VOLUME 31, NUMBER 18
SEPTEMBER 20 – OCTOBER 3, 2018
What a feast!
The 92nd-annual Feast of San Gennaro takes over Little Italy Page 11 Photo by Joseph M. Calisi
Wayne Algenio downed 33 cannolis in 10 minutes to win the Sept. 14 cannoli-eating contest that kicks off the annual Feast of San Gennaro in Little Italy.
9/11 victim fund’s deadline problem Page 6
Also in this issue:
Sparks fly at ‘Free’ drinks in Tribeca jailhouse town hall Page 6 Page 14
1 M E T R O T E C H • N YC 112 0 1 • C O P Y R I G H T © 2 0 18 C I T Y M E D I A L L C
Railing at jail fail City reps shouted down at town hall on proposed site for new borough jail BY SYDNEY PEREIRA Downtowners blasted Mayor Bill de Blasio’s plan to build a 40-story jail in Chinatown as a part of the plan to close Rikers Island at a packed town hall on Sept. 12. City representatives gave a presentation on the borough-based jails plan — but it was largely drowned out by booing, shouts that the mayor is racist and chants of “No jail!” After repeated efforts by city officials and local politicians to quiet the crowd during the presentation, the town hall was eventually opened up to public comments from dozens of Downtowners blasting the plan. Though many supported the idea of prison reform, and even closing Rikers, nearly everyone in the audience and who spoke opposed the plan for another Downtown jail. “Closing Rikers Island, in my view, is a laudable goal,” said Nicholas Stabile, a board member of Chatham Green Cooperative, on Park Row. “But the
process that the mayor employed to achieve this goal, it focuses only on half the equation: the people inside the jail. It ignores the other half of the equation: the people in the surrounding community. There was not a single slide up there about who’s in the community, how this affects the community, and what is going to happen,” Stabile said. “Like, honestly — what were you thinking?” When the mayor announced plans to close Rikers and open a new jail in every borough except Staten Island, residents were initially told Downtown’s existing jail, the Manhattan Detention Center — aka “The Tombs” — at 125 White St., would be renovated for this purpose. But last month, the city released scoping documents for a totally different site, at 80 Centre St., which currently houses the District Attorney’s Office, the city’s Marriage Bureau and other court-related services. Outrage ensued at an “emergency meeting” organized by Assemblywoman Yuh-Line Niou.
Photo by Sydney Pereira
Locals packed a Sept. 12 town hall meeting about the city’s plan to build a 40-story in Chinatown.
Shortly thereafter, City Councilwoman Margaret Chin and Borough President Gale Brewer organized the Sept. 12 town hall. Local politicians, while all supporting the larger goal of closing Rikers, slammed the process thus far. “I do believe that we need a different system than Rikers,” Brewer told the audience. “You have to have a process to get to a good end point. I listen, but I am frustrated. I may disagree with you
on whether or not there should be a jail,” Brewer said, “but I will never disagree that there should be a community process that has lots of time in order to have your input.” The borough president said the city’s intention to hold one Uniform Land Use Review Procedure, or ULURP, for all four jails should be stopped through a zoning change in each borough to allow JAIL Continued on page 12
OUTSMART YOUR ENERGY
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
September 20 – October 3, 2018
Under new management Schneps Communications acquires Community News Group and NYC Community Media, creating dominant local-media company The 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 family-run business owned by Victoria and Joshua Schneps, has acquired Community News Group and NYC Community Media (publisher of Downtown Express), one of the largest publishers of community newspapers, niche publications, websites 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. â€œWe will clearly have the largest reach of any local media company in New York City across print, digital, and events,â€? said Joshua Schneps, SCNG Chief Executive Officer. â€œWe can now offer companies large and small, seeking to reach an individual neighborhood or the entire City of New York and its surrounding region, the most cost-effective and efficient means of marketing.â€? Each borough and Long Island have SCHNEPS Continued from page 3
Photo by Jeff Yapalater
From left, Josh Schneps and Vicki Schneps-Yunis of Schneps Communications, and Community News Group owners Les and Jennifer Goodstein were happy to announce on Sept. 7 that Schneps Communications bought CNG and its publications, making the new company the largest print, digital, and events company in the New York market.
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Volume 2 | Issue 1
The Pulse of
Lenox Health Greenwich Village
Make no bones about it – prevention is key: 5 tips for maintaining strong and healthy bones Osteoporosis makes bones more susceptible to fractures and breaks. Bones naturally lose density with age, but you can still help keep them strong. May is National Osteoporosis Awareness and Prevention Month, so it’s a great time to take action. 1. Boost calcium consumption. Calcium helps give bones their strength. Maintain the recommended daily intake of 1,0001,200 mg with good sources of calcium including low-fat dairy products, dark green leafy vegetables and soy products such as tofu. 2. Don’t forget about vitamin D. For best absorption, pair calciumrich foods with those high in vitamin D, such as salmon, milk and orange juice. Adequate sunlight also provides your body with vitamin D. 3. Pump up the protein. Protein is one of the essential building blocks of bones. Eat plenty of protein-rich foods like eggs, Greek yogurt, lean chicken, beans and nuts. 4. Cut back on the alcohol and avoid smoking. Smoking and heavy alcohol consumption restrict your body’s ability to absorb essential nutrients, which can decrease bone density and increase the chance of fractures.
Did you know…
52 million Americans are aﬀected by osteoporosis and low bone density. If you think you may be at risk, see our specialists, who oﬀer bone density tests to assess and diagnose this condition. Did you know…
Only 35 percent of American adults consume the recommended daily intake of calcium. If you find it diﬃcult to get enough calcium from your diet, consider taking a calcium supplement.
5. Make exercise a priority. People who spend a lot of time sitting have a higher risk of developing osteoporosis. Combine strength training, weight bearing and balance exercises (such as walking, running, skipping rope and stair climbing) to benefit bones.
Our advanced Imaging Center is dedicated to meeting the radiology needs of the entire Greenwich Village community. Learn more at Northwell.edu/LenoxHealthImaging or call (646) 846-1452.
September 20 – October 3, 2018
.",& COUGAR ATTACK
No arrests have been made in the case, which remains open.
