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Volume 10, Issue 47

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Chelsea VOLUME 10, ISSUE 47

YO U R W E E K LY C O M M U N I T Y N E W S PA P E R S E R V I N G C H E L S E A , H U D S O N YA R D S & H E L L’S K I T C H E N

NOVEMBER 22 - 28, 2018

City starts ULURP review for Elizabeth Garden housing plan BY SYDNEY PEREIRA

T

wo nonprofit groups are inching closer to suing to save the Elizabeth St. Garden after the city certified the land-use application for the proposed senior housing complex last week. “The clock is ticking now,”

said Joseph Reiver, the Elizabeth St. Garden’s executive director. “This certification ticked the clock.” Pennrose Properties, Habitat for Humanity and the Brooklyn-based nonprofit RiseBoro plan to develop the city-owned GARDEN continued on p. 7

Google and Co’s. to spread the wealth, give out microgrants BY WINNIE MCCROY

L

ocal politicians recently gathered with privatesector donors from 19 companies to launch a new West Side Community Fund. The fund will provide microgrants of from $2,500 to $5,000 for local projects benefiting youth,

seniors, homeless, the disabled, food pantries, L.G.B.T.Q. initiatives, community gardens, farmers markets and arts/culture programs. The deadline for the first round of these biannual grants is Dec. 3. FUND continued on p. 8

PHOTO BY BOB KRASNER

N.Y.U. student Jessy was one of many music lovers who lay underneath Colin Huggins’s piano Saturday in Washington Square. The “Crazy Piano Guy” plays for tips, but invites listeners to enjoy the music from a different perspective, for free. “Amazing,” Jessy said. “You feel every vibration.”

Activists slam Chin for ‘backing’ towers BY SYDNEY PEREIR A

A

faction of Lower East Side and Chinatown activists filed an “ethics complaint” against Councilmember Margaret Chin last Wednesday. At a rally announcing the filing, some called Chin a “criminal” and slammed her for what they see as her support for four proposed megatowers in the

In focus: Eugene Richards..... p. 19

Two Bridges neighborhood. For months, various community groups have protested the proposed towers, which are planned for the angle between the Brooklyn and Manhattan bridges. Chin and Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer have led a charge to slow the multibuilding project, or at least gain leverage through a text amendment filed with the Department of City Planning

to force the plan through a lengthier review process, the Uniform Land Use Review Procedure, or ULURP. But activists call the politicians’ push for ULURP “phony,” dismissing it as a way for Chin to negotiate with developers for “crumbs,” according to David Tieu, an organizer with the Coalition to Protect Chinatown and the Lower CHIN continued on p. 3

Why the L.E.S. needs new historic district......p. 13 Real Estate: In search of “The Unicorn Apt.”...p. 28


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Activists slam Chin for ‘backing’ towers CHIN continued from p. 1

Lower East Side. “All [Chin] wants to do is change the process,” Tieu said. “But it doesn’t matter what process these developments go through. The matter of the fact is that these buildings are illegal.” Others are supportive of the pols’ ULURP pitch. But the Coalition to Protect Chinatown and the Lower East Side has argued that the effort is already moot since, in their view, the towers are “illegal” under zoning resolution Article Seven, Chapter Eight. Tieu and other organizers filed an ethics complaint with the City Council’s Standards and Ethics Committee, chaired by Staten Island Councilmember Steven Matteo, the Council’s minority leader. Chin also serves on the committee. However, the ethics complaint proved ineffective — as the City Council promptly rejected the charge. Jacob Tugendrajch, a City Council spokesperson, said in a statement, “Disagreements between community organizations and councilmembers over land-use decisions do not fall under the purview of the Committee on Standards and Ethics.” Councilmember Matteo wrote the coalition’s Tieu last Fri., Nov. 16, saying he had reviewed the allegations. “It is not the responsibility of the committee to investigate policy or landuse disagreements between members of the Council and the public,” Matteo wrote. A Chin spokesperson called the activists’ action “disturbing” and its timing “suspicious.” “This shameless attempt to distract communities is disturbing, especially at such a critical moment in our efforts to save the Two Bridges neighborhood from the threat of out-of-scale luxury overdevelopment — a moment that requires all of us to be awake, alert and united,” said Ian Chan. “The timing of this action is suspicious, given that we are continuing to mount pressure on City Planning to give this community a fair chance to stop these proposals.” The project includes an 80-story building at 247 Cherry St., by JDS Development Group; 63- and 70-story towers at 260 South St., by L+M Development Partners and the CIM Group; and a 62-story tower at 259 Clinton St., by the Starrett Group. The projects are being grouped together as a so-called Large-Scale Residential Development, or L.S.R.D., application. The Department of City Planning has said the developers’ application is valid as a “minor modification” — a technicality that has kept the projects out of ULURP thus far and gives the City Planning Commission a final say. At the rally at 250 Broadway last Wed., Nov. 14, Tieu led chants, yelling, Schneps Community News Group

PHOTOS BY SYDNEY PEREIRA

Carmen Hulber t, a Green Par t y organizer who ran for Cit y Council in the 38th District (Sunset Park and Red Hook, Brooklyn), right, rallied alongside fellow activists at the protest against Councilmember Chin.

David Tieu, one of the organizers of last Wednesday’s rally, chanted with other protesters against Councilmember Margaret Chin shor tly before attempting to file an “ethic s complaint” against her.

“Who’s the criminal? Margaret Chin!” Tieu also attempted to hand-deliver an “ethics complaint” that he and two co-organizers also e-mailed to the City Council. The group spared Brewer from criticism at the rally, however. Chin and her opponents differ on which strategy to use to oppose the towers — namely, through legal action or leverage through public review. TVG

“We know better than to give in to these divisive tactics, which will only serve the interests of developers,” Chin’s spokesperson Chan said. “We will not allow individuals to delude the community or discount the incredible work that has been done by resident leaders, advocates and elected officials in the fight to preserve Two Bridges’ legacy of affordability. Our fight continues.”

Co-organizer Antonio Queylin expressed his frustrations with another project — the first megatower in the area to have “topped-out,” One Manhattan Square, by Extell. Despite including 200 units of affordable housing in an adjacent, separate building, the Extell tower is seen by much of the community as a luxury building fitted with a private bowling alley, pool and basketball court, isolated from the surrounding largely low-income community of color. And, of course, the affordable housing is an entirely separate building. The four proposed Two Bridges developments will have around 700 units of affordable housing, the largest infusion in Manhattan in decades. In terms of eligibility, the affordable units are expected to be rented to individuals earning either 40, 60 or 120 percent of area median income, or A.M.I. But, echoing the skepticism that has been voiced during the yearslong process, Queylin said, “They say ‘affordable,’ but it’s not affordable.” After a public hearing in mid-October at which more than 100 people signed up to speak, City Planning is now deliberating the developers’ “minor modification” application. A vote has not yet been scheduled. November 22, 2018

3


Police Blotter Sixth Precinct Barrow slashing Police said that on Sun., Nov. 18, around 5:45 p.m., in front of 130 Barrow St., two males brandished a knife, slashing a 37-year-old male victim above his eye before removing $100 and a cell phone. E.M.S. transported the victim to Bellevue Hospital Center in stable condition. Both suspects are described as male blacks, roughly between 16 and 19 years old and around 5 feet 6 inches tall, last seen wearing all dark clothing. Anyone with information is asked to 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 on the Crime Stoppers Web site, www.nypdcrimestoppers.com, on Twitter at @ NYPDTips or by texting to 274637 (CRIMES) and then entering TIP577. All tips are confidential.

