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JULY 27 – AUGUST 8, 2018

The color of money An exhibition of finance-themed art at the New York Stock Exchange Photo by Sydney Pereira

This amazing technicolor c-note — painted by artist Mister E — is one of several money-themed artworks on display on the sixth floor of the New York Stock Exchange as part of “Art and Money.” For more, see page 15.

Also in this issue: Study: Two-way Verrazano toll would slash Downtown traffic Page 4

HHC woos locals for support on Water Street project Page 6

1 M E T R O T E C H • N YC 112 0 1 • C O P Y R I G H T © 2 0 18 N YC C O M M U N I T Y M E D I A , L L C

SOUND REASONS Pier 17’s rooftop speaker system works so well, Howard Hughes mulls putting it in Riverdeck bar BY COLIN MIXSON The Howard Hughes Corporation is mulling over outfitting a street-level bar at its Pier 17 entertainment complex with the same state-of-the-art sound system it installed on the rooftop to protect neighbors from pop music emanating from the pier’s top-deck concert venue, after locals in nearby apartment buildings mistook music coming from the bar for live tunes spilling out of the alfresco auditorium, according to one Howard Hughes honcho. “We are in the process of evaluating a similar sound technology for sound throughout the project,� said Saul Scherl, president of the developer’s New York operations. Pier 17’s rooftop concert venue is equipped with a high-tech “adaptive� loudspeaker technology, which gives the developer the ability to make realtime adjustments over where sound is projected, and — more importantly — where it isn’t.

The Seaport developer spent big bucks to ensure audience members were treated to a full concert experience, without subjecting locals in apartment buildings overlooking the venue to unsolicited music, according to a sound engineer who worked on the project. “The Howard Hughes Corporation spent significant resources — time, effort, and money — in developing a state-of-the-art sound system designed to ensure minimum impact on the community,� said Sam Berkow, of SIA Acoustics. Select community members were invited to preview the system’s capabilities at a sound test on July 2, and the trial run proved that the cutting-edge speakers worked as advertised, shielding folks on the street and in surrounding buildings from the racket on the roof, according to one local civic guru. “They were able to direct the sound to within six feet of where they wanted it,� said Paul Hovitz, vice chairman

Howard Hughes Corporation

The Howard Hughes Corporation is considering expanding a state-of-theart sound system installed at its rooftop concert venue to other parts of the entertainment complex, after locals complained about noise coming from its Riverdeck watering hole.

of Community Board 1 and a resident of nearby South Bridge Towers. “It’s amazing!� But the sound test alone wasn’t enough to sway some Seaport skeptics, and one local preservationist expressed concern that things may not run as smoothly come showtime.

“At the rehearsal I spoke to one sound engineer and he said the sound was set at much lower volumes than the system was capable of doing,� said Michael Kramer, a member of Save our Seaport and a longtime critic of the PIER 17 Continued on page 23








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For whom the bridge tolls Study shows two-way Verrazano toll would slash Downtown traffic BY SYDNEY PEREIRA A report commissioned by the Hudson Square Connection has revealed what Downtowners have long known: A two-way toll on the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge would drastically reduce traffic congestion in Lower Manhattan. Sam Schwartz Engineeringâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s report, headed by the transit expert known to Downtown Express readers as â&#x20AC;&#x153;Transit Sam,â&#x20AC;? revealed that up to 137 vehicles per hour could be removed from westbound Canal, Watts and Houston streets with a two-way bridge toll. â&#x20AC;&#x153;This is really some low-hanging fruit and really a pretty quick and relatively easy fix,â&#x20AC;? said Ellen Baer, president of the Hudson Square Connection Business Improvement District. These corridors are where vehicles head westbound toward the Holland Tunnel. With Staten Island-bound traffic on the Verrazano being tolled â&#x20AC;&#x201D; but not Manhattan-bound traffic â&#x20AC;&#x201D; Schwartz estimates that 70 percent of westbound trips to New Jersey take the

route through Manhattan instead of the I-278 route through Staten Island. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Until you actually look at the numbers, you always question where perception ends and reality begins,â&#x20AC;? Baer said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Now we know.â&#x20AC;? The engineering firm studied several scenarios of congestion reduction on westbound Canal, Watts and Houston streets, including a two-way toll on the bridge; two different congestion-pricing plans known as MoveNY and Fix NYC; and a two-way toll and congestion-pricing plan combined. MoveNY is a congestion-pricing plan developed by Schwartz along with a coalition of various stakeholders. Fix NYC is a proposal by a task force Governor Andrew Cuomo built upon the earlier, grassroots MoveNY plan. A two-way toll and MoveNY combination would reduce up to 337 vehicles per hour along the three critical streets â&#x20AC;&#x201D; the greatest volume reduction of all the scenarios. The length of the lines of cars backed

File photo by Tequila Minsky

Holland Tunnel-bound traffi c backed up â&#x20AC;&#x201D; as is so often the case â&#x20AC;&#x201D; on Watts Street, one of the three streets surveyed in the new study.

up on the streets would be cut by up to 1,100 feet between westbound Canal, Watts and Houston streets with the two-way toll. But the combo of twoway bridge tolling and MoveNY would

shorten the lines of traffic by up to 2,700 feet between the three streets. â&#x20AC;&#x153;On a day now where you might see STUDY Continued on page 23

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Volume 2 | Issue 1

The Pulse of

Lenox Health Greenwich Village

Make no bones about it – prevention is key: 5 tips for maintaining strong and healthy bones Osteoporosis makes bones more susceptible to fractures and breaks. Bones naturally lose density with age, but you can still help keep them strong. May is National Osteoporosis Awareness and Prevention Month, so it’s a great time to take action. 1. Boost calcium consumption. Calcium helps give bones their strength. Maintain the recommended daily intake of 1,0001,200 mg with good sources of calcium including low-fat dairy products, dark green leafy vegetables and soy products such as tofu. 2. Don’t forget about vitamin D. For best absorption, pair calciumrich foods with those high in vitamin D, such as salmon, milk and orange juice. Adequate sunlight also provides your body with vitamin D. 3. Pump up the protein. Protein is one of the essential building blocks of bones. Eat plenty of protein-rich foods like eggs, Greek yogurt, lean chicken, beans and nuts. 4. Cut back on the alcohol and avoid smoking. Smoking and heavy alcohol consumption restrict your body’s ability to absorb essential nutrients, which can decrease bone density and increase the chance of fractures.

Did you know…

52 million Americans are affected by osteoporosis and low bone density. If you think you may be at risk, see our specialists, who offer bone density tests to assess and diagnose this condition. Did you know…

Only 35 percent of American adults consume the recommended daily intake of calcium. If you find it difficult to get enough calcium from your diet, consider taking a calcium supplement.

5. Make exercise a priority. People who spend a lot of time sitting have a higher risk of developing osteoporosis. Combine strength training, weight bearing and balance exercises (such as walking, running, skipping rope and stair climbing) to benefit bones.

Our advanced Imaging Center is dedicated to meeting the radiology needs of the entire Greenwich Village community. Learn more at Northwell.edu/LenoxHealthImaging or call (646) 846-1452.


July 26 - August 8, 2018


LETâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;S MAKE A DEAL HHC pitches community amenities in bid for local support for Water Street tower BY COLIN MIXSON The Howard Hughes Corporation will have to find a way to buy community support for any big development on a Water Street lot it recently bought, according to a local civic leader, who said the company is already floating offers public ball fields, community centers, and parks in exchange for a green light to build high. The parking lot at 250 Water St. was downzoned in 2003 to prevent oversized construction, and any attempt to transfer air rights to build a highrise on the site will require an extensive approval process that community opposition could easily derail, so the Seaport developer is looking for ways win localsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; backing. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The question is, â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Why would the city allow them to transfer air rights after the community worked so hard to keep [the lot] downzoned?â&#x20AC;&#x2122; And their answer is, â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;What do you want us to give you,?â&#x20AC;&#x2122;â&#x20AC;? said Paul Hovitz, vice-chairman

of Community Board 1. High-ranking reps for the developer â&#x20AC;&#x201D; including Executive Vice President Saul Scherl â&#x20AC;&#x201D; sat down with members of CB1â&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Executive Committee on July 18, and while the Howard Hughes honcho refused to make a commitment to keep the development below the 120foot height cap, he did signal that the company was eager negotiate an accommodation. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m not going to say â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;absolutely no wayâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; .â&#x20AC;? Scherl told the board. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s going to have to be a give-and-take about what we think is workable for the district and the community.â&#x20AC;? Howard Hughes is already in talks with the city about several communityoriented building projects â&#x20AC;&#x201D; including an auditorium for space-strapped Peck Slip School, affordable housing, and an extension of the East River Esplanade up to the Brooklyn Bridge, according to Scherl. But there sticks as well as carrots on

