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YOUR WEEKLY COMMUNITY NEWSPAPER SERVING CHELSEA, HUDSON YARDS & HELL’S KITCHEN

ALL FIREWORKED UP Independence Day was the right time to scan the night sky (see page 6 for more).

Photos by Christian Miles

© CHELSEA NOW 2017 | NYC COMMUNITY MEDIA, LLC, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

VOLUME 09, ISSUE 19 | JULY 6 – 12, 2017


Arrivederci, Il Bastardo? Owners Close Shop as a New Applicant Emerges BY WINNIE McCROY After mounting complaints and fines over years of unsanctioned behavior caused the State Liquor Authority (SLA) to revoke its liquor license, the Chelsea restaurant Il Bastardo has finally shuttered operations. But some local residents are concerned that its management company may be attempting to apply for a new permit at the same location, under a different name. For the past several years, Il Bastardo, an Italian restaurant at 191 Seventh Avenue between W. 21st and 22nd Sts. in Chelsea, has earned the ire of locals because of raucous weekend brunches that regularly pepper the immediate and surrounding area with noise and disorderly behavior, as well as the occasional violent incident requiring police intervention. On June 21, the restaurant company Mangaroni, LLC and owner Tarik Alam appeared before the SLA Full Board for a hearing, represented by attorney Thomas J. McCallen, Esq. The attorney told SLA Chairman Vincent S. Bradley that he had called to find out about earlier court proceedings during which the SLA imposed a $10,000 civil penalty on the restaurant, only to discover that the

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Chelsea Now file photo by Scott Stiffler

Rowdy revelers who once relieved themselves al fresco and used the curb as a couch no longer have Il Bastardo as a weekend destination for booze, brunch, and bad behavior.

business had surrendered their license and closed the restaurant. “They wanted to operate and fight [the charges], but that has changed,” McCallen explained, saying, “You wouldn’t wish enemies the debt that he

has, and right now he surrendered the premises in order to be released from his personal guarantee on the lease and $1.8M SBA Loan, and that $10,000 is going to go to getting release of personal guarantee with the landlord. I’m here

to have it all consolidated… I’m asking that they be modified and amended and merged.” McCallen attempted to get SLA to wipe the slate clean on Il Bastardo’s litany of offenses and fines, but was told that their conduct was “so atrocious” that the SLA would not dismiss the $10,000 fine, with Bradley telling them, “If it’s not paid by Friday, we’re sending out the revocation order.” With that option off the table, McCallen negotiated for an extension on the $10,000 payment, which Bradley was amenable to, saying, “A new letter is going out, saying that your counteroffer accepted is $10,000 and cancellation of your license, and everything will be merged into that. However length of time you had to pay last time, you’ll have on this, starting from the date you get the letter.” Chelsea Now reached out to McCallen at his office, and he confirmed that imposing fines on a closed business is “a normal thing for the SLA,” and that this final action should conclude all business at Il Bastardo. Some local residents were pleased to IL BASTARDO continued on p. 9

NYC Community Media


Photos courtesy Elegran Real Estate (elegran.com)

This Midtown West co-op at 347 W. 44th St. (Apt. 3FW) has one bedroom, one bathroom, and can be yours for $465,000.

Tenant or Resident? Report Crunches the ‘Rent or Own’ Numbers BY JACKSON CHEN Those interested in buying a home in Chelsea should expect to hunker down for at least a decade for their real estate investment to pay off, according to StreetEasy’s forecasts. According to a report released by StreetEasy (streeteasy.com) on June 22, people looking to buy a home in Chelsea would have to spend more than 13.7 years in residence before being less

than the costs of renting a comparable home. This year’s gauge, referred to as the “tipping point,” increased nearly four years from Chelsea’s 2016 tipping point of 9.83 years. The report added that Manhattan would take 7.7 years, compared to the city average of 5.6 years, before buying a home is a better investment than renting. “Buying a home is an incredibly personal decision that should be rooted in

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research and examining what makes sense for your fi nancial situation,” StreetEasy’s senior economist Grant Long said. “One key factor to consider is how long you plan to live in it. This timing can have a big impact on your ability to recoup the costs of buying a home.” Long explained that for residents who are not willing to spend more than the city average of more than five years,

renting was a more attractive financial choice. For those still looking into Chelsea, both the home and rental inventory dropped compared to the same period in May of last year, according to another StreetEasy report. The May 2017 numbers show there are 453 listed homes for sale RENT / OWN continued on p. 23

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Photos by Jackson Chen

Several police officers were commended for their work in Public Safety Service.

Chelsea Bombing Responders Among Honorees at 10th Precinct Awards Night BY JACKSON CHEN The 10th Precinct’s Annual Police Awards Dinner reserved the night of June 27 for honoring the officers that keep their community safe. The 10th Precinct, whose jurisdiction roughly stretches from W. 14th to 43rd Sts. between Seventh Ave. and the Hudson River, often collaborates with the campus police of the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) at 227

West 27th St. and the Penn South security personnel at 321 Eighth Ave. The officers’ resolve were put to test on the night of Sept. 17, 2016 with the Chelsea bombing at W. 23rd St. that injured more than 30 people. A second undetonated bomb was found on W. 27th St. in close proximity to the FIT campus. The efforts of Sergeant José Santiago and his officers led to the timely evacuation of the FIT campus near

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the second device, followed by a campus sweep for any possible additional threats. To honor their bravery and service in the face of a terrorist attack, the officers were awarded with a unit citation. “Because of the immediate actions by Sergeant Santiago and his fellow officers, members of the campus and the immediate area were kept safe from a potential tragedy,” their award citation read. Officer Mark Walters, who received awards for responding to the Chelsea bombing and for his five years of service, said he felt very appreciated by the honors.

“I feel very proud and indeed humbled for my long service award for being here for whatever incident is taking place and [making] myself available to the community,” Walters said. And while the majority of the awards for the police officers of the month related to arrests for gun possessions or grand larceny, Officer Maria Candres was awarded with the December 2016 Officer of the Month plaque due to her community service work. According to Detective Mike Petrillo, Candres was instrumental in helping out a young mother and her daughter who were living in less than ideal conditions. The officer visited the 17-year-old

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Awardees line up after they receive plaques for being the top cop for each month of the year. NYC Community Media


