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The Paper of Record for Greenwich Village, East Village, Lower East Side, Soho, Union Square, Chinatown and Noho, Since 1933

September 13, 2018 • $1.00 Volume 88 • Number 36

Johnson might try to steer traffic plan around Legislature BY SYDNEY PEREIR A

C

ity Council Speaker Corey Johnson said last week that the city may be able to implement congestion pricing without the state Legislature — though he added that if Albany lawmakers could pass a plan, it would be much easier.

“I think we have potential home rule authority that we’re willing to look at,” Johnson told reporters after his speech at a New York Law School breakfast last Friday. “Again, it is always cleaner and easier if Albany does it because of the vast powers that Albany has TRAFFIC continued on p. 5

Mr. Credico goes to Washington... to talk ‘Russiagate’ BY LINCOLN ANDERSON

R

andy Credico got blackballed from Johnny Carson’s “Tonight Show” in 1984 for making a joke comparing Jeane Kirkpatrick to Eva Braun. But Credico was the star of the show, so to speak, last Friday when he appeared before

a grand jury in Washington, as part of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian collusion in the 2016 election. Credico rode Amtrak down to the nation’s capital the day before. Along for the trip was his diCREDICO continued on p. 12

PHOTO BY Q. SAKAMAKI

A construction worker paid his respects near the World Trade Center memorial on Tuesday, the 17th anniversar y of the 9/11 attack. See Page 4 for more photos.

Family butcher keeping Little Italy’s flavor alive BY GABE HERMAN

A

lbanese Meats and Poultry, the family butcher shop that has been an Elizabeth St. staple for nearly a century, has weathered many changes to the area. But it now faces an uncertain future as rents continue to rise and gentrification has left

Schneps buys Villager & Co....p. 2

dwindling numbers of regular customers. Moe Albanese, 94, is still at the shop, which he has run since the 1950s, first with his mother Mary and then on his own after her death in 2002 at age 97. Moe can still be seen every day sitting out front on the sidewalk, watching over the

block and greeting the many friends and well-wishers who pass by throughout the day. But it is Moe’s granddaughter, Jennifer Prezioso, who has come on board to try to revitalize business. She has been at the shop since November. They are now on a one-year BUTCHER continued on p. 8

9/11 Tiles going mobile in brand-new bus .........p. 3 Big night for Night Owl owner, ’60s scene........ p. 19 www.TheVillager.com


Schneps Communications acquires CNG / NYCCM Creates dominant local media company in New York area

T

he three leading local media companies serving the five boroughs of New York City along with Long Island and Westchester have now become one. Schneps Communications, a familyrun business owned by Victoria and Joshua Schneps, has acquired Community News Group and NYC Community Media, together one of the largest publishers of community newspapers, niche publications, Web sites and events in New York State. Together, Schneps, CNG and NYCCM offer unmatched reach in the five boroughs of New York City, as well as Long Island and Westchester. The newly combined company will be known as Schneps Community News Group and will have a total printed weekly circulation of more than 300,000 copies, a digital reach of more than 2.5 million page views per month, and host more than 40 events every year. “We will clearly have the largest reach of any local media company in New York City across print, digital and events,” said Joshua Schneps, SCNG chief executive officer. “We can now offer companies large and small, seeking to reach an individual neighborhood or the entire city of New York and its surPHOTO BY JEFF YAPALATER

Schneps buys CNG and NYC Community Media group. Proud owners Joshua Schneps and Vicki Schneps, left, with Les Goodstein and Jenn Goodstein of CNG / NYCCM, smile as they predict a bright future for the new company, which is the largest print, digital and events group in the New York market.

rounding region, the most cost-effective and efficient means of marketing.” Each borough and Long Island has a group of distinctive media assets, some dating back as far as 1908. “Our brands are as grassroots as it gets and produce award-winning content that both our readers and advertisers trust,” said Victoria Schneps, publisher and president of SCNG. With the uncertainty of the media landscape both locally and nationally, Schneps has prospered by investing in content not only in its newspapers and niche publications, but through successful digital assets and events that have created a diversified media company. “This acquisition will allow us to reach a scale that will create unique opportunities for clients that want to target their marketing and work with proven brands,” said Victoria. “In addition, our knowledge and success around digital and events will be a boon to many of CNG’s exceptional outlets,” Joshua added. CNG and NYCCM was owned and operated by the husband-and-wife team of Les and Jennifer Goodstein. Les was a News Corp executive who led the ini-

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September 13, 2018

tial formation of CNG through a series of acquisitions, while Jennifer acquired NYCCM, with its group of titles in Manhattan — including The Villager, Villager Express, Downtown Express and Chelsea Now, plus Gay City News — from their previous owner. In 2014, Les and Jennifer acquired CNG from News Corp, bringing the group back to its roots as a family-owned business. Les and Jennifer Goodstein were advised on the sale by Gary Greene of Cribb, Greene and Associates. Schneps Communications has grown since the founding of The Queens Courier, by Victoria Schneps in her home in 1985, to become the preeminent publisher of community newspapers, leading digital Web sites and assets, business-to-business events and live events. In addition to The Villager and its sister Manhattan papers and Gay City News, the company also includes, among others, the Brooklyn Paper and Brooklyn Courier papers, Caribbean Life, TimesLedger, Bronx Times, Airport Voice, the Family publications group, The Long Island Press, Brownstoner.com and QNS.com. TheVillager.com


the elements. When we called Alberici this week, he said he never did get an update on the tiles dispute — but that a guy was coming in right at that very moment to talk to him about Berke’s plans. “We have a mobile gallery,� Berke confirmed to us. “I just got the bus. And we’re going to do a number of things.� As for the ceramics association, she said, that kerfuffle has been resolved. “They gave me a letter that says I own the tiles,� she asserted. She wants to keep the iconic squares in a permanent space in the Village, she said, adding, “I have my eye on a place.�

TILES TOUR BUS: We hear that Dusty Berke, who has possession of many of the original 9/11 memorial tiles that formerly hung on the chain-link fence at the corner of Seventh Ave. South and Greenwich Ave., has bought a “huge van,� presumably to take them on tour. As far back as five years ago, Jimmy Alberici, of the Sixth Precinct’s community affairs department, said his understanding was that Berke planned to take the Tiles for America on a “traveling show.� At the time, the detective was trying to mediate a dispute between Berke and the Contemporary Ceramics Studio Association over whether Berke should have the tiles, which were created at a former ceramics studio next door. It was “more of a civil case,� the detective said, noting no one was being accused of stealing anything. Many of the World Trade Center tiles that are now hanging on the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s “fan plant� a.k.a. hideouslooking building are not original since Berke felt the genuine items had become too fragile to be left out in

BLUE WAVE AND YOU: Congressmember Jerrold Nadler is hosting a “Get Organized 2018â€? town hall meeting on the Upper West Side at which he’ll be “talking about how folks can get involved in the effort to take back the House of Representatives this fall.â€? The event will be held Mon., Sept. 17, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Symphony Space’s Peter Jay Sharp Theatre, at W. 95th St. and Broadway. Co-sponsors include a slew of Upper West Side political clubs, plus Village Independent Democrats, Village Reform Democratic Club, Downtown Independent Democrats, Chelsea Democratic Club and Stonewall Democrats. MORTON’S MOMENT: The ribbon-cutting for the new 75 Morton middle school has been tentatively scheduled for Sun., Sept. 30, at 3 p.m. Richard Carranza, the schools chancellor, will be there, we’re told. “It will be big,â€? a local schools activist said. RID ACTIVIST TO RAMBLE ON: Village antihomeless vigilante Jessica Berk tells us she is filing another federal lawsuit against the Sixth Precinct over what she called her “latest false arrest,â€? in May, for allegedly whacking a homeless person with a cane and having drugs. “You’re number three on the witness list,â€? she told us. What? Oh, no! ‌ Berk contends she didn’t hit the person, who was inside a tent on

the steps of the Charles St. synagogue’s steps, but just lightly rapped on the house of worship’s doorway. In addition, she said her anti-crime canine sidekick, Angelina Jolie, had scooped up an empty glassine packet as evidence, which the pooch handed over to Berk, and which she then pocketed. Berk said her understanding is the charges will be dropped against her if she stays out of trouble for six months: The homeless person, who was transgender, was allegedly “uncooperativeâ€? and now can’t be located to testify against her, while the drug packet allegedly did not have enough residue to be tested. (“Right now, as we speak, I got 30 to 40 packets from in front of Dunkin’ Donuts — which is the new drug-dealing place,â€? she said, referring to the Christopher St. pastry purveyor.) A Sixth Precinct source confirmed that the victim was spotted a few days after Berk’s May arrest, but has since not been seen around the precinct. However, a Manhattan district attorney spokesperson told us, “This case is still open and pending,â€? adding that the next court date is Nov. 15. Meanwhile, Berk is forging on with her anti-homeless campaign. “Tomorrow will mark one week when I have made 187 complaints [to the Sixth Precinct] — morning, day and night — about homeless people on the streets,â€? she told us. She lodged all those complaints in one week, apparently to the Sixth Precinct. She noted that at least the presence of the Mitzvah Tank, at Seventh Ave. South and Christopher St., is helping street conditions a bit. But it’s only there for the High Holidays. She said she believes she was charged with assault as a hate crime, but doesn’t know how that could be. “I never saw the person,â€? she said. “He was in the bag. ‌ I’d like to know what happened to him — to him or her,â€? she added. “The fact that you arrest an advocate for merely trying to clear the streets... . I plan to start making citizen’s arrests,â€? she declared. “I’ve hired two former homeless guys to SCOOPY’S continued on p. 17