Community News Group / Colin Mixson

Seaport Developer Howard Hughes Corporation purchased this Water Street parking lot last month, and has already started wooing locals in a bid to headoff grassroots opposition to its as-yet-undisclosed plans for the site.

offer. The executive also suggested that Howard Hughesâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s continued support for the aging South Street Seaport Museum would be contingent on some sort of deal being reached with the city on the Water Street property. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I believe the Seaport District â&#x20AC;&#x201D; forgetting Howard Hughes for a second â&#x20AC;&#x201D; it needs the museum, it needs that



MAY 29 - AUGUST 28


connection and it needs vision, but it also needs to be brought into this day and era of technology,â&#x20AC;? said Scherl. The developer is also reaching out to local schools, including the nearby Blue and Peck Slip schools, where Howard Hughes has scheduled meetings in the WATER ST. Continued on page 16

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The gospel according to Mr. Rogers PUBLISHER

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NYC COMMUNITY MEDIA, LLC ONE METROTECH CENTER NEW YORK, NY 11201 PHONE: (212) 229-1890 FAX: (212) 229-2790 WWW.DOWNTOWNEXPRESS.COM NEWS@DOWNTOWNEXPRESS.COM Downtown Express is published every week by NYC Community Media LLC, One Metrotech Center North, 10th Floor, Brooklyn, N.Y. 11201 (212) 229-1890. The entire contents of the newspaper, including advertising, are copyrighted and no part may be reproduced without the express permission of the publisher - © 2018 Community Media LLC. PUBLISHER’S LIABILITY FOR ERROR The Publisher shall not be liable for slight changes or typographical errors that do not lessen the value of an advertisement. The publisher’s liability for other errors or omissions in connection with an advertisement is strictly limited to publication of the advertisement in any subsequent issue.

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July 26 - August 8, 2018

BY LENORE SKENAZY Mr. Rogers was the host of a half hour of calm for kids from 1968 until 2001. On other kid’s shows you could find flying squirrels, falling pianos, and grouches in garbage cans. But tune in to Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood and you found a soft-spoken middle-aged guy, forever changing into his cardigan, who spent his days talking and sometimes singing with a worn-out sock puppet and some equally low-key, kindly neighbors. To many kids, including (I am now ashamed to say) me, it looked like the most boring place on earth. To others, a new documentary reveals, it was a haven, a hearth, free therapy, the spark of God, and a warm, loving family all rolled into one. It could be what we need today. The documentary “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?” features footage going back to the show’s beginning, when Mr. Rogers — he does have a first name, it’s Fred — was about to go to divinity school when he happened to see some children’s programming and couldn’t believe it. Explosions? Pie throwing? Companies pushing kids to buy toys? Mr. Rogers was so incensed, he put school on hold to start a new kind of kiddie television. He’d use half an hour to show kids old movies and other educational material. Except that back then, the films he was screening were so old they kept breaking or burning up. Mid-show there was nothing on the screen. That’s when he grabbed a puppet and started talking to the kids instead, necessity being the puppet of invention. As he pulled together his new show, Mr. Rogers started studying child development. He learned something he

already knew in his heart: that kids are full human beings with a full range emotions, including the darkness childhood holds. But it is possible all that training wouldn’t have made Mr. Rogers so attuned to kid’s wonder and sorrow had he not experienced it himself. He was, he says, sick as a kid. Born in 1928, he spent many long days in bed, convalescing. He had to make up stories — characters, songs — to keep himself occupied. Then, too, before he hit high school and slimmed down, he’d earned the name, “Fat Freddy.” A photo of him shows why. Nobody wants to be bullied, of course, but as one of the interviewees notes in the film, it’s possible that without Fat Freddy, there wouldn’t have been a “Mr. Rogers” either. The yin and yang of childhood is something Mr. Rogers was not afraid to talk about, making him outrageously radical even while many of us dismissed him as a goody-goody. This is a man who did an entire week of programs about divorce, and another on death — for kids! In an era when many whites were unwilling to swim in the same pool as African-Americans — so hard to imagine today — Mr. Rogers put a little kiddie pool on the set and cooled his feet in it. When the neighborhood “cop” came by, played by African-American Francois Scarborough Clemmons, Mr. Rogers invited him to cool his feet off too. The camera, as straightforward as a curious child, bends over to look at the two sets of feet – one black, one white –

enjoying the water together. A moment like that, so simple and so powerful, is almost a prayer. But despite the divinity degree Mr. Rogers eventually earned, he knew that preaching is … preachy. So instead, he just exemplified the kind of respect and love he wanted everyone to give their neighbors, even the littlest ones. In one of the movie’s most moving scenes, he welcomes a little boy, Jeffrey Erlanger, who uses a motorized wheelchair. Instead of ignoring the device, Mr. Rogers asks about it. But then instead of focusing on the boy’s disability, they chat for awhile about highs and lows and sing a song together: “It’s you I like. It’s not the things you wear. It’s not the way you do your hair. But it’s you I like, the way you are right now, the way down deep inside you. Not the things that hide you. … It’s you I like.” Mr. Rogers doesn’t seem to have lectured his little viewers about the evils of bullying, the importance of diversity, or any of the other issues schools are hitting head-on today. That’s because when you see the worthiness in everyone you interact with, there can’t be bullying. Diversity? That’s a given — we’re all people. Fred Rogers knew the simple key to solving the earth’s problems. “Everyone longs to be loved. And the greatest thing we can do is to let people know that they are loved and capable of loving.” The key is not to preach or teach, it’s to love. And for what it’s worth, now I love Mr. Rogers. Lenore Skenazy president of Let Grow, a nonpartisan group promoting childhood independence and resilience, and founder of Free-Range Kids.

Posted To TEST CASE: STUYVESANT GRADS WANT MORE DIVERSITY, BUT CAUTIOUS ABOUT SCRAPPING SHSAT (JULY 20) Too bad the article fails to mention Assemblywoman Rodneyse Bichotte, and her openly racist plan to racially discriminate against Asian students. Per Rodneyse, Asian students perform better on the SHSAT and other academic tests because they “practice, practice, practice.” However, Black and Hispanic students should not be held to the same

standard so they can “have a life.” Rodneyse further stated on Metro Focus that Black and Hispanic students are incapable of achieving the same academic success because they have different value systems. INSANE! James Day Years ago I saw an article about an All-American soccer player at Stuyvesant, an Asian kid. When asked if his parents were proud of him he said, “No, they want me to quit. It takes time

from studying.” There aren’t two non-Jewish, white parents, especially fathers, who would respond that way. There aren’t two black or Latino parents, especially fathers, who would respond that way. Which is why 90 percent of the white students are Jewish and everyone else Asian. And, btw, so what? Harry POSTED Continued on page 9



MTA should honor forgotten patriot with bridge BY ARTHUR PICCOLO Have you ever heard of Hercules Mulligan? You should. Over 100 years ago, at its annual meeting at Fraunces Tavern, the American Irish Historical Society noted the fact that the great Irish American Hercules Mulligan had yet to receive the recognition he deserved for his role in American history. They expressed their hope that day that the fearless patriot spy of the Revolutionary War soon would. A century later, Hercules Mulligan still has not! Hercules Mulligan represents a class of heroes who escape the recognition other, better known individuals have received in history and from us today. Mulligan is of particular importance here in Lower Manhattan, because it is where he spent most of his life, did most of his espionage for George Washington, and where he is now buried — in Trinity churchyard, near his friend and far more famous fellow patriot, Alexander Hamilton. This is a story about finally recognizing Hercules Mulligan as we should. At the same time, it is a story about how government does and does not work. There are some very big, well-known bridges in New York, and there are also many very small bridges that are practically invisible, but maybe none smaller or more invisible than the simple foot bridge across the Manhattan entrance to the Hugh Carey Battery Tunnel at Morris Street near Bowling Green. What I see in this modest, nameless bridge is our opportunity to finally provide Hercules Mulligan the visibility and recognition he deserves. As the founder of the Bowling Green Association, I haves a passion for Lower

POSTED Continued from page 8

GREEK ORTHODOX CHURCH GETS LOAN TO RESTART — BUT NOT FINISH — ST. NICHOLAS CONSTRUCTION (JULY 19) The main difference between the cost overruns of St. Nicholas and the rest of Ground Zero rebuilding is that St. Nicholas was handled by private groups which are ultimately accountable for their bone-headed actions. As opposed to public officials who overspend by billions more and answer to no one. DowntownExpress.com

Photo by Milo Hess

Bowling Green Association chairman Arthur Piccolo wants the MTA to name the new footbridge on the battery Tunnel entrance after the under-appreciated patriot-spy Hercules Mulligan.