Our Perspective Across the U.S., Workers are Choosing a Union Voice By Stuart Appelbaum, President Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union, UFCW t our union, the RWDSU, we are seeing workers across the U.S. demand the respect and fair treatment all workers deserve. They are doing it by choosing a union voice, and they are doing it because now more than ever, workers need a union in their corner so they can build better lives for themselves and their families. In the South, where it is more difficult to be a union activist than anywhere else in the U.S., the RWDSU Mid-South Council recently celebrated reaching the remarkable milestone of 10,000 members, doubling their size in five years. The Mid-South Council just won union recognition and a first contract for workers at four Piggly Wiggly grocery stores in Alabama. And in Georgia, the RWDSU Southeast Council is celebrating a win for over 100 workers at a Nestle Foods distribution center. In New England, where the RWDSU represents hundreds of workers at Coca-Cola and Pepsi bottling plants, the union has won strong new contracts. And at Guitar Center stores in New York, Las Vegas, Chicago and Boston, workers are about to hold a ratification vote for their first union contract, which the dedicated worker activists there have for years fought for. No workplace is too big or too small for union representation, and there are no industries where workers can’t improve their jobs by joining a union. The RWDSU has welcomed workers at poultry plants and retail stores. And, the RWDSU represents workers in New York’s medical marijuana industry, as well as adult toy stores in New York City including Babeland, and thanks to their win at the end of June, Pleasure Chest. The dedication of union workers to winning a voice, the strong contracts they are proving they can negotiate, and the diverse field of industries represented shows that workers can win, even at a time when the playing field is stacked squarely against them and bosses will do whatever they can to keep unions out. Workers are proving that they don’t have to settle for lack of respect at work, and for an economy that sees workers fighting for scraps while the rich just get richer. Working people have had enough of being told they should just be happy to have a job, and that the wealth at the top will somehow magically trickle down to them if they just go along with low pay, poor benefits, and bosses that won’t listen to them or address their problems. They are fighting back against anti-union propaganda and intimidation. They are fighting back against professional unionbusters who spread lies and misinformation, and try to scare workers away from changing their jobs for the better. Workers are joining together and winning together, and the RWDSU stands with all of them.

A Miguel Acevedo, the president of the Fulton Houses Tenants’ Association, received an award for his work tying together the police force and the community.

mother and her two-year-old daughter around Christmas and discovered a sick child in a broken crib and a battered mattress. After Candres reached out to her superiors, she was able to secure a new crib and mattress for the family and continues to visit them on a regular basis. Finally, Miguel Acevedo, the president of Fulton Houses Tenants’ Association, was presented with the Rita Feldman Award given to officers or civilians for their exceptional community service and in remembrance of the community council’s former president, according to Petrillo. “The person we’re giving it to this year has gone above and beyond year after year for us,” Petrillo said. “We need some eyes on the street... that helps us with bridging the gap between police and community. This is the guy for us that does it all.” Acevedo, who hosts an annual event

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where police officers and residents can get together for an informal hangout at Fulton Houses, said he was surprised by the honoring. “It’s something I enjoy doing because I want the families that live in Fulton Houses to understand the police officers are human beings just like us,” Acevedo said. The 10th Precinct is located at 230 W. 20th St. (btw. Seventh & Eighth Aves.). Commander: Capt. Paul Lanot. Main number: 212-741-8211. Community Affairs: 212-741-8226. Crime Prevention: 212-741-8226. Domestic Violence: 212-741-8216. Youth Officer: 212-741-8211. Auxiliary Coordinator: 212-924-3377. Detective Squad: 212741-8245. The Community Council (on summer hiatus until Sept. 27) meets on the last Wed. of the month, 7pm, at the 10th Precinct or other locations to be announced. Follow them on Twitter: @ NYPD10Pct.

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The Skyline Looks Even Better With Special Effects

PHOTO ESSAY BY CHRISTIAN MILES Hunters Point South Park in Long Island City was the July 4 vantage point for photographer Christian Miles’ view of Manhattan, with credit for the creative lighting going to Macy’s.

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NYC Community Media


Elder Care

With July 22 Deadline, SAGE Scrambles to Restore Trans Seniors to Key Fed Survey BY PAUL SCHINDLER With less than a month left before the federal Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) closes the window on public comment, advocates for LGBTQ seniors are claiming partial victory against the Trump administration’s original plan to “erase” the community’s elders from an annual government survey of older Americans. According to Services and Advocacy for GLBT Elders, or SAGE, at the conclusion of a preliminary 60-day public comment period, the federal Administration on Aging, a unit of the Administration for Community Living within DHHS, published a revised survey format that restores a question about sexual orientation it originally proposed jettisoning. However, the agency is continuing with its plan to drop a separate question about gender identity. Under the Obama administration, the survey included questions on both sexual orientation and gender identity in 2014, 2015, and 2016. According to Michael Adams, SAGE’s CEO, the National Survey of Older Americans Act Participants is a critical tool for making the needs of older Americans known to legislators and other policymakers. In an interview with Gay City News (our sister publication) earlier this year when DHHS first proposed the elimination of both sexual orientation and gender identity from the survey, he said of the Obama policy of counting LGBTQ seniors, “The most important impact was in sending a message to federally-funded elder care providers that this was a segment that had to be served. We saw positive results as a consequence.” On June 30, Adams — a week after learning that the initial comment period resulted in DHHS reversing its intentions on surveying sexual orientation but not gender identity — told this newspaper, “We want to recognize that we won a significant victory here but we can’t let up. We don’t know if we can reverse them on transgender seniors but we have to fight like hell.” In April, when SAGE and other senior advocates first learned of DHHS’ intention to modify the survey, the group waged a dramatic public campaign NYC Community Media

Photo by Donna Aceto

The SAGE contingent in June 25’s Pride March in Manhattan emphasized the commitment to reverse the Trump administration’s plan to eliminate transgender elders from an annual survey of older Americans.

with the slogan: “TRUMP TO LGBT ELDERS: DROP DEAD,” playing off the famous Daily News front page castigating President Gerald Ford’s refusal to bail out New York City during the height of the 1970s fiscal crisis. SAGE also emphasized in its advertising, “We refuse to be invisible.” Directing concerned community members to its website at sageusa.org, the group reports that roughly 9,500 people offered comments to the federal government through a link provided there. In total, Adams said, roughly 15,000 people voiced their opposition to the elimination of sexual orientation and gender identity categories on the survey during the 60-day comment period. The public now has until July 22 to offer comment on the revised survey format, and SAGE will continue to direct those interested in voicing their views through its website. “What we have seen is that opposition and public comment can have an effect,” Adams said, noting that the opposition included leading expert voices in the aging community. Press scrutiny, he said, forced DHHS to justify its intentions, which Adams said are based on little more than “bigotry.” In response to a query from the Associated Press, he said, administration officials initially said the use of the sexual orientation and gender identity categories was simply a three-year pilot

program that was due to expire. When former DHHS officials who developed the questions contradicted

that assertion, the Trump administration responded that including the two categories imposed burdensome costs on state and local officials required to collect the information. That, in turn, Adams said, led officials around the country to come forward to say they found the information valuable and were not burdened in accumulating it. “Negative media attention forced them to explain,” Adams said of what DHHS officials faced over the past several months. “And then we could respond. The press smoked them out.” The controversy also caught the attention of Congress and led to bipartisan support for keeping both the sexual orientation and gender identity questions in the survey. Maine Republican Senator Susan Collins, who chairs the Special Committee on Aging, and the committee’s ranking Democrat, Bob SAGE continued on p. 15

