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Serving Tribeca, Battery Park City, the Seaport and the Financial District VOLUME 31, NUMBER 6

APR 5 – APR 18, 2018

Is it Spring yet?

Photo by Milo Hess

April 2 saw what was hopefully the last snow day of the season, long after most Downtowners — both people and plants — thought they were finally done with winter.

New Downtown political club – Page 6

In this issue

1 M E T R O T E C H • N YC 112 0 1 • C O P Y R I G H T © 2 0 17 N YC C O M M U N I T Y M E D I A , L L C

New push to cap tour buses – Page 4


Battery Park Baker BPC high schooler debuts at Smorgasburg BY SYDNEY PEREIRA The city’s most recognized foodie market, Smorgasburg, launched its eighth season last weekend — Saturday in Williamsburg’s East River State Park and Sunday at Prospect Park’s Breeze Hill. More than a dozen new vendors joined the famed venue — including a 14-year-old Battery Park City kid selling his homemade banana bread. Jack Greenleaf, a high-school freshmen, grew up wanting to be a chef or a baker. Now, Smorgasburg has allowed him to be both. He’s the youngest vendor in Smorgasburg’s history — “by a long shot,” said Eric Demby, the market’s co-founder. Greenleaf said his banana bread was inspired by his mother’s recipe. “She raised me on her version of banana bread,” he said. “And I just wanted to do something in honor of that. I think that’s one of the big reasons why I started it.” Plus, he didn’t want to rely on his parents financially anymore. Though he’s mostly just breaking even right now, his baking-business venture — dubbed Bread and Monkey — has taken

off since its inception last June. The first day he tried selling his banana bread, he baked 20 loaves of in his home kitchen, whipping up four loaves per batch. He set up shop in Rockefeller Park in BPC and sold 17 loaves by the end of the day. He gained so much traction that he built a website and started selling every week — delivering late Sunday or early Monday by bicycle — to customers in Soho, Tribeca, Battery Park City, the Financial District, and the Seaport. By late July, he added a version made with chocolate chips. “It took off immediately,” he said. Last year, he had 384 orders, the majority of them during the summer, since during the school year, his production rate slowed significantly. But over the winter, word of his banana bread traveled across the East River to Park Slope’s local coffee shop, the Roots. The Roots and Greenleaf got in touch back in February, and now they sell around 12 loaves per week. That same month, Greenleaf had a tasting with Smorgasburg honchos as a part of the application to become a vendor.

Lisa Greenleaf

Jack Greenleaf’s Bread and Moneky was a hit at its March 31 debut at Smorgasburg.

“When they tried it, they immediately loved it,” Greenleaf said. But the market needed a bit more than just a simple loaf of banana bread to allot a slot to the budding baker.

That’s how Greenleaf’s banana bread French toast came to be. He also experimented with various sauces and settled BAKER Continued on page 18

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BUSED A CAP New push to limit double deckers BY COLIN MIXSON A Downtown lawmaker and Manhattan’s Commander-in-Chief have renewed their push to reign in New York’s relatively unregulated sightseeing bus industry, introducing new legislation to cap the number of permits the city is allowed to issue the noxious tourism business. Councilwoman Margaret Chin and Borough President Gale Brewer’s legislation comes following a failed 2015 bid for stricter regulations against Downtown’s double-decker blight, but increased congestion promised by the L train’s impending closure spurred the local pols to action, Chin said. “Lower Manhattan is no stranger to traffic congestion and this year, with the L train shutdown looming, residents want to know what can be done as soon as possible to mitigate the seemingly endless congestion that endangers our safety and quality of life,” said Chin. Sightseeing buses have proven a perennial quality-of-life nuisance that

disproportionately affects those living in New York’s fastest growing residential neighborhood, where residents are already plagued by non-stop construction, a narrow, tangled, colonial-era streetscape, and numerous world-class tourist destinations that drew more than 14 million eager-eyed outsiders in 2016, according to statistics from the Downtown Alliance. Members of Community Board 1 voted to endorse the bill to limit tour buses when it was first introduced in 2015, and former board staffer Noah Pfefferblit testified at a City Council hearing in 2016, where he described the sightseeing buses as “significant contributors” to congestion on Lower Manhattan’s already clogged streets. That legislation, along with two other bills that would have stiffened regulations for tour-bus companies, ultimately failed to make it to de Blasio’s desk, and the industry remains as big a pain for locals as it ever was, according to one CB1 honcho.

Councilwoman Margaret Chin’s office

Councilwoman Margaret Chin has been pushing legislation to rein in the tour bus industry since this kick-off presser in 2015, where the ubiquitous doubledeckers made several guest appearances in the background.

“The tour buses have been an issue for many years,” said Pat Moore, chairwoman of CB1’s Quality of Life Committee. “It is under-regulated, and it affects all of New York, but especially Lower Manhattan.” Downtown’s clogged traffic arteries are now poised to get even worse when the L train shuts down for 15 months beginning in April 2019, with the Metropolitan Transportation Authority to run 70 shuttle buses — per hour —

shuttling folks in and out of Manhattan along the Williamsburg Bridge. Chin and Brewer expect those shuttle buses — and the full-blown traffic nightmare they will bring — to give their bill the juice it needs to sail through the Consumer Affairs Committee — to which Chin was recently appointed — and pass City Council, providing at least a modicum of headway towards regulatBUSES Continued on page 12

ATTENTION: Commercial Property Owners, Commercial Tenants and Residents of Lower Manhattan

The Alliance for Downtown New York, Inc. invites you to join us for our

2018 ANNUAL MEETING

TO BUY THE SUN

April 24 , 2018 at 4 P.M.

A Play by Lynden Harris

The Challenge Of Pauli Murray

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LMHQ, 150 Broadway, 20 Floor (Picture IDs are necessary to enter building)

The meeting is open to the public and all registered members are eligible to vote. 120 Broadway, Suite 3340 New York, NY 10271 (212) 566-6700 www.DowntownNY.com

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Apr 5 - Apr 18, 2018

April 5-6 | 7pm April 7 | 2pm and 7pm St. Paul’s Chapel (Broadway and Fulton)

Tickets: $15 TBTSNYC.eventbrite.com Ahead of her time then. Still challenging us today. DowntownExpress.com


ROUGH COMMUTE A 25-year-old straphanger thwarted a group of teenage punks in their attempt to steal his headphones aboard a C train at Canal Street on Mar. 26. The victim told police one of the would-be crooks snatched a pair of Beat headphones off his head as the train doors opened at the station near West Broadway at 1:30 pm. But the fast-acting commuter managed to reclaim not only his headphones, but he snatched the thief’s backpack as well, cops said. Unfortunately, the victim managed to get his foot caught in the perilous gap between train and platform, giving the pack of teenage delinquents time to surround the man, and the kids threatened to kill him if he didn’t return the bag, according to police. Desperate, the man hurled the bag onto the platform, and the pack of kids went chasing after it, before fleeing further into the subway station, cops said.

