Shakespeare Books Back on UWS 06
New Push Vs. Hep C 06
LGBT Memorial Gets Visit from Orlando 07
GOOD CAUSES FUEL GRUELING PADDLE ‘ROUND MANHATTAN Photo by Sydney Pereira
A new climate change exhibit illustrates the link between warmer oceans and more devastating hurricanes.
A Planet In Peril Is Focus of New AMNH Exhibit BY SYDNEY PEREIRA The American Museum of Natural History (AMNH) launched a permanent climate change exhibit last month, featuring an interactive wall with key information about our planet’s changing weather patterns. Interactive sections detail evidence of rising temperatures, the greenhouse gas emissions causing the temperature to rise, and the consequences of climate change with before-and-after images of natural disasters that studies have shown will intensify under a warming climate. As distinct from a previous temporary exhibit nearly a decade ago, climate change’s poster child — the polar bear — is not featured in the new exhibit, in order to focus attention on how climate change impacts people and not just the animal and plant kingdoms we share the planet with. “We wanted to shift away from the more — I don’t want to say trite, because polar bears are very important — but [shift away from] the examples that people sort of know about, but they can say, ‘Well that’s far away,’” said Rosamond Kinzler, the senior director of science education at the AMNH. Rather, the exhibit in the Gottesman Hall of Planet Earth focuses on the causes of climate change and its consequences, including wildfires, drought, hurricanes, and other crises directly affecting people. “Warming climates cause an increased occurrence of extreme versions of fires and droughts and floods,” CLIMATE CHANGE continued on p. 4
August 9-22, 2018 | Vol. 04 No. 16
Photo by Jamie Biesiada/ Courtesy of Edmonds Bafford
Edmonds Bafford practices his paddleboarding on weekends all year round.
BY SYDNEY PEREIRA Edmonds Bafford has been paddleboarding in the Surfers’ Environmental Alliance’s (SEA) annual 26-mile race around Manhattan since 2013. To date, he has raised some $200,000
for the group, which supports environmental causes as well as autism non-profits. On Saturday, August 11, Bafford, now a board member at the PADDLE continued on p. 20
Manufacturers Make the Case for Garment District to Stay in Manhattan
Photo by Charles Beckwith
Samanta Cortes, Executive Director of Save The Garment Center.
BY MARK NIMAR The future of Manhattan’s Garment District was among the fashionable topics of concern at July 25’s full board meeting of Community Board 4 (CB4), as a costume designer, a glove maker, and an embroidery expert insisted the city’s recently proposed zoning laws for the iconic neighborhood will negatively affect their businesses, and ultimately force them out of the area historically meant for tailoring and manufacturing. In a letter to the New York City Planning Commission and the NYC Economic Development Corporation, CB4’s Clinton/Hell’s Kitchen Land Use Committee noted how the situation goes back to March of 2017, when “with less than a month’s notice, the City proposed a package of changes” to the zoning of the Garment District, which would lift “preservation requirements to allow for more offi ce space development,” which would, in turn, raise the rents of local tailors, designers, and manufacturers. That added expense would make many designers’ businesses fi nancially unfeasible — and the city’s proposed solution, to move the Garment Center to Sunset Park in Brooklyn, would rob the industry of its close proximity to its Manhattan clients, a key component to the success of many shops in the area. “Space is one of the main players when we make fi nancial decisions for our business,” said Katie Sue Nicklos,
August 9, 2018
Photo via wingweftgloves.com
L to R: Katie Sue Nicklos and Lacrasia Duchein, of Wing & West Gloves.
a glove maker and co-owner of Wing & Weft Gloves (wingweftgloves.com). Located at 270 W. 38th St. (btw. Seventh & Eighth Aves.), the company has designed handmade gloves for the theater, fi lm, and fashion industries for over 40 years. In a follow-up interview to her appearance at the CB4 meeting, Nicklos told NYC Community Media that “because of Hudson Yards developments, it’s pushed rent up and up. Our last line of defense has been zoning... People are going from 35 dollar per square foot [rent] to 70 dollar per square foot, and it’s not sustainable.” Despite the rising cost of rent, Nicklos feels strongly that her glovemaking shop needs to remain in the
Garment District. “I really want to stay here,” she said. “It’s such a beautiful part of the city’s legacy. There’s no other place like it. This is where I have grown up.... [leaving here would be] like being ripped from your home.” Aside from her sentimental attachment to the neighborhood, Nicklos does have more practical concerns about leaving the Garment District. “These buildings that we’re in are factory buildings,” she noted. “They’re made for machines. The [Sunset Park] buildings we’d be moving into aren’t soundproofed, aren’t made for the weight of our machines.” Nicklos also noted that because of the Garment District’s close proximity
to Broadway, TV sets, and wealthy clients, “projects get done fast, because we’re right here.” Moving to another borough, she asserted, would result in a loss of time and money crucial to the ongoing success of her glovemaking business. Samanta Cortes, Executive Director of Save The Garment Center (savethegarmentcenter.org) and one of the world’s leading experts in embroidery machinery, shares many of Nicklos’ concerns. Because of the zoning laws, Cortes’ rent has spiked by 35 percent. Her landlord also only offered her a month-to-month lease — and because of this instability, potential investors GARMENT DISTRICT continued on p. 9 NYC Community Media
L Train Meeting Supplies Supplemental Environmental Assessment Info
Photo by Sydney Pereira
BY SYDNEY PEREIRA Several dozen Manhattan residents raised oft-repeated concerns about the L train shutdown plan at a Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) public meeting on Mon., Aug. 6. The meeting was legally required as part of the recently released Supplemental Environmental Assessment (SEA) for the sweeping project. The SEA was conducted as a result of the lawsuit by the 14th St. Coalition against the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, the New York City Transit Authority, the New York City Department of Transportation (DOT) and the Federal Transportation Administration. The assessment addresses environmental concerns about how the L shutdown plan would impact the affected
Several dozen people attended the MTA’s mandatory public meeting on the Supplemental Environmental Assessment for the L train shutdown plan.
L TRAIN continued on p. 10
JOIN THE CELEBRATION! COMMISSIONING ANNIVERSARY WEEKEND August 16–19 Join us for performances, tours and activities for all ages as we celebrate this ship. Former crew members will reunite and share stories from all eras of Intrepid’s service.