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POLICE BLOTTER THEFT OF SERVICES: Ride along and run away Twin tales of fleeting passengers who put their feet to the concrete when the metal was taken off the petal stood out during our cursory perusal of potential blotter items during this week’s visit to the 10th Precinct. On Thurs., June 29 at around 10:50 p.m., the driver of a car service got much less than the tip he deserved, after shepherding a fare from MIDTOWN SOUTH PRECINCT Located at 357 W. 35th St. (btw. Eighth & Ninth Aves.). Inspector Russel J. Green, Commanding Officer. Call 212-239-9811. Community Affairs: 212-2399846. Crime Prevention: 212-2399846. Domestic Violence: 212239-9863. Youth Officer: 212239-9817. Auxiliary Coordinator: 212-239-9836. Detective Squad: 212-239-9856. The Community Council (on summer hiatus until Sept. 21) meets on the third Thurs. of the month, 7pm, at the New Yorker Hotel (481 Eighth Ave., btw. W. 34th & 35th Sts.). Visit midtownsouthcc.org.

far away to his final destination in the 600 block of W. 42nd St. The man cut and ran when presented with a bill for $775. A canvas of the area by responding officers yielded negative results. One day later (on Fri., June 30 at a little after 5 p.m.), the same scenario; this time, a driver took his passenger for a good faith spin from W. 38th St. to the 400 block of 12th Ave. Upon arrival, the driver repeatedly asked his cheapo charge for the cost of the ride — but the perp ignored him and left the scene without settling the $22.80 bill. THE 10th PRECINCT Located at 230 W. 20th St. (btw. Seventh & Eighth Aves.). Commander: Capt. Paul Lanot. Main number: 212-741-8211. Community Affairs: 212-7418226. Crime Prevention: 212741-8226. Domestic Violence: 212-741-8216. Youth Officer: 212741-8211. Auxiliary Coordinator: 212-924-3377. Detective Squad: 212-741-8245. The Community Council (on summer hiatus until Sept. 27) meets on the last Wed. of the month, 7pm, at the 10th Precinct or other locations to be announced.

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CRIMINAL POSSESSION: Dippy dope made a better door than window Put-upon pedestrians on the 400 block of W. 17th St. were forced to bob and weave around a disruptive “doobie brother� in the early morning hours of Sat., July 1. At around 4:20 a.m., officers observed a 25-year-old male alternately clogging the sidewalk and blocking entrance/exit to a building — all while smoking a marijuana cigarette. An additional amount of the illicit substance was later found on the moody “Mary Jane Guy.� What’s more, when approached, he became, according to police, “combative, loud, boisterous and did resist numerous orders to enter RMP [radio motor patrol vehicle].� The officers persisted, however, and an arrest was made.

PETIT LARCENY: Crime walks through an open door Parking while under the influence — of carelessness — cost a 64-year-old male not just his pride, but his personal mobile communication device, which THE 13th PRECINCT Located at 230 E. 21st St. (btw. Second & Third Aves.). Deputy Inspector: Brendan Timoney. Call 212-477-7411. Community Affairs: 212-477-7427. Crime Prevention: 212-477-7427. Domestic Violence: 212-477-3863. Youth Officer: 212477-7411. Auxiliary Coordinator: 212-477-4380. Detective Squad: 212-477-7444. The Community Council (on summer hiatus until Sept. 19) meets on the third Tues. of the month, 6:30pm, at the 13th Precinct.

is now on the move to parts unknown. The less-than-vigilant guy, who was running on empty in more ways than one, stopped at the BP gas station (466 Tenth Ave.) at around 6 p.m. on Sat., July 1. Popping into the store for a quick purchase, he left the doors of his vehicle (a 2015 Toyota Highlander) unlocked. A thief took advantage of that golden opportunity, and made off with the man’s iPhone, valued by the victim at $600. Management informed the police that cameras were set up at the location, but video could not be provided at the time of the report.

GRAND LARCENY: The old over-the-shoulder trick A 26-year-old Citi Bike customer is on the hook for $1,200 — the cash value of a bike — after a devil on her shoulder snuck a peek while she was making a purchase. At around 1:05 p.m. on Sat., July 1, as the woman recalled to police, she was using a Citi Bike machine on 10th Ave and W. 26th St. to obtain a 24-hour pass card. The person behind her (a lawflaunting youth identified in the report as simply being 13 years of age and five feet, four inches tall) saw the access number given to the woman, then ran to the docking station, punched in the code, and fled eastbound with a set of hot wheels. —Scott Stiffler CASH FOR GUNS $100 cash will be given (no questions asked) for each handgun, assault weapon or sawed-off shotgun, up to a maximum payment of $300. Guns are accepted at any Police Precinct, PSA or Transit District.

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IL BASTARDO continued from p. 2

hear of the closing, with Diane Nichols of the 20th Street Block Association penning a letter of gratitude to Community Board 4 (CB4) and elected officials Senator Brad Hoylman, City Councilmember Corey Johnson, and Assemblymember Richard Gottfried. “We were recently advised by Margarita Marsico, Esq., Associate General Counsel of the NYS Liquor Authority, that the club is now closed,” wrote Nichols. “My neighbors and I are delighted to stroll down the street and not be overrun by drunk and disorderly people. We were also lucky to have Bill Borock lead the way in the fight against Il Bastardo.” William Borock, President of the Council of Chelsea Block Associations (CCBA), has been very vocal in his disapproval of the restaurant’s method of operations, joining Nichols and others to testify before the SLA. He said he thought this had a big impact on the restaurant’s decision to give up the fight. “They knew community testifying was a problem. The commissioner had warned them to be prepared — and so with the fine and another hearing coming up, I think that’s what did it,” Borock said. “Then I was told that they were going to hand in their license, but that it was a conditional thing. That was in lieu of the new hearing coming up, but maybe they were concerned there would be more fines.” “The SLA revoked their liquor license so the businesses decided to close up. Unfortunately, operations must have crunched the numbers and recognized that with their mode of operation, liquor sales were the only way to stay in business,” said Jesse Bodine, District Manager of CB4. “It’s unfortunate this had to happen because of these longstanding issues brought to the owners and managers for years now,” Bodine said, speaking about the specific business model around weekend brunches that seemed to have caused a negative impact on the community, noticed not only by CB4 and the NYPD, but also the SLA. “For us, it goes back to the Board highlighting to the owners all these issues the community and these enforcing agencies had, and the Board feels it’s truly unfortunate this is the result. We would be more than happy to see a neighborhood-friendly, well-run, safe restaurant there,” Bodine added. Borock initially seemed pleased that the reign of Il Bastardo has ended, noting, “the curtains are drawn and people are taking things out of the building, and I’m told they’re giving up their NYC Community Media

