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

March 29, 2018 • $1.00 Volume 88 • Number 13

Small business leader says odds of S.B.J.S.A. vote are small: 50-to-1 BY SHARON WOOLUMS

U

nlike his predecessors, Spe a ker C h r ist i ne Quinn and Melissa Mark-Viverito, the City Council’s new speaker, Corey Johnson, has promised a solution to end the crisis of Downtown Manhattan’s small businesses closings.

Small business owners, fearful of facing sky-high rent increases, hope the solution Johnson promised will be the Small Business Jobs Survival Act, which was reintroduced last week by its new prime spon sor, C ou nci l me mb er Ydanis Rodriquez. SBJSA continued on p. 8

Never backward! But a change of direction for the Pride March BY LINCOLN ANDERSON

T

he Pride March will be switching things around this year. The festive annual event celebrates L.G.B.T. pride and the birth of the gay rights movement at the Stonewall Rebellion in the Village in 1969. Traditionally, the he procession

has started on Fifth Ave. in Midtown and ended in the Village. This June, however, the cavalcade will go in the opposite direction, starting near the Village and finishing on Fifth. Specifically, the march will kick off on Sun., June 24, at noon at W. 16th St. and SevPRIDE continued on p. 5

PHOTO BY MILO HESS

Students cried out in protest against gun violence at Saturday’s massive march.

Students rage, register voters after FL shooting BY SAR AH FERGUSON

I

brought my 9-year old son to the March for Our Lives in New York City last Saturday. I came to stand in solidarity with the students of Parkland, Florida, and their plea to end the gun madness in America. I came to be counted, even if protesting the slaughter of schoolchildren seems such a redundantly obvious thing to do.

A welcoming empire of wine ...p. 4

The march was hearteningly huge — with some 200,000 protesters dutifully filling up the blocks along Central Park West that were cordoned off with police barricades. Not bad, considering the main event was in Washington, D.C., where anywhere from 200,000 to 800,000 people rallied, depending on whose estimate you believe. At W. 77th St., I led my son Chris and his friend James through a thick crowd of peo-

ple staging anti-Trump singalongs. “Hey, hey, N.R.A., how many kids did you kill today?” chanted a group of high school students nearby, echoing the Vietnam era taunt of L.B.J. The New York City march was organized by a group of Columbia University students who put up a Facebook page for the event and then became its de facto leaders. But they MARCH continued on p. 6

Villager croons to commuters at bus hub........p. 10 Retiree on running errands, e-revolution........p. 15 www.TheVillager.com


PHTO BY ANDREW H. WALKER

TRADER JOE’S RUMOR: We hear from a favorite source that Trader Joe’s may be coming to the currently vacant former Mrs. Green’s supermarket space at Hudson and Bethune Sts. We had previously reported that Westside Market was interested in the space, but apparently it didn’t work out. WHEN PUSH COMES TO GOV: As everybody knows by now, Cynthia Nixon has declared that she’s running against Andrew Cuomo for governor, and also that former City Council Speaker Christine Quinn’s shot at Nixon — calling her an “unqualified lesbian” — completely backfired on her. Quinn subsequently apologized for the comment. We asked Allen Roskoff, president of the Jim Owles Democratic Club, his opinion on Nixon’s candidacy. “The club hasn’t taken a position,” he said. But he added with a big grin, “I think the best thing that’s happened to Nixon is Christina [sic] Quinn!”

“There can only be one candidate” running against Andrew Cuomo — and C ynthia Nixon, above, is it, District Leader Ar thur Schwar tz explained.

Meanwhile, Randy Credico says he, too, is throwing his hat into the gubernatorial ring. Credico has run for office a few times before — against Senator Chuck Schumer and Cuomo and also for mayor — and has generally scored in the low single digits, when not struggling to crack 1 percent. But who knows? Maybe the notoriety surrounding Credico after Roger Stone ID’d him as his alleged “back channel” to WikiLeaks’ Julian Assange in so-called “Russiagate” might boost him a bit this time around. We asked Credico his thoughts on former “Sex and the City” star Nixon being in the race, and he scoffed, “She is not a strong candidate. I expect her to drop out — and support me.” Yeah, right! “She’s a soft-porn TV star,” Credico continued. “Without that show, who would even know who she is? She’s not a dynamic speaker. If she wants change, she should support me.” Credico’s campaign slogan is “The Most Progressive Candidate Since Franklin D. Roosevelt.” For the record, he added that he used to do stand-up comedy with Michael Patrick King, the creator of “Sex and the City.” Meanwhile, Village District Leader Arthur Schwartz recently told us that Stephanie Miner, the former mayor of Syracuse, was eyeing a run for governor, too. Miner, who was term-limited Upstate, is now living sev-

eral days each week in the Village while teaching a law course at New York University, according to Schwartz. Clearly, she would be a “qualified” candidate, at least by Quinn’s definition, though she is married to a man. But Roskoff of Jim Owles said his understanding is that Miner is not running. Schwartz confirmed that he believes that’s the case. “I don’t think she’s running,” he told us. “I haven’t spoken to her in a couple of weeks. There has to be [only] one candidate [versus Cuomo] and she knows that. And Cynthia’s doing a good job. She’s raising all the right issues. She’s getting lots of publicity.” Schwartz said, as of a couple of weeks ago, one of Miner’s main doubts about running had been whether or not Nixon would. Schwartz said he was actually with Nixon at her campaign office when she tweeted out her announcement that she was taking on Cuomo. Other Upstate members of the new Bernie Sanders-inspired group that Schwartz is a leader in, New York Progressive Action Network, were also on the phone in a conference call. As for Credico, Schwartz said he told him he shouldn’t be in the race because he could wind up being a spoiler if Nixon loses the primary election by only 2 or 3 percent. In 2014, Credico got 3.6 percent of the votes in the gubernatorial primary versus Cuomo. “I thought I had talked him out of it,” Schwartz said. “He doesn’t have his radio show anymore,” he noted, adding that probably helped boost his numbers in that election. Credico reportedly had a “toxic relationship” with the program director and station manager at WBAI, leading to his getting canned.

L TRAIN SUIT ON TRACK: In other news, Schwartz said he will be filing his lawsuit against the city’s L train shutdown plan this Monday. He said the number of potential plaintiffs keeps snowballing. “It’s not just a West Village / Chelsea thing anymore,” he said, noting that the Grand St. Democrats political club were voting Wednesday night on whether to join onto the suit; Lower East Siders are concerned about a squadron of 50 diesel buses that the M.T.A. hopes to have doing loops between the Williamsburg Bridge and local subway hubs and 14th St. in the event of a potential 15-month shutdown of the L’s East River tubes for repairs. “I’m also working with the L Train Coalition in Williamsburg,” he added. Schwartz said he’s still dumbfounded that the M.T.A. and city Department of Transportation didn’t see fit to do an Environmental Impact Statement, or E.I.S., for the massive project. “I have to tell you, I’m shocked,” he said. “Even though they did all this modeling / shmodeling and community outreach meetings, it all could have been done as part of the E.I.S. And they don’t even have to do anything different than what they were going to do [in the end]. But they have to do an E.I.S. and look at the potential impacts.” Schwartz said he discussed his lawsuit with Al Butzel, the lawyer who defeated the despised $2 billion Westway tunneland-landfill project on the Lower West Side in the mid1980s. “I think it’s a powerful lawsuit,” the Village activist said. “Al Butzel thought it was a legitimate beef.”