Manhattan history. Most recently I was responsible for co-naming Bowling Green’s northern plaza “Evacuation Day Plaza” in honor of the November 25, 1783, the day the American Revolution officially ended at Bowling Green. Now I am championing naming this unnamed footbridge for Hercules Mulligan. Yes Hercules Mulligan. Absolutely Hercules Mulligan! For those who have seen the musical “Hamilton,” you know Mulligan was a very good friend of Alexander Hamilton. For myself and others Mulligan is much more. Hercules Mulligan, born in 1740, was a young Irish immigrant who arrived with his family here in Lower Manhattan at the age of six. Mulligan became very active in Lower Manhattan while still in his late teens in the rebellion against British rule, and was an early member of the Sons of Liberty. Mulligan is one of the patriots who destroyed the infamous statue of King George III in

With that in mind, Cuomo, DeBlasio, Trump, Schumer, Gildebrand etc and so forth should take action to ensure St. Nicholas is rebuilt. A vacant half finished stump cannot be left at this place. That is an offense to the memory of those slaughtered here, to the heroism and sacrifice in response and to the values attacked. The promise was to rebuild, not rebuild mostly or only that which somebody may make a profit off of and gov’t can tax. A joint public and private effort must be made: finish St. Nicholas. Michael Burke

Bowling Green on the night of July 9, 1776 after word of the Declaration of Independence reached New York City that fateful day. Even earlier, there is reason to believe Hercules Mulligan may have played an instrumental role in one of the most famous parades in history. The very first St. Patrick’s Day Parade anywhere took place in New York on March 17, 1762, as a protest of British rule in America and Ireland, beginning at Bowling Green as a simple march up Broadway that day by Irish colonists and Irish soldiers who had been conscripted into the British army. Someone had to spark such a bold and unprecedented demonstration, and Hercules Mulligan fits the profile. There is no doubt at all, however, that it was Mulligan who befriended the very young immigrant Alexander Hamilton when Hamilton first arrived in Lower Manhattan from St. Croix in the Caribbean in 1772. The Mulligans provided Hamilton his first home in New York City. Hercules Mulligan is credited with inspiring Hamilton’s own revolutionary passion for American independence, leading to a lifelong friendship. But all of this is just prologue for the

story of Hercules Mulligan role in helping the patriots win the Revolutionary War. In fact, the CIA has a full page on its website celebrating Hercules Mulligan as one of America’s greatest spies, who risked his life again and again spying for General George Washington in Lower Manhattan, which was the main British headquarters during the war. Working as a master tailor serving the sartorial needs of British officers stationed in New York City, Mulligan eavesdropped and learned British plans for battle. As a spy for our side, Mulligan repeatedly saved Washington’s life — and the revolution — by uncovering British plots to capture and hang Washington to end the patriot uprising, along with many other secrets he provided Washington and Hamilton at great risk to his own life. Despite his vital and perilous service to the founding of United States, there are no monuments to Hercules Mulligan, save the humble granite slab marking his grave in the Trinity churchyard. I was inspired by the fact that the 60-year-old footbridge without a name over the Battery Tunnel near Bowling Green was just replaced by the MTA with a gleaming new pedestrian bridge. That provided me the idea to request that the MTA finally give the bridge a real name by honoring Hercules Mulligan. Unfortunately for Mulligan — and history — MTA officials did not agree with me. They told me that I should try and get the New York State legislature to pass a law requiring MTA to name it the Hercules Mulligan Bridge. Put another way, the MTA placed a herculean barrier in the way of naming The Hercules Mulligan Bridge. Looks like MTA wants Hercules Mulligan to stay “under cover” forever. As for me I will not rest until we are all able to remember and honor Hercules Mulligan by proudly walking over The Hercules Mulligan Bridge! Arthur Piccolo is chairman of the Bowling Green Association.

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A Man For All Seasons of Treason BY MAX BURBANK Well, here’s a novel situation! It’s been more than a week since Trump met with Putin in Helsinki for their behind closed doors, super-secret, Best Friends Club summit, and it’s still in the national conscience! I don’t think that’s happened since our Orange Emperor referred to a bunch of tiki-swingin,’ chino-sportin’ neo-Nazis as “fine people.” Turns out all you really have to do to truly focus national attention is commit full-out treason on live television while standing just feet away from a man you knew (since before the inauguration) personally directed the worst attack on our nation since 9/11. The failing New York Times, the Amazon-Washington Post, and all the other liberal media call it “meddling.” I was pushing for “shenanigans,” but my clout in pundit circles is still developing. Give Trump an “A” for effort in attempting to change the conversation. He came as close as he gets to admitting error. That’s something, but not very much. It’s like me saying a recent jaunt I made to see “America’s Stonehenge” in Salem, New Hampshire is as close as I get to the Arctic Circle. See, Donald just “misspoke.” He got one tiny word wrong, said “would” when he meant “Wouldn’t” — kind of like when I say “press conference,” but I mean “giving aid and comfort to the enemy.” “The sentence,” said Trump, and please imagine his voice here, it’s so much better that way, “should have been, ‘I don’t see any reason why it wouldn’t be Russia.’ ” Sort of a double negative. So you can put that in, and I think that probably clarifies things pretty good by itself.” Italics added to indicate how DUMB THAT SOUNDS! All caps added to indicate yelling. Weak as that was, it was more than enough of a retraction for Republicans who’d been ever so slightly critical to hide behind, just as if Trump hadn’t walked it back in practically the next sentence, stating, “Could be other people also. A lot of people out there.” Trump’s attempt to put a bow on the story did not clear things up and make them go away. Amazingly, people still seemed interested by the spectacle of an American president rolling on his back like a terrified puppy desperate to gain the approval of a despot who murders rivals and journalists, imprisons dissidents, and alters established


July 26 - August 8, 2018

Illustration by Max Burbank

international borders through violent force. Distraction was for once proving more difficult than what the president had come to expect. So, to the trusty Twitter machine! In the days since the explanation that should have clarified things pretty good by itself (italics added to indicate it just gets funnier every time you read it), Trump has tweeted subjects not limited to but including: Democrats are like MS-13 because they want to abolish ICE; the Fake News Media going Crazy and being the real enemy of the people by trying to provoke war with Russia, presumably because it would be fun to cover; bad (terrible) trade deals with other countries; how NFL players should be fired for not standing at attention, hand on heart, during the National Anthem; using the word “Inconceivable!” TWICE in one tweet

in EXACTLY the same way Wallace Shawn used it as Vizzini, the smartest man in the world, in “The Princess Bride.” The crowd would be disappointed if Trump didn’t play his greatest hits, so he tweeted: Rigged Witch Hunt; No Collusion, No Obstruction; 13 Angry Democrats; Crooked Hillary; Crazy Bernie; the Dirty Dossier; and the big hoax. All fireworks displays need a grand finale, so he closed with an allcaps, howling rant directed at Iranian President Rouhani, ending with “WE ARE NO LONGER A COUNTRY THAT WILL STAND FOR YOUR DEMENTED WORDS OF VIOLENCE & DEATH. BE CAUTIOUS!” Boom! Ba-booh, boom, boom. For maybe the first time, it just didn’t work. Why? I mean, okay, so the president trusts

the word of Vladimir Putin over every single one of our intelligence agencies and most of his closest advisors. Is that really such a big deal that we have to harp on it for so long? It’s not as if our INTEL has always been on the money. Remember the weapons of mass destruction in Gulf War II that turned out to not exist? Right? Well, slow your roll, there, Mr. hypothetical devil’s advocate voice in my head. The Bush administration got WMD wrong because Dick Cheney deliberately cherry-picked the available intelligence, selecting only information that supported a decision he’d already made, i.e. Iraq’s guilt. Trump is totally ignoring America’s intelligence bowl, cherries and all, while gobbling shards of glass from the Tupperware Russia brought to the picnic, and unintelligibly babbling about “Mighty Tasty Cherries!” through a mouthful of blood-flecked foam. Returning to the White House Sunday night from yet another golf weekend, Trump was greeted by protesters chanting, “Lock him up!” It was the seventh straight night they’d been there. The Russia story finally has legs. Hillary Clinton warned us about it in fairly explicit detail during the debates. Seems a shame the oh-so-liberal fake news media didn’t take her more seriously, what with her having been a Secretary of State and all. But be fair, she was also kind of unlikable, she used email in the same slightly questionable way every one in government used it before and is still using it now, and she was, you know, a woman. That was a lot of seriously negative stuff that had to be covered lots of times. Not much column space left for a credible argument about the other candidate maybe being a Russian stooge. So now, maybe finally we’re at a tipping point. Now maybe even a handful of Republicans can look at this sinking ship and do what rats do. I’m just concerned it might be too little too late. Trump invited Putin to the White House sometime in early November, though he hasn’t accepted the invitation yet. If he does come, it would likely be before November 6, the day of the midterm elections. On November 10, Trump is throwing himself a lavish, Russian-style military parade. Let’s hope this doesn’t mean Trump and Putin already know the outcome — of the midterms, that is. We all know there’s going to be a parade. DowntownExpress.com

RUDE AWAKENING A belligerent hellcat punched a woman in the face while shouting, “why you looking at me, white bitch,” on Federal Plaza early in the morning on July 18. The victim told police she was near Broadway at 6:18 am, when the other gal clocked her in the face, before hightailing it on foot. The victim suffered a gash on her lip, but refused medical attention, cops said. No arrests have been made, and the case has been closed, according to police.

