Serving Tribeca, Battery Park City, the Seaport and the Financial District VOLUME 31, NUMBER 8
MAY 3 – MAY 16, 2018
Peck Slip teachers protect school’s play street with their own cars Photo by Milo Hess
Teachers at Peck Slip School use their own cars to reinforce the saw-horse police barriers used to block off the school’s play street, but Community Board 1 wants the city to fund a better solution. For more, see page 4.
Fearless Girl set to leave Bowling Green Can the city move the Bull? Page 14
Also in this issue:
Seaport Report Page 22
1 M E T R O T E C H • N YC 112 0 1 • C O P Y R I G H T © 2 0 18 N YC C O M M U N I T Y M E D I A , L L C
Seaport’s Pier 17 is ready for its close-up Are you? Page 12
Shelly retrial Prosecutors to get one more chance to polish off the Silver BY COLIN MIXSON He’s been to Shel and back! Disgraced former Downtown power broker Sheldon Silver endured his first day back in court on Monday, as prosecutors try to convince a second jury of the former Assembly Speaker’s quidpro-quo corruption scheme after a prior conviction was thrown out on appeal. Silver was “blinded by greed,” according to Assistant U.S. Attorney Damian Williams, who in his opening statement told the jury that the onceindomitable pol “abused his power for personal gain.” As Assembly Speaker, Silver was a member of the so-called “three men in a room” who, along with the Governor and Senate Majority Leader, wielded immense influence both in Lower Manhattan — where he was first elected in 1976 — and throughout the state. After 39 years in office, however, Silver fell far and fast following a conviction on corruption charges in 2015,
when a jury found him guilty of colluding with both a physician and real estate interests to rake in millions from referral fees to his law firm in return for political favors. But Silver was saved by none other than the U.S. Supreme Court, which paved the way for the former Assembly Speaker’s appeal with a 2016 ruling that narrowed the definition of what constituted official corruption. In its decision regarding Silver’s case, the appeals court ruled in 2017 that the definition of official corruption provided to the jurors differed from the one used by the U.S. Supreme Court when it overturned the corruption conviction of former Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell, and so it was possible the jury could have ruled differently had it been instructed on the updated definition of the law. That appeals court did note, however, that Silver’s conviction was not based on lack of evidence, according to
Photo by Jefferson Siegel
Former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver faces a new trial on public corruption charges, after his earlier conviction was overturned on appeal.
former Deputy U.S. Attorney Joon Kim, who presided over Silver’s inaugural prosecution, and vowed that the onetime Downtown pol would eventually face justice. “The Second Circuit also held that the evidence presented at the trial was sufficient to prove all the crimes charged against Silver, even under the new legal
standard,” the former prosecutor wrote in a statement. Silver’s defense attorney Michael Feldberg painted a much different picture than prosecutors in his opening remarks at the retrial, describing Silver as a selfless public servant, who’s multimillion-dollar referrals were “perfectly, 100-percent legal.”
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May 3 - May 16, 2018
TOP DRIVER DISTRACTIONS Using mobile phones Leading the list of the top distractions behind the wheel are mobile phones. Phones now do more than just place calls, and drivers often cannot pull away from their phones, even when driving. According to the California Department of Motor Vehicles, studies have shown that driving performance is lowered and the level of distraction is higher for drivers who are heavily engaged in cell
phone conversations. The use of a hands-free device does not lower distraction levels. The percentage of vehicle crashes and nearcrashes attributed to dialing is nearly identical to the number associated with talking or listening.
Daydreaming Many people will admit to daydreaming behind the wheel or looking at a person or object outside of the car for too long. Per-
haps they’re checking out a house in a new neighborhood or thought they saw someone they knew on the street corner. It can be easy to veer into the direction your eyes are focused, causing an accident. In addition to trying to stay focused on the road, some drivers prefer the help of lane departure warning systems.
Eating Those who haven’t quite mastered walking and
chewing gum at the same time may want to avoid eating while driving. The majority of foods require a person’s hands to be taken off of the wheel and their eyes to be diverted from the road. Reaching in the back seat to share some French fries with the kids is also distracting. Try to eat meals before getting in the car. For those who must snack while en route, take a moment to pull over at
a rest area and spend 10 minutes snacking there before resuming the trip.
Reading Glancing at an advertisement, updating a Facebook status or reading a book are all activities that should be avoided when driving. Even pouring over a traffic map or consulting the digital display of a GPS system can be distracting.
May 3 - May 16, 2018
Schoolhouse block Teachers protect play street with own cars BY COLIN MIXSON Teachers at Downtown’s Peck Slip School are asking for city funding to install permanent safety barriers to protect kids on its daily “play street,” where students are currently protected by the teachers’ own strategically parked cars at either end of the block. Parents are content their kids are relatively safe behind the instructors’ sedans, but would nonetheless appreciate a little taxpayer support in funding a more permanent solution, according to the president of the school’s parentteacher association. “It’s weird to use cars. It’s safe, but it’s not perfect, and it’s a temporary situation,” said Emily Hellstrom, mother of three Peck Slip School students. The city built Peck Slip School with a rooftop play area that isn’t large enough to provide all students with outdoor playtime, so Principal Maggie Sienna worked with the Department of Education, members of Community Board 1, and the operator of a parking lot across the street to close off a block of Peck Slip to car traffic during school hours.
The cobblestone play space has seen plenty of use since its debut in 2016, but parents and community members have expressed safety concerns regarding the ad-hoc recess area, which was initially only protected by light, moveable rails that left parents concerned, especially in the wake of last year’s Halloween truck attack that claimed eight lives on West Street. Now, faculty deploy their own vehicles as heavy, but still moveable barriers, which parents hailed as a sensible safety solution, according to Hellstrom. “You’re not going to drive through somebody’s car,” the mom said. But members of Community Board 1’s Youth and Education Committee have expressed skepticism that using teacher’s cars as barricades is wise, and the group’s vice chairman said any deterrent that includes a tank full of gasoline should be considered less than ideal. “What if somebody sets fire to the gas tank?” asked Paul Hovitz. “It’s too much of a liability to use cars belonging to teachers.”
Photo by Milo Hess
Teachers at Peck Slip School use their own cars to reinforce the saw-horse police barriers used to block off the school’s play street, but Community Board 1 wants the city to fund a better solution.
The education committee reviewed Sienna’s budget request on April 10, and approved a draft resolution endorsing the additional funds that the main board approved on April 24. This isn’t the school’s only funding request, but the board championed this cause largely due to its long involvement in helping implement the play street, according to a planning consultant for
the committee, who said the board plans on sending its endorsement to both Councilwoman Margaret Chin, whose district includes the school, and Council Speaker Corey Johnson, whose constituents also attend Peck Slip. “We felt it was appropriate for us to lend our support to this one request, PECK SLIP Continued on page 20
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May 3 - May 16, 2018
CREDIT CROOK Police are searching for a pickpocket who nabbed a woman’s wallet at the Whitehall subway station on Mar. 14. The victim told police she was exiting the station near South Street at 6:15 pm, when she noticed her wallet had been snatched. The woman’s bank later contacted her about some fishy credit card transactions, and police recovered surveillance footage of a blond-haired man using her cards at Duane Reade and Walgreens, cops said.
Cops believe this man swiped a woman’s wallet at the Whitehall subway station and then used her credit cards at Duane Reade and Walgreens.
FIREFIGHT Cops are hunting the wacko who threw lit matches and a burning piece of paper at an MTA worker inside the Fulton Street subway station on April 25. The token clerk told police he was working inside a booth at the station near Nassau Street at 4:48 pm, when the bearded nutjob started yelling at him from beyond the glass. The man’s tirade escalated when he started tossing lit matches through the pay slot, and threw a lit piece of paper at the booth, before fleeing towards the A and C train platform, cops said. Anyone with information regarding either of these incidents is asked to call Crime Stoppers at (800) 577–8477. The public can also submit tips by logging onto the Crime Stoppers website at www.nypdcrimestoppers.com or by texting tips to 274637 (CRIMES) then entering TIP577. All tips are strictly confidential.
SMASH AND GRAB A thief ransacked a Harrison Street jewelry store on April 15, snatching $5,700 worth of bling. An employee told police that the suspect smashed through the front window of the store between Greenwich and Hudson streets at 4 pm and grabbed 13 gold and silver adornments before fleeing.
BLACK-BAG OPERATION Cops arrested a man for allegedly attacking another guy on Greene Street on April 23. The victim told police the suspect knocked him over the head with a mystery object wrapped in a black plastic bag between Broome and Grand streets at 9:35 pm. Not content with causing the man physical harm, the suspect then allegDowntownExpress.com
Police say this man threw lit matches and a burning piece of paper at an MTA worker inside the Fulton Street subway station.
edly turned his ire towards the victim’s vehicle and cracked it once, causing about $400 worth of damage to his tail light, cops said. Cops busted the suspect that day, charging him with assault, according to police.
BAGGED A shoplifter made off with two handbags worth $7,100 from a Greene Street boutique on April 14. An employee told police the suspect waltzed into the store between Prince and Spring streets at 4:04 pm before breezing past the register with the pair of bags, worth $3,450 and $3,650 respectively, and fleeing.