NEW EXHIBITION: Intrepid A to Z Explore life on Intrepid through an alphabetized collection of artifacts, archives and media never before seen by the public, with commentary from former crew members and veterans. Visit INTREPIDMUSEUM.ORG/75 to learn more and get your tickets.
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NYC Community Media
August 9, 2018
CLIMATE CHANGE continued from p. 1
Kinzler said. “And so we want to make sure that people understand that connection because those are all things that really affect us.” Digital images illustrate a power plant with billowing smoke, a global view identifying the planet’s electricity hot spots, and — perhaps most harrowing — hurricane after hurricane, including Harvey, Irma, and Maria, slamming the Caribbean and the southeast US in the summer of 2017. The exhibit also highlights climate resiliency efforts by New York City — painting roofs white to reduce the urban heat island effect, elevating critical infrastructure to withstand future storms, reimagining the electric grid, making subway infrastructure more more storm-resistant, and combatting coastal erosion — in minute-long videos focusing on the city’s efforts since Superstorm Sandy ravaged Lower Manhattan and coastal Brooklyn and Queens in late October 2012. Another interactive display explains how climate change could — and in some cases already has — exacerbated the spread of disease, food and water shortages, and even global conflict. On a recent Thursday afternoon, the installation was packed with children on camp tours and some with parents explaining what the graphs, numbers, and images reveal. The knobs and dials that untangle the extensive amount of data and information happened to be broken in at least two places — a testament to just how much the installation has been used so far. One child slid one knob back and forth repeatedly at the before-and-after section, saying “storm, no storm, storm, no storm.” A parent explained to two children what scientists learn from ice cores — cylindrical chunks of ice that can be found in Greenland and Antarctica and stretch for up to two miles long. They help scientists investigate what the climate was like hundreds of thousands of years ago. Kinzler said that anecdotal evidence convinces her that the new permanent exhibit is drawing more people than the
Photo by Denis Finnin/ Courtesy of AMNH
The planet’s climate is being warmed quickly by rising levels of CO2 in the atmosphere, as demonstrated in this interactive display.
museum’s previous efforts on climate change had. “We’ll have to do the visitor study tracking to back it up with evidence, but I think everyone is observing that,” she said. The exhibition opens after months of backlash in which the museum faced criticism for allowing Rebekah Mercer — who has made millions of dollars in donations to climate change denial groups, owns half of the website Breitbart, and was a part owner and board member of the data firm Cambridge Analytica that was implicated in the misappropriation of data from tens of millions of Facebook accounts in 2016 — onto its Board of Trustees. The group Revolting Lesbians has protested the museum repeatedly, with one member, Amanda Lugg, telling Manhattan Express in April that the museum “is basically giving her a legitimacy and a cover and an aura of respectability that she doesn’t deserve.” The Natural History Museum — a traveling museum that partners with scientists and museums — spearheaded an open letter earlier this year from more than 450 scientists asking the AMNH to remove Mercer from the board and “end all ties to anti-science propagandists and funders of climate science misinformation.” Mercer’s hefty support for climate change denial groups while being in a leadership position at the museum is directly contrary to the
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August 9, 2018
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AMNH’s mission, said the mobile museum’s director, Beka Economopoulos. “That’s a contradiction,” Economopoulos said. “It really flies in the face of the institution’s mission and really damages the public trust.” A January letter from 28 museum curators also voiced concerns about Mercer and climate science misinformation to museum executives, the New York Times reported at the time. Scott Rohan, the museum’s spokesperson, referred Manhattan Express to a previous statement provided in April and climate change information on its website when asked about Mercer’s continuing role as a trustee. “It’s not the role of Trustees or donors to make decisions about scientific and educational content,” Rohan said by email. “At the Museum, those decisions are made by scientists and educators based on evidence, facts, and research.” A review of the exhibit by Earther, an online environmental news source, criticized the exhibit for presenting no solutions beyond the painted white rooftops that reflect heat off city buildings. Though the exhibit clearly acknowledges that greenhouse gas emissions are the cause of climate change, there is also no focus on how to decrease emissions or the role of the fossil fuel industry, particularly Exxon, in covering up evidence of climate change as far back as the 1970s, which InsideClimate News uncovered in a 2015 investigation.
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Failure to focus attention on the fossil fuel industry’s long indifference to the climate crisis could be seen as a striking exclusion, though Economopoulos noted she couldn’t say whether it is attributable to Mercer’s presence on the board, acknowledging she has not reviewed all of the exhibit’s information yet. “To me, climate change is as much a social and societal concern as it is a scientific one,” she said. “You cannot exclude the social sciences from the hard sciences.” The museum, she added, “sees dozens of school groups a day. They are highly influential. They are among the most trusted sources of information in society… They are perfectly poised to host discussions about climate change and how we got here and what happens next.” What is expected to happen in the future — on issues including the rise in sea levels and temperature projections — is another aspect curators left out. “The reason that we don’t prioritize futurecasting from climate change models — and this is a question we get asked a lot — is because, in fact, what does happen in the future will depend most heavily on what humans decide to do about emissions and other factors as well,” Kinzler said. The exhibit includes a focus on paleoclimatology, which plays a critical role in understanding patterns and trends stretching hundreds of thousands of years into the past. Scientific samples such as ice cores, sediment cores, lake cores, tree rings, and corals help show how carbon dioxide concentrations have changed over time. That all improves our understanding of how climate systems work. For instance, said Kinzler, “How do we know that dinosaurs lived on this planet 100,000 years ago? The same way we know what the carbon dioxide concentration in the air was — by studying the record.” She added, “The same kind of inferences that helped us understand what lived there then are the kinds of inferences that help us understand the chemistry. It’s a deep connection between the present and the past.”
