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The Paperr of o f Record Re ecc o r d for ffo o r Greenwich Gre Gre Gr ee e nw enw w ic i c h Village, ich Viil V i ll ll a ag ge e,, East Ea ass t Village, V llage, Lower Vi L East Side, Soho, Union Square, Chinatown So S o ho ho, U Un n io ni i o n Sq S q ua u a rre e, C Ch h in i n at ato ow w n and an a n d Noho, No N o h o, o Since 1933

April 12, 2018 • $1.00 Volume 88 • Number 15

N.Y.U. prof, ‘truther’ poised to challenge Maloney in primary BY SYDNEY PEREIR A

I

n a congressional district as blue as the 12th, winning the primary election is the biggest hurdle to a seat on Capitol Hill. But, over the years, Representative Carolyn Maloney, who has been in Congress since 1992, has repeatedly squashed any oppo-

nents who have tried to snatch her seat. Her challengers are hoping that this year, however, will be different. Suraj Patel, a Barack Obama campaign veteran and business ethics professor at New York University’s business school, hasn’t run for office before, nor PRIMARY continued on p. 6

To catch a Kushner: False filings can open door to harassment BY SYDNEY PEREIR A

M

aryAnn Siwek’s ceiling caved in — twice. Her bathroom ceiling did, too. There was water damage, dust in the hallway and ongoing construction late into the night during the peak of the chaos after the Kushner Companies bought ught her buildbuild

ing in 2013. Siwek lives in a rent-regulated apartment at 170 E. Second St., and the shoddy, unsafe construction began soon after Jared Kushner’s company purchased the building, according to her. Three years later, Kushner’s KUSHNER ccontinued on p. 14

VILLAGER FILE PHOTO BY J.B. NICHOLAS

“She lit the spark...”: Sarah Jessica Parker — both as Carrie and as herself — has been an inspiration for a fellow native Midwesterner living in the Village. See Page 21.

Alcohol problem: C.B. 2 committee in ‘bar brawl’ BY LINCOLN ANDERSON

T

here’s no doubt how Ed Gold, the late longtime Community Board 2 member, would have pegged this one: “It’s a real ‘Rashomon’!” he would have said, with a chortle. “Rashomon,” the classic 1950 Kurosawa flick, features alternate versions of a samurai’s murder — as told by his wife, the bandit who ravished her, a woodcutter and the

Herbert Kee, Ch’town lion....... p. 4

samurai as channeled through a medium. Yet, in this particular “Rashomon” the setting was not a forest in medieval Japan, but the Church of St. Anthony of Padua basement, on Sullivan St., when the C.B. 2 State Liquor Authority Committee met there on Jan. 9. And the main characters are Tom Connor, a senior activist who was subsequently abruptly booted off the committee; Bob Ely, the committee’s co-chairperson;

the other seven committee members, one of whom was willing to comment on the record for this article and three others who only spoke to The Villager off the record; and Terri Cude, the C.B. 2 chairperson, who was not at the meeting, but who reassigned Connor off of it. In the background of the entire affair is the accusation, made by a prominent nightlife advocate, that C.B. 2 — which C.B.2 continued on p. 8

Bella Abzug finally gets her own ‘Way’............ ..p. 3 Vote! Participate in District 3 budgeting ............p. 5 www.TheVillager.com


Schwartz making the rounds on cable TV in defense of Donald Trump’s embattled attorney Michael Cohen and his role in the Stormy Daniels affair. Schwartz, locals here may recall, is the same attorney who paid actors to rally for developer Gregg Singer’s long-stymied dorm conversion plan for the old P.S. 64 school building on E. Ninth St. at Avenue B. He then admitted to lying to the media about hiring those actors. Which makes us wonder what he’s doing for Trump and Cohen on the Daniels case. A longtime buddy of Cohen (who is also from Long Island), Schwartz was dispatched to defend Cohen’s role in drafting the now-infamous nondis-

STORMY WEATHER AND SINGER: It’s been fun watching Long Island “super lawyer� David

Imagine you are looking forward to celebrating your ruby wedding anniversary with the only man you have ever loved, and suddenly he is taken away from you for ever through a series of medical mistakes and misunderstandings which turn an unexpected illness into a tragedy. How do you cope? Finding that writing helps to keep her sane, Mrs. Kerry has written this light hearted fantasy about the case, imagining what might happen if those she feels were responsible could be made to answer in a ‘pop-up court of law’ for their actions.

Available on Amazon.com and Google Books

closure agreement between Trump and Daniels — and to push back on claims that Cohen threatened Daniels to keep quiet about the affair. Appearing on CNN and “Today,� Schwartz had no qualms about making the rather preposterous claim that Cohen drafted the agreement without Trump’s knowledge whatsoever — or that Cohen paid Daniels $130,000 of his own money to keep quiet about the affair. “What lawyer does that?� asked CNN commentator Jeffrey Toobin, rolling his eyes. Later, Schwartz roused open laughter from the “Today� audience when host Megyn Kelly asked him about past threats Cohen had made to herself and other journalists. Schwartz tried to brush off some of Cohen’s less than lawyerly threats to “mess up� journalists’ lives, portraying him as a street fighter who is deeply loyal to Trump. “Everybody should want an employee like that, who would be so loyal to their boss that they will protect that person,� Schwartz maintained as Kelly and the audience guffawed. “He did it out of love, and he did it out of loyalty,� Schwartz said of the Daniels payoff. But Schwartz’s two-week media blitz on Cohen’s behalf may well have backfi red. On Monday, the F.B.I. raided Cohen’s offices and hotel room, and now Schwartz has been sidelined, as Co-

hen’s other attorney Stephen Ryan takes over to defend Cohen against possible charges of bank fraud and campaign fi nance violations pertaining to the Daniels payoff, which was made just days before the 2016 election. As the Washington Post noted, Schwartz’s line that Trump didn’t know about the payoff may have only imperiled Cohen further — by undermining his ability to claim attorneyclient privilege. (If Trump wasn’t aware of the agreement, then there’s no attorneyclient privilege to hide behind.) We’ll see how well Schwartz’s lawyering goes for Singer. Schwartz’s fi rm, Gotham Government Relations, is currently suing the city on behalf of Singer. They’re arguing that Mayor Bill de Blasio’s administration unfairly conspired with the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation, former Councilmember Rosie Mendez and her successor, Carlina Rivera, as well as East Village hedge-funder Aaron Sosnick, to block Singer’s dorm plans from being approved by the Department of Buildings. Schwartz tells us he’s still waiting for the city to respond to the allegations in the suit, which was fi led in January. Stay tuned‌ .

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April 12, 2018

TheVillager.com


Bella Abzug ďŹ nally gets her way â&#x20AC;&#x201D; on Bank St. BY TEQUIL A MINSK Y

B

ella Abzug, the outspoken congressmember and longtime Village resident, is getting her way â&#x20AC;&#x201D; Congresswoman Bella S. Abzug Way, that is â&#x20AC;&#x201D; on the corner of Bank St. and Greenwich Ave., just a block from where she lived for more than two decades. The street co-naming and tribute at the end of last month came almost 20 years to the day, March 31, 1998, that she died. A champion for women and progressive causes, this three-term congressmember represented Greenwich Village and other parts of the West Side. In her honor, with reverence and fondest memories, family, friends, fans, former constituents and local politicians celebrated the occasion. Bella, as she was known by all, served in Congress from 1971 to 1977. At the first meeting of the National Womenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Political Caucus in 1971, which she cofounded, she spoke about transforming power and the need for more women and black representation. Committed to marginalized groups, she introduced the Equality Act of 1974 to protect gay peopleâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s civil rights. She wrote legislation making it illegal to discriminate against women trying to get financial loans. And she co-authored Title IX to prohibit discrimination based on

PHOTO BY TEQUILA MINSKY

At the unveiling of Bella Abzug Way, from left, Comptroller Scott Stringer, Liz Abzug, Council Speaker Corey Johnson, Eve Abzug and Borough President Gale Brewer.

gender for schools programs receiving federal funding. City Council Speaker Corey Johnson led off the street ceremony. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Bella was truly ahead of her time, championing issues like gay and civil rights well before many of her peers,â&#x20AC;? he said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Those issues are still very much relevant today.â&#x20AC;? Daughters Liz and Eve Abzug shared recollections of their mother. Liz, who is also trained as a lawyer, runs BALI, the Bella Abzug Leadership Institute.

â&#x20AC;&#x153;She understood what was needed to get women elected and into top positions of political power,â&#x20AC;? she said. City Comptroller Scott Stringer is Bella Abzugâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s cousin. â&#x20AC;&#x153;She was a tireless, tough-as-nails trailblazer, who embodied the very best of New York and never hesitated to speak out,â&#x20AC;? he said. Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer shared anecdotes and noted that â&#x20AC;&#x153;What Would Bella Do?â&#x20AC;? used to be a mantra for many politically involved

younger women. Abzug unsuccessfully ran for U.S. Senate in 1976 and left the House in 1977. Although she never held elected office again, she remained dedicated to social action. In 1991, she co-founded Womenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Environment and Development Organization, or WEDO, still going strong today. A New York City native, Abzug opened her first law office in 1947 and began a civil rights and labor law practice. When she first ran for Congress in 1970, she opened an office at the Duplex, at Christopher St. and Seventh Ave. South. She later moved to 37 Bank St. where she lived and worked for more than 20 years. Her work was informed by frequent chats with her Bank St. neighbors and others from this community. She was often seen right outside her building speaking to people and getting input from constituents on the issues of the day or just spending time with her family. She was a regular at many West Village establishments, including the Waverly Inn and Casa Di Pre. Villagers are thrilled that their champion Bella Abzug is getting her long-overdue â&#x20AC;&#x153;Way.â&#x20AC;? Abzug later moved to 2 Fifth Ave., where she was neighbors with Ed Koch, and where each has an honorary plaque by the front door.