ELECTRIC SLIDE A thief rode off with a man’s electric bike that he left on Hudson Street on April 21. The victim told police he parked his battery-powered ride between Canal and Spring streets at 9:15 pm, and returned about 45 minutes later to find that the $1,550 bike was stolen. The vehicle was outfitted with a GPS tracking system, which led back to a Brooklyn address, but cops who showed up there failed to locate the bike, police said. — Colin Mixson May 3 - May 16, 2018
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May 3 - May 16, 2018
Tenants take rent-regulation fight to state’s highest court for ruling
BY COLIN MIXSON New York’s highest court will finally provide clarity on a contentious legal debate that’s pitted Downtown renters against their landlords, who for decades have reaped millions in tax breaks while refusing to provide the regulated rents the program was meant to foster, tenants claim. Following a court defeat in January, tenants of 50 Murray St. have decided to take their case to the state Court of Appeals to argue that building owners profiting from the 421-g tax program must continue offering the rent-regulated leases the law requires. Conflicting lower court rulings have left open the question of whether leases in 421-g buildings are subject to so-called “luxury deregulation,” so a high court determination in the 50 Murray St. case will have sweeping consequences for residents and developers in Lower Manhattan — and could force landlords to slash rents for thousands of Downtowners, according to the tenants’ lawyer. “Nearly 5,560 apartments in Lower Manhattan will be immediately and directly affected by this court’s decision,” said Serge Joseph, an attorney representing tenants at 50 Murray St., in addition to tenants from six other 421-g buildings. “The two buildings subject to this appeal alone contain 510 apartments. Additionally, thousands of other apartments in buildings participating in the 421-g program will be subject to the decision.” State legislators created the 421-g program in 1995, giving developers generous tax exemptions in exchange for revitalizing a then-stagnant Lower Manhattan through the construction of new residential developments and conversion of office buildings. In 2016, landlords at 90 West St. were exempted from paying nearly $3 million in state taxes, while the owners of 37 Wall St. profited from exemptions exceeding $3.2 million, according to a list compiled by housing experts at Community Board 1. The 421-g program also entitled residents of those buildings to rentstabilized leases, which places a low cap on annual rent hikes, but landlords have long argued that their units are
Image via Google Streetview
Tenants at 50 Murray St. are taking their case to the Court of Appeals, where a ruling in their favor would force landlords across Lower Manhattan enjoying tax breaks under the state’s 421-g program to slash rents — and even pay tenants back for years of overcharges.
subject to luxury deregulation — which axes benefits for tenants paying above a certain threshold, currently $2,700 per month — and have raised their rents accordingly, leading tenants in many 421-g buildings to sue. Landlords scored an early victory in the case of 89 John St. in May 2017, when Justice Shlomo Hagler cited a letter that former Mayor Rudy Giuliani sent to the state Senate prior to the bill’s approval, indicating that the 421-g buildings would be subject to luxury deregulation, despite that language appearing nowhere in the law. But tenants at 50 Murray and 90 West streets quickly scored back-toback sate Supreme Court victories, undermining Hagler’s decision and the position of landlords, only for the issue to once again become muddled by a yet-higher court, the state’s Appellate Division, where four justices ruled unanimously — with one recusal — in favor of the Murray Street landlord earlier this year. That decision would have reigned as the law of the land, but the Appellate Division has granted Joseph and his clients leave to appeal its ruling before the Court of Appeals, the ultimate authority when it comes to New York State law. An attorney for the landlord, and a former justice for the Appellate Division, 50 MURRAY ST. Continued on page 21
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May 3 - May 16, 2018
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May 3 - May 16, 2018
BY LENORE SKENAZY Babies haven’t changed much in about a million years. But how we view them, what we expect of them, and how we raise them is changing all the time and, in the process, changing us, says Janet Golden, a professor of history at Rutgers and author of the new book, “Babies Made Us Modern: How Infants Brought America into the 20th Century.” At the dawn of the 1900s, infant mortality was still so common that photographers routinely took pictures of babies in their coffins — eyes open — as a keepsake for the parents. It was only as mortality rates fell (and Kodak’s Brownie camera brought photography to the masses) that another kind of picture became popular: Snapshots of babies very much alive, even giggly. This was such a new notion that Kodak actually had to tell parents: “It makes no difference how often the baby goes to the photographer … the record of his days is incomplete unless there are home pictures to supplement the more formal studio photographs.” And that, my friends, is the first dawning of our Facebook culture. You’ll find it in baby books — diaries for moms to fill in with baby’s word, first tooth, etc. — which started including a page where parents were told to paste a baby photo. These baby books proved a treasure trove for Golden who pored over hundreds of them (strangely enough, collected by one obsessed librarian at UCLA) to see what parents considered good childrearing over the past century. “I really didn’t know what I was going to find,” Golden said in a phone interview. “But the thing that jumped out at me was that they used to have places where you wrote down, ‘Baby’s first accident.’ ”
To the Editor, I don’t know what the answer is, but St. Nicholas Church, the small Greek Orthodox Church destroyed September 11 now stuck in rebuilding limbo due to financial difficulties, must be saved. As Melissa Klein wrote in the New York Post, April 21, “How a Church Destroyed on 9/11 Became Mired in Controversy,” St. Nicholas was originally built around 1830 as a private residence. A group of Greek families
One such book from Red Bud, Illinois, recorded the early life of a boy named Charlie Flood, born in 1914. At four months old, he suffered a burn to his face. Four months later he pulled off part of his tongue with a button hook – a common device in the days before zippers. By toddlerhood he’d gotten a nail in his foot and, later, glass in his hand from holding a bottle while he fell. “Charlie’s mother dutifully recorded each accident … and he was hardly the only infant to have his calamities written down,” writes Golden. “Babies fell down stairs, off porches, and out of high chairs and cribs. Some baby books even had places designed for writing down ‘First Tumble.’ ” Today, of course, babies still take tumbles, “But the standard of parental expectations have changed,” Golden says. Accidents have gone from an ordinary part of childhood to something almost too shameful to admit. “And the same thing happened with discipline,” says Golden. Some of the baby books have a page for “Baby’s First Discipline,” with moms filling in, “I spanked baby for ________.” You wouldn’t find a page like that today. In fact, you wouldn’t find a lot of the practices considered prudent 100 years ago. The U.S. Children’s Bureau, a department of the government roughly akin to the Dept. of Agriculture, in that it instructed Americans on how to raise a healthy crop (of kids), published pamphlets giving parents all sorts of “good” advice including: “Don’t kiss babies. Let them cry. Make sure they get a healthy tan. Don’t
bought it in 1892 and in 1916 it opened its doors as a church. And on September 11, standing in the shadow of the Twin Towers, it was destroyed in the terrorist attacks. Everybody agreed it must be rebuilt. Deals were cut between the Greek Orthodox Church of America, and the Pataki and Cuomo administrations and the Port Authority. A parcel of land at Liberty Park was bequeathed to the church and Oculus architect Salvatore
give them pacifiers. Don’t get them in the habit of being held,” Golden summarizes. Some of these strange-sounding tips made sense back then. Kissing spread germs which, before antibiotics, could have proven deadly. It was an era of tuberculosis, too. If crying possibly made lungs stronger, let those babies wail! And a tan? Before industry started adding Vitamin D to foods, kids got the bone-softening ailment called rickets. Sunshine prevented it. In that era, too, moms routinely started toilet training their babies before age one, sometimes as early as two months. Why? No washing machines! How many dirty diapers did anyone want to scrub against a washboard? I’d have hurried up and trained my kids, too. Parental norms really started changing after World War II. Not only were there more home conveniences, this was also a more permissive era. Instead of rigid rules, parents turned to Dr. Spock who famously told moms, “You know more than you think you do” — so just trust your gut. No need for a feeding schedule or anything like that. But as loosey-goosey as the parenting style became, the standards of safety kept going up. The more babies that survived, the more Americans began to believe they could — and must — obliterate any childhood adversity. Which brings us to today: the safest times in human history, when parents are nonetheless encouraged to buy things like devices that can monitor their babies’ heart rate every single second, as if they’re in constant peril. As safety has reached a new level, so has fear. It doesn’t get more modern than that. Lenore Skenazy president of Let Grow, and founder of Free-Range Kids.
