VOLUME 31, NUMBER 15
AUGUST 9 – AUGUST 22, 2018
‘Alice’ gets a facelift
‘Alice on the Wall’ mural gets a touch up courtesy of Stuyvesant students Photo by Tequila Minsky
The whimsical Chambers Street mural “Alice on the Wall” was painted 17 years ago by Stuyvesant High School students shortly after they returned to school after the traumatic 9/11 terrorist attacks. Since then, giving the mural a touch up has been an annual ritual for Stuy students, but this year, they decided to add some new flourishes, such as flowers and flamingoes. For more, see page 17.
Also in this issue West Thames footbridge delayed — again! Page 2
Father of baby found dead at Seaport to be charged Page 4
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
Mayor wants to build massive jail Downtown Page 19
A BRIDGE TOO LATE Long-awaited West Thames footbridge delayed yet again BY COLIN MIXSON An over-cost, long-delayed pedestrian bridge spanning the West Side Highway has suffered yet another setback, outraging locals who have waited more than 14-years for the crossing. â€œItâ€™s very troubling,â€? said Anthony Notaro, chairman of Community Board 1. â€œThis is a more than 10-year-old project thatâ€™s already been delayed a couple times. We thought it was finally going to happen, so this latest news is very distressing.â€? The delay on the West Thames Street Pedestrian Bridge is being blamed on a subcontractor for construction company Skanska USA, which had botched welds that the city discovered could dramatically shorten the spanâ€™s expected 75-year lifespan, according to Shavone Williams, a spokeswoman for the Economic Development Corporation, which is spearheading the project.
That subcontracted fabricator has been replaced, according to Williams, but she couldnâ€™t say how long it would take for the new builder to reconstruct the faulty portions of the bridge. â€œWe instructed our contractors to take the steps and time necessary to refabricate components of the bridge, and we look forward to seeing the work completed as quickly as possible,â€? she said. Williams said that no additional cost are expected as a result of the delay and refabrications, but locals are skeptical, given the bridgeâ€™s history, which saw its original $18 million budget balloon to its current cost of $45.1 million â€” amounting to more than $190,000 a foot. â€œIâ€™m quite concerned about cost overruns,â€? said Tammy Meltzer, chairwoman of CB1â€™s Battery Park City Committee. â€œHow much more are we
The West Thames Street Pedestrian Bridge â€” already years overdue and millions over budget â€” has hit yet another snag, after the city discovered faulty welds that will delay the project even longer.
paying because of this?â€? The West Thames Street Pedestrian Bridge is planned as a permanent replacement for the temporary Rector Street Pedestrian Bridge, which was hastily erected in 2002 to provide a crossing over the busy thruway following the destruction of two West Street
spans in the 9/11 terrorist attack. The Rector Street bridge has already been in use for 14 years beyond its original expected lifespan. The new bridge will span the intersection of West and West Thames streets, diagonally across from the northeast corner to the southwest.
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SEAPORT HORROR Cops say father of baby found dead at Seaport dumped body, fled to Thailand BY COLIN MIXSON Police plan to charge the Bronx father of a dead baby found floating in the East River beneath the Brooklyn Bridge — as soon as they can get him back from Thailand. cops said. Co-op City resident James Currie, 37, was spotted in surveillance footage apparently carrying the child’s corpse in a backpack in the South Street Seaport area at 3:10 pm on Aug 5, less than an hour before bystanders vacationing in the city spotted the small body just off the shore near South Street, according to Chief of Detectives Dermot Shea, who spoke to reporters at a press conference inside NYPD headquarters on Aug 8. Currie then turned around and hightailed it to Bangkok, flying out of JFK airport at around 2:20 pm the next day. But he never made it out of the airport in Thailand, according to Shea, who said he expects the Bronx man to be in NYPD custody before
the end of the week. “He landed, was never admitted into the country, and I anticipate his return within the week,” said Shea. Currie allegedly took the sevenmonth-old child from his mother pursuant to a custody agreement on Aug. 4, and the baby was last seen alive on surveillance footage entering his father’s home in Co-op city shortly after noon that day, Shea said. When Currie left his home Sunday at around 2 pm, security cameras showed he carried the backpack worn over his chest and covered by a blanket, which police believe concealed his dead child. Investigators drew a connection between Currie and the dead baby after the child’s mother called 911 on Aug. 6, claiming the suspect hadn’t dropped the child off at day care, and saying she feared a connection between her missing baby and the body found in
Photo by Janel Bladow
Police recovered the body of a dead, 8-month-old child from the waters underneath the Brooklyn Bridge near the South Street Seaport on Aug. 5.
the river the day before, Shea said. “I don’t think anyone could listen to the call without their blood curdling,” said Shea. It remains unclear how the child
died, and Currie — who currently only faces a charged concealment of a human corpse — may be subject to additional charges pursuant to the ongoing investigation, Shea said.
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August 9 - August 22, 2018
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August 9 - August 22, 2018
Polo hounds Diehard polo fans braved downpours, heat for a glimpse of the noble game BY COLIN MIXSON Polo fans gather on Governors Island for the Victory Cup on Saturday, which featured some of the hottest horseback croquet New York City has ever seen, according to one die-hard fan. â€œI love polo!â€? said Julianne Cuba, who sailed out of Williamsburg to catch the tournament. â€œPolo rules!â€? The cityâ€™s largest-ever display of equestrian stick soccer drew thousands of horse fans to the island park, where they endured torrential downpours and searing heat to witness the once-a-year spectacle of high-society sport. But come rain or shine, the Victory Cupâ€™s Craft Brew Tent â€” where brewers from across the state came to show off their suds â€” was always hopping, according to one beer aficionado. â€œI got an extremely hoppy beer,â€? said Bill Roundy, author of the popular barbased comic Bar Scrawl. â€œIt was from Decadent Ales, so it certainly matched
Courtesy of Bill Roundy
(Clockwise from above) Governors Island hosted Victory Cup on Saturday â€” New York Cityâ€™s biggest polo competition. Brooklyn artist Bill Roundy, right, and pal Bret Lehne climbed a hill on Governorâ€™s Island for a better view of the polo game â€” and beautiful Downtown Manhattan. Polo fans turned out in their finest aristocratic finery. Lisa Zari sported an appropriately equine fascinator on her hat.
the atmosphere.â€? And many of the sportâ€™s aristocratic admirers came out looking the part, with over-the-top dresses and fancy hats, which alone were well
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worth the price of admission, according to Roundy. â€œMy favorite part was all of the outfits,â€? he said. â€œPeople really went all out.â€?