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March 29, 2018

TheVillager.com


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Location: Lenox Health Greenwich Village Community Center 200 West 13th Street, 6th Floor New York, NY 10011 Presented by Northwell Health Orthopaedic Institute: Peter D. McCann, MD Director, Orthopedic surgery Daniel L. Seidman, MD Orthopedic surgeon Etan P. Sugarman, MD Orthopedic surgeon Michael A. Zacchilli, MD Orthopedic surgeon Snacks and light refreshments will be served.

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March 29, 2018

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Wine as passion, at a good price 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

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The Villager (USPS 578930) ISSN 0042-6202 Copyright © 2018 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 - © 2018 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 © 2018 NYC Community Media, LLC

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March 29, 2018

BY L AUR A HANR AHAN

O

n a Friday night in Chelsea, Empire State of Wine has a constant flow of customers stopping in to pick up a bottle or two for the weekend. Owner Eddy Le Garrec expertly helps each client find his or her perfect match. Whether you’re looking to find a red to pair with homemade pizza, or wanting something that will be a crowd-pleaser at a dinner party, he knows just the bottle. It would be hard to guess that this cozy wine shop that is a go-to spot for many local residents opened less than four months ago. A French native, Le Garrec opened the doors to his store, at 111 W. 20th St., between Sixth and Seventh Aves., on Dec. 1. But its feeling is hardly typical. With colorful shipping containers, vibrant yellow walls, upbeat music and lit-up signs decorating the space, it resembles more of a California beach bar than your average New York City wine store. Cases of wine are displayed out in the open with easy-to-read signs giving aspiring oenophiles all of the essential information about each bottle, including its American Wine Critics’ rating. “What I was thinking when I created this is that, for a lot of people, wine is intimidating,” he explained. “So that’s why I put up the ratings, because sometimes when I talk to customers, they’re scared to talk to me. So the fact that they have all the information is great.” In the middle of the store is its most popular section — bottles under $15. Le Garrec makes shopping even more streamlined for those who are new to wine by dividing the section into light, medium and full body. “ ‘Under $15’ is awesome because it’s kind of a comfort zone,” he said. “When they’re there, they know I’m not going to kill them for something that’s $25. It’s creating a nice environment.” Empire State of Wine isn’t Le Garrec’s first vino venture. He found massive success in Florida as the number-one seller statewide of wine above $75 and champagne with his company W Wine Boutique. He eventually sold the business and moved to Chelsea, unsure of what his next move would be. “I kind of got depressed,” he said. “I had all this money but I had nothing planned, so I went back to school in New York. I learned how to make documentaries. It’s a great passion to have, but there’s no money,” he said with a laugh. Le Gerrac had no intention of going back into wine until he walked by his local wine shop — a whopping $4,000 square foot store — only to find that it had closed overnight. “I thought, ‘Oh, my God, this is so stupid, it’s such a fantastic location,’ ” he said. Le Gerrac quickly called the landlord, negotiated down the size of the store, and within a few months had opened Empire State of Wine.

PHOTOS BY TEQUILA MINSKY

Since Eddy Le Garrec, above, opened his Empire State of Wine store on W. 20th St. in December, it has fast become the go-to spot for local vino lovers. The French native brings to the table an ex tensive knowledge of wine, and also cuts out markups by buying directly from wineries, which keeps the consumer’s cost way down.

Eddy Le Garrec is often changing up his wine stock, based on the best vintages that are available at any given moment. He has direct relationships with many wineries worldwide and an exper t knowledge of ever y variety of grape.

Because of his years of experience, relationships with wineries and expert knowledge of seemingly every grape all over the world, Le Gerrac is able to buy directly from the winery, avoiding markups added by suppliers and greatly reducing the cost per bottle to the customer. To illustrate this, he pointed to a bottle of 2015 Beaujolais that he sells in the store for $18. “I had a supplier that came to sell me the exact same wine, but in 2012, which wasn’t a great vintage — 2015 is fantastic — for $18 and 15 cents,” he said. “I said

maybe you should be buying it from me.” Le Gerrac, however, hasn’t limited his store to just wine. He also sells several spirits, including a vodka he says is even better than Grey Goose and a tequila that he described as “dangerously good.” Because of Le Gerrac’s purchasing style, he tends to have a high turnover rate, with new types of wine constantly being brought in. “For example, 2015 was unbelievable in France and 2016’s going to be even better,” he said. “But 2017, not good, so I’m not going to have French 2017.” When asked why other wine stores in the city aren’t able to offer the same experience he has created, Le Gerrac cites his two unmistakable qualities: his passion and his knowledge. “It’s very simple,” he said. “In New York either you have this very pretentious, intimidating wine store or you have the little guy down the street who doesn’t know anything. So, I knew there was a niche between the two: someone who does it right and doesn’t take advantage of the customer.” TheVillager.com


A map of the new route of the Pride March for this year, which will head from the Village to Midtown.

Pride will stride north MARCH continued from p. 1

enth Ave. and head down Seventh Ave. and Seventh Ave. South to Christopher St., then turn east onto Christopher to pass in front of the Stonewall Inn, then continue eastward across Eighth St. and then up Fifth Ave. to finish at 29th St. The direction change reportedly was proposed by the Police Department and O.K.’d by the parade’s organizing group, Heritage of Pride. Detective Jimmy Alberici, a community affairs officer at Greenwich Village’s Sixth Precinct, said police brass felt the direction change was the right move to make. “It’s gotten so big,” he said of the Pride March. “It’s really big on the side streets in the Village. And next year is World Pride and they’re expecting another million people.” New York City has been selected as the World Pride site for 2019. The location of the international L.G.B.T. event, which was founded in 2000, shifts from place to place each year. It has previously been held in such cities as Rome, Jerusalem, London and Madrid. New York was picked for World Pride in 2019 partly beTheVillager.com

cause it will be the 50th anniversary of Stonewall, when gays fought back against a police raid at the Stonewell Inn, sparking the modern gay-rights movement. The Village just can’t handle the droves of march-goers and revelers, which will be “double” next year due to World Pride, the community affairs officer said. “It’s gotten so big, and it’s a madhouse,” Alberici said, stressing that he was not negatively characterizing the event, just meaning that the volume of people has gotten too immense for the neighborhood to bear. Also, in keeping with new anti-terrorism strategies, there will be no crosstown traffic allowed through the march. So 14th St. at Seventh Ave. will be closed to crosstown traffic for the entire day, Alberici said. Finishing the march up on 29th St. also will make it easier for the participants to disperse, instead of ending in the Village, at Greenwich and Christopher Sts., where floats, marchers and parade trucks would inevitably always clog up in a bottleneck, which would then slow down the rest of the march behind them from finishing. MARCH continued on p. 13 March 29, 2018

