition to President Donald Trump’s suggestion that school teachers should be armed.

schools.” CSS, Rubin said, is a very diverse school — ethnically, racially, and socioeconomically. “We are very accepting,” he said, adding that prior to the walkout, the issue of gun control had already become a topic of study. Some CSS students said they had gone on marches before — mentioning in particular climate change demonstrations and the women’s marches of the past two years — but for many the gun violence issue was their entry into social activism. This was the first demonstration ever for Isaac Reeves, a senior from the Bronx. “I’m really excited,” he said. “We’re showing the world we have a voice and we are the future.” Reeves soon turns 18. “I will be able to vote next month,” he gently boasted, adding, “I absolutely will go to more demonstrations.” Reeves was standing with a friend, Yenifer Brown, another first-time demonstrator who lives in East Harlem. “We are standing up,” she said. “We believe there is a future for us without gun violence.” Your age or skin color, she added,

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doesn’t affect the importance of taking a stand. After Brewer completed her remarks praising the student demonstrators and spoke with some of their leaders, the demonstrators headed east on 125th St. toward the Adam Clayton Powell, Jr., State Office Building, hoping to meet with Congressmember Adriano Espaillat. On-lookers smiled, nodding with approval, some voicing their pride about the young people taking a public stand. An occasional car honked in solidarity. Espaillat was not in his office, but 10 students were given the opportunity to meet with members of his staff. The rest of the students from CSS rallied on the expansive plaza in front of the building and posed for TV film crews. “We came back to school around noon and continued talking about how we felt,” Rubin reported. “We want to keep the motivation going.” Puritz, the dean, said, “The students did an amazing job of organizing and getting their message across. They are the future, and they need to be heard!” Rubin pointed out that there are more demonstrations planned — on Mar. 24 and Apr. 20 — and encouraged other young people to get involved. The Mar. 24 event is a nationwide gun violence protest — March for Our Lives — with the main event planned for Washington. Student organizers working in collaboration with the nonprofit organization Everytown for Gun Safety have planned the mobilization, with sister marches taking place across the country the same day. In New York, demonstrators will assemble at 10 a.m. Sat. on Central Park West from W. 72nd St. north, with speakers beginning at 11 a.m. After the program, the group will march south to Columbus Circle, then east to Sixth Ave., before heading south again to 43rd St., where the event is scheduled to conclude. Students are also planning a nationwide school walkout to protest gun violence on Fri., Apr. 20, the 19th anniversary of the mass shooting at Columbine High School in Colorado.

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City Reopens Renovated Chelsea Health Clinic BY DUNCAN OSBORNE Three years after its planned closing sparked outrage and protests among AIDS activists, the renovation of the city’s Chelsea sexual health clinic is largely completed and the clinic has been seeing patients since Mar. 5. “I want to give credit to the important alliance between the advocates and the people who work in government,” Dr. Mary T. Bassett, the city’s health commissioner, said during the Mar. 15 official reopening of the clinic, which is located at 303 Ninth Ave. between W. 27th and 28th Sts. “I would like to thank the many advocates who have pushed us to make this the very best clinic it can be.” The clinic was the busiest among the nine health clinics operated by the city. AIDS groups had anticipated that it would play a central role in the Plan to End AIDS, which is an ambitious undertaking to reduce the number of annual new HIV infections in New York State from the estimated 2,481 in 2014 to 750 a year by 2020. With most new HIV infections in New York occurring in New York City, the city has set its own goal as part of the plan of getting down to 600 new HIV infections a year by 2020. The plan relies on treating HIVpositive people with anti-HIV drugs so they remain healthy and cannot infect others. For those who need it, the plan also delivers housing, nutrition, and other services so people can stay on their anti-HIV drugs. HIV-negative people are offered pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) and post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP). Both regimes use anti-HIV drugs in people to keep them from becoming infected. The clinics are an obvious place to identify large numbers of people who are newly HIV-infected and get them on anti-HIV drugs as well as to identify large numbers of people who are having sex that may expose them to HIV and get them on to PrEP or PEP. In 2014, the Chelsea clinic had 19,243 visits, or 23 percent of the 83,000 visits to all the clinics that year. The next highest total was reported by the Fort Greene clinic, which had 12,472 visits, or 15 percent of the 2014 visits. In a 2015 letter following the Chelsea clinic’s closing, the Treatment Action Group (TAG), Housing Works, Harlem United, Gay Men’s Health Crisis, VOCAL-NY, ACT UP/ NY, and Ginny Shubert, a leading housing and healthNYC Community Media

Photos by Duncan Osborne

At the Mar. 15 official reopening of the city’s Chelsea sexual health clinic, Dr. Mary T. Bassett, the health commissioner speaks, flanked by Upper West Side City Councilmember Mark Levine, Council Speaker Corey Johnson of Chelsea, Ana Barrio, acting commissioner of the city’s Department of Design and Construction, and Matthew McMorrow, an aide to Mayor Bill de Blasio.

Joining in the ribbon cutting are Housing Works CEO Charles King, Levine, Barrio, Dr. Sue Blank, the city’s assistant commissioner for sexually transmitted disease control, Bassett, Dr. Demetre Daskalakis, the city’s deputy commissioner for disease control, TAG’s Jeremiah Johnson, Dr. Eunmee Chun, director of sexual health at the Callen-Lorde Community Health Center, and Dr. Freddy Molano, vice president of Infectious Diseases and LGBTQ Programs at the Community Healthcare Network.

care consultant, wrote to Mayor Bill de Blasio asking that the services lost with the closing be replaced. “This action poses an immediate and severe threat to the public health of the City, not only to Chelsea residents,

but to all of New York City’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) communities,” the groups wrote. “This action, if not immediately remedied… will undoubtedly result in excess HIV and other [sexually transmitted disease]

infections.” Charles King, the chief executive at Housing Works, and Mark Harrington, TAG’s executive director, are credited with conceiving of the Plan to End AIDS and King in particular has been a leading proponent of the plan. Corey Johnson of Chelsea, who was the chair of the City Council’s Health Committee in 2015 and is now the City Council speaker, took a lead role in getting the city health department and the AIDS activists to come to an agreement on how to replace the lost services. “It’s beautiful,” Johnson said as he toured the clinic prior to the Mar. 15 press conference. “I wish there were before and after photos because it was scary.” The official opening was a reconciliation of sorts. While activists did not dispute that the Chelsea clinic, which first opened in 1937, was in need of the renovation, they remained unhappy with how the closing was handled. “We neglected to consult with the community and this was not a good idea,” said Dr. Sue Blank, the assistant commissioner who oversees sexually transmitted disease control at the city health department, at the Mar. 15 event. “Boy, did you let us know it.” King and TAG’s Jeremiah Johnson both spoke at the opening ceremony and praised the new clinic and the city health department. Ana Barrio, the acting commissioner of the city’s Department of Design and Construction, which oversaw the renovation, also won praise from advocates. Also speaking at the event were Upper West Side City Councilmember Mark Levine, the new chair of the Health Committee, Dr. Eunmee Chun, the director of sexual health at the Callen-Lorde Community Health Center, which added 105 sexual health visits to its weekly schedule when the Chelsea clinic closed, and Dr. Freddy Molano, vice president of Infectious Diseases and LGBTQ Programs at the Community Healthcare Network. The clinic has the capacity to handle up to 200 visits a day. The clinic saw 50 people on Mar. 5 and to date has put 21 people on PrEP. Bassett said the city health department was promoting the renovated Chelsea clinic on social media and by word of mouth. “We’re going to be sending it out on social media,” she said. “There’s nothing more powerful than word of mouth.” March 22, 2018