August 9 - August 22, 2018
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UNFORGETTABLE EVENTS 2049 Flatbush Avenue in Brooklyn, (718) 377-4535
FLORAL FANTASY 3031 Quentin Road in Brooklyn, (718) 998-7060 or (800) 566–8380 www.floralfantasyny.com FLOWERS BY MASSENET Jamaica, Queens, NY (347) 724-7044, (718) 526-3725 HENRY’S FLORIST 8103 Fifth Avenue in Brooklyn (800) 543-6797 or (718) 238–3838 www.henrysfloristweddingevents.com MARINE FLORIST AND DECORATORS 1995 Flatbush Avenue in Brooklyn (800) 447-6730 or (718) 338-3600 www.marineflorists.com
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FANTASY PHOTOGRAPHY 3031 Quentin Rd., Brooklyn NY, (718) 998-0949 www.fantasyphotographyandvideo.com NY PHOTO VIDEO GROUP 1040 Hempstead Tpke Franklin Sq., NY 11010 11 Michael Avenue Farmingdale, NY 11735 Office: 516-352-3188 Joe Cell: 516-445-8054 Peter Cell: 516-343-6662 www.nyphotovideogroup.com email@example.com ONE FINE DAY PHOTOGRAPHERS 459 Pacific St., Massapequa Park (516) 690–1320 www.onefinedayphotographers.com ZAKAS PHOTOGRAPHY firstname.lastname@example.org www.zakasphotography.com
DREAM HOUSE REALTY 7505 15th Avenue Brookyn, NY 11228 (718) 837–2121, email@example.com Carolyn Trippe, Lic. RE Broker
PILO ARTS SALON 8412 3 Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11209 (718) 748–7411, www.piloarts.com
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TO BE INCLUDED IN THIS DIRECTORY CALL (718) 260–8302 DowntownExpress.com
August 9 - August 22, 2018
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August 9 - August 22, 2018
BY LENORE SKENAZY Trends are something I wouldn’t say I’m great at predicting. Years ago, when I was passing the Empire State Building, two tourists asked me if I’d take their picture. “Sure,” I said. They proceeded to hand me a phone. “What the heck?” said I. “Oh, you can take pictures with a phone now,” they told me. Turns out they were shills for a tech company — Sony, maybe, or Samsung — and their job was to introduce the public to the idea that phones could double as cameras, and wasn’t that cool? I proceeded to write a column: “Just what we need, camera phones. Why not a bra that’s also a toaster? Shoes that dispense glue? How about a hat that can drive?” So maybe I’m not always ahead of the curve, but I’ve been reading up on other trends recently, and these things are truly on their way … I think. Running in the dark: Not running at night, when at least there’s a moon, but running on a track in pitch blackness. I don’t quite get how people survive this “sport,” much less why they want to do it in the first place. But the Japanese footwear company Asics has debuted a “blackout track” that ostensibly helps people concentrate — sorry, no, it helps them “be more mindful” as they say today. And I’d be pretty mindful, too, if I was worried that my next step could slam me smack into the idiot in front of me who is stupid enough to be jogging in the dark. Male makeup: Men in China are supposedly getting into cosmetics. Sales of guy goop are rising by double dig-
Posted To LET’S MAKE A DEAL! HHC PITCHES COMMUNITY AMENITIES IN BID FOR LOCAL SUPPORT FOR WATER STREET TOWER (AUG. 2) “Chutzpah”… It is not surprising to Seaport denizens that the Dallas-based Howard Hughes Corporation (HHC) fully understands the meaning of this word. HHC finally showed its hand at last month’s Manhattan Community Board 1 Executive Committee meeting: they want to line their pockets by bending the rules and asked the community
its, according to Jing Daily, a Chinese report on luxury goods that quotes one 22-year-old who said he dabs on concealer and some “brightening products” every day — but would never tell his dad about his habit. China owes the popularity of this trend in part to celebrity men willing to be the face of the new face, including the singer-actor Luhan, who is considered the Chinese Justin Bieber. The slang for attractive young men with cosmetically flawless skin is “little fresh meat” — which is almost as easy on the ears as the guys apparently are on the eyes, don’t you think? Mayonnaise ice cream: I’m not sure if this is a real trend, or just something so gross that everyone is talking about it. Either way, mushy, smushy Hellmann’s ice cream is the creation of Ice, a Scottish creamery with a somewhat unfortunate name that bills itself as an “artisanal” shop. (Speaking of trends, is there anything that hasn’t been artisanal-ized yet?) Anyway, Ice’s owner said the mayo-cream is a “full on hit of fat, followed with an eggy, milky aftertaste.” Hard to resist with a description like that, right? But here we are, talking about it, so I digress. Hearing aids that are also not hearing aids: These sound (ha!) great. The tech company Ericsson predicts we might end up wearing earphones qua aids all day long, in part to listen to our devices, but also to be picky about what else we hear. Future, program-
to name its price. HHC hires the smartest real estate professionals, lawyers and lobbyists. They do their homework and know full well that 250 Water Street is not a “receiving” site for air rights transfers within the South Street Seaport Historic District. Milstein holds their mortgage, prompting some to speculate that this is a contingency deal that still might never happen. This is where their Texas-sized chutzpah comes in. The Save Our Seaport coalition (SOS) called a standing-roomonly public meeting on June 28th and the verdict was clear: this commu-
mable earphones might allow us to only hear Person X in a room, and no other voices. Or they might let us muffle the sounds of our spouse’s snoring. And there’s always the hope that they will simultaneously translate for us, which would be amazing. Except if the foreigner is saying, “Where iz zee mayonnaise ice cream?” Pokémon meets Hilfiger: Designer Tommy Hilfiger’s new Xplore jeans come with so-called smart chips embedded in them. Somehow between the chips and an app on your phone, you can rack up points just by wearing your Xplore duds to certain places the brand is presumably partnering with. It’s like Pokémon Go, but you’re the Pokémon. (Or the app. Or maybe the sap.) And as you get rewards, Tommy gets the reward of “figer-ing” out where you are, and how often you wear his clothes. Edible coffee cups: We’re talking cup-shaped “Cupffee” wafers that withstand heat and liquid, and still taste good when you’re done sipping. This idea is so obvious, I am kicking myself. (Or maybe that’s the guy jogging beside me in the dark.) Fun laundromats: This one’s local! The super-hip Celsious laundromat in — where else? — Williamsburg! features tables, comfy chairs, a coffee bar, and even a free cup of organic detergent (not to be mistaken for the coffee). Why we have been subjected to otherwise dreary, soul-sapping laundromats for so long is a great question. Why we need a camera in a phone is not. Lenore Skenazy is the president of Let Grow, and the founder of FreeRange Kids.