5


Students rage, register voters after FL shooting MARCH continued from p. 1

clearly had help from the established gun-control lobbies who are now bankrolling the Parkland survivors’ crusade. (Former Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s group Everytown for Gun Safety is a key backer.) Though we were too far away to see the stage, there were loudspeakers set up along the march route. Over all, the event seemed more tightly coordinated than the massive Women’s Marches — even if the sound blitzed out intermittently. Nevertheless, we could hear Columbia law student Alex Clavering on stage as he kicked off the march with a challenge to the media to cover the gun violence plaguing inner cities, and not just the mediagenic trauma of mass shootings in predominantly white, affluent communities like Parkland. “Today we replace apathy with action,” Clavering declared. “Today we want to tell stories not just about gun violence in our schools, but in those communities and neighborhoods who have faced these challenges for years,” he emphasized. “We recognize you, and we expect our media to recognize you, as well. “Our actions, and this youth movement against gun violence, is worthless if it is not intersectional,” he added, using a trendy buzzword. That insistence on acknowledging the full depth and diversity of America’s gun problem seems to be a key difference between today’s youth-led movement and previous mass efforts to end gun violence, like the Million Mom March that took place back in 2000. Today’s students are forcing people to make connection — which is why Governor Cuomo found himself standing somewhat uncomfortably at the front of the march alongside members of Black Lives Matter. Like the opioid epidemic, the race and class lines that once divided people into separate camps of gun survivors are becoming blurred by the magnitude of a problem that touches every type of community. Even at my son’s progressive elementary school in the East Village, kids as young as 3 are taught to huddle against the wall away from windows during active-shooter drills. Prior to the march, I was worried that the Parkland students were being overly packaged in slick video testimonials by gun-lobby groups all too hungry to make them the icons for the cause. But on the street, the anger of the students marching was palpable and very real. Many said they took part in the walkouts to honor the 17 killed in Parkland — some risking suspension to do so. Many said they knew someone at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High, or had a friend who did. “I was the only one who walked out in my class” said Karen Hull from Randolph New Jersey. She came holding a sign that read: “Guns don’t kill people, the gaping holes in their vital organs do.” She marched with her friend Aliyah and her mother Ela Ravin, who participated in the Million Mom March 18 years ago. “I marched for my oldest daughter, so she would be safe. And since then, nothing has changed,” Ela acknowledged. “But now, with this new generation, it feels like something can get done.” Many who marched were teachers. Claudette Garley, an ESL teacher in Riverdale, Long Island, came with her young daughter. Asked if she ever felt unsafe at her school, Garley replied, “Sometimes. There’s no social services or support for the kids who have problems or are slipping through the cracks.” Her school district has many recent immigrants from Central America. “Before, I was never really worried about myself,” said Vanessa Keller, a first- and second-grade teacher

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March 29, 2018

PHOTO BY MILO HESS

Coloring his reality: A young student sat nex t to ar tistic posters about gun violence at Saturday’s march.

PHOTO BY SARAH FERGUSON

The Founding Fathers had no concept of what an AR-15 semiautomatic rifle was and the deadly firepower that it packs.

who marched holding the banner of my son’s school, Earth School, on Avenue B. “After the last school shooting, I’ve been having anxiety dreams in the school building,” she revealed. Vanessa’s father, Bill Keller, a retired elementary school teacher, flew in from Fort Lauderdale to march with her. “When I retired, they were just starting to do the shooter drills,” Keller noted. “And now they want

us to be police officers,” he scoffed, referring to the N.R.A.’s call to arm teachers in the classrooms. Keller said he felt compelled to protest after attending a couple of the rallies in Parkland with the shooting survivors. “The students are so poised and articulate, so there’s hope,” he said. “They seem determined to get things done.” Unlike the leaders of past student movements who spurned their elders, these kids make no apologies about taking money and help from outside groups and celebrities — even if they refuse to share the stage with them. They are the “mass shooting generation” — and gun violence has become their Vietnam. Even the pope is now urging them to stay angry. “This is not abstract. This could have been any one of our lives,” said Lila Podgainy, 16, from Chelsea, who attends NEST+m, a K-to-12 citywide school for gifted students on E. Houston St. She said she believed the Parkland shooting was mobilizing her and her fellow students precisely because, “We are fighting for our own lives.” “I think it’s also social media — and the fact that we as teenagers are the ones that use these platforms the most,” added her classmate, Ava Grubin, of Brooklyn. Unlike the Columbine massacre in 1999, the Parkland teens had the tools to broadcast their own shooting. And now their own rage. Their goals are ambitious, and they’re pretty clearheaded about what it’s going to take to pass meaningful gun-control laws: Flipping the House and Senate and then getting Trump out. To that end, students here and across the country are registering thousands of new voters. Said Grubin: “We’re raising the issue to the kids who will vote in the next election. Who will vote to get him out.” And it’s not just Trump. On Sunday, another group of students set off on a four-day march from Madison, Wisconsin, to the hometown of House Speaker Paul Ryan in Janesville, Wisconsin. They’re calling out Ryan for refusing to allow bills to ban high-capacity assault rifles and bump stocks to reach the House floor. TheVillager.com


Transit Workers Mourn

St. Clair Ziare

Richards Stephens

Sammuel McPhaul 7/17/01

Joy Anthony 11/21/02 Chris Bonaparte 8/8/02

Transit Workers killed on the job since 2001

Kurien Baby 11/22/02

Janell Bennerson 1/18/03

Harold Dozier 12/14/04

Barrington Garvey 4/20/05

Louis Gray 11/3/16 Lewis G Moore 12/1/05

Daniel Boggs 4/25/07

Marvin Franklin 4/29/07

William Pena 2/12/14 Edwin Thomas 12/01/08

The 43,000 men and women of Transport Workers Union Local 100 mourn the tragic death of Trackworker St. Clair Richards Stephens, 23, killed on the job March 20, 2018 in service to the City of New York. Transit workers are on the job 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to provide New York City with its most essential service. We toil in tough, dirty, dangerous conditions both above and below ground. TWU Local 100 strives to insure the safety of this valiant workforce, yet the incredibly dangerous jobs we do continue to take its toll on the men and women of New York City Transit. We ask that the millions of New Yorkers who take public transit every day recognize             Paid for by TWU Local 100, Tony Utano, President

TheVillager.com

March 29, 2018

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Advocate says vote on S.B.J.S.A. is a long shot SBJSA continued from p. 1

The S.B.J.S.A. is the longest-pending legislation in New York City Council history. Many current councilmembers weren’t even born when the bill was first introduced in June 1986 by then-Councilmember Ruth Messinger. For more than 31 years, small business advocates have fought for this bill, believing it is the only real solution to stop rent gouging, illegal extortion of cash from landlords, unfair lease terms and oppressive short-term leases, all destroying the “backbone” of the city’s economy. Decades of zealous speculation in New York City real estate created a one-sided, unfair lease-renewal process favoring only landlords, the bill’s advocates argue. Giving tenants of all commercial owners the right to a minimum 10-year-lease renewal and equal rights to negotiate new fair lease terms with landlords, the S.B.J.S.A. “levels the playing field,” advocates say. In June 2009, a hearing on the bill was held by the Council’s Small Business Committee. Then-committee chairperson David Yassky’s entire committee selected the S.B.J.S.A. as the best solution to end the small-business crisis. Among the most vocal champions of the leading progressives in the Council sponsoring the bill and calling for a vote were then-Councilmembers Bill de Blasio, Letitia James and Mark-Viverito. Advocates claimed, even with 32 sponsors in the 51-member Council, then-Speaker Quinn’s office, in collusion with the Real Estate Board of New York, deliberately cooked up the claim that the S.B.J.S.A. had legal issues and, thus, could not be voted on. Thus, what advocates maintain is “the only real solution” to the crisis of sky-high retail rents was kept bottled up in committee for eight years and denied a public hearing. Although the legal challenge was shown to be without merit, it served to give REBNY loyalists cover to do nothing as businesses closed in record numbers. Speaker Johnson has done something past speakers refused to do: He has pledged to give the S.B.J.S.A. an honest public hearing. The question now is will the S.B.J.S.A. finally get a vote by the full City Council or will the powerful REBNY lobby influence ambitious lawmakers to water it down? Advocates fear a “REBNY Trojan horse” version of the bill that will not be effective in saving businesses. Sung Soo Kim, a leading New York City small business advocate, has been involved in modifying the bill seven times over the years and has helped select six of its past eight prime sponsors. “The future of our bill in a one-party City Hall rests with the speaker,” Kim said. “Speaker Peter Vallone single-