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August 9, 2018
Shakespeare & Co. Coming Home to UWS BY DUSICA SUE MALESEVIC Dane Neller, CEO of Shakespeare & Co., calls it the trifecta: buy, commune, and create. When the bookseller returns to the Upper West Side late this fall, Neller said, the new store will be a place to buy books, of course, include a café where people can commune, and feature an Espresso Book Machine — more on that later — so people can create. For 15 years, a Shakespeare & Co. on W. 81st St. was considered an institution, but it shuttered in 1996, partly due to a Barnes & Noble branch nearby, according to a June 1996 New York Times article. “Upper West Side’s terrific — it’s a great neighborhood of readers and writers,” Neller, the former CEO of Dean & DeLuca, said in a recent phone interview. “I always had a plan to go back... It wasn’t a matter of if, it was when.” The bookstore at 2020 Broadway between W. 69th and 70th Sts. will be roughly 3,000 square feet, he said. “We’re targeting early November” for the opening, Neller said, noting that was an estimate. The Upper West Side store is part of a larger expansion envisioned by Neller, who bought Shakespeare & Co. with
Photo courtesy of Dane Neller
Dane Neller, CEO of Shakespeare & Co., says the bookseller has plans for new stores on the Upper West Side, in Greenwich Village, and in Philadelphia.
other investors around May 2015, he said. The chain at one point had six locations, according to Publishers Weekly, but when Neller took over, there was only one Shakespeare & Co., on the Upper East Side. Renovating that store at 939 Lexington Ave. between E. 68th and 69th Sts. was the priority, he said, before growing the chain again. That expansion is now afoot, with
the chain opening up its first new store, in Philadelphia. Neller said the chain will open a coffee kiosk near the 68th St. number 6 subway station at Hunter College, which will have carts and tables of books outside. In addition to the Upper West Side location, a store will open on Sixth Ave. near 11th St. in Greenwich Village, which he said is slated to launch early next year. Customers at the new Upper West
Side location can expect a smallish store that will be “well-stocked” and “richly packed” with a selection of children’s books, and adult nonfiction and fiction, according to Neller. The café will serve beer and wine, as well as coffee, and there will be events including readings from local and well-known authors. “We’re really trying to create a cultural center on the Upper West Side,” he said, adding that Shakespeare & Co. is trying to “bring back the old-fashioned bookstore.” The store will also have a kid’s corner, tentatively called “Imagination Station.” But perhaps the most intriguing feature of the new store will be the Espresso Book Machine, where children and adults will be able to print a paperback book in minutes. On Demand Books, founded by Neller, Jason Epstein, and Thor Sigvaldason, is the company behind the machine. Espresso Bookstore & Café Holdings is the parent company of both On Demand Books and Shakespeare & Co. Neller said the machine has gotten to a place where it is reliable and can make a book in three or four minutes. SHAKESPEARE continued on p. 19
New NYS Push Against Hepatitis C BY NATHAN RILEY Health advocates are making a concerted push to raise awareness of a disease about which many people are uniformed despite its growing prevalence: hepatitis C. July 28 was World Hepatitis Day, with the World Health Organization focusing its efforts around the theme: “Test. Treat. Hepatitis.” And, now, New York State has started a Hepatitis C Elimination Task Force, announced July 27 by Governor Andrew Cuomo. The outbreak in the state is gathering force, and the best practices advice is now that when you get tested for HIV, get tested for hep C, as well. That’s not because of any specific link between the two epidemics, but rather due to the ease of managing your health care. In fact, many people who don’t consider themselves at risk for HIV could be infected with hepatitis C. Right now, such testing requires that a person ask for it.
August 9, 2018
Photo by Donna Aceto
Governor Andrew Cuomo announced a Hepatitis C Elimination Task Force on July 27.
In 2016, an alarming 14,745 new HCV infections were reported in New York — more than five times the number of new HIV diagnoses for the same year. There is no obvious warning; a person infected with HVC can be otherwise healthy. The virus can hang out in the liver for years and cause no apparent discomfort. New York State is responding with a new plan to unravel a critical dilemma, with public health officials estimating that half the infected population doesn’t know it. That problem carries a two-fold risk. First, hep C is treatable, so a person not knowing their status can unnecessarily harm their health. Treatment simply involves completing a regimen of medication and the virus disappears. An untreated person can also spread the disease. The success in combating hep C is remarkable for a disease that wasn’t even identified until 1989. HCV lurks
in the body and the blood. It was even spread by blood transfusion before it was identified. Until recently, public health officials focused on populations 45-65 and older, many of whom have now received treatment and so are not infecting others. The assumption was that HCV infection incidence was declining. That optimistic scenario is now outdated. The disease has spread, and young people are testing positive for it. There are many ways to become infected, but the activists from VOCALNY and Housing Works that prodded Governor Andrew Cuomo and the State Health Department to prioritize the battle against HCV are active in keeping drug users healthy, through needle exchanges and other interventions. Injecting drugs is clearly one path for new infections, but so are needles in badly run tattoo parlors and straws HEPATITIS C continued on p. 19 NYC Community Media
Orlando’s Pulse Memorial Planner Visits NYC BY PAUL SCHINDLER On a beautiful recent mid-summer morning, Hudson River Park’s LGBT Memorial — which pays homage to victims of hate violence against the community, and to those lost and injured in the June 2016 shooting spree at Orlando’s Pulse Nightclub, in particular — played host to the onePULSE Foundation itself, the non-profit established by the club’s owners to honor the tragedy’s victims, support the survivors, and educate the public about what happened there two years ago. On July 20, a group that included the Memorial’s designer, Anthony Goicolea, State Parks Commissioner Rose Harvey, Elizabeth Martin, the department’s project manager, Alphonso David, counsel to Governor Andrew Cuomo, and David Contreras Turley, the governor’s director of constituency affairs, welcomed Barbara Poma, who founded and leads the Foundation, and was the nightclub’s owner since its launch in 2004. Poma was joined by Hilary Lewis, who sits on her board of trustees and is the curator and creative director of The Glass House, an architectural landmark of 49 Photo by Donna Aceto
PULSE continued on p. 18
Barbara Poma looks at the words of Audre Lorde inscribed in the one boulder in the LGBT Memorial that has a gap in it.