nity’s air, light, history and purpose are NOT for sale. SOS succeeded the Seaport Community Coalition which united the community two decades ago and defeated ten proposals by the Milstein family to overdevelop this historic site. In 2003, the city downzoned the area to preserve the character of the South Street Seaport Historic District, a move that was later upheld in court. SOS is not some collection of old NIMBY’s, but rather a citywide group of people fighting to preserve and POSTED Continued on page 11
Greek Tragedy for Morons BY MAX BURBANK It’s about as close as he’ll every get to a Sunrise Service. At 5:35 a.m. on Sunday, August 5, our presumptive president took a moment from his 11-day summer golf vacation to tweet an admission that the statement he dictated for his namesake son, regarding the infamous Trump Tower meeting with a government-affiliated Russian lawyer, was a lie. For months, the transparently ridiculous White House line has been that the meeting was about the adoption of Russian children. Now, according to Trump’s tweet, “Fake News reporting, a complete fabrication, that I am concerned about the meeting my wonderful son, Donald, had in Trump Tower. This was a meeting to get information on an opponent, totally legal and done all the time in politics — and it went nowhere. I did not know about it!” Italics added to indicate the point where, without the least bit of human shame or embarrassment, Trump officially reverses one of his longest-standing official lies. It will come as no surprise to anyone who reads my column regularly: This was not what I originally intended to write about — but lucky me, it fits my theme perfectly. Here’s the seemingly unrelated question that kicked off the original train of thought: What do you think Rudy Giuliani’s shelf life is? How much longer can he go on before Trump claims to barely know him, and describes him as someone he briefly employed; a coffee boy, good for the occasional shoe shine? Rudy’s fall won’t be because he clumsily exposes Trump’s lies about pay-offs to porn stars and centerfolds, or that his client engages in obstruction of justice as often as he golfs. Trump is perfectly capable of doing that kind of damage himself, as Sunday’s tweet makes clear. There’s only one truly mortal sin in Trumpsylvania: becoming the story. Giuliani is the latest in a parade of quivering slug-puppy sycophants, rolling on their backs, exposing their fuzzy little throats and tummies, mewling and wetting themselves for Trump’s affection and approval. Instead, like everyone who’s stolen a bit too much of Trump’s thunder — from the bloated, animated corpse of failed-Robert-Redford-clone-bobbing-in-a-jar-of-formaldehyde Steve Bannon to hang-dog consigliore/fi xer and poor-man’s-JoePesci-impersonator Michael Cohen — DowntownExpress.com
Illustration by Max Burbank
Giuliani is going to get a thorough public kicking before being stuffed into a space under a bus so crowded with castoffs, the wheels no longer touch the ground. So Trump reenacts his desperate, loveless childhood, this time playing the role of his own father, Frederick Christ Trump, and no, I did not make up that middle name. It’s real. It’s a Greek Tragedy for Morons — and once you allow that this drama is being played out for the benefit of Trump’s true believer base, all the elements of Tragedy are in place. Trump is their Orange Agamemnon — not just the good and decent protagonist Tragedy requires, but the greatest, most bigly leader in the entire history of leadering! You can’t have a Greek Tragedy without a chorus, so here comes QAnon from the wings, following their white rabbit down its hole, out onto the stage, and into the limelight. It’s hard to say just what QAnon believes, as each adherent ladles their own bowl from a vast trough of leftover conspiracy theory gumbo — but they come together around certain
essentials. See, Q is this guy (Guys? Gals?) with a Q-level security clearance, which is equal to “top secret” in the Department of Energy. If Q isn’t actually a Russian government troll (spoiler alert, there’s like a 99.99999% chance he/she’s a Russian government troll), does that security clearance work anywhere but the DOE? Anyway, “Q” doles out “crumbs” for disciples, or “bakers,” on super-reliable websites like 4chan and 8chan, and presumably, ultra-secret, dark web 16chan, and they “bake” them into an understanding of “The Storm” — a reference to that time Trump scared the piss out of everybody by referring to a White House gathering of top military brass as “The calm before the storm.” So. The perfect Greek chorus for an audience of morons. Trump’s tragic flaw is naturally the very best tragic flaw, the one with the highest ratings: hubris — and not just average, store-bought hubris, but a designer brand delivering a level of pride and arrogance on such a scale it offends the gods. He’s smarter than the generals; he consults himself on foreign
policy because he has “a very good brain” and a “world-class memory.” But see, Achilles’ hubris was understandable. He was a nearly invincible gentleman who briefly forgot his unfortunate heel issues. That’s tragic! Trump believes he’s the smartest man on the planet when all signs to point to him being something of a dimwit. So Trump’s hubris is only tragic to morons, real Achilles heels being way more tragic than imaginary bone spurs! And now we approach a dreadful climax he’s been practicing for since shortly after he won the Electoral College. After sacrificing a slew of child-like, desperate-to-please staff in unsuccessful attempts to derail the Fates in the Special Counsel’s Office, Trump’s ready to chuck an actual child of his own blood on the pyre; his namesake, no less! I’m certain praise was a rare commodity in the Trump household, but is Jr. emotionally starved enough to swoon over being called “wonderful son” and not comprehend the import of the rest of the tweet? Because it isn’t “totally legal” to “get information on an opponent” when that information is being provided by a HOSTILE FOREIGN NATION! It isn’t “done all the time in politics.” In fact, there seems to be no record of it ever having been done in the history of American presidential campaigns. The fact that it “went nowhere” doesn’t change anything! If attempting to commit a crime and failing isn’t illegal, why am I wearing this ankle bracelet, which chafes and absolutely ruins the otherwise pleasing look of my formfitting slacks? Look at the closing line: “I did not know about it!” might as well read, “You got the wrong Donald Trump! It was Junior!” He’s sacrificing his own son! And there’s no way it’s going to be enough! Tragedy! Except a real Tragedy is supposed to provoke not just suffering, but insight, on the part of the protagonist. That’s how catharsis is achieved: the purification and purgation of emotions. And that’s never going to happen. Not for King Donald. Not for his country. This has never been Tragedy with a capital “T.” Like everything about this presidency, it’s gold leaf over drywall, “America First” banners made in China. Sad, sure. But only a Tragedy if you’re a moron. August 9 - August 22, 2018
SHELLY HEADED TO THE SLAMMER Silver to spend golden years in prison with 7-year sentence after 2nd conviction BY MARY REINHOLZ About an hour before the second sentencing of former state Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, a slew of press people packed the jury box in Room 443 of the U.S. District Courthouse at 40 Foley Square on July 27, preparing for a white-collar crime story to unfold. Paparazzi with cameras waited outside for a glimpse of the ailing 74-yearold defendant, a Democrat and son of Russian immigrants who has lived his whole life on the Lower East Side. He showed up around 1:15 pm on an overcast Friday afternoon, a straw fedora in hand, walking slowly, and then stood for screening inside the first floor of the august building, his face somber and showing signs of strain. Then, with his lawyer and two reporters tagging along (including this one), Silver, who had been the most powerful politician in the New York State Legislature before his 2015 arrest on corruption charges, took the elevator up four floors and entered the courtroom of federal Judge Valerie Caproni. She had sentenced him to 12 years after his first conviction in 2015. Back then, Caproni claimed she wanted to send a message to New York politicians that they could â€œspend their golden years in an orange jumpsuitâ€? if
they got greedy and abused the public trust. Silverâ€™s first conviction was overturned on appeal. This time around, Silver was found guilty again of all seven counts of honest-services fraud and extortion in a two-week May trial. Caproni said she had decided against repeating her first sentence, stating it was â€œlonger than necessary to accomplish the goals of sentencing.â€? Her second sentence lopped off five years from the first, giving Silver seven years behind bars, with incarceration to begin on Oct. 5. Itâ€™s punishment for illicitly obtaining some $4 million in referral fees from two Manhattan law firms in exchange for promoting state actions favorable to Dr. Robert N. Taub, a former Columbia University cancer researcher who served as the governmentâ€™s star witness; and for two real estate developers, Glenwood Management and the Witkoff Group, who sought Silverâ€™s support in obtaining tax legislation. Silver also made an additional $1 million by investing his ill-gotten gains, the government said. Caproni fined him $1.75 million for his felonies and said he must forfeit at least $3 million. â€œThis crime was driven by unmitigated greed,â€? Caproni said of Silverâ€™s two schemes involving the law firms
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August 9 - August 22, 2018
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Silver is swarmed by the press as he leaves the courthouse after his second sentencing on corruption charges.
