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The P Paper a pe e r of Record R ecor o r d for or fo o r Greenwich Gre Gr ee e nw n w iicc h Village, V i ll Vi ll a ag g e, e , East Ea ass t Village, Vii lll ag V a g e, e , Lower L ow o w er East Ea ass t Side, S i de Si de, Soho, Union Square, Chinatown S ho So h o , Un U n io ion Squa S Sq q ua u a rre e, C Ch h iin n at a t ow atow o w n and an a n d Noho, nd No N oh ho o , Since Sii n S ncc e 1933 19 3 33 3

July 5, 2018 • $1.00 Volume 88 • Number 26

Oversize stores are still a big problem in Soho and Noho BY SYDNEY PEREIR A

I

llegally large retail spaces continue to plague the Soho and Noho neighborhoods, and Community Board 2’s Land Use Committee and Assemblymember Deborah Glick want answers from the city’s Department of Buildings on how it plans to deal with

the issue going forward. The oversized retail spaces — which are greater than 10,000 square feet — technically violate the zoning regulations for the area’s M1-5B manufacturing-based zoning. To have a retail space greater than 10,000 square feet, retailOVERSIZE continued on p. 16

Patel ran strongly vs. Maloney in East Village, boroughs BY SYDNEY PEREIR A

I

n New York City’s primaries last week, Congressmember Carolyn Maloney won her 14th term in Congress by a nearly 18-point margin against first-time candidate Suraj Patel. It was the closest primary Maloney has had in her 25 years in office, but Patel couldn’t quite

swing voters on Manhattan’s East Side — where Maloney took home around 8,500 more votes than Patel. The unofficial election results were analyzed by the Center for Urban Research at the City University of New York’s Graduate Center, with breakdowns by PRIMARY continued on p. 10

PHOTO BY TEQUILA MINSKY

A girl in Foley Square Saturday summed up the sentiment at the Families Belong Together March, par t of a huge nationwide protest. For more photos, See Page 6.

Gjonaj makes some noise on biz, vague on S.B.J.S.A. BY LINCOLN ANDERSON

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eading chants of “Enough is enough!” and “What do we want?” “Jobs!” “When?” “Now!” Bronx Councilmember Mark Gjonaj last Thursday headed scores of chamber of commerce members and small business owners

New Pulse park memorial..... .p. 2

in a City Hall rally demanding the de Blasio administration stop crushing small merchants with burdensome taxes and regulations. After the “Protect NYC Jobs and Businesses” rally, Gjonaj (pronounced “Joenye”) introduced the Micro-Business Transparency Act. The bill would defi ne a

“micro-business” as a locally owned company with 10 or fewer employees. The measure would also require the city’s Department of Small Business Services to conduct an annual survey to identify micro-businesses and the economic sectors in which BUSINESS continued on p. 3

C.B. 3 O.K.’s building for 2nd Ave. blast site......p. 4 Freelancers find help in fight for fair pay..........p. 9 www.TheVillager.com


Pulse park memorial highlights ‘inner light’ BY GABE HERMAN

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n the day of the Pride March, a new memorial was unveiled in Hudson River Park to the 49 victims of the Orlando Pulse nightclub shooting two years ago. The work consists of nine boulders in a roughly circular arrangement on a patch of lawn in the park near W. 12th St. It was designed by Brooklyn artist Anthony Goicolea, 47, and is about a block away from an AIDS memorial in the park near Bank St. that was dedicated nearly 10 years ago. In the first week after the new memorial’s dedication, however, there seemed to be little in the way of visitors or awareness of its existence among nearby parkgoers. Though it admittedly was in the middle of a heat wave and there were park maintenance barriers that closed off access to parts of it. Several of the boulders have been split in the middle and filled with glass. Another is split apart and has an inscription by poet and activist Audre Lorde that reads on one side, “Without community there is no liberation… But community must not mean a shedding of our differences,” and on the other, “Difference is that raw and powerful connection from which our personal power is forged.” This writing inside one of the boulders, which the artist described at the unveil-

PHOTOS BY GABE HERMAN

Par t of the new L .G.B.T. memorial includes a path lined by fractured boulders, some with glass inser ted in the fissures, as seen in the inset photo.

ing as “the inner voice for the memorial,” is the piece’s only visible writing. Much of the memorial had been temporarily blocked off for new lawn seeding, according to a parks worker. A series of metal barricades closed off the nearby lawns, which contain five of the boulders, and also made a narrow path leading to the central part of the

Christina Britton Conroy Harp & Song

2 Free Sunday Concert Programs at 3:00 July 8: Sweetness & Sorrow July 22: Daring Love Jefferson Market Garden, NYC behind the Library on 6th Ave & 10th St. 2

July 5, 2018

memorial. Both weekday and weekend visits by this reporter in the first week the memorial was open to the public found no other visitors, or even people wandering up to see what it was. When its presence was pointed out to one parkgoer nearby, he said he had not been aware of it at all. Another man, Miguel Angel, was also just learning of the memorial. “It’s wonderful, I love it,” said Angel, who was visiting from Guadalajara, Mexico. “For the gay community, it’s good,” he added, saying he liked the “recognition from New York.” He also liked the memorial’s “natural” design, saying it blended in with the surrounding park and nature. The memorial has gotten some negative comments on Twitter, though, mostly related to the amount of money spent on it, with posts such as, “How much did this cost me?” and “More taxpayer money spent wisely.” According to an April 2017 report by Gay City News, a sister paper of The Villager, Governor Andrew Cuomo had designated $1 million in his state budget for the memorial. But that funding was blocked by state Senate Republicans. State Senator Brad Hoylman, who represents the Village and most of Hudson River Park, tried to pass the funding as an amendment, but was denied. Governor Cuomo ultimately was able to add the money back into the budget. As the memorial was unveiled, Hoylman issued a statement thanking Cuomo for his efforts in helping make it happen, and added, “This memorial will serve to stand the test of time and forever memorialize the L.G.B.T. lives that have been lost to senseless violence and hate.” In a statement to The Villager, Hoylman called the blocking of the funds by Senate Republicans a “travesty,” and added, “The reason they did it is because

of their ongoing refusal to consider L.G.B.T. issues.” Of the memorial and artist Goicolea, Hoylman said, “I think Anthony did a wonderful job. It’s serene, understated and blends in with the natural environment… . And also powerful when you read the inscription.” Hoylman did not know if there were plans to add a plaque or description of the piece anywhere, and added, “I appreciate the way it is.” Aside from funding issues, some on Twitter expressed confusion about the memorial’s design. Several such posts were responded to with explanations by Eunic Ortiz, president of the Stonewall Democrats political club, who was selected as part of a commission to oversee the memorial’s creation. “WTF is this!?” wrote one person. “Boulders with a paint strip?” Ortiz replied, “The artist’s vision was that light shines through the boulders, casting rainbow prisms around it. Meaning, our community’s light can shine through anything. The Audre Lorde quote sits between the largest [boulder]. It also points toward the Christopher St. Pier and Statue of Liberty.” The questioner replied, “Thanks for the response.” Another commenter questioned whether it was a good use of Governor Cuomo’s time to spend it on “rocks with paint on them.” After Ortiz again explained the memorial’s concept, the person replied, “Thank you!” Ortiz is the communications director of the labor union SEIU Florida. “As someone who is originally from Orlando, Florida, and is of Latinx background, this memorial held a unique meaning for me,” Ortiz told The Villager. “The [unveiling] ceremony was extremely moving and I am very proud to have been a part of this project,” Ortiz said. “The meaning behind the work, put simply, when you view it, that is out of such dark and hard times, light shines through.” The June 24 unveiling included Cuomo, Hoylman, Council Speaker Corey Johnson and other local officials. At the event, Goicolea spoke of growing up an outsider in Marietta, Georgia, as gay, Catholic and Cuban-American. He said he found a real sense of community in the West Village when he moved to New York in the early 1990s. “The L.G.B.T.Q. memorial tried to create a new safe space, a new safe haven,” the artist explained. “It encourages people to look beyond the exterior of what they’re presented with to something inside that’s more beautiful.” The artist said the circle of boulders is meant to express a safe place where people can come and rest on them. “In this political climate,” Goicolea added, “it is important to have reminders that diversity is what makes America great.” TheVillager.com


