VOLUME 27, NUMBER 6
AUGUST 28-SEPTEMBER 10, 2014
BACK TO SCHOOL WITH LOTS MORE AFTER B Y YA N N I C R A C K n the upper floors of the Battery Park City School in Lower Manhattan, children from all over the city were finishing up their summer projects. In front of large windows with sprawling views of the Hudson, some were making last tweaks on the programming of their LEGO robots, while next door some teens were reading quietly. Across the hall, the filmmaking class had enlisted the theater group to star as extras in their latest short film production. It was the last week of the “afterschool” summer program at the school, also called I.S. 276, which is run by Manhattan Youth, one of the providers that are implementing the mayor’s massive $145 million after-school expansion from this September. Theseus Roche has been with Manhattan Youth since 2001 and is their director of after-school programs. “This year, what this mayor is doing — nobody has done this before, anywhere, ever,” he said during a recent tour of the school’s classrooms. “Nobody. This is bigger than anything anybody has ever done before….I hope that I get a chance to give him a bear hug.” Roche has reason to be excited — Manhattan Youth has added six new contracts for middle schools throughout Manhattan, bringing their total to eight. Until now they served both Battery Park City middle schools — I.S. 276 and 289 — as well as six Lower Manhattan elementary schools (it goes to seven this year) that have year-round afterschool activities. An after-school program at
Continued on page 12
Downtown Express photo by Milo Hess
Nearing the Last Summer Fling Denis Bolborea of Tangaj Dance from Romania wowed the crowd at the Downtown Dance Festival last week in Wagner Park. There are still many free summer events left including the Trisha Brown Dance Company, which is still performing through Sept. 28 on Governors Island. For youth events, see Pgs. 16-17.
With crowd crush continuing at Memorial, has one solution been crushed? B Y D U S I CA SUE MAL ESEVIC A N D J OSH ROGERS ince the 9 /11 Memorial Museum opened in May, many parties — Community Board 1, the mayor’s office, N.Y.P.D., and the Port Authority — have been working to mitigate the crush of tourists that have descended on Liberty St. Some have wondered why the opening of Greenwich St. between Liberty St. and Vesey has been overlooked. Cortlandt Way, which was to help alleviate the influx of foot
traffic on Liberty St., opened a few weeks ago, and then closed again because of safety concerns as a crane was erected near World Trade Center 3. It is anticipated to reopen next week. The opening of the museum allowed the memorial to eliminate its ticketing system and allow passersby to visit the memorial. But more pedestrian space has not reduced the crowds. Far from it. There is a lot happening on Liberty St.: hawkers selling WTC Never Forget books; N.Y.P.D,
1 M ET ROT E CH CE NT E R NORT H • BROOK LY N N Y11201 • COPYRIG HT © 2014 N YC COMMU N ITY MED IA , LLC
Downtown Alliance security, and pedestrian safety from a private security firm all trying to help the flow of pedestrians; a member of the Tribute Center sometimes stationed outside; vendors selling everything from water to tours to bus tickets; construction workers and tourists. There is the idea that pedestrian flow could be allayed if Greenwich St. between Vesey, where the temporary PATH station is located, and Continued on page 3
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Downtown Express file photo by Terese Loeb Kreuzer
Two Downtown residents, Susan Cole, left, and Diane Lapson, embraced at the 9/11 Memorial at last September’s community night event.
9/11 community ceremony On Wed., Sept. 10, the National September 11 Memorial and Museum is inviting Lower Manhattan residents, 9/11 family members, rescue and recovery workers, active duty first responders and 9/11 survivors, to visit the 9/11 Memorial Museum from 5 p.m. to close. Members of these groups can book free ticket(s) to visit the museum by reserving them at 911memorial.org/September10 or by calling (212) 266-5211. Due to limited availability, the museum strongly encourages advance reservations.
UNICYCLE FESTIVA L NYC 2014
A Bindlestiff Family Variety Arts, Inc. Production ALL EVENTS FREE & OPEN TO THE PUBLIC! Friday, August 29, 2 - 7 pm · Brooklyn Unicycle Day 13 Mile Group Unicycle Ride · Over the Brooklyn Bridge to Brooklyn’s Grand Army Plaza, then to Coney Island
Saturday & Sunday, August 30 & 31, 12 - 5 pm · Unicycle Festival on Governors Island Skills Clinics · Contests · Performances · Demos · Extreme Riding & Trials · Workshops · One-Wheel Games · Unicycle Basketball · Unicycle Hockey · Races · Relays · Unicycle Sumo · Vendors · Open Riding · and More!
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August 28-September 10, 2014
Bindlestiff Family Variety Arts, Inc. A 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization. DowntownExpress.com
Liberty Street crowds Continued from page 1
Liberty Sts. was opened. “In the fall we are hoping that there will be a north-south entrance/exit from Vesey along Greenwich St.,” Community Board 1 chairperson Catherine McVay Hughes said in an email to Downtown Express last week. Another interested party, speaking on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the discussions, also thought opening Greenwich St. would be a good solution. Clearly, the Port Authority has bristled at the idea, and did not want to comment on the opening of Greenwich St. between Vesey and Liberty. It’s not clear if the Port would be ready to open the street next year even after the permanent transit hub opens. Construction at 3 W.T.C. near Greenwich is expected to continue for another four years. On the other hand, the N.Y.P.D. had been expecting the street to reopen next April. In the spring, leaders of the World Trade Center Command spoke at a Community Board 1 meeting and said that by April 2015, when World Trade Center 1 and 4 as well as the transit hub are expected to be completed, Greenwich St. would be open to pedestrians and some vehicles, including
taxis carrying residents with security clearance. It’s hard to know how many more people are visiting the site simply because there is a new walkway connecting the Financial District to Battery Park City. As of Tues. Aug. 26, the 9/11 Memorial Museum has had more than 850,000 visitors since opening in May this year, according to Michael Frazier, spokesperson for the 9/11 Memorial and Museum. Thus far this year, the memorial has had 3.58 million visitors, some of whom may have visited the museum as well. In 2013, the memorial had more than 5 million visitors. Since opening in September 2011, there have been 15 million visitors. Steven Abramson, who has lived at 114 Liberty St. since before 9/11, acknowledged that the city and the Port have done some things. But “it’s pretty much the same,” Abramson said in a phone interview. “The crush of tourist traffic has not really been abated.” Abramson is upset by the book dealers and the occasional handing out of flyers that include strip clubs on Murray St. “Its a circus,” he said. “It in no way reflects the dignity of the area.” N.Y.P.D. has been especially helpful in telling sellers to move away from the front Continued on page 7
Downtown Express Photo by Dusica Sue Malesevic
The map shows the area near the 9/11 Memorial: Liberty St. is lined in green, Cortlandt Way in red and Greenwich in blue. Below, a crowded Liberty St. (left) while Cortlandt Way remains closed (right).
August 28-September 10, 2014
A VACATION PICTURE TO DIE FOR A Russian tourist climbed a support beam of the Brooklyn Bridge on the Brooklyn side on Sun., Aug. 24 at 12:15 p.m. and took pictures, police say. Yaroslav Kolchin, 24, went past the security gate to scale the bridge and reached about 276 feet. A uniformed sergeant noticed Kolchin scaling the bridge and radioed aviation, harbor, and emergency service units to respond. Police say Kolchin took photos with his iPhone as he walked back and forth on the landing. Kolchin has been charged with reckless endangerment, obstructing governmental administration, criminal trespassing and disorderly conduct, AM New York reported. This is the third incident in which Lower Manhattan bridge security has been called into question. In July, two German artists claimed they replaced the American flags on the top of the Brooklyn Bridge’s tower with white flags. On Aug. 20, Palestinian supporters unfurled a flag on the Manhattan Bridge to protest Israeli bombings in Gaza. Mayor de Blasio said Tuesday that “changes will be made” to bridge security.
BAR BRAWL Two men, both 32, were inebriated and got into a fight at the Raccoon Lodge on 59 Warren St. at 8 p.m. on Sat., Aug. 16, police say. One man from the Bronx said the other man punched him in the face seven to eight times causing pain
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and swelling to the side of his face. He further stated that the other man put both hands around his neck and strangled him. His attacker was arrested. Police say the suspect resisted going into a police vehicle.