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Named best weekly newspaper in New York State in 2001, 2004 and 2005 by New York Press Association Editorials, First Place, 2017 Best Column, First Place, 2017 Best Obituaries, First Place, 2017 News Story, First Place, 2015 Editorial Pages, First Place, 2015 Editorials, First Place, 2014 News Story, First Place, 2014 Overall Design Excellence, First Place, 2013 Photographic Excellence, First Place, 2011

PUBLISHER JENNIFER GOODSTEIN EDITOR IN CHIEF LINCOLN ANDERSON ARTS EDITOR SCOTT STIFFLER REPORTER SYDNEY PEREIRA CONTRIBUTORS IRA BLUTREICH TINA BENITEZ-EVES SARAH FERGUSON BOB KRASNER TEQUILA MINSKY CLAYTON PATTERSON MARY REINHOLZ SHARON WOOLUMS BILL WEINBERG GRAPHIC DESIGNER MARCOS RAMOS ADVERTISING AMANDA TARLEY (P): 718-260-8340 (E): ATARLEY@CNGLOCAL.COM ACCOUNT EXECUTIVES GAYLE GREENBURG JIM STEELE JULIO TUMBACO ELIZABETH POLLY CIRCULATION SALES MNGR. MARVIN ROCK

Member of the New York Member of the National Press Association Newspaper Association

PHOTOS BY Q. SAKAMAKI

Terror attack’s toll still felt deeply Wearing custom T-shir ts and pins with photos of their loved ones, and bearing flowers and heav y hear ts, family members of the World Trade Center attack’s victims solemnly gathered once again at the site of the Sept. 11, 2001, tragedy. From first responders remembering fallen comrades to flag-waving motorc ycle clubs, from New Yorkers to tourists, they were all drawn to the fateful spot once more to pay their respects, in the resilient spirit of “Never Again.” It marked 17 years since the morning that two passenger jets hijacked by terrorists destroyed the might y Twin Towers, killing more than 2,600 in the iconic complex and the surrounding area.

The Villager (USPS 578930) ISSN 00426202 Copyright © 2018 City Media LLC is published weekly by City Media LLC, One Metrotech North, 10th floor Brooklyn, NY 11201. 52 times a year. Business and Editorial Offices: One Metrotech North, 10th floor Brooklyn, NY 11201. Accounting and Circulation Offices: City Media LLC, One Metrotech North, 10th floor Brooklyn, NY 11201. Call 718-260-2500 to subscribe. Periodicals postage prices is paid at New York, N.Y. Postmaster: Send address changes to The Villager, One Metrotech North, 10th floor, Brooklyn, NY 11201 Annual subscription by mail in Manhattan and Brooklyn $29 ($35 elsewhere). Single copy price at office and newsstands is $1. The entire contents of newspaper, including advertising, are copyrighted and no part may be reproduced without the express permission of the publisher - © 2018 City Media LLC. PUBLISHER’S LIABILITY FOR ERROR

The Publisher shall not be liable for slight changes or typographical errors that do not lessen the value of an advertisement. The publisher’s liability for others errors or omissions in connection with an advertisement is strictly limited to publication of the advertisement in any subsequent issue. Published by City Media LLC One Metrotech North, 10th floor Brooklyn, NY 11201 Phone: (718) 260-2500 • Fax: (212) 229-2790 On-line: www.thevillager.com E-mail: news@thevillager.com © 2018 City Media LLC

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September 13, 2018

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Johnson could try to steer plan around state TRAFFIC continued from p. 1

through our state constitution over the city of New York. But if there’s going to be inaction, we will take a look at what our potential authority and powers are.” He compared the possibility to the recent work-around that the City Council, Mayor Bill de Blasio and Governor Andrew Cuomo used to renew the school speed cameras program earlier this month after the state Senate refused to renew the program ahead of the school year. That fix involved Cuomo signing an executive order allowing the state’s Department of Motor Vehicles to give car ownership information to the city for speed cameras enforcement, plus a new City Council law creating a city schools speed camera program, and more than doubling the number of protected schools from 140 to 290. For congestion pricing, the workaround would likely be different, Johnson said. “This is not a template, in some ways,” Johnson told reporters. “You have to go through and look bit by bit, which is why it would be much easier if the state passed a full congestion pricing plan. In the absence of that, we have to take a look.” Johnson supports traffic pricing both to reduce congestion on the city’s streets and fund the city’s ailing public transit

TheVillager.com

An all-too-common sight in Soho, a police officer giving a driver a ticket for “blocking the box” at congested Watts and Thompson Sts. on one of the main Holland Tunnel approach routes.

system. “Without congestion pricing, we don’t have a realistic path forward for mass transit,” Johnson said. Two plans have been floated as congestion pricing possibilities: Fix NYC, a Cuomo-backed scheme, and MoveNY, an earlier grassroots plan spearheaded by Sam Schwartz, transportation expert “Gridlock Sam,” which inspired Fix NYC.

However, some legal scholars argue that the city doesn’t need the state to pass congestion pricing, and that cityowned bridges can be tolled through city laws. Roderick Hills, a New York University School of Law professor, specifically cites a 1957 provision in the Vehicle & Traffic Law, 1642(a)(4), which says that lawmakers in a city with more than 1 million people can implement tolls, tax-

es and fees on highways, so long as they are “authorized by law.” “Absent 1642(a)(4), the city would be in trouble,” said Hills, who testified on the matter with five other legal experts before the City Council last June. That provision, he added, is “explicit and fairly clear” in giving the city the power to toll its roads. But politically, it’s less of a surprise that the city hasn’t already used its authority to enact congestion pricing. “The politics of congestion fees are tricky, and in the past when the city has tried to toll the East River bridges, there were lots of protests,” Hills said. “It makes sense for the city to go to the state.” Additionally, the 1957 provision doesn’t give the city the power to toll some other spans, like the Throgs Neck, Whitestone, R.F.K. Triborough and Verrazano-Narrows bridges, which are operated by the Triborough Bridge and Tunnel Authority. A comprehensive policy, Hills said, would allow the city to control the East River bridges, along with the city’s other major bridges — which would be important in terms of possibly lowering traffic fees in the outer boroughs to balance the added fees in Manhattan. It would be “handy to have a new state law to give the city some power to deal with the authority bridges,” he said.

September 13, 2018

5


POLICE B L O T T E R Soho gun scare

Meatpacking rob

Kenmare culprit

A 29-year-old woman was robbed at gunpoint on a Soho street on the evening of Tues., Sept. 4, police said. Around 10:50 p.m., a middle-aged mugger approached the victim in front of 114 Sullivan St., between Prince and Spring Sts., and pressed a gun against her body, demanding her property. The victim dropped her phone to the ground and yelled for help, and the mugger picked it up and ran northbound on Sullivan St. and entered the W. Fourth St. subway station. The suspect is described as in his 50s, black and 5-feet-7-inches tall, last seen wearing a black baseball cap, a black do-rag, a black shirt with the word “Starbred” on the front in white lettering and dark-colored shorts. Anyone with information should call the Police Department’s Crime Stoppers Hotline, at 800-577-TIPS, or for Spanish, 1-888-57-PISTA (74782). Tips can also be submitted by logging onto the Crime Stoppers Web site, www. nypdcrimestoppers.com, or by texting them to 274637 (CRIMES) and then entering TIP577. Tips are confidential.

Police said that on Mon., Sept. 10, at 2:30 p.m., a man brazenly robbed a Meat Market business. The suspect used a rear staircase to enter 565 West St., near Gansevoort St., where he encountered a female employee, 71, of Jao Meat, sitting at a desk. He displayed a black gun and asked for money. The invader forced the employee to walk toward the back office of a separate company, Interstate Foods, also located inside the building, where two other employees, a man, 35, and a woman, 38, were located. Placing all three at gunpoint, he demanded money. The male employee retrieved a key and unlocked a cabinet, from which he removed roughly $2,400 cash to give the robber. The gunman ordered all three to go inside of a bathroom and told them not to come out for at least five minutes. He then fled on foot southbound on West St. toward Jane St. The suspect is described as black, around age 35, 6 feet tall and 170 pounds, with a slim build, medium complexion and moustache. As well as a gun, he was carrying an umbrella. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Crime Stoppers Hotline.

Police are looking for a burglar who struck twice at Elizabeth and Kenmare Sts. on two days last month. In the first incident, police said that on Thurs., Aug. 16, around 5 p.m., the thief forcibly entered a 31-year-old male resident’s apartment and stole an Apple MacBook Pro, an Apple iPad and a Trek bicycle. The resident returned home to find the place in disarray and his Apple devices and bike gone. The next day, about 3:10 a.m., according to police, the same suspect entered a 38-year-old man’s apartment while he was sleeping. The resident heard the noise and noticed the individual leaving through his front door with his sneakers and Chanel handbag. The suspect is described as black, 18 to 24 years old, with his head shaved on its sides and with a thin build.