Police canvassed the area following the theft, but came up short of bagging a suspect, and the case remains open, cops said.

MONEY SACK A thief nabbed a backpack worth more than $1,750 from a Greene Street fashion boutique on July 12. An employee told police the crook waltzed into the retailer between Prince and Spring streets at 6 pm, before nabbing the ritzy, crystal-studded designer bag, and then sneaking it past the register.

SUBWAY SNATCHER RHETORICAL JAB An argument turned bloody inside the Fulton Street subway station after one brute started throwing punches on July 20. The victim told police he was engaged in a heated debate with the fiend inside the station near Nassau Street at 11:30 pm, when the guy socked him in the honker, breaking his nose. Cops haven’t caught up with the violent goon, and the case remains open, cops said.

STREET FIGHT Cops cuffed a man suspected of beating another guy in a road rage incident on Pine Street on July 21. The victim told police he was arguing with the suspect following a car collision near Broadway at 11:50 am, when the guy allegedly hauled off and clobbered him, striking him behind his right ear. The victim was taken to New York Downtown Hospital, while the police nabbed their suspect later that day, cops said.

Some punk snatched a wallet from a woman’s hands aboard a 2 train the Wall Street Station on July 15. The victim told police she was half asleep with the wallet in her hands aboard the train at 7:30 am, when the reprobate wrenched the wallet from her grasp and fled into the station.

BITE OUT OF CRIME Cops are hunting the pair of thieves who looted a Reade Street department store on July 13, and then bit a security guard while making their escape. The guard told police he spotted the crooks enter the store around noon, and one of them grabbed a $10 wall charger and attempted to leave without paying. On their way out the door, however, an alarm went off and the guard asked the men to stop, leading to one of the men grabbing and biting him, while the other slugged him in the face, cops said. Police searched the area following the assault, but came up empty, and no arrests have been made in the case, cops said.



A thief stole more than $6,300 worth of designer handbags from a Broadway fashion outlet on July 21. An employee told police the suspect waltzed into the shop between W. Houston and Prince streets at 4:45 pm, nabbing three bags — the priciest of which cost a whopping $2,350 — and slinking past the registers with his illgotten satchels.

A hungry thief looted a Fresh Direct delivery truck on Beekman Street on July 14, nabbing more than $120 worth of groceries. The victim told police he parked his vehicle between William and Nassau streets at 9:20 pm, and returned eight minutes later to find out he’d be short a few vegetables on his next delivery. — Colin Mixson

Thurs., July 26 – Wed., Aug. 1

ALTERNATE SIDE PARKING RULES IN EFFECT ALL WEEK South Street Seaport’s new Pier 17 has its biggest week since its opening with 8 p.m. performances by Jon Batiste of Stephen Colbert fame Saturday, and comedian Amy Schumer Wednesday. Expect traffic turbulence by the Brooklyn Bridge, on the FDR, and on South, Pearl, Water, Fulton and John streets, especially Wednesday during the evening rush. This weekend starting 9:30 p.m. Friday, the 1 train is not running below 14th St. The 2 and 3 will pick up some slack, running local between Chambers and 14th streets. Shuttle buses will run between Chambers and South Ferry. Uptown A, C, and E trains will skip Spring Street. Immigration rights protesters will carry symbolic suitcases in solidarity with people being deported at Federal Plaza, near Broadway, Worth Street, and the Brooklyn Bridge Thursday 5:30 p.m. There’s also the regular Jericho Walk there at 11 a.m. “Abolish ICE Everywhere” will be at City Hall Monday 5:30 to 6:30 p.m.

Thursday “Back to the Future” is being screened at 28 Liberty plaza (formerly Chase Plaza) at Liberty and William streets 8 p.m., and Battery Park City’s Wagner Park has a River & Blues concert 7 p.m. near the West Side Highway and the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel entrance. One tube of the tunnel is closed Friday 8 p.m. to 5:30 a.m. Monday, and weeknights at the same times. Saturday, Varick, Canal, Broome and other Holland Tunnel feeder streets will be busier for Red Bull Arena soccer matches at 1 p.m. (Juventus vs. Benfica) and 7 p.m. (Red Bulls vs. Columbus Crew) In Chinatown Saturday between 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., a “DOT Weekend Walk” event will close Mott Street between Bayard and Worth streets and Pell Street between Mott and Doyers streets The event also includes Doyers, which is closed summer days between Pell and Bowery. Water Street between Fulton and Old Slip will be busier with pedestrians Wednesdays through Aug. 8 for the Downtown Alliance’s Game On events 4 to 8 p.m.

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Support Downtown Express Visit us at www.downtownexpress.com DowntownExpress.com

Visit NYC.gov/knowyourzone or call 311 to find out what to do to prepare for hurricanes in NYC #knowyourzone

July 26 - August 8, 2018


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Greek Orthodox church gets loan to restart — but not finish — work on St. Nicholas BY JOSEPH M. CALISI The Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America has closed a deal with Alma Bank for a 10-year, $5.5-million mortgage to restore monies to the unfinished St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church and National Shrine at Liberty Park. Work on the reconstruction of the church, which was destroyed in the 9/11 attacks 17 years ago, ground to a halt late last year after the archdiocese defaulted on payments to contractors amid a financial scandal. The state Attorney General’s office launched an investigation into the church’s handling of the project funds in April, and the church established its own investigative committee — which includes former Battery Park City Authority board chairman Dennis Mehiel. The archdiocese hopes to resume construction on St. Nicholas in early September, according to a spokesman for the archdiocese, but the fresh funding is not enough to complete the project, whose has ballooned to $80 million. The archdiocese plans to launch a

Photo by Joseph M. Calisi

Work on the St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church at the eastern tip of Liberty Park was halted late last year because the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America defaulted on payments to its contractors.

new fund-raising cycle under a new committee soon. But last month, billionaire grocer John Catsimatidis penned a letter to the archdiocese calling for 90-year-old Archbishop Demetrios to resign, saying that he and other deep-pocketed donors will not put any more money toward the project until the archdiocese has new leadership.


Fun, Food & Movies This Month Downtown Alliance is making it easier to discover what the buzz is all about with weekly dining deals. Every Tuesday this month, you can enjoy 20 percent off dinner for two at a different Lower Manhattan restaurant. August deals include Acqua at Peck Slip (8.7), Andaz Kitchen & Bar (8.14), MarkJoseph Steakhouse (8.28) and more. Mention Get Low to redeem the deal and follow @ downtownNYC on Instagram for updates.

Here’s six fun ways to break your routine and make the most the last few weeks of summer -- without ever leaving Lower Manhattan. Game ON! 2018 Game ON! Water Street brings an all-ages celebration with games, fitness challenges, happy hour specials, music and more to six plazas along Water Street on Wednesdays after 4p (weather permitting). Each plaza features a different mix of activities with highlights including a photo opp with the NFL Experience, the NYCFC Kick Tunnel, yoga with Rise By We, Giant Jenga, and three unique beer gardens. The official Game ON! flyer also unlocks special prizes. Attendees can collect stamps on the back of the flyer from three or more sites in one day to enter a drawing for gift cards to local stores, or show it to get Happy Hour Specials from 4-8p. at spots along Water Street including The Mailroom, Route 66 Smokehouse, Stone Street Tavern, Andaz Kitchen & Bar, Le Pain Quotidien,


July 26 - August 8, 2018

Throwback Thursday Movie Series

Stock Up at the Oculus Greenmarket GrowNYC’s Greenmarket is open at the Oculus Plaza every Tuesday through October, from 7a7p with local farmers selling everything from baked goods, fruits and vegetables, to cheeses, maple syrup and handcrafted vodka. To sweeten the deal, the Greenmarket has teamed up with Westfield World Trade Center for Treat Yourself Tuesday, where WTC customers can bring their receipts to Market Info Tent to get a free prize. LMHQ Summer Membership

Sprinkles Land and Gregory’s. Game ON! locations include: 200 Water Street, 75 Wall Street, 32 Old Slip, 55 Water Street and 85 Broad Street. Scoping out a Selfie Spot Two new temporary murals have popped up along Water Street as part of Game ON! and one lucky Instagrammer will win a dinner for two at the Andaz Kitchen & Bar by

posting the best photo of themselves with #gameonnyc. The Love Wall by Insta-famous artist @JGoldCrown can be found at 77 Water Street and each Wednesday night, @katiemerzat will be creating a new interactive sports mural at 75 Wall Street. Get Low With Great Food Lower Manhattan is home to the city’s hottest food scene and the

Every Thursday this month, 28 Liberty Plaza turns into a car-free drive-in with a throwback film from the ‘80s and ‘90s screening at 8p. The lineup includes When Harry Met Sally (8.2), Labyrinth (8.9) and The Sandlot (8.16). The final film on August 23 will be decided by a fan vote that includes contenders like Ghostbusters, The Princess Bride and more. Voting is open at 28liberty.com/events.

