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YOUR WEEKLY COMMUNITY NEWSPAPER SERVING CHELSEA, HUDSON YARDS & HELL’S KITCHEN

PENN SOUTH PLAQUE LAUDS THE BAYARD RUSTIN LEGACY Bayard Rustin (1912–1987) Bayard Rustin was an essential figure in the U.S. Civil Rights Movement who shaped many of its core principles, strategies, and defining events. Beginning in the 1940s, Rustin spearheaded efforts to dismantle racial discrimination and segregation laws in the U.S. using Gandhian nonviolent methods. Convinced that these tactics could transform struggles for black American liberation and equality, Rustin organized and led civil disobedience actions across the country, including many of the first freedom rides and sit-ins. These pioneering acts would become the blueprints for major racial justice campaigns that advanced groundbreaking legislation and roused the national consciousness. When Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. first emerged as a leader during the Montgomery Bus Boycott of 1955–56, Rustin introduced King to the foundations of nonviolent direct action. Rustin became a trusted mentor and advisor to King, and served the growing movement from behind the scenes as a strategist, writer, founder of key coalitions, and architect of major mobilizations. In 1963, facing violent backlash and seeking a political breakthrough, movement leaders called for the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, and chose Rustin to be its chief organizer. Masterfully planned and orchestrated, it was the largest demonstration in the nation’s history, and was instrumental in galvanizing support for landmark federal civil rights laws. The era and its legacy are imbued with Rustin’s vision. With his influence, nonviolent resistance became the moral and strategic cornerstone of the Civil Rights Movement. Throughout his rich and varied life, Rustin lent his talents and expertise to a diverse array of social causes ranging from global peace to economic justice, often alongside his mentor, civil rights and labor leader A. Philip Randolph. Rustin was an openly and unapologetically gay black man in an era of intense discrimination. It took decades for Rustin to be recognized for his central roles in numerous fights for equality and human dignity. Off to the corner reads the address and historic designation: 340 West 28th Street Bayard Rustin’s residence from 1962 to 1987 National Register of Historic Places

Photo by Winnie McCroy

The plaque honoring Bayard Rustin, at Penn South on W. 28th St. between Eighth and Ninth Aves. At left, read the full text.

BY WINNIE McCROY With reverence for history and in high spirits for the occasion meant to mark it, a crowd of 200 gathered on the morning of Thurs., June 28 for a dedication ceremony unveiling a plaque to honor civil and gay rights activist Bayard Rustin (1912–1987). In addition to community groups and elected officials, Rustin’s longtime surviving partner, Walter Naegle, addressed those outside Penn South’s Building 7B — the W. 28th St. building where Bayard lived. The co-op decided that this was a great opportunity to raise the profile of Bayard Rustin and help bring attention to his legacy. “Although Bayard is mostly known for his work in the struggle for African American civil rights, his was a life committed to justice and equality

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for all people,” said Naegle, who choked up as he noted, “He believed in the promises… of our Constitution and thus was compelled to protest the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II, while at the same time sitting-in, leading boycotts, and fighting to end Jim Crow segregation.” During their decade together, Rustin devoted himself to the international human rights struggle, speaking on behalf of Jews persecuted in the Soviet Union, meeting with Lech Walesa, leader of Poland’s Solidarity labor movement, working with Freedom House to promote democratic values, and helping found the National Emergency Coalition for Haitian Refugees. BAYARD RUSTIN continued on p. 2 VOLUME 10, ISSUE 27 | JULY 5 - 11, 2018


At Dedication Ceremony, Bayard Rustin Remembered BAYARD RUSTIN continued from p. 1

“Were he alive today,� Naegle assured, “he would be shocked that Haitians who came [here] as refugees from violence and natural disasters would be fleeing to Canada out of the fear of deportation. He would be appalled by policy decisions lacking compassion for those in most need — people living in poverty and those risking their lives seeking a safer, better life. But he would be fighting back, organizing, writing and doing so with logic, reason, facts and a civility that seems to have also fled our national conversation. Maybe it’s on its way to Canada.� Naegle joked that when Rustin first moved into Penn South, it wasn’t long before the FBI outfitted the apartment with wiretaps. Although frank about the state of national politics, Naegle was very welcoming to the many elected officials present.

ELECTEDS PRAISE RUSTIN’S LEGACY Among the elected officials on hand were City Council Speaker Corey Johnson, State Senator Brad Hoylman, Courtesy of Walter Naegle

          

        

        

             

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From 1948’s Journey of Reconciliation, aka the “First Freedom Ride� (Bayard Rustin in back row, with bow tie).