A seductress nabbed a young manâ€™s pricey Rolex watch after joining him for a night cap at his North Moore Street apartment following a night of clubbing on Sept. 15. The victim, 21, told police he was partying it up until 4 am, when he took the 32-year-old temptress back this place between Greenwich and West streets for unspecified activities, which eventually ended after the younger man nodded off. A few hours later, the victim awoke to an empty apartment, and the revelation that his $4,000 Rolex GTM Master II had been stolen off his wrist, cops said. No arrests have been made in the case, which remains open, according to police.
A slick shoplifter swapped his bargain-bin timepiece for a $13,465 Rolex inside a Wooster Street boutique on Sept. 10 An employee told police the crook made the swap inside the retailer between Spring and Broome streets at 8 pm, before waltzing off with the small fortune on his wrist. That caper follows the theft of a $61,495 engagement ring at the same store, which a thief managed to swipe while a display was left outside its case, cops said. No arrests have been made in either theft, and both cases remain open, cops said.
MR. KNIFE GUY
Police are hunting the bladesman wanted for stabbing a guy inside the Chambers Street Subway Station on Sept. 14. The victim told police he was embroiled in a shouting match with the suspect on the A-train platform inside the station at 2 pm, when the goon pulled a knife on him and thrust the blade into his torso. Paramedics rushed the victim to Bellevue Hospital, and investigators recovered a pair of bloody pants and a syringe at the scene, cops said.
A pervy crook raided a Broadway lingerie store on Sept. 4, stealing panties. An employee told police the sixfoot-tall thief nabbed 24 pairs of womenâ€™s underwear from the store between W. Houston and Prince streets at 4:40 pm, in addition to a few bras, and some shorts that altogether totaled $1,465. The thief made off with his ill-gotten undies heading north on Broadway, and the case remains open, cops said.
â€” Colin Mixson
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A bank heist straight out of a movie (staring Adam Sandler) BY COLIN MIXSON Call it a case of easy come, easy go! Cops nabbed an alleged bank robber following a zany foot chase through the streets of Lower Manhattan, which saw the suspect literally throwing his illgotten cash at a pursuing bank worker as he fled into the Fulton Street Subway Station on Sept. 14. A teller told police she was at her post inside the Broadway bank between John Street and Maiden Lane on Sept. 14, when the suspect passed her a note claiming â€œI need operationâ€? and demanding cash. The worker handed over $600 â€” in bait money featuring easily traced serial numbers â€” along with a tracking device hidden in the cash, according to police. As the suspect fled with his trap DowntownExpress.com
money towards the Fulton Street Subway Station, he realized that another bank worker was pursuing him, and the alleged thief started hurling cash at the man in an attempt to throw him off his trail, cops said. The suspectâ€™s desperate ploy did not work, and the bank employee followed the alleged robber onto a train on the stationâ€™s A, C, E platform, according to police. Meanwhile, a patrolman responding to the robbery was inside the subway station looking for a perp, when a bystander alerted him to a commotion on the train, and he boarded to find the suspect wrestling with the bank worker, cops said. The suspect was immediately arrested, and he now faces felony robbery charges, cops said.
Visit ferry.nyc to learn more @NYCFerry
September 20 â€“ October 3, 2018
‘CANCER HAS NO DEADLINE’
Advocates for 9/11 fallout victims blast 2020 deadline for compensation fund BY COLIN MIXSON The looming Dec. 18, 2020 deadline to file claims with the 9/11 Victims Compensation Fund ignores the fact that people will continue dying from exposure to the terrorist attack’s toxic fallout with diseases that don’t manifest until years — even decades — after that arbitrary cut-off date, according to victims’ advocates, who warn that cancer doesn’t grow by Washington’s clock. “We’re seeing more people die, more people getting serious, aggressive cancers than ever before, and something tells me it’s not going to stop on Dec. 18, 2020,” said Michael Barasch, an attorney representing more than 10,000 victims, including first responders and Downtown residents. “Cancer has no deadline.” Shortly after the terrorist attack that claimed nearly 3,000 lives on that day 17 years ago, the federal Environmental Protection Agency lured an estimated 300,000 workers and 25,000
residents, in addition to thousands of students and first responders, back to Lower Manhattan with a promise that the area was safe to inhabit. But in truth, a cocktail of pulverized glass, lead, chromium, and other carcinogens still haunted neighborhoods south of Canal Street until May 2002, when the federal government years later determined that Downtown’s air had finally became breathable. Hundreds of people have since perished as a result some 68 different cancers and other fatal illnesses directly linked to the attack’s deadly fallout — including Police Officer James Zadroga, whose death in 2006 would inspire congress to pass the Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act in 2010, establishing both a free healthcare program and a settlement fund to redress the pain and loss of income due to unemployment caused in part by Uncle Sam’s negligence. 9/11 FUND Continued on page 12
The clouds of toxic dust that engulfed Downtown after the collapse of the World Trade Center in the 9/11 terrorist attacks lingered for moths and sickened thousands who returned to Lower Manhattan when the federal government falsely declared it safe. Seventeen years later, victims continue to received new diagnoses of cancers and other diseases directly related to the toxic fallout, but if those aliments don’t manifest before the 9/11 Victims Compensation Fund’s deadline of Dec. 18, 2020, those victims will not be eligible for compensation under the current law.
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September 20 – October 3, 2018
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September 20 – October 3, 2018
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ALTERNATE SIDE PARKING SUSPENDED MONDAY AND TUESDAY FOR SUCCOTH The United Nations General Assembly will have major effects Downtown. President Trump is expected to get to NYC late Sunday and leave Tuesday, closing the northbound FDR Drive after his arrival and southbound on departure day. The FDR is subject to closures all week. Battery Park Cityâ€™s Ritz-Carlton at the foot of the West Side Highway will likely have extra security for foreign dignitaries staying there. The World Trade Centerâ€™s memorial may be a stop for a few heads of state. The city declared Gridlock Alert Days for UNGA on weekdays from Monday to Oct. 1. Avoid Midtown East next week, and use transit if you can. Lower Manhattan subways will run close to schedule this weekend, but after 9:30 p.m. Friday, the D and F will once again skip almost all of Manhattan. The D will switch to the A track between 59th St. and Brooklyn. The F will be on the Q track between Lexington Ave.63rd St. and Atlantic Ave.-Barclays.