For anyone who still needs to find a way to get more work done during the dog days of summer, maybe it’s time for some new professional surroundings. Check out LMHQ -- the place to collaborate, learn, and get things done in Lower Manhattan. LMHQ is designed for those who need a bright, flexible space to pop-in to, and are looking to grow their network and get involved in our community. Visit lmhq.nyc for more info.


Virtuous cycle NYC-to-Buffalo bike ride raises funds, awareness in fight against cancer BY JAMES HARNEY These cyclists are taking the ride of a lifetime — to save others’ lives! More than 150 bicyclists from around the world will pedal their two-wheelers on a seven-day, 546-mile journey across New York State this month on a single mission: to deal a death blow to cancer. Athletes in the fifth-annual Empire State Ride each raised a minimum of $3,500 to benefit cancer research in order to participate in the trek, which a rider from Brooklyn praised as a worthy tribute to patients battling the toooften-deadly disease. “We all know someone who has been affected by cancer,” said Phil Zodda. “This last year I lost a niece at just 39 years of age, and I have a cousin and a niece who fight daily for their quality of life. I want to honor them all, and give of myself in a meaningful way to help find a cure for cancer.” Cyclists from as far as California and the Virgin Islands will convene at Staten Island’s Wagner College on the morning of July 29, before hopping on a ferry to Manhattan to start the Ride. The first leg — about 57 miles — will take riders up Manhattan’s Hudson River and Fort Washington Park greenways, across the George Washington Bridge, and up to a campground near Stony Point in Rockland County. From there, participants will pedal further north through the Hudson Valley to Duanesburg, where they’ll spend the night at another campground. After that, the cyclists will cut west into central New York State, stopping in Albany,

Utica, Syracuse, and Rochester, before crossing the finish line in Niagara Falls on Aug. 4. Zodda is one of the more than 32 residents of the New York metropolitan area who registered for this year’s event, each with their own personal reasons for supporting the cause. A Manhattan cyclist who will be pedaling in his second Ride said watching his wife battle skin cancer — which she beat — and his friend’s father-inlaw fight pancreatic cancer — which tragically killed him — inspired his journeys. “I look forward to a week on the road supporting such a worthwhile cause, and to seeing my family at the dramatic finish in front of Niagara Falls again this year,” said Matthew Strong. The Ride’s organizers arrange for rest stops and hydration stations, in addition to providing all of the participants’ meals, support and gear vehicles, camping accommodations, and a bike mechanic. Most cyclists will pedal for the full seven-day experience, but the hosts arranged custom routes for some who can’t roll for the entire week. The Empire State Ride was founded by avid biker Terry Bourgeois as a personal challenge in 2014. A dozen riders joined him the following year, and by last year the Ride attracted 100 riders and raised $500,000 for cancer research, its founder said. “Cancer affects us all in some way, and the Empire State Ride is an opportunity to make an impact while having an experience of a lifetime,” Bourgeois

Courtesy Empire State Ride

The finishers of the 2017 Empire State Ride, a 546-mile, week-long trek from Staten Island to Niagara Falls, N.Y. to benefi t the Roswell Park Cancer Institute, triumphantly raise their bikes aloft with Niagara Falls in the background.

said. “We ride with the goal to end cancer, but this unique event also offers an amazing personal challenge to riders and the opportunity to create lifelong bonds with other cyclists, all while seeing some of the most scenic parts of New York State.” Proceeds from the Ride will fund cancer research at the Roswell Park Cancer Institute in Buffalo, one of the

first centers in the country to be named a National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer center — and upstate New York’s only facility with the designation. The institute founded by Dr. Roswell Park in 1898 is staffed by more than 3,200 employees today. You can get more information and follow the 2018 Empire State Ride at www.empirestateride.com.



WWW.CNGLOCAL.COM/DOWNTON Courtesy Matthew Strong

Matthew Strong, center, was surrounded by his jubilant family after finishing the 2017 Empire State Ride, a 564-mile, seven-day bicycle trek across New York State to raise funds for the Roswell Park Cancer Institute in Buffalo, N.Y. DowntownExpress.com

July 26 - August 8, 2018



July 26 - August 8, 2018


The color of money Flashy new art decks the halls of the NYSE BY SYDNEY PEREIRA The New York Stock Exchange may not be considered a hot spot of the city’s creative scene, but a new exhibit called “Art and Money” is bringing some color to the capitalist digs. Gracing the NYSE’s sixth floor hallway heading towards the gold-adorned Big Board Club conference room, three artists’ pieces explore the intersection between art and money. The rightly colored paintings, all representing money in some way, offer a twist on the most iconic representation of American finance and capitalism. Though the world of finance and art are often thought of as diametrically opposed, one of the artists — who goes by simply “Mister E” — believes otherwise. “It’s a real chance for people to look at the relationship between art and money in a different way, because I think a lot of people want to pretend like they shouldn’t be talked about in the same conversation,” said Mister E. “And they absolutely go hand in hand.” The artist knows a thing or two about the relationship between art and money, having made quite a bit of the latter selling the former to celebrities such as Miley Cyrus and Floyd Mayweather Jr.

Now based in Delray Beach, Florida, Mister E grew up in Bergen County, New Jersey, and became a full time artist five years ago after a stint at a marketing company. Eventually, he quit and opened a gallery with his savings. He said he sees money and value as integral to appreciating his artworks. “I want people to look at my paintings and get excited that it’s worth more than they paid for it and that it’s going to continue to go up in value,” he said. His trademark style — large-scale, multi-colored hundred-dollar bills — is meant to tap into the visceral effect that just the sight of money has on people in a consumer society. “I think that [it’s] the same reason you get joy out of a hundred dollar bill. If you see money on the ground, and you pick it up and you’re excited, there’s nothing wrong with that.” But Mister E is quick to warn against worshipping cold, hard cash. “But what I see out of it is don’t really let money control your life,” he said. “You should control your money. And basically, money is a tool.” Mister E’s technicolor c-notes — as well as a black-and-gold $10 bill — hang alongside pieces from two other artists with equally idiosyncratic names: King Saladeen and JohnBorn.

Two of King Saladeen’s three pieces — a “CEO bear” dressed up in a suit, and a green bear with a dollar sign in its eye — celebrate the icon of stock sell-offs, but he’s also showing off a multi-colored bull — the symbol of a buying market. JohnBorn has his own collection of abstract, multi-colored bulls on display. Peter Tuchman, dubbed the most photographed trader on Wall Street, is the curator behind the exhibit. “The proposal was a little out of the box,” Tuchman admitted. “It was not something I thought they would go for.” The exhibit opened alongside the news that Stacey Cunningham would be the new president of the NYSE — the first woman to head up the storied exchange in its 226-year history. Traditionally, the building is a “codgy, old place,” said Tuchman, but by adding some modern, colorful artworks from three young artists originating from the Instagram era, Tuchman is hoping to change that a bit. King Saladeen, who grew up in West Philadelphia but now custom paints McLaren sports cars, agreed that the exchange is an unusual setting for his art, but it could have a positive effect. “I would’ve never thought that I

Photos by Sydney Pereira

(Above) Artist King Saladeen painted this “CEO bear.” (Below) JohnBorn’s work, meanwhile, is decidedly more bullish.

would be in the stock exchange,” said King Saladeen, also known as Raheem Saladeen Johnson. “It’s not an art gallery. It’s not a center for art. So to have [our pieces] added — it really means something. I think we’re a breath of fresh air in here too,”

Photo by Sydney Pereira

This amazing technicolor c-note — painted by artist Mister E — is one of several money-themed artworks on display on the sixth floor of the New York Stock Exchange as part of “Art and Money.” DowntownExpress.com

July 26 - August 8, 2018


WATER ST. Continued from page 6

coming weeks with faculty and parents to discuss their concerns with the project, Scherl said. The developer has sought to downplay the potential for a massive construction project on the lot, but there’s no doubt among locals that Howard Hughes will seek City Council approval to transfer as much as 627,000 square feet of air rights to the the 50,000 square-foot lot between Beekman Street and Peck Slip. Some die-hard preservationists see the developer’s efforts to court local community groups as underhanded, and are already strategizing ways to defeat this new threat to the historic district. “We will not be bribed by Howard Hughes,” said