of Weitz & Luxemberg and Goldberg & Irami. Weitz & Luxemberg, which handles mesothelioma cases, paid Silver $120,000 a year for an alleged noshow job as counsel, plus some $3 million for referrals over about a decade, many coming from the aforementioned Taub, who received two state healthcare grants promoted by Silver that totaled $500,000. Goldberg & Irami, a small Downtown law firm, paid the former speaker nearly $1 million, according to prosecutors. Jay Goldberg, one of the firmâ€™s founders, had been Silverâ€™s counsel in the Assembly and is a childhood friend. â€œThe bottom line is that Silver wanted to seem to be a man of the people while using his public position to line his own pockets,â€? Caproni stated. She rejected a request for leniency by Michael Fineberg, Silverâ€™s attorney, who requested that Silver â€œatoneâ€? for his crimes by a short sentence followed by public service, helping people navigate the state bureaucracy, â€œinstead of warehousing him in a facility where he will wither away forgotten.â€? But Caproni clearly tempered justice with mercy, after receiving a letter from the former pol, a prostate cancer survivor, saying he didnâ€™t want to die
in prison, and after reviewing an outpouring of support for him from family members, friends and constituents. She noted that when it came to constituent service, Silver conducted himself as a â€œgifted politician who went beyond the call of duty many times.â€? Her softer sentence surprised some in the legal community. Manhattan attorney Emily Jane Goodman, a former New York State Supreme Court Justice, said, â€œI donâ€™t know why Judge Caproni decided to soften the blow but it was the right thing to do. Perhaps that elusive element of empathy â€” which is not sympathy and is not approval â€” kicked in. Of course she had to consider many different aspects: the probation report, input and letters she received, including from Sheldon Silver himself, his age and health, and years of public service despite the inglorious end. And maybe she saw the facts or strength of the case differently even though there was [another] conviction.â€? Federal prosecutors from the Southern District had sought more than 14 years jail time for Silver, which would have been the longest sentence for any part-time New York legislator SILVER Continued on page 19
POSTED Continued from page 8
GREAT ESCAPE A massive search featuring canine cops and choppers came up empty for the four thugs who attacked a man on Spring Street on July 31. The victim told police he was leaving work when the crooks attacked him between Sullivan and Thompson streets at 2:05 am, hitting him in the face a couple times before nabbing his $600 iPhone 7. The crooks tried to flee after snatching the device, but the 43-year-old victim gave chase, pursuing them into the Spring Street subway station, where he quickly triggered a police alarm, forcing the thieves back onto the street, according to police. The victim lost sight of his attackers topside, and last spotted them fleeing into a Wooster Street building, which was quickly surrounded by police, who proceeded to sweep the building using dogs, while helicopters searched for the crooks from the sky, but their effort came up empty, and the thieves managed to escape, cops said.
WITHDRAWAL METHOD A robber knocked over a Chambers Street bank on Aug. 4, nabbing $500. The thief approached a teller inside the bank between Greenwich Street and W. Broadway at 1:45 pm and passed the woman a note which read, “I have a weapon, give me the money,” according to police. The teller handed him the cash and the man fled east on Chambers Street, cops said.
BANK NOTE A thief robbed a Broadway bank on Aug. 5, nabbing $736. The crook approached a teller at the bank between John and Cortlandt Street at 2:22 pm and passed her a note that read, “no dye packs, no bundles, no straps,” according to police. The bandit took off heading south on Broadway after the teller forked over the cash, cops said.
FOOT LOOSE A shoplifter nabbed more than $4,000 worth of footwear from a Mercer Street fashion boutique on Aug. 3. An employee told police the crook swiped five pairs of designer Versace kicks from inside the retailer between W. Houston and Prince streets at 6:25 pm. Cops searched the area following the theft, but failed to nab the suspect,
and the case remains open, according to police.
DECKED Cops arrested a man for allegedly beating his cousin with a skateboard and stealing his laptop on Mercer Street on July 31. The victim told police his cousin attacked him with his deck between W. Houston and Prince streets at 4:50 pm, before allegedly nabbing his $2,000 Macbook Pro and skating off. Detectives caught up with their suspect on Aug. 2, slapping him with a felony robbery charge, cops said.
HAIRY SITUATION Two thieves made off with more than $1,200 worth of hair-growth formula from a Wall Street drug store on July 29. Surveillance footage shows one man keeping lookout while his accomplice pried the hinges off a display case inside the store between Broad and William streets at 3:49 pm, before nabbing 21 bottles of Rogaine for men and women, along with four bottles of Viviscal, a competing brand of hair-growth formula. The crooks made a clean getaway following the hair-growth heist, and the investigation remains open, cops said.
respect the South Street Seaport Historic District and its maritime traditions. We will continue to give a voice to this community (another public meeting will be scheduled shortly), and to engage with our elected officials to ensure that HHC plays by the rules. Save Our Seaport The Seaport today has small condos that mesh perfectly with the surrounding community. They have been there for years. Tourist and residents can shop and dine in sunny and historical neighborhood filled with charm and character. The feel of the neighborhood and open space is what made me decide to live there in the first place. It’s what visitors want and businesses crave. Scherl’s statement of “[the neighborhood] also needs to be brought into this day and era of technology,” is absurd. The neighborhood has come a long way, and his statement shows little respect for
Some crook looted the register at a Pearl Street eatery on July 25. An employee told police that she came in for work at the restaurant near Broad Street at 9 am, when she discovered $350 had been nabbed from the cash register. Upon further investigation, she realized that all three doors to the diner were unlocked, and reviewed security footage that show the thief letting him inside the restaurant about 7 hours earlier. — Colin Mixson
SOUND REASONING: PIER 17’S ROOFTOP SPEAKER SYSTEM WORKS SO WELL, HOWARD HUGHES MULLS PUTTING IT IN RIVERDECK BAR (JULY 25) It’s funny that after 35 years of hell from the Seaport Concerts, finally the HHC is doing something about it. When Southbridge Towers was the only residential complex in the Downtown area during the early years, no one gave a crap. After all, we were merely a lowly middle-income Mitchell-Llama development with middle income residents, so why should they care? Now, with all the affluent neighbors moving in, suddenly HHC deems it prudent to invest in a sound system that does not impact the community at large. It goes to prove the point that money talks. Actually it does more than talk — it yells. Rosemarie Ferrara
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Cops are hunting the thief who rode off with a $2,500 mountain bike on West Broadway on July 24. The victim told police that she locked her Specialized Ruby road bike to scaffolding between Grand and Canal streets at 4:30 pm, and returned a few hours later to discover it was stolen. Police haven’t nabbed any suspects yet, but the case remains open, cops said.