Gjonaj rallies for retail but is vague on S.B.J.S.A. BUSINESS continued from p. 1

they predominate to enable the city to develop programs to assist those that are struggling to keep their doors open. Gjonaj chairs the City Council’s Small Business Committee. “With the presence of national big-box stores, the rise of Internet shopping and escalating taxes and fees, New York City’s small businesses are under siege like never before,� he said at the rally. “The fi rst step in protecting our local mom-and-pop shops is to identify exactly who they are, so that we can develop solutions that are specific to their needs. I believe that the Micro-Business Transparency Act is a crucial step in that direction.� In addition, after the rally, Gjonaj told The Villager that a long-sought hearing for another bill to help mom-and-pops — the Small Business Jobs Survival Act — will be held by his committee this month. According to a handout sheet provided by Gjonaj, businesses with fewer than 10 workers account for 80 percent of all jobs created in the city — “meaning that the Big Apple’s well-being is dependent on the health of its small-business sector.� A recent study by the Center for the Urban Future found that between the years 2000 and 2013, New York City companies with fewer than five employees added more than 31,000 jobs, while companies with more than 500 employees lost more than 5,000 jobs. Local politicians standing with Gjonaj at the rally included Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, along with Councilmembers Ydanis Rodriguez, Robert Cornegy, Robert Holden and Paul Vallone. Most of the chamber of commerce members who spoke at the rally were from the Bronx, which, in addition to being Gjonaj’s home borough, is said to have a higher percentage of small businesses than Manhattan, for one. However, advocates for the Small Business Jobs Survival Act are keeping a careful watch on Gjonaj and his committee, fearing they might “water down� the long-stalled legislation. The S.B.J.S.A. is championed by a group called the Small Business Congress and also by a newer offshoot group, the Campaign to Stop REBNY Bullies. Both groups say that the powerful Real Estate Board of New York has, for decades, worked behind the scenes to ensure the S.B.J.S.A. never comes up for a vote by the full City Council. According to the Campaign to Stop REBNY Bullies, an intact S.B.J.S.A. would guarantee all commercial tenants — “whether storefronts on the ground floor or professional offices on the 20th floor� — the right to negotiate fair lease terms; the right to renew leases for a minimum of 10 years; an end to oppressive landlord “pass-along� costs to commercial tenants; and a right to arbitration to stop “rent-gouging.� S.B.J.S.A. advocates argue that, in fact, the leaserenewal process is the biggest obstacle for small businesses, since that’s when landlords typically jack up the rents they are seeking, often forcing out longtime tenants if they no longer can afford it. During the 45-minute press conference, the S.B.J.S.A. was mentioned only once, however, by Councilmember Rodriguez, who is a member on Gjonaj’s Small Business Committee. “Mark Gjonaj is working to have a hearing on the Small Business Jobs Survival Act,� Rodriguez stated, to applause from the rally. Noting how small businesses played a crucial role in his start in New York City, Rodriguez said, “When TheVillager.com

PHOTO BY LINCOLN ANDERSON

Bronx Councilmember Mark Gjonaj, speaking at podium, led the “Protect NYC Jobs and Businesses Rally.� He was joined by about a half-dozen other politicians, including Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, right, and many chamber of commerce members, many of them from the Bronx.

when asked if they support the S.B.J.S.A. has always been to state flatly that it’s “not legalâ€? — yet never explaining why that’s the case. That’s what Bill de Blasio and former Council Speaker Christine Quinn both told The Villager during their interviews for the newspaper’s endorsement when they ran for mayor in 2013. Likewise, Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer basically has said the same thing. However, the legislation’s supporters want the Council’s Small Business Committee to resolve — one way or another — all questions about this alleged “legal issueâ€? before the hearing on the bill — so that this question doesn’t dominate the proceedings. Asked if these legal issues would be examined before the hearing, Gjonaj said, “There are questions about legalities and we will look at it.â€? Asked whether any legal questions would be resolved by then, he said, “I don’t know — that’s why the hearing’s so important. ‌ There’s some time before the hearing, and we will look at it.â€? As for when the hearing on the long-stymied legislation would be held, he said, “Soon — next month, July.â€? Across from them, on the south side of the City Hall plaza, a few members of the Campaign to Stop REBNY Bullies stood holding a large banner that called on the mayor and Johnson to support an “intactâ€? S.B.J.S.A. They were skeptical of Gjonaj’s press conference, adding that laws — not tax breaks — are what will save small shops. “This is a distraction,â€? Lena Melendez, from

I came here in 1983, I washed dishes — O’Henry, W. Fourth and Sixth [Ave].� He wouldn’t have survived it here without that job, he said. BUSINESS continued on p. 16 City Council Speaker Corey Johnson — who appointed all the Small Business Committee’s members and its chairperson, Gjonaj — has vowed there will be a hearing on the S.B.J.S.A. However, Johnson has also stressed that the bill is “not a silver bullet,� and that a range of strategies will be needed to help save mom-andpop shops. After the press conference, The Villager asked Gjonaj about advocates’ fears that the S.B.J.S.A. would be modified and its protections for small businesses weakened. Gjonaj sounded like he’s basically on the same page as Johnson. “There’s a big forest         out there and there’s not 

      one issue,â€? he said. “It’s         a collection of issues.â€? A “comprehensiveâ€? approach to tackle the problem will be needed, he said. Asked if he hopes to

+(&(-#('!#',('   '1)#+,('   ''.%+'-!#%#, -#/ keep the bill as is or ,( .'  ().%+#'#-,,(%#,+-#('+,+/,-"+#!"--("'!(+-+&#'--"#,( +- '2-#&"#,( +#,/#%%#'%%().%++'",'/#(.+0,#-000().%+'$(&( modify it, Gjonaj would *.%# 2 (+-")+(&(-#('%'0(+1#,-#'!.,-(&+,&.,-()' &('-"0#-"+*.#+ only say, “We’re going &#'#&.&%''()'#'!)(,#-(   #''0&('20&('2#, #',)(,#-,'(- )+/#(.,%2"%0#-"().%+,,.&,)+#'#)%'#'-+,-+&#'(')(,#-.'-#%&-.+#-2 to look at it.â€? )'%-20#%%#&)(, (++%20#-"+0%,&2+.+'#'!,('-"(.'-+(&(-#('% #,/%#('-"#'#-#% &('-"-+&.-(&-#%%2+'0,0#-"-",&-+&'+-))%#% Politicians’ “outâ€?