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Retail rampager Police said they arrested a man who went on a violent store-robbing spree last Sun., Sept. 9. The first incident occurred around 12:45 p.m. inside Seward Park Liquors, at 53 Ludlow St. The suspect approached the 41-yearold male employee with a bottle in his

hand and threatened to hit him with it unless he gave him the money from the register. When the worker refused, the robber tried to hit him with the bottle, then threw bottles of liquor at him. When the employee ran out of the store, the individual opened the register and grabbed roughly $200 in cash, then fled down Ludlow. The victim was treated at the scene by E.M.S. medics. Less than an hour and a half later, the same suspect, according to cops, continued his short-lived reign of terror at Reno Fashion shoe store, at 498 LaGuardia Place. There he assaulted the two employees, a man, 66, and a woman, 88 — first blindsiding the man with a vicious punch to the head, and then continuing to pummel him with his fists and kicking at them both. The rampaging robber also struck the male employee on the head with several glass jars and a large ceramic pot, police said. He tried to steal money from the register before fleeing north on LaGuardia. Both victims suffered numerous lacerations to their heads and were removed to Bellevue Hospital in serious but stable condition. Rickey Hayes, of Newark, N.J., was arrested the next day and charged with robbery, assault and criminal mischief.

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Butcher shop is keeping the old-time flavor alive BUTCHER continued from p. 1

lease through mid-2019, at which point, they’ll see if it’s viable for the business to continue at the spot. “I wanted to commit a whole year to being here,” Prezioso said, “and cleaning up the store and trying to get more business and customers, because the retail portion has been slowly declining over a number of years. He can’t do what he used to do.” Prezioso, who has worked in real estate, acting and casting, is minimizing commitments in those areas while focusing on the shop. “So many people, they come in and they’re just so nostalgic and it brings them back to a time when their family was a butcher or they had a place they went to,” she said. “And so, there’s something there that I’m trying to capture and capitalize on, in a small way, just so that we can keep the business afloat, because a lot of people don’t really cook anymore. A lot of people pass the store and think it’s closed, just because it looks so old. They’re like, ‘Oh it can’t be in business anymore.’ So right now, I’m in the stages of trying to get it out there.” The showcase for the meats was recently restored and many old-school objects remain, such as classic scales, butcher knives, lights from the 1920s, and even a pile of the family’s vinyl records that includes Sinatra and Sammy Davis Jr. Collages of old photos of the family and the block hang on one side of the small interior, along with a couch and table that Prezioso said she has finally convinced her grandfather to get rid of. Prezioso also wants to fix up the place’s exterior signage. The faded sign outside across the top, for example, which reads “Albanese Meats & Poultry,” is actually a relic from when filming was done there for “The Godfather Part III.” Each window currently reads “Lutzi’s Butcher Shop” for planned filming of the second season of the television show “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,” which also filmed there for its pilot. Prezioso said those signs will be gone soon and she is working with a friend to come up with new designs. The shop used to have the classic butcher look of hanging meats, but Prezioso noted that those would be health violations these days. So she is looking into other objects to fill the store, including some for one-time customers like tourists, such as vintage kitchenware, linens, postcards or prints of Moe. “They love the experience of the store but there’s nothing for them to get,” she said. “My job now is to try and figure out what would they want. It would be something cool, not cheesy.” The shop was founded in 1923 by Moe’s parents in a spot across the street, and has been at its current address at

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September 13, 2018

PHOTO BY MADELYN SEGARRA

Jennifer Prezioso with her grandfather Moe Albanese outside the family butcher shop on Elizabeth St.

COURTESY OF JENNIFER PREZIOSO

Moe Albanese with his mother Mar y Albanese, when the two ran the butcher shop together.

No. 238 Elizabeth since 1940. Moe’s father died in 1952, which led Moe to partner with his mother in running the store starting in the ’50s. The family’s presence on the block also included running a steak house across the street. Recent changes to the neighborhood

have included fewer families and fewer people cooking for themselves. Then there is the convenience of supermarkets like Whole Foods, which offer a one-stop option that is open longer hours. Albanese’s hours are from noon to

6 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and they are closed on Sunday. Prezioso said it’s hard to stay open more because she is also her grandfather’s caretaker. Despite challenges, Prezioso is grateful for the time she gets to spend with her granddad while learning of his world on Elizabeth St. “That’s a really special part, that I get to see him in all aspects of himself, not just Grandpa,” she said. “This is a special moment in time that I don’t know if I’ll ever have again, especially here in this store. So that’s definitely something I’m treasuring right now, just being here.” In terms of changing local demographics, Prezioso said, “It’s hard because you don’t have people regularly buying stuff.” Though she added, “We do have people for sure.” This includes longtime customers, like a 96-year-old man who lives at Broome and Mott Sts. with his wife and still comes occasionally to buy meats. Prezioso said that he and Moe have “known each other since the war,” meaning World War II. There’s also Calvin Hewitt, a customer since 1972 who discovered the shop when he would go through the neighborhood as a Department of Sanitation worker. He would exchange hellos with Mary Albanese, who was in her usual seat outside, and that was when he looked up and realized that it was a butcher shop, which he and his wife had been searching for at the time. Hewitt and Moe became good friends over the years, and got to know each other’s families. Hewitt, who is black, recalled Moe speaking up for him to defuse possible racial tensions on the block. “Any time I went outside,” Hewitt said, “Moe would walk with me, and he put his hand around my shoulder to let everyone know this is my friend, this is Moe’s friend. So that kept everybody cool, so I got a chance. People knew me then.” Hewitt remembered his first time walking in the shop and seeing Moe and several friends sitting around chatting, a neighborhood feel that Hewitt said has faded over time. Hewitt ordered two Porterhouse Black Angus steaks and when he returned two weeks later for another order, Moe said he couldn’t sell to him. “I said, ‘What do you mean?’” Hewitt recalled. Then everyone in the shop laughed and he realized he was the butt of the joke. “I went along with it and everybody was cool, and from then on that was it, and I’ve never stopped going.” Hewitt, now retired, lives in Queens and still comes to the shop once a month to see Moe and buy meats. Hewitt remembered of one trip, “I took my daughter there, and as we’re going into the shop, she says, ‘You know, Moe, you BUTCHER continued on p. 25 TheVillager.com


9/11 vicâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s can get help BY SYDNEY PEREIR A

O

n the 17th anniversary of 9/11, hundreds of thousands of people who were living or working south of Canal St. between Sept. 11, 2001, and May 2002 have yet to register for healthcare benefits with the World Trade Center Health Program. Since 9/11, more than 10,000 people have been diagnosed with one of 68 cancers attributed to the W.T.C. toxins, according to the Barasch McGarry law firm, which has represented thousands of first responders and survivors. By 2025, that number is expected to rise to 25,000 people with 9/11 cancers. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not just cancer,â&#x20AC;? said attorney Michael Barasch. â&#x20AC;&#x153;These are aggressive, rare cancers...cancer on steroids.â&#x20AC;? Around 2,800 people who have registered with the W.T.C. Health Program have yet to see a doctor through it. A new â&#x20AC;&#x153;surge clinicâ&#x20AC;? opened on William St. late last month is aimed at helping address the current yearlong backlog of 9/11 survivors and first responders. Technically, the eligibility line runs along Canal St. to East Broadway, then to Clinton St. and to the F.D.R. Drive. In addition to the health program, Congress created the Sept. 11th Victim Compensation Fund, which financially compensates those with a W.T.C.-related physical illness diagnosed through

the W.T.C. Health Program. But differing from the health program, survivors and first responders can only receive compensation through the V.C.F. if they register by Dec. 18, 2020. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s heartbreaking enough when people are diagnosed with cancer, but itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s even worse when they donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t realize they are missing out on free healthcare and compensation,â&#x20AC;? Barasch said. The compensation fund was closed in 2003, but later reopened in 2011. Since its reopening, the fund has awarded $4 billion to 22,000 people, and $3 billion remains in the fund. Three years ago, the deadline to file for compensation was extended to 2020. Congressmember Carolyn Maloney championed the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act, which renewed the compensation fund and expanded health coverage in 2011. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We must renew our promise to take care of those still dealing with the aftermath of that fateful day,â&#x20AC;? Maloney said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;With the Sept. 11 Victim Compensation Fund expiring in 2020, I am working on making sure we renew the program so victims and their families get the financial support they need.â&#x20AC;? Many who were living, working or going to school south of Canal St. still may not know they are also eligible. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The biggest challenge is information,â&#x20AC;? Barasch noted.