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March 29, 2018

FILE PHOTO BY TEQUILA MINSKY

After Melissa Mark-Viverito, left, was elected Cit y Council speaker in Januar y 2014, she and her suppor ters — including Ydanis Rodriguez, right, and Corey Johnson, in the middle behind them — took a victor y lap outside Cit y Hall. With Mark-Viverito term-limited out of the Council, Johnson is now the new speaker and Rodriguez is the new prime sponsor of the long-st ymied S.B.J.S. A .

handedly stopped our bill from passing in committee when he flipped a Yes vote to No. We lost 4 to 3. Speaker Quinn denied democracy at City Hall when she allowed REBNY to use her office against her own Council, stopping a vote on our bill, which was certain to pass. Speaker Mark-Viverito flipped and continued the rigging, using bogus legal claims, hiding behind fake studies and useless programs to deny economic justice to immigrant owners while bottling up our bill,” Kim charged. Kim is the founder of the Korean American Small Business Service Center, and was chairperson of the first Mayor’s Small Business Advisory Board, appointed by former Mayors Dinkins and Giuliani. He is co-founder of Small Business Congress and creator of the Small Business Bill of Rights. At this moment, however, he is not yet convinced that Johnson will follow through on his promise. “A review of Speaker Johnson’s actions, not his political rhetoric, does not bode well for our bill,” he said. A week before Johnson’s election as speaker in early January, Kim authored a talking point in The Villager (“Momand-pops’ future is in new speaker’s hands”), in which he stressed that the Small Business Committee’s composition would be the “litmus test” for the bill’s success. Specifically, Kim was concerned about who Johnson would appoint as the committee’s chairperson, as well as its members. “Johnson’s choice for new chairperson was in fact REBNY’s choice,” a disappointed Kim told The Villager. “The only possible worse choice for small business would be keeping REBNY pawn Robert Cornegy as chairperson. New Chairperson Mark Gjonaj, a

wealthy real estate owner — on record being opposed our bill or any regulation of landlords, including opposing residential rent guidelines — is an insult to democracy and against economic justice for desperate small business families.” Advocates charge that Rodriguez takes his lead from Congressmember Adriano Espaillat, who they contend is “controlled by real estate interests.” Kim said Johnson’s office rejected his request to meet after Councilmember Annabel Palma, who had previously been the bill’s prime sponsor, was termlimited out of office at the end of last year. “I requested a meeting with Speaker Johnson to discuss which councilmember would be the best choice to continue the fight for our bill,” Kim said. “His office refused my request, though Johnson knew our group had written the bill, selected the past prime sponsors, and led the fight for 30 years to pass it.”

While surprised by Gjonaj’s appointment as chairperson, Kim already knew who the bill’s new prime sponsor would be: Councilmember Ydanis Rodriquez. “Another REBNY top choice,” Kim said, with disappointment. “Since 2012, the Speaker’s office has been trying unsuccessfully to get Rodriquez to be co-prime sponsor to make changes to our bill to water it down and keep the status quo. “All Democratic leaders at City Hall at one time were proud supporters of our bill, calling for a vote to save businesses,” he said. “All have either flipped to join the rigging to stop the bill or remained silent and complicit. REBNY has their handpicked chairperson and members of the Small Business Committee, along with their handpicked prime sponsor that we rejected twice in the past.” Kim doesn’t give the bill very good odds of arriving before the full City Council for a vote without being diluted by REBNY. Right now, he’s saying it’s got a 50-to-1 chance. In an interview with The Villager in January after he was elected speaker, Johnson stated that the S.B.J.S.A. was “not a silver bullet” solution for the city’s small business crisis and that an array of measures would be needed. “I am supportive of a hearing,” Johnson said at the time. “But I also think I am not sure that that bill is a silver bullet. The bill does a really important thing: It talks about mediation between landlords who are trying to drastically raise the rent — double, triple, quadruple, quintuple the rent — on small businesses. But I also want us to think in a holistic way about this. Are there things we can do to incentivize landlords — because not all landlords are bad — who want to actually keep a small business? Could we give a property tax abatement on the retail square footage of a building, where they would get a significant property-tax break, so long as they re-sign the lease for a certain amount of years at a low level?” Similarly, in two separate interviews SBJSA continued on p. 16

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POLICE BLOTTER Hudson hit

Bar theft

A man was assaulted in front of 601 Hudson St., between W. 12th and Bethune Sts., on Sun., March 25, at 1:45 a.m., police said. The victim, 28, was punched in the face causing, swelling, bruising and pain. He refused medical attention at the scene. John Brady, Jr., 54, was arrested for misdemeanor assault. Police did not provide the motive for the attack.

Two men were spotted at the Off the Wagon bar, at 109 MacDougal St., stealing property on Fri., March 16, at 5:58 p.m., according to police. The suspects were recorded on surveillance camera swiping several items, including a scarf, a laptop computer, a briefcase, a thermos, a jacket, gloves and keys, with a combined value of $2,660. Police and the victim were unable to track the laptop. Police arrested Armando Moreno, 32, on Sat., March 17, and Alberto Gallegos, 44, on Mon., March 19, charging both with felony grand larceny.

Subway cell swipe Police are looking for a shifty straphanger who stole a man’s cell phone at the W. Fourth St. station on Mon., Feb. 19, around 5:10 p.m. At that time, the victim was waiting for a train on the northbound D platform when the opportunistic thief approached him and grabbed the phone out of his hand, then boarded the train. The victim followed him into the subway car, but the robber exited at 23rd St. and Sixth Ave. and fled in an unknown direction. The suspect is described as black, roughly in his 20s, 6 feet tall, weighing 175 pounds and wearing dark clothing. Video surveillance of him was taken from the 23rd St. subway station, police said. Anyone with information is asked to call the Police Department’s Crime Stoppers Hotline, at 800577-TIPS, or for Spanish, 1-888-57-PISTA (74782). Tips can also be submitted by logging onto the Crime Stoppers Web site, www.nypdcrimestoppers.com, or by texting them to 274637 (CRIMES) and then entering TIP577. All tips are confidential.

Punchy perp

A sur veillance-camera photo of a suspect police say allegedly swiped a man’s cell phone at the W. Four th St. subway station.

According to police, a 40-year-old man was assaulted on the corner of Fifth Ave. and Washington Square North on Mon., March 19, at 4:50 p.m. The victim told cops that the suspect was trying to punch multiple people in Washington Square Park. When the victim tried to hold the suspect down until police arrived, the punchy perp bit the man on his right arm. The suspect then stood up and socked the victim in the face with his hand, which sported multiple rings, causing swelling and minor bleeding to the victim’s left cheek. Marques Jackson, 34, was charged with felony assault.