YOUR METER IS GETTING SMARTER We’re installing smart meters across New York that help you keep track of your energy use and manage your bill. Learn more at coned.com/smartmeters
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August 9, 2018
Eliminating the Tip Credit Will Burden Small Businesses BY MARIA DIAZ Successfully running a small business is not an easy task. It requires skills in the areas of community engagement, marketing, operational and financial management, human resources, and networking — just for starters. However, the possession of this knowledge is not enough. Entrepreneurs, business owners, and those they employ need a favorable business environment for their companies to start, grow, and thrive. New York City is one of the most challenging environments in the country for small businesses, particularly restaurants. With high taxes, expensive rent, an increasing minimum wage, and new competition around every corner, it is easy to see why. However, with increased talk from the US Department of Labor (DOL) about eliminating what is known as “tip credit,” the business environment could become all the more challenging for local restaurants and tip-based services. The tip credit provides businesses a much-needed reprieve. It allows restaurants to pay their tipped workers $8.65 hourly instead of the full $13 minimum wage for employers with 11 or more employees, and $12 minimum wage for employers with 10 or fewer employees. The $4.35 tip credit allows restaurants to staff more workers and provide them with more hours, due to the lower cost of hiring employees. This system has largely worked for tipped employees, as demonstrated by a survey of 486 New York City restaurants by the New York City Hospitality Alliance that found the 14,000 servers employed by these establishments earned an average of $25 per hour. Since the DOL began to discuss tip credit elimination, we at the Greenwich Village-Chelsea Chamber of Commerce (GVCCC) have had the opportunity to speak directly with many of our business owners, managers, and tipped workers. Overwhelmingly, they support the tip credit and worry about the consequences of its removal. For instance, Taso Hatz, the owner of the restaurant Bus Stop Cafe (597 Hudson St.), told us, “When we raise prices, we’ll lose customers. Everyday customers become weekly or monthly customers.” Peter Migliorini shared Hatz’s concerns. Migliorini, whose family has owned and operated Piccolo Angolo
August 9, 2018
Photo by Ryan Schaitkin
Taso Hatz, owner of Bus Stop Cafe, believes that eliminating the tip credit will cause everyday customers to “become weekly or monthly customers.”
(621 Hudson St.) for 25 years, told us, “Being a family restaurant, our servers have all been here for a long time, and they know the customers. The regulars know our servers well and they tip them well.” Migliorini said that with increasing menu prices, regulars might be forced to come into their restaurant less frequently, and tip less generously when they do visit. “Lots of mom-and-pops are already going out of business because of increased expenses,” he said, “and this is just adding another hurdle. The city is going to lose a lot of character.” Beyond management, many tipped workers conveyed to us their support of the tip credit, but did so off-record out of concern for taking a public stance. However, hundreds of tip earners across New York have testified before the DOL to voice support for the continuation of the tip credit. As stated in one tip earner’s petition, which included over 500 signatures by restaurant professionals to protect the tip credit in response to celebrity activism, “We’re servers and bartenders by choice… The industry gives us flexibility, and the current tipping system gives us the opportunity to earn great money with less than fulltime hours.” These small business owners and employees are right to worry about the consequences of tip credit elimination. Because of this policy, labor costs would increase by roughly 50 percent. This money would likely come out of restaurant profits, threatening the survival of our small business community. This fear is rooted in recent history. In 2015, the Cuomo Administration significantly
increased the tipped workers minimum wage. As highlighted by US Census Data for 2016, New York State’s fullservice restaurant employment growth dropped from 4 percent to 1.3 percent. This drop was fueled by the high number of restaurants that had to close due to the cost increase, and loss of staff due to curtailed earning potential because of employers’ cost-cutting activities done in response to this cost increase. Many of the managers we spoke with confirmed that removal of the tip credit would force them to lay off workers and cut hours to stay afloat. This is highlighted by a 2017 study published by the National Bureau of Economic Research on the impacts of Seattle’s minimum wage law, which indicated that a $4 increase in the minimum wage has resulted in a 9 percent reduction of lowwage jobs. This translates to a 6 percent decrease in what employers collectively pay workers, amounting to a loss of $125 per worker a month. This is not to say that the tip credit is perfect. Proponents of removing the tip credit say that tipping results in an increased prevalence of sexual harassment and/or discrimination. Because workers depend on customers for a large portion of their earnings, there is an incentive to keep quiet about negative behaviors and the impacts of that behavior on tipped workers. However, the elimination of the tip credit will not solve the structural and cultural issue of workplace harassment, discrimination, and sexism. In fact, an analysis of Equal Employment Opportunity Commission data by the
Employment Policies Institute showed that there is no significant difference between the rate of sexual harassment charges in states with the tip credit and states without the tip credit. More importantly, at a time when the #Me Too movement is exposing sexual harassment as ingrained in the culture of various corporations and industries, it’s important to note that many of these industries do not pay based on a tipping model. And yet, sexual harassment is, unfortunately, prevalent in these fields. We need to focus on policies that address the structural and cultural issues, which give rise to harassment, discrimination, and sexism. This is because our goal should be to eliminate them from the workplace altogether, as opposed to making no significant difference towards this goal. In addition, the New York City Council just set aside $2.5 million for the legal defense of low-income workers who are the victims of wage theft by their employers. This action is not the only step that New York must take to protect its low-wage workers, but it is an important first step to affording low-income workers the ability to earn a fair, living wage while working in service jobs. Eliminating the tip credit would negatively impact restaurant patrons, workers, and ownership due to increased prices, reduced hours, and lost profits. Maine illustrates that this type of proposal is not supported by the workers whom it would affect, and is not a part of the long-term solution. Typically, restaurant owners and their servers are not on the same side when it comes to policy issues. When they are, we should all take notice. The consensus against eliminating the tip credit is just such a noteworthy moment. The collective objection to this proposal is not due to disagreement with its underlying goals. On the contrary, this proposal’s goals are well-intentioned. However, its execution is flawed — and thus, the proposal will only hurt those workers whom it purports to help. That is why the GVCCC stands with our local restaurant workers and owners to oppose the elimination of the tip credit in New York. Maria Diaz is Executive Director of The Greenwich Village-Chelsea Chamber of Commerce. For info, call 646-470-1773 or visit villagechelsea.com. Twitter: @GVCCHAMBER. On Facebook: facebook.com/ GVCCHAMBER. NYC Community Media
GARMENT DISTRICT continued from p. 2
walked away from the business. â€œI had two big partners who wanted to invest,â€? she told this publication in a follow-up interview to her testimony before the full board of CB4. â€œThey were willing to partner up, but they pulled out, because [my rent was on] a month-to-month basis.â€? Cortes is also against the proposed move to Sunset Park. She says that in Sunset Park, the workers there are more skilled in making T-shirts, and do not have the knowledge and craftsmanship to construct a $5,000 gown. She is also worried that highly-skilled designers in their 70s will not be able to commute to Sunset Park. Cortes further noted that if more senior designers cannot interact with younger ones, â€œknowledge of [skills like] pleating will be lost,â€? and the next generation will not be able to mentor future designers. The ability of artisans to thrive is not just in the interest of the fashion industry: New Yorkâ€™s economy also depends on it. Charles Beckwith, the Director of Communications for Save The Garment Center, noted that the Garment District is â€œwhere 90 percent of clothing is designed for the world,â€? and that â€œNew York is the fashion capital of the worldâ€? for that reason. â€œIn China,â€? he noted, â€œit takes an entire day to go around and fi nd material for a garment. In Paris, it takes half a day. In New York, it takes half an hour.â€? The Garment Districtâ€™s current configuration allows this ease with which designers can build their garments â€” and if a change undermines the current system, New Yorkâ€™s economy will be hurt, Beckwith argued. The community is taking these concerns seriously. Following its July 25th meeting, CB4 included in its letter to the New York City Planning Commission and the NYC Economic Development Corporation a recommendation that â€œproposed IDA real estate tax incentives should preserve between 500,000 and 750,000 square feet of manufacturing space,â€? and 180,366 square feet of currently protected space should be preserved â€œin perpetuity.â€? The board also recommended the city acquire a new building of 150,000 square feet to provide affordable workspace for Garment District workers. Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer has also pledged her support. The Manhattan Borough Board recently voted in favor of a plan, which would preserve â€œat least 300,000 NYC Community Media
Photo by Mark Nimar
At July 25â€™s full board meeting, and thereafter, CB4 voiced support for retaining the garment industry in Manhattan.