Ninth Precinct Sticker suspect On Sun., Nov. 4, around 11:52 a.m., an unidentified male placed a sticker of a swastika on a southbound No. 6 train as it entered the Bleecker St. subway station, police said. He exited the train at the station and fled in unknown direction. The suspect is described as a male Hispanic, in his 40s, 5 feet 10 inches tall, and clean shaven, last seen wearing all dark clothing. Anyone with information is asked to contact Crime Stoppers

10th Precinct Dangerous driver Early Sunday morning, Nov. 18, at 2:45 a.m., there was a drunk-driving incident near W. 18th St., according to police. A man was seen going southbound on 11th Ave. while committing several traffic violations, including not having headlights on and running multiple red lights. The man, 41, then reportedly drove against traffic for several blocks, causing vehicles to dodge him to avoid collisions. When the driver was stopped, he was reported to have

4

November 22, 2018

a heavy smell of alcohol, and slurred speech, bloodshot eyes and was unsteady on his feet. The police report said he “was unable to cooperate for IDTU testing” for intoxication. Jamie Marin was arrested for misdemeanor DWI.

Clean getaway There was a shoplifting incident at the Duane Reade at 455 W. 37 St., at Tenth Ave., on Thurs., Nov. 15, at 6:30 p.m., police said. An unknown person took 20 items of body wash and soap of various brands, including Irish Spring, Axe and Old Spice, valued at $112, kicked open the emergency exit door and got away. There is video available from the location, but no description so far of the suspect, who is wanted for misdemeanor petit larceny.

MetroDope On Fri., Nov. 16, at 9 a.m., a police officer reportedly observed a man enter the subway at 23rd St. and Eighth Ave. through the emergency exit without paying a fare. The man is described as a “transit offender” in the police report — possibly referring to a repeat offender — and as he was being transported by police, he removed a bag of heroin and stuffed it into his seat, trying to hide it, police said. When the man was removed from the vehicle, the heroin bag was recovered. The man is also described as a repeated felonyassault offender. Ali Morris, 28, was arrested for tampering with physical evidence, a felony.

IMAGES COURTESY N.Y.P.D.

Police want to talk to this man about allegedly sticking a Nazi sticker inside a No. 6 train.

Whole cloth Inside the Whole Foods at 250 Seventh Ave., at 25th St., on Fri., Nov. 16, at 6 p.m., an employee saw a woman take items from the shelves and put them into her shopping bag, then try to exit the store without paying, according to a police report. The employee stopped the woman as she tried to leave, and she reportedly responded she didn’t want to wait on line to pay for the goods, which included 12 food items totaling $70. Courney Snyder, 19, was arrested for misdemeanor petit larceny.

Gabe Herman and Lincoln Anderson

These t wo youths allegedly slashed a man on Barrow St. while mugging him.

TVG

Schneps Community News Group


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PHOTO BY LINCOLN ANDERSON

At a recent rally to save the Elizabeth St. Garden, a sign pointed out a fact the de Blasio administration refuses to acknowledge: that an alternative site identified for the housing project — at Hudson and Clarkson Sts. — could suppor t five times as much affordable housing.

Name:________________________ Address:_______________________ City:__________________________ State/Zip:______________________ Phone:________________________ Email:_________________________

City starts the ULURP review for Elizabeth Garden project GARDEN continued from p. 1

Elizabeth St. Garden site into a housing complex dubbed Haven Green. The project would have 123 affordable senior apartments and 7,600 square feet of open space. Opponents of the plan emphasize it would slash the existing 20,000-square-foot garden’s space by more than half, plus cast the remainder in shadows. On Tues. Nov. 12, the City Planning Commission gave the go-ahead for the project as an Urban Development Action Area Project, which now sends the Haven Green proposal through the public review process known as Uniform Land Use Review Procedure, or ULURP. Community Board 2 will review the project next. “Of course, this all happens right around the holiday season — which is also telling,” said Reiver. Ultimately, the City Council will review the development plan. As a result, Councilmember Margaret Chin — who

Schneps Community News Group

has long supported the project — is expected to have the deciding vote based on precedent that other councilmembers usually defer to the local councilmember on land-use issues. Back in June, Reiver’s group and another group that has been fighting to save the open space, Friends of Elizabeth St. Garden, united in their legal efforts to save the entire garden. Reiver said that opponents of the housing plan are reviewing the Environmental Assessment Statement, a preliminary environmental review that determines whether a heftier version of review — an Environmental Impact Statement — is necessary. The E.A.S. found a “negative declaration,” meaning an E.I.S. is not necessary. However, Reiver argued, “This E.A.S. has all types of holes. It doesn’t address a lot of the key issues. There definitely needs to be an E.I.S., and their ‘negative declaration’ is bulls---.” Reiver said the garden’s two nonprofits will be filing a lawsuit “very, very soon.”

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We encourage your opinions and feedback on what’s happening in your neighborhood, via scott@chelseanow.com CNW

November 22, 2018

7


PHOTO BY WINNIE MCCROY

At the launch of the West Side Communit y Fund, from left, Google’s Carley Graham Garcia, Congressmember Jerrold Nadler, state Senator Brad Hoylman, A ssemblymember Richard Gottfried, Council Speaker Corey Johnson, Borough President Gale Brewer and Peter Kostmayer, C.E.O. of Citizens Committee for New York Cit y.

Google and Co’s. fund community microgrants FUND continued from p. 1

Hudson Yards. “I’m proud to have this committed partnership to solve problems and invest in block associations and community efforts,” said City Council Speaker Corey Johnson from the lectern at The Church of Holy Apostles. “There couldn’t be a better place than the busiest soup kitchen on the East Coast to announce this. I am so proud to be here in the place, where compassion happens every single day.” Also speaking at the Oct. 30 event, Reverend Dr. Anna Pearson said she was honored to have her Chelsea church chosen as the site this fund would be announced. “With all the fear and hostility clamoring in our brains,” she said, “it is all the more important to use our resources to provide a climate where we celebrate our beautiful diversity, and come together to share a common commitment to supporting individuals and organizations insistent on saving lives and providing their tireless, life-giving energy, which enables us to do the work of love and serving others.” Other companies involved in the funding effort include BlackRock, Boies Schiller Flexner, The Boston Counseling Group, Coach Foundation, Cooley LLP, Engineers Gate, IAC, KKR, Pfizer Inc, RXR, SAP, Silver Lake, Taconic Investment Partners, Third Point LLC, Warner Media LLC and Wells Fargo.