DINE AND DASH
the unique flavor and needs of the Seaport. CJ
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August 9 - August 22, 2018
BY JANEL BL ADOW TOWER TALKS… As reported in Downtown Express (“Let’s make a deal! HHC pitches community amenities in bid for local support for Water Street tower”), Howard Hughes Corp. made an appearance at the Community Board 1 Executive Committee meeting last month to talk about plans for 250 Water St., the block-sized parking lot the company recently bought for an astronomical $182.7 million. As expected, community preservation group Save Our Seaport (SOS) came out swinging, blasting HHC’s “chutzpah” when it “asked the community to name its price” to allow an outsized development (see Posted on page 8 for SOS’s full statement). I spoke with SOS boardmember Michael Kramer Monday, and he said that they have three points they want to rally support for at an upcoming public meeting: First, zoning rights in the Seaport are not up for sale. “We fought hard and it was upheld in court in 2003. They have nerve to reopen this again,” Kramer said. Second, community members and school parents and teachers are concerned that construction on the lot will harm air quality, and make the adjacent Peck Slip play street unsafe. And lastly, people need to remember that this is a historic district and an irreplaceable asset to the community. “We’ll keep talking,” Kramer said. SOS plans another public meeting for Thursday, Aug. 23 at the Southbridge Towers community room. Doors open at 6 pm, and the meeting starts at 6:30 pm, ending at 8 pm.
Photo by Janel Bladow
The neighborhood’s newest hotel, Mr. C Seaport — and its stylish restaurant Bellini — are fi nally for business, boasting an artfully deco decor.
August 9 - August 22, 2018
NEW NEIGHBOR… Just a couple weeks ago the new boutique hotel, Mr. C Seaport, and its restaurant Bellini opened for business — refreshingly refi ned, artfully deco, happily friendly and comfortable. We had cocktails in the lounge this week, and look forward to more. Will be visiting and giving you the news in more detail next month. CANAL ROOTS… Ever wonder what it would have been like to dig a 360-mile gully in the mid-1800s? Back-breaking. Mind-altering. Spiritshattering. Author Jack Kelly pulls no punches in his latest look at the making of America: “Heaven’s Ditch: God, Gold, and Murder on the Erie Canal.” Dug entirely by hand through the wilderness, the canal spawned new lifestyles and even new religions. The Erie Canal made New York City the commercial capital of the country, connected the Atlantic Ocean to the Midwest, and opened the Great Plains to the settlers. And along the way, it also brought America’s first “crime of the century,” horrific acts of violence, crazy treasure hunts, a visionary cross-dresser and boatloads of fanatics, mystics and hoaxers. Join Kelly as he recounts the history, hysteria, and horror of this epic venture. He will be speaking at the South Street Seaport Museum’s Book Talk, on Tuesday, Aug. 14, at the Melville Gallery, 213 Water St. Books will be on sale and signed after the event. Doors open at 6:15 pm. Tickets are $10 for non-members, but act fast, because seating is limited. https://web.ovationtix.com/trs/pe/10282873. RAISING THE ROOF… The end of July saw the opening of the Pier 17 Rooftop. A free community concert headlined by Jon Batiste and The Dap-Kings rocked the roof and rolled the waters on July 28. Five more concerts are set for this month, including Dashboard Confessional and Michael McDonald. The movie nights are also a big hit. Next one is “The Greatest Showman” on Wednesday, Aug. 15, followed on Aug. 29 by “Minons.” When it’s not booked for a special event, go up and check out the public space. Not only does it have an awesome view, but the river breeze is comforting during the current hot spell. Nice, quiet, comfortable. Take a book. Stream a movie. Escape the mayhem below.
Photo by Jane Kratochvil
Jon Batiste and The Dap-Kings rocked Pier 17’s rooftop venue with a free concert on July 28.
We reached out to Saul Scherl, TriState majordomo for Howard Hughes Corporation, for his thoughts on the venue’s long-awaited debut. “It’s such a thrill to see our new Pier 17 rooftop being enjoyed by so many families and members of our local community — as well as visitors from far and wide” he said. “We are very proud to be part of our city’s effort to reclaim its relationship to the waterfront and plan for a vital, sustainable future. We want to thank our city leaders who have helped make possible the renaissance of our beloved Seaport District.” For more details on upcoming events, see www.pier17ny.com. FEASTS FOR FOODIES… Two dining-out events are going on Downtown this month — Summer Restaurant Week through Friday, Aug. 17, and Get Low Tuesdays which ends Tuesday, Aug. 28. Great time to check out some of the delish creations by our local chefs. Restaurant Week is a deal — two-course lunches are $26, while $42
gets you a three-course dinner. Almost 400 eateries are participating, but reservations for those trendy spots like Bar Boulud may be hard to get. So check out the top spots in our hood. The Tuck Room (11 Fulton St.) offers a choice of salmon, Schnitzel or burger for lunch, and for dinner an appetizer sampler with a choice of the salmon, Schnitzel or baby back ribs. MarkJoseph (261 Water St,) has an amazing lunch and dinner deal too. Both sittings offer choices of salads or baked clams for appys, and a selection of chicken, steak or salmon for entrees. And their lunch includes dessert! MJ is also participating in Get Low Tuesdays on Aug. 28 which features a 20-percent discount on a dinner for two after 5pm. Meanwhile, you can dine a deux at Trading Post on their Tuesday, Aug. 14. Parties are limited to two and discount doesn’t include alcohol, tax or tip. For more info, see https://www.downtownny.com/getlow and https://www.nycgo. com/restaurant-week-about. DowntownExpress.com
A Sweet Dish with No Empty Calories Renée Taylor’s delightful ‘Diet’ leaves you hungry for more
Photo by Jeremy Daniel
Renée Taylor dishes from the comfort of her desk.