    

       

  

      

   

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TheVillager.com

September 13, 2018

9


Cuomo beats Koch! C.B. 3 dooms Garden of Eden FLASHBACK BY GABE HERMAN

P

age One of The Villager’s Sept. 30, 1982, issue covered the upset victory of Mario Cuomo in the Democratic primary for governor over Mayor Ed Koch. In other news 36 years ago, incumbent City Councilmembers Miriam Friedlander and Carol Greitzer also won their primaries. But the main story was the euphoria of the Village Independent Democrats progressives as Lieutenant Governor Cuomo eked out a win against Koch. Many V.I.D. members had abandoned Koch when they felt he was drifting away from progressive liberal values. “This says that the VID has been right all along about Koch,” said District Leader Tony Hoffman. “When he lost his Village base, he lost the state.” V.I.D. was bitterly divided over the race and the group’s decision to endorse Cuomo. “The VID is no longer a Koch club, and I hope now we can get on to better things,” said V.I.D. veteran Keith Crandell. As Friedlander celebrated Cuomo’s upset win, it began to sink in that she

10

September 13, 2018

VILLAGER FILE PHOTO

Some of The Villager’s photo coverage of the Sept. 1982 primaries.

still had to work with Koch in the city. “Can you imagine what the Mayor’s going to be like at City Hall for the next three years,” she said. “Oh no!” Cuomo would go on to beat Republican Lewis Lehrman in the general election. Also in the Sept. 30, 1982, Villager, perhaps foreshadowing the current battle over Elizabeth St. Garden,

Community Board 3 voted to approve the city’s plan to bulldoze the elaborate Garden of Eden, on Eldridge St. between Stanton and Rivington Sts., for an affordable housing project. There were heated protests from the garden’s supporters, including its creator Adam Purple, described in the newspaper as an “urban anarchist Zen Buddhist” and “decked out in his full lavender rega-

lia.” The Villager reported that Purple “said that there could be no ‘quality of life’ without the ‘art’ found in his famed Garden of Eden.” Other stories included cutbacks due to Reaganomics for two local services, Beth Israel Hospital’s methadone maintenance program and the New York Work League’s program for adults with intellectual disability; Park St. in Chinatown being renamed Mosco St. for Frank Mosco, who was chairperson of C.B. 3 for six years and had died in January; and a block party scheduled for Sat., Oct. 2, on E. Third St. between Avenues A and B, which was a hotbed of heroin and cocaine dealing in the city. “We hope we can stop the drug traffic with this party — at least for a few hours,” said resident David Chamberlain, who was helping to organize the event. “We really need a boost for our morale.” Ads in the paper included two for roller skating, at CoCo’s Roller Rink at Sheridan Square and Roxy’s at 515 W. 18th St.; the Strand Bookstore, which is still located at Broadway and E. 12th St.; and the 8th St. Playhouse, between Sixth Ave. and MacDougal St., offering midnight showings of “The Rocky Horror Picture Show,” “Pink Flamingos,” “A Clockwork Orange” and “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.”

TheVillager.com


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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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BUONO JEWELERS 1250 Hylan Blvd., #6a Staten Island, NY 10305 (718) 448-4900, www.buonojewelers.com

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MILA LIMOUSINE CORPORATION (718) 232-8973, www.milalimo.com M&V LIMOUSINES LTD. 1-800-498-5788 1117 Jericho Tpke, Commack, NY (631) 543-0908 151 Denton Ave., New Hyde Park, NY (516) 921-6845 535 8th Ave., 3rd Flr., NY, NY (646) 757-9101 www.mvlimo.com

ROMANTIQUE/DOUBLE DIAMOND LIMOUSINES 1421-86 Street, Brooklyn, NY, (718) 351-7273 2041-Hylan Boulevard, Staten Island (718) 351-7273, www.rddlimos.com SOPHISTICATED LIMOUSINES Servicing the Tri- State Area, (718) 816-9475 www.sophisticatedlimousines.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 info@nyphotovideogroup.com ONE FINE DAY PHOTOGRAPHERS 459 Pacific St., Massapequa Park (516) 690–1320 www.onefinedayphotographers.com ZAKAS PHOTOGRAPHY info@zakasphotography.com www.zakasphotography.com

REAL ESTATE

DREAM HOUSE REALTY 7505 15th Avenue Brookyn, NY 11228 (718) 837–2121, carolynctrp@aol.com Carolyn Trippe, Lic. RE Broker

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PILO ARTS SALON 8412 3 Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11209 (718) 748–7411, www.piloarts.com

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COSMETIC & LASER CENTER OF BAY RIDGE 9921 4th Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11209 (718) 833-2793 or (718) 833-7616 www.BayRidgeDerm.com ELITE WEIGHT LOSS 1316 Kings Highway, Brooklyn, NY 11229 (917) 444-3043, EliteWeightLossNY.com KHROM DERMATOLOGY & AESTHETICS 2797 Ocean Parkway, 1st Fl. Brooklyn, NY 11235 (718) 866-3616, www.josephlichterdds.com JOSEPH LICHTER, D.D.S. 1420 Avenue P in Brooklyn (718) 339-7878, www.khromMD.com OMNI DENTAL CARE 313 Kings Highway in Brooklyn (718) 376-8656, www.omnidentalcare.com THE VEIN CENTER OF THE VASCULAR INSTITUTE OF NY Dr. Natalie Marks 960 - 50 Street, Brooklyn, NY 11219 (718) 438-0067, www.vascularnyc.com

TRAVEL

JOLYN TRAVEL (718) 232-3139 (917) 797-7341

WEDDING EXPOS

BRIDAL AFFAIR (718) 317–9701, www.bridalaffair.com

WEDDING INSURANCE

TRI STATE INSURANCE BROKERAGE 277 Tarrytown Rd.,White Plains, NY 10607 (914) 607-7799 610 Crescent Ave., Bronx, NY 10458 (718) 618-7666 www.tsinsbk.com

TO BE INCLUDED IN THIS DIRECTORY CALL (718) 260–8302 TheVillager.com

September 13, 2018

11


Mr. Credico goes to Washington (for ‘Russiagate’) CREDICO continued from p. 1

minutive therapy dog, Bianca, who also was by his side in the grand jury. Credico paid an extra $25 to bring her on the train in a carrier. Credico sent The Villager a screenshot of a Sept. 4 letter from Dr. Stephen Teich, a Flatiron District psychiatrist, in which the shrink said he had just interviewed Credico that day “in relation to his appearance before the Mueller Grand Jury.” “This is to recommend that Mr. Credico’s dog be present with him at all times, including during his testimony, to help him appropriately control his anxiety,” the note said. “Mr. Credico has indicated that there are multiple stressors that have arisen as a result of this legal matter that are creating substantially increased anxiety in him. His dog is an effective companion to help reduce and control his anxiety.” It’s Roger Stone, however, who probably should be sweating it. The longtime G.O.P. operative, who was briefly an adviser on Donald Trump’s campaign, is one of the investigation’s prime targets. During the election, Stone indicated he had foreknowledge of WikiLeaks dumps of hacked e-mails connected to John Podesta, Hillary Clinton’s campaign manager, and also the Democratic National Committee.

PHOTO BY JEFFERSON SIEGEL

Randy Credico, with his dog Bianca in a carrier, last Thursday, boarding the train to Washington, D.C. The following day, he appeared before a grand jur y as par t of the Mueller investigation into Russian collusion in the 2016 election.

Stone later told members of the House Intelligence Committee that Credico was his “backchannel” to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. Credico, who considers Assange a friend, has met with the WikiLeaks leader a few times in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London since the election, and also interviewed him by phone on his radio show before it. Before he went down to D.C., Assange’s mother, Christine, sent Credico an e-mail thanking him for his reporting on her son. Reached by Facebook on Friday en route to D.C., Credico said he was being bombarded by media requests. “Every reporter and his mother’s calling,” he said. His first interview after the grand jury was on Ari Melber’s news show on MSNBC on Mon., Sept. 10. Grand jury proceedings are secret, so he is being careful about what he reveals. “I’m not talking about the substance of my testimony,” he said. Credico told Melber he was in the grand jury for three hours, and was unsure if Mueller was even in the room. “Most of it was about Roger Stone,” he confirmed. “Did they ask about stolen e-mails?” Melber asked “You’ll be able to find out real soon,” was all Credico would say, adding, “Maybe the Mueller team will leak it.” Martin Stolar, Credico’s attorney, in July told The Villager that the Vegascomic-turned-Village-activist-turned-

12

September 13, 2018

radio-journalist is “not a target” of Mueller’s probe — but that Stone obviously is. That said, Stolar noted, Credico still could have gotten hit with a perjury charge if he got caught not telling the truth. “There is no immunity” in this instance, Stolar explained, since Credico did not plead the Fifth Amendment against self-incrimination. “The best advice is to go in there and tell the truth.” Similarly, Stone warned in a text message to The Villager in July, that Credico had better not lie before the grand jury. “If he is compelled to testify, I would urge Mr. Credico to simply tell the truth,” he said. “Any deviation from these facts as stated would be perjury, which I could easily prove and will.” The Republican “dirty trickster,” as he is known, last month bragged he has the upper hand on Credico. “I have two credible witnesses to whom Randy admitted he told me Assange had devastating information on Hillary,” Stone stated. “My lawyers have sworn affidavits from both #fucked.” Credico was formally subpoenaed in July to appear before the grand jury. Last year, he was also subpoenaed to give a deposition to the House Intel Committee as part of its own “Russiagate” investigation; but, in that case, he took the Fifth and the committee waived his having to come down to Washington. While he was in the Mueller grand jury last week, Credico received a letter from the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence asking him to appear before it, and also to preserve “any written communication with or about” DCLeaks, Gucifer 2.0, WikiLeaks, Stone, Assange and others. Credico said he would likely shrug off the letter and await a subpoena, and that he and Stolar would then decide how to proceed on that one. He said having Bianca along for the ride for the Mueller grand jury was helpful. He carried her into the courtroom in a black attaché case with a mesh side she could breathe through. He stayed in D.C. a second night and Bianca helped Credico, a recovering alcoholic, unwind without drinking. “It kept me from going out and getting blasted,” he said. “We watched ‘Animal Planet.’ She watched the screen.” While he was waiting to go on Melber’s show, he said Wolf Blitzer walked by the room and jauntily called out, “There’s Bianca!” At MSNBC, he also got to meet John Dean, Richard Nixon’s White House counsel-turned-key Watergate witness. “He was very nice,” he said. “John Dean brought down a president.” Asked if he’d like to play a similar role with Donald Trump, Credico answered, “Bring down Trump… . Pence? Trump with a Bible. … I don’t know.”