8

November 22, 2018

Each company contributed $25,000 to establish the fund, which will have an initial budget of $475,000. The group Citizens Committee for New York City and its C.E.O., Peter H. Kostmayer, will provide administrative and staff support for the fund. “Since 1975, we have been funding small-scale neighborhood-improvement projects in this city’s underserved neighborhoods,” Kostmayer said. “We’re delighted to have been asked by the fund to support this effort, and we look forward to partnering with the fund and its founding funders to improve services to the Chelsea/Hudson Yards community.” Organizer Carley Graham Garcia, Google New York’s head of external affairs, said they had been “thinking about doing something like this after a community member vocalized that it needed to be done. So it has been in the works for a while.” The fund will be governed by an elected advisory board including Johnson, Congressmember Jerrold Nadler, state Senator Brad Hoylman, Assemblymember Richard Gottfried and Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer. “It’s great to see the efforts by all in helping the community in this innovative way, giving microgrants to do their work in many different ways,” Nadler said. “I congratulate Google and Hudson Yards for taking the initiative and coming up with this. It can do an immense about of good, and can really help put forward the

good face of corporations and developers.” Brewer echoed that sentiment, thanking “the companies, not just for what you are doing today, but for being good neighbors since you moved in. “Google was the only company to ever offer free Wi-Fi to buildings in this area, including NYCHA,” Brewer said, referring to New York City Housing Authority public housing. “You have been successful in supporting local communities, and working with them on so many other projects. You have always been fair, as advertised, and transparent, and we want to thank you for making this possible. It’s important because in NYCHA housing, the income of individuals is low compared to that of the neighborhood, and sometimes they feel the neighborhood doesn’t want them. But this neighborhood loves them, and this fund sends that message loud and clear. You will get more bang for the buck than you could ever imagine.” The fund launched its inaugural request for applications on Halloween, reaching out to more than 400 community leaders to solicit proposals for funding. The grants come in three levels: microgrants of up to $2,500 to fund smaller innovation projects carried out by neighborhood groups, including block and tenants’ associations, civic groups and schools/ teachers; midlevel grants of up to $5,000 to fund new initiatives with a greater reach, including collaborations among TVG

several organizations; and large grants of more than $5,000 to fund large-scale programs, new initiatives, expanding innovative projects or collaborations. The fund operators will focus on providing expanded or improved services to residents of Chelsea and Hudson Yards, especially those dealing with youth (including early childhood initiatives, afterschool programs, recreation, workforce, healthcare, arts and culture and safety projects) and underserved populations (seniors, homeless, disabled, specialneeds and L.G.B.T.Q.). The service area runs from 14th to 38th Sts. between Seventh and 12th Aves., and eligible applicants include neighborhood organizations, nonprofits, city agencies, schools and teachers, health clinics, NYCHA developments, police community programs, and homeless services. Grants cannot support religious or partisan activities, nor programs that promote any form of discrimination on the basis of race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, national origin or disability. “Between Google, Chelsea Market, the High Line and the Whitney, the West Side has an embarrassment of riches,” Hoylman said. “So it’s great that these businesses have decided to give something back. As you succeed, our neighborhoods will, too.” The current deadline to submit applications is Dec. 3. For more information, visit www.citizensnyc.org/grants/wscf . Schneps Community News Group


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Schneps Community News Group


Downtown tree-pocalypse was no pulp fiction BY LINCOLN ANDERSON The season’s first snowstorm brought about 150 trees crashing down across the city, and about half of those were in Manhattan, according to news reports. And trees reportedly lost twice as many branches as that. Amid gusty winds, wet rain Thursday afternoon eventually turned into sleet. Leaves were still on the trees, and became weighed down with snow. The combination was enough to topple scores of trees Downtown. “Just got home and the block of E. 10th St. between Second and Third Aves. was completely closed because numerous large branches and trees are down in the street,” Katharine Wolpe reported just before 6 p.m. “The buildings don’t appear to be damaged, nor the parked cars. The Ninth Police Precinct has a car blocking access to the street.” Not far away from her, around the same time, bike activist Chris Ryan was shocked by the tree carnage he was seeing. “Uh…seems to be an inordinate amount of GIANT FALLEN TREE

PHOTO BY TEQUILA MINSKY

The second tree to collapse on Thompson St. last Thursday.

PHOTOS BY PAUL GRONCKI

Toppled trees blocked W. 16th St. in Chelsea.

branches in the streets of the East Village. #careful #cyclists 11th street / 10th street / St Marks place #nyc #betterthanFire (poor pruning? High winds? Weight?) — feeling confused,” he tweeted. Villager photographer Tequila Minsky was snapping pictures of a fallen tree on Thompson St. in Soho when firefighters were called to come take care of it. While she and others were waiting for the smoke eaters to arrive, another tree that was leaning began to

PHOTO BY TEQUILA MINSKY

This tree on Thompson St. did the split and collapsed.

Schneps Community News Group

TVG

lean even more, then cracked and fell. After 15 to 20 minutes, the firefighters got there, only for another tree to crack and fall. Around 6:30 p.m., Paul Groncki reported that trees were down on the 100 block of W. 16th St., between Sixth and Seventh Aves. According to news reports, a police officer was hit by a falling tree at 35th St. and Second Ave. and another tree fell on an ambulance on the Lower East Side.

November 22, 2018

11


Letters to the Editor Andy’s disappearing act

Schneps Community News Group

To The Editor: Re “Warhol at the Whitney: Andy, his art and all his contradictions” (arts article, Nov. 15): When people were observing Andy’s art, he would slip into the room almost unnoticed, listen to them remarking on his work, and then like a shadow, he was gone. I remember waiting in line for a table at the World Trade Center Restaurant on the 65th floor. I turned around and there he was waiting for a table, too. We were shown to our table, ate our dinner, and we’re on the way out, when I asked our waiter, what happened to Mr. Warhol? Shockingly, he said, Mr. Warhol while waiting for a table, fell down the two or three steps nearby and broke his leg. Oh, awful, we said, but just like him to just disappear like that! Doug Scott

A quick trip to the U.S. Department of Environmental Protection Web site indicates that, in addition to several particulate emissions, diesel combustion produces carbon monoxide and nitrous oxides, which pose long-term health risks, such as asthma, especially in children, and cardiopulmonary disease, especially in the elderly. If a comprehensive monitoring of our air quality indicates risks to public health, would the M.T.A. change out the diesel-fueled buses for emissions-free buses? At the Sept. 17 town hall meeting at Middle Collegiate Church, Transit Authority President Andy Byford at first said he could not get replacements for the diesel-fueled buses, though he wished he could. When pressed, he promised to look at the issue again. Please, Mr. Byford, do the right thing by our communities, including our children and elderly. Georgette Fleischer Fleischer is president, Friends of Petrosino Square

Diesel buses’ deadly brew

Covering Manhattan in more ways than one

To The Editor: Re “Air monitors planned for L-shutdown bus routes” (news article, Nov. 15): Thanks to The Villager for covering the community’s and local politicians’ concerns about air quality during the L train shutdown, which would bring up to 48 diesel-fueled buses an hour to the extremely congested Kenmare St. bottleneck, then route them up Cleveland Place and Lafayette St. At the Community Board 2 Traffic and Transportation Committee meeting on Nov. 1, residents raised concerns that the Department of Transportation’s current monitoring plan does not go far enough. Earlier in the public review of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority/D.O.T. mitigation plan, we learned that the M.T.A. plans to retrofit the diesel-fueled buses with devices that filter out 95 percent of particulate matter. Therefore, I am concerned that the monitoring of PM 2.5 alone is selfselecting or cherry-picking.