Tabia C. Robinson

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March 29, 2018

9


Port Authority performance was really a gas BY LINCOLN ANDERSON

B

roadway or bust, so the saying goes. Or…you could also sing near Broadway — in a bus terminal. Not just any bus terminal, that is, but the most famous and busiest one in the world. That’s what Jonathan Kuhn did for his 60th birthday, giving a 90-minute virtuoso performance during a recent Friday evening rush hour at the Port Authority. A longtime Villager, Kuhn is the director of arts and antiquities for the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation. When he’s not overseeing the countless statues and monuments in New York City’s green spaces, however, one of his great passions is singing. And, yes, the Port Authority actually does have a performance space — on the second-floor balcony of its south building on Eighth Ave. — with an amplification system that piped Kuhn’s pipes throughout the place. A baby grand piano was first added there in October 2016 — in a space formerly occupied by monitors for the terminal’s security cameras — through a collaboration between the Historic Districts Council and Sing for Hope, the program that puts colorfully painted pianos in the city’s parks. Kuhn said he first learned of the performance space — which is free to use — from reading

PHOTO BY TEQUILA MINSKY

Jonathan Kuhn sang a 90-minute set at the Por t Authority on March 9 for his bir thday. Accompanying him on piano was Woody Regan.

about it in The New York Times. As cabaret veteran Woody Regan tinkled the ivories, Kuhn stood and crooned into a microphone a total of 17 songs,

THE CHURCH OF THE ASCENSION ˆv̅ÊÛi˜ÕiÊ>ÌÊ/i˜Ì…Ê-ÌÀiiÌÊUÊÜÜÜ°>ÃVi˜Ãˆœ˜˜Þ°œÀ}ÊUÊӣӇÓx{‡nÈÓä

Please join us for Services in Holy Week. March 30 Good Friday - Noon The Passion and Deathof Our Lord Jesus Christ, with Choir With Veneration of the Cross and Communion from the Reserve Sacrament

March 31 Liturgy of the Word - 10am The Great Vigil of Easter - 8pm Saturday, with Full Choir With Lighting of the New Fire, the Paschal Candle, and Baptism

March 29 Maundy Thursday - 7pm Holy Eucharist with Full Choir With Washing of Feet, Stripping of Altar, Setting of the Altar of Repose, and Watch with the Blessed Sacrament

April 1 Easter Sunday Day of Resurrection 9am Said Eucharist 11pm Festal Eucharist with Full Choir 7pm Meditation & Sacrament

Parish Office at 12. W. 11th StÀiiÌÊÊUÊÊÊOffice Hours: Monday–Friday, 9 am – 5 pm

ALL ARE WELCOME! 10

March 29, 2018

ranging from “Something’s Coming,” by Stephen Sondheim and Leonard Bernstein, “Sweet Baby James,” by James Taylor, and “Both Sides Now,” by Joni Mitchell, to “Tupelo Honey,” by Van Morrison, “Thunder Road,” by Bruce Springsteen, “Imagine,” by John Lennon, and finishing, fittingly, with “Forever Young,” by Bob Dylan. A crowd of about 70 friends took “a ticket to ride” with Kuhn, cheering him on from other sections of the balcony. “We had quite the Village contingent there,” Kuhn said, “including folks from West Village Houses, West Village Nursery School, Westbeth, P.S. 3…even Jean Bambury, the longtime co-owner and manager of Tortilla Flats.” Meanwhile, of course, there were also droves of commuters and travelers streaming through the station. “The stage manager at the Port Authority said that 260,000 people use the terminal daily,” Kuhn said. “So, one must assume that many, many thousands passed through the space during the show. Commuters would often stop for a song or two or three. So, at any given moment, there seemed to be 100 to 125 stationary audience members, and many more hundreds passing through. “People rimmed the balcony on the second floor, while others lingered and looked up from the ground level. The stage is flanked by two escalators, which at all times were essentially filled. It was fun while performing to see people turn their heads!” Despite all the hubbub and motion, he said, “It was surprisingly intimate.” That said, due to the din and the place’s sound-swallowing acoustics, he refrained from the usual cabaret-style patter in be-

tween tunes. For Kuhn, it was also, as he put it, “a culmination of about of about seven years of vocal instruction and dabbling in the world of popular music, cabaret and open mike.” His singing started out years ago simply enough, as he “honed his craft” at home, by singing his children to bed at night. Next came several years of classes at HB Studio, on Bank St., followed by independent group lessons. His harmonic hobby has opened up a whole new world for him. “It’s a community of creative people expressing themselves through song in a myriad of ways and forums, and a remarkable antidote to the ills of the world at large,” he reflected. “I knew none of these people when I passed the threshold of 50, and the singing experience and all that comes with it has transformed my life.” Some of those singers — from the monthly Groovin’ on a Sunday cabaret series — performed during an intermezzo while Kuhn took a break. As for his song set, Kuhn said, “The show was loosely built around the theme of the stages of life — it being my 60th birthday, after all — and the commitments we make to one another, and the commitments we sometimes sever or release. “Dylan’s ‘Forever Young’ seemed the appropriate song to close the show for my 60th birthday celebration,” he said. “May we stay forever young in spirit and commitment to the things we value at any age.” He saw some songs as vibing well with the venue: “Thunder Road,” for example, was a good one for the Jersey commuters. “Lennon’s ‘Imagine’ felt just right for the bus terminal,” he added, “a sea of humanity from all walks and stations of life, where we become — became — one.” Before belting out Simon & Garfunkel’s “Bridge Over Troubled Waters,” Kuhn gave a shout-out to his “silver girl,” wife Michele Herman, a longtime Villager columnist. Asked afterward what she thought of her husband’s show, Herman said, “It was a triumph. His voice just got better and better. He always sings well, but I think the affirmation of a huge audience and the adrenaline brought out the best in him.” Kuhn agreed that serenading the station really got his musical motor running. “It was so energizing to perform for this cross section of humanity, from commuters to the indigent to the National Guard at the lower level providing station security,” he reflected. “To perform for a crowd numbering in totality that of Madison Square Garden was the thrill of a lifetime! It was an opportunity to connect the personal with the universal, and bask in a collective experience.” TheVillager.com


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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-

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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 29, 2018

11


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Pride will stride north MARCH continued from p. 5

“It gets it much easier to get rid of the floats after the march,” the detective noted of the Midtown terminus. “It just seems to make sense.” Also, as part of anti-terrorism measures, the post-parade street closures in the Village expanded last year, allowing Pride revelers to enjoy car-free streets while making driving through or into the neighborhood nearly impossible. Meanwhile, Pride Fest, the L.G.B.T. street fair / festival that accompanies the Pride March, will be staying in the Village, though shifting its location a bit eastward. In recent years, Pride Fest has been held on Hudson St. between Bethune and W. 13th Sts. This year, the plan is to hold the post-march event on University Place between Waverly Place and E. 13th St. and on E. Eighth St. between University Place and Greene St. The idea was to move Pride Fest closer toward the march’s endpoint, which, again, this year will be shifted east, to Fifth Ave. Community Board 2 approved the

new location of Pride Fest, though did not weigh in on the march’s route change, feeling it was a police matter. “The Village is home to the Stonewall Uprising of 1969 and it is important to keep the Pride festivities within the community,” the board’s Quality of Life Committee wrote in its resolution on the issue, which was, in turn, approved by C.B. 2 at its full-board meeting last week. The resolution notes that a representative of the Village Alliance business improvement district had told the committee that “residents and businesses on University Place feel fatigued by the amount of multiblock festivals that occur on University Place and he hoped that Pride Fest would make all efforts to include these businesses in the festival if they so choose.” The resolution notes that the festival will be filled with nonprofit community vendors and local entertainment, with the only performance platform to be located on Eighth St. Police will be “on site for the duration,” and the plan is for the street to be cleared by 8 p.m.

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

Join us this Holy Week as we remember, celebrate, and journey through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. CALVARY CHURCH 277 Park Avenue South at 21st Street

ST. GEORGE’S CHURCH 7 Rutherford Place between 16th & 17th Street

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%!34%235.$!9s!02), St. George’s Church at 8:30 a.m. & 10:00 a.m. Calvary Church at 11:00 a.m.