Calatrava hired. Fund-raising was initiated, and in 2014 building began with a 2016 completion date planned. However, reconstruction costs quickly ballooned from an estimated $49 million to now nearly $80 million, the church and the project’s finances became problematic and now all construction on the project has halted. So now the shrine sits as a half-finLETTERS Continued on page 10
Max’s Marvelous Middle Age Rage Phase bage mountain! Thank you for your service! BY MAX BURBANK Honestly, it makes me feel old. I think it’s makAs this publication’s resident political ing me old. satirist, it may come as a shock to some I mean, I’m not old. I only feel that way. of you that I know no other pundits. I’m middle-aged. Depending on how literally I do not rub elbows, hobnob or othone takes that. I guess it’s unlikely that I’m erwise socialize with my fellows in at the middle of my life, unless I’m destined any way beyond Facebook friendships to see 110. So what am I, then? On the older of the “I know who you are, but you side? Old-ish? don’t know who I am” variety. I need prescription glasses at this point, I have no way to gage if but I’ll only buy dollar store readers; 350 my peers find the news magnification or they’re useless, and cycle we attempt to they only help me with the blurry stuff cover as exhaustnear my eyes. The far away blurry ing as I do. Over stuff, they just make blurrier. Three the course of the years ago a virus left me more than last year or so, half-deaf in my right ear, but I won’t I’ve often heard even consider a hearing aid. For people say, “What one thing, I’ve found there’s quite a a great time this must bit I’m just as happy not hearing, be to be a comedian!” and for another, buying a hearRespectfully, I’d dising aid would definitely mean agree. That’s like sayaccepting I was getting old. ing, “Hey! You like caraIf I have to crouch? mel corn! Boy, imagine Like, to pick up a quarif someone force-fed you ter? (And believe me, if a metric ton of caramel it’s less than a quarter corn every week and just I just leave it.) I don’t kept shoving it down your want to get up. I can, my throat until you died, and knees are still perfectly then they harvested your capable of doing it, but liver to make some kind of my brain says, “Are you obscene human caramel sure? What if it’s really corn foie gras for cannihard? What if you can’t? bals! That’d be, like, heavHow’s that gonna look? en for you, right?” Maybe you just better Speaker of the House stay crouched the rest Paul Ryan fired House of your life.” Chaplain Pat Conroy for When I get up from having the temerity to menthe couch, which I try tion concern for the poor to do as infrequently in a prayer. Kanye has an as possible, I make autographed MAGA cap. a noise. A horrible, Lindsey Graham, senior moany, sort of death senator from the great rattle-type sound. state of South Carolina, My family hates it. I recently opined that tell them I can’t help Donald Trump should get it; they insist I can, the Nobel Peace Prize, and I try! When perhaps secretly hoping I’m about to get the Noble Committee up off the couch would introduce a new I swear to myself award for making bizarre “Just… don’t. public statements you Make… that… obviously don’t believe noise. Show a a word of. The Has cane, still able: Max Burbank strikes the classic little self-respect.” President “honored” “Get off my lawn” pose. And then as I’m the Paralympics, saygetting up, I hear ing “It’s a little tough it. The noise. Like someone else is making it. Like to watch too much, but I watched as much as I could.” There’s so much societal decay, it’s impossible to there’s a miserable, tiny, ancient, Jewish homunculus pluck one morsel of rotting garbage off the heap for the lodged right behind my sternum — and when I get up, illumination of my wit. Oh well done, Mr. Burbank, he goes, “Ehphughhhh… hepheh… uhnghhh.” It’s not all bad. With age comes wisdom, right? Isn’t how savagely you expose that one specific thing while standing hip-deep upon the summit of a festering gar- that the old saw saying? Well here’s another: With age DowntownExpress.com
Photos by Cordelia Burbank / @cordaliciouss
The author, in a posed photo meant to exaggerate his age but, sadly, not far from the truth.
comes increased crankiness, yelling at strangers without planning to, crying at ad campaigns for cars where apparently hallucinating dads see their daughters at various stages of their lives, and fits of uncontrollable rage whenever the same commercial, even the dad/ car/daughter one, plays twice during the same commercial break. According to actuarial tables, men of my age, “middle-aged” men, have two equally likely options: They get older and wither, or, at some point, they just suddenly drop dead. I know. Dark, right? Didn’t think I’d go there, did you? But us older guys, we do that. We get dark real suddenly, without warning. Sure, old age sometimes brings wisdom, but it’s just as likely to bring pervasive creepiness. Especially in those of us who were somewhat creepily inclined to begin with. I like to think of myself as both wise and creepy. I think the United States is middle-aged. And that’s being generous. Look at us right now. Do we seem like a country that’s going to make it to 482? I know, I know, you thought we’d go on forever, like Rome or Egypt or something, but honestly, you only thought that because you’re young. You lack the wisdom of middle age. Obama was the last president of our country’s adulthood. Electing Trump? Even just Electoral College electing him? That’s a classic, impulsive, cranky-ass, middle-aged move. Late middle-aged. Old. Maybe we get lucky. Maybe we make it through this phase, go on to become a wise old man country, the US of Obi Wan Kenobi. The North American Republic of Gandalf. Or maybe we just end up that horrible old country in the soup-stained, strappy T-shirt, plaid trousers belted just beneath its nipples, bellowing at the rest of the world to get the hell off its lawn. And let’s be honest, both those outcomes beat the hell out of the only other possibility on the actuarial table. Now get out of here. I’m going for the early bird special at Shoney’s and then hitting the sack right after “Matlock.” May 3 - May 16, 2018
LETTERS Continued from page 8
ished shell, a monument not to the faith and ideals it represented and that were attacked on 9/11, nor to the perseverance of New Yorkers and Americans, but rather, justly or not, to the ineptness that has characterized Ground Zero and the notion that America cannot rebuild. And before we get stuck on casting blame, let’s remember that nobody involved with rebuilding at the World Trade Center can point fingers based on vanity, wrongheaded decisions, inefficiency and cost overruns. There may not be any specific con-
stituency for rebuilding St. Nicholas, no well-connected or influential or very, very rich citizens behind it. No particular group who might provide handsome backdrop for photo ops. Except for every New Yorker and every American. For every New Yorker and American has a stake in a complete, rebuilt WTC site. And that includes the Mayor, the Governor and the President. And if that seems as frightening a threesome as the mind might conjure, let’s remember how on that beautiful, terrible morning and in the days and weeks following, good people of every stripe came together, and by that, tri-
umphed over the evil and hatred that struck. In that same spirit, whatever the issues, we, New York and America, must come together again and complete St. Nicholas. Michael Burke, brother of FDNY Capt. Billy Burke, who died in the WTC collapse To the Editor, Supporting your local book store this past April 29 on the fourth-annual National Independent Book Store Day is a good start. Why not do the same during the other 364 days a year? National Independent Book Store Day began as the California Bookstore Day sponsored by the Northern
California Bookstore Association on May 2, 2014. It was in response to more and more people purchasing books on line from Amazon, other e-commerce stores, Barnes & Nobles and Books a Million. In these difficult economic times, it is especially important to patronize our few remaining neighborhood independent book stores. Remember these people are our neighbors. They work long hours, pay taxes and provide local employment. If we don’t patronize the few remaining local community book stores, they will go the way of the dinosaur. Buy and read a good book. It is health food for the mind. Larry Penner
Posted To HIGH IMPACT: COULD ‘DEVELOPMENTAL IMPACT FEES’ EASE DOWNTOWN’S GROWING PAINS? (APRIL 20) Actually development needs to be stopped in the Financial District. The narrow streets on which small 5 story buildings were built cannot accommodate any more high rise buildings. The garbage situation is already unreal and dangerous – not even possible to
walk on sidewalks. The trash situation is worsened by the increasing crowds – the affluent residents and Pace students who think it is OK to leave their Starbucks cups to spill over on the street. The high rise buildings have also brought in vehicles and standstill traffic where there was none. A fee will do nothing – the area is already overbuilt. Unbelievable. JS
B U S I N E S S , B R O O K LY N S T Y L E – A D V E R T I S E M E N T
Accessible Dispatch Article – May 2018 5 Facts You Should Know About the Accessible Dispatch Program The Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC)’s Accessible Dispatch program is making it easier than ever to connect with wheelchair accessible taxis in all five boroughs. Here are five facts you’ll want to know about the program, which helps individuals with disabilities access the city like never before. 1. The TLC first launched the Accessible Dispatch program in 2012 with 233 accessible cabs in Manhattan. There are now more than 2,000 green and yellow wheelchair accessible vehicles taking trips across New York City. 2. Service animals are permitted in all TLC-licensed vehicles. You never have to pay extra for a service animal, or for accessible service in a TLC-licensed vehicle. 3. Our dispatch team includes New Yorkers with
May 3 - May 16, 2018
disabilities, and all of our dispatchers are here to help you! If you need a ride, call 646-599-9999, 311, or 711 for NY Relay; visit www.accessibledispatch.com; or download the app: Accessible Dispatch NYC. 4. The Accessible Dispatch NYC app is available on both iOS and Android devices. The app is a great way to book a trip – you can select the right vehicle for you, contact our dispatchers through the app, and even track your taxi when it’s on the way to your pickup. 5. We offer trips in all five boroughs! Book your trip today!
You can learn more about the Accessible Dispatch program at www. a c c e s sibl e di sp at c h .c om , and we always welcome your feedback! Call us at 646-599-9999 or email us at email@example.com to ask questions or give us feedback about your trip. DowntownExpress.com
Gay City News Congratulates the 2018 Impact Award Honoree s A special thank you to Presenting Sponsor:
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May 3 - May 16, 2018
Seaport’s Pier 17 opens this month BY SYDNEY PEREIRA After years of construction and changing plans, the South Street Seaport’s Pier 17 is getting ready for its christening. It’s set for a “soft opening” of the rooftop this month, according to Saul Scherl, New York regional president for it’s developer, the Howard Hughes Corporation, who opened the nearly finished building for a public tour on April 19. Scherl led two public tours of the space, revealing the three-story glass walls, which are designed to open up in the summertime. The seating area extends along the edges of the pier-level deck space, making up around 90,000 square feet of public space, including Seaport Square, the Riverdeck, and the adjacent walkways. Inside the building there will be restaurants, offices and shops — and perhaps even a virtual reality hub, according to Scherl. Three restaurants are slated to open, including David Chang’s Momofuku, plus a seafood restaurant and a rooftop restaurant and bar that HHC will run. Around 70 ESPN employees will also
Pier 17’s rooftop concert venue will host huge concerts programed by Live Nation, but it will also be made available to community organizations free of charge a few times a year, according to the developer.
work in the building, producing two television shows and two radio shows. They relocated to the building in early April. The third floor will be another office space.