GRAND THEFT JEEP A 41-year-old Soho man parked his 2014 white Jeep Cherokee across the street from his Thompson apartment early morning on Sun., Aug. 24 at 3 a.m. When he went back to the spot on Thompson St. between Broome and Spring Sts. at 7 a.m., the car was gone.
MOTORCYCLE STOLEN IN B.P.C. At 8 p.m. on Fri., Aug. 15, an 18-year-old Brooklyn man parked his $3,800 black Honda motorcycle in front of 70 Little West St. in Battery Park City. Two days later at 2 p.m. on Sun., Aug. 17, the 18-yearold realized his bike was missing. Thinking it had been towed, he called 311 and the impound lot, but the motorcycle was not there.
Photo by Stefano Giovannini
A gate is the only thing keeping thrill-seekers from walking up the Brooklyn Bridge cables to the top of the iconic span, as a Russian tourist did on Sunday.
THEFT AT PIER 25
ASSAULT & IPHONE STEAL
While playing basketball near Pier 25, on West St. and N. Moore St. in the Hudson River Park, a Virginia man left his bag on the ground at noon on Wed., Aug. 20. At about 6 p.m., the 17-year-old noticed that his wallet and iPhone 5 had been taken from his bag. He canceled his credit cards and there were no unauthorized purchases. In addition to his phone, credit card, and driver’s license, he also lost $30 cash.
TAKING PASSPORTS OLD & NEW At Cafe Exchange on 49 Broadway in the Financial District at 3 p.m. on Tues., Aug. 19, a Chelsea woman put her wallet on a table while she went to get some food. When she returned, the wallet was gone. She lost both a valid and invalid passport, a Brazilian I.D., two credit cards, and $275. Police did not release the woman’s age.
At a T-Mobile store in the Financial District at 29 John St. on Thurs., Aug. 21 just before 6 p.m., a man entered the store and tried to remove a display black iPhone 5S from its metal holder. A 32-year-old female employee asked the man to leave. He instead ripped the $650 phone from its metal socket and shoved the employee in the chest causing redness and pain before he fled. She refused medical attention at the scene.
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Downtown shelter opens its doors to women B Y RO SA K IM When Christiane Fowler, 40, got to New York City in April, her legs and feet were badly swollen from walking over 600 miles. She had traveled from Pennsylvania to Syracuse in search of a place to live and arrived in New York City by walking and catching rides. When she got here, she had no job and no place to live. Fowler started going to the New York City Rescue Mission’s food pantry and learned that it would be opening its first women’s emergency overnight shelter in June. The mission, which opened in 1872, offers food, clothing, shelter, counseling services and medical care at 90 Lafayette St. For 142 years, it had only offered shelter for men. For the first time on June 16th, the mission opened its doors for women to stay overnight. Women are let inside at 4:30 p.m. and have dinner at 5 p.m. They leave after having breakfast at 7 a.m. the following morning. Fowler, one of 65 women who have utilized the shelter since it first opened, described the Mission as a blessing. “To me, it’s a gift,” she said. “It’s peaceful, you get hot showers, you get food, and if you need someone to talk to, there’s somebody there. It touches your heart when there are actually people that help.” Fowler, who has two adult children back in her native Florida, said she has heard stories of homeless women holding onto their belongings at other shelters where they would have to worry about physical altercations, thefts and bedbugs. She said the women’s shelter at Rescue Mission is where she feels safe. “Given the stories I heard, this is the only shelter I prefer to stay at,” Fowler said. Before the shelter opened, Fowler said she and the other women who come to the shelter have slept in subways and on benches and sidewalks. Spending the night on the streets comes with its discomforts and dangers.
“To me, when I slept on benches, it wasn’t the most comfortable. If you’re not in a shelter, you get harassed,” Fowler said. According to the Coalition for the Homeless, there are close to 55,000 people sleeping in New York City shelters each night, a 75 percent increase since January 2002 and the highest level since the Great Depression. The Coalition says that evictions are the main causes for the increase. Marianne Friedman, women’s program director at the mission, said women who come to the shelter range from those in their mid 20s to 70s. Their stories include losing parents, being kicked out of homes and losing jobs. Martin Addison Bowman, intake coordinator at the shelter, said some of the older women have health issues and mental illnesses such as depression and schizophrenia. He has seen elderly women who just got out of the hospital with nowhere to go. As for the younger women, he said the streets are an especially dangerous place. “They are extremely vulnerable out on the streets. There’s a market out there for prostitution and drugs,” Bowman said. Fowler, who plans to get her G.E.D. and massage therapy license, regularly helps Friedman make the shelter’s 30 beds and fold the towels. She said she sees this as a way of making her contribution. “I’ve worked for a hotel. I know how to make beds, I know how to clean. It’s much easier. Then you feel like you’re giving something back to them for giving you a bed and food. And that’s how it should be,” Fowler said. Reflecting on how becoming homeless has affected her, Fowler said it has made her value compassion even more than before. “It’s rough but it’s an experience you learn from. You learn how people treat other people. People think just because they’re homeless, they’re criminals but they’re not,” she said. “It’s not the best thing in the world. That could be you one
Downtown Express photos by Rosa Kim
Christiane Fowler has been coming to the New York City Rescue Mission’s women’s shelter since it first opened in June.
day.” Friedman, who herself has recovered from drug addiction and depression, said that the most important thing for her is to instill in the women a sense of hope and self-worth. “I hope to give them that mustard seed of faith, the same that was given to me
three and a half years ago when I first went to seek help. There are women here that never came from a loving background. They call me mom. As much as they feel like I’m a blessing to them, they’re a blessing to me,” Friedman said. “I see the light shine onto them and know that they will pass that to another woman on the street.”
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Marianne Friedman, women’s program director at Rescue Mission. DowntownExpress.com
August 28-September 10, 2014
Officials say wait yet another year to reopen bike path BY YAN N I C RA CK It’s been a common sight in Battery Park City for years now: Cyclists, often tourists, rushing by on the popular Hudson River Greenway, the busiest bike path in the whole country, come to a sudden halt at Vesey or Albany Sts. After initial confusion, they usually continue their path along the North Cove Marina, where a few orange signs have diverted them since the bike path was closed here in 2007. “It’s so little but the disruption is huge,” said Charles Komanoff during a recent evening commute via the Greenway. Komanoff, 66, a traffic analyst and cycling advocate, can’t understand how the path has been closed for such a “grotesquely long” time. “Thousands and thousands of people who live here and work here, who visit here, and who enjoy that public space – their enjoyment is compromised by the fact that all kinds of people on bikes go through there. And we go through there because we have no alternative.” The bike path, in its entire length, runs from Dyckman St. in the north to Battery Park in the south along the West Side of Manhattan. It’s especially popular among cyclists for its length and because it runs separated from motor traffic and, on many sections,
pedestrians as well. But for seven years, the short 0.3 mile stretch from Vesey to Albany St. has been blocked off completely due to construction work in front of Brookfield Place (formerly the World Financial Center). “It’s very confusing because different people are responsible for different parts,” said Catherine McVay Hughes, chairperson of Community Board 1. “But the community is very concerned at this particular point with making sure that the pedestrians and the traffic can safely coexist at the intensive levels that we’re getting now.” Although signs diverting pedestrians and cyclists through the marina on the other side of Brookfield Place are in place, many complain about the inconvenience and extra time it takes to find their way through Battery Park City. “I don’t even know where I am,” said Angus Herselman, 63, when he was forced to stop at the northern interruption of the path. Herselman was visiting the city from South Africa with his wife and they were trying to get back to their hotel on their CitiBikes. “There’s a lot of construction around here, makes it very tricky,” he added. Not only tourists are affected by the changes, although regulars to the bike path have long become accustomed to
Downtown Express photo by Yannic Rack
Cyclists at the northern end of the construction on Vesey St.