Michael Kramer, a preservationist with Save Our Seaport, which hosted a meeting at Southbridge Towers earlier this month that attracted more than 100 concerned locals. “Our air and light is too precious to sell.” But other community members are pleased to see Howard Hughes at least offering locals a seat at the table, according to a member of CB1’s Land Use Committee. “One has to assume it’s not going to be a 12-story building. There has to be some sort of community exchange, and I think they’re aware of it, and I think they’re starting off on the right foot in engaging with the community,” said architect Alice Blank. The property was formerly owned by the Milstein Family, which purchased the lot for $5.9 million in

1979 and then engaged in a decades-long duel with local preservationists as it sought approval from the Landmarks Preservation Commission to erect a new structure within the historic district. Throughout the contest, the Milsteins adopted a top-down approach to acquire the approvals it needed, focusing mainly on revising its building designs, which the landmarks commission routinely denied for being to large for the low-rise district, according to a former district manager for CB1 “They mainly made adjustments to the building, hired different architects, and modified their applications to try to, I guess, put together something that would satisfy the landmarks commission,” said Paul Goldstein. But the former owners made little effort to win over community members, according to Goldstein, who suggested Howard Hughes may be taking a que from history by approaching the locals before the city. “[The Milsteins] were more intent on satisfying landmarks than the community and the community board,” he said. “[Howard Hughes is] going to have to make an offer that people cannot refuse. But I’m sure there’s going to be quite a bit of opposition as well. It will be interesting to see how this plays out.” Community board members, local preservationists, and Downtown politicians eventually rallied to secure a rare downzoning amendment that capped building heights on the lot at 120-feet, effectively settling the issue until Howard Hughes purchased the property last month for an eyebrow-raising $182.7 million.

Photo by Milo Hess

Back to ’busting The iconic Ladder 8 firehouse in Tribeca — made famous as the home base for the Ghostbusters in their eponymous 1984 blockbuster — has finally reopened after a massive, three-year renovation. The


July 26 - August 8, 2018


Renovated Film Forum to Feature Same Sharp Focus Iconic movie house adds fourth screen, multiple creature comforts

Courtesy of Peter Aaron/OTTO

Photo by Henny Garfunkel

Each of Film Forum’s four screens will be outfitted with chairs from Figueras, and have an accent color: red, turquoise, yellow, or green.

Director of Film Forum Karen Cooper has been working hard for months on the theater’s renovation and prepping a solid lineup for relaunch.

BY SEAN EGAN “You know, we wanted to update the theater, we wanted to make it more comfortable, and certainly more modern,” said Karen Cooper, the Director of Film Forum (209 W. Houston St.). “But we didn’t want to throw the baby out with the bathwater. I mean, a lot of what Film Forum looks like and is has a certain iconic feel to it these days.” If anything, iconic is an understatement for an institution so beloved by cinephiles. Since first opening as a two-screen theater in 1970, Film Forum has remained a mecca for independent DowntownExpress.com

film premieres and repertory screenings in New York City, a pioneer in the indie film landscape for nearly 50 years. Though the nonprofit theater has stayed at its current three-screen facility since 1990, the idea of a major renovation to the intrepid movie house had been percolating for years. Now, after years of planning, construction, and a threemonth shutdown, Film Forum is finally ready to reopen on Wed., Aug. 1. “There’s been a certain frustration on our part about not having enough screen time for the films that we play,” Cooper revealed, noting, “On the one

hand, we needed more screens, but we didn’t exactly need the number of seats we had.” Eventually, after analyzing their operations and the results of a 2016 survey, it was decided it would be best to add a fourth screen to the theater and redistribute the number of seats within, in order to better serve its programming. To do this would require lots of capital though, and Cooper set to fundraising soon thereafter. However, “No man is an island,” noted Cooper, who has been with the theater since 1972. “A lot of people have been critical to Film Forum’s suc-

cess.” Chief among them include general manager Chad Bolton, director of development Denyse Reed, Alan Klein of the board of directors, co-programmer of premieres Mike Maggiore, and Bruce Goldstein, the theater’s director of repertory programming since 1987. Working together, the team was able to raise nearly $5 million. This includes a million-dollar contribution from the Thompson Family Foundation (which the new screen will be named after), and over $200,000 in city funding FILM FORUM continued on p. 18 July 26 - August 8, 2018


FILM FORUM continued from p. 17

from sources such as the offices of the mayor, Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer and City Council Speaker Corey Johnson. With this funding, Cooper and company were able to pay not only for a screen, but all sorts of minor modern comforts, including new paint, carpets, and an HVAC system. “When this theater was built for us in 1990, stadium seating was not something that was a going design option,” she explained, confirming that three screens now boast such an arrangement, with better sight lines and more-comfortable seating. Furthermore, the lobby experience will also be changing: “We’ve added a gorgeous, state-of-the-art digital screen above the theater entrance on the wall that faces you as you enter the lobby,” Cooper elaborated. She has already commissioned a number of filmmakers to create original four-minute silent films to play exclusively on the screen, including work from Ken Kobland, Cindy Sherman, George Griffin, and David Byrne. Despite the exciting cosmetic changes, as always at Film Forum, it comes down to the movies themselves. For the reopening, Maggiore and Cooper (who also co-programs premieres) have assembled a characteristically formidable lineup. Kicking things off on Aug. 1 is “Nico, 1988,” a dramatization of the late career of Velvet Underground alum and struggling addict, Nico. Also opening Aug. 1 is “No Date, No Signature,” which Cooper describes as “an exploration of personal ethics” from Iranian filmmaker Vahid Jallivand. “While it’s a film from Iran, a country that obviously is a very different culture than our own, it really brings to the fore a sense that human beings share values,” Cooper asserted. “I think there could be no better time to be discussing values than today.” Other interesting films on the horizon include a documentary on Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama (Sept. 7). The repertory side of things looks equally interesting. On Aug. 1, Bruce Goldstein will introduce a screening of 1928’s “Show People,” the first in a series of silent films accompanied by live piano. Over the next two weeks, a retrospective of filmmaker Jaques Becker will play; later in the month a new restoration of “Chinatown” will get a run. And of course, the for-the-kids weekend series — Film Forum Jr. — will return. “Not only is [Film Forum Jr.] coming back, it’s doubling its presence by having Saturday and Sunday shows at 11am,” Cooper said, noting upcoming series highlights “Yellow Submarine” (Aug.


July 26 - August 8, 2018

Courtesy of Distrib Films US

Iranian filmmaker Vahid Jallivand’s “No Date, No Signature” will be one of the first films to play at the reopened theater on Aug. 1.

Courtesy of Magnolia Pictures

“Nico, 1988,” opening Aug. 1, dramatizes the turbulent late career of the iconic Velvet Underground singer.

11 and 12), and Disney’s “Pinocchio.” Cooper is also excited about a rerelease of “The Atomic Cafe,” a film she opened in the 1980s that “collages educational and military and TV footage all about the new atomic age” in a way both ridiculous and “very politically astute.” “I think the key to being a good programmer is not to have preconceived notions,” Cooper mused, assessing her methods. “I really try to approach everything we look at with fresh eyes. Look at it critically, but consider what the filmmaker’s point of view was. I don’t have one concept of what it is I want to show at Film Forum. I want to show the most

exciting, most effective, intellectually provocative, and emotionally moving films I can find.” She also had kind words for her repertory colleague, commenting, “I think unquestionably Bruce Goldstein is the greatest repertory programmer in America. I’m not exaggerating, Bruce has an encyclopedic knowledge that he brings to bear,” particularly when securing old, difficult-to-fi nd 35mm prints from sources abroad. It’s a commitment to quality and diversity of films that Cooper cites as the reason for Film Forum’s longevity — as well as its recipe for success moving forward. “I think it comes down to what you

put on the screen… I think the caliber of the programming and the relationship between new and old makes us a dynamic and exciting place, and a reason the people have continued to come to Film Forum for all these decades,” Cooper said. “I think watching [these films], experiencing them with other people in a darkened theater, in the comfort that we will be able to give you — more so than ever before — I think it’s a superior experience.” Film Forum is located at 209 W. Houston St. (btw. Varick St. & Sixth Ave.). Call 212-727-8110 or visit filmforum.org. On Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram: filmforumnyc. DowntownExpress.com

Photo by Jonathan Smith

L to R: Allen Lewis Rickman, Yelena Shmulenson and Shake Baker. “Tevye Served Raw” is at the Playroom Theater through Aug. 14.