square feet of fashion manufacturing spaceâ€? for Garment District workers, according to patch.comâ€™s July 26 article on the vote. â€œAs a whole, this plan will preserve a core of manufacturing in the area for years to come,â€? Brewer tweeted on July 26, after the vote took place. â€œ[Thank you] to the Garment Center Steering Committee for your work!â€? In an Aug. 6 email, CB4 Chair Burt Lazarin told this publication that CB4 â€œsupports the progress the elected officials and the administration have made on the proposal,â€? but noted, â€œmore needs to be done to retain the garment industry in Manhattan.â€? CB4, he said, believes that the rezoning â€œshould include solutions to the outstanding zoning issuesâ€Ś such as oversaturation of hotels, the underdevelopment of affordable housing, and the illegal demolition of multiple dwellings between Eighth and Ninth Avenues.â€? CB4 and Brewerâ€™s support are victories for the garment industry, in a battle against the powerful fi nancial forces that are vying for control of the city. With the price of real estate in Midtown and the massive earning potential for investors, â€œthereâ€™s a lot of money at play here,â€? Beckwith noted. â€œAt this point, nothing has been formalized. Nothing has been protected yet, which is not something weâ€™re comfortable with. We want to see a minimum of 750,000 square feet [protected], and probably more like a million... There are 900 manu-
facturers that are in danger if the city goes ahead, and moves the protections. The current zoning law is not perfect, but itâ€™s all we got. And if itâ€™s removed, it will be a massive problem overnight.â€? Beckwith is not afraid to push back. â€œYou donâ€™t want to start a fight with a business with access to every celebrity on the planet. Our resources are large,â€? he said, â€œand if we need to wake them up, we will.â€? Despite the challenges facing the industry, Nicklos remains optimistic about the future. â€œI am naive with
hope,â€? she said, â€œbut I want to hang onto that as long as I can, because I believe it is worth it to make something that stays. There have been people... saying that this [industry] has been dying, and nothing can change. I am hoping I am not one of those voices years and years from now. If I donâ€™t do something now, no one [in the future] will have a chance... Tradition is important and the arts are important, and communities are important. They all deserve a place in the city. On the island of Manhattan.â€?
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L TRAIN continued from p. 3
Manhattan and Brooklyn neighborhoods — from air quality to the aging streets. The MTA did not give a presentation describing the SEA’s findings. Rather, some 40 people — mostly residents — detailed their grievances about airquality changes they feared would come with adding four new bus routes; preserving local access to buildings on 14th St. despite the addition of a “busway”; worries about congestion nightmares on narrower side streets in the West Village, Soho and Little Italy; and construction projects impacting the flow of street traffic during the shutdown period, among other things. Assemblymember Harvey Epstein added that after a Monday morning tour of the proposed new bus routes, he was concerned about congestion east of Third Ave., where the planned busway would end, foreseeing a problem as the street would be filled with vehicular traffic otherwise restricted from the busway. Epstein stopped short of endorsing a busway that would extend farther — to Avenue C — but said the experts at the MTA and DOT need to find a solution to this potential problem.
Photo by Sydney Pereira
L TRAIN continued on p. 23
One person who attended the Aug. 6 meeting wanted to know how the “citizen science” represented by the groups that were present is used to make MTA decisions.
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August 9, 2018
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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 selfacceptance 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
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large portions of 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 19931999’s “The Nanny”), the glammedup 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 husband, 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, NYC Community Media
Courtesy of RenĂŠe Taylor
She takes the cake: RenĂŠe Taylorâ€™s solo show about dieting has all the right ingredients.
and counts at least one megastar as a knew-her-when friend. (Spoiler alert: Itâ€™s Barbra Streisand, and Taylorâ€™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, â€œMy Life on a Dietâ€? 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 â€œmy obsession with food has led me to behave in certain ways.â€? The apple, it turns out, didnâ€™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 ever-changing roster of food and health regimens. NYC Community Media
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 â€” and puts on four pounds. â€œThatâ€™s impossible,â€? Monroe said to her. â€œIf you put on four pounds, youâ€™d have to have eaten 12 pounds of grapes.â€? Taylor greets that feedback with a comedic shrug, then fi nds new hope when Monroe suggests The Master Cleanse Diet, which counts maple syrup among its ingredients. Hopes are dashed, however, when Monroe advises, â€œA drop, not a quart!â€? But for every memorably eccentric weight loss method mentioned from her career as a â€œbinge dieter,â€? Taylor noted, in a recent phone interview, audiences hunger for more. â€œPeople tell me what diets theyâ€™ve
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DIET continued on p. 17 August 9, 2018
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
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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 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 mirror. 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 DECORATIVE continued on p. 16 NYC Community Media
Greek Tragedy for Morons A Trumpian drama tailored to true believers 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-clonebobbing-in-a-jar-of-formaldehyde Steve Bannon to hang-dog consigliore/fixer and poor-man’s-Joe-Pesci-impersonator Michael Cohen — Giuliani is going to NYC Community Media
Illustration by Max Burbank
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 form-fitting 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, 2018
Photo by Jenna Bascom, courtesy of the Museum of Arts and Design
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”). 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. 14
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.