August 28-September 10, 2014
This part of the West St. bikepath has been closed since 2007.
the disruption. “This would never happen in Germany, it would never happen in Japan, it would never happen in the Netherlands, it wouldn’t happen in Paris,” said Komanoff. “New York is now a big biking place, so where is the screaming? No one can believe that the return of the bike path isn’t just around the corner.” The Battery Park City Authority as well as the New York State Department of Transportation expect the construction work to be completed and the bike path to reopen sometime late next year. A Transportation Department spokesperson said in an email that the section has been closed for years because there were multiple agencies performing work at the site and said that completion of the bike path has been “contingent upon other work being completed in earlier stages.” The Port Authority, according to State D.O.T., needed to divert the bike- and walkways in 2007 in order to construct the underground pedestrian concourse connecting the World Trade Center and the World Financial Center. Together with Brookfield, the Port Authority then constructed the pavilion at the western end of the concourse connecting it to the Winter Garden. After this, in 2013, the D.O.T. started working on the reconstruction of the bike- and walkway along Route 9A, which took until late spring of this year. Currently Brookfield
and the B.P.C.A. “are renovating the ground floors of WFC #2 and #3 for commercial use (Brookfield Place) which will include shops and restaurants. B.P.C.A. is also performing pile maintenance/rehabilitation work under the WFC. Because of the schedule to complete the pavilion and restrictions related to the turtle mating season, this work can only take place between April 1st and October 31st,” according to the statement. Once this is completed, the D.O.T. will be able to finish work on the bike path. “It is scheduled to be substantially completed by fall of 2015,” the statement reads, an estimate the B.P.C.A. confirmed. According to the Transportation Dept., Brookfield needs access “on our right of way outside the buildings for their construction-related activities. A Brookfield spokesperson referred inquiries to state D.O.T., who are “in charge. We’re not doing any construction there. It’s all D.O.T. and B.P.C.A.,” she said. A Battery Park City Authority spokesperson said “other factors contributing to the extended timeline for completion include financial negotiations between the funding partners as well as the sequencing of work being performed by multiple agencies.” “There is no way for bikes to pass it all on the east side,” Hughes said, referring to the 9/11 Memorial. “And that’s why the west side is so important.” DowntownExpress.com
Crowd problems outside the 9/11 museum Continued from page 3
of Abramson’s building, he said, but “day to day life can be extremely difficult.” When Cortlandt Way is open, he said, it does help relieve the flow on Liberty a little. Another change is Tribute Center tours congregating on Cedar instead of Liberty. “Tours are traditionally 15 - 25 people and exit from the lower level out the back door onto Cedar St. and proceed up [the already open part of] Greenwich to the 9/11 Memorial,” Jennifer Adams-Webb, chief executive officer for the 9/11 Tribute Center, said in an email. Hughes said in a phone interview that, “With the density Downtown in Lower Manhattan and the amount of vehicle traffic, tour buses, and pedestrian traffic in a very dense area — having a plan in place is something that the community board has been advocating,” Hughes, C.B. 1’s leader, took the Downtown Express on a tour of the area and pointed out the changes that have been made, which include large signage. “Nothing happens around here without everyone working together,” said Hughes. She said the Port Authority has
taken the lead, and emphasized the positive changes and concerted effort of all involved with the plaza. “The fact that it is as open as it is, is incredible,” she said. “There has been relief in the area generally. As the site changes, it needs to be tweaked.” A Port spokesperson said they will continue to work with the community on reducing the problem. “This is a new issue added to all the other issues,” said Pat Moore, chairperson of Quality of Life Committee for Community Board 1, whose building faces Liberty. She has fielded complaints from Liberty St. residents who are hemmed in by barriers. A Liberty St. business owner, who refused to give his name, was angry that now that the street was finally reopened — after being dead for four and a half years — there was an effort to direct foot traffic elsewhere. Jahr Mhmud, an employee at Liber Tees that sells knick knacks and souvenirs, said that this summer was better for business. Downtown Express Photo by Dusica Sue Malesevic “It’s not easy,” said Abramson. “We’ve made a commitment to The closed off area of Greenwich St., which a few have suggested reopening T:8.75” Lower Manhattan.” in order to reduce the crowds.
The need for a great hospital doesn’t stop south of 14th Street. NewYork-Presbyterian is now in lower Manhattan. Where over a million people live, work and play. The only hospital below 14th Street brings access to advanced specialties and a 24-hour adult and children’s emergency department. Learn more at nyp.org/lowermanhattan
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August 28-September 10, 2014
Downtown Express photos by Milo Hess
Got anything for grass stains? “Diner en Blanc” has struck again. The dinner party keeps its location secret until, voila, thousands appear dressed in white and set up everything — tables, chairs, forks, knives, and agents of inebriation — needed to dine. This time, the target was Rockefeller Park in Battery Park City, on Mon. Aug. 25. This year, four-time James Beard winner and celebrity chef Todd English was slated to wow with his food for the elegantly-dressed dinner guests — some porting white masks and fantastic hats. The four-year-old organization has been creating these events over the world.
World Trade Center Cancer Deadline Approaching National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) has linked 67 cancers* to the toxi dust OCTOBER 12, 2014 IS THE LAST DAY TO REGISTER A CLAIM Please tell your friends and neighbors who lived or worked south of Canal Street between 9/11/01 and 5/20/02. Don’t let anyone diagnosed with a WTC cancer miss the deadline to register with the Zadroga 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund. *The most common cancers linked by the NIH and the WTCHP are cancers of the lungs, esophagus, kidneys, prostate, lymphoma, leukemia, and thyroid. Get yourself checked out!
If anyone you know were in NYC after the 9/11 attacks and have been diagnosed with any of the 67 WTC-linked cancers, there is a presumptuon by NIOSH and the WTCHP that your cancer was caused by the toxic dust. You may be entitled to compensation for your illness and lost time. Learn your legal rights. Please call us today.
Attorneys Barasch McGarry, Kreindler & Kreindler
August 28-September 10, 2014
TRANSIT SAM THURS., AUG. 28 – WED., SEPT. 3 ALTERNATE SIDE PARKING RULES ARE SUSPENDED MONDAY FOR LABOR DAY Labor Day means the end of summer is here! Whether you stay in the city or head out of town, there will be some mean traffic to face. Beginning around 2 p.m. Thursday and Friday, West St. / Route 9A, the F.D.R., and the Holland and Battery tunnels will get hectic as vacationers skip town for one more long weekend. T he Giants take on the Patriots 7:30 p.m. Thursday at MetLife Stadium in a preseason game. Since Thursday afternoon is the unofficial start of the holiday weekend, traffic under and over the Hudson will be a mess. Fans and vacationers will take the Holland (and Lincoln) out of the city en masse, so get an early start if you can. Post-game fan traffic back
into Manhattan will be slow too, since one New York-bound lane in the Holland will close 11 p.m. Thursday to 5 a.m. Friday. One small relief: there will be no construction on bridges over the weekend, although overnight closures of the Manhattan-bound Brookly n Bridge will resume Tuesday, running from 11 p.m. to 6 a.m. Tuesday through Thursday nights. On Monday, alternate side parking rules will be suspended, as will meter rules. Signs that say “No parking” or “No standing” on certain weekdays, in this case Monday, are also suspended. Signs with the word “anytime” are still in effect. On West St. / Route 9A, two northbound lanes w ill close between Albany and Vesey Sts. 1 a.m. to 8 a.m. Saturday. The First Police Precinct Explorers Block Party will close Liberty St. between Broadway and Trinity
Pl. 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday. Pace University students moving into dorms will take over several curb lanes in the Financial D ist r ict 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday on Frankfort and Spr uce Sts. between Gold St. and Park Row, and 7 a.m. Saturday through 5 a.m. Monday on John and Fulton Sts. between William and Dutch Sts., Dutch St. between Fulton and John Sts., and on John St. between Broadway and
Nassau St. The Washington Square Outdoor Art Exhibit will close University Pl. between Waverly Pl. and 13th St., Washington Square East between Waverly Pl. and West 4th St., and Washington Pl. between Washington Square East and Mercer St. noon to 6 p.m. Saturday through Monday. Email your traffic, transit and parking questions to transitsam@ downtownexpress.com.
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SING WITH US! AUDITION FOR THE TRINITY YOUTH CHORUS
The Trinity Youth Chorus, the voice of youth in Lower Manhattan, will hold one-on-one auditions for children ages 10–18 at Trinity Church from September 2–5, 2014. For an appointment, contact Melissa Attebury at 212-602-0798 or firstname.lastname@example.org. No prior musical training or religious affiliation is required.