PUBLIC MEETING NOTICE FOR LIQUOR LICENSE APPLICATION
70 PINE STREET APPLICATION FOR AN ON-PREMISES RESTAURANT LICENSES
EBNB 70 PINE RESTAURANT OWNER GROUND FLOOR (NO OUTDOOR AREAS) 10AM – 2AM AND FLOORS 62,63,64,66 10AM – 2AM (OUTDOOR AREAS CLOSE AT 12 MIDNIGHT)
There will be an opportunity for public comment at the following Community Board Meeting: DATE: Wednesday, May 9, 2018 TIME: 6:00pm LOCATION: Manhattan Community Board 1 1 Centre Street 19th Floor (Please bring photo ID) Any member of the public interested in learning more about these applications or expressing their opinion about it is urged to attend this meeting. Please contact Community Board 1 at (212) 669-7970 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions or comments. CB1 website www.nyc.gov/html/mancb1
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But it’s the massive rooftop concert venue, expected to span about 40,000 square feet of space with a nearly 6,000-person capacity (3,400 standing and 2,400 seats) that figures most prominently in HHC’s vision — and locals’ fears — of Pier 17. Besides concerts, Scherl said the space will host art installations, fashion shows, sports events, movie screenings, and private events. But when no events are scheduled, the whole roof will be open to the public, and the 10,000 square feet of space open at all times along the edges of the venue. The available public space has appeared to change over the past several years, as Downtown Express reported back in December. The transformation from a moderate-use rooftop to an huge venue for concerts, restaurants, and
event space — with the attendant noise and crowd-control issues — was a cause of concerns voiced at public meetings last December and in February. “It’s morphed over the years into something that’s very different,” said Paul Goldstein, the chair of the parks committee at Community Board 1. Scherl has repeatedly reiterated the corporation’s commitment to working with the community to ensure the newly built pier is a resource for nearby residents rather than a nuisance. “We are committed to providing year-round public open space on a regular basis and throughout the Pier that will be a valuable amenity to the community,” Scherl said in an email. “Detailed information will be provided to the community as the programming develops.” Questions remain for Goldstein, however, who said many of the unknowns seem near impossible to answer until the building’s operations are in full swing — particularly regarding noise and security. Previous concerts at Seaport have shaken the windows of nearby buildings and caused surges in foot-traffic and security issues that were not properly prepared for, residents complained at the December meeting. At the February follow-up meeting, Scherl addressed some of those issues alongside HHC’s general manager of the Seaport District and various rooftop, security and sound consultants. Live events would begin around 7:00–7:30 pm, with doors opening 90 minutes prior, according to the presentation. All guests will undergo security screening and ticket scanning on the north side before heading up to the rooftop, while other visitors not going
PUBLIC NOTICE Beth Gavriel Bukharian Congregation located in Forest Hill Queens New York, a nonprofit organization is seeking Quotes for equipment and materials under the Bureau of Justice Funding. Work includes system design and installation of access control system and locking devices. Specification and bid requirements can be obtained and/or reviewed by appointment Tel 718-268-3444 x0 Quote/Proposal response is required by May 10, 2018--Work is to commence by June 1, 2018- and completed by August 31, 2018. DE: May 03,2018 DowntownExpress.com
Outrage at Union Busting Gay-Owned Adult Boutique Howard Hughes Corporation
This high-yech, translucent canopy is set to go atop Pier 17 at the South Street Seaport, over the vast rooftop stage.
to the concert will use the building’s south-side entrance. All rooftop concerts will end by 10 pm, according to Scherl. HHC reps assured the CB1 parks committee that there will be assistance from the NYPD, third-party security contractors, and response teams with protocols for issues ranging from natural disasters to active shooters. Drills will be ongoing in May and will help determine when a formal opening will be scheduled, Scherl said at the public tour. As for sound, there will be a realtime sound-level monitoring system to continuously regulate the volume, he said, with a staff member at concerts who will be able to manually operate the system as well. Scherl said HHC would inform CB1 of major events four weeks prior, and send another follow up email 48 hours ahead of the event. Another concern raised at the tour was whether event space would be provided to community groups and nonprofit organizations free of charge for public use — even smaller ones with some 200 or 300 people. Scherl later told Downtown Express by email that a specific amount of time hasn’t been allotted, but HHC hopes to continue working with the community. “Specifically, we will make the Pier 17 roof and the Seaport Square areas available to community-based organizations, including the PTAs of neighborhood schools, local senior and youth centers, and other nonprofit groups,” Scherl said in the email. “These events will be available free of charge at least four times each year. Of course, there will be many events throughout the year that we believe will appeal to members of our community.” Scherl said shortly after the tour that the first year will no doubt be a test, but DowntownExpress.com
he feels confident. Goldstein said it remains to be seen how well the sound system controls noise problems and how often the full rooftop space will be open to the community. “The truth is that, yes, we’re glad that they’re taking these steps, but I think this is going to be one of those issues where we don’t know for sure until we start having these concerts,” Goldstein said. “We need to see how it works in reality.” An early test comes this week, but it will have to be graded on a curve. The Red Bull Music Festival kicks off its sixth year of live performances and club nights at the unfinished space within Pier 17 on May 3. Since it is an indoor concert, it was not subject to HHC’s promise of advance notice — and CB1 received relatively short notice. And it will also run much later than the 10 pm curfew HHC promised for outdoor events. CB1 chairman Anthony Notaro said the board is more concerned about rooftop concerts due to the outdoor noise and security issues with a much larger crowd. The 1.5-acre rooftop has capacity for thousands of people, while Pier 17’s indoor space is much smaller. “That’s why that’s a little different,” Notaro said. “It’s less than half the size of that [outdoor] crowd.” Once the indoor space is rented out for restaurants and other activities, indoor concerts won’t be an issue in the future, Notaro predicted. “At that point, then this wouldn’t even be an issue,” he said. Notaro said that HHC has been responsive and flexible in the run-up to the opening, and that he thinks the developer genuinely wants Pier 17 to be a good neighbor. “They’re very attune to any issues,” he said.
By Stuart Appelbaum, President, Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union n June of 2017, the employees of Pleasure Chest stores voted unanimously to join the RWDSU. But their owner, a wealthy gay man who lives in L.A., has fought them every step of the way, dragging out ﬁrst contract negotiations for nearly a year and refusing to agree to even the most basic safety provisions and trainings for his largely LGBTQ workforce to choose union representation. He’s gone so far to hire one of the most notorious and expensive anti-union law ﬁrms, Jackson Lewis, to ﬁght his workers’ contract needs. It’s a shocking blow to workers who are seeking much more than just improved wages and beneﬁts. The sex toy industry is rife with workplace issues, including sexual harassment and even physical assault. A union voice can make a huge difference toward making workers in adult toy stores safer and more secure. One has to look no further than the case of Babeland – another queer-owned chain of adult toy stores in New York City – to see the difference. Babeland workers won RWDSU membership in 2016, and have secured a strong ﬁrst contract that not only improves wages and beneﬁts, it created safety protocols in the workplace that address the many issues these retail workers face, and workers have won increased pay and hours. The workers at Pleasure Chest want the same kind of protection, they are demanding it, but it’s also their right. They’ve continued ﬁghting, by protesting and even engaging in a Black Friday work stoppage. Their boss responded not by addressing his workers’ safety needs, but by ﬁling a frivolous charge at the National Labor Relations Board that would have allowed him to ﬁre workers who participated in the strike. The ﬂimsy charges were soon dismissed by the regional labor board, but Pleasure Chest has now appealed his charges to the Trump-controlled NLRB in Washington, D.C. Union-busting is always troubling, but in this case, it is even more so. It’s an outrage that a gay man running a supposedly inclusive non-judgmental sex toy shop would appeal to the Trump administration for help in repressing the rights and potentially ﬁring his own employees, who are mostly low wage trans and gender non-conforming people of color, just because they wanted to be safe while doing their very difﬁcult and emotionally intimate jobs. The workers aren’t going to stop ﬁghting, and neither is their union. Like so many other workers, their ﬁght for justice is all of our ﬁght – for fairness, for justice, and for equality.