City Councilmember Daniel Dromm, Assemblymember Richard Gottfried, and Richard Ravitch, former Lieutenant Governor of New York, who remembered Bayard telling his children stories of being on a chain gang in North Carolina. Johnson said it was fitting to install the plaque across the street from Manhattan’s only documented Underground Railroad site: Hopper-Gibbons House (339 W. 29th St. btw. Eighth & Ninth Ave., in the Lamartine Place Historic District). He also noted that because Rustin was “a gay man born in 1912, marginalized for years by both his enemies and his allies,� he did not get the credit he rightfully deserved. Rustin went on to fight for gay rights, urging people to protest and live in dignity. When he came out as gay in 1999 — about six months after the murder of Matthew Shepard — Johnson was the only out gay student in a school of 1,500. He felt suicidal and alone, and only survived thanks to mentors like Rustin, Tom Duane, Sylvia Rivera, and Marsha P. Johnson, who “cleared the path for a younger generation of LGBT leaders to move the needle of society on acceptance. I stand here on the shoulders of

Bayard Rustin. My ability to see the connections between LGBT and other civil rights movements would not be possible without him.� With this new memorial at Penn South, Johnson told Chelsea Now, “Our community is celebrating Bayard Rustin’s many achievements, including his commitment toward all of humanity regardless of any of the superficial barriers that may seem to separate us. It’s a lesson we would do well to heed today. I am so happy and proud to see him honored for his life’s work. I want to thank Penn South for recognizing Bayard Rustin and helping secure his rightful place in history.� Senator Hoylman echoed this sentiment, saying that as a gay man, he feels a debt for everything Rustin did to pave the way, and was astounded by his achievements, given the time in which he lived. “One of my favorite expressions from Bayard Rustin is, ‘We need in every community a group of angelic troublemakers.’ Boy does that apply to these times!� Hoylman said. “If you think about Bayard Rustin’s contributions to the civil rights movement, to the March on Washington, to the desegregation of public schools, protecting immigrants, NYC Community Media


as Committed Champion of Human Rights Jobs and Freedom in Washington, DC. In the ’80s, he lobbied New York City to support a lesbian and gay rights bill. He moved into Penn South in 1962; his partner Naegle joined him in 1977, and continues to live there today. Another Penn South cohort of Rustin’s was civil rights and labor movement leader A. Philip Randolph (18891979), who created the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters. Today, Norman Hill, President Emeritus of the A. Philip Randolph Institute and his wife, Velma, live there. The Hills were deeply involved in the civil rights movement — Norman as a field organizer of the 1963 March on Washington and the Memphis Sanitation Workers’ Strike, and Velma, who sustained injury at the 1960 wade-in at Chicago’s Rainbow Beach. “I worked with Bayard Rustin, who was the first executive director of the Institute and later became president,” Hill recalled. “At that time we were made up primarily of black trade unions, welcoming to anyone sharing our concerns for racial justice. We created programs in black communities and brought their concerns back to the labor movement, fostering BAYARD RUSTIN continued on p. 17 Photo by Winnie McCroy

Longtime surviving partner Walter Naegle, at podium, still resides at the Penn South apartment he shared with Rustin (9J, “for justice,” he said).

fighting for LGBT people and people of color, people of different religious and ethnic backgrounds, and how relevant that is today, we not only recognize Mr. Rustin and his accomplishments, but take a page from history on how we resist the worst policies that are being imposed on this country.” Also speaking at the dedication was openly gay Queens Councilmember Dromm, who, as a 25-year public school teacher, promoted the Rainbow Curriculum. He bemoaned the “conspiracy of silence” around lives like Rustin’s, saying that long before the term “intersectionality” was coined, Rustin was fighting for justice on multiple fronts. “Our students deserve to learn about Bayard and be inspired by his life. Our country needs to hear Bayard’s message more than ever,” Dromm said. “While this administration refuses to condemn neo-Nazi violence, tears children from their parents and locks them in cages, and dismantles civil rights protections wherever they’re found, Bayard’s response to hatred was love. His response to violence was nonviolence; his response to injustice was justice. The principles that guided his life helped show the way forward for our country, and if we encourage the NYC Community Media

teaching of his story, they will continue to do so.”

A NEW HISTORIC PLACE This plaque outside Penn South is the result of years of work by several groups and individuals, including Mario Mazzoni, Director of Education & Communications for Mutual Redevelopment Houses, Inc. The New York State Board for Historic Preservation unanimously approved Rustin’s home at 340 W. 28th St., Building 7B, for Landmark status in December 2015, and it became part of the National Register of Historic Places in March 2016. Rustin was born in West Chester, Pennsylvania and later became a Quaker, believing in non-violent action. On hand for the ceremony was Cynthia Edwards, associate producer of the film “Quakers: The Quiet Revolutionaries,” to be shown at the New Hope Film Festival on Sat., July 21. She said Naegle provided them with pictures of Rustin involved in organizing efforts. Rustin worked on many civil rights campaigns, and was Deputy Director of the historic Aug. 1963 March for

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NOTICE OF PUBLIC HEARING and PUBLIC REVIEW AND COMMENT PERIOD regarding PROPOSED AMENDMENT TO THE LEASE BETWEEN HUDSON RIVER PARK TRUST and SUPER P57 LLC Pursuant to the Hudson River Park Act, the Hudson River Park Trust (the “Trust”) hereby gives notice of a public hearing and comment period to consider a proposed amendment to the lease between the Trust and Super P57 LLC (“Tenant”), a for-profit corporation, dated March 31, 2016 (the “Lease”), for the redevelopment of Pier 57 generally (the “Pier 57 Project”) located at 15th Street in Hudson River Park (the “Park”) as a mixed use facility (the “Lease Amendment”). Date and Time: August 1, 2018 from 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm Place:

Purpose:

Starrett-Lehigh Building 601 West 26th Street Suite 401 New York, NY (Please note that identification will be required to go through security) To allow the public to review and comment on a proposed significant action within the Park pursuant to the Hudson River Park Act. The Trust is providing the public with an opportunity to review and comment on the proposed Lease Amendment for the Pier 57 Project. Pursuant to the terms of the Lease, the Pier 57 Project may be used solely for: (1) cultural, educational and/or entertainment (“CEE”) uses; (2) general, professional, administrative and executive offices and ancillary uses; (3) retail and restaurant uses; (4) public access and public benefit uses including a perimeter public walkway, new public esplanades and a rooftop public open space; (5) ancillary (but not transient) parking use; and (6) maritime uses (together, the “Permitted Uses”). The Lease contains certain minimum and maximum square footages associated with certain of these Permitted Uses, and in addition, identifies generally the locations within the Pier 57 Project of Permitted Uses. The proposed Lease Amendment modifies certain of the minimum and maximum square footage associated with certain of the Permitted Uses, and the permissible locations of certain uses. The Lease Amendment allows for a reduction in the amount of retail space and an increase in the amount of office space. It also creates a new requirement for a Public Viewing Area on the ground floor of the finger pier, which is known as “Pier Shed Level 1,” and includes additional requirements for CEE uses including with respect to their locations and operations. The Lease Amendment also increases the amount of rent that would be paid to the Trust. There is no change to the Hudson River Park Multi-Purpose Project General Project Plan as adopted on July 16, 1998, and amended and approved by the Trust’s Board of Trustees on March 30, 2016 (“GPP”). The Trust, as lead agency pursuant to the requirements of the State Environmental Quality Review Act (“SEQRA”), undertook supplemental environmental review to assess the environmental effects of the proposed modifications and concluded that no significant adverse impacts would occur as a result of these modifications that were not previously identified in the Final Environmental Impact Statement for the Pier 57 Redevelopment issued in February 2013. Accordingly, no further environmental review is required.

A copy of the proposed Lease Amendment can be found on the Trust’s website at www.hudsonriverpark.org. The Lease, Final Environmental Impact Statement, and Statement of Findings are also available on the Trust’s website. In addition to commenting at the public hearing, the public will have an opportunity to provide written comments to the Trust. The public comment period extends from July 2, 2018 to September 7, 2018. Comments may be sent by regular mail to Christine Fazio, Esq., Hudson River Park Trust, Pier 40, 2nd Floor, 353 West Street, New York, N.Y. 10014 or by email to Pier57comments@hrpt.ny.gov. The public hearing is being held in compliance with the requirements of the Hudson River Park Act regarding significant actions.

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Photo by Sam Bleiberg

Derek Magee commutes to work on 26th St. “Once drivers, cyclists, and pedestrians all have their own dedicated space on the streets, there are less conflicts between different modes of transportation,” he said.

At Hudson Guild, DOT Answers Inquiries About Incoming Crosstown Bike Lanes BY SAM BLEIBERG Fresh paint on 26th and 29th Sts. will mark a clear cycling path across Chelsea for the first time with the installation of much-anticipated crosstown bike lanes. Ahead of the lanes’ implementation, the NYC Department of Transportation (DOT) hosted an informational session on the project for Elliott-Chelsea Houses and other nearby residents at the Hudson Guild. Residents and commuters, cyclists, and pedestrians alike look forward to the overdue improvements for street safety and efficiency. The forum also opened an important dialogue on how to accommodate safe, accessible methods of transportation for all community members. Chelsea Now previously reported on the 26th and 29th Sts. bike lane project as a landmark for Manhattan bike infrastructure, representing the first crosstown lanes in Midtown. In the June 15 meeting, the DOT presented on the benefits of the project for the westernmost blocks of Manhattan, which include safer streets for cyclists and pedestrians, better traffic flow for motorists, and more efficient paths for those who rely on bicycles for transportation and recreation. City officials and community leaders representing Chelsea celebrated the lanes as life-saving improvements for some of the most danger-

ous streets in Manhattan. City Speaker Corey Johnson, whose District 3 area of coverage includes Chelsea, invoked the tragedies that spurred action on the project. “Last summer we tragically lost the lives of two cyclists, Dan Hanegby and Michael Mamoukakis, in the West 20s near Seventh Avenue,” Johnson said in a statement to Chelsea Now. “These new crosstown bike lanes on West 26th and West 29th Streets will help save lives and ensure that our streets are safer for pedestrians, cyclists, and motorists alike.” Johnson also thanked the DOT for hosting the community outreach session to keep Chelsea residents informed and involved in the transportation planning process. “I am pleased that Community Board 4 [CB4] voted in support of these crosstown bike lanes and thank the NYC Department of Transportation for meeting with residents over the last several months to talk about the importance of these new bike lanes,” he said. Ken Jockers, Executive Director of Hudson Guild, echoed this sentiment and highlighted community engagement as critical for the project’s success. “First and foremost, our concern as always is to have residents of this block and our neighborhood be aware of what the changes are and why are they made,” NYC Community Media


Courtesy of the NYC Department of Transportation

Photo by Sam Bleiberg

The DOT has proposed a comprehensive plan to provide safe crosstown bike corridors. This excerpt from their June 15 presentation at Hudson Guild shows the status of projects spanning Union Square to 55th St.