With reporting by Jefferson Siegel TheVillager.com


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TheVillager.com


Guv’s ‘listening sessions’ to spark talks on legal pot

O

n Aug. 30 — the day right after his televised debate with the strongly pro-pot Cynthia Nixon — Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that a series of “listening sessions” on regulated marijuana will be held across New York State in September and October. The sessions’ purpose, according to a press release, is “to garner input from community members and key stakeholders” on the implementation of a regulated marijuana program in New York State. This input, in turn, will assist the governor’s Regulated Marijuana Workgroup in drafting legislation for an adult-use marijuana program for the state Legislature to consider in the upcoming session, which begins in January. “Community input is critical as we work to draft balanced and comprehensive legislation on a regulated marijuana program in New York,” Cuomo said. “The multiagency report identified the benefits of a regulated marijuana market, and with these listening sessions, we are taking another important step to develop a model program for New York. We look forward to hearing what New Yorkers in every corner of the state have to say.” Fifteen listening sessions will be conducted, starting in Albany on Sept. 5. The Manhattan session will be Thurs., Sept. 20, at a location to be determined. All sessions will be from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Doors will open at 5:30 p.m. The sessions will feature facilitated discussion and will be open to the public. To accommodate all those planning to attend, preregistration will be encouraged. Details on venue location for each session will be

available soon. To register and for more information on regulated marijuana, go to ny.gov/programs/assessing-regulated-marijuananew-york . In January, Cuomo commissioned a multiagency study, led by the state Department of Health, to assess the impact of a regulated marijuana program here. The resulting Assessment of the Potential Impact of Regulated Marijuana in New York State was delivered to the governor in July. The impact assessment examined the health, economic, public safety and criminal justice impact of a regulated marijuana program in New York State and the consequences to New York State of legalization in surrounding states. The study found that the positive impacts of a regulated marijuana market in New York outweigh the potential negative ones, and that “areas that may be a cause for concern can be mitigated with regulation and proper use of public education that is tailored to address key populations.” The governor next announced the creation of a Regulated Marijuana Workgroup to advise the state on legislative and regulatory approaches needed to protect public health, provide consumer protection, ensure public safety, address social justice issues and capture and invest tax revenue. The Workgroup includes experts from around the state, plus government representatives in public health, mental health, substance use, taxation and finance, law enforcement and public safety.

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Scoopy’s Notebook SCOOPY’S continued from p. 3

help me drag guys to the precinct.” Also news is the fact that Berk is, as agreed to in a settlement with her landlord, set to vacate her Christopher St. apartment soon — Nov. 1, according to the Sixth Precinct source. “Even though I’m leaving in a few months, I have no intention of ending RID,” she said, referring to her controversial quality-of-life group, Residents in Distress. Where is she going? “I don’t know,” she said. “I may or may not go to Israel with Roseanne

— not with Roseanne,” she quipped. “I have family there.” As for now, she’s clearing out her apartment and trying to unload stuff. “My dad kept a lot of furniture and paintings from the club,” she said, referring to the bar / cabaret her dad used to run in the former Hotel Earle, the current Washington Square Hotel, where her mother was the singer. “I have dozens and dozens of bottles of unopened liquor,” she said. “I have eight rooms of antiques, tables, lamps. I gave my elderly gay neighbors my piano.”

Sound off! Write a letter to the editor news@thevillager.com TheVillager.com

September 13, 2018

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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR We’ll definitely be there

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To The Editor: Re “Will snub hearing” (Scoopy’s Notebook, Week of Sept. 13): My citywide coalition, Friends of S.B.J.S.A., is proud to work with Speaker Johnson and the City Council to pass this historic bill. We will be out in force for the public hearing and we hope to be joined by all New Yorkers who want to see this bill fi nally passed. David Eisenbach

Sick of Council’s hypocrisy

Your Community News Source

Call 718-260-2516 or e-mail pbeatrice@cnglocal.com

To The Editor: Re “Will snub hearing” (Scoopy’s Notebook, Week of Sept. 13): If the City Council before its urgent public hearing now fast approaching doesn’t settle the legality scam the Real Estate Board of New York has used for years to slaughter the Small Business Jobs Survival Act, it will expose an utterly malignant hypocrisy beating at the heart of that disappointing institution. Waiting for REBNY’s lawsuit to certify the bill’s legitimacy after it passes is the same as blowing up the train station just as the train’s arriving. Like pedophile priests going to the altar hands pressed together in piety after raping little children, so many of our political leaders after declaring their “progressive” passions in eloquent speeches, hide behind that legality scam to do REBNY’s dirty work. They thus kill the passage of the S.B.J.S.A. while thousands of our suffering mom-and-pop stores struggle and die. Those empty stores are a symptom of this dangerous moral and economic disease afflicting the City Council — and our afflicted city. Bennett Kremen

Pols do REBNY’s bidding

We cover “The Cube”!

To The Editor: Re “On the S.B.J.S.A., this time, let’s get it right” (talking point, by Sharon Woolums, Aug. 9): Thank you, Sharon, for bringing attention to the

small business crisis in New York City and to the political corruption in City Council and City Hall. We must put a stop to the collusion between REBNY and politicians. Our beloved city is being mallified. It is losing its character. Our neighborhoods are defined by the people and the businesses in them that provide social spaces for residents to relate to one another. How many more CVS pharmacies, TD Banks and other big-box stores do we need? These stores can be found anywhere U.S.A. What we need are our small, quirky, mom-and-pop shops, our butchers, bakers and candlestick makers that make New York City one of the greatest cities in the world. If things keep going the way they are going, well, frankly, why would anyone want to visit New York City, if all they’ll see is a bunch of redundant banks, pharmacies and other large corporate chain stores? The city will have lost its charm. It is sad to think this is all due to our elected politicians who say they want to help but behave in ways that indicate they are doing REBNY’s bidding. So sad. Lena Melendez Melendez is co-founder, Latinos in Defense of Businesses and Housing

On the contrary, Mary To The Editor: Re “Dershowitz dishes on not impeaching Trump” (news article, July 19): “Fellow liberals”? Where does Mary Reinholz get the idea that Dershowitz is a liberal? He’s ultraconservative. He even advocated legalizing torture after 9/11. Mary does some good work. (I liked her piece on the Freelance Isn’t Free Act.) But there are some things she just gets flat wrong. Bill Weinberg E-mail letters, not longer than 250 words in length, to news@thevillager.com or fax to 212-229-2790 or mail to The Villager, Letters to the Editor, 1 MetroTech North, 10th floor, Brooklyn, NY 11201. Please include phone number for confirmation purposes. The Villager reserves the right to edit letters for space, grammar, clarity and libel. Anonymous letters will not be published.

EVAN FORSCH

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Celebrating a birthday and the ’60s music scene

PEOPLE BY LINCOLN ANDERSON

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or one night earlier this summer, the Village music scene of the 1960s came to life once again on Bleecker St. The occasion was the 85th birthday party of Joseph Marra, who ran the Night Owl Cafe, on W. Third St. The fete’s venue was another famous (still standing) Village music club, The Bitter End, a few blocks away on Bleecker St. In addition to Marra, who was sporting shorts and owl-pattern suspenders, stars from the Village’s musical heyday who once graced the Night Owl’s small stage performed, including the Lovin’ Spoonful’s frontman John Sebastian and bassist, Steve Boone, and Peter Sando. From around 1963 to 1967, the Night Owl, which was located at 180 W. Third St., between MacDougal St. and Sixth Ave., played host to many of the era’s top acts, as well as some who were just starting out and weren’t well known — but would be soon enough. Local favorites the Lovin’ Spoonful were among the bands that began to make their name there. Marra’s father owned the building and the space had previously been a restaurant. At first, the music venue had no alcohol, but later did get a liquor license. “It’s hard, nightclubs in New York,” Marra recalled after the party, recalling all the regulations and red tape, while having a nightcap at Arturo’s pizza restaurant, on W. Houston St. “You’re battling the Fire Department, the Police Department.” On another note, he proudly recalled, “They said I had the best ear in the business.” His place drew a young crowd, but he said, “There weren’t drugs. There wasn’t alcohol.” One thing that set him apart from other operators, according to him, was that he actually paid his acts. Most of the Village venues from back in that day were known as basket houses, where a basket was passed through the audience to collect cash for the performers. “My club paid everybody — not like the [Cafe] Wha? or [Cafe] Bizarre,” he boasted. Recalling some of the memorable talent that played at his place, he said, “Tim Buckley — he could sing five octaves. I had Gram Parsons. He was a Greek god. I had a young Stephen Stills. He was gorgeous, he was blond. Nobody was in the place. Nobody knew him. Mary Travers used to come in my club and sit in the back with her shock of white hair, very serious. They used TheVillager.com

PHOTOS BY TEQUILA MINSKY

Joseph Marra at his 85th bir thday par ty at The Bitter End.