Let’s Start with Love for the Second Amendment BY JOSH ROGERS “A well regulated Militia.” That’s how the Second Amendment starts. It’s a fact often ignored by people on both sides of the gun debate. Increasingly, I hear people who favor more gun restrictions quietly say something along the lines of, “If only we could change or get rid of the Second Amendment…” And from the other side, “…the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED” typically gets repeated in all caps in one of those productive Facebook posts quoting the part of the amendment gun supporters like. I’m using “productive” in the sense of an angry debate in which no one changes their mind. “I’m for the Second Amendment” is taken as shorthand for opposing any proposed restriction on guns. But if you argue that rapid-fire assault weapons are protected by the Constitution, then there is no argument against prohibiting people from owning tanks, grenades, or, for that matter, nuclear weapons. Gun control advocates justifiably lamented the Supreme Court’s Heller

Photo by Josh Rogers

On March 14, students from Chelsea’s High School of Fashion Industries joined a nationwide school walkout calling for changes to gun laws.

decision in 2008 because, for the first time, the courts said individuals had a protected right to own a gun — essentially the Founders were just clearing their throats with that “well regulated Militia” part. But that decision, written by one of the conservatives’ all-time heroes, the late

Antonin Scalia, said the right to arms is “not a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner whatsoever and for whatever purpose.” He specifically identified “concealed” and “dangerous and unusual weapons” as ones that could be prohibited. So we only have ourselves to blame

for not doing much to stop over 30,000 people a year dying from guns. Suicides and mental illness account for many, but only the tiniest of percentages of the mentally ill pose a danger to themselves or others. AMENDMENT continued on p. 9

Holy Week and Easter Services at

St. Peter’s Chelsea Episcopal Church Saturday, March 24 8pm Concert to Kick Off Holy Week

Palm Sunday, March 25 9am Children & Family Service 10am Liturgy of the Palms 6pm Evening Prayer

Monday, March 26 8am Holy Eucharist

Tuesday, March 27

Good Friday, March 30 12pm The Liturgy of Good Friday

Holy Saturday, March 31 7pm The Great Vigil of Easter

Easter Sunday, April 1 9am Children & Family Service 10am Mass of the Resurrection 6pm Evening Prayer Easter Egg Hunts follow 9am & 10am Services

8am Holy Eucharist

Wednesday, March 28 8am Holy Eucharist

Maundy Thursday, March 29 5:30–6:45pm Community Meal 7pm The Liturgy for Maundy Thursday 9pm Vigil at the Altar of Repose

346 W. 20th St. (8th & 9th Aves.) 212-929-2390 | stpeterschelsea.org All are welcome here! 6

March 22, 2018

NYC Community Media

At Protein Bakery, a Balanced Life Includes Blondies and Brownies BY DUSICA SUE MALESEVIC Fifteen thousand of anything is a lot, but how about 15,000 pieces of baked goods a week? Not bad for a business that was started 19 years ago as the brainchild of Stephen Charles Lincoln, the fitness instructor behind the Protein Bakery. The Protein Bakery was forged from an idea of balance. Lincoln, originally from California, came to New York in 1996 to be an actor on Broadway and to teach group fitness, he told us at his store earlier this month. “I had lost 82 pounds to become a fitness instructor, but still had a sweet tooth,” he recalled. “So I was always looking for things that were more balanced or would satisfy my sweet tooth, and not be so indulgent that it was, you know, sabotaging the progress that I had made.” By 1998, Lincoln was toying around with cookies, blondies and brownies, and then bringing samples to his classes for his students to try. They loved them. “They were always joking, ‘You’re

Photo by Dusica Sue Malesevic

The Protein Bakery introduced cakes and a line of shakes last year.

making us, you know, eat cookies and then take your class,’ ” he recalled. While testing out the recipes, Lincoln and a former partner were able to bake in the apartment — but it is illegal to sell baked goods you make at home. He found a commercial kitchen, and the business was established in 1999. When the bakery first launched, it

did not have a brick and mortar store, but it did have clients, starting with the cafe at the Chelsea Piers Sports Center, then Henri Bendel on Fifth Ave., and the cafe at Equinox on 19th St., he said. “Elle magazine wrote about us within three months of coming to market, and then Colette in Paris found us and had

us shipping to France,” he recalled. “It just kind of spiraled out from there.” In around 2000, the Protein Bakery moved to the third floor at 20 W. 20th St. (btw. Fifth & Sixth Aves.). Over time, it outgrew that space. “We were spilling into the hallway, we were in the way of other tenants, and that’s when we took over the ninth floor space,” he said. But since the bakery was on an upper floor, it was hidden from the public. Since moving to New York, Lincoln has mostly lived in Chelsea, and now resides on Eighth Ave. “I like my little neighborhood,” he said. “I’m very Chelsea positive. I was a, you know, Chelsea boy in late ’90s, early 2000s, and been a Chelsea daddy now, I think, for the past decade. I love the culture of it. I don’t think it’s over.” He would walk by where his current store is now located (144 W. 19th St., btw. Sixth & Seventh Aves.), and knew the previous tenant. When the streetPROTEIN BAKERY continued on p. 14


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*

*Child care is available for children

April 6–7, 8PM The Kaye Playhouse at Hunter College New York, N.Y. hunter.cuny.edu/kayeplayhouse 212.772.4000


There is a Time

Choreography | José Limón Music | Norman Dello Joio

Sea Shadow

Choreography | Gerald Arpino Music | Maurice Ravel

Rite of Spring

Choreography | Artistic Director Douglas Martin Music | Igor Stravinsky

ages 6 and under

The Church of Saint Luke in the Fields | Corner of Hudson and Grove Streets 487 Hudson Street New York, NY 10014 | 212.924.0562 | www.stlukeintheelds.org NYC Community Media

Generations: Influences from the Modern Age

A mixed repertoire program of modern and contemporary ballets, featuring legendary choreographers, glorious music, and the artistry and athleticism of ARB dancers. March 22, 2018