Community members and staff from Hudson Guild worry about danger from large tourist buses, such as this one seen on W. 26th St. (btw. Ninth & 10th Aves.) squeezing past a double-parked ride share driver.

he said. “The longer notice you give people and the more opportunities you give people to get the information and give feedback, the better buy-in and support you’re going to get.” In their presentation, the DOT cited the positive effects from previous protected bike lane implementations as justification for the project. On streets with protected bike lanes, total injuries, including

pedestrians and cyclists, have dropped by 20 percent. The protected bike lane on Ninth Ave., for example, resulted in decreased bicycle crash injuries by 48 percent even as cyclist volume increased by 65 percent. “While cyclist fatalities remain low despite dramatic growth in cycling citywide, the majority of cyclist fatalities have occurred on streets without bike

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lanes, and Community Boards 4, 5, and 6 have the highest number of cyclists killed or seriously injured in Manhattan,” a DOT spokesperson told Chelsea Now. “Protected bike lanes in Manhattan improve safety for all users.” For cyclists in Chelsea, the lanes will provide peace of mind and make previously unsafe routes accessible. Chelsea Now caught up with Iris, an Elliott-

500

Chelsea resident, as she wheeled her bike off of W. 26th St. “I run errands on my bike. I go to the piers to have fun, ride Uptown and Downtown. We have no lane around here,” she said. “I feel unsafe. That’s why I mainly ride in the piers for now. When I have to ride in the BIKE LANES continued on p. 16

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Our Perspective ICE Agents Brandishing Guns Detain RWDSU Members – Who is Next? By Stuart Appelbaum, President Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union, UFCW or RWDSU members, the real-world effects of the Trump Administration’s almost incomprehensibly cruel focus came into startling view on June 20. At a time when the world was voicing outrage about families being separated at the southern U.S. border, another shocking miscarriage of justice occurred further north in Ohio. At a Fresh Mark meat processing plant, 146 hard-working RWDSU members were detained and separated from their families during a raid by gun-toting ICE agents. During what had been a normal workday, workers suddenly found themselves violently shoved to the ground and handcuffed in an egregious, disturbing show of force. Witnesses likened it to a terrorist attack. Over 100 children in the community suddenly found out a parent wasn’t coming home. One hundred forty-six workers who pay their taxes, put in an honest day’s work, and contribute to their communities did not go home that night. And for what? The community, and the country, is zero percent safer. A busy meat processing plant has suddenly lost a large portion of its reliable workforce and production has been severely disrupted. Families have been torn apart to the detriment of the community. The Trump Administration has pointlessly created a humanitarian and possibly economic crisis in Ohio. Our union, the RWDSU, is stepping up to help RWDSU members and their families. A task force, including lawyers and worker representatives, was immediately dispatched to Ohio to defend the workers and help aid families with basic necessities including food, diapers, and simply connecting frightened children and spouses with their detained loved ones, many of whom still have not been located. While our immediate focus is on the events in Ohio, it’s clear that this raid and the other events of the past weeks and months raise many troubling issues. With President Trump calling for the illegal, unconstitutional action of deporting immigrants without their dueprocess rights, who is next? It could be your neighbors, or even your family members. It’s striking to see these troubling events occur so close to the July 4 holiday. This is not what America – a land of opportunity that is based upon principles of justice and equality – is all about. America has always been about the promise that hard work and honest living can bring people – both those born here and those who immigrated – better lives. The U.S. needs to create a path to citizenship for workers who have been contributing to our economy for decades, and to the hundreds of thousands of Temporary Status Holders who will soon be living in the shadows because Congress and Trump have failed to act on their behalf; our country doesn’t need more foreign workers coming in with special guestworker visas that condone substandard working conditions. We need to give those already in this country an opportunity to change their status and officially become what many will say they already are: Americans. You can help the Ohio workers by visiting www.rwdsu.org and donating to the RWDSU Ohio Workers Defense Fund. All of the proceeds will go toward supporting families affected by this tragic and unnecessary raid.

F

Photos by Milo Hess

The John J. Harvey is on the move this summer, with harbor tours originating from Brooklyn’s Bridge Park’s Pier 6, and Hudson River Park’s Pier 25.

Public Art Project Gives Eye-Popping Paint Job to Historic Fireboat; Return to Pier 66a Pending BY COLIN MIXSON A historic fi reboat that assisted emergency workers during the aftermath of the 9/11 terrorist attacks has gotten a trippy new paint job inspired by an oddball camouflage scheme that

was popular on the high seas during World War I. The John J. Harvey’s razzle dazzle paint job — a Public Art Fund exhibition dubbed “Flow Separation” by its creator, artist Tauba Auerbach —

www.rwdsu.org Artist Tauba Auerbach designed the paint job.

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NYC Community Media


Photo by Milo Hess

The John J. Harvey fireboat was given a twist on the “dazzle camouflage” paint scheme, which was popular on the high seas during World War I.