        

 

        

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July 5, 2018

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C.B. 3 O.K.’s project for blast site Named best weekly newspaper in New York State in 2001, 2004 and 2005 by New York Press Association Editorials, First Place, 2017 Best Column, First Place, 2017 Best Obituaries, First Place, 2017 News Story, First Place, 2015 Editorial Pages, First Place, 2015 Editorials, First Place, 2014 News Story, First Place, 2014 Overall Design Excellence, First Place, 2013 Photographic Excellence, First Place, 2011

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The Villager (USPS 578930) ISSN 0042-6202 Copyright © 2018 by the NYC Community Media LLC is published weekly by NYC Community Media LLC, One Metrotech North, 10th floor Brooklyn, NY 11201. 52 times a year. Business and Editorial Offices: One Metrotech North, 10th floor Brooklyn, NY 11201. Accounting and Circulation Offices: NYC Community Media LLC, One Metrotech North, 10th floor Brooklyn, NY 11201. Call 718-260-2500 to subscribe. Periodicals postage prices is paid at New York, N.Y. Postmaster: Send address changes to The Villager, One Metrotech North, 10th floor, Brooklyn, NY 11201 Annual subscription by mail in Manhattan and Brooklyn $29 ($35 elsewhere). Single copy price at office and newsstands is $1. The entire contents of newspaper, including advertising, are copyrighted and no part may be reproduced without the express permission of the publisher - © 2018 NYC Community Media LLC. PUBLISHER’S LIABILITY FOR ERROR

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July 5, 2018

BY MARY REINHOLZ

D

espite criticisms that it won’t include affordable housing and that its design is too straitlaced, a residential project slated for the site of the 2015 East Village gas explosion was overwhelmingly approved by Community Board 3 at its full-board meeting. The design by Morris Adjmi Architects calls for a market-rate, six-story apartment building, with 21 residences, plus groundlevel storefronts, to replace two historic tenement buildings destroyed by fire at 119 and 121 Second Ave., at the northwest corner of E. Seventh St. The parcels were purchased last year for a reported $9.15 million by the Nexus Building Development Group. Nexus’s founder and president, Yaniv Shaky Cohen, apparently did not attend the C.B. 3 full-board meeting on June 25. The first purchase of the site was in 2016, when a man named Ezra Wibowe bought the lot at 123 Second Ave. for $6 million, almost $4 million less than the asking price, according to The Real Deal. Wibowe’s plans for the parcel where a 5-story building once stood remain unclear. It was at 121 Second Ave., in the basement of Sushi Park, a popular Japanese restaurant, where the blast erupted three years ago, killing two people, injuring 19 more and igniting an inferno that reduced the three buildings to rubble in the East Village / Lower East Side Historic District. Laura Sewell, executive director of the East Village Community Coalition, spoke at the C.B. 3 meeting during the public session, well before the voting. She recalled the site’s “tragic history,” saying it “feels unseemly for C.B. 3 to support any development that is not 100 percent affordable housing, with priority given to the residents who were displaced. “That the landlord has profited,” Sewell said, “from the sale of buildings that were destroyed as a result of greed and indifference to human life sets a terrible precedent.” Sewell, whose remarks were greeted with applause, was alluding to former landlord Maria Hrynenko, 58, who was indicted in 2016 for involuntary manslaughter and negligent homicide in connection with her role in an alleged illegal gas-delivery system purportedly set up in Sushi Park’s basement to service newly renovated apartments on the upper floors of 121 Second Ave. She then owned the building, along with 119 Second Ave. A spokesperson for Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance, Jr., said the case had been “administratively adjourned” to July 27. There is currently no trial date set for Hrynenko and her three co-defendants. All four have pled not guilty. Another defendant, Hrynenko’s son Michael, died last year at age 31. In supporting Morris Adjmi Architects’ design for a new building on the site, C.B.

COURTESY MORRIS ADJMI ARCHITECTS

Critic s say this design is not appropriate for the East Village / Lower East Side Historic District, and also that it doesn’t reflect the East Village’s spirit of exuberance.

3 endorsed a resolution by its Landmarks Committee that passed on June 18 with a couple of dissenting votes. The committee, chaired by Linda Jones, approved the architect’s application for a “certificate of appropriateness” for the district, but recommended changing the design’s “buff colored” brick facade to the orange brick of the original 19th-century Queen Annestyle buildings, and reconsidering “all the windows,” including those at the corner and on the storefronts. The committee’s recommendations also called on Morris Adjmi, a Downtown firm specializing in buildings in historic districts, to create a “permanent, prominent bronze marker honoring those who died at the location” —Moises Ismael Locon, 27, a Sushi Park busboy; and Nicholas Figueroa, 23, a customer on a lunch date — and telling the story of the event, with review from Locon’s and Figueroa’s parents. Andrew Berman, executive director of the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation, who attended the committee meeting, said the building’s proposed design seemed more suited for “Bond Street in Soho” than the East Village. He joined several other attendees in calling for a memorial marker at the site for the two young victims. “This isn’t just a new building,” Berman told The Villager in a telephone conversation. “It replaces two of three buildings that were tragically destroyed in the explosion. It’s important not to forget about this. The families felt strongly and we felt strongly, as well. “We have grave misgivings about the person who sold [the property] to the new owner,” he added. “But we’re glad he is listening and responsive to the [victims’] families.” Another hearing on the project is tentatively scheduled for Tues., July 10, at the city’s Landmarks Preservation Commission, at One Centre St.

Nexus owner Cohen reportedly attended the board’s Landmarks Committee meeting and wanted to put a plaque “on a tree” at the site to honor Locon and Figueroa. But the committee rejected the idea, said Nicholas’s father, Nixon Figueroa, 55, who spoke briefly at the hearing. “It’s a nice design, but I don’t like the gray color, and there are too many windows and too much glass in the storefronts,” said Figueroa, an Upper East Side handyman who works on construction sites. “It looks like a futuristic building that doesn’t belong” in the East Village, he told The Villager. Figueroa attended the committee hearing with his son Brandon and wife Ana, who, he said, hopes for a memorial plaque at the site that would provide the names of “the victims and all the people who lost their apartments” in the explosion. He said he was also speaking for Locon’s father. Creative-arts therapist Anne Mitcheltree, a longtime E. Fifth St. resident who attended the Landmarks Committee hearing, said she’d like to see “maybe a fountain with water coming out of it” for a memorial. “Or a lamppost with light at night and then a plaque,” she said, “but not just another plaque on the wall that no one will notice.” Mitcheltree, 60, told this reporter that she objected strongly to Adjmi’s design for the building, claiming it “erases our history” and does not reflect the East Village’s ethnic diversity. In contrast, Richard D. Moses, president of the Lower East Side Preservation Initiative, described the design as “respectful,” and said it “picked up motifs in the area — but in the modern idiom, in terms of its scale and its materials.” However, Moses said the project could benefit from “more of a sense of the exuberance of the East Village. It’s a little buttoned-down,” he noted. TheVillager.com


Holiday, other jazz greats that frequented the club included Lena Horne and Sarah Vaughan. Cafe Society also got a name for its boogie-woogie pianists, such as Albert Ammons, Meade Lux Lewis and Pete Johnson, along with blues singer Big Joe Turner.