"!))  *  ("$+!"!#&$ $%"" $ '!&"&%% %%$%      !!&%! '!%$%" TheVillager.com

April 12, 2018

3


Dr. Herbert Kee, 88, Chinatown leader Named best weekly newspaper in New York State in 2001, 2004 and 2005 by New York Press Association News Story, First Place, 2015 Editorial Pages, 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

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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

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April 12, 2018

OBITUARY BY LINCOLN ANDERSON

D

r. Herbert Kee, a former Democratic district leader and a leading light of the Chinatown community, died on March 15 at Beth Israel Hospital. He was 88. The cause of death was complications from Parkinson’s disease, which he had suffered from for the past four years. His memorial service was Sat., April 7, in the Village at the First Presbyterian Church, on Fifth Ave. at W. 12th St., and attended by more than 300 people, including many top politicians. He and his wife, Virginia Kee, the former Democratic state committeewoman, were longtime members of the church, where Herbert served as a church elder. Among the politicians at the memorial were State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli, Congressmembers Grace Meng, Nydia Velazquez and Carolyn Maloney, City Council Speaker Corey Johnson — who gave one of the remembrances — Comptroller Scott Stringer, Assemblymember Yuh-Line Niou, former state Senator Tom Duane, former Councilmember Alan Gerson, former Comptroller John Liu and former Assemblymember Keith Wright. “Everyone’s here. It’s wall-to-wall judges,” marveled John Quinn, the former Lower East Side state committeeman, speaking from the reception afterward. “All of Chinatown was here. A lot of people knew each other for 40 years.” As Corky Lee, known as “the unofficial Asian-American photographer laureate,” put it, “The Kees are to Chinatown politics what the Kennedys are to American politics.” Herbert Kee was born in Chinatown and grew up on Mott St. Virginia grew up right across the street from him and they knew each other as children. Herbert’s father, Sing Kee, was a World War I hero, according to Jenny Low, one of the Kees’ five godchildren and Herbert Kee’s former district co-leader. “He kept communications going from a foxhole,” Low said of Kee’s father. “He received the Purple Heart and the Distinguished Medal from the French government.” Originally from San Jose, Sing Kee relocated to New York’s Chinatown, where he opened a restaurant, and later had a travel agency. Virginia Kee’s father also had a restaurant in the neighborhood. “If you were an Asian man back then, your job possibilities were limited,” Low noted. Herbert’s mother was a homemaker. “If you were an Asian woman, the possibilities were even more limited,” Low said. Herbert and Virginia met again in high school at a dance and started dating. They married, at First Presbyterian Church,

Dr. Herber t Kee.

when he was 21 and she was 19. A Renaissance man, Kee used his many abilities to positively impact the Chinatown community in multiple ways. As a family physician, he treated patients in his Oliver St. brownstone regardless of their ability to pay. In addition to his private practice, he treated patients at Gouverneur Hospital. He was an early supporter of the Chinatown Health Clinic, now the Charles B. Wang Community Health Center. He retired from medical practice in 1997, though continued to volunteer at the clinic into his 80s. In 1965, he and Virginia founded the Chinese-American Planning Council, today the nation’s largest Asian-American social-services organization. Today, CPC serves 2,000 to 3,000 clients per year, with a total of 60,000 visits / interactions and an annual budget of $140 million. CPC provides family services, a free legal clinic, pre-K, a high school youth program, job training and classes and a senior center, among its many offerings. The Kees donated an endowment fund to CPC. They also launched Chinatown’s first Head Start program. A statement on the CPC Web site says, “Though Dr. Kee will be greatly missed, his immense contributions to New York City’s immigrant and low-income community members and his legacy of activism on their behalf will continue on beyond his life.” A graduate of Brooklyn Technical High School, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and Penn State, Kee began his career as an engineer, but then decided to study medicine at age 36 after visiting the Hospital Albert Schweitzer in Haiti. He graduated from Albert Einstein College of Medicine. He and Virginia were founding members of the United Democratic Organization, Chinatown’s main political club, in the 1970s. His career in political office began in 1999 when he was elected Democratic district leader in the 64th Assembly District, Part D, a post he held until 2013. Low noted that it was she who encouraged Herbert to run after her previous district co-leader had to resign after taking a government job. “I asked Dr. Kee to be my running

mate,” she recalled. “He contributed so much to our community, of course he got elected.” Herbert was appointed a delegate to the Democratic National Conventions in 2000 and in 2008. Virginia ran for City Council in 1985, losing by 2 percent to Miriam Friedlander. “This was before they had Chinese [language] on the ballot, and she was running against a three-term incumbent, and she still only lost by 2 percent,” said Low. “They recognized that without vote, without power in the voting booth, you have nothing,” Low said of the Kees. Herbert Kee was also a director of Hong Ning Housing for the Elderly, on Norfolk St., and a member of the M.T.A.’s Senior Citizens Advisory Board. Herbert and Virginia founded several scholarships for needy students at his alma maters R.P.I. and Albert Einstein College of Medicine. Herbert Kee was also instrumental in creating a bridge for scholarships for students from Brooklyn Tech to R.P.I. Herbert was quiet but very engaged, Low said. “He doesn’t say very much, but he is very observant,” she said. “And he has a great sense of humor. When you talk to him, it’s like you’re the most important thing in the world.” In addition, he was both very handy and creative. “He could fix anything around the house,” Low said. “He actually made a cabinet for his sound system, and ceramic pieces that look very nice.” As a new immigrant, Low, like countless other Chinatown youth, was inspired by Virginia, who taught English as a Second Language and social studies for 35 years at J.H.S. 65, now known as I.S. 131. After a banking career, Low today is the City Council’s director of community engagement. “Both of them became my lifetime mentors,” she said. Herbert’s older brother, Norman, one of the first Chinese attorneys to practice in Chinatown, died this past November. A sister, Florence, also predeceased him. Herbert Kee is survived by his beloved wife of 66 years, Virginia; sisters Margaret and Beatrice; and godchildren Glenn LauKee, a former president of the New York State Bar Association; Josephine Ho, executive director of the New Jersey Chamber of Commerce; Jenny Low, Chinatown’s female district co-leader; Jeffrey Oing, a New York State Supreme Court justice; and Terry Li, a computer engineer. Low noted that Beth Israel, where Herbert Kee died, was the same hospital where he started his medical career in 1974. “He was the chief resident there,” she said. In lieu of flowers, checks for memorial donations to the First Presbyterian Church and the Chinese-American Planning Council may be mailed to LauKee Law Group, 354 Broome St., Suite 1, NY, NY 10013. TheVillager.com


Lights! Tech! Action! PB voting is underway BY SAM BLEIBERG

U

pgrades to parks and green spaces, new tech for libraries and schools, improved public safety and better bus stop info all have a place among the worthy projects vying for Council District 3 residents’ support this week, as part of the annual Participatory Budgeting process. The program allows locals, age 11 and up, to cast their vote for up to five of 11 ballot items. The top vote-getter will be fully funded, with other projects also getting funding until the allocated $1 million in discretionary cash has been fully distributed. Residents of District 3 (Village / Chelsea / Hell’s Kitchen) can vote online (pbnyc2018.d21.me) anywhere, including at several area polling sites, as well as at City Council Speaker Corey Johnson’s district office and, for the first time, at LinkNYC sidewalk kiosks. Voting closes Sat., April 15. Traditional (nononline) voting can also be done at the poll sites and Johnson’s office. “Participatory Budgeting is democracy in action,” Johnson said. “It gives every constituent an opportunity to take part in the budget process.” The process started at last Thursday’s Project Expo at P.S. 41, on W. 11th St., where residents heard from project sponsors. Jone Noveck pitched a proposal for tree guards. “Most of the trees they plant now have a poor likelihood of survival,” the local resident said. “We may replace a tree two or three times. This would save taxpayers money.” The Seventh Ave. South Alliance is proposing the installation of historic streetlights, which they say would make the street more welcoming for residents

PHOTO BY SAM BLEIBERG

Maur y Schott, left, and Brooke Schooley think historic lighting would make Seventh Ave. South more neighborhood-like and “less like a highway.”

and visitors alike. “A couple of these intersections at one point were gauged among the most dangerous in the city,” said Alliance member Brooke Schooley. “We can provide an aesthetic feature like historic lights that can make it feel like more of a neighborhood and less like a highway.” The Landmarks Preservation Commission has O.K.’d the light poles as appropriate for wide avenues in the Greenwich Village Historic District. Engaging youth is a goal of the City Council. This year, the “PB” voting age has been lowered from 14

to 11. “Sometimes students have to go home and might not have computers or Internet connection there,” said Ashley, a High School of Fashion Industries student. “They might have to go to libraries and waste time trying to figure out how to get things done. If it’s at school, it’s easily approachable.” “We spend most of our time on computers,” said Malachi, a student at Quest to Learn. “Sometimes there are problems with the Wi-Fi, or our project can get deleted. If this is done properly that won’t happen.” Audrey Henningham, a volunteer in Johnson’s district office, advocated for a project to upgrade technology in libraries. She said the printers in the four local libraries are often out of order and the letters worn off many keyboards. Among the projects are: $250,000 for real-time rider information at key bus stops district-wide; $250,000 for historic street lighting on Seventh Ave. South between Commerce, Carmine and Clarkson Sts.; $242,000 for 200 tree guards district-wide; $500,000 for a new fitness center for special-needs students at P.S. M721, Manhattan Occupational Training Center, at 250 W. Houston St.; $350,000 for tech upgrades for the district’s public schools; $200,000 for tech upgrades — including new desktop computers, printers and more — at District 3 libraries. Other projects are in Chelsea and Hell’s Kitchen. Village poll sites include the L.G.B.T. Center, at 208 W. 13th St., and Greenwich House, at 27 Barrow St., 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sat., April 14, and Sun., April 15. There is also voting at Johnson’s district office, at 224 W. 30th St., Suite 1206, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., from Mon., April 9 through Fri., April 13.

Road Warrior. Father. “I work to keep NYC’s streets safe.”

Look out for him in work zones.

TheVillager.com

April 12, 2018

5


Challengers ready to take on Maloney in primary PRIMARY continued from p. 1

has he been involved in New York City politics. But his campaign, largely born out of the post-Trump election movement, has already raised $1.1 million, as the Washington Post reported Monday. And he told The Villager he has every intention to win on June 26. “Competition fuels democracy” is painted on the walls of his headquarters at 64 Cooper Square, which was repurposed after a short-lived cocktail bar, the Coup, that was aimed at donating cash to nonprofits shut down. For the 34-year-old Indiana native, elections should be competitive, since that is how better, more visionary candidates can get elected. More could be done, he said, in the fight against President Donald Trump and creating a vision of what the U.S. could look like with more bold, progressive policies. “We should be boldly leading the country progressively from places like this,” he said, referring to the 12th Congressional District. “Every other facet of life, New York expects the best.” But now, he added, “for whatever reason, we’ve been O.K. for so long accepting the status quo unchallenged.” The sweeping district includes the Upper East Side, Midtown, the Flatiron District, Gramercy, Union Square and the area south of it to near Washington Square Park, Peter Cooper Village and Stuyvesant Town, the East Village and part of the Lower East Side; Astoria, Long Island City and part of Woodside in Queens; Greenpoint in Brooklyn; and a small part of the Bronx. Despite generating buzz, Patel has not won over many local politicos, most of whom still stand behind Maloney. “I see these young people coming and the first thing they do is run for office,” said Tony Hoffmann, a former president of the Village Independent Democrats and the club’s current campaign committee chairperson. “And they run against good people. If it was a bad person, I’d say do it.” Hoffmann said young candidates, including Patel, should be more involved with community boards, block associations and local political clubs, such as V.I.D., before running for office. “He has a future if he stays with it,” Hoffmann added. In the vote for V.I.D.’s endorsement, Patel lost to Maloney by just three votes, 20 to 17, with two members abstaining. Hoffman shrugged it off to Patel’s charisma, youth and looks, explaining that Maloney was unable to attend and new club members not knowing Maloney. Even months before the primary, Maloney and Patel got into a spat regarding his campaign contributions. Maloney said in an interview that his fundraising money was “mainly from Indiana, where he’s from,” and included a “huge amount of the name Patel, which is his name.”