combines the waterborne fi re engine’s normal red-and-white color scheme with the flowing, geometric patterns that the British Royal Navy once used in an attempt to evade German submarines during the Great War. British marine artist Norman Wilkinson designed the unique form of camouflage not to hide from German U-boats, but rather to confuse torpedo gunners with the profusion of disjointed shapes and colors. But the eccentric camouflage scheme wasn’t the game changer he hoped it would be — dazzle ships were sunk about as often as non-dazzle ships — and the striking paint jobs fell out of favor. And while the John J. Harvey never had to dodge German torpedoes, the classic 1931 fi reboat is chock full of history, serving New York’s Bravest with its powerful water pump until it was decommissioned in 1994. Save Our Ships New York, a nonprofit organization created by local preservationists, purchased the fi reNYC Community Media

boat after it was pulled from service, docking it at Pier 66a in Chelsea, from where the John J. Harvey gives free tours of New York harbor. But the fi reboat was pulled back into service following a water main break during 9/11, with its captain quickly unloading passengers before cruising full steam ahead towards Ground Zero — where it served for 80 hours, until water service could be restored. This summer, the colorful fi reboat is on the move. Through Aug. 12, you can fi nd it at Brooklyn Bridge Park, Pier 6. As of Aug. 13, the harbor tours originate from Hudson River Park’s Pier 25. The John J. Harvey remains there through Sept. 23 — and on Sept. 24, it docks once again at Pier 66a. The fi reboat will retain its Great Warinspired paint job until mid-May 2019, after which its classic FDNY colors will be restored. For tickets to the free harbor tours, visit PublicArtFund.org. Also visit fi reboat.org. July 5, 2018

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Where Counterculture and Counterpunching Share the Card Overthrow bridges boxing, Yippie legacy, Generation Z

Photo by Danielle Levitt

Joey Goodwin says this team photo describes them to a T.

BY PUMA PERL Back in 2010, two friends and I initiated a poetry/performance series at the Yippie Museum Café. Every week, we chanted and burned sage in a losing battle against the smell of the feral cats that lived upstairs. Ibogaine enthusiasts trooped down to their basement meetings, cheerfully ignoring the boundaries being broken onstage. For 40 years, the building, eventually known as 9 Bleecker, was home to countercultural characters and free thinkers of all kinds. (The Youth International Party, known as the Yippies, founded in 1967, was an anti-authoritarian, youth-oriented offshoot of the anti-war movement.) On February 8, 2014, following years of court hearings, Yippie archivist Alice Torbush was the last to leave. “And yes,” she told Photo by Clayton Patterson me, “I turned out the lights.” Eight years later, I’m back Joey Goodwin in the Overthrow office, holding a piece of Yippie at 9 Bleecker, sitting in the history from the Alice Torbush archives. NYC Community Media

upstairs office of Overthrow New York with its founder and CEO, Joey Goodwin, and our mutual friend, Clayton Patterson. The vibe is warm and friendly. A bear-like dog lies under the table and a second one wanders around. Staff members pop in and out — one’s a Golden Gloves winner, another is described as the “worst boxer in the world.” As Goodwin explained, “It’s a boxing gym, but it’s also a community, a throwback to the spirit of CBGB and the Mudd Club. How do we,” he asked, “take the past and all that shit people say doesn’t exist anymore and translate it? How do we create a fresh script for Generation Z, written by Generation Z? I know it sounds weird. It’s a boxing gym — but at the end of the day it’s a birthplace for culture, a training ground for a new youth revolution.” Clayton added, “It’s the

authenticity factor, a real connection from the past. This place is an old-style gym with old school boxing.” “Yes and no,” Goodwin countered. “I’m more focused on learning from people like Clayton and Alice,” whom he described as “shepherds and mentors.” “World champions train here,” Goodwin noted, “but we’re different. We almost disrupt everything. If I hold on to the authenticity thing, I get stuck in it.” World champions do indeed both train and teach at the gym — top tier fighters include head trainer Alicia “The Empress” Napoleon, currently the WBA Super Middleweight Champion, with a 9-1-0 (win, loss, draw) record. Two of the other female trainers are Ronica Jeffrey, International Boxing Federation World Super OVERTHROW continued on p. 14 July 5, 2018

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OVERTHROW continued from p. 13

Featherweight Champion (15-1-0), and Haitian American super featherweight Melissa St. Vil (10-3-4). The gym is split into two basic groups — classes, which are primarily female, and people who come to train, a more mixed group of community members, friends, and family. Monday night classes donate to Planned Parenthood and the ACLU; also available are classes aimed at the transgendered community, and for those with Parkinson’s disease. Goodwin, 33, grew up between Palm Beach, Florida, and the Lower East Side. He described himself as always feeling like “a bit of an outsider,” the main benefit being that he never felt confined to just one world. As a kid wandering the Downtown streets, he discovered the basketball courts at West Fourth St. and Sixth Ave. (which he described as the “embodiment of New York City rhythm”). “It’s the thing that’s so great about New York,” Goodwin said. “You can go there when you’re 10, 16, or 80, and still feel like you can wind up in Madison Square Garden, whether it’s playing, coaching, heckling, or ringside seats. Clayton gets on me every day — you can still have the hope of doing something magical, because it’s New York City.” Realizing that his desire to become a basketball player was genetically impossible, he originated other ventures in untraditional ways. A clothing line started when a basketball court friend, Curtis Rose, created a prepmeets-Downtown sensibility, but it tanked during the 2006-2007 recession. Through Craigslist, they met artist John Gagliano, who is currently the Overthrow Art Director, and with whom he began a marketing company. It was during this period, 2010-2012, that Goodwin’s passion shifted to boxing. “I’d become close to this guy from the courts named Magic [Sidney Smith], probably the best basketball player out of the Lower East Side. He was obsessed with boxing. One day he took me over to East River Park, got some gloves, and we started messing around.” From there, they started going to boxing rings. Along the way, he learned about the underground boxing parties, known as Friday Night Throwdowns, that were happening Downtown. Like raves, they moved from place to place, building makeshift rings. He later found his way to Mendez Boxing, on E. 26th St., where he met Carlito Castillo, an “older, gruff man” who started teaching him. “Carlito made me fall in love with boxing,” Goodwin recalled. “At first, I wanted to go to a bar and kick some-

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Photo by Clayton Patterson

Queens, 2016: Alicia Napoleon, right, earned a WBC championship belt. The current WBA Super Middleweight Champion, she trains and teaches at Overthrow New York.