Courtesy CCBA

A sign on the shuttered Il Bastardo gives notice of an application scheduled to go before CB4’s Business Licenses and Permits Committee on July 11.

license.” But the question on his mind is, what comes there next? “We don’t want Il Bastardo 2 coming there. Because it’s such a large building, I would suggest to the landlord building a wall and making it into two smaller places. That way they wouldn’t have to deal with finding some other place who wants to put another club there as a venue,” Borock suggested. Although CB4 has a very limited involvement and scope in the small businesses that come to their district, Bodine said they work hard to promote their success, holding monthly office hours to teach small business owners solutions like how to train staff or how to negotiate a commercial lease. He even noted that an Il Bastardo manager attended one of these workshops in the past. Bodine said CB4 wanted to educate, inform, and welcome small businesses, in the hopes they will succeed. “No one had a desire to see Il Bastardo close. We wanted it to be a neighborhood-friendly restaurant. And I think for a certain amount of time they were; at least during the week, if not necessarily during the weekends,” Bodine said. “We want business and commerce, and of course we want to see a business there that is successful, and we will be as helpful as possible to it. But I think we can be smart about it, going forward.” Whatever tenant or group decides to occupy the space, they have every right to design whatever business model

makes sense to them, Bodine added. But these situations are a unique way to learn from the past, he noted, saying that it would behoove the new business

owners — be it partially old ownership or a whole new tenant — to take a page from history and know what’s not going to work. “We hope whoever takes over that space and eventually applies for a liquor license recognizes the best route to go forward,” Bodine said. “The size is a significant issue, but it’s a perfect chance to design a plan that’s going to be beneficial in the long term.” But the community is already rallying to ensure that “Il Bastardo 2” doesn’t return. Borock took a look at the Public Notice posted on the closed restaurant, and saw that the person applying for a new liquor license and sidewalk cafe was Kristin Sollenne. Other CCBA members and associates noted that Sollenne had been involved with Bocca di Bacco restaurant on Ninth Ave. and W. 20th St. (which is also owned by Mangaroni, LLC), and that Sollenne was actually married to Bocca di Bacco owner Robert Malta. Borock is now urging residents of Chelsea and Hell’s Kitchen to come out to CB4’s Business Licenses and Permits Committee meeting at 6:30 p.m. on Tues., July 11 on the 4th floor at Yotel New York (570 10th Ave., at W. 42nd St.) to “make sure Il Bastardo, or something similar to it, does not come back to our community again.”

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July 6, 2017

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TALKING POINT Our Community Cannot Afford the Cost of ‘High-Rent Blight’

Photos by Scott Stiffler

Left: The storefront at 192 Eighth Ave. (btw. W. 19th & 20th Sts.) has been vacant since gay lifestyle mecca Rainbows & Triangles closed in 2014, after 20 years in business. At right, the store during its final days.

BY STATE SENATOR BRAD HOYLMAN The market has no morals. A better example of this maxim couldn’t be found than on our local avenues and side streets, where independent businesses are falling like dominoes, forced out because of rising rents. Once they’re gone, these spaces might be fi lled by a national chain — maybe a bank or a drugstore — but often they remain vacant, sometimes for years. I continually hear concerns about this phenomenon, known as “highrent blight,” from neighbors who are concerned about the availability of local goods and services, and the negative impact empty storefronts have on a neighborhood, not to mention the loss of treasured independent establishments, like bookstores and restaurants. My new report, “Bleaker on Bleecker: A Snapshot of High-Rent Blight in Greenwich Village and Chelsea,” examines this vexing problem. Using data collected through surveys across major commercial hubs, the report found a storefront vacancy rate as high as 6.52 percent along Eighth Avenue from 15th to 22nd Sts. and an even more alarming 10.87 percent storefront turnover rate over the last 12 months. The alarming vacancy and turnover rates on Eighth Avenue in Chelsea are apparent to anybody who has walked down the street in recent months.

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“For Rent” signs hang in windows while chains and pharmacies occupy vast swaths of real estate once home to legacy businesses. In fact, between 2010 and 2013 alone, nine small businesses vanished from Chelsea. A trend has emerged: landlords, in the pursuit of higher and more reliable rents, don’t renew the lease of longtime businesses. They then keep the space vacant, holding out for the payout of a long-term lease from luxury retail or corporate chain, which can take months, or even years. The result is a glut of empty storefronts or chain stores and high-end national retailers, to the detriment of local small businesses. For years, the blog “Jeremiah’s Vanishing New York” has chronicled these changes across New York, taking stock of the disappearance of longtime businesses like Florent (24 years in operation), Skyline Books (20 years in operation) and Rawhide (34 years in operation). Similarly, The New York Times has continually reported on the plight of Chelsea’s small business community as they grapple with exploding rents and yawning inequality. Some real estate analysts insist that higher rents are simply the natural outgrowth of a strong retail market or that the recent spate of closings along Eighth Avenue and elsewhere is due to new pressures from Amazon and other online retailers. Both could be

true. That doesn’t mean a community shouldn’t try to do something to save the “mom-and-pops.” Self-concern should be a motivating factor. Studies show chain stores are far less likely than their local counterparts to keep profits in the community. One study found that only about 13.6 percent of revenue from national chains is reinvested back into the local economy, compared to 47.7 percent from locally owned businesses. I’ve suggested a number of strategies to address high-rent blight and preserve our independent businesses. The major ones include: • Creating a Legacy Business Registry that would track and maintain a list of small businesses that have been in operation for at least 30 years. This would enable the State to recognize important businesses and possibly provide them and their landlords with historic preservation tax credits and other incentives. • Passing legislation that would allow the city to implement formula retail zoning restrictions. Under such a plan, local communities would get a say on the number of formula retail stores opening in their neighborhood. • Phasing out deductions for depreciation of property and operating expenses for building owners who

leave retail spaces vacant over a year. • Eliminating the Commercial Rent Tax (CRT) for small businesses. The CRT is an onerous and outdated burden on commercial tenants below 96th St. in Manhattan. The City Council is poised to act on reducing this tax under the leadership of Councilmember Dan Garodnick, but the State should act, as well. • Requiring the city to collect and publish data on commercial vacancy rates. Currently, this information is not available to the public. We need to get a handle on the extent of this problem citywide. As the expression goes, you can’t manage what you don’t measure. Short of commercial rent control, which faces steep hurdles in both Albany and the city, we can take steps to reign in the rapacious market forces in our local real estate market to protect small businesses and defend the character of our neighborhoods. I’ll soon be introducing legislation based on the ideas in this report. In the meantime, I’d be interested to hear your views on this important issue at hoylman@nysenate.gov. Brad Hoylman is state senator, 27th District (Greenwich Village, East Village, Lower East Side, Stuyvesant Town, Chelsea, Hell’s Kitchen, Upper West Side). NYC Community Media