The South Street Seaport area is busy this week. At Pier 17 near the Brooklyn Bridge, FDR and South St., thereâ€™s St. Lucia Friday and Saturday 7 p.m., and Sting and Shaggy Wednesday 7 p.m. Oktoberfest NYC begins nearby on Pier 15 Friday, and will run noon to midnight Thursdays through Sundays until Oct. 15. Fulton St. closes 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. for two fairs, between Broadway and Water St. Saturday, and Broadway and Gold St. Sunday. The Tribeca TV Festival will be screening season premieres to many shows Thursday to Sunday at Spring Studios on St. Johnâ€™s Lane, drawing many limos near Holland Tunnel entrances, Varick and Canal Sts., and Sixth Ave. Rush hour screenings start 6 p.m. Thursday, 5:45 p.m. Friday. The Feast of San Gennaro continues through Sunday, closing Grand and Hester Sts. between Centre and Mott Sts., and Mulberry between Canal and E. Houston Sts. 11:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. MetLife Stadium has Ed Sheeran 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday, adding traffic around the Holland Tunnel, as will the Saturday 5 p.m. match between the Red Bulls and Toronto in Harrison, N.J.
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September 20 â€“ October 3, 2018
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Photo by Milo Hess
Through the clouds Not even overcast skies could keep the sun from shining through the eponymous skylight of the Oculus transit hub at the World Trade Center, which architect Santiago Calatrava aligned to track the sun on Sept. 11 every year.
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New Membership Deals and Great Events at LMHQ This Fall If you’re not familiar with LMHQ or it has been awhile since you last visited, there are a few great reasons to visit this fall! LMHQ is Lower Manhattan’s ﬂexible and affordable workspace dedicated to being a resource for a growing community of local entrepreneurs, freelancers and businesses. One of the most popular services we provide this community is our events program - it is a cornerstone of the LMHQ experience and consistently convenes some of the sharpest professionals in the city. Our Fall lineup is no exception. The ﬁrst event of the season was held this morning – a Women’s Breakfast on how to negotiate salary featuring negotiation experts Ladies Get Paid. Additional events this season will include technical workshops, our popular monthly Women’s Breakfast and informative talks with prominent speakers. Each DowntownExpress.com
event is a great opportunity to get inspired and meet new people. This season, LMHQ also
launched a brand new “Collaborator” membership level that features free access to paid events, ﬁrst dibs on free
events, access to our online community and discounted workspace. Upcoming events include: October 18: Working Together: An Interactive Lecture Series featuring Mark Fowler of Tanenbaum, musician JD Samson, & Gabrielle Korn of Nylon Magazine This is the ﬁrst in a series of interactive lectures at LMHQ. The evening will consist of inspiring TED-like talks all about the topic of Working Together. Hear from prominent creative changemakers: musician JD Samson (Le Tigre, MEN), Tanenbaum CEO Mark Fowler, and Nylon Editor-in-Chief Gabrielle Korn. Peer mentoring and networking will follow the talk. October 23: Women’s Breakfast: Get The Vote Out Rally Join us just in time for Election Day for a rapid-ﬁre democratic town hall that will cover the most important issues in this election cycle and beyond. Hear from
change-makers like ZigZag podcast, Talking with Civil about the decentralized marketplace for sustainable journalism, as well as Crush The Midterms and comedian Cody Lindquist. November 1: Behind the Creative Curtain featuring Joan LMHQ’s Behind the Creative Curtain series invites a creative brand to do a deep dive for our audience of creative professionals about a core aspect of the company’s DNA. In November we’re featuring Lower Manhattanbased creative agency Joan, who has worked with companies as varied as Airbnb, Delta and LEGO. They’ll peel back the curtain on how the company communicates its brand voice and philosophy of “irregular thinking” Visit lmhq.nyc to become a member and for more information on events. Sign up for our weekly e-newsletter to be the ﬁrst to know about the latest events.
September 20 – October 3, 2018
E D ITO R IAL
‘Backyard Wilderness’ shows unseen nature PRESIDENT & PUBLISHER
Victoria Schneps-Yunis CEI & CO-PUBLISHER
Joshua Schneps EDITOR
Bill Egbert REPORTERS
Colin Mixon Sydney Pereira ARTS EDITOR
Scott Stiﬄer EXECUTIVE VP OF ADVERTISING
Amanda Tarley (P) 718 260 8340 (E) email@example.com ACCOUNT EXECUTIVES
Jim Steele Julio Tumbaco ART DIRECTOR
Mark Ramos PHOTOGRAPHERS
Milo Hess Tequila Minsky PUBLISHER EMERITUS
John W. Sutter
SCHNEPS COMMUNITY NEWS GROUP ONE METROTECH CENTER NEW YORK, NY 11201 PHONE: (212) 229-1890 FAX: (212) 229-2790 WWW.DOWNTOWNEXPRESS.COM NEWS@DOWNTOWNEXPRESS.COM Downtown Express is published every week by City Media LLC, One Metrotech Center North, 10th Floor, Brooklyn, N.Y. 11201 (212) 229-1890. The entire contents of the newspaper, including advertising, are copyrighted and no part may be reproduced without the express permission of the publisher - © 2018 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 other errors or omissions in connection with an advertisement is strictly limited to publication of the advertisement in any subsequent issue.