EASTER 2018 Sunday, April 1 Services at 9:00 & 11:00am For a full listing of Holy Week events, visit MarbleChurch.org

Dr. Michael B. Brown, Senior Minister 1 West 29th Street New York, New York 10001 212 686 2770 MarbleChurch.org

CHELSEA MARKET continued from p. 2

profit from their original investment of $225M in 2011. This billion-dollar-plus trade is expected to boost the city’s investment-sales market. “For Jamestown, this is the highest profile example to date of our unique approach to creating value, but it’s consistent with transformative projects we’ve successfully undertaken across the country,” said Michael Phillips, President of Jamestown. “It’s a combination of identifying underutilized locations, creative and visionary repositioning, value-creating management, rigorous financial analysis, and patience.” It took about 15 years of patience. In 2003, Jamestown purchased a 75 percent interest in Chelsea Market, transforming the site by adding a food hall and focusing on attracting tech, media, and other creative tenants to the upper floors. Now, Chelsea Market is visited by more than 500,000 locals and tourists every month. The food hall has made the property extremely attractive; so much so that Google has said they won’t alter the retail aspect at all. (It is unclear how the sale will affect upstairs tenants, including the Spectrum news channel NY1, the Food Network, and Major League Baseball — which has a lease there until 2022.) “Chelsea Market is a cornerstone of

the Chelsea-Meatpacking district, and has been serving the local community for over 20 years,” Radcliffe said. “The iconic ground floor market attracts visitors from all around the world and provides a great experience for foodies and shoppers alike. With our purchase of the building, we’ve agreed to work together with Jamestown to ensure a smooth transition with little or no impact to the community and tenants of the building. As part of this effort, Jamestown will continue to manage the retail and food hall.” Despite community concerns, many locals attest that both Jamestown and Google have been good neighbors, by creating the Hudson Guild Tech Up Lab and coordinating efforts to preserve the Julien Binford mural (“A Memory of 14th Street and Sixth Avenue”) that was removed when the building that housed it was slated for partial demolition. “This purchase further solidifies our commitment to New York, and we believe the Manhattan Chelsea Market will continue to be a great home for us and a vital part of the neighborhood and community,” Radcliffe said in the statement. “We’re proud to be part of a city that’s a cross section of so many industries and cultures, and as we look ahead to the next 18 years and beyond, we’ll continue to invest in our growth and commitment to the city.”

Elder Law, Estate Planning, Guardianships, Trusts & Estates

Gifting and Estate Planning 2018 April 10 at 10:00 am Sheen Center for Thought & Culture 18 Bleeker St., 2nd Floor

Wills vs. Trusts April 26 at 10:00 am BelCham 1177 Avenue of the Americas

Please RSVP at (631) 941-3434 or email info@burnerlaw.com 8

March 22, 2018

NYC Community Media

AMENDMENT continued from p. 6

The 300 million guns in this country are the problem. Universal background checks, bans on weapons that fire many dozens of times in a minute, and limiting magazine sizes are some of the measures that could be taken to reduce the “carnage� the president promised to end on inauguration day. More recently, he went to the left of Barack Obama, who actually praised the Heller decision as a candidate. Donald Trump mocked his fellow Republicans for being scared of the NRA, and backed gun confiscation without due process — but quickly showed he was just as scared as they are, by falling back in line with a group that gave him tens of millions in 2016 (and that he desperately needs for a chance at reelection). Change is starting to happen, led by a small group of student survivors of Stoneman Douglas who have already shamed Republicans into passing tougher gun measures in Florida, a notoriously gun-friendly state where Trayvon Martin’s killer walked in part because of a “Stand Your Ground� law. Last week they led students around the country, who walked out of class for a symbolic 17 minutes to mark the number killed on Feb. 14 in Parkland, FL. In Chelsea, PS 11 elementary

Photo by Josh Rogers

Last week’s student walkout honoring the Parkland, FL shooting victims and calling for gun control reform will be followed up by a “March for Our Lives� on March 24.

school students silently walked holding signs like “Regulate, Legislate, Don’t Procrastinate,� and students from the High School of Fashion Industries spilled out onto W. 24th St. and Eighth Ave. to demand change. But I’m skeptical the Florida students will be able to lead us to a safer country before November. Congressional Republicans have not even banned peo-

ple on the No Fly List from buying guns, so some people too dangerous to board planes unarmed are allowed to walk many of our streets with assault weapons. Changing that wouldn’t put much dent in the carnage, but it does show how intransigent the current Congress is. I’m not expecting national change before people get voted out of office. Is a Republican on the fence going to risk

losing NRA money and supporters’ votes in the hope of picking up others who love life more than guns? I’m not hopeful — but on Sat., March 24, hundreds of thousands, if not millions, will “March for Our Lives� in Washington DC, here in New York City, and elsewhere. If the 18 and up come back in big numbers on Nov. 6, we’ve got a chance.

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March 22, 2018


Photo by Donna Aceto

Mayor Bill de Blasio briefly joins the Lavender and Green contingent in the Mar. 17 St. Patrick’s Day Parade, with L&G leader Brendan Fay (at right) and veteran firefighter and activist Gene Walsh (in foreground).

A Parade for All Who Choose to Be Irish BY KATHLEEN WARNOCK The New York City St. Patrick’s Day Parade has stepped off 257 times, its many marchers including New Yorkers great and small, groups from all over the US and the world, and pipers and drummers beyond counting. This year’s edition featured all of the above, with an estimated 150,000 marchers, including the mayor, the governor, the Irish prime minister (and his husband), and for the third year, a contingent from the Lavender and Green Alliance (Muintir Aerach na hÉireann), the Irish organization for LGBTQ people and allies. Many marchers gathered early Sat. morning, Mar. 17 at Gracie Mansion for Mayor Bill de Blasio’s annual Irish breakfast. First Lady Chirlane McCray welcomed the group to “The People’s House” and reminded them that March is also Women’s History Month, remarking that the first person to pass through Ellis Island in 1892 was Annie Moore, an Irish woman. McCray introduced the mayor, who recognized NYPD Commissioner James O’Neill and Chief of Department Terry Monahan and introduced the head of the City Council’s Irish-American Caucus, Daniel Dromm. Also introduced were Irish Consul General Ciarán Madden, Geraldine Byrne Nason, the permanent representative from Ireland to the United Nations, and the newlyappointed Irish ambassador to the US, Dan Mulhall, as well as Upper East Side Congressmember Carolyn Maloney. The crowd cheered when this year’s