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March 29, 2018

13


LETTERS TO THE EDITOR Fox solid on park facts

Subscribe to The Villager

To The Editor: Re “From park pier to horizontal ‘office building’” (talking point, Tom Fox, March 22): I served on the Hudson River Park Board for its first 10 years, and nothing in Tom’s assessment of the current status of Pier 57 surprises me. He is completely correct in his assessment. When you have people running a park who focus on money, not mission, guess what gets lost? And if people and their elected officials do not speak up, they will have less park, and it will be forever (or at least until the next big storm). Julie Nadel

L train delaying game

Your Community News Source

To The Editor: Re “Slow down L shutdown” (editorial, March 22): The push for an environmental impact statement, or E.I.S., is meant to push the city into doing nothing. The underground project on the L subway has a set date that is now virtually immovable. The people who oppose certain mentioned elements of the aboveground mitigation plan just don’t want those elements anywhere in the neighborhood. An E.I.S. process would ensure that mitigation is delayed past the end of the related underground project. I would love to see some constructive counter-suggestions.

Sip-In. There has been a bar at that location since the mid-19th century, and under the current name since around 1930. The New York State Liquor Authority was created in 1934 at the end of Prohibition. Under the S.L.A.’s loose “regulations,” a bar that was “disorderly” could lose its license, and early on, the mere presence of gay men or lesbians came to be interpreted as being in that category. After the Sip-In, there was no court case in New York about gay bars. The Sip-In publicity, and Mattachine’s negotiating the interest of William H. Booth, the African-American chairperson of the New York City Commission on Human Rights, caused the S.L.A. to disavow having had such a policy on homosexuals. Helen Buford, the current owner of Julius’, is a wonderful steward of the bar and its history. We are pleased the upcoming April 21 event for the Sip-In anniversary will also be a fundraiser for our project. Finally, Dick Leitsch’s wishes for his funeral and for his remains’ final resting place is for them both to be at the Church of St. Luke in the Fields on Hudson Street, not the Church of the Village. Amanda Davis, Andrew S. Dolkart, Ken Lustbader and Jay Shockley Davis, Dolkart, Lustbader and Shockley are members, New York City L.G.BT. Historic Sites Project

Reinholz’s Silver reminder

Brian Van

Sip-In history fill-in Call 718-260-2516 or e-mail pbeatrice@cnglocal.com

We cover “The Cube”!

To The Editor: Re “Friends and fans toast ‘Sip-In’ leader Leitsch” (news article, March 9): We first met Dick Leitsch shortly before the 50th anniversary of the Sip-In on April 21, 2016. One of the first accomplishments of our New York City L.G.B.T. Historic Sites Project was the listing of Julius’ on the National Register of Historic Places, which was announced at our anniversary celebration there. Since then, we have come to regard Dick as a friend, and cherish his important accomplishments during his time heading the Mattachine Society in the 1960s. We’d like to clarify a few points about Julius’ and the

To The Editor: Re “Not everyone things Silver should die in prison” (news article, March 22): Thanks, Mary Reinholz, for reminding us of the many outstanding contributions Silver has made to the city, for which he surely deserves some leniency. Janet Wolfe E-mail letters, not longer than 250 words in length, to news@thevillager.com or fax to 212-229-2790 or mail to The Villager, Letters to the Editor, 1 MetroTech North, 10th floor, Brooklyn, NY 11201. Please include phone number for confirmation purposes. The Villager reserves the right to edit letters for space, grammar, clarity and libel. Anonymous letters will not be published.

EVAN FORSCH

14

March 29, 2018

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Death by 1,000 errands...or by 1,000 bytes? NOTEBOOK BY SCOTT OGLESBY

M

odern life is slowly killing me — that’s the recurring thought I find myself musing on lately. As my teeth get longer, it’s getting tough to keep up the urban pace. At times, I tend to blame my hometown, Manhattan, where my rent-stabilized walk-up has effectively imprisoned me in a rich man’s playland, formerly the bohemian West Village. First World problem, you might think, and of course that’s true; it was my choice to retire in arguably the most expensive city in the world, where a loaf of crusty bread is 8 bucks and a glass of wine, 17 with tax and tip. My wife rolls her eyes at that quip, but she’s got a pension, and calling out my spotty work history is like pointing out a leopard. My extended gig as procurement officer in the counterculture revolution has provided me with all kinds of exotic hooch but precious little financial security. But I’m down with that, no problem, been that, done there, and blah blah. Keeping food around, the most mundane of chores, is no piece of cake when every trip requires lugging groceries up four flights. (Sixty-seven steps, yes, I counted — that number, amazingly enough, a few years shy of my age.) But I do love the Continental feel that shopping Euro-style embodies with its daily outings. Freshness rules by default as my fridge’s tiny freezer is already hogged by ice, vodka and chilled beer mugs. My other sins are specialty stores, chasing exotic treats or the affordable pound of organic fair-trade shade-tree bird-friendly coffee. I prowl the Greenmarkets, too, where delivery is not an option and they still take cash. In the big stores, I count out the 18 cents of change into the checker’s palm and grin stubbornly if she drums her nails. They’re lucky I don’t try to cash a check. Then I lug my bulging string-bag home and back up the stairs with its broiled chicken, two bananas, Porto Rico coffee beans, bagels and cream cheese, and sometimes a little broccoli for my neighbor, older than me. College kids and wet-eared M.B.A.’s have taken over my vintage building. They lope up and down the stairs like gazelles to their gyms, cafes and idling Ubers, and order everything online; the lobby looks like an Amazon warehouse. I’ve seen delivery guys bringing up cups of coffee, for God’s sake, and lately I’ve noticed boxed gourmet dinners waiting on their stoops. Errands ain’t killing off this group, that’s for sure. My friends push back and tell me those 1,000 errands are keeping me TheVillager.com

PHOTO BY MILO HESS

In early March, hundreds of extras dressed in 1950s attire were in Washington Square Park where Edward Nor ton was shooting a protest scene for his new movie “Motherless Brooklyn.” Above, as the ex tras took a break, a woman took the oppor tunity to use her smar tphone. Nor ton directs and also acts in the movie about a private eye with Tourette Syndrome. Adapted from Jonathan Lethem’s 1999 novel, the New York Cit y flick stars Bruce Willis, Willem Dafoe and Alec Baldwin and is set to be released nex t year.

healthy. Could be, but the mental errands of rampaging technology keep stacking up on me. I retired the flip last year and went smartphoning, but my model is already a dinosaur. My best friend insists that I download some new app so we can chat. I told him to upload the phone to his hand and call me — typing ain’t chatting. He calls me an old fogy; and now my sister’s texts arrive with a cartoon avatar that looks just like her and winks at me. I have more passwords than a nervous spy and they all need changing like diapers. The filter-change light on the humidifier blinks constantly, and that screeching dead battery alert in the smoke alarm scares the hell out of me. Be honest: Do you keep a nine-volt battery around? Send it to me, please; if I order one, I’ll need a new account and another password. And what about keeping up with friends? Their guns to my head, I joined Facebook, and now I’m the birthday wish purveyor-in-chief, the first-responder to folks I’ve never heard of. Who cares? my younger friends tell me, it’s ancient tech, I should use WhatsApp. What’s that, I ask, but they just laugh and lecture me to never respond

to e-mails, texts or anything promptly — the sender will think I have no life. They’re right, the sendee has no life, except for those damned errands. Identity theft will not be my problem.

Mental errands of rampaging technology keep stacking up.