From Hilarious Comedy to the Depths of Tragedy ‘Tevye’ serves suitably ‘raw’ homage to the greatest of Yiddish writers BY TRAV S.D. In the middle of this year of grim golden anniversaries of assassinations, and riots and strife, it’s well to remember some positive things that were happening in 1968. For example, that year the original Broadway production of “Fiddler on the Roof” was two-thirds of the way through its record-setting, six-year run. Based on the Yiddish “Tevye the Dairyman” stories of Sholem Aleichem (Solomon Rabinovich, 1859-1916), “Fiddler” was not just an award-winning box office hit — it was a groundbreaking cultural event, the fi rst mainstream pop cultural depiction of Eastern European Jewry as it existed before World War II. It seems strange to imagine a time (and so recent a time) when theatrical producers actually worried that “Fiddler on the Roof” might be “too Jewish” for mainstream audiences. For some contemporary producers, apparently, it’s not Jewish enough! The National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene DowntownExpress.com

is presently showing an all-Yiddish version of the musical, translated from the English version by Shagra Friedman, and playing at the Museum of Jewish Heritage through Sept. 2. And the Congress for Jewish Culture is currently presenting a production called “Tevye Served Raw” at the Playroom Theater through Aug. 14. “Tevye Served Raw” is the artistic brainchild of a trio: the husband-wife acting team of Allen Lewis Rickman and Yelena Shmulenson (best known as the Yiddish-speaking couple in the prologue to the Coen Brothers’ 2009 fi lm “A Serious Man”) and Shane Baker, who styles himself “the bestloved Episcopalian on the Yiddish stage today.” All three act in the production, which consists of adaptations of Aleichem’s stories by Rickman and Baker, as well as some scenes from Aleichem’s own theatrical dramatization of the Tevye stories. Some portions of the show feature spoken English translation, others make use of supertitles. Rickman directed the

show, which, in contrast with the current Folksbiene production, is a showcase for Aleichem’s original Yiddish voice. “[The Public Theater’s] Joseph Papp called Yiddish the perfect language for the theatre,” Rickman said. “Our use of the word ‘raw’ in the title means ‘unprocessed.’ This is the organic, macrobiotic, sustainable version,” he joked. “Everyone in this production is a genuine Yiddish speaker. Yiddish is unbelievably expressive and musical and only someone who really speaks it can tap into that.” Though Baker is a gentile who hails from Kansas, Rickman singled him out for specific praise, saying, “Shane may be the most fluent Yiddish speaker I’ve ever heard. He speaks the most gorgeous, idiomatic Yiddish.” Rickman’s father was a native Yiddish speaker from Poland; Schulenson was born in Belarus and grew up in Ukraine. The current production grew out of Baker’s appearances at Aleichem’s yah-

rzeit, annual bereavement ceremonies honoring the deceased in the Jewish tradition. Aleichem’s will requested readings of his stories at this ceremony each year. Baker had been brought in to interpret the tales several years in a row, and a theatre piece grew out of that experience, with a view to presenting something by 2016, the 100th anniversary of Aleichem’s death. Versions of the show have been presented in Australia, Canada, Israel, and Ukraine. The pieces range from hilarious comedy to the depths of tragedy — or, as the ads promise, “You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll krechtz.” One special gem, called “A Stepmother’s TrashTalk,” depicts the process by which Aleichem became a writer: He created an alphabet book based on his stepmother’s curses. Other sections, with titles like “Strange Jews on a Train” and “The Yiddish Sisyphus,” remind us why Sholem Aleichem was known TEVYE continued on p. 20 July 26 - August 8, 2018


Photos by Jonathan Smith

L to R: Shane Baker, Allen Lewis Rickman and Yelena Shmulenson. TEVYE continued from p. 19

as “the Jewish Mark Twain.” But never far away are harsh realities. “Aleichem and the people who wrote ‘Fiddler’ were writing for two entirely different audiences,” Rickman said. “The outlook of the shtetl is not the same as the outlook of a Long Island housewife. So Aleichem’s original stories got whitewashed when they made the musical. The ugliness and the horror of the pogroms got covered up. In real life, interfaith marriages were outlawed in Russia. A Jew would have to convert to Christianity. You weren’t allowed to convert to Judaism.” So tears flow between belly laughs in this faithful homage to the greatest of Yiddish writers. And, while it’s not a musical, there is one lovely song, a lullaby sung by Schulenson, with lyrics by Aleichem. With very little imagination one can picture this bare-bones, but highly skilled production, touring on the back of a wagon from village to village across the Pale of Settlement. It’s not possible to be more authentic. Sun., Mon. and Tues. at 7pm, through Aug. 14, at the Playroom Theater (151 W. 46th St., btw. Sixth & Seventh Aves.). For tickets ($38), visit TevyeServedRaw.com or call 800-838-3006.


July 26 - August 8, 2018

Allen Lewis Rickman.


The Spirit of ’88 DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince’s youthful hit turns 30 BY JIM MELLOAN Hip-hop music, better known back in the day as rap, boasts a long lineage dating back to the 1970s, with some precursors, such as the now 50-year-old “Here Comes the Judge” by Pigmeat Markham, going back further. But it took a long time before rap began to crack the Billboard Hot 100 with any regularity. The single that launched the genre in the pop charts is the Sugarhill Gang’s “Rapper’s Delight,” which made it to No. 36 in 1980. That song was a feel-good paean to rapping, dancing, sex, and bad food. To those of a more negative, perhaps punk-influenced, frame of mind, Grandmaster Flash & the Furious Five’s “The Message,” which made it to No. 62 in 1982, was a welcome contrast, with its sparse, edgy meter, and the chorus that warned “Don’t push me ’cause I’m close to the edge / I’m trying not to lose my head / It’s like a jungle sometimes / It makes me wonder how I keep from going under.” As rap continued to develop in the ’80s, it stayed pretty much a stranger to the pop chart. You needed a gimmick to make it to the Top 40. Run-DMC found one in 1986 with its cover of Aerosmith’s ’70s hit “Walk This Way,” featuring Aerosmith members Steve Tyler and Joe Perry. That one made it to No. 4 — the first rap single to crack the Top 5. White, rock-tinged rappers The Beastie Boys hit No. 7 in March of 1987 with “(You Gotta) Fight for Your Right (To Party!).” The year 1988 saw a huge expansion in the number of rap records released. There to catch the wave was a duo from Philadelphia: DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince. Their single “Parents Just Don’t Understand” broke new ground in the integration of black culture and middle class, indeed upper middle class, concerns. This week marks the 30th anniversary of the song peaking at No. 12 on the Billboard Hot 100. The Fresh Prince, Will Smith, came from West Philadelphia’s Wynnefield neighborhood, which saw significant integration in the ’60s. He’s the son of an Air Force vet/refrigerator engineer and a school board administrator. He went to a Catholic elementary school — just about as far from Grandmaster Flash’s gritty existence as you could get. The Fresh Prince rapped about his problems with his mom’s dowdy DowntownExpress.com

Courtesy of Mason Vincent

Boston-based reggae/arena rock fusion band The Happy Campers, circa 1988.

choices in picking out his clothes and getting pulled over by the cops when he took his parents’ new Porsche out for a spin. Accompanied by a cartoonish video spackled with harmless day-glo graffiti, the song ushered in a new era of light-hearted, joyful celebration of the mundanities of the good life. Others in this wave included Young MC, who rapped about the importance of Busting a Move and the degradation of being sent to the Principal’s Office, and Tone Loc, who was all about doing the Wild Thing (lyrics by Young MC). It was the last year of the Reagan administration, and the economy was humming. There was such optimism in the air that a Boston improv troupe I was later involved with, Guilty Children, bought a $25,000 Chrysler van in 1987 on the theory that they would easily be able to make the payments on it in perpetuity by doing gigs all along the East Coast down to Key West and back. (This theory proved to be faulty.) A number one hit in the fall of 1988 was Bobby McFerrin’s “Don’t Worry, Be Happy.” That advice had been often touted by Indian mystic Meher Baba, who was followed both by The Who’s Pete Townshend and my (black) friend Jerry’s grandmother. The presidential campaign of George H. W. Bush adopted the song as its

official campaign song, until Democrat McFerrin told them to cut it out (and refused to perform the song until they did). As for me, in April of 1988 I moved into an (Asian-owned) house in Boston’s Brighton neighborhood with the black half of a reggae/arena rock fusion band called The Happy Campers. Front man, guitarist, and main songwriter Mason Vincent is an ex-Marine who was active on the San Francisco rock scene in the 1970s. Bassist Steve Fulton was born to a black man and a white woman in the mid-’60s, and adopted by a large Boston white family. His dad used to joke about putting him out on the front lawn with a lantern. I would often catch Steve mouthing the words to “Parents Just Don’t Understand” when it came up on MTV. As for the white guys, drummer Grant MacKenzie was from the Boston suburb of Sharon, and keyboardist Mike Zalewski was from Maine. The band was expert at living up to their name and creating good vibes at venues in Boston, out on Cape Cod, up in New Hampshire, and elsewhere. The idea behind their sound was perhaps crystallized when they hit upon the notion of doing a cover of Black Sabbath’s “Iron Man.” Their version started with a slow, portentous guitar solo playing the main instrumental theme, then it went into one drop