SOUND OFF! PRINT DIGITAL EVENTS 12

November 22, 2018

REPORTER SYDNEY PEREIRA

Publisher of The Villager, Villager Express, Chelsea Now, Downtown Express and Manhattan Express PRESIDENT & PUBLISHER VICTORIA SCHNEPS-YUNIS

CONTRIBUTORS IRA BLUTREICH BOB KRASNER TEQUILA MINSKY MARY REINHOLZ PAUL SCHINDLER ART DIRECTORS JOHN NAPOLI MARCOS RAMOS

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Let there be light To The Editor: The East Village community owes the “crusties” a debt of gratitude for inspiring politicos to acknowledge the low, unsafe level of lighting on East Village streets and in its parks. Seventh St. and Second Ave. had no lights, and now temporary police lighting allows the neighborhood elderly and infirm the ability to identify potential muggers. Robert Watlington E-mail letters, not longer than 250 words, 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.

Write a letter to the editor news@thevillager.com

ACCOUNT EXECUTIVES GAYLE GREENBURG JIM STEELE JULIO TUMBACO ELIZABETH POLLY 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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Schneps Community News Group


Talking Point

Needed: A new Lower East Side Historic District BY RICHARD MOSES AND ERIK BOTTCHER There are few neighborhoods in the United States more historic than Manhattan’s Lower East Side. Walking the blocks around Orchard St., one is transported back in time. A wealth of rich terracotta ornamentation, regal stone entryways and exuberant wood and metal cornices delineate almost every structure. The buildings, remarkably intact, speak the voices of millions of immigrants who passed through them over the centuries. Millions of people from coast to coast trace their American roots to this neighborhood, which, at one point, was among the most densely populated on Earth. Unfortunately, as real estate development closes in, these historic blocks are completely unprotected by the New York City Landmarks Law. The fight for a landmark district on the Lower East Side stretches back at least 17 years. Starting in 2002, the Tenement Museum, along with many allied organizations, had sponsored the creation of a historic district to prevent the buildings around the museum from disappearing. Without protections for the area, the Tenement Museum faced the prospect of becoming the only remaining tenement in a sea of metal-and-glass buildings. Although Community Board 3 voted to support the effort, unfortunately, the proposal did not go any further. In 2012, the Lower East Side Preservation Initiative, or LESPI, began surveying the historic Lower East Side streets with an eye toward creating a potential new landmark historic district. We found, sadly, that the blocks north of Delancey St. were already too compromised by insensitive new development to include in a landmarked district. Once our survey was completed, we joined forces with Friends of the Lower East Side, finalized the boundaries of a proposed historic district, and began petitioning and gathering institutional support (roughly 1,500 petition signatures and 35 local institutional supporters to date) to make Schneps Community News Group

PHOTO BY BRUCE MONROE

A distinctive cornice on a late-19th-centur y building on Eldridge St. between Grand and Broome Sts.

A map of the new Lower East Side Historic District proposed by the Lower East Side Preser vation Initiative and the Friends of the Lower East Side.

our case to the city. We gained the support of the local city councilmember, Margaret Chin. Now, after several meetings over several years with the city’s Landmarks Preservation Commission, we are cautiously optimistic — with new leader-

ship on the commission — that there will be movement on designation of the district. What’s the holdup? This neighborhood surely meets the L.P.C.’s criteria for a historic district. Culturally, this place, which has shaped so many of our customs and valTVG

ues, is arguably unsurpassed in historic importance to our city and country. Architecturally, the proposed district exhibits amazing architectural detailing and ornamentation and boasts an unrivaled collection of “pre-law,” “old-law” and “new-law” tenements. The

neighborhood is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, though that honor includes virtually no protection for the area’s physical fabric. The forces that appear to be behind the delay are formidable but are not insurmountable. What can be done? For starters, people can sign LESPI’s online petition. Sign up to join our letter-writing campaigns, petitioning and rallies. Let the city know that the historic Lower East Side is important to you. As far back as 2008, the National Trust for Historic Preservation included the Lower East Side as one of America’s 11 Most Endangered Historic Places. The only way to effectively preserve the historic streetscapes of this vital neighborhood is through New York City historic district designation. Therefore, we call upon the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission to landmark, without delay, the historically intact areas of the Lower East Side south of Delancey St. Moses is president and cofounder, Lower East Side Preservation Initiative; Bottcher is a member, LESPI board of directors; for more information, visit www.LESPI-nyc.org . November 22, 2018

13


Transportation

Delancey gets safer with protected bike lanes BY SYDNEY PEREIR A

A

new protected, two-way bike lane was officially rolled out along Delancey St. last Thurs-

day. The bike lanes are expected to be a critical part of how the city will handle displaced L train riders amid the Canarsie tunnel repairs, which are slated to start in April. Department of Transportation officials expect the number of cyclists crossing the Williamsburg Bridge to double or even triple, from 7,300 up to as many as 22,000 per day. “It’s never been safer here on Delancey St., so it’s a great reason to celebrate and see how these bike lanes do during the winter — give them a go,” said Chelsea Yamada, the Manhattan organizer for Transportation Alternatives. “It’s never been safer to access the Williamsburg Bridge from 14th St., all the way on the West Side, across town into the North Brooklyn area.” Between 2012 and 2016, Delancey St. had 24 serious traffic injuries and two fatalities, both pedestrians, according to city officials. A research Web site called Localize found the part of Downtown Manhattan that includes the Lower East Side, Little Italy and Soho to be among the city’s 12 most dangerous for pedestrians and cyclists. The new Delancey St. protected bike

PHOTO BY SYDNEY PEREIRA

A c yclist using the new protected Delancey St. bike lane last week.

can take the Second Ave. bike lane onto a one-way protected lane on Delancey St. between Chrystie and Allen Sts. Protective Jersey barriers line the south side of the Delancey bike lanes between Allen and Clinton Sts. A “bike island” has been added at the intersection of Allen and Delancey. Specific aspects of the bike lanes

lanes will soon be joined by protected one-way bike lanes on 12th and 13th Sts. that have been partially rolled out. The protected Delancey lanes run between Clinton and Allen Sts. They connect the bridge bike path to bike lanes on the north-south roadways at Allen St., First Ave. and Pike St. Heading eastbound to the bridge, cyclists

12th and 13th St. bike lanes still unfinished BY SYDNEY PEREIR A

T

he installation of the 12th and 13th St. bike lanes — one part of the city’s L train shutdown plan — may not be completed by this winter. Meanwhile, neighbors and, of course, cylclists have noticed that cars and other vehicles are blocking the lanes. Dale Goodson, a member of the North Avenue A Neighborhood Association, has seen delivery trucks, cabs and other vehicles using the new bike lanes as a place to park and stop — a common complaint of cyclists citywide. Goodson said that, unless the city takes action, he fears, “It won’t be a bike lane — it’ll just be an additional parking place.” The Department of Transportation began rolling out one-way bike lanes on 12th and 13th Sts. last month. As first reported by The Villager, over the