Photo by Rania Richardson
“Untitled,” by Ruth Root, includes fabric that incorporates a 1970s photo of Miriam Schapiro with a bespectacled Judy Chicago.
“A HAND-CLAPPING, FINGER-SNAPPING, FOOT-STOMPING, GOOD TIME!”
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August 9, 2018
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. 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
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.
(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. NYC Community Media
DIET continued from p. 13
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 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 fi lm] ‘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 Queens-based 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 selfacceptance 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 NYC Community Media
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 212-2396200 or visit MyLifeOnADietPlay.com.
August 9, 2018
PULSE continued from p. 7
acres in New Canaan, Connecticut, built by Philip Johnson, the late gay architect, between 1949 and 1995. Harvey explained that when Cuomo announced plans for the Memorial, just two weeks after the Orlando killings, a chief consideration was that it be located with a view of the Statue of Liberty. Allowing artists answering the request for proposals to know that it would be situated in the park near West 12th St., she said, enabled them to make fully contextualized proposals. A native of Georgia, Goicolea recalled that when he first came to New York he became familiar with the park — “long an outdoor sanctuary for the LGBTQ community” — and sees it in many ways as a parallel to “the way a lot of nightclubs work.” The Memorial, in his view, was necessary to acknowledge the devastation of “see[ing] a space like that invaded and to be made to be feel vulnerable there.” The circular arrangement of large bronze boulders, he explained, was intended to convey a “cove” or “safe harbor” just off the river. Whether in African megaliths, at Stonehenge, at Native American burial mounds, or just around campfires, he noted, circular spaces convey a sense of community. “If more than two people are within the site, they automatically form an impromptu community and there’s a dialogue between them, whether it’s verbal or in their shared presence,” Goicolea said. And it was important, he said, that the site not be “precious” — the stones are meant to be sat on, and they invite viewer participation. He added, “I wanted there to be a sense of perpetual revelation.” The stones appear to be granite but in fact are cast in bronze, “cementing the memory,” Goicolea said. The glass that bisects six of the nine stones, he said, are intended to add a lightness, with refracted rainbows visible on the grass at certain times of day. But in uniting the boulders, he added, the glass, often seen as a fragile element, becomes a symbol of strength. His overall goal, he said, was to straddle the lines between solemnity and lightheartedness and between past and future. Listening to Goicolea talk about his design, Poma said that she has learned that narrative is key to the success of memorials. A survey conducted by onePULSE found that the words most often mentioned as important for the memorial the Foundation is planning were love, hope, unity, strength, courage, and acceptance. In contrast, she said, the 9/11 Memorial and Museum speak to
August 9, 2018
Photos by Donna Aceto
Barbara Poma and Memorial designer Anthony Goicolea.
L to R: David Contreras Turley, Elizabeth Martin, Hilary Lewis, Anthony Goicolea, Rose Harvey, Barbara Poma, and Alphonso David at the LGBT Memorial on July 20.
Barbara Poma and Hilary Lewis inspect one of the six boulders bisected by refracting glass.
loss and solitude. Goicolea responded that his design aimed to “funnel” people into the site and provide elements of discovery. “There is this shifting dialogue that happens,” he said. “It makes you stay longer in a sense. It’s not handed to you. To me, the most successful memorials operate that way — the viewer has a role in interpreting it.” In Orlando, the Pulse club — which has been unoccupied since the tragedy — originally became an impromptu memorial site, with heartrending DIY tributes left around a fence erected to close off the building. Since then, a temporary memorial has made the site more park-like, Poma said, and the Foundation just launched an ideas generator phase, which closes Aug. 31, aimed at informing a request for design proposals to go out late this year or in Jan. 2019. Poma has reached out broadly for input, with her “Ambassadors Council” including representatives from the 9/11 Memorial and Museum, and the Oklahoma City Memorial and Museum, as well as Judy Shepard, who launched the Matthew Shepard Foundation named for her murdered gay son. The onePULSE Foundation is currently engaged in a three-year, $35 million capital campaign to fund not only the memorial, but an educational museum, scholarships in honor of the 49 people killed at Pulse, and ongoing care for survivors and first responders with long term needs. To learn more about onePULSE, its ideas generator effort, and its capital campaign, visit onepulsefoundation.org. NYC Community Media
HEPATITIS C continued from p. 6
shared while snorting drugs. The delay in authorizing Safer Consumption Spaces, where drug users can inject under the supervision of health care workers who provide harm reduction information, is one of the stumbling blocks to effective prevention efforts. HCV infections can’t always be traced to a particular behavior because, unlike HIV, the hep C virus can live outside the body. State health officials advise that it isn’t easily sexually transmitted, but risks increase if partners have tears in their skin. It is also possible that infection can result from something as simple as sharing a toothbrush, given the virus’ resiliency outside the body. The bottom line: get tested, and the only way to get tested is to ask for it. Every city sexual health clinic will test you for free. No appointments are necessary. If you visit your doctor’s office, insurance will pay for the test. But, again, your doctor is unlikely to suggest the test. You need to ask for it. The rise in infections among 18to 29-year-olds is particularly worrisome, that group including as it does women of child-bearing age. Infected young people, if untreated, will face
major health problems later in life. Left untreated, HCV infection can be fatal. The cost of hep C treatment keeps falling, and, in the face of the epidemic, barriers to treatment are toppling. The new rule is that if you test positive, you get the treatment — patients must no longer demonstrate that their infection has become serious. New York State is now taking the epidemic’s resurgence seriously, providing money to Medicaid to cover treatment costs and allowing needle exchanges and similar service providers to become part of the testing network. The state plan is the first in the nation “to take up the challenge,” said Housing Works CEO Charles King. Referring to Cuomo, King said the plan is “very much in line with his commitment in 2014 to end AIDS as an epidemic in New York State.” This is an epidemic that affects heterosexuals and members of the LGBTQ community. Getting tested and then taking the medicine will cure the disease and eliminate the risk of transmission. Word of mouth always helps battle epidemics, so passing the information along to friends is a positive step everyone should take.