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September 20 – October 3, 2018
BY LENORE SKENAZY Giving mice a re-think. That’s what I’m doing, having just watched the amazing new 3D film now playing hourly at the American Museum of Natural History: “Backyard Wilderness.” It is hard — well, let’s say a little hard-er — to hate the whiskered nibblers once you see what they’re up against, including freezing, starving, and staring down the family dog as it peers inquisitively into the mouse hole. Give it up for these mice! “Backyard Wilderness” is a movie that makes you so thrilled to be part of all the living things on earth, you feel a kinship not just to rodents, but to salamanders, frogs, and even some bugs. Heck, even to a dead deer. Let me explain. The movie is about a year in the life of a suburban New York home and its backyard. But rather than a tale of the family that lives there, the humans are almost comic extras in the film, often seen tapping away at screens — or driving off in their big red cars — oblivious to the gobsmacking drama happening all around them in the natural world. And that, say husband-and-wife filmmakers Susan Todd and Andrew Young, was pretty much true of their own family. Although the couple spent several years making nature documentaries in places like Madagascar and Alaska, home was just, well, home. They lived in New York City for a while — land of pigeons and squirrels — then moved up to Croton-on-Hudson, land of deer and squirrels. Nothing that remarkable. But once they had kids and read Richard Louv’s “Last Child in the Woods,” they realized this generation wasn’t growing up as connected to the outdoors as previous ones.
“It gave us a feeling of urgency,” says Young. They wanted their kids — and everyone else’s — to understand that nature isn’t only in exotic locations. It’s everywhere, from vacant lots in the city to the lush lawns of Larchmont. There are beavers in the Bronx River, says Todd. And hawks and falcons throughout the five boroughs. Snowy owls have been spotted in Central Park, as have coyotes. “There’s all these amazing animal actions happening right outside, some of them at night, and you’re going to miss them if you glued to your screen,” she said. They set out to prove it. And so, over the course of four years of filming, they managed to get footage of things even they hadn’t realized were happening, like a duck family living in their backyard tree (yes, some ducks live in tree holes). Thanks to a camera they managed to wedge into the hole, we get to watch as the duck eggs hatch, all at once. Downy little critters peck through their shells to emerge cute as kittens, but braver than Braveheart. How brave is that? Later the very same day of their birth they waddle over to the hole their mom has just blithely flown out of, look up, look down — and jump. Duckling after duckling takes floppy flight, an amazing sight captured by the cameras (and vastly enhanced by Tom Petty’s “Free Fallin’”). All told, about 10 ducklings leave the nest, find their
mom down below, follow her to the local pond and then, in yet another act of derring-do, jump in and start swimming. Triatheletes got nothing on them. And that’s just one species! The film burrows into a raccoon home and shows a mama with her babies. It soars above a hawk and shows him flying in slow motion. The filmmakers manage to document a caterpillar as it morphs into a chrysalis — so weird — and then into a butterfly. Seeing that makes you want to pump your fist in the air and give it up for Mother Nature. She is unstoppable! Of course, that doesn’t mean the animals themselves are unstoppable. We also watch a pack of coyotes track a deer. Dear readers, the deer does not win — but we do. Using time-lapse photography the film actually shows us, over the course of just a minute or two, the six months it takes for the carcass to decay into the earth. It’s a little unsettling to see the bones so bare, but at the end, wonder of wonders, the deer has truly disappeared. And precisely where it died, we see, in the spring, new plants, green and glorious, shooting up. It is remarkable to the point of prayer-like: World without end, amen. The movie makes you laugh, too, especially when you see the parallel existence of the mice, just trying to live their life in the wall, and the suburban kids just trying to do their homework. Let’s hope that the homework for many a New York City schoolkid this year is to see this film and go home to look for nature. Hint, kids: You got this. Lenore Skenazy is president of Let Grow, a nonpartisan group promoting childhood independence and resilience, and founder of Free-Range Kids.
Posted To PAY TO PLAY: GOVERNORS ISLAND TRUST WANTS TO DEVELOP PARK TO PAY BILLS (SEPT. 12)
to the Central Park Conservancy for guidance. Tom Goodkind
This commercial development of this park land, something that goes back to a Giuliani/Pataki plan may not be what the community desires. President Clinton, upon transitioning the Island from the military to the City, appeared not to want this at all: it was to be simply a park for public enjoyment. If capital is needed, one might look
Governors Island was never going to be commercialized. Lets stick to that plan. Vince McGowan
CORTLANDT ST. STATION SET TO REOPEN WITH NEW NAME (SEPT. 6) How long did it take to re-open this station? The contractor was extremely
over-due by many years, and I understand was denied a subsequent contract for another project by the MTA board. What was the added cost, if any? Were there any penalties assessed for the extreme delay? Why not a dual name for the station? Cortland Street–World Trade Center (does it really exist anymore?) We have a few: 66th Street–Lincoln Center. Eastern Parkway–Brooklyn Museum. Can any fellow readers correct me if wrong and add to this, please? Alan Flacks DowntownExpress.com
Photo by Joseph M. Calisi
Comedian and actor Vic DiBetetto — perhaps best known for his portrayal of Gino Chizetti in 2015’s “Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2” — served as Grand Marshall for the parade.
A feast ﬁt for a saint
Photo by Joseph M. Calisi
Marie Teresa Ragusa was crowned Queen of the Feast.
Little Italy’s Feast of San Gennaro marks 92nd year BY JOSEPH M. CALISI The 92nd-annual Feast of San Gennaro on Little Italy’s Mulberry Street kicked off last week, fittingly, with a feast. The 11-day feast presented by the Figli di San Gennaro (Sons of Saint
Gennaro) from Sept. 13 through Sept. 23 started with a cannoli-eating contest at the corner of Grand and Mott streets. Winner Wayne Algenio downed 33 cannolis in 10 minutes to take the creamy crown, barely beating out the runner-up’s 32 in a true photo finish.
Photo by Joseph M. Calisi
Mulberry Street was festooned with images of the Neapolitan saint.