RETURN POLICY Cops busted a 22-year-old man for allegedly ripping off the Broadway shoe store where he worked, stealing more than $3,500 since December. A rep for the store told police that the suspect had been filing bogus returns at the retailer between Prince and Spring streets since Dec. 22, loading up Nike gift cards in exchange for the phantom kicks.

FOR LOVE OF THE GAMEBOY A thief broke into a woman’s car she parked on Thompson Street on Mar. 31, nabbing more than $1,200 worth of video games and other valuables. The victim told police she parked her car between Watts and Grand streets at 2:15 pm, and returned about an hour later to find her rear passengerside window busted, and her Nintendo 3DS, games, and other stuff stolen.

NOT TOO SMART Some crook drove off with a man’s $7,000 smart car he parked on Fulton Street on Mar. 28. The victim told police he left his pint-sized coop — unlocked, with keys in the ignition — between Dutch and Williams streets at 9:30 pm, and returned two minutes later to find an empty spot where his DowntownExpress.com

intelligent automobile had been.

CELL OF A GUY A pickpocket made off with a woman’s smartphone aboard a 5 train she boarded at Brooklyn Bridge Station on Mar. 23. The victim told police she felt a man press against her backpack and brush his hands over her jacket pockets at around 8:10 am, and, upon disembarking at Fulton Street, realized that her pricey iPhone 7 had been nabbed. The victim used the Find My Phone app, which last showed her phone in the Bronx, but the device has since been offline, cops said.

SHARP THREAT A knife-wielding thug beat and robbed a woman aboard an R train she boarded at Cortlandt Street on Mar. 25. The victim told police the brute snatched the phone from her hands and ordered her to hand over a bag she was carrying, before punching her in the face after she refused. The man emptied the victim’s bag of all its valuables, including her wallet and iPad, and went to leave at Rector Street, but when the woman confronted her attacker a second time, the wretch drew a knife, before fleeing into the station, cops said. The victim was able to track her cell with the Find My Phone app to the Church Avenue subway station in Brooklyn, where she found it in possession of MTA personnel, according to police. Her $1,000 iPad, however, remains missing, cops said.

TAG, YOU’RE IT Cops busted a man after he was allegedly caught trying to swindle a Cordtlandt Street department store out of $1,400 in merchandise on Mar. 25. Employees at the retail outlet between Trinity Place and Broadway told police the suspect affixed a $449 price tag to a $1,849 jacket, and then tried to purchase the garment at the illicit discount. But the cashier proved wise to the simple con, and called over a security guard, who inspected the jacket and confirmed the man’s alleged trickery, according to police, who bagged the shopper on felony Grand Larceny charges, cops said. — Colin Mixson Apr 5 - Apr 18, 2018

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Join the club Downtowners form new political group BY COLIN MIXSON Locals living in and around the Financial District are cordially invited to attend the Apr. 11 inaugural meeting of the New Downtown Democrats, a political club formed by area civic mavens to harness the relatively newfound voting power of New York’s fastest-growing residential community, according to one founding member. “Considering the fact that the population down here is exploding, it makes obvious sense that there needs to be some organized political effort,” said Patrick Kennell, who is also a member of Community Board 1. “It’s about expressing our power at the polls.” New York’s political clubs represent the some of the most grassroots elements of local politics, and members typically try to influence elections by distributing voter cards at poll sites, and through mailings that advertise their endorsements for offices ranging from local district leaders to the Commanderin-Chief. But Kennell, who is also largely

responsible for creating the Financial District Neighborhood Association, said he doesn’t envision the new club as being overly concerned with “electioneering,” and instead hopes to use the group as a way to fire up Downtown voters and draw more political attention to Manhattan’s southernmost extremes. “It’s partly electioneering, but for us its about getting more people in the neighborhood to vote and voice their opinions through voting, and that in turn will make the powers that be pay attention to the area,” he said. Local pols don’t fully appreciate the Downtown area’s recent transformation into a residential hotspot, according to another founding member, who said elected officials still tend to prioritize more traditionally residential neighborhoods, such as Greenwich Village and the Lower East Side. “This used to be a business center where people didn’t really live,” said Enrico Ciotti, who owns VBar on Front Street and is a member of the Seaport Alliance. “We’re not saying our needs

Phot by Milo Hess

Patrick Kennell, a member of Community Board 1 and cofounder of the Financial District Neighborhood Association, is now cofounding a new political club to organize Downtown Democrats.

are more important than theirs, we’re just saying things have changed, and a lot of people live Downtown and have small businesses here.”

Paul Proulx, also a ranking member of the Fidi Neighborhood Association, CLUB Continued on page 18

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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

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Apr 5 - Apr 18, 2018

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E D ITO R IAL

There oughta be a law! PUBLISHER

Jennifer Goodstein

Parents need protection from the nanny state

EDITOR

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NYC COMMUNITY MEDIA, LLC ONE METROTECH CENTER NEW YORK, NY 11201 PHONE: (212) 229-1890 FAX: (212) 229-2790 WWW.DOWNTOWNEXPRESS.COM NEWS@DOWNTOWNEXPRESS.COM Downtown Express is published every week by NYC Community Media LLC, One Metrotech Center North, 10th Floor, Brooklyn, N.Y. 11201 (212) 229-1890. The entire contents of the newspaper, including advertising, are copyrighted and no part may be reproduced without the express permission of the publisher - © 2018 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 other errors or omissions in connection with an advertisement is strictly limited to publication of the advertisement in any subsequent issue.