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Photo by Donna Aceto

SAGE’s Michael Adams at the June 16 Pride Rally in Foley Square. SAGE continued from p. 7

Casey of Pennsylvania, got 17 of their colleagues to sign on to a letter opposing the DHHS plan to forgo questions about sexual orientation and gender identity. In an email circulated to SAGE supporters this past week, Adams pledged, “Over these 30 days, SAGE intends to fight as aggressively against the erasure of trans elders as we fought against the erasure of LGBT elders. We will not rest until all of our community’s elders are counted, included, and supported. Thousands of voices of opposition forced the Trump Administration to back down on LGB elder erasure; thousands more will be needed to force them to back down on trans erasure.” Once DHHS makes it final determination on the specifics of the annual senior survey, it must get approval from

the White House Office of Management and Budget. In discussing the specifics of why the Obama administration’s inclusion of the LGBTQ community in that survey was so significant, Adams told Gay City News, “We saw state offices on aging and area offices on aging stepping up and doing needs assessment and designing programs to serve our community. Of course not everywhere, but in a growing number of places including in places we wouldn’t have expected.” Noting that the federal government is the largest funder of elder services across the nation, he added, “Our fear is that this disregard will cascade down to state and local governments.” For more information on SAGE’s efforts to forestall the elimination of transgender seniors from the federal government’s annual survey, visit sageusa.org.

THE LOFT at the DAVENPORT THEATRE 354 W 45th St (btw 8th & 9th Ave)

telecharge.com · 212-239-6200 afterglowtheplay.com Courtesy sageusa.org

SAGE’s April campaign to block the federal Administration on Aging from deleting the LGBTQ community from its annual survey.

NYC Community Media

 July 6, 2017

15


A Strong Slate of Strained Relations 2017’s NY Asian Film Festival is mindful of family matters BY SCOTT STIFFLER Bullets fly and swords are wielded in plenty of the crowd-pleasing, kinetic selections at 2017’s New York Asian Film Festival — but its deepest cuts come from the sharp tongues of those who know us best. Uneasy questions and murky answers about what makes, breaks, and heals a family are front and center in a number of outstanding selections this year, the first of which possesses numerous strengths independent of the queer content that garnered accolades after screenings in Berlin and its native Japan. Pining for a parent with nurturing instincts is the day-to-day routine of 11-year-old Tomo, a sullen latchkey kid beginning to wrestle with her own complicity in acts of petty prejudice inflicted upon a friendless classmate and a new ally from the adult world. Stung once again by a mother who responds to the pressures of single parenthood by giving herself to booze, men, and long periods of absence, Tomo arrives at the workplace of Uncle Makio, who takes her in — with a word of caution before they arrive at his door. Makio now resides with Rinko, a transgender woman with intriguingly firm breasts, a yearning for domestic bliss, and a maternal sense of how to pass along her use of needles and yarn as a purification system for toxic emotions (hence the means-what-it-says title: “Close-Knit”). Corners, closets, benches, and walls get a thorough workout as artfully framed go-to places of retreat and resolve in this latest entry from Naoko Ogigami, a writer and director whose comedic body of work has long placed her female characters in unfamiliar environments. This time, however, the strangers in a strange land aren’t tasked with running a new business in Helsinki (2006’s “Kamome Diner”) or plopped down on an island full of eccentrics (2007’s “Glasses”) — they’re beside us at school, in supermarket aisles, and at the dinner table, which makes the resulting culture clashes more sinister than quirky. Rinko, still negotiating her romantic relationship as well as a linger-

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© 2017 “Close-Knit” Film Partners

We are family: A trio bonds with the help of needles and yarn, in “Close-Knit.”

ing connection to a certain part of the male anatomy, suffers the most from this disparity. Effectively underplayed by pretty boy hetero heartthrob Toma Ikuta, audiences accustomed to a steady diet of transgender characters presented as outlandishly sassy, highly sexualized, or damaged beyond repair will be tempted to interpret frumpily dressed Rinko’s stoicism as a weakness — but the character’s restraint in the face of multiple indignities, and her glacial progress at bonding with Tomo, has a cleverly orchestrated effect on the impatient viewer: mounting outrage at how those with obvious differences are pushed to the margins, when they have every right to equal footing. During her early days of cohabitation with the couple, Rinko’s mother takes Tomo out to a restaurant and lets her know, with gangster-like intimi-

dation, that nobody messes with her daughter. (Note: every time she refers to her child in the feminine sense, quote marks are absent from both subtitle and tone of delivery.) Sadly, this seemingly enlightened cisgender woman — who proudly recalls buying pre-teen Rinko a bra — delivers the film’s most hurtful comment, made all the more brutal because she believes it to be a declaration of support. The fi lm is swimming in such moments, where cutting observations and powerful declaratives are intertwined, such as when, in the flip side of that restaurant scene, Uncle Makio (Kenta Kiritani) tells his niece the why, when, and how of falling in unconditional love with Rinko. Tomo (Rinka Kakihara) also takes a stand for something far beyond mere tolerance by visiting the gay classmate she

once snubbed, determined to validate his worth and push him toward selfacceptance. Guard down and chin up seems to be the best any given character in “CloseKnit” can offer to another or muster for themselves. Screenwriter Ogigami’s words, soft as yarn but tightly wound, make a convincing case that decency and determination are the only virtues powerful enough to move us forward. Sat., July 8, 8pm (Q&A with the director follows the screening). Japanese with English subtitles. 127 minutes. Elsewhere in the festival, “Mad World” refers to the inhospitable zone beyond the psychiatric rehabilitation facility that discharges former investment banker Tung (Shawn Yue), one year after a breakdown triggered by NYAFF continued on p. 18 NYC Community Media