A major highlight of the feast was Saturday afternoon’s parade which featured the grand marshal and several floats. This year’s grand marshal was comedian and actor Vic DiBetetto. As a youth, DiBetetto worked on his father’s sanitation truck and later moved on to driving a school bus. It was during his off-hours as a bus driver he began doing standup comedy on the side. Eventually, DiBetetto became known world-wide for his role as Gino Chizetti in the 2015 movie “Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2” with Kevin James. DiBetetto summed up his experience with, “The American dream is still alive. It’s surreal, and it is not who you know but who knows you. Never give up, never.” A poignant moment in the parade came when the float for the Italian American Museum bearing founder and president Joseph Scelsa sailed past the corner of Grand and Mulberry streets the museum currently calls home. The construction for the new museum is scheduled to begin after the conclusion of the San Gennaro feast. “The target date for reopening is the winter of 2019 – about a year from
Photo by Joseph M. Calisi
The cannoli-eating contest was hosted by Cafe Palermo’s “King Cannoli.”
now,” Scelsa said. As always, while the San Gennaro feast is a happy occasion, it also marks the end of the street fair season as summer officially ends on Sept. 22 with the Autumnal Equinox. September 20 – October 3, 2018
by the federal government’s lies and negligence,” said Kimberly Flynn of 9/11 Environmental Action. To drive home the point, enrollment rates in both programs have only risen in recent years, with the healthcare program showing a slow but steady increase in enrollment
rates over a two year period, while the Victims Compensation Fund saw 9,155 more claims filed as of Aug. 2018 than in the same period last year. The roughly 10,000 students who prematurely returned to Downtown schools following the attack, now in their 20s and 30s, are among the most
anxious to see an extension of the Victims Compensation Fund. Many of them already suffer asthma, but worry that they will also eventually face cancers and other diseases that won’t be diagnosed until years after the arbitrary 2020 deadline passes, according to an advocate for former Downtown students. “For us, it’s tremendously important,” said Lila Nordstrom, a senior at Stuyvesant High School during the attack and founder of StuyHealth. “We’re probably the population with the most to lose from the VCF closing this early. We’re the most likely to keep developing conditions at a rate that keeps increasing.” As advocates gear up to push congress for an extension after the November election, Flynn encouraged anyone who lived, worked, studied, or was a first responder south of Canal Street at any point from Sept. 12, 2001 to May 30, 2002 to register with the Victim’s Compensation Fund — regardless of whether or not you have a 9/11 related condition — at https:// www.vcf.gov/register.html.
the money is being put back into our community? “We can’t keep incarcerating our way through problems,” Guzman added. “We understand that Rikers is beyond reform. There’s no way you can reform Rikers Island. There’s no way you can reform a place that is torture, a place that has basically belittled people, the place that took family members away from people.” Closing Rikers is part of a broader strategy to reduce the city’s jail population to 5,000 by 2027. This year, the jail population has averaged around 8,200 — the lowest in three decades and 12 percent less than last year. The proposed facilities would each have around 1,500 beds, for a total of 6,000 prison beds citywide. Scoping documents say The Tombs’ facilities are outdated, falling short of modern detention facilities, in terms of inmates’ space, sunlight and social spaces and, additionally, the Tombs doesn’t meet the need for 1,500 beds Downtown, currently falling 500 short of that number. “The city hired a master planner earlier this year to help us identify sites and consider their merits,” Patrick Gallahue, a spokesperson for the Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice, said by e-mail. “After considering 125 White St., as well as 80 Centre St., it was determined that the latter was a better option for a number
of reasons, including the site layout and opportunities it would afford.” Each borough’s jail is expected to include space for educational programming, recreation, therapeutic services, publicly accessible community space and parking. Manhattan’s planned new prison could be as tall as 430 feet high, at the Centre St. location. Some 20,000 square feet of community space would part of the city’s plans. The north tower of The Tombs would also be set aside as a community benefit, possibly with affordable housing, senior housing or community space. But many said that community space isn’t enough, in addition to slamming the engagement process so far. “This process does not give the community enough time to be meaningfully engaged,” said Raymond Tseng, head of the Hoy Sun Association. “Setting this location without community engagement — that is not what we want. We had no say, and there was no community engagement in this at all. No jails!” Community Boards 1 and 3 held a joint meeting about the new prison plan on Sept. 6, and this month they are both discussing each board’s formal resolution on the jail plan. Anthony Notaro, CB1’s chairman, said there are “two dimensions to the process.” “First, how the Mayor’s Office has handled this has been poor,” Notaro
said. “Communication has not been swift, and it’s been sporadic and they’re moving way too quickly. “On the other level, CB1 and CB3 and Chinatown: We still need to coalesce to make sure we understand what are the needs [and] what are the impacts. And that needs to be discussed, rather than just simply saying ‘No.’ ” Local businesses also oppose building a new, larger jail Downtown, saying that people already bypass the existing Manhattan Detention Center. “The Manhattan Detention Center, no matter what they want to talk about, is a dead zone,” said Jill Sung, the president and CEO of Abacus Federal Savings Bank. “People basically want to avoid that area. … It’s very vacant. It’s very desolate.” She charged that the plan is an “experiment.” “It’s a leap of faith, and I can’t afford that leap of faith,” Sung said. The city’s public scoping meeting for Manhattan’s proposed jail at 80 Centre St. will be held Thurs., Sept. 27, at 6 p.m. at 1 Centre St. The public can also submit written comments at the meeting and until Oct. 15 to Howard Judd Fiedler, the administrative architect and director of the design unit at the city’s Department of Correction, at 75-10 Astoria Blvd., Suite 160, East Elmhurst, N.Y. 11370 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
9/11 FUND Continued from page 6
The World Trade Center Health Program was extended by 70 years in 2015 following a national advocacy campaign spearheaded by comedian John Stewart, who used his program “The Daily Show” to shame holdout members of congress to support the reauthorization bill, but the funnyman couldn’t arm-twist legislators into giving the Victim’s Compensation Fund the same treatment, and that program was only extended by five years, to 2020. Essentially, congress declared that victims who develop cancers or other non-fatal but life-altering conditions due to Ground Zero fallout more than two years and three months from now should be entitled to free health care — but not compensation for their physical suffering and loss of employment, according to one advocate. “The health program was extended for 70 years and the VCF was only extended for five — what is wrong with this picture? These people were harmed
JAIL Continued from page 2
for four separate ULURPs. Councilmember Chin contended that the proposal “is not a done deal.” “Right now, it’s so important to really hear what the community concerns [and] community needs are,” Chin said. “And that’s what we’re doing now.” The audience was then supposed to break out into workshop sessions after the public comments, but the comment period and protests ate up all the time the city had at the venue, PS 124 at 40 Division St. in Chinatown. Chin suggested perhaps smaller follow-up meetings would allow for further detailed dialogue and feedback. Vidal Guzman, who said he spent seven years incarcerated at Rikers Island, including about one and a half years just waiting to go before a judge, spoke in support of closing Rikers — asking the audience not to “demonize” incarcerated people. “I felt like they demonized people,” Guzman, a community organizer for Just Leadership USA, said after the town hall. “Everyone believes in saying ‘Well, we believe in prison reform.’ But one of the things we don’t want to say, is how do you make [it] that individuals actually detained or incarcerated are actually getting the help they actually need? And how do you make sure whatever the mayor actually builds, that
September 20 – October 3, 2018
NYPD / Gregory Semendinger
The collapse of the World Trade Center in the 9/11 terrorist attacks unleashed a lingering cloud of toxic that may have sickened as many as 350,000 Downtown residents, offi ce workers, former students and teachers who lived or worked in Lower Manhattan during the eight months that followed.