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BY LENORE SKENAZY Oh, to be as ahead of the curve as... Utah! That state just passed the first-inthe-country Free-Range Parenting Law, based on the movement I founded, FreeRange Kids. The law guarantees that parents who choose to let their kids play outside, walk to school, wait briefly in the car (under some circumstances) or come home with a latchkey will not be considered “negligent.” Why would anyone need a law like that? Because being investigated — even arrested — for giving kids some oldfashioned, unsupervised time is now something parents have to worry about, thanks to two recent developments: 1. The belief that any time kids are out of their parents’ sight, they’re automatically in grave danger. 2. Cell phones. Here’s the toxic scenario: A passerby sees a child outside on his own. This has become so rare, it is like spotting a lemur escaped from the zoo. So what do they do? They whip out their phone and dial 911. Then they pat themselves on the back — after all, they just “saved” a child — and off they go. Do they stop and make sure the child is actually okay? Of course not! All that matters is that they made the call. They’re on a moral high. What happens next can involve anything from a shrug by the cops, to a warning to the parents, to a Child Protective Services investigation, to an actual arrest. For instance: • The state of Illinois cited Natasha Felix for neglect after she let three children, aged 5, 9, and 11, play in the park next to her home, where she could see them from her window. She checked on

them every 10 minutes, but a passerby thought the kids were unsupervised, and called Child Protective Services. It took two years of fighting before a state appellate court overturned the finding of neglect. • An Omaha woman taking her niece out of the SUV was shocked when the wind blew the door shut with her keys and the child inside. The car locked! The aunt, the girl’s mom, and two other relatives frantically tried open the door open using a hanger and screwdriver, and when they couldn’t, they called 911. The cops arrived, broke the window, and got the child out, safe and sound. Then they ticketed the mom on “suspicion of child abuse by neglect.” There have been other stories of a family investigated for letting their kids, 10 and 6, walk home from the park in Silver Spring, Maryland; a South Carolina mom thrown in jail for letting her 9-year-old play in a popular sprinkler park without her; a Connecticut mom clapped into handcuffs when she overslept and her son, 8, walked to school on his own. And closer to home, a dad here in central New York was investigated for letting his 9-year-old wait in the car with her 6-year-old (snoozing) brother, while he ran an errand. These are not crazy decisions that endanger kids. Even waiting briefly in cars is safe — kids who die in cars were forgotten there for hours, not waiting a few minutes while their parents picked up the dry cleaning. (And actually more kids die walking across parking lots

than waiting in cars, so why do we criminalize the safer of the two alternatives?) As for abduction — the rarest of crimes — our crime rate today is back to what it was when gas was 29 cents a gallon. Back then, we didn’t arrest parents who let their kids walk home from the park. Decent, loving parents should not have to worry about being secondguessed by authorities excessively worried about unlikely dangers. Especially since not giving kids any independence turns out to be dangerous in its own right. Peter Gray, one of the co-founders of my new non-profit Let Grow, has been studying the connection between free time and child development for decades. He’s a professor of psychology at Boston College and author of a psychology textbook used at colleges across the country, including Harvard. He has determined that when kids have all their time structured and supervised by adults — parents, teachers, coaches and tutors — they don’t get a chance to develop the skills that make them healthy, well-adjusted adults. Skills like creativity, compromise, and problemsolving. “Nothing we do, no amount of toys we buy or ‘quality time’ or special training we give our children, can compensate for the freedom we take away. The things that children learn through their own initiatives, in free play, cannot be taught in other ways,” Gray has written. Parents must be allowed to give that freedom back to their kids. Utah paved the way. Let’s make New York the next state to go Free-Range. Lenore Skenazy president of Let Grow, and founder of Free-Range Kids.

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BY JANEL BL ADOW Yankees season opener postponed because of rain and snow? Wow. April’s off with a bang! Who isn’t anxious to be sitting outside at one of the neighborhood cafes and doing some peoplewatching? Come on spring, and bring along summer. PLAY BY PLAY... While Monday didn’t see the Yankees season starter, it did see the launch of the first broadcast by ESPN from its new headquarters on Pier 17. The new morning program — “Get Up!” — a live, three-hour talk show beginning daily at 7 am, hopes to capture the early bird sports fan. Programming will be sports talk and news, and not so much lifestyle like most of the other am talkers. Hosts are longtime ESPN talkers Michelle Beadle, Mike Greenberg, and Jalen Rose. Their studio overlooks the East River with a great view of Brooklyn (and BQE traffic). The floor-to-ceiling windows are offset by bare brick walls and warm wooden beams. But don’t expect them to be in the studio all the time. The plan is to take advantage of their Seaport location, with the talent roaming the area picking up pithy sports talk from tourists and Wall Streets and neighbors as well. ESPN is still moving staff in, so

soon you’ll be seeing lots more commuters trudging along Fulton Street. PLAY BALL... As reported a couple weeks ago, Kiwi Cuba (nee Nelson Blue) is trading in its Down Under swag for pinstripes. We were hoping the venue at 233-5 Front St. would be up and running — now as Vintage 61 — by this week’s first ball toss from the Yankees. But their opening is tentatively slated for early May. First a soft opening, with a possible neighborhood party, then the doors will officially open (check www. vintage61.com for the latest details). Billed as a spot “where wine, food, and sports connect,” the logo definitely has Yankee pinstripes. The new design is hip, chic, relaxed with basically the same bar/seating layout as before. But it’s got a Frenchy vibe. I spoke with Stacey Vasseur to get the lowdown. The new spot’s name has a dual meaning. Definitely sports — celebrating the 1961 Yankees. And definitely French — a salute to a classic ‘61 Bordeaux. “It’s a causal but classy sports concept,” she said. “It’s a bistro that we want to appeal to sports fans of all ages.” Stacey says they plan a booth up front where they’ll host podcasts with different perspectives on sports — from the dedicated jock, to the 10-year-old

Vintage 61

The Seaport’s new wine-and-sports bar Vintage 61 will feature a mural on the wall paying tribute to the year 1961.

kid, to grandma. “It’s an opportunity for the everyday fan to sit down and express themselves,” she said. Eventually, they hope to stream live shows. But you don’t have to be a super-fan to enjoy the outside tables or the French-American

ESPN Images / Joe Faraoni

Morning sports-talk show “Get Up!” — featuring, from left, Jalen Rose, Mike Greenberg, and Michelle Beadle — is now broadcasting from ESPN’s new studios at the South Street Seaport’s Pier 17.