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NYAFF continued from p. 16

his stint as abused caretaker to his late mother. The transition is further complicated by his new roommate: the father whose abandonment contributed to his current mental state. Eric Tsang co-stars as the surviving parent, and will attend the film’s July 12 screening for a Q&A alongside director Wong Chun and screenwriter Florence Chan (Tsang also receives the festival’s 2017 Star Hong Kong Lifetime Achievement Award). On July 9, “Someone to Talk To” finds two couples at a government registration office; one filing for marriage, the other for divorce. Ten years later, their love/hate statu has shifted — and the older sister of husband Aiguo (Mao Hai) announces her determination to marry. Tisch School of the Arts graduate Liu Yulin’s debut feature has its own connection to family: a screenplay written by her father, Liu Zhenyun, based on his 2008 novel, “One Sentence Is Ten Thousand Sentences.” Drawing from the deep well of fiction that tells us you can only go home again by getting knocked on the noggin, lapsing into a coma, and learning a valuable lesson, “Duckweed” does its “Wizard of Oz” quest thing very well, but also manages to spread a thick layer of subversive melancholy atop the save-my-parents/save-myself prime directive of “Back to the Future.” The result is an often light but consistently challenging rumination on destiny that refuses to shave the bittersweet edges off its arrogant antihero’s bid for redemption. It’s 2022, and gifted rally driver Tailang (Deng Chao) caps his victory with a venomous and very public criticism of Zhengtai (Eddie Peng), the father who refused to support his dreams. In a slow-motion crash sequence as bold as the rest of the film is restrained, Tailang’s car meets the business end of a speeding train and he wakes up back in 1998, the year before he was born. Rather than concern itself with the mechanics of time travel that made this possible, “Duckweed” gets right down to the serious business of ambition, interpersonal dynamics, and fatal flaws — groundwork that’s nicely established in a scene where Tailang is rescued from a skirmish by his shockingly spry and charismatic father, an entrepreneurial gang leader with terrible business instincts and the wrong taste in women. It seems Zhengtai has a fiancé whose maiden name is not that of the mother who must give birth before dad is sent to prison for six years, only to emerge as the twisted

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July 6, 2017

Courtesy China Lion Film Distribution, Inc.

It’s a nice day for the right wedding: “Duckweed” sends an arrogant son back in time to make sure his parents get hitched.

© 2016 Entertaining Power Company

Sanitation workers also serve as a secret force tasked with sweeping Hong Kong’s bloodsuckers under the rug, in “Vampire Cleanup Department.”

tormenter responsible for turning his now-motherless boy into the ungrateful heel of 2022. For the tail end of the ’90s, though, the trio become fast friends while the Tailang goes all out to ensure his very existence. What makes “Duckweed” so engaging has very little to do with how the future version of an unborn son maneuvers the right people to the altar. That’s enjoyable enough, yes; but its real appeal is rooted in the slight advantage director Han Han gives the audience over the main character. We’re always one step ahead when it comes to realizing that despite Tailang’s knowledge of impending events and his slowly

emerging sense of empathy, some lives will be lost and others will be damaged; perhaps beyond repair. Waking up in the present to find his timeworn father at the hospital bedside, a tender moment of recognition between them provides a bit of hope, but stops short of delivering the brand of dewy kinship that made Dorothy Gale and Marty McFly’s homecoming such a pleasure to watch. That narrative choice is difficult to digest, but it sure does stick to the ribs. Sat., July 15, 12:30pm. Mandarin with English subtitles. 101 minutes. An anomaly relative to the more somber entries in this roundup, “Vampire

Cleanup Department” never drops the ball in its desire to juggle gore and genealogy. Like the kindhearted teen whose newfound immunity to supernatural toxins gives him an edge in the fight against evil, “VCD” is a zippy hybrid with an unusual blood type coursing through the veins of its franchise-friendly mythology: Deep beneath a seemingly mundane garbage collection station, civil servants who sweep the streets by day spend their nights answering the call to keep Hong Kong’s robust population of undead in check. NYAFF continued on p. 23 NYC Community Media


Photo by Cilla Villanueva

Chris Harcum and Marisol Rosa-Shapiro as Martin and Rochelle Denton.

Thank You, Thank You, Martin Denton, Martin Denton Indie theatre’s faithful friend gets a show of support BY TRAV S.D. From 1997 through 2014 the New York theatre community, in particular its independent theatre, had an amazing life raft. A pioneering Internet entrepreneur and theatre-lover named Martin Denton, aided and abetted by his mother, Rochelle, wrote, published, edited, coded, and promoted the website nytheatre.com, which featured thousands of reviews, listings, blogs, interviews, and podcasts about the New York theatre scene. Over those 17 years the Dentons touched thousands of people’s lives: artists, audience members, arts administrators, journalists — everyone who cared about New York theatre. But they’d never BEEN theatre themselves. July 6-23, NYC-based indie theatre and film company Elephant Run District will present “Martin Denton, Martin Denton” at the Kraine Theater. The brainchild of writer and actor Chris Harcum, who plays Denton and numerous other roles, the show is directed by Aimee Todoroff and co-stars Marisol Rosa-Shapiro, who plays Rochelle, et al. Said Todoroff: “Chris and I were having dinner with Martin and Rochelle in their new digs in Asbury Park, NJ. Martin was on a tear, telling these great stories one after the other, and Chris said, ‘Someone should do a show about this.’ NYC Community Media

Martin said, ‘Who would play me? You?’ We all laughed, but the seed was planted. The next thing we know, we’re booked into the Kraine for July, and Chris is spending his weekends train-hopping between New York City and New Jersey to record interviews with Martin. One thing of note; the name of the play, ‘Martin Denton, Martin Denton,’ came about because Chris wanted to force people to say Martin’s name and remember it!” Harcum concurred, underlining the pivotal importance of the Dentons: “They have done so much for indie theater and changed the game in terms of arts coverage. In his time, Martin wrote and edited a combined total of over 10,000 reviews, published around 2,000 plays, plus hundreds of podcasts, and thousands of blog posts. He gave attention and appreciation to many artists early on, including Taylor Mac. As crazy and spread out as everything has been, the Dentons pulled things together. They worked round the clock nearly every day of the year.” To gather material for the piece, Harcum made three trips to the Dentons New Jersey apartment to interview them, resulting in over 400 pages of transcripts, which then had to be condensed, digested, fact checked, and placed in chronological order, with Denton himself acting

as the dramaturge. As for being turned into a piece of theatre himself, Denton is disarmed: “It has been one of the strangest experiences in my life; becoming someone else’s idea of who I am. I think Chris has been doing a very respectful job in writing these versions of myself and Rochelle; and that he and Marisol and Aimee are likewise doing a very respectful job bringing these versions to life on stage. But it’s kinda surreal for me because no matter what, it’s not the actual us! I am getting a real appreciation for how any public figure must feel when they are the subject of any kind of written or artistic portrayal. It’s untethering.” Longtime theatre fans are bound to be curious, for the piece chronicles Denton’s entire life story — from his childhood love for theatre to that moment when, as an accountant for the Marriott hotel chain, he started his site as an experimental whim… which then became the entire focus of his life… which then became the informational hub for thousands of theatre lovers and practitioners and the soul of a movement… to the moment when both he and the Internet environment had changed, and the Dentons altered the focus to play publishing, blogging, and the creation of an archive, all to be found at the current site indietheaternow.com.