KEEP ROCKING THE SHOTS:

PROPS FOR CAFE SOCIETY: Strange coincidences were once kind of the thing at Cafe Society, a legendary club that broke the race barrier when it opened in 1938 at 1 Sheridan Square. While Uptown the Cotton Club was strictly segregated, the late Barney Josephson broke new ground when he opened Cafe Society, not only bridging the racial gap but also bringing together some of the most famous names in American music and comedy during the place’s decade-long run. “Strange Fruit,” the anti-racist protest song — about the lynching of blacks — was first performed there by jazz singer Billy Holiday. Eighty years later, David Brent-Johnson, a jazz enthusiast and NPR radio DJ, found that Cafe Society, it seems, still inspires some kind of hoodoo. “I said to my friend who was taking my around the city, ‘We gotta find where Cafe Society used to be.’ And we

PHOTO BY MANDY DEMUTH

Hein-Jan Keijer, right, from the Netherland Club of New York, heard a radio special by David Brent-Johnson, left, one evening about Cafe Societ y, broadcast from the latter’s NPR station in Bloomington, Indiana. Brent-Johnson originally recorded the hour-long show in 2003, after having read a book about the groundbreaking club, which has since become a kind of “obsession” to the DJ. Last month, they unveiled a plaque to Cafe Society, presented by the city of The Hague.

did find it, but we were struck that there was no marker,” he recalled at the recent event on 1 Sheridan Square, which strangely had a very white crowd. A week after that visit to New York, BrentJohnson got a call from Hein-Jan Keijzer, from The Netherland Club of New York, who had been listening to a rerun about Cafe Society on the Indiana na-

tive’s radio show, “Night Lights.” BrentJohnson was contacted a few weeks later and informed that the Dutch club was going to put up a plaque in honor of the cafe and Piet Mondrian. The Dutch artist went to the club in his later years and was inspired by it to paint “Victory Boogie Woogie,” his last, unfinished work, Keijzer recalled. In addition to

Another East Village icon is on the way out, though not quite as soon as previously thought. This time it’s the Continental, the cheap-shots dive bar at 25 Third Ave. near St. Mark’s Place, that was started in 1991 by owner Trigger as a rock and punk music venue that hosted such artists as Joey Ramone, Iggy Pop and Patti Smith. The place’s final night was set for Sun., July 1, before the whole corner of the block is to be torn down by new owner Real Estate Equities Corporation, to build one big “boutique office building,” which The Real Deal reported in November. In the days leading up to July 1, however, Trigger told The Villager that he is now being allowed to stay until early October after finally hearing back from the developers about his request to remain until they get permits to demo the buildings. Before getting the extension, Trigger told us that nothing special was planned for the final night, though many bands asked about playing. “I’m sure we’ll be going late, later than usual,” Trigger said. “It’ll be a big emotional thing for me and the staff.” Now that send-off is delayed at least another few months.

BUSINESS SPOTLIGHT

Burner Law serves the elderly with compassion 9PC8LI8?8EI8?8E From her office on W. 34th St., Britt Burner is fighting to make a difference in the lives of New Yorkers. The Long Island native is spearheading the Manhattan branch of her family’s eldercare law firm, Burner Law Group. Founded by her mother, Nancy Burner, in 1995 in Long Island, the firm has grown to become a leader in eldercare and estate-planning cases. When Britt and her sister Robin later joined their mom, it transformed the firm into an unstoppable, family-run operation. On top of that, the firm is made up entirely of women. “I watched it grow from when I was a kid,” Burner said. “It just slowly grew, but it almost feels like we blinked our eyes and it became this all-female powerhouse.” Now, with a team of eight attorneys and more than 30 support-team members, the firm is spread across three offices — two in Long Island and the newest one in Manhattan, TheVillager.com

which Britt Burner opened four years ago. “We have a great mix of people who work hard and support each other in a really wonderful way. It’s a pleasure to go work every day,” she said. For Burner, being able to work with her mother and sister has been extremely rewarding. “We get along very well anyway,” she said. “Plus, we have this common thing we’re working to build together. It’s great.” Britt Burner began her career in corporate litigation, but in 2008 her firm gave her the chance to work as an assistant district attorney for a year in the Sex Crimes Bureau of the Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office. “What I realized then is, I don’t want to be a corporate litigator and I don’t want to be in criminal law,” she reflected. “But I liked the human aspect of dealing with people and their problems and feeling like I was helping solve them.

I have a woman I saw yesterday who’s 94 years old and she wanted to redo her will.” With an overwhelming number of aging baby boomers, Burner said the firm has seen an increase in cases for elderly clients. The firm is striving is to get out in front of any potential problems that generation might be facing through preventative education. Between the company’s three offices, Burner said, they host roughly 150 to 200 9i`kk 9lie\i _\X[j 9lie\i CXnËj seminars every year. DXe_XkkXef]ÔZ\% “I say in a lot of my seminars, if I try to Google someSo that was when I decided to thing, I’ll have trouble finding switch into elder law.” the answer — even if I already She began working for an- know it — so I can’t even imagother law firm but after a few ine if you’re a senior,” Burner years decided to join the fam- said. “You’re out there and ily business and made the you’re on the Internet and switch to Burner Law. The you’re trying to find out how firm, Burner said, does estate you get Medicaid, how you get planning for every age. homecare, how you get nurs“I have clients who are in ing care, how do you take care their 30s who’ve just had a of yourself, how you take care baby and they need a will and of your spouse.” they want to name a guardian In general, Burner finds of their child if something hap- that most people are not aware pened to them,” she said. “And of the full range of services

— particularly homecare — available through Medicaid. Navigating these benefits has become a large part of what Burner Law does. “I think people often don’t often realize how small details can make huge a difference,” she said. “It’s really important that people make an informed decision on how they want to proceed with the rest of their life and really take control of the rest of their life.” Outside the firm, Burner is fighting for the rights of New York’s elderly population. She is a committee member on the elder law section of the Legislative Committee of the New York State Bar. “I’ve lobbied in Albany each year when the governor puts out the budget bill,” she noted, “both writing memos that will be sent up to Albany, but also going up to Albany to lobby with the staff of the Legislature and the Governor’s Office.” Burner Law, 45 W. 34th St.; Call 212-867-3520 or visit burnerlaw.com . July 5, 2018

5


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”).

PHOTOS BY TEQUILA MINSKY

Right back atcha! At Saturday’s Families Belong Together March, one par ticipant’s jacket had no ambiguity about it, above, unlike the one that First Lady Melania Trump notoriously spor ted when she visited a Texas facilit y where undocumented immigrant children were being held. Two marchers in Foley Square did some immigrant bashing of their own, below. Thousands of protesters marched from Foley Square in Lower Manhattan over the Brooklyn Bridge to Cadman Plaza in Downtown Brooklyn.

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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EDITORIAL

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR Battle to save Bleecker

‘Hub’ hopes

T

he City Council will hold its only public hearing on Mayor de Blasio’s proposed “Tech Hub” on Tues., July 10, starting at 9:30 a.m., at City Hall. There’s no question that this project — slated for the former P.C. Richard & Son site on E. 14th St. between Third and Fourth Aves. — will only further accelerate the development of out-of-scale largely commercial development in Greenwich Village and the East Village between Union Square and Astor Place. The area around Union Square is already being touted as “Silicon Alley,” and the Tech Hub would only help extend that southward. In fact, it’s actually already happening. A 285-foot-tall residential tower is being constructed on University Place at the former Bowlmor site; one possible design for a commercial office building on Broadway at E. 11th St. would rise more than 300 feet tall; a 313-room Moxy Hotel is going up on E. 11th St. between Third and Fourth Aves.; and a 232-foot-tall mixed office / residential tower is being built at Broadway and E. 11th St.; while a proposed 300-foot-tall office tower at Broadway and E. 13th St. was only blocked due to landmarking. In short, if the Tech Hub is to be approved, then the City Council must only do so if protections for the surrounding Greenwich Village and East Village are part of the agreement. University Place and the Broadway corridors, as well as Third and Fourth Aves., desperately need zoning protections and height caps. The Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation has been leading the fight on this issue. And they are spot on. Just walk south down Broadway from Union Square and you can’t help but notice the new behemoths and additions going up along the street. This will only get worse if the Tech Hub is O.K.’d without protections. According to G.V.S.H.P, the city’s expanding tech industry has pegged the area south of Union Square as “the new beachhead for Silicon Alley.” The society has been fighting for years to get these vulnerable corridors protected. Bowlmor’s demolition raised the alarm about this development boom. G.V.S.H.P. has presented a comprehensive zoning plan — one that would, in fact, incentivize including affordable housing. However, Mayor de Blasio has stubbornly refused to consider modifying the area’s zoning and adding height caps. Concerned residents should show up at City Hall this coming Tuesday to testify against approving the Tech Hub unless the administration agrees to safeguard the surrounding area. And we’re counting on our local councilmember, Carlina Rivera, in particular, to do the right thing and make sure there is a clear linkage between the Tech Hub and neighborhood protection. As Rivera and others have rightly stressed, the Tech Hub offers a great opportunity for local youths and others to learn digital skills that will help secure them brighter futures. But we can’t destroy our neighborhood in the process. We can have — we must have — both education and preservation. That must be the message on July 10.