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menu. The Vintage 61 team is Jason Casano (an original owner of Nelson Blue with his brother Jack) and Laurent Vasseur, (Stacey’s husband), who is also behind Le District, the massive French food hall in Brookfield Place. Jason and Laurent bonded over sports 15 years ago while working on Stone Street. They plan to carry on that camaraderie in their new Seaport spot by combining their professional experience with their friendship and passion for sports. Welcome to the neighborhood guys! KOREAN CUISINE... Word is another new eatery will ramp up Front Street next month. Coming to the storefront space at 254 Front St., across from Cowgirl Seahorse, is rumored to be Korean restaurant. We’ll keep you posted on news. SHAPE UP... Warrior Bridge (250 Front St.) has extended its 9 am morning yoga class to 75 minutes. Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays the focus is on restoring your energy flow. Tuesdays and Thursday, get all Wonder Woman or Thor with “warrior flow yoga.” They’ve also added five beginning Acro 101 classes. For those who want a fun workout with friends, this yoga class includes stretch and balance. They also added more classes and open studio time on weekends. And every weekday morning, tune up with a half-hour mediation, starting at 8 am. Details at warriorbridge.com. Apr 5 - Apr 18, 2018

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Lest we forget Museum of Jewish Heritage marks Holocaust Remembrance Day BY SYDNEY PEREIRA The full name of Battery Park City’s Museum of Jewish Heritage declares itself “A Living Memorial to the Holocaust,” and that mission takes on special meaning every year on Yom HaShoah, or Holocaust Remembrance Day. The museum is marking Yom HaShoah, which this year falls on April 12, with more than two weeks of events from April 8 through April 26. The museum will have free admission and extended hours for the duration of the observance. A series of events and programs are scheduled throughout April, beginning with New York’s Annual Gathering of Remembrance, held Sunday, April 8, with more than 2,000 Holocaust survivors, their families, civic leaders and the larger community gathering at Temple Emanu-El at 1 East 65th St. Another highlight event on April 18 will present a multimedia musical program with rare Jewish music created during World War II in the Lodz ghetto. In addition to the museum’s permanent exhibit, three additional exhibits focus on retelling the story of the Holocaust, approaching commemoration from three different angles. “I think what this museum is working to do on a daily basis is to make sure that we can provide as diverse and as broad an experience as possible,” said Michael Glickman, the

museum’s president and CEO. “You probably would not come across three more different exhibitions that are positioned alongside one another to tell that story.” The three new exhibits — New Dimensions in Testimony, The Number on Great-Grandpa’s Arm, and Memory Unearthed — tell gthe story of the Shoah with technologies old and new. New Dimensions is in a large, rotunda room with two nearly-ceilinghigh screens showing lifelike holographic images of two Holocaust survivors — Pinchas Gutter and Eva

Photo by Georgine Benvenuto

One of the museum’s most inovative exhibits allows visitors to ask questions to Holocaust survivors Pinchas Gutter and Eva Schloss and receive natural answers from their holographic avatars.

Photo by John Halpern

In addition to its extensive permanent collection of artifacts and documents, MJH has innovative new exhibits and will host two weeks of special programing to mark Yom HaShoah.

Schloss — with two microphones placed feet in front of them. Through cutting-edge technology, the USC Shoah Foundation has created an interactive system allowing visitors to ask Gutter and Schloss questions and receive relevant answers from a vast library of their testimonies. The technology draws on 1,500 recorded answers to interpret and respond to whatever questions visitors ask. Gutter will sing a song he recalls from his childhood if you ask. He was just eight when the war began—ultimately surviving six Nazi concentration camps. Schloss will detail her relationship with Anne Frank. Gutter lives in Toronto and Schloss lives in London now, but decades from now, their stories of survival through humanity’s darkest years will continue to live on in a way that nearly mirrors real-

ity through their lifelike interactions. On April 19, Schloss herself will be a guest during the screening of “116 Cameras” at another commemoration event. The Number on Great-Grandpa’s Arm, approaches the story of the Holocaust in way more accessible to children. The short animated film begins with 10-year-old Elliott asking his great grandfather, Jack, about the number tattooed on his arm. When Jack describes his childhood in Poland, losing his family and surviving Auschwitz, the film tells the story in a series of animations through a technique called rotoscope. The 19-minute film was directed by Amy Schatz, with animations created by Jeff Scher. In Memory Unearthed: The Lodz YOM HASHOAH Continued on page 11

Yom HaShoah events at the Museum of Jewish Heritage Sunday, April 8 – 2 PM New York’s Annual Gathering of Remembrance at Temple Emanu-El at 1 East 65th Street. Over 2,000 Holocaust survivors, their families, civic leaders and the larger community gather to observe Yom HaShoah. Thursday, April 12 – 10 AM–8 PM Day-Long Holocaust Remembrance Day Observance at the museum – From 10 AM to 2 PM, visitors can meet Holocaust survivors. Free Thursday, April 12 – 7 PM Stories from a Survivor and Memorial Service – Hosted by the Young Friends of the Museum and Manhattan Jewish

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Apr 5 - Apr 18, 2018

Experience, this gathering emphasizes how the next generation ensures that those who perished are never forgotten. Event for people ages 21–39. $5 general admission – advance registration recommended Sunday, April 8 – 12 PM Memory Unearthed discussion at Pier 94 as part of The Photography Show presented by AIPAD – Curator Maia-Mari Sutnik will discuss the Museum’s exhibition Memory Unearthed: The Lodz Ghetto Photographs of Henryk Ross with Chris Boot, publisher of the Lodz Ghetto Album, and contemporary photographer Judy Glickman Lauder, who

has devoted much of her career to documenting the evidence of the Holocaust. Ticket information at aipadshow.com. Tuesday, April 10 – 7 PM The Road to Unfreedom: Russia, Europe, America – Acclaimed scholar Timothy Snyder (author of On Tyranny) will launch his new book The Road to Unfreedom, a stunning new chronicle of the rise of authoritarianism from Russia to Europe to America. Free; advance registration recommended Wednesday, April 11 – 7:30 PM and Thursday, April 12 – 3 PM From Silence – A play by Anne Marilyn Lucas, directed by Obie Award-

winner Arin Arbus. Esther’s world is turned upside down when her daughter Deborah rushes home with the news that their New Jersey temple is on lockdown and her granddaughter Elaina is trapped inside. Free; advance registration recommended Sunday, April 15 – 1 PM Stories Survive Series – Hear Holocaust survivor Frances Malkin share her story of being forced into a ghetto and then hidden by a Polish farmer for two years along with 15 other people. Free EVENTS Continued on page 11

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EVENTS Continued from page 10