6

April 12, 2018

Carolyn Maloney.

Suraj Patel.

Sander Hicks.

Peter Lindner.

Patel responded to Buzzfeed saying: “I guess I didn’t realize Representative Maloney hired Steve Bannon as her campaign strategist.” He told The Villager this week that “there’s no way that she can’t know that all of us aren’t related,” adding that people with the last name Patel have donated to Maloney’s campaign throughout her career. “But more importantly,” he said, “It’s that attitude to silence newcomers — to almost bully them — that the electorate just won’t stand for anymore.” Patel said he is running to reform the country’s democracy by ending voter suppression, fighting mass incarceration, taking meaningful climate action with market-based solutions, and, specific to the 12th District, be the fighter in Washington that the district needs for federal funding for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority and New York City Housing Authority. In the context of Capitol Hill’s hyperpartisan climate, Patel’s policies are clearly liberal, and any of his initiatives having a shot at going anywhere would

likely depend on which party ends up as the majority in the House. But Patel rejects that every issue has to be viewed on a left-right spectrum. “We want to move past this partisan point,” he said. “It’s going to take a new generation of people who are not battlescarred from the last 30 years.” A Maloney spokesperson, in a statement, said the representative’s record speaks for itself and is why she deserves re-election to another two-year term. “Carolyn Maloney has been a fearless fighter in Congress, holding Trump accountable and getting results for New Yorkers,” the spokesperson said. “She has authored or co-authored more than 70 measures that have been signed into law, including the James Zadrogra 9/11 Health and Compensation Act, the Credit Card Accountability Responsibility and Disclosure Act, and the Debbie Smith Act, and fought to bring in more than $10 billion in infrastructure funding for the district. That’s why she has strong local support and has been endorsed by the Congressional Progressive Caucus, NARAL, Emily’s List,

End Citizens United, the New York State AFL-CIO and other progressive organizations.” Sander Hicks, the owner of a woodworking business and previous owner of a Lower East Side coffee shop and former alternative publisher, is also running. Previously, he ran for U.S. Senate as a Green Party candidate. “I’m kind of perfect for this job,” Hicks said. “I’m a mix of vision and pragmatism, and the incumbent has neither.” A self-described peace activist, Hicks protested during Occupy Wall Street and was re-inspired during Bernie Sanders’s presidential campaign. He is a “9/11 truther” — alleging a conspiracy behind the 2001 terrorist attacks — who also doubts that Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad is behind the chemical weapons attacks, an increasingly widespread belief among both the far right and far left that has not been proven. Hicks charged that Patel is “beating the drums of war” by saying Syria’s president is behind the chemical weapons attacks against Syrians. “This is jingoistic garbage and it is completely false,” Hicks said. Hicks also feels communities should establish their own cryptocurrencies to improve housing affordability, and everyone should get a guaranteed basic income of $1,000, he said. Peter Lindner is also angling to run in the June primary. However, as of this week, he did not have quite enough petition signatures to get placed on the ballot yet, and the deadline to formally file with the New York City Board of Elections is Thurs., April 12. Lindner ran against Maloney in 2016, losing by 80 percentage points. “It’s sad to say, but on almost every issue, I agree with Maloney,” he said. He is still running for the seat because of what he called Maloney’s inaction over Lindner’s personal dispute with a judge during Lindner’s lawsuit against a former employer. He is also running on the campaign planks of more gun control and improved technology. Maloney’s last significant challenger — Reshma Saujani, who ran against her in 2010 — lost to the congressmember by 62 percentage points. In the 2016 state and local primary elections, turnout citywide was just 10 percent, according to a Board of Elections report. The notorious low turnout has been a focus of Patel’s campaign. One of his campaign videos shows him in a hoodie chasing down New Yorkers to see if they know who their representatives are and if they plan to vote. Even amid a nationwide increase in political awareness after the Trump election, most could not answer the questions. Whether voter turnout in the 12th District will pick up — despite it being a nonpresidential election year — will be revealed on June 26. TheVillager.com


EDUCATION

How to boost STEM studies in middle school

E

ven though many Americans understand the importance of STEM education, children in the U.S. continue to lose interest in science, technology, engineering and math subjects at young ages. Not surprisingly, 44 percent of U.S. adults say they felt more excited about science when they were kids, reports the State of Science Index, a global study commissioned by 3M examining the general population’s attitudes toward science. Maintaining students’ interest in science during the middle school years is crucial to increasing the likelihood they’ll pursue STEM careers. That’s important, since studies show our nation will need to produce an additional 1 million STEM workers between 2012 and 2022 alone. That said, we’re still not on track to meet demand, partly because students continue to lose interest. What’s the answer? Creating a rich culture of STEM education in schools requires professional development, suggests Cindy Moss, vice president of global STEM initiatives for curriculum developer Discovery Education. She points to research showing teachers need 80 hours of cumulative targeted professional development before effectively teaching STEM-promoting classes. “Many educators in our country believe we need to accelerate our approach to STEM education,” Moss says. “There are 3 to 4 million STEM job openings in the U.S. right now, and companies can’t find American workers with the skills they need. Fifty percent of everybody’s jobs right now are STEM, and they’re predicting that in the next 10 years about 75 percent of all jobs will involve STEM.” What can parents and educators do to foster more interest? Consider the following: • Find role models. If a child doesn’t know anyone working in STEM, he or she may be unable to imagine a career in such roles. Introduce him or her to people actively working in such fields, then encourage discussion and/or job shadowing. Teachers might bring in speakers who can answer candid questions about the rewards and challenges in their fields — including significant demand and attractive pay scales. • Seek achievement opportunities. Introducing children to engaging events like the annual Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Challenge may spark their sense of competition and passion for STEM. The annual contest, which is accepting submissions until April 19, invites innovators in grades five through TheVillager.com

Students who gain exper tise in science, technology, engineering and math will later be in demand when they enter the workforce.

eight to develop one-to-two-minute videos describing their ideas for creative solutions to tackle everyday problems. The top 10 finalists receive a summer mentorship with a 3M scientist, and the winner will receive $25,000. Last year’s winner, Gitanjali Rao, developed a device that measures lead levels in drinking water, inspired by the recent water crisis in Flint, Michigan. • Keep participating. Reducing involvement in your child’s daily academics once he or she enters middle school may backfire. One study shows middle schoolers maintain a more positive attitude toward science when their parents continue to display interest. The Rao family, for example, frequently visits museums and holds game nights focusing on problem solving. “We encourage our children to communicate their ideas clearly and concisely and understand real-world issues,” notes Bharathi Rao, Gitanjali’s mother. “We hope we can instill the value of compassion while helping them understand they have the power to create change.” • Discourage snap decisions. During adolescence, Moss notes, kids struggling to figure out who they are can

easily form inaccurate perceptions of their academic weaknesses. Reassure your child one challenging assignment or bad grade need not rule out a future career. “Kids often make up their minds by sixth grade whether they’re capable of doing science and math,” says Moss. “We have definitive evidence that by age 6, girls have already started to internalize negative stereotypes that science and math are not for girls.” In reality, she notes, understanding science and math simply requires more thinking for some people than others; it’s not a skill based on gender.

According to State of Science Index findings, 96 percent of U.S. parents want their kids to know more about science. It’s critical for us to maintain interest during the middle school years, and according to Moss it’s our responsibility to help children see the possibilities. “Kids in fifth through eighth grade have a whole lot of empathy and really do want to make the world a better place,” she says. “They have the power, but we need to instill confidence and give them the tools and encouragement to pursue STEM.”

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7


C.B. 2 alcohol problem: Committee ‘bar brawl’; Connor’s face, Elaine Young, a member of the S.L.A. Committee, told The Villager, “I don’t remember that at all.”

C.B.2. continued from p. 1

includes the Village, the Meatpacking District and Soho — is extremely “anti-nightlife.” More on that later. … In a sushi roll — or rather a nutshell — on Jan. 9 the S.L.A. Committee was in what is known as executive session, at the meeting’s end, when the members deliberate on the positions that the committee will take on various bars’, clubs’ and restaurants’ applications for liquor licenses. The topic in this case was an application for a place called The Distillery.

‘Bob likes to win’

‘Seeing similarities’ In his turn to speak, Connor said he saw some similarities between this application and another one that the full board of C.B. 2 had previously turned down for Zero Bond, a private members club in Noho. As a result, Connor said, he thought it would be appropriate for the committee to reconsider its previous recommendation on Zero Bond. (Ultimately, despite the C.B. 2 denial, the actual New York State Liquor Authority later did approve a liquor license for Zero Bond; community board recommendations are advisory only.) “I think we have to be consistent,” Connor said. “I think we should give this place permission, and we should go back and revisit Zero Bond.” Ely disagreed, calling a do-over on Zero Bond “inappropriate” and stressing that the committee should instead focus on the application that was before it that night.

PHOTO BY TEQUILA MINSKY

Tom Connor, an active member of the Village Independent Democrats political club, with Councilmember Carlina Rivera at last year’s V.I.D. Awards Gala. Rivera was a candidate for Cit y Council at the time.

Writes to B.P. Brewer

What was really said Connor persisted and claims that Ely then threatened him, “We’ll get you! We’ll get you!” Connor, 86, admitted to The Villager that he finds it hard to hear clearly in the church’s basement due to its acoustics, plus he wears a hearing aid. The newspaper was sent an audiotape of the meeting by a committee member. The tape makes it clear that Ely, in fact, told Connor, albeit somewhat brusquely: “You want disagreement? You’ll get it, O.K.? You’ll get it.” “Don’t threaten me,” Connor retorts on the recording. Told by The Villager that the audiotape clearly shows Ely to be saying, “You want disagreement? You’ll get it,” not “We’ll get you,” Connor responded, “My recollection is he might have said both.”