March 22, 2018

grand marshal, Irish-American philanthropist Loretta Brennan Glucksman, only the fifth woman to be so honored, was introduced. De Blasio spoke about the history of the Irish in New York and America, then brought to the podium Ireland’s taoiseach (prime minister), Leo Varadkar. A member of the Fine Gael Party, Varadkar was elected to Ireland’s highest office last year as the first out gay prime minister and also the first of Indian heritage. Varadkar had visited the Stonewall Inn in the West Village two nights earlier to meet with the co-chairs of the inclusive Queens St. Pat’s for All Parade, Brendan Fay and Kathleen Walsh D’Arcy, as well as ACT UP members who turned out. In his remarks at Gracie Mansion, Varadkar spoke of the $2.5 million grant from his country to the West Side’s Irish Arts Center. Longtime Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams, who retired as head of the party last month after 35 years, followed Varadkar to the podium. Adams quoted Frederick Douglass saying it’s “harder to make peace than make war,” and jokingly recognized beloved actor and writer Malachy McCourt as “a brigand and a rounder!” Guests enjoyed traditional music and Irish fare after the ceremony and quickly departed to prepare (or power nap) for the parade, which stepped off at 11 a.m. “We march for the sake of our children and our young people as much as ourselves,” said Fay, founder of the Lavender and Green Alliance as NYC Community Media

well as the St. Pat’s for All Parade. “With the hope that they may only know welcome, hospitality, and belonging.” Hundreds of groups lined up on feeder streets in the 40s on both sides of Fifth Ave. Groups generally step off according to how many years ago they were first admitted to the parade. As a result, for the first two years it was allowed to participate, the LGBTQ Lavender and Green Alliance was placed toward the back and — given the size of the event — by the time its members stepped off the crowds had thinned considerably. Grand marshal Glucksman, who was a 2016 grand marshal of the St. Pat’s for All Parade — launched nearly two decades ago to counter the longtime exclusion of gays from the Fifth Ave. event — lobbied for moving the group closer to the front, something organizers agreed to do. Nearly 200 Lavender and Green marchers assembled on E. 44th St. and were given L&G buttons and traditional sashes, made of lavender and green silk, to wear across their chests, with the leaders and marshals boasting intricately embroidered silks made by Irish artist Robert Ballagh. Check-in and formation were conducted by a wealth of longtime LGBTQ activists, some of whom were involved in the original protests in the ‘90s to let Lavender and Green into the parade, including Jesús Lebron, Ken Kidd, Tarlach Mac Niallais, and Lisa Fane. Each group marching selects its own honorary grand marshal, and Lavender and Green chose Judith KasenWindsor, spouse of the late activist Edie Windsor — whose federal lawsuit led to the 2013 demise of the Defense of Marriage Act — and an activist and orga-

Photo by Donna Aceto

Phil Donahue joins Judith Kasen-Windsor, Fay, Sister Mary Lanning, Kathleen Walsh D’Arcy, and Malachy McCourt in singing the traditional folk song “Wild Mountain Thyme.”

nizer in her own right. “I burst into tears when I found out,” KasenWindsor said later. “I marched for Edie and it was touching and emotional, and I wish she could have been here with us today.” Supporters who assembled behind the group banner included Fay and D’Arcy, McCourt, Staten Island Pride Center executive director Carol Bullock (whose group was denied admittance to that borough’s Mar. 4 St. Patrick’s Parade), former City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, and former State Senator Thomas Duane, who was recovering from back surgery. “I’ll march until I get to the cameras,” Duane joked. They were joined by disability activist Anastasia Somoza, her twin sister Alba, and their mother Mary, along with disabled FDNY veteran and activist Gene Walsh, drag queen and TV personality Lady Clover

Honey (Welsh), novelist/ playwright Honor Molloy, and the 2017 St. Pat’s for All grand marshal Phil Donahue. Sinn Féin’s new president, Mary Lou McDonald, as well as Louise Reilly, a member of the Irish Dáil (its parliament), also marched with Lavender and Green, and Mayor de Blasio joined in for several blocks. Shortly after 11:30, to the skirling strains of the Monaghan Pipe Band (the next group in the parade order), the Lavender and Green Alliance stepped onto Fifth Ave. The 1.4-mile march north from 44th St. to 79th St. featured hundreds of thousands of spectators, as well as hundreds of law enforcement officers, some in body armor with automatic weapons. Parade chair Dr. John Lahey, the president of Quinnipiac University, welcomed Lavender and Green as it marched by, as did grand marshal Glucksman. The crowd offered few anti-LGBTQ protesters: a group near Central Park displayed a banner reading “MARRIAGE IS 1 MAN AND 1 WOMAN” and a handwritten sign: “Don’t Repeal the 8th” (referring to an upcoming referendum in Ireland that would reform that country’s anti-abortion laws). Later on, a single protester, a man in biblical-style robes and a beard, held up a Bible as the marchers passed. “They should have a drink,” Duane quipped afterwards. “I can’t… they should!” Duane did make it all the way to the end, and, before dispersing at E. 79th St., the Lavender and Green contingent took pictures and exchanged hugs. Some went to get a bite to eat or headed off for St. Patrick’s Day parties. Others simply went home to rest their aching feet.


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March 22, 2018


HARTLEY HOUSE continued from p. 3

annals of history. But Cicogna said problems with the infrastructure had a deleterious impact on their mission, to the point where they spent most of their time putting out buckets to catch the rain coming through the roof. So about five months ago, the Hartley House board reached out to Denham Wolf, wondering if they should sell one or two of the campus’ buildings to fund their mission. Since January 1897, Hartley House has taught the residents of Hell’s Kitchen skills including cooking, sewing, housekeeping, hygiene, childcare, and woodworking. Today, their mission includes programming for kids and seniors, including an after-school program, a summer camp, a Kenneth Cole-led Design Lab, a senior meals program, the Home Outreach Program for Elders (HOPE), and Tuesday afternoon Bingo. These days, Cicogna said, the fourbuilding campus is too big and too shabby for clients to make good use of without a gut renovation — everything from lead paint removal and asbestos abatement to fire protection to security to Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliance, including an elevator. She estimated it would require an $18M renovation to get it up to code. Restuccia noted Hartley

Photo by Winnie McCroy

Community members Joan Griffenkranz (with flag patch on jacket) and Michelle O’Connell Diaz, who cried and slumped down in her chair after sharing her concerns.