August 28-September 10, 2014
Rebecca Lepkoff, L.E.S. photographer, dies at 98 BY ALBERT AMATEAU Rebecca Lepkoff, a renowned photographer who recorded the street life of the Lower East Side, where she was born and raised, died Sun., Aug. 17 in her home in Townshend, Vermont, where, in addition to her home in Manhattan, she lived part of the year with her family for the past 60 years. She died two weeks after her 98th birthday. She bought her first camera, a Borlander, with money she earned as a dancer at the 1939-40 New York World’s Fair. At a 2012 exhibition of her photos in the Tenement Museum on the Lower East Side, she told a reporter that she went outdoors with her camera because “everything happened in the streets. People would go out with their baby carriages. They’d sit on the stoops,” she said. “People lived in the streets. You didn’t have to worry about kids’ safety. They were playing stickball on the street in front of you.” She was born on Aug. 4, 1916, in a Hester St. tenement, the daughter of Russian immigrants. Her father, a tailor,
moved the family to increasingly better homes in the neighborhood, on Clinton, Division, Monroe and Ridge Sts. and on East Broadway. Rebecca attended the College of the City of New York, graduating in 1938, and studied dance with Martha Graham, one of the founders of modern dance. She also joined a National Youth Administration (a Depression-era government agency) photography program from 1939 to 1941. By the time she married Eugene Lepkoff in 1941, she had become an experienced photographer of life on the streets. In 1945 she joined the Photo League, founded in 1939 by a group of socially conscious photographers. Among the league’s early members who became distinguished photographers of the era were Arthur “Weegee” Fellig, Bernice Abbott, Helen Levitt, Lisette Model, Paul Strand, Lewis Hine, Morris Engel and Walter Rosenblum. In its heyday, the league had 300 members and served as a school, darkroom, gallery and discussion club for people who believed that photography
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August 28-September 10, 2014
should chronicle social conditions and help change them. However, the league dissolved in 1951 after the U.S. attorney general listed it as a subversive organization. In the 2012 interview at the Tenement Museum, Rebecca Lepkoff contended that when the league first started, most photography was commercial and fashion. “The Photo League said, ‘The world is out there, and we should go out there and bring back life to be seen,’ ” she said. The best of her photos of the era are in “Life on the Lower East Side: Photographs by Rebecca Lepkoff, 1937-1950,” collected by Peter Dans and Susan Waserman, published by Princeton Architectural Press. Although urban renewal projects obliterated many of the streets where she grew up, Rebecca Lepkoff continued to photograph the neighborhood into the 1980s. “It’s a part of my history, my life,” she said in the 2012 interview. “It’s very familiar but so very different now. As I walk along, I superimpose, the double vision. I see it [as it was] then, you know, and I have it now. It’s interesting.” In recent years, she has photographed the streets of Harlem near her home in Washington Heights. “I witness the relationship between people, parents with children, a lot of fathers with babies. The mothers are nannies taking care of other people’s kids,” she said in the 2012 interview. “I always looked up to her as being a very elegant lady,” said David Channon, an Upstate resident whose mother became a friend of Rebecca’s when they met as civilian office employees of the U.S. Army during World War II. “I remember a party at Becky’s and Gene’s. I must have been six years old. Pearl Primus was there with other dancers and a lot of bongo drums,” Channon recalled. Primus, an anthropologist and dancer who introduced African dance to the U.S., was a member of the National Youth Administration along with Rebecca in the early 1940s. In 1950, Rebecca and her husband Gene bought a house in Windham County in southern Vermont, where Helen and Scott Nearing, an economist and radical social activist, and their circle, lived. Rebecca’s photos of the Nearings and their friends, collected in “Almost Utopia: The Residents and Radicals of Pikes Falls Vermont 1950,” was published in 2008 by the Vermont
Downtown Express Photo by Tequila Minsky
Rebecca Lepkoff at an opening of a show of her photos at the Tenement Museum in March 2012.
Historical Society. “Lots of people would come and live [Nearing’s] style of being close to the earth,” Rebecca told the local newspaper in 2010. “The book is called ‘Almost Utopia’ because people stayed a long time and then gave up. They couldn’t quite live there forever,” she said. Two decades later, in the 1970s, a new generation inspired by the Nearings came to Windham County and Rebecca photographed their way of life in a series, “Vermont Hippies,” which was last shown in a 2010 exhibition at the Vermont Center for Photography in Brattleboro, according to The Commons, an online source of Windham County news and opinions. Rebecca attended her 98th birthday party in Vermont at the Jamaica Historical Society, according to The Commons. In the past few years, she and her husband, 96, who survives, have been making their home in an assisted-living residence in Townshend. “She lived a long and incredible life. She was an amazing artist and mother and an amazing person,” said her son, Jesse Lepkoff. Rebeca was a regular at the Townshend Farmers Market where her booth — Rebecca Lepkoff and Family — featured her signed books and handmade pottery. Her daughter-in-law, Tamara Stenn, said the family will continue to run the booth into September and perhaps October. “We have quite a collection of Becky’s porcelain and hand-printed vintage museum-quality photos and are seeking homes and ideas for them,” Stenn said. A memorial for Rebecca Lepkoff is being planned, with a time and place still to be determined. DowntownExpress.com
Chinatown landlord investigated for tenant harassment B Y Z A CH WI L LIA MS State government scrutiny of local landlords extended on Aug. 20 to Marolda Properties for alleged tenant harassment in Chinatown and the Lower East Side. Governor Andrew Cuomo issued a subpoena to the company that day as part of an ongoing investigation under the state Tenant Protection Unit. Tenant grievances against Marolda include eviction proceedings, low buyout offers, poor building services and the denial of lease renewals for longtime tenants, according to a statement by Cuomo. “This case is especially egregious because it appears this landlord preys on many tenants who are elderly and whose primary language is not English,” Cuomo said in the statement. Cuomo’s announcement follows on the heels of state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s probe into the practices of landlord Steven Croman. For its part, Marolda has also investigated tenants in an effort to acquire evidence that their primary residence is elsewhere, allowing it to begin eviction proceedings. “The landlord’s been sending a lot of notices to people saying that we don’t live in this building, that we have property somewhere else... I’ve lived here all my life,” said one 20-something tenant who requested her name be withheld due to pending litigation. The tenant will appear in Housing Court later this month to attempt to disprove Marolda’s allegation in a lawsuit against her that her primary residence is in Brooklyn rather than on Elizabeth St. Marolda Properties owns about 70 buildings throughout the five boroughs. Phone messages left for Fred Marolda were not returned by press time. A Marolda representative, who answered the phone Aug. 25 and identified himself as Greg, declined to comment. At a Marolda-owned building on Forsyth St., outgoing tenant Grier Newlin said there were months of seemingly endless noise as the landlord renovated the place’s interior. Then tenants and building management met, with management agreeing to post better notice, in both English and Chinese, of upcoming work. Nonetheless, the building’s makeup has changed significantly in those 11 months, according to Newlin, who said he is moving out in a few weeks. “It was primarily Chinese when I moved in and now it’s not,” he said. Such a change reflects an ongoing trend in Chinatown, according to the Asian DowntownExpress.com
American Legal Defense and Education Fund. In a report released last year on Chinatowns in New York City, Boston and Philadelphia, AALDEF notes that white residents are the fastest-growing demographic in the neighborhood. “Tenants have experienced more harassment by landlords in the past decade,” the report states. “The occupants of rent-regulated units have shifted from immigrant family households to a younger demographic, including young professionals and students.” Marolda opponents cite the case of an elderly woman reportedly refused a lease extension by the company. An effort to evict her failed once her links to a local community senior center, among other things, buttressed her claim that she had lived in the building for 40 years. “Her entire social structure is limited to the five or so blocks surrounding her building,” said Cathy Dang, executive director of the Committee Against Anti-Asian Violence Organizing Asian Communities, in a statement. “Marolda’s actions fly in the face of the history of Chinatown and the Lower East Side — communities built by immigrants, and communities sustained by affordable housing that contribute to the unique culture of New York City.” Meanwhile, in the court of consumer opinion, tenant reviews of Marolda Properties on Yelp are mixed. The company received a two-star rating among 20 online reviews from what appear to be relatively new tenants. “I lived in a Marolda building (262 Elizabeth St.) for two years,” wrote a poster under the name Ty M in April 2013. “The building was always clean and well-maintained, and they were perfectly fair with my security deposit. Yes, they were a little difficult to get a hold of; but I believe I had an above-average renter experience with them.” However, 16 of the reviews were negative in tone. “I’ve thought about a dozen different ways that I could write this review and how best to describe how much I loathe this company,” wrote Brett M. in Aug. 2013. “But, I figured it was best to just lay it out there: they’re horrible. “They’re the least professional people I’ve ever encountered, and every time I interact with them, I feel like I just got punched in the brain because of the incompetence.”