Video inconclusive In addition, a videotape of the exchange, apparently taken by someone in the audience, was shown to The Villager via Apple FaceTime; the newspaper was asked not to record what was shown during the FaceTime viewing. In the video, Ely is shown standing in front of a table with his back to the audience, so that his facial expressions and hand gestures are basically hidden from the camera’s view. However, his body language does not appear particularly threatening. Meanwhile, Ely mostly blocks Connor from the camera’s view, since Connor is sitting on the direct opposite side of the table from him. Connor accused Ely of leaning over the table and towering above him and shoving “a fist” in his face. “Bob Ely jumped up, stood over me and put his hand in front of my face, and said, ‘We’ll get you,’” Connor told The Villager. “I mean, I am 86 years old, and he’s tall and active, and it was horrifying.”

8

April 12, 2018

“Bob likes to win on every issue,” Connor added. “He was an assistant district attorney in Brooklyn, and he acts like that all the time.” Ely is currently a senior trial attorney at a private law firm. His speaking style, honed in the courts, is definitely no-nonsense and to the point. Connor told the newspaper that he felt he had noticed “a pattern” on the committee’s part. “They were really out to turn down most of the [liquor license] applications,” he said. During his exchange with Connor at the January committee meeting, Ely denied any such pattern. Connor said he was shaken up by how Ely spoke to him, and while subsequently being walked home by two fellow committee members, actually collapsed, plus had trouble sleeping after the exchange. On top of that, he said he had a flare-up of shingles, which his doctor told him can result from stress.

PHOTO BY TEQUILA MINSKY

Board 2 Chairperson Terri Cude, right, fittingly donned a hat at the recent dedication of a plaque honoring the late Congressmember Bella Abzug near Abzug’s former Bank St. home.

‘They want the Village to be like Great Neck — no nightlife.’ Tom Connor

Connor later said Ely poked “his hand…his finger” toward his face. At another point, he said, “This was the first time he leaned over me and put his fist in my face.” However, asked if she saw Ely brandish a fist in

Ten days after the meeting, Connor wrote to Manhattan Borough President Brewer, saying that Ely had “erupted in a rage” at him. Brewer is ultimately responsible for appointing all the members of Manhattan’s 12 community boards. While local councilmembers recommend half of each board’s appointees, Brewer — who appoints the other half of the members — has the final say over all the appointments. “After I made my statement, Mr. Ely walked to where I was sitting, put his fist in my face, stood over me and berated me in a loud voice and threatened me,” Connor wrote to Brewer. He told her Ely had threatened him, by saying, “You will get it! You will get it!” (Again, the audiotape shows that Ely did not say that.) “Mr. Ely likes to control the meetings and he does not take well to opinions that do not agree with his,” Connor continued in his letter to Brewer. “I must feel safe at further board meetings. Bullying an older board member is unacceptable. Why is someone who behaves like this even allowed to remain on the board? I am asking you to intervene.” Connor said he initially didn’t go to Cude with his complaint, but instead wrote Brewer, because he feared Cude “would bury it.”

Taken off committee However, a few days after Connor wrote the borough president complaining about Ely, C.B. 2 Chairperson Cude e-mailed Connor informing him she had removed him from the S.L.A. Committee and reassigned him to the board’s Social Services Committee. Basically, Cude said, she had been impressed by a question Connor had asked Brewer when the B.P. had visited C.B. 2’s full board meeting, and decided the other committee would benefit from his expertise. “Your question to the borough president at the full board meeting was excellent, and I was heartened by B.P. Brewer’s response, stating that she would like C.B. 2 to take the lead and provide guidance to her office on the issue of senior centers,” Cude wrote Connor. “To facilitate stronger senior advocacy and expertise C.B.2 continued on p. 9 TheVillager.com


Senior activist bounced Free and Public Event

C.B.2 continued from p. 8

     

for the Social Services Committee, in consultation with the relevant committee chairpersons, I have changed one of your committee assignments from S.L.A....to Social Services effective immediately. ... [Y]ou remain on the Traffic and Transportation Committee as before.â&#x20AC;?

No heads-up To Connorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s chagrin, he was not notified beforehand that he was being switched to another committee. However, a C.B. 2 member told The Villager that, under the boardâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s bylines, the chairperson is not required to notify members in advance if she wants to change their committee assignments. Connor said, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Terri denied that there was any connectionâ&#x20AC;? between his complaining to Brewer and his removal from the S.L.A. Committee. He added that â&#x20AC;&#x153;itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s just common courtesyâ&#x20AC;? to tell someone if they are going to be taken off a committee. He noted that he serves on two committees and that Cude could have just as easily taken him off the other one â&#x20AC;&#x201D; the boardâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Traffic and Transportation Committee â&#x20AC;&#x201D; instead of the S.L.A. Committee, if she wanted to put him on Social Services. Asked why itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s so important to him to be on the S.L.A. Committee, he said he had been a member of it for several years, so had built up knowledge and expertise regarding the issues, and enjoyed the discussions. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Some committees are very technical, like Landmarks and Zoning,â&#x20AC;? he said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Well, I donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t know anything about that, and itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s kind of late to learn. If Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m going to be on a committee, I want to know whatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s going on.â&#x20AC;? He finds the issues on his other committee, the Traffic and Transportation Committee, also to be interesting.

â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Need for fairnessâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; â&#x20AC;&#x153;Also, I feel thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a need for someone thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s fair [on the S.L.A. Committee],â&#x20AC;? he pointedly added. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t feel that Bob and Carter are fair.â&#x20AC;? At another point, he said, â&#x20AC;&#x153;They would like the Village to be like Great Neck â&#x20AC;&#x201D; no nightlife. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s hurting the Village.â&#x20AC;? The board actually has two S.L.A. Committees, both of which meet monthly, one chaired by Ely, the other by Carter Booth. Both co-chairpersons attend all the meetings. The committee Connor was on often voted 5 to 4 on issues â&#x20AC;&#x201D; in other words, the votes were very close â&#x20AC;&#x201D; so losing his voice could tip the balance. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The committee Terri put me on, they had no meeting in March, they have no meeting in April,â&#x20AC;? Connor groused of the Social Services Committee. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I want TheVillager.com

Board 2 S.L . A . Committee Cochairperson Bob Ely is a former Brooklyn A .D. A . and now a trial attorney at a private law firm.

to be on a committee that has more effect.â&#x20AC;? Asked for comment on the whole flap, Ely said in an e-mail, â&#x20AC;&#x153;I certainly did not threaten Tom and I am sorry he feels that way. I just wish he had come to speak to me about his concerns.â&#x20AC;?

Making moves In a statement to The Villager, Cude said, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Community boards move members onto committees throughout the year. At times, a memberâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s expertise is needed more on one committee than another when important issues require strong advocacy. I do my best to assign board members where I believe they will make their best contribution, and monitor the assignments to make sure we have the strongest possible board.â&#x20AC;? Jon Houston, a Brewer spokesperson, said the B.P.â&#x20AC;&#x2122;s office looked into the matter and concluded that whatever happened at the committee on Jan. 9, it did not rise to the level alleged in Connorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s complaint. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Complaints about behavior at meetings generally fall within the authority of the community board, unless they constitute an Equal Employment Opportunity violation, when a legal process must be followed,â&#x20AC;? Houston said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Since an E.E.O. violation wasnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t alleged in this case, there is no prescribed legal process to follow; but we do try to act as a support resource. Our office reviewed an audio recording of the committee meeting, which â&#x20AC;&#x201D; while somewhat heated â&#x20AC;&#x201D; did not corroborate the complaint, and we met with board members to help calm the waters.â&#x20AC;? A large meeting was convened at Brewerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s office with Connor, his supporters on the S.L.A. Committee and local politiciansâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; representatives, to discuss what happened at the Jan. 9 meeting and his subsequent removal from the committee. Cude added that, in addition to Brewerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s office, C.B. 2 also did its own investigation into Connorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s accusations

Illustration by Ariel Sun

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C.B.2 continued on p. 10 April 12, 2018

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C.B. 2 alcohol problem: Committee in â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;bar brawlâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; C.B.2 continued from p. 9

against Ely â&#x20AC;&#x153;and determined that the allegations were unfounded.â&#x20AC;?

Sole gay member Connor also happens to be the only gay man currently serving on C.B. 2 â&#x20AC;&#x201D; somewhat surprising for a community board that includes the Village. The board also has three lesbians, including Young. Connor is also a board member of the Jim Owles Liberal Democrat Club, which is led by Allen Roskoff, an influential longtime gay activist. Roskoff is championing Connorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s cause and has been advocating for him to be reinstated to the S.L.A. Committee.

Brewer: â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Put him backâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; In a phone interview with The Villager, B.P. Brewer confirmed that she would like to see Connor on the S.L.A. Committee again. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I think he should go back on the committee, and Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve made that clear to the board â&#x20AC;&#x201D; to the chairperson,â&#x20AC;? she said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;And weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll see what happens. I give them a little bit of time.â&#x20AC;? Brewer â&#x20AC;&#x201D; who was just leaving the unveiling of a new Bella Abzug plaque on Bank St. when The Villager reached

her â&#x20AC;&#x201D; said she expressed her feelings on the matter in a phone conversation with Cude. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I made it clear,â&#x20AC;? Brewer said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll see what happens.â&#x20AC;? Regarding Connor, the â&#x20AC;&#x153;Beepâ&#x20AC;? said, â&#x20AC;&#x153;I like him very much.â&#x20AC;? Although adding she doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t know him that well, she said she has seen him around at community events. Connor is active in the Village Independent Democrats political club and also at the Greenwich House senior day center on Washington Square North. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I think heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s an asset to the board and that heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a good person to have on that committee,â&#x20AC;? Brewer stated.

Chin: â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Disappointedâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Councilmember Margaret Chin, who appointed Connor to C.B. 2, also wrote a strong letter of concern to Brewer in February about the incident and his removal from the committee. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Tom is an 86-year-old L.G.B.T. senior with a long history of contributing to his neighborhood and the larger community,â&#x20AC;? Chin wrote. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The actions described in hisâ&#x20AC;Śletter to your office describe an environment that is hostile, threatening and denigrating of others who hold a differing opinion. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Compounding this unfortunate situation is the inadequate and inappropriate

response by C.B. 2 Chair Cude. Instead of addressing the threatening situation faced by a member of the community board, she retaliated by removing him from the S.L.A. Committee â&#x20AC;&#x201D; of which he was a valuable and experienced contributor. â&#x20AC;&#x153;As councilmember, I appointed Tom as an openly and proudly gay senior to provide a vital perspective on issues facing the community. I am, therefore, extremely disappointed to see him treated in such a disparaging and disrespectful manner. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I ask that your office look into the situation and act appropriately to restore civil discourse to this important community board.â&#x20AC;?