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July 5, 2018

To The Editor: Re “A less-bleak Bleecker? Rents down, hopes up” (news article, June 28): As a neighborhood resident for more than 30 years, it surprises me to see antique shops not mentioned until some 30 grafs in. For the West Village portion of Bleecker St., we got hit with “Sex and the City” tourist fever, with buses dumping people to form long lines at Magnolia and check out all of the label clothing stores that displaced the antique shops. Now that the TV show ended in 2004 and the movies ended in 2010, this fervor has died. A related story is the rash of closings on Christopher St. between Bleecker and Hudson Sts. You want delis, shop at Abington Market, at Bleecker and Eighth Ave., and Hudson Gourmet, between Christopher and 10th Sts. They were open during the Sandy blackout, and need to stay in business! Barry Drogin

More S.B.J.S.A. trickery? To The Editor: After 30 years of review, including multiple legal reviews, with one by the Bronx borough president, with a full panel of legal experts — from lawyers to judges to law professors — it was determined that the Small Business Jobs Survival Act was, in fact, legal and fully constitutional. Every day we wait, more stores close and many more jobs are lost across the city in every community. What is an “independent progressive” these days in New York City? There are none that we can trust. If we truly want to stop the crisis and the job loss and everyday loss of businesses going out because of the unfair lease-renewal process and Real Estate Board of New York greed controlling the city, then let’s have an honest, open transparent dialogue, instead of delaying further. To accomplish that, stop the general statements of these mysterious empty “legal issues” with the bill and send us something in writing, stating exactly what the legal issues are in the bill, and state specifically what language in the proposed bill is thought to have these legal issues. We, as the authors and leading advocate for this legislation to solve the crisis, welcome City Council Speaker Corey Johnson or Erik Bottcher, his chief of staff, to send

us these detailed issues, so that we can resolve the small business jobs crisis once and for all. Instead of more delays, studies, silly storefront counts and “toolbox” searching when the solution is right here in front of the city and has been for a very long time. If there is desire to finally pass the Small Business Jobs Survival Act and not play games, then our request to resolve these alleged legal issues now — up front and transparently — should be very easy to do cooperatively. If not, then we know that the same REBNY rigging at City Hall continues. We eagerly look forward to receiving the written specifics of the legal concerns, so that our legal team can honestly review them. Steve Barrison Barrison is executive vice president and spokesperson, Small Business Congress of New York City

Not using their heads To The Editor: On Sat., June 9, from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., at the triangle traffic island at Sixth Ave. and W. Ninth St., the city agency that brought you horrific congestion and the bike build-out that has strangled the street grid did it again. The Department of Transportation distributed bike helmets. As people stood in the hot sun for upward of an hour to get a helmet, it was apparent that this event was poorly conceived and poorly executed. The line of recipients wound around the periphery and slid over the curb and into the street. Except for a couple of tents, there was no shade. Council Speaker Corey Johnson’s office supplied drinking water. Finally another city agency removed the red chairs from the triangle. Therefore, there was virtually nowhere to sit if a person might have been suffering from fatigue or heat exhaustion. It seems the choice was made for purposes of public exposure: P.R. over practicality and personal safety. Vision Zero and the agency that couldn’t shoot straight strikes again. Jack Brown E-mail letters, not longer than 250 words in length, to news@thevillager.com or fax to 212-229-2790 or mail to The Villager, Letters to the Editor, 1 MetroTech North, 10th floor, Brooklyn, NY 11201. Please include phone number for confirmation purposes. The Villager reserves the right to edit letters for space, grammar, clarity and libel. Anonymous letters will not be published.

EVAN FORSCH

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Law helps freelancers collect from deadbeats

TALKING POINT BY MARY REINHOLZ

L

ong before the Freelance Isn’t Free Act — a bill said to benefit an estimated 500,000 so-called independent workers — was implemented in New York City last year, this wretched scribe was frantically hustling freelance assignments to stay afloat in the dark days after 9/11, acting as a stringer for The New York Times and a couple of other daily newspapers. My full-time writing / editing job at Graphic Arts Monthly, on Hudson St., had been abruptly eliminated during a company-wide downsizing by its corporate parent, Reed Business Information. During sparse work periods as a freelancer, I subsisted on a lot of cheap noodle dishes and paced the aisles of Jack’s 99¢ Stores for bargains. Con Edison once turned off my electricity because of late payment from an upscale magazine. Then there were my mostly male part-time bosses, gifted guys who would leave their jobs suddenly for better positions, retire, relocate out of state or get fired, sometimes leaving me with a successor who already had his own stable of writers. One longtime Yup blog editor refused to pay me a kill fee for an assigned story he suddenly lost interest in after I had conducted a week’s worth of research. Untold thousands, possibly millions of other freelancers (figures are inexact) have been stiffed by unscrupulous operators or have had to wait months before someone cuts them a check for services rendered. Enter the above-referenced Freelance Isn’t Free Act of 2016, believed to be the first of its kind in the U.S. to provide freelancers with protections against wage theft and tardy payment. The act has been in effect since May 15 of last year and, over a year’s time, prompted 299 inquiries and 264 complaints from freelancers. Enforcement of the act resulted in the recovery of $254,866 in lost wages, according to a report this May from the Office of Labor Policy & Standards, a go-to city agency established in 2015 by Mayor de Blasio. (OLPS can be reached by calling 311 or visiting its office at 42 Broadway, sixth floor, during business hours. The telephone number is 212-436-0380.) The legislation has “proven to be a great tool for freelancers to assert their rights,” said Lorelei Salas, commissioner of the city’s Department of Consumer Affairs, which oversees OLPS. “It helps level the playing field and brings some protections for workers who are not part of a union contract.” Progressive Brooklyn Councilmember Brad Lander introduced the Freelance Isn’t Free Act in partnership with the Brooklyn-based Freelancers Union. Supported by de Blasio and unanimously passed by the City Council in October 2016, the act became part of the city’s administrative code. It gives eligible freelancers the right to receive a written contract starting at the minimum of $800 within 120 days; timely payment (within 30 days, unless otherwise specified in a contract), and freedom from retaliation. Hiring parties who do not provide a written contract describing the work to be done by a freelancer, the amount to be paid and a timetable for its completion can get slapped with a $250 fine. Salas told me that the freelancers entitled to protection under the bill constitute “a big universe” that encompasses construction and domestic workers, “individuals in the film industry” and adjunct professors. TheVillager.com

Film producer Jess Weiss, above, and Omar Cordy, a musician-turned-electrician, below, both recovered payments thanks to improved freelancer protections.