Sunday, April 15 – 2 PM Witness Theater – High school students reenact critical moments from the lives of local Holocaust survivors. Free; advance registration recommended Tuesday, April 17 – 5 PM–7 PM 19th Annual Fanya Gottesfeld Heller Conference for Educators – Dr. James Waller, Professor of Holocaust and Genocide Studies at Keene State College, will speak about Confronting Evil: Engaging Our Responsibility to Prevent Genocide. A limited number of tickets are available to the general public and advance registration is required. For details and to register, visit mjhnyc.org/conference. Wednesday, April 18 – 7 PM Song of the Lodz Ghetto with Brave Old World – This multimedia musical program features Brave Old World’s arrangements of rare Jewish music created between 1940 to 1945 in the Nazi ghetto of Lodz, Poland. In Yiddish with English supertitles. $10 general, $5 Museum members, students, and Battery Park City residents. For tickets, visit nytf.org or call 866-8114111. Thursday, April 19 – 7 PM Screening of 116 Cameras – The film 116 Cameras follows Auschwitz survivor Eva Schloss as she participates in the USC Shoah Foundation’s ambitious, high-tech

project to preserve her testimony for future generations thought 3D digital projection. Special guest Eva Schloss and director Davina Pardo will, be on hand for a postscreening discussion. Free; advance registration recommended Sunday April 22 – 2 PM Warsaw Ghetto Memorial – In honor of the 75th anniversary of the uprising in the Warsaw Ghetto, National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene at the Museum of Jewish Heritage will present a special evening featuring alumni of Camp Hemshekh, a Yiddish summer camp created by Holocaust survivors. In English and Yiddish with English supertitles. Free; advance registration required at nytf.org Thursday, April 26 – 4 PM The Past and Future of Holocaust Research – This scholarly program is the final session in the Future of Holocaust Research conference. Featuring Frank Bajohr (Institut fuer Zeitgeschichte, Muenchen, Germany), László Karsai (University of Szeged, Szeged, Hungary), and Atina Grossmann (Cooper Union). The discussion will be followed by closing remarks from John Torpey (Ralph Bunche Institute for International Studies, Graduate Center of the City University of New York). Free; advance registration recommended The Museum of Jewish Heritage is located at 36 Battery Place in Lower Manhattan; mjhnyc.org – (646) 437–4202

YOM HASHOAH Continued from page 10

Ghetto Photographs of Henryk Ross, some 200 secretly taken photographs buried underground during the war and recovered in 1945 show life in the Lodz ghetto, where over 160,000 Jewish people were trapped for years under brutal conditions before being deported to the Chelmno and Auschwitz death camps. By the time the ghetto was liberated by the Red Army, only 877 Jews remained. “It’s really a way to show the variations of life in that time, from pain and suffering, in some cases celebration, to life to death, and then unfortunately we all know what happens at that end,” Glickman said. The photographer behind the images of life in the ghetto, Henryk Ross, was a Polish Jewish photojournalist tasked with taking identification photos for the Nazis. Instead, he secretly took some 6,000 photographs, later burying the negatives near his home. Groundwater destroyed half of them, and many of those that survived carry scars of water damage, but the remain the most

comprehensive record of Jewish life under Nazi persecution. Ross photographed corpses of those who starved to death, people saving Torahs, and lines of people being herded to trains for deportation. But he also photographed weddings and birthdays, and other moments of rare joys the prove the resilience of those enduring the Lodz ghetto. “In the eyes of these 200 photographs, and looking at these individuals — in some cases these being the only remnants of a life lived — this gives the visitor an opportunity to experience something they probably didn’t know about, the Lodz ghetto,” Glickman said. Other events during the commemoration will include testimonies from Holocaust survivors, seminars and performances. During the commemoration of Yom HaShoah, the three special exhibitions, in addition to the museum’s permanent collection, will be open Monday through Thursday 10 am to 8 pm, Friday 10 am to 5 pm, and Sunday 10 am to 6 pm.

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Chock-full, eh? World’s largest Chick-Fil-A draws huge crowds in Fidi on opening day four other Manhattan diners, but for BY COLIN MIXSON This chicken has come home to roost its first Downtown outpost the chicken joint chose to cre— in Fidi! ate a massive, five-stoSouthern friedry showcase on Fulton chicken chain ChickStreet, complete with Fil-A opened its a rooftop dining space world’s-largest outwith views of nearby St. let in the heart of Paul’s Chapel and the Downtown’s Financial World Trade Center. District on March “The view, it’s 29, and local workers good,” said Bronx resiflocked to the restaudent Alex Garcia, who rant, creating lines that did some construction stretched around the work on the building. block to check out the The 12,000-squaregigantic new eatery. Chick-Fil-A “We were waiting The towering, five-story foot space also features for this moment for a restaurant is billed as the two kitchens, a room long time,” said Tom largest Chick-Fil-A in the for private parties, and three levels of dining Berger, who commutes world. that can accommodate from Westchester for work in Fidi. “We knew it was going to 140 guests. To keep waits brief, patrons are open, we had it on our calendar, and we invited to order using their phones, were jacked and ready to go.” The fast-food restaurant operates while staff patrol the line with tablet

Photos by Colin Mixson

(Above) The line outside Chick-Fil-A stretched around the block during its March 29 grand opening, with would-be diners literally waiting on Broadway to eat at the Fulton Street eatery. (Right) The gigantic new chiken joint even includes a rooftop dining space.

devices that can take orders before diners reach the counter. Chick-Fil-A brass wisely overstaffed the restaurant in preparation for the opening, and lines stretched down Fulton Street and around the block onto Broadway as waiters handed out menus, and an MC for the opening event pleaded with patrons to clear a path for pedestrians.

BUSES Continued from page 4

ing the business. “Instituting a reasonable cap on sightseeing tour buses is a step the city can take right now,” said Chin. But locals shouldn’t expect to see fewer buses on the road as a result of the new bill, which would cap the number of sightseeing buses at 225. Compared to the currently licensed 197 buses, the cap would actually permit a modest expansion of tour buses Downtown, according to statistics provided by the Chin’s office.

And while the line appeared intimidating, the wait actually wasn’t too bad, with most patrons saying it took a relatively brief 10 to 15 minutes to get their chicken dish. “The service is incredible,” said Berger. “As my buddy said, this is the way things are done in the south. Now we’ve got a little bit of the south in the heart of New York City.”

The cap is lower than the 239 valid licenses that were rolling around in 2016, but it doesn’t feel like there are fewer buses on the street, according to Moore, who said that, if anything, Lower Manhattan seems more congested with sightseeing buses — and just about everything else. “Our experience of living in the area is it doesn’t feel like there’s less tour buses,” said Moore. “We have street closures, we have three times as many people living here — it doesn’t feel like there’s less vehicles of any sort.”

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Apr 5 - Apr 18, 2018

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Photo by Michael Wakefield

Our Lady of Pre-Code Cinema: Charles Busch as Lily Dare.