In good â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;standingâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;? Another â&#x20AC;&#x153;Rashomonâ&#x20AC;?-like riddle is whether Ely standing up at the meeting was unusual for him. In an initial interview, Young said Ely was â&#x20AC;&#x153;very angry and he was, like, standing over Tom. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a big guy and he does have a temper sometimes. But heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s generally even-keeled.â&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x153;Sometimes he stands, sometimes he sits,â&#x20AC;? Connor said, â&#x20AC;&#x153;but this was the first time he leaned over me and put his fist in my face.â&#x20AC;? (Again, Young said she didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t see any fist.)

Speaking earlier, Connor said of Elyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s standing, â&#x20AC;&#x153;That was unusual. Maybe at the end of the meeting, when heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s summing up, he stands.â&#x20AC;? The person who showed The Villager the video of the exchange was very careful to show only two snippets, so itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not clear if Ely â&#x20AC;&#x153;jumped upâ&#x20AC;? onto his feet and walked around to be nearer to Connor before addressing him â&#x20AC;&#x201D; as Connor has claimed â&#x20AC;&#x201D; or was already standing in that spot. Young, in a subsequent interview, however, said itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s typical for the former A.D.A. to get up out of his seat during executive session, when the committee members form a huddle around the table and have their private discussion about the applications. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Yes, he does stand,â&#x20AC;? Young said of Ely. â&#x20AC;&#x153;This was the executive session. And he will frequently stand to call attention to the fact that weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re all deliberating together, and we can all see him. I canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t say that itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s unusual for him to stand.â&#x20AC;? Another committee member, speaking off the record, added that another reason Ely was standing was because the table was on a riser platform and positioned near the riserâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s edge, so that if Ely had been sitting at that spot â&#x20AC;&#x201D; on the audience side of the table â&#x20AC;&#x201D; he would C.B.2 continued on p. 26

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April 12, 2018

TheVillager.com


POLICE BLOTTER STK knives swipe

Canal bank rob

According to police, a man stole a slew of silverware from STK restaurant, at 26 Little W. 12th St., on Thurs., March 29, at 2:50 p.m. Two employees reviewed surveillance video and observed that the man snatched multiple knives and spoons, plus a scale from the kitchen. The total amount of stolen supplies stolen was $1,196. Troy Melville, 24, was arrested April 7, for felony grand larceny.

A bank robber struck the TD Bank at 254 Canal St., at Lafayette St., on Fri., April 6, at 3:30 p.m., police said. The man entered the place, passed a note to a teller demanding money and fled with $500. There were no injuries. The suspect is described as black, about 45 years old and 5-feet-8-inches tall. He was wearing a black puffy coat, a black baseball hat with a white letter “R” on the front and a backpack. Anyone with information is asked to call the Police Department’s Crime Stoppers Hotline, at 800-577-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.

Cops caught him Police have arrested the fourth suspect from a quartet of muggers who, they say, robbed a man in the Village at gunpoint on Tues., Jan. 23. In the 9:45 p.m. robbery, the 35-year-old victim’s iPhone 8 Plus and house keys were taken. Jameel Grant, 18; Derek Lopez, 18; and Brent Dumay 19, were arrested back on Jan. 23. Antoine McGowan, 20, was arrested April 5. All four have been charged with felony robbery.

daughter used a photo of the older woman’s credit card to make unauthorized purchases. The incident happened last year in their home, at 55 Bethune St. on Oct. 25. The charges totaled $1,825.25. Miya Matthews, 19, was busted on April 3 for felony grand larceny. Police said she was arrested for a similar incident in September 2016.

Punchy perp A female cop was punched by a suspect on Mon., April 2, at 5:14 a.m., at the corner of Hudson and Horatio Sts., according to a report. The man was being arrested when he socked the 32-year-old officer in the face. She was treated at Lenox Health Greenwich Village, at W. 12th St. and Seventh Ave. Jermia McCloud, 32, was charged with felony assault.

COURTESY N.Y.P.D.

Police say this sur veillance photo is of a robber who hit a Canal St. TD Bank.

Plastic relapse According to police, a woman’s step-

Tabia C. Robinson and Lincoln Anderson

For more news & events happening now visit www.TheVillager.com

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EVERYTHING FOR THE HOME How to hang photos and artwork with ease

P

ersonal touches turn a house into a home. Hanging pictures, whether they’re personal photographs or artwork, can really change the character of a room. Unfortunately, some people may not know the proper ways to display pictures on a wall. Design maven Martha Stewart advises that the first step is to gather all of the pictures that are in consideration for hanging. This will enable a person to see what is available and edit his selection based on the space available, theme or color scheme. Having the artwork there enables a person to move it around like a puzzle until the placement feels just right. Next, plan on hanging artwork at 57 inches on center, according to the renovation experts at Apartment Therapy. “On center” means the middle of the photograph or painting will always be at 57 inches, since this measurement represents the average human eye height. This height is regularly used as a standard in many galleries and museums. When the goal is to hang multiple pictures, treat the entire grouping as a single unit. This means creating the layout and finding the center of the middle piece of the grouping. To make picture grouping easier, use paper templates with arrows to indicate whether the artwork will be hung horizontally or vertically. These templates can then be easily taped to the wall and rearranged until the grouping is ideal. There are no hard-and-fast rules concerning frames, meaning they do not all have to match. But placing framed artwork side-by-side can give a per-

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April 12, 2018

Many might associate the number 57 with Heinz ketchup, but it actually refers to the ideal height at which ar t work should be hung.

son a feel for whether the images and the frames work together in the space. Some people like to use frames of similar colors and sizes. Others want the eclectic mix-and-match appeal. It’s ultimately up to the homeowner. Measuring is key to hanging a picture correctly on the wall. Take into consideration the type of attachment, whether it’s D-rings, sawtooth hangers, wire or other fasteners on the back. Measure from the top of the frame to the hanger. Measure the wall to achieve the 57-inch on center location, and then calculate where this falls within the height of the artwork and frame top. Adjust accordingly and mark. Then measure the distance from the frame top to the hanger location on the wall. Be sure to take the weight of the picture into consideration when selecting hanging hardware. Wall anchors may be needed if measurements determine a wall stud will not help secure the artwork — to keep the frame sturdy in the drywall. Home-improvement resource Today’s Homeowner also suggests attaching self-adhesive rubber bumpers to the bottom corners of the frame’s back before hanging, so that the picture will not damage the wall and to help it hang level. It can take a few attempts to hang pictures correctly, but with practice it should come with greater ease. The good news is there are new products constantly being evolved to make picture hanging easier, including those that enable removal and relocation of artwork without damaging walls.

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April 12, 2018

13


False rent ďŹ lings can open door to harassment KUSHNER continued from p. 1

father-in-law, Donald Trump, became president. Meanwhile, today, the Kushner Companiesâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; activities continue to raise red flags. Siwek believes, as do other tenants-rights organizations, that the disruptive construction was the Kushner Companiesâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; effort to push rent-regulated tenants out of the building in order to raise the rent and fill the apartments with market-rate tenants. But the reason Kushner Companies got away with much of the behavior could, in part, have to do with misrepresenting how many rent-regulated tenants were living in its buildings. Recently, the Housing Rights Initiative, a housing watchdog group, found that the Kushner Companies falsified 80 applications for construction permits across 34 buildings in New York City between 2013 and 2016, as first reported by the Associated Press last month. Several of those buildings were in the East Village, including Siwekâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s. The company said there were no rent-regulated apartments in the buildings, when there were actually more that 300. The inaccurate filing of how many rent-regulated tenants the buildings had could well have helped the Kushner Companies skirt oversight from the cityâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Department of Buildings. When construction complaints are sent to D.O.B., the department will direct the complaints to its Tenant Harassment Task Force â&#x20AC;&#x201D; particularly, if the units are rent-regulated. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Tenant harassment is almost always aimed at rentregulated apartments,â&#x20AC;? said Brandon Kielbasa, director of organizing and policy at the Cooper Square Committee, a local housing organization that works with residents to preserve affordable housing. The specific kind of falsification that the Kushner Companies was caught doing, Kielbasa said, is often indicative of what is known as â&#x20AC;&#x153;construction as harassment.â&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x153;Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not just a box on a piece of paper,â&#x20AC;? he said, referring to how landlords fill out the forms. In fact, landlords are more readily able to get away with â&#x20AC;&#x153;turning the building against the tenantsâ&#x20AC;? with psychologically and physically threatening forms of harassment â&#x20AC;&#x201D; like what Siwek put up with in Kushnerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s E. Second St. building â&#x20AC;&#x201D; if they misidentify apartments as non-rent-regulated. But the Kushner Companies dispute that there were falsifications of any kind. â&#x20AC;&#x153;If any forms were filed that contained ministerial errors, it was unintentional and corrected as soon as found,â&#x20AC;? a spokesperson for the company in an e-mail. The D.O.B. filings are outsourced to third parties and reviewed by independent counsel, according to the company. The error, the company added, had no fi-

In more than 80 construction-permit applications filed by Jared Kushnerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s company, the company repor tedly falsely said that 300 apar tments in its real-estate por tfolio were not rent-regulated, when in fact they were.

nancial benefit to Kushner Companies. â&#x20AC;&#x153;This is trying to create an issue where none exists,â&#x20AC;? the spokesperson said. In an effort to curb harassment by landlord harassment, a dozen new tenant-protection laws were recently passed by the City Council. One of them, spearheaded by Councilmember Margaret Chin, is expected to increase D.O.B. oversight by giving the department the authority to audit and inspect one out of every four buildings in which 25 percent of the units are rent-regulated. The new law also essentially bars landlords with a history of harassment from selfcertifying any documents. The overall set of multiple new laws is an effort to combat a deep-rooted issue that goes beyond the Kushner Companies. â&#x20AC;&#x153;While Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m glad the Kushner Companies is being held accountable for falsifying dozens of documents to use construction as harassment to evict innocent tenants, it only scratches the surface of a growing problem,â&#x20AC;? Chin said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The abuse of self-certification by predatory landlords touches all corners of the city,