D.C.A.’s OLPS states that the majority of freelance complainants who secured payment over a year’s time did not need to pursue their claims in court. If freelancers go to civil court for nonpayment and prevail, Salas said, they are entitled to “double damages” and the cost of legal fees. OLPS also provides help for freelancers seeking low-cost lawyers. Omar Cordy, a 40-year-old Queens electrician who makes $25 to $40 an hour working freelance in the entertainment business, said OLPS staff helped him get paid for work he did as a lighting technician on a corporate event starting last July 7 at the Brooklyn Navy Yard. He said the event, which included a dinner, was produced by Sound Investment AV, a Chicago-based company with an office in New York. (Efforts to obtain comments from the company have been unavailing.) “The gig was for a week and I was supposed to get paid the following week,” Cordy said in a telephone conversation. “The pay was $2,500 and I didn’t get anything” until Aug. 15 and only because OLPS stepped in, he recalled, as he spoke during a lunch break on his gig at the Minetta Theatre in Greenwich Village. When Cordy contacted the company in Chicago, the response, he said, was not promising. “They said, ‘Oh, we forgot.’ I told them, ‘Other people had gotten paid, so what’s going on? Why am I

being singled out? I have credit-card bills to pay and a family in California to support.’ They were very rude. I told them, ‘We do things differently in New York.’” The former musician eventually called a woman from the Freelancers Union who sent him a complaint form from OLPS to fill out. “That,” Cordy said, “set progress in motion within four hours.” The Freelancers Union, founded in 1995 by Sara Horowitz and headquartered in Downtown Brooklyn on Jay St., provides freelancers with health insurance, including dental, disability and liability. It’s free to join and currently has 375,000 members across the country, according to its new executive director, Caitlin Pearce. Pearce said her union, which engages in advocacy campaigns, “championed” the Freelance Isn’t Free Act and had a hand in drafting the legislation while working with Councilmember Lander. She estimated that one-third of the total workforce these days is doing freelance or part-time work. She said that while some people think of it as a “niche” for creatives, “it’s happening all across America.” Pearce recalled how the Freelancers Union petitioned its members to appear at a 2016 City Council hearing on the Freelance Isn’t Free Act “to show that this is a diverse workforce. We had dozens and dozens of freelancers, from reporters and models to domestics, and we were able to form a powerful coalition to get the bill passed unanimously,” she said. Jess Weiss, an independent film producer (“The Ring Thing,” “The Honeymoon Phase”) who lives in East Harlem, told me she had heard of the Freelancers Union and worked with OLPS. She ultimately had to threaten litigation to get two people on her film crew and herself paid for a music video she put together last summer for a California company. She declined to name the company or the amount she was finally paid. When she first complained about nonpayment, the company told her that she didn’t have any paperwork to back up her claim. “That’s when I reached out to the Freelance Isn’t Free Act,” she said. “I called 311, and asked [OLPS], ‘How can you guys help?’ They did. They sent me a form and I filled it out, explaining my situation, and they asked me to send documentation. And I did that last summer, about a month and a half after the job was done.” Weiss said she appreciated OLPS sending a letter to the company, noting it was “more official than something coming from me. It was like the government saying to them, ‘Look, we are aware you owe this amount, so please proceed with payment,’” she recalled. “They didn’t respond and [OLPS] sent me a list of lawyers who could be potentially helpful. I also reached out to crew members to do this — three of us hadn’t been paid in three months. This company was so weird.” After four months of nonpayment, Weiss said she sent the company “one last e-mail, saying, ‘This is not okay and I’m going to proceed with legal action.’” Within five minutes, she said, the CEO of the company called. She reminded him that he was withholding payment, adding that she would be “recording the phone call.” Her tough talk worked and payments finally arrived. The experience has taught Weiss valuable lessons about navigating in a gig economy. “We had e-mails showing our rate, but we didn’t have a signed contract,” she said. “I’ve learned not to trust people so much and to get it on paper.” July 5, 2018

9


Patel ran strongly vs. Maloney in East Village PRIMARY continued from p. 1

voting precinct, revealing how neighborhoods across the district, which includes parts of Manhattan, Queens and Brooklyn, voted. Maloney swept much of the East Side, with several election districts showing her getting between 60 and 75 percent of the vote. She had at least three-quarters of the vote in Carnegie Hill, the Upper East Side and Midtown East. However, further south in the East Village, Noho and a corner of the Lower East Side, the election map was speckled between Maloney and Patel, and there were even some ties between the candidates. Parts of the Village, Lower East Side and a swath of Kips Bay saw 60 to 75 percent of voters go for Patel. Maloney ran strongly in Gramercy, Stuyvesant Town, and in the Lower East Side south of Delancey St. Across the East River, Maloney barely won Queens by 63 votes. Throughout Long Island City, Patel won at least half of the vote. Maloney picked up Ravenswood, and throughout Astoria, voters were roughly split between the two candidates. In Brooklyn, however, Patel won by nearly 1,400 votes. At least 60 percent of voters backed Patel across nearly all of the 12th District’s Brooklyn neighborhoods, while Maloney barely won one election district. In an e-mail three days after the election, Patel focused on increasing turnout in the district’s primaries. “In 2016, just 80,000 votes altered the course of history, while 40 percent of Americans stayed home,” Patel wrote, referring to the 2016 presidential election. “That’s why I spent the past two years on this journey — to figure out the root of A map by the CUNY Mapping Ser vice at the Center for Urban Research at the CUNY Graduate Center shows the breakdown of electoral districts won by Congressmember Carolyn Maloney and challenger Suraj Patel in the June 26 Democratic primar y election in the 12th District.

our turnout problem, and to build a new electorate that can steer us back toward a more hopeful path.” Patel highlighted that in the 2016 congressional primaries, the 12th District saw around 17,000 voters turn out. In last week’s primaries, more than 41,000 people voted. Maloney’s primary opponent two years ago was Peter Lindner. Lindner had not raised money for his campaign and largely ran against Maloney because of a personal dispute against her. He attempted to run again this year, but failed to get on

the ballot. The last competitive primary candidate Maloney faced was in 2010 against Reshma Saujani, a hedge-fund lawyer who raised more than $400,000. On par with this year’s primary, more than 40,000 people voted in the 2010 primary for Maloney’s former 14th District (which she represented prior to redistricting in 2013). Turnout, however, remains low in the city’s primaries. In 2016, across all the city’s federal primaries, turnout was 8 percent.

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POLICE B L O T T E R McD dispute Inside the McDonald’s at 136 W. Third St., around 6 a.m. on Mon., June 25, two customers, a man and a woman, got into an argument, police said. The dispute led to the woman taking a metal sign and throwing it at the man, 25, injuring him, causing minor cuts to his knee and right hand. The man was treated at the scene, and video surveillance of the incident was available. The same day, Danielle Mitchell, 31, was arrested for felony assault.

man’s neck and said, “Get out of the car or I’ll kill you.� The guy got out of the car and the woman drove off eastbound on W. 10th St. The victim was able to call 911 thanks to two people walking by, and camera footage was available from several locations on W. 10th St. and from the Mobil gas station at 63 Eighth Ave., at W. 13th St. Police said that two days later, Micytta Lynn was arrested for felony robbery. The stolen iPhone 8, valued at $1,000, was not recovered.

Nail-biting robbery

Rough ride A man told police that around 4:20 a.m. on Wed., June 27, he got into the car of a woman he had just met and they headed toward a nightclub at Ninth Ave. and W. 16th St. When they stopped for gas at a station, the man, 21, gave the woman, 32, his debit card to use, but she did not return it. The man then plugged his cell phone into the woman’s car to play music. But she removed the phone and put it in the driver’s side-door pocket. She then stopped the car in front of 190 W. 10th St., near W. Fourth St., and pulled out a gravity knife, police said. She held the knife to the young

A woman went into La Bella Nail Salon, at 22 W. 14th St., between Fifth and Sixth Aves., around 5 p.m. on Sun., July 1, and tried to take a wallet out of the purse of a 46-year-old employee, police said. The two women then got into a struggle and the suspect bit the employee, injuring her right hand. The suspect fled on foot but was caught by Transit District 4 officers. Latavea Simone Fields, 31, was charged with felony robbery.