House had a deeper FAR (floor area ratio) than it was built out to, allowing a little wiggle room during renovations. Hartley House recently moved into temporary offices at 1441 Broadway (btw. W. 40th & 41st Sts.), and their after-school programs and Bingo moved to Manhattan High School and The Fountain House, respectively, with case management for seniors continuing in clients’ homes. Now, HHHS and community members are wondering why Hartley House never reached out to them for help, with Restuccia urging them not to walk away from the community, calling their plans

to sell a “one-shot deal.� “This community board has people knocking on our door every year for city budget requests,� Restuccia said. “We work with our City Councilmember, who is now Speaker, and the real concern we have with this is that one of the things we have been able to do for the neighborhood is capital budgets. The city in the last 15 years has had such capital funds, it’s amazing. You’re part of our fabric. So why would board members not approach the public sector?� “They have always been reticent to go after public money, and wanted to remain a privately-funded organization,� Cicogna

noted. “It’s been a deliberate decision on the part of the board. But now they are thinking differently.� Restuccia urged Hartley House to allow CB4 to help them find a more affordable rental space for the next year or two, while securing funds for necessary renovations at the historic location. “I know the community believes we are running to sell to the highest bidder to build luxury condos there, but there could be someone who comes in and gives us $25M and makes it their home,� Cicogna said. “And we’re talking to a church group that rents space to renovate it and allow us space there; we’re talking to other partners we’ve allowed to have space in Hartley House. So our agenda is not to run out and sell to a luxury condo developer. We love the community and we want to be there.� Board member Liam Buckley asked that, if a luxury condo developer offered $20M for the place, would they sell? Replied Cicogna, “That is a conversation that will happen between the board and Denham Wolf.� “That sounds pretty bad,� interjected Restuccia. “Because that’s the board sitting on an island with a consultant that’s going to get paid, as opposed to the whole community being part of a process to save a cherished institution.� He told Cicogna that the $18M they

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March 22, 2018

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needed for renovations was not that much money in today’s real estate climate. If they worked with CB4 and elected officials, they could possibly keep both the buildings and their mission going. Or, they could work with CB4 to get a new location in a luxury tower.

HELL’S KITCHEN NOT JUST FOR THE RICH During the course of the HHHS Meeting, committee member Delores Rubin expressed concern about the domino effect that might occur if Hartley House left the area it had worked so hard to help over the past 125 years, even if some of the people moving into Hell’s Kitchen now did not need the same kind of services as before. But during public comments, fifth generation Hell’s Kitchen resident Michelle O’Connell Diaz, who organized the March 3 candlelight vigil in front of Hartley House, said that Hell’s Kitchen was still a working-class neighborhood, with kids and seniors who valued the programs it offered them. She, her mother, and her daughter all attended Hartley House. “Those buildings belong to us; we have been there for generations,” said Diaz, breaking into tears. “We do care, and it’s important these services continue.

Photo by Winnie McCroy

CB4’s Housing, Health & Human Services Committee, with co-chairs Barbara Davis and Joe Restuccia on left.

As much as gentrification happens and rich people move in, there is still us. That space is sacred ground for every person who has crossed their threshold. Those buildings were created for the children of the Hell’s Kitchen community. By selling it, you are circumventing the original mission. The poor are still there.” Chana Widawski, of the neighborhood organization Hell’s Kitchen Commons, echoed Diaz’s sentiments that Hartley House belonged to the community, and should not be sold. “For 120 years, it has been serving the community, and it’s part of the history not only of Hell’s Kitchen, but of the Settlement House Movement and immigration in New York, and it’s critical that

continues,” Widawski told this publication by phone. At the March 15 meeting, fourthgeneration Hell’s Kitchen resident Joan Griffenkranz added, “To you it’s just bricks and mortar. But I used to drop off my books and head up the fire escape stairs of Hartley House to paint, build, or cook. You don’t have the heart we do; for those of us who grew up in Hell’s Kitchen, this is killing them. And if you would have just asked the neighbors, they would have done the [renovation] work for you.” By the end of the meeting, HHHS members voted to send a letter to the Board of Trustees of Hartley House, asking them to pause before making any decision to sell; to allow elected officials

and CB4 to come up with a rescue plan that preserves this historic, important neighborhood institution and repurposes it for a similar use, while Hartley House decides which of the area’s 17 new luxury condos they might fit into, so they can provide services for the community while securing an income stream that will allow them to operate into today’s world. Cicogna agreed, telling this publication, “It’s a continuing conversation that we’ve been having with Corey Johnson’s office and other elected officials about saving the house and helping us explore all our options for the property. It is a board decision, but I think any good action deserves a fight.” “My colleagues and I are working feverishly to find a solution that will prevent the loss of the historic Hartley House buildings, while also ensuring that the Hartley House organization survives and thrives for another 100 years,” said New York City Council Speaker Corey Johnson. “I thank Hartley House for coming to the table and working with us to achieve these goals. I want Hartley House to know that we are there for them as a community.” Speaker Johnson’s office will meet again with Hartley House on April 10 at City Hall, to work toward solutions.

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March 22, 2018


PROTEIN BAKERY continued from p. 7

level space opened up, Lincoln took it and the store has been there for about a year and a half. “So opening a store was never a priority, but it was always kind of back in of my head dream because it gives a culture to the brand and that’s really what the Protein Bakery is about — it’s bigger than a cookie or a brownie or a cake or a shake, it’s more about a way of living,” he said. Having the bakery at street level has increased traffic, he said, bringing in new customers as well as those who are already familiar with the products (sold all over the city, including at Just Salad and Murray’s Bagels). “People know us from our press, and to walk by and go ‘Oh my god, I didn’t know you had a store,’ ” he said. Lincoln started out with a blondie, a brownie and a peanut butter cookie, with an oatmeal cookie following soon after. The line has since expanded to include cakes, shakes, and gift sets. The baked treats are singular for many reasons, including using whey protein as one of its ingredients. “We did choose whey protein con-

centrate ’cause it is the most easily absorbed by your body,” he said. “Body builders prefer it. It fills you up faster.” The baked goods are all natural and kosher, with no wheat and no gluten — although they are not certified glutenfree due to the fact they are made in a facility that bakes other items, Lincoln explained. “Everything we do is baked by hand every week,” he said. “So we’re fresh bake, which completely knocks out any packaged protein bar that lasts on a shelf for a year or six months.” The emphasis on freshness and being nutritionally enhanced has worked: Protein Bakery has been featured in numerous publications and on TV shows, and has earned the endorsement of the one and only Oprah. “Being endorsed by Oprah is, you know, it’s a game changer,” said Lincoln, noting that while he has never meet her in person, he has seen every episode of her show. Lincoln attributed his business’ longevity to a due diligence in keeping the product consistent. “The one thing about the bakery that I’ve always stood by: I run a very honest

Photos by Dusica Sue Malesevic

The Protein Bakery will celebrate 20 years in 2019. Founder and fitness instructor Stephen Charles Lincoln said, “Back in the day, if business wasn’t great, I would run out and teach four classes so we could pay our bills.”