reggae rhythm as Mason sang lead. Never have I seen dance floors fill up so fast as they did in that moment. Sometimes friends would express negative feelings about “Don’t Worry, Be Happy” or the new sitcom called “Roseanne.” We would respond that we were a Don’t Worry, Be Happy/ Roseanne household. There was a cute little four-year-old Chinese girl down the street. I told her once that one of Mason and Steve’s white friends, Danny, had married a Chinese girl. The four-year-old smilingly expressed disbelief and disapproval. “She should marry a Chinese boy.” Well, the era ended. Will Smith went on to star in “The Fresh Prince of BelAir,” and then become what Forbes called the most bankable movie star worldwide. Gangsta rap became ascendant. In his first nationwide televised speech as president, in September of 1989, President George H. W. Bush announced that he was going to get very, very serious about the drug war. In 1992 producer Don Was, under the alias A Thousand Points of Night, put together a satirical pastiche of Bush sound clips called “Read My Lips.” Steve [Stephen] Fulton is now Deputy Director at Catholic Charities of Boston. Mason is still a working musician. And I like to reminisce about good times, while still having a few. July 26 - August 8, 2018



July 26 - August 8, 2018


PIER 17 Continued from page 2

Howard Hughes Corporation’s redevelopment of the seaside historic district. And Kramer’s fears appeared to be well-founded, after nearby resident sent in a video she took from the roof of her Water Street apartment building, which seemed to record music pumping out of the radiant concert venue during a Carrie Underwood performance on July 4, suggesting that Howard Hughes’s vaunted sound system wasn’t all it was cracked up to be.

STUDY Continued from page 4

a queue start at [3:30 or 4 o’clock], and then you have queueing nonstop until about 6:30 or so on a typical weekday — that window is going to shorten,” said Jeff Smithline, executive vice president and chief operating officer at Sam Schwartz Engineering. The study comes as no surprise to the Downtown community. Lora Tenenbaum, a longtime Soho resident and former Community Board 2 member, remembers the day the one-way toll was implemented in 1986. “The day the one-way toll was put into effect, traffic was so backed up, cars were literally driving on the sidewalk because nobody wanted to pay a double toll,” Tenebaum said. Since then, she’s been fighting alongside other community activists to restore the twoway toll. The lack of a dual-direction bridge toll may have mitigated backups at the Staten Island toll plaza, but the change also created a free route to New Jersey across Manhattan’s East River bridges, through Downtown and on through the Holland Tunnel. After the toll change, traffic swamped the neighborhood. Preliminary studies shortly after the two-way toll was scrapped in 1986 revealed added congestion on Canal St. and an increase of 4,000 vehicles per day through the Holland Tunnel, The New York Times reported at the time. Traffic also worsened on the Brooklyn side of the Verrazano while decreasing on the Staten Island side, the Times reported more than 32 years ago. “It’s been horrendous,” said Shirley Secunda, chairwoman of CB 2’s Transportation Committee. “I mean, we’ve been complaining for years.” Councilmembers Margaret Chin, who represents Lower Manhattan, and Justin Brannan, who represents Bay Ridge, are calling on the federal government to reinstate the two-way toll, as well. In late June, the two DowntownExpress.com

“Outside, it was surprisingly loud, given the claims that no sound would leave the perimeter of the Pier 17 roof,” said Caroline Miller, who took the video. And another neighbor confirmed that she was peeved by the loud musing coming from the pier that evening. “It was not terrible but it was significant and annoying,” said Zette Eamons. But on closer examination, there seemed to be some issues with Miller’s recording. The video was taken at 9:41

announced a resolution requesting that Congress pass and the president sign legislation to allow two-way tolling on the bridge. Their resolution says the “inefficient routes cost the MTA much-needed toll revenue that could be used to support the region’s mass transit system and has been blamed for exacerbating congestion problems in areas such as Canal St. in Lower Manhattan.” Back in 2010, hopes were high when Robert Gottheim, Rep. Jerry Nadler’s district director, said Nadler was aiming to integrate the two-way toll change into a federal transportation bill. CB 2 voted in support of a “speedy return” to the two-way toll. But the change never happened. “We have never stopped bugging Jerry Nadler’s office about this,” Secunda said. “I do think he keeps trying, but it’s a problem.” Nadler, who represents Manhattan’s West Side and parts of South Brooklyn, supports rebalancing the toll. But the delay has been partly due to concern over traffic backups at the bridge’s tolling plazas in Staten Island — the original reason former Congressman Guy Molinari called for the one-way toll more than three decades ago. However, last summer, cashless, electronic tolling went live. Vehicles no longer have to stop at tolling plazas, reducing possible traffic backup. As Chin and Brannan added in their recent resolution, “Those concerns are largely moot.” “This is the only bridge in the United States where a federal government tells a local agency how to collect money,” Gottheim said. “With current, modern electronic tolling, it’s no longer an issue. We talked to our counterpart in Staten Island — Dan Donovan — and he has been open to it.” With Republicans controlling Congress, Gottheim added, Donovan’s role in making the change is key. Gottheim explained that a stand-alone bill could repeal the one-way toll and

pm, about 20 minutes after the curtain dropped at the Independence Day concert, as confirmed by two separate concertgoers. And the song being played in the video was not a Carrie Underwood song, but rather Selena Gomez’s immortal “It Ain’t Me,” which was not included in the concert’s playlist, according to Howard Hughes spokeswoman Cristina Carlson. As it turned out, it wasn’t Pier 17’s high-tech sound system that locals were hearing at all, but rather the relatively low-tech pop-fueled speakers hooked up

to its Riverdeck watering hole, according to Scherl. The Howard Hughes honcho promised that the developer would try to make things right with the community, and said that SIA Acoustics would be kept on to continue sound monitoring around the neighborhood for the next few weeks. Community members are also encouraged to call Howard Hughes at (646) 822–6990 whenever the sound of an uninvited chart topper wafts into their living rooms, Scherl said.

Photo by Sydney Pereira

The study showed that a two-way toll on the Verrazano Bridge would signifi cantly reduce the number of delivery trucks — like these backed up at Hudson and Watts streets — that traverse Lower Manhattan on their way between New Jersey and Long Island.

restore control to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority to reinstate a two-way toll. “My logic is pretty simple on the two-way toll: If it relieves congestion for Staten Island and South Brooklyn, I’ll support it,” Donovan said in a statement. “If it makes traffic worse, I won’t.” Donovan requested that the MTA complete a study on the matter, particularly analyzing whether a two-way toll would discourage drivers from New Jersey from entering the city through Staten Island, encourage drivers from Long Island and Brooklyn to enter New Jersey through Staten Island instead of Manhattan, and how it would impact MTA revenue and Staten Island / South Brooklyn traffic. “I’m waiting on the results of the traffic analysis the MTA began last year at my request,” Donovan added. “Once I see the numbers, I’ll make a decision.” The planned L train shutdown is

only expected to further exacerbate longtime traffic concerns in Lower Manhattan. The shutdown, slated to begin April 2019 and last 15 months along the L line between Bedford and Eighth avenues, will also bring four new bus routes through Soho, Little Italy and the Lower East Side. The traffic relief that restoring the two-way Verrazano toll would bring is needed now more than ever, said Pete Davies, a Soho activist and member of the Broadway Residents Coalition. “When put into context of the upcoming L train shutdown — described by the Department of Transportation and MTA as a transportation situation ‘without precedent’ and the ‘biggest logistical challenge’ that has ever been undertaken,” Davies said, “it is mind-boggling that our elected representatives at all levels — federal, state, and city — aren’t doing whatever is necessary to ease the traffic burden on Lower Manhattan and nearby areas.” July 26 - August 8, 2018



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


July 26 - August 8, 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.

Daydreaming Many people will admit to daydreaming behind the wheel or looking at a person or object outside of the car for too long. Per-

haps they’re checking out a house in a new neighborhood or thought they saw someone they knew on the street corner. It can be easy to veer into the direction your eyes are focused, causing an accident. In addition to trying to stay focused on the road, some drivers prefer the help of lane departure warning systems.

Eating Those who haven’t quite mastered walking and

chewing gum at the same time may want to avoid eating while driving. The majority of foods require a person’s hands to be taken off of the wheel and their eyes to be diverted from the road. Reaching in the back seat to share some French fries with the kids is also distracting. Try to eat meals before getting in the car. For those who must snack while en route, take a moment to pull over at

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

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


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