Playing Denton, said Harcum, has been “a real marathon for me. It’s much more of a challenge than I expected. I am trying to give a three-dimensional portrayal of him. More like Frank Langella’s Nixon than Rich Little’s, if that means anything. Impressions are good for a shorter sketch comedy piece but I think they wear thin once you get the joke. So I needed to make choices I could sustain through this. I bring a lot of myself to it. … At a certain point, I had to stop thinking like a playwright and think more like an actor picking up a script from someone else.” As to the meaning of all this? “I just hope audiences will get an appreciation of the life and work of someone who truly loved the theater,” Harcum said. “At the end of the day, this is a story of someone falling in love with something, having a deep and intense relationship, and then having to let go a little in the end. I think artists will understand what this is like, and aficionados will also get this on a meaningful level.” July 6-23 at The Kraine Theater (85 E. Fourth St., btw. Bowery & Second Ave.). Thurs.-Sat. at 7pm; Sun. at 2pm. For tickets ($25, $20 for students/seniors), visit horsetrade.info. 90 minutes, no intermission. Also visit elephantrundistrict.org. July 6, 2017

19


Rhymes with Crazy

The Meter is Running Out on Cars BY LENORE SKENAZY What if you could rent a place to store a giant pile of your stuff in New York City for free? The bad news is you can. If you own a car, you can park it on the street in many neighborhoods without paying a cent. All you have to do is move it once or twice a week. Of course, that seems totally normal — but maybe it shouldn’t. As Paul Steely White, executive director of the non-profit Transportation Alternatives, points out that streets are actually public space. We think they’re a place for cars to drive and sit (mostly sit), because that is what we’ve gotten used to. His goal is to get us all to think differently. To that end, his group sponsored a night at the Museum of the City of New York last week called “Streetopia.” Hundreds of people visited three floors of exhibits, all showcasing ways to reclaim the city from automobile dominance, like Barcelona’s “Superblocks.” Choked by traffic, that Spanish city is creating small neighborhoods of about three square blocks and allowing cars to drive only around the perimeter. The chunk of blocks becomes a community — kids can play in the streets again, bicyclists don’t fear cars — while the amount of air and noise pollution plummets.

Another exhibit featured the winners of a contest for how to deal with transit on 14th St. when the L train goes out of service for a year. One idea: Get cars off the block and have buses run every minute. But the starkest, most perspectivechanging exhibit was simply time-lapse footage of a corner of E. 22nd St. where a Citi Bike rack sits across from some on-street parking. Over the course of a single day you see people swarming the bike rack, taking bikes out, bringing them back. For a while, almost all the bikes are gone, then the rack fills up again, then off they go. And across the street, taking up twice as much space as the rack, are two cars, just sitting there, parked all day. You start to realize how much space we have simply ceded to cars, and what a waste that is. “Parking is a finite public resource,”

says White. That space that we think of as the-place-cars-have-a-right-to-sitall-day could be used differently. It could be used to expand the sidewalk, or make a bike lane. It could be given over to buses. It could become space for businesses to open up cafes or kiosks — and pay taxes on the land. Or it could be planted with grass and turned into a playground. We think of it as “parking” only because we believe that cars have the right to it. But in fact, the majority of New Yorkers don’t own cars. Why must we sacrifice public land to the minority, for free — especially since studies have shown that 90 percent of people who drive to their Manhattan jobs could get there by public transit? “For too long the vast majority of New York City’s public space has been dedicated to the convenience of drivers and the storage of cars. The small spaces carved out for pedestrians — crosswalks, sidewalks — leave the public at the mercy of drivers,” says White. I was talking to a car-owning friend about this, and he said that free parking is no different from free education. Some people don’t own cars, some people don’t have kids. Our taxes pay for schools and on-the-street parking anyway. But streets are not like schools. Streets are public land that we are giv-

ing away. Would we let a private citizen build a house in Central Park? Of course not, because we recognize the park as something that belongs to all of us. It is time to think of our streets that way. So then: How do we wrest them back from the car owners? Some alternatives that have been tried elsewhere are working. London charges a giant premium to drive into its business district, and as a result, traffic (and parking) are down, but commerce is not. Each summer, Paris turns some of its roadways into “beaches,” complete with sand and palm trees. Somehow the Citroëns survive. Los Angeles raised its parking meter fees with the predictable result of cars parking for less time. That means cars are circling for less time, too. Here in New York, one simple idea is to start charging for all street parking, and give the money to the MTA. Most of us would cheer. “Streets can be designed for either cars or people, but not both at once,” White said. It is time to stop giving away New York City’s precious public land. Lenore Skenazy is a keynote speaker, founder of the blog Free-Range Kids (freerangekids.com), and author of “Has the World Gone Skenazy?”

Extra! Extra! Local News Read all about it! 20

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Drawn to Many Directions: The Mark Beard Effect BY GERALD BUSBY When Abercrombie & Fitch opened the doors of its flagship store on Fifth Avenue in 2005, screaming teenagers rushed into the perfectly lit sales rooms. T-shirts and jeans were displayed in flawlessly neat rows on tables near the walls covered with artist Mark Beard’s murals of partly dressed young men in a locker room. The scene was unabashedly homoerotic, and the young customers started trying on clothes as their friends watched. They became part of the mural. Mark was born in Utah and spent formative years in England. He learned good manners and how to draw. Drawing became the foundation of his art. One of the fi rst things he did when he got his loft on W. 27th St. in the early ’80s was buy easels and start a life-drawing class. His students would take turns modeling nude for the rest of the class. It worked like a charm and still does. The class meets every Thursday evening, now in Mark’s spacious studio on W. 38th St. From the very beginning of his career, Mark has thrown memorable parties, and his Christmas party, still happening annually, is his most successful. It’s not unusual for 400 people to show up. Every guest brings an ornament for the 10-foot tree in the center of the room, and wine flows freely at the bar, staffed by attractive dancers. An enormous pot of jambalaya feeds the guests a stand-up buffet. Gay and straight men and women of all ages and degrees of success happily mix, elbow to elbow, as they eat from paper plates. Large paintings of Mark’s iconic young men, dressing to do something athletic, line the walls of the studio. There’s even a bronze statue to stand next to for a selfie. Thanksgiving dinner at Mark’s studio has, for over 30 years, been a special kind of gathering. Artists Mark has known and worked with NYC Community Media

Photo courtesy the artist

Mark Beard in Waterbury, CT, at the 2013 Mattatuck Museum exhibition of his work as imaginary great-uncle Bruce Sargeant (1898-1938).