www.rwdsu.org May 3 - May 16, 2018
Staying power Artist bearish on moving Charging Bull to NYSE area along with Fearless Girl BY COLIN MIXSON The Charging Bull is standing its ground, despite the mayor’s push to move it. After the city officially announced on April 19 that the Fearless Girl statue would be moved from Bowling Green to the New York Stock Exchange sometime this year, Mayor de Blasio’s chief spokesman tweeted that the Charging Bull statue would “almost certainly” join it on Wall Street, and blamed any delay in the move on the bull’s impressive girth. “The Bull will almost certainly be moved — and will very likely wind up reunited with Fearless Girl,” Eric Phillips tweeted. “But it’s tricky and some things still need to be sorted out. Anyone who’s ever relocated a 7,000-lb bronze bull knows what I mean.” But Phillips’s insinuation that the real hold up in the 900-foot trip is the size of the bull — which already made the move from the stock exchange to Bowling Green in 1988, by way of
an NYPD impound lot in Queens — dodges the fact that de Blasio has no legal right to move the statue, and that its creator and owner wants his iconic artwork to remain in its current cobblestone pasture, according to his lawyer. “The city has no right to unilaterally move Charging Bull,” said Norman Siegel, an attorney representing artist Arturo Di Modica. “They’re ignoring the rights of Arturo as an artist, and specifically it would be a violation of the copyright law and the Visual Arts Rights Act.” State Street Financial, a multi-billion-dollar investment firm based in Boston, commissioned Fearless Girl from advertising agency McCann New York, to advertise one of its investments funds. The statue, which was installed at Bowling Green facing Charging Bull on the eve of International Women’s Day last year, became an instant success, generating 1 billion “Twitter impressions” in just the first 12 hours and pro-
Photo by Milo Hess
The city has decided to move the famed Fearless Girl statue from the narrow tip of Bowling Green to a safer location across from the New York Stock Exchange. The mayor wants to move the Charging Bull there as well, but its creator and owner is resisting.
viding $7.4 million in free marketing for the investment firm, according to an Ad Week report. But the new feminist icon also cre-
ated safety concerns by drawing large crowds of selfie-seekers to the narrow CHARGING BULL Continued on page 21
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May 3 - May 16, 2018
Six New Studios, Endless Possibilities for Gibney Broadway facility expands commitment to dance, community
Photo by Dusica Sue Malesevic
On stage, L to R: Dancers Tamrin Goldberg, Thomas Tyger Moore, Calleja Smiley and Emily Tellier at a Hands are for Holding assembly at PS81 in Ridgewood, Queens.
BY DUSICA SUE MALESEVIC Enthusiasm pulsed in the air as the fifth graders remained in rapt attention of the dancers onstage. “If you hear my voice, give me a clap,” Thomas Tyger Moore instructed. “If you hear my voice, give me three claps. If you hear my voice, give me six claps.” The students followed suit, and in the hush that followed, two of the dancers — Calleja Smiley and Emily Tellier — showed how to stand up while being back to back. It was then the students’ turn. They bounded onstage and tried to do the same, to mixed results and giggles. The recent morning assembly at PS81 in Ridgewood, Queens was part of a program called Hands are for Holding, which uses dance to spur conversations among middle and high school students throughout the city about healthy and unhealthy relationships, bullying, technology, and social media. “The kids are very receptive to what they see,” Tellier said afterwards, noting that most kids “love to dance, and so using dance that way to communicate this kind of message, I think, is the best point about this. We’re not just talking at them, they’re actually seeing the differences between healthy and unhealthy.” In between the dances and demonstrating gestures that signal healthy relationships, such as respect, trust and DowntownExpress.com
support, someone from the nonprofit Day One, or from the Mayor’s Office to Combat Domestic Violence facilitates a conversation around what the students saw, Tellier explained. Hands are for Holding is one branch of a larger organization now known as Gibney, which focuses on social justice work, community, and its beating heart: dance (visit gibneydance.org for more information). At the center of the organization is Gina Gibney, who founded her eponymous dance company in 1991, and when she last spoke with NYC Community Media in fall 2014, had recently taken on the space at 280 Broadway — in addition to running 890 Broadway. Now, Gibney Dance recently rebranded as Gibney, expanded its studio space, and has become a presenter of dance. “People come here and I overhear their conversations on the phones, they say, ‘I’m at Gibney,’” she said in a recent interview at 280 Broadway. She added, “We feel that we have grown incrementally, but we’re kind of approaching being an institution now, and so we want to have a name that feels a little bit more — rolls off the tongue, simple.” Gibney reiterated the deep commitment to dance, despite the removal of the word. “At the same time, think of how many organizations you’ve heard of that are — fill in the blank — dance,”
Photo by Scott Shaw
It took about 18 months to renovate the space into studios.
she said. “We think we needed to have a name that really in some way just captured the concept that we are an institution, we do many, many things. Part of what we do is have a resident dance company but we have grown… beyond that.” That growth has been literal as well. Six new studios — 10,000 square feet of space — recently opened at 280 Broadway. “First and foremost, dance artists just need space,” Gibney explained. “There is a crisis of space, and we had, before having those six studios, we had 17 studios that were literally full morning to night and we’re turning people away.” Of the 17 studios before the expansion, she said many of them were not large, and those are needed to serve sizable groups of dancers. Initially, when Gibney signed the lease at 280 Broadway, there was a subtenant in the back. “The original space here was 26,000 square feet, our space at 890 is about 16,000 square feet and this was another 10. So at the time, I just thought are you kidding, you know, more risk, more responsibility, more rent,” she said with a laugh. Then she started to realize the back space was ideal. “The original space was complicated. There are a few spaces where there are pillars right in the middle of rooms,” she said. “The columns back there just
cooperated beautifully, they just lined up, literally, as if… the space was meant to be used as a dance studio.” It took about 18 months for the renovation. “We want that back wing to feel like a residency space. So we’re working on mechanisms that would allow us to either rent it to people in blocks of time, or to partner with other organizations to provide residency space, or to use some of our own funding,” she explained. One of the residencies — called Dance in Process — is aimed at midcareer artists. “It’s very generous funding. It gives the artist complete access, 24/7, to the space for three weeks,” Gibney said, noting the funding came from the [Andrew W.] Mellon Foundation. “It gives them a really generous fee. It gives them a resource menu. It gives them a budget for artistic advisors, or rehearsal assistants, or some resource connected to their creative process.” And because Dance in Process was started before the organization was a presenter, artists are under no obligation to create a work to present. When Gibney took the space at 280 Broadway, she recalled, “We had converted studio C into a white box theater, and the downstairs into a lab, so we now had three performance GIBNEY continued on p. 16 May 3 - May 16, 2018
GIBNEY continued from p. 15
spaces, and were a somewhat reluctant presenter.” She added, “I was concerned about the idea of becoming a presenter because presenting is as much about who is not on the stage as it is about… who is in that square of space for that amount of time. Those dynamics at the time seemed somewhat at odds with the character of our organization, or our kind of ethos as a community-minded organization.” Gibney said they developed separate tracks for the organization — social justice work, training, digital technology, the resident dance company, and presenting. Ben Pryor — the founder of the festival American Realness — is the in-house curator for Gibney. Class offerings have also increased, and many are down in partnership with Movement Research, and some intensives in partnership with the Joyce, she said. “We are essentially trying to, in a very sort of thoughtful way, expand offerings around a framework that we have, but in ways that we think are needed by the [dance] community,” she said. The larger community of Lower Manhattan is also welcome at 280 Broadway, where Community Board 1 has held meetings, as well as other groups. “I continue to be really energized by the fact that we are across… the street from City Hall,” she said. “It’s just very exciting to me to be a civic player. To be able to provide space to the Progressive Caucus, or to a specific group, or to the community board.” Gibney said it has been more challenging “to sort out what is the relationship between our actual programming and the Lower Manhattan community.” To that end, she said the organization is partnering with the nonprofit Theatre Development Fund “where we’re focusing on our own resident company and doing audience development from the neighborhood with that.” From May 3-5, the Gibney Dance Company will perform two pieces: Amy Miller’s “Valence” and Bryan Arias’ “One Thousand Million Seconds.” “For many years, the company was a vehicle for Gina Gibney’s work,” Miller, the senior company director, explained by phone. “For the past three years we’ve started the initiative where we invited guest choreographers.” Miller said she is “resetting an older work” with “Valence,” a piece with a lot “fierce, virtuosic moments” she cre-
May 3 - May 16, 2018
Photos by Scott Shaw
Gina Gibney founded her eponymous dance company in 1991.
Dancers Nigel Campbell, the company’s co-director, and Zui Gomez.
Gina Gibney said the new black box was “consciously built so you could do everything from a rehearsal in bare feet to build a set in that room.”
ated in 2009. Somehow, she recalled, she came across a laminated cheat sheet for chemistry, saw valence and its definition, and was inspired to create the dance. Company co-director Nigel Campbell said by phone, “It’s a wonderfully mixed program.”
Arias’ piece is a new commission, and Campbell called it a “study on memories and moments.” Gibney Dance Company has five full-time dancers, known as “artistic associates,” which Miller is explained is a model based on three ideas — the dancer as an artist, activist, and
advocate. “Gina has created something so special here,” Campbell said. For more information about Gibney Dance Company’s May 3-5 performances, go to gibneydance.org/event/ gibney-dance-company-amy-millerbryan-arias/2018-05-03. DowntownExpress.com
Souls for Saving or Claiming Strong ensemble means smooth sailing for ‘Seafarer’
Photo by Carol Rosegg
L to R: Matthew Broderick, Michael Mellamphy, Andy Murray, Tim Ruddy and Colin McPhillamy in “The Seafarer.”