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and hits hardest in the neighborhoods already under siege by the affordability crisis.â&#x20AC;? The law, Chin said, is â&#x20AC;&#x153;one tool that is now available for tenants to fight back against illegal construction at the hands of Kushner Companies and other unscrupulous landlords.â&#x20AC;? The Stand for Tenant Safety Coalition was critical in pushing for the legislative package. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m committed to making sure tenants know these protections exist,â&#x20AC;? she added. Tenants living in Kushnerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s properties echoed that sentiment. Without organizing by tenants associations or working with the Stand for Tenant Safety Coalition or the Cooper Square Committee, many fear they would have been pushed out of their rentregulated units. Before Kushner Companies bought the building he lives in, 120 E. Fourth St., Ted Osbourne dealt with harassment from a previous landlord. He managed to hold onto the rent-regulated unit through the previous construction harassment, but he and other tenants organized in order to secure â&#x20AC;&#x153;ironcladâ&#x20AC;? leases, he said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We were absolutely ready for [Kushner],â&#x20AC;? said Osbourne, who has lived there since 1989. A purge of rent-regulated tenants in that particular building happened prior to the Kushner Companies entering the pictur. But Kushner â&#x20AC;&#x153;certainly cannot claim lack of knowledge or â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;oops,â&#x20AC;&#x2122;â&#x20AC;? added Osbourne, who is a Cooper Square Committee board member and tenant leader for the STS campaign. In order to enforce the 12 new laws, D.O.B. is hiring 72 new inspectors and other staff members, according to the department. Another targeted program that began last September inspects active construction jobs at rent-regulated buildings. The department said it issued 547 violations for up to $25,000 worth of fines since the programâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s inception. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We wonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t tolerate landlords who use construction to harass tenants â&#x20AC;&#x201D; no matter who they are,â&#x20AC;? D.O.B. said in a statement. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Landlords have a legal and moral responsibility to keep their buildings safe, and we will use every resource to fight bad actors who donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t live up to those obligations.â&#x20AC;? Siwek, who has been offered a relatively low $10,000 buyout and moving fees to leave, has no intention to vacate her unit. She has lived in the building for 34 years. â&#x20AC;&#x153;If youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re a landlord, you have a responsibility to your tenants and the welfare of our apartments,â&#x20AC;? she said. Though the major construction issues have since quieted down, there are still problems with the building, from leaky ceilings to gas issues. At the end of the day, she said, â&#x20AC;&#x153;We still live in these shitty apartments.â&#x20AC;?

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Hey baby, I really like your bow tie! PHOTO BY TEQUILA MINSKY

The ties that bind: Bill, left, who also goes by “Abe,” is a Washington Square Park denizen, and was relaxing there Saturday around noon, where he encountered the guy at right, who was par t of a film shoot with baby dolls as props. The younger man noticed their bow ties were surprisingly similar.

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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR D.O.T. L plan is ‘madness’

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April 12, 2018

Paul Hallasy

To The Editor: Re “Residents, disabled groups suing to stop ‘arrogant’ L train plan” (news article, April 5): Kudos to Arthur Schwartz and the 14th St.-vicinity community stakeholders for forcing a review of the Department of Transportation et al.’s unripe plan. It is a sad commentary on our city, state and federal agencies that nothing short of a lawsuit can bring these entities tasked with serving the public to really consider our well-being and safety. While D.O.T. defends itself by claiming “extensive community outreach since the closure was announced,” there has been none in the Petrosino Square area. Yet we, who live on the already unbearably congested Williamsburg Bridge-to-Holland Tunnel route — choked by vehicular traffic that is already an environmental health hazard — have received no outreach whatsoever. Meanwhile, D.O.T. hurtles forward, to glut us with up to 70 diesel-fueled buses an hour coming off the Williamsburg Bridge. This way madness lies.

To The Editor: Re “Activists cautiously hopeful on ‘N’life Mayor’: But boss Menin gives confidence” (news article, April 5): There is an active law on the books, the Padavan Law, also called the 500-Foot Law, that prohibits more than three liquor licenses within 500 feet of each other, “UNLESS the Public Interest is served” by granting additional licenses. The courts have ruled that the spurious claim that it “creates jobs and taxes” is not justified, since any business does that. So what is Menin’s and Palitz’s position on this? The law has clearly been violated. Yet, they are silent. This “Nightlife Mayor” is a scam. It was pushed by the nightlife shills, including City Councilmember Rafael Espinal, who received campaign contributions from members of the nightlife industry.

Georgette Fleischer

Frank Rafferty

Would be L for us, too!

Doors article really swung

To The Editor: Re “Residents, disabled groups suing to stop ‘arrogant’ L train plan” (news article, April 5): I’m glad that the residents of Greenwich Village and Chelsea are organizing to protest this disastrous plan, but the residents of the Lower East Side, Chinatown, Nolita and Soho will be affected, as well. My neighborhood of Nolita (where 70 buses an hour will run across Kenmare St. and up Cleveland Place, if this plan goes forward) is already under siege because of traffic, noise and pollution. This plan will be the final nail in the coffin. Furthermore, I have not been made aware of any community outreach. And the studies that are being used to push this plan forward don’t account for the 100,000 or so for-hire vehicles that are already clogging our streets. A much better plan would be to do the tunnel-repair work only at night and on weekends (something that would itself cause a major disruption, but not as much as a complete shutdown). The residents of Greenwich Village, Chelsea, the Lower East Side, Chinatown, Nolita and Soho should make our voices heard — at community board meet-

To The Editor: Re “Street salvation: Hotel Chelsea doors to be auctioned” (news article, April 5): Interesting article. Jerry Poynton, the executor of Herbert Huncke’s literary estate, was asking me about this sale. And here you, Cary Abrams, cleared up all the questions. I sent him a link to your article. Herbert lived in Linda Twigg’s room at the Chelsea Hotel. Linda sold pot and ran an underground gambling club. Those were the days, my friend. I’m not a gambler, but took some photos in there and met many amazing people, which led to memorable adventures.

EVAN FORSCH

20

ings, public hearings and the ballot box.

‘Nightlife Mayor is a scam’

Clayton Patterson

Chelsea memories To The Editor: Re “Street salvation: Hotel Chelsea doors to be auctioned” (news article, April 5): Very good and comprehensive piece, Cary. I was there off and on during 1968 to ’72, sharing Room 528. LETTERS continued on p. 29

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Carrie lit the spark and SJP is keeping it real NOTEBOOK BY MEGGIE SMITH

T

here’s no better place for a celebrity encounter than my neighborhood, the West Village, and Sarah Jessica Parker is among its famous residents. The iconic actress, best known for her role on “Sex and the City,” has recently made headlines. She expanded her empire, wrapping the season two of “Divorce,” designing a Gap Kids clothing line and launching a publishing imprint. Though she’s best known for captivating the popular imagination with her lavish, single city girl portrayal of Carrie Bradshaw, her life story is far from her fictional character. She grew up poor in rural Ohio, sharing a home with eight siblings. Her big break was a starring role as Annie on Broadway at age 11, when she became responsible for being the breadwinner for her family. I also come from the Midwest, suburban Detroit, and from a family of four. My mother’s public school teacher salary was our primary source of income. Food and shelter were never in question. But I started working, babysitting at age 9 and rollerblading a paper route for the Detroit Free Press, and have never stopped since. I realized that we have more in common as women — Sarah Jessica and Meggie Jo, our names similarly Midwestern — than as actress and audience. Like many growing up in suburban locales, my friends and I were devoted fans of “Sex and the City.” Watching weekly, we fervently debated which of us would be which character. To my delight, it was decided that I was a Carrie, despite Caroline having actual curly hair. I was the writer of the group. I obsessively edited every paper for my AP English class,

VILLAGER FILE PHOTOS BY J.B NICHOLAS

Actress Sarah Jessica Parker walking in the West Village a few years ago on her way to pick up her son at school.

I looked up.... It was her, hair perfectly ombré, in 4-inch stilettos.

SJP signing autographs for fans. TheVillager.com

always coming away with an “A” grade. The teacher scrawled in the margins that I was “a great writer” and “should definitely be considering law school.” Seeing Sarah Jessica Parker as Carrie allowed me to dream of life outside of “The Mitten” a.k.a. Michigan and of doing creative work for a living. That was something my mother dismissed as only

for the “independently wealthy.” Which we were not. I landed in New York City after getting a job here, sharing a shoebox apartment with my best friend. My fascination with Sarah Jessica Parker remained dormant, until one night my roommate rushed through our door, breathlessly exclaiming she had seen SJP hailing a cab on Sixth Ave., in stilettos no less! I was itching to see her up close — to see what the actress who sparked my interest in New York City was like in person. But SJP was always two steps ahead, just out of sight. I saw her son skateboarding on their block, security detail in tow. Another time, she had just walked out of the bodega as I walked in, and though I immediately craned my head out the door, she vanished without a glimpse of curls or high heels. A year later, I was walking to my birthday celebration and got caught in a police barricade on her corner. She was having an Obama fundraiser — $40,000 a plate! I hung around to see if I could catch a glimpse of the famous hostess, but my wish didn’t come true. Years, apartments and jobs later and near-miss run-ins with Sarah Jessica, we’re both still in the Village. I live in 500 square feet with my 6-foot-2-inch boyfriend and a Bernese Mountain Dog that could be mistaken for a bear at a distance. The rent would cover a McMansion mortgage back home, and it’s a lifestyle choice many of my relatives in Michigan deem financially irresponsible. But I love my adopted city and the little family I’ve created below 14th St. A few months ago, I had my closest run-in yet. Walking down W. Fourth St. en route to my co-ed soccer game in Chelsea on W. 27th St., I realized someone was approaching and stepped to my right. As we engaged in the New York City sidewalk dance, I looked up and realized it was her, in a pastel blazer, perfectly ombré, steadily walking in 4-inch stilettos. I waved excitedly as we passed. She lifted her head and gave a covert but friendly hello, smiled, and winked. Then she was gone, attending to mega-celebrity Wednesday evening business. Her role as Carrie lit the spark in me that someday I, too, could lead a hip, lavish, self-made life in New York City. Living in several blocks proximity to the real woman, made me understand, 20 years later, what drew me to Carrie Bradshaw as a teen, and why my fondness for the actress continues today. Though Carrie and SJP are different to their core, they both showed me different ways of living life on your own terms, exorbitant rental costs (me) or paparazzi outside your stoop (her) be damned. Showing up and living authentically, despite the darkness of your past or disapproval of your family is what really matters. And to that effect, the two of us Villagers are doing quite well right where we are. April 12, 2018