BY SCOTT STIFFLER Taking audiences on a bittersweet but appetizing trip through decades’ worth of weight loss schemes, Renée Taylor’s “My Life on a Diet” delivers on the promise of that title, while distinguishing itself as an excellent source of food for thought on everything from personal loss to self-acceptance to the thorny realities of writing, acting, and relationships. Unlike the cake she poses with on the Playbill’s front page, there are no empty calories here, no ill-advised indulgences — just Taylor, dishing up large portions of DowntownExpress.com
intimate anecdotes and well-delivered punchlines (the gal’s got a sense of timing sharper than your most dangerous kitchen knife). She’s so sweet, you’ll eat this show right up, and leave feeling as if you still have room for more. Making her grand entrance onto a set whose leopard print look pays homage to the tacky excess of her signature role (as mother to the titular sitcom character on 1993-1999’s “The Nanny”), the glammed-up 85-year-old plants herself at a desk and announces she’ll be staying there for the duration (“I can walk, and I can sit. I just have
trouble sitting after I walk and getting up and walking after I sit.”). She then puts on a pair of glasses (“for reading, distance, balance, perception, and seeing”), and gives an introduction worthy of its own 12-step group: “My name is Renée, and I am a food tramp — that is someone who eats around.” Those zingers, witty and insightful while walking the line between selfdeprecation and hard-won defiance, are typical of the script, tweaked in its current form by producer Julian Schlossberg and Taylor’s friend, Elaine May, and co-created by her late hus-
band, Joseph Bologna — with whom she had a long marriage and a successful writing/performing partnership. The result is a breezy but substantive memoir that views Taylor’s body image issues through the prism of a hardscrabble upbringing, training with Lee Strasberg at the Actors Studio, consistent work on the TV talk show circuit, and a slew of Broadway and Hollywood credits. Taylor’s had quite a career, and counts at least one megastar as a knew-her-when friend. (Spoiler alert: DIET continued on p. 14 August 9 - August 22, 2018
DIET continued from p. 13
It’s Barbra Streisand, and Taylor’s account of swapping clothes during their lean years is one of many tales about the rich and famous, supported by photos and video clips that are worth the price of admission on their own). When all is said and done, “My Life on a Diet” reveals its central character as a deft armchair psychologist who has plumbed the depths of her strengths and shortcomings in order to cast an unflinching light on how “my obsession with food has led me to behave in certain ways.” The apple, it turns out, didn’t fall far from the tree. Bronx-born Taylor (stage name inspired by Elizabeth) was raised by a father, Charlie Wexler, whose debts from compulsive gambling required the family to relocate, in the dead of night, on more than one occasion. But the longest shadow was cast by her mother, Frieda, who grafted her own dreams of show business glory onto her daughter, while insisting the entire family faithfully embrace an everchanging roster of food and health regimens. This gives the show one of its best running jokes: Dozens of diet names and their ingredients appear onscreen behind Taylor, as she recalls the shelf life and effectiveness of each new attempt to shed pounds (The Watermelon Diet, for example, is 6 quarts of watermelon juice a day; The Long Island Hadassah Diet, 2 kosher chicken thighs a day). Asking advice from acting school colleague Marilyn Monroe, Taylor adopts The Frozen Grape Diet — and puts on four pounds. “That’s impossible,” Monroe said to her. “If you put on four pounds, you’d have to have eaten 12 pounds of grapes.” Taylor greets that feedback with a comedic shrug, then finds new hope when Monroe suggests The Master Cleanse Diet, which counts maple syrup among its ingredients. Hopes are dashed, however, when Monroe advises, “A drop, not a quart!” But for every memorably eccen-
Courtesy of Renée Taylor
She takes the cake: Renée Taylor’s solo show about dieting has all the right ingredients.
tric weight loss method mentioned from her career as a “binge dieter,” Taylor noted, in a recent phone interview, audiences hunger for more. “People tell me what diets they’ve been on,” she said, and ask, “ ‘Why didn’t you mention this diet or that diet?’ ” Then there are the ones that didn’t make the cut. “I thought it was too gross to put in The Pregnant Women Urine Diet,” Taylor said, asserting, “People didn’t want to hear about that one. And The Cabbage Soup Diet. Tyne Daly came [to see the show] and said, ‘Why didn’t you have that one?’ I was just looking for some of the stranger ones… I’ve been dieting, my god, it’s been over 70 years. I’ve been on every one there is — The Beverly Hills Diet, The Pineapple Diet. They all worked, but what happens is, when you go off it, you gain a lot of weight quickly.” So it’s all the more rewarding, then, that Taylor’s relationship with food came full circle when she secured the role that has endeared her
August 9 - August 22, 2018
to TV viewers for over two decades, and continues to generate new fans. “It wasn’t written for me,” Taylor said of Sylvia Fine, mother to Fran Drescher’s idiosyncratic sitcom character, “The Nanny.” When casting for the CBS sitcom, Taylor recalled, “they wanted Sheila MacRae to play it; they wanted somebody sort of, Presbyterian. But Fran had seen me in [the 1971 film] ‘Made for Each Other’ and… sensed something real in me.” Early on in the six-year run of “The Nanny,” during a scene that plopped her Queensbased character down in the tony Manhattan digs of Nanny Fran’s employer, Taylor found herself deploying a trick from those many years of dieting and denial. “I have a bad habit in life,” she said, “of eating off people’s plates. So when we were doing the show and I didn’t have any lines, and we had real food, I just started eating off other everybody’s plates.” That candid moment was a hit with audiences, and Sylvia Fine’s obsession with food
became a running gag that fed the natural chemistry she had with Drescher. “It was actually good,” Taylor said, “because I got very fat on the show, and I got a lot of acceptance, when I had tried my whole life to be thin. And I thought, ‘It’s okay to be fat’ — and that it was okay for me to lose weight.” Asked if the show has a central message, apart from the comedic hook of those zany diets, Taylor didn’t hesitate: “Forgiveness. It’s about how I felt about my body; shame, like there was something wrong with me. So I had to learn about self-acceptance and love. You have to forgive your past. Your fat won’t leave if you don’t forgive it. It won’t leave if you keep it [shame] around. And I had to forgive my husband for dying — and my mother for dragging me to diet doctors. I had to forgive everybody, and I had to forgive myself.” As for how she achieved that, Taylor humbly deadpanned: “You accept that you’re a fool. Once you accept that, then it’s easy… You have
to love; what you’re working on, and who you’re working with.” With “My Life on a Diet” having recently announced the extension of its run through Sept. 2, Taylor noted she is already hard at work on her next act, or acts. There’s been talk of “The Nanny” returning with new episodes, and Fran Drescher just saw Taylor’s show (on Aug. 5). They’re still very close, said Taylor, who noted of the possible reboot, “Luckily, I’m available.” She also pitched an idea to Drescher: “All the kids are now grownups, but Fran and Sylvia are the same age — very late 30s.” Taylor also told us she’s working on “The Book of Joe” — stories, she said, “of my relationship with Joe [Bologna] and the relationship with him after his death. I still talk to him every day, and he talks to me; and we continue the romance.” Taylor added that she’s working on a three-character play “about Mae West. There’s a young man she’s having an affair with, and then there’s her assistant [Craig Russell], who was a female impersonator who dressed up as her; because when the paparazzi chased her, she’d send her impersonator out as a decoy.” Focused on the present, Taylor said she still draws on the disciplines she learned while taking classes with the likes of Monroe and Brando. “I still hear Lee’s voice on stage,” she said, of Strasberg, “telling me to relax and focus. Like, say the audience doesn’t laugh at something hysterically. I hear his voice say, ‘Concentrate on the story and on this moment. Don’t run to the next one or the last one — and see how far you can go with it.’ ” “My Life on a Diet” is performed through Sept. 2 at the Theatre at St. Clement’s (423 W. 46th St., btw. Ninth & 10th Aves.). Wed. & Sat. at 2pm; Thurs., Fri. & Sat. at 7pm; Sun. at 3pm. For tickets ($65 general; $75, premium seating), call 212-239-6200 or visit MyLifeOnADietPlay. com. DowntownExpress.com
Photo by Rania Richardson
Schapiro’s “The Beauty of Summer” greets visitors upon entering “Surface/Depth.” A case of inspirational ephemera stands at the end of the room.