BY SCOTT STIFFLER The chance of a Christmas miracle for the motley crew of problem drinkers and eager gamblers wallowing in vice as that holy holiday approaches is about as slim as the branches on the tiny, artificial tree relegated to a corner of the oddly constructed home where “The Seafarer” unfolds. But like a winning hand when the chips are down, miracles have been known to happen — and not always to the most saintly among us. Wearing a scowl so deeply embedded it could pass for a birthmark, James “Sharky” Harkin spends the play’s opening moments (and a good deal of the following ones) picking up after the boozy indiscretions of his recently blinded older brother, Richard, who barks orders and hurls insults from a ragged armchair he occupies as if it were a throne. Having arrived back in this downscale coastal settlement north of Dublin City after the latest in a series of employment opportunities gone awry, dutiful caretaker Sharky — two days sober and starting to show it — attends to his domestic chores with the air of a man gunning for penDowntownExpress.com
ance, rather than one victimized by the uneasy dynamics of sibling cohabitation. “The hypocrite’s voice haunts his own den,” Richard shoots back, after a scolding from Sharky. Skilled at rubbing salt in wounds to gets what he wants, life under the same roof as Richard is “a choppy ride,” according to Colin McPhillamy, who balances the character’s bellicose nature with surplus charisma and just enough vulnerability to keep him from being abandoned by family, friends, and the audience. Paired with Andy Murray’s intense and restrained performance as Sharky, the brothers are reason enough to merit a trip to the Irish Repertory Theatre — but the pot is sweetened when old, equally dysfunctional friends Ivan (Michael Mellamphy) and Nicky (Tim Ruddy) show up for the annual Christmas Eve poker game, with new acquaintance Mr. Lockhart (Matthew Broderick) in tow, who raises the stakes by revealing himself to Sharky as a sinister collector of old debts. “It’s actually an allegorical, redemptive tale couched in the costume of these extraordinarily sort of lowlife, vulgarian
alcoholics,” McPhillamy said during a recent interview with this publication. Looking past the play’s verbal abuse, physical altercations, mortal sins, and so very, very many uses of the F-word, McPhillamy rightly declared the supernatural-tinged 2008 work by Conor McPherson to be, when all is said and done, “just beautiful. The message is that there can be mystery, magic, redemption, grace, all these good things, in any context.” That’s not to say, however, that one should expect to exit on a note of unfettered optimism. “The Seafarer,” like previous Irish Rep productions of McPherson’s work (“The Weir” and “Shining City”), never grants its characters satisfaction without strings attached. Ciarán O’Reilly directs with his usual knack for presenting to viewers the playwright’s dense language and signature cadence as swoon-worthy rather than demanding, further buoyed by O’Reilly’s ability to bring simmering emotions to the surface at just the right moment. And that’s a necessary skill, as a series of revelations change our perception of karma,
damnation, and self-destruction. “This is a play,” McPhillamy noted, “that has a range of experiences. It’s really quite funny, but it’s got an element that is profoundly alarming. Whether you’re a person of faith or have a metaphysical view of life, the play confronts us with a universal truth, which is that we will all die — and none of us, or at least no one in my acquaintance, has any definite information about what happens then… In our culture, so much focus is on the idea that death is optional, and that life can be extended indefinitely with a reverse mortgage and the right kind of medication... It’s kind of refreshing to have a breath of truth, and that’s something the play brings.” Of the man who plays Sharky, McPhillamy said, “He’s immensely dedicated to the craft, meticulous in his work, whereas I’m more of a splash it around guy, a bit untidy in my approach… It worked out very well for the stage relationship. He’s doing all of these things for me: making toast, cleaning up, always SEAFARER continued on p. 19 May 3 - May 16, 2018
‘Prelude’ Provides Preview of Programming at The Shed Through May 13, get a taste of 2019 BY WINNIE McCROY On May 1, The Shed at Hudson Yards began presenting a free, twoweek showcase in a temporary structure located a block from the where massive complex is poised to establish itself as major cultural presence on the West Side. “A Prelude to The Shed” is intended to give people an idea of the of the type of programming to be offered once The Shed officially opens in spring 2019. “Rather than artists serving a building, this is the idea that the building becomes a sort of software that informs the hardware of art,” said Alex Poots, Artistic Director of The Shed. “Its functionality inspires the way it looks. It can move and adapt, appear and disappear.” Among the performances will be Tino Sehgal’s “This Variation,” a series of movements and sounds presented in pitch black. The structure that houses this preview is, like The Shed, able to be configured in myriad ways. For this presentation, the walls close in to complete darkness, giving the sensation of being buried alive. But as your eyes acclimate, the fear turns to funk, as the group create a capella grooves to pop songs like “Good Vibrations,” with no variation repeated twice. Another dance presentation is William Forsythe’s short “Pas de Deux Cent Douze.” Specially commissioned for “Prelude,” it’s a radical reimagining of the central duet from his seminal 1987 ballet “In the Middle, Somewhat Elevated.” There will also be musical performances by Atlanta-based R&B singer
Photo by Winnie McCroy
At the May 1 opening, two men danced to Tino Sehgal’s “This Variation.”
Abra, singer/songwriter Azealia Banks, and Venezuelan electronic music producer Arca — plus D.R.E.A.M. Ring dance battles organized by Reggie ‘Regg Roc’ Gray, taking place in the early evenings. The D.R.E.A.M. Ring dancers are part of The Shed’s preopening commission, FlexNYC, whose participants (elementary through high school age) explore social issues and self-expression through FLEXN, a form of street dance with roots in Jamaican Bruk Up. Influencing the creation of both The Shed and the temporary “Prelude” space, “A stroll through the fun palace,” will give viewers an insight into Cedric
Price’s archives — including his influential but unrealized inspiration, the Fun Palace, visualized as an open infrastructure able to accommodate myriad “plug and play” presentations. Hans Ulrich Obrist, Senior Program Advisor at The Shed, spent a lot of time with Price when they began working together in 1996. He said Price wanted architectural documents to be circulated rather than buried in some office filing cabinet. “I think he would love this idea that younger architects like Kunlé [Adeyemi] can be inspired to create a flexible structure very much based on what he and I discussed,” Obrist confidently
speculated. “He didn’t want architecture to be an object, he wanted it to be a process. Also the playfulness; Cedric never wanted to be stuck in the architectural world, he wanted to go beyond the boundaries of disciplines. Important to his Fun Palace was the idea of visionary theatre, street theatre, bringing these ideas literally to the people to the street, which is kind of what we’re doing here with Tino Sehgal’s choreography.” There will also be panel discussions curated by Dorothea von Hantelmann on the role of art and culture in social connectivity. Von Hantelmann has written an essay specially commissioned for “Prelude” that considers new ritual
Photo by Winnie McCroy
Image courtesy of Diller Scofidio + Renfro in collaboration with Rockwell Group
L to R: Alex Poots, Kunlé Adeyemi and Hans Ulrich Obrist, at May 1’s opening day of “A Prelude to The Shed.”
A rendering of The Shed and Lawrence Weiner’s public installation, “IN FRONT OF ITSELF.”
May 3 - May 16, 2018
forms for the 21st century; her booklet will be distributed free at the site. Architect Kunlé Adeyemi collaborated with Sehgal to create this flexible venue on an undeveloped lot at 10th Ave. and W. 31st St. (one block from The Shed’s future home). Tickets are free online or via standby for these standing room, general admission performances. It is a rain or shine event, with free ponchos available in the case of rain; organizers ask that you please don’t bring umbrellas. It is compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), but there is a no re-entry policy. Said Adeyemi, “I think we’ve tried to respond to the functional requirements of culture, of flexibility, of context, of space, and how people interact with it. We didn’t work toward making a Fun Palace type of piece, but I am very glad it’s in the spirit of Cedric Price.” In spring 2019, when the inaugural programming launches at The Shed — the 200,000-square-foot structure designed by Diller Scofidio + Renfro in collaboration with The Rockwell Group — people will be able to access the arts venue where the High Line meets W. 30th St. “I know that Cedric Price’s work had a huge impact on Liz Diller and David Rockwell’s thinking,” Poots said. “Cedric was so ambitious, some people wondered if it was even possible to do this, but that was his genius. He set the bar so high for people to aspire to.” Poots noted they own the temporary structure, and assured that it would be used again for another purpose. It might even be sold in its entirety to an
SEAFARER continued from p. 17
on the go — and I’m sitting there,” McPhillamy chuckled, “being waited on.” There was, McPhillamy said, from the beginning, “a highly creative atmosphere” created by O’Reilly, first and foremost by “casting the play very well. We’re all very different in terms of the energy and quality that each of us supplies, and so of course as you begin to explore what the relationships are, so much is created in rehearsal... Ciarán gives you a supportive space where you can experiment.” As for Matthew Broderick, McPhillamy called his interpretation of the Mr. Lockhart character “an object lesson in modesty and generosity. I believe he is, kind of, ‘underacting’ everybody off the stage [laughs], and it’s a very smart and clever approach… To get inside the character in this way, that isn’t completely DowntownExpress.com
art collector. The Shed was created exclusively to commission, produce, and present all kinds of performing arts, visual arts, and
popular culture events, from hip-hop to classical music, visual art to literature, film to theater to dance. As it expands and contracts, it can be set into many
configurations to accommodate multiple events simultaneously. It will have the capacity for 1,200 seated or 2,700 standing. Flexible overlap space in the two adjoining galleries allows for an expanded hall audience up to 3,000. The entire ceiling is a theatrical deck with rigging and structural capacity throughout. Its most notable design feature is its telescoping outside shell that deploys over the plaza to provide a vast, 120-foothigh, temperature-controlled hall. The shell is made of ETFE panels, a durable, lightweight, highly resistant plastic that is more energy efficient and economical than glass. When the telescoping shell is rolled back on its rails, the plaza offers nearly 20,000-square-feet ideal for outdoor events, with the eastern façade able to serve as a backdrop for projection. And when using the adapted gantry crane technology to close the outer shell, The Shed can still provide 17,000-squarefoot of space for programming. For now, the two-week “Prelude” will give New Yorkers a taste of what’s to come: new works by artists and choreographers, musical performances, and panel discussions throughout the day, demonstrating The Shed’s mission to support artistic invention and present multiple art forms in one flexible space. Free and open to the public, “A Prelude to The Shed” runs through May 13 at The Shed (10th Ave., btw. W. 30th & 31st Sts.; entrance on W. 31st St.). A number of walk-in tickets to all events, including those sold out online, will be available on-site daily. For more information, visit theshed.org.