Courtesy the artist

Bruce Sargeant’s “Lost Profile in Three Quarter” (1998. Oil on canvas, 12 x 10 in.).

since he was young sit like happy children at designated places around the festive holiday table. Actors Lola Pashalinski and BlackEyed Susan, from the late Charles Ludlam’s Ridiculous Theatrical Company, are there. So is Michael Feingold, drama critic for decades with the Village Voice. His literate opinions and observations about plays and other shows running in New York are always a delight because of his wry and cryptic way of speaking. Just before dessert, Mark stands and interrupts the lively chatter to say, “On the count of three, everyone say what they’re grateful for!” “Money” is usually the loudest declaration of gratitude, and it often comes from Mark himself. Mark improvises within a

broad range of social skills, artistic creations, and intimate connections with others. It’s no surprise his work is in the collections of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, MoMA, and the Whitney, as well as major museums in Europe. Ever since I’ve known him, almost 40 years, Mark has created characters with imposing names like Bruce Sargeant, Edith Thayer Cromwell, and Brechtholdt Streeruwitz, who work in styles distinct from his own. He’s written extensive biographies of each character, and features them, as his alter egos, in gallery exhibitions. Mark, as himself, also produces every now and then a painting that seems to emerge with quiet elegance from his other prodigious output. It’s often a portrait of a friend, a fellow artist, or a lover who died of AIDS. These singular, indelible works are audaciously sincere and emotionally gripping. Mark’s great-grandfather, George Beard, immigrated in the late 19th century from England to Utah as a Mormon convert, and became involved in politics when Utah emerged as a state in 1896. In Mormon history, he’s referred to as a “Mormon pioneer artist” for his landscape paintings. He helped design the Utah state seal and named lakes and mountains in the roadless wilderness of the Uinta Mountains. He was influenced by Thomas Moran, whose photographs of Utah’s panoramic beauty are famous. It was with photography that George Beard made a larger name for himself. His platinum prints and glass negatives are in the Smithsonian. Mark might have inherited his urge to create from his great-grandfather, a handsome young artist/politician in the stunning wilds of Utah. Mark brought that rugged artistic fervor to New York and expanded it to include himself as an openly gay artist with large-scale ambitions. He’s succeeded notably. July 6, 2017

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July 6, 2017

NYC Community Media


Photos courtesy Elegran Real Estate (elegran.com)

This one-bedroom, one-bathroom Chelsea co-op at 463 W. 21st St. has a private outdoor garden and can be yours for $990,000. RENT / OWN continued from p. 3

in Chelsea, which is 12.4 percent less than May 2016, with a median asking price of $2,299,000 that is 3.3 percent higher than last year. But renters in Chelsea can comb through the 1,152 rentals available, which dropped 4.6 percent from last year, with median asking rent of $3,995 a month—a

drop of 2.2 percent from last year’s rental prices. The situation is similar in the neighboring Hell’s Kitchen (“Midtown West” is the preferred term on some real estate websites), where there are 379 homes for sale with a median asking price of $1,460,000 and 1,634 rentals on the market with a median asking rent of $3,495 a month. According to

StreetEasy, Hell’s Kitchen was recently added to the study and there wasn’t enough data to compare it to previous years. However, even renting may prove to be difficult, as residents would have to earn more than $26.69 an hour to live comfortably in the state, according to a report conducted by the National Low Income Housing Coalition. Their

humanity, and confronting threats on several fronts (a big bad vampire; a delusional grandmother; the upstart local authority determined to replace VCD with his own force). Transfused with injections of comedy, action, horror, and romance, directing team Chiu Sin-hang and Yan Pak-wing are so dead-set on entertaining you that the genre-hopping attention deficit disorder of their debut feature proves less of a distraction than a welcome asset. Sat., July 15, 10pm. Cantonese with English subtitles. 94 minutes.

NYAFF continued from p. 18

“When a person dies with injustice in a cloudy day, at a gloomy place, then he might turn into a vampire,” says Uncle Chung (a droll Richard Ng), who recruits naive and nerdy Tim (an appropriately named Babyjohn Choi) into the team’s rapidly aging ranks after a vampire attack reveals his nephew has inherited protective powers from his late mother (mom and pop, turns out, were Department bigwigs who died heroically). Trained in the ways of vampire fighting and soul reclamation, the dutiful but untested teen is sworn to secrecy (having refused a sip of memory-erasing tea that keeps the general public blissfully unaware). On his first mission, Tim comes fresh-face-to-putrefied-face with a female vampire. Lacking the heart to stab hers, a bloody good smooch turns

©2016 Mad World Limited, courtesy of Golden Scene Co. Ltd.

Father and son share close quarters while trying to close the distance between them, in “Mad World.”

Summer (Lin Min-chen) into a mute but perceptive beauty. The rest of the film plays out as a manic series

PUBLISHER Jennifer Goodstein

THE WEST SIDE’S COMMUNITY NEWSPAPER PUBLISHED BY

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“Out Of Reach 2016” showed that New Yorkers would have to earn the $26.69 an hour to afford paying 30 percent of their income towards a two-bedroom place. As affordability continues to drop in Manhattan, Long said that other communities in the Bronx and Queens are more appealing in expected value of buying a home.

EDITOR Scott Stiffler ART DIRECTOR John Napoli GRAPHIC DESIGNER Cristina Alcine

of seismic shifts in tone, with Tim hiding his new love interest from the others, coaching her in the ways of

CONTRIBUTORS Lincoln Anderson Stephanie Buhmann Jackson Chen Bill Egbert Rebecca Fiore Dusica Sue Malesevic Winnie McCroy Puma Perl Paul Schindler Eileen Stukane

ADVERTISING Amanda Tarley PH: 718-260-8340 Email: atarley@cnglocal.com ACCOUNT EXECUTIVES Gayle Greenberg Jim Steele Julio Tumbaco

The New York Asian Film Festival runs through July 13 at The Film Society of Lincoln Center (165 W. 65th St., btw. Broadway & Amsterdam Ave.) and July 14-16 at the SVA Theatre (333 W. 23rd St., btw. Eighth & Ninth Aves.). For tickets ($14; $11 students/ seniors), visit subwaycinema.com.

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ADVERTORIAL

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July 6, 2017

phone conversations. The use of a hands-free device does not lower distraction levels. The percentage of vehicle crashes and nearcrashes attributed to dialing is nearly identical to the number associated with talking or listening.

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chewing gum at the same time may want to avoid eating while driving. The majority of foods require a person’s hands to be taken off of the wheel and their eyes to be diverted from the road. Reaching in the back seat to share some French fries with the kids is also distracting. Try to eat meals before getting in the car. For those who must snack while en route, take a moment to pull over at

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Reading Glancing at an advertisement, updating a Facebook status or reading a book are all activities that should be avoided when driving. Even pouring over a traffic map or consulting the digital display of a GPS system can be distracting.

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July 6, 2017

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