When Miriam Schapiro Embraced the Decorative Exhibition shines light on a pioneer and her progeny BY RANIA RICHARDSON “Surface/Depth: The Decorative After Miriam Schapiro,” currently on view at the Museum of Arts & Design (MAD), is dazzling in more ways than one. In the 1970s, Schapiro (1923-2015) was a key figure in the intersection of feminism and art. Originally recognized for her hard-edged abstract expressionism, she shifted into a new means of expression that elevated what had been known as woman’s work — efforts such as needlework and scrapbooking. She embraced the decorative, embellishing her canvases with cut paper, fabric, rickrack, glitter, and jewels. Combining painting with a variety of other materials, she called examples of her signature hybrid style “femmages” — a portmanteau of “femme” and “collages.” The exhibition’s curator, Elissa Auther, noted in a statement to this publication that, along with a circle of feminist artists, Schapiro engaged in “dignifying women’s traditions of creative practice, historically dismissed as DowntownExpress.com
artistically trivial for their connections to craft and the domestic sphere.” Schapiro’s work was an exciting development at the time when female artists faced psychological, social, and professional obstacles in the male-dominated art world. In 1971, with Judy Chicago (best known for “The Dinner Party”), Schapiro founded the Feminist Art Program at the California Institute of the Arts (CalArts), a radical undertaking designed to address gender issues. In addition, she was a leader of the Pattern and Decoration Movement — so it comes as no surprise that her work in this area is stunning in color and composition. (American art had historically eschewed the decorative, although it was fundamental around the world; in Islamic art, for example.) Schapiro’s experiments with form yielded canvases shaped in female-centric constructions such as fans, homes, and hearts. “House” is a highlight of the exhibition. The simplest shape of a house is repeated like an infinity mir-
ror. The black color hints at a darker side to domesticity, while the floral and sparkling additions speak to beauty and feminine life. Schapiro collected ephemera for use and inspiration, and there is a fascinating selection on display in a glass case: buttons, doilies, kerchiefs, pincushions, and the like. Among those items is a copy of the femmage manifesto, “Waste Not, Want Not: An Inquiry into What Women Saved and Assembled.” “Surface/Depth” presents work from Schapiro’s seminal years juxtaposed with nine contemporary artists who are continuing in her legacy, fulfilling MAD’s aim of being a creative hub that explores the processes and materials of artists across disciplines, as noted in the museum’s stated mission when it opened in Columbus Circle in 2008. “Like Schapiro, these artists set into relief our assumptions about what counts as mere visual incident and what is considered the ‘real’ meaning of a work of art. These artists continue and extend
her investigation of the antagonistic relationship of craft to art and surface to depth, further demonstrating the value of the decorative as a critical, aesthetic tool that complicates these exclusionary distinctions of value,” Auther wrote. The exhibition shines a light on the renewed relevance of Schapiro, especially as an unheralded pioneer whose work catalyzed a younger generation of artists. A diversity of makers in various stages of their careers are among the standouts: Filipino-American artist Jasmin Sian uses a utility knife to cut tiny, elaborative shapes into painted paper, in a laborintensive process that results in miniature filigree landscapes of gardens and zoo animals. Josh Blackwell recovers plastic bags and yarn to create intricate sculptures he calls “Neveruses,” that reference baskets and ceramics by using needlework techniques such as darning, weaving, crocheting, and knitting. DECORATIVE continued on p. 16 August 9 - August 22, 2018
Photo by Rania Richardson
Josh Blackwell employs plastic bags and colored fibers to create sculptural “Neveruses” with embroidery and darning techniques. DECORATIVE continued from p. 15
Sanford Biggers decorates found quilts with cosmic and celestial imagery, and explores history and race through pattern. Ruth Root pairs fabric and paint to signify that the materials are equal in value. In “Untitled,” a piece she created for the exhibition, an irregular canvas abuts fabric of her own design that depicts household objects, art pieces, and people, including Schapiro with Chicago in their CalArts heyday. “Surface/Depth: The Decorative After Miriam Schapiro,” is on view through Sept. 9 at the Museum of Arts & Design (2 Columbus Circle, btw. Broadway & Eighth Ave.). Hours: Tues., Wed., Fri., Sat. & Sun, 10am-6pm; Thurs., 10am9pm. Admisson: $16 general, $14 for seniors, $12 for students. Thurs., 6-9pm is pay-what-you-wish. For more info, call 212-299-7777 or visit madmuseum.org.
August 9 - August 22, 2018
Photo by Jenna Bascom, courtesy of the Museum of Arts and Design
Photo by Jenna Bascom, courtesy of the Museum of Arts and Design
A tribute to the domestic arts, “House of Summer’s Night” shows one of Schapiro’s shaped canvases.
L to R: Schapiro’s transformation from a classic abstract expressionist (“Silver Windows”) to an artist who added craft material to her work (“Again Sixteen Windows” and “Lady Gengi’s Maze”). DowntownExpress.com
Mural of the story Stuy students touch up a public artwork with a touching history BY TEQUIL A MINSK Y Just below the Washington Market Park tennis courts on Chambers Street, starting near the Tribeca Bridge and stretching east, is a low wall and wide ledge adorned with a colorful, surreal mural — compliments of student volunteers from nearby Stuyvesant High School, who first painted the fantastical scenes of “Alice on the Wall” 17 years ago, and return every year to keep its colors fresh and vibrant. This year, at the annual touch up event on Aug. 6, the student volunteers even gave it some extra flair, adding flowers and some pink flamingoes. But a big part of the volunteer event is getting students together and engaging with the community, said one participant who was painting a flamingo on the ledge. “It’s really cool,” said rising sophomore Michelle Chen, who recently joined the Key Club, which organizes volunteer projects like the mural refurbishment. “It’s a great way to hang out and be active,” she said, adding that this was her first foray into volunteerism. Fellow Key Club volunteer Michael Hu said he wanted to help refurbish the Chambers Street mural because the ledge is a locus for Stuy students during their lunch hour. “I wanted to work on this project because it’s close to Stuyvesant and I hang out on this wall,” Hu said, adding that he like the idea seeing the results of his work in his daily routine. “Making it brighter and more colorful — it’s something we see every day.” Stuyvesant students initially approached CITYArts, a non-profit that facilitates murals and other pubic art, about decorating the 400-foot stretch of concrete back in early 2001 and together came up with the idea of riffing on “Alice in Wonderland.” The project ended up having to be put on hold — for obvious reasons — but just two months after their return to the Downtown high school in the wake of the 9/11 attacks, students began work on “Alice on the Wall,” in what many volunteers credited as a very healing experience in a traumatic time. CITYArts founder and executive director Tsipi Ben Haim said that studentdriver public art projects like this one DowntownExpress.com
Photos by Tequila Minsky
(Top) The fanciful scenes of “Alice on the Wall” have graced the edge of Washington Market Park for 17 years. (Right) Michael Hu adds fi nishing touches to a flamingo he drew and painted. (Bottom) CITYarts executive director Tsipi Ben Haim with the student volunteers who turned out on Aug. 6 to help refurbish the “Alice on the Wall” mural on Chambers Street.
have a positive impact not only on the young artists, but other youth as well. “Not only does this project offer students a sense of expression, but kids see other kids working,” she sadi. “They see it’s being done by teenagers and don’t destroy it. This mural has remained graffiti free.” The regular refurbishment has become an annual project, with Stuy students touching up visible wear on the 17-year-old mural, which Ben Haim said reflects the sense of personal connection the volunteers feel for the artwork. “Our Stuyvesant kids have a sense of ownership and responsibility with this mural,” she said. Under cooling shade from a line of trees — which offered a surprisingly pleasant worksite on an otherwise blazing day — Cheryl Qian sat crosslegged and painted colorful flowers on the wide ledge. This is Qian’s third year doing the mural restoration, and she also recruits student volunteers for the project. As Art Club president, Qian knows her paints, and stresses the
importance of using the right materials for outdoor art. “We use wall paint that usually lasts to the next restoration,” she said.