obvious, it’s tremendously interesting.” Regular visitors to the Irish Rep know of what McPhillamy speaks, having seen Broderick excel with his similarly non-comedic and layered turn in 2016’s “Shining City,” as a grieving widower haunted by visions. “It’s very exciting,” McPhillamy said of the diverse cast, “when actors at different levels in the profession mix it up. It’s something that happens in London, which is where I spent my first years [as an actor].” That city also played a part in helping him nail Richard’s accent, McPhillamy recalled, referencing London’s “large Irish population. So I was very familiar with the Irish sound, if you like.” It’s all the more impressive, given the actor’s Aussie roots. (Londonborn to Australian parents and now an American citizen, he no longer has to talk his way past customs by hoping they recognize him from “Law & Order: Criminal Intent.”)
Asked how he spends his down time after the play, McPhillamy — who once lived in the Village — said he knows the Chelsea area around the Irish Rep well, and noted it’s not an uncommon practice to “after the show, go and have a drink with a friend at Champignon [200 Seventh Ave., btw. W. 21st & 22nd Sts.], or Restivo [209 Seventh Ave., at W. 22nd St.]. And I get spicy Korean seafood soup sometimes at Essen [699 Sixth Ave., btw. W. 22nd & 23rd Sts.].” But he won’t be a presence in the neighborhood for long. “The Seafarer” closes on May 24, at which point McPhillamy will shift his focus to co-directing, with wife and Irish Rep veteran Patricia Connolly, “The Importance of Being Earnest” and “Long Day’s Journey Into Night” at the Bagaduce Theatre in Brooksville, Maine. “It’s as far northeast as you can go without getting to Canada,” he noted. “The only thing I’m hesitant about is the size of the mosqui-
tos, which are Special Forces-trained.” After that, he’ll join the company of “The Ferryman,” coming to Broadway in the fall. Assessing this, his first time working with the Irish Rep, McPhillamy said, “I’m very happy with the gig. It’s a management and a company that does it right. There’s a culture of friendliness and respect that extends to every level… Every now and again, you come across something and it’s just pitch-perfect. This has really been a delight, this whole experience.” “The Seafarer” plays at the Irish Repertory Theatre (132 W. 22nd St., btw. Sixth & Seventh Aves.) through May 24. Wed. and Sat., 3pm & 8pm; Thurs., 7pm; Fri., 8pm; Sun., 3pm. Additional performance on Tues., May 22 at 7pm. Runtime: 2 hours, 20 minutes, including one intermission. For tickets ($50-$70), visit irishrep.org or call 212-727-2737 or visit irishrep.org. For Colin McPhillamy’s blog, visit mcphillamy.com.
Photo by Winnie McCroy
Like The Shed itself, the structure that houses “Prelude” is able to be configured in numerous manners.
May 3 - May 16, 2018
The Church of Saint Luke in the Fields
Two events â€” one day! Saturday, May 5th
11:00 am â€“ 5:00 pm | Sacred Sites Open House Schedule !Tour Interior and Exterior Grounds " #
Music in a Sacred Space: ! ! 5!
$% ! '* +#*- / 0/1 2 * "3$ "' $% !
The Church of Saint Luke in the Fields 487 Hudson Street (bet. Christopher & Grove), New York, NY
Dates: Thurs., May 3â€“Wed., May 9
ALTERNATE SIDE PARKING RULES IN EFFECT ALL WEEK The Five Boro Bike Tour begins in Lower Manhattan Sunday and will tie up streets all morning. Just after midnight the formation area will close from The Battery to Franklin and Church Sts. along Greenwich St., Trinity Pl. and Church St. Church St. and Sixth Ave. from Franklin to 59th Sts. will close Sunday 7 a.m. until about noon, when Downtown bids bye to the bikes. Chambers and Worth Sts. between Broadway and W. Broadway, and Canal St. between Broadway and Sixth Ave. will also be closed in the morning. The Bloomberg Square Mile race Thursday night closes Front St. from Fulton to Old Slip, Wall St. and Maiden La. between Water and South Sts., and Water between John and Fulton Sts. from 5 p.m. to about 9:30. The Seaportâ€™s afterparty is at Front and Fulton Sts.
PECK SLIP Continued from page 4
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May 3 - May 16, 2018
because we had worked on creating the play street, and we felt an allegiance to that project,â€? said Michael Levine. Councilwoman Chin has already agreed to provide funding for the barriers, â€œAs a mother and a former public school parent, nothing is more important to me than the safety of our children,â€? said Chin. â€œI am committed to securing the necessary funding to install bollards at Peck Slip School, and in other schools throughout my district without delay.â€? The schoolâ€™s $35,000 funding request also includes money for benches to spruce up the play street, and for a rooftop garden, despite concerns that a nearby cellphone tower may be dosing kids with radiation. The Department of Education recently conducted a study at the behest of community members to measure radiation the tower directed at kids on the rooftop, and the results shown to Hovitz and school parents
The weekly Thursday Jericho Walk Thursday at Federal Plaza and Foley Square 11 a.m. to noon, and Varick at Houston Sts. 5 to 6 p.m. looks like itâ€™ll be bigger this week as its part of a national protest. This weekend, 4 and 5 trains are running local between Brooklyn Bridge and 125th St., and the 2 and 3 trains are not making their Downtown stops. The Holland Tunnel and approach areas will be busier Saturday afternoon for the â€œtunnel matchâ€? between the New York Red Bulls and NYC Football Club at 2 p.m. at New Jerseyâ€™s Red Bull Arena. One tube of the Brooklyn Battery (Carey) Tunnel is closed 8 p.m. Friday until 5:30 a.m. Monday and the same times weeknights. Saturday from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. an anti-Lupus walk is on the sidewalks of Second Pl., State and Whitehall Sts., and the East River walkway up to Fulton St.
showed a level of exposure below federal safety standards, but still higher than locals feel comfortable with, Hellstrom said. â€œOur [federal safety] norms are not up to the standards of other countries that are taking this environmental stuff seriously,â€? she said. â€œI feel like our next step is to go to those companies and say, â€˜you donâ€™t want this.â€™ â€? Nevertheless, theyâ€™d be happy to have a rooftop garden, she said with parents expecting the cellphone tower issue to be tackled before the garden is finished. â€œWe feel like weâ€™ll prevail in the end and get this thing moved,â€? said Hellstrom. Education department spokesman Douglas Cohen would not provide a copy of the study, but insisted that the city cares deeply about the health of children, and claimed the kids are safe. â€œNothing is more important than the well-being of our students, and a thorough review commissioned by DOE found there is no health risk to students at the school,â€? said Cohen.
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script stock exchange could help drive tourists there. “Just looking at the stock exchange
building doesn’t turn too many people on, and Fearless Girl will be the focal point of that area,” Piccolo said. But taking the bronze bull with it is an entirely different story, according to Piccolo, who described the mayor’s slavish efforts to help State Street promoted a link between Fearless Girl and Charging Bull as a slight against a great New York City benefactor. “Who is he to say they belong together?” Piccolo asked. “This is the mayor out of control. He’s going to destroy the meaning of a work of art that was one of the most generous gifts to the city.” Di Modica, who lent Charging Bull to the city in the wake of the 1987 stock market crash but still owns the statue, sued State Street last year for copyright violation, arguing that by placing Fearless Girl in juxtaposition to his iconic bovine, the investment firm’s marketing campaign illegally appropri-
ated his art and perverted the meaning of his statue from a symbol of American strength, to an emblem of misogyny. Siegel sent a letter to the mayor’s office on behalf of Di Modica earlier this year, after news first broke that de Blasio was mulling the move, and offered to sit down with Hizzoner in order to hash things out. Since then, the mayor has made no effort to contact Di Modica, or his representatives, a bizarre move for a sitting mayor, according to Siegel. “Even the Giuliani or the Bloomberg administration, when we wrote to them, even if we didn’t agree, there would be some discussion,” Siegel said. “This is not the way government should operate.” A spokeswoman for the mayor’s office would not discuss the mayor’s right to move the statue, or whether de Blasio had reached out to Di Modica.
clusion,” said James McGuire. But Joseph said the Appellate Division made the wrong call according to the language of the law, and said it’s up the Court of Appeals to provide justice to thousands of Downtown residents. “In our view, the Appellate Division decision should not stand,” said Joseph. “It permitted landlords receiving tax
benefits to flout the rules. It is our view that the Court of Appeals will agree with us and provide tenants in these buildings with the protections from evictions and unreasonable rent hikes they were intended to receive.” The Court of Appeals hasn’t scheduled a hearing yet on the issue, but whatever decision it makes will be final,
and will at the very least provide closure to a debate that’s raged for more than 20 years. “The decision to grant tenants leave to appeal to the Court of Appeals is a big deal, because the highest court in the state will have the opportunity to provide finality to this issue,” Joseph said.