Made with whey protein concentrate, the bakery’s brownies and blondies are nutritionally enhanced and baked fresh.

business with a very honest product,” he said. “I wanted it to be a fun culture that celebrates balanced eating, nutrition and education in a cookie.” Lincoln said he loves having the store — meeting people face to face and talking about the product — and that he was “purely crushed” when a three-alarm fire broke out on the top floor of the bakery’s building last Christmas. He was going to see a movie in Midtown when a friend texted him something was going on at the building, he said, and so he went to the store to check on it. “I looked closer and it was raining,” he said. “It was like pouring rain in the shop.” Water that firefighters had used to put out the fire on the building’s upper level had drained down and through the store, he explained. While the inventory in the back was saved, the front of the store was drenched. Lincoln, his employee, and


March 22, 2018

others cleaned up the store. By Dec. 27, it was back open, he said. “In a day and age where everyone is bitching about how there are no more small businesses, there is no creativity, everything in New York City is a bank or a chain or a Gap,” he said, “we are really going against the grain.” Lincoln added, “Come support businesses like this. It’s a $4 brownie, it’s not a $50,000 handbag. And this is something to celebrate, countering all the complaining.” The Protein Bakery is located at 144 W. 19th St. (btw. Sixth & Seventh Aves.). Hours: Mon.-Fri., 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sat., 12 p.m.-5 p.m. If their weekly hours don’t work with yours, you can simply book an appointment. Just email them at info@proteinbakery. com or call 212-206-7796 to schedule a visit (24 hours notice Mon. through Fri. is appreciated). The toll-free number is 888-459-6652. Visit them at online at proteinbakery.com or on Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. NYC Community Media

Locals Lament Beth Israel Hospital’s Loss of Full Array of Services BY LESLEY SUSSMAN Community Board 3 (CB3) remained focused on the anxiously watched plans to downsize the historic 127year-old Beth Israel Hospital at a March 8 forum at the Sirovich Senior Center (331 E. 12th St.). The aim was to get feedback from local 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 minihospital adjoining the New York Eye and Ear Infirmary of Mt. Sinai, at 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 forum, sponsored by CB3’s Health, Seniors, & 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 said, “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 minihospital 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 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 urgent-care services on site, such as hip replacements and chronic HIV 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.” Judith Zabokowski, an E. Ninth St. resident, said she was most concerned about senior citizens and families NYC Community Media

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, director 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.

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 CB3 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.”

March 22, 2018


Cole’s ‘Buddy’ Comedy Burns Forever Bright Iconic character fronts Scott Thompson’s creative renaissance

Photo by Bruce Smith

BY SCOTT STIFFLER That chatty, witty, ascot-wearing flamer perched on a stool at your friendly neighborhood gay bar has seen and done it all, since his arrival via the first generation of video camera confessors — and if he came onto the scene a few decades too early for YouTube personality status, hindsight has made his bygone takes on everything from social acceptance (“Respectability is for five-star hotels, not people.”) to vice (“Moderation — within reason.”) seem less the products of another era than contemporary declarations of forward-thinking pride and defiance. So show him some love when he comes to NYC April 1-3 for two shows and a book signing. After 30+ years, Charles Butterick “Buddy” Cole is still a source of highly quotable comedic monologues, delivered with a polarizing lisp (“Such a fuss over a few extra S’s!”) and the lubricating power of an omnipresent cocktail. “The truth is,” said Scott Thompson, Canadianborn writer/comedian and openly gay inhibitor of the uncompromisingly out Buddy, “a lot of people thought I was making fun of ‘that kind’ of a character, and they were offended by it. Other people thought that I was ‘sticking it to the fags,’ and they loved it for that. Almost no one thought that I was an actual gay man doing this character.” Although the “Acknowledgments” section of Buddy’s recently rereleased autobiography cites the character’s “humble beginnings in Paul’s basement,” that’s not technically accurate. “He lived in the basement,” Thompson clarified, of longtime friend and creative partner Paul Bellini. “So when someone lives in a basement, you still call it ‘the basement.’ Paul got a video camera in the mid-1980s, one of the first video cameras, and so we would go to his place and record stuff. And one day, he had his whole room painted blue, and all the paintings were blue, so I just started saying, ‘This is my blue phase.’ And I started talking like Buddy Cole, and I stared pretending that I was a vampire… so the original idea for Buddy Cole was that he was a 1,000-year-old gay vampire who’d lived through everything.” Death, however, would assert itself when it came to crafting Buddy. “It was the first time I’d ever done that kind of voice, or that kind of character. And I was really just imitating a guy that I’d met,” Thompson said, of that pivotal recording session in Bellini’s basement. “I had this affair with this guy, and I had really fallen for him. He was quite effeminate. I had never really fallen for a really effeminate guy before. Not that I was butch.” They knew each other only briefly, Thompson

Still flinging stingers after all these years: Buddy Cole’s look, and attitude, remains intact. See for yourself April 1 and 3 at Joe’s Pub.

BUDDY COLE continued on p. 18


March 22, 2018

NYC Community Media


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

NYC Community Media

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

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

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

Eating Those who haven’t quite mastered walking and

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

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

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

March 22, 2018


BUDDY COLE continued from p. 16

noted. “He was a very powerful guy; not the nicest person on earth, but very, um, a very fascinating person… I remember, very clearly, it was like the second time we were together — he had a fever and he was very ill; and then, I guess, in many ways, it was probably the virus, you know, manifesting. But that was a long time ago. We didn’t know exactly what was going on. And then he died very quickly. So that was the beginning of it. It was sort of an homage to him.” From that flash point, Buddy was further developed through more video sessions. “We would spend all day with Paul Bellini’s camera,” Thompson recalled. “We’d smoke pot and we’d go to places and we’d improvise… We’d all have this little ongoing story that we were doing for the camera. Everybody kind of had an alter ego. These were mostly gay men. And we would improvise for hours and hours, making these little movies. And I had never really done that,” Thompson said, of the on-camera creative process. “I found it interesting, because I was always afraid that if I started talking like that [Buddy], I would never be able to stop… I was still ashamed. I didn’t want to appear ‘gay.’ I think most of my life has been, you know, in many ways, an attempt to appear straight. And Buddy Cole was going, ‘I can’t pass!’ And he became a real voice for me, because in those days, you couldn’t really… You know, I’d probably be a stand-up comedian today if I was young.” (He’s actually done so lately, to critical acclaim.) “But back in those days, you could not [if you were gay], not if you were a male.”

Tour poster image courtesy of the artist

Buddy Cole’s upcoming tour features monologue work from 1995 to the present.