14

November 22, 2018

summer the agency scrapped its original plan for a two-way bike lane on 13th St. in the face of fierce community opposition from the 14th St. Coalition, which has sued D.O.T. and Metropolitan Transportation Authority over the L train shutdown plan. Some neighbors weren’t happy once the new bike lanes took over former parking spots in October. Though the “skeleton” of the lanes is in, flexible plastic delineators and the green bike lane paint are still lacking, the latter particularly on 12th St. “Right now they are substantially in, except for the fact that we have to put the green paint down on 12th St.,” said Ted Wright, D.O.T. bicycle and greenway programs director. Wright added he rode the new crosstown lanes last week, and they had cars parked in them. During the winter, Wright said, D.O.T. can still install the flexible de-

PHOTO BY SYDNEY PEREIRA

Cars parked in one of the new crosstown bike lanes on 12th and 13th Sts. The lanes are not clearly marked off, lacking both green paint and plastic dileneators.

lineators — vertical poles that discourage vehicles from parking in bike lanes. The green paint, however, may have to wait until spring. For the paint to stick, D.O.T. must paint the bike lanes in at TVG

could still be improved, but not until after the L train shutdown starts. For one, at the foot of the Williamsburg Bridge’s Manhattan side, the eastbound bike lane remains extremely narrow to slow down approaching cyclists. D.O.T. says pedestrian traffic is one reason for the barriers, which encourage cyclists to slow down at the pedestrian crossing. The lane could be altered at this spot, and a capital project to do so is being designed, but can’t go through until after the L train shutdown. “We do want people to slow as they approach the bridge,” said Ted Wright, D.O.T. bicycle and greenway programs director. “There’s also going to be a lot of pedestrians [going] to and from right there.” Max Sholl, a Brooklyn Transportation Alternatives activist, said the lanes “will be a major quality-of-life improvement. Delancey St. has for so long been a traffic sewer connecting truck traffic from Brooklyn to New Jersey,” he said. A major reason for the excessive truck traffic is the one-way toll on the Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge — enacted decades ago — which gives trucks a free ride from Brooklyn to New Jersey through Downtown Manhattan’s streets. For the L shutdown, the city’s plan is to make the Williamsburg Bridge all high-occupancy-vehicle (HOV-3) lanes from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m.

least 50-degree temperatures, according to D.O.T. “It’s getting cold,” Wright said. “That’s why I’m hesitating right now. We are hoping it gets in this year.” But, said Ed Pincar, Manhattan borough D.O.T. commissioner, “The skeleton of the lanes [is] in, which is the most important.” Pincar added there is usually a period of several weeks where people adjust to the new street designs. “Part of this is that the lanes are still being implemented,” he said. “There is always an adjustment period, not only for cyclists, but for motorists and pedestrians, as well. And over time, usually three weeks or so, we see increased compliance. But where enforcement is needed, we’ll work with N.Y.P.D. to request it.” Chelsea Yamada, a Transportation Alternatives Manhattan organizer, echoed, “I think as permissions have changed on the street, drivers aren’t familiar with the new parking regulations. But as more cyclists continue to use 12th and 13th Sts. [and] notice that it actually exists as a bike route, we won’t see as many conflicts where the bike lanes are blocked.” Schneps Community News Group


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November 22, 2018

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Schneps Community News Group


ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT

PHOTO BY EUGENE RICHARDS

“ Wonder Bread, Dorchester, MA ., 1975.”

Getting his lens close to get to the humanity BY NORMAN BORDEN

E

ugene Richards wants you to see life as he experienced it over the past 50 years. And — as a powerful retrospective of his work now at the International Center of Photography Museum makes very clear — his experience has rarely been a series of pretty pictures. Poverty, drug addiction, prejudice, mental illness, family and war and terrorism are just some of the social issues Richards has explored from the early 1970s to the present; his commitment to raising social awareness and exposing the unvarnished truth about complex subjects has made him one of the most respected social-documentary photographers of his generation. The some 150 images and four short films in the exhibition have been organized thematically under gallery headings, including “American Lives and Socioeconomic Realities”; “Health and Humanity”; “Family”; “War & Terrorism”; and “Time & Change”, among others. Despite the diversity of subjects, the photographer’s intrusive style is a common thread. Influenced by W. Eugene Smith and Robert Frank, Richards has added his own intense and intimate approach to social-documentary photography. With his camera often literally in his subject’s face, he admits to being “very conscious of what it means to go into someone’s house and take very private moments away in pictures. The responsibility of the

Schneps Community News Group

photographer is to respect people while — and this is most important —utilizing all your skills to reveal something true about their lives and their humanity,” Richards explains. By taking the time — which could take days or weeks to get to know his subjects before he picks up his camera — Richards has created a body of work that is honest, realistic and sometimes brutal. Many images — whether of a strung-out crack head or the inside of a men’s psychiatric ward, or an ER doctor privately grieving over the loss of a patient — make you wonder, “How did he get so close?” As the artist said in a magazine interview, “There’s a process and a means of getting to know people and getting them to trust you. But I’m always aware that I’m visiting — that I am there, that I have a responsibility, but I’m intrusive.” Richards was born in Dorchester, Massachusetts, in 1944. He graduated from Northeastern University, then took a graduate photography course at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology taught by celebrated photographer Minor White. In 1968, aiming to avoid the Vietnam draft, he joined VISTA (Volunteers in Service To America), a government antipoverty program. He was promptly sent to Arkansas to work as a social worker and newspaper reporter. A social activist, he helped establish a biweekly newspaper, Many Voices, that covered issues like voter registration and the violence of the Ku Klux Klan. Provoked by the blatant racism and abject poverty TVG

he saw around him, Richards began documenting the daily lives of African-Americans. “I started photographing very tentatively and very nervously because these were people I didn’t know, and they sure as hell didn’t know me,” he said. But by becoming familiar with his subjects, he achieved a level of intimacy that has distinguished his work throughout his career. One early example is “Reverend and Mrs. Landers, Hughes, Arkansas, 1969.” The couple sit quietly in their bedroom, seemingly oblivious to the bald white photographer standing in front of them. His experiences in the Deep South became his first book, “Few Comforts or Surprises: The Arkansas Delta” (1973). In the introduction, he wrote, “In the ragged Delta towns, police, storekeepers, Klansmen, judges and raucous old politicos conspire to maintain the old racial patterns, while barren promises of repatriation and deliverance are made by people playing the game.” Returning to his hometown, Dorchester, Richards photographed life in the working-class neighborhood where he’d grown up, documenting its racial tensions and people living on the edge. “The old neighborhood isn’t the same as it was,” he wrote. “It’s more run-down, more foreboding, a brooding mix of old-timers and immigrants of working-class aspirations and grinding poverty that everyone believes will explode someday.” One example is the image “Wonder Bread, RICHARDS continued on p. 20

November 22, 2018

19


Getting his lens close to get to the humanity RICHARDS continued from p. 19

Dorchester, MA. 1975”; a child with his arms intertwined in a casual gesture is juxtaposed with a crumbling brick wall displaying an advertisement for “Wonder Bread,” promising, “Builds Strong Bodies 12 ways.” Richards’s decision to self-publish “Dorchester Days” in 1978 proved to be life-changing. Magnum Photo invited him to become a member, and he gained various freelance magazine assignments. Sadly, his wife, Dorothea Lynch, was diagnosed with breast cancer that same year and, at her request, he began to document her battle with the disease until she died in 1983. Their co-authored book about her struggle, “Exploding into Life,” was published in 1986. Richards’s projects about poverty, crime and hard-core drug addiction are in a section of the exhibit called, “American Lives and Socioeconomic Realities.” He intrudes on rural people, city folk and gangster types to raise social awareness. He shows us aspects of life we don’t want to see or never even knew existed. For example, in the stunning image “Still House Hollow, Tennessee, 1986,” a teenager or young man is either sleeping or passed out in an old truck, with his head resting in the steering wheel — and through the filthy, scratched windshield, we see a bare-chested, skinny teenager sprawled out on the truck’s hood. A more contemporary view of economic hardship is seen in “Trailer Park, Bartlesville, Oklahoma, 2010.” In one of the few color photographs in the exhibition, Richards was somehow able to photograph a mother’s half-naked butt as her child and the father look directly at the camera. One possible explanation