‘Lily’ is the Latest by Eternally Ephemeral Charles Busch ‘Dare’ to be taken for a limited time only BY SCOTT STIFFLER Twenty-four times for “The Confession of Lily Dare” — the latest from actor, playwright, novelist, screenwriter, director, and drag legend Charles Busch — sure seems like a scant amount. And yet, in this age of on-demand streaming platforms and everlasting social media posts, the fleeting nature of what goes on at Theater for the New City (TNC) suits our lady in question just fi ne, thank you. DowntownExpress.com

“One could think it’s sort of a dotty thing to do, because we put a lot of effort into these,” said Busch, of the many blink-and-miss-it productions he’s brought to Crystal Fields’ iconic East Village venue over the years (including 2012’s Biblical epic “Judith of Bethulia,” with Busch as the morally sound, titular heroine). “When I want to rekindle a sense of pure joy in putting on a show,” Busch said, “which often happens when I start feeling low ebb and want to pull

myself up, other people might take a stiff drink. For me, I put on a play. I have a very loose relationship with Crystal. I just call her up before there even is a play, and ask her if she has a couple of weeks when one of her theaters is available.” Demonstrating a steadfast commitment comparable to what might account for the longtime presence of those in his own creative ensemble (actors Christopher Borg and Jennifer Van Dyck, along with director Carl Andress, are on

board for “Lily Dare”), Busch noted of Fields, “She produced my very fi rst play when I was extremely young… and she never lost faith in me. And so I return, often.” Although he granted our interview request with no grand effort required (and let the clock run well past the chunk of time we asked for), Busch doesn’t court review coverage for his shows at TNC. He doesn’t have to. LILY DARE continued on p. 14 Apr 5 - Apr 18, 2018

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LILY DARE continued from p. 13

They’ve long sold out by word of mouth, buoyed in more recent years by updates on his Facebook page. Still, some potential audience members see the limited run and the small house and need to be advised not to miss the boat. “People always think it’s a workshop,” Busch observed with benign bemusement, “and I have to explain, ‘No, this is it.’ It just so happens twice, we have actually transferred these plays commercially [“Shanghai Moon” and “The Divine Sister”]… But honestly, there’s never any ulterior motive or agenda. It’s just do it 24 times, take the pictures, and then move on.” The cumulative effect of this ethic is a body of work that seems like a mirage, albeit one with real pleasures. “The last one we did [at TNC] was my version of ‘Cleopatra.’ I wrote it so quickly, and we performed it so quickly, and since nothing really appeared in print about it, sometimes I think, did I really play Cleopatra or did I just have a dream that I was in ancient Egypt? It’s just so ephemeral. I mean all theater is, but particularly in this case… that aspect, I fi nd rather moving and fascinating.” Armchair analysts might fi nd it interesting to note that just under a year into the Trump presidency, the playwright set about writing his current project, grounding it in an era of permissiveness cut short by conservative backlash. Asked if the subject matter connects to our current political climate, Busch said, “I certainly have passionate feelings about what’s going on today. But as a writer, I don’t know if that’s really in my wheelhouse to do contemporary satire. There are other writers who are much better suited to that kind of material… I do think everything you write is personal, whether you know it or not. Certainly my emotional state is reflected in whatever I’m writing.” Set along California’s lusty Barbary Coast during the turn of the 19th century, “The Confession of Lily Dare” takes its title character from the sheltered life of a convent girl to success as a cabaret chanteuse to serving as the madam in a sting of brothels to the downwardly mobile lot of a “drunken waterfront hag,” as Busch put it. It’s all in the spirit of the story arc found in what came to be known as the “confession fi lm” genre. “There was a spate of movies between 1931 and 1933,” Busch explained, “that centered around a female character who suffered all sorts of romantic tribulations, and had an illegitimate child who she gives up for their own good.” During this period, American films were “free from any moralistic limitations on stories of adultery, and a woman didn’t have to be punished for her sins. The language could be racier. There were intimations of homosexuality among the minor characters. They weren’t censored, and it was an exciting thing.” Then the pendulum swung back. “Catholic groups were appalled by the open sexuality,” Busch noted, “so the motion picture community decided to police their own works, because they were worried that other groups would come in and police it for them.” Thus, the confession fi lm had its day during the last bastion of pre-code picture making. But you don’t have to be cinephile enjoy your night out at the theater. “I like to think that if you’ve never seen a motion

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Apr 5 - Apr 18, 2018

Photo by Michael Wakefield

Playwright and leading lady Charles Busch (seen here) assures you’ll need no prior knowledge of the “confession film” to enjoy his latest.

picture before,” Busch submitted, “you can have an awfully good time at ‘The Confession of Lily Dare.’ I do think if you have a fondness for classic fi lm, certainly you would notice details. But I really don’t think there’s a single laugh in the play that’s predicated on your familiarity with the particular movie genre.” Audiences familiar with his body of work, however, are likely to recognize the source of those laughs. “Humor, the best humor to me,” Busch said, “is self-recognition at the noble foolishness of people trying to do the right thing and failing — but trying so hard; just the folly of human existence.” What’s more, the playwright assured, you can make those post-show dinner plans with confidence. “Most of the movies, for the 1940s, were under two hours,” Busch noted. “And in the ’30s, it could be 80 minutes. So when I’ve done a parody, I see no reason to make it much longer than the original movie would be… at two and a half hours, you lose your welcome. And I like to get to the restaurant before it closes.” Not long after “Lily Dare” closes, Busch returns to the road. “Like most careers, there are changes and chapters,” he said of his cabaret act. “They happen before you know you are doing it.” With longtime accompanist and “marvelous arranger” Tom Judson at the piano, “It’s almost like a two-person show,” Busch noted, “because he sings duets with me… and it’s been so fun. My god, we’ve been to at least 27 different cities and four different countries.” Over the past six years, Busch has refi ned his approach. “In a creative situation, the question you should ask yourself is, ‘What do I have to offer?’ I think that’s a little healthier than, ‘God, I can’t do this.’ So when I fi rst stated doing cabaret, I said, ‘I’m a playwright and a storyteller. I’ll go about it that way. It doesn’t matter if my singing is a little sketchy. I’ll choose songs I can really act and do a lot of anecdotes in between.’ ” But as Judson’s arrangements became “more complex and demanding,” Busch recalled, he made “the move, about a