Ensemble work proved a freeing vehicle for Thompson, who was soon an out and visible artist (exceedingly rare for the time) creating a variety of characters — most notably, Buddy, for whom an early monologue was crafted with the help of Thompson’s then-roommate, Mark McKinney. Along with castmates Dave Foley, Bruce McCulloch and Kevin McDonald, their “The Kids in the Hall” sketch com-

edy show earned a loyal (and still intense) following during its 1989 to 1995 run in various incarnations on CBS, HBO, Comedy Central, and Canada’s CBC. Grounded in the familiar worlds of work, family, and relationship dynamics, mundane premises were injected with uniquely eccentric twists (those waiting in a long line, for example, would welcome the appearance of a flying pig, purpose-driven to entertain — until he hit a power line and was baked to a crisp, thus becoming their meal). Very little of the material reflected current events — a conscious move that has kept their 1990s output accessible. Occasionally, however, Canadian attitudes on everything from flag burning to clean streets would assert themselves, leaving stateside audiences mildly perplexed. (Buddy once declared, “When I’m overseas and people mistake me for an American? I’m as outraged as when I’m mistaken for a straight.”) “That was a group ethic,” Thompson said, of the decision to exist largely apart from the specifics of their era. “We decided very early on we would try to make our stuff universal. We rarely referenced celebrities, things that were happening in the ‘real world.’ Because I think, maybe subconsciously, we knew that human nature doesn’t really change — and that’s sort of what we were thinking about, satirizing human nature… and I think it’s really worked for us, because our stuff, now, it doesn’t seem dated… Buddy Cole was one of the few things in the show that would occasionally reference the outside world.” And boy, did he. At the time, the particular way Thompson conducted himself as an out entertainer — let alone one playing a character who gleefully

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exposed the mainstream to the quirks and excesses of gay culture — was both progressive and subversive. In sketches that took him away from his signature gay bar environment, Buddy coached a lesbian softball team, leered at scantily clad muscle boys, orchestrated an affair between the Queen of England and his adopted son, Castor (a talking beaver!), and dressed down fellow desert island castaway Oscar Wilde (a foppish Dave Foley, whose appearance earned the classic Buddy burn, “Do something about your hair. It’s threatening to become more interesting than you.”). One very of-its-time Buddy monologue took thenpopular stand-up comics Sam Kinison and Andrew Dice Clay to task for their hateful, homophobic material. Elsewhere on the contemporary TV landscape, Fox network’s “In Living Color” was garnering laughs with every quip from the flamboyant hosts of its “Men on…” segment — and on “SNL,” Dana Carvey was playing “Lyle, the Effeminate Heterosexual,” a walking punchline whose lisp and swish were the anomalies of an otherwise solid guy’s guy. “They got all the attention and they got all the applause,” Thompson noted, “but they were straight men mocking gay men.” He gives credit where it’s due, though: “I thought they [“Men on…”] were hilarious. But they were coming at it from an outsider point of view. Buddy Cole comes from an insider point of view. They are very different spaces.” Widespread accolades from the gay community as well as name recognition by the wider culture eluded Buddy, and that still stings. Thompson acknowledges having been the recipient of kind words from “real people” on the street, and is aware Buddy monologues were fi xtures on the video screens of gay bars across America — “…and that made me feel very, very good… But in terms of attention from the media or the gay powers that be? Zero.” Asked what he attributes that to, Thompson shot back: “I think, self-loathing; an inability for gay men to accept the way they truly are.” From porn to promiscuity, “Buddy Cole was spilling secrets that should have been kept secret… a lot of gay men are just in complete denial about the way they appear. They really want to pretend that we’re all straightacting and that you can’t tell us apart. But it’s not true. Most gay men ‘read’ gay — and that’s the truth, that’s my experience… and it would always, inevitably, it would be a guy that was quite effeminate, telling me he was offended. And I’d go, ‘Have you ever heard your voice on a tape recorder?’ ” Neither a victim of his time nor beholden to others, NYC is the first stop on a national tour for the eternally outspoken Buddy, whose “Après le Déluge: The Buddy Cole Monologues” plays Joe’s Pub April 1 and 3. Referencing the tour’s name, Thompson noted, “It’s ‘After the Flood,’ and I guess the ‘Flood’ is referring to the ‘The Kids in the Hall.’ So it’s monologues Buddy has done since [1995, when “Kids” went off the air, to the present]. They’re all monologues people aren’t familiar with… I’m always writing for him; and the world around Buddy changes drastically, but Buddy doesn’t budge an inch. His look doesn’t change. He doesn’t really change, no. He doesn’t need to change. He was ‘woke’ 30 years


BUDDY COLE continued on p. 23 NYC Community Media

March 22, 2018


Hunting for Easter Eggs in the Tale of Trump’s Relentless Rebirth BY MAX BURBANK To those of you who read my column on the regular (thanks, all six of you, sincerely), it may come as something of a shock that in addition to being an incisive writer of scathing satire, I am also Sunday school teacher. Admittedly, it’s an odd fit, as my writing demonstrates a dark turn of mind, and in addition I think I may have mentioned more than once, I’m a Jew. Thankfully it’s a Unitarian Universalist church, so officially they don’t care. Our church is lousy with Jews, pagans, and atheists — and I’m fairly certain Clifford is a satanist, and he’s on the Social Outreach Committee. In addition, as I often remind my students, Jews invented Christianity, so it is, as they say, “all good.” If it worries you that I am allowed to mold the minds of small children (and it worries me), you might be comforted to know I’m not very good at it. At least not lately. Partly it’s because I find even the smallest amount of preparation degrading, but mostly I think it’s where we are in the curriculum as juxtaposed with where we are in the history of the United States. The entire situation is depressing, but it did allow me to use the word “juxtaposed.” I take small comforts where I can, and advise you to do the same. Generally in March, my class is discussing the coming of spring and rituals of renewal in various religious traditions. Trees lose their leaves, plants wither and die, the sun hides beneath the horizon — but eventually, spring comes. The sun returns; The Phoenix rises from its ashes; Sun Gods (and sons of God) of all cultures are sacrificed and then reborn. We’re edging toward Easter in our classroom, but many UUs find too heavy an emphasis on our Christian roots tends to bring on the vapors, so we couch things. It’s important the children learn that every fun thing we do is lifted from some earlier, more colorful religious practice. One of these days I suppose it’s bound to dawn on us this practice smacks of cultural appropriation. We’ll feel vaguely uncomfortable, an emotional state that always makes us feel closer to the divine. Win, win. The irony is not lost on me that I’m writing the first draft of this article, the theme of which is ostensibly the metaphorical coming of spring, during the third massive nor’easter this


March 22, 2018

been breathing like bitterly frigid air for over a year now. You know what I’m talking about. America is tossed before a howling political blizzard of stupidity. It’s impossible to focus on which piece of lowestcommon-denominator, proto-fascist garbage hurtling toward us at hurricane force speed is the one I should write my next column about, or if the one I didn’t see directly behind it is far more massive and poten-

year. Soon I’ll need to choose between torturing my two ridiculous little dogs by walking them in an ice storm like I’m Sir-Ernest-God-Damn-HenryShackleton forcing his woebegone sled dogs toward the South Pole, or just letting them happily crap in the house. Does either option sound very rebirthful to you? You might recall the term “pathetic fallacy” from your high school English class — a personification attributing human emotion to inanimate forces of nature, such as hugeass, bomb-cyclone, ball-buster, icebastard storms hell-bent on freezing me solid and then smashing me to pieces the way you dip a dead fish in liquid nitrogen and hurl it against the wall of your ex’s apartment (something I most certainly have never done). These storms serve to reinforce the general feeling of dread I’ve