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September 20 â€“ October 3, 2018
High concept, high prices Seaport’s 10 Corso Como offers eye-popping items, eye-watering pricetags BY COLIN MIXSON Once a grubby wharf where fishmongers flogged cod, the South Street Seaport is now home to one of the highest of high-end retailers — Milanese fashion boutique 10 Corso Como, which opened its first-ever U.S. location in the Seaport’s New Market Building on Sept. 12. The posh shop — regarded as the world’s first “concept store” — features a revolving, curated stock of home goods offered at art-gallery prices, including rabbit-shaped baby chairs for $800, $150 bookends, a $225 espresso set, and a lamp, shaped like a banana, for $345. The 28,000-square-foot space on the first floor of the New Market Building at 1 Fulton St. also features an Italian cafe and restaurant, garden, and art gallery. 10 Corso Como was founded in 1991 by Milanbased fashion editor Carla Sozzani with the idea of creating a “living magazine,” according to Howard Hughes CEO David Weinreb, who claimed that the development company settled on Sozzani’s boutique after scouring the globe for the perfect store to match
its vision for the former fish market. “We went around the world searching for the most dynamic retail concept and immediately recognized that 10 Corso Como was the ideal fit for our vision of
Photo by Colin Mixson
Lamp, shaped like a banana — $345.
‘Free’ drinks in Tribeca Health-drink retailer’s ‘honor system’ shop may sound crazy — until you do the math BY COLIN MIXSON A formerly online-only beverage company opened an unstaffed retail space in Tribeca on Sept. 12, which asks customers to kindly refrain from stealing their pricey health drinks, without employing anyone to actually stop them. Instead, the juice moguls at Dirty Lemon claim to trust their patrons to do the right thing, and use the brand’s proprietary textbased ordering system to pay when it’s convenient, according Dirty Lemon’s head honcho. “This type of engagement enables the convenience customers have come to expect from our brand,” said Dirty Lemon CEO Zak Normandin. The new shop, called The Drug Store, located at 293 Church St. between Walker and White streets, relies on what Normandin calls a “technologyenabled honor system” to discourage the theft of the 1,000
bottles of high-end health drinks stocked there, which promise benefits ranging from a good night’s sleep to beautiful skin, and retail for between $7.50 and $10 a bottle. And while it may sound naive to leave up to $10,000 worth of ice-cold health concoctions unguarded in the name of customer convenience, one only needs to look at all the free marketing garnered by the company’s novel retail concept. In the seven days since The Drug Store opened, it has generated more than $1.9 million worth of free media coverage, including a print article in the New York Times, online pieces by Forbes and Yahoo Finance, television spots by major networks like Megan Kelly’s NBC morning show, and even a feature on a talkRADIO broadcast across the Pond in the U.K., according to an analysis by Apex Marketing Group.
September 20 – October 3, 2018
Photo by Colin Mixson
Bookend, shaped like a mouth — $150.
High-end health drinks — free?
To put that in perspective, even if thieves were to load The Drug Store’s entire 1,000-bottle inventory onto a flatbed truck and drive off, and Dirty Lemon happily restocked it the next morning only to see it all stolen again by the afternoon, the company could repeat that cycle for nearly six and a half months before it started losing money. And of course that’s not even counting the free publicity Dirty Lemon would get from media coverage of the heists.
Photo by Colin Mixson
Two cups, with saucers — $225.
the Seaport’s transformation,” Weinreb said. The Historic Seaport District, already home to preppy fashion dealers including Guess, Abercrombie and Fitch, and Christian Benner Custom, also saw the opening of “Sex and the City” star Sarah Jessica Parker’s eponymous shoe store on South Street on Sept. 13, where prices range from $250 to $600, according to an AM New York report. They join other high-end retail destinations Downtown including Westfield World Trade Center Mall, and the Brookfield Shopping Center in Battery Park City. DowntownExpress.com
September 20 â€“ October 3, 2018
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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: email@example.com 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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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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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
PHOTOGRAPHY & VIDEO
FANTASY PHOTOGRAPHY 3031 Quentin Rd., Brooklyn NY, (718) 998-0949 www.fantasyphotographyandvideo.com NY PHOTO VIDEO GROUP 1040 Hempstead Tpke Franklin Sq., NY 11010 11 Michael Avenue Farmingdale, NY 11735 Office: 516-352-3188 Joe Cell: 516-445-8054 Peter Cell: 516-343-6662 www.nyphotovideogroup.com email@example.com ONE FINE DAY PHOTOGRAPHERS 459 Pacific St., Massapequa Park (516) 690–1320 www.onefinedayphotographers.com ZAKAS PHOTOGRAPHY firstname.lastname@example.org www.zakasphotography.com
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September 20 – October 3, 2018
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 highly-paid 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 “pop-up 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 phonebooth-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 Courtesy of Winky Lux staff
This flower wall at The Winky Lux Experience represents the tiny flowers inside the company’s lip stain. DowntownExpress.com
POP-UPS continued on p. 21 September 20 – October 3, 2018
No Woman is an Island Gabri Christa wrestles with her own heritage and her mother’s future
Photo by Kevin Yatarola
Gabri Christa confronts her mother’s fate in language and dance.