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Local group expanding after-school Continued from page 1
Manhattan Youth’s community center also serves all of the schools, “kind of like a hub,” Roche said. On top of that, they run the four-week summer program in Battery Park City for students around the city. “The way that this program works, is we have five different tracks, in the morning and in the afternoon,” Roche said, explaining that four of them are required under the mayor’s plan. “They want to see literacy, they want to see STEM — which is science, technology, engineering and mathematics — they want to see physical activity, and they want to see leadership development. The fifth is my baby, which is our filmmaking intensive. Oh it’s fantastic, we’re going to have nine films that we show tomorrow night.” Since Mayor de Blasio took office, most of the school-related media attention has been on the expansion of pre-K, but that has so far had little effect in most of Lower Manhattan, where classes were cut because of lack of space. Roche said he’s not surprised by the focus on pre-K because “everybody knows that young children …need education. But
the sleeper is that, at the middle school age, that’s the first time when kids become autonomous and independent. They can go home by themselves, so parents stop paying for services. But it’s really such a dangerous transitional time when you have to have not only supervision, but engagement.” The program includes team sports, academic support, a robotics lab and filmmaking class. Beginning in September, 78,000 middle schoolers will have access to afterschool activities in 562 schools all over the city, from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m., five days a week. That’s more than double the current 231, and 85% of the city’s middle schools. The after-school programs are provided by 108 different organizations overall, which make up the city’s rebranded afterschool umbrella initiative, School’s Out New York City. When asked about his own time in middle school on the Upper West Side, Roche thinks back for a second. “I didn’t have a lot of after-school growing up,” he said. “My brother [who also works at Manhattan Youth] and I, you know, there was a lot of hanging out. And I think mid-
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A group of middle-schoolers are putting the finishing touches on their LEGO robot.
dle school was a hard time, I remember it being a hard time. And I used to say that my one skill, walking into this job, was my memory of middle school and how challenging it was.” Manhattan Youth’s new after-school programs will be located at the Salk School of Science on E. 20th St., Clinton School for Writers and Artists on W. 33rd St., Quest to Learn in Chelsea, Ella Baker School and East Side Middle School on the Upper East Side, and the Professional Performing Arts School in Hell’s Kitchen. Roche estimates that he’ll get another 1,000 kids at least (he says that they comfortably attract 40% of a school’s population on a single day, with a total signup of up to 70%). “They’ve given me, I think, a little less than 800 slots, and I’m figuring I’m going to have at least 1,000 that I serve through that expansion. So when you add that to I.S. 289, which we’re already serving, and also our elementary schools, Manhattan Youth is doubling in size.” The summer program is funded through the same contract at I.S. 289 that’s being extended now, but it will remain Manhattan Youth’s only one for the time being. However, Roche said that, “If I were a gambling man — which I’m not — I would bet on a lot of these other programs, in the next year or two, having summer components as well.” At the end of July, Roche was still busy trying to find the last of seven new afterschool directors that he is hiring and will be coordinating come September. They will be based at their respective schools as well as Manhattan Youth, and will start by folding the existing after-school offerings into the new programs. Towards the end of the tour around the building, Roche confided that his own
Theseus Roche, Manhattan Youth’s director of after-school programs, in front of IS 276.
The filmmaking class is shooting a scene in nearby West Thames Park.
daughter is starting middle school this fall too, another reason why this topic has been dominating his life. “I’ve been working in middle schools for over a dozen years, and now my daughter is going into middle school. She’s actually going to one of these [six new schools]. She’s going to the one that I haven’t hired the director for yet. I’m very picky about that one, I’m not sure why,” he said, laughing. DowntownExpress.com
Plans continue for Blue School to open a middle school BY D U SI CA SU E MA L E S E V IC The Blue School at 241 Water St. is growing with a new additional location and middle school plans that includes offering sixth grade next year. Currently a preschool through fifth grade, the Blue School is converting 233 Water St. into classrooms, offices as well as a planned gym, rooftop playground, storefront gallery and a black box theater “We’re starting slow, so we’re starting with just one class of 18 sixth graders,” said Allison Gaines Pell, who has been head of school since 2012. The construction will be completed next summer. After sixth grade begins in 2015, the plan is to include seventh grade in 2016 and eighth grade in 2017. “I think that the plan to go through middle school was always part of the original vision,” said Pell. “In fact, at the beginning there was talk about high school and college. I think the founders have always dreamed really big.” The Blue School was founded by the innovative Blue Man Group and their partners in 2006. What started as a two’s play group has grown to a 250-student elementary school this year. It took four locations in the East Village before the school ultimately settled in the Seaport three years ago. Once the middle school is up and running, the Blue School will scout out another space to house all the anticipated students. The 233 Water St. space will serve as a transitional location. “Although on the day that we announced that we were going through middle school, the very first question was ‘what about high school?’” she said. “Parents are hungry for it, which is great.” Tuition for this year for full-time students was $36,900. The tuition for the middle school has yet to be announced. The program will center on what the
school calls “STEAM,” for science, technology, arts, and mathematics. “The Blue Man Group itself was sort of an exercise in STEAM a long time ago,” said Pell, who cited the performance group’s utilization of science and engineering to build a computer to work on their LED screens. The middle school would encourage long-term projects such as writing a plan for a business or non-profit, and specialization. “Rather than saying, for example, in seventh grade, they will take Art II. It would be more like in seventh grade they would take Japanese printmaking,” said Pell. “By using a narrower band they can practice ways of thinking and get really specialized in something.” Pell took the Downtown Express on a tour of the school —empty because of summer recess. Light poured in and views of the Brooklyn Bridge stunned. There is an arts studio, library, science nook, a space on the deck to raise bees, an insect hotel situated on the terrace outside of the cafeteria, and a wonder room and hallway that have black lights to spur imagination. When students enter the building, they take off their “outside shoes” and put on their “inside shoes,” Pell explained, and stored them in cubby holes that looked like larger paper-towel tubes. The middle school would be a continuation of seeds planted in elementary. “The promise of what we start doing with the younger children, I think can pay off in just spades with middle school children,” Pell said. “I’m really excited to see how our current second graders evolve and sort of launch into seventh and eighth graders.” Last school year, the fourth grade class did a year-long study of the “Odyssey” and contemplated the question of what it means to be a hero. The students analyzed
Downtown Express photos by Dusica Sue Malesevic
Allison Gaines Pell, leader of the Blue School, which plans to expand to a middle school next year in the space behind her.
the text and learned about Greek culture. They connected with Paul Salopek, a journalist who is traveling by foot from Ethiopia to South America for his “Out of Eden” project. The students became fascinated by how ancient Greeks preserved their food as they did not have refrigeration. They
targeted food dehydrators and made prototypes to use it on food. “Then they tasted I would say most of the food -- some of it really didn’t look very appetizing,” said Pell. “The kids were just on fire cause they were trying to figure out what the best way. So we had a lot of food dehydrators upstairs.”
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The demonstrators marched with their hands held up in surrender. Witnesses say Michael Brown had held up his hands before he was fatally shot by a Ferguson police officer.