Photo by Elsa Rensaa

L to R: Joey Goodwin, Mukunda Angulo and Clayton Patterson.

one’s ass. But it’s like chess, an exercise in mindfulness. You’re always just fighting yourself. I started to loosely formulate the idea that if you could take boxing parties and apply them to the boxing club and create the class aspect, you’d really have something.” He described his thoughts as “a vision to create the supreme of boxing — turn it into a cultural center.” In April 2014, while riding his bike to play basketball, Goodwin noticed a realtor sign on 9 Bleecker. He’d never heard of the Yippies or taken note of the building before. With no clear intention in mind, he called the number. “There was graffiti all over the window, and it was near the holy grail of culture, CBGB. When I was shown the site, my first impression was the overwhelming smell of cat shit. When I saw that honeycomb window, I envisioned a boxing ring right there. The basement looked and smelled like a crack house. On the third floor, I found two stacks of newspapers

— Yipster Times and Overthrow. When I saw the name ‘Overthrow’ I began to imagine the gym as a bigger idea, a foundation for a movement.” He started asking questions and looking into countercultural history. Goodwin signed a lease in May 2014. With the help of friends and one handyman, he began cleaning up, salvaging what he could. “Everything was covered in cat shit, like crazy old typesetting machines, tables, etc.” There was no question that the newspapers would be preserved. He moved into a space that is now the bathroom — and to help pay expenses, his father and his fight club friend, Charlie Himmelstein, rented office space. He ran a marketing business on the first floor and a group called Bridgerunners rented the basement. Alicia Napoleon, not yet a champion, taught the first test class in January 2015. They recruited by hiring Dan Perino, the “looking for a girlfriend” guy, to post fliers all over the area.

They opened as Overthrow Boxing New York in May 2015, with a huge party. Today, there are 60 staffers and a second location in the former Trash Bar, in Williamsburg. He’d scouted out that location the same way, riding his bicycle through the streets. Recruitment is more sophisticated, but some outreach methods don’t change. “I spend a lot of time sitting outside on the bench,” he said. “People stop, take photos, talk about the facade, want to know more.” In fall of 2015, Goodwin noticed a lady with a purple hat and Navajo braids was gazing at the building. “I used to live here,” she said. It was Alice Torbush, and they formed a friendship. He was especially curious about the newspapers. “It was almost this political offshoot where in my mind the punk scene was more romantic, and now the political side was mixed in.” Torbush began sending him underground zines and papers that she has archived and managed to rescue from the building. There was also a tremendous amount of material she had collected that was stored a the house of a friend, Gilbert Baker (designer of the LGBT flag). When he passed away, the archives were moved to the gym. There are now 45 boxes of literature to be preserved. Clayton has served as a liaison in the mission, which includes a plan to scan digital files. “The Museum of the City of New York has come down,” he said. “The papers give a broad overview of underground politics of the day.” Torbush is pleased about the venture. “We published ‘Overthrow’ through the nightmare years of Reagan and Bush #1. Now this generation is stuck with Trump,” she wrote me. “I’m glad Joey is keeping up the tradition of rabble-rousing. Humor is especially needed now. Pick your friends well and continue the struggle.” My take is that Joey Goodwin has indeed picked his friends well. “I didn’t want to obliterate what was here before. I wanted to encompass and create our own sound where the past meets the future,” he said. “This is what makes Overthrow a cultural institution as well as a gym,” Clayton added. “It contributes to all levels of wellness: mind, body, and soul.” And that’s one way a movement begins. Overthrow New York is located at 9 Bleecker (btw. Bowery & Lafayette). Call 646-705-0332. Overthrow Brooklyn location is at 256 Grand St. (btw. Roebling St. & Diggs Ave.). Call 718-233-3480. Visit overthrownyc.com. On Facebook and Instagram: facebook. com/OverthrowNewYork and instagram.com/Overthrownewyork. NYC Community Media