CHARGING BULL Continued from page 14
northern tip of the park, according to the mayor’s office, which indicated in February that the city was mulling over a move for Fearless Girl — and Charging Bull — to another, less precarious location. Bowling Green Association President Arthur Piccolo, the driving force behind bringing Charging Bull to the small Downtown park three decades ago, said he would be more than happy to see Fearless Girl get the boot from the bull’s turf, and claims he was the first to suggest the area outside the stock exchange as a more suitable location. Not only would having the plucky girl face off against the nerve center of Wall Street better make the point about overcoming sexism in finance, he argued, but putting the internationally famous selfie magnet outside the otherwise nonde-
50 MURRAY ST. Continued from page 6
said he agreed whole-heartedly with the penultimate court’s ruling, and that he expects the Court of Appeals to render a decision that will give 421-g developers a reason to celebrate. “The legislative history powerfully supports the Appellate Divisions con-
Associated Press / Mary Altaffer
The city may try and move Bowling Green’s iconic Charging Bull statue to a new location along with the Fearless Girl statue, whose position at the narrow northern tip of the park has raised safety concerns, but the bull statue’s creator and owner wants it to stay put.
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May 3 - May 16, 2018
BY JANEL BL ADOW Welcome May flowers. Sunshine. Bye-bye puffy jackets — please! Let’s get our party on! FUN WITH FRIENDS AND NEIGHBORS… The Brooklyn Bridge South Neighborhood Association (BBSNA) is hosting a neighborhood party on Saturday, May 5, 5-8 pm, for old friends and new ones to gather around food and drinks, have some fun and do some good for the Seaport. As their flyer for the event says “We’re lucky to live here.” One goal is to get neighbors to know their neighbors a bit better. Jeremey’s Ale House is providing liquor and Key Food’s Market 55 is supplying lots of delish food. Another objective is to raise so funds to support proposed projects they’d like to undertake around the Seaport. To that end, there will be a raffle and a silent auction. Among the items up for bids are gift certificates to Acqua Restorante, McGuire’s, Café Patoro, and others. Bid on an environmentally friendly house cleaning, or a basket of green cleaning supplies, safe for family and pets. Salon 25 on John Street is auctioning two certificates — for a spa treatment and for a mani/pedi. Big-ticket items include two evening sails out of Battery Park City for two people, provided by Manhattan by Sail. Among the many other auction items is a beautiful necklace by India Hicks, accessories such as a lovely scarf for her, and more. BBSNA is registered a non-profit dedicated to enhancing the quality of life and environment for all the residents/inhabitants in the neighborhood south of the Brooklyn Bridge, according
to its charter. One project they hope this event will help get underway is new steel trash receptacles, like those along Fulton Street, to replace the wire baskets that are often overflowing or blown over. I personally think the wire baskets fit the neighborhood’s quaint, historic look but I can see how they can be an eyesore for some. Even a health hazard. The gathering is being held in a private home, so space is limited. Neighbors should RSVP ASAP at BBSNA.10038@ gmail.com to attend. And bring cash, checks and/or credit cards! Like the last event on a snowy January 2017 night, this one will be fun. BIRTHDAY BASHES… The South Street Seaport Museum has hosted children’s birthday parties for a long time at their galleries and onboard their ships, but museum staff recently revamped the program so there’s more interaction and more structure to the events — also, lots more fun. “Parties in the galleries are with art projects and close encounters with marine life,” Jonathan Anderson, Manager of Education and Family Programs at SSSM, told Seaport Report. Onboard the vessels, they engage with the sea and ships. “Parents like to hang out and watch and have fun themselves.” Parties are available for different age groups. “MiniMates” partied are all held indoors in the galleries and focus on early childhood activities for little ones up to six years old. “There are a lot of different themes,” says Anderson. “What appeals to 2-yearolds and 5-year-olds is completely different. Our educators create projects for them.”
Photo by Janel Bladow
Members of the Brooklyn Bridge South Neighborhood Association at their event last year.
At past parties, kids would play with puppets and watch a puppet show. Older ones created puppets and even wrote little skits to perform. “The parents love it,” he says. “Little Sailors” 1-to-3-years-old parties feature about five play stations with boat crafts, interactions with sea creatures, and a maritime game to get little ones moving. A “Seaport Creatures” theme party for 4-to-7-year-olds gets up close and personal with live critters they can touch and examine with electronic magnifiers. “We have some really cool animals,” says Anderson. “The Oyster Drill is always a big favorite. It looks like a small snail and preys on oysters. It barfs on the oyster shell — the mucous is acidic — then uses its tongue to drill a hole through the shell. Kids love the barf.” “Float Your Boat” parties, also for 4-to-7-year-olds, include waterborne fun about what floats or sinks as well as boat races and nautical games. Parties for kids six and up are often held on the tall ship Wavertree, weather permitting. “They get a real hands-on sailors’ experience,” Anderson says.
South Street Seaport Museum
The South Street Seaport Museum hosts kids parties with lots of activities, either indoors or aboard ship, depending on ages.
May 3 - May 16, 2018
Kids get a tour of the ship, hoist sails just as real-life sailors, and play with the machinery onboard. A big fave is the capstan tug-of-war. Those nine and older can go sailing on the museum’s historic schooner Pioneer. “They help our staff raise and man the sails,” Anderson says. The boat sails around New York Harbor, while staff talk about the seaport environment and tell fun tales of our city’s maritime history. And at two stations they have a hands-on learning experience: navigation and knot tying. “They’ll bring lunch,” adds Anderson. “It’s a fun time for everyone.” The museum doesn’t do food or decorations for birthday parties. But staff is more than happy to pitch in and help parents make the spaces look festive — though balloons are not allowed on either the Wavertree or Pioneer for environmental reasons. The museum has a list of local spots that can cater. Cost for a party varies by the ages and number of kids attending. On average, the miniMates party is two hours with two educators with 90 minutes of activities and 30 minutes of free time for snacks and cake. They can run approximately $550 for up to 30 kids and adults. The museum averages two to three parties a weekend. Parties are only available Saturday or Sunday, mornings from 11:30 am to 1:30 pm and afternoons from 2:30 to 4:30 pm. Partiers generally leave thrilled with the experience, including the parents, Anderson says. “Parents usually leave very, very happy,” he adds. “The kids love it. These parties are lots of fun.” To book a miniMates play-space or party on the Wavertree, email firstname.lastname@example.org. Parties aboard the Pioneer (ages 9 and up, for up to 36 people) can be booked through email@example.com or call (212 748-8568. DowntownExpress.com
May 3 - May 16, 2018
Volume 2 | Issue 1
The Pulse of
Lenox Health Greenwich Village
Make no bones about it – prevention is key: 5 tips for maintaining strong and healthy bones Osteoporosis makes bones more susceptible to fractures and breaks. Bones naturally lose density with age, but you can still help keep them strong. May is National Osteoporosis Awareness and Prevention Month, so it’s a great time to take action. 1. Boost calcium consumption. Calcium helps give bones their strength. Maintain the recommended daily intake of 1,0001,200 mg with good sources of calcium including low-fat dairy products, dark green leafy vegetables and soy products such as tofu. 2. Don’t forget about vitamin D. For best absorption, pair calciumrich foods with those high in vitamin D, such as salmon, milk and orange juice. Adequate sunlight also provides your body with vitamin D. 3. Pump up the protein. Protein is one of the essential building blocks of bones. Eat plenty of protein-rich foods like eggs, Greek yogurt, lean chicken, beans and nuts. 4. Cut back on the alcohol and avoid smoking. Smoking and heavy alcohol consumption restrict your body’s ability to absorb essential nutrients, which can decrease bone density and increase the chance of fractures.
Did you know…
52 million Americans are aﬀected by osteoporosis and low bone density. If you think you may be at risk, see our specialists, who oﬀer bone density tests to assess and diagnose this condition. Did you know…
Only 35 percent of American adults consume the recommended daily intake of calcium. If you find it diﬃcult to get enough calcium from your diet, consider taking a calcium supplement.
5. Make exercise a priority. People who spend a lot of time sitting have a higher risk of developing osteoporosis. Combine strength training, weight bearing and balance exercises (such as walking, running, skipping rope and stair climbing) to benefit bones.
Our advanced Imaging Center is dedicated to meeting the radiology needs of the entire Greenwich Village community. Learn more at Northwell.edu/LenoxHealthImaging or call (646) 846-1452.
May 3 - May 16, 2018
May 3, 2018