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Protesters demand arrest in Ferguson shooting
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BY DUSICA SUE MALESEVIC Protesters gathered at One Police Plaza on Mon., Aug. 18, in a show of support for the people of Ferguson, Missouri, which was rocked by the police shooting of a black teenager, Michael Brown, and to vent anger at the New York Police Department. Larry Holmes, of the People’s Power Assembly, which organized the protest, started at 5:30 p.m. with the chant, “Justice for Michael! Arrest the Killer Cop!” while members of the N.Y.P.D. looked on. Sometimes the chant would change to “Justice for Eric Garner!” Many carried signs, such as, “We Are All Michael Brown,” “Jail Killer Cops” and “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot.” “I’m here because I’m really frustrated and I want to show solidarity with the people in Ferguson,” said Kristina
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Andreotta, 32, who also attended a protest held in Bedford-Stuyvesant. She marched with a sign that had the hashtag “BlackLivesMatter.” Danovis Schufford, 36, from Flatbush, said he can relate to what is going on in Ferguson. “It happens every day in urban neighborhoods,” he said. As more people joined in, the protesters walked in a circle in the plaza west of City Hall as the Frank Gehrydesigned 8 Spruce St. tower glistened in the distance. Hand clapping, coins shaken in a container and whistle blowing punctuated the chants that focused on Ferguson, New York City and Gaza, as well. Anger was expressed toward Police Commissioner Bill Bratton and Mayor de Blasio, with several speakers saying, “Ferguson today, New
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York tomorrow.” Fathers and mothers who had lost their children spoke after the crowd finished its march and chanting. Franclot Graham’s 18-year-old son Ramarley was fatally shot by police two and a half years ago. “Enough is enough,” he told The Downtown Express. “We are still waiting for justice.”
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Crackdown on cyclists On Thurs., Aug. 21, around 4 p.m., a police officer in an unmarked car slapped a cyclist with a ticket on Sixth Ave. just south of Prince St. The officer would not divulge to The Downtown Express what the offense was, saying the ticket was “confidential.” Police recently conducted Operation Safe Cycle, a two-week blitz targeting cyclists that ended Tues., Aug. 26. However, cycling advocates criticized the initiative as little more than “shooting fish in a barrel.” Ben Fried, of Streetsblog, wrote, “It seems like police know how to stake out locations where they can rack up a lot of easy tickets — places where cyclists tend to break the rules without riding recklessly.”
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Activities EVENTS DOWNTOWN THURS AUGUST 28- WED. SEPTEMBER 10 THURSDAY, AUGUST 28 BATTERY PARK CITY PARKS CONSERVANCY 212-267-9700, bpcparks.org Preschool Art: Come learn art with paper, clay, wood, and paint. Ages 4 and under | Free, drop in | Nelson A. Rockefeller Park| 10:30 a.m. – 12 p.m.
175 North End Ave, 212-790-3499, nypl.org/locations/battery-park-city Baby Laptime for Pre-Walkers: Enjoy simple stories, lively songs and rhymes, and meet other babies in the neighborhood. Limited to 25 babies and their caregivers; firstcome first-served. Ages 0-18 months | Free |11:30 a.m. EVERY THURSDAY AT 11:30 a.m.
EVERY THURSDAY UNTIL 10/30
Art & Games Age 5+ | Free, drop in | Nelson A. Rockefeller Park| 3:30-5:30 p.m.
CRAFTernoon: Bring your imagination and get creative! Listen to a story and create a hands-on project. All ages | Free | 4 p.m.
EVERY THURSDAY UNTIL 10/30
NEW YORK PUBLIC LIBRARY BATTERY PARK CITY BRANCH
HUDSON RIVER PARK Pier 25, hudsonriverpark.org/ events/cma-art-outpost
summer Starting June 23rd n
Programs for students of ALL AGES! Music & Art Camps Private & Group Instrumental Birthday Parties & Space Rentals
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August 28-September 10, 2014
CMA Hudson River Art Outpost: Teaching artists from Children’s Museum of the Arts will facilitate hands-on art-making activities including an individual mixed media project and a larger-scale collaborative project, inspired by the unique waterfront environment. All ages | Free | 1 – 4 p.m.
FRIDAY, AUGUST 29 FIDI FAMILIES South Street Seaport Summer Stage Fulton Street, FiDiFamilies.com Summer Fridays with FiDi Families: Every Friday in July and August, FiDi Families will present a fun, family-friendly activity and/or musical performance at the South Street Seaport Summer Stage. All ages | Free | 10 a.m.
SATURDAY, AUGUST 30 Free Yoga Presented by Lee Lee’s Forest: Lee Lee’s Forest will be offering free yoga out on the Front/Row Lawn. Bring your own mat and head down to the Seaport. After class stop by Lee Lee’s Forest for 20% off your purchase. All ages | Free | 9:30-10:30 a.m. SEE/CHANGE South Street Seaport, southstreetseaport.com/events/ Front/Row Stage – TruBrit Join TruBrit on the Front/Row Stage (11 Fulton Street). Formed in 1999 TruBrit is Joey Barbosa, Richie Bell, Edgar Gross, and Don Linares. Covering songs by The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, The Who, The Hollies, The Searchers, The Dave Clark Five, The Kinks, The Yardbirds and many more. All ages | Free | 1 p.m. - 3 p.m.
SUNDAY, AUGUST 31 HUDSON RIVER PARK Pier 25, hudsonriverpark.org/events/series/ pop-up-maker-space Pop Up Maker Space: Guided maker workshops challenge participants to design and construct projects inspired by both innovative technologies and traditional crafts. Participants will learn from and collaborate with each other while working together to find solutions to real-world challenges. Projects will range in difficulty from low
tech to high tech. Investigate WHY and HOW things work. Each workshop has two projects – an interactive guided lesson and a “larger than life” build which challenges participants to adapt newly learned skills to different resources and scale. All ages | Free | 10 a.m. - 12 p.m. HUDSON RIVER PARK Pier 25, hudsonriverpark.org/events/series/ big-city-fishing Big City Fishing: The rods, reels, bait and instruction will be provided. Beyond teaching fishing, the program also provides participants with a first-hand opportunity to learn about river ecology and the many fish species that can be found in the river. 5+ | Free | 1:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. EVERY SUNDAY THROUGH 9/28
SEE/CHANGE South Street Seaport, southstreetseaport.com/events/ KidAround Series: KidAround! at the South Street Seaport is a free family event series featuring live music, story-time with characters, games and more. On 8/31 hear Hot Peas ’N Butter. By combining an interactive, invigorating approach to performance with mature, multicultural music, Hot Peas ’N Butter has developed a distinct way of inspiring care and creativity in kids and adults alike. All ages | Free | 2 p.m. - 4 p.m.
MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 1 NEW YORK PUBLIC LIBRARY BATTERY PARK CITY BRANCH 175 North End Ave, 212-790-3499, nypl.org/locations/battery-park-city Baby Laptime for Pre-Walkers: Enjoy simple stories, lively songs and rhymes, and meet other babies in the neighborhood. Limited to 25 babies and their caregivers; firstcome first-served. Ages 0-18 months | Free | 9:30 a.m. EVERY MONDAY AT 9:30 a.m.
Toddler Story Time: A librarian will share lively picture books, finger plays, and action songs with toddlers and their caregivers. Ages 18-36 months | Free | 4 p.m. EVERY MONDAY AT 4:00 p.m.
BATTERY PARK CITY PARKS CONSERVANCY 212-267-9700, bpcparks.org DowntownExpress.com
Preschool Play: Interactive play on the lawn. Toys, books, and play equipment provided. Ages 4 and under | Free | Drop in | Wagner Park | 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.
and rhymes, and meet other babies in the neighborhood. Limited to 25 babies and their caregivers; firstcome first-served. Ages 0-18 months | Free |11:30 a.m.
EVERY TUESDAY AT 11:30 A.M.
Children’s Basketball: Adjustable height hoops and fun drills to improve skills. Close-toed shoes required. Ages 5 – 6 | Free | Drop in | Rockefeller Park |3:30 to 4:30 PM, 5-6 year olds, 4:30 to 5:30 PM, 7 & older
Picture Book Time: A librarian will read classic stories and new picture books. All ages. | Free | 4 p.m.