‘Sneaky’ shoplift Inside the DSW shoe store at 40

E. 14th St., around 2:30 p.m. on Sat., June 30, a man walked in and took one pair of New Balance sneakers, valued at $163, and cut the sensor off of them with clippers, according to police. He then hid the sneakers in his backpack and left the store. He was chased by DSW workers and the incident was called in to the cops. The man was caught by Transit officers when he ran into the Union Square subway station. The stolen sneaks were recovered and Juan J. Perez, 44, was arrested for misdemeanor petit larceny.

Pier 40 perps Two teenagers mugged a third at Pier 40, at W. Houston and West Sts., on Sat., June 16, around 5:35 p.m., police said. The two young thugs, who between ages 16 and 18, knocked the victim, 18, down, then punched and kicked him and swiped his backpack and cell phone. The first suspect is described as black, wearing a black shirt, blue shorts and white sneakers, and toting a red backpack. The second is also black, wore a black shirt and black pants and had a black backpack. Anyone with information is asked to call the Police Department’s Crime

Stoppers Hotline, at 800-577-TIPS, or for Spanish, 1-888-57-PISTA (74782). Tips can also be submitted by logging onto the Crime Stoppers Web site, www.nypdcrimestoppers.com, or by texting them to 274637 (CRIMES) and then entering TIP577. All tips are confidential.

InfoWars ‘war’ A Trump supporter socked a man in the face after a verbal dispute Monday on a Brooklyn-bound 4 train at the Brooklyn Bridge station, police said. In the June 4 incident, around 4:50 p.m., the victim, 52, confronted the man, who wore a red Trump-Pence T-shirt and, according to the Daily News, was posting stickers for InfoWars.com, Alex Jones’s conspiracy-fueled Web site. After the assault, the Trumpite, who sported apparently dyed blond hair, switched lines and boarded a Brooklynbound J train. The suspect is described as black, 25 to 30 years old, 6 feet tall, with a slim build. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Crime Stoppers Hotline.

Gabe Herman and Lincoln Anderson

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July 5, 2018

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Oversize stores still big problem in Soho / Noho OVERSIZE continued from p. 1

ers are required to go through a special-permit process via the Uniform Land Use Review Procedure, or ULURP. “We don’t have to reinvent the wheel,” Glick said. “We don’t have to try to find some other new process that we have to create and alert them to. … I think we already have the methodology. It’s just that it’s not being utilized.” In a letter to D.O.B. on May 18, Glick singled out six specific retailers that were found in violation of the zoning rules last year. Four of those violations have been dismissed — against Zara, Uniqlo, Hollister and Best Buy, all along Broadway — although Glick detailed some of the questionable reasoning behind their dismissal. For instance, one violation was dismissed because it was originally incorrectly documented by a D.O.B. inspector, who called the zoning district commercial instead of manufacturing, as C.B. 2’s Land Use Committee highlighted in a letter to D.O.B. last month. Glick also detailed how Hollister skirted the zoning text by having an individual lease on each floor. Each lease was less than 10,000 square feet and listed under individual companies. One floor was leased to Hollister, while another was leased to Abercrombie & Fitch, which is Hollister’s parent company. The loopholes may technically make the space legal, Glick wrote — but, in practice, the locations are in violation and still harm the surrounding neighborhood. Two violations remain, at Topshop, at Broadway and Broome St., and American Eagle, at Broadway and E. Houston St. Those two retailers each paid an $800 fine but continue to operate in spaces larger than 10,000 square feet. Community members, however, say that the oversized-retail problem goes beyond a handful of violators. The massive stores disrupt neighbors, with bright lights often kept on all night long, noisy overnight deliveries, and a harmful impact on retail diversity in smaller store spaces, according to residents and small business owners. “I don’t think it’s realistic to shut down operations that employ a good number of people,” said Pete Davies, a member of the Broadway Residents Coalition. “However, there are things retail operations could do, in terms of practice and procedure, that would make them less conflicted in the mixed-use area.” Davies has long advocated against oversized retail in Soho and Noho, and lives above one of the oversized retail spaces found in violation last year. If the oversized retail went through the city’s ULURP public review process, community members would have an opportunity to suggest better practices, such as mitigating bright lights, limiting deliveries to certain hours and making other changes. “We don’t know what they plan to do to cure it or what D.O.B. is doing to assure the cure is put into effect,” said Davies, referring to the remaining violations at Topshop and American Eagle. “We want to

VILLAGER FILE PHOTO

Topshop, like other oversized retail stores along Broadway in Soho and Noho, has earned neighboring residents’ ire by keeping its lights on all night long. It’s just one problem that locals and A ssemblymember Deborah Glick say is caused by the illegal, jumbo-sized stores.

know what the agency that is responsible plans to do.” The agency doesn’t have any answers — at least, not yet. “D.O.B. is assessing whether large retail stores in the area are in complete compliance with the Zoning Resolution,” a D.O.B. spokesperson said in a statement. “This process is ongoing. In addition, we are reviewing the proposals from Assemblymember Glick and Community Board 2.” The D.O.B. spokesperson added that large retailers along Broadway in Soho were in compliance with zoning and construction regulations when they were first built. Since late last year, the department hasn’t received any complaints about the matter. Retail stores larger than 10,000 square feet are legal in this manufacturing district with a special permit from the city, or if stores aren’t interconnected and each space of less than 10,000 square feet has its own street entrance, according to the department. The growth of jumbo-sized retailers in the area has caused Broadway to become like Times Square, in some ways, with massive advertisements and sidewalks packed with tourists. “Those of us who live on Broadway get off Broadway as quickly as we can,” said Michele Varian, a Broadway resident and owner of a small business, a home goods boutique at 27 Howard St. Varian feels that the massive retail spaces have drastically changed the neighborhood. The oversized spaces impact the ability of small businesses to thrive, she said, adding that landlords may sit on a vacant space, waiting for one large retailer to take it at a higher rent. “I can certainly understand where building owners

want to deal with as few tenants as possible,” Glick said. “We can’t control all market forces. But it is illegal to rent spaces that are over 10,000 square feet in the Soho / Noho area. “When they do that, they’re violating the law, and they should not get away with it,” she stressed. “So, if they’re renting 30,000 square feet to one retail enterprise, that’s three times as much as the zoning allows. Then, in that instance, they may be denying a small business an opportunity to be located in an area that they believe is good for their business.” However, following the law, Glick noted, is one way to control the factors shaping retail. “That is our control on market forces,” she said. “We do have the law. Follow the law. That might then result in less upward pressure on rent.” Some might criticize community activists fighting against oversized retailers as “anti-business,” noted Bari Musacchio, who owns Baz Bagel, on Grand St. between Baxter and Mulberry Sts. But Musacchio disagrees with that assessment, noting that small shops play a big role in the local economy. “It’s actually really pro-business because every single one of these individual places creates more jobs and diversified places for people to spend their money,” she said. Her bagel shop has 22 employees, and she feels her business is connected to the neighborhood in ways that oversized retailers are not. “Right now, we have a Times Square-style tourist volume coming through this neighborhood,” she said. “You’re kind of trampled on by the big retail.” The C.B. 2 Land Use Committee gave D.O.B. detailed suggestions on how to address the area’s oversized-retail problem. These recommendations include steeper fines for violating the zoning rules, significant penalties for improper self-certification filings to the department, and better training, management and resources for D.O.B. inspectors and attorneys, as well as hearing officers at the Office of Administrative Trials and Hearings a.k.a. OATH. The Board 2 committee requested that D.O.B. create a “powerful incentive” for retailers to follow the law, including ratcheting up fines for repeat violations to five figures, and imposing heftier fines and revoking self-certication privileges for licensed professionals who file false self-certifications with D.O.B. The committee added that D.O.B. inspectors appear to be improperly trained on zoning rules, while attorneys and OATH hearing officers lack detailed, nuanced understanding of the zoning text, as well. “Balance is needed here, along with solid and consistent enforcement of local zoning,” the C.B. 2 committee wrote in its June 22 letter to D.O.B., City Council Speaker Corey Johnson and Mayor Bill de Blasio. “The review and enforcement system is broken,” the committee added. “C.B. 2 understands that resources for enforcement are limited and D.O.B. personnel may not have the precise training to correctly evaluate each situation.”