Rendering courtesy of Dane Neller
A rendering of the Shakespeare & Co. bookstore slated to open on Broadway near Lincoln Center late this fall. SHAKESPEARE continued from p. 6
Armed now with a color printer, it can print millions of public domain titles and thousands of titles from publishers, said Neller. At the Upper West Side store, customers will be able to access screens to look up book titles, he explained. If a book is not at the store, but it is part of the machine’s list, it can be printed, he explained. That is “another way to get people socialized to the idea you can go to a bookstore and [get] everything you want,” he said.
Neller noted that they are not quite there yet with every title, but are working on it. The future hope, he said, is that publishers allow them to print their lists in any language. “We have a long way to go,” he said. The machine also offers customers a bespoke option, Neller explained, allowing kids and adults the opportunity to print self-published books they have created. Then, of course, Shakespeare & Co. can deliver what bookstores have always provided. They are for browsing — the opposite of what happens when you buy a book on Amazon, Neller said.
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PADDLE continued from p. 1
Alliance, will race for the sixth year in a row and be among about 150 competitors. But every year after the grueling race from the Brooklyn Bridge up and around Manhattan and ending at Chelsea Piers, the Upper East Sider almost calls it quits. “There’s a joke that my wife and I have [that] everytime I fi nish the race I tell her I’m never going to do it again,” Bafford said. “And 20 minutes later, after I think about the money I’ve raised and what it goes toward, I always say, ‘Okay, I’m signing back up.’” The 48-year-old hedge fund research analyst by day spends his weekends — even during the winter! — paddleboarding, typically in Long Island. “As long as the water’s not frozen, I’m out on it all year round,” he said. “It’s actually really cool when you can be out on the water and it’s not frozen, but it’s snowing and you’re still paddling around,” he said. “You’ve got basically about an hour, depending on what you’re wearing, and then your feet and hands go numb. If it wasn’t for my feet and hands going numb, I’d be out there all day.”
Photo courtesy of Edmonds Bafford
Edmonds Bafford, a board member at the Surfers’ Environmental Alliance, will participate in the group’s 26-mile race around Manhattan for the sixth year in a row on August 11.
The SEA Paddle NYC race — and the training — may be tough, but it’s worth the escape from the stresses of life in New York City, especially given the non-profits that the money raised supports, he said. Since SEA’s paddleboard marathon began in 2007, the Alliance as a whole has raised $3.2 million and supported nearly 240 non-profits that serve 57,500 families. Each year,
the group awards scholarships of up to $3,500 to college-bound students studying environmental studies and sciences or coastal engineering. So far, the Alliance has awarded 16 such scholarships. “We are so proud of the paddlers, volunteers, and donors who continue to believe in our organization and help us put on this incredible event each year,” Richard Lee, the Alliance’s executive director, said in a written statement. Two organizations the Alliance partners with, Surfers Healing and Autism Family Services of New Jersey, host an annual beach bash in Belmar, New Jersey. Surfers Healing connects elite surfers with children with autism and their families at the event and at other surf camps across the country. The ace athletes take the kids out on the water and teach them how to surf. Bafford said some parents are hesitant at fi rst. But once the kids get a taste of surfi ng, they’re hooked. “The child rides one wave, and he doesn’t want to get out of the water,” said Bafford. “You literally cry for the fi rst half hour,” he added, “because it’s so unbelievable what you’re doing in allowing these families to kind of relax.”
One family told him the beach bash was better than Christmas Day for them. “The biggest thing is there are no judgments,” Bafford said one family explained to him. “And that’s one of the best feelings ever.” The Alliance is also partnering with Surfers for Autism, Parents of Autistic Children of New Jersey (POAC), and the Best Day Foundation this year. Beyond its work with autism nonprofits, the Alliance’s environmental efforts include support for communities battered by hurricanes — an especially tall order during last summer’s rough season. The Alliance delivered $2,500 in gift cards to people in Key West, raised another $2,500 for hurricane relief in Puerto Rico, and delivered 130 solar lanterns to Aguadilla, Puerto Rico, according to an update from the group in late 2017. Since the race began more than a decade ago, the Alliance has restored two miles of dunes and planted 300,000 beach culms, stems of beach grass that inhibit erosion. “This race is something that everyone should do because it should be on everyone’s bucket list,” said Bafford, emphasizing one more time that the causes the Alliance supports give him the drive to keep paddling.