PHOTO BY EUGENE RICHARDS

“PTSD, McHenr y, Illinois, 2014.”

for this intrusive, intimate perspective is his belief: “Ironically, it’s the process of becoming not there as you possibly can, if you hang around long enough, people don’t care.” In any case, photographing in color adds reality and another dimension to this troubling picture. Richards is not a war photographer per se, but in his projects on view in “War and Terrorism,” he shows the aftermath. After 9/11, Richards photographed Ground Zero from various perspectives and with great sensitivity; a firefighter in the World Trade Center’s rubble; decayed posters of the missing; and a dust-covered snow globe of the Twin Towers. His more

recent (2006 – 2014) images of wounded Iraq War veterans and their families are painful. In “Sergeant Pequ no with his mother, West Roxbury, Massachusetts, 2008,” the cost of war is tragically clear: A mother is seen hugging her son with a traumatic head injury; the photo caption says she is “prodding him to work on some kind of recovery,” although he has lost significant parts of his skull and brain. I can only wonder how Richards gained the mother’s trust to make this sad picture. In the color image, “PTSD, McHenry, Illinois, 2014,” no physical injury is seen on this tattooed veteran — but he may be hiding it, as well as his emotional state, behind a big cloud of smoke from his ecigarette. It’s a revealing photograph, dog and all. Although Richards has taken an upclose-and-personal approach to the plight of people throughout his career, he took a detour of sorts in his series “The Blue Room.” From 2004 to 2006, Richards took several trips to the upper Midwest to explore the impact of the rural population moving into urban areas. Unlike his

other work, there are no people in sight in these evocative pictures. No one is hiding — they are gone; they left. Even so, a human presence is still felt in the color landscape portraits of deserted, dilapidated homes and snow-covered fields. In “Corinth, North Dakota, 2006,” for example, a broken window has allowed snow to drift onto a bed. It’s just a beautiful photograph, with Richards using color to symbolize impermanence and the passage of time. The power of this exhibition confirms Eugene Richards’s status as a photographer for the ages. He has established himself in the pantheon of photographers who have made a difference. Cornell Capa, the founding father of ICP, once said, “Richards is a concerned photographer and his work is honest without a doubt.” See for yourself. “Eugene Richards: The Run-On of Time,” Sept. 27 to Jan. 6, at the International Center of Photography (ICP) Museum, 250 Bowery, at Stanton St. For more information, visit www.icp.org/facilities/museum .

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PHOTOS BY BOB KRASNER

Snow doubt about it, no one saw this coming Although last Thursday’s snowstorm sent flimsier street trees toppling from Soho to the East Village and Chelsea, Tompkins Square Park was still a pre-winter wonderland. Mayor de Blasio scrambled to apologize for the city being caught off guard, after there were horrendous traffic delays. Meteorologists had only predicted a light snow fall, but it wound up being 6 inches. But things were “chill” in Tompkins as a dusting of white snow ar tfully blanketed tree branches and the Temperance Fountain, and of course there were the obligator y snowmen, or snowpersons. At 10th St. and Avenue A , there was only one “person” walking — the little figure in the crosswalk signal — as the typically busy intersection was becalmed. Schneps Community News Group

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November 22, 2018

23


Eats

MacDougal kati shop is on a roll, keeps growing BY GABE HERMAN

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PHOTO BY GABE HERMAN

A pair of kati rolls make a tasty nosh.

he Kati Roll Company has been a MacDougal St. mainstay since 2002, yet the shop remains easy to miss, tucked away midway between Bleecker and W. Third Sts., up several steps from street level, above the Greenwich Village Comedy Club. But that hasnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t slowed this spotâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s gaining popularity. The shop, serving tasty Indian street food in flatbread wraps that are popular in Kolkata, continues to expand. An East Village branch opened at 128 Second Ave. at St. Markâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Place in 2016, and the most recent addition is in the Financial District at 22 Maiden Lane, near Zuccotti Park, which opened this August. There are currently six Kati Roll shops in Manhattan and one in London. The Financial District was actually the planned area for its first shop. But after 9/11 the plans changed and the Village be-

came the first location in 2002, where Kati began serving wraps made on the spot in a fast-casual format. The word â&#x20AC;&#x153;katiâ&#x20AC;? translates to â&#x20AC;&#x153;skewer,â&#x20AC;? according to the companyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Web site, and skewer-grilled items in the wraps can include chicken, beef, lamb or shrimp, along with spices and vegetables in a paratha or roti flatbread. All of the meats are halal and the chicken contains no hormones or antibiotics. Menu items include a chicken tikka roll, shrimp masala roll, and unda beef roll, which includes a layer of beaten eggs. Vegetarian options include a chana masala roll and a mixed veggie roll. There are also many lassi (yogurt drink) flavors available to wash it all down. The kati rolls are always freshly made on the spot after ordering â&#x20AC;&#x201D; though be warned that if you arrive and see a line, it can be slow moving and space is tight in the

small shop. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s been a bit of a challenge because Indian food is defined for most people as curry and rice,â&#x20AC;? coowner Anil Bathwal told the trade publication Nationâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Restaurant News, speaking of the different fare that Kati Roll offers. â&#x20AC;&#x153;But we believe the kati roll is a perfect way to introduce Indian food. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s like a sandwich.â&#x20AC;? Apparently that philosophy is paying off, because the company plans to keep expanding in the next couple of years, in the city and beyond, with as many as 40 new locations. Hopefully, the wide expansion wonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t alter the winning formula of good ingredients, freshly made, in small shops that donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t feel like your typical fast-food franchise chain. The Kati Roll Company, 99 MacDougal St., between Bleecker St. and Minetta Lane. For more information, visit thekatirollcompany.com or call 212-420-6517.