Singer/songwriter, Peter Sando, formerly of the bands Gandalf and the Rahgoos, was one of the veterans of the Night Owl who per formed at Jospeh Marra’s bir thday par ty.

to call her ‘Big Mary’ because she was tall. And there was ‘Little Mary,’ Mary Vangi, who was a notorious drug addict. ... [Peter] Sando, he used to jump off the stage.” At first, his club catered to the folk scene. But in 1965, he transitioned

to rock, which drew acts that people would actually pay to see. “We had folk singers,” he said. “It was tough. You had 25 people for each folk singer — they didn’t spend any money. Bob Gibson was the biggest folk act I had. In ’64, I paid him $1,000

for a week, the most I ever paid. ... I couldn’t make money with folk singers. I had to go to rock and roll. I had The Blues Project, I had the Lovin’ Spoonful.” Along with the success stories, there were tragedies, too, great talents who just couldn’t keep it together. “Tim Hardin, he wrote ‘Reason To Believe,’” Marra recalled. “He’d say, ‘Joe, I need $2 for a cab,’ 100 times a week. It wasn’t for a cab. ... He was brilliant, but just too messed up on drugs.” Hardin would fatally OD on heroin in 1980. Another reason he closed the club, he said, was because he was having ear issues, which he chalked up to the loud rock music. “I had trouble with my ears and balance,” he said. “It was like I was underwater. My Eustachian tubes were clogged.” The fact that everyone in the place smoked probably didn’t help matters, either. At the birthday show, there were also some former Night Owl audience regulars, like Ann Clemente, 77, a retired stewardess who flew in from Seattle just for the occasion. “He really is a living legend,” she said of Marra. “I first met him when I was a student in 1962.” Marra lived in the Village and Lower Manhattan for his whole life until moving to New Jersey a few years after the first World Trade Center bombing in 1993. He currently lives in Battery Park City. “I was down here when they bombed the first time,” he said. “They could have blown my ass up! “My dad had a tiny, little bar on Downing St.,” he recalled. “I went to P.S. 3.” In another music club connection, the Cafe Wha? building used to be a stable where his grandfather — who had a fruit-and-vegetable business at Bedford and Downing Sts. — would keep his horse. As for what happened with the Night Owl’s original location, he said, “My dad swindled me out of the building.” Marra owned a brownstone on W. Houston St. between LaGuardia Place and Thompson St. but sold it in 1992. “I had no money. I couldn’t eat the bricks,” he laughed. Before the Night Owl was a music venue, it was a restaurant and late-night hangout, a franchise of Art Ford’s, which also had a location in Midtown. It drew some rough customers along with the newer Village types. “You’d see these guys gambling — against hippies,” Marra recalled. “There were bowling machines, 20-feet long.” Some of the patrons had to be caMARRA continued on p. 20 September 13, 2018

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D.I.Y. designer threads her way to sustainability BY BOB KR ASNER

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rielle Crawford is used to doing things herself. Which turns out to be useful, since she just launched her own fashion line — called Arielle — by dealing solo with every detail that she possibly could handle from her apartment in the East Village: design, patterns, sewing, production coordination, marketing, Web site construction, social media, publicity; and the handling of all the vendors who deal with the final patterns and production of the product. “It’s like being an orchestra leader,” she said. Crawford had no way of knowing that, as a young girl in West Texas, she was being prepared for this career. Her “fondness for the handmade life,” as she puts it, came from her father, an engineer who hunted deer and doves and kept a garden to put food on the table. Her mother, a nurse, also taught yoga, bringing a spiritual side to the home. But her mom — who was “ not girly at all,” Crawford noted — wasn’t keen on taking her shopping. Instead, she bought 5-year-old Crawford a sewing machine — and paid for lessons — which resulted in her first creation, a dress covered in watermelons. “I wanted a wide and exciting wardrobe,” she recalled. “And that wasn’t going to happen. So I made my own.” Sadly, her mother passed away when Crawford was 20, leaving her as a steward for her 8-year-old brother — an unwanted character-building experience. It was a long time, though, before she realized that making clothes could be an “actual profession.” After studying foreign languages in college (she speaks three), her introduction to the garment industry was a job at her cousin’s textile company in Los Angeles. She then ended up in San Francisco, working as a waitress. Her first major epiphany came when a mentor, a neighbor who heard her cutting cloth in her apartment, took her to see a Jean-Paul Gaultier museum show. “I called in sick the next day — I had decided to go into fashion,” she said. After attending fashion classes, she worked a lowlevel position in design at Gymboree. On the side, she taught kids from ages 6 to 12 the history of fashion at a private school. She then moved on to create her own institution —Arielle’s School of Fashion Design and Life — for kids in her apartment, after leaving the day job. “It was lucrative and fun!” she recalled. Still making her own clothes, she also created costumes for friends for Burning Man, a favorite excursion. Filling the days between classes were freelance gigs as a tailor, pattern maker, nanny and whatever else she could find. Revelation No. 2 came on a visit to New York City in 2016. On the way into the city, her cab driver asked her if she would want to live here. “No way !” she replied. On her second day in the city, she found herself medi-

BY BOB KRASNER

Designer Arielle Craw ford in the window of her pop-up store in The Modern Love Club. She is wearing a skir t made from domestic wool, an organic cotton T-shir t and a hemp/vegan silk trench coat. The mannequin is spor ting an organic cotton dress and cardigan.

tating in the La Plaza Cultural community garden, at E. Ninth St. and Avenue C. She was suddenly hit with the realization that, as she said, “New York was the place” for her. She returned to Frisco, packed up and became a New Yorker. Further changes to her lifestyle came as a result of her work with shamanic ritual and sacred plant ceremonies. “I went from maximilist to minimalist overnight,” she explained. “I realized that you don’t need to rely on clothes to tell people who you are.” More than 300 pieces of clothing were discarded, leaving 30 items in her closet. The apartment was painted white and a blank slate was ready to be filled. Although she had some jobs within the industry in New York, notably for Rachel Comey and Alexander Wang, she made the decision to design and produce her own line. “Corporate fashion wasn’t right for me,” she said. Using money earned from years as a waitress and the discarding of items from a previous life, she set out to produce a fashion line that was aligned with her ideals. With the key principles being minimalism and sustainability, Crawford’s initial pieces are simple, classically stylish and as politically correct as you can get. All items are made in New York City, using materials such

as organic cotton and hemp, vegan-produced silk (the silkworms survive this process) and recycled polyester. “I’m trying to create clothes you can wear for the rest of your life,” she explained, “by blending modern and traditional styles, using minimalism. If you simplify your decision-making process, you free up your mind for greater thinking.” As for the sustainability issue, she sees her work as the sartorial equivalent of cultivating whole foods. “Environment should be considered in production — no fumes, dyes or toxins that harm the environment,” she stressed. Crawford’s minimalist stance, incidentally, is evident in her choice of pets, as well. Growing up, she was surrounded by animals — horses, chickens, hens, iguanas, dogs, a 6-foot-tall emu (raised from an egg!) and a raccoon named Rocky — “of course,” she quipped. The latter would sit on the couch with her dad, watching football while cracking open peanuts and sipping beer. Today her chosen companion is a tiny Chihuahua named Piola, who responds mostly to Spanish. The Arielle line is currently on sale at her pop-up at 156 First Ave., near E. 10th St., weekends and most evenings through the end of September. For more information, visit shop-arielle.com.

Celebrating a birthday and the ‘60s music scene MARRA continued from p. 19

tered to...carefully. “You were trapped,” he said. “Some days I’d be there till 12 in the morning. They’d say, ‘Hey, kid, cook me a steak.’ We would get the musicians, the strippers, the gangsters. It was quite a mix.” Nowadays, you can find Marra Wednesday mornings at the historic Caffe Reggio on MacDougal St. “It’s the last authentic cafe, the Reggio,” he said. “It’s like Uncas, the last of the Mohicans.” At the end of his birthday show at The Bitter End, Marra’s nephew and his assistant tossed out to the

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crowd T-shirts with a Night Owl design the late Keith Haring made for him 25 years ago. After he closed the music club, Marra relaunched the Night Owl as a poster and T-shirt store / head shop, eventually moving it to a spot closer to Sixth Ave., next to the current McDonald’s; Haring lived on the block, and Marra used to buy things for his own store at Haring’s Pop Shop, on Lafayette St. “I asked him to do the design,” Marra said. “I said, ‘What do I owe you?’ He said, ‘Give me $100 shirts.’ He had just done an Absolut ad on the back of the buses for $250 million.” That Absolut figure might be slightly off, but Marra

definitely got a good deal. The former music impresario had one shirt left and, working from the original design, and using a five-screen printing process, made 100 shirts to give away at his birthday party. David Amram, 87, who was on the Village scene back during the Night Owl’s days, recalled it fondly. “It was a wonderful, comfortable place,” the iconic multi-instrumentalist reflected. “It was fun. I would go there just to hear people play. The whole commercialization of the music scene changed it somewhat.” Of Marra, he said, “He was always gracious and made everyone feel welcome. There were no ‘A’ tables. Everybody had an ‘A’ table.” TheVillager.com


Unfettered and unfiltered Neo-Baroque brilliance Now based in Bushwick, Company XIV’s new season unfolds

Photo by Phillip Van Nostrand

Ryan Redmond as Ferdinand. Company XIV’s “Ferdinand: Boylesque Bullfight” runs through Oct. 28.