Illustration by Max Burbank

tially lethal. Is it Stormy (You see? Pathetic fallacies everywhere!) Daniels I should be writing about? Is a porn star suing the sitting president of the United States of America to release her from a non-disclosure agreement that in and of itself is almost certainly a $130,000 violation of campaign finance law column-worthy? If she wins the right to speak freely about how Trump cheated with her on his third wife who was at home caring for their newborn son, will that hold the national attention span from my deadline to press time? No! Because trade wars are good and easy to win! I’d write about it, but while you were blowing your morning coffee out your nose over that one, our sun-dried Clementine-

in-Chief announced (without consulting any of his staff) he’ll meet with Kim Jong-un! Two megalomaniacal, narcissistic, world-leading toddler-men who don’t share a language locked in a room having a nuclear button-measuring contest! What could go wrong?! And if I’m going to write about that, I’ll need to do a quick rewrite, because shortly after announcing the meeting, Trump decided we’d be going into it without a Secretary of State! We can celebrate come Veterans Day with a giant North Korean-style military parade, unless we’ve already used up all those soldiers and ordinance on, you know, a WORLD WAR! That should be this column right there, but suppose Trump draws national attention away by committing some brand new unpredictable, vindictive, childish act of obstruction of justice, like firing FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe less than 24 hours before he was due to retire with a full pension and OH MY GOD THAT LITERALLY HAPPENED WHILE I WAS WRITING THIS SENTENCE! What’s next? What act of lunacy happened between when I turned this column in and when it went to print? Something will have — something so nuts it will push all that other crap right off the new cycle! And that’s when it hit me: Trump is the Anti-Easter. Every awful iteration of Trump dies, its significance paled to invisibility as a new, dramatically worse version of Trump is reborn. Every massive blizzard we survive is forgotten as a larger storm engulfs us. Our president is a perpetually reborn Sun God of a sort — a dark sun; a black light shedding headache-inducing, ultraviolet illumination across a flocked, blackvelvet-poster-type dystopia. Do you suppose if I teach that lesson in Sunday school, I’ll at last get fired? Maybe. But they didn’t fire me when my Christmas pageant featured a Trump/Caesar pushing his census as the groundwork for the “biggest, most beautiful tax reform any Caesar in Roman history ever passed, something the fake news media won’t tell you.” Maybe instead, I’ll tell the kids to be wary of metaphors in general and always weigh them against stark reality. Even at Easter, if a rabbit leaves something small and round on your lawn, don’t eat it. That’s not candy. NYC Community Media

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BUDDY COLE continued from p. 19

same time as the “Kids”). Thompson is also optimistic his screenplay will be brought into production. “It’s based on reality,” he noted. “It’s an autobiographical movie. It’s a comedy…funny, but not ‘just funny.’ I’d call it more of a ‘Stand by Me.’ I’ve been trying to get it made for a long, long time. But I finally found a great producer that understands it, and I think we’re very close to getting it made. I want to direct it. That’s my goal.” Asked for details on the autobiographical aspect, Thompson said, “When I was a kid, I was in a shooting [1975, Centennial Secondary School in Ontario, Canada]. It’s something that’s haunted me forever.” A related solo performance co-written with Bellini (“The Lowest Show on Earth”), scheduled for a Sept. 2001 premiere in NYC, was cancelled after 9/11. “It never got seen,” he said, “but one of the main themes in that show was the high school shooting… basically, about my relationship with violence.” Thompson has begun to address that subject matter again, most recently in his stand-up comedy. Calling March 14’s nationwide student walkout in the wake of the Parkland, FL shooting “extraordinary,” Thompson expressed hope that he, and others, could share their personal experiences and continue the conversation. “I think now,” he noted, “we’re at a time when people will listen.” On Twitter, Scott Thompson can be found via @ScottThompson_ and @mrbuddycole. The Mon., April 2 book event is free and open to the public; 7-10pm at The Stonewall Inn (53 Christopher St., btw. Seventh Ave. South & Waverly Pl.). Buddy Cole’s tour kicks off at 9:30pm on Sun., April 1 and Tues., April 3 at Joe’s Pub (425 Lafayette St., btw. Astor Pl. & E. Fourth St.). For tickets ($20), visit joespub.publictheater.org. Mouth Congress music can be found at mouthcongress.band.camp.com.

ago.” That’s not to say Buddy and his creator don’t move with the times. Both have established themselves on various social media platforms, and, Thompson noted, “If Paul [Bellini] and I were young today, I think we’d probably have a YouTube channel.” But the unvarnished truth that was, and remains, Buddy’s bread and butter plays very differently in today’s electronic ether than it once did on the TV screen. “People are so thin-skinned today,” Thompson said, sounding more disappointed than weary. “It makes me nervous in many ways, because you’re always thinking, “Is this going to be the tweet that brings me down?’ ” No matter what the audience reaction is while performing live, Thomson said, “I don’t care. I am in control. But online, you have a person with 25 followers who can bring someone down because they are outraged. That’s why I have a Buddy Cole [Twitter] presence, because he doesn’t give a shit.” When we spoke with Thompson on an otherwise unremarkable Ides of March, he was “working on a new piece for the encore of the shows at Joe’s Pub. It’s on the #MeToo movement.” As for his other NYC appearance, Thompson said he was “trying to get a couple of porn stars to accompany Buddy” for an April 2 date at The Stonewall Inn, where he’ll perform a monologue and sign copies of the rerelease (with new material) of his backstory-and-beyond, TV-unfriendly, 1998 tell-all memoir. “Buddy Babylon: The Autobiography of Buddy Cole” was co-written with Bellini, who not only went on to write for “The Kids in the Hall,” but figures into another upcoming project. With a non-“Kids” place in the pop culture pantheon secured by appearances as an out gay men on episodes of “The Simpsons” (three) and “The Larry Sanders Show” (35), Thompson called the Buddy tour and what lies beyond part of his “creative renaissance.” In addition to a stand-up comedy album coming out g Individual Tax Returns g next month (called “Not a Fan”), a documentary g Business Tax Returns g will be released later this CALL US FOR A FREE CONSULTATION year featuring Mouth Congress, the band 42 W. 38th St., Ste. 901 formed by Thompson New York, NY 10018 and Bellini in the early Tel: 212-302-8970 ’80s (with overlap at the


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Manhattan Express  

March 23, 2018

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March 23, 2018