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Manhattan Happenings BY SYDNEY PEREIR A

COMMUNITY Wed., Nov. 28, 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m., Office of Nightlife 2018 Listening Tour: Manhattan town hall, at The Town Hall, 123 W. 43rd St. The Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment, Office of Nightlife is hosting a Manhattan listening tour for the public to share issues, concerns and ideas on quality of life, public safety, regulations, enforcement and nightlife’s role in the city’s creativity and social cohesion. This past July, the city created a Nightlife Advisory Board, led by new “Nightlife Mayor” Ariel Palitz. The board will issue a report and recommendations to the mayor and City Council on nightlife issues. The public’s comments at the “listening tour” will inform the Office of Nightlife’s recommendations to the mayor. MOME encourages the public to RSVP at http://goo.gl/DZTkxk. For accessibility needs, interpretation, translation or to submit additional comments, e-mail nightlife@ media.nyc.gov or call 212-974-4055. Doors open at 4:30 p.m. Wed., Nov. 28, 6:30 p.m., doors at 6 p.m.: Fighting For NYC: The Future of Rent Regulation and Tenants’ Rights: City Comptroller Scott Stringer and state Senator Brad Hoylman are hosting a tenant town hall with the Upstate/Downstate Housing Alliance at the New York Public Library, Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, Celeste Auditorium, at 476 Fifth Ave., at 42nd St. The town hall will feature a discussion and a public question-and-answer period with Stringer and Hoylman, along with Aaron Carr, founder of the Housing Rights Initiative; Sheila Garcia, director of Community Action for Safe Apartments; and Delsenia Glover, director of Tenants and Neighbors. To RSVP and for more information, call 212-669-3916 or e-mail action@comptroller.nyc. gov. For language translations services or other special accomodations, call 212-669-4315.

HISTORY Sun., Dec. 2, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.: “The House On Henry Street” Special Weekend Exhibit Hours: Henry Street Settlement is holding special Sunday hours for its new historical exhibit, which illuminates the settlement’s social activism on issues of urban poverty and public health from 1893 to present. A holiday apple fritter cooking demonstration will be held at 11:30 a.m. Public historian Katie Vogel will lead tours at noon, 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. RSVP at www.henrystreet.org/exhibitweekend. FREE Wednesday-Sunday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.: “Millions: Migrants and Millionaires aboard the Great Liners, 1900-1914” (ongoing): The South Street Seaport Museum, at 12 Fulton St. between South and Front Sts., features an exhibition revealing the dichotomy between fi rst- and third-class passengers aboard ships in the early 20th century. Exhibition is included with museum admission. Tickets $12.

“Michelle,” by Pamela Goldman, is par t of the ar tist’s “Feminine Mystique” exhibit at the Cornelia St. Cafe.

corner of Seventh St. and Avenue C. On Fri., Nov. 23, Till Behler will lead a shakuhachi zen flute performance from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. The market features various vendors selling glassware, picture frames, smoked sea salt, chocolates and cookies, jewelry and ornaments and more. Food and refreshments provided. For more information, contact eastvillagemarket@juno.com.

MARKETS

Sat., Nov. 17, to Mon., Dec. 31: Holiday Market at the Oculus: Westfield World Trade Center features the Holiday Market at the Oculus, turning Lower Manhattan into a “winter wonderland.” The market will feature specialty shops, live performances from Nov. 26 to Dec. 9, and happy-hour specials and eateries. For more information on the full holiday program, visit www.westfield.com/wtc/holiday.

Fri., Nov. 23, to Mon., Dec. 24: East Village Stand Holiday Market kicks off this Friday at the

Mon., Nov. 12, to Mon., Dec. 24: Grand Central Holiday Fair at Vanderbilt Hall, Grand Cen-

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tral Terminal, 89 E. 42nd St. at Park Ave: Featuring 40 artisan vendors. Hours Monday-Friday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Sunday 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. For more information, visit www. grandcentralterminal.com. Thurs., Nov. 15, to Mon., Dec. 24: Union Square Holiday Market at South Plaza, Union Square Park. Hours Monday-Friday, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., and Sunday 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

COMEDY Thurs., Nov. 29, 6:30 p.m.: “Why Your Train is F*cked: Trash, Rats and Track Fires”: Caveat, a Lower East Side bar and venue at 21A Clinton St. between E. Houston and Stanton Sts., features special guest Sarah Meyer, chief customer officer with M.T.A. New York City Transit, for a “deep dive into Schneps Community News Group


Manhattan Happenings the history of the M.T.A.” Comedy show hosted by Meg Pierson, co-founder of Alchemy Comedy Theater in South Carolina, and comedian Justin Williams, who is also a history professor at City College of New York. Tickets $15 advance purchase, $20 at the door. Doors 6:30 p.m., show 7 p.m. Age 21 and over. Thurs., Nov. 29, and Thurs., Dec. 13, 7 p.m.: “Extended! Kendra Cunningham This Could Be You”: Brooklyn-based comedian Kendra Cunningham performs her “one-woman show,” This Could Be You at cabaret club Don’t Tell Mama, 343 W. 46th St. Her bit will reveal her Boston-bred Irish Catholic family’s history and “balance humor with honesty.” Tickets $15. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit www.donttellmamanyc.com.

ARTS Ongoing until Dec. 31: “The Feminine Mystique”: Uptown artist Pamela Goldman’s Renaissance-inspired work is featured at Cornelia St. Cafe, 29 Cornelia St., until Dec. 31. The restaurant’s hours are 10 a.m. to 11:45 p.m. Sunday-Thursday and 10 a.m. to 1 a.m. Friday and Saturday. For more information, visit www.pamelagoldmanfi neart.com. FREE

PHOTOS BY SCNG

Enjoying the offerings at the Union Square Holiday Market at the Monkey Business kiosk.

Sun., Dec. 2, 7:30 p.m.: “Sparkle: An All-Star Holiday Concert,” at The Cutting Room, 44 E. 32nd St.: The seventh consecutive holiday show features Tony Award nominee Max Von Essen of “An American in Paris” and “Anastasia,” Tony winner Daisy Eagan of “The Secret Garden,” HBO’s “Girls” and the fi rst national tour of “The Humans,” and several other stars. TV personality Scott Nevins will host the show with Brian Nash as music director and arranger. The holiday concert proceeds will benefit The Actors Fund. Doors at 6:30 p.m., event at 7:30 p.m. Tickets start at $30 for bar seating. General admission $65, premium seating $90, and gold table $1,000. Dinner and bar menu have a $20 minimum per person. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit www.purplepass.com/ SparkleNYC.

SCIENCE Mon., Nov. 26, 2 p.m.: “InSight Lands on Mars,” at the American Museum of Natural History, 79th St. and Central Park West. Carter Emmart, the Hayden’s Planetarium’s director of astrovisualization, will show a real-time simulation of the landing of the InSight Mission. InSight, a spacecraft in NASA’s Discovery Program, is expected to land Mon., Nov. 26, on Mars’s Elysium Planitia, north of its equator. InSight is studying the red planet’s internal structure. FREE with museum admission.

FILM Fri., Nov. 23, to Thurs., Nov. 29, at 2:30 p.m., 4:30 p.m., 7 p.m. and 9:45 p.m.: “The Panama Papers,” U.S. theatrical premiere: A showing of director Alex Winter’s “The Panama Papers” at Maysles Cinema, 343 Malcolm X Blvd. Following the 7 p.m. showing will be a question-and-answer session with Winter, moderated by Jeremy Scahill, founding editor of The Intercept, on Nov. 27; The New York Schneps Community News Group

Buying jewelr y at the bustling Union Square Holiday Market.

Times’s Jesse Drucker on Nov. 28; and Michael Hudson, of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, on Nov. 29. Tickets $10. For more info and to purchase tickets, visit www.eventbrite. com/e/the-panama-papers-tickets-51473807544. “Shaped by Immigrants: A History of Yorkville” (ongoing): FRIENDS of the Upper East Side Historic Districts, a historic preservation group, launched a mini-documentary and published a book, “Shaped by Immigrants: A History of Yorkville,” telling the story of Yorkville’s immigrant roots and architectural history. The project aims to spark conversation about preservation in the neighborhood. The

TVG

public can purchase the book for $30 and watch the 15-minute mini-documentary for free at www. friends-ues.org/yorkvillebook.