BY TRAV S.D. The reader may take it as a sign of Company XIV’s nonstop vibrancy that, after eight years of writing about them in 10 separate articles and reviews, your correspondent still finds new and interesting hooks to latch on to. Austin McCormick’s neo-baroque dance company has gone through many moves and changes during that time — from the banks of the Gowanus Canal, to Greenwich Village’s Minetta Lane Theatre, to the company’s own shortTheVillager.com

lived cabaret space on Lafayette St., to Brooklyn’s Irondale Center for Theater, Education and Outreach. They’ve left a trail of feathers, glitter, and sequins in their wake, as their semi-clad company has enthralled audiences with sexy adaptations of fairy tales and other works, mixing elements of ballet, burlesque, circus, opera, puppetry, and more. Now, Company XIV is about to launch their fall season at their new home in Bushwick, and thereby hangs a tale. “We moved to Bushwick last

November,” said McCormick, “The challenge with choosing a new permanent home is finding a neighborhood that has the right vibe and energy. The risk is, that if you’re not in Manhattan, the fan base won’t come out anymore. Luckily this part of Bushwick is full of bars and entertainment venues. We’re near the House of Yes and Lot 45. It’s a good fit for the kind of immersive theatre we do. Since we moved, I’ve seen lots of familiar faces, as well as lots of new people. We just signed a long-term

lease. We hope to be there for a long time to come.” This is good news for fans of Company XIV, who have been forced to watch this superlative troupe ping pong from pillar to post for years due to setbacks like Hurricane Sandy and trouble with landlords. With the heavy emphasis on design McCormick exerts on his productions, space and stability are at a premium for maxim aesthetic impact. The COMPANY XIV continued on p. 23 September 13, 2018

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Pop-Up photo ops: A primer Perfect selfies and Insta-fame await BY CHARLES BATTERSBY If you can get enough loyal followers to follow your social media feed, and let businesses know that you’re willing to tag their product in your posts, then you’ve got it made as a highlypaid social media “Influencer.” But how can a nobody look glamorous enough to build such a following in the first place? There are places in New York that exist primarily to facilitate selfie fanatics in their quest for Insta-fame. They call themselves “popup museums,” and wannabe Instagram stars can get pictures of themselves in dozens of photogenic locations. For a price. The recently closed Museum of Ice Cream was a notorious example where people could pay a $35 fee for a tasting tour of ice creams, and get an educational experience. Coincidentally, the colorful museum was simply begging for selfies. Although the MoIC is gone, a dozen similar pop-ups have taken its place, all purporting to provide art or education through their glamorous set pieces. We visited them all, seeking out fellow art lovers and intellectuals, but mostly found young women taking pictures of themselves with the art. The Rosé Mansion (running in Midtown through Oct. 7) makes a legitimate effort to be educational. Attendees can taste eight different kinds of wine there, and the staff will answer questions about the distinct traits of each vintage. Of all the pop-ups we visited this one had the greatest number of spots for pictures, and made the most efficient use of its space. Every wall was colorful, with some form of art, or at least an inspirational slogan painted on it. Aside from the larger rooms, there were phone-booth-sized cubbyholes, and ornate chairs in the corners. On our trip there, very few women could be observed asking about the artwork, or the history of wine. It was a tipsy selfie fest and, yes, it was just ladies. The sole gentleman that we encountered in this pink palace was clearly there as a personal photographer and luggage porter. For a more child-friendly experience Candytopia is running near Herald Square through November. There’s no booze, but anyone who dreamed of a golden ticket to Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory will love this experience. There is free candy in every room, actors doing scripted material, and an abundance of selfie spots. The crowd at Candytopia was mostly parents snapping pics of their kids. A few unescorted adults were present, but such sightings were relatively rare during our afternoon visit. The place is designed with thematic rooms that feature art made from candy. These range from giant sculptures to 2D re-creations of famous paintings. One such painting is Warhol’s infamous soup can, which raises the question, “If the original is art, then why not the candy recreation?” Despite the potential for serious discussion about the nature of art, the staff confirmed that most of the attendees were more concerned with snapping pics. One of the smaller pop-ups is Wonderworld in Soho. It uses an “Alice in Wonderland” theme with several highly photogenic rooms. However, it’s more than just a bunch of selfie spots. People who want to learn a new skill, and have a social experience can opt for the weekend tea party and flower arranging class (at a higher ticket price). The 29 Rooms exhibit (through Sept. 16 in Brooklyn) lives up to its name, with quite a lot of rooms, each by a different artist, and often promoting a product, or nonprofit organization. Some Courtesy of Winky Lux staff

This flower wall at The Winky Lux Experience represents the tiny flowers inside the company’s lip stain.

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POP-UPS continued on p. 23 TheVillager.com


POP-UPS continued from p. 22

are selfie spots, but we were happy to see that several are based around interaction with other guests, and encourage people to set down their phone and talk to a real human. One room is based on sound, using â&#x20AC;&#x153;kinetic sculpturesâ&#x20AC;? to make Indonesian gamelan music. This room is kept mostly dark, thereby discouraging selfies. Room For Tea in Chinatown (open through Sept. 22) celebrates bubble tea. Six rooms representing different aspects of tea can be explored, and everyone who attends gets a cup of sweet bubble tea. Room For Tea also has a serene room where people can join in a tea ceremony, and try hot tea, while learning about the more traditional way of preparing it, as opposed to the modern sweeter drinks. We found, once again, that the selfies were the focus, with few people interested in the quieter tea ceremony. One of the staff members commented with a knowing smile, and simply said, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re millennials.â&#x20AC;? This generation gap was only broken by Candytopia, where parents who are a bit too old to qualify as millennials were accompanied by children whose generation hasnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t yet earned a nickname. All of the other experiences in our travels were primarily populated by overdressed young women, heavily made up, looking

COMPANY XIV continued from p. 21

new space, like their one on Lafayette St., also has its own bar, with a variety of signature cocktails (some of them McCormickâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s original recipes). The current season promises to uphold the companyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s own high standards. Just opened is a revival of last seasonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s â&#x20AC;&#x153;Ferdinand: Boylesque Bullfight,â&#x20AC;? McCormickâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s adaptation of Munro Leafâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s 1936 childrenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s book, â&#x20AC;&#x153;The Story of Ferdinand.â&#x20AC;? This version reimagines the classic story about the lazy, naploving bovine as an â&#x20AC;&#x153;erotic mostly allmale baroque-burlesque spectacleâ&#x20AC;? in which the spectators are encouraged to â&#x20AC;&#x153;â&#x20AC;Ś roll around the Spanish hillside, then enjoy a bullfight in the XIV ring where our ferocious, fertile matador challenges dear Ferdinand to a duel.â&#x20AC;? Audiences responded well to the show in the recent production, according to McCormick. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The revival is our chance to refine it and perfect it.â&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x153;Ferdinand: Boylesque Bullfightâ&#x20AC;? runs through Oct. 28. Next up is a perennial Company XIV favorite: â&#x20AC;&#x153;Nutcracker Rougeâ&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x201D; their annual holiday production, in which TheVillager.com

Courtesy of Candytopia staff

Attendees are not allowed to eat the sculptures at Candytopia â&#x20AC;&#x201D; but free candy is in every room.

ready to shoot a print ad for tea, wine, or whatever product was obscured behind their acrylic nails. The relatively venerable Dream Machine in Brooklyn is one of the longer-running pop-ups. It has been going since April, and closed last weekend. Each room embodies some aspect of dreaming, and the staff was quite willing to discuss the symbolism of each one, for those who asked. The rooms are often quite entertaining (the smoke bubble room delighted us on our visit), and staff is on hand to usher visitors into at least

one secret room as well. Alas, the staff, once again, told us that the majority of attendees were there for pictures, and rarely asked what the rooms are intended to represent. Running indefinitely, The Winky Lux Experience in Soho unabashedly courts beauty-obsessed women looking for selfie spots. Winky Lux is a cosmetics company, and their popup museum is built right into their store. Each room is thematically linked to one of their products, and the $10 admission fee is turned into a credit at the store. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a good prospect

McCormick soups up the framework of the popular ballet and â&#x20AC;&#x153;trims the treeâ&#x20AC;? with eclectic musical styles and enough sensuality for 1,000 sprigs of mistletoe. In addition to dance, the production contains circus elements and a changing roster of guest artists. Previews for â&#x20AC;&#x153;Nutcracker Rougeâ&#x20AC;? start Nov. 9, with an opening Nov. 15. The show runs through the entire holiday season and out the other side, closing on Jan. 13. Finally, McCormick may be saving the best for last with the March 29 world-premiere of â&#x20AC;&#x153;Queen of Hearts,â&#x20AC;? his adaptation of Lewis Carrollâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s â&#x20AC;&#x153;Aliceâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Adventures in Wonderland.â&#x20AC;? Given the hallucinatory nature of many of the choreographerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s previous visions, this one would appear to be a match made in a very surreal heaven. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m excited to be starting an all-new show,â&#x20AC;? he said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I more often go back and rework older stuff. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not often I get to start from scratch. Thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a lot you can do with a well-known tale like this. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s familiar, but the specifics are open to a lot of creative interpretations. It suits the immersive nature of our work well. Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m already working on a

new â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Drink Meâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; cocktail tie-in.â&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x153;Queen of Heartsâ&#x20AC;? will be on the boards through May 5. As if this all werenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t enough, McCormick is also choreographing the Metropolitan Opera production of Camille Saint-Saenesâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; â&#x20AC;&#x153;Samson et Dalila,â&#x20AC;? directed by Darko Tresnjek, which begins performances on Sept. 24. That, of course, will be work on a scale heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d never be able to fit into any indie theatre venue, and at a location that is a good deal more posh. But if

!!"! 