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Score one for the Quad ‘Fever’ grips cinema on a significant Saturday night BY SCOTT STIFFLER One-year-olds aren’t usually this sophisticated — but the manner in which the Quad Cinema has chosen to celebrate the first anniversary of its rebirth is a self-aware exercise in symbolism and synergy that speaks to the bread and butter business of looking back, while wholeheartedly embracing the unknown. On April 14, one year to the day after it reopened to reveal the fruits of a 24-month renovation process, “Saturday Night Fever” will be screened as part of the Quad’s ongoing “First Encounters” series. Created and curated by C. Mason Wells, Director of Repertory Programming, the series invites “notables from the film world and beyond” to come face to face with a flick they’ve never seen before — then asks them to engage the audience in conversation. “It’s a very interesting process,” Wells said. “It’s unlike any other series I’ve programmed before. Those reactions are so genuine.” On board for his virgin experience with the 1977 disco-era classic is John Cameron Mitchell. Inexplicably, the book writer and stage/fi lm star of “Hedwig and the Angry Inch” — who directed its fi lm adaptation, as well as 2006’s “Shortbus” and the upcoming “How to Talk to Girls at Parties” — has never seen the vehicle that propelled John Travolta out of Mr. Kotter’s TV classroom and into the global consciousness. But surely Mitchell knows a little something about it — and that, Wells said, is part of what gives “First Encounters” its off-kilter mojo. “With the better-known films in the series,” he noted, “you’ve heard quotes from it, and you have a sense, in your head, of what it might be like. ‘Saturday Night Fever’ looms so large for American culture. But the movie itself is a lot darker and stranger than its reputation suggests.” So when the Bee Gees sing “How Deep is Your Love” as credits roll and it’s time for Mitchell to weigh in with his verdict, “It will be interesting to see John’s preconceived ideas come across.” Asked if any guest had ever suffered the inevitable fate of all adventurous moviegoers — loathing the film — Wells deadpanned, “It hasn’t happened yet.” But he promised there’s still plenty of unpredictability built into the series. The majority of audiences, he noted, seem to arrive at “First Encounters” with both familiarity and affection for the selection, leading to a post-screening experience that “flips the script on what Q&A sessions are. You usually have a director or actor, and they are the experts on that film. Here, the audience knows more than the guest.” That’s resulted in more than a few humorous exchanges. “We like to be fun and cheeky and adventurous,” said Wells, “but we take movies very seriously.” TheVillager.com

Courtesy of Scott Francis

The Quad’s marquee, seen here announcing an April 2017 return after a two-year restoration.

Courtesy of the Everett Collection via the Quad Cinema

John Cameron Mitchell has his first viewing of “Saturday Night Fever” on April 14, and then shares his reaction with the audience.

Backing up that declaration is the fact that within the past year, The Quad (which opened in 1972 as NYC’s fi rst multiplex) has screened over 400 35mm prints as well as engagements for over 100 fi rst-run fi lms and new digital restorations. “International and domestic, old and new,” Wells said of the Quad’s programming, which since its grand reopening has included actor retrospectives featuring Barbra Streisand, Goldie Hawn, and

Daniel Day-Lewis, as well as director retrospectives from the likes of Billy Wilder and Bernardo Bertolucci — plus thematic series (3D fi lms and the Inspector Clouseau fi lms, among them), alongside a solid block of queer programming the prerestoration Quad was well-known for. (Among 2017’s highlights, a 4K digital restoration of Toshio Matsumoto’s seldom-seen “Funeral Parade of Roses,” a 1969 black and white, documentarylike look at Tokyo’s drag and “gay boy bar” scene, whose visuals and violence were said to influence “A Clockwork Orange.”) Extending the April 14 celebration, Wells said the “Quadrophilia” series, which “is an ongoing thing we do that brings back some of the more popular hits from films that opened or screened at the Quad in the four decades past,” will further serve to “remind people what we’ve done so far.” Their meta take on the series — screenings of “Quadrophilia” selections that happened since reopening — includes a musical fanatic’s delight on April 16, with a 3pm screening of 1983’s “Yentl” (from that aforementioned Streisand retrospective) and a 5:30pm screening of 1970’s “Original Cast Album: Company,” which was part of a 2017 series curated by Oscar-nominated director Greta Gerwig. “She’s a big Sondheim fan,” Wells noted, citing her use QUAD continued on p. 25 April 12, 2018

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Pedigree activities during the dog days of spring Lydon’s guide to poetry, TNC, puppies BY MICHAEL LYDON late night East Village. Rain glistens off shattered street glass like fallen stars. —from Phillip Giambri’s “Dancing on Razor Blades” When the author of the above walked into Veselka (144 Second Ave.), his grin widened and warmed, and so did mine. Phillip Giambri is the kind of guy you can’t help liking! He’s easy to spot, too: a small, bright-eyed man with the trim figure of a bantamweight boxer, a black cane in hand but barely used, a knowing grin on his face, and a baseball cap with “Ancient Mariner” stitched above the brim. Born in South Philadelphia 76 years ago, Giambri has spent many of those years in the East Village — in the bars, yes, but also at a bewildering number of jobs, including actor, hairstylist, janitor, drifter, recording engineer, hired hand, traveling salesman, submarine officer, barfly, banker, biker, bronco buster, announcer, mail-order minister, photographer, and computer guru. “I’ve always liked to figure things out,” Giambri said over a cup of coffee. “A restless mind, you could say that, I’ve got a restless mind. And now I’m working harder than ever. I know I’m in a race against time. I’m trying to get everything done.” Giambri’s love of poetry has come to the fore in recent years — some call him the Muse of St. Mark’s Place — taking him from reading his work at open mics organized by others to open mics he organizes himself, including a three-year run of his “Rimes of the Ancient Mariner” reading series at the now-defunct Three of Clubs. His first book, “Confessions of a Repeat Offender: Musings on a Life Gone Right in Spite of Myself,” came out two years ago. “Giambri has mastered the voice of the sad luck loser,” wrote one reviewer, praising his “moments of enlightenment” and his unique blend of “bitterness, humility, honor, and pride.” “Reading my work for an audience,” Giambri said thoughtfully, “that’s the best way I can what I can rethink what I’m trying to get listeners to understand.” For much of the spring Giambri will be out of the city (“I’m going to Poland for the annual International Submariner’s Association Convention,” he told me) — but he’ll be back for a scattering of gigs in April and May, plus an evening at the Cornelia Street Café on June 18. For more info, pay a visit to ancientmarinertales.com. So all you landlubbers, prepare to go down to the sea in ships this June with Photo by Michael Lydon

Phillip Giambri is easy to spot, but doesn’t stay in one spot for long.

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April 12, 2018

LYDON continued on p. 25 TheVillager.com


about 3500 BC, then two-wheeled chariots, then four-wheeled ox carts â&#x20AC;&#x201D; but why did we wait 5,500 more years to invent the bicycle? Did Carl the Caveman try a two-wheeler, fall off, crack his skull, then toss his prototype into the nearest tar pit? That question brings to mind another: Why did it take so long for dog runs to catch on? Think back a few decades. You clip Fido onto his/her leash, out to the street and round the block, pee here, poop there, sniff here, sniff there, and home we go. Poor Fido got almost no exercise, met canine pals only for brief hellos with you tugging on the collar in the opposite direction â&#x20AC;&#x201D; all in all, a dogâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s life. But dog runs? Little slices of doggie heaven! You get to the dog run, and Fido canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t wait. Off the leash and away he/she bounds, barking with joy. You throw a ball, Fido scampers away at top speed, grabs it, trots back, and

drops the ball at your feet. You two do it again, oh, maybe 30 times. Fido spots a pal, dashes over, flattens his/her forepaws, chin on the ground, issuing an invitation to play as clearly as if spoken. That leads to some goofy wrestling and chasing while you read a book, chat with a friend, or look up to see buds swelling on the trees, puffy white clouds floating eastward to the sea. My wife Ellen and I have a black cat, Bobbie, but no dog (our work schedules wouldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t be fair to a canine pal), so we make up for the loss by enjoying the friendship of every dog in the East Village â&#x20AC;&#x201D; well, maybe not every dog, but almost. Ellenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s mantra: â&#x20AC;&#x153;Dogs are so good.â&#x20AC;? She often forgets the humanâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s name, but seldom forgets either the dogâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s name or what inexpressibly cute thing he/she did the last time we met. Dog runs large and small dot the Villages East and West. Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve no statistics to prove it, but Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m sure that the exercise, companionship, and canine joie de vive our furry friends get from daily dog run sessions add significantly to their (and your!) health and longevity. So whether you have a dog or not, get yourself down to the dog run nearest you â&#x20AC;&#x201D; for us, thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s the run in Tompkins Square Park (500 E. Ninth St.) â&#x20AC;&#x201D; and hang on the fence for a quarter hour or so and see these sweetie-pies cavort and leap and bark and trot until their tongues are hanging out and their lips pulled back in happy smiles. Keep your eye out for Bluebell, a handsome, well-trained border collie who loves to hide behind peopleâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s legs then jump out and catch a Frisbee in full fl ight. Woof, woof! Good Bluebell, good dog!

ies were hits in the â&#x20AC;&#x2122;70s and â&#x20AC;&#x2122;80, but he never quite broke through to the level of his contemporaries.â&#x20AC;? Like so much of what the Quad excels at, the well-programmed lineup promises to

hook the uninitiated and reward the devoted. The Quad Cinema is located at 34 W. 13th St. (btw. Fifth & Sixth Aves.). For more info, visit quadcinema.com.

LYDON continued from p. 24

the Ancient Mariner â&#x20AC;&#x201D; Cornelia Street will gladly supply the rum, ho, ho, ho!

THEATER FOR THE NEW CITY Veteran actors Crystal Field and George Bartenieff founded Theater for the New City (155 First Ave.) in 1971, and in its five decades â&#x20AC;&#x153;TNC,â&#x20AC;? as fans and friends call it, has put on countless plays and pubic events in a half-dozen theaters. For all its ups and downs, and there have been many, TNC has hewed closely to its core commitment to community. Week in week out, season in, season out, Crystal and her gang of actors, directors, designers, and playwrights (George Bartenieff left in 1992) have mounted play after play after play, all varied in content and style, but all declaring the groupâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s dedication to human equality. And, along the way, the TNC has won dozens of Obies and a Pulitzer Prize for Drama. Over the years Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve been to many TNC endeavors, even taken part in a few â&#x20AC;&#x201D; most memorably, playing carols with our band when a jovial crowd cheered the lighting of the Tompkins Square Christmas tree. Sometimes TNCâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s political message is a bit heavyhanded for my taste, but Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m always impressed by the dedication of everyone involved. Plus, I know of no theater that gets more shows up on their feet, no matter the obstacles in their way. For example, in the Cino Theater, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Verzet Amsterdam,â&#x20AC;? a play by Barbara Kahn about Dutch artists resisting Hitler, opened April 5 and continues through

Photo by Joe Bly

L to R: Steph Van Vlack and Anya Krawcheck in â&#x20AC;&#x153;Verzet Amsterdam,â&#x20AC;? a play by Barbara Kahn at Theater for the New City through April 22.