COMMUNITY BOARD Tues., Nov. 27, 6 p.m.: Community Board 1 monthly full board meeting, at Pace University, 3 Spruce St. in the Aniello Bianco Room, B-Level. Tues., Nov. 27, 6:30 p.m.: Community Board 3 monthly full board meeting, at P.S. 20, 166 Essex St. between E. Houston and Stanton Sts. November 22, 2018

27


REAL ESTATE Unicorn hunt? Finding a Village pad for $2K BY MARTHA WILKIE

M

y first post-grad-school apartment was a sweet little rentstabilized two-bedroom (with an eat-in-kitchen, no less) at 29 Charles St. in the West Village. The rent was $1,500, which I split with a roommate. This was 1994. Could someone just starting out in today’s Manhattan fi nd anything remotely comparable? My friend Michelle and I had just got the boot from our (unbeknownst to us) illegal sublet on W. Fourth St. and needed to find a new place — fast. We went to a small real estate company (since long gone) and were shown a pre-war two-bedroom with a nice-sized living room and the largest kitchen I’ve had in my 26 years in Manhattan. This place got little light, but the tall ceilings, lovely original moldings, and glass-fronted kitchen cabinets were charming. The friendly agent even gave us a break on the fee. I lived there for 15 years, but with rent increases and building improvements, it slowly reached the point where the landlord could deregulate it — taking it out of rent stabilization. My income from my job at an architectural preservation nonprofit was low enough that I could have challenged it and stayed. But coincidentally around

Yes, finding an apar tment renting for $2,000 in the Village actually is possible. This studio was recently listed by Citi Habitats, althought it’s not rent-regulated — that would be a rainbow-colored unicorn.

this time, I fell in love with someone who owned a beautiful Edwardian apartment in Midtown. So I said goodbye to my beloved West Village. I still think about that apartment. My departure took yet another apartment out of rent stabilization and it now rents for much more. Are there still deals like that in Manhattan? Searching online shows a few

(theoretically) rent-stabilized pre-war two-bedrooms. One that I found on craigslist, in East Harlem at 111th St. near Lexington Ave., is nice and sunny, with gleaming wood floors and high ceilings, and is relatively spacious. A bargain at $1,350 — but with a strict pre-tax income cap of $45,800 per year for a two-person household.

Another, in Hudson Heights (between Washington Heights and Inwood) is a quite large, 1,000-squarefoot, pre-war unit with an eat-in-kitchen for $2,250. It even has access to a large garden just for building residents. My 20-something self would want to live Downtown, but my middle-aged self could be happy here. In 2018, The New York Times called this area a “hidden gem, gaining popularity.” In Harlem, there’s a newly renovated two-bedroom around 140th St., with shiny steel appliances for $2,050; dogs and cats welcome. There are others listed as “rent stabilized” but with rents well above the legal rent-stabilized maximum of $2,700. These might be new buildings (or completely rebuilt ones) where the developer made a special deal with the city; these units will eventually become market rate. As for the West Village, there’s exactly one place for $2,000 and — you guessed it — it’s a studio. Charming, though, with a fireplace (albeit, you’re not allowed to use it) and garden. Just listed yesterday and when I called the agent, someone had dibs on it already. Not rent-stabilized. But someone had found their mythical unicorn, at least for now, that is — until the landlord raises the rent.

Slice with ‘extra seize’: Two Boots shuttered BY LINCOLN ANDERSON

T

wo Boots West Village, at the corner of Greenwich Ave. and W. 11th St., was recently shuttered and “seized” by the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance “for nonpayment of taxes,” according to official agency signage and paperwork posted in its windows. One of the notices, headlined “Tax Compliance Agent’s Levy,” states that “unless the warrant is otherwise satisfied,” all property inside the premises will be sold. Asked what’s going on with the popular West Village branch of his Two Boots chain, owner Phil Hartman responded in an e-mail, “Nothing to do with rent, and should be back open asap.” Hartman said he would provide more details, but did not respond to a follow-up message.

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November 22, 2018

PHOTOS BY LINCOLN ANDERSON

Cheesy seize — for nonpayment of taxes.

The iconic Two Boots West Village corner — will the pizzeria reopen to ser ve Bayou Beasts, Buckminsters and Ear th Mothers once more?

“This location is temporarily closed but will reopen shortly!” But never fear, West Villagers can still satisfy their cravings for Bayou Beast pies (our personal favorite),

A sign from Two Boots in the pizzeria’s window says, “So sorry for the ongoing inconvenience — we’re working this out and will reopen soon!” Similarly, the Two Boots Web site says, TVG

along with Earth Mothers, Birds, Buckminsters and Cleopatra Joneses: The Web site says, in the interim, other Two Boots locations will handle deliveries. Schneps Community News Group


Schneps Community News Group

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November 22, 2018

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November 22, 2018

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Schneps Community News Group


FILE PHOTO

The Parks Depar tment has committed to stop using the Stanton St. building in Sara D. Roosevelt Park as a storage facility.

Stanton St. park building will get community use BY SYDNEY PEREIR A

L

ower East Side park activists embraced a small victory at a Community Board 3 Parks Committee meeting last Thursday. Bill Castro, the Manhattan borough Parks Department commissioner, told Downtown politicians that Parks is working with city agencies to relocate staff and storage from the Stanton St. building in Sara D. Roosevelt Park, according to Gigi Li, Councilmember Margaret Chin’s deputy chief of staff. The Stanton building shuttered decades ago. Since reopening it, Parks has used the building for staff, storage space and other department needs. Lower East Side community activists have fought for years to restore the Stanton St. building as a community center after Parks fi rst promised to do so in 1998, and — after Hurricane Sandy —

Schneps Community News Group

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as a resiliency space, as well. “We officially got a commitment from the Manhattan borough Parks commissioner that a green light was given for the two powers that be to move forward to returning the park to the community,” Li told the C.B. 3 Parks, Recreation, Waterfront and Resiliency Committee meeting on Thurs., Nov. 15. The “two powers” now looped in on the project are the Office of Management and Budget and the Department of Citywide Administrative Services, which assist departments with setting aside money to buy or lease a space to relocate, according to Li. “We’re really happy,” said Kathleen Webster, president of the Sara D. Roosevelt Park Coalition. “This commissioner [Castro] made the decision to really try to move it forward with the electeds.” The run-down-looking building is basically used as a supply house, Webster said. The building

having been removed from recreational and park-related uses only makes that part of the park more prone to violent crime, Webster stated, referring to a fatal stabbing there in August. “It’s been pretty bad,” she said. “I think everybody knows that the derelict look of the building is not workable anymore.” Though it’s unclear what the time line will be and how the building would be used, Webster hopes the structure can become a community recreation center. “We defi nitely want things in there like ping-pong balls, so people can actually use that damn table that nobody goes near now,” Webster said, referring to a pingpong table in the building. Li, a former C.B. 3 chairperson who joined Chin’s staff in April, said the councilmember is advocating for outdoor programming, too, especially for the warmer weather. November 22, 2018

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