## $ Saturday 09/15 2PM, Tompkins Square Park Sunday 09/16 2PM, St. Marks Church, 10th St, 2nd Avenue www.theaterforthenewcity.net (212) 254 - 1109 @ 155 First Avenue, East Between 9th &10th Street

for people who are already planning on buying some makeup. Of the pop-ups that we visited, the Color Factory in Soho (closing Sept. 16) proved to be the most artistic, and least selfie-focused. There was a great deal of interaction with the staff, and most of the rooms had something to do, rather than just an object to take pictures with. In fact, one exhibit was a shelf containing â&#x20AC;&#x153;nothing,â&#x20AC;? accompanied by a lecture on the scientific and philosophical nature of Nothingness. Although many attendees intend to exploit these pop-ups for Instagram fame, the customers are essentially paying for the opportunity to promote the very event that they are attending. Thanks to would-be social media influencers, every one of these businesses gets free advertising from people posting pictures of their glamorous life. Or at least the glamorous life they want to project through Instagram. For determined selfie fanatics whoâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve already made the rounds at all the current pop-ups, the Museum of Pizza is coming to NYC, Oct. 13-28. Access info on all of the places we experienced or previewed, by visiting museu moficecream.com, rosewinemansion. com, candytopia.com, thewonderworld. space, 29room.com, roomforteanyc. com, visitdreammachine.com, winky lux.com, colorfactory.co, and themuseu mofpizza.org.

you think that relieves you of the need to see McCormickâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s unfettered, unfiltered visions at his own joint, youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve got another thing coming. There is no substitute for the aesthetic purity of a Company XIV production. Their new home is at 383 Troutman St. (at Wyckoff Ave.), in Brooklyn. Take the L Train to Jefferson St. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Ferdinandâ&#x20AC;? tickets are $55 to $79; VIP couch for two is $260. Visit companyxiv.com or call 866-811-4111 to purchase inidvidual or season tickets.

$$"# ' #! #"%

www.dreamupfestival.org or call Smarttix at (212) 868 - 4444 #"!!#

 !!"%# # #!!#% #& September 13, 2018

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To Advertise Here Call: 646-452-2490

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More Moe BUTCHER continued from p. 8

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take very good care of my family.’ Moe just smiled. It’s been a great relationship. I think the world of the guy. He’s been square with me from Day One.” Hewitt does miss the old feel of the area. “The thing was,” he said, “you met the guys in the neighborhood, that grew up in the neighborhood, that Moe went to school with.” Although some of those people have died, Hewitt said the change is also due to the changing nature of the area’s residents. “In the old neighborhood, people are friendly,” he said. “Now with gentrification, people don’t know you and you don’t know them.” Another friend of Moe who is a regular customer, Giorgio, visited on a recent afternoon and chatted with the veteran butcher on seats just outside the shop. Giorgio lived three blocks away for 17 years before recently moving to Midtown. But he still comes back several times a week to visit and support the shop. He didn’t discover the place until about three years ago, which he regrets because for many years he and his wife walked by and saw the shop closed or didn’t believe that an old-school place like it could still be open. “First, I just purchased steaks,” he said, which was enough to keep him coming back. Referring to a sign in the window for “Home of the ‘Gotcha Steaks,’” meaning you’re hooked on the meat once you try it, Giorgio said, “That’s actually factual. It’s really how it works. If you buy them, you come back. “But then,” Giorgio added, “I noticed one of the pictures that has a connection with Sicily, which is also where I was born.” After talking with Moe, they discovered that their families came from areas only about 20 miles apart. “It’s really close, and we speak the same dialect, too,” he noted. Giorgio said he loves hearing from Moe about “how it used to be, all the Sicilians living on this block. It’s always a fun conversation with Moe,” he said. “You always get a lot of information that you cannot get; there are things that only he would know because he’s the only one really left.” Although Moe stays in touch with some longtime customers, he said it’s “not as much as previous years. People, I guess, moved out of the neighborhood.” He shrugged, “It’s all different, and you’ve got a young crowd now.” Moe plans to stay at the shop and never fully retire. “It gives me something to do,” he said. “What would I do at home? Here I am talking to you, I wouldn’t be able to do that at home.” And would Moe like to see his granddaughter take over the shop and run it for years to come? “Sure,” he said. “She’s got my blessing.”

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What a find: The Guerin foundry BY MICHELE HERMAN

I

recently tagged along with the Parks Department’s monuments staff and crew on a tour of P.E. Guerin. I’ve passed by the decorative hardware company at 23 Jane St. literally thousands of times, and wanted to find out what really goes on inside the pale yellow building, the one whose big first-floor windows were until recently covered with shades that resembled mattress covers. The showroom is right off the street, and we were invited to look at the vast collections of made-to-order and stock items. There were door handles, hooks, faucets, towel racks and the like, arranged chronologically by style, right up through Deco and Modernism, which Guerin has been making since those styles were brand new. Almost everything struck me as beautiful, from the simplest cabinet hinges and toilet-paper holders to the stuff from the various Louis eras — bright gold finish, women’s-head motifs — that I usually find hideous. Unlike the other people on the tour, I knew virtually nothing about what can and cannot be done to metal with heat, molds, tools, chemicals and human hands. But as I admired a case full of brass door handles catching the light with subtle burnishing on their graceful openwork decoration, my eyes told me I had stepped into the Metropolitan Museum of hardware. Even the stock pieces (some of them costing less than $100) are finely proportioned and beautifully finished. Two thoughts kept crowding out all others: Why is the rest of the manufactured world so ugly, cheap and disposable? And how the heck has Guerin survived? This is when Martin Grubman, vice president and a 30-year veteran of the firm, swooped in to take us on our tour. Grubman is a born talker with deep knowledge of this place and its secrets. He brought us into the dimly lit pattern room in the back. The walls are completely lined with wooden drawers darkened by generations of finger oils and labeled with words like “oval rosettes,” “sphinx” and “urn.” In the drawers are more than 50,000 metal objects — the patterns. It was easy to pretend the 20th century had never happened, let alone the 21st. The company was founded in 1857 by Pierre Emmanuel Guerin of Brittany and is currently owned by a fourth-generation Guerin by marriage. The business has been on Jane St. since 1892, in three contiguous buildings. Running a crammed, vertical factory in Manhattan is no picnic. There are frequent visits by the city’s Department of Environmental Protection, there’s no truck dock, the traffic is terrible, and all the other design buildings are Uptown. But Grubman assured me up and down that the company has no intention of moving; the staff, he said, is irreplaceable, and Manhattan is still centrally located for most of them. And besides, he said, the thought of moving the whole operation is overwhelming. “I think I’d retire,” he said on the prospect of relocating. The company survives not only by owning its real estate but by offering something for which there’s an enduring demand that virtually no one else in the U.S. can meet: individually cast products finished by hand. Customers have included Tiffany, Packer Motor Car, the Biltmore estate, Gracie Mansion and the White House. In the 1970s, Guerin made the faucets for the Fairmont Hotel in San Francisco, and they’re still going strong; most other hotels have to replace theirs every couple of years. I learned that there are two ways to cast metal by hand: lost wax and fine sand. Pretty much everyone else uses lost wax, a multistep process involving a wax mold that melts when molten metal is poured in. It’s the only way to produce in bulk without moving to big automated machinery. One drawback is that the final casting is significantly smaller than the original pattern. Guerin casts in fine sand, some of it from Albany and some from Denmark, a slower process that requires a lot

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PHOTO BY COLOMBINA VALERA/NYC PARKS

Sandra “chasing” a bronze piece after its casting.

of finishing work, or “chasing,” which is the answer to my other question: how this stuff got to be so beautiful, so full of graceful detail and multiple subtleties. The company, which has about 60 employees, has nine chasers, four of them women. Grubman spoke admiringly about one of the longtime chasers, Liliana. I asked how many people there are out there in the world who have these skills. He thought a moment, pointed upstairs and said, “Liliana.” Most of the chasers began with entry-level jobs doing metal filing, showed an aptitude for the detail work and were trained by older employees. Guerin’s current customers include the developers of the tower above Steinway Hall, at W. 43rd St. and Sixth Ave. “They are sparing no expense,” Grubman said. “It’s mind-blowing that they’re using us for all the faucets, doors and cabinet hardware. They’re finishing it like a high-end home.” Other customers include a lot of crazy-rich multinationals with huge homes that might have hundreds of doors. Sometimes Guerin has to farm out some of the work to other foundries. “Say we’re casting finials for doors, two pairs per door,” he explained. “I have one pattern. I can make one impression in sand at a time. If we do five molds per day, plus extras, it would take close to an entire year.” How I had taken my metal fixtures for granted! “A lot of people buy — it’s a hardware term — s---,” said Grubman. “No one shows them why something is good. They’re spending money on garbage. It’s like buying a strand of pearls. You see the first one and it looks good, and then the salesman shows you the one that’s gem quality and the first one looks like crap.” We followed him upstairs to the four floors that house the foundry, the electroplating room and the finishing department. The stairs are tall, shallow and a little scary, the floorboards old and unfinished. The only signs of modernity are the coffeemakers and microwaves tucked into crevices and the one programmable lathe, Guerin’s concession to the 20th century. On the small, crowded floors artisans were bent over small lathes and power sanders or quietly hand filing or polishing small pieces held by vise grips. A fine coating of metal dust covered everything. This is how rarefied Guerin’s work is: Before employees can do the chasing, they have to make their own chasing tools. September 13, 2018

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