year ago, to take some singing lessons, which really helped a lot. And now I’m really singing… It sounds rather obvious, and yet, it was challenging for me.” As an interpreter of song prone to favor playwriting mode, he conceded, the lyrics “have always been more important to me than the melody. But to use the melody as an expressive tool, as well as the lyrics, was something I had to trust.” Be it Barcelona or South Bend, Indiana, Busch seems to encounter the same faces likely to be found in the house at Feinstein’s/54 Below, here in Manhattan. “Every audience is all New Yorkers. Wherever I’ve gone, it really seems to happen,” he said. “In Paris, I was determined to learn a French song — in French. I worked so hard on this Edith Piaf song, and it turned out there wasn’t a single French person around. They were all from Yonkers.” Busch and Judson will tour again in the summer (heads up, Sag Harbor, among other places). In the meantime, TNC audiences hoping for a tune or two will not walk away disappointed, as, after all, Lily does go through her cabaret entertainer phase. “I was searching for an old song,” he recalled, “and Tom said, ‘Well, I’ll just write you one,’ and he wrote this most perfect song, called ‘Pirate Joe’ that is just every song Marlene Dietrich ever sang.” Cast member Kendal Sparks, as Mickey, plays Judson’s “rather complicated arrangement,” while Busch, of course, sings — “which is ironic,” he noted, “because we have, in the cast, Howard McGillin and Nancy Anderson, who are two of the most accomplished musical theater performers around. Howard has played the Phantom of the Opera for more performances than anyone else, ever, and Nancy, among her many credits, recently stood by for Glenn Close in ‘Sunset Boulevard’ and went on one night, spectacularly. So it’s a little embarrassing, that they keep their mouth shut and I’m the one doing the singing.” Lest one think these high achievers are shooting daggers at their leading lady, Busch noted, “I think they’re relieved. They don’t have to worry about their voices, or getting a cold. Musical theater people are thrilled when all they have to do is act.” As for Busch, it seems as if another act is in store for his 2000 Broadway hit, “The Tale of the Allergist’s Wife.” Bette Midler and Sharon Stone are currently attached to the long-awaited screen adaptation, and the playwright is optimistic. “At the moment,” Busch said, “it’s looking very good. We have a wonderful director [Andy Fickman]. But I can’t tell you when the cameras are going to start cranking.” Circling back to his upcoming cabaret work, Busch said that although “a lot of people think of me as a drag performer,” he’s “recently stopped being in drag during in my act, because it seemed like the more I was unveiled, the better it is.” “The Confession of Lily Dare” is presented through April 29; Tues. at 7pm, Wed.–Sat. at 8pm and Sun. at 3pm; Sat., April 7 at 3pm. In the Johnson Theater at Theater for the New City (155 First Ave., btw. E. Ninth & 10th Sts.). For tickets ($25 general admission), call SmartTix at 212-8684444 or visit smarttix.com. To be placed on the waiting list for sold-out performances, call TNC at 212-254-1109. Venue info at theaterforthenewcity. net and artist info at charlesbusch.com. DowntownExpress.com


A Birthday Fit for a Princess — At a Pauper’s Price From cupcakes to caffeine, claim your complimentary bounty BY CHARLES BATTERSBY I strut through Union Square in my $750 cocktail dress, and take a sip from my $10 coffee, careful not to smudge my professionally applied lipstick. A gentleman hands me a free cupcake as I walk by. Other people give me food, cosmetics, and beverages because... I’m special! Am I a movie star? A princess? A social media influencer with a million followers? No, I’m special because I’m The Birthday Girl — and today, I’m living the sweet life for free. All it takes is some comfortable shoes, knowledge of New York’s neighborhoods, and an email address I was willing to hand over to data miners. Stores, restaurants, and small businesses offer free stuff to people celebrating their birthday, usually with some strings attached. I spent my special day trying to turn the tables on them, and collect as much birthday loot as possible while avoiding the cunning stratagems from online marketers. I started with Rent the Runway, whose flagship location is right off Union Square (30 W. 15th St.; renttherunway.com). This company will give you a $30 credit toward a rental dress for your birthday — but you must sign up for the $30 a year “Pro” subscription. The subscription provides free shipping and insurance on orders, and is balanced out with the $30 credit. I used it for a couture Badgley Mischka cocktail dress and spent the entire day wearing $750 worth of “free” sequins. First on the birthday To Do list was grooming. Benefit Cosmetics (benefitboutiques.com) has several “Brows A-Go-Go” salons in New York, including one in Chelsea (177 Seventh Ave.). At any time during the week of your birthday, you can get a free brow waxing (but tipping is polite). Next was the 119 Fifth Ave. location of Sephora (sephora.com), where I had my choice of several free cosmetics items. This required registering for their free “Beauty Insider” account, but no purchase was necessary. While there, I took advantage of their free minimakeovers to have the makeup around my eyebrows touched up. Nearby, on Sixth Ave., between W. 14th and 15th Sts., a Pinkberry yogurt is on the same block as a Baskin-Robbins ice cream shop. Both forced me to jump through online hoops before getting my free frozen treats. Baskin Robbins required me to register at baskinrobbins.com, and to bring a printed copy DowntownExpress.com

There’s no such thing as “overdressed for Chipotle.”

Photos by Lizzie Pepper

Suffer for beauty with a free waxing at Brows A-Go-Go.

of the coupon. Pinkberry also required me to register an account online at pinkberry.com, and to download their app onto my phone. Sugared up, but in need of caffeine, I turned to Starbucks. They give you a free cup of coffee on your birthday, but you have to sign up for their “Gold Star” program at starbucks.com, and actually buy something from a Starbucks before your birthday rolls around. At the Union Square Starbucks (they have locations at 10 Union Sq. E. and 25 Union Sq. West), my barista was quite happy to help me concoct a wildly extravagant cappuccino monstrosity for free. Union Square is ground zero for gaining birthday loot. There’s a Sephora, NYX, Fresh Cosmetics, Starbucks, Dunkin’ Donuts, Panera Bread, Chipotle, and Au Bon Pain in a convenient ring around the park — all of

which have freebies for people who join their online rewards program. I made the circuit in less than an hour. A pleasant surprise was the Union Square Chipotle (117 E. 14th St.). I wandered in, flashed my “Birthday Princess” sash and was promptly given a complimentary meal for me and my guest. No need to visit chipotle.com or even give them my email. Another hotspot of freebies is Penn Station. Hooters, at 115 W. 33rd St., will give you a free plate of chicken wings if you register for their “eClub” online at originalhooters.com. You can’t get the wings to go, but that’s okay because the Hooters girls will gather round your table and sing you a birthday song. On the same block as Hooters is another Sephora, a Sbarro pizza (free slice with purchase of beverage), and, right next to the Penn Station entrance on Seventh

A cab is your birthday chariot, from a hot yoga class to the frozen yogurt shop.