EVERY MONDAY UNTIL 10/27
HUDSON RIVER PARK Pier 25 at North Moore, hudsonriverpark.org/events/river-rangers-2014 River Rangers: Hudson River Park offers budding scientists an opportunity to learn more about the great outdoors. Hudson River Park’s environmental educators bring the opportunity to observe and explore through discovery-based science experiments and nature-inspired crafts. Hands-on learning and play activities for kids will vary from week to week and will include touch tanks, puzzles, science experiments and more. Ages 3 – 9 | Free | 2-3:30 p.m. HUNGRY MARCH BAND CONCERT South Street Seaport southstreetseaport.com/events/ Celebrating over 15 years of bringing live musical spectacle to the people of New York City and beyond is Hungry March Band, a brass, percussion, and performance ensemble. HMB has shared their creativity with audiences around the United States, South America, and Europe, where they’ve been embraced by a longstanding community of brass bands. A unique sonic voice has emerged from the recording of their four self-released albums—one that melds their musical knowledge of big band, traditional, and free jazz, with punk rock and global brass influences. All ages | Free | 4 p.m.-6 p.m.
TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 2 NEW YORK PUBLIC LIBRARY BATTERY PARK CITY BRANCH 175 North End Ave, 212-790-3499, nypl.org/locations/battery-park-city Baby Laptime for Pre-Walkers: Enjoy simple stories, lively songs DowntownExpress.com
EVERY TUESDAY AT 4 p.m.
BATTERY PARK CITY PARKS CONSERVANCY 212-267-9700, bpcparks.org Preschool Play: Interactive play on the lawn. Toys, books, and play equipment provided. Ages 4 and under | Free | Drop in | Wagner Park | 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. Soccer for Preschoolers and Elementary Schoolers: Have fun passing, shooting & dribbling! Parks programming leaders facilitate the fun. Everybody plays! Closed-toe shoes required. Free | Drop in | Nelson A. Rockefeller Park 2:30 – 3:15 p.m., 3-4 year olds 3:30 – 4:15 p.m., 5 to 7 year olds 4:30 – 5:30 p.m.,, 8 to 11 year olds EVERY TUESDAY THROUGH 10/28
WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 3 NEW YORK PUBLIC LIBRARY BATTERY PARK CITY BRANCH 175 North End Ave, 212-790-3499, nypl.org/locations/battery-park-city Toddler Story Time: A librarian will share lively picture books, finger plays, and action songs with toddlers and their caregivers. Ages 18-36 months | Free | 10:30 a.m. EVERY WEDNESDAY AT 10:30 a.m.
BATTERY PARK CITY PARKS CONSERVANCY Wagner Park, 212-267-9700, bpcparks.org Preschool Play: Interactive play on the lawn. Toys, books, and play equipment provided. Ages 4 and under | Free | Drop in | Wagner Park | 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. Wednesdays at Teardrop: Come enjoy lawn games and art projects. Art supplies provided. Ages 5 and up. | Free | Drop in | Teardrop Park | 3:30 – 5:30 p.m. EVERY WEDNESDAY UNTIL 10/29
Drop-in Chess: Play chess and get pointers from an expert. Ages 5 – 15 | Free | Drop in |
Photo courtesy of Hot Peas ’N Butter
Hot Peas ’N Butter will be performing at the South Street Seaport Sun., Aug. 31 at 2 p.m. as part of the KidAround Series.
Rockefeller Park | 3:30 – 5 p.m. EVERY WEDNESDAY UNTIL 10/24
#FIRSTWEDNESDAYS TWEEN BOOK CLUB MEETING Torly Kid, 51 Hudson Street torlykid.com/pages/happenings This month the club will be reading: Upside Down In the Middle of Nowhere by Julie T. Lamana. Children should attend the meeting after having read the monthly book. Discussion will be followed by projects and crafts. Email: email@example.com to register. Ages 7-14 years | $10 | 6-7 p.m.
THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 4 BATTERY PARK CITY PARKS CONSERVANCY Preschool Art: See 8/28
planting. All ages | Free | 10:00 a.m.
SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 7 HUDSON RIVER PARK Big City Fishing: See 8/31
MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 8 NEW YORK PUBLIC LIBRARY BATTERY PARK CITY BRANCH Baby Laptime for Pre-Walkers and Toddler Story Time: See 9/1 BATTERY PARK CITY PARKS CONSERVANCY Preschool Play and Children’s Basketball: See 9/1
TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 9
NEW YORK PUBLIC LIBRARY BATTERY PARK CITY BRANCH Baby Laptime for Pre-Walkers and CRAFTernoon: See 8/28
NEW YORK PUBLIC LIBRARY BATTERY PARK CITY BRANCH Baby Laptime for Pre-Walkers and Picture Book Time: See 9/2
SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 6
BATTERY PARK CITY PARKS CONSERVANCY Preschool Play and Soccer for Preschoolers and Elementary Schoolers: See 9/2
NEW YORK PUBLIC LIBRARY BATTERY PARK CITY BRANCH Greenwich Street, between Chambers and Duane, 212-7903499, nypl.org/locations/batterypark-city Storytime at Tribeca Saturday Greenmarket: Librarian Lauren will be have a special story time at the Saturday Greenmarket at Washington Market Park. She’ll be close to the park entrance. Join her for songs and stories about farming and
WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 10 NEW YORK PUBLIC LIBRARY BATTERY PARK CITY BRANCH Toddler Story Time: See 9/3 BATTERY PARK CITY PARKS CONSERVANCY Preschool Play, Wednesdays at Teardrop and Drop-in Chess: See 9/3 August 28-September 10, 2014
You’ll drink to that
Boozy Fringe hit will belly up for another round of performances THE IMBIBLE: A SPIRITED HISTORY OF DRINKING A FringeNYC ENCORE SERIES PRESENTATION Written by Anthony Caporale Directed by Nicole DiMattei Runtime: 90 min 21+ only Fri., Sept. 5, 12, 19 & 26 at 8 p.m At SoHo Playhouse • 15 Vandam St. (btw. Varick & Ave. of the Americas) Tickets: $18 Reservations: 212-352-3101 Or fringenyc-encoreseries.com
BY LIZ RICHARDS “More fringe shows should include a cocktail,” I told a friend the week before seeing “The Imbible” during its recent FringeNYC run. This show greets you in the lobby with one, a mixed drink of the playwright’s own invention called a Rusty Ale: India Pale Ale with a shot of Drambuie (one of the show’s sponsors). An unusual choice, but it’s a nice way to introduce the first scene of the play, on the chemical reactions of yeast and sugar and how fermented bacterial waste becomes the beer we enjoy today. It’s a lot of science very fast — but at this point, you’re still on drink #1. Anthony Caporale, the playwright and lead bartender for the evening, covers 10,000 years of cocktail culture, from the discovery of yeast to the modern-day “Disneyfied” speakeasy one can find every three blocks in New York. The history lesson also spans the globe, with stops in India, Egypt and
August 28-September 10, 2014
Photo by Dixie Sheridan
L to R: Ruthellen Cheney, Nicole DiMattei, Anthony Caporale and Ariel Estrada.
England, all with corresponding musical interludes. He knows his stuff, too. As the Director of Beverage Studies at the Institute of Culinary Education, he’s given lectures at Google and the Manhattan Cocktail Classic. Plus, he’s a charming host: a little Alton Brown, a little Bill Nye and a little your goofy uncle. It’s easy to picture him chatting up patrons and solving their problems from behind the bar. He’s backed by a trio of actor-bartenders (of course) who sing, dance and even assemble a science project to accentuate his points. Though they’re mainly there to provide backup for Mr. Caporale, literally and figuratively (did I mention he also studied opera?), each manages to find a time to shine. Nicole DiMattei’s expressive face is a
joy to watch as a cavewoman discovering beer, and Ariel Estrada made me laugh with his enthusiasm for dear ol’ Ethyl (alcohol, that is). Ruthellen Cheney has a strong and seductive voice that shone during her solo of “The Streets in Cairo.” They all keep the show moving quickly and provide lots of visual interest. This show never turns into a dry lecture! We enjoyed two more significant drinks during this show (don’t worry, they’re small). An Old Fashioned, considered the first cocktail, leads into a discussion of invention of spirits and the difference between a cocktail and a mixed drink. A gin and tonic near the end of the show brought up what became my favorite part of the show, about the rise of cocktail culture, Prohibition, and how Americans relearned how to enjoy spirits
post-Prohibition. We hear a lot about Prohibition in American history, but the way it came about and then how the liquor industry came out of it afterwards was fascinating. “The Imbible” is a brisk and entertaining piece that will provide you with plenty of bar trivia — and really, who doesn’t need more of that? Liz Richards is a stage and event manager around NYC who, when not backstage, blogs about theater. Follow her on Twitter: @misslizrichards. For reviews of all 200 shows recently featured in The New York International Fringe Festival, visit the website founded and edited by our Downtown theater columnist, Martin Denton: nytheaternow.com/ Category/FringeNYCReviews/2014. DowntownExpress.com
Just Do Art
Photo by Jonathan Slaff
L-R: Phillip Christian, Loni Ackerman and Celia Schaefer, in “Voices of Swords.”