But all that paint doesn’t come cheap, of course. This year’s refurbishment was sponsored by cold sore medication Abreva, according to CITYarts. August 9 - August 22, 2018
August 9 - August 22, 2018
Jailhouse rocks Downtown Mayor floats controversial plan to build massive new jail on Centre Street BY COLIN MIXSON Talk about a ball and chain! Mayor de Blasio is considering a plan to convert the city’s Marriage Bureau in Lower Manhattan into a prison complex as part of his scheme to shutter the city’s main jail Riker’s Island. Emissaries from City Hall unveiled the plan to retrofit 80 Centre St. into a jail before a hodgepodge group of civic gurus — including reps from community boards 1 and 3, and the Chinatown Partnership — at a meeting on Aug. 2. The announcement follows Mayor de Blasio’s declaration last year that he would push to close Rikers Island — which houses roughly 10,000 inmates, the majority of whom are being held in lieu of bail as they await trial — and that his plan included building separate, smaller prison facilities located next to courthouses in each borough except Staten Island. In addition to the Marriage Bureau and City Clerk’s Office — where couples can swing by for drop-in marriage service — the 80 Centre St. building
SILVER Continued from page 10
caught in the crosshairs of the law. Nevertheless, Geoffrey Berman, interim U.S. attorney for the Southern District, a Republican donor to Donald Trump and a former law partner of Rudolph Giuliani, said he hoped the “fittingly stiff sentence sends a clear message: Brokering official favors for your personal benefit is illegal and will result in prison time.” Throughout the sentencing, which lasted more than an hour, Silver sat stoically beside his lawyer Fineberg. At one point, he rose to tell Caproni, “I ask for your mercy,” and later said he had “brought great distrust to New York government. I am extremely, extremely remorseful,” he said, adding, “Going forward, I fear I will continue to be ridiculed, shamed by the stain upon me.” Silver did not once admit to committing a crime, however. Asked if he intended DowntownExpress.com
Photo by Colin Mixson
The city is considering retrofi tting the Marriage Bureau building on Centre Street into a jail, as part of Mayor de Blasio’s plan to close Riker’s Island, and increase the city’s supply of cynical metaphors.
between Worth Street and Hogan Place is also conveniently located adjacent to Manhattan Criminal Court and the Manhattan District Attorney’s office, in addition to being just down the street from the notorious Manhattan Detention Complex — aka “The Tombs”
to appeal, Silver replied softly, “Most certainly, we will appeal.” Silver began his career as an assemblymember in 1976, rising to become the Assembly’s speaker in 1994. He remained in that influential position until his arrest in 2015 on corruption charged leveled by then U.S. Attorney for the Southern District Preet Bharara, which resulted in his first conviction. In 2017 a three-judge state Appellate Division panel of the Second Circuit overturned Silver’s first conviction, on the basis that Caproni had failed to instruct the jury on a narrower definition of corruption charges against public officials, in light of a U.S. Supreme Court ruling vacating a conviction for public corruption against former Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell and his wife. Undeterred, prosecutors retried Silver, securing a second conviction, and on July 27, a second jail sentence.
— located at 125 White St. The plan is still in its early stages, but could see the building rise up to 40 stories, and could even include some affordable housing units in addition to the jail facility. Before moving forward, however,
Dates: Thurs., Aug. 9–Wed., Aug. 15
ALTERNATE SIDE PARKING RULES ARE SUSPENDED WEDNESDAY FOR FEAST OF THE ASSUMPTION The Summer Streets program rolls back Downtown on Saturday with all of Lafayette St. closed to cars from 6 a.m. to about 1:30 p.m. The Brooklyn Bridge’s Centre St. exit will be closed as well. The bridge walkway will be crowded if there’s no rain, so bikers and walkers please be careful. Downtown’s major cross streets will be open but sluggish near Lafayette. The route continues up to Fourth Ave. en route to Park Ave. to Central Park and 72d St. “Daily Show” host Trevor Noah performs at South Street Seaport’s Pier 17 Sunday night 8 p.m. affecting Water and South streets. Pier 17 is screening “The Greatest Showman” Wednesday 7:45 p.m. MetLife Stadium has the Giants and Browns Thursday 7 p.m., and the Jets and Falcons Friday 7:30 p.m. in NFL preseason. Lincoln Tunnel congestion will prompt some drivers to use the Holland before the games. Thursday is movie night with “Mean Girls” at the World Trade Center’s Oculus Plaza near
the proposal would have to undergo an extensive public review process ending in a vote by the City Council, where local legislators can be expected to follow the lead of Councilwoman Margaret Chin, whose district includes 80 Centre St, according to Community Board 1 Chairman Anthony Notaro. “She’ll be a major stakeholder,” said Notaro, who was present at the Aug. 2 meeting. Local community leaders hope to use the city’s need for Chin’s endorsement as leverage to force City Hall to sweeten the pot with potential amenities, such as community centers and additional transit infrastructure to help alleviate the project’s infrastructure burden on the area, according to Notaro. “We’ll have to figure out what makes sense, what the plan would be, and what type of benefit there would be for the community,” he said. But the city isn’t putting all it rotten eggs in the 80 Centre St. basket — it’s also considering a plan to expand the nearby Manhattan Detention Complex accommodate more prisoners.
Church St. 7:30 p.m., animation shorts at Brookfield Place near the West Side Highway and the WTC 6 p.m., and “Labyrinth” at 28 Liberty (formerly Chase Plaza) near William and Liberty Sts. 8 p.m. The Knickerbocker Chamber Orchestra is performing that night by North Cove near Brookfield Place 5:30 p.m. If you’re driving, expect more pedestrians.. One lane of the Williamsburg Bridge’s Manhattan-bound inner roadway is closed 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily until Aug. 17. The M usually avoids almost all of Manhattan on weekends, but not this Saturday and Sunday when open stations include Broadway-Lafayette in addition to the usual Delancey-Essex. The M will run between Middle Village and the Lexington Ave./63rd St. F stop, where it’ll switch to the Q track going to and from 96th St. Downtown A, C, and E trains will skip Spring St. this weekend starting 10 p.m. Friday. The Battery Dance Festival is in Wagner Park at the foot of the West Side Highway after 7 p.m. from Saturday to Aug. 17. Saturday, Rutgers St. is closed for stickball noon to 6 p.m. between Madison and Cherry Sts. August 9 - August 22, 2018
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