I’m sure when I die, I won’t get the hundred virgins, I’ll get 100 divorcees and a 1,000 hellacious new errands. O.K., I’m being sexist and acting out, some would say hysterical. Hey, I’ve earned my hysteria. My one-eventper-day limit has slowly become one a week. Who could imagine the thought

of being looked after could sound so inviting? When did this happen, is this why folks move to Florida? Am I ranting? When I began this kvetching I thought it was old-school vanilla errands that were wearing me out: things like groceries, parking the car, recycling and fretting the to-do list. But now I see it clearly — technosophy has replaced thinking. I’ve reached that age where most of the people around me are richer, younger and smarter than me, but live their lives online and are addicted to their smartphones. What fun is dependence without decadence? On cue, my wife just walked in to tell me a younger neighbor has allowed a Google slavebot to occupy her apartment. Disguised as a sensual female voice, it’s taken over her Wi-Fi and responds to every verbal command. It seems that the “remote control” has Bluetoothed and migrated to Silicon Valley, an Orwellian outcome long in the making. On a personal level, I’m afraid this endgame will not be pretty. I can just hear my wife now — “Alexa, would you please talk dirty to my husband, I’m tired tonight.” March 29, 2018

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No hope for bill vote? SBJSA continued from p. 8

with The Villager in February, new Councilmember Carlina Rivera, who is on the Small Business Committee, when asked about the S.B.J.S.A. echoed Johnson’s assessment, and said that a variety of tactics would be needed to address the issue. “We’re going to have a hearing that we’ve been calling for for a long time,” Rivera said then. “Everyone’s saying the bill’s not legal, but where are the specifics? If it isn’t legal, what can be done to make it legal? Let’s put it all on the table — what’s legal and what’s not.” She added that she thinks a mix of different initiatives should be considered to address the issue, from restricting landlords from combining spaces to create extra-large storefronts, to creating “special zones” to keep out formula retail. “I think we have to do multiple things,” she said. Like Johnson, Rivera said the

S.B.J.S.A. “is not a silver bullet,” adding, “We’re going to have to look at a 21st-century version of it.” Kim is now calling for community members to ramp up the pressure by making their feelings known to their local lawmakers. “If the customers of small businesses and those that love their neighborhoods — who are all voters — send the same message to their lawmakers that the exuberant school kids sent, our bill can pass,” he declared. Kim’s message to councilmembers is simple: “Enough is enough, we know who you serve — REBNY! Why? For campaign money. Finally, stop! Serve the will of the people. Save our small businesses and jobs or we will vote you out. Election-cycle candidates come before voters pledging to support progressive legislation. But they also pledge in private to never actively call for a vote on the most progressive legislation in Council history, the S.B.J.S.A. Keep your pledge to your voters.”

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

Heroes not forgotten

PHOTO BY TEQUILA MINSKY

Family members, officers— including Police Commissioner James O’Neill and veteran Village Auxiliar y Officer Vera Reale, above — and communit y leaders paid their respects Wed., March 14, to heroic Sixth Precinct Auxiliar y Officers Nicholas Pekearo, 28, and Yevgeniy “Eugene” Marshalik, 19, on the 11th anniversar y of their deaths. The foot-patrol pair were gunned down at Bleecker and Sullivan Sts. after confronting a crazed gunman who had just slain a pizza restaurant worker on Houston St. The unarmed volunteers ordered the murderer to drop a bag, which contained dozens of rounds of ammunition. But the man then fatally shot them both before running into a Bleecker St. shop, possibly to reload. A s he ran out again, he was killed in a hail of police bullets.

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 6:00 pm BelCham 1177 Avenue of the Americas

Please RSVP at (631) 941-3434 or email info@burnerlaw.com 16

March 29, 2018

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Photo by Marina McClure

A bloody good time is guaranteed. L-R: Vania Mendez, George Olesky, Maria Fontanals, Julie Atlas Muz and Austin Pendleton.

A roller coaster ride through fraught terrain Pamela Enz’s play is refreshingly racy and rich with talent BY TRAV S.D. If the chef’s truism that good soup depends on good ingredients holds firm, then “City Girls and Desperadoes” has the right fixings. The new play by Pamela Enz co-stars award-winning stage and screen actor/director Austin Pendleton; world-renowned choreographer and neo-burlesque pioneer Julie Atlas Muz; and Obie award-winning Meg MacCary, co-founder and former co-artistic director of acclaimed Downtown theater company Clubbed Thumb. It also features an original score by Elliott Randall, a session guitarist best known for his solos on TheVillager.com

Steely Dan’s “Reelin’ in the Years” and the Irene Cara song, “Fame.” Others attached to the production include director Marina McClure, a resident director at The Flea Theater who came out of the Lincoln Center Directors Lab; and Julie Petrusak, artistic director of JP Dance Group, who designed original video projections. Enz’s play, based on a true story, is about a man (Austin Pendleton) who falls in love with a woman (Julie Atlas Muz) who reminds him of a former lover, whose death he blames himself for. Complicating matters is the fact that he is married to yet

another woman (Meg MacCary), who is getting awfully tired of waiting for what she believes is a phase to play itself out. Both Muz and Pendleton’s characters cope with grief and loneliness by snorting mountains and mountains of cocaine, supplied by a pair of lesbian drug dealers (Maria Fontanals and Vania Mendez). The play, not incidentally, is set in the late 1970s. This correspondent found the experience something like a combination of David Rabe’s “Hurlyburly” and Abe Burrows’ long-forgotten “Cactus Flower.” According to Enz, the plot of “City Girls and Desperadoes” is

based on a true story — a case where a couple argued before the woman drove off and died in a car accident. Later, like in something out of Hitchcock’s “Vertigo,” he met a woman who resembled the woman who he lost. “Everybody thinks, even he thinks, he’s in love with her because she looks like the dead woman,” Enz said. “But he falls in love with her and [that] makes him forget the dead woman, which is something his wife has been trying to do for years.” According to Enz, Pendleton — CITY GIRLS continued on p. 18 March 29, 2018

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Photos by Marina McClure

L-R: Julie Atlas Muz, George Olesky, Meg MacCary and Austin Pendleton. CITY GIRLS continued from p. 17

.

A couple of greats: Julie Atlas Muz and Austin Pendleton’s characters cope with grief and loneliness by snorting mountains and mountains of cocaine, supplied by a pair of lesbian drug dealers.

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March 29, 2018

well-known for his turns in movie classics like “What’s Up, Doc? ” and “The Muppet Movie,” his many Broadway roles (including originating the part of Motel in the original production of “Fiddler on the Roof”), and scores of productions he’s directed in New York and regionally — has been “generous and supportive,” and “a consistent champion of the piece.” Co-star Muz has had a high profile lately as well, mostly recently directed her husband Mat Fraser’s Christmas panto, “Jack and the Beanstalk” (due in no small part to the strength of that production at Abrons Arts Center, the pair were named 2017 “New Yorkers of the Year,” a New York Times reader-nominated honor). While best known as a dancer and choreographer, Muz is terrific as the woman of Pendleton’s obsession. Enz aptly describes her as “a dynamic mixture of the cerebral and the sensual.” Intertwined with the tapestry of human interaction is the audio/vid-

eo-scape devised by Randall and Petrusak. Said Enz, “As the play was being birthed, Elliot and [Petrusak] came together and created the home in which it could live — evocative without words, and viscerally quite powerful… Our colleague Ève Laroche-Joubert said so smartly that Ms. Petrusak [who has evolved from choreographing dance] was now simply choreographing images through space.” Readers should be advised that the production contains copious nudity and simulated sex acts which, on top of the rampant drug depictions, make for a refreshingly racy night of theater. Played without intermission, “City Girls and Desperadoes” is a roller coaster ride through fraught terrain and a highly recommended chance to see world-class theater artists do their thing. Through April 8 at Theater for the New City (155 First. Ave., btw. E. Ninth & 10th Sts.). Thurs.—Sat. at 8pm; Sun. at 3pm. For tickets ($18; $12 students/seniors), call 212-2541109 or visit theaterforthenewcity. net. TheVillager.com