Photo courtesy of the artist
“Cello goddess” Maya Beiser performs music from her new album, “Uncovered,” on Sept. 4, at Le Poisson Rouge.
BY SCOTT STIFFLER
in Tompkins Square Park (E. Seventh St. & Ave. A), then at 2 p.m. on Sun., Sept. 14 at St. Marks Church (E. 10th St. at Second Ave.). For more info, visit theaterforthenewcity.net.
VOICES OF SWORDS Rapidly aging members of Generation X and their somewhat younger (but by not necessarily youthful) Gen Y counterparts might find that the subject matter of Kari Floren’s latest play cuts a little too close to the bone — but they’ll be better off considering its implications sooner rather than later. “Voices of Swords” tackles issues of duty and mortality, by exploring the shifting dynamic that happens when children must assume the caretaker role. That’s an obligation not exactly embraced by Kosey, who hires fortysomething Alexis to spend time with his independent but ailing mother, Olivia. A personal organizer by trade, Alexis has problems of her own to sort out (an emotionally distant daughter, a failed marriage). The strain of helping this new family while attending to her own causes Alexis to reveal an explosive truth that has been causing the titular battle raging inside her mind. Through Sept. 7. Mon.-Tues. at 7 p.m., Wed.-Fri. at 8 p.m., Sat. at 3 & 8 p.m. (no 8 p.m. on Aug. 30 or 7 p.m. on Sept. 1); 3 p.m. matinee added on Sun., Sept. 7. At Walkerspace (46 Walker St., btw. Broadway & Church). For tickets (49), call 212-352-3101 or visit voiceofswords.com. DowntownExpress.com
CELLIST MAYA BEISER
Photo by Jonathan Slaff
Theater for the New City’s summer street theater production comes back to the home neighborhood, on Sept. 7, 13 & 14.
EMERGENCY!!! (THE WORLD TAKES A SELFIE) If Nero had an iPhone and a Twitter account, his violin probably would have burned along with the rest of Rome. Flash forward to 2014, and society’s general level of distraction at the expense of what really matters has the potential to spell the end of our own empire — or even the world as we know it. Not so fast, says Theater for the New City’s Crystal Field, whose troupe of 30 street theater players have spent the month of August traversing all five boroughs performing an outdoor musical with a message.
“Emergency!!! (The World Takes A Selfie)” is unapologetic activism that lands satirical jabs at everything from our tech-obsessed society to corporate data mining to environmental destruction. Field’s family-friendly script, with a musical score Joseph Vernon Banks, moves as fast as its adrenaline junkie main character — an Emergency Medical Technician whose drive to put a cold compress on the problems of his fellow New Yorkers ends up going global. Free. At 2 p.m. on Sun., Sept. 7 in Washington Square Park (1 Wash. Sq. E.), then at 7 p.m. on Sat., Sept. 13
With praise comes pressure. The New Yorker has declared Maya Beiser to be a “cello goddess” — while a similarly impressed New York Magazine declared, “Beiser is not the sort of musician who zigzags around the planet playing catalog music for polite and sleepy audiences. She throws down the gauntlet in every program.” On Sept. 4, Beiser appears at Le Poisson Rouge to live up to the hype — by performing excerpts from her new album: “Uncovered” (with support from bassist Gyan Riley and drummer Matt Kilmer). Recently released on the Innova Records label, “Uncovered” is an album of classic rock, re-imagined and re-contextualized by Beiser as more than mere homages to the original versions by Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix, Pink Floyd, Nirvana, Janis Joplin, Howlin’ Wolf, King Crimson, Muddy Waters, and AC/DC. Thurs., Sept. 4, 7:30–8:30 p.m. at Le Poisson Rouge (158 Bleeker St., btw. Thompson & Sullivan Sts.). Tickets: $20 in advance, $25 day of. Standing: $15 advance, $20 day of. Call 212-5053474 or visit lprnyc.com. For info on the artist: mayabeiser.com. August 28-September 10, 2014
Looking to buy on the Upper East Side? BY LA U RE N PRI CE The Upper East Side’s Fifth Ave. mansions were once occupied by families named Carnegie, Whitney, Pulitzer, and Vanderbilt. In time, large but swanky apartment houses in the neighborhood bolstered the impression of old money, as did the Ivy-League-type private schools such as Chapin and Dalton. Locals and tourists alike cherish the area’s world-class museums and galleries, along with its easy access to Central Park and the East River Esplanade’s bikeways and walkways. This part of town also has bragging rights to the sophisticated couture of shops along Madison Avenue and, of course, to Bloomingdale’s. But the Upper East Side is about a lot more than just the carriage trade. The 92nd Street Y offers a democratic spirit of cultural and intellectual vitality. The Upper East Side is famous for its countless historic districts. Prime among them are: Carnegie Hill (86th to 96th Sts. between Lexington and the park); Henderson Place (a tiny gem tucked between 86th and 87th Sts. for half a block west from East End Ave.); Treadwell Farm (a swatch that runs from 61st to 62nd Sts.
between Second and Third Aves.), and Hardenburg/ Rhinelander (a group of row houses at Lexington and East 89th St.), that last a reminder that this part of the neighborhood — Yorkville — was long a hub of German immigration. Without doubt, the hottest neighborhood topic of conversation among locals today concerns the new Second Avenue subway. On the drawing boards since flapper dresses were all the rage, 65 percent of Phase One is complete (a tunnel that runs from 105th to 72nd Sts. and connects to another existing tunnel that travels to 63rd St. and Lexington). The line will initially run as an extension of the Q, with service set to begin by December 2016. The Metropolitan Transportation Authority reports that construction of new stations at 96th, 86th, and 72nd Sts. is progressing nicely, as is the retrofitting of the 63rd St. station. But those who wonder when the complete 8.5-mile stretch of tracks — from 125th St. to Hanover Square in Lower Manhattan — will go online better hold on to their hats. 2029! Family-sized pre-wars are every-
Photo courtesy of Douglas Elliman Development Marketing
An aerial view of the communal open-air penthouse at the SixtyFour at 300 East 64th Street.
where you look but the ones that run along Museum Mile on Fifth Ave. from 82nd to 105th Sts. and those with sweeping East River views along East End Ave. (79th to 90th Sts.) are highly sought after. One caveat, though. These buildings come with super strict board scrutiny. In addition to tony apartments along Fifth and East End Ave., Madison, Park, and Lexington Aves. are also top draws. Buyers seeking classic town-
houses lining genteel side streets will find plenty to choose from. Ditto for the latest and grandest new developments and blocks and blocks of postwar white brick buildings and walk-up mid-rises — with options for both buyers and renters. Lovers of bridge views should check out the brand new SixtyFour at 300 East 64th St. at Second Ave. Developed Continued on page 22
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Upper East Side properties Continued from page 20
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725 to 1,431. Spa-like bathrooms have soaking tubs, Kohler Caxton sinks, and marble vanities. The building showcases a communal open-air penthouse with four exposures for spectacular sightings of the Queensboro Bridge, the East River, and the Manhattan cityscape. This party area includes a table and bar, an outdoor grill, and custom designed lounge furniture.
Designed in 1950 by master architect Gordon Bunshaft from Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, the Manhattan House was designated a New York City landmark in 2007. On East 66th St. between Second and Third Aves., the building ranges from one- to five-bedroom units, including penthouses and tower residences that enjoy private outdoor space. Some units offer wood-burning fireplaces.
Square footage runs from 950 to 4,000-plus, and interiors include front-loading washer/ dryers. The 10,000-square-foot Manhattan Club includes a rooftop lounge, a catering kitchen, a library, landscaped terraces, a spa, and a Roto Studiodesigned playroom. Marketed by Corcoran Sunshine Marketing Group, prices currently start at $1.9 million.
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AUG 28, 2014 DOWNTOWNEXPRESS