April 22. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The Confession of Lily Dare,â&#x20AC;? a comedic love letter to the â&#x20AC;&#x153;confession filmâ&#x20AC;? genre written and starring Charles Busch, will continue through April 29, followed by the May 3-20 run of â&#x20AC;&#x153;Fat Asses: The Musicalâ&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x201D; touted as â&#x20AC;&#x153;three larger-than-life ladies who find themselves ostracized from their friends, families and even their weight-loss support group.â&#x20AC;? Whew â&#x20AC;&#x201D; I get breathless just listing the names and dates! What do I recommend? Well, the Charles Busch show for sure! Heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s always outrageously funny. What else? I say, take a smorgasbord approach. Whatever you taste at TNC will be so new and different that on the way home, youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll feel like a whole new person! More info about their many productions can be found at theaterforthenewcity.net.

DOGS ARE SO GOOD! We humans invented the wheel

QUAD continued from p. 23

Photo by Mettie Ostrwoski

April 16â&#x20AC;&#x2122;s screening of â&#x20AC;&#x153;Original Cast Album: Companyâ&#x20AC;? is a callback from a program Greta Gerwig (seen here) curated in 2017.

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of his work in â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Lady Bird.â&#x20AC;? Also of note among the â&#x20AC;&#x153;ton of stuffâ&#x20AC;? Wells was eager to plug when asked what else was worth pricking our ears up for, is a â&#x20AC;&#x153;near-complete 35mm surveyâ&#x20AC;? of work by independent fi lmmaker Alan Rudolph. The director will come in from the West Coast to appear at select screenings during the series, which runs April 27 to May 9. Among the over 20 titles are â&#x20AC;&#x153;Choose Me,â&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x153;The Moderns,â&#x20AC;? and this publicationâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s personal pick: 1985â&#x20AC;&#x2122;s new-wave-meets-noir â&#x20AC;&#x153;Trouble in Mindâ&#x20AC;? (with Kris Kristofferson as an ex-cop/ex-con, Lori Singer as a former fl ame/diner owner, and Divine, in a villainous male role). Said Wells of Rudolph, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s never had a proper retrospective. His mov-

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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25


C.B. 2 alcohol problem C.B.2 continued from p. 10

have been too low. Young called the January meeting flare-up an anomaly. “I think there was a bad moment between Tom and Bob,” she said. “Bob got very, very angry. He’s not typically like this. But for some reason, this ticked him off. Tom was kind of freaked out about it.”

Quashing dissent? Young and two other committee members, who she did not name, wrote a letter to C.B. 2 Chairperson Cude expressing their concern about the incident. Particularly troubling, Young added, was Connor’s abrupt removal from the committee. “Should we all be worried we will be taken off a committee if we disagree with the [committee] chairperson?” she asked. Asked if she felt Connor should be reinstated on the committee, Young responded, “I think he should be.” She noted that she also said in her letter to Cude that Ely was “a good chairperson” of the committee. In general, Young said, Connor’s removal from the committee was “mishandled.” “It was a mess, an unneeded mess,” she reflected.

Wants back on Speaking a few days ago, Connor said it’s now his understanding that there is a movement afoot to put him back on the S.L.A. Committee, and that he would, in fact, welcome that. Cude confirmed that things are heading that way. However, Connor said he’s being told he has to first meet with Cude and committee co-chairpersons Ely and Booth, and he’s uncomfortable with that. “That’s three against one,” he said, adding he would like someone to be there who is on “his side.” “I want Shirley or Elaine or Robin,” he said, referring to S.L.A. Committee members Dr. Shirley Smith, Young or Robin Goldberg. As for rejoining the committee, he said he does want to, but isn’t going to rush it. “I think I will go back,” he said. “But I want to think it over.”

Nightlife fight Meanwhile, as mentioned earlier in this article, Connor’s situation also should be viewed in the context of the nightlife battle in C.B. 2 — and beyond. Connor’s charges that the S.L.A. Committee is being “unfair” and has a “pattern” of rejecting liquor-license applications are echoed by activist Allen

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April 12, 2018

Roskoff, who, again, is championing Connor and his return to the S.L.A. Committee. Roskoff was in the audience at last month’s C.B. 2 full-board meeting when the board overwhelmingly voted to recommend denial of a liquor-license application for another private members club, the Groucho Club, on Lafayette St. Only two board members voted to recommend approval of the license. Roskoff said he was at the meeting because the Groucho Club applicants were “friends.” “They should just call themselves the ‘Anti-Nightlife Board,’” Roskoff fumed afterward. “This is now the worst board in the city. You’ve got Cude and the two co-chairpersons [Ely and Booth]. “They just took Tom Connor off the committee because he was pro-nightlife,” he added, quickly amending that to, “because he was reasonable to liquor-license applications. … The S.L.A. is better than these guys,” Roskoff said, referring to the actual state agency that makes decisions on handing out liquor licenses. Roskoff said he is not a registered lobbyist for the nightlife industry. However, showing his involvement in the issue, on March 8, Roskoff, Councilmember Rafael Espinal and Bushwick artist Rachel Nelson jointly penned an op-ed in City & State headlined “An open letter to NYC’s first nightlife mayor: 5 suggestions for Ariel Palitz from those people responsible for creating her new job.”

C.B. 2 bar facts Told of Roskoff’s accusation, Cude said the figures simply don’t support it. Last year, she noted, the board received a total of 319 liquor-license applications. Due to withdrawals or applicants failing to appear before the community board for a review — which are automatic denials until further action on the applicant’s part — the practical number drops to 165. Of that figure, C.B. 2 denied 32, or around 19 percent, of the applications, she said. Plus, all the denials are given “a path to approval,” she added, meaning C.B. 2 sets out stipulations that the applicants must follow in order win the board’s support, such as earlier closing hours, keeping windows closed, installing soundproofing and the like. “On C.B. 2’s S.L.A. Committees,” Cude said, “members volunteer many hours to help assure that the bars and restaurants in our primarily residential mixed-use neighborhoods balance nightlife with quality of life. This hard work provides the basis for vibrant and livable neighborhoods. Not surprisingly, some nightlife industry supporters don’t always agree with the committee’s decisions and may seek to undermine our efforts with accusations, but these do not deter our efforts to achieve that delicate balance.” TheVillager.com


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April 12, 2018

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April 12, 2018

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Letters to The Editor It used to be said, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Where do you go after the Chelsea, the Bowery?â&#x20AC;? But even that is too expensive nowadays. Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m glad that Jim Georgiou has a home and I hope some wealthy rock star or artist has use for the â&#x20AC;&#x153;doors of perceptionâ&#x20AC;? that was the Chelsea back in the day.

liant. I suspect he committed suicide due to depression after his car accident. The more I knew Jerry, the less I respected him. I even attended one of his networking parties in his Upper East Side apartment, where one of the attendees asked me how I knew Jerry. I said, â&#x20AC;&#x153;The movement.â&#x20AC;? He asked, â&#x20AC;&#x153;What movement?â&#x20AC;?

Thelma Blitz

Jacqueline Friedrich

No respect for Rubin

Zippies vs. Yippies

To The Editor: Re â&#x20AC;&#x153;Radical vets recall Yippieturned-Yuppie Rubinâ&#x20AC;? (news article, April 5): I knew Abbie and Jerry pretty well back in the day. I had covered the Panther 21 trial for the East Village Other and WBAI. After the trial ended, Abbie and Jerry asked me to help reform the Yippie Party. One of our events was welcoming John and Yoko at Jerryâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s apartment in Westbeth. I came to think that Abbie was bril-

To The Editor: Re â&#x20AC;&#x153;Radical vets recall Yippieturned-Yuppie Rubinâ&#x20AC;? (news article, April 5): Oh, I put sugar in Ed Sandersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s gas tank and peed in it, all right, and did a lot of other things, too, to the rivalfaction Yippies. I left crabs I found in Spiro Agnewâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s garbage in front of Bob Fassâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s storefront, stenciled â&#x20AC;&#x153;ZIPPIE!â&#x20AC;? on his car, cranked him with the words â&#x20AC;&#x153;GET PLATE GLASS INSURANCE,â&#x20AC;? sent him a letter on New York City offi-

LETTERS continued from p. 20

cial stationery, which I also found in the garbage, that he was getting evicted. As for Jerry Rubin, I got some latex and a blockbuster and put it on his window, then attached a cigarette fuse and blew out the window. If you modify a firecracker, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a bomb. Abbie sent around some guys who claimed to be Italian and told me I was messing with Little Italy and would get whacked. But later, I supplied Abbie with an ounce of reefer a week and $100. I met him in front of Blockbuster Video at Second Ave. and 34th St. because I didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t want him drawing heat to the safe house. Rubin brought me some pot customers and everything was cooled out. He invented social networking. As for Fass, Bill Propp and I rented a truck and drove Bobâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s archives to New Jersey when he was virtually homeless, and I paid several years in advance, so he would not loose this trove of history. My last fight with Fass was over idolizing Larry Davis, a psychopath who, even in prison, terrorized other prisoners. It would have been nice, if I had gone to the book reading, to see Larry â&#x20AC;&#x153;Ratsoâ&#x20AC;? Sloman, who did the first article

about Dylanology in the Queens College newspaper and who introduced me to the people at the East Village Other. Also would have been good to see Paul Krassner, because I read The Realist from cover to cover while in Erasmus Hall High School. Krassner hates me because of the last anti-Fass operation, so what are you going to do? Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s all in the past, and like Mort Sahl â&#x20AC;&#x201D; a fan of my â&#x20AC;&#x153;Tramp shot J.F.K.â&#x20AC;? theory â&#x20AC;&#x201D; said, â&#x20AC;&#x153;The Future Lies Ahead.â&#x20AC;? And when you reach 73, we realize we all share a common fate. A. J. Weberman

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.

For more news & events happening now visit www.TheVillager.com TheVillager.com

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