Humanity Found, From Working Class to Upper Crust Dan Weiner gets to the heart of vintage New York BY NORMAN BORDEN Despite his death in a plane crash in 1959 at the age of 39, Dan Weiner had an outsize influence on photographers and photography. Steven Kasher Gallery is currently presenting an impressive exhibition of vintage black and white prints spanning nearly 20 years of his work. “Dan Weiner: Vintage New York, 1940–1959” offers ample evidence of the artist’s lasting impact by revealing his interest in photographing people from all walks of life, his ability to capture them in unguarded moments, and his deep affection for the city where he was born. In 1940, after having some of his pictures published in newspapers and magazines, Weiner joined the Photo League, a cooperative of socially conscious photojournalists and photographers that included Paul Strand, W. Eugene Smith, Aaron Siskind, Dorothea Lange and League co-founder, Sid Grossman. It was a place where like-minded photographers could meet and share their creative and sociological interests. The League provided low-cost darkroom facilities and gallery space for exhibitions. It published the influential newsletter “Photo Notes” and operated a school that gave Weiner the opportunity to both teach and learn. The school’s “learn by doing” approach in Sid Grossman’s documentary class led Weiner and other members to take their cameras into the streets. Weiner, a first generation American, chose to photograph life on the Lower East Side. He captured Orchard Street’s bargain basement ethos with his photo of shoppers crowded around a storefront with an awning that proclaimed, “You are missing plenty if you don’t buy here.” Weiner would later become involved in a long-term project centered on Yorkville, a working class neighborhood on the Upper East Side — part of a larger project, “Neighborhoods of New York,“ that was championed by the League. With residents hanging out windows and on the streets instead of in their cramped apartments, the photographer had ample opportunity to record the everyday lives of residents, young and old. A good example is 1950’s “East End Avenue, New York City” in which two women in frumpy dresses converse while their two dogs turn their backs on each other. The old car (maybe 1930s) across the street adds an historical perspective. In another slice of old New York, three women look out of their open ground floor window, as a man and young girl NYC Community Media

Courtesy of Steven Kasher Gallery, NY

Dan Weiner: “Waiters, El Morocco, New York City” (ca. 1954; Vintage gelatin silver print, printed ca. 1954 9 1/16h x 13 7/16w in.).

Courtesy of Steven Kasher Gallery, NY

stand nearby on the front steps. The scene feels intimate without being intrusive. As a street photographer, Weiner must have been drawn to the faces in 1950’s “Two Women, New York City” — no doubt the subjects wouldn’t have liked the picture. Well, it was honest. Weiner found humanity everywhere. In fact, as an original “Concerned Photographer” (a term coined by International Center of Photography founder Cornell Capa to describe a humanitarian perspective meant to educate the viewer and bring about change), he would have surely been pleased to see his work alongside photographs by André Kertész, Robert Capa, David “Chim” Seymour, and others in a 1967 exhibition at the Riverside Museum — “The Concerned Photographer,” organized by Capa. Weiner had numerous solo shows in the 1980s and 1990s. In 1984, for example, the International Center of Photography exhibited his photographs of Martin Luther King Jr. and the Montgomery, Alabama boycott. In 1989, his images from the book “America Worked: The 1950s Photographs of Dan Weiner” was shown at the Museum of Modern Art. In 1998, The Howard Greenberg Gallery presented the solo exhibition “American Photo.” This current exhibition at Steven Kasher Gallery is the first solo show of his work in over a decade. Weiner seemed comfortable cutting across social classes to show how the other half lived. He spent nights at the legendary nightclub El Morocco and days at Coney Island; he visited smoke-filled poolrooms and celebrated New

Dan Weiner: “East End Avenue, New York City” (1950; Vintage gelatin silver print, printed ca. 1950, 14h x 11w in.).

VINTAGE NY continued on p. 19 July 5, 2018

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BIKE LANES continued from p. 5

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street, I try to be extra careful.” Donna David, an avid biker who commutes from Midtown East to work at the Fashion Institute of Technology (W. 27th St. & Seventh Ave.), believes the protected lanes will open the door for cyclists who currently feel unsafe. “I do not feel safe riding into midtown from the 20s, so I just don’t do it,” she said. “I go out of my way to find a safe route. With a safe bike infrastructure and more protected lanes, more people will ride.” The DOT raised the issue of street design for gender equity in their presentation. Data shows 10 percent more women bike in protected bike lanes, suggesting that safer bike infrastructure is a step toward lowering the citywide gender imbalance in cycling. Additional figures illustrated that cycling represents a more affordable and efficient transportation option for Manhattanites. Citi Bike rides in Midtown are on average 2 miles per hour faster and $6 cheaper than taxi rides. NYCHA residents 16 and older qualify for a discounted annual Citi Bike membership of $5 per month. Community reactions to the bike lanes opened a wider discussion on street safety and traffic enforcement. Jockers welcomes the efforts to encourage alternate modes of transportation. “Safe biking and traffic alternatives are good for the neighborhood, particularly where there is a community center and school on the same block, he said. “Having designated, safe, bike traffic lanes is a good thing. Making sure that there is traffic calming [designs that facilitate motorist, pedestrian, and bicyclist safety] and making sure that nuisances like tourist buses are not clogging the block, are concerns of ours.” Advocates for residents expressed concerns over enforcement for motorists and cyclists, including specific concerns about double-decker tourist buses and aggressive driving from yellow taxis. “My first concern is safety,” said Darlene Waters of the Elliott-Chelsea Tenants Association. “We have all these big sightseeing buses going through our block. Cyclists are not getting tickets. They don’t follow the rules.” A brief observation of the block on W. 26th St. between Ninth and 10th Aves. revealed gridlock from cars blocking the intersection on 10th Ave., double parked ride-share drivers obstructing traffic on W. 26th, multiple double-decker tour buses squeezing past double-parked cars, cyclists biking against traffic, and pedestrians crossing against the light and in the middle of the block.

Photo by Sam Bleiberg

Protected bike lanes can pose dangerous situations. Seen on W. 26th St. and Ninth Ave. is a mixing zone where failure to yield by cars can put cyclists at risk.