BY ELIZABETH ZIMMER Gabri Christa’s quiver holds many arrows. She dances, choreographs, writes, makes fi lms, and teaches at Barnard. She was formerly a member of Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane and Company, and later the artistic director of Staten Island’s Snug Harbor Cultural Center. She’s also a wife and mother, concerned with issues of family and nurture. Right now, she’s fusing creative arts with a focus on dementia, the challenging illness that consumes the memories and emotions of increasing numbers of elderly people around the world. Her new “Magdalena” tells the story of her mother, Josephina Magdalena Aleida de Jong, now in her 80s and
September 20 – October 3, 2018
living back in her native Netherlands. The middle one of seven children, she survived a Nazi bombing in wartime Rotterdam, where she was injured by shrapnel and separated from her family. She went to college to become a “teaching nun,” but in 1960 she married a black man from the South American country of Suriname — a less traumatic decision in Holland than it might have been at the time in the US, where “miscegenation” was still illegal. Christa’s hour-long piece combines spoken narrative, old newsreel footage, delicate fi lms of her own making, and passionate, energetic dancing in an effort to evoke the anxiety and depression that have contributed to
her mother’s current advanced dementia. Magdalena’s disordered thinking seems to have begun in earnest when Christa and her older brother left home; the playwright/choreographer has collected personal testimony and scientific data to shape her story. A tissue of fi ne and funny verbal detail, the piece takes us from Holland to Curaçao and fi nally back to Rotterdam, a journey of some 80 years, tracking the relationships and behaviors of three families: Christa’s mother’s clan, Dutch people who gave all of their daughters the same name; her father’s multi-racial DutchCaribbean family, better educated and of a higher social class; and Netherlands Antilles-born Christa’s
own Staten Island-based household, which includes her husband, musician Vernon Reid, and a teenage daughter. The white box theater is tiny, with perhaps 40 seats on three sides of a loft-like room. Christa begins sitting among the audience, talking quietly. A white sheet hangs on one long wall, and a string of footlights defi nes the performance space, surrounding an ancient valise. On top of it sits a tiny, black porcelain baby doll, a gift to Christa’s mother from her mother that seems to have prepared her to embrace the man she married. She opens the valise and carefully stores the doll. Projected on the inside of the valise’s lid are fi lms about various friends and families. DowntownExpress.com
On Deck for Fall, a Cornucopia of Dance
© Jesus Robisco for Africa Moment, Barcelona, May 2017
Nora Chipaumire in her “#Punk 100% Pop*NIGGA,” at The Kitchen, Oct. 11-13 as part of the Crossing the Line Festival.
BY ELIZABETH ZIMMER
CROSSING THE LINE FESTIVAL
Photo by Kevin Yatarola
Christa winds herself up in her past.
She concludes with a poem she wrote in Dutch as a tribute to her mother (it’s translated for us in the program). And then she twirls herself up in the sheet that has backed the fi lm projections, turning herself into a kind of dervish/mermaid — a testament to both the sturdiness and the fragility of her parents’ union. Christa’s a product of the African diaspora, fascinated by her heritage, challenged by her mother’s illness.
“Magdalena” has its rough spots, trying to be both memoir and polemic, but it represents a sturdy effort to tell a complicated tale and bring attention to a looming medical and social crisis. Wed.-Sat. at 8pm, through Sept. 22. At Theaterlab (357 W. 36th St., 3rd floor, btw. Eighth & Ninth Aves.). Visit theaterlabnyc.com for tickets ($20). Artist info at gabrichrista. com.
Sept. 18-Oct. 13 (crossingthelinefestival.org) | Produced by the French Institute/ Alliance Française, this eclectic festival with the slightly transgressive title foregrounds dance events across the city in its 12th season. It opened with American choreographer Trajal Harrell showing “Caen Amour,” a re-imagining of hoochie coochie, Sept. 18 & 19 at The Kitchen. Next up, Sept. 25 and 27-29 at Danspace Project, is “What Remains,” made collaboratively by choreographer Will Rawls, poet Claudia Rankine, and video artist John Lucas, responding to the violence of the “surveillance state.” Frenchman Boris Charmatz brings his dazzling “10000 Gestures” to NYU Skirball Sept. 27 & 28, and Danish choreographer Mette Ingvartsen shows “21 Pornographies” at Performance Space New York, Oct. 3-5. French-Algerian artist Nacera Belaza performs at Gibney, Oct. 6-8 — and Nora Chipaumire, late of Zimbabwe, now of New York, returns with the three-part “#Punk 100% Pop*NIGGA” at The Kitchen, Oct. 11-13.
BILL T. JONES/ARNIE ZANE COMPANY Sept. 22 & 23 (newyorklivearts.org/btj-az-company) | Storytelling has always been part of Jones’ arsenal of choreographic tools. Here’s a chance to see all three parts of his “Analogy Trilogy” — including the world premiere of its final section. The work, in process since 2014, runs six and a half hours including a dinner break, and comprises “Dora: Tramontane” (which tells the story of Jones’s mother-in-law’s experience in World War II), “Lance: Pretty aka the Escape Artist” (based on an oral history conducted with a nephew engulfed by sex and drugs in the 1980s), and “Ambros: The Emigrant,” a fictionalized history inspired by the work of novelist W.G. Sebald. Nick Hallett composes the live score, and Associate Artistic Director Janet Wong and the company contribute to the process. At the Skirball Center for the Performing Arts (566 LaGuardia Place, at Washington Square South). Visit nyuskirball.org.