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TUXEDO WORLD OF STATEN ISLAND 2791 Richmond Avenue, #6, Staten Island, NY 10314, (718) 698-4859 www.tuxedoworldsi.com
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BAY RIDGE MANOR 476 76th Street, Brooklyn (718) 748-8855 www.bayridgemanor.com BAYSIDE HISTORICAL SOCIETY 208 Totten Avenue, Fort Totten Bayside NY 11359 (718) 352-1548 email: firstname.lastname@example.org GRAND OAKS COUNTRY CLUB 200 Huguenot Avenue, Staten Island (718) 356–2771, www.grandoaksnyc.com GRAND PROSPECT HALL 263 Prospect Avenue, Brooklyn (718) 788-0777, www.grandprospecthall.com HOLIDAY INN 39-05 29th Street, Long Island City, NY 11101 (718 707-3700 www.holidayinnmanhattanview.com HUNTERS STEAK HOUSE 9404 Fourth Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11209 (718) 238-8899, www.HuntersSteakhouse.com IL FORNETTO 2902 Emmons Avenue in Brooklyn (718) 332-8494 www.ilFornettoRestaurant.com PA-NASH EUROSOUL 144-14 243rd Street, Rosedale, NY 11422 (718) 917-6094 www.panashnyc.com THE PEARL ROOM 8518 - 3rd Avenue Brooklyn, NY 11209 (718) 833-6666 www.pearlroombklyn.com RECEPTION HOUSE 167-17 Northern Blvd, Flushing, NY (718) 445-1244 www.ReceptionHouse.com SHERATON BROOKLYN NY HOTEL Contact Stephanie Mendez, Sales Mgr (917) 281-5550 stephanie.mendez@ sheratonbrooklynnewyork.com SHERATON LAGUARDIA EAST HOTEL 135-20 39th Avenue, Flushing NY 11354 (718) 670-7408 email@example.com sheratonlaguardiaeast.com
SIRICO’S CATERERS 8015-23 13th Avenue, Brooklyn (718) 331-2900, www.siricoscaterers.net SOTTO 13 5140 West 13th Street, New York, NY (212) 647-1001, sotto13.com TERRACE ON THE PARK 52-11 111 Street, Flushing, NY 11368 (718) 592-5000 www.terraceonthepark.com THALASSA 179 Franklin Street TriBeCa, New York City (212) 941-7661 www.thalassanyc.com THE VANDERBILT AT SOUTH BEACH 300 Father Capodanno Boulevard Staten Island, NY, (718) 447-0800 www.vanderbiltsouthbeach.com WOODHAVEN MANOR 96-01 Jamaica Avenue Queens, NY (718) 805-8500
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L TRAIN continued from p. 10
“[The] volume of pedestrian traffic alone is going to slow things down,” Epstein noted. Epstein and Assemblymember Deborah Glick also asked the MTA to install air-quality monitors and questioned how construction projects would impact the plan’s success. “Unless we have commitments from the Department of Buildings and property owners that we’re not going to be taking streets away, I’m not sure how that’s going to work,” Epstein said. A moratorium on non-emergency construction projects during the shutdown should be considered, Glick and Epstein said. Similarly, Adam Garth, an East Villager for more than three decades, voiced concern about the onslaught of construction in Manhattan. The way that construction takes up street space “puts a further crimp in the system,” he said. Agreeing with the assemblymembers, he suggested that the MTA might consider halting construction during the shutdown. “But that’s about as likely as a snowball in an oven,” he admitted. Garth also asked how the three key agencies — the MTA, DOT, and the NYPD — would interface. “Even in the best of times, those three agencies don’t even communicate with one another,” he said. “How are they going to do this in uncharted waters?” Numerous people at the meeting said they feared air quality would worsen significantly under the plan — citing the fact that just 15 of the 200 new buses would be electric. The remaining buses are all expected to be diesel. “I’m here because I don’t want my daughter to get asthma,” said Georgette Fleischer, a longtime Nolita resident who lives at the corner of Cleveland Place and Kenmare St. Her apartment is on a corner where, under the current plan, two bus routes would be added. At Community Board 2 last month, DOT proposed two alternative traffic configurations for the Kenmare St. routes. “I think New York City needs to lead on a transportation challenge like this one, and it’s impossible to be a leader... without taking the environmental impact very, very seriously,” she said. “Please, 15 [electric-powered] out of 200 buses is a completely unacceptable token toward environmental responsibility.” But the SEA — which will later be used to determine if a lengthier Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) is warranted — found no negative air-quality impacts between a “no-action plan” during the L train shutdown and the city’s proposed plan. Greenhouse gas emissions — which are the primary cause of global rising temperatures under climate change — would actually be reduced over the 15-month period because of the added buses and ferries, according to the SEA. Furthermore, the 185 added diesel buses have filters that capture 95 percent of particulate matter — one of the key pollutants studied under the assessment. As a result, 14th St. and the new interborough bus routes won’t see significant impacts from particulate matter, the MTA predicts. Compared to taking no action during the L train shutdown, the current mitigation plan would “result in a beneficial temporary impact to air quality,” the SEA states. Many in attendance cited the steam pipe explosion at W. 21st St. and Fifth Ave. on July 19, which spewed NYC Community Media
asbestos into the surrounding area, saying the aging infrastructure under local streets would not be able to handle the vibrations of added buses and rerouted traffic. But the MTA’s assessment says buses and passenger vehicles have “rubber tires and suspension systems that provide vibration isolation,” so there would be no expected impacts on vibration levels on the new bus routes or surrounding streets from diverted traffic. A group of Soho and Little Italy residents, calling themselves the Kenmare/Little Italy Loop Coalition, felt their concerns were ignored. Pete Davies, a longtime Soho community activist, noted that, compared to 14th St., Kenmare St. was hardly mentioned in the SEA. The coalition slammed the MTA for a lack of details on the proposed new interborough bus routes, particularly those that would run along Kenmare St., and for lack of a clear plan to manage the flow of vehicles diverted toward Downtown neighborhoods from 14th St. and the Williamsburg Bridge. The new Loop Coalition is also requesting resources for advertising to aid local businesses, which the coalition fears would be harmed by the influx of buses and crowds during the year-and-a-half-long L train shutdown. “[A] traffic plan should never be drawn up from a desk,” Michele Campo, a member of the Loop Coalition and president of the Bowery Alliance of Neighbors, told the MTA officials. “The impact from traffic cannot be seen from an office.” Some West Villagers were concerned about maintaining local access to buildings on 14th St. However, DOT has agreed to grant local access to residents through a system where delivery trucks, cabs and for-hire vehicles can turn onto 14th St. as long as the vehicle turns off the busway by the next avenue. Bus lane cameras and the police would enforce those rules, according to presentations that the MTA and DOT made to Community Boards 2 and 3 last month. “This is the first time I’ve been out in eight days,” said Georgie Michelle, a 14th St. resident since 1972. “I wanna know what you’re going to do for me. I won’t be able to get food. I won’t be able to go to the doctor.” Michelle said she relies on FreshDirect to get food and a car service to go to the doctor. Because the meeting was a public comment session rather than a questionand-answer style hearing, the MTA representatives didn’t inform Michelle that 14th St. residents would have vehicle access to their doorways. Christopher Godfrey, one of the few Brooklyn attendees, noted that some groups were severely underrepresented at the public meeting. His own fellow Brooklyn commuters living off the J and Z lines, namely, black, Latino and Orthodox Jewish straphangers, were hardly represented. It’s expected that the J, M and Z lines would absorb nearly one-third of displaced L train riders. Most who testified at the 5 p.m. Monday meeting had attended previous public hearings or live in Manhattan. “These are all heavy public transportation users, and I’m little bit surprised that they’re not here,” said Godfrey, a clinical psychology professor at Pace University. But he also asked the MTA how the “citizen science” represented by the groups that were present is used to make decisions. “[This is] an opportunity to collect that kind of narrative data,” he said, “and put it into service and at least know what was the story before, what do people know, what were the plans, how did the plans change, [and] what was the degree of accuracy of their knowledge.” August 9, 2018
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August 9, 2018