â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Distant Observerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; merits close inspection Collaborative playwriting project is pleasingly chaotic BY SCOTT STIFFLER No joke: You have until April 1 to see â&#x20AC;&#x153;Distant Observer: Tokyo/ New York Correspondenceâ&#x20AC;? at La MaMa â&#x20AC;&#x201D; and you should. Written by Japanese playwright/director Takeshi Kawamura and American playwright/ director John Jesurun over a threeyear period via corresponding chapters (10-minute sections in response to the most recent contribution), this â&#x20AC;&#x153;tag, youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re itâ&#x20AC;? technique effectively grounds the proceedings in a realm of chaos and uncertainty that calls to mind our current political climate. Initially pitched to us as the familiar tale of an ex-con trying to start anew, that ground floor premise is built to the hilt, thoroughly upended, and pleasingly perverted. Vexed by everything from a romance gone sour to his murder victimâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s score-settling family, our everyman hero (or victim or villain) is soon thrust into a web of intrigue beyond his grasp (or, possibly, of his own design). Whatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s really going on at that embassy? How did the suicide forest burn down, and might it be repurposed for Olympic glory? Is a tuna cut to ribbons this playâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s red herring; and whoâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s left standing when the ramen is ready to slurp? Tasked with non-stop shifting of personas, agendas, and set pieces (gauzy curtains separate one side of the audience from the other, and play host to ghostly projections), the top-notch ensemble is as nimble with the wordy, quicksilver script as they are on their feet. From bell-ringing, town crier-like hotfooting to fearless track and field tryouts to prowling the stage in full-on interrogation mode, seldom has there been so much running around by those giving their former lovers, current foes, and potential allies the run-around â&#x20AC;&#x201D; making for a â&#x20AC;&#x153;Distant Observerâ&#x20AC;? that merits close inspection. Minor quibble: The constant push and pull of that curtain has the effect of a party host interrupting a conversationâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s flow by rearranging the furniture in a room whose aesthetics need no improvement. Far less potent productions might benefit from this sort of visual element â&#x20AC;&#x201D; but the words and the deeds and the charismatic players are more than enough to command your attention far beyond the final (sense of closure open to TheVillager.com

Photos by Paula Court

L-R: Samuel Im, Kyle Griffiths, Anastasia Olowin and Claire Buckingham ponder a multitude of identities and motivations.

A bloody knife and a bell donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t stay put any longer than, left to right, Kotoba Dan, Kyle Griffiths and Anastasia Olowin.

interpretation!) scene. Through April 1 at La MaMa Experimental Theatre Club/Ellen Stewart Theatre (66 E. Fourth St., 2nd Fl., btw. Bowery & Second Ave.). Thurs. through Sat. at 8pm; Sun. at 4pm. Call 212-352-3101 or visit lamama.org for tickets ($25; $20 students/seniors; Ten $10 tickets available every performance on firstcome, first-served basis; $1 facility fee on all tickets).

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

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March 29, 2018

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A letter from a student BY BRIANA BARTENIEFF

O

To Advertise Here Call: 646-452-2490 TheVillager.com

n March 14, I had a physics quiz On March 14, Stephen Hawking died On March 14, thousands of kids and I marched at 10 a.m. nationwide for those who could not be out here because of gun violence I will never forget yelling about how the whole situation was BS Asking the N.R.A. how many kids had to die today for them to do something Strangers Applauding Yelling Clapping With a strong crowd of 300 in temperatures in the mid-30s Not being able to feel my joints in the thin tights I was wearing My throat being sore after screaming for the past 17 minutes And yet, I’d do it all again I wish I was not here doing this march because I should not have to be here I should not be witnessing “School Shooting” in big white block letters flashing on my television every few months I may not have been in Florida, Connecticut or Colorado But the victims are my age They are going through the same problems as every teenager does It is hard enough not being taken seriously about anything because you are a teenager However, it is more insulting when your friends and family have been killed in front of your eyes, and you’re still not taken seriously because of your age People say, “Do you really think that these kids would be out here if they were not directly involved in the school shooting?” It doesn’t matter what would happen You best believe that if I witnessed what they have I would never be able to live in a moment of silence again I would still use my voice and my writing to make purpose out of this sad occasion Even though big men, in big suits tell me it’s no use I could write till my fingers bleed I could scream till my voice gives out And nothing could be done Politicians will look us in the eye With one hand on the Bible And the other on their heart

Promising change for the better If you look closer, their heart is racing like a Ferrari engine Their palms are sweaty Pupils dilated The white in their eyes become foggy All because the past has been so good to them They are scared to be at the bottom of the food chain At any moment they could lose it all without their even knowing In the end The main message is this I do not want to die I do not want to be killed by a military-style weapon in a place that is claimed to be safe I do not want my parents to come home to a newly emptied bedroom I do not want my name on the television screen under those in memoriam And last, I do not want to be another reason for a march Some argue that they should have the right to own a gun to kill an animal as a hobby We are not your hobby We are your young We are the future You should be investing in us Yet you are killing us You are killing us because we are less important than being able to shoot a wild boar We are not animals We are your young As well as the mothers and fathers of your grandchildren I know this fight will be long I am willing to write every letter Walk every march Make countless signs So that my children will only learn about school shootings in their history books It is a hard fight worth fighting No matter how many people there are No matter how many arguments there will be Something will be done And it will be remarkable Something will be done and our future generation will thank us for it That is the greatest purpose of all To fight for those who have lost their voice, and those who do not have it yet To fight for them is the greatest fight that will ever be Bartenieff, 16, is a student at Notre Dame High School on W. 13th St. in the West Village March 29, 2018

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March 29, 2018

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PHOTOS BY TEQUILA MINSKY

At the Triangle Fire memorial, a fire truck ladder was raised to the Brown Building’s eighth floor, where the Triangle Shir t waist Factor y blaze broke out. However, when the tragic fire struck 107 years ago, fire trucks’ ladders could only reach as high as the six th and seventh floors.

Flowers for ’11 fire victims BY TEQUIL A MINSK Y

O

n Fri., March 23, the annual commemoration of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire was held at the corner of Washington Place and Greene St. The day was cool but sunny as labor leaders and local politicians spoke, and community members laid carnations for victims of the fire 107 years ago. The fire caused the deaths of 146 garment workers — 123 women and 23 men — who perished from the flames, smoke inhalation, falling or jumping to their deaths. The factory’s exits were chained shut and firefighters of that era did not have ladders that could reach up to the building’s eighth

floor, where the fire broke out. The Triangle Fire was a critical event in the history of the U.S. labor movement, the New Deal, the development of occupational safety and health standards and the New York City Fire Department. At last Friday’s commemoration, the New York Labor Chorus sang. Flowers were also laid for those who have recently died in other tragedies, such as the high school shooting in Parkland, Florida. Today the 1901 building where the tragic Triangle blaze occurred is owned by New York University. Formerly known as the Asch Building, today it is called the Brown Building.

Schoolchildren laid white flowers on the sidewalk outside the Brown Building where many of the fire’s victims died after falling or jumping. Flowers were also laid for victims of recent mass shootings, including the Parkland, Florida, school shooting. TheVillager.com

March 29, 2018

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There’s an Urgent Care Center right on 14th Street. Perfect for us 40-ish skateboarders.

ww

My Mount Sinai is

Mount Sinai Urgent Care Center • 10 Union Square East 646-568-5690 mountsinai.org/unionsquare

#MyMountSinai

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March 29, 2018

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Profile for Schneps Media

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