Photo by Kevin Yatarola
The choreographer dances with film of her own making. DowntownExpress.com
Sept. 27-29 & Oct. 4-6 (newyorklivearts.org) | Last year she was part of Quadrille, The Joyce Theater’s four-sided fall season of experimental work. This season the always-startling choreographer, the current Randjelovi/Stryker Resident Commissioned Artist at New York Live Arts around the corner, brings us a twoweekend run of “Y,” a new work for a cast of eight that asks what language a body speaks. Glen Fogel provides visuals and a sound score; Rick Murray designs the lights. Watch closely: Under all the abstraction are traces of swing! At New York Live Arts (219 W. 19th St., btw. Seventh & Eighth Aves.). September 20 – October 3, 2018
An Age-Old Metaphor Whose Truth Hasn’t Dimmed ‘James & Jamesy In the Dark’ casts a welcome light BY TRAV S.D. “No darkness lasts forever,” wrote the late Ursula K. Le Guin in her 1972 young adult novel “The Farthest Shore” — “And even there, there are stars.” This month a couple of stars have descended upon us from Canada to enact their own struggle against the night, inviting the audience to come along for the journey. “James & Jamesy In the Dark” has been playing at the SoHo Playhouse since Sept. 12, and is scheduled to stay on the boards through Oct. 14. In the popular piece, which the Canadian clowns have been performing on two continents since 2015, James (Aaron Malkin) and Jamesy (Alastair Knowles) are a couple of whitefaced creatures in three-piece suits who literally illuminate the world around them with the lampshades on their heads. It’s an age-old metaphor, but that hasn’t dimmed its truth. Malkin and Knowles met while performing with a community theatre in Vancouver, called Dusty Flower Pot Cabaret. Prior to trying their hand at performing, Malkin, from Toronto, had studied biology. Knowles, from Winnipeg, had been a business major. Like their fellow company members, both men were drawn into studying with David MacMurray Smith, whom Knowles describes as “this under-theradar clown guru of Western Canada.” Knowles says Smith’s training is about being “honest with yourself. Sharing who you are. It’s not about doing something funny but a willingness to be seen.” Malkin and Knowles formed their comedy duo in 2012, with Smith, their former teacher, as their director. Their characters, including their whimsical names, and all of their material, have grown out of improvisational exercises. There have been three shows prior to “In the Dark,” including “Two for Tea,” “High Tea,” and “O Christmas Tea.” Touring annually, their shows have sold over 60,000 tickets and been performed over 500 times across North America and the UK. Jamesy, Knowles’ character, is the more eccentric, awkward and social one. James (Malkin) is more settled and standoffish, and more attached to his individuality. When asked which clowns they admire, the names Bill Irwin, Rowan Atkinson, and our old friend Red Bastard (Eric Davis) came up. According to Malkin, the inspira-
September 20 – October 3, 2018
Photos by Thaddeus Hink
Canadian comedy duo James & Jamesy are at the SoHo Playhouse through Oct. 14.
No dim bulbs here: With lampshades on their heads, James & Jamesy illuminate the world around them.
tion for “In the Dark” came to them almost by accident. “We were invited to do some roving theatre at an outdoor music festival performance at night,” he explained. “We were told there would be no stage, no amplification, and no light. This sounded like a fun puzzle. We wanted to be seen, of course, so we came up with idea to play with lights. The grey three-piece suits came later.” “People kept coming up to us [at the festival],” added Knowles, “They were intrigued. They kept asking, ‘What are you? What are you supposed to be?’ We loved that we inspired these questions.” In “In the Dark,” the two performers move about a completely unlit stage, the only illumination coming from the lights in their costumes. “This allows us meticulous control of the focus, both the light and the shadows,” Malkin said. “We stripped away all peripheral elements such as plot and location. Somebody said the show reminded him of Beckett as written by Douglas Adams.” Because the characters can only see what they are looking at, and are blind to everything they are not looking at, Knowles noted, “You get a sense of the characters being surrounded by the Unknown. There is an acceptance of the Unknown. The characters are both independent and alone, and then they meet and discover the concept of a ‘we.’ Eventually the concept gets expanded to include the audience.” “It’s existential but not on the nose,” Malkin assured me. “You don’t have to be a philosophy major to enjoy it. You can watch passively or get into layers of meaning.” Having seen the live show, this correspondent can attest to its richness as a theatrical experience. Knowles and Malkin mix elements of improv and movement and, sometimes even it seems, animated cartoons, to tell their story, with no shortage of funny, crazy, facemaking to make their existential medicine go down merrily. Like all great clowns, they’re also great actors. Seventy-five minutes in their company, like our time together on this earth, will fly by all too fast. Through Oct. 14 at the SoHo Playhouse (15 Vandam St., btw. Sixth Ave. & Varick St.). Wed-Sun. at 7pm; Sat. & Sun. at 3pm. For tickets ($29), call visit SoHoPlayhouse.com or call 212-691-1444. Artist info at jamesandjamesy.com. Directed by David MacMurray Smith. DowntownExpress.com
POP-UPS continued from p. 17
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 in Brooklyn (which colsed Sept. 16) 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 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 “kinetic sculptures” 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, “They’re millennials.” This generation gap was only broken by Candytopia, where parents who are DowntownExpress.com
Courtesy of Candytopia staff
Attendees are not allowed to eat the sculptures at Candytopia — but free candy is in every room.
Courtesy of Color Factory staff
The author explores an interactive room-sized Flow Chart at Color Factory.
a bit too old to qualify as millennials were accompanied by children whose generation hasn’t yet earned a nickname. All of the other experiences in our travels were primarily populated by overdressed young women, heavily made up, looking 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 two weeks ago. 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. It’s a good prospect
for people who are already planning on buying some makeup. Of the pop-ups that we visited, the Color Factory in Soho (closed 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 “nothing,” 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 who’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 museumoficecream.com, rosewi nemansion. com, candytopia.com, thewonderworld. space, 29room.com, roomforteanyc. com, visitdreamma chine.com, winkylux.com, colorfac tory.co, and themuseumofpizza.org. September 20 – October 3, 2018
September 20 â€“ October 3, 2018
Photo by Tequila Minsky
Still fighting the 1% On the seventh anniversary of the Occupy Wall Street movement on Sept. 17, 99-percenters gathered at Downtown’s Zuccotti Park where it all began to keep up the fight against income inequality.
SCHNEPS Continued from page 3
a group of distinctive media assets, some dating back as far as 1908. “Our brands are as grass roots 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 husband-and-wife team of Les and Jennifer Goodstein. Les was a News Corp executive who led the initial formation of CNG through a series of acquisitions, while Jennifer acquired NYCCM, with its group of titles in Manhattan, 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 websites and assets, business-to -business events, and live events.
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