Safe streets advocates make the point that safe, designated space for bicycles reduces the need for cyclists and pedestrians to veer from their delineated paths. Derek Magee is an organizer for Transportation Alternatives, a nonprofit advocating for better bicycling, walking, and public transit infrastructure. He commutes on a bicycle every day to his work on W. 26th St. between 10th and 11th Aves. Magee argued the bike lanes will positively impact pedestrian safety. “Once drivers, cyclists, and pedestrians all have their own dedicated space on the streets, there are less conflicts between different modes of transportation,” he said. “One of the best features of protected bike lanes are the narrowing of travel lanes and crossing distances, which slow cars and make it far safer for pedestrians.” The track record of existing protected lanes in Chelsea and across New York supports this model. The DOT reports that pedestrian injuries on street segments with protected bike lanes decreased by 22 percent, based on three years of data across all Manhattan projects. Magee also suggests that what many perceive as dangerous behavior from cyclists arises from existing street design flaws. “I think the addition of dedicated, protected lanes will actually encourage bike riders to be more courteous and law-abiding,” he said. “Cyclists often have to resort to aggressive riding tactics to navigate infrastructure that is designed solely for cars, and are able to be more relaxed and predictable in a dedicated lane. I think outreach and education to all road users is important any time the city rolls out new infrastructure, but simply increasing enforcement against cyclists is inappropriate.” The DOT expects to complete the project later in the summer, with more exciting developments for safe streets advocates on the horizon. The DOT will present proposals for crosstown lanes on 55th and 52nd Sts. in the coming months, with implementation slated for 2019. Until then, 26th and 29th Sts. will be the gold standard for bike-friendly transit across Manhattan. NYC Community Media


BAYARD RUSTIN continued from p. 3

the Black-Labor Alliance for economic justice, which has affiliates in 30 states including one right here in NYC.� He also noted Rustin was successful because of his adherence to five principles: Be committed to a society in which economic justice and racial equality would prevail; be a committed integrationist, realize that the workers’ trade union movement and civil rights movements were the same; be committed to self-liberation; be committed to mass actions and challenge key important decisions; and be committed to non-violence. Rustin was arrested over 20 times in his fight for social equality. For the past two years, Hill worked with Naegle to “capture the essence of who Bayard was and the breadth of his position.� Amber Nicosia, a member of the board of directors at Penn South, grew up there with her Grandma Rita. After Nicosia came out as lesbian in junior high school, Rustin became her mentor, suggesting she attend a Quaker school in Pennsylvania for safety. She got expelled in her sophomore year for civil disobedience. “What I remember most about Bayard was his extraordinary warmth, how he was always smiling, how he enjoyed helping other people,� Nicosia said. “In

Courtesy of Walter Naegle

L to R: Bayard Rustin and Walter Naegle, 1983.

Photo by Winnie McCroy

Norman Hill, at podium. Standing, in hat, is Eula Johnson, who once worked for Hill and Rustin.

Photo by Winnie McCroy

Bayard Rustin “cleared the path for a younger generation of LGBT leaders,� said Council Speaker Corey Johnson (at podium).

a time when so many people were full of fear, Bayard was an optimist. He would remind me that the world will change, will become a better place, if you are willing to fight for it.� Nicosia still lives in Penn South, now with her wife and children. Like many at the dedication ceremony, she believes the most important thing we can do is to educate and inspire the next generation. “Bayard believed we needed angelic troublemakers, with the emphasis on angelic,� said Naegle. “He believed in healing communities and building coalitions to push back against powerful interests that would seek to keep us divided. I hope this plaque is not just a reminder of who he was and what he stood for, but also an inspiration for young people to carry on the struggle for justice and equality in these difficult times.�

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VINTAGE NY con. from p. 15

Year’s Eve in Times Square. In his remarkable 1955 photograph, “Poolroom Player, New York City” there’s so much atmosphere, you can almost smell the smoke. It’s a great character study, with a cigar hanging from the player’s lips as he sets up the shot. Other players in the background add to the atmosphere. For something completely different, Weiner probably needed a coat and tie to spend nights at El Morocco (located on E. 54th St. at the time of Weiner’s work from this exhibition). What’s amazing about the 12 El Morocco-themed pictures here, which include boldface celebrities of the day such as Wallis Simpson, the Duchess of Windsor, Milton Berle, and Sid Caesar, is that all seem oblivious to Weiner’s candid camera. One picture I found revealing is “Waiters, El Morocco.” Three tuxedo-clad waiters stand behind one of the club’s iconic zebra-striped seats, with just the female diner’s face visible. One picture, two social classes. Some of the Coney Island pictures here are quintessential Weiner — candid moments of dancers in the surf, an old woman sleeping on the beach and another showing a jumble of bodies with a girl’s legs on top of her boyfriend’s chest, with her feet touching the guy next to them. It looks very intimate and feels honest. Weiner’s career as a freelance photojournalist, as short as it was, took him around the world on assignment for Life magazine, The New York Times, Collier’s, Fortune, and other major publications of the day. Over the last 20 years, his work hasn’t received the recognition it deserves — but this exhibition is a fitting tribute to a concerned photographer who made a difference. “Dan Weiner: Vintage New York, 1940–1959” is on view through July 28 at Steven Kasher Gallery (515 W. 26th St., btw. 10th & 11th Aves.). Hours: Tues.-Sat., 10am-6pm. Visit stevenkasher.com or call 212-966-3978. NYC Community Media

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