Ave., a tiny Sprinkles Cupcakes kiosk. Register online at sprinkles.com, and they’ll give you a cupcake to go. In the East Village, the International House of Pancakes (235-237 E. 14th St.) serves up a free stack of pancakes on your birthday, as well as a free stack just for signing up for a Pancake Revolution account (at ihop. com). Edible Arrangements (ediblearrangements.com) will give you a box of goodies, but there’s a catch: You need to spend $29 on their products before your birthday rolls around. The store manager at their 100 St. Marks Place location took pity on me and let me have a few chocolate-covered strawberries, anyway. After eating all these free meals, I needed to burn off some calories. In BIRTHDAY continued on p. 16 Apr 5 - Apr 18, 2018

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Mini-makeovers at Sephora are complimentary year round. BIRTHDAY continued from p. 15

Photos by Lizzie Pepper

Hot wings are free at Hooters, but cocktails are extra.

Three coffee shops in Union Square provided free coffee.

16

Apr 5 - Apr 18, 2018

the West Village, right across the street from the LGBT Center is the Integral Yoga Institute NYC (227 W. 13th St.; iyiny.org). On your birthday, you and a pal can take a free class. Uptown and in Williamsburg is CorePower Yoga (corepoweryoga.com), which gives you a week of classes for registering on their site, plus an additional free class for your birthday. Birthday girls who want to earn their birthday spanking can get a free class at the 520 Eighth Ave. location of StripXpertease, which has exotic dance fitness, and even naughtier classes (stripxpertease.com). Many of these companies were on the level and tossed me a gift, no strings attached — but most of the “free” offers came with a catch. Some required me to fork over my email address. Others demanded I buy something before getting the freebie. We spoke with Gabe Carey, Junior Analyst at PCMag (pcmag.com), about whether these offers are worth the potential consequences. “The moment you hand over your personal information to a company, you’re putting yourself at risk of identity theft,” Carey said. “Chain retailers, like Best Buy and like Starbucks, will tell you they won’t pawn your data to third parties, and unless there’s a massive loophole in their user agreement, they’re probably telling the truth. What they fail to disclose to you upfront, because they aren’t legally obli-

Our Birthday Girl had trouble carrying all of her loot.

gated to, is that data breaches — such as the infamous Equifax one that took place in the middle of last year — can put you at risk of your personal information going viral. As 4,000 cyber attacks happen every day, you have to ask yourself if that danger is worth the occasionally discounted Frappuccino.” My royal birthday provided me with a couple hundred dollars of goods and services, but it also provided market researchers with information on my dining habits, makeup choices, exercise routines, and fashion sense. It was worth it for my special day — but according to Carey, “After that initial transaction takes place, you are no longer the customer. Instead, you’ve become the product.” DowntownExpress.com


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 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 DowntownExpress.com

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 — 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/video-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. Apr 5 - Apr 18, 2018

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BAKER Continued from page 2

on chocolate and matcha — a green-tea sauce inspired by 10Below Ice Cream’s Matcha Made in Heaven flavor. “It was unbelievable,� he said of his latest creation. “The matcha sauce was just classic.� On March 31, Bread and Monkey debuted its banana bread, chocolate-chip banana bread, and French toast made with both at the iconic foodie haven, and was an instant hit. The stand was busy all day — his mother on the grill for the French toast and a family friend working with him as the cashier. Greenleaf said he sold a lot more than he expected, reeling in new customers with samples. “Whenever somebody would try it, they would love it and they would either buy a loaf or French toast,� he said. Though he’s new as a vendor, Greenleaf is no stranger to Smorgasburg. His first bite at the market was the notorious Ramen Burger a few years back when he was just 10 years old.

“I grew up going to Smorgasburg, and I always thought it would be incredibly, incredibly cool if I could be there as one of the vendors,� said Greenleaf. “It’s honestly insane.� Greenleaf had been waiting for this day for years — but he didn’t expect the day to come so soon. “I didn’t think that an adult would think a 14-yearold could actually withstand all the pressure from everything at Smorgasburg,� he said. But Demby, the cofounder of Smorgasburg, said age is not a criterion. Their focus, rather, is for a “delicious� and “tasty� product, professionalism, a clear concept, a strong brand identity and the ability to self-promote. “At his tasting, he presented as professionally as anyone we met this winter, and answered our questions as deftly as other adults,� he said. “In fact, with the focus on young people’s power and pride at the moment, we see Jack’s age as a distinct advantage.�

CLUB Continued from page 6

said he joined the group specifically to advocate for much-needed city services and Downtown infrastructure improvements — most notably through upgrades to the area’s colonial-era street grid, which locals have blamed for a whole host of quality-of-life and safety issues — that have been late catching up with the area’s radical demographic shift. “Existing institutions have failed to plan for or address the issues facing residents in Lower Manhattan. If we want a better future for our children and want to maintain property values, we need to wrest control of our future from the status quo,� said Proulx. “The only way to do that is through political action.� New Downtown Democrats won’t be the only political club that advocates for neighborhoods south of Canal Street, and the venerable Downtown Independent Democrats have represented the interests of area residents for years, according to the club’s vice president, Sean Sweeney. But Sweeney’s club features more Lower East Side residents, and has been struggling to attract members living in the southern reaches of Downtown for years, despite an annual mailer that invites thousands of locals to join up, he said. The Downtown Independent Democrats actually reached out to Kennell to join their club, and Sweeney admits he was disappointed that the Fidi organizer decided to create his

own outfit, although he hopes the groups can work together in the future. “I think he would have gotten more power if he had joined Downtown Independent Democrats,� said Sweeney. “He’d have more influence with an established political club, but if he chooses to form his own club, there’s nothing wrong with that.� With Kennell saying he doesn’t see the group participating in the traditional electioneering that usually defines political clubs’ role in city politics, and an admission from Ciotti that the group hasn’t established a strategy for accomplishing its stated goals, it’s unclear exactly how the group will reach out and effect the district. The group does enjoy endorsements from Assemblywoman Yuh-Line Niou (D–Lower Manhattan) and Comptroller Scott Stringer, who will be on hand at VBar on Apr. 11 for the club’s official debut. And Daisy Paez, a district leader for the 65th Assembly District, has agreed to join the club, lending the New Downtown Democrats an air of legitimacy with at least one elected member. And while the group’s activities and form will likely take shape over time, and defined in part by the interest the club generates, locals can at least trust that New Downtown Democrats’ fearless leader is a doer, Ciotti said. “I remember one time we joked about forming a Democratic club Downtown, and with Pat you never know — you talk about it, and then it just gets done,� he said.

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ADVERTORIAL

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

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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-

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.

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