Gjonaj rallies for retail but vague on S.B.J.S.A. BUSINESS continued from p. 3

Washington Heights, scoffed of Gjonaj’s rally. “We need legislation to protect small businesses. They’re jerking us around.”

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July 5, 2018

Similarly, Bennett Kremen, a writer from Chelsea, wondered if the whole thing was merely a ruse to shift the focus off the S.B.J.S.A. That’s a popular suspicion among the bill’s advocates: namely, that members of the Small

Business Committee and others — including some purported advocates for the S.B.J.S.A. — are, in fact, secretly working to neuter the bill. “Some of the people up there said the right things,” Kremen offered.

“There were a few people who mentioned the rent. Is it a plant? I don’t know.” The S.B.J.S.A. supporters also don’t trust Gjonaj because they say he is a property owner. TheVillager.com


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.

Photo by Clayton Patterson

Joey Goodwin in the Overthrow office, holding a piece of Yippie history from the Alice Torbush archives.

TheVillager.com

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 me, “I turned out the lights.”

Eight years later, I’m back at 9 Bleecker, sitting in the 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 trainOVERTHROW continued on p. 19 July 5, 2018

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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 fi rst 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

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July 5, 2018

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

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

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 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 fi rst 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-fi lled poolrooms and celebrated New 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 VINTAGE NY continued on p. 19 TheVillager.com


OVERTHROW continued from p. 17

ers are Ronica Jeffrey, International Boxing Federation World Super Featherweight Champion (15-1-0), and Haitian American super featherweight Melissa St. Vil (10-3-4). The gym is split into two basic groups â&#x20AC;&#x201D; 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 Parkinsonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s disease. Goodwin, 33, grew up between Palm Beach, Florida, and the Lower East Side. He described himself as always feeling like â&#x20AC;&#x153;a bit of an outsider,â&#x20AC;? 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 â&#x20AC;&#x153;embodiment of New York City rhythmâ&#x20AC;?). â&#x20AC;&#x153;Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s the thing thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s so great about New York,â&#x20AC;? Goodwin said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;You can go there when youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re 10, 16, or 80, and still feel like you can wind up in Madison Square Garden, whether itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s playing, coaching, heckling, or ringside seats. Clayton gets on me every day â&#x20AC;&#x201D; you can still have the hope of doing something magical, because itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s New York City.â&#x20AC;? 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 prep-meets-Downtown sensibility, but it tanked during the 20062007 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 Goodwinâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s passion shifted to boxing. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d become close to this guy from the courts named Magic [Sidney Smith],

VINTAGE NY con. from p. 18

here are quintessen-tial Weiner â&#x20AC;&#x201D; candid moments of dancers in the surf, an old woman sleeping on the beach and another showing a jumble of bodies with a girlâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s legs on top of her boyfriendâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s chest, with her feet touching the guy next to them. It looks very intimate and feels honest. Weinerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s career as a freelance photojournalist, as short as it was, took him around the world on assignment for Life magazine, The New York TheVillager.com

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.

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.â&#x20AC;? 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 â&#x20AC;&#x153;older, gruff manâ&#x20AC;? who started teaching him. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Carlito made me fall in love with boxing,â&#x20AC;? Goodwin recalled. â&#x20AC;&#x153;At first, I wanted to go to a bar and kick someoneâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s ass. But itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s like chess, an exercise in mindfulness. Youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;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, youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d really have something.â&#x20AC;? He described his thoughts as â&#x20AC;&#x153;a vision to create the supreme of boxing â&#x20AC;&#x201D; turn it into a cultural center.â&#x20AC;? In April 2014, while riding his bike to play basketball, Goodwin noticed a realtor sign on 9 Bleecker. Heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d never heard of the Yippies or taken note of the building before. With no clear intention in mind, he called the number. â&#x20AC;&#x153;There

Times, Collierâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s, Fortune, and other major publications of the day. Over the last 20 years, his work hasnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t received the recognition it deserves â&#x20AC;&#x201D; but this exhibition is a fitting tribute to a concerned photographer who made a difference. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Dan Weiner: Vintage New York, 1940â&#x20AC;&#x201C;1959â&#x20AC;? 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 212-9663978.

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 â&#x20AC;&#x201D; Yipster Times and Overthrow. When I saw the name â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Overthrowâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; I began to imagine the gym as a bigger idea, a foundation for a movement.â&#x20AC;? 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. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Everything was covered in cat shit, like crazy old typesetting machines, tables, etc.â&#x20AC;? There was no question that the newspapers would be preserved. He moved into a space that is now the bathroom â&#x20AC;&#x201D; 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 â&#x20AC;&#x153;looking for a girlfriendâ&#x20AC;? 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. Heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d scouted out that location the same way, riding his bicycle through the streets. Recruitment is more sophisticated, but some outreach methods donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t change. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I spend a lot of time sitting outside on the bench,â&#x20AC;? he said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;People stop, take photos, talk about the facade, want to know more.â&#x20AC;? In fall of 2015, Goodwin noticed a lady with a purple hat and Navajo braids was gazing at the building. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I used to live here,â&#x20AC;? she said. It was Alice Torbush, and they formed a friendship. He was espe-

cially curious about the newspapers. â&#x20AC;&#x153;It was almost this political offshoot where in my mind the punk scene was more romantic, and now the political side was mixed in.â&#x20AC;? 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. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The Museum of the City of New York has come down,â&#x20AC;? he said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The papers give a broad overview of underground politics of the day.â&#x20AC;? Torbush is pleased about the venture. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We published â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Overthrowâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; through the nightmare years of Reagan and Bush #1. Now this generation is stuck with Trump,â&#x20AC;? she wrote me. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m glad Joey is keeping up the tradition of rabblerousing. Humor is especially needed now. Pick your friends well and continue the struggle.â&#x20AC;? My take is that Joey Goodwin has indeed picked his friends well. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t want to obliterate what was here before. I wanted to encompass and create our own sound where the past meets the future,â&#x20AC;? he said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;This is what makes Overthrow a cultural institution as well as a gym,â&#x20AC;? Clayton added. â&#x20AC;&#x153;It contributes to all levels of wellness: mind, body, and soul.â&#x20AC;? And thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;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 718233-3480. Visit overthrownyc.com. On Facebook and Instagram: facebook. com/OverthrowNewYork and instagram.com/Overthrownewyork.

Theater for the New City â&#x20AC;˘ 155 1st Avenue at E. 10th St. Reservations & Info (212) 254-1109 For more info, please visit www.theaterforthenewcity.net

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To Advertise Here Call: 646-452-2490

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ADVERTORIAL

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July 5, 2018

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.

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a rest area and spend 10 minutes snacking there before resuming the trip.

Reading Glancing at an advertisement, updating a Facebook status or reading a book are all activities that should be avoided when driving. Even pouring over a traffic map or consulting the digital display